Archive for July, 2011

Which Shoe Makes You Sadder?

Friday, July 29th, 2011

“Not just a sandal–a work of art, a thing of beauty. This Brian Atwood sandal boasts wild leopard print, ribbons that lace up your ankle, and feathers that sway with every step.”    $1,450 Neiman Marcus

“Not just a shoe–an object of desire, a work of art. This Diego Dolcini satin showcases fan-pleated chiffon, articulated with two-tone elegance and discerning crystal embellishments.”   $2,445   Neiman Marcus

Can’t decide?

Here’s a close-up of the discerning crystal embellishments. (Can they be discerning? Why not  judgmental, while we’re at it?)

And here’s the Thing of Beauty, walking back into the jungle….

Houseboys for August

Friday, July 29th, 2011

I don’t know where you live, but Los Angeles is hot and sweaty in August. I need a Houseboy to fan me while I sip a cold drink. Jo Dong Hyuk looks like a highly accomplished Houseboy, don’t you think?

But look at Greg Kheel.

Greg seems like a versatile Houseboy who wouldn’t mind dressing up if the situation demands. In fact, I would be happy to let him raid my closet when he’s done with his chores.

Finally, there’s Renato Ferreira.

He’s young, sure, but I think he would bring a spirituality to his tasks. He can even wear the necklace if it  doesn’t  get in the way.

See anything you like?

*If you know of any worthy houseboys of this caliber, feel free to submit pictures to and I can include  them  with  the next batch.

Bad-Girl Style

Friday, July 29th, 2011

An article in the New York Times offers an affectionate tribute to Amy Winhouse’s style, giving her credit for creating a unique look based on several Bad-Girl templates.

The article reminded me of how many girls still try to imitate Bettie Page. There are millions of clones out there with dyed black bangs and deep red lipstick, all going for the same trampy   rockabilly look. With all due respect, it’s a look I’m really sick of.   I think it should be saved for Halloween or costume parties.

The article also led me to the work of Karlheinz Weinberger, a Swiss photographer whose pictures of sleazy hooligans and teenage delinquents made him famous among artists and intelligentsia. Looking at his work, I finally undertand the aesthetic that Gnarlitude Jen and her ilk are so infatuated with.

Biker  paraphernalia, big messy hair, tough sullen expressions, it’s all there in Weinberger’s old photos. It’s a look that I personally affected when I was around twelve years old, trying to copy the tough Mexican gang girls who represented rebellion. By fourteen, though, I was over it.

Today, the only way to be a style rebel would be to dress inconspicuously.

Still, I’m happy to remember Amy as an original force in style as well as music. Her mixture of   50s and 60s influences, punk, pin-up, tough, girlie, retro and rapper, added up to something fresh, defiant and  irresistible.

God bless her, and all bad girls everywhere.

Let’s Just be Mad

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

“Filming began Tuesday on “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” the star-studded new-spin prequel to “The Wizard of Oz,”  in Michigan, Disney announced. James Franco takes the lead as the young pre-Wizard, a magician who finds himself cast off into Oz. There he meets a sparkling group of sister witches — both good and bad — in Rachel Weisz  as Evanora, Michelle Williams as Glinda and  Mila Kunis as Theodora, and alongside his assistant,  played by Zach Braff, he finds himself further and further immersed into the magical land.”


Intensify your disgust by reading the studio press release.

Goodbye to Amy

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

My poor darling Amy. I didn’t expect you to die, even if everyone else did. I expected you to get clean and sober, somehow. I expected you to live and I wanted you to live even if you never made another record.

Your voice moved me so deeply, its astonishing mature beauty and soul were even more amazing when I saw that it was housed in such a tiny young body.

I’m so sorry that you had to hurt that body. I know you only wanted to block out the pain you lived with. It must have been a terrible struggle to stick around for as long as you did.

I’ve always sneered at the idea of an Old Soul but now I accept it. I believe it means that you suffered from the beginning, from some burden you did nothing to deserve. I believe that you were more than a mess or a cautionary tale or a member of some stupid 27 Club. I believe that you were and will always be a holy soul.

I know your father will torture himself for leaving you alone, thinking that he might have saved you if he were holding your hand at the  crucial moment.   I’m so sorry that they took you away with no one there to kiss you goodbye.

I’m so sorry you’re gone.

The Fork

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Remember The Nose War?

Well, now it’s a fork.

There’s a fork on the bookcase by the front door, and it’s been there for at least a week. Maybe two weeks. My teenager asked me about it, without implying that he might be willing to take it back to the kitchen. I told him that I didn’t know what it was doing on the bookcase, but I wasn’t going to move it, either. He understood.

Now it has taken the place of The Nose. My husband has obviously seen the fork, since nothing escapes his eagle eye (especially things that are kitchen-related.)

We’ll see what happens.

Do any of you play these childish games with your partner? If not, you’re really missing out on the true essence of marriage.

The Wedding: A Parable.

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Recently I attended the wedding of one of Max’s oldest friends, who was also a member of his band.   It was a joy to see this wonderful young man celebrating his love for his adoring bride, his obvious soulmate.

The wedding was also an opportunity for me to see old friends, and to see some of Max’s school pals who were now grown ups.   There were babies and toddlers everywhere and I got to hold a placid baby girl wearing a pink tutu.

We couldn’t help but notice a family with three or four young children, all completely bald.   I assumed that one of the kids had lost his hair from chemotherapy and the others had shaven their heads in solidarity. You hear about this practice more and more, and I respect the  sacrifice  and devotion involved.

After several funny speeches, the bride and groom danced to a recording of a silly song about bees or something.   It looked like a dance you learn in preschool, with funny hand-motions. It was adorable. During their dance, one of the bald kids joined in, weaving between them and spinning around happily in her own world.

It was such a poignant bittersweet image: The glowing couple embarking on a new life together, the little child with cancer, whose fate was uncertain.

When I was drunk enough, I danced with my husband, who wouldn’t let me lead. Then I danced with some women who just wanted to shake it up regardless of the too-fast beat and our painful high heels. When we finally said goodbye to the groom, we learned that the bald kids had  head-lice, not cancer.

Ha! See how things change depending on your perspective? It’s a good reminder that all experience is filtered through interpretation.   From now on, I hope I can remember that a tragic worldview could be a lapse of judgement or a  tendency  to see cancer instead of  head-lice. I can’t think of a proverb to  illustrate  this insight.

Anyone up to it? It has to include the word  head-lice.

Memorial Tattoo

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

It’s taken a while to decide on a   tattoo   tribute to Max. I finally felt ready and went to my local tattoo parlor, Ink Ink, in Venice. I talked to a veteran artist named Stephanie, who turned the elements I wanted into the beautiful design you see above.

Stephanie was the best choice I could have made! She was kind, funny, insightful, and takes her work seriously.   It is her true calling. I felt so relaxed in her hands that I felt no pain, just a mild sort of friction..   I was delighted to hear her squeals of excitement over the vibrant colors.

We talked about all kind of shit, having discovered that we are the same age. We talked about all the times we’ve seen The Band. When I told her that   I used to have a huge crush on Rick Danko, she replied, “Who didn’t?!” It’s great to hang out with someone who shares your history and your culture.

The honeysuckles remind me of how Max used to suck the nectar out of the flowers outside our front door. When Charle was little, Max showed him hwo to do it. The morning  glories  remind me of putting them over our noses to see how long we could keep them there. Max called them “morning gorlies” and that’s how I still think of them

Some days go by like nothing is wrong. They make me wonder how a human being can  just  keep plodding along, through habit and conditoning. Other days are crushing, filed with the unbearable heartbreak and remorse.

But the tattoo is a comfort. I really love it. If you’re thinking of getting a tattoo, you can’t do better than Stephanie.

As if.

Monday, July 11th, 2011

These metallic pants would look great with ________________.

Sass & Bide, $561 at shopbop.

Too Stupid to Get Out of Jury Duty?

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Well, everybody is mad, and here’s why:   That bitch is guilty!

No matter how many lectures are written about this trial and its coverage in the media, if you followed the whole thing from the beginning, you know she’s guilty.   If your child drowns, you call the police.   You don’t turn up at your boyfriend’s house a few hours later and rent a movie as if nothing happened.

So the question remains: Is this jury just stupid?

I wonder if there’s a reliable source of data on jury selection. I’m cynical enough to believe the old joke about jury duty.   If you’re smart and sophisticated, you probably don’t want to get stuck doing jury service and you’ll probably find a way to avoid it.

An acquaintance explained why she hasn’t been following the Casey Anthony trial on TV: So many children are suffering from abuse every single day, it’s improper to spend so much attention on this one incident.

I admire her self-control and her strong sense of moral duty, but I think that people have a need to feel that justice is possible. The shock of seeing O.J. Simpson or Casey Anthony go free, instead of paying for their crimes, derives from this primal expectation of justice.

I hate those parents who enjoy telling their children that “life isn’t fair.” It should be fair! Unfairness should be unacceptable.

It was perversely gratifying to see Casey all dolled-up in court today. She looked like a Ronette or a stripper. Shedding her librarian look so quickly was another slap in the face but it adds to her mystique as a  psychopath.   I don’t know why I was surprised to learn that there’s at  least  one website devoted to the trial;   If I weren’t already so disgusted with the not-guilty verdict, I might click on the thing about Casey’s preferred snacks from the prison snack-shop or whatever it’s called.

Do you believe that when a jury speaks, justice has been served? Have you avoided jury duty? Do you think the phrase “reasonable doubt” is open to interpretation? And how do you feel about Casey’s hair?