Archive for the ‘News’ Category

$300 Lipstick, Finally!

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

silly lipstick

This is what I’ve been praying for: a red lipstick I don’t want!

What a wonderful surprise from Givenchy, the brand of choice for Kim, Kanye, and many other celebrity luminaries. Allow me to fill you in:

French luxury label Givenchy is launching a $300 lipstick in its signature deep red shade in the Le Rouge line, clad in crocodile skin. Limited to only 3,000 pieces, it will be available at Barneys New York starting October. Otherwise priced at only $36, Givenchy’s limited edition Le Rouge gets its staggering price tag from the crocodile skin it’s encapsulated in, patterned on the black and silver tube.

I only hope to meet one of the 3,000 idiots who buy this crocodile-clad piece of shit. Lucky for me that I shot my wad on the stupid Louboutin nail polish!

Okay. I just wanted to share my relief. Now you can go back to what you were doing. xo

The Solace Of The World’s Ugliest Jeans

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

I’m watching the life feed from Ferguson tonight, like I did last night.

Ebola is “vastly” worse than reported. tribal slaughter in Iraq and Syria, Israel vs Gaza,  Nigeria kidnappings, drones on Yemen, Robin Williams.

Let us look to these jeans for salvation. They are the ugliest jeans I’ve ever seen in my whole life, I’m pretty sure. There is something magnificent in such ugliness, you can feel the artistic striving for an indelible statement. A statement that transcends all the horror of current events.

ugliest jeans ever

These long-rise One Teaspoon pants have an exaggerated, slouchy fit. Heavy fading adds lived-in charm. Hidden elastic bands cinch the waist and ankles.

Right?

ugliest jeans ever rear

And with open-toe stiletto heeled booties, no less.

Whenever you find yourself filled with existential dread or sorrow, look at these jeans. That is my RX for mankind this evening.

The Mighty Hipster

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

How to be a hipster

To paraphrase a quote misattributed to Mark Twain,  Rumors of the death of the hipster are greatly exaggerated.

How many times have you come across a snide appraisal of hipsters, whatever iteration hipster is current at the time, with the conclusion that the species has hit rock bottom. Hipsters are so over, just look at them.

The last time I read something like that, hipsters were kind of effete and emo, remember them? And they had to drink Pabst Blue Ribbon for some reason.

Chris Sanderson, a trend forcaster, explains:“The hipster died the minute we called him a hipster. The word no longer had the same meaning.” Oh please, Chris, as if.  Then there was  a report last month from researchers at the University of New South Wales who discovered that the hipster look was no longer “hip.”

I’m down with Chris’s notion that there are now two types of hipster: “Contemporary hipsters – the ones with the beards we love to hate – and proto-hipsters, the real deal.” So, okay, the Real Deal means ‘us’ and the faux hipsters are ‘them’. That’s cool with me, I guess.

Hipsters were once people who rejected societal norms. White people who liked black jazz, people who read William Burroughs or Iceberg Slim. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t about a uniform that signaled you were cool and in-the-know.

I still like the definition of a hipster as someone who was into whatever you’re into, 5 years ago. He has moved on and you will never keep up with him. I can reliably turn to my Nephew Russell, who was riding a fixed bike years ago. He is too hip for Facebook, not to mention Twitter. Whatever browser he uses for the internet, you’ve never heard of it. Whatever coffee you drink, he knows a place to get better coffee and it’s not a chain, either. It’s a given that he despises hipsters.

This Sanderson guy, the hipster expert, predicts an ‘overhaul’ in hipsters as we now know them  He predicts “A more macho look, almost to the point of caricature, in a bid for men to reinforce their identity.”

Uh-oh, he’d better be wrong about this. The hipsters I’m seeing (whether proto, meta or crypto) are already bearded and scruffy enough to be woodsman and ax-murderers. Will they adopt an even more primitive look, like early cro-magnons? Whatever the next wave turns out to be, I’m confidant that the hipster will be here til the end, a survivor, like the mighty cockroach. Just more annoying.

Beyonce Studies

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Professor Kevin Allred godammit

Kevin Allred, a professor in the women’s and gender studies department at Rutgers University, is stirring up controversy with his signature course: Feminist Perspectives: Politicizing Beyonce.

In a recent interview with NPR, he discusses the genesis of the course. “I read an article a few years ago by Daphne Brooks, a professor at Princeton, and she was arguing that the ‘B’Day’ album should be looked – politically, in kind of line with black, female protest singing throughout history.”

It’s nice to know that Professors at Princeton are thinking about Beyonce too.

Allred continues, “And I wanted to continue that and, like, think about all of Beyonce’s work, post and pre ‘B’Day,’ and her career in general as a way to engage students around these conversations about race, gender, sexuality and the politics of those categories in the United States, especially.”

So I’m, like, how many units is this class and like, what is the cost per unit? Will it help the students to pay back their college loans or what?

If I were teaching Beyonce Studies, I’d start with her transformation from a pretty African American girl to a sleek blond bombshell.

Beyonce Knowles

beyonce--2010

161553644JS00162_BEYONCE_LI

Does a Black woman have to look ‘whiter’ to achieve success with a mass audience? Why is the prevailing concept of female beauty still a busty blond? For all Beyonce’s talk about empowerment, I see a shrewd businesswoman selling herself as a non-threatening sex symbol. Where’s the power in that?

I have no idea what Beyonce means to our culture, but nothing about her piques my curiosity. I’m much more interested when something fresh or challenging manages to capture the public imagination, like Amy Winehouse or ‘Breaking Bad‘. Or when someone truly awful, like Taylor Swift, manages to make $1 million per show.

But that’s just me. I am obviously out of step with most of humanity.

If you’re thinking of taking Professor Allred’s course, you should familiarize yourself with his own dissertation project, for which he is now, ahem, ….

“interrogating U.S. black feminism through the sonic register, reframing debates over intersectionality versus assemblage through taking careful account of the sounds black women’s voices make, both live and recorded. He is particularly interested in the ways black female musicians – like Nina Simone, Odetta, Beyonce Knowles, Nicki Minaj, and Janelle Monae – manipulate their voices in order to resist racist and heteronormative power structures.”

Oh God. Like his hairstyle isn’t enough.

Crazy Mother: A Tragedy in Torrance

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Eugène Delacroix - Medea

Carol Coronado, 30, stabbed her three young children to death and then got into bed with them. The children ranged in age from 2 1/2 to 2 months old. That is red flag number one.

Earlier that morning, Carol had called her mother to say she was ‘going crazy.’ Red flag number two.

Carol’s mother was at work so she called Carol’s sister-in-law, Sandra, and asked her to give Carol a call. Sandra, whose brother Rudy Coronado is Carol’s husband, now reports that Carol denied anything was wrong, but did admit to being exhausted. Sandra could hear babies crying in the background, but that was not unusual. She quotes Carol as saying, “Just tell your brother to calm down.”  Red flags #3, #4, and #5.

Rudy’s mother arrived in the afternoon, while Rudy was outside working on his car. She emerged from the house screaming that the children were dead. She had called 911. Police came and led Carol out of the house, naked under a blanket and covered with blood. She was covered with stab wounds, most of them superficial.

Now, this next part is key:

Carol Coronado, who was taking classes on the Internet, stayed at home with the children while her husband went out early each day to sell car parts at the Alpine Village swap meets.

She kept a cluttered home, which triggered some discord with her husband.

“I believe that was their main issue,” the sister-in-law said. “My brother wanted the house clean for his girls. He wanted to come home to a home-cooked meal. ~ (my italics) Daily Breeze, Larry Altman

Here is the house, described as a former workshop or converted garage. I’ll take the liberty of calling it a shithole.

shithole in torrance

I’m thinking, Andrea Yates. I’m thinking too many babies, postpartum depression, trapped in a shithole, demanding husband, desperation,  no way out.

What are you thinking?

Again With the Awful New Words

Monday, May 19th, 2014

nonono

Just because people say it, is it a ‘word’? This is becoming complicated, thanks to the internet and all its attendant evils, which are now too astronomical to count.

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary has just added 150 new words, making official words out of shit like ‘gamification’ and ‘freegan.’ Remember how upset we were about ‘selfie’? It will never end. Soon, there will be no real words in use, just gibberish.

Every time I learn one of these new ‘words’ my world gets a little bleaker. I just recently learned ‘YOLO’ and ‘MLIF’ although one hopes that such acronyms aren’t considered words by the forces in charge. Oh god, is ‘snapchat’ a word? Here is some trending internet slang, by the way, if you’re not sufficiently discouraged.

Awful words are one thing, but awful usage can be even worse. For example, why have people started using the word ‘so’ to begin a sentence? I read that it was started by Mark Zucherberg, as if he doesn’t have enough to answer for.

How about the ‘because‘ thing. Because idiots.

It’s so hard to keep up.  By the time I find out about a horrible new word and object to it, it’s already in common usage and people will just shrug and defend its existence. (Most of these people are my husband but I assume he speaks for Everyman.)

Any words or word usage bothering you right now? Jump in.

James Freeman: What a Fucking Cunt™!

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

James Freeman drinks coffee

Let me just say, I love coffee. And by ‘love,’ I mean love, crave, need, and adore. When I travel, I need coffee before I can go get coffee. You get what I’m saying.

And I like ‘good’ coffee. That means I don’t want to order coffee at McDonald’s and I buy Starbucks or Peet’s to make at home.

But there is only so much good to be had in a cup of coffee. That is my stance. It is at odds with a small number of my friends who enjoy paying $5 to watch a guy ceremonially prepare them a single cup of coffee.

Having just discovered Blue Bottle Coffee, founded by James Freeman and described to perfection here, I find my self enraged in the exact way I like to be enraged. Is there a word for that? Not schadenfreude. Wutfreude, maybe? I just tried to construct a German word for this feeling but it turned out to mean ‘sausage stand.’

Let’s let Mr. Freeman dig his own grave here:

Blue Bottle Coffee has grown to a small network of cafes, wholesale partners, an espresso cart, and some vintage German coffee roasters. We are still united by the simple purpose of getting great coffee to everyone who asks for it.

Please. He means, everyone who’ll plunk down the money. But wait. There is more joy to be had in the liner notes of the beans they sell. Try this:

“Every year, our producer partner Aida Batlle pulls together a selection of some of the most delicious peaberry coffees from her farms in El Salvador. Once her Grand Reserve is available, it tends to stir up the sort of frenzied obsession among coffee people that Pliny the Younger stirs up among beerophiles – or that a well-salted salami stirs up among puppies. This year, the coffee surges with violet, plum, citrus and cocoa.”

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whoa, now we’re talking. This is bullshit of the highest order. It is bullshit beyond satire, almost. Trying to find out how much they charge for a cup of coffee is exhausting. I gather it is $7 for a siphon coffee, which equals 2 cups. I have scanned fifty-thousand yelp reviews, which miraculously never mention an actual price.  Perhaps James Freeman threatens to clobber them with a vintage German coffee roaster if they publish any prices.

Waiting in line seems to be a vital part of the Blue Bottle Coffee experience. They even show a nice long line on their website, as if it’s a good thing.

waiting for coffee

Blue Bottle’s investors include all the usual suspects from Silicon Valley. The company has tons of money but Freeman is really fastidious about everything. He won’t let supermarkets sell his coffee and explains his philosophy by quoting from the Myth of Sisyphus. God, what a Fucking Cunt™!

swirly pretentious coffee

I can quote Camus too, motherfucker!

There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn

He wasn’t talking about coffee but I am. People like James Freeman are responsible for everything I hate. The relentless obsession with quality, the pretense of being authentic, the microscopic attention to superfluous detail, the elitist celebration of purity, it’s all awful.

What could be more bourgeois than this much fuss about a cup of coffee?

Met Gala 2014 Exegesis

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Donatella-muppet

Why doesn’t anyone tell Donatella that she looks like a Muppet? Is she too important? Or is it just too painful to deal with?

I know I’d want someone to tell me.  If I went around looking like a Muppet, it would mean that I had lost my mind and needed help. Maybe celebrities in the fashion world don’t like to help each other.

I like helping. I am here to help, you could even say. So, here comes my exegesis of tonight’s event:

Katie Holmes, are you fucking blind???

katie holmes  yellow

God, get Tom’s stylists, can’t you? You will never live this one down.

Kristen Stewart, I don’t want to hear your excuse. There is no excuse. Zero out of ten.

Kristen-Stewart-2014

Kim K,  you look like a big blue whale. Super not-good. Please, please, go away.

Costume Institute Gala Benefit celebrating Charles James: Beyond Fashion, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, America - 05 May 2014

Lots of other attendees looked awful, crazy, or boring. Johnny Depp looked awful, crazy and alarmingly ancient. That girl will definitely dump him. Who wants to put some money on it? Lupita Nyongo wore a tragic outfit by Prada that looked like a bad Halloween costume for an Indian Maiden, but everyone had to go “You know, she pulled it off, that’s how great she is!”

The obvious winner, who does not need my help, was Bee Shaffer, who outdid herself in a beautiful regal gown with a long train. Bryanboy called it early in the evening. Let’s all admire Bee while we try to forgive her mother for being Anna Wintour.

Bee-Shaffer-goddess

Could It Be Low T?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

poor low t couple

If you live in the US and watch TV, you have been bombarded with commercials touting drugs for low testosterone. Never mind that doctors agree only a small proportion of men – about 0.5% – need testosterone therapy.

The ads are funny at first, then it might occur to you that a lot of money is being made by pharmaceutical companies preying on mens insecurities. Not only that, but they are pathologizing the aging process.  But of course it gets worse.

High testosterone levels increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, and death by 30%. Averse effects of testosterone drugs are creating a whole new class of lawsuit. But those constant ads keep nagging that if you just feel kind of icky, kind of grumpy and apathetic, IT COULD BE LOW T!!!

So I went to the website Is it Low T and took the quiz. I had a strong feeling, no, really an absolute conviction that I would test positive for Low T. Here is my score, where I lied about my erections because I wasn’t sure how to answer.

low t score

As you can see, I’m in big trouble. I’m not even a man and I have fucking Low T!

When I was a weight-lifter, in another lifetime, many of the guys at my gym were huge pro bodybuilders. At certain points in their ‘training cycle,’ they would bulk up by taking steroids and pure testosterone. You could tell which ones were using, because they were easily enraged and prone to acne breakouts on their backs and shoulders. Their feeling was obviously, Anything for bigger muscles.

Now, men are urged to raise their testosterone levels if they’re feeling sad or tired or don’t always feel like having sex. Look at that poor suffering couple above. He looks around 20 but awwwww, he can’t get it up. She’s not helping with that awful white bra. Is she a nursing mother or something? Anyway, this image comes from an article about Low T. I wish she would just masturbate and leave him alone.

Here is a chart showing the rise in testosterone prescribing between 2000 and 2010:

testosterone_4 chart

I don’t know about you, but I see plenty of repercussions.  Angry, acne-ridden men who want to fuck all the time when they’re not dropping dead of a heart attack. I’m just not into it.  If you or your sad and apathetic husband still see more testosterone as the answer to you problems,  bookmark this ad:

lawsuit Low-Testosterone-Treatment-Side-Effects

 

Peaches, Grief, Guilt and Restraining Orders

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Ary Scheffer - 1814

As I write this, we still don’t know what caused the death of poor Peaches Geldof but we are human, most of us, so we feel the tragedy. For me, it was yet another trigger, a blast of PTSD, complete with unwanted images of her dead body, what position she was in, wondering how her family will live through this. Looking at pictures of her adorable babies, reading her loving descriptions of them, struggling with the very idea of deliberately leaving them.

She is none of my business but I refreshed my google search for news, every few hours. Just like I did with L’Wren Scott. How dare these people leave their loved ones, how dare they leave strangers like me to wonder in horror at the big hole they left, to feel like the last page of a book was torn out before we could know how it ended.

I wish I could stop taking it personally but such is my PTSD or Complicated Grief or whatever pathology can be assigned to my condition.

In the days leading up to Max’s birthday, I was more anxious than I realized. I had a fight with my sister over plans for his birthday dinner. Weeks have passed but she still won’t talk to me.

In the days following his birthday, I felt better. I could feel him inside me, not like a dark companion this time but like part of my heart, myself, a good part. I felt lighter, I guess.

But nope, I was not really okay. I sent a curt email in the middle of the night to a close friend’s husband, who knew Max. In the morning, the friend emailed me, hysterically blaming me for destroying the husband and being a monster.

Stung at being the monster in someone else’s narrative, I debated this in escalating emails that resulted in her blocking me both on facebook and in real life gmail. Now I am officially a monster who would dare to make someone feel uncomfortable about Max’s suicide. And I have lost a friend. Maybe they would like to file a restraining order.

I have already suffered the shock of a restraining order! The fiance who refused to talk to me filed a restraining order, citing a fear for her life. It did not pan out, obviously, but it is the post post-modern way of telling someone to shut up or else.

If I could file a restraining order against myself, I would. I would accuse me of torturing myself when I least expect it, with waves of anger, remorse, and morbid preoccupations. I could make me stay 100 yards away from myself and my place of employment.

Meanwhile, one of my facebook friends, needless to say a complete stranger, told me that she was depressed today, more than usual, and wants me to call her. She has a physical handicap and that must be hard. I don’t want to take this on but I will, because even though I’m a monster in real life, on facebook I’m still a nice and compassionate person. For now, anyway.