Thursday, January 31, 2013

short story Thursday and book club Friday.


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What came first Fitzgerald or The Flapper? The Flapper or Fitzgerald? Who cares, they're both delicious. “Bernice Bobs Her Hair” was originally published by The Saturday Evening Post on May 1, 1920 and the gist is as follows:

Marjorie is a sassy little flapper, having 'gracefully fallen' into her self-proclaimed education in all things gentleman caller. Visiting from Eau Claire, cousin Bernice's traditional, if not decidedly 'dull' manner, not only inhibits but offends Marjorie. Basically, M is a bitchy little handful and B is very, very common. Anyway, M makes B a marionette, instructing B on her ease of manner, charm, witticisms, dress and the ability to leave the house without warranting ridicule and scorn. As a B in M's clothing, a timeless and universally applicable plot unfolds. Whether 1920 or sometime later this week who doesn't love a cut-throat makeover underpinned by the jockeying of girls and boys in relation to other girls and boys.

Albeit one short story in a compilation, it is fantastic and timeless and here is why:

1. "Her test was that when she was away from him she forgot him and had affairs with other boys"
2. "...absorbed in composing one of those non-committal, marvelously elusive letters that only a young girl can write"
3. "They were frequently seen together in his roadster, obviously engrossed in one of those tense, significant conversations"
4. "This was the test supreme of her sportsmanship; her right to walk unchallenged in the starry heaven of popular girls."
5. "It was quite a new look for Bernice and it carried consequences" .

Smell you later January, Call me never.

A few comments going from left to right like I am reading a book:
1. Narcissistic girl seeks endless hall of mirrors
2. Note to self, knee socks for 2013
3. I work for PanAm
4.  Remember when I read social theory?  Those were smarter days
5.  I love a good hat, even if its historically used as armor
6. I got shitfaced at this table and then went boating
7. That girl is my soul mate and dearest friend in the world
8. Stop looking at me, stairs are challenging
9. Adorable pre-teens at the MET
Here comes another one just like the other one:
1. Photo-bombing my enormous sleeves, you are welcome.
2. Safety first 
3. Mangled (hand) Mani Monday
4.  There is of course beauty in the breakdown
5.  My feelings toward January
6. I had the Brad poster in my apartment from 2005-2009, just saying
7. That girl is my soul mate and dearest friend in the world (I told you I was narcissistic)
8. And what will you have?
9. Errrrrrrryone wants a piece of me

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

beauty in the breakdown.

As always, I have quite a lot to say in a format that allows for a three minute turn around on reading time.  But that is OK as I have less than five minutes to get this out as I am working around the clock and scantily clad due to excessive building heating and 55 degree weather.  Outfit picture fail.  I have a date tomorrow as well as a bridal shower on Sunday so hopefully I will get some good shots in.  Life has been very overwhelming these days and around here we are all somewhat on the verge of collapse.  Fortunately, there is beauty in the breakdown.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

what kind of "90's bitch" are you?

Anyone with a pulse is acutely aware that 90’s fashion has made an official re-return which is basically the crop-top equivalent of dating an old fling because it seems awesome now, but you will regret it later.  Considering “the 90’s” I flashed immediately to Hannah Horvath’s near-naked body screaming “I’m a 90’s bitch, I don’t care, I love it.”  And after acknowledging that we are soul mates, having under the cloak of 4:30 in the afternoon, also behaved quite similarly, I then reconsidered.
While I too have a mesh shirt from Parasuco (“pfffff, a shirt”), when Lena Dunham says, “I am a 90’s bitch” (born in 1986, same as Aino Jawa of Icona Pop) it means something very different then when I do (born 1982).  Both are valid, though severally applicable.  Based on 20 minutes of critical research, it seems that the 12-year-old of the 1993-1995 zone is in fact very different than the 12-year-old of 1996-1998 zone.  Come on Roberta, touch down!  I know the difference seems negligible, but this is what the '82/'86 divide looks like:
The fact that Friends, David Letterman, and The Nanny premiered in my “90’s bitch” and shows like Everybody Loves Raymond, Will & Grace and Sex and the City premiered in the other “90’s bitch” should sound alarms and raise red flags.  Cultural divide here we come?  P.S., It's on the internet now, so obviously it’s true.
Speaking of drawing a line in the sands of cool somewhere between 1993 and 1994, this highly schizophrenic and wildly haphazard opinion piece was inspired by an article about Cracker’s iconic album, Kerosene Hat, released in 1993, which is turning 20-years old this year.  Read it this and educate yourself.
Once the smelling salts wore off (old people pass out alot) and I came to, I realized that in my “90’s bitch” we wore baby doll dresses, combat boots, lace blouses, flannel, overalls, and even the illustrious hybrid overall/baby doll dress (yeah, I nailed it) and listened to Nirvana, Beck and Counting Crows.  The other “90’s bitch” rocked pastel hard candy nail polish, Jellies, Capri's and the union jack dress, stemming from what I hope was a reaction to the end of Thatcherism (Girl Power?). 
The point here is that the 12 year old listening to Madonna's Ray of Light and watching Sex and the City is not the same 12 year old that cut her hair like Rachel Green and had a Nirvana poster.  All things considered, I'd like to be this "90's bitch." Just saying.

Monday, January 28, 2013

ring my bell-sleeve?

I get it.  It's sleeting ice pellets here in NYC and we are all tired of hearing about it.  But that doesn't stop me.  Lets discuss winter-wear, voluminous sleeves and Italian racing gloves but mainly just voluminous sleeves.  Here goes.
That is my face and here is my face again.
I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?  I think you can in Europe. 
Stuck the landing.

An angel sleeve is a long wide sleeve that hangs loose from the shoulder whereas a kimono sleeve is cut in one with the bodice in a wide sloping shape.  Clearly I am rocking both so be jealous and I'll wait. P.S., Courtesy of wikipedia, this is not in fact a bell sleeve at all, get smarter. Regardless, my party platform is voluminous sleeves for 2013 and basically, you don't have to ring my bell-sleeve (kimono, angel, batwing, dolman) ((e.g. French-cut, v-neck, ribbed, what have you)) but you should ring your own.

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I thrifted this photo of the 1983 Thanksgiving Day parade which is adhered to a sizable wood panel.  It has a bunch of clowns (murder-y in a murder way) and guys in Sergio Tacchini (murder-y in a sexy way) divided only by police barricades.  Straight.  Street.

Urban Outfitters skirt as old as the hills, Beth Bowley cashmere sweater with unidentified voluminous sleeves, plastic puzzle piece bracelet from a pool-side sale at my grandmothers west palm beach condo.  does that count as "thrifted?" Stack off books scattered in the background.

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I dare you.

V for Vendetta.

Chanel Vendetta
Ciate Caviar Rainbow
V: The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. [giggles]. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it's my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V. 
Evey Hammond: Are you, like, a crazy person? 
V for Vendetta

why don't you cry about it, saddlebags.


Chado Ralph Rucci is having a major moment courtesy of Lady Mary's side boob which by the way is killing it.  In the meanstwhile Lady Edith is weeping and eating her feelings while faceless suitors run for the hills in the background.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

i did it all for the linkup, yeah the linkup,

This is a Letters to my Former Single Self Linkup Post.  I am not 100% sure what a Linkup is yet, but check this out, because its funny and my learning process was mortifying, but surprisingly upbeat.

Yo girl,  

Take a good look at that kid with the tender heart and kindness in her eyes.  Sweet bomber jacket by the way and demerits to Lindy (that is what you call your mother now) for not panning out on the shot.  Before I get into the nitty gritty, I want to let you know [*spoiler alert*] that you see relationships today, the same way the girl holding the bird does; with care, a bit of trepidation and an open heart.  I still tend to watch, where another kid might pet or strangle, depending on their neurosis and I have a somewhat subdued diligence.

Remember that boy who tried to kiss you on the camp bus and you were so horrified that you wept openly until your dad had to physically carry you off?  That won't be the last time you get carried out of somewhere; that won't be the last time a kiss horrifies you; and it certainly won't be the last time you weep openly on a bus.

Please stop referring to the 1988 love letter incident as a turning point in your life and remember these lessons. (1) There is no need to read your love letters to your parents for editorial feedback; (2) If you write it on "Amanda the Panda" stationary, he obvi won't see you as the sophisticated woman you are; and (3) Never let a scorned lover choke you for your Mott's juice box.  That shit is full of essential nutrients and violence is never the answer.  

So...the beat goes on da da dum da dum da da (yeah Em, I went there) and you have been informed by a random lottery of meaningless tragedies and a series of near escapes.  You were kind of a strange kid and really liked hide and seek. Do not ignore this penchant in your dating patterns.  Seriously, you left a boyfriend after two years by abruptly moving out of the country and then had the nerve to be not-so-secretly disappointed that he didn't pine after you for the next fifteen months?  Listen up and listen closely.  Date someone who likes music, not a musician; if you leave the country to get away from them, its not working; Don't re-return and don't re-repeat.  That is not you showing that you cannot be smoted, that is you acting ridiculous.  The following people are not real: Trent Lane, Troy Dyer, Jordan Catalano, Shawn Hunter, Dylan McKay, you get the point.  Also, most of the time, age does matter (in both directions) do not be fooled by French cinema; Do not get involved with authority figures (read: bosses or professors), that is an urban myth not real life;  If you dated when you were 12, that does not mean you are compatible at 24 or 27; When a relationship ends there is always a clear winner and a clear loser, try not to belabor the times you believe you are the latter; and above all deactivate, delete, and de-friend.

Most of all though, look at those two kid-slash-adults up there?  They seem pretty happy don't they?  In the tone of Elle Woods, unhappy people don't just go around throwing confetti, do they?  No, they don't.  


Public Saturday Announcement, Take 1.

What is a Public Service Announcement? There are many different definitions for a public service announcement (PSA), but the simplified version of PSA's are messages in the public interest disseminated by the media without charge, with the objective of raising awareness, changing public attitudes and behavior towards a social issue.

What is a Public Saturday Announcement?  There are many different ways to analyze and judge people.  In this series, we will take a look at an iconic PSA, determine its intended message and then consider what messages this campaign actually disseminates.

This was inspired after I skimmed a study about the historical efficacy of public service announcements, which concluded that they are basically useless.  Big shock there.  Not convinced?  Take a look at this ridiculousness.

What this PSA thinks it says:  Saving money is a struggle but if you listen to your phone alerts, take public transportation, chase people through on-coming traffic, and avoid yogis, you can sock away your money in a life-sized pig.  Whether or not that is a euphemism for the government is still to be determined.

What this PSA really says:  
1.  Guys that aspire to wear fedoras are lame.
2.  Bankers drive pink vespas.
3.  Entering through the kitchen is for poor people with small lives and small pockets.
4.  Life-size pigs either do or do not hold the key to financial security.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Let's Play a Game: Which one should I keep?

Seriously, that's it:
Let me know, I trust you.

christopher walken in annie hall is my vehicular role model.

When I started this blog, I made a monumental decision; new year, new Instagram.  So kids, take your average 3:56 minute visit time (yeah, I learned what Google Analytic is) and follow me on Insty.  I promise it will be amusing, as my self-preservation instincts are rapidly declining.  Round here Fridays are going to be about my amateur photography via Insty and my bro'ings on around town.

I am new to blogging, so naturally, we don't know each other very well.  I guess the biggest thing going on for me at the moment is that I am getting married on April 6th.  I read an article about the two-hour premiere of Mad Men (setting my DVR now) referring to the April 7th date as "pretty soon!  So soon, in fact..."

Anyway, that drop-in-the-bucket-sized comment has been snowballing around in my brain for the past few hours and I am having a pretty sizable WTF moment.  I have a relatively demanding job, I am endeavoring to start this blog, I fractured my tailbone three weeks ago (mentioning merely to give you a mental image of how hot I really am) and overall I am pretty lazy person.  So, I have a lot (read: ay-lot) of things to square away. 

Pumping the breaks on the bridezilla bit, I'd like to take a beat and acknowledge how absolutely charmed my world is.  Because I basically have the dopest boyfriend and the greatest life.  I'd also like to give a little wedding teaser:

I am wearing either this, this, or this to my wedding.
Keeping true to our roots, we are getting married at One If By Land, Two If By Sea.
Next weekend is my tea party bridal shower at the Inn at Irving Place.
The Groom has taken the lead planning a dope honeymoon in Tanzania, Zanzibar and Dubai
We are mini-mooning for a long weekend in Anguilla.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

thirsty thursday: stone fence

As you all know based on your extensive research, The Stonefence Review is Dartmouth College’s premier journal of arts and letters.  This old rag has been kickin' since the 1890's so naturally I pulled out my edition of "Mending Wall," inserted my monocle and starting putting the pieces together.  This was titillating for me, though I suspect quite boring for my two to five confirmed readers.  I mean, this is a Thursday Thursday cocktail post is it not?   Patience grasshopper. 

The interwebs is pretty interested in drawing a connection between this poem, an undergraduate journal and the stone fence cocktail.  Tangential relationships for $500, Alex?  The journal is pretty decent (I skimmed the current edition this morning, so I am an expert), the poem merely references "good fences make[ing] good neighbors" (I have never met most of my neighbors  and the cocktail has its origins in the freezing over of cider barrels.

You know what, forget this Frost malarkey  the truth is that the Stone Fence began as a rum based cocktail in colonial New England.  The hard cider bit from above is true and they would cut the rum with the cider.  With westward exploration, our good ole boys started to distill corn and made some mean bourbon whiskey.  Cut to the present, where we get shmancy and boozy.

Pull it from the bar:
Angosura bitters

Pull it from the fridge:
Apple Cider

Now What?  This cocktail is great to make when your already boozy because its effortless and impossible to screw up.  Even Susan Hayward in Smash Up (1947) can handle this and she was a rich old drunk (behold my future).  Get the glass, add the rocks, give a good glug of bourbon and a good glug of cider; tap-tap on the bitters (two-ish drops) and your ready to roll.  Use an inappropriately festive swizzle stick to stir and get down to business, you know I always do.

As for this red and black and black and red polka dot number, there will be more on that later since it is far too cold to go outside, no matter what, ever.  As always, most of it is thrifted but it does involve a leather fringed apron-style belt.  A little teaser to the right in case I don't bother with a post at all. You're welcome.  I kind of love what a schmuck I am as well as how much lena dunham is rolling over in her proverbial grave right now.  Yeah, I added that text, free will and all.

turkey chili: limited talent, big appetite

I find cooking a rather challenging endeavor and shy away from it without proper supervision.  Given the option, my boyfriend would probably quit his job and train as a chef but refuse to work in a kitchen.  Those are his words, not mine.  He is particular.  But I digress, the point is that I know how to make a killer (healthy) chili.  This is one of the two special skills listed on my resume.  Lets save the other for another time.

Grocery List
2 medium onions, chopped
2 peppers (red or green) chopped
2 pounds lean ground turkey
1/4 cup chili powder (I use 1/2 cup of Chipotle chili power)
1 can of peeled whole tomatoes
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 cans of tomato paste
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of cannelloni beans
1 chili pepper (optional)

What you need:
Can opener
Knife/Cutting Board
Slotted Spoon
Dutch oven
Big metal pot
Editors Note: I like my food spicy (read: spi-cy), like the beloved two syllable damn (read: day-um).  Keep that in mind for the chili, especially if you use chipotle powder.

The first step is to prep the base of the chili by getting the vast elements mingling with each other.  This inclusion policy applies to the canned tomato products, bell peppers, beans and any other spices you might add.  I hear cumin and oregano are common in chili, but this is pretty damn good as it is so I leave it out.  Same goes for bay leaves and cocoa which I have seen in recipes as well.  While I move onto the next step, I kick up a low flame and cover this bad boy.

Once you have your elements co-mingling its time to brown the turkey.  I heard a rumor that browning requires oil, but I don't bother (health, health, health).  The turkey has some oil and the onions give off enough liquid to coast on through.  I am really technical so I throw in the turkey and onion (as well as an optional chopped jalapeno).  I close the top and make myself a 'well done sweetie' drink.  I give it about five minutes of percolating before I break it up a bit and move it around.  I do this every couple of minutes for about 20 minutes.  Shockingly, it is in fact supposed to look like the prep photo to your left, so no alarm if it does.

With things heating up on both ends, it is time for the relatively complex transfer procedure.  I'm kidding, if you can use a slotted spoon, you're in.  Welcome.  So basically, the turkey has been cooking in its own, essence for lack of a better term.  Since I don't find that "stock" essential, I drain it before transferring it into the chili pot e.g. using a spoon, which has been heating up all the while.  Mix it up, don't be shy and get fierce with the whole tomatoes.  I press them against the side to mash them up a bit.  

This next bit is rather challenging.  Close the lid and do nothing.  I do nothing a lot but in this instance, two hours on a low flame or 45 minutes on a high one.  This recipe yields what I consider to be a boatload; 5-6 servings now and 3-4 to freeze for later.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

she's is a full-on monet.

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As coined in the iconic 90's film Clueless (more on that another time, I pinky promise), a "full-on Monet" draws its inspiration from painter Claude Monet's impressionist narrative, namely his ephemeral flower and water gardens of Giverney.  

Lets not cut Claude's accolades short, he did way more for impressionism than a dewy lily-pad.  Take a look at Camille Doncieux, long-time muse and first wife of Monet, a dark haired siren from a wealthy family who fell in love with a financially unstable and philandering painter at age 18.  Sound familiar?  Yes, I was also once eighteen.

Everyone, say hello to Ms. Doncieux:

While the point here is to make the stylizing in famous paintings contemporary, that is also for people who are boring and ugly and serious.  The real take away is that even if your poor husband cheats on you (gross), is indebted to your father (maj turn-off) and doesn't gain a shred of recognition until long after your tragic death (double yikes), you can still look fierce when you pose for his impressionist paintings.  

Kudos Camille.  
Lets take a page from her style file, not her dance card: