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Single questions

January 17, 2012

Do you remember S.A.T logic problems?  They were my arch nemesis.  No matter how many possibilities I worked over in my head,  the most rational choice was never the right response.  For me, these sorts of problems were solved using anything but logic.  Lately I’ve begun to wonder if my love life reads like the S.A.T.

Let me walk you through the problem.  Girl – boyfriend = _________.  My response:  single girl.  Simple, right?  Wrong.

Being temporarily back in the heart of small town, mid-western perceptions, I’ve been faced, more than once, with one of two comments/questions regarding my singledom.  Are you gay?  (Whispered.)  And, Don’t you want to have kids?  (Emphasis on the “want” and said in a slightly derogatory tone.)

Exactly how does “single”  involve sexual orientation, lifestyle choice, or procreation desires?  I’d really rather not pay a pretty penny to have the peeps at Princeton Review coach me on the reasons why my totally normal civil status makes the rest my small, suburban world worried.

So, as much as I hate to admit it, in an attempt to make myself seem (ok, feel) less like the questionable single girl, I decided to try to find a date or two.   By doing a little “window shopping”.  On  Reactions to Internet dating couldn’t possibly be any weirder than those I’d already faced for not dating at all.

But what they don’t tell you on those TV adverts about Internet success stories is all the crrrraaazy s*&t people add to their online profiles.  A few of the most odd and frankly off-putting include:

  1. 30-something guys looking to date an 18 yr. old.
  2. Profile names that incorporate cheesy pick-up lines or allusions to physical or financial prowess.
  3. Self-taken iPhone pictures into a mirror of a shirtless torso or awkward posed shots highlighting muscles.
  4. Exclamation points at the end of every sentence in a personal description.
  5. Dudes who incorporate words that are understandable only because their Latin root makes them a cognate for a more regularly used equivalent in the Romance Language in which I majored  in college.
  6. Exotic pets.   Especially lizards.
  7. Ideal date:  gym/ working out / triathlon / a run / inter-city bike ride
  8. Ideal profession of your date:  fashion / model / beauty

Really?  Come on, LetMeLuvU69 , you’re freaking me out.   MealTicket2011, no one exclaims their gym routine and pet preference.   And, abs don’t make up for everything,  including haughty vocab.

Maybe I’m being too choosy.  Too harsh even.  But I quickly decided that the world of Internet dating wasn’t my scene.   I’ll stick to the chance encounter.

And, lucky for those so keen on questioning me about what it means that I’m single, my current zip code just made the list for the top ten cities for scoring a date according to  Phew!  There is still hope.


Coffee Talk

December 7, 2011

I’m totally fascinated by coffee table books.   And even more fascinated by the coffee table owner’s choice of coffee table books.  Thus was the case on a recent trip to my totally boho BFF’s suburban apartment.

Instead of the over-sized, glossy living room collection of the greatest works of Duchamp expected from this quirky university art history professor, I found a teeny, kitch paper back with a hairless cat on the cover.  Creepiosity: A hilarious guide to the unintentionally creepy.  (Ok, I take it back, maybe this is expected choice from the above mentioned artsy fartsy).

After thumbing through this weirdly funny list of all things bizarre, I couldn’t but begin to start a mental list of my own oddities.  This continued.  The whole weekend.

Here are just a few of what I think should make the second installment in the Creepiosity series.  Calling David Bickel…

1.  Taking a trip to Chicago, or New York, or Dallas, with the sole purpose of visiting the American Girl Store.

2.  Dressing your car in a holiday costume.  Plush antlers and a red nose aren’t meant for a Subaru.

3.  Guys whose profile pictures are shots of their shirtless torsos taken into the mirror with an iPhone.

4.  Perfectly memorized, perfectly perfected, 10-min long Starbucks orders.  For a single drink.

5.  Signage with inexplicably incorrect punctuation.

6.  Ventriloquist conventions.

7.  TV commercials for any feminine hygiene project.  Example: Summer’s Eve.  Eek.

8.  Chewing with your front teeth.

9.  A completely empty nail salon, save the man getting a pedicure and enjoying the massage chair.

10.  Middle aged, mid-western males wearing berets.


Twi-hard to believe

November 23, 2011

I’m not sure if I should dare admit it.  I did it.  I’ve officially seen all Twilight movies.  And, yes, the last one was seen in the cinema.  On opening weekend.

However, I find it seriously Twi-hard to believe that that these films can continue to garner so much attention and such a following.  In my small opinion, the films, well, suck.  Yes, pun totally intended.

But as it is with all things that gain worldwide, popular appeal (I could go on an on about Justin Bieber here…), more often than not, it’s in analyzing, and over-analyzing and over-over-analyzing them – successes alongside crappiness – that their influence and stronghold in mainstream media is assured.  Furthered, even.  I mean, all the talk, and all the photos, and all the crazy fan behavior drew in even this self-proclaimed Twilight non-fan.

So here goes: a little blurb on all things I can’t seem to wrap my mind around when it comes to multi-bazillion dollar vampire sagas.

Eight hours of cakey white makeup and orange lips, brooding, and vampire-on-werewolf combat, and how many events have actually transpired?  Five?  Six, tops.  Girl meets vampire. Girl is chased by other vampires.  Girl goes to Italy and encounters a new group of vampires.  One of the aforementioned vampires chases girl again.  Girl marries vampire.  Girl births half-vampire baby that is sure to create, at maximum, one more event in the two-hour “thriller’ that is yet to come.  Equals…six.  Amazing.  This fan of French cinema, notorious for its total lack of action and cornucopia of clever dialogue, must admit that more actually happens in the average French film than has happened after four movies here.  And one definitely can’t cite riveting dialogue as it’s saving grace.

Yes, Edward is oddly appealing in his artsy-fartsy, tousled hair, withdrawn, old-school gentleman persona.  But, seriously, what modern, independent, headstrong girl is turned on by a guy so out of reach that the only way to completely solidify her presence in his life is to leave hers behind and completely transform?  Haven’t mothers, and best friends, and the ladies from Sex and the City tried enough times to counsel the female population on the merits of finding a guy who allows you to be you?  And I can’t even begin to express my weirded out state when watching the long-awaited love scene.  Bruises, hand prints seemingly burned onto the skin, and an intense focus on a completely destroyed bedroom surely don’t scream a profound love for which a lonely vampire has been waiting a hundred plus years.  And our heroine actually pleads for more.  Begs really.  Gross.

Keeping to the theme of vampire love, the only thing more more stomach-turning than the 1-hour of vampire/human action are the completely cheesy sexual innuendos.  The film’s dorky references to sexuality – Bella’s orgasm-like reaction to Edward’s bite, the restraint he must adopt to overcome his carnal desire to to transform Bella, references to Bella as something to “eat”, Bella’s threat to seek help from Alice if Edward won’t give her what she wants – are just a few.  Such blatant references don’t necessarily mix well with all the talk of abstinence until marriage and gentlemanly vampire ways.   Maybe I’m the raunchy one in picking out the sexual ironies here, but this sort of talk doesn’t seem to jive with a movie based on a book by a Mormon author and destined for the tween population.  And for all of those adult Twihards out there, is this really a turn-on?

Please, I beg of you all, do explain what makes this series so good!  What’s the attraction?  What draws you in?  Critics scream flop while movie goers, myself included, fork over the cash.  Maybe another opinion may help me understand the addiction to seriously bad cinema.

And will I see the last installment?  Errr….probably.  It’s almost like not being able to avert your eyes when passing a car accident on the freeway.   Who would miss witnessing a train wreck waiting to happen?

Spring Dreaming

November 19, 2011

Maybe it’s because I groaned when caught off guard  by yesterday’s sudden rush of November snowflakes. Maybe it’s because I’m faced almost daily with the bitter reality that my wardrobe is completely tailored to warm weather.  Maybe it’s because I was born in June.  Whatever the reason may be, winter and I just don’t mix.

Daydreaming of sunny days yet to come while I plot a move to a climate more appropriate to my preferences, possessions, and astrological profile, I thought I’d dish a bit on what what I’m warming up to when it comes to Spring/Summer trends.

Hues of Blue

From New York to Milan, designers propose summer threads in all shades of indigo.  Whether totally decked out in deep sapphire or coordinating with a pop of bright turquoise or even a muddy blue-grey,  the sky’s the limit when it comes to adding in a touch of primary color into your wardrobe. 

Louis Vuitton












Drop-waisted Duds

Slightly 30’s inspired, and with a combination of simple necklines and longer, flowing hemlines, these chic frocks draw attention to the hips.  Whether accentuated with a pleat, motif or low-slung belt, drop-waist dresses will be a summer must-have.













A New Boyfriend Blazer

A new take on an old trend popped up all over the runways.  Instead of a boxy, rolled-up sleeved, man’s suit jacket, try one with a slightly longer lapel and a solitary low positioned button.  Stella McCartney suggested a jacket-cumberbun combo, while Givenchy’s asymmetrical version with tails makes me go ga-ga.

Stella McCartney


Anne Valérie Hash










Lengths and Layers

Inspired by a shot I recently spotted on The Sartorialist,  I’m totally digging the daring mix of lengths when layering for spring.  Short over long and flowing, cropped pants with larger jackets, and transparent overlays were a few of my favorites.  Do silky socks worn with strappy heels count in the dreaded “no-socks-with-sandals” mistake?  Taking a cue from Marc Jacobs, I’m totally tempted.


Bottega Veneta

Marc Jacobs










Cutesie Collars

Feminine, girly even, collars showed up more often than necklaces on the spring runways.  Marni made theirs interchangeable, while other designers emphasized the neckline by pairing it with transparent fabrics.

Jil Sander


Christian Dior

The Fashion Files

October 16, 2011

I’m just back from Paris Fashion Week.  Working and working for.  Seeing and slaving.  Being astonished and disillusioned.  Loving it and hating it.

Taking the good in there with the bad, I thought that I’d share my top favorite goings and comings in all things fashion from gay Par-eeeeee.

1. Shows no longer just happen in the series of catwalk venues housed under the Louvre, but in a myriad of unexpected spaces around the city.  One upping yourself and your competition is what it’s all about.  Boring white catwalks in black rooms are long gone.  Enter : the Opéra Garnier, the Grand Palais, a dingy garage off the rue de Turenne, and smack dab in the middle of the Austerlitz train station at 5:30pm.

2. The world’s most infamous fashion editors are more often than not just as visually entertaining as the new collections.  Seeing Anna Piaggi’s red kabukki-esque lipstick, spying Suzy Menkes’ backcombed bangs, and chatting with Anna Della Russo through a black, veiled, shouchy ski cap were, for me, more memorable than the models.

3.  Rachel Zoe sounds totally like she does on TV.  And the sequined, long-sleeved jumpsuit she sported for a fashion after party was totally bah-na-nas.

4.  I’m sometimes more frightened than awed by models.  I’m tall, but they’re taller.  I’m on the thinner side,  but they’re like daddy long legs in stilettos and Chanel bags.  How anyone walks on a pair of legs that are as wide around as my arms is a mystery to me.

5.  The city of Paris and the organization that sets up the show schedule and oversees the fashion designers, the design houses, and all that can be actually called fashion in Paris arranges coach buses to shuttle show guests between events.  I’m more than certain that Ms. Wintour doesn’t need to take advantage of this little fashion perk….but a good idea all the same.

6.  Celebrities pop up everywhere. Orlando Bloom entered a showroom where I was working 30 min. after I had left.  Twiggy cupped my face in her hands.  Stella McCartney, naturally decked out in Adidas, goes on quick Parisian jogs.  Kayne West and Elber Albaz shake their groove thing in underground nightclubs.

7.  Streetstyle is the new fashion journalism.  Entrances into shows are overwhelmed by fashionista bloggers in tulle and orange lipstick snapping away on their Canons.  What attendees are already wearing is almost as important as what the models will be.

In order to visually account for my Parisian presence I’ll offer up two, albeit pretty lame, shots of myself in the city of light, love, and clothes during its important chic week.

As in fashion, it is my new goal to one up… myself.  Next season the fashion photo proof will be more centered, better angled, and less of a back-of-the-head shot.

Virtually Friends

September 5, 2011

When I was growing up, as I’m sure happens for most kids, my best friend in the world lived down the street.  We saw each other often for sledding, making cookies with my grandmother, unsolicited games that involved her older brothers and wooden toy guns, and bike races around the neighborhood. When we wanted to meet up we’d call the other on the phone and say, very succinctly, “half way”?  End of conversation.  Dial tone.  No other form of communication.

This meant that within minutes we’d leave our respective homes and head down the road to meet half way between.  Crazy how this simple, archaic even, form of contact said and did it all.  No texting on the way down the street.  No photos of the neighbor’s cat taken half way between half way uploaded onto Facebook.  No Tweets regarding my rendez-vous with this friend so that all other friends could have an update of my status.  When we wanted to see each other we did.  The only thing separating us was the few minute walk down to the guy with the pool’s mailbox.

I miss this face-to-face style of friendship.  Plain.  Easy.  Real.  There was nothing “virtual”  about it.

Yes, the world has changed in the not-to-be-mentioned number of years between now and when I was having sleepovers with down-the-road friends.  Let’s face it, everyone has their own lives and my friends no longer live that close. But I still crave the human-to-human contact that I used to have as a kid.

I’m the kind of person who would rather, at least, be updated about news via telephone conversation and not Facebook status.  And on the other hand, there are certain things that I’d much rather not be informed of at all, yet which are made public via  these forms of social media.  Some “friendships” aren’t even real ones; just additions to an online profile.  And really now, do we express complete friend-to-friend honesty when creating them?  Editing and photo shopping and word choice seem to be the tricks of the trade when crafting your online personality.  In my opinion, we have begun to be so tied to our smart phones and laptops that there isn’t always a “half way” in friendships.  I create me, you create you, and we learn about each other through pixels or characters or images.

It was in this analysis of virtual friends that I was so inspired when learning of the newest addition to Times Square: meeting bowls.  Conceptualized by a Spanish design firm, they apparently rock just a bit, but provide an artistic, yet tangible, space for friendship.  Instead of texting or chatting or Twittering, why not engage in some face-to-face conversation with old or new friends.  Exercise your vocal chords and give your fingertips a needed rest.

So, o.k., I’m not practicing what I preach because here I am, communicating in the virtual world.  But I’ll put a call out to my NYC friends:  half way, in the meeting bowl.

Homing Pigeons

August 29, 2011

After 8 months living in a pair of cities that seem to have absolutely nothing in common except for their pigeons, I’ve come to wonder if these birds are all of the homing variety.  And I’m not talking about the kind that, compared to the rest, can find their way back.  I’m actually thinking about the idea that pigeons might actually be from someplace.  That they might actually act like they belong to their home.  Is it possible that there are Parisian pigeons?  Or New York ones?

If we stop to compare just a little, pigeons in Paris are crowded into every centimeter of space.  Flocks are piled up on benches or fighting over a miniscule corner of sidewalk when they could just move a bit further down for some prime real estate.  Some enter cafés and most fly eye-level down the sidewalk. (Usually in a direction that opposes traffic and directly aiming for your head – trust me, I’ve had one stuck in my hair).  And they have revolutions that result in missing toes or even feet.  I’ve honestly seen poor birds hobbling along on one two-toed foot and a stump.  Like a little pigeon pirate.  Parisian pigeons don’t have any concept of personal space, theirs or ours.

For me, all this talk about a total disregard for space in French pigeon-land just seems to imitate real life.  In France, the “personal bubble” is no where to be found.  Lines aren’t formed to enter or exit public transport or when waiting at the supermarket; the French just push their way through.  Demonstrations happen every second day with crowds of people overtaking the streets in droves.  I, for one, have had people sit in the chair right next to mine in a park where there are plenty of empty ones,  have been skipped over in the queue, and shoved up against the doors of the elevators of the Eiffel Tower by a couple in the midst of a rapturous kiss.  It’s a miracle that I didn’t lose a toe or two in the revolution that is trying to score a bit of personal space in Cheese-land.

I never felt as cornered or surrounded or potentially attacked by New York City’s pigeons.   They’re not congregating or flying low or sauntering down the street.  They seem stay out of your way as you stay out of theirs. Kind of like New Yorkers.  I can’t tell you the number of times I had people “warn” me to move out of their way as they are coming up quickly behind on the sidewalk.  Seriously.  Or, not-so-politely ask you to exit the train faster as they are in a rush to catch the next one.  Maybe it’s forthright.  Some can even call it rude.  I can see the impolite in there with the polite: at least we’re not knocking into one another and struggling over the desire to maintain at least an inch of space in what is, for sure, a hot, crowded, busy place.

But Parisians and New Yorkers aren’t different in every way.  Although I could go on and on describing all of the ways in which the two might not culturally see eye-to-eye, we are all human. So where, you ask, does this intersection happen in pigeons?  It’s got to be the direct, and sometimes dangerous race to any left over food.

French pigeons do, of course, have the advantage in this one.