twenty-seven

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to quote britney spears, “not a girl, not yet a woman.”

never did i think i would use britney spears’ timely lyrics to quote my current state of mind AGAIN (because let’s face it, at 16 she pegged my quasi-sexual teenage angst down to tee), but here she is poignantly coloring my emotion again…

to those that are younger, 27 seems old, mature, ripe with adulthood things like clean apartments, fiancees and a general together-ness. to those older, i am still young, naive in many ways and have oh-so-much to learn.

to me? 27 = freaking the fuck out.

putting the tragically glamorous 27 club aside, googling 27 is a digital, ego-deflating assault on what to expect in the coming year. the year, it apparently all changes.

you can read dollops such as “notice your life turning upside down (around age 27)” which refers to this delicate stage as the mystical saturn return (aka my orbital transition between youth and adulthood – duh).  or “old age begins at 27” which brightly shares that scientists have discovered that 27 is when your mental faculties really start to take a dip. yippee. depends here i come.

and if that wasn’t cheery enough, yet another article “is 27 the best age ever?” highlights the many triumphs others have achieved by this epochal age…hemingway, he wrote the sun also rises, ingrid bergman – well she was starring in casablanca, ben and jerry – yup – ice cream king pins at the age of 27.

and me.

completely, totally, entirely assured and completely, totally, entirely terrified. me. every saturday night planning on having “A NIGHT” and every saturday night, being home by 12am, undoubtedly deciding wine and my couch is far more appealing. my ears burn when i smoke pot. i am engaged (and supposed to be someone’s real-live wife). i am terrified of riding bikes. i hate my job. i love my job. i get overly emotionally during animated films.

and today i am 27. not a girl, not yet a woman.

and in this moment it hits me. 27 is a pregnant pause in one’s twenties – a year filled with expectation and transformation. the last year to be obscene, the last year when you can get away with it. all of it. it is the moment before the moment you really become an adult.

and with that i will go into 27 with wild ambition. a free heart and an open mind (forgive the hippie poetic crap, it IS my birthday).

away we go.

cycling is not good for my soul

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 1.29.03 PMi am a rare breed.

i am a los angeles born and raised denizen that HATES working out.

yup, I said it. i HATE it.

the formidable wheezing, the crimson shade of red that inevitably washes over my face, the rah-rah-rahness of instructors, the chants of supposed enthusiasm that ends up just sounding utterly absurd (“come on! i need you right now!” – really? do you need me?).

all of it. nope. no thank you.

it is one of the reasons i loved living in new york so much. no one is (or was) nearly as workout obsessed as they are in l.a. they understood that spinning furiously on a bike for two hours while contemplating if you are going to pass out is not an ideal friday night birthday party.

they were my people….or so i thought.

going back to nyc this past month i was rudely surprised. my beloved anti-gym, people-who-work-out-are-trying-too-hard city had succumbed to spin madness and barre mania.

what’s worse is that it was not just the city, but my best friends. hung over saturdays and bottomless brunches had turned into 9am yoga-spin-pilates class with instructors named arrow and pepper. (neat.)

and their current workout du jour? flywheel.

an overly-energetic spin class that makes you heave in a corner, while also pitting you against fellow riders by putting your stats up on a GIANT board for everyone to see. (double neat.)

so imagine my delight and surprise when my nyc friend came to visit l.a. and told me she signed us up for flywheel’s newest west hollywood studio.

racing anywhere after work is a pain, but racing to a class where you know you are going to suffer and inevitably look like a radish…well that holds a certain irony not to be dismissed.

macklemore and ryan lewis kicked off the class (points for them). the instructor wasn’t totally terribly (even though her arms were bigger than my thighs).  it took me a minute when our light pedal turned into a full tilt speed assault, but after i fell off the bike for the second time i really began to get the swing of things.

as the class continued and the music was pumping, i got wrapped up in pedaling to the track. i even forgot to care that my pathetic attempt at an “uphill climb” was broadcast for the entire class to see or that dropping  your weights mid-class can be viewed as mildly embarrassing.

before the hour was over, i would even venture to say i enjoyed myself (gasp!!).

while i didn’t buy a package, i did seriously contemplate the thought of coming back. and well that pretty much makes me the next jillian michaels in my book.

now if only the red puffiness didn’t come with spinning. then i would REALLY be sold.

flywheel, 8599 santa monica blvd, west Hollywood, ca 90069

 

fashion as fine art

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annie leibovitz’s “alice in wonderland” – vogue, 2003

art versus fashion. fashion versus art. a question of the ages. an argument as old as david and goliath.

ok, well not quite, but as art and fashion become increasingly more democratic, the two titans of aesthetic industry seem to be crossing paths more than ever.

while schaparelli might have started the conversation and designers such as hussein chalayan have kept it going, it is not until the past decade – with exhibits such as mcqueen at the met and a louis vuitton/marc jacobs retrospective at les arts decoratifs in paris – that art has truly given fashion a much-deserved spotlight. thus angling the designer’s cultural perception far more toward artiste than garmento.

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irving penn’s “harlequin dress” 1950

however now, a whole new medium comes to light. not from stitches and revolutionary draping, but in the form of the fashion photograph.

case and point? a lecture at this weekend’s annual photo la exhibit in santa monica, lead by vogue’s director of photography, ivan shaw. while 40 galleries from around the country showcased snapshots of time, emotion and experience, a panel of the industry’s foremost imageologists (this may or may not be a made up word) waxed poetic about the changes in fashion photography and the commodification of the editorial image.

according to the panel it is not so much that the fashion photograph of yesteryear didn’t meet the standards – just look at any shot from herb ritts, irving penn or lillian bassman – but rather, it seems as if one day the common man (and by common man i mean the overly wealthy, i-dont-know-where-to-spend-my-money collector) woke up, opened his wife’s vogue (most likely annie leibovitz’s alice in wonderland story – because if you are unmoved by that, you probably don’t have a soul) and decided “hey, this looks neat, i will call it art and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on it.”

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steven meisel’s “a walk in paris”

why this notion took so many years for the collecting community to catch on to and the art world to support is beyond me. annie leibovitz, the proverbial moses of the group, has inconspicuously and quite possibly subconsciously, been shepherding this movement since her days of whoopie in a white tub. she might not have said it out loud, but you knew – this is a statement, this is art.

however, the panel gave a more likely and less romanticized reason as to this newfound art-world acceptance – the fashion photographers of today, are not just one-dimensional camera clickers, but aesthetic wunderkinds with a list of never-ending talents – lagerfled, tom ford, hedi slimane, poster boy geniuses of the slasher (i.e. designer/photographer/direct/writer) generation.

that being said, the rise is still a slow one, and while herb ritts and avedon are finally getting their day at getty, the collecting community has only just began to dip their big toes in the editorial pond. just think for the price of $83,000 you can get your own steven meisel’s “a walk in paris” to hang in the foyer. from what i hear that’s a real steal in the art world…

against humanity

Screen Shot 2012-12-31 at 3.32.44 PMi am normally for humanity. i find it enriching, fuzzy and gooey, yadda, yadda.

but let’s face it…inside we are all a little (or in some cases completely) terrible, awful, disgusting people.

it’s the reason the word schadenfreude exists. and movies such as the hangover.

and because schadenfreude is just a fleeting moment of completely mal-intented glee, some really screwed up people created a game called cards against humanity.

self-described as “a free party game for horrible people,” its apples-to-apples gone wrong. very, very wrong.

the game is extremely simple (which makes it an even better drinking game). each round, one player asks a truly deep and probing question from a black card, such as “why am i sticky?” or “what did vin diesel eat for dinner?” and everyone else answers with their funniest white card: “a micropenis,” “glenn beck screwing a donkey,” “ghandi,” or “powerful thighs.”

completely pc and family-friendly.

Screen Shot 2012-12-31 at 3.26.01 PMthe more liquor you add the better and entirely incomprehensible the answers become. and the more people’s truly horrible inner-thoughts (autocannibalism anyone?) come out.

AND it comes in spanish, italian, german, Portuguese, polish, french, hebrew, dutch, estonian, danish, AND pirate. (i know you were worried.)

so as we ring in the new year, full of hope and ambition, i will salute my friends and wish upon them a year filled with “oompa loompas,” “toni morrison’s vagina,” and “super soakers full of cat pee” in plenty.

happy to new year to all, and to all a humanity filled night.

http://cardsagainsthumanity.com

national disappointment

Sandy-Hook-Connecticut-school-shooting-23-jpgit’s disappointing that gun control and mental illness only serve as floaters in our collective conscious until an unspeakable act of violence occurs.

it is even more disappointing that certain bieber fans thought it was more important to watch their beloved on ellen rather than coverage of the events unfolding in connecticut.

but chief amongst the disappoints is that a bill passed in michigan last thursday regarding gun control has not been repealed in light of friday’s events.

senate bill 59 would allow people with a state concealed pistol license to earn the right to carry a gun in what are currently pistol-free zones. more specifically it means that openly carrying guns is not permitted on school properties, however people who have completed advanced training (whatever that might be) with concealed pistol licenses are allowed to carry concealed weapons… in schools and public arenas.

tea party darling, rick perry, takes this one step further when speaking of his beloved texas, commenting that anyone with a concealed handgun license in the lone star state should be able to take guns on public property – including schools.

or we could even jump on board with virginia governor bob mcdonnell who is promoting discussion around arming school officials. because there is no way teachers could suffer from mental illness and/or potentially do something harmful.

so, say a potentially undocumented mentally ill person (even possibly a teacher) – can apply for a concealed handgun license, get some “advanced” training – and boom (pun intended) they are now allowed to gallivant around logical gun-free zones with (concealed) glock in tow.

well yeah, that makes LOADS of sense.

now i am not saying just because someone is mentally ill and has access to a gun they will shoot up a town, nor am i naysaying the 2nd amendment. in fact i believe in it. what i don’t believe in however, are the laws and methods surrounding the amendment.  case and point above.

when is it ever okay to carry guns onto a school campus? have there not been enough school shootings, enough accidents where kids bring daddy (or mommy’s) gun to school and shoot a classmate? and to now allow it as long as it is concealed – that seems like not only a giant leap backward, but a cruel slap in the face to the grieving parents and families of sandy hook.

rick perry, is rick perry. he is a bonafide lunatic and hopefully will disappear into an elephant’s arse sometime soon. but snyder, he still has a chance. he has yet to sign the bill.

one can only hope that snyder sees the detriment a bill like this could have, on not only gun control, but also the morale of a community. as obama said, it is time we take “meaningful action” to prevent killings, and the action starts here.

 

the dirty wordy

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 4.25.38 PMmoist.

i hate that word. it crawls under my skin and makes my whole body recoil.

i don’t know the etymology behind it or where the shift in word culture happened, but according to huff po and a continuing and entirely unscientific case study of my peers, i am not alone.

in fact, there is a word for my visceral repulsion to moist: logomasia.

(the fact that the word to describe a strong dislike for a particular word, sounds like a horribly deforming venereal disease is a cruel and probably hilarious joke between the linguists who created it.)

according to the language log, reactions to words, such as logomasia, can be attributed to the relationships between language, emotion, memory and something equally gross-sounding, called “mouthfeel” or the way a word feels in your mouth (for wordy people they sure lack creativity).

to a degree it makes sense, the mouthfeel around moist (which is quite possibly the grossest sentence i’ve ever written) is awful. the rounding of the “m”, the “oi” in the middle and the crusty sounding “st” at the end…i actually FEEL gross saying it.

this brings up an interesting point though. what about the mouthfeel of other questionable words? words, for example, that sound or feel dirty but actually aren’t.

words like conch.

tell me you don’t hear that word and giggle. it feels dirty. will you pass me the conch? have you ever blown a conch? you’re such a dirty conch. loofa is another great one. i saw her loofa. what’s up with your loofa? have you cleaned your loofa lately?

and my recent favorite, penetrate. it is the perfect dirty non-dirty word. let me elaborate. penetrate be defined in the sexual sense or as successfully forcing a way into or through something…for example a brand in retail store. which brings me to why it’s a new favorite: my boss. without fail he uses the word penetrate two to four times a day. “what’s our penetration ratio today?” “did we penetrate that bloomingdales location yet?” not only does he say it in meetings, but he will animatedly yell it across an entire cubicle area…without the slightest hint of humor. i can’t help but erupt into a sophomoric snit of giggles…EVERY TIME.

as time evolves (and conch becomes an actual dirty word…just you watch) it will be interesting to see what other words stray into the nether regions of english lexicography (like gesticulate, it’s right on the cuff). until then, the biggest question remains what word will etymologists come up with for non-dirty dirty words. if logomasia is any indication, the word will be filthy.

and you will like it.

a new order from yale

working in pr/marketing you get bombarded with a billion things you just HAVE to read/see/hear everyday. granted i do the same on behalf of the fashion brand i work for, but my e-mails are totally less annoying…probably not.

i digress…

while the majority of what i receive can be categorized as varying degrees of rubbish, every once in a while something actually interesting floats by and grabs my a.d.d-laden attention span.

case and point: out of order magazine founded and run by the students of yale university.

cast away any and all preconceived notions of what you think a college magazine might look like. OOO is not your average student-run publication, then again, yale is not your average university.

executed with the same pomp and circumstance that is attributed to it’s alma mater, the magazine and website are clean, aesthetically-striking and almost elitist in style (but in that this-just-may-be-too-cool-for-you way).

pretension aside, the content seems to keep up with the tome’s shiny exterior: fashion interviews with ellen von unworth, reviews on the newest warhol exhibit at the met, op-eds on the convergence of rap and fashion, film reviews, street style galleries, and an androgynous lifestyle section housing everything else (food, where to party in nyc, basement nightlife…the usual).

then of course there is the to-be-expected section…student interviews. but hold the phone, instead of spotlighting that kid from your 8th grade homeroom who just won his 4th consecutive science fair (tool), these students are making albums, showing at galleries and producing noteworthy films. not bad for college seniors.

so while i go wash off the stench of being less accomplished than a twenty-year old, you should go enjoy out of order. it’s refreshing, engaging, and the perfect amalgam of cultural fodder to keep you procrastinating all week long.

watching grown ups

this year marks the first thanksgiving i will NOT be spending at home.

not because i am finally doing the relationship thing and spending it at my boyfriend’s family, or because i can’t stand my relatives, or because i am in some exotic locale, i am not spending it there because i no longer have a “home.” (mom, please stop crying.)

this past fall my parents made the big step of moving out of the childhood home into a big city apartment. so long five bedrooms and suburbia, hello condo and neighbors you share a wall with.

post diaper changes, post back-to-school nights, post meeting the rocker boyfriend for the first time…post kids, they embark on a new journey. set free for the first time in over 18 years.

watching them go through this transition, is like being a proud parent, watching them grow up…kind of the reverse of what they watched me go through.

the first steps of getting their own place, curiously opening drawers and questioning the size and space of their new apartment three times as small as what they are used to; the temper tantrums of realization that no closet will ever be as big as the one they had in their suburban palace; the sheer excitement of discovering a  world where life is not confined to the gossip of gated communities and PTA meetings. the teenage giddiness they share when they realize that restaurants are open past 9pm…on a weeknight. the brewing anticipation of a new friendship with the neighbor down the hall who also loves all things formula 1.

i sit on the sidelines, rooting them on, in charge of bringing bite-sized words of encouragement. listening through angst-filled moments – the underground whole foods parking lot is really not that bad and yes, parking enforcement is really a bitch…and enforced.

it’s funny, endearing and awesome to see your parents not just as your parents, but as people, equally beguiled by the world around them and the circumstances they meet.

as i vicariously share in this new life with them, i look forward to hearing about more discoveries, such as being able to WALK to starbucks, hearing their neighbors have sex for the 4th time that night and actually learning about the city’s hottest new restaurant…before it has time to close.

i only hope they don’t forget wrapped christmas presents are always appreciated and i still need a place to do my laundry.

happy thanksgiving.

here.we.go.

nyc refresh participants

“i am too much of a new yorker to be motivated,” i implored my friend.

i’ve never been one for motivational speeches, speakers, etc. i prefer my motivation to come in the quiet forms of etsy text art and quoted memes. more palatable and less yelling i find.

however, against my begrudging judgment i attended an event called “refresh” this past monday. what i expected to be trust circles with we-have-so-much-to-be-thankful-for chants was anything but. in fact i might even say it was…refreshing.

under the dewy lights of the roosevelt’s tropicana bar, surrounded by mostly strangers and firelight, we met jared matthew weiss, chief inspiration officer of spring and arrow, “life-coach” wunderkind (although he hates the title), and refresh incubator.

the concept is simple: once a week he gathers friends, friends of friends, and more friends, to refocus, reenergize and regroup. what started with 8 people in new york, has since grown to 60+ people, and landed in la this week.

completely free of charge, jared kicks of the evening by walking the group through his life story (think of a real-life hitch), and his coined mantra: Here.We.Go. he breaks those three small words down into three teachable moments, ultimately concluding that when people are doing what they love, they’re better for the world.

fairly simple in theory, but also easier said than done. jared clearly recognizes the heaviness attached to his motto, so he asks each person to make one small commitment for the week. something that will ultimately…make you happy.

you do. (to FINALLY finish the book i started oh like 4 months ago.). you e-mail it to him (so he can gently check in to see if you’ve actually followed through) and then a musician performs – the expected kumbaya moment, but cultured and relevant– and it’s over.

it ended, i smiled, something about it made me feel happy, even excited (shock). partially because as someone in the throws of her quarter-life crisis i am the perfect audience, but also because the evening happily lacked the motivational hyperbole/laden guilt so often associated with such events. plus you find some pretty neat “parallels” (another jared term) between other attendees.

if you have the chance to attend, go. if nothing else it’s a great way to spend a week night, meet new folks who might be going through the same third-round quarter life crisis as you (ahem), and a little motivated self-love never hurt anyone.

more info: refresh – spring and arrow 

(photo: spring and arrow)

the skinny on the skimm

to wrap up this positively pundit-filled week i wanted to share my newest obsession: the skimm.

let’s face it, the older we get the more we actually care about politics, and ya know the world. but sometimes it can be dense. sometimes it can be boring (yeah, i said it). and sometimes it’s hard to decipher just what is worth knowing.

enter the skimm.

a fellow political-cum-fashion junkie (we do exist) turned me on to the daily newsletter, and now i just don’t want to ever turn it off.

short, sweet and delightfully sassy the skimm compresses all the day’s news into the perfect compact-size e-mail filled with dollops of useful information such as what to say on date (insert sports news i would never otherwise read and/or care about), or what to posit in a business meeting (stock market stats and other economical issues) i.e. you’ll sound super smart, and well i hear ceos love that.

read. join. skimm.