Tuesday, March 2, 2010

my lab notebook is boring.

In character. (Courtesy of Stumble.) This blog entry is quite brilliant -- the work of photographer Howard Schatz (no, I hadn't heard of him before either), giving about 10 different well-known actors a series of three very different prompts and capturing their facial expressions.

This doggy photography was created by Sharon Montrose, via Cup of Jo. GREAT DANE.

Refinery 29 Fashion Blog. It looks smart, brief, and informative. We shall see.

Kate Wilson Little Doodles. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaa soooooo cute. I particularly like the ones this blog chose, but Kate Wilson's actual site is here and it looks rather more interesting.

And here is what I called the "FU" section.

I have a not-very-secret secret: I really like the J. Crew catalogue. Yes, it's expensive. Yes, it's pretentious and almost self-consciously silly. But I like their layouts, I like their conversational tone, I like their shoes, I like their jewelry, and occasionally they have some nice tops and dresses (but NEVER pants. ugh. enough with the pin-rolling, please. Also not so much with the wedding dresses, which are too boring to be as expensive as they are.) I even like the swimwear in their most recent catalogue; they had a lot of super classy looking one-pieces that also had enough detail and shape to be really flattering.

Their men's section is designed in such a dense, best-of-the-best, detail-oriented style that it is worth a look-through even for someone (such as me) who finds casual men's clothing booooring. (except! for the pre-stressed jeans. pop quiz guys, what do pre-stressed jeans say about you? a) I am outdoorsy & no one never need know the truth b) I am chic and cool c) I AM A GIANT PUSSY. Answer: CCCCCCCCC.)

And, much like the New York Times (which I will be praising/bashing next), the print format catalog is INFINITELY superior to the online version. Online formatting is not required to be, for some mysterious reason, as beautiful as print formatting. Screw that.

This is a selection of my favorite things from the most recent catalog (photographed rather than scanned; it's faster and I like the extra depth it gives the pictures) --

1. I spent two weeks last summer looking for sandles. Cool sandles.

2. I love this spread -- the composition of detail, color, and pattern, particularly those details which I have highlighted: the faded-just-enough pattern of the scarf; the punched leather pattern on the brown shoes; the bright watch with simple face; the bright yellow skinny belt.

3. Yes, this is a weird-ass jumper romper thing on a full grown woman. BUT. There is something really lovely about the pattern and the gathering, and kind of 50s bombshell-y.

4. FLATS. What gets me here are the sheer number of options, the lack of which always frustrates me in actual shoe stores (along with an elegant shape. From experience, that particular elegant shape cuts viciously right above my two small toes, but I will pretend I don't know that.) Yes, each of these lovely options is $100 and up, but damn. To have options.


6. Men's details. Classy, classy shoes with thin striped socks; it's like you are a saying to yourself 'I am secretly SUPER FUNKY.' As for the orange sneakers, I think it's a matter of proportion: The soles are just thick enough that they look heavy-duty and made for actual use, but not thick enough that they become stylized.

So with all this awesome, why am I pissed?

On J. Crew's front page, you can see that they have a new little advertising gimmick, where they extol their "real life design heroes" who also then model their clothes. Oh boy! Hey, that's funny. All of your design heroes are the same shape and proportions as your regular models, which makes all of them about a size . . . 1. 2, if we're being generous!


I also love the New York Times. I am scared that it's one of my only sources of news (Fenway House gets it); I feel it's very similar to your only outlet to the world being Stephen Colbert. Yes, it's pretentious; yes, it's self-aware and disgustingly aware of its own credentials. But it is well-written and reads easily.

That said, this theater review made me gag: 'The Female of the Species.' In their defense, it does sound like a mediocre, if not terrible, play.

That said, the way to dissect mediocrity is not by being a stick-up-your-ass pretentious sonofabitch.
The level of wit is not high, which is hardly surprising since the reigning intellect on the scene, Margot, is apparently under the impression that the E. M. Forster novel is titled “Howard’s End.” (It’s “Howards End.”)

Direct quote. Seriously, man? Seriously? I HAVE THAT BOOK ON MY DESK AND I STILL WOULDN'T REMEMBER THAT.


One of my favorite teachers in high school was born and raised in Missouri Valley, attended the University of Iowa, and then went east to live in New York City for ten or fifteen years. He came back at age 45-50 to head the theater program and teach freshman English in Missouri Valley high school. He was (and still is, presumably) a flamboyant, fun, exciting man, with lots of stories, opinions, and flair.

Since meeting him, I have always wondered: Why on earth did you come back to Iowa? And not just Iowa, but po-dunk, poverty school, narrow-minded Missouri Valley, where you would have to fight battles against banning books and drive 35 miles to get to the nearest art museum or theater or even the nearest Wal-mart? Why not go to Des Moines or back to Iowa City, at the very least?

I've been in Boston for almost four years (we'll say 3.25), and I miss home. I miss a lot of things about home, but that feeling is pretty well synonymous with missing something else: I miss my family, and I miss the people I love who are tied to the place I grew up like I am.

Is that the reason this teacher went back to Missouri Valley?

What other reason is there?


  1. Release your inner goddess by wearing gladiator sandals? Unless we're going for the Athena look, I don't think those are the same thing.

  2. er. . . I think I read the text selectively to protect my neurons.

    also Athena <> gladiators. Minerva might = gladiators.

  3. True, true. But the Minerva look doesn't conjure up images of dressing like a computer cluster. :)