Friday, June 29, 2012

Flash Card for the Modern Male

Perhaps not for my own direct personal benefit, but, for the overall good of humanity and sartorial aesthetes everywhere, it would be a noble investment to distribute laminated flash cards of this information to the young and impressionable young men congregating within and outside of every polyester-stuffed, cargo short-sporting mega-chain franchise in large mega-chain malls around America. Volunteers for this philanthropic endeavor may be hard to come by, as I, for one, abhor the inevitable noxious fumes charading as colognes and perfumes that emanate from such businesses. But, the exposure could be well worth it. The youths of America may not be entering corporate executive positions of the caliber that was expected and anticipated in the past, however, that is little excuse to forgo all notions of tailoring and fit and fine fabric in favor of large pockets that can possible hold a family-sized bag of machine-cooked potato chips. Fake it, until you make it.

(image taken from Explore)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lounging, Books, and Denim

This morning, my alarm sounded, I smashed the snooze button, and this cycle repeated, in almost perfect sinoidal syncopation for about one hour; the prospect of leaving the comfortable confines of my bed was nearly too much to bear, despite a pleasantly optimistic shining sun and cool temperatures. Slippage between the realms of consciousness and of dreaming sleep left me feeling oddly tingling and confused and a bit tired, but, also inspired. I wanted very badly, instead of tending to duties in the office, tedious edits and hackneyed reports, to turn to some of my fiction, and perhaps finish reading this collection of Italo Calvino short stories I have been working on. Spend the day lounging, lazy and productive, in a loose and flowing chambray shirt dress, to pretend to be bohemian and free for a single day. Extricate myself from the entanglements and the seductive traps of technology, leave my computer and my various cell phones, breathe the fresh air oozing forth from the page of a good book, the page of a fresh paragraph of writing in my notebook. At a loss for how to clothe my body on such a day, where the desire to languish amidst blankets and texts abounds, I was disappointed that denim is an option, at this company, only appropriate on Fridays.

Last week, the filmmaker volunteered his brain and his impressive brawn to a local book sale, hosted by an association of essentially older women who also have university degrees. This, obviously, is not their formal name. As it turned out, this bout of volunteerism that has become an annual tradition morphed into a paying gig; in addition to the usual, take as much as you can carry, they provided him with a monetary supplement. The real treasure, though, is the opportunity to glean through cases and cases of books, some entire collections of aged intellectuals or aesthetes who have recently passed, and select the gems for a personal, continually growing library. Upon my return from Barcelona, he gifted me with a short and impressive stack of books, art history and some poetry predominantly, to add to my already teetering tower of need-to-read. Alas, my job so frequently encumbers my work.

(image taken from The Lonely Green Shoe) 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

DVF Resort 2013

If it were possible, as in financially feasible, not physically possible, I would overhaul all of the cream, black, and gray suits in my closet, discard them where some other drained and tediously tired young professional can reap the benefits of looking sharp, but not too sharp, and replace them with the wild and wonderful patterns of the genius dame, Diane von Furstenberg. Her work is always recognizably iconic, and this resort collection did not stray from her foundations: whimsical draping, a playful approach to current trends, bold colors, and even bolder patterns and accessories. Certainly not for the faint of heart, rather, for the bodacious broad, who wants to be enveloped in a rainbow noise. The kimono-inspired quintessential wrap dresses, the soft silken fabrics juxtaposed with haphazardly delicate patterns, the bug-goggle sunglasses all seem to strut a bizarrely fine line between resort relaxation and professional woman on the move. I am definitely not want to shirk from the power of some stacked bangles, but the bangle wrist armor in the last look puts my most grand forearm display to shame.

(images taken from Fashionologie)

Borrowing Bardot's Barrette

For the most part, I am a shower in the morning, before work, kind of girl, though, admittedly, there are times when it just does not happen. Running late, dallying with my outfit, drinking my coffee at a too leisurely pace. Unfortunately, on such occasions when a shower and the subsequent blow dry style, or even the neatly twisted braid, are not in my future, my hair gets more than a bit neglected. This morning, I was refreshed and clean from an evening, post-intense-gym-work out shower and an early night to sleep, but my hair was more than unruly; brushed, it simply appeared more tousled and reminded me of the fluffy ears of a young puppy. To be diplomatic, and forgiving to myself, it had a very organic air about it. Just in time, I remembered the wonderful saving graces of a single barrette, pulling just a bit of my hair up and back, allowing the rest of the thick tresses to continue their untamed cascade down my shoulders and back. In a true Parisian girl spirit, I quickly tied a black and white polka dot silk scarf around my neck, to pair with my striped tee shirt and red heels. Allons-y.

(image taken from Trend Land)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mourning my Helmut Lang, After the Fact

So, with four days back here in the United States, I can no longer justifiably blame my lackluster attitude and nonchalant work ethic on jet lag. Unfortunately. Perhaps the propensity to procrastinate, particularly strong and potent during these lusty summer months, can simply be attributed to boredom, a force and a thrust that is, in some ways, no less visceral. 

Idly perusing some online shops, I stopped at this cream, almost kimono-like shift dress, stunned for a moment or two; I then realized the cruel resemblance to a silver dress I love and cherish, a Helmut Lang thin sweater dress, accented with sheer faux-cut-out panels along the spine and nape of the back. Foolishly, I flaunted this attractive, sultry, stylish piece at a lowly company holiday party when I was first hired; even more foolishly, I wore a rhinestone bracelet, which, immediately, snagged along the back, ensnaring the thin and delicate fabric in its vicious teeth, and leaving me exposed. Literally. A demure exposure, but, an abominable circumstance nonetheless. The savage attack happened while I was attempting to gracefully and politely maneuver the already cold turkey and fixings buffet, no less. Thankfully, a well situated scarf was just the strategic solution I needed to salvage me from holiday party shame. Not so thankfully, snags in gossamer silk sweater dresses do not disappear, no matter how many glasses of holiday cheer you indulge in. 

As I am saving money for South Africa, my next vacation adventure, at least supposed to be, this dress will remain a virtual, two-dimensional fantasy. My ingenuity will have to carry me forward; when the Helmut Lang comes out to play, it is forever adorned with a strategic belt and the rhinestone traps stay in my jewelry box.

(images taken from Need Supply)

Nautical Lusting

With the heat wave subsiding and the weather actually being quite congenial and pleasant, contemplating sweaters is not a sickening task; normally, as June is waning, I am basking in the natural briny perfume of my own sweat. This simple cream knit is adorned with the navy outline of a ship anchor, conveniently placed across the bicep, a tribute to the sailor tattoos of old. Rough texture and bulky form, this would be ideal across the shoulders of any man, seafaring or not. Though he loves his sweaters, the filmmaker may not be the first to embrace this modern yacht club aesthetic. Sigh. One day.

(image taken from Plum Pretty Sugar Loungerie

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Withdrawal, or, When Your Stylist Goes on Sabbatical

Just before I left for Spain two weeks ago, as I do before most longer business trips, I paid a visit to my hair salon and got a relaxing and needed trim. Sitting in the leather swivel chair, catching up with my stylist of three years and explaining the typical routine, cleaning up of my many layers and blunt bangs while mostly maintaining length, I was greeted with a friendly and professionally written letter, from stylist to all her clients. Detailing that starting the end of July, she would be taking a six month leave of absence, to study Italian over in Rome and hopefully intern and learn the ropes from local establishments in her native land. While certainly elated and excited that she has such a promising opportunity, and will be journeying and adventuring with her younger sister, my mind then turned to more selfish matters: what about me? What am I to be expected to do while she is gone? 

For much of my past, I have been decidedly and laughably less than high maintenance about my hair; there were many points when I had physical dreadlocks. I considered this to be a type of more raw, less hygienic tousled bedroom look. Now, I still, comparatively, put forth little effort, mostly relying on a few key products that allow me to have legitimately elegant tousled hair or an actual straight style that only requires my amateur blow drying skills, also known as dry with my head between my legs. Nonetheless, upon seeing this notification, having grown very comfortable to the almost intimate relationship I have with my stylist. With my hair being longer, past the shoulders, I come in for a trim about every six weeks, sometimes more frequently. It is my luxury, but also a necessity, so that I do not appear at the office like some repulsive cousin of a banshee. Even though my hair is long, thick, grows quickly, and is in a very basic and near impossible to screw with cut, my heart palpitated and my palms sweat, at a time when normally, my scalp being massaged and my hair toyed with, I am supremely relaxed. I have one last appointment with my girl before she departs for her grand Roman trip, where I will surely wish her the best of luck, and advise her to drink as much red wine and kiss as many young, old, single, married, what Italian men as possible. Hopefully, she can make a recommendation, for a stylist mistress, a quick fling that will ideally be fun and not painful, while she is away.

(image taken from Bangkok Post)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Woman, Bird, Star

(image taken from City Tours Barcelona)

(image taken from Visit Flanders)

(images taken from Joan Miro Foundation)

I spent this afternoon at the Joan Miro Foundation, up on Mount Juic near the infamous Olympic Stadium grounds, slowly weaving between tapestries, paintings, and bronze sculptures. Organized chronologically, with accompanying biographical context, the museum aptly displays his progression in use of color, balance, shape, abstraction, and gesture. In his earliest works included, the vision is amateurish, however, he already indicates a wild movement of brush strokes, a familiarity of color of which most other artists can only dream; his landscapes are crude but delightfully so. As he morphs, imbibing influence from the Dada movement, the Surrealist philosophy and aesthetic, and French poetics, as well as reflecting on the dramatic political and cultural tensions in his home country, his work becomes simultaneously cosmic and microscopic. In a word, universal. He rejects accepted schema and coda that we are accustomed to, inventing his own visual language, and yet invites the viewer to partake, envelopes the viewer into this seemingly simplistic and bemused symbology. 

During a brief video interview in a streaming documentary, towards the end of the collection, a local Spanish physicists remarks that Miro embraces a scientific outlook; indeed, his geometry at once alludes to overwhelming astronomical bodies, the spheres in the great space above our own planet, immense and floating and mysterious, and to the miniscule microcellular machinery hidden within our own bodies, intricate and floating and mysterious. Golgi bodies, mitochondria, vacuoles. Representations in colors unnaturally bright, yet compelling in their nascent beauty. As though he, Miro, discovered these colors in our world where no one had before, did not mix or concoct them in some process of chromatic alchemy. In some pieces, he juxtaposes with these organic and nebulous bodies straight and definite lines; in others, he does not. Certain patterns and thematics recur, without becoming signature or trite; the entire collection was awe-inspiring. For me, in particular, uplifting, especially when seeing a comment Miro had made, transitioning interest and scope from traditional canvas medium to larger scale public sculptural and mural works: painting on a canvas is to inspire poetry. He is certainly right there.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Celine Resort 2013

Over-sized, near briefcase clutch? Check. Tailored navy blazer? Check. Silk neck scarf? Check. Red accents? Check. For the traveling, bustling, and hustling businesswoman who very nearly forgot it was resort season as she entertains high-maintenance clients with cheap beer. If only.

(image taken from Style)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hazy Cosmic Jive

(image taken from Screened)

(image taken from Science Fiction Wallpapers)

(image taken from Movies MMGN)

(image taken from Cinema is Dope)

So I was wrong. So wrong. This is neither a rare nor a monumental occurrence, surely not one that requires any type of shame or celebration, however, it is a bit ironic, given my rather vehement and facetious recent post, in which I heralded turn down service chocolates as the highlight to a trip to South America, due to the exquisite executive level ecstasy they elicited. For, my broad generalization about a stay in one business hotel in any city being essentially the equivalent to a stay in any other business hotel in another was, obviously, wildly off base. In a truly American myopic perspective, I neglected to think of the innumerable national and regional franchises, ones that, surely, adopt the local cultural flavors and aesthetics. The little guys.

For the past four nights, I stayed at the Barcelo Sants, a hotel that claims to be both business and resort based, though, when situated above a large train terminal in the heart of Barcelona, more than a stone's throw from the beach or any body of water, the resort seems more than a gross stretch. This locale had been chosen based on two core items: a low price and an open availability. A colleague had informed me that it had been recently renovated, though he was unsure of the exact details, having yet to visit. Nonetheless, this all seemed quite optimistic. As I approached the front desk, passing through the requisite revolving doors, I was a bit shocked by the starkness of the white walls, with a black carpet, scattered with colored stars. Above the front desk, large capital letters read "Boarding Desk"; all chairs and furniture appeared to either be some sort of bizarre capsule, meant to launch a monkey or dog or other non-human creature far beyond the stratosphere, or some retro-futuristic, 1970s rocket ship cockpit. With one sweeping glance, I quickly realized, indeed, the entire hotel was spaceship and space travel themed, with not a subtle but an overt and brazen tribute to the Stanley Kubrick epic 2001: A Space Odyssey. Above the entire front lobby, a large and spacious and overwhelming neutral atrium, a simple geometric mosaic mural of the infamous 2001 astronaut character, in his space helmet, staring with an amazed horror at the computer before him. A friendly enough receptionist gave me the key to my modest accommodations, not surprisingly labeled as a "boarding pass."

Beyond the front desk, all walls, carpets, and other ornamentation still a stark contrast of either black or white, there was this computer console that could be borrowed from the set of the Men in Black franchise, a comment both painful and pathetic, because, it is actually a franchise. I was soon greeted with more moon-shaped chairs, sliced into half cross sections. The bar is clean, quite befitting for freeze-dried foods and vacuum sealed beverages, though, disappointingly, this seems to be the only arena in which the hotel decided to drop the metaphoric front. Tables scattered about were decorated with bizarre stunted cacti plants in silver colored pots, cacti that had been spray painted neon colors to appear ethereal and unearthly; perhaps this stratagem worked for some. Stepping into the elevator, again clinically white, the floor was an onyx black with glittering celestial-like glittering objects, in a rather regular, non-constellation forming pattern. At my floor, a large faux window, looking from the confines of a our constructed craft into a superficial space, the moon prominently and inaccurately portrayed in the background. Again, white and black, odd geometric lines and weird capsules. The hall was completely dark; as I neared my room, low vertical lights between each room automatically illuminated. I nearly burst out laughing. 

Thankfully, in addition to the now familiar white and black, my room had some fake light wood paneling. It, too, had some strange bubble window that looked onto an alien landscape, one that connoted an unknown and forbidden planet; across the window glass, in white, were the numbers of fabricated coordinates. And I believe a random temperature listing.

Alas, unfortunately for me, despite this incredibly ridiculous pretense of cosmic modernity and technological mastery, the tap water still tasted as though I were licking the used hamster shavings inside of a busy pet store, and there were no wash clothes, anywhere, on the entire premise. The evolution of man.

Snarky commentary soundtrack: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust David Bowie; "Erase/Rewind" the Cardigans (on repeat)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day to Night in Barcelona

I have been here in Barcelona for about a week now; as is to be expected, packing for a trip that entails both professional business ware and some romping clothes for a weekend off from the job is nearly impossible, at least, when confronted with limited suitcase volume. Earlier in the spring, I purchased this stylized Ralph Lauren black sport coat, immediately recognizing its worth in utility and in aesthetics for my wardrobe. Since landing a spot in my quite contained and crowded closet, this beauty has earned a few stamps in the passport traveling to and fro with me. Not formally part of a suit, it is a great complement, and professional partner, to a number of my tailored dresses, a combination I tend to favor during the summer months when pant suits seem suffocatingly toxic. This week, I paired the blazer with a new broad striped white and black sweater for the daytime look, coupling this with a clean, simple camel pencil skirt. Broad stripes lent a sort of official nautical look to the jacket, as in, work on an executive steam liner ship as the captain, however, overall, the look was fun and youthful, as well as warm Mediterranean weather appropriate.

Earrings of gold, pearl, and a sort of onyx black were an obvious choice for this jacket and sweater combination; the black and gold are mirrored, while the pearl just exudes a classic lifestyle that befits a blazer emblazoned with an embroidered emblem.

For the evening following any professional obligations, spent wining and dining with colleagues at a local delicious dive Thai joint, otherwise known as copious consuming of hot curries and cheap white wines, I switched out the sweater for this plain white tee shirt. A well fitted plain white tee shirt is a true gift from God. Paired with some denim and a deep red lip, the white tee will immediately evoke 1990s Guess girl connotations. It is simple and effortless. With a blazer like this, which, frankly, is a bit superficially bombastic and stuffy, the plain tee shirt drops down the pretension to something casually traditional and elegant. True classic. Alas, this particular white tee shirt has seen its time in rotation: wear, frolic, wash, rinse, repeat, many times. It is probably time to be retired, or at least, demoted to weekend cleaning. I am glad it had one last whirl out here in Barcelona. To cover my legs and other more sensitively intimate regions, I wore a plain black skinny jean from the Gap.

I found these teetering on the obscene gold Capricorn earrings a number of months back in a small antiques shop in a neighboring town. They are about an inch and a half in diameter, a feat which these images really fail to capture in its true disgusting glory. Between the gilded almost Byzantine look, the impeccable texture, and the gorish flaming red bejeweled eyes, not to mention the symbology relevant to my birth date, these were love at first sight.

Leopard print tuxedo flats were the perfect shoe to marry the classic prep aesthetic of my jacket with the gaudy funkiness of my goat hoop earrings; these were one of the wiser purchases I have ever made in the shoe department.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Excitement on the Executive Level

In a modern global economy, one where markets across the continents are connected through various modes of instantaneous communication and transaction with technological and media advances, when you have been to one large franchise chain business hotel, you have been to them all. Certainly, outside the tall portrait window of the twentieth floor of a particular establishment, the vista will transform, conform to the landscape of the city in which the assembly-line building was constructed: desert, strip malls, skyscrapers, Pacific Ocean, wide open and empty plains. I am eternally grateful to imbibe these views greedily, as a recycled air conditioned wind sweeps across my hair, a backdrop of large square prints that hang obtrusively and uninspired above the set of double beds. During these first few years of my arguably professionally legitimate career, I have acquired more than a handful or so notches on my business hotel belt; thankfully, these generally come with the frequent flyer miles to prove it. Overall, no single property comes to mind as outstanding, each one fairly uniform in their mediocre breakfast buffet offerings and each one diligent in the requisite and humbly respectful toilet paper triangle fold. Not surprisingly, each also dedicated in the fight for our environment, kindly pleading with patrons, but not enforcing any ecological edicts, to reuse towels from shower to shower. To be honest, as I am often delinquent about laundry in my own home, one of the welcome aspects of busy travel is the prospect of perpetually new and clean towels and linens. After one use, that towel is tossed aside, to the ground. There is some shame, but only a little. Not sufficient shame to cease my wanton towel use, consistent from cookie-cutter room to cookie-cutter room.

Occasionally, however, through a fortuitous force known as random dumb luck and poor scheduling, or perhaps, working in an absurdly regulated and stringent industry, I am promoted to bask in the glories of the executive level when all other hotel rooms are booked solid. Apparently, such an echelon is beyond industry compliance for many typical physician attendees for most pharmaceutical-sponsored events, so, a simple and lowly writer such as myself must make the sacrifice. Last weekend, in Lima, I was called upon to greet this dutiful compliance challenge, accept the top floor executive suite, so that some deserving consultant neurologist could slum it in a lesser room and not cause any regulatory eyebrows to raise. In addition to stretching towards infinity views of a new and exciting city, I was able to singularly enjoy more down pillows than is needed or is necessary for at least five people. Lovely and obscene.

In addition to the copious pillow comfort, I obviously, as is evidenced by the ludicrous accompanying photographs to this jocular rant, enjoyed the simple and well executed luxury of the J.W. Marriot turn down service. The meticulous packing featuring tiny black satin bows was such a beautiful touch. I overcame the exhaustion of jet lag and the hard labor of sitting in a chair at a six hour meeting just to document the conscientious effort.  And, those waiting with a suffocating bated breath, my delight did not end there...

Two different flavors: coffee and coconut. Each admirably delicious and worth the calories, calories my bathing suit-averse and disappointingly soft body did not need. Slaving away in a ridiculous cubicle does not, apparently, exclude one from some of the finer mundanes of life. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dali and Barcelona Encore

When I was a young girl, I was frightened by the work of Salvadore Dali; I have vivid recollections of being introduced to some of his more massively renowned pieces in elementary school art classes, of perusing the pages of a book belonging to my older sister, always shivering, the feeling of moth wings grazing my eyes. Bodies and other organic objects contorted and pulled apart, like mechanical devices in various stages of construction, doused in acid and the colors of oceans and sunsets. Alluring but comfortably disturbing. It was not until a number of years later, as a young woman, after exposure to different and new philosophies, colors of aesthetics, that I began to truly appreciate Dali beyond the obligatory nod to the Surrealist master, which a certain knowledge of basic art history warrants. It is not at all surprising that his illustrated interpretation of Dante's Divine Comedy is a glorious amalgamation of the bizarre, the beautiful, and the grotesque.

In a few hours, I again fly over to Barcelona, not terribly far from the birthplace of Dali, Figueres. The June skies and air in Spain are supposed to be ideal: warm and clear, before the arid overbearing heat of the later summer months descends. Although I was just in Barcelona this past April for nearly a week, my trip had been predominantly confined to the city conference center; this time around, I have a few days open and free, to explore and venture to the city sites. This side of the Atlantic has been almost growing unfamiliar, but, I am not complaining.

Barcelona bound soundtrack: Lucky Shiner Gold Panda and Coastal Grooves Blood Orange

(image taken from Open Culture)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Parisian Gray

While in Paris early in April, I read the classic novella Quiet Days in Clichy by Henry Miller; the narrative opens with a meditation on the gray skies of Paris, the gris that settles across the horizon, hovering above the roofs of the buildings, a gray that is faceted and intricate, allowing the colors of the city beneath it to saturate. A sort of elemental gray, as though it has a specific weight and mass, an ability to change and react with other materials surrounding it. As I mounted the dome at Sacre-Coeur, reaching the pinnacle of the city, I peered into clouds of gray, unable to see the expanse of the land before me, as others often boast. Mildly disappointed, for a moment, to have my view obscured, I quickly transformed my attitude, thankful and grateful to see the city in such quintessential form.

Saturday afternoon, packing for yet another trip, soundtrack: Forget Twin Shadow

Friday, June 8, 2012

Outfit for a Thursday: Sailboats and Lucite

I have a not insignificant, but brief confession: I love Talbot's clothing store. Obviously, the sort of refined, older lady aesthetic is alluring and undeniably attractive to me, particularly anything in navy and white. This sailboat pattern, a bit kitsch, surely, was an immediate and impulsive purchase. The skirt is a cotton and linen blend, a fuller cut, and perfect for heavily humid and treacherously warm summer days. Coupled with a simple and classic navy and white striped tee shirt and some lucite accessories, complete with red peep-toe shoes, I was ready to give almost any seafaring blue-hair a run for her money.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Iconography: Ray Bradbury

Coincidence is a strange and complex force, with many textures: in recent months, I have been voraciously attacking many classics of science fiction literature; this week, both The New Yorker and Tin House are releasing volumes dedicated to the often misjudged or illegitimately ill regarded genre; and the filmmaker just began to read The Illustrated Man, his first foray with the late literary genius Ray Bradbury, who passed a mere two days ago. Such cosmic parallelism, were it more grand, replete with political intrigue or humane struggles or philosophies of personal freedoms and rights in the era of technological pioneerism, could form the foundation for a Bradbury story. He is being heralded with being one of the premier writers in contemporary times to bring science fiction, a genre elusively ubiquitous and mocked or scorned, woefully so, into the mainstream, assuredly assuming that the mainstream is something to be sought and desired. For me, he was simply a great writer, one who did not spurn or shun the inevitable scientific details that surround and encompass and pass through us all daily, and who dared to explore the implications of these inescapable truths, some natural and some constructed by our own advancement, on humanity and society. 

(image taken from UCLA Newsroom)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Outfit for a Monday: Black Bangle, Baubles, and a Bumblebee

With the birth of Winona, the rhythmic cadences of the infamous ABC Book by Dr. Suess have come spewing forth from the hidden recesses of a child-brain. Recently, a friend of mine brought to my attention to Pentametron, a poetic robot algorithm on Twitter designed to locate and re-tweet updates written in iambic pentameter, mostly accidentally and completely unbeknownst to the masses who use the platform as a means to inform us all of where they purchased their cereal or at which bar they are currently imbibing. The concept is, in a word, brilliant. I am particularly impressed by the rhymes the algorithm randomly concocts. It makes me feel relief at participating in a social media platform, which, despite its great potential and opportunities, inherently contradicts some of my firmly held philosophies with regard to constantly streaming news and media, construction of false or at least altered online entities, and skewed notions of celebrity and importance. Hypocritical, perhaps, my participation, but if it means I can read lines of modern, impromptu poetic gold, then I accept.

In recent months, I have amassed quite a collection of the typical, French-inspired thin striped tee shirts, in navy and white, in navy and red, and the requisite black and cream. When I found this sweater, for a great discount, I was drawn to the broad blocks of color; the pattern, technically, is a stripe, but it has a greater geometric quality to it. Stacks of planar bodies, rectangles dangling in a mathematical proof. The fabric of this sweater is nice and thick, yet still ideal for summer, and will not be too warm. On Monday, I paired it with a basic camel-toned pencil skirt, but I have visions of it coupling well with a simple white cotton skirt.

With such simple, muted, neutral colors, white, black, and tan, I layered two bombastic vintage rhinestone necklaces: a thicker choker and a longer chain with an almost princess neckline. These necklaces are always a bit tawdry, but always a bit fun as well. Sharp right angles are mirrored in this Grecian-inspired black and white bangle, a favorite of mine.

My sister and I have a bit of an ongoing joke about yellow shoes, after reading this article on popular culture, politics, and art commentary This Recording; we are, each of us, targets of this satire, as is the author herself, I am sure, an encompassing audience among our generations and our fair, fair sex. As with all satire whose victims are cognizant of their role in the interplay between critic, social structure, and text, it is simultaneously hilarious and painful; a bitterly amusing truth, though, one that also probably deserves a critical eye. Surely, not all young ladies who adorn their feet with yellow shoes can be guilty of an obsession with bygone eras or with the storing capacities and sheer opacity of glass jars or with being inundated with knowledge of the bizarre or the arcane; in my case, however, guilty as charged, I suppose, so mock away.

Perhaps, the guilt associated with being wealthy but not that kind of wealthy can be assuaged and dissipated with the simple and pure fact that my shoes, in this case, are not entirely yellow. For the record, yellow is one of those colors that often looks jarring against my more olive-toned skin, such that I appear as if I have just crossed the Atlantic in the hold of some wooden barge. So, yellow accessories and, yes, even shoes are welcome in my closet; they are more flattering and they permit some pleasant warmth in my wardrobe. Like red, they are desirable because of their versatility as well; I can pair them with black, cream, navy, gray, and brown, easily. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Landscape Lusting

For the past two days, the vista views from my grand cubicle windows have been of deep, dark gray skies and lush greenery, the grass and the leaves of the trees ripe and drunk with the deluge of recent rains. Since returning from Peru, life has been a reality of tribulations and trivial tasks to accomplish, of mountains and molehills; my head churns and my mind can be likened to biologic primordial soup, something made of potentially critical and worthwhile elements, compounds correctly concocted yielding proteins and nucleosides and potential for an organic sentient whole, which, for the time, are just floating idly in a muck.

Ever since my brother-in-law, a title that I believe I have never been officially used before, at least not in formal text, introduced me to the bucolic, romantic, idyllic compilation of faraway escapes that is Cabin Porn, I have frequently returned to the collection, wistful and yearning and a bit bitter. I am here, and these, all these houses, are out there, someplace wild and wonderful and remote. In my fantasies, the internet and telephones do not exist, not out there, and there are no obligations to participate in teleconference calls or brainstorming sessions or legal review discussions with client compliance police. There are no duties to travel to long, arduous meetings, where talk is circular and tiring. Out there, one hangs the wet laundry to dry on a line, drawn from a local tree to the side of the house, shirts and sheets and worn pants tittering to the seductions of a gentle wind. Out there, flowers are plucked from the earth, rouge dirt still clinging to their weak roots, to be scattered in clean glass jars on tables, laden with butter and cream and fruits and breads, things made with animals and their gifts, things made with gluten and sugar, things made to eat and eat much of, without thought to carcinogens or other foreign invasive infiltrates. Out there, at night, during sleep, the windows are left open, open to the moon and her symphony of crickets and creatures.  

(image taken from Cabin Porn)