Archive for February, 2009

Pop Quiz!

Friday, February 27th, 2009

But relax, kids – it’s multiple choice.

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Q) In this cap by Christine Bec a young man (much like myself) would look:

a. Like a jaunty, gentlemanly jockey.
b. Like a nonsensical, naive nimrod.
c. Like something much, much worse.

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I appreciate the cap’s offbeat, equestrian energy, but I can barely think of two outfits I could assemble from my wardrobe that would make a lick of sense with it.

Some material goods are so snappy in a photo, but turn a little loopy if you apply them to actual, everyday life. I don’t know whether to brave those situations or to backdown gracefully.

When you’ve completed your quizzes pass them forward, please.

I Wish I Could – part 1

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

This is the first in a series lamenting the looks I’ve attempted to adopt, but have never been able to master.

Number 1: The Moustache.

I’ve tried fostering one twice before, but the sexy-serious machismo of a moustache has always seemed inappropriate if not obscene on my impish, apple-cheeked babyface.

Now that I’m pushing my mid-thirties and finally looking it, maybe a believable moustache is on the horizon. I’m giving it one last try this spring and I promise to keep it for longer than 4 hours (unlike last time) no matter how hilarious I might still find it.

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If my third and final attempt fails, I’m throwing in the towel forever (or half a decade, at least). Instead I’ll just prick one of these witty knit pins from UO into my jacket and get on with my sad, smooth-faced life.

Conveniently Hip

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

I’ve never been good at adopting music just because it’s hip and underground. So genuinely adoring Los Super Elegantes and their white-sandy brand of indie art pop lends my iTunes library a much-needed crackle of cool.

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Without my knowing it, the swarthy-chic duo quietly released their third album Nothing Really Matters digitally to Amazon and iTunes on February 3rd. As a materialist, I’ve so far insisted on purchasing my albums in a tangible, tactile format.

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Since that isn’t an option this time around, looks like I’m finally strutting into the mp3-flavored future to the disco blips and cantina clicks of Los Super Elegantes. Right about now, I’m just dripping in hip.

20 Years Ago Today…

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

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Was the day that Laura Palmer died. 

After that, everything got really interesting…

Degree of Difficulty – Colored Denim

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Refinery29 claims pre-school blue is the color of the season this winter. I swore it was the color of the season last winter though – I have a side-button sweater and a short-sleeve sweatshirt from around then as my personal proof. Either way, these new, bluer-than-blue jeans caught my eye at Club Monaco a few weeks ago.

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They no longer had my exact size in stock, but the jeans were seductively 80% off of their original price, so I didn’t feel the need to be a real stickler as far as fit was concerned.

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Granted, as far as colored denim goes, this Smurfy blue isn’t too precarious to pull off compared to electric yellow or acid green. But now that I’ve laundered my true-blue pair in hot water for maximum shrinkage, toughened them up with a thermal top and a wool knit hat, and worn them sheepishly in public twice…I’ve decided when it comes to even a tiny fashion risk that a good fit isn’t a luxury…it’s a necessity.

Overall Degree of Difficulty, based on color alone: a lazy little 3.

Consumer Confessions – Me First

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Twice a year I enjoy shelling out $20 for the newest issues of Purple Fashion and Fantastic Man. The fact that these publications are five times as much as an issue of GQ is much, if not all of the appeal. I rationalize that I’m being given access to ideas and inspirations five times too elite and expensive for the average trend-hound.

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In the same snobby vein, I’ve promised myself already a bottle of Fantastic Man’s upcoming fragrance from Byredo, having never sampled the scent. I mean, what has its actual scent got to do with it?

Should Fantastic Man: The Cologne actually smell intriguing and edgy once I unwrap my delivery then that’ll be icing…but, in all honesty, its the secret feeling of elitism and rarity that I’ll be spending my money on. Just as when I buy the periodical that spawned it.

This is materialism at its most crass and callow, but also its most innate, no? Fortunately, I approach only the rare purchase in this reckless manner. I’ll explore the more noble and less shameful modes of materialism in future Treasury entries, but for now I’m curious:

What items/genres of material goods do readers buy recklessly – when a daring disregard for price and practicality is integral to the power of the purchase?

I Can Read Movies

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

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Product tie-ins today feel so forced and flaccid. These faux-book covers remind me of the thrill of previous decades, and of being 13 – when turning a movie into a book, a backpack, and a breakfast cereal didn’t seem crass, it just seemed a blast.

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These are three of a twenty-five part series by retro-minded graphic designer Spacesick.

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His blog promises a second series shortly. I’m hoping The Goonies, Space Camp, or The Allnighter (starring doe-eyed darling Susanna Hoffs) might make the next round.

Self-Made Treasure

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

I posted previously the cheery little jump-rope necklaces at newhighmart.com. I’ve never been very crafty. I don’t even like carving pumpkins anymore. But I scheduled a play date with my 9-year-old niece last week, figuring we could be crafty together and I could create my own beaded necklace for the spring.

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I used André Benjamin’s indian necklace that he shared on his 10 Essentials list as my source inspiration. My niece used “waterfalls” as inspiration for her own necklace, and she added a fish charm to hers, F.Y.I.

So there it is. Now I have not only a new necklace, but a happy memory to go along with it.

Sail Away

Monday, February 16th, 2009

I’d be fast on my way to owning this whimsical Rogues Gallery polo if it were still available in S or M.

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The lucky L or XL gents out there can get still nab theirs at gargyle.com.

Survival Kit: A Pinochle Deck

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Whenever I have to survive something in my life, be it a boring day at a mindless job or a brutal midwestern winter, I tend to cinema-tize the experience. I art-direct my challenges visually or dramatize them emotionally in order to enjoy what otherwise seems unenjoyable.

Surviving the recession this winter was quickly becoming a flat and un-fun affair, so I decided to heighten the experience into something atmospheric and ultimately enriching. I romanticized an escape from the material wants and worries of our current times by revisiting the old-school sources of a man’s wealth: family, friends, and family-friendly games.

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I endeavored to have my mother re-teach my Pinochle over the Christmas holiday. As a daughter of German immigrants growing up in post-war Detroit, it was an important part of my mother’s childhood and heritage. “We Germans take our Pinochle very seriously,” she said, as she led my family through the ins and outs of the game at my sister’s kitchen table. “When in doubt, play a Queen,” she instructed.

Gaining this knowledge from my mother was only half of my recession-fueled master plan. The other half was inviting friends I should’ve spent more time with these past years into my house for a self-made supper and Pinochle lessons from a newly-minted master: Myself.

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Watching my friend Matt mumble to himself, “When in doubt, play a Queen,” just as my grandpa had taught my mother, and she had re-taught me, and I had now taught my sorely missed friends…well, it was just the kind of cozy, connecting scene I had set out to direct and delight in amidst this economic hassle everyone’s hoping to survive.

Future Treasure: Four Thirds Camera

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

I don’t know how in-the-know others ’round here are about digital camera technology. Apparently, there’s a new category of devices called Micro Four Thirds cameras which are rolling out right about now. Due to a brand new optical set-up these groovy gadgets offer the fancy clarity and depth of a digital SLR camera, but in the pocket-able form factor of a simpler point-and-shoot. (Plus interchangeable lenses.)

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I’ve had two digital cameras in my life. A 3.2 megapixel Nikon which I loved right away, and when it broke, a 5.2 megapixel Canon which I never-ever loved. I’ve been patiently awaiting a justifiable opportunity to upgrade and…

I’ve got high hopes for this Olympus Micro Four-Thirds model which was revealed as a prototype last fall and which insiders are buzzing might be released next month. I’m thinking it might do just the trick for me. Luxe in leather…yes please!

Less hack-job-y info on the Four Thirds breakthrough here and then here and also here.

Asking for It?

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

When I was searching for stocking stuffers at Fleet Farm this December, I found myself this Fudd hat by Broner and made it mine. Then I wore it grocery shopping last weekend and a male couple pointed at me and laughed. 

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I was wearing the hat pretty lazily that day at the market. So for this Treasury entry, I dressed my hat up with dapper deliberation, as revenge to the men who’d mocked me so mercilessly. 

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But somehow I think if they stumbled upon this Treasury entry the mockery would continue. Maybe I should abandon the hat and save myself some misery.

It’s no fun getting laughed at…