Thursday, July 31, 2008

painfully hip.

Does anyone here suffer for fashion? I know I do. Do you think it looks silly or chic to walk around in heels all day long while doing totally mundane things?

I know a lot of the more glamorous fashion bloggers (Rumi, Lulu, et al) wear heels like it's their job (actually, it sort of is.) Whenever I wear heels all day, I feel a little silly. But I also feel kinda badass. Because people don't know that my sole mission today was to pick up my Adderall XR from Target. For all they know, I'll be heading out to a soiree after that! Because Virginia is hopping.

Though, more realistically, people probably assume I'm off to work at the nearest street corner.

(shoes from Nine West. For the record, they look great on but hurt like a bitch. I wore them to a doctor's appointment this morning and he immediately asked if I had come to the right place!)

Obama, the teacher

We got John McCain's medical records a few months ago (exciting!), but now the New York Times has published eight exams that Senator Obama gave to students while teaching at the University of Chicago Law School. There is commentary by four legal experts on what these exams, complete with sample answers, might reveal about the presidential hopeful.

I don't expect you to read the entire article or exams, as they're quite lengthy, but the topics of his tests reveal a careful consideration of rights concerning sexual orientation and reproduction. It's not that the exams show a liberal bias that fits my beliefs; rather, they show an objective professor who understands the importance constitutional law will play in complicated social issues regarding homosexuality and reproductive choice.

Some interesting insights, from the experts:

"Senator Obama has a first-rate mind for legal doctrine and could have been a first-rate academic had his interests gone in that direction. He would have been most unlikely – even beyond the fact that his values differ – to have bought into the legal work underlying many of the current Administration’s policies, such as the incomplete 'torture memos.'"

"Senator Obama has a sensitivity to role. By this I mean that he doesn’t appear to have used his classroom as a platform for pushing his own pet theories of constitutional law. He seems to have taught 'down the middle' in a way that gave the students the tools to be fine constitutional lawyers but didn’t require them to agree with his position. By contrast, I’ve seen other constitutional law professors’ exams and model answers where a student who disagrees with the professor’s idiosyncratic approach or policy preferences would have found it hard to do well."

"What particularly impressed me was how even handed were his presentations of the competing sides the students might take. These summaries were remarkably free of the sort of cant and polemics that all too often afflicts academic discussions of race. Were this not a seminar on 'racism and the law' I doubt one could tell which side of each issue the teacher was on. And indeed, even knowing it was written by Senator Obama, one cannot be sure which side of each issue he really took. Whatever position he held, however, Obama could clearly see and dispassionately articulate the other side."

"Similarly, there is a great deal of moral seriousness in Obama’s legal materials. They are not just about technical and technocratic legal questions. Some of the great mysteries and tragedies of human life and American society — involving marriage, divorce, childbearing, cloning, the right to die with dignity, infertility, sexual orientation, and yes, of course, race — are probed in these materials in ways that encourage students to think not just about law, but about justice, and truth, and morality."

So what's the point of all this? The fact that he has the capacity to be so analytically objective (especially regarding complex matters involving individual rights as outlined by the Constitution) is fantastic. I've had professors that were extremely biased (usually in my favor, but once, not, and it was wretched.) An emphasis on understanding the so-called "other side", whatever it may be in Obama's case, means that he could potentially do a good job uniting the country's partisan split.

{via Feminist Law Professors}

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

tricky tailoring.

I love this New York Times article about my much-loved Oak boutique. I think if I actually went to the brick-and-mortar store, I'd hate it.

All you suckers that riff on the West Coast, I'll dis and spray your ass like a roach

The name of label coleyclaire is pretty much synonymous with "adorable fancypants dresses" by now. I read about them in NYLON ages ago, wrote down the name to blog about, and am only just now getting around to it. The label is made up of Kate from Georgia and Amy from California and their aesthetic supposedly bridges east coast-west coast fashion. Finally an effort is being made to end those brutal coast wars!

They make separates too, by the way! These are some pieces from their F/W 08 collection. It seems to veer between floaty, feminine silk dresses and body con pieces with lots o' zippers. Must be the east coast/west coast dichotomy.


Have y'all seen Oak's fall preview? Yes, yes, I showed you that Alexander Wang dress I so desperately want, but the rest of it is sooo good as well! Too bad the model can't stand up straight.

on how i am a hypocrite.

I have a confession: I don't really hate babies. I don't have a very strong maternal instinct to be sure, and I get much more excited about seeing a puppy than a baby out in public, but I do have a soft spot for kids. My five-year-old half-sister Caroline is such a firecracker and I would do absolutely anything for her. She can be so sweet and hilarious, but she can also be a monster, which I kinda love. I feel a certain kinship to her that I don't have towards my other two sisters, for various reasons. Part of it is the fact that I've seen her grow from newborn to mini-adult from my own adult perspective. Regardless, I love (and fear) the idea of being a mom one day.

What I DO hate is our baby-obsessed culture. I've never had a child of my own, so I don't know what happens, but I strongly dislike the idea that once a woman has a child, her only purpose is to raise it (or, even worse, the notion that all women should be mothers and wives, and that's it.) Obviously I'm not in favor of neglecting one's child by hiring a full-time nanny and hightailing it out of the country, but some women seem to lose their sense of self once they have kids. I'm fully supportive of stay-at-home moms. But every mother needs time to herself, hobbies and interests of her own, and (ideally) a partner (male or female) who is just as willing to help in the domestic department.

I don't know if I'll ever have kids because of some biiiig ole issues I have with my own parents, but here's where I'm a hypocrite. If I do decide to have a child, I'll be a teensy bit disappointed if my firstborn isn't a girl. I realized it today while reading this post on bits and bobbins. Tricia is about to have a baby, a little girl, and reading her "speak" to her just melted my heart.

I can't stand it when guys are all adamant about having a little boy to play sports with. But here I am, wanting the exact same female version. It's not that I want to dress her up like a doll, or worse, "to match mommy!", but I'd love to "raise her right", so to speak. The idea of raising a girl who knows her worth, understands feminism, and understands that societal ideals aren't the be all and end all makes me giddy.

Obviously you can do this with boys, too. But I don't know much about raising them: we've only had girls in my family (even with pets!) I'd like to raise a boy to respect women, not worry about an equally ridiculous masculine ideal, and not freak out over teh gayz, but I have less of an emotional reaction thinking about it.

Does this make me a terrible person?

(by the way, while searching flickr for a generic "girl" picture, I found this woman's photostream who takes great pictures of her daughter, like the one above. More below!)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

crazy cat lady.

I know it's a bit sappy, but I sure do love my kitty. Look at her silly curly tail! You can't really tell, but she also looks like she's wearing a sweater vest at all times. She keeps it classy!

eye candy

I've been reading the NOTCOT blog for awhile, with all their trendy product descriptions and whatnot, but I had never ventured over to NOTCOUTURE until yesterday. I love it. When you're lazy, don't feel like blog-hopping, yet still need some kind of visual cocaine, the site is perfect.

People upload and link to pictures of things (clothes, shoes, other desires) they're lusting after, so you're just faced with a page full of pure imagery. You can tell that a LOT of people posting are small boutiques trying to sell their wares, which sucks, but if the picture's nice, ah well.

It's a good way to find out about new designers too, even if they're all insanely expensive ($335 for a shiny headband? really?)

p.s. Am I too comma-happy? I just read "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" last week and now I fear every punctuation mark I (mis)place.

it's all in the name.

From Yahoo! News via d.Sharp Journal:

McCain takes aim at Obama's character

A key excerpt:

Kathie Steigerwald, a Dearborn, Mich., businesswoman who said she voted for Hillary Clinton but now plans to support McCain, offered an especially succinct recital of a narrative on which other interviewees offered numerous variations:

"I feel John McCain is a true American and I want to support a true American," she said.

But isn't Obama a "true American?" she was asked.

"I don't know," she said after a measured pause. "I question it."


"I don't know — maybe because of his name?"

{via d.Sharp journal}

What is with the superficiality of voting these days? Ideally, if you're deciding our country's future and you hear a rumor that might sound especially "appalling" (that a non-Christian might perhaps be vying for the presidency, the nerve!), why don't you look it up and see if it's true? I know people are pressed for time and have more important things to do (like watching So You Think You Can Dance), but still. I guess I'm just a nerd who cares too much, but even Wikipedia might do these people some good, despite its faults. far as that off-shore drilling McCain supports, did you know that the lower-pricing effects of any oil we get out of those reserves won't be seen until 2030?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

totes crushing.

this alexander wang dress is so hot. it's also $700. buy it at oak. (lucky!)


This weekend I went to Richmond to see Who's Bad, a Michael Jackson cover band. Justin got pulled up on stage by the lead singer, and then urged to stay on, because of his dancing skills. I'm pretty proud. I also got to hang out with the coolest girl I know. (Laura, that's you!)

Other than that, I've been a bit of a slug, so I made a mix. I nicked a few songs from Fleurette's July mix. Sorry, lady, it was just so good!

1. American Boy - Estelle ft. Kanye West
2. Mirando - Ratatat
3. Sweaty Wet/Dirty Damp - Gameboy/Gamegirl
4. Sour Cherry - The Kills
5. Parking Lot Nights - Ghosthustler
6. Ready for the Floor - Hot Chip
7. I'm Good, I'm Gone - Lykke Li
8. Black Flag - Duchess Says
9. Until We Bleed - Kleerup ft. Lykke Li
10. Trahison - Vitalic
11. Tender Umbrella - Party Ben
12. Made of Stone - Spiral Beach
13. Shut Up and Let Me Go - The Ting Tings
14. Ceremony - New Order (covering Joy Division)

When I figure out how to zip these together, I'll upload it as one file. In the meantime, enjoy!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I think I have a weakness for outrageous black dresses that I can't wear in public. The first one I bought was that fan dress, which still hasn't seen the light of day even though it fits me splendidly. This is one I'm eyeing right now. I always think, "oh! Susie Bubble would wear that!" but then again she's also got a lot more fame and courage than I do.

new dress!

I got this Society for Rational Dress in the mail a few days ago, but hadn't put it on for fear I'd be swimming in it (I had to size up, my size was out of stock and I'm already stubby in many XS's because I'm not even five feet tall.) But actually, I lucked out and it fits perfectly. There's a bit of a gap where my boobs should be, but I don't have any! So I think I'll shorten the straps an inch and be done with it. The dress looks so classic: I feel like a modern day Holly Golightly (without the charm, of course, though I do have a scrappy orange cat!)

I ordered it from buydefinition, and, I swear I don't work for them, but I highly recommend the shop for its amaaazing customer service. The lovely shopgirl emailed me the day the dress arrived, went out of her way to get an XS and offered a completely free exchange in case the S didn't fit. This is why I love online boutiques.

p.s. I finally wore a romper out in public and it felt almost shameful at first. I initially wasn't even going to go outside in it because it felt so provocative!, even though I was more covered than if I was wearing shorts and a tank top. What is it about one-pieces that feel a bit naughty? Just as I was about to change, my dad told me I looked nice and that gave me enough courage to wear it out. Thanks, Dad!

I caved...

I bought that H&M faux leather bomber yesterday. It makes me look a bit marshmallow-y, but after I saw it on Lulu and fashionispoison, I couldn't resist. I'm still looking for the perfect moto jacket, but this will tide me over in the meantime.

{photo via lulu's chictopia}

Friday, July 25, 2008

A very long rant about social responsibility.

What is going on at Jezebel lately? Moe Tkacik, the features editor, has always been pretty controversial: her posts are smug, self-righteous and overwhelmingly sarcastic. She makes me angry, but at the same time, I love her. The way she writes is on the one hand effective -- rambling, complex, emotionally-stirring! -- and on the other, inflammatory. Over the past few months it has become pretty clear that Moe has some issues with alcohol and self-loathing and so masks them with a blasé, I'm-going-to-make-outrageous-statements-and-then-make-fun-of-myself-and-my-readers-for-not-getting-my-fucking-sarcasm-so-fuck-you-all attitude. It's all so very post-modern. Does she mean what she says, or is she making fun of societal conventions? She's a white girl who comes from an above average socioeconomic status (to my knowledge) and she makes fun of it constantly. To admit one's privilege is a touchy subject; it's often reconciled by being overwhelmingly apologetic, denying it or by ridiculing yourself and your equally-privileged peers for being completely myopic assholes.

The first of Moe's outbursts I can recall is when she said that Hillary only won a certain primary because she "cried", blaming women voters for being so stupidly emotional and empathetic that they voted for her because they "felt bad." The commenters were understandably pissed, but then Moe turned it around and said something like, "Obviously you all didn't understand my sarcasm, I'm making fun of female stereotypes! About how, of course Hillary cried, of course women like her, we're supposedly so very emotional! Fuck you guys for being so judgmental and missing the point!" (There is always either an explicit or implicit "fuck you" in her apologies.) In fact, you're not supposed to take anything she says seriously, and it usually takes me three or four times through a post to understand that she's being completely facetious.

In this case, Moe was clearly a big Obama fan; she didn't like Hillary and admitted that she didn't see much sexism in the way Hillary was portrayed. So was that whole rant really that sarcastic, when things were still painstakingly close between Obama and Hillary? Does anyone fucking know? Moe blames a lot of her faux pas on her ADD, which certainly may account for her rambling (but coherent) complex sentences, but doesn't seem to explain her tone. As I said before, she's amazing with prose and obviously intelligent. But why, oh why, is Moe so hostile to Jezebel readers? She doesn't call herself a feminist but jokes that's she's a "female supremacist." And when people disagree with what she says, it always comes back to the fact that (though she doesn't identify as a feminist), "feminism isn't a monolithic thing! It has multiple meanings, and the fact that it is so open to interpretation by different kinds of women is what makes it so female-empowering in the first place! Your ideas of fucked up attitudes are my words to live by!"

I think Moe and Tracie posts really started getting contentious after the whole "Thinking and Drinking" debacle. Moe recently announced that she would be moving over to Radar, scratch that, Gawker, which comes as a relief for many, but it seems like she intends to go out with a bang in the meantime.

And here's where I finally get to the real topic of this post. A few days ago (yesterday? I don't even know, though that link is so very close to my cursor!), Moe posted about how sex without condoms feels better and, for relevancy's sake!, loosely tied it to an NPR story about how condom-less sex is the new "engagement ring" (i.e., it represents that a couple is seriously devoted to being monogamous with one another.) The gist of Moe's post was that, yes, sex without a condom really DOES feel great, way better than regular ole safe sex, and it's not THAT risky, because the guys she sleeps with don't mind HPV, and she doesn't suspect that they have any scary diseases, either! In fact, telling a partner you have whatever STD is actually the worst part, but if you will it, it can make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside because of the memories of that special intimacy of the raw-dog sex you had, and how you can turn it into a funny story, because the guy you contracted whatever from was so hilarious! And those were good times, and actually, having an STD is a little like a welcome push down memory lane, because again, that guy was such a catch -- whatever happened to that guy?
There was a tiny little editor's note at the bottom saying "Use condoms!!!", but it was such a pathetic afterthought that I almost wish it wasn't even there.

People reacted angrily, and hours later she posted a typical confusing pseudo-apology about how sometimes the commenters on the site can make the editors feel unsafe to admit how they really feel about things. And then Moe blamed herself for her privilege, and said that "
the post also conveys something that's started to annoy me about myself: it's harder and harder to reconcile those Id-level truths with broader, more sober ones, such as, for starters 'Easy for me to say being as I am white.'" She then pointed out that statistically, only 17% of American women who contracted HIV last year were white.

And here's where it turns into typical Moe confusion. She expresses that she's unhappy with the fact that she has these casual attitudes about sex, but then backs it up, as if to say, "Hey! Maybe I DO have a point. Just look at those numbers, people!"

Her post then devolves into how Jezebel is growing in popularity, "bigger than any group of people I can expect to give me the benefit of the doubt or put what I say in ironic self-loathing context," and that maybe the writers need to watch what they say from now on.

But again, it goes back and forth. She follows her previous apologetic statement with,
"When it comes to sex we've generally been inclined to favor the fun and comedic and gross and mundane truths about it that don't get so much media attention, and I doubt that will change when I leave, but maybe by then you will all be getting more of it and will thus feel less compelled to unleash your ire on whatever poor slut ends up replacing me. Joke!"

The ambivalence Moe feels kind of reflects how I feel about the idea of censoring the editors' thoughts. I'd hate to think that Jezebel had to turn into an after-school special because of outside pressure to promote the "right" messages. Candid expression is what I love about the site, especially because it allows me to learn new truths, like the fact that a lot of women shit themselves during pregnancy. Women's magazines NEVER mention that! And I like that the writers are complicated, imperfect people. They have addictions and weaknesses and self-loathing thoughts, things that I have, too. Sometimes the comments, especially those about rape or family or illness, turn into one big therapy session, and it feels so good. I rarely participate, but just reading them makes me so hopeful for humanity. Finally!

But what's really tearing at my soul (Ha! That's a joke, I don't have one) is this question: does Jezebel have a duty to be socially responsible? People, often one-stop commenters, say that it's just a blog, people! It's only the INTERNET. "Get a fucking life, all you people who care too much about Moe and her reckless behavior." A more rational defense is that the current MO of the site allows women to voice their own honest opinions and that censoring them for the sake of any chance stupid, impressionable readers could lower the candor of their writing. And this is where I am so very torn. On the one hand, yes, it's only a blog: everyone has one, even I have one for god's sake, but then again, isn't blogging part of new media? In my media studies classes, we had to read all about how the reality of the internet can be rationalized into just as solid a reality as, well, "real life." (One day I'll tell you all about how I had to read about a character in an online RPG who was raped and how the person behind the character wanted to press real legal charges.) And this isn't Maureen Tkacik's personal blog. It's Jezebel, a key part of the Gawker Media empire. It's a corporation that relies on advertisers for income, just like any print publication. Nobody would put up with a national newspaper saying something like, "Well, we just think condom-less sex is really great, and we're gonna keep on having it, and y'all are just so uncool for being concerned about diseases. We want to die YOUNG, like all the greats! We never said we were admirable, people!" Even if it was on the opinion pages, that shit just

Whether they like it or not, a lot of people look up to Moe and (especially) Tracie Egan, a.k.a. Slut Machine. She's the ultimate hipster: hot but full-figured (fuck you, patriarchy!), sex-positive, fashionable, and so very ironic! On her own blog, One D at a Time, a commenter wrote something like, "Tracy [sic], I just lost my virginity tonight. As I was doing it, I thought to myself, 'I hope this is like what Tracie experiences!' Just know that a 16-year-old girl halfway around the world idolizes you." And trust me, this isn't outside the norm. After every Pot Psychology post, inevitably tons of girls and women say "OMGGZZZZ I LOVE YOU TRACIE!" "your eyeliner and bangs are so hotttt~1!!!!", etc.

So even though Moe and Tracie may not have asked to be role models, they inevitably are to some people. (Even I was lured into Slut Machine's persona at first: "Oh...she's so hot! And she's BFFs with Rich from fourfour! He does the best ANTM recaps!") Does this mean they have to act accordingly? I guess it echoes that tired old issue that pop stars and athletes have faced for decades.

I have no idea what the answer is. On the one hand, Jezebel is not just a little blog: it's a huge media entity. I'm way too lazy to even look up the numbers, but Jezebel was (is?) Gawker's fastest growing new addition. It's only been around for a year and I'd guess it's even more well-known than Gawker itself. On the other hand, I hate the idea of censoring oneself for how the masses might misinterpret things. Like that New Yorker cover. You know what? Most people, even little ole Republican housewives from Mid-western flyover states, understood the irony of that cover. Since I don't agree with those that say it shouldn't have been published, how can I turn around and criticize Jezebel's writers for being frank?

I guess I'm mostly just disappointed and saddened that Moe and Tracie are so personally irresponsible. Regardless of their status as bloggers, why are they so nonchalant about STDS? I'm not advocating abstinence or anything, I don't even think you need to be in a relationship with someone to sleep with them. But the way they treat sex in an effort to be cool, third-wave, sex-positive feminists makes me shudder. The parts of "Thinking and Drinking" where Moe said she was date raped and didn't think that much of it were awful to watch. It obviously affected her, but she seemed so adamant to deny the fact that the guy was a complete and utter dick. She even stayed friends with him after it happened! Tracie once famously said that she didn't tell a long-term boyfriend she had herpes until they were well into their relationship, because who cares about that one, anyway? It's just a few bumps, and practically everyone has it, y'all! And now this, the fact that Moe doesn't worry about contracting anything from random guys because she's statistically less likely to get anything serious.

I don't think Moe or Tracie are proud of what they've done in these cases, and they have admitted as much. But they initially, and sometimes subsequently, broadcast these attitudes without the humility that would soften the effect of their admissions. Tracie never apologizes, and Moe more often claims to have been misunderstood. The two are both so defensive, especially Tracie, and so very smug. I don't think less of them for their actions, but for how they choose to defend them in such a self-righteous, dare I say bitchy, manner.

Regarding these attitudes towards carefree sex,
when did it become cool to not worry about HIV? Transmission rates are on the rise, maybe because people stopped worrying about getting it. We've grown up in a generation that has watched Magic Johnson go from healthy to...still healthy, despite having HIV. The disease is now highly manageable (for about $600,000 per year), and I think that's sort of infiltrated people's consciousness. Coupled with the "It couldn't happen to me" ethos, this makes for a dangerous combination. I personally know tons of people who have had sex with strangers and didn't use any protection, neither birth control nor condoms. And that scares the shit out of me.

In conclusion, I blame abstinence-only education. Fuck you, Mr. Bush. (Sure, he didn't invent it, but he's kept abstinence-only ed nice and healthy by only funding schools that promote it.)

Your thoughts? Did anyone bother reading this? ...Bueller?

Thursday, July 24, 2008


i love this blood is the new black tee by cali dewitt. meant as a men's shirt, it's so nonsensical that i don't think it matters who wears it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

how i feel about babies.

{via jezebel}

was she mooka or kinney?

rachel antonoff of the late design label mooka kinney is moving on with her new line. here are some press photos. and look, it's alia shawkat/maeby from arrested development! she's so hot.

see more here.

{via SOTTO blog and coutorture)

cheep cheep!

I'm obsessed with contemporary art (and especially graphic design.) I love to play with typeface, wanted to see that documentary about Helvetica (yes, the Mac font.), and spent all of my 30-day Photoshop trial making stupid fake posters for things. Unfortunately, I'm not skilled, innovative or confident enough to compete with all the talented designers out there, so instead I just collect as much art as I can. You know how those who can't do, teach? Well, they also buy.

Compared to buying original paintings or drawings, graphic design and digital art is super cheap to purchase. The ease of printing off multiple copies means that you can usually buy good-sized posters and prints for $50 or less. But where to find them? Over the next few days I'm going to give you some ideas that have allowed me to find all kinds of cool stuff. I haven't exactly saved money, but I HAVE found a lot of amazing art in the process.

1. band posters

No, I'm not talking about those embarrassing posters of bands where they're shirtless and sexed up (or wrapped in an american flag...what the fuck, 'n sync?) Instead, I mean gig posters that are designed for an individual show that a band plays. This is my favorite way to get new artwork.

These posters are usually printed in very small runs (100 or less) by local graphic designers who get a chance to make new art whenever a band announces it'll be playing in their town. The other advantage of gig posters is that they are so easy to find. is a resource where all you have to do is type in your favorite band (or graphic designer) and all relevant posters will come up. They tell you who designed the poster and give a link to their website, where you can usually purchase their work.

The site can be overwhelming because there are thousands of bands (from mainstream to high school level) and designers on the site. An easy starting point is to just type in an indie band you assume will have lots of posters (the Arcade Fire and the Shins have TONS), and you can see pages upon pages of posters for their shows. Click on one you like, even if you're not a fan of the band, and then go to the artist's website to check out more of their work. If they've designed for one indie band, they've designed for others, so chances are you'll find something in the same vein for a band you're a bigger fan of.

Eventually you'll realize there's a lot of overlap and you can find designers you like that will continue to produce good posters in the future, even if the ones you see now aren't your cup of tea or are all sold out.

Some of my favorites: The Small Stakes, Leia Bell, Kangaroo Press, Option-G, The Heads of State, Dan McCarthy, and pushmepullyou design. Examples of their work are below.

Furthermore, if someone's designing little gig posters, they're designing for non-commercial work as well. Eleanor Grosch (of pushmepullyou) has the most amazing animal prints at Artaissance (another great resource for finding original art.)

But be warned that fine art work is way more expensive. Pieces can be anywhere from $50-300 and upwards. I bought this pretty little piece below for $83:

More to come tomorrow!

Monday, July 21, 2008

blog mode

i looove how betty of le blog de betty fancies up her silk topshop dress (i have the same one, i never in a million years would have thought to wear it this way.)

yay for hillary!

how come so many people hate hillary? i'm not a fan of her views on censorship, but i was pulling for her as much as i was for obama during the democratic primaries. look how awesome she is:

Clinton vows to fight insulting abortion plan (Reuters)

A Bush administration plan to define several widely used contraception methods as abortion is a "gratuitous, unnecessary insult" to women and faces tough opposition, Sen. Hillary Clinton said on Friday.

The former Democratic presidential candidate joined family planning groups to condemn the proposal that defines abortion to include contraception such as birth control pills and intrauterine devices.

It would cut off federal funds to hospitals and states where medical providers are obligated to offer legal abortion and contraception to women.

"We will not put up with this radical, ideological agenda to turn the clock back on women's rights," the New York senator told a joint news conference with New York Rep. Nita Lowey, also a Democrat, at Bellevue Hospital.

"Women would watch their contraceptive coverage disappear overnight," said Clinton.

The planned rule is aimed at countering recent state laws enacted to ensure that women can get contraception when they want or need it. It also would help protect the rights of medical providers to refuse to offer contraception.

Clinton said she has written a letter with Patty Murray, a Democrat senator from Washington, to Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt asking him to reconsider and reject the release of the proposed rules.

She also urged people to sign a petition on her website,, against the proposed changes.

"Our first effort is to get the Bush administration to rescind the regulation, not issue in its current form," Clinton said. "If that doesn't succeed, we're going to be looking for legislative steps that we can take to prevent this regulation from ever going into effect."

A copy of a memo that appears to be an Department of Health and Human Services draft provided to Reuters this week carries a broad definition of abortion as any procedures, including prescription drugs, "that result in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation."

Conception occurs when egg and sperm unite in the Fallopian tubes. It takes three to four days before the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. Several birth control methods interfere with this, including the birth control pill and IUDs.

"If enacted, these rules will make birth control out of reach for some women. That's a sure way to guarantee more unintended pregnancies and more abortions," said Anne Davis of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health.

i love jon stewart.

he and ichiro suzuki are my celeb crushes.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

shabby chic.

sundays are usually my day of cleaning and rest, but that's not to say that the rest of my week is full of exciting things to do. i watch my younger sisters one day a week and do website and photo work as an independent contractor, but other than that, my life is quite static. i'm in a rut right now, figuring out my health situation and where i want to live (sanfran? portland? seattle? la?), so as i look for jobs, i also have a lot of trepidation about rushing into things. my current friend situation is a bit sad as well, as all of my closest ones (save for justin) have moved away. i'm loathe to make new ones because i can be terribly unfriendly as it is, and i'd hate to spend all that time making friends i'll have to leave.

on my more motivated days, i dress up for the aspirational value -- dress how i want to live! hip, urban, indie! -- but this is not the norm. on days i stay in, i just wear baggy tees, my lavender fuzzy bathrobe, or simply some knickers. the result is that i am either overdressed or underdressed.

some days i feel bad about this, as if i'm not living the total design approach i mentioned, where everything has some aesthetic quality to it. i feel like even my slob clothes should be in some way stylish, and since they aren't, i get down on myself.

i guess i'm in such an early stage of my identity that how i primarily identify myself to others is purely superficial, as in, "if i don't dress the way i normally do, i'll be less of who i really am", and this is so silly. i need to get over it.

in the meantime, it was pretty great to see that the lovely michelle of kingdom of style regularly wears shlubby clothes on her off-days as well.

what about you all? do you always look stylish?

p.s. i'm watching made about how this girl wants to be more feminine, but somehow this means she can't tell boys that she likes japanese culture. her coach is trying to get rid of all her hobbies so that she is somehow more attractive to guys she probably wouldn't want to date in the first place. the fuck? i hate mtv.

things to watch:

1. The Dark Knight

I saw this movie on Friday and it was so very good. I'm not a big fan of superhero movies or superheroes in general, but I have always liked Batman for his complexity. The cartoon was so awesome and I love the philosophical matter of what it means to "do good." I hate Superman because of the way the series presents an oversimplified dichotomy of good guys vs. bad guys.

As far as the movie, I haven't seen all of Tim Burton's Batman versions, but I hear that they are, in true Burton fashion, a lot more whimsical. I love the darkness of Nolan's Batman series; the Joker was genuinely creepy. There were so many elements of Se7en in there and though Ledger as the Joker was amazingly sick and hilarious, it really left me feeling disturbed. I also felt incredibly sad, because Ledger was almost too good. Given his death, it was eerie in that it seemed to indicate some larger personal issues that could have led to his downfall.

I love the corollary between current political issues: the Joker is a true terrorist, and Batman makes some decisions (regarding surveillance) that Morgan Freeman's character Lucius questions in terms of morality (the Patriot Act, anyone?)

The movie is minimally flawed. A Salon piece said that Nolan's vision is generally very good, but complained that Batman is no longer presented as a deep thinker; instead, he is painted as a darker James Bond, complete with all kinds of gizmos and gadgets. To paraphrase the article, there is little light shed on the fact that Batman himself is arguably just as insane as all the villains he fights. In response to seeing his parents brutally murdered, he dresses up as a bat and takes it upon himself to protect an entire city? Not quite the most logical or healthy way, in most people's opinion, to deal with the trauma he suffered as a child.

Maggie Gyllenhaal plays the flat character of Rachel Dawes perfectly competently, but Dawes is so one-dimensional and not quite likable. That's the one thing I disliked about the Batman series: the lack of strong female characters (except Catwoman. Oh, and Batgirl, ha!)

Though I enjoy the newer movies much more, no one can deny the brilliant campiness of Adam West's Batman. See below:

2. Summer Heights High

This is my new favorite show. It takes place in Melbourne, Australia, at the public school where my best friend Justin attended when he lived there. The thing about Australia is that public school is seen as a refuge of the working class. Instead of paying for university, college is pretty much free, so instead, the kids with a fair amount of money go to private middle and high schools. Instead of being a privilege, it's basically a right and public schools are seen as trash in a way that I as an American can't quite fully understand. Justin can attest to this: the teachers would throw chairs and the school was severely underfunded. My high school sucked, but because of the tyrannical administration rather than lack of funding. In fact, we had such large programs (especially sports) that class started at 7:20 so that there was enough time for afterschool activities. The fuckers. There was also a little bald man who drove around in a golf cart making sure kids wouldn't cut class. It was atrocious.

Anyway, the show is based around three characters at a public high school, all played by the talented comedian Chris Lilley. There is Jonah, an islander immigrant who causes trouble (supposedly a well-known stereotype in Australia); Ja'mie, a bitchy private school exchange student; and Mr. G, an effeminate drama teacher who takes his role a bit too seriously. Hilariousness ensues. I think I like Ja'mie the best because I have actually witnessed girls like this. Lilley's characters are so spot on, it's scary. See her first moments:

The show is being broadcast on the BBC right now, I think, and will be on HBO in the future. Check it out!


i want a leather moto jacket so bad. i'm smitten with the way lulu and other fashion bloggers wear theirs. mike & chris make the most buttery soft and chic leather jackets, and i'll get one as soon as i have, oh, $1000 laying around. in the meantime, i'm scoping out zara, h&m, f21 and topshop obsessively for a cheap knock-off. keep your eyes peeled!

buy this one at singer22.

Friday, July 18, 2008

lucky break! (kinda...)

I've been lusting after French military-inspired label Heimstone for ages, but they are wayyy out of my price range. So today, as I was doing some online "window shopping", I saw that one of my favorite Heimstone pieces was almost 50% off at Le Train Bleu. The only size left was, miraculously, mine! So I ordered it right away.

So did I get a good deal? Considering the fact that I'm trying to save my money and I just dropped $300 on a dress...probably not.


I'll never advocate censorship of any kind, simply because I don't believe in it. As much as it sucks that the Westboro Baptist Church and the Ku Klux Klan have the opinions that they do, ruling that they can't say the things they say is a slippery slope.

That being said, Michael Savage, the third most popular syndicated talk radio host in the country (not to be confused with the lovely Dan Savage), is an ass.

Recently on his show, he said:

"Now, the illness du jour is autism. You know what autism is? I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is.

What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, 'Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot.'

Autism -- everybody has an illness. If I behaved like a fool, my father called me a fool. And he said to me, 'Don't behave like a fool.' The worst thing he said -- 'Don't behave like a fool. Don't be anybody's dummy. Don't sound like an idiot. Don't act like a girl. Don't cry.' That's what I was raised with. That's what you should raise your children with. Stop with the sensitivity training. You're turning your son into a girl, and you're turning your nation into a nation of losers and beaten men. That's why we have the politicians we have."

It's less of a matter of being angry with the government and way more to do with being disappointed in the masses. Rush Limbaugh is bad enough, why do people like this attract such a following?
{source: Media Matters}

p.s. His real last name is Weiner. How fitting!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

current love

{the tulip dress // 1953}

{the circle vest // 1963}

{the monarch // 1967}

other bloggers have been buzzing (maybe because the label was featured in this month's nylon?) about denim label current/elliott, and for good reason.

the label is designed by best friends emily current and meritt elliott, who also sell clothes under the name "maude". every piece they design has a historical reference down to a specific year which is indicated by the style names (the 1968 is a skinny jean, the 1971 a bell bottom) and the denim is produced domestically in los angeles.

right now, the only way to find retail info is to email, but i'm dying to get my hands on one of these pieces. well-tailored, vintage-inspired denim is pretty much every fashionista's wet dream.

see more here.

my M.O.:

"I am a big believer in Total Design, which means that I need to derive some amount of aesthetic pleasure from every single object I interact with over the course of a given day."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

salon and slate respond.

independent progressive news magazine salon responds to the new yorker debacle, and i think i completely agree:

Rush Limbaugh was right: The blogosphere's reaction to the New Yorker cover proves that the Bush era has killed a lot of liberals' sense of humor. And that's not funny. - gary kimaya

a quote: "Such reactions are utterly political and deeply skeptical: They're based on the belief that journalism is all about power, that it must cater to the lowest common denominator, and that the critical and ironic thinking satire requires is an outmoded luxury."

slate also has a good piece:

The New Yorker's cover illustration of the Obamas wigs out the chattering classes. - jack shafer

"Calling on the press to protect the common man from the potential corruptions of satire is a strange, paternalistic assignment for any journalist to give his peers, but that appears to be what The New Yorker's detractors desire."

Monday, July 14, 2008


le blog de betty is one of my favorites. i wish i had nabbed that h&m dress while it was still on sale. betty looks gorgeous in it.


in spain, everyone waits to do any major shopping until mid-summer, when there is an entire month of sales, referred to as "rebajas." i believe that this is the only time of year when stores have sales, and it's a bit fun to engage in the madness of a whole month.

for the rest of us, there are lots of good sales and deals going on right now.

-pixie market is having a grand ole sale on their site. there are lots of cute dresses and rompers marked down to reasonable prices. some examples:

-oak is in the middle of its 30/40/50 sale, where the first week, all things are 30% off, then forty, and finally fifty.

-on, there's an extra 10% on the fall/winter collection with code "YOOX8" will give you 15% off your entire order with the code "JULYSAVE"

happy shopping!

more opinions...

regarding the new yorker cover. i think these statements shed a lot of light on why the situation is so controversial. i'm reserving judgement about whether i think it should have been printed or not.

"The New Yorker might just as well put in a drawing of Obama planting watermelons in the rose garden. Yes satire. But also an image we don't want out of a careful context. Spike Lee even in his piece of genius 'Bamboozled', felt compelled to preface the film with Webster's definition for the word 'satire', and with film, it's much easier to keep the context and tone of its content clear. The people who read the New Yorker understand what it is. But we all know these things escape their audience and context and take on a life of their own too.

Here's what's going to happen. Fox News is going to have a whole day where they talk about nothing but this and repeatedly show the image just like they did with Wright. Then Limbaugh will be saying 'Well look, these liberals can make drawing like this and we call it harmless satire, so why did they give me so much grief when I played the song Obama the Magic Negro on my show. It's liberal hypocrisy I tell you!'."- comment on the daily dish, a column by andrew sullivan

"If artist Barry Blitt had some real cojones, he would have drawn the same cover but shown it as a gigantic word bubble coming out of John McCain's mouth — implying, you see, that this is how McCain wants the world to view Obama. But he didn't. Because that would have been unfair. And McCain would have complained about it. And for some reason, the risk that a failed satire would unfairly defame McCain is somehow seen as worse than the risk that a failed satire would unfairly defame Obama." - "political animal" column by kevin drumm of the washington monthly

and a well-worded comment that mirrors the intent of my original sentiment. this commenter lives in a red state and comes from a long line of republicans, yet doesn't think that the satire will go over their heads:

"All I'm saying is that I don't think anyone, or any group or any publication, should curtail public commentary (or dumb it down) because 'some people might not get it.' The solution to ignorance is more information for more people, no matter the risks." - from jezebel

watch us work it.

ohhh i love this song from devo. like melissa from shakesville, i didn't know it had made into a full video! it was in the commercials for xps.

just a pretty song.

i'm in the mood to post music. want some music? it's not new, but i love it.

grizzly bear - shift (acoustic version)

watch this version performed in a charming parisian bathroom, too. courtesy of la blogotheque's lovely live concert series.

that cover!

if you follow the media news, you know by now that some outrage has been made over the new yorker's latest cover, which depicts michelle and barack obama in all their mythical glory as the republican party portrays them: she's a militant black, he's a radical muslim. they are doing the infamous "terrorist fist jab" in the oval office while an american flag burns in their fireplace, which is just under a portrait of osama bin laden, presumably their role model.

before you judge the cover by its merits alone, there is quite a bit of context to be aware of: the new yorker is a very intellectual, white-but-liberal, new york-centric magazine. i read it sometimes because it has very analytical analysis of current events, features indie music and movie reviews, and also contains a fair bit of interesting random stories not covered by regular media outlets. i like that it spends as much as 18 pages on one story, rather than condensing things to fit in more articles. it is also known for it's silly yet smart (often too smart, sometimes i don't get them) cartoons.

the cover, to the new yorker audience, is a satire of the negative media frenzy surrounding obama and his wife. conservative media outlets (and others) have speculated that he is a muslim, that his wife is militant about her blackness (she majored in african american studies, the horror!), and that they are both unpatriotic. the rumors surrounding him have been awful. i think it's because he's a black man with a vaguely muslim sounding name that they have been so easy to believe.

where the problem arises is in how other people, the ones who aren't the "new yorker-reading type", will interpret this cover. will it soothe their suspicions that they indeed had been right all along? probably. but the new yorker has a very small readership, and i don't know if they anticipated all this media frenzy. if nobody except their subscribers and regular readers received the magazine, there would be no question as to how to interpret the cover. but if people don't take it as satire, which they might not, especially if unfamiliar with the more liberal intellectual (dare i say elitist?) tone of the magazine, will they assume obama and his wife are anti-american extremists?

i'm torn. on the one hand, probably. there are a lot of idiots in this country. idiots who watched wall-e while slurping on a coke and gouging on popcorn and missing the fact that they were the ones being parodied, not some far-removed future people that only exist in the world of pixar. i'm sure fox news is having a field day with this.

but on the other hand, i want to say fuck 'em. i hate pandering to the lowest common denominator. why should we sugarcoat and tiptoe so as not to offend or, more likely, appease the ones who will most certainly vote republican anyhow? i hate that about 39% of people still think barack is muslim, but hopefully those are all diehard republicans anyway.

the problem with the democratic party is that we are too often spineless. our greatest virtue is our biggest weakness. we value humanity, all humanity, and we have a need to help others. we also want to respect and relieve unequal circumstance. the australian ethicist peter singer said, on helping others, that "as long as it does not create undue harm or aggravation on the individual, they should be responsible to help others" (or something like that.) so we like paying taxes to help social programs (at least i do), and we feel the need to keep these programs governmentally-regulated so that they will always exist. i understand the privatized ethos, but it doesn't work. how many people are going to save a part of their paycheck each month for their social security, only to access it when they're in retirement?

people are flawed. i love humanity, but we are by no means perfect. it's sometimes hard to do things on our own, especially these days and for certain segments of the population. where you are born into the socioeconomic spectrum is a matter of pure chance, not entitlement. so when people are born into poverty, they have little chance of getting out of it. it has absolutely nothing to do with being lazy, it's simply a matter of circumstance.

where does this play into my point? well, us liberals are people-pleasers. we hate to offend. especially when there is such a large segment of the population susceptible to reading these messages from the new yorker cover as truth. so many of my favorite blogs, liberal, feminist, both, are outraged over the cover. they are outraged that this feeds into the stereotypes and gives the republicans fodder and is racist toward the obamas. this is why i feel the need to respond: because i am not.

i say fuck it. why do we care so much about this contingent that doesn't like us anyway? they aren't going to vote for obama. and as i said in defense of wesley clark's comments, if the cover can get one person thinking about the ridiculousness of these claims about the obamas, i have no problem with it.

because really, if us liberals are such pacifist pussies, why would we be working so hard to elect someone who wants to destroy america? i thought we were bleeding hearts, against all war and all killing. except babies, of course.


So Lindsay Lohan's leggings are finally on And they are dreadful.

Leopard print, side zippers (alright, they were cute when LnA did them) and knee pads are some of the styles you can purchase for about $100 a pop.

The ones with knee pads are called Mr. President, in reference to Marilyn Monroe. Knee pads? Is it more sexist of me to assume there are ridiculously sexual overtones to these or more degrading towards women to design such a pair?

I don't know, it just makes me feel gross. I guess it's supposed to be cheeky, but it reminds me of ultimate female subservience: not reciprocal sex, just female submission.

Perhaps I'm just uptight, or maybe my mind is excessively dirty. I'm sure if Yohji Yamamoto or any other "form over function" type of designer had made these, I wouldn't be so offended. But Lohan's not necessarily revered as the classiest or most avant garde person.

What do you think?


i'm obsessed with my rachel comey belt. i wear it almost every day. i need to stop, really.

last night i went to the movies with a few friends. we saw the AWFUL james mcavoy/angeline jolie flick, "wanted". don't see it. it wasn't even good while mildly drunk.

"wall-e", on the other hand, is an AMAZING movie. the whole anti-consumerism/pro-environmentalism undertones made me absolutely giddy. and it was just so beautiful and touching and well made. see it!

i'm wearing a f21 skirt, rachel comey belt, aa tank, and vintage granny boots. oh, and my purse? that's one of my baggu reusable grocery bags. my purse's zipper is broken in about eight places.

Friday, July 11, 2008

coulda woulda shoulda

this isn't what i wore today, but what i'd wear if it wasn't so disgustingly hot. i broke a sweat the minute i stepped outside.

{dress: topshop. belt: rachel comey. shoes: jessica simpson.}

sorry the blog's been a lately. i don't want to overload you with outfit posts or political ramblings, but my new medicine gives me so much to think about and so much motivation, ha! i sent my friend's mom a 5-paragraph essay about politics. she's a bit of a news junkie, and even she had to stop half-way and finish it later. oops.

next week i'll get back into the groove, talking about up-and-coming designers and posting new music.

shameless selfless promotion

hey everyone,

i encourage you all to check out the wonderful katlin's blog, urple. i love that she deals with fashion AND the racism that exists within the industry. maybe we can start a coalition of "fashion bloggers with a conscience." ...or something.

anyway, look over there!


"juno lied"

this is a great piece via feministing about how hard it can be for young girls to buy pregnancy tests. there shouldn't be an age restriction, and legally, there isn't one, PERIOD. there is also no age limit to buying condoms, and i know people have experienced bullshit like "you must be 18 to purchase."

the thing to do is to know your rights and assert them, even if it means acting "like a bitch".

that's my feminist rant for the day. well, so far.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

stay classy, faux news!

ohhh my god. liberal rant coming. NOW.

my dad loves to watch fox news. he's super liberal but watches it to "keep an eye on the enemy" as well as to have a good laugh. it's no secret that fox news regularly practices shoddy tactics.

some highlights:

-showing live footage of the exposed, bloody face of model ruslana korshunova, who died after jumping out of her new york city apartment building, for SEVERAL MINUTES...that one was thanks to geraldo!
-bill o'reilly's report on an "angry lesbian gang trend" which is actually just an outdated internet urban legend.
-the recent photoshop hack job they did on two new york times reporters.
-their interpretation of obama and michelle's "fist bump" as a "possible terrorist symbol" (?! haha, they're so white. have they seen ANY form of black culture in the past 20 years? or, um, white culture, for that matter?)
-calling obama's WIFE his "baby mama". are you fucking kidding me? would that fly in any other context? people unfamiliar with baby mama as a pejorative term should know that it generally refers to a man's "woman", who he is not married to and has several kids with. i'm just going to refer to cindy mccain as "mccain's mistress" from now on. but only because of the alliteration, y'all!

anyway, most recently, not some shoddy news practice (though those are regular), but just an example of such embarrassing american arrogance. it truly makes me ashamed to think that i share a country with such idiots. and even worse, idiots with a following! here's what went down:

on hannity and combs, that embarrassment of a show where super-testosterone-fueled conservative hannity makes wimpy-moderate-posing-as-liberal combs look stupid, they were discussing obama's statement about how americans should learn other languages. (oh my god, how controversial! isn't multiculturalism a part of primary education these days?)

they actually argued with this suggestion as if it made him less of a patriot to say we could learn a thing or two about other cultures. it's not as though he was saying "let's make america a bilingual country, under my presidency all establishments will have to conduct business in english AND spanish!" (can you imagine the outrage? actually, it'd probably just be good for business. can't you republicans see an opportunity when it hits you in the face?) they said that english is really all you need to know (one old fogey republican contributor prided himself on going around the world only speaking english and doing just fiiiine!) and that it was just anti-americanism to suggest otherwise.

am i living in a parallel universe? even in mainstream society, less radically progressive than myself or any other evil secular liberal person/news outlet, does anyone argue with the notion that we live in a global society where economic and social events happen across national and lingual boundaries? if we want to "fight terrorism", whatever that means, is it really such a bad suggestion that we understand the so-called enemy? i thought people who spoke arabic were in high demand to work in middle eastern affairs. so...why is it suddenly unpatriotic that regular americans might want to learn another language? and it doesn't have to be spanish. it could be maori for all i care. why is it so wrong to learn one of the 7000 other languages in the world? there are plenty of bilingual cities, i lived in one (valencia, spain.) there was a bit of a social rift between those who spoke valenciano vs. spanish, and in the entire country of spain, speaking catalan is a sign of regional pride (some people go so far as to want the region, which includes barcelona, to secede from the country.) still, i don't think anyone suggests that valencianos/spaniards/citizens of any country where people are multilingual love their country any less. conclusion...what the fuck? these people are idiots.

but in happier news, obama has a 30-point lead on the traditionally-conservative hispanic vote. ha!