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weekend update

Sooo, TV’s biggest waste of airspace, the Oscars, were on last night. Did you watch? I passed. I figured if Seth MacFarlane was hosting there would be more than a little bit of singing, and since that’s always the worst part of any Family Guy, Cleveland Show or American Dad episode, I wouldn’t be missing much. From what I gather from reviews of the show, I was right. Apparently the theme for the awards show this year was music in film or some such. As I’m not in a drama club, nor a Gleek, I’m glad I passed.
That said, I’m more than happy to pass judgement on everyone’s attire. Something I feel like people could benefit from remembering is that fashion and glamor are two different concepts – fashion is about the shock of the new, while glamor is defined by desire and mystery. Unfortunately, many in Hollywood try for both and possess neither. But that’s ok – the Oscars probably shouldn’t be viewed the same as Milan or Paris fashion weeks. Ultimately the red carpet is for the couch-potato critics like me – the velour tracksuit wearing, middle American living, People magazine readers.

I’m so jazzed that Jennifer Lawrence won! I for sure thought she didn’t stand a chance slash was kind of confused as to why she was nominated, but whatevs, good for her! And the best part is that now they can promote the next installment as, ‘Hunger Games Part 2 – starring Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence’. But there will be plenty of time for mocking that later – let’s get on to mocking the way people look.

Lawrence/Dior

Lawrence/Dior

Jennifer Lawrence pulled off the perfect red carpet look – plenty of drama but not too many complications. The silhouette of her dress was knockout, and there was no fussy styling details detracting from that. Her swept-back hair, neat silver clutch and delicate jewelry were all in harmony. She looked like a genuinely nice person who deserved to win. Bonus points – the internal structure of her dress kept it looking great from every angle. Plus, the texture seemed to ensure that it didn’t look shiny or crinkly. Likes it!

Hathaway/Prada

Hathaway/Prada

I think it’s safe to assume it wasn’t Anne Hathaway’s intention to be upstaged by her nips, but that’s exactly what happened (kind of like how on Friends there was a span of about 3 seasons where you could see Rachel was cold in every scene). It’s actually the darting in the dress, but the resulting look is the same. I don’t care for how the satin holds its shape all the way down – looks like a stiff bridesmaids dress or something you’d wear to prom circa 2001. Plus, I feel like the look is too angular and sharp. Apparently she started talking about poor/starving people in her acceptance speech? She needs to get over herself. Bring back Princess Diaries Mia.

Adams/Oscar de la Renta

Adams/Oscar de la Renta

I LOVE gray, possibly more than anyone else, but this dress just looks dirty. Or like a rain cloud a la jimmy dean breakfast commercials. Plus, it’s just too huge for words. I wonder how many times she was stepped on? And if she shed, haha, leaving a trail of feathers. ‘Oh, there goes Amy – heading toward the bathroom.’

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Witherspoon/Louis Vuitton

Witherspoon/Louis Vuitton

The color Reese Witherspoon chose to wear was gorgeous. Flattering, different and of the moment (read, trendy) while the cut kept her dress classic. Plus, it looked great with her old-Hollywood-styled hair. I like this older, post-Ryan Reese. She seems more at ease with herself and clearly doesn’t take herself too seriously.

Chastain/Armani

Chastain/Armani

Jessica Chastain looked elegant and timeless, but my first impression was ZZZZZZ. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like every time I see her she’s wearing some neutral-toned something or other and being pale with red hair. Yawn. However, the beading was nice and I’m digging her Harry Winston frosting.

Aniston/Valentino

Aniston/Valentino

Jennifer Aniston knows her brand and knows what the public wants her to be – the nonthreatening, smiley girl-next-door. She’s made a pretty decent career out of this, and she wouldn’t want to jeopardize anything by going off-brand in some cray Bjork dress. So, throw on a strapless something, have a great blow-out, and smile a lot. Bingo bango bongo. Job done.

Michael Douglas leads his wife actress Catherine Zeta

Yo! Catherine! Beyonce wants her dress back! Catherine Zeta-Jones is gorgeous. You know that, I know that, we all know that. But, more often than not, she leans showgirl, partic in swooshy metallic. I feel like at home Michael Douglas is just like, ‘Oh, you‘ while she parades around in headdresses.

Kidman/L'Wren Scott

Kidman/L’Wren Scott

My personal winner! Nicole Kidman is a must show for the red carpet – her choices tend to be either brilliant or brilliantly awful. This, I’d say, is one of the good years. Major props for wearing a gown straight off the catwalk (I know I said red carpets were not a place for high fashion – this is an exception). Her look is #27 from the London Fashion Week show by L’Wren Scott, which took place just last week. Add to that a demure smile and clearly besotted husband, and you’ve got yourself a winner.

Stewart/Reem Acra

Stewart/Reem Acra

This is an example of a ‘why is she here’ moment – Kristen Stewart. Maybe she presented. Idk. Suffice it to say, there isn’t a dress in the world that could make Kristen Stewart look like anything other than Kristen Stewart. There’s really no other way to describe it. She’s in Reem Acra, and it’s feminine and refined, but she’s on crutches and her hair looks insane and you get the feeling there either was a tantrum earlier or there will be one soon. But she’s K-Stew. That’s how she rolls.

Are designer jeans still all the rage? I feel like in these times of ‘economic uncertainty’ they’re really not. It’s more about having the right look than the right brand. The right fit than the right logo splashed across your ass. However, if this is the case, as I know it is, is there any market for secondhand designer schwag? In particular, I’m thinking of consigning a bunch of jeans for a slight influx of cashmonies.

I’m kind of a jean whore – I have no less than 20 pairs, of which I wear approx. two with any regularity. The remainder are essentially all (expensive) impulse buys. My fave pairs cost a grand total of maybe $50. So, anyone want in on my Joe Jeans? My J Brands? My 7 for All Mankinds?!?! I can certify that you can’t even tell that any have been worn – mainly b/c they haven’t. I recognize that I’ll get hardly anything compared to what I paid, but I’m ok with that. Anything is more than I’d get from them just taking up closet space.

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(Remember the time when Dooney and Bourke bags were all the rage? Thank god that crass craze is over. Anything that screams ‘I need logos to validate my existence!’ is a poor fashion choice. I’m looking at you Coach and Louis Vuitton. The only time it’s acceptable is when it’s by you, for you.)

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Have you ever sat down and actually considered what you own of value and how much it’s actually worth? I have surprisingly little. I have quite a collection of stuff, but nothing that could fetch over maybe $500. Designer bags, jeans, snowboards, some jewelry…that’s about it. Nothing electronic – my TV is old as crap and my laptop is a complete piece.

I don’t even have a pair of Beats headphones to potentially be held up for on the street. It’s kind of depressing. Leads to that old question, if there was a fire, and you could only save one thing, what would it be?

born rich

born rich

My answer? Umm…actually, I’m not really sure. In this day and age there’s hardly anything that can’t be re-acquired. I’m sure something of sentimental value would come to mind in the heat of the moment (pun intended), but until then I prefer to keep all my jewelry on and my money in the bank.

However, if something did go down, you can be damn sure I’d bill the insurance company for one million dollars. B/c who are they to know that I don’t have first editions and impressionist masterpieces in my room?! ‘zactly.

impressionism-1

In other news, have you ever tried to play Apples to Apples with a bunch of super stoned people? If you haven’t, DON’T. If you have, you know what I’m talking about. It’s beyond ridiculous – the card with the word will be lying face up on the table, and people will ask, no less than three times each, what it is. Hazy vision I suppose. Plus, as if that isn’t bad enough, all of a sudden everyone decides to take every definition literally. The subtleties of an office cubicle as an example of ‘savage’ or the MTV music awards as ‘excruciating’ are lost on people who discredit your submission b/c they ‘sometimes like watching the performances.’ Just a little weekend tipski. You’ll thank me later.

note - this is NOT one of my actual friends. i dont associate with uggos.

note – this is NOT one of my actual friends. i dont associate with uggos.

Know what makes me sad? When the Nationals break my heart. Even though to some degree it’s expected, it’s really not. I thought for sure they were going all the way. Why the hell else would I have devoted countless hours to watching, attending and following baseball this past summer? #saditutde :*(

I was going to write a post Friday morning about the euphoria of Thursday night, then decided against it on the off chance that my seldom-read blog would somehow jinx them. All for naught I suppose, and now I don’t even have a written record of how good it felt for one day. le sigh.

Know what makes me happy? Shopping and new things; it’s a problem. Retail therapy is an addiction, and the high hardly even lasts that long. However, I’ve purchased some real gems lately, partly b/c it was recently my bday, and partly b/c I just damn well felt like it. So, I will now be telling you ALL.ABOUT.THEM. Be excited!

Last week I had to return a dress to Banana and ended up finding the perfect sweater dress. I’m officially in love. It’s gray and black striped and looks great with my new gray suede boots. I thought the one I had returned was going to be my new go-to, but alas, ‘twas not to be. It was a black shift dress with ¾ sleeves and leather trim and it was straight UGLY. Fit like absolute crap and was possibly the most unflattering thing I’d ever put on.

The perfect purchase! (not me, obvi)

After my Banana stop, I headed over to Sephora to make good use of the gift card my guy’s family so thoughtfully gifted me for my bday. I have a subscription to Birchbox b/c I’m a complete product junkie, so I had a hard time narrowing my skincare purchases down to a reasonable amount. Hence, my splurge – hotrollers. (!!!) I had a set in hs, but these are infinitely more awesome. (They should be – cost a pretty penny.) I have yet to master actually using them, but they look awesome in my bathroom.

Saturday night my guy and I went to CoCo Sala for a joint bday celebration, and let me just tell you, the best part about that outing was getting dressed. I finally got to wear this snazzy little number from ASOS that’s been sitting in my closet for ages. If it wasn’t backless, I would DEFINITELY have worn it to work, b/c really that’s where I spend the majority of my time outside of my house. Verdict – go to wear clothes you love, but not for the food. Wasn’t all that.

Speaking of, wearing new threads today! Makes Monday ::this:: much better (that’s not much, but it’s a start). Particularly a Monday after your fantasy team is annihilated by Aaron Rodgers (44.60pts) and Jordy effing Nelson (34.50). FML.

‘My feet are soaked, but my cuffs are bone dry!’

In case you’re wondering, (I know you’re not, but work with me here) shopping deetz for my outfit are as follows: shoes, Aldo; cropped pants, Target; collar necklace, ASOS; nail polish, essie – devil’s advocate

Two of my favorite books are going to be (re)made into movies this year – The Great Gatsby and Anna Karenina. Both are period pieces and are set to feature fabulous jewelry – TGG will be outfitted by Tiffany and AK by Chanel. Needless to say I’m beyond stoked. Tiffany is celebrating its 175th anniversary this month – it first opened its doors September 14, 1837 in New York’s lower Manhattan. Get this – the first day’s sales totaled $4.98; a far cry from today’s standards.

I love all things fashion, but particularly how certain brands have managed to become iconic, both in America and worldwide. Images representing Tiffany and Chanel continue to be some of the most easily identifiable, both through marketing campaigns and 20th century PR. When I think Tiffany I automatically think diamonds, and when I think Chanel, it’s straight pearls. Back to my original point, Chanel is outfitting the cast of Anna Karenina because Keira Knightley is playing the lead, and she’s currently the face of Chanel.

Ms. Knightley starred in a movie I saw over the weekend – Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. As the title suggests, it’s a bit of an unsettling concept; Earth is set to be demolished in a couple of weeks’ time, and society has basically ground to a halt. Flights are canceled, televised news casts/print periodicals/basic sources of information are no longer available as everyone wants to be with their families, and rioting reigns supreme. Amidst it all, two people who have been neighbors finally meet and become friends in their search to find a way to reunite one with an overseas family and the other with a high school sweetheart. Left alone, they await the end of humanity together and finally realize what life is all about.

So – here’s the kicker – the movie is saying that basically it takes a life shattering event to finally come to some semblance of an idea of the meaning of life. That’s depressing as hell. It took everything I had not to start sobbing uncontrollably, simply b/c it’s just such a dark idea. It speaks to our most basic existential crisis (at least mine) – what’s the damn point of it all? And, if we do ever figure it out, will it only be at the very end when there’s no time left to sit back and be relaxed for once? I’m not looking for pure bliss here, just an even-keeled contented existence. Sitting back and just being for once – no racing thoughts, no worries about money or careers or the endless suffering of others. I guess until that time comes I’ll continue to try to lose myself in movies and books, per the usush.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was departing for New Orleans for my bests’ bachelorette party. Well. It was pretty much the trip from hell. Not literally, b/c the girls I went with are great and we had an awesome time once there, but airlines straight up suck major dick. Delta royally screwed us by not only canceling our Thursday night flight, but bumping us off our Friday am flight for a Saturday am flight. Following? Yea, it was confusing at the time too. Long story short we ended up flying into Lafayette and renting a car for the 2 hour drive to NOLA through Baton Rouge rush hour. Fun! But, more importantly, I learned that you can drive like a complete jerk off in a gold Chevy Cruz with Florida tags and no one seems to notice anything amiss. Must remember this for my next car purchase…

it’s delux son, delux!

Once we were finally settled into our cozy abode near the heart of the French Quarter everything began to come up Milhouse. Except actually brunch first thing on Saturday was an overrated, over priced crap fest…so, yea. We went to Brennan’s – famous for ‘introducing the leisurely breakfast to New Orleans’ – aka everything has poached eggs and some form of cheesewhiz Hollandaise*. Aside from the comped strawberries with cream (procured due to our entertaining natures) and the tableside bananas foster, the entire experience left much to be desired.

After Brennan’s, we decided to wander around Bourbon Street before our appointments for voodoo readings. Yes, psychic readings, and not of the Esmerelda/hazy crystal ball/beaded curtains variety. Phillip, our hilariously gay deadpan empath, was eerily spot on. We decided to go in as a group to save time, and right from the get go he said stuff about each person that made the remainder of the group glance nervously around and say, ‘that’s sooo Raven’. If you’ve never had a reading before, like me, you’re probably inherently skeptical, but there’s a certain percentage that wants to believe. Either way, homeboy could tell me things about myself that no one would be able to get w/o my telling them.

did you know she came out? found THAT out in NOLA

Apparently, my new motto is ‘fix it or fuck it’ – b/c I have plenty of patience, but absolutely zero tolerance. Fact – I hate stupid ppl and get extremely frustrated when things aren’t right. So, from now on, either fix it or fuck it – you’re done. Bonus points for Phillip – he had a ‘fatty’ blowup doll (still in the box) casually leaning against the wall next to his half eaten fried chicken and macaroni salad ‘dinner’. You can’t make this shit up.

for some reason, this reminds me of donald faison. if only we were that lucky

Speaking of fried chicken – NOLA – Emeril’s restaurant, makes a pretty bangworthy interpretation. Picture below. More of a write up is warranted for this fab restaurant, but I’m lazy and this is getting old. Suffice it to say it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in Old…Swampy.

Tonight is the night DC fans have all been waiting for – our first look at RGIII on the field in a Skins uniform. Granted, it’s only preseason, but it’s hype-worthy none the less. Unfortunately I’ll be unable to watch as I’ll be en route to NOLA, and Delta is a POS airline w/o direct TV. Key words from above = PRESEASON and NOLA.

That’s right – I’m heading to the Big Easy with my favorite girls from college for a pseudo bachelorette weekend. (‘Ah, New Orleans. The Big Easy. Sweet Lady Gumbo. Old… Swampy.’) NOLA is one of my favorite cities in the US and I can’t wait to share it. We’re going to be lazy, drink delicious concoctions and eat all the fabulous food. Honestly, according to my (self-made) itinerary, it seems as if all we’re going to do is eat – and I’m more than ok with that. Reviews to follow upon my return.

I know everyone is beyond stoked about RGIII (see above), but I wanted to give a shout out to another DC superstar – the Nats’ Gio Gonzalez. Not only is he adorable, but he’s an amazing pitcher and team player. I’m a recent convert to the baseball scene, but I’m pretty sure last night was a banner night for him. He a) pitched a complete game, b) won the game, leading the Nats to an MLB-best 25 games above .500, and c) hit a 2 RBI homerun! What a stud!!

I just really appreciate everything he’s done for the team (solid, unselfish play) and the community (inspiring fans a la Angels in the Outfield. sigh. I miss Tony Danza. Whatever happened to him?) I recognize that it’s a team sport, and I have special places in my heart for the rest of the gang – Morse, Strasburg, Zimmerman, Harper and LaRoche in partic – but Gio’s smile makes it seem as if it’s just a bunch of guys out there having fun. And if having fun helps them win, their winning helps me have fun. That’s the circle of life right there.

I’m about to get real real corny with you – this is a post about my hero, my dad, AND is written on a Sunday, clearly breaking the no post weekend rule. THAT’S how important my dad is to me.

I suppose hero is the wrong word choice – my dad has never pulled a cat from a burning building, or caught a thief who snatched an old woman’s purse. Hell, he doesn’t even break for squirrels. But, none of that matters to me, b/c he’s pretty much 80% responsible for the awesome person I am today.

A little background – my pops is an old man. Straight up – he’s turning 68 on Tuesday (I’m his oldest and only 26). He’s been retired since I was in 8th grade and has basically just hung around the house since, living the dream. He worked his ass off my entire childhood (traveled constantly, late nights at the office) to make sure that our house was paid off and we had everything we needed. We didn’t always get everything we wanted (ahem, name brands), but we never went without.

My dad and I have always had a unique relationship. Early in high school he tried to be tough (‘I expect straight As’), but after my brothers turned out to be less than ideal academics (‘I expect A B C honor roll’ ??!) he morphed into the lax, funny dude he is today.

To my recollection, we’ve only had one fight that lasted more than a day – and it was my fault to begin with. I was the one who broke curfew to stay out all night with some guy and then lied and said the movie had run late (way to go 14 year old me!) Other than that, we shouted over where I’d go to college, but in the end I gave in. And thank god! Otherwise I would have ended up at a subpar school close to home simply b/c my then-boyfriend was there. Pops 1, me 0.

My dad has stood by practically every decision I’ve made, even those I’m sure he could tell weren’t going to work from the get go. He scrimped and saved early on so that he could provide me with 4 years of school debt free. Hell, just recently in a moment of insane irresponsibility I put a $500+ flight on his cc simply b/c I wanted to get home from a business trip 12 hours earlier, and when he called all he asked was if I would be home in time to join him for dinner.

This is getting sappy and long winded, but I have one last point to talk about. My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 3 years ago. It started with a slight tremor (‘fack Dad, stop shaking that damn newspaper!’) and has progressed to a relatively crippling disease. Luckily, he’s still able to function independently, but it has affected his motor skills in that both his hands shake to the point where detailed work, such as writing and typing, has become arduous and taxing. He currently takes medicine that is supposed to lessen the symptoms, but it’s not capable of fully eliminating them. Thus, he has a few good hours in the morning before the medicine begins to wear off and make him nauseous and dizzy.

It breaks my heart to see my strong, independent dad so miserable. He tries to joke about it (‘what’s the point of me getting an ipad? It’d end up like an etch-a-sketch’) and keep the severity from my brothers and me, but I know it’s taking its toll. To try to stay sane, he builds kayaks in our gazebo out back. These turn out beautifully – all shiny with lacquer and intricately detailed – but there’s always the underlying concern regarding him and a table saw (80/20 joking). He’s since branched out into hand carved paddles as well, but the market for these is a bit, um, niched.

paddlefun.com!

He no longer goes kayaking or bike riding solo. A quick aside – his bike is now this bad ass incumbent trike with this bright orange flag on a pole off the back, so cars can see him as he goes whizzing by. My dad doesn’t have too many friends (by choice), but the few in his crew of bros have been as supportive as they can by going with him when their schedules permit. And of course, the OG bros – my brothers – live at home and try to keep him young. (Pops says he’s the only 68 year old living in a dorm.)

‘you’re my boy blue!’

Enough rambling. Today my dad was supposed to go to the Nats game with my brother and his gf (a Yankees fan – blech), but is having a bad day symptom-wise. The more responsible of my two irresponsible brothers called to let me know and to ask me to stop by to check on him, so I’ll be spending the afternoon with him – watching the Germany game, and soaking up some QT with Pops – the man, the myth, the legend. Father’s Day is supposed to recognize fathers everywhere, but I say to hell with that. All I care about is making sure my dad knows that I’d do anything for him. But the beauty is, he’d never ask me for a thing.

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