Monday, June 30, 2014

My Me Moment

Summer time has finally come and made it's first appearance in my cocktail glass this weekend. There is nothing more I love than fruit, vodka and club soda poolside to relax while pretending I can hold a tan more than a sunburn

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Truths Thursday

Destiny is Calling--and She Ain't That Hoe From Around The Way

The people who make time for you are the ones you really should let in. They are the co-workers who want you to join the company team, the random friends who want to do dinner or coffee, the relative who takes the time to write and call. It's the people you have to chase down, cajole or constantly corral into being a part of your life that are the people who don't value the time, the energy or the friendship that you think you have.

                    Girl--the only call you're getting is from your past... Your "friends" are busy

I guess I need to work on being grateful for those who reach out to me and remind myself to try and reach out in return. It's scary to let new people in and take stock of old friendships just to realize that maybe they aren't what you thought. But the truth is you can't have too many friends and there is nothing better than being with someone who loves your company then someone you have to push to hang out.

So I'm trying to be more open to those who want to see me instead of trying to force people to make the effort to see me... It;s about time to embrace what opportunities the universe is giving me then trying to force it down a different path that may not be the same anymore. One of things you have to learn as you grow older is how much life changes you and by default the people you have in it. Embrace opportunities.

         This is what you end up looking like if you don't let go of the past and embrace the new. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Quote of the Day

Random But True

Friends can occupy the same room without robbing the space of solitude. They appreciate the difference between conversation and pointless noise. They don't snipe and bitch about other friends. They do their share of mundane tasks without prompting. They seldom whine, are secure in their own purpose and don't anchor themselves to an energy-sapping cloud of defeat and ready-made excuses when a challenging project presents itself.

I find this is very true and something I share with very few people.

I'm So Dorothy

Monday, June 23, 2014

Inspiration Monday

Flaming June by Sir Frederic Leighton

This is probably my favorite painting of all time--it followed me from my college dorm for 4 years, summers on the wall at my various homes and finally to the Dollhouse. It is probably the key reason behind my love of the color orange and the idea also of contrasting imagery that has carried over from my taste in art to music to how I dress.

I think what I have always been intrigued by is the use of unexpected visual pairings--the need to have the body cover as was the style at the time but with the obvious elements and edges of nudity within it between the curve of the model's hip, the rise and cover of the barely covered nipples and the long and graceful ankle and calf line seen before the bareness of the foot. It's both puritanical and risque in the same moment.

And the use of the color orange--a bright and vibrant color denoting warmth and energy--as draped in the clothing of the sleeping model is just as interesting because it creates a mixture of relaxation and energy. This disconnect--the eye usually associates sleep and resting with cooler colors like blue changes the portrait from one of plain and quiet repose to one of almost a catnap-like quality... The model rests not because of being tired but more as a re-charging moment before continuing the dizzy and risque day before it. It is both calming and invigorating for the eyes--a sort of party girl at rest--which is something I can relate to.

Here's more about the painting if interested--the background is a bit unique as well

The story of Flaming June

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Jams

We Are Done by the Madden Brothers

I recently heard this song while out cruising around with my friend Edie late one summer night... At first I didn't recognize the band name but the voices sounded familiar if not with the right sound. I have to admit that I was surprised when I found out it was the brothers who founded Good Charlotte.

Now here is the thing-the faux punk Good Charlotte sound never really appealed to me but I saw them as the opening act for Justin Timberlake with my friend Joy and was totally impressed. As live musicians they put on a really good show which always impresses me and makes me rethink the artists' catalog and while I didn't run out to buy their albums I was a bit more interested in their song.

Side note-this band has sucked live when I saw them--and the Sex Pistols called them out on it.

So finding out that the brothers Madden had founded a new band with a new song was a pleasant surprise and I have been playing this pretty much everyday during my zen downtime. I'm curious as to what the video will look like when it comes out but a lyric video will have to do for now.

Dance away people

PS--this man is rather hot in concert... Like bring extra panties hot

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Truths Thursday

You Gotta Have Experience To Be With Me

So this past weekend I went to the beach with my friends Edie and Valeska--we spent the day walking from the Santa Monica Pier down to Venice, went up through and  over to this cute artist/shopping enclave called Abbott Kinney where we had brunch, window shopped and explored the area. This is probably the most Californian thing I had done in ages because 1) I don't usually go to the beach because I burn and 2) Santa Monica is hell on Earth when it comes to driving

I look so happy here--it is also the last picture of me without a sunburn for 2014

Now besides a slight brag about the glamorous life of a hipster in Los Angeles--the trip was really important for one big reason. It had recently come to my attention (trademark Chloe Sevigny) that when I was hanging out with my friends lately we were really just spending our time recapping our work weeks and random issues then actually "doing things" together like we used to. And it was starting to affect my relationships because it felt more like I was just listing off things as opposed to doing things together--which is what helps create new memories and leads to exploring and building my friendships.

And there is nothing wrong with a little bit of "catch up" with the girls about work and relationships but I just felt like I was doing more "telling" than "showing" in my life with them and it had become a goal to really try and do new stuff whether it was exploring a new neighborhood or heading out to dance at an underground club night or figuring out a new recipe to try together for organic, low carb, vodka based drinks. Because when it comes to keeping relationships fresh and interesting you have to break out of the comfort zone and create new memories whether they are good or bad. It's easy to rely on a shared history in a relationship but it is also just as easy to allow things to just become routine and overtime it can run the risk of being something or someone you deal with because you have to.

I guess what I'm learning as I grow older is that every relationship has a certain amount of management needed with it; a certain amount of time where you make plans and put in the work so that it is fun and memorable because if you don't it could become outdated or even boring. It's about sharing and caring as much as it is about convenience  and compatibility.

And in the interest of sharing and experiencing new things--watch this

I want someone to describe me as having "casual arrogance"

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Life Hack

Instant Color

So if you're like me you have spent plenty of time living in an apartment; one in college, one post college, one with the person you're dating, another with the first long term relationship and then eventually your spouse. (I'm not going to say that you would live with your family in an apartment cause that just reminds me of how bad the LA market can be and how I will die in a rent controlled apartment in a sketchy part of town)

And I am blame these guys for this LA housing market

                                                    Thanks for nothing Bravo--ugh

So when you're living in an apartment it can be hard to make it feel like home so you end up buying Ikea because it is cheap and it looks like every other apartment you're in for the next 5 years whether it is yours, yours friends, or that one bad night you went home with the bar back from the Power House.

                                                                  RIP Power House

And while you can't necessarily avoid Ikea furniture when you're starting out--what you can do is something to help out with your boring and neutral colored walls to give the illusion of paint/texture/wall paper. It's super easier to do--you take that simple bookshelf from Ikea, Target or Goodwill and place them on the focus wall in whatever room you'd like to spruce up.

Focus wall: the primary wall you see in a space either from the doorway entering the room or the wall you see the most of from your primary piece of furniture AKA bed, sofa or kitchen table

Once you have placed the bookshelf you have a couple different choices you can make--you can either use a solid paint color, reusable wallpaper or traditional wallpaper (though this is the most expensive and least easy to change down the road.) You then paint/paper/stencil the inside back of the bookshelf--sans shelves-with whatever you like before you place anything in them.

It goes from this:

                                                          Yes we own a lot of Simpsons

To this:
                                                           But we are still super gay

If you use more than one bookshelf and place posters or art around them in the same color scheme it helps to trick your eye into thinking you have a painted and more colorful space. It's the type of project that can take only a day or two to do but will have a big impact--making it more personal without effecting the security deposit down the road. It will also get you lots of compliments and adds a certain level of sophistication to your space. It's a win/win.

So try refreshing your rented space with this simple trick--I find that more time you spend making a truly personalized space the more relaxing, friendly and unique you will feel about your home. And it's really those little things that make life extra special.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

"You'll look back at photos of yourself and recall (in a way you can't really grasp now) how fabulous you really looked" --Mary Schmich

This is one of those quotes that has always stuck with me--this idea that one day I will realize all the time and energy, bitching and moaning, dieting and crazy exercising was all one big waste of my energy and my time. That I was never as fat or awkward or pale or ugly that I thought I was and that I would realize how much better I was than I thought and how much more fun I could have had if I had taken that pressure off of myself.

I'm starting to get to that place in y head where I just stop being so hard on myself.

But it is hard when you have spent half your life fighting an eating disorder and the other half pretending that you finally put all the hangups that got you there far away. It took me a long time to throw out my scale, embrace exercise for how it makes me feel instead of a means to an end and now sometimes when the moon is just right I can see that it wasn't ever that bad and it might even be kind of good to be me. And I think the quote helps me try and put things in perspective--though it might be seen as counterproductive that one of my most inspiring quotes is from a late 90s pop night

Ugh ugh ugh ugh

Monday, June 16, 2014

Inspiration Monday

"The Eye Has To Travel"

Every so often there is a book, film, song or painting that inspires me so much that I feel the need to share it with all of my friends--this documentry is one of them. Diana Vreeland is considered the mother of the modern fashion magazine and some might even argue the mother of the modern fashion culture. When she was the editor of Vogue magazine she changed the way the fashion world worked by creating not only the world of editorial fashion but the idea that clothes were more than just something you threw on your back but instead an insight to world culture, personal beliefs and induviduality. She wasn't about what you should wear but how you should build a sense of style from not only your clothes but your manners, philosophy and world view. She makes Anna Wintour look like a ninny

Anna is NOT happy

And this documentary is not just a celebration of Vreeland's accomplishments--though she was one of the first to take the fashion spread on location, celebrated and created a little crazy called the bikini and gave us the Met Ball where fashion mixed with history, politics and Hollywood... It is an exploration into a mind that was fascinated by the human experience both personal and universal and how that tied into our shared experience. Few people can have such a ripple effect in history and serve as an inspiration to so many still today.

And while it might seem a simple film about fashion cannot be a serious exploration of what it means to be creative, there is a twist in the film that gives us the gift of her story; a idea about creativity and personal expression that I found to be quite inspiring. And even though Vogue might not be the cultural zeitgeist it once was--Vreeland's zest for life and her quest to find the simplest of meaning is still interesting and profound.

This shit would not fly in her house

My Me Moment

I found a new friend this morning in the parking lot...

Not sure where he came from but he's now my new favorite co-worker!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

My Me Moment

My fans love to stalk me... This picture just makes me laugh!!!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Jams

Fancy by Iggy Azalea

I have a complicated history with this song--I mean if you close your eyes it sounds EXACTLY like something Gwen Stefani and Eve would have recorded years ago. It's not that I don't like it but it doesn't feel truly original. And then I saw the video which made me love the song

See if you can figure out why

It's just such a total Baldwin!

My Me Moment

June Gloom

There's this weird weather that happens in LA at the beginning of summer-this thick haze that hangs over the morning sky that always reminds me of early fall on Nantucket growing up. It's chilly and cloudy and makes me inclined to put on a thick cable knit sweater and drink hot chocolate

But it's a trap.

I honestly believe June Gloom exists simply to make us put on more layers of clothes and start stews in crock-pots so that when it hits 95 by 11 am you have no choice but to suffer. It's California's way of tricking you into believing there is seasons and it's pretty fucking convincing 

The summer here is a cruel one indeed. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

My Me Moment

The type of gang I would belong to... Turbans and fringe for all 

Life Hack

I Don't Know Much Science But....

One of things I learned from living with 10 plus roommates (not all at the same time--it was the Dollhouse, not the Frat House) is that the bathroom can become one of the most complicated places in the home--especially if you share the same social life... And even though now it is just me and the husbear--we still have to duck and dodge around each other when it comes to the morning routine--and here is my favorite weapon in that arsenal.

Did you know that you can use a small amount of this old school shaving cream on your mirror and keep it from foggy up from multiple showers? I don't claim to understand the science but it really does the trick when you have to shave, do makeup or just get dressed in a hurry--no time to wait for the room to defog. It's probably my best grooming secret and can be a huge help when on the go!

You're welcome

Truths Thursday

Down With Irony

When it came time to try and relaunch my blog, I really wanted to sit down and rethink exactly what type of theme or idea I would have with the new page. It's not like I think the blog will make me famous or even infamous-I just wanted to create something I loved that combined my passion for fashion, art, music, social issues and a confessional aspect to it. And one of things I really thought about was how to make it genuine and authentic--I really wanted it to be positive and funny and maybe be something that could brighten some one's day. I wanted it to be a way to share myself and hopefully inspire others to do the same. At times the previous blog felt like it became too biting and shallow and a bit too ironic.

I've come to hate the idea of irony.

(Don't worry Alanis--your song is still fine with me)

The thing is I've come to find the idea of irony-or like/loving things in an ironic way-to be a bit of a cop out. Now the word has come to be something different than it's actual meaning (See above for example number 1) and it is very popular to voice your opinion on things this way. People love Pabst beer ironically because it so bad it's good, watch things like "Flowers in the Attic" and "Sharkando" because the acting is terrible or the CGI poorly done, and it's a badge of honor to have those type of ridiculous passions.

But loving things ironically gives you an automatic disclaimer--like if someone else points out why you shouldn't like a thing or how foolish a TV show is you can just distance yourself from your original opinion but making it seem like "yeah-it's terrible and I know it's terrible so I don't really think (blank) is great and all I really like is "Breaking Bad" and handcrafted home brewed beer." This love of the idea of irony has become a safety net that allows you to have "out" and takes away the responsibility of owning up to your own taste and interests leading people to always be able defer to the group consensus.

And that makes me sad because one of things I think is great about people, friendships, and being social is the idea of being able to share experiences and passions, being able to say what you love and share that love with others, passing along genuine ideas, art and discourse. Instead now everything can be cut down with an ironic joke or gesture.

I guess what I'm saying is that irony has taken the place of passion when it comes to how people feel about this, we don't celebrate what we love but instead keep it at a distance as though it might hurt if it comes too close. It's a shame because there is nothing bad about loving things that aren't perfect--whether it's ABC Family shows about teenage girls being stalked via text, pop songs about foolish things that have just really great beats, or movies about stupid things with great lines or books with really bad silly plots but characters that make you happy.

        (Even Zac Efron thought Vanessa Hudgins's "Sneakernight" was a good song)

At the end of the bad loving bad things isn't the end of the world--because there is obviously something about it that you genuinely care for. Maybe you like the outrageous prose in a Steven King novel or the phat beats in a Flow Rida song--it's okay to find the bits and pieces of things to enjoy in the midst of the sub par. In a way that is what life is, special moments, people, and ideas that are surrounded by the mundane or dull--it's learning how to find and appreciate the positive that gives life meaning.

That's not to say you can point and laugh at the bad things you had along the way--I still look at certain things in my life and groan but with a slight smile. We all have to sometime's own up to our bad taste in things but we shouldn't always have a default status on everything we like so we can be cool or disavow ourselves.

I mean--I'm cool there is a website possibly devoted to all my previous bad dating choices

                                            Dating Life Pre-Johnno or Bad Idea Jeans Central

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My Me Moment


This is me just relaxing in the pool at Camp Bradley... Somehow Edie took the first picture without my knowing what was going on since obviously I would not normally be posing in a bathing suit for anyone but yet.. I love how calm, relaxed and zen I look here. This is not something I am normally good at but something I should really work on. It makes all the difference in the world when you're able to just recharge and escape

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

You Got To Start Somewhere

Why Hello There Stranger

So I'm back.

It should be a bit more dramatic than that--after all it's been over a year and 2 months since I actually posted here. I could give a million excuses--I finally married my husband Johnno, I moved out of my home of 16 years--aka the Dollhouse--and into a home for just me and the man--aka the Clubhouse. There was a lot of other things that happened around me as well--a promotion at work, friends having babies, dealing with my family issues, trying to drop another 20 pounds but...

I got lazy.

I reached a point with the blog that I found myself either unable or unwilling to share myself here. I think part of it was with all the turmoil in my life I didn't know how to string my sentences together in any way that would be helpful or necessary--which meant it was time to walk away from the keyboard and handle my life. It was a hard but correct choice to go off the grid and get my house in order--plus it allowed me time to re-think what I really wanted this blog to be going forward.

That was a hard one.

So going forward this blog is going to be a combination of male fashion, inspirational ideas and projects, lifestyle advice mixed in with pop culture, sex and a commitment to trying to change my life and hopefully do some good along the way. It's going to be honest, hopefully and even more hopeful.

So I guess that's my promise to you... And if you have questions, ideas or smack talk then please comment away--I promise to give back what you deserve.

Let's do this