[on why office conversations never quite work for me, part 17]

1: ooh, blackouts everywhere!

2: [checks transit site] oh, it's the upper east side. no husband for me tonight.

3: your husband is connected to the electrical supply?

2: yes, i have an electrical husband.

1, 3: [silent]

2: great for housework, not so good for the beach.

1, 3: [silent]


after two years and change at a women's magazine, i've finally started absorbing the culture. it's an extremely gradual process - i still refuse to let strangers [or friends, really] pour wax on me, and i have a hard time spending more than about $50 on shoes) - but there's definite seepage. i subscribe to daily candy and have actually started trucking out to sample sales, for if there's one thing mama taught me, it's that many things are more satisfying when they once cost four times as much as they do when you acquire them. it works in reverse, too, especially when it comes to fortuitous work discounts and freebies: when i inherited a pair of It Boots from corporate christmas a few seasons back, i turned them around on eBay for enough to buy a much-needed bookcase for the apartment. the ingenuity on my part was minimal, but o, was i ever pleased with myself. designer labels that turn into furniture aren't half bad.

i got an alert yesterday about the US release of the anya hindmarch "i'm not a plastic bag" bag. for the uninitiated, it's a limited edition, comparatively cheap ($15) designer grocery bag that created a frenzy in the UK and has been reselling for several hundred dollars online. a few thousand of the local version went on sale today at a handful of stateside boutiques. the math on this one seemed easy: i could wake up a few hours early, queue before work, drop $30 (there's a 2-bag limit) and possibly earn some money (or, you know, earn a little less money and keep one for myself). i was at the store by about 9 (an hour before opening), and installed myself at the end of a hundred-person line.

i...lasted about ten minutes. to pass the time, i cracked open douglas's james brown book, which made me consider what douglas would think of lining up for a bag. then i ran through my schedule in my head, thinking that if i was extra-sleepy after getting to work, maybe i could cancel my free skin cancer screening at lunch (?!)* or skip out on donating platelets at the blood bank this afternoon (?!?!). then the light rain turned into real rain, i decided the universe thought i was an asshole, and i took off. i still think the math was solid, but i couldn't handle trading two hours of my life for The Sack Keira Knightley Brings to the Farmers' Market. i'm a pansy.

and you, internets - what would justify two hours in a queue for you? i'd do it for...tickets to a smiths reunion show. or to cast my vote in '08. speaking of, how 'bout that bloomberg?

*post script: it's a good thing i kept that appointment. they told me i have Suspicious Moles.


there's no pleasing me. when joe and i spend the weekend decomposing in front of the television, i bellyache about all the new york we're missing; when we ping-pong across town, as we have for the past few days, i feel cheated of several good naps. though i'll probably be fantasizing about those naps for the rest of the afternoon, i will admit that i was amused.

wabes and i made our annual trip (her second, my third) to the renegade craft fair (expert rundown from design*sponge here) in mccarren park pool, an up-and-coming venue at the border of williamsburg and greenpoint.* since i finally learned to leave joe at home, we had hours to wander among the booths and hemorrhage money. all things considered, i think i was positively restrained: i picked up an owls-on-a-bike kitchen towel for $6, a cicada tank top from supermaggie for $20, and split a $5 bag of handmade stationery and coasters from sesame letterpress. if i believed we had any extra space in our dish drawers or on our walls, i'd probably be out several hundred bucks. say what you will about the inconvenience of steep prices for handmade goods, but buying directly from a crafter never gets old.

aside on craft purchases: if i haven't yet convinced you to visit etsy (a highly searchable and distinctly excellent marketplace), do so immediately. because listing and selling fees for vendors are so low (20 cents and 3.5%, respectively), prices are a fraction of what you'd see at most galleries (where commission rates are typically 50-60%) - and the selection is unbeatable. sure, you sometimes have to wade through amateur nonsense to find the good stuff, but a lot of really talented artists have gone etsy. it's a fantastic site.

i could also tell you about the unexpected nudity joe, my dad, and i encountered at a one-woman show on saturday, or the joan osborne concert we caught in prospect park with meg and david and my friend eric (on loan from london) saturday night. detailing the former, though, would ruin the surprise if you happen to see said show - and the spirit of the latter is best conveyed in this photo. rock on, park slope; rock on.

*the 'up-and-coming' part is a little weird, since a derelict depresssion-era municipal pool is in theory a brilliant place to hold events and in practice a lawsuit waiting to happen. during the day, there's enough reflected heat in the pool to poach a hipster faster than you can say "lcd soundsystem" - the paramedics were giving a girl oxygen at the fair entrance when we showed up. weather wouldn't be a problem after dark, but a lot of the pool's old machinery is rusted out and still in place; tetanus, sprains, and concussions, o my! i vote for the grassy part of the park next year.


the golden compass needs to come out now.


tell me, have you heard of this "trash the dress" thing the kids are doing now? featured in a new york times piece on sunday ("is this any way to treat vera wang?"), it goes something like this:
FORGET throwing your wedding dress into a plastic bag and storing it in the attic. Enter the Trash the Dress photo session, in which the bride, post-wedding, jumps back into her gown and puts it through its paces — swimming in it, wearing it on horseback, even burning it — all while her photographer clicks away.
damn it, i agree with gawker ("Or you could sell the dress on Ebay and donate the cash to charity. Bitch.")! i hate agreeing with gawker!

i have a lot of issues with TTD, particularly with TTD as articulated by the site (trashthedress.com) mentioned in the times piece. excepting one or two shots that, i must say, would be at home in vogue (hint: not the ones involving swimming pools, homages to that one love scene in from here to eternity, or apparent dowry death), most of the photos claim to be saying "look, honey, i'll never need this again because i'm so committed to you!" and in fact say "good thing i'm so committed to you, because i'm a megawhore!"

the TTD thing wouldn't have really worked in my case: my dress cost about $300 a full six years before my ninja seamstress and i attacked it, so the vogue-y juxtaposition of ultra-haute fashion and urban decay is out. i also didn't give a damn about tripping all over grass and mucky cobblestones on our actual wedding day, and how do you trash a dress that's already covered with footprints? i'd like to say that the conspicuous consumption is what kills the concept's appeal for me (and it should), but i think it's actually that waiting to rock out until your wedding day's over is sort of...the opposite of punk (though the point confuses me - just look at what it's doing to my grammar). having the best day ever without worrying about your clothes is one thing, and a great thing; the whole "isn't it sexy to ruin something expensive?" is something else entirely.

...or i'm thinking too hard about something that's little more than a way for photographers to squeeze even more money out of gullible wedding clients (i think it's pretty telling that the vast majority of TTD photos are just as trite as land-based, ultrasincere portraits). who can say? ladies, would you trash the dress? gents and lady-partners, how much is it worth to you to have a photo of your bride on fire riding a horse through a bog?


brain dump 004 [mid-month nonsense]

field to plate, a state-by-state guide to seasonal availability of fresh produce. speaking of fresh produce, check out douglas's "project omniherbivore" posts, where he details his adventures in trying to prepare and eat all veggies (ex. cardoons and black radishes).

vegetarian meal plans (via melissa). cassie young, a vegetarian in british columbia, posts week-to-week meal plans (with shopping lists!) and recipes. i can't wait to try her lentil, radish, and orange salad with spinach, and she seems to have cracked the mystery of the cold buckwheat noodle salad dressing. hooray!

the new york age quiz (from time out new york). i am 44, apparently; this is george's fault for taking joe and me to the village vanguard for jazz a few months ago. the quiz results page consoled me and (ironically) suggested i attend live music shows more often. how old are you, internets?

the hairy-footed pygmy gerbil, close to extinction in the jebel marra mountains in darfur (there are reportedly about 100 left).

lolcat veronica mars, via television without pity.

thrice-cursed etsy! this week someone made a bag (my favorite color, my lucky number, and a big bug!) AND a tchotchke just for me. need money tree.

also afoot in kidchampia: a mass migration to a castle in ireland. seriously.


i think i finally understand what it feels like to have harry potter fever: i just saw the trailer for his dark materials: the golden compass and nearly started weeping with excitement. nicole kidman as mrs. coulter! daniel craig as lord asriel! question, though: who on earth will kevin bacon play (seriously, he's in the credits)?