Archive for the ‘New York’ Category

The Handmaid’s Tale (Spoiler: it’s not a bedtime story. Don’t read it to your kids.)

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

Since it was my birthday last week and I am officially enmeshed in my forties I have decided to complain about the weather. Is it getting muggier or is my tolerance for The Mugg getting lower? Let me tell you what walking to and from work in NYC was like recently: You know when you went to the water park and you wore normal clothes, not a bathing suit, and you got on the water floom thing and then for the rest of the day your damp underwear tried to crawl into your butt? That’s what it was like, but all over. And the smells! So vibrant! So rich! At one point I thought everyone in Manhattan had thrown up in unison because that’s what it smelled like. I long for eternal autumn.

Okay, now that’s done, The Handmaid’s Tale. Whooooo. Not a fun show. Beautiful and evocative and pertinent, but not fun. I was concerned about Season 2 because the book that the series is based on ends with Season 1 so Season 2 is not based on anything. It could have gone horribly wrong. It did not. I mean, it did (it’s about a dystopian society where most people are infertile and the earth is poisoned) but in all the right ways. One of the things I love about the show is how the director and cinematographer pulled from Flemish and Dutch art of the 1600s, predominantly Vermeer. I studied that period of art so I saw the references right quick. I was delighted. Here are shots from the show:

Here are some paintings by Vermeer:

And here are some additional paintings from the same time period as Vermeer:

 

Blatant ripoff that I 100% support.

ADDENDUM: What makes this show so good is there’s a distinct lead character. However, there are a variety of secondary characters that I would like to learn more about. If they killed off the lead and then followed one of the other people I would be okay with that because the showrunners have set up a richness that can be plumbed in many directions. I vote they go Game of Thrones, kill of the lead (sorry Elizabeth Moss, you’re awesome) and then tell someone else’s story.

What I’ve been up to. (Normally, no good. This time, actually good).

Sunday, July 29th, 2018

I would love to say I’ve been busy with cool, rock-star-esque activities but let’s be real here: I went to some classical music concerts with The Moomins and I am teaching myself After Effects. I was never, no will I ever be, hip or cool in any manner.

First, the concerts. The Moomins bought tickets for a bunch of performances at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall (it’s been renamed David Geffen Hall but I ain’t havin’ any of that ish; David Geffen is the juice, Avery Fisher is the sauce) and she always gets two in case my dad wants to go with. He did not want to go with so I was drafted into the Going to the Concert Army for the day. This particular night was a Baroque chamber orchestra doing Bach and Handel, specifically Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto and Handel’s Water Music. You know both these pieces. The Brandenburg Concerto is used in a lot of high-end product commercials. Play it and think of a Lexus commercial. There ya go. Handel’s Water Music you know from, I don’t know, weddings and graduations or maybe other high-end product commercials. Music from the Baroque period seems ideal for shilling overly expensive objects to the bourgeoisie. Anyway, the concert was good and the harpsichord they brought in was good but they had the dumbest-looking lute I’ve ever seen in my life. Baroque lutes normally look like if a banjo and a guitar went to a steampunk convention.

Fine. Weird stuff happening near the twisty knobs, but okay. The guy comes out on stage with a ginormous lute where the frets end at a reasonable spot but then the neck continues on for, I kid you not, another four feet. It was taller than the guy. How much better is the sound that you have to lug an impossibly large instrument around with you when you could have a… not impossibly large version? That seems like self-imposed suffering. The lute looked like this:

Jessica: Ask Her About Her Strong Feelings Regarding Baroque Lutes.

Now on to topic #2: Learning After Effects. I’ve been making a real effort to learn this program because I’ve been doing presentations for over ten years and I’d like a bit of change. Animation is super-interesting to me so I made a bunch of stuff to update my portfolio AND teach myself this program. Let me take you on a journey.

When my company won Walmart as a client a few years back they decided to use The Spark in their campaigns, the yellow thing next to the name. So they figured out how to use it and break it up and incorporate it in things so if you’re paying attention you can pick it out.

And then this past December my company designed a sign that said “Rock This Christmas” with a snowman playing guitar, a penguin playing a saxophone and various other Christmas and/or music-related imagery.

So, armed with that knowledge, I designed two Walmart signs – one for Halloween because have you met me and one for summer to show that I have range and I am not a goth nightmare. For the Halloween one I made all different types of costumes using a variety of ethnicities and genders and if you look closely you’ll note I incorporated some Spark in each and every child. <3

Also please note that I made a little representative image on each treat bag that corresponds with the costume. The werewolf has the moon! The witch has a cauldron! The pirate has a parrot! The clown has a (not red) balloon! The mummy has an ankh! (I struggled with that one.) Then I assembled a variety of these kids on a composite similar to the Rock This Christmas one above. I got to put in candy corn and other candies and spiderwebs and an owl.

After I finished and it was to my liking I replicated the composite and started building a summer-themed version. I was psyched about this one too. I got to make cactii and popsicles and hell yeah I put in crabs because who’s gonna stop me. Also note the frequent use of Spark bits.

I know. I am very pleased with myself. So in order to give myself a challenge I decided to animate the “Fun in the Sun” image using After Effects. I would say I’m about halfway there.

I’ve done the blue background, brown base elements, words, waves, cactii, crabs, sunglasses, orange slice and pinwheel. I still have to do popsicles, beach balls, flip flops, shorts, the corner bits and fireworks. I’m getting there. I’ll keep you posted.

Whipped Cream Ballet.

Friday, July 6th, 2018

I went to the ballet with The Moomins, y’all! It was my birthday present from her to me. We went to the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center, known for its profoundly awesome light fixtures. I have been going there since I was a wee tot and you’d think I’d be used to the chandeliers by now. I am not. I stare at them and greet them like old friends and God forbid one day I am allowed to touch one, I may lose my cool in an epic fashion. Fluids will come out of my face. There will be drool and tears.

I could buy a small one but I don’t feel like dropping three grand on it. Maybe one day. When I win the lottery. After I buy a ticket.

Anyway, culture and art. I own several books featuring the work of the artist Mark Ryden. I don’t know if I’ve spoken about him before, but he is a spectacular oil painter who predominantly paints three things: Lincoln, prepubescent girls, and meat. I don’t know why that’s his jam but it is. Regardless of his odd subject matter the quality of his painting, specifically the detailwork, is about as good as it gets. Here are some samples of some of my favorites of his.

     

Ryden is clearly influenced by one of my favorite painters Jan Van Eyck (famous for his mastery of the oil paint medium and all of his people lookin’ like Vladimir Putin.)

ABT (American Ballet Theater) has a artist-in-residence, Alexei Ratmansky, who decided to bring back this obscure ballet from 1924 called “Schlagobers” (“Whipped Cream On Top” in German). It was written because WWI had just happened and there needed to be some light and joy brought into the world. Alexei thought the only person who could capture the creepy saccharine quality of this ballet was this particular painter so Ryden made illustrations which were then translated into stage sets and costumes by professional set designers and costumers and it’s something else, I tells ya. Here’s a picture from the ABT website.

I was astonished by how faithful the sets and costumes were to Ryden’s original drawings. It’s perfect. It’s a ballet in two acts. The first act was lovely but kind of meh. Nothing particularly special happens.

  

The second act, however, is where the magic is. It opens with a hospital where a giant-headed doctor dances with nurses carrying giant syringes.

 

And then after they leave a parade of insanity saunters out on stage. I might have straight-up cheered. I could not find an adequate picture. Here’s Ryden’s original interpretation.

And that’s precisely what waltzed across the stage. Here are sections of it.

   

Here’s the best picture I could find from the end of the ballet.

Are you seeing this? Are you appreciating the giant two-person yeti? Are you appreciating the candy worm who drags himself across the stage on a little dolly and waves his tail around in support of the other dancers? Are you appreciating the tall thing with the ears which is called the Long Neck Piggy? The small children dressed as cupcakes who hop up and down with elastic suspenders so their cupcakes go boing boing boing? It does not get old.

In addition there were three anthropomorphic bottles of alcohol that get the doctor and nurses drunk so the main character can escape the hospital (don’t ask, the plot is not the strongest element to this ballet) and they were fantastic. You can see them in this photo – one guy was Vodka, one guy was Slivovitz (Eastern European plum liquor) and the girl was champagne.

I would recommend seeing this ballet because it’s amazingly weird and you know, Ryden. Here are a few other drawings of his.

 

 

New York observations.

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

1. On my way to work every day I come out of a tunnel that goes from Grand Central Terminal to further up midtown. There is a fancy glass office building being built across the street from the exit and the windows have a neat white faded pattern that have a top and bottom. It’s subtle, but it’s noticeable. Which is why I’m wondering when the building owners are going to notice that one of the windows was installed upside down and how they plan to fix it.

2. Additionally on my walk to work: Has everyone seen Moana? There is a small blorp of asphalt that is mushed up the sidewalk for some reason or another and it always reminds me of the anthropomorphic wave in Moana.

3. Occasionally I take a cab to work if the weather is garbage or I’m carrying something heavy and last week it was sleeting so I cabbed it. No biggie. When I got into the cab the cab driver was on a conference chat with like three other people. Also not that unusual. What was unusual was the cabbie who, shortly after I got in, decided to hold a prayer meeting with the other people on the conference call and they all starting being infused with the Holy Spirit. I was not thrilled with that. I do not want a person who is control of a large metal vehicle that has me encased in it traipsing through city traffic shaking their head and speaking in tongues. That’s not what I look for in a driver. I tried to casually video some of it and I isolated the sound. I was holding the phone down by my side so the cabbie wouldn’t see so you may have to turn up your volume but trust me, it’s worth it.

speaking-in-tongues

(I knew it was Christian-based because at the end the cabbie said, “Mumblemumblemumble HOLEE SPEEREET mumblemumblemumble JEEZUS CHRYYYYST.” But for a while there I thought maybe they were going to conjure a djinn or something.)

4. I didn’t go and see the window displays this Christmas but I did walk past one window that made me quite happy. I think it was the giant H&M on Fifth Avenue. They had cool giant dandelions aaaaaaand a big ole hare made of yarn! I thought he was great.

I loved that the window designers went fully into textures and kept the color palette super-muted. There was a giant yarn fox and a giant yarn otter in the store but I’m a rabbit-lover to the core so the hare was all I needed. I vote that this be the window display for the rest of the year.

5. The Westminster Dog Show happened this week and I watched religiously and picked my favorites and none of them won, the usual. The thing that stood out this year was The Camera. Let me explain. Normally, the cameras are manned by humans and I never had a problem with that. This year The Powers That Be at Westminster decided that they didn’t want live bodies on the judging green, they wanted robot cameras. On the main area where cameras that looked like tank turrets merged with R2D2 and that was fine.

HOWEVER, during the Toy Group I noticed someone off to the side. I say someone because I could have sworn it was a person. Look in the upper right-hand corner of this screengrab.

Uhhhhhh, who the hell is that? I eventually figured out that it was a robot camera wrapped in purple cloth but I could have sworn it was a person. Tonight was the finals and they moved The Camera right into the main shot where I couldn’t stop staring at it.

Even worse The Camera followed the dog presenting so it appeared extra-sentient.

So while I was supposed to be saying things like, “I love that fluffy dog’s ears,” I was yelling things like, “Why is the freakin’ Grim Reaper helping the judge?!??”

I hope next year they leave the camera naked. I’d rather see the inner workings of Robot Cam and I would imagine everyone else would too instead of being reminded of their own inevitable demise during the Terrier Group.

Italian-American wedding. I was not ready.

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017

I feel like, having lived in the diverse tri-state area for the all of my life so far, I have been exposed to many different cultures and their customs. I had not, however, been to an upscale Italian-American wedding. It was… intense. I’ve been to upscale Jewish weddings and I thought they were lavish but I was WRONG and INCORRECT. Let me give you some backstory: the couple is from Staten Island (Italian-American Mecca #1) and New Jersey (Italian-American Mecca #2). I’m surprised when they walk around, this music doesn’t automatically play in the background and the smell of fresh pizza wafts through the air.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UMbXxkWqPw

For the rest of this story I will give the bride and groom the pseudonyms JJ and Esteban to protect their identity. I went to the ceremony which was fine, standard Catholic ceremony, very sweet, the bride looked beautiful, parking in Hoboken was difficult, nothing out of the ordinary.

After that we drove into the wilds of New Jersey to the reception. Okay. I used to mock Esteban that his family made this commercial (pertinent part about halfway through with Scarlett Johannson):

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/marble-columns/n12141?snl=1

So imagine my unbridled glee with we pulled up to The One And Only Westmount Country Club (that’s its name).

Here’s a better picture I found on the internet.

Guys. If I had to sum up this place with one specific description, it would be “rainbow-cycling LED uplights.” It was on the outside of the building. It was in the trees. It was in the entry hall. It was in the floors of the reception area and in the chandeliers.

After walking under this glorious castle-like overhang I was greeted with glossy veined marble stairs with uplighting between every stair and fifty small chandeliers that changed color (you can see some of them in the back part of the picture). My friend Børkke had to pull me aside and remind me to behave myself because OMG.

There were attendants passing out drinks and hors d’oeuvres, all dressed in long, t-shirt material evening gowns and elbow-length black gloves. There was a stack of champagne glasses with small amounts of colored flavored syrup and the attendant would pour champagne into them.

There were plenty of snacks in the hallway – an assorted meat cart, an assorted cheese cart, a big plate of fruits, little snakkies, ladies bringing festive drinks around – so I thought that was a light cocktail hour. It was not. It was TRASH. We were eating TRASH from a DUMPSTER compared to the cocktail hour. Eventually they opened the door into the cocktail hour and it was pure gluttony. It was so fancy and excessive I kept waiting for French revolutionaries to storm the building and execute us all via guillotine. There were, I kid you not, maybe fifteen stations. I’ll try to remember all of them. There was veal scaloppini, risotto, chicken tetrazinni, arancini, kale and white beans, prime rib, thick-cut bacon and a full suckling pig wearing a chef’s hat. Those were the hot station with servers. Then there was the seafood area, complete with a two-foot tall ice sculpture of a fish, and that had oysters and crab claws and jumbo shrimp. There were about twenty different salads and a huge pile of pickled vegetables, antipasto-style. There was a person with a fancy shiny silver slicing machine and he would cut you molecule-thin strips of prosciutto. There was cheese. There was a fruit platter the size of a baby stroller. And, I might add, that’s only the parts of the room that I saw. There was a whole lot of remaining room I did not explore. There was more. It was insane. I was not well-behaved. Esteban came over to say hi and thank us for coming to the wedding. Did I say, “You looked nice?” Did I say, “It was a beautiful ceremony?” No. What I greeted him with was, “WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME IT WAS LIKE THIS?? I WOULD HAVE BROUGHT TUPPERWARE!!” Favorite picture of the night: someone offered to take a picture of our group of friends and said we should put down our plates and smile. I flat-out refused. Nothing interrupts Shrimp Time.

Eventually cocktail hour ended (why??? why did it have to end???) and in order to inform us that the proper reception was going to begin an otherwordly thing occurred. A bored, visibly pregnant attendant wearing the t-shirt evening gown and the elbow-length black gloves walked around the room like a spectre strumming a small set of chimes which sounded like when they have a flashback on a TV show. I feel like that’s what happens when you pass away in your sleep: a dead-eyed pregnant woman enters your dream slowly walking around in a stretchy black dress and fancy gloves making woobly-woobly sounds from a tiny percussive instrument. That’s your cue to get coins to pay Charon so he can ferry you across the river Styx. As soon as this apparition departed the lights dimmed and a curtain rose up to reveal the reception hall. At that moment I gave up all pretense of being a calm collected human being and started cheering and clapping. I was the only one. Everyone else was whelmed. I was flipping out. There were flowers everywhere and silver chafing dishes on the table and an 11-person band and swirly lights bouncing off of the giant chandeliers. I ended up taking a ton of pictures because the lights kept changing color and I couldn’t decide which color palette I liked best. After much culling of jpgs I’ve decided on this one.

The two bars in the back of the room looked like giant chrome spaceships. And there was a woman live-painting the party off to the side of the dance floor.

My only major complaints are, when announced, the couple did not rise up out of the floor and during the first dance there was no smoke machine workin’ overtime to create faux-mist. Way to drop the ball, Esteban. Other than that it was lovely. There was drinking and dancing and dinner, all of which was fine.

And then I saw the fire.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man wheel what appeared to be a crucible filled with liquid metal into the middle of the dance floor. I blame Game of Thrones for this, but does everyone who watches the show remember in Season One when Khal Drogo gives Jerkface McBlondDragon a “crown” by pouring molten gold over his head? Great scene. Here’s a link. You can start it about halfway through.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Akl6OK2HUNA

So when this made an appearance I was like, “Oh no, someone did the family wrong and as a gesture of goodwill they’re going to kill that person in the middle of the dance floor! This wedding is amazing! And horrifying! I am awash in emotions!” Turns out it was an enormous baked Alaska and it signified the beginning of the dessert train. Following the baked Alaska was the wedding cake (which was small and tasteful and did not have white doves or a naked lady pop out, so meh), then there was a guy on a bicycle pushing a full gelato stand (holy crap), but the piece de resistance in my opinion was the giant shiny brass chocolate fountain that had milk chocolate on one side and white chocolate on the other and they cascaded down and around each other in twinkling gravy boats into a huge punch bowl with a partition in the middle so the two chocolates didn’t mix. After that came the full espresso / cappuccino cart but who cares because did you see the chocolate fountain? I now know how the wayward Israelites felt in front of the golden calf. I was obsessed with the chocolate fountain.

https://youtu.be/5gVs3iA-Ef4

And then there was more dancing and more frolicking and then it was over and we took some flower arrangements and went home. If you get invited to any event, a circumcision, a tax-filing conference, anything, at the Westmount Country Club, I highly recommend you go. Here’s a promotional video that has the chime ladies. And additional footage of the flaming dessert.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gMUnVMRuzo

Warning: It’s gonna get disgusting.

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

But not too much. We’re going to dance around the disgusting, hint at it, and then dart away quickly. You’ll be fine.

First, an inevitability has happened. I have found the only animal that grosses me so much I had to look away from the television. Let me explain what it is before I show it to you. It’s a plaque of barnacles that fell off of a pier or a boat and the living barnacles are opening and closing their front door which looks like a cat’s nictitating eyelid (already gross) and then instead of an eyeball being in there fingers come out. FINGERS COME OUT OF THE EYELID HOLES OF THINGS CLUSTERED ON A BLOB THAT LOOKS LIKE NEW YORK STREET GARBAGE. Nightmares for life. You ready? Here we go.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmfohJ7wMZA

10632615_10205012089039050_7899087754041843610_n

Second thing, I have a good old-fashioned stomach virus. I haven’t had one of these in twenty years! So exciting! They are pretty much how I remember from my youth. Someone I did not remember: vague hallucinating. Nothing drastic but juuuuuust enough to remind you of your unwell state, similar of how people describe pot (“Did you ever really look at your palm, man? I mean, really look?”). Two instances that happened today:

  1. When I was in the shower I realized I was doing that owl motion where your head moves back and forth, back and forth. Because I had just realized, guys, items in the foreground move more than items in the background! Trippy! And I probably should not have been showering without supervision! https://media.tenor.co/images/7f4af3eff9fe127d0bb3bdb41c08206c/raw
  2. I looked at the toilet paper roll packaging and it said “double roll” but I read it as “death roll” which made me think of crocodiles and how they kill their prey and then I might have dozed off on the can for ten or fifteen minutes. This has not been a day of peak excellence.

But I’m healing and soon I will be no longer infectious and that will be nice. Until then, Gatorade and Tums are my best buddies.

Chickens and Cookies.

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

Two interesting things happened recently. First, I was hanging out with my sister K. near her apartment in upper Manhattan and we were taking her dog for a walk. Coming towards us was an older gentleman and his sweet dog who my sister of course knows because all the dog people in her neighborhood know all the other dog people. I ended up chatting with the gentleman for about 10 minutes while they walked their beasties and he informed me that he is an animal trainer and groomer. He said he’s trained all kinds of animals and goes to conferences regularly. Here’s where it got awesomely weird – he said, “I was in Reno recently training chickens using the clicking method. Chickens are tough, they get bored easily and run away and then you have to run around the room trying to catch them. I thought, since we were in Reno, that I would train my chicken using dice. I got one die and started by teaching the chicken to pick it up, then I taught it to drop it at my command. Basically by the end I had taught the chicken to play craps.”

So that conversation happened. I went on Facebook later that week and sure enough, there’s pictures of him training his chicken.

12036715_10206108323001841_1415617885215249902_n

I didn’t ask his permission to use the images, therefore I blurred out the faces as a courtesy. Because I’m a nice person.

The second thing was cookies! Specifically, I painted cookies. Cricket’s sister was getting married and she was asking various friends and family to contribute their skills and talents. I figured I could paint the bride and groom’s initials on cookies and they could be given away as “thanks for coming” presents. So I was given cookies (I don’t bake so good) and I set up my icing and purple sugar crystals and got to work.

cookies1

I officially hate the letter “M.” “D” was so much easier to paint. From now on I will only do this for people who’s names start with “I.” All you Iagos out there, you want cookies? Gimme a call. When the icing was dry I put them in bags with Hershey’s Kisses and tied them with pretty ribbon that I curled myself. There were 42 bags. I curled so much ribbon, guys. Like all the ribbon on earth. I got real good at it too. I am a ribbon-curling master.

cookies2

And as people were leaving they could get a bag of cookies and a bottle of wine the couple made themselves. It was a lovely parting gift.

cookies4 cookies3

 

Things and bits.

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

1: I’m going to need this map. Someone make a kickstarter for this map that I can fund.

http://obviousplant.tumblr.com/post/143170362883/how-many-us-states-can-you-name-left-in-a

 

2: Look at this penmanship. Look at it.

tumblr_nie609enI61s2y1m1o4_1280

 

3: Low Cost Cosplay. A bunch of guys in what I  believe is Thailand take famous characters or celebrities and recreate them using crap found around their house. I don’t know half of the things they’re referencing. Doesn’t matter. Everything they do is a gift. They have a Facebook page that I highly recommend you join. https://www.facebook.com/Lowcostcosplay/

13217131_1701801626735226_5268121504778953152_o 13120025_1699111373670918_1443147786158368012_o 13350483_1710464929202229_8200297440351399517_o 13392033_1713131752268880_5692378289529279292_o 12901555_1688158554766200_1328848793773148011_o 12496286_1662631923985530_2958062590053834658_o 12322937_1687641094817946_8538659669888968927_o 12909633_1687244324857623_1051040607072655453_o 12901196_1688153651433357_4010591428159624323_o 12795239_1675395612709161_959857443991867559_o 13119948_1698742983707757_6307258915111140104_o 13391544_1711933359055386_2742059039260964570_o

 

4: In keeping with the Comic-Con-esque theme of the previous bit, I saw an amazing video of Alina Salina, a polymer artist, making a Cheshire Cat pendant. I’ve worked with polymer clay extensively and I can’t figure out how she did it. Maybe she’s using a particularly hard version of polymer clay, or she puts it in the fridge, but it does not go mushy when she works with it. Phenomenal work. Except for the part where it’s only the eyes and the substructure. That part is terrifying. Other than that, so so good. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7W54j-iP9O8

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 11.24.38 PM Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 11.43.19 PM Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 11.44.37 PM

 

5: Whenever I have downtime I like to visit The Best Of Tumblr. Tumblr… how does one describe Tumblr? It’s a collection of short thoughts and images and if it’s clever or pertinent enough and gets a ton of reblogs it ends up on The Best Of site. I think this picture is an excellent example. I love both the comments and the names.

tumblr

This is also an excellent example of Tumblr. Every person that comments makes it better.

goldilocks

 

6: I got an email saying, “Hamilton tickets available now!” Oooh, I’m down for that. How foolish and naive I was. I clicked like an idiot, saw the prices and was all HELLNAWWW.

hamilton

The email should have said, “Hamilton tickets available now if you’re willing to sell your plasma forever!” That would have been far more accurate. That’s some tricky BS, Ticketmaster. Shame on you.

TV posters and my present obsession.

Saturday, March 12th, 2016

As I walk to work every day I am passed by a ton of city buses that have advertisements posted on the side. They zip by rather quickly so you only have a second to absorb the information presented. Which is how I got two shows very confused. See, there’s a show about what appears to be a family with a gay son.

The-Real-ONeals

Okay, fine, but there’s also a show that I believe is about a son that disappears and a kid who shows up years later and claims to be that long-lost son but who knows?

family-abc

The posters designed for buses are nearly identical in structure with the son in the center and two family member on either side in a row. Long story short – I thought they were the same show for several weeks and was very confused and a bit offended. Why is it shattering this family that their son is gay? Is this 2016 or what? C’mon, Mainstream America, get with the program. Then I saw a 30-second spot for The Family and they didn’t mention homosexuality at all which threw me for a loop. Seriously, it took waaaay too long for me to figure out what my issue was. It’s a good thing I’m so pretty because Lord knows I ain’t smart.

Sometimes I go through a phase where I need to see every single YouTube video on a topic. For while it was power-washing videos. Then it was cyst-popping videos (don’t judge, it’s a thing that’s very popular, I am not alone). Now it’s nail tutorials. Oh my gosh, so much glitter. I don’t even really paint my nails because I need them short to type and work on my artsy endeavors but I’ve been like, “I’ll just wash one or two videos…” and then next time I check the clock is six hours later and I’ve grown a Rumpelstiltskin beard and Trump is already president. There are two channels I watch the most of. First there’s Naio Nails out of Yorkshire, England. I tell you the English bit because the accents of the ladies explaining are glorious and they thrill me no end. Really any video is good because they talk in all of them. Their voices are so soothing. Here are some of my favorites.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clo4pqeJ7GI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Mw1o4iMPYA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEcZt4dOdDE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCY5xLRFz-k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcXSJs2KThc

The other one is Simply Nailogical. The woman who does this channel, Christine, her voice is… less soothing. I sometimes watch her videos with the sound off. However she does some great techniques and she uses so so so much glitter. It heals what ails ya, all that glitter. Here are some of my favorites of hers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ffd58TL8wls

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYxhMJWi82I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZYG5jSGqpI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2CjRKxsgIY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBSWTiaouPI

Beware, the nail tutorials. They will steal your soul and all your free time.

beware-lolcat

Christmas Windows!

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

Yeah, I know it’s around the end of February. You shush, I can get to things when I get to them. I saw very few windows this year and I don’t mean to sound like a jaded bourgeoisie snotbag but there’s only so many times you can see super-ornate windows before you’re like, eh, another super-ornate window. And many stores (I’m looking at you, Bulgari) do the same thing every year so it’s mind-blowingly awesome the first time you see it but as my grandma always said, “You see one giant glowing hinged snake covering a building, you’ve seen ’em all.” This year the two windows that really spoke to me were one specific display at Lord & Taylors and Bergdorf Goodman. First, the Lord & Taylor one. It was a cuckoo clock, a big one, all white with cute forest creatures hanging off and rotating around. I’m a sucker for a squirrel and a bird and a bunny so I tried to get out of people’s ways and watched for a while. It was so soothing and pleasant. Thank you, Lord & Taylor.

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Bergdorf proved something I’ve been saying for forever which is if you cover something with crystals it immediately becomes fantastic. I make a point to avoid using crystals because even though it works I consider it an easy way out. Who doesn’t like sparkly-sparkly? I think I mentioned this while working on the Ocean Reef Costume. Yup, yes I did. Bergdorf Goodman did a partnership with Swarovski Crystals so the encrusting, it was crusty. I must say I’m insanely impressed at the amount of work that clearly went into these. You need to glue each crystal down onto the substrate individually. So. Much. Work. Much props to the artists who worked on that. There were five major windows of note. First, the royalty one. Winner of that window: The small green Chinese Crested dog.

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Next, the purple mining window. I thought this was the weakest of the lot. The gigantic resin stalactites looked weird. Don’t get me wrong, it was spectacular, but it was the least spectacular of the bunch. There was a winner here too: the bat in the corner.

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Then the Neptune window. Most people don’t know but Swarovski, in addition to making crystals, makes high-quality fake pearls. That was what this window highlighted. The winner here: it’s a tie between the sea turtle and the jaunty shrimp.

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Ah, the sugary treats window. By far the most impressive, not because of the content, but because both all the items displayed AND the entire background was covered in hand-placed crystals. The amount of time that must have took is mind-boggling. The winner of this window: that crazy-intense background work.

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And finally the psychic window. The big wheel in the background spins slowly. The winner: the giant left hand.

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They show a bit of the creation process in this video I found.