Sunday, January 14, 2018

Thank You for Being on Trend: Golden Oldies Then and Now

Top (dress): Modcloth
Skirt: Macy's
Shoes: BAIT, Zulily
Bag: Marshalls
Belt: Amazon
Sunglasses: Candie's, Kohl's

Picture it.  Jenkintown, 1980-something.  A classic beloved '80s sitcom is featured on a current beloved sitcom that's set in the '80s.  That's right.  "The Goldbergs" yukked it up for "The Golden Girls" in a recent episode.  Now, this is the part where I ask myself, self, should I take a beat here to explain "The Golden Girls" and "The Goldbergs"?  Probably not.  I mean, it's not like you live under a rock or something.  But just in case there are any rock dwellers out there who just happen to have internet access, here it goes:  The Golden Girls are/were eccentric ladies living together in Miami, and the Goldbergs are an eccentric family living in a suburb of Philadelphia.  

Now that that's out of the way, we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming.  

In this episode, the Goldberg clan becomes smitten with the four feisty Floridians, humming along with the theme song (yes, even crotchety Murray [Jeff Garlin]!) and picking out their favorites.  Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey) is particularly taken with the idea of having gal pals to laugh with once her schmoopies are grown and gone.  So, as part of her Bevolution, which is her self-improvement plan (and yes, that's what she really calls it), she launches a mission to forge lifelong friendships stat, an ill-starred effort that involves strong-arming her fellow PTAers into bedazzling sweaters and answering to belittling nicknames.  Confrontations are made, heart-to-hearts are had, and hilarity ensues, all to the tune of a cover of the Golden Girls theme song.  Also, there's sledding on lunch trays (a failed ski trip somehow factors in).  Betty White does not make a cameo.  The only thing that could have made it more iconic would be Shaq doing commercials for Gold Bond (because of the gold, not the Shaq, as he's clearly '90s territory).  Well, that and a Betty White cameo.

So.  To celebrate this turduckan of cultural Culture Club-era camp, I made this gold Go for the Golden Girl Necklace.  Or rather, as I say in its Etsy listing, "gold-tone."  (This is The Tote Trove, not Tiffany's.)  

Ah, gold.  The Big G.  What a winner.  It's the color of Beverly's big, bouffant hair, and the shade of the Miami sun.  Also of liquid gold Velveeta shells and cheese, which is something that domestic divas Beverly Goldberg and Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty) would never dream of serving to family.  Those two would get along, I think, what with their big mouths and manipulatively matriachal ways.  Or maybe they'd destroy each other, just like the dinosaurs.  (What?  The dinosaurs didn't destroy each other?  T-Rex ghost, you've been lying to me.)  But there's no need for a face-off.  Because . . . (sing it with me, now!), you make new (TV) friends but keep the old; one is silver and the other's gold(en).  Unlike the dinosaurs, "The Golden Girls" and "The Goldbergs" will never die, living on forever in syndication.

Sounds like a reason to gorge on shrimp parm and cheesecake to me.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Snow Falling on South Jersey: Entertainment Blitz Blizzard

Top: Wet Seal
Skirt (dress): Macy's
Shoes: Christian Siriano for Payless
Bag: Nine West, Marshalls
Belt: Marshalls

It's been snowing a lot in my neck of the woods.  Which I hate.  Because snow is cold and dangerous and prevents me from wearing my very best outfits.  Still, if you don't have to be out in it, it does have its charms -- e.g. curling up with a good book, Pinterest page, or premium cable binge-a-thon.  So, I took full advantage, traveling to sunny California to catch up on "Silicon Valley."  Also, I made this very tropical Fantastic Flora and Fauna Necklace.  You know.  To remind me that Memorial Day is slumbering somewhere beneath the permafrost.

So, "Silicon Valley."  This is a show that I shouldn't even like, but love.  As an artsy-craftsy girly girl who thinks "dress" when she hears the word "code," it seems unlikely that I'd be interested in the trials and tribulations of a boy's club of wisecracking technies.  Then again, "Silicon Valley" is really about a bunch of underdogs doing their thing, which is something I'm always on board with.  Also, I really dig wisecracks.  

I can't help but root for Richard (Thomas Middleditch).  As the head of the pack, he's a beta alpha dog if ever there was one, the ultimate David to Corporate America's Goliath.  He's brilliant and painfully awkward and never stops trying to get his brilliance out there.  He's like an artist that no one understands but who knows he's got something special.  Of course, there's a part of me that sometimes thinks, wait a minute, though, he's not an artist.  He's an engineer promoting a product that's supposed to make people's lives easier.  But most people aren't as smart as he is.  So why doesn't he just add the Word-Help-Paperclip-clone Pipey (yes, as in Pied) thing to the software to walk people through it?  Sorry, Richie, but remember, this is the technically-challenged part of me ranting.  The trailblazing creator part still thinks you're badass.  Anyway, you do adopt Pipey.  And win over your biggest regular person user critic, Bernice.  So, well done.  But all of that, like everything else in this show, becomes moot because of some crazy plot shift that I no longer remember.  It's this chaos -- and Pied Piper's deus ex machina ability to rise above it -- that makes "Silicon Valley" such a great dramedy.

That said, if Richard has the goods, then Big Head (Josh Brener) has the life I'd most want.  Because no matter what troubles assail him (and there are many), his response is always, "whatevs."  In this way, he is high-strung Richard's foil.  He never lets his circumstances cloud his outlook, or a quest for power hamper his happiness.  When he discovers that he's a guest lecturer instead of a grad student at Stanford, he copes by showing vaguely computer sciencey movies, starting with The Social Network and ending with the sophisticated cyber stylings of You've Got Mail.  He's content to be the easygoing court jester, guzzling his ever-present Big Gulp the way most Pacific Northwesterners suck down Starbucks.

So, maybe he's on to something.  Because anyone who can make a sno-cone-like drink from snow can't be all that bad.  

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year, No Fear: On Wednesdays We Wear Black

Sweater: Mudd, Kohl's
Skirt: Material Girl, Macy's
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: Delia's
Yellow bangles: B Fabulous
Green stretch bracelet: Parade of Shoes

Top: Bisou Bisou, J. C. Penney's
Yellow tee: So, Kohl's
Skirt: Xhilaration, Target
Shoes: Penny Loves Kenny, Zulily
Clutch: Express
Belt: Apt. 9. Kohl's

Sweater: Kohl's
Skirt: Candie's, Kohl's
Shoes: Guess, DSW
Bag: Nine West, Marshalls
Belt: B Fabulous
Lime stretchy bracelet: Cloud 9, Ocean City boardwalk
Yellow bangle: Silver Linings, Ocean City boardwalk

For this post, I had my heart set on a black and red rose-print cold shoulder crop top from the Kohl's line for Disney-Pixar's hit Coco.  Not to be confused with, "You go, Glen Coco!"from that other hit movie, Mean Girls, which has its own impressive merchandise.  (I've got the "so you think you're really pretty" compact mirror to prove it, as seen below with my until-now-never-been-stripped-of-its-cellophane DVD.  There was no need, as Mean Girls is almost always playing on TBS, Comedy Central, E!, WE, Ion, Oxygen, Pop, and/or Animal Planet.  Just kidding about that last one.  Then again, there is that wildebeest attack dream sequence or whatever, so who knows?)  

Anyway, I wanted to team the Coco top with a yellow lace midi pencil skirt from J. C. Penney's Project Runway collection.  But, alas, that too was sold out, forcing me to renounce my mid-priced department store product placement-themed ambitions and make it work, Tim Gunn style, with some stuff that in no way resembled what I'd planned.  Such is the roller coaster that is fashion blogging.

Speaking of which, a word about stretch bracelets.  When the beads begin to separate, however slightly, you know that your beloved bracelet is on its way to becoming a necklace.  Well, I know it's on its way to becoming a necklace.  You may just know that you're about to unleash a shower of rhinestone slider beads out into the world, sending a pack of mall-walking grannies scrambling in front of a Wetzel's Pretzels.  This happened to me with a much-adored, much-worn faux diamond and ruby stretchy stunner just before Christmas (not the Wetzel's Pretzels part, the repurposing part).  So I gave it new life by making the above darling Ruby Red Romance Necklace.  I did the same with Garden Glam Slam, which is similarly crammed with costume jewelry castoffs.  Hot Hoop, not so much, although the pendants are vintage.

Finally, if there's anything that fascinates me more than color, it's the absence of color.  Which is why I used this ironically named Vanilla filter on my outfit pics to dart to the dark side:

I love how the grayscale really makes the details pop, kind of like a close-up of a closet in a black and white movie.  So, it seems only fitting to ask, "(Compact) Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fetchest of them all?"  Why, Ms. Addams, of course, and I don't mean Rachel Mc.  Indeed, the first daughter of darkness could have taught the Plastics a thing or two, both in sartorial savvy and scariness.

In closing (I know I just said "finally," but then, when have you ever listened to me?), no resolutions this year.  Because resolutions are just rules, and rules were made to be broken.  So, no rules, just right.

That's Outback.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Cherries and Berries and Mushrooms: A Walk in the Woods With a Fungi

Top: Candie's, Kohl's
Skirt: H&M
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: Betsey Johnson, Boscov's

Or perhaps I should say "fun girl."  Because when I see these brooches, I think mushrooms, and when I think mushrooms, I think woods.  And when I think woods, I think The Lady Who Lives in the Woods (also, Smurfs, but this is not about them).  The Lady Who Lives in the Woods is Ruth, a recurring character on truTV's "At Home with Amy Sedaris."  Remember Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People?  Well, this is the live action version, complete with guest stars (Steven Colbert!  Justin Theroux!  Chris Elliot!  Did I mention Steven Colbert?).  To be accurate, the show is more like a dysfunctional marriage between Simple Times and I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence, but being a borderline hermit uninterested in entertaining, I never read that one.  Anyway, The-Lady-Who-Lives-in-the-Woods Ruth is a seemingly laidback yet controlling naturalist who lives in a lodge and is always picking passive aggressive fights with her long-suffering, mime-like, live-in girlfriend.  Distinguished by her long, red Earth Mother hair and loden green poncho, Ruth says things like, "Moss -- that's nice" in a soothing yet grating voice that's a cross between Martha Stewart and half of the duo from SNL's "Delicious Dish." (Both of which, fun fact, were played by Ana Gasteyer.  So maybe I'm just saying that Ruth sounds like Ana, in which case, Ana, you're welcome.)  But that's Red -- I mean, Ruth -- for you, bursting the bubble of the myth that the forest is peaceful.  Which is just one of the reasons, I suppose, that she seeks solace in her pet bird, Artemis.  

Anyway, I think Amy would like the brooches.  Because they're weird and retro and could have easily been made by a tree-dwelling seven-year-old.  (No disrespect to tree dwellers.  Or seven-year-olds.)  Also, her show logo is a mushroom.

From one toadstool fool to another, I say: I'm talking to you too, Smurfette. 

Monday, December 25, 2017

We Three Rings of Orient Are and Santa Claus is Coming to Clown

Dress: Target
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: Macy's
Belt: Apt. 9, Kohl's
Ring: Pink Bopp, Etsy
Necklaces, pins, brooches: The Tote Trove
White bangle: J.C. Penney's
Red and lime bangles: B Fabulous
Burgundy bangle: Iris for INC, Macy's
Slender red bangle: Candie's, Kohl's
Lime stretch bracelet: Cloud Nine

Christmas can be a real three-ring circus.  More than three, really, considering all the references to rings in Christmas songs.  There are the five golden rings in "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and "I'll give you my present, a wedding ring, hear me sing!" in Andy Williams's "Christmas Holiday."  Then there are the ring onomatopoeia shout-outs, that is, the sound of ringing in "Silver Bells," "Jingle Bells," and the sophisticated yet haunting "Carol of the Bells."  But the ring I want to sing about now is the one I just bought from fellow blogger and Etsian Samantha over at PinkBopp.  It's so sweet, a little Candyland right on my hand!  Santa, a gingerbread woman, and a mitten spread cheer from a retro-style red plastic cameo in a super adorable collage of Christmas cuteness.  I've been wearing it with red and green outfits all week, and every time I look at it, I feel the magic of the season -- and also, the need to eat gingerbread.  Is that wrong?  If so, my apologies to Hansel and Gretel. 

Speaking of things that ring and sing, I made a fresh batch of lady brooches, this time, like the city in the aforementioned "Silver Bells," all dressed in holiday style.  Then again, their sunglasses say mai tais in Miami.  Mary may have already had one too many, as her hat -- and, indeed, head -- are askew.

Finally, although I'm no Oprah or Maria von Trapp, here are a few of my favorite Christmas things:

1) The husband's hand-carved duck decoys decking the halls (okay, our mantle) in festive felt scarves.  Also, Kermit.  To be clear, Kermit was not hand-carved.

2) Norman Rockwell's Christmas Book, which has Christmas music and classic stories accompanied by Norman's iconic art.  I grew up with this book, and my favorite thing in it was always Ogden Nash's "The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus," a wonderfully weird poem about a kid named Jabez Dawes.  He, like me, did not believe in Santa Claus.  Unlike me, he got turned into a jack-in-the-box.  By Santa Claus.  Guess the jolly old elf got the last laugh.

3) And, finally, Christmas shopping.  Here I am at Kohl's on Black Friday with the Abominable Snow Monster from the claymation Rudolph.  It's a rare shot of me and an even rarer shot of the Yeti, but then big bargains call for big guns.

Merry Christmas!  Party hearty and avoid figgy pudding.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Evergreen Screen, Tinseltown Tannenbaum

Me and 3G have decided to give picture-less posting another try.  Now, usually I use my photos-slash-projects as the basis of my hook.  You know, that thread that, however tenuously, ties all my nonsense together.  So this time -- heads up -- I'm using the pictures in my mind.

Let us consider the Christmas tree.  It's but a pleat in Mother Nature's dark green gown, a relic of the outdoors that we bring indoors and domesticate with acres of lights and ornaments, some store-bought, some handmade, some elegant, some primitive, all of them converging in a joyful jumble that should look ridiculous but doesn't.  Yet even all dressed up, sometimes the Christmas tree misbehaves.  Sometimes it falls, narrowly missing Grandpa as he sleeps off his eggnog; other times it hatches insects and reptiles, reminding us that it's still wild and unpredictable despite our efforts to make it conform to our carefully curated winter wonderlands.  But that's okay.  Because at the end of the (holi)day, it's the crazy that makes it Christmas.

Which is pretty much the message of every Christmas movie ever, including the two I just saw: Daddy's Home 2 and A Bad Moms Christmas.  (See what I did there?  Hook, line, and stinker.) Boys will be boys and girls just want to have fun in these festive family free-for-alls.  No sophomore slumps for these sequels; both assault and then rescue Christmas with all the hijinks and heart we've come to expect from holiday features.  Daddy's Home 2 revisits the blended family blues, this time with a marshmallow of a John Lithgow and a hard-ass Mel Gibson joining Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg to stir the Bailey's-spiked hot chocolate pot.  And in A Bad Moms Christmas, Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn take a break from being bad moms to deal with having bad moms, namely the trying trio of Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines, and Susan Sarandon.  Through criticism, smothering, and good old-fashioned neglect, these mamas serve up fare far worse than fruitcake.  Guess Will Smith was right: parents just don't understand.  Well, at least not until they see the light -- on top of the Christmas tree.  Yep, the very same one harboring larvae and snakes, although no such snafu took place in either movie (but, hey, maybe should have).

You know, the last time I blogged about Daddy's Home, I compared it to Sisters.  And I said (something like) "I liked Daddy's Home better, but Sisters taught me more."  Well, this time I didn't learn anything, and I preferred Bad Moms. Which shows, I think, a modicum of personal growth (because it takes guts to admit that knowledge isn't always power), something our friend the Christmas tree knows lots about.

Oh, Tannenbaum, can't wait to light your candle.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sad Mac Attack Strikes Again

Unlike most artsy people, I don't have a Mac.  But I did see the PC equivalent of a sad Mac frowny face on my laptop, just like our old pal Carrie Bradshaw, and as the Geek Squad guy confirmed, that ain't good.  So.  I did the only thing I could, which was to 1) hightail it to Target to buy some Christmas presents and, okay, a scarf for myself along with a $6.98 bag that I found smushed in the wrong spot, which I refuse to see as anything other than a little gift from the universe, and 2) compose a picture-less post on my 3G iPhone about the ordeal, no small feat considering I have difficulty even typing texts.  Because, pictures or no pictures, not being able to post sucks.  When my poor little HP expired, I felt the window slam down on my world.  On the flip side, with no Pintetest, Etsy, or shopping to hold me hostage, I've had much more time to spend with my reliable old vicarious/virtual reality buds, books and TV.  Which means I'll have lots to blog about once I get a new computer.  Maybe that's the takeaway.

That and don't ignore your laptop when it says its fan is broken for five years.