Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Short, Short List

My current diversions:

If dance clubs were still any good, they'd play this shit all night long. It's sleazy and fun and sublime. It's like listening to the Dr. Who theme, remade by Peaches, produced by Giorgio Morodor.

Great, great short stories, picked by Dave Eggers (whose writing I'm not such a fan of, but his company McSweeney's is brilliant). I love my book clubs, but I'm taking August to just do some reading of my own. Expect more book reviews in the near future...

A guilty pleasure if there ever was one. I've been watching this for a cpl of weeks now after downloading the pilot for free on iTunes. I am still in shock that it's on ABC Family - it's got lots of underage drinking and sex. Not a bad portrayal of the Greek system at large state universities. There are, of course, stereotypes, but the main characters really challenge you to pigeonhole them into categories. I'll watch it until it gets sucky (most non-HBO cable shows tend to start sucking right around Season 3).

And...that is all.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


You've got a little crazy on your face:

Thursday, July 05, 2007

And Speaking of Charm...



Coin Tout Bleu (A Corner of Blue)

It's been a while since I posted something other than a rocking re-enactment of a Bel Biv Devoe song. Truthfully,though, it's been a quiet month. The most fun part about it was, of course, my birthday, on which I officially turned 30. I went to dinner with a small but amazing group of friends, who, I was thrilled to see, all got along like gangbusters. Amy made me the best chocolate cake I've ever put inside of my mouth. It physically hurt to throw out the last, sad little dried-out chunk that I just couldn't eat. The birthday eating just never seemed to stop... hence the 3lbs that have planted themselves firmly in spots that weren't quite prepared for it.
So, for the time being, it's back to the gym and living kind of... Spartanly. Spartanesque. Whatever - Firefox spell check hates both. Although tonight I don't feel very Spartan. I used the last bit of my Lush peach bath melt, and a good-sized portion of my Mask of Magnaminty. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't one of the best baths I've ever taken.
Bathing is an art, and I take it very seriously.
While I was in the bathtub, I was listening to my iTunes playlist "J'adore la France." It got me thinking about the French, and about people who really have charm, elegance, and style (Edith Piaf is in this mix). And it wasn't the first time. I've thought about charm a lot over the last few months. Whatever happened to charm? It all started when I payed money to see a local band play in November. The lead singer set up, and proceeded to tell the audience, almost angrily, "Ok, so I've had a really bad day, and we haven't practiced in, like 6 months, so... yeah. Whatever." Way to charm your audience, sweetie.
So few people are genuinely charming anymore. I'm talking about those people who are witty, graceful, and have an air of elegance about them. When I think of charm, I think of Peter Jennings. He was brilliant, and made being brilliant seem so easy - he had this casual urbane quality that I've never seen duplicated. Maria Callas wasn't necessarily one of the most beautiful women who ever lived, but she had a look. She had such presence and talent and wit. Coco Chanel. Audrey Tatou. Gene Kelly. George Clooney. Stanley Tucci. Eartha Kitt. David Byrne. Some of them are/were inherently gorgeous, and some... not so much. But they all have IT.
I mean, whatever happened to dressing for an occasion? Looking people in the eye when you speak and shaking hands firmly? Paying compliments? Writing thank-you notes? I went to the wedding of a relative last month, and a female guest wore a strapless, floor-length... WHITE GOWN. She actually wore white to someone else's wedding. I thought these were rules that everyone knows, but every episode of What Not to Wear that I've seen should have told me differently.
People nowadays seem to labor under the illusion that doing the above-mentioned things makes you false, somehow. I guess I just don't buy it. I don't go to every occasion in a sequin gown (don't own one), and I'm sure there are days when I could have put on a little more eye makeup for work (read: any). But when people show up to weddings in what was obviously their own wedding gown, it makes me a little sad.
You greet a child you've just been introduced to these days, and they turn their head away and don't acknowledge you because they're "shy." As a child, I was not allowed to be shy. I was told to speak clearly and answer questions when speaking to adults. Not encouraging children to develop socially doesn't do them any favors.
And for the love of the baby Jesus H. Christ, how the hell hard is it to remember to WEAR UNDERWEAR when you know people are going to take your effing picture? That is tacky and gross and makes me think that the person who doesn't has some form of mild developmental disability.
Charm is not hard, people. I can think of many charming people who I know personally, and I am lucky enough to say that they are among my closest friends. They are mostly quietly charming, which is the best, and most humble kind of charm. I love people who are funny, quirky, and gently self-effacing.