Archive for May, 2013

Met Ball

May 29, 2013

I meant to do this ages ago, but um, just forgot.  Below is my under-one-sentence analysis of everyone photographed for the Cut’s slideshow.  I sent this to a few friends who asked what I thought of the get-ups, and they often responded with thinly-veiled concern.  “So… how’s work going these days?’

1. Beyonce –– meh

2. Anne Hathaway –– nice, but so obviously trying to shed her good girl image

3. Gisele –– a little more South Beach than punk but she looks fine as always

4. Gwyneth –– I hate that I don’t hate this

5. Anna Wintour –– boring

6. Rooney Mara –– I usually like her shtick (even though it is shtick) and I think this is topical

7. Lauren Santo Domingo –– sure

8. Kimye –– wake me when these two are done-so

9. Nicki Minaj –– I never signed on for her, so I refuse to comment

10. Katie Holmes –– only nod to punk is her faux-hawk.  Otherwise it’s a little too diaphanous.  It looks like something from Intermix.

11. Dakota Fanning –– I like

12. Joan Smalls –– I like

13. Kirsten Dunst –– I like but I don’t know if I’d call it PUNK

14. Madonna –– I have been over her for at least ten years

15. MKO –– hm… weird, as usual, not exactly punk but a little laissez-faire, so I’m in!

16. SJP –– I appreciate that hat more than I can say

17. Lena Dunham –– really don’t care

18. Giovanna Bataglia –– could have lost the choker

19. Miley Cyrus –– A for effort

20. Donatella Versace –– I don’t even know what she was wearing because I navigated away quickly bc her face scares me

21. Psy –– memes are invited?

22. Ashley Olsen –– I hate orange, but it’s pretty, but it’s not punk

23. Linda Evangelista –– she looks like Cinderella, and I do not mean that as a compliment

24. Maggie Gyllenhaal –– boring

25. the Courtins sisters –– look like particularly unfashionable Russian femme bots

26. Claire Danes –– looks exactly the same as she always does

27. Jessica Seinfeld –– she’s a hot mom.

28. Zachary Quinto –– punky!

29. Julianne Moore –– kinda cool?  she’s awesome, so I’ll give it to her

30. John Demsey –– I have no idea who this is

31. Emily Blunt –– aw, she looks happy and she’s wearing pink eyeshadow!  Well done

32. Leelee Sobieski –– I haven’t decided if I’m okay with her being famous again

33. Jennifer Lawrence –– for once, I’m not 100% on her

34. Jennifer Lopez –– very J. Lo, not at all punk

35. Plum Skyes –– looks like a curtain

36. Kristin Stewart –– enormously unflattering

37. Rita Ora –– I can’t figure out what’s coming out of the back of her dress

38. Eve –– very ornate, I’m into it

39. Andrew Bevan –– I’m not evaluating people I’ve never heard of

40. Jessica Pare –– I’m intrigued.  It’s daring but not campy.  [ed note: upon realizing she was wearing pants, I quickly recanted my approval]

41. Emma Watson –– misses the mark

42. Kathryn Neale Shaffer –– who is this?  She’s kind of scary looking

43. Miguel –– just because you stick out your tongue does not mean you are punk

44. Cameron Diaz –– I like it, in theory.  It’s kind of unflattering but cool.

45. Elizabeth Banks –– I hate it but I get why she chose it

46. Carine Roitfeld –– I just don’t fucking know

47. Mindy Kaling –– she looks cute!  But not punk

48. Gwen Stefani –– I very much approve of this

49. Rosie Huntington-Whitely –– I’m a sucker for anything avian-themed

50. Nikolaj –– boys’ clothes are boring

51. Jamie Campbell and Lily Collins –– this made me smile!

52. Dree Hemingway –– I like it but I would have tweaked a few things (her hair for one)

53. Ashley Greene –– boring (I mean her, not the dress… the dress too, but she’s the bigger nonentity)

54. Jessica Biel –– cool in theory, make it look like she has cankles

55. Kerry Washington –– her smallness freaks me out

56. Sienna Miller –– a role she was born to play

57. Marky Ramone –– was he invited because he’s a Ramone?

58. Zandra Rhodes –– appropriate

59. Naomie Harris –– Pretty I guess?

60. Karolina Kurkova –– Sure?

61. Taylor Swift –– this must have been really hard for her.  Good try!

62. Nicole Richie –– HAIR FOR THE WIN!!!

63. Diane Von Furstenberg –– looks the same as she always does

64. Christina Ricci –– well done but her stance reminds me of Betsy Johnson?

65. Stacy Keibler –– I’m outraged she was invited and I was not

66. Kate Upton –– Palm Beach Barbie

67. Karlie Kloss –– very pretty, not at all punk

68. Liya Kebede –– no opinion

69. Chelsea Clinton –– more politics than prose

70. Marion Cotillard –– I like it, it’s interesting, it’s not the best I’ve seen

71. Florence Welch –– duh

72. Miranda Kerr –– just because your clothing has cut outs doesn’t mean it’s punk

73. Michelle Williams –– black tie pixie

74. Olivia Wilde –– kinda cool.  I know I just knocked Kerr for this but this cut-out is interesting.

75. Alicia Keyes –– predictable

76. Tory Burch –– didn’t even try

77. Lala Anthony –– I have nothing

78. Uma Thurman –– weird in a good way (I think)

79. Hilary Rhoda –– pants!  well done

80. Jessica Alba –– snooze

81. Kate Beckinsale –– looks the SAME AS SHE ALWAYS DOES

82. Tim Minchin –– who is this?

83. Coco Rocha –– well played Coco!

84. Brian Atwood –– boy

85. Christopher Walsh –– boy

86. Nora Zehetner –– this is more an Bombay Nights theme

87. Stella McCartney –– can’t tell from this picture

88. Debbie Harry–– hahaha amazing

89. Emilia Clarke –– she looks hot but ___ (see stock complaint below)

90. Tyson Beckford –– bitch please

91. Jessica Hart –– I approve

92. Allison Williams –– YES nice job!

93. Renee Zellweger –– Reminds me of a spiderweb

94. The Family Hilfiger –– Trying too hard

95. Skarsgard –– boy

96. Lily Aldridge and Caleb Followill –– not trying at all

97. Carey Mulligan –– I’m a sucker for her.  Not bad?

98. Elizabeth Chambers and Armie Hammer –– I don’t know who these people are

99. Ziyi Zhang –– same as always

100. Greta Gerwig –– she annoys me

101. Hilaria –– boring

102. Alexa Chung –– very Chungy but nice

103. January Jones –– she looks like a FREAK and I love it!

104. Anja Rubik –– see comment re: Elizabeth Banks

105. Bee Shaffer –– I bet it hurt her to have her nails painted black

106. Kylie Minogue –– nice, but not punk

107. Ginnifer Goodwin –– well played

108. Tiger and Lindsay –– STFU

109. Emma Roberts –– meh

110. Elle Fanning –– A little more 70s Hair than punk

111. Blake Lively –– what’s a level of enthusiasm below meh?

112. Katy Perry –– this is literally the only time I haven’t loathed her

113. Dylan Lauren –– she looks like a real housewife.  Is she one?

114. Minka Kelly –– thoughtful

115. Lauren Lauren –– black and lace, works on others, but I can tell she’s faking it

116. Julie Macklow –– who is this?

117. Heidi Klum –– I hate it when people don’t even try to meet the theme

118. Hailee Steinfeld –– YES subtle and pretty but still edgy

119. Selby Drummond –– we went to camp together.  Why is she there?

120. Emmy Rossum –– is that a bird’s nest on her head?

121. Aubrey Plaza –– confused

122. Amanda Seyfried –– if it’s punky that must be in the front

123. Kate Mara –– are those tassels?

124. Solange –– can not go to themed things because she’s too SOLANGEY

125. Andy Cohen –– no

126. Carolyn Murphy –– black with lace and feathers and somehow not punk

127. Fran Leibowitz –– excellent

128. Jaime King –– nicely done

129. Michelle Dockery –– okay

130. Nina Dobrev –– somehow this strikes me as more Shakira than punk

131. Chloe Sevigny –– made me laugh, which I consider a triumph (punk is funny!)

132. Amber Heard –– very pretty = epic fail

133. Bella Heathcote –– she doesn’t look like a real person

134. Julianne Hough –– meh

135. Sam Gainsbury –– good effort, but who is this?

136. Kelly Osbourne and beau –– this wasn’t hard for htem

137. Gerard Butler –– boy

138. Doutzen Kroes –– I get it

139. Sebastian Stan –– whatever

140. Felicity Jones –– could have tried harder

141. Sofia Coppola –– hilarious, love it

142. Victor Cruz & Lady –– meh

143. Cara Crowley –– horrible

144. Alexis Welch and man –– good for her!  effort AND she’s pregnant

145. Anne Vincent –– overgrown debutante

146. Constance Jablonski –– nice!

147. Sandra Lee –– …

148. Megan Salt and Nancy Chilton –– I guess these are getting less famous/well-styled as the list goes on

149. Ivanka Trump –– fail

150. Hayley Bloomingdale –– meh

151. Giuliana Rancic –– meh

152. Jennifer Morrison –– I approve actually

153. Redgrave ladies –– hits and misses

Stock complaint: most women wore pretty dresses and one crucifix earring, or black nailpolish and Givenchy.  I think someone should have pierced their tongue solely for the occasion.

FINAL NOTE: I just realized today that Sienna Miller’s NAILS WERE SPIKED!  Way to go.



Found Text

May 28, 2013

It’s amazing what one will find while packing up to move!  I had the fortune of stumbling across a piece of a Time Warner Cable bill upon which my college bestie composed a number of haikus for me.  It’s at least five years old and the ink is barely readable, but I was able to draw on memory to reconstruct them.  Below is my favorite:

Meet my wife Tammy

She cleans the house and pops pills

More potatoes, dear?


May 23, 2013

From the Guardian article about the Belz wedding in Yerushalayim:




May 22, 2013

I will take you out for a drink if you can guess who wrote the below.  No Googling, please!  Send answers to Siobhan,

“As for minute joys: as I was saying: do you realize the illicit sensuous delight I get from picking my nose?  I always have, ever since I was a child –– there are so many subtle variations of sensation.  A delicate, pointed-nailed fifth finger can catch under dry scabs and flakes of mucous [in the nostril and draw them out to be looked at, crumbled between fingers, and flicked to the floor in minute crusts.  How many desks and chairs have I thus secretly befouled since childhood?  Or something there will be blood mingled with the mucous;  in dry brown scabs, or bright sudden wet red on the finger that scraped too rudely in the nasal membranes.  God, what a sexual satisfaction!  It is absorbing to look with new sudden eyes on the old worn habits: to see a sudden luxurious and pestilential ‘snot-green sea,’ and shiver with a shock of recognition.”

Fashion Icon

May 22, 2013


Neil Patrick Harris’ daughter, Harper.  (Gideon looks great, too.)

So This Gives Me Freedom to Write a Snarky Cover Letter, Yes?

May 21, 2013

Hipsters Wanted

Publication or Company Pavone
Industry Advertising Agency
Benefits Dental, Health
Job Duration Full Time
Job Location Harrisburg, PA
Experience Level 5 years
Job Requirements We’re Pavone, a Central PA multi-channel branding firm, meaning we’re outside New York and DC so we don’t have Hipsters. All we have is an office with major clients, real opportunities and easy commutes.Hipsters with proven Dumbo experience preferred. Fixies and full sleeves a plus. Minimum two years’ mustache and/or bangs experience. Should be fluent in sarcasm and upper-middle-class terminology.

Truth be told, we already have mustaches and fixies and irony, but none of us are actual Hipsters. Then again, Hipsters never admit they’re Hipsters. Either way we need a few according to our new biz guy, who’s been leading us to lots of wins, so he’s getting what he wants apparently.

PM your link and salary reqs to @PavoneFood or

About Our Company Pavone is an integrated advertising agency specializing in food and beverage marketing. Pavone works with national and international clientele including StarKist, Turkey Hill Dairy, Campbell’s Soup Company, The Hershey Company, D.G. Yuengling & Son, Fulton Financial Corporation and Mount Nittany Medical Center.


May 21, 2013

A while ago––I know now it must have been 2010––I read an article in the Times about a rundown mansion in the Hudson Valley (I thought that was it) that housed the eccentric members of a blue blooded American family and their various guests and tenants.  The house sounded like a bohemian dream, sheltered from the outside world by hundreds of acres and the thick atmospheric padding of centuries of history.  I wanted so badly to write to the inhabitants there and ask if I could come stay a while, but I quickly forgot all of the important details of the piece, namely the family’s patronymic, where the house was, exactly, and what they called the house.  I searched on the Times with every weak combination I could think of, usually a combination of “bohemian,” “family,” “mansion,” “Hudson.”  Of course, I got nothing.

Then yesterday I was sitting in Union Station in Washington DC, painfully full of steak and feeling inexplicably melancholy (considering I’ve been in relatively high spirits as of late.)  I started to read the latest Smithsonian magazine and almost tossed it aside, as I felt plagued by an old jealousy of the writers whose work was featured, and the fascinating, productive people they profiled.  But I idly skipped to the book review section at the end, and found a review of a forthcoming memoir from HarperCollins entitled Astor Orphan.  Below, a description via HC’s website:

The Astor Orphan begins in Alexandra Aldrich’s tenth summer, at the moment when her father returns home with an alluring Frenchwoman. The interloper sets into motion a series of familial feuds and disasters that unmoor the last remnants of Alexandra’s family life.

But as Alexandra reveals, the origins of her family’s disintegration can be traced back to the Gilded Age when the greater Astor legacy began to come undone, leaving the Aldrich branch virtually penniless and squabbling over what little was left.

Alexandra grew up in the servants’ quarters of Rokeby, the family’s beautiful mansion, foraging for her next meal, battling for dominance with her wealthier first cousins, and striving to get her pathologically distracted parents to take care of her. Amid the chaos and squalor of the household, the young girl, forced by circumstances to become wise beyond her years, rose promptly at 6:30 each morning, adhering to a strict schedule of exercise, cleanliness, and intensive violin practice that imposed order on her anarchic world.

Illustrated with sixteen pages of black-and-white photographs that bring this faded world into focus, The Astor Orphan is Alexandra Aldrich’s heartrending story-a memoir of staggering power with the unflinching pathos and grit of The Glass Castle and the faded glory and madness of Grey Gardens.

Of course!  Rokeby!  I immediately went back and found the original article and was entranced anew.  (Aldrich is a convert to Orthodox Judaism!)  Now the only things left to do are:

1. Decide whether or not to purchase the book––doesn’t sound like my usual fare, but it’s gotten very good reviews, and I do freaking love Grey Gardens

2. Find the street address for Rokeby (I came close; it’s possible they have no mailbox.)

3. Think of a good excuse to visit/stay for a vacation, and write to ask them if I can come.


Someone Go and Report Back

May 18, 2013
***** Also on SATURDAY *****


Feeling Gloomy

Feeling Gloomy NYC trudges mournfully onward. We may have had thrown a gigantic party upon our return to NYC last month, but that doesn’t really make us happy. No, the skies are still gray, and we still wear black on the outside because black is how we feel on the inside.
That said, we hope you will come join us in our misery once again at the world’s only party devoted to sad music. We will very mournfully wheel around the dancefloor to our favorite songs. Hankies are not required, but strongly encouraged.
Feeling Gloomy, the world’s only dance party devoted to sad music, has returned to NYC. The night has been taken on by brothers grim Gordon and Nathaniel Gloom who promise you more downbeat BPMs than you can handle. They will be joined by DJ Grim Reaper who really does look like death.

Smuggled over from the Gloomy old UK (where its now 7 years old) it has thrived in the land of the free, bringing great, gloomy, British tunes to the good ole US of A for over three years now. The boys will be rifling through their record collections to select anything from the Cure to Dolly Parton. As long as the lyrics are gloomy and you can dance to it, it may well be thrown down. Don’t forget if it’s your birthday you will get the chance to come up and blow out the candles on the cake as the crowd sing Unhappy Birthday and commiserate with you for being another year nearer the grave. So come on New York. Join Feeling Gloomy in its new home and put on your red shoes to dance those blues. Dress to depress.


Grand Victory
245 Grand Street, between Driggs and Roebling, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
11p- 4a; $6 door


May 16, 2013

Cara Delevingne:

MANDATORY Credit: Will Alexander/

MANDATORY Credit: Will Alexander/

Brooke Shields in Endless Love:

Skip the movie, read the book.

Skip the movie, read the book.

Many of you will protest, “It’s just because they have both have thick eyebrows and are wearing beanies!”  But there is way more to it than that.  Look closer.



May 16, 2013

Below is an essay that I wrote and couldn’t place anywhere but I still think is hilarious.  I THINK I AM HILARIOUS.


I Am a Self-Hating Design Blog Whore


            Anyone who has ever had a desk job knows the lengths to which a person will go to entertain one’s self during that 2-4:30 PM stretch.  Take me, for example: it’s semi-nice outside, but I only know that because I went to get string cheese and Soy Crisps from the deli a few minutes ago, as I reside in a windowless cubicle-esque space.  To distract myself from this burdensome awareness of the weather I now have, I’m reading the 100-page anti-Internet pamphlet published by Kinus Klal Yisrael that was distributed at the Haredi anti-technology (more or less) gathering in CitiField back in May.  Make whatever assumption you wish to about my personal issues from that past sentence; you’re probably right on target.

            Here’s the thing, though: some of this stuff I feel has some validity.  For example, below is a brief instance of how “Internet addiction” has affected the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community:


“A man tells us that his friend… once asked if he could come up to his office to download Shas [6 books of Mishnah] from the computer onto a CD.  The man readily agreed.  So this ben Torah [righteous man] arrived at the office around 5 o’clock in the afternoon and began downloading.  The downloading process was supposed to take about two hours… the next morning, at about 6 AM, when the [man] came back to work, he noticed that the light in the window was on.  He was sure that his friend had left it on by mistake.  When he entered the office, his shock knew no bounds when he found his friend still sitting at the computer, glued to the screen… [The man] decided to be frank with his friend and ask him about it.  His friend shamefully admitted that he did in fact have serious problems every time he found himself with access to the Internet…”


            So I myself don’t black out for twelve hours on memes freshly cooked in a spoon, but I do have somewhat of a similar problem, one which I’m actually trying to white-knuckle through right now: I’m addicted to twee design blogs.

            It started maybe a year ago, when I began work at my first full-time desk job and my friend introduced me to a blog written by a NYC-based mother, cyclist, and erstwhile travel blogger.  I didn’t think much of it, at least at that moment.  In fact, I think I brushed my friend aside with a curt, “This is just way too fluffy for me” and then returned to doing my in-depth, independent study on the etymological development of the word “crazy” from an insult into a compliment (think about it.)  Even my second visit to the blog didn’t raise any red flags for me –– I was just bored, looking to fill a minute or two of dull office time.  Who cares if I was zoning out on a missive about decorating a studio apartment or a montage of pictures that sought to instruct one as to “How to Plan The Best Mother’s Day Brunch?”  At least it wasn’t Facebook.  At least there was some original content there.

            But it was, as is often the case with narcotizing substances, just the beginning.  Within weeks, I found myself drawn back to the blog again and again.  The blogger –– we’ll call her Martha, as in Stewart, in a nod to her nouveau-balaboosta persona –– muses in a cheery, calm way about all things sweet and pretty: middle parts,[1] vintage advertisements, luxury yurts and how to make great fruit-infused water.  “Hm, interesting,” I would nod in a thoughtful way, until I realized that I’m not terribly into either water or fruit, as I prefer the harder shit.  



            In fact, I knew right away that I wasn’t into anything this woman is into.  I don’t like bicycles and loathe people who are into their bikes (the one exception being my boyfriend, but we make sacrifices for those we love.)  I’m never going to spend my weekend making my own gemstone-topped bottle stoppers or crafting an online album of my vacation photos and writing cute captions for each pic of me smiling warmly at the camera.  I’ll never vow to try out hot pink lipstick in order to “take a risk” or troll around Etsy to assemble a photo-collage of precious hand-stitched pillows for a baby’s crib (What to Buy For Your Pregnant Best Friend!).  That’s just not me.  More often than not, I’ll spend my free time re-reading Within the Context of No Context or making art out of my tiny, serial killer-esque handwriting or, lest you think I’m all highbrow all the time, lying in my bed with re-runs of The Voice playing in the background and a half-eaten bag of sour cream and onion Kettle Chips (the meant-for-three-or-more bag, not the individual-sized one) next to my face, a film of grease and green flecks of faux-onion coating my limp fingers.  Nope, I would not be spending my Friday evening masterminding a Madewell clothing swap between like-sized friends complete with homemade butterscotch pudding served in cracked little teacups and mango tequila shots taken from thimbles (though tequila is cool.)  Wasn’t going to happen.  And that was okay.  Wasn’t it?

            But just like the young kollel student who eventually needed more than a small Blackberry screen to satisfy his techno-cravings, I soon found Martha’s blog just not enough.  I needed more maternity clothes, more clever dinner party game ideas, despite the fact that, needless to say, I had neither children nor dinner parties.  (Nobody ever said addiction made sense!)  Soon, a number of home design blogs by pseudo-professional decorators were making it onto my regular roll, and my mornings were filled clicking endlessly from picture-of-nice-thing to picture-of-nice-thing.  Ombre nails, cupcake vending machines, a Pinterest collage of rad coffee mugs, a look inside a fellow twee design blogger’s house, photos from the artisanal pencil-sharpening class she attended, affirmations from artistic giants written in red and blue script on an art print I could buy on the cheap, a Tumblr devoted to “top knots”: these images of horror festered inside of me, threatening to overtake me, to rid me of my desire to do things like, oh, I don’t know, download long tracts dedicated to the evils of social media written by religious fanatics.  I began to think, instead, about the design bloggers themselves, their undoubtedly lovely little lives, the way they probably dreamt of re-upholstering chairs with soft, robin’s egg blue cloth at night and woke up fresh and Zen and ready to make ricotta-peach pancakes and serve them to their adorably shaggy husband and toddler.  The biggest problems they broadcasted were akin to “ecru or off-white?”  Occasionally someone would mention post-weaning depression, and that got my darker side going a little bit, but it ended when the writer, despite all the testimonials about actual Depression that claim this is impossible, actually woke up one morning, after two months, and simply felt better!  Back to the real problems: would you ever wear a one-piece bathing suit?



            The final straw was when I started looking at the blog of a particularly attractive ne’er-do-well.  This was the move from e-cocaine –– kind of classy, kept me a little buzzed but still functional –– to e-crack –– a lump of cheap, hard shit that left me brain dead and blubbering.  I checked this woman’s blog every day, and every day, a piece of my soul died, fell off, and decomposed on my office floor.  She basically gave me spiritual leprosy.  Why was this one blogger so much worse than the others?  Because the fact was that she didn’t actually do anything.  At least the other ladies were offering up (organic) recipe ideas or talking about various projects they were involved in; this particular blogger simply posted pictures she took on her iPhone of her (admittedly adorable) two-year-old daughter, geek chic husband and perfectly pouty English bulldog.  Another day, another montage of “My Perfect Family!”: we eat crab cakes at the beach, dip our toes in the sand, and slurp up freshly squeezed lemonade while happily bearing our white-as-printer-paper teeth!  (This blogger is Mormon, as I learned a disproportionate number of the other bloggers whose work I followed were.  I suppose that all that time the rest of us spend boozing and not converting the dead they spend learning HTML and organizing their closets with teak Lazy Susans for shoes?  I would wax further existential on the differences between technophobic haredi Judaism and Mormonism, and the fact that their followers end up on such extreme ends of the blogging spectrum, but I’m saving that for my PhD dissertation.)

            This “final straw” leg of my journey went on for at least three months, until one day, after scrolling through a list of 274 comments to see that almost 90% were composed of the word “cute” followed by anywhere from one to eight exclamation points, I decided enough was enough.  I was powerless over my addiction, and I wasn’t even getting high anymore –– it was just a maintenance plan, something to keep me leveled-off, like an alcoholic’s nip from an airplane-sized whisky bottle in the early morn.  Frame clusters made me feel lonely inside, and any reference to decorative “whimsy” incited a homicidal rage from the pit of my being.  I vowed to go cold turkey on at least this one blog, and I have been sober from it for about two months now.  With great shame, I must admit I still check in on Martha daily, but thanks to the asifa pamphlet, I have a detox plan:


            “I have made the following offer in public, and it stands for anyone reading this essay: if you cannot find someone with whom you are uncomfortable to send the [internet history] reports to, I am willing to read your reports, as long as you are willing to accept some warm divrei mussar [advice]…”


            Rabbi Viener, get ready to have the cutest, most eco-friendly sukkah on the block this year, and by the way, have you ever thought of fishtail braiding your peyos? 

[1] Of course I mean hair parts.