Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Last Post, I think.

Today I read the website of a headhunter who claims the new rage is posting your resume online on your own website. I'm pretty active online - current profiles I maintain for myself or other businesses on at least a weekly basis include: Facebook (three pages), Twitter (two pages), Blogspot (three pages), Wordpress (1 page), my Linkedin, and a corporate website. This doesn't count my long-ignored Myspace, the other myspace accounts I run for other people, and of course, my abandoned blogs. There is the myspace blog, 2 linked to this account I'm currently in, and another that I've lost access too (and can't remember the name of) that was fully anonymous. Oh, and the one attached to the gmail account I set up last year as a temporary portfolio site, and since I can't recall the exact email address, I'm locked out of it too.

In going to set up another new blog/website on which to post my resume, professional writing and so on, I actually discovered a blog that was not only abandoned, it was also fully forgotten. It was about boycotting Perez Hilton. At the time I started it, I was hooked on that stupid site, checking it every day, even though it consistently pissed me off. I decided that a method of quitting it would be to write a blog post each time I wanted to check the site. I got to 5 posts before I abandoned the site, and then I forgot all about it and Perez Hilton. It's a miracle! I'm actually capable of quitting something.

So then I got to thinking, if I were going to hire me, I'd probably google me first. Good lord. Kids these days have no idea of the permanence of what they post online - even I forget sometimes. That damn record review will haunt me the rest of my days. Even things that were never published online - like that letter to the editor I wrote to a music mag (which was edited to all shit, removing all the good bits, and claimed I was from "Chilliwack") is now in Google Docs. Sigh. Everything people, everything you post online is virtually permanent.

In fact, I forgot that for a short time I used facebook's app "Networked Blogs". Even though I've removed the App and deleted my blog from the app, it still shows up attached to my name in a google search. The link doesn't work, so hopefully at somepoint the app will clean itself up and it will stop showing up in searches. I don't know how else to get it off there.

The thing is this - I'm not ashamed of a single word I've written here. The problem is that now that I'm blogging (partially) for a living, what do I need this blog for? How much time do I want to dedicate to this shit? When I initially started it I guess I harboured some unrealistic idea that I could be a paid blogger just by writing whatever I wanted to. Cause I'm so awesome. I dunno. I also write for enjoyment, but it has become somewhat like art for me. When your hobby is your job, it's hard to use that same hobby as a way to unwind. At very least I recall thinking that if I named my blog after my favourite things to read, review and discuss, that it would keep my interest long enough to at let me remember my password. Of course what it lead to was being able to offer expertise on blogging and eventually hooking me up to blog for other people, and companies.

As I said, I'm not ashamed. In fact there are some articles on here I'm quite proud of. What I'm trying to work towards is having control over my own brand. Yes, me, a brand. Since it is so damn easy to brand onself online these days I have to join in. Doing so will allow me to link up my many social networks and to present the version of myself online that is hireable. I don't think this blog makes me unhireable - that's for sure. But it doesn't appeal to all potential employers, and it isn't ALL I'm about. I guess I just want more brand control and now that I have a vision for what my brand is, I need to start weeding out the useless things I've posted online and leave only the version of myself I would want someone who googles me to find.

After all, I find making out in public pretty repulsive. No one needs to know who I think is hot or what kinky toy I'd enjoy getting my hands on. Well, some people might WANT to know, and I'm overly willing to share that, but I don't think I should continue to post it publicly, unless I plan to become a sex therapist or blogger. Though being a sex therapist or sex blogger is something I'd love to do, it's unlikely at this point. It's amazing how your career can kinda just fall into your lap, your expertise becoming so specific, and almost by accident.

At this point I'm an expert - a real expert - in some areas. Though I might like to think so, I'm not a sex expert.

So I'll be leaving the blog up for a while, I guess. At least until I can figure out if that stupid App will ever fix itself, so as to permanently detach my real name from this blog. If it can't, this blog is coming down, or whatever.  I'm considering moving some of my best posts to my new home, but we'll see.

Those of you readers who actually know me in real life are welcome to join me at my new home. Don't worry - it won't be hard to find - it will be attached to my newly minted brand - my real name.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Called It

You know the great satisfaction of the feeling you get when you say "I told you So!"...yeah, I get that when I mention things that are uptrending and then they become trendy. Like the time I told Carmyn that she would, within a year or so, begin to feel an uncontrollable urge to buy Purple. And she did. We all did. Blue is next, in case you are wondering. Bright blue, navy blue, teal. BLUE. Get some.

Since I forecast as part of my work, being right also comes with professional success to some degree. I imagine people who forecast real things, like profits, also experience this satisfaction when their predictions are correct. Though they probably financially benefit from such correctness, and really, I just get to sit around feeling smug.

Trends are funny bitches though. Sometimes it seems like a sure thing and then you are totally wrong about it. The journey from counter-culture to mainstream doesn't always flow as expected. But remember way back in February of last year when I talked about Steampunk and how it was a growing trend? Yeah, today I popped on to Twitter to update a corporate profile I maintained, and guess what was a trending topic? "Disney Steampunk".

Yep. Disney is getting in on the movement. Nothing quite says "mainstream acceptance" like being a part of the Disney family.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Lingerie Love

Oh I love it so much. Hand made. LOOK AT THAT LACE PEOPLE! Lovely.'s loving crafted by Carine Gilson.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Sometimes when I write a blog post I feel like I just don't quite get it right. It doesn't  have everything I want to say. I can't quite find all the examples that I want or I leave myself feeling conflicted about some parts of it. That's how I felt recently about my "equality" post. Anyhow, this article fully gets it right, and says everything I wanted to say, and then some about equality, and the illusion of it, in our times.

The article also uses awesome pop culture references to help you wade through the heavy bits. Highly recommended reading. Have girls gone anti-feminist?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Video Barbie

Here she is, the truly modern Barbie. That's right folks, this Barbie offers a first-person perspective to the kiddies by including a built in video camera. The lens is...somewhere on the front, while a colour LCD screen resides on her back, allowing for an all-in-one recording experience.

She'll also come with online editing software to allow users to make their own movies!

It can record up to 30 minutes of footage and the software allows for the addition of music, other sound effects and some visual effects as well. Available in July of 2010!

Now, what to do about those terrible denim capris?

I have to say this is pretty cool, and as a kid I would have loved this toy. I see the generation of teens younger than me who are so savvy on how to make/edit videos,  using photoshop to edit their pics for the net, writing html code, etc. Imagine what the generation behind them will be able to do at a young age? It is mind boggling. Also, it makes me happy with my decision to not specialize in web or graphic design and instead use those tools to break into another career field. Because if I had stayed in that field I would  have to constantly worry about keeping my skills up to date - these kids are going to put lots of designers out of work in 10 years. The ones sitting on their 10 year old college degrees, wondering why all these 18 year olds are so much quicker than they are. They'll be able to think a webpage into existence, I swear it. Creative designers will (well, should) always have work - but the ones who are simply technical designers...look out.

BTW, it still sucks they made Barbie's boobs smaller and her eyes larger and wider set. I don't get it.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lightening Up

Gah! I've been so ranty lately.

So here's something different. I've been working on decorating the place a bit, I guess since we bought the place I've been doing things over time but lately it has ramped up and we have a picture of what we are working towards. I like colour, a lot, But I'm also practical. The first room I decorated was our bedroom. It is something along these lines, though it was done before I found this picture:

I don't have the chandeliers, not my style. I wish I had these lamps, those are the only things I really haven't rounded up yet for the bedroom. I'm waiting for just the right ones at just the right price. These are amazing. But the room is bright white, dark wood, orange, fuschia, red and yellow. All the colour is in the accessories and linens and artwork. So that gives you a starting point for my home.

For upstairs, as I mentioned we recently got an orange sofa. The colour palette is going to be softer up there- if you could call it softer, but will be an all-colours welcome design, though with a focus on orange and touches of navy - not a lot, mostly already in the artwork. There won't be any harsh limes or fuschias...simply primary and secondary colours. Yeah, just yellow, red, blue, orange, green and purple. Six colours isn't too many is it? I'm leaning towards a look with antique white walls, which is why so many of the upcoming pics have white walls. We already have a mid-century credenza and lots of other natural wood and 70's brown stuff as our foundation, that will help soften the look of all those colours.  All the brown stuff is hand-me-down or 'inherited' for the most part - the ideal thing about hand me downs is if you are lucky enough to have them all from the same era, they all match.

I've got Piet Mondrian-inspired stained glass going into the panels in my kitchen cupboards, to give you a sense of my commitment to the all-colours idea. Basically, with the warm woods and orange sofa, orange is going to be the main focus colour that will stand out. Not just because it is pylon coloured! Obviously, since I have a big ol' orange couch in the middle of the space now.

Here's some pictures I have in a folder of home decor inspiration.

Friday, February 26, 2010


Today I read this article about female equality in America. It is excellent, you should read it. A couple of days ago I watched the movie North Country and it was good too. My biggest problem with the movie was being able to believe that anyone as insanely and perfectly beautiful as Charlize Theron is would actually work in any field other than modelling or acting. I don't mean to sound sexist in a post about sexism, I'm sure she could be a miner, it's, she's impossibly beautiful, and it is hard to imagine someone like her struggling in life, not being able to find work. Cause pretty people do seem to have advantages. But outside of that, it was good. Educational and uplifting.

The movie is a semi-fictionalized account of a long legal battle that a group of women miners undertook. It was a class action sexual harrasment case, as they had endured a hostile work environment and numerous and continuous insults as well as unwanted touching (and some spunk in locker) when they became the first women to go work at the Eveleth Mines in Minnesota.

Personally I've never experienced that level of sexism or sexual harrasment. But I have experienced a number of the things they did talk about in the movie, and that are talked about in the article I mentioned. I am underpaid. I know I would be paid more if I was a man. I work in a pretty sexist environment. It is frustrating as all hell. Because it is a delicate balance - that earning respect, loving yourself, keeping your paycheque game. Suddenly you have a mortgage to pay and calling out your boss on his idiocy isn't as easy.

I can't imagine dealing with the things that women in working generations before mine dealt with. It must have been really fucking intense to be, say the first female fire fighter. Or the first female line worker at GM. 

I was actually the first ever female 'courtesy clerk' at a local grocery store. I got the job because my mom knew the manager and she told him she knew I would work hard. This manager wasn't keen to hire a girl cart pusher, but she kept bugging him. Thanks mom! So, I got the job.

This job entailed rounding up the carts from the parking lot, and cleaning up spills, and dealing with the 'bottle room', which was the room on the other side of that little black door where you used to put the 2L glass pop bottles for a refund (back in the day when those still existed. Wow, I am old.) That involved a LOT of spilled pop and ants and broken glass. The carts were heavy and didn't link together with 25 cent return links either. It sucked, but I did a bad-ass job of it and was promoted within 3 months. It wasn't all bad. The hardest part came with the attempt to train the fake-nailed over-makeuped woman who was to replace me, and totally failing at getting through to her that sometimes, just sometimes, you might have to break a sweat. In that situation, I suddenly realized why they didn't generally hire women for that job. She wasn't as stubborn as me - she didn't have anything to prove. I was kinda pissed off. I felt let down, when they fired her and put a male, 6' tall basketball player in her job. At that moment, I realized, sometimes it isn't about sexism. It's about the right person for the job. And ultimately, I guess, it was more a reflection on poor management and hiring skills than anything, but I think the manager just had the impression that if I could do it, any girl could do it. A good lesson in sexism on the job. One person can ruin even minor, semi-unimportant inroads that other people make. There was never another female courtesy clerk in the time that I worked there. Which was too long, by the way. My point to this? The fight ain't over man. That manager saw me as one thing: female. The same way he saw her.

I've been generally lucky; I never ever felt scared to go to work. I never felt threatened physically.

But what I do deal with on the regular is the lingering entitlement of older men who feel that being not-sexist on the surface somehow absolves them of all wrong-doing. It seems if they act like their comments are jokes they will be ignored. Worse still they feel like they are giving us some sort of honour by watching their comments in our presence. Worse than that, they don't even realize most of the time that the things they say and do are sexist.

There are two ways women usually deal with with the boys club. One is the ol' if-you-can't-beat-em-join-em approach, the "one of the boys" deals. Yes, I've gone that route before. It's easier. And lots of girls are dumb, and since I fit in easily with the guys it has often been an easier route to take. Look, I like tits too, ok? It is hard not to take that road.

The other oft-taken route is to ignore. I take this one too, sometimes. Better to walk away from that inappropriate comment about my weight/figure than to deal with it head on, right? Afterall, getting into an arguement with your boss about if it is appropriate to refer to a co-worker as an 'old biddy' is a lot of effort, might drive a wedge between you, and really, is it so bad?

But reading this article and watching this movie is a solid reminder that if you aren't fighting it, you are perpetuating it. If you join the guys in their slander talk instead of standing up to them, you are no better than they are. If you don't do something at work because you think it is the 'guy's job', you are letting them leave you, forever, in the 'women's job'. It's a simple as seeing us all as people rather than genders.

I think this gets easier the older you get. Maybe it is confidence. Maybe it is that you care a LOT less about what people think of you the older you get. Maybe it is that you have had a taste of the real world. I dunno. Whatever it is, it is important. Being called a feminist is a badge of honour.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Illustrator of the Month: February 2010

Olivia De Berardinis, known mostly as just Olivia, was born in California in 1948. She was an only child from a nomadic family who spent much of her time drawing to escape the world of adults she lived in. Her first model and muse was her mother, Connie. Her mother was a willing model, and as the artist describes, "She was a disgruntled glamour-puss, and would entertain me with terrible imitations of Mae West, Garbo, Dietrich, Hepburn and Zsa Zsa Gabor. She was a cross between Sophia Loren, Lucille ball, and Rosie the Riveter."

Olivia attended the New York School of Visual Arts, and worked for a few years as a minimalist oil painter, before turning to the commercial arts to make ends meet. She has painted all the classic girls from Bettie Page through to Dita Von Teese and as a result she has developed a loyal following of collectors and published hundreds of limited edition prints. Her work is also available as tshirts, cards and calendars. Olivia has published in a number of men's magazines but is now prominently featured in Playboy magazine, on the page previously held by famed pin-up illustrator Alberto Vargas. Olivia's images are hand selected by Hef himself, who writes the captions for her images each month.

I love the agression and feirceness with which Olivia portrays women. These aren't women who are accidentally caught with their pants down, these are women in control. These are women choosing to show you their sexuality and at times it is frightening, alluring, intoxicating. There are models who look innocent, there are models that look dangerous. I admire her ability to capture the spirit of pinup with a nod to the history of the style, but also her ability to do so in a totally modern way.

Sofa Waiting

Last night I finally bought a sofa. I'm waiting for it to be delivered. I've been wanting to since we got our condo, and have been suffering through using two of the ugliest sofas known to man that were hand-me-downs. I say "suffering" with some sarcasm because I do realize having two hand-me-down sofas isn't really suffering at all. But the second one really, really offended my aesthetics. Even when I put a giant brown slipcover on it, I could still see those damn rolled armrests. So today I wait for new sofa delivery. It's orange.

Purchasing a sofa has been no small feat. I'm pretty clear on what I like and dislike and with my budget it has been nearly impossible to find anything other than terrible things like this:

Look. I realize that this isn't the most offensive sofa ever made. In fact, it's pretty good compared to most of the stuff at the Brick or Leons or Bad Boy. But see those puffy rolled arms? This is totally what people call 'contemporary'. UGH.

I can't think of any thing I like less than what people commonly call "contemporary" decor. It is what people do to their homes when they think they are being fashion forward and stylish. This would go in a house with a lot of beige and maybe one of those brownish red walls randomly painted in the middle of the house. It goes with dark wood and virtually everything in the Zellers Martha Stewart home collection. Safe. But somehow people think this is a 'designer' look. It isn't. It is a mass market look. I know I'm not like most people in this regard. But it can still irritate the shit out of me, right?

Why I take offense to this whole look is that to me it is simply uninspired. It isn't thoughtful or creative or well designed. It is just what is "in". Red is in = red sofa. I admire those who can buy mainstream things and feel like they've really updated their look. But I have bad news for these people. Your stuff isn't going to look contemporary or 'new' in 10 years. It is going to look like it was purchased in 2008. Just like this; which was once called contemporary and looks like it was designed somewhere between 1988 and 1991:

I'm not trying to be some sort of design snob, I'm really not. I simply wish people were more original. I want us to catch up with european design taste that has existed for decade upon decade. We north americans have been so slow to adopt a modern look, it just came and went in the 50s and didn't stick around or get improved upon at all. In the 80s, there was an attempt, but it failed miserably (because it was badly executed) and so people went running back to nostalgic looks. Like those brand new subdivisions that look like the victorian era puked all over them. Like sofas that look like they are designed for the Pope to sit on them with doilies and toile and gold threads woven through. Like "country" blue and little white geese in the early 90s. How did we go from Eames chairs to little white geese? What happened?

Outside of Ikea and the relatively-new Urban Barn, where do we Canucks have to shop for unique and relatively affordable furniture? Sure sure there's upscale design stores and small boutiques in the big cities. But you know what? I can't afford a $4000 sofa. But is there nothing betwixt the $4000 designer item and the $799 Brick special? Does my budget mean I must suffer through bad design? Isn't the Brick or Leon's capable of selling furniture with unique features? Different styles? I'm serious when I say there wasn't one sofa at any of the big box furniture stores that I would even consider dropping a grand on. My ugly slip covered sofa was better. The thing is, people don't care about good design. They want cheap, comfortable furniture that fits their idea of what is currently fashionable.

But it wasn't always like this. This is a symptom of the mass market world we now live in. Nothing is purchased by retailers in small quantities. This is really the global marketplace taking away our choice. In the case of something like books, mass marketers take away our array of choices, but it is ok, because they give them back on the internet and include free shipping. But in the case of large items like furniture, the choice is taken away and not well replaced by the internet. (Ever looked into the cost of shipping a sofa from LA?) At one time you might have had a miriad of sofa choices in a wide selections of fabrics to choose from, and the option of customizing your choice for your space, all this made possible because the stuff was produced locally. You now have only the top 20 designs in one colour made in China and shipped in massive containers of only that one design (afterall buying huge quanitites of the same thing keeps prices low). 

Furthermore your sofa doesn't have any shelf life. The design is going to go out of style, but likely no faster than the couch itself will disintigrate into nothingness. No products are made to be permanent anymore. Everything is disposable.

Because everything is disposable (I'm looking at you, 5 year old dvd player on last legs) these days, it doesn't matter if the style is 'classic' or 'timeless' or 'well designed'. Because the retailer is counting on you buying a brand new one within 10 years anyhow. Following the herd to the new trendy look, colour or style.

Furniture that is unique and well designed should last a lifetime. It should appear timeless. You shouldn't look at it and think "wow that reminds me of a boy-girl party I went to in grade 7". This is why stylish people with taste all over america are frothing at the mouth to get their hands on mid-century modern design. It is still fashionable and stylish after all these years because when people made the products, they were making them to last a lifetime. Not a decade.

I'm not saying I have the most timeless style ever or something, I just want to have more options available to me. At this point, some of my best items have been finds at garage sales and thrift stores, where people don't have good taste, or at least, they don't know as well as me what something could be worth. Like the two wooden lamps I bought this week, likely circa 1960, with original shades for $15 on kijiijii. Those lamps placed in a decor store on Queen street would have fetched ten times that because the people selling them would appreciate that 1. they are classic, 2. they are original  and 3. they can't be replaced.

There, I just identified them: Those are the three points missing from all contemporary furniture. 1, it isn't classic and has a short shelf life. 2. it isn't original at all and 3 they can be easily and affordably replaced.

I've never really seen lamps like I just bought in a store in my lifetime. But I've seen at least 3000 variations of this lamp:

 I'm honestly not even going to bother to figure out who was the designer that brought these clear based lamps into style because I don't care. It's now been ripped off so many times that it doesn't matter anymore. And I think this is because corporations are so scared of taking risks. They just want safe. They want results for shareholders. They reproduce this in a watered down version. They'd rather rip off every design in their catalog to ensure it is "safe" and has lots of "turns" (product management speak for how many times the stock turns over in the warehouse) so they can make the most money possible every year.

One of the first companies in the US to really begin selling modern furniture, Design Within Reach, has been falling apart recently, because instead of continuing to sell designer furniture like Knoll orignals such as Eames chairs and Barcelona Chairs,  they decided to start selling their own crappy versions of these. Essentially watered down cheap mass market knock offs of the originals. Because they wanted to improve their bottom line. There's a great article about that mess in a recent Fast Company issue, if you want to read more.

Why are we north americans so obsessed with fast and cheap? I wonder if it is because our countries are so young, so new that we can't imagine the future. European nations have this perspective on time, because they are filled with buildings thousands of years old. They see that things change, but not really. They appreciate timeless quality and good design because they are well aware that those 'things' could be around for many lifetimes. At least this is my theory. We don't have any perspective on that. Which is perhaps why we continue to recycle 'victorian' over and over again. We keep seeing victorian buildings as 'old' and there is some sort of nostalgic attachment to that style, so we keep recycling it.

People seem to think modern is always cold and minimal. Not so. This was recently confirmed for me by this little home decor style quiz I did that was shockingly accurate. Also for my mom, and another person I know who took the quiz. Try it out and see if it works for you. I got "earthy modern". Which couldn't be more true. I like modern looks, especially mid-century things, and I love warm colours in my decor. I want it to be comfortable and pleasant. I want lots of natural woods and original finishes. Hand made things. I don't want rolled arms and tufted things and anything that looks like it was designed before the first world war. And I want it to be well designed. So I must say, the quiz's placement of my style was bang on. I felt it was so bang on in fact, that I celebrated by purchasing my orange modern sofa.

Oh! My sofa just arrived. Must go lounge.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Under Pressure

Earlier today I commented on weddings, and how I don't want to have one. Following this I saw a friend's mom publicly lay on the baby pressure. This happens to me all the time. Not quite as publicly from my mom (her approach is the more subtle "should I save these baby clothes?" type) but quite publicly from my mother in law and sister in law.  Those two are on me like white on rice. They are ready. I can usually laugh it off, but sometimes not so much. Depends on my mood.

Baby pressure is terrible. I have about 50 different answers I give as to why I'm not yet a mother or at very  least trying to become one. People are so quick to judge. 22 is too young, but 28 is too old?

Truth is, it's no ones fucking BUSINESS why I don't want babies (yet?). But everyone and their dog assumes it is their right to ask. Hey loser, did you ever consider that I might not be ABLE to have babies? Perhaps you are touching on a sensive, personal issue? But no. This doesn't cross anyone's mind.

Amazingly, people somehow think it is socially acceptable to ask you about your child-bearing plans, but those same people wouldn't dare ask you if you actually are pregnant for fear that you are just fatter than they recall and it being embarassing for them. Funny that. They are worried about embarassing themselves more than they are about embarassing you into talking about the future plans for your uterus.

Alas, if it isn't baby pressure (which mounts and mounts until it seems it will only improve as a result of a violent verbal outburst that includes the words: VAGINA, FUCK, MINE and YOU!) it is wedding pressure.

Ah, wedding pressure. The best part about wedding pressure, is that people have even less shame about commenting on that then they do about your ability to procreate. After all, all women love weddings, right? All women spend their whole lives waiting for the white dress and princess tiara and big fucking cake, right? All women want their perfect stupid rom-com man-in-white-suit top-of-a-mountain marraige proposal and a three carat diamond....right? RIGHT?

Right after my post today. I was asked. Again. "So, when is your boyfriend going to propose?"

I can't believe how often I get asked about it. Granted, I've been in (what appears to outsiders as, but is not accurately described as) a very long-term monogamous relationship. True, I am common-law married. Thanks government, for making that decision for me. But why is it automatically assumed that I want to get married? Are there really so few of us that don't want to, that we are some rare breed?

At work it is the worst.

It seems when you get to be in your mid to late twenties (or early thirties) and you aren't married to your significant other, people assume a few different scenarios.

In scenario One, you are patiently waitin' for the big question to be popped. You don't want to spoil the surprise, so you've actually never had a conversation about marraige with your partner. Thusly, you obediently wait. There is no regard paid to the fact that you might live together or have been dating for years. You haven't discussed it. You are waitin'.

In scenario Two, you are not so patiently waiting. In this scenario, you have made it known that you are waitin' on the diamond, with intense implied desperation. Your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner knows this, but for some reason has cold feet/is a commitment phobe/treats you poorly. You are a poor, poor victim. You want it but you just aren't getting it. It must be torturing you.

In scenario Three, your partner and/or you are too poor to afford a wedding and/or ring.

I could probably imagine other scenarios that people assume. But why bother? From the things people say to me, these are the three most popular. It is simply not possible that you don't want a wedding. That is somehow inconceivable.

I mentioned earlier that it is the worst at work. My boss isn't the youngest man. He's full of random vague racism and sexism and all the other shit that comes with being white, rich and old. All that said he's a super boss and a pretty cool newfie with three daughters. I say this because he is rad in a lot of ways, and does give me a fair amount of respect in the workplace. At least more than I've ever had from an old, white, rich boss. He's just not that good with...boundaries. After every holiday, and I mean EVERY holiday, including Valentine's, Xmas, New Years, vacations, fuck, FAMILY DAY, he asks me if my partner has given me a "big diamond yet". He assumes either scenario one, or two. I think he means it as a compliment, like, why wouldn't I have one yet, since I'm such a catch? He's not the only one. The head of customer service makes a point of coming to my desk after each christmas break and/or vacation to "see the stunner!"...that I never get. She hides her disappointment poorly.

Look, it's nice and all that people think I'm such a catch that my partner is an idiot for not proposing yet. And I'm sure since I work on weddings from time to time that people think I must really be into it and have something huge and inspiring planned for myself. But it doesn't just happen to me. A coworker of mine gets it too. Over thankgiving she broke up with her boyfriend of 4 years. First day back from xmas, people start asking her where the ring is. She says to me, "I don't even have a fucking boyfriend right now. How do these people think they know me well enough to ask that when they don't even know if I have a boyfriend?" Amen sister.

But, you deal with it, right? You deal. And over time you get up the balls to tell people flat out that you don't plan to get married. You always get the same response: "EVER?" As if your life will not be complete.  Look, I'm not saying I'll never get drunk and elope in Las Vegas. I'm not even saying that it could never ever ever ever happen. Part of me thinks for some reason if I do decide to have a baby, that maybe I would then. But even that is a big maybe, and it definitely won't involve a big wedding deal. I don't have some big moral thing about it. I don't have a feminist arguement against it. It is just not for me. This seems impossible to believe and people look at you with those "oh, you're just saying that cause you are secretly waiting for the proposal" faces they make. I find it insulting in a lot of ways. The reality is, if I wanted a diamond and a wedding I would have it by now. Do I seem like a pushover? Do I seem like the kind of person that does not get what she wants? Why is it assumed that I am some weak female waiting for the marraige Godot? If I wanted it, I would ask for it, and I would get it. That's just it. I don't want it.

I thought I had my rant on this finished for today but for some reason it keeps coming up.  This afternoon I read this great comment by Sarah Silverman about marraige, and human rights. Indeed, it is an interesting time for marraige:
"In the interview, Silverman also said she finds it hypocritical for people to get married today, since gay people can't legally wed in most states. To do so, she said, is comparable to joining a country club in the 1960s that would bar Jewish and black people.
      "Not only would I not get married until everyone else can, I kind of am starting to get appalled by anybody who would get married in this day and age," she said.
"Anyone who considers themselves for equal rights -- to get married right now, seems very odd to me."

Well I'm Canadian so I can't use that excuse. But she makes an excellent point.

I think the weddings I find most annoying are these feminist commitment ceremonies. They really seem well intentioned and all but in reality, how are you thwarting the patriarchy by doing exactly what patriarchal society tells you to? Sure sure you didn't use chair covers and your dress was vintage and you have it at city hall...but doesn't make it any less a wedding and any less a social construct designed to tie you to someone (and maybe god and the government) legally. Forever. Or until you pay a lawyer to fix it.

Yeah sure third wave feminism is all about doing things your own way and being able to express your individualism. Sure, this feminist wedding thing is an improvement on the white dress property-of-your-husband thing, but it is still a socially relevant rite-of-passage that helps you fit into the demographic profile society has created for you. Way to go on the individualism there.

Anyhow, if it is for you, great. Enjoy it. Do it for the right reasons for pete's sake. Love it up. Good on you. But it isn't for everyone, and please world, stop trying to make it right for everyone. It isn't.

I'm really really tired of being made to feel that I am lying about my true feelings on both babies and weddings. Many of us are. Stop asking us, please.

Brooch Bouquets

Three posts in one day. I know! rewarding myself for writing all these horribly hard-to-write motivational emails to people I might fire soon. Brutal.

Anyhow whilst preparing my blogroll (honestly, is that the right word? I don't even know but I don't care cause it's fun to type and say silently to myself.) I visited finestationery's blog, which I visit often to keep on top of trends, how the other half lives, and colour palette ideas for work.

I've talked a bit on here about what I do but currently I have one full time gig, and two side businesses. One is a marketing and design consulting business that I've mentioned, but I also have another business that I only advertise word of mouth- I'm a floral designer. I specialize in custom weddings. I prefer really unusal things but I'll do red roses too. It's not something I advertise, but I can tell you since I would assume many of ya don't know me. On that topic, should I add an email address to my blog? I see others have one. Do you get messages?

Sorry,  I digress. To be a floral designer and make any money, you gotta do weddings. Doing a wedding takes up a whole weekend. Usually a summer weekend. Since I'm at that age where a lot of people are getting married, I get a lot of referals, and generally, since I'm...what some people have kindly referred to as motivated, I can't say no to a gig. So I don't advertise. An ideal summer has 2, maybe three weddings booked. Maybe 4. Depends on the size of the wedding. Upcoming I am booked one weekend in July and one in Sept. I think that's enough for this year, since the Sept one is shaping up to be a doozie.

ANYHOW, (rambles on) I came upon these awesome bouquets upcycled from antique brooches. Aren't they awesome? I love them.

Even more amazing is how much I can love these, and real flowers, and looking at what people in the biz call 'wedding porn', and have amazing, unique ideas for brides, and yet still not ever want to have my own wedding. Never have either, not even as a child or a preteen. My sister always tried to convince me otherwise. She thinks I'm just in denial. A 30 year denial, it seems.

The thing is, the very idea of them upsets me. I don't want some god or the government in my relationship any more than they thrust themselves upon it already. Also I don't like the concept of not being able to leave a relationship at any time. Some say not being married means you are choosing to be together, not out of obligation, but out of love. That's way mushier than I would go, but I get the sentiment. Another take would be that I'm commitment phobic. Maybe that's true too. All I know is, a wedding seems like a bad idea to me. But, that's just me. Besides, I like other people's weddings, so I'm no party pooper. I even cry sometimes, if the vows are sincere enough. Open bar weddings are especially fantastic. It's just the idea of having my own makes me ill. Really the only good part to having your own wedding in my estimation is the party and the honeymoon. I figure, if I ever do feel the need to have some sort of shin-dig featuring my awesome lovelife, that it'll be a party and a vacation and that's it. I might have the very first wedding-less wedding ever.


I added a list of blogs I read, and blog friends to my blog. Not sure why I waited so long. Anyhow. There it is. I'll add to it but I'm trying to keep it at a reasonable length because who will actually go through all of them? No one. There's lots I read that didn't make the cut. But if you can't find Goths in Hot Weather on your own, that's your problem.

Ok, so there's 16. Lets say I'll go to 20 before I start bumping. So act fast. HA.

Anyhow thanks to the lovely Hungry & Hammered for introducing me to Bad Sandwich Chronicles. So good and a new favourite.

I've included a few design blogs, a music blog, some randoms, and etc. Enjoy.


It's been a while.

No, I'm not singing along to a Britney Spears song, though that wouldn't be unusual, would it. Nope, I'm referring to how long it has been since I've posted some rant about some societal bullshit that has pissed me off. It's not for lack of pissed-offed-ness, but for lack of time and energy.

Ah well, I know I'll get around to it at some point. Maybe after the Olympic Men's Figure Skating champion is crowned. I find that whole kaboodle quite distracting.

Meantime check out Cobrapants, my new favourite music blog. I love it so hard. Especially cause there's free music! Love free music. LOVE.

Complete with downloadable dj mixes that make my life livable. My commuting life, in particular. Yes, that's me, rocking out in my car, TOTALLY HARD. You shoulder dance? That's weak. I want to see you thread the needle while travelling 120km an hour, then you can talk to me about car dancing, ok?

Check it out. This post has an excellent mixtape.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

OMG I'm Famous

Do you ever google yourself? I did today. I found out that a woman with the same name as me is somehow a character on one of these "Real Housewives of..." shows. Same name! She clearly isn't that famous yet, since I only heard of her this way. But imagine someone who had your name became super famous. Like your name is something very normal like "Michael Jackson" and then Michael Jackson comes along....Weird. That would be weird.

Not as weird as being named Theremin though.

An aquaintance named their baby Theremin recently. Their male baby. Yes, like the horror movie instrument. I suppose that reduces the likelyhood that your kid will have their name become famous unintentionally.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Illustrator of the Month - January

I almost missed this month's entry. It has been insane, with work travels to Atlanta and LA, and that on top of this being my busiest month of the year at work. Doubly this year, since I seem to keep inheriting the title "project lead" on shit, which is just that, shit, because it means somehow you are responsible and trusted by your employer, it also means you are responsible for and supervise everyone else's work fuckery. Suddenly their procrastination becomes your problem. It is lucky that Christmas falls when it does, because otherwise I don't think I'd survive. I think I might be the only person who looks forward to February each year.

This month the artist came to my attention reading Juxtapoz magaine on the airplane. One of the perks about travelling for work is that I can expense my reading material for the plane, and this time I picked my regular as well as Juxtapoz, for a change. Other work trip perks include staying in cool hotels and drinking premium alcohol for free on work nights. Not only expected, but encouraged. This is fine by me, but I have got to stop making 8am presentations hung over.

Juxtapoz is excellent - art without stuffiness and pretention, but still real articles on the topic. More articles than advertising, that is always a treat to see. Their cover artist on the January 2010 issue is Kehinde Wiley.

Kehinde Wiley is a painter. His style is something different for me, not something I would normally pick as a love. But, after finishing the magazine, I kept coming back to the pages with his images over and over again. I keep thinking about the meaning behind them. I am enamoured with his ability to freehand paint patterns. No digital cheating here folks. Saying that makes it sound like making digital patterns this complex is easy. Well, it isn't, but it is damn easier than doing it by hand.

He paints portraits of youth - primarily African American, sometimes of other cultures or races, but always the underserved male youth. He places his subjects in settings that will feel familiar to you if you study art history - history at all really, as he places them in typical poses from early 19th century portraiture or Renaissance portraiture.

Those grand, proud poses.

The work is so engaging because the artist is clearly a master - his attention to detail, the style, the painterly strokes. But it is also totally current - relevant to today's youth culture and yet is haunting because of the oddness of the pairing of these two eras.

I find his work compelling because of this contrast, but also because I feel the artist is also commenting on white arrogance. There is, among a certain generation, or personality, in white folks, the inclination to find offense in black arrogance. Personally I find arrogance refreshing, I find confident people the most interesting. But I am specifically thinking of my (or your) parents "not getting" rappers braggadocio - or the "controversy" regarding Usain Bolt's "arrogance" at the last Olympics. That sort of thing. That sort of racist thing.

Because somehow, despite the oddity of this portraiture, people still hold it in very high regard. And likely wouldn't question the confident nature of the subject.

Aside from all that thinking hard stuff, his images are really cool to look at. Juxtapoz has nice full page reproductions.

Kehinde Wiley is also gay. Maybe this shouldn't be mentioned in this post, but it seems significant to his work to me. Should I mention it? I did. 

Accepted in the hip hop community, Kehinde was comissioned to do a number of portraits for the hip hop honours. Hip hop & gay don't usually ...typically go together, so that is pretty interesting. And good.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bring the Magic Back

The record companies cry poor. Oh, wah, wah wah. You stole our money and didn't even really give it to the artist for decades, and now we are supposed to feel sorry for you? Idiots.

The reality is that the world has changed. Marketing has changed. Music hasn't really changed, but the music industry has, because no one wants to pay for music anymore. The music industry changed right in front of their eyes, and no one did anything about it. Sorry, they did. They sued some kid who had no money. They decided to rape fans, real music buying fans, of even more money: They created the "Deluxe Edition" re-release by tacking on "THREE NEW SONGS!!!" to a year old album, to make the real fans buy it twice. What assholes.  The cover of a particular Warrant album comes to mind.

The film industry was suffering too. No one goes to theatres anymore, because the home movie experience is so grand (your own couch, your own snacks, your own toilet, your own pause button...) that no one wishes to even bother going out anymore. People download everything they want to see from the net. So what did the film industry do? Yeah, they put those dumb warning messages about pirating on their films, but they also decided they needed to create a reason for people to go out  to the movies again.

3-D. Genius! You know how many movies I've seen this year in the theatre...and by "this year" I mean 2010? 2. Two. Yep, and that's 1 more than I saw in the theatre compared to the year previous, which isn't a good sample because I only went to that one movie because Gary asked and it starred Christian Bale. Normally, I avoid the theatre at all costs. 2 times this year and it is still January. Now that is good marketing.

Ah, 3d. Some of the stupidly beautiful things they are creating are simply worth seeing at the theatre to fully experience all the incredible work and artistry going into these films. There's magic again. It is fully overwhelming at times. During Avatar I actually had to move seats to sit farther from the screen, because it was so overwhelming I was feeling dizzy. They've gotten over that dumb "make it look like it is coming right at them!" 3D thing they used to do, and now they create the most incredible immersive experiences. You can see the pores on skin, see the nose hair bristle with breaths.

I'm not a huge animation buff, but I know from working in digital formats how incredibly hard and time consuming this kind of animation is.

What I'm getting at is that the music industry needs to learn from this, and fast. They expect us to pay for our music. Fair enough. But instead of giving us something extra for our money - something we want and can value, like a great experience, a cool tshirt, a poster or a good booklet, they expect us to buy the same old crap.  Instead of staying with the modern age and accepting that they must adapt, they complain and sue people.

Why should the music industry get special treatment? Why should we feel sorry for them? Motherfuckers need to learn to ADAPT because that is what all industries must do in a transitional world. They charge HOW MUCH for a download? It isn't even a REAL thing! If my computer, or mp3 player dies, and I'm not the most anal man alive who backs everything up, it is gone. Sure, I can lose a cd, but at least in that case, someone finds it. Give me a 3d totally sick animation with my download. Maybe a mini movie message from the artist. How about a log in key for exclusive web content...and the content is actually desirable? 

You want me to pay for it? Make it worth my money.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Poster Boy

Poster Boy is a New York city area street artist, who uses only a razor. He cuts sections out of posters on the street, and rearranges them. Some of them are so, so good. Check out his flickr to keep up with recent work.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Short Rant on Conan/Leno

I grew up watching Conan. Leno, I can't relate to. It was Letterman, then Conan. The best was when Andy was on the show, and he's back now. Amazing.

This whole stupid thing with Leno not really wanting to leave is terrible. You know what it is though? It's exactly what everyone of my generation is going through. No different. I say "my generation" loosely I guess - Conan is a good chunk older than me, but he's going through the same stuff I am and many of my friends are.

The baby boomers are just refusing to retire. Seen it over and over again. It's bullshit. They decide that a million dollars (or in Leno's case, many millions of dollars) aren't enough to retire on. They can't 'maintain their lifestyle forever' so they don't want to stop working. At least not fully. They don't even really want to work longer - they just want to feel needed. They don't want to quit working, because the extra money is nice, and they have underlings to do the hard work. As a result, the younger, better trained, more energetic staff are stuck in lower level jobs until they do.

My boss is either 70 or close to it. He's already got his house in Florida and is there half the time. I get stuck doing my job and his job. Do I make more money? Of course not. When will he retire? It isn't in the forseeable future. I've seen this time and time again. "Kids" in their thirties desperate to take over a family business, move from entry level to something that will actually utilize their shit-tonne of education (which of course they were told to get by boomers - "or they'll never get ahead".) The boomers have sucked up all the resources - pensions, medical benefits, secure jobs, secure economy - they had it all and fucked it all up.

And now we - in lower paying jobs in lower positions, living in a world where the average yearly income and the average cost of a house aren't even within $100,000 of eachother, are supposed to start saving for OUR retirement now so we aren't broke and destitute since there is nothing left for us. But we can barely pay our mortgages and bills, since no boomer will retire fully and let us have the decent jobs with which to get ahead.

This is exactly what Leno is doing to Conan. He can't let go of his fame and he isn't ready to leave. He wants more money. His 10pm show failed, thusly screwing Conan of any chance for a good 'lead in' show, and instead of letting him go, they've given him his OLD show back, that they already passed on. Dispicable. NBC has fucked Conan's chances of having any success with the show he spent his entire career trying to get.

I hope Conan leaves and gets a timeslot against Leno and destroys him in the ratings. There would be a sweetness to that, for all of us who are stuck...waiting....