Saturday, August 30, 2008

Your life amounts to the art you leave behind.

I learned that from Karl Lagerfeld, who has created some of the finest art of our generation. Whether or not he wants to call it art is irrelevant. Watching a Chanel show or looking at a Lagerfeld photograph evokes a sense of feeling. I've taken pretentious courses contextualizing contemporary art, I've been instructed how to paint, take photographs, edit videos and music, write, sculpt and collage. I've learned that you can't teach a feeling, especially the kind of feeling Lagerfeld creates. Some things get called art and others get lost in the jargon. 

Today is my final official day as an intern. Next week I return to being a student on most days, but I've saved Tuesdays for the office. On Tuesdays, writing will be my break from writing. Until then, I'm going to enjoy some time off, lounging around my condo in sweatpants, reading the New Yorker and pretending I live here: 

Enjoy the long weekend.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Summer is over. Good Riddance.

It rained a lot this summer. Not enough to justify a trenchcoat, but enough to make riding the subway a truly awkward experience. I have no problems with gloomy weather. I prefer full-length everything, and own a collection of sweaters that would keep me warm through a healthy portion of an ice age.

What really bothered me about this summer was when it suddenly got hot out of nowhere. Everyone else on the street saw it coming (being it summer and all) but when I leave the house at 8 a.m., it's cold. Now that it's going to stay cooler all day long, I am looking forward to busting out old argyle, buttoning up jackets and layering vests on wovens and wovens on t-shirts and sweaters on everything.

I will admit, I don't really understand the summer phenomena. I'm convinced flip-flops cause toe fungus, I think of "tube top" as a synonym "accident" and I don't understand the appeal of a sunburn. However there are a few things I picked up over the past few months on how to dress for warmer weather.

Here are some of my rules:

1. Sunglasses will fix most of your problems- It seemed like every pair of eyes, young and old, was covered by a pair of Ray Bans this summer. Nothing against the specs (I sport a pair of knock-offs later in the post), but all of the summer's best finds are thrift and sale rack. 

2. Denim shorts go with everything- Many will disagree with me on this. But denim shorts are a lifesaver. Instantly you can get rid of an old pair of jeans, and have a new pair of shorts. They aren't classy, but neither am I. Plus they even out proportions, and make over-sized clothing look charming on small frames.

3. Bring out your dancing shoes- Winter in Canada is frigid. On some days, snowboots are a must. Uggs on the other hand, are never acceptable. During the summer, nearly any style of shoe can hit the snowless pavement. Mix it up, while you still can.

4. Don't get a haircut, wear a hat- Humidity ruins every type of hairstyle. Throw on a hat, and be granted shade. 

5. Graphic tee's are your friend- They are comfy, affordable, can be worn day or night and go in the dryer when you spill ice cream on them. No one is making you wear a giant HOLLISTER logo across your chest, but try hitting up a t-shirt shop and buy some fun, seasonal, cotton tee's with quirky graphics. Your exposed wrists will never feel this good again.

6. If all else fails, dress up like a proven summertime character- Back off, Hunter S. Thompson is already taken. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I speak like a writer, but dress like a detective.

Monday: Wake up. Coffee. Wired. Voicemail. E-mail. Contact. Interview. Transcribe. Phone call. Empty box of pens. Two more notebooks. Press conference. Credentials. Media sign in. Closed room. Free horderves. No comment. Deadline. Words. Words. Words. 

I will fall into bed at 6PM exhausted. It is my last week on the job. 

Friday, August 22, 2008

Older. Better. Faster. Stronger.

I'm always receiving compliments that end with for your age. When I was a child I was well spoken for my age. When I first started publishing my writing I was told my portfolio was strong for someone so young. Teachers in high school told me my work was beyond my years. Even now, I'm told its impressive that someone my age does the work I do. 

I'm 20. Not old, not young. At age 16, Einstein had performed thought experiments and Ice Cube had penned Fuck Tha Police. Hemingway was a reporter by 18. And that 14- (erm, 16?) year-old Chinese gymnast has already won a gold medal at the Olympics. 

Is age relevant? I would like to say no. Teenagers can be scholars and intellectuals and seniors can be artists and athletes. But when I get advice from my father or from a friend 5 or 10 years my senior, I realize experience matters. 

That said, I wish people would stop relating my accomplishments to my years. And I don't think my mom appreciates it when people relate her good looks to her age, either. 

Thursday, August 21, 2008

No time for an update today. Here is one of my favourite photos from the personal stash. 
See you at the art party tonight?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Quick Celebrity Round Up:

2 Things:

1) Peaches Geldof is moving to America. Let the drama and hilarity ensue.
2) Marc Jacobs is not married, but he is bringing his new boyfriend on vacations with Kate Moss' family. Who even knew they were friends? 

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

  Big ups to my homies on the prairies. 

so if the people laugh and giggle when you tell em where you live: say shh
and if you know this is where you wanna raise your kids: say shh
if your from the midwest and it doesnt matter where: say shh
if you can drink tap water and breathe the air: say shh

Monday, August 18, 2008

Happy Monday.

Sorry this is the worst format ever, but here is one of my most recent published works. I don't post published stuff often, but this one was my first major feature (1700 words) so I figured I'd throw it up on the blog. Let me know what you think, if you can get through it. 

Friday, August 15, 2008

Where you live always looks better in photos.
The week in random:
Do you remember Orbitz, that drink Cher & D drank on Clueless (the short lived TV version) with the gelatin balls floating in it? If not, here is an overview of the drink Rolling Stone magazine called "the hot drink of '96." 

This week the Queen West Hug Tree fell down posing the question: If a tree falls on Queen St. and there's no hipsters around to hear it, does it make a sound?

A group of Ontario residents have started a petition to end the monopoly the LCBO has on beer sales. If there was ever a cause to get behind, this is it. 

Here's a video of what is possibly my favourite interview of all time:


I'm all for patriotism but this is a little much:

Enjoy a random weekend my friends.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

 If only I had one extra hour in the day. 
(photocred: g bergman.)

A day in the life (and/or convincing the reader I'm busier than I am):

During the summer, the days never seems to end. For those of us slaving away at nine-to-fives, the day starts early. Every morning I curse my lack of sleep, but in the evening, the idea of going to bed earlier rarely occurs.

My skin is alarmingly pasty-white from a summer spent inside an office. I spend eight hours each day with my nose buried in a notebook or a computer screen. Needless to say, my cubicle isn't the best place to get a suntan. 

By the time 5:00 p.m. rolls around, my sleepy eyes have recovered and though I may indulge in a nap, I'm ready for the evening. Convincing myself I have worked long and hard, I usually decide I deserve a drink, a dinner, a movie or a cup of coffee. I'll take just about any excuse to spend time with people who aren't on the clock. 

Suddenly it's 11:00 p.m. At this point I usually think, "I'm out anyways, I may as well stay a while." By 12:30 a.m. I usually have to remind myself that I'm not as young and cool as I used to be and make an excuse to go home. By this time I'm too tired and lazy to take the subway, so I shell out cabfare and am home within six minutes. 

As I eat whatever I have left in the fridge (which usually isn't much), I realize I forgot to finish my laundry, figure out my school schedule, look into autumn jobs and call my mum. Not to mention the lazy things like reading, watching comedies and sitting in the park that you're supposed to do in the summer. 

Maybe next year. Or maybe if I had that 25th hour in the day, I could finish it all. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Umbrellas out: its been a rainy summer.

I'm a sucker for a theme party. Last week when I was invited to a sailor soiree, I jumped at the chance. Genna and I spent all week flipping through racks at vintage shops, rummaging towards the bottom of bins at the army surplus and assembling outfits that matched, but didn't look matchy. It also served as an excuse to have dinner dates and avoid necessary evils like cooking for ourselves and finishing outstanding laundry duties. 

We managed to find ensembles we thought looked more vintage than costume and made time to indulge in half-litres of red wine, pad thai and My So-Called Life on DVD. What would we have done if we hadn't had thematic outfits to plan our week around? Genna would have spent too much money on "regular" clothing and I would have spent 4/5 nights eating single serving chicken and pasta. 

Thanks for the party Dan. We hope you enjoyed your birthday. 

My first day of sailor school.
Don't rock the boat. 
Art Star(s).

Art is better when you are a part of it. Few galleries understand this. But now and then you stumble across an exhibit or a festival that makes you feel like you are a part of the art, and not simply a disconnected spectator. The Plug In in Winnipeg does this. The first year of Nuit Blanche did too. 

While we were trying to find one of the Gagosian galleries we stumbled across an amazing interactive exhibit in Chelsea. Photos below. 

taking the art of collage to new digital heights, with a decidedly simplistic and old-school feel.
Who says there is nothing good on TV?
The science of performance. 
Camel No. 9, an American phenomena.
Our trip to the states made us hungry. But we're not sure what we're craving.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

How I learned to stop worrying and love the present.

This nutbar actually lives in the past. She even says things like this:

"We've been married for 13 years and we're extremely happy because we both know our roles. There is none of the battling for equality that I see in so many marriages today."

Yes, equality sucks. It's right up there on the list of bad things with freedom and chocolate bars. Great kitchen though.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Good morning Central Park.

There are very few things I'd rather do in the morning than sleep in and get a late brunch with friends. But nothing was going to stop me from seeing the Jeff Koons exhibit on the roof of the Met. The first time we tried to see the show it was raining and the roof was closed. Only slightly irritated, we woke up the next morning, hiked across Central Park, and penciled a visit to the museum into our morning plans. 

It was worth it. While the show only boasted three pieces (hardly enough to call it an exhibit) the backdrop was hard to beat. The Met's roof offers a scenic view of the city, and I'm a sucker for Koons' shiny sculptures. The art star takes a lot of criticism. Early in his career he took out full page ads advertising himself in art magazines and hired an image consultant to work with him on his public image. Both were unheard of in the art world. 

Critics have called him tasteless for immortalizing his sex life with former wife (and pornstar) Cicciolina, claimed he's ripping off pop culture and/or other artists and said he is shamelessly cashing in on the popularity of the conceptual. But I think he's clever, I think puppies are cute and I love some of his new work (below). If you're in New York, go see the show, and make sure you check out the amazing Superhero/Fashion exhibit in the main area. Dior & Batman in the same room? Yes, please.

Everyone likes to collage. 
Even shinier in the sun.

Tourist shot for good measure.
Hold on.

I have to sit down for a minute. And I may need a glass of water. Roughly two and a half hours ago, New York magazine reported some very good news. According to the rag, the next designer to roll out a cheapie line for target will be none other than your boyfriend Alexander McQueen

There's nothing better than a cheapie line. It means well designed clothing stamped by a couture heavyweight at a price that regular fashionable nobodies can actually afford. And Target has a good track record. I have to admit, I even own one of the v-necks from their regular Mossimo line. 

If this is true, I am conning a friend with a vehicle to take me on a trip to the closest Target, in Buffalo. Don't worry, the store won't be too busy. No one in Buffalo is fashionable. Yet.

No one lives in Manhattan anymore. Wall-Street types may sleep over at the office on busy evenings and Sarah Jessica Parker refuses to leave, but I'm convinced the only people who actually live on the Upper East Side are fictional Gossip Girl characters. Everyone else packed their bags and moved to Brooklyn. 

And with good reason. Brooklyn is cozy. The rent is (relatively) cheap, the food is tasty, you can buy records on the street corner and there are well dressed twenty-somethings as far as the eye can see. Dundas West: I love you, but you have nothing on Bedford. 

Here are three of the best things I discovered on my first trip across the L train and into Brooklyn:

1. Dive bars. There are many choices of dive bars around Bedford. We found one that served cheese puffs and supplied patrons with Jenga. Another that was designed like a cafeteria, complete with picnic table seating that forces you to make friends. And one that played 50s and 60s and served Blue Ribbon for two dollars. Kasandra had three. Or Four.. Or Five... 

2. McCarren Park. There is always something to watch in McCarren Park. When the baseball game gets boring, you can make fun of the bad outfits. Then when you feel guilty, you can stare in awe at the good ones. Plus, the bar on the corner serves beer for $3 in giant white cups. 

3. The shopping. I found the white dockers I've been dreaming about all summer at a little shoe shop my room mate discovered. Alex bought an old promo vinyl copy of an N.E.R.D. album, and we hit up a 70% off closing sale. Plus, you can buy t-shirts with naked chicks on them, courtesy of vice's frequent photographer Richard Kern. We all need a little more nudity in our lives. 

Thursday, August 07, 2008

A White Plastic Fence:
The only thing separating you from the game.

Last week I attended a Blue Jays game. As I wrote in July, baseball games can be a lot of fun. I was privy to a complimentary ticket that granted me entry to a box, where free booze and food were promptly served. One dinner plate and three Stellas later, I had a new appreciation for sports games, even if I wasn't spending a lot of time watching baseball. I did however learn to cheer at the right times, shake my head when it was appropriate and frown when I wasn't sure what was going on, hoping to look like I was deep in concentration. I left a bit early so I could see my friend's band Modele, but I maintain that as long as there is food and booze, baseball games are a blast. 

Then on Sunday while we were attending a mass pool party in Brooklyn, I discovered an even better sport. The art of Dodgeball. The dodgeball games are a sidebar to the concert series, which has featured some of my favourite live acts including M.I.A., Gogol Bordello, The Hold Steady, and Wilco. But a sub-sub-culture has developed around the friendly matches. Apparently Brooklyn is all about the dodgeball. All I have to say is Brooklyn, I'm with you on this one. 

Here's a photo laundry list of the reasons that dodgeball games rule:

At baseball games, the fans get sloshed. At dodgeball games, even the players have a healthy buzz.
Your friends want to go. You don't even have to offer them free beer.
Dodgeball lends itself easily to funny outfits. 
Jocks may tell you dodgeball is utterly recreational, but you can develop some serious pipes with this sport.
Pretty girls show up, and not just the cheerleaders the team paid to be there. The girls also join in on the games, and not in the WNBA sort-of way.
At the end of the day, its not about who wins. Its about who has the best bruises to show off afterwards at the bar.