Monthly Archives: June 2009

Music Video du Jour: Vanity- Pretty Mess

pretty brilliant. 

Neat Stuff from Paris Men’s Fashion Week

I know MJ and Farah Fawcett and Billy Mays and Ed Mcmahon have be hogging the news, but really really important stuff is going down in France: namely, Men’s Fashion Week. Actually, RIP to all of them. I’m not a total ass. I just have an acquired taste for poorly timed, insensitive humor.

But yeah, Men’s Fashion Week is going on and thanks to the internet, the collections of the world’s elite designers are only a click away. After looking over a lot of pictures (which actually turned into a teeth-grindingly boring exercise), I have picked some looks and designers I really liked.

1. Lanvin Spring 2010- For me, these outfits were the standouts of a really neat collection which played around with oranges, blues, and purples. The clothing seems comfortable and playful. The man jumpsuit looks badass on the model, but I think on an average guy (me) it would probably look ridiculous. The shorts and dress shoes look, on the other hand, is something I really want to try. Speaking of dress shoes, I really want a pair of cordovan oxfords. I just can’t find a nice (cheap) pair.  

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2. Monochrome Maison Martin Margiela Spring RTW 2010- Ming (the swatorialist) totally called this trend. Menswear was hit by a ton of monochrome looks. Some, (i’m looking at you Paul Smith) were really not for me. However, a few designers really captured the potential of playing with one color. Maison Martin Margiela made use of lots of whites (along with some fun florals.) Even with the ridiculous bird necklace/breast-plate, this outfit is terrific, especially the incredible sweater. 

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3. Gaspard Yurkievich 2010- I have never heard of this dude. Luckily, I have no real personal investment in high fashion, so if this is a crime I don’t care. Suffice to say, I thought his collection was a happy find. Beyond the drama/whimsy of some of the looks’ big ole’/androgynous sleeves, many of the outfits were down-right dapper. The first one obviously appealed to me because it is so “quirky youngster tailors grandpas slacks.” The second one has devastatingly attractive and well-constructed shorts. Plus, the shoes in both pics are pretty nifty.

gaspard-yurkievich21gaspard-yurkievich12

 

PS. I don’t want to step on anyone’s fashion-forward toes, but I found a lot of these pics on the fashionisto blog. It’s not on my list of daily reads, but if you ever want a heavy-dose of articulate men’s fashion talk, it is a worthwhile site. I just wish there was a tool to be able to sort out all the stuff  that has no appeal for me.

Tales from the Pantry #1: My unhealthy desire to be popular

This summer I’ve been volunteering at a food pantry. I love it and want to get more hours, but they have lots of volunteers (cough* no openings for me 😦 cough*), so I think I’m just going to go spend some afternoons in a nursing home playing cards and making up stories with the elderly. Wait, no. This is a post about my time in the pantry, NOT a post trying to figure out what else to do this summer.

LIke I was saying, food pantry work is a great experience and actually a lot of fun. Now that I’ve been there for over a month, I’ve become pretty popular with the other volunteers (mostly older ladies.) With the recent addition of five nice high schoolers hankering for community service hours and the young son of the man (a slighty campy personal chef) who runs the kitchen on Mondays, I now tow the comfortable line between grown up and kid. This means that I get to hear lots of gossip, do lots of tasks, and move in and out of the various cliques.

You might be asking yourself… What does it mean to be popular in the Food Pantry? or… Why would this asshat be in such desperate need of self-affirmation that he writes about his own perceived popularity on his already self-affirming/vaguely narcissistic blog? I think a therapist would have to answer the second question for you, but I can try my best to answer the first one. Being a well-liked volunteer requires that you make yourself the bland, “nice guy” in the kitchen and by the groceries. If there is one thing I’ve learned here, it’s that personality might make you a character, but it also makes you enemies. By enemies, I mean bizarre and ritualistically passive aggressive relationships with the people you chop carrots and bag groceries next to.

Being well-liked means listening to everyone’s bitching and nodding supportively, but giving no opinion. This is how I maintain my relationship with Mary-Anne (this isn’t her real name, but it’s similar and code names makes me feel like one of those insider journalists with readerships greater than 5). Mary-Anne has personality and is a definite character at the food pantry. She is a petite retiree with a penchant for produce, pessimism, and unnecessary panic. Almost definitely suffering from a bizarre and undocumented eating disorder, Mary-Anne is constantly eating yogurts and fresh fruit, and pocketing pastries for “her neighbor with a sweet tooth.” She treats volunteering like it’s a race, constantly buzzing around every which way to do random tasks and to tell everyone else how to do their own (“Remember your gloves!!!” she squawks). Mary-Anne has become unpopular on Mondays because other volunteers (mostly the two wives of retired investment bankers and the personal chef) don’t like her bossy ‘tude.

The tension climaxed last week when Mary-Anne told the chef’s young son she was worried about him making slices of pies for dessert and asked him to hand her the knife. The chef got in a huff, saying that he can use a knife and that she isn’t his parent. Mary-Anne mumbled incoherently for approximately 5 minutes, then acted as if she hadn’t asked him to leave and handed the knife back to the boy. I found the whole situation odd and uncomfortable. The Food Pantry does require that volunteers be at least 15 to work in the kitchen (the boy is 9), but Mary-Anne didn’t seem bothered by his presence before the pies, even as he almost severed his and others’ limbs in an ultimately futile attempt to chop bell peppers, dropped a bowl of hot liquid and mustard greens onto the floor, and banged persistently on the piano with the sign saying “Please don’t play.”

Regardless, an odd quiet entered the kitchen. I followed my gut and quickly left to find other tasks. Mary-Anne soon met me and rambled about how she loves soy milk. We had a quick dialogue about how the vanilla variety is particularly good for making bad coffee (read: Sharples Cafeteria) drinkable and parted ways. Returning back to the kitchen, I nodded and made unintelligible grumbles of acknowledgment to the ongoing anti-Mary-Anne rant.

This week, the various cliques sort of kept to themselves. I remained in all their good graces by doing a less frenetic/threatening, though altogether Mary-Anne-like buzzing around. MJ death and conspiracy theories talk with the ladies and the chef while prepping the salad. Fresh fig and lychee nut talk with Mary-Anne, while bagging groceries. College talk with the high schoolers while setting up lunch. More college talk with the ladies who run sign in while signing clients in. Possible kidney stone and no health insurance talk throughout the day with all the adults concerning the hostile Polish lady who runs the whole operation. At the end of the day, I spent a few minutes saying my good-byes to each group. Their smiles and (imagined/fantasized) adoration makes all the extra effort worth it.

Is this what high school was like for most people?

Gay Pride Question

I’m sure everyone’s seen pictures from various Gay Pride Parades this year. If not, have a look and answer me this. What is the audition process to be an underwear-clad float boy?

Is there a dance-off where you are judged for creativity, endurance, quality of butt, and the elusively vague, “edge”? Is it simply nepotism, and you have to be tight with the club/superstar dj/cop/drag queen/Patty Lupone whose name is on the float? Do you just arrive extra early with a trunk full of different undies and jump on a float that fits your personal style?

Will I find out the answer from an old lady at the food pantry today?

So many questions… Regardless, thanks underwear float boys. You risk sunburn and ridicule, so we don’t have to.

Chef Spotlight: Carla

Carla was definitely my Top Chef from this past season. She is just super cute, made food I wanted to eat, and has an overall great attitude towards cooking. I think the best part about Carla is that she combines a traditional culinary education with her signature love for food. The Washington Post’s onBeing Youtube series featured her sharing some thoughts on cooking with love. Any chef who sees value in a good grilled cheese is pretty awesome in my book.

Carla currently runs a DC based catering company, Alchemy Caterers.

Miami Brunch Spot: Soyka

This morning I went down to Miami with my parents to eat brunch with their old pals Jorge and Joe. J&J wanted to show us their new cabana, and then recommended we try Soyka. Owned by the same folks who brought the well-established Lincoln Rd. joint, The News Cafe (http://www.newscafe.com/). Soyka is a converted warehouse with a nautical sensibility. The space is very open, which is part of the restaurant’s mission to serve comfort food in a leisurely atmosphere. I especially liked that the restaurant didn’t follow the Miami trend of attempting to be obnoxiously trendy. Everyone there was casual, and the patrons were a nice mix of young and old. The music was all 80’s pop, which was fine except for the horribly remixed songs (Pat Benatar remixes never work, ever).

The menu had a wide variety of sandwiches, salads, omelets, and heavier fare. Brunch also includes sweeter items (like the Miami-friendly “Washboard Waffles” prepare without gluten or fat and, presumably, flavor). All you can drink Mimosas, Bellinis, and Bloody Mary’s make it a nice place to spend a couple of hours with friends.

The Bloody Mary is worth ordering. It is spiced with large grinds of black peppercorn and lots of horseradish. One was plenty for me, considering it was the first thing I consumed all day.

I ordered the Salmon Burger. Fish burgers run the risk of having too much filler to keep their shape, but this one was filled with large chunks of salmon. The burger is topped with a meyer lemon and caper tartar sauce and served with sweet potato fries.

The other notable order was Jorge’s Breakfast Pizza. A personal, thin-crust pizza with sweet italian sausage gets topped with 2 eggs (they suggest over medium, but I would have wanted over easy).

See the rest of the menu here: http://www.soykacafe.com/pages/menu.html#

On the ride home, all the stations were still paying tribute the King of Pop, and we listened to Rock with You. It’s a great song, and I would feel bad not mentioning MJ at all. Thanks for setting the stage for future Bedazzler-addicts…

*Update* A big fuck you to youtube videos that have embedding restrictions. You are seriously wasting my time. xoxo ff&f

Ambivalent Zooey Deschanel Post

She and Him covered The Smiths for Zooey’s new film, (500) Days Of Summer. Give it a listen here:
http://stereogum.com/archives/video/she-him-cover-please-please-please-let-me-get-what_076172.html
I’m not sure how I feel about the cover or the film. I dig M. Ward but can’t seem to get into She and Him, despite my affection for Ms. D. I guess it’s a cute rendition, but the vox are inconsistent. Also, the soundtrack for this movie is so boring.

Who still listens to The Smiths anyway? The 80’s was all about Breathe…

and Total Coelo…

jk Morrissey.