Saturday, August 31, 2013

From the Archive: House Hunters Drinking Game

I published this on a previous blog, but I thought I'd share it here.

Oh, House Hunters. The show that puts clueless people who adhere to every gendered stereotype imaginable in the hands of the most grating and idiotic real estate agents on the planet and forces them to choose between three mediocre home options. Or whatever the official outline of the show is supposed to be.

Again, my mother watches this show all the time, and still being stuck living with my parents, that means I end up watching it all the time. Which is terrible. Looking for a home is tedious and annoying in real life, so I can't get into the mentality that would enjoy watching others do it. And much like Say Yes to the Dress, it is formulaic and annoying, so I have decided to write it up its very own drinking game.

Take a drink when:

-The episode focuses on a white, heterosexual married couple.
-If they have small children or the woman is visibly pregnant. (two drinks if they have children AND the wife is visibly pregnant)
-Anyone utters the phrase "growing family."
-They talk about using a space for "entertaining."
-The couple says things to uphold gender stereotypes, for example, the realtor talks to the woman about the kitchen.
-They use the phrase "man cave."
-When it's a young couple, the wife points out that a small bedroom would make a great nursery. (two drinks if the husband immediately looks terrified)
-The buyers comment on crown molding.
-Someone mentions paint, furniture or light fixtures (or any other feature that is impermanent and relatively inexpensive to change) as a plus or minus to the home.
-The buyers have an obvious lack of knowledge about real estate.
-They have expectations that are completely unreasonable for their price range.
-Every time someone says a completely inane thought out loud.
-They mention walk-in closets. (two drinks if all closet commentary is aimed at the woman with no regard to where the man will keep his clothing)
-They complain about a street/train/other noise element.
-They complain that a room is "small."
-They complain about a lack of privacy in the yard due to neighboring houses at reasonable neighboring distances.
-Any mention of granite counter tops or stainless steel appliances.
-Anyone points out what a great "office" a room will make.
-The realtor points out something glaringly obvious ("This is a kitchen." "Here we have the back yard.")
-Any mention of a "bonus room."
-Something they say makes you think you would never want them to move in next door to you.

Finish your drink if...
-They actually buy the home you would have chosen.

Comment if you have any more suggestions! I have already added some and will continue to do so.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Hey, Tim Gunn, Fashion Doesn't End at Lord & Taylor

Lately the internet has been abuzz with something Tim Gunn said: that fashion ends at a size 12. Here's the quote:
"Go to Lord & Taylor on Fifth Avenue, I think it's the eighth floor, and it's just a department called 'Woman.' It's rather devastating. You've never seen such hideous clothes in your entire life. I mean, it's simply appalling. Thank God there are no windows on that floor, because if I were a size 18, I'd throw myself right out the window [after seeing those clothes]. It's insulting what these designers do to these women."
He makes some good points. If you only go to Lord & Taylor or Macy's or any of those department stores, then yes, the prospects are bleak. But "fashion" goes far beyond a few stores.

There's no denying that the plus size market is lousy. Many designers flat-out refuse to make them, and the stores that do (like Old Navy, Forever 21, ModCloth, and, more recently, H&M) do so in a way that seems half-hearted and begrudging. They'll make the lines only available in select stores -- or nowhere in stores, forcing fat women to shop online. The clothes will be a sad comparison to the rest of the store's collection, and usually cost more with fewer options.

Even on Gunn's own show, Project Runway, when designers are asked to make clothes for "real" people (not always plus sizes; this just means "not models") they lose their minds. They have no idea how to design for people with breasts or hips, and usually shed lots of tears before throwing them into some shapeless sack and then blaming them and their horrendous bodies for making the clothes look bad.

That's a pretty good analogy for the mainstream fashion industry, really.

I'm not denying Gunn's assertion that the pickings get pretty slim (ha) above a size 12. Things are even worse -- nonexistent, really -- if you go above a size 24. He's totally right about that.

However, equating the eighth floor of Lord & Taylor with all of fashion bothers me. It ignores the many designers who make excellent plus sized clothes, and the boutiques that sell them. Lines like Kiyonna, Igigi, Domino Dollhouse, Lucie Lu, Monif C, etc. Stores like Re/Dress or Lee Lee's Valise.  Let's not discount them and the great things they do.

I love to see someone like Gunn on our side. But I think it would be good to acknowledge that fashion goes outside of a few big stores with the same big designers; that it can be and is coming from independent labels and shops. It would be great if mainstream designers put more than a passing thought (if any at all) into their plus labels. But since they don't, let's give some credit to the people who clothe us when throwing ourselves out a window isn't an option.

Friday Fashion: Bags!

Who doesn't love a good purse? Right now I'm into bright colors, and I always need a bag big enough to handle all of my things. Living in NYC, there's no car trunk to toss your stuff into, so you have to carry everything with you. And during school I have to lug around my books and iPad. A sturdy, roomy purse is essential.

Here are a few of my (reasonably-priced, non-leather) favorites:

{Susan Nichole, $150 regular or $48 in the sample sale}
{ModCloth, $74.99}
{ModCloth, $64.99}
{Target, $32.99}
{Forever 21, $24.80}

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pics of the Week -- August 28, 2013

{Today is the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington}
{I just realized That 70s Show is on Netflix}
{Where can I get this button?}

Monday, August 26, 2013

Music Monday: Pop-Punk of Yore

Buzzfeed posted a list reminiscing about Drive-Thru Records the other day, and it sent me down a YouTube spiral of pop-punk songs from my high school and early college era. Here are a few gems I rediscovered:

Allister - "Residential Burglary"

New Found Glory - "Hit or Miss"

Yellowcard - "Way Away"

Sum 41 - "Motivation"

SR-71 - "Right Now"

Fenix TX - "All My Fault"

American Hi-Fi - "Flavor of the Weak"

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Fashion: Dress Obsessed

I have a thing for dresses. They're my favorite item of clothing, and I wear them all year round. Most styles can work in multiple seasons -- add tights and a cardigan to take a summer sundress into fall, or go for bare legs and booties once spring hits. They're versatile, comfortable, and downright adorable.

{ModCloth, $69.99}
{LucieLu, $76}
{ReDress, $58}
{ModCloth, $47.99}
{Forever 21, $22.80}

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pics of the Week -- August 22, 2013

{I've become obsessed with New Girl}
{Jon Stewart is wise}
{More squeeable puppies here}
{More food pronunciations at Buzzfeed}

Monday, August 19, 2013

Librarians remake the "Sabotage" video -- Amazing!

I don't think this video really needs much of an introduction, other than to tell you it's the video for the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" remade by librarians.

M&D 2013 Sabotage from Mike and Duane Show on Vimeo.

Awesome, right?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Fashion: A Late Summer's Eve

The past few days in New York have been pleasantly cool, so I'm crossing my fingers that we're getting into that really lovely part of the year that's just the right temperature. The part with enough sun in the day to still feel like summer, but with a breeze that makes it bearable and a hint of chill at night that requires a cardigan or light jacket. It's not quite fall, but the blistering heat of July has passed.

If that's where we are, then we need to dress for it. Summer clothes are great during the day, but you'll need something to cover up in the evening.

This skirt is a transition piece that can work bare-legged now, but still be great with tights come fall. {Target, $9.98}
Wear this over black leggings if there's a nip in the air. {Target, $24.99}
Wear a tank underneath so you can remove it if it gets warm. {Target, $24.99}
This biker jacket is denim, so it works well between seasons. {H&M, $49.95}
The color still screams summer, but it's easy to throw a cardi or jacket over this. {ModCloth, $59.99}
It's certainly not boot weather yet, but these low booties can span seasons. I dare you to try them with bare legs. {DSW, $59.95}

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pics of the Week -- August 14, 2013

Happy Wednesday! I'm bringing you a few memes and images I've come across this week that I enjoyed:


The NYC subway in 1980 {via - more pictures at link}
{© Kevin C. Downs/ News Pictures/}

Monday, August 5, 2013

Creating Structure Where There is None

Something that is tricky about unemployment for me is the complete lack of structure or schedule. Sure, it's nice to be able to sleep in and do things at my own pace, but this also means it's easy for me to languish and spend all of my time doing absolutely nothing.

So I've decided to try something out. I'm going to set small daily goals for myself that will keep me motivated to do something beneficial. I'm not going to far as to try and schedule every aspect of my life, but I think having a few things to do will help me out.

I'm not going to use a planner, because I'm not scheduling exact times. I'll just list my goals in a notebook, like so:

 And when I complete them, I'll mark them off in a different color and add any notes I want, like this:

I may try to use this blog to keep myself honest and motivated, so bear with me. Or feel free to join in and set yourself some goals as well.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

How Not to Respond to Concerns on Social Media

When I heard that The Fest (a punk festival in Florida) added comedy, I went to see what the list of names was. Shockingly (read that with sarcasm), all but one of them sounded male. So I tweeted about it and got a response.

This is a prime example of how NOT to respond to someone when you're representing a brand. If you're a drunk misogynistic wang who just closed his Reddit window to open Twitter, maybe. But not a company that should be trying to create fans. As I then pointed out.

Seriously, alienating someone who is pointing out a flaw is not a good idea. Especially since that flaw is glaringly obvious. I've noticed it every year I've gone to Punk Rock Bowling, and in every festival line-up I've covered while writing for Dying Scene. It's always 99% male acts with one or two token women (if that).

It's a problem. Denying that, and doing so rudely, just makes you look awful.

And you know what? Even if I were wrong (I'm not, and I would admit it if I were), this wouldn't be the way to respond.