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October 20, 2007

Tech Guys, Listen Up


Lilly wishes the doggie sweater sites were blocked on my computer.  Forever.

Although at times it seems like everyone and their parakeet Frisky have their own website, uh ... how shall I put this - they don't.  Yet.  But it will get much, much worse.  After all, how many of your exes/current romantic partners have a blog, let alone one where they post personal info/photos/(god forbid) videos?  Probably only one or two.  But as blogging software becomes more user friendly (or people adopt the stripped down versions, like Tumblr ... which I still say in my head "Tum-bRRR"), Facebook profiles more detailed, online video sharing sites like Vimeo, Viddler and YouTube more popular, an ever-rising percentage of the men or women whom you've seen unclothed will have information web-accessible.

Which means that soon a groundswell of support will grow for software that easily blocks their URLs for a specified period of time, so, in moments of weakness (which for me is like 95% of the time), you can't look at their pages to see gorgeous photos of their new girlfriend, who is from Brazil and has inner thighs which don't touch each other.  Bitch.

M---, the computer science guy I dated last year, developed his own makeshift version when we broke up and he didn't want to be able to access my blog, lest he read about the places I was vacationing with the new guys I was dating.  Totally understandable.  (I think he might have even blocked Gawker as well.  Even smarter.)

I envision something like this: a simple platform that blocks whatever URLs you type in (including Facebook profiles, Flickr photostreams, even, yeah, Vimeo channels), for a limited period of time, which you can adjust accordingly.

Maybe you're PMSing and lord knows what sorts of mushy (or worse, bitter) crap you might leave on your ex's Facebook wall - you only need 3 days and you're back to rational thought.  Or maybe you have a deadline and you really, really want to stop yourself from watching your not-quite-a-boyfriend's inane lip dubbing video for the 8th time, so you block his URL for 3 hours.  Or maybe you realize you need to detox on celebrity gossip - and you block Perez Hilton's blog for 3 months!

So tech nerds, make it happen.  Because honestly, I have work to do.  And this whole personal-stuff-on-the-web thing?  Very distracting.

October 07, 2007

Your Online Personality - Blogs vs. Videos

Okay, so I admit, hate mail is funnier.  But occasionally I get a (positive) comment which makes me think.  The below, posted about the video "Why I Go to Gawker Parties," is a great example. (Caveat if you watch it: Saying that I'm friends with 95% of Gawker employees is an overstatement. But the general sentiment - I know and like a majority of them - is true.)

Kim commented on your video "Why I Go to Gawker Parties":

"julia -- i knew about you via gawker before anything else (i read your column in amny but didn't know that was you until it was pointed out to me).  and seeing you via video has really made you more likeable (to me, at least, but i'll guess to many others as well).  just thought i'd point that out.  vimeo adds a nice counterpoint to everything they write about you on gawker.  (p.s. i love la esquina.   yuuuuummmmm)."

[cue Carrie Bradshaw sing-song]  - So I had to wonder - If the internet depersonalizes us and makes us more vicious (through a combination of anonymity and bitchy, subjective, unsubstantiated opining), will online videos personalize us again?  Make us more likable, or at least more real (maybe I mean "more accurate")?

[Except, uh, Carrie wouldn't ever wonder about this, because she barely understood the concept of IMs.  But, you know, go with it.]

I emailed Jakob.  What did the Fameball think?!

------ Forwarded Message
From: Jakob Lodwick
Date: Sun, 07 Oct 2007
To: Julia Allison
Subject: Hmm

The realness of a Vimeo identity is unstoppable; with that sort of intimacy, it's almost impossible to hate anyone who is not straight-up evil.

------
From: Julia Allison
Date: Sun, 07 Oct 2007
To: Jakob Lodwick
Subject: Hmm

Well ... I agree, to an extent.  Certainly, Vimeo has been and I think will continue to be very good for me - but only because in person most people find me genuinely likable.  Well.  At least 85% of the time (the other 15% is PMS).  However, I would refine your statement somewhat, adding in a paraphrase of what a reality show producer once told me:

A lot of reality show stars complain that the producers manipulate them – through editing or whatever - to get a certain type of character.  The producers actually say that ISN’T true, it’s just that the stars don’t realize what they’re really like (bitchy or obnoxious or whiny & stupid, etc.)

When it comes down to it, how you come across in a visual medium like video on Vimeo is very much how you come across in real life.  The difference is that you can see yourself – and if you don’t like what you see, well guess what?  Your self-perception is off.

In other words, if you’re annoying in real life, you’ll probably be annoying on video too.  If you’re self-important and egotistical in real life, you’ll probably be self-important and egotistical on video.

And so the people who will benefit off of this new video culture are A) those who are personable in real life and B) good actors.  :)  We all know that I’m definitely not B, so I’m swinging for A.

September 29, 2007

wow.

Every woman in the history of the world, at one point or another, has voiced complaints to the man she's seeing - and it is our collective fantasy (something which almost always remains a fantasy) that said man actually listen to our complaints, take time to reflect upon them, and then - holy crap - maybe ... evolve ?!?!

This is one of those (tragically rare) instances, and all I have to say is, if every guy so freely admitted his mistakes, no one would get any work done.  They'd all be busy having incredibly hot makeup sex.

On second thought, maybe it's good men are, on the whole, relentlessly stubborn - if only to protect our GDP.

September 26, 2007

"Dynamic Fame"

I jotted down a few ideas at the request of an author doing a book called Dynamic Fame (I guess that’s his term for this reality-internet celebrity we have foisted upon us) ... they're not fully formed (oh, what is, really??) but it's a good jumping off point for discussion.

------ Forwarded Message
From: Julia Allison <julia@juliaallison.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007
To: Author of Book
Subject: Internet Fame!

On Dynamic Fame

First, let's define Famous.  Famous, adj "known by many people."  So how is being known by many people helpful?

Well, it must be.  Otherwise, why the hell does vh1 & E! exist?!

If there were no evolutionary benefit to fame, no one would chase it – or certainly not as doggedly as they do now.  To be well-known gives many people (perhaps most people?) pleasure, and generally things that give us pleasure have their roots in something that at one point helped us.  There could be no other reason for the proliferation and (exponentially accelerating) mass obsession with fame.

Ultimately, I think it has something to do with the fact that people will DO things for you if you're famous or well-known. It's a type of power. So let's say, back in the day, you were famous amongst your little tribe, well, people would be more likely to bring you back nuts & berries & shit.  They’d be more likely to give you the better cave, the better cave women, the better spot in the hunting pack, whatever (I hate these stupid “back in the cave days” examples, but still, I can’t think of anything better).  Thus, fame was a type of currency very early on.

In any case, how does this relate to web fame? Well ...

Fame is funny. If you REALLY think about it, it doesn't MATTER whether you're famous throughout the entire world, like Brad Pitt, or all of America, like Mandy Moore, or famous just at your college, or famous in your chosen career (maybe you’re the most famous electrician in Des Moines!)  In any of these cases, you're going to accrue the benefits of fame – the adulation, the sense of false familiarity, the reassurance that people you don’t know personally will treat you well and help you out when you need something.

As long as you're surrounded by people who think you're famous, it doesn't matter where they are.  So the web, in a sense, has created billions of heretofore nonexistent opportunities for people to become famous in their own niches - whereas before they were limited to real world communities.

One more thing - the internet also leads many people to believe they are famous and, as such, begin acting in fame-addled ways.  As anyone who is familiar with E! or the celebrity newsweeklies, such as my employer, Star, fame often goes hand-in-hand with rampant and unrestrained egotism.  Rosie O'Donnell explains the phenomenon perfectly in her new book, Celebrity Detox:

“It is a shift that happens in the head and that very few celebrities will ever really speak about. … One begins to believe in the specialness, and a dangerous sense of entitlement takes over. … When celebrity addiction starts, you become impatient with, and even angry at necessary obstacles. You think could run a red light or two. And then you do.”

Therefore, due to the internet, a huge (and growing) number of people have acquired what a good friend of mine termed “situational narcissism.”

In terms of whether online tools like Facebook were valuable in creating dynamic fame, I’d say of course, in certain ways they were invaluable.  Namely, they facilitated dynamic fame amongst smallish cyber-groups that would never have formed otherwise.  But it’s important to note that while they were accessories to the crime, but they were not the genesis.  The genesis was the internet in and of itself, the internet as a medium with which to display and familiarize personalities.  Prior to the internet, your options for achieving fame were as follows: acting, athletics, politics, royalty or sure, you could get a little attention by killing a few people in a dramatic way.  Other than that, you were probably doomed to the dim twilight that knows neither MySpace nor YouTube.

Now, on the other hand, you need merely a T-1 line and a digital camera and three days from now, you could sit opposite Matt Lauer on the Today Show as 10 million people watch you give the director’s commentary on your poorly lit, badly edited 3 minute viral video.

Welcome to Dynamic Fame!  The anarchy which, at its most delusional, believes itself to be a meritocracy.

September 19, 2007

If You Want to Know What Really Happened

Life has always managed to throw me rather dramatic timing, which I (mostly) quite like - I'm a big fan of the motto AFS (Anything for a Story).  So it's somehow fitting that my last quasi-not-quite-a-relationship was abruptly terminated on the first day of National Singles & Unmarried Americans Week.  That would be yesterday.

I'm not really sure who dumped whom.  Part of me thinks it was him.  The other part thinks it was me.  Mostly I think it was him. ... Although I'm actually the kind of girl who loves to go around telling people I've been dumped.  Maybe it's the sympathy (like the hair stylist this morning telling me to do something nice for myself - like get my nails done.  um, check!  they're bright pink.)  or maybe it's the instant camaraderie  - like the prominent gossip columnist getting her makeup done this morning in the next chair who, upon hearing my description of the events, said "Are you talking about the tech geek?  Why the fuck were you with that loser, anyway?  You should've dumped him after the first date."  And she knew exactly who he was, too. 

Actually, pretty much everyone echoed those sentiments.  Not a single fan could be found amongst my friends or colleagues ... odd, because when I had broken up with my last two serious boyfriends (admittedly MUCH MUCH more serious and long term), I think my friends and family were just as devastated as I was.

Normally, I'd leave my public description of the breakup at that.  No names, no real details, just an allusion to a (you'd assume) disappointing emotional event.

The truth is, despite having been a dating columnist for over five years now, I rarely divulge personal details.  People constantly assume I do, because, well, they probably own the Sex & the City 6 Season anniversary box set.  Um.  I mean, hell, I do.

But if you read back through my columns (don't feel the need to do this, just trust me on it), you'll find that while I might allude to an old anecdote (infrequently!) - I never name significant others, I never talk about our relationships, and I never post photos of them.  The man I dated for more than two years when I first moved to NY, I referred to only as The Boyfriend.  The last four guys I've seen haven't appeared on my blog or in my column, in any form.  Most men don't want the scrutiny, and I respect that - what I put out here is a tiny percentage of myself, but at least I have control over it.  To be deprived of that control can be frightening and hurtful (as one quickly discovers with gossip blogs).  I would never want to do that to a burgeoning relationship.

However, it seems that I've come to an exception.  This guy feels comfortable putting some truly intimate things on the internet - in fact, he asked me specifically to name him in my next column.  It would have been a first.

I won't name him.  It's not my style.  But I will reprint the breakup email after the jump, with a bit of context.  And yeah, a link to his blog.  Because while sometimes everybody shouldn't see everything, I've decided that for once, this isn't one of those times.

Continue reading "If You Want to Know What Really Happened" »

September 17, 2007

Up late thinking

I read an article like this and I can't help but think, "I'm a shallow, petty asshole who's doing nothing for the world."  It actually made me cry, which, I assure you, doesn't happen that often.

Not to mention that it makes the life I lead seem incredibly trivial, doesn't it?  It's so easy to get lost in that.  I guess the question I have is: are these worlds mutually exclusive?  In other words, do you have to choose - fashion/entertainment/celebrities/dating or ... doing good?  It's seductively easy to lose perspective in the former, but ultimately, how much do I help anyone?  Well, other than my stellar sartorial wisdom, which has probably made a difference in at least four people's lives.

I feel very tiny.  :(

August 06, 2007

Lindsay Lohan: Go Directly to Jail. Do Not Pass GO. Do Not Collect $200.



That's it.  I'm done.  DONE with any sympathy I might have once had for poor little Lindsay.  No more Barbara Walters' "she's a nice girl," "she's a good actress."  Not since I saw this last week.  Excuse me for a bit of moralistic outrage here, but being a good actress (and she is) DOES NOT EXCUSE PUTTING OTHER PEOPLE'S LIVES AT RISK.  Period!  Look - she can drink and do drugs as much as she wants, for all I'm concerned.  That's her decision.  But the second she crosses that line - and it's a big one - that's it for excuses.

I was prepping for my CNN Glenn Beck segment later today, and asked my parents what they thought.

Mom: She needs to be spanked, grounded, and her allowance should be taken away.

Dad's suggestions come from the wisdom off the back of a cereal box (see below).

They then both offered to personally rehab Lindsay for 30k (what she's reportedly spending for 30 days of treatment).  I have to say, they'd probably set her straight.  After all, I don't drink, smoke, do drugs, go commando or drive under the influence.  Then again, I can't seem to stop eating sugar or posing for photographs.  I suppose everyone has their vices.

My favorite idea for Lindsay:?

"Work on a jigsaw puzzle."  Hell yeah!  Samantha Ronson would be so down for that.

In the meantime, I think this should be her new theme song ...

July 30, 2007

Hmmm


with Michael Arrington last Saturday night at some Laughing Squid party

So maybe someone can explain this to me -  let's just say, theoretically, you express an interest in somewhat geeky tech guys*.  Let's say you express this interest whilst at a party full of said guys, in front of a girl video blogger.  And let's further say that this blogger decides that your interest in the aforementioned guys is directly correlated with your interest in their high valuations, despite you saying nothing of the sort and repeatedly making facial expressions that indicated, in general, you were attempting (perhaps failing, but nonetheless attempting!) to be cute/humorous.

Let's also say that (theoretically) you're used to taking all sorts of shit from anonymous interweb-type commenters who don't know you, but really, really enjoy making judgments about your promiscuity/intelligence/motivations/ample-rear, so you (honestly!) don't really mind much, and have learned to actually sort of find it all quite amusing, even the part where people try to guess how many STDs you have.  Well.  Maybe not that part.  But the rest of it.

Should you then assume that anyone with a decent level of irony will get who you really are and that the aforementioned video blogger wasn't necessarily trying to be malicious, but simply editing a series of statements into what could arguably be thought of as really bad performance art?  Or should you think that she's sort of a biotch who you should challenge to a geek-girl-rumble, maybe an AIM-off, with Justin.tv and Jimmy Wales and maybe some guy from YCombinator as iPhone wielding referees?

Or should you just stop clearly procrastinating with obnoxious and sort of self-indulgent rhetorical questions and focus on actual work?

*to be very clear, that's not an oblique reference to the one pictured above, although Mike is a great guy and Meghan and I enjoyed his company.

July 26, 2007

The (Pretty Significant) Evolution of My Interior Decorating

Since we're talking bachelorette pads, I dug up a few old photos of my past, um, valiant attempts at fixing up my various places of residence.  HA.

Georgetown dorm, junior year

Yes, that's a pink flower border I actually bought and pasted up.  And yes, it was ALWAYS that clean.  I lint-rolled my bed.  Who does that??

Georgetown dorm, senior year

I really liked pink.


I thought hanging a dress on the wall was the ultimate in creativity.  Perhaps this is why Georgetown is not known for churning out innovative artistic minds.  Sigh.

Newport Beach, CA, right after graduation

I lived with my ex-fiance (although he wasn't "ex" at that point).  I call this look "I'll compromise on the pink but we're still having a goddamn teddy bear on the couch, damnit."  Bland.

New York, 23rd & Park, 2005

Could only afford IKEA, and although I lived alone, I was dating an older guy, and he hated pink, so I went for green instead.  In retrospect, who the hell cares what the guy you're dating thinks?  Again, note the bear.

East of Gramercy, now

Highly evolved style, thanks to my ex-boyfriend, who has the design sense of 15 gay men.  He taught me how to take it to the next level ... and introduced me to the color brown, which, prior to him, I was violently against.


The bear stays in the picture.

Bachelorette Living, sans Cat.

So my favorite bronzed (rust-colored?) lady Emily over at Gawker just posted a list of the things comprising a single gal's bachelorette pad.  Being such a bachelorette, I thought I'd find out how accurate they were ...

  • Piles of magazines everywhere, comprised of tons of pretentious ones that are clearly untouched and then severely thumbed-through Vogues and Luckys
  • Piles of magazines, check.  Vogue (and Vanity Fair, O, Glamour, Elle, Real Simple, Wired, Details, New York, Newsweek, among others like, yep, my employers - Star and Time Out New York).  I did have a sub to The New Yorker (it was a gift), but it made me irritable every time I looked at it.  As for Lucky, hell no.  Even I have standards.
  • Overflowing shoe rack and nothing in the fridge
  • Shoe rack, check.  Several of them, at least one overflowing.  Nothing in the fridge - check.  (Well, technically, it contains frozen spinach.  And a Brita pitcher.  And 5 month old "beer for guests" because I don't really drink, and when I do, I definitely don't drink beer.)
  • Scented candles
  • Check, check, check, check.  Every room.
  • Slovenly heaps of little-used makeups in the bathroom
  • Oops, not so much here.  I definitely have heaps of makeup - safely stored out of sight.  But this falls under the I'm-Scarily-and-Abnormally-Anal-Retentive clause, so ...
  • Stuffed animals in the bed
  • Check.  A teddy bear, of course.  Always.
  • Cat hair on the furniture / cat smell
  • This would be a resounding check, except that I'm allergic, alas.  But I have a small white fluffy dog which at times people mistake for a cat.  Does that count?  I think I may get double points because I dress her up and take movies of her.
  • Cabinets full of mugs featuring the likeness of lady who looks like those hypertrophically-limbed Daily Candy illustrations, bearing the legend "I Love Shopping" or whatnot
  • Well, actually - nope.  I like things to MATCH, so all of my glasses are clear, except for one free Georgetown Alumni glass, which always annoys me, but I can't get rid of it, because then I would have an odd number of glasses.  Hmm.  Now that I put it into writing, that sounds a little crazy.  It's just ... they're all lined up nicely on the shelves in even numbers - which makes me happy.  Yeah, yeah, I know, I have issues.
  • Anything pink
  • Uh, CHECK times 50.  Times 500!  Times ... right ... you get the idea.  Look, to say I have a serious pink fetish is to say that perhaps Lindsay Lohan has a problem with substance abuse.  The pink fetish went dormant for the past two years (a result of having to live with a boyfriend, and after our subsequent breakup not having the cash to redo my place), but when I move to my next apartment, Bobby Trendy, watch out.
  • Ornamental pillows
  • Of course.  I own four of them.  Were pillows supposed to have another purpose?
  • Unedited bookshelves, esp. if they include He's Just Not That Into You or anything along those lines
  • The looks I've gotten from guys after perusing my bookshelves have ranged from horror to disgust to naked fear.  Four words: HAZARD. OF. THE. JOB.  In my defense, these ... uh ... literary works are sent to me unsolicited and FOR FREE.  Still.  Currently sitting on my desk in a giant pink & purple, about-to-topple-from-the-weight-of-desperation stack: "The Rules," "The Rules II," "Having an Affair?" "How to Understand Women through Their Cats," "If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start with Your Legs," "It's a Breakup, Not a Breakdown," "The MANual," "You Can't Have Him - He's Mine," "I Can't Believe I'm Still Single," "How to Marry a Multi-Millionaire," "Faking It," "Get Serious About Getting Married," "The Art of Seduction," "Sperm are from Men, Eggs are from Women."  The last one's actually pretty good.
  • Nair
  • Ha!  No.  Having shelled out big bucks (WORTH IT) for laser hair removal, I am now the proud owner of a more or less hairless body. 
  • Lite cottage cheese in the fridge
  • There's a beet/carrot juice from Liquiteria in my fridge right now because I'm too lazy to use my juicer.  That definitely counts.
  • Anything lite or diet around. Cases of Diet Coke. Weight Watchers 'Just 2 Points' bars
  • How about boxes and boxes of green tea bags?  I won't put Diet Coke - or any soft drink - into my body, nor that Weight Watcher's crap.  I'll do cookie crack, but not that shit.  I don't really drink anything but water and my beet-carrot juices.
  • Inspirational or thinspirational things on the fridge
  • I have a magnet that says "It's not who you marry that matters.  It's who you divorce."  It makes me smile every time I walk by it.
  • July 17, 2007

    IM "Debate" of the Day

    So, yes, I had a problem with the feminist merits (or lack thereof) in the latest Obama Girl video.

    Here, the transcript of my impromptu debate with Huffington Post's Rachel Sklar can be read, with oh-so-helpful links.  I have more to say on this subject (not typed in IMs) when I get a chance.

    For the record, I heart the gorgeous and talented Ms. Sklar immensely, and think she's absolutely brilliant, but alas, she's incorrect on this subject.

    And won't someone PLEASE make an "I Have a Crush on Hillary" video with hot, strapping, bareshirted men?  PLEASE??


    At Lockhart's going away party last week.

    June 14, 2007

    Giving a New Meaning to "Best Political Slogan Ever":
    "You Can Barack Me Tonight"

    I am absolutely OBSESSED with this video.  Seriously.  Oh my god.

    May 29, 2007

    Yes, We Know, Rosie is Not Size 2. Move On.

    Huffington Post media columnist Rachel Sklar analyzes what she views as FoxNew's anti-fat prejudice today, citing the Hannity & Colmes segment I appeared on last Friday as an example.  Although I agree with most of Rachel's interpretation, I wouldn't say it's so much anti-fat prejudice as a disproportionate and inappropriate focus on women's looks, which seems to get in the way of a rational discussion about the substance of their opinions.

    In other words, if we want to debate whether Rosie insinuated the troops were terrorists, fine.  But the idea that it's somehow valid to endlessly denigrate her physical appearance is just so ridiculously and gratuitously beside the point, it should go without saying.  Except that in every single public debate about Rosie of which I've been a part - and there have been many - her detractors have brought up her body, face, or sexuality (which is equally irrelevant!)

    Witness the following abridged transcript from the show last Friday:

    Hannity & Colmes, Friday, May 25, 2007

    Hannity: If we referred to America as a terrorist nation - if we called our troops terrorists - and she did say it - if we talk about our president as being a dictator ought to be tried at the Hague - these irresponsible comments were accepted by ABC - why does she get a pass, because she's a liberal?

    Julia: You know, I don't actually think she called the troops terrorists, but I don't think that's really about this, this is really about ...

    Hannity: Excuse me, I'll read you the quote "655,000 Iraqi civilians have died, who are the terrorists?"

    Julia: Listen, I absolutely understand what you're saying, but as far as ABC is concerned this is really about the money, it's about the ratings, they're not concerned about the political viewpoints.

    Colmes: By the way, Julia, ABC has denied that the dressing room was trashed.  That was in the Post, it was reported, but it's been denied.  So we don't know whether it happened or not.

    Julia: But we do know that they drew mustaches on Elisabeth Hasselbeck's photos.  That's third grade behavior!

    Colmes: But that was not Rosie.  Here's the deal, Ellis, on this show we talk a lot about Imus and Opie & Anthony and defending their right to say things that are over the top.  We should also defend Rosie O'Donnell's right to say things that we agree or disagree with - it doesn't matter whether we agree with her or not - this is not about agreeing with Rosie ... It's about the right to say what is a point of view - extreme though it might be - that you can still say it and not be criticized or ridiculed for saying that point of view.

    Ellis Henican: And most of us who are in the business of providing provocative and engaging opinions understand that that's something precious we really need to defend.  The fascinating thing with Rosie is she's brilliant at getting under the skin of people that she disagrees - she angers Curtis and she angers Sean.  Why does she rattle you guys so much, that's what I want to know?

    Julia: Absolutely! Why do you care?

    Ellis (to Curtis Silwa): Who cares!?  Who cares what she says!? She got under your skin!  She rattles you!

    Curtis Sliwa: The blob has her own blog!! If you're a sycophantian lackey of Rosie O'Donnell, you can see her at home stuffing the cookies in her face, the blob working her blog!! (mimes stuffing cookies in his mouth)

    Julia: But once again, you're making ad-hominen attacks!  Why go and insult her attractiveness?  That's absolutely unacceptable.  If you want to insult her viewpoints, do that, but why go for her attractiveness?

    Colmes: Good for you!  Good for you, Julia!

    Curtis: Excuse me, the fact that I'm watching her attack my President and my country, and she looks like Linda Blair in the Exorcist with her head ready to explode!

    Julia: But this has NOTHING to do with what she looks like!  You said earlier that it ultimately came down to the fact that Elizabeth is cute and Rosie isn't.  But if you had two men in an argument, at what time would you ever hear them say "Oh, you know, this fight is really about their relative attractiveness."  You would never, ever, ever hear anyone say that!

    Curtis: Elisabeth Hasselback is the only person on that hencluck show called The View who has any decent basic values about America.

    Colmes: I think Julia is exactly right.  You don't like the way she looks and that should not be fair game!  Julia, you're exactly right.

    Ellis: It's anti-fat prejudice maybe!

    Curtis: Anti-Fat??

    Julia: It's just unacceptable to draw her personal appearance into any of these arguments and we've time and time again gone back to the fact that she's supposedly a "fat lesbian."  That's just irrelevant!

    Curtis: I didn't say that, you said that!  I said "the blob has her own blog!"

    Might I add that Curtis isn't exactly svelte himself and, to top it off, was wearing a red beret to disguise his bald head?

    Ah, the irony.

    May 13, 2007

    Happy Mother's Day, Momsers!


    My gorgeous, brilliant mom, circa 1990 (ish?).

    See, I didn't learn the "Put-Your-Hand-on-Your-Waist-So-Your-Arm-Doesn't-Look-Fat" trick from Paris Hilton - I learned it from my mom!  That having been said, this is very much the only thing my mother and Paris have in common, I assure you.


    And with me, circa 1983.

    More Mother's Day Love


    Young Julia, 2002, Oil on Canvas.

    How to describe my mom?  She has never been the sum of her resume, although that's impressive - an early Type-A, she graduated from Stanford, worked for Reagan (when he was governor) and Nixon (when he was President), a PBS producer (until I came along), and then a full-time mom, Hospice volunteer, and very active church member.

    She is a consummate runner-of-households - my father calls her CEO of Wif, Inc. - but never, ever "just a housewife."  One of the most artistically gifted and creative human beings I've ever met, what this woman can do with a box of ribbons and a pair of scissors would blow your mind.

    Indeed, her talent as an artist - oils, pastels, pencil, charcoal - is so astounding that if she had the self-promotional bent I do, she would be a household name.  See below (and at top) for proof.

    Unlike so many people (including my lawyer dad, whose profession describes him better and more expeditiously than anything else), my mother has never defined herself through her job - even as a mother.  Who she is cannot possibly be described by what she's done, because "force of nature" isn't frequently found on business cards, no matter how avant-garde.

    Blisteringly intelligent, her conversations are legendary for their depth and breath of thought.  And yeah, their length, too.  She's open-minded, a perfectionist (in ways both good and bad), a bastion of unpretentiousness, a sometimes-devil's-advocate, spiritual but definitively not dogmatic, relentlessly altruistic.  I've never seen anyone care for pups as well as she does for our shih-tzus Lilly & Langdon, whom she adopted from me when I moved to New York.  She cooks them chicken dinners.  They have puppy car seats and puppy life vests and 837 puppy toys, and, oh yes, their very own puppy nanny (for when Mom is away for more than four hours).  Rough life.

    My mom, who used to sport ribbons in her hair into her 20s and shunned pants in favor of A-line skirts as much as I do (we were both "blessed" with physical qualities that theoretically enable us to star in rap videos and/or as poster white girls for "Baby Got Back"), also doesn't wear makeup or get botox or hobble around in heels and a Juicy Couture sweatsuit pretending to be "hip and young."  She doesn't really give a shit about what people think, which is both one of the coolest and scariest things about her.  She is nobody's doormat.

    An inveterate reader, a strong-willed, confident feminist, and the most financially prudent women I've ever met (she dominates Turbo-Tax), she thinks buying anything without heavily consulting Consumer Reports is asking to be robbed and summarily beaten with broken microwave parts.  She once told me that she wished either me or my brother were gay, because she would have been "totally supportive."  (Alrighty, then!  I made a mental note in case the need should arise for me to alter my sexual orientation.)

    It has been said that sometimes my mother can be so warm and bubbly she must be fake.  She's not.  She's a Gemini.  She's a communicator.  A communicator who will laugh and smile, warmly, lovingly, but If You Cross Her You WILL REGRET IT.  [A small illustrative anecdote: In high school my #1 'issue' was not drugs or alcohol or sex.  It was waking up on time in the morning.  I am NOT a morning person, and I got very good at forging excuse notes (the number of "orthodontist appointments" I had at 8:30 am probably numbered in the hundreds).  One morning, after sleeping yet again through the first bell, I had pushed Mom too far.   She told me I would get suspended if I didn't shape up.  I replied - accurately, I might add - that they "didn't suspend kids like me."  (Hello, I was on the DEBATE team!)  "Oh yeah?" Mom said.  "Is that so?"  And she marched down to the school, right into the dean's office and announced, "You need to suspend my daughter for being relentlessly and unapologetically late."  And the dean said "We don't suspend kids like her."  And my mother said, "You do now."  Guess who had to check "yes" in the box of "Have you ever been suspended?" on ALL of her college applications?  Lesson Learned.  Do.  Not.  Mess.  With.  Mom.]

    Actually, my mother is the sole reason I'm (ostensibly) a writer today.  It was my mom who first encouraged me to join my high school paper as the opinions editor ("you have so many opinions!  way, way too many opinions!  many of which are wrong!  why don't you write about them?!"), and it was my mom who not only supported me when I started writing columns at Georgetown, but spent hours and hours on the phone editing them with me.  It was my mom who - despite her unabashed hatred of the FoxNews channel and absolute disinterest in any sort of publicity - nonetheless championed me by making an appearance - makeup-less on tv!! - to talk about what it was like to edit her daughter's "sex column."

    More than all that - my mother is the reason I'm a strong woman today.  Yeah, I said it.  STRONG WOMAN, hear me roar and wear purple and go on women's retreats and quote Maya Angelou.  Because more than anything, my mother is that, the ultimate "strong woman" - with a ridiculously loving almost 30-year-old-marriage, a close group of girl friends, two beautiful, well-run homes, two happy little puppies and two more or less well-adjusted kids with no discernable need for SSRIs.

    She could make Kim Jong Il piss his pants with one of her lectures, but she still signs her emails "lovehugskisses, momsers."  And that, my friends, is a damn impressive dichotomy.

    Happy Mother's Day, Mom.  I love you.


    Julia with her Dad, 2000, Oil on Canvas.


    Abstract, 2001, Oil on Paper.


    Nude, 2003, Charcoal/Pastel on Paper.

    April 12, 2007

    Because Nothing Says Bridal Wear Like a Totally Naked Man

    Wedding season's coming up.  Trying to find something to go with that brand new bridal gown you just bought?  How about a completely naked dude?

    While surfing TheKnot.com the other night with my friend Rachel (total fiances between us = 0.  Whatever.  Details.), we stumbled upon these ACTUAL PHOTOGRAPHIC ADS depicting possible future wedding dresses.

    At first, we were confused.  What the hell was a naked man doing there?  Did he come with?  Because that sounds like a really good deal, except that most normal women, when actively searching for a wedding dress, have the whole "man" thing pretty much covered.

    Furthermore, when these women think about their future wedding dress, they probably aren't like, "Wow, I really love this dress, but the thing that would make me want to buy it even more is if I could see it pictured with a totally naked man who isn't in any way my fiance rubbing his totally naked body against its pristine white fabric!"

    Although maybe there are discounts for stains?

     Naked Man with Bride 1.jpg Naked Man with Bride 2.jpg

    Naked Man with Bride 3.jpg 


    Um, honey ... this is fine for the wedding dress ad photos, but I'm going to insist you wear a tux to the wedding.  No.  Seriously.  'NUDE' DOES NOT WORK WITH MY COLOR SCHEME.

    April 01, 2007

    The Whitest Girls U Know

    Along with thousands of other similarly suburban-raised white girls, I can rap 100% of the lyrics to "Baby Got Back."


    Indeed, I know several rap songs, including but not limited to "Paul Revere," any by Wyclef, and those involving Hos and disparate phone prefixes.  In fact, I have fond memories being 16, rollin' in my sea green Ford Contour in the northern Chicago 'burbs, screaming "Regulators, MOUNT UP!"  I did not know what a Regulator was, but if Warren G & Nate Dogg said they should Mount Up, they should, damnit.

    [I've obviously mellowed in my old age, because Pocahontas' "Colors of the Wind" is playing right now on my iTunes.  Of course, the previous song was "Promiscuous Girl," but it's on shuffle so I take absolutely no credit for the irony.]

    In any case, despite my practically encyclopedic knowledge of pop rap, I have - until last Friday - avoided using the term "Gatt" in conversation or, yes, flashing fake gang signs while posing for photos.

    I italicize this because A) I'm shocked.  It seems like the kind of totally-obnoxious-cheesy thing I would do.  and B) My fellow really-really white girls seem to have taken a different direction.  Many ladies feel that, if in photographic doubt, GANG SIGNS = REALLY COOL.

    In fact, this video really sums it up:


    In homage to this, the ridiculously adorable, bring-her-home-to-mom, so-white-she's-clear media reporter Rachel Sklar and I decided to flash our own unique gang signs at Arianna Huffington's book party last Friday.

    As I think you'll quickly deduce, they give us an ineffable aura of  "badass."  Also, confusion.

    Do.  Not.  Fuck.  With.  Jewish.  Gangstas.

    March 29, 2007

    So realistic you'll think you're actually watching Fergie

    Funniest Fergalicious parody video, ever. I think my favorite part is when the very large drag queen takes out a neon pink highlighter and tries to spell out "FERGIE" but gets stuck around the "R" and gives up. That is just awesome. Oh yeah, The real version is below. Ironically enough, the drag queen is BETTER AT LIPSYNCING Fergie's song than, well, Fergie.

    March 19, 2007

    Where It All Went Wrong



    There was a time in my life, a time before this newfangled distraction called "the internet," and before a slightly more established distraction called "high school," when all I used to do was read books.  Like, eight hours a day, Anne of Green Gables, a Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Gone with the Wind (twice. I had a lot of time on my hands, okay?).  At the age of 9, young and impressionable, I managed to tear my way through like, 100 of the mass-produced marshmallow fluff tween series Babysitters Club (whatever, I totally read Wuthering Heights too.  And Jane Eyre.  Although don't ask me to recite the plot).

    Anyway, today I found myself absentmindedly asking if someone's 21-year-old brother was cute, which is ridiculous for myriad reasons, not the least of which is that I'm 16 and he's far too old for me.  And suddenly, I had a revelation - my problems today all stem from reading this single book - #8: Boy-Crazy Stacey.  Oh yeah, and the entire Sweet Valley High series.  Where were my parents??  How could they have let me consume this drivel????  WHY DID STACEY SPELL HER NAME WITH A GODDAMN EXTRANEOUS "E"??

    Ann M. Martin, wherever you are, we need to talk.  I was a feminist!  You ruined me!

    Although I suppose I should consider the alternative ... Gossip Girls, anyone?  Yikes.  I may be boy-crazy, but I didn't have a coke problem at the age of fifteen.  By 17, though ...  oh wait.  Nope.  Not then either.

    Nothing like starting off Monday morning with a healthy dose of holier-than-thou-kids-today nostalgia.

    February 25, 2007

    Porn and Swords Don't Mix

    Not THOSE swords, you sickie.  The real kind.

    For all you j-school grads, this recent AP story is a fantastic example of NOT burying the lede ...

    PORN DVD SCREAMS PROMPT SWORD 'RESCUE'

    OCONOMOWOC, Wis. — A man says he broke into an apartment with a cavalry sword because he thought he heard a woman being raped, but the sound actually was from a pornographic movie his upstairs neighbor was watching.

    "Now I feel stupid," said James Van Iveren, who has been charged in the case.
    Actually, I think it's sort of sweet.  If more neighbors brandished cavalry swords, we might decrease domestic violence (or vibrator usage) significantly.

    Although I think my favorite part is further into the article, when it's revealed that "The neighbor later played for police the part of the DVD he believed Van Iveren heard downstairs."

    I love that the police were like, "Um, yeah ... we're gonna need to, you know, watch that porn.  Just to see, of course.  Just doing our job.  Just investigating."

    Right.

    February 19, 2007

    Valentine's Day, tallied up


    It's a week late, but here's my AM New York column on being a good sport about everyone's favorite romantic vom-iday (um, that would be a holiday that makes you want to vomit.  obvs).  The article basically boils down to this: at least you didn't spend the evening eating frosting out of a can alone.  Probably.

    Anyway, that cheery crap was written before all of the men in my life forgot I existed last week.  Below, the inventory of what my suitors got me for Valentine's Day:

    Uh ...

    Nothing.

    That's right - nothing.  No flowers.  No chocolates.  No Top 10 Email lists.  Nada.

    Christ, even my PARENTS surprised me with a bright pink iPod.  And my grandma sent a card!  With a balloon, damnit!

    Will someone please explain something to me?  Um ... EXACTLY HOW HARD IS IT TO SEND FREAKING FLOWERS????  HOW HARD??   TO A DATING COLUMNIST WITH WHOM YOU'D LIKE TO SLEEP???  IS IT REALLY THAT DIFFICULT TO PICK UP THE PHONE TO 1800FLOWERS AND SAY, 'YO, SEND OVER SOME OF THEM SMELLY PLANTS TO JULIA'??

    I'm just saying.

    **PS.  My birthday is next Wednesday, February 28th.  In other words: Don't send me flowers once, shame on you.  Don't send me flowers twice, 3rd base will be but a sweet and distant memory.

    January 23, 2007

    It's Almost Enough to Make Me Want to Date an Athlete

    Almost.

    The 1985 Bears Super Bowl Shuffle.

    November 25, 2006

    WTF?? No, seriously. WHAT THE FUCK?

    Would you go to an ob-gyn who believes the following?
    - "Sex with multiple partners alters brain chemistry in a way that makes it harder for women to form bonding relationships."

    - Contraceptives are "demeaning to women, degrading of human sexuality and adverse to human health and happiness.”

    - And by the way, "abortions cause breast cancer."
    I'm gonna go with ... fuck no.

    Luckily for masochistic poor women everywhere, a certain Asshole in Chief thinks the dipshit doctor who believes that lunacy would be just PERFECT for heading family planning.  You know.  For the whole nation.

    I'm actually - literally - physically ill thinking about it.

    November 14, 2006

    U Penn Columnist Throwdown. Ho-down?

      
    vs.


    I actually tend to agree with young U Penn columnist Chloe Hurley's assessment - "Reading (or writing) about sex is about as titillating and fresh as microwaved lasagna. Which is to say, not."

    She goes on to ennumerate all of the problems she has with sex columns, especially sex columns in the Ivy League (whew, one time I'm glad Georgetown didn't make it in there, those Jesuit SOBs!):

    For some reason, people seem to think that coupling an Ivy League setting with sex is the most riveting and raunchy combination ever. I think it's getting pretty stale.

    On top of it, every chick who's tasted a Cosmopolitan thinks that she's Carrie Bradshaw. Baby, just because you sit at home in front of your laptop in your underwear and can slur out some hackneyed puns don't make you no Carrie Bradshaw. Drop a few pounds, take a journalism course, and try me again.

    Hmm ... Is she referring to Miss Jessica "Out of Your (Ivy) League" Haralson?  The Cosmo, the underwear, the ... drop a few pounds??  That bitch!  Jessica, you could totally take her.  Catfight!

    Damn, where's Joe Francis when you need him?
    UPDATE:
    I have to add that Miss Hurley is the same columnist who insisted, in her November 9th column, that Latin helps you "make sense" of yourself.  LATIN?  Ummm ... therapy, maybe.  Self-help books.  Yoga.  But Latin???

    "If we all took Latin at Penn, we would understand dignity and humility. Truth and beauty. The most influential stories in Western thought were first recorded in Latin (or Greek). You could buy a translation, but it’s not the same as reading it directly. If I were taking Latin, I would have a stronger backbone and a clearer purpose in life."

    Oh dear god.  And here I was, thinking she was a voice of reason.  No, Miss H, after seven and a half years of Latin, I can safely assure you that it does nothing for one's dignity or humility.  Trust me.

    October 30, 2006

    Slut Mutt-o-Ween Part 1: Dogs Gone Wild

    Julia's Mutt-o-Ween 2006   

    There's only one thing better than dressing like a slut, and that's ... dressing up your mutt!  Okay, someone please kill me for rhyming that.  Seriously, no, kill me.








    Of course, I'm partial to this pup, probably because she's mine.

    Mutt-o-Ween: Part 2 - Still Wild.

    Julia's Mutt-o-Ween 2006   






    October 19, 2006

    Definitively Answering the Question:
    Should Rich People Be Allowed to Breed?


    Charlotte Bocly, Debutard of the Year

    Very few things render me speechless.  This article was one of them.

    "I Am Charlotte Bocly," indeed ...  she's straight out of a Gossip Girls novel, at least one of which I am not proud to say that I have skimmed.  Okay, fine.  Read.

    Although Gawker didn't name her to the Douchebag Hall of Fame, I think she has a pretty good shot at it.

    In case you're too lazy to read the whole train-wreck, here are some choice quotes:

    "I Am Charlotte Bocly," by George Gurley, published in the NY Observer 10/26/06
    "Besides apartments in New York and Paris, and the house in Bridgehampton, her parents have a chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland, where Charlotte says she’s a “member for life” at the super-exclusive Eagle Club (three-year waiting list to rub parkas with the likes of Roger Moore.)"

    Charlotte on Her "Crazy" Summer in the Hamptons: “It was just a crazy, crazy time,” she said. “Somehow, everyone ended up at my house, and everyone’s in my pool, everyone’s naked, Paul is naked—this is at 5 in the morning, by the way—then Alexandra drove up. Out of nowhere, there are like 20 cars. Alexandra disappeared with a house guest, and I disappeared with this boy I thought was cute—it’s been a year, it’s not my style—a good-looking boy who I found out was in high school the next morning, but looked much older. And then Emily goes off with Paul—Paul!—and I’m in my underwear and a bra and I’m chasing after this guy, and I’m on the lawn—this is a little scandalous. My father comes out in his underwear—you don’t wake up my dad—and he was yelling in French and everyone was out of there. The world was shaking. Then I passed out in bed. That was a great night, for the Hamptons.”

    Charlotte on Being SO Over Partying: “I was like, ‘I’m done with it,’” Charlotte said. “You know, like drama, drama, drama, drama, drama, drama, drama. I needed time away.”

    Charlotte on Rehab: “I think I had Billy Joel’s room,” she said. “I had a great time. I met great people. I went there to have the experience. I needed to change, and that just seemed like the biggest extreme way to do it, regardless of whether I needed to do it or not. I was actually just supposed to go for one week, and I loved it. I was like, ‘Mom I want to stay longer.’ Oh, I loved it! It was like a spa, there was a pool."

    Charlotte on Money: “I’m definitely aware of it,” she said. “I am, you know, spoiled. I am. Most of us are. The thing is, I’m not like a brat. You know, my two maids, Rubé and Maria, are like my best friends. I love Rubé and Maria; they will come in my room and go, ‘Charlotta, get up! Get out of bed, put on your shoes!’ I’m like, ‘Rubé, noooo.’ Then I’ll go and get her coffee, you know, they’re like family.” She said she adores her doormen and that, if she returns home with no money after a night of clubbing, the doormen pay the cab driver.

    Charlotte on Gstaad: “Gstaad is New York City without, like—I’m not going to say like the commoners, but you take a certain group of people and you just put them together in a little world, in a bubble, and that’s what it is,” she said. “I have come to love it. I had a phase where I was like, ‘Fuck all these people; it’s not real life.’ I’ve come to love it because I can go there, have fun with people I think are ridiculous, just enjoy their company.”

    Charlotte on Her Dad:  “I love my dad. My dad gave me money like it was Kleenex.”

    Honestly, it gets worse from there.  Trust me.

    Look, I've done some douchebaggy things in my life.  Lots of them, in fact.  Most of us, especially at 19 years old, have a little douchebag in us.

    That having been said, Charlotte Bocly takes it to a new level.  Didn't her mother (who was quoted in the article) realize how ATROCIOUSLY HORRIBLE Charlotte's spoiled teenage musings would sound if, you know, they were, like, totally recorded verbatim?

    Honestly, I didn't know whether to indulge in copious amounts of schadenfreude (not that it will matter - she'll just fly off to Gstaad, where no one reads the Observer), or feel really sorry for her (she actually doesn't realize she's a brat. WTF??), or cry because I can barely make my rent and she ... well ... exists.

    I think I'm going for the last.  Sniff.  Maybe her dad can give me some of that Kleenex.

    September 27, 2006

    Old News: How to Ensure Your Customer Service Complaint Circulates the Internet for Half a Decade



    So, a friend of mine who's usually on top of his "internet-fad-spotting" game sent me this powerpoint presentation, which is not only true, but absolutely fularious (that would be an abbreviated version of "fucking hilarious" - thanks Urban Dictionary's Word of the Day!)

    Given that, and in my excitement at posting about it, I neglected to notice that IT HAPPENED FIVE YEARS AGO.  As in, 2001.  That's almost enough time for the NY Styles to do a trend piece about it.

    I felt instantly lame, like I was in severe danger of being THAT woman, the one who forwards you constantly with retarded jokes you've read 47 times and warnings about mercury in your tuna and e.coli in your spinach and those stupid tests where you have to scroll down but DON'T LOOK and the "celebrate women" poems to "lift your spirits" and remind you to "SMILE" because God lugged your fat ass down the beach and those were his footprints you ungrateful sack of lard and then prefaces all of her emails with "don't reply to all" but everyone does anyway and YOU WANT TO INFECT HER COMPUTER WITH A VIRUS but you can't because she's your mom or roommate or something?  Like one of those.

    However, I already did all the work of loading the images, so here it is.  And btw, still fularious, even in 2006.

    Continue reading "Old News: How to Ensure Your Customer Service Complaint Circulates the Internet for Half a Decade" »

    September 08, 2006

    Breaking News: Teenagers Don't Give a Shit What You Think

    MSNBC: Articles You Could Have Written, If You Were Bored Enough

    In an investigative coup worthy of the Pulitzer for MOST OBVIOUS STORY EVER, the "science journalists" over at MSNBC have discovered what your mother always suspected: Teenagers Are Retarded (emotionally, that is)

    MSNBC Clip - Teens No Empathy.png

    MSNBC Clip - Teens No Empathy 2.png

    Because I'm sure you're dying to read the rest, here's the link.

    And don't miss the other hard-hitting "LiveScience" headlines from today:

    MSNBC Clip - Livescience Headlines.png

    Next Up - Selling Sinful Urban Sex - Not Deadly!

    MSNBC: Journalism At Its Finest

    September 07, 2006

    Yo, yo, yo - Where My WASPs At?

    I realize I'm coming a little late to the ... uh ... tea partay, but in case you haven't yet seen Smirnoff's attempt at creative advertising, definitely press play below.

    Cause honestly, they're right - No one's hotter than a New England gangsta.

    Except maybe a MID-WESTERN GANGSTA. But that's another fake music video.



    The Chicago Sun-Times, which doesn't like any sort of gangsta-bashing, East-Coast or otherwise, penned a stinging denouncement of the vid:

    "[It's] a bit of silliness that is not the least bit funny or hip, despite the ever-so-intense attempts to spoof East Coast upper crust culture by presenting images of ultra preppy, pastel-clad rich kids going against the grain and boogeying to an aggressively hip-hop musical number performed by a group known as 'Prep Unit' (how funny, right?)."
    Uhhh ... actually, I pretty much thought "Prep Unit" was more or less the funniest thing I'd seen all week long. Then again, what do I know? I like pearls, popped collars, and pants with tiny red whales on them.

    I blame Georgetown for this.

    August 22, 2006

    How You Know It's Time to Get an STD Test

    Misplaced Boyfriend.jpg Although honestly ... that's kinda hot.

    August 16, 2006

    Breaking News!! Dust Off Your 'Carrie Bradshaw' Analogies! In a Shockingly Innovative Move, Girl, 29, to Blog About Her Dating Life, Analyze Eggs Men.

    Cartoon girl with laptop.jpg

    Alyssa Shelasky, New Dating Blogger, Once Close to Becoming Smug Married

    Shelasky, in addition to having an incredibly un-sexy last name (uh, Alyssa, that's what pen names are for ... ), is now Glamour's new "dating blogger," a job which requires her to abide by reader polls on what she should do. It's like having to listen to your mom, except your mom probably has better advice.

    (Full disclosure - I exchanged a few emails with the person hiring for this position, but that was when The Boyfriend was still a very solid presence in my life. And quite honestly, detailing how many times you went to bed before midnight in a given week does not a scintillating dating blog make.)

    Anyway, it seems that Ms. 'Lasky has actually been engaged before - and naively allowed a newspaper known for making young lovebirds look profoundly idiotic to write about it.

    I highly recommend clicking on the full Gawker story (at top), but if you're feeling too lazy, here are some choice excerpts:

    It's like shooting fish in a barrel.


    "Countdown to Bliss," NY Observer, Dec. 1, 2003

    Alyssa Shelasky, a part-time public-relations manager at ABC Carpet and Home, is marrying Greg Mendelson, a green-eyed investment-banking analyst at CIBC World Markets who also has a talent for spin. "People are always telling us that we're the most amazing couple and they wish they had what we have," he said. "I think I'm pretty charismatic and sociable, and she's exactly the same way."

    "We're two good eggs," said Ms. Shelasky, a svelte Columbia grad who also writes freelance "lifestyle" articles for places like the New York Post and is planning a laid-back ceremony at Loft Eleven. "It's a major deal that I found 'the one,' and that's the great part to me," she said. "The hors d'oeuvres and flowers are only going to be around for four hours of my life."

    Both 26, they met during her birthday party at the Potion Lounge on the Upper West Side . At the time, she was dating a pretty rotten egg. "A fancy-schmancy lawyer -- this total prick, New York City prep-school kid. I was kind of wooed by that stuff," she said. "But then I saw Greg, and his eyes were so pretty, and he was so handsome and so tan!"

    On Date No. 2, she brought him to the bar Vermouth and introduced him to the pleasures of a good martini ( hic!). "We were young," she said. "I thought it was so cute. I was like, 'Your first martini? There goes all your credibility in the banking world!' I told him that in four or five years, he'd be having them every night. But you know what? He's really not like that." Just wait till you're married, kiddo ...

    Earlier this year, they moved into a Flatiron one-bedroom rental filled with a melange of trash finds and ABC Carpet items at deep discount.

    Mr. Mendelson proposed on Nantucket while on a trip with the family.

    The ring, a platinum band with three round diamonds totaling over two carats, came from her pals at ABC's estate-jewelry department. And that will be the third and final time we suckers plug that store.

    But what happened to the platinum band with three round diamonds totaling over two carats???

    Maybe, in honor of her new job, we should do a poll:

    a) The "green-eyed," Nantucket-vacationing, Martini-virgin kept it ... obviously - what, like he's going to tap into his bonus for the next fiancée?? As if!

    b) The "lifestyle" freelancer successfully negotiated it into her severance agreement. "I may only be a svelte Columbia grad, but I know how to keep my over-two-carat engagement rings if I suddenly decide that ole Good-Egg-Pretty-Eyes isn't The One anymore," she said. "Also, I'm the one that got the good deal from ABC Carpet."

    c) "Her pals" at ABC Carpet demanded it back, despite the trifecta of plugs. "Indian Givers," she screamed at them. "I'll show you!! I'll write a dating blog for Glamour and NEVER MENTION YOUR STUPID STORE, NOT EVEN ONCE!!!"

    My money's on "c" ...

    August 10, 2006

    I Know What You Searched for Last Summer

    ("Barely Legal Asian Lesbian COEDs"?? You're so busted.)

    Girl with Laptop.jpg

    In another Big-Brother-Does-the-Internet moment, The NY Times published a rather disquieting article ("A Face is Exposed for AOL Searcher No. 4417749") yesterday about recording and publishing people's search strings on AOL "anonymously." Apparently the data isn't quite as anonymous as one would hope, given that a collection of searches have a tendency to reveal a lot about the searcher (Especially if you type in your own name repeatedly. Uh ... Not that I would ever do that.)

    Thank god I use Google - otherwise, instead of the Times writing about Innocuous Old Lady Inquiries (Mrs. 4417749's: "numb fingers," "dog that urinates on everything," "thyroid," and "women's underwear"), they'd have material like "Super XXX college sluts," "Republican Drug Dealers" and "Naked Photos of Jon Stewart."

    Okay, okay. I didn't search for any of those (although "Naked Photos of Jon Stewart" is tempting) ... but I was scared enough to take a look at my searches from the past three months (my web browser keeps them all). What conclusions would people draw if they were to take a random sampling?

    Here are a few real, not-at-all-made-up-or-altered (seriously) search strings I actually entered (along with a helpful guide - in itals - as to what, exactly, I was thinking. If I was, in fact, thinking. Which I try to avoid.)

    Ann Coulter demon-spawn (Self-explanatory.)
    Ann Coulter devil (See above.)
    Ann Coulter evil (See above, again.)
    Divorce stats bible belt (I just love divorce. And hypocrites. But especially hypocrites who get divorced.)
    Girl Underwear (Because I still think I'm 16 1/2 years old. Also, how else would I have found this?)
    Glock (Just in case I have to, you know, bust a cap. or something.)
    Hoodia (Only reason I can fit into size 4 clothing.)
    Housing Works (You know, because I'm such a do-gooder. Sending books to poor people and shit.)
    Jon Stewart's Real Name (It's "Leibowitzabaumrosenberg" ... okay, fine. Just "Leibowitz.")
    J-Date (In case my current Jew doesn't work out.)
    Julia Allison (Oh, c'mon - like you're surprised??!)
    Playboy "college sex columnists" (I was doing an article on them! I swear!)
    Population of Africa (Fodder for my debate on Fox News against a crazy woman claiming that Angelina Jolie was responsible for spreading AIDS in Africa. I just wanted to know how many people would die because of Brad Pitt's baby mamma. A lot, apparently.)
    Proust (Yeah, I can't really explain this one.)
    Push Up Bikinis (Hey - nothing wrong with a little help!)
    Star Jones fights Barbara Walters (I would have added "in red jello" but that wasn't looking likely. A girl can dream...)
    Supermodel Escorts (What? Like you haven't searched for them??)
    Weater 60091 (Yeah, I meant "weather." Shut up.)

    August 08, 2006

    No. Frigging. Way.

    JDate Logo.jpg JDate Logo.jpg JDate Logo.jpg JDate Logo.jpg

    How Not to Act on J-Date

    I really don't even know what to say about this, except ... seriously??

    August 04, 2006

    Best. Card. Ever.

    More proof that The Boyfriend has both an amazing sense of humor and knows me a little too well - the card he gave me two weeks ago:

    Prince without a Prenup.jpg

    August 03, 2006

    So Many Double Entendres, So Little Time

    Would you like a little innuendo with your scientific study?

    Researchers Solve Mystery of Attractive Surfaces

    Please note photo accompanying the report (below):

    Attraction Study.jpg

    hehehehe ...

    (I may not be in 7th grade, but that doesn't stop me from acting like I am.)

    July 26, 2006

    Damn It Feels Good to Be a Hamsta!

    Damn It Feels Good to Be a Hampster.jpg

    The first time I saw this tee, which you can buy here, I laughed for approximately 37 minutes. The little hamster has a gansta hat!!! The whole thing reminded me of growing up very, very white on Chicago's North Shore, where my girl friends and I would play Wyclef and Snoop Dogg at 90 decibels in our Volvos and Ford station wagons. Yeah, we might have been curfew-abiding, North-Face-wearing, Michael-Stars-and-Mavi-jeans-owning suburbanites, but we knew all the words to REGULATE, damnit!

    I immediately bought it.

    July 18, 2006

    Dear Glamour Editor/Fabian's Lit Agent,

    Have You NO SHAME??

    Fabian Basabe.jpg

    Today, I innocently opened my August issue of Glamour, anticipating a lovely hour of procrastination perusing the usual ampersand-obsessed mix of "Fashion & Beauty," "Health & Body," "Dos & Don'ts" and the occasional "My Sister/Mother/Female Dog Had Cancer & Survived" piece.

    And what did I get instead??

    FIVE. PAGES. OF. FABIAN. FRIGGING. BASABE.

    Fabian smiling. Fabian dancing. Fabian blowing out his birthday candles. Fabian dipping various long-maned women while simultaneously posing for photos (hello, he practices in front of the mirror at home!). Fabian wondering if his butt looks big in these jeans.

    My first thought was "Oh god, they've done a puff piece on Failed Former Sorta-It Boys Who Might Be Gay and Also Maybe Not As Rich As They Insinuate They Are." And then I saw it.

    "It" being ... Fabian's byline. Fabian, apparently, is now a writer. Like every other New Yorker (except me), he's "working on a novel" about his favorite subject. Um, Fabian, obvi?

    Wait, actually, let's think about what Fabian's favorite subjects might be ... you know, if he were to write them out all by himself.

    1. FABIEN FABIAN.
    2. Eyebrow Waxing.
    3. Making sure Martina doesn't gain any weight. Ew, fattys!
    4. Hair gel.
    5. Fabian.
    6. Pretending to like sex with (female) models.

    Lest you think I'm being too harsh on the poor little supposedly-rich boy, please consider the following direct quotes from the Glamour article, mind-numbingly titled "Confessions of an Ex-Playboy" (Although I'm going to give Glamour a pass on this one - Fabian probably thought of the name):

    - "I became a momentary national news item when I was spotted with President Bush's daughter at a nightclub ... the whole thing looked slightly debauched. It wasn't ... I know debauched." (Yeah, Fabian was BADASS! Weren't you, Fabs?)

    - "I used to be a player;" (Then he helpfully defines "player" for us) "one of those guys who have a different beautiful woman on their arm every weekend." (Wait ... what's a player again?)

    - "Even playboys have feelings. Even playboys change." (Ohmygod. I can so totally see this as a film! I think we get Johnny Depp to play you. No? Too sexually ambiguous? Okay, fine. Tom Cruise.)

    - "When I was 11, I was given a ridiculously expensive Swiss watch that most adults could never afford. At 16 I got a BMW, which I promptly wrecked, along with my next three cars." ("And after that, my parents insisted I take driver's ed. Can you BELIEVE it? SO unfair!")

    BLAH BLAH BLAH, he was a womanizer at the age of 19, then he met Martina, whom he wooed with a giant "bottle of Patron tequila." He knew she was the woman for him when she "took me shot for shot." Damn, that's romantic. After a year-long courtship, during which he "stripped down and pumped gas naked to amuse her" (Casanova has NOTHING on Fabian), he realized that he hadn't yet fucked enough bony women. "I wasn't ready for redemption." Um ... right.

    Anyway, he gets kicked out of "college," goes to Cancun, and finally ends up in New York, where he blames his "loneliness" for being "addicted--not to drugs, but models." It was downhill from there.
    - "I went shopping for leggy 18-year-olds with knockout cheekbones."
    - "I liked to be surrounded by sexy bodies because desire was the only feeling that could overwhelm the loneliness that plagued me."
    - "I was miserable. I didn't even have a job to distract me during the day." (Will nothing go right in Fabian's life?? WHY MUST HE CONTINUALLY SUFFER?!)

    Blah blah blah, it continues, with no shortage of additional ridiculous quotes, but I'm bored of this subject already.

    Conclusion? Fabian "wanted to do something that mattered" (in ITALICS damnit!) and the only thing he could think of was coercing poor size 0 Martina into marriage. WHEW!! Now he can spend all his time waxing his toes or whatever it is he does when he's not writing articles about being "debauched."

    I think I need a nap.

    July 11, 2006

    Paging Gloria Steinem: Where is Ms. Magazine's "No Comment" Section When You Really Need It?

    Miss Korea.jpg

    Dear god, this photo wasn't even staged.

    June 29, 2006

    Madonna: Clearly Not Over that Whole Horse Thing

    Madonna Equestrian Alone.jpg

    Last night I was subjected to the Madonna concert at Madison Square Garden, where temperatures in the stands hovered around 127 degrees.

    Rumor has it that she asked to have the A/C turned off. I have NO IDEA WHY ANY NORMAL HUMAN BEING WOULD DO THAT, but then again, "normal" is not an adjective often associated with Madonna.

    If I sound grumpy, it's because I am. When one - or one's Boyfriend, as the case may be - pays serious $$$ to see the Material Mom perform, one expects the following:

    1) Rigorous dance sequences
    2) Innumerable costume changes
    3) Songs I know the lyrics to (JUST SING "VOGUE" DAMNIT!!)
    4) Lots of flesh

    I know, I know. It's blasphemy to suggest that she didn't have, like, the most AMAAAAAZZZZING concert ever, ohmigod!!! After all, the NY Times and the Post didn't complain.

    I'm a much tougher critic.

    Sure, there were rigorous dance sequences - but Madonna only participated in a small portion of them, pawning off the hard work on her ridiculously chiseled, racially diverse, cargo-pants-wearing backup dancers.

    Furthermore, the only classics she sung were Like a Virgin and Lucky Star (inexplicably set to the Hung Up melody). That really didn't do it for me. I wanted the entire damn Immaculate Collection.

    And yes, there were costume changes, but the majority of the time she was completely covered, head to toe, in black equestrian-cum-S&M, Elizabethian style turtlenecks, jackets and thigh-high boots. I could not for the life of me figure out what was going on. First, it's a billion degrees.

    Second, WHAT IS THE POINT OF HAVING 0% BODY FAT IF YOU'RE GOING TO COVER IT ALL UP?

    I cheered when she stripped down to a pink leotard in the very last song. FINALLY.

    Madonna Pink Leotard.jpg

    All that having been said, the show may have been worth it just for the relentlessly flamboyant appreciative audience. The Stanford Blatch-esque guy behind me actually squealed: "Oh. My. God. I just CANNOT believe this. I am, like, sooooooo excited. OHMIGODDDDD. I LOVEEEEE HER. She's a LIVING LEGEND!!!!"

    And - in my favorite moment of the entire evening - a lovely fellow in the front row held up a neon fuchsia sign that proclaimed in huge sparkly letters:

    "MADONNA - You MADE me Gay!!!"

    That. Is. Awesome.

    June 15, 2006

    Now THIS Is More Like It!

    Coulter is an Alien.jpg

    MSNBC's Olbermann tells Ann Coulter to go shove it up her skeletal ass. (as if she can fit anything else up there ... Bill O'Reilly's books aren't small, you know.)

    My favorite line: "divorce and posing in Playboy - two things Ann Coulter will never have to face in her lifetime." (I think he was trying to be sarcastic ... but since no one would be bat-shit crazy enough to marry Coulter, she probably WON'T have to face divorce anytime soon. As for Playboy, c'mon, she may be "blonde," but even Hef has standards.

    Before I dispense with Coulter bashing (it's too easy, I need something more challenging - like ... um ... figuring out why Britney's still with Kevin), let's sum it up:

    Ann Coulter is ...

    The World's Most Unhinged Lunatic AND Not Very Bright.

    June 13, 2006

    Anne Coulter, Demon-Spawn Who Terrifies the Times

    Ann Coulter Evil Demon.jpg

    I don't get it.

    Instead of the ball-less, sorry-ass headline the NYT came up with June 12th: Anne Coulter, Word Warrior, why don't they stop being pussies and say what all rational people think already:

    ANNE COULTER, EVIL BITCH WHO WILL ROT IN HELL.

    The embarrassingly spineless article, by David Carr, begins: "Once again, Ann Coulter has a book that needs flogging." Hmm ... and once again, the NYT is more than happy to flog it for her, with (of course) an ironically high level of journalistic deference to the hate-spewing subject. Sure, Carr acknowledges that Coulter only says the shit she does to get attention, that most people find it distasteful, even - gasp - immoral, but he concludes that pretty much everyone is too afraid of her to do much about it. The Times used more vitriol on James Frey.

    Carr then actually writes the following sentence: "seeing hate-speech pop out of a blonde who knows her way around a black cocktail dress makes for compelling viewing."

    I want to kill myself. This is the wrist-slap Coulter gets for making our world a more miserable place every time she opens her vile, excrement-filled mouth?

    The bitch actually said (referring to the 9/11 widows) that SHE'S NEVER SEEN WOMEN ENJOYING THEIR HUSBANDS' DEATHS SO MUCH. All Carr comes back with is that it's a "doozy of a sentence." Pardon me, Mr. Carr - do you HAVE ANY TESTICLES AT ALL??

    The mealy-mouthed conclusion: "You can accuse her of cynicism all you want, but the fact that she is one of the leading political writers of our age says something about the rest of us."

    CYNICISM? That's all we can accuse her of?? And the crap that comes out of Ann Coulter's mouth is our faults????

    WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THE NEW YORK TIMES??

    May 24, 2006

    Must ... Refrain ... From ... Projectile ... Vomiting ...

    Annoying Couple.jpg
    Harvard does Yale?

    If you thought The Times Weddings & Celebrations pages were bad (and I did) ...
    The New York Observer has news for you, which I can basically sum up in one sentence:

    You Will Never Be As Good As This Couple. Ever.

    I actually wondered if it was some sick joke, given the following ACTUAL QUOTES taken from the article:

    "When Sarah Mascareñas, a blond, blue-eyed bombshell Yalie (yes, they do exist), first walked into the law offices of Cravath, Swaine and Moore, where she was starting as an associate attorney, she was prepared for a hefty workload and a big paycheck. She wasn’t prepared for Doğan Perese, also an associate and a dreamy, dark-haired Harvard grad (yes, those exist too!) who couldn’t stop staring at her."

    Oh. My. God.

    The reporter continues:

    "They began furiously I.M.-ing." Later "she BlackBerried him a dinner invitation." (umm ... that's hot.)

    Because they work so hard (for that "big paycheck," remember?) the "lusty legals" (YES, ANOTHER ACTUAL QUOTE) missed their reservation.

    Awww. What should they do??

    Yalie got the bright idea of inviting Harvard to her apartment. " 'It’s so rare that anyone goes crosstown,'" Yalie said. “For you …. I’ll go across boroughs,” Harvard said.

    Um, Yalie, listen up. For sex, most men - Harvard or not - would go across GALAXIES.

    The story goes downhill from there ... basically, they tried to go to the Hamptons, again they were working too much, they decided they loved each other, they celebrated random anniversaries, then he proposed with a romance novel and a big hunk of blood-diamond while she thought about all the work she had to do back at the office.

    They're getting married in September, and will commence planning the early acceptance of their progeny to Princeton, the one Ivy they sort of wished they had on their joint resume.

    BTW, the Observer's caption on the photo of "dreamy, dark-haired" Harvard and "blond, blue-eyed bombshell" Yalie?

    "Legally Blonde."

    Noooooooooooooooooo ...

    April 07, 2006

    Prom Dress Donation Charities - So I Can Continue to Relive My Prom Ad Infinitum (and, uh, help people.)

    Pink Dress 2.JPG

    This is not the dress I wore to my prom. But I did love it enough to take a self-photograph (MySpace style!) while SITTING IN THE DRESSING ROOM at Nordstrom, oh, approximately four years ago. And while I don't wish I had bought it (there really aren't nearly enough opportunities to wear enormous fuchsia toile ball gowns that could kick Cinderella's glass-slippered ass), I do love the IDEA of wearing it. And if I could ever relive my prom, I probably would (wear it there) ... because that's the only place you could ever justify such a confection. That, and Halloween. Oh, and maybe your local Drag Queens & Queers Ball.

    But I digress. The point here is that tonight I'm going to Seventeen magazine's Prom Dress fashion show at Macy's on 34th Street. Not because I'm desperately trying to become 18 again (cough, cough) - but because Operation Fairy Dust, NYC's resident Prom Dress Donation Charity - has a booth there. I'm writing an article on the stories behind the women donating their old prom dresses (for a magazine which shall remain nameless - it's bad luck until it goes to print). After all, memories from the Prom are amusing as hell - did you get laid, get drunk, make out with an ice sculpture? (No, No, ... uhhh ... maybe ... )

    So giving the beautiful dresses to a new group of girls is a bit cathartic. Or maybe it's just our chance to live it all over again, this time, without a pink monstrosity. And the fake ID.