THINGS I LOVED / HATED THIS WEEK #91

LOVE:
Advanced Style:

I have always had a deep admiration for Iris Apfel. She is an institution in herself. She was an interior designer but is noted mainly for her eccentric style and massive glasses. They’re bigger than her face. I love them. I want a set of my own. She is one of the women who is noted for her “advanced style” by blogger, Ari Cohen. He goes around New York City and takes pictures of women who dress in far from customary manner, with absurd flairs, and delightful taste. These are the kind of women that I identify with. The documentary follows several of these delightful creatures, and they discuss their fashion, their past, their future, their goals, all sorts of things. There’s not really any plot, but that’s unnecessary in a wonderful film like this. It’s just so delightful to see them and listen to their stories. I was incredibly inspired to be even more myself than I was in the past, and I am already insufferable. These women, Zelda and Iris and Tziporah made me not dread getting old. I want to be something like them. I never really thought about living in New York, but I can see it happening now. Would it not be fabulous to live in a city where everything changes every day and where you can make every avenue a runway? There was also the greatest quote, “Never buy a green banana.” Isn’t that perfect? Why not buy a perfectly ripe one right away to enjoy. Time is precious. The ending of the film did make me weep like a child, I won’t deny it. Zelda died. That’s awfully sad, but she died in the most fabulous way possible — she died, front row at a fashion show during Fashion Week! It was too much for me, I broke down. I loved that. If I don’t die in a similar fashion, I insist on being revived until I can. These women are who I want to be and I can only aspire to live life as joyously as they do. They also helped to remind me that I can wear a cape if I want to. And I do want to.

Prince Lestat:

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I am sure you all remember how Anne Rice and I are close, personal friends. Yes? You remember? Good. We had a good chat about her novels last year in Minneapolis and we’ve exchanged correspondence. Basically besties. Anyway, she has finally written another book in her dreamy “Vampire Chronicles” series. I started reading these in 2009, after years of assuming they were trash that the general public consumed. What a fool I was! I fell immediately in love with her sumptuous writing that is unafraid to use a thousand adjectives, to repeat itself, to go off on wild tangents, and always remain poetic. I just adore her books. The latest, Prince Lestat, has reignited my ardor. It is so gorgeous. I’m not going to go into a plot review of any kind here because it would be meaningless to those that know nothing about the world. Instead, I’m going to showcase a couple passages that might show you why I love her style so much. Anne has an incredible way of speaking directly to my passionate love of cities

Still…Paris…I’d suffered here too, had I not? But not at the hands of Paris, no. Paris had always fulfilled my dreams and expectations. Paris, my eternal city, my home.

It was a new way of life, and it had its charms, but the real lure of course was New York itself. She and Aunt Marge had subscription tickets to the symphony, the New York City Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera. They attended the latest musicals on Broadway, and plenty of off-Broadway plays. They shopped at Bergdorf Goodman and Saks; they roamed the Metropolitan Museum for hours on Saturdays and often spent weekends visiting the galleries in the Village and Soho. This was life!

Anne Rice gets me. Her words speak directly to the crux of who I am, such as:

The trouble is I want to do everything!” she said. “I want to live and study here, and live and study in Paris, and in Rome and in New York; I want to do everything.

She is perfect.

Pushup Results:

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I have a rather shocking confession. I have been doing a little of the exercise now and then. Nothing too crazy and nothing like what I was doing when I was going through that psychotic “Ab Quest” last year when I gave myself an eating disorder and a number of complexes. I’m simply doing pushups, a bit of yoga, and a tad more walking. The pushups aren’t intense, but I am rather taken aback by what doing them has already done to my body. I already look svelter, and I saw a muscle in my arm, and I’m incredibly suspicious of all this. Surely it’s a delusional dream because I’m not really working out. I do about a hundred pushups and a half hour of either yoga or walking every day. I ate half a cake for dinner, but when I woke up, I saw something in my midsection that wasn’t a fat roll. I looked at it for awhile and decided it was a trick of the light. With great alarm, I looked up what pushups do for you, and I learned that they are something of a lost art. People who go on fitness regimes at gyms oftentimes use fancy machines instead of pushups, but I’ve never been about that. I like the idea of using my own body weight as a tool instead of buying some pretentious set of weights. Anyway, pushups work out your entire core, not just your arms. I never realized. I guess I’ll keep doing pushups.

Molina Vanilla:

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Ina Garten espouses in every episode of her flawless cooking show, The Barefoot Contessa, that we need to be using GOOD VANILLA whilst baking, or we will have made a grave mistake and our cakes and cookies will turn out like total shit. I never take issue with my beloved soul mate, Ina, but we do differ on opinion. I went out and bought a nice bottle of the good stuff at Williams-Sonoma, but I didn’t really care for it. I much prefer the vanilla I get from Mexican grocery stores. The best is by Molina, I buy it by the liter and I love it. It always tastes so good. The flavor is deep and nicely complex for something that only costs $7. It’ll last you ages and tastes better than the supposedly high-quality stuff. Get some, reader. Let’s not tell Ina, though, okay?

WINTER BREAK:

tumblr_nga6whI48f1u3zusno1_500[This GIF has nothing to do with anything, I just enjoy it tremendously.]

Guys, I am all about Winter Break. It is what I’m living for right now. Today is our last day of work until the FIFTH OF JANUARY. I cannot get over it. I should have planned a trip to Puerto Rico or something, but I’m still in budget mode after my adventures in Europe and Africa a few months ago. I will instead be having a “staycation.” People are always talking about those. I’m not sure I believe in them. I have been working on making the country estate into a vacation home, so maybe it’ll work, but the lights in my bathroom are on the fritz, so I will have to do some unfortunate work before I can relax. Who cares, though, I have sixteen days off. Do you? Well, if you work with me you do. But the rest of you? What do you get? Do you even get Boxing Day off? Do you even celebrate Boxing Day? I do. I watch illegal streams of the BBC and have a grand old time. I can’t wait. This day can’t be over soon enough!

HATE:
Slow Death Of My Work Espresso Machine:

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Ever since I lived in Paris whilst attending pastry school at Le Cordon Bleu, I have needed espresso in my life every day. I DON’T HAVE A CAFFEINE ADDICTION, OKAY? But, I like the elegance of that little cup of coffee and the memories it brings back, and the whole ritual of tamping the grounds and enjoying myself. You don’t get the same thing from the staff coffee pot. So, for the past few years, I have had an espresso machine here at work for my afternoon shot of the wonderful stuff. It has served me well over the years, and I have treated it with all sorts of kindness — cleaning it regularly, patting it fondly, complimenting it as coffee pours out. Sadly, our days together are drawing to a close, and I’m just feeling so very lost. It no longer has adequate pressure. Somedays the heating element doesn’t work as fiercely as it needs to. Water leaks out of it everywhere, which I simply cannot figure out. I have decided, and this took more effort than most decisions in my life, that this week is our last week together. Over the Winter Break, I am going to look for an alternative machine. But, I will most likely wind up bringing my beloved Nespresso machine to work. I don’t use it all that often because the pods are a bit expensive, but I only use it once a day, so it’s far from prohibitive. If you’d like to send me a nice espresso machine from Williams-Sonoma, though, as a kind of payment for the years of pleasure this website brings you, by all means do. Nespresso is fine and good, but it’s not the same as tamping and extracting your own espresso. Le sigh…this is such a sad time. UPDATE: Last night I ordered a new Nespresso machine, it was only $99 — like a budget version of Nespresso. Here it is: img64cI decided on this after discovering that off-brand pods were now available in America. I’m excited. It’ll arrive in time for the second semester.

“The Comeback”:

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I try to keep myself knowledgeable about all aspects of pop culture. I don’t know why, but I feel that this will be beneficial to me someday in the future. Maybe Entertainment Weekly will call me in tears, begging me to join their editorial staff? And why not? They’ve published two (TWO!!!) of my witticisms before. Even more likely, maybe Wendy Williams will appear magically before me and say that I need to start working for her. I will, of course, drop everything and soar back to New York City with her. What I’m saying is, I justify my love for all things entertainment with implausible dreams, but that doesn’t bother me any. To get to the point, though, I keep hearing about this show, The Comeback. Supposedly it is just the most hilarious thing to ever happen to HBO. So, I put it on my Netflix queue and sat through the first four episodes and chuckled once in two hours. I had enough, so I ejected the DVD and sent it back. Horrible. I have a great sense of humor, but there was a great disconnect there for me. Why would I want to watch Lisa Kudrow act like a pompous git for four hours? I would if it had been even slightly droll, but it was NOT. This will just have to be one of the things I don’t understand, like Seinfeld and Friends. I’ve tried and tried to watch them both, but I just was not having it. Oh well.

World Market Candles:

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I received a candle for my birthday, and I loved it. The fragrance filled my entire house with its delicious peppery bergamot odor. It was unique and delightful. Then, it was gone, so I looked online for a replacement only to find that it was no longer made. Typical. Soon after, I was at one of my favorite places, the World Market, and came across a candle that smelled like all the oriental spices that I remembered the Khan el-Khalil smelling like in Cairo. Naturally, it went into my basket immediately, and I gladly lit it upon my return home. Imagine my surprise and annoyance when it did not smell like anything. Well, that’s a lie. It smelled of hot wax, but that was certainly not the desired effect. I lit another one, but it was just the same. I’m so annoyed. Instead of my lounge smelling like a Middle Eastern spice market, it smells like a crappy candle factory. UGH.

The End of “The Colbert Report”:

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I am distraught, readers. The Colbert Report is over, and now I don’t know where to get my news. I don’t like The Daily Show, and I don’t like to watch the actual news. I think that’s a bunch of nonsense. I read online a lot about world events, but they very rarely lampoon and educate like The Colbert Report. I am going to heartily miss the ridiculous news stories and beloved segments like Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger, or The Word. And I will miss the self aggrandizing statements of Stephen Colbert most of all. He is absolutely silly, but that makes it fun. I look forward to seeing what happens when he takes over for David Letterman, but it’s just not going to be the same. Stephen changed the way many of us get our news and how we consume it. It’s a dark time in broadcasting now. No more Colbert and no more Craig Ferguson. Sad times. Grim times. Somebody give Amy Sedaris a show. RIGHT NOW.

Sony Canceling “The Interview”:

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I was looking forward to seeing this movie. Not entirely sure why since I’m not a big fan of either Seth Rogen or James Franco. Nothing against them personally, just not my style of comedy. I have a fondness, though, for the lampooning of dictators, so a film that makes fun of North Korea’s leader sounded delightful. I remember going to Team America in high school after a football game (was I ever glad to leave that) and laughing at the uproarious film. Nobody died watching it. There weren’t any terrorist attacks. I’m getting ahead of myself. Allegedly, Sony was the victim of a cyberattack at the hands of North Korea. Then, theaters started declining to play the movie for fear of terrorist retribution. Then, the movie was pulled from release. There’s more to it, of course, but this is a simplified version. I find it utterly ridiculous. The President agrees with me. In fact, I think it’s a massive publicity stunt. I’m sure the film would have made money, but it was never destined to be a smash hit. Now, if it is ever released, there will be an incredible attendance. Genius move on Sony’s part, if true. I’m a big fan of this kind of nonsense, but I don’t like the way it is being portrayed. The media is making it out that the film was cancelled in fear and that we must censor ourselves to stay safe. I do not believe in censorship AT ALL. This sets a ridiculous precedent for the future, and I do not approve. Say a religious organization attacks Paramount, are we supposed to get rid of a film because they find it morally offensive? Nonsense. The modern age is so advanced, and yet, so childish. They need to put the film, which is almost surely dreadful, in theaters immediately and stop this idiocy. It is stupid and dangerous.

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