Monthly Archives: June 2009

Dear Talk about the Economy: Cut it out!

Financially irresponsible or not, sometimes we still want stuff.

I just saw Suze Orman accosting unsuspecting New York City shoppers on camera for Extra. I know, quality television. Anyway, she gave them all the third degree and if she discovered they had any credit card debt or were parents without life insurance or were young people who didn’t have a 401K, she pronounced them unworthy to own the items they had just purchased because they can’t afford it. And forced or guilted them into returning their items.

Please Suze, don't take my floppy sunhat and Havaianas.

Please Suze, don't take my floppy sunhat and Havaianas.

Now, I know the “Can I afford it?” segment is a popular one on her show. And I’m actually a pretty big fan of  Orman’s Money Book for the Young, Fabulous and Broke. But if that loudmouthed, bottle-blonde, financial chippy had stopped me like that, I would have throttled her.

We get it! The economy has tanked. We wake up every morning to Jean Chatzky squawking about it on the Today show. We drink our afternoon Folgers crystals (can’t afford the latte anymore, right?) while reading Vogue cover lines chirp about how to be a “recessionista.” Now, it seems we can’t even get a little evening soul salve from A.C. (Slater, that is) interviewing L.C. on Extra without getting it thrown in our faces.

Take it from this girl who, thanks to too much CNBC, had dreams every night last November about standing in the bread line (in the worst one, I had to boil and eat my favorite pair of red, leather stilettos). WE GET IT!

D.O.A. = Death of Artistry?

It turns out that even hip-hop royalty is fed up with the current state of music. In his newest release “D.O.A: Death of Autotune,” Jay-Z calls bullsh** on all of the rappers (and I would add would-be singers) using excessive technology to pimp out their otherwise meritless tracks. I’m not normally HOV’s biggest fan but when he rhymed: “I know we facin’ a recession/But the music y’all making gonna make it the Great Depression,” I just about fell in love.

Will you marry me, Jigga?

Will you marry me, Jigga?

To be fair, he did kind of get the terminology wrong. So for those of you who might be wondering, here’s a little lesson:

Continue reading

India: My Teenage Love Affair

I just found out a friend of mine is headed to India for a few months for work. Ever heard the phrase green with envy? Well, color me chartreuse.

Mr. Telephone Man

Hey, India. Call me, okay? I'm free on Friday.

 

Ever since I was little girl, I’ve had a love affair with India in my head. Officially, it started with a  TV movie called Night Train to Kathmandu, in which a young Milla Jovovich goes on a hunt for the mysterious “City that Never Was.” As an adult, I realize that the film is actually about Nepal but my 10-year old brain knew little of India’s strained relationship with its neighbor to the north.

Even as I get older and have come to understand the difference between Nepal and India (and Pakistan, too) and even as America’s tunnel vision of this ancient place is populated with nothing but job-stealing customer service representatives and telemarketers, I remain transfixed.

As the years have gone by, Hollywood (and all those Saturday morning Bollywood movies on cable that I can just barely understand the plot of) has done nothing but strengthen my fascination. From City of Joy to Monsoon Wedding, A Passage to India to Kamasutra, and Train to Pakistan to Slumdog Millionaire, I see a place that is often poor of pocket but rich with history, language, food, music, history and color. Always color.

How could a girl not be mesmerized?

Good from the Machine (Terminator Salvation)

Dude, you came back.

Dude, don't yell. I told you I'd be back.

There may be hope yet for Terminator. Eviscerated and left at death’s door by the 2003 sequel that shall not be named, the franchise has been resurrected in this summer’s Terminator Salvation. Technically a prequel, the fourth film is set in 2018, more than three decades after we first came to fear the sentient machine known as SkyNet.

In this post-apocalyptic world, we meet an adult John Connor, played with gritty intensity by Christian Bale. This John, though, is not the leader of the human resistance as long predicted throughout Terminator lore. That role is shared by a submarine-bound group of American, Russian, and Chinese military leaders led by the scarred and grizzled General Ashdown (the always bad-ass Michael Ironside).  John is just a battalion leader, whom the generals regard as a dangerously cavalier, if effective and somewhat necessary, foot soldier.

Continue reading

The Other Da Vinci Code

I bet she had a lot of irons in the fire too.

I've got a lot of irons in the fire too, Leo.

Now for the [most] part your porter is [some] broken citizen, who hath [pled] Jack- of-all-trades… – Geffrey Mynshul, ‘Essays and Characters of a Prison’, 1612

Do you know those people who become obsessed with a thing and must know everything there is to know about it? Yeah, that would be me.

Last week, it was creating the perfect Kim Kardashian smoky eye; last month, hand-making headband fascinators. In college, there was feng shui and Middle English; in high school, etymology; in middle school, magazines. Well, it’s always been magazines but you get the picture.

Whatever “it” is, I study the who, what, when, and wherefore of it until I am just about on the verge of being called as an expert witness on said thing by District Attorney Jack McCoy. And then, I move on.

Come back and say it in a trustworthy manner, missy.

Come back here and say it in a trustworthy manner, missy.

I guess that makes me one of those proverbial “Jack of all trades.” Some people will call it attention deficit disorder. Our 17th century pal, Geff, who coined the phrase, considered it “broken” citizenry. I prefer to think of it as being a Renaissance woman for the millennial generation. (Roxanne da Vinci does have a nice ring to it, no?)

So, in honor of the spirit of the tireless polymath in me—and all of you—I give you The Blog of All Trades, a source of news, reviews and tutorials about film, fashion, finance, food, wine, beauty, travel, crafty stuff and whatever the heck else strikes my fancy.