Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Words you will never see on this blog...

DC Blogs and Wonkette picked up my brilliant Metro dissertation yesterday. (The skinless man, he has his charms...)

In honor of the fact that people other than friends and family apparently stumble here, here a few words you will never see written on this blog:

10. "Did I give a fabulous *name of sex act here* last night or what?!" (although my talents in this area do often surprise me - just kidding, Mom)

9. Pot: why I grow my own (just kidding, Dad and DOJ)

8. What I did today at my office at 3 Metro Center, Bethesda, MD (NOT my office, by the way)

7. What a windfall my stocks have yielded...yet no one to lend it to

6. "OMFG, sooo bloated..."

5. People I met overseas who I think might be CIA - and their "names"

4. Subversive thoughts

3. All about my salary and the incomes of those I know

2. Who knew an anal rash could turn purple?

1. My secret love for songs by Nickelback

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Even though the skinless man is mostly gone…

…the DC Metro ads stand in a class by themselves.

- War: Tanks on one side, child soldiers on the other. Polaroids from just outside the Green Zone? No, it's Washington DC's Metro, with bold photos representing two sides of a Middle East conflict in fair-and-balanced proximity of each other. Flak jacket not included with fare card.

- War on terror, part 1: A rosy-pink background, a handsome man with a beatific glow. He’s not Jesus, he’s “securing America’s vital infrastructure” (or something like that), and he works for one of our region’s many proud acronyms.

- War on terror, part deux: Tickets to Strathmore – check. New shoes – check. The latest models of fighter helicopter ... why not?

- Raw, clever power: “In a city like this, never leave a paper trail.” Tee-hee. We’re insiders, too.

- Stereotypes: Some stops get ads for designer shoes, others get “Jail – a Four-Letter Word” and “Pregnant? Better Start Eating Right.” Even The Onion might find this lacking in subtlety.

- Ads unique to government: “My family’s covered, too.” So many speech bubbles in this ad, so unlikely that people would be raving about federal health care rather than Dancing With the Stars or who drank too much at last weekend’s barbecue.

The only government insurance Metro ad I remember was the one with the Airedale – specifically because the dog’s only purpose in it was to look cool.

I miss that Airedale.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Well-Appointed Cougar

Sadly (or fortunately), no one remains Forever 21. And, despite the immortal words of Erin Brokovich - “as long as I have one ass instead of two I will show it off” - at some point, the micro-minis and tube tops have got to go.

Yet vanity doesn't go away after age 30, 35, 40, etc. A woman naturally wants to remain attractive for herself, the world at large and her lover/pool boy/tango instructor. So where is that fine line between Britney and Golden Girl? These stores weigh in with different takes:

- Talbots: Ideal for Washington precisely because it is not sexy. Case in point: I'm not seeing uber-cougar Joan Collins sporting a pastel twin-set or the relaxed-fit capris any time soon. Yet the Talbot's woman confidently lets her brain and personality take over where the clothing leaves off.

- Chico’s and the Man: Has a man ever actually entered Chico's unscathed, or has he buckled under the sheer estrogen of so many Crayola-hued wood necklaces and sequined denim jackets? But no matter - it's a women's store, and maybe the broomstick skirts tap into a nostalgic Stevie Nicks vibe. But silver lame t-shirts? Those just look like they itch. On most counts, it's garb for the funky housecat who's going to the Sedona new-age writers' conference. Although some people wear Chico's quite well, I'd have to say I'd agree with a little girl I recently saw walking past the Friendship Heights branch. "I don't like this, Mommy!" she cried.

- Intermix: For the wealthy cougar, and the pumas in training. You’ve done your cardio/spinning, now it’s time to get your Cavalli on. A surreal place to go to see Stella McCartney, et. al. slapped up on racks like smock dresses at H& M. (Do pool boys understand smock dresses and this season's "directional volume" and "homage to Poirot"? Or do they just hope your water won't break under their watch.) Here, of course, beware of Intermaxing your credit card.

- The evening-wear boutiques at the Georgetown Mall: I see these luscious sequined concoctions and wonder why my life doesn't have more charity galas in it. Then I remember that most charity galas feel like the grown-up parties you attended as a kid when you'd rather have been playing Atari or fast-forwarding your "Purple Rain" cassette tape to the dirty parts.

But why can't these gowns be worn for more casual purposes, like going to Safeway? The world would be a much more interesting place. Wherever you wear these, look in the mirror closely. If you see Dina Lohan staring back, you might want to remove a couple accessories and let down the skirt hem a few inches.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

And you were expecting strippers, perchance?

A resident from a leafy area in the Upper Northwest muses about his “middle class” neighborhood:

“My friends call it ritzy, but it’s kind of boring. The only people I ever see walking down the street are maids or are pushing strollers.”

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Monday, June 18, 2007

B'More: Why They Call It Charm City

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

De-Sweatshopping the Closet

A recent book reading at Politics and Prose inspired me to take a Cosmo-like "what can I do" quiz to see if I am living as a responsible world citizen. I don't own a car - check. I live in a small, energy-efficient apartment - check. This apartment has three large closets stuffed with clothing...uh oh.

The "Made In" labels read like an Amnesty International watch list. And those not "Made In" are "Hecho en el Tienda Del Sweat." {ed note: You need to brush up on your Espanol}

Because I cannot afford custom-made Balenciaga from the loving hands of well-compensated artisans, I decided to check out the next best thing: Adding some American Apparel to the H&M mix of cotton shirts.

But would American Apparel work in conservative Washington?

These shirts will have to be versatile enough to go from downtown meeting to film festival to wine bar to a DC United game. (Notice not one of those venues features faux wood paneling and a boom-chicka-chicka-BOOM hipster porn soundtrack).

Beyond the gold lame tube tops and ironic 1970s gym shorts...

I clicked on the Womens, Short-sleeved shirts button. And here's what I found:

- Unisex Sheer Jersey - Hello J-Lo plunging neckline! Unless "boobs" suddenly joined "matching shoes and handbag" on the official Washingtonian fashion do's list, these shirts would not be appropriate. At all.

- Fine Jersey Short-Sleeve T - Boring. Not fine at all, unless you're washing the car on a Sunday morning.

- Sheer Jersey Short-Sleeved T V-Neck - Holy @#$%^ you can see right through it!

- Sheer Heart Jersey T - Is that a ...dickey underneath the main shirt?

- Fine Jersey Color Block Pocket T - Like something a four-year-old would wear because she likes to match the Crayola box

- Unisex Solid Rib Vest - "Ohhh, it's so HOT in Washington in the summer. My chest is stifling... They must be free to BREATHE..."

- Cotton Spandex T-shirt Leotard - A leotard? With snaps on the bottom? (uncomfortable flashback to junior-high gymnastics class)

All mocking aside, the others are actually quite cute. And the two American Apparel items of clothing I already own are unbeatably comfortable and hold their color and shape well.

But, looking at this online catalog, I have to wonder two things:

- Why are many of the models pantless?
- Can't they think up more creative product names? It almost makes you yearn for the J. Crew "Classic Rugby Henley in Fawn"...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Fashion-blogging Georgetown: The Man-Shorts of M Street

Nothing says “take me now” more in a man than lime-green shorts with wittle embroidered whales. Or anchors. Or whales being accidentally harpooned by the anchors amid a sea of madras patchwork.

And that’s the ironic beauty of it. The men who wear these shorts know they can get away with it. It’s like the fashion model who sports the batwing romper sack and is dubbed edgy as opposed to WHAT THE @#$%^ WERE YOU THINKING?!?!.

Dockers and blue button-downs? How prosaic. The man who embraces his love for the shades of wheat-grass, turquoise and Pepto Bismol displays his confidence: “I can buy and sell you and your family ten times over. Moreover, I will do so on my Hamptons heli-pad as lackeys parade my polo ponies for review.” The younger men aspirationally embrace J Crew, the starter brand of these shorts, post-lacrosse or pre-keg party.

Shorts like these are worn to make a statement: I am so rich I can afford to look like a total idiot.

One exception: The pants with the little martini glasses. These I like because they say that the wearer is comfortable with his cocktail habit: “Yes, I like to get my drink on. No, I see nothing wrong with sharing that with the world. When we meet for breakfast, I will order the bloody mary, and no, it will not be virgin. When we meet for lunch, I will greet you with a tumbler in hand, and it will be the first of many. When we meet for dinner, I will be three sheets to the wind and likely pinch your ass inappropriately - albeit in a charming, don’t-mind-him-his grandfather-was-eccentric-they-catch-him-wandering-around-the-estate-naked-every-so-often kind of way…”


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