Saturday, July 31, 2010

My son, the hipster

Here's a photo of my oldest son, Nick, who is just leaving Richmond, Virginia after living there for 5 years. After Williamsburg in Brooklyn, Richmond is probably the second biggest hipster hangout on the East Coast. Virginia Commonwealth University, where Nick went to school, has a hip and trendy art school and the hipster aesthetic is in full bloom there -- single gear bikes and all.
For comic relief, here is the Hipster Olympics.
As you can see, Nick scores high in the "Ironic T-Shirt" category.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Benefits of the Slow Struggle

I really like Andrew Sullivan. His blog, The Daily Dish, is something I read every day. He's British, conservative, gay, HIV-positive. His thinking is reasoned and well-informed. I first started reading his blog during the election, because he always had something interesting and astute to say about Obama. He has some favorite topics, such as the torture tactics of the Cheney administration, gay marriage and rights, Sarah Palin, legalizing marijuana, and the lack of a viable conservative party in America. He also has a meme for Barack Obama -- "meep meep" -- which is the noise the Roadrunner makes when he's foiled the coyote once again. Sully is convinced, as am I, that Obama has mad Ninja skills that we mere mortals can only guess at. And that he's playing a long game, carefully strategized, not a short game for political advantage.
Here is a link to a recent post that puts the progress of Obama's promise of "change" into context.
Sometimes it takes someone who wasn't born here to understand and appreciate what we have and where we are going and why it just takes time to get there.
(Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty)

I'm Up Here, You're Down There

Anyone who knows me knows I have a serious love for the Bravo "Real Housewives" franchise. I've watched them from the beginning, starting with Orange County, and was actually excited when they announced the New York housewives, because I knew there would be special craziness that only New Yorkers could bring. Plus, they announced that the housewives were going to be socialites, which, after finding out who they were, was the funniest thing about the show.
Anyhow, I won't even try to apologize for the time I spend watching these reality-tv-sized trainwrecks. Although, I will say that one of the New Jersey housewives, Danielle, should have her children taken away from her because they actually seem frightened of her and I think she's doing some serious psychological damage to them. It's kind of horrifying to see reality-tv-roadkill when it's children. At least they'll have the comfort, later, that everybody will know their future drug addictions/lives as prostitutes/borderline personality disorders actually are their mother's fault. They won't have to spend years trying to figure out who's to blame.
The spin-offs from the franchise are just as funny. Jimmy Fallon did a "Real Housewives of Late Night," series on his show, with all the female characters in drag. You can probably still watch them at the site.
Andy Cohen, head of programming at Bravo, does a live half hour show every week after the current Housewives, called "Watch What Happens." Right now it's on Monday nights at 11:00. He usually has one of the housewives on, and the shows veer from brilliant to sycophantic, but it reminds me of the glory days of public access TV in Manhattan -- the 80s -- when there were a handful of shows with the weirdest mix of celebrity-hangers-on and just plain nut cases.
(My favorite was "Change Yourself, Not the World," hosted by a Hungarian hairdresser with a Phil Spector Afro hairdo and a younger guy who seemed border-line mentally challenged whose main claim to fame was that he knew Joe Franklin (who was a late night talk show mainstay in New York whose guests were always entertainers who were on their way down if not already having hit bottom but who were always introduced as if they'd just walked the red carpet). Every week he'd display a new set of Polaroid photographs of celebrities he'd managed to get his picture taken with. If Joe Franklin had C-list stars, CYNTW had D to F-list.)
This past spring, Andy had a regular caller during the live question and answer segment of the show, Ben Weiner, who was a 13-year old Upper Westside kid who loved the Housewives. One night he called in to let everyone know he wouldn't be calling in for the next month or two because he was going to camp.
So, this is just a long introduction to today's TV clip, which is Andy Cohen and Steven Colbert doing a dramatic reading of one of the most famous Housewives bitch fights of all -- the "I'm up here, you're down there," encounter between Bethenny Frankel and Kelly Bensimon. Andy and Steven don't joke around. It's a great reading, with all the drama and irony and crazytimeness made even more evident.
Enjoy! Mazel!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Grey vs. Brown

This long article is well worth reading, even if all you read is the first couple of paragraphs. I've been telling friends forever that when our group of Baby Boomers gets too old for anyone to want to deal with us, and our general selfishness and live-for-today attitude catches up to us (in other words, when all the money is gone), they're just going to have to build row after row of barracks out in Utah or Montana or someplace where nobody really lives to stash all our sorry old broke down a**es. We'll be living in barracks. Seriously, what else are they going to do with us? There aren't enough icebergs . . .

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dangerous Funk

This won't be news to the youngsters who are all over this stuff, but I'm just beginning to understand the enormous amounts of music you can listen to on the Internets. For free. And the biggest pleasure is mixes that folks put together. Here's an amazing set of mixes from a site called Good Records NYC. Four long sets of African music from the 60s/70s. There's Afro Funk, Afrobeat, Funky Highlife, and Afro Rock. All of it stuff I've never heard before and all of it excellent. (Photo credit: Good Records NYC)

Snake skin

When I was gardening last weekend, I came across this leftover snakeskin that a snake had recently shed and left behind. I was really excited to find it until I realized that if there was a snakeskin, then there was probably a snake. I stopped weeding shortly afterwards. Isn't it interesting how the colors and pattern of the countertop mimic the snakeskin's.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's Virginia, Y'All

Just one of those things (thanks The Awl!) that endears me to my adopted home state.