I cannot, in good conscience, support a company or person who calls themselves “custom haute couture designer”. It is an excellent filter for weeding out products and services that are going to cause more angst than anything else; the mere use of these terms together suggests that their skills most likely leave something to be desired. Akin to calling my high school diary literature and declaring it part of the english canon. Just because you say it, it doesn’t make it true.

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That ongoing quest to distract myself from life while maintaining my balance on it’s metaphorical bicycle, simultaneously searching for the meaning of it often lands me in front of doctors – both eastern and western – then inevitably in front of the fridge in a fit of rage that there is nothing for me to eat/nothing I can eat.

Someone wiser than me, but infinitely more irritating, told me to, “Fuck them all. You only live once. We all only live once.” Which is true, and very emphatic on his part, but I’d like it to be a long once. Tempering his statement with, “Just don’t go crazy,” I realised that perhaps he had a point.

Amending my extremist diet, I tried one version of gastronomical temperance. It involved sneaking powdered magnesium into my ice cream. This sort of fraudulence would never last. I scoured my recipes; mostly rich, heavy, mediterranean dishes. I tried to console myself with Dan Buettner’s Blue Zones. If there were 105 year old Sardinians, I would be fine, right? More lies. I returned to the digital drawing board only to get sucked viciously into the waters of Medoc and Mimi Thorisson‘s unnecessarily stunning recipes that were absolutely unattainable in my kitchen. With my frustration growing at both my inability to remember recipes more complicated than lasagne as well as my abysmal French, I stepped back and took a long hard look at myself – not literally, that’s impossible without a mirror – and realised I was doing it again. I was going to the extreme. Continue reading

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You must immediately cease googling your ex lovers. Stop. Right now. Close the browser tab.

You are well aware of his chosen career path, you are well aware that it entails regular photo updates. You do not need any encouragement to call him, in fact you need the opposite. Commenting on his attire is not a reasonable pretense for contact.

Step away from the news items. You cannot correct their errors in spelling nor fact. It will do you no good to read about him and imagine how charming the interview indubitably found him. No, you cannot divine clues on his relationship status from gendered pronouns equally liable to be about his cactus. Your instinct is far more accurate than a 3 minute interview covering the same ground as the previous 70 3 minute interviews this year.

You are allowed only ten minutes of laughing hysterically at online admirers. Then you must remember that he is not a real person to them.

Why are you still online? Fine, five more minutes.

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Ali1
,

My great aunt will turn 100 this year. She is a phenomenal woman, worthy of an entire book, but essentially she is the kind of person you would do well to strive to be like. This aunt has a son in law – has done for the last 30 years or so – and she hates him with the fire of a thousand hells. Her exasperation with him, her constant irritation at his presence, her pure frustration at his existence is a joy for us to watch. I’m sure it is a cause of consternation for her daughter; tasked with not only diffusing the ongoing war but also taking care of her mother, she has my sympathy, but I hope my aunt lives to110.

Actually, I suspect she will. It is a running joke between a few relatives that she’ll die only when he does, so we’re really looking at another 20 or so years with this excellent lady, for which I am grateful because my aunt is my sensei.

In the past few days I’ve put out a few requests that, if I were to be rational, may have been asking a little much, however one does not get things done by being a retiring wall flower. Interestingly, today I received a response that boiled down to a very polite, “No.”

Reading and re-reading this email I considered my emotions as they passed by. Embarrassment at having asked? For the most fleeting of seconds yes, but it barely registered. Irritation at his answer? Absolutely. But by the last reading I had settled on one dominant emotion: Dismissive.

I discovered a while agothat being told no is just not something I’m interested in hearing. If I accept “no” as an answer, I’ve come to realise that I almost always never really wanted whatever it was I’m being denied in the first place.

So, sir, I see your no and I raise you my genetics.

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1978 Newsstand

In a moment of pure, mid-twenties, childless joy, I, on a random Tuesday morning, woke early and greeted the day with a series of challenging asanas that stretched my body and invigorated my mind.

Easing into warrior three, my back foot flexed so as to close the cutlery draw gently with the tips of my toes while my opposite hand stretched out to release the steam valve on my coffee machine. Balancing in half lotus after almost crushing with my bare foot a Christmas beetle in possession of an unfortunate sense of direction, I made my way through what I like to call Standing Bean Vinyasa as I pulled the lever on the vintage machine that fills me with joy every time I hear it hiss before temperamentally steaming my milk. Some days it will work, some days it won’t. The daily suspense is gripping.

Then I went back to bed. In this new position (Almost Caffeinated Goddess pose) I proceeded to spend the next two hours reading a stack of magazines.

I tell you all this to say, you can have your Kindles and electronic reader-thingies. You can keep your digitised words. If I am going to indulge in thoroughly enjoyable, languorous mornings, I am going to do so with shiny paper bound and dated, propped on my legs as I sip from my favourite I Heart NYC mug. When I’m done I want to see ink on my fingers and finger prints on my pages.

If print is dying, I will be what Questlove is to records. Yes, my removalists hate me and yes, I am running out of space, but love knows not reason nor spatial constraints. Give me magazines, or give me death.

 

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“…art by definition is something for which there is no practical use.” Keith Gessen, ‘How Did Amazon End Up as Literary Enemy No. 1?’, Vanity Fair December 2014

“Since writing on toilet walls is done neither for critical acclaim, nor financial rewards, it is the purest form of art. Discuss.” Graffiti

If art is that which is not done for acclaim, nor money, nor use, then the age old question is, what is art? I remember being asked this question in my final year of high school. I didn’t know the answer then, and I don’t know it now. To begin to attempt to formulate an answer though, it probably helps to define practical:

Of or concerned with the actual doing or use of something rather than with theory and ideas.

This definition makes Gessen’s assertion vaguely problematic. If art is only that which can’t be used physically, is it to be assumed that the definition is only applied to the primary intention of the art? Art becomes “useful” after the fact as a teaching tool, a historical record, and in the case of some sculptures, a resting place for pigeons. However none of these are likely what the artist intended. If we only apply Gessen’s definition to the intention of the artist, then sure, his definition probably fits quite well. It doesn’t explain the concept of “pure art”, though, which leads us to the problems associated with the definition supplied by the witty graffiti artist.

If art is that which is not done for acclaim, money, or purpose, then does art exist? Continue reading

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Maxwell
,

Let’s chat.

Your show tonight was pretty great, and that suit was fantastic, but I think it’s best if we just cut through the small talk and get down to the nitty gritty. I heard that girl scream out that she loves you. You heard it, I heard it, the whole theatre heard it. I’m pretty ok with the fan-girling that goes on when you sing so whatever, I let it slide. In her, and their, defence I think it’s the surprise of your lower register after bars of falsetto. That little growl you have really makes the ladies happy. Anyway, so you bothered to reply to fan girl. With your cute smile you said, “I’m 41, I’m too old for most of you out there.”

Max. Maxwell. Honey. Not only is age nothin’ but a number but if people know you it’s because they were born in time to appreciate Fortunate and Luxury Cococure. You are definitely not too old. Continue reading

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,

Endemic of the ongoing assertion that fashion moves too quickly, and now nonsensically when considering the seasons, is the pressure this rapid-fire turnover places on designers. There are many ways this pressure manifests: Through breakdowns as evidenced by Galliano’s 2011 anti-Semitic rant in Paris, through the reclusive nature of some designers to preserve their sanity in the style of Margiela, or through the constant turnover and back and forth of designers such as Jil Sander. Most recently stepping off this frantic ride is Jean Paul Gaultier who has ended his ready-to-wear collection to focus solely on couture. While the loss of Gaultier ready to wear is sad, I don’t entirely mourn it for two reasons: We still get to experience Gaultier when he would have been well within his rights to quit completely, and also that there is a designer of exceptional vision, talent and experience doing his part to keep alive the most elite compartment of fashion. On the other side of the coin, two of the aforementioned designers have recently aligned with Galliano taking the design helm at Margiela which is an interesting decision for a multitude of reasons. If even Suzy Menkes finds it difficult to understand then the rest of us stand even less of a chance of making sense of this union. Those who survive in the traditional role (in the spotlight, granting interviews, taking bows at the end of their show) must be constantly filled to the brim with fresh ideas to present up to 8 collections per year, in the most extreme cases (Women’s Spring/Summer, Women’s Autumn/Winter, Pre-fall, Resort, Men’s Spring/Summer, Men’s Autumn Winter, Spring Couture, and Fall Couture), never mind those designers who work for more than one label like Karl Lagerfeld.

Continue reading

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Asian Vegetables

I decided to make Kimchi. Something about gut health and natural probiotics from fermentation made this sound like a good idea, though I recognised the potential for disaster. Taking perfectly good vegetables and fermenting them then halting the fermentation process so as to ingest the finest probiotics without also giving yourself food poisoning is a dicey game. One mastered by ancient cultures who didn’t have the aid of refrigeration, this Korean recipe still had a high potential for vomitous results.

Nevertheless I looked at a few recipes and decided to proceed. First would be the traditional Kimchi, made with cabbage, salt, a bit of spice and an air tight jar. While the jar sterilised (don’t want any non-friendly germs in there, just the stomach supporting probiotics) I lightly dehydrated the cabbage and drained it, chopping it up and spicing it in a large bowl. If you’re curious, I got a bit fancy and threw a few types of chilli in there, along with ginger, garlic, and a dash of fish sauce as suggested by an elderly couple in Iowa who have taken up fermenting as a hobby/obsession. Transferring to the now sterilised jar, I added some water and sealed it, placing it in a dark corner of the cupboard for the next 24 – 48 hours to jump start fermentation.

Next up, hipster Kimchi. Cucumber and carrot with a dash of paprika and some random spices I found that I figured would add a little kick to my colourful gut boosting veggies. More chillis, repeat process as above with the cabbage, and throw it all in a jar. With a little more space left before I filled the jar, I retrieved another carrot from the fridge and quickly chopped it along with the top of my thumb. Continue reading

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,

I have an urge to put a ‘c’ in your name, Mr. Shmurder, it sounds German. Anyway, Bobby, Rowdy, what. is. UP?! How are you? You guys seem cool with being addressed by your first names, I’m not even sure you’d notice as you seem to enjoy existing in a hallucinogenic state.

So, smoke signals finally reached my distant lands and I heard a little of your song, Shmoney Dance. Sounds cool, catchy. Apparently it’s really big with the kids. Does this make you the 2014 Soulja Boy(s)? Not sure…Bobby & Soulja do have similar body types. I caught Soulja Boy on Love & Hip Hop Hollywood the other day, actually. He seems nice, totally incapable of monogamy but I’d venture a guess that you all share the opinion it’s an outdated concept. That’s cool too, just remember to be safe while you’re sharing and caring.

Anyway I heard your song because I saw the video, Continue reading

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