Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hail to the Chief

Good Lord, Michelle Obama is absolutely stunning. And you can tell her husband thinks she's pretty damn foxy too.

Politics aside -- and I am disappointed that President Obama hasn't accomplished much yet; get going, Mr. President! -- reading about this administration's first state dinner is a lesson in coolness. Love the tablecloths, love the menu, love the guest list, love the way they combined Bush and Clinton China! Love it all.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


You know what, I'm not embarrassed to admit that I'm a fan of the Twilight series. I've already admitted to several other embarrassing things here. And if you're into pop culture you pretty much can't avoid the Twilight juggernaught, especially in the past year since the release of the first film and the subsequent hysteria surrounding lead actors Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart.

Are these books ridiculous? Was the first movie laughable in parts? Big yes, but that's part of what makes them so fun.

Last spring, during an excruciatingly long airport layover on my way home from saying goodbye to a dying relative, I read almost the entire first book in the four-part series. At the time, I mostly appreciated how thoroughly distracting it was. Then I went on to read the remaining three books in the space of a month. Bella is a frequently annoying character -- whiny, grumpy, oh-so-ready to sacrifice herself -- and her relationship with sparkly vampire Edward has some disturbing undercurrents of control and sadomasochism. But the stories are compulsively readable, and lets face it, at base they're all about sex and self denial.

New Moon, the second movie adaptation, comes out tomorrow. I won't even try to see this for a few weeks at least. The shows have been sold out for a while and I'd like to maintain my hearing by avoiding the shrieks of teenage girls who go on opening night. The reviews have started coming in and so far, they range from pretty positive to so-so. Entertainment Weekly just posted theirs, here's one from the AP, and this is a very funny review from The Oregonian.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Count me in

I've professed my love for Gossip Girl in this space before. Although the show's main characters are largely teenagers, I suspect the audience is mostly people my age. This recent article in The New York Times certainly supports that theory: the Parents Television Council may not like the show, but it's undeniably influencing fashion and generates much-needed buzz for the CW network. As for me, I do think Blake Lively has eminently enviable hair.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Halloween is a great time to indulge your love of pop culture, because you can dress up as whoever or whatever you want. I've never been the most crafty person, but this past Halloween I made not just one, but two costumes! During a weekend visit to New York City, I went to a friend's annual party in Brooklyn on Friday night, and then on Saturday, to the Halloween parade and very fun event at the Soho House.

For Friday, my costume was Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz. Seeing as this year is the 70th anniversary of that landmark film, it seemed appropriate. Since I didn't have a lot of lead time, I bought the costume itself at a local store, and made the shoes myself. First, I started with an inexpensive pair of low white heels from Zappos, covered them liberally with spray adhesive, and then shook on two full bottles of Martha Stewart Coarse Glitter in Ruby. It's Dorothy -- you have to have the ruby slippers!

I decided on my costume for the next night on Saturday morning, and spent the day getting it ready. My friend went as hero pilot Sully Sullenberger, and I was his stewardess. Pretty simple when you get down to it: blonde wig, stewardess costume, sunglasses, and the red shoes again. We bought a brown feather boa from a street vendor and glued random feathers all over our costumes to symbolize the geese that caused Sully's plane crash.

On the way home on the L train that night, a drunk Princess Leia asked if I'd "sparkled my own shoes," which is now one of my favorite questions ever.