That’s A Wrap

When did we all collectively decide that wrapping gifts was très passé and gift bags were en vogue?  Sorry, that’s too much French; I suddenly feel the need to surrender to the enemy.  The point is–was this a democratic decision or a hostile takeover?  Freedom of choice or pressure to conform?

Technically, gift bags were introduced in 1987, but I never laid eyes on one until the 1990s.  Apparently, it took off like gangbusters, and we all baaa’d like sheep and got on board the bandwagon.  Was it sheer laziness that compelled us to simply toss our gifts on a bed of tissue, or did we want to stay on top of trends?  Or was it like elections–we simply wanted change?

Just sit back with a mug of Sleepytime tea and visualize the o tannenbaum of your dreams:  Does it stand proudly atop a slew of thoughtfully-wrapped red, green, silver, and gold boxes, some balanced and piled four gifts high?  Or is it a one-level wasteland of crinkled Dollar Store gift bags with half-ply Charmin spilling out?  I can tell you which option will grace the pages of Southern Living.

And as far as Christmas is concerned, how do we explain that Santa’s sack is full of gift bags?  Certainly, the wind would catch them at some point, and they would float away into the wintry night sky.  And who wants to picture Santa at his or her fireplace, daintily pulling gift bags out of his sack, preciously setting them under the prelit $300 Hobby Lobby “Douglas Fir?”  Not I.  I’ll take my Santa without cream and sugar, thank you.

And isn’t the part of the thrill of childhood ripping the paper to shreds?  Just getting full-on Tasmanian Devil and taking out all your latent aggression from that stupid vocab test and that idiot who puts his mouth on the water fountain before you, and just tear into it like nobody’s business?  Isn’t that what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown?

But it’s not just the holidays.  Have you ever celebrated a birthday party at a restaurant, and the official time for the guest of honor to open gifts has not arrived, so you’re sitting there, eating chips and salsa, drinking margarita after margarita, trying not to accidentally kick over the gift bag next to your stilettos, for fear that the innards will spill out all over the tiled floor?  No need to fear with a wrapped gift.  It’s spillproof.

And why should I have to spend $5 on a gift bag for a $10 gift?  Yes, I’m cheap.  Rare indeed is the friendship that mandates more than a $25 gift.  You can see I’m not wealthy, or my site would be pimping  4×4 truck ads all up and down the margins.  And P.S. does it REALLY matter to you what the gift TAG looks like?  Or will it be discarded within seconds?  If by chance, I have cutesie reindeer and snowman “to and from” stickers on hand, super.  But if it’s not a holiday, you’re name is being written on top in Sharpie pen.  Deal with it.

Furthermore, you can’t rip adhesive off a fabulous curlicue red bow and shove it on a gift bag.  Some of those glue adhesives retain ever-stickable properties; you can use and reuse for up to threescore years.  They look absurd on gift bags, but when centered on a wrapped gift–it’s like the porridge that Goldilocks ate.  Just right.  And don’t get me started on mylar pom poms…

Now if you’ve blogged long enough, you may have stumbled upon the sites of fashionistas who lose their religion over a pair of Jimmy Choos.  That kind of enthusiasm is contagious. I wasn’t like that in my 20s.  But wouldn’t it be awesome to go all ape$#%& over a pair of SHOES?  I couldn’t dredge that up for a winning lottery ticket.

The closest I ever came to that level of irrepressable excitement was over a decade ago, on a visit to The Container Store.  That’s right.  It didn’t matter that the weather outside was frightful, because what I beheld was delightful–aisles (plural) of gift wrap tubes.  In prints you’d never conceived of.  Prints that blew my mind.


Shut.  Up.


Get. Out.

But gift bags don’t make me giddy.  Now I understand their merits–when you care enough to regift the very best–if you have occasion for an enormous monkey-themed baby shower bag, or enough friends who appreciate “Feliz Cumpleanos” bags in fishing village hues. The tissue, however, cannot be recycled.  Once it’s been tugged out, it’s DOA.  The smoothness is gone, and it just looks trashy.  Oh, I’m sure you’ve tried it.  Maybe you thought you got away with it.  But they knew.  They knew.

Now is ze time on Sprockets vhen ve dance!

Well, it’s day two of creepy album covers, and, oh, the things one discovers when perusing cover art!  Today’s artist is a hammerhead shark/Andy Warhol named Heino.  Again, musical ignorance has prevented me from being familiar with his extensive collection, which includes his 1980 hit, “Bier, Bier, Bier” (not to be confused with “Beers, Steers, and Queers”).

The best translations I could find for the title, Liebe mutter ein blumenstrauß der nie verwelkt, were, “Love mother a flower that never fades consuming,” and “Dear mother of one bouquet never.”  I don’t get it.  Is it Mother’s Day in Berlin?

And no, he’s not an albino, and no, he’s not Corey Hart.  Heino suffers from exophthalmos due to Grave’s disease.  But the Lord blessed him with a rich baritone, capable of belting out beer barrel polkas, so it all balanced out.

Once you really dig into the essence of Heino, you sense a cynophilic trend.  He rather fancies poodles.

heino poodles

I mean, REALLY fancies them.

more poodles

And German Shepherds (because he IS German, after all…)

heino hits 6

Now that I look at it–this looks more like seeing-eye dogs leading him up the stairway to heaven.  Clearly, he does not discriminate each time he visits the Humane Society.

And what is that badge in the hound’s mouth?  A license to ill?  The point is, the blonde Roy Orbison loves dogs.  Even corn dogs!

Sorry–that’s not a corn dog; it’s a microphone.

After his stylist gave him a saucy Steve McQueen ‘do, he took it down to the farm and chilled with the animals.  I believe this LP was later titled, “WARHORSE!!”

Months passed by, and when his mane grew into more of a Jean Seberg ‘do, he revisited his periwinkle farm friends.

As music and trends evolved, so did he.  Here he is frisky and fresh from the leather bar, doing his Tae Bo jabs.

In case you’re wondering, tanless Heino is still going strong at 74, married to his third wife, with no trace of male pattern baldness in sight.  And don’t even try to get your hands on that album; “das verbotene” means “the forbidden,” and Germans mean business.

In the words of Mike Myers’ Dieter himself, I say, “You have disturbed me almost to the point of insanity…There. I am insane now.”

Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina Coral. Your Eyeliner Will Run.

Just take a moment to really take in all that is Argentina Coral.  That’s it.  Deep breath.  Before noon today, I had never heard of her, nor seen her.  But now I have.  Now we both have.

I hope she had an endorsement deal with Nike, because she painted Nike swooshes across her eyebrows and beyond the natural borders of a human eyelid.  Just do it, Argentina!  And while you’re at it, smear some Avon coral lipstick beyond the borders of your natural lipline.  You cannot be contained.  You cannot be “corraled.”

The name of this LP is Cante Gitano, which means Gypsy Singing.  A looser translation might mean “emitting a fetid smell,” because her facial expression reveals something putrid this way comes, and it’s not just flamenco music.

Now I consider myself fairly musically-savvy, and I have seen enough of Stevie Nicks singing “Gypsy” to know that it entails white lace and prairie skirts, along with dizzy spinning in front of a mirror to catch one’s reflection, perhaps reassess one’s perm.  But just to be sure, I rewatched the video.  I was correct, but had failed to remember the ring-around-the-rosie scenes in a nymph-filled forest while it rained sequins and Tinkerbell dust.  Nonetheless, this is not what Cante Gitano offers.  Far from it.

Translated as only Google can, one of the songs says:

In this bar I first saw you, and without thinking I gave you my whole life. This offer bar with beer, amid sadness and pain. This bar opened our souls, and delicious phrases said. In this bar so many things happened, so I always come to this corner. Pour me a glass of rum and drink your beer with my heart, you are the steward of my love .. 

(And if you don’t pour me a glass of rum, I will park my smoking hot body on the hood of your car like some exotic Tawny Kitaen and glare at you through your windshield as though I am Cher’s evil twin.)  Case in point:

Hell hath no fury like Argentina scorned.  But time passed, and it softened her.  She traded her swoosh eyebrows for thin arcs, her turquoise blouse for a raincoat adorned with upside-down birds.

Alas, we all grow old.

Now fly like your inverted flamingos and go to that corner of your favorite bar and drink rum with the steward of your love and say delicious phrases.  Sing “Amor Hablame Dulcemente,” and he will sing sweetly to you and your mole.  And maybe, just maybe, he will buy you another cubic zirconia pinky ring for the other hand to deflect bullets like you are some sort of Latina Wonder Woman.  Adios, Argentina.  Adios.

I Want To Wear You Like An Animal

I pulled this ad out of my Vanity Fair magazine and set it on the coffee table for further inspection, as it seemed curious to me on several levels.  My son walked by and asked why a scorned Taylor Swift was lying near the remote and tub of coconut oil, and I explained that Miss Swift, fickle as she may be, is nothing if not ladylike–nay, princesslike–and would not be caught dead in a bedazzed jungle cat motif.

This honor goes to Karlie Kloss, the Juicy Couture model for the Fall 2012 campaign.  Now when I hear Juicy Couture, for some reason, the Brit’s voice pops into my head singing in her stilted robotic voice: I’m Mrs. Lifestyles Of The Rich & Famous (You want a  piece of me?) I’m Mrs. Oh-My-God, That Britney’s Shameless (You want a piece of me?).  No, thank you, we do not (and apparently, neither does Jason Trawick).  The point is, Juicy Couture brings to mind velour tracksuits.

So there we have a JC designer wedged between JLo and The (Green) Material Girl.  Are these the best examples of juicy derrieres?  One of them has an ample booty, and one of them has a boney booty, but neither of them can claim “juicy” anymore. Perhaps Madonna could suggest that her designer daughter, Lola, start a line of clothing for post-menopausal women, with a more accurate label.  Something like “Wither Couture.”


  1. To dry up or shrivel from or as if from loss of moisture.
  2. To lose freshness; droop.

But back to Miss Kloss, the anti-withered.  In fact, she’s not even legal to imbibe yet, at least not in the States.  I’m no Anna Wintour, so I can’t tell you what they WANT this ad to say to the consumer.  But I can tell you what a common woman between the age of Britney and Madonna sees when she looks at this ad.

  1. Either her teeth are clenched as part of her snarly little sneer, or she better hop on over to the orthodontist tout de suite regarding that underbite.
  2. Why is she wearing a dog collar?  Those genuine diamelles look heavy and will smack her in the face the next time she bends down to adjust her stiletto.
  3. Is this bedhead or a mousse commercial or are we supposed to think she just had sex at the seaside pavilion in the background with a former pro-surfer-turned-hobo?
  4. That upturned eyebrow is laden with disdain.  Don’t you peer at me through those nerdy girl glasses (do they even have lenses?). I think if we panned out of this shot, she’d have an empty gin bottle in her hand (minor in possession!), ready to smack us.  This is all very Louisville-slugger-to-both-headlights, if you get my drift.
  5. Why is she wearing a presumably faux fur jacket at the beach?  Is she cold from detox chills?
  6. What is up with the leopard/cheetah with palm trees sprouting out of his head?  Animal cruelty alert!  Just try to look into his clear blue eyes without turning away.  That ferocious cat seems to understand the mysteries of the world.  Or maybe he’s slowly choking to death in the deathgrip of that Charming Charlie’s choke collar.  Either way, this is all reminding me of the feng shui woman yesterday who told me the best way to cure my insomnia was to rid the bedroom of animal prints, including animal print sheets (who has THOSE?) because they are too “energizing.”  If Karlie did, in fact, pass out drunk on her jacket in that pavilion, the animal print seems to have done more enervating than energizing.

Animals, animals, animals!  Where is Hal Linden when I need him?

And just in case you missed the animal references, here she is ON ALL FOURS in a leopard-print jumpsuit hoodie monstrosity, cavorting on the sand after she had her Gatorade to rehydrate.  Who’s a happy girl now?  Who’s a happy girl?

More than anything, this reminded me of my college roommate’s cat, Misery, when she was in heat, rump raised and ready to rumble.  I think I’ll take my couture pulp-free this year, perhaps altogether juice-free.  Lola, have you got any etchings done yet??

Seven Brides for Only One Brother

We’re about to get Biblical up in here.

The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon, by Sir Edward John Poynter
The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon, by Sir Edward John Poynter

Let’s get this straight.  King Solomon starts out on the right track.  He builds a temple, he moves the ark of the convenant to it, he dedicates it.  Good, good, good.  Then he starts accumulating riches and signing treaties right and left, and each time he puts his John Hancock down, a lesser king gives his daughter in marriage.  Badda-bing, badda-boom, Solomon’s got a piping hot, fresh, new wife.  Nevermind that Moses’ law said in plain Hebrew that a king shall not “multiply wives to himself.”  Solomon was multiplying wives like nobody’s business.

God already told him that his wives would lead him astray and turn his heart to false gods, and son of a gun, if the Lord wasn’t right.  So how is this man wise?  1 Kings 10 tells us that “the whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart.”  Yet one chapter later, it states that Solomon loved many foreign women.  Hold up.  First off, nobody “loves many women,” foreign or not.  At least not at the same time.  That is not love.  Even Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias could tell you that.

Just dealing with two lovers is hard enough.  Ask Mary McGregor; she was torn between two lovers, feelin’ like a fool.  Even she had the decency to know that “lovin’ you both is breakin’ all the rules.”  You hear that, Solomon?

You either love Pharoah’s daughter or you don’t.  If I were her, I would be all, “Don’t come in here, telling me you just married some Ammonite skank.  I’m not trying to hear that.  And don’t be defiling our kingdom with those nasty Edomites and Sidonians.  If you so much as lay a hand on a Hittite, you’re never touching me again.  I don’t care if you are a king.  Israelite, please.”  I would have told him to put everything he owns in a box to the left.

And then he’d be all, “Don’t hate the player; hate the game.”  But the player tallied up 700 hundred wives and 300 hundred concubines.  And really, what’s the difference?  Wives get gold nameplates on their desks?  Actually, concubines have lower social rank, which prevents them from marrying.  So Pharoah’s daughter was right; it WAS slumming.  But I’m sure all one thousand of them got along hunky dory.  Just watch one episode of TLC’s “Sister Wives” and see how that plays out.  Everyone wins with fundamentalist Mormons and polygamy!

Look how happy Ken and Barbie–I mean Kody and Meri–were back in the day.  She had no idea what was coming.  Although, to be honest, I can’t say that I could have resisted his Pepsodent smile myself.  Three wives and seventeen children later, it hit him!  “Oh, snap!  This didn’t work out well for Solomon, and he was the wisest dude ever.”

God schooled Solomon in 1 Kings 11: “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son.”  And he did.

So the lesson here is one man, one woman.  Ideally, ’til death do you part.  But WWMRD?  I’ll tell you what Mickey Rooney would do. He would marry and divorce and marry and divorce until he racked up eight wives total (so far).  Talk about a player!  I realize everyone loved Andy Hardy, but this man is ONE INCH SHORTER than Dudley Moore.  He must seriously have it going on.  Five foot two!!  And at 92, he’s bound to have shrunk.  Discs degenerate, people.

Mickey Rooney & Jayne Mansfield
Mickey Rooney & Jayne Mansfield

God bless you, Mickey.  Now let’s just do a quick run-through of the ladies you managed to get to say “yes” when you bent your knee, from most recent back to WWII (in which you served).  Jan Chamberlin (m. 1978), Carolyn Hockett (m. 1969–1975), Marge Lane (m. 1966–1967), Carolyn Mitchell (m. 1958–1966), Elaine Devry (m. 1952–1958), Martha Vickers (m. 1949–1951), B. J. Baker (m. 1944–1949), Ava Gardner (m. 1942–1943).  Well, at least he finally figured it out.  He’s been with his current wife longer than the other seven wives combined.  An old dog CAN learn new tricks.

He explained, “When I say I do,’ the Justice of the Peace replies, ‘I know, I know.’ I’m the only man in the world whose marriage license reads, ‘To Whom it May Concern.’ But to have been married eight times is not normal. That’s only halfway intelligent.”  My point exactly.

Say You, Say Me, Say I’m Dorian Gray

“Lady.”  One word, and my best friend’s mother went weak in the knees.   School had just started in the fall of 1980.  “I’m your knight in shining armor, and I love you.”

good ol' wikipedia
good ol’ wikipedia

Did anyone watch The Gambler and Lionel Richie sing “Lady” as a duet last April on CBS at the MGM Hotel?  Did you catch Kenny Rogers’ story about Richie writing the second verse to “Lady” on the toilet?  Yes, it was destined for greatness.  It was the first record of the 80s to chart on all four of Billboard’s singles charts, including the Hot 100, adult contemporary, country, and top black singles.  Over thirty-two years have passed since it hit Number One, and time has taken its toll.  At least, on Kenny.

Last October, he told Oprah’s BFF that his plastic surgeon was one of the world’s best, and that he had “the money to do it, and I had time off.”  Look, we’re all vain.  Men are not immune to the lure of cosmetic surgery.  You’ve seen Mickey Rourke.  You can’t escape Bruce Jenner nonstop on E!.  And Barry Manilow’s cheeks look hard and puffy like papier mache.  But Kenny defended, “The truth is that I don’t know what I would have looked like if I hadn’t done it.”  Good point.  Maybe a debonair Colonel Sanders?

Now just try and Google image “Lionel Richie before and after.”  A funny thing happens.  There are no matches!  Do you know why?  Because there is no such thing.  Lionel Richie is almost godly in the way that he looks the same as he was, and is, and will be.  He does not change.  Well, that’ s not entirely true.  His jawline and hair length have changed since his Commodores days, but not much else.

Now Kenny has eleven years on Lionel, so it only makes sense that he looks older than Lionel.  But that doesn’t explain why time stands still for Lionel.  Did he sell his soul to the same dark lord that Ralph Macchio and Rob Lowe did?  The old adage “black don’t crack” will have to suffice.  It clearly ain’t crackin’.  The evidence is at hand.

I actually think he looks BETTER now than he did in ’86.  And if he did get surgery, that doctor has skills.  Either way, Lionel should be giddy.  If it were me, I’d be dancing on the ceiling all night long.

Will It Fit In The Van?

It’s Riesling night with my friend, Lydia.  My husband is at a meeting, so Lydia and I are drinking wine and watching an American Pickers marathon.  Maybe we are odd because we don’t watch Real Housewives of Silicone Valley, but we prefer this History Channel gem.  I enjoy finding and preserving objects that have a history, and Lydia likes Mike.  That’s the bottom line.

Contrary to the rumor mill, Lydia and I never hear the beep of our gaydar go off on buddies Mike and Frank.  First off, their grammar is atrocious.  “Me and Frankie” this and “Me and Mikey” that.  Mike also refers to Frank as that “little fat, hairy dude.”  And what queen says things like “We’re kickin’ down that gravel road, man?'” That’s quite a leap from “Goodbye, yellow brick road.”  I believe this self-proclaimed Laurel and Hardy are just buddies from eighth grade.  I’m not going to get all black helicopter theory about them.


I understand Mike’s appeal.  He has a nice head of hair, he’s lean, and looks good in a v-neck tee and leather jacket.  He also has a wicked smile and seems genuinely giddy about certain big ticket items, although I wonder if he’s just jacked up on Red Bull.  Lydia is divorced and single, so she is allowed to fantasize about spending time in the back of that Antique Archaeology van with Mike.  Sometimes I even hear her say, “Lydia Wolfe” to herself, and that’s before the second glass.  I remind her Mike has a girlfriend, but hope springs eternal.

It’s that rugged appeal, the desire to find the treasure in the filth, no matter how dirty he gets.  “Down and dirty,” Lydia says, and her eyes light up.  I tell her Frank is descending into identical filth, but she waves that option away.  “Frank’s sweat is not the same caliber as Mike’s.”  Whatever that means.

Mike has a unique turn of phrase.  “It can be pretty sketch when you walk in someone’s door,” Mike says.  Other things are “killer.”  Is he from the Valley?  Do they have surfers in Iowa?  I also notice he peppers his speech with “Bam!” a la Cajun King Emeril Lagasse.

“Me and Frankie are all about the Brazilian.   We are all about the bikini wax,” Mike says at the top of the California episode, and Lydia’s face falls.  No worries, though, because soon they are getting spray-tanned, and Lydia’s eyes glaze over as she discovers Mike’s red Playboy tattoo above his left pec.

“Is that real?” she asks.

“Is any of this show real?” I counter.

And what about roller derby and burlesque star, Danielle?  Personally, I’m not crazy about how all that ink distracts from such a pretty face.  Yes, I realize I sound like a Golden Girl.  I’m also not keen on her sassy back talk to her employers (though I’m not naive enough to believe it’s not scripted).  Lydia says Danielle is not the least bit attractive, but let’s be honest.  She doesn’t like her because of her accessibility to Mike.

american pickers three

So we’re watching them making picks right and left, item after item, big and small.  We share a look that says, “No way that’s gonna fit in the van.”  No way they’re going to just pile up fragile antiques on top of each other, and I doubt they wrap everything in newspaper before tossing it in.  I’ve seen their brusque manner.  So the eternal question is: why do they drive such a small van if they KNOW there is a chance that they might find some huge items?  Especially if they’re hitting several places along the way, traveling through several states at a time?  Do the producers have someone driving a U-Haul behind them, tucked out of sight?

I read an article at that alleges that the producers of the show visit the picks long before Mike and Frank show up, and they determine in advance not only what will be picked, but at what price.  Perhaps this is true, but that doesn’t discount the fact that there must have been times when the van did not offer enough room for what had been agreed upon.  Items like a tractor, Cushman scooters, eight foot oil signs, a grist mill stone–these take up a lot of real estate.

And what about all the times they are turned away? Or when Mike announces they’re “gonna do a little door knockin’, a little free-range pickin’?”  Is this fake as well?  Or do the producers allow them some liberties?  The goal of reality tv is to make people talk, right?  Maybe they gotta create the drama if they can’t find it.

The site asserts that Frank and Mike don’t even travel together, that all the dialogue is filmed on set locations.  Lydia doesn’t care.  All she knows is that Mike just said he has “an economic stimulus package in his pocket,” which puts her over the edge.  Four glasses have given her the courage to declare she’s quitting her job tomorrow, buying a trailer, and going into the picking business (acrylic nails be damned!).  Her theory is that she may meet Mike at some pickers’ conference, as though that exists.  Talk about her grasp of reality.

Romping About

I just watched a clip of Romper Room (for the first time in my life–purely as research), and I made an observation: not one of them was wearing a romper.

Webster defines a romper as “a jumpsuit for infants.”  These rompers look like onesies to me.  The Free Dictionary describes a romper as “a loosely fitted, one-piece garment having short bloomers that is worn especially by small children for play.”  Neither of these definitions include garments for grown people.  And Webster should know; he’s been defining for a while now.  But I definitely remember seeing fashionable gals wearing rompers a couple decades back.  Check out this animal and floral print.  Looks like someone borrowed grandma’s negligee…

ebay wants $48 for this. Are you kidding me? In THIS recession?

What we do know is that rompers are worn by those who romp.  Romp is defined as rough and energetic play.  Lively, merry play.  One site equated it to capering (playful skipping).  And here I thought capers were only in my Olive Garden chicken piccata. All I know is that I definitely do not romp.  I move like a basset hound with hip dysplasia.

The urban Dictionary, however, our go-to source for slang nearing obsoletion, defines a romp as the nasty, like a romp in the hay.  You know, frolicking boisterously.  In which case, one would shed all clothing, not put on a uniform to perform it.  So why does label this a romper?  

I’m not catty, so I’m not going to comment on a butter face wearing a butterfly belt.  Wait–is that Posh Spice?  Nevermind.  But I do take issue with this as a romper.  It is obviously a jumpsuit, more genetically related to an Elvis Jumpsuit than to a romper.  And that material clearly lends itself to dromedary toe.  So, ioffer, you may offer, but I politely decline.  A jumpsuit extends to the floor.  A romper has blousy bloomers that allow for gusts of wind to air out nether regions.  See below.

Don’t act like you don’t remember this silky little number.  I wore something almost identical in a fetching shade of maroon to my uncle’s wedding the week that Whitney Houston topped the charts with Dolly Parton’s song.  Yes, it was appropriate garb at the time, unfathomable though it be.  It was a very Contempo Casuals time in our country’s history.

Being a square may no longer be hip, but I can’t imagine that even the women who fall all over themselves trying to get a copy of Fifty Shades of Gray would want to see their man in this (yes, that’s what they called it) romper.  Don we now our gay apparel!

you're welcome, www.liquidvinlyclothing. com
you’re welcome, http://www.liquidvinylclothing. com

Surely this is impeding his cavorting.  But with that tat and that wedding band, romping is definitely on the agenda.  You go, middle aged man!  Way to keep your BMI down.  See, P90X does work.

And now we arrive in modern times, right here, right now.

They say you can’t wear it the second go round if you wore it the first go round (oh, remember Merry-Go-Round?  And The Wild Pair?  Sorry.)  These celebs look young enough to be abiding by that rule.  But that doesn’t defend these rompers.  They look wrinkly, and none of these denims is a proper dark rinse.  And is the pseudo-Applegate wearing acid-washed?  There is NO excuse for that!!  They can try to play it off as fun and flirty, but, ladies, we know the romper truth.  We know how they extend bathroom stall time by up to thrice a normal amount.  And then you’re basically hovering, buck naked, over a public toilet.  Or you resort to the tug-aside.  Either way, no, thank you.  Let’s send this look out to pasture and retire the romper for good.

Advertising Icon Transformation

courtesy of

I know, right?  You’re already uncomfortable.

I love makeovers.  LOVE them.  And even though I love food, the makeovers are my favorite part of Rachael Ray’s show.  And even though I love me some kooky, tipsy Kathy Lee and Hoda banter, my favorite part of Today is the ambush makeover.  And don’t get me started on Clinton and Stacey spiffing stylistically-challenged folks up in straight leg, dark rinse trousers that elongate them.

So I understand the irresistible lure to fix the ugly and the outdated to market a product (although, apparently auto companies have not quite grasped that idea, and have actually gone in reverse for the past forty years, producing uglier, blander models, but that’s neither here nor there.)  Successful advertising often requires changing with the times, and–in the case of the Quaker Oats Company–the need to stop offending particular groups.  On her 100th anniversary, syrup icon Aunt Jemima received her latest makeover.  I totally get the desire (read: pressure) to update her image, but do all transformations have to include a younger, thinner version?

courtesy of

Truth be told, I’m not digging this current Jemima.  I’m not feeling the nurturing.   Those pearl earrings are more for the boardroom than the kitchen.  I’m not saying you need a do rag to cook, but I do have concerns that stray hairs from her more polished coif may find themselves in my pancake batter.  And I just feel like if I asked her to whip me up some flapjacks, she might not be so keen on it. And before you call me racist, just know that the original Aunt Jemima, Nancy Green, actually was born into slavery in 1834, so the look was indicative of the time, like it or not. I imagine she did have the last laugh (all the way to the bank).  Now onto a W.A.S.P.ier icon…

again–from neatorama

Unlike the changing Jemima faces, who–let’s remember were all paid to represent her–Betty Crocker was never a real person. Her name and face were contrived to appeal to homemakers. Well, I’m a homemaker, and I’m not down with any of these Betties. Talk about a lack of nurturing.  The portraits all look so sterile.  These faces don’t say yummy walnut brownies to me; they say news anchor or banker wife (or “no wire hangers!”).  And I’m almost certain one of them is a Baxter-Birney.  Next!

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I think we can all agree the 2006 Sun Maid Raisin girl makeover was an epic failure.  I prefer the happy Gilda Radner to this creepy CGI no-indentation-in-her-upper-lip-Julia-Roberts-smile Little Red Riding Hood.  The cheerful immigrant girl was clearly up at the crack of dawn to pick grapes, but I doubt the “new and improved” Raisin Barbie would have stumbled home yet.  And something about her armpit bothers me.  And finally…

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In retrospect, maybe the 70s Brawny dude does look like he did a little porn on the side, but at least he looks like a real guy.  Depending on your age (white people) you either have an uncle or a brother who looked like this guy.  And he probably had a name that rhymed with “hairy” to match: a good, solid era-specific name like Gary, Larry, or Barry.  He changed the oil on his Camaro himself (while listening to his Boston eight-track), he drank beer out of cans–not bottles–and gave no thought to wine pairings and manscaping.  This is the guy I want representing the durability and strength of my paper towel.  This guy knows how to clean up a mess.

But the new effete guy?  The one in the red plaid shirt that he just picked up from the dry cleaners?  What’s his name?  Perhaps it rhymes with “Aiden,” as in Brayden, Caden, or Jaden.  How is he going to clean up spilled milk and vodka vomit if he just had his mani-pedi done?  A Brawny guy should not know what exfoliating is, but Caden does.  Honestly, I think fem queens will dig either one, depending on their preference for bears or not, and I’m certain the wording of “Pick A Size” beneath the blonder Tom Selleck is not lost on them.  But speaking as a straight woman with an opinion, I say: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The Not So Wonderful Wonder Bread


Browsing the dairy aisle today, I noticed the neon yellow tub of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!  (yes, it has an exclamation point, as if Elaine Benes from Seinfeld had designed it).  Not butter, you say?  Really?  Did you know they also sell Could it be Butter? (is that a rhetorical question?), as well as the not-so-grammatically correct Taste Like Butter, and You’d Think IT’S Butter! (again, the exclamation point for emphasis).  Where is the label that says “I Don’t Believe For A Second It’s Butter”?  I’d slap that right over each tub of  Smart Balance or Country Crock (aptly named) or Parkay (mmm, mmm, vegetable oil spread).  Reminds me of that Reddi Whip ad on tv where the waitress asks the customer if she prefers whipped cream or oil.  Wouldn’t we all pick cream?

What does taste like butter is Land O’ Lakes.  Because it is butter.  I reach for the yellow and red rectangles at the store, and I like the little kneeling Indian woman on it, P.C. or not, just like I like Aunt Jemima and I like Uncle Ben, who BTW was a real man.  And yes, sometimes, I bust out singing the chorus to “Kaw-Liga” as I toss it in my cart.  I don’t care if it’s high in saturated fats and leads to heart disease because I love it.  We accept the universal truth that things that taste good are usually bad for us.

Except in the case of white bread.  White bread is processed and flavorless and nasty, basically without merit.  Growing up, the choices at restaurants were always, “white, wheat or rye,” and I would choose wheat or rye because white is devoid of joy.  It’s not that it’s associated with bologna sandwiches and demographics that include Honey Boo Boo, and it’s not the snobbery of growing up in a Whole Foods culture; it’s just that it’s patently gross.  And it has the added bonus of high starch that converts into sugar and bang–you’re Paula Deen with diabetes.  And you didn’t even get any fiber to make you regular.

Every Sunday after church, we go out for barbeque.  The cashier totals up the bill and then raises a loaf of white bread and asks how much we want.  We get two slices per person, so that we can each construct a little brisket sandwich with pickles, onions, and barbeque sauce.  There is no choice, not even in Whole Grain Hippietown.  It’s white or nothing.  And though I wish wish wish they would offer another option, I realize that would drive the price up, and I respect the right of the small businessman to make his own choices.  And granted, they are not chintzy with the bread.  I imagine if you requested an entire loaf, they’d throw it in the basket, but who on earth would?  That’s what I don’t get.

As I bite into my brisket sandwich, the first thing that happens is the white bread comes into contact with saliva and immediately converts into a gummy paste that sticks to the top of my mouth.  By the time my tongue has succeeded in prying it off, it is too tired to chew.  I have to give my tongue a rest and sip iced tea for a solid minute, while my insulin levels spike and I try to avoid a coma.

Do people who like white bread only like it out of nostalgia, because they pledged allegiance to it in their childhood?  Is it a comfortable memory, associated with pimento cheese sandwiches and mayonnaise?  I’m not convinced it’s purely social strata.  Maybe people who enjoy white bread are the same people who order cheese pizza with no toppings, or hamburgers, just meat and bun.  People who insist on no variety, no spice of life.  Now, look, it’s different if you have some sort of allergy that prevents you from eating wheat.  But I’m talking in a world of pure freedom of choice, a world that offers rosemary sourdough and Jewish rye –why pick white?

Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific But For The Love Of All That Is Holy, Stop Touching It

I watch a lot of late night television.  A lot.  At the time it actually comes on.  Late.  I don’t record it or DVR it or whatever else people do these days.  I simply know when shows come on, and then I sit in front of the television at that time and watch them.  If I were too busy to do that, I would have to reassess my life.  Many times, when Leno or Kimmel are on commercial, we turn the channel to Letterman, and my husband asks for the umpteenth time why he is still on the air.  My hub has no memory of Dave’s heydey decades ago; all he sees is the crochety beige shell of a host who lost his humor and his sass well before the Towers fell.  He’s like that cantankerous old ventriloquist dummy, Walter.  Sometimes we think, “This will be the night that the Top Ten is actually funny.”  But it never is.  Never.  I tell him I’m pretty sure they did a really funny list in 1993, but then I remember even Conan was funnier than Dave that year.  Crap, that was twenty years ago.  TWENTY.  One score.  Yeesh.

Nonetheless, Dave, Jay, Craig, Conan, and the two Jimmies have one thing in common: guests.  They share the same guests.  We see the same actors in different suits, night after night, promoting the same movie with the same clip and the same set-up that gets really old.  But even this pales in comparison to what really gets my goat.  And a week never goes by without it happening.  Sometimes it happens twice in one night.  And it’s never the actors, only the actresses.  And no, it’s not their ridiculously short dresses that they intermittently tug down, as though they had NO IDEA how it would register on camera, as though a stylist strapped them down in a chair and dressed them against their will, never explaining how fabric bends when one moves from standing to sitting, or worse–some madman appeared just before they went on stage and hacked six inches off their dress with a cleaver.  The nerve!

But that’s not it.  What chaps my hide is how often they touch their hair.  I don’t mean once or twice.  I mean every couple of seconds.  Inhale, touch hair, exhale, be normal.  Inhale, touch hair, exhale, sit still like a composed human being.  And they try to play it off as though they weren’t doing it.  Jay Leno will say a witty retort, and they will laugh nervously, and bang!  There goes the hand up to the face.  Half the time, their hair isn’t even IN their face to begin with.  They just want to touch it, like they’re Kelly LeBrock and they just started using Pantene, and they can’t believe how touchable it is.  It is so annoying.  Sometimes they will take the same strand of hair and attempt to pull it back behind their right ear, but it’s just a TOUCH too short, and so it immediately falls forward, and yet they spend the entire segment, fiddling with it, yanking and falling, yanking and falling.  Katie Holmes is the worst!  And no, it doesn’t make you look cute and sweet and humble, and aw, shucks.  It makes me wonder 1) why are you so damn insecure if you are a famous Hollywood actress millionaire or 2) you need to upgrade your Hold Control on your hairspray.  Can I suggest TRESemme (ooh la la) extreme hold?  That’s like five dollars at Walgreen’s, and that crap’s not moving.  Not in a tsunami.

I’m not talking about hair twirling.  It’s not just a casual, playful thing.  It’s moving it back, moving it out of the face, pushing it away, over and over and over and over again.  Mila Kunis.  Demi Moore.  It’s not sexy.  It’s distracting.  Don’t their publicists tell them to ix-nay the hair-touching after so many repeat offenses?  Look, if you simply cannot control yourself, perhaps you should do what Scarlett Johansson so often does.  Wear an updo with nary a tendril in sight.  Pulled completely off the face.  Then there’s nowhere to hide.  And isn’t that the point?  Aren’t talk shows for shameless self-promotion?  If you still can’t fight the fixation, then just grab the water mug and sip.  Some people do that a lot.  Just don’t take it to extremes.  Maybe you could tug on your earlobe like some hyperactive Carol Burnet.  Bring that one back into vogue.  Or rub that chin hair nub back and forth, the one you plucked three nights ago.   Or–and this is crazy–you could simply fold your hands in your lap and act like a lady–and I can’t believe I’m saying this–like Britney Spears did on Kimmel last September.  She kept her hands in her lap and off her face.  She did have the world’s shortest oufit on, though.  And she was all stiff, like maybe she needed to pee.  But her hair looked fabulous, all Barbarella and sexpot.  And she barely touched it at all.  Go, Britney!

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