Carrie On.

I have a confession.

THE CARRIE DIARIES

After polishing off all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls I needed a new guilty pleasure. Finding few suitable options, I’ve settled on The Carrie Diaries, and precisely six episodes in, I have this to say:

CONS:

  • It’s not Sex and the City. Not that I expected it to be, but it’s just not. Wherefore art thou, Michael Patrick King?
  • It’s a show made for teenagers. Just like the books (which I haven’t read) it’s teen fiction, which means the dialogue and situations are a little more Full House than I have the patience for.
  • It doesn’t follow the HBO series. From adult Bradshaw, we know that she is an only child whose father abandoned her and her mother at a young age. In The Carrie Diaries, Carrie, along with her sister Dorrit (hello, what kind of a name is that?) is raised by their widowed father, while grieving the recent passing of their mother from cancer. Again, I haven’t read the books, so I don’t know if that’s how it is in there, but to me this is a flagrant violation of the origin story of our Manolo-wearing, c-c-c-curly-haired superhero. It feels a little as though they took the easy way out in telling how she became the future Mrs. Big, because for whatever reason a widowed father story is so much easier on the psyche (and viewing audience) than a dad leaving on purpose. (Again, see Full House.) They kept it light with a premise that honestly, puts Carrie on an entirely different trajectory than a life writing about the mysterious relationships with men (In A Vogue Idea she asks “You think it’s as simple as my dad walked out therefore I’ll always be screwed up about men?”). Even if the argument isn’t entirely valid, I don’t appreciate the inconsistency.

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PROS:

  • It’s not completely Disney-ized. SATC was all about women in enduring friendships, being frank about the sex lives. I was surprised to see that theme carry over into the PG-13, teen-audience-appropriate realm. The real issues are still there, with the added awkwardness of inexperience that defines that time in your life.
  • AnnaSophia Robb as Carrie Bradshaw is endearing. In my opinion, she does SJP proud.
  • Eric Daman does Patricia Field proud as the costume designer. The Century 21 gear and 80s garb is pure eye candy. (Note: Did you know he also was the costume designer for Gossip Girl? Go figure.)
  • Holy 1980s music collection, Batman. Every episode is packed with classics and covers. Here’s one cover in particular that really impressed me:

BOTTOM LINE:

It’s not really a sit down with popcorn and the subtitles on so you don’t miss anything kind of show, but the costumes, music, and glimpse into aspects of Carrie Bradshaw we haven’t already seen five thousand times (hello, I practically have the script memorized from seasons 1-4 of HBO series), it’s worth having cued up on Netflix for a late-night palate cleanser before bed.  (I’ve been using it as a chaser to American Horror Story so my dreams aren’t so grisly afterward.)

Internetz: Valentine’s Edition

Happy Nerdy Valentine’s Day, from your friendly neighborhood 1970s robot.

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For my sister in medical school (this IS what they’re teaching you right now, isn’t it?)

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44 Stock Photos That Hope To Change The Way We Look At Women, including this one that kinda maybe embodies who I would like to be some day (if only the half sleeve wasn’t quite so permanent…)

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27 brilliant ads, including this one below from a fellow classmate at UT who went through the same Creative sequence I did. (It’s okay to ask yourselves where the hell I went wrong, haha.)

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A 1920s Shanghai spin on a sparkly red Valentine’s dress + the perfect date.indiana_jones_and_the_temple_of_doom_shanghai_china_title

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Witchy Woman: Art Imitates Artist on American Horror Story, Coven

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Ever since I saw The September Issue, a documentary chronicling American Vogue magazine’s arduous journey to print on its biggest issue of the year, I’ve felt creative director Grace Coddington was:

1. Just about the coolest person around
2. The brains behind the whole operation (although I suppose that’s debatable since Anna Wintour seems an all-consuming persona)
3. The uncontested heart behind the whole operation (no arguments there)

Which is why, despite its rather slow-paced plot line, season three of American Horror Story (Coven) quickly became my favorite once Myrtle Snow quite literally rose from the ashes to become the fashion-forward embodiment of Grace herself.

Observe:

Each sits on a high-powered council:

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Signature voluminous “I don’t give a damn” red hair and sassy-smart expression:

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General supernatural wardrobe staples:

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And of course, there’s the parallel with the lifelong frenemy sidekick – Jessica Lange (aka  Fiona Goode) puts up one hellofa fight for the role of playing Anna Wintour to Frances Conroy’s (aka Myrtle’s) Grace Coddington.

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Also, did I mention the numerous Stevie Nicks appearances on the show? What’s not to love. Girl. Power.

Internetz

Recently, in pop culture:

8 Red-Carpet Looks That Were Hated Then — But Rule Now

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A tumblr hailing from New England whose sole purpose it to serve up preppy style porn, and make you wish you too owned a boat, adorable floppy-eared hunting dogs, and everything LL Bean and Ralph Lauren ever made. Three cheers for lobster rolls and monogrammed puffy vests.

A Big Butt Is A Healthy Butt: Women With Big Butts Are Smarter And Healthier

If Georgia O’Keefe took up cross-stitching, this would be unsettling the result

Does the car make the movie? Check out these delightfully designed auto-centric movie posters based on blockbuster classics.

Two shops that sell lust-worthy Mid-Century furniture: Fabulous Mess on Etsy and Barr None Furnishings in Plano, TX

A really, really, not-smart yet hilarious way Coca-Cola is letting you support their mission of saving the polar bears with your MyCokeRewards points:

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And finally, a more suitable replacement for the above, courtesy Kate Spade. (Also, for whatever reason, I’ve had about 8-cajillion people say this exact phrase to me over the past couple of weeks. My hands are always warm, so like Chandler, I must be dead inside, but the sentiment and the mug are cute, so here ya go.)

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Snark Attack

1. Anthropologie knows a lot of things, but for some reason is really confused about how normal people spend their Sunday mornings. Exhibit A:

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Yes, my morning routine on Sundays OBViously includes a ritual where I sniff my right armpit, attempt to read the mind of my water bottle, pray over an apple, then take another deep whiff of my armpit. This time, the left. Art direction fail.

2. Galveston is a tragic city – filled with dilapidated historical homes and mansions from the 1800s, and absolutely no economic structure to maintain its history. Case in point – The Mermaid & The Dolphin Resort is up for sale. It was once the home to the sister of Texas founding father Stephen F. Austin and a former Texas Governor.

Today, it’s a white trash mess of a B&B and wedding venue.

Today, every room is equipped with its own jacuzzi.

Let that take a minute to sink in.

JACUZZI.

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Because nothing says historical B&B to me like a nasty-ass hot tub in every room. As if Galveston isn’t humid and smelly enough?

I would love nothing more in the WORLD to have enough money to buy the place, de-renovate it back to its former glory, and turn it into the beautiful wedding venue it could be.

I mean, if you look past the PURPLE WALLS in the ballroom to the original hardwood and antique four post beds, it just oozes potential.

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All Or Nothing

I read this blog about a project called “the burning house” where people answer the question “if your house was burning, what would you take with you?” with a single picture.

Examples:

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Of course, the idea compelled me to immediately survey the place, wondering how I could artfully contribute to the project.

Perhaps because of my rather grey mood today, or general all-or-nothing attitude towards life, I came to a rather morose realization.

I don’t know that I would grab anything.

There’s no one particular possession that makes me hurt to leave behind. All the physical, tactile things I’ve really loved have been broken, chewed (Oscar!), lost or worn completely out at some point. I think it’s God’s way of keeping me (less) materialistic.

Sure, I love the things I have. Lord knows I love collecting, surrounding myself with design, trinkets, mementos. And Aaron knows me too well to throw away a greeting card without a considerable mourning period, but if I really had to do it – evacuate my life with just the essentials, they would be just that.

Dogs, computer, phone.

Assuming the computer data was all backed up somewhere else, I could let that burn too.

There’s something about contemplating the most terrifying of life scenarios that reframes the way our minds think. Once the impassable mental barrier is broken between the land of routine and that-stuff-only-happens-to-other-people, there’s an eerie freedom on the other side.

I really think there must be something wrong with me to have this general feeling. That escape from everything – even the good things – is somehow better. A relief.

Does everyone have this place in their mind?

Maybe I just really need a vacation.

The Song Johnny Cash Never Wrote

Lana Del Ray has been through some interesting PR highs and lows since Video Games first became popular. First there was the SNL performance that wasn’t, then the endless play of the techno-fied version of Summertime Sadness, then there was me, going through every music video Vevo had to offer, wanting to see if she continued the retro Priscilla Presley look through every cinematic moment.

In short, the answer is yes.

But then I got to this song called Ride. (Video below.) And I spent the next several hours thinking about it, trying to figure out why I felt like I had heard it before. It feels like something old, covered by Lana, even though Wikipedia says otherwise.

For me, it’s somewhere in the Johnny Cash arena between his cover of Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt and Devil’s Gonna Cut You Down.

But I don’t know if that description quite nails it. I keep trying to put my thumb on it and never quite get there. Curious to hear what you guys think of the song?

PS – Warning, the actual singing doesn’t even begin in this video until 3:27 minutes in, but I have to admit the beginning spoken word part is kinda sorta maybe a little brilliant.

Thoughts?

The Shallow End

I have an utterly unstoppable fascination with Rich Kids of Instagram.

At first I took it for what it was – an opportunity to fill a voyeuristic desire to observe a lifestyle that’s shiny and decadent and completely foreign.

Then the more time I thought about it, and the more and more pages and pages I wasted time clicking through, I began to think about the specific pictures that made me disgusted by their opulence, and the ones that made me most envious of this rare class of Americans.

In my self-imposed social experiment, I decided to pick a selection of just four photos out of nearly 50 that made me most envious. No one was more surprised than me at the results:

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It seems the things I crave in life actually don’t have much to do with fancy cars, expensive jewelry, oversized bottles of overpriced champagne or frequent parties filled with reckless spending and the excessive wearing of white linen.

What I really want is experience and adventure. The opportunity to see parts of the world that are beautiful for free (negating the costs involved in getting there and finding lodging) and to have the free time to savor them.

One of my dad’s favorite sayings is that in life, there are three things of importance – time, money and good health – and that you will never have all three at once. Either you will have time and no money (Hello, unemployment! Been there.), or money and no time (most likely the parents of these Instagram kids) or money and time, but not enough health to enjoy it. (Their grandparents? Retirees?)

Having all three, the Rich Kids of Instagram give us a unique window into the lives of people struggling with a question few ever do –

What now?

What else is there to work towards? Live for? Achieve? Derive meaning from? What do you DO when you are born in a state that most people work their entire lives to achieve?

In many ways I’m excited about the prospect of the tumblr theme spurring a TV show – I imagine it to turn out like My Super Sweet 16, but it really has the opportunity to be so much more.

Internetz

I haven’t really had a lot of time to blog since Aaron came home from the hospital, but here are some things I’ve been reading/seeing/loving lately:

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This post-opp honesty from the sweetest husband ever. (For the record, my husband mostly just slept his way through recovery and didn’t have much to say. Should have used the opportunity to pump him for information.)

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This article from Psychology Today discussing how over-parenting makes for wimpy, anxiety-ridden children who can’t cope with life. Playing into said parents’ fears, who will now be overly paranoid ABOUT being overly paranoid, thereupon playing into the author’s hypothesis and solidifying the need for his own profession to continue to exist. Now there’s a head trip.

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Lustworthy photos from Texas’ largest, most wonderful antiques fairs – the only the only – RoundTop.

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This eensy-weensy copywriting project I did that actually got used by our client! (Hooray!) NamasDays = my fun little pun.Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 8.52.14 PM

I recently signed up for a blogger scarf swap hosted by Meredith at The Tichenor Family blog, which has become super dangerous due to all the excessive online scarf shopping I’ve been doing for my swap partner.

A few favorites from Fab.com:scarfs

These Jack-o-lanterns that don’t involve pumpkin goo. For the win. Will definitely be following the tutorial come October.lum

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And finally, this irresistible craft project. No, not the chevron dresser – the lamp. We have a Specs equivalent here in town that carries specialty beers and wines, and they’ve had that giant pink bottle concoction for quite some time. And for just as long, I’ve eyed it, wanting it for the pretty bottle while Aaron fusses at me that we’re not going to pay $13 for disgusting beer. Well, maybe not for disgusting beer, but $13 for a lamp is pretty good, yes?

Necessities.

Every PR girl needs a retro silk shirt with telephones on it, aka the perfect shell for a power suit.

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courtesy: Anthropologie (of course)

Also, I’m pretty sure every PR girl/writer needs a mid-century mod desk like this:

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Which, if the Craigslist seller does not respond to me soon, I may have an absolute aneurism waiting to see if I will actually be able to make it mine. (Did I mention they only want $65 for it??!!!!)

Because, really, what modern American twenty-something whose teeth were cut on the girl power of the Spice Girls, fueled by the woman power of Madeleine Albright (my personal hero as a child, along with Garbage’s Shirley Manson – yes, I realize a weird combo) and cured and set by the lasting influence of Gloria Steinem, wouldn’t want to live out some well-groomed but power-packed newsroom fantasy a-la His Girl Friday?

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Yep, I’m pretty sure Rosalind Russell would approve.

She’s just being Miley.

For those of you living under rocks (and rightfully so as there as some things you just can’t unsee) the blogo-tweeto-everythingo-sphere has been blowing up today, sharing things we all were thinking about one of the most abysmal MTV Video Music Awards performances in quite a while.

First, there’s this recap of the horror that was 3 or so minutes of Miley’s onstage debut as a TOUGH, REAL ADULT WHO’S TOTALLY ALLOWED TO CURSE AND PASS UP A CURFEW AND DO BAD THINGS – FOR THE RECORD! (Lest there be anyone who attempts to stand in the way of her “artistic evolution”)

Followed by this wonderful, amazing blog post speaking to Miley about her sad guesses as to what it means to be grown-up and still cool. (Written by someone who I consider both grown-up and pretty dang cool.)

Then there’s of course, this obvious Michael Keaton/Robin Thicke “Who Wore It Better” spoof

As well as 22 Things Miley Cyrus Looked Like at the 2013 VMA‘s

But I have to say (as much as it pains me) that there is one comparison I feel has been overlooked.

And I HATE to even make it, because hairstyle is really where the comparison ends, and this woman is one of my own adolescent rock idols.

BUT, doesn’t anyone else remember this phase of Gwen Stefani’s career?

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We all make mistakes – some can even be described as quite spectacular and with an impressive amount of forethought. I suppose this gives us hope for Miley’s future fashion choices (or choice to actually listen to a stylist), but as for the rest of her choices – aren’t there enough cautionary tales to choose from regarding “teen star grows up” scenarios that you don’t have to experience them yourself?

Le sigh.