Saturday, February 28, 2015


February 2015
You can't tell by this scan, but this is actually a mail envelope. The magazine was inside of it. I don't think that I've ever had a magazine delivered thusly; perhaps, in plastic, but never as paper. I want to keep it because it is just too cool.

And why wouldn't it be? It's Lena Dunham, and isn't she just it?! Most of the time.

I have not seen Season 3 of Girls yet. I'm not an HBO subscriber, and I usually wait until my cable company does a marathon viewing of the entire season after it has finished airing on HBO. My sister, who has HBO, and I had a few girls-only viewing parties for my entree into the series, but the marathon got me through it.

My sister believes that I am Hannah. Or so much like anyway. Like Carrie of Sex in the City, I imagine many women across America identify with the character. Hannah is certainly more flawed, and though I don't share all of her particular flaws, I am probably more like her than Carrie. Carrie's only struggle, besides which pair of shoes to wear, is which man to be with. Hannah's struggle is more with herself. Men factor in. Friends factor in. Living in NYC factors in. But what really stops her, is Hannah.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about how a girl can be a girl in today's world. This week has seen plenty of ... looking for and questions. The ladies of the red carpet want to end ... the red carpet. They aren't just what they are wearing; they are artists who are working on projects. But isn't the whole reason for being of the carpet to show off? The nail cam may have pushed the envelope, but isn't the red carpet fashion week for the masses? It's their opportunity to see what is going on in fashion. Are men under the same scrutiny? No. But what they are wearing isn't really interesting, is it? Ooooohhhh, he's wearing a navy Armani. What a choice!

Madonna, naturally, is more on the ball with her Rolling Stone Magazine comments about how men are never under the same scrutiny for age as women are in the press, in social media, in general life. No one tells George Clooney that he's too old for anything.

But Hannah has age going for her given current societal measures. But she's still trying to be a girl in a man's world. I read a great quote from Kerry Washington in March's InStyle: "The goal shouldn't be that we get to  a point where race or gender doesn't matter. Race is a really important part of our identity. Being a woman is a big part of who I am. What I want is to live in a world where my gender, race, and ethnicity don't define my trajectory and don't limit me."

I can't speak for race, but I can for gender. Being a woman is a big part of who I am, and I wouldn't want to be treated as if I were a man. But I do want to be treated fair and squarely. I don't think that happens in our society. Measures have been made to make us equal, but they are neuters. Example? 'Ms.' Those two letters just bug the crap out of me. Who made that up? Women? Probably ... in the throws of trying to push through the ERA, they came up with that! I don't blame them. It is the first thought in equality ... take out what the difference between the two to make the same. But it doesn't work like that, does it? I have a boss who uses 'Ms.' for every female, married or single. I think that he thinks that he's being ever so correct. I hate it. What it says to me is that I have to hide. What difference does it make that I'm a 'Miss.' Knowing whether I'm married or not has an impact on how I'm looked at? Yes, it does. Particularly when you are of a certain age like myself. But no one bothers George Clooney? oh, right. He's married now. No one has anything to say about Leonardo DeCaprio. Let's Ms. him. That's why I stick to it. Because this is my life. I realize that there is the distinction for two different states for women makes it an inequality, but I don't mind that so much making something up to cover the tracks. The cover-up is worse. I don't have a problem with the tradition of it.

If we are going to get to all-Madonna, or as Kerry Washington says, a place where I can proclaim, yes, I'm a girl, yet it doesn't have any impact on limits, then we need to understand that we have to let girls be girls. I think that is what Hannah's struggle is. I was so happy to see that in end of Season Two, she goes to Iowa. Adam is great, but she's got miles to go .... and as she feels the crumble of contemporary life on any given day fall around her, she has herself. She has the letter. And it is she who has a choice. Carrie gave up herself when she moved to Paris to live with the Russian. Maybe that's how Hannah knows to go to Iowa. And not having seen Season 3 yet, I'd like to whisper in her ear, "You're doing the right thing." Maybe if we all supported Madonna, Kerry, and Hannah, we'd all be a little more evolved and closer to an equity that is not about sameness, but keeping the differences in tact.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lunch with Madonna

I was reading during my lunch break today, and I came across this, an excerpt from this weeks Rolling Stone Magazine. I can't wait to read the whole article ... Madonna is in the house and making some noise.
But Madonna, who will release her new album Rebel Heart on March 6th (read our review of the album here), reserves her most passionate and eloquent remarks for the topic of ageism, in pop writing and in society. "It's still the one area where you can totally discriminate against somebody," she says, "and talk shit. Because of their age. Only females, though. Not males. So in that respect we still live in a very sexist society."
"No one would dare to say a degrading remark about being black or dare to say a degrading remark on Instagram about someone being gay," Madonna continues. "But my age – anybody and everybody would say something degrading to me. And I always think to myself, why is that accepted? What's the difference between that and racism, or any discrimination? They're judging me by my age. I don't understand. I'm trying to get my head around it. Because women, generally, when they reach a certain age, have accepted that they're not allowed to behave a certain way. But I don't follow the rules. I never did, and I'm not going to start."

Read more: 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Harper Bazaar's New Boho Chic

After the black and white, color.

Each of these is so delightful that I had to share them all. HB gets me this March ... I'm a black and white girl (mostly black), but I love an explosion of color. It is what reminds me of a feeling that I had when I was young when I would dream of a fringed suede, color, and patterned rock n' roll sort of life.

These pictured are updated, certainly, and much more sophisticated than I had envisioned for myself at fourteen. Though colored and flowered, each has a strength that draws from what an all-black ensemble would create.

I particularly love the red dress seen through the window. Of course it is the cousin to the Louis Vuitton that stood above the NYC skyline on these pages a week ago. And the mailbox dress is wonderful in how it is so structured with what looks like boxed pleats, a pattern that is bold, not demure, but it in its own right, hippy.

Aha, that's what it is for this editorial. Far from demure, hair across the eyes and pretty pastels, this is the modern, I'm not looking shyly at the ground, I'm open to whatever comes my way look. I love it.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Haters Gonna Hate Madonna

Rolling Stone Magazine Feb. 2015
From the vault, this page appeared and found Madonna in Tokyo in 1987.  Herb Ritts, the photographer whom Madonna had a long history of sitting for, took the picture of her yet to be Madge-ness in her hotel room. Out on the street, she was mobbed by adoring fans, so she had to hold up in her suite. Poor Minnie.

Nearly 30 years later, her fans are still in love.

I have been a fan since the beginning. Isn't that what everyone says, right? Not exactly. Like any other performer, the rise is the honeymoon phase; while the fall is the demonization of the former. I'm not quite sure that Madonna has made a fall yet. She, in my estimation, hit it and has made a plateau of it. Has everything she done been the best? Of course not. But that is one of Madonna's many charms. She always hops right back up on to that horse that caused her to break several bones, figuratively and literally (remember when she really did fall of her horse?).

When someone hates on Madonna, I just don't listen. She's forging a path for many of how not to let age define you, especially women. In an op/ed piece on Huffington Post, Keo Nozari wrote, "'Is there a rule? are people just supposed to die when they're 40?' she famously said in a 1992 interview at age 34, lamenting how people aren't supposed to be "adventurous" or "sexual" after maxing their 30's. Madonna has always challenged culture norms and "rules" about behavior, particularly rules in relation to women and how people are told they can and can't express themselves."

The Nozari piece began after the Grammy Awards with some hating on the fact that Madonna has nothing on Annie Lennox. Team-Lennox cheered for her age-appropriate garment and her soulful rendition of a standard that brought the house down. Madonna, on the other hand, not appropriate. I love Annie Lennox, and that girl can sing, but I was distracted by her garment. I'm not sure what the heck she was wearing. It was so dowdy, and I really had to wonder what she was hiding. Aretha Franklin comes out better looking than her when she performs. Jeez. And if the idea was to not be about the dress, why the sequins? That's a headlight.

As for Madonna's performance ... loved it. And Nozari reports that, "According to TiVO, Madonna's performance was the most-watched part of the entire Grammy night." Interesting.

This is a good time for Madonna. She's got her 6 songs out now that are some of the best she's produced in recent years. And I'm excited that she is working with new producers. I read somewhere that she took Diplo as her date to the Grammy's. He said that he had to go out and buy a proper suit for the occasion. Diplo has produced several of the new tracks on her album. I remember trying to get on to the lawn at Spring Awakening last summer to see his set. The crowd was so intense, and my niece and I couldn't penetrate it. We had to settle on the fringe. I'm not quite as old as Madonna, but I'm of a certain age that didn't see a lot of same on that fringe, but that's okay. The old girl would be right there with me.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Spring in Black and White

All of these come from the pages of the March issue of Harper's Bazaar.  As I flipped through, the trend was pervasive. Not all of them were photographed as black and white, and the Max Mara is in color, but isn't the pattern play lovely? The next photo must be from the same line as Madonna's Grammy's outfits. It's really sensational. I would have loved to see it in person. What is the trim? Is it sewn down? It would be crazy if it was untethered; and when you wore it, it would swing.

The next piece is Madonna for Versace. Madge sure is holding up better than Donatella, eh? The last piece, which is St. Laurent, looks like the outfit that Madonna wore to last year's Oscars. I love it. If I were a rock n'roll singer, not the punk that I am, I would wear this outfit as my uniform.

I doubt that the Prada pieces are black and white, but the grey tones that are created by the colors photographed in black and white make a nice pastel compared to the others that seems so severe. Perhaps that's what this is ... Spring will roar in like a lion according to Harper's ... these definitely aren't lamb-like.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Spring Valentino

Vogue February 2015
The girls look as if they are the surface of the moon. What is that substance on which they lie? Sand? What is that?

Snow, cold, snow, cold. My snow shoes, I want to throw out. But this is enough to get me through the short days and long nights of winter. Fashion seems to fall into a comma after the big issues of the fall. Those are the huge, fleshy peaches, the last of summer's long days of sunlight. But I have noticed the sun hangs around a little longer on the horizon nowadays, so that must mean that spring is coming. And with it, pages of plenty that fill up my mailbox and give me a good excuse to sit idle and cuddle with the glossy pages of all of my favorite magazines.

The dresses here, by Valentino, remind me of a vibe that that I was going for back in junior high school. With a little babysitting money burning a hole in my pocket, I went to the Limited and bought myself a gauzy, will o'whisp of a blouse that made me feel very ... what I thought to be very California cool. Hippy-ish. The color of the dress on the left is very nearly the color of my blouse.

If there was a flower to be found along the road on my way to work tomorrow, I may just have to stop and weave it in my hair ... of course, all that's there is ice and snow. Neither of which would compliment the loveliness of these.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Led Zeppelin

Rolling Stone Magazine Feb. 26, 2015

You see, I'm in a band. Do I play an instrument? Not exactly. I can hold a beat and strum a guitar, but I would not call either of those things playing an instrument.  

Where do I begin?

During the summer before my entry into junior high school, I was met with a space of time and the company of none. Friends didn't really stick to me. I didn't seem to have much in common with the girls that I went to school with then. I was a dreamy child in a school-world that I didn't quite get or want to necessarily. Fortunately, older girls a couple of doors down took me in. They wouldn't hold their magic for me, but in that summer, I discovered some of what it was that I dreamed about after having been taken in.

The first note that I heard when I entered their house, both parents at work, was "The Immigrant Song" by Led Zeppelin, It sent a sensation through me that I had not felt before. What is this? This sound? This magic? I was mesmerized. And with a turntable, I was turned on to the music. I fell in love that summer with John, Paul, George, and Ringo. I was obsessed with "Tommy." And for pure unadulterated ... I didn't know what it was yet ... I found Led Zeppelin.

Now, however many years later, at band practice, I was finally able to understand what I didn't know before. 

Let's start with band practice. We are a band of three; two of us have never properly learned how to play an instrument. I had the idea of forming a band when I learned that Meg White did not play the drums before she met Jack; no, she learned to play the drums when she became his girlfriend. And she did it quite successfully. If she could just take it up like that, why not me? My accomplices in this are a couple. We are connected by our love of music amongst other things. One late night into morning, I suggested the band idea. And that it should be a punk band. Not only did I think that the idea of the punk band would disguise our general unfamiliarity with musical instruments, but it would give voice to the notion that it definitely is not over until it's over. One of my compadres has been playing at playing the guitar in a somewhat serious dedication. I, of course, would learn to play the drums just like Meg did. And that leaves the third of our trio to be the singer. It doesn't matter, really, whether she can sing or not. We're punk. It's all about our attitude. Being the wordsmith, I came up with a name for us: screamskinstring. That's meant to be said as one word for scream (sing), skin (beat), and string (uh, duh). We even came up with a list of super great song titles that are just waiting for me to write (screamskinstring, searching for the second sun, limp flag, 3 hits to sunrise, and dude). And while we haven't been rehearsing as such, we have spent time together as a band working out some of the basics of being in a band.

One of the basics is in analyzing the performances of other bands. And this brings me back 'round to Led Zeppelin. Last week we hit the motherlode of performances; string is always the one for a good concert video, and this was not exception: Led Zeppelin's "The Song Remains the Same." As much as I've always had an affinity for Led Zeppelin, I had never seen them perform. Oh! What I've been missing. I had no idea of the power of that band. I should have given their book of music, but now that I've seen them perform the songs that I've always loved, I can't get my head out of the clouds ... or better, the misty mountain top.

And let's just talk a lot about Robert Plant. Going back to that I didn't quite know what it was all about? It's the definition of Robert Plant. The 12 year old in my heart's desire for something so much bigger than what I could imagine explodes when Plant performs. He is sex. He is sexy. He is a beast. The poses. The struts. The slightly effeminate hand gestures that makes him a little less intimidating. Those jeans. That dick that is constantly seen in those jeans. You can see it for 
yourself in the picture. I'm trying to form words, sentences ... but mostly, I sit here wide open. 

Hey Kanye! You ain't Yeesus. Robert Plant is.

Oh sure, Robert Plant is now 70 ... though, I imagine the man is still sexy as hell in person. And fortunately for me, I learned a long time ago that an imagination is all that one needs to lead a truly magnificent experience of a life. I can just close my eyes, and I'm there in the front row absorbing the gamma rays that reflect off of this man who in this time commanded a stage to sing like a naughty angel climbing the stairway to Heaven.

This one goes out to the Doyle girls who let me in the sound as Bono would have it.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Madonna for Versace

Elle February 2015

Madonna. Who's that girl, indeed.

Stevie Nicks' Landslide

Rolling Stone January 29, 2015
I took my love and I took it down.
Climbed a mountain and I turned around.

Reading the lyrics of "Landslide" by Stevie Nicks alone does not capture the beauty of the song. It's meant to be heard with the music and her heart filling in the gaps that the poetry cant's express. Sentiment is flushed out in melody and voice.

It's Stevie's month apparently. First, I see the old television performance; now, she has landed in my mailbox on the cover of "Rolling Stone."

Stevie is the original, who is still rockin' it out at whatever age she is now. I saw Fleetwood Mac last year, without Christine McVie who has now returned to the band, and saw for my own eyes that like Barbra in "Funny Girl," Stevie loves her man. And his name is Lindsey Buckingham.

In the "Rolling Stoneinterview Brian Hiatt says, "But the show's core spectacle is still Nicks and Buckingham excavating and re-excavating their ancient romantic grievances. Whatever goes on up there - and it reliably veers between spite and helpless affection- Nicks insists they never fake it ..."

Nicks says, "You can go onstage and have a bit of a love affair ... and when you go back to your separate dressing rooms, it's over. But while you're on stage it's real. And if it isn't real, people would really know it."

Hiatt reported that in 2013, Buckingham said, "and to have to produce her and in a sense be a part of the engine that was helping her move even farther away from me- to never get the closure you get when breaking up with someone by not seeing them. Because we had to continue to be in this pressure cooker and do the right things for the band. It was a difficult emotional time for years, and I think it took its toll in terms of my emotional availability and my temper." For as arrogant as Buckingham appears on stage, the quote reveals something of him that softens my impression of him.

I'm just going to go with what I have so far here. It is impossible to figure out or write about what is sacred between two people. I identify with this particular story more than can be expressed in a blog on the Internet without a sound track and effects.