August 29, 2009

The Cult of Youth

There is a clothing store called Forever 21. The name puts me right over the edge. It implies that 21 is the golden age, the pinnacle of life. It also somehow manages to convey the message that anyone who isn't 21 cannot possibly be fashionable.

To add insult to injury, there is a new mega-sized Forever 21 right next to my local bookstore, ensuring that the shopping complex will now be overrun by scantily-dressed and rude young people. Ironically, this same shopping complex has had problems with loittering teens and curfew enforcement.

How did we evolve (and I'm not really sure that's the right term to use here) into a society that values youth and inexperience over maturity and the corresponding wisdom that comes from a life lived past 35? More and more, I am growing to resent the disenfranchisement by advertisers and the media of anyone older than 40. We aren't supposed to look our age, dress our age, or even act our age. Honestly, I'm really getting tired of one specific segment of the population so heavily influencing what I watch on TV or listen to on the radio or what kind of car I drive. Um...hello out there? It's the over-40 crowd that has the most discretionary income. And we're more likely to remain loyal to a product or brand. Since the average age-expectancy is now past 80, that's something to think about.

August 18, 2009

My Past Life

Most people don't know this about me but I took cello lessons for almost 5 years. I had to give the cello up when my husband became terminally ill with kidney and liver failure. I still have my cello, although I haven't played it in over 7 years. But lately I've had a strong urge to get it out and start practicing again. I loved playing the cello and I love hearing music that features this beautiful instrument. It's so evocative and melancholy, and has such a rich timbre -- it's entirely different from any other string instrument and so much more expressive in my opinion. One of my favorite CDs is Yo-Yo Ma playing the Bach suites. Yo-Yo is a god -- an incredible artist. His mastery of the cello is humbling and also inspirational. If you have the chance, listen to his interpretation of the Bach suites. And then give his "Appalachian Waltz" a spin. Two entirely different genres of music, both impressively interpreted by an awesome musician. As for me, I think I might soon be dusting off my own instrument and tuning it up. Let's hope my bow still has its hair.

August 6, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Irreverent

So I'm probably the only person in the universe who wasn't aware of this website (we can't all be hipsters all the time):

My favorite quote so far?

P. Diddy on formal rival Snoop Dogg: "We ain't no gangsters. We are men first."

August 3, 2009

Plenty - A Cultural Cornicopia

Some people treat a visit to a museum the same way they read a magazine: they're skimmers. Others take a more "War and Peace" approach. While I'm not quite Tolstoyic, I do like to take my time and really appreciate the exhibit. And I usually purchase the guidebook or audio tour because I want to know more. I want the history, the backstory, the in-depth insight. But according to an article this week in the NY Times arts section, most museum visitors are more interested in taking photographs of the exhibits than actually seeing them.

Part of this is attributed to a "cornicopia of culture." We are a society rich in access to art, theater, design, literature and music. But all too often we adopt a "checklist" mentality when it comes to the appreciation of the arts: Been there, done that, and "1,000 Things to Do/See/Read/Visit/Experience Before You Die." Jeez, talk about a lot of pressure. No wonder we're so rushed -- we've got a lot to do before we permanently clock out.

So I'm curious...what do you think? Are you a skimmer or do you like to make a day of it? Leave a comment and let me know!

August 1, 2009


The latest Anthropologie catalogue arrived today.

Honestly? I think their stuff is ridiculously priced, but I love their catalogues. They usually feature interesting fashion and jewelry and an eclectic collection of textiles for the home. Everything is beautifully photographed, and becomes fodder for my richly imagined fantasy life. I can *totally* see me living in the atelier pictured above!

This issue also has a sheath dress that's heavily textured with embroidered running stitches. I think detailing like this would look good on a cardigan, too -- maybe not the entire cardi but small areas like the hem and cuffs or the buttonband. Check out that chunky vintage-looking necklace -- very cool.

And this goldfish pillow ($118!) reminds me that I have a sashiko koi pattern in my craft to-do queue. I've been wondering what I could do with the finished piece, but now I've got an idea...

Anthropologie is online at

You can also request your own catalogue -- because everyone likes to dream.