Blurred Farm Animals

So, I have to write about this song because it’s now come up twice in conversation from two different people in the last 24 hours.

“Blurred Lines,” the new song by Robin Thicke, has been named “the song of the summer.”  I love it.  P loves it.  It’s a great song.  Fun to dance to, a little Marvin Gaye-ish, sing songy, bouncy.  I sing it when I’m getting in the shower, when it comes on at the gym, and when P and I do our afternoon disco dance party (and yes, we have one.  And yes, you’re free to join us.  When he was a baby, we’d disco-dance-party-it out to Ke$ha, but now it’s “Blurred Lines.” We’ve gotten sophisticated in our taste.)

When I was talking about the song to Straw, he was like, “is that guy related to Alan Thicke? (you know, of “Growing Pains” fame?) and yes, it’s Alan’s son.  And he’s quite hot.  And he knows it.

My friend told me to watch the video last night which I did.  But what was completely distracting for me, was, not the fact that the scantily clad models were doing their bored model thing around all the guys in the video, but that one of the models was holding……wait for a it…… a baby sheep.

WTF?

Nothing like singing about getting down with your lady and in your video you’re throwing farm animals in.  I could just hear the meeting for this: “so um, yes.  We want Robin to sing the song, wearing his trademark suit, aviators and we want him to sing to the half naked ladies around him with Pharrell Williams.  Oh, and we thought it would be cool if she holds livestock.”

‘Cause nothing says sexy like baby farm animals while you’re being serenaded by a sexy songster.

I’m so confused.  I’m getting old.  I remember when everyone thought Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” was risqué with all of his models playing instruments in his back up band. I get it.  It’s shocking.  It’s supposed to be provoking and edgy.

But a sheep?

And why is she topless?

Are we supposed to be getting down to Top 40 and throw a little bestiality a.k.a zoophilia in the mix? And the look on her face is priceless.  Oh, you could think of so many hashtags.  #ThisThingIsHeavy #RemembertoLookSexy  #IWanttoRunbutICan’t  #PharrellisNowSingingTotheSheep

Please shed some light on this for me.  I actually just Googled “sheep in ‘Blurred Lines’ video” to see what would come up.  According to Vh1.com, Thicke is quoted as saying,

VH1: WHAT ABOUT THE GOAT?

“There’s a lamb. It’s a baby goat. (Laughs) There’s a lamb and a taxidermist dog (laughs), and sausage links. We pretty much wanted to take all the taboos of what you’re not supposed to do —bestiality, you know, injecting a girl in her bum with a 5 foot syringe— I just wanted to break every rule of things you’re not supposed to do and make people realize how silly some of these rules are.”

How silly some of these rules are? Sex with animals is a silly rule? No, silly rules are  having to get out of the pool at break time. Paying extra for sour cream with your taco. Or jaywalking.  Not sex with baby sheep.

Now I’m totally confused.  Are you?

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Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful

Do you remember the 80s Pantene commercial “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful?” Well unfortunately I do.  I remember being teased in the stairwell by a group of boys when I was in the 4th grade and I made it worse by turning around and saying “don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.”  It flew out of my mouth before I even realized what I was saying. What in God’s name was I thinking?  Maybe I was thinking I was Kelly LeBrock? (I wanted the lips but instead I looked like Jamie Lee Curtis). They laughed in my face and of course I heard that line repeated over and over as it was thrown back at me for that entire year.  I learned quickly that you should never quote bad commercials or movie lines when you’re trying to take a stance and fight back (like “dry that one out and you could fertilize the lawn” from Ferris Bueller).  It’s a bad idea and it makes you look like an idiot.  Well, it did for me in 4th grade.

My next bad move in grammar school was taking a photo of Chynna Phillips’ (You know, of Wilson Phillips fame? The “Hold On” video was one of my favorites) to my hair salon.  I thought it would be cute to get a bob and be a cross between Chynna and Watts from “Some Kind of Wonderful.”  WRONG!  Not a good idea for someone who had a square jaw, acne and thick, wavy dark hair.  Needless to say, the same boys teased me and 8th grade sucked (picture the 8th grade dinner dance and me, with my bad asymmetrical bob wearing a homemade pink silk taffeta dress that had a lace collar.  I borrowed my mother’s pearls and the dress came down to my knees.  White tights and dyed shoes to match.  I looked like “Little House on the Prairie” knocked up Molly Ringwald’s dress from “Pretty in Pink.”  The ironic thing about it is I thought I looked awesome).

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Yep.  There are no words.

In high school I purchased that oh-so-awesome black dress with the white bow across the chest that Kelly and Brenda wore in “90210”.  It was 1992, and I wore it for a Christmas formal.  Again, borrowed the pearls from mom, pumped the bangs with hairspray and threw on a pair of control top black pantyhose.  Picture that fashion disaster getting down to Bell Biv DeVoe’s “Poison” like only a white girl can.

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Yes, that’s me.  Dressed for junior prom.  Mom’s borrowed pearls? Check.  Dress 3 sizes too big with a sweetheart neckline and poufy sleeves WITH BOWS that were the size of wings? Check.  Teenage sneer? Check.  Luckily no boy dared to touch me then.  Maybe it was the dress or the sneer but thank God.  I would’ve freaked out.

In college my look was that denim cropped vest that everyone owned from GAP, a white t-shirt, black swishy pants and pristine white tennis shoes like Jack Purcells.   Remember that? It was that look like, I’m trying to look older, but want to do it in a trendy /cute/sorta preppy/still Brenda 90210 but kinda Courtney Cox from “Friends” look.  Or what about the oversized blazer with shorts and tortoise shell sunglasses? I was the girl who graduated from an all girls high school and who had worn a uniform from the time I was in kindergarten all throughout high school so college was a new territory for me, fashion wise.  One afternoon, I strolled into Criminology wearing black opaque thigh highs with a black mini skirt and flats to try to impress Jeff H. who had no idea I was alive.  I actually slipped him a valentine that year.  A valentine? In college? Jesus.  So now picture me looking like a slutty Catholic school girl with frizzy hair and occasional acne.   Jeff was the guy who looked like Jake Gyllenhaal but, you know, short and fat, listened to Pearl Jam and wore plaid flannels and a baseball hat and told me he  “didn’t date.”  Opaque thigh highs are a bad idea for someone who didn’t want anyone looking at her.  My mom of course thought I looked adorable.

When I was doing my internship in college and working for Sports Channel Pacific, I brought “the Rachel” haircut to my hairdresser.  Again, you need the right shaped face, hair and well, only be Jennifer Aniston to pull this look off.  It looked great with a professional blow out, but the moment those layers started growing out, I was in trouble.  It came out recently that Chris McMillian, Jennifer Aniston’s hairstylist, gave her “the Rachel” when he was high.  Go figure.  When I had it, I looked like the one who was high.  I think every Oprah audience member sported this haircut at one point or another.

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When I was in my late 20s, I bought a tight pair of black leather pants that I’d wear with a black turtleneck and sling backs (no pearls).  I was working full time (and not the corner, even though I might’ve looked like I was) and thought leather pants was the ultimate-I’ve-made-it-and-don’t-I-look-cool-while-sipping-an-expensive-cocktail-at-the-Balboa Cafe with all the other 20something Marina chicks (and dammit, where’s the photo?!).  I had to lie down to get them on and trust me, they looked great from the front, but when your ass is flat and square, mis pantelones es no bueno.  There’s a reason only people like Jennifer Lopez can pull this look off.  It’s called a booty.  When I tried to pawn these off on one of my brother’s girlfriends after the pants had been hanging in my closet for 5 years after getting married (give ’em up, sister), she looked at me like I was trying to offer her crack.  Picture a speechless deer in headlights.  Then I could hear myself trying to justify them: “You have the legs for these.  You’d look great at work!”  “They’re so chic!”  She politely declined and looked like she wanted to run for the hills (I wish I had a picture of these.  And my hair was still kinda short.  So I probably looked more like I should be climbing on a Harley versus climbing on a man).

So yeah, I’ve made a lot bad fashion choices in my life (thank God no cell phones existed then). Originally this post was going to be a list of my favorite beauty products, but after all these fashion/beauty disasters, who am I to recommend anything?

Tues Chic: Mike “D” Diamond

We all remember the gold chains and black and white Adidas that the Beastie Boys sported in the 80s (well, maybe I’m dating myself here.  SOME of us remember that look).  The “three Jewish boys from Brooklyn” made history with their unique sound and white-boy-rapper look and paved the way for future artists like Eminem. Their signature style would be emulated for years to come.

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The Beastie Boys have grown up (“Ad Rock” was my favorite.  RIP Adam Yauch). Mike “D” Diamond has settled with his wife and two sons in a place he’s always called home, Brooklyn, and his beautiful town house was recently featured in the New York Times.   It’s nice to see this Beastie Boy be a trendsetter yet again.

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(Images courtesy of Trevor Tondro for the New York Times and Corbis)

We had a really nice weekend.  I stayed up until 3 am catching up with one of my girlfriends after hosting a cocktail party and it did me in the rest of the weekend.  How did I get so old? If I’m not in bed by 11:30, I’m completely dunzo and I realized that the hard way after a marathon weekend of gym, shopping, bbq and Father’s Day.  Straw had taken the P man to the cabin and P came home wearing a white t-shirt and cammo overall shorts (he looked like J.Crew meets “Duck Dynasty.”)  I was chuckling when he walked in the door.  This is what happens when your dad is a little bit country and you mom is a little bit rock and roll.  (Well, if rock and roll took a stroll to the country club).  The boys showered, changed and then we were hanging out watching “North America” on Discovery (surprisingly cool show).  Bodie was asleep on the floor after running around all weekend and we let Beyonce out of her cage.  The bunny was hopping around the coffee table carrying one of my socks in her mouth.  Next thing I know, she’s hopping over to straw, dropping the sock and he’s tossing it across the room and SHE’S RETRIEVING IT.  I’m literally speechless.  This goes on for about 5 minutes.  We now have a black bunny named after a soul diva who thinks she’s a labrador.   I tease Straw that he’s the “baby/kid/dog whisperer.”  I swear.  Any kid he throws a baseball to, reads with, and plays a game with, they’re immediately endeared to him.  We can now add “bunny whisperer” to the list. Bodie adores him and jumps up whenever he walks in the door. I joke I’m the “third person in the hot tub” (in other words, there’s no room for me in THAT relationship) and he can take our TV room and transform it into a complete playland for P.  All I see is what needs to be vacuumed in our TV room.  Now I’m losing the rabbit’s affection to my husband.  This is ridiculous.  I’m completely outnumbered and I’m the one who makes the meals, feeds the dog, takes the kid to and from school, clothes him, takes him to play dates and also the one who cleans the “rabbit raisins” off an expensive oriental rug.  And now the bunny is falling in love with the “boss of the forest.”  Maybe I need to get Jay-Z the duck and not introduce him to Straw.   I can just picture it now.  The parade of boy, dog, bunny and duck behind Straw as he heads out into the back yard to clean the BBQ.  Ugh.

Out of the Darkness Comes Light

“Why are all those lights on?” my mom said, as she pulled up. “Hop out, open the garage door,”

The garage door had been broken for weeks and you had to push and lift at the same time to get the damn thing open.

I felt a chill down my spine as I got out of the car.

I took a deep breath and pushed.  What was behind that garage door has forever changed my life.

When I was 22 years old, I was working my first “real” job in San Francisco and living at home with both my parents.  My father, a graduate of Harvard Business School and who had worked as a senior vice president in commercial real estate, was not working.  While I was “playing dress up” at my new job, my father was slipping into a deep depression that we weren’t recognizing as such. My father was a bright, serious, Type-A, personality who had defined success by his career and once that was gone, he was adrift.  He started to pull away from us emotionally, and living with him was, for that entire year, one of the most difficult things I’ve ever delt with.  When you’d come home, you’d never know what you were walking into.  Sometimes he would be crying, sometimes ranting, yelling at my mother, fighting with me.  At the end of the day, I wouldn’t want to come home.

When I was growing up, my father was like Don Draper from “Mad Men.”  Not the womanizing Don Draper, but the man who left for work every day in a crisp, starched white shirt and tie, briefcase and overcoat.  He expected his dinner on the table when he’d come home in the evenings and I remember we weren’t to disturb him while he watched the nightly news.  But the weekends were ours; he would take us on adventures all over the city, from parks to the beach, Stowe Lake to our favorite spots for a turkey sandwich and a scoop of mint chip ice cream.   He was the guy you went to when you needed advice on a difficult situation and he was the one who took me to buy all my dresses for every formal event in high school and college.  He would tell us what life was like growing up in San Francisco (how his father, an electrician, had wired their tree house) and about all the political parties he’d go to with my mother.  He taught us table manners, the importance of shaking hands and looking people in the eye, and how important education was.

In 1998, those Brooks Brothers pinstripe suits and shirts hung idle in the closet.  I knew something was really wrong when he was no longer shaving, had dropped an enormous amount of weight and could barely get out of bed.

One afternoon, I heard a strange clicking sound in the upstairs hallway.  I followed the noise to my parents bedroom where my father was sitting on the corner of the bed, holding a handgun.

“Dad. What are you doing?” I asked, cautiously.

“Oh, I’m just looking at it.”  he replied.

I told my mother when she returned home from the store.  She hid the gun.

While work was going well for me, my dad was getting worse.  We were fighting a lot and I remember getting so frustrated with him.  During one argument, I picked up a shoe and launched down the hallway as he was closing his bedroom door.  It left a huge gash.  He stopped, looked at the hole in the door, looked at me, and closed the door.  This is when I knew I had really lost him.  The old dad would’ve screamed at me, scolded me, gotten enraged that I wrecked something in the house.  I remember feeling this terrible fear that my world was turned upside down.  I WANTED him to yell at me.  Because then it would’ve been a sign.  That he was himself.  That he was having a “normal” parent reaction.  He was gone from me.

On a cold night in February 1998, I got out of my mothers car, lifted up the garage door and found my dead father.  While my mother and I were at a friends house, he hung himself.  I started screaming at the top of my lungs and I took off running until my legs eventually gave out on me and I collapsed in the middle of the street.

This is my story.  I’m not telling it for you to take pity on me.  I’m not telling it because I’m trying to shock you.  I’m not telling it because I’m feeling sorry for myself.  I’m telling it because of the lessons my father’s death has taught me;  that he died not from suicide, but from his illness.  It’s taught me that you cannot take anything for granted, because it can be gone in a second.   It’s taught me that there is no shame in feeling depressed, sad, alone or abandoned.   Most importantly, it’s taught me that silence is dangerous.   My mother and I told no one what was going on at home and that isolated us from understanding that we all needed help, not just my father.  We needed the support to understand that his mental illness is ultimately what drove him to take his own life.

Losing a parent to suicide is a wound that heals but you’re left with a faded scar; your life changes dramatically and you have to find your new path.  You have to find a way to start living your life again.  Really living.  And letting go of the “what ifs,” the guilt, the fear, the shame and the silence.

If there’s anything I want you to take away from this post, it’s to not be afraid.  Don’t be afraid to seek help.  Don’t be afraid to speak up.  Don’t be afraid to scream out.  If you get the feeling that something is wrong is someone, ask them.  If you feel that something is wrong with you, seek support.  Understand that you can’t fight a battle by yourself. Have faith; in yourself and in others that you can and will get through it.

You are not alone.

I have lost too many but I’ve gained so much.   The love and support of terrific friends, relatives and a wonderful husband and son.  I have cried and mourned but have gained an inner strength that has brought a lot of clarity.  I feel like I can tackle anything.  My loss has not made me less of who I am but it has shaped who I am.  Made me more of who I am.  Helped me see that everyone has “something” they’ve battled or are currently battling.  I am happy, but importantly, I am free from the fear, free from the shame.  Free from the silence.

You are not alone.

XO C

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1.800.273.8255

National Alliance on Mental Illness: http://www.nami.org/

And I love her

I’m off to do errands, but wanted to post something as we head into a lovely and warm Father’s Day weekend.

I’m fascinated by the 60s, especially photographs of the time and specifically ones that have to do with rock and roll.  What an incredible trip it would’ve been to tour with a band and photograph them along the way.

Linda McCartney, wife of Paul, was the ultimate traveling rock and roll photographer, but it’s her photographs of her family and children that I love the most.  She perfectly captured Paul with the kids – Mary, Stella and James – and their childhood playfulness.   Linda was a professional photographer, publishing “Linda McCartney’s Sixties: Portrait of an Era” as well as the first woman to have a photograph featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine (Eric Clapton) in 1968.

She and Paul were married for 30 years before losing her battle to breast cancer in 1998.  She was 56.

More of Linda’s work can been seen by clicking here

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(photos courtesy of Linda McCartney)

Have a great one! C

This & That

Yesterday I spent 4 hours in a salon chair (and no, not getting a weave, that’s next month) for cut and color.  When I walked in to my colorist, she was like, “what happened?” Exactly. Nothing like your hairdresser referring to you as “zipper head” because your roots are that dark, but I have to say, I feel like a new woman.  Something about highlights makes me feel refreshed, like I can take on the world (but I’m doing it in slow motion, tossing my head this way and that, kinda like I’m in Charlie’s Angels or a tampon commercial).

Here’s what’s cool this week (or what I think is cool):

Can’t wait to see “Blue Jasmine,” the latest from Woody Allen.  C’mon.  Cate Blanchett in designer clothes falling apart in San Francisco? What could be better?

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Nadri’s thin crystal bangle from Nordstrom ($65).  They’re thin, beautiful and look great stacked.

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Wilderness Firepan from TyeWorks on Etsy ($175).  A perfect Father’s Day gift and can be used for grilling or for an impromptu bonfire on the beach (and you don’t need tools to assemble it).

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Love the black and white stripes of this outdoor chair from Terrain ($228).  Would look great with the green backdrop of an outdoor space.

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I love how New York socialite Olivia Palermo always looks perfectly polished and put together.

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The honeysuckle soap from Barr-Co. ($8) smells like you’ve been to a tropical island paradise.

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Dig the jute glitter bag ($98) from Jayson Home.  You’ll be feeling very French when toting this to the Farmer’s market.

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Always worth checking out SF interior designer Grant K. Gibson’s Instagram and cool blog.  Would love him to remake my house!

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This photo of Anna Wintour is great.  The camera angle, the detail on the jacket. The stance.  The hair.  It says so much.

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Can’t beat the price ($36) on this mint sun bloom necklace from Bauble Bar.

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I think “make your own” prints from Artifact Uprising are soo cool ($21.99).   They come in packs of 25 and you can have iPhone photos printed.  Great to use for notecards.

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With “The Bling Ring” opening this weekend, writer Amy Ephron talks about the reality of raising kids in L.A.

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Like this color combo from NARS + Pierre Hardy ($29)

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You can never go wrong with a LBD, and I love this one from Victoria Beckham ($795)

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Fun to serve cocktails in mason jars for your next soiree.

(photos courtesy of the sites mentioned above, & Merrick Morton)

Straw still doesn’t have full motion of his neck (poor dude) but brought Master P to his first baseball game today.  Beyonce, Bodie and I are hanging out and enjoying the sunshine and cleaning the house (well, one of us is cleaning).  

Enjoy your day! C

Dreaming of Africa

I swooned when I received my J.Crew catalog with the Style Guide photos of Liya Kebede taken in Africa.   Not only is she stunningly beautiful, the wilds of Africa provided the perfect backdrop to the latest pretty summer line from J.Crew.   Liya started the Liya Kebede Foundation, dedicated to saving lives of women and children who die from complications from child birth.  It’s mission is to provide life saving care to women, no matter where she lives.

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What a dream to have a photo shoot like this.  The animals, the Massai, the clothes! I had the opportunity to attend J.Crew’s Style Guide launch (sipping sodas, snacking on mini cupcakes all while shopping the new line) and it’s one of their best summer collections to date.

Here are some pictures from the event and my picks for your wardrobe:

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Postcard mini in textured stripe ($88)

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Cafe capri in tuxedo stripe ($110)

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Crystal compilation bracelet ($125)

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Kiki Cap Toe Ballet Flats ($160)

and of course the photos from the event:

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That’s my girl Tyleasi on the left.  If you ever need a new fabulous wardrobe, she’s at the J.Crew in Walnut Creek.   I was also excited to discover Spindrift soda which was served at the event (and can be ordered online). First sparkling water mixed with fresh fruit juice.  It was delicious! I want to order the sparkling lemonade for my next shindig.

Straw pinched a nerve in his neck and was completely immobile the entire weekend so needless to say, P was unable to don his darling blue blazer at the wedding we were supposed to attend on Saturday (P now has his own russian tailor for dress attire).  Poor Straw.  He couldn’t move his arms.  Doing better today, but still not feeling great.  That’s why I’ve been MIA on here.  No time to post!  I hope you’re having a good week! C

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