some Vermonters head north for Thanksgiving. Most head south (meaning, like, Connecticut). Then we come back.
Category Archives: Fashion
But who’s complaining? We’re like the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union.
Fall reminds us that life’s short and getting shorter. Maybe that’s why we all get in drag in October and stuff ourselves silly in November and pile gifts on one another in December. We’re not stupid. We know how to have fun.
The garden is put to bed. The state park is closed. The sun sets earlier and earlier. Time for reading and crafts and deep thots. Like: what to wear on Halloween? I love when kids roll old-school and you can tell what they are (astronaut, umpire, cowgirl) without having to know a (modern) cartoon or kiddie movie, and I dig adult attire that mystifies the young people (Ben Hur, say, or The Hunchback of Notre Dame…cue the Million Dollar Movie theme…on WOR-9!,) plus dual costumes you can’t buy in a store (Napoleon and Josephine; John Snow and Ygritte – “Archery Kit Not Included”; more).
Some columnists didn’t get their September column in on time and important events went uncovered. Like the New World Festival (magnifique!), the Tunbridge World’s Fair (kudos, 4-H’ers, Ambassadors, and handicapped transpo!), and a spectacular foliage season. Hopefully Dear Reader was too busy having fun to notice this humble column’s absence; New Englanders read weekly papers with listings of aws local goings-on and load their calendars accordingly. As a friend’s sage older brother commented recently on life, “It’s all experiences and relationships.” His point being, I imagine, that resumes and possessions don’t matter so much. Unless it’s a big old Heath Bar sliding into my orange plastic jack-o’-lantern. That matters. Treat, please!
One treaty experiential idea a brilliant friend had: get together with other people that like to sing for a singing weekend. If you’re like us, you’ll talk and hoot more than you sing, but you’ll have the time of your life. I offered a name for ours: Croonfest. Because of our age, a soprano quickly countered with Cronefest. An alto suggested, in an unrelated conversation, a new reality show: Keeping Up With The Kevorkians. Which is what many wish the Kardashians would do. Anyway, your weekend will go like that, with some actual singing thrown in. I highly recommend.
Is the planet in utter turmoil? Pretty much. Are we on rubbery ground economically? Maybe. But when I had connections to the “monument” industry, I’d planned to buy my tombstone, inscribed in advance except for the final date. It was to say, perhaps with an etching of a beacon, “I remain hopeful.” Not only because that rich irony would give the occasional visitor (and naughty graveyard shennaniganer on All Saints’ Eve) a snicker, but because I do in fact remain hopeful. You know how, even if stuck in nasty traffic, when you think of someone you love, like a pet or child or your aunts, your whole chest cavity feels good, and then you smile and your face feels good? Humans have this universal response ‘round the globe. That’s something. And so I remain hopeful.
A friend who is Dialed In to otherworldly sources had this to say: we on earth are being summoned now to let go of the past and do things a new way, with joy. That means, to me, not doing things (experiences and relationships) you don’t want to do that make you feel mostly crappy, whether for dollars or out of some sense of obligation. Actions initiated with unpleasant thoughts behind them never turn out right; the energetic impetus is all wrong. Yuh-oh, am I waxing cosmic on Dear Reader?! Well. If not on the Eve of All Saints, with its possibly pagan progenitor, the Feast of the Lemures, when then?
Dust off your figurative orange plastic jack-o’-lantern, polish your conceptual horn of plenty, and fill ‘em up, with the best “treats” – experiences and relationships. Is effort involved? Nice work if you can get it, I say. Don’t waste a minute on any that bring you misery, like the awful Mary Jane candies one neighbor routinely forced on us in the 60s. Throw those ones out, man. Keep the good ones. Re-gift the good ones. Good cross-dressing, and good day.
Bumper Sticker Inadvertently Suggested by Choir Director
Get Your Alto On
Fairs provide demolition derbies; pig races; games of chance and “skill”; quality goods (studded brassieres, specialty doormats, Daniel Boone hats, gun-themed accessories); foods that combust internally upon the clicking of the seatbelt on high g-force rides; plus the Germs of Many Counties, steeling you for flu season. Bounty!
Despite odds and favorites, endorsements and hype, in sporting events ya just never know. In the Olympic opening ceremonies, for example, the U.S. did not medal during the Parade of Nations. Sartorial dark horses Tonga, Kazakhstan, and Andorra (a “landlocked microstate in southwestern Europe”) beat the literal pants off Ireland, Germany, Italy, and the US. That’s with Ralph Lauren et al. hurling unimaginable coin and muscle at it. Better luck next time, soopertailors!
All manner of factors can throw athletes off their game. Weird uniforms, weird weather, weird slogans (Hot. Cool. You. Huh?), old injuries, new injuries, the incessant clanging of the cowbell slopeside…not to mention Olympic pressure. I for one couldn’t do a giant slalom in front of a single, napping four-year-old. Flop sweat would soak my snowsuit, which would not be a stylin’ hipster snowsuit, but an old beater poofy one (see “weird uniforms” above). Sounds like the making of a terrific nightmare. Don’t worry, the Olympic Committees have enough on their plates with the Junior Olympics, Paralympics, the Senior Games…there will be no Doughy Unfit Sloblympics. Reality TV has that covered, if inadvertently.
The Sochi games were, in a word, fabulous. The opening ceremony was as good as Athens and Vancouver and better than Beijing or London. Kudos, komrades! The $51B price tag, higher than all prior Winter Olympics combined, was naughty but, man, artfully spent. The venues were knockout, the Caucuses backdrop spectacular. If you were lucky enough to see the nighttime bird’s-eye view of the Olympic Village on a high-def TV: Prekrasno!
Another word: incredible. The skaters’ costumes were better than ever, due in part to advances in adhesives, faceted sparklers, and stretch netting. Velikalepno! The jumps, lifts, and spins (twizzles!): umopotressauschee. The women’s biathlon, wherein women ski uphill with guns, their buff, eurochick bodies rocking gorgeously engineered outdoor wear: totally Bond! The commentators’ near-hysterical coverage during the men’s biathlon: hilariously stirring! The medals? Elegant! Mary Carillo’s cultural vignettes? Captivating! We even dug the ads, from Cadillac’s In America, We Work Hard (“N’est-ce pas?”) to the endlessly repeated Chevy Cruze one (the pained expressions of the car music-haters never grew old) to P&G’s teary series saluting athletes’ mothers. Yo, where’s the fathers’ tribute? Pony up next time, WD-40.
Exciting. Now I hates change (less cowbell? Nyet!), but I suspect that newly added sports grabbed today’s athletes and viewers more than winter’s curling (a popular drinking sport…150 years ago?) or summer’s gymnastics stick-and-ball thing (made sense in… ancient Greece?) New winter additions such as parallel slalom, ski halfpipe, snowboardcross, chick ski jump,and luge team relay engaged the nutters of many nations both on the slopes and off. Zdorovo!
Magical. It seemed nothing could ruin the Olympics for viewers: neither the barrage of pre-game negative press, nor too-warm snow conditions (ruinous to top skiers who didn’t medal), nor worrisome developments in Ukraine, nor an Olympic ring that didn’t open (“Keep going, Vladimir…four—eet’s enough—go!”), nor Johnny Weir’s distracting accoutrements, nor even dumb push notifications and moronic newspeople announcing who’d won before we got to watch it at night. Stoic Putin never devolved into the out-of-control rootin’ tootin’ Pootin I’d hoped for, but he did crack the occasional smile as fellow Russkies went bonkers around him.
Full-on crazy. The Russians did go nuts. So did everyone else. Everyone went wild. People were yelling and texting and jumping up and down around the globe, astonished by the feats of these magnificent young gods and goddesses. Whether it was a nailbiter of a hockey game, a mindbender of a halfpipe trick, a heart attacker of a downhill ski race, an eye-shutter of a skeleton run, or a jawdropper of a figure skating routine by—gasp—a tiny teenager, the fans went wild. What’s more fun than that? All the earthly peoples clapping and crying and grinning and screaming Wow! in 6,000 different languages, including Russian (Ogo! Or if you prefer: Va-ooh!). No really: what’s better than that?
Unforgettable. Who could forget the incredible wins and losses, the moments of jubilance and of crushing defeat after years and years of training? Competitors holding hands, or throwing themselves on the ice, off the podium, into the arms of loved ones…too many to list. I just hope you saw them, along with the breathtaking closing ceremonies. With some systems, you can view the Sochi games over and over. I’ll see you tube-side…knitting and weeping, admiring the determined faces and ripped bodies of the brave, beautiful YPs of all the Lands. Good bawling, and good day.
Quote That Took The Gold
Olympic halfpipe champion Iouri “iPod” Podladtchikov on if he could have beaten Shaun White without YOLO, iPod’s insane signature rotational flip: “Yes. Just with my looks, I could have won.”
The mullet goes back to the 60s. But that nascent coiff wasn’t the x-treme Kentucky Waterfall the mullet (d)evolved into. No, the Tennessee Tophat, Ape Drape, Missouri Compromise, Camaro Cut, Louisiana Purchase, Sho-long, Mississippi Mudflap, or what we in Vermont like to call the Canadian Passport reached its perfected plumage potential — fueled for take-off by Bono and MacGyver and adapted by NASCAR trendsters into the sooperhot, pants-dropping fem-mullet — in the 1980s. When fashion did things it had never done before and hopefully will never do again. Business in the front, party in the back…right on.
As People of Walmart have proven, the mullet is making a comeback.
I kick myself daily for not buying one at the Tunbridge World’s Fair. Happily, Independent Vermont Clothing has restocked so I can order online…just in time for spring skiing, the only kind of skiing I do. Why else I need this shirt*: the colors, gr8 cotton, price, made by actual Vermonters weary of the same old krep you see at every tourist stop…plus, it’s sugaring season!
Stuff: hand printed in VT. Motto: “Spreading Vermont Pride, Worldwide.” Ethic: when Hurricane Irene hit, they designed a shirt and sent all the proceeds ($26K+) to the VT Red Cross. I don’t know them. But I lerv them.
Last night’s Oscars amazed, delighted, and appalled–from riveting flop sweat moments to charming winners and iffy dresses to the incredibly odd closing number. The vampire actress seemed a limping pill-popper and sullen presenter but I for one liked that, having wearied of clean living by high achievers. I was hoping she’d been in a cat fight or lover’s brawl but she reportedly stepped on glass. Let’s hope it was at least in a fraternity basement.
Gone forever are the awful thematic dance numbers by pro dancers–replaced with the weak dancing of the stars redeemed by the nutty hosting of Seth McFarlane & kicka** belting by divas. With the usual display of comical reaction shots, shifting bodices, and weepy spouses, we laughed, we cried, we aged. Thank you, Oscar.
UVG recommends: Argo, Pi, and The Impossible. All 3 big screeners for different reasons.