Us Vs. Them: Variations on a Theme

September was a rough month for our college family. We were hit with the one-two punch of 9/11 and a tragic van accident which resulted in the deaths of 3 of our friends. Soon after our campus was besieged by a plague of hyper-Calvinism. For awhile, it seemed like every other week another friend was “coming out Calvinist”. I couldn’t help but feel that this was an emotional response to recents events. Naturally, they believed my rejection of these doctrines was emotional as well. I was so adamantly opposed that one student suggested I might be a vessel of wrath. The arguments had become ubiquitous. Charity, civility, and friendship were casualties. It wasn’t long before I grew weary of fighting and so I retreated from fights believing they could not accomplish anything.

“Peace, peace’ they say, ‘but there is no peace.’” Jeremiah 8:11 Continue reading Us Vs. Them: Variations on a Theme

The story of why I may never leave my bedroom

Ok, well, we’ll get to that story shortly, but first, I must again comment on the exhaustion of a pregnant lady. I used to think I was tired, but no. You do not know TIRED until you’re pregnant.

Friday, I worked from home, and by worked from home, I mean, visited my girl and partner in motherhood and her twin girls and ate pizza. Kidding. In reality, I did both. I came home Friday afternoon and napped, and then we went out for a quick dinner, which I ate 2 bites of and took the rest home. During the 1st month of pregnancy, I could eat anything, anywhere, anytime. Now as I’m ending month #2, I find myself hungry occasionally, but unable to eat much of anything at one sitting. I eat my meals in stages. Then we came home and I showered and went to bed at 7:30.

Saturday, I was supposed to get up nice and early for a walk, but I overslept (shocking) and we actually ended up going with our hubbys to the Southeast Asian Water Festival. We had the bright idea of walking the entire thing (over 5 miles!), which as I’m sure you can imagine, sent me to bed at 7pm. We had so much fun, and discovered a new yummy Vietnamese restaurant within walking distance (no, really) of both of our houses. Score!

Anyway, this morning, Mr. Pink and I had brunch with my dad, and now I’m back in my bed. Oh! The reasons why I never leave the bedroom – the first is the constant, pregnancy-related napping. The second, and perhaps best, is the laptop computer Mr. Pink bought me as an early birthday present. He customized a Dell Inspiron 6000, with an internal wireless card – and once Ibrahim from Verizon support and I got our shit together, the internet and I are now in bed together. Literally. Continue reading The story of why I may never leave my bedroom

Barcelona Fashion

My friends and I were sitting in a bar in Barcelona, watching Spanish girls walk by. We had been noticing their innate sense of style since we had arrived in Spain four days earlier.

“If I could throw out all my clothes and start over, I’d start in Spain.”

“I mean, look at them!”

It was true. It was hard to explain, exactly. They didn’t have the obvious fashion sense of the French or the perfect beauty of the Italians. You could never guess the next thing a Spanish girl was going to do.

Most of them, including the boys, had strange haircuts. On the boys, it was mostly the European semi-mullet like soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, but the girls had all sorts of styles going on, mostly having to do with one part of their hair being severely shorter than the other. Their bangs were super-short while the back was long and curly, or one side was long and straight while the other was cropped right up next to the ear (and this was before the “Posh” cut.) Continue reading Barcelona Fashion

A Tribute: Alexander Mcqueen

Alexander McQueen knew since childhood that he wanted to be a fashion designer. Now a famous household name, McQueen has come a long way from his early childhood as the son of a taxi driver growing up in East London, to become one of the most prominent British fashion designers.

In his youth, McQueen had already begun to design clothes for his three sisters, certain that this passion would become his career. At sixteen, he got his first job in the fashion industry: an internship with a tailor, where his clients included Prince Charles. At twenty, he moved to the Italian fashion capital of Milan, where he began working for Romeo Gigli. He later went on to receive a Masters degree in Fashion Design from Central Saint Martin’s College of Arts and Design in London.

MCQUEENS’S ECCENTRIC MUSE AND SUPPORTER, ISABELLA BLOW SADLY DIED LAST YEAR

Continue reading A Tribute: Alexander Mcqueen

Bruce Mozert: Underwater Photographer

Likely it is fair that we suspect most photographers carry on long love affairs with their cameras. Bruce Mozert, though, cared only to trick his. And by devious theatricality, great art was served.

With his coal-hauling business in Scranton spoiled by floods, Bruce joined his sis in the big city, where she introduced him to photographer Victor DePalma of LIFE Magazine. Suddenly Bruce’s course was redirected with a pledge to the image, and he took up an apprenticeship with DePalma. When it was discovered that the novice had real talent, he was sent out on assignment, covering beauty pageants, sporting events, even the Hindenburg disaster. Continue reading Bruce Mozert: Underwater Photographer

Masculine Men Or Metrosexual

In the last few years, modern men have become labeled with the tag metrosexual as they adopt beauty regimes that contain more products than a M.A.C. store counter display. I myself have tried to become one of these modern-day, metrosexual men who have helped the male beauty industry grow by over 30% in recent years. Throughout my metrosexual period, I’ve tried moisturising, favoured expensive hair salon experiences over backstreet barber shops, and even worn “guyliner”—all to be seen as “with it.” It is now coming to light, though, that women of the naughties are having a rethink and have decided that they want “real” men back in their lives. Even James Bond has forsaken us metrosexuals and ditched the smooth, polished look presented by Pierce Brosnan in favour of the raw, rugged, masculine image of Daniel Craig. Woman have decided that while they still want their men to take care of themselves, they shouldn’t show it and instead should present the image of masculine men who ooze testosterone and “real man” sexiness. So what does that mean for us metrosexual men who secretly enjoy our new, beautified lifestyles filled with manicures, facials, and that just-cut salon hairstyle? Continue reading Masculine Men Or Metrosexual

Polaroid Days

Yesterday, with my precious $4.99, I defied common sense. Like our sage Simon Morgan, I find that frequenting thrift stores can have a calming effect, a restorative one-heck, in my book, a trip to the Salvation Army is as good as liturgy. Used to be I’d leave the local shop with bags full of fifties frocks and silky camisoles. Over time, though, my intemperance meant I never wore these fine things, and so I turned to the knickknacks, curios, and gadgets. Anyway, it’s in this aisle that the most offbeat regulars linger, and that’s a treat in itself.

On this occasion the gem was a Polaroid Sun 600 LMS, an instant camera several years older than I and purchased for mere dollars. The buy was economical enough, so where was my defiance? This past February, Polaroid announced that, after 60 years on the market, their instant film products would be Continue reading Polaroid Days

Rubbish Art & Soundtrack Of My Life

Buenos Aires, home of sleek design and fashionable people, has a less salubrious alter ego: cartoneros, slum dwellers who travel into the city centre each evening, uncomfortably squeezed into the backs of rusty, barely roadworthy trucks. On downtown street corners, in close proximity to the wealthy upper classes and tourists parading in and out of smart restaurants, impoverished families spend the night ripping open malodorous rubbish bags, in search of cardboard and paper they hope to sell for a miserly 30 centavos (roughly nine cents) per kilogram. It’s hard to imagine salvaging anything positive -let alone aesthetically pleasing-from these disgusting heaps, but that’s just what Eloisa Cartonera, a publishing house with a social conscience, has done. Their novels and poetry collections are printed on recycled paper, purchased from the cartoneros at six times the going rate. Continue reading Rubbish Art & Soundtrack Of My Life

Burberry: Elite Meets Street

Trading figures for Burberry, just out, show Britain’s biggest luxury brand is doing OK despite the wider economic woes. Even so, the company’s had a tricky few years. In the late 90s, Burberry moved to take its own share of the burgeoning market for designer labels. Advertising spend increased and its trademark check, once tucked away discretely in the linings of its raincoats, was applied to everything from socks to handbags. However, Burberry was quickly taken up by a demographic it would have preferred to avoid. Another core British brand, the football hooligan, claimed the label for itself. In 2004, some anxious pub landlords even barred those dressed in Burberry from their premises.

BRITAIN’S URBAN WORKING CLASSES AND YOUTH CULTURES IDENTIFY THEMSELVES THROUGH BRANDING

Continue reading Burberry: Elite Meets Street

Eco-Tourism At Bulungula Lodge, South Africa

Dave Martin was just a hippie with big dreams before he founded Africa’s first eco-friendly lodge in the middle of the Transkei, South Africa’s most underdeveloped and ruggedly awe-inspiring coastal region. Bulungula is not what you might expect from a lodge sitting on the “Top Twenty Places to See in South Africa” list but it is certainly something very different. It has no bell hops or airport transfer bus but it has a mass of open space, fresh air and the ocean. By not having wrecked the environment or exploited the local people, it has a totally green, guilt-free conscience.

REVITALISING RURAL LIFE IN SOUTH AFRICA

Continue reading Eco-Tourism At Bulungula Lodge, South Africa