reality is weirder than you think

Month: October 2017 (page 1 of 4)

Glamour in the home

More on decorating. Forgive me (#SorryNotSorry), it was the best book on decor I’ve read to date.

This bit deals with glamour in our homes. While the author focuses on glamour as a style, rather than glamour as a concept, she highlights the concept that we all need a little bit of glamour in our homes. It helps us transcend the mundane.

Given how many mundane tasks a house must perform, a bit of frippery is actually a necessity. It can elevate a room into an experience. Glamour does require guts, though, because you need to express it with a bold stroke, not a tentative gesture. What creates glamour? Sparkle! Shine! Embellishment! Color! Pattern! Glamour is an essential excess, the icing on our cake.

Don’t think I am suggesting that we all have to go for an over-the-top, glitzy Hollywood “more is more” kind of look. In fact, that is rather hard to pull off. Miles Redd, a decorator who does not fear the glam, pulls out all the stops–crystal chandelier, gilded wood, chinoiserie wallpaper, leopard fabric, etc.–but keeps a tight rein on the color palette. You can also be selective and elegant, choosing perhaps one brilliantly ornate mirror, a lavish wallpaper, or a single glittering chandelier, in an otherwise modern or refined room. You don’t need to overdo it, but you can’t be wimpy: that chandelier or that mirror or wallpaper has to assert itself loudly and clearly. Glamour is not meek.

I’ve always liked the idea of having something sparkly or shiny in a room (or on an outfit), but I never put two and two together. Of course it would be an element of glamour to wake a room up and give it that extra bit of energy.

I also love the idea of not being wimpy in your own home. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of “good enough” or “nobody else will see this,” but sometimes it’s worth investing in a piece that makes you want to rise to the occasion on everything else. For me, in an outfit, that’s a great pair of shoes. Maybe in decor, it’s a mirror, for that sense of dancing light.

Because at the end of the day, isn’t it light that makes us happy? Dark, dreary homes are never welcoming.

It’s no great coincidence that the key to making people feel sparkly is to make the room itself sparkly. Candlelight, and low light in general, is essential for creating an elegant mood. The reason we still bother with candles, antiquated as they are, is that their light is hypnotic. And flattering. And it cannot be duplicated by any form of electric light. Candles mix best with dimly lit rooms. So keep all complementary lights low so that candlelight can cast its magic spell.

Natural light is best, but when that fails, there’s hygge and candlelight.

After that is Truth, I suppose. Because if you lose the truth, you’re truly sunk.

Even in home decor.

In case you had any doubt that the 90s were back

Twice will set you straight with their music video for “Likey.”

Hairstyles aside, the crop tops, chokers, miniskirts, and combat boots echo the 90s pretty dang hard. Plus Nayeon’s sweet plaid dress, and Mina’s spaghetti straps over tee shirt combo.

Not sure how I feel about this music video all told. It’s not as much fun as “Knock Knock” or as random-yet-charming as “TT.” The song isn’t that catchy, but I appreciate that Chaeyoung and Dahyun absolutely slaughter the rap.

Lest things get too literal, an instagram-themed song is definitely of the now.


I picked up The Perfectly Imperfect Home today:

For instance, picture yourself in a photo spread from a magazine like Dwell. You’re sitting with a nice cup of tea on, say, an Eames chair that floats alone on an expanse of concrete floor in front of a fire burning in a square cut into the drywall. Interesting? Sure. Cozy? Not so much. Minimalism is single-dimension decorating. Cozifiers add layers.

Cozy decorating was perfected by the English in the postwar era. The ideal of faded chintzes, comfortable armchairs, lots of soft pillows, and flowers and books everywhere exudes the glorious imperfection that is the essence of English country-house style. Yet, like perfectly mussed hair, it is quite calculated. Its devil-may-care attitude of tossed pillows and seemingly haphazard pattern combinations is a bit of a lie, but one that in the telling becomes true. In other words, cozifications create a home that looks loved and lived-in, which in turn creates a home that is loved and lived-in.

First, there’s the contrast between the traditional and the modern. “English Country House” might be the quintessence of traditional architecture and decor. Modernism is not cozy. It’s not designed to be cozy. It will never be cozy. Modernism wants you uncomfortable.

Second, the cozy approach uses the same “lie that tells the truth” that fiction does, and civilization. By cheating a bit at first, and providing a gloss of truth, cozy decor creates a space that invites the actual thing to take place. Maybe we could term it “preemptive truth telling,” that goes ahead of actual, practical, detail-oriented truth and in fact provides an opportunity to the truth-in-fact to spring into being.

I did it

No longer a resident of Portland am I.

Packed and cleaned and moved am I.

So grateful to my family am I.

And now I am ready to veg out with comfort food and the Twilight movie.


When you just dive in

There’s a benefit that comes from simply diving into the work.

(With a direction in mind, of course.)

When you don’t take time to assess, to pro and con and analyze the situation to death a million times over, when you just focus and start doing, one task at a time at a time at a time until it’s all finished, there’s a beautiful clarity of purpose and synergy.

This time tomorrow, I’ll be living in a new state. A new life.

I’ll also probably break down into exhausted tears,
but that’s to be expected.

For now, I’m just doing the work.

We move, and the world moves with us.

“It’s like being friends with a werewolf”

Okay, friends:

Time for a carnivore update.

I have been a bad NEQUALSMANY participant, because I quit tracking sometime in late September. There have been many things that have happened since then (#NoRestForTheWicked), most of them good, some of them frustrating, but all of them lifechanging — a new dawn is upon us and I AM SO EXCITED.

The good news is that I’m still 100% zero carb. No vegetables (save coffee, I’m back on coffee, I can’t quit coffee for more than a month I love it so) since May — that’s five months, for those of you counting at home — and only animal products have gone through my digestive system. My diet has done from a variety of steaks, hamburgers, fish, shrimp, pulled pork and bacon to…ground beef bricks. Usually flavored with some ground pork and usually with a side of raw-milk cheese, but ground beef bricks just the same. This is partly a byproduct of being busy, but also because I’ve started to tweak the meat part of my diet.

I do best on mostly ruminant — beef is my favorite — rather than pork or chicken. Sometimes when I forget to pack a lunch, I’ll use the salad bar at work to stock up on grilled chicken, and I am reliably bloated at the end of the day, without fail. Crazy, right?

That doesn’t happen with beef, so beef it is.

The other thing I’ve done is switched to mostly raw-milk cheddar cheese as far as my dairy goes. To be a good NEQUALSMANY participant, I should have given up dairy completely, but too bad I noticed that the right amount of cheese makes my stool quality jump up an entire notch on the Bristol Stool Scale.

As in, from December 2016 until October 2017, I was a solid 7 on the scale. That’s the worst score, for those of you keeping track at home. Carnivory and raw-milk cheese has boosted me to a solid 5. This week, when I’ve been full of stress/not sleeping well with the receipts to show for it in the form of psoriasis, I have still managed to have multiple days IN A ROW with only Bristol 5 stools, which would have been completely inconceivable even two months ago.


For someone who’s been struggling with days upon days of horrible poops, having multiple days in a row showing PROGRESS toward PERFECTION in DEFECATION is a dream come true. No, actually, it’s better than that — because nobody ever visualizes perfect poops. Maybe that’s part of the problem.

Nevertheless: eat yer meat, kids.

Dairy can stay too, as far as I’m concerned.

The memetics of milk and cereal

First, it was milk. (Thank you for that, Shia.)

Now, it’s cereal.

What’s next, cookies?


There are literal Hitlers under every bed and inside every closet, it seems.

Memes are becoming reality at an increasingly rapid pace.

The line between mindset and meatspace is becoming increasingly blurred.


Earlier this week, I was checking out kids books for a friend’s daughter.

There was a whole section of Berenstein Bears.

I couldn’t bear to check the spelling.


Think it, and it will exist.

Terrifying or exhilarating?

You get to decide.

You need more sexy sax man in your life

Sometimes, you just need a laff:

Something about this gently transgressive and absurdist humor is my favorite. The first time I saw Remi Gaillard‘s Pac Man, I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe.

Sexy Sax Man is no different.

Socializing is good for you

Introverts: this is your (my) reminder that having a social life is important.

It may not be a skill that comes easily or naturally, but it is good to talk to other people.

Like-minded or not, it is good to brush up against opinions that aren’t yourself talking to yourself.

Net gain or loss, the energy flow is different and builds some antifragility into your life.

If it goes well, you take something positive from it.

If it goes badly, you learn.

However it turns out, you have more to show than when you started, and certainly more than staying home and staring into the void.

Go out. Talk to people.


Millennials like hard (copy) news

Now, I’d prefer the mainstream media to shrivel up and die at this point, but it seems that there’s been a un uptick in print subscriptions lately:

Dwayne Sheppard, the executive director of consumer marketing at Condé Nast, which owns the New Yorker, said that he’s also observed a sense of brand identification—but said that, for millennials, it extends beyond social media and into the real world. Those subscribing to the New Yorker can choose between a print and digital subscription or a less expensive digital-only option; Millennials, he said, are opting for print at a rate 10 percent higher than older demographics.

“Millennials are choosing print overwhelmingly, or digital and print,” he said. “It’s a physical manifestation of the relationship. You’re on the subway or you’re in the airport and you’re carrying your New Yorker, that’s another signal of what you care about and what you choose to read.”

Virtue signaling aside, it’s interesting to think about my generation’s relationship with the printed word. We’ve been swimming in digital medial nearly all our lives (as an old millennial, I used the internet occasionally in junior high and high school, and didn’t dive into it hardxcore until I was in college), and print always has held a certain allure.

You definitely see that in fashion magazines, with a thriving indie magazine market that is primarily print-based. Frankie, Kinfolk, Lula, The Gentlewoman, etc. You have to pay more per issue, certainly, but what you get is less Condé Nast-style product pushing and more thoughtful. Of course, that comes with a side of pretentiousness all its own, but nothing’s perfect.

I suspect that part of the motivation is a yearning to be connected to something with deeper roots than just the internet (I see it in myself also with my attraction to the liturgical church over the feels-based churches that have been workshopped to reach my generation), and print is a way to do that.

Regardless of how print and digital are intertwined, print-only feels like opting out of the system.

I’ve had a fascination for the printing press and “book arts” since I learned about them in my graphic design classes way back, and have daydreamed about what it would be like to put together a conservative (for college me, now would be alt) pamphlet-style publication and distribute it.

The rise of alt-media has felt like maybe that’s not necessary. But if deplatformings continue, maybe it will be.

I like the option we have of the online-based payment system with a print-based distribution system.

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