August 22, 2010

If I Didn't Have a Crush on Abbey Lee Before,

I sure as hell do now.

I would love to wear a piece of Alexander Wang's genius.  One of the best campaign videos I've seen in all my years of fashion gawking...

February 28, 2010

Raw Thoughts from an Airport

      Through my week long travels, I've come to realize how much I enjoy airports. I've been flying since I was just days old, and the airport in my hometown happens to be the busiest one in the world.  For me, waiting at the gate to board (usually for a couple hours) isn't so bad; because you know, the airport is great for people watching. Though you may never make it to say Japan, Iran, or even just one of your neighbors in the lower 48, these people and places come to you at the airport.
      So I, sitting at gate D-14, am not-so engaged in a book that I am required to read for my nature class. I keep making eye contact with a businessman facing me... who is actually doing work. After reevaluating my own efforts for productivity, I try a little harder. Inevitably, after just a few minutes, my abominable slothfulness prevails and I pull out my i-pod. Now I can just lay back and do nothing but stare...
      One of the things that initially interests me about a person is their style. If my gaze lingers on one person more than another, it's usually because I'm interested in that person's overall look (but this is common sense). Anyway, I was looking at a clearly self-dressed toddler, when a guy breaks my line of vision, and surprise, sits down right next to me.
      Why did he chose this seat, instead of the available seat only two spaces down? Perhaps just because the other one was next to a dude, and he didn't want to send the wrong signals.  Regardless, as it turned out, I was close enough to see what he was reading... and it happened to be one of my favorite books: Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.  And then I start thinking further and deeper... I was curious to know what else we might have in common, if anything. Clearly, everyone in this space has the same embarking and disembarking locations. But why? What do airports say about social classes, social norms, and social networks? (Keep posted for a blog on this later.) Just an interesting continuum of peoples' lives, uninterrupted, and very very public.

      Undoubtedly, this train of thought (on being the "ultimate observer," or atleast recognizing one) was ignited by the film What The Bleep Do We Know, which is centered on the ideas of quantum physics. Not sure yet if I'd recommend it, but go ahead if you're curious! There are free streamings all over the internet.
      Or, for those not at easily entertained as I at the airport:

( Part 1: Rusty Drafts Resurrected)

January 25, 2010

Wilfried "Sätty" Podriech

From his collage books The Cosmic Bicycle, Time Zone, & The Annotated Dracula
(click any image to make it larger)

Maybe you'll like these, but maybe you won't.  All I know is once I start looking I can't stop! (And that the last one is my favorite!)

December 29, 2009

Dry Cleaning 101

      Not only have I been doing my own laundry since the fourth grade, but well, I love doing laundry.  The art of stain-removal absolutely fascinates me, not to mention special care instructions regarding silk, fur, and hell, plain 'ole cotton.
      I was the kid who always read the labels on my clothes-- line dry this, hand-wash that, and actually followed through with the manufacturer's guidance. Why? Who knows. I guess I'm a little crazy.  But since these labels have never hindered me from buying particular items of clothing (like I suppose they do for some), I seem to have accumulated a wardrobe made up of these "special care" pieces. The primary cleaning instructions:  Dry Clean Only.
      Which made me think:  What is "dry" cleaning?  How does it affect my clothing?  And since dry cleaning is not something I, a college student, can afford on a regular basis... can I do it myself?
Read on for some laundered enlightenment....

I'm sorry... I completely had to. Perhaps I will blog about hairless cats later considering my mild obsession.

      Dry cleaning originated in the mid-19th century, and was invented by Jean Baptiste Jolly, a dye-works owner, when he noticed that a table cloth became cleaner after his maid accidentally overturned a kerosene lamp on it.  Kerosene is mixture of petroleum hydrocarbons (for my science buddies), and is a solvent for organic compounds.  To simplify a bit, stains can be divided into two broad categories: water based or non-water based.  Using the general chemistry principle of "like dissolves like," one would use water (with a detergent) on "wet" or water-based stains (ketchup, coffee), and similarly a solvent on "dry" stains like grease or oil.
      So right off the bat we now know that "dry" cleaning just means that the cleaning process involves no water, but it isn't exactly moistureless.  Considering kerosene is highly flammable (hence why it was used to keep lamps lit), it's markedly too dangerous to be smearing all over our clothes.  Subsequently, the current solvent for dry cleaning is tetrachloroethene, commonly known as "perc."  Essentially when one drops his or her clothes off at the dry cleaners, first any blatant stains are pre-treated, then the clothes are soaked in perc, dried, and voilá!  Fresh clean clothes.
      While this seems like the easy solution, dry cleaning has a reputation for shriveling the life-span of clothes, along with talk of perc being a possible carcinogenic and/or toxic waste.  So, if indeed you are reluctant to drop off your garments at the dry cleaners, try mastering the art in your own home!  This is a task I've been diving into lately... well, sort-of.  Though I wasn't able to find any truly "natural" dry cleaning methods that actually worked, there are at-home dry cleaning kits.  Also it's important to know that most of the time items that say "Dry Clean Only" can frequently be handwashed with a mild detergent and water.
      It really comes down to identifying the fabric you're working with and it's nature.  A simple rule of thumb:  garments made natural fibers like silk, cotton, and linen can generally be handwashed at home, while synthetic fabric blends (i.e.rayon), and pieces made of leather, fur, or delicately embellished should be left to the pros.

Goodluck with your future stain-fighting ventures!

December 7, 2009

Cash Rulz Everything Around Me

One of my perhaps hidden passions is money and the accumulation thereof. As shallow and terse as this appears initially, my motives are far from. Wealth management and the economy in general, I feel, are not adequately taught in the US' primary education systems. In fact, information on finances is not really that accessible at all (atleast most people don't know where to start.) You see, the thing with money is that you have to seek the knowledge on how to handle it properly.
Sure, we've all heard to save money (spend less than you earn), but how much cash have you put into savings this month? Also, many people associate high salaries and worldy goods with wealth. What they were never taught, however, was to recognize the difference between being "rich" versus being "wealthy." Think about that for a minute.
While I am far from having a great knowledge on this topic, I am surrounded by many people who do; one being my Mother, who is a stock guru and an aspiring financial planner. I've always wanted to do a post on money, but wasn't sure how to present it simply. Luckily, I stumbled across this video today where Dan Ariely, Professor of Behavorial Economics at Duke University, covers some of the most basic tenets of money management in laymen's terms.

To get you started, here are some books I've read, and would certainly recommend for other newbies.

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley
The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach
and my next read is Suze Orman's Young, Fabulous & Broke

Forgive the cheesy title, but please remember that you are never too young to secure your financial future!


Now Playing: Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)

December 6, 2009

Best Purchase of the Holiday Season? I Think So.

"Mona Bacon," Mike Geno

Mike Geno is a local Philadelphian artist and a self-proclaimed "foodie." He makes "food art," and seemingly is going through a bacon-phase. I'm hoping to find someone to drag with me to view his works at the Mew Gallery on 9th street, but not so certain of the probability of that happening...
Moving on, this next creation was one I just couldn't resist. Let's see how Grandma reacts when this comes in the mail!

"May Your Holidays Be Wrapped in Goodness," Mike Geno

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Salut, Peux-Je Retourner en France Maintenant?

Ce semestre, J'ai eu une relation incroyable tumultuese avec mon cours d'Allemand. Vraiment, Je n'ai aucun intérêt pour l'Allemand. Tout que Je veux est de pouvoir parler Français; alors, il fait pour un temps frustrant!
De toute façon, pour quérir cette anxiété, J'ai substitué ".com's" pour ".fr's," et J'ai changé même ma page de Facebook à Français (naturellement, ceci a seulement duré un jour... les traductions etaient trop "funky.")
Dans une autre forme folle d'atermoyer, n'étude pas pour mon examen d'Allemand,- J'ai regardé exécutions musicaux rares d'La Blogotheque (J'étais si heureux d'entendre du Français!)

Là, J'ai trouvé ma #1 musique d'étude du moment, Yeasayer

***Excusez mes fautes! Like I said, I only wish I was fluent in French.