Saturday, January 30, 2010

For The Record, I Think The Smell of Axe Deodorant is Hot

I know. I know. But it smells like Drakkar Noir or something, and when I was 12 I thought that hot older guys wore that. That and Cool Water. I'm sorry world. I really think it smells great. Can we not be a civilized people and admit that when we were all tweens, we were drawn to trashy things because they seemed adult, and we had no idea what the hell that was?

Before you rush to judge (okay you already have), check the following article on Jezebel today, about how we navigate deodorant from teens to now. Ladies, if you hate Axe, then you hate someone just because of their deodorant choice. That's mean. Understandable, but mean. Article below...Malibu Musk mention...holla! Oh I thought it smelled soooo good and if I wore it I would be immediately 17 and in the passenger's seat of a red convertible, driving out of Connecticut and into Beverly Hills...(this can still happen right?)
"I was approximately 12 years old when my mother bought me my first stick of deodorant. She gave it to me right before I entered sixth grade, and it was, at the time, the most grown-up product I'd ever owned.

Looking back, I realize that my mother probably tossed a stick of deodorant my way because puberty had brought the joys of b.o. to my life and she didn't want me entering sixth grade as "that girl who stinks," but at the time I thought it was her way of acknowledging that I wasn't a little kid anymore; I was a lady, who needed lady things, you see, like deodorant and a training bra and face wash and such. It didn't matter that I had no breasts or zits to speak of: it was the ownership of these products, the physical reminders that I was entering the realm of the grown-up world, that really mattered.

In today's New York Times, Jan Hoffman explores the world of the youngest Axe deodorant wearers—tween boys—and notes that the deodorant really represents "masculinity in a can," a way for boys to assert their manhood through the smells their female classmates have come to associate with older men. It's not a new phenomenon by any means; when I was in middle school, the stench of Drakkar Noir, often swiped from an older brother's bedroom, wafted down the hallways, and for the most part, we all thought it was totally dreamy until we grew up to associate it with, well, those dudes who still wear Drakkar Noir.

It's easy to scorn Axe deodorant and it's dumbass depictions of masculinity—I do it nearly every weekend, for crying out loud—but there's one line in Hoffman's piece that really broke my heart: when asked by a teacher why he had to wear the scent, a junior high student replied: "I have to have it, Ms. G., because I don't have the money to dress the right way. This is all I can afford." As a can of Axe costs less than $10, it's a way for young men to fit in and give the girls something they supposedly like without breaking the bank.

One of my New Year's resolutions is to be kinder to teenagers: it's way too easy to mock them without taking the two seconds necessary to remember how terrible and scary and complicated life was at that age, not only because of the effects of puberty, but because adults are constantly pointing out how much you have to learn and how far you have to go without really giving you an opportunity to actually learn and or go before they start yelling at you for doing it wrong. My instant reaction to this article was to just write "Teenage Boys Attempt To Stop Smelling Bad By Smelling Worse," which is a bit jerky and rather unfair, and doesn't really take into account the fact that many of us, myself included, doused ourselves in Debbie Gibson-inspired perfumes in order to feel more grown up at the age when being a kid or being an adult both seem somehow impossible.

And though I do find the Axe-ification of masculinity to be troubling, I'd guess that most of these tweens will move past their deodorant obsessions as they mature. Probably. Maybe. Most of us have moved on from our days of Baby Soft and Electric Youth and Malibu Musk, no? I don't think every 11-year-old boy who Axe-ifies is instantly transformed into a misogynistic douche, just as I don't think every 11-year-old girl who puts on a bit of eyeshadow is booking a ticket to Tramp Town. Adolescence is a strange and smelly time: sometimes, you just want the assurance that whenever adulthood does arrive, you'll at least be somewhat prepared. And that you won't be "that girl who stinks." Thanks, Mom."

For Tween Boys, Masculinity In A Spray Can [NYTimes]

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Best Craigslist Ad Ever

Sometimes I troll them when I'm bored, looking for free trampolines or drum-circle classes or knitting groups or used books for sale.

And sometimes I love to look at the "missed connections" site, not because I ever have any myself, but I hope to witness one happening someday. A boy looks at a girl. A girl smiles at boy. Their eyes meet, but the subway stops and one has to leave. It's so hard to meet someone, and now we have to deal with the effin 2/3 train.

And ladies and gentleman, I present to you the best Missed Connections Ad I've ever seen.

"You Heard Me Fart....m4w - 35 (North)"

Yesterday was the most embarassing day of my life. I am so ashamed.
I had no idea that you were sitting at your desk when I unleashed a nasty Taco Bell fart that I was holding back all day.
I just could not keep that dirty old man in my stomach any longer.
And to make matters worse I yelled out, " La Cucaracha !"

When I passed your cubicle and saw you sitting there, I died a thousand deaths. But you just kept reading.
How considerate.
When I had the courage to return, I noticed that two of the windows were open.

I have always thought that you were a hottie and dreamed of taking you out to dinner. But that will never happen now.
Now you know that I am just a slyme ball. A creature with no consideraion for people.

I was told that you called out today.
I hope you are well.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Corporate Awkwardness - Making Friends With The Cube Next Door

Hey friends, I'm back in a corporate office for the time being (look, the unemployment benefits runneth dry and ye old writerly jobs pay squat) and therefore subject to office culture and excel spreadsheets once more. Huh huh, I said "spread."

So for some reason I have the only non-creative job in a creative department, as I am filling in for my lovely friend who is out on maternity leave. Someone remind me to block her on facebook for this.

So the work is somehow both boring AND hard. I didn't think something could be capable of both things at once, but hey, here we are. Kind of like when Bart Simpson said he didn't think it was physically possible for something to simultaneously suck AND blow.

But, I sit next to the art department! And they are cool (of course, has anyone ever been in the art department of anything who wasn't totally hilarious and amazing?)! And I want to be friends with them because they blast songs like Eddie Murphy "Boogie In Your Butt" and sing along and have Christmas lights and sometimes include me in their jokes (it just happened as I was writing this) even though I don't yet know their names.

Anyway, I am trying to make friends with them. If you have a suggestion better than me going over there and asking if they want to be friends with me, I'd love to hear it. I'm only here for three months, I have to expedite bonding immediately!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

This Truth Is Making My Life As A Music Writer Quite Hard

Best summation about why one of my jobs is so impossible, made in the comments of Gawker:

"The best thing about the current state of "indie" is that starting about the time The Strokes and The White Stripes and all those bands hit the scene, the universe starting folding in on itself. It was no longer a scene of consisting of a handful of bands at any given moment. Suddenly they were popping up left and right on a weekly timetable. As pointed out above, "indie" means nothing anymore. Just about any genre of music you can imagine can be classified as such. And, best of all, the waves of backlash now come so quickly that you can't even tell if something is hip or if it's already passé before it even began. While this seems like a horrifying thing to happen, it's really the most liberating of all possible occurrences. It's harder and harder for people to define their "coolness" by the music they listen to because no matter who you like, somebody even cooler (or less cool?) than you will mock you for liking it. So now we're stuck with just listening to what we genuinely enjoy. Which is how it's supposed to be. And the timing couldn't be better. There are more interesting bands out there today than at any given moment in pop music history. If this were the 80's or the 90's I would probably be forced to love Vampire Weekend because there would really only be a few bands even remotely possible to like. But now there are hundreds. I can just admit I don't care about them much and move on, and know that there are so many fantastic options to try and always something new to explore. And Vampire Weekend will work for a lot of people, and I'm happy for those people."

Thursday, January 07, 2010

NSFW: Oh My God

The best part is the couple talking and dying of laughter.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

On A Break-Up : Quote of the Year

"You want to stay? That’s staying out of convenience. Because if you stay, and for as long as you stay in this home, my home, then all the things you said will be just that. What you said. But when you leave, they will immediately become what you did. And you will have forever done it."

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Aaaaand We're Back

A little jumbled static today.

Happy New Decade, and many days late! I will now be updating this blog much more because I have an office job in addition to my music jobs and book writing jobs and rainbow-kitten-catching jobs (an idiot can dream!).

See, the office begets blog-writing. That's when I was all over this thang (check my archives from 2006--they RULED). And blogs and gossip and music and websites are what I like to read while sipping overpriced Asian noodle soup on my lunch hour in front of this blasted screen (this is my treat, my trade for taking a full-time, temporary magazine job in Midtown. I will eat soup, and I will eat it A LOT. You know, I'm really seeing why old people like soup. I'm on the wrong side of twenty-five, three years on the wrong side of it (did you also think you'd be dead by now when you were teenaged and knew EVERYTHING there was to know?), and man oh man how it soothes my bones. I can see why oldies eat soup and toast and complain. Because it's awesome, that's why.)

So what's new with you, dear diary, dear readers? Unfulfilled January wishes? Me too!

Here's the listsicle, here's what I want/here's what's going on:

1. I want to talk to you about my relationships like besties, like we used to. No, not my professional relationships or my sense of self, the dirt with the boy(s). I have gone through some good ones in our time together, yours and mine. And while the greatest of you have never met me, ALL THOSE BOYS READ THIS BLOG. Damn them! The crushes, the heartbreakers, the heartbroken, they all know. So I'd like to talk about my hopes, and dreams, and fears and my insanely moody feelings about all of them, past and current, and yet I cannot. Time to bring back "Annabella," a conglomerate of girls and myself who I spoke of on ye old Almost Literary back in the Aughts. Anabella has some stories to tell, about international DJs and crazy tattoos, about her live-in perfect boyfriend, about her affair with an older celebrity, and she has some quotes of the day. Good ones. We will discuss.

2. I want an agent for my book. It's good, I swear. If you have an agent who is taking clients, or work in the lit biz and would like to read what I've got, please let me know and leave a comment here!

3. All of my friends have abandoned me. Okay, they've abandoned New York. I am making new ones and that means more girl date stories. Why don't they make an e-harmony for girlfriends?! I would pay dearly for this service. Yeah, I'd pay for friends, want to fight about it?

4. I am starting to be offered some full-time jobs (kinda, sorta). After cobbling together freelance work for over a year, I'm kind of into the working at midnight on Sunday routine. It also lets me keep taking my art classes. But until I hear about where I did and didn't get into schools in April (and if anything does or does not happen with my book until then, I also need money). Stay a free bum or a caged suit? I never really fit in with either...

I have more...but I will have to think...