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Rachel
20 September 2007 @ 11:53 am
But hear me out.

There is a long magazine piece in the New York times about the fashion entity that is Rachel Zoe.  Reading the article, all I could really think about her is "wow, she really is an odious person" (in the i ONLY drink starbucks coffee, i'm bigger than Anna Wintour, I send back my plate of vegetables for stupid reasons kind of way).

But then I had a Jon Stewart moment, and thought, you need to stop.  You are ruining the country.  And in that, this overtanned couture junkie is really just a (marginally) better dressed version of Tucker Carlson.  Here's why.

Zoe says her dream is to be the connection between the high fashion modeling world and the hollywood celebrity world.  Celebrities are increasingly becoming the face of fashion, and supermodels are going the way of the dodo.  There were celebrity stylists before Zoe, but their roles were limited.  They dressed the stars for big red carpet events and went on their merry way.  Zoe, on the other hand works more on a retainer basis.  She chooses outfits for everything from getting coffee in the morning to the Oscars.  She said that she noticed that the only type of magazine whose subscription rates havent dropped are tabloids.  These tabloids like showing famous people doing everyday things.  Logically, then when they are doing every day things, they need to be properly dressed.

To go back to my analogy, tabloids are like CNN- always there, buffeting you with fabricated issues, or taking real issues, then offering conjectures ad absurdum.   She freely admits that her clients are the ones who are featured in the tabloids and celebrity rags.  She wants them there, and she keeps them there.  She made Nicole Ritchie a household name.  Making celebrities of people with no particular talent or niche is her, well, talent and niche.

And she is influential.  The styles worn by her clients have legs.  People want her consulting, designing.  While tucker carlson makes stories of not stories, she makes celebrities of not celebrities.

And so, just like in politics, huge debates arise over the stupidest things, leaving the more important issues in the dust, celebrity culture is being monopolized by no talent hacks while the actual artists are shoved to the background.

As if this wasn't bad enough, Zoe charges something between $4000-6000 a day plus assistants and operating costs
 
 
Current Mood: cynicalcynical
 
 
Rachel
19 September 2007 @ 12:19 pm
 I has a car!  And all the shit you have to do to deal with the logistics of getting a car have been completed as of this morning.  That is nice, and a HUGE weight off my back becuase it was a lot to do.  I:
- Had to retake the knowledge test (get a permit because I'm an idiot and let it expire)
- Had to retake the driving test (see above)
- Had to get DC insurance
- Had to get the car from PA (was able to combine this with a trip to cape may, so its all good)
- Had to get the car inspected because the valid PA inspection isnt transferrable (Kris was awesome and did it)
- Had to go to the DMV to get it registered and pay the taxes and get new tags

All that is done.  My car is a happy new DC resident and is comfortably parked in front of my house.
Well, almost all done.  One more hoop: my car doesnt have a place for tags in the front, and DC requires tags on the front AND back of the car.  Here's hoping I won't be ticketed for that right away.

So specs on the car:
white 2 Door (but very spacious) 95 Toyota Camry with 128,000 miles on it.  Working A/C, CD player, antilock breaks, etc.  Certainly doesnt look or drive like a 12 year old car.  Its perfect for the city because its older so the insurance rates are lower, and if there is an accident, its cheaper to deal with.  And cities are more dangerous to cars than suburbs.

The best things about having a car will be the ability to go more places on a whim, be less schedule dependant on supermarket runs, and not have to beg obliging teammates for rides to soccer games. Sweet.
 
 
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
 
 
Rachel
13 September 2007 @ 08:54 am
So at Dan and Julie's behest, I've started Kung Fu.  Its nice, its humbling and encouraging at the same time.  Perhaps the most humbling is that I'm not the one being bowed to anymore, I've gone from black belt mucky muck to lowly white belt, and it's going to be a little tough to get used to, but tough in the good way.  Its also frustrating because I can see just how far I've fallen from my "glory days".  Its been years since I did Tae Kwon Do, and I am out of shape and can't move the way I used to.

Whats encouraging is that I was able to make the entire hour long work out.  I got tired and sore of course, but I had the endurance to keep the intensity up the whole time.  Which is nice.  I also felt the muscle memory coming back to me.  Moves that other students couldn't do felt more natural, and my hips still snapped.  I think the more often I go, the more my body will fall back into step, and the moves will become more instincts (that even happened last night).  Thats not entirely a good thing though... I'm doing a new art with new move, new muscle memories.  I had problems doing something with one hand and not doing the opposite motion with the other (IE keeping one hand in a block and punching with the other, instead of chambering the blocking hand at the same time).  I instinctively went into stances that are similar but not quite the ones I should be in.  But time will train me.  Hopefully Ill be able to keep the memory for both arts.

In other news, cape may this weekend.  It will be awesome.

In other other news, I finally got a replacement camera cord.  So I will be posting finished projects soon, with critiques and such.

OH and I now own the entire Kids in the Hall.  Worship me.
 
 
Rachel
07 September 2007 @ 10:49 am
(this is not meant to offend anyone)

So I was thinking on the walk to work and I came to the conclusion that I think Evangelical Christianity (or any religion in its evangelical incarnation) is incompatible with political office.  Here is why.

Let me preface this by saying I have nothing against religious people, or religion.  This is purely a philosophical incompatibility, not a stance on their religion.

First off, by definition, evangelicals consider it their duty to spread the good word and bring everyone under the banner of (their version of) christ.  This means that they cannot truly understand (or at least respect) other religions, or even the separation between church and state.  Their calling is to always live their faith and witness to god.  The job of the president is to be president of all americans, not of americans who agree with his faith, and americans who he just hasnt gotten around to converting yet.  And because many see it as an affront to go to live one life at work and one life at church, they are unable to make the distinction between personal faith and how to conduct themselves in the office.  Its not that they are too stupid to, its that it is against their religion.

If the first reason isnt argument enough, the second is actually more practical and has a lot of evidence in the Bush administration.  Evangelical christians are faithful and are in regular communion with god.  The problem there, is that since they feel their connection with god is so strong, they often think that their conclusions and ideas have god's sanction.  This is dangerous, not only because it leaves no room for alternative opinions if god is on your side, it also means that you may feel you have the obligation to do everything you can to make sure these god-sanctioned ideas come to fruition.  It doesnt matter what you have to do in the process, you are doing god's will.  This can lead to things like manipulation of the constitution, ignoring congressional oversight, and otherwise undermining rule of law.

Sometimes I envy the faitful.  They can be so sure that their course of action is correct, they have purpose, and know how to live.  But I'm not that naieve: I think doubt is an important part of life.  Without doubt, there wouldnt be plan B (in the metaphorical sense, not the pharmaceudical sense), there wouldnt be political/philosophical/scientific discourse, and without discourse it is impossible to evolve.

Hegel was onto something with his Thesis/Antithesis/Synthesis.

So, to make a long story short, living your faith, and being able to separate yourself enough to make decisions that represent all manifestations of faith doesnt work too well.

Which makes me wonder why religions is such a badge of pride for politics? After all, they say athiesm is the new gay.
 
 
Rachel
04 September 2007 @ 12:56 pm
 
 
 
 
Rachel
04 September 2007 @ 09:00 am
Yet they never seem long enough.

Got out of work nice and early on friday (it was deader than one of the more dead things you can imagine. Go ahead, imagine it.) then did the walk from Friendship Heights to tenley because it was a beautiful day and I had to meet Kris to go on a wild goose chase to get him measured for his friend's wedding at the end of the month.  Every tailor shop either didnt do it, or the person was out for the day, etc, so we ended up walking back to friendship heights and going to the Saks Men's Store.  talk about fish out of water, but at least someone there measured him and we could run back home to get changed and run out to the OZ house for our ride to see JONATHAN COULTON who was amazing and awesome and even had an amazing and awesome opening band.  It was my first time at the Birchmere, and it is a cool place, with real tables and servers and a nice set up.  Coulton's voice is beautiful, his songwriting ability enviable and his proclivity to write about zombies and robots and the mandelbrot set fucking awesome.  There were ten of us or so, and we had great seats to the right of the stage.

Saturday was more laid back, sleeping late, hanging out, video games, then going out to dinner with the boys.  I know I must have done more stuff but I can't remember.

Sunday I went to the MD Ren Faire with Kris, Julie, Dan, and Julie's girlfriend.  I had a smoked turkey leg and chocolate mousse and got pretty lily earrings.  Fun times were had by all.

Monday met up with Fil and Morgan for lunch at Tono, then went to the zoo where the animals were out in force and working the cute.  It was crowded, but no more so than normal really.  Came home and watched an installment in the BBC's Planet Earth series, then lazed about to Arrested Development.

It was a good holiday
 
 
Rachel
29 August 2007 @ 10:53 am
I can't say its altogether surprising that there is another sex controversy case in our lovely legislative branch, but whats really bothering me is how it is being handled, and how completely people are twisting the main problem.

The illustrious Craig allegedly solicited sex from an under cover police office in an airport bathroom, then plead guilty to the criminal charges subsequently brought from his behavior.

I'm not gay! All the headlines read.  What strikes me is how irrelevent the point in contention is.  of all the things to throw at him for this scandal, his sexual orientation is the least important, even if it does make him disgustingly hypocritical (he wouldnt be the only one on the Hill).  But why arent the headlines more like:

I didn't break the law! (sex solicitation is illegal)

I didn't commit purjury (pleading guilty in hopes the issue wouldnt hit the newspaper which was already doing a story on his sexual orientation)

I wasn't in the process of cheating on my wife (a moral failure with a victim)

or even, I'm not a terribly lying hypocrite! (something related to his ability to do his job.

Nope, of all the failures both legal and ethical, he (and the media, give credit where it is due) chose to harp on his sexual orientation, the one thing that doesnt matter, and isnt really a bad thing.  Either he is terribly misguided, or he is brilliant, focusing the issue on the hot button gay wars, and taking the focus away from the legal stuff.
 
 
Rachel
03 August 2007 @ 03:25 pm

vive la difference vs. your spiked heels are digging into my gender theory

I guess I see the logic behind the notion that sex change operations are homophobic and incompatible with some feminist theory (if you were born into the wrong gender, then gender precepts are inherent in nature, not from society), but I'm not willing to drink the kool aid.

I think the issue is semantic if you define it that way.  The way I see it has less to do with inherent gender stereotypes, and more what makes you happy.  And that idea assumes some things I'm not willing to concede.   I think the argument saying that feeling born the wrong sex implies MALE things and FEMALE things assumes that everyone who wants to be reassigned defines themselves along the lines of the opposite sex's domain.

IE it is assuming that males who want to become females want to do so becuse they like pretty dresses and Vogue magazine and cooking, cleaning, and the womanly arts.  What would you say to the person who loves football, beer, computers, cars, etc, but would be much happier in a woman's body?  Some people like the color green, some people like the color blue.  Some want to be men, some want to be woman.  It doesnt mean they necessarily do so for gender ascribed reasons.

Now, I'm not going to say there is no correlation.  People who want to become women probably feel more comfortable doing "womanly" things.  But that can still be societal and doesn't successfully argue against the idea that the main gender differences are caused by societal pressures.

This Bindel person who has been in the news recently arguing this point has also fallen prey to the notion I mentioned a few posts ago that (I think i may make this a catch phrase) the plural of anecdote is not data.  Of course there are going to be people who change and regret it later.  Its a big change!  But it by no means makes them a majority.  How many people have done something permanent that they've regretted? Broadsheet points out things like tatoos, plastic surgury, etc.

 
 
Rachel
01 August 2007 @ 08:53 am
It sounds like something Disney would write.  Our ragtag team of good hearted soccer players was the worst in the league.  Couldn't win a game.  And by the end of the season, the league board of  directors rules that they are moving up to division two, despite their pleas to stay where they are in the lower league.  Its funny, the board said they almost always go with the wishes of the teams when it comes to relegation, but they said they also need to think of how the other teams feel.  And we were smushing them.   The D2 team that is taking our place also had no desire to be moved down either, but it was their time I guess.

But we were undefeated in our league, and at our tournament saturday we weren't too outmatched by the middle ranked division 2 teams we played.  The score was actually closer between us and the D2 teams than it was for a lot of the D3 games. They are pulling the Feds, a division two team that hasnt won a game in years, down to replace us.  I know a lot of people aren't thrilled about it, but it makes sense.  We really are more suited to the upper division and while we may lose every game for a season or two, its always better to play with better teams.  Although it will make my goalie rankings go down...

Our coach made a good point that I wholeheartedly agree with- he said that its not that the D2 teams are better soccer players.  Its just that they are in much better shape and don't tire out.  It is true.  We have one or two players that we rely on to run the field while we tire out.  So I'm going to need to work out a bit.  That is, if they ever let me out of goal!

The other big news is that Jesse Miksic, self proclaimed Benevolent Master of All Things was in town for the weekend and it was awesome.  He arrived late friday night for some lasagna and video games, joined me at my tournament saturday (no small feat, it was 90 degrees for the day long event), snack at panera, then hangyoutyness before a whole gaggle of us went to El Tamarindo in his celebration (sorry I was such a grumptopus, but I was suffering a delicious bout of heat exhaustion and had the second worst headache i ever had and felt nautious but was better after some food and liquids was pumping through my system).  Thanks to all who came!  It was tons  of fun and will hopefully encourage a sequel.

Sunday we went to Original Pancake House to stuff ourselves silly.  When we got back I took him for a tour of the neighborhood, but had to go an alternate route because the Takoma metro was closed due to... dead birds and a stupid contractor who thought  that sunday at noon was a good time to spread poison everywhere.  As soon as we got to the street with the shops, the sky burst open.  I showed Jesse a couple of my favorite stores and the ice cream shoppe, when Anna was kind enough to take us to the next nearest metro so jesse could get home.

It was a fun weekend.  Sigh, Back to work. 
 
 
Rachel
25 July 2007 @ 01:37 pm
Okay peoples, listen up!

Jesse is coming down this weekend! (yay!)  You want to see him.  you know you do.

So here's whats gonna go down.  I have a soccer tourney on saturday on the mall (fields running along the reflecting pool).  The last game starts at 3.  You guys should come to the game, enjoy it the weather, hang out, have fun.

Then possibly some fooding (and hopefully showering on my part)
Then fun at Takoma! (NOT NEW TILDEN! Those heard referring to our new sweet digs as "new tilden" will be punished severely)  Should we BBQ? pile into a restaurant? 

What do you think?  My only requirements are fun, and that lots of people come.  If you suck and cant come to my game, you at least had better come to the after party!