Friday, July 31, 2009

Raw Power

1. Stud Stack Rings by Noir, $52, 2. Studded Soft Pleated Hobo by B. Makowsky; $228;, 3. Studded Belt by Patricia Field, $120;

At sixteen I was introduced to punk rock, and with that introduction came a whole new world of rebellious fashion. I had discovered The Sex Pistols, The Stooges, The Ramones and The Buzzcocks, and I was hooked. They played their instruments with passion, veracity and a speed that was unimaginable - everything a teenager craves. As I learned about the ins and outs of punk rock, I realized that although fashion had a lot to do with its initial popularity, there was much more beneath the surface. This was music inspired by politics and society - punk rock was indeed a way of life. As I've matured, I still hold many punk rock pillars to heart, but like every adult looking back on their teenage years I chuckle at some of my style choices. Today I still find ways to pay homage to the rebels and icons of my past... playing hard, fast and dirty.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Video Vault: Canadian Pride Edition

There's something really satisfying about seeing fellow Canadians making it big around the world. Little do the Americans know that we've slowly infiltrated their society and soon enough they'll be under our control! We soften them with laughter and then BAM! all of a sudden Lorne Michaels is giving fellow Canadians every spot on Saturday Night Live (Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Phil Hartman, Norm Macdonald, Mike Myers = all Canucks). Next up for Canadian comics: cornering the market on blockbusters. Oh wait, Seth Rogen's got that covered. On that note, here is an amazing 1995 SNL performance by Canadian rock legends The Tragically Hip. Check out Aykroyd's introduction and outfit - totally solid!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Red Revolution

As a recent redhead convert, I've become increasingly more aware of the beautiful redheads that surround me on a daily basis. I've really started to wonder: do I notice more redheads now because I am one? Or are there more of us out there now (both fake and real)? According to some friends of mine, red is the hottest hair color right now, as its popularity has seen a resurgence in the past few years. There have been countless pop culture references to redheads, from the infamous South Park episode, to this year's British photography exhibition showcasing the rare genetic trait.

I've always been entranced and drawn to red hair, and I think I've found the seed of my obsession: The Little Mermaid! How could I have not put it together sooner? I wanted to be Ariel so badly when I was little - I used to recreate scenes from the movie at the local swimming pool, and I didn't care who watched. [Image at left: The fabulous Julianne Moore as Ariel, photographed by Annie Leibovitz].

Next up on my list of influential copperheads is the beautiful Lauren Ambrose. I first saw her in one of my favorite teen party tales, Can't Hardly Wait. Of course that film also starred another awesome redhead, Seth Green, but it was Ambrose who stole the show. When she later starred in Alan Ball's Six Feet Under as Claire Fisher, she became an idol of sorts for me. As Claire she was sarcastic, funny, and sassy - everything I hoped I was. When I saw her in 2009's Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie Loving Leah, in which she plays a Hasidic Jew who falls in love with her brother-in-law after her husband dies, I loved her even more.

Last up is the queen of curvy sirens, the unbelievably sexy Christina Hendricks. With her breakout role in AMC's Mad Men she has made almost every man I know rethink the appeal of an hourglass figure - and thank god for that! As Joan Holloway she embodies the role of a headstrong, intelligent woman in a man's world, with all the strength and sex appeal of a modern day feminist. She's a fake redhead just like me, so I like to think of her as my partner in crime. Masquerading as a redhead really has made me more confident and outgoing, but maybe that's because I look to these ladies for inspiration. And what fiery inspiration they are!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Next Big Thing

I first met Aziz Ansari in 2007, when I interviewed him for Heeb magazine's 'Honorary Heeb' feature. At the time he was a regular in the NYC stand up circuit, and after seeing him flaunt his comedy chops at least a half dozen times I was determined to interview him. His career was on an upward trajectory: he was on the cusp of a major MTV show (Human Giant) and with that his fan base grew exponentially.

Let me be the first to tell you, that when Judd Apatow's Funny People comes out this Friday, Aziz Ansari will become a household name. The character he created for Funny People, a crass-dancing-womanizing comic named Raaaaaaaandy (with eight As) is about to steal the show. Literally. Funny People isn't even out yet, and Apatow is already thinking about giving Raaaaaaaandy his own feature film. I guess having your own hype man/DJ really pays off.

Below is a sample of some of Raaaaaaaandy's magic. Also to give you an idea of Ansari's other work I've included my favorite sketch from Human Giant. As Raaaaaaaandy would say, get ready to 'laugh your dick off'!

Check out Raaaaaaaandy's website here. Check out my interview with Aziz Ansari for Heeb magazine here.

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Fanciful Filly Rainboots, $32;

This summer the weather in NYC has been a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in a poncho. It just won't stop raining! I've learned from past mistakes - Converse and cute little flats don't work well in the rain soaked streets of New York, where gutter water flows like Kristalllll. So I've smartened up this summer with the purchase of these equine inspired galoshes. Yee-haw!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Titans of Tease

This year's Comic Con was the biggest yet, and although I didn't have the pleasure of wading through miles of pocket protectors and costumed Anime girls I am reaping the benefits - brand spanking new video gems from LOST and True Blood!

The first two videos were released at the LOST panel, and although they don't shed much light onto the upcoming and final season, they do quench my undeniable thirst for LOST during this horrible drought. We can always speculate about the upcoming season, and fellow Lostie MikeD made an interesting point about the teasers: if Oceanic has a perfect record and Hurley has good luck, does this mean that Flight 815 never crashed?!? Did the bomb really go off and was time reset? (I still can't help but think: when do we get more Smoke Monster!?!) Argh.

The last video has been making the rounds on the Interwebs this morning because everyone is as addicted to True Blood as I am. This video is just a taste of what we can expect from the second half of this season - not sure I'm digging Evan Rachel Wood as the Queen of Louisiana, but alas I trust Mr. Ball. And did anyone else notice the blond in bed with Sookie? The most hated hunk strikes again!

Meet The Boys

I'm proud to introduce you to Monsieur Petit Cochon and Mr. Littlejeans, cat-dog extraordinaires! They play fetch, they come when you call, and they wrestle like lions. Gotta love 'em. I'll be sharing videos and pictures in upcoming posts so brace yourself for some feline antics. Based on the overwhelming popularity of viral animal videos, I should just come to terms with the fact that Petit and Jean will undoubtedly pave my way to stardom.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Most Hated Hunk

I have a thing for Scandinavians. Ever since my 2-month college romp through Europe, and my consequent discovery of those savage Nordic landscapes I've wanted to go back. If not for the beauty of the countryside then for the amazing Viking relics. Speaking of Viking relics, my favorite one stars in Lady Gaga's latest video for 'Paparazzi'. Yes, this video has been out for a while now, but I still can't get it out of my head. And when I say 'it', I mean True Blood's Alexander Skarsgård. His penchant for playing total macho jerks is oddly endearing.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bows, Bows, Everywhere!

I'm a woman of contradictions, especially when it comes to fashion. I love the comfort and ease of a worn pair of jeans, and the 'lumberjack chic' that comes with putting on an oversized flannel. That said, I often pair these things with extremely feminine elements (we can't forget that my ever present nails are an overtly feminine addition to any outfit). Lately I just can't get enough of bows - every time I see one I'm drawn to it like a fly to honey. They're so sweet and innocent, and in my opinion a welcome addition to any outfit. Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Brick Lane Bag by Marc B, $120;, 2. Olivia Ring by Rachel Leigh, $58;, 3. Bow-jito Skirt by Plastic Island, $109;, 4. Organic Cotton Bow Back Top by Judi Rosen, $60;

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

When Worlds Collide

Sometimes when you're a writer/interviewer, meeting celebrities you really admire can be an amazing experience or one that will haunt you. Thankfully all of my experiences thus far have been overwhelmingly positive. When it comes down to it I think it really has to do with timing - hopefully your subject is having a good day, and you're not too anxious. I was tested today when I met my favorite comedians of all time, Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding of The Mighty Boosh. I was nervous pre-interview, and that's never good. But alas, I took a few deep breaths, thought about Mr. Susan and all was well with the world. They even ended up 'crimping' for me. Me and my crew below:


The Video Vault

We're all getting older, but it really hits home when a night full of nostalgia and fun consists of listening to some classic oldies - from the 90s. It's totally shocking to realize that as the years slip away, all of a sudden the school Talent Show dance I did to Aaliyah's "Are You That Somebody" happened over 10 years ago. Sheesh. You know what doesn't get old though? Some sweet bass and silky pajamas...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Journey Through Time & Space

Upcoming feature alert! Coming soon: my interview with The Mighty Boosh for

The Victorious Return of The Pin Up

I think it's safe to say that most women don't think of bathing suit shopping as a "good time". It's the shopping equivalent of shooting yourself out of a cannon - it can be hard getting into it, but if the fit is right the resulting spectacle is glorious. There's nothing like a perfect curve-hugging bathing suit, and the classic lines and silhouette of a vintage inspired suit do just that. I'm pleased to say that finding a great retro suit isn't too difficult nowadays with the resurgence and popularity of classic looks (perhaps as a result of the popularity of shows like Mad Men). Companies are finally taking note and realizing that curvacious goddesses still exist, and desire the quality and comfort afforded to beauties like Marilyn and Jayne. Thank goodness.

This summer I've discovered three favorites that make a real statement, and are devoted to style and fit. The first can be found at Brooklyn's Old Hollywood: beautiful pieces made by Italian trained swimsuit designer Elizabeth O'Brien Berg. The store carries her existing pieces, but the designer is always available to make custom suits at the client's request.

The second outstanding suit comes from Malia Mills, who has locations on both the East and West coast. Their motto "Love Thy Differences" says it all. The suits are expertly crafted to fit a wide array of bodies, and they carry every size imaginable. I'm obsessed with the Calendar Girl Bottoms (shown at right) - high waisted and ever so flirty.

The last one is also the most affordable and accessible, because it's from the ones I love to hate: Urban Outfitters. Yes, I have a very complicated relationship with that store and their practices, but they also fit right into my price range and hell they know how to cater to my demographic (read: young, sassy and prone to impulse shopping). Last year they came out with a handful of retro inspired suits, and at around $60 a pop they're quite a steal indeed. Oh, and very cute of course.

So bust out the suntan lotion, slip on your suit, and soak up some rays before it's too late.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tootin' My Own Horn

I've come to realize that in the past few years since I landed in NYC the "silly things" I've invested my time and affection into, have ended up becoming mainstream favorites. Whether its a fashion trend that took off 3 years after I started rocking it, or a television/film breakout star, I've had my fingers on the pulse of what's next. Yes, this makes me sound sort of like an arrogant jerk, but people throw around the word "tastemaker" a lot even when they aren't actually referring to someone that has taste. Enough said.

My point is, two of the articles I wrote in the past year have ended up being some of the first mainstream press pieces to hit for True Blood and The Hangover's Bradley Cooper. I may have been mocked when I pitched the ideas, (luxury magazines didn't think that Vampires were appropriate subject matter - look who's laughing now!) but I'm pretty sure I was onto something. Sigh. Just another Monday morning in unemploymentville.

Read my article on True Blood here. Read my Bradley Cooper article here.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

For The Love of Food

It's no secret that I've become quite the gastronomic wizard in the past two years, with a little help from Bon Appetit, SmittenKitchen and Epicurious. I have a few favorite recipes that I bust out when I want to impress or titillate, but I'm forever searching for new ones to test out. I'm slowly becoming comfortable enough in the kitchen to let loose and create my own dishes, but I still find comfort in following a recipe meticulously and savoring the results. Lately I've been craving light summery fare, so I thought I would try an oldie but a goodie: Grilled Tuna & Mango Salad published in the October 1995 issue of Bon Appetit. The results were fantastic - the cool mango salad was flavorful and zesty, and when paired with the seared tuna the combination totally hit the spot. Try it for yourself:

1 Mango, pitted and chopped

3/4 cup red onion, chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

Chopped fresh cilantro (as much or as little as you like)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

Tuna steak

Olive oil or vegetable oil for grilling tuna


Mix first 6 ingredients in a bowl, season with salt & pepper.

Grill tuna about 4 minutes per side (I don't have an outdoor grill so I have a grill pan that works nicely).
Plate the tuna with the salad and serve - easy and delicious!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bite Me!

I'm not going to deny it. I'm not going to pretend like I don't get excited when I hear the word 'Vampire.' But don't you dare say I'm a newcomer. I have my mom to thank for my interest in Vampires. She's loved old school Vampire flicks since she was a wee lass in Venezuela, and who could blame her?! My favorite is Werner Herzog's 1979 remake of Nosferatu - Klaus Kinski was born to play a Vampire. Not surprisingly, in 2009 Vampires are are once again all the rage. Who wants to think about the devastating economy, war, or famine, when we can seek refuge in the fantastical worlds of Twilight or True Blood. Let us pretend that Edward Cullen is real, and Bill Compton will one day utter our names as lasciviously as he says 'Sookie'.

Jewelry designer Jules Smith has jumped on the Vampire bandwagon with her latest collection: The New Moon Collection. Inspired by, you guessed it, the Twilight series, the pieces are fun and sexy. Who wouldn't want a set of fangs like that?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Video Vault

Before I owned a real stereo, my brother and I shared a Fisher Price tape player/recorder which we used nonstop. We would record fake cooking shows, nature sounds, and eventually entertained ourselves on long car trips by bringing along the recorded audio for ABC 'TGIF' shows like Perfect Strangers, and Family Matters. I'm sure my parents loved that. When I first discovered MuchMusic, I used the same Fisher Price player to record the audio from music videos. Circa 1994 my favorites were Canadian classics like the Tragically Hip, and Moist. But I soon discovered the dark stylings of Portishead, and in particular the video for 'Sour Times'. I was drawn to its darkness and mystery - the image of Beth Gibbons mascara stained, and wailing haunted me.

Dressed To Impress

In celebration of today's DVD release of Mad Men Season 2, and in anticipation of the Season 3 premiere on August 16 (10pm) AMC has posted a veritable smörgåsbord of video teasers. What's so interesting about these teasers is that each one of them frames the show in a different light. With 5 different themes (Romance, Comedy, Action, Drama, and Utterly Seductive) AMC is obviously trying to appeal to more viewers - because apparently an Emmy Award winning show with some of the best acting on television isn't enough to draw in the crowds. Silly people. The teasers even employ the use of velvety voice overs, and dramatic editing to draw us in. And it totally works. Check out the themed teasers linked above, or the basic teaser for Season 3 below.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dorking Out

Comic-Con 2009 is just around the corner, so I started thinking about all the dorky fodder that kept me going when I was little. Of course there was my love of amphibians, terrariums, The Hardy Boys, fishing, and my DC and Marvel comics . But there's another side of animation that I didn't stumble upon until later in life. Ghostworld, the 2001 film based on the Daniel Clowes graphic novel, introduced me to a whole new grown up world of comics. Clowes remains one of my favorites, but Jeffrey Brown, a Grand Rapids, MI native and Chicago resident has continued to churn out some amazing stuff over the years. His exploration of relationships, and human emotion goes deep - deeper than most people new to graphic novels would expect. Brown, along with another favorite of mine Adrian Tomine, constantly toe the line between romantic or creepy, hopeful or pathetic, and heartbreaking or hilarious. It takes a certain kind of man to write books with titles like 'Clumsy,' 'Every Girl is the End of the World for Me,' and 'Be A Man.' So put away those comic strips and pick up a graphic novel - one more way to drape your dorkiness with a layer of cool.

Note: Images courtesy of Jeffrey Brown.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Creature Comforts

I'm a firm believer that animals vastly increase our quality of life - especially when that life is being lived in the confines of New York City. Whether you have a dog, a cat, or a hermit crab, it's all in the pleasure of taking care of a creature that depends on you, and the satisfaction you get when that little guy looks into your eyes. Do I sound crazy? Maybe a little, but isn't love and compassion something that we all want to share? I think hoarding is a completely different story, but doing good for others (whether they're furry or not) is a good way to up your karmic quota. Lynea Lattanzio of The Cat House on the Kings, has created the ideal sanctuary for our friends in need, and she's an inspiration to animal lovers worldwide.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Digable Digits

A couple years ago when I was working at TRACE, I sauntered over to the Lower East Side to check out a boutique at the behest of a coworker. They specialized in Japanese nail art, and my coworker joked that once I tried it, it would be my "thing". Oh how he was right. That fateful day I walked into Valley and a nail goddess was born. People either love it or hate it, but I'm pretty much guaranteed a reaction once they lay their eyes on my pretty polished paws. For your viewing pleasure, I've put together a Flickr album of some of my favorite sets. And as always big ups to Mika (NYC's baddest nail art-iste!) and the fabulous Werman sisters.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Video Vault

I really appreciate it when musicians have the balls to take their creative vision to the next level. And we all know that music videos were once the best way to do that (MTV what have you become?!?) Thank goodness we still have the cinematic magic of Thriller forever in our hearts. But you know who else has put out some great videos? Bjork! That crazy Icelandic princess. One of her greatest collaborations was with John K, the creator of Ren and Stimpy, for her infectious pop gem 'I Miss You'.

The Genius of the Japanese

I'm one of those people that nurtures obsessions. From a really early age I realized that when something captivated me, it was all over - it would become the focus of my existence. It happened when I discovered The Beatles in fourth grade, and listened to 'With The Beatles' over and over again on my yellow Walkman. It happened again after the onset of puberty, when I realized that boys were exceptionally cuter when they had British accents. I became obsessed with everything British - I was the most hardcore anglophile Montreal had ever seen.

My latest longstanding obsession is Japan. It started in college once my status as an anglophile had receded, and I was working at the Fine Arts Library at UofM. I discovered all these books about traditional Japanese tattooing, and Samurai armor and I was hooked. Then came the kicker: Japanese horror movies! I'm thoroughly convinced that the East produces the best horror films in the world. And obviously I'm not the only once since almost every popular Asian horror film of the past few years has been redone in the U.S. (The Ring, The Grudge, One Missed Call, The Eye). Of course the originals always blow the remakes out of the water (sorry Naomi Watts! Love you.)

Next up from Japan is the ridiculously kitschy RoboGeisha. Yes, the film is exactly what you would expect: robotic Geishas with all kinds of killer appendages. Gorey, shocking, and seriously funny.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

And so it begins...

This blog has been in the works for a few months now, and thank goodness it's finally seeing the light of day! After finishing my website (Google Analytics and all) I'm ready to start blogging, but some may ask 'What will an unemployed writer blog about?' Great question - I'll be blogging about all the things I get excited about while my friends are at work. Whether that means writing about the Werewolf Boy in Russia, a new item my inner shopoholic craves, or a recipe I can't wait to try out, brace yourself for a look into the inner workings of my mind grapes.

Also in case you're wondering, the blog is called 'Big Hair, Small Hips' for a reason. As a self-proclaimed haircentric, those who know me can attest to my love of volume and height - and just like the legendary Dolly Parton I abide by the golden rule: The bigger the hair, the smaller the hips!

Onward & upward,