sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

July 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Mr. President: The Top 50 Get-Ups of Michelle Obama, Part 2

Filed under: taste — Tags: , — edge of the sandbox @ 10:11 pm

In my previous post I covered the White House mermaid sensation, white suit makeover and bare arms.  In this installment I’m going to focus on peculiar challenges posed by her body type.

40.  Considering her age and all, Michelle isn’t horribly built.  She’s leggy and tall, and she didn’t accumulate inordinate amounts of flab.  Unfortunately, she’s extremely pear-shaped.  She needs to go with subdued dark colors for her bottoms, empire waist cuts and, to balance out the hips, wide necklines.  She doesn’t have the best of posture (a common problem with tall women), and she toddles when she moves.  5 Hours of ballet a week can do wonders, but in the meantime she needs to steer clear from wearing presumptuous fashions.  Anywhoo, that’s MO failing her long black dress test:

Michelle Obama fashion

October 2010.

Clingy fabric shows off her cascading hips, narrow neckline shrinks her upper body, breast are lost in the jewel color.  For bonus negative points, she dwarfs the ladies to her left.

39.  Back in my wasted youth I came across a Dame Darcy comic about Gothic fashion devotees who’d rob old graves to get Victorian dresses.  This must be the story behind MO’s trim:

obama fashion

June 2010.

False eyelashes do not detract from the fact that the cut and the trim make her look utterly boobless.

38.  Still, this is a significant improvement over the original Pierrot:

Michelle Obama fashion

November 2008.

37.  Updated cover girl Pierrot:

Obama fashion

June 2011.

36.  Forget aged Victorian lace.  Here’s Dear Lady’s attempt at Edwardian squeeze:


January 2011

Edwardian squeeze, properly executed:

Corset c. 1912

Back to FLOTUS’s famed Red China dress.  Some fashion is created  for runways only.  Maybe some women get away with this, but evidently not Michelle.  I don’t understand why she can’t do better with couture fit — and there is no way it’s not couture fitted.  Suppose the odd scarf was White House’s last minute attempt to fix the back boob.  By the way this is the original kimono-inspired back:

Alexander McQueen

McQueen 2011.

Sleeves (a MO’s no-no, of course) add a nice balance.  Neat.  I’m not sure what was the point of wearing the dress sans Japanese inspiration and sleeveless, and why was the dress chosen in a first place given… well, the Japanese inspiration and the sleeves.  Dear Lady liked the dress but not what was good about it?

That’s by the House of McQueen, by the way.  This is late McQueen’s original creations:

Fall-winter 2009.

No wonder the guy killed himself.  And Michelle, I dare you to wear one of these.

35.  By request of King Shamus I’m going to do a boob belt:


September 2010.

In my opinion, this is her most problematic boob belt.  Because it’s patterned and shiny, it emphases Mrs. O’s midriff bulge, and it’s the midriff bulge that pushes her belt into the boob area, which has got to hurt.  If she wants a lot of leather in her middle, a custom made waist clincher is  highly recommended for the desirable curve.

This one is a trendy unisex design.  Also, I wonder if she oils her legs.

34.  FLOTUS bump watch.

michelle obama fasfion

December 2010.

I must have stolen this picture from MOTUS a long time ago, and can’t find the post now.

33.  Bandage neckline:

michelle obama fashion

April 2011.

An easy target, I know.

32.  A butterfly boob belt.  Inexplicable blazer and what appears to be ill-fitting pants for a bonus:

November 2009.

31.  Another day, another style, boho in this case.  Who does she think she is, David Bowie?

Michelle O style

February 2011.

You have to forgive the ugly style in this case.  She’s visiting Martha’s Vineyard, the original land of radical chic.

UPDATE: Linked by Political Junkie Mom — Thanks!

UPDATE: #39 is from Obama’s Moscow trip in summer 2009.


July 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Mr. President: The Top 50 Get-Ups of Michelle Obama, Part 1

Filed under: taste — Tags: — edge of the sandbox @ 9:48 am

Get your party hats from Homeless and Conservative, and come celebrate Dear Leader’s Birthday with Michelle Obama fashion retrospective.  I’ll try to post daily, but given that my kids’ naps are withering away, I can’t promise.

50.  Let’s start with authentic Michelle.  Before millions were poured into the “next Jackie’s” wardrobe she wore this:

June 2007.

Already present is her trademark bad judgment: jacket cuts off at the hip, her most problematic area, and the embroidery draws further attention to it.  The slimmest part of her body, somewhere between her navel and her breasts, is obscured.  The choice of color is predictable, which is not bad for a political wife, but that’s no fashionista.  Embroidery looks cheap and cheesy.  There is nothing imaginative about this suit, no interesting design choices, at least not in 2007.  No wonder she ran into so many problems with avant garde fashion!  On the plus side, she didn’t wear tacky jewelry.

49.  Here is Lady O’s 2011 white suit makeover:

Michelle Obama fashion

June 14 fundraiser at a Berkeley spa.

You can see that one job was created by Obama Administration — that of MO’s stylist.  But since previous FLOTUS’s also had stylists, this merely falls under “jobs saved”.  I have no idea if business casuals are appropriate at presidential fundraisers, but the people inside the banquet hall look dressed up.  The patterned skirt draws too much attention to her thighs, a familiar theme with the amply-hipped FLOTUS.  MO insists on hemming her skirts right above her knees, but her knees are a bit thick.

Plus, this is a “cute” look.  It’s bad enough that “kinetic military action” and debt ceiling debate made BO seem powerless and out of his depth, his wife looks like she’s going through a mid-life crisis.

48. Just when you think that cute is her thing, she goes out and wears a dom belt.  What does that make her husband, our President, technically speaking the Leader of the Free World?

dominatrix belt

June 2008.

47. Continuing with the B&D theme.  A nurse:

Michlle Obama FLOTUS

July 2011.

46.  Russian schoolgirl:

Michelle Obama style

September 2010.

45.  Mmm… a bag?

michelle obama bag

Must be one of those spring 2011 vacations.

44.  Here is another recent treat.

Michelle Obama fashion
June 2011 appearance for Lets Move campaign.

Let’s Move… in water?  Because I see scales.

43.  Continuing with the FLOTUS mermaid theme:

Michelle Obama

May 2011.

Sequin fish is all the rage at the White House.  Whether it’s spring fever or something in the water, don’t worry your pretty little head: Global warming is the cause.

42.  Somebody please stop telling Michelle she’s got nice arms because a) it’s not a big deal, and b) she’s the only bare-shouldered person in this picture.  She looks like she’s ready to take her daughters to the beach, but adults are going to the office.  If her hubby counts for an adult, that is.  She certainly stands out — in a wrong way.  It’s been a while since she went sleeveless, and no, she didn’t start a trend.  Time to hang it up.


March 2011.

41.  Whether or not wearing an entire wedding cake for a skirt counts for Lets Move points, it doesn’t do much for Lady O’s hips.


August 2010.

UPDATE: Linked by Political Junkie Mom — thank you!

July 27, 2011

Bay Area Politics

Filed under: Bay Area politics, politics — Tags: , , — edge of the sandbox @ 2:07 pm

When noted airhead Gavin Newsom was for some reason (I hear it has something to do with him being a Democrat) elected Lieutenant Governor, Ed Lee became the mayor of San Francisco.  Lee repeatedly said that he had no intention to run for re-election.  But now Senator Feinstein expressed support for Lee after meeting him at a White House function.

The way the Mayor got to the function raised some eyebrows:

There’s nothing like a trip to the White House to get out of jury duty, especially when it involves the president meeting the World Series champion Giants.

Mayor Ed Lee was summoned to the San Francisco Superior Court jury assembly room in the McAllister Street courthouse Thursday, but after the jury pool was brought into Judge Michael Begert‘s court, the judge excused the mayor from duty because he had a paid vacation coming up, the mayor’s staff said.

The mayor left Friday to visit his two daughters in New York, then is going to be in Washington, D.C., today for the Giants’ Rose Garden reception at the White House and to speak at the Urban Land Institute.

Now, I don’t live in San Francisco, and I have no opinion of Mayor Lee.  However, I just can’t stop wondering if the judge asked Mayor Lee to say hello to the President.

July 25, 2011

Will Jerusalem Be on the Map Two Years from Now?

Filed under: Israel — Tags: , , — edge of the sandbox @ 6:31 pm

This is not a post about the Iranian nuclear threat, which is doesn’t seize to remind of itself.  Quite a few Arabs in and around Jerusalem would like to see Israel wiped out, even at the price of their own lives.

Last week I re-posted a video about the language commonly used to discuss the Arab-Israeli conflict.  Historical Jewish place names are replaced with made-up Arab ones to advance political agenda.

The “International community” is all too eager to destroy if not Jewish people, then any memory of a Jewish presence anywhere in the world.  Legal Insurrection’s Mathew Knee writes about UNESCO editing Jews out of history, again:

A recent United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) report on Arab contributions to science has declared Moses ben Maimon (also known as Maimonides or Rambam), generally considered the greatest of medieval Jewish philosophers and theologians (and incidentally, among the most prominent physicians of his day) to have been a Muslim named Moussa ben Maimoun.

In a few week’s time Fatah and Hamas will declare statehood.  There is probably going to be a war.  Israel will probably retain sovereignty of Jerusalem’s Old City.  Fatah and Hamas will continue laying claim to it, a claim that the “International community” will recognize.

Jerusalem picture

Global warming circa 2008: A rare picture of Jerusalem in snow.

Jerusalem has many names in many languages: it’s Zion, City of David and Salem, to name but a few.  It does have a historic Arab-Islamic name, Al-Quds, which Arab locals prefer, and on which, I’m sure, they will insist.  English speakers should not call the city by any name other than the historic English name because, well, it’s a historic English name.  We call Moscow Moscow, not Moskva, and we call Munich Munich, not Munchen. And, by the way, it’s Pakistan, not Pakeestan.

When new maps go into production, we might just end up with Al-Quds and West Jerusalem, which will make it a sad day in the history of civilization.

Just my uneducated guess.

July 24, 2011

Dear Leader’s Birthday Bash

Filed under: politics, Russia — Tags: , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 10:11 am

Friday I was listening to Mark Steyn, the undocumented anchorman subbing for Rush Limbaugh, who, apparently is attending a funeral of some Jewess.  Unfortunately, Steyn’s hilarious take on Obamster’s 50th Birthday bash scheduled for the day after his own debt ceiling deadline is not available on the interwebs.  Because our President is the kind of guy who celebrates his Birthday with a fundraiser, is advising the minions how to celebrate dear leader’s 50th.  Apparently, the proper way to throw dear leader’s party is to invite 50 people to listen to his 50 minute speech.  I, for one, am looking forward to that speech.  I suspect MO’s holiday attire will be entertaining as well.

If one is a die-hard Obama fan, however, this might be just a tad bit uncomfortable.  Imagine trying to round up 50 individuals for an hour of yawning.  They will probably raise money, and lots of it, because giving to Obamster is the polite thing to do, especially on such occasion, but a party, really?  I’m trying to imagine individuals willing to throw it. Perhaps some shameless party hacks and nerds pretending that this exercise in Presidential personality worship is cute.  I suspect, unless the party is in danger of being immortalized for a news outlet, there will be a lot of no-shows.

Talking about fundamentally transforming American character!  I’m blessed to live in a country where we have to google our founders’ Birthdays.  I happened to know that both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the 4th of July, but that’s easy to remember.

The 22 of April and 21 of January are not easy to remember, but they are branded into my brain.  April 22 is Lenin’s Birthday, which the whole country was required to celebrate.  We schoolchildren had to wear our dress uniforms for the occasion and listen to stories about grandpa Lenin.  The pupils who failed to show up in dress occasion uniforms were yelled at in front of the whole class.  Soviet educators were not sold on self-esteem, you see.

dress uniform
White aprons and bows for girls, white shirts for boys.

Since no special uniform was required for the commemoration of Lenin’s death, few  remember the date.  My uncle happened to be born on January 21, and in the 30s, back when he was a boy, the family couldn’t celebrate his Birthday.

everyday uniform

That's the everyday uniform: Dark blue suits and light blue shirts for boys and black aprons and non-white, typically black, bows for girls. The schoolchildren here are young pioneers, hence the red neckgear.

By the way, this is my fifth post this week.  Mr. Hawkins, you are an inspiration!

7/24 UPDATE: linked by Political Junkie Mom.  Thanks!

July 16, 2011

The Ruins of California Education

Filed under: education — Tags: , , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 10:20 pm

Take us out of our misery: hand the state over to Mexico.  At City Journal California (via Instapundit) Heather McDonald writes about PC narcissism destroying UC San Diego:

UC San Diego is adding diversity fat even as it snuffs out substantive academic programs. In March, the Academic Senate decided that the school would no longer offer a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering; it also eliminated a master’s program in comparative literature and courses in French, German, Spanish, and English literature. At the same time, the body mandated a new campus-wide diversity requirement for graduation. The cultivation of “a student’s understanding of her or his identity,” as the diversity requirement proposal put it, would focus on “African Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, Chicanos, Latinos, Native Americans, or other groups” through the “framework” of “race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality, language, ability/disability, class or age.” Training computer scientists to compete with the growing technical prowess of China and India, apparently, can wait. More pressing is guaranteeing that students graduate from UCSD having fully explored their “identity.” Why study Cervantes, Voltaire, or Goethe when you can contemplate yourself? “Diversity,” it turns out, is simply a code word for narcissism.

UC San Diego just lost a trio of prestigious cancer researchers to Rice University. Rice had offered them 40 percent pay raises over their total compensation packages, which at UCSD ranged from $187,000 to $330,000 a year. They take with them many times that amount in government grants.

Don’t you worry, though.  We will not be turning out cancer researchers and electrical engineers because students entering the University are utterly unprepared for it.  Though California public schools are the worst in the union, they are perfecting the art of narcissism.  They now will be required to waste instruction time on “LGBT history”:

Public schools in California will be required to teach students about the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans starting Jan. 1 after Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed a controversial bill to add the topic to the social sciences curriculum.

Oh, so it’s social sciences not history.  What a relief!  Because I know French history or Chinese history, but what’s LGBT history?  The “T” part of the acronym doesn’t have much history to speak of.  And yes, there were tons and tons of outstanding individuals, like Tchaikovsky, for instance (not an American, but the first name that popped up into my head), who were homosexual.  Is it necessary for a student to know his sexual orientation to understand his music?  The man was tormented, and his sexuality was one of the reasons.  But given the limitations of the public school classroom and the maturity of California minors, I don’t think intimate details merit a mention.  In fact, students are better served when taught the fundamentals of counterpoint theory.  Or Russian history.  I suspect many prominent historical figures who happened to be attracted to individuals of the same sex wouldn’t want American students going through their laundry.  Out of respect to Tchaikovsky’s genius (and the genius of others like him) lets not discuss the sexuality of famous people with surly kids.

Tchaikovsky. Portrait by Kuznetsov, 1983.

“What the bill calls for is for the contributions of LGBT people to be included,” [Sen. Mark] Leno [D-San Francisco] said, adding, “We wrote it broadly for a reason. We would be subject to more criticism than we’ve already been getting if we were more dictatorial.” [Sounds sketchy, — ed.]

It sounds like Leno is alleging that important homosexuals were exuded from history books solely because of their sexual orientation, so I’d like to know who exactly he has in his mind.  If the problem here is that sexual orientation was omitted from textbooks, then hooray to the textbooks.

Leno said the mandates apply broadly, though, telling reporters it would affect kindergarten through high school curriculum, “and, of course, in an age-appropriate way.”

Uh, kindergarten!  In my hometown we already have mandatory “anti-bullying” classes for elementary school kids.  There is no evidence that early sex ed makes for safer schools.  If anything, it might accomplish the opposite.  The extent of anti-gay bullying problem is another issue.  In our school district reported instances of bullying on the bases of alleged sexual orientation were few; most of the altercations were of the boys against girls kind.  So it appears that the problem at hand is not bullying, but parents, not state, teaching kids about sex.

But wait, I think we found a gay man not mentioned in texbooks:

Proponents have cited slain San Francisco SupervisorHarvey Milk as a person with historical significance, along with events such as the Stonewall Riots in New York City that helped launch the LGBT rights movement as examples of topics that could be taught.

Stonewall riots should be mentioned — in a broader context of social changes that took place in American society in the 1960s and 70s.  In fact, if the sexual revolution was good for anything, it absolved gay people from the necessity of leading double lives.  Harvey Milk, though?

“History should be honest,” Brown, a Democrat, said in a statement.

OK, lets be honest.  Harvey Milk was a small time politico and a buddy of mass murderer Jim Jones.  Milk is canonized because he himself happened to be murdered, not because of any great achievement of his.  Perhaps Jerry Brown doesn’t object to Milk being too chummy with Jim Jones; after all, the twice CA Governor made the same choice of friendship:

CA Governor Brown

That's Jim Jones with Jerry "History Should Be Honest" Brown.

When Brown’s hands should be plenty busy reducing spending, he still finds time to wage his little culture wars.  But our sorry fiscal situation stands in the way of his social agenda:

Textbooks now must include information on the role of LGBT Americans, as well as Americans with disabilities, though California’s budget crisis has delayed the purchasing of new books until at least 2015. [Emphasis mine, — ed.]

Turns out, if California can’t take care of its finances, the state loses its influence.  A living cautionary tale, we are.
Surprisingly, sfgate readers are not digging the proposed curriculum.  About 3/4 of the people responding to the unscientific reader poll say that the LGBT studies in public schools are “Bad, more political meddling with curriculum”.  Reader comments are telling:
Chinese Student: “I know Calculus, Chemistry, and Physics”California Student: “I know Harvey Milk”Chinese Student: “That’s great, now can I get some fries and extra mustard with that order?”
While this is a very positive step forward, I have to wonder, when are we going to stop putting labels on people and recognize the person and the merit of their contribution. What a person achieves is not based on their gender, religious belief or sexual identify but on them as a human being and their character.
There is gonna be blowback from this in the future, and it is gonna be some ugly blowback. There are a lot of people who really really really don’t want nor need their kids to learn this narrow and limitedly relevant subject above other things they think are far more important and practical for children to learn. This is just a political gift to the LGBT voting block, a gift of the minds of other people’s children.This will play into every half-baked “gay indoctrination” conspiracy theory that every came out of the woodwork. Good job CA. Way to live up to the worst and most paranoid illusions about your state.

July 14, 2011

It’s San Francisco: What Are We Banning Now?

Filed under: Bay Area politics — Tags: , , — edge of the sandbox @ 4:32 pm

Birthday parties:

The ballot measure is the brainchild of Supervisor John Avalos, a mayoral candidate. Blasting the measure is Michela Alioto-Pier, another mayoral candidate, and Rec and Park Spokeswoman Sarah Ballard, a former legislative aide for Alioto-Pier.

Avalos’s ballot measure halts Rec and Park from imposing new fees to use park facilities, and states that “all recreation facilities, including but not limited to clubhouses, not leased on the effective date of this measure, shall not be leased to private entities but shall remain open and accessibility to the public,” according to the San Francisco Examiner. The idea is that no more private entities would be allowed to lease out public space, and that existing public space would be kept public.

But the wording is too vague, and makes the ballot measure go too far, according to Ballard. “Our concern is it will impact birthday parties, picnic permits, weddings and beloved civic events like gay pride and Chinese New Year,” she told The Examiner. Her former boss Alioto-Pier also issued an email blast attacking the measure.

SF politicos are more than happy to turn the conversation to their favorite topic, demanding money:

Avalos said the larger picture is that San Francisco is not spending enough on essential departments such as Rec and Park.

“The department impacts so many people in San Francisco,” Avalos said. “The essential flaw is they need much more general fund support so Rec and Park doesn’t have to go through plans of privatization.”

According to Ballard, Rec and Park was forced to lay off 50 employees last fiscal year in order to bridge part of the $45 million they’ve had to cut from the department budget over the last six years.

A local liberal news outlet concludes the article with this observation:

What’s definite is that in San Francisco politics, nothing is off-limits from being politicized. Not even parties in the park.

That’s an understatement.  It’s not that personal is political, which is bad enough, but that personal is shrinking.  Turns out celebrating a birthday on public property (not to mention erecting a cross) is problematic.  On display here is the logical outcome of the “personal is political”: unchecked expansion of government.  “Personal is political” exists to guide government intervention, and once government is invited to step in, it will find more areas where to grow.

That anyone still celebrates birthdays in San Francisco is a welcome news, of course, because the City is notoriously not child-friendly.


Blogging was light this week.  First, my children came down with sicknesses.  Next, my monitor broke, and I’m still waiting for the new one.  I’m using DH’s laptop in the meantime, and I can’t stand the feel of the keyboard.  In fact, the only thing I can think of as I type, is how odd it feels.  Plus, I need some of the materials saved on my desktop for my posts.  Finally, we have a plumbing problem caused by street pipes.  I called a private guy who cleaned out the main pipe on our house and did tests on street pipes.  The city would not allow us use private contractors for the street, though we have to pay ourselves.  The city plumbers came over and refused to use “some private guys'” video test of the pipes, so they’ll be back tomorrow to do their own testing.

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