sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

January 26, 2014

A Long Overdue Fashion Post

Filed under: fashion, politics — Tags: , , — edge of the sandbox @ 12:49 pm

Check out this fabulous post by Jonah Goldberg on the late term abortion prima-donna Wendy Davis:

Last June, when the mainstream media collectively swooned over Wendy Davis and her shoes, I was overcome with Fremdschämen. The only problem is that I didn’t know what Fremdschämen was back then.

But now I do! It’s a floor wax and a dessert topping! No, that’s not right. It’s my new favorite German word. What is amazing, to me at least, is that I am only just now learning of this word, despite having a soft spot (right below my elbow) for fun foreign words (“I myself am overcome with Backpfeifengesicht right now” — The Couch). Even more surprising is that we live in the Golden Age of Fremdschämen, so you’d think more people would be using it.

So what does it mean? It means feeling embarrassed for someone else. But more than that, it means feeling embarrassed for someone else because that someone else doesn’t realize he should be embarrassed.

It’s a good piece, I almost feel embarrassed to take it on this tangent, but somebody has to say it, and it might as well be me.  Yes, I am embarrassed for Mrs. Davis.

This pair matches Wendy Davis’s nose

What is it, 90’s revival?  Remember when feminists embarked on reclaiming pink, the most garish shades of it, and called it empowerment? Take back that afternoon in 2nd grade when the patriarchal oppressor accused you of having cooties!  Pink is the new black!

In reality, few grown up women (and by grown up I mean over the age of consent) can pull a pink look.  The color should be used cautiously, particularly when it comes to shoes.  Muted shades are preferable, and even then it’s advisable to throw another color in the mix.

Try these if  you must

Why do feminists think that Wendy has their back with her ugly sneakers?  I imagine she wore nice stilettos when she met husband #2 who paid her way through college and introduced her to political movers and shakers.

Running shoes, let alone pink running shoes, are a sartorial version of Lena Dunham, what you’d call female gaze — and it doesn’t matter how much they cost.  They are a girl-bonding attribute with a touch of sugar-coated kindergarten nostalgia.  Unintimidating, so we can pretend that girls like each other, and that it’s the boys who hate us.  Personally, I don’t believe any of that crap and wouldn’t be caught dead in pink sneakers.  Ladies, do yourself a favor, buy some nice heels.


October 28, 2013

A Horizon Organic Model of Medical Care?

Filed under: Bay Area politics, fashion, politics — Tags: , , — edge of the sandbox @ 10:24 am

Eyeing my neighbor, sitting on his porch, eyes glazed over, I think: Are we going to sit like that, getting stoned every afternoon and blasting MSNBC, all because we gave up on finding a job and are now on disability?  How sad is the life in Obama’s America, particularly when it comes to individuals who are, despite being taken to the cleaners by their leaders, really quite bright.

The middle aged are set in their worldviews, and even though the sight of apparently stillborn Obamacare should be an Earth-shattering moment for many liberals, nobody expects them to switch party affiliation anytime soon.  What conservatives living in liberal areas can hope to accomplish is to shape the liberal thought exploiting the schism in their ideology.  Roger Simon has some ideas, and here is my 2 cents.

Mild-mannered liberals dislike all things large.  We no longer build skyscrapers in San Francisco, for instance, because those are too intimidating.

The distinguishable San Francisco skyline is Diane Feinstein’s legacy, one of the reasons the former mayor is a-OK in my book. San Francisco’s political culture of the day favors mediocre mid-rises that we slap on the streets South of Market.

The way I see it, when the late Andrew Breitbart inaugurated his “Bigs”, he was toying with the libs and their suspicion of big business.  A liberal thinks that big corporations are evil, and his consumer choices reflect it.  We don’t shop at Wall-mart around here, and prefer locally-owned coffee shops to Starbucks.  It’s an easy choice, to be sure, because Wall-mart doesn’t cater to upper middle class customers, and those local coffee shops serve fresh salads topped with home made dressing.  Some of my neighbors like the fact that they can bike to a local toy store to buy a present for their child, but not to Wall-mart.  In the end, our choices are more about aesthetics than morals.

My shopping and dining preferences are not very different from those of my neighbors (if anything, I might be pickier — or at least I hope I am), but that’s mainly a lifestyle choice.  I do have an ideology that props up my tastes.  If I patronize a business, it’s not because the owner nods enthusiastically every time I open my mouth about politics.  I reward producers for offering the best product at the best price, and small local businesses have an edge there because, as a rule, small works better than big.  Locally grown produce won’t feed the hungry world, but it does taste better then tomatoes that were picked green in Mexico.  The lady who runs my favorite consignment store, for instance, knows what kind of clothes I buy, so she keeps me in mind when she sorts through the bags other customers bring in.  All of that is done without any kind of creepy internet surveillance algorithms.

Because of his innate distrust of big, a liberal can be open to the idea that small generally delivers better quality products.  My daughter was born in the happier Bush times.  A new mother, I was bombarded with suggestions to use organic foods for my baby.  At the same time I was cautioned to be careful with products labeled organic because, I was told, the newly minted USDA Organic certification was insufficiently rigorous* (in the Bush years liberals were considerably more skeptical of the federal government).  One lady I know advised me to purchase Horizon Organic dairy because “those guys are local and somebody keeps an eye on them”.  Local?  Horizon Organics is the largest distributor of organic milk in North America!  BUT they partner with local farms whose products they deliver to local retailers.

I think I can put an idea out there that health care should operate like Horizon Organic, from the ground up.  Obamacare failed because is too big to succeed: “Dude!  Can we drop a half a billion dollars on a website AND expect it to work?” “Yes, yes, I know there is government healthcare in Israel and Israelis are happy with it.  But Israel is a tiny country!  It’s one thing to provide 7  million people with healthcare, but 300 million — that’s a whole different story!”  Medical services should be organized on the local level, maybe state level.  What we need to do is to de-centralize… and [gasp] privatize.


*Speaking of which, organic purists can turn to multiple private entities issuing certifications that fit their standards.  There is a lesson here as well.

June 20, 2013


Filed under: fashion, politics, Russia — Tags: , , , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 9:44 am

I know progress when I see it.  With our Progressive President appointing a hard core anti-Semite to UN ambassadorship, the US has caught up with the rest of the world.  Meanwhile, I’m getting referrals for “Samantha Power negligee“.

Prospective US ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power photographed in negligee (nighty, nightgown, lingerie, undergarment, unmentionables — but not without a bra).  This woman has more class than Madonna.  A far more attractive face of American anti-Semitism than, say, Alice Walker

I hear that the young lady described in media reports as Michael Jackson’s “daughter” attempted suicide a few weeks ago.  At some point the unfortunate minor lived in the sprawling mansion of the late pop sensation; she bears his surname and she has some sort of claim to his wealth.  But we all know that she is not nor has ever been Michael Jackson’s daughter.  The drug-addled celebrity arranged some sort of guardianship of several children, but merely because certain individuals have custody of minors doesn’t make them a mommy or a daddy (or even parent 1 and parent 2).

The most exiting current gossip item is Mooochelle feeling upstaged by the Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan.  The Western media has been fawning over the “glamorous”, “elegant” and “dazzling” Chinese entry on the First Lady circuit to such an extent that Michelle refused to attend the recent two-day Chinese American summit in California.  The better half of the international has-been claimed that she needs to be with her daughters at the end of academic year, and the Chicoms did not buy the excuse.

How bad could that little summit be?  Mobama already paraded her get ups alongside the Spanish and British royalty and Carla Bruni in the latter’s fresh-faced days.  Speaking of fresh-faced, unlike Bruni, Michelle grows cheeks with uncharacteristic caution.  In fashion, she’s all about excess, but her plastic surgery options are pretty restrained.  And speaking of cheeks, there is Putin.

This particular Russian strongman is going the way of Gaddafi — at least as far as the facial features are concerned.  Do all men with the penchant for being photographed bare-chested on a horse fill their mugs with celluloid in anticipation of a “civilized” divorce?  Or just the ones who out “armies” of shirt-ripping models on their payroll?

What must be really intimidating about Ms. Peng is not that she is easy on the eyes or dresses smartly, but that, being a soprano, she has a real skill.  How would you feel about an obviously talented counterpart if you were an affirmative action baby?

Some in the West are trying to make sense out of Ms. Peng’s talents.  NY Mag, for instance, deemed her “campy” and “opera-singing”, which is a bit of wishful thinking.  No doubt Peng is perfectly capable of executing an aria, but she isn’t known for performing Puccini; her domain is state-sponsored cheesiness.  I bet my pinkie the commie diva will get a homage from many faithful impersonators in the upcoming Pride parades, but no, she herself is not camp, camp being an ironic and gay Western aesthetic.  The patriotic songs she hums mandate sincerity, and I don’t sens an iota of ironic detachment in any of her acts.  Peng Liyuan was deemed earnest enough to be trusted to perform for the troops in the aftermath of the Tiananmen massacre.  Does the Chinese public find any irony in the First Lady’s musical numbers?  Consider the following reaction of a [presumably] Chinese American listener:

I asked the Cut’s resident Chinese speaker Diana Tsui to translate. “It’s just about how great China is,” she said after listening to the first one. “I’m in your heart, you’re in my heart. Sons and daughters of China.” I could watch this stuff all day long.

Curious reaction.  Six minutes of this video nearly triggered gag reflex in this blogger:

In New York the boa trimming Peng’s dress would be camp.  Scary thing is, Peng is absolutely sincere about that feather boa.  And the boa is not the scariest thing about the lady.

Everything about this video is dehumanizing.  There are the dancers whose faces never merit a close up and who move in near-perfect synchronicity, but without any passion (Soviet ballerinas, trained in Romantic tradition, combined technical excellence with passion, and the ones I know scorn Chinese ballet. It’s mere acrobatics, they say.)  I particularly deplore the sight of the audiences that rises on Peng’s cue and sings along.  (And to think that such obedience can be mastered without sophisticated surveillance technology — no wonder Ms. O is jealous!)  Camp is not my cup of tea, and I’m a bit tired of irony in general, but I’ll take camp over Tiananmen pop any time.

As far as offstage fashion is concerned, Peng didn’t seem to do any horrible errors, which is really all we ask from political women.  No lingerie, please, and for God’s sake, no dadaism.  Yeah, she wore a Pierrot a few times, but her outbreaks of poor taste are confined to stage.

I’d feel better about this get-up if it actually was camp

Compare it to Moochelle in her pre-celluloid days.  Yep, this is our down-to-Earth First Lady prior to the face jobs:

Michelle circa 2008 piles on fashion faux pas — or whatever those adorments around her neck are called. Also the boob belt

The wife of the Leader of the Free World should feel intimidated by a Chicom propaganda tool, no matter how pretty or polished.  Not if she, FLOTUS, is proud of what her country stands — or once stood — for.  If anything she should feel sorry for somebody like Peng, a woman gifted with a great singing voice who wastes her talents.  An individual brought up in the free world has to convince himself that Peng’s art is some sort of elaborate parody in order to even begin to enjoy it.

May 23, 2013

Style and Fashion: Just Add A String of Pearls

Filed under: fashion, politics — Tags: — edge of the sandbox @ 12:39 pm

What scandals?  We went to a bni mitzvah last weekend.  Turns out, “Tonight Is Gonna Be A Good Night” is big on bni mizvah circuit, which is why when we walked into the ballroom, my 6-year-old said: “Where is the pretty music?”  Smart girl.  I shouldn’t pass judgment on the music selection because a) the party was fabulous, just like my extended family, and b) what *do* you play for the 13-year-old kids?

I’ve been meaning to write a Maggie Thatcher pick-me-up fashion post.  Although I said in the past that the late prime minister will be dismembered first and foremost as a champion of freedom, being a fashionista myself, I figured I could do a style tribute.

unsurprisingly uninspired mainstream commentators do the Thatcher style wrong.  When they try to channel the Iron Lady, they usually come up with something drab.

Like this

Or that

In reality, Thatcher knew that blue is not the only color.  In general the 80’s hues were beyond vibrant, which many commentators see as an expression of optimism inherent in the era ushered by Margaret Thatcher.

These 7 outfits, worn by the baroness at defining moments of her tenure, were auctioned off at Christie’s last year

Another problem with suggested Thatcher-inspired styles is that they are too literal; their appeal to women in the age of business casuals is highly limited. (I’m actually not a fan of business casuals, but, hey, take it up with Steve Jobs!)  There is no way a woman under 50 can wear something like that unironically, and the Iron Lady’s role in history is not too terribly ironic.

It might just be that young women are ripe for picking.  A May 18-20 Fox News poll shows younger voters are more skeptical about the Obama administration.  Only 17% of those in the under 35 category believe that the White House has nothing to do with the IRS targeting of the Tea Party groups.   The number of true believers increases with age, reaching 29% in the 55+ demo and 28% in the 65+.  Interesting.  Although it remains to be seen if the promise of free contraception outweighs the dangers of the assault on liberty in the eyes of our younger compatriots who may remain fans of O, no matter how Nixonian he appears.

If fashion editors failed to create an appealing Margaret Thatcher style guide, it’s up to little me to make up for that.  What I’m going to do is take the 7 outfits above and an iconic photo for inspiration and head to the Anthro sales racks (I’m sure Mrs. Thatcher would have admire my frugality).

Yep, that’s my inspiration

Anthro is certified cool and ostensibly unironic.  In keeping with my inspiration above, I’m going to find lots of blues, but also yellows and mint greens, feminine yet bold shapes and patterns and perhaps a certain British feel.

Starting with a blazer.  Sure, the blazer is made of soft romantic lace, but, being a navy blazer, and Thatcher didn’t  shy away from texture.  I’m not trying to copy Margaret Thatcher’s style; I’m updating it.

Actually, the whole outfit will work with strong horizontal stripes on the dress and a prominent necklace

Also soft and feminine, but very workplace appropriate:

Again, the whole outfit can work for my purposes

For a casual day, I’m going to chose a sweater with an print evocative of the British Isles:

Horse races, they say, are the sport of kings

An elegant navy dress with contemporary detail:

When it fits to a tee, this dress can be a staple of anyone’s wardrobe

A brocade pencil skirt in brilliant mint green:

Bold and feminine at once

Peplum top in bold pattern brings a current feel:

Probably not the yellow jeans — it’s too Mooochelle, and, lets face it, rather ugly

Margaret Thatcher wore scarfs, and scarf prints are in.

But for God’s sake, wear a tee-shirt under it!

The pearl color and pocket trim on this cardi make for a nice homage:

classy, and with a twist

For a final splash of color I’m going to add a bright yellow blouse with ruffle:

Notice that all the blouses are either bursting with color or patterned — or both

What you notice I don’t have is a pleated skirt, like the one the newly elected prime minister wore in that famous picture.  I’d like to be very literal about that particular detail, but unfortunately Anthro doesn’t carry any at the moment — and I don’t know who does.  I personally happened to have one, but if my readers need one they will probably have to hit the vintage boutiques.

On to the accessories:

A dash of bright blue for the earrings

And a pair of classy pumps

Classy shimmer

What so you think?

February 25, 2013

Michelle Does Oscar

Filed under: fashion, Middle East, politics — Tags: , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 11:03 pm

I didn’t watch the Oscar’s, but I did take a peak at the fashion as the event was happening.  i didn’t know there was anything else to it.

Imagine my surprise when the following morning I found out that Moochelle presented the picture of the year.  Enter Rush:

Well, the movie Lincoln?  That’s about Obama, everybody knows that.  Who won the best movie?  Argo.  The Ben Affleck movie.  And I’ll tell you why it won.  It won because Hollywood was portrayed as heroes, about the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. […]

And, see, this was a snub for Obama because his campaign ad was Zero Dark Thirty, how he got bin Laden.  Didn’t win.  For some reason Hollywood’s mad at Steven Spielberg. I think it’s Steve Jobs syndrome. […]

Now, one thing we do know is that Moochelle’s appearance, her hijacking the Epidemic Awards last night, was Harvey Weinstein’s idea. So the consensus is that Weinstein wanted to show everybody that he’s bigger and more powerful than Spielberg. Speilberg got Clinton, but Clinton’s a has-been. Clinton’s yesterday. Harvey was able to get Moochelle. So Harvey called the White House; they planned it. The White House agreed to it, and I think one of the reasons is, again, they got snubbed. They got snubbed. Obama’s campaign ad didn’t win, and his autobiographical movie didn’t win. […]

There was some real irony last night that zipped by and blew by a lot of people. It might not have blown by you in this audience. The best picture award last night went to a movie named Argo, which was about what?

The rescue of embassy personnel under attack in Iran. The wife of the commander-in-chief who failed to rescue four Americans at an embassy/consulate in Benghazi presented it and talked about how important it was and how necessary it is and how great it was and all that. Now, I don’t know how many people got that, but this bunch — this administration — failed in rescuing Americans under attack. And the wife of the president who failed presented the Oscar to the movie who won the best picture award about a successful rescue of embassy personnel from Iran in 1979.

Not to mention that Iran is going nuclear.  It’s as if the Screen Actors Guild is asking the movie-goers if the ‘Bamster worse than Carter.  It doesn’t end there.

The shine of the dress is picked up by the silver lipstick and the gold detail on the uniforms of the military personnel behind Ma’am. That’s what I call attention to detail!

Iranian TV ‘shopped short sleeves on Mrs. O’s trademark sleeveless gown.  If they were to draw Khomeinista wrist-covering sleeves it would be one thing.  I would happily take it to mean “Cover up, you Hollywood whore!”  But they didn’t, so it’s more of a “give it up already” kind of fashion b*tch-slapping.

Too bad the Persians didn’t trimmed her bangs

And Mooch, by the time your husband is done unilaterally disarming *his* country (is it the 80s revival or what?) you might just need more cover.

Get with the program!

February 24, 2013

Fashion Pick-Me-Up: Whimsy

Filed under: fashion — Tags: , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 11:03 pm

Whimsy is what I love about Anthro.

DH says that this one is kind of like me: bittersweet. BUT I’m not going to drop $200 on a decorative sweater

Let alone on a blouse

And the kind of blouse that had to be take to dry cleaners every time an offspring of mine puts sticky hands on my arm

But some dry cleanable items might just be worth it

…Once they go on sale. Although, unfortunately, not all Anthro dresses get to the sale rack

At $300 I’m not buying this one unless they seriously reduce the price:

The back is peek-a-boo

Full length and midi florals… I dono… If we are not careful here we might see the revival of the cool 90s (so far they’ve been reviving the granny 90s.  Of course, the cool 90s were already ironic because the floral dresses were to be worn with various clunky shoes.  And this gown is pretty unironic, thank you very much.

And speaking of gown, being a big fan of Gustav Klimt, I loved the one Nicolle Kidman wore to the Oscar’s tonight.

It’s rare to see a tasteful and unironic sequins dress without a granny feel. This is one

There was a bunch of Deco-ish dresses at the ceremony.  This is Nouveao, but it kind of sort of fits with the trend.  Cheaper knock offs of the Klimt idea are likely to be disastrous.  Pity.

February 13, 2013

Sandbox State of The Union

Filed under: education, fashion, parenting, politics — Tags: , , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 2:17 pm

I didn’t watch SOUT last night, and not necessarily by choice; we are just too busy here.  Leslie Loftis alerted me to another FLOTUS get up that lived up to the expectations:

This is our 21st century Amazonian beauty ideal — or something: upper arms dwarfing breasts and the lower body looking ever-ginormous thanks to too tight skirt and sparkles. Sparkles?

This is a cocktail dress.  She wore one for SOTU 2012, too; that gown was shiny and blue.  The First (if I may call her) Lady has a tendency to wear cocktail dresses all day long.  I know, I love to dress  up too.  Unfortunately, by not looking serious when seriousness is called for, Moochelle is sending a message — that she’s not taking her husband serious.  And if she doesn’t, why should we?  No need to be nervous, Marco.

Here we have the far better designed prototype. Jason Wu Pre-Fall 2013. We can observe Mobama’s fashion sense maturing in her fifth year of FLOTUS-ship.  There is a clear trend for shiny sci fi villain looks

The President’s favorability is down — not that it matters at this point.  He’s in the black on national defense only, and that’s probably because of droning.

All this SOTU news is coming against the rough LAPD ex-cop with some sort of racial grievances on a murder rampage.  Don’t you just love how Barack Hussein Obama personally solved all our race problems?  And did you know that Christopher Droner loved Michelle Obama’s bangs?

Sarah Palin already fact checked O’s speech, so I don’t really have much to add.  If you are not too busy figuring out why all of a sudden you paycheck is smaller, you might notice that in 2010 we surged in Afghanistan for some reason, and now we are for some reason leaving.  In the meantime, a recent Medal of Honor recipient former Army Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha politely declined an invitation to sit next to the Flablulous Buttness during the speech.  Three years ago, Kimberly Munley, the hero who helped stop the terrorist attack at Fort Hood, was a Presidential guest at the State of the Union.   Now she is on record saying that she felt betrayed by Obama who classified the attack as “workplace violence” thus denying proper benefits and military honors to heroes and victims.  Currently BO is making further plans to take on our military.

The two MO’s guests who did show up, and were seated right next to the Flabulous Buttness were the parents of the teenage victim of Chicago gang violence Hadiya Pendleton.  Their prominent placement signals the centrality of the anti-gun agenda to the President’s policies — nothing new here.  This morning when we were packing lunchboxes DH said that he’s glad BO keeps talking about guns.  You see, we own stock in Smith and Weston, and every time the Prez opens his mouth about guns, the stock goes up.  It’s up 3.5% today.

I did scan the text of the speech this morning.  President BO conceded that he’s waging class warfare.  Thank you.  Blabbed on about the middle class (see my notes on FLOTUS MO’s opinions of her hubby above) and called for more spending on hip grown-up toys, like windmills.

‘Bamster wants to get the states to subsidized babysitting, potentially edging out private (and often religious) pre-schools, or, as he put it politely, “high-quality preschool available to every child in America”.  In real world, a “high quality pre-school” is the one where the teachers are nice.  The wee ones don’t need any more than that.  Oh, and a mommy will do.  Anyhow, this might be a Nancy Pelosi’s idea.  Not sure how her bankrupt home state of California is supposed to afford it all, or how the millionaires in Congress will be affected.

He also feels that all state should mandate high school graduation.  While this sounds nice, universal high school graduation is not a hot idea.  Many students simple don’t have the ability, or the drive, or respect for the system.  I gather drop outs don’t care much for your little mandates, that’s why many of them drop out.  When I went to a junior college, I had many classmates who oped out for the GED, and then went the community college rout, and were doing fine.  Instead of mandating graduation, how about designing a challenging curriculum that makes their diplomas meaningful?  He topped off his education chat with call for further inflation of the higher education bubble.

The Prez believes that the state of the Union is strong.  OK.  Then perhaps we can deal without universal pre-school.

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