Sunday, April 29, 2012

Retro 'Zines.

Over the weekend I celebrated the wedding of my childhood friend Mariann and I stayed at my grandmother's house for a change. I was packing up my bedroom to return to Charleston today when I made an interesting discovery: two really old fashion magazines peeking out from under my old bed. Yes folks, the room is like a time capsule. The reading materials are largely the same. When I unearthed a copy of Marie Claire and a copy of Glamour, both from the mid-nineties, I was intrigued. After all, I read those two magazines now, so I was curious about the differences I might find. I chucked them into my overnight bag.

Wow, are they ever different! I don't really remember reading these particular mags in 1996 (I would have been 16 at the time; I mostly read Seventeen and YM back then so I must've snagged these from my mom) but they are nothing like their 2012 counterparts. There are the obvious things, like ad design and (horrible) fashion, but reading the outdated information is a real hoot. One person wrote in and asked if she "should search for jobs on-line in addition to the newspaper ads." I guess they hyphenated the word "on-line" back then. I had to snicker; nowadays no one bothers to search for jobs EXCEPT "on-line."

Overall, the magazines seem a lot more...pure. More copy, more useful tidbits, less fluff and fanfare. Marie Claire hasn't changed as much in the past 15 years as Glamour has. Glamour was actually more of an adult magazine back then. This copy from 1996 seems less frivolous. It describes the correct way to bandage a wound, it has several pages describing how to cook 15-minute meals (in a practical, not trendy-by-the-latest-tv-chef-way) and even has a page called "Health & Pregnancy" that describes what characteristics are normal for newborns! I'm flabbergasted. I mean, my 2012 Glamour uses phrases like "OMG, LOL," and features very little, if any, practical advice.

I'm wondering if this is because Glamour has essentially changed audiences through the last 15 years, from grown women to college students? OR, are women getting sillier and more juvenile? What say you, readers?

By the way, it's rad to see actual models, like Laeticia Casta, on the front cover, rather than the same, tired A-list celebrities. It looks like 1996 had a few things right.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Men & Pregnancy: Make Like a Breech Birth and Butt Out.

I absolutely HAVE to talk about this, because it is starting to really bug me out.

Okay, so, it's no secret that I don't have any kids yet or heck, even a husband. BUT that doesn't mean I want MEN reminding me of random birth statistics every second of the day. I'm serious. The last few times anyone has brought up marriage and children, the male friends in my life have thought it necessary to talk about how "once you're 35 years old, the risk of birth defects, autism, etc, are HIGH."

What the hell? I mean REALLY? If i needed a bunch of gloomy, unwelcome statistics about the importance of satisfying my biological clock, I would most certainly ask for it. What is even WEIRDER is that WOMEN don't ever say things like this! On the contrary, women talk about how it's "totally possible to have babies in your forties nowadays." I even MET a woman in her early forties at my book club meeting over the weekend who was in her fifth month of pregnancy and doing just fine!!

The only sense I can make of this annoying trend is that men don't like the idea of adoption. The men who are saying this stuff are in their thirties themselves, and perhaps they, too, feel pressured?

I, for one, am not buying into the hype. If I have a kid under the right circumstances in the next few years, then fine. If all I have is a published book and a bunch of craft beers, that's fine too. There is more than one path to a fulfilling life.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Feeling Horny? Don't Call Me.

The horn on my car has been broken for a good few years now. In fact, it's been broken so long, my old friend Alex said he would fix it for me. That was in 2009.

Nowadays, I've pretty much gotten used to not having a horn to honk in the crazy traffic of Charleston. Oh, you say you're from Atlanta or D.C., and Charleston doesn't have traffic? Well, try combining a city that is quickly outgrowing its britches (read: infrastructure) with hapless, southern drivers and there you have it.

Fortunately for myself, I've drummed up a few tactics that I've started using on the road in lieu of a horn. They aren't nearly as satisfying, mostly because, well, other people in their cars might not see or hear me. But these methods do take the edge off in a moment of desperation.

1. Name calling. Not just the old stand-bys like "jerk" or even "asshole." I've gotten pretty creative with them and the graver the offense, the more elaborate the name calling turns out to be. For example, if you flat-out cut me off in heavy traffic, I might shriek that you're a feather-plucking piece of pyrotechnic poop.

2. Fist waving. A new version of the middle finger. This is sometimes delightful when I KNOW the person can see me. I'll ball up my angry fist and wave it in the rear view mirror, hoping the person directly behind me can see it.

3. Crazy faces and/or mouthing words. I've done everything from sticking out my tongue, to crossing my eyes, to mouthing the words "Turn your f&*king lights on!"

4. Shouting out my open window. This is by far my favorite but it's only used in extreme cases and during sunny days. I have been known to roll the window down in traffic and yell things like "GOOD ONE, DOUCHE-CANOE!" to the offending party. (I usually don't go for the creative names in these cases; I'm so angry at that point I can barely think. The cruder, the better. )

So while I might not get another horn during the life of my Saturn, I've definitely gotten proactive about releasing my anger during my commutes. I find that my anger is instantly relieved after saying something as silly as "lily-livered lizard licker," so as far as I'm concerned, it's a just a bonus to think beyond the horn.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Best Week Ever! (For Me, Not For Vh1)

I finally feel like I've hit my stride with the new job this week. I'm enjoying it more than ever, and even on the crazy-stressful days I know there's nothing else I'd rather be doing. 

This week, I put together our Summer cover photo shoot with the help of Brandon (one of our sales guys) and Chase (our intern/photographer in training). It was INCREDIBLY awesome. The weird part is, I can't really explain why it was so awesome. I wasn't in the canoe with Chase and Brandon--I was watching from the various docks of Shem Creek as the model-paddleboarders made us proud. I've been to Shem Creek a billion times. But yesterday afternoon I felt like I was orbiting the moon, I was so happy. I haven't felt that way in a long time.

Chase and Brandon, keeping it real. 

Our diligent paddleboard models 

Afterwards, I drove home in a blissed-out state, calling everyone relevant to crow about how terrifically the shoot went. Right when I thought I couldn't get any happier, I saw this giant turtle in the middle of my street, trying to cross. I jumped out of my car, scooped the turtle up and carried it safely to a neighboring yard so it wouldn't get hit. I felt totally heroic. 

Besides kicking butt at work and out in the natural world, I also inexplicably scored a bottle of free vodka from some pr firm in another state that thought I should have a "sample" (it was full size!) in case I wanted to write about it. Go figure--I'll take it! The vodka is nestled on my bookshelf right now, waiting for the right occasion to crack open. THEN, today on Facebook, I won a free three-pack of Palmetto Brand Pimento Cheese! I love the stuff--it goes great with crackers. In fact, all i need is pack of crackers and I've got myself a party. 

I sorta feel like throwing one, too. 

Hope y'all's weeks were just as great!