Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Teddy bear sweatshirts

There are times when I miss my stuffed animals, sure. Usually, it’s when I’m sad and there’s no one with a heartbeat around to hug or punch in the face.

I’m sure as fuck sad when I spot one of these tragedies offending my sightline. Teddy bear and other novelty sweatshirts aren't adorable, they're unbearable. What possesses a grown-up to cling to a plush toy, let alone wear it proudly across her ta-tas? That’s what the fetal position is for, obvs.

The upshot? The only accessory you need is a thumb to suck.

(photo: docmae.com)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cheap incense

I was walking down the street, minding my own business, when WHAM! I was hit upside the nose with a brick wall of incense. It was streaming out of a new age shop like it was late for prayer circle.

Certain places, I've come to realize, all have the same Eau de NO: head shops, belly dancing boutiques, new age bookstores, a free outdoor concert. Whether in stick or cone form, cheap incense smells like a love child sired by a hippie’s VW van and someone who’s all up in Bikram yoga’s grill.

Incense is used for meditation or ritual. Fine. I grew up with heavy incense being swung around in church, but at least it had a lot of room to dissipate. But when you are lighting up sandalpoop and franknoncense in your chockablock shop, I'm not feeling any closer to the Divine. I am, however, edging closer to unconsciousness.

Please stop buying your incense in bulk, else I might have to beat you with a bundle of joss sticks, all the while breathing through my mouth, of course.

And I'm not just blowing smoke.

Related posts: patchouli and namaste.

(For lovely, subtle Japanese incense, try Asakichi in San Francisco's Japantown. They wrap even the smallest bundle—I like their cedar incense—in beautiful paper.)

(photo: buddhagrams.com)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Vera Bradley bags

You wouldn’t think that Vera Bradley would scream “An American in Paris,” but when I was strolling the cobbled streets of the City of Lights, I was continually blinded by American tourists tricked out with Vera Bradley’s treacly quilted backpacks, suitcases, and totes who were looking for the nearest Starbucks.

It was at this point I adopted a Canadian accent when ordering up a café au lait.

Don’t get me wrong. J'adore quilts. But I like them on my bed, not on my shoulder or the overhead compartment. The accessory equivalent of a Beanie Baby, Vera Bradley bags are a paisley pastiche of granny not-so-chic, a five-year-old’s pajamas, and the clearance aisle at Linens N Things, with a bit of QVC's Quaker Factory thrown in.

If I had a fat quarter for every time I wanted to punch a Vera Bradley purse in the face, I’d have a queen-sized quilt.

(photo: only-designer-handbags.com)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Weather complaints

There’s no hurricane, tsunami, or tornado on the horizon. It’s just hot or cold or rainy or fill in the blank. And I’m sick of it. Not the temperature, mind you, but the scads of people who continue to bitch about it.

I live in Seattle and it always surprises me when people repeatedly lament the rain. Um, we live in Seattle! And for those of you who spend your summer in Arizona, Texas or the deep south, were you expecting something other than getting fried like chicken?

Do you have a weather machine like Sean Connery in that beyond-thunderlame adaptation of The Avengers? No? Then stick a cork in it and suck it up. Harping about it is pointless. If you really want to change things, why not move away from my earshot to San Diego? Better yet, leave the planet. You don’t need an air conditioner in space.

(photo: weblogs.sun-sentinel.com)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Eat Pray Love merch

Get a whiff of this: Fresh has created three perfumes to celebrate the release of Eat Pray Love, the movie that will almost certainly match the crazy success of Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir of the same name. I love lasagna as much as the next gal, but I don’t want to smell like a primi piatti.

But wait, there’s more on the brandwagon: Home Shopping Network has created a “shopping experience” of vaguely ethnic crap inspired by Gilbert’s travels to Italy, India, and Bali. We don’t need to order up a handcarved horse bench from HSN; that’s what Pier 1 is for. How do you say “duh” in Balinese? From pasta makers to power beads, an Eat Pray Shop collection sort of seems—call me crazy—counter-intuitive to the spirit of the book.

What’s next? A Liz Gilbert action figure who comes with a pizza pie, yoga mat, and Brazilian husband who looks vaguely like Javier Bardem? Please, Viking Penguin or whoever is selling the ancillary rights, revoke this license to schill. The world doesn’t need another papasan chair littering grad student apartments and rummage sales.

(photo: fresh.com)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Designer luggage

Status luggage is impractical, like penis-extender sportscar impractical. You might as well light wads of cash on fire. Your vintage Louis Vuitton train case and sleek Hermes carry-on are bound to get beat up and dragged around, much the way you deserve to be treated for buying such an unnecessary status symbol.

If I’m going to drop coin on a designer label, you can bet it’s going to be something I can drape close to my body and keep in my line of sight. While you may enjoy first-class treatment in the main cabin, your luggage doesn’t—it’s just targeted for pilfering by baggage handlers and then thrown into suitcase steerage with the rest of our lowly bags. Call me cuckoo crazy but I think luggage should be what you carry your money around in, not what you get carried away buying. Back away from the matching set of Gucci luggage and stick with the Samsonite. If you don’t, I have a sneaking suspicion that your luggage might not make it to your final destination.

(photo: handbags800.com)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Precious Moments

These china clowns, cherubs, and rascals skipped through the nightmares of my youth and I’m still holding a grudge (when I’m not huddled in the fetal position). They traveled in big-eyed packs, alongside Love’s Baby Soft, window crystals, and rainbow stickers. They may have been pastel, but they were far from soothing.

Precious Moments really exploded when I was knee-sock-deep into Catholic school, so it was no surprise that I was initially drawn to their cheeky innocence. I had one particularly adorbs lamb that I lifted from a nativity scene. I wanted to hug it and kiss it and call it my own. After about five minutes, however, I moved onto Shaun Cassidy and put my porcelain pet out to pasture.

But that was not enough to corral the horror. Tears of a clown would rain down my face at the thought of the baby mimes and toddler princesses littering the Hallmark store at the Fairplain Plaza. What really gets my goat now is the thought of all these evil Enesco eyesores sitting on shelves and in cabinets around the world. I’ll finally give them an actual reason for those sad eyes: my hammer coming toward their shiny, happy faces.

(photo: carolscrafts.com)