Putting It All Together  

Sunday, August 26 : 7:38 PM : 0 comments :

As we all know, sartorial splendor isn't easy to achieve. It's not like you can just go out and buy style, since style isn't readily available off the rack. If anything, the more money you have, the more likely you are to commit fashion seppuku. However, once you have style, it's yours. Forever.

It's like the fountain of youth, but more flashy and probably less invigorating. I'd probably pick admirable personal style over everlasting life anyway. Who wants to live forever but look like crap all day long? Not me.

Two people whose styles I greatly admire have now started an amazing blog. And when I use the word "amazing," I mean that they are amazing people, and that they have amazing style, and that they have an amazing blog. It's not often a blog comes along that actually makes you wait for its next update. That's so 2002, when blogs were hot and people were stuck in "I just got out of college" boring office jobs. Now you have to make yourself worthy of a read and fight for attention. Luckily, A Question of Taste is the answer to everything. Yeah, just everything.

A historical note: I was around when Betsy and Phat Tony first hit the New York scene. They were greenie sexy cool then but they've become incandescent pillars of Manhattan now. Phat Tony has been blogging for quite some time and we've ventured into some blog collaborations -- however brief. But Betsy is proving to be his perfect blog partner and I'm crazy excited to see the two of them blogging together.

I'd actually like to see them turn their powers toward analyzing the style of people we know in common, but that may have to be through a more personal form of communication. Or at least CC me on those emails since I know you two do it anyway.
"There's no one on planet Earth right now that personifies the phrase 'done lost her mind' better than Britney Spears. She's a baby-dropping, cheetos-eating, train wreck of an aging pop star and we all know she flipped out and shaved her head a few months back but we'd much rather see her sporting some kind of fierce GI Jane buzzcut rather than what she's been doing

The Britney Spears headscarf. This look says sloppy to us. We really hate it. We think it might be ok to and fro the gym or at the beach but really never else. And what's most disturbing is the idea that this trend is spreading."
-A Question of Taste-

These Boots Are Made for Walkin'  

Sunday, August 19 : 11:59 PM : 0 comments :

Some people are inherently interesting, some people buy/wear interesting. Then some people buy/wear interesting but somehow fall very far short of it. It's not the same as being a poser but at the same time, it's very close. Why is it some people can decorate themselves (literally or figuratively) with their interests and passions and have them become windows into their personality while others do it but seem entirely fake about it? It's amazing how within a few minutes time, you can determine whether or not someone is "legit."

I love people who decorate themselves with their personality. It makes it much easier to determine if I'll potentially enjoy speaking with them. I'm always looking for visual cues for something to talk about. So much the better if the person is wearing them and I don't have to explore their room, their car, or hack into their diary.

This, of course, calls into question who someone dresses up for. This is similar to the endless debate of if girls dress to impress guys or gals. For example, if I'm about to meet someone for the first time, I can bring my man-purse, wear my Blogger t-shirt, or pull out my iPhone at an opportune time. All of these are foremost choices for me but they are also for the benefit of others.

They're all essentially conversation pieces, but planted beforehand. Expand this out for every item you wear and you reach the current status quo of wearing what you believe in (may it be religion, brand names, or city affiliation). I've always been very wary of wearing labels or brands because there's hardly enough things I believe in to wear them across my chest. Plus my chest only fits a few letters across so anything longer than "Gap" would get cut off. "Sean John" would be very truncated.

Every time you step out to meet someone, you are projecting an image by the things you choose to wear. I mean, everyone does this right? Thus, it makes sense that you'd want to control the message by only wearing things that you're proud of, or are an accurate reflection of yourself (well, according to your perspective). Looking about it this way, then you can start to see what a person thinks of themselves. Essentially, everyone's wearing their own vanity, right?

But man, some people do it so much better than others.

It's Black, It's White  

Sunday, August 12 : 2:10 AM : 0 comments :

I'm trying to figure out the correlation between how long you haven't seen someone versus how much you talk to them. I think it's negative. You can easily not see someone for years, ask the casual "so what's been going on?" and get a two sentence answer. I find this very impersonal, deflating, and a bit off-putting. Then again, I hate playing the catch up game so really, shouldn't a two sentence response be ideal? Nobody wants to spend twenty minutes recapping the minutiae of each other's past lives. The goal is to move quickly from what you missed -- the last few years -- to what TV shows and movies you currently watch.

I've discovered that the most useful topic when meeting up with people (anyone outside of close friends status) is TV or movies. If they don't actively do either of those things? Then we're at an impasse. It's pretty sad really. Small talk has been reduced to what's on channel seven at 9pm.

The other thing I've noticed recently is that my small talk is highly racist. I know, that sounds pretty bad, but hear me out. There's a racial/cultural divide in our fine country and it's not just imaginary. Once I can get a look at someone I immediately change my small talk topics. I like to lead with family and personal history talk with Asians. I presume they're second generation or something, thus I can ask them about moving here and how strict their parents are. This tactic also works nicely with any recently immigrated peoples. Black people, I lead with some music or sports. White people, I kind of muddle around until I can figure out what type of white person I'm dealing with and then move along to the appropriate topic.

I have to do this because I like to avoid asking about work, relationships, or any of the other standard opening lines. It's like chess. Why play e4 when you can instead separate yourself and confuse the defense by playing the English (c4)?

I should probably take some time out to flow chart my small talk strategy. Has anyone ever used Microsoft Visio? It's a flow chart making program and it's amazing. I've been making a lot of work related flow charts recently and I'm thinking that I should go the extra mile and flow chart everything in my life. That way I can template out my "social plan" and have other people regurgitate it exactly.

Then we can all be bowling alone, together.

Carnal Carnival  

Tuesday, August 7 : 3:26 AM : 0 comments :

Oh yeah, we went to Vegas recently. It was Razor Ramon's bachelor party; and Kat's bachelorette. It's the first real bachelor party I've been to -- and will probably ever go to. I mean, I'd normally decline bachelor party debauchery but for Ryan, I sucked it up. Did I mention I hate Vegas? Oh wait, I always say that. I find myself being a repeating record recently. I like to perpetually broadcast that I dislike something. Vegas, dim sum, crowds, people, all those in combination, etc. I should work on being more positive. The term "Daddy Downer" is really starting to apply to me. Except for that "daddy" part.

Anyway, since I can't reveal any details about the Vegas trip -- male code of honor, what stays in vegas, blah blah -- I must instead present my argument for why I'm anti-strip club. For some reason, certain people on the trip kept saying that I was anti-breasts. For the record, I'm not anti-breasts just because I'm anti-strip club. It's not an A plus B equals C kind of thing. Or double EE equals MC squared or whatever. I'm not even sure how this rumor started but I'll roll with it; I think they were joking about the whole fear of breasts thing anyway. I think.

To start, ever since I was a young boy, I've managed to consistently avoid certain potholes on the path to manhood. An obsessive need to see naked women for example. Or how to effectively lift jugs of water. Or how to use power tools without panicking. Completely swerved off the road when those stops came around. But let's not talk about my shortcomings and instead focus on the positives.

At sixteen (or eighteen or twenty one or anything) I wasn't trying to find the nearest naked lady and hang around her. This applied to paid or unpaid naked ladies. It's uncomfortable enough at that age being around girls who are splashing their assets all over the place; why put yourself into a situation where a roomful of guys are all lusting after the same thing? Unless it's tech or geek related, it's super weird. Nothing's gayer (excuse the term) than fifteen guys sitting around watching one girl get naked.

Nothing existentially screams "loser" more than knowing that the only way you could get this close to a super hot girl is by paying her. I prefer to keep the super hot girls in my life at a distance. Or maybe that's the other way around.

My main point is: naked people should be naked alone. It's like your intimate relationship with God. Everyone can know you have one, but is it really necessary to have an audience? Not really -- especially an audience of your guy friends? I'm losing my train of thought here. I almost wish I had a religious conviction to explain my stance on strip clubs. But I'm not religious so that easily defendable reason is out the window.
Jon's top reasons to avoid strip clubs and strippers
(1) It's degrading to women; but I have no real logical argument here, I just think it is
(2) It's gay; contrary to its manly connotation
(3) It's apparently very expensive
(4) You can't touch anything; I'm a tactile person, curiosity skins the hand and gets you slapped (or beat up)
(5) It's super uncomfortable; the situation and physically
I can't even really figure out the whole relationship ethics of strip clubs. Okay, so wait, I'm not allowed to talk to my female friends when they are -- and have always been -- fully clothed, but I am allowed to see random strangers strip for me? Where does this fit into the whole scheme of things? Are strip clubs allowed in relationships because it's a traditional thing? If I push cuddle buddies harder and market it better, would that become an acceptable relationship activity? Could married people then cuddle with strangers and have no repercussions? Where's the line here?

All in all, I had a great time in Vegas this time around. My favorite story is how we had to reject strippers that were hired to the room because they were too ugly. This happened twice. In a row. Ordering strippers ala carte from street ads is apparently a bad way to go; especially at 2am when all the "good" strippers are already out and about. I kind of felt bad for them actually. What kind of blow to the self-esteem is it for a girl to be rejected from taking her clothes off? Ouch.
"Trent, the beautiful babies don't work the midnight to six shift on a Wednesday, this is like the skank shift."

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