My Day with the Unicorn Frappuccino

Do you have one of those friends that you do everything with? You can pretty much always call them and they’ll be up for anything. They’ll never say your idea is stupid. You can be your whole and complete self around them. If have one, you’re picturing them right now. It’s an “I promise I hang out with other people, I just have the most stories with her.” kind of friendship.

Luckily for me, I work with mine. So when I roll into work on a gray April morning, double-tap the horn while blasting Joyce Manor because we’ve arrived at the same time on Unicorn Drink Debut Day, it’s totally fucking obvious what is about to go down. Now, I don’t go a day without coffee, so it’s not like I replaced my typical 16 oz medium roast with this grandiose American monstrosity. It was my second Starbucks consumption of the day, if that makes it better.

The baristas at the Starbucks by work are awesome. They remember my bland, normal person drink order from every other day and their jaws hit the floor when they find out what I’m getting. They take a picture of Best Friend and me with our drinks for their store’s Instagram. We’re honored.

As I begin to experience the same cognitive dissonance I felt in Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, it’s time to inhale Suspension of Disbelief and exhale Any Idea That I Am or Was Ever Cool. We take photos of our drinks with our names at different angles on the Starbucks bar. Then selfies. Then we go outside and take turns posing under the cherry blossom tree. Then next to a cop car because we could be “arrested for being so basic” lol get it?

If you want to know about flavor, I don’t know if I’m really the one to ask. It tasted kinda like cotton candy, pixie dust, and pop rocks? It was sorta chalky? I drank it all. I have impulse control issues. Above all else, it was just a fucking blast to drink. Truthfully, it was like eating a TV dinner. If my mom saw me, she would yell at me.

When half of the non-biodegradable plastic is empty and the glitter it once held is now painting my insides, I can no longer concentrate on work. I suddenly need to build a playlist for the day, remember what I learned in 11th grade history, and enthrall my co-worker with a fascinating story she couldn’t give a fuck about. YO THE RIOT FEST LINEUP IS LIT! I’m like a coked up 22 year old at an after party for the first time. Sure, I like candy and shit, but I am just not someone who consumes sugar in large quantities. When I’ve tracked food, I naturally cap out at 20g of sugar a day unless I’m stress eating entire creme brulees. As if I don’t punish my poor liver enough with all of my binge drinking, here pancreas HAVE AN INSULIN SPIKE!

I decide to GTFO of the office so I can get my activity up and actually make things happen. It works for awhile. I drink a ton of water with the idea that it can cleanse my system. I’m craving more and more sugar. Obviously I resist because I have exactly zero interest in continuing this cycle.  

Sitting in my car at 2:30, wondering why I feel like plagiarizing the words “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” Morgan Spurlock’s floating head materialized on my dashboard to lecture me about putting poison like this in my body. When was the last time I updated my will? Who wants all of my old journals? No one, probably. But someone is going to get them because they are hilarious. There was an article in Vice a few weeks ago that said millennials are getting stomach cancer at an “alarming rate” and everytime I do something bad I think about it. In the summer of 2011, my nihilist uncle coined the term Russian Ballerina Diet, meaning a shot of vodka and cigarette. It feels like an RBD could appropriately complete the self immolation.  

Around 4:00, a migraine starts to form on the sides of my temples. It’s pushing out the suspension of disbelief. I’m starting to remember who I really am. I hate pinterest food and time lapse facebook videos with questionable cheese content. I despise people who over post these things they will never – and frankly should never – have on their dining room table. Fast food gimmicks make me suicidal. Chain restaurants are for midwesterners, aside from their comedic value on the Doughboys podcast. If the future of gastronomy lays in the hands of franken features like the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino, we are all doomed.

Over the River

Over the River, where East Siders fear to tread
a culture divided by the volume of garbage
in the sidewalks, in the streets.
People are stacked on top of one another,
spilling their siloed designs to our bank more every day.

Across the River, more noise
People, cars, politics
Dogs over here walk in parks, not park blocks.
We whine and protest every time you beg us to go over “there”

It’s his birthday, her baby shower.
Any excuse to pay for parking
Another tourist dinner at PCG
Next time I’ll jump.

 

HELL NO! Sleater-Kinney, Colin Meloy, and a killer night benefiting the ACLU

We’re all pretty fucking unhappy. Is that an understatement or is that an understatement? I spend my days tweeting Brand New lyrics at the president of the United States of America. Truly, one of my goals of 2017 is to get blocked by @realDonaldTrump on Twitter. It happened to one of my friends and I WILL NOT be out-snarked. Hence when the HELL NO! benefit was announced, my saliva glands wouldn’t stop dripping. Not only do I love the bands, but I have a giant liberal hard on for just hating on this asshole administration.

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Tickets went on sale, I threw on my hazard flashers in the middle of Burnside, and by some miracle of crystal magic, got in. All of the bands killed it. The energy in the room was insane. The tables downstairs were passionate and excited to talk to you. People were freely giving out their real email addresses. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks were just fucking on. Colin Meloy’s version of This Land is Your Land was one of the most emotional we’ve all heard in a long time. For all of us, the night will be unforgettable.

This was my first time seeing Sleater-Kinney live. Maybe I teared up. Pics or it didn’t happen. I’ve met Carrie Brownstein before, but seeing what she does with her guitar in person was fucking ethereal.  90% of the articles you read on Sleater-Kinney from the day they formed proclaim that we need them now more than ever, but I swear it’s always true. Honestly, remembering that their particular niche of hard core riot grrl attitude exists, refreshes my ability to suppress apathy- a gargantuan feat right now. They even busted out their signature move with covering Fortunate Son – something fans have been raving about for years – and my heart stopped! Ladies, you are my Joey Ramone.

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Quasi is reporting on their facebook page that over $20,000 was raised for ACLU Oregon. Badass, you guys! It’s nights like this and remembering where I live that are going to keep me from blowing out the flame and sticking my head in the oven over the next four years. So, just thank you Portland, Quasi, Sleater-Kinney, for giving a fuck. We’ll fight. We’ll resist. We’ll get fucking through it.

The Best and Worst Bon Iver Songs

We’re all hoping, in light of recent news, for some new tracks from Justin Vernon with Bon Iver. To be frank, we’ve been hoping for it since that ever fateful day in 2012 when our sad little hears were shattered with hiatus news. I mean, Conor Oberst and Justin Vernon were every hispter girl’s dream men in 2008. Further, For Emma, Forever Ago is definitively one of the best albums released in the 00’s. Our minds were afloat with imagery of JV frantically scribbling away in Wisconsin like Ted Kaczynski and letting words and memories flow from his heart and soul. That story is one fans will never forget. So, in celebration of Bon Iver announcing tour dates, let’s rank the best and worst songs:

My Topsies: 

1. “Towers” is my actual favorite Bon Iver song. I’d even say it’s top 10 in all my favorite songs. Listing it here is pretty pointless though, because I have literally no idea what it’s about or what it means. “Well, youʼre standing on my sternum don’t you climb down darling. The sermons are the first to rest.” I guess maybe that’s the point.

2. “Blood Bank” – One of the more mainstream ones, but still a pretty big favorite. Is too silly to include all the title tracks as my ultimate? It was different for fans when this four song EP came out after For Emma, but it worked really well and saw some great commercial success.

3. “Skinny Love”: It reminds you about long drives with that guy you fell in love with for a month in 2011 who had the epic vinyl collection. It might not be the most complex or emotional track, but it’s certainly the most famous. No one can forget when this was performed on Letterman and pushed the band forward to the ever elusive “household name” so many people look for.

4.”Perth”: Honestly, it’s is the only choice for the first song on Bon Iver. They style change felt drastic enough to where you knew it was a new vibe and new sound for the band, but you got that sultry confusing J-Vern vocal that we know and love. Even more confusing is the actual geography of the places and lyrics here. Maybe it’s the strange compelling nature of everyones’ inevitable triviality, but there’s something nondescript that makes all of these tracks about the whole contents of the world.

#whywasthisevenreleased:

5. “Holocene”: At least this song mentions Christmas? This was written with the location theme, but it’s the biggest disappointment in Portland, Ore. and I cannot and will not endorse anything that mentions that bacterial cess pool that serves adults drinks in plastic cups. Also, let’s be real here: Justin Vernon is a tool and you’d probably run into him at Holocene. On the other side, he’s like a hammer or a chainsaw or something. He’s everyone’s favorite tool.

6. “Fall Creek Boys Choir”: This is most likely James Blake’s fault. Lesson learned. CMYK doesn’t blend well with bon bon. Sorry team.


Bonus Track: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViGNBLQpGWE

Vernon appears in “I Am A God” with King Kanye – which is just amazing all around.

Snobbery, Capitalism, and the Olive Garden with Dr. Michael Hurd

You may remember last week, when I posted a Facebook status that said, “If you genuinely like the Olive Garden, you probably have an STD.” That is obviously a joke. However, the reactions I received were everything from “Oh my god yes” to “I only like the Olive Garden ironically” to “Wow, that’s so rude” to someone
deleting me as a friend. Sensitive much?

To understand this dialogue and it’s place in our culture, I talked to a world renown psychotherapist, radio host, and author. You’ve seen his books and his articles in Capitalism Magazine. Please join me in welcoming an expert on snobbery, capitalism, and politics: Dr. Michael Hurd. 

Let’s dig right in. Why did everyone get so emotional about the Olive Garden?

Eating is personal. Also, when you insult or even disagree with someone’s preferences, they take it personally. They feel like you’re attacking THEM, when you’re really only attacking the Olive Garden (or whatever the preference is).

Of course, with a comment this strong, it does sound like a personal attack, which is probably why you got such a strong reaction. If you had kept the focus on, “I don’t like the Olive Garden” rather than, “There’s something wrong with people who like the Olive Garden,” then you would have had a less intense reaction.

It seems to me that because of the varying responses, it identifies who my actual peers are, rather than the wide variety of people connected with me on social media. Is that accurate?

Yes.

After reading some of your articles, I understand what I said was pretty terrible, but not the most terrible. How does something that small relate to social metaphysics?

Social metaphysics refers to looking to what “the group” or one’s peers think of something in order to form your own conclusion. Let’s say you were watching the presidential debates. Instead of forming your own conclusions, you’d wait to hear what other people are saying, and go along with them. Or perhaps you go to a movie with three friends. Instead of forming an opinion for yourself, you wait to hear what others think (like/dislike) before deciding on what YOU think.

Metaphysics refers to the nature of reality or existence. When your metaphysics is “social” it means you get your definition of truth/reality from others, rather than from your own (hopefully) objective and rational conclusions.

Would you say it’s more beneficial or less beneficial to go against a group and social metaphysics by forming and broadcasting a strong opinion?

It depends on your purpose. If you’re trying to articulate or accomplish something important, than the negative reaction to the strong opinion is part of the price. If what you’re seeking to accomplish or get across is more important than the “price” of the negative reaction, then that’s one thing. On the other hand, if you’re trying to get a negative reaction for the mere sake of getting a negative reaction, that’s immature or adolescent, and it’s not really accomplishing anything.

Is there an automatic connection between being a snob and a narcissist?

Snobbery is a likely consequence of being a narcissist, but not the underlying cause. A narcissist is someone who cares about himself — his own needs, wants, desires — but does not respect the need and right for others to ALSO care about their own wants, needs and preferences. A narcissist wants to have an “I” (which is legitimate), but does not want anyone else to have an “I”. Narcissists usually do not admit this, but that’s how they are, and if you are close to the person, you will know it.

When you see snobbery in someone else, it does not automatically mean the person is a narcissist. It could be less serious — immaturity, thoughtlessness, carelessness, trying to fit in with the group. These are not laudable traits, but they’re not narcissism, either. You have to know someone well before you can establish they’re narcissists, or at least know personal things about them.

I really enjoy reading your political articles. Is there a connection between day-to-day tastes or capitalist choices and political
opinions?

Capitalism and free markets permit the greatest number of choices and options. Go into a grocery store. Grocery stores and food, in Western societies, are for the most part free markets. Choices rule. Now look at education. In America and elsewhere, it’s a government monopoly. You have some choices, but not as many as you would in a free market. Look at health care in most Western nations. It’s socialized; few or no choices. In America, it’s getting that way. Look at retirement insurance; mostly monopolized by the government, so not a lot of options for retirement savings, other than the rocky and unstable stock market.

There’s not a direct connection between day to day tastes and capitalism. Day to day tastes have to do with a person’s personality, preferences, values, spending capacity, family or cultural habits, and many other factors. But in a free market those preferences are allowed maximal “breathing room,” and come into play as competing companies try to persuade people to spend their money on their options.

Sadly, a lot of people find capitalism distasteful, but they’re too ignorant or thoughtless to realize that by denouncing capitalism, they’re killing freedom of choice – including, ultimately, their own.


Thank you to guest Dr. Michael Hurd. Click to read an excerpt from his latest book, Good Therapy, Bad Therapy.

Slim Aarons’s 8 Best Wintertime Photographs

Since it’s fall, I’m of course already thinking about winter and Christmas. Typically, we think of Slim Aarons as the iconic leisure photographer. With mostly beach scenes featuring California celebrities and socialites, it’s easy to forget some classics. Let’s remember these eight favorites:

1. Kings of Hollywood, December 31, 1957
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Left to Right: lark Gable, Van Heflin, Gary Cooper and Jimmy Stewart
The is definitively the shot Slim Aarons is most famous for. It’s been highly celebrated since it was taken. First of all, it’s candid. Second of all, the are our dream men. It’s the glamour and sophistication of old Hollywood charm, combined with a devil-may-care lifestyle. You wish you could have a NYE like this.

2. Christmas Swim, 1954
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In this photo, Rita Aarons, wife of Slim, is pictured collecting Christmas bulbs in the couples’ California pool. The concept is hilarious. Such a huge tree actually sitting in a pool is strange. But, leave it to a renown photographer to show up your Christmas card.

3. Princess Bianca, 1985
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This frame is the kind of thing all winters should be about. Princess Bianca Hanau-Schaumburg sits at her Gstaad chalet enjoying a glass of champagne in the snow. Plus, that 80’s snow suit is so on point.

4. Verbier Vacation, 1964
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I love this photograph because it’s so typical of Aarons’s style, but with snow. There’s a poem by H.P. Lovecraft that said “the stars emit a kinder light, above the drifted snow” and it reminds me of this.

5 and 6. Winter Wear, Cortina d’Ampezzo, March 1976
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These two favorites are from a trip Manuela Bormanero and friends took to the , Cortina d’Ampezzo resort during the winter of 1976 in Northern Italy. The absurdity of hosting and catering a dinner party in the snow is so completely absurd to me, but I’d absolutely love to do it.

7. Bacall and Bogart, December 24, 1951
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This is a very rare moment captured on film. The love story or Bogie and Bacall is truly captivating. Lauren was one of the first movie stars I ever fell in love with. Her look, her chin tilt, and her sparkling eyes are actual genetic perfection.

“My son tells me, ‘Do you realize you are the last one? The last person who was an eyewitness to the golden age?’ Young people, even in Hollywood, ask me, ‘Were you really married to Humphrey Bogart?’ ‘Well, yes, I think I was,’ I reply. You realize yourself when you start reflecting—because I don’t live in the past, although your past is so much a part of what you are—that you can’t ignore it. But I don’t look at scrapbooks. I could show you some, but I’d have to climb ladders, and I can’t climb.”
-Lauren Bacall, 2011, Vanity Fair

8. Beauty and the Beast, 1959
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I think this picture is so beautiful and so badass. It’s Lady Daphne Cameron (Mrs George Cameron) on a tiger skin rug in the trophy room of socialite Laddie Sanford’s home in Palm Beach, Florida. I couldn’t find a record of the month it was taken, so I’m not sure about how well it fits on a “winter” list, but I felt like I could let it slide. What’s life without a few mysteries?

Saying Goodbye to a Legend

“You have to create something from nothing.”

If you’re going to use everyone’s favorite buzzwords like “innovator” or “visionary,” you’d be hard-pressed to find a better man to describe. He sold neckties to his friends in high school, dropped out of business school, and served in the United States Army, all before he was 25. Now, 50 years after Neiman Marcus bought their first collection of ties, Ralph Lauren is still a powerhouse in American design.

Laruen lived a fascinating Steinbeck-esque novel with an unreal plot and surprising twists. His story has incredible Khalifa Tower highs and some plunging lows.It’s filled with Sisyphean struggles and you’ll feel the strength of dreams and love on each page. He’s survived a brain tumor while giving us his passion and inspiration. Not only is he a sparkplug, he’s the whole engine. His reliable multibillion dollar annual revenues prove just how well the machine runs. So, why is it so emotional for fashion girls around the world to give Mr. Lauren this well deserved relaxation period?

Saying goodbye is impossible. As last year’s article in The Telegraph noted, “Watch Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief tomorrow, next year, whenever – you would still want to be him at the end of it. And a woman will want to be Grace Kelly. That’s timeless.” As millennials, we grew up being able to craft him as our idle, just like Oscar de la Renta, so our connection is beyond emotional. It is complicated achievable aspiration. The main reason I always looked up to him was his ability to produce while still being a dreamer. A living remind of what a dream can do is taking a step back. But he’s not dying, and neither is his work, but stepping down as CEO to his brand is a way to tell the world there is a chapter that closes. No one wants a fairytale to end. But stories do end, because they have to

Style is forever. As is the house Lauren. Here’s looking at you, Stefan Larsson.

“The clothes that I design and everything I’ve done is about life and how people live and how they want to live and how they dream they’ll live. That’s what I do.” -Ralph Lauren