Monday, August 30, 2010

As Summer Draws To A Close...

The upcoming weekend is Labor Day, the signal for back-to-school and the end of summer. As a salute to my least favorite season (the sweating!), I think it's time to do a little "Don't Be a Slave to Fashion!" recap. There's a reason that every company sends out the dress code reminder at the beginning of June... there are a lot of pitfalls in summer clothing options.

Below are the top trends from this summer that I just can't get over, and after working at various street festivals all summer long, I couldn't get away from.

First up... shoes!

I'm not a huge fan of the Gladiator sandal, though (perhaps through sheer overexposure) I have acknowledged they have a place in the world. But this type of shoe, (this particular one is the BCBGeneration Kija)... I just don't get it. Is it a boot? Is it a sandal? Does it make your ankle sweat? I implore you, ladies, think of the tan lines!

While we're at it with the feet:

Legwarmers/Kneehighs with sandals/clogs/any footwear and shorts/skirts/etc. is wrong. I thought we finally all agreed to this. Have we not, for generations, been discussing the faux pas of our fathers and grandfathers wearing sandals with socks? Let's not confuse things here. When it comes to it, I suppose I'd rather you wear the boot/sandal monster above than this look.

From bottom to top:

One of the main reasons I hate summer is what it does to my hair. It's not really fun to go three months looking like a sweaty troll doll. While I suppose these hippie-redux headbands WOULD keep my hair from reaching maximum lift-off, I also hate the feeling of my damp hair plastered to the side of my face, and I can't see how this does anything but add to the problem.

The Boyfriend Tee:

I add this with a caveat; I like feminized menswear, and am actually a fan of the whole "boyfriend shirt" trend, when done right. However, I feel it should be noted that SHIRTS ARE NOT DRESSES.

Ladies, Vanessa Hudgens can not pull off this look, and we are not Vanessa Hudgens. Where are your pants? I have seen everything from the teenytiny jorts, which I am not a fan of, but will at least accept that you are somewhat aware of being in public, to the oblivious full moon that leads me to believe that it's not a few girls taking fashion to an unfortunate place, and that the shirt-as-solo is a full-on trend.

A note: if your shirt barely covers your cheeks while standing straight up, wear something underneath it. I think I speak for a grateful Chicago when I say we don't want to see your nethers when you bend over to pick up the food tickets you dropped while buying your big ass turkey leg.

Additional sidebar on this rant, $50 plus is too much to spend on a lumpy t-shirt. Please go get an XXXL from Hanes if you are so obliged.

From mini to maxi:

I add this as an homage to Sissy, who really hates this look. I don't, though I think, as with the Boyfriend Trend, strict rules apply. If you are using the maxi dress as a modern muumuu, seek help. If you fail the Pencil Test, WEAR A BRA.

Actually, two birds, one stone: this rule ties in nicely with the yearly nightmare of tube tops...unflattering on everyone. Always pulling them up, sagging issues, certain anatomy looking like flapjacks. Who likes that swampy feeling under there? What if you get sweat marks?! I speak from experience that the sisters should be contained, for your own sake. Halters are just not for us, mmkay?

I suppose that's the moral of this post altogether: just because it's out there, it doesn't mean you have to wear it. Don't be a slave to fashion! Some things shouldn't be worn by women over the age of 25 (Forever 21, I am looking at you.) Some things don't fit your body, no matter what size they come in. Some things really are meant for you to wear at home (yes you, rompers!) least if you're over the age of 5. A Birv rule of thumb: If you are constantly adjusting yourself- pulling something up, pulling something down, taking off and immediately putting back on- it's not flattering on you.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Do People Have Issues Opening Car Doors? (Besides Me?)

I have no idea the practical use of this, or why you would spend FORTY DOLLARS on it.
Random Story From Tuesday: In coming back from the Bros N Ho dinner (in which Birv goes to dinner with her two brothers), I paralell parked my car relatively near a young, short tree.
Since I had stopped by the grocery store on the way back, I had some items I needed to get from my passenger side. The tree's reach is longer than I thought, and I pretty much have to wrestle my way through low-hanging branches to get to the passenger door. Basically standing in the middle of this stupid tree, I open the car door, and move my head back. The tree, that I know is right there because I am standing in it, still somehow manages to startle me as I'm opening the door, and I jump and rapidly jerk my head forward... INTO THE CAR DOOR I'M OPENING.
With the amount of damage I do to myself on a daily basis, I thankfully no longer bruise easily, so there's no mark on my face, but I am slightly worried that my left side of my face still hurts.

Go Incognito, Itchy

Oh Etsy, you never cease to amaze me with your world of weirdness. This is probably one of the funniest knitted things I have ever seen. It looks oddly comforting, though I would probably break out in a hideous rash.
What do you say we all get one, and then start a posse? We could become Dr. Suess-like outlaws.
Buy your's here, in a variety of colors.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Look At You, Being All Crafty

I really love Christina Hendricks. We all know she is on Mad Men, one of my favorite shows of the moment. She was also in Joss Whedon's Firefly, which holds a special place in my heart, and makes her infinitely cooler. Much has been made of her goddess figure, and she is, whether she really wants to be or not, becoming the poster child for body acceptance, and the fashion industry allowing women to actually have hips and tits and not be forced to look like a 10 year old Asian boy. For this I thank her. Above all, she seems to accept this with grace, even though it has to become extremely irritating that anytime she is spoken about in an article it is about her body, and any adjectives used to describe her are not about her personality, but something akin to "The curvy star of Mad Men...blah blah blah". Her patience is far greater than mine.

Well now, she's just become about a billion times cooler. In a slightly manic daze of overconfidence in my own home-ec skills, I have recently decided that I am going to be a quilter. It turns out that is a really great place not only to find adorable and amazing finished crafts (and some other things), but some truly funky fabrics, and so I have been poring through Etsy for cute fabric like it's my job.

So today, I googled Etsy, and came across this little article in the Google News section about my new girlfriend from Christina Hendricks is modeling scarves for her friend Tamara Mello on Etsy. COMEONHOWCOOLISTHAT?! My little crafting heart just went pitter patter. I wonder if she knits. I don't, but if she did, I would learn, so that if I ever met her, I could be like "hey, I knit too- want to come over and watch old movies and knit scarves together?" We could lounge in jammy pants and drink wine and eat too much whole-wheat pasta and talk about what Jon Hamm is like, and whether he really smells like cedar and fresh laundry (like he does in my mind).

Her friend's shop is Blackbird Design House, and it features all sorts of tasteful felted crafts. I actually don't understand felting. I have asked BFF (my crafting encyclopedia) about it a billion times, and I still don't understand how it works. Do you felt things onto things that are already knitted, like scarves? Do you just start with unwoven wool and punch it with a needle a billion times until it magically becomes a sweater? How do you make designs with it? Why would anyone want these felted soaps?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Screw You, R-Pattz... I've Totally Moved On.

BFF's friend Dave has had this as his profile pic on The Downfall of Society for a few days, and I have been so dumbfounded by it that I am just getting around to posting about it now.

Hello Sailor!!!!
I love True Blood anyway... but this cover cemented it. Love you, Alexander Skarsgard. Wow. I also don't mind you talking about how you like to be naked. Puts thoughts in a gal's mind.
Just showing why this show totally trumps Twilight (and we all know how I feel about Twilight). Notice I mentioned the SHOW, but not the books. They aren't...good. But hey, when Alan Ball gets his mitts on something, it's bound to be good.

Look how awesomely snarky he is in his interview:
"The idea of celibate vampires is ridiculous. To me, vampires are sex. I don't get a vampire story about abstinence."

And on alienating a core vampire fan-base: "I'm 53. I don't care about high school students. I find them irritating and uninformed."

Well said, sir!!! I couldn't agree more. Now I'm going to go grab a bottle of wine, my snuggie and have some private time with my Season 2 dvd's.

Your Career Is Like Watching Paint Dry

I'd understand this from Martha Stewart. Actually, I think she HAS a paint line. I think Cindy Crawford's furniture line is weird, though I don't find it hideous. There have been some successful "You're selling what, now?" spokeperson deals in the world.

But this... this is new. According to the Daily Mail, Claire Danes is a spokesperson for Valspar Paint. Bwahuh?

I like Claire Danes. She bears more than a passing resemblance to my friend Caitlin (always has, ever since My So-Called Life), I liked her in Shopgirl. She's nominated for an Emmy for a mini-series I've never seen about a woman I've never heard of; she got to celebrate in Rome, for god's sake! She had that whole teen alt-idol thing going (oh, Baz. I appreciate your Romeo & Juliet so much more now than I did when I was a surly teen), and she's married to this handsome, talented British guy:

So, with a stellar life like this, shouldn't she be representing something... I don't know... better? Oh right right... she does hock Latisse, that eyelash thing. Because her eyelashes are apparently a shameful body flaw she must correct. Short lashes! Fuck you, you're out of the biz, uggo!


Not better.

Or maybe she could've consider avoiding going the corporate route in the first place? She has Hollywood street cred. She's not a Kardashian (love Shoedazzle!).

Look at her, she's really hustling the stuff too:

I especially love the designer clothes and 4 inch stilettos- "why yes, I DO paint my house dressed like this! Paint never gets on me. I'm Claire Fucking Danes!"
It's as though you can see her really thinking- how the hell do I glamorize a PAINT BRUSH? It's sort of sad, in a weird, money-grubbing way.
Someone should talk to her publicist.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I'm Not a Suicide Bomber, I Just Look Like One When I Exercise.

It looks suspicious, right? And plenty stupid. But check it- celebrities use them too! Matthew McConaughey wears one, and Valerie Bertinelli, my Jenny Craig friend uses one too.

In case I haven't said it enough on this blog, I hate to run with the fiery intensity of 10,000 suns. But once you've exercised for a while, it loses some effectiveness when your body gets used to it. This is not something, as a non-exerciser, that I have ever learned. So... what to do? Turns out the answer is to put the weight you've already lost back on, and exercise like it's 1999 pounds. It makes sense- the more weight you carry around, the harder your body works to maintain it.

So I found this military nightmare online... the whole time singing a happy "I'M BRILLIANT!" song to myself as I ordered a 20 pounder. They had a 10 pound version, but I'm not a sissy.

At least, I didn't think I was...until it came in the mail. Turns out that 20 pounds is kinda heavy... especially when you have to carry it up 3 flights of stairs. It's also really heavy when you're dancing to David Bowie around your house, as I learned that night (Single Girls Living Alone... unite!). This was not a surprise to Sissy, who responded to my shocked text: "Duh... it's a WEIGHTED VEST."

Well... this didn't deter me. The first day I wore it out to walk was this Saturday, which was about as hot as sitting on the sun. Let me tell you, people, 98 degree days and a weighted vest DO NOT MIX.

Remember how I threw up all over the Hott Yoga studio's bathroom (and then ran away like a sorority girl at her first mixer)? IT HAPPENED AGAIN!! This time I was on the street. Luckily I was under the underpass... a seemingly common occurence there, so mine will just blend in. I was always shocked at the people on The Biggest Loser that can they work them that hard? That's torture! Turns out it's pretty easy to puke while you're exercising when it's hot.

I have a whole new respect for the military and police officers... my major line of defense would just be to run after someone long enough to feel nauseous, and hope I was close enough to puke ON them.

I own the thing now (and cleaned it), so I'll be trying it again... I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's Coming Up On That Time Again...

Some people volunteer, some people craft, I watch TV. I also (unsurprisingly) live alone, which means I have sole control over my remote. So, like last year, as the fall season approaches, I have made my absurdly detailed chart of new and returning shows. Since I'm an ego-maniac, I figured that OF COURSE you would all like to see it too. Since I refuse to get cable, these are all network shows. (Next year's Alan Ball/HBO collaboration The Miraculous Year could reverse my views on paying through the nose for cable in a heartbeat. My boyfriend Lee Pace is in it, so, YES.)

Of course, the midseason replacements will screw this whole schedule up. Until then, here are my 100 words or less, totally subjective reasons for watching.

The new shows are highlighted in green (except for Chuck. Apparently I'm REALLY excited about it!):

Lone Star: Fox is promoting the hell out of this one... cute guy is a con artist with, according to the previews, a fake hot girlfriend and a fake hot rich wife. Drama ensues. Dad looks like he's going to blow the whistle. I look like I'll be watching.

The Event: Since Flashforward and Lost are both off the air, I need something to spark my conspiracy loving heart. Government cover-ups that the president doesn't know about? Count me in... add Jason Ritter and Blair Underwood to the cast and I'll definitely give it a chance.

Hawaii 5-0: Oh, I'm excited. Daniel Dae Kim from Lost (somewhat related- this guy has to be like, the mayor of Hawaii. Every show he shoots is down there!), Alex O'Loughlin, potentially shirtless (I did like Moonlight), Grace Park from Battlestar Galactica... this is a cop procedural I can get behind!

Mike & Molly: Monday's kind of suck for choices, don't they? I have a dual-tuner Tivo, so I can tape 2 things at once, and still, it's like Sophie's Choice. Mike & Molly looks horrible, but I like to know why I hate things, so I may tune in to check it out. In case you haven't heard anything about it, it's about 2 people that meet in a weight-loss support group. So rest assured, crass fat jokes are sure to abound. hooray. I doubt that a primetime network sitcom will have the approach that a show like Drop Dead Diva will have, so I am sure that it will just be an ugly show. However, I really like Melissa McCarthy, so I'm hoping that there's some hidden depth to this show.

Running Wilde: Mitchell Hurwitz, the developer of Arrested Development, together (again!) with Will Arnett. I actually sort of found Sit Down, Shut Up funny (I think I may have been the only one), so I'm definitely willing to give this a try. I mean, come on. I don't care if Will Arnett plays Gob Bluth in every single thing he does for the rest of his life, I'll tune in. Plus, I discovered that I really liked Keri Russell in Waitress, even though I thought Felicity was melodramatic and dumb.

So it's Mr & Mrs Smith for tv. It has JJ Abrams attached! He did the Star Trek reboot! AND LOST! Abrams has great success with action and tv (Alias), so I think this isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Hellcats: Ummm.. CW teenybopper show about cheerleading. Need I say more? BFF will be pleased to note that Sharpay from High School Musical will be in it.

Shit My Dad Says: Yeah, I'll say the REAL title. William Shatner, who for some reason really reminds me of my dad, is in it. I love William Shatner (Rocket Man, anyone?). I find the Twitter funny. Sitcom? Probably will be stupid, but I'll give it a try, even though Thursdays at 7:00 are another infuriating traffic jam of awesome. Sorry Community and Vampire Diaries, I'll have to catch you online. again.

Body Of Proof:
Well, Friday was kind of light. So why not try out a crime procedural? Dana Delany is in it, and I really liked her guest star turn on Castle- she was smart, witty, and worked well as an FBI agent. This time around she'll be a neurosurgeon turned medical examiner, but you know, dead bodies are dead bodies.

Blue Bloods: Another cop series. Apparently Americans LOOOOOVE their cop serials. Along with all the others that are returning, there are at least 7 more that are premiering this fall. But wait... this one has Donnie Wahlberg and Tom Selleck, my friends. Yeah, I thought you'd say that. Worth a look, right?

Outlaw: Supreme Court, Jimmy Smits, Jay Mohr (yay!)...I'm interested enough to tape it on a night where almost literally nothing else is on.

Top Picks:

Hawaii 5-0: I think Alex O'Laughlin may have found a show that will stick around for a while- nostalgia runs high for this show and people love cop shows. This may be a winner.

Undercovers: JJ Abrams is revered in the tv community, it seems, and for good reason. His shows are original, smart and flashy. Add two incredibly good looking stars, and this will probably have a good run.

Hellcats: CW never seems to give up on a show, and why would you? It looks stupid and fun.

Want to make your own overly-detailed and somewhat pathetic tv schedule yourself? Check out for listings.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Oh, They're Real.

Since I haven't changed a diaper since the 7th grade (8 years of nieces and my record holds strong) I found it necessary to look up brand names for diapers when conducting the very important business of insulting someone's youth (27 years old= babies!). Google blessed me with a hit on these Jean Diapers from Huggies.

On one hand, I get that we all used to have non-disposable diapers. Why not be creative with the fabric? On the other... baby jorts? Rednecky? Possibly. Non-absorbent? Definitely.

Truthfully, I can't tell from the description whether or not they're actually fabric, though they keep calling them denim:

Jeans have always been a Mommy fashion must-have, but now it's time for their little ones to steal the style. HUGGIES® gets fashion forward with new denim diaper design to help your baby stay trendy while keeping dry.

Very fashionable - for a limited time!
Denim has always been a summer style staple, and the HUGGIES® Jeans Diapers are no exception: this is a short-term offering to help little ones steal Mom's summer style. However, HUGGIES® Little Movers are on shelves before, during and after the Jeans products are available.

  • A unique, fun and stylish way to make your little one the coolest and cutest around.
  • Same proven leakage protection Moms have come to know and trust from HUGGIES® Little Movers Diapers.
  • Shaped to move, featuring the same revolutionary design and technology as HUGGIES® Little Movers Diapers, allowing little ones to move, crawl and scoot.
Can you tell if they're actually denim? Do you question the diaper rash situation in non-breathable denim, coated with baby crap?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


You didn't think I'd let this pass us by, did you? This is the poster for Joaquin Phoenix's new "documentary" about his "lost year". I'm using "a lot of quotes" to show how little I believe that this was done for anything but an "experiment" in the lives of two bored actors. You know how those creative types get. Your fakery surprises no one!
According to Just Jared, the movie is coming out September 10... though with Casey Affleck's totally random sexual harrassment charges, could this be delayed? Only time will tell.

Birv Out, Bitches!! SEXUAL CHOCOLATE!!

Oh... we've all wanted to do it. I think that's why this JetBlue Flight Attendant is getting so much press. What's better than someone giving a profanity-laden speech, taking two beers and ripping open the emergency slide, running ACROSS THE TARMAC to your car, and then driving home and jumping in bed with your boyfriend?

You, sir, are a hero. I've worked in retail, and I can remember every face of every stuck-up stay at home mom that cursed me out because I couldn't ship her drawer pulls to her for free... per company policy. Bitter? Me? Nope.
We've all fantasized about quitting in some sort of over-the-top fashion... cursing out your boss, yelling back at the incredibly self-centered customers, going on a forklift rampage at Menards (courtesy of my Assistant Director- creative, isn't he?)... what's your blaze-of-glory quitting fantasy?

Before we go- let's all take a minute to enjoy the true artistry of the man through this reenactment from NextMedia Animation, shall we? It may be in Chinese, but I think we can all get the basic story. My favorite part (there are so many to choose from!) has to be the lady cursing him out AFTER he got hit on the head by her luggage. Just cracks me up!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It's Gotta Be Like Sitting On Tennis Balls

Because my ass just isn't big enough... I think that it is time to add some fake cushion for the pushin'. Introducing the BOOTYPOP, ladies. And gents, if you feel you need to fill out the back end of your jeans a little better.

No booty-ness has never been a problem for me. I have ass to spare, no matter how many lunges I do/3rd story apartments with no elevators I move into. But (hehe) are the POPS sitting on the top of your cheeks? Is that where you need more butt? On me I'm pretty sure it would just look like I was smuggling cereal bowls.

Gotta say, if you have no booty, I can see the market for these. Here's Birv's Better Idea... make the POPS a place to store things- keys... ID... spare pair of panties for when you get to the home of the gentleman you're trying to woo with your POPPING ass. Speaking of butt-minded men... who snickered at the creepy leering man at the coffee shop in the ad? I did! At least, in my mind, it was a pervert in public, and not a husband disinterested in his flat-assed wife. Disinterested until she added 5 lbs on her rump and nowhere else, that is!! HOTT.

What do these feel like if the creeper grabs them, anyway? I mean, if you're slow dancing (people still do that, right?), and that certain someone wants to pull you in a little closer... what happens?

I love that it's endorsed by Martha Stewart. Never knew she cared about the roundedness of my rump.

CatFish, you and your adorable web-browsing sidekick have made me love again. Hooray blog!! Blogging, hooray!