Long time, no see! I'm blogging again, feel free to visit me HERE - if'n ye care to!
Many thanks and be well,
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Dear friends, family, and folks near and far,
I think the time has come to say goodbye to "Venus". While I have loved this blog and the experience as a whole, I simply don't have the time to dedicate toward it in a way that's meaningful or worthwhile anymore; it's time to lace up my boots and leave the party.
Thank you for being a part of this journey; I hope at least at some point along the way you were amused, entertained, infuriated, validated, or motivated to do something in your life that you may not have thought to do otherwise.
Be strong, be fabulous and, above all else - be you.
With great affection,
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
...it must be a duck; unless you think like a (tea-bagging) Republican.
Our political climate is rife with unchained fervor right now and it's kind of freaking me out. The more the Democrats progress, the louder and crazier the Republicans get. I've tried to stay out of it - really, I have - but - well, I just can't. At least not this morning.
Thanks to guys like Hitler and George W. Bush (with their underdeveloped intelligence and over-developed senses of self) who've modeled a pattern of behaviors that show folks that they can say and do whatever they want whenever they want and to whomever they want - no matter how horrifying, ridiculous or detrimental - seemingly "normal" people have begun to create an entirely separate and distorted realm of "reality" wherein hatred, intolerance, anger and violence are the modus operandi.
If their messages weren't so glaringly dangerous, I would find the irony of the far right's desire to kill and destroy everyone in their path sort of amusing. Everything that they say they stand for is, in fact, the exact opposite of what they do, who they are and how they operate. It doesn't take a super-genius to figure that out, so I guess the amusing part is how gullible (read: stupid) the average right-winger is. Sorry, folks - but ya are stupid, ya are.
I guarantee you that if Glenn Beck or that flaming asshat, Rush Limbaugh, said the sky was green because of some demon witchcraft brewed up by Obama, they'd all fall in line under a clear-blue sky demanding Obama's head on a platter. Stupid lemmings.
I use the word "stupid" intentionally because ignorant is no longer a viable option. It's not like facts and information aren't available. Even if you're dirt poor and live in a cave, you can always go to the library and use a computer. I have a feeling, though, that the stupidest of the stupid are actually a well-dressed, well-coiffed, pinky ring-wearing bunch who happen to have access to microphones or television cameras and who try to scare the shit out of anyone who will listen to them. If there's an alternative to brazen stupidity - sheer, unharnessed, irrational, unflinching stupidity - I'm all ears.
I want to point out that not all conservatives (Republicans, right-wingers, etc...) should be lumped in with the lunatics. It's too bad, though, that they haven't held their own to a higher standard of accountability. In that regard, their actions (or lack thereof) are even more unconscionable than the crazy-makers'.
This continued behavior is embarrassing - it's like having six crazy, drunk, half-naked, gun-toting aunts running around the family reunion. Oh sure, it's funny to watch (and by funny, I mean horrifying), but these people have disgraced themselves, their party and this country immeasurably.
Monday, March 22, 2010
For the VICB archives, I'm posting a link to the amazing and poignant speech given by my amazing and poignant president on the eve of one of (if not the) most important Congressional votes in our nation's history.
President Obama's, "I Am Bound to be True" speech, March 20, 2010.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
The last year or so has been eye-opening. I'm sure you're familiar with the expression, "When it rains, it pours." I found myself uttering these words quite a bit when it came to the foundering health of too many around me; especially that of those who'd gotten on in years. I know, I know - it's expected of the elderly - I mean, we can't live forever, right?
So, bearing witness to one health crisis after another really struck a nerve for me. And damn if I didn't finally realize that we are mortal beings, we do get sick (sometimes very sick) and we eventually die. Game over.
I'm not one to turn back and relish the past. I'm grateful for the good memories and times I've had and glad that I could learn a thing or two from the not-so-good. But lately, I've sort of been craving that old feeling of being invincible. I see kids in their 20s and I can pretty much guess that their biggest concerns revolve around how good they look and who they're going to go out with on Saturday night. I'm not saying they don't have other thoughts or that their lives aren't complicated; they're just enveloped in this wonderful bubble of resilience that guides their thoughts away from the notion that we're all headed in the same direction.
I miss that. I miss the "not knowing" how things are going to play out. My internal editor would like to point out that, at 42, there's still a lot in life (and by life, I mean death) of which I'm still blissfully unaware. I'm sure my perspective will continue to broaden as I age - if all goes well, that is - but plan to fight it every step of the way. I wish I could say I'm prepared to age graciously, but no.
Our society has no love for the elderly. There's nothing you can do to stop them from aging, so why bother, right? Let's just pretend that they don't exist so that we don't have to have the terrifying reality of our own inevitable fate rammed down our throats.
Funny how easy it is to put that, the only certainty in our otherwise convoluted lives, so far outside the realms of our comprehension that we can't possibly even grasp it. I love that about us. I miss that feeling. I want to not to think about death anymore, but it's been so prevalent lately that I sometimes wonder if I've passed the point of no return; the layover in Denial Land is no longer an option.
I'm still processing my grandmother's passing, of course. I'm only now getting to the point where I can wake up in the middle of the night and not see her dying right before my eyes. Taking those last few breaths. Disappearing to wherever it is people go when they are no longer a part of our world. It was enough of a shock to my senses that I fear I will never be the same again. Watching her die was a blessing and a curse and I'm still trying to figure out a way to reconcile the two.
So, really, when I sat down to write this post, I was going to talk about something entirely different. Funny how that happens. In fact, now that I reflect on it, it's possible that I haven't been blogging because I still haven't purged all of the "stuff" that's still clouding my brain following my grandmother's death.
How do people go on? I know - they just do. But do they really? My grandmother had the remarkable ability to function wholly after burying a loved one. That's not to say she wasn't impacted or sad, but she was able to move ahead. She never, and I mean never, lived in the past. She really lived each day as it came. Though she did worry. Crazy amounts of worry. "I'm worried about..." "Do I need to worry about...?" "I couldn't sleep last night because I was worried about..." She was worried even as death was gathering her up. Worry was my grandmother's Kryptonite.
I'm not really sure how to tie this one up. I'm still a bit lost in thought - ruminating on the profundities of death. I didn't intend to be maudlin - so I'll continue this bit of internal dialogue offline and perhaps come back to it here later on...
Saturday, March 6, 2010
For the past month or so, I've been shifting. Life...you know? Not in a bad way - just in a way that temporarily guides me away from the things "I usually do." (Like VICB...)
Anyhoo...I'm here, just not ready to turn myself inside out yet.
Do you ever get really tired of everything? I kind of hit that wall about a month ago so I've been focusing my energy on new things to shake off the funk. Not funk in a bad way - life is definitely good - just the funk and film of life that builds up over time.
I've been doing a lot more with my photography - and loving it. Loving it in a way I can't adequately express right now. I used to love to write - still love to write - but writing never came close to nourishing me the way photography does.
Once again, I'm trying to focus on strength, health and general well-being. Having been there at different points in my life, I know there's really no better feeling. This piece is much more personal and difficult; trying to unhear the negative tapes that seem to automatically play over and over inside my head is exhausting - but I'll get there.
There are other things - but the list is short and manageable. I'll get to those later.
It's almost spring - always a good time to shed some funk and start anew. At least I think so, anyway...
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I'm positively stunned by this news. Rest in peace, Lee, you were a genius.
Read the story HERE.
Monday, February 1, 2010
So I'm checking out who was wearing what at the Grammy's (didn't watch) and came across this pic and I said to myself, "Self, this looks familiar; didn't Givenchy show THIS little number in Paris just last week?"
Well, sometimes what looks simply interesting (perplexing?) on the runway can look pretty much tragic in real life. Even if you are a "somebody".
Sorry Ciara, this is a big ol' glamour don't...
Thursday, January 28, 2010
"TheFunTheoryDotCom is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better."
So simple - so amazing!
The World's Deepest Bin...
Bottle Bank Arcade Machine...
Thanks to my dear friend, Alice, for bringing The Fun Theory to my attention; this is just cool! (Now, if they could only design something to get me to give up sugar...)
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Official Press Release
ANNIE LEIBOVITZ WITH MIKHAIL BARYSHNIKOV:
A UNIQUE SELF-PORTRAIT FOR LOUIS VUITTON
As Louis Vuitton’s Core Values advertising campaign enters 2010, Annie Leibovitz, the photographer whose remarkable portraits have greatly contributed to its success, turns her lens upon herself in the company of her long-time friend, the legendary dancer and choreographer Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Never before has an Annie Leibovitz self-portrait appeared in the context of an advertising campaign, and the story behind it is almost as fascinating as the image itself. Over the course of their three-year collaboration on the Core Values campaign, Louis Vuitton and Annie Leibovitz have forged a relationship of mutual trust and respect. Given the photographer’s recent personal and financial troubles, Louis Vuitton wished to offer support in the most positive way possible, and suggested that she become the next exceptional personality to feature in the Core Values campaign. Annie Leibovitz was touched and flattered, and accepted on the condition that the self-portrait should show her alongside one of the stars she has spent her life photographing – her close friend Mikhail Baryshnikov.
One of the foremost dancers of the 20th century, Mikhail Baryshnikov defected from the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War and went on, in the course of an exceptionally long career, to grace the world’s greatest stages, before breaking new ground as an artistic director and choreographer. For Louis Vuitton, he is photographed in Annie Leibovitz’s New York studio, standing on a box in his dancer’s uniform of black T-shirt and trousers, with a subtle spotlight falling on his uniquely gifted feet. Annie Leibovitz sits on the floor nearby. Next to her is her camera, from which she is rarely parted, and a Louis Vuitton Neverfull holdall in Monogram canvas packed with books on dance. The tagline reads: “The journey of a star captured in a flash”.
Antoine Arnault, Head of Communications at Louis Vuitton, comments: “We have the greatest respect and admiration for Annie Leibovitz, both as a person and as a professional. We were delighted to be able to offer her our support in troubled times, and she has responded like the consummate artist she is, with a truly exceptional image which – with its association of photography and dance – once again broadens the scope of our Core Values campaign.”
The new Core Values visual will appear in the February 2010 issues of international titles. A film evoking the encounter between Annie Leibovitz and Mikhail Baryshnikov will go on line from 11th February at louisvuittonjourneys.com, preceded by an exclusive press preview from 1st February (louisvuittonjourneyspress.com). The film can also be accessed via the Louis Vuitton corporate website louisvuitton.com.
My favorite photographer and the first love of my life (I think I stared at this photograph for a full 10 minutes without moving). Good on you, LV.
Dior has ruined me for anyone else. Sigh.
Here are a few of the Givenchy designs from Ricardo Tisci. While I'm not super-crazy about the pieces, I do believe that these are some of the more complicated I've seen this week - they're absolutely sewn to perfection and fit/fall beautifully. But I still. Don't. Get it.
Gotta love a girl who brings her own lampshade to the party...
I'm not angry at this one - but *some* shoulders, please?
Ah - j'adore!
Photos: Monica Feudi / Gorunway.com
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Yet another disappointment from le maison de Chanel.
What's that color again? Oh, yes - a painful shade of hideous.
Looks like someone is a Gaga fan...
I actually kind of like these - tres Chanel...
The lace is truly extraordinary - too bad it was wasted on a nightgown.
Bummer. I keep hoping that Chanel will be fabulous again, but this long stretch of bizarreness is showing no sign of ending. I think what bothers me the most is Karl's self-indulgent infusion of himself into these designs. Methinks Coco would not approve.
So far, space-age cuts, shorts, pantsuits, metallics and flesh-colored pastels appear to be the salient ingredients coming from the couturiers for spring.
Not diggin' it.
Armani demonstrated yesterday why women "of a certain age" choose to wear his designs on the Red Carpet. Of the 45 designs for his SS show, these were the only ones that had a pulse...
I didn't say it was a strong pulse...
Space-agey pantsuits were the theme o' the day...
Overall, the whole collection was flat, tired and lifeless - one big meh sandwich.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Love. Love. L.O.V.E.
Everything Galliano did for SS 2010 is brilliant crop-wielding, corset-wearing magic.
Haute Couture Week kicked off in Paris yesterday with men's collections from some of my favorite designers.
Lanvin (Flashdance meets The Road)...
Hermes (two thumbs way up)...
Dunhill (No. No. God, no.)...
Photos: Monica Feudi; Andrew Thomas
I'm just warming up with menswear - Chanel, Dior and Givenchy are showing today; I'm giddy with antici. Pation.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Disclaimer: Don't watch the bloopers during the last couple of minutes of the vid if you have a problem with the F-bomb (NSFW).
The original (to truly appreciate what these kids did)...
I kind of like the image of Madge as a more voluptuous mamacita preparing a meal for her famiglia grande on some undulating Italian countryside: It's infinitely more sexy than the pint-sized man-eating terminator that she's evolved into (aye - and her bubbies look amace-ing!).
Bravo, D&G, these designs are magically delizioso!
Sunday, January 10, 2010
So, a lot of crazy stuff went down during the last 10 years. No, I'm not talking about the pandemonium surrounding Y2K, the terrorist attacks on US soil, the Bush years, or even Sarah Palin. Freaking Sarah Palin.
I'm talking about certain trends that never quite took off, ones that have outstayed their welcome and a couple that were never, ever welcome in the first place.
Under the WTF category...
"This pack of 5 saving graces effectively filters the odor caused by flatulence; Simply stick it in the right place and you're ready for a chili cook-off. Each 3.25" square filter is made of soft fabric with an antimicrobial treatment, on the side touching the skin. The fabric is impregnated with activated carbon, which faces the underwear or the pants and has a vast surface area for bad odors to adhere to and get neutralized. Two adhesive strips are strategically placed so you know which side is which. And at around 1/32" thick, you will never know it's there."
Saving graces? Impregnated?
The Hood Thong...
It's a hood. It's a thong. Tawk amongst yourselves.
The Kush Pillow
"Kush is uniquely designed to fit between the breasts to maintain a more natural shape while resting on your side. No straps, no underwires, no constraints, no adhesives and no garments needed - the slip-resistant surface and contoured shape help keep Kush in place as a woman rolls from one side to the other during sleep."
These are just a bucketful of awesome, aren't they?
"Winkers is a privately owned business that specializes in decorating pants, usually jeans. We decorate pants in such a manner that they WINK as you walk. Your WINK is the crease between your buttock and the top of your leg."
Trends that should have died long, long ago...
Tops that make you look pregnant even though you aren't...
The name pretty much says it all...
"Team" clothing. Really, people?
Ruching - when you want to look like the leg of an elephant...
The fanny pack. What is there to say about the fanny pack? Oh yes. Burn it.
Women wearing big, flapping, labia-like appendages on their chests is always a good idea...
Guys - you've looked ridiculous for, like, 15 years. Pull your damn pants up, ya fool...
For the love of of Gucci, slap these horrific things back before they gain any more momentum...
Bumpits - because why? Oh, yeah, so you can look like Snooki from The Jersey Shore...
The hair style. The woman. Please, please make it go away. It scares me.
Friday, January 1, 2010
"Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country." - Anais Nin
I'm not alone, I've found. It turns out that there are many women who feel as I do about Paris. We have similar reactions to what it feels and smells like; the way it quickens the pulse - heightens emotions. All emotions to their vast depths and breadths.
So very much more.