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The life-changing poem about life that you have never read

23 Sep

When I was young and still had a lifetime of, “when I was young,” stories ahead of me, I noticed an old, brown book with a deteriorated binding, decrepit pages and to my endless delight, chapter upon chapter of poetry.

Obscure, reputed and the line that lies therein between, it was a treasure worth one thousand times its weight in wonder.  I opened to a random page and found a poem that after my first read, became the poem that I liked more than any short text in the world.  Within a short minute of intent, fascinated repetition, I had it memorised.

I still do and I most likely always will.  I carried it with me always from that day (it fell out of the book when I opened to it) until the binder in which I had carefully secured it, was stolen years later, along with my precious page.

When my life is going well, when it is going poorly and when I just need to be reminded that life is there to live, I think back to this:

When all the world is young, lad,
  And all the trees are green;
And every goose a swan, lad,
  And every lass a queen;
Then hey for boot and horse, lad,
  And round the world away!
Young blood must have its course, lad,
  And every dog his day.

When all the world is old, lad,
  And all the trees are brown;
And all the sport is stale, lad,
  And all the wheels run down;
Creep home, and take your place there,
  The spent and maimed among;
God grant you find one face there,
  You loved when all was young.
-Charles Kingsley (1819-1875)
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How to Recreate and Restyle Your Wardrobe to Cultivate or Enhance Your Image

21 Aug

It has often been said that the way to a man’s heart is mainly by way of his stomach.  The way to a man’s image, however, is heavily linked to his appearance.  This article will be in the format of big steps and small descriptions in order to avoid dullness or redundancy.

Cultivating one’s image is like pruning a rosebush, it takes effort, vision and reality.  By trimming too much, the appearance becomes empty, bland and without personality, whereas making no effort to nurture is apparent when the image is unpolished, confused and without the deliberate, dignified appearance that exudes certainty and acute perception.  It is important to understand that no matter how many roses one may remove or how loudly they may call it a plum tree, the nature of it cannot be changed; merely embraced and ameliorated.

The first step is therefore to ask oneself what image is realistic for them.

Many men grew up watching James Bond movies and perhaps even reading Fleming’s original Bond novels.  Bond, especially in Connery’s portrayal, proved an archetypal pattern for polished masculinity.  While role models and mentors are a terrific thing to have, it is important to acknowledge that what one wears, does, says and has  expresses his personality, it does not form his personality.  Remember that Fleming had no one but himself after which to model 007, Clint Eastwood used his own image and talents to form his characters, Clark Gable never saw Clark Gable in Gone With The Wind until after its release.  It is important to find one’s own individuality and work to develop and form it as it should be formed.

Having covered the background for Step One, we will now begin our list:

Step One: Define the genre of “You”

Ask yourself if you are comfortable wearing dressier clothing than jeans.

If you are then ask yourself what your options are.  Colours, shades and styles vary greatly, but are limited to the garments available in your locale and in your size.

Why is ‘size’ in bold?  Because if it doesn’t fit, you should not even touch it, that is part of picking what works for you.  ‘Skinny Pants’ are ill-advised to everyone, but all the more if you are pear-shaped.

If you want to look like an upside-down beaker, right-side up funnel or ‘Tweedle-Dee’ from Alice in Wonderland and are bottom heavy, skinny jeans can help you achieve this look.

Step Two: Don’t Rule Anything Out

Not just in relation to clothing, retailers too.  Vintage shops carry up to 100 years of different styles, some of their clothing is barely touched and not all of it is obsolete.  Designers grossly over-state how progressive fashion is because they are trying to sell you their version of someone else’s ancient design [Simply stated: Designers do to fashion, what Dane Cook does to comedy], it is only a matter of time before togas are back in style.

Step Three: Action is eloquence

Three rules about ‘pulling it off’:

If you have to ask, then you cannot.  If you say you can’t, then you never will.  If you know you can, then do not say it, do it.

Vintage or antique is not the only option, department stores sometimes carry something perfect for you, you never know until you try.

Step Four: Do not live beyond your means, but do not count the pennies

It is important to note that just because you feel that a $3,000 Armani suit with $1,000 Ferragamo shoes and an extra $1,000 dollars of accessories would define you perfectly, that does not mean it is a buyer’s market.

People do not drive Fiat or Opel cars because they were their first choice, they drive them because a Bentley costs more than a small house or a giant cottage.

As with all things balance is necessary.  See a suit that is a little more than you had planned to spend?  Do you like it more than the one you initially had in mind, how does it look on you and is it really worth it?

Focus more on value than price; if the material is good, it is not made in a sweatshop, it is not costly enough to make your eyes bulge out of your head and you really like it, then by all means, enjoy your new garment.

If it is polyester, made in china, on the lower end of the price spectrum but your face is puckered in uncertainty when you consider the way it looks– Do you really need to hear more?

If you are mature and responsible and you have money saved up, it may be time to take that step.  Stop buying yourself $200+ trainers, stop wearing trainers altogether unless you are exercising and make some responsible purchases on your own behalf.  Being financially responsible does not mean saving every penny, it means investing rather than buying.  This is clearly one of the smaller investments you will experience in a lifetime, but it may just be the first step you will take toward bigger and better investments.

Feature: Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island 2012

21 Aug

Thousands grabbed their waistcoats, donned their seersucker suits and held onto their hats as the annual Jazz Age Lawn Party hit Governors Island yesterday.

Tickets were available at the front or by prior acquisition online.  VIP tickets included a small three course meal and unlimited alcoholic, but only alcoholic, beverages.  Segregated, but equally long lines were also available for those who laid out the extra few dollars.

Many songs circa 1920 were performed by Michael Aranella and his Dreamland Orchestra, including The Sheik of Araby and Cole Porter’s classic, Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall In Love.

Vintage shops, hat shops and various other vendors came out to peddle their wares, creating an overall prodigious marketplace for the antique or retro-style connoisseur.

Though some guests appeared minutely cautious to perfect their roaring twenties retro threads, some toned it down a touch.  Some guests who stood out in appearance included a rather ponderous tranny-flapper and a group who brought along vintage dishes and cutlery, wooden chairs and a fold-out wooden picnic table.

In attendance were not only local residents, but visitors from Germany, London, Atlanta and various other locations.

Among the guests were Elle, , and Sara residents of London, Philadelphia and Atlanta respectively, who are currently in college in Ohio and felt that the event absolutely lived up to their expectations.  “We got a late start today, but we finally got here and it was definitely worth it.” Sara confided after the three tipped a young boy dressed as a “newsie,” who agreed to pose with them in a photo.

Though the event was confined to a rather small section of Governor’s Island, those who were not in attendance could not help staring if not laughing at the archaic characters in attendance.

Their laughter, however was cut short when they saw the tired,  poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of the teeming shore, these, the homeless, tempest-tost, the several thousand lined up to the ferry door.

How to Attract a Man: Perspective for the female reader and lessons for the male reader

29 Jul

It is a breach of journalistic etiquette and form to informally address the reader using sheer opinion and refutable evidence, thus any good writer is ambivalent to say the least when it comes to writing a column.  Having said that, I hope that you, the reader, will forgive me, the author; for this “Note From the Editor,” as it were.

 

People are by nature, fickle, insecure, hypocritical, superficial and narcissistic.  We are capable of achieving and creating greatness and yet too inhibited and scared to ever know our own true potential and/or greatness.

If this reads as I intend to write it, it will help, at least to a degree, the reader, to either find someone to love or at least find someone who loves her.

A few semesters into college, I walked into my seconds class, “Logic: Argumentation.”  Being an oppositional, antoganistic human being, I expected to achieve greatness in this course.  I was, as always among the first to arrive to class.  I surveyed the room, approximately 40 desk/chair apparatuses were laid out in the form of a square with the professor’s desk and the whiteboard about 7 feet from the front, center desk.

Naturally, one instinctively notices the desk that is front and center, when I glanced at it, there was a young woman seating herself at the very one.  I went through all the subconscious calculations that one experiences when sizing up another person upon seeing them for the first time.  She was well dressed, young looking– perhaps 19.  Her eyes were almond shaped, borderline Asianic; “Russian?”  I wondered to myself.

Her eyes were a very unique brown in colour, not the usual, generic type, but a light chocolate brown with a warm, golden, honey glow that radiated from them.

She was well dressed, pale, makeup, hair and eyeliner pristine.   Beneath the long purple peacoat that protected her from the harsh winter weather, she was wearing a black skirt and a white blouse, un-creased and with a perfect, pressed look.  Her clothes fit her healthy, 5′ frame in a perfect manner, they were not tight and tasteless, they were not loose and carelessly flung onto her person.

I seated myself at a tangential angle one row behind, so that if ever we were learning something that I already knew, I could see her perfectly, but unobserved.

As the semester went on, we noticed each other.  That is all that could be said of our interactions.  Later in the semester she mentioned that she saw me walking back from the grocery store; I wondered if she lived with her parents or if she, like myself and like very few other students, had her own apartment.

Every morning we sat in the same classroom, virtually alone.  Every morning, I read my newspaper and when turning the page, stole a glance at her.

About mid-semester she changed her hair to blond.  It was an interesting change, but not a natural one and in my opinion, detracted from her appeal.

Toward the end of the semester she walked into the classroom looking disheveled and carrying a tennis racket, her shoes were a bright pink and somehow, on her they were the most adorable thing I had ever seen on anyone; so much so, that after class I asked her shyly, nervously and maybe even awkwardly, if she would go for coffee with me, hoping at best for her company for a few minutes.

Without further narrative, let me explain that she was, and is the most amazing girl I had ever bought coffee for and that the investment was worth the price as were all the future ones to follow.

Did I love her at first sight?  No.

Did I love her after the 200th?  I lost count, but probably.

Was I scared to ask her out?  Certainly.

What was the first thing we discussed over coffee, philosophy?  Science?  Literature?  No.  She said, “my head hurts, I think I might have this thing my neighbour had that made her paralysed.”  I did not know how to react to that, but you must admit, it is a hell of an opening line and makes up for her lack of proficiency in all the former topics.

 

Look ladies, it sounds like a cliche, but my point is that the important thing is to be yourself.  A very polished version of yourself if you want to make a good impression, but for what it’s worth, that does not mean putting  on an act, that does not mean modeling yourself after celebrities.  You really have nothing to do, no responsibility, no effort to put in, if you want someone to like or be attracted to you.

Gentlemen, you never know until you ask.  It is that simple.  I would suggest a little more gusto than I had at the time, remember that as nice as they look and as great as they may be, as worth it as they are, so are you.  Confidence, confidence, confidence.  Once you have them, work to keep them, work on yourself, work to respect them and do not dwell on your losses.  Move on and remember that if she is happy, the likeliness is that you will be too.

 

Maybe you are not looking for love, I know I was not, my life was thriving in that area and I happened to pick the one person who made me happy just to deal with relationship stress and turbulence.  The person who was able to give me the perspective to say, “maybe once I am happy with someone it is worth putting in the effort to improve myself, rather than moving on to the next person.  Maybe excitement is possible daily with one person, rather than seeking cheap excitement by cycling from one to the next.”

 

It may seem like I took the easy way out by not just listing steps on how you can improve yourself, but I assure you and I hope you trust me on this, no self-improvement article could ever give you advice better than what I have told you.  I will outline the three basic ideas: Be yourself, be confident and if need be, buy some pink shoes.

 

 “Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone”

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

 

 

Lyrics Unavailable Anywhere Else on the Web- Lenny Bruce: All Alone

20 Jun

Lenny Bruce was a complex individual.  He was stubborn, idealistic, ambitious and intelligent.

He was not so much a comedian as a philosopher.  Bruce’s “cynical,” irony, his tendency to challenge social restrictions and his political satire all influenced dozens of future comics and led to drastic changes in the way society viewed words, ideas and hypocrisy.

A catalyst for social reform, Bruce was constantly at odds with the government over his use of obscenity.  He was arrested for using terminology in reference to oral sex several times, which was at the time a misdemeanor in the state of California.

Like many men with strong passion and principle, Bruce suffered his share of heartbreak, leading him to write this funny, but melancholy little tune.

I personally spent the time transcribing the lyrics as they were not on any lyric sites.

Sung:
Oh what joy to be all alone
I’m happy alone don’t you see
I’ve convinced you–

Eh, I don’t wanna get so dramatic about it, you’re better off alone man, I gotta–
That’s it I’m gonna get a whole bunch of new suits
You know I’ve had the same dumb suit for ten years
You walk into her closet, you can’t even breathe
That’s it I’ll get a whole bunch of suits, I’ll get a chick that likes to hang out
I’ll have little vodka parties
That’s it vodka parties swing it up all good–
Get a chick who likes to drink
Boy my wife sure used to look good standing up against the sink
She’s the lowest though
I really put her down
No– No, I really miss her
I don’t want some sharp chick that can quote Kerouac and walk with poise
I just want to hear my old lady say, “get up and fix the sink, it’s still making noise”

Sung:
All alone
All alone
Like a nearsighted dog, where’s the bone?
Aw but it’s better-to be alone.
No more taking out the garbage, hear her yacking on the phone-
I gave her everything, even my mother’s ring
But to me she was so petty
Sometimes I wish that she were dead–

But it’d probably take her 2 hours to get ready-

When she’s old!

Then she’s gonna be sorry
That’s it!
Like she’s young and swinging now and she can get a lot of guys but when she’s old–
I can see her about 20 years from now:

“How you doin’ Annie?
I haven’t seen you in a long time, you look pretty good baby
You’re still washing your hair with Dutch cleanser I see
Yeah, you’ve gained a few pounds-
What happened to your neck?
I heard you got married a few times
Me no, I’ve always stayed single
I’ve been investing in property
I’ve picked up a little place in Mexico, maybe you’ve heard of it–Acapulco
Where are you living, a furnished room?
That’s nice, you cook on the radiator, there’s paper drapes, sit in the lobby and watch television and all
That’s cool, yeah
Yeah that’s cool
You have the diner’s club you sign, you go first class in those joints, I know it”

Yeah that’s it
Her future spells a murky gloom
I’ll be rich and famous and she’ll be living in a furnished room-
But it’s gonna be too late
I wouldn’t hear her moan
I’ll be living in my Nardville mansion– Rich
… and all alone

Sung:
All alone
All alone
I’ll be rich
But so all alone

TriBeCa Film Festival Afterparty Feature: Doggy Bags

21 May

“Thanks to everyone for coming and enjoy the rest of the party.” This was the first sentence director Ed Burns directed toward the bourgeois at the date-night themed after-party for his film, “Doggy Bags” earlier this week. The first half of the speech and the party itself were spent thanking and jumping through hoops for American Express, the corporate sponsor of the event and addressing those of the crowd who had a reputation for their large wallets and small inhibitions.

Indeed the party was heavy on Amex paraphernalia, the only thing to imply that it was not just an Amex promo was the last television, all the way in the rear of AOA Bar and Grill on which an hour-long film on the making of the 14-minute feature was playing.

There was a very lethargic air to the party, many guests did not see the film and were unable to even identify the actors until pictures were taken. “I don’t really know about it, I just thought it would be fun to come,” says guest Susanne Williams, 23, with a shrug, “I guess those are the film people, they are sitting at a reserved table.”

Matt Bush, 26, was definitely the ideal choice for a, “polite guy.” He is unimposing and shy with a slight build, his words are friendly but soft-spoken and he conveys authenticity and interest when he speaks. “I started with commercials six or seven years ago,” says Bush, “I went to school for business, a small college called Rowan University in Jersey and I just kind of dropped out.”

The cast and crew were apparently not very well associated on a personal level, to the obvious chagrin of actress Daniella Pineda, who was sure to introduce Burns to her boyfriend, mother and father and give a thorough overview and evaluation of each; leading to some impatient foot tapping from Burns’ wife, Christy Turlington.

The screenplay for “Doggy Bags,” is listed on the TribeCa Film Festival’s site as written by director Ed Burns, however, in actuality no name screenwriter , Susan Brennan, supplied the script via a promotional contest held by American Express. “He is very relaxed, very easy going,” Brennan says of Burns, “He is really great.”

Party goer Frank Lincoln, summarized the event thus, “Doggy Bags? Yeah, they are alright, but hey there is free wine and crab cakes here, so who’s complaining?”

*As written for ReviewFix.com, Original Post Date: April 25, 2012

How a Behave Properly in Public as a College Student

7 Mar

Our first real etiquette article, this will discuss how one should conduct himself, or herself, in public.  This article will challenge many of the, “norms,” for a New York City college, but, believe it or not, many of us raised outside the Big Petri Dish- I am sorry, “Big Apple,” do not see these behaviours as normative.

Foremost is appearance. Yes, we should never judge a book by its cover, but we do; whether or not this is ignorant behaviour, it is human behaviour, an inherent quality that we cannot change and that, if changed, would make the world a much different and perhaps more boring place.

Fashion and necessity rarely overlap. Especially wearing, “trendy,” outfits which, to begin with are in poor taste. If you wear a sideways baseball cap in a court room, the judge will, if he has any sense at all, slap a fine on you and hold you in contempt. If a police officer, “sags” his pants and wears his cap sideways, he will clearly be out of uniform and not look like a person of his vocation with his level of professional responsibility.

A young adult may indulge in absurd fashions, this is your right and it allows you to express your individuality; these are very redeeming qualities. Public exposure, sloppiness and poor hygiene, however, are not respectful and appear more a cry for help than a style.

Music, we all love it. Why shouldn’t we? However, some prefer calf thymus and those of these individuals who do, will not likely walk over to the urinal next to you and force it down your throat. The point is, keep it in your ears.

People who blast music rarely blast anything worth listening to anyway, I do not want to hear anything rap or hip-hop related while standing at the urinal unless it is the theme from, “Shaft.” Zing.

Back on an apparently serious note, loud music pumped directly into one’s ears is a direct cause of tinnitus, which is a real pain, if you don’t believe it just look on wikipedia!

If you must swear like a sailor, try at least to sound like an educated one.

If you must use your cellphone, try not to do so in the hallway outside a class.

If you must use it in the hallway outside of class, try not to use it in the library.

If you must speak on the phone while you are in the library– You are a liar, leave school forever.

Do not watch pornography on school computers, this one seems obvious, but is apparently not.

Do not look at cartoon pornography on school computers, this is a step beyond poor-taste.

Do not– You know where this is going and yes, people do that in the library.

Do not wear high heels to any gym classes, especially swimming.

Try to maintain some semblance of intelligence, it is hard but you are so very smart, you can do it.

Do not push, shove or curse at people you don’t know; if nothing else, they may have a shank.

Do not rap along with your iPod, you are not as good as you think.

Be respectful, be courteous and keep reading articles. You are off to a good start.

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