Style, part 2

The pursuit of style is not going that well. I'm even having trouble replacing the basic things I threw out and gave away.

Whilst sifting through my closet over the weekend, I found my black pumps. They hardly qualify as such: bought for me by my mom when I was 13 to wear to choir concerts, they have a silhouette that recalls the garden ornament that alternately resembles a toadstool or an old maid's ass. I can't remember the last time I wore them. It doesn't matter anymore; the leather had finally cracked and crumbled beyond the point of salvage. Away with you.

I'm hoping that if I find another pair I will actually wear them. To gigs, you know -- the old standby. If you believe Lucky magazine, we should wear them with our jeans, but I don't think I can do that. It's too trendy, and things that are too trendy embarrass me. But what am I doing reading Lucky, then?

Black pumps, ahoy.


New favorite Blog: Wonkette.

More Wonkette.
This is the coolest album I've heard in a while. Get it while you can . . . .

Style, part I

This weekend I ruthlessly went through my closet, discarding every piece of clothing that never fit, never flattered, or in all likelihood never will fit or flatter again.

This isn't too unusual, but this year the process feels more important: I'm also throwing out a lot of old mainstays. They're looking shabby, washed out, stretched out. I never cared, I wore them like that for years. But finally, it's time to say bye-bye to the potato sack pants, the broken schoolmarm boots, the tees with ink and salad dressing stains.

Bye bye hooker skirt, nice knowing you. Bye bye black velvet jacket, see you next fall. Spring is no time for you.

To paraphrase Bukowski, it's better to do a dull thing with style than a dangerous thing without it. Dull or dangerous––I'll leave that judgment to the gods. I turn my attention now to false idols, and set out in search of style.


My letter from yesterday was horribly inadequate, but thus it stands. I fixed the line breaks, though.

Anyone who came to Lakeside last night: you are awesome, thank you. There were so many great musicians in the house. You sent good vibes. Thanks.

Did you catch that thing that Baker and Dave broke into on 'Jane, Jane'? Like, synchronized Love Camp 7 Robot-o-rama!


I'm Mad as Hell (Again)

I'm posting my open letter to the NY Times. A bit sloppy, but I was in a hurry.


Regarding Matt Bai's assessment of Dean's legacy:

When you say "Dr. Dean can hardly claim to have laid the rails for some powerful engine of change," you've got a huge blind spot.

No one in my lifetime has ever inspired my generation to mobilize politically -- until Dean. No one has ever addressed the needs of my contemporaries with such clarity and resolve.

I'm 32 and college-educated and, unlike many of my friends, steadily employed. We have lost our jobs -- in programming, publishing, design -- or sometimes graduate with advanced degrees, only not to be able to find a job in the first place. Most of us won't have the option of one parent staying home to raise the children, as many of our parents did. Many of us have no healthcare, or have a package which barely meets one's basic needs. On a "good" plan, I'm still spending close to $100 a month on prescriptions alone.

(And we wonder why we get so much spam advertising prescription drugs?)

So when someone like Dean, with a clear track record of making strides in health care, among other things, comes along, I'm getting up off my lazy Gen-X ass and giving him some cash.

It's too bad Dean was so vocal about wanting to break up the media conglomerates. If he hadn't been, maybe they wouldn't have skewered him with such abject glee.

Either way, I'm in it for the long haul now. And, together with the thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands like me, we have the potential to be a powerful engine of change.


Erica Smith

Winter Morning # 298

Good morning!

Today is starting off well. Got a good review in the New York Press, which is a relief because usually they're so bitchy.

I had 8 organic eggs about to expire, so last night I hardboiled them all. This morning I ate one, so now there are 7. After eating one I realized that this is going to be a challenge: i had forgotten that eggs taste kind of yucky to me. Now I'm not sure how to get rid of them. Do cats eat eggs? If I brought them to the gig for people to snack on, that would be deemed bizarre, no?

Anyone want an egg?


"No! What Are You Reading, The Onion?"

I saw this headline at work and no one believed me.

Well, at least if it goes like the Grammys, they'll give it to the Pope; he's by far the most ailing.

The Culprit

Apprehended on blanky at 16:34 Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Rebecca and Ken.


A Very Strange and Scary Thing Happened to Me Last Night (A Cautionary Tale)

I usually don't disseminate scary stories and say "tell ten friends," but for what it's worth, this scary thing happened to me and I don't want it to happen to you.

I came home last night and the front right burner of my stove was on high. Large blue flame. I don't know how long it had been on.

As far as I can guess, Saro (feline) probably had been walking along the edge of the stove, and her foot must have slipped and turned on the knob.

I have a circa-1950 Welbit stove -- not too unusual in NYC. The knobs lie flat, not vertical, in the off position, and to turn them on you turn clockwise. No safety features.

Nobody was injured. I find it miraculous that Saro didn't get burned, or that I didn't have an extremely dangerous gas leak.

From now on I'm going to keep the knobs off, and pop them back on only when I'm cooking.

The saints have spared us again. Thanks, kids.


Dead Diet Doctors!

I'll try to be brief. But is anyone else appalled that confidential medical records were made public, and the press lapped it up? And now we're forced to consider the bloating body of a dying diet doctor.

Not to mention the faulty logic involved in pinning the evils of Meat-Eating America on Dr. A. What next -- the Pro-Potato Brigade will come marching out demanding more airtime?


I was reading on the bus this morning. It was crowded and humid. The narrator was recalling having climbed a mountain in his youth. It took days: mist rolled in and out; the sun rose and set. I looked up and the bus windows had fogged over. I thought I could make out the green ledges of the windows in Stuy Town. A woman's purse was very close to my face. I probably could have picked her wallet. I kept waiting for an announcement of where we were. I went back to reading. The narrator caught sight of an eagle up close. The bus lurched, slowed, stopped, hissed, sat, lurched. This was one of the old buses, even though now they're running the new double buses, with the spin dial floor and accordion walls in the center, on the 14th street route. Those buses seem designed to induce whiplash; I don't trust them. The bus stopped. The whole back of the bus emptied out. I looked out the back door. I saw the sign for the card store! I snapped the book shut and hurried down the steps. It was starting to rain hard.

Tuck In Yer Titties

. . . the salesgirl, Diane, advised me in the dressing room of the Town Shop.

I was there to supplicate myself to the gods of women's brazeers. This boutique is famous for changing lives by showing women the error of their ill-fitting bra, and procuring the perfect match.

"There, now good. Lift up the headlights. Shake it out. Good!"

As it turns out, my old brazeer was 2 inches too big. In search of ultimate comfort, I sacrificed utility. That might explain why I've been looking so obscene lately. After seeing the video of the Pete's gig, the 'before' pictures in the Anna Nicole Smith TrimSpa subway ad have taken on a particularly haunting quality.

The prices were decent -- standard retail -- and I also scored a cutie pair of Gum Drop boypants panties.

So now I'm armed and dangerous.


You will disappoint yourself. You lash out, withdraw, forget, and fail. Someone you love made a comment you find horrifying. You will hate who's in charge of your company, your country, your household, yet you will be desperately grateful for the scraps they throw your way. In your house, something is leaking, being pecked at, molding over. You put everything you had into your dream and it tanked. A stranger acted mean to you. You've gained weight; everybody's noticed.

A good song will not fail you. A good song will not fail. When all else fails, go with the song.


Great interview with Howard Dean in yesterday's Salon.

He's too good for this country.


Oh Godalmighty

. . . as my grandmother used to say.

Our culture is so hypocritical and goofy. I can't believe that any American -- tv viewer or network exec or whoever -- would really be ruffled over having Miss Jackson's boob flash for a millisecond at halftime.

Everybody loves it. Everybody wants it.

I've never seen people get so excited over a peep of a bag of saline. We're like monkeys with a terrycloth mama.