Tuesday, August 12, 2008

This is Ridiculous...

BEIJING — A 7-year-old Chinese girl was not good-looking enough for the Olympics opening ceremony, so another little girl with a pixie smile lip-synched "Ode to the Motherland," a ceremony official said _ the latest example of the lengths Beijing took for a perfect start to the Summer Games... more @ huffingtonpost.com

I am actually surprised this hasn't happened in America yet, as we are so insanely appearance conscious. I don't mean Milli Vanilli or that chick from C&C Factory or whatever - that's dumb enough, but I mean kids. It's funny, I actually thought some countries were above this sort of garbage. Political ideologies aside (it's a touchy subject), I have always assumed that China was overall a country of somewhat intelligent people who do not have face and body image at the top of their lists, focusing on more fulfilling things like academic pursuits, technological advances, etc. I realize that even the most vague generalizations can surprise you. And in a 7-year old? My goodness! I certainly hope they didn't tell the poor girl she wasn't "pretty enough" to sing the anthem, although she was a good enough singer to apparently warrant lip-synching. Sad.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Goodnight, Goodnight

It's a very sad thing to have to go through the grieving process of death, be it a family member, friend, significant other, or even just someone you admire. Almost to the day, it has been a whole year since my mother's family lost my cousin in a sudden, dramatic fashion, only within days of the anniversary of my grandmother's (mother's side) death. Prior to that, it had been 4 years since I had to wear black and brace myself for the always incredibly difficult open casket funeral. Most people are not as...i don't know...by it as I am. But seeing a person I once knew as animated replaced with a cold, waxy shell is a very hollowing experience. Eventually I find my way back to center, but for days, weeks, or months, I find myself questioning my own time here, pondering eternity and if there is an "end" to life after all. I try to dwell on it as little as possible because as they say, "life is for the living."

But, I said all this to say I was really shocked about Bernie Mac's death this morning. Although as a child I was never allowed to watch his stand-up (or George Carlin's, for that matter), I did anyway, relishing in the curse words and sexual innuendos I didn't totally understand. As he slowly became more accessible to the younger crowd, I grew up with him on my screens, both movie and TV. Every death is both important and sad for someone, but these celebrity deaths resonate with me because I experienced such personal emotions with them: crushes, emulation, admiration, and so on, as most Americans tend to with our informal form of royalty.

Every year seems to take with it the lives of legends or those in the making, leaving us with these sad, deformed clones of the originals, like Dane Cook, the Disney stars, just about anyone who can be referred to as a "tween," Paris of course, Lindsay, these pathetic gimmick bands, and so on. 2008 was filled with icons, and those that could have been.

Bernie Mac
George Carlin
Sydney Pollack
Bo Diddley
Bobby Fischer
Jim McKay
Heath Ledger
Yves Saint Laurent
Charlton Heston
Anthony Minghella
Brad Renfro
Estelle Getty
Dick Martin
Harvey Korman
Ola Brunkert (ABBA)
Roy Scheider
Tim Russert
Suzanne Pleshette
Allan Melvin

There were more I am sure, as well as plenty of non-celebrity people, and they will all be missed.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Black & Gold

The New Orleans Saints are hosting their training camp here in my hometown, something done at least since Hurricane Katrina. So what does that mean? It means that Kim Kardashian was here for a hot second, it reminded me of Sam Sparro, and I have an excuse to post!

(This was the only version I could find that would embed from youTube, so ignore the talking at the beginning and end). Sam Sparro is an amazing singer (who got the stamp of approval from a legend, Chaka Khan) from Australia. "Black & Gold" is likely not his first single, but it was the first song I ever heard from him, and I was HOOKED! His album is filled with varied sounds but he always seems to come back to this electronic, club music that he blends with his smooth, sexy voice. I love the entire album and how open he is about his sexuality, and I am certain that with the right promotion he could reach gay icon status one day. How many openly homosexual male singers are there, after all? I think that will either be one more thing in his favor or ultimately his downfall though I am hoping for the former.

Here he is singing a cute cover of Estelle's "American Boy". I love his sweater, but then I love his style, in general! I think I will do another post on him in the coming days.

I was going to post a bunch of black and gold clothes too, but I just decided that Sam Sparro is a touch act to follow, inanimate or no. If I find any worthwhile and I am sure I will, I will post it under Black & Gold part 2.

PS. I think it's funny how I went from (briefly) mentioning football, a "man's man" activity, to an openly gay singer! :-D The things we do for a posting topic.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I am working on a couple of dresses right now that I hope to have finished in the next 2 weeks (can you tell I am a novice seamstress?) and I really wanted to show off my geeky new glasses, but I cannot find my camera anywhere. I was so stressed trying to prepare for my ANTM audition that I have no idea where I put it and haven't seen it since then. As soon as I find it, I will post! Or if I find something else to post, then erm, I will post that :-)

Friday, August 1, 2008

August is Here...(Ramble, Ramble)

And I can't be more disappointed. August means the start of another school year and the countdown to my Nov. birthday. I gotta admit, I really expected something kind of amazing to happen to me this summer. Granted, I moved back home, but that was a really big deal. I know I probably read far too much fiction, but I feel like there is some magical, chemical reaction that occurs when you combine a really hopeful girl with a big change.

But really, playing devil's advocate, what did I really expect? I do, after all, live in West Bumblef*ck City, MS (the whole state's a bumblef*ck to be honest, and I say that in the most lovingly loyal way). I am living with my parents, working a job that is well, kinda boring, to be honest (though it is for a really good cause), and making my own clothes, constantly pining for glamour, love, excitement, travel - all things hardly associated with being an aspiring doctor in MS.

But what other choice do I have? I have just enough money in the bank to live somewhere rent-free, i.e. my childhood home. Even though I am saving money with the intent of venturing out on my own, I have no idea how long that will take. I may not get into any med school in the coming year, but right now my best bet is the one down the street from my parents' house...which will trap me here a minimum of another four years.

Le sigh.

I tried out for America's Next Top Model this summer too, with this idealistic hope that if I at least went in there and was confident, was myself, they might see in me that "thing" I have always hoped was there but was never quite certain of. You know, the "thing" that would make everything worthwhile, that would put me up there with Tyra and Heidi and Iman and Giselle, saying "I used to be teased about my height/thinness/breasts/legs, but look at me now!" And, perhaps that is incredibly shallow.

Maybe it is really sad to want that kind of validation, especially in a business that tears people down so frequently. For some strange reason, I feel I can handle it. For my entire life I have dealt with people who would be so cruel they would try (and often succeed) at reducing me to tears, so why not get paid major bucks for it, be in and around the fashion I love so much, and let other little girls see: "She's not conventionally pretty, but she is unique and beautiful...maybe I am too." I am a product of my environment in some ways. For as much as I enjoy being different and like to think of myself as deep or introspective or whatever (haha, just like that), part of me wants to be admired, emulated, enjoyed, and celebrated by people who have no need to, who have no reason to or connection to me outside of being human just like me. Beauty is fleeting, and fame is even more difficult to keep, but something in me keeps drawing me there.

This fork in the road I stand before...how can two paths be so different? To be honest I almost feel kind of ashamed for wanting to model. My parents are such distinguished intellectuals and I have been such the academic achiever it feels like a slap in the face to want to do anything outside of the cookie cutter realm of doctor-lawyer-teacher-scientist. Whenever any adult (defined as: older than me) asks me what I am going to do, I never say, "Well I feel equally pulled towards being a doctor and a model." I always say, "I am trying to get into medical school." Not that I am not actively trying to go, but I find it ironic since I usually say that for appearance's sake, rather than the truth, which is that I am trying to move forward in both to see which one will tip the scales in or out of its favor. The thing is, both require a lot of time and effort, and I worry that if I dedicate myself solely to one, I might be miserable, realize I made the wrong decision, and too much time may have passed for me to go back and try the other.

It's funny (not really). I used to be quite smug about 20-something rich brats trying to "find themselves" since I planned out my life at about age 10. Now I am just like them (minus the rich part) and in fact, at a disadvantage since they were never sure about their career paths in the first place. Being the perfectionist I (often) am - not counting my grammar skills now since I am rambling - my biggest fear is to make a mistake in something so crucial, and I know that's not the best way to approach the situation.

As you can see, I am not exactly at a loss for words, but to sum it up: I know exactly where I am yet I have never felt so lost in my whole life.