Fall Fashion

It’s time for pants, or as they call it: Fall. I’m mostly excited about TV, so my plan for pants-wearing is not as strong as it should be.


My big ideas are to wear my now very successful uniform of a big black t-shirt and black skinny jeans with my new New Balances:



And to buy these:



That’s all I’ve got people.





Tactility and Feminism

I recently gave a lecture at DePauw University on Beauty Youtube videos, mostly because when your friends are real faculty members this is the kind of thing you can get away with.
Unfortunately this seminal video from Ms. Lisa was not released in time for me to subject the class to its genius. Skip to 5:20 if you want to see the pure pleasure of the “Facial Massage”:

I presented the thesis that these vidoes are important because they are about tactility and the visual experience of watching a woman touch herself in a non-sexual manner. You feel her skin and her skin feels good. In this way it turns the highly objectified surface of a woman inside out by allowing you to enter her very tiny tiny pores.

It was fascinating how much the 19 year olds hated these videos. They found her voice pretentious, they hated all the talk, the slipperyness of her sss’. But most importantly, they hated the way it reminded them of their mothers who spend hours getting ready in the morning and evening. I realized part of my attraction to these beauty processes is that I never saw women attending to their faces obsessively as a kid. It is a foreign territory for me

But if I have inspired one 19 year old to make facial massage performance art, my work is done.

Catching Up

I know that there is only a week until Homeland comes back and The Good Wife premieres tonight, but it still feels like I am struggling to fill my TV needs. So if you need something to fill the hump between now and full-on Fall TV, here is my list of favorite TV shows EVER, in order of importance. I wish I had never seen them so I could watch them for the first time.

Category #1 –Truly Great
Mad Men
Breaking Bad
Game of Thrones
Freaks and Geeks
The Wire
The Sopranos
Friday Night Lights

Category #2 –Truly Addictive
Masters of Sex
Top of the Lake
Battlestar Gallactica
The West Wing
The LA Complex
Silicon Valley
The Bletchley Circle
Orphan Black
The Americans
The Good Wife
True Detective
Scandal (skip season 1 and you won’t miss anything)
Orange is the New Black
House of Cards
Sex in the City
Downton Abbey
Twin Peaks
Six Feet Under
The Hour

Category #3 –If you like sentimentalism
Call the Midwife
Gilmore Girls
The Fosters
Playing House

Category #4 — Comedy
Key and Peele
Parks and Rec
The Office
30 Rock
Arrested Development


Outlander is the best show of the summer. Period the end. I say this understanding with my brain that Masters of Sex, which is also on this summer, is the best show of not only the summer but probably the year.
Yet my heart knows things that my head will never understand.

Five justifications for my current obsession with this show:

1. The plot is a 1940s WWII BBC-type drama (think Bletchley Circle) where the lead falls through time into a sumptuously reproduced 18th century Scotland with all the thrill and political maneuverings of Game of Thrones. This is the most delicious genre mash-up of sassy 1940’s nurse adventure, Anglophilia, high stakes fantasy, and romantic love-triangle.

2. The show breaks all current tv conventions by actually withholding boobs and sex from its viewers. This is the kind of steamy romance that a younger D., nay a younger America, knew was even hotter than the instant gratification of naked sex scenes.

3. For reasons that are not clear, none of the actors are recognizable. They are all first rate Scottish and English actors who probably have been toiling away in Royal Shakespeare Drama Academies, or whatever they call them.

4. If you ever have enjoyed a woolen gown with a low neckline, a taupe eye and a stained lip, an impressively draped kilt, or any bog, moor, or low slung green and foggy mountains, THIS IS THE SHOW FOR YOU. It is so beautiful to look at it I would watch it on mute if I had to.

5. It is all up on Starzplay.com for Free!


Ladies of Habit Podcast –Beauty Youtube Edition

Also thanks to C.’s mom who watched the kids while we did this!

Links and extra information that might be helpful:

Mark with Vivianna

Mark with Vivianna


Vivianna Does Makeup

A Model Recommends

Lo Bosworth

 Neil Oliver


Non-NYC workouts

I am spending the month in Indiana, so I don’t have access to my fancy boutique fitness classes through Classpass. Without the structure of having a class that costs money scheduled in my calender I don’t really know what to do with myself.

So here is how I am coping:

1. Reacquainting myself with running outside. I have never really enjoyed running that much except for when a gym has a TV attached to a treadmill that lets me watch music videos or the Cooking Channel. I need a pretty high level of distraction in order to last a good half hour. But if I have good running earphones that don’t fall out of my sweaty ears and a real iPhone arm band, I can kind of get into it. I also think there is absolutely nothing wrong with running for five minutes, walking for ten, running again for two etc.

2. Doing my fancy boutique fitness moves in a gym. I say in a gym, because I have access to one. But this is also totally doable in a bedroom. I organize a good Youtube playlist of over-exuberant fitness gurus and try to do about three or four videos.

3. Taking a commitment free class. Boutique fitness classes are everywhere and the great thing about it them is that you can pay per class. I dare you to find small town that doesn’t have some welcoming Zumba ladies. Also, I’m not going to lie. I kind of enjoy going to a crappy class and being the strongest one there.

Most importantly: I am going to deal with the fact that every once in a while scaling down your fitness is fine. Maybe that pesky shoulder pain will finally heal from all the inactivity.

Ladies of Habit Book Club –Fangirl



Rainbow Rowell is my new favorite YA author. I much prefer her to the much lauded John Green. Like Eleanor & Park, which broke all kinds of YA boundaries by a having non-white protagonist, Fangirl improves the genre of YA while reverently utilizing its best tropes.

Fangirl is also groundbreaking because it focuses on a girl named Cath who writes very successful slash fanfiction and has a robust online life. Young people have entire online identities that I have never seen depicted in literature and I love that Rowell wrestles with the implications of living in both online and offline worlds. Rowell also completely updates the idea of a nerd by showing how “fandom” creates epic communities that link people through conventions, web comics and fan fiction. And maybe most importantly, Rowell actually produces her own fake slash fiction based off a Harry Potter-like story that demonstrates for old people like me what is so essentially awesome about fan fiction. Cath’s fan fiction weaves throughout the book and accomplishes the near impossible feat of actually proving why Cath is the #1 best fan fiction writer of her era. Rowell basically wrote two different books in tandem, and both are exceptional.

Finally, this is a bad ass teen romance. I squealed audibly when Cath got some action. But following the lead of slash fiction, Rowell plays with the idea of putting the romance between unlikely lovers front and center and not waiting until the last chapter to deliver the make outs.



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