Get to know a reference image

Found on my hard drive (maybe from Fashion Gone Rogue?)


The place where young people go to retire

This is where I'll be in a week:


Nicolas Cage losing his shit

I mean, what else is there to say?

Thanks, Chantal!


Another ode to Martha Stewart (and another reason to love Joan Didion)

A decade ago, Martha Stewart came into my house every morning and taught me to craft or cook. It was the summer time and watching her show was a ritual, probably borne out of my family's tradition of watching Julia Child on the weekends, and my instilled craving for domesticity. But even then, I noticed how the lifestyle Stewart projected was a fantasy, and how easily positioned she was for parody. I always laughed at the way that she was bossy and confident enough to even interrupt and correct segments with her role model, her mother. When her mother embellished a step in a recipe with a factoid about a cooking technique or a recipe, Martha would cut in, her mother mid-sentence, with a detail of her own.

After the show finished at 11:00 a.m., I would run upstairs and try making something of my own. Martha had inspired the courage to take on making my own picture frame, centrepiece or pastry. More than that, she had convinced me of the sense of accomplishment it would bring and pleasure it would give guests when the project was finally done.

Of all the things I made that summer, I distinctly remember concocting a batch of scones. The recipe wasn't Martha's. It was pulled from one of the dog-eared books in our house. Or it could've been from our a family "cookbook," a collection of inserts my mother had cobbled from Homemaker's magazine--baking specials sponsored by Robin Hood flour or Baker's chocolate .

As I cut the butter into the flour, I felt the easy satisfaction of baking. An hour or two later, my brother and I tasted what I had made: bites alternately had the bite of baking soda or were overwhelmed by bulky pockets of butter. Far from a success, the pastries still gave me a deep sense of pleasure to have even approximated making a recipe that the day before was a complete mystery to me. What goes in a scone? No one has a real reason to know until they try to make one themselves.

Years before that, I took piano lessons from a gifted music student from UBC. Her mother kept a beautiful house. The mantle above the fireplace changed seasonally. It always held objects that can only be described as decorative: rattan balls, porcelain figurines, silver candlesticks, which displayed impeccable taste. And on special occasions, I was offered perfect cookies fresh from the oven after ear training. Of course, when I peered into their magazine folder or onto the coffee table, there was always the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living.

Being Martha, even emulating or following Martha, is connected to a certain level of affluence. She is elite. And yet, she is accessible. She prudently makes herself approachable by hitting the note precisely between being a friend and a master, always ensuring she cannot be touched, or worse, matched. Still, she invites her audience to model her absolutely singular brand of femininity. She is someone whose success and character is completely defined by how she can serve others, but above all she is an woman of independence, often to the point of self-elected seclusion.

The portrait that defines Martha better than another other photograph is one by Annie Leibovitz in her book Women. Leibovitz's late partner, Susan Sontag, while a skeptic of truth in photography, was a believer that there is a spirit that escapes the materiality of prose but is plainly a part of a photographic image. Sontag surely would've have seen a great deal of truth in Leibovitz's portrait. In the photo, Stewart is made minute against a golden, fall landscape. She rests her arms and head on a pick-up truck; her blonde hair, her light skin, and her khaki jacket recede into the scenary. But the focal point of the image is Martha's expression. It easily draws your attention. It's one of repose and focus.


While I was making scones, Martha had reached a milestone as an entrepreneur: Her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, went public. That year New Yorker asked Joan Didion to write a piece as Critic At Large: a profile of Martha Stewart. This was well before Stewart's jail sentence in 2004 for securities fraud and obstruction of justice. On the surface, Stewart's phenomenal success today is notable because she managed to recover her company from public scandal. Nonetheless, Didion, characteristically perceptive, foretold that Martha's failings weren't likely to lose her any admirers. In fact, they are part of her attractiveness as a brand:
The “cultural meaning” of Martha Stewart’s success...lies deep in the success itself, which is why even her troubles and strivings are part of the message, not detrimental but integral to the brand.
Reading Didion's piece lends one a profound understanding of who (and what) Martha Stewart is elementally. The last sentence of the article, which describes the genius of the personality and brand, is one that floors the reader, partly because of the way that Didion has quietly led you there and presented--with stunning diction and faultless timing--her one-sentence rendering of Stewart:
The dreams and the fears into which Martha Stewart taps are not of “feminine” domesticity but of female power, of the woman who sits down at the table with the men and, still in her apron, walks away with the chips.
Lately, when I clumsily attempt fluted pie crusts or ambitious multi-stepped recipes involving elaborate equipment and much patience, the paradigm, the measure of success, is still Martha. Didion's interpretation of this complicated woman, itself a piece of perfection, exemplifies and illustrates how few people achieve excellence. Writing this, though, is proof that many of us will try.

A letter to Tracy (a.k.a. some love for comics)

Hi Tracy,

Thanks for lending me these books this week.




I liked Lucky a lot.

See you later,

The Pinata Revolt

Here's an old commercial from the director of the Old Spice "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" spot (Tom Kuntz):

Which reminded me of this old favourite:

And that got me searching for a really great Starburst commercial. And I found one:



Cautionary tales for kids that are too creative

Want to teach your children not to make the terrible* life choices I have made (i.e. making career choices that involve magazine publishing and freelancing)?

For your ambitious, cultured daughters: All the Young Girls by Mary H.K. Choi
(/via @chantalbraganza)
"Being a new girl here is a lot to process. Your dopamine receptors are haywire from so much of what feels like the right kind of attention and you preen out of paranoia. Sometimes you tap-dance about books, music, movies, food and politics for complete strangers. For hours. You mind-meld with people you hope to never see again because they scare you a little. You get sick from the options and the sleep deprivation and the vodka."
And for your talented, confident--even cocksure--sons: Seven Years as a Freelance Writer, or, How To Make Vitamin Soup by Richard Morgan
(/via Michelle)
"Just this past Friday, I got an email at 3:38 a.m. from a Pulitzer-winning friend who wanted my help with a New Yorker assignment; I called their cell at 3:39. I never wanted to be one of those broken, bitter people. Why would anyone want to lose friends and alienate people? I was particularly struck-and maybe scared-by a story a friend told me after he snagged a great job at Condé Nast. He talked about how he shared his apartment with a married couple and their cat, and that the couple was on vacation and there he was, in his bathroom, trying to take a dump, and this cat was lonely and pawing at the gap under the door, and all he could think is that he had this glamorous job at this stylish magazine and he couldn't even manage a life where he could take a dump in peace."
*Actually, fantastic but limiting in terms of financing food and shelter

Favourite things: Oprah's audience

I can't believe this is the last one ever...

If you enjoyed this, you might like these:
* Faces Of The Last Season of Oprah
* Holy Maury Mother of God



Disclaimer: There is no thematic connection here. This is just me Internet vomiting a whole bunch of links.

Aretha Franklin - Ain't No Way

Hibernation Sickness/NARWHAL

Things I love from people I love

Small Stunted Ways
"A collaboration between a new indie publisher and brilliant poet."

My dear, dear friends Kathleen Fraser, Tracy Hurren and Cynara Geissler (of the formidable publishing houses, Caitlin Press, Drawn and Quarterly and Anvil Press, respectively) are the forces behind this illustrated book of poetry due out in Spring 2011. Small Stunted Ways will be published under Hur Publishing and they need your help to get it made. Fundraising for the book is happening online. Guarantee yourself one of the first copies of the book with a $30 donation. If you want one of their children thrown in with a copy of the book, it costs only $5000 on IndieGoGo. Pretty good deal, no? These kids have good genes.

For a very good taste of Geissler's poetry, click over to hurpublishing.com

Shacs with a Pack
My best friend, Lauren Schachter, is travelling the world. I miss her all the time and wish she was in Montreal with me. Thankfully, she is regularly writing about her adventures on her blog. Lauren is usually shy about showing her writing, obsessively editing until you forget what you asked to read in the first place (though I'm positive that what is being produced is brilliant -- some of her work has appeared in Sad Mag). Her blog posts, though sometimes intimidatingly lengthy, are absolute treasures.

I'm thinking there's major blog-to-book potential here. Check it out and tell your friends if you like it.


I am loving all the activity around Jay-Z's new book, Decoded. First of all, the book: the cover is awesome. Secondly, the timing is great since it's a worthy distraction from the Yale University Press Anthology of Rap debacle. Since the editors at YUP managed to bungle up their book so badly, we could have lost an opportunity to talk--however briefly--about the literary value of rap, but thankfully Jay-Z released his book at the same time.

In promotions for the book, he's already appeared in conversation with Cornel West and directors of NYPL programs, Paul Holdengräber at the New York Public Library.

Then, last week, he was on Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Tracy and I were talking about how Terry is such a dork before I heard this interview; I love listening to her talk to pop stars and trying to have a serious conversation about *NSYNC. She may have an irritating voice, but she brings out the most polite and charming qualities in guests I never cared for before. The wide sociological gulfs between her and her guests can also be a recipe for hilarity, as demonstrated by the incredible mess that was her interview with Tracy Morgan last year.

All of this was evident in the interview with Jay-Z. Terry was like your mom (you're soooooo embarrassing!):
GROSS: I have to say some of those baggy jeans are so loose around the waist like they fall down to the middle of your behind and I think if you had a weapon in there they'd definitely drop to the floor because the weapon would like drag them right down.
GROSS: ...You know how a lot of hip-hop artists, when they're on stage they kind of like grab their crotch?
HOVA just takes it all in stride, dutifully answering the questions without a hint of impatience. It's all very endearing. And the later, I found out that he's also an investor in the Spotted Pig. Big pimpin' indeed (sorry, Terry's rubbing off on me).


Magical Dinners

Illustration by Adrian Tomine for "Magical Dinners" by Chang-Rae Lee in the New Yorker Food Issue (November 22, 2010).

Read: "Magical Dinners" by Chang-Rae Lee in the New Yorker Food Issue (November 22, 2010)

Lee's writing in this piece is divine. Frank and vivid:
"[My mother] cooks an egg for me each morning without fail...there is always a fried egg, sunny-side up, cooked in dark sesame oil that pools on the surface of the bubbled-up white in the pattern of an archipelago; try one sometime, laced with soy and sweet chili sauce along with steamed rice, the whole plate flecked with toasted nori. It'll corrupt you for all time. But one morning I'm finally sick of it, I've had enough....I steal into her bedroom with my plate while she's talking on the telephone with Mrs. Suh...and drop it onto her best shoes, black patent-leather pumps. And here's the rub: there is no sound a fried egg makes. It lands with exquisite silence. This is the dish I've been longing to prepare."


Quoted: Zing! Liberal arts students

"The verbal fluency [liberal arts] students attain will [not] necessarily led them to lead more selfless lives”; the most we can say is that 'holders of bachelor’s degrees tend to be . . . more adept at crafting paragraphs to justify what they want to do'"

- pulled from an op-ed about books about why the American university system is broken, too. I thought it was funny.

shocking, amazing, etc.

A tumblr that compiles the most stunning Google Street view scenes ever: 9eyes


I don't understand technology

food...warm feelings...

Um, yes, hi. I'm looking to make all these recipes. Do you want to join me?

Prediction re: online stuff

David Cho is going to take over your Internet. Carr beat me by a few days on this premonition but I'm taking credit because I just found his article.


I recommend: The Year of Magical Thinking

by Joan Didion

Little and stunning in every way. Also, for Manhattan-philes, the memoir gives you a peak into what it's like to live that life you see in early Woody Allen movies (groceries at Zabars, weekend walks in the Park, coffee at the Turkish cafe around the corner, dinners at 11 uptown). I swooned.
I just looked into my closet and found that I was storing things in boxes from Random House and Beefeater. Booze and books.

Our things tell so much about us.


The rate of consumption

These are things I had when I left the house this morning at 11:
  • An empty backpack
These are things I now have as of 3:

Shopping diet, anyone?

The Wrong Place

Since Tracy works at Drawn and Quarterly, I get treated to new comics and graphic novels all the time. I don't take advantage of this perk often enough, but it pays off when I do.

Last night, I read The Wrong Place by Brecht Evens. The graphic novel peeks into the stories of people affected by Robbie, the town's Lothario and something of a king. It's hard to tell if he's real but his presence, whether true or imagined, is transformative. The exquisite details Brecht captures in his characters' joys and disappointments are shown so delicately (but not daintily). The book is absolutely, as the jacket blurb says, a deft capturing of "the strange chemistry of social interaction."

The watercolour illustration is so expressive. The Wrong Place is as satisfying as any good short story: economic, intense and vivid.

Here's a preview.



Fashion trolling

I love the cover for the upcoming issue of Vogue US.

Shot by Mario Testino, Anne Hathaway channels Eva Mendes and Audrey Hepburn. Best of all the fashion is reminiscent of Vogue in the 1990s, when Anna Wintour put every other cover girl in a prom dress, and made them look radiant and expensive.

Oh, and look at this amazing Glamour Italy shoot from 1991


Endorsements - The October 6 Edition

Whoops! I let this go, didn't I?

It's been such a busy time with a temporary full-time job, and so much happening in Montreal in the fall. It's very beautiful here and one day I'll get around to taking pictures of my neighbourhood with all the pretty colours. In the meantime, here are a list of things I like this week:
  • Katie Moore. This Montreal singer blew me away at the Ukrainian Federation on Sunday when she performed with (my fav) Patrick Watson and a motley crew of other local artists. What an unbelievable voice.

  • This magazine cover:

    (The New Yorker, October 11, 2010)
    /via Tracy, my hairdresser and cook

  • ... and this magazine cover:

    (Candy, Issue no. 1)
    /via @stitchtowhere

  • Raymond Biesinger. I met this illustrator at Puces Pop this weekend and bought one of his posters, a fine little piece of type and design. This new Montrealer, who hails from Edmonton, has worked for basically everyone who's anyone (read: Monocle, Wired, the New Yorker, Saatchi & Saatchi... shall I go on?). And he still sells some of his brilliant and original work for $5 a pop. Or check out some of it online for free (mosey over to Etsy afterwards) ---

  • Homemaking. I am seriously domestic, and it tastes good.

  • Vulture on Twitter. I'm a massive fan of New York magazine and their website, but I didn't know that their culture blog, Vulture, was on Twitter (living under a rock, apparently). This changes EVERYTHING. Links to the need-to-know entertainment/arts/culture news of the day, good celebrity interviews, hot remixes, and enough viral video to take you through a day at the office and then some.

  • My Second Empire. Everything by Chris Jones deserves to be mentioned until people start rolling their eyes. The Esquire staff writer is absolutely one of the best working journalists out there. And he's Canadian. He's not even one of those guys that left for New York. He lives in Port Hope, Ontario. Jones is currently renovating his new home in Port Hope. Read all about it on the "My Second Empire" blog on Esquire.com. It makes me laugh every day. Start with the time that Jones interviews George Clooney after major surgery.

  • Megan from Montreal. This Mad Men minx makes it fun to listen to Don Draper with my eyes closed. ("Megan, I don't think this is a good idea... I can't make any mistakes right now...[groaning and other sexy noises]...Do you want to grab a bite?")

    (Trivia: Jessica Pare, who plays Megan, is actually from Montreal)



Panda as Id


Photo by Kotori Kawashima, from her book “Mirai-Chan.”

Happy News about Sad!

I will never forget that time at Our Town. My friend Deanne Beattie had offered me a chance to volunteer for a magazine she had in the works, Sad Mag. A few weeks before, she'd sent me an email about the first meeting of the art and editorial team:

"At the moment we have Brandon Gaukel working on the photography stuff, I'll be on the words, and a guy named Lon doing layout for us. Brandon, Lon, and some of the people they and I are recruiting are working professionals in the arts that really just wanted a project that would give us an amazing creative outlet — we're definitely excited and really committed to getting that first issue out by the end of this summer.
"We're eager to get creating, so we thought we would just go for it, and begin creating content for our first "issue." ....We also need to find places to drop off the print copy, to be available for free at record shops, clothing shops, etc, what have you.

"Would you want to get in on any of that?"

Why a magazine? Why now? What would make it special, I wondered. But it didn't really matter; I wanted to support people who were bold and brave enough to carry out a vision like this.

We met at the cafe at 7. First, I was introduced to Justin Mah and Lon Garrick, our managing editor and lead designer, respectively. Ten minutes later, Brandon walked in--on "Brandon time." And then we were all together, and wonderful, surprising things happened.

Over the next 16 months, guided by Deanne and Brandon's unbelievable passion and dedication to making a space for artists under 30, the Sad Mag family (which extends far, far beyond the five of us) has produced four issues of the magazine and countless events that have inspired and celebrated the arts community of Vancouver.

Sad Mag will be celebrating its first anniversary on October 9 at The Cultch with “Sad Mag Live.”

Hosted by CBC Radio 3’s Lana Gay, Sad Mag Live will showcase the ideas and talents of trailblazers in Vancouver’s arts communities—those who lead the way in music, theatre, fine art and storytelling. The event features interviews with:

CAMERON REED (Director, Music Waste)
GRAEME BERGLUND (Founder and Creative Director, The Cheaper Show)
LIZZY KARP (Co-Founder, Rain City Chronicles)
DAVE DEVEAU (Managing Director, Zee Zee Theatre)

With performances by:

BARBARA ADLER (Accordion, stories, poems)
JASPER SLOAN YIP (Singer-songwriter)
SAMMY CHIEN (With guests—New media artist)
ISOLDE N. BARRON (Drag sensation)

Tickets will be $18, with proceeds being directed to the Sad Mag Writers & Artists Fund. Tickets can be purchased from The Cultch, online at www.thecultch.com or at the box office.

Sad Mag Live is generously sponsored by The Cultch and CBC Radio 3.

For more information and to RVSP, see Sad Mag Live on Facebook


Some smart friends and a prof (also smart) left comments regarding my rant-y post over the weekend about the University system. I wanted to respond but I broke Blogger's comment feature because I had too much to say. Here is my comment:

Hmm... I see we all have something to say about this, as we all have an intimate encounters with The University.

Though in my post I was very concerned about job preparation, it's just one of the reasons I went to school. The idea that is a place for academics to wrestle with ideas was a large part of what I wanted from my university career. But I couldn't find that most of the time. And then there were the classes where the prof or instructor doesn't want to be there, the material is tired, and the students (even the most eager ones) are uninspired and nothing comes out of those four months together. Because of the individualistic reasons for going to school, and because of the larger, dysfunctional political climate, this stuff slides by.

Ask any undergrad student at the larger Canadian universities if they feel the ideas they put forward in their assignments matter, or if they feel like the people at the registrar's office care, or if they are engaging with ideas in their tutorials or seminars in a meaningful way. I think most will say no.

On the whole, high school doesn't prepare students to engage that way, the university doesn't expect them to in order to graduate, and the students who are at University to participate in academia lose out. It's all very messy.

John, as you pointed out, parents send their kids to school so that they can get ahead. But with the schools increasing enrolment so dramatically (traumatically?), what sort of advantage in getting a professional career do most students have when they graduate?

Enrolment in arts and humanities programs are down (no citation, sorry), funding and enrolment for business, economics and law programs are up. I think students are finding that going to university alone isn't enough to get them where they want to be in life. They now have to be strategic about what to learn, to the detriment of their own self-fufillment and satisfaction. Or, maybe that says something about this generation of middle-class youth and the economic climate that we're in right now. Maybe too many of us are too concerned about careers and money.... I'm going to have to think a little more on that one. There might be another rant/post in this.

Anyhow, it was the tenor of the discussion on CBC that was really rubbed me the wrong way. There were too many people on the panel that flippantly dismissed the students' concerns. The administrators felt like they were doing everything they could under the circumstances and therefore, the students had nothing to complain about. With a little distance between the anger I felt on Sunday after listening to that program, I fully agree that on the whole, students get a lot out of pursuing post-secondary education. It can't be reduced down to dollars and cents. We get to meet cool, like-minded people, sometimes we get to learn from some really wonderful, life-changing professors; and best of all, we get to devote time to reading and writing. Much of what we gain is intangible but will stay with us for the rest of our lives. (Is that what we pay for? Shouldn't everyone have access to that? Again, questions for another time... ) However, none of this disqualifies students' intense want for more from their schools.

I certainly haven't covered all sides of this because I don't see them all. So, thanks to all of you for sharing this post and for contributing. This is good. This is what I wanted.

[P.S. I take back that bit about NYU... I have no idea if it's a program that's any better than a leading-edge program in Canada. I just am having career anxiety.]


Shameless Self-Promotion

Today, Cynara Geissler and I are making our premier on the Shameless blog--the best Canadian feminist blog around, says the Canada f-word blog awards. Our fellow bloggers include Stacey May Fowles, Zoe Cormier, and Anna Leventhal!

The column we're launching, "Shameless at Work," is a monthly mix of all topics related to women and work, with our own pop culture twist. We'll also be voicing our thoughts on the Shameless blog outside our column, if a work-related topic strikes our fancy.

Tell your friends! Leave us a comment! Watch clips from Mad Men!

Thank you!

To eat an egg, you must break the shell.

“Learning is not child's play; we cannot learn without pain.”

As I near the end of my formal education (I don't see a Ph.D. in my future), I have been reflecting on the value of my post-secondary degrees. For me at 24, it's hard to imagine how I'll ever be able to have savings, own property or support a family with the skills and education I have right now. When I started university, I hoped that it would be the more practical and safe path, and that working hard would take me the places I wanted to go. Now I know that's not how it goes. Life has never been that simple. But, then again, no one before us had to pay so much for an education. There's no way of ignoring that what I've learned about myself and the knowledge I've (hopefully) retained from university is incredibly valuable. It tempers how mad I feel when I think about the disparity between what my family and I have invested into my education and what there is to show for it.

I got very upset this morning when I listened to a panel of administrators, professors, and government officials talk about the value of university education on the CBC's Sunday Edition. The second hour of the panel allowed the audience to put forward questions to the panel. The forum called "The Final Examination Question: Is a University Education Worth the Cost?" did nothing to dispel any idea that the University is not built to serve its students.

A good discussion is constructive but it was outrageous that no one could agree what the university was for. If the panel is at all representative of the people who make the decisions at universities, then I'm going to think long and hard about finishing my last course and coughing up thousands dollars to get my piece of parchment. What will I gain from it? According to the panellists, nothing but self-satisfaction. Not one school official said that going to university was going to do a good job of preparing you for the workforce.

Of course, a university is not a technical or professional school. Universities are also places of scholarship and research. But students are largely there because they feel that they have to be, because they can't get the jobs they want before they know they've written a paper that applies Foucault to Facebook. Schools advertise the quality of their teaching; the teaching is supposed to make us more intelligent, tolerant and giving members of society. Now, can they prove that their teaching will open opportunities for us to contribute to society that are more satisfying than working another McJob?

The CBC program was recorded at Dalhousie University, so there were students in the audience from King's College, Dal, and other nearby universities. Several students asked why they had to work several jobs, and sometimes had to go to the food bank, to survive the demands of getting a post-secondary education. Others were more accepting of the hardships that come with having to support yourself through university but asked why they couldn't expect a job after investing their time and money. The panel could only respond by saying that you should try harder and/or think about "the joy of learning." (Kudos, nonetheless, to Michael Enright for being the voice of mediation and reason, and standing up for the students.)

Later this morning, I was doubly sad when I read the education issue of the New York Times magazine, published this week. The issue covers some innovative new programs and initiatives in schools happening right now. I was particularly impressed by the joint journalism-computer science program at New York University covered in "Hacks Into Hackers" This is a program that prepares its students for working in more than one industry, and gives them unique analytical and problem-solving skills. Instead of shaping students who might be able to get by today, this NYU program could produce professionals with skills that will be valued ten years from now. I'm jealous.

NYU students pay tuition fees that would make most bank accounts weep, which explains why Canadian universities, which are partly publicly funded, mostly cannot offer programs like this. But how can the schools, in good conscience, accept students, take their tuition, treat them like suckers, and then go on national radio and talk about it like it's the students' problem?

In related news: The jackpot for Lotto 6/49 this week is $3.5 million.


Where are you?

Click here.

Are they coming to where you are?

Buy some tickets.

See the show.

Thank me later.

Weekend plans

I've working away at this thesis thingy so I've not trolled the computer tubes today. But in the interest of keeping up this blog (particularly for my no. 1 fan, VinBiscuit54), I've decided to share my wild weekend plans with you. Also, this is a chance for me to show off my incredible PhotoShop skills. Two birds...


Jacob forgoes photoshopping (kind of)

This month, Jacob, popular retailer of very nice women's clothing, announced a "no-retouching" policy for photos of its models, to "promote an honest and realistic image of the female body."

Good news, but can you tell the difference between the three images below? The left is the original image, the middle an example of the kind of image Jacob will use for its campaigns moving forward (colour-corrected, scars and tattoos removed, etc.), and the one on the right is supposed to illustrate the degree of photoshopping in their past Jacob Lingerie campaigns.

The press release's title is a bit troubling... does it mean that other photos--those of non-models--would (and should) be retouched? And, as Jenna Owsianik pointed out on Shameless's blog, this lady doesn't exactly need a lot of photoshopping.


Girl from Dawson's Creek and annoying skinny guy from Breaker High get together and it's hot.

/via W Magazine

Volcanoes Make Magazines

Back in April, a bunch of folks who couldn't go home because of the volcanic ash cloud got together on the Internet and made a magazine. Said Andrew Losowsky, editor and publisher (and genius behind Stack America):

If there’s one thing my ol’ ma taught me, it’s that when life gives you volcanoes, make magazines. And so we shall.

Stranded is available to order on the magazine's website today via MagCloud.

T-Post: The "magazine" you can wear

Promo video for innovative Swedish publishing project, T-post, employs mascot that is uncannily like Office Assistant, everyone's favourite paperclip!

My verdict: pretty OK T-shirts (some better than others), amateurish writing, awesome idea.

Is this a magazine? For me, T-Post shirts are just designer t-shirts with an artist statement inside. It makes me wonder if these days, positioning your product as some kind of answer to saving the publishing industry (or as as attempt to turn it on its head with an new business model, i.e. precious art project) is just an easy marketing ploy.

(P.S. Magazine ad sales are doing just fine these days, thank you very much)

Better Book Titles

/via Better Book Titles

Ink on paper: MAGIC!

McSweeney's Issue 35 is wrapped in an unbelievable disappearing-ink cover done by Jordan Crane.


... with a little bit of elbow grease, makes this happen:

The fun continues inside!

/via Mr. Magazine


You rock, Martha Stewart!

Charlie Rose: "You used to be a billionaire"
Martha: "I know. It felt so nice. I remember driving up Madison Avenue thinking, 'I can buy anything.' But I’m not a spendthrift!"

Watch the video

No, I haven't actually read Freedom

... but I am loving the discussion that is happening around Frazenfreude! Franzen is trending online like a literary Lady Gaga--long after the discussion has gone stale, he's SEO gold! And yet, bloggers and commenters are still opening up a wider conversation about gender and writing -- I hope it goes on.

Inspired by the discussion about the male/female divide in American literature, Liza Mundy's piece on the Double X blog at Slate is one I wanted to share for its candour and hilarity.

Here she is on the gender divide on reporting trips:
"...in my experience, male reporters say something along the lines of "Bye, honey!" when they go out the door to the airport, while women reporters have to make 7,000 back-up plans involving not only spouses but primary baby-sitters, secondary baby-sitters, pet-walking services, and carpooling colleagues, just to make sure that while they are away, no child gets forgotten overnight at gymnastics practice. Women reporters take the earliest train trip to their reporting destination in the morning, and the latest possible train back, rather than spend an extra, leisurely night in a hotel room. Women reporters stuff breast pumps in their carry on bags and help with homework over the telephone."


In Related News: Olly Moss

Young 'un illustrator-designer Olly Moss's posters for Alamo Drafthouse grace the Apple movie trailer website today to promote the Rolling Road Show, a series of outdoor movie screenings in the locations where they were shot (i.e. There Will Be Blood in Bakersfield, California).

P.S. (I think) This is another stroke of genius from the Levi's/W+K partnership