On How I Want To Be More Like Tim Gunn (except the celibacy)

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Having watched Project Runway for years (SHOCK!) I – along with the public at large – have become a little enamoured with Tim Gunn. He really makes the mentor role on Project Runway his own by striking a perfect balance between warmth and honesty. Basically, he’s super nice but not afraid to tell someone their work looks like shit. In short, AMAZING.

He’s also very gracious. Each episode the contestants go shopping for fabric and that scene of mass chaos always ends with Tim Gunn orating “Thank you Mood!” in his rather affected voice. I love this and wish to borrow (steal) it for my own life.

To that end I’ve been trying to work up the courage to yell it out as I leave local establishments – e.g. “Thank you Starbucks!,” “Thank you David’s Tea!” – but I’m as yet unsure I can pull it off. To be fair, Tim Gunn is surrounded by a gaggle of fashion designers and a camera crew while I’m tottering out of the shop with no more than a good friend and a cup of tea. Significantly different. Either way I’m going to make this happen.

Watch out local businesses!

She Knows She’s Singing About The Gays Right?…

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Kelly Clarkson, People Like Us: super stylin'

How could anyone not love Kelly Clarkson? Now, given, I’m a card carrying ‘mo and can therefore be excommungayted for anti-Kelly opinions but seriously… KELLY CLARKSON.

Aside from the booming voice and power pop anthems theres someone who seems the perfect blend of ridiculously likeable and not afraid to stand by her convictions. Another thing that’s amazing about Kelly Clarkson? The fine line she walks with songs that play well to a mass audience and in their true home, the sweaty, testosterone-tinged chapel to females with powerful voices and thumping beats: the gay bar. If you have never experienced a Kelly Clarkson chorus in the midst of a dancefloor packed with gays then I would suggest it’s something you need to add to your bucket list.

See below Clarko’s latest queer friendly effort People Like Us (COME ON with that title).

I need to take a quick aside at this point to analyze this glorious music video. First of all, there’s some serious Peter Parker shit going on with those glasses. I hardly recognized our heroine in them!? What’s up with that? Then Kelly’s serving up some black and white Detox realness.

RuPaul's Drag Race, Detox: not a black and white photo

Amazing. It goes all Pleasantville and then we’re treated to some high budget CGI that celebrates the fact that Kelly has stolen a child. Also there’s a chest pound. It would hard to make it any gayer even if it had Michael Douglas and Matt Damon getting busy Liberace and Scott Thorson styles (How good was Behind the Candelabra?) as Kelly sped into that hyper-realistic tunnel.

To skip back a little I cannot wait to throw some shapes to this on my next visit to my gay bar of choice Numbers. When that chorus breaks I’m gonna throw my hands in the air “a misfit living in a world on fire” as Kelly sings “for the people like us” and I yell to the DJ “turn it up loud while the flames get higher.” AMAZING.

Well-played as usual Kelly Clarkson.

Kelly Clarkson, People Like Us: chest pound

Things that make me cry #listoclock

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Christine Sinclair: tears o'clock

It may or may not come as a surprise to you that I enjoy a good cry – hint: it shouldn’t – and the other day I was thinking of all the things that cause me to instantly blub all over myself. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good list?

1. Gospel Choir + Key Change
The ultimate. The gospel choir key change – so well mastered by The X Factor and similar – affects something deep within me, and even if I’m not particularly enjoying the song. See below Jaymene Douglas’ mediocre Imagine cover. It’s all a bit meh until [2:44] when the 1 2 punch of the gospel choir key change kicks in and my tear ducts are obliterated.

2. Christine Sinclair at the Olympics closing ceremony
I cannot understate how much I cried watching the London Olympics closing ceremony. I literally could not hold it together any time Christine Sinclair was on screen. Needless to say I adore Christine Sinclair but this was borderline absurd. When it first started my friends Jo-Ann and Trevor gently mocked my ease with the tears but by the end I think they seriously started to worry for my mental stability.

3. Weddings
There was a point in my life when I assumed – for some reason!? – that I would not be a wedding crier. Friends guffawed at the idea and I was ultimately proven wrong. At every wedding I’ve ever attended.

4. Actresses Playing Mothers Trying Not to Cry or Generally “Holding it Together”
Now this may seem rather specific but it happens more than you might think. The first example I can think of is Emma Thompson tidied the bedsheets as Joni Mitchell croons in the background in Love, Actually. See also the last Harry Potter movie, Muriel’s Wedding etc.

I’m worried this list could literally go on forever but I will leave you with one thing that always gets my tear ducts flowing and that is the reprise of the ladies baseball song at the end of A League Of Their Own. Interesting sidenote: Youtube completed my search “A League Of Their Own song at the end.” Amazing. Not only is this moment singularly amazing it almost makes me want to fall out with someone only so that we can have the chance at a reconciliation via musical accompaniment many years later.

TEARS O’CLOCK!

A not so guilty pleasure… #herestonevergrowingup

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here's to not being ashamed of enjoying amazing songs

I have never been a fan of Avril Lavigne. Frankly, ever since Complicated first made a dent on popular culture I have despised the woman. I remember distinctly having a rather heated discussion with my brother regarding her being a popstar. For the record there’s nothing I despise more than a popstar who tries to dress themselves up as something else.

BEING A POPSTAR IS ENOUGH.

That being said as a fan of pop music I force myself to be open to pop even from sources that I might despise for non-aural reasons. It is for this reason that Avril Lavigne’s latest Here’s to Never Growing Up reminds me rather a lot of Miley Cyrus’ pop triumph Party In the USA. Both are supremely enjoyable summer pop anthems from otherwise personally irritating media personalities.

If we’re getting serious about it, which Popjustice does excellently as per usual – Here’s To Never Growing Up could be seen a subtle acknowledgement of Avril Lavigne’s relationship with her record buying public. She continues to push out punk-pop anthems for 16 year old, eternally living in a pubescent world herself, never allowed to mature for fear of losing her audience. The video (below) even sees her back in a loose-fitting tie that became so much the look early on in her career.

Also, maybe she has no idea that the lyrics are a little bit sad and autobiographical for all the wrong reasons – that might even make it more amazing – and more to the point it doesn’t matter. Avril has delivered a perfect summer anthem and you can’t take that away from her. Strip away your dislike of the pop poseur and let yourself revel in a brilliant pop song.

Here’s to never growing up, indeed.

The Future Is Now: Split Bills For All!

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hello future: split bills

I was out at dinner the other day and the subject of splitting the bill came up. To be frank it all went a bit tits up but this was the first time in a long time that it hadn’t been easy as pie.

While the young’ens out there might not remember this, splitting the bill at the end of a meal used to be the biggest palaver. How something so simple took so long to get right is beyond me but it really was like pulling teeth trying to properly sort out a bill.

Then one day someone – who hopefully has a Nobel Prize for his or her efforts – cracked the magical code that allows us today to live in a world where splitting bills is all very matter of fact. It’s so often just done for you in advance now: I love it. Every item magically assigned to its consumer. Oft-times split items (appetizers, etc) are even split between multiple bills!

What a time to be alive!

STEP OFF Taylor Swift.

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Taylor Swift: oh know she didn't

In thinking about International Women’s Day the other week I couldn’t help but become enraged with Taylor Swift and her frankly juvenile response to a smart jibe by Tina Fey & Amy Poehler at what will go down as the best hosted Golden Globes in the history of television. In response to said jibe Taylor Swift, in a recent interview with Vanity Fair, quoted Katie Couric as saying: “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

OH NO SHE DIDN’T!

Who does Taylor Swift think she’s talking about?!? You’d be hard pressed to find a high profile celebrity as invested in the furtherment of woman as Tina Fey. This is a woman who actually spends time thinking about her actions in relation to the greater good of her female peers. I sincerely hope that Taylor Swift will grow out of a phase were she feels the need to question other women for an innocuous joke. And perhaps she needs to think about how she presents herself to the world before she starts being critical of others for questioning it. Taylor Swift has defined herself in relation to the men in her life for public consumption so it’s a bit self-rightuous to turn around and call people out for talking about her that way.

At the end of the day she’s really missed the mark on this one. Instead of leaving it alone and taking a joke – from a comedy legend and strident feminist – on the chin, she has now created a celebrity “feud” which contains as its central storyline women vs. women. And now we’re back to “why can’t women just get along?” BLERG!

Step off Taylor Swift.

10 Years On Kelly Clarkson Continues To Be Amazing.

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Kelly Clarkson: amazing

I was out for lunch the other day at Humpty’s here in Fort McMurray when Kelly Clarkson’s Catch My Breath came on. To this point I had vaguely enjoyed the song but it hadn’t really clicked with me. That was all about to change.

As I was enjoying the delightful pulled pork sandwich (and tater tots) that I had ordered the middle aged waitress across the partition started givin’er along with our Kelly. I cracked the biggest smile in that moment, it really was a perfect Kelly Clarkson moment. You see the thing about Kelly Clarkson is that she’s really the everywoman popstar: the people’s popstar if you will. As noted in Popjustice’s brilliant piece about Kelly’s even more brilliant Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You):

…being normal is Kelly’s thing just like being super-normal is Gaga’s thing, but it’s striking just how much of a breath of fresh air it is to see a pop superstar not attempting to be a breath of fresh air.

Kelly Clarkson’s music is equally at home with the middle aged waitress at Humpty’s and pumping through a room of gays throwing shapes ‘neath a glistening disco ball.

To conclude, Kelly Clarkson is amazing.

On Lady Homophobes.

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Liz Lemon: "Being a woman is the worst."

It was International Women’s Day last week (holla at my ladies!) and it made me think about a few things. The first is how irritating I find female homophobes. Before you get on a high horse about me targeting women etc etc etc, hear me out. First and foremost I would like to point out that I am a strident feminist; despite not loving them in the biblical sense (pretty perverted stuff if you ask me and/or actually read the old testament) I could not be a stronger supporter of gender equality.

The problem I have with lady homophobes is that in my view homophobia is intrinsically tied to misogyny. To my way of thinking people are uncomfortable with any change in the gender norms but particularly with the feminization of men. As Madonna (apologies) put it in one of her perhaps slightly less memorable hits:

Girls can wear jeans
And cut their hair short
Wear shirts and boots
‘Cause it’s OK to be a boy
But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading
‘Cause you think that being a girl is degrading

Perhaps people don’t out and out think that being a girl is degrading, but somewhere ingrained in people is this idea that being a woman is intrinsically less than being a man.

Lady homophobes then cannot be real feminists because if they truly believed in gender equality the queers of the world – who mess with gender norms in ways that people with strict boundaries around them are not wont to handle – wouldn’t bother them in the slightest.

If you’ve known me long enough then you probably see where this post is swiftly heading and that’s that these women don’t really LOVE THEMSELVES. And that’s sad. Women who say they aren’t feminists are, frankly, the worst. I hope this doesn’t feel like I’m blaming the victim but women need to stand up and realize that feminism is not over. Things might be better but there’s still a fight out there. I stand with my ladies every day, but particularly for International Women’s Day.

LOVE YOURSELF!

It’s not just a garment, it’s a lifestyle.

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OnePiece: onesie life

Not to brag but over Christmas I was given one of the best Christmas gifts I have ever received. Actually, it was a brilliant collection of gifts that included a fabulous orange travel tea tumbler (yes I’m that person, I take it everywhere extolling the virtues of tea), a vinyl copy of the equally – if not more – fabulous be-zebra-ed recent musical outing from the Scissor Sisters: Magic Hour, and a onesie. It’s the kind of total knockout gift from which’s one two punch one finds it hard to recover.

And by that I mean it was totes amaze.

The onesie is an original OnePiece from Norway (and yes I am that person who says “it’s from Norway”). More specifically it’s a Lusekofte and it’s beyond amazing. Bringing comfort and style in droves I am rarely out of it around the house and have started wearing it on the odd excursion further afield. I wore it over Christmas to the movie theatre with my also be-OnePieced friends – and progenors (might not be a word but I’m going with it) of the gift – Jo and Trevor. I also wore it over to some friends for a recent house party and needless to say I was even more the centre of attention than my usual combination of wit and charm cause me to be.

It really is everything you could possibly want in a garment.

Unless you want easy access for a quick shit. Then perhaps not. But other than that I would say my OnePiece is ready for every social occasion. If you’re going somewhere you don’t think you could wear a onesie then you should probably rethink going there in the first place.

Basically what I’m saying here is that life is better in a OnePiece. End of.

On moments not reminisced.

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Memories, like the corners of mind. Misty water coloured memories of the way we were. Can it be that it was all so simple then or has time rewritten every line?

As you may remember I have an old friend named (pseudonym-alert!) Melanie P. While this post is not specifically about her, it was reminiscing about a trip we took together that got me thinking about this. Also, as a quick disclaimer this post might shed my usual ever so slightly sarcasm-tinged-tone and stray into Oprah-hallelu-LOVE YOURSELF territory

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Anyway, I was looking through some old photos the other day and was struck by something – actually it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while now: memories that aren’t brought up as often become less salient over time. This is particularly sad when you experience significant life events with someone that you no longer speak to.

In not reminiscing those moments they fade over time and pass into the ether; hazy, disremembered, forgotten. It’s actually a little sad. I’ve always strived to be very honest with people, the ultimate goal being if I can’t necessarily remain as close with someone, we can remain friendly. Just because a friendship ends up in a different place from whence it began is not a reason you can’t continue to share the brilliant memories you’ve created together. -[MIGHTY OPES ALERT]- I mourn those memories as much as – if not more than – the loss of the friendship.

Memories really are a part of who we are as people and losing them – even passively through lack of reminiscing them – feels like losing a part of yourself in a way. The memories I’m referring to specifically were a part of my formative years discovering the world around me and my place in it – for this reason my worry over losing them is particularly acute.

To conclude this slightly rambling – and in re-reading perhaps unintentionally maudlin – post I have to say that tripping down paths of thought like these only make me appreciate even more the amazing people who populate my life. Straying back into Oprah territory again here, I couldn’t be happier with the people around me. As I get older I come to realize more and more the importance of these people. They really do share your life with you and reflect who are as a person back at you. There’s nothing quite the same as sharing a memory with someone whom you’ve known since you were perhaps a slightly different person, or at a different time in your life. I find it hard to quantify the importance of that, or how reassuring that is. Basically it’s a family that you’ve created for yourself and that’s amazing.

Amazing.

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