Lady Gaga? WTF?

While I am not, technically, a “Little Monster,” I have LOVED Lady Gaga since the beginning. I remember seeing a video clip of Lady Gaga performing at some club on the Perez Hilton blog what seems like years ago. I remember thinking, “Wow. That woman is talented. She is surely crazy, but crazy talented.” I was hooked…

I have watched Gaga explode into/onto the world, becoming not only a musician to be reckoned with but also a non-stop visual feast. She is a fashion icon. She is always a head-turner, sometimes as a fashion vision, sometimes as a fashion nightmare. She is a living, breathing work of art. And, like art, not everybody is gonna’ like everything.

So sorry, Little Monsters, I do not like the latest Gaga incarnation. I’m not sure how this beautiful, talented artist, a woman that started sorta’ like this –

Glamorous Gagaand periodically entered into almost otherworldly, non-human personas like this –

Rainbow Gagaand most recently became the face of one of, if not THE, most glamorous fashion houses on the planet – Versace –

Lady-gaga-versace-adcan somehow appear at SXSW (the South by Southwest music festival) and – after a song about rape, during which a “vomit artist” regurgitated lime green and inky black goo on Lady Gaga –  my former “goddess” looked like this –

Lady-Gaga-VomitCovered in stomach acid, vile liquid goo and sweat, Gaga mounted a giant bucking mechanical pig wearing a ball gag – the pig not Gaga – and simulated lesbian sex with Millie (the gal that had just puked on her). It was not pretty… Or inspiring… Or even “conceptual.”

It was gross, it was sophomoric and it came across as manic and desperate.

Sorry, Lady Gaga – I still love ya, babe, but that performance made you look like some sort of insane, drug-and-alcohol-addled college co-ed on a spring break gone bad. Way bad. I also thought your dancers spraying the audience with beer from shaken up “40’s” was super-classy as well. I had actually looked forward to seeing your “intimate performance” at SXSW. Instead, I saw a great artist performing in intimate apparel.

I am no prude, nor am I some old, squeamish fuddy-duddy but really, LG – get it together, please. If not for your own sake, for your fans. Please never make us want to turn in our Little Monster membership cards. We’d be sad…

5 Rules of a Relationship

I wish I had created this graphic; I didn’t. I found it tonight while trolling Tumblr (my latest sorta’socialmedia addiction) and it resonated with me greatly in its stark simplicity, its in-your-face presentation and its absolute truth –

rulesI must admit – were I to change ANYTHING about this graphic – it might be the order of “the rules,” but I’m not even sure I would change that. Read, heed and share. Thanks, PositiveTimez!

Thank God It’s Friday

I must admit, I look forward to some “weekends off” more than others.

I’m looking forward to this one…

I made myself laugh a few minutes ago when – I’m embarrassed to admit – I actually said, like, out loud, to a co-worker, “Thank God it’s Friday.”

Which made me think about the now-classic cult film of the same title from 1978,

thank-god-its-friday-donna-summerwhich made me start singing the disco classic from Love & Kisses, Thank God it’s Friday – hear it HERE.  It also reminded me of Donna Summer (goddess!) and how much, probably more than almost any other song, ever – “Last Dance” impacted my life…

IFWT_DonnaSummer-LastDance

To enjoy Last Dance – and watch the seminal scene from the movie that made it famous (at least with straight people, LOL!) – please click HERE. Whenever I hear this song, I smile from ear-to-ear and am a 20-year-old gay boy again.

TGIF! Have a GREAT weekend, everyone!

Say What

Today was an odd, mixed bag of news and moments…

I learned that the father of a very close friend had passed away. Design clients – a young couple – shared with me that they were expecting their first child. I learned that someone I idolize, a legend in the home furnishings industry, recently sold her her entire business empire – her name included! – for $95 million dollars. My little store did about $12 in sales. I had a visit from an old co-worker. I had a visit from a former design client. I had a salad for lunch AND a salad for dinner. All these unrelated happenings, all these nothing-in-common moments occurred on the same day. I guess maybe every day is a little like that (I hope maybe not the $12-in-sales-thing!) but it was an interesting roller coaster of a day today: sadness, joy, awe, disappointment, remembrance, surprise and routine. For whatever reason, this image just got stuck in my brain tonight…

Magic 8 BallI hope tomorrow is equally full and exciting – maybe with the hope that the news and events all be weighted to “the good side” – no more deaths, and maybe, just maybe, sales at my business will inch closer to that $95 million dollar mark. And I’ll eat some bread…

Herkimer Diamonds

According to a recent quiz I took on Facebook, I am a Herkimer Diamond. Sounds pretty cool – and glamorous – right? You know, “being” a gemstone. These are examples of Herkimer Diamonds –

Herkimer Diamonds 1Don’t get me wrong – I was flattered to “be” a diamond, Herkimer or not, but I had never even heard of them – Herkimer Diamonds. A quick “Google” give me this info from Wikipedia –

Herkimer diamond is a generic name for a double-terminated quartz crystal discovered within exposed outcrops of dolostone in and around Herkimer County, New York and the Mohawk River Valley.  …Wiccan and New Age belief systems often ascribe specific occult properties and a wide variety of mystical powers to them.

Herkimer clusterClick the image above to be taken to the Wikipedia entry. So, “occult properties” or “mystical powers,” eh? Since I AM a Herkimer Diamond, I was curious to see what those properties/powers were…

Turns out, according to the internet, that “Herkimer Diamonds are a master class crystal. They bring clarity on all levels. Herkimer Diamond crystals empower the self, providing the energy to create and manifest visions into being. Herkimer Diamonds are amazing amplifiers of energy. They seek to balance the imbalances on all levels.’

Hmmmm… So, I “possess” the power manifest visions into being? Sounds a lot like what interior designers do for a living – we bring clarity to interiors, empower our clients to seek balance and help turn “visions” into reality. Sounds about right. I AM a Herkimer Diamond.

herkimer-diamond-cluster

Tuesday Daydreaming

So today was a MUCH better day than yesterday, overall, with ONE exception:

It was COLD (again) and it SNOWED (again). I know I promised to stop kvetching about the weather so instead, allow me to share my Tuesday Daydreaming with you…

Today I closed my eyes and tried to remember what the world looked like when lawns were all lush and green…

grassI wanted to remember what it felt like to go out for a walk without hats and gloves and coats and boots – just me, my Beloved MSW, my feet and my eyes. To “see” things besides snow and icicles…

eggs in a nestI thought about how great it would be to see people and animals actually enjoying and interacting with nature, being an active part of the experience, not always running to “get inside as fast as possible…”

200406970-001

I wanted to remember what it was like to spend an entire day at the shore (the LAKE shore, BTW) with my Beloved, to sit in the warm sun with him, a cold Diet Coke, a magazine and my floppy hat, doing nothing but being together and, well, just being…

beach chairsAnd I closed my eyes and thought back to hanging out with our friends, roasting marshmallows over a backyard fire pit, again doing nothing but being… Sigh…

roasting marshmallowsListen, I know we will (eventually) enjoy a brief three-day Spring, followed immediately by an agonizingly hot-n-humid Summer, a Summer I will no doubt “wish away” every day, tired of the endless oppressive heat and humidity, or maybe too much rain. It seems to me that the nature of man – or at least MY nature – is to always wish for something different that what is happening/what we have. So, I try and be patient, I try and be accepting and – more than anything – I try to remember that “Nothing is as sure as the changing of the seasons.”

Some days I need to work a lot harder to remember that… Please, Spring – c’mon already…

Monday – NOT Funday

I love my job. I really do. Every single day, every single minute, I LOVE my job.

Now clients? That is another story entirely…

As a professional designer, I can never quite understand why someone would hire me – pay me money – to do a job and yet, seemingly, do everything they can to PREVENT me from doing it. Doing it well, doing it efficiently, doing it in a timely manner. The paradox of it all drives me crazy. Most days, clients are pretty great. Most days…

Today? Not so much. In fact, for the bulk of the day today, I felt very much like this sad soul –

Target PracticeI felt like I was part of some weird, twisted carnival target game – every phone call, every email – heck, even one text message! – was like a “hit” in the orange rectangle… Sure, I am exaggerating – a little – but man, oh man, some days are pretty dag-gone, um, “challenging.”

It all came full circle by the end of the day. By 5PM, everyone seemed happy, seemed on track and seemed, well, for like of a better word – nice again.

I certainly hope Tuesday goes a little more smoothly. Or that maybe the “hits” come a little less frequently…

An Open Letter to Winter

23 March 2014

Dear Mr./Ms. Winter,

I trust this note finds you well. I gather you are, in fact, well as witnessed by the ever-so-random snowflakes cascading beautifully past my window as I write this note. Sure, this snowfall would probably barely be classified as a “trace” but – having lived in Ohio my whole life, as well as having endured the seemingly endless winter currently upon us – I know how quickly that can change.

I’m not here to “ask” you anything – like “Please let Spring come,” or to scold you, as in “Cleveland’s first snowfall of the current ‘season’ was 24 October 2013 – five months ago… There are FOUR seasons – everyone gets a turn and your turn is over.” Nope. I’m not going to try to beg you or shame you or reason with you. I just wrote to let you know, you win…

truceThat’s right – you win. I surrender. I give up. Come on, bury me in your Winter whiteness. Cover me with snow and ice and cold. Sentence me to live out my life filled with short gray days devoid of sunlight. I don’t care any more. You have played a brilliant psychological game, teasing me with some sun, then returning to cold and darkness for weeks; some temps above freezing, followed by a 24-hour plunge back to near sub-arctic temps. I am broken. I simply do not have enough “fire” in me to even bitch about it any more. It’s over…

Move the glacier in over Cleveland. Take me to your cold, ice prison and get it over with. As I said, you win.

With deep contempt and resentment, I remain,

Tim in CLE

A Reasonable Request

My niece “A” recently turned one. And, in two weeks, my great nephew “E” will also turn one. I love BOTH of them like CRAZY, and had originally planned to write a sweet, touching post about how they represented our future, how theirs would be the world I wished I lived in, blah blah blah… I still believe hope that’s possible and that post is still coming but it got sidelined today as I was searching for quotes about kids. During that inspiration search, I happened upon this brilliant image and it really spoke to me:Kid quote

I have never seen this “suggestion” before but it really makes sense to me. Listen, I have nine – NINE – nieces and nephews. I get it. Parenting is hard. Kids are hard. H-A-R-D. But, I think, or at least hope, that most everyone that IS a parent gave it some thought before they committed to that life-long responsibility. At least they should have…

I am endlessly amazed at just how poorly some children behave, how little respect many children have for their elders and – quite honestly – the absolute cloak of entitlement that 99 out of 100 children wear. I mean, c’mon – I hate to sound like an Old Grandpa or something but when I see ten-year-old’s with an iPhone 5, an iPad, a Kindle, BEATS headphones and  $129+ tennis shoes, I wanna’ scream.

Sure, I’ll admit it – some of it is jealousy. My own childhood, while hardly poverty-stricken, was certainly simpler. And less “high end.”

As a child, both my parents worked so Mom ironed our “school clothes” every Sunday night. Much as I hate to admit it, for my brother and I that meant we got three shirts and two pairs of pants for the week – we “rotated” three different shirts, then repeated. Were we poor? Well, we weren’t rich, but our clothes were clean and pressed and we respected them, the work my parents did to provide them and the value and necessity of caring for them. Today, I see entire clothing stores dedicated to “tween” girls, dressing them like little 30-year-olds in dance clubs. And every time a I see a fifteen-year-old boy dressed head-to-toe in A&F –

kids_lg_100208I want to jump in front of a bus! No offense to Abercrombie & Fitch, but the outfit shown above – at regular retail – totals $157.75 – without underwear, a belt or tax! Again, nothing against A&F, but I see HERDS of children dressed like this at our local upscale mall and wonder – WTF do they/their parents DO that they can afford to outfit their kids like this?

It also makes me ask what sort of values our society is creating when kids “get” cars for their sixteenth birthdays, a ten-day trip to the Bahamas for graduation and graduate college expecting to walk into a $75K+ job.

It makes me sad. Those children have a RUDE awakening coming. And, most of all, instead of the golden future I dream of, it will be a full-blown train wreck, filled with spoiled-rotten adult children that pout and have no idea what being a grown-up even entails. I worry that the generation I had hoped would care and look out for me in my “Golden Years” will nothing but a rudderless, unmotivated, shut-down mess of humanity. So, I ask all parents this favor:

I will work on leaving the planet a better place for your children if you work on leaving children that respect it, respect us and will be better parents to THEIR kids then we were to ours. Deal?