Eurovision 2014

So tonight, after yet another annoying few days at the J-O-B, I plan on couch-crashing with my Sweetie and enjoying the second, semi-final round of Eurovision 2014.

What is Eurovision, you ask?

Eurovision-2014

According to Wikipedia, the Eurovision Song Contest is “…an annual song competition held among the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) since 1956. Each member country submits a song to be performed on live television and radio and then casts votes for the other countries’ songs to determine the most popular song in the competition. The contest has been broadcast every year since its inauguration in 1956 and is one of the longest-running television programmes in the world. It is also one of the most watched non-sporting events in the world, with audience figures having been quoted in recent years as anything between 100 million and 600 million internationally.” So, yeah, take that American Idol, The Voice and every version of The X Factor. Before any of you, there was Eurovision.

I was introduced to Eurovision via Martin, and it was amazing to watch. The variety of acts and the differences between countries is astounding. I am pretty excited to watch Round Two of the Semi-Finals tonight with my Sweetie. I caught a few of the acts from Round One earlier this week – amazing…

The Eurovison 2014 stage and venue are ridiculous, as in ree-dick-yoo-lus…

stage-of-Eurovision-

To give you some idea of what the stage “does,” here is a video clip of Austrian contestant Conchita Wurst‘s second rehearsal – Conchita’s song entry is titled “Rise Like a Phoenix”: 

Conchita is an interesting contestant – s/he presents as a woman (beautiful woman) with a full beard. Here she is:

Conchita-Wurst

Conchita has a sort of Kim-Kardashian-meets-immaculately-groomed-Arabic-prince-meets-Shirley-Bassey presence. I personally really, really like her song, and I think the lyrics have personal significance to the performer. I know Conchita is a polarizing personality but, beyond all else, Eurovision IS a vocal competition so I hope the BEST vocalist wins, regardless of how he or she looks…

Check out Eurovision 2014 online here – and enjoy! http://www.eurovision.tv/page/timeline

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Fashion Statement: Doll Clothing for Men

I have never considered myself a clothes horse. Not even close. Frankly, I couldn’t care less about fashion and/or being fashionable (I mean, c’mon – I wear “Dad jeans,” LOL!) I blame that on a lot of things – a less-than-affluent childhood (I wore a lot of hand-me-downs from my cousin Eddie), a lifetime plagued by poor body/self image, a genetically-predestined “sturdy, big-boned” frame (I am of German descent – we are a solid stock) and, quite honestly, just a lack of interest in men’s fashion. I tend to think most men’s fashion is a bit boring and pedestrian. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely think well-dressed guys are sharp and handsome but being fashionable has always been second to being comfortable for me. Which brings me to today’s blog question:

Who the HELL decided fashionably-dressed men should look like PeeWee Herman? And if that isn’t bad enough, who decided men should all buy clothing two sizes too small, like The Grinch’s heart? The male models I see everywhere today are wearing clothing that would probably (barely) “fit” a Ken doll. I mean, what is this?

Outfit tweedOutfit Navy

I would like to quickly point out that the images of both men above were taken from fashion blog “Look Books” (click the images to be re-directed to the original sites) and that I think both these guys are current and pleasant-looking, if somewhat “pinched.” They are also in outfits that look two sizes too small or, even worse, look like adults wearing suits they got in eighth grade. Is there a world-wide shortage of suiting fabric I am unaware of? I don’t get it…

Neither of these guys are “big” – I’d guess each of them to be like 5’8″ or so and a lean, mean maybe 155 pounds. So how in the world can they even FIND clothes that look so small and tight? I mean, c’mon… The gentleman at top is in what I assume could be called a business casual suit, yet his pants look like they barely graze his pubes, his pants are too short (and no socks? don’t get me started!), his sleeves are too short, his shirt looks constrictive and his jacket is so tight it literally pulls across that toned pigeon chest of his in the “relaxed” pose at left. And the navy blue blazer guy fairs only slightly better…

Navy blue blazer’s jacket is so tight it cinches in at the waist, creating – at least in my mind, – a very feminine silhouette. The dress shirt is one button too unbuttoned for me (can you say Reek-oh Swah-vay?) And are we STILL doing distressed denim (hole-y jeans)? At least this guy’s pant hems touch his shoe tops.

I know I probably sound like some old, chubby fashion-hater but I question why – in a world constantly battling eating disorders in boys and girls, men and women – why do we aspire to be “spindle thin” mean wearing clothes that fit like bandages?

God love you fashionista’s – you keep squeezing into those mini-pants and I will keep wearing baggy polo style shirts.

Flirt Therapy?

Today, as I was making a quick retail purchase, I think the sweet woman at the register actually “hit” on me. I think. Moments like that never really happen to me, or else I’m kinda’ “thick” about it. It was charming and awkward, all at the same time, for a couple of reasons:

1. I am happily married to the MAN of my dreams already. I love that guy…

Gay Cake Topper2. My sexuality aside, while she is an attractive lady, even if I were straight, she is probably young enough to be my daughter… Eewww…

Anna Nicole and HubbyIt was kinda’ cute, kinda’ awkward and, mercifully, over quickly. Don’t get me wrong – I am flattered for sure, but a big “THANKS BUT NO THANKS,” please.

Thanks but no thanksI guess I have never even been all that comfortable with the notion of possibly being “attractive” – I mean, I feel awful even typing that phrase. Yuk. At best, I consider myself slightly above average-looking: I don’t scare babies and old people but no one ever mistakes me for Chris Evans, either. My Sweetie tells me every day how handsome and beautiful I am (and I love him for that) but, after 5+ years of near-daily affirmations, it stills feel strange and a little uncomfortable..

As weird as it sounds, I never struggled with being gay but have always struggled with body image and self-acceptance. Even in my early 20’s, when I had a 32″ waist – a size L-O-N-G gone from my closet, BTW – I still wasn’t happy with how I looked. I have been in therapy for almost two decades and been blessed with the most loving, supportive and affirming partner EVER for going on six years now, so I AM making progress. Who knows? Maybe one day, I will be an arrogant, conceited A-hole (but I doubt it).

So, nice counter lady, thank you for the real-or-perceived-to-be-real coyness. We will never – and I mean, NEVER – be together but you definitely helped boost my self-esteem a bit today and reminded me how lucky I am to be with the man I have always wished for… Thanks!

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…

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?

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y NIGHT!

I know. My mind often drifts to such weird places…

This song “popped” into my head today. It made me smile to think that these guys,

Bay City Rollerswith their strange fascination with plaid, bell-bottom capri pants, an odd tendency to layer pattern upon pattern and their seemingly shameless desire to make “male camel toe” a fashion statement, could be the featured artists on the soundtrack to many/any of my Saturday nights in 1976. And that HAIR, Lord have mercy, that HAIR! As we used to joke in the day, Girl, Aqua Net for DAYS!!!

bay-city-rollers 2I must admit – whether it is their doing or not – I do still have a strong affection for striped socks, LOL! This song is cheesy, BEYOND bubble-gummy and – if I am being totally honest – kinda’ fun. Listen, and enjoy! Happy Saturday night!

Too Much Competition

Never let it be said that I back down from a challenge but I definitely know when I am “out gunned.” Tonight is the 86th Annual Academy Awards Show and my little blog will be in competition for attention with these major players:fashion-high-end-logos

Listen – there is (probably) no way I can capture any sort of audience tonight with this post so I will gracefully accept that each of the fashion houses above command attention more than five – a blog. There will be other days, and other posts… BTW, no matter what film wins Best Picture, it will be a great night of fashion; I’m hoping for a Versace slam-dunk sweep!

ipad-wallpaper-versace