Last night, I went to a Mary Kay party.

Yup. I did. I was skeptical, too. The hostess, who’s a friend of mine, enticed us with makeovers, giant bottles of wine, and legendary pizza from Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn Heights. (Last night I had a dream that I ate pizza and confessed to someone that the only food I had eaten since arriving in New York was pizza. Which is more or less true. I even kind of smelled like pizza when I sweat in yoga class yesterday. I mean, what?) 

Brooklyn Heights seemed to be this weird no-man’s land beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, kind of like Where the Sidewalk Ends. We got lost not only getting into my friend’s apartment building, but in the apartment building itself. I’m actually envious that she lives with her parents, because their apartment is big and worldly and plush and I wish I could have dinner with them every night. 

Anyway, we arrived to find the rest of our party sitting at the dining room table while our MK representative, Maiza, benevolently presided. My friend had already experienced Mary Kay Ash’s wondrous line of products, so she watched the Knicks game while we looked into our tiny mirrors and ate M&M’s whenever Maiza said the words “follow-up facial.” No, I don’t know why either. We just did whatever she told us to do.

It was fun and vaguely uncomfortable, as you might expect. Maiza first tried to recruit us as Mary Kay representatives, which was unexpected but kind of made me think, huh. A little supplemental income might not be so bad. Then again, I kind of got over going to people’s houses and convincing them to buy things when I was a canvasser. So maybe not. But Maiza was very sweet and helpful, walking us through all the products and smiling, airbrushed faces that peered at us as the flipped the pages of her Mary Kay guide. I washed my face, exfoliated my lips, used primer, powder, and blush, and experienced this amazing hand softener. Holy shit. I can still smell peaches.

Mostly, it was good to hang out with girlfriends old and new (awww!) and stagger home after several glasses of wine. And get my eye brightener in 3-5 business days. 

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Aside

I’m going to submit a proposal for this essay project described below, and you should, too! But beforehand, yesterday’s recap (boys, look away): I got my bikini line THREADED. Don’t worry, it’s not gross. They use what looks like floss to remove hair. I have no idea how they do it, I just know that it’s a thing here. Like, they have threading bars in the same way they have dry bars (which is not a bar for recovering alcoholics, as I initially thought. No, it’s a bar where people blow-dry your hair for $40).

Also, I went to the Music Hall of Williamsburg to see Nicolas Jaar, who’s an avant-garde ambient musician. I was also a little nervous, this being my first foray into the holier-than-thou Brooklyn concert scene. Sure enough, when I rolled up in my American Indian-patterned coat with a faux-fur hood (yes, it’s from Urban Outfitters, and no, I don’t give a shit), some guy snickered and said audibly, “Are we in Alaska?”

Fortunately, everyone I interacted with inside the venue was really friendly, including the bartender and two guys I met in line for coat check. We bonded over the idiots in back of us who talked about how the coat check lady was “high as a kite,” how they were part of the 1%, and how one of them was “moving away from democracy.” They also talked about the Occupy movement but their conversation was so offensive I blocked it out.

And the show itself? Really, fucking phenomenal. Jaar pulls an expertly timed bait and switch, knowing just when to release the tension. He sounds completely different live than recorded, and if you get the chance, try to catch him live.

Please submit to my fun/painful zine/book project, and also reblog.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

It’s Complicated: Feminists Write About the Misogynist Art We Love
ed. Judy Berman and Niina Pollari

“Listening to the Sex Pistols, trying to figure out if ‘Bodies’ was really an antiabortion song, I discovered that it was something even worse. It was an outburst of loathing for human physicality, a loathing projected onto women because they are babies and have abortions and are ‘a fucking bloody mess,’ but finally recoiling against the singer himself: ‘I’m not an animal!’ he bellowed in useless protest, his own animal sounds giving him the lie. It was an outrageous song, yet I could not simply dismiss it with outrage. The extremity of its disgust forced me to admit that I was no stranger to such feelings — though unlike Johnny Rotten I recognized that the disgust, not the body, was the enemy. And there lay the paradox: music that boldly and aggressively laid out what the singer wanted, loved, hated — as good rock-and-roll did — challenged me to do the same, and so, even when the content was antiwoman, antisexual, in a sense antihuman, the form encouraged my struggle for liberation.” — Ellen Willis, 1977

Feminists have never hesitated to dissect and attack art whose misogyny offends and repulses us. But what happens when we fall in love with the work of a musician, writer, or painter we see as anti-female? Do we rationalize our cognitive dissonance away, turn our back on the offending artist, or find a way to embrace the film or story that moves us while acknowledging what disturbs us about it? How does our attraction to misogynist art complicate our relationship to both the artist and to feminism itself?

It’s Complicated: Feminists Write About the Misogynist Art We Love is a zine and potential book project that seeks contributions by self-identified feminists. Essays of 1500-2000 words should analyze the writer’s appreciation for an author, musician, artist, filmmaker, or other cultural figure — of any gender — who the writer also views as somehow misogynist. Glam rock, John Milton, Drake and Egon Schiele are among the topics that have already been approved, which should give a good idea of the project’s breadth. As this anthology is intended for a general readership, academic papers will not be considered, and contributors should avoid field-specific jargon of all kinds. Proposals for non-essay contributions will also be considered.

If you are interested in contributing to the project, please email a short pitch no later than February 29, 2012 to itscomplicatedbook@gmail.com proposing a subject and briefly summarizing the content of your essay. We encourage writers of all genders, backgrounds and experience levels to submit ideas.

About the editors:

Judy Berman is an editor at Flavorpill. She has written on music, film, TV and pop culture for publications including the Los Angeles Times, Slate, Salon and The Believer.

Niina Pollari is a writer and translator. She has written two poetry chapbooks and contributed to the Brooklyn Rail, Bitch Magazine, Jezebel and other venues. A translation of Finnish poet Tytti Heikkinen is forthcoming from Action Books in 2012.

She’s baaaack

Due to popular request (two people), I decided to resuscitate Mo’lasses. Oh, that’s right, it’s just Molasses right now. When I signed back into WordPress, I saw some drafts that I fortunately never finished. In the spirit of full disclosure, here they are. Date, title, first sentence.

2/26/11 – Motherfuckers
I hate ticket scalpers. (And human scalpers, for that matter.)

2/26/11 (same date?) – And sometimes
When I’m walking in winter, I’ll see something like…

6/14/10 – Did you know that plastics take 80-450 years to decompose?

9/16/08 – (no subject)
I decided to resuscitate my blog.

So, four years later, I decided to actually resuscitate my blog. I’m actually publishing this draft, so that’s a start. I’m not going to blog about music. At least, not really. That’s what my other blog is for. But since it’s what I think about, I’m sure some of it will creep out somehow.

Mostly, this blog- I feel like that word gets less and less hip with time- will probably focus on my exploits in New York. So far, I’ve mastered the E train, which takes me from my Midtown apartment to the NYU campus on the Lower East Side (that’s L.E.S., for the uninitiated). I’ve seen a rat in the subway and a squashed cockroach in my apartment hallway. I have a doorman. Four, in fact. I still have to wear earplugs at night because there is, literally, no hour of the day that’s quiet. My roommate saw Sean William Scott and Jake Gyllenhall in Union Square. I missed it. And for the record, New York pizza is better.

Foster the People

One of my favorite in-studios at the Current. I love Foster the People.

 
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/www_publicradio/tools/media_player/syndicate.php?name=minnesota/the_current/performances/2011/04/08/foster_the_people_20110408_128

Jump on it

Recently rediscovered this gem. On a similar note, I discovered that I had no Aaliyah in my iTunes (!) I know. I was as shocked as you are.

Manic Monday Mix 1.0

I decided to start titling these things other than “new shit” or “check this shit out.” Numbering my mixes, a la Consequence of Sound, will make this whole thing easier. T-minus two days until THE ARCADE FIRE and CALEXICO!

1. Archie Bronson Outfit- Hoola

2. The Thermals- I Don’t Believe You

3. Interpol- Barricade

4. Wavves- King of the Beach

5. Tapes ‘n Tapes- Insistor

6. National Bird- In Summer

7. Mystery Jets- Flash a Hungry Smile

8. Communist Daughter- Not the Kid

9. Washed Out- Feel It All Around

10. Lookbook- True to Form

11. M.I.A.- It Takes a Muscle

12. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings- The Game Gets Old

Living vicariously

You know how in high school it sometimes felt like you were living a scene out of your favorite high school movie? You got a sweet haircut like Rachel Leigh Cook in “She’s All That” and all of a sudden the captain of the soccer team was interested in you, or you went to a party in the woods with a car trunk full of beer? (ALWAYS wanted that to happen! But high schools of the ’70s, man. They were something else.) News flash: the same thing happens in the adult world, but it’s not as exciting. At the moment, I feel like I’m living this article. I won’t get into it because it’s personal, but it’s eerie how certain conversations I’ve had this week mirror things said or sentiments expressed by the 20-somethings interviewed by this article. If you haven’t already read it, I highly recommend it. Took me a little while to wrap my head around it, just because I resent when older generations try to pass judgment on people my age or contemporary social/technological/etc. phenomena. But this woman knows what she’s talking about. Basically, it’s about how a lot of people my age are taking longer to settle down and find stable jobs. Many twenty-somethings are also moving home to live with their parents, or going to grad school, or finding internships. All these basically serve to stave off oncoming “adulthood,” defined traditionally. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. It means that more people will find what they want to do and who they want to be with and be less likely to change jobs or get divorced. Still, though, it can be frustrating.

Here’s to the end of a difficult week. Who’s seeing Ratatat on Saturday? Me!

1. El Guincho- FM Tan Sexy

2. Tamaryn- Love Fade

3. Mystery Jets – Dreaming of Another World

4. Menomena- TAOS

5. Hockey- Too Fake

6. Pete Yorn- Precious Stone

7. The Sadies- Another Year Again

8. Black Mountain- Hair Song

9. Hesta Prynn ft. Tim Harrington- Easy Bear

10. The White Stripes- Blue Orchid

11. Devendra Banhart- 16th and Valencia Roxy Music

12. Neva Dinova and Bright Eyes- Rollerskating

13. Phosphorescent- Mermaid Parade

14. Janelle Monae- Cold War (Wondamix)

15. Big Boi- Shutterbugg

16. Free Energy- Bang Pop (Fool’s Gold Remix)