Archive for the ‘Costumes’ Tag

Book Party!

Dear readers, you know that Doubleawk wears a lot of hats.  All of her literal hats (and her husband’s hats), it should be noted, come from Salmagundi, the best hat and accessory store ever/epicenter of rad hipness, located in Jamaica Plain, MA, my old hometown.

John and Doubleawk in their totally rad hats from Salmagundi.  The lifevests are not from Salmagundi.  But they are also totally rad.  In a different way.  Because safety is totally rad.

John and Doubleawk in their totally rad hats from Salmagundi. The life vests are not from Salmagundi. But they are also totally rad. In a different way. Because water safety is totally rad.

Her metaphorical hats are a bit more complicated.  Yes, she’s a writer, a blogger, a former teacher, an educational and writing consultant for a still top-secret organization, and a person who for some reason today feels the need to refer to herself by her blogging handle/in the third person.

She’s also a former book publicist, which just goes to show the truth in that old saw, “once a book publicist, always a book publicist.”

That’s right, I’ve contracted out to my friend Brian as a publicist for his yet-untitled 611 page fantasy tome, the first in a series of equally hefty novels about the Annurian empire. Does being a publicist fly in the face of my work as a citizen-journalist-blogger?  Maybe.  But you can be assured that Brian isn’t really paying me to publicize his book.  I did charge him a twelve-pack of Corona Light for helping with the party, but I’m being forced to give a Corona Light to every person he gets to come to the party without my help.  So far, I’m down to nine Corona Lights.  I promise not to drink all nine of the Corona Lights at the party, because this would be bad publicity for the book and my dignity.

Brian is a fun writer to hang out with because he believes in sharing his work as he goes and soliciting advice from his audience.  He’ll also sometimes name something after you, although I’ve thus far been unable to get even a dwarf of species of beetle named Leda.  He claims it’s because my name is overripe with bird-bonking allusions, but I’m unconvinced.  In any event, throughout the writing process, Brian has solicited advice from his friends via email, which was fun, even if most of my advice was totally ignored.

Brian, at a party.  If he can make the inside of a moving truck look like this much fun, imagine the worlds of awesomeness that will be opened to you at his fantasy-novel completion party.  Or imagine what's in the red plastic cup, how much you'd like to drink it, and come for that reason.

Brian, at a party. If he can make the inside of a moving truck look like this much fun, imagine the worlds of awesomeness that will be opened to you at his fantasy-novel completion party. Or imagine what's in the red plastic cup, how much you'd like to drink it, and come for that reason.

Once I accidentally replied all on a character name vote, vetoing an option because it was the name of a real douche bag I’d known in college.  Then another friend wrote back and said he was besties with said douche bag, and I was horrified.  You always think people who hit reply all instead of reply are total idiots.  Then it happens to you.  Turns out the friend had never even heard of the college douche bag, and was just trying to freak me out.  Also turns out that I lost the vote, and now the character shares the name of the college douche bag.  Which character, you ask?  Well, you’ll just have to read the book to figure out if I thought you were a douche bag in college.  Or you could just ask me.  But I digress.

Brian’s August 29th party in/near Putney, VT will feature:

–guests dressed up as characters from the book (but don’t let this stop you from coming because you:

a) haven’t read the book or

b) think it sounds incredibly dorky

–a signature cocktail based on the novel

–a “page signing.”  Bring a printout of your favorite page of the novel, and Brian will sign it for you.  Could be worth millions someday!  Or 1/99th of 1 cent.

–target shooting with a bow and arrow (Don’t worry.  I will stay far away from weaponry)

–dancing

–a fire

–a book titling contest (that’s giving it a title, not something having to do with boobs.  But there will be boobs at the party).

–an opportunity to have a character or something else named for you!

Let me know if you want to read Brian’s book before coming to/instead of coming to the party.  I can send you a copy.  Have any friends who are super into the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre?  (Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone).  Let me know and I can probably get them a copy, too.  Have any friends who work in publishing?  I’d love to be the one who hooks Brian up with a publisher.  Then maybe my pay would be restored to a whole twelver of Corona Light.  Which I will share.  With you.  Sorry I have such gross taste in beer.

Finally, I want you to watch this movie I made about Brian, his book, and his party.  I made it with this new web-program to which I am totally addicted called xtranormal.  You should become addicted to it, too.  It allows you to make and watch movies about the things that really interest you: yourself, your life, and your friends.  You might even find a character who looks like you!  Check out how much the girl looks like me!

Disclaimer: Brian does not have an English accent in real life.  I gave him one to make him seem more appealing so you would read his book and come to his party.

Email me at doubleawk [at] gmail.com and I’ll send you the full party info!  If you like, I’ll also send you an electronic teaser of Brian’s book!

Also, you can fan Brian’s book here!

Leather Anniversary

Today is John’s and my third anniversary.  I kicked off the celebrations of marital bliss by firing him from our blog.  He never actually wrote anything, so perhaps “fired” is a bit harsh, but I did erase him from our header, which sounds even more ominous.  Sorry, love.  Still, I should give him credit for being a wonderful proofreader and gentle critic when this blog veers too sharply into snarktown.

Anyway, I looked up the third anniversary gift, and traditionally it’s leather.  According to About.com, the leather symbolizes a couple’s awareness of “the durability of their relationship.”  It’s not that I don’t want my relationship to be durable, but I can’t really think of a less romantic way to describe a marriage.  Ok, so I can think of less romantic leather-based ways to describe a marriage: dead, dried out, made of cows.  But still.

  A possible gift for the leather anniversary.          Custom Long Harness, courtesy of Fetish-n-Leather.

A possible gift for the leather anniversary. Custom Long Harness, courtesy of Fetish-n-Leather.

As opposed to durable, leather as an anniversary gift sounds downright kinky in my opinion, as in:

“What anniversary are you all celebrating?”

“Our third anniversary.  You know, leather and fetish and bondage?”

“How lovely!  Do enjoy!”

But for whatever reason, there are now two categories of gifts you can give to celebrate your anniversary—the traditional and the modern.  The modern gift for the third anniversary is crystal or glass, which seems an odd choice.  First of all, it’s fragile, and breaks into tiny, sharp, injurious fragments.   Plus, the logic seems a bit flawed.  Sure, glass & crystal were developed after leather, but a more modern gift might be nanochips.  Or even Astronaut Ice Cream.

Upsetting Annivesary Gift. I don't mean to be unkind, but if you want to know where to buy this, I'm not sure you're going to enjoy my blog. Or me personally. But, courtesy of gifts for you now.com.

Upsetting Annivesary Gift. I don't mean to be unkind, but if you want to know where to buy this, I'm not sure you're going to enjoy my blog. Or me personally. But, courtesy of gifts for you now.com.

Anyway, one glass/crystal gift suggested by the interweb is a Love Is Magic Anniversary Personalized Beveled Glass Picture Frame.  To be honest, I actually do think that love is pretty darn magical.  But I can’t think of a more heinous way to trivialize that sentiment than to mass produce a picture frame inscribed with a tacky poem.  I can’t even bear to copy and paste the poem here.  If you want to read it, you’re just going to have to click through to the website.

John and I have thought of creating our own list of anniversary gifts, much like our friends Morgan and Patrick did for us (last year was Little Trees Air Fresheners, this year is fair trade coffee—we’re waiting, you two).  For our second anniversary, I wanted to get tattoos.  The tatTWOnniversary, I called it.  But we never managed to get them, in part because we couldn’t figure out where to put them that would be discreet but not prone to stretching or sagging.  I think we were also slightly afraid that it would look tacky.  Before you hop on the band wagon and agree that tattoos are trashy, let me inform you that I already have one.  It looks like this:

Before you make disparaging remarks about tattoos.  Remember that I already have one.  I don't have negative feelings about it; it's just become part of who I am.  Literally.

Before you make disparaging remarks about tattoos. Remember that I already have one. I don't have negative feelings about it; it's just become part of who I am. Literally.

But I’m somewhat less motivated to get the tattoos now that we can’t make a fun, new word out of three, tattoo, and anniversary.

In the end I’m opposed to a standardized system of gift-giving that tells me how I’m supposed to celebrate my relationship.  (But I’m quite happy with an individual system—keep ’em coming, MoPa.) We’ll decide how to celebrate our marriage, thank you very much.  Other couples, of course, should do the same, and if that means following guidelines for gift-giving or even buying engraved picture frames, well that’s ok, too (even if I personally find it cringe-worthy).  Love and happy marriages are good things.  Celebrate ’em however you want.

For me, last year that meant getting a Hebrew Study Bible from my (incredibly thoughtful) Catholic-raised husband, and a raw vegan meal at Pure Food and Wine that led to intestinal distress.  Hot.

This year, we drank a bottle of cava that we’d saved from our wedding reception, and we’ve got a much better dinner date planned at Daniel.

And like I’d tell you if there was going to be leather involved.  Awkward.

Gossip Girl here…

Gossip girl here.  Your one and only source into the mildly interesting lives of Brooklyn’s slightly embarrassed celeb-stalkers/teen soap fiends.

One of the exciting things to do in New York is celebrity-watching.  It’s like bird-watching, except instead of birds, you watch skinny and attractive people engage in a range of human activities.  Yup, it’s true: there are celebrities here, and anyone can watch them walk, talk and do things. But once you’ve seen a few celebrities walking their dogs, drinking coffee, or tripping on the curb, and  you’ve learned that they really are “just like us,” what’s left to do?

Photograph them without their knowledge or consent.

Blog about them.

Try to become one of them.

I should be upfront about the fact that today’s celeb-sighting wasn’t the first since my recent move to New York.  While lunching at Chelsea restaurant Cookshop with filmmakers Morgan Faust (Shout it Out, The Treasure of Thomas Beale) and Max Isaacson (Banned German Sprite Ads), we spotted Martha Stewart eating with a young man.

Martha Stewart, young buck, my creepy reflection.

Martha Stewart, young buck, my creepy reflection.

Who was he?  We have no idea.  What did Martha eat?  Deviled eggs followed by some sort of salad with meat in it.  Max, too, ate the eggs (Ever the vanguard, Max actually ordered the eggs before Martha did, and proclaimed them the best deviled eggs ever).  I surreptitiously snapped a photo with my trusty iPhone, and sent it to several people I thought might enjoy it.  Husband, mother, and culinary goddess/dear pal Chrissy.  Mom’s response: she enjoyed my ridiculous open-mouthed reflection more than the picture of Martha.  So much for my first attempt at life as a paparazza.

But I am not one to be deterred.

So when the fates handed me a golden opportunity to once again insinuate myself into the celebrity world, I took it.

Spotted: Which Brooklyn newbie had a bump-into with Gossip Girl star Connor Paolo?  Better watch out big J: L could be shopping for more than corn at the farmers market.

That’s right.  It’s 10am, and I’ve just sat in the car for an hour so I could hold onto my space during the weekly street-cleaning.  I’m on my way to the farmers market.  My teeth are unbrushed, and I haven’t showered since Friday.  Suddenly, bam! There’s Connor Paolo, better known as Eric Van der Woodsen from Gossip Girl.  He’s wearing the St. Jude’s blazer, which means that GG is actually filming in my ‘hood!  So after buying my farm-fresh local produce, I scurry home to strategize.

Upper East Side Leda. Also the outfit I will wear for my anniversary dinner tomorrow, which will, in fact, take place on the UES. Coincidence? I don't think so. A key part of living in New York is dressing the nabe. And by nabe I mean neighborhood, not something dirty. It sounds kind of dirty, doesn't it?

Upper East Side Leda. Also the outfit I will wear for my anniversary dinner tomorrow, which will, in fact, take place on the UES. Coincidence? I don't think so. A key part of living in New York is dressing the nabe. And by nabe I mean neighborhood, not something dirty. It sounds kind of dirty, doesn't it?

I decide it’s best to put on an Upper East Side disguise, rather than my usual Brooklyn wear.  (And I even shower!)  My ensemble consists of a white dress from JCrew (circa 2002), a black belt with a big patent leather buckle from Target, a black cardigan from the JCrew outlet, and red patent leather pumps (Chinese Laundry).  I pick the pumps because on my first walk-by, I’d seen several teenage extras sporting bright red shoes.  Clever, huh?  And no, these aren’t exactly UES brands, but wouldn’t  Michelle Obama be proud?  Plus, I top it off with a pair of Dior sunglasses, so that helps.

I’m obviously hoping that by looking like a UES lady-who-lunches, maybe I’ll get to be an extra.  Let’s just take a moment and acknowledge how ridiculous it is that I put on a costume to visit the set of Gossip Girl in the hopes that they’d let me walk by in the background.  Remember, I’m thirty-one years old.

So I get to set and loiter around, trying to look like I belong there, and like it’s totally normal that I’d be wearing this outfit at 1:30 pm on a Tuesday.  They haven’t started shooting yet, so no celebs in sight.  That looks something like this:

Set of Gossip Girl, aka, Packer Collegiate Institute.  No celebrities yet.

Set of Gossip Girl, aka, Packer Collegiate Institute. No celebrities yet.

Then, after much shouting and fanfare, the shooting begins, and I’m kept outside the margins of the shot. Although I’m on the side of the street with the background actors, I’m not asked to jump in as one of them.  Bummer.  Costume strategy fails.

But I do manage to strike up a conversation with a young man in a St. Jude’s blazer.  He’s been here since 5:45 this morning.  And although he’s been focusing more on his own career as an off-Broadway actor, it’s not his first time working on GG.  So, what kind of gossip does he have?  I tried to get the inside track by asking him how many times he would have to walk back and forth (obviously envious of the fact that he got to be in the background of the shot).  He replied, “Between seven and thirteen.  It depends on how well the actors know their lines.  And on this show, forget it.  We could be here forever.”  Then, on the next take, the PA scolded him for talking to me, so I got no further gossip.  But I can tell you that they have people repeatedly drive by in Mercedes and Lexuses to give BK Heights a bit more of that UES feel.  Oh, and it barely merits pointing out, but isn’t there a bit of gleeful irony in the fact that Constance/St. Jude’s is actually shot in Brooklyn, a place in which Blair would shudder to set a Jimmy Choo clad toe?

So here are the money shots: Chuck and Jenny, chatting outside his limo (which is dinged up on the non-shot side and has…gasp!…Jersey tags).

Ed Westwick and Taylor Momsen.  Small and far away.  I only had my phone with me, not my camera.  Bummer.

Ed Westwick and Taylor Momsen. Small and far away. I only had my phone with me, not my camera. Bummer.

Ed and Taylor again.  By which I mean, Chuck and Jenny.  Looks like she's (thankfully) changed her hairstyle.  But his took more work from the stylists!

Ed and Taylor again. By which I mean Chuck and Jenny. Looks like she's (thankfully) changed her hairstyle. But his took more work from the stylists!

Last one.  Guess I shouldn't quit my day job(s).

Last one. Guess I shouldn't quit my day job(s).

So, having failed to become an extra or get a good picture with my phone, I set off for Trader Joe’s, where I learned that looking like a UES lady-who-lunches at the Cobble Hill Trader Joe’s earns you plenty of attention.  But not so much that I won’t try again next time…

You know you love me.

Xoxo

Awkward Girl