From the monthly archives:

October 2011

I saw Duran Duran’s live concert on Friday. I have been excited and nervous about this for several months now. When I announced to my boss and my coworker that I was one of the lucky people with tickets to the sold out show, they said, “That’s embarrassing.” I LOL’ed. “No. We mean it. Don’t tell anybody!”

That’s the problem with a band called “The Pretties Boys in Rock” during the 80s when they were super popular. The magazines called them The Fab Five. And I remember arguing with my girlfriends who was the best looking. My favorite has always been Nick Rhodes. What can I say? I have a thing for guys with mascaras. Except Clockwork Orange… The other girls would always come back with John Taylor. Oh yes. That man (boy?) was gorgeous, with a square jaw that was perfectly chiseled. It makes you shiver just thinking about it. Curiously it was never Simon. Just seemed to be too obvious an answer to claim that your fav is the lead singer. Duh. Ho-hum. So we continued to fight between the Bass guitarist and the keyboardist.

I was apprehensive also because, well, I am a realist. How often when you are reunited with your childhood love do you find that present reality matches up to the memories you have been keeping in a vault?

When I got to Chicago Theatre, it became clear to me that I was not the only one there to relive my youth. I have never seen so many middle-aged women dressed “correctly” for a rock concert in one place. The ladies knew why they were there and they came prepared. There were so many women dressed in their rock regalia, complete with black stockings, chokers, pink (or purple or whatever) hair, and tattoos. Lots of tattoos. Almost everyone was wearing boots. I even saw a pink boa.

What would their teenage daughters have said?… 

It was kickass and uplifting. Fuck those young girls who think WE should behave OUR age. But it was also depressing at the same time. I know I know. I have issues. But it made me sad to reflect on why I was there. To relive my youth. To grasp at something that was not there any more.

Fortunately I very quickly consumed four cran-vodkas and I was my ol’ spunky self again. (You’ve got to know I am being a bit sarcastic about the whole being spunky part…)

If you just google, you will see that Duran Duran has fully embraced the 21st century and social media, and that means they are all over Twitter. Not only was live Twitter stream with the hashtag DuranLive projected on the screen before the show started, in the middle of the show, there was an official Twitter session!

Nick, can I wear your red scarf for 5 seconds? #duranlive

Someone tweeted the girl in front of me is crazy. Am gonna assume that’s not me since im no longer a girl #duranlive


In the end, it was awesome. It was awesome not because they reminded me of the gorgeous boys that they once were. I am not saying they are not handsome any more. They still are. If you’re born with great bone structures, unless you totally fucked yourself up with drug and alcohol, time will be kinder to you than to the rest of us. John Taylor for one is still rocking that square jaw. *shiver* And of course, I swear to god, even from the back of the theatre, I could see Nick with his mascaraed eyes and his red scarf being all fabulous and sexy. They put on a great show with great energies, and boy, can Simon sing. In fact, I came home and watched some of their old performances from the 1980s, and I think Simon sings even better now. There is experience in his voice and performance. Like matured wine. Yum. And John can still rock that bass. And Nick… Well. Nick lives forever. (You’ve got to allow me to retain some shameless teenage fangirl crushing…)

Of course, knowing most of the lyrics and being able to sing along made this an even more awesome night. I was glad I went and lived through some time-space discontinuum phenon: It’s surreal to see your band crush perform live on stage, even if there was a 25-plus-year time gap.

For one night the crowd shared a communal experience. We sang. We danced. We screamed. We partied with our teenage selves.

(And in my usual, annoying way, I have to add this:) Then we went back to our normal lives. Most likely in the suburbs. Hopefully this stays with us a bit longer…

Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand
Just like that river twisting through a dusty land
And when she shines she really shows you all she can
Oh Rio, Rio dance across the Rio Grande


Pictures of poor quality below and video compilation of even poorer quality after the jump.


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These boots are made for…

October 19, 2011

in random

When it comes to all these flash sale websites, I am a marketer’s dream girl. I think I give people in advertising like Don Draper wet dreams. I click on every email that and sends me every day.

This undying support for people like Don Draper + the promise of free shipping and free return + the innate laziness that binds me to the idea of Internet shopping + fear of salespeople + firm believer in trying on clothing in the comfort of my own home + lure of the mental image of myself wearing boots in fall + never ever learning from the lesson called “Incongruity Detected” =

Guess who came home to two giant boxes that Mr. Monk can fit in and five pairs of boots?


Yes, I can hear all your screaming from here.

Now don’t get too excited. They are all going back because huh, I found out that my calves are the size and shape of winter melons.

And when I could not pull the zip shut along my left calve, I also discovered that my left leg is much thicker than my right leg, probably due to the Deep Vein Thrombosis (blood clog) that ran along my entire left leg when I was pregnant with Mr. Monk.

As I was sitting on the stairs heaving and grunting, trying to get these damn boots on and the zippers to zip up, I felt like I could understand the sadness and humiliation that Cinderella’s stepsisters must have felt. Ok, maybe just one of them. But still. I am Team Cinderella’s Stepsister now.

I did manage to get one pair of the boots on, with zippers up all the way. And I won’t lie to you, I liked what I saw. I started pulling on various dresses and skirts (because there is no way they are going over my jeans, get it? They are already busting at the seams… ) in my closet while wearing these boots. The dresses and skirts were transformed in a way that was totally unexpected with a pair of boots on. There is just something about boots that make you feel sexy and badass at the same time. They make you want to stride across a room with your head held up high, make you want to sing:

These boots are made for walking… Well, not really. There is no way these boots are made for walking. They are more like medieval torture device. But still, they look G.R.E.A.T on me.

Fortunately, I did not get carried away by self-indulgence because my teenage boy piped up, “Mom. You look weird.”

“What do you mean I look weird?”

“Well, take them off. They are not your style!”

“What IS my style?”

“They are not you!”

“What is my style then? … Jeans and t-shirts?”

“Yes.” He sounded exasperated now. “You look too hip in them.”


Unfortunately, all fun had to come to an end. It’s time to take them off, mostly because I was suffering stabbing pangs from leg cramp caused by shoving my calve into a sausage casing. More heaving and grunting. Midway through, the boots were stuck. By stuck I mean I had to pry the boots away from my calve by depressing the fat on my calve with my fingers while pushing the shaft down inch by inch. Eventually I had to give up and yelled for Mr. Monk to come and help me. This scene now bore some eerie similarity to the children’s story “The Great Enormous Giant Turnip”… complete with Mr. Monk falling backwards and landing on his tushie.

Hilarity ensued.


Coda: I am sitting here typing while wearing the boots. Yes I put them back on when the kids fell asleep. Yes I stare at them admiringly once in a while. No I am not so sure now that I am sending ALL of them back. I wonder how much liposuction costs?

“Are you ready boots? Start walkin’.”


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How to Care For Introverts

October 16, 2011 no manual for parenting

  I first discovered this instruction and posted it in 2009. I just recently found the original article where this set of “rules” came from: The American dream is to be extraverted. We want our children to be “people who need people.” We want them to have lots of friends, to like parties, to prefer to […]


Old Soul

October 12, 2011 no manual for parenting

My 8 year old, Mr. Monk, is on a “Back to the Future” kind of mission lately. He’s acquired two rotary phones earlier this year for a buck each at a garage sale. Probably my fault for I might have explained to him, with too much excitement, how we used to hate folks’ phone numbers […]


A Beautiful Mind

October 5, 2011 this i believe

  Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things […]


Fly your freak flag high

October 1, 2011 therapy in session

or maybe this is not such a good advice. Sigh. I have had a draft of this post for a couple of days now. I was going to write about how we should all let our hair down, show our true colors, and let our freak flags fly high. Way high. To mix the cliches, […]