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too old for teenage angst

If you are like me, your life, at least the part that is connected to the computer and the Interweb, is interconnected with Google: Google Chrome (which I am using right now). Google search (Duh!). Maps. Directions. gmail. GTalk. Picasa. YouTube. Picnik. google checkout. google translate. Calender. Google analytics. Feedburner. Google Reader. Google Desktop. Google Docs. Google Earth. (Ok ok. I left Blogger for WordPress a while back ago, but still…) and so on.

So if you were google, what’s the next big thing you’d go after?

Would you have said FASHION?

Google launched Google Boutiques yesterday. They did drop the google name and call it simply Boutiques / Boutiques.com. With Boutiques, google aims to revolutionize the way shopping for fashion is done online, with the help of powerful algorithms.

I won’t bore you with the details, New York Times published a detailed review of the website and explanation for how it’s supposed to work.

Anyway, ever the Early Adopter (<– self-deprecating sarcasm) and Fashion Maven (aka I-wear-jeans-and-tshirt 350 days a year), I decided to check it out.

I started out by going through a series of “tests” so the powerful computers could determine what my taste is. Like this:

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This pair is one of the most "down to earth" in the series of images shown during the "aSSessment/evaluation"

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It turned out to be a long and arduous process of self-loathing…

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which proved my point that some of these things are not meant for you if you have trouble seeing the point. In the case of fashion, if you don’t see the point, you are either too poor, too old, or not thin enough. Or all of the above, which I believe applies to 90.5% of the population. 1% is so filthy rich they can look like whatever and people will still be fawning over them. 8% of the rest of the population is simply self-delusional.

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At the end, a verdict was given, according to the strong and powerful algorithm, my style and taste is…

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I can’t blame Boutiques.com though, after all, I DID hit SKIP too many times and it became depressed and wanted to get away from all of this too…

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… and don’t tell google, but I think I drove it to drink too.

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Coda: Despite the fear and loathing I went through, in the end, I think there are loads of fun that can be had with Boutiques.com. This is online window-shopping and virtual magazine clipping (Think: Tumblr for fashions, fashions that are for sale), and for the competitive amongst us, another place where you can amass followers, this time, with your keen sense of style.

Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
He flits from shop to shop just like a butterfly.
In matters of the cloth he is as fickle as can be,
‘Cause he’s a dedicated follower of fashion.
He’s a dedicated follower of fashion.
He’s a dedicated follower of fashion.

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Disclaimer: Objects in the mirror are both closer and farther than they appear.

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Preamble: I have no idea what the point of this post is or whether there is any. Except to demonstrate the power of Picnik, the danger of believing in profile pictures in social media (Think Catfish), and the fact I look much better in black and white which is why I secretly long for living in Pleasantville before those stupid kids ruined it for everybody, and I will gladly trade places with Tom Baxter in The Purple Rose of Cairo, incidentally a movie I also watched multiple times hoping Tom would turn and address me directly, “Hey you!”

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For our graduate production, my undergraduate class staged M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang. The play calls for an Asian man to live in drag, pretending to be a woman and fooling the self-delusional French diplomat (based on a real scandal!) None of our male classmates stepped up to the plate, and therefore we had a woman playing a man playing a woman.

Although I suspect that how we did it due to necessity was not optimal for the theatrical production, I later learned that there is a term for this: Faux Queen, aka Biologically-challenged drag queen, Female female impersonator, or Female impersonator impersonator.

When I was young, I fantasized about dressing up as a man because being a man gives you a lot more freedom (Think Mulan). I wanted to be a swordswoman in one of the Wu Xia novels or movies (Think Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon), dressed up as a young warrior scholar so I could roam the world and right the wrongs.

To this day I look forward to rainy days before or after it actually rains. It gives me an excuse to walk around with an umbrella.

I was fascinated by Victor Victoria and (still) believe that Julie Andrews looked much better as Victor.

For the majority of my high school career, all girls school, hello! I did behave and dress more towards the male end of the spectrum: closely cropped hair, asexual clothing, and let’s not forget, aviator sunglasses. I was known to make young girls blush when they mistook me for a dashing young man. Well, I was relatively tall and lanky and handsome. In a manga-character-like, pre-sexual, innocent kind of way. For a bunch of high school girls with similar lack of exposure and access to the other sex.

When I said I peaked at the age of 18, until then I had been living an arguably cloistered life, I was not kidding. Being naturally feminine has never been my strong suit. And of course, who’s to say what defines femininity any more, and the distablizing ambiguity suits me fine.

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CODA: You know, I’ve struggled with this post since Monday. Normally if I am having such trouble with the direction I have been going in a post, I’d scratch it. Just as I was ready to give up and start anew some other time, I realized that Monday was the day when I bought my plane tickets home. This rambling on gender roles and prescribed femininity came from my anxiety of going home home next week. As much as I feel unease sometimes in this country, I feel/fear that I stand out like a sore thumb (and to some extent literally since I am tall by the local standard) over there. Oh well. I will be a woman playing a woman. Thespians, we are good at it, eh?

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“I am so happy you’re alive”

October 25, 2010 therapy in session

The most exciting, most surreal, yet most unnerving, and embarrassing part of the evening with David Sedaris (yeah this totally sounds like I spent some intimate hours with him, doesn’t it? THIS is why I have a blog: so I can alter reality with the power of my words) came when, more than half way […]

47 comments

Wig Out

October 17, 2010 therapy in session

I took a nap today from 2 pm to 4 pm. (Wait. Let me jot down the date for today. On October 17, I TOOK A 2-FUCKING-HOUR NAP, RELATIVELY UNINTERRUPTED, AND WOKE UP ON MY OWN!!!) When I woke up, I was completely disoriented because I thought it was morning. At first I was confused, then I […]

40 comments

The Girl in Her

July 11, 2010 therapy in session

She did not want to come back the last time she was there. She wanted to stay home. Home. When she was there by herself, she was not a mother. She was not a wife. She was herself. More enticingly, she was her younger self. She was a daughter. She was the much adored and lauded […]

56 comments

Waiting

May 25, 2010 therapy in session

. I have been thinking about this exchange in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot a lot lately. ESTRAGON: Let’s go. VLADIMIR: We can’t. ESTRAGON: Why not? VLADIMIR: We are waiting for Godot. . . This exchange recurs throughout the play. No progress is made. Nothing is changed.  Both acts end on the same verbal promise […]

22 comments

“precisely ninety-one centimeters from himself”

March 17, 2010 therapy in session

“Having been struck by a 150-ton meteorite, Henry has to adapt to living precisely ninety-one centimeters from himself.” Once in a while, you come across something that so resonates with you to the point of altering your reality. Or your perception of reality. It’s like, all of a sudden, you can see yourself more clearly. […]

18 comments

Know thyself. Be thyself.

December 7, 2009 therapy in session

It is 2:03 am. I am all of a sudden wide awake. Note to self: Listening to PRI Selected Shorts podcasts while cleaning the house is a sure way that your mind will become overactive and that you will have trouble falling asleep. I will pay for this indulgence: lying down on my Therapy Couch […]

27 comments

The white flag goes up…

November 12, 2009 therapy in session

Remember the tagline of my blog? These posts are supposed to be my therapy sessions. Ranting about the demise of Thanksgiving and gloating about making shotgun Christmas ornament is not very healing. The following is one of my therapy sessions. I am getting on the coach now. You have been forewarned… I am not quite […]

10 comments