Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Vermin Collection

You know what I would never, ever, in a million years put together? Fashion and taxidermy.

Someone please explain to me HOW IN HOLY HELL someone not only THOUGHT of this but actually MADE it, and ACTUALLY SELLS IT. The picture above, of the dead pigeon wings headband, is the tamest BY FAR of the taxidermy fashions, and I have to say, some of them are downright nauseating. Never in my life have I stood at the Fenway T stop, looked over at one of the many monstrous rat carcasses and thought, "That disgusting rodent, curled in it's fetal death position, would make a lovely change purse." I know I have said, "Why are the rats so fucking huge down here?" I know I have said, " Get out of the way, Drunk Bleacher Guy, I've gotta get on the D line and away from Mrs. Frisby NOW." But I am sure, sure as I am sitting here, that I did not consider that icky carrier of diseases to be the In accessory for Spring.

Apparently, I know nothing at all about fashion.

Beautiful/Decay magazine (one of my faves to read at the dentist's office) says:

It (sic) was created by Reid Peppard, a British taxidermist. Her pieces take animals commonly perceived as vile pests and turns them into fashion items. Peppard says, “…when they become sculptural headpieces, necklaces and cuff-links, the specimens cease to be waste and become objects to behold."

Oh, those crazy Brits! First The Spice Girls, and now this!

Ok, yes, I live in the suburbs, and may not be as hip as I'd like to think. But I do know that wearing a rat head as a tie, pulling your change out a rat's gut or wearing a dead pigeon on your head is a fashion mistake of the greatest kind. Not a forgivable faux pas, like harem pants. Not an ironic statement like wearing an Anarchy t-shirt with a Mr. Rogers cardigan, as my Ohio State heartthrob used to do. No, this is the kind that guarantees that your child will never be invited to another birthday party , and that you will NEVER, EVER be asked to bring ANYTHING to ANY FOOD RELATED EVENT at your child's school. EVER. I cannot tell you with absolute surety that you will be shunned, but I think it is a definite possibility.

Honestly, the pictures are a horror. I can hardly look at them. But I understand that art is subjective, and perhaps I would find the workmanship and "green"ness (since these are all basically roadkill) admirable. If I could get past the fact that this is a hair comb made out of the fucking head of a hamster, maybe I would. But honey, if you are wearing a dead hamster in your hair, you don't fall into the category of edgy. I think you move straight into revolting. Do Not Pass Go. Do Not Collect Two Hundred Dollars.

Looking for a gift for your honey? Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and Ms. Peppard says she has just the thing for you:

That's right... The Pigeon Foot Pendants that were promised so long ago have finally materialized!

Suffice to say it took a long time to make these little fuckers...


There are only 100 of these little beauties....Oh yeah: And they are an ABSOLUTE BARGAIN at 55 pounds!

Just an FYI--that is around $88 bucks. For dead pigeon's feet. On a chain. That you wear. And not for a Santeria ritual.

So, friends and readers, can you think of a SINGLE SITUATION in which any of these statement pieces would be appropriate? Would a dude who wore mousehead cufflinks be a dating dealbreaker for you? Do I lack a sense of humor entirely? Is that the problem?

Those with strong stomachs and/or morbid (in the truest sense of the word) curiosity can check out her work at

Monday, January 25, 2010

Situational Cheapness

I am struggling to write today. Not just because this rainy grayness makes me want to hibernate, or because all the crap of real life is making me feel VERY unfunny, but because it is pitch black in here. Again. Because I am too cheap to buy a decent lamp. The light of the computer adds a certain ambiance, but is making the typing more of a challenge then it needs to be. The pull cord has torn off, and I can't really find another functional lamp in the house, because all of them are broken in one way or another.Years and years of buying cheap lamps has come to this. Darkness.

I have Situational Cheapness. By nature, I am not cheap at all, and when it comes to shoes, cosmetics or the people i love, i am fine with spending. In fact, I enjoy it very much.. But I have this Situational Cheapness that WILL NOT allow me to spend money on certain items. I absolutely cannot bring myself to buy some every day things at full price, even though I can afford them. And it comes back to bite me, over and over again, because I end up replacing things or sitting in the dark, as I am now. Beside lamps, here are the biggies that pain me to pay full price for:

1. Textiles of any kind. Curtains, sheets, blankets, and especially towels. That has meant no light blockage, low thread count, unraveling duvets and being covered with navy blue lint after a shower for MONTHS. And yet, I persist.

2. Rugs. There is a practical reason for this. My family. This is a messy, messy house, and there are dirty shoes and dog bone remnants everywhere, so buying a rug anywhere but Target or Lowe's seems foolish. But they pill, they unravel, they get easily discolored. And those aforementioned dog bones? On a cheap rug, they get imbedded in the overly large weave and I have to clean them off with a frigging toothbrush. So yes, I am the fool.

3. Vacuum Cleaners. I finally broke down and bought the Dyson after going through three vacuum cleaners in a year. I cannot explain the high mortality rate, and cannot attribute it to one particular style of machine, since I got canister, upright, bagless, bagful, with attachments, pretty colors....the huge amount of pet hair may have caused the suicides of these generally dependable FOREVER machines. My parents had the same vacuum cleaner for 20+ years. And because I couldn't bring myself to spring for the Cadillac, I ended up buying two, though the first one came in three pieces.

I am trying to learn from the old adage "You get what you pay for." But I can't do it. Because it is so inconsistently true. I have purchased expensive boots that have disintegrated after two wearings, and cheap boots that I have had for ten years. It used to be absolutely true that more expensive crap was better. And now it isn't. I know someone who paid $6000 to record with a big name producer, and their CD sounds....well...not like it cost $6000. Sometimes spending a lot of money is smart, sometimes it isn't. Until i have a foolproof way of knowing whether expensive=better or cheap=worse, i will stick with my weirdnesses and play the odds. Maybe I'll hit it right on the kitchen chairs I need to buy. The IKEA chairs lasted longer than the Crate and Barrel chairs. But who goes through this many kitchen chairs?

Monday, January 18, 2010

January Froth

I am looking at my calendar and trying to find a tiny space to add something to my already jam-packed Tuesday. It is possible I say this every year, but January is nuts! It seems like the house of cards that was December is flying to pieces now, and I am scrambling to reassemble. And a lot of it is major and crappy--the type of stuff that happens when you are over 40 and everything goes to shit. Seriously sick friend, friend with seriously sick parents, signing my fucking WILL (which is, of course, not as bad as those things, but STILL)...all loads of way-too-serious fun. Sigh.

But some really great things have happened this month, too. I feel like creating some mental sunshine on this slushy, Boston day, so I will share a few of the things that have made me happy. And then tell me 2010 isn't shaping up to be a good year!

THE BAND. This is a huge surprise, the best kind. I have a band again. It has been a long, long time since I had a fully functioning unit of fellow musicians who are ready to play. Two new people in the band, three stalwarts, and a monster NEW AMP and beautiful NEW GUITAR. I vowed that this year would be the year I started playing guitar at shows, that this would be the year I abandoned acoustic for electric, and this would be the year I would get mad and RAWK. And it is coming to pass. I feel musically rejuvenated and all kinds of creative. Don't underestimate what a humongous amp that has cool effects can do for the creativity. Ad my amp has tons of knobs. AND A PEDAL.

MY TINY NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION is a total success. The above was not a resolution but a solemn vow to myself, one that can bring the full force of self-induced Jewish guilt, which I have in droves. No, the resolution is something I know will improve my metal state, but is not a killer if it doesn't happen. But it is. And it is MAKING THE BED EVERY DAY. Yes, that's it. Highly manageable. Small to the point of almost being silly. Here's the thing--it gives me a feeling that my life is more organized and controlled when I go upstairs and my bedroom looks like a lovely haven instead of the hovel of a crazed person who leapt out of bed, late yet again, running to get to work on time. It really does work for me. I recognize that this might be feeding into my OCD, and it is. But OCD is not all bad, For all of the 35 times I check for my keys before I leave the house, there is the part of me that now must make my bed, as well as making sure the pillows are arranged just so and looks like a vignette in a Pottery Barn catalogue. Yeah. So much better.

MY EGO at 43 got a little boost. I admit this is shallow and vain and all that, but it feels fucking GREAT. A certain stalwart has decided that, in order to remain with Sugar Snow, he needs to adopt an alias and photoshop Alec Baldwin into any band pictures taken henceforth. Why? Because his girlfriend is angry that he is in a band with another girl. His 26 YEAR OLD, GRAVITY UNAFFECTED, LINELESS girlfriend is threatened by me, 43 year old suburban mother of three. Yes, she is a ridiculously insecure youngster who is destined to drive him away with her foolishness, but all I can say is FUCK YEAH. Never even met the girl and she is afraid I have MILF-y designs on her beau. It couldn't be further from the truth, of course, not in any way does this resemble any reality anywhere.But FUCKING FUCK, it's AWESOME.

So, in short, I am a whammy bar using, bed making, boy conquering, amped up Brookline matron. Even with all the very, very serious and important shit happening all around me, I have this little island of amusement and happiness. There just isn't enough frothiness in life, and in the dead of Winter, I need my froth.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I have been drowsy all day, and I know exactly why. Yesterday was Medium's birthday party, and I had the honor of driving him and 5 of his pals to tubing. It is not news to me that boys smell--since I have two, I knew that. But HOW BAD BOYS IN CLOSE PROXIMITY SMELL is quite shocking and, in a word, vile. The drive there was loud and crass, which was manageable. But the way back, with the pubescent boys trapped inside their sweat soaked snow pants and howling with laughter at their own farts...the noxious fumes trapped in my closed car and everything from Sudbury home is foggy, no pun intended. I've since had it confirmed that yes, this is a Boy Thing, this celebration of the male stench, and that yes, they were right, you can set farts on fire.

I personally don't find farts funny, but I guess I find vaginas funny. Go figure. On this hilarious site called The Frisky,, which I found via CNN, of all places, they write about all manner of things that are guaranteed to give me a giggle. They LOVE to list Top Fives(or Tens) and Best Evers, which I have a tremendous weakness for, so I eat those lists like wasabi peas and laugh myself silly. But the one that amused me most last week was The Top Ten Most Amazing Vaginas. And below the sexy picture of a woman (though not of her vagina) was a button to click for a slideshow. And I hesitated, because I didn't know what I would see. And yes, I feared the unknown vagina. And while I may have watched porn before, although I am not saying I have, pictures of vaginas deemed AMAZING on a porn site have an entirely different meaning than on The Frisky. I hoped. But I soldiered on, and laughed my way through. And just for you, here is their list of The Ten Most Amazing Vaginas. And I am going to quote them directly.

1. The Chick with Two Vaginas.
2. The Lady With Reading Material in Her Hoo-Ha
3. The World's Biggest You-Know-What
4. Her Vagina Can Bench Press More Than Your Vagina
5. But Can you Play Dixie With It? ( woman who can play the kazoo with her vagina)
6. The Girl Who Had No Vagina ( this was accompanied by a picture of Barbie)
7. The Star of "Teeth" (Vagina Dentata)
8. The Elongated Labia of Rwandan Women
9. She Had a Giant Among Vaginas
10. Her Untrimmed Hedges

Numbers 1 and 3 refer to quirks at birth. Number 3 and 9 are differentiated as follows: 3 is the "biggest" in terms of how many partners this porn star had in the World's Biggest Gang Bang, while 9 was actually, physically the largest, a woman who was 7'5 1/2" and had a baby with a 19" circumference. Number 8 refers to a cultural ideal of beauty in another country as opposed to the current trend of labioplasty in this country, and 10 is the woman with the longest pubic hair (28" long, if you are interested). 7 has a clip of the movie "Teeth" in which a marauding teenage girl terrorizes a town with her biting vagina. And 2, 4 and 5 are party tricks that make my vagina feel terribly inferior.

In other news, 50 Arab and Israeli chefs in Israel set the record for the largest plate of hummus ever recorded, 8800 pounds, served in a satellite dish. Not surprisingly, Lebanon, whose record of 4500 pounds was crushed by the Israelis, immediately claimed that Israelis had stolen the product and claimed it as Israeli.

This seems positively wholesome next to the vaginas doesn't it? But which one is more ridiculous?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Does being a musician have to be so dirty?

On Saturday, I went to look at a rehearsal space for the band. There are five of us now, and with me also playing guitar, we have stuff and we need space. This was a shared space with a bunch of other bands, with some shared equipment, which can be pretty nice. But this place could have been free and I wouldn't have taken it. OH MY GOD. I knew there was trouble when the guy who rents the place met me on Cambridge Street in Allston and then took me down to a basement. A basement. In Allston. And as if the worn staircase weren't bad enough (I mean like so worn that you could see the depths of hell through them), the actual "space" was a decaying shithole with drywall crumbling into inhalable piles. Probably the lovely combination of drywall and asbestos, now that I think about it. He had a ton of amazing equipment--lots of vintage amps and a really nice shared drum kit, plus all the mics and a decent PA. I had to focus on those things to keep from losing consciousness. And when he showed me the bathroom, which had not only NO SINK, but NO FLOOR, i was absolutely sure that one more minute in this place would actually kill me. And apparently, the bands who do use this space would step over my body, because obviously they don't notice how vile it is. I had to go to Guitar Center afterwards to buy a pedal, just to get over my heebie jeebies.

Now, Bass Player A. has a rehearsal space. And until I saw this pit, I thought his was bad. His is in a classic warehouse type building,with a labryinth of hallways and screamo oozing from every cubicle. The bathrooms are gross, though I hear the men's room is a billion times worse than the ladies room. Still, I have (obviously) been to worse places and would pay rent to play there, except for the poison gas being emitted. Technically, it is turpentine from the illegal t-shirt printing/painter's studio right next door. The dude who works there has a problem with solvents, and the ENTIRE FLOOR smells like turpentine. Literally, I get a headache the instant I enter the building. And A.'s studio is RIGHT NEXT DOOR. As if the spilled bongwater didn't make it smell bad enough.

Now, yesterday, I practiced at the creme de la creme of studios, a pay-through-the-nose-by-the-hour place where the established musicians practice, and bands traveling through Boston for shows rehearse. This place is pristine. Unbelievable. The best amps, the best drumkits, anything you could possibly need or forgot to bring, the cleanest bathrooms--this place is amazing. I really can't afford it anymore (if I ever could) but we went out with a bang--because we happened to be the only band practicing yesterday, we got THE BIG ROOM. The picture above is that space, and it doesn't begin to show the size and beauty of the space. Literally, it was bigger than my studio apartment in Brighton, back in my student days. It had an amazing PA that literally made my ears ring. It was like being upgraded to First Class! And as much as I would like to go there again, and keep going there forever and ever, a place so classy was not meant for a girl like me. Sigh.

So in about an hour, I am going to see a space in a sister warehouse to A.'s, and tomorrow, another. But last night, with my brain wired on Diet Coke and brownies, I started thinking about whether it was time to bite the bullet and do something about our disgusting basement. It could work. And then we could move the air hockey table upstairs if we move the drumkit to the studio! Think it's time? I think it's time.