Lest you think the right isn’t racist

Some rightwing nutjob I’d never heard of convinced Dunkin Donuts to pull an ad featuring Rachel Ray. Not because it featured Rachel Ray (which is a perfectly valid reason not to show an ad), but because she was wearing a scarf which said nutjob thought seemed reminiscent of something some Muslims might wear, and was therefore, somehow, supporting terrorism. (insert sounds of disbelief here)

And the DD, whose donut I have always adored, caved.

Here’s the money quote from the nutjob:

“It’s refreshing to see an American company show sensitivity to the concerns of Americans opposed to Islamic jihad and its apologists. Too many of them bend over backward in the direction of anti-American political correctness…. Fashion statements may seem insignificant, but when they lead to the mainstreaming of violence — unintentionally or not — they matter. Ignorance is no longer an excuse. In post-9/11 America, vigilance must never go out of style.”

So, in addition to not eating my favorite donuts or buying their admittedly good coffee, from tomorrow on, I will be wearing a hejab. Because fashion statements may seem insignificant, but they can lead to mainstreaming perfectly reasonable cultural values and traditions that pose no threat to a post-9/11 America other than challenging ignorance and racism.

I’m actually quite interested if you all think that my quiet protest is going to offend Muslims (which is certianly not my intention). I have tremendous respect for what the hejab represents, in that I believe it is about keeping women from being objectified by society. You might well have a different impression, and I don’t mind offending anyone who has an issue with Islam, but I don’t want to offend anyone of the Islamic faith.

Messy Desks are Best

I feel so much better now. From the NY Times:

Studies are piling up that show that messy desks are the vivid signatures of people with creative, limber minds (who reap higher salaries than those with neat “office landscapes”) and that messy closet owners are probably better parents and nicer and cooler than their tidier counterparts.

Based on the state of my desk, I should be getting a raise. 🙂 In all seriousness though, while my desk always looks messy, there’s method to the madness: I am a horizontal organizer. When I need a document that’s somewhere on my desk, I can usually put my hand on it in a few seconds. Every couple of months I go through a clean-out and dump obsolete documents, and for a while it’s clean but hard to find things without rifling through a stack of papers. I agree when the author says, “the most valuable dividend of living with mess may be time”. By condensing my “filing” activities to a rare occasions, it’s much faster to dump lots of useless stuff that I might have spent time filing and forgetting about had I kept my desk cleaner.

Randall Does Montreal

R.Randall Fransen, mutual friend of the Porter’s and myself, has just spent a week in Montreal with a manufacturer developing some f’in awesome prototype bags for his new company co:labs. Of course he blogged all of it and it is certainly worth a read, especially the post from Wednesday.

instead of being given a ride home by melanie or sasha, a client of theirs was on their way downtown so he offered to give me a ride.  let me set the scene.  his name is tony, he wears a leather jacket, he has thick, black, curly, greasy hair and looks like a wana-be playboy.  he drives a BMW that blares terrible house/techno music and it smells of rich mohogany.  we start down the road back to downtown and tony begins going back and forth on it, waiting for someone else to show up on the side of the road so we can pick them up as well.  in the meantime he begins the challenging chit chat that only comes between a small language barrier. 

“so you like living in new york?” he asks me.  i explain to him that only lived there a short time but that i loved it.  “i hate new york.”  “why?” i ask.  beat.  “too many chinese.  one shows up, opens shop and then 100 more just appear.  they have no imagination…”

Add this to the long list of iNoun products

Well… sort of. In browsing my daily hot sheets, I came across this little article in Engadget (which, like this article, is a re-hash of this article) about the iPod Suit. Designed for the young, hip, exec that needs to wow the boardroom with his newfangled widgit that cost a lot and really serves no purpose other than showing his or her generational chasm from traditional business attire. However, this does mark the first time I can remember the iNoun product wave attempting a swing into the executive fashion market.

“As if your ipod is THAT inaccessable in a suit?” R.Randall Fransen, heterosexual designer, quipped. He goes on (and I paraphrase), “But if your iPod is buried in a bag I can see a need, of course.”

I give them “E” for effort, “A” for style but “F” for iNoun product awesomeness.

I think nonfamous should have another cat. for iNoun products…

Brooke is back

This just in ladies…big, bushy eyebrows are back.  In case your eyebrows don’t suddenly grow in because Vogue has issued an edict (in direct contrast to the edicts of the past 10 years), there is help:

“For those with very sparse brows, some salons offer eyebrow extensions. At LuxLash on Newbury Street in Boston, for example, Suzanne Cats, the owner, thickens brows by gluing a tiny fiber onto each existing hair. The process, which costs $75 to $250, can take 45 minutes to two hours and the false eyebrow effect lasts two weeks, she said. She also offers brow prosthetics — hairpieces for the eyebrows — in 20 different shapes and shades.”

Seriously, eyebrow merkins?  Thank god I live in the NW.

Worst Dressed

There’s a long thread on Slashdot about article run in the Syndney Morning Herald saying that IT workers have been dubbed the worst dressed corporate employees. If you want to spend a few minutes thinking about something else for a change, this is an amusing diversion. Cranky IT nerds duke it out over “style” and what is and isn’t IT and where the girls are. Get yer stereotypes here!

A few excerpts:

Fashion critique: The most disconcerting thing, though, is the growing presence of fat guys in kilts.

How to get dressed: If I could get office-appropriate wrinkle resistant shirts A-F, and pants 1-3, and consult a simple n-dimensional style-matching matrix on the website, I might finally get to talk to a girl. …and the website should have an easy to query API for style-match checking.

Social commentary: I see a jackass in a suit and they are still a jackass. I see a king in rags and they are still a king.

Oh, it’s a total time waster, this thread is. Sometimes funny, sometimes bitter, unraveling into a slugfest here and there as indignent nerds fight about the value of IT and getting dressed for work.

Disclaimer: Lately, I hardly ever go to client sites. I’m at home more and more because my clients are repeat business – I don’t have to suit up and go make an impression. I do get cleaned up now and then to go to meetings, but mostly, I’m home in flannel jammies. Not office appropriate, but I think they’re pretty cute. These guys probably wouldn’t consider me IT, though.

You can’t be trusted to choose your lover

First, let me say that there are people who can not pick their own mates without help. However, that is what friends and family are for – to give you the reality check against your hormones, if you will. That is not the job of psychologists and personality tests.

The growth of sites like eHarmony and PerfectMatch is not natural. Love is not a book or a pair of shoes (alright sometimes love can be a pair of shoes but damn, you can’t marry a pair of shoes). Love is a full-time load of constant communication laced with freedom, fear and trust (like I trust that these shoes are not going to give me blisters after 6 hours straight). The idea that I can take a test and my results are going to determine who I fall in love with is just, well, retarded.

What these sites seek to do is to eliminate the risk of finding your partner. Frankly, that is just wrong. There has to be risk. If there is no risk – if you can just go to the next “match” – then where is the motivation to put yourself on the line? Where is the excitement that leads to first date jitters, great sex, your first real fight, great make-up sex, and so on and so on. Without risk, where is the reward?

I don’t want my journey sanitized (OK, I’m married but if I wasn’t the last place I would look for love is a Dianetics wanna be site full of psycho-babble). I risked and I got hurt and I learned a ton about myself in finding the man that I call my partner for life, my husband. It is a great feeling of accomplishment that I earned through the investment of my time, emotion and wardrobe allowance. The only test we had to pass was the one we gave each other and so far we are making the grade.

Tim Taylor’s Dream Neighborhood

Tool aficionados might be particularly interested in living in a John Deere-branded housing development. From the article: “[T]he John Deere link should amount to a stamp of approval for people who care about having a beautifully landscaped yard from the day they move in.” Is that all? It seems to me more like an appeal to those who want to operate the power equipment that may (or may not) produce the beautifully landscaped yard. Developers could create a neighboring DeWalt subdivision, and then the two homeowners’ associations could fight to prevent the construction of low-rent Black & Decker tract homes further down the road.

This co-branding effort makes more sense to me than the recent Catholic-Ferrari incident, but maybe I’m just not Italian enough to understand. (Also, Ferrari’s Formula 1 team gave Pope John Paul II a replica of their car back in January.) I know it’s not really branding, but it still seems like effort is being made to associate the two.

What co-branded housing would I buy? Maybe a Chimay loft in Pioneer Square? An REI house in Wallingford? (Perhaps without the Eddie Bauer SUV.) An iPod condo in Belltown? A KEXP apartment near South Lake Union? (Why isn’t Paul doing this already? Studio-sized globules could be added to the existing Experience Music Project—who’d notice?)