Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Blogging the Blues


What does homesickness taste like?

It tastes like pink cotton candy. You sink your teeth into it,
and experience something sweet and luscious. You savor the
cosmopolitan world around you; that you get to live in right
now. You smile because you have an army of a family far
away that you get to miss.

It gives you a toothache. So you curl your lip to taste
something salty escaping your eyes. You live with it. You
want to throw the candy floss away, but it’s never that easy.

What does homesickness sound like?

It sounds like white noise. Like a booming, hollow gasp that
trickles down into a pin drop. It echoes throughout a
cluttered apartment. It sounds like a phone ringing that never
gets answered. It’s the sound of an idiot foreigner butchering
the word rød, and calling her red friend an ass. It’s the
vibrato of an adult whining like a little girl, to the man she
loves the most.

It’s the hum of a half-minute conversation with pops about
the weather, while 'The Rumour Said Fire' sings a lullaby
in your ear.

What does homesickness look like?

It looks like hackneyed poems...that puff off the page like
jacked-up songs that would make Diane Warren blush.
It struts like slutty leather pants with a gold zipper,
purchased with cash. It's as sticky and scarlet as Dior lip gloss.

It is huddling under the blanket devouring books about a
mormon teen in love with a vampire. It’s the sight of a
refrigerator filled with camembert and brie.

That’s all.

What does homesickness smell like?

It smells like a fatty pork loin dissected by the cunning
fingers of someone who wants to keep kosher.

It's the scent of the sandalwood in your mom’s Hanae Mori
butterfly perfume. It wafts like Betty Crocker red velvet
cupcakes that do the trick. With tahitian vanilla frosting. It
has the essence of aged olive oil from Modena made by an
Italian amore. You can pick up a trail of witch hazel and
alcohol antiseptics slathered on chapped hands, taking a

What does homesickness feel like?

It feels like Gaultier suspenders worn too tight, so you walk
around unfashionably hunched over. It feels like a
misaligned jaw. Something askew, the toothache moves
south in the body, settling down in the chest. The pain is a
lonesome twister in the cavity where your heart used to beat.
You miss; you bend over laughing, you ache.

A tumbleweed blows through your body. Some days the pain
is a dusty pit in your belly. Every day the pit grows a bit
bigger. And the seed gets taller, strengthened by the blissful
absence of the one person whose should bring water to
your garden. And the fact that your pain is something this
person is okay with, makes the agony you feel that much


Monday, November 16, 2009

The Amazing Fleggaard!

Just across Germany's northern-most border with Denmark you’ll find an incredible superstore called Fleggaard. There, you can buy everything you need – tubs of gummi bears, cases of wine, industrial strength dishwashing soap – at prices 30% cheaper than you’ll find in Denmark. It is Denmark's Costco, packaged as a German loophole.

Though the store is in Germany, it is owned by Danes and exists solely to help Danes avoid the high taxes on goods they are forced to pay in their lil' island-country. If you’re having a party in Copenhagen, it’s smart and common to make the 4-hour schlep just across the border to Germany to buy all your liquor (after all, parties are expensive, with all the drinking that goes down). So, Danes will drive for 2 hours, take a ferry ride, drive another 2 hours, all to SAVE oodles of cash.

So, as Fleggaard is just over the line between Germany and Denmark the company slogan goes “Lige Over Grænsen” which translates to “Just over the line” in Danish.

Their advertising agency has taken that mantra to heart, with a series of gorgeous ads featuring scantily clad models that are 'just over the line.' The first film (below) included a plane full of stunning red-bikini-wearing models who, topless, parachute out of an airplane.

The 100+ women do stunts in the air – while free-falling -- holding hands to spell out “Half-off on Dishwasher soap at Fleggaard.”

You’d be hard-pressed to find a man in Denmark who hasn’t seen and fallen in love with that commercial. It was geared strictly to men.

Last week, Fleggaard released their tasty treat for the women. This ‘music video’ (above) features a zeppelin plane filled with beautifully buff male models who enter a cavernous, womenly-shaped landscape.

Like the one before it, it is “lige over grænsen” – just over the line. And it's hysterical. Denmark's most fearless and talented commercial director, Peter Harton, outdid himself this time. He should be bringing his magic to New York City or Los Angeles some time in the future.


"Lige Over Grænsen"

(Don't watch the video below if you're an easily offended: feminist; religious person; under the age of 16; or a gay male. This is purely gratuitous T & A that shows creative & beautiful Denmark, in all it's glory).

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Clown pants were a big-ticket item this Spring/Summer 09 season in Copenhagen

I am unsure how I feel about these pants, aesthetically- and economically-speaking. These dyslexic M.C. Hammer pants baggy at the bottom, fitted at the top sell for around 1500 kroner a pop (which is about $300 bucks). All for an ill-fitting piece of shiny parachute fabric around the legs, with an elastic waistband and elastic cuffs at the ankles.

I've only spotted these trendy pants floating on the beautiful bods of the wafer-thin, gorgeous Danes of Copenhagen. The girls in Denmark, no matter how hard they try, wear these things effortlessly, without looking like they just rolled out of bed. Now Americans, on the other hand, have gotten into some very bad fashion habits. And it pains me. I don't know how many times I've gone to a nail salon in Sacramento on a Saturday morning around 11AM, only to see a bunch of Sac State co-eds pull up in their BMWs, clutching their Starbucks with their chipped acrylic nails, wearing flannel, plaid pajama pants, hooded college sweatshirts and ratty old Ugg boots. I look at them and think, "Who raised you?" You're here at Modern Nails because you care about your hands and toes, but what about everything else? Can't even get dressed before leaving the house? Truly, California needs to stop this 'every day is Casual Friday look' because it has deteriorated into Pajama Saturday. And it's borderline ridiculous.

But I digress. This summer, while traveling around Europe and Southeast Asia, I did not see any clown pants in France or Italy, not in Sweden or India; and certainly not in California. These pants are a highly controversial topic in Denmark though -- even more than the immigration issue. At a key work retreat at the advertising agency where I'm employed -- where we discussed best practices on things like client pitches, mood boards and proper note-taking -- a few boys in the office raised their hands, filed an opinion, and took a non-majority vote deciding that, "The girls aren't allowed to wear the clown pants to work any longer."

So there you have it. They have been outlawed.

They are so ugly, I simply had to have a pair - and I'm not even pregnant. But I refuse to plunk down so much money in these tough economic times. So, my mom Nancy came to the rescue, as she often does.

While home in California just after my birthday last month, we designed and made the pairs featured here. It was a hoot! We went to the fabric store and bought some beautiful textiles in four different patterns for around 8 dollars, and a Vogue pattern for 99-cents. We made 2 pairs of deliciously trendy, possible ugly clown pants, just for me. Midway through the sewing process, my dad and 2 sisters asked my mom why she was sewing me pajamas. I cringed, because that's exactly the look we're not going for. But I'll let you be the judge.

The first pair comes in a silky, pseudo-polka-dot pattern, with a 1970's Pucci-inspired orange & gold waistband.

The second pair is more of a classic clown pant, in a traditional purple, green and black floral print. Simply lux and so comfortable.

I pair these pants with a white tank under a black cotton cardigan, a simple ballet flat, and a 'don't mess with me' smile.

Please, feel free to comment on how much you love them, or hate them, or are jealous of my new pants.

Yours in good fashion,