Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Is that a cheese grater you're playing?

So I like to fancy myself one of the "Cool" parents and believe me there's some stiff competition so I really do step up my game.  But the other night I tripped upon this video that sent me into a shame spiral like no other.  Not only have I not managed to get my kids into music lessons but I can't play one myself.  It's pathetic.  Don't think I'm not going to hook my girls up Clockwork Orange style to Depeche Mode, sticker my piano and get down with some amateur jams at the crib.

Now I've never had a great amount of sticktoitveness but the Behrendt family band is on.  Music lessons starting ASAP.  Already picking out band outfits!  Hold me to it people.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Don't you be talking about my bow tie!

Had to go from a manual labor job today straight to a cocktail party tonight. I washed my hands and face then added a clip on bow tie, (like total skinny maitre'd style: cheap $12) threw an Old Navy black cardi, ($20) with a Reigning Monarchs pin over my Volcom $33 flannel. All it took was a cheap bow tie and a free pin (Im in the band) and suddenly I'm ODTE! Both the pin and the tie take the simple shirt / sweater combo up a notch. This shit does not cost money punks, it just takes a minimal amount effort and a modicum of invention. YOU READING THIS can do this and you don't have a beagle's face:)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Oh The Places You'll Go...

Dr. Seuss as told by the people of Burning Man 2011

If we were to have a family book it would most certainly be Oh The Places You'll Go by the late great Dr. Seuss.  No one piece of literature fills me both with joy and sorrow every time I read it.  It's both reflective and projective.  It makes you hope and worry for everyone you love.  Exactly like life.

A declaration!

Love this!
I will not procrastinate more than fifteen minutes at any one given time before attacking my workload, laundry pile, stack of crap on my desk.  I will not search the internet for things that I should not buy during my "office hours"or scan fashion sites or Huffington Post pretending like I'm trying to jump start my creativity when I'm really just wasting my time.  Today I will walk around the house like a F-ing champion and allow myself the one indulgence of watching the Australian Open with the sound turned down while I write then again with the sound turned up after the children are sleeping.  And I will be happier than a bird with a french fry or a puppy with a new toy. My tail will be firmly in the air and wagging.

Friday, January 20, 2012

What to wear when... Chapter 1. You don't want to waste an outfit

As I'm writer who works from home, many of my days are spent being seen by the general public only in short glimpses at the kids' school or running errands.  It seems a shame to waste and incredible outfit on a day like that and yet when you live by the mantra of Outdress The Enemy you can't really go out in sweatpants and feel like you're being true to yourself.  Unless they're really cool sweatpants which DO EXIST!  Friends ask me all the time how I pick my outfits, why I pick my outfits and how I get away with wearing THAT!  Here's what I'll tell you, it's all about the feeling you get when you put any piece of clothing on.  As you build your outfit, each piece will make you feel happy or disappointed.  It's weird but you know when that one piece doesn't make your outfit better and it bums you out.  That's because your clothes are an extension of you.  They are the visual representation of what you think about yourself.  So even on a sweatpants day, take the time to pick out the pieces of your outfit so you're not starting the day on a down note.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

How I learned to dress. Pt 1 Working Class Glam

Sunday night after my last show at the Rosewell, Ga standup club The Funny Farm, which is neither funny nor a farm but actually a conference room at the back of Andretti Karting and Games, (which is kinda funny) a few of the younger comics and I were sitting around bullshitting about standup. One of them asked me how important dressing for the stage was as I seemed to take it fairly seriously. Even when performing admirably at a Go Kart Raceway! I said that I have always enjoyed those in music and entertainment who dress for the occasion. I love it when a person or a band have committed to a look. It tells part of their story before they've said anything or played a single note, and it adds dimension to their art. Plus it also gives the audience the impression that you care about what you are doing. Even in the case of what I call anti look artists like Pearl Jam or Zach Galifanakis where they were so committed to not "dressing up" they actually created iconic looks that influenced their generations. Zach had the beard before Iron and Wine... but after Burl Ives.  For me it's not about "dressing up" it's about finding yourself and fucking embracing it.

So after I gave that lecture one of the guys said "You should start a service dressing comics." I couldn't think of anything worse. There couldn't be a more uncomfortable person in the world than the standup comic. Dude or chick. So the idea of standing with one of them in their closet and going through their hoodies gives me the idiot shivers. (Though it would make a great reality show.) Plus when you put clothes on people they always look like you put clothes on them. We did this in a series of regretful  "Greg-overs" on The Greg Behrendt Show. Just writing that makes me want to take a pearl handled revolver to my temple.  What I would be interested in doing is getting people to find it on their own by encouraging them  to think about the the things that inspire them and what they would look like if they could wish it, or just had the guts to try it. Seriously for some dudes the idea of wearing a collared shirt or a cardigan sweater is like asking then to wear pantyhose.I don't want the hassle.  It took me forever to try a lot of stuff because I didn't like my body or I didn't think I could pull it off. But then I realized I was looking in the wrong places for inspiration. Fashion magazines are for people already steeped in fashion and lets face it money. I started thinking about every time I thought something looked cool. Be it a movie, a band, an actor, a painting, I stated to think more about images rather than what's right or wrong or what's in style. The real dressers don't give a shit about what's in style they just like what they like. So here's how I'll help: from time to time I'm gonna post about the things that inspire my wardrobe and me and maybe they will inspire you too. Or make you like me less:)

I'll start today with this. Social Distortion. I fucking love them. Their music is  what I like to call 50's influenced, switchblade punk. I got into these guys around the time of their Prison Bound album. They were simply a white t-shirt, khakis/chinos and  combat boot band that has since evolved into a 40's 50's gangster style unit with a little Mexican American Cholo meets gas station attendant. Add a little guyliner and tattoos and you get what I call working class glam. Their look is classic, tough and timeless. Oh and they are not afraid to rock a chain wallet. What's rad is you can wear this look at any age and not look out of touch. And the great news is nothing these guys wear couldn't be bought at Sears for under or around $100 for the whole outfit! In many sizes. (I'm talking to you XXXL, so don't mock it till you've tried it)
Here's a boat load more images of Social Distortion get after it PUNK.

UPDATE: Jan 18th. These shirts are currently in Target. See!


Friday, January 13, 2012

Is this PUNK?

In 1989 I worked as a stock-boy in a mens clothing store called Structure in San Francisco which has since become Mens Express. It was like a euro trash version of the Gap that sold a lot of off color khakis and block color polos to tourists with bad taste. Having been fixated on clothes since I was was boy I loved the job even though the clothes were lame. It was an easy job too.  My buddy James Nawrowki and I would just in unpack boxes of shirts or pants or whatever, steam em, put em on hangers and racks, and then take them to the floor. But mostly we would sit around and talk about movies and music. James was a really talented writer who, and I'm not making this up, really wanted to write a movie for Jim Belushi, and I would tell him everyday that's the stupidest thing I'd ever heard. That would annoy him and so he would go and put on this one album he loved and try and get me to slam dance so he could knock my shit into the enormous clothing boxes. The cassette we two person slammed to? Kerplunk by local punks Green Day. Green Day played Gilman Street in Oakland which officially made them punk in fact if you didn't play Gilman Street you were not in fact punk. According to the people who went to Gilman street. But the fact is punk is just a thing you say, it's an idea that can be applied to anything someone feels is antiestablishment. I never got that from Green Day. They were dirty, they made independent albums early on, they played shit holes and took speed. But then so did the Beatles.  I thought they were brats yes. But there is nothing about the music of that band that isn't aching to heard. They write pop songs. Which in not something anyone should ever be ashamed of. Billy Joe can't not write hooks. It's a fucking gift. In fact I think they they took a bigger risk making their last two epic rock and roll records and becoming the band they are supposed to then they ever did preaching to the choir about jerking off and not giving a shit. Giving a shit is punk in my book. Taking a risk and trying is punk. Willing to risk what you have, to alienate your base for your own artistic integrity is punk. Making a musical... kinda punk. What could be less Gilman street than that? And then today I saw the Green Day for Varvatos ad. I like John Varvatos. He makes sophisticated  Cranaby Street meets East Village NYC circa 77 menswear. Is it punk rock? Probably not. (Although Malcom McLaren dressed the pistols, and the Clash were fashion queens)  Is it unexpected given where they started? Sure. Is it a constant evolution in the face of certain criticism? Yes. Is that punk? I think so. But what do I know? I like sweaters

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Notes From The Universe

Okay so you might not believe me, but I get a daily note from The Universe.  Don't be jealous, you can get them too.  The thing that I like about it is that for those few moments it takes for me to read it, I find myself smiling.  The notes are not only thought provoking but they hit my temporary reset button and pull me out of whatever mood I might be in and inject me with hope, purpose even.  The other thing I like is how the universe signs these little notes.  It's the simple things that tickle me.

Here's a note I got the other day.

If you were able to look back at your most brilliant successes, stunning comebacks, amazing catches, and smokin' ideas, Amiira, and you were to find that virtually all of them seemed to materialize out of thin air, when you least expected them, and that they had exceeded even your greatest expectations at the time, how excited would you be about the new year and whatever else I've got up my sleeve? 

Hubba, hubba -     The Universe
Thoughts become things... choose the good ones! ®
© www.tut.com ®

Abundance rocks, Amiira, but it's relative. Moreover, today you have as many opportunities to be happy as you ever will - 100 pink fairy ladies driving Cadillac Eldorados, or not... That was you, right??

C'mon, tell me that doesn't make you happy and crank up your creativity engines.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Report For Duty

What to wear to drop the kids off at school, to workout, to the office, to lunch with friends, afternoon meeting, kids soccer games, weekend laser tag, night at the theater, night at the movies, night at the museum, morning after, morning glory, what's the story? Consider this the perfect uniform for all occasions. Get involved with it.
Love your guts!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Treat Your Ears Right!

Punk Cider courtesy of Mighty & Lauren

A day late but not even a dollar short.  As promised here are my favorite songs of 2011.  I encourage you to download and play in this order...not that I'm a control freak or anything. (pretend there's a smiley face emoticon here.)  Let me know what songs made you mental in 2011 and what records (yes, I still call them that) you're looking forward to in 2012.

Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye
Crystal Vases by The Last Royals
Video Games by Lana Del Rey
Damn Your Eyes by Alex Clare
Green Aisles by Real Estate
Darling Buds of May by Viva Brother
Cough Syrup by Young the Giant
The King and All Of His Men by Wolf Gang
Civilian by Wye Oak
What the Water Gave Me by Florence + The Machine
Lake Michigan by Rogue Wave
Santa Fe by Beirut
Baptized By Fire by Spinnerette
Helicopter by Deerhunter
Simple Math by Manchester Orchestra
Do I Wait by Ryan Adams
Impossible by Anberlin
Sweet Disposition by Temper Trap
Trinity by Paper Tongues
Young Blood by The Naked and Famous
The Ghost Inside by Broken Bells
Street Joy by White Denim

Now be amazed and freaked out by the video for Simple Math by Manchester Orchestra.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Outdress The New Year

Happy New Year you elegant people that know how to step it up in life and walk around the house like a f-ing champion.  This is us on our way to a low key New Years party that couldn't have been more perfect for the non-partiers that we are.  Let's just say that no one left the kitchen all night which is my favorite type of social gathering.  There was talk of resolutions but ultimately the consensus was that rather than making resolutions that won't last a week maybe this year we should try to make a list of things that we want to do better.  I for one want to get better at structuring my time and sticking to the structure.  The idea of achieving my goals by continuously working diligently every day rather than getting side tracked by my closet needing a good refolding or my desk piles needing a good sorting is truly a new one to me.  The thing I always forget is that the things that drive me crazy (piles, clutter, disorder) will always be there but to stop my work to deal with them is my own quicksand.  I can never climb out or truly make progress - I just get sucked in.  So in 2012 I'm going to try to let it go.  Move my laptop out of my office for my writing hours and then dedicate an hour a day as an OCD reward to try to organize my always cluttered brain.

Things I want to do better and more of in 2012:
Exercising regularly. Lay off the sugar. Drink more green smoothies to start the day.Breakfast - Green Monster Smoothies #freezerGreen smoothiegreen smoothie