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Tuesday , December 14, 2010
nogoodforme Superlatives: New Year's Resolutions
CAR-SURF MORE, SELF-GOVERN LESS
"Surfin' USA" revealed itself as my 2009 theme song at around 10:30 Pacific Standard Time last Friday night; it popped up on my iPod shuffle right as I was deplaning my JetBlue flight back to Cali, and I decided then and there that this would be the year I'd start car-surfing like Stiles in Teen Wolf. METAPHORICALLY, of course: In reality I don't actually have a car right now, and I'd way rather learn to surf on a surfboard in the ocean (which was my number-one goal for 2008, but that didn't happen, so it's at the top of the to-do list again for '09).
To elaborate: metaphorically car-surfing like Stiles in Teen Wolf (i.e., fully engaging in joyful craziness) is probably the most appropes way to counteract my possibly soul-killing tendency to incessantly make up weird rules for how I conduct myself, this stupidly rigid self-governance that dictates how I set every scene not just in LIFE and LOVE and other heavy stuff, but also bears down on all the little tiny details as well. Like, for instance, I'll no longer force myself to listen to "Tumbling Dice" by the Rolling Stones in its entirety when it comes up on my iPod just because it seems like the ideal soundtrack for riding up the 105 on the way home from the airport the day after New Year's. Listening to a song just because you feel like you should is SO DUMB. In fact, doing anything just because you feel like you should is so dumb! It's way better to do stuff because you want to do it, and because you trust yourself enough to know that - if it feels good in the first place - it's probably going to be awesome.
So: death to contrived living in 2009! More gut and instinct, less weirdo obsesso calculation. More car-surfing, less self-governance. And then someday when I look back on '09 I'll totally say, "It was the year I decided to be free of all rules!" sort of like Billy Crudup's girlfriend in Almost Famous and then I'll say "IT'S ALL HAPPENING!" exactly like Rodney Bingenheimer in real life. (Liz)
THE ZEN OF DITA VON TEESE
It's somehow indicative of a certain strain of masochism in Western societies that someone decided to put New Year's Day in the middle of winter and impose this weird tradition of making "resolutions" during the darkest, coldest weeks of the year. You'd think that as NGFM's resident Bringer of Darkness I'd be cackling with amusement -- but I'm also a practical Midwesterner at heart and therefore think that whoever did this was just plain stupid and/or mean. It makes no sense -- you're practically doomed to fail, especially if your resolutions involve anything to do with smoking, losing weight or any of the other puritanical business that people try to get up to. You start out all optimistic and energetic about your self-renewal, but then the cold, dark winter gets to you and of course you're going to eat heavy, fried, utterly comforting food and of course you're going to drink and smoke and of course you're going to spend more money than you want -- what else are you going to do? It's still the middle of winter, it's dark and cold, and you're probably broke and slightly depressed! So by the time spring rolls around (an infinitely more energetic time of year when you should be feeling all happy and ready to tackle anything), there are little chinks of doubt in your firmament of self-esteem -- all because some cabal of nasty, sadistic old Roman dudes decided to make New Year's on January 1 a long time ago.
This is not a personal apologia, by the way -- I've got a will of iron and steely fortitude, and when I declare something, it generally fucking happens, even if I have to kill myself to do it. The trick is to declare the right thing, to think about what you're really after and be a little wise and strategic about it. I'm not anti-resolution, exactly. (I'm New Age-y enough to love Oprah, for Chrissakes.) I think the problem with most "resolutions" is that people approach them like a laundry list, and the result is that 1. you take on too many and 2. they aren't linked to a larger purpose or context. It feels like another To-Do list, which completely and stupidly sucks and only causes more stress. Instead, I like to think about 2 or 3 larger values to bring into fuller fruition. Not things (like money), not people (like a "special friend" or what-the-fuck-ever), not objects (like, um, a private jet?), but the values that those things represent to you. If it's money, perhaps you want a general feeling of prosperity. More exercise -- maybe you're looking for more energy and vitality or maybe you just want to beatically radiate peaceful well-being. And the private jet? Maybe you're looking for connection to your loved ones, or perhaps you want more adventure and exploration in your life. Whatever, dudes -- you're all smart and self-aware enough to figure it out. But the nice thing about connecting to a larger purpose is that there are a million approaches to achieve these larger values. You can check in through the year and pick a new "resolution" when the old one starts to stuck, get really boring or, most likely, stops working -- but because they're connected to a larger value, you're still continuously working towards something, which is healthier and saner and way more effective.
With all that hoo-ha said, I'm all about a lot of things for my own private 2009, but the most fashion blog-appropriate is simplicity and clarity of all sorts -- and specifically, just being mindful about production/consumption and the business of making and spending money and other earthly resources in general. You can imagine the relevance this can have on my fashion life, and honestly, I am still mulling it over in my mind as a point of inquiry rather than a set of discrete resolutions at this point, although it'd be easy to say, "Buy fewer clothes!" or "Stop shopping!" The truth is, I like clothes and I do buy them for pleasure, and nothing is going to change that. However, there's no reason not to be thoughtful about it. The idea of paring things down and being super-selective really appeals to me, as is the idea of completely being in love with EVERYTHING in my closet. I'm over fickleness, junkiness, momentariness -- I want sartorial true love and I want it to last forever. I'm also way into the idea of being able to pass my clothes onto my little niece Mimi when she gets old enough to realize how awesome a Balenciaga dress is. She's only two now, so her idea of fashion is anything with pink, sparkles and cartoon mascots, but I like the idea of passing cool things to her as the "crazy auntie" when she's ready. So, outside of replacing basics like the tanks, jeans and long t-shirts that I always wear when they all wrong and grotty, I don't want to buy anything that isn't awesome and heirloom-y enough to pass onto my niece when she gets older. I don't know how this is going to dovetail with my other fashion-related intention, which is to explore what I call the Dita Von Teese side of me this year. Right now I just have this thing about loving red lipgloss and high heels and really awesome lingerie (and all things dove grey for some odd reason, but I don't think that's very Dita Von Teese-y.) I think this all means that I should only buy Christian Louboutins or something, but I'll get back to you on how this affair between luxurious simplicity and my inner vamp works out. (Kat)
BE A PLAYA, EVERY DAY, FOR 365 DAYS STRAIGHT
For a while there, I thought that talking about being a playa was kinda over. I am now rethinking that opinion. Perhaps talking about being a playa is over, but actually being a playa is timeless. In 2009, I am spearheading a Playa Renaissance. So, World: GET READY TO GET PLAYED. BY ME. ALL THE TIME.
I already know who I'm going to marry, possibly, so that takes muchos pressure off dating and love and romance and Liebe und Romanze and all that jazz. In 2009, I don't have to care about any of that stressful junk. Alls I gots to do is PLAY.
I am generally NOT of the opinion that what you do on New Year's Eve has anything to do with what your year is going to be like, but there is an exception to every rule. I was a PLAYA on NYE, and I'm going to be a PLAYA for all of 2009. In conclusion:
Watch out, dudes- I'm one of you now. I am Laura Jane, the Dude of Chicks. Be wary of me. Keep me at bay. This year, I will play every last one of you like a damned harmonica. (LJ)
Seen above: Playa Street, Laura Jane's new home (metaphorically)
Tags: 2009, being a playa, Dita Von Teese, getting to know us better, Laura Jane Faulds, Laura Jane: The Dude of Chicks, metaphorical car-surfing, PLAYA, Playa Renaissance, Playa Street, playing, Rodney Bingenheimer, self-trust, simplicity, Stiles from Teen Wolf, The Beach Boys
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