Archive for January, 2010

Hipness is…what I say it is

Last night I went to an art opening. I had no idea who the artist was, but hey, it was an “art opening.” You know, as in cool, downtown, black clothing, free food. Dave was recovering from a root canal, so I went solo. Which actually added to the hipness as long as I could keep my “I’m alone but I choose to be alone” vibe going.

There’s two kinds of openings. First is the downscale, casual, fun, low rent (literally-as it the place isn’t too expensive to rent) bashes attended mostly by the artists’ friends. These attract a younger, causally -yet -creatively- dressed crowd (think second-hand store.) The art is priced under $100 and nothing sells. The music is a few people playing in public for the first time. The wine is served from jugs, and the food is brought from home-usually a tray of crudities featuring whatever vegetable was on sale. Cheese, if available, is a small wedge of Brie that disappears within the first half hour.

In contrast, the upscale art opening is an event, planned as carefully as a wedding. The people? Wealthy and trying not to look it or poor and trying not to look it. The art? Overpriced, with the smallest pieces just under a grand. The wine? Cost commiserate with the art. Glasses may be used if minimum cost of a piece is five figures and up. The food? The more costly the art, the more expensive the meats and cheeses. The more expensive the meats and cheeses, the thinner they’re sliced. Not because the gallery owners are trying to save money, but because it confirms the cognoscentis’ assertion that it’s the only way to truly appreciate gourmet deli. Of course, they would never use the word deli, but I love the juxtaposition of the two words/worlds.

I’ll go to any art opening, be it upscale, downscale or no-scale. My uniform is always the same half-assed attempt at unintentional cool.

No makeup, hair carefully mussed, no jewelry (save for my engagement and wedding rings) a pair of straight-leg jeans, cuffed not for fashion but because I don’t want to fall on my ass-which would be massively uncool even if I tried to finesse it off- old scuffed black boots (worn under, not over the jeans) a non-descript, causal top, and a motorcycle jacket bought when I was going out with a guy in Ohio who had a band, a motorcycle and no money.

Oh, the art opening I attended? Art: The mandatory well-lit, oversized monochrome canvases that people spent a long time studying as if that piece of crap meant anything. People: see above. Food: hidden in a back room- paper thin slices of Stilton and some imported salami that looked like the stuff I by at Trader Joes only with a larger circumference, half-moon cookies that tasted like they were made with Smart Choice light instead of butter (I am occasionally guilty of this crime) and girls who looked like they were plucked out of the downscale art opening walking around in retro Cigarette Girl outfits, their boxes filled with Hershey kisses, Baby Ruths, Werther’s Originals, Kit Kats and Chiclets for the taking-tips mandatory. (They were the best part of the entire evening.)

I think I’m going to have an art opening and cut out the meaningless part. That leaves the food. And the people. It’s called a party and no, you can’t come because you’re not hip enough.

And if that offended you, watch and listen to this for the antidote.


January 24, 2010 at 11:05 am Leave a comment

Always a Bride

When I grow up, I want to crash Bridal Expos.

January 17, 2010 at 10:59 pm Leave a comment

Three-course Emotion

I like my emotions like I like my dinner-each item separate and far away from the other stuff. Happy, sad, scared, shocked: I want enough distance between each so that I can savor or grieve as my psyche directs.

Unfortunately, that’s not the way life is served.

Yesterday I received a call from the son of a friend I lost contact with years ago. The delightful news: he was alive, healthy, and engaged to be marred. The devastating news: my friend was dead.

What the hell was I supposed to feel? My governor wasn’t kicking in. As someone who’s ridden the roller coaster of emotions for decades, my survival mechanism for crisis has become think first – emote later. The event planner didn’t show up and I was left with a bunch of empty chairs and no one to put them in the correct place.

After playing out this narcissistic tirade, the universal shock and disbelief set in. Yes, I say universal because I’ve never trusted my emotions and end up thinking what I think others would feel in this situation.

But I really felt nothing. Empty, numb, hollow, shot with so many shells I was unrecognizable to myself. How do you grieve someone you haven’t seen in years? Someone who died years ago when you assumed all this time they were just doing normal things that people do every day and keeping their demons at bay with therapy and proper amounts of prescribed medication? Someone who was as energetic and humorous and quirky as you are?

So I switched the emote-o-meter to ‘gratitude.’ After all, her kid-who I’ve wondered about for years-was alive and gratitude is a good thing, right? The post-it note on my computer has been telling me so for six months now so it must be true.

The mashed potatoes got mixed in with the green beans and I have no choice but to eat them if I want to survive.

Life: 1
Death: 1

I’m waiting for the tie-breaker.

January 12, 2010 at 9:02 am Leave a comment

App me once, app me twice, app me 1000+ times

Come take tour with me of the less-than-thrilling worldof my Yahoo home page. Discover for yourself the correlation between the amount of added content and the loss of IQ.

January 6, 2010 at 5:18 pm Leave a comment

Joy of Duct Tape

Inspired by watching Julie and Julia last night on DVD, I decided to repair my copy of Joy of Cooking with duct tape. My husband and I were given the 1997 edition from my brother and sister-in-law for a wedding gift. And in the 14 years since, my passion and lack of archival sense took its toll. Broken spine, ripped, stained, dog-eared and missing pages, segmentation (at page 110; I’ll never how to make New England Clam Chowder past scrubbing the “5 pounds quahogs or other hand-shelled clams.”)

The book looks like total crap but it’s still functional. I broke every bindery rule in the book, so to speak, but I was able to attach the filthy front and back covers. I did sacrifice part of the ‘W’ and ‘Z’ pages in the index, but who really cares since I’ll never make Whelk Fritters or Kouglof. I thought I was missing the ‘X’ and ‘Z’ section, but that’s because the book never bothers to cover any foods that begin with those letters. I guess I’m out of luck if I want to prepare xigua or zabaglione.

So of course after watching the movie, I had fantasies of the world discovering my blog, becoming famous, and publishing a book based on my disparate rants. But that only works for Julie Powell and Diablo Cody. The rest of us toil for nothing more than a few pats on the head, never even getting the chance to bite the gold coin like Underdog.

Besides, I’ll never have millions hanging on to my every word, because my every word changes with each word. I dart from medium to medium and message to message, never staying in one long enough to build a following.

“So what is your blog about?”

I get asked this a lot by friends who understand analytics and search engine optimization and throw around the word ‘monetize” a lot.

“It’s about stuff I think about,” I reply, coming off like a surly 15-year-old.

So in a half-assed attempt to keep my sanity, I’ve decided to just write, speak, or video whatever I want to. Maybe it will take some kind of form, maybe it will pick its own “lane.” (I just looked this up: “Pick a Lane: How to Focus Your Expertise to Increase Your Bottom Line” The info made me want to do neither.)

So: The topic is Roberta, the focus is Roberta, the tags are Roberta. As for a lane, I’ve always weaved in and out of them while driving.

January 3, 2010 at 9:19 am Leave a comment

Roberta Gale

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