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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It was 20 years ago today that Pulp Fiction was given a wide release. Time flies when you’re a bad motherfucker!


Click to buy a Bad Motherfucker wallet.

The movie was the first independent film to gross more than $200 million. When it came out, critic Roger Ebert gave it four stars and called the screenplay (which won an Oscar) “so well-written.” More recently, Vanity Fair summarized Mark Seal’s story on the making of Pulp Fiction this way:

Pulp Fiction was a shot of adrenaline to Hollywood’s heart, reviving John Travolta’s career, making stars of Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman, and turning Bob and Harvey Weinstein into giants.”

The “shot of adrenaline” is a reference to the scene that became notorious when it supposedly caused a man to faint during the movie’s screening at the New York Film Festival.

If you want to pay tribute to that scene with your earlobes, I’ve got the perfect studs for you.

Needle and anatomical heart earrings are sold separately on my website. Click to shop.

Needle and anatomical heart earrings are sold separately on my website. Click to shop.

Hey, it’s better than expressing your Pulp Fiction love with a watch!

Rolling Stone has organized interesting facts about the movie into an A-to-Z list here. And New York Magazine’s Vulture blog has a lengthy interview with Steve Hibbert, who played the masked sex slave known as the Gimp. I feel like a Gimp expert now. I’d rather think about blueberry pancakes, so here’s a great scene that doesn’t get as much love as some of the hilariously violent ones: pancake-loving Fabienne (Maria de Medeiros) talking to her boxer boyfriend Butch (Bruce Willis) about pot bellies and oral pleasure.

Now I’m thinking of all the other great Pulp Fiction moments I’d like to mention here. There are too many! If you haven’t seen Pulp Fiction (to my amazement, I’ve met people who haven’t!), do it: It’s a modern classic. If you’ve already seen it, watch it again! And again! This movie is like pie. To partially quote Fabienne, ” Any time … is a good time for pie.”

Monday, October 13, 2014

Time for me to apply for a job at the Psychic Hotline! I’m feeling wonderfully prescient after Eminem took to Instagram to reveal the album art for November’s Shady XV album.


Back to basics! Here's the cover for #SHADYXV out 11/24.

View on Instagram

A hockey mask and chainsaws! Just like the hockey mask and chainsaw earrings I officially debuted 10 days ago.

Sterling silver. $70 for the pair. Click to purchase.

Sterling silver. $70 for the pair. Click to purchase.

Of course, these earrings are also suitable for horror-movie fans. You can read my blog post to learn about the history of hockey masks and chainsaws in film.

Click to see the sneak peek of the earrings that I posted on Sept. 17.

Click to see the sneak peek of the earrings that I posted on Sept. 17.

I only made 20 pairs of these earrings for Halloween delivery and a good number of those are sold, so buy now if you want yours for October 31!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

In case you missed it, here’s what was on the blog this week.

After doing my Fleetwood Mac posts, I realized I have a not-bad photo of the band taking its bow at MSG on Monday.


Click to enlarge.

And here’s a vintage shot of Stevie Nicks that I had saved to my desktop because it shows her top hat … and general gorgeousness.


If you don’t have Stevie’s 1981 No. 1 solo album, Bella Donna, click the album-art photo below to get it. Man, when this came out, I was obsessed with those boots! And her hair. Basically, I wanted everything in this photo except the bird.


Click to buy Bella Donna on iTunes.

Later, Stevie said she never got to enjoy the success of Bella Donna because it hit No. 1 on the same day her dearest friend, Robin Snyder Anderson, died of leukemia days after giving birth to a premature baby. This led to a strange episode in which Stevie, wild with grief, married Robin’s widower, Kim, in a misguided effort to look after Kim and the baby, Matthew. Divorce quickly followed and Stevie didn’t see Matthew for years … but on Monday, she dedicated “Landslide” to her “stepson Matthew.” It was a nice thing to hear!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

It’s my gorgeous mother BarbaraB’s birthday today, and I’ll celebrate by sharing this great photo of her.


I believe this is from the mid-1980s. I know I remember that green shirt! Mom has always been a style icon.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Sixth-century B.C. Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu — the father of Taoism — said, “He who knows does not speak; he who speaks does not know.”

In a “you’re going to regret this for a loooooong time” moment, Satya Nadella, the chief executive of Microsoft, spoke without knowing at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference in Phoenix yesterday.  He coughed up this awful advice for women who want raises: don’t ask for them. Here are his exact words as quoted by the New York Times:

“It’s not really about asking for the raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along,” Mr. Nadella said, according to a webcast of the event.

But then he continued: “That, I think, might be one of the additional superpowers that, quite frankly, women who don’t ask for a raise have. Because that’s good karma. It’ll come back because somebody’s going to know that’s the kind of person that I want to trust. That’s the kind of person that I want to really give more responsibility to. And in the long-term efficiency, things catch up.”

Here is my reaction, illustrated by Napoleon Dynamite:


Click for the sound effect.

If it were true that not asking for a raise was the best way to make the big bucks, women would far out-earn men in the workplace, because women tend to be nice and polite and much less comfortable than men about asking for what they deserve. Or even what they don’t deserve! God knows you don’t have to deserve shit to ask for it! Starting with my first post-college job in 1989, one of the ways I’d steel myself to ask for money was by looking around me and observing what even the most incompetent men had the nerve to go after. If those fools were bold enough to ask for more money, why should I hold back when I was better than them? Yet, even with my being more assertive than the norm, I didn’t always get what I wanted. It must have been 1991 or so when I confronted my boss about a guy who was admittedly more experienced than I was, but who was hired after me and trained by me —  to the extent I was able to get him to learn anything. I’m not a miracle worker, you know. I still had to save this guy from his own mistakes all the time. Nevertheless, he was promoted ahead of me. I pointed out the injustice of this to my boss, who, unable to counter any of the points I made about talent, finally, weakly, said: “Well, he has a wife and kids.” Then he said, “I didn’t know you wanted that job so badly.” He didn’t know? The only way I could have made it more clear was by tattooing it on my forehead. I immediately started looking for another job — though I made sure I got that promotion before I left.

As for good karma … well, some definitions of karma involve how your past or current deeds will affect your NEXT life, so if you want money during this existence, I suggest you don’t wait for karma to sign your paycheck. What I tell women is: If you ask, you might get. You don’t ask, you definitely don’t get. If you act like you don’t care, no one is going to step in and care for you (at work or in any other matter). Take a lesson from what my boss said: “I didn’t know you wanted” it. That’s always a good reason for not giving an employee something.  Don’t take a lesson from the other thing my boss said about a wife and kids. Being married and having kids is only an advantage for a man who is perceived as being the breadwinner for his family (whether he is or not). Having a spouse and children will STILL be used against a woman, viewed as reasons she’s not sufficiently dedicated to her job. So, whether you’re asking for a starting salary at a new job, a raise or a bonus, don’t bring up your family, your cost of living, tuition, rent, medical bills, your Pekingese’s eye surgery or anything else of that nature. You deserve the money for the JOB THAT YOU DO. You don’t have to justify your worth in any other way (and besides, management will use all that personal stuff against you). You’re being paid for your work. If you think your work should be highly valued, then that’s your argument. You might feel uncomfortable making that argument, but that feeling lasts for the length of the conversation, while being underpaid can last your entire career.

As for Microsoft’s Nadella, he backtracked, of course, after Twitter came for him. First he tweeted that he’d been inarticulate and that the gender pay gap needed to be closed. Later, in an email to Microsoft employees, he said, “I answered that question completely wrong,” adding “If you think you deserve a raise, you should just ask.” I don’t know why he limited that concept to his own employees. Why not say that to the world if you really believe it?

Nadella’s original comment was made during a conversation with Microsoft board member Maria M. Klawe, the president of Harvey Mudd College. I was interested to see that even someone like Dr. Klawe felt she was less assertive than she should be when it comes to pay. Her comments, as relayed by the Times, were educational:

“When she was offered the position of dean of engineering at Princeton, Dr. Klawe said, she began discussing her salary only after accepting the job. The result, she estimated, was that she received about $50,000 less a year than she should have. Dr. Klawe said she had also handled her pay discussions with Harvey Mudd poorly, saying that she did not protest when she was offered less money than she thought appropriate.

‘Do not be as stupid as I was,’ she said, advising the audience to role-play with others before discussing compensation with potential employers.”

The role-playing is a good idea. When you do it, do what I do myself and what I always suggest to other women: Ask for what a man would ask for.  You’ll always wind up setting your sights higher. Sad but true!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

While writing yesterday’s post about Fleetwood Mac, I delved into the band’s past, so I’ve got lots of recommended reading for you. Start with the band’s March 1977 Rolling Stone cover story.



The band members were interviewed separately for the story by the then-19-year-old Cameron Crowe — the same Cameron Crowe who would eventually write and direct Almost Famous, about the adventures of a teenage music journalist. In the story, Christine McVie (I love that her pre-marriage name was Christine Perfect) goes over the history of the pre-Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks lineup of Fleetwood Mac, while everyone talks about the personal breakups that provided inspiration for the just-released Rumours album.  (I was intrigued to see that 28-year-old Stevie, who has often in subsequent years said that having children wasn’t compatible with her professional life, mused about the possibility of having a child before the age of 34. Also, John McVie had a big crush on Linda Ronstadt.) The previous fall, the work had been seen as what Crowe called a  “very late followup LP [to the previous hit album, 1975's Fleetwood Mac], a trouble-child called Rumours.”  By the time the Rolling Stone article came out, Rumours was “being shipped out in greater quantities than any other record in the history of Warner Bros.,” Crowe reported. In fact, the album went on to be certified 19-times platinum in the U.S. (platinum status is one million copies sold) and, as of a couple of years ago, has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. The album was reissued with additional tracks last year.

Thanks to the success of that “trouble-child” album, Fleetwood Mac topped Rolling Stone’s 1977 Readers Poll, landing the band back on the magazine’s cover in January 1978. Behold Mick Fleetwood’s cheerleader outfit. Nice legs, Mick!


The 1977 Cameron Crowe cover story was titled “True Life Confessions,” but one thing the band didn’t confess to then was its rampant drug use.  That’s covered in this 2003 Uncut story by Nigel Williamson about the making of Rumours. “Throughout the Rumours sessions, a black velvet bag of cocaine held pride of place under the mixing desk,” Williamson wrote. And Stevie Nicks said,
“‘Gold Dust Woman’ was about how we all love the ritual of it, the little bottle, the diamond-studded spoons, the fabulous velvet bags.”

Continuing the habit of speaking to band members separately, Andy Greene interviewed Stevie and Lindsey that way for Rolling Stone in December 2012. Buckingham, laughing, said, “It’s almost like the old days where we were talking to each other through songs, and now we’re having conversations through you. It’s very strange, isn’t it?” This March, Greene spoke to Christine McVie about how she overcame her fear of flying  — a factor in her quitting the band in 1998 — to go back on tour. And in the Rolling Stone issue dated today, Rob Sheffield has a Q&A with Stevie in which she talked about the top hat that I was so pleased to see at the show on Monday.

“It’s a very special top hat — it’s from the 1920s, that one, and you can’t find another one like it. So the hat has its own roadie, its own box and its own cage — it’s always protected.”
Stevie also said that she advised Christine McVie to get a trainer before heading back on tour with the band. She actually told that story on stage at Madison Square Garden this Monday at a greater length, and I recorded it.

As MrB and I were leaving the Garden after the show, he said to me something like, “I guess Stevie and Christine still don’t get along.” I was totes like

He somehow thought what Stevie said was a dig at Christine, while I thought it was warm and flattering. Well! I’ve discovered that I’m right and MrB is wrong (ha ha! I say that a lot) because Christine and Stevie have ALWAYS been close and supportive of each other. In a June 2013 profile by Jada Yuan, written before Christine returned to the band, Stevie said, “It’s not near as fun” [without Christine there]. “Because it was girl power, you know?” This January, after Christine expressed interest in returning to the band and even performed a song with them at a London show, Stevie spoke to Rolling Stone again about how it felt when Christine first retired: “We didn’t really want to have Fleetwood Mac without Chris. But we finally decided that we also didn’t want to not play.” And, about her return, Stevie said, “”When people say, ‘Did she ask if she could come back?’ It’s her band, for God’s sake. If she wants to come back, it’s her band. Fleetwood Mac-Vie. She started the damn band.”

My favorite article so far about the relationship between Stevie and Christine is this December 2013 piece by Tom Jonze for the Guardian. It noted that the night in September 2013 that Christine stepped on stage with the band, Stevie had earlier in the evening dedicated her song “Landslide” to Christine with the words, “This is for my mentor. Big sister. Best friend.” The story went on to say:

“It is not the first time Nicks has talked about McVie. In 2009, she told the audience at Wembley Arena that she thought about her ‘every day.’ Earlier this year she admitted to the Observer [the Guardian's magazine]: ‘I’d beg, borrow and scrape together $5m and give it to her in cash if she would come back. That’s how much I miss her!'”

“I miss her like flowers need the rain,” Stevie said of Christine in that Observer story.

There you have it.

Here are a few other articles/videos you may find of interest:

Finally, one of my all-time favorite Buckingham-Nicks collaborations (and an all-time favorite song in general) wasn’t recorded with Fleetwood Mac. It’s former Kingston-Trio member John Stewart‘s 1979 hit “Gold.” It would be a good song anyway, but Stevie’s vocals make it a great one. Neither she nor Lindsey appear in this video, so Stewart’s awesome 1979 style takes center stage.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I’ve had this photo of Stevie Nicks saved to my computer desktop for about a year, just because it’s gorgeous.


I’ve always loved Stevie’s voice, music and style. I glued myself to the TV when Fleetwood Mac’s “Gypsy” came on MTV in the early 1980s — taking occasional breaks to spin around the living room like Stevie.

I can’t imagine the number of times I watched her “White Winged Dove” solo concert film on HBO. The whole thing is on YouTube now.

Despite this, over the decades I never managed to get to a concert to see either Stevie solo or with Fleetwood Mac. This Monday, I finally made up for that. Not only did I see Fleetwood Mac at Madison Square Garden, but it was with its classic Rumours-era lineup — singer and keyboard player Christine McVie is touring with the band for the first time since 1998. MrB and I were running a little late to the show but thankfully came in right on time for “Rhiannon.” Imagine missing that one! I never would’ve gotten over it!

I’m glad that Stevie has retained her signature on-stage style of flowing black dress, shawls, boots, scarves and even a top hat. I feel strongly that artists (and non-artists!) who have a truly iconic look shouldn’t hesitate keep it forever. Why not? Who looks cooler than Stevie, either at 26 or now when she’s 66? Whenever she did an onstage twirl with all her chiffon floating around her, the Madison Square Garden audience went berserk. Interestingly, as I noted in a 2010 blog post, Stevie started out trying to emulate Janis Joplin’s style, even shopping at one of Janis’s favorite stores, the Velvet Underground. Yet she still developed a unique image. Stevie mentions the Velvet Underground (definitely the store, not the band ) in the first line of “Gypsy,” and I was excited to hear her describe what that store meant to her when she first went there with no money to spend.

My equivalent experience involved Bergdorf Goodman and a turquoise chubby that was possibly by Marc Jacobs. It took me about 10 years and required my taking a terrible but well-paid job at Lehman Brothers, but I eventually WAS able to shop at Bergdorf Goodman and the store still has that holy-grail aura for me. I just regret not having visualized a career as a rock singer when I saw that turquoise chubby. Stevie chose better when it came to wishing upon a store.

I didn’t wear anything from Bergdorf to the see Fleetwood Mac. For a Stevie-worthy handkerchief hem, vintage from Shrimpton Couture was a must. I even tried to give it a little twirl.

fleetwoodoutfitWhat Wendy Wore
Dress: “Wendy Originals” vintage (acquired 2009-ish? Seen here in 2011)
Boots: Prada (2008 or 2009)
Unseen: Suede jacket from 1998.

I didn’t expect to be fascinated by the rock-star style of another band member during the show, but Lindsey Buckingham was awe-inspiring. Not only does he play guitar like a fiend, but he’s as thin as a rail and was wearing the skinniest of skinny jeans. (If they’d been on a woman, you’d call them jeggings.) He turned 65 five days ago! Bad-ass! This photo is all washed out, but you can see what I mean about the jeans.


You can also seem him in my video of “Tusk.”

“Tusk” is a big favorite of mine. I once played it on repeat for a full hour-long workout at the gym. Nothing but “Tusk.” What can I say — I have a weakness for marching bands! Unfortunately, Fleetwood Mac couldn’t bring the USC Trojans on tour with them, but you can see a performance with the marching band here. And here’s the original 1979 video for the song, which made a huge impression on me in my youth. It pre-dated MTV, so I’m not sure where I first saw it, but to this day, whenever I hear the song, my mind’s eye sees Stevie twirling a baton and waving her hat.

You can see more of Stevie’s style here, and she’s all over Pinterest, of course. Stevie’s got a new album out: 24 Karat Gold – Songs From the Vault, and there are two biographies of her scheduled to come out next year. Those should be must-reads because Stevie is often outrageously quotable. I like this anecdote from the book Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams & Rumors by Zoe Howe, which was quoted in the New York Times this week. When Prince encouraged Stevie to write “more directly about sex in her lyrics,” she replied:

“You have to write about sex, so you must not be intrinsically sexy. I don’t have to write about sex because I am intrinsically sexy.”

It takes a very special woman to tell Prince he’s not sexy!

If you’re in the New York area, Fleetwood Mac is playing at the Prudential Center in New Jersey this Saturday. There are still a few hundred tickets on StubHub. If you love this band, you don’t want to miss this tour.

Monday, October 6, 2014

FitzRoy and Purrkoy — my exotic shorthair kittehs — met two of their out-of-town fans this weekend.  “Stratsquam” (Kelli) and “WitnessTheThickness” (Aaron) are a lovely young couple who attended medical school together and who came to New York to interview for a residency. They’re also two of FitzRoy’s most ardent Instagram followers. Last week, Fitz got a message on his Facebook page from Aaron reading, in part, “It would absolutely make my girlfriend’s year if she could meet Fitzroy and his new little brother, any chance this could be arranged ???”

How could I say no to that? Plus Kelli created this great FitzRoy fan art.


Click to see the FitzRoy photo that inspired this.

So Kelli and Aaron arrived on Caturday with a bag full of gifts from Petco — cans of Fancy Feast, catnip toys, dog treats, a rainbow caterpillar and a laser that upgraded the usual red dot to a red star.


Kelli doing her best FitzRoy-esque grumpy face.

They sat on the floor and and weren’t put off by FitzRoy’s cattitude.


Fitz couldn’t help but be a little bit curious.

Purrkoy got a little crazy from the ‘nip.


Look at FitzRoy glowering in the background.

Kelli asked me — and the cats — what it was like to be Instagram famous (FitzRoy has over 7,000 followers now and Purrkoy has 1500). I was like, “Gosh! Are we?! I don’t know!” Upon further reflection, I’d say solemnly, “It’s a lot of responsibility.” The kittehs’ aunt, Stacy Lomman, and I spend a lot of time on photography. When I’m away, Stacy takes over the Instagram accounts. Even when I’m home, she might ask, “Do you have a good photo for Taco Tongue Tuesday?” and upload one herself. A meowmie’s work is never done!


Kelli paid a get-well visit to Henry the dog, who is still recovering from eye surgery.

Thanks for visiting, you crazy kids! When FitzRoy starts having massive public meet-and-greets, you’ll always get backstage passes!



Sunday, October 5, 2014

In case you missed it, here’s what was on the blog this week.

Also, a big thanks to Lauren Kaminsky (aka The Gold Girl) who gave my jewelry a shout-out on her Pawn on the Cobb blog. I’m both flattered and amused by her description of me, which includes, “Her eccentric and intellectual personality draws you in and are the reason for her quirky, inventive and original pieces.” I’ve always wanted to be eccentric!

Friday, October 3, 2014

October’s Jewel of the Month are the Halloween-appropriate hockey mask and chainsaw stud earrings, available in silver …


Sterling silver. $70 for the pair. Click to purchase.

… and gold-plated silver.


Gold-plated sterling silver. $100 for the pair. Click to purchase.

Because I’m all about the single-earring look, you can also buy just a chainsaw (or two) stud or just a mask. I’ve also got the mask available as a ring.

Size 7 available for immediate delivery. $90. Click to purchase.

Although the chainsaw and hockey mask combo has become associated with horror-movie serial killers, the accessories really belong to two different slasher movies, as the TV Tropes website points out. Jason Voorhees — the villain of Friday the 13th — started wearing a hockey mask in the third installment of that franchise, but his weapon of choice is a machete, not a chainsaw.


Who is that masked man with a machete? Why … it’s Jason Voorhees, of course!

Family Guy portrayed that correctly.


Click for video.

The chainsaw belongs to Leatherface of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series. Leatherface wears masks of human skin. Maybe it was the fact that both characters are masked that caused pop culture to conflate the two boogeymen.  Or maybe it’s just scarier or funnier — depending on the context — to meld Jason and Leatherface. Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons, would probably answer “funnier”: In the 1993 “Cape Feare” episode, Homer terrorizes Bart with the mask and chainsaw combination.


“Hey Bart, do you wanna see my new chainsaw and hockey mask?”

In 2000/2001, when Eminem was Public Enemy No. 1, he dressed the part for performances by wearing a hockey mask and carrying a chainsaw. He completed the look with denim overalls. That could be a reference to the one-piece but long-sleeved boilersuit worn by yet another slasher-movie villain, Michael Myers of the Halloween series. Chucky, the serial-killer doll, also wore overalls.


A hockey-mask emoji has been on my to-do list since last year.  I was probably inspired by this article, seeing as I bookmarked it. But I have a very long to-do list when it comes to jewelry designs, so I had the mask on the back burner until I saw Eminem at Wembley in July, wearing a t-shirt with a Union Jack hockey mask.


Em on the big screen at Wembley.

I was like, “Oh yeah! I need to do that for Halloween.” And, of course, a hockey mask deserves a chainsaw.  If you’re a stickler for Jason-related accuracy, sorry! I don’t have a machete earring. But if chainsaws aren’t your weapon of choice, allow me to recommend the ax …


Available as a pair only. Sterling silver. $70. Click to purchase.

… or the very popular meat cleaver as alternatives.


Sterling silver. $35 for a single. Click to purchase.

Plenty of scary movies feature ax murderers, while Meatcleaver Massacre came out in 1977. So I’ve got you covered!

By the way, have you seen the new Geico commercial that says, ““If you’re in a horror movie you make poor decisions. It’s what you do.” The kids hide behind a collection of chainsaws while the masked slasher rolls his eyes.

How annoying! Where’s the thrill of the chase?!

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