Monday, October 28, 2013

Lou Reed & Metallica Lulu in 5 minutes

Uploaded by 666ssn666 on You Tube

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Let's have a drink every time Lou Reed sings the word "colored" (not)!

RIP Lou Reed of The Velvet Underground

Lou Reed, The Velvet Underground, Nico, Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick, Nirvana: Visit my music blog for my tribute to a rock legend: PINK MANHATTAN Music blog: The Music of Lou Reed - October 28, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Blockbuster Toy Rainbow Loom: Weaving, Rubber Bands, And Digital Literacy

My daughter models her Rainbow Loom "starburst" bracelet creation "Cheong Choon Ng, the engineer who invented the Rainbow Loom, was just trying to play with his daughters. His fingers were too fat, so he made a loom with a wooden board and push pins." Read the article: Blockbuster Toy Rainbow Loom: Weaving, Rubber Bands, And Digital Literacy - by Jordan Shapiro, Forbes | 10/23/2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

Where is Avonte Oquendo?

"On October 4th, a boy named Avonte Orquendo walked out of his school in Queens in the middle of the day. He’d first approached one exit, where a security guard, with a degree of diligence that will long be debated, asked him where he was going. He didn’t answer; he couldn’t. Avonte is severely autistic, and, at age fourteen, unable to speak or use language. The school was supposed to be watching him. But the guard, as far as the police can tell from security footage, one way or the other didn’t stop him from then leaving through a side door. Anyone who’s seen him since is not telling."

"The city lost Avonte—his parents had entrusted him to a public school and didn’t get him back, not yet. And the city has been trying to find him." WHERE IS AVONTE OQUENDO? October 23, 2013 By Amy Davidson The New Yorker

Monday, October 21, 2013

Roma Couple Ordered Jailed by Greek Authorities

"A Roma couple was ordered jailed on Monday over the alleged abduction of a child who was found during a police raid on an encampment in central Greece last week. The case has fueled speculation about human trafficking and illegal adoption rackets, and heightened scrutiny of Roma populations across Europe.

(...) "He said Maria’s case had “opened a Pandora’s box about what’s happening with the Roma and the exploitation of children in Greece but also in Europe.” He said there were no statistics to indicate how many children were victims of such rackets “because the authorities have not tackled the issue for fear of being accused of racism.” Roma Couple Ordered Jailed by Greek Authoritiesby Niki Kitsantonis and Dan Bilefsky, October 21, 2013 The New York Times

Friday, October 18, 2013

Christian Louboutin offers new "Nudes" in a range of hues

Now, that's hip, making lots of women feel happy to be included! Of course I wouldn't mind a pair of Loubies in any color to be honest... YAY Christian Louboutin Makes Nude Pumps In Multiple Shades! PLUS My Top Picks for 6 Different Skin Tones -

Polished Nude: The Secret to Finding the Most Perfect Shade

"Nude," they say, is a challenging color to find for your skin type, so I like to mix my own custom colors. My preference for a nude shade for myself is philosophically the same as the general beauty rule for choosing foundation for the face: the most flattering shade is one or two shades lighter than your natural skin tone. (Edited to add: There are exceptions, like this staple dark nude color I just found: check it out on PINK MANHATTAN on Tumblr.)

For the nails, I also go a little warmer or cooler to avoid total "mannequin hands" whereby my nails become almost invisible from matching too well with skin.

Right now, my hands are still tan from the summer, so I'm rockin' a peachy pink beige that's neither yellow nor too pink, just stunning. I made it by mixing Sally Hansen Nude Now (sheer beige) and Wet 'n' Wild Private Viewing / Séance Privée (tan pink beige) as a base for a host of other colors. Other nail polishes I used here include NYC Fashion Safari (opaque beige), OPI My Vampire is Buff (off-white) and Wet n Wild Blazed / Embrasée (coral).

Of course, if anyone knows of a color that looks like the one I made, I'd love to know its name! (Updated on 10/19/13 at 4:12 PM: I've found a color match! Read more about mannequin hands: PINK MANHATTAN on Tumblr.) (Updated on 10/23/13: And another color match here: PINK MANHATTAN on Tumblr)

Added on 11/8/13: PLUS Don't miss the final saga of my search for the perfect mannequin hands at this link.

By the way, I sing and create all sorts of music, too. Listen to my original song "Private Dreams" on Broadjam, home of independent music, where the sultry rave-trance inspired Dance track hit #1 in the US Northeast in March, 2006, and made the Broadjam Earth Top 10 chart in April, 2006. (Download for just $1.)

Updated on 10/19/13 at 2:32 AM: Read more about nude nail colors and a description of my favorite nude beige on the cooler side of the spectrum @ PINK MANHATTAN on Tumblr.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Yves Saint-Laurent Manifesto

I ignored this bottle on the shelves of Sephora and the department stores for over a year because the first encounter was less than memorable. All I really smelled was the coconutty note I've been smelling everywhere; it could easily have been a Benefit perfume. It wasn't until I asked the salesperson at Sephora for a proper sample to take home that I really got to know it well. Now, Yves Saint-Laurent Manifesto is on my holiday wish list. It is love, love, love, every facet of it from the dewy Green musk accord reminiscent of Naomi Campbell, L'Artisan Parfumeur Premier Figuier and Giorgio Armani Sensi to the powdery creamy "skin scent" woody-vanilla jasmine musk of Donna Karan Cashmere Mist, Chanel Beige and the cult favorite of its time, Creative Scentualization Perfect Veil.

There is a piercingly high-pitched musk note that gets more intense over time on my skin that I need more getting used to (I have the same problem with Chanel Beige--those sharp Green violets make the musk even more shrill), but other than that, this is my holy grail skin scent: a sweet but sheer vanillic musk with a lemony edge (or is it lemongrass?), reminiscent of an orchid perfume solid by Sephora which I haven't worn in awhile. Manifesto is more interesting with green notes and that dewy coconut, altogether blended like a skincare cocktail at a spa. The dry down I get isn't musk, and definitely not laundry white musk, but a sophisticated and delicate vanilla orchid scent, just powdery enough to not smell like talc, either. This is downy soft skin musk perfection.

Would I have been happier with the bottle without the purple plastic thing in the middle of it? Yes, but I like the ornate vintage look of the gold cap, and feel the hourglass shape of the glass bottle fits the elegant skin scent very well.

The notes on
Yves Saint Laurent Manifesto (2012)
Top: bergamot, green notes, blackcurrant buds.
Middle: jasmine, lily of the valley, cream.
Base: cedarwood, sandalwood, tonka bean, vanilla.

The composition is by perfumers Anne Flipo and Loc Dong. Other perfumes by Anne Flipo include Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia (2010, with Loc Dong & Dominique Ropion), Lancome La Vie Est Belle (2012, with Olivier Polge & Dominique Ropion), Lancôme Trésor Midnight Rose (2011), and L’Artisan La Chasse Aux Papillons (1999)--a favorite of mine! Perfumer Loc Dong's compositions include Calvin Klein CK IN2U Her (2007, with Carlos Benaim), Calvin Klein Euphoria (2005, with Dominique Ropion & Carlos Benaim), and celebrity fragrances for Mariah Carey, Taylor Swift and Sean John. (source: Now Smell This)

Carl Jung on Theosophy (and my not-so-metaphysical thoughts on the topic)

Before we get to what Carl Jung said, may I just note that it's weird how New Age stores have all these books, from the apocryphal books of The Bible (books in the Catholic version of the Bible but not in the Protestant version) to the Kabbalah, Sufi mysticism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Scientology, Witchcraft, Satanism, UFOs, Egyptology (and writings on how great the ancient civilizations with slavery were, be it Egyptian or Roman), The Secret / Blavatsky, Jung, etc. but never anything remotely Protestant, or traditionally Judeo-Christian? Perhaps what Ayn Rand found so abhorrent about modern thinking was a specific type of anti-materialist New Age philosophy, although her book Atlas Shrugged touches on theosophical motifs such as Atlantis, too (as well as materializing thoughts and all that creative visualization stuff).

I'm not sure where Objectivism fits into the picture, but this is all food for thought while I finish reading Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand's magnum opus.

Another thing: Protestant Christianity isn't all bad, people...especially when you understand that it's one religion that you're not bound to by bloodline / birth, because you have to come to God by faith alone. That is a belief system that separates (and sets free) religion from ethnicity.

From Carl Jung on Theosophy - Carl Jung Depth Psychology | October 6, 2013: "I refer to the theosophy thinking which is to-day rapidly spreading in every quarter of the globe, presumably as a reaction phenomenon to the materialism of the epoch now receding. Theosophical thinking has an air that is not in the least reductive, since it exalts everything to transcendental and world-embracing ideas. A dream, for instance, is no longer a modest dream, but an experience upon another plane'. (...) Certain anthropological peculiarities of the dwellers on the Atlantic seaboard are easily explained by the submerging of Atlantis, and so on. We have merely to open a theosophical book to be overwhelmed by the realization that everything is already explained, and that ' spiritual science ' has left no enigmas of life unsolved. But, fundamentally, this sort of thinking is just as negative as materialistic thinking.

(...) "The only difference lies in the fact that materialism reduces all phenomena to our current physiological notions, while theosophy brings everything into the concepts of Indian metaphysics."

(...) "Either kind of thinking is both sterile and sterilizing. Their negative quality consists in this: it is a method of thought that is indescribably cheap; there is a real poverty of productive and creative energy. It is a thinking taken in tow by other functions." ~Carl Jung, Psychological Types, General Description of Types, Page 445.

Image: From Five Minute Vacations

Monday, October 14, 2013

My Little Pony: Racism, Homophobia and Pretty-Shaming Fluttershy

I can see why My Little Pony is enjoying a resurgence in pop culture, because the animation is cute and the characters are voiced by some heavyweights in the voice acting world, as well as the musical numbers being performed by Broadway singers. I'm suddenly seeing these pony characters as stuffed animals in drugstores / greeting card stores and tourist shop windows in Times Square; most of us have heard of bronies by now, including my tween daughter who's taken to weaving Rainbow Loom bracelets in Rainbow Dash colors. So when I was asked to watch an episode on You Tube, I happily obliged, but I commented to my kid on the moral of this story, one I vehemently disagree with.

So people and publications are saying this show is racist, homophobic and smart-shaming? I haven't watched enough episodes to verify that, but I know the episode I saw was "pretty-shaming." The story went something like this: The snobby pony (Rarity) was envious of the shy pony (Fluttershy) for turning into a model. The problem is resolved when Fluttershy admits to hating being a model, thereby giving modeling up and making Rarity happy. The moral of the show was that no one should outshine anyone in the group, and that your friends come first, before any kind of individual success.

Well, gee. I guess people should drop all their dreams if it makes their friends envious, and they should never do anything unless the group says it's ok. I explained to my child that this is a crock of bologna. I teach her to be happy for others' successes and talents, beauty, smarts, etc., and for her to strive for excellence and never let anyone hold her back from her dreams. I tell her that a true friend would not be consumed by envy, but will encourage her, as I would, because I love her. I say, "What if you got a record deal--will you turn it down if your friends can't sing with you?" She listens, but I wonder if my words are weightier than the persuasive pull of Broadway actors behind moving pictures in mesmerizing colors.

I wonder what sorts of Pinky powers are bestowed upon wearing the Pinky Pie loom bracelet she made. Maybe the power is taken away from the individual, and instead given to a group in large numbers, influential by moving together horizontally. As for the racism, homophobia and all else, I'm not going to make her stop watching it any more than I'd ban Fantasia, Tom & Jerry or The Aristocats, but I am involved in getting her to see beyond this "magic of friendship" business to where New Age theosophy and racism have merged throughout its relatively brief history. I hope through watching My Little Pony together that she will be equipped with the consciousness to reject whatever notions it teaches that go against the definition of good as we understand it today, and practical logic for survival which includes choosing her friends wisely.

Read on-topic:
My Little Pony: Racism is Magic (Ugh!) Ample racist hidden messages in the “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” show by Wong Wai Song

My Little Homophobic, Racist, Smart-Shaming Pony by Kathleen Richter | December 9, 2010 Ms. Magazine

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Parfum d'Empire Ambre Russe

Parfum d'Empire Ambre Russe (Russian amber) is often referred to as a quintessential winter perfume, and I could see how a decadent ambery scent with a leathery accord (with a Russian theme at that) conveys that. However, it's actually a modern-smelling interpretation of such accords more than a typical Old World tobacco-leather or ambery-balsamic parfum fourrure. Savory rather than animalic, it reminds me of another favorite perfume of mine, a vanilla, sandalwood and jasmine blend called Creed Jasmin Impératrice Eugenie, an Oriental Floral (that smells like an Aldehydic Floral to me) that's warm and rich with sweet and spicy accents, except Ambre Russe is redolent of piquant dried fruits tossed together with more potpourri-like cinnamon spice, which to my senses altogether smells rather autumnal.

Ambre Russe (2005) is classified as a Spicy Oriental. It's not a very leathery scent like, say, Chanel Cuir de Russie or even that really handbag-leathery (though modern) one by Coach, but it inspires that sumptuous yet rugged leather atmosphere, quite like being in a den with books and a pipe, without those smells being literal. Like Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie, it's charmingly vanillic sweet yet like the best of both worlds, it smells earthy and brainy, too.

For me, the craving for such an autumnal scent is also seasonal, thus I've never considered more than a decant or a series of samples for myself, and yet I fall in love with it just a little bit more each time I wear it. Ambre Russe with all its suggestive imagery--fall, Russian leather or perhaps tea room, a trip on the Orient Express--might be just enough to turn this Spring-Summer (even Winter) Floral gal over to the more copper-toned, red velvety luxurious, warmer and more gingery (borderline sizzling hot: the not-quite-Opium but close) side of fragrances.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Pink Manhattan is now on Tumblr.

Another social network, another interest (nail polish!); so much is new to me, so please bear with me as I get started. Visit me on Tumblr (and feel free to follow) where I plan to post my nail-related posts and other things yet unplanned.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

American Manicure (a variation of the French manicure)

Hey guys, the American manicure is a thing! I know, I just learned that the French manicure is American, but this "American manicure" is named that for being a softer version of Jeff Pink's (Orly) "French manicure". The difference is that the painted (or sometimes artificial) white nail tips that characterize the French manicure aren't as starkly white with an American manicure (although the off-white nail polish should still be at least semi-opaque to camouflage the real whites of the nails underneath). They say the sheer color that goes on top of the rest of the whole nail could also be a more subdued (less pink, more beige) color compared to the French.

I did something that could be called an American manicure this past week on my own nails, using a semi-sheer creme nail polish called Brucci French Opaque (it's not too opaque, so it won't give you the White Out look), scotch tape for a stencil, and two shades, one each of sheer pink and beige, both by OPI. After spending a good hour on my at-home manicure, I was underwhelmed by the my-nails-but-better "clear" nail polish appearance, feeling so much effort wasn't worth nails that look like my own anyway, but I grew to appreciate the "natural" look, especially when I saw how clean my hands looked all week!

So while it's too tedious a process to recreate weekly, I'd bother to do it for an important event or another week when I need my nails to look sparkling clean with minimal maintenance. Tonight is the last night I'll enjoy this manicure because it's finally starting to chip (although it's barely noticeable: another plus!), so I've taken pictures of my hand to commemorate, modeling my daughter's creation, a beautiful custom handmade rainbow loom starburst bracelet in bright white and neon yellow. Below, you could compare the starkness of the white rubber bracelet against the soft ivory of the piano keyboard, and both with the cream ivory I chose for the tips.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Meet Roy Elkins, Creator of Broadjam, Independent Music Site

Roy Elkins followed his dream by pursuing his passion for music to create Broadjam, one of the fastest growing indie music sites.


Thursday, October 03, 2013

A note to perfume / fragrance friends

Dear fragrance friends,

I'm sorry the previously announced perfume launch is on hold for the time being. It's too complicated to explain, but I hope it suffices to say timing is everything, and that the right time will come. Thank you for your patience, interest, and continued support.


Tuesday, October 01, 2013

See By Chloe

See by's a weird perfume name if you ask me, like it's some Objectivist experiment of sorts, but that's also the name of the fashion collection by the designer. On the web site for the perfume, visitors are encouraged to upload home videos of themselves to make a "movie" of their "real" selves. Whether it was intentional or not, SeebyChloe takes on a voyeuristic twist with such a campaign, especially when combined with the fragrance, a "skin scent" rose and musk blend (I know rose isn't listed, but peony is made of a rose note like many other floral notes that perfumers create).

The creamy rose musk takes me back to 1990 when Bill Blass launched a trio of fragrances, Basic Black, Hot and Nude. Nude was the scent that eventually became a perfumista favorite, at least in the online world that had little to do with its actual sale in the real world (it was quickly discontinued at the time of its debut). However, so much of today's reality mimics the online world, and so Nude has been reincarnated in its many parts: Burberry Body, Rihanna Nude, Katy Perry Purr and See by Chloe, each of them a skin scent with all of the musky components of Bill Blass' vision of olfactory nakedness minus the mossy, aldehydic character.

Today, we probably wouldn't have Twilight Woods, Cashmere Mist or even Chanel Beige without its underground influence, but I'm not one of its hip cognoscenti followers because I'm just not a musk gal. Sure, I like musk within blends, and some musk-centric compositions, but starring musk and marketing it as nude skin (and to sell "nude" with light beige and pink hues all the fricking time)? To me, a musk being called your-skin-but-better is like the French manicure being your-nails-but-better, artificial white tips and all.

Claudia Schiffer