So, for those of you who don’t know (hahaha – stupid iPhone users! And I’m kidding – unlike many iPhone users, I don’t ascribe personality traits to people based on upon their choice in gadgetry [well, except for when I just did exactly that by ascribing gadget snobbery to iPhone users] – I happen to like Android, others prefer iOS, some prefer BlackBerry [ok, those people I do judge – BlackBerry, in this day and age?HAHAHAHAHA! What saps…]. But I digress…), Google Now is a neato-keen component of Jellybean, the latest iteration of the Android OS.
In a nutshell, the app keeps track of where you are, what’s in your calendar, your email, etc. Essentially it’s stalking you, along with some preferences that you set up (e.g. do you commute by car, public transit or bicycle?) and making generally quite accurate assumptions about information you might need that is served to you when you need. For example, if I have a dinner reservation at Locanda at 6PM, as I did the other night, a reminder popped up just before 5:30PM, telling me that if I wanted to be on time, I needed to leave in the next ten minutes. This was based on Google Now knowing where I was (my office) and the schedule for BART (which I’d be taking to Locanda). The same kind of information shows up for airline reservations and other appointments. Also, things like local weather, sports scores, etc., etc. Yes, it’s all kind of big brother-y but it’s not like we’re not all under surveillance anyhow, so why not take advantage of it?
At any rate, you can just imagine my displeasure when THIS particular card showed up unbidden in Google Now, telling me how long it would take me to arrive at a particular establishment:
Though I will grant you this – it was the night after my visit to Locanda. Perhaps I need to take the hint that Google is giving… Sigh.
A couple of weeks ago, the following conversation took place between a colleague and me. For the record, he is far and away the best dressed fellow in my office. Granted, given the general shlubbiness of the competition (self definitely included), it sounds like it’s not saying much. But even in an office full of dandies, he’d be sure to be among the dandiest.
He: Hey, I meant to ask you where you got those shoes you were wearing yesterday.
Me: At the thrift store. They were $35.00.
He: No, I mean the brown ones with orange stripe on the sole (Ed. note: I was especially pleased – though not surprised – that he noticed the orange stripe. It’s what totally made the shoes hot.)
Me: Yeah, I got those at the thrift store. They were $35.00, brand new and fit me perfectly.
He: Seriously? Fuck you.
If I never wear these shoes again, I’ve already gotten far, far more than $35 dollars worth of pleasure from them. But of course I will wear them, since they are super-cute.
In related news, my new eyeglasses were declared “sick” by the same colleague. This is apparently a high compliment among the youngs.
So, the topic of Jean Naté came up the other day in conversation (something that occurs with surprising regularity) and it got me wondering about the origins of this so-called friction pour le bain. So, to the Google!
In 1916, hairdresser Charles Jundt took over the beauty salon in the Ritz Hotel in NYC and, ten years later, began selling beauty products under the “Charles of the Ritz” brand. And, he was apparently a good old fashioned snob:
In the early 1950s, he was said to have mocked Estée Lauder and her practice of free samples and gifts with purchase, saying “You will never go anywhere in this industry.”
Oh snap! Also, I guess she showed him..
Anyhoo, the Charles of the Ritz brand no longer exists, having eventually been purchased by Revlon, with the remaining popular fragrances (such as Jean Naté, obviously) sold under the Revlon brand today.
Perhaps the most fascinating bit from Google was the list of various fragrances marketed at one time or another by Mr. Of the Ritz. And here is my imaginary take on some of them.
C (1927) – I liked these names at first; minimal and modern. Then I realized he was just trying to ride on six-year-old Chanel No 5’s coattails.
Jean Naté (1935) – Let’s you take charge of your life. As true today as it was then.
Spur (1937) – Tobacco, oxidized metal, musk and a top-note of manure.
Tingle (1938) – Where exactly does one apply this..?
Summertime (1939) – Rotting garbage, armpit and freon.
Wintertime (1940) – Cooked cabbage, musty apartment and radiator steam.
Love Potion (1941) – Dream on, sister.
Jester (1944) – Like a well-worn oversized novelty clown shoe.
Sea Shell (1944) – Day-old clam, seagull and kelp.
An English Garden (1945) – Like the Queen’s knickers
Damask (1945) – Dirty pillows and soiled table linens
Ritual (1945) – Frankincense, chicken bones and the blood of an infant.
French Provincial (1949) – Do you really aspire to be provincial?
Ritz (Classic) (1972) – More like Ritz (Boring)
Charles of the Ritz (1977) – By 1977, Ritz not sounding so ritzy (meanwhile Estée Lauder is laughing all the way to the bank)
Enjoli (1978) – Bacon and frying pan grease, obviously.
Forever Krystle (1984) – Hairspray, water lilies and shoulder pads.
Carrington (1984) – Currency, Brylcreem and petroleum, with a hint of adult diapers.
Proving once again that good things do not come in small packages, I received a mysterious little parcel at my office today. “Hmm…,” I said to myself, “I don’t remember ordering anything online recently.” What could it be? I did observe that the delivery was from Harriet Carter, purveyor of high-quality and completely-practical goods and apparel – much like Lillian Vernon, Fingerhut and International Male.
I opened the package with only mild trepidation. I mean, it was the size of a deck of playing cards, only thinner. It couldn’t be that bad – could it? Of course, had I realized then that it was from my sister Andrea, I’d’ve known to prepare for the worst.
Yes, that’s right. “Easy-Fit Waistband.” In other words, button-on waist extenders for when one is too fat to fasten one’s jeans. OK, not “one’s jeans” – my jeans. Like this.
My sister is a treasure. I’ll be looking forward to my birthday at the end of the summer. Presumably the Lark Mobility Scooter is already on its way!
Needless to say, I do plan to run a couple of experiments with these when I arrive home – purely for scientific purposes, obviously. Though I’m already having nightmare visions of once – just once! – taking these out for a spin in public on a night when I finally have the opportunity to be “intimate” with an object of my affection, only to be immediately (and justifiably!) spurned when my shameful secret is revealed. Eh, not bloody likely, given that no one – literally not one person on earth – is interested in unbuttoning my pants.
Thom Browne rolled out his Fall 2012 Menswear collection. He certainly has a distinct point of view! And that point of view includes mink merkins. I repeat – MINK MERKINS! I am just dying for that to hit the mainstream. “Oh, yes, mink merkins are really on-trend this season…”