The CT picture spread in VF

My Channing Tatum peccadillo is such that I not only bought this issue on the newsstand (actually from the supermarket) but TWO people gave me a copy.  I enjoyed the article, but the photo spread was my favorite part.  And not because it featured Mr. CT, (who I do not find that appealing in static 2-D, he only works for me in moving 2-D, a.k.a. movies) but because it was hilarious.

The cover isn’t too bad, it’s the captions inside that slay me.

Here we go.  The captions will be big and bold.  My commentary will be normal sized.
Tatum shares soup with a puppy.
This is actually a cute picture, one of his better static 2-D images. He, unlike many men of his era, can carry off a hat.  And I know he likes dogs.  But really?  Who thinks of these things?  “Get me a puppy!  And some soup!”
The former male dancer shows off his body.
Ugh.  The sweats!  Has Vanity Fair decided to become the new Seventeen?
A vintage Mustang.
Um. Okay?  But why?
A portrait of the young man as an artist.
Again, why?  Are these things planned ahead of time?  First, we will do the puppy/soup picture, then put you in sweats.  After that!  Step into this sweater and these velour pants and look arty.
Back in the saddle.
The other problem is that CT has a pretty limited male model look. (Paging Zoolander!) Above, we saw it face on, here he’s looking to the side.
Animal Magnetism
This is the requisite scrotum photo.  Though I actually like this one because he is squint-y smiling.

A view from the ranch.
What ranch?  Where does this ranch come in? It is not mentioned in the article.  And why waste a picture on a forgettable “ranch” view when you could be showing your public more CT?
Tatum in the riding ring.
Here we get his model look from the other side.  And learn that the shirt above, in the black and white photo, is blue.  And the “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha” part of me needs to point out that he’s not actually IN the riding ring, but standing right outside.
Yes, that is really the caption.  With the exclamation point.  Again, is this Vanity Fair or Seventeen?

Shot by Bruce Weber in 2001.
“Oh my god, is that his pubic hair?” Matt said, as I was walking him through the photo spread.  Hmmm.  It is.  And I hadn’t really noticed, either.  This picture was taken four years before he would appear in Coach Carter and five years before A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, when an astute reviewer would comment that “the camera doesn’t just love him, it wants to marry him, settle down and have his babies.” Yep-per.
A vintage boat.
Dammit!  We don’t care about the damn vintage boat.
Preparing to Launch
I sort of get this one, as the gist of the article is that Channing Tatum is big, but Channing Tatum himself seems to think he could be even bigger.  And I guess he’s willing to step into an astronaut suit for a cheesy photo shoot.

I mean really Vanity Fair?  This was the best you could do?

45RPM: Laid by James

Where I match a song to a specific memory.

I lose songs sometimes.  I will hear them once or twice, think, “that song is awesome, what is it?” and then, poof, it is gone.  If I have no snippits of lyrics there is no way to find the song again and I have to wait until it comes to me.

This song came back to me in a bar in Medford, Massachusetts.  I came to be in said bar because of a guy who I met working for Whole Foods.  He was short and charming.  The Boston Metro Area is chock full of short, and charming guys, thanks to the combined immigrant past of the Irish and Italian.  The guy’s hair line was receding at an alarming rate for his age, he wasn’t much to look at, but man, could he flirt.  He was also a musician–guitar player–and the son of Italian immigrants which meant he had a classic Italian name that rolled off the tongue.  We will say it was something like Donatello Gribiasi.  At the point I came to be sitting in the bar with him, we had both quit Whole Foods, but I called him up to see if he wanted to go out before I moved away.  He did, and that’s how we came to be sitting together bar when this song came back to me.  “Who is this?” I exclaimed as the song amped up. Donatello Gribiasi, being a musician, knew the title and the artist and, just like that, I had the song again.

Colette Patterns’ Laurel: Fabric Preview and more muslin action.

Straight from the dryer.  The blue in the back is the color of the shirts/dresses. The striped material in the middle is to make bias binding for the shirts/dresses. The green seersucker (this is how I can get more seersucker in my wardrobe) and awesome print are for aprons.  Note:  It is very difficult to dry 10.5 yards of fabric.  Very, very difficult.
To review: Full Bust Adjustment gave more room in the bust, but then, due to lack of dart, gave too much room in the abdomen area.  I have not been able to find any solutions for this on the Internet and so…
…here is where I remove some from the sides to attempt to fix this problem.  It’s all I can think to do.
Eh.  I’m not sure that did much good.
Plus, now I’m wrinkly in the back.
I’m making the sleeve a bit bigger.
And here I am with sleeves. I don’t like how they flare out.
Back view.
Yep.  I think the sleeves need to be even bigger.

Three sentence movie reviews: Hope Springs

Given that its subject was the incredibly un-sexy frustrations of a long-married, kind of boring couple, I’m actually surprised that this movie was even made.  But I’m glad it was, because Streep/Jones/Carell were all incredible to watch and I loved how my opinion of the main characters changed and grew as the movie progressed, just as the characters were changing and growing themselves.  This is one of the better examples of a “grown up” movie put out by the Hollywood machine.

Cost: free from library
Where watched:  at home.

(ps.  The amount of airbrushing on this poster is insane.  Meryl Streep looks good, but not that good.  And Tommy Lee Jones has many more wrinkles than depicted here.)

Three sentence movie reviews: The Lorax

I’m going out on a (very firm and stable) limb here and remarking that Computer Animation and Dr. Seuss are a win-win.  The computer animation world can bring to life the wild exuberance that is the work of Mr. Geisel.  Though I was surprised a lot of the content of this book made it to the big screen–it’s fairly anti-capitalism–I found it to be a very good adaptation.

Cost:  Free movie in the park in Vancouver.
Where watched:  In the park (it was a big one in East Vancouver out on 138th street or something) with Kelly

The Lorax Setup.

Kelly and I arrived at the park in Vancouver, Washington ready to see the Lorax.  We were early so we claimed a seat in the front and got to witness the trouble with the inflatable movie screen.

The wind was a problem.  It wasn’t big and gusty, just a persistent blowing that blew that screen right over.  They tried to raise it a few times and then called for backup in the form of stakes.

When the stakes arrived, up it went again.
And employees held steady.
And pulled.
And tugged.
And stood patiently while stakes were pounded into the ground.
Like what is happening here.
Some support?  Or just looking busy while chatting?
There was a lot of standing and waiting.
And phoning.
And waiting.
The mom said, “Okay 1-2-3 open your eyes” and the kids eyes flashed open for a second while she snapped the picture.
Still waiting. (Tom Petty says, “The waiting is the hardest part.”)
But that waiting ends eventually.
A band of caution tape to keep everyone safe.
And a tie off.
Go City of Vancouver!
An announcement about how it will all work.
More tying off.
These were darling.  This outing marks the first time I’ve seen the fold-y chairs with sun shades.
 All that hard work means kinks in the back.  Luckily, someone can do something about that.

Essay: Why you don’t want a garden.

In the spring and the summer it’s hard to resist the siren sound of the home garden.  For some people, this is not a quiet whisper, but a shout:

“With just a little bit of work, you could be harvesting your very own organic salad greens right from your back yard…”
“Kale is so expensive, but so easy to grow.  Why are you paying so much at the store?”
“Fresh corn.  You know you will want fresh corn in August.”
“It would be a shame if you didn’t grow your own tomatoes.”
If you can’t actually grow a garden, due to lack of land, or restrictive covenants on your property or your spouse’s aversion to dirt, those siren songs can be particularly painful.  So this essay is for you, frustrated would-be gardeners.  And for those of you contemplating your own harvest bounty, take heed.  Sometimes, you really just don’t want a garden.
It’s not any cheaper to grow your own food.
There are economies of scale to agriculture that make the production of your own harvest bounty, but for less!, impossible for most of us.  The reason?  Labor.  If you factor in your own labor, even at minimum wage prices, the cost of that perfect tomato skyrockets.  And for most of us who are beginning gardeners and are just learning the art of raising food, there are many costly mistakes and many setbacks that make breaking even rather difficult.  There is an inherent joy in pulling your own salad ingredients moments before you assemble the salad, but after you have totaled your supplies (seeds, starts, tools, fertilizer, compost, labor) that salad is no cheaper than the items you can purchase at the supermarket, or farmer’s market.
Got time?
Oh, in the spring—especially when the soil heats up and releases that intoxicating scent of last year’s rot and this year’s growth; when the sun shines on you as you dig and pull weeds; when you look with joy on all that you’ve planted; the spring is a wonderful time to be in the garden.  But that time you spend in the spring must be matched, if not increased, throughout the summer and into the fall.  Planting takes time, and really isn’t done all at once.  Cultivating (weeding, watering, amending) takes time and never ends. Harvesting and processing take time and have the bonus of needing to be done right after you finish working in the garden.  Can you find two to three hours per week (minimum) to cultivate your garden?  Can you do this week after week?  Because with your garden, that’s what you will get to do.
You’ve actually got to eat all those things you grow.
Before I gardened, my response to this statement would be, “I know!  That’s the best part!”  And indeed, it’s wonderful bringing things to maturity and then consuming them yourself.  It’s fun to tell friends and family, “I grew this!”  But sometimes all the lettuce—much too many heads because of poor planning—matures at once and you look at your bounty and think, “what in the hell am I going to do with twenty heads of lettuce.”*  And sometimes it turns out you don’t really like radishes, or your maximum zucchini consumption per month is two.  Or it turns out you hate, really abhor, corn on the cob.  Or beets.**  And yet there they are, staring you in the face, mocking all your hard work.  What to do?  This brings me to:
You’ve actually got to eat all those things you put up for the winter.
Canning the things you grow is a great way to preserve them for eating in the winter.  It’s also fun, in that sweaty pioneer way, and you get shelves full of pretty things with remarkable names like “chow chow” and “brandied plums.”  But guess what?  Unless you already have an affinity for chow chow and brandied plums, most likely, those things are just going to stay on the shelves mocking all of your labor.  I mean really, what does one do with chow chow?  Eat it with pork?  I’m guessing you’ve got better things to go on your pork, things you are already familiar with.
If you are thinking you will be giving them as gifts remember the golden rule of giving.  If you yourself aren’t really interested in eating the food you preserved, most likely no one else will want to eat it either.  I know there are people out there who love chow chow and even know what to do with it, but I also know those people make up a very small group, none of whom are my friends.
So those of you who aren’t able to garden, rejoice.  You are free of the burden of growing your own.  Go forth to the CSAs,  the farmers markets and the grocery stores to fill your larder and appreciate the amazing miracle that is food production today.  And then thank the lord you yourself are not involved in it.
*The answer is to pass off as many heads as you can to friends and deliver the rest to the food bank.  All of which takes time.

**Not me, I love them and can’t get enough.  But friends grew some really great specimens, roasted them and then said, “Eh.”  It turns out they were not fans of beets.