Close enough for government wear

Neiman’s is selling this lovely little Diane von Furstenberg wrapsie from DvF’s Fall 2011 collection:

Savannah Stripe by Diane von Furstenberg

If your immediate thought is “Didn’t I just see this on the First Lady?” you’re thinking along the same lines as I am, but apparently we’re both wrong:

Not Savannah Stripe by Diane von Furstenberg

To be precise:

The dress that the First Lady is wearing isn’t actually an original Diane von Furstenberg at all. It’s this knock-off of this particular DvF dress made by internet retailer ASOS — the ASOS Midi Body-Conscious Dress in Metallic Stripe, priced at a budget-conscious $71.88 (though it’s currently sold out).

This is normally where my Cheap Bastard mechanism kicks in, and I point out that Mrs O saved four hundred American dollars by buying the fake. Which is true, but that’s not the point. This is:

It’s the fact that it’s a knockoff of DvF, a well-known and well-respected American designer, that’s really the problem. You see, Diane is the President of Council of Fashion Designers of America, and has used her position to champion design protection for designers who have been victims of copyright infringement, such as this ASOS knock-off of her own design. She has been instrumental in supporting legislation that would define fashion as a form of copyright-protected art and give recourse to designers whose work is stolen, copied and sold for cheap. She’s even written extensively on the subject for major American newspapers.

Then again, if you look at the back of the DvF original — see the Neiman’s link — it’s really hard to spot the stab marks.

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Just -1 of those things

I suppose there could be mirth in the juxtaposition of titles or of artists, but what’s funny here is the pairing of album titles at the far end:

Screenshot from iTunes

These were parked next to each other on my shuffle playlist this morning. They did not actually get played together, but now I’m thinking I should have forced the deal.

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Once they were driven

Nissan sales are booming — in the last decade they’ve boosted their US market share from about four percent to twice that — yet they get no press to speak of, and their product line ranges from ancient (Sentra) to anodyne (Altima) to alarming (Murano CrossCabrio). TTAC’s Edward Niedermeyer brought up the “ancient” issue with a Nissan official, and got this as a response:

Nissan’s VP for Communications David Reuter told us that this fact was what made him so optimistic about Nissan’s future. If sales are doing this well with product this old, he wondered aloud, what might happen if … say, models representing 75% of Nissan’s sales volume were replaced in a two-year span? He admitted that one of the brand’s biggest issues was breaking through the Honda-Toyota monopoly on media perceptions of Japanese automakers, and he suggested that a new product blitz was the only way to really accomplish that. I was reminded of the current darling of the mass-market brands, Hyundai, which grew sales steadily with aging and stolid but value-laden products, before replacing its entire lineup with eye-catching new models. Could a fresh batch of new designs do the same for Nissan?

Hard to say for sure. The funky little Cube isn’t selling all that well, but the far-funkier and no-less-little Juke is making bank. And the new Versa, unapologetically cheap, is scoring well with people who’d otherwise be buying a three-year-old Civic but live in constant fear of timing belts, a market far larger than I’d ever realized.

I think one thing holding the Hamburger back is its obsession with CVTs: even the Maxima, the ostensible “four-door sports car,” is saddled with one of these contraptions, and once you’ve seen the tach sitting at 4800 the entire time you’ve been climbing the onramp, you don’t particularly want to see it again. If they’re going to ask just-under-Infiniti money for this thing, they might as well bolt in Infiniti’s seven-speed auto and be done with it.

And I think the Frontier pickup, like every other pickup in the market, has been bloated beyond recognition. Were it not for that damned chicken tax, they could bring in a nice small truck, the kind that made their name in the States.

Except, of course, that their name at the time was “Datsun.”

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You gotta have hearts

I lifted this from Morgan Freeberg’s “Hello Kitty of Blogging” page:

So I guess you’re supposed to do a math-sign-three to put hearts in your text messages. I hadn’t been doing that because I’m a manly dude and I figure that’s for women, girls and punks. So some enlightened folks went to work on me and convinced me that’s a retrosexual way of looking at things and it’s okay for men to put hearts in things. I tried it and people didn’t know what I was doing … oops, I was doing greater-than-three instead of less-than-three. I think that’s boobs.

One can <3 >3s; in fact, so doing makes it (relatively) unnecessary to have to present your Dude Card™.

I took to <3 fairly easily myself, mostly because the first integer you come to heading downwards from 3 is 2, and I’m just weird enough to think that 2 is something to aspire to.

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Congratulations, you made it this far

Birthday Rose maybeThere’s a long-standing tradition where Deborah Henson-Conant comes from, and it goes like this:

On your birthday, someone gives you a rose and your job is to head out for a long walk and take this rose with you. It’s generally better if you’re in a city with a lot of people around, because your job is to find the person who belongs to that rose. And when you find them, you explain this is your Birthday Rose — and if they’ll take it, then you get to make a wish and they get to make a wish, and both those wishes will come true.

Just don’t try to find exactly where she’s coming from.

(You’ve perhaps seen this flower before.)

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One silhouette on the shade

The note from the Harper Valley PTA opened: “Mrs Johnson, you’re wearing your dresses way too high.”

Then again, at least she was wearing them, kinda sorta. This letter to a north Georgia advice columnist seems a bit more anguished:

My next-door neighbor walks around her house in the nude. I know because I have seen her. She has curtains on her windows, but when the lights are on at night, you can see EVERYTHING. The other night I heard my 10-year-old son and some of his friends giggling and found them spying on her with a pair of binoculars. I’m sure she does not know she can be seen through her curtains.

Or maybe she does know. The columnist thinks an anonymous note is in order, but cautions:

If your neighbor does not install some sort of window shades or blinds and continues to parade around in the buffo, well … she enjoys putting on a show and there’s nothing you can do about it short of telling your son it’s not polite to stare.

Depending on local laws, there may be something that can be done about it, but what I want to know is this: how come I never manage to find any neighbors like that? (Especially since my neighborhood, of late, is seriously Babe-Enhanced™, yet.)

(Via this nudiarist tweet.)

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Not a movie-script ending

This is most likely not the result of my shooting off my mouth, but I am disturbed by it anyway:

It is a sad day in indie town: Actress/singer/New Girl Zooey Deschanel, 31, and Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard, 35, have announced the end of their two-year marriage.

The duo’s split was confirmed to US Weekly by a rep; a source says that the parting is amicable, and involves no third parties.

(Title inverted from here.)

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Well, eff that

Dr. Weevil reports there is exactly one blog he can’t read at work because it’s “tasteless & offensive.”

I’d like to get a statement to that effect from the management, just to add to my list of Stirring Testimonials. (Heh-heh. I said “testi.”)

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Paging Tommy Flanagan

This is Morgan Fairchild, your wife, whom you’ve slept with, as she looked this past Saturday night at a Halloween party:

Morgan Fairchild at Pop Art Halloween party 2011

I used to be married to a Texas girl slightly younger than Morgan (she’s 57, Morgan is 61). They hold up (minor adjustments aside) pretty well, don’t you think?

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Honey, disconnect the phone

Cue McCartney and stand back:

You are 19% Russian!

Who are you kidding? Just because you took a summer language course in Petersburg doesn’t make you a Russian.

How Russian Are You?
Take More Quizzes

I question this conclusion; at the very least, I should have scored lower than an actual Russian.

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Invisible girlfriend

Well, not technically, but hey, I’m not gonna complain.

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Meanwhile on the goblin front

Mayfair Heights SpooktacularSo this year I decided: rather than have the goblins come to me, I will go to the goblins. Two adjacent neighborhoods took over the business end of Smitty Park in the late afternoon and filled it up with all sorts of things to attract the younger set, up to and including a bounce house, and by the time I showed up — pushing sixish — the place was wall-to-wall kids. (“And they weren’t even on my lawn,” sighed the empty-nester.) I dropped my supply of goodies into the community bowl and watched as mischievousness was channeled into something almost controllable. My one moment of alarm came when several dozen rolls of toilet paper were produced for an event I hadn’t seen on the agenda: the youngsters were going to TP each other. “Wrap Your Mummy,” it was dubbed. Some of these kids have a future sealing packages at UPS.

Neighborhood Association officials pronounced themselves pleased with the turnout, and things started to run down at sundown. There’s a lot to be said for being halfway between downtown and the ‘burbs.

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Neo-neologism watch

Smitty comes up with a “shiny new word”:

hypodrachmaphobia (n.) The fear that somebody else might be making more money than you, triggering a strong urge to covet, followed next by hate and then a compelling need to get a tax law passed that will help redistribute some of that bad, bad capital your way.

This is, I suspect, even more widely distributed than hypochondria (q.v.), and with generally comparable results.

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Tinkling symbolism

Marcel, not too obliquely, on the state of the electorate:

Saint Paul told the truth, and everywhere he went he got run out of town by a mob, until finally the government had him killed. If he’d been advocating a Ponzi scheme he could have made a competitive run for public office in the AD 68 elections.

“…but the greatest of these is security.” Um, no.

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Meanwhile in White Harlem

Not everyone is keen on renaming a stretch of 121st Street in Morningside Heights after the late George Carlin:

“‘Carlin St.’ Resisted by His Old Church. Was It Something He Said?” is the [New York Times] headline. And the answer, of course, is, “Yes.”

We’re not sure why anyone is surprised that the Corpus Christi School (Carlin’s grade school on 121st St.) would oppose such an honor. And we’re not sure why anyone would see this opposition not as vindictive but as entirely logical and consistent.

Carlin’s 1972 album Class Clown, as the parish pastor Rev. Raymond Rafferty says, “made mockery of Corpus Christi parish and its priests.”

An online petition, like almost all such, is going nowhere, although this bit says it all:

Perhaps the comment from “Mark Ryan” of Long Island put it right when he said, “No, Carlin wouldn’t like the idea of a street being named for him, but it’s not for him, it’s for us.”

First thought: “Who the hell asked some schmuck from Lawn Guyland for his opinion?”

And you can imagine Carlin’s reaction to that: seven words, none of them (in 1972, anyway) at all utterable on television.

(Via Kathy Shaidle.)

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But she’s a great cook

Basil sums up Michele Bachmann:

She’s like the hot chick you wanted to date, then while sitting in the restaurant, you realize that she talks to the silverware. She’s still hot, but you keep thinking she’s going to go all Glenn Close on you and you’ll find your rabbit in the kitchen.

And while we’re at it, here’s his characterization of the Ronulan Empire:

Ron Paul has really crazy followers who either take too much drugs or not enough medication. He’s got like 3 really good ideas and 800 really nutty ones. His followers focus on the 3 good ones when they argue, then slip up and tell you how evil Jews are and how the Twin Towers were blown up by George Bush.

Let’s see how fast I have to kill comments on this.

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