Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pool Dreams

In the Shade of the Orange Tree
Originally uploaded by bandanamomaz.

Ever wonder how much something that sticks in your head affects your future?

There was a commercial when I was a young teenager; the link is here:

(I tried embeding it but I am doing something wrong)

It's a very short commercial, a Chanel No. 5 commercial from 1979 - so I would have been 12-13 when this came out. I absolutely loved it. I can't describe what it was exactly - even as I watch it now on Youtube I am annoyed that the quality is not as good as it could be and it has the annoying Marshall Fields tag on it. The origianl commercial was somehow magical to me.

When we built our pool I told Kirk I wanted white plaster, even though almost everyone gets pebbletech now. I don't like the look of pebbletech - but the real reason why is this commercial. I wanted that deep blue that you can only get when the water reflects off the light.

I had not seen this commercial since at least the early 80s when I was making my request for white plaster a few years ago. But it stuck with me so much that it seemed uber important that it be done that way. And I stand by that decision. I have a much more emotional connection to the color of my pool than people with the less old-school version I chose.

I found that commercial on youtube and I realized something. The shape of the pool? It's the exact shape of the pool we have. Apparently I was even more influenced by this commercial than I thought.

It's just one of the little things in life that makes me happy - being able to look out my french doors while I am on the computer most of the day working, being able to see the pool.

Now if only I had been equally influenced by the shape the woman is in that commercial.

I can do without the guy in the speedo though.

But I do love Chanel No. 5.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Originally uploaded by duchamp blinks.

And here's another level Marie Antoinette works on - and I guess mainly the movie, but in a way, the real Antoinette too -

It's like a giant replay of the 80s. And heaven knows I loved the 80s. Why? Because it was just fun. So much of everything we do IS NOT fun anymore.

I was teen in the 80s, so that right there made them a lot more fun for me than they probably were for a lot of other people. And mainly, I remember all the best parts about the 80s - it's not as if there weren't bad parts. But it was kind of weird innocent time in a way. The music was sort of all fluff and nonesense, but there was that punky edge everywhere to everything. My mom used to always wax nostalgic about the 50s and how they had so much fun and it was such a relaxed and fun time. I think in some ways the 80s were like that too - of course my mom didn't see that during the 80s, but there are similarities. We felt like we were a long ways away from things like War - oh, yeah, there was the cold war, but I think a lot of us kids thought that was our parents fears exaggerated - I don't think we really hated Russia the way our parents seemed to - we sort of figured out that Mikhail Barishnikov was from Russia and so...well, they couldn't be all that bad could they? So war seemed sort of ...well, really UNLIKELY and at the end of the day, we just wanted some fun music and some good shoes and to be able to dance.

It's sad to me that my kids are growing up in an era of what seems to be endless war and conflict. These are not new things - these kinds of things have happened all throughout history, but I was born during during the war in Vietnam and by the time I was old enough to understand what that was it seemed like a long, long ways off in the past. I honestly never imagined a future where my kids would live with the images of war on a daily basis. It's like they really don't get to have that luxury of not knowing. I liked not really knowing.

Marie Antoinette liked not really knowing. But then again, look what happened to her.

Punk was a movement meant to upset the balance of things, but what really upset the balance of things were ideas like "trickle down economics". Poor people became MUCH more poor during the 80s. Rich people started getting A LOT richer. Things began in the 80s which continue today, with the wealthiest people trying to hold on to a lifestyle which excludes more and more people every day.

I relate to those poor people - but if I'm being honest, I have to admit I'm hanging on to my wealth in the same way - I just don't have as much of it as the people I criticize the most.

But money has really become an abstract concept to me...over time. But that's probably a blog for another day.

But I did so love the 80s.

How great is it that Sofia Coppola put a pair of Converse in the background in Marie Antoinette?

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette
Originally uploaded by hannahkarina.

The story of Marie Antoinette is interesting on several levels. It's kind of a reverse fairy tale - which is sort of tragic, but fascinating. Many little girls dream of growing up to be a princess. Marie always was a princess and grew up in Austria, then at 15 she was shipped off to France to marry Louis the Sixteenth, who was sort of a big nerd, but someday to be king of France. And in the meantime, while she was waiting to be Queen someday, she used her time really getting into fashion, decorating, and generally hanging out with her friends in the palace. I don't think she even really wanted to be Queen - she did in the sense that she had a religious conviction about it, but I don't think her desire ever was to really rule France. And once she did become Queen her fall was sort of a foregone conclusion, because by then, with all her exhorbitant spending during a time when most of the people in France were literally starving - well, it was a revolution. That's a huge simplification of what really happened.

But it's an interesting and cautionary tale I think about what it really means to be a princess...or a prince.

It's also kind of a tale about what happens when you get EVERYTHING you want. Not always good. Sometimes there are really awful consequences to that, which catch up eventually.

But ulimately you can't sort of help but feel a little sorry for old Marie Antoinette, who was really just a product of her time, and her circumstances. She unrealistically idealized the concept of peasant life, even to the point of building a small recreated Hamlet on the grounds of Versailles where she could have goats, and crops and cows and pretend to be common. But all the while she was doing that she had other people out there milking the cows for her and keeping everything up for her so she could flit around in her cotton frock and "pretend" to be a milkmaid. It's sort of pathetic. But it's not really her fault either. How would she know anything of a peasants life? She lived her entire life inside the walls of palaces and castles, only passing through the countryside in her fabulous carraige.

Sometimes this makes me think of people here in the United States, people who we vote for, people who end up ruling our country. Often, these people were raised wealthy enough that poverty is merely a concept. They have no practical experience with it.

It's easier to feel sorry for Marie Antoinette and hard for me to feel sorry for say, George Bush though. Mainly because Marie Antoinette had absolutely no choice in the matter. She could not refuse to be a princess or a Queen.

I have other thoughts on this too ---

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Leonie Powder Revisited
Originally uploaded by eyecandyforthebrokenhearted.

I'm sort of obsessed with Marie Antoinette. It started with a great book I've been reading "Abundance". Then I finally saw the movie Marie Antoinette Directed by Sofia Coppola (who I love by the way). And she was apparently interested in Marie Anoinette in much the same way I am. Now a friend has recommended the soundtrack - which I know I did like while I was watching the movie but I was arrested by the movie and didn't pay a lot of attention to all the music specifically. But I absolutely ADORE this soundtrack. It's the greatest mix of good 80s music (siouxie & the banshee's) with some classical and great new indie (the radio dept.).

More thoughts on Marie Antoinette later.


Related Posts with Thumbnails