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March 16, 2013

Squid Flame Hoodie


Rusty Blazenhoff's favorite thing (she's managing editor of Laughing Squid).


Created by Los Angeles-based artist Brandon Bird.


March 16, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What is a Birkin bag from Hermès worth? It all depends...


I found Ariel Levy's March 18, 2013 New Yorker Talk of the Town piece about Ryan Dziadul's recent purchase of a $12,000 Birkin bag from Hermès a fascinating study of obsession and desire.

Below, excerpts from the story.

"I've felt every emotion over the last few days," Ryan Dziadul said, sitting at his desk in the offices of Jonathan Adler, the homewares designer. "My immediate reaction was: This was a huge mistake — what have I done?" Dziadul, who is thirty-one and works as Adler's public-relations manager, shook his head. "Then I was really excited and it felt like an accomplishment." But, he said, his mother, back in Massachusetts, was "furious." The accomplishment, or mistake, was Dziadul's purchase of a twelve-thousand-dollar Birkin bag from Hermès. It was sitting on top of his desk, and a circle of his colleagues had gathered around to behold the bag.

"Everyone's been quite distracted by it," Adler said. "It's our first office Birkin." The arrival of the handbag had decreased the staff's productivity, but no one's more than Dziadul's. "He's got his eye on it at all times," Adler said. "It's like there's a Birkin-cam."

Dziadul, who had on jeans, an oxford shirt from L.L. Bean, and green loafers, recounted the story of his purchase to his co-workers, several of whom had taken cell-phone pictures of themselves with the bag to send to friends. He had been saving for a Birkin bag since his graduation from N.Y.U. in 2004, he said, "but pulling the trigger was actually difficult." It happened spontaneously the week before, when he wandered into Hermès while waiting for a friend on Madison Avenue. He approached a saleswoman and asked if there were any Birkins available. "She said, 'Would you follow me to the V.I.P. room?' Which, of course, I did: it's behind two mirrored sliding doors; there's a leather couch, and they had a beautiful floral arrangement. She unveiled an elephant-gray bag, and I wanted to see what it would look like open, so I went to undo the straps and I was literally shaking." He did not get to choose the color of his twelve-thousand-dollar purse — the store had only one — and there was little time to equivocate. "I told her, 'If I buy this, it will be a large purchase for me, so I want to have my friend come and look at it,'" Dziadul continued. The saleswoman said that she could hold it for five minutes. (When the friend came and gave the bag the thumbs-up, and Dziadul said that he would take it, the salewoman was "zero excited," Dziadul recalled.)

At the office, Dziadul kept the handbag under his desk, on top of a copy of a magazine called Just for Canadian Dentists, which had published an article about Adler. At home, in Hoboken, he had been sitting next to it on his sofa. "I don't live a Birkin life style,"Dziadul said. "I don't feel guilty, but sometimes I do think of what that money could have bought — it could have been a couple of great trips, or rent on a place in the city, or lots of meals. But, in the end, it's this." He petted the Birkin as if it were a puppy.

Adler's husband, Simon Doonan, of Barney's had come by the office to meet the new purse. "I have an important announcement," Doonan said. 'The luxury market is partially dependent upon this new group of people who are careening into these purchases without being able to technically afford them. Never underestimate that group. I used to."

Dziadul earns in the mid-five figures: he does not usually buy things that cost twelve thousand dollars. But, "as a man, I've always loved bags," he said. "And this is kind of the ultimate."

Cena Jackson, the director of public relations at Hermès, when asked if the company was seeing an uptick in the purchase of its women's handbags by men, replied, "That's just not something we would want to get involved with."

Dziadul trailed off, gazing at his Birkin. "Don't get me wrong: I do not think this is worth twelve thousand dollars. But I think he [Doonan] understands that it was worth it to me."


Note added at 7:50 p.m. today: bag pictured up top is not the elephant-gray iteration purchased by Dziadul; I couldn't find a good picture of a gray one so chose the luggage tan version. Thanks to Flautist for clarifying this in her comment.

Speaking of which, I think it's a real shame TypePad doesn't allow commenters to go back and edit their comments; I mean, I can revise my posts and your comments all I want, but no such capability is offered to anyone else.

March 16, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Fast, cheap & under control: trauma shears


Reviewed by Steve Hoefer in yesterday's edition of Cool Tools;


excerpts below.

Several years ago I needed about half a dozen tools for a series of workshops I was hosting. I needed a hand tool that could safely and easily shape plastic and thin sheet metal but not break the bank. I found trauma shears at the local hardware store for a couple dollars each and bought every pair they had. Although I had misgivings about the low price, they worked great. I still have them and they get constant use and abuse.

Sometimes called EMT or Paramedic scissors, they were originally designed for emergency responders to cut through seat belts, zippers, denim, and leather. The rounded tip and bent handle — made to safely cut along skin — also make them useful for cutting along other surfaces without snags or jabs.

They're somewhat famous for being shown cutting through a penny [top], which they’ll do without too much trouble. More practically, they’ll cut sheet metal, wire, cable, plastic, cardboard, staples, rubber, foam, branches, and small bolts, to name a few. They're the scissors I reach for when I don't want to ruin my good scissors, and you’ll find them scattered throughout my workshop. They're also great for opening plastic clamshell packages and I've tied them into bows on presents to help get into gifts.


March 16, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Sending a bookofjoe post using Permalink & your browser's toolbar


Ever notice that below each post it says "Permalink?"


Click on that and you'll have a link to that particular post suitable for emailing.


Yesterday I learned that even some experienced and knowledgeable Web-savvy people don't know that embedded within each widely used browser's toolbar is an easy way to email a link or website.


Look at the screenshots above and below from (top to bottom) Chrome, Camino, Safari, and Firefox.

You can too!

March 16, 2013 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Silicone Spoon Spatula — "Easy-to-clean multipurpose kitchen tool"


Favorably reviewed by Ian Hall in yesterday's edition of Cool Tools; excerpts below.

I’ve had this spoon spatula about four years and it's the single kitchen utensil I use most.

It's perfect for mixing brownie batter, stir-frying vegetables, scraping jars, serving food from the pan into bowls, and pretty much anything and everything you can think of. I spread butter, jelly, peanut butter, etc. with this thing. I use it to cut brownies, break apart cooking cauliflower, scoop cookie dough onto pans, scrape cut veggies off the cutting board, and I've even flipped pancakes with it.

The seamless design is super-quick to clean, doesn't hold food flavors, and has never deformed or melted despite years of constant use and abuse (like being left on a cast iron pan of smoking olive oil). It can be cut, though, as I found after carelessly stuffing it into my Vitamix.

Avoid using this with sharp blades and it'll last a lifetime.


March 16, 2013 at 04:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ron Finley: A guerilla gardener in South Central LA


Giants do walk this Earth.

[via Gini Moore]

March 16, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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