Archive for April, 2010

aka “Bad Fashion Ideas Through The Ages.”

We look at fashion today and wonder what we’ll make fun of in 10, 20, or 30 years.

Sadly, people have made fashion faux pas throughout history.

The real killer is the quest for the tiny waist!

In an effort to fight that midriff muffin top, designers have used several torturous devices.

Farthingales, panniers, the hoop skirt, and the bustle (not to be mistaken with the Hustle, an awesome dance from the 70s), and the corset.

Farthingales were developed by the Spanish – you know, the folks who brought us the Inquisition.

Catherine Parr wearing a Farthingale.

Designed to enhance the smallness of the waist, whether it was or not, it was ornamental and not all that restricting.  The bigger the waist, the bigger the farthingale.  The English took to it big time when Catherine of Aragon came to be the bride of Prince Arthur.  Artie died shortly after the honeymoon.  His brother Henry (soon to be Henry VIII) married her to keep the Spanish Dowry and stay out a of a pesky European war – and the Farthingale took England by storm.

Not to be outdone, and in a move to one-UP English, the French created the panniers.  Popular through out the 18th Century, big hips and big hair made Marie Antionette the Queen of Fashion.  One would think she was from Texas!

Marie Antoinette in panniers by Vigee LeBrun.

The doors at the palace were widened so she would not have to turn sideways, and her carriage was specially made so as “not to destroy her coiffure!”

The 19th Century brought us the hoop skirt and the corset.

The corset had a two-fold purpose.  It cinched the waist, usually causing internal damage, and “kept the breast from sagging”.  These were the “pre-bra” days.   Gravity’s a be-atch, and ya’ gotta keep the girls UP!

NO one looks like this!

This is a modern version, which some people actually wear.  Didn’t women fight during the 70s to avoid crap like this?  Seems like I remember a dust UP called Women’s Lib.

The corset was so bad, doctors tried to convince women to shun them with pictures like this…

Internal Damage!

Pretty shocking for the 1800s, and they didn’t work anyway.  Fashion ruled.

Wrapped around that Scarlett O’Hara 16 inch waist was a hoop skirt. 

Frankly, Scarlett, this looks stupid!

It accented the smallness of the waist and gave rise to the term “Southern Belle”.

Suck it in Honey!

After the War of Northern Aggression, came the bustle.

Does this make my butt look big?

Underneath all that fabric was this…

Bustle

The 1950’s brought us the waist cinching belt!

Why am I wearing this?

Still yearning for the tiny waist, women of the 50’s (and even some today) wore elastic straps, once again to accentuate the “tiny waist”.

In the 70s, 80s and 90s anorexia was the key.  But after a lot of resarch, we found it doesn’t work so well.

The 21st Century options…P90x, the Ab Lounger, Crunches and of course, the GYM!

You are what you are, do the best with what ya got, and keep it real!

Hey Baby, What’s Your Sign?

I’m a Cancer, but that’s not what this is about.

Apparently, the world is so completely illiterate that we are now spending our stolen money taxpayer dollars to re-vamp the EXIT sign.

I’m serious.

This is too hard for the world to understand –

EXIT

Sooooooo, a whole lot of  money has been spent and a whole lot of arguing has been going on over the American Exit sign and how it “confuses the rest of the world”.

Many other countries use some version of the ISO standard, (yes, Virginia, there is a standard!) a symbol developed the late 1970s by a Japanese designer named Yukio Ota and adopted for international use in 1985. This take on the exit sign goes by the informal name “the running man,” and looks like this:

New Exit

Frankly, I think it looks like a criminal running away.

But the rest of the world likes it because it’s green which means go and is the “color of safety”, and the guy is running or leaving, which would make people think it’s a way out.

Red on the other hand, is associated all over the world with stop, halt, don’t touch, fire, hot, and the word EXIT “isn’t universally understood”.

Seriously?

The American Exit Sign came into being around 1911 after the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in New York City.  A downtown Manhattan garment factory fire that killed 146 workers.   The signage problem wasn’t the real cause for the deaths.  The locked doors were.  But, the EXIT sign got its start around that time.  The doors were locked and bolted to keep the workers from “sneaking off”. 

The National Fire Protection Association, founded by Insurance Companies in 1896 to develop “protocols for property preservation” was spurred to look into life safety.  The crux of the concern was the pesky chore of getting the people out of the burning buildings and saving the buildings at the same time.  Priorities please! 

It wasn’t until the 1930s and 1940s that criterion for emergency exit signs was developed.  And, since most of the folks in the US spoke English, E X I T was understood by virtually everyone.

Now, not so much.

This is amazing to me since EXIT came directly to us from the Latin word meaning he or she goes out. 

There are literally hundreds of words in the English language and most languages of peoples touched by the Roman Empire that are directly from the Latin.

So, let’s spend the money elsewhere and leave the EXIT icon alone.

Things Mama Said…

My wonderful Mother turns 91 today.

 Glamourous Mother!

I’m a lucky guy.  Both my parents are still living, and they’ve been married to each other for over 70 years.

MOM AND DAD

Mother is THE most uncomplicated person I know.  And although I’m sure she wouldn’t like the delivery, the song, or the band, Lynryd Skynryd was quoting her and said it best in the song A Simple Man.  (Sorry for the shameless use of anything Skynyrd!)

She is also the smartest person I know, sorry Dad, I know you think you are, but really just listen to what she has said from time to time. 

Mama and her Not Simple Man

On my behavior:

If I can’t enjoy you, you won’t enjoy me.  (She was NOT kidding!)

I’m going to smack you into the middle of next week.  (I lost a lot of time as a child…really, I must have been a stinker!)

If you don’t quit that, your’e gonna get hurt…(again, she wasn’t kidding!)  

On couples who were, in her words, “dooley”:

Well, at least they didn’t ruin two families. 

On stupid people:

He wouldn’t know how to pour pee out of a boot if the directions were written on the heel.

On improperly clothed women:

She didn’t have on enough to wad a shotgun.

On dysfunctional relationships:

The person who cares the least in a relationship has the most control.

People who can’t trust, can’t be trusted. 

On unanswered prayers:

Sometimes, no is a good thing.

On her wayward children (from time to time we were):

If you’re not happy, it’s because you’re not happy with yourself.

And on happiness in general:

Happiness is a choice.

See, I told you she was smart.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Stupid Laws…

…With the political whirlwind of today often times the topic of conversation at the Waffle House is, well, the news…and especially the new laws.

Every year State Legislatures nationwide come UP with new laws or make changes to laws to make them more current.  There are 40,697 new laws nationwide that take effect in 2010.

It makes sense in some cases.  There was no need for “internet” laws until we had the internet and pervs everywhere came UP with new crimes.  Ergo new laws.

2010 brings us new laws concerning tanning beds, texting, and trans fats, three of my favorite things.  And to think I voted for some of these asswipes public servants!

These are good laws, I’m too shallow to really read them completely, so I’ll take it for what it’s worth, and as usual, I’ll obey the law.

But in the rush to make new laws, some old ones get ignored…or left on the books…or forgotten…and really there are some out there that need attention.

In Georgia, we have a “few”

Georgia State Flag

For instance:

In Athens, GA it is illegal to make a disturbing noise at a fair.  Have ya been to Athens?   UGA is there, you can hear the disturbing noises all the way to the South Carolina State Line.

In Peachtree City, GA, it is illegal to be homeless.  OK, I’ve been to Stepford Peachtree City.  No one there is homeless, so it seems they are still enforcin’ that one!

In Columbus, GA it is illegal to carry a chicken by it’s feet down Broadway on a Sunday.  Seriously, how’s Granny gonna’ make Sunday Dinner without one?

And state wide in Georgia it is illegal to use profanity in front of a dead body at a funeral parlor or in the coroner’s office, or take a bath in orange peel, or sit on your front porch in an indecent position or carry an ice cream cone in your back pocket.

One may not whistle loudly after 11 PM, or bury anyone under the sidewalk of a cemetary, or spit on the sidewalk after dark.  I suppose you can just hawk away all day long, but once that sun goes down, buddy hold it in!

It’s illegal for one man to be on another’s back. 

You can’t wear hoods in public (someone tell the Klan please), place a dead bird on someone else’s lawn, or have a picnic in graveyards.  Which is really funny since the American Cemetary Movement of the 19th Century designed Cemetaries so that people could have picnics “among the dead”.

You can’t spit from a car or bus, but you can from a moving truck.  Go Bubba!

You can commit simple battery if provoked by “fighting words”.  You know how it is, say Go Gators and get yer ass whupped!

And every head of household must own a firearm.  But the fine for waving it around is twice that of actually shooting it.

It’s also illegal to tease an idiot.

Oh, crap, I suppose I’ll have to quit calling my congressman!