A Crash Course in Luggage

My beloved “ketchup Packet” bag from Hideo.

I own some magical pieces that are that perfect combination of being a) timeless, b) sturdy, c) practical, d) design-y and e) cool as fuck.

My Hideo candy-apple red, hard-case wheeled carry-on suitcase, is one such piece.

I’ve had it for over fifteen years, and it’s on its last legs, or uh, wheels.

I call it the “ketchup packet”, but that’s a story for another day.

It’s been all over the United States and around the world. It’s been stretched and scratched and dropped and dinged. On the rare times I’ve had to check it, I can spot my brilliant bright bag bobbing along the carousel from a hundred yards down the concourse. I never did understand the logic of having a black bag like 95% of other travelers. Talk about a needle in a bag-stack.

After my last trip (Fresno, don’t judge) I noticed a crack when I unpacked.

It broke my heart.

I usually don’t mind an excuse to shop for something new, but this is different.

This garnet grip (my Italian grandma, or “Noni”, used to refer to her floral suitcase as her “grip” which always made me laugh) has held so much more than my Prozac, pens, power  adapters and giant underpants; It’s held memories (good and bad, but thankfully mostly good), dreams, anxieties, and blank. When I pull it down from my closet and toss on the bed for whatever trip I’m taking, the sight of that shiny ruby suitcase makes me smile no matter how stressful the packing or what awaits at the other end of the trip.

But I must move on.

I started my search by typing in the obvious: red Hideo luggage. Since this bag is long out of production, I knew I’d have to deal with finding something close but not “it.”

And indeed, Hideo had moved on and was now featuring the “Jelly Bean” line of hard-cased bags. While not the same “Ketchup Packet” bag I am loathe to replace, they were cute, colorful, design-y and no doubt durable. Viable option.

https://www.hideowakamatsu.com/products/hideo-wakamatsu-jelly-bean-carry-on-orange

I continued my trip until I crashed into a pile of pockmarked carry-ons.

These beat-up bags were from Crash, a company I’d never heard of. How. Fucking. Genius.

For this line of luggage, the dents and dimples are the design. The ding is the new thing!

They come in loads of bright colors and sizes to either carry-on or check. Crash also carries toiletry, garment and other small interior soft-sided bags to keep your stuff organized.

I’m god-damned smitten.

My next trip is to Las Vegas to watch my dear friend John and his beautiful family be honored at the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) Gala! And Major Pete is the keynote speaker! Maybe I’ll show up with a Jelly Bean. Maybe I’ll show up in bumps.

Either way, I’m coming in hot.

xo

My Easter Keister

“Peeps” leggings by Goldsheep.

I haven’t made a peep in well over a year.

Half-way through a long piece explaining why (Trump? Pristiq? Shin Splints? Overall malaise? Etc.), I grew bored with my own words. So fuck it, let’s talk about leggings.

I pretty much live in them these days.

This is not hyperbole.

I wake up in the pair I wore to bed and keep them on until I shower – usually 12 hours later – and pull on a different pair to run out and play tennis or practice yoga in.

Repeat.

Leggings fit. They flatter. They withstand weight fluctuations. They roll into a small ball, taking up no space in the closet or suitcase. They come in lots of colors and patterns and materials and lengths. They’re Sweatpants 3.0, which is fine by me. What’s not to love?

I’m so spoiled by the comfort and ease of leggings that jeans may as well be tuxedo pants.

Think about that for a minute. In my life, jeans have become formal wear. I literally feel overdressed in them. Like I should be heading to the Ballet or high tea or something equally fancy.

Living a life in leggings was, to me and many, a sign of giving up. Tossing our collective hands in the air. Waving them like we just don’t care.

You know what? I don’t care. It’s not that I’ve thrown in the towel on fashion or style. I actually feel more myself, happy and together in my leggings. You know what else? I’ve worked hard my entire fucking life, under shoulder pads, over high heels, in offices, dressing for other people as much as dressing for myself.

But now it’s all about me, period. I’ve grown grateful for the fact that I’ve earned the right to work from home, in my leggings from the night before, ready to bounce out in the middle of the day for a rousing game of doubles.

Me with my partner Carla at USTA districts in Folsom, California, post win. “Troop” Goldsheep leggings.

My latest legging-love goes to a newish brand called GoldSheep. I can’t remember how I came across their website, but I did and am now obsessed. They’ve become my favorite brand to not only play matches in, but to steep in my sweat hours after the last point has been logged. I may feel gross, but my lower half looks fantastic. I could sell them off my body, so many people ask where I got them.

They come in crazy color combinations and designs, and always release themed collections based on trends and holidays. Sunday being Easter, and Peeps being my favorite Easter candy, well, enough said.

One last thing: A few weeks ago, a mother’s Facebook post emploring women to stop wearing leggings went viral and sparked protests – you can read about it here.

Leggings, I support and solute you. Anyone who begs to differ can kiss my Easter Keister.

SUPERMARKET SWEEP Away the Bad

To my friends who will forever regret asking the innocent and automatic “how are you”, to which I reply with a crying Bitmoji (if you’re lucky and asked by phone) or a tortured text of woe (borderline lucky if you asked by phone and a Bitmoji wouldn’t do) or worse, you asked in person and I gush out glum chunks of why life sucks…..I’m sorry.

I’m a giant drag. Step away from the one with pink hair.

I’m grasping at anything that will save me from myself and the barrage of bad news (Trump! Facebook! Parkland! Austin! Trump!), and one of those things that legit makes me happy is my recent discovery that the late afternoon television gem “Supermarket Sweep” is back!

The 2000 season, the first to be released, is now available on Amazon Prime here and through the retro game show network, BUZZR.

Let that seep in for a moment.

I was obsessed with that show. I bet you were too, if you are being honest.

That poorly produced, yet highlighly entertaining program was fodder for armchair quarterbacking (Why did they spend so much time bagging the croissants and hunting for the daily special? Why not go right for the expensive hams?). We all knew better. We all loved it.

It was so steeped in our culture that SNL spoofed it, courtesy of Melissa McCarthy:

Everything about the Sweep was so corny, but that is what made it so special. I especially loved the matching sweatshirts, layered over what I assume were “dickey” collars, to elevate the cheap piece of fleece to something more formal and befitting TV. Come to think about it, sprinting down the aisles to grind coffee beans and wrestle giant inflatable jars of mayonnaise does requires athletic wear of some sort.

Screen Shot 2017-11-04 at 1.36.24 PM

I wonder if this show would see the light of day if it were hatched now – probably not. It’s so simple, so “analog”, so uncool. Which is why it’s magic.

And back to those sweatshirts: Who would have thunk that they would become “high fashion” – co-opted by Gucci, Prada, Balenciaga et al, and have taken the place of the cashmere sweater as the chic, must-have cozy cover-up.

So if you can pry yourself away from Trump’s Twitter tantrums and scrubbing your Facebook clean to protect your privacy, check out Supermarket Sweep.  I swear, it’s like eating a sleeve of Double-Stuffed Oreos.

And if you want to dress the part, here is some inspiration.

supermarket sweep sweatshirts

1: Christopher Kane Minnie Mouse Sweatshirt, Stylebop. 2: The Elder Statesman Cropped Sweatshirt, Farfetch. 3. MSGM Logo Sweatshirt, Tessabit. 4. Cotton Citizen Cropped Sweatshirt, Intermix. 5. Kenzo Tiger Logo Sweatshirt, MyTheresa. 6. Adidas Sweatshirt, Farfetch. 7. Gucci Mystic Cat Print Sweatshirt, Gucci. 8. Courreges Sweatshirt, Farfetch.

xo


Has Trump Pushed Me to Fleece?

Jesus fucking Christ.

Another week, another batch of asinine and dangerous moves by Trump.

Because I work from home, I have a hard time tuning out the orange asshole. Morbid curiosity gets the best of me and I can’t help but rubberneck the Trump clown-car crash on MSNBC. My “Fuck Trump” shirt is fading and fraying like my hopes and nerves.

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