Clipper Nation: We Are One

we are oneAny one who knows me knows that I am a Clipper fan for life. Look, it hasn’t been easy. For years, being a Clipper fan in LA was basically like wearing a “Kick Me” sign on your back. The Lakers were consistently top contenders in the NBA, whereas the Clippers were essentially a laughing stock. Lakers home games at STAPLES Center were always packed with thousands of Kobe jerseys, but the Clippers games saw as many empty seats as occupied ones. Don’t even get me started on Laker v Clippers games.

And Laker fans were relentless. Their cockiness, while maybe deserved, showed itself in a constant mocking of their “joke” counterpart, conjuring up a hatred in the mercilessly teased Clipper fans.

But, we carried on. And because of it, I think we formed a stronger bond and a tighter knit community. I feel immediate solidarity with Clippers fans. Many of my close friends are Clippers fans or so-called “Laker Haters.” Some by coincidence and some entirely by design. Solidarity as fans and a minority in LA is literally the basis of some of my closest relationship.

All of a sudden things started to change. Starting with the draft of Blake Griffin in 2010 and continuing with the acquiring of Chris Paul and coach Doc Rivers in subsequent years, the Clippers began to become a serious force in the NBA. This all just as the Lakers seemed to be on a severe decline. Sure this ushered in a bunch of bandwagon fans, changing the landscape of our court side seats from the likes of Frankie Muniz and Billy Crystal to Rihanna and Justin Bieber. But us lifers know who the true fans are. Let’s just put it nicely and say Lakers fans do not seem too happy about the change in relationship between the teams and leave it at that.

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The last few years things have been going better than ever. Sure we’ve had unfortunate injuries. We’ve suffered our share of disappointment and heartbreak, having lost in the early rounds of the playoffs. But it looked like this could be our year. After a rough season, it looked like we had a chance for a run at that sweet title. Then this past weekend everything changed.

TMZ released a tape of a racist rant by Clippers owner Donald Sterling, in which he tells his (half black) girlfriend not to promote association with African Americans and not to bring them to the games, singling out Lakers legend Magic Johnson specifically.

While Sterling has long had a reputation as a racist, the release of this tape could not have come at a worse time for the Clippers (not that there is ever a good time). In the midst of a first round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors, the players and coaches were faced with a dilemma as how to best proceed.

Their decision was to play. They made a statement against Sterling by hiding the team logo from all gear (even wearing jerseys that say Los Angeles as opposed to Clippers), and wearing black armbands and socks. It was extremely admirable to still play, effectively sending out the message “This is our team, not his.” But the drama clearly hung heavy over their heads as we played way off and ended up losing.

Today Adam Silver proved himself a great commissioner, announcing a commendable decision. This included a lifetime NBA ban for Sterling, as well as a $2.5 million fine. He also is encouraging the board of owners to vote to force Sterling to sell the team. Silver, nor I, have any doubt the vote will go through with at least the 3/4 majority needed.

Before we can think about the future of the team, however, we have to focus on tonight’s upcoming game and the rest of the post-season. It is my hope that Sterling’s ruling will put the players minds at ease. Doc Rivers has proven to be an extraordinary leader during this whole ordeal, and I pray he can lead the team out of the darkness. This scandal could very well cost us this series (if we lose I have no doubt it will be because we are distracted like last game), but we don’t have to let it.

Sterling has long been a terrible owner and especially in light of these revelations I couldn’t be happier at the prospect of new ownership. There are plenty of rumors flying around, but anyone will be better. “We Are One” and we will be stronger than ever.

Good luck to my boys and I will be supporting you from across the country!

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A Letter to the American Psychiatric Association

To the APA, or whomever else it may concern,

I was not traumatized by Spongebob Squarepants as a child. In fact, I barely watched it. I was never at a party with a drunk or inappropriate man in a Spongebob suit. Actually, I’m not really afraid of Spongebob at all. And thank God for that, or else I would not be able to enjoy Jeremy Scott’s Fall 2014 Moschino collection in its entirety. And that would be a tragedy.

I tell you this because I am afraid of sponges. I shiver at just the thought of a kitchen sponge. I’m cringing writing this. And it doesn’t take a psychiatrist to assume my fear probably stems from a traumatic experience with he who lives in a pineapple under the sea. But it doesn’t. It’s a complete mystery.

Here’s the thing though, as incredibly weird and insane as this all sounds, it seems logical that enough people would share this phobia for it to have a name, right? Nope. But let’s just take a look at some of the phobias that do have monikers:

b-hilary-duff-400 Consecotaleophobia: the fear of chopsticks

Yes, the fear of chopsticks. I mean, my brother embarrasses us on a weekly basis by asking for a fork at Nobu, but that’s not a phobia, that’s just him apparently having situation specific poor dexterity. If anything, he’s afraid of not getting every bite of spicy shrimp tempura in his mouth. I have to imagine anyone who has a fear of chopsticks has a fear of pointy objects or eating utensils in general, no? I mean there can not be more than a handful of people in this world who see a pair of chopsticks and need to pop a klony. If this is real, I can’t even imagine how they got through the early 2000’s. I know I, along with most of the Limited Too generation rocked the chopsticks in hair trend…Even teen queen Hilary Duff got in on the action! (pictured above)

anigif_enhanced-buzz-1835-1384715192-1Levophobia: the fear of objects on the left side of the body

Before I talk about how ridiculous this is on its own, there is another word, sinistrophobia, which means fear of left-handedness or things on the left side. Do we really need two separate names? Okay, so levophobia, I mean, as far as irrational fears go, this has to be the least rational of all. At least chopsticks can be used as weapons! The only way I could picture relating to a levophobic is if there was a sponge on the left side of my body. Although, maybe this finally explains Derek Zoolander’s inability to turn left! He should really take some time off from the Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can’t Read Good and pop in to a levophobia chat room and explain his miraculous recovery from such a debilitating psychological disorder.

chinGeniophobia: the fear of chins

I wonder if there was a huge party thrown by geniophobes to celebrate when Jay Leno stepped down as host of The Tonight Show. (Is it too untimely to make a joke that Conan O’Brien has probably developed geniophobia?) In all seriousness though, chins? I actually would understand a fear of “butt chins,” but a fear of plain old chins presents a couple questions. 1) How does one develop this? I fell chin-first through a glass and iron coffee table in second grade and still have the scars (both emotional and physical) to prove it, but I sure as hell don’t suffer from geniophobia. 2) How do geniophobes interact with people, and even themselves? Maybe they only hang out with Jack McBrayer? (in that case, thank God Liz got her sandwich!)

Zemmiphobia: the fear of the great mole rat

No. Just no. How can you not watch The Naked Mole Rap and smile? Rufus was the greatest pet ever because he loved burritos and hot sauce. So just no.

I guess my point here is, I would really appreciate it if you guys could just put a label to this particular bit of crazy of mine. But I totally understand if you have to get to the guy who’s afraid of Kim Kardashian first.

Sincerely,

Nicole and the rest of the sponge-fearing community.

Shit, I fell in love

About a month ago, I fell in love. Head over heels in love. With a pair of shoes. Now normally, I would have clarified “no pun intended” after the head over heels comment, as well as after the title of the post (you’ll see why in a sec), but since finding my soulmate in a pair of shoes is so very Carrie Bradshaw, I might as well embrace her in all her punny greatness.

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Del Toro #TheShit Loafer via ModaOperandi.com (not currently available)

Yup, that’s them. That pair of shoes completely stole my heart. Designers Edie Parker and Del Toro collaborated on an entire M’OTICONS collection of loafers and clutches. Sure I loved the see no evil, hear no evil monkeys, and that heart-eyed cats were near perfect, but something just clicked inside me when I saw those adorable poops staring up at me from a pretty dusty blue slipper. Love at first sight is real guys, it happened to me. And I didn’t even realize til later they were actually named #TheShit. I don’t know if it was the quirkiness or maybe the cuteness I had never notices on my tiny iPhone screen. Maybe there was a feeling of rebellion in spending $340 on a pair of glorified slippers with literally piles of crap on them.

But when you know, you know, and I knew. I wasn’t about to let true love slip between my fingertips. I didn’t want to be some old lady on her deathbed, looking back at her life and the one that got away. Preorder seems so long ago, but I guess minutes feel like hours and days feel like weeks when you’re waiting for the one you love. Like Billy Crystal said in When Harry Met Sallywhen you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

They still haven’t arrived. It’s like I’m standing at the top of the Empire State Building waiting for them to come prove they love me to, but as each minute goes by, time starts feeling longer and I become less certain that I’ll ever see my loves again.

And while I am completely devoted to my one true love, that doesn’t mean I can’t look right? So let’s talk loafers (or smoking slippers, or whatever you want to call them). Raise your hand if you have a pair with a skull, or that looks like a dog or cat or mouse…..everyone raised their hand, right? If you didn’t, go check out Alexander McQueen, Charlotte Olympia, and Marc by Marc Jacobs. But heres the thing, there are s many edgier styles out there…let’s explore!

college_black_1 ro7a3849_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left:  Stubbs & Wootton College via StubbsandWootton.com

Right: Del Toro x Disney Pinocchio Embroidered Limited Edition Collaboration Slipper via DelToroShoes.com

I’ve wanted the “screw you” Stubbs for a while now. I think they’re fun because they’re edgy without being outright crude. Guys, I’m having a realization that maybe my dirty mouth is so out of control I want my shoes to scream obscenities as well…. oof. Oh well, another intervention for another time. The Pinocchio ones, on the other hand, are pretty darn innocent (oh get your mind out of the gutter, yes, you!), but still there is something very cool to them. They’re whimsical yet dark…. just like a smiling poop emoji! Anyway, there are tons more ranging from the expensive at Stubbs & Wootton and Del Toro to the much more affordable at Asos.com. Happy hunting! I’ll just be here, waiting for my true love to come!

The Most Fashionable Cheat Sheet (for Fifth Grade Science)

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CHRISTOPHER KANE Buttercup embellished cashmere sweater via Net-A-Porter.com

I’ve been drooling over this sweater since it came down the runway in September as part of the amazing Christopher Kane’s Spring 2014 Collection. Besides being a phenomenal way to cheat on your fifth grade science test, this sweater is at the same time not only quirky and winky, but also absolutely beautiful. It is shown as form fitting but I would love to wear this as a loose sweater that teeters across the line between baggy and being able to swim in it. While the runway skirt is absolutely TO DIE FOR, I see this as an extremely versatile piece. If baggy, I’d love to see this with a pair of cropped cigarette or even boyfriend jeans and a great pair of tan d’orsay flats, like these Tory Burch ones. It would also look great with cutoffs or a fun skirt– go for a pattern! I can’t guarantee your teacher will let you take a bio test in this, but I bet if you wore it to class you’d get some extra points somewhere!

** DON’T CHEAT PEOPLE. I don’t know why I condone less, cheating or buying a fifth grader a $1500 sweater!

Coachella Roundup

Observant Angelinos may notice that on one, or for the past few years 2, weekend(s) in April, the malls, trendy eateries, and farmers markets usually teeming with teens and coeds become effective ghost towns. Don’t even get me started on Intelligentsia or other hipster hotspots– I’m surprised Silverlake doesn’t officially completely shut down. For those of you clueless enough as to wonder why this is, I have three words for you: COA. CHELL. A. Though a hipster mecca, this music festival isn’t just for the oversized, lensless Ray Ban Wayfarer and ironic tee clad anymore. The pull of the Chella on the “with it” millennial is so strong, I even flew in from Philly this year. If you don’t know what Coachella is like you’re obviously a square, jk, but for real go look it up.

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seriously, take a moment for my photoshopping

Weekend At Coachella

On our first day at the festival, I witnessed something so ridiculous, yet entirely representative of the Coachella experience. I saw a full-on Weekend At Bernie’s situation happening. No lie, a man was completely slumped over, his weight being carried by two friends on either side around whom his arms were resting. He had dark Ray Bans on, but I have no doubt his eyes were closed underneath. I can say with almost complete certainty, he wasn’t dead, but rather too messed up on an assortment of drugs and booze to move (nothing out of the ordinary at “Drugcella”). Either way, it was quite a sight to see. The guy was obviously not dead, but it made me think that if this were ever going to happen in real life, Coachella could very well likely to be the place. I can’t quite wrap my head around relating the plot specifics of the movie, but I did come up with a couple of scenarios. I would not put it past a devoted Chellite to make this their last request– one last hurrah. Yes, people are that diehard about Coachella (pun not intended). Also, if someone’s ticket was dependent on arriving with a certain, suddenly deceased, person (guest of an artist, for instance), I would not blink twice if that person Bernied their late friend… Coachella is sooooo worth it. Clearly the moral of this story is do not let me near your deathbed or funeral home unless you want to become a flesh and bones marionette….AND HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE!!! (ugh, pun was unintentional again).

Festival Fashion Faux-Pas

Kylie Jenner and Emmy Rossum

Kylie Jenner and Emmy Rossum

Festival fashion is an experience on its own. The grounds are a sea of crop tops, high-wasted shorts, neon, tribal prints, and topless (and bottomless) girls in nothing but pasties or bikinis. The quintessential Coachella accessory, however, is headgear. Headbands have always been a staple, but last year they were elevated to a new level with the flower crowns. I swear, 80% of the girls wore them last year, it was ridiculous. Then this year, they got even bigger (physically). It hurts me to even thing how uncomfortable it would be with all those giant roses on all day. Culturally, however, flower crowns are harmless…unlike the other two trends this year. (You’ll notice the Weekend At Bernie’s gang sporting all 3 trends at top)

Arcade fire set my soul free. #coachellafoeva thank you Coachella gods. It's been simply beautiful.

A post shared by Vanessa Hudgens (@vanessahudgens) on

Last year, among the flower girls, there was a smaller, but prominent, trend of wearing Native American inspired headdresses. While we’ve always looked to Native American style as inspiration for fashion, especially for festivals, the appropriation of an important cultural symbol, was deemed racist and offensive. I don’t want to get into my politics here…. that’s not what this is about…but you’d think after the uproar last year, Chellites would have stayed away so as not to offend, whether intentional or not. Well, you’d be wrong. Feather headdresses were even more common this year, even being sported by the Queen of Coachella, herself, Vanessa Hudgens (pictured above).

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

You may have asked or been asked to clarify “Indian” with “dot or feather,” well if that was feather, this is dot. The new trend that popped up this year was bindis. Celebs and regular folk alike were sporting crystals on their forehead all around the desert last weekend. Again, this is not about my personal views, but this must be considered offensive cultural appropriation as well, no? The internet seems a lot more divided on these than they do on headdresses, but they seem pretty similar to me. They are both culturally and religiously significant. While Ms. Hudgens of course rocked a bindi as well (in addition to a flower crown!), perhaps the most surprising, or at the very least, interesting, instance is Selena Gomez (above).* Since sporting a bindi and sari during a performance at last year’s MTV Movie Awards, Selena has been the target of protests by Hindu activists. Look, I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, I definitely see why pretty stick on crystals are appealing (more so than headdresses), but I just know I’d sweat it off within minutes.

hudge yarm

Personally, I’m just waiting for the big trend of Coachella 2014 to be yarmulkes!

RidicuList

“Bernie” and fashion were just the beginning of a string of ridiculous things. Here are a couple things that made me laugh:

GET A ROOM

I’m sorry, but no matter how high you are, you should know better than to have sex in the middle of a highly populated, but not densely packed, field. Yes, we walked past a couple(?) literally going at it in the middle of the grass, in full view of everyone– missionary, natch. It’s like, Hello, that’s what Port-A-Potties are for!

THE ROYAL KISS UP

This may be one of those “only funny if you were there” but it’s my blog and I can do what I want and I want to tell you what made me laugh. As we were backstage at Pharrell, my group and I were talking to a family friend about the acts we had seen. The friend told us, “I didn’t see Lorde. I didn’t really care about it so I just didn’t go to Lorde.” Not 5 seconds later, Lorde walks right up to where we are and the same guy turns around and says to her, “Lorde, I just have to say, you were so good today. Your set was absolutely amazing!” It was one of the funniest things I’ve even witnessed. While you may not be cracking up like we were, it is worth it to notice the level of ass-kissing that goes on in the music business and with celebrities in general. Speaking of Lorde, watching her dance to Happy after Pharrell pulled her on stage was one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve ever witnessed.

Update: Since posting this entry last night, the Selena Gomez instagram with a bindi has apparently been deleted. It’s clearly because Sel Sel reads this blog, duh. I’ve gone ahead and replaced it with a different instagram, let me know if you have any problems with this one too.