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Anais Vionet Nov 2023
It’s Harvard VS Yale this weekend, the vibes are just starting now. Everyone - and I mean everyone - has been asking about my game tickets, because guest tickets are $25 a pop. I’m more interested in the parties than the game, so I donated mine (Students get 1 free ticket and they can buy 2 for $15 each) to Lisa (one of my suitemates) for her family.

Lisa, Leong, Anna and I are getting ready to go down to the dining hall. Lisa asks the room, “Harry Styles’ new buzzcut - Yes, or No?”
“No,” Leong said, not looking up from her teen fashion magazine.
“Oh, no - God no,” I answered, “The worst decision of 2023.”
Anna blows a raspberry, “I think he’s trying to ditch his ‘pretty boy’ image and go hard rock.”
Lisa followed up, “And?..” “And NO, disaster NO, jump the shark NO,” Anna answered.
“I’m a NO also” Lisa admitted, and she’s a h-core Styles fan.

Later, Lisa was reclining on my bed, using every pillow I own to turn it into a chaise lounge that wouldn’t wrinkle her outfit. Her heels were on the floor and her bare feet were dangling in the air. Her toenails were a French tipped twinkly-pink.

She was slurping on a Coke-Zero - again - for a much-needed kick of caffeine before the night's events - which made me feel guilty, because she picked that up when I took her to Paris last summer. I’ve told her (a million times) how bad it is for her metabolism and endocrine system.
“How could you do this to me?” I asked, as if exasperated - which is currently our in-joke for everything.
“Now-now-now now-now,” she says, in self-defense, “what SHOULD I be drinking then?”
“H2-oh,” I say. “H20, as in water,” she sort of inquired, she then asked, “What’s the ‘2’ stand for?”
“Twenty,” I think, snarking back.
“Oh, you fancy, huh?” she laughed.
“I’m in college.” I shruggingly bragged.

I was shuffling through my closet, trying to pick out an outfit that would, at least, look ‘ok’ next to Lisa’s ‘in your face’ fun mix of pinks and purples sprinkled with neon greens.
Barbie herself could never.
I doubted I could keep with the theme.

My secret to dressing for these endless ‘theme’ parties, is to just tune out the noise and focus on your feels. If you give too much weight to how others will judge you, it’ll ruin the moment. I ended up wearing a vintage, deep blue, Betsey Johnson dress with matching tights and black ballet flats. Glittery, smokey-eye makeup and messy curls completed the 'très bien ensemble'.

I looked in the mirror, hoping for glam, and shrugged, “the scene’s going to be moody-lit anyway,” I said, as an excuse to the universe.

“You’re going to ******-der-der,” Lisa pronounced, as we gathered our bags to leave. “******-der-der?” I chuckled.
“******-der-der,” she confirmed, as if it were obvious.

h-core = *******
Anais Vionet Nov 2023
My Astrologer, ‘*** and Love’ horoscope, for Halloween, is grim and on-trend for me.
(Libra) “Get ready to take some chill-time - give yourself the space to recover. People pleasing is out, boundaries are in!” Yeah, I’m like Texas, I have unsecure boundaries.

Sure, I KNOW horoscopes are horoscopes but while other signs get unicorns & puppies:
Aries: “Use your deepest desires to please yourself, step into your power.”
Gemini: “Your curious and bubbly nature shines, shoot your shot for that special someone!”
Cancer: “Be at home in your feels, your needs & emotional expressions are valued, go deeper.”

I’m getting “**** it up buttercup,” thanks universe - what did I ever do to you?

We’ve been scanning the teen magazine fall looks, “We’re living in a bold era, a time of expression!” They declare, which means dramatic-metallic eyeliners, goth grunge, bold reds and Beyoncé’s “Renaissance silvers.” Luckily, Yale’s pretty low fashion environment, because seasonal changes are a lot to keep up with.

I love Autumn, with its colorful leaves, pumpkin lattes and colder nights, but coming from the south (in ‘21), I had no idea how badly heated air could dry out my skin and hair (freshie year, my thumb literally started to crack, like a plastic Barbie). In the spirit of fall fashion and maintenance, my entire crew made an Ulta store run this morning for hair masks, detox tonics and skin moisturizers - we’re ready, bring on the cold.

The best smelling places on earth are Ulta and Yankee Candle stores. In my religion, heaven smells like Starbucks in the morning, Chick-fil-A around noon and Ulta stores as the sun goes down and things turn dreamy and romantic.
Anais Vionet Oct 2023
Hold the phone, hold the freakin’ phone. Lisa’s got a boyfriend!
I’ve never seen Lisa with a boyfriend. Lisa draws men like fireworks on a dark night but I’ve never seen her keep one. I mean, it’s not unbelievable but it’s on the edge.

Then, one Friday evening, he came to visit. His name’s David - “call me Dave,” he said, meeting eyes and offering micro-expression smiles as he nodded around the room. Knowing he was coming, our suite’s common room was full, as if everyone came to see Lisa do a dangerous magic trick.

Dave’s got a young, Michael Keaton vibe going (the original movie batman), with a cocky, easygoing confidence and comedic snark that suggests he has everything under control. He’s 26 years old, about 5’11’ (a little shorter than 5’9” Lisa in heels - but he doesn’t seem to notice or mind), with brown eyes and unruly brown hair.

With some cagy sleuthing (I asked) it turns out he met her at her father’s (company's) Christmas party last year! I was there - and they’ve been secretly communicating for ten months!! How did I miss that? My situational awareness is obviously porous, and unreliable - was the room spinning?

You know, I hadn’t really focused on it before, but one of Lisa’s flaws is that her feelings and opinions don’t always show up in her expressions - it’s very annoying.

I’ve always been interested - umm, obsessed - with fashion. If I weren’t going into medicine, I’d have majored in fashion (called ‘Interdisciplinary Studies’ at Yale). Anyway, Dave’s been “dropping in” for the last few weeks - every Friday afternoon - arriving from Manhattan in his (my guess ~$6,500) business attire. What does Dave’s fashion sense tell us?

His business suits (charcoal-gray or olive-green) are Brioni, his dress white shirts are Thomas Pink, his ties Hermès and his shoes are Santoni. He’s slim and well tailored. I give him 5 stars.

If his work attire is lux, his casual attire speaks volumes as well. His weekend wear is a white dress shirt, open at the collar and jeans - both crisp and starched to hell and back. The long, stiff, white shirt sleeves are never rolled up. The jeans - deep blue and new - have a razor sharp crease down the front and his shoes are burgundy, Timberline, boat shoes with no socks. That outfit screams (Texas) oil money.

“What is it you DO?” I asked him, that first night, as Lisa was off getting ready to go out.
“I’m a “M & A weasel,” he said, shrugging nonchalantly. (that’s Mergers and Acquisitions, if you don’t know - with one of the Morgans - JPMorgan or Morgan Stanley - I can’t remember which).
He’s one of those reviled, monied, ‘Wall Street’ guys. Yep, he‘s in control of everything.

“Tell me about you.” he said, giving me a serious, intense look that held immediate charm. He seemed relaxed, his suit coat off, his white dress shirt glowing in the suite’s soft lighting.
“I’ve got the highest GPA in Yale’s pre-med program,” I informed him, adding, “ my opinion.”
He chuckled (which, of course, made me like him more).

You know, life in an education bubble can get tedious. Sure, it fills our days from edge to edge and satisfies our basic needs but it can be stifling - a faraday cage filtering life into carefully measured doses. Come Friday nights, we’re ready to hit it.

One thing I like about Dave is that he wants to be one of us and he’s never tried to peel Lisa away for himself - I think that shows an ease and generosity of spirit. Did I mention that Dave’s a Yale alum? He KNOWS New Haven.

The first night we all went out, it was the whole clan - my roommates, the girls in our sister suite, Dave and Andy (a friend of Sunny). We went to an expensive harbor restaurant to get to know Dave and seafood-martini celebrate. We had an epic time. Dave fit in like family.

I’m kind of used to paying for off campus stuff because some of these girls are tight and I’ve got a bag, but when the waiter brought the check, Dave and I found ourselves both reaching for it.
“May I?” He asked, with his Keaton-like smirk. “This time,” I said, with my own shrugging smile.

Later, back at our suite, Dave’s heading back to his hotel (less than a mile away) and slowly, quietly, saying goodnight to Lisa by the front door. “You’ve got some awfully long legs,” he said, like a 1940s black & white movie gumshoe. Taking her gently by the back of the neck and waist and twisting her tall, thin frame in a dancer’s backbend dip where she hung, suspended in his arms.

“I’d like to shimmy up one of those legs like a native boy looking for coconuts.” She chuckled.
Leong and I, sitting on our red corduroy couch, exchanged eye-rolls and smiles - he’s a romantic goof, but somehow, he carries it all off - right down to the kiss.
Fashion 411 - the business attire - how did I know?...
Brioni suit (Italian) - the buttons, mother-of-pearl, are delicately engraved with the logo ($6000)
Thomas Pink shirts (British) - there’s a faint, near invisible fox's head logo on the cuffs ($200)
Hermès ties (French) - silk, equestrian motifs, hand-rolled edges, giving them a 3D look $250
Santoni shoes (Italian) - there are crown symbols on the soles $800
Savio Fonseca Oct 2023
I'm uploading My Dreams for Tonight.
When the Sun sets beyond the Sea.
Come forth, My Pretty Woman.
Wheresoever U may Be.
When I step into Light, next Morning.
I must feel your Warmth, on My Skin.
My Soul must brim with Happiness.
So there's a flutter in My Heart Within.
Life at times, can be a Monstrous Devil.
That may sail U on dying Streams.
Feelings are the Fabric to Our Souls,
I Fashion them out, with My Dreams.
Emotions are just like Wild Fires.
They have mystic powers to Destroy.
Sometimes they have the power to rebuild.
So U sleep, on a bed of Crimson Joy.
Anais Vionet Jun 2023
Get out your sponges, stippling brushes and pens,
It’s time for makeover-Monday-night to begin.
Think Winky Lux, L’Oréal, Urban Decay,
Maybelline, Armani and Fabergé

It’s a black magic realm where brushes are wands,
where a carnival of colors are carefully crayoned.
We have palettes aplenty, in kaleidoscope hues,
to create fashion looks, both bold and subdued.

In the realm of makeup fashion, where trends never end,
we remodel each other - for fun - when we can.
Tonight, our new friend Jammie has come to watch us play,
and he even brought two bottles of chardonnay.

Lisa has a ‘Miss Rose’ case, like she saw in Bernadette Peters’
dressing room, on a backstage tour of the Shubert Theatre.
Konjac, Kabuki, Doe foots, Spoolie, Lisa’s got legit tools to use.
“When it comes to makeup,” she says, “always avoid dupes.”

That night I was the chosen face, the excited living canvas.
Lisa’s a practiced artist, her process is brisk and never tedious.
She painted my lips a crimson cherry, alluring and brightly sensuous,
my brows were moonlit art, my cheeks a midnight adumbrated edifice.

Lisa created a special look, where rebellious edge met elegance.
We took some snaps, then I washed it off - but Jammie was impressed!
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Adumbrate: “to partially outline and obscure”

Slang: “dupes” are off-brand knock-offs of famous luxury brands
Anais Vionet Dec 2022
Gigi Hadid wore pearls, a t-shirt and jeans to Paris fashion week. So, our (Lisa, Leeza and my) theme for this New Year’s Eve is “Jeans and pearls.” To be accurate, Gigi’s distressed, slouchy bottom, boyfriend jeans were embroidered with pearls - the pearls weren’t worn as a necklace - but Lisa and I think anything involving embroidery is a trailer-park trend - so we’ll be wearing strings of pearls. If Karen (Lisa and Leeza’s mom) lets us, that is.

Karen has four strings of Tiffany pearls - called Essential, Ziegfeld, Akoya and South Sea Noble. They’re all 16-inch, single strand strings (which we all prefer) and they range in value from $600 (the Akoya) to the expensive (South Sea Noble) string - that she won’t lend anyone. The good news is, if anyone is thinking of buying me a string of pearls, I can’t tell the difference between the cheap string and the expensive string.

Leeza (Lisa’s 13-year-old sister) wants to be included in EVERYTHING this year, which is funny because last year she either attacked us or completely ignored us. This year, Leeza has a thirteen-year-old’s razor-sharp instincts and relentless curiosity.

As we’re Planning New Year’s Eve, Ethan Bortnick’s song, “Engraving” was playing. It’s a crazy song with middle-school, EMO, angsty vibes. One of the lines of the song is “strip for me”. As the song ends, Leeza suddenly asks us, “Have you two ever been to a *******?”
“No”, I answered.
Lisa said, “Once.”
“What?!” I asked.
“Really?” Leeza gasped, “Spill!” She demanded.
“This has random context,” Lisa begins, “I’ve been inside a ******* once in my life.”
Leeza and I tittered nervously. “I’m scared,” Leeza said, as an aside, grinning and rubbing her hands on her knees, clearly more delighted than scared.
“I was attending a middle school, Model UN conference, at Brown University,” Lisa continued, “and they took all the kids to a ******* for their model UN social.”
I gasped and blurted “There’s NO way this happened.”
“Yes,” Lisa insisted, “you can ask my mom.” she said, with a serious look, “And, and obviously, it was rented out for the night, but they didn’t, like, think to take away any of the normal features. There weren’t any strippers, but they didn’t take the poles down and they didn’t turn off the multiple TV screens on all the walls that were playing their normal rotating video content.”
“Wow,” I said, with my hand over my mouth. Meanwhile, Leeza was chortling like a mad woman and rocking back and forth.
“Everyone walked in,” Lisa went on, “and it was just middle schoolers, thirteen years old. There were pictures of the dancers on the poles, and our history teacher came in, and freaked OUT, saying, “Oh, no, No, NO!” Because it was a school event, we had taken school buses there, it was a boondoggle. They turned us all around and hustled us out of there.”
Leeza had stood up and was twirling with glee. Middle schoolers live for chaos.
“Taken out of context,” I said, “It was crazy you went to a ******* in middle school.”
“It was a jump scare, for sure,” Lisa confirmed, “we went from one vibe, a school field trip, to a *******.”

Anyway, for New Year’s, a lot is still up in the air - undecided - but we’re determined that we want to have a blast. We’re young and we want to support bad ***** energy (BBE).
“Oh, I have a BBE song!” Lisa squeals, “Mafiosa!” (by Nathy Peluso) She names it as it begins playing.

The songs in Spanish and when it ended, I’d looked up the lyrics because my 2 years of Spanish weren’t good enough. I tell Leeza the lyrics go: “Let the bad men fear me, when I arrive in my car - they speed off.”
“Yes!” Lisa Laughs, “We don’t drive - but, YES!”
“Emotionally,” I say, laughing too. “But verse two asks the great question, “What the frack is wrong with men when it comes to women?”
“It’s,” Lisa started, looking up and searching for words, “SUCH a timeless question.”
“Why’d you pick that song?” Leeza asked.
Lisa chuckled,” Because you don’t get more BBE than a female Mafiosa killer.”

Update: Karen agreed that as long as Charles is with us (and really, when isn’t he with us?), we can borrow the three inexpensive pearl strings (worth about 5k). So, I’ll be wearing the Akoya pearls, an Anna Molinari white, basic, cotton-shirt, washed denim cropped jeans with white bridal flats and Lisa and Leeza will wear their own, white tops, jeans, flats and pearls and we’ll be on-theme.

Happy New Year’s Everyone!
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Boondoggle: a wasteful activity involving public money or labor.
Anais Vionet Dec 2022
I’m sporting this new lipstick
it won’t fade, smudge or smear
I’ll be lucky if it wears off this year.

I’ve got this new eyeliner that’s like
a luxurious, glittering, penciled tattoo
Leong asked, “How do you get it off you?”

I unpacked these chemical wonders
to see if they’ve lost their luster
by being neglected since last summer.
When you study too much, you feel pent-up,
so my compadres and I chose to get dolled-up,
rolling-up to dinner, like beauty queens on parade,
and not just sophomore scrubs trying to make the grade.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: compadre: a close friend or buddy
Carlo C Gomez Dec 2021
Holding court at the Zanzibar,
they looked on good nights
like Egyptian Queens, like Ancient Babylonians.

On not so good nights,
they resembled Brassaï's Moma Bijou -
"fugitives from Baudelaire's bad dreams",
and even then they looked magnificent.

Identity wasn't something you nailed
yourself into in late adolescence.
It was a trick of the light,
and if you were to avoid
burning yourself out,
then you simply let the flames
lick over you
and turned the ashes into kohl.

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