Nov 10, 2008

Joker's 20 on 20 -- Design Crush --

I sincerely think that most men have an inner gay guy just looking for an excuse to break out into the open. Some guys choose to admit they'd have hot and sweaty sex with Brad Pitt while playing the role of Tyler Durden, or Johnny Depp as a rum stinking swash buckler. Other guys love Streisand, Diana Ross or even Wham (any band that onomatopeically represents a possible SFX bubble in a bareback comic is DEFINITELY gay) and that's how we know they're gay. Other things like loving potpourri, filing their nails, waxing their crotch or owning the entire Ally McBeal series are definitely there for the taking if you are looking for empirical evidence.

In my case, there's a blog that really tunes into my feminine side via intuitive, smart, interesting and often delicious posts regarding drinks, food, design, photography and any type of artform, edible or not. This kind little blog would happen to be Design Crush, a mammoth library of recipes and rants from a writer who is as sweet as the delicatessen she tortures readers with. Like the other 20-20 blogs featured, it's definitely a great find for female readers or men ready to embrace their inner queer eye and honestly a blog you should check out at least once, though I severely suspect you'll be hungry for much more (I'm referring to posts not food... though that'd also be a natural reaction).

I wrote Design Crush. I asked twenty questions. She was lovely enough to answer them for your reading enjoyment.


1. If life needed practical instructions, what would the first 3 steps be?

1. Open eyes.
2. Scream bloody murder.
3. Go to the bathroom.

Not necessarily in that order. But they are tips that come in handy in many, many situations during the course of your life.

JOKER: Wonder just how many scenarios one could think of for each step... Here's one for each.

Open eyes: This one goes to guys when you wake up and have to do #1

Scream bloody murder: This one refers to life circumstances that merit raising your voice.

Go to the bathroom: When you wish to go beyond screaming bloody murder and just do it, it's best to take a stroll to the lavatories and flush away your woes.

2. If Design Crush was a trendy restaurant name 5 items on your menu and what would the house drink be?

My restaurant would have to be focused on desserts. And the menu would be switched up twice a month. There’s just too many good things out there!

Raspberry, Almond and Cream Layer Cake
Coconut Cake with Ginger-Lime Curd Filling and Cream Cheese Icing
Creamy Key Lime Pie
Spiced Sugar Paper with Cream + Strawberries
Famous Chocolate Wafer Icebox Cake

The house drink would be Baptist Punch. Not too serious, but gets the job done!

3. What are some of your comfort foods?

Beef Stroganoff, Haluski, Potato Salad and Pierogies – all made by my grandmother. Salisbury Steak and cheesecake – made by my mom.

JOKER: Mom food warms the soul...

4. You are most inspired when____

I least expect it.

JOKER: Isn't THAT the truth.

5. What are some of the remarkable people you've come in contact with in your life?

Each and every one of my close friends – which include a few family members – are extraordinary. They’re amazing to me because they each have at least one aspect of themselves that I’d give anything to have be a part of me. Maybe I keep them around in the hopes that things might rub off!

6. Someone is taking a vacation to the mountains and wants ten great books to read, what would you recommend and why?

I have five. Because it’s all about quality over quantity. These are all amazing books I’ve read over the course of my life that have stuck in my mind. And that has to say something.

The Time Travelers’ Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
The Blue Nosed Witch by Margaret Embry and Carl Rose

JOKER: For me, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Dune by Frank Herbert, A hundred years of Solitude GG Marquez, Niebla by Miguel de Unamuno, and the Sandman Series by Neil Gaiman. There, that makes 10 :D But will definitely look into the ones you suggested that I haven't read ;)

7. Best and worst recipes you've tried from what you've posted?

I wish I had the time/money/willpower to try them all. But I don’t, so I’m really choosy about which ones I cook up. What I don’t goes into a binder for future reference. The best would have to be Jamie’s Coconut Cake. I could eat a piece of that every day for the rest of my life and be one happy fat woman. So far there hasn’t really been a “worst,” but I’m sure the day isn’t too far away now that I’ve gone ahead and jinxed it…

JOKER: You could try and make a recipe club where a group meets up to try out the recipes you find. Someone makes the meal, another dessert, and lastly, the drinks. Once a month won't kill you and then you can make a movie about it.

8. What are some classic and modern artists that just blow you away?

As cliché as it sounds I’ve always been a big fan of Van Gogh. He’s actually responsible for getting me into painting. What initially drew me to him was his use of paint right out of the tube. He didn’t thin it out like most artists, just globbed it on. I love that. These days I’m a fan of Banksy, but I think with “him” it’s more the mystery factor and graffiti style that gets me.

JOKER: Cliché. Dear, try Dali on for size. But honestly, I think my favorite painter is Peter Paul Reubens and Zdzisław Beksiński.

9. What are you most proud of?

Once again cliché, but living my life on my own terms. Not playing by anyone else’s rules.

JOKER: what else can one strive for?

10. Just out of curiosity, how many times have you crushed one of your designs?

Many, many more times than I have not. But that’s probably a good thing, otherwise there’d be some really nasty design out there with my name on it.

JOKER: You should see the amount of copy I toss. But like you said, makes for better work. :D

11. A meal is always better with_________

good conversation.

JOKER: Which goes great with any wine.

12. What inspired your blog and how has your experience changed as a blogger from day one until now?

Design Crush (then Vintage Tarte) started after an experience at a make-up counter in Cleveland. All I wanted was some eyeliner and the woman behind the counter talked me into doing a makeover. Her heavy eastern European accent and the putty on her face should have clued me in. It didn’t. She made me look like a 5 ruble Russian prostitute. My shopping trip was cut short and when I got home I thought, wow, that’s a story I’d like to share. Vintage Tarte was born. I didn’t start out with a focu, just things that happened in my life and what I was drawn to, which nine times out of ten was some sort of design. After a year hiatus it morphed into Design Crush in May 07. Now I’m much more focused, although I still blog about things that appeal to me. And I never cease to be amazed when other people comment on my posts and like the same things I do!

JOKER: I love how the stories change from blogger to blogger but how often a blog is born out of the need of some type of venting and later evolve into something a great deal greater. I'm still waiting to grow out of that venting part. Wish me luck. PS.: should have taken a pic to document the 5 ruble delight... that one got a snort out of me.

13. Word association, I say a word, you say as much or as little as you want:

a. Chocolate - mmmm
b. Design – more happens outside of work than during it
c. Tea - evenings
d. Advertising – my former life
e. Balance - necessary
f. Future – why wonder
g. Band - Pixies
h. Album – Surfer Rosa
i. Photography – I own 5 cameras
j. Dreams – Mine have been really strange over the past week

14. It's October, wind is 4 miles an hour. It's a Saturday and there's some light cloud cover of cotton wisps tickling the highest reaches of the stratosphere. Temperature is just perfect to have a sweater with light socks on and it's about 2 hours until sunset: what would you be listening to, what tea would you be drinking and what snack would you like to have on hand?

I change music on a pretty regular basis, but most likely something mellow that fits the mood.

Definitely chai tea. It’s so perfect for fall with all of it’s spiciness.
I’d probably be craving something like this Shrimp and Bacon Carbonara. Filling and comfy and bad for you.

15. If you could visit any planet without the fear of facing monsters or any type of danger, which would you choose and why?

Jupiter, obviously. It’s had that huge storm raging for millions of years – I need to see that for myself – I’m a big fan of thunderstorms.

JOKER: Very cool planet though I'm partisan to Neptune because of its cloud formations which I'd love to be able to fly through. Call me a weirdo.

16. Apart from designing, what types of art do you do or you're interested in?

Anything and everything. But I dabble mainly in the veins of photography, collages and painting. But honestly? My one true love is design.

17. On bad work days you really feel better when_______

I get to go home, eat dinner that I didn’t have to cook, open a bottle of red and try to forget about things until tomorrow.

JOKER: Sometimes slightly chilled red wine, a cold beer or a Cherry Coke is all I ask for. Too bad I constantly and consistently mull over things that bother me nonstop.

18. What do you hope to accomplish in 5 years?

I try to live in the moment and not think about the future too much. Anything can happen in between. Eventually I would like to have a small design endeavor on the side, but beyond that I haven’t really decided anything too concrete. Life’s in the details.

JOKER: What I think is interesting of setting long term goals is how they change along the way until you arrive to a certain set of goals that are quite unlike what you were going for but that would have been impossible without that initial set path whose coordinates were edited along the way. Life is a work in progress and plans often serve to only get you to where you have to arrive, which isn't necessarily where you WANT to arrive at.

19. If you were a cake, what would you taste like and what would the experience be to have a Design Crush cake?

A Design Crush cake would be unforgettable. A cake that wasn’t the easiest to make and took a little practice and patience to make it just right. But once you did people would be talking about it forever.

JOKER: And I'm more than sure people would ask for seconds and thirds luv. ;)

20. If you designed a question for me, what would it say?

If Joker wrote a book, what would the title and plot be?

I'm actually writing a fiction book, up to chapter 36 of a projected 44. It's fiction has vampires painted in a very different light, werewolves, and various mystical beings in a random quest to save the world. I pretty much took your typical archetype of unwilling hero to save the world and gave it as many twists as I could come up with. The title for now is Only Human and lets see if I finish it by '09.

Now if I wrote under my pseudo blogger persona, here are some options of titles and plots:

Don't let the Joke be on you
A guide to not falling into the typical pitfalls of advertising

No need for fiction
The atrocious idiocy of everyday ad life

Don't say I didn't warn you
Comprehensive list of reasons for ad students to consider a career path change

I haven't seen everything but I got a pretty good list
Spoof autobiography

The little Copy that could

And of course, our WAS team work in progress...

Why Advertising Sucks... the book.

On a sidenote, I also have as a life goal to write in as many genres as possible including fantasy, science fiction, noir, suspense thriller, horror, comedy, detective, romance, erotic, children's, metaphysical, self help, western, kung-fu, etc. I have ideas etched for most of those genres and am working on finishing one though I hunger for the time to get everything done. We'll see how I progress.

Anywho, my thanks for the great answers and cheers luv.

PS: Please click on the links to see the delightfully delicious food.



Thinking In Vain said...

YAY! I love Design Crush - because of you, of course.

Loved reading the answers.

Joker said...

I remember when you first checked out her blog. Super glad you got to check it out since it's right up your alley content wise, and glad you enjoyed the answers. :D

Cheers luv, I have to catch up on your blog but still have some posts pending to further explain why I've been kind of lost. Much love though and keep on a finding random wonders of the world :D

Did you see the guy who got smacked by a whale in Australia? Google that one for sure.


Thinking In Vain said...

re: the whale - Holy crap! That is AWESOME!

Kelly said...

thanks for asking me to join in on the fun - nothing like a reason to be slightly narcissistic for a little while!


Joker said...

Thanks for having the wonderful blog luv and for the fun answers hun. Good to see that self love doesn't refer exclusively to .... well you know how I could finish this sentence so I'll leave it dangling like that and just say thanks again :)

Cheers and happy weekend

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