Style Guide

Pink Lemonade’s Summer Style Guide, Part 1

When people learn I have a master’s degree in fashion, they often ask me for style advice. After I explain to them that that’s not really what I do, they usually seem confused and disappointed and ask for more style advice. (Note: My number one piece of style advice has always been and will always be, listen to your heart.) But recently, I’ve been thinking I should put together a style guide for all the fashionistas out there about how to tap into this summer’s most trendy yet also classic hot NYC summer looks. Being stylish is not only about the clothes but also the accompanying ‘tude, so this how-to guide breaks down how to go from drab to fab! Many thanks to my fabulous photographer/art director Tess for making this possible.

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The Seductive Fur-Clad Secretary

Step 1. Pair your lavender fur tuque with your most professional looking sleeveless fur fest, layered over a frilly secretarial blouse. I know fur on fur is a pretty unorthodox combination for the NYC summer heat, but I swear you’ll have heads turning all down the block. Plus it’s great for beating the chilly office AC!

Step 2. Wear with your most sumptuous and widest-legged palazzo pants to mix in some beachy summer fabulosity. Add a gold chain and bejeweled lavender mules for a fun and zesty look.

Step 3. Take to your desk chair and strike a seductive come-hither pose as you dictate a memo to any passerby who will listen. Your officemates will surely take notice of your fab new office ensemble!

IMG_1019The Tigerbutt B-Boy

Step 1. The most crucial component of this look is a pair of black dropcrotch pants with a giant tiger emblazoned on the butt. Hot tip: look for a reversible pair so you can go tigercrotch or tigerbutt, depending on whatever mood strikes you. I recommend Ebay’s wide selection of Korean fashion outfitters.

Step 2. Once you receive your tigerbutt pants via international post (this should take no longer than 6-8 weeks), pair them with your most fetching tiger sweatshirt. You may also substitute a tiger shirt, tiger tank, tiger blouse, etc. Complete the look with some Nike Dunks and a fitted cap repping your favorite sports team. You might also choose a cap with a goofy yet memorable saying, such as “LOL @ UR SWAG” or “YOLO.”

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Step 3. Take to the A train with a boombox and try out some of your best moves. Anything that involves lots of knee-waggling, hip-swaying, or rump-shaking will showcase your tigerbutt moves optimally. Take care not to hit any old ladies in the head when you test out your aerial moves.

 

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The Big Buck Huntress 

Step 1. Mixing and matching animal prints and textures is key to nailing this look. Start with your favorite pair of blue cheetah-print pants. In a pinch, you could substitute zebra print leggings or cheetah-print pants in some other color, but avoid giraffe print at all costs as this is a DEFINITE FASHION DON’T!

Step 2. Add your go-to furry vest to the mix and add some blue python print sleeves to vibe off of your blue cheetah-print pants. Obviously if you choose to don another color/animal print (not giraffe!!!!) then your sleeves should color-coordinate. Nothing looks sillier than blue python sleeves with purple zebra print leggings, so spare yourself the embarrassment and match those colors up right!

Step 3. Slip on some crazy dinosaur-inspired shoes and take to the streets with your poutiest duck-face. Watch as the big buck come flocking like moths to your big buck huntress flame.

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The “Svetlana Goes to Miami”

Step 1. Everyone knows that the days of summer are hot, but this outfit promises to make those sizzling summer nights even hotter! Start with your favorite polyester leggings (side zippers optional). Add sparkly gold sandals for some exotic pizzazz.

Step 2.  Top with your favorite silk caftan – make sure it has bell-sleeves, kimono-sleeves, or butterfly-sleeves for maximum caliente factor. Use a matching scarf as a headwrap to keep your summer ‘do protected at the beach.

Step 3. Hit the streets of Miami, or you can head to Brighton Beach in Brooklyn if you’re trying to stay local. This ensemble works best paired with a bowl of cold summer borscht and a giant sausage, preferably eaten on the boardwalk. Make sure to wait 30 minutes after eating if you’re planning on a swim!

 

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The Birthday Bettie

Step 1. This look works best during your birthday week. Get yourself in a festive mood by listening to some Scissor Sisters.

Step 2. Buy a pair of rhinestone and/or sequined shorts (mine have been blessed by the holy spirit of Beyonce for H&M). Add your most Jake Shears looking frilly top and complete the look with black go-go boots. Strike a pose with your hand on your hips for maximum fabulousness.

Step 3. Dance on every piece of furniture in your room/apartment/neighborhood until you embarrass all of your friends and family members.

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The Yeezus

Step 1. Wear a hallucination-inducing sweater with blue python sleeves and add a furry purple stole and your Brooklyn Nets fitted. Balance the look on top, which is quite active, with a simple pair of black pants and, if you wish, black Balenciaga sneakers.

Step 2.  Assume the posture of Christ during His Resurrection. You may wish to play Yeezus or something hymnal to get yourself in the mood.

Step 3. Anoint yourself with some cocoa butter or Jergens moisturizer and declare yourself a demi-god.

 

Stay tuned for more hot summer looks with Part 2 of Pink Lemonade’s Summer Style Guide, coming soon!

 

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Incredible Ideas

Incredible Ideas (a.k.a. Keep Anya Weird)

A few weeks ago I attended an incredible BBQ and then had some incredible ideas which needed to be documented and shared. Some will make sense and some will not, but this is okay – just follow your heart’s instinct. I suggest listening to Janis Joplin’s The Pearl Sessions while you read. So now, without further fanfare, I present them to you now in nearly unmodified form, with appended illustrations:

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I’ve been standing here at the Utica Ave stop waiting on the A train and mulling things over. I’ve had this brilliant idea that I maybe need to create a documentary or some sort of memoir chronicling my adventures, particularly recent, astrologically related ones. It would obviously be called Gemini Trouble. You know, after the obscure John Waters film of a similar name. Anyone?  Anyone?

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Ok, so its Female Trouble. Oh. Okay. I guess this will be on the test? Okay.

The only thing I’m hoping is that it wouldn’t be one of those cartoons resembling a Cathy comic.

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I realize the title kind of implies that this could be a possibility, but I’m really wanting to take it in a much different direction, one that evokes something of a meditation on kitsch. Not Taylor Kitsch. Although, Texas Forever.

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More like a very campy kitschy veil on my story, like if Janis Joplin came over, smoked a few doobs, and left her amber marbled scarf over one of your lampshades.

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The kind of perspective you’d get on the world then, seeing it through tortoise shell glasses. But also something you could totally talk about in the context of the lens of the grotesque. But I digress because I’m getting dangerously close to Slavoj Zizek territory. Not that my master Zizek impersonator friend Willie is on the train and ready to launch into some good old fashioned ideology joke but it feels like that sometimes.

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Anyway really that’s the idea. I haven’t even really considered it in terms of content, it’s really just the title thats been thought through and little else. So basically it all kind of boils down to an extended inside joke based on something one of our teachers said on the first day of a class. But I mean there’s a little bit of Janis Joplin earth mother thrown in there for good measure. Plus that’s just my censor talking so I refuse to acknowledge that hesitation as a conscious de-empowering of my work. With some kind of forced labor motive in Serbia or something, Zizek ideology style. Like Sisqo’s Year of the Dragon CD from 2000, only Year of the Zizek (Big Willie Style) (circa 1999).

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Would that statement seem dated now? Not in relation to our barbeque, obviously, but in relation to the time when knowing about Sisqo’s Year of the Dragon constituted relevant cultural currency. That might not be the case now. To note, it was also a time when multiple theater viewings of Spice World was not shameful.

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When people have those things set on their phones to flash and light up when they receive notifications, it kind of looks like they’ve got a buzzer at Olive Garden and their party’s table has just been called. Obligatory Mitch Hedberg homage in the form of a one sentence punchline joke, as is customary.

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I once stood outside a classroom and told a student I get “no respect,” Rodney Dangerfield style.

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If Elvis was around today and had a shoe sponsorship with any contemporary company, it would definitely be Vans.

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Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love (A Bad Name)” sounds musically laudatory, but lyrically it’s a condemnation of the woman who shot him through the heart, and is, furthermore, to blame for this action. I don’t know why I never considered its potential dual meaning, why I assumed that Bon Jovi should only speak in concrete,  explicit terms without resorting to vulgarities clothed in innuendo (Slippery When Wet, anyone?♧). And of course it makes sense that I would be stoned and talking about Bon Jovi.

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There was a dude standing in front of me on the train and he started buttoning his cardigan from the top down. I panicked for a while because I thought he hadn’t matched up the buttons correctly and I pondered the moral implications of being witness to this act but not mentioning it.

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[Author’s note: Sisqo’s 1999 debut album was actually titled Unleash The Dragon, with the sophomore effort Return of Dragon following in 2001. Ironically, neither of these two albums were released in the year 2000, which, according to the Chinese Zodiac, is the actual Year of the Dragon.]

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Bill Murray

My Favorite BMs

Everybody I know loves a good BM. Me, I am no exception. So, having recently returned from my sojourn in Nellyville, I now present, in ascending order of importance, the BMs that have most greatly shaped the course of my life.

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A good book about a great topic.

Bob Mackie

Bob Mackie, a lovable yahoo best known for his outrageous stage costume designs (think Liza Minelli and Mariah Carey go on a mod intergalactic voyage and then return to Earth for the mother of all variety shows), starts off my BM list simply because he entered it first. The smaller, younger version of myself (let’s call her Child Me) first encountered this particularly flamboyant BM in the unlikeliest of sources: a fully illustrated Barbie collector’s guidebook.

Child Me loved manuals and guidebooks of all sorts – the more obscure the better. Vying for prime importance in my life were the following compendiums: a Brady Bunch tell-all/episode guide penned by Greg Brady/Barry Willams himself, an historical survey of painting (I mostly looked at the butts), and the aforementioned encyclopedic collection of collectible Barbies. Odd interests for Child Me rather than, say, Future 80 Year Old Me, but such is life. Come to think of it, Current Me is not much different in her reading material proclivities – an illustrated history of skateboard footwear, an encyclopedic book of archetypal symbols, and a French visual dictionary constitute the most salient evidence of my current fetish for taxonomy in all guises.

ANYWAY, this particular Barbie encyclopedia happened to feature a series of Bob Mackie illustrations for Barbie-versions of his wyld dezigns, featured alongside the final Barbie products.

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Express yourself.

Neptune Fantasy Barbie looked radiant and slightly insane in a velvety blue-green concoction of bugle beads to die for; Starlight Splendor Barbie looked hot to trot in a shimmery melange of zebra stripes and sequin-y goodness, with gravity-defying hairdos and headpieces both. Gold Barbie looked like a glamourpuss straight out of a 1930s celluloid fantasy, decked out in over 5000 golden sequins, a white feather boa, and some serious Madonna Blonde Ambition Tour hair. Child Me relished in the fabulous quasi-insanity of this pint-sized glamour and wondered where I might ever don some of these whimsical outfits, which brings me to my next BM…

Bar Mitzvahs

Clearly there is no other ensemble more appropriate for a young Jewish boy’s transition into adulthood than a Bob Mackie Barbie creation. The occasion calls for the most festive frock one has access to. Personally, for the next Bar Mitzvah I attend, I plan to don one of Mr. Mackie’s latest creations, the Brazilian Banana Bonanza Barbie look. At only $119, plus making allowances for a few minor adjustments to fit my admittedly larger frame, this should go down as one of the greatest Bar Mitvah getups in recent memory.

ImageIs that a glitter-covered banana peeking out from your hemline or are you just happy to see me?

Baby Mama (Film)

This 2008 film costarring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler did not, admittedly, enter my life until 2014, until I began researching this post. It was pretty good but mostly it reminded me that I love Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, that I hate Dax Shepard, and that I could really go for some nutritious blended juice.

Baby Mama (Drama)

I should preface this by stating that I have never had any firsthand experience with baby mama drama. Nor have I really indulged in the voyeuristic surveillance of the drama of baby mamas vis-a-vis Maury, Judge Judy, or street-corner arguments. In fact, I know little to nothing about the day-to-day drama of a baby, or a mama, let alone a baby mama. But what I do know is that the trials and tribulations of BMs pervade even the most intimate concerns of baby mamas, namely, in publicly contemplating the initialisms of their soon-to-be offspring.

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Baby Mama (Three 6 Mafia song)

This cautionary tale of baby mama-ism, my favorite of the three Baby Mama permutations, is notable for its catchy hook (It’s my baby mama (yeanknow) / It’s my baby daddy (yeanknow)), heartfelt lyrics (Man this freak has got me stressin’ in the court I must confessin’ / Playas try to get that checkin’ hoopa hickeys on yo’ neckin’), and admirable objectivity in expounding on both sides of the baby mama/daddy conflict. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out and you’re squarely on Juicy J’s side (after all, she’s cakin’ his g’s and always lyin’), LaChat comes back and hits you with a dose of reality and your loyalties are once again swayed (after all, the cheese is missin’ and he habitually neglects arriving at any of his Juvenile Court appointments).

With each verse, the track becomes less a “he said, she said” retelling of petty gossip and more a meditation on the problematics of the court system, child support laws, and our tendency to misplace our anger with these institutions onto the individuals we love most. But what else would you expect from the Oscar-winning group who compellingly argued that we as a culture must acknowledge the difficulties a man (Terrence Howard) grapples with to keep his fledgling pimp empire / family structure afloat?

Sure, other artists have tackled the topic of baby mama-dom: Prince wants you to be his Future Baby Mama, Jermaine Dupri and N2U extol the virtues of Baby Mama Love, and Dave Hollister reassures you that your baby mama drama is alright and also okay. But Three 6 tackles the topic with a refreshing sense of honesty and a heady dose of realism, while also reflecting on the social structures that negatively affect our relationships.

If nothing else, this song has convinced me to avoid the perils of baby mamahood for at least another 7 to 25 years while I check in with myself and my ability to navigate the currently murky waters of the justice system. Thank you, Juicy J.

Bloody Marys

Ah, Bloody Marys, that wonderful concoction of vodka, tomato juice, and, if you like it dirty, at least 12 other vegetables, peppers, spices, and briny things. This is one of few drinks that qualifies as a liquid meal, by which I mean that there is literally so much stuffed into it that you’re essentially eating a meal in liquid form. Lemon, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, beef consommé, horseradish, celery, olives, pickles (pickles?! yes! pickles!), salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, MAYBE EVEN A CHEESEBURGER!?!

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Add to that a saltiness and a brininess that basically slaps you in the face with its, well, saltiness and brininess, and we’ve got ourselves a deal. They’re always telling athletes to replenish their electrolytes after a workout – well, here you go.

BEASTMODE

First of all, please note that I’m liable to go BEASTMODE after a couple of Bloody Marys.

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Gone BEASTMODE. Be back soon.

The term may have originated as a nickname for Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (who also famously debated the virtues of ambience vs. decor as they relate to famed casual dining chain Applebee’s), but I prefer to think of BEASTMODE as a way of being, a perpetual force that can be harnessed with intensity, focus, drive, and/or general nuts-magoo tomfoolery.

While in BEASTMODE, I am capable of most of the following: lifting a car above my head single-handedly, darting nimbly-bimbly across an elevated narrow pathway such as a plank or a fence, not letting myself get attached to anything that I am not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat (if I feel the heat around the corner), rockin’ out to a wide variety of tunes but mostly melodramatic ’70s arena rock classics, and folding laundry with alarming levels of vim and vigor.

Bubble Machines

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‘Nuff said.

(***Anya’s note: Please do not invest in this alluring piece of bubble making equipment. I came dangerously close to purchasing this item before I thought to read Amazon reviews proclaiming it a “horrible mess” whose bubbles just foam up around Tiki’s mouth “like it has rabies” (The opposite of BEASTMODE… or is it?). Consider yourself both warned and disappointed.***) 

Bob Marley

A perennial favorite, this BM clocks in close to the top of the Pink Lemonade BM Richter-scale (patent pending). It’s the combination of his righteous tunes, his political activism, his funky denim proletariat duds, and his love of weed. The hero of every teenage stoner from now until eternity, and the absolute best person to listen to when makin’ zines. I saw the Marley documentary that came out a few years ago and listened to nothing but the man for about a week. It was a pretty great week.Image

 

Totally BM-tastic.

And last but certainly not least (technically, the MOST)… Bill Murray

Ah, the greatest of all BMs, Murray is more than a man, he is an riddle wrapped in a mystery… inside an enigma.    ImageImage

The author and her friend stumble upon Bill Murray’s greatness.

From Meatballs to Caddyshack to GhostbustersMurray in his early films played the incorrigible and yet lovable antiestablishmentarian. Groundhog Day saw the actor on a grumpy Zen flow, and then he went full melancholy for his work with Sofia Coppola, Jim Jarmusch, and Wes Anderson. And lets not forget the fashion statements: nobody rocks an orange beanie like Zissou.

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You’ve been served — with sass.

Usually when actors take a backseat from acting, their usual bread and butter, they get themselves into all manner of nutty existential trouble (case in point: Shia Labeouf, Charlie Sheen, Tom Cruise, Lindsay Lohan, Joaquin Phoenix (although that one was for a documentary, to be fair)). Not so with the great BM: he’s actually gotten cooler in recent years just doing his Wild Thing (Tone Loc style). According to an object label at the American Cool exhibit, where my friend and I stumbled upon Bill Murray’s greatness, the actor has transformed into “a kind of perpetual wandering performance artist, popping up at birthday parties, kickball games, golf tournaments, and karaoke booths and in zombie films, wherever the wind and his fancy take him.”

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BM, wandering through Sweden like a wily man about town. Courtesy of my friend Tall.

A whimsical wanderer listening to his heart, making him truly a man after my own heart. A BM most worthy of the top honors in my book.

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Honorable Mentions: Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, the British Museum, and breast milk. All great BMs that unfortunately did not make it to my BM list.

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Nelly

It’s Getting Hot In Herre

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In the wake of what can only be deemed The Great Nellyssance of 2014, fueled by a Bay Area radio station’s recent decision to play the songster’s 2002 scorching hit single “Hot in Herre” on a continual loop, I have decided to conduct a similar experiment. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen: for the next hour, I plan to watch the music video and make culturally (ir)relevant observations. Let’s proceed!

Listen 1: I’ve been aware of this for quite some time, but Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” is perhaps the greatest dance song of our generation. I realize this means that Nelly theoretically trumps greats like Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Lil Jon (and his East Side Boyz), but it’s a claim I’m willing to make for the sake of hyperbolic, sensational journalism. But really it’s because the song captures, in no uncertain terms, the most common side effect of moving vigorously in a crowded room full of others doing the same: inevitably, it gets really hot (in herre), and you feel compelled, at least mentally, to remove some or all of your clothing. I do find it puzzling that although the lyrics advocate a full disrobing, not a single member of Nelly’s crew, male or female, follows through on that promise. Perhaps the logic of this will be revealed to me as this experiment continues.

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From the window, to the wall, there’ll be sweat drippin’ down your… well, everything.

Listen 4: I’m now fully immersed in the club Nelly and his fellow St. Lunatics are occupying. I should note, however, that I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life. Sure, I’ve been to clubs, and sure, I’ve danced myself into a sweaty frenzy on many occasions, but I’ve never had the distinct pleasure of witnessing an entire room full of men and women so deeply committed to bustin’ loose. Usually any evening of sweaty dancing is tempered by the buzzkill that is a bunch of dudes just standing around holding their beers and refusing to move any body part that isn’t implicated in the holding of said beer. Everyone here seems fully willing to surrender to dance, although it might just be the fact that Cedric The Entertainer is DJ for the night and, as previously mentioned, he’s spinning the greatest dance song of our generation.

Listen 7: Windows informs me that my computer’s graphics driver just temporarily stopped working and has now recovered from what I imagine might have been a serious digital catastrophe. My computer finds this song literally too hot to handle, but it can’t even take off any or all of its clothes. As I sit and listen to Nelly in horror while staring at a black screen for what seems like an eternity (probably 5 seconds), I think to myself that I will probably want to restart my computer after this experiment is over.

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Band-Aid? Nelly’s got it on lock.

Listen 10: I decide to track the positioning of Nelly’s infamous Band-Aid over the course of video to determine if there is any slippage that occurs when his facial oils combine with the room’s relative humidity to cause a significant loss of friction. So far, so good. This makes me wonder if he’s used some kind of epoxy to adhere the Band-Aid to his face, which makes me concerned for Nelly’s health.

Listen 12: Good gracious, that ass is really bodacious.

Listen 13:  At the 2:40 mark in the video, the club is literally set on fire, the result of a speaker’s faulty wiring and/or the fact that it is so hot in there. No one, save for Cedric The Entertainer, seems particularly concerned about this fiery calamity in the making. In fact, the clubgoers seem content to enthusiastically begin chanting the hook from Rock Master Scott & The Dynamic Three’s hit single, “The Roof is on Fire.” I, however, am terrified. I mentally remind myself that this video was released a year prior to the 2003 Station Nightclub fire, during which 100 people were burned alive when a fire broke out during a Great White concert. It’s chilling what such perspective retrospectively brings, and I am immensely relieved when the sprinklers come on, although this isn’t until the 3:35 minute mark that the sprinklers come on (almost a FULL MINUTE after Cedric The Entertainer announces the fire). The sprinklers lead to a fortuitous outcome as the women in the club start removing their shirts en masse to reveal sexy bikini tops underneath. Did the women know their collective hotness would lead to a fire, causing them to come prepared in their finest swimwear? Are they in Miami or something? No, they’re in St. Louis, where I don’t imagine people wear swimsuits as undergarments most of the time. The jury is still out on this one.

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Are you there Nelly? It’s me, Nelly.

Listen 14: YouTube is suggesting that I take a break from Nelly to watch more Nelly, such as the classic “Dilemma” featuring a foxy Kelly Rowland, or even that I switch over to his contemporaneous female name-sharing counterpart, Nelly Furtado. I can’t even begin to think about watching “Promiscuous,” since all I want to do is watch “Hot in Herre” forever and ever until one of two things happens: I die in a blaze of Nelly-fueled glory, or my computer overheats and I’m forced to let it cool down and go make some lunch.

Listen 17: I have a friend who wrote a fantastic academic paper about the use of the “-err” variable in St. Louis and in the rest of the country. Although I have a college degree in linguistics, this paper has always been beyond my theoretical grasp. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been watching these jiggling breasts and Nelly’s irresistible head wobble for the last hour.

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So ah – what’s the word I’m looking for – so hot in here/herre.

Listen 18: It also occurs to me that rather than saying “herre” (to sound like “her”), Nelly really just seems to be saying “here,” at least as far as the chorus is concerned. This seems problematic. I try to remain aware of the fact that it’s probably very hot where he is, and physical fatigue makes one more prone to speech errors.

Listen 18: Were there an unusually large number of belly-button piercings in 2002, or is this a Nelly thing? Or do people still have a ton of belly-button piercings (meaning there are many people each with one belly-button piercing, rather than a few people each having many belly button piercings)? What is the current fashionability status of belly-button piercings?

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Nellyville. Population: Nelly. And Anya.

Listen 20: Is Nellyville a place or a state of mind? Because I want to go to there.

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If you’re going to feed birds, there’s a more economical way to do it.

Listen 21: When Nelly talks about his penthouse room at the top of the Four Seasons, does he really plan on feeding birds on his private rooftop? Because it seems like he could feed birds just about anywhere, on a much more reasonable budget.

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You want me to do what? With a birdfeeder?

Listen 22: In the third verse, Nelly invites the girl of his dreams for the evening to come to his friend’s house where he has a pole in the basement, but, when faced with the girl’s incredulity (what?), he rescinds the offer, claiming that he’s just kidding like Jason (Kidd, of NBA fame)…. This is unless, however, she is actually “gon’ do it,” in which case Nelly would actually be quite pleased. An interesting way to cover your tracks, Nelly, although this seems like a more demure suggestion than what you’ve been touting in the hook – that is, imploring your dream lady to let it hang all out and/or let it just fall out.

Listen 24: After 24 viewings of the video, there is a large part of my soul that wants to continue doing this forever and ever (as mentioned in my 14th viewing of the video). But, there is a a larger part of me that wants lunch, with a little bit of ah, ah, and a sprinkle of that, ah, ah (the ah, ah in this case being mushroom and barley soup and the other ah, ah being a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of dill). However, there’s only so much Nelly one can view in a day (106 minutes of hotness to be exact) so I’m going to have to throw in the towel, and my outermost layer of clothes, on this one. See you in Nellyville!

ImageNelly out!

 

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