Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
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Friday, May 04, 2021

Something I’ve lately gotten wind of:

Just as a ring on the left hand tells the world that one lady is married, displaying a ring on the right hand signals that another woman is single — and indeed, available.

While I’ve hinted before that I focus an inordinate amount of attention on women’s ring fingers, I can’t say I’ve noticed this subtle dating-scene hand-signing. I can’t find any recent online buzz about this, either; a jewelry industry initiative to push dedicated single-gal bands from three years ago seemed to fizzle without notable impact.

One more thing to mentally track. Can’t they make this easier on us guys? Maybe with color-coded body markings?

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 05/04/2021 08:23:12 AM
Category: Society, Women
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Wednesday, April 25, 2021

Who knew the late great Sassy Magazine was such a pacesetter for Girl Nation circa 1990?

Sassy was the antithesis of the homecoming queen, please-your-boyfriend culture. It published articles about suicide and STDs while Seventeen was still teaching girls how to get a boy to notice you.

Although Sassy folded in 1994, its readers remember it well. The generation of women that was influenced by the magazine went on to create a new batch of Sassy-inspired publications like Bitch, Bust, and Venus.

Actually, I think Jane Magazine is the most direct descendant. The edgy pubs cited above are for grown-up Sassystanis. Although even they would dig a look at the never-published “lost” last issue of the old mag.

Perhaps the final insult to Sassy: URLs for a modern incarnation currently point to an online babywares store and some lame school-approved Hawaiian teen journal. The Sass is out of gas…

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 04/25/2007 10:06:31 PM
Category: Pop Culture, Publishing, Women
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Wednesday, April 11, 2021

As compelling as the entire theatrical experience offered by Grindhouse is, I just can’t see blocking out three hours to sit through it.

But gawking at Rosario Dawson and (especially) Rose McGowan, wearing nothing but strategically-placed bullet-belts, on the cover of Rolling Stone? Yeah, I can take some time out to for that. (No, not three hours.)

I am, as always, a sucker for brunettes. Not that anyone’s looking at their hair…

One thing: That cover tagline about Grindhouse being “the most violent chick flick ever”? Um. I’m thinking that’s not a particularly high bar to reach. Although I admit, I fully expected Steel Magnolias to erupt into a vicious bloodbath.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 04/11/2021 11:23:08 PM
Category: Movies, Publishing, Women
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Friday, April 06, 2021

I’ve had an inkling of this for a long time, but full realization dawned upon me only recently:

At any given point in time, there are at least two women out there — within a rotating cast — who are totally frustrated with me. Usually for the same set of reasons, too.

Not sure it’s an enviable state of affairs. But that’s the place I’m in.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 04/06/2021 04:29:08 PM
Category: Women
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Saturday, February 24, 2021

The pole-dancing-as-exercise concept has been around for a couple of years now. Now that it’s finally hit the New York City suburbs, I’m sure many New Jersey hausfraus imagine this will keep them in shape — and their husbands out of Scores.

At least, that’s the easier-to-digest marketing message that’s selling this silliness:

Though [pole dance instructor Johnna] Cottam operates independently, more than 350 pole-dance instructors in 34 states and Canada have signed up since August 2006 with an international company, EPM EmpowerNet, to run their own businesses in the model of Tupperware or Avon sales. The company provides DVDs that teach the instructors dance moves, pole safety and party etiquette, and sells them the equipment; they keep the fees they charge each participant — $25 to $30 in this area — plus any margin on the poles.

At-home pole parties are also offered by gyms that teach exotic dance, and several local companies run similar operations.

In its mission statement, EPM, based in British Columbia, sets lofty goals like reducing the divorce rate and having “a dramatic effect on improving relationships.” Tami Huitema, the company’s office manager, said most of its instructors were stay-at-home mothers looking to earn a little extra at night after their children were in bed…

I guarantee you this will generate more arguments in the home, not fewer. “Why do you still go to those strip clubs when I bought that pole for our bedroom?” I got news for you, ladies: Guys don’t go to girlie clubs to look at the shiny metal pole — nor at women who look like what they’ve got at home…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 02/24/2007 03:35:28 PM
Category: Society, Women
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Tuesday, February 06, 2021

Another reason to be bothered by this damnably cold weather:

Because everyone’s wearing gloves, you can’t spot whether or not there’s a wedding band on that otherwise appealing woman standing next to you on the subway platform.

So winter is making me work even harder. It’s not a welcomed development.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 02/06/2021 11:30:58 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Weather, Women
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Monday, January 29, 2021

front and center
That’s right, I’m a sucker for a catchy t-shirt slogan.

But at least this one’s for a good cause, that being Susan G. Komen for the Cure. That’s the rebranded identity of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, which is adopting a more assertive approach in promoting its mission of funding breast cancer cure research.

Contrast that with an ad appearing in newspapers and magazines and on posters, which declares: “We only focus on one thing. Or, depending on how you look at it, two.”

Or take another print and poster ad, showing a woman wearing a tank-style undershirt on which these words appear: “When we get our hands on breast cancer, we’re going to punch it, strangle it, kick it, spit on it, choke it and pummel it until it’s good and dead. Not just horror movie dead but really, truly dead. And then we’re going to tie a pink ribbon on it.”

If that does not sufficiently convey the foundation’s new spirit, try the message that will appear on T-shirts to be sold to raise money for its work against breast cancer.

“If you’re going to stare at my breasts,” the T-shirts read, “you could at least donate a dollar to save them.”

The new campaign was cooked up by TracyLocke as a way to break out of the cluttered charity landscape:

The campaign is indicative of how nonprofit organizations are significantly revamping the methods they use to reach out to consumers, not to mention the tone of their messages. Just as marketers of consumer products have had to rethink the way they pitch a new breed of restless, cynical, hard-to-reach shoppers, so too have charities, foundations and other fund-raising organizations.

I don’t think this approach will have any trouble gaining visibility for Komen.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 01/29/2007 11:29:35 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Comedy, Women
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Thursday, January 18, 2021

fight like a girl
Straight outta Toronto, and now invading New York City via Brooklyn, the Pillow Fight League brings two thoughts to my mind:

1. The kitschy fighter names/personalities (my favorite is Betty Clock’er, with Ruth Lesley — say it realfast — a close second) makes it obvious that this is a postmodern version of the original bad-girl sporting spectacle, roller derby.

2. You can expect to see PFL matches on Spike TV any day now. That’s if ESPN doesn’t beat them to it (and I wish I were kidding about that second part).

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 01/18/2007 09:56:19 PM
Category: Comedy, Other Sports, Women
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Monday, December 04, 2021

For a couple of weeks now, the current issue of Marie Claire beckoned from each newsstand I passed.

It’s not like I’ve never seen a nekkid celebrity on a magazine cover before. But this time, it was Ashley Judd — who, as far as unattainable Hollywood women go, is the most drop-dead gorgeous ladies around. And for this particular cover shot, the amount of skin she’s showing is practically beside the point. Rather, the contour of her neck, and the sparkling of her eyes, and the sheen of her hair, do the job for me.

Oh yeah, there is the cover story about Judd’s efforts in raising awareness for YouthAIDS research, a pleasant enough read from features veteran Lucy Kaylin. And sure, I’d wanted to get a gander of the new Joanna Coles editorial regime at the magazine (pretty creative layout and flow, not as fashion-rag as I’d expected). Those serve as sufficient cover for picking up my copy of this December issue.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/04/2021 11:39:34 PM
Category: Celebrity, Publishing, Women
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Friday, November 17, 2021

artificial flavor
Hailed by the head of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons as “a triumph of science”, the FDA has lifted the 14-year ban on the use of silicone-gel breast implants in the United States.

No word on how this impacts the price of bikini tops or Life Savers.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 11/17/2006 10:14:17 PM
Category: Comedy, Science, Women
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Thursday, November 09, 2021

A snippet of collaborative conversation I had at the office today:

Her: …So we need to position ourselves as the center of the story, not just a silent partner.

Me: That’s just it, we’ve come across as a minor player so much in the past.

Her: And we need to not be anymore. We’ve played that role too many times now.

Me: Yeah — always a bridesmaid, never the bride, right?

Her: Well, we don’t need to be the bride, but we should be the matron of honor.

Me: (mockingly) Hey, hey — you’re getting way too technical for me. I’m not attuned to all this wedding jargon.

Her: Hey! With all the sports metaphors that men use in the office, I think the women should hit back with wedding-speak!

So, if you soon notice an uptick in wedding-planning terms during your conference calls, you’ll know why. It’s a business-speak conspiracy!

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 11/09/2021 09:38:44 PM
Category: Business, Women, Wordsmithing
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Tuesday, October 24, 2021

what a babeLet me tell you what I love about this cover of the October 2006 French Vogue:

The way the model, Natalia Vodianova, is so blatantly treating the baby she’s holding as a prop. She’s standing akimbo-ish, acting all come-hithery toward the camera, while baby’s presence in the photo is largely incidental. And it’s comically obvious how unlikely it is that Vodianova should be the kid’s real mother, despite (or because of?) how the scene is shot.

I’m sure photographer Mario Testino was going for this imagery. Somehow, the use of a miniature human being as fashion accessory neatly sums up everything you need to know about fashion.

And furthermore, if this shot doesn’t win something in next year’s Magazine Publishers of America cover competition, I’ll be, like, totally bummed out.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 10/24/2006 10:41:17 PM
Category: Fashion, Publishing, Women
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Sunday, October 08, 2021

star-spuddedPommes Frites is a hole-in-the-wall institution on 2nd Avenue. Get ready to stand in line for a while before you get your coneful of fried taters, with special sauce of your choice (of course).

The waiting was a bit of a bummer for me when I stopped by the joint yesterday afternoon, as I was going after the grease as a hangover cure. But that was mitigated by the petite Asian woman standing behind me, who got my attention by jumping up and down a couple of times (she was trying to see what was holding up the line, which turned out to be nothing). That led to an exchange of which sauce each of us was getting (me: blue cheese, her: garlic mayo), me buying her order for her, and her giving me her phone number.

So now I know where to go the next time I’m simultaneously craving steak fries and Asian girls. In that order.

Incidentally, I hadn’t realized how widespread Euro-style french fries were in the Big Apple. I think a citywide frites-faceoff is called for…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/08/2021 07:50:10 PM
Category: Food, New Yorkin', Women
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Wednesday, October 04, 2021

Jill Wagner fans will have to go back to an irregular television schedule to catch glimpses of their dreamgirl, because her regular Spike TV gig is no more. “Blade: The Series” will not return for a second season, low ratings being the culprit.

Personally, I blame Sticky.

Actually, I don’t blame anyone. I never watched the show myself, except for the pilot episode, and only because of the novelty of getting it as a freebie through iTunes. As appealing as this blog’s favorite starlet is, she wasn’t enough to get me to tune in to that mess every week.

Oh well. There’s still those signature Mercury commercials. I looked for an updated photo from the latest batch of those; I figured that black outfit she wears in one of them would be appropriately funereal for this post. Couldn’t find one, though, so had to go with the old blue-sweater look.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 10/04/2021 10:51:22 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., TV, Women
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Friday, September 29, 2021

A rare delving into some of my personal drama, such as it is, through the instant messenger filter.

I usually veer quite clear of this sort of thing when blogging, not so much for my own sense of privacy as for the other party’s. But since I’m still chuckling over it a day later, and it represents a closed chapter, why not:

She: hey, u there
Me: What’s up?
She: call me so I can find my phone
Me: What do you mean?
She: I lost my phone and I need u to call it so when it rings I’ll know where it is
Me: That’s a weird way to locate your phone
Me: How do you know it’s in your house
She: why are u being a jerk?
Me: I’m not
She: just call me why is that a big deal
Me: It’s not, I’m just saying
She: you’re just being a jerk!!!!!
Me: Fine, I’m a jerk
Me: I’m calling you now
She: i don’t hear it
Me: Well, it’s ringing
She: are you really calling
Me: Yes, really, and now it’s going into voicemail
Me: You don’t believe that I’m calling do you?
She: well why should i since you’re being a jerk right now
Me: I’m a jerk because you lost your phone?
She: whatever i can’t hear it
Me: You’ll see I called from the caller ID
She: no message tho right
Me: Why, you know who it is because we’re talking now
She: forget it
Me: You sure it’s turned on?
She: it’s on but maybe to vibrate
Me: Am I still a jerk?
She: [silence]

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 09/29/2006 05:24:14 PM
Category: Comedy, Tech, Women
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Wednesday, August 16, 2021

How painfully shy are you around women, anyway? Enough so that you’ll plunk down $1,600 for a bunch of personality coaches to escort you to bars where you can attempt to hit on girls?

The Charm School’s lesson plan stays away from canned lines and instructs men to think on their feet when talking to women, to put their insecurities aside and react naturally to a women’s subtle cues, said Johnny Saviour, 21, a Charisma Arts instructor.

The class starts on Friday afternoon with the instructors going over [Charisma Arts co-founder Wayne] Elise’s attraction theory. They then practice the theory by approaching each other as if they were women, and they do word association exercises to get their minds tuned into keeping a conversation with a woman rolling.

After a night approaching women at a bar or club, the instructors hold a debriefing the next morning and go over what the participants did right and wrong. Then they head out again to hit on more women.

Word association exercises? Debriefings? Yeah, these guys are so going to score, dude! Not to mention I’d be wary of some outfit that has an instructor named “Johnny Saviour” — I’d sooner expect a guy with that name to have a syndicated daytime talkshow…

Actually, I’m thinking Charisma Arts can definitely help me. No, I’m not going to pay them any money. But I figure I could just hit the spots where these losers congregate, like Soho hangout Hotel Gansevoort, wait for them to crash and burn, and then slide right in directly afterward. It’s all about opportune positioning: I’ll seem like Rico Suave to those women after they’ve sat through the previous dismal performances!

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/16/2006 11:18:58 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Society, Women
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Thursday, August 10, 2021

poker in the frontIn case anyone was wondering whatever happened to Cindy Margolis: She’s landed a sweet gig as official spokesperson for WagerWeb.com.

Apparently, her duties include setting odds for celebrity breakups, and rubbing her fake boobs all over some seersucker-suited suckah in Las Vegas.

I guess having the Guinness World Record for “Most Downloaded Woman (on a cost-free basis)” on your resume doesn’t impress the way it used to. The litany of dot-com bust victims marches on.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/10/2021 10:29:30 PM
Category: Celebrity, Internet, Women
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Monday, July 31, 2021

skin-deepMemo to Ashlee Simpson’s dad, or whoever handles her:

If your girl is going to declare, in a Marie Claire cover story for July, that “everyone is made differently, and that’s what makes us beautiful and unique”, then she probably shouldn’t follow that up with getting a nose job.

A peculiar case of cross spin-signals. But it has triggered a unique opportunity for editorial reorientation at Marie Claire:

Marie Claire readers erupted in fury at what they said was Ms. Simpson’s hypocrisy and the magazine’s “cluelessness.” They wrote 1,000 letters in protest to the magazine, according to Joanna Coles, the new editor of the magazine. And she agreed with them.

In the first issue (due Aug. 15) over which she exercises full editorial control, Ms. Coles gives expanded space in the letters column to readers to vent against Ms. Simpson. Ms. Coles adds in a note: “We’re dazed and confused — and disappointed — by her choice, too!”

Rare is the day when the editor of a women’s magazine will openly criticize a celebrity. But Ms. Coles is planting a flag: A new Marie Claire is in town and it is making a clean break with its past. No girly goo, no teeny-bopper covers, no blind obedience to the traditional rules of the road.

Of course, it’s easy to be brave in the face of the glitterati when your circulation is moribund, and any change is welcomed. But anything to shake things up in celebri-world.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 07/31/2006 10:57:06 PM
Category: Celebrity, Publishing, Women
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Today, I’m marveling at how many pretty women I’m encountering on the streets of New York.

I don’t know why this is hitting me today, as opposed to any other day. It’s not like there’s a convention of hot girls visiting town (that I know of); these are the same ones that usually walk up and down the sidewalks, stand around in Starbucks, ride the subways, etc.

Still, I’ve been extra-cognitive of the examples of female beauty all around me. From the demurely attractive thin girl with sandy-brown hair on the train this morning, to the exotic-looking model type with close-cropped black hair and long dangling earrings strutting down 7th Avenue this evening, I’ve seen one knockout after another. And don’t think I’m not appreciative.

Next step: Talking to a couple of them. At least the brunettes with the tans.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 07/31/2006 06:17:51 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Women
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Thursday, July 20, 2021

for the masses
for the chosen

At the risk of turning this blog into a complete Britney Spears obsess-a-thon, I present the limited-edition subscriber version of the aforementioned pregnant Harper’s Bazaar cover for August. Newsstand version is included here on top, for all us hoi-polloi who pick up their provocative women’s mags on the street.

Thanks go to Chaz at Dustbury.com, who not only provided the alternate cover image scan, but also bravely admitted to having a subscription to said mag. I rightly surmised that his high-class blog was no proper home for such smutty imagery; so I gladly volunteered to display it here. I couldn’t refuse — I’ve already set such the precedent bar so low, after all.

The alternate cover is actually in the mainstream issue, as the opening image in the issue’s photo spread. I can only guess that the subscriber edition has the “regular” cover picture as its intro to the photo spread.

I dunno about you, but I think I’m all Britneyed out. At least until the anticipated divorce announcement.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 07/20/2006 11:49:01 PM
Category: Celebrity, Publishing, Women
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Monday, July 17, 2021

I’ve never, in my life, bought a copy of Harper’s Bazaar. A 35-year-old hetero male not buying a women’s mag — go figure.

But this morning, when I saw the cover of the brand-new August issue, with that Britney Spears as latter-day nude-and-pregnant Demi Moore pose, I couldn’t resist. I just had to stop at the displaying newsstand — one I never stop at, as I opt to make most of my purchases at one closer to my office — and, in a near-hypnotic state, requested the copy of Harper’s. Three dollars and change later, I had the hard copy in my hot little hands.

Right now, the magazine is sitting on my desk. I’ve yet to crack it open. Sure, I’ve already seen the nearly-naked photospread, and read the gist of the interview. So the urgency certainly isn’t there.

But beyond that, the cover image itself is just so hard to get past. Like I said last time: The blend of absurdity and titillation leaves me unnerved.

Anyway, I’m sure the Hearst Corporation will be pleased to know that, Internet preview notwithstanding, they succeeded in getting me to open my wallet.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 07/17/2006 06:21:22 PM
Category: Celebrity, Publishing, Women
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