keeping up appearances

it’s always slightly startling to see one’s own breath, expelled in arctic gust, exhaled at sub-zero. it carries on longer than you’d first expect, like cartoon wind. a surprise, we suppose, the bigness of it. the simplest instinct, the essence, so rarely regarded. so rarely an intent.

when the words (you know the ones, the only ones that matter) catch one of those big-ass breaths (the ride of their life) they never sound as you dreamed them. never the narrative you’d played out, nor in. liberating, to forget what you meant and just say what you mean. let words tumble out stark and nude, off the script. they take on this weight like gravity (that night a dash of fury, brute force determined, raw from heady tokes). pulled down into destiny like a chip through the pegs of a plinko board. the only way the way it goes. those mere minutes leave mark forever. those dances make up the truth of time.

we’ve always preferred to roll that way, filter free, from the call of the gut. to us it seems life might go smoother if everyone just said it straight, less the complications that bullshit will bring. must be tiring, keeping all that fake straight. we’ve since learnt our lesson though, since come to see we are most certainly the minority. ignorance (while not bliss) is at least a moving target, a lure to chase. the truth usually just fucking hurts.

blogger blue balls

today the rest of us return to step with our realities, back to life with what we can only hope is rightly renewed chi, perspective, perhaps point. cliched as it may, the ringing in of a year anew can’t help but inspire recalibration toward (at least in the direction of) bigger desires, intention for a greater good, however much of it we can muster. inspired after weeks of (mostly) fond memories with family, family of friends, it’s almost impossible not to want more for the next, to lament at the last: the things we should have (ok shouldn’t have) said, the things we didn’t do, all those fucking emails we forgot to remember. the truths we ate, the ideas we abandoned. half-hearted. half-there.

it’s been hard for us to express our shit lately; get it out in any medium. by the end of the year we were tumbling in some sad creative shambles, the pace of work and its procrastination enough to leave us just fumes when time came to create for fun. we were completely blocked when we tried to write, scraps of sentence making their way across the wall of this sterile medium. they just lay there, square on a page, absent of thread theory theatrics. florid words forming nothing really, overdramatic leaves clinging to a spindly, silly vine. so we tried turning pen to paintbrush, keen to unleash in confident color, perhaps fearing this shy serif just no longer fit our fancy. but what didn’t come out of our unrestrained (even bc-enhanced) brush tips but motherfucking blocks. bright, square things, textured terrorized frustration. frantic expression of an intolerable inertia.

in many ways the year we just survived can be represented by this shape, burly blockades in the way of that ever-abstract -fleeting happiness. we spent the months resisting our deposit into such definitive, determined surroundings: the return to work (still a cubicle, if a cube of concrete) confines of domesticity (confusions with love), our own designed doubts (mind’s own self-mutilation). forces to resist (yet curiously fit) the mold, whether at work en blog or at play. a lot of time spent worrying, mostly about what we weren’t doing. inaction. stuck. rut. block. blocked. blah.

it was in a fit of the flu, fuzzy cone of a fever, messages in dreams maybe sent to process (a visitor’s pass to the realm of hungry ghosts) that we broke through, owned it, got on top and rode that bad boy. we realized: perspective. blocks or breadcrumbs. were they standing tall our way or were they stones to step on, just shit to do.

if you believe in resolutions, yours should probably be just this: do what you want. think of what you want, and get it done. while brasandranties has always been quite good at declaring what it is that we desire, we’ve only recently remembered that it’s all for naught unless we up and fucking do something about it. so here’s to 11. turn up the lights.

a few good men

we’ve been sitting with this one, hesitant to rantie, timid to accuse. truth be told, we wondered if we weren’t simply just a bit embittered, turned against a type as a result of our own tornado. so we sat on it, head down (a rarity), hoping for the best, expecting something else. lady in wishful wait.

the year seems to have been a strange one for love; manic months bringing about the break down of an awful lot of relationships (our own just the first of many, most more significant). and in the inevitable reveal of character and conduct that any great fall into (then out of) love but guarantees, how many of these men did indeed turn out to be boys. amateurs. house of cards, a house of cads.

truth is men have always been dogs, animals in their own right (aren’t we all). but something real and transformational seems to have come along with modernity, tectonic shifts in the way we regard relationships. blame media (any sort, social celebrity mass). blame a generation’s disenchantment with religion (what’s left a tundra of spirituality). blame hollywood, blame silicone boobies, bald spots, tiny pricks. blame drugs blame facebook blame porn blame our parents blame tiger, we don’t care. in spite of it let us declare: the decline of the gentleman. dead on arrival.

yes yes not all of them are shitheads. we know some great ones, and we admit one can never so-scientifically categorize. but we’ve also seen an inordinate number of lads behaving lousy of late, and frankly we’re fed up. get a grip, and get a fucking reality check. a woman will walk in the face of insufficiency, unfulfillment, flagrant disrespect. maybe time to man up, non?

while brasandranties was left wondering if perhaps the search for a few good men necessitated the forceful motivation of more than a few good women (just a shit-lot of us to whip these mofos into shape) the good men at the good men project had a better, admittedly less invasive idea. a cultured, content-oriented project // magazine, designed to challenge the cliched constraints of a typical men’s rag. for thoughtful men with a conscience. and if you aren’t into that, well, best of luck to you boy.

there are still a few men who love desperately (jd salinger)

the twists of fate

they say these are the best days, when the formative take their form. they say that something clicks in to place, feuding forces startled to discover they could (could have always) coexist at ease, and with pleasure. they say one’s place (her perch) is now its most sturdy, vantage point clear and wide. they say a lot of things, these pervasive time-worn colloquiums. but in their collective they weave a wisdom that remains (or so it seems, despite erratic escapades of change) somehow the truth. after all.

it was the morning of our birthday, through the foggy fury of our hangover, bleary cat-eyed puppy-loved awakening, our blindingly bright space blinking into place. as we looked around, took in the life we live through a new set of eyes (and yesterday’s contacts) we began to laugh. full-belly, full-body, all-encompassing, a furious force.

it lay sprawled on the ground before us, unearthed by the light, the twists of fate and time that had brought us to this morning. no other place we could be. the truth. if we’d known who we were, the life we would be living (how extraordinary a departure from expectation) once we were to come into our (quote) adulthood, we could sure as hell have enjoyed ourself some more. worried a bit less. taken life a lot less fucking seriously.

are there things we wish we’d known, letters to our younger self we wish we could purpose to pilot through the shitstorms? hells yes. we’d swear on sunscreen, start face oils five years ago. rap our knuckles at fast fashion. save our bartending fortune. we’d insist we considered our creative self long ago, explored new mediums, never quit the damn piano. we’d silence any sort of shyness, impart the point of speaking out and standing up and living different and out loud over any sort of assimilation. any kinda herd. we’d say to trust no one but your truth: inner voice the only dogma. we’d shut the door on dysnfunction, run from those who run from things, fuck the fools who’d fool us twice. you know, the usual. but most of all, we’d just say breathe. and come what may man. it’s just like a swing, a pendulum, ups an downs cradled within one’s own velocity. the harder you ride, the higher you rise.

frock you

there was the one that took us to the wedding on the beach: silky on our skin, a loose grip on the hip, creeping higher up our thigh as the evening unfurled. ooh, or how bout the one that spent the night with us underneath a blanket of midwinter sky: stars reflecting ethereal shimmer, hugging us close, rough bits brushing our ice-nipples and sending shivers down our middle. one of our favorites was tall, dark and strong: at once classically handsome and abstractly unexpected, standing out the sexiest from the crowd of the room, ours (all ours). we didn’t really want to give any of them up, that one especially, but we did. because dresses are like men: once you’re done, you pass them on. share that shit.

there’s just one more day until the frocktail, the annual fundraising fete for juvenile diabetes research, designed to bring new loves into your life in a chic and celebratory setting. with over 120 dresses donated from some of toronto’s best closets and clothiers (we have our eye on a calla number, and we’ll fight you for it) it’s safe to say this is the most fun you’ll have whilst shopping. last year’s event yielded brasandranties a brand new dress, an almost-girlfight and a six foot six giftbag. so we’ll see you there, then?

tickets and info here

a rantie on raunch

we received a recent reader request for a rantie on porn. men and porn, in the case you needed context. seems our reader was growing tired of dating boys that have redtube bookmarked, and she wanted to know brasandranties’ thoughts on the matter. well sit back, relax, and grab a tissue.

we were instantly (viscerally) transported to the plush leather office chair of one of our (ever)unnamed xes (ye not-so innocent subjects), hand on mouse, huffing at the blogette’s perpetual state of silence. before we knew it we’d back-paged a bit and, voila: our man’s most recent masturbatory material. we obviously pressed play.

there we were, found in (how you say) first-person view of a silconed blonde, pontificating to the masses with her very enthusiastic oral talents. while we were initially somewhat horrified at this up close state of virtual // reality, it was actually when we heard the guy speak that things got nasty. the moans, the groans, comments of encouragement. even the dirty talk: we’d heard it all before. quite literally. that morning. from the mouth of our momentary man, uncreative little thing.

most women have already come to accept that porn plays a role in the habits of her partner; dismiss it as just the mechanics of a man. biology of the visually stimulated. if it’s not affecting your own enjoyment, not bugging over it is one’s best bet. but what not enough men talk about is just how habitual a proclivity for porn can be. when watching the professionals bang it out is suddenly a prerequisite for playtime (even worse, the real thing) you’ve got a problem in your hands. and what women aren’t talking about is how man’s (men’s) pornographic tendencies affect us: in the bedroom and broader, perhaps even with regard to sexual identity (definition and demonstration). before you call bullshit, check your brazilian at the door. mmmhmmm. muff said (we just can’t stop).

so just how much of our horizontal selves is authentically our carnal animal, and what distant part of it rings familiar of some xes smutty predilections? how much of our own erotic habits reflect an industry of sex that (to be frank) doesn’t have much to do with us at all? worth a confabulation, non?

tis the time

and so marks the beginning of our birthmonth, the lead up to the day that is really truly our most favorite. narcissistic as it may, we just adore it: november (the sole appearance of woman’s letter, the symmetry of numbers). scorpio, through and through.

while we’ve yet to suffer (cum enjoy) the fate of dating a scorpioned sting, we find ourself attracted, pulled towards other scorps in the platonic sense. as if we tune into a fellow frequency amongst a crowd, sense their complication, need to feed the fire. there’s just something about them, always sending us into cravings of their company.

it was almost five years ago we stumbled into oft-extolled gee beauty, our inner gorgeous perhaps just as in need of rescue as indeed our eyebrows were. and it was within this little rosedale gem we found something extraspecial, to which we now return on the monthly: sweet wonderland of services treats and treatments, from some of the best in town. no one but natalie has touched our brows since 2006. mum slash beauty guru miriam mans the makeup brushes, and what she can do to your face in half an hour is as striking as it is transformative. a bevvy of beauty, all of it delivered consistently in gee’s chic and breezy style (and brought to life as one of the most visually stunning brands this strategist has yet seen). it’s basically impossible to leave gee beauty not feeling beautiful, and looking it too. brasandranties recommends.

this week, gee is turning five years old, and to celebrate they’re making you feel as gorgeous as you are. each day (starting, uh, yesterday) they’ll be offering one of their signature services, en gratis. as well, they’re capping off the celebration with (what we thinks is) the best news yet: the opening of 6, the big vision of an already-established eye for curation: a boutique right next door. see you there, gorgeous!

(tuesday is: flash manicure day. check the site to see details and book. we’re going wednesday for a cocoa tan)