The new Restoration Hardware catalog, er, 'scuse me, SOURCEBOOK, is boring.

I know, I know, they thought they were going upper upscale accordin' to "conceptionalist" CEO Gary Friedman (any relation to Tom?) whose bright idea wuz to quote that perennially unsatisfied Jagger an' position his company as the "defiant troublemakers of our industry."

Gag. Wretch. Who're ya kiddin,' pal? Is there ANYthing more pitiful that an aging One Tune Baby Boomer who jes' cain't move on?

SO "defiant" that the goal is "tasteful design" an' no more funky nostalgia toys like the zaney kazoo, gyroscopes an' travel handbooks that were popular sellers at Christmastime. No more ocean scented linen wash or backyard hammocks.

The "collection" is contrived, lacking in mirth or whimsy, painfully "edgy" an' devoid of new (only recycled English and Italian high tech modern) ideas an' so monochromatic as to be sepulchral. The upped upscale, of course, comes at a new uppity price. Investors, start yore weeping now.

Question: Whas' wrong wif' solid, serviceable stuff that wuz costly enough? Do everthang have to be "pushing the boundary"? I'se weary of thangs so kool, so arty, so edgy that they be uncomfortable. An' ugly. An' screamin,' "Hey is I defiant or what?"


Midnight in Paris

Uncle an me went to the picture show last night an seen this Woody Allen spoof--an' I ain't goin' to over gripe on it. It an is unserious bon-bon of a summer movie, fun fer literary wannabes who'll enjoy a romp through the Paris of the Lost Generation. It's 90 minutes of fluff to take yore mind of the coming all out war wif' Libya --yeah, all ya' Hope an Change crowd--youse been duped fer shure.

Anyhoo...whar' wuz I? Oh...well, the movie is diversionary, eggsactly Uncle's purpose in goin' to a picture show--but folks, I is tired of Woody Allen writing hisself into every movie he does now. Owen Wilson is cast as the lead: He plays the Woody-- vague spoken, unsure, under-appreciated, absentminded boyfriend.

While Wilson has a height an' build Allen never had, their asymmetrical features, flyaway hair an' fair coloring make Owen a wishful-thinkin' version of himself. Woody Allen makes some good movies, but the gimmick of writin' hisself into them is growin' old fer me. Doan let this throw ya off though-Kathy Bates as Gertrude Stein is PERFECT, an the Salvador Dali, Zelda Fitzgerald an' Hemingway characters are fun. An'....Paris
is lovely in the rain.


Ok, now the new standard fer everthang is to figger out how/whar' youse bein' cheated. Pay the state to keep yore phone number OFF the solicitation list but ya git them teeth gnashin' calls at dinner time anyhoo. Why? Cause the solicitin' industry pays fancy lobbyistis to shove through laws that redefine "solicitation."

What the heck good is "good faith" any more? Absolutely ever'thang is "arm's length" but never in good faith.

But of particular aggravation is the redefinition ruse. When words doan mean what they say, then the ability to communicate clearly is corrupted. It makes it impossible to rationally determine yore own course of action. PG13 doan mean the movie is decent fare fer Aunty much less a young teen. "Comparable quality" is promised when some thangs is pre-paid an' the provider reserves "right" to substitute another element. It ain't ever comparable cause they already have yore money.

All these "little" shaving of the edges, these "minor" cheats is turnin' us into a nation of cheat and be cheated. Makes me wanna rip through barbed wire.

'Nuff rantin' from me--what gripe does y'all have on yore mind today.


Caroline said...

Restoration Hardware was originally started by a childhood friend of mine, who has since sold the business, he isn't the Friedman guy.
His family were well known and well respected antique dealers in northern NY. Restoration was an outgrowth of that business, and the need to find parts and pieces to do authentic restoration for clients. It has morphed in a whole other direction it seems.

Aunty Belle said...

Wow, Caroline, that is interesting! I bet yore friend ain't thrilled wif the new direction__ I hope he got a pretty penny fer it an' is not part of the "new direction."

darkfoam said...

I wasn't familiar with this catalog.
They sure don't believe in any color do they? I actually went to their site.

What's my gripe beyond phone solicitors? Not sure right now. But Mr Foam manages to have fun with phone solicitors at times. Not to long ago when somebody called to sell him a vacation package that involved viewing a timeshare he said he was not interested in taking his wife. would it be okay to bring his boyfriend instead? lol ...
i cracked up since i was sitting right there.

Sharon Rudd said...

Lol to Foamy’s tale about her husband’s response to the solicitor.

Aunty, for funky nostalgia toys, here’s a catalog for you (from BoxerBabe’s part of the world – I first found it in the days before websites, but you can still order a catalog –and if you ever make it to the PNW, their store is a hoot):



Anonymous said...

I didn't understand the first two gripes. On phone solicitors, all 253 of the Soros-Funded dot.orgs are exempt.

Pam said...

Hi Aunty, great post! We are Restoration Hardware exempt in this part of the country. We have to go to Wichita to shop there. But having been there, I have to say ... they are much like Pottery Barn to me in that I love the stuff, but none of it ever appeals to me so much that I want to spend money on it and take it home. But like others, I'd be very interested to know how the founders of R.H. feel about the store now. This reminds me of Fishy's post a few months ago about her trip to market and how void of color everything seemed to be ...

Buzz Kill said...

We have an actual Restoration Hardware Store a mere 3 miles from our house, but I only go there around Christmas time. And they seem to have the same stuff, year after year. I liked them at first, but they bore me now.

We're on those no call lists (I don't recall ever paying for it) and they work as far as salesmen go. But we still get a lot of charity calls. Especially police and fire related ones. It's hard to tell which will benefit our local people and which are these national 5 cent-on-the-dollar-actually-goes-to-people ones. Consequently, we don't contribute and we always ask to be taken off the list. Does it work? Who knows...

fishy said...

you are not happy with your SourceBook? I got one of them too and asked Blowfish if he wanted one of them Aviator chars with riveted exterior and bomber jacket interior.His response wasn't PG13 approved so I cannot share :-(

Going to a RH store is like visiting a movie set. Interesting to walk through, beautiful staging from an eye of the artist perspective. The main difficulty is this line is so tightly designed it is hard to buy anything bigger than a candle which will look good with your existing decor.

Colorless is everywhere, as is muted and safe {:-0

Not a fan of Allen's view of the world. I detest looking at Wilsons broken nose and his voice grates. Uncle is right! Movies should provide a respite from reality. A two hour dose of entertainment and escapism is fine therapy.

I think the do not call registry is for a year at a time and must be renewed. Do you have one of the newer phone systems? You can program those to not accept calls from irritants.

Iffen you really want to get riled up I can give you a list of programs on HGTV which make me scream out loud.

Jenny said...

Restoration Hardware closed several stores in the Seattle area and I'm not sure how this "restart" is going to work for them. Color me bored. Actually, is there any color in that catalog?

My sister saw Midnight in Paris and said if you love Paris than you'll love how it steals the movie. Annie Hall was the last movie Woody Allen should have starred in.

Have a great weekend Aunty.

Aunty Belle said...

The new widget--should I keep it or burn it? The one at the bottom that takes ya' to archived posts like this one on "The Writer's Life" from 2008.


Bird said...

Greetings AB!

Good to see you are still blogging!

Ah ... a language post! Words that don't really mean what they used to. Alas, language changes and is misused, ill-used, over-used and abused. And on rare occasions, is well-used.

But you ended your post with a question about gripes!

My gripe: Not having a gripe - giminey! That just really bugs me - no gripes from me this fine day.

Just swooping through the blogophere. Considering starting my blog up again.

Be well.


Aunty Belle said...


Bird Beauty???

Mah gracious, a flap from the past! Howdy do.

This is hilarious--I wuz jes' slummin' around in the blogs--following links in "interests" on folks' profile pages--almost every time I selected one to take a look-see, their blog was dormant or no longer in the blogoverse.

Then in flies Bird-Beauty--ole bloggers never die, they jes' ride a differnt current, huh?

Are you teaching still? Scribbling verse? Still loving the City by the Bay?

Delighted y'ain't got no gripe--as ya see, I doan have nuthin' of momentous substance to gripe about--unless ya go round to the Back Porch. Heh.

Good to see ya' Bird-Beauty!

moi said...

The best things about Paris:

1. Hermes
2. Chanel
3. Hermes
4. Brie, croissants and cafe au lait, truly the only civilized coffee "drink" in the universe

The worst things about Paris:

1. Everything else.

fishy said...

@ Moi,
Shut your mouth!!!!! I am traveling to Paris for the first time in October where I fully intend to fall in love with everything. Especially the flea markets, the antiques district, the architecture, the gardens, the food and the light I have heard about my entire life. I guess it's tragic I don't drink coffee.

moi said...

@Fishy: mmmphffffphfffpff. Well, the food is awfully good :o)

darkfoam said...

fishy ...
i've been to paris several times. i adore it.

Aunty Belle said...

yore S I L loved it? Well, it is a fun romp--it's jes' Owen as stand in Woody is grating. Ans the cardboard Republican inlaws to be are sill sterotypes--but the scenery is enchanting.

we doan give to the Police BEnevolent Society thang no more since a policperson tole us eggsactly waht ya say--about a nickel on the dollar, so now we give a local outfit thas' fer fallen police/ fireman's children's scholarship fund. Direct giving is always better.


Your Mr. Foam is a stitch. Reckon y'all is a decent pair-up.


Why thanky fer that fun link!! Ho!


I akshully like Pottery Barn pretty good. Thar's some decent level of design an price point--it ain't heirloom -to-be stuff, but serviceable.


yA'S goin' to PAIR-REEE? No WAY Icthy!! did'ja know I'se goin in September??? Send me yore flea market list-- I'se hopeless on that stuff. Iffin' I hang out til October ya' could invite me to meet ya at the Puces --hahaha!
( p.S. I'll teach ya to love cafe aul lait, an' show ya the dreamiest "flower" vegetable arragnements on the Rue de Buci)

Announcement: Blogger Summit in Paris Oct 1st!!! Ask the obamanation to send yore share of the stimulus $$.


NO kiddin'--Hermes, Hermes, Hermes. Vintage Chanel, I'se not all that taken wif' LAgerfield's hit an' miss collections--the current lemon sherbet suits is purty, but then he pairs them wif' open toed boots/ legging? whas' that about?? gick.


COME to Paris--let's git a blogger lady discount. Gracious that would be a riot! We can write a blogger's guide to Paris-hahahahaha!

fishy said...

youse a Paris officianado? Does you speak French? Stay and be my adviser, you can haggle for me at the markets.

chickory said...

hollywood movies suck a rusted root for the most part. they phone half of them in, formulaic schlock designed to yield tie-in toys that peddle chinese made melamine toys to enhance your GMO happy meal.

my gripe. Dear God Aunty blogger will cut off this com box if i start.

heres just one. crappy poorly made sprinklers. we have been through 3 this summer -all price ranges. they fail, eventually, to oscillate, the un-cooperative bastids, making it difficult to leave my garden even for a few days. and the time? it only works when I am out there. never when i am gone. not once. It makes me scream - literally - i scream but in the forest, nobody hears.

whatever. its hot and i hate everybody. except all yall in here.

darkfoam said...

chickory ...
take a lawn chair and go sit in your creek.... with a cold beverage of your choice.

Aunty Belle said...

Heh! FISHY??

Nope, doan speak no French--well, a weest tad--menu French, taxi French--but noooo, I cain't bargain in French. I woan be no sue a'tall at the Puces.


uh-huh....not only sprinklers but nearly ever'thang. Read weary of the one millionth of an inch thick bags they stock for putting produce in at the store--stuff woan open, then tears--cereal boxes have less cereal in them but higher prices, printer ink prints few letters, standard qiality of oil for the car is now relabeled "premium" while the upper grade is now "extreme" --really? It' all marketing.

We pay more and more for less and less. REVOLT SHEEPLE! IAMAHAIANGTTIAM!!!


ooooh, youse wise, wise.