The Week of April 1st - April 7th


Introductory words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative and Visual Director of Raven Vanguard


TRIGGER WARNING: Today’s Weekly Once-over Trigger Warning has nothing to do with the fact that it provides, courtesy of Mrs. Hungerford (yes, that one), wickedly titillating details of a Raven-approved (but, not sponsored) evening of lascivious intemperance and female-presenting nipples (take that Tumblr) in the hinterlands of suburbia (although it is just that). Rather, instead of getting straight to our contributing composer’s debauched musings, you are now forewarned of my mildly-profane diatribe, that follows, illustrating, once again, the illegitimacy and utter foolishness of embracing interior design trends or fads.

Trends are for copycats and those who have run out of original ideas, or for those who are simply too afraid to venture beyond the parameters and restrictions of the already known. Whereas, true artistry, in its very essence, is the ultimate act of creation; it's the visionary or interpretive achievement of making something out of nothing. So, there you have it, the debate distilled to its very core, the choice is yours to make – either the path of uncompromising artistry, or aimlessly mimicking and following the lead of another or others. For Raven Vanguard, the direction ahead has never once been in doubt; we’ll conceive, usher in, and lead, never follow. Being instinctively different, idealistic, and perpetually adventurous is our ordained destiny and calling card. Time to make up your mind. All aboard now because this train’s leaving the station on yet another kaleidoscopic trip through the looking glass. Join us, or don’t, you decide – seeing that no matter what, we’re moving forward and onward with or without you, and no looking back.

So, unless a client absolutely insists on incorporating some godforsaken or dimwitted design trend into one of our interiors projects, rest assured, you’ll never find one on our watch. To avoid this antagonistic possibility, this is precisely why Raven Vanguard insists on the unfettered contractual right to exercise final say-so over any issue of creative and artistic control in every single one of our projects, provided, of course, that we remain faithful to the project’s budget.

Last week, terra-cotta, and coral, the colors, needed to fuck-the-hell-off; this week, it’s the masturbational use of metals, like chrome, copper, and silver, or other shiny anodized, glittery, or glossy surfaces, as well as animal prints, muted colors and earth tones, imitation salvage, slim proportions, streamlined and straightforward geometric lines, and someone’s mass-produced vision of Art Deco that have really pissed me off entirely. And if you happen to be one of those many annoying design industry professionals or DIYers that blindly advocate for the implementation of trends as a matter of course, well then you can also fuck right off. Same goes for that bothersome company that continues to send me daily reminders to make “staying up to date with interior design trends a big priority in [my] life.” My response, let’s play the game of fuck off, and I’ll give you the first crack at it. In other words, stop littering my inbox with this crap.   

Design trends are both ideologically and aesthetically mind-numbing, and their actual use, dangerous. Dangerous to unrestrained ambition and creativity, that is. Based on the proliferation of magazine articles, emails, and newsletters dictatorially proclaiming the absolute importance of always being on trend, I am starting to think that no one other than Raven Vanguard gives a God-damn about uniqueness, or who considers trend-following to be unequivocally absurd.

So, here’s the thing, if you’d like your next design project to be perfectly on trend, please don’t bother contacting us; but, if you’d rather your next design project to be singularly uncommon, then by all means, please get in touch with us. And if this project of yours happens to creatively aspire to the heightened sensuality of an 18th Century Parisienne bordello combining with the exaggerated grandeur of a 17th Century holy place, then have I already conceived of the perfect space just for you. Perhaps, a bedchamber precisely like this one would be the ideal carnal retreat for Mrs. Hungerford and Hunk following the lustfulness of the Mother’s Night after party.


Leggings Pride Day

Yes, apparently Leggings Pride Day is actually a thing; March 26th, to be exact. Our world is such a mysterious place. Unlike female presenting nipples, leggings are not aesthetically threatening, or, for that matter, wicked or dangerous. Although someone recently attempted to make the argument that pictures of women wearing leggings should be considered NSFW.   


And in Other News

So, as expected, Theresa May asked the EU to consider extending the Brexit withdrawal date to June 30th; and, also as expected, the EU isn’t in favor of the requested delay because of the potential impact such a delay would have on the upcoming EU Parliamentary Elections on May 23rd. The word cluster comes immediately to mind.

Maybe it’s just me, but the idea of detonating explosives and blowing fucking holes into an asteroid that is only 195 million miles from Earth is a bad one, especially when said asteroid exists within a field of weakening gravitational forces. Thanks for nothing Hayabusa.


Back to Mrs. Hungerford

I wish that the original manuscript provided by Mrs. Hungerford had come with a trigger warning of its own. Fuck me, if my very first read through didn’t give me spontaneous night sweats and an overwhelming desire to spend some quality time alone.

Thankfully, I have regained my bearings just in time to properly introduce Mrs. Hungerford, our latest contributing Once-over author. Megan, who like her husband, Mr. Hungerford, is a good friend of ours. And, like Mike, Megan presents her thoughts without any censorship by us. However, I am willing to bet that Megan exercised quite a bit of self-editorial censorship of her own just to bring her Once-over content into the territory of NC-17. After all, I did hear backwoods whisperings of black magic rituals, and burlesque and drag performances.

However, I find myself unable to give Megan the encyclopedic introduction she truly deserves because I am now wholly preoccupied with more important things like trying to determine the specific location of the after party following the next Mother’s Night. As I am sure everyone is now already imagining, the Mother’s Night after party must be a veritable treasure trove of earthly and unearthly delights – an oasis of sin, naughtiness, and backcountry perversions run amok in the outskirts of Buffalo.

So, Megan, who is she? She is a Mother (her words, not mine). She is a MILF who is not yet middle-aged (her words, not mine, but who am I to argue?). She is also not an advocate for hobos or the homeless, and if you’re a vagabond, by all means, don’t approach her without first giving a significant advance warning because she will flat-out kick you straight in the balls without blinking an eye.      

Words according to Megan Hungerford, Caretaker, Child-Mover, All-around Woman on the go, hospitality professional (suddenly, this seems so dirty), and the iron-fisted custodian of Mr. Hungerford, and no connection whatsoever to Raven Vanguard


The Weekly Once-Over: A Mother’s Club

Suburbs, Thursday, 7:45 pm:  I’m putting the last kid to bed, tearing off my PB&J stained t-shirt, swapping it out for a crop top and some tight ass jeans.  As I run the brush through my hair, I think: Thank God, it’s time.  This is the scene happening all over Williamsville.

It’s a group of MILFs who are dying to let loose, after spending days on end wiping ass, wiping face, and cleaning up snacks.  Just when we forgot what it’s like to put makeup on, have one too many drinks and leave the house without a three-pound bag of Goldfish, the third Thursday of the month comes along.  That’s what has come to be known as Mother’s Club.  The night we leave our husbands to deal with the aftermath.  Sayonara bitches!

Mother’s Club isn’t just my friends.  It’s friends of friends.  Anyone is welcome, even though they might not know the rest of the group.  So it’s become a great way to meet new people.  Most of us wouldn’t be friends without Mother’s Club, even though the majority of us have had our kids run through the same preschool.  It’s kind of like dating for moms.

About four months into the start of Mother’s Club, we had a new attendee.  She came in with two bottles of Sauv Blanc shoved in her handbag.  Most people bring drinks, but usually, they share them with everyone else.  She probably intended to share too, but instead took both bottles to the head.

We’ve all been there, but damn she threw it down on the first night.  After the first three times she dropped her phone, no one thought anything of it.  Then she started hugging everyone and spilled an entire glass of Sauv all over my kitchen floor.  That’s when I knew she would be perfect for Mother’s Club.

Other times, Mother’s Club is about getting to know your good friends even better.  One summer, this became very literal.  I blame the humidity but fucking shit there’s nothing better than a margarita on a hot night, except for pitchers of margaritas on a hot night.

You know that Joe Nichols jam, “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off?”  Well, it actually did.  I think I saw a total of seven nipples that night.  Everyone was touching and feeling.  Not sexually but out of curiosity.  We need to know what others are working with.  The same night it was encouraged that those participating should try to go braless more often.  So the next time you’re at the Wegmans on Sheridan Drive, take a closer look, you may see some nips.  You’re welcome.

It’s more than just our tits that we get to know; it’s also our husband’s dicks too.  When you get these many women together, with some booze, you learn in depth about their sex life.  I don’t think the husbands have any idea.  We know every-thang.  Do you need a size?  I probably know it. Some share more than others (cough, cough) and some are quiet.  But whatever category you fall in, everyone’s listening closely.  It’s nature baby.  And needless to say, nature is on the side of mid-thirties women. Hello!! (cue, hair flip)

Not every Thursday is this exciting on the west side of Williamsville.  Sometimes it can be intense, even slightly depressing.  Women like to talk about everything including sickness, death, ticks, the side effects of the flu vaccine, basically any news story you see on the local news, the Today Show or your Facebook newsfeed.  Real fucking depressing shit.  It will turn into the SNL skit where Debbie Downer shows up real quick.  Don’t worry, it always turns itself around, but holy hell why do women do this?  I think that explanation is for another Weekly Once-Over.  And I am not saying I’m innocent in this; I do it too.  Sorry, Hunk!

Different people get different things from Mother’s Club, but for me, after being in a deep, month-long anxiety attack, it helped me feel normal again.  Birth, death, illness, endless winter, it all put me over the edge.  Being a stay at home mom of 3 little girls, not socializing, staying home for days on end and devoting myself entirely to my family, made me start to forget who I was as a person.

Around this time, my husband brought up an article that he had recently read about how middle-aged men are the loneliest socio-age group.  Now, I know I am not middle-aged (hello 34) or a man, but I could completely relate.  The article is titled “The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn't smoking or obesity.  It’s loneliness.” written by Billy Baker for The Boston Globe.

This is why I started the Mother’s Club.  I am so grateful for that conversation and the article that helped pull me out of my funk and motivate me to get socializing.  It’s through this get-together that I feel I get recharged every month.  I get to laugh, talk endlessly and commiserate with other women who are going through the same shit.  It’s what we all need.  It’s a time to be with your people.  Do something for you.  And let loose, yes even if that means drinking too many margaritas.

A big thank you to my Mother’s Club sisters; I love you.