Monday, November 1, 2010

New Chapter....

Dear Blog-Perusing Family and Friends,

You can find me at an all-new address!  Better Living Through Squidulism is my new internet home.  Thank you all for your readership and support!



Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dear Diary.

I remember my very first diary.  Every Christmas, my elementary school would have a gift sale set up in the gym, so students could buy their family inexpensive presents.  Jewelry, wind-up toys and money clips were the usual suspects.  This particular first-grade year, I spied a single pink diary sitting atop a bunch of (snore) other children's books.  It bore that hallmark that all diaries deemed desirous to young girls must have-- a lock and key.  The sweaty, crumpled bills I'd earned by dutifully practicing violin couldn't leave my coat pocket fast enough.

I remember that the diary smelled sweet, like new toys from Japan do; and I wrote in it feverishly with a pen that had a snowman on a spring bobbling from the top.  Sometimes it was about my crush, a swarthy classmate named Evan, other times I just made up stories about dogs.  Because I shared a room with my little brother, who in my mind was merely sent to destroy, it was not enough that there was a lock on my diary-- I invented a code with which to confide.  Any thought of anyone reading my diary struck abject fear in my 6-year-old heart.  No, my coded ruminations on swing-set glances and heroic, sea-faring German Shepherds would stay safe from prying eyes, under lock and key, inside of my pillow case.

When I was 14, I was still writing in diaries; but I had decided that the best way to go about it was without suffering the indignity of having every day's dramas and epiphanies go showboating around in Lisa Frank.  I started writing on loose-leaf kept simply, bound in a blue binder, hiding in plain sight.  Who cares to look through a high-schooler's binders?  I cheekily Sharpied "History" on its cover.  This new method also jibed with my interest in conservation; with a 2" binder, I'd never have to buy a new diary again.  I could just keep filling it with more of that recycled loose-leaf that --at the time-- looked kind of dirty in keeping with its post-consumer waste origins.

I spent a couple of years with this blue binder, until I became alarmed that, all the time I was becoming a different person, and yet these markers and milestones were just buried one under the other looking crappy and unimportant.  I needed a new diary.  Something for this year.  Something that would be big enough to write florid narratives about how Jack Kerouac was inspiring me to boddhisatva-ism and that I needed a trench coat, a cool knife and an opium-laden thinker's existence in Morocco.  However, this new volume also had to have a limited number of pages, for when I decided that being a junkie was for boys and that I had re-evaluated and was now going to commit my life to following Billy Corgan around and spiritually healing the elderly through Ecstasy. 

Fast forward to the present in which I understand that Billy Corgan is a douchebag and that most of my interactions with the elderly revolve around watching crime shows.  In my possession, I have about ten diaries, and those are the ones that I haven't (horrors!!) lost.  They go up to 2007, at which point I ditched the pen and paper and started a blog about fashion, because fashion has always been kind of a pervy little secret between me and my magazines.  I could exorcise it with pictures and prose, and not only that, get feedback and be part of a community of shoe-slobbering, thrift-store trooping, obscurity-relishing, proportion-pondering, wielders of artful clash.  And, I managed to-- with as little shame possible considering my religious background-- take some rather smashing photos of myself as well.  Never under-estimate the power of good posture and lighting.

But, lately, things are starting to smack of my blue binder.  New things are happening, and they deserve a place of their own.  I feel at odds piling them one on top of each other, lost in the greater whole.  But this time, it's not just a personal diary I write the last page of, and close the book.  There is no lock and key, and people read.  And, gauging by how I feel when I visit others' blogs, they come because they're interested, they want to know what's going on; they come to be entertained.  This blog has not only served as one of the most self-relevatory and gratifying journal experiences, but, judging by Google Analytics and your comments, it has also been a source of entertainment for kind-hearted, creative and curious you.  It's a wonder.  

An old diary is satisfying to say good-bye to; my custom is to flip back to the first page and write the first and last dates of my entries with a flouish, and the word "to" in between.  Then I put it in a drawer and cheerfully crack open the next blank notebook, smelling the newness before committing my pen to this volume's first date.  But here, it's as if there are people living inside my diary, that, if I shut the book I shut it on them.  Anyone starting to read this post now is convinced I spent too much time in my trench coat in Morocco.  But if you've been following all along, thank you for enjoying my blog with me for the past 2.5 years.  It's insane how attached I feel to it, and readers are a great, big part of that. 

But for now, it's on to the next chapter.  On to the new.  I'm closing the binder now.



Saturday, July 3, 2010

Fireworks and Choppers.

Jacket:  thrifted.  Eyelet Dress:  Forever 21.  Leggings:  Macy's.  Shoes:  Nine West.

Here in my burg, the fireworks were put on tonight.  My Sweetness dusted off the motorcycle, and we rode down to the river to watch, but not without some minor hemming and hawing from yours truly.  You see, my dear dad has instilled in me a deep and abiding fear of these machines.  He seems to know a lot of people that have died on them, and the one who didn't had facial reconstructive surgery so intense that she doesn't even look like the same person anymore. 

So, I spent the first ten minutes of this ride to the fireworks silently saying good-bye to my limbs and trying to figure out if, in a collision, if I should try to land head-first since that was the only thing that was protected.  Clearly, I've survived, and in fact have deemed riding a motorcycle to see some fireworks to be the very best way to see them.  In fact, I'm going to get to do it this way twice--

Today, we're taking a week's vacation to the beaches of North Carolina, staying in a rented beach house with some friends.  We're taking the motorcycle with us, for beach-side riding adventures (I figure the sand will make for a soft landing)... we're having a luau, getting to see fireworks again on the 4th, and I have packed only red, white and blue articles of clothing... including one tiny red polka-dot skirt that I recently created from a giant, matronly one.

Happy 4th of July to all!  Eat lots of fried chicken, listen to ZZ Top and ride yer hogs!!  Huzzah!

Independently Yours,


Friday, July 2, 2010

Lead balloons.

Jacket: thrifted.  Necklace:  gifted.  Shoes:  Nine West.  Dress:  Grandview Weekend Outlet, purveyors of years-old Target merchandise with tags still on, altered by yours truly and a pair of Fiskars.

Thanks all for your comments on my last post, whether on the post, emailed, or in person... keep 'em coming.  I'm feeling especially primed to hear others' opinions lately.

Last night was another stand-up night, and my first that didn't really go very well.  It was a tough crowd, and even the most experienced comedians were having a rough go of it... that, and I was trying out all new material.. but who WOULDN'T laugh about inter-species relations, NAMBLA and one hell of a number two?  Jerks, that's who.

But really, you can never blame the audience.  Sure, a late-night drinking audience full of intelligent people with a depth of pop-culture knowledge is the ideal, but that's not always what you get... the hope is that you can be funny to all, or just shitty with grace.  Me thinks grace is easier to cultivate than universal hilarity.

I am actually glad to have had a relatively bad night... just to prove to myself that my ability to go to my safe place is unshakeable.  "I am sitting with a fawn in a sun-dappled glen.... I am sitting with a fawn in a sun-dappled glen...."

Above, the ensemble I wore to the whole affair... the dress used to be a maxi dress, but upon bringing it home, I discovered its horrific A-Line shape that made me look like any chess piece other than the knight.  So, I cut it off into this asymmetrical flamenco-y hem.  I wore this to work, and like a lot of things I wear to work, I only realize their indecency once I get there.  One of my bosses did compliment me on it, but it was also her last day and she was drunk and full of cake and meatballs.  Therefore.... this is a dress better suited to a barbecue...

Til later,


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bowie, Can you Rreeaaad Me?

I seem to be having a bit of an image-posting problem at the moment!  I tend to not want to post if I don't have pictures, but pictures be damned!  Here we go.

I recently received a very nice comment from reader Alya, who suggested I write more posts like this one.  I have to admit that it may be the first time any one has directly told me, "I like this, do more of it."

So I'd like to pose the question to all of you, and I would love, love, love to hear from each and every one of you so I can understand exactly why you come and read!  If you've been reading a while, you'll know there are some types of posts that I've drifted away from, such as the "here is a theoretically cool outfit" post and "here are 5 dresses I like that adhere to a price-point/theme" and also "listen to this/watch this video", mostly because they didn't generate as many comments as straight outfit posts, but I'd like to know exactly what you guys come here for so that I can use your thoughts as my blogging compass.

Thank you in advance,


Thursday, June 24, 2010

UGH! Or, the story of why I never buy anything online.

Why should it be that one of my all-time favorite brands is one which I rarely ever buy anything from?  Oh yes-- that's it-- because it's J.Crew and I'm a chickadee of simple means.  But, I got in my email box today a notice that all sale items were an additional 30% off until midnight, so I gamely picked out a few things, then deleted almost all of them from my cart except for these lovely Tretorns...

The white rubber and gold-inflected canvas are perfect for summer anything, and at the "sale on sale" price, only $38.  OK.  Then, my interfering mind chimed in.  It said, "Do you really need more shoes?"  "Can you find something more practical to spend $38 on?"  "You've never even seen these shoes before, and there are some that you have been wanting for longer.  As long as you're venturing to spend $38, why not put it towards something you've actually been wanting?"

The shoes I've been wanting are another pair of Toms... During the 2008 election, I did a lot of work for the Campaign for Change, and found it meet to show my political proclivities with a pair of natural canvas Toms that said "Vote" on one shoe, and had a graphic of a donkey on the other.  Now that the election is over (I think it was my shoes that swung the vote), it seems silly to wear them around now.  I haven't until recently, when I found them under the couch and decided to try them on again.  I took them on a walk around the neighborhood.  These are damn comfortable shoes, readers, better than flip-flops.  Having examined it from every angle, there really is no way to resurrect this dated style, and so a new pair of Toms is in order.

Behold, the burlap pair.  I love solid colors that are highly textured, and this definitely fits the bill.  But, I did read some bad reviews about the burlap coming apart, and then I decided to look into getting the natural canvas pair (none in my size) or the gray pair (is gray a falling star in the color-trends world yet?) or the blue pair (too mannish) or the red pair (not versatile enough).  I returned to the Tretorns.

But wait!  I thought-- I have a gift card to Urban Outfitters.  Maybe they carry Toms?  Or maybe they have some slip-ons that would be just as cute as the ones my friend has with whales all over them?  Yes, Virginia, they do!

They're the right color, and they have this amazing deer print on them.  God knows I'm a sucker for deer.  Plus, I'm going on vacation soon with a few friends, one of them has a pathological fear of deer.  I could wear the shoes and it would be a hilarious joke for us all to enjoy, and I could terrorize her with them all week long.  And then again, my annoying inner voice said, "But aren't deer more like a Christmas thing?"  "Is this too tongue-in-cheek?"  "Tretorns are so classy.  These.... aren't." 

So I returned to the Tretorns.  But they have laces, I thought... I love the appeal of just throwing ones shoes on as you skip out of your bungalow down the pier.  But Tretorns are sexy.  I returned to the Tretorns.  I pried my credit card out of my wallet, all the time saying, "Hm... this is a week's worth of parking and two really good lunches worth of shoes."  I entered my information.  I entered the coupon code.  And then--- what the what??? I was timed out of my session!  I frantically re-did the whole process, only to find that by the time I got to the checkout, the coupon code had expired, and the shoes were no longer $38 with free shipping, but now $55.  And as long as they're $55, I may as well buy a pair of Toms and use a $5 off coupon code from RetailMeNot.  Or maybe I'll just use my gift card to Urban Outfitters.  Or maybe I'll just see if I can be happy with what I already have....


Anyone else have these problems???