Happy Blogiversary To Us!

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I thought I would drop in and post a little picture for the second blogiversary. I’ve been swamped lately (earlier this year I was working on two major development projects, and then I got an internship for the summer, and I’m mentoring not one but two undergrads right now) and dealing with some body issues that are harder to work out in public than in private, so it’s made sense for me to refrain from blogging for a while. Still, it’s important to me to acknowledge this, the day that two years ago, Mia said “I want to do a personal style blog” and I said “OOOH ME TOO ME TOO.” No better way than to drop in while wearing something Mia sent me (this bad ass ombre shirt), I figure.

Remembering

Juuust so you know, it’s that day again where I talk about Jessica and about how I’m coping with her being missing, and where I wonder what the fuck made me think I could get through a day at work like today was just some normal, ordinary day. So if friend-death is a thing you can’t cope with, leave this post, and go check out some kittens.

When I first heard this song when the album dropped last year, I was sitting next to Braden on the couch in my parent’s living room, and we each had one earbud in, and I leaned in to him, and he looked up at me at the end of the song and said “Well, that was a little close to home.” It had been a little less than a year then and I was still crying pretty randomly and not always sure what I was supposed to do about it. There were a couple times that I thought hard about doing greif counseling because Braden suggested that it had been too long for me to still be feeling the lack of her as intensely or unpredictably as I was. I never did go though, and that maybe was a silly choice, but it always seemed so damn strange to me that there would come a time that the feeling was supposed to be less intense and I didn’t really want to hurry it off.

The lack is less painful now, because it’s so normal. I don’t ever forget that nearly half of my shoes were her shoes first, and I think you all know better than anyone how often I wear her chucks (though, admittedly, you don’t know about my new found love of chucks + skinny jeans because I have sucked at outfit pictures for pretty much the entirety of that particular fascination). I’m wearing the Roy Liechtenstein themed ones today, because, well, they are awesome and perfect for this outfit. But I don’t forget that they were hers first, and that I only have them because she isn’t around to wear them. But the knowing isn’t as poignant or painful.

At the end of the wedding, I realized I had never cried. I had been so convinced that at some point, I would just realize she wasn’t there and fall apart. But that is not what happened. I was prepared for her lack, and while I felt it all day, I had been used to feeling it. It wasn’t a new feeling. So I didn’t cry. And it was ok. It wasn’t a bad thing that I didn’t cry, I didn’t even feel guilty. I had felt so much happiness that it was ok. It still is, every day, ok. Whether I do or don’t think about her, it’s ok.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll hook up a flash on my camera again soon and be taking outfit pictures? Instead of just posting stuff that other people have taken of me at dances? Thanks for your patience with my lameness guys. I’m a nerd.

Read It: The Fault in Our Stars

I don’t even know if I should bother reviewing this book. Honestly. There’s maybe one thousand reviews out there telling you to read this book. John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars is only a year old. Every single copy of this book is checked out in the entire Chicago public library system. I had to borrow it from my friend Lindsay. Chances are, you have already read this book. But I’m going to go ahead and review it anyway because it’s the first piece of fiction that I’ve read in something like three months and I read it in approximately two days.

It is no secret to you that I have a hard time putting books down, even when they’re not…good. But this book is good. It’s a novel about a teenage girl, Hazel, who happens to be living with cancer, falling for a boy named Augustus, whose cancer took his leg before he meets Hazel. She loans him a fictional book, also narrated from the view of a girl with cancer, whose book ends mid-sentence, intentionally. They track down the author of the book, who now lives in Holland, and are promised that if they can make it to Holland, he will tell them what happens to the girl’s family and pet hamster. This is the set up…the rest is too spoiler laden, I think, so I’ll talk more generally for the rest of the post about my reactions to the book.

A common critique I’ve read of John Green is that he tends to write manic pixie dream girls when he includes female characters, or at least rarely passes the Bechdel test. This book does pass the Bechdel test, at least in the sense that since Hazel is the narrator and she talks to her mother about her cancer. But…there are ways in which I don’t know how I feel about Hazel as a character. She is ostensibly female, but I swear, if you just swapped her and Augustus’ genders, the book wouldn’t be any different. Maybe that’s a good sign, that Hazel is being written as a person first.

I was warned that it would make me cry, and it didn’t quite. I can’t talk about the specific scene without spoiling, but suffice to say, it reflected my own life experiences in a way that was very real, very moving, but not so moving that I allowed myself to cry on the bus. Cause I’m not that person yet. It is mostly, though, a funny book, with characters who are well fleshed out, and respond in ways that feel like the people I know.

Where the BLEEP has Tia been?

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I’ve been participating in big ass group swing dancing routines in Chicago, with nine couples swinging out at the exact same time, and doing awesome aerials with my husband.

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I’ve been at birthday parties, wearing green and purple and looking awfully majestic.

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I’ve been at Lindy Focus, one of the biggest party weekends of lindy hop in the US, sporting neon with my fellow midwestern dance friends. (This ended up being less than a quarter of us present, but somehow it is DIFFICULT to organize some 60 odd swing dancers in a hotel of 900 when they are not checking their facebook pages!)

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I also wore the evening gown that Jessica helped me pick out two years ago at a thrift store for New Years Eve, and thought of her and kissed my husband at midnight as 2013 started.

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I’ve been modeling for my husband and showing off my new haircut. Weirdly, I’ve also been asked if my haircut is cold by men with shorter hair than mine. (Bwuh? Teasing? I guess?)

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I’ve been lindy hopping in mini skirts with leopard print fishnet over magenta tights and feeling like a total hottie while doing it.

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Finally, this weekend, I was dancing the blues at Winter Blues Intensive, and working my love for the scene into a ferver. Today, I go back to class, and hopefully, I’ve also come back around to blogging my fashion attempts. Special thanks for the photos today go to Braden and Ben for being excellent photographers.

Team Outfit Post: 11/23/12

 

Whoo. Our Thanksgiving was quite fun! I did a lot of cooking, and even at the time of writing (Sunday), we STILL have a full pumpkin pie left to eat.

We did little other than watch movies and go on a walk Thursday, so these are our Friday outfits. This is a shirt Mia brought me, and said if I didn’t like it, she was going to take it. Considering how well it went over, I don’t think she’ll be going home with it, mwahahaha.

 

This knot actually got Mia complements when we went out to the Art Institute to give Braden a chance to do some homework. She ended up untying it and retying it to show someone.

 

Apparently, among other things, an Art Institute trip is becoming part of our Thanksgiving tradition. This year we got to see a few areas I hadn’t previously seen, including the new Greek, Roman and Mesopotamian exhibit.

 

We also saw the print and illustration exhibit, which I hadn’t seen before. The last few times I’ve been to the Art Institute of Chicago have been for Braden’s homework assignments, which all have been in the medieval art area, so it was cool to see the new things.

 

We actually stayed at the Art Institute almost until closing, which was a first for me. People were still coming in until a half hour before the museum was closed, which goes to show that it’s weird that the museum closes at 6.

 

After all that fun, we went to a friend’s post-Thanksgiving hangout.

 

It was supposed to be a pajama party, so we were definitely a bit overdressed for the party, but it was a good time. We watched a couple of movies, ate more, and chatted a bunch.

 

I think our day after Thanksgiving was a pretty good one, and involved absolutely no shopping except at the Art Institute’s gift store.

 

Molly would like to know if mew had a good Thanksgiving too? Did you hit the Black Friday sales? Or maybe hit up Small Business Saturday?

 

Team Outfit Post: 11/20/12

 

When Mia saw this picture, she made some comment about how silly the pictures of us next to each other but not interacting are. To that I say…my boobs are nearly interacting with her elbow, as far as I can tell. So yeah!

 

Speaking of boobs: today I wandered with Mia to Nordstrom so she could be fitted for some bras. She came out absolutely flabbergastered – the sales associate had put her down a band size and up not one, but two cup sizes. This was both shocking and alarming, and lead to a five minute discussion about boob shapes and how unique they are to each person, and how cup sizes don’t really encompass that.

 

If it seems like every time we’re in the same space, we talk about boobs, it’s relatively true.

 

Anyway, onto a non-boob topic, the fact that Mia’s thigh-highs match her hair is sort of killing me here.

 

Also, I am a dope who loves scarves.

 

The weather has been a bit odd…it’s never quite warm enough to go coatless, but never so cold that all the extra sweaters I made Mia bring by accident are useful. Whoops.

 

However, that weird mix of chilly and not that chilly weather has made the new blazers all the more wonderful. This one was pretty much just the ticket today. It wasn’t quite warm enough if I was standing still, but we mostly kept moving so I stayed pretty warm altogether.

 

Also, this shirt has convinced me that Mia might be a spy or from the future. Superfluous zippers!

 

This was not the most…coherent post. But adventures in Tia and Mia under the same roof will continue! I’m not sure if we’ll be posting on Thanksgiving, but we’ll figure it out!

Team Outfit Post: 11/18/12

There’s a Mia in my bedroom! She arrived yesterday and we IMMEDIATELY went to a clothes swap (like, I picked her up from the airport and drove straight to it). In retrospect, considering how hungry and tired we both were, maybe not the best idea, but it was still fun.

I, of course, needed to integrate one of my swap grabs right off the back. This blazer was one of my “finds”, and by finds, I mean blazers that my friend Abby brought mostly because she reads the blog and has heard me grumble about my blazer lust for a bit too long. So, YAY ABBY for not needing blazers!

After Mia’s super early flight (7:00am California time) and a hard day of thrifting, we actually ended up going to bed super early last night…Braden and Mike both crashed out at 8PM, and Mia and I crashed out at 10PM.

I honestly don’t think we’re gonna make it up too late today either! We got up a bit early (but after 10 full hours of sleep) to go to the flea market near my school. We had some really delicious Mexican food…the best I’ve had since moving from California. We got 4 delicious gorditas and two horchatas for $16 and ended up wonderfully full.

From there we went to a secret I had lined up for Mia…massages. One of my friends was offering a special deal to help get herself a bit of extra cash on the side and I thought it would be a nice way to welcome Mia back to Chicago.

I blame said massage for my own current sleepiness. Every massage I’ve ever had (2) has taken so much out of me. I’m going to hypothesize this has something to do with the fact that I use the crap out of my body and I go too long between getting fixed again that whenever I do get fixed, my body is a little…stunned.

Mia and I decided to include this image because she had tossed items in her suitcase just assuming that the item lengths would be compatible. So…here is your visual moral of the post: check that your clothes will work together.

Anyway! I’m going to guess that we’ll be pretty actively posting while Mia is here, because I’m excited to show off my new finds. :)

(Note from Mia: I’m excited too! I got some pretty sweet tidbits at that swap, exhaustion and all. Also, for the record, Saturday night I totally had a dream where Gracey was having a birthday party at the townhouse in Santa Cruz where I lived senior year of college, and we were all playing video games. Jaunty Dame was there and was wearing a fabulous vintage hat–and was super charming, as was Gracey. Travel and sleep deprivation do weird things to my brain, but I’m willing to believe that part of the dream was accurate!)

Serious Inspiration

I know I haven’t been around much; it’s been hard for me to get pictures as soon as the weather has gotten colder. I need to get my camera and my flash set up in the apartment. In the mean time, I want to share some images of someone who is inspiring the shit out of my fashion lately.

De’Borah Garner from Season 3 on the Voice. I mean, how is she so awesome? The almost head to toe red with just the touch of bright blue accents? It’s so bold and unique.

 

She rocks menswear with just a touch of femme. I love her lime watch here…along with trying to be more subtle about checking the time than looking at a phone, she’s the major reason I’ve been thinking about picking up a watch.

 

I mean how so cool? I’m getting all revved up for thrifting with Mia when she gets here on SATURDAY.

 

I…am also starting to think it’s time to get new frames. >_> I suppose I should probably get my eyes checked first and make sure that I have the right prescription first, but then I’m going to order like half a dozen pairs of frames.

 

November 6!

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Today, I’d like to remind our American readers to get out to the polls and vote! It took me all of 20 minutes this morning before class. Hopefully, your lines will be short too, but even if they’re not, take solace in that your opinion is being heard. Read up on local measures (Chicago had 3 on the ballot and Illinois has one that was about limiting campaign donations from corporations!) because those matter too!