Outfit Post: 9/29/11

Shirt: Gift (Lucky Brand) — Skirt: Goodwill (Yili Ren) — Shoes: American Rag Compagnie — Belt: Goodwill — Scarf: Vintage — Bracelet and ring: Gifts

Y’all, I woke up so tired and cranky today, you don’t even know. But I’m still making an effort to be less of a grouch when I know I’m in a bad mood, so here’s a list of cheery things for a cheery Friday:

1. I’ve discovered that Flat Tire LOVES nori (seaweed). She got about half the nori from the nori maki I was snacking on a couple nights ago because it was just so cute.

2. I have a delicious cup of dark hot chocolate in front of me; even if it’s going to be 81 today, it’s not too hot for hot chocolate!

2. Tonight I’m headed to Berkeley again for a game night with Jessica (hereafter referred to as Tito, because it gets too complicated trying to differentiate between the Jessica I have book club and game nights with and the Jessica who passed away in January) and her brother and some friends.

3. Then, on Saturday, we’ll be driving over to San Francisco to attend Alternative Press Expo ’11! I’ve been saving up, so I’ll be able to blow a decent amount of money on some awesome comics, including Kate Beaton’s new book. Whee!

4. Last weekend Mike and I went to brunch with our ex-roommate Jerod, and on the way home we stopped in a little antique store not too far from our house. I almost bought a pair of incredible vintage paint-splattered pumps with a matching purse, but I had to let them go because the toe box was seriously too small. Goodbye, cute shoes! In consolation, I bought a couple of equally incredible vintage silk scarves, and waited excitedly until Thursday to wear one of them. So, if you’re wondering why I’m dressed so much like a cowgirl here (stealing Tia’s tag from earlier today, by the way), it’s because of this bad boy:

It’s not only a scarf, it’s a map of the western U.S.! (I would also like to draw your attention to the “Dominion of Canada” at the top.) Can’t beat a dual-function item for $5.

Aw, my little area of California. Well, “little” in the sense of, “stretching from Fresno to Chico.” You know, only 250 miles, no big deal.

Isn’t this just the greatest? The art looks completely freehanded, and has all sorts of cute things like the state flowers and illustrations of people like this wakeboarding (?) lady:

I wish I could pin a date on it, but other than little bits like references to “the Orient,” I can’t really tell. Probably pre-1960s, anyway? It’s definitely something that’s cheering me up! Happy Friday, folks!

Outfit Post: 9/29/11

The subtitle of today’s post? Fun with pop-up flash. Or not. I may have waited until 6pm to take pictures. Would’ve been fine, except that it’s still all stormy and gross here, and thus picture taking light is utterly sub-optimal. I debated just skipping taking pictures, but then decided not to, because, you know, stuff. I actually like this abuse of a men’s flannel into what basically served the same purple as my darling purple shrug. Waist definition, check. Warm arms, check.

Did you guys know that this is not even close to all the books Braden and I own? In fact, these bookshelves contain mostly records, dvds and video games, but we have three more bookcases of books. Because unlike Mia, I can NOT BARE to donate a book. What if someone I know some day absolutely needs to read it? I’m going to have children some day, and they will need to read ALL THE THINGS.

Sorry for the minimal pictures, but really, indoor shots are not a skill of mine. Oof, check out that faded green. I mean, it’s been two weeks, but ouch. Definitely need to refresh tomorrow morning before school.



Outfit Post: 7/28/11

Top: Gift (Cell) — Skirt: Goodwill (Anne Klein) — Shoes: Ross (Sag Harbor) — Watch-cum-bracelet and necklace: Hand-me-downs

This outfit made me feel like a Piet Mondrian painting all day. (Never you mind that art in the De Stijl movement didn’t include green, and that Mondrian hated the color. Hush now.)

When thinking about how to write about this outfit, I realized that I wanted to avoid talking about color blocking. I think this is because I have a weird relationship with trends; for most of my youth, I didn’t pay any attention to fashion trends, and it really wasn’t until I started following some daily style blogs that I became aware of what would be considered trendy for the coming season. There’s a tiny reactionist living in my brain that wants to yell, “I’M NOT BEING TRENDY! I’M NOT FOLLOWING THE PACK! I’M MY OWN PERSON!” because of all those years of doing my own (baggy jeans and XXL t-shirts) thing. Really, though, trends take off when a bunch of people see someone trying something out and think, “That’s pretty neat, I want to try doing that too,” and there’s nothing wrong with that. At the same time, “color blocking” has been around under different names or no name at all, and will continue to be around after the trend dies down. And in the meantime, I need to remind the reactionist in my brain that it’s okay to do what other people are doing sometimes, so long as I don’t stop thinking critically about why they and I might be doing it.

Speaking of trends, I considered the knotted-shirt trend briefly when I was getting dressed, because I was a little disappointed that the length of the top combined with the fit of the skirt meant that the skirt’s black waistband would be hidden all day. But I don’t really think that particular trend is for me, and the whole outfit looks fine even without the waistband in view. Perhaps one of these days I can muster up some courage and try to take the skirt in a bit so that it sits higher on my waist. I’m just chicken because it’s such a lovely silk-cotton blend and I don’t want to ruin it. (My sewing skills leave a lot to be desired, even after at least six years of making costumes for conventions.)

I’ve got a nice vintage (Mom’s or grandma’s) geometrically-linked necklace to continue the neoplasticism theme, anyway. How do you clip a chain so that it doesn’t twist? I try and try, and never manage it. Is there a remedial course for that at the local adult school?

Right before we went to lunch with a coworker, Mike commented that I looked like a giant maraca. To that, I can only say one thing: ¡Olé!

Banned Books Week: Be a Rebel! Read a Banned Book!

In case you haven’t heard, this week is Banned Books Week! Hooray! To get into the spirit of things, I read oft-challenged YA classic Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher, and reviewed it over at Nisaba Be Praised.

via Goodreads

To make a long story short: it’s very much an Issue Book, but very well-written and balanced, and not too heavy-handed. I was nervous that potential fat-hate in the book would turn me off, but all in all I think the main character is a good example of the HAES approach and this is a book that kids should read and that shouldn’t be banned. Then again, I’m not really the kind of person who thinks any book should really be banned full-stop. Free speech, it is nice.

I picked Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes at semi-random from the list of books challenged or banned in 2010-2011 provided by the ALA; I’d heard of it before and it’s been on my TBR list for a while, so I figured now would be as good a time as any. There were some books I was really surprised to see on the list, though; particularly, The Egypt Games, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, which is listed on the 2009-2010 challenged list because a student’s father in Wichita Falls, TX, decided that the Egyptian worship rituals depicted in the book are really about “evil gods and black magic.” Which makes me want to be like, “Uh, guy–this isn’t ‘I don’t want to be Elfstar any more,’ this is kids using their imagination to engage with the past!” (Not that Chick Tracts are any less ridiculous, but that seems to be the world this guy lives in.) But, you know, different strokes. Or it would be different strokes if the father privately kept his son from reading about “evil gods” instead of making his mind up that this optional book on the reading list was inappropriate for any and all fourth-graders in the entire school district. Le sigh.

via Goodreads

After my review, I provided links to some resources if you’re interested in more information about book challenges and bannings, and Banned Books Week in general, but definitely pop over to the ALA site if you want to know more.

Outfit Post: 9/27/11

Shirt: Gift (M) — Skirt: From my friend Leah’s free pile (Williwear) — Shoes: American Rag Compagnie — Belt: Goodwill — Necklace: Hand-me-down– Bracelet and ring: Gifts — Bike shorts [pictured below]: Wal-Mart

So, weird thing about this skirt: it buttons up on one side, but there’s still a sizable hole with no zipper or anything, with a little semi-pocket dangling down into the void. You can’t really see it when the skirt hangs normally, but I can just stick my hand through this gaping hole in the side. Weird, huh?

Good thing I was wearing my bike shorts!

Okay, sorry, I was just feeling goofy while taking pictures yesterday. Thank goodness the guy repairing the A/C didn’t see me. Anyway, I’ve been looking forward to wearing this skirt for fall ever since I ganked it from Leah’s infamous free pile lo these many months ago. Even though it’s rather voluminous and midi-length skirts aren’t my best look, I love the sort of tablecloth-y plaid and the way there’s just so much skirt.

Look at that volume! I think I could literally clothe an entire table with this skirt.

Or maybe it’s not a skirt at all, but instead a bloodthirsty sentient being that has EATEN MY LEGS AHHHHHHHH

But apparently it also grants me telepathic hovering abilities, so, y’know, that’s actually kind of a sweet deal. Would you give up your legs for superpowers?

Just for posterity, I’m throwing in a shot of the lovely dog food apple and eggplant curry I had for lunch yesterday. I made it for book club last week, and it’s pretty tasty! The eggplant has an earthy, slightly mushroomy flavor that’s nicely balanced by the tartness of the Granny Smith apples. And this may be one of the few instances where I actually enjoyed fennel seeds in something; they aren’t strong enough to overwhelm everything with licorice flavor, but are pleasant little pops of sweetness. Altogether a yummy autumnal curry. (I promise one of these days I’ll cook something that isn’t just a brownish slurry. I can’t say when, though.)

will grayson, will grayson

Along side the skirt and the dress that did not fit and a couple of graphic novels that I don’t feel like reviewing, Mia sent along her copy of will grayson, will grayson by John Green and David Levithan to read. I read the first chapter while waiting for something or other, a little bit more the next day, and then yesterday I sat down and devoured the rest of the book.

First off, the story is told from the perspectives of two high school boys, each named Will Grayson. The story takes place in Chicago. I’ve never ever read a book set in a city I lived in, while living in it. Probably because I used to live in podunkville. I mean, I even recognize the burbs/neighborhood mentioned. It made me feel attached to the book in a way I haven’t felt since reading the Christopher Moore books set in San Francisco, but even stronger(since I’ve only ever touristed in San Francisco). Since physical descriptions are not really given of either Will Grayson, I feel a little awkward about distinguishing them. There’s something distinctly wrong in my head about calling them Gay!WG and Straight!WG because for fuck’s sake, no one is their sexuality. But I’m also lazy, and they share so much.

One thing to note: this books fails the Bechedel test hard. There’s rarely scenes with more than one female present…in fact, I don’t think there is one. Could there have been deeper female interactions without interfering with the pace? The voices of the book? I’m…not actually sure. The book felt whole as it was, but mostly, it makes me want to read more of Green and Levithan’s respective catalogs and see if they do write female characters other than Mother, Girlfriend, and Maura-is-such-an-asshole.

I know I’m not doing a great job of conveying how much I enjoyed this book, and unfortunately, I have one more thing I need to warn folks about before getting into the stuff I loved. Both WGs make really fatphobic observations, regarding Tiny, who is Straight!WG’s best friend, and Gay!WG’s boyfriend for a chunk of the novel. There’s a whole bit where Gay!WG keeps saying how surprised he is that he can be attracted to Tiny and it made me want to just punch the kid in the mouth. I’m not saying it wasn’t realistic, necessarily, but it was hard for me to read. Especially as a person with a fat boyfriend. Fat and sexy: they can be friends.

Despite the titular characters being douchebag teenage boys, Tiny is fucking fabulous. Tiny doesn’t care what you think about his weight, because he loves himself. I would read an entire series of novels about Tiny, because who wouldn’t read a series about a fat, self-loving, talented, gay teen. Also, it’s clear that the authors see Tiny as more than a joke character. He’s treated well, especially in his monologue to Gay!WG when they are breaking up.

Overall, I really, really, really enjoyed will grayson, will grayson. The style of the book was delicious, and I’d love to, if I ever had an ounce of time, write a novel with someone else like this. The handling of depression seemed even, and while the characters are often pretty teenager-y, their treatment makes this actually pretty fun. I would highly recommend it to folks who are not easily triggered by a few intensely fatphobic statements. If you are easily triggered, I would suggest some caution. Each time I ran into a statement, it would take me out of the story for a moment, because for me its sensitive, but not so much so that I didn’t want to keep reading. Keep that in mind.

Outfit Post: 9/26/11

So uh…I totally intended to wear the dress Mia sent me. I had it on and everything. And then Braden tried to zip it up…no dice. So I went this way instead: more friggin argyle, and my boots, because it’s fall and I’m in love with these boots so much.

Also, I’m not sure who introduced me to leggings as a good idea again, but they were perfect for today. It was in the 50s and sort of rainy, so between the sweater and the leggings, I was actually comfortable all day. The sweater had to come off when I was in the lab. I also had a rather ridiculous reveal when I got to Fizz, and accidentally flashed Braden my bra while taking off my sweater. Oops. Next time, one hand on the shirt. One more argument for some friggin’ cardigans, so I don’t accidentally strip myself in public.

I’ve been thinking about trying Sal’s tip about matching leg wear and shoes to get an elongated look to the leg for a while, and I’m pleased with the results. I think it would better with less bunchy boots, but still. I felt pretty awesome today.

I may have felt so awesome that I popped my collar.

So something awesome happened to me at Fizz. On Facebook, I’ve been talking about Pirate Swing, because it’s my favorite midwestern lindy hop event. It’s ridiculously awesome, and I have way too much fun each year. This year I’m doing things for it, and thus have been pimping it even harder. Two or three people asked me about it. I’m excited. This event is going to be awesome and my awesome friends will be there. I have influence! Mwahaha! And now, to bed!



Outfit Post: 9/26/11

Blouse: Old — Skirt: eBay (Anthropologie) — Cardigan [pictured below]: Target — Shoes: American Rag Compagnie — Neck Ribbon: Gift — Bracelet & Earrings: Gift

It turns out a good way to combat The Mondays (okay, yeah, I feel like Garfield) is to dress in the cutest outfit you can put together. Seriously, I felt like the cutest peach in the pie. No, wait, that sounds really stupid. Pretend I didn’t write that. It’s not like there’s a backspace key or anything. Also, looking at my hand, the Circle Game is apparently alive and well in my subconscious mind. Ha ha, now I get to punch everybody.

Whoa, am I scatterbrained today. Seriously, though, I felt pretty darn cute and put-together in this outfit. I went and picked up my first-ever batch of dry cleaning on Sunday, and one of the items I had cleaned was this silk Anthropologie skirt I bought on eBay. I was totally charmed by the little fish and the pretty orange colors, so I bought it on an impulse and figured that if it didn’t work out, at least I bought it on deep discount. Fortunately for me, it fits pretty well, otherwise we might have had a giveaway on this here blog. Serendipitously, Lizzie was incredibly sweet and gave me a birthday present at book club on Friday night, because she is the most thoughtful person ever, and part of the really pretty giftwrapping that she did included a length of yellowy-orange silk ribbon. I had an “AHA!” moment (aside from being way verklempt over the owl-patterned apron she gave me), and this outfit was born.

One of the best things about this skirt: pockets. Pockets that I can put things in; things like MY BIKE LOCK KEY. (Yes, I am holding the bike lock key up by my face. It’s a very small key. Use your imagination.)

Yeahhhhh, fish on my butt. I should mention that this skirt was very hard to ride a bike in, thanks to the way it sort of poofs out around the hips and then comes in a little at the knees. (Does that qualify it as a tulip skirt? I don’t understand these things.) It looks like a fine length when I’m standing, but hikes up like whoa when sitting. My under-skirt bike shorts were still damp from being washed the night before, so the world just got a nice glimpse of upper thigh during my to- and from-work rides. I’m sure nobody was titillated to a dangerous degree and I wasn’t arrested for indecent exposure, so everything’s copacetic.

I did end up wearing my pink cardigan for a good portion of the day thanks to our meat-locker office building and the weird weather patterns we’ve been having, but fortunately for me tangerine orange and rose pink seem to go pretty well together.

Hey, I’m getting better at taking face shots like these without showing my rack to the world! That skill can go on my resume. I’m particularly weirdly posed here because I was trying to show off my earrings, as well as my neck bow construction. Which, predictably, Mike hated. But I got lots of compliments, and I liked it. I may have mentioned this before, but I feel like I try to walk a fine line a lot of the time between dressing cutely and being overly twee. I think I avoided the too-precious thing this time, but even if I was a little precious, I loved my outfit, and that’s just as important. Although not quite as important as making myself a cup of tea, so if you’ll excuse me…

Outfit Post: 9/25/11

So as it might be obvious from the border and the hipster toning, Braden did my outfit pictures today. For the record, it seems like Braden only ever uses hipster toning on pictures of me, which really tells you what my fiance thinks of me. -_-

Still, I continued my green and purple weekend with this outfit all too happily. I started this outfit with the tights, and had been planning to wear jean shorts over them…but decided that it had been a while since I wore a skirt that wasn’t knee-length and reached for this asymmetrical mini. From there, the other pieces were obvious: lime shirt with the light purple overlay and my boots. Boom.

Of course, combining Braden and me meant that this picture had to happen. He wanted a picture of me with the flowers. He told me to stand around the bottom of the staircase, so I, of course, went /up/ the staircase. And stuck my tongue out.

And then I wanted to spin. Despite wearing semi-opaque tights, I’m wearing black shorts underneath my skirt because this skirt is deceptively short, particularly in the back.

I really do liking taking pictures with Braden. Our day today was pretty lazy. I did most of the chores that I put off while writing last week in the morning.

And then Braden and I went shopping for fruit and veggies. Colorful fruit and veggies. To slice, smash and otherwise destroy for Braden’s “color as subject” assignment for his color photography class.

Here, I stand triumphant over the remains of some kale. It was a pretty kick ass evening, which was neatly finished with catching up on the season finale’s of Torchwood and Eureka. To both of which I say, “WHAT!?!?!?!?!”

Outfit Post: 9/25/11

Dress: Gift — Cardigan: Target — Shoes: American Rag Compagnie — Necklace: Hand-me-down

Hey, dudes and dudettes! Well, probably more the dudette part. Anyway, thanks for sticking around last week for the Mia Posts Whatever The Hell She Wants Show. I don’t know about you, but I’m super excited to have Tia back on the blog. Running the show all by yourself is hard! You know, totally as hard as submitting a CHI paper on a deadline. I think I deserve to go to a conference in Denmark for this.

I wish I had more pictures to show you from this weekend–I was wearing a totally cute outfit on Friday, but ended up running an hour and a half late after work because I couldn’t find my bike lock key or, more importantly, the key to my building at work, and I wasn’t about to leave for the weekend without finding them. Turned out I left them in the bathroom and they got taken up to one of the ladies on the second floor. Buh. So I raced my little bike on home and threw myself in the car so I could make it to book club as soon as possible, despite being residually grumpy/weepy from the key loss. I’m so glad I went–we had the best time eating delicious food* while talking about Chalice by Robin McKinley, and childhood accidents, and all sorts of ridiculous stuff. Totally made up for the rest of the day.

Saturday and Sunday ended up being pretty low-key; I had meant to go with Tia’s family to the Northern California Renaissance Faire (or NorCalRenFaire, if you’re cool and don’t have as many syllables to spare), but I woke up feeling blechy and had to admit to myself that a renfaire wasn’t in the stars for the day. Instead, I spent most of the day on the couch watching Star Trek: TNG (and hating on the Crusher family), and running errands when I felt a little better. So this outfit is from my Home Sick Day. And, I might point out, it turned into the first day of CARDIGAN SEASON. In the last year or so, I’ve developed a dangerous affection for cardigans; I only have three right now, but you can bet your boots that I’m going to go a-thrifting for some sometime soon. I don’t know why you would bet your boots, though. Keep your boots and bet something else. Something like money or jewelry. Would you like to talk to my bookie?


* Namely, goat cheese with baguettes and honey, apple and eggplant curry, butternut squash soup, cornbread, and apple-honey cake. Yeah, serious yum.