Outfit Post: 1/29/12

Sweater: Thrifted (Anthropologie) — Camisole: Target — Jeans: Goodwill (The Limited) — Shoes: Payless — Bracelet: Gift — Necklace: Thrifted

Hooray! Weekend pictures! This outfit actually went through a couple of incarnations, including one with a t-shirt that I wore to the sadly fruitless (fruitless, hahaha, I’m so punny) Sunday farmer’s market, but I wore this one for the most hours and I like it the best, so here we are. Yellow! Pink! New gray (wrinkly) jeans! I went on a bit of a sewing rampage over the weekend and skinnified one pair of jeans and one pair of cargo pants, and I almost skinnified these but decided to wait on things. I kinda like them as they are.

Because I’m awesome and four thousand years old, I tweaked my neck trying to be cute for pictures. That’s what I get!

So, y’all, guess what else I did over the weekend?


Bleached is not a good look for me.

Red is a bit better.

While waiting for the bleach and then the dye to set, I sat down and idly started watching the first series of the new BBC Sherlock that everybody’s been hosering on about. And you know what? Just like I knew would happen, something short-circuited in my brain and now all I can think about is Benedict Cumberbatch’s face. I tell ya, I get crushes almost as often as I blow my nose, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been this head-over-heels for a celebrity, oh dear me. I wasted at least half of the following day looking up pictures and gifs and trying not to spam other people with them. I’ll be nice and not spam you guys either, but I’ll give myself the go-ahead to post one gif, anyway:

via BBCSherlockgifs.tumblr.com

I think part of my obsession stems from the fact that he looks EXACTLY like my mental image of one of the characters in The Company novel series–especially seeing as how I just finished The Life of the World to Come (go read my review of it!). Please, pleeeeease, you guys: go find and read In the Garden of Iden if you like science-fiction. Even if you don’t. It’s got time-traveling immortal cyborgs, and the series just keeps getting better and better the further you get, and I want someone to talk with about it! Kage Baker needs to be way more well-known and beloved than she is. Especially so I can squee with someone about how perfect Benedict Cumberbatch would be for a movie adaptation of, uh, nearly any of the books, since according to several highly-intensive Google searches I’m the only person on the internet who thinks this.

(Okay, and the obsession might also come from my longtime thing for tall, storky men. Like, for serious. I thought Ian Rosenburger from Survivor: Palau was the cutest when I was in high school.)

I unsubtly asked Mike to get me the second series of Sherlock–we’ll see how long I can hold out before I watch it and become useless once more.

(I actually jumped this outfit ahead in my queue just so I could talk about Sherlock. How’s that for obsessed?)

Outfit Post: 1/24/12 + Sock Dreams

These shoes make me want to swivel. This whole outfit feels very swing dancery to me, actually. The skirt is a hand me down from mom, with all these great colors in it, so I grabbed all of them and spread them out over my outfit.

I mean, it’s got true blue, true green, black and white. What could be more fun to pair with stuff? Also, I’m digging on the geometric pattern pretty hardcore.

I’m really happy with the bright colors here again. I’m getting closer, I think, to my goal, of master of color in all things, one day at a time.

Ooh, and how do you guys like my new Sock Dreams socks? I wore these over my purple tights because they are just the right color to go with this skirt and because they were new. They are these thigh highs, but I have to roll them down to just above the knee for optimal staying power. They are really comfortable as knee highs though, and didn’t constrain my calves at all. There’s something really wonderful about nylon/spandex blends. I had a great experience with the customer service lady, because what I really wanted was these, but the max stretch hadn’t been posted. I asked, and they told me it’d be just barely not enough (18.5 to my 19) but then gave me a list of everything that would work.

Like…what? Sock Dreams, you didn’t have to do that for me? Why are you so sweet? I might end up buying a few more pairs from them and embellishing them with buttons or something to get the cutesy look I had been hoping for.

Going to stop rubbing in my awesome thrifting purchase of these kitten heels now. Yup. Any day now I’ll get tired of them and tuck them away somewhere until I find them on chance. Yup.


I read Soulless on Mia’s recommendation a while back, because she correctly deduced after reading it that it would suit me all too well. When I went to the bookstore with Braden a week or so back, I sort of carelessly looked, not knowing that there were already two sequels to Soulless in existence. I promptly bought both. This is the first sequel, and I’m going to warn you right now: this review contains minor spoilers for the first book. If you’re paying any attention at all, you can probably guess that a certain relationship happens, because, well, that’s what happens in this kind of novel. In any case, go finish Soulless, and then come back and read this review before deciding if you want to keep reading the series.

One more personal note about this book. I actually spoke with Erin before reading it as she’s read all three and had spoiled herself by reading the blurb on the third book before finishing the second and thus had a really bad experience with the books. This, I say, is sad. The second book is not quite as good as the first book, but it’s still relatively delightful.

Changeless continues to follow Alexia Tarabotti, with her unfashionable Italian complexion and literal soullessness into her new life as the Lady Maccon and muhjah to the Queen. As explained in the first novel(and this one, actually), Alexia’s soullessness means that when she touches supernaturals(vampires, werewolves, etc) they become human as long as they are in contact with her. She is rare, both in that very few people are born with no soul and that most soulless are male.

The novel sets off with a mysterious occurance: there is a travelling region that is operating like Alexia: turning werewolves and vampires human, and exorcising ghosts at once. The Crown suspects this is a weapon or disease, and Alexia is set to the case. This is actually a bit of a misconstruction: the discovery is made by Alexia’s husband while he is running in werewolf form and suddenly finds himself naked and scrambling. There’s a good deal of mystery surrounding the whole thing, and I enjoyed how it unfurled.

The characters in this novel are often ridiculous in a way I enjoy. It is all very, very, very, campy. Alexia is often completely impolitic, which most people seem to ascribe to her soullessness. One of my favorites is the new character for this novel, Madame LeFoux who is French, mechanically inclined and so obviously into the ladies that it is only the idea of Victorian decorum that makes it possible to believe that any reader wouldn’t pick up on it before it’s canonically confirmed.

There are some bizarre things about the novel. The last ten pages would’ve been better to start the next novel, and were clearly put in this one to make you rush out and buy the next book. There is an emphasis on referring to Alexia as a bajillion different things. I suppose it’s to avoid typing Alexia over and over again, but it’s fairly common that the referent for her is her relation to her husband.

As far as the Bechedel test goes, four stars. The primary cast is far more female than male, and at least a few times, they speak with each other on non-man related things. Of course, that conversation largely has to deal with the main plot of the book, or in Ivy Hisslepenny’s case, hats, but still. This is one of the few books I’ve read lately that passed that particular test. I suppose part of that stems from it also being the first in a while with a female main characters…well, except the Handmaid’s Tale. Which wasn’t that long ago really. Actually, scratch most of that, I’ve been doing pretty good on the Bechedel test front so far this year.

On the fat front, Alexia’s sister jibes her pretty much constantly about her weight through the novel, but to no response from Alexia. I’m not sure if this is a win/fail. It’s strange to me that Alexia’s way of dealing with it is to pretty much ignore her sister complete: she doesn’t deal with the comments, and there is no internal dialog that corresponds with these moments. Whether they are intended to show that Alexia is peculiar( notice how she doesn’t care about her weigh! how odd! ), to generate reader empathy(man, I’ve got x in my life who is just like that, I wish I could be as unaffected as Alexia) or just to show that her sister is a pain isn’t really clear to me from the text at all.

Not much changes in the formulation between Soulless and Changeless. If you liked the first one, you’ll probably still enjoy the romp in Changeless. The cliff-hanger ending left me a little cold, to be honest, especially because it leads into a trope that I’m Not A Fan of, but it’s still worth the read. I’ll let you know soonish if it is resolved in a way I approve of in the third installment in the Parasol Protectorate: Blameless.

Tia and Mia Take a Look and Do It Together: Kathastrophal Edition

Whoops! It’s been quite some time since we did one of these and it’s all my fault. I was supposed to be on the look out and I just couldn’t find a damn thing I wanted to do. Then, Katha over at Kathastrophal posted this outfit and I knew Mia and I would be putting our spins on it because the outfit is so awesome. (Also, because Katha is the bomb diggety.)

In Katha’s post about this outfit, she talked about there being something missing. So hopefully, we’ll continue a cycle of inspiration! I’ll let Mia talk to you about my outfit, and then I’ll fawn over her. Also, I had some help with pictures because I was feeling shmancy, so, yay Braden!

Yo, my horse dogg maniacs, this is Mia! Tia’s pictures are all cool and stuff–use up all your excitement now ‘cuz my pictures are just kitchen pictures. Anyhow, I think one of the things that Tia and I both liked so much about Katha’s original outfit is the color combination; I know some people get all up into pattern mixing, but myself, I have an easier time with color mixing, and I loved Katha’s pretty solid colors. Tia’s version is pretty much spot-on!

Plus, she and Katha both have awesome scarves! I always forget about the collection of silk scarves in my closet, and that’s a dang shame. The colors of the scarf (and the outfit) go so well with Tia’s hair, donchathink?

Simple outfits can be so cute! I think that’s a good thing to remember, especially since I have a bad tendency to think that my outfits aren’t worth looking at if they aren’t complicated or fancy. Tia did add a few cute accessories, like a belt and pin, and I like them! They pull the black of her tights (and boots? I think Tia’s wearing boots) into the outfit well, which is good, since her headscarf doesn’t has as much black in the pattern as Katha’s does.

All in all, so cute. I’m glad Tia chose Katha’s outfit to reproduce. (You should check her blog out if you haven’t already! Katha’s, that is, not Tia’s. Being that you’re already here and all.) (Also, chiming in because I’m a nerd: PETTICOAT GUYS. I HAVE, AND WAS WEARING, A PETTICOAT.)

Oooh! I like what Mia did here: the same color combination: black, purple and teal/green, but changing around the order. I’m guessing this is the famous dress-with-the-back that she is constantly having to come up with creative ways to style, but I could be wrong. In any case, I like the choice of making the black dominant. I’m guessing it helped play down the brightness for the office jorb she has.

Also, fuzzy scarf! It looks so warm and toasty. I feel like there was a period where this particular type of yarn was super trendy(at least at the Michael’s I worked at), and it jazzes up the outfit in a very different way than the silk scarf idea. I feel warmer just looking at Mia.

This teal top is slaying me. I think it’s the perfect color, and the shape is really interesting. Also, I like how closely her flats match Katha’s: grey/black, interesting details across the toe. I think, to build on Mia’s comments about simple outfits, that working with a few things at a time can really help with building one’s fashion repertoire. Bold colors one day, bold accessories another: there’s no need to do it all at once, so just take it easy! I like this simplicity of this outfit with the bright colors, for suresies!

Eee, baby clips! I don’t know why these delight me so much whenever Mia wears them. Aren’t they just the most adorable little accent in her short hair? Also, the glasses chain creeping out of the scarf is so darling.

Next time on TMTLDIT: Mia’s choice of inspiration!

Outfit Post: 1/23/12

Coat: Old Navy — Brooch: From my friend Leah’s free pile — Sweater: Goodwill — Skirt: Goodwill — Tights: Hue — Boots: Macy’s — Necklace: Goodwill

Happy Friday, mis amigas! I got tagged in a little info-meme and thought it would be a fun way to round out the week over here.

Ki of Dressing Up For Life tagged me and here are the rules:
1. Post these rules
2. Post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions set for you by the tagger
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you have tagged to answer
5. Tag 11 ‘peeps’

So here are 11 random things about me:

1. I don’t drink. I don’t mind if other people do, but I don’t like the taste, and for various family and genetic reasons, it’s better that I abstain. I hate the sound of the word “teetotaler,” though. And I’ll tell you, it’s amazing, the things that people assume about you when you’re a non-drinker!

2. I have been to the following countries besides the United States: Canada, Mexico, Germany, Switzerland, Austria. I would love to travel more, but I also have reservations/fears about being an intrusive, ignorant tourist.

3. Despite having five or six years of anime convention costuming under my belt, I am a terrible seamstress. Patterns baffle me, and my seams and hems come out crooked and rippled no matter how hard I try to go slowly and keep things neat. I still try, though!

4. I took horseback riding lessons for two years in high school, and I still miss it. What I don’t miss are the poopy shoes.

5. I can’t flare my nostrils. I don’t know why, but I just don’t have control over the muscles there that everybody else seems to. I can wiggle my ears and my scalp, though, which seems like a fair trade.

6. I love listening to music while driving, and I also love to sing along. Loudly. Other people in the car frequently do not enjoy this, but it’s extremely satisfying for me.

7. I am left-handed, and am the only left-hander in my immediate family (unless you count my stepdad). My handwriting is also terrible, but I don’t think the two are connected.

8. I was in a Space & Engineering program in high school, which meant aside from regular math/English/history classes, I also got to take classes where we built bridges, towers, marble sorters, and suchlike. I then proceeded to enter college as a Literature major and have nothing to show for my time in S&E besides fun memories of Legos and AutoCAD.

9. I love going to see live performances: music, comedy, theatre, what have you. Theatre is usually too expensive for me to enjoy more than occasionally, but last night I bought tickets to go see War Horse in San Francisco on my birthday! Now I just have to wait eight months…

10. More than meat, more than cheese or other dairy, I think the hardest thing for me to give up if I were to go vegan would be eggs. I love eggs and egg-based dishes. I’m planning on making custards this weekend, actually. At least I’ve committed myself to buying eggs from more ethical sources, as I’ve been trying to work towards with all the animal products in my diet.

11. Flavors I hate in my tea: licorice, chamomile, mint. One of Mike’s friends actually gave me some herbal tea this Christmas that managed to combine all three, and just thinking about it makes me shudder with revulsion. Anybody want some tea?

Here are my answers to Ki’s questions:

1. Paperback or e book reader? Both! I believe both can live in harmony, as they both serve different purposes.

2. Skirts or pants? Used to be I would say pants, but like much of the fashion-blogging community, I’ve migrated towards skirts more and more, especially since I got my first desk job and I wasn’t running around doing elder care anymore.

3. Coke or Pepsi? I’m not crazy about either (I’m a root beer kinda gal), but a half-liter of Mexican Coke in a glass bottle is pretty nice when I’m down in Guaymas.

4. Summer or winter? Summer! I do love the winter aesthetic of tights and scarves and all, but I hate hate hate being cold. It makes me feel miserable and exhausted.

5. If you had to learn a foreign language which one would it be? If I had to? I love learning foreign languages! The hard part is retaining them. If I had to commit myself to being fluent in one, I’d say German.

6. What is your comfort food? There are a couple that I turn to, especially if I’m being lazy and don’t want to spend forever cooking. Ramen with egg and spinach or edamame is one, tamago kake gohan is another. If someone else is doing the cooking, I love soup–any soup.

7. Which fashion trend would you never wear? Colored corduroy; I think I’ve said that I find the tactile sensation of corduroy absolutely vile.

8. What is your dream job? I would looooove to work with books. For a long time I’ve been telling people that my eventual goal is to work in a publishing house, but I also harbor a secret dream of becoming a librarian (which is a secret dream because it seems foolish, seeing as how there are way more qualified librarians than available positions out there right now).

9. Which is the next place you would like to travel to? Most likely, I’ll end up going back to Germany/Austria with my mom sometime in the next few years, and I’m looking forward to it. In the short-term, I want to take a day trip down to Monterey and go to the aquarium again, because I haven’t been in a couple of years!

10. What are your wardrobe staples? Oh jeez. I don’t know if I have any staples because my wardrobe has been in such flux since I started doing this blog with Tia. Underwear. Underwear is a staple, and so are shelf-bra camisoles, because I almost always need an extra layer for my core in the winter, and I usually just wear them as tops in the summer.

11. Who is your most favourite person in the whole world? Don’t make me choose! Different people mean different things to me. I’ll go ahead and say my family’s dog Toby, because he’s a furry little goofball and I miss him right now.

I tag: Eleven people who want to do this meme! (I’m a stinker. But I also realize that endless chain memes get kind of annoying, especially if you’re not as into talking about yourself as I am.) Okay, Tia and ten other people who want to do this meme.

Here are my questions:

1. What’s your favorite way to wear your hair?

2. What’s the last thing you ate?

3. Savory or sweet?

4. Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?

5. Who’s your favorite fictional character right now?

6. WHAT ARE YOU READING TELL ME TELL ME. If you’re not reading anything, WHY NOT.

7. What’s the best new item you just added to your wardrobe? (“New” can be relative.)

8. What’s the worst timewaster in your life?

9. Are you an early riser or a stay-up-late-r? Both? Neither? A hibernator?

10. What’s the weirdest food that you like?

11. What are you really looking forward to right now?

I know these are some hard-hitting questions. I’m practically Barbara Walters. Take that and think about your Friday, neeps ‘n’ peeps!

Wedding Dress: Convertible Times in Peach

No Bradens are allowed to see this post. Nope. Nu-uh. Not at all. Go away Braden. No reading. No looking at the pictures. Nothing.

So, my sample dress from Isadora Clothing arrived while I was out of town, and I picked it up Monday. I opened the box to find that the sample was peach and lighter peach and winced. Seriously, those are my two least favorite colors to wear, because they just don’t…blargh. Then, when I unfurled it, it was the wrong cut…I asked for the sassy cut, and got the straight hem. Still, at least it gave me an idea of what was going on. My Chicago wedding cabal helped me out with trying it on, since Sara has experience with convertible dresses and Heather was around.

So, you can’t really tell, but there is a petticoat under there. The fabric for the dress was really, really heavy. The petticoat really couldn’t compete with it, and it was all but useless for volume. Sara pointed out though that it would look really great when I’m spinning on the dance floor though, and I think she’s right about that. The other thing she mentioned is that the tube top that comes with the dress is sort of not…a good idea. I’m Tia. Cleavage is sort of what I do. But my one strapless bra is a straight line on the top, so most of the pictures have the tube top.

Here, we pulled the dress up to right under my boobs, so you can see a bit of the petticoat. I like that this style shows both tattoos, but I don’t know how I feel about how very round my boobs are here.

I like the more sweetheart neckline here, and would like it better without the tube top, I think.

Same design, from the back.

I think this was my favorite thing Sara came up with. The crazy stuff in the middle where the straps loop around each other just creates such a pretty little area of interest. Also, the back crossing again keeps both tattoos visible. :3

Obligatory strapless design. For a non-cleavage design, I really like the texture on the top.

I…don’t know how I feel about this dress. I was sort of expecting to get it and fall madly in love and want to send my money to them right away, but I’m hesitant. I wish it was in the right colors, or has the right length. I need some help ladies: the end result would be in brown and lime, with lime being the prominent color. If you can envision it, give it to me straight. Will I like it? Will I $225 like it? Uuuugh I don’t want to make decisions guys. Especially not expensive decisions.

Outfit Post: 1/20/12

Sweater: Target — Fair isle cardigan: Goodwill — Skirt: Goodwill (Patagonia) [shortened by me] — Tights: Target — Boots: Macy’s — Earrings: Hand-me-down

First off, I’m afraid I have to issue a retraction on something I said yesterday. I believe my exact quote was “I would be out of best friends if [Tia] weren’t here,” and that’s simply not true. Tia’s Tia and she’s irreplaceable, for sure. But, even though I still think of myself the way I did in 2nd grade, i.e. a social pariah with very few friends and even fewer acquaintances (I’m terrible at acquaintanceship), I actually have a lot of super-great friends, including Tito, who is definitely a Best Friend with the capital letters, and who is an ass-kicker and a book-talker to the highest degree. I’m not friendless, not by any stretch of the imagination, and it seems like something I should straighten out both on here and with myself.

You’re all fantastic, every single one of you (yes, I mean YOU), and my heart is so full thinking about all the wonderful people I’ve known for years, and all the wonderful people I’ve met, and all the wonderful people I don’t even know yet.

Anyhow! I, uh, like my clothes here. I don’t remember if I mentioned it, but the university where I work re-introduced Spirit Fridays, and one of the ladies in my office has been super enthusiastic about getting everybody to wear the school colors on Fridays so that we can win prizes. Nobody knows what the mysterious prizes are, but fuck if we’re not gonna win ’em.

To that end, you’re going to be seeing a lot of orange and black around here, which really means we’ll pretty much be staying the course. This fair isle cardigan is fresh from Goodwill (well, besides a run in the washer), and, honestly speaking, could kind of use some quality time with the sweater shaver before I wear it again. I just got excited, is all. I keep saying that I’m not going to buy fast fashion fair isle stuff, and will instead save up for a couple of years and buy an authentic Fair Isle sweater…but then I caved on this one. I only have this and one fair isle scarf, though. Maybe someday…

(If you want to read more about the complications of fast fashion fair isle, here’s not a bad place to start. Also, say “fast fashion fair isle” out loud just one time. For me?)

Also, I just want to say thanks to everybody, for yesterday, today, and beyond in either direction. I have an easy(ish) time talking about it matter-of-factly in public, but I have a really hard time publicly mourning. I appreciate all the support y’all have given to both me and Tia. After work, Mike and I went and had Mexican food (BEANS, JESSICA, BEAAAANS) and I spent the evening catching up on the internet. Now I’m able to get back into the groove of things, and I’m listening to Suburban Legends and thinking of all the concerts that Jessica and I (and Tia, and Mike, and Paco, and Max, and whoever else could come along) went to. It’s sappy to post music at times like this, but Jessica made this song (both versions) one of her anthems, and damn if it isn’t appropriate.

Outfit Post: 1/23/12

I love when shorts and tights get to work together. There’s only a certain subset of weather for which the combo works, and we’ve been having oodles of that weather in Chicago. Somewhere in the 30-50 degree range is perfect for this. Also, if you don’t know how much I love green and purple of every shade, here is a hint: a lot. Especially next to each other. I think they work together like old friends.

These shoes, by the way? Thrifted for $10. They are, as far as I’m concerned, one of the most awesome pieces of footwear I own. I also happen to think they look super fab with vibrant purple tights.

Oh, and you might notice that I finally dyed my hair. Still teal on bottom, but pinky red on top with some blended purple areas. I’m happy with how it came out, though the back of my head didn’t take very well since it’s hair that has never been bleached. Whoops!

Ha, though it does sort of look intentional with the way it’s layered back there. I hadn’t seen the back of my head until this picture! Also, digging the back of the belt, which I added solely to hide how much that tank showed my shorts underneath.

Wow, a little boobzilla there, but this is another pin that arrived with the last boxes of Christmas decor from mom. I may have used it to keep my bra from showing. Shh. Do you ladies have clever bra-hiding tricks that I should know about? Do you ever introduce an accessory to an outfit just because otherwise you’ll be dressed unseemly?

Jessica Stories

(Quick warning: I know I wouldn’t want surprise BFF death in my casual entertainment(because that happened last night and it shook my ass pretty hard). This is your trigger warning that I’ll be talking about my dead best friend, and that while I don’t talk much about her death, it was rough to write, so it could ostensibly, be rough to read.)

I’ll tell you a story. Last year, I told a different story to a room full of people who needed a laugh as bad or worse than I did. A laugh that went deeper than just a funny story, because you know, when everything is over, just a funny story doesn’t cut it, but a funny story with a bit of a person in it is a thing. In the end we’re all stories, as the Doctor said, and while I’d probably get scowled at for quoting a geek icon by her, particularly in this context, I don’t care because it makes me feel better and she’s not really able to express her scorn anyway. This isn’t really a great story, because it’s sort of boring, but it’s a story with Jessica in it, so, you know.

Before we ever met, Jessica hated me.

It’s true. She hated me because Mia had my lunch and not hers and because I forced Mia to be my friend by continually interrupting her reading because I’m the worst person, and because at some point Mia stopped resenting me for interrupting her reading and started to think I was cool and tell Jessica this. Jessica had a jealousy button that could be pressed more easily than anything in the world, and was really good at fabricating artificial enemyships. I didn’t know any of this at the time, and when we met at anime club, it was no big deal.

I’m not sure how we got from her hating me and me not knowing her at all to her knowing more about me than the menfolk in my life and being the One Person I talked to about sex because at the time I couldn’t categorize Mia like that. It happened gradually. I’m not telling a good story, I think, because when I reach for memories of Jessica, I just get this big messy mass of yarn and I can’t pick one good tale out of it because they’re all scrambled. Some of the pieces are in tact and I could grab them, but they mean so little without context and some involve things that not everyone needs to know about her…or, for that matter, about me. Still, bits and pieces.

Last December she helped me find the perfect dress in a Santa Cruz thrift store while Mia was visiting her ex-employer, and we found this sewing machine/desk unit and the amount that she wanted it was practically tangible to me. It was beautiful. It was also exorbitantly priced for a thrift store sewing machine, and she left empty-handed. Earlier in the trip we almost made her buy a dress that made her look like a space disco was going to happen any second, but since no fish bowl helmet could be found, we left it behind.

I never saw her body. For me, there’s this lie that is pulled in the media all the time. The best friend that comes back from the dead through some crazy set of loop holes. This is all an elaborate prank. She was witness to a mafia killing and had to go into protective custody. It wasn’t her, it was her look-a-like. She’s been in France. China. Somewhere far away. It’s everywhere in TV and movies. And I can play this game with myself. If she came back, if it all was a joke, would that be better? Would being friends with someone who could do that to all the people she cared about be worth it?

Fuck. Yes.

Today, as is becoming a tradition for me, I’ll watch a Star Wars movie. Why? Because Jessica never. saw. them. I don’t know where her stubborn streak came from, but in all the years of being friends with geeks, she resisted, I’m guessing because people told her to watch them. If there’s such a thing as a spirit and Jessica has the capability of visiting me, I figure at least she’ll finally get to see a major piece of American pop culture.

One Year Later

(Tia’s got a trigger warning on her post draft, and that’s probably a good idea. If you’re not in the mood to hear me talk about a dead friend, abandon ship and come back tomorrow.)

I’m going to cut to the chase, because I don’t like to dance around this topic: a year ago today, on January 25th, 2011, my best friend Jessica died.

Jessica at the Hoover Dam.

I know I mention her semi-regularly around here, because when someone’s your best friend for twelve years, it’s impossible to forget about all that. She was so much a part of my life that I can’t help it, and I don’t want to help it.

There’s so much I could say about what she was to me. Her dying was like a piece of myself dying. I knew after she died that I would be okay–I knew, leaving the hospital, that I would be able to manage, which I’m not sure I could have said a couple of years ago–but I still miss her, and I miss the piece of myself that she took with her.

She was loud and fun and mean and argumentative and thoughtless and thoughtful and bitchy. It’s the little details of a person that I always fall in love with (doesn’t everybody?), and all I have to think about is her hatred of beans, her crazy long fingernails, her giant hair, her patience in driving to UC Santa Cruz nearly every weekend for two years before I got a car, her ability to fix my sewing mistakes when we made costumes together. The way she listened to music too loud. The way she loved swimming. The way she could be so mean sometimes, like the time she forced me to go on a Ferris wheel and I cried. The way she wasn’t afraid to hurt people, physically or emotionally. The way she hated Tia so much at first, before we became a trio. The way she wouldn’t do something if you wanted it too much. The way she also did so much for the people she loved. I just think about the good and the bad and I miss her.

Me and Jessica and Tia reflected in the Bean during Jessica’s and my Thanksgiving visit to Chicago in 2010. I wish I had a better copy of this one.

I guess now’s as good a time as any to admit that I’m an atheist, full stop. I believe that this is all we’ve got. That’s enough for me. But I also don’t hold it against other people who might think of her in spirit or in Heaven or in–whatever. Just, you know.

There’s a memorial video that our friend Rosie made. Ten minutes is a long time to look at pictures of someone you don’t know, but I’m going to put it here. The pictures tell her better than I could.

Today I’m wearing the hat she gave me for Christmas 2010, our last Christmas, and I’m going to do something that would have really annoyed her. Maybe eat beans.

See you tomorrow, folks. If you’ve got a hug to give, give it to someone. I’m sending Tia a hug–I would be out of best friends if she weren’t here–but since it’s going by mail she might not get it until Friday.