Outfit Post: 7/27/12

Top: Gift — Shorts: Thrifted (French Cuff) — Shoes: Payless — Socks: Target — Scarf: Thrifted — Earrings and bracelet: Gift

Hey, yins and yangs! Looks like it’s gonna be just you and me for a while, so cuddle up. I knew from the start that I only wanted this blog to be a fun hobby–I never wanted it to feel like a drag or like work, so I’m glad Tia’s gonna take some time off so that she can rejuvenate her Tialiciousness. We’re gonna miss you, though, Tia! Everyone knows she’s the Cheerleader to my What’s Her Face.

Anyway, she’ll be back soon and we’ll both get busy looking SO GOOD! Until then, I’ll be here, screwin’ around and trying new things. Case in point: oxfords + socks. I wanted to try it out because I really like the heels + socks thing (and I’ve been super inspired by Sock Dreams’ Pinterest boards), and I was wondering if I could pull it off with non-heels and still make it look intentional. I was nervous about cutting my leg off at that ankle point, especially since I have thick ankles and calves and socks tend to not slouch so becomingly around said ankles–but I figured that if I started feeling scared about wearing a dang pair of socks, that meant that I HAD to try it. Don’t be scared of socks, you know?

Anyway, I’m not sure how I feel about this particular version, but I do like that the polka dots in the socks go with the polka dots in the scarf. I’ll keep playing around with socks, and then when cooler weather finally hits here again, I’m gonna wear all my sweet Sock Dreams thigh-highs and rock ’em.

Tomorrow I’ll be jetting off to Minnesota, the most sack-of-flour-lookin’ state in the whole continent. Woo-ha! Updates may be a bit irregular, but if I can’t post, I’ll ask Flat Tire to write a guest article or two. What do you say to that, Flat Tire?


I’m excited already.

Blog Announcement

I’ve been a little out of it due to internet access fail for a while, and now I have even worse news friends. I need to take a blog break for a while, and get myself back in a place where blogging doesn’t feel like work.

When Mia told me she was starting a fashion blog, I asked to join because I thought it would help us stay in touch. Most of the time, that’s been absolutely true. But the longer I go without posting, the guiltier I feel, and the less I’ve been texting Mia on the side, which is sad and sort of silly.

So I’m going to take August off in an effort to get all of the work I can get done before school starts again done, and re-energize myself toward blogging, hopefully. I’m going to back off on social networking sites actually: Facebook and Twitter included. But I’ll come back when classes start at the end of August/beginning of September. I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their summer, and I’ll see y’all in fall.

P.S. Mia will still be updating, so Reading in Skirts will not be on a full hiatus, just a Tia-hiatus. A tiatus? Nope. >_>

Outfit Post: 7/25/12

Top: Gift (Cell) — Skirt: Gift (deep los angeles) — Belt: Thrifted — Wedges: 6pm.com (Sam & Libby) — Ring: Monterey Bay Aquarium — Earrings: Gift from Costa Rica

I wish I could say that this outfit was inspired by the Brazilian flag, but that would be a lie. No, it was sheer coincidence, although a nice one, seeing as how I took Brazilian Portuguese classes during my junior and senior years of college and gained a great interest in visiting Brazil someday.

I’ve actually never been anywhere in South America, which is something I’d like to reconcile within the next few years, or whenever time allows. For now, though, I’ll have to be satisfied with more domestic travel. As a matter of fact, I’m writing this post quickly before I hop in the car and drive off to the Bay Area; some college friends and I are getting together at Tito’s house this weekend for pizza-making and general buffoonery, and I’m looking forward to it with great pleasure.

I’m also embarking upon a slightly larger trip on Tuesday: I’m traveling to Minneapolis for work! That will be a first for me, since I’ve never been to Minnesota at all (although my paternal grandfather was from there), and although I’ll be spending most of my time at a conference, I’m pretty dang excited. Erin just so happens to be attending the same conference–the world is frighteningly small sometimes–so we’ll get to spend some quality time learning about the exciting world of research together, and I also have an ice-cream get-together in the works with at least one Hairpin commenter. I haven’t met an online friend face-to-face since I was 19, so it’s gonna be some good times, yessir.

Tia has also commanded recommended that I take a trip to Uncommon Grounds for an Orgasmic Chai, and with a name like that, how can I refuse?

Anybody else around here familiar with Minneapolis? Any travel tips or food recs? While I’ve gone to a number of anime and comics conventions for fun, this will be my first-ever professional conference, so it’ll be quite a learning experience all-around.

Continuing the almost-forgotten theme from earlier, this is one of the hand-carved, hand-painted earrings I wore with this outfit. They were a gift that my mom brought back for me from Costa Rica (okay, so that’s Central America, not South America–not trying to homogenize the two, here!) when she went last year, and every picture I take of them just doesn’t quite capture how gorgeous they are. Seriously, they make my heart hurt a little every time I look at them, and they’re one of the prettiest things I own. Sigh…

Okay, before I get completely mesmerized by my own belongings, happy Friday, guys! I’ll try to schedule some posts over the weekend so stuff’s still going up here while I’m in Minneapolis next week, but if there’s a little bit of radio silence, don’t be alarmed. I know all y’all’s days revolve around this blog, but try to be brave, for all our sakes.


Outfit Post: 7/24/12

Top: Gift — Skirt: Goodwill (Target) — Flats: Thrifted (Born) — Bracelet: The Brown Elephant — Belt: Thrifted — Earrings: Gift from Katie!

I wanted to like this outfit, guys, I really did. And it’s…okay. It looks pretty nice, I like the bracelet against the neutral rest of the outfit. The fit, however, was all wrong.

See, I was bound and determined to belt this skirt, but belting things down near my hips instead of up at my natural waist means I’m tugging and tucking and twisting and adjusting all frickin’ day, and even during this very short after-work photoshoot I had to keep screwing with the belt because the skirt would not sit evenly underneath it. Too much bother for my comfort standards!

I do really like this bracelet, though; I don’t wear it as often as I would like because even a small dash of rainbow to an outfit can be kind of a lot of look. Any suggestions, y’all? Or should I just wear it with my rainbow necklace, rainbow scarf, and rainbow belt, all at once?

Aw man, though, you guys. I have been wicked tired lately, mostly due to my own poor time management skills. What’s that, TV? You want me to watch another episode of Project Runway Season 9 instead of making sandwiches and going to bed early? Well, okay…

(Not gonna lie, I know the show is a total circus at this point, but I still eat it up. Especially season 9, because Joshua is such an Alpha Gay and he makes for such good TV.

Mike inevitably drifts over from his desk and watches with me. I’m pretty sure he has a crush on Tim Gunn, but who doesn’t?)

Outfit Post: 7/23/12

T-shirt: TMBG concert — Skirt: Goodwill (H&M) — Sandals: Goodwill (Target) — Bracelet: Found — Earrings: World Market

Errands-running outfit! I stayed home sick from work on Monday, and when I felt better Mike and I went out for lunch and then I went a-grocery-shoppin’. I don’t wear my collection of band t-shirts much anymore, because, let’s face it, the crewneck-babydoll-cut-tee thing can be kind of hard to fashionably style–but I still love my band tees and can’t part with them yet! Particularly not this one, because TMBG was one of my first loves, and the night we went to see them at the Rio Theater in Santa Cruz was also the first night that Mike and I were like, “yeah, we aren’t just friends.” So there’s that.

Monday was a really hot and sweaty day, and I spent most of it feeling pretty dang grimy. Honestly, though, I’m glad I did, because I actually ended up spending a lot of time thinking about Tia’s post on taking care, as well as this post by dreamrebel, which I read back at the beginning of the month and which I haven’t been able to get out of my head:

about 5 years ago i claimed the identity dirtyqueer for myself as a way to acknowledge my struggle to be in/remember my own body by reclaiming the thing i was most afraid of—being dirty. dirty was the reason i left my body in the first place… because of my queer desires, and my fat body, and my hs.. all the ways that it somehow felt inherently wrong. it has been a while since i’ve thought a lot about dirtyqueer as an identity but coming back to it now makes me feel so incredible. my body, its desires and the way it’s always changing and breaking and fucking up and being dirty.. it is all so relevant to my queerness. i can’t take the dirty from the queer.. and i was always so scared to claim that word and what it meant to me, but now i need it. it keeps me going. i feel the most strength in myself when i sparkle with dirt under my nails, when i’m sweating and in my body, dressing it up so i shine along with greasy skin and hair, feeling every moment in my skin…uncomfortable or not.
i’m from the south and during the summer i was often pushed back into my body drenched in sweat / can’t hardly breathe because of the humidity. i seriously cherish those moments because they were the times when i was forced back into my own body. i definitely used to hate the sweat and the heat because it would often bring out my hs more, but i learned to appreciate all of that and now i just like sitting dirty in myself without wishing to be in someone else’s skin. i love the way my body changes and keeps giving regardless of what i do to it or where it decides to take me. (dreamrebel, emphasis mine)

It’s interesting to think about the concept of “dirty,” especially during this summer heat when that feeling of being dirty comes on more quickly than it does in the winter. If you’ve ever watched American TV commercials for ten minutes, you can tell that we have a complex relationship with cleanliness and dirtiness, and that there are all sorts of connotations that come with one or the other. Clean equals sanitary, safe, comfortable, acceptable, good. Dirty equals diseased, dangerous, scary, immoral, the unknown. While I’m certainly in favor of cleanliness insofar as it’s helped us combat illnesses like cholera and makes our water safe to drink, it’s when the concept of “dirty” is used to oppress minority groups and “the other” that it becomes a problem.

You know what I mean, and it’s what the writer talks about when she talks about “dirty” being attributed to her fatness and queerness; it’s something that humans have always used to oppress other humans and to shame the unorthodox. Body hair on women? Dirty! Menstruation? Dirty! Women enjoying sex? Dirty and slutty! Queer folks? Dirty and immoral! Foreigners? Dirty, and their weird food and clothes are probably dirty too! We’ve all heard it before, some of us more than others. Different equals dirty equals shameful, and it’s no wonder that the writer disassociated from her body, this thing that people kept telling her was so wrong and dirty.

Unlike the author of that post, I don’t think I’ve ever been disassociated from my body due to shame, but I realized recently that I don’t really inhabit my body a lot of the time, either. I’ve always been more of a mental person than a physical person–which is a false dichotomy, but shows how I tend to separate my mind (“me”) from my body, which “I” just sort of pilot. I spent a lot of time in my head without paying attention to the things my body is doing, or what it’s telling me. I’m only pulled back into my body when it needs something (food, sleep, to go to the bathroom), or when I’m feeling uncomfortable (sweaty, hot, cold, nauseated) or in pain, and then my usual reaction is to feel irritated that it can’t just take care of itself.

There are definitely times when it’s a positive influence that brings me into my body, like muscles working while I’m riding my bike, but even then I think less about those moments than I do the uncomfortable ones. I’ve only thought about this in the last few months, and I’m now trying to pay more attention to both the good and the bad moments, and think about what my body is telling me so that I can better inhabit it instead of feeling like my body and my brain work counter to each other’s needs (which are, really, the same needs. Brain, meet body; body, meet brain).

It’s a slow job to break away from my previous way of being, but I am working to care for my body and to not get mad at it for signals of discomfort, but to pay attention to what those signals mean–and also to sit dirty with myself sometimes, and let that be okay.

Trimming the Pork Chop: The Flat Tire Story

Once, there was a little kitty. Her name wasn’t Flat Tire yet, but it would be, soon. She may have been abandoned by previous owners who moved; the legends are unclear. Whatever her origins, fate found her living outside at a tender age, and a half-missing back leg (probably deformed since birth) meant she was an easy target for the other feral cats in the area. These were tough times for such a little kitty, but she endured and survived.

One day, she was hiding under a bush when four people walked by and noticed her, despite her best attempts to hide. One lured her out with leftover mackerel from the restaurant they’d just left, and they saw that she was adorable and sweet. When they also saw that she only had three legs, they took her in, gave her a flea bath, and tried to figure out what to do next.

And lo, she was tiny.

Two of the people who found her decided to keep her temporarily until they could get her to a shelter, but, as so often happens, one thing led to another and pretty soon they wouldn’t give her up for the world. With that, they became a little family of three. For the next year, where the people went, the kitty went, and they were happy.

But Flat Tire’s people were worried about her stump–or, as they called it, her Pork Chop–for, although she had no problems with it in the beginning, as time went on she continued to hurt the end of the Pork Chop on all manner of surfaces and objects, and her wails of pain began to fill their home. This, her people thought, would not do. With heavy hearts, they scheduled surgery and hoped for the best.

When Flat Tire came to after her surgery, her Pork Chop was gone and she was half-shaved in a most ignominious manner, and she was sore and tired and angry at the world. Her people (well, one of her people) was worried that she would hate everything forever and spend the rest of her days an unhappy kitty.

Fortunately, though, her people’s fears were unfounded, and pretty soon Flat Tire was back to being the happy little troublemaker they knew and loved, albeit a little clumsier than before.

Now if only she could get those stitches out so the cone could come off…but that’s a tale for another time.

(P.S. I took it upon myself to sum up Flat Tire’s short life story so far because I got a few questions regarding her origins and the reason for her surgery. Also, this blog is now all cats, all the time. DEAL WITH IT.)

Taking Care

Hi guys! I’ve been off the blog for a bit because of a confluence of events, including the car accident(see above for damage, yikes), my home wifi going out, and a frightening amount of foot/calf pain. I actually want to talk about the last of those three excuses for absence because it was terrifying to me, but lead me to doing something I should’ve done a while ago.

For the last month or so, when I’ve woken up, I’ve had mild foot pain. Over the last week, as Braden and I prepped like crazy for Dance for Science and worked our butts off to have the choreography ready, that pain lasted longer and longer. Last night, it was so intense that a 15 minute walk had me whimpering. (It’s since been determined that I chose the wrong, wrong, wrong shoes to wear while my feet were sore, since I woke up today and had the same previous lower level pain.)

As a dancer, I felt a strong fear that I was going to have to take a week or two…or four…or six off of dancing. So I did something I’ve never done, and sprung for a massage. One of my friends is a masseuse, but since I was recently paid for being Braden’s data manager for a wedding, I insisted on actually paying her what she was worth, because not only is she worth $60, my comfort is also worth $60.

I’m post massage now, and my head is a bit wibbly, but my calves and feet currently feel so much better. I was given guidance for what to do to help them stay that way, part of which is scheduling another appointment. I have always had a hard time spending money on myself(exempting dumb things like headbands) because, well, shouldn’t that money be put to something more worthy?

Giant fluffy headbands are in fact pretty high on my list of impulse buys as Mia will tell you.

In this case, no. What exactly could be more important than my health? Or, let’s be honest, the thing that made me act – my ability to dance. The terror that I felt about even losing a week or two of dancing put into perspective that a little money to help my body is not a waste or misuse of that money.

I want to suggest that you don’t wait until you’re in an unbearable amount of pain before seeing a massage specialist, or taking a mental health day or whatever it is you need to do to take care of yourself. I shouldn’t have waited as long as I did, but now that I’ve started taking care, I’m going to make sure I keep doing so.

Outfit Post: 7/21/12

Top: Marty May — Shorts: Goodwill (Express) — Sandals: Goodwill (Target) — Bangle: Thrifted — Earrings: Gift from Katie!

Hello and happy Monday, mis amigos! Did you have a good weekend? I primarily spent it cleaning and working on the house (to the dulcet tones of Steve Martin reading the audiobook of his autobiography, Born Standing Up–I quite recommend it), and also trying to catch up on other blogs, which I have been slacking off on SO BADLY lately. I’m sorry, you guys!

Commenting on a ton of blog posts at once brings to mind the same little gem that I start thinking about each time I fall back and have to catch up: commenting strategies! I wonder sometimes about other people’s commenting strategies and how much they differ from my own, which are admittedly not very strategic.

So you can see what I mean, here’s a tutorial for how to comment like Mia in three easy steps:

1) Fall behind on commenting so that you have to spend a couple hours playing catch-up and commenting on all the blogs you follow and love.

2) Have a crisis about whether to comment on every post every person makes, even if you can’t think of anything to say besides “cute top!”, or to leave longer, more in-depth comments on only some of their posts.

3) Put off commenting because you can’t decide and thinking about it becomes exhausting. Rinse and repeat ad infinitum.

And it’s so silly, right? It’s silly! And yet I drag myself into the mental argument every time. I certainly don’t mean to be down on shorter, simpler comments–because commenting frequently, even if the comments are brief, is a great way of being supportive of friends and fellow bloggers, and I see other bloggers do this to great effect. But (as you may have noticed), I have a really hard time being brief, and it feels more authentically me to say something more in a comment, to bring a personal anecdote or silly joke to the table, even if that means commenting takes more work and doesn’t happen as frequently.

Either way, though–short, frequent comments or longer, irregular comments–step 3 ain’t a great way to go. Procrastination is one of my many natural talents, so fighting it is always a struggle. But I’ll keep forging ahead, so expect to keep seeing comments from me! Once in a while, anyway.

Outfit Post: 7/19/12

Dress: Gift (Glam) — Top: Thrifted — Flats: American Rag Compagnie — Ring: Monterey Bay Aquarium — Earrings: Gift from Katie! — Pin: Hand-me-down

WHOA THERE  guys, check out my farmer’s tan. As a San Joaquin Valley native it is required that my arms be at least two different shades at all times, even though I’m not actually a farmer. I think it’s something in the air here.

But enough about my arms! I’m going to keep this post short because Flat Tire keeps rigorously insisting that every time I go to type I’m actually trying to pet her and missing. “It is KITTY TIME,” she says, “enough of that blog nonsense. They don’t love you like I do. Now scratch my chin.”

I put this outfit together with a prompt from Tia: “work something you consider too formal for daily wear into a casual outfit.” Now, you all know that any time I request or am given an outfit prompt, I must immediately figure out how to semi-cheat at it. In this case, I took a strapless dress, which I do generally consider too formal for regular wear even though it’s a summery dress, and hid most of it under this sleeveless linen vest thing.  Dunno if I would call this a casual outfit, but close enough. Et voila, Mia “close enoughs” her way to accomplishment once again!

I have been feeling in a bit of an outfit rut lately, though, so I welcome more prompts from all sides! Just know that I will try to cheat, for it is The Way of the Mia.

No hard feelings?

Outfit Post: 7/18/12

Top: Thrifted (6 Degrees) — Skirt: Anthropologie — Wedges: 6pm.com (Sam & Libby) — Earrings: Target — Bracelet: ABC Store — Ring: ???

What up, funks and funkettes! How’s this fine Thursday/Friday/Wednesday/whatever-ding-dang-time-traveling-day-it-is-for-you treating you today? Me, I’m feeling a little rough thanks to not enough sleep and too many chores. We need a dishwasher, y’all, for real. I just cannot keep up, and it’s a sad day in the life of a Mia when she decides not to bake any cookies because there are already too many dishes to do.

I have slowly been trying to unfuck my habitat, but it’s so, so easy for it to get re-fucked again, especially when (cough, cough) I want to take a night off and just eat tacos and watch Dylan Moran do stand-up comedy and not clean up afterwards. So, y’know, it’s slow going.

But I try not to give myself too hard a time about it (that’s what UFYH is for!). I maybe wept a little inwardly when I visited my mom and saw how gorgeously spotless things are there–but hey! She and my stepdad are both retired, whereas Mike and I both work full-time in addition to having outside interests that don’t involve scrubbing the bathtub with lemon verbena cleanser or mopping the kitchen floor. Things aren’t health-hazardously filthy, it’s just a messy house.

Well, a messy house with too many belongings (and too much furniture) in it. That’s another step that I’m going to try to tackle this weekend: removing some of the junk and crap and other crud that accumulates and never gets used. Where do all these things come from? Our house is like an inside-out katamari, I swear.

Some days it feels like I’m never going to get anywhere, but then some days I have the energy to take care of stuff and hey, look at that, in a couple of days I did the tub and the sink and the toilet! It’ll probably never be 100% tidy, or the kind of house you’d see on Apartment Therapy or whatever, but that’s not what I want–I just want a little bit better, a little bit at a time.