Sunday, April 27, 2008

I have come to catch your voice,

I seem to remember seeing mention of The Edge of Love somewhere a long while ago, and then just recently I saw it on a lovely blog somewhere that I cannot remember. I know I bookmarked it, but I have to sit and organize them in order to be able to find anything and I haven't the patience at the moment. Apologies!

It's a movie I'm really intrigued by. First of all, it's literary, which is always something enjoyable. I anticipate several 'writer' scenes, author hunched over desk with pen in hand scribbling by light of a picturesque candle or gorgeously vintage lamp penning a famous work. I also feel particularly interested because of the topic. My mother decided to name me Kaitlin after Caitlin MacNamara (not specifically because she admired her as a person, but because that was the first place she had heard that name), though she went with the 'K' spelling because my last name begins with R and that is aesthetically more balanced when written or embroidered.

Thus far pictures from the filming promise something wonderful. Sienna Miller (as Caitlin) and Keira Knightly (as Vera Phillips)are the subject of most of them thus far, and their clothes are certainly in line with much of what it seems we're longing for lately, or at least I am. Floral skirts, blouses, streamlined (or the occasional utilitarian frumpy) jackets, and boots suitable for traipsing around water's edge are all deeply appealing at the moment. There is something definitely vintage but contemporary about it all. Perhaps that's just a general sense of nostalgia in current trends and minds, but either way my brain likes it.

I have come to catch your voice,
Your constructed notes going out of the throat
With dry, mechanical gestures,
To catch the shaft
Although it is so straight and unbending;
Then, when I open my mouth,
The light will come in an unwavering line.
Then to catch night
Wading through her dark cave on ferocious wings.
Oh, eagle-mouthed,
I have come to pluck you,
And take away your exotic plumage,
Although your anger is not a slight thing,
Take you into my own place
Where the frost can never fall,
Nor the petals of any flower drop.

--Dylan Thomas

Perhaps it's just the patterns, but it reminds me a bit of this:

Despite the presence of the bright, bright blue, it is similar to me. Perhaps it's just my English major-y brain reaching to make connections, but you know. Since we don't all get to be frolicking exuberantly by the sea, we wear blue tights to evoke it with our florals.

Friday, April 25, 2008

As promised: Shorts!

What an unfortunate face I happened to be making! It was very difficult getting pictures this morning. The LCD is broken on my camera (I dropped it, woe!) so I have to set the self-timer and flash by memory and for some reason the flash kept going off this morning! The unfortunate fact was compounded with the embarassing appearence of people late for classes; I accidently startled one person. Apologies!

So far the day in shorts is not too bad. They are somewhat unflattering while sitting, but I console myself with the fact that it is not a problem unique to me, and as I walk around campus I notice many people wearing scandalizingly tiny shorts.

On a side note, I have been waiting to post about some floral dresses from Express. I walked by, as is my usual custom on my way to buy chocolate at work, and there are some really lovely dresses on display. The prints are wonderful wonderful wonderful, and the shapes are really pretty. They also have some maxi floral dresses where the print is decidedly (Dear self: stop over-using adverbs and adjectives) abstract and loud. I love them all. On the downside they are ridiculously over-priced, I think, but I also just got a 30$ off coupon in my e-mail and so I am tempted.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Plaid Skirts and Pale Knees

It seems the key to not getting caught taking pictures in campus stairwells is to wait until classes have been on for 20 minutes or so. It was far too warm today to be wearing stockings, but I'm not quite ready to give them up yet! I know I will be complaining all summer about not being able to wear them so I am trying to cling to them for as long as possible. Tomorrow, will wear shorts.

For years I have said no to shorts. It is not so much the fact that my legs are basically clear (last summer a crazy man in the grocery store parking lot told me I needed a tan and then asked me if I was an albino. A customer at work also asked me what color my tights were, they looked like a very very pale grey, and looked very embarrassed when I told her I wasn't wearing any), but more that my legs are lacking in any sign of being toned. However, I am going to venture out into the world with almost bare legs (I'm cheating. My plan is to wear my super-sheer flesh colored stockings) and see how I feel. I can't remember the last time I wore shorts in public. I think it was at camp when I was 16 or so, but that was only because I was forced. I will document this event.

(Also, tomorrow, I am getting my hair cut. Not a lot, but still. It is just getting too long and with the warmer weather it's more of a pain. I used to get my hair cut like regular people, but as my schedule has gotten busier, I go forever. Like, once every 8 months. I'm scared!)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Things of Happiness: Brideshead Revisited

I slacked last week and forgot to post something of happiness, but I'll make up for it this week perhaps and post twice. At the moment I am having a kind of secret panic attack as I have lost my favorite copy of this week's thing, but I know it must be around here somewhere. If not, I don't know what I'll be capable of.

This week's thing is Brideshead Revisited. I grew up with this book and the miniseries (the 2008 movie version is heresy and I am ignoring it's existence angrily and with bitter, bitter vexation). Every year, usually around this time of year, my mother and I pop the DVDs and curl up with lots of tea and brioche toast with jelly and watch every episode in immediate succession. I love it so much it makes me want to cry just thinking about. The book is wonderfully heartbreaking and the miniseries actually matches it, a feat that almost never happens. I've considered that were I to get a tattoo it would be Brideshead related, or Les Miserables, since it is one of very few obsessions that have carried through my whole life.

"He told me and, on the instant, it was as though someone had had switched off the wireless, and a voice that had been bawling in my ears, incessantly, fatuously, for days beyond number, had suddenly been cut short; and immense silence followed, empty at first, but gradually, as my outraged sense regained authority, fill of a multitude of sweet and natural and long-forgotten sounds--for he had spoken a name that was so familiar to me, a conjurer's name of such ancient power, that, at its mere sound, the phantoms of those haunted late years began to take flight."

Aesthetically, it's nothing but deliciously appealing. Of course everyone loves Sebastian because he is deliriously beautiful, wears white suits and carries around a teddy bear (not to mention, spoiled, blonde, possibly gay, and British is almost unfalteringly my type) and spirals tragically downward until I think I just might perish of sadness. Besides him, I love the look of the movie. Castle Howard is huge and gorgeous, Julia's clothes are generally hideous but she has the greatest 20s haircut and is really beautiful. Oxford, Venice, it's all fantastically beautiful and I can't stand it. It makes me want to go punting, take up smoking, drink champagne, eat berries, and sit by fountains.

Sadly, I've had a hard time finding many pictures from it, if I ever decide to cap it myself then we'll have something, but in the meantime I have plenty of Charles, Sebastian, and Aloysious. Also, in the time it took for write this post, I found my book. It was in the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings section of my bookshelf, which though the Oxford connection to the latter makes it appropriate, it does not go there.

"I knew Sebastian by sight long before I met him. That was unavoidable for, from his first week, he was the most conspicuous man of his year by reason of his beauty, which was arresting, and his eccentricities of behaviour which seemed to know no bounds. My first sight of him was as we passed in the door of the Germer's, and, on that occasion, I was struck less by his looks than by the fact that he was carrying a large Teddy-bear."

"She is one thing only, Renaissance tragedy [...] Dogs and children love her, other girls love her--my dear she's a fiend--a passionless, acquisitive, intriguing, ruthless killer. I wonder if she's incestuous. I doubt it, all she wants is power. There ought to be an inquisition especially set up to burn her."

"There's another sister, too, I believe, in the schoolroom. Nothing is known of her except that her governess went mad and drowned herself not long ago."

"Living in sin, with sin, by sin, for sin, every hour, every day, year in, year out. Waking up with sin in the morning, clipping diamonds to it, feeding it, showing it round, giving it a good time, putting it to sleep at night with a tablet of Dial if it's fretful. Always the same, like an idiot child carefully nursed, guarded from the world. 'Poor Julia,' they say, 'she can't go out. She's got to take care of her little sin. A pity it ever lived,' they say, 'but it's so strong. Children like that always are. Julia's so good to her little, mad sin.'"

"'I don't want to make it easier for you,' I said; ' I hope your heart may break; but I do understand.'"

Et in Arcadia Ego.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I Hate Getting Caught (laughing).

I was very pleased to discover that the stairwells on my campus are rather good for taking pictures. They have that uncluttered background that lends itself very nicely to outfit photos, but because there are windows lining the stairs the lighting is also pretty decent. The downside is that the best stairwell for this is also one of the most well-traveled (I like this one best because the lighting is better than most, slightly, and there aren't any fire extinguishers on the wall behind me) since it's between three of the busiest buildings and the campus center.

The first time I discovered this photo-prime place I was miraculously undisturbed. Since then I have had no such luck. I feel so awkward when I'm discovered! The other day I managed to grab the camera fairly quickly when someone popped through the door, although I did garner a strange glance as they made their way through into the Education building, and most of the time I'm careful not to get caught.

Not that it matters! But somehow it feels very strange to me to get caught taking pictures of myself. It's why I won't even go out onto the regular campus where the fountains are to take pictures, I feel like such a weirdo (although, when I have someone with me who I'm comfortable and familiar with, I have no problem taking them almost anywhere, but I suppose it's because I feel like I have backup)! This is not the sort of thing that should matter, I know, but there is something mildly embarrassing and deeply cringe-worthy about getting caught. I think a lot of it has to do with where the real life meets internet personas. Then again, I think it's similar to the kind of exhibitionism (and I don't mean that in the negative way, but in a more positive self-assured way) as wearing neon-colored tights in a city or town or place where those kinds of things aren't the norm.

There's a really strange kind of thing that happens taking pictures in public anyway. It's something that has always seemed private to me. It says that there was something you thought was worth it enough to warrant taking a photo and other people will be curious about what you're taking a picture of and why. With people it's similar, but also more personal because it becomes about faces and bonds and interactions and things like that, very intimate moments that are picked out in public. I think this is why street style blogs are so fascinating to me! They seem like a really weird mixture of a public vs. private sphere type of deal, or perhaps this is all because I'm a wildly private loner who can't deal with extroversion. The Clothes Horse, in her most recent post, noted that she finds it difficult not to freeze up in front of someone else's camera. It's a funny thing, but I'd have to agree. I don't know what to do when someone else is taking the picture, though my own w_r shots are rather boring anyway, but I always feel the need to grin and be as normal as possible when it's someone else rather than stand still and moody.

Either way, I always feel like something wildly personal is being accidentally caught happening when someone catches me taking pictures of myself. Perhaps it is because I don't want to appear too narcissistic, although obviously I am if I'm doing this sort of thing on the internet at all, but you know. Illusions, Michael.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I dreamt I was a amorphous mass, the ghost of a child lost at sea.

(I look fantastically deranged here, and the flash went off and ruined the atmosphere, but I think it lends itself nicely to my drowned ghost dream thing.)

alphabet (an excerpt)

apricot trees exist, apricot trees exist

bracken exists; and blackberries, blackberries;
bromine exists; and hydrogen, hydrogen

cicadas exist; chicory, chromium
citrus trees; cicadas exist;
cicadas, cedars, cypresses, the cerebellum

doves exist, dreamers, and dolls;
killers exist, and doves, and doves;
haze, dioxin, and days; days
exist, days and death; and poems
exist; poems, days, death

-Inger Christensen

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Confession.

I have a confession to make. It's something I think about almost all the time. It's something that's harder and harder to not think about, to hide, now that the weather is getting warmer. It's something I am not sure how to admit to, being a girl who works in a shoe store, and something I didn't notice until a little less than a year ago.

I have terrible feet. I mean, I suppose the could be worse. They don't look like the frightening pictures that come up on google when one googles various maladies of the feet, but they're not awesome. I didn't even notice it for a long time. I worked in my store for almost over a year before I noticed it, before I started to compare my feet to every other woman's who tried to shoes that day. The thing is, I have bunions.

Oh, it pains me to say it! This is why I wear flats so often (every day in fact). This past September, I all but stopped wearing heels except for special occasions where I won't be standing for long periods of time. Anything higher than two inches is a no, as is anything with a pointy toe. This is a problem, as I am a girl who works in a shoe store, and I have tons and tons of shoes I no longer wear very often. (I also have a shoe problem. I tend to buy, on average, one pair of shoes a week. Ranging between 8-50$ though, so it depends on the week. Right now I counted the shoes I can see and there are approximately 74 pairs, not counting the ones in my car, downstairs by the front door, in my makeshift closet, and in my trunk of shoes I don't wear. It's kind of obscene I know, I can't even wear half of them anymore.)

It's not totally my fault though! I know lots of the shoes I wore didn't help, but honestly, I've always had problem feet. I remember being little and my mother took me to the doctor because of mysterious bumps at the top of my feet, which as it turns out are totally normal, and I've always had bunion-like bumps at my big toes. It's an inherited thing, a genetic predisposition to having that particular bone-arrangement in your feet anyway, and my grandmother and my aunt both have feet just like mine. But then I started wearing heels and shoes that certainly didn't help at all, suffering though the pain, and now I notice a bit of a difference. It scared me, and I stopped wearing heels altogether. I am petrified of surgery!

Perhaps to compensate, my toe-nails are always painted and usually re-done once a week (I do it myself, pedicures are for special occasions). It's such an issue for me though! I worry about them all the time, I research methods to halt the continuation of it all, to make it better, check up on the latest surgeries and the like. It stress me out like all kinds of whoa. I'm planning to invest in some Yoga Toes.

Anyway, that's that. I just felt like getting it out there, in the open, admitting my dark secret.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

lady i swear by all floral dresses

Floral dresses are all over the place, we know this. It's a trend I am all ready to shove my face into, but lately I have been hit with a conundrum. First, I saw this dress on Moderniteter:

I looked for it at my local H&M and lo! They had it (that never happens). Unfortunately, the boyfriend said it looked like Mimi from The Drew Carey Show. I pouted, as now I felt the dress might be ruined. I tried it on and it was cute. I'm not in love with the fabric, but I love the print more than a lot of things. Then today I saw it on Le Blog de Betty and am rethinking it all:

But it gets more complicated. Trotting into Forever21 on my break, I spied this little floral delicacy:

Forever21 24.80$

It is significantly cheaper, and I have to say a bit more flattering for my form (it has a tie just under the bust which is very nice) that the first. But I am not in love with the print. It's fine, it all sort of blends together more in person but it's so dark and I feel like I ought to own a pair of doc martens if I'm going to wear this on. The alternating patterns of flowers also put me more in the mind of the following:

Obviously this is an added plus. All the same though, my heart is divided. I am trying very hard not to buy more than one item of clothing a week at mall stores, if at all, and I haven't had much trouble just yet (I have instead transferred my obsession to Passion Tea Lemonade from Starbucks, which is delicious and wonderful), but perhaps I will dip into my little bit of gift money and splurge for both of them. At least the H&M one is returnable, which is the main thing holding me back from the Forever21 dress.

I mean, one can never have too many floral dresses, true?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

This Spring's skeleton will be built on this:


I remember Spring. The lilacs and the stars. The rose and the dew. You and the night. I remember. I remember holding hands beneath the moon which was suspended like a silver locket upon a chain of stars from the neckline of a cloud. I remember the leaves whispering the lacy gossips in the trees. I remember the lake lapping. I remember how sharp like a thorn was love. Why do I not remember your Name?

-Up the Down Staircase

I have always had a strange relationship with spring. After all my complaining about the cold weather you'd think I would adore it! But I am never quite sure what to do with it. I am often riddled with anxiety about summer, as it looms just around the corner and will linger on much longer than I would prefer. When I was younger I remember only being able to express my distaste for spring in that it was "too pastel". I hated Forsythia; I thought it was loud and obnoxious. Tulips asked for far too much attention, the demanding things. I hated what show-offs they seemed to be. Something about spring always felt wrong. The early, mild days of summer before it got too humid were nice enough, or cool summer nights are poetic and desirable, but spring mornings make me uneasy still.

I have been having a hard time dressing for it. Stricken with some brand of virus I spent most of this past week lurking around the house trying to avoid light. I was concerned I would miss out on the nicest days of the year and would not be able to wear various outfits in the coming weeks. Which is partly true, but I'm finding this to be very tricky. Striking the balance between post-winter excitement and still dressing correctly is a difficulty always chronicled by fashion magazines and the like, just as I always bust out the winter coat far too early and get sick of it much too soon.

Everyone on campus has broken out the flip-flops and frayed shorts, but I can't just bring myself to go there yet. I will wear tights until it's 80 degrees, and don the light jackets!

(Also, apologies, I am not certain where many of these images are from, they're simply picked out of the mountains of random pictures I've saved!)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Scattered as Foucault, and he's written whole books.

I did not go to my last class today, how shameful! Instead John and I ate breakfast for lunch and went to the NYS Museum. We always talk about going and hardly ever make it down there but it was a nice day for it. My favorite is the Bird Hall, which I suppose goes along with my strange obsession with birds, and the New York City Subway train from the 50s you can hang out inside.

In other news, I have to say I've done reasonably well not buying new clothes as of late. I did buy some tights from work but I don't count that (too much anyway). Most of the time I find myself feeling it's pointless and silly to buy things new for twenty bucks or more when I wonder if I could find something better thrifting (although those excursions have been mostly fruitless these days, but I will blame that on my bout with illness). On the other hand, I've been spending loads of money on snacks and food. It's very easy for me to justify eating. I'm such a snacker and I love food. My bank statement is practically edible. Maybe it's the rising gas prices, but I am becoming less and less tolerant of clothing prices. It also might be because I have more clothes than I can shake a stick at.

In addition, it seems our feline star from the previous post is somewhat of a sneaky little thing. Last night my mother was sitting watching TV when who comes down our stairs but Magic. Magic is not our cat. He had somehow broken into our house and spent heaven only knows how much time wandering around with our Baby (who, mom says, was walking right around him and not giving it much of a thought). He's a really strange animal.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Magic the Cat.

My neighbors have a very social cat named Magic. He is huge. He is basically a small bear, and he is also gorgeous and lies in the road and almost gets hit by cars. This morning I attempted to get him to participate in pictures, but many things were not cooperating. There were men fixing the concrete foundation of the house, so I couldn't use my usual place!

I call this: Off With Her Head, or, Red Shoes That Are Too Small, Featuring a Wire.

I am not pulling his tail, I swear, I was petting him.

(So no flattering.)

Then he went away...

And then came back. Seriously, he's basically up to my knees. This would have been an excellent outfit picture, had the beast not blocked my tights and shoes.

Things of Happiness: Woody Allen Movies

My boyfriend and I are in a bit of a Woody Allen marathon at the moment. I sort of grew up with them, especially Annie Hall and Small Time Crooks, but he was unfamiliar with them until I coerced him into watching Annie Hall when a DVD from Netflix skipped a few times. I know that they're the sort of movies that are always loved by hipsters and things, Annie is not exactly a new icon of fashion, but whatever. The characters always remind me of people in my family, which is sort of unsettling and comforting at the same time.

Annie Hall

(This driving scene in particular reminds us of, um, us, becase I am a terrible driver who does things like gets gum while driving and leaves food in the car. It's gross, I know, but I just accept it.)

"All the books on death and dying are yours and all the poetry books are mine."


(Isn't she just divine here?)

"What are you telling me, that you're, you're, you're gonna leave Emily, is this true? And, and run away with the, the, the winner of the Zelda Fitzgerald emotional maturity award? "

Hannah and Her Sisters

(I love this movie, but had the hardest time finding stills from it. Oh well.)

"Don't you just love songs about extra-terrestrial life? "
Sorry about my lack of postings! I am recovering from plague, or possibly a very romantic version of TB where I spent the week coughing beautifully onto a white pillow reading Keats. This morning I actually wore an outfit and took pictures of it with the neighbors gigantic cat (seriously, he's basically a bear that meows).

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I have always longed for long braids: Assorted Things.

(Apologies for the pointless colon!)

(The ubiquitous H&M jacket and dress!)

I'm afraid I've been absent! Nothing has struck me to say really, and I've been repeating outfits, and just reading other blogs ravenously. I didn't actually wear this outfit today, instead I wore a pair of roper boots I thought I had gotten rid of (I'll make a post about them later, I love them so!) partly because I found them and was too attached to the sweet pang of reunion not to do so and partly because it was supposed to rain. I love the adolescent feeling boots give me. I can stomp around to my hearts content and not worry about mud or puddles or stepping in disgusting things like spit (which I detest, I do not see why anyone needs to spit on the ground, and even when wearing biohazard-proof footwear I avoid it). It's a real kind of confidence that is different from wearing say, a fabulous pair of heels.

To veer off in a totally different vein, I've been wearing braids often. So has everyone else, I know, but it's really quite practical. My hair has gotten obscenely long and I constantly forget to make an appointment, it's too heavy even to hold much of a curl so my solution is to throw it into a messy braid and pin it to the back of my head in the most lackadaisical way possible.

I've always loved this image from Nylon:

Though I've never attempted to recreate it myself since my patience with hair is terribly thin and braids are a puzzle to do on one's own. I also tend to think braids suit lighter shades better. Blonde, red, lighter browns are better for it, where braids tend to disappear into my own dark brown. Nevertheless, this does not stop me! I used to braid my hair in class in high school all the time. I was particularly fond of the fishtail braid, since it looked intricate and impressive but really held well in that messy J.W. Waterhouse hair kind of way, with wisps and lose waves.

I always remember being very impressed by the hair at Dreamweaver Braiding (very useful for instructions, I like it because they have pictures for every step so it's very easy to follow, although not so much if you're on your own).

Fair Rosamund, J.W. Waterhouse