Monday, July 28, 2008

Our Clothes Have Fallen in Love with Each Other

When first we met my love and I
took shelter from the rainy sky
Beneath a crispy, gold baguette
which bended as it did get wet.

It bended gently and it drooped
upon our love as there we stooped
and sheltered from the storm above:
a soggy, golden crown of love.

The sun came out, the piece of bread
lay at our feet all limp and dead.
Greater love. Lest we forget
My love and I, the wet baguette.

-Spring Love Poem, Michael Leunig

Things of Happiness: Bubble Gum

I have recently re-discovered the wonders of bubble gum. I sort of forgot about it in favor for sugar-free after-meal gums, not to mention the general tragedy of entering adulthood that often leaves things like the joy of candy by the wayside (I have never stopped eating plenty of candy, we have a lot of it and I have little-to-no self-control, but not with the wonder and gusto of a kid).

Bubble gum however, is awesome. I love it. It tastes sublime, and there is hardly anything so deliriously fun as blowing bubbles. I really like when you can magically blow one that is bigger than your face, and it pops and does that delicate deflate.

1. Bubble-gum Box Head Boy, 2. Bubble Gum Bear Sculpture, 3. bubble-gum, 4. Fleer's Dubble Bubble Gum ad, 1960s, 5. Bubble pop electrik, 6. Huge chewing-gum Bubble (:

It also makes me want to wear almost nothing but pink. I don't actually own a lot of pink, although I ought too since it is one of those colors that is very flattering on my skin tone, mostly because as a child I was a staunch hater of pink. I suppose this is part of my reasoning for adoring it so madly now. I was a girly child too, I just didn't want to like pink. It is something I will have to investigate. I am especially fond of very light, dusty pinks. If only I had pink walls!

Pink is For...

She is neither pink nor pale,
And she never will be all mine;
She learned her hands in a fairy-tale,
And her mouth on a valentine.

"Witch Wife" Edna St. Vincent Millay

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Linky Things.

I'm afraid I am lazy and easily distracted. I wander away from the computer for hours, leaving chats open, going to get something to eat or looking for a book. Similarly, I have been terribly lack in my links list. There are so many blogs I check daily who aren't over there, not to mention so many people who have been kind enough to link me who I really have meant to link back, that I feel I ought to remedy this!

Luna Lovegood

I sort of feel like a person who thinks their blog is bigger than it is, but really I just want to reciprocate kindness! So if anyone would like to be linked that isn't already (obviously :P) let me know here! I will have no excuse at all, plus they will all be neatly piled into this funny, awkward, little post.

A Bee in the Bowler Hat.

"I've met another man. He's the best man I've ever met. He's bright, handsome and he's crazy about me. And, he's married. There's only one thing; he doesn't like my hat."

The Unbearable Lightness of Being is, as I think I've mentioned before, one of my favorite movies (in a terribly stubborn move, I've honestly never liked the book quite as much, for once!). Though I've never felt particular kinship for Sabina there is no possible way not to be in love with her hat and her penchant for wearing it. I think it's quite possible that 90% of what I wear is in some way a nod to a favorite character sometime. Eventually I will compose a post on this fact, I think.
Also making their debut: jeans! Not just pants, but honest-to-goodness jeans! I wear pants and jeans about once a week, usually when it rains (although that changes when the weather is cool enough to wear tights again), or occasionally to work. I still don't feel exactly right in jeans and pants. The last time I bought any was at least a year ago and before that it was about two years. I've gained a bit of weight since then and have tossed said pairs in the wash several times, so now most of them are just a tad too snug to be totally comfortable.

I think part of my problem with jeans and pants is I never feel dressed enough in them. Most of my tops are t-shirts, and those I try to wear with skirts, so jeans usually end up with blouses in an effort to feel more put-together and feminine. It's also certainly a confidence thing. I feel I can hide more in dresses and skirts--a misleading statement since it is not that I want to blend into the background, but rather disguise those parts of my body I'm not thrilled with.

I digress, and return to hats. This is to be the year of hats, I think, although perhaps it is too soon before fall to tell. Hats are good for me. They require confidence, work, and they feel somewhat literary. I feel like images of writers and authors in my head wear hats when they are doing normal-life things, and a hat is such a useful thing for a character. Oh, the kinds of hats they might wear! And that they could do with it, how they could touch it or wear it, if a hat was lost or stolen, a loved one's hat, not to mention the wonderful work of hat-making. I don't know just yet if it is, but bee-keeping and another fantasy activity, millinery, are combined today.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder.

Hello! I disappeared, so sorry darlings! We went away for the weekend and I only remembered I didn't post to say anything about it until everything was packed away. I was without internet all weekend, though oddly I didn't find I missed it too much, and now I am back and have loads of reading to catch up on the world! It is somewhat nice, I have new material to read at all my favorite places online!

I certainly did my fair share of shopping (I'm trying not to think of how much money I blew through, even though it wasn't too bad) and have already been reconsidering returning some of what I purchased. Among the things are the following two dresses, and a new hat! I am so in love with hats at the moment. I've always liked them but had such a hard time finding ones that didn't make my head look giant and strange that I never much bothered, and now it seems they are everywhere and I have such love for them!

I can't be bothered to wear much else but this at the moment. It's a brand-new purchase but I've worn it two days in a row. It's lovely and airy and keeps me cool while still feeling decent and pretty. I've also been looking for a drop-waist dress such as this one, and now I only want to find more! I've been wearing lots of white and off white lately, and just the other day we drove past a huge field of Queen Ann's Lace. It's such a funny thing, sort of a weed, but so pretty and spindly and strange I can't help but adore it.

These are in my backyard. That mechanical noise is not, in fact, and air conditioner or other machinery, but the scores of cicadas in the trees. I used to collect their shells when I was little, in big strange piles. They're so weird, and you always know when it's going to be hot from their noises.

And this! I have no idea where I will wear it at all, but it was so on sale there was no way I was going to leave it in the store! It's an XS, which I rarely wear, but since it has so much yardage and such I can manage it without any discomfort. I just want to eat it!

It has been ages since I did a Things of Happiness post, I'm afraid I've been slacking on that. I feel as though I've been gone ages and ages when it's only been a few days! And already today has flown by and I cannot account for my time. Keep checking in bunnies, I'll have all sorts of pretty jewels of posts to offer you!

P.S. Also, you may notice, I cut my hair! I cut off about six inches--off with it's head--and I love it. It's not being cooperative and lovely as it was yesterday and the days before, but perhaps things will get better. Eventually I will go a bit shorter, to be properly Margot Tenenbaum and Bonnie Parker.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Love in Little Boxes.

I am feeling quite cool about myself this week, which I do feel a bit guilty saying but it is always nice to know one is liked, due to a few lovely bloggers awarding me with awards (apologies for that terribly constructed sentence, I have never been terribly good at this sort of thing).

New internet bosom-buddy Jayne from Plain Jayne and Karima at Vintage Vienna were lovely enough to toss a Brilliante Blogger award my way! As if that wasn't enough to tickle-me-pink, Casey of Casey's Musings created a fantastic new award to send around-- The Inspired Blog Award-- and packaged one so prettily for me!

It feels terribly unfair and silly to divvy up these awards, and so I will simple introduce a whole bunch of blogs I love to read who will all get both!

The rules are:
1. when received, you may post the premio to your blog
2. link to the blogger you received it from
3. give it to 7 blogs (yes, I took the liberty of choosing 5)
4. link to those 7 blogs
5. and leave those 7 bloggers a comment about receiving the brilliant premio!

Take the prettiest button ever, pick five blogs, and let them know you love them!

Luscious Letters
A new blog, and yet already the content is wonderful and lovely! I know it's creator in real-life, and I can tell you she is truly brilliant and inspiring, and I can't wait to see where her blog goes!

Vulgar Moon
Just the right amount of whimsy, silliness, and darkness <3

The Life Aesthetic
So inspirational! Just like something walking out of eras gone by, I have only just started reading here recently but I'm utterly taken in by the wonderful outfits!

The Girl Who Married a Bear
It is a bit unfair since I've linked Milla here before, but her recent post on taxidermy just fascinated me, how could you not love that!

Sweet Dreams Till Sunbeams Find Me
This has become one of my go-to places for girly, breezy, pretty inspirational pictures and ideas, not to mention the wonderful tunes.

Small Souvenirs
Also a blog I've only been reading recently, but a treasure trove of inspiration!

Chic and Cheap
I have no idea what any of her posts say, but I am constantly envious and in love with the mosaics of her daily outfits and her style.

An Ancient Gesture
For the literature geek in me, such a quirky-smart-pretty blog that calms my spirit and beckons me to read!

The Cupcake Diary
Thought-provoking fashion-related posts are terribly irresistible to me! Combined with adorable style, covetable clothes, and a delicious looking wall!

Thou shalt not fail as a writer
because the very act of writing is the best protection
from the madness of the
--Charles Bukowski, "feeling fairly good tonight"

The Problem Shorts.

Shorts are a new thing for me. This year is the first I've worn them since my earlier years of high school, mostly because I have acquired a few pairs who are so adorable I can hardly stand it, let alone leave them sitting in the drawer all summer.

Optical Illusion Shorts! They're just striped really.

These were a gift from my aunt, and they are delicious! I'm not entirely comfortable in them--they're very short and however misleading my pictures may be I do not have small thighs-- but I cannot resist them. Their shortness seems to be quieted by their waist. I feel like they are easier to get away with since they come up so high, but they are still probably the one article of clothing I feel most self conscious in. It's a funny thing, because they're a rather benign, simple pair of shorts. Neon tights and strange funny dresses or wearing every floral patterned thing I can find are small potatoes in my feeling strange in my small city, somehow these shorts are so much more frightening to me!

At least I have my new hat to lean on. I really do want to wear it every day, and seeing as we are approaching the end of summer, wishful thinking really, I need to don it as often as possible!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Summer's Skirts

You wanted everything, to hold it all: the precise
measure of tears filling each eye, to ingest
parts of a concerto into the body; you want
a locked box for the scraps of paper, that recipe

of ideas; a treasure chest to quarantine your heart -
but already it's the time of dahlias, the ending
of the time of sunflowers; almost the reign
of goannas, when the birds call unmistakable

warnings to one another. You need to zoom in
so closely a sprig of lavender becomes myriad
tiny blooms bursting in spirals; you had to lick
the knife blade. Waking cut like a sword,

clambering from the dream of a soldier leaving -
she was pressing her cheek against the cotton chest
of a tall man, faceless, inhaling serenity and amaranth;
the lull, the surrender into a dark smudge of sleep:
and now a honey flesh shines through cracked bark.

The ardent harbour exploding with infinite stars:
you tried to hold it all, like the knife between
your teeth, it's a trapdoor into the night now:
under the clipped fingernail of a moon, you find
yourself staring straight into the eyes of an owl.
-Ardent, Jane Gibian

It's one month minus a day till my birthday, just before we head into those thick days of summer where the flowers are all rotting with the heat, skin is peeling and we've all but had enough of the pools and tank-tops, grass sticking to sweaty bodies, and all those things that go with summer-- even the dark night (speaking of which: I've had dreams about going to see The Dark Knight two nights in a row. My excitement overcomes my dreams) trips to ice cream stands are getting old. We're not there yet but it's almost here and I'm already feeling itches to throw off those dresses which are so full of summer, to slide into sweaters and tights under dresses who are clever enough to breech the seasons.

That said, I ache so much for breezes on the oceans, looking at the dunes and thinking of running through then before remembering how angry my dad would be for doing such a thing and potentially ruining their majesties. I haven't been to the beach in so long, years, and if you had told me so when I was younger I would never have believed. My family is from Long Island, and we feel such ownership and territory over things like Montauk and Fire Island and Cupsogue, that they have been invaded! We are terribly snobs, really. But, you know, like the movie or the band that becomes famous who you want to say, I liked them first!, that is how we feel about it. It is terribly snobbish and embarrassing, but what is one to do? Abandon summer and roll in fall.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hatter Days.

Today I bought a hat.

I rather love it, and the general consensus of family and such is that it is cute, despite the fact that my boyfriend and cousin spent the day making jokes at my hat-ly expense. I do have a habit of buying hats and hardly wearing them, but I have high hopes for this one.

I also bought this dress a few days ago. After seeing it on several French girls on various blogs I wanted it every time I saw it in my H&M (which so rarely gets anything good to begin with) but could not justify it's stupid price tag. Even when it went on sale at first I resisted, and good thing I did, till it went on sale again for ten dollars-- a reasonable price, I think. It's not terribly adventurous, as I do want to start exploring things outside of my general pretty and girly aesthetic, just a bit really, but I know I'll wear it often and all that.

Today we had no internet, and we went on a day trip to Woodstock, and tomorrow I am chained to the workplace, but be sure I have a list of interesting (I hope!) and gloriously delicious posts to subject the world to!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Literary Fashion part One.

I've been meaning to compose a post on this particular topic for quite some time. Despite this, I haven't exactly given it tons of thought beyond a drifty, dreamy, and somewhat vague outline of the kinds of things I mean to say. I credit this post not being in existence to the seasons: this is the first summer of my funny little blog here (I also passed my 100th post without so much as a parade, how silly of me!) and summer is the perfect time for this topic, of which I have yet to introduce in my haste to make up for the things I have slacked in doing.

I know another blogger out there somewhere has made a similar post, I'm sure there are many in fact, and I also know it is terribly crass and rude of me not to remember or give credit, but I implore everyone to take pity on my scattered mind! The topic at hand is Francesca Lia Block (FLB) books (of course it is, we are by now all painfully aware of the insane attachment I have to all things bookish and literary). Like many of her readers I came to her novels in high school, or perhaps it was in the years before—I can't be sure-- when I first gravitated towards those pretty jewel-like covers (I don't care what anyone says, I do judge books by their covers because covers are pretty and eye-catching), and read them voraciously until there were none left and I was forced to wait until newer publications came out or were reprinted.

I know there is a lot of criticism for her books, as for any really, but they are so dear to me that I can't imagine that someone would object to her stories very much! Her style is certainly clear and it is one that appeals to me as much now as it did then. While I am older and, I like to think, slightly more sophisticated intellectually and I can recognize the problems with so many formerly beloved books (and movies, and music, and the list goes on) revisiting her books still give me the same dreamy feeling that borders on being lost, but in a pleasant way. Her books have influenced me in an undeniable way. It seeps into the kinds of things I like clothing, fashion, decoration, and literature-wise. Of course I am certain I already had a kind of fascination with the kinds of overly strange and cluttered and magical types of places and aesthetics she details, but it was only strengthened by her books.

The first I read was I Was a Teenage Fairy. The story itself I wasn't terribly attracted to. Barely out of childhood, I still needed my heroines to be brunette and bookish for them to be terribly interesting. But I remember being terribly struck by her descriptions of cities as women:

I Was a Teenage Fairy

“If Los Angeles is a woman reclining billboard model with collagen-puffed lips and silicone-inflated breasts, a woman in a magenta convertible with heart-shaped sunglasses and cotton candy hair; if Los Angeles is this woman, then the San Fernando Valley is her teeny-bopper sister. The teeny-bopper sister snaps her stretchy pink bubbles over her tongue and checks her lip gloss in the rearview mirror, causing sis to scream.”
(Block, 3)

“If Los Angeles is a woman reclining billboard model and the San Fernando Valley is her teeny-bopper sister, then New York is their cousin. Her hair is dyed autumn red or aubergine or Egyptian henna, depending on her mood. Her skin is pale as frost and she wear beautiful Jil Saunder suits and Prada pumps on which she walks faster than a speeding taxi (which is caught in rush hour, that is). Her lips are some unlikely share of copper or violet, courtesy of her local MAC drag queen makeup consultant. She is always carrying bags of clothes, boquets of roses, take-out Chinese containers, or bagles. Museum tags fill her purses, along with perfume samples and invitations to art gallery openings.”
(Block, 122)

Then, of course, there are the Weetzie Bat Books. In high school, my best friend and I were engrossed in them, bestowing nicknames based on the characters on each other.

Weetzie Bat

“The reason Weetzie Bat hated high school was because no one understood. They didn't even realize where they were living. They didn't care that Marilyn's prints were practically in their backyard at Graumann's; that you could buy tomahawks and plastic palm tree wallets at Farmer's Market [...] She was a skinny girl with a bleach-blonde flat-top. Under the pink harlequin sunglasses, strawberry lipstick, earrings dangling charms, and sugar frosted eye shadow she was really almost beautiful. Sometimes she wore Levi's with white sueded fringe sewn down the legs and a feathered Indian headdress, sometimes old fifties' taffeta dresses made of kids' sheets printed with pink piglets or Disney characters”
(Block, 4)

I remember being in total awe of that kind of dress, even when it was just in books, the weird girls and the eccentrics. Of course we all are, posting them and their kind as inspiration and all that, these fictional or even real-fictional girl and women characters who fascinate us in their daredevil clothes and arresting looks. I used to try to recreate things from Weetzie, the pink sunglasses especially. But of course I was all about Witch Baby, with her snail-toes, boots and wild hair. I spent ages trying to find a hummingbird necklace like her's, and recently came upon one in a thrift store and bought it just for that old reason. Honestly, with tangles of dark hair and purple eyes, there was no way I wasn't identifying with that one, even if the resemblance was nonexistent:

Witch Baby

“In the room full of musical instruments, watercolor paints, candles, sparkles, beads, books, basketballs, roses, incense, surfboards, china pixie heads, lanky toy lizards and a rubber chicken, Witch Baby was curling her toes, tapping her drumsticks and pulling on the snarl balls in her hair”
(Block, 73).

It is hard for me to chose only a few books to feature here, but the last which I think has injected itself into the gestation of my life aesthetic is Estacia, and also it's companion Primavera. They are two I can read most often and get lost in easily.

Ecstasia and Primavera

“I would find you dancing downtown
in your net and tinsel gown
find you in places
filled up with faces
shadowed with roses, crosses and lace”

“Arcadie's apartment is up some stairs. We enter the small room cluttered with objects. Everywhere lace, dolls, fans, perfume bottles, masks, vases, shoes, ribbons [...] All over the walls there are pictures of a young girl, a man, and a woman. The girl's face is small and her chin comes to a sharp point. In one picture she wears a frilled costume and a small crown of jewels on her head”
(Block, 80).

This might be the longest post ever, but it only feels appropriate. Even if I don't read the books with the same fervor I used to I love them. That cluttered, romantic, nostalgic and pack-rat vein that is in so many of her books is clearly a part of how I live, and the characters with strong aesthetics and senses of self and dress certainly contributed to the driving need I think I must have to carve out some own personal style to burrow into. It makes me want to dress a certain way, to wear things that are quirky and girly, with motorcycle jackets and tulle. I'm not saying they are the best books ever, that they're works of genius the whole world over (I'm also not saying they're not), but that they are lovely and wonderful and made me think about dressing for myself again, about writing, about all of that, and they are a huge part of my development. (What a cheesy ending!)

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Fourth of July.

This is not an outfit from today, I am a fraud, but I am going to work for a few hours so I expect it will be all black and white for me again!

Happy Fourth of July! I think it might be the strangest holiday ever, but honestly it has never disappointed (even though it rained last year). When I was little and spent summers in Philadelphia, my cousins and I used to put on a play in their backyard on the 4th. It was always disastrous, mostly because I played the part of a control-freak director who had mental and emotional breakdowns when everyone else could not 'live up to my artistic vision' (not my words, but rather those of a small child, ha!) but we always had fun and there were lovely things like cake and my favorite: fireworks and sparklers.

I love fireworks. I am never sure if I am scared of them or if I actually want to be one. Sparklers are my other favorite, probably more than fireworks, because you can hold them and draw pictures in the air. This year we haven't any for ourselves personally, but we do have some pop thingies:

to wreak havoc on a small scale (I am sure it is frightening for the ants, but I try not to feel too badly about it). Don't you just love the packaging? I think it's fabulous.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Things are Meant to Be.

So, this dress just listed in Fashion Toast's ebay store (Treasure Chest Vintage) is one of a few things I scored at Salvation Army yesterday!

This makes me feel cool, and also strange. Ha! I wandered into a Salvation Army out of my area yesterday as I was early for a date and within minutes I had eleven or twelve things clutched in my greedy arms. I had to weed out and only bought three things: said dress, a second green dress with a weird and fantastic print that reminds me of amoebas pretending to be flowers, and the weirdest slip I have found yet. There were so many things though, I wanted to buy them all. Realistically I knew I couldn't, so I abstained, but it was so hard!

My plan is to try to go back tomorrow, since I got my paycheck a day early! I am trying to save but really! There are treasures and I am a funny little packrat magpie who must have them!