Thursday, November 29, 2007
I kept peeking at it throughout the day, and finally realized why it's so awesome.
First: the shoes. I'd almost expect the woman to be wearing boots with this look, but no! She has on fabulous D'Orsays that would look just as great with a slinky evening dress as with this outfit. Love.
Second: The scarf! I must confess, I love scarves. Yesterday I wore an off-white scarf woven of Tibetan lamb's wool my sister gave me. And people could not stop commenting on it, including my cousin when I picked him up from the airport. "You must love clothes to wear that scarf!" he exclaimed. Yes...yes i do.
Scarves - thick, fluffy, sensuous scarves - are practical (a warm neck/throat is a great defense against germs) and add a special little something to the right outfit. If the woman in the picture had worn a red scarf, it would have been too matchy-matchy; black, too bland. But grey! She could wear that gray scarf every day, and I guarantee it would look great with a wide variety of outfits.
As you can probably tell from my selections, I am dogmatic when it comes to boots. They must be waterproof, yet the leather should not be overly stiff. They cannot be made of fake leather, because fake leather boots make your feet into stiff, sore, sweaty messes in 2.5 seconds flat.
They should be sleek, not clunky. They should have a stiletto heel or, barring that, a chunky but very high heel. They should have pointy or round toes; square toes do nothing to elongate the leg (this goes for footwear in general). They should not be flat, unless you enjoy looking like a hobbit. A 1"-2" heel is ok if you are tall/slim; otherwise, a heel that's at least 3" is better, if you can handle it.
Motorcycle-inspired boots are hot because they make you look like a badass. Also, I had a sociology TA with greased-back hair who wore a leather jacket, tight-ish jeans and motorcycle boots every day. He was oddly hot.
And Frye boots are cool, because serious boot-wearers swear by them, and they appear to be well-designed and well-constructed.
Suede is ok, but only as long as you are willing to waterproof it and take care of it.
Boots should be black, brown, toffee or tan; or, if you can pull it off, go for purple, burgundy, or dark green.
Over-the-knee boots should be saved for the bedroom. Avoid slouchy boots, because they make your legs and ankles look fat.
And I was going to say that ankle boots are stupid, but as I've been browsing I've found some cute ankle boots, so I guess they're ok. I hate when they are called "booties" or worn with dresses/skirts, because they make you look stumpy (Olsen twins, I blame you for this trend). Still, I think mid-calf boots are best in terms of looks and practicality.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Now that my black Karanina dress was hemmed a good six inches, it is flattering beyond belief. I have an overwhelming desire to wear it every day for the rest of my life. Ok, more realistically, I will wear it to holiday parties for the next, say, ten years. Then I will retire it, lovingly tucking it into the closet for my daughter to wear one day. Girl better be a size 4.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
The title is “How Your Creepy Ex-Co-Workers Will Kill Facebook." The article is much more unfocused than this title would suggest, and Cory touches on quite a few irksome features of Facebook – like those totally useless “you have a message” emails that force you to log on to Facebook to actually see the contents of the message – and the increasing commercialization of the site.
Here’s a passage I found interesting:
"The debate about redeeming Facebook starts from the assumption that Facebook is snowballing toward critical mass, the point at which it begins to define "the Internet" for a large slice of the world's netizens, growing steadily every day. But I think that this is far from a sure thing."
I have to agree, and I have to pray that Facebook doesn’t become an Internet hub. Facebook is fun, but it's a total time-killer with few useful features other than keeping track of your friends. More and more, it's clogged with irrelevant stuff - status updates from my "friends" who are actually people I actively dislike or don’t care to keep up with; silly movie quizzes and zombie/pirate stuff; inane wall posts.
Call me a Google whore, but my Google Reader feeds define my Internet experience. I subscribe to personal finance blogs, science blogs, home decor blogs, a ton of news sites, feminist blogs, gossip blogs, blogs written by people I know or just love, and a lot more. And I read items pretty regularly throughout the day (it's ok, I work in a creative field, and reading feeds keeps writer's block from striking). Despite the time I invest in reading my feeds, starring them, and tagging them for easy reference later, I hardly ever bring my number of unread items to zero. It's a treadmill, but a really enjoyable one.
In contrast to Facebook, Google Reader lets me read more in less time. Google Reader brings the Internet to me – the parts of the Internet I care to see, at least, while Facebook is like a party filled with an odd mix of friends, ex-friends, and people I used to know (to quote Nada Surf, one of my favorite bands). Google Reader doesn't have a social element, really, but that's because I haven't gotten very savvy about sharing items - but I plan to push items to my blog very soon.
Facebook is increasingly depressing and irrelevant for me. Depressing because most of my Facebook friends are not my real friends; they do not top my list of people I keep up-to-date with. Part of that is, of course, my own fault - I should be more vigilant with friending people as I meet them in real life. Or, ya know, not. Between my cell phone, email, and AIM, I'm easily accessed by all the important people on my life.
Anyway, here’s Cory writing about the issue referenced in the title of the article:
"For every long-lost chum who reaches out to me on Facebook, there's a guy who beat me up on a weekly basis through the whole seventh grade but now wants to be my buddy; or the crazy person who was fun in college but is now kind of sad; or the creepy ex-co-worker who I'd cross the street to avoid but who now wants to know, "Am I your friend?" yes or no, this instant, please.
It's not just Facebook and it's not just me. Every "social networking service" has had this problem and every user I've spoken to has been frustrated by it. I think that's why these services are so volatile: why we're so willing to flee from Friendster and into MySpace's loving arms; from MySpace to Facebook. It's socially awkward to refuse to add someone to your friends list -- but removing someone from your friend-list is practically a declaration of war. The least-awkward way to get back to a friends list with nothing but friends on it is to reboot: create a new identity on a new system and send out some invites (of course, chances are at least one of those invites will go to someone who'll groan and wonder why we're dumb enough to think that we're pals)."
Interesting theory and I honestly wonder if it's true. It’s true for me, to a point. Back in the Friendster days, many people would message me over the system and I met a few not-so-cool people over the site. Perhaps this contributed to me happily switching over to Facebook. However, I also anticipated that Friendster was a dinosaur with a lack of useful features, while Facebook offered a much sleeker interface and was attracting all my classmates, buddies, and the sheer number of users that makes a social networking site useful and fun.
Still, my Facebook friend list is a testament that especially when a person is young, and hops from job to job and college to full-time employment, friends change quickly. Whereas in real life, friends, ex-lovers and ex-co-workers simply fade into a person’s past, they do not automatically disappear from your friends list.
Maybe they should. Maybe that would ease the awkwardness of having to "de-friend" someone - which many would construe as a hostile gesture even if, in my case at least, it's simply a sign that the relationship is over, and has been over for awhile.
I would love a feature that automatically deleted a person from your friends list if you haven't messaged them or otherwise interacted with them for, say, 30 days. At 30 days, you could elect to "maintain" the relationship as it exists on Facebook, or let it lapse. Or you could designate someone as a "permanent" friend, whose relationship would not lapse even if you don't interact - which may be perfect for, say, a relative who you communicate with on the phone.
This feature would let online relationships ebb and flow just as they do offline. Facebook does well with the flow of relationships – people are only too happy to add someone as a friend or change a friend to a significant other. It’s the ebb they don’t do well with.
Of course, it's terrible that we let relationships lapse. We all have friends who we lost because we got too busy to call, moved to another state, got married, switched schools, or what have you. And part of the utility of social networks is keeping all sorts of relationships and far-flung friends and family right at your fingertips.
Still, some relationships lapse for a reason. We all break up with significant others, have fallings-out with friends, and cut ties for excellent reasons. And having these people lingering on our friends lists - when they are nothing of the sort - is merely a reminder of breakups, arguments, changes of heart, and so on. Sometimes, visiting Facebook feels like seeing your idiot ex at your favorite coffee shop – day after day after day.
Now, as much as I admit my friends list is inaccurate and a little depressing, and as much as I argue that Facebook is a total time-suck, I don’t plan on abandoning the service anytime soon. I like that long-lost friends, relatives or classmates can find me on it, and the site helps me keep many long-distance friendships alive.
The messaging system is still lame and infuriating, and the MySpace-esque applications (graffiti walls and gifts and zombie attacks and such) are infantile, useless, and not nearly as fun as, say, talking on the phone with a friend. But my profile is carefully crafted, enjoyable to update, and a reasonable reflection of who I am; and I like dropping lines to far-flung acquaintances without leaving my computer.
Anyway, be sure to check out Cory’s article and weigh in on Facebook’s usefulness, foibles and future.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
However, even though I walk around like a handbag Don't most of the time, I like to think I can recognize a nice piece of work when I see it. So here are a few handbags you can take home to your mother, your in-laws, your AA sponsor, etc.
Most, if not all, are leather. If leather if not your style, I'm sorry, but let's face it -- leather wears better than plastic or nylon or tofurkey skin or whatever people make vegetarian handbags of these days.
If you like these bags, please, by all means, shed praise on me. If you hate them, then compile your own list, and thank your lucky stars I am not a handbag designer.
I bought tart, juicy oranges; beautiful new potatoes; two weirdly pale but sure-to-be-delicious pomegranates; white and purple onions; and, naturally, a clove of garlic. I resisted apples, carrots, broccoli, and much more. I already dug into an orange as a snack, and it's taking all my willpower not to fry up some garlic and cook some potatoes. For a person of Irish ancestry I'm averse to potatoes, those mealy, colorless, flavorless things my mom likes to make. But who can resist waxy, tiny potatoes with lots of garlic, butter and some sort of herb? I can't. They are so different from those months-old bricks you buy at the grocery store.
My cousin is coming to stay for a few days starting on Wednesday, so I figured I needed to stock up. I plan to wow him with fresh-cooked meals based on local produce, supplemented with excellent restaurant ones.
Spoiled person I am, there is a second farmer's market on Thursday, just a few blocks from my work. I'm sure I will augment my stash then. I can already tell, I will want more potatoes.
Update: Just made the most delicious garlicky cheesy potatoes. Ah, I am slowly getting my cooking mojo back...this feels (and tastes) good.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Seeing my family is always a trip because it's like reverting to the time before I went off to college. It's like they don't know what the hell I do with myself in San Diego. They know I pay my bills and support myself. They have a vague idea that I work with computers and do some sort of marketing thing on the grand old Internet. They don't know who my friends are or what I do on weekends or after work.
It's not that my family is uninterested in my life; on the contrary, they are probably supremely interested, and hate that I'm evasive and nonspecific about it, so they've given up on asking all the questions they would like to ask. But seriously, am I supposed to tell them that I had dinner with my girlfriend the other night and she talked about her crazy orgasms? Wouldn't that make them a leetle uncomfortable? Or that another of my friends has turned into a douchebag and I have fantasies of keying his car?
Usually when I go home for the holidays I develop a little game plan. Like, I take care to get a haircut and dress nicely, so they don't think I'm a hobo. And I bring along some smartypants books to read (though honestly I read those anyway). And I'm absolutely sure to be on my best behavior, which includes not swearing (even though all my family members swear like sailors. I inherited my dirty mouth from them).
This year my trump card is that I've finally decided, 100% no ifs and or buts, that I am going to grad school. I majored in sociology, which is like yeah whatever, but recently I've noticed that nearly every non-work conversation I have, I bring it back to sociology. And that most of the books I read for fun are, like, Durkheim or Marx or some study of Latinas in the Bronx or the sociology of cults or something. I'm a total sociology nerd, and I might as well have a fancy degree to confirm this fact.
Actually, I don't even care about the end point, it's that I always seem to gravitate toward reading sociology books, talking about sociology, playing with statistics, and designing experiments anyway, so I might as well do this full-time and give up on this whole yuppie thing I have going, because it's really not me.
Also, my GRE scores kicked ass, so I might as well do something with them.
So then comes the fucking terrifying part, which is getting recommendation letters and applying. This is truly terrible because I'm a year and a half out of college and I'm not sure any of my profs even remember who I am. Yes, I should have had them write me rec letters right as I graduated or took their classes, but I was a dumb undergrad and was not thinking ahead.
Though honestly, I'd be happy to attend the worst program in the country. As long as they let me read my books and do my research and maybe bark at undergrads at 8 in the morning, I'd be happy as a clam.
Anyhoo, happy Thanksgiving.
Monday, November 19, 2007
For the sake of comparison, this is my holiday/party dress that I was planning to wear to this year's end-of-the-year parties, before I found the blue Armani Exchange dress. Except my version of this dress is black and the secondary color is champagne/gold. It also needs to be hemmed, because I am a stumpy little forest person (just kidding). It's a beautiful, soft, swingy, silk dress that can be worn in a few different ways. Still, I'm thinking I'll save it for spring, or for the next time I go salsa dancing or something (which, come to think of it, makes total sense because I believe the new boyfriend likes to salsa).
Edit: I realized I'll probably be going to a fancy restaurant with my ex for his B-day this weekend, and this dress will be perfect. I need to get it hemmed, STAT.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I created a fatty stylebook full of goodies, and then I set about arranging them into Looks (outfits). But I wasn't very familiar with the interface, so I accidentally erased most of my saved items. Oops! I partially recreated my stylebook, but haven't quite reconstructed its former glory. Check it out here, if you would like to see lots of short dresses, henleys, and high heels (especially Dolce Vita high heels).
My current crush is this blue silk Armani Exchange tunic dress, a steal at $89. It would be a fantastic holiday dress. Of course, I already have a holiday party dress. Do I need another one? Nah, but...it's so purdy! And on sale! And it wouldn't be OMG SHORT on me because I'm a great deal shorter than models!
Should I get it?
Edit: In light of the ShopStyle representative's sweetness , I edited the bitchiness out of this post.
Edit2: Seriously, I need this dress. I think I'll buy it tonight.
Edit3: Dress bought, in size 2 and 4 because I have no idea what size I am in Armani Exchange's world.
Friday, November 16, 2007
1. The Red Head - a 30-ish deranged redheaded guy with red back hair springing out of the back of his t-shirt (ew) and wearing stained pajama-type clothes.
2. The cashier - a male of indeterminate age with a big dragon tatooed on his arm; appeared to be mildly retarded.
The Red Head is buying a handle of vodka and the cashier is ringing up his purchase.
THE RED HEAD: Hey, I like your tattoo!
CASHIER (slurring, moving slowly): Thanks!
THE RED HEAD: Hey, do you have any tapes? Like for a VCR?
CASHIER: Yeah, they're over there. (points vaguely to the back of the store)
THE RED HEAD: Do you have any gay porn?
CASHIER: Yeah, it's in probably in the back too.
THE RED HEAD: Cool! I love my gay porn! I figured you'd have it here!
At this point the Red Head refuses to leave and starts aggressively hitting on the cashier, who gets flustered and tells the Red Head to leave.
Somehow through all of this my date and I (yeah I take dates to Rite Aid, don't judge me) managed not to laugh.
Ok, I didn't retell the story very well but it was bizarre and quite funny.
Sadly, Rite Aid in Hillcrest doesn't actually carry gay porn. I don't think.
I voted for Christian Bale. Runners up: Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig.
Hotties that didn't make the shortlist. Uh, don't read this list if you don't want confirmation that I'm a total perv.
- Taye Diggs
- Olivier Martinez
- Daniel Radcliffe (shut up, I like them young)
- Ewan McGregor (preferably in a kilt)
- Jeremy Piven
- Jake Gyllenhaal
- Adrian whats-his-name on Entourage (you know, the starring guy with pretty eyes)
- And flying in from right field: Timothy Oliphant. He was such a hot drug dealer in "GO." Also, Taye Diggs is in that movie. Sigh.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I remembered I had this imaged saved when I saw Omiru's article about how to wear flannel stylishly. Can't that question be answered simply with a picture of this girl?
[ Image from the awesomely kooky hel-looks.com ]
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I have a love/hate relationship with Anthro. When I hate them, I talk about how they peddle overpriced pseudo-vintage schmaltz and apparently haven't discovered that models come in shades other than Caucasian.
But when I love them, I luuuuuuuurve them. My strategy is to stick to the basics - the stuff that I wear all the time. Because if I'm gonna wear the same sweater three days a week, it's not a big deal if it's a 68-dollar sweater (shut up, I'm cheap and 68 bucks is a lot for me). I have this cement-gray tank top from them that was $88 or something equally obscene, but I wear it constantly in warm weather so the cost per wear is low.
Anyhoo, here's the damage.
The Holy Grail: A drape-front cardigan in a gorgeous blue. This also comes in green, black, ivory and brown. Now I will finally shut up about trying to find a cardigan in this style - arentcha thrilled?!
Ok, hello. This is the perfect shade of blue for me (my ultimate Joyous Color, as Wende would say), and the structure will flatter my, er, modest bust (side note: How does a woman with a voluptuous bust have two daughters who barely fill a B cup? Genes, I hate you). Also comes in brown, coral and black.
Whoa, orange? How did this make its way into my shopping bag? Ok, I admit I have no idea what this color looks like in person, or how it'll look on me (question do readers: do pale blue-eyed blonds look decent in orange?), but I thought I'd give it a try. Yeah, I live real dangerously. Also comes in black and a weird puce color my sister would like.
Two pairs of earrings (these, pictured above, and another pair that appears to have sold out). I really like Anthro earrings, though their jewelry pricing is particularly wacky. Like, a pretty pair will be $38, and an equally pretty pair will be $228. I guess you're paying for fancier stones, but still. If a bracelet is $300 because its stones were harvested from the stomachs of Andean goats, that's a little ridiculous. I just scan their jewelry sections for pieces that are $40 or less.
And...a cute bag. I have the world's most boring handbag collection, so I figured it was time I mixed it up. I like the yellow and black print, and I can even forgive the bamboo handles. And hey, it's on sale for a pretty reasonable $40. Would it be a faux pas to carry such a summery, bright bag in winter? I have no clue, nor do I care much.
Also, here's two items I considered buying but didn't:
Neat-o jacket. I will always love white and dark blue together.
Pretty skirt. I guess it's a little costume-y and I bet y'all are tired of seeing blue, blue and more blue, but on the right person it would be wicked.
So that's that. In other news, I had a Pap smear (TMI, I know) and today I received a letter saying the results were abnormal, so I get to go in for invasive tests. Here's hoping I don't have cervical cancer!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
The photo in the middle of the bottom row of the collage is my favorite. It's so, "Oh shit guys, I heard my dad's car in the driveway! Hide the weed!"
Also, this model looks to the right a lot. What was over there, the catering table? Musta been the catering table.
Here she is looking embarrassed while wearing a truly hideous outfit. Note to shopbop stylists: don't ever pair white shoes with black tights again, or I will loudly opine that y'all are smoking crack.
Whoa! Maybe I spoke too soon! Is she wearing a trash bag? And did she stick her legs through the neck of my nightshirt? Because that shit ain't cool. Also, check out her wonky eyes (click for big). Girl's coming down from a three-day bender, I can tell. Maybe that explains the trash bag plus upside-down nightshirt combo.
Meanwhile, the sultry brunette is still undressing me with her eyes. It's cool though, I'm wearing my assless chaps tonight.
"I cut you."
[Images courtesy of shopbop.com.]
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Guys, I think Kate Moss is copying me.
(My point is: I will always be a stalwart wearer of flared jeans, so I'm quite happy to be validated by fashion icon, even if she's a drug addict with atrocious taste in men.)
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
I'm on a mission to find a decent drape-front cardigan, and it's driving me bonkers. I've been Windows Shopping (thanks Wende/smallcitybeth) for what feels like hours, and haven't found much of anything.
I figure a drape front cardigan will flatter my small frame and make me look like an Olsen twin, but in a chic way, not a rabid hobo sort of way. Plus it will be ideal for throwing on and off at will. I already have this picture of myself perched at my desk, wrapped up and looking chic and rosy-cheeked - rather than freezing my ass off as usual.
My requirements: not too long in the back; probably a dark color so it doesn't make me look big; no wool blends because I'm allergic. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK? Apparently so.
I like this one from Shopbop, but of course it's only in white and size Large. Sigh.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
In college, I briefly interned at a home decor/high style sort of magazine a few days a week, and damn did I rock cute outfits. I'd plan them out and wear uncomfortable shoes and everything.
Now that I find myself in a casual environment, I'm dressing pretty badly. And it sucks. I have a closet full of cute clothes and shoes, yet I wear some variation of the same outfit pretty much everyday. Jeans and a shirt, basically, and flats more often than heels. My outfits aren't ugly or stained or anything, but they're ho-hum.
So last week I set out to change that. First order of business was a haircut...ah, there's nothing like a scalp massage and a trim to make one feel like a new woman. My work is right across the street from the Paul Mitchell School, where young hairstylists will do any hair service you want for a pittance, and they do a good job. Haircuts are, like $10 for a level 1 student and $15 for a level 2 student. Anyway, cheap haircuts mean I use any excuse to drop in.
So I have BANGS now (bangs are trendy right now, correct? Like I give a shit about trends...), and my hair has been de-bulked (I am proof that not every blonde has thin, fine hair). Next week I might go back for color of some kind...I'm interested in red streaks, but the kind that are "peekaboo"...like, they are under the first layer of my hair, so they are subtle.
I'm also broke and trying to save up for my trip, so shopping for clothes is out of question. Mostly I plan on going through outfits and trying on a shitload of stuff and putting together some new outfits. I have so many cute clothes that I don't wear, and sub-par stuff I should probably get rid of.
The key to me dressing well is having someone to impress. Sad, but true. When I interned at the magazine, I set out to impress the Editor in Chief every day...she dressed really well, so I did, too. At the agency, there are plenty of good dressers, and some not-so-good ones. I dunno, for some reason I just hadn't picked a "Person to Impress." It's sad, because I love fashion, and I should dress well just or the sake of my self-esteem, but...eh. Jeans and t-shirts and flats are, erm, comfy?