Sunday, November 19, 2017

Karmic Exile

   When I initially took these pictures a couple of months ago I had anticipated the topic of this post to revolve around the fantastic pair of thrift store sunglasses I'm wearing.  Unfortunately, this is one of the major drawbacks of stockpiling images.  By the time I’m actually ready to post them the original topic I had in mind seems rather, “Meh,” in its relevancy toward my current life.  I guess I would still like to toot my own horn at the fact that I found these specs secondhand for two dollars!  Can you believe someone willingly parted with these babies?  “Toot! Toot!”
   Now I’d like to focus on a more current subject.  It’s quite possible I’ve told this story before…my memory is admittedly not the sharpest… however, some things in my mind are just too funny not to repeat.  A very old and dear friend of mine was once driven to the brink of insanity by a song that was stuck in his head.  The fact that the song was Tina Turner’s, “Private Dancer,” has always given me the uncontrollable giggles.  Basically, this friend is of the rugged woodsman variety.  I can’t seem to get past the flannel clad image of him strutting around shopping for canteens and humming, “Private Dancer,” through his full beard and mustache. 
   I remember the day he confessed to me his proclivity for this song.  He looked me in the eye…ironically, across a table filled with enough food to motivate one to chop wood…and stated he could not get Tina’s song out of his head and it was seriously starting to scare him.  After I stopped laughing…which was about the time the check came…I realized, “Oh man, I think he’s serious.”  It suddenly occurred to me that my friend was being haunted by a ratted hair, red nailed, plunging necklined, epically structured shouldered succubus whose song of lust was sending him to an early grave!  Okay, maybe that last sentence was a tad dramatic, and please don’t take that succubus comment to mean that I have something against Tina Turner.  I simply want to convey just how much her lusty song was sucking the life out of my friend.  Well, and admittedly another friend told me all about succubuses?…succubi?...over coffee the other day and I wanted to try out the word for myself.  Give me a break, alright. 
   The reason I’ve had my friend's misery on my mind lately is because I myself have been experiencing the same issue.  For some reason…that I can only attribute to karma… I cannot get the 1978 song, “I Wanna Kiss You All Over,” by Exile out of my mind.  It started about a month ago and has occupied a rather distracting amount of my headspace.  For example, there are many times I will be on break at work trying to pack as much leisure reading in as I can in a half hours’ time.  I’ll be devouring the page of some thriller and in my head it will sound something like, “She was running through the forest.  Tree branches were whipping her arms as she passed. Welts were starting to appear on her milky white skin.  These lesions could only be seen by the reflection of a harvest moon coming from a nearby creek.  As she ran she couldn’t help but wonder if her pursuer would use this body of water as her ultimate demise.  How ironic that the same place she had spent so many happy times as a child would ultimately lead to her death.  Now, as she sprinted through the near impossible overgrowth, she attempted to hear if HE was getting near.  What was that?!  A twig snapped followed by the screeching soun…I wanna kiss you all over.  And over again….”
   I can honestly say that many years after my friend's near bout of insanity I too have caught the bug.  I hear this song when I’m reading.  I hum this song when I’m working.  I sing this song when I’m grocery shopping…and people look at me awkwardly until I notice that I’m doing it rather loud.  Lastly, I think this song while I’m writing…so much that it seems to have dominated a post that could have been about a topic as exciting as eyewear.  I fear the day that I will become so absorbed by this tune that I will no longer be able to finish a pos… “I wanna kiss you all over.  Till the night closes in… Till the night closes in…”

Sunday, November 12, 2017 love with this dress!

   Sometimes when I’m sitting here in the library, I wonder if people think I’m crazy.  I swear I can hear them thinking, “What’s with the hooker lipstick?  It’s only two in the afternoon and we’re in a library for crying out loud.”  In response I’d like to say, “Hey, people, give a lady a break.  I just took blog pictures in the park and nothing shows up better on camera than a little of Rimmel's, “Metallic Seduction.”  Of course this statement would not help improve the status of my sanity.  I'm well aware of the fact that a near forty year old stalking around the park taking glamour shots is a tad off.  What’s even more sad is when the individual in question is willing to fight off Canada geese in order to do so.  My God, those buggers can be aggressive...and in hoards they can be rather intimidating.  Of course, they don’t hold a candle to this blogger on a mission.  I say, “Bah!” to taking pictures of wildlife in the park.  I’ve got a fantastic scarf to feature and I’m willing to fight for the perfect backdrop.  Let me tell you, in the end those birds chose to beat it.
   Of course, while I was fighting fowl in the forest most people in my neck of the woods are fixated on football.  Just this morning my boyfriend asked me, “Why can’t you just sit at home and watch the game today?”  It seemed obvious to me that watching a football game while wearing, “Metallic Seduction,” was just silly, but apparently this concept is not clear to others.  I mean, I understand why I have it on in the public library, but while watching football?  That’s just garish.
   Writing this now, in the calmness of a near empty library…like I said it’s football day in the Midwest…I can’t help but reflect on the pictures featured in the post above.  I believe I felt silly for overdressing on that afternoon too.  If I remember correctly I had absolutely nothing to do but get groceries that day.  I went to my closet and was instantly drawn to the dress I'm wearing.  It was a recent Goodwill find that I had been dying to take out on the town…except the town was providing nowhere exciting for me to go…so I decided to take it to Walmart…and let’s face it, to Goodwill again in the hopes that its’ original owner might have dropped off some additional adorable items.  As a side note, if I were to teach a class on thrifting this would be one of the tips I would lecture on.  If one is lucky enough to find a piece they're in love with at the thrift store, chances are quite good this item was dropped off in a bag full of additional garments that will equally suit your fancy.  This statement reminds me of an exciting thrifting trip where I happened to stumble onto the best paisley vintage skirt I had ever seen…until I found another…and another!  To this day I still give thanks to the old hippie who cleaned out her closet that week.
   Unfortunately, I never did find the rest of the items from the original owner of this blue dress.  Maybe it was the only thing that person dropped off.  I think of it like a shooting star.  It was original and fleeting and obviously it made my dreams come true.  Okay…admittedly that’s a bit much, but I do love this dress.  Not only does it fit me like a glove, it’s vintage ‘80s Sasson which makes me crazy.  There's nothing better than 1980's Sasson or Jordache.  Aah…I can hear the Motley Crue blaring over the hiss of an Aqua Net can.  
   I think it's notable to mention a few years before acquiring this dress I had a close call with my ethics that revolved around a Sasson piece.  On this particular occasion I'd been organizing donated clothes at a local homeless shelter.  No really…I was…I didn’t just put that sentence in to make me appear more socially conscious.  Anyhow, this next statement will take away any charity points I just earned.  As I was hanging coats for residents to choose from I came across the most amazing ‘80s burgundy faux fur Sasson jacket.  It was truly a stunner.  At that moment I literally found myself tempted to steal from a shelter.  With shaking fingers I remember hanging the coat on the rack and rushing to another project before my integrity was lost forever.  I guess, I like to believe my Sasson dress was a karmic reward for doing the right thing.  Of course, to be honest, this dress doesn’t look as good with, “Metallic Seduction,” as that coat would have.  However, who cares when you’re too ashamed to look at your own face.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Days That I Did Things

   If I were being totally honest I would admit that today’s blog post is mostly about trying to ditch the last of my summer outfit pictures…that, and getting this thing written so I can finally binge watch the second season of, “Stranger Things,” on Netflix.  Um…as a side note, is anyone else totally impressed with what Netflix has been putting out lately?  “Mindhunter,” owned me for three days!  This being stated, I believe it’s probably obvious I’ve been wasting a large portion of my time lately in front of the tube.  Basically, in my mind winter has already begun and it’s time to hibernate.
   Of course, even in the summer hibernation is not that foreign of a concept for me.  I’m quite comfortable holing myself up with a good book at my favorite Starbucks or the public library.  However, I'll state that venturing out to even these inconspicuous locations is becoming a bit of a challenge.  In fact, it was just yesterday I found myself in my favorite comfy chair at the library.  I had settled in to read about two hours of a thriller I’ve been currently devouring.  This stop between errands was to be an early reward for my inevitable biweekly grocery trip to…gasp!...Walmart.  Keeping that horrid task in mind, I had limited time for, “leisure,” and I wasn’t in the mood for distractions.  Unfortunately, not everyone seems acquainted with the concept that libraries are supposed to be a quiet place.  As a result, the majority of my time there was spent listening to some jerk’s cell phone conversation with his girlfriend.  This is why bookworms are so antisocial.  I don't care what time your girlfriend is demanding you get home!...I've got a killer to catch!  
   Of course, apart from this issue, it hasn’t been that challenging to stay home lately. Unfortunately, I’ve already experienced two head colds this fall that damn near killed me.  I seriously found myself worrying, “My God! Can I suffocate from phlegm?!”  
   Looking at the pictures above does make me smile at the recollection of summer.  Yes, last summer…a time where I did find myself, “actually doing,” quite a few things!  For instance, on the days these pictures were taken I had attended a rodeo and gone to a lake.  I can’t help but laugh now at the realization that I had theme dressed for both occasions.  I feel like maybe there's a group available for this kind of problem.  “Hi, My name is Rayna and I theme dress.”
   I guess I look forward to the idea of actually, “doing things,” again.  However, it’s hard when there are so many kitschy, “Degrassi,” episodes left to watch…or killers to be exposed in the next hundred pages…or Stevie Nicks pictures to pin on my Pinterest board…or handbags to put on my ultimate wish list…or ‘S’mores to microwave and eat…or cats to cuddle and converse with…or Woody Guthrie albums to spin on the turntable…or fashion houses to follow on Instagram...or Post Malone videos to watch on YouTube...or garbage pail kid punk rock jackets to be made…or…  You know, maybe I am doing stuff?  Better yet, I think I can theme dress for all of these activities.  A flannel shirt and sweat pants sounds good.  Whew…perfect!  I’m right on track then.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Countdown to Halloween Series

The Witch

The Zombie Transformation

The Mad Scientist

The Woodsman's Princess

The Cocky Blogger

The Sidekick

The Vampire

The Victim

   I’ve been wrestling with the idea of this post all day.  While I’ve been enjoying the slow unveiling of each Halloween portrait, my OCD self has the absolute need to display all of these images in one spot.  Due to this compulsion I decided to post the remainder of my countdown this evening.  “Whew,” I can finally rest easy now that my series has been presented in full. Of course, I'll continue to post each image separately on social media until Halloween has officially ended.  I apologize for the monotony, but my obsessive brain simply won't allow me to do otherwise.  Basically, as a result, if you happen to be looking at this blog now you’re getting an early look at my grand finale.  I know you’re thrilled, right?
   Initially it seemed kind of like a cop-out to use Halloween as the topic for a personal style blog.  However, upon further reflection I realized it really isn’t that uncommon.  In fact, the other day I was trolling my favorite blog sites when I was suddenly confronted with the title, “Halloween Is Ruining My Wardrobe”…. or something similiar.  Honestly, I didn’t even take the time to read this piece due to the fact that it was a topic I'm already extremely familiar with.  “You’re preaching to the choir, sister,” I thought. 
   This Halloween season alone I made at least two trips to the thrift store each week in search of vintage treasures mistakenly labeled, “Halloween Costumes.”  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there’s no better time of year for the fashion conscious to hit the thrift store circuit.  Not only does fall provide increased quality inventory at secondhand establishments, but it’s all neatly organized within a few easy aisles.  For a vintage clothing lover Halloween at the thrift store is like shooting fish in a barrel!  Of course, this time of year can get rather competitive among hipsters.  I mean, there are only so many purple silk windbreakers with fringe out there.  One may have to get aggressive in order to obtain them…which I did…and not a soul fought me for it.  Huh,…I thought it was a prize.   Of course, this statement is reminiscent of that title, “Halloween Is Ruining My Wardrobe.”  After one finds themselves aquiring as much weird shit as they can each fall they begin to realize over time that they have a closet jam packed with…well, weird shit.  I suppose it's not unlikely to anticipate I may want to someday wear a dress that is not covered in teal tassels.  However, I can’t imagine why…and you won’t be able to either after you see the absolute treasure I picked up at the Fargo Savers this season!
   Despite the fact that my closet has become dangerously close to being too kitschy, I must admit that the majority of my, "Countdown To Halloween Series," portraits don't feature this type of clothing.  Honestly, I’m dressed rather boring in most of these images.  Realizing this now, I find it very interesting that I deem myself, “scariest,” when I’m in my plain-clothes.  Of course, it doesn’t take a mad scientist to realize any outfit looks more funky when accompanied by a pair of glowing eyes.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Among My People

   I feel compelled to mention that I’ve reached that awkward point in the season where my pictures don’t make a lot of sense.  For example, if I was to wear this outfit today I would've frozen my buns off.  This being stated I have a fairly large backstock of images and I didn’t have the heart to skip over these particular ones.  Basically, it’s either I post pictures of me, “showing skin,” awhile longer or I start posting every day in order to catch up with the changing seasons.  Let’s face it, even I don’t want to be constantly confronted with glamour shots of myself.
   I want to state that there are multiple reasons I was so pleased with this ensemble.  The first being the skirt I’m wearing was a thrift store find that even I can’t believe.  Admittedly, I consider myself highly skilled at thrifting.  Keeping that in mind I came across this beauty on a quick trip through Savers one afternoon.  That day the line for the dressing room was ridiculous and I was lacking in patience.  I reasoned it was worth risking $6.00 on an item that may not fit correctly in order to get to the coffee shop faster.  I left the store completely accepting the fact that this piece may be a disaster…in stripes, which as any fashion conscious individual knows can be a woman’s worst nightmare.  One can image my delight when I finally got home and tried it on.  It fit like a glove!  I really couldn’t believe how good it turned out.  At that moment I took time to praise the thrifting gods that have been so good to me over the years.   
   About a week later I decided to wear my new found treasure out on the town.  I had heard rumblings about a charity garage sale being held by some local hipsters.  I reasoned, what better way was there to create good thrifting karma than to wear my last best find?  I put on the outfit featured above and headed out to the sale…because why not dress up to go look through a bunch of crap piled on top of dirty folding tables?  As soon as I arrived I was pleased with my choice of outfit.  Standing there, I was suddenly confronted with a bunch of fairly intimidating ladies who all looked extremely trendy with their dark rimmed glasses, tattoos, and bright red lipstick.  You know, the kind of women I always want to be friends with but am scared to approach.  I walked up to the first tables and instantly one of them latched on to me stating she knew exactly what I was looking for.  She steered me to THE GREATEST vintage dress and told me I simply had to buy it.  I’m pleased to report I left that sale with a pile of adorable vintage finds.  I’m even happier to state the ladies who sold these items to me were extremely nice.  They actually said to me that they saw me walking down the road towards them and instantly thought, “Oh, she’s one of us.”  I was thrilled.  “Maybe I’m not as vanilla as I feared,” I thought.
   Later that afternoon I was loitering around downtown when I came across one of the local news anchors.  This woman is a big local celebrity and I noticed that she was eyeing me.  I turned towards her hoping she was not going to tell me my skirt was stuck in my underwear when she said, “I love your style.”  “Holy shit!” I thought.  “I’m almost famous!”…yes, I seriously thought this. 
   Remembering this now makes me recall a conversation I had with a coworker the other day.  This individual does not know me that well.  Somehow we had gotten into a discussion about what we do on our days off.  I had mentioned I like to dress up and he couldn't fathom why I would do such a thing.  “Don’t you like to just put on sweats and watch football,” he asked me.  Again, obviously he has no idea who I am.  At the time I had almost felt guilty.  Why don’t I just chill out in crappy clothes?  Am I seriously that uptight?  Has narcissism totally taken over?  After writing this post I feel like replying, “I try to look my best at all times because one never knows which local newscaster might decide they like your style.”  Wait…that still sounds kind of sad.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

"Ayy! Nice shirt!"

   To be honest it's been near impossible for me to sit down and write this blog post.  The weather this weekend has been outstanding.  Between all of the sunshine and the fact that the Syfy Channel is currently playing their, "31 Days Of Halloween," marathon I'm getting a whole lot of nothing done.  Don’t be surprised if this post suddenly ends mid-sentence, considering all of the distractions.  Admittedly, B-Rated horror movies are one of my biggest weaknesses.  I mean, when you always have the hankering to watch, “C.H.U.D.,” you need to recognize there may be a problem.
   As a result, this post is kind of simple.  Sorry, but I’ve got sewer mutants to watch!  Basically I just wanted to comment on the outfit I’m wearing in the above photographs.  The day I took these pictures I was feeling fairly nostalgic.  I was thinking of the good old days of my youth, when I not only watched sewer mutants but I believed in them.  In addition, I'd been listening to a lot of the, “Singles,” soundtrack that week and this obviously inspired my outfit…which is odd considering there are no Nirvana songs represented on that album.  Sadly most of my band t-shirts from the 90’s either got lost, or stolen by my brother who inevitably wore them out.  Oh what a bad ass collection of vintage record store tees I would have now if only I could have taken care of things better back then!  It damn near makes me sick when I dwell on them. 
   Instead I own several generic band tees that I’ve found at establishments like…urp…can I even write it…Forever 21.  The shirt featured in the pictures above is one of them.  Despite the fact that I still do own one legitimate Nirvana tee with the sleeves cut off and the neck ripped out, I felt compelled to wear this version on my photo shoot day.  In order to make up for the, “poser,” quality of this garment I paired it with my favorite pair of thrift store jeans and some Mulberry sandals I’ve been dying to release from their box.  Overall, I was pretty pleased with the way this outfit turned out.  Dare I say, I was even feeling kind of cool.  I believe this is apparent due to the fact that at one point I seem to have found it necessary to roll my sleeves up like I was The Fonz.  Let me tell you, if there had been a jukebox around that afternoon I would have pounded on it! 
   After I was done taking pictures I found myself walking with a new swagger.  “I still got it,” I thought.  As I started up my car and exited the parking lot I looked over to a teenage couple that was walking into the entrance of the park.  “Oh that’s nice how he holds her han…What the hell?!” I thought.  Standing there, directly in front of my vehicle, was the grungiest teenage boy I have seen in quite some time…and guess what?  He was wearing the exact same t-shirt I was, only he was wearing it BETTER!!!
   My first impulse was to yet again pull a Fonz and yell out my window, “Ayyy! Nice shirt!”  However, considering how much more legit he looked, I opted instead to scoot down in my seat, lowrider style, and creepily glide by this couple hoping they didn't notice my outfit…as if they would be looking at an old lady like me.  In closing, there were two things I learned that day.  One...October really is the time for horror stories and this unfortunate occurrence certainly qualified…and two...there is no greater tale of horror than when The Fonz jumped the shark.  I should know.  I did it.