Saturday, August 11, 2018

Too Much?












   Writing this now, I can’t help but ask myself the utmost important question, “How many times is too many for a person to watch the movie, “Twister?”  This might seem like an odd thought.  However, I have to admit it is not the first occasion I’ve posed this inquiry.  In fact, I seem to ask this question every six months,   Of course, this happens to be how often I find this gem of 90’s, “Meh,” cinema playing on cable. 
   Despite how unremarkable others may find this picture, it was an automatic classic in my household.  As a result, I can’t help but at least pause each time I come across the surprisingly soothing images of Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton careening across the stormy countryside.  If anything, I can always use the excuse that I’m simply watching to pay homage to the late Paxton, who I still can’t fathom is gone.  He was just that normal seeming guy who showed up in almost every film you watched back then.  Of course, shockingly, Philip Seymour Hoffman was also in the movie, “Twister.”  There was absolutely nothing normal about his awesome talent so don’t even get me started on what a shame his passing was.  Sigh…it occurs to me now that while the movie, “Twister,” still signifies a staple film of my youth, it now also has the slight stench of grief attached to it.  Man, the passage of time can really suck! 
   Okay, before this gets too morose…and believe me it already has since I’ve devoted this entire post to a movie that honestly isn’t that good…I would like to try to segue back to the topic of fashion.  Well actually, more like the topic of hoarding, but same diff…right?  While I sit here indulging in yet another night of, “Twister,” I can’t help but feel pangs of guilt regarding other habits I have.  For instance, I recently got paid and the first thing I thought was, “Yes! I can scoop up that Missoni headband I’ve been eyeing!”  You may be thinking…if you’re still reading this…that, “Twister,” thing got a tiny tired…, “What’s wrong with that?  You saved up and bought something you’ve been legitimately wanting.”  Except I’m ashamed to admit this will not be my first Missoni headband purchase.  In fact, it won’t be my second…or even my third…I think it’s fair to say, “Rayna has a new addiction.”
   Like any good addict, I find myself wondering, “How many is too many?”  Is there a point where my collection just becomes a gross display of indulgence…especially since I’m so excited about these headwraps that I can’t quite get the courage to wear them in public yet. It’s always… “Nope, I look like shit today.  I can't do it justice!”  After about the twentieth purchase…and God help me if I get that many…won’t this destined wardrobe staple simply go the way of, “Twister,” and ultimately make me sad.  When is shopping not fun anymore, and what will I do in place of it?
   Well, I guess I’ll have to cross that bridge when I come to it!  I assume it might happen about the same time that I get sick of seeing Helen Hunt get sucked up in a tornado.  In the meantime, I’ll have plenty of headwraps and hats…like the one I’m wearing in the above images…to keep my hair from getting windblown.
-r.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The Little Things












   Sometimes the best thing you can hope for is a good outfit.  I know this sounds rather bleak but honestly, it’s how I’ve been feeling lately.  I seem to have hit a rocky patch and am currently clinging to the small pleasures in life.  It’s not like anything specific is wrong.  I’ve simply been faced with an overwhelming feeling of dissatisfaction.  Again, I blame this on my birthday.  The older I get the more I start to hate that day.  I file it in the same category as New Year's Eve.  Basically, it’s a whole bunch of hubbub that reminds me of every unfulfilled expectation in my life. 
   Whew…well that got negative quickly.  As a result of my birthday blues, I’ve been trying to focus on the little things that have been good.  For instance, the above pictures show an outfit I recently wore and really liked.  Can you believe this entire ensemble was created out of thrifted items?  Okay, minus the specs.  Admittedly, I have an addiction to designer eye-wear.  Looking at these images now, I can’t believe how much I’ve ended up liking the shirt I have on.  This was one of those pieces I pulled off the rack at Goodwill and thought, “God, that’s quite possibly the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen!”  Of course, then I immediately purchased it and accepted the challenge of trying to make it look good.  Surprisingly, the opposite happened.  I truly believe this top made me look better.  If anything, I can state it made me feel better.  Shamefully, there's little that makes me more content than putting together a successful outfit.  Yes, I’m deep.  I know.
   It's notable to state when I stop trying to put clothes together there is usually something wrong with me.  A sure sign that I’m unhappy is if I’m wearing no accessories…that, and if I don’t have my nails painted.  To be truthful, if my nails aren’t painted schedule an intervention immediately because I'm definitely unwell. 
   Surprisingly, it was a child that made me aware of my current feelings of malaise.  I was at work when one of the kids I care for approached me and said, “You don’t look as fancy today Rayna.”  At first I laughed at the concept of this kid calling me out for wearing a t-shirt and jeans.  Upon further reflection, I became concerned with the fact that I really didn’t feel like being fancy.  “Uh oh,” I thought.  Of course, the next day I completely overcompensated and dressed in a mod blazer with full makeup in the hopes of gaining back an eleven-year old’s approval.  “See, it’s still me!” my outfit seemed to be screaming. 
   In the end I know these, “meh,” feelings will pass.  I have an unfortunate habit of over-analyzing things and it tends to mess me up.  Although maybe, “mess me up,” is not quite the right words.  Maybe these down times are important to ground me.  Maybe they help me appreciate when things are just normal.  I mean, it sure is nice to get super excited over a thrift store shirt, or a Bee Gee’s song, or movie theater popcorn, or a good phone call with my brother, or…
-r. 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Red Dirt Girl






        






   I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the topic of happiness.  I blame this on the fact that I just turned 39.  Let me just pause here and reflect on the fact that I'm freakin 39…  Whew okay, that’s kind of ugly to admit.  Anyway, one can’t help but get a little philosophical when faced with the undeniable passing of their youth.  There's now absolutely no way I can deny being a grown up.  This is a concept I state every year and it's still terrifying to me.
   It’s not the fact that I have real adult responsibilities that frightens me.  In fact, quite possibly it might be the lack of traditional middle-aged tasks that freaks me out.  I mean, most 39-year olds I know have more than their pets to take care of.  While the deafening tick of my biological clock is certainly starting to grab my attention, I must state my lack of children is not the main issue on my mind.  The concept that has really started to resonate with me is the question, “Is this it?  Is this all that life is about?” 
   While I like to think of myself as a deep thinker, I have to admit this revelation of, “What the hell?  I’m just here to work, walk dogs, watch Netflix, quaff Ben & Jerry’s, and go to bed every night?” is not a new concept.  Ironically, cosmic fate recently intervened when I sat down to watch my daily dose of, “Seinfeld,” reruns and Kramer literally says to Jerry, “There is nothing more to life.  This is it!” 
   I find the idea that, “This is, in fact, it,” simultaneously disturbing and comforting.  At first, I was extremely disappointed with letting my twenty something idealism die with the mature realization of what, "normal life," actually is.  However, I find myself developing the increasingly larger perspective of, “If this is all there is to life, there really are no huge expectations I have to fulfill.  No more pressure man!”
   For example, I’ve always looked at the unbelievably exciting lives of others on social media.  I'm constantly shocked by the exotic places people go.  Apparently, some individuals live their lives as one big adventure.  I’m ashamed to admit that envy rears it’s ugly head every time I see another, “Around The World," escapade shot.  Of course, now in response to these images I always hear Kramer’s quote, “This is it!,” in my head. 
   The kicker is, I really don’t like to travel very much.  I'm extremely OCD and get rather upset when my routine is broken.  I guess I’ve always just felt like I should be contributing my own adventure photographs to the internet in order to prove I have an exciting and happy life.  Of course, if I was recording true happiness the picture would be one of me walking my dog all the way to the back of our shelterbelt.  Here, her and I can stare at a nearby cornfield and the dimming sky.  In this image one can see the lightning bugs starting to glow and it’s obvious that I’m talking away about something, “important,”…probably shoes…while my dog is patiently listening.  Yep, I’m totally certain that’s exactly what a picture of my happiness would look like...mostly because I’m lucky enough to experience it every night. 
   In the end, turning 39 hasn’t been that bad.  At least I can state at this age I know what makes me happy.  In addition, I've discovered if I ever want to share exotic images on the internet I can simply take pictures sitting on my parent’s Adirondack chair while wearing a turban. 
-r.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

"Good Morning, Vietnam!"













   To begin I want to clarify, in no way am I trying to make light of the Vietnam War.  I know…I know…this is a very odd statement to make at the start of a “fashion blog,” post.  However, I’m kind of a paranoid freak and would hate to offend anyone who may have experienced the atrocities of that war…as if those honorable individuals would ever be reading this blog!  However, despite my reserves on bringing up such an unfortunate event in history, I can’t help but think of actor Robin Williams screaming the legendary line, "Good Morning, Vietnam!" each time I look at the above images.  The style just seems to fit.
   Here again, I’m confronted with the fact that I'm definitely a theme dresser.  It’s like I pick a certain piece out of my closet and construct an entire new identity.  Honestly, I like to think I have a flair for it.  At the same time, there can be drawbacks to dressing this way.  I can’t tell you how many times I get asked about my, “costumes.”  This is something that can really start to irritate a person…especially someone who is fast approaching forty and feels a titch too old to be marching around in, “dress up clothes."  The problem is I don’t know how to combat the classic, “costume question.”  While I’m wearing my actual clothes each time this statement is uttered, I can’t help but admit I’m not an actual activist hippie whose protesting on the front lines.  I’m also not a WASPy socialite donning her nautical gear in order to attend a yacht party.  Sigh...most unfortunately, I’m not a bohemian cowgirl who goes wherever her horse takes her…because that would just be really cool.
   In the end, I have to admit that I’m just me…works the same schedule everyday…quietly reads her novels on lunch breaks…watches Netflix at home a lot, and constantly drinks decaf vanilla lattes.  Perhaps this rather, "normal," existence is the reason I feel compelled to dress like someone different every day.  Of course, the alternative is simply I’m just a weirdo who loves quirky clothes and has a knack for matching them together.  In any case, if you need a stylist for a costume party, I’m your gal.
-r.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

New Computer, Old Cap










   Whew!  Well, that was a close one.  It probably didn’t dawn on my reader...s? that I didn't post last week on this blog.  I don’t blame anyone for not noticing.  Life will most certainly go on without, “Little House Of Haute.”  Interestingly enough, this is something I doubted at one time.  Last week when I missed my post I found myself looking to the heavens for the thunderbolt that was destined to come down on me as some sort of punishment for breaking routine.  Guess what?...nothing happened.  Not only was I not smote for missing a post, I was able to free up a lot of time to well…  Alright yeah, I just went to coffee and read my book…but man, was that liberating!
   Uh…I think it’s relevant to mention that not only did I miss my post, but I did not go to Starbucks for coffee on my day of rebellion.  I've found a new jam when it comes to java! While I’ll never stop bumming at the ‘bucks, its been nice to give something else a try.  “Give something else a try?!” you exclaim.  Yeah, I don’t know what’s going on with me lately.
   Of course, I’d be lying if I said I skipped posting out of my own freewill.  In reality, my laptop finally took a crap on me and I was without a computer for about six days.  SIX DAYS I did not have the ability to internet shop!  Again, the world did not end.  Who knew?  Now that I finally have my new machine I can’t believe I waited so long to get one.  I don't remember the last time my keyboard had all of it’s buttons.  I also find it so much easier to carry without that large dent in it's side.  Finally, while I loved the nickname, “Shocky,” I must admit the lack of anticipation of electrocution by a ragged exposed charger cord is rather nice. 
   So I guess one could say I’ve got a lot going on in my life right now.  I mean, new computer…new coffee house…I’m like a whole new person!  Of course, the pictures above remind me that some things never change.  For example, the hat I’m wearing in these photographs is one I acquired on a trip to Pittsburgh, PA about eleven years ago.  Guess how many times I’ve worn it.  Exactly one…I’ve worn this hat one time since purchasing it.  Eh…my only justification is…I was waiting for just the right time to bring it out? Yep, I've got nothing.  All I can state is this old hat, that has been a fixture in my closet for so long, is now new to me.  It seemed Rayna...ish when I bought it and apparently remained Rayna...ish to this day.  The line between old and new seems to have been blurred by one article of clothing. 
   In closing, recently I might find myself indulging in new behaviors that make this hopelessly OCD individual a tad unsettled.  However, I want to remind myself that wherever I choose to drink my decaf vanilla latte, I can take comfort in the constant concept of, "Rayna just loves coffee."
-r.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

A Little Bit Country











   I’ve never thought of myself as a, “country girl.”  I guess this may be a tad odd since I live in the Midwest…in a house...in the actual country…with like two barns...and a silo around it…and I love to wear western clothing.  Dammit though! I still stand by the idea that I’m not the, “country type."  Okay, so apparently I uttered the atrocity, “y’all,” the other day during conversation.  Despite what others claim, I’m still not sold on the concept that this actually happened…and so what if I immensely enjoy listening to John Denver and Gordon Lightfoot tunes.  This means nothing!
   However, my argument felt a little weak the other day when I wore this particular outfit and my boyfriend’s first response was, “You look like you’re on the cast of Hee Haw!”  I ask you, is it possible to be horrified and thrilled at the same time?  I believe it is and that’s exactly how I felt then, and when I snagged this hat at Savers not so long ago. 
   I mean please, it's pink, it’s straw, and it’s hillbilly as hell and God help me, I love it.  I wish I could find more occasions to wear such a piece.  I suppose living where I do I have a number of opportunities that others in much more metropolitan areas do not.  Finally, a perk to living in darn near the middle of couture nowhere!  Realistically, I can wear this baby just about anywhere and not have to explain myself.  The sarcastic inquiry, “Are you going to a rodeo?” is a totally legitimate question.  Even better, being that it’s summer, I have plenty of appropriate events to choose from in order to wear this baby as much as possible.  Tractor pull here I come!...no seriously, I've been to a few of these and have really enjoyed them.  The boot watching alone is fantastic!
   Not that I need an excuse to wear this hat, because let’s face it, as soon as I set eyes on this grotesquely alluring representation of kitschy folk I knew it was coming home with me…and was going to be worn in both barns…the silo…the rodeo…the tractor pull…and most likely a McDonald's or two.
-r.