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.
-r. 

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.
-r.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Closet That Carrie Built












   It is not at all unique for a woman in her thirties to state that she, "loves the show, “Sex and the City.”  What I do believe to be notable is the fact that so many women today are still saying this about a program that stopped producing new episodes in 2004.  Basically, Carrie and the gang are old news so what keeps them so relevant today?
   Recently, I was struck by this question when a pretty little twenty-something remarked that, “Your dress is SO Carrie Bradshaw!”  My first reaction was absolute delight.  I adore when people label me a, “Carrie.”  Who doesn’t want to be compared to the leading fashionista of the early 2000’s.  Admittedly, this comparison was no surprise to me considering when I saw the dress in question I too immediately thought, “that is SO Carrie Bradshaw!”  After some serious consideration of this compliment…(me enjoying my inner permagrin) I began to marvel at the idea that this individual and I had the exact same response towards a piece of clothing.  “Wow!” I thought, “Sex and the City," really had some influence!”
   Admittedly, this is a fairly ridiculous topic for a blog post.  Not only has this subject been approached by many a more talented writer than I, but it’s pretty flaky in content as well.  I’m almost embarrassed to admit how fond of this show I actually am.  I fear it immediately categorizes me as just another shallow dimwit trying to sadly appear, “fabulous.”  Uh, by the way…is that fabulous thing working?
   I guess the whole reason I felt compelled to muse about my admitted addiction to this show revolves around the t-shirt I’m wearing in the above pictures.  After the second, “Sex and the City,” movie was released I was obsessed with finding this shirt.  I think it’s relevant to mention that my friends and I were so excited to see this film we rented a movie theater room in the commons area of someone’s apartment building and had our own private showing of it.  Admittedly, it was a pretty poor picture.  However, there were some redeeming qualities.  I’ve mentioned before I adore the scene where Carrie goes shoe shopping at an outdoor market in Abu Dhabi…yes, I really wrote that…yes, that really happens in the movie…yes, I really love that scene, despite how ridiculous it is.   During that particular moment of the movie Carrie is wearing what I believe to be her finest outfit ever.  This is a heavy statement for me to make considering I worship her wardrobe throughout the entire series.  However, there was just something that really spoke to me about this particular ensemble.  That evening, as soon as our, “Sex and the City,” screening party was over I was a woman on a mission.  I glanced around at all my friends wondering which one of us would be able to first locate the, in my mind, obviously coveted Dior t-shirt.  Immediately, I felt competitive.  “That shirt is mine!”  I thought.
   Apparently, not everyone at the party felt the same.  Upon arriving to my next social function about a week later I expected all of us to be wearing the same cheap eBay knockoff I was able to hastily locate.  However, no one else did!  Furthermore, none of my friends seemed to notice I had on the exact…okay, the ghetto version…of Carrie’s t-shirt.  “What the heck?!” I wondered thinking I had missed something everyone else knew.  
   Obviously the above pictures are proof that several years later I am still wearing my, “Carrie shirt.”  Whenever I want to feel, “fabulous,” I put that thing on and strut around like I got the world by the ass.  To this day, no one has ever mentioned it is the same shirt as the one in the movie.  I now think it might be due to how poor that film actually was.  Perhaps people believe an acknowledgement of this would be an insult to me. 
   Lastly, I’m forced to wonder if I’m the only individual to memorize the clothing presented on this show.  Could it be that other women were not watching, “Sex in the City,” in order to admire the costumes?  Wait…was there actual plots to these episodes?  Uh…huh…I better go watch them again.  I’ll get back to everyone on that.
-r.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

What Would Joey Wear?












   To be completely honest this collection of pictures feels a bit like a cop-out.  Upon looking at them now, I wonder why I felt compelled to document such an all over, “Meh,” ensemble.  I guess I could reason that even the most accomplished style bloggers, (of which I’m not), wear uninspired outfits.  Perhaps I could argue that by posting this outfit I was simply attempting to make the statement that one can still adore fashion while being unfashionable.  I mean, sometimes a girl just wants to wander the aisles of Walmart comfortably.
   While I could try to pass these pictures off as an, “every woman wears Converse sometimes,” philosophy I have to admit I would be totally lying regarding the intention behind posting these images.  However, we’ll get to that point later.  First I want to linger on the Converse idea for a moment.  Lately, I’ve noticed a welcome resurgence of this brand while people watching.  Specifically, I've noticed a lot of young fashionable females sporting classic Chucks. These women have their ridiculously super skinny jeans on with white canvas high tops and all I can think is, “Man, Joey Ramone would be impressed!  Cut that blonde pretty pretty pony hair into some blunt bangs and you've really got something we can work with girl!”  I suppose now is the appropriate time to reveal that when styling an outfit I often find myself thinking, “I wonder if Joey Ramone would approve of this look?”  In fact, I have a whole panel of, “style icons,” (most of who are no longer living) that I strive to impress.  Truly, my brother can attest to the hundreds of times I’ve uttered, “I really just want the outfit to look like Joey Ramone, you know?”  His response is always a cackling, “Why the hell do you want to look like him?”  My answer is usually the same, “Because he was someone you couldn’t avoid staring at.  He was an imperfectly perfect reflection of a whole movement of music and culture.  Plus, nobody to this day does bangs like Joey did!”    
   Whew!...sorry, I get worked up about my fashion panel icons.  At some point I’ll have to reveal my other style heroes.  In the meantime, I have to mention while I’m pleased to see young fashionistas getting comfortable in Converse I’m confused by this new version of them.  Today’s high tops and flannel shirts have a slight punk rock feel due to the popular addition of skinny jeans or…ugh…leggings.  While I’m fully supportive of a punk vibe, I can’t quite understand matching it with perfectly applied makeup and ponytails.  I find myself lamenting, “this new generation of women has no idea how to wear a pair of Converse.” 
   It was certainly not like that back in my day.  No siree!  Back in my day us stylish ladies would wear black on black Converse high tops.  We’d pair them with our dad’s old jeans and Soundgarden t-shirts that were three sizes too big.  Over that we’d wear at least two mismatched flannels and, more than likely, an additional one tied around our waist.  We barely combed our hair and NEVER wore even a hint of makeup…and guess what?!  We looked like shit!  However, I've never felt more legit in my entire life.  Isn’t it interesting how I felt THE COOLEST when I looked the worst? 
   I guess I should clarify that when I state, “we,” I really just mean me.  Admittedly, back in the nineties, small town South Dakota was not the hub of grunge fashion.  However there were several of us brave pioneers that dressed how I described.  In fact, I'm fairly certain I have a picture somewhere of me wearing this exact outfit.  A picture that proves this lady knew how to wear a pair of Converse shoes!  Not like the women today who have their makeup and perfectly straightened hair!  Yep, this lady is so much cooler than the primped woman in the photographs abov….wait…ahh...damn it!!!  Okay, so even the, "grungiest," of us like to document our good makeup days…and THAT'S my deep secret reason for publishing this blog post.  Ugh…
-r.



   

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Take 2!














   Before today I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard in order to achieve a presentable blog post.  I woke up this morning prepared to get my weekly musings written early, in the hopes that I could enjoy what is turning out to be an absolutely perfect fall afternoon.  However, upon being confronted with the pictures I'd compiled for this post I was absolutely underwhelmed.  Basically all of my photographs sucked.  “This is not acceptable!” I thought and immediately readied myself for a challenge.
   Luckily, inspiration came quickly and the dress I had intended to feature was not the styling nightmare I anticipated.  As I was pairing it with various items I began to recognize where I had gone wrong the first time I attempted to photograph this dress…yes, the time I wore it in public...the time I did not wear it as well as I’d initially thought.  While I was extremely pleased by the outcome of today’s restyling adventure, I was quite annoyed by the actual execution of these photographs.  Let’s just say the, “Take 2,” shoot was a rather rocky one.
   I began my glamour shot escapade by dropping my phone’s Bluetooth shutter remote somewhere in my yard.  Now this would be annoying for anyone, however when one lives on an acreage and has a bad habit of stalking around fairly remote areas of it…well, you can see my dilemma.  Needless to say I spent the first hour and a half of my, “photo shoot,” searching a terrain full of mulch piles in the hopes of finding something the size of a cigarette lighter.  Only at the end of this search I was not going to have that well deserved celebratory cigarette.  Damn society for pressuring me to quit smoking!  I would be a lot less high strung if I could just light up once in a while. 
   As a result, instead of suffocating my rage with addictive behavior I opted for my old friend, self-deprecation.  I can’t image what a bystander would have thought if they had witnessed me stalking around the yard uttering some of the foulest language even the most senior sailor could come up with.  When it comes to creating nasty names for myself I’m a pro.  Honestly I should get a medal for creativity.  Ironically, it was just yesterday that I was, “creatively,” berating myself when I realized I was not the only person in the room.  It was at this point that I apologized for my language and told the other individual that, “I usually try to watch my mouth when there is a lady present.”  Instead of laughing liked I’d hoped, this woman looked at me oddly and didn’t reply.  “Man, I’m a dumb ….” I thought. 
   Returning to today's odyssey, I’m shocked to report that I did end up finding my remote.  However this did not happen before I had collected a small herd of fuzzy friends.  I know it’s annoyingly obvious that I love my cats…I never stop talking, or writing, about them.  Despite my undying affection, my cats can be a real pain when I’m attempting to take blog pictures.  They are used to being babied by me and REFUSE to leave me alone when I’m trying to get something done.  Huh…come to think of it, this is a problem I have at work as well…but that’s a whole separate blog post.  Anyway, it’s not totally uncommon for me to have a cat hanging off my back in glamour shots.  I simply try not to actually post these images on the blog…although I should because they're hilarious.  In closing, I spent my morning retaking pictures of a dress I wanted to feature correctly.  I ended up with a new collection of images that I believe shows a better coordinated woman, who appears pissed off.  “I’ll take it,” I thought while unhooking a cat’s claws from my leg.
-r. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Free Range













   Well folks, tonight is one of those rare occasions that I have nothing to say.  Usually upon constructing a blog post I'll have a vague outline in mind addressing what I’m going to discuss.  However, for the first time…maybe ever…I sit here and find myself with squat.  Life just hasn’t been that interesting lately.
   I seem to have already resigned to my winter rut and it’s only September!  I guess I could state that the day I took the above pictures I found myself roaming the local zoo.  That afternoon I spent hours staring at animals in cages without even an inkling of remorse.  Afterwards I wondered if I was supposed to feel guilty about seeking entertainment from the captive wild.  Was I obligated to wonder if these critters were happy?  Was it my moral obligation to question if their care was up to snuff?  Most of all, why did I feel worse about the extra ice cream sandwich I just inhaled than I did about the baby monkey behind bars?   “Maybe I'm just bad,” I thought while shamefully acknowledging my vintage fur coat collection at home.
   Of course, in response to this last comment I want to reiterate that no mink, fox, raccoon, or rabbit from the 1940’s to the 1970’s died without me attempting to honor it.  Yes, one could argue that each time I purchase one of these coats at the thrift store I perpetuate the idea that killing animals for fashion is okay.  However, I would argue that most of these creatures died long before I was around and it’s an outright sin to ignore the beautiful product of their sacrifice.  I'm very aware that many others do not share my opinion on this matter.  However, I do hope that everyone can abide by the, “Different Strokes,” proverb...and no, I'm not referring to, "What you talkin bout Willis?"  Let’s just stick with, “Tomato…Tomoto"…oh, and please don’t throw any rotten fruit if you come across me wearing one of these gems.
   Back to the topic at hand, I guess the reason I didn’t feel bad for the animals at the zoo was because they looked content.  The monkeys were all chilling and picking each other’s ears.  The penguins were all doing a happy dance around a big bowl of bait.  I even saw a koala bear fall asleep mid chew during his dinner.  “My God!” I exclaimed, “These animals are in the same rut I am!”
   Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware that I just made a comparison between being content and being in a rut.  I'm very pleased to be able to state that in many ways I’m quite happy with the way my life is.  However sometimes I really long for something different.  For example, I look at my outdoor cats,(whose portraits grace the patches of my shorts in the above pictures), and wonder just what they do every day out there in, “The Wild”?  Each morning I release them from the shop and watch them sprint out the door in order to pursue…who knows what kind of adventure?  They are free range animals for the day and able to seek out any activity they may fancy.  They have no obligations…no regrets…and no routines…except maybe the one where they all come running for my calls when nightfall comes.  Oh...and I guess they all march in a single file line into the safety of their overnight shelter.  Okay…and yes, they all expect a full belly from the food bowl and a turn at the litter box at this time.  I ask you, is it a big deal that each one of them anticipates exactly three treats before they retire to their seemingly assigned sleeping spots?   Yep, my outdoor cats have it made.  They are what I would call rut-less. 
   Too bad being rut-less means I’m always fearful of the day one of them will disappear.  In anticipation of this event every morning before I let them out the door I rock each one of them in my arms and whisper, “You be careful out their today.  Look out for your siblings and make sure to come back to me tonight.  Most of all always know that you are loved.”  Oh yeah, did I forget to mention the cats demand this as well…but not out of routine!
-r.