Sunday, March 26, 2017

My Claws!

   I’d like to start this post by stating these pictures were taken a few weeks back when there was substantial snow on the ground.  While the current weather is still sweater-worthy, I’m happy to report the snow has now been replaced with mud.  Yes, I’m happy to see mud…however my shoes are not.  Of course I’ll save that little jewel of a rant for a whole separate blog post. 
   I titled this story, “My Claws!,” due to a seriously deep topic that’s been on my mind.  Yep, it's happened people.  I've become obsessed with my fingernails.  Now I’ve always been privy to painting my nails.  In fact, it’s something that I do weekly as a type of mental therapy…that, and I’m also seriously OCD and can’t stand to have chipped nails or any deviation in my routine.  As a result of this neurosis, I’ve always had fairly decent looking fingernails.  Of course, up until last year I'd been working in the horticulture industry.  Any female in this field can attest to the cosmetic uphill battle that transpires from working with terrain.  Basically, it’s virtually impossible to have long nails when constantly digging in the dirt.  Not only is it unsanitary, but it’s unsightly when every other finger has a broken ragged edge.  Trust me, gardeners are not hand models. 
   However, as we all know I left my job of ten years to pursue a new direction.  While I expected many changes I certainly didn’t consider a physical change would occur.  Yet it did and while I understand it’s only fingernails I feel like a whole new woman!  For instance, a few weeks back I went out for coffee with a close girlfriend.  As we were talking she interrupted me by stating, “I never thought I’d see that!  I didn’t think you could grow those!”  She was referring to the length of my fingernails.  All of the sudden I felt exposed.  It was as if the cat was finally out of the bag.  Someone had finally realized I was a whole new woman.  “I know, it’s weird isn’t it,” I replied trying to mask by my, “new identity.”
   The day I took these photographs I was just starting to get some length on my nails.  I kept looking at them with admiration, which I think was captured in these pictures.  Honestly, these are some of the best images I’ve taken in quite some time…despite the fact that the wind was ridiculous.  I'm super bummed the last picture came out blurry.  I truly believe it would have been a humdinger.  Who would’ve guessed that the length of my fingernails could inspire such confidence…such pride…such downright narcissism.
   Due to these new found feelings of fortitude I’ve noticed a change in myself.  I think things like, “I’m the lady with nice long fingernails.  I can go to that Mary Kay party!  Look at those hands.  That’s a woman whose going somewhere.  I can voice my opinion at work!  Do you see how that nail polish matches my outfit perfectly?  I can attend that baby shower at the country club!”  Honestly, it’s amazing what a slight physical change can do to one’s psyche.  Of course, in the words of the great George Harrison, “All things must pass”…yes, I just committed blasphemy by quoting an absolutely beautiful song during an essay about something so stupid.  
   Just a few days ago one of the children at work decided it would be entertaining to try to juggle rocks.  While I was impressed by her determination I ultimately decided it was not a good idea to allow a five year old to throw rocks…even in the pursuit of learning a trade in the circus field.  As I was literally wrestling them from her grasp…remember I said she was determined…one of my nails got snagged on a rock and it ripped short.  The look on my face must have been horrific since even the preoccupied child exclaimed, “Oh no!  Your fingernail!”   The very next day my OCD mind made the agonizing decision to cut all of my nails short in order to keep things consistent.  “I’m now back to being the woman with short fingernails," I think.  “Maybe I could learn that rock juggling thing.”

Sweater:  Vintage
Shirt:  Chaps 
Vest:  Thrifted
Jeans:  True Religion
Purse:  Sonia Rykiel
Necklace:  Thrifted
Bracelet:  Thrifted
Sunglasses:  Roberto Cavalli

Sunday, March 19, 2017

"O Canada..."

   I think it’s safe to state, “I’m desperate for spring.”  I know it’s probably hard to tell since I keep posting pictures of me wearing long wool skirts.  However, underneath all that fabric there are legs that are desperate for…well, long denim shorts.  What can I say?  There’s just something about warm weather that really inspires me to let loose.  This lady is prepared to show some leg…below the knees, that is.
   Basically, I’m just ready to see the sun again.  Of course daylight savings time did help.  Unfortunately right after this change took place I got seriously sick for the second time this season!  Please pardon my, “Woe is me,” moment here but as I’m writing this I’m still in the throes of major discomfort.  My face is throbbing, my nose and lips are chapped, and I’ve been wearing the same hoodie…hood up, mind you…for about twenty six hours now.  I also have a pile of wadded up Kleenex balls by the bed that rivals the height of my nightstand.  Oh yeah, people warned me that the first year of working in childcare would result in a type of, “germ initiation,” but honestly I had no idea just how rotten I’d feel…and look.  My God did I look bad this morning!  Honestly I think I have PTSD from my reflection.  No glamor shot will ever be able to wipe that image from my mind.
   All joking aside, there comes a point each winter that I become extremely depressy.  Today I hit that point.  It started with the fact that I was simply not feeling well.  Of course my foul mood progressed when I finally realized at around 4:00PM it was St. Patty’s Day and what seemed like the entire Facebook population was out, “Whooping it up.”  Meanwhile, I was lying in what smelled like a vat of Vick’s VapoRub watching my eleventh episode of, “Degrassi Next Class,” on Netflix.  Please, go ahead and judge.  I’m well aware of how bad my taste in TV shows can be.  However, in my defense, “Degrassi,” was a hilariously entertaining show back in the day so I was curious.  Yes, it was solely curiosity that made me watch eleven episodes in a row.
   I guess I could argue it was also curiosity that made me fall off the wagon with my Etsy addiction again.  I will state, “It is St. Patrick’s Day and I’m willing to bet many individuals displayed a major lack of control today.”  I’m eternally grateful that my faux pas came in the form of fashion.  My only explanation is sitting here, sniffling in the ugliest hooded sweatshirt one can imagine, caused me to start longing for something better to wear.  What could it hurt to take one little look online?  The next thing I knew I was hours into binge watching Canadian teen soaps and receiving a confirmation e-mail from a vintage shop located in Montreal stating, “Thank you for your purchase!  Your vintage faux fur coat will ship shortly!”  God help me if I end up looking like a character from, “Degrassi,” in it.  Although, you have to admire this woman’s commitment to a theme.
   I guess the theme of this post is that I’m sick…in the head…wait no, that’s not it.  I’m sick of winter and as much as I’ve enjoyed wearing things like plaid wool skirts and leather gloves I’m ready for a change.  I’m obsessed with the idea of summer…that and apparently Canada.  Despite my desperation for milder weather I do hope I get to wear my Canadian vintage coat once before the temperatures change.  I consider it, “My wild St. Patty’s Day indulgence.”  I suspect there has already been a, “Degrassi,” episode entitled this.

Coat:  London Fog
Jacket:  Gap
Skirt:  Vintage
Wellies:  Juicy Couture
Purse:  (Gift)  Michael Kors
Gloves:  The Limited
 Sunglasses:  Kate Spade

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Horrors of Winter

   I would first like to state I named this blog post, “The Horrors of Winter,” based on the last picture featured.  After photographing this image I thought, “Huh, well that looks a little more, “mad scientist,” than fashion guru but whatever.”  Really, who am I to say what the next, “in,” trend will be?  I know personally it’s looking like it may be a very black summer for my wardrobe.  Let’s just say I think I listened to one to many Dead Can Dance records this winter.
   Keeping with the topic of horror, I'll state I’m absolutely horrified that today we're experiencing yet another sample of winter squalls.  Perhaps it wouldn’t be so hard to accept if we hadn’t just experienced near seventy degree weather last weekend.  While I'll admit the wind was still rather insufferable during that nice stretch it was much better than the return of all this snow!  I mean yeah, I love wearing coats and sweaters, but how am I supposed to pair them with socks and designer sandals when there are drifts outside up to my mid-calf?  Damn you British Vogue, does it not snow in England too?!
   Ironically, I did have someone discuss this very topic with me the other day.  This individual stated, “It's so hard to wear nice clothes in South Dakota because there's nowhere to go in them.”  While I totally agree with this statement I wanted to add, “I’m absolutely fine wearing an evening gown while hanging out in my driveway as long as I can get a good picture of it.”  Lately between the unrelenting wind and cold I’ve not been able to get many decent images…of me wearing jeans…because denim is the only fabric that may keep me alive in these harsh conditions.  In addition to my uninspired outfit selection I’ve recently taken to photographing myself in the garage again.  This is when you know the weather where I'm at is crap.  I’ll get dressed in the morning and think, “Wow, that’s a well-coordinated ensemble I should take photographs in order to remember it."  I’ll go outside and realize it’s ridiculously cold which causes me to take pictures in front of my garage door…the closest most convenient cop-out spot for, “fashion photography."  Of course, that’s only until the weather gets ridiculously bad and I’m banished to the INSIDE of my garage.  This is where my pictures really take on a rustic motif…except when combined with black leather gloves.  For some reason the addition of my new favorite accessory hints at the grotesque here.  Good thing I love the horror genre.
   Speaking of this genre, yesterday Al and I finally made it to see the M. Night Shyamalan movie, “Split,” at the cheap seats.  It seemed the perfect drama for such a dreary day.  Before attending I prepared myself for a disappointing experience.  This director and I have a sort of, “meh,” relationship.  While  I’ve enjoyed some of his films, there have been several that have not impressed me…except this time that was not the case…this time I was extremely impressed!  If you’re an individual who enjoys the excitement of apprehension I suggest you check out this movie.  Not only did I find the acting of the main villain impressive, the story took that classic Shyamalan twist somewhere good this time…like really good.  Don’t let the PG-13 rating fool you.  This movie is suitable to make even grown-ups unsettled. 
   In conclusion, between all the goth music and horror movies I’ve been watching this winter it’s no wonder my pictures are starting to look grim.  I guess I just think someone should fight all this white stuff outside with a little darkness.

Coat:  Thrifted
Sweater:  Free People 
Jeans:  Guess
Clogs:  Vintage
Purse:  Aimee Kestenberg
Gloves:  Vintage
Necklace:  Thrifted
Sunglasses:  Dolce & Gabbana

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Old Habits Die Hard

   Recently I was reminded of an old, “Will & Grace,” episode and I can’t get it out of my thoughts.  During this particular show Grace is going on a romantic autumn bike ride to the pumpkin patch with a new suitor.  Will reacts to this news by questioning, “Why she would ever do such a thing,” considering this activity is totally out of character for her.  It’s at that moment that Grace realizes in horror that, "Oh my God!" her future companion, "Thinks I do things!” 
   I've always found this scene funny, due to the fact that I can totally relate to it.  I'm one of those individuals that does not, “do things.”  For example, when I look at my Facebook feed and see all the different activities people are, "doing," I sigh and drive to my regular Starbucks for a consolatory decaf latte.  Apparently, friends of mine are going to places like New Zealand to celebrate New Year’s Eve.  They're attending concerts of bands that this hypochondriac would seriously consider participating in medical testing in order to afford…eh hem, a reunited Temple of the Dog show in Seattle!  People are involved in art shows and political rallies in order to get their opinions exposed to a country that seems currently desperate to squelch any independent thought.  Of course, all of these things don’t even begin to touch on the amount of announcements I read daily regarding people getting married, having children, and buying new homes.  I guess these individuals are what Will and Grace would refer to as, “people who do things.” 
   Meanwhile, I comfortably hide out in South Dakota in my structured little world.  I work the same hours Monday through Friday.  I make a menu of meals, planning two weeks at a time, so there is no effort wasted in trying to think of, “What am I going to make for dinner tonight?”   In the evenings I listen to my vinyl records and watch an episode or two on DVD of some old sitcom.  I find sitcoms from my childhood extremely calming…which is vital considering what a, “wild,” existence I’m living.  Right now I watch, “Newhart,” every night.  Hey, don’t knock it until you try it.  Everyone could use a little Larry, Darryl, and Darryl in their lives.  On weekends I’ll usually hit the cheap seats with my special man friend followed by a nice dinner at one of our regular haunts.  In addition, lately I enjoy watching Critierion Collection films.  I’m currently trying to watch all of them.  Admittedly this task is never ending considering they induct new films each year.  However I can’t resist the structure this goal provides.  To continue, whenever I, “spontaneously,” go out with friends I generally pick the location and activity.  I’m really not sure how this happens.   I guess I’ve always assumed people want to go to the same places I do.  If I’m wrong I hope people feel free to approach me…and then continue to go to my favorite places…just kidding…sort of.
   Anyway, the whole point of this rant is that sometimes I break through my brick wall and think, “Man, I’m too young for this type of existence!”  Yesterday I was presented with one of these moments.  Someone asked me to, “do something,” that instantly made me feel uncomfortable.  Don’t get me wrong, the activity is something I’m extremely interested in.  However it would require me to travel and be social with individuals I don’t know.  My first instinct was to tell the inquiring person, “Hell no!” when suddenly I thought of, “Will & Grace.”  Except my situation was very different because the person asking me to participate knows I don’t, “do things.”  Keeping this in mind I started to consider perhaps this person was asking me to venture outside my box for my own good.  I’m proud to report, I’m still thinking about it…which is better than my usual instant, “No.”
   What does all this have to do with the above pictures?  Well, I guess I thought it was ironic that even the blazers I choose have structure.  I guess old habits die hard. 

Blazer:  Thrifted
Jeans:  Henry & Belle
Boots:  UGG
Purse:  Tokidoki
Gloves:  Vintage
Necklace:  Vintage  (Handmade)
Sunglasses:  Kenzo