Monday, February 22, 2010

Reason Number %: Dried Cherries

Dried cherries are inappropriately delicious. I could eat them with (and between) every meal. I buy so many dried cherry packets when I go to Whole Foods/Trader Joe's/The Drugstore that I'm kind of embarrassed for myself and my specificity. Many are fond of dried fruit--apricots, apples, cranberries--but my level of adoration for dried cherries, to the exclusion of other dehydrated nutrition sources, is creepy and diarrhea-inducing.

Tart Montmorency, specifically.

I am very snobby about vintage. Don't ever tell me you love vintage clothing when really you love acid wash denim dresses with American Apparel headbands. Not that it's impossible to look flawless in an acid wash denim dress with an American Apparel headband. It's just not the same as loving vintage.

Though my attitude toward vintage has evolved, I think. As a sixteen year old, I was indubitably, wholeheartedly a vintage purist. Only wear one era at a time. I had my early 1950's silk posy day dress, which I wore with early 1950's red bow pumps and a red embroidered cardigan I bought at Express but that seemed to blend well enough into the outfit so as not to disrupt the historic balance (yes, I said Express. I did.).

And, lest I ever think of myself as cool in adulthood, my seventies obsession of 1998: pagoda-rose printed polyester button-downs with enormous Mudd bell-bottoms and worn-out converse with 666 on the toe, written in Sharpie. And white lipstick! (Mudd!)

AND my brief but impassioned Victorian phase: ankle-length turn of the century lawn dresses with appropriate (though, when necessary, anachronistic) t-straps. But even I felt uncomfortable taking that kind of insanity to the streets, or high school classroom.

I never was a sixties person. It's still one of my least-favorite decades, though I do have a blue velvet babydoll dress with a bib collar in my closet at home that I love to pieces and wear about three times per year.

I still love vintage as much as I always have--even the most ridiculous pieces can find a place in my closet--but I don't want to wear only vintage, and especially not only one era at a time. It's hard, though. It's hard to wear lame and destroyed cowboy boots without looking like a total hipster poser idiot. Sometimes I find myself treading that line.

And that's why there's Quoddy to keep me in check, even though I don't own anything they make.* And very basic denim. Some people can look amazing in neon paint splattered jeans, but I am not one of those people. The simplest pair of jeans grounds my Edwardian blouses in a way nothing else can.

*Oh but I wish I did. The inclusion of Quoddy into my wardrobe would suddenly make me a punctual, beer-guzzling, less frivolous person who means business.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Reason Number 50: Mrs. Manganelli actually was pretty awesome

Re: Mrs. Manganelli, who in spite of her puppy hair and Anne Klein loafers, really was an excellent math teacher. If only I could have appreciated her explosive mathematical prowess by having been good at math, being good at math, and continuing to be good at math (sorry SAT, GRE, SAT II, tipping in restaurants, calculating discounts on leather leggings at the Barneys Warehouse Sale). She was also a total heinous cunt, and slammed David with like eighteen demerits for cutting off Sara Gilli's hair when she fucking told him to cut her hair and he responded affirmatively. But extreme fear equals extreme love equals lust equals oh man teachertime, and I will never in my life forget the impact Nora Manganelli had on my fantasies, my songwriting, my home life, my effusive self-loathing. I feared her even in the confines of my playhouse, tumbling slideward wondering if I'd forgotten to staple a homework assignment yet again. Or did I miss a page on my pop quiz? Did I say the Lord's name in vain? OH YOU BET I DID (NOT) DID (NOT) DID I?

I also got in trouble for writing a Mother's Day Card haiku about fetal alcohol syndrome. But this was a different teacher with a manbeastier haircut and a labcoat.

I still don't know how to number pages.

The moral is, instead of inheriting the earth, as a meek person is wont to do, I am eating the earth with my cruelty and insensitivity, and then spitting it out a masticated disaster. I mean, not really. I'm not even remotely that important.

In the vein of our late friend McQueen, who will never design a pair of tartan drop crotch trousers again, other things I'm tired of, but delight in relating to you so much they make me never, ever want to pull a McQueen (and yes I said McQueen twice (now three times, count them!) in the same sentence):

-nondescript indie pop masquerading as something other than nondescript indie pop. Why why why are the Shins still played at parties? I do not get it. At. All.
-Taylor Swift (like wtf? Why is she famous?)
-The Sartorialist/Garance Dore/other short-sighted, narrow-scoped street style blogs

As soon as blizzardfest began last Tuesday night, I turned to Ryan and said: "I can't wait to see puppies jump around in the snow!"

So, here I am, forever lame and crying at meowing kittens and wee birds. If you're ever in New York, you should check out the wee bird (a parakeet, I think) at Assembly on the Lower East Side. You'll also find (some) really super awesome clothes. They have a leather shift dress that fits like a dream. If I were wealthy (cough: had any money whatsoever) it would be in my closet right now. With the Quoddy boots and over the knee Chanel boots I fantasize about on a semi-daily basis.

UGH what a mess. Hangover city.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Reason Number 34567#$@6: I count like a three year old, but Quoddy exists

Every time I post I miscalculate how many reasons preceded the post I'm working on, so lord knows (oh yes HE does) how many posts I've accumulated under improper numerical headings. I've never been good at math. Mrs. Manganelli, my seventh grade pre-Algebra teacher can attest to that. She wore tartan flannel shorts with opaque navy tights and had a frosted corkskrew permanent she obviously didn't care for properly because it was constantly fried, but unlike a rapturously delicious and crisp chicken leg and more like a cocker spaniel.

So, Quoddy. In spite of my sustained passion for all things frivolous in fashion (Marc Jacobs multi-strap white maryjanes anyone? authentic antique Victorian ankle boots? chiffon cocktail dresses with built-in scarves for additional flounce?) I have begun to take several steps backwards in evaluating my aesthetic, and the aesthetic I favor in general. This is not entirely a conscious thing, but perhaps a reaction to the crazy bright colors/mixed patterns I've been sporting for nearly a decade.

In addition to taffeta houndstooth electric wonderland, I also crave sturdiness and peace of mind. Khakis, button-downs, simple jewelry, unobtrusive wrist watches, very very basic haircuts. Shit, I haven't gotten a haircut in a year and two months. I definitely don't want to have mermaidtastic goddess hair (which would never happen with my hair texture anyways) but I'm taking it easy, seeing where things go, avoiding funky textured mess blonde punkface in favor of natural.

Too soon? Alexander McQueen equals snooze. I get it. I get that he made insane reptilian shoes and popularized skulls to such a degree that seeing one on a lightweight scarf makes me want to puke. I'm sorry for anyone who hates him/herself enough to turn to suicide (chortle). But how many butterfly gowns can one wear before losing his/her mind? How many his/hers can I toss in before becoming Julia Kristeva/some kind of suburban master bathroom?

Oh Quoddy. You represent the best in practicality, in gender neutrality. Your grizzly boots can be made for me, or my boat-footed husband. Your ring boots can be worn with liberty print, the Rodarte Gilt skirt I wanted so desperately but couldn't afford, and all manner of vintage.

Quoddy, rescue my sequins from unbearable girlishness and dislikeable frivolity. I love sequins. LOVE. THEM. But not all the time. And not with everything. No, I'm not becoming serious, or sensible. More like tactful? Tasteful? Malaprop central?

Quoddy boots are hand stitched in Maine. I spoke with the owner *on the phone.* WHILE HE STITCHED A PAIR OF THEM WITH HIS BARE HANDS. They have a lifetime guarantee. They don't showcase their designs on models.

(I hate models. But we'll get to that tomorrow.)

Maybe I'm yearning for a false reality, an unobtainable grittiness. Or maybe for a sense of rugged dimension heretofore lacking.

I do, after all, love my A.P.C. jeans.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Reason Number 21: Beverly Cleary is still alive!!!

This morning I woke up wondering is Beverly Cleary, esteemed American author of countless beloved classics such as Ramona Forever and The Mouse and the Motorcycle--is Beverly Cleary still alive?

The possibility of her death somehow making me extraordinarily anxious and I thought maybe in the J.D. Salinger/Kurt Vonnegut/Bea Arthur/Walter Cronkite/Bob Hope/Estelle Getty/Ronald Reagan/other super old people deaths occurring over the last approximate half-decade that Ms. Cleary had been forgotten, or that I'd neglected to notice her eulogy in Reminisce Magazine, which I obviously read every morning over lightly-sugared oatmeal with a sprinkling of dried cherries.*

Although dazed with motivation-annihilating dehydration from my insufferable radiator, I just HAD to know, so: wikipedia! And holy fucking crusty menstrual Virgin Mary she is still alive and well--or as well as you can be if you were born in 1916, which means she's either stark raving ridiculously crazyface or atrophying in a wheelchair somewhere in Oregon, I presume, because that's where she's from, and I read her biography in third grade and dressed like her for some inane elementary school contest, so, basically, I should know. I remember thinking of Oregon as one of the most exotic places I'd ever heard of, decidedly un-American because of its VOLCANOES (wtf), but yet Cleary is such an "all-American-what-a-pointless-term" person.

*I actually was obsessed with this magazine in junior high school. I especially loved the "Stirring Up Memories" segment, always involving life before proper refrigerators, and pot-bellied stoves, and waiting for a boy to ask you on a date while your dad (whom you call Pop) brines pickles in a hefty barrell. I'm probably the only person born after 1933 ever to read about this, and the only person born after 1933 to buy into the Golden Age of Perfection and Family Values so touted by the elderly. I was always like "why do I eat microwavable popcorn when people in the incredible early 1940's popped theirs on a white enamel STOVE while hand in hand with their multiple sisters singing Greensleeves and maybe listening to a radio broadcast on patriotism? Like, I don't even HAVE a sister and my dad is GAY?"

I still haven't been to Oregon.

People worth doing, soon to appear on my People Worth Doing Other Blog: Beverly Herself, and possibly the Rodarte sisters. Let's see!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Reason Number 20: My cat is better than some

I can't believe it's been like two years, and I've only come up with twenty reasons not to kill my(your)(one)self.


-I accidentally took a three hour long nap and woke up with campfire throat and sweaty feet. I was wearing tights. And a rayon (ew! but no seriously it's awesome) dress. My special needs cat was curled in my fetal-position crook.
-As I noted on my sister-in-law's blog: I actually genuinely like Bud Light. Yet another reason why I'm not a yuppie, or a hipster for that matter. It's only been about two years (maybe even less) that I've enjoyed beer in any capacity, so I suppose you have to start small.
-Sometimes I feel like a horrible person because at every moment I'm looking around wondering how people put their outfits together. This is not always a judgmental thing but sometimes a curiosity thing.
-Default settings. What's yours?