Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Inappropriate" Movie Attire

Unfortunately, I can't remember who to credit, because almost everyone has now done this, but I saw someone's blog yesterday where they had Mad Men-ed themselves!  Now I can't say this is my favorite show... I watched it a couple of months back when I was procrastinating studying for finals, and I wasn't at all pleased.  I know, I know, how could I possible say this, right?  It's just that I don't really emphasize with any of the characters.  I suppose Joan would be my favorite as she at least has a back bone.

But the costumes!  Oh my!  I could watch this show muted and be as happy as a clam!  My normal style deviates between Betty and Joan (two extremes, huh?), but yesterday I was feeling more of the second.


Because Betty is my second favorite (although I feel the story-line is a bit cliche), I made sure she was in the image.  And no, I don't smoke... I just liked that mouth the best.  Having gotten caught up in all this Mad Men-ing, I decided to channel Joan last night when I went out to the movies.  But, alas, my camera failed me, and I didn't have the batteries to take a picture!  And I was so proud of it too!

Here's the dress and the shoes though (with lots of credit to SKM, for her tutorials):


"Opera gloves? To the movies? Really?"  "Well where else am I suppose to wear them?"

Monday, July 27, 2009

And I wasn't even wearing a corset!

I have struggled for quite some time with a condition that I have, which, while delightfully feminine, is actually a bit of a pain in the you know where:  Unless I stand up incredibly slowly, I tend to black out, and faint if I'm not holding on to anything. This is because I have quite low blood pressure, which is supposedly a good thing, according to my mother (who cannot understand why I would want to change this).  Normally I seem to handle this fine, and I hadn't actually crashed to the ground in several years [I just can't see much for a couple seconds].

However, a week ago last Sunday, although I held on tightly to the banister rail when my sight began to go, I obviously actually lost consciousness completely and my hands let go. Unfortunately, I did not have a fainting-couch to conveniently catch my fall, and I crashed my head and left shoulder into the wall behind me.  I ended up with a large egg on my head and a bruised shoulder now supporting a lovely scar.  Ouch!
[And, by the way, not at all graceful nor feminine!]

Anyways, once I had gotten over the shock and pain, the scar got me thinking.  I have been wanting a tattoo for many years, but I can't decide whether I'd like any design enough to have in permanently on my body (I am a perfectionist, after all).  However, I've noticed one of those signs that I'm no longer a kid is that my scars tend to stick around... even the little ones with no particular story.  Luckily, my biggest scar is an interesting shape and has a nice little history behind it:

Having drive home from my last day of high school, I parked and went to grab all of my shit out of the back of my car.  One of the very few problems with my car (a mini) is that the exhaust pipe sticks out the back too far.  An armful of stuff + a lack of attention to this problem = one 
large red crescent burned into by left calf.  Well, you know when something is so hot that for a moment your body can't comprehend it?
.... sizzle...  

At least I'll always have a reminder of high school.

But, like I said, it got me thinking.  If I'm bound to mark my body in the future with ugly scars whose shape I have no choice about (and, being the klutz I am, I most certainly will), what is my problem with actively decorating my body?  I don't know if a tattoo can be drawn over an old scar, but, if this is possible, I would be interested in altering my new shoulder scar.

Anyone have any thoughts? By the way, if anyone is interested in tattoos and is as much of a geek as I am, The Loom posts science inspired tattoos every friday!

Now off to find a fainting-couch...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Spirit of Good Cheer...

...Needn't Come Once a Year!

This has been a lovely Christmas in July (though I'm still puzzled as to why its not in June?)
Thanks to all who participated (including those who visited instead of hosting) and a special thanks to Maggi for hosting it! Everyone is absolutely and amazingly creative!

I'm off to bed now, to dream of sugar plums, and all the wonderful goodies I discovered today. Perhaps I shall be newly inspired and try to do more cooking/baking?

Me, on Christmas night, after way too much food:

P.s. If I threatened to steal your pet/baby this CIJ, I am sorry, and have managed (just) to restrain myself.  They were just all so darn cute!

It's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you

Dedicated to my sister Holly, who thought my parents made up the songs for her ("Oh Holly Night", etc.):

L.A. has little in the way of season changes.  Sure, the Jacarandas only flower mid June-July, and the Santa Ana winds of the fall power the intense fires in the hills and turn the sky a deep reddish orange, but, compared to many other regions of the world, this isn't quite how it works. So, naturally, Christmas in July, to a small child of this city looks completely possible. Something that I think/hope explains why I used to pester my 
mother at this time of year when Christmas was coming.  I can apparently wait a full year for all other holidays, including my own birthday, but I still believe Christmas should come every six months.  I think this lack of proper weather changes also explains why, the first snow I saw in Scotland this year sent me into a sort of tizzy. Even the fact that my roommate downgraded it to "frost", when woken up by me excitedly, failed to damper my spirits.  Sure, I've seen snow on holiday before, but there is something magical about having a place you know very well suddenly transformed into "a winter wonderland"... which, during our first actual snowfall post-frost incident, sang nonstop.

However, the thing that makes my L.A. Christmas magical, the thing that makes it my favorite holiday are the traditions.  It all begins the night before....

First, we make sure all the presents are under the tree, and then, while the little lights in the tree dance, we set about the serious business of making mince pies.  It is an exercise in patience, as we cannot eat them until tomorrow. Tonight, the only one eaten is by Santa, along with a glass of milk and a carrot for the reindeer.

Then it's off to bed to listen to my father read "The Night Before Christmas", a children's picture book, while the stockings hang on our beds with anticipation.  We never grow too old, and always pretend to find new things about the pictures.

I used to have a set time, before which I was NOT allowed to wake up my older sister.  I'd count down the minutes until that appointed hour, grab my heavy stocking and rush into her room to examine our prizes together.  My parents still ask what Santa brought.

A lazy breakfast of scrabbled eggs with a hint of truffle is followed by an even lazier (and horribly tormenting) getting ready.  Then the big moment arrives:  Opening presents, with powdered
sugar topped mince pies, pink champagne, and mulled hot apple juice.  Handel's Messiah playing loudly.

Then on to the cooking.  My dog and I sit at the kitchen's edge and pine for the wondrous smells, but we both know that a venture into the tiny and packed kitchen is not a good idea.  "OUT!"

Saved from the delicious scents at last, a  long "emtpying" walk is had... to empty the stomach in preparation.

And, at last, the food arrives.  Bowls and dishes, pots and gravy boats, all filled to the brim, dish out scrumptious items onto the table miraculously decorated by my father (he measures equal spaces between the plates with a tape measure).  The candles are lit, and the fire is roaring, for, although there is no snow, it is still Christmas.  The climax of the meal is the pud.  A rather icky mixture which includes rum and suet (animal fat), Christmas pudding is perhaps the most bizarre British recipe I know, as it is boiled for 8 
hours, stuffed in a cupboard for a year, and then covered with more rum and set on fire.  Ahh, those Brits!  We have it (or the veggie version in my case) and lots of cream to go with.

Then, when we doubt our clothes ability to withstand the bloated tum, and we have retired to comfy chairs by the fire.  We listen to Dylan Thomas' "A Child's Christmas in Wales".

A good Christmas all around, with its most important elements: traditions, lots of good food, and a wonderful family.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Do help, my fellow vintage lovers

Why, oh why, do vintage shoes not exist in sizes above a 7? Did women really have smaller feet, or are larger footed women worse at keeping their shoes in good enough order to become vintage?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Too many Banana and Walnut Pancakes!

I went to brunch today with the ex, who also happens to be one of my best friends (f***ed up, I know).  Anyway, brunch means basically two things to me:

1. The chance to eat pancakes covered in butter and sirup without feeling guilty, because, as everyone (except my waistline) knows, brunch doesn't count.  Same goes for holidays and all food consumed while on vacation.

2. I get to dress up!  Well, either more so than I normally do, or at least I get a day off from curious stares (see a good entry about this by Super Kawaii Mama on her blog!).  I have a thing for hats, and have a lovely set of hat boxes (see above), but have never managed to wear them out that much. I didn't end up wearing this hat out, as it wouldn't stay put, but I thought it deserved a photo... or two... or three...

Hat: What my mum wore when she got married instead of a veil
Dress: My absolute favorite vintage dress ever (w/ little knitting needles and balls of wool).  But it is disintegrating!  So depressing!

 <--- my lovely thigh-highs!  I wish these came in thicker fabric, because I hate how tights fall down, and I have to walk around with my knees tied together.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Attempt at a Green Thumb

I have recently become obsessed with terrariums.  So, after finally finding a lovely jar at Ikea, I set about creating one post-singing lesson today.  Here's the rather misty/steamy result:

I don't yet know if I've developed a green thumb, but I do know that my fingers are now stained green after putting an antique green ink jar inside.  I do hope it works though!  And now I'm off to practice singing "quietly" and to dance... I'm feeling rather artsy today.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

To Kill a [insert type of annoyingly loud bird here]

Ok, I suppose that last post was a bit of a lie.  I really do like the sun.  I curl up like a cat on the floor in the patches where the sun streaks in through the window.  Right now I'm lying beside my pool staring at the bougainvilleas, and it's nice.  I can really only stand the heat in the late afternoon/early evening.  But I swear, if that squawking bird does not put a lid on it...

By The Way...

The vintage hoover ad can be found at 365 Days of Christmas, a delightful blog for those of us who can't wait a whole 12 months for this holiday!

Christmas in July: Amusing Musings from a Tired Brain

So last week I decided that I would make this blog a Sunday adventure, writing up the events of the past week.  As you can see, that worked out wonderfully (not).  I suppose my main problem is that I'm a perfectionist, and the more inspiring blogs I read, the more I feel mine cannot possible compete.  So I put it off, for a stroke of genius to appear at a later date.  I still feel a bit lacking in the genius department, but oh well.  Better late than never, right?

This blog was created to catalogue my achievements/adventures, as well as things that make me happy.  While I do not want to fill this with pages of my emotional writings (I found my old middle school LiveJournal, and I do not know why I ever thought anyone would ever me interested in that... slightly "emo"), hopefully this will be a place I can record my journey of "self-re-discovery".  Last summer, I ended (sort of) a six year romantic relationship.  To make matters worse, it was with my best friend, so there wasn't anyone to "take care" of me.  The best way I can describe what happened after that is simply that I shut down.  However, now I feel somewhat ready to try to reanimate myself, and come back into the real world.  Yet, having been one half of something for so long, I now have to find out who I am on my own.

I figure that this can be a place that I use to remind myself of the little things that bring a smile to my face (vintage shoes, for example).  Plus it will give me a weekly activity to add to my schedule, as, being slightly OCD, I LOVE making lists... always starting with "make list".  ;)

So, after a lengthy explanatory intro, this belated post:

1. (<-- notice it's a list!) My older sister just got an apartment in Hollywood, and we've been helping her move in.  This meant a trip to ikea, and way too much time salivating over everything.  I love housing stores (especially Potterybarn), but without a house of my own, I constantly have to be reminded that I do not own my own kitchen (*tear*).  Yet, I am somehow not drawn to the bathroom sets... I think when I have my own house, I will have a library, kitchen, and bedroom, but forget the bathroom.  The apartment, however, is fantastic; it's in an old 1920s/1930's building, with Jacaranda trees outside.  The only problem is that it is incredibly hot over there.

2). Speaking of heat... I'm melting!  I feel like the wicked witch when dorothy attacked her
with the water.  It's far too hot here, even though I'm close to the sea. You'd think, after spending more than half the year in Scotland, I'd appreciate this weather more.  But I'm a fan of the cold (and lovely vintage coats, mittens, boots, etc.).  I always get this problem in July, where I think it must be Christmas soon, right?  It's the problem of growing up in a city lacking extreme season changes.  I had my first snowy winter last year, and all I want, sweltering by my pool right now, is for it to be that time of year again.... "Santa baby, hurry down the chimney tonight..."

3). I re-watched The Big Sleep last night, which probably counts as my favorite movie of all time.  I'm not sure if it was the first Bogie and Bacall movie, but they are absolutely fantastic together!  It was also one of the first movies that used overlapping dialogue, which Lauren Bacall is particularly wonderful at.  He is, of course, amazing at everything he does (I would love to marry a Bogie of my own).  I think Bacall gets a lot less recognition than other women of her era, because not only is she a great actress (holding her own against the much older and experienced Bogart), I think she's gorgeous! 

4). Lastly, I have been hunting for a store in LA that sells pretty reproduction vintage lingerie, like some of the things from What Katie Did, but I can't find one.  I'm not fond of places like Victoria Secret or Frederick's of Hollywood, as they're not all that classy.  Does anyone know of any good shops?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I'm addicted to Etsy!  As if I needed any more things to add to my every growing wish list!

Oh, if only I could afford it all! 

Monday, July 6, 2009

We're quite a way into summer, so...

The Bathing Suit Edition:

I've spent so long trying to find a swimsuit that was sexy, just classy.  I finally found this bright red reproduction one from MyBabyJo, and I'm in love with it.  Thus, I thought it called for a (somewhat belated) modeling.

It's actually much brighter than this picture suggests, but I had fun playing around with iphoto, which haven't used that much, as I only just got a digital camera [confession: I got it as a Christmas present, but have been too busy to play around with it much... plus I've spent the last couple months in dreary, no-color Scotland].

In other news, I've started taking dance classes this summer.  The only way I can get any exercise is if I pretend I'm doing something else [i.e. swimming, dance, etc.].  For the past two weeks I've spent my Sundays [and now Thursdays] in a Burlesque[!!!] class.  My knees are literally black and blue, and I'm finding I have problems moving my neck/shoulders, but it's the most fun I've had in a while.  I wouldn't say I'm exactly coordinated enough for dance, but I've been finding that this is a great way to get exercise and to discover your sexy side.  If anyone lives on the west side of LA, go check out this studio.