…About clothing

I’m listening to the Venture Brothers while I write this. It’s the Scooby Doo episode, and Brock just demanded to be given a lot of dead people.  It feels so fitting for this Irene-washed evening. I can smell October, it’s just one September away.

I spent most of my day taking care of my sick daughter, and had the impetus to do SOMETHING creative before I slept.

I love the autumn colors that are appearing in online shops and blog posts everywhere.  Eggplant and mustard and brown and tan…  The 70s are back, after all, and along with them all these awesome 70s colors. I don’t have the money to spend on the perfect mustard-colored ankle boots or this brown and orange printed 200 dollar dress from L.L. Bean (all carefully saved on a pinterest board), so I dove into my wardrobe and pulled out (as ever) some stuff my mom has given me.

She’s a tiny Thai lady, and smaller than I am by several sizes, but her stuff mostly works.  I put an old brown button-up cotton shirt of hers over this tiki-print dress.

“That jacket is totally shapeless,” my husband commented. “It seriously doesn’t flatter you.”  I kind of like it, despite that.  I like wearing clothing that is potentially older than I am.  The dress has a touch of orange in it, and I kind of love orange.  The shoes are Clark’s clogs.

“Why do you do that with your feet in every single photo?” My husband questioned while I was snapping this shot.  “It’s very Japanese or something.”

I honestly don’t know.  It certainly doesn’t abide by these very useful tips for photographing oneself. Anyway.  Creative moment for the night, achieved.

This is the other creative thing that I did today to entertain my kid. Halloween-themed collages.


The earth moved

Yesterday there was an earthquake on the East coast. This is pretty rare, so everyone tweeted the heck out of it. In fact, the first I heard of it was from a friend who casually dropped the word “earthquake” in the middle of an IM conversation. She lives in New York City, so the first thing I thought was, “Oh no, a plane hit her office building!” Luckily it was just nature being grumpy and not our fellow man.

It caught all of us humans by surprise, but the animals could sense it using their more awesome powers of perception. This is probably the most interesting article that came out of the earthquake: National Zoo Animals React to the Earthquake.


  • The red ruffed lemurs sounded an alarm call about 15 minutes before the quake and then again just after it occurred.
  • The Zoo has a flock of 64 flamingos. Just before the quake, the birds rushed about and grouped themselves together. They remained huddled during the quake.
  • According to keepers, the giant pandas did not appear to respond to the earthquake.

I like that different animals have different reactions. The pandas were clearly too drowsy to care. “Earthquake? I’m sleepy enough that it feels more like a waterbed.” But the red ruffed lemurs were like “We hear this all the way from the earth’s core! We don’t know what your issue is, but we’re gonna go cling to a damned tree STAT!”

All of this reminded me of another article that came out of the Japanese tsunami, about a shitzu that saved her master from the devastation by insisting that they walk uphill, quickly, to higher ground.

Perhaps humans lost our ability to read nature’s signs when we began to modify nature? …Or perhaps we’ve always been the otherly-abled of the animal world…

Been down so long…

I just finished reading a very sweet blog post by LiebeMarlene about the folk singer Mimi Fariña. Some know her as the sister of Joan Baez; I know her mostly because she was married (at age 17, depicted in this photo) to the author Richard Fariña. His best man was Thomas Pynchon.

He wrote a book that my husband lent to me in the process of flirting, a book entitled Been Down So Long it Looks Like Up to Me. It was one of those beat-poetry-inspired novels about college that was chillingly honest, right down to the main character’s extreme and profound constipation.

Oddly enough, my father went to Cornell at exactly the time Fariña was there. “He was one of the cool kids,” my father said. “Of course I didn’t hang out with him.”

A lot happened this weekend…

Is it me you’re looking for?

Time did strange things this weekend, probably because it felt like the weekend started at exactly 5 PM on Friday night.  We were busy all weekend long, but none of it felt rushed, and there was still plenty of time to sit and play with my computer and drink coffee. I tossed routine out the window and went for many leisurely walks through my (lush, tropical) hood, ate the amazing stuff that the Cook made for dinner, and went to a show on Friday and a party on Saturday…

Friday we went to go see Kaleigh Baker, a pretty rockin’ blues musician from Orlando and living in NYC.  She had a tight band and a drunken-style stage presence as if she was Jim Belushi with long hair. Her voice in that venue was so powerful that it, uh, hurt, which caused me to remember that ear plugs are definitely a necessity, oops. It was actually the first time that the Cook and I had been out to see music together since before the kid was born (our last show was probably Patricia Barber).  And we’d never been out in downtown Orlando.  At 2 AM, emerging from the club, we looked around amazed at how much the streets resembled New Orleans’ French Quarter.  I’d never seen that side of the city before.  We passed by a table where a couple sat arguing.  The man looked embarrassed, head in his hand, and the woman glared at him and puffed smoke into his face.  Intense drama, played out in this late-night fishbowl.

The next day was leisurely again, waking up at nine-ish with a lot of computer and coffee time.  Then we checked out the new location of Sam Flax, one of those crazy-addictive art supply stores.  Walking into one of those always gives me  grandiose dreams. “Let’s buy spray paint and stencils and do illegal things to city walls!” I didn’t buy spraypaint, but I did buy a tripod from Colonial Hobby. First result below, I made myself look short:

We did other stuff on Saturday night, and we were busy all day Sunday too, but what I remember from this weekend was the way that time felt long and liquid, like a gift.

Fish & avocado salad, one of our many fine dinners this weekend…

To dye or not to dye…

The second I begin to wonder something like, “Hm, is too much white showing in my hair? Should I dye it?” I have the luck of reading something inspirational about the beauty of embracing age. Advanced Style led me to the lovely middle-aged couple known as the Idiosyncratic Fashionistas, who just wrote about the joy of going gray. Or as they term it, Gray Pride.

It’s inspired me. I think I’ll keep the streaks of pure white. I’m pretty sure I’ve earned each one.

Edit: I’ve just remembered that my day began with this completely UN-inspiring quotation.  It made my skin crawl just to think about it:

Sometimes I talk to my girlfriends about aging. After a while, I noticed a pattern—without any hesitation, they all said, “Oh, no, I don’t want to get old. No, thanks, I’d rather be dead.” So then I started asking the question farther and wider, and I got pretty much a unanimous verdict. Women would rather die early than get old enough so they weren’t beautiful any more. Even women who didn’t necessary believe that they could fully understand the sentiment.

— Lisa Hickey, The Good Men Project

Seriously?  I think it’s clear that the people who really love life are the ones who wanna stick around as long as they can.