Thursday, June 23, 2011

Roadside Flowers

Roadside Flowers
by Billy Collins

These are the kind you are supposed
to stop to look at, as I do this morning,
but just long enough
so as not to carry my non-stopping
around with me all day,
a big medicine ball of neglect and disregard.

But now I seem to be carrying
my not-stopping-long-enough ball
as I walk around
the circumference of myself
and up and down the angles of the day.

Roadside flowers,
when I get back to my room
I will make it all up to you.
I will lie on my stomach and write
in a notebook how lighthearted you were,
pink and white among the weeds,

wild phlox perhaps,
or at least a cousin of that family,
a pretty one who comes to visit
every summer for two weeks without her parents,
she who unpacks her things upstairs
while I am out on the lawn

throwing the ball as high as I can,
catching it almost
every time in my two outstretched hands.

Dress: Vintage Laura Ashley from The Arc Thrift Store - $6
Belt: Goodwill - $2
Shoes: The Arc Thrift Store - $5

So on Monday I started my summer course, "Beginning Fiction Writing." So far it's been amazing, even though I'm not really comfortable with fiction yet. My professor is the brilliant Steve Hayward who actually just came out with a new novel, Don't Be Afraid which you should all check out. He's hilarious and I'm so lucky to be learning from him! So far we've just been doing relatively short exercises, but next week is our "wildfire" week where we have to write 1,000 word stories for every day and have them workshopped by the whole class. I'm super nervous, but I think it will be a great experience for me.  The other day we were working with super short fiction, including six word tragedies and "twovels" or twitter novels (under 140 characters).

My six word tragedy: Stale apricots were his last meal.
My twovel: Ian pulled a fist full of tictacs from his pocket. He dropped the pellets into his mouth and chomped down. She didn’t his deserve halitosis.
And here's my zeugma, which is a rhetorical trope where a single verb modifies multiple objects, one of which is inherently more metaphorical than the others: 
He was stuffed full of hamburgers, french fries and bullshit.

I found this amazing dress at The Arc a couple months ago, but it was floor length when I bought it! Thankfully I have no problem hacking up my clothes, especially when they only cost $6! It just has such an awesome shape and pattern that I just couldn't wait to have it altered before I wore it.

And here's the gorgeous house I'm living in for the summer. It's HUGE and has a ton of random passageways and stair cases that lead nowhere. It's pretty sweet.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rocky Mountain High

I'm soooooo glad to be back in Colorado! The weather is beautiful and the air isn't practically dripping with moisture like it does in Miami. Today we went to see Dani's new school, which is beautiful and nestled riight in the mountains. We also have to start moving into the house I'm renting for the summer with some other kids from my school - GAH I'm SO excited!

Sunglasses: Target $7.99
Top: Thrifted Mossimo from Goodwill $3
Belt: Thrifted from Goodwill $2
Skirt: borrowed Urban Renewal
Shoes: Thrifted from Goodwill $4

This outfit is super comfy and I think it definitely has a Colorado vibe going on with the plaid and the crochet, but maybe that's just in my head. Shout out to my beautiful, cat-like, crazy haired frog of a friend Zanzabar for giving me this skirt that I always loved stealing from her closet. She's going abroad for a semester so I'll just have to siphon some of her awesomeness out of her clothes until she gets back.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

However Much I'm Falling Down It's Never Enough

Does shit ever happen in your life that makes you just completely disillusioned with humanity and this whole mission of life we're all on? Something that makes you doubt if any of it even means anything at all...Sorry for the downer post, I just need to pity myself for a little bit if that's okay. Hopefully The Cure and a pretty red dress will cheer me up.

Dress: Goodwill $5
Belt: Goodwill $2
Shoes: Goodwill $4.50
I'm really in love with this red, floral, button down dress I got at Goodwill the other day. It's so comfy and casual but I could easily dress it up too. I wore this outfit running around town and to dinner with my dad and it was perfect for both occasions. YAY Goodwill, you're always so good to me.

OH YA and let me just obsess over these black sandals for a minute. MMMM..... Okay done :)

Here's The Cure playing the song I have on repeat at the moment, Never Enough.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Out Of The Ash I Rise With My Red Hair and I Eat Men Like Air

For me, creativity is this huge intersection of all my different passions and inspirations. Even though fashion is a total separate entity from things like poetry, music and art, I'm constantly finding all those other mediums sneaking into my outfits.  Now that I'm studying English and poetry on a more serious level, some of my favorite writers are always dominating my brain (and therefore my closet). 

Shirt: Antique Mart in Colorado Springs - $6
Skirt: American Way Thrift in Claremont, California - $4.50
Belt: Goodwill - $2
Heels: Forever 21 - $25

This outfit was inspired by the incredible, brilliant, tragic,  Sylvia Plath,
one of my biggest influences.
Sure she was beautiful and stylish, but she was soo so so much more than that. Some of her critics call her self indulgent for her deeply personal work, but they're just fucking haters! She was a serious scholar, and at one point even a professor of poetry. Her writing is not only technically skillful, but also so passionate and detailed that it takes on a relatable and even universal nature. 

This is one of my favorite poems of all time, it's about her struggle with depression and suicide:

Lady Lazarus 
by Sylvia Plath

I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it--

A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot

A paperweight,
My face a featureless, fine
Jew linen.

Peel off the napkin
O my enemy.
Do I terrify?--

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.

Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be
At home on me

And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.

This is Number Three.
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.

What a million filaments.
The peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand and foot--
The big strip tease.
Gentlemen, ladies

These are my hands
My knees.
I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was ten.
It was an accident.

The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.
I rocked shut

As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I've a call.

It's easy enough to do it in a cell.
It's easy enough to do it and stay put.
It's the theatrical

Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
Amused shout:

'A miracle!'
That knocks me out.
There is a charge

For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart--
It really goes.

And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, ash--
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there--

A cake of soap, 
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Rebel Girl You Are The Queen Of My World

Some people think of feminism and fashion as mutually exclusive, but I like to think that one is just an awesome extension of the other. To me, feminism is all about not letting all of society's rules and expectations dictate my actions. It's about seeing past the bullshit and finding ways to be and express yourself in a world that would rather you just shut up and wear some Abercrombie. The riot grrrl movement of the 90s spawned some of the most badass women that serve as awesome inspiration, but none more than the one and only Kathleen Hanna. As the lead singer of Bikini Kill, she screamed and belted lyrics like, 
"We're not gonna prove nothing nothing
Sittin around watching each other starve
What we need is action/strategy
I want I want I want
I want it now.
I believe in the radical possibilities of pleasure, babe.
I do. I do. I do. "
loud enough that they were impossible not to hear. She smashed stereotypes with her unapologetically girly style paired with her badass ability to rock out and I will forever be in debt to her fucking awesomeness. This outfit goes out to all the rebel grrrls out there :).

I figured my adorable pup Spazzy was the only accessory I needed for this look.
Dress: Goodwill $5
Combat Boots: Charlotte Russe $25
Puppy: Heaven PRICELESS

Oh and for the record, Kathleen Hanna was also bffs with Kurt Cobain and drunkenly wrote "Kurt smells like teen spirit" on his bedroom wall which inspired the song...Yeah she's the shit.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Gatsby Believed In The Green Light

"Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then one fine morning—  
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

The Great Gatsby is one of those books so filled with rich language and vivid imagery that, despite being physically comprised of purely ink and paper, has a visual aesthetic all its own. This outfit is kind of a modernized, summer-ized, kati-ized version of that aesthetic...clearly.

Hat: Target
Flower: Jo-Ann Fabrics
Necklace: The Arc Thrift Store
Dress: thrifted Banana Republic from Goodwill
Belt: Goodwill
Shoes: Lulu's

I tried to mute the color a bit in this one to give it a more vintage feel. I almost ate it hopping off the car LOL, but I won't tell if you won't.

Sharp Dressed Man

So last night my step dad took us to see ZZ Top at the Hard Rock. I wasn't really expecting to love it, but it was actually one of the best shows I've been to in awhile! Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill have the best chemistry and they're all just amazing musicians. They were wearing these amazing outfits; black skinny jeans and school boy blazers with silver sparkles all over. My favorite part was their adorable synchronized dance moves that just clashed so perfectly with their whole bearded-rocker vibe.

I tried to dress comfy/casual/funky/retro for the occasion... How'd I do?

It's got a bit of a My So-Called Life vibe, no?
  • Black and white floral mini dress: Goodwill
  • Levi's jean vest: The Arc Thrift Store
  • Black woven belt: stolen from my little brother :-#
  • Black wedges: Old Navy

Doesn't Dani look cute playing the slots? Being a twin is such a great wardrobe expander!

We had awesome seats, so I tried to get some good pictures of the band. Aside from the annoying heads in the way, I think I did okay.

Here's the band playing one of my favorites, Sharp Dressed Man.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rhyme and Reason

This post goes out to my dear friend and fellow poetry nerd, Ben.

When I recently took a trip to my family's beach house on Fire Island, I was ready to do nothing but lay in the sun and read.

I had finished my novel on the plane, so I set out to search through the wealth of awesomeness that is my grandparent's book collection. It spans several rooms throughout the house and fills at least 4 bookcases. My favorite find was my Grandpa Mort's old copy of The Complete Rhyming Dictionary. Now I typically don't write poetry that rhymes, but I'm constantly looking for a new challenge or spark to get me going. Anyway I went through the dictionary and made lists of my favorite words that rhyme. I think these lists are going to work as a great exercise to get the wheels churning and whatnot (always the hardest part).

Anyway here's one of my lists. I dare you to write a 6 line poem with each line ending in one of these words! Okay I don't dare you, but I'm definitely trying it.

Hard A-

This is one of my favorite writing outfits. The long loose skirt keeps from feeling constricted in any way. The button down denim shirt keeps me from looking like too much of a dirty hippie, and it has a pocket where i can put my pens.

All items from this outfit were purchased at The Arc Thrift Store in Colorado Springs

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Leaning Into The Afternoons

This halter shirtdress makes me want to read some Pablo Neruda on a rocky beach.

  • Black halter shirtdress: Goodwill
  • Leather belt: Goodwill
  • Tan flatforms: The Arc Thrift Store

Leaning into the afternoons,
I cast my sad nets towards your oceanic eyes.
There, in the highest blaze my solitude lengthens and flames;
Its arms turning like a drowning man's.
I send out red signals across your absent eyes
That wave like the sea, or the beach by a lighthouse.
You keep only darkness my distant female;
>From your regard sometimes, the coast of dread emerges.

Leaning into the afternoons,
I fling my sad nets to that sea that is thrashed
By your oceanic eyes.
The birds of night peck at the first stars
That flash like my soul when I love you.
The night, gallops on its shadowy mare
Shedding blue tassels over the land.

(Nothing But) Flowers

Here's another outfit put together from fabulous Goodwill finds.

  • Black sparkly cropped top from Goodwill
  • Suede miniskirt with flower detail from Goodwill
  • Black Old Navy wedges
  • Gold pendant necklace from thrift shop in Crestone, Colorado
  • Gold elephant cuff bracelet from street vendor in St. Marks Place, NYC

Dancing Queen

I found this amazing jumpsuit today that makes me feel like a badass disco dancer.

  • Black Goodwill jumpsuit
  • Brown studded Modcloth platforms
  • Leather Goodwill belt

Goodwill Superstore

One of my favorite things about thrifting is feeling like you've found the hidden treasure chest amidst a sea of tackiness. Some people prefer the more boutique-like thrift stores where everything is hand picked, but to me there's nothing better than sifting through rows and rows of shit to find the gems that are just right. Today, my sister Dani and I went to the Goodwill Superstore near our house in Miami. We totally hit the jackpot.

When dealing with a thrift store as intense as this one, our strategy is pretty simple. We start with the junior's section because that's typically where more of the current/trendy stuff is. Then we work our way around the perimeter of the store, always ending with the dresses (our biggest weakness).

Today the strategy worked maybe a little too well because by the time we hit the dressing room our basket was filled to the brim.

As usual, a few items didn't really work but we ended up liking an excessive amount and having to part with a few winners. That didn't stop our final haul from covering the majority of the dressing room floor. 

There was a ton of awesome household nick knacks that I was dying to buy for Dani's apartment next fall. Unfortunately I had to think logically and remember that anything I buy has to somehow make the trek back to Colorado... and that I'd rather spend money on clothes.