the reason I am making angry faces for the next 27 hours

With god as my witness, I'll never fly Delta again.
Let's recap the ways in which Delta has utterly screwed me this month, shall we?

Dec 16th: I check in for my christmas flight online. Delta now charges $20 per piece of checked luggage.

Dec 17th: after a taxi ride from extortion hell to Newark, I am ready at the gate for my 10 a.m. flight. At 10:15, we are informed that the flight attendants "got in late last night" and have not arrived at the airport yet. At 10:40, the flight attendants saunter in and we are finally allowed to board the plane. (FUCK YOU, flight attendants. I got in late last night too, but managed to get my exhausted ass from the Upper East Side to Newark by 8 a.m. with two giant suitcases in tow, just so I could wait for you at the gate as you slept in.)
I frantically check my watch every four minutes as we sit at the gate, watching my narrow window of connection-making ability quickly tick by. I figure that if we're taking off by 11:10, I may be able to make the connecting flight to Nebraska.
At 11:07, as we pull up to the runway, the pilot announces via intercom that we must go back to the gate for a last-minute repair. You know, the kind of repair that takes 30 minutes and that somehow, no member of the crew noticed before the damn plane was ready to taxi.
At 11:15, I body-check passengers on my way out of the airplane to get re-booked for a new flight to Nebraska. This one gets in six hours later than planned, and means I'm laid over in Atlanta for three hours, which means the family picking me up at the airport now has six hours to wait around Omaha and waste time.

Dec 29th: I attempt to check in for my return flight. I am told that I am "ineligible" to check in, but am given no reason. After 30 minutes on the phone (and countless more on hold), I am finally given a reason: as my "original itinerary" was changed due to Delta's myriad fuckups on Dec 17th, I am no longer eligible to check in online for my thus-far-unchanged return flight.
This does not make any goddamn sense.
How can I check in and get on a plane to New York tomorrow? Well, I must check in at the airport, and to do so, I must arrive two hours prior to my flight time. My flight is at 11 a.m., and with the three hour drive to the airport (for this is Nebraska, I reminded several Delta reps, and there is a gigantic swath of land with no airport, and I travel from that vast prairie for three hours to reach their goddamn Delta terminal), this means I now must leave the house no later than six a.m. to get on an 11 a.m. flight so I can arrive in Newark by 5-fucking-thirty in the evening.

Oh, and since I'm car-less, this means my parents must also wake at 5 a.m. to drive me to Omaha.
And I'm still going to have to pay $40 for my checked luggage, to add insult to injury.

If I am not safely deposited in the Newark International Airport by 5:30 p.m. tomorrow, you're going to see what angry looks like, and you wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

Update, due to unexpected "extra time": goddamn fucking bullshit airline. I was given the full frisk at security in Omaha, and am now sitting at a gate that says "delayed" without any reason given. Word is that this flight MAY take off by 6:30 tonight, maybe. A three-hour delay on top of this bullshit makes me very, very angry. FUCK YOU, PENGUIN!

MORE EDITING SWEET CHRIST I AM PISSED: Guess why I am not boarding for a 6:25 p.m. flight right now, although it's 6:12 p.m.? Because the flight crew has not shown up yet! They've had three hours worth of delay in which to show up, but that was not enough notice for them. For the first time ever, I'm looking forward to a 12-hour drive to finish up this vacation, because at least delays on that leg of the trip will be caused by things like a sudden craving for a grilled cheese sandwich while driving through Pennsylvania.


more rampant wishlisting

As a child, I never felt that having a birthday rather close to Christmas was any kind of hardship. Granted, a January birthday almost always falls when school is in session, so the classroom parties and cake and sleepovers were never a scheduling issue. Rather, I found my exactly-three-weeks-after-Christmas birthday convenient, as I could just take the list off the fridge, cross off the things I received for Christmas, and simply retitle it "Birthday List".

If you're thinking ahead as to how you'll properly celebrate my birthday (hint: Laphroaig!), here are some things that would make me swoon.

I have constantly chapped lips, and applying the Korres Wild Rose tint lip butter makes them both un-chapped and so, so pretty.

Are these shoes the most beautiful things I've ever seen? Yes, yes they are.

My new funnel-neck coat is amazing, but leaves little room for a long, thick scarf under it. Solution: neckwarmer! And not only because it is called "Chunky Business".

Come now, you don't want me to have wet feet, do you?

These lacquered slide boxes come with mints inside, but I really just want them to hold my contact lens case. (I currently use one that has fallen to the tile floor one too many times, and is starting to crack in half.)

Girls like to smell pretty.

Girls also like pretty jewelry boxes when they realize that their current jewelry storage system of a bag and a bunch of necklaces draped over the tops of boots is somewhat subpar.


link love

Racked provides the link to the list of 15 Unfortunately Named Items Of Clothing; the list provides me endless amusement at the proximity of "skort" and "skong".


smell, memory

I'm lying in bed.
What's that smell? Why does it smell like vacation? California! Where is that smell coming from?

Aha. My new supercharged night moisturizer has a strong jasmine component, and this jasmine scent all over my face smells exactly like a hotel I stayed in while in San Diego in 2006. I assume all the hotel toiletries there were jasmine-scented, or there were hidden jasmine air fresheners placed around the room, or some such similar trigger.
The link between scent and memory is so strong with me that I can remember the taste of the coffee on that hotel balcony and the light in that hotel room when I smell this night cream. I've been known to stop short when a passerby is wearing a cologne that a high-school ex-boyfriend favored in 1998, and when Gap re-released their "classic scents" last year, smelling Dream sent me right back to my freshman dorm room and the friend whose closet always smelled vaguely of Dream. I once vetoed a cologne for my dad, sampled blindly, when I recoiled at the association of that particular smell (dancing at gay clubs) and my father.

Perhaps tonight, after gift-opening, I'll have some new scents to create similar memories for others with. Say, a nice bottle of Black Orchid...?


desperately seeking _________

1) a "long wearing" eyeliner that is, y'know, long-wearing. Too many times have I come home lately to notice that my supposedly budge-proof MAC Powerpoint has slid from my eyelids into the outer corner of my eye, and is dripping down under my lower lashes and across great swaths of my face. This look flatters no one, I promise. Am I smearing waterproof makeup remover across my eyes while I'm out having dinner? No. Then why does this "waterproof" liner end up smearing about after just a few hours? I am highly dissatisfied.
Any no-smudge, no-smear, waterproof eyeliner you'd like to recommend? Once this Buried Treasure pencil is out, I'm through with the underperforming $15 Powerpoints.

2) grey or black skinny jeans with an appropriate rise. By "appropriate" I mean "will hold in the ever-present muffin-top"- none of this 5" rise malarkey. I'm thinking 8" rise, minimum.
Revolve has a lovely function to search by style, color, and rise (missing from too many online stores!), and is suggesting the Cheap Monday jeans here, but I am a little wary, as I haven't been able to try on a pair of Cheap Mondays for fit. Perhaps that will be a NYC quest for next week. Other suggestions? (Stipulation: and by that I mean "cheap as possible".)
brilliant update: Those CMs are now $40 on the Urban Outfitters website. STAY ON SALE until I can try you on in a store and determine whether or not I can for my legs into your denim, pretty please!


what I did for love

Hell yes I bought this.

Sing, o muse, of the Yves St. Laurent sale at Housing Works last Thursday!

The sale was slated to start at 6 pm. Thursday was cold, dreary, and raining like a bitch. I lined up at 5:30 and huddled under my umbrella outside the front doors of the 23rd St. Housing Works, looking longingly inside at the people setting up the champagne bar, all warm and dry. Being just one person in line, rather than with a group of friends, I was able to squeeze my right arm and leg under the overhang to get a little shelter from the rain, as my umbrella was underperforming. (A few people came up to the crowd at the door and asked what in god's name we would line up for in rain like that- one of whom might have been Billy Joel, actually, because he looked exactly like him and kept giving me that "you know me! recognize me out loud!" look.)
Just before 6:00, a friend joined me in line, and then the doors opened. Then: free champagne to the left! YSL to the right! Oh god, choices. A few dealers near the front swooped down up on the racks and hauled off armfuls of clothing straight to the cash register, while we were left to shove our way towards the far rack. I felt a smack on my shoulder, and my friend shoved a handful of shoes into my hands- "size 8 1/2! Go!"- and I snagged two silky blouses from the rack to try on. (One of these ended up being purchased by the shoe-piling friend, and one by me.)

This lighting is the definition of terrible, as I took these photos on my parents'
kitchen table. But the pumps are black suede, and the t-straps are a true red suede.

I came away with a green chiffon blouse with rhinestone buttons and the two pairs of shoes above- both suede, both in utterly perfect condition. I think these have been worn maybe twice each in their lifetimes. Thank you, Housing Works donor, for having the same size feet as I do! (Narrow, too! Oh, it's a holiday miracle!)

Purchases secured, I was finally able to enjoy the table of free champagne- good champagne, at that!- and hors d'oeuvres. After umpteen free glasses of bubbly, we decided to head off to dinner, with a pit stop to pick up an umbrella from the bar at which it had been left the night before. We cab over, and as we're ducking into the bar, I notice that my friend's hands are empty. "Where's your Housing Works bag?", I ask her. "OH SWEET CHRIST THE CAB THE CAB OH NO!"
I begin to sprint. I can see the cab stopped at the light down the block, and I am chanting "don't turn! don't turn!" as I run through the rain in my very non-waterproof heels to rescue her YSL purchases from being stranded in a downtown taxi. Amazingly, I make it to the cab's back door before the light turns, and snatch up the bag from the backseat while the cabdriver looks on in confusion.
That, friends, is how the night ended. Two happy bags of Yves St. Laurent in tow, a giant umbrella, and a lot more wine.


stocking stalking

When I saw Susie Bubble's post on lacy stockings, I nearly swallowed my own tongue. These are beyond hot. Stockings* like these deserve a category all their own, such as "deadly". I learned from her example and attempted to track them down at Wolford while I was in New York, and although I was prepared to spend an obscene amount of money ($90! For a pair of fucking tights!), the salesgirl claimed that these were only on sale during the summer, and sorry! we don't make them any longer! I think this is bullshit (because people in Germany can buy them! so says your own site!) and perhaps I just looked ultra-askew that day and she has veto power over who buys these stockings, as I assume they are in massive demand.

*the best part? THEY'RE TIGHTS. Full stockings, if you will. Which means they don't provide an excuse to buy a garter belt, but they fully make up for that with their massive awesomeness.

By the way, I have absolutely no reason to wear gorgeous stockings. I mean, as the boyfriend is in Asia until mid-2009, who really gets the benefit of these? The cat? The taxi driver, as I awkwardly exit the car and accidentally flash too much leg? But a girl can dream of a day on which such legwear will be properly appreciated, and on that day, well, these might make a nice purchase.

Dude. These are topped with a peacock feather design, and you know I am a sucker for peacocks.

seasonally appropriate

Across the Delancey St. stop: a woman in a bright fuschia velour tracksuit with a white hoodie underneath, white Uggs, and white gloves.
I'm not sure if she meant to dress like Mrs. Claus Goes to L.A., but I've got a feeling she's going to regret that ensemble when someone comes up to her and says "ho, ho, ho".



I should've mentioned this before, but posting will be light/nonexistent for the next 5 days or so: I'm on vacation in NYC, and though I do love the internet, I'm pretty sure that breakfast at Shopsin's and ice skating in Bryant Park are going to be a bit more diverting.

You'll just have to wait for tales of the YSL finds at Housing Works!


wishful thinking

My actual wishlist (subtitled: "things to turn that frown upside down, missy!") right now is boring: a job once I finish school, A's in my classes, for the TSA to pay my claim for my broken glasses, sleep, and an end to the terrifying computer problems that send me into a panic and lead to seven hours of frantic troubleshooting and many more hours at the Apple Genius Bar.
(Not that that's how I spent my Sunday night and Monday morning in lieu of sleep and studying or anything.)

But, since my big amazing wishlist item (President-elect Obama! YES!) has come through, what's the harm in asking for some fun things?

I really need another sheet set, as my latest nice cotton sheets were mauled by something sharp during the spin cycle. These are not too expensive, but are 100% cotton, and a thread count of 600 means I get to pretend to be fancy.

Also fancy: a swanky silk robe. Chinoiserie and 40's! I would be sure to eat proper breakfasts every day if attired in this.

My filing cabinet is about one hanging folder away from toppling over. (And yes, I do need to hang on to those handouts from 2001 on comedic theory in performance, damn it!) Noted: I always said "filing cabinet", but apparently most of the internet that is trying to sell me one of these refers to it as a "file cabinet". Discuss.

Unsurprisingly, I am in love with this watch.

Judging by the amount of Liquid Smoke I put into recipes that don't necessarily call for it, you might surmise that I am a huge, huge fan of Islay malts. This thought should lead you to buy me a nice bottle of scotch.

My current winter coat sucks.This coat does not. Sold!

Edit: yessssssssssss. I found this very coat for 50% off at a sample sale today. Thank you, shitty economy, for facilitating these kinds of discounts.

Although I assume the above coat is pretty much perfect, I do have freakishly long arms, which leads exposed wrists all winter when a coat stops short. Snuggling my hands into this muff would be almost as good as having a bunch of kittens drape themselves over my forearms to warm me. Except I don't want to scalp kittens to make this muff. (It's vintage fur! Therefore somewhat less objectionable to this former-PETA newsletter-subscriber! Oh, fuck it, pass the foie gras.)

Does Thomas Keller need a justification? Hell no.

I keep saying "oh, I need a new bed- my mattress is simply too soft to support my back properly!" What I'm really saying is "duuuuude, I want a fancy king-sized bed."

These salt & pepper shakers are the definition of twee. So?

After this week's tech freakout, I really have no excuse not to get more RAM for my Macbook. It's not especially fun or shiny, but then again, neither is another laptop meltdown leading to a personal meltdown.


don we now our gay apparel

"Holiday party" means "reason to wear ridiculously adorable hat I bought on a whim".

Black velvet hat with veil, vintage ($8 in a Nebraska secondhand store!);
dress, H&M; belt, Urban Outfitters; gloves, vintage; shoes, MaxStudio.

Taking photos at the end of a party will pretty much guarantee that everyone looks either glazed or incredibly saucy. I'm trying to strike a balance between the two here.


two of the four food groups

Bourbon + chocolate = potentially the only thing I will eat, ever, for the rest of my life.
This is definitely going to be my showstopper New Year's Eve cake this year.


Thakoooooooooooooooooh, nice.

I'm scoping out Targets within reasonable range of my parents' house for early acquisition of the Thakoon for Target line, out Dec 28th. I believe the closest Target carrying the GO line may be 47 miles away, with the next option at a distance of 130 miles. Is this unreasonable? Um, no, not for the following pieces that I am already coveting.

Yes, ok, this dress looks v short. And I am not normally a fan of batik
(bad faux-hippie connotations). But I am still gaping with desire at this.
Please be on the low end of the pricing spectrum, pretty dress!

Pretty much everything here is what I want to wear from May through September.
Flowy geometric dress, put-together but not matchy cardigan, skinny belt. Yes, yes, yes.

And hey! Target has finally jettisoned their Headless Model theme! The models now have more than an oddly-cropped chin! This makes me far happier than it should, but dude, there was just something so OFF about having all the clothes worn by beheaded models.

still warm enough to eschew pants

Black button-up, Banana Republic; super-high-waisted brocade skirt, Tulle; boots, Colin Stuart.

...oh, and new glasses purchase last night at Lenscrafters just before closing. When packing for my flight back from Thanksgiving, I placed my lovely glasses in a hard case, and nestled this hard case amongst my clean laundry in my suitcase. When I unpacked, I noticed a little slip from the TSA saying "we went through your stuff". And then I noticed that my glasses were broken in half. Six weeks after buying new lenses for the old frames, I had to purchase both new frames and new lenses. The TSA can bite me, and they can also take my claim for the $300 it cost to replace my broken glasses and reimburse me. ("It may take anywhere from 60 days to 6 months to process claims.")



When you mother asks "can you make the gravy?", and you know that the other option is powdered gravy from a packet, just say "yes, I can".
And then, only after you've made a kick-ass gravy and everyone is full of feast-y bits, mention that you'd never made gravy before and were just kind of messing around and making shit up as you cooked.
Watch her brain decide whether to explode with confusion or admiration.


sweet smell of success

Mmmm. I ordered a bunch of sample vials from The Perfumed Court, and I've spent the past few weeks prancing up to friends and offering them my skin for olfactory inspection. A few things that I thought I'd love were less than stellar on me, and a few sneak winners came through.

The obsessions:

Parfums d'Empire, "Cuir Ottoman". You called it, Skinny. This is warm leather + sexy sweat, and I must have it. Mmmm. It's made girls step in for a third and fourth whiff, and boys stop and give me the eye. Amazing.

Tom Ford's "Black Orchid". Credit goes to Laia for turning me on to this one. At first application, it seemed a little one-note and "mature" for me, but it developed into something musky (sans hippie connotations), with a little bit of what I imagine a nice dressing table in the 40's smelled of: opulence, anticipation, and seduction. Yes. This one is definitely on my list.

"L de Lolita Lempicka": this is a huge departure from the sexy-dirty-postcoital scents. It's sweet-ish, caramelly, with some bergamot and salt. It's a food-y type smell, and it's just different enough from Thierry Mugler's "Angel" (a longtime favorite) to remain interesting. This scent on my arm sent two classmates into raptures, which seems to be a sign of approval.

Alan Cumming's "Cumming". This is ostensibly a man's fragarance, perhaps because it smells like rubber, smoke, scotch, and a bit of leather. I love it. It's dirrrrrty. I wish it came in an eau de parfum instead of an eau de toilette, though.

The others:

Alexander McQueen's "Kingdom". I was hoping for more leather and sweat, but as some other Kingdom-tryer-outters have said, this can go all cumin on you. It went fairly intensely cumin on me, which was too bad- I really love cumin, but I do not love it on my forearms. I'll still wear this on occasion, as that initial wham of cumin wears off, but that first hit of spice scent was too much to let me fall in love.

Caron's "Tabac Blond". Meh. This seemed astringent and overly alcohol-y on, and dried to something that screamed "grandma!" on me. Now, I love my grandma, and she's excellent and might even wear this. And perhaps she does, and perhaps that's why I was displeased with what it smells like on me. I might just chuck this sample, unfortunately. I wore it a handful of times and kept reaching for other scents once I felt I'd given it a fair try.


lazy girl's guide to primping

Paint only the toenails that are visible through your peep-toes.


climate change

It's 35 degrees today, but I still refuse to give in to actual wintry weather and start wearing jeans every day. As long as I can get by with thick wooly socks and dresses, I shall.

This dress is the most comfortable thing ever. It's made of sweatpants, essentially, and is cozy and lovely and really, it has no business looking as pretty as it does. Sweatpants dress! Hooray!

Grey sweatpants dress, Delia's; black wooly socks, American Apparel; boots, vintage;
scarf, Target; gloves with little tiny buttons up the side, Tulle; bracelet, Until There's A Cure.



I apparently did something very, very bad to a former image host, and now there are giant swaths of "Image Not Found" spread across the blog. Sorry about that. I'm working on it. Right after I finish slamming my hands into the desk in frustration.

(don't) Gett Off (because god is watching!)

Prince, I've had it up to here. I took it in stride when I saw you play St. Paul in 2001 and you didn't play any of the sexytimes songs; I rented "Under the Cherry Moon" although I should've known better; I defended you against the haters of short men.

And then you had to go and start (literally) bible thumping? Too much. I hereby revoke your Minnesotan card, along with your Uptown Minneapolis card. Please turn in your "Erotic City" cassette single in the dropbox.

Man, just when you think you know someone, they have to go and get all crazy. It's a disappointment to all good eyeliner-fearing glam rockers out there, really.


the internet brings you presents!

About a month ago, a very rollicking dinner of ribs and beer with a dozen or so friends ended with an excited remembrance of our favorite Y.A. books. Other bar patrons were probably befuddled and annoyed at a group of us trying to recall the title of a certain book- "you know, where they move to an old house next to a graveyard, and then that girl tries to drown the other girl, and then she bikes to the library, and then the floor caves in!"- until finally, someone yelled at top volume "Wait Til Helen Comes"! It's good to be friends with other book-dorks.

There seems to have been a dichotomy in other girls' lives as to whether they read Sweet Valley High or the Babysitter's Club series- one or the other, but never both. Ann M. Martin and Francine Pascal held equal sway over my bookshelf, but I did get annoyed with those blonde twins and their "perfect size-six figures" after a bit. (Way to instill body insecurity in a nine-year-old, SVH!)
I don't remember many pertinent details from the BSC series, but I do remember Claudia's outfits. Oh, how I wanted to be like Claudia when I was a kid! Photographic evidence of me in hot-pink high-tops, black leggings, a gigantic men's dress shirt, and a tapestry vest shows just how much I took fashion cues from a fictional Japanese junk-food fiend. (Someday, I will find these photos and scan them. There may also be photos of a ten-year-old me wearing a big fisherman's sweater over a ruffly bridesmaid's dress, in what I call my "Marc Jacobs totally ripped this off for Perry Ellis" look.)

And then I found What Claudia Wore. It is a public service, really, to catalogue Ms. Kishi's wardrobe choices for posterity. Kim does not update the blog on a schedule, but each little installment of Claudia's sartorial splendor is worth the wait. Go, reminisce, and break out your tie-dyed legwarmers in celebration.



I have spent the entire day in bed, and not for fun reasons. No, I have been swaddled in my down comforter because I feel like moderate-level death. (High-level death involves throwing up and being unable to stand under my own power. Moderate-level death involves weakness, aches, and angry badgers living in one's throat and head.)

Although I'm absolutely certain that no doctor would ever advise me to eat a lot of creamy, bacony, cheesy soup as a remedy, once I got the idea of corn chowder in my head, it would not leave me alone. Some half-hearted searching led me to this Ina Garten recipe, which I then played with a bit. Happily, I was able to drag myself to the grocery for ingredients and get home before anyone I know saw me wearing snowflake-print fleece pajama pants in public with a ratty, cat-hair-covered hoodie. (Yes, I thought about this before deciding to get groceries. I might be ill, but I am also endlessly vain.)

Cheddar Corn Chowder, with my notes in italic:
I made only about half the recipe, as I only had about 3/4 of a bag of frozen corn kernels. Plus, I didn't want to buy four little pints of heavy cream, because they're expensive.

8 ounces bacon, chopped
1/4 cup good olive oil
6 cups chopped yellow onions (4 large onions) (I am anti-onion, so I went with two large shallots and diced them into miniscule bits so I could get yummy flavor without the oniony texture)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (I used about a pat, because I probably used more bacon than called for- surprise, surprise- and was pleased with that amount of fat already in the pan.)
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (I used cumin, as I didn't have tumeric, and also because I love cumin.)
12 cups chicken stock
6 cups medium-diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled (2 pounds) (I hate potatoes. I skipped right over this step. Potatoes are an abominable tuber.)
10 cups corn kernels, fresh (10 ears) or frozen (3 pounds)
2 cups half-and-half (Dude, this is expensive. Plus, I've never had good luck with half-and-half in a recipe- it always tends to break. So I would've gone for heavy cream, but heavy cream is also expensive. I just bought a half-quart of whole milk and winged it.)
8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. (I didn't feel it necessary to pour olive oil over bacon.) Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter (now, time for olive oil! I somehow had no qualms about adding butter AND olive oil to a bunch of bacon drippings) to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.

Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, (no potatoes for me, so I went right ahead to the "add corn" step.) bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn you can skip this step.)

Add the corn to the soup, then add the half-and-half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of bacon. (I put the bacon back in the soup along with the cheddar. If I have a bowl of crispy bacon pieces around the kitchen, just waiting to be used as a garnish, they're going to be used as a snack first.)

I have eaten two bowls of this already. This much dairy is probably a very bad idea, but it was also an extremely tasty idea.


pink is the navy blue of wtf

The last time I wore this dress in Cincinnati, I was caught in an unexpected thundershower.

Today, I was caught in an unexpected thundershower on my way home.

Hot pink scarf, Target (I need these in every color, for real); orangey-coral wool dress, vintage; grey tights,
Old Navy (I bought these in 2000 during what I remember as the coldest Minnesota winter EVER, and would
layer these under jeans so my legs would not turn blue on the walk to 8 a.m. French class. Yes, I did just admit that
these tights are eight years old); boots, Colin Stuart; black cuff watch, Marc Jacobs; silver cuff, Until There's A Cure.

I really need to find an umbrella that matches this dress.


the dinner I am not making this year

It's about two weeks from Thanksgiving, and the menu-planning in my head has gone wild. Now, I won't be hosting Thanksgiving (hell, I do not even own salt & pepper shakers, as I realized this week- god, I only own two chairs, and they're not even real chairs!), as I will be flying back to my parents' house for Thanksgiving the first time in about eight years. I won't be cooking there either, as my mother is in charge of the turkey-potatoes-stuffing-pumpkin pie brigade.

But let's pretend I have 1) a dining room, 2) chairs with backs, 3) more than 6 square inches of counter space in my apartment. In this lovely dream scenario, I'm having a nontraditional Thanksgiving meal and inviting you over, because although I do not especially enjoy turkey, I DO enjoy your company.

I'm probably not serving this with the correct forks, and the stemware doesn't match. So if this is a thing for you, maybe you could bring over some fancy wineglasses.

Menu, with notes and justifications:

Nicolas Feuillatte brut réserve particulière, because champagne goes with everything, as far as I'm concerned. (Also, because Bill and Lorin at La Belle Vie have spoiled me for champagne for the rest of my life with their excellent taste, and got me hooked on this stuff.)

Roasted beet and goat cheese terrine- I'm a little skeptical about the cream cheese and chévre combination, though. I'd probably go heavier on the goat cheese than the recipe suggests, because I am the kind of person who will eat a log of chévre sans accompaniment (or, for the matter, without sitting down).

Gougerès with cumin (from the Chocolate & Zucchini cookbook). Are these better than plain white rolls with butter? Hell yes they are. That's all the justification I need.

Butternut and apple soup- I'd probably kill most of the onions in this, because I am weird and don't like onions. But I'd top it with fried leeks, in a nod to the can of French's Onions that gets plundered by me every time someone brings it out to make green bean casserole.

Braised collard greens with cranberry beans and sausage- though I'd serve it over whole-wheat couscous instead of rice. I might also sub out chorizo for andouille in this, because what my life needs is always MORE CHORIZO.

Pear and blue cheese crostada- I'm not going to think about the butter content. Instead, I'll focus on the cheese content. Ah, that's better.

Roasted grapes with walnut oil
over mascarpone. I cannot believe it's never occurred to me before that I should roast grapes. Time to remedy that!

And after dinner, a nice big glass of tawny port, for how many occasions does one really have that call for retiring to the study after dinner for a glass of port? I'll be waiting in a leather club chair, glass outstretched.


some minor effort on my part

Let's not pretend I got fully dressed too often over my long weekend, ok? Yes, when I left the house on various errands, I did make sure that I was wearing clothes that matched and looked like some (small) effort had been made. And thank god for the recent suggestion of Nivea's Kiss of Color Cherry Balm, as it makes me look like I have painstakingly applied a berry lip stain and matching topcoat of soft balm, but is really just an excellent lip conditioner and costs three dollars. (Also recommended: MAC's Tendertones in Hot n' Saucy. Terrible name, wonderful red pot of balm. A little sticky, though.)

Today I must leave the house and interact with others, so:

Brown hooded pocket sweater, Macy's; grey pencil skirt, American Apparel; caramel boots, vintage; Nivea cherry balm.

As I must be out and about this afternoon, I think I'll try to find a way to parlay "run to the bank to cash that check" into "plunder every drugstore within 5 miles for more of this Nivea berry balm". I may have a little problem with lip balm addiction.


sweet tweed

WHY did I have to find the Soia & Kyo website? And why did I have to fall in love with a $380 coat that I cannot, under any circumstances short of winning a whole bunch of money with my nonexistent lottery ticket, afford?

Well, the answer to the second question is obviously "because it is amazing and everything I've ever wanted in a winter coat".


antisocial... or genius? you decide.

I cannot understand why more people don't go to movies alone. What other "aw, my friends have plans and I already have pants on and it's not that hard to walk down the street and I should really get out of the apartment every few days to make sure the nuclear holocaust has not occured yet" activity requires neither effort (as at the gym) nor conversation with strangers (as at the bar) nor involves being asked to leave Target for excessive fondling of their newest limited edition clothing lines (um, sorry, Target)?

Right. So, movies it is. Movies with a student ID and a large purse full of trail mix tend to come in at under $10, and did I mention that it's two hours in which you're almost guaranteed to be entertained and not have to actually interact with anyone? As a bonus, when people ask what you did with yourself last night, you can always say "oh, I went to see that new Russian movie- yeah, the one about the despair of life?- and by the way, I'm a more cultured person than you are". (I'm going to pretend that I didn't buy a ticket to next week's midnight screening of Quantum of Solace.)

I just don't understand why, when I tell people I saw a movie, they stop for a moment and ask: "alone?" Yes, alone. It's not like I told you I went riding on a bicycle built for two, but all by myself. Moviegoing requires two things after the ticket purchase: the ability to sit down, and the ability to be quiet and watch the pretty moving pictures. I do not see how other people are in any way necessary for this. I can completely understand it when someone says "but I like to have someone to talk to about the movie afterward!", but too often that conversation with me begins and ends with "my god, you have shitty taste in movies".
If I want to see a neofascist movie about singing Spanish cross-dressers, then I will see it. I do not need to be reminded that you don't like my taste in movies. Likewise, when I say that I would rather groom my cat with my own tongue than watch another buddy comedy, I do not want you to roll your eyes and mutter "killjoy". I'm not claiming that my ever-so-highbrow taste is simply unappreciated by the masses, oh no. I love a good gratuitous-sex-and-violence film as much or more (probably more) than any 15-year-old boy out there. I'm just saying: I had a good time at the movies by myself. And I plan to continue to have a good time at future movies, which I may also attend alone.

Stop acting like I've just admitted to having leprosy when I answer your question with "yes, really, just me". And please, can you get your codependence off my seat? Thanks.


smells like teen spirit

Whew. Though not everything voted on yesterday turned out the way I'd hoped (California, wtf? Minnesota, get on that Senate recount!), I'm ecstatically anticipating the Obama administration. With the big heavy national stuff over, and my schoolwork tapering off into two classes for the next few weeks, I feel like I've been given a license to indulge in frivolity again.
(Such as: scrolling through All Lacquered Up and doing ridiculously detailed comparisons of various shades of grey polish, and also reading umpteen product reviews on Makeupalley before deciding to spend $2.99 on a Wet n Wild lip crayon.)

But since the economy won't jump from recession to Clintonesque boom overnight, I'm trying to rein in the more indulgent potential purchases and err towards frivolity. McQ by McQueen? Sadly, no. But the upcoming diffusion line Alexander McQueen is doing for Target this spring? I'm already in line.
Thank god for The Perfumed Court- I get to satisfy my desire for new scents, but without having to buy a $65 bottle of perfume that might turn skunky before I use it up. Currently, I'm all about leathery, smoky scents (Meredith and Skinny are devilishly reinforcing this obsession), and TPC's "find perfumes by notes" feature makes it so easy to find a whole batch of perfumes I believe I'll fall for. I'll be relatively good and wait until I get an extra cash bump from some Amazon.com sales, but when that comes through, I'm going to indulge in decants.

Thus far, my list includes:

Cuir Ottoman
Kingdom by Alexander McQueen
Black Orchid by Tom Ford
L de Lolita Lempicka
Tabac Blond

... in tiny little affordable vials, I promise. Any other smoky/leathery/dirty* scents I should consider?

*I still lament not stocking up on Demeter's "Hedwig" perfume years ago. It was released only as a marketing tie-in with the movie, and it's amazing. It smells like wet pavement, sequins, stale cigarettes, and skin. I should've bought a case of it.


signed, sealed, delivered...

...literally, in fact, as Ohio's early voting was by absentee ballot that had to be (yup), signed, sealed, and delivered.
I wish I had some seriously excellent blue heels to complete this outfit, but nope. I did want to wear my blue-state-best vintage ribbon dress today, but it's probably not strong enough to withstand much excitement, and I'd really rather not actually rend my garments in ecstasy as I watch results come in this evening. Instead, I went for a celebratory headpiece.

Finally! A fascinator! Well, a feathered headband, to be precise, but I found it much more practical than a feathered clip or tiny hat made of feathers. And practicality is of utmost importance when buying such headwear, yes?

Fascinator, TaratotheT on Etsy; black tie-neck blouse, Target (it's scandalously
but blousy enough that I get to pretend you can't see my bra at most times through
the front
slit); Joe's Jeans; black pointy flats that got cut off in the photo (seriously, I need
some practice
with this tripod. And why does the lighting in my apartment suck so badly,
when the light in
here is so beautiful?), Payless.

Go vote today, obviously. I'll show you my tits!

Ok, hell no. But I will show you this:



I spent my entire Sunday in line with a laptop, sandwich, and the Sunday paper. From noon until 9:30, I waited amid cranky and excited people while I frantically texted friends to join me.

Secret Mike & Chris sample sale? Book signing by Anthony Bourdain? Free wine?

No. Better.
Much, much better.

Please vote. Especially if you're a Democrat.


got some 'splainin' to do!

Oh, my! Wine! Don't mind if I do!

This costume is made entirely of things I already had in my closet. Well, minus the wig.

Lucille Ball disapproves of something.

Oh, you silly girls in your Slut-o-ween outfits!
I simply don't know what to think of the kids today!



For this transplanted sorta-foodie Minnesotan, finding out last night that the dive bar down the street serves frickles was possibly the happiest moment of my year. They may not have the Town Talk Diner's Panty Dropper on their drink menu, but damned if I don't plan to meet all future frickle / "I miss Minneapolis" cravings at Arlin's Bar in the immediate future.


Ribbed cardigan, Old Navy; black tank, American Apparel; studded belt, Urban Outfitters;
black latex-look leggings, American Apparel; snakeskin flats, Sam Edelman.

... No, wait, that's not a lame faux-goth Halloween costume, that's my normal "black goes with everything goes with black" ensemble. The costume for this evening involves much more interesting wardrobe options, I promise.