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.


heads up

Today, I realized two of the items on my Online Impulse Shopping wishlist are disembodied heads. Both are wonderful and morbid, but only one is delicious, and only one will complete the inadvertent decapitation theme in my apartment by sitting on the mantel next to my phrenology head.




not a dry eye in the house

This afternoon, a classmate remarked that he'd never seen me be overcome with emotion. "That's because my default setting is you don't want to mess with this", I said.
Also, he's never seen me cry because he's never been around me while I listen to This American Life. (I was listening to the "Ground Game" episode on my walk to class this afternoon and started getting weepy about the half-mile point. Zero to misty-eyed in 11 minutes!)

Things that make me cry while listening to This American Life episodes:
(especially if I'm listening to the podcast while on public transit, doing grocery shopping, or otherwise am near people who can see me start crying for no apparent reason)

-Oh, god that is the saddest, most poignant thing I've ever heard.
-Oh, god, that's the happiest, most joyful thing in the world.
-Oh, god, just stop poking me in the soft bleeding-heart place! The empathy hurts!
-Oh, god, I have such a thing for Ira Glass. Keep talking in your sexy radio voice, Secret Radio Boyfriend.


delicious distraction

When one's lover moves away to a far-off foreign country for a long-ass time (say, Taiwan for eight months or so), distractions become necessary. If you have the leisure time to sit and pine and fret and think about how heartbreakingly much you miss said lover, things will get very sad very quickly.
If you can't plan this move to occur at a time at which you are extremely busy with things like finals and assorted schoolwork, try to pick up at least four dozen new highly involved projects (teach yourself C++! run an Ironman triathalon! build a new home from scratch!) to keep from curling into a tiny little ball in the corner of the bed and crying softly to oneself.

Thankfully, in this situation, I'm already racing to keep up with academic deadlines, and so didn't have to undertake anything quite so drastic as building Richard Serra-esque art installments from scraps of aluminum. Instead, I've been throwing myself into smaller projects to keep from going into full-on melancholy mode. High among these distractions has been a cooking blitz, which yielded a tasty riff on a recipe from my well-worn copy of The Four Ingredient Cookbook. (I highly recommend this cookbook. It's so ridiculously simple that no one, no matter how kitchen-phobic, will be scared off. Every single recipe I've made has been astonishingly good, and they're always a good take-off point for more complicated dishes.)

The "We Are SO FULL OF FIBER" Lentils
(so named for the reaction of C, upon eating this dish. "OMG, D, we are so full of fiber right now.")

1/2 c dried lentils
1 c water
1 tbsp smoked paprika
4 oz fat-free feta (it's much easier if you buy the pre-crumbled kind rather than a block)
1 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste or sauce
6-8 canned/jarred artichoke hearts

Boil the lentils with the water and the smoked paprika for about 20 min, stirring as necessary. When they're looking moist but not falling apart, remove from heat and stir in about 3 oz of the feta and the sun-dried tomato paste / sauce. Mix well, and divide between two serving bowls. Mix 2-3 artichoke hearts in with each serving, and top each with the remaining 1/2 oz of feta and remaining artichoke heart.


hip hop don't stop

Last night at Scribble Jam, I was fortunate enough to meet lovely people (including many Minnesotans, which made me swoony for Minneapolis) and hear even more amazing things (including a fantastic freestyle battle, 90 minutes of KRS-ONE, and Atmosphere singing "Always Comin' Back Home To You" straight into my heart).

I also had the constant dilemma of where do I put my stuff? There's no coat check at such an event, naturally, and things tend to fall out of hoodie pockets when one is jumping around and generally getting down.
(Related: goddamn it, I can wave my hands in the air like I just don't care without hitting you in the head- why can't you return the favor? Please remove your elbow from the back of my neck, and I'd appreciate it if you stopped stomping on my feet as you rock to the beat.)
Additionally, I'm not sure if those constant pawings at my hips were lame attempts at groping me, or blatant attempts to steal whatever I may have had in my pockets.

This entire situation thankfully ended in a highly useful epiphany. These American Apparel thigh-high socks (and they do go all the way up, eliminating odd mid-thigh sock-stoppage lines) can double as a bootlegger-worthy storage system! I began hiking up my skirt and shoving my phone, change purse, and keys into the tops of these socks. If you move things around in a crafty way, it's utterly indiscernible under clothing that you're packing all your worldly possessions under your skirt. The socks fit very snug, so I wasn't worried about the tops slipping down to empty my valuables onto the dance floor.

As a bonus, the police officers that finally shut the show down at 3:20 a.m. were rather pleased to see me hiking up my skirt and procuring keys from my thigh-highs in the parking lot. You're welcome, officers.


three words. eight letters. say it.

I'm moderately obsessed with Gossip Girl. (Um, duh.)

And more than moderately obsessed with the blog I Am Chuck Bass and oooooooooooh this ad that makes my little heart go pitter-patter. OMFG, indeed.

I'll go back to academia any minute now, I promise. Just let me set my ringtone to the mp3 from that ad, mmmkay?


pretties, please.

Dearest DSW: thank you for continuing to send me coupons. (Whenever I exalt over the arrival of a new $20 off coupon, Noah will say "oh, it's so nice that they send you so many coupons!" Yes, Noah, and it's not because I continually spend money there. That's not it at all. They're just being nice.)

I would be ever-so-thrilled if you could have the following three shoes in the clearance section this Saturday in a size 8 1/2 or 9:

Ankle straps are my friend.
God, mustard-yellow suede. I will find a way to make
mustard yellow match everything I own, just you wait.
These come in every color ever. And I want them all.

Love and Visa cards,


under pressure

Why, yes, I'm supposed to be writing things/studying things/packing for tomorrow's drive to Tennessee. I was half-assedly doing homework a moment ago, sipping the coffee that had gone cold in the bottom of my french press, when I thought: hey, I need a fancy french press that solves this problem.

Enter this pretty little french press of wonder. To say I'm a sucker for good design is obvious, but I'm also a sucker for caffeine, and this is hitting all my WANT buttons. And really, if my coffee was continually hot and free of little gritty bits, wouldn't I just be typing these papers that much faster?



Over the next week or so, I'm going to be attempting the Stupid Human Trick of maintaining my sanity and composure while screeching from one big fucking thing to the next. (Such as: a big, awesome Panda wedding with a 16 hour round trip travel time; a big, terrifying accounting final; an equally terrifying accounting final project that has almost reduced me to tears already, and I haven't started on the actual work yet; and oh yes, my boyfriend leaves the country for an undefined amount of time to be spent living in Asia next fucking week.)

Plus, I'm still stuck wearing glasses 24/7, which means that working out involves lots of sweaty slippery spectacles and awkward pauses mid-tricep-curl to push back my glasses.

So, yes, I am more than slightly insane at this point. Donations of scotch and brie and massage welcome after all this is over.


shopping list

Needed, before Oct. 31: a full-skirted crinoline. None of this "sexy maid crinoline teardrop xxx" crap- I need a knee-length, pouffy, square-dance-appropriate crinoline.
(I'm not attending a square dance, but you get the idea.)

Oh, and less than $30. For I am picky, fickle, and cheap. A deadly combination. Get on this, eBay.


arts and crafts

I found this amazing (and amazingly delicate) ribbon dress at a Cincinnati thrift store this fall. It was stained in a dozen spots across the bodice, but I bought it anyway, thinking "eh, cold water and oxiclean shouldn't be too traumatic". The stains are (mostly) removed, but in the process, this amazing ribbon fabric incurred some damage. The ribbons are woven together to create the overlay atop the satin lining, and they're fairly brittle, so the price of stain removal was some unraveling of the top layer.
My tailor refused to touch it- "that's too delicate for me to fix", he said. So I sat down with some blue thread this week and closed the gaps in the fabric with some minimal bunching- but I don't have much hope that those fixes are permanent. I'm half-expecting this dress to disintegrate off my body while I'm wearing it.
But: those stains aren't entirely eradicated. There are some brownish spots across the chest, and I know it can't stand up to a dry-cleaning (as the drycleaner, like the tailor, refused to touch it). I'm considering dyeing the dress a deeper shade of blue in the hopes it will cover the stains, but I'm not fully confident that dyeing it won't eat the ribbon away and require a bigger, more complicated repair that I'm not up to.
Should I take the chance on a bottle of true-blue dye? Or wear it as-is and hope that no one notices the browish stain positioned awkwardly in the nipple area? Or resign this dress to living under cardigans for the rest of its days?



One of my favorite undergrad professors was teased by a student for wearing a slightly showy ensemble to class. In his utterly perfect Polish-via-Britain accent, he said:
"Do not make fun of the way I dress. I am too arrogant to care."

I think that's the single best statement I've heard on personal style.


never gonna get it...

...never, never gonna get it. No, not this time!

But ooooooooooh. Still. Want it.

But for $792?
I don't fucking think so. I'm pretty sure the federal government would immediately revoke all my student loans if they heard I was spending $800 on a jacket. Which I am not, just to be clear. Unless suddenly someone wants to pay me quadruple-digits to do my business law homework.

jersey girl

Rayon jersey dress, Diane von Furstenberg; pointy black flats that got cut out of the photo, Payless;
Marc Jacobs watch; daily silver bangle
(I really need to get this altered. I like the drapey-ness of the design, but the armholes drape too low
and cross the line between "goddessey" and "too big". And the bottom hem is supposed to be a
bit more constricting, but I killed some of the stitching with clumsiness this summer.

It may be October, but it's still 70-something here. Fall clothes apparently must wait until November, at which point I will wear nothing but wool and tartan and knits for weeks in celebration.



I love you, Marc Jacobs.
And not just because you make pretty, pretty things that I buy for more than I should but love the hell out of regardless. I'm shallow, and I will admit it: part of the reason I love you so is because you're a total hottie. (Evidence here.) You've knocked Tom Ford off the hot-gay-designer-that-women-lust-for pedestal, and I don't think this has gone unnoticed by you. So, crazy wonderful Marc, keep on with those diamond studs and skirts and sexy smirk.


inadvertently mellow yellow

Black marsupial hoodie, Macy's; grey silk ruffly dress, Old Navy; black knee-high socks; black flat boots, DSW.

Yes, this is incredibly yellow and poorly-taken. See what I mean about needing a tripod (and some decent evening lighting)? I need to stop balancing the camera on a bureau and then scampering across the room for a horizontal shot.

I realize I am very Gala Darling-esque with the boots and the silk dress and the hoodie. Yes, that's the Old Navy silk dress- good eye. Yitzak is to my right, posing for you as well.

Dear lord, I'm tired. I must think of something to wear tomorrow that will support my waking up 15 minutes before leaving the house. Preferably pajamas. And a duvet.


ooh la la

What the Honorable Mayor of Bethville wants, the Honorable Mayor of Bethville gets.
Plus, it's really hard to take daily outfit shots without showing my glasses unless I get really creative with the posing.
Beret, berets.com (how delightfully self-explanatory); black tank; mustard 3/4 sleeve sweater, Forever 21.

Why yes, I did buy a beret. And now it smells like smoke (eew), as I wore it to a bar last night and forgot that people still smoke in bars in Kentucky.
This shot is obviously a rumpled after-bar self-portrait, but I'm still the definition of "jaunty angle" with that beret. Why did I ever fear hats?

Fur collar wrap, Via's Vintage; stretch cotton gloves, vintage via eBay; stretch satin sheath dress being hidden by my fur and dramatic hand gesture, custom-made (Carole Bruns in Minneapolis- she's goooood).

Whoah! Formalwear!
I wore this to class the other night. Not as a "I feel like wearing stretch satin and fur to campus" ensemble, but as a costume for a PR pitch of "Vertigo". The lining of that fur is a brilliant green, which always makes me think of Kim Novak's fur in the restaurant shot of "Vertigo". I had to find a way to bring that into the presentation, so hell, why not go all out and midcentury-glam it up?

I am having a hell of a time finding a way to take outfit shots at home. I may have to get a tabletop tripod and find some self-timed setup, as this outstretched-arm shot is going to get really old. Plus, it's hard to hold the camera steady when your gloves are a rather silky cotton and you keep losing your grip on the camera body while pressing the shutter.