my red self

When I was in middle school, and when new clothes occurred once or twice per year ("school clothes" and the occasional "your winter sweaters shrunk in the dryer, oops" clothing purchase) instead of the current schedule of "it's a pretty thing and I will buy it!", I had my very first real lesson in when things are seasonally appropriate/inappropriate.

That fall (1994? 1995?), I'd gone on my first solo shopping trip. I was tasked with buying some new "church dresses", and given the budget for this endeavor in cash. Anything above that dollar amount was my responsibility to pay for. I went into Herberger's with a friend (because Herberger's was where you went if you had a little money. Or actually, even if you had all the money, because Herberger's was as fancy as it got in that town.) and had the thrill of picking out and purchasing my own clothes with no parental input.

It being 1994-ish, what I chose as my main purchase was a bright red corduroy dress. But it was not only bright red and corduroy. It was ankle-length and also featured an overall front, so it was sort of like a skirterall to be worn over a top of some kind. I loved it and could not wait to wear it.

This ensemble was probably purchased in about September or October, which I felt was completely seasonally appropriate. Let's wear that over my white fluffy angora sweater and let's wear it RIGHT NOW! My mother, who to her credit, did not insist that I return said dress immediately, struck a deal. Once it had snowed, I was allowed to wear the red dress to church, but not before then. All November, I waited for snow. And when it finally did snow, I could not be pried out of that dress on Sunday morning, even though the snow on the ground probably dissolved by 11:00 a.m. that day.

I think of that every time I wear a red dress.

Dress: Banana Republic; pin, vintage; cuff, Until There's A Cure; heels, Etienne Aigner.


lady stardust

Dark & Stormy, meet Dark & Starry.

I think it was a bounty of starfruit at the Indian grocery that prompted me to make a batch of starfruit-infused rum. Then S. comes along to say "well, clearly that needs to be mixed into a riff on a Dark & Stormy", and a month-ish later, when the rum is ready, behold: the super-duper-nontraditional Dark & Starry. (Except it's not dark at all. Well, I mean, "pale and starry" doesn't have the same ring to it.)

I took the liberty of using a (non-spiced, obviously) white rum for the infusion, because I didn't want the starfruit flavor to be overpowered by molasses or cinnamon or the other things one might find in dark rums. After soaking a bunch of cut-up starfruit in white rum (I think maybe it was Mount Gay? Or whatever was cheap at the bodega, I don't remember) for several weeks, I poured some Goose Island spicy ginger ale (which is nice, because it's not super-sweet and also has a little lime to it, as a nod to the traditional Dark & Stormy) over ice and topped it with the starfruit rum, then garnished it with a starfruit slice.

Verdict: indian summer in a glass. Refrescante!


cat signal

Having a pet is somewhat akin to becoming a superhero.

For example, you instantly develop a superpower! You are able, at any stage of wakefulness or deep sleep, to recognize the sound of pre-puking coming from your animal, as well as to race across the domicile in less than four seconds and remove the animal from the couch/ bed/ worrisome proximity to something made of alpaca or leather or suede before it is able to sully it with cat barf.

This is the only way in which having a pet is vaguely related to anything superhero-esque, unless you refer to the cat's fondness for following you around the house as "having a sidekick."



In the interest of public service, the following are songs you are not allowed to put on a mixtape for me unless you are actively in love with me:

"Maps", Yeah Yeah Yeahs
"You're My Only Home", The Magnetic Fields
"Lovesong", The Cure
"Hallelujah", k.d. lang
"Someone Great", LCD Soundsystem
"Porcelain", Better Than Ezra
"Bloodbuzz Ohio", The National
"Midnight Radio", Hedwig and the Angry Inch
"Personal Jesus", Johnny Cash