12.31.2011

haul

Small-town thrift stores are the best thing ever. A portion of what I pillaged from the various antique malls and second-hand stores of central Nebraska last week (for a grand total of probably $100):


Rabbit-fur coat in perfect condition, handmade silk shantung skirt (with matching shell and jacket), fur peter pan collar, silver triple-strand necklace, brass quail (I don't know why I needed it, but I needed it), and 1933/34 Chicago World's Fair keychain.

This is especially wonderful, as my grandpa was at the 1933/34 Chicago World's Fair, and will tell you a story about sneaking away from his parents to go ride the Ferris Wheel, which at the time had a dubious safety record. Grandpa and me, we're thrill-seekers like that.

12.11.2011

inky

Why did I write it down? In order to remember, of course, but exactly what was it I wanted to remember? How much of it actually happened? Did any of it? Why do I keep a notebook at all? It is easy to deceive oneself on all these scores. The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it, useful only accidentally, only secondarily, in the way that any compulsion tries to justify itself.

...Remember what it was to be me: that is always the point.
It is a difficult point to admit. We are brought up in the ethic that others, any others, all others, are by definition more interesting than ourselves; taught to be diffident, just this side of self-effacing. ("You're the least important person in the room and don't forget it," Jessica Mitford's governess would hiss in her ear on the advent of any social occasion; I copied that into my notebook because it is only recently that I have been able to enter a room without hearing some such phrase in my inner ear.) Only the very young and the very old may recount their dreams at breakfast, dwell upon self, interrupt with memories of beach picnics and favorite Liberty lawn dresses and the rainbow trout in a creek near Colorado Springs. The rest of us are expected, rightly, to affect absorption in other people's favorite dresses, other people's trout.
And so we do. But our notebooks give us away, for however dutifully we record what we see around us, the common denominator of all we see is always, transparently, shamelessly, the implacable "I."

- Joan Didion, "On Keeping a Notebook", Slouching Towards Bethlehem


So then I got the chapter heading graphic from Slouching Towards Bethlehem tattooed on my sternum yesterday, as a touchstone of what words can do to my brain.

Many thanks to Steven for indulging my "this needs to be documented in photos!" insistence.


*Yes, that is a splint on my middle finger. No, I did not go to the emergency room.

12.10.2011

bend don't break

There are some lessons in life that I keep being taught over and over, but I never actually learn said lessons.
For example: cross-body bag + button-up shirt = inadvertent unbuttoning of my shirt and not noticing and then wondering why the guy at Walgreens is staring at me. Or, yesterday, the lesson about wide-legged pants and very high heels and being careful while walking in such.

Tie-neck crepe blouse, Express; lace cardigan, Rodarte for Target;
flared trouser jeans, Ann Taylor; heels, Seychelles; watch, Nixon; bag, gift from A Lady.

Shortly after taking this photo, I went down my stairs. I would say "walked down my stairs", but I walked down only two flights, and then sort of tripped and skidded and fell down the last half flight. Wide-legged pants and heels tend to require a little extra awareness when walking on a staircase, but do I ever remember this lesson? Clearly, no.

In addition to the high neck on the blouse rubbing against my throat during the tumble and creating a very hickey-like mark (great. just fucking great.), I also managed to get my left middle finger entwined in the banister somehow. And now, my finger is swollen and not very mobile, and that's really screwing up my Saturday schedule. I have all these errands to run and galleries to go to, and a trip to the emergency room to get an x-ray will take at least 90 minutes, and I'm pretty sure the treatment for a "maybe it's broken, maybe it's not" finger is something like "splint it, ice it, and hope for the best."

Although it does amuse me greatly to see my to-do list for the day written out:
library
Chicago Ave gallery
bike shop
tattoo
emergency room?
liquor store
bank

12.04.2011

eight days a week

I'm pretty good at scheduling. My color-coded calendar (red for arts, green for work, orange for volunteering, purple for the gym, blue for other) is a disgustingly large part of my brain, and mostly, things line up in ways that amuse and entertain me.

But then I looked at Friday, and realized that day was going to take me from 1) work to 2) physical therapy for my wonky shoulder to 3) a fancy-pants art party at the Museum of Contemporary Art to 4) a rock & roll show date at a decidedly, uh, non-fancy venue (scuzzy is not quite the word, but you get the idea) and that there was no opportunity for costume changes between calendar items, and oh balls what was I going to wear? ugh first-world problems are the worst problems.

Chambray shirt, Forever 21 (shut up. and yes, really.); velvet skinnies, Uniqlo;
chain necklace, vintage; bracelet, Until There's A Cure; fuckoff booties, Aldo.

Thankfully I enjoy a fair bit of leeway on "casual Fridays" as to what is work-appropriate, and also I found an orange scarf in my office so when the top button of this shirt kept undoing itself (damn you, crossbody bag), I could loop that around my neck and look vaguely decent when our board chairwoman popped into my office on several unannounced occasions.

Lesson #1 of the day: lipstick helps in all situations. Lesson #2: I really need to sew a hook-and-eye closure inside this shirt for decency's sake.