11.12.2012

aka my favorite repository of dick jokes on the interwebs

Things you should do in life: listen to My Brother, My Brother and Me.


Things you should definitely not do in life: listen to My Brother, My Brother and Me while in public anywhere, because then you will be the crazy cackling person making socially unacceptable noises on public transit/ at the gym/ while grocery shopping.

You're welcome.

11.01.2012

rock star

I've never let a little thing like total lack of musical talent stop me. This Halloween, I was reminded that all you really need in life is a wig and a guitar.

Also, go read "Just Kids"; it will break your damn heart.


Iggy. Motherfucking. Pop. Rocknroll, always and forever.

10.31.2012

black as night

Seasonal jam: "Everyday Is Halloween"

"Why are you dressed like it's Halloween? You look so absurd, you look so obscene."

 

10.30.2012

chick with a wicked twitch

Seasonal jam: "She's My Witch"

Just in case your Halloween costume is Sexy Witch.

 

10.29.2012

because you're mine

Seasonal jam: "I Put a Spell On You"

The O.G. of creepy-sexy.

 

10.28.2012

rhyme of the living dead

Seasonal jam: "Brains !!"

The best rap you'll hear about zombies, ever.

10.27.2012

monsta track

Seasonal jam: "Monsta Mack"

This should be immediately followed on any mixtape by Kanye's "Monster". And Nicki Minaj and Mix-A-Lot should really record a song together.

 

10.07.2012

bike scout


"I think our friendship is strengthened by wearing costumes together, D."
(from yesterday's Tiny Fix Scout Race)

9.17.2012

secondhand; first place

MY NEW FUCKING JAM: "BUT SHIT, IT WAS 99 CENTS!"


...especially after the recent thrifting trip with Ruth that yielded two tweed dresses, a fucking sweet jean jacket, and four state tourist plates.

And yes, I am keeping my best thrifts secret. A lady never tells.

9.03.2012

bookend beer

Rounding out the last official weekend of summer with a shower beer: that's how we do.

I have had this single Three Floyds Jinx Proof in my fridge for ALMOST A MONTH NOW since coming back from Michiana and have been saving it for shower beer and my lord, do you know how hard it is to come home from work and think "I JUST WANT A GODDAMN BEER" and open your fridge to see this lone delicious beer taunting you, saying "but I'm for the shower, D, and you cannot have me!"

Right. I'm probably the only person who imagines beer talking to me and mocking me. Onward.

  • Refreshingness: (8) Yum. Crisp as fuck.
  • Lack of slipperyness when you are holding the beer with potentially soapy hands: (8) I really overestimated my clumsiness when creating this ratings category. One year later, and I have not dropped booze on myself in the shower ever! Achievement unlocked!
  • Does it smell weird when I drink it right after using my bergamot body scrub?: (7) Upside: having a beer in the shower and having to think about the taste when covered in body scrub reminds me to, y'know, actually exfoliate.
  • Bonus round: Meteor shower beer! (+5) 


Three Floyds Jinx Proof shower beer score: 29 (out of 35)

9.01.2012

saturday soundtrack

I made you a mixtape, because fall is the best. And because I am obsessive about soundtracking.

8.18.2012

salad days

Based upon the number of times I've been asked for this recipe, it's clearly time to share it with the internet. I think this is approximately the third generation version: I got it from Steven who had made his own tweaks to the original, and I've gone forth with my own changes. (The original version was, I think, chickpeas, dried tomatoes, cilantro, and cucumber. I don't think I'd like that.)

Chickpea Salad
One giant can of chickpeas, rinsed

A glug of lemon juice
A glug of olive oil
Salt  & pepper
Cumin and whatever other spices sound good- I use cumin, smoked paprika, berbere, baharat, whatever
A handful of fresh parsley, chopped up- for some reason, I find curly parsley gross in this, but flat-leaf parsley is great. I cannot explain it.
Almost a full jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped up into little ribbons
A whole bunch of pickled red onion

Mix. C'est tout. 
I don't know, guys, just do it to taste and figure out what you like best. I've added feta to this, and I bet arugula in place of parsley would also be good

But hey, what about those pickled red onions? 
Oh, I am glad you asked. I am weird about onions and often avoid them, but have been making these in abundance all summer and often eating very little other than pickled onions on a given day because they are just that good.

Pickled Red Onion
1 medium red onion, chopped up into medium-ish pieces
1 cup white vinegar
2-3 tbls sugar
1/2 tsp-ish salt
spices! I put in black peppercorns and a bunch of dried red chiles; when Lily made this, she put in fresh rosemary.

Set the chopped onion aside in a moderately heatproof/nonreactive bowl.
Mix the vinegar and everything except the onion in a saucepan and bring to a low boil. Pour the boiling vinegar mixture over the onion and let it set til it hits room temp. Cover and put in the fridge, where it will keep forever.

7.22.2012

best fest

So you say you're spending the weekend at a music festival, eh? (Not Pitchfork or Lollapalooza, you're way too indie for that, right? You keep your rocking out hyperlocal! Quick, put down your iPhone, it's bourgeois.)

What should you wear? It depends:
1) is it hot?
2) how many fucks do you give?


Grey v-neck t-shirt, Old Navy; whistle necklace, Etsy;
cutoffs, vintage; Chucks; sunglasses, Marc Jacobs.
1) it's mildly hot, but I'll live.
2) almost zero fucks.
Ensemble: it has been a bitch of a week at work, so what better to be petulant and surly in than basically the same outfit that petulant, surly teenage me would have worn?

You're just going to end up wearing sunglasses anyway, so skip the eye makeup: it'll only get smeary under your glasses and then you'll look a mess at the afterparty.

Turban, vintage; v-neck dress, Target; wedges, provenance forgotten.
1) it is HOT. Properly hot. Beer is the cooldown plan.
2) On the fucks-given scale, this is probably an 8. Three festivals to go to in one day, and the odds are moderately high that at least one of them will have a street-style photographer in attendance. Damn my vanity.
Greasy and frizzy hair? A turban is the solution! Wedges are hella good for festivals because they will make you taller than other concert-goers but also won't send you toppling over when a heel sinks into the grass. Comfortable shoes are key, guys.

Tank dress, Uniqlo; crystal skull necklace, Etsy;
wedges, Steve Madden, same Marc Jacobs sunglasses.
1) still pretty fucking hot. Cool-down plan: whiskey-horchata slushies.
2) fucks given: about 6. This is basically pajamas (dear god I love a tank dress) plus comfy wedges and lipstick. Lipstick makes it look like you tried.

Add a small cross-body bag (shoulder bags will make you want to die), sunscreen, and your plastic festival wristband, and you're set!

Listen:
The Yolks

7.21.2012

the lion sleeps tonight


You know how some people shave their heads on a whim and realize "oh no, I have a weird-shaped head!"?
It wasn't her whim, but mine to book a lion cut for the summer. And now, poor thing, Yitzhak looks like this. Insult to injury, I won't stop laughing at her. 


This is why we have pets: to torture them for our own amusement.

6.24.2012

in your arms tonight

The internet is magical.

For example, the internet can lead someone way out in Seattle to realize that I swoon for the smell of Demeter's super-limited-edition "Hedwig" perfume circa 2001, and have mourned its lack of availability for ten years now.
And then that person in Seattle will email me, ask if I want their full bottle of "Hedwig", and mail it to me. AMAZING.

I now smell like stale cigarettes, glitter, hairspray, and hot cement after a rain. It is a wonderful, gorgeous smell, and a million and ten thanks to Karen in Seattle for making it happen.

5.27.2012

let it bleed

My morning involved a lot of quality time with a giant sheet of plexiglass, a plexi cutter, a hammer, some pliers, and a lot of cursing and bleeding on things.

However, now I have 1) a plexiglass insert around my window air conditioner 2) a bunch of bloody plexiglass shards on my kitchen floor, and most importantly 3) a hella refreshing shower beer. I tried not to let my hand bleed on it while showering.


Happy Memorial Day, and may your weekend craft projects involve a minimal loss of blood and/or limbs, and maximal crafty enjoyment.

5.21.2012

city of win

My newest obsession: jewelry and such from the 1933/34 World's Fair ("A Century of Progress!"- oh man, if I make it to 100 years old, that needs to be the theme of my birthday party in 2082). This was spurred originally by the World's Fair keychain I found antiquing over Christmas, and re-doubled by the lovely and well-accessorized Meredith's visit to Chicago this month and her excellent World's Fair ring, and the subsequent k-hole of internet searches for all manner of commemorative jewelry from the Fair.

Rings:


Bracelets:
It's hard to see here, but the links are emblazoned with the Hall of Science.


Art Deco? Yes? Full wrap-around non-repeating skyline? Yes. 
WITH ZEPPELINS FLYING OVER THE CITY? OH MY GOD YES.

And the best for last: looks like a lovely silver and blue pendant in need of a chain, right? 

But that's not all: it's a motherfucking straight razor. 


Uh huh. I most definitely need that.

5.14.2012

velocipedestrienne

Jersey and biking shorts, Borntrager; helmet, Trek; bike, Surly Cross-Check.

A touch different than the usual "worn" posts, but I know DanaMD (to whom photo credit goes as well) is hella proud of my first cyclist lycra purchase.
Also be proud that I woke up at 9:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning to bike to Three Floyds and back fueled by a sleep deficit, pizza, fish and chips, beer, and a significant amount of stubbornness.

5.07.2012

to the races

In further cultural appropriations I enjoy making part of my life, for the past five years, I have treated Derby Day like my very own springtime extension of Halloween.
Proof:
(heh, the "proof" is actually 100 for Old Grand-Dad whiskey)

There is almost nothing I won't hot glue to a hat in service of a theme. This year, that included a pint of whiskey (heavier than I expected, but pleasantly more structurally sound than I feared it would be) and fistfuls of fresh mint.

Yes, I did end up eating and drinking my hat by the end of the night. You can't say I wasn't prepared.

4.19.2012

PS I made this

I swear that I'm much, much happier than I look here. (Although it is really a sad moment when you have to leave Cal's Bar because you ran out of money drinking $3 beers.)


Dress, handmade; cardigan, clothing swap; socks, Target; boots, vintage.
The bike is a 2011 Surly Cross-Check named Boyfriend.


You guys, I made this dress. Ok, "dress" might be overstating it- it's essentially a wool shroud devoid of any fasteners, darts, or anything else requiring skill. And yeah, the neckline is a little wonky, and I definitely didn't iron the seams flat. But! For something like $12 in wool-blend fabric and a crafternoon at a friend's house, I have new shrouds for work, plus the smirking satisfaction of replying to any compliments on my dress with "oh thanks, I made it."

(Thanks to Steven for photo)

4.15.2012

nothing matters when we're dancing

Let's all take a moment here to appreciate that at no point on Saturday night did I spill anything onto my new silk dress, despite dinner involving lots of standing up and dipping skewers into peanut sauce, and having cocktails in an elbow-to-elbow crowded room.

Colorblock dress (shroud what?), Marni for H&M; heels, Seychelles.

I mean, yes, this dress is now drenched in sweat from the Windy City Soul Club dance party and needs a hand-washing tonight. But that's due to my danciness, not my clumsiness.

(Merci to Stacey for photos)

4.02.2012

people-watching

The absolute best part of today was pulling up to a stoplight on my bike behind a guy wearing JNCO jeans and no helmet on a mountain bike (frame and tires!) modified into a fixed-gear*, watching that guy do a ridiculously awkward attempt at a track-stand, and then watching him fall the fuck over while the light was still red.

It's the little things.

*not a single fucking part of that makes sense.

3.30.2012

black and white and read all over

Sometimes it's 80 degrees for two weeks in a row in the middle of March in Chicago and while you're really excited about that (cutoffs!), you're also looking at your closet and thinking "aw man, I have this new sweaterdress I won't get to wear until, like, October."

Sweaterdress, vintage; tall socks, Uniqlo; boots, Zappos house brand.
Long-ass hair, courtesy Lucia's bossing of my grooming habits.

...Because sometimes your friends go on their honeymoon and do a lot of vintage shopping, and she picks up a dress that she knows she won't wear but looks like something you'd like to have, and she brings it back to Chicago, and then BOOM you have a kick-ass graphic sweaterdress.

Thanks, Danielle. Way to make me look good.

3.13.2012

ctrl alt

This is the antithesis of de trop.


And dear lord, how I wish I could pull it off. Through (far too much) trial and error, I've learned that I cannot pull off a button-up shirt and pants. Can. Not. My build is the perfect trainwreck of zero waist or hips (plus that pesky I Really Love Food pudge), and this means that a button-up shirt makes my torso look sort of like that of a chubby 12-year-old boy with a bit of man-boob.
That sounds terrible, but I swear, the day I finally realized this, it was a mindblowing moment. Why don't I look good in this thing that everyone says should look good on me? Oh, it's because I am missing key components of the body it works for.

This isn't about my weirdo lack of hips/waist, though. (It is odd that I'm the only woman in my entire extended family built this way, but ah well. I'm also the only one with cleavage, so it evens out.) Instead, what does look good on my build?
  • Heels. Fuckoff heels, preferably.
  • Short, shroudy dresses. If I look at a dress and think "that is most likely too short to wear to work", I will buy it. And then I will wear it to work. (Anything with a built-in waist, though? No.)
I could pull a Boobs Legsly here and claim that short + low-cut is the magic combination, but I'm trying to go for Interesting and not Oh My God So Much Skin. I'm not sure that I've found a great way to show off racktacular assets, but much to the joy of that guy who works down the hall from me, I'm still trying to figure out my cleavage situation.

I swear that soon I'm going to stop waking up too late to take photos in the morning, and I'll show off some of the newer shrouds. Am I going to brag about how I made them myself? Yes, yes I will.

In the meantime, Emmanuelle Alt, you keep rocking the Balmain. There's such ease in a uniform that makes you look bangin', and I'm embracing that more and more.

3.11.2012

red head

There is absolutely no reason in the world that I need a bright red lace dress trimmed in feathers.


But every time I look at this photo, I get all distracted and kind of forget that fact.
I'm sorry, were you saying something? All I heard was WANT THIS WANT THIS WANT THIS SWOON.

3.04.2012

save the date

This past Friday, I got to host an old college friend for a too-short visit. What do old friends do when they have 24 hours to catch up on everything that's happened over the past 8 years? Sit on the couch and talk about boys, of course.

Nic introduced me to the concept of Schrödinger's Date. This is a thing, and it describes itself perfectly. Schrödinger's Date is the date you go on without knowing if it is a Date. If you start dating the person following Schrödinger's Date, then it was your first date. If you do not end up dating them after Schrödinger's Date, that was not a date, it was two friends hanging out.

Next up, Nic and I will apply the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle to dating. Quantum relationship theory!

2.20.2012

the end of the world as we know it

Oh, god bless a superfluous state holiday. (Especially god bless Illinois, who celebrates both Lincoln's birthday and President's Day, giving me two consecutive Mondays off in February.) Normally, my celebration of a three-day weekend is focused around either 1) pickling/canning things, or 2) getting inappropriately drunk in a city park with Beth.

Well, today Beth has to work, so I got proactive. Like our Founding Fathers would have wanted, really.

The shampoo bottles are for scale. They are normal sized shampoo bottles, not trial-size.

Is it a bad idea to drink a 750 ml 9% ABV beer in the shower? Almost certainly. However, it is a delicious bad idea, which is how I make most decisions.

Let's bring back the scoreboard!
  • Refreshingness: (7) Man, this malty caramel flavor really enhances the "I have the day off, suckers!" self-important joy.
  • Lack of slipperyness when you are holding the beer with potentially soapy hands: (3) This bottle is heavy as fuck and the size of an infant. I'm surprised I didn't accidentally bash in my knee with it.
  • Does it smell weird when I drink it right after using my bergamot body scrub?: (8) Yum.
  • Bonus round: Three day weekend! Shower beer! (+4)
La Fin du Monde shower beer score: 22 (out of 35)

1.29.2012

go-go-a-go-go

Best compliment of my week: being told that I looked like "a tomboy go-go dancer" by my coworker. It might not be particularly accurate, but I'm going to make it a point to dress more like that from now on.
(The main parts of dressing like a tomboy go-go dancer, from what I can surmise, are: a short skirt, knee-high stompy boots, thick socks, something chambray or leather, and a big knitted scarf.)

For brunch and theatre-going this weekend:

Chambray shirt, J Crew; knit scarf, Gap; tapestry skirt, Target;
tights & knee-high socks, Uniqlo; boots, vintage.

Muffins for today's brunch are in the oven, coffee's hot, and cava is chilling for mimosas. Weekends are a good time.

1.28.2012

ole

For three straight weeks, I ate at least one taco every single day. On good days, multiple tacos were consumed across multiple meals.
Then last weekend, a bunch of lovely people fed me things all day- things that were not tacos- and so my rather enviable Taco-A-Day in 2012 streak came to a... well, not to an end, but to a pause.


Wouldn't you try to eat this every day, too? Yes, yes you would.
(And surprisingly, it's not an unhealthy breakfast! If you don't use cheese, it's v low-fat, and so full of protein.)

Go to the Mexican grocery. Buy some corn tortillas. Mmmm, corn tortillas!

Spread some refried black beans (the low-fat Goya or La Preferida ones are my favorites, but knock yourself out) onto the tortilla. Put this happy tortilla in the oven for a bit to warm it up. If you have cheese around, put some cheese on it before you put it in the oven.

While your happy tortilla is warming, make an egg over-medium. I just learned to do this (thanks, Ruth!) and it changed my goddamn life.

Get a skillet with a lid. Put some oil or cooking spray or whatnot in the pan, heat over medium heat. Crack an egg into the skillet- don't break the yolk!- and don't touch it. Don't move it. Just let it hang out. After a quick bit, the egg will be set up on the bottom, but the top will have that gross liquidy white still. I hate that. It's disgusting. But now is the magic part!

Get about a teaspoon of water and throw it into the skillet and then slam the lid down. The water will steam the top of the egg and set that white into deliciousness, but the yolk won't get hard (this takes, like, less than a minute. If you have a glass lid for the skillet, you can see that it's done when the egg looks opaque on top. If not... uh, guess.), and you won't fuck up the egg by trying to flip it and break the yolk and then all the joy of an egg over-medium is ruined.

Your tortilla is warm and happy now! And your egg is done! Top the tortilla with the egg (it will slide v nicely out of the pan- if not all the water's boiled off, use a spatula to pick it up, unless you want to get your tortilla all damp. Eew.) Put salsa on top. Maybe mole hot sauce, too. Maybe more cheese? I will not judge you.

MORE TACOS IN 2012!

1.16.2012

goals

Just over two years ago, I made a list of Things To Do. Thirty things, and my deadline was January 14, 2012. Did I do all of them? Of course not- but I am actually quite proud of the ones I have accomplished. I mean, who knew I would actually bike to Indiana and back? Or go surfing?

So, what haven't I done?
  • Learn to drive a stick shift (well, I am working on it. Stacey is giving me lessons!)
  • Have a season subscription to the opera and a dance company
  • Travel somewhere completely new, solo (ok, halfway. But I did travel to Peru last year! Not solo, but.)
  • Take a serious wine-tasting class
  • Complete a mini-triathalon (uh. I started swimming again, that counts for something?)
  • Pick up the tab at the grocery store for someone who needs it
  • Be able to ice skate backwards
  • Visit the catacombs
  • Visit my sister in Hong Kong
  • Watch a game in the new Yankee Stadium
  • Actually decorate my apartment, rather than just putting all my stuff in it and hoping that it might not be too terrible-looking (Everything but my kitchen is done to my satisfaction! Which, ok, is only three rooms. Four rooms, if you count my entry hallway.)
  • Learn to snowboard
  • Spend two weeks eating a Raw Foods diet (Stacey is going to facilitate / shame me for not doing this soon.)
  • Attend a yoga retreat or one of those intense weekend-long yoga workshops
  • Learn basic conversational Spanish
  • Read a book in French (and no, rereading Huis Clos/Le Petit Prince/anything I read in high school or college for French class doesn’t count)
Travel: Hong Kong, France, New York.
Learn: wine, Spanish, better reading in French, manual transmission in ways that will neither kill an engine nor pedestrians/other motorists.
Physical skills: ice skating, snowboarding, more yoga stuff, mini-triathlon.
Aesthetics: decorate kitchen (prospective theme: Junk Science!), opera and dance subscriptions.
Other: buy someone's groceries, raw foods.

I don't know when I'll finally check the last of these off, or how exactly I'm going to pay for things like travel to Hong Kong and France, but it seems a worthy endeavor. At the very least, watching me try to ice skate backwards will be a source of amusement, no?

wig out

Those who know me well (or at all, really) know that when I am really excited about something, I swear a blue streak out of sheer joy.
I've been setting new standards of obscenity for the past few days, which means that everything is fucking spectacular.

On Saturday night, I had a Birthday Drag Ball. I have the kind of amazing friends who say "drag ball? in a former funeral home? absolutely, I'll be there!" and who dress up because costume parties are fun and hey, I'm never ever gonna get all gender-expression-prescriptivist on anyone.
(It should be noted that we were having too much fun to take photos that night. Dancing wildly on a glitter-covered floor did not make me pause and grab my camera, which may be the greatest sign of party success.)

I have the kind of amazing friends who, when I said to Kate and Jarod, who have served as the other two participants in the Winter Birthday Party Triumvirate since I've known them, "so this year, drag ball birthday?", their immediate reaction was "oh hell yes!"

I got to celebrate my thirtieth birthday surrounded by people who talk about wigs, LCD Soundsystem, postmodern literature, Doctor Who, bicycles, classical portraiture, "Watch the Throne", theater, and sparkly eye makeup. I celebrated in a wonderland of cava, hip-hop, sparkles, and pure fucking happiness.

I have the kind of amazing friends who had as much fun as I did, even when their interests are absolutely nowhere near wigs and glitter and fucking with conventional gender expression.

And I'm not generally good with big demonstrative Feelings, but: I am the luckiest goddamn person in the world. I made it to thirty and not only did I not die (yet!), I made it to thirty with the most glorious coterie of friends a girl could ever hope for. So thanks, everyone, for making my brain light up like a Lite-Brite.

1.09.2012

manual labor

I learned a thing!

This is me in the driver's seat, I promise. I suppose you can tell by the ring on my right hand? And the fact that my shirt is un-ironed?

Well, sort of. I've only had one afternoon of Manual Transmission Practice behind the wheel thus far with the ever-patient Stacey, but I did manage to sort of go from parked to first to third to stopped. (Stopped on purpose, not "oh goddamn I killed the car again" stopped.)

There is a parking lot not far from us that is perpetually empty, and I drove in circles for an afternoon as I tried to figure out what the hell to do with the clutch. This carousel-like path seemed to amuse all the CTA workers looking down on us from the train platform above the parking lot, and annoy the ever-loving hell out of the homeless man who lives in that parking lot. Highlights of the lesson include the high-pitched noises of triumph we both made when I was able to start the car and shift into first gear without killing the engine (complete with celebratory jazz hands) and the frequent and out-loud apologies made to her car's transmission and clutch.

My god, I never want to have to teach anyone to drive.

1.03.2012

footsie

When at Big Star (go there, eat the Sonoran hot dog, thank me), I like to play a game called Who At This Bar Would I Take Home? Big Star is a fantastic place to play it, too, because if you sit at the bar and angle yourself just right, you can pretty much see the entire room without looking too much like a neck-craning creeper.

Yesterday, while enjoying the luxury of actually getting to sit in one of the booths at Big Star, I played this game with a few friends. I kept pointing out my winners and saying "ooh, look, bonus points for Adventure Boots!". After a few rounds of this, Sophie agreed that yes, most of my choices were take-home worthy, but the whole Adventure Boots thing was a little vague.

These are not Adventure Boots. These are boots you buy for a specific, outdoorsy, sporty purpose. Yes, there may be adventure involved. No, you should not wear them for non-sporty-specific events. No, I will never find you hot in them.

Adventure Boots are boots that you wear with your well-fitting jeans, maybe when you're leaving the house to meet up with friends at the bar, then walk to a dinner party or go to a show or I don't know, go play with a puppy, I don't know what your plans are. But! if while en route to any of these destinations, an Adventure makes itself available, these are the boots that will make participating in said Adventure a no-questions-asked thing to do. Adventure Boots mean you will climb that fucking tree, because running jumping climbing trees (yup I went there) and you will not say "oh, you just go on ahead; I'll stand over here and take photos of you with my phone."
These are Adventure Boots. (For warm-weather times, I also heartily endorse Adventure Chuck Taylors, FWIW.)

I'm not sure what the girly equivalent of this footwear might be, but if that sort of thing is based off my own life, it's something along the lines of I can totally scale that fence in these shoes / fuck it, I'll just throw them over the fence and do that barefoot.