Wednesday, August 17, 2011

No. Just...NO.

Swearing ahead, so consider yourself warned:

Oh. My. God. No...this goes past MY God and necessitates me calling on all the gods of all religions ever. And also angels, magicians, and someone who can prescribe whatever drug can make me forget that this happened:

Holy. Shit.

Y'ALL HOLY SHIT. I thought about writing about this last night, but there was a lot going on, not the least of which involved an hour-long conversation where Taylor and I had to giddily discuss the impending implosion of the University of Miami football program. And then I wasn't sure I could write about it in a coherent manner. Because HOLY SHIT, Y'ALL.

Look, I make it a point to always try to represent not just my chapter of my sorority, but University of Alabama Greeks, hell ALL Greeks everywhere in a flattering light. I tried to do it when I was a collegiate member. I now try to do it as an alumnae. I tell people things about the Greek system that repudiate the rumors and stereotypes of being Greek. I talk specifically about the great work the Alpha Gamma chapter of Delta Zeta has done with the on-campus speech and hearing center. If someone asks "Which sorority was the smart/rich/pretty/preppy/wild one at Alabama?", I tell them that ALL sororities at Alabama are ALL those things, because they are ALL filled with girls from all around the country (and the world!) who come from a thousand different backgrounds and who are studying in all the various colleges and majoring in all the various departments the University offers. I encourage young women to go through recruitment at their schools. I write recommendations for them if they are.

And then Panhellenic pulls this shit with me. It would be embarrassing if this was shown at Recuitment Convocation and that was as far as it went. But no, they have to let this get out. ANDERSON COOPER RAN A PIECE ON IT!! (He also mentioned Delta Zeta by name, so you know, no embarrassment there or anything).

I went through Rush (Rush, not Recruitment), as a third-generation Greek at the University. I was on the "other" side of rush as an active collegiate member for the next three years and spent my final collegiate Rush (I was a 5th Year Senior) as a Rho Chi. I helped with Recruitment as an alumnae all three years I was in law school and again when my sister went through and AGAIN when she was a collegiate. Rush/Recruitment isn't pleasant. In fact, there were parts of my involvement with each phase of my Rush/Recruitment life that I consider to be my own little personal patch of hell on earth. But of all the unpleasant, uncomfortable, unfathomable things that I ever had happen to me, saw happen to someone I knew, or heard about happening to someone I didn't, this little piece of video idiocy has got to be THE FUCKING DUMBEST RUSH-RELATED SHIT I HAVE YET ENCOUNTERED.

WERE YOU ALL DRUNK? HIGH? DID YOU FALL DOWN AND LAND ON YOUR HEADS? WHO TOLD YOU THIS WAS OKAY??!?!? Surely at least one discerning soul with a shred of sense exists in one of the EIGHTEEN SORORITIES ON THAT CAMPUS. Or an alumni. Or an advisor. Someone? Or did you just wander the Strip after last call asking random frat boys being spewed onto the street by closing bars if it seemed like a good idea. Because that is the only way I can think that anyone would have even hinted at a suggestion that this is in any way acceptable.

Because it's not. It's offensive. It plays into every unflattering stereotype that the average person has about sorority girls. And what's worse? It's just bad. I mean strictly judging on the performances, it's AWFUL.

So thanks a lot. The (at least allegedly) dignified and respectable former members of the Alabama Greek system are just SO PROUD.

Countdown to Disney--30 Days

If asked to identify the things about Walt Disney World which I find to be awesome, my answer would be quite simple..."Uh, EVERYTHING."

Sometimes someone will say something about not liking WDW that much or, worse, liking something like Six Flags better. I try to be forgiving because obviously these people have suffered some sort of blunt force trauma to the head. I have actually heard someone make the statement that WDW and Six Flags are pretty much the same thing. Ok, step back, Captain Crazypants. That's just not right. In addition to anything Disney being about eleventy-thousand times cleaner, one is more likely to encounter a Cast Member who is a functional human member of society while at Disney, as opposed to Six Flags where all manner of barely functionally literate juvenile delinquents will be performing equivalent tasks. (If you think I'm exaggerating, please ask me sometime to relate to you the story of "Definition of a Bowl at Six Flags Great Adventure). So, anyway, there are many, MANY differences.

And the way that WDW, and for that matter ALL Disney Parks the world over, CLEARLY stand out is the intricately detailed theming pervasive in every nook and cranny of the park. And nowhere is it more beautifully done than on Main Street, USA ("Gateway to the Seven Themed Lands of the Magic Kingdom").

It was inspired by Marceline, MO, one of the towns Walt Disney lived in when he was a child. The buildings look like they are three stories tall, but only the first story of each is actually a full story and the other floors are built using forced perspective.. The second floor is 2/3 actual size and the third is 1/2. Forced perspective is also used on the actual street. It's wider at the entrance in Town Square and narrows as it approaches the Hub in front of Cinderella Castle. This has the effect of making Cinderella Castle look more distant when guests enter in the morning, but also makes the exit look closer when tired guests are exiting in the evening. The distance between trash cans is exactly 20 paces. Traffic flow engineers working for Disney Imagineering studied extensively to find out how far the average person carries a piece of trash before they throw it on the ground and placed all trash cans accordingly. The sidewalks along Main Street are a unique shade of red which was developed in conjunction with Kodak. Imagineers and Kodak scientists experimented to find the specific shade of red which makes the sky look most blue in contrast, at least on Kodak film, which in the days before digital cameras, was the only film sold in the park.

All of the names on the windows on the second (and in one case, the third) floors are real people who were in some way instrumental in the creation of or continuing development of Walt Disney World or the Walt Disney Company. The businesses of which they are the "proprietor" has something to do with their role within the Company or with some hobby or outside interest they loved. The only third floor window honors Frank Wells who was the president of the Walt Disney Company from 1984 until his death in a heli-skiing accident in 1994. He was an avid mountain climber and had climbed the highest mountain on each continent except Asia (he attempted Everest more than once but was forced to turn back each time). His fictional company is Seven Summits Expeditions and to honor him and his memory, is the highest of all Main Street Windows. Roy O. Disney's window is a tribute to his determination to complete Walt Disney World after Walt's death--his business is "Dreamers and Doers". A single window does not look down on Main Street itself, but rather faces Cinderella Castle and that is the window honoring Walt, himself.

It's really too bad that the majority of guests barrel down Main Street, intent on reaching the Castle or a certain attraction. Main Street is amazing. There are a million things to see, hear, taste, FEEL. So next time you're there...take some advice from Baloo, and slow down and enjoy.

Here's a picture of my brother and I taking time and enjoying Main Street in September of 1981. This is literally five minutes into our very first trip to WDW ever. Mother forgot to bring her camera--Dad was the family photojournalist and he stayed at home while we made the trip with Mother, our grandparents and our great aunt and uncle--so she raced across to the Camera Shop as soon as we got there and rented one for our three day trip. This is my favorite picture of my brother and me. EVER.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Countdown to Disney--31 Days

Let's say that I am given the opportunity to choose to go anywhere on the planet. Cost is not a factor.

I would choose Walt Disney World.

I'll wait while you finish laughing hysterically. There it is. I don't know if it's sad, but it's true. Disney is a HUGE thing in my family. My parents went there in 1972 for their honeymoon. My grandparents went almost every year for MANY years until they began swapping it every other year for a trip out west. Of course, the family prize, I like to think, goes to me who worked there as part of the Walt Disney World College Program in 1995 and 1996. We have been in all manner of configurations: Mom and Dad; all of us; just me; just my sister; the parents and me; the grandparents, Mom, my brother and me. The last trip that any of us made in that direction was two years ago when my brother, sister-in-law, nephew and niece went, thus crowning my nephew and niece--ages 13 months and turning three while there--with the honor of being the YOUNGEST of us to ever score a trip to WDW. But coming up in just one short month is the big parents, brother, sister-in-law, sister, nephew, niece and me--all of us, staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort (in the pirate rooms, no less) for seven awesome days.

So since we are exactly one month from departure, I am hereby starting the countdown.


And to get us started, here's a little bit of one of my ALL-TIME favorite things at Walt Disney World. EVER. The sadly defunct Diamond Horseshoe Jamboree. It ran four shows a day for about 20 years before closing in 2003. It was AMAZING. If you never saw it, but have been to the Hoop Dee Do Revue, then that's the closest approximation. It was in Frontierland, right next to the cut-through to Adventureland. You had to have reservations and there was a lunch counter service. I think that the restaurant part is still active in the busier seasons, but the real attraction here was the show. The first time I went, in 1981, Miss Lily sat on my grandfather's lap and left a lipstick kiss on his head, which is one of the most distinct memories I have of the entire trip. Later, when I worked at Aloha Isle, we rode up from the Tunnel in the same elevator as the performers. I once rode the elevator with Miss Lily. It remains one of the greatest celebrity encounters of my life. So enjoy, because it rocked. It rocked HARD:


I hope the Miss Lily, Bartender Sam and their Cowboys and Saloon Girls party on in that Great Theme Park in the Sky.

Dressed to Kill--This Weather Sucks--August 16

So that's a big you dress for the weather? I mean, I KNOW you dress with regards to the temperature (although there are times, especially formal-ish occasions, where you have to let that fall to the wayside), especially when said temps are extreme. But aren't there just some times when you just want to ignore what's happening outside and wear...whatever. Take today for example...we are on out third day of rain/dreariness. It cleared up a bit yesterday (for reference see my post regarding my completely avoidable and very dumb sunburn), but it rained ALL day Sunday, most of yesterday, and off and on today. It's cleared up now, but the high was still only in the low 70s. Which presents a problem. Because it's August. I'm from Alabama. I grew up with the notion that while June and July were gonna be hot, nothing was going to compare to the humid, sweltering oppression of August heat. This was reinforced by a EIGHT straight Augusts in Tuscaloosa which I maintain is the hottest place on the planet for that one month. Or at least it feels like it is.

The point is, on days like today, what I consider actual summer wear isn't really appropriate. For one thing, if you go anywhere it's bound to be violently air-conditioned with the expectation that it's going to be hovering in the low 90s WITHOUT the heat index boost. Which meant that for a big part of today, I actually walked around with a sweater on over my regular clothes. Granted it was a light-weight sweater with a fairly open weave, but it was actually necessary. I actually could have been completely comfortable in jeans, but that seemed a little excessive for mid-August, because I know that there will come a day in February when I'm thinking, "I just want to wear shorts/a sundress."

In any event...

Remember my previous statement on white shirts from TJMaxx? Well this is an EXCELLENT example. It's got the cutest purposefully exposed zipper in the back. I think it cost under $15, which is kind of the point of numerous white shirts from a discount locale--at some point this is going to meet with marinara sauce, or chocolate, or strawberry juice and while I'll be sad, I won't have to worry that I've committed some grave and wasteful sin when it makes its way to Goodwill. I have had these shorts for a while--probably a good five years. They're from Old Navy and are very cooperative. In the sense that I don't like my legs to hang out all over the place, and they are happy to cover them. Also, they are seersucker which are my favorite summer fabric. And kind of make up for the fact that the weather wanted to insist it was fall today. Stupid weather.

Dressed to Kill--I'm lame. And neglectful--August 9 & 10

I lasted a whole three posts before I didn't post. Most of that is due to our somewhat delayed move to the beach. We generally spend the whole of August here. However, this year there were kids visiting colleges and kids on trips and kids at summer programs and kids getting ready to go to college. It was crazy. So although portions of us had been spending at least the weekends here since early July, it wasn't until last Wednesday that we made the trip down for good.

The B's beach house is awesome. Like most of the houses in Bayhead and Mantoloking it was built in the early 20th century. It's just lovely, right across from the beach, beautifully decorated. It's also located in the middle of one of the preppiest places I've ever been. No, really. This is a kind of intense and virulent preppiness that even make ME notice. We generally eat dinner at the Yacht Club at least one night per weekend and it's like if you fail to wear Lilly or Vinyard Vines, you have somehow violated some secret code of conduct. There's lots of Sperrys and Jack Rogers. Pearls. Seersucker. Nantucket reds. Bowties. It's awesome. Of course, on a day to day basis, there's a lot of that stuff, too. Albeit, slightly more casual. I didn't take a picture yesterday, but we went to the Yacht Club's trivia night and I wore...Lilly. One of my favorites, too. In any event, the move down, the horrible weather we've had the last few days, getting settled and such have made me fall behind. So here's a two-fer from last week. I also have today, which I will get to shortly.

I'm 5'3" tall. Which was the major, if not only, consideration when I bought these shoes. Short girls everywhere have to be joining me in rejoicing in the return to fashion prominence in the last few years of the wedge. Wedges are a short girl's friend. The make your legs look longer. They make YOU look longer. They help in the purchase of pants because it's actually occasionally possible to buy pants and not need to hem them at all (much less the 6 to 9 inches which usually end up lopped off my pants). I bought these, which are BCBG, specifically for the bridesmaid's luncheon when my best friend got married about three years ago. I wore a maxidress which dragged behind me without big shoes. So these were a godsend. I love this skirt from the Gap, not in the least because it's actually all-season. I grabbed it off the clearance rack mainly because I noticed the color, which is a much more plummy purple than shows up in the picture. I love this blouse, too. It was a Christmas gift a couple of years ago and it has a tie belt that I removed. It's piped (hard to see in the pic) with a vivid turquoise, which has become one of my favorite colors of late. I have a pair of earrings--I'm actually wearing them with this--that I got at Anthropologie that inspired the fascination.

What I like about this outfit is...everything. Not so much that I think it's the best looking thing I've ever worn. 'Cause it's not. I don't even think it's particularly flattering, but the individual pieces have really great associations for me. The dress itself is from Gap. It's one of those colors that I just adore. I have a similar Gap dress is navy--it has pleats instead of the fabric balls at the top--and while I like it and it actually fits me better, I am enamored of this dress because of the color. I love coral. And this is a particularly deep coral, almost closer to a tangerine, but darker than that...I don't know what it is, really, but I love it. I also love the sandals (also from Gap) and I'm pretty sure that one day, in the not too distant future, my gold flower sandals will break. And I will involve myself in some sort of nervous breakdown over it. The best piece in all of this is the scarf in my hair. It belonged to my very fashionable, very awesome grandmother.

So brace yourselves, y'all. I'm guessing it's gonna be seersucker city for a while. At least the next couple of weeks.

Just one of the many reasons I shouldn't be allowed around a bathing suit.

I hate wearing a bathing suit. I mean really, really hate it. And although part of it IS the whole "Does this make me look fat? OMGILOOKFAT. FATFATFAT. IS THAT CELLULUTE??!?!?" thing, the bulk of it is thw whole white thing. I am white. I mean, obviously, I'm white. When requested by standardized forms, I mark white/Caucasian. 'Cause there's no getting around it. I was born with strawberry blonde hair that darkened to a brown with red highlights which proceeded to fade to a murky non-color which started turning gray when I was 23. I tried a myriad of colors when I started coloring it to cover the gray, only to find that most of the time, my hair's tendency to highlight red would not be thwarted. Pretty much every blonde or brown that I attempted would end up looking reddish. So a couple of years ago, I just told Katye, my hairdresser to make it red. So red I am. And also white. Like a piece of paper white. The whitest. I am so white that the undertones of my skin are actually BLUE.

And hence, my hatred for bathing suits. Now, I can get the barest hint of a tan. But it takes the kind of work that I'm not really interested in doing. I'm talking scrupulously timed outings in the sun with carefully applied decreasing SPF factors. And I'm still...more of an ecru than anything. I've also delved into the exciting world of standing naked while a lady named Carmen sprays me with some organic mixture out of an airbrush gun. Which makes me tan. But is also expensive and makes me feel slightly like a tee shirt from Panama City Beach.

So now my approach to being white is this: Apply copious amounts of sunscreen. Wear big, floppy hat. Sit under the umbrella if possible. This is especially important in August when the Bs and I travel en masse to Mantoloking, which is a small enclave of EXTREME preppiness tucked between the intensely Jersey Shore towns of Seaside Heights (yes, as in Jersey Shore Jersey Shore) and Point Pleasant Beach. I'll get to Bayhead/Mantoloking at a later time, but suffice to say it's the beach. I am sitting on the bed in my room and I can see sand. This means that I spend part of most days in the sun.

Bringing me to yesterday and the point of all this...It rained all day on Sunday. It rained yesterday until mid-afternoon when suddenly it stopped and was absolutely gorgeous--blue skies, sun, light breeze, warm. Which meant that Brendan and E and I jumped into our suits and headed to the beach. I grabbed one of my favorites. it's big black and white checks. Two piece. The bottom is a ruffly skirt. The top is long so that there's just a sliver of skin showing. It's awesome What it also has, which I failed to consider when applying my Coppertone SPF 50 waterproof spray, is a keyhole opening in the back.

So this morning, I'm reading. And wondering why on earth the bra which I've worn a hundred times is driving me bonkers. I mean, it feels like there's a big tag rubbing my middle back. I reach under my shirt. I remove it. No tag. I lift up my shirt and look in the mirror. And I now see a perfect half-circle of pink on my back. Very attractive, right?

The moral of the story is this: Sometimes, I do excessively dumb things And also, when those warnings say "Always wear sunscreen", they mean on all you. Including the keyhole opening in the back of your swimsuit

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dressed to Kill--Sometimes You Can Never Have Enough-August 9, 2011

I am convinced (and remember that my opinion is actually worthless) that there are three things you can never have too much of. At least with regards to your wardrobe.

1. Jeans--not just blue ones. Jeans are...awesome. I know that they tend to be the easy way out for a lot of people. But for me at least, jeans are my most difficult and thought out purchase. I remain giddily excited that colored jeans are in fashion again. I really want a pair of red. And a pair of green. Everyone, everyone, everyone needs to have more than one pair. And I'm saying that as a lady who wears a dresses approximately 75% of the time. White is the most important non-blue color. But other colors are pretty darn swell. The best pair of jeans I ever had were purchased in the summer of 1988 (I remember because I wore them on the first day of eighth grade). They were Guess, red with tiny white polka dots and they had zippers at the ankles. There was a matching T-shirt that involved a Scottie dog. I would KILL to have those jeans now. They were epic and legendary in the history of denim. Right now, my two favorite pairs are both Adriano Goldschmied, a brand that fits me better than any other ever has. And that brings me to another important jeans point...if you can at all swing it, go somewhere that has the pricey ones, try on about twenty different pairs and pick your brand and style. It's gonna cost you. But it will change your life.

2. White shirts-All kinds, from tees to fancy. I tend to wear a lot of brightly colored bottoms--prints (see yesterday's post re: Lilly Pulitzer), stripes, seersucker, plaids. Even my solids tend to be bright. My favorite pair of pants right now is a pair of wide-legged orange linen. I probably have ten different white shirts in varying styles--polos, button-down, tunics, puff-sleeve with Peter Pan collar--and that doesn't count the tees. The thing about whites, especially the tees, is that they tend to get destroyed. In the sense that a spill or drip that would have no bearing on gray or red or purple is sometimes final curtain for a white shirt. Plus, there's the whole unpleasant yellowing under the arms, which is gross but true. Tees especially seem to take a particular beating. My good white shirts come from all over, but I seem to have the best luck finding unique and cute at TJMaxx. For tees, I like Gap, but I LOVE Target. The Merona Ultimate Tees at Target have now surpassed Gap Favorite Tees favorite.

3. Chuck Taylors--True story...I dated this guy for a while. He was very sweet and nice. One day, we went to see a movie. I had my feet up on the bar that's in front of the first row of stadium seats. I was wearing my silver Chuck Taylors. He commented on the fact that I had silver shoes. I said, "Well Chucks come in every color under the sun." He says, "I don't know what those are. I don't know brands." Okay, relationship doomed. Look, I didn't expect him to look at the bottoms of someone's shoes and know they were Louboutins because the soles were red. I wouldn't even care if he looked at the buckle on my Michael Kors flats and didn't know what the "MK" stood for. In fact, I wouldn't expect a guy to know those things. But SERIOUSLY??!?! Chuck Taylors? Converse sneakers have been around FOREVER. My DAD knows what they are. Anyway...they rule. Basic black are useful, but colors are FUN. And they go with practically everything. (I always joke that if I ever get married, I'm wearing electric blue Chucks under my dress).

So today, this happened...

I am pretty sure that at this point tomorrow, thanks to Jeff the Trainer, I will be completely immobile. I'm not kidding. I already feel stiff. And I've been moving around a good bit since this morning. I think the best I can hope for is to take three Advil and pray to the gods of exercise before I go to bed. So, anyway, after I spent the 8-9 a.m. hour being PHYSICALLY PUMMELED, I was less inclined than usual to work hard at my clothes. But then I remembered the shoes. I can wear practically ANYTHING with my Boden sling-back turquoise ballet flats and they MAKE it look good. Even a fairly average dress that's somewhere between periwinkle and gray in color. Not only that, it's a dress that I got ON CLEARANCE at Old Navy one day when I got Polynesian sauce all over myself at Chick-fil-A and I still had a million things to do and I didn't want to look like I had been stabbed and subsequently bled over the front of the cream dress I was wearing. I went in the restroom and changed and was on my way. I am an Old Navy fan. I rarely go in there that I don't find something cute. And as a bonus it's usually priced so that I don't have to worry about things like inadvertent assault by condiments. Which happens more often than I care to admit. But back to the shoes...Boden. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It's a British brand and I know that a lot of my American friends are not familiar with it, but it's BEYOND cute--hello, turquoise ballet flats with jeweled butterflies on them--and while a WEE bit pricey, it's exceptionally well made and the kind of thing that you will order now (if you're in the US, that's how you have to do it. They don't have any US stores. Yet. I live in hope.) and still be wearing YEARS from now. Also, just a note of friend, Beverly SWEARS by the jeans from their MiniBoden kids line. Her boys are on the VERY slender side and she told me that they fit better than anything she's ever put on them. The website (and don't blame me if you spend hours perusing the COMPLETE ADORABLENESS) is here.

Dumb Dog

This is Gina:

Gina is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. That's the kind of dog that Charlotte had on Sex and the City. Gina spends the majority of her time sitting on the bottom shelf of the front hall table. Like this:

She likes it because she can see out the glass door. Which is convenient for her, since we keep the solid, view-blocking door open most of the time. But it's pretty inconvenient for the humans in her house. Because Gina seems convinced that this:

Is actually THIS:

That this:

Is actually THIS:

And that this:

Is actually THIS:


The result of which is that she goes to DefCon 1 about ten times a day. She barks at the school bus, joggers, bikers, cats, lightning bugs, jogging neighbors, walking neighbors, biking neighbors, neighbors riding in their strollers, the FedEx guy, any car that parks withing her viewing area, the mailman and usually ME when I go to the mailbox and come back. Because she's exactly that dumb. She watches me walk out the door and in the approximately 30 seconds it takes me to get to the mailbox and back, she forgets that I exist and begins barking maniacally until such time as I actually step onto the porch and she realizes, "I know this human. THIS IS ONE OF MY HUMANS! OHBOYOHBOYOHBOY!!!!"

So, yeah...not so much with the bright, that one. And in case you wonder, the things that have been utilized to get her to shut. the. hell. up. include, but are not limited to: time-outting her in her crate for five minutes, physically removing her from the area to another floor of the house, squirting her with a water gun, one of those ultrasonic thingies that you plug into the wall, clapping, snapping and hissing a la the Dog Whisperer. Nothing. Works.

So if you hear that I've snapped and completely gone loony toons, you'll know the reason--a very cute dog is a very big pain in the ass.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dressed to Kill--My Great Love Affair: August 8, 2011

I honestly think that for the rest of my life, I could happily shop for all my clothes at only two stores: Anthropologie and Target. If not for one little thing...

Lilly Pulitzer.

I love it. I love it so, so much. I love it in a "troll eBay for vintage Lilly" kind of way. I love it in a "participate in a celebratory dance when they open the new Palm Place in Palmer Square" kind of way. I can walk into a thrift or consignment store and immediately walk straight to every piece of Lilly in the joint. I have pants and shorts and dresses and skirts and shorts and shoes and luggage. And also animal crackers. And stationery. Just...a lot.

Anyway, Lilly Pulitzer the person was a pretty awesome lady. Total East Coast Old Money. Her mother was an heir to the Standard Oil fortune. Lillian went to school with Jacqueline Bouvier. She married into the Pulitzer family (THAT Pulitzer family) and moved to Palm Beach where she used the fruit from her husband's several citrus groves to open a roadside juice stand (she was into non-rich people stuff like this, having dropped out of finishing school to be a midwife's assistant in West Virginia). Her juice stand was a success, but she found that her usual attire--tennis whites or linen shift dresses--took the brunt of her work. Every single drop of juice spilled which she squeezed oranges and lemons and limes made very visible stains. And so, she made herself some brightly-colored, wildly-patterned shift dresses that were easily washable and hid the stains while she worked! Her juice customers became dress customers and the brand was born.

I told that story, because today...was a Lilly kind of day in my world.

This particular dress is an oddity in my's the only Lilly wrap-dress I own. It's the only wrap-dress I own AT ALL, actually. They never fit me right, tending to gap at the top. I have to use a tiny safety pin at the top of this one to rectify my, shall we say, lack of endowment. I like the print on this one, too. It's pink and green-ish. Pink and green? Hands down my two favorite colors. But sometimes Lilly is ULTIMO PRIMO PINK AND GREEN. And that's okay. But sometimes something a little softer works, too. Plus, when you're bored and wearing it, you can spend your time trying to find where the word "Lilly" is worked into the pattern--all Lilly prints have it. I have Lilly in all kinds of colors--one of my newest, which I got in a matching toddler dress for my niece, is navy and red and white and yellow. And really, with any Lilly dress, the obvious answer is to wear Jack Rogers. I went off the reservation on this one. For one thing, the last time I wore a pair for the entire day, I ended up with these huge blisters on the BOTTOMS of my feet. Instead, I'm breaking in my new Rainbows! Yay! I finally found a pair in size ladies' small. And I only had to go to the bookstore at Wake Forest University to do it!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dressed to Kill--Shopping in Your Own Closet : August 7, 2011

Several years ago at another blog I had...LiveJournal, maybe?...I had this thing where I posted a picture of what I was wearing every day, talked a little bit about it, and then talked about fashion in some way--fashion history, MY fashion history, some really nifty trend that was up and coming. And you know, I kinda miss it. If nothing else, it made me accountable. I mean, if you're posting a picture of yourself for all the world to see, it's not so cool to dress like a colorblind bum. So, we'll give it a whirl. It's summer, so I make no promises of awesome sartorial offerings, 'cause DAMN IT'S HOT. in your own closet. I'm going to tell a little story and hope against hope that I'm not the only one who does stuff like this. I have a lot of clothes. A LOT. And I think that because of this, I tend to lose sight of things. Literally. I am really bad about flipping all the way through and suddenly coming across something that got squished between two other somethings and going, "Holy SHIT! I forgot I had this AND IT'S AWESOME." For example...there are two closets in my room. One is a double closet that has built in organizer-type thingies. About a third is a full-length hanging bar, another third if drawers and shelves and the final third is two hanging bars on top of each other. The other closet is a single closet with shelves. And shoes. Lots and lots of shoes. Of all the traits I inherited from my grandmother, this is the most...well, it's just the MOST. I keep my shoes in either the original box or a plastic one, with a picture of the shoe taped on the end. Because I'm also a huge dork. Anyway, I usually push the shoes that are way out of season to the "second row", as it were. And then rotate them back to the front when they are more seasonally appropriate. Well, apparently, I must have gotten distracted during that process this spring. My sister has been in town visiting this past week and one day she needed a pair of shoes. I start digging. And realize that the next to the top shelf has A BUNCH of shoes in the back that I could have been wearing all summer! SCORE! It's like a whole new shoe wardrobe. That I didn't have to pay for. Okay, well, yeah...I DID pay for them at some point. But that point wasn't recent, so that's almost totally like FREE MONEY. One of the pairs I found is pictured at the top and they're an extra-special bonus, 'cause they originally cost $9.99 at Old Navy and were bought specifically to go with this dress from Anthropologie that the model in the catalogue wore with blue shoes (albeit Anthropologie blue shoes that cost almost $300, rather than....$9.99). I was so excited that I wore them today.

I also wore a hat. That was less a fashion choice than a "I got in from NYC last night at almost one and took a shower and collapsed with wet hair that I didn't even brush out" choice. I make this choice on occasion. Although the hat IS pretty rad. Control your shock. It's from Anthropologie. I saw it when it first arrived and fell in love. My mom has always said that I'm a person who looks good in hats. And I kinda love wearing them. Anyway, hat-love or no, I didn't see any sense in paying almost $60 for a hat, even a cute navy, straw cloche with a fuschia flower on the side, but when it was in the sale room for $19.99. Hells to the yeah, I was on that. The shirt is also from Anthropologie. It's kinda funny...I go in there a lot. I don't always buy, but the ladies in there know me pretty well. To the point that my favorite ones can pick out the things for which I AM going to outlay the cash. One of them told me that this shirt was one of those things that she KNEW I was going to buy. The only sad thing about this outfit is the pants. Oh, they're not sad in any way. I'm sad because they had them at Gap in three different colors and I only got the olive. Then the first time I wore them, I got a million compliments and when I went back to get the other colors, because, obviously--AWESOME PANTS--they were completely sold out in anything resembling my size. I also like that they are, at least in my opinion, omniseasonal. Yeah, the whole outfit is way more hippie than my usual explosion of Lilly-Vinyard Vines-Lacoste Super Prep, but we saw Hair last night and I'm still celebrating. 'Cause it was AH-MAH-ZING.

I bring joy to the people, dammit.

Since I am a cheerful and loving person and I live to make people happy (you can TOTALLY stop laughing), I thought I would tell you a few of the things that are happy-making in my world. Now mind you, I am a big humongous geek with a sick, sick sense of humor so don't, please, get your lady pants in a twist over anything I praise here that you might find...disturbing...offensive...sacreligous...sophomoric. I didn't say that it was all high art. I didn't say that ANY of it was ANY kind of art. Although I kinda think some of it is.

First, shall we discuss some websites and blogs that you shouldn't be missing? First, an oldie, but goody. And one that even talks about BOOKS and shit on occasion. It is Tomato Nation. I have followed this for more than a decade. The writer, Sarah Bunting, was one of the founders of the site TelevisionWithoutPity. There's a lot of pop culture. Book discussions. And the occasional serious piece that will blow you away. Her original piece on September 11, For Thou Art With Us is freaking GORGEOUS. Her subsequent (and still ongoing) search for her disaster buddy, Don, is riveting. Plus, this week she had a guest blogger do a review of the movie Camp. SCORE!

Another that I've followed since it's inception is Serial Drama, which is in theory, a soap opera blog, but also has hilarious recaps of True Blood. The soap stuff is heavy on the three ABC shows and won my heart because the writers display the same vitriolic rage towards the shows that I do. Most of it? Funny even if you don't watch soaps.

Everyday Should Be Saturday is, I think, bar none, the best college football blog around. It's AWESOME. It tends to be a tad SEC-centric. But the really do, considering that the main contributors all went to SEC schools, a great job of covering the fantastic, the disappointing and the absolutely, ri-fucking-diculous from AL conferences. It may take a while to catch all the running gags and references, but the commentariat is AMAZINGLY knowledgeable and articulate.

If you are not reading Hyperbole and a Half and we are friends in real life, you need to get on it. I don't want to have to cull you from my circle. There's a "Best of" column on the side of the page. Please do yourself the biggest favor EVER and click on "God of Cake." You can thank me later. After you laugh for an hour. When you have recovered and thanked, go click on "Dog". I would give these two blog entries the award for the funniest thing on the internet ever if it wasn't for my newest favorite The Bloggess. Please, please, please read her post on Beyonce. Not THAT Beyonce. It's epic. It went viral. It is the best thing ever.

Aaaaaand...if you're into Twitter, I follow some absolute hilarity, y'all. DeathStarPR is made of win ("Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Give an Emperor a DeathStar and no one on Alderaan is ever eating fish again."). FuriousFranklin is tweets from the extremely irate, undead Founding Father. He likes to call people (particularly, right now, the Tea Party)"eelfucker". I don't know why, but I find that to be hysterically funny. Lord_Voldemort7 is kinda like DeathStarPR, but, you know...Harry Potterish. Jesus_M_Christ is so, so wrong. But so, so good. DRUNKHULK is exactly what the name implies. Kids, especially little ones are funny as hell. Hence, preschoolgems. And finally, The West Wing obsession lives on in 140 characters of less! A couple of months ago, my friend, Taylor told me that all the characters from the late, lamented Studio 60 on the Sunset StripThe West Wing do, too. Only there's are WAY better. It's like being fed a plotline in little bits. They comment on real life political stuff but also write with the conceit that the SHOW is the real world. Sometimes the refer to the real world as the show. It's magnificent. OH! And Josh and Donna just had Baby #2 last week. ADORBS! In fact find them joshualyman and donnatella_moss, first and you can get all the other characters from there (including Gail the Fish!).

Have fun. Be careful. Don't talk to strangers.

Dear European Tourists...

Welcome to New York City! Thank you for bringing your Euros to our floundering economy. Times Square is super-neato, right? And it's fun to see Broadway shows!!!! Now, while I can see that it's easy to confuse THIS:

With THIS:

The former is your quaint European village. The latter is 8th Avenue. Please note that we, the indigenous population, prefer to move at something slightly quicker than a leisurely stroll--you know, the kind with your hands in your pockets and a cigarette dangling from your lips--when traversing the latter. It's no big. In fact, if you absolutely must stroll, have at it. We'd just appreciate if you didn't do it five abreast. It makes us want to stab and punch. So enjoy America. AND WALK FASTER, NUMBNUTS.

The Populace of the Tri-State