Wednesday, August 31, 2011

On Rachmaninoff's Birthday

     I am so glad that Larry Rivers made a 
statue of me

     and now I hear that my penis is on all
the statues of all the young sculptors who've
seen it

    instead of the Picasso no-penis shep-
herd and its influence--for presence is 
better than absence, if you love excess.

     Oh now it is that all this music tumbles
round me which was once considered muddy

     and today surrounds this ambiguity of
our tables and our typewriter paper, more
nostalgic than a disease,

     soft as one's character, melancholy as
one's attractiveness,

     offering the pernicious advice of dreams.
Is it too late for this?

     I am what people make of me--if they
can and when they will.  My difficulty is
readily played--like a rhapsody, or a fresh
     -Frank O'Hara, 1954; from Selected Poems

I really love Frank O'Hara.  Most of the time I have no idea what his poems are about, but I love the mood that they put me in.  I read this one a few days ago, as we were working on redecorating our common room.  This is an exception to the mood-but-no-comprehension rule.  I read it as being about artistic inspiration and interpretation, and the nature of creativity.  I especially like the last stanza of this poem.  I am what people make of me--if they can and when they will.  I am what people see me as, but only if they're able to see me.  Isn't this great?  I eat this stuff up.  

What do you think it's about?

And speaking of a "fresh house", here is ours:
My roommates are pretty cool. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

We Be Creepin'

That's what my roommates tacked up on our window for the campus to see.  We've been sitting in said window for the last half hour watching people.  A few people have taken pictures of our lovely message, so we try our best to appease them and act creepy in the background.  
I really wanted to wear this outfit this weekend, but got sunburnt to the degree that wearing shirts hurt too badly.  I was stuck with boring tshirts all weekend.  I've been dying to wear this shirt since I got it a month ago.  The weather's finally starting to get to the point where long sleeves and pants are acceptable, if not always completely appropriate.  I really love this shirt.  I got it at a thrift store that I discovered near my house the day before I left for school.  For some reason I've fallen hard for button up shirts, and this one has a pretty pattern to boot.  I was sold before I even saw the price tag. ($2!!)  I love resale shops.  
I also finally found a new hairstyle.  I've been doing the same thing for the past two weeks, and I was getting bored.  A sideways french braid pinned back works to keep my hair out of the way and is easy to do.  Also, please excuse the messy room.  It's really not as bad as it looks in the pictures.  The angle just makes it look more cluttered than it is. 
This week I am officially off the rosters at Dining, and am working as a student secretary.  Aside from the fact that now the most harm I can do to myself working is to get a very bad papercut, I can wear nailpolish!  Even though we have to wear gloves in dining, we were also not allowed to have our nails painted.  It's such a small thing, but I'm grateful for the freedom to paint my nails whenever I want, and to keep them painted, even if they're chipped and sad looking, if that's what I want to do.  You can't tell from this picture, but I painted them a sheer pink.  I think I'll paint them again tonight, though.  I'm feeling drastic...

Outfit Details:
Shirt: Thrifted 
Shorts: Forever 21
Shoes: Thrifted
Ring: Castoff of my babysitter's daughters when I was 5
Earrings: Castoff of my mother's 


I'm loving modcloth's latest lookbook.  That they've styled some great pieces and took some great photos is really nothing new, but I think this latest one is one of the best I've seen from them.  I love all the colors and the 60's influence.  Go check it out!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Time After Time

This song is so chill.  I love listening to it at night.  It's romantic, so I picked out a ruffle dress.  The cardigan is for staying warm on cool fall nights spent stargazing, thinking about someone I'm missing right now.

Time After Time

Sunday, August 28, 2011


With every change in season, I tend to make for myself goals regarding how to improve my life.  Most of the time they involve attempting to eat healthier, exercise more, and add other little things to my days that I feel would make them better.  

This summer was no different.  I planned on eating healthier and running every day, in addition to lifting weights and practicing my trombone.  However, between socializing with friends, going out with my boyfriend, and working, most of this fell to the wayside.  I worked in a concession stand, where I have worked for the past 4 summers.  At this point, the majority of the food there holds no appeal for me.  I've simply eaten it all too much over the years.  All except for the ice cream.  

We sell such good ice cream!  That fact combined with my employee discount was bad news for my healthy eating plan.  Long shifts coupled with the heat wave meant that I often treated myself at the end of the day.  

A few weeks before the end of the summer I remembered something that I'd read online a while ago, and concocted a plan.   I challenged myself to not eat any ice cream at work for the remainder of the pool season.  I could still get ice cream out with friends, and I made an exception for the last day, when I allowed myself my favorite one last time, until next season.  If I could stick to this, I told myself that I could splurge on a totem.  

A totem is a self love concoction of gala darling, my all time favorite blogger.  The basic idea is that it is something that you carry with you all day; some sort of accessory or trinket to tuck in your pocket.  It's an emblem of self love, a physical representation of your feelings, and a reminder of your awesomeness.

I went shopping with a friend at the end of my challenge and picked out a pretty ring as both a congratulations for succeeding and as my inspiration to continue making good choices.  It's my reminder to myself that my choices affect my life.  Good choices can mean eating my vegetables, or they can mean eating that ice cream.  It's a reminder to stay balanced, and to love myself regardless of my choices.  
It's just sparkly enough to get my point across to myself, but it's not so gaudy that I'm embarrassed to wear it.  I'm quite pleased with my totem choice.  
p.s. This is post 100!

Friday, August 26, 2011

I love this dress.  This past year I've really fallen hard for button up shirts, and now I guess the obsession is spreading to dresses.  I think this dress would be perfect for wandering around campus in.  I can imagine floating across the quad in this as the sun shines through the trees on the way to my humanities class.  Pretty!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Happy Thoughts for Thursday

Chapter.  Tonight is our first chapter of the year, and I can't wait to see all of my sisters and hear about everyone's summer.  Also, planning for the new year begins, and how I do love to plan!

New job.  I worked one shift of my Dining job and remembered that I hated it.  Instead of complaining, I was proactive and started applying for other jobs.  I got the first one that I applied for, which was the one that I was most interested in from the campus job listings.  It's in the same building where a lot of my friends have classes, the hours are more convenient and there are more of them, and I'll be gaining more marketable job skills.  I'm starting this afternoon!

Working out.  One of my best friends convinced me to go work out with her today.  At six in the morning.  I thought the fitness center would be packed, but it was surprisingly empty.  I guess even the people who work out like crazy aren't nuts enough to do it at six am.

I really do enjoy working out in the morning, though.  It's a nice was to start the day.  After a shower I feel all refreshed and awake, and by breakfast time I barely remember waking up that early!

Coffee.  For my whole life I've disliked coffee.  I thought that it smelled great, but tasted awful!  Yesterday my suitemates made a pot of it, and on a whim I had half a cup, and liked it.  I found the secret: lots of sugar.  I put in about 2 spoonfuls for a half a cup.  I don't think coffee is supposed to be healthy anyway, so it doesn't matter if we make it more unhealthy, right?  Also, I didn't notice any marked improvement in my energy.  I did get really jittery around lunchtime, but that may have been related to nerves as I waited for a decision on the job.  Maybe I just needed more coffee for that effect?  Or maybe I don't need any artificial energy.  Let's go with that.

This morning I could not wait to get my hands on some coffee.  I guess I'm turning into an adult or something.  Everyone told me I'd like coffee by the end of college.  I hate admitting that everybody's right.

Techie people.  Since we moved into school I couldn't connect my computer to the internet without the help of an ethernet cord, despite campus-wide wifi.  I made an appointment with the computer help center, and a nice guy there fixed my computer in less than ten minutes, free of charge.  God bless 'em.

Being able to paint my nails. This is going back to the job thing.  Part of health code is that dining employees can't have their nails painted.  Since I'm no longer a dining employee I can paint them whenever I want!  I won't have to take it off every two days anymore.  Gotta love those little bits of freedom.

Spanish.  Yesterday's class was conducted almost entirely in spanish, and I understood it all.  I love knowing what's happening!  This year's teacher is really good, and it working with us on pronunciation and technique as well as grammar and spelling, which I love.  I guess teachers who actually help you learn should be its own item on the list.

Good rehearsals.  While bandcamp was a little brain-melting, this week's rehearsals have been going really well.  I'm really impressed with the band, and with myself.  Our hard work is showing!

More Coffee!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Loss of Big Ideas

In one of my classes today we were discussing the purpose of college and this generation’s communication and thought processes, when the topic of hipsters came up.  Hipster hating has been very prominent lately, with sites like the hipster handbook and latfh gaining popularity.  One classmate voiced her opinion of hipsters.  This classmate said that hipsters upset her because unlike counterculture groups of previous generations, hipsters don’t stand for anything.

In every generation the counterculture movement had an objective.  Unlike the hippies, who stood for peace and freedom, and the punks, who stood against the government, hipsters seem just to stand.  In an increasingly conformist culture, the hipsters stand apart from the crowd.  Is that enough?

Do the hipsters even stand away in the crowd?  Many argue that the hipster movement is really just another way to conform, for people who want to appear to be a step above.  They all seem to dress the same, anyway.  However, the same could be said of the other counterculture groups.  Kids dress up as hippies every halloween, and some still imitate them every day with “boho” styles of dress.  Plenty of kids buy leather jackets and wear their hair in mohawks, wanting to channel the early punks.  Each of these movements had very distinctive styles, just like the hipsters do. Maybe this is a way to identify like minded people, a shortcut to finding kindred souls.

As any movement gains attention, it will draw both admirers and haters.  Since the media is a much stronger force now that it was during previous counterculture movements, it has drawn attention to hipsters very quickly, and the resulting opinions by society were drawn very fast.  Many people, especially young people, saw what the hipsters were doing and liked it.

In my opinion, because of the quick judgement nature of media and thinking in this age, people eager to not be left behind by the bandwagon jumped into the hipster boat before the understood what the hipsters stood for.  This created two distinct groups of hipsters, in my mind: the visual hipster, who imitates what he sees, and the intellectual hipster, who actually thinks about the world.

It is the intellectual hipsters that actually read the books that many label as “hipster books”, books by Sartre and Camus and Kerouac, not to fit the hipster mould but to learn.  Intellectual hipsters care enough about the big ideas that in the age of instant information and spark notes will take the time to read a book and think about what it means.  Imitation is flattery, so if visual hipsters are dressing like the intellectual hipsters and maybe occasionally picking up one of the hipster books, maybe it means that they too want to think.  Many may not know how, as our generation’s attention span has been decreased by the likes of wikipedia and twitter, but they at least approve of thinking.  Maybe someday they’ll give that thinking thing a try, even.  I’m not trying to say that all hipsters who only dress the part are dumb, only that they are slowly identifying what it is that they stand for.  The media moved faster than the movement, and now that counterculture is struggling to regroup and decide on what they stand for.  Given enough time, I’m sure that enough people will get through the books and have the discussions that will allow their truths to come out.

Or, to quote a coworker, maybe we’re all just blithering idiots.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nothing Else Matters

I have a rule: I never like music that my brother loves.  It's not a hard and fast rule, but rather something that I've observed over time and taken as fact.  When it was announced that our first marching show was Metallica, I will admit to being less than thrilled.  My brother likes Metallica, therefore I could not.

After last week's band camp, I haven't been able to get our show songs out of my head.  So I've been doing the logical thing and listening to the originals, non stop.  And I have to admit that I like it.

One song in particular has blown my expectations out of the water.  It's a ballad, a love song maybe, or an inspiration to a friend.  Either way, it's beautiful and catchy.  (And the trombone gets to play melody, so I'm a just a tad biased).

Here it is, in all it's 80's big haired glory.

This is Metallica, guys.  They're known as a nitty, gritty, metal band.  With big hair and mustaches.  Yet, this song is so beautiful, I could listen to it all day.  Oh wait, I have been.  If I were getting dressed to this song, this is what I'd put on.  I picked this dress out because it's a little rough around the edges, a little romantic.  Paired with a big black cuff and some chipped black nailpolish, the Metallica edge is out, without being to greasy old mannish.  The pink shoes bring in a little bit of spark, a little emotion, just like the song.  Yeah, I'm a cheesy mushball.  What's your point?

Nothing else matterns

dress, heels, braceletnecklace, nail polish

On the field during rehearsal the other day, the director asked us to sway while playing this, so that we'd be able to really feel the music.  I wish we were swaying during the actual performance.  This is some pretty powerful stuff.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Back in the Swing of things

This last week I haven't been able to get near a computer because of band camp, and now my internet connection is being finicky.  I'm trying to get back into my regular posting schedule, but with classes starting tomorrow, no promises.

Yesterday my roommate moved in, and her friend's came over to help us move furniture.  The week before that was band camp, so today was the first day in a week that I've been able to wear real clothes.  It feels so great!  Although, looking at this picture, you can definitely see my tan lines from band camp.

Also, how cool is our Hogwarts crest?  My roommate brought it for the common room in our suite.  We're deliberating on how to best turn our common room into Gryffindor Tower.

Outfit Details:
Shirt: free marching band shirt!
Skirt: self made
Shoes: Payless
Belt: H&M

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happy Thoughts for Thursday

It's been such a long week! It's finally winding down, so I may be able to get back into the swing of things again.  Last Thursday I moved down school for marching band camp, and I've been working hard all week long in camp.  I'm making lots of new friends and also working my brain like crazy.  Great things for this week:

Being prepared for band camp. Last year I switched from flute to trombone.  I worked all summer to learn how to play so I'd be ready for band camp.  However, I forgot the fact that trombones are a bit heavier than flutes.  Just a bit.  I spent the entire week dead-exhausted.  This year I added a bit to my workouts the month before camp, and while I've been tired, I haven't gotten to that point of exhaustion yet.

New friends. Our freshman this year are pretty awesome.  I'm still waiting on some of them to come out of their shells a bit, but it will happen eventually.

Old friends.  It's so great to see them again.  They're wonderful.

Ice cream.  There's a new ice cream shop just off campus.  So now we're not relegated to soft serve that tastes like milk with ice chips and looks like playdoh.

Friendly janitors.  The janitor for our floor's name is CJ, and she's really nice.  People generally are, if you take the time to talk to them.

Dining plans.  Yes, yes, home cooked meals are good, but so is the food in the dining halls.  So many choices! So much delicious food.

Sleeping. I took so many naps this week.  After spending 9 hours a day marching or playing and sleeping 6-7 hours, stealing Z's is really vital.  I slept on the bus today, and during the pep rally that we were playing for.  Everyone appreciates sleep, but it's more appreciated when you're doing less of it than you like.

Sunscreen. Without which I would be very severely burned.  Even with liberal applications, I have bad burns on the backs of my knees where I forgot to apply it the first day, and strangely splotchy burns on my forearms and the back of my hand from today.  Seriously, use sunscreen.  It works.  No matter what society says, there is no such thing as a healthy tan.  Discoloration means damage.  Plus, forget about skin cancer for a minute.  Sunburns hurt!  Sunscreen saves my but every day.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happy Thoughts for Thursday

All you can eat pizza buffets
      because sometimes all you need are carbs. And more carbs.
      who meet you for pizza buffets and stuff themselves silly with you,       even when they really wanted panera.
"you could take a lawn chair...or a canoe" 
      (to sit on when you're late to class)
seeing the floor
      My sewing stuff is all put away until thanksgiving break, and I have a floor again!  And a desk, and a dresser top....
New thrift shops
      that are epically big and have
28 cent carpet bags
      that will fit my entire shoe collection.  Theoretically.
Epic train rides
      to fun places with awesome people
drinking enough water
     makes me feel good.  Except for the part where I pee every ten minutes.  you know.
freshly painted nails
     are just pretty.  Moreso when painted with friends.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hair Cut!

Can you believe this was my hair?  I can't believe it was that long.  It looked shorter from the front, since I had layers.  I guess that's what happens when you don't cut your hair for over two years, though.
I have really thick hair.  Before they chopped it off, they had all the salon employees come feel my hair.  Most people have one pony tail, or maybe two when they go to donate it.  I had five.  Actually, the first time I donated my hair the lady tried to cut it all off at once.  I broke her scissors in half.
I was tempted to tell the lady cutting my hair to leave it like this.  It looked cute there, but once I tried to do anything with it, it would have puffed up a la Lady Gaga.  Also, it looked like this in the back:
Normally I hate haircuts, just because I don't trust anyone.  This time, it really wasn't too bad.  I went to a new hair salon, and I really liked it.  It was fancier and also a lot cheeper than the one the rest of my family goes to, and they did a good job with my hair.  I'm really loving it so far!

Monday, August 8, 2011


Saturday night I went downtown with a couple friends to see a dubstep show featuring 16bit and 12th Planet.  I'd never been to a dubstep show before, but from my friend's descriptions they sounded awesome.  This one was a little slow to start up.  The opening act was a little slow, but that could have been the fault of the half empty room.  By the time 16bit started, the room had filled, and people were starting to move.  Personally, I liked 16bit the best.  12th planet was good too, but he ended his songs really abruptly, where 16bit was smoother.

I have never danced so much or so hard in my life.  Live dubstep is unlike anything I've ever experienced before.  Unlike most social dances, there isn't much group of couple dancing done.  Instead, everyone does their own thing.  People dance like they're possessed.  In a way, you are.  Once you start dancing and catch on to the way the music works, it's nearly impossible to stop.  It's like your body is an extension of the music.

I love to dance, and I dance a lot.  I don't know if I could ever dance the same way again as I did Saturday night.  Once I learned to let go of thinking, to let my body move without worrying about how I was "supposed to" dance, or about how it looked, I couldn't stop moving.  All of the dances that I do in the privacy of my bedroom, the things I do for fun where no one else can see, came out, blending in with typical dubstep moves and social dancing moves to make my own dance.  It is really a wonderful thing about dubstep: every person is doing something unique, and together are a mass of bodies writhing around a beat.  It's a sense of solidarity and of community together.

With the sheer volume of music, the energy in the room is palpable.  Frequent bass beats are so loud they can be felt, and because of this the music seems to go through you, become part of you.  I'm afraid to sound cliche, but you lose yourself in music, and it is the most liberating experience.

Needless to say, since I enjoyed the show so much, I can barely walk today, two days later.  While I couldn't keep the smile from my face as we danced, now my body is angry with me.  Stairs in particular are difficult..

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Please Don't Feed The Dust Bunnies

A friend is moving to Milwaukee next weekend, so I made her a housewarming present.

My handwriting normally resembles that of a 12 year old boy; my work with a paintbrush is worse.  I guess it's just one of those skills that I never bothered to cultivate.

I used acrylic paint.  I hope it lasts and doesn't scratch off when she tries to use it!  I also hope that she will want to use it.  I don't know how many people us dust pans as opposed to brooms these days, but I figured it was small enough that she could stash it somewhere if she already has a broom.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Party Time!

Hey, I'm going to a party today! It's Oona's birthday!  She's just about the coolest crafter to grace the internet.  Go say happy birthday to her!  I'm bringing my mom's world famous tripple chocolate cake to the party.  Chocolate cake, chocolate chips, chocolate frosting.  Hungry yet?  I am.

I love this dress.  My mom thinks that it makes me look naked, but I feel like a fairy princess in it.  I got it for homecoming sophomore year of high school, and it still fits and I still love it, unlike a lot of my other questionable formal choices... Plus, it was only $13!  Gotta love forever 21.

I'm so glad to be at this party.  I have to work all afternoon and into the night, and knowing that I'm somewhere else enjoying chocolate cake, pretty dresses, and good company is making me feel better.  Also, I love how that sentence makes no sense at all.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Happy Thoughts for Thursday

Dragon Flies. Yesterday as I was preparing to leave for work, I looked out the window to see dozens of dragonflies floating around outside.  I don't really like dragonflies, but they were quite pretty to watch.  I've never seen so many together before, away from water.  I wonder why they were here.

Plans.  Now that summer is almost over, we're all trying to squeeze in last minute projects and activities before we all have to leave for school again.  I've got a few really exciting things coming up in the next week and a half.  I can't wait!

Trombone Music.  Marching band music is up, so I've been practicing more now.  I love playing trombone, and it's nice to have something to work on again.  Nothing motivates me more than the idea of sucking in public.

When sewing projects go well.  I've been sewing like mad this week, trying to get everything done before I leave for school.  Everything's going surprisingly well.  The current project is a hand drafted coat for a friend, and it's going better than I expected.  Theoretically I could finish it tomorrow, and then have only one project left!

Back to school activities.  As much as I don't want to leave home/friends/boyfriend or go to class, I'm getting excited to go back to school.  Band camp is going to be so much fun, and I'm excited to have a routine again once classes start.  Also, back to school means shopping for school supplies, which I have always loved.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Strangest Thing

I really don't know what this is.  This was my mother's "dress", from the 90's.  I say "dress" because technically it is a romper... I mean, it has shorts under it, but they're too loose to really be of any use.  You still have to sit like a lady.  Then, there's the skirt part, which is really just a flap over the front that wrinkles the instant you try to sit like a lady.  So yes, I have no idea what this is.  But it's comfortable, so I wear it on hot days.
This may be the last time that I have a sidebraid for a very long time.  I'm kind of sad, but also kind of glad.  It's kind of my trademark.  I once was referred to as "the sidebraid girl".  Yeah, time to move on.  I want to be more than my hair.

My brother took the photos for me today, in about 30 seconds.  So these are what I'm stuck with.  I'm not showing you the other freaky pictures.  You know, the ones that look like this.
Yeah.  We have fun.
Outfit Details:
Thing: my mother's
Shoes: DSW
Belt: H&M
Bracelet: the dress up box, circa 1996

Jumping on the Trendwagon: Fishtails

Fishtail braids have been a hot topic around beauty departments in magazines this past year.  Articles and tutorials have abounded; here are some from seventeen, glamour, and cosmo, to start with.  I understand why they're so popular.  They're easy to make and blend easily into a number of different styles.  Fishtails look great for people trying to achieve the boho look, and also can work great with other styles.  They're similar to french braids in that your hair doesn't even need to be too long for this to work.    Personally, every time I wear fishtails I get stopped and asked how to make them.  If you're looking to rack up some hair points, they're perfect!

I have another secret reason why fishtail braids are wonderful, that none of the magazines seem to have realized yet:  Fishtails are the perfect day to night hairstyle.

Here's how to do it:
When you do fishtails, you have your hair in two main sections, and you move little strands from one section to the next, right? Right.  Here's the trick.  While you're braiding, continually twist the main sections of hair in the direction that the new strands are going.  As you look into a mirror, the two sections of the braids should appear to be twisting away from each other.  Braid your hair this way while hair is still damp, and leave braided for the duration of the day.

When you're ready to go out at night, simply undo the braids and shake your curls out!  If your hair normally is slow to take a curl, a little hairspray may be in order; otherwise, you're done styling!  This method of hair curling produces spiral curls throughout your head with minimal effort on your part!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Come on, Don

Still thinking about the renaissance faire yesterday and all of the cool costumes that people were wearing.  I've decided to dedicate this week's Music Monday post to the theme song of the ride home from the faire:
Donald, Where's Your Trousers?

Anyways, who doesn't love Thomas the Tank Engine?  I know I was a fan when I was a kid.

After seeing all of the people dressed up in corsets and vests, I really want one, again.  I always wanted a corset, but could never justify making one, because I couldn't imagine wearing one around.  However, after seeing the mix of corsets and street clothes, I'm beginning to see possibilities for mixing one in with everyday wear.  Buying a corset costs upwards of $80, so I'm thinking of trying to make one.  McCall's has some legitimate looking patterns, here and here.  I'm not sure if I want to make a more traditional corset that could double as a shirt, or a renaissance vest.  I'm not even sure if what I'm calling a corset is a corset; I consider anything with boning to be a corset top.

This is a fellow burdastyler who made a corset top and matching skirt, that can be worn as a dress or as separates.  I love the idea and what to do it too!  Part of me really wants to make this kind of corset top, that can be worn by itself.  The other part wants to make a vest that has to be worn with a shirt, but that looks really cool too.  I suppose that both types of tops could be worn without a shirt under it by the very brave.  Maybe by the time I get around to making one I will be brave enough to wear it too!

Unfortunately I probably won't have time to work on this project until next summer.  Maybe I'll have it done in time for the Fair next year!