Tuesday, April 30, 2013

city of light

See, that headline up there is a double entendre, referring both to the six megatons of sunlight, all of it above freezing (!), flooding our fair cities and to Paris where she lived and learned to put together bike + basket + skirt to make a charming way to carry your baguettes.
She described speaking English with a millionaire's daughter for a free apartment with Eiffel Tower views and trips to the Mediterranean, and I thought, Bon, very bon, and she tossed off like crumbs from a croissant,  It's never too late.  
Well you know how popular I am with French people, and my facility for the language which is nothing short of shocking, and lost in a reverie with an overbearing accordion soundtrack, I rode home and mucked around with rotten stuff in my jardin.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Best Interpretation of Middle School Goth For Losing a Contest

Much as this is going to bum out admirers of the goth lifestyle (wait, do goths express dissatisfaction by being happy?), this soon-to-be proud owner of a Psych/Japanese double major from Macalester is only sporting this costume to comply with the stipulations of a contest.  As my blog is not one of those contest loser blogs, she felt it only fair to apprise me.  So we're making an exception here and appreciating the fact that she nailed this look down to the beat up square-toe kicks and (I hope) razor-made hole in the fishnets.  Extra points would have been awarded for incising a DIY tattoo of that stupid Obey face with a Bic pen and/or pushing a rusty safety pin through the eyelid.  Or perhaps just having pink eye. 
As a Psych major, she's going to have to explain why public gothing (and dinner) was the punishment for incorrectly predicting the Oscar winners (she was totally robbed on a technicality involving best script for a short foreign language documentary with lemmings in it).  Particularly to middle school goth enthusiasts who are not known for their happy-go-lucky demeanors.  It'll be like a senior thesis.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

subtlety sucks

What happened in Vegas didn't stay in Vegas. Carried across state lines, I was blinded, dazzled, by the flash of 10,000 real diamonds and this woman's Go Bling or Go Home sensibility.
Meeow,  she declares these perfect for bike riding. Harley-style.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

easy rider

Freak flag flying,  fringe flowing, sweet after-market basket rigged up --  he knows time, man.  That's a Peter Fonda/Easy Rider reference young friends. This bad-ass biker got the jacket at a thrift store in Brainerd and the crack in his aviators at a rave class. 

Can we talk for a minute about thrift store leather? And by we I mean me.  I'm willing to do some pretty dirty things for under $10, but I usually draw the line at thrift store animal products because I know they represent 20 or 30 years of accumulated dead skin cells, dandruff, oils, bodily fluids and the ooze from a neck boil.  Never say never though. 
I found this butter soft and unspeakably filthy Moschino Cheap and Chic wonder at a Rockford, IL (home of Cheap Trick and other bacteria) Salvation Army for $4.99.  What would you do?  Using rubber gloves and disposable plastic forks, I dropped this thing in my dad's laundry tub with many gallons of warm water, Dove dishwashing soap and good ventilation.  I swooshed it around pretty vigorously, raked the inner collar and armpits with the plastic forks, rinsed it under the tap, squeezed gently and dried it flat on a rag.  Came out with softness intact and nastiness neutralized. I have not gotten a rash nor a boil. As far as I know.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rule #1: Be pretty

And by pretty, I mean pink.  And fluffy.  And sparkly.  It should be pointed out that the fearless style leader above rocked this look for dinner at D'Amico (duh, heels for evening) in spite of the soul-crushing 28 degrees and stinking 6" of slush between her limo and a plate of mac and cheese.  Pink maribou says Do Not Compromise.  Boots are for suckers.  Unless it's summertime, 110 degrees and you're accessorizing your knee-high heart-spangled rubber boots with a swimsuit that's a little pilly on the ass.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

record levels of grooviness

It was Record Store Day outside Hymie's Vintage Records on E. Lake Street (but not at the likker store next door where I think it was Pucker Day) giving young people the opportunity to blister their fingertips flipping through bin after bin of vinyl looking for the Stones' Sticky Fingers album on which the functional zipper was indeed still functional.  Unfortunately, the outdoor environment cannot allow an accurate recreation of the toxic record store funk -- a miasma of smoke (absolutely anything that could be rolled was set on fire and inhaled),  sweat, teen angst, dirt that predated Buddy Holly and patchouli which was meant to cover it all up but instead acted as a binding and thickening agent so that the parfum de head shop stuck to your clothes and skin and nose hairs and sinuses pretty much for the rest of your life.  So that's kind of an important element that was missing from this experience.

This hep cat (undoubtedly a Libra) amped up his look with a super groovy Peter Max-esque caftan and a truckload of irony, what with the jacket and all.  Did I say caftan? You bet I did, because inside the jacket, the loose flowing sleeves of said caftan with mind-blowing ball fringe were peacefully resisting fitting inside the uptight confines of the armholes of the establishment.  He thinks he may have gotten this love-in at a thrift store in California. Or something.  He's a lot surer he's in a band, a band with no cards, a band with the name Cat in it.  Like FogCat (a-thank you, you're too kind).  Or CatrWall.  Err, I dunno.  Maybe one of us smoked some acrylic earmuffs by mistake.  He was supposed to email me with the name so I could give proper credit but I guess he is a great big psychedelic liar.  So, a Gemini then.

Monday, April 22, 2013

graphic design and wire rims

My friend and owner of My Sister's Closet in uptown, Rosemary, once wisely said of vintage clothing and vintage people -- You can only wear a look once.  Meaning bellbottoms and Qiana knit shirts should be off limits to me. Note, should.  In a better world.  The loophole I'm working is that my mom, whose style inspiration was Jane Hathaway of Beverly Hillbillies fame (a show she never saw as we Northbrook Hillbillies did not have a TV),  had a pretty tight hold on my wardrobe. Thus, by the time I was able to buy myself a pair of bellbottoms from the clearance rack,  I was out $8.99 and still hopelessly off-trend. The moral of this story is that my two wrongs make Rosemary absolutely right.

See, the woman above is on the right side of the vintage rule, playing the early 90s geometric sweater and studious wire rims off of her dewy self.  That's why she looks cute.  Instead of demented.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

shades of spring

Man it's bright out there.  These three speak to the general zeitgeist -- soak up the sun with your black fur, put on some STOP-with-the-snow-already color, cover extremities and carry on as if it was April 20th.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

two timer

Am I stalking this woman?  No.  Stalking assumes fully functioning gray cells, more purpose than a paramecium exhibits and better photo skills.  Did I inflict myself upon her once before at the University and Dale farmer's market on a day that was 50 degrees with a -32 degree wind chill when she was wearing plaid?  Maybe.  Do I love love love asking questions and answering them?  Only one love.  
She's a bold and passionate woman, this one, and not very crazy at all.  She's a sketcher (not a sneaker), she's a blogger (limerencelight/tumblr.com), a serial grocery shopper, a former Californian (who should be having some bigtime doubts about now), a cheeseball who is trying to reduce her dairy footprint, and the proud wearer of some leggings that started out riding English and then, whoa pardner, went all Western on the outside fringes. Have I mentioned how vulnerable I am to fringe?

Don't even talk to me about the fact that I cropped and decontrasted and defined the living daylights out of these photos so that you could actually enjoy the rootin tootin fringe as much as I did but the little tiny evil programmers inside my computer whose sole duty in life is to make me absolutely insane with frustration have suddenly disallowed all edits. Goodness, nearly all the blood vessels in my eyeballs popped, I screamed so loud. Oddly, this had no effect on the problem.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

area yoga-practising mountain biker seen outside

Dude's not saluting the sun, unless by saluting the sun you mean shaking your fist vigorously at the sky, but he has that healthy glow.  Which he got at CorePower Yoga on Grand. He's a convert, I tell you,  and talked with missionary zeal about how the breathing and mindfulness and balance and fart-inducing core work transfer to mountain biking like fungus on a shower floor.  Actually he didn't mention mindfulness -- I added that because I was getting pretty worked up about the health benefits of yoga, to the point where I was about to dash in and take advantage of the first week free offer. But then I remembered I have been blacklisted, at least throughout Minnesota, for inappropriate nose laughing, snaughing, at a Bikram session about ten years ago -- I haven't been mindful or grounded since. Obviously.
 I did not immediately peg this guy for a yoga-practising mountain biker -- I noticed his small but relevant style moves.  Note the world of difference between your average my-most-important-commitment-today-is-to-SlimJims hoodie and this cute but manly sweater by Scotch & Soda.  And while he could have just done it with basic sweatshop-made footwear, he stepped out with sun-saluting sole sneakers by Tom.  Tom's.  Whatever.  Anyhoo, just talking with this guy was an uplifting experience, cleared my mind like huffing Vicks Vaporub.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

the Twins are struggling now

Oh man, it's come to this. Plus, I wanted to beat the Pulitzer Prize-winning Star Tribune in the use of that headline up there.
I want to support you in your time-wasting efforts. God knows, I try.  Just want you to know, I'm here for you -- whatever it takes man, whatever it takes.

Monday, April 15, 2013

LOOK at this and not at the end of life as we know it outside

 In four trips outside my house over this extra-season January I saw no people whatsoever. Whosoever.  None.  Mildly disturbed by the post-apocalyptic depopulation, I decided to show you nifty stuff inside my house instead of the depressing shit outside, to bust up the catatonia.  Example Pedonk-a-Fluff above.  PTA meeting?  WWF night Big presentation?  You decide.

Cue something by The Carpenters and a very special bride, a 6'3", 110-pound flower child who nonetheless has opted to register with the state instead of simply shacking up and making her own goat cheese and children.  If this describes you, let's talk!  This is a very long hit of gorgeous cotton lace that I bought for $10 when Go Vintage closed their Selby Ave. store.  Why?  Because it's beautiful. Because it was $10.  Because it feels like the dress my foundation-shunning 1970s self would have liked instead of the spangly short-sleeved A-line clearance rack special I got that was neither audacious enough to be outright hideous nor flattering enough to be classic.  It's the concrete (literally) embodiment of my immense apathy toward weddings.  Many of the guests at our nuptials took this as a sign of my apathy toward the institution of marriage, commitment and/or my husband and put their return addresses on the toaster, the blender, the Tupperware.  In so many ways, beyond just cup size, I'm the anti-Kardashian  --  total indifference toward the wedding,  ridiculous abiding interest in the groom.  I hope the chick who wore this is happy with her life and her goats.

And finally, this just in, a Miss O by Oscar de la Renta velvet bodice with a grey wool parachute. The whole venture is lined and weighs 60 pounds easy.  Oddly, the elbows show considerable wear, indicating Miss O attended a fair number of work events and thus, by the end of the evening, was propped up by her elbows and several robust cocktails.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Cuz every girl crazy 'bout a sharp dressed photographer.  It's rare, maybe, for someone not sporting an undershirt and an open bottle of Sharkey's Whiskey and Liniment to call up ZZ Top.  Quite the contrary, her stripes n boots n crossbody bag are so neat and the thin yellow belt so poppin, I practically saluted.  That is not well-played short hair. That is crazy-making long by her usual velveteen standards. She's a photographer. In the same way that I'm a writer.

Monday, April 8, 2013

grunge makes me happy

I have been working my... my pedals to the... I have been working like a rented mule, friends, trying to excite my rods and cones.  I have lurked in well-peopled areas like the pick-up window at Walgreens.  I have staked out coffee shops where latte addicts are likely to have put on something over their tattoos in anticipation of, at some crucial caffeine/lymph ratio, feeling as if they might live one more day.  Knowing that young people, driven by unspeakable hormones, might still harbor enough will to live and have meaningless sex that they butter themselves and put on jeans and eyeliner, I shamelessly cruised our local institutions of higher learning and hookups.  Nuthin.  Uggs.  Fake Uggs.  Salt-stained, slumped over, hopeless Uggs.  And snot-crusted fleece. 
Oh wait -- that was mine. 
Anyhoo, there is a bleakness, a universal attitude of despair as sodden and heavy and methadone-soaked as a Friday night in Blaine.  Such that, grunge (above left), the sartorial language of nihilism,  actually perked me up. Indeed the ripped stockings, limp flannel, the ironic wolf-motifed t-shirt and our lad's chlorox-it-your-own-effin-self 'do  and i-did-not-photoshop-those-pins gave me a warm happy feeling. Thank you my who-cares mofos.  I am so awful glad you left your dorm room today.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Titians by dairy

How lucky is this woman to not only have TWO red-haired children (only one is represented here, and what a beauty Beatrice is) but also a lifelong pair of Frye boots?  Rhetorical question friends, but now it's time for...
1.  In the U.S., 2% - 6% of the population has red hair. I'm going to put a finer point on that and say Minnesota, with its strong northern European representation, is probably closer to 6%.
2.  Scotland leads the world in percentage of redheads with 13%. Ireland follows with 10%.
3. Being a recessive gene, both parents must carry the gene to have a redhaired child.
4. Red hair rarely turns grey -- it goes blond, then white.
5. Red hair strands are thicker than any other color.
6. Redheads require more anesthesia, and do not have universally lower pain tolerance -- they are more sensitive to thermal pain but less sensitive to electrically induced pain (I don't want to think how this data was obtained).
7. And by being uppity and calling red hair titian, I'm referring to the 16th century Italian artist who painted so many redheads, his name became associated with the hair color.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

These boots were made for gawking

Jimi, Mick, George after the ashram period -- these things are like energy vortexes, made for flamboyant personages, or a Macalester student, as the case may be. All I know is,  they caused me to apply the fake brakes on my 10-speed with all due intent (I'm having a bumper sticker made for my ass that says, I brake for embroidery) as I passed Dunn Bros. on Grand. Her friend in Bangalore travels around India, finding grannies and other persons of great skill who can make this carpetbag-weight embroidery, and cobblers to shape it bootwise and, wham bam, they're only sold at street markets in Bangalore.
Works of art worn right, with black and jewelry.  Let the records show that I was swaddled in tights, fleece and a down jacket. And of course, a super-Dork bike helmet. Which is why she is laughing.

Monday, April 1, 2013


As the title says in one word, this is Heidi. She's wearing her mum's Harley Davidson boots because they're badass + comfortable.  What she's really pulling off here is innocent (floral dressette, Valentine's socks, uber-shiny combed hair) and whoop-ass (boots, nose ring, strong hint of tats).  I assume her mum was wandering through the Institute of Art shoeless, so I'm sort of surprised I didn't see her.