Thursday, December 24, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
- Recently visited Richard's beloved Metropolis Cafe. At least I think he's praised it before.
- I found this article via Alicia Keys' Twitter. It's interesting to hear the background story of her latest album, "The Element of Freedom." Here's a little snippet of an interview with recording engineer, album coordinator, and studio designer Ann Mincieli:
What do you think Alicia got out of expanding her palette with so many new and different synths? Was that inspiring for her as a songwriter?
Yes! It allowed her to paint a picture. We have class before every album. On this album, we decided that instead of trying to learn the synths while we’re on sessions, like we did on As I Am, we spent two months with the manuals, figuring out how everything worked — and by doing that, it unlocked all these sounds, and inspired her to write certain things she would have never come up with.
Two months in Alicia's custom studio "The Oven" just playing around with instruments that come with manuals! Sounds like heaven. Also, I like Alicia's hair here--it looks so fresh and clean. I think I might mimic it next Wednesday. My hair is long, but horribly damaged.
- Thanks to my "Legacy" status in Honey B. Fly, Mariah Carey's fanclub (I think it just means my membership has been renewed automatically for at least 3 consecutive years), I was able to acquire decent tickets at an indecent price to Mariah Carey's concert in February for the "Angels Advocate" tour. I almost hesitated, almost, but...I'M A LAMB FOR LIFE. And I'm making Mordecai escort me. I went to a Skinny Puppy concert once. He hasn't seen Mariah with me. Therefore, he must escort me before she starts a family. QED.
- The kotatsu is back, so I nest in the living room, nurturing a paper, my progress in Assassin's Creed 2, nailpolish, and some baseball cards. I got a couple of 2009 redemptions from Topps (not 2008 Stadium Club): Gordon Beckham and Andrew McCutchen red hot rookies. Finest redemptions are supposedly going to be shipped soon, so hopefully Dexter Fowler's autographed patch comes soon. No photo of the kotatsu right now; the nest is too much of a hot mess.
- On repeat in my head: Lea Michele's/Rachel Berry's rendition of "Don't Rain On My Parade" from the fall finale of Glee. I can't watch "Sectionals" without getting all choked up! I've been meaning to go over Kurt's wardrobe but...I have until the start of next season in April. I must see Lea Michele perform live once before I die.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Anyway, I veered from normalcy by avoiding ViVi and buying the December issue of PINKY. It came with a small, cute PINKY x L'Occitane carrying case/pouch. I most definitely picked the December issue over the November issue because of this particular bonus gift, and not so much because November is the dusty past in the fast-paced world of fashion.
I'm not sure I'd buy another issue of PINKY unless Amuro Namie is on the cover because I feel like I get more bang for buck with ViVi (i.e., more pages). Although, I noticed that because there are so many spreads, ads made to looks like spreads, and features, ViVi seems forced to re-feature the same item multiple times throughout one issue. So in the November issue, a Japanese knock-off of the Balenciaga ankle boot appeared like, four times. I found that to be disappointing, but what can you do? It was a good copy at a reasonable price--I would definitely go hunt for it if I were in Japan right now. PINKY feels a little like Diet ViVi, but there are some decent spreads that I'll feature here. You can find scans of the entire issue (and other magazines if you look around the site) here. The following crude scans are my own.
What is so frustrating is that these magazines will tell you where you can acquire the featured clothes. I recognize many of the stores, and totally know how to get there. Many of the prices are not totally outrageous. The problem is that I'm HERE in freezing Chicago........and with many papers to write and grade [T_T]
Saturday, November 21, 2009
While in line for Gary Carter, I saw Carlos Quentin come out from behind the curtains. He is so rectangular! His head is also kind of boxy! He may have had a bone spur in his foot and subsequently contributed to the White Sox failing this past season, but if you haven't noticed, he's also the tall, dark, and handsome type.
So yesterday, the old man collecting ticket stubs at the entrance made a few remarks about why I was there and jokingly/creepily said he wanted to see me after the card show. Later on, while perusing $5 jersey cards, the vendor came over to me, Mordecai, Joe, and Shaun and he said to me, "I'm sure you had to drag these fellows to the card show!" I said that yes, they were kicking and screaming about it. At another vendor's set-up, Mordecai and I picked out a few cards to purchase and I went to pay. I reported to Mordecai that the vendor gave us a $2 discount. Mordecai said, "Yeah, that's why I made you go pay." (Hmm. How can I exploit Mordecai to get insignificant discounts?)
Maybe none of this would happen if I looked more like the Greg Olsen woman. This lady wearing a Greg Olsen jersey was as wide as she was tall, thereby being pretty much completely round. For some reason she was sitting by herself on the ground next to the escalators by the empty entrance of the convention center. She looked like a fat stray cat, contently lounging in a place where she didn't quite belong. Later I saw her with what seemed to be her family, and they looked like they appeared from the mountains, but wearing Greg Olsen jerseys. But I guess I wouldn't have my little anecdotes to collect, so I will continue to bumble about these card shows, letting Mordecai think we're getting $2 discounts because I paid for the cards. Yes, surely, those four Mike Piazza cards from the 90's are worth $11.
Wait for it, wait for it...
I have to say, it always feels odd standing in line waiting for an extended period of time for something or someone famous. Most people tend to become chatty, and most conversations are more or less open for anyone to join in on. Many people strike me as quite unremarkable despite the fact that they are so willing to open their mouths and talk to everyone about anything that comes to mind. Anyway, I have a hard time not feeling awkward talking to strangers even though I know we obviously have at least one interest in common. Suffice it to say that there was one inane, bro-y man behind me, and an overly chatty and tedious wedding singer in front of me. Was it pure coincidence that the bro-man had hired the singer two years ago for his wedding? Yeah, no.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
"Hi my name is Rachel Berry, and I'm here to sing 'On My Own' from the seminal Broadway classic, Les Mis."
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Yesterday I busted out the penny loafers. I wore them with a black dress and tights; I looked like I was either a week early for Halloween or like I attended a funeral. All I did though was go to my piano lesson, drop by the baseball card shop, and play Animal Crossing which as usual ended up in a nap. At night we went to see UFC 104 in Jonny's basement, so in case someone died, I was prepared to mourn right away. I've seen a man convulse as a result of not the breathing kind of choking, but the blocking-blood-flow-in-a-major-artery kind of choking. I forgot who he was, but I think it was the guy with a gigantic samurai tattooed on his back. Other UFC banter: Lyoto Machida looks like a manga character. I like how he shifts and twists his hips, like he's dancing, but really, he's preparing to kick his opponent. He was the one receiving most of the leg-beat downs yesterday, but whatever, I didn't have to mourn his or Shogun's surprise death.
Also, there's Mordecai locking his door in a new coat from Zara. He seems to be a fan of the epaulets. Why does he have more luck at Zara than I do?
These photos were taken on my iPhone with an app called Toy Camera. Sometimes I walk around with my Canon G9 and/or Sony W300, but end up taking pictures with my iPhone most of the time because of convenience. This is sad, but perhaps it's a sign that some giant companies need to start getting beyond-Toy-Camera creative.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Wednesdays are my "day off." I have nowhere to be except in front of reading material and a computer, presumably typing away at something. But today...the weather was so nice, and the forecast predicts plunging temperature later this week, and my mom called me to play. Outdoor suburban mall, OLD ORCHARD, IT IS!
Instead of classic Bass loafers, I came across these black patent loafers by Cole Haan, featuring some of that comfy Nike Air, ON SALE! Like, almost 50% off! My mom egged me on to get these. And so, penny loafers and I are reunited for the first time since about 1991. I used to put pennies IN the shoe, not in that little slit at the tongue. Now I can dress like Rachel Berry as a 25.5 year old! HAPPY GLEE DAY!
(If you can't tell, I wrote this soon after episode 9 of Glee aired.)
Sunday, October 18, 2009
At the Water Tower, there was an ad for Glee by the bathrooms. Yay, Glee!
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Next, I'd like to catalog Rachel Berry's wardrobe. Even though she gets good grades and is the best singer in the state of Ohio (assuming April Rhodes is on Broadway or in Branson), everyone hates her. Rachel is "that girl." You probably knew someone like her in high school, except that the person you knew probably did not have pipes like Rachel's. Her voice, its strength and inflections remind me of the singing female vocals in Disney movies. I kind of fell in love with her when she said with absolute conviction, "And metaphors are important." I never really fully understood the discussions of metaphor in the philosophy of literature, but I feel like they should always commence with Rachel's line above about her gold stars.
Initially, I didn't really pay much attention to Rachel's clothes. They made her look kind of frumpy in the first couple of episodes, perhaps to enhance the "that girl" personality. In the first shot above, she sits with Mr. Schuster (hereafter referred to as "Mr.Shoo"), frustrated with Glee Club's lack of a male vocal who can "keep up" with her. In the second frame, she attends a Celibacy Club meeting to be with Finn. She is disgusted by having to pair up with Jacob for the "Immaculate Affection." ("If the balloon pops, the noise makes the angels cry.") In the third picture, Rachel doesn't get the female lead vocal for "Gold Digger," and her barfy argyle shows why. On the far right, she's about to "kick [Mr. Shoo] in the nads" by telling him that the choreography sucks. Her shirt and skirt are improvements, but her vest is still...meh.
She might be best known for her traditional school-girl look, by which I mean, her plaid. On the left, New Directions sans Finn and Mr. Shoo go to see Mt. Carmel's Vocal Adrenaline rehearse to ask if Dakota Stanley will choreograph for New Directions. She is about to fire Dakota Stanley in the second frame as she realizes that New Directions doesn't need him. The third shot shows Rachel with a huge plaid bow on her shirt as she waits to see what Sue Sylvester is going to do to the Glee Club. The bow is kind of ridiculous, but somehow forgivable. In the final frame, Rachel shows off one of her other skills, storming out, because Mr. Shoo gave the lead vocal to the West Side Story song to Tina instead of to Rachel.
Here is Rachel in horizontal stripes. The pink and yellow striped shirts look like they are variations of the same shirt, but the pink one has many more buttons and is ruched at both the shoulders and the ends of the sleeves. On the far left, Rachel is standing with her famous sugar cookies that spell out "I'm sorry" for Mr. Shoo for insulting his choreography skills. In the yellow stripes, she is waiting to hear who New Directions is up against at sectionals (a school described as "a halfway house for juvie girls" and a school for deaf kids). In the middle, in red and black stripes embellished with gold buttons, Rachel stands in the hallway as she watches Finn console Quinn, as it had just been revealed that Sue Sylvester knows about Quinn's pregnancy. (I think Sue was hurt that she was one of the last to know before Jacob blogged about it. Sue hurt?! In Glee, anything is possible.)
I knew Rachel was going to be blog-worthy when I saw these prints. On the far left, Rachel sings Rihanna's "Take A Bow" in a diamond-print blouse under a navy sweater vest. In the middle, she is getting yelled at by Sandy Ryerson ("YOU SUCK!") and Rachel cries in the bathroom only to have a confrontation with April Rhodes. Some of the stars on her orange shirt clash, in pink! How edgy. On the far right, she has just refused to show her over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders to Jacob, who threatened to write a scathing review on his blog about her musical if she didn't get her "sweater puppies out of their cashmere cage." Puppies aside, her sweater is so adorable!
Here are some other good outfits. On the left, Rachel auditions for the musical with Celine Dion's "Taking Chances" in a blue cotton shirt-dress. It looks like something you could buy at Rugby during the spring for $200. In the next frame, she looks longingly at Finn in an argyle sweater vest over a gingham-check shirt. I love her hair there. In the third shot, she tries to get the girls to take rehearsals seriously for the mashup competition in a magenta vest with a little bit of ruffles over what appears to be the same purple shirt she wore under the sweater vest I called "meh" earlier. In the last frame, she accuses Quinn of being a mole for Sue Sylvester, dressed in a green shirt with more flamboyant ruffles. She wears another cute ruffled shirt with a plaid skirt when she sings "No Air" with Finn; that frame didn't fit neatly into my outfit-photo-series so you can see that shot here.
This outfit deserves its own time in the limelight. Finn and Rachel go bowling to relieve stress, but his intentions seem mixed. He wants to spend more time with Rachel, but the larger goal is to get her to rejoin Glee Club. Otherwise, New Directions won't win regionals and Finn will be less likely to get a music scholarship for college. Rachel picked the best date outfit! No wonder he pushed thoughts of Quinn aside after the kiss and said "I don't know what's gonna happen in the future, I just know that I wanna spend more time with you now." Her sweater looks like a handkerchief was knitted into it. I'm not sure whether to say it looks nautical- or sailor-themed, or that it just looks French in some way. The blue skirt is apparently by Kimchi & Blue, whose overpriced clothes I often see at Urban Outfitters. I also like her socks. I even sacrificed Finn's head to make sure they were in the picture! When I saw this outfit in the episode "Rhodes Not Taken," I knew Rachel Berry was a fashionista in her own right.
Friday, October 16, 2009
One of the things I really like about the show is the use of color, especially in clothes. Almost every character has a uniform of some sort. The cheerleaders wear their uniforms; Finn Hudson is a Hollister/Abercrombie model; Sue Sylvester appears to be sponsored by Adidas; Ken Tanaka always has bold colored polo shirts, short shorts, a fanny pack, and knee-high socks; Principal Figgins looks sharp in his tweed suits; Will Schuster wears sweaters that Dan likes a lot; Terri Schuster wears lots of low-cut Charlotte Russe-esque tops; Rachel Berry has classic schoolgirl outfits; Tina C. shops at Hot Topic; Mercedes is fly; and Kurt "Mr. Cellophane" Hummel seems to find inspiration in Men's Vogue and probably the regular Vogue as well.
Today, I want to present Emma Pillsbury, the guidance counselor, a "real floozy and a man-eater...a mentally ill ginger pygmy with eyes like a bush baby." OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER HAS NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD!
Emma loves Will. Here she is on the left lamenting over Will's resignation, in a beautiful blue blouse embellished with gold buttons and a cute, slick woven skirt. She's so skinny, but her clothes look so good on her! And on the right, she shares her clean PB&J sandwich with Will. Plaid and ribbons haven't looked this good since Nodame Cantabile! She had a good matching bag, but I couldn't get a good screen grab of it.
Emma has problems with the messy things in life. On the left, she steps in freshly-chewed gum; you get a good look at her yellow and silver Mary Jane pumps. In the middle, she enthusiastically cheers for Will as he performs in the group, "Acafellas." On the right, she has just wiped mustard off of Will's "cute Kirk Douglas chin dimple," but then Sue called her "Ellen" and told her that her blouse was "just insane."
The green sweater with the exposed green stitching is great. You can hear the crisp crunchy sounds of her eating the green grapes after cleaning them with disinfectant wipes. On the right, she is greeting a plastered Kurt. Not long after this screen grab moment, Kurt vomits all over her feet and she has to be taken to the ER for four decontamination showers.
Notice her accessories, too. What is that collar chain? Where can I get them!? The first one has clips of owls! It has eyes just like hers! The second one has flower clips. She's tending to her flowers as Will complains about how he never performed after high school. In the far right green cardigan photo above, there is a similar chain connecting her cardigan, with cute little leaf clips. Sue describes Emma as wearing the kind of brooches that Sue's nana was buried in; here's a good example on the right that she wore on the night New Directions performed "Last Name" and "Somebody to Love."
I am finding out that many of the items in Emma's closet are available to the masses through J. Crew and the likes of Anthropologie. Every time I go into that latter store, I feel like I'm lost in a weird forest and all I want to do is find my way out. Maybe I'll give it another chance.
Stay tuned for my obsessive screen caps of Rachel Berry's wardrobe!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 05, 2009
Do you ever have those moments when shopping where you come across something so wonderful that you gasp out loud? That happened with this coat. I was looking for a different faux fur coat at H&M, a longer and solid colored one, but instead came across this short jacket. I like that it's snow leopard, like my new operating system (many thanks to DJ Price). When I tried it on, Mordecai started laughing and said I looked like an expensive callgirl. I said, "I'll take it."
I'm also proud of my outfits that vary in color. I happen to have pink and blue oxford shirts from Target and matching knee high socks for each shirt. The weather has cooled off a lot, but it's hard to gauge how cold I'm going to be outside. I imagine that 55 degrees is insanely cold, but then I get out there looking like an expensive callgirl and it turns out I'm fine.
Anyway, I go to sleep in this thing, watch TV in it, even get some work done in it. When warmth is your goal, you shouldn't care about how you look and just pick a color or print you wouldn't mind being seen enveloped in. It may not be enough for people who get frigid easily, like me or my mom, so keeping a personal heater nearby might be a good idea. But for $15 or so? I'm not sewing a "blanket that has sleeves!" I want that label with the awesome font.