Friday, February 28, 2014

Breaking Beard



I feel like my posts lately have been kind of shallow. I feel like maybe once in a while I should write about something important that affects us as mature women, something that is fundamental to our well-being and self-image. So I've decided to write about facial hair.

This actually started out to be a funny post. But then something changed. After wearing my Frida necklace in my last post, I realized I had never really appreciated her strength and amazing originality.


Her unibrow and mustache fit in with my idea of writing about facial hair and led me to some interesting articles online. SeƱora Kahlo embraced her uniqueness and didn't try to conform – her image was her trademark. But how would you feel about seeing facial hair on women in everyday life?

There's a very interesting article on Jezebel here about a Sikh woman who has a noticeable beard. Her photo was posted on Reddit derisively, but she responded to it with outstanding grace and an explanation of her religious beliefs. The way the story ends is quite gratifying.

I read once that most women would be able to grow an obvious beard if they didn't remove their facial hair. My facial hair is not very noticeable, but I was born a brunette so I do have random black hairs on my face. Some have turned white now, but they're still bristly. Mostly I pluck (I find it so satisfying!) and I also shave my chin. I used to ignore my mustache, but it started looking more obvious to me a few years ago, so now I shave that, too. I leave the softer, lighter hair on my cheeks.

There is a little patch of black hairs under my lower lip, which I usually shave. It's my own little soul patch. (According to the Urban Dictionary the term soul patch has been replaced by dork tuft or douche tag, but Ima stick with soul patch.)

Howie Mandel's soul patch - Creative Commons

I've decided to leave it alone for a while. I admit I'm a little cowardly because I'm not going to stop plucking and shaving all the other hair, and I really don't think my soul patch will be very noticeable. But I'll know it's there, subverting convention.


my  little soul patch - can you see it?

Is that radical? Would you grow your facial hair?

Val

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Do NOT sing that Jimmy Buffet song!

The prompt this week at Spy Girl's 52 Pick-me-up is to dress as your favorite libation. I think it's pretty obvious what I am.


This is an idea I had years (and years) ago for Halloween. In a thrift shop I saw a Lurex pantsuit in a dark lime-green, and I thought it would make a great margarita costume! I would make a lime hairband or earrings, and that would be it. But I didn't buy the pantsuit, I think it was too small, so I never became a walking margarita - until now.


On top is twin set I bought at Target almost eight years ago. It's the only thing I bought new in this outfit. I love the color, and I wear the cardi a lot with other things. On the shelves is a rotary dial phone acquired when I had to clean out a storage unit. I blinged it up myself. There's also a vintage Disney lunchbox (Ludwig von Drake in Disneyland) that was used by my sister, brother and me. Now it holds my sewing stuff.

White pants and sandals - thrift store; white "salty" necklace - hand-me-over from my sister; "lime-and-salt" earrings - made by me; tequila - Lunazul.



But here's the bonus!



My  very own Frida necklace from the lovely and talented Tamera, The Menopausal Supermodel. This has turned my outfit into a Cadillac Margarita!


Uno mas, por favore! I'm also going to link up to The Citizen Rosebud's inaugural Shop Secondhand First Friday. And, oh, let's go over to Share-in-Style at Mis Papelicos for the music theme, but still NOT singing that Jimmy Buffet song.

Val

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Of Love and Happiness

First of all, thank you to those who commented on my last post and recommended that I jump to the end of my book, or look online. I did go online to read a synopsis of the book - it was very poorly received, by the way, no surprise there. The big secret that was going to change everyone's lives was - are you ready for this? - artificial insemination!!! That was it. Glad I didn't waste any more time on the book just to find out how unsurprising the secret was. Ho hum.


Now, February is not only the month that holds Valentine's Day, it's also the month of my wedding anniversary. Eighteen years ago on the morning of our wedding day, Mr. S woke up next to me in my parents' house (shocking!) and whispered, "Help!"

To celebrate his entrapment, we went out for a nice dinner on Saturday night. This is what I wore.

I just realized I hadn't put lipstick on yet!

Yes, it's basically my Magical Mystery Tour outfit with a few slight changes. So let me show you something new.

Smile!

The embellishments on the lapel of my Guess coat include button flowers from Megan Mae, a small brooch that belonged to my dad's Aunt Dagmar, and a button of the Eiffel Tower I bought at the Brownsville Art Association last fall.


We went to a little bistro to have some yummy pizza (smoked duck) and ravioli, and listen to music.

Emily Jensen and Tim McLaughlin


We weren't that drunk - honest, Officer.

I'll be linking up with Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style. Come join us to feel the love, or just listen to the reverend.
 

Love and happiness, baby.

Val

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tomorrow Today Thursday - T3



Are you feeling thoughtful?


I'm taking part in the inaugural link-up of Thoughtful Third Thursday (T3), hosted by My Closet Catalogue and A Bibliophile's Style. It's all about books and outfits inspired by them, so please go check out some of the other participants, especially if you want some ideas for books to read. 

I'm not sure yet if I recommend my book.

 

Right now I'm reading Tomorrow by Graham Swift. Swift is a contemporary British writer, and I've only read one other book by him – Waterland, which was excellent. Tomorrow is more challenging.


The book is written in the first person by a mother of sixteen-year-old twins. She's writing to them during the night before a big change is about to happen: tomorrow their father will sit them down and tell them something that will alter their lives completely. She writes about meeting her husband, their marriage, and their lives together both before and after the twins were born. 
 

She's an art dealer, in London no less, so kind of my dream life if I'd had any ambition. I'm recreating an outfit she might wear – business-like but with a little bit of flair, dahling.

reading glasses, not my everyday glasses; suit - Marks & Spencer; top, shoes and tights - retail somewhere; belt - thrifted; scarf - JCP; pin - retail circa 1980s; Spanish silver earrings I've had since 1975
 
This is the only suit I own, and I bought it around 1999. The book is set in 1995, so the style is about right. See the sharp shoulder pads and deep-cut armholes? It's beautifully tailored and detailed, but I don't really have much occasion to wear it anymore (and I can't get the skirt zipped anyway). So for now it hangs in a garment bag, waiting for the day I have to make a good impression in front of a judge - haha!


Now, about the book – the writing jumps around A LOT, and it gets kind of irritating! The narrator starts a story and then wanders off into other details and the stories behind them – just when you're starting to follow it and feel like you're getting somewhere – and then interrupts the sentence like I've just done, but sometimes with longer phrases. Did that sentence irritate you? That's nothing. This is from the book:

“…and what with this and all the sharing of our earlier years, I may even have had a fleeting picture of the long, rhythmic waves that used to roll and spill, not onto Brighton beach, but onto the sandy crescent bay at Craiginish in Scotland, where I’d spent summers as an unsuspecting girl and where one day, yes, Kate—I certainly wouldn’t have suspected this on that night in Osborne Street—your father would propose to me, actually if not exactly formally propose to me, in the dunes.”

See what I mean?! It's kind of infuriating! I might have already given up on this book and thrown it across the room except my curiosity won't allow me to. I must find out what the hell the big secret is! I think it's going to be something a little weird, completely unexpected. I just have to stick with it to find out.


 Or I could just jump to the end…

Val

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Magical Mystery Tour

Last Sunday night I watched "The Night that Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles". The "night" in question was their US debut on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. Critics were split on the Grammy salute, but I enjoyed it! Paul and Ringo performed together, lots of other musicians did covers - it was like nostalgia porn!
 
Then I had a dream the other night. I was wearing this outfit.

The jacket was seen recently on Valastasia.

Someone once told me this jacket reminded them of The Beatles. It's weird because I'm not usually that aware of my clothes in dreams, but these were clothes I actually own and they made a nice outfit.

Mr. S's record - I Saw Her Standing There, Misery, Anna, and Chains

In my dream I was ready to go out, except I had wet hair in a towel. I figured I would fix it when I got to the nightclub or bar or whatever. I got on a bus with a bunch of young people, holding my towel and a blanket.


I was aware that I was a little old for this group and that I really should have done my hair at home. What was I thinking?  

When I got off the bus I realized I was in London, and I didn't have to go to the clubs. I was free to wander around London and do whatever I wanted. Why didn't I bring a map?! So I just started walking. I turned up a dark, empty street with old buildings, and although it was dark I could see spring blossoms on the trees and lots of flowers in planters. It was lovely! I ended up at the Liverpool Boat Club (?), and then I woke up.


I also had one of those odd coincidences this week because of the Beatles special.

David Grohl of The Foo Fighters did a couple of songs on the show, and I looked him up to get more background. Among other things, I found out that he met his former bandmates in Nirvana, Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic, through another musician called Buzz Osborne who is the founding member of The Melvins.

I found this out on Wikipedia, and I had to look up The Melvins, although I'd heard their name. They're sort of obscure - and they're not pretty - but they're still rockin' after 30 years.

Then Shirley Temple Black died, and I looked her up on Wikipedia, too. She had three children, the youngest of whom is Lori Black, aged 59. Lori was a rocker, a bass guitar player known as Lorax.

She used to play bass with The Melvins. Weird, huh?

And then I found this picture of Lori and her mother meeting The Beatles circa 1964.


Jacket - Coldwater Creek; shirt - Crazy Horse, JCP; skirt - Christopher & Banks; tights - Target; boots - JCP

So that's how things are In My Life. How was your week?

Linking up with Tres Chic Style Bits at Searching the Inner Me.

Val