Sunday, July 31, 2011

Free Music! Art & Stuff!

I'm going to Maine! It makes me feel like this picture! I'm going to visit my beloved friend J, eat lobster, be by the OCEAN, smell some salt air, maybe eat some blueberries and soak in the awesomeness that is New England and the Atlantic and Maine. Oh man, do I have some Maine memories... here's hoping these will be less emotionally fraught :)

I went to Windy City Soul Club last night and danced myself clean. I wore the sexy dress I bought at Forever 21 (with shorts under it for biking!) but no pictures have surfaced, sorry. I suggest you go to the link and download (for free) the Second Anniversary Mix, it's over an hour of "rare" soul and totally danceable. This monthly dance party is always really crowded and sweaty but I really enjoy seeing a packed room full of people really get down, and it's only $5.

I've also been listening to a lot of this playlist from Nylon magazine. Today's the last day to download it for free so get on that and join me in being obsessed with that one song by Duran Duran!

I also got this playlist from Pitchfork music festival for free. I'm a little less excited about it but I like the Baths and Toro y Moi songs so far.

At work I listen to a Pandora station of awesome oldies and soul which you can replicate by just setting up a station based on The Ronettes and then saying you "like" everything that you like, which for me is basically every song.

Ok, I'm going to get a library card, look for French Vogue at Europa Books, and see if I can hit up the MCA and/or the beach! Sunday funday! (I'm not going to bike because I'm afraid of ozone though, sad)

Image by Richard Burbridge and artist Maurizio Anzari with stylist Robbie Spencer for Dazed and Confused, via Trendland, via Design Crisis. whoa, linky linky!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Blanket Espadrilles

I apologize for my lack of a better image, I tried to put a few together with paint which is hopelessly frustrating. Will get photoshop one day. Anyway, I started seeing some woven multicolor flats like this and wanted to make you guess: which one is most expensive?

Ok game over. Top left is Rocket Dog, $31.50 here, far right is Rachel Rachel Roy, $59, and the bottom is Missoni, similar ones for $311 here (it comes in other prints or whatever). I dig the Rocket Dog ones but also these by Havaianas in conjunction with Missoni ($130). They also don't seem to have the jute sole that I know from experience gets awful as soon as it gets wet. Cue daydream about Brazil....!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer, Longing

Summer in Chicago is absolutely the best thing ever. My new roommate stood on the porch and declared: "Another day in paradise!" Yet yesterday I was in a funk, feeling that it's slipping away, that I'm not DOING what I want to be doing, that summer will escape without me grabbing it and shaking the living daylights out of it. It bothers me that I can't just let it happen, that I feel the need to wring it out completely. I think sometimes blogs and the internet makes this tendency worse-- when all you see is swimming holes and sunbathing and glamorous beaches and boats and impossibly beautiful women lounging in the sun, and running through sprinklers and BBQs and fires and backyards and and AND AND (seriously though click on my links, they're some of my most-read blogs and/or most summer-evocative posts). I think this is also, for me, compounded because I am only part-time employed and am waiting on a "real job" that will be "fulfilling" and "pay my bills." (I had a real unconsciously Scarlett O'Hara moment the other day, declaring to myself that I'll never borrow money like this again!)
Anyway, I feel this way when I travel sometimes too, the urge to suck it all up and DO THINGS and HAVE EXPERIENCES and not waste time lying in a hostel bed even if I am feeling sick or tired or really actually enjoying reading my book on the roof or whatever. I think it's a fear of the winter, of the dull months where I don't do anything "interesting" when I'll wish (fear of regret?) that I'd not spent my summer mornings inside typing but outside biking and swimming and being gloriously deliciously happy. I don't think it should be this way. When I take a nap on the grass in the sun with a friend, I shouldn't (shoulda, coulda, woulda) feel a twinge of sadness because this feeling will end. Not everyone does.

I think it's why we document, photograph, try to prove to ourselves that we're taking advantage of things before they slip away (suddenly, I can't imagine what it would be like to have a child, growing up and away before your eyes). This morning, I took back up my planner to which I'm devoted when working and in school, and wrote in what I've done this summer. I've certainly been busy, social, having fun, doing summer things, but it gets overwhelming, somehow. It's very graspy, it's very anti-Zen. It's much easier for me to let go of bad feelings than good ones, which I want to preserve like the summer zucchini in my fridge.

Pictures: by my friend T + Instagram of me at the beach, by me of my friends on the 4th of July.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


I got on the Sartorialist! Just kidding, but according to my friend K this girl looks scarily like me. Also, she's searching for chairs in an alley-- could we be more soulmates?

Since dying my hair I've shied away from wearing red but this looks awesome. I think redheads can wear red, it's just a really bold look. Not for the days you want to try to blend in, I guess.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Clothes for Grown-Ups

I went to Forever 21 yesterday with a friend, even though I'm morally against the throw-away and ripped-off fashion of stores like that, sometimes in a moment of weakness I cave to the lures of fast, cheap consumerism. A week or so ago we'd gone and I tried on an orange loose drapey dress, and I couldn't stop talking about it. My friend had picked it out and told me to try it on -- usually I avoid loose silhouettes, and orange, because it clashes with my hair.
There it is! It was nowhere to be found when we went back to the store last night, but I found it online. It was both more expensive and less cute than I remembered, but still a good dress. I ended up buying something "overly sexy" on super-sale. It's short, tight, black and a subtle purple print, vaguely reminds me of a wetsuit, has an exposed black zipper all the way up the front, and has enough coverage for a bra. I'm in love. I don't usually go in for both short and tight, but the rest of it is perfect, and at least it's tough and sexy rather than little-girly and sexy.

Anyway, I was surprised at how few of the dresses there look alright on a tall person like myself. There's just gobs of very short, kinda frilly, flowered dresses that would have looked adorable on me if I was 5. I've noticed a few bloggers seem to go in for this kind of silhouette with a short full skirt, but when I dress like that I feel infantilized and also nervous that I'm flashing the whole world every time the wind blows (which is constantly, because this is Chicago). I actually really like these bloggers, but maybe this style is just not for me. On the other hand, the whole conflation of childishness and sexiness really bothers me. Add my voice to the growing crowd asking for a more grown-up, vintage-inspired look for women. While the femininity signaled in "vintage" clothing is also problematic, I'm much more comfortable in a pencil skirt than a short ruffle.

I hear dudes expressing some kind of interest in "sundresses" and I think the short floral dresses is what they mean. And they look awfully cute on the models, but that's maybe because the photos are cut off above the knee! When you see some girl tugging it down all the time, it's less cute. Heaven forbid she try to bike (not that I can bike in my new dress either). Am I being a prude?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

My New Apartment

This is what moving feels like! I've been trying to unpack but ended up slumped against a pile of winter coats on my bed that I don't know how to find a home for. BUT! My new place is great! It is God-awful hot here today and yesterday and I am so grateful for air conditioning. Sometimes I feel guilty for a/c, like that I'll get used to it and not be able to deal when I don't have it (surely, in my next apartment) or that I'll appreciate the cooler nights less, or something. A constant theme in my life: being afraid of any luxury. The illustration is by Julie Morstad and I found it on What Possessed Me.
 Haha unpacking sucks! But check it out, dudes, I have a closet! I have very carefully packed it chock-full of all my stuff that was ferreted away in various shared closets in my old apartment. My dad was a master packer, and I inherited the same obsessiveness.
My room is so big that my bookshelves fit in there too! It's out of control. Turns out I have even more books than fit because I was colonizing other roommates bookshelf space. Oops.
This is the view out one of my windows. I have another tiny one way up in the corner at the top of the wall, above my bed. It made a nice cross-breeze when the windows were open the first night I was here. One might ask, but you have a/c, I thought? Ah, but the first night I was here, there was an epic thunderstorm! I watched lightning crack across the sky from my front window, and saw it hit the lightning rods on top of the Sears Tower which I can just barely see (!!!!). Then there was a floor-shaking crack and the power went out. A few minutes later, the hail started (!!!) and we heard a cry from the bathroom, where a hailstone broke the bathroom window and hit my new roommate! Bad omens, said my best friend. But I thought it was auspicious, a mark of a new, exciting phase of life. 

Here's a couple quotes about big changes and courage that I read on comments on What Possessed Me that are bucking me up:

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. - Anais Nin

Live to the point of tears. - Camus