October 19th, 2006


Manipulative Little Creature

Sometimes Luckie can be really annoying. Like right now. My desk is a disaster, so of course she keeps trying to get on it. And on the bookcase, also a disaster. I suppose I should just pick up, but meanwhile I'm trying to print my ticket to visit the aquarium and she's in the damn printer tray, attacking the paper. Then when I say no, she looks at me with those big eyes and goes "Meowno?"
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Things I've Learned From Project Runway

This post is NOT about tonight's finale episode -- that's right, no spoilers -- but it is about what I've learned, especially about my own personal sense of fashion. This was the first season of the show I've watched pretty much all the way through, and from it I've learned more about what I like and what I don't like, plus what things I like to wear myself versus what things I like on other people but would never wear myself (e.g. put mein white and I look like death warmed over, and no satin, never satin).

Probably the #1 thing I learned is that apparently I have bad taste, or at least different taste than fashion experts, because just about every outfit that was declared "trashy" or supposedly made a model "look like a streetwalker" was one I really liked and totally would wear. (I know, HUGE surprise, huh?) For example, Angela's "dog challenge" outfit (see pic) got laughed off the show as streetwalker-esque, but to me it looked totally funky. I don't think I could pull off a bubbleskirt, but I like the concept! Another example was Jeffrey's black and white cocktail dress, while perhaps not good as a cocktail dress, was totally cool. I really liked the black pleather (?) leggings, which I'm sure lost points in the judging. To me, there's nothing wrong with looking like a hooker, because if the clothes are fun, if you are or aren't, so what? I've hardly ever seen a real hooker who had nice clothes out on the street, have you?

Another type of fashion challenged I liked was ones where the designers had to use non-traditional material, although I also discovered that my favorite outfits differed from a lot of people's. My favorite was the recycling challenge and out of that, I actually liked Kayne's a lot. He got a lot of ridicule over that and I don't know why. There were comments on the makeup being all wrong, on the model looking like she'd rolled around in the trash, but I liked how garish and crazy it was. Too bad most people wouldn't actually wear that look out -- unlike me. I would wear it! I admired Jeffry's blue and yellow paper dress too and was happy it was chosen as the winner. I think I might be the only person out there who kind of liked that crazy ass yellow paper dress that got the designer voted off. I mean, sure, it made the model look kind of chunky, but I love the whole concept, the styling, this origami dress. I'd like to see a rework of that. Anyway, the whole recycling thing sparked some creative ideas in me and I'd like to try making up some outfits for myself that are along those lines -- things I can make without having to sew, but instead can do with duct tape, safety pins, etc. I have an idea for a skirt involving "DO NOT CROSS POLICE LINE" tape and a whole bunch more with things from a hardware store. I might try that for Dragon*Con next year.

I also found myself liking outfits that were sort of "messy," with asymetrical elements, crumpled fabric, intersting layers. I definitely enjoy a sort of factory feel at times, with stuff being sort of an artistic mess -- tailored, with a lot of work put into it, but with a look that's not so square, sleek, etc. I guess some of the stuff I like is kind of punk or industrial, deliberately going against traditional fashion models and being sort of "ugly beautiful." I know I've gone for that look a lot in my own clothes choices, like that hideous dress I bought the other day just because it's wearable and yet will call attention to itself by being such a fashion mistake. I swear, once I lose a bit more weight and fix the zipper in back, I'll post pictures. It's very much like some kind of leftover Star Trek costume.

Then there were some general things I noticed I just don't like. I definitely am not into the ultra-plunging V-necklines. I mean, I'm sorry, but that just isn't a good look, plus you can't wear a bra (certainly not a normal one!) with it, plus there has to be all this space between your tits.. or it just doesn't work. A couple of times designers made it work (I liked Laura's cocktail dress) but overall, no. I love outfits that draw attention to the chest, but not with the V going down to the bellybutton. I also am not a big fan of any dress that looks like a regular, run-of-the-mill prown gown. Several designers produced stuff over the course of the season, including Michael, whose "couture" gown is now available at J.C. Penny, or could be. I mean, why bother designing something like that which has been totally done and is totally normal? I feel the same about a few outfits I saw which reminded me of casual wear you'd find at a big discount store, just sort of dresses made out of jersey with some sparkles on it. Just: no.

P.S. For anybody who's ever wondered, yes, I think that outfit in my icon is a bit much, and I'm too big for it, but f' it, I like it way too much :)
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Dreams are my drug

I don't know what it is, but my dreams have taken a turn for the weird lately. Sometime this morning I had an all-out crazy dream combining:

reality show to see who could "out-weird" hallways in a dorm
guinea pigs that jumped up on you and licked your face like puppies
Jeffrey from Project Runway
college cafeteria where you went in a pool and caught/killed your own seafood
whole set of hand-me-down jewelry boxes that have been traded in numerous previous dreams
woman with mirrors on her floor
dorm lounge rooms set up like the Dragon*Con dealers' hall for amateurs

And I think that's just the tip of the iceberg!
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Good News Thursday

Caleb has given me two great bits of news:

His company needs me to come in part-time, afternoons, for around the new two weeks to make architecture / urban design pattern books. Yay! Work!

He just found a really cheap *direct* RT fare to Munich, and even though it's Delta and not Lufthansa, he's getting them. WE are going in December. And no, it's not a gift, I'm paying him back. OMG, yay, something to look forward to!!!!!

Luckie Late Bloomer

It only took her a year to learn the joys of looking out the window. Recently she's wanted to be with me here in the office and knocked over some boxes on the windowsill to give herself some space to lounge. Lo and behold, she's now sitting there every day looking at all the people, vehicles, pigeons, etc. five floors down. Previously she only showed interest in the windows at night, which I thought maybe was because she saw bats flying by or something. She appears quite fascinated with something at the moment, probably a truck unloading. This is perfect for her, as one of her main personality traits is this constant attitude of "What's this? I must study it!" She will poke her head into anything I'm doing to see what it is, whether it's medicated foot cream or pizza or a PDA and studies any unusual behavior of mine (stretching, dusting, organizing books) like she's going to write it down in her daily report.
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Halt! Make sure the hosen on correctly on!

So today I opened up a new pack of fashion tights I got in Germany at some point. Bright orange! When I took the out, I noticed an instruction sheet, complete with illustrations. Never got one before, despite buying this same brand (Desiree) before, and I must say, I was greatly amused. And hey, it's educational, at least for people who have issues putting on panty hose, tights, etc.

Here's a translation:

Dear Customer!

Fashion tights are a sensitive piece of clothing. To guarantee the correct fit on legs and body, we recommend the you follow these wearing tips (especially for products with elastic):

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1. Roll tights down to the tip. Then carefully pull them over the toes and heels.
2. One leg at a time, pull up until just over the knee, being sure to stretch evenly.
3. Repeat the same thing to pull up your thighs.
4. Now for an optimal fit, check to see that the top and panties go up to the waist. After this, pull the tights somewhat away from the tips of the toes. Thus you will get comfortable freedom of movement for your toes*.

Having long fingernails or wearing jewelry on your hands when putting on tights can cause holes and runs.

* In German this is "So behalten die Zehen genuegend Bewungsfreiheit." I think my new fake German band name (led by Wiebke) is now named Zehenbewungsfreihet, or Freedom of Movement for Toes.

P.S. I have no idea why I have gone and posted this, other than I did think it was funny in some odd way and I guess I wanted to practice my German.
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Darling Name Tool!

Found while cleaning out my email... a msg I sent myself a while back, meaning to post...

There's this amazing web site (http://www.spatial-literacy.org/) done by a British university that let's you search on (British) last names and find out information on their geographic distribution, how many people have, popularity in 19th versus 20th century, even demographic info on people with that name.

I did a check for Darling, and it tells me:

- Name is most popular in Galashiels, a town way up in Scotland, near Edinburgh.
- The map shows heaviest Darling population in Scotland.
- Moderate amount of Darlings in southern England.
- US State with most Darlings: Vermont.
- Name is "urban" (73% last name are "more rural")
- Name more popular/frequent in U.S. and Canada than in U.K.
- Name was significantly more common in 19th century in U.K.
- 99% of Darlings are British ethnicity

It only works for British names I think. I found it confirmed some observations I've made on my own, e.g. Darling is not a very common name in England. Also, my dad tells me that his family hails from southern England, likely the Portsmouth area, as they came to the U.S. as established sailmakers, with a long history of shipbuilding. (Several settled in my dad's hometown of City Island, NY, where they carried out the tradition, building sailing ships, yachts, etc. My recently deceased uncle was a sailmaker and my grandfather help build the old wooden America's Cup yachts.)