Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ramp Up to Eclipse Madness


I live around 30 miles or so outside the path of the totality for the upcoming solar eclipse. We've had nothing but dire warnings about how crowded and terrible the roads are going to be, how cell phone service is going to go down because of people photographing and posting eclipse pictures (and I hope they realize they need a filter on their camera lenses, even on their cell phone lenses, otherwise the sun can burn out their equipment), how we may have dire gas shortages, etc etc. People have reserved hotels in tiny rural towns like Madras, Oregon years in advance.

I have to admit, all this makes me incredibly tired and irritated. Would I like to drive the 30 miles to see the total eclipse? Well, sure. But I'm not going to. I don't want to fight the traffic. I don't want to stand around with all of the rabid picture takers. A total solar eclipse used to be a very magical thing---and now, with all of the hype and people feeling like they absolutely have to have pictures (because in this society, if you didn't get a picture it didn't happen/you weren't there) it feels like it's reduced to some Facebook event. Even a recent Accuweather article aimed at people wanting to take pictures of the eclipse says that people should get their equipment ready in advance because it's an amazing event and "you should be spending at least half of your time just enjoying it".

Yes. I will have 99.99 percent sun coverage where I am and that is good enough for me. I may even make an old school pinhole viewer for the event. I'm not knocking people who need to take the pictures---after all, unless you are an eclipse chaser, as I understand it, there won't be another one across the US for 38 years. But remember, this isn't just some fancy picture to post to social media. This is the moon crossing in front of the sun out there in crazy outer space, blocking the rays of light we need to function on this planet. Magical, and a little bit terrifying.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Dark Mori Shelfie #1

Not being a big "selfie" person, I like the "shelfie" trend. Here is my first dark mori shelfie. I've had the crescent moon hair pins for over 15 years---just rediscovered them the other day.

I'll definitely wear these when observing the upcoming eclipse! Are any of you traveling to see it? Good luck out there!

I know most everyone is surging over to IG---I probably won't and will just plod along here on my Jurassic era blog :) I'm a pretty random poster as it is. 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Taking Back Your Story

Let's face it. You are going to spend most of your life being "old", according to the rules of the dominant paradigm. Especially if you are a woman. We are still generally considered "washed up" around age 35 in this culture. If you live into your 70s or 80s, well, that leaves 40 or 50 years of life. Are you going to live it "washed up" because society says so?

In this era of grotesque website sidebars that scream "They were beautiful in their 20s---now look what they look like!" and seem ever obsessed with celebrity boobs and physicality, it is clear the mainstream is still profoundly sexist and ageist. What to do?

Take back your own story.

By a circuitous internet route, I found myself on Cindy Joseph's website.

picture found here

She became famous for starting a modeling career at age 49. I remember the first time I saw her, I believe in a Sundance catalog, and I thought "holy crap, a woman with grey hair in a fashion catalog!". Now in her late 60s, she has a makeup/skincare line and a blog.. I looked through it. I was really struck by the simple way she stated a key point about how we tell stories about ourselves:

2- Re-draw your graph of life.
"You know, that one that’s in the shape of a mountain. Supposedly, life goes uphill until we hit this imaginary peak called “the prime of life,” and then it’s all downhill from there.
But who drew that picture? It certainly doesn’t match my experience or that of the women I know.
We just keep expanding! My graph of life feels more like an uphill journey all the way. So I re-drew my own picture. You can too."

Simple, but profound. When you automatically picture your life in the frame that bulk society provides for you, it's generally going to be disappointing. So change the frame, the graph, the map. For my own part, I don't identify with graphs or the whole "uphill" thing at all. My personal story map looks more like this:

Some people may not identify with any kind of "map" at all. Maybe they picture floating in the ocean. Flying through space. Whatever. It's your life.

How do YOU picture it?

Monday, May 29, 2017

Thrift Store Therapy---Ghost Hand, Crow, Long Dead Composers

Sometimes I'll thrift something I think I'm gonna sell---then I get home and realize I need to keep it, at least for a little while. So it went with this mid century Lefton hand ring dish. Pastel and floral, not really my style, but the hand is so elegant, and when I set it on my mantle with some other stuff, I realized what a great piece it really is:

I knew I'd be keeping this crow the moment I saw him:


Fabulous resin molded deer plate, I love these. 

Burwood famous composer busts

Mid Century famous composer busts made by Burwood. Along with Syroco and a few other companies, Burwood helped make the 60s-80s awesome with their plastic molded decorative wall art.
These guys are available in my shop.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Getting the Look---Baba Yaga, The Junk Lady, Joyce Byers


I came across the Maximum Middle Age blog when I was looking up the Junk Lady from Labyrinth. I could not believe it when I saw the fabulous "Get The Look---The Junk Lady From Labyrinth" post by Eve Vawter. Eve says:

"... the Junk Lady is such a badass heroine. She's not a tragic figure —  she loves her shit so much that she decides to keep it forever, and not just in her home, but on her freakin' back. There's something to be said for being stubborn and steadfast and saying "I'll get rid of my back issues of Cosmopolitan, but this mixtape I made in 1984? That shit's mine."

Further exploration revealed Get the Looks for Joyce Byer from Stranger Things, Mona "Hatchet Face" Malnorowski from Cry Baby, Maude, from Harold and Maude, Endora from Bewitched, and one of my faves, Baba Yaga. Jessica Jernigan says, in the Get the Look: Baba Yaga post:

"This is what the woman-in-the-know knows: We endure, even when youth passes. Beauty is only fleeting if we let others tell us what is beautiful. We make time our servant the moment we stop fearing it. In the dark places, we can make our own light. And our wisdom is a gift only for those with the courage to understand it."

This site has a lot of other great reads as well, on everything from fashion and pop culture to medical issues, to a domestic arts section featuring Hel(l)oise. Good, thoughtful, snarky and sometimes heartrending posts overall. It kind of looks like it has been several months since they have posted (I do see they have a facebook page) but, at the very least, one should hop over and check out the Get the Look posts under the Beauty Industrial Complex section. Which look do you wanna get?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Goodbye Chris...

I'm not a person who is tied to my phone, so when I heard about Chris Cornell dying, it was a snippet on the radio around 10 oclock in the morning, long after the inter/twittersphere had the news. I burst out crying.

I cried when Bowie died, but this is something much more personal somehow---representative of a definitive period of my own life, when Soundgarden was an intimate soundtrack to my emotions and the times themselves. I was fortunate to have seen Soundgarden in 1990---and then two of Chris' solo tours. I even made a pilgrimage in the 90s to the actual "Soundgarden" itself in Seattle, the musical sculpture park from which the bank took its name.

Kurt Schlosser

When Lemmy died, I listened to a lot of Motorhead---when Bowie died, I listened to my favorite songs of his. It's gonna be awhile before I will be able to listen to any Soundgarden songs. I know there are many people out there whose hearts are broken. And his family: good gods I can't even imagine. Rest in peace, Chris.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Wonderland Style

I recently celebrated Alice Days and that got me to thinking about all the Alice-y stuff that is on Etsy. So here is an assortment of Alice inspired clothes and accessories:

Enamel pins seem to have really exploded as a trend lately. People are making some pretty great ones, and this white rabbit/watch pin is no exception :)

Love these sweet striped fingerless gloves with their little antique buttons.

Every man needs a Cheshire cat tie!

Really, what could be more appropriate than an Alice "Drink Me" flask?

Adorable mini toadstool top hat!

Love this literary dress!

How about these fun, temporary Alice tattoos?

Or one of these Alice book lockets?

Drink your tea out of this vintage-y, Alice-ized tea cup by Angioletti Designs.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Cat Mom Day!

For all you moms of cats, dogs, birds, reptiles, etc :)

Man, I really need to get out the lint roller. Or put a white blanket down on his bed, instead of a blue one that shows every one of his silky little hairs!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

like a fairyland...

I saw this guy tucked into a tree stump when I was hiking the other day. Strangely (or maybe not) I had just been thinking about fairies. The last hike I did, I came across a field spangled with amazing spring flowers---a woman was coming from the opposite side and we both stopped to admire the scenery together. She said " It's like a fairyland!". I nodded in agreement, but as I moved on I thought to myself "it isn't like a fairyland---it is a fairyland!" 

Whether it's a cheeky little alien figurine someone left for discovery (and what are "aliens" but a form of modern fairy, no?), magical purple iris and lilies, or the elephantine fiddleheads of the sword fern, this is fairyland.

But fairyland isn't all beautiful flowers---there is always a hint of danger.

Behold the lovely new spring shoots of the poison oak plant. All red and shiny, like the blisters it will give you if you touch it! One must take care when traversing the enchanted landscape.

Here I am wearing my favorite May accessory---Spring mud :)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Gentlemen....and Monsters


I thought I'd follow up the last post by telling you about some books published by Dver, who did the Polaroid photos in the last post. First off is her bespoke book "Gentlemen, Madmen,Things That Are Not Men". This is an extremely limited edition art book, a labor of love, featuring her Polaroid pictures, antique cabinet card pictures, and original poems. She hand stamped the copper plates on each cover and decorated the end papers with a hand carved stamp. Here is my favorite poem from the book:

The mound is cold but beautiful
It sparkles in the candlelight
The revels can be endless here
For underground, it’s always night
But as the flames die one by one
The time has come, their favorite part
When all the lords and ladies
Take their masks off, in the dark

If you are not into gentlemen, fairies, or monsters (and I can't see why you wouldn't be!) Dver has some other interesting books out, including her pamphlet "Working With Animal Bones". She distills years of valuable experience in cleaning and preserving bones into this modestly priced (7.95!) little 32 page guide. 

She also has a book called "The Secret History of Carnival Talk" . She describes it as such:

"Who doesn’t want to run away and join the carnival? Part memoir, part cultural history, part linguistic exploration, The Secret History of Carnival Talk traces the evolution of this curious manner of speech from its origins on the midway to its use by wrestlers, rappers and children at play. The text is accompanied by many fascinating photographs of a Depression-era travelling carnival."

Monday, May 1, 2017

In The Dark Enchanted Forest

My friend Dver bought a vintage Polaroid camera and has been experimenting with pictures in various settings. A true vintage Polaroid imparts a hazy, diffused look to the pictures taken with it, a look that really can't be accurately reproduced with digital editing programs.

These are photos taken at the Enchanted Forest, an amusement park in the woods outside of Salem, Oregon. The place is already magical, and a bit creepy, but it takes on a whole new shade of weird when photographed with a Polaroid Camera.

For contrast, here is a digital picture I took of the scene in the first photo above:

Still a bit creepy (that rabbit), but does not have the dreamlike quality that the above pictures do.
Fortunately, they still make film for Polaroid cameras---unfortunately, it is hideously expensive (around 26.00 for 8 pictures). So one tends to take more care in selecting scenery, time of day, light and shadow, a consideration we have all but lost in these instantaneous, digital days.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Thrift Store Therapy---Owl Always Love Owls

My thriftdar has really been on the mark lately. Owls were a major theme the last couple of weeks---first I found the above tank dress, which was good because I don't have a lot of summer wear. Summer is actually my least favorite season in a lot of ways, primarily because I don't like to be hot.  And a lot of summer fashion is overly bright and, well, brief. 

My second find was this classic big 70s owl pendant:

There were a lot of these made during that time period, and I have another one in goldtone metal with green crystal eyes. But I like the kind of chippy white look of this one.

Then, through the magic of the thriftiverse, I found matching owl earrings a few days ago, as I was donating a bunch of stuff to my favorite cat charity thrift store.

In all my thrifty years, I have never come across earrings that match those big owl pendants. So here is a hoot for the serendipity of thrifting!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Book Review----The Girls by Emma Cline

emma cline

I just finished "The Girls" a couple of days ago (and you can always see what I am reading halfway down the right hand side of my blog---currently I am finishing up "The Night Circus"). Although I usually read fantasy, science fiction and the like, this book utterly blew me away with its visceral tale of a 14 year old girl coming of age in the late 60s. Loosely built around the Manson cult, and the famous murders of the time, it's less about the murders than about how young people, especially girls, can be so lost in our society, how this can lead to exploitation, and how eventually all that can translate into utter rage. Anger, fear, confusion, exploitation, longing, the uneasy relationship between the sexes---it's all there and in such exquisitely painful detail. It has the power to call up the awkward feelings of adolescence---nervousness, embarrassment, anger, desire, the desperate need to belong, and that singular surety that teens have that they know the answers to everything. And then the realization that they don't. And how that can then echo into adulthood.

Overall, I also felt like it highlighted the unmoored quality of modern American society and how we really have no real guidance or rites of passage for most young people, especially girls, except for loss, mistakes and fumbling in the dark. There is only the teetering on the precipice---and sometimes there is falling, never to return. I also felt like it was, in a general sort of way, a bittersweet commentary on the sort of communal, everyone shares and loves and helps each other dream that formed some of the social experiments of the 60s.

I was surprised to see that this is the first book for the author, Emma Cline. Aside from a minor issue of overuse, in my opinion, of some of the imagery (dampness, rot, and things stuck in people's teeth feature highly) this book is an amazing first run. I wouldn't call it relaxing reading---it definitely has the power to make the reader uncomfortable (if you are worried about the murder scenes, they are fairly brief, but there are some graphic sex scenes). It does make the reader think deeply about all the things mentioned above, and more. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

                              Always remember that "we're made of star stuff"  Carl Sagan


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Snow Queen Ballet

So excited! Going to see "The Snow Queen" ballet this weekend! The costumes and sets look awesome. The Snow Queen is one of my all-time favorite fairy tales, one that I read and re-read out of a great vintage Hans Christian Andersen book when I was a kid.

Gerda's journey to save Kay, and her self-transformation along the way, is one of the great fairy tales of all time, in my opinion. Especially because it features a young girl as the "hero".

This production is overseen by Toni Pimble who has done a number of other amazing shows over the years, including a magical "Alice in Wonderland" ballet and, I am pretty sure, an amazing ballet adaptation of "Dracula" that I saw years ago.

I hear there will be a giant mechanical raven as part of the props as well, which reminds me to recommend this movie, if you are at all interested in the Snow Queen story:

wiki here
A raven features highly in this rather hallucinogenic version, and is voiced by Patrick Stewart!