Events: I Got A Job

Friday, August 26, 2011

August 25: I got a job. Earlier, I listed the name of the place I'm working, but in the interest of being a respectful employee who doesn't break the company's policies/procedures, I've removed the name and will simply direct you to this website. I will be a buyer, meaning that I appraise the secondhand clothing (and shoes and jewelry and bags and scarves, etc.) that's brought in to the store and then purchase it for resell. I'll also be doing regular retail job type things -- helping customers, ringing up transactions, cleaning, dressing mannequins, cleaning, etc. I am REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS JOB. It's exactly what I hoped for when we moved to the Seattle area, in that it allows me to work with people, in a fun environment, getting to know a little more about apparel and style. This is a completely new professional direction for me, and I couldn't be happier.

New goal: be mega-awesome at this job.

Images: "My Closet in Sketches"

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Closet in Sketches is one of my favorite style blogs, made up of awesome watercolor paintings of the blogger's daily outfits. Like this one:

The blogger (I don't know her name, drat) also has some fun summery photos to look at. My favorite:

I would enjoy an empty porch of my own to use for reading. Pants optional.

Quirks: Side-Eye-Respect for the Zodiac

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

In middle school, I got mildly interested in astrology, horoscopes, and the like. I checked out a few books from the county library, but it never got much beyond that.

Still, I'm not too high-brow to write off mysticism, magic, and meaning in the stars. Far be it from me to either swear by the zodiac's predictions or write them off as nonsense; all I know is I like playing around with said predictions every now and then. Here's a little something I found online, billed as a way to measure romantic compatibility based on astrological signs. Craig's an Aries and I'm a Pisces; the website's predictions are featured below. It's accurate about a few things, but suffice it to say that this feminist doesn't want to "act as helpless as [I] sometimes feel" or play the "damsel in distress" role, nor is my egalitarian husband super-eager to rescue me or solve all my problems (once, while we were grocery shopping as newlyweds, he told me one of the things he loves most about me is that I'm independent and he's confident I can take care of myself -- awww).


Aries Man and Pisces Woman Compatibility

Believe it or not this is one of the most romantic combinations in the zodiac.  These two play Tarzan and Jane beautifully together.  The Pisces woman gives the Aries man the chance to be a hero every day while she gets to be the damsel in distress.  The natural inclination of each to play these complementary roles makes this an enduring combination.

How to Attract a Pisces Woman as an Aries Man:  The Aries man can be a he man without apology.  Open the door, unload the groceries, maintain her car, and even carry her over the doorstep.  Your rugged masculine energy is nothing but a plus.  To win her heart, pull out all the romantic stops: arrive at the door with flowers on the first date (hand-picked if possible and tied loosely with a ribbon).  Draw out the mating process as long as possible. Enjoy the exquisite feeling of yearning and indulge your imagination.

How to Attract an Aries Man as a Pisces Woman:  This is one relationship that proves the adage “if you want him to be more of a man, be more of a woman.”  To start with, act as helpless as you often feel.  He wants to open the door, carry the groceries, fix your car, and even carry you over the threshold.  It’s even possible that he would love to rescue you.  Maybe you can think of some small difficulties to get into that he knows how to fix.

Degree of Romance:  The degree of romance in this combination is off the charts. Each of these two is the born romantic and will revel in the opportunity to play along with someone who seems to be following the same script.  Pisces needs the strong Aries presence which leads quickly to flowers and dinner by candlelight

Degree of Passion:  The Aries man is a fiery lover and Pisces is the born shape shifter.  She will take on any role that is assigned to her.  So if he wants passion, she’ll give it.

Degree of Friendship:  This relationship tends to polarize the energies of the two participants rather than bring them together as friends.  Mutual admiration is a better way to describe this energy, but that’s just as solid a glue.

Degree of Marriage:  This is a good possibility for marriage, particularly a first marriage where gender differences can be more of a plus.  It is likely to be a lifelong romance.  Each party will remember the other one on the day they met, which keeps the love alive.  She is a domestic goddess and he is a stalwart provider.

Progression of Relationship:  Pisces is very willing to let Aries take the lead, and Aries is very comfortable with that.  He will set the pace, probably squeezing out every ounce of romance before consummating the relationship.

Sex:  Sex between these two is a fantasy garden, a perfect and blissful blending of heart and mind, body and soul.  It is a very strong point in the partnership that is likely to be maintained throughout the relationship.

When It’s Over:  It will be very sad for both parties if this relationship ends.  There will be many tears, genuine distress and anguish on both sides.  They may reunite several times before making the final break.  Pisces brings out the gentle side of Aries.  He is likely to be solicitous of her well-being, even as they are parting.

Our Rating:  9/10

Images: Anne Hathaway for Interview Magazine

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

These images come to me by way of Tom & Lorenzo (they do excellent Project Runway coverage, in case you're interested). Featuring Anne Hathaway, I find each photograph completely stunning.

(P.S. Today is my half-birthday. I'm 24.5 years old.)

Questions: Does cosmetic surgery go against my morals?

Monday, August 22, 2011

According to this news story in The Telegraph, Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson, and Rachel Weisz are three actresses who have publicly promised that they will never get cosmetic surgery. The story is sparse, but one quotation from Kate Winslet caught my eye:

"It goes against my morals, the way that my parents brought me up and what I consider to be natural beauty. I will never give in."

Saying that cosmetic surgery goes against one's morals is pretty bold -- not bad or stupid or anything, but certainly bold. It would be easier to say something like, "It's something I would never do personally, but it's a choice everyone gets to make for him or herself." And yeah, that's a little wishy-washy, but it's a comfortable stance to take.

As for me, I've wondered a time or two if I feel the same way that Kate Winslet purports to feel on this topic: does cosmetic surgery go against my morals?

Gut response: no, it doesn't. Though every situation is different, I think a lot of cosmetic surgery is frivolous, vain, wasteful, and possibly indicative of some inner emotional struggles, but those things aren't immoral in and of themselves. (... or are they? You could certainly make the case that in the world's current condition, wastefulness is immoral. Vanity too, maybe.)

Is the idea supposed to be that cosmetic surgery is immoral because it's superficial? If so, seems like makeup, curling irons, hairspray, padded bras, high-heeled shoes, and jewelry would have to be labeled as "immoral" as well, and I certainly don't feel that way. Though I'm 99% sure that I won't ever get serious surgery for cosmetic reasons, I use makeup frequently, and while it's a superficial ritual of mine, I can't say I feel I've abandoned my moral code by "improving" my appearance within reason.

Also, I have to say that these three women -- whom I admire as actresses and as people -- are all quite lucky in terms of genes and financial situations. While our society's obsession with youth is no joke and not doing these women any favors (Winslet is 35, Weisz is 41, and Thompson is 52), they do have the automatic genetic fortune of looking the way our society likes women to look (fair-skinned, relatively thin, proportional and "womanly") and the worldly means to capitalize on what their mamas and daddies gave them (through personal trainers, nice makeup, facials, expensive haircuts, healthy food, exercise equipment, flattering clothes, etc.). Put another way, these three are in a privileged position when it comes to looks; yay for them on the public decision not to have cosmetic surgery, sincerely, but the general preference for women who look like them does make it easier for them to make that pledge.

Related: It drives me mildly crazy when everyone falls all over themselves to applaud celebrities who refuse to have their photos retouched in magazines and such, because those celebrities are supposedly embracing "reality" and supporting a health body image. Yes, this is a move in the right direction and an admirable position to take (way to go, celebrities!), but how "realistic" is it to look at a person (typically a woman) who is wearing insanely expensive clothes, made up for hours by professional stylists, lit to perfection and photographed professionally from all her best angles? Even if the photos aren't retouched, is that reality? Especially when we're talking about actresses, musicians, and models who make their living partially from looking good and therefore have the obligation and opportunity to work out and take exceptional care of their bodies? Come on, everyone. The absence of PhotoShop doesn't make things realistic.

End rant. But anyway, for those of you reading, I wonder: does cosmetic surgery go against your morals?

Words: "The young women of today ..." by Abigail Duniway

Sunday, August 21, 2011

‎"The young women of today, free to study, to speak, to write, to choose their occupation, should remember that every inch of this freedom was bought for them at a great price. It is for them to show their gratitudeby helping onward the reforms of their own times, by spreading the light of freedom and of truth still wider. The debt that each generation owes to the past it must pay to the future."

-Abigail Duniway, U.S. suffragette and news editor
(note that she said this before women in the U.S.A. had the constitutional right to vote)

Things I Love: "Mad Men"

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The AMC dramatic series Mad Men recently became available on Netflix Instant Watch, and I have rolled through the episodes by compulsion. It's a show that, as far as I can tell, gets everything right - character development, story arcs, dialogue, visual aspects, acting, music, and so forth.

There's a lot of tawdry and/or despicable stuff on the show, no doubt about it. There's excessive smoking and drinking, philandering, racism, domestic abuse, deception, and enough misogyny to give me a headache. But here's the thing, the thing about how they handle these themes that really appeals to me: the show's producers don't glamorize the unsavory stuff. Everything that's broken in this historical fiction is clearly presented as broken. Everything that's wonderful in life -- love, family, friendship, creativity, hard-won success -- is glamorized and treated with reverence and affection. Check out this scene if you're curious to see an example.

And here is a video for your viewing pleasure, one of those recut trailer things that people do to give a certain movie or TV show a completely different tone or message than the one it actually has. The person who did this one added the music from Inception and cut together some scenes to make the conflict between Don Draper and Peter Campbell look super sinister and cray-cray.

Places: Tacoma Narrows

Friday, August 19, 2011

Yesterday, I went to a job interview in Port Orchard, Washington. Oh, don't worry - I was a week early for the appointment, having gotten confused about which Thursday it was supposed to be.

Bright side, though: I got to drive through the Tacoma Narrows on an impressive bridge.

Hair Colors

Thursday, August 11, 2011

This is the color I was born with and the color that stills grows from my scalp. I was dye-free from 1987 to 2005, and after an adventure into brown hair, I returned to blond and stayed that way from 2006 to 2010.

Reddish-Brown (and downright Burgundy, in some lights)
This was a brief but much-loved color for me; I had it for just a few months in 2011.

I went brown for the fun of it in January of 2005. The new color looked auburn in some lights and coincided nicely with a role in one of my high school plays (Felicity in "The Real Inspector Hound"), and I kept it up through my freshman year in college, dying it back to blond in the summer of 2006.

I went for a bright red in August of 2010 and totally loved it. Were it not for an unfortunate at-home dying accident, I would have preferred to keep it exactly this color, but alas. The current shade of my hair is a cousin to the one pictured below, though with blond highlights and significant fading.

My Favorite Album Ever (maybe)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine (2005)

1. "Extraordinary Machine"
2. "Get Him Back"
3. "O' Sailor"
4. "Better Version of Me"
5. "Tymps (the Sick in the Head song)"
6. "Parting Gift" *this is probably my favorite song on the album, but it's a tight race
7. "Window"
8. "Oh Well"
9. "Please Please Please"
10. "Red Red Red"
11. "Not About Love"
12. "Waltz (Better Than Fine)"

Fiona Apple is an interesting character. She's one of the few musicians out there whose music I love and admire but is simultaneously someone I'm pretty sure I wouldn't get along with in real life. She's kooky, and so am I, but I think my kookiness is more internal than hers. Just a guess.

This album was introduced to me by my friend and then-roommate Chelsea in 2005 or 2006, when we were  both freshmen at Southern Utah University. In August of '07, we went to Portland State University in Oregon, and this album (along with Kate Nash's Made of Bricks and Ingrid Michaelson's Girls and Boys) was played heavily in our house and car, as well as on my iPod. Ergo, many of the Extraordinary Machine songs remind me instantly of my time at Portland State - the confusing architecture of the buildings, the adorable daycare kids, the businessman street preacher, the moss on the trees, the men in scarves and beanies, the constant threat of rain.

This is also an album that my husband and I both really like, and that is quite rare for us.

"The End of My Absence," or "This is No Longer a Style Blog"

I have apparently not written anything for a month and a half. No apologies, though; I've been very busy, very distracted, very uninterested in setting up a tripod and taking pictures of my clothes.

And let me tell you something: I've been thinking that I'd like to change the focus and direction of this blog. And since this is my blog, one I just do for fun whenever I feel up for it, I can really make any changes I want without explanation and justification. So liberating! However, I at least want to give a forewarning of these changes for the sake of you fair subscribers who signed up to read a style blog. If you haven't abandoned ship already, here's an excellent chance to do so, for this is no longer a style blog.

Oh, I still plan to take pictures of my outfits on occasion. It's something I like doing every now and then. But the day on which those pictures show up here will be rare one indeed.

So what will I post instead? I have a game plan for moving forward, but I'm sure it will get tweaked here and there, so no promises just yet. Expect pictures and assorted observations of the random variety. More or less, I'm thinking of the new SK{ru}SH as a personal history blog. My personal history might only be interesting to me and the handful of real-life friends who read this (hi, Lindsay! hi, Tricia! hi, Jen! hi, the rest of you!), and that's fine by me.

I'm not deleting anything I've already posted; even though I don't like some of it, it all fits under the heading of "personal history." But lots of other stuff fits there as well, and should you choose to keep on reading, that's what you'll learn about.
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