Things

Toronto, I Love You

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Everyday when I head to work I get to drive by the CN Tower via the Gardiner “Held-Up-By-Popsicle-Sticks-But-Whatever” Expressway.  In the mornings, the Tower looks really impressive – especially when there is like, wicked-cool fog, or a sweet sunrise or something like that.  Every morning, when I drive by and see that iconic, globally-recognizable phallic symbol of Toronto, I feel proud and happy and, you know, like this is the best place in the world.

This week in the morning when I drove by and looked at the tower, I actually felt shitty.  For the first time ever, I thought to myself “Uggggggghhh I’m so embarrassed…”.

Unless you are living in a cave under a rock with your fingers in your ears and and a garbage bag over your head, you know that this was not a great week for Toronto.  The mayor has solicited global attention – attention that highlights the worst of the city and its people.

So – I felt embarrassed.  And I hated myself for feeling embarrassed.  Because this city is fucking awesome. Yes, our mayor is a laughingstock and makes us look bad.  But Jesus on wheels, Toronto fucking rules – DESPITE Rob Ford.

So yesterday I started thinking about this and started listing in my head all the things that makes Toronto great, and it literally started flowing out of me – why I love living here and why I love the people here and the businesses and the art and the parks and the families and the culture… and really, me loving Toronto has nothing to do with the mayor.

Now, I’m not naive… I know that the person in office has the power to make things easier or harder for certain groups of people… but Toronto is going to be Toronto. Sorry. It’ll happen.  Because it’s not really the mayor who defines that shit. It has to do with the amazing people who have taken that shit upon themselves to make their communities bad-ass-awesome.  They are the people who have slowly crystallized their network of buildings and stores and parks into fucking amazing communities.

Yes.  Toronto has its flaws.  The traffic is fucking brutal.  The infrastructure is growing at about half the pace of the population.  We need a good place to have sandwiches in Parkdale.  But still, I love it.

So Toronto, here is a small selection of reasons why I Love You…

  • My friends can work hard and grow their own businesses, be their own boss, do something totally unique and personal, and Toronto will embrace them.
  • There are times when I ride the subway and I don’t hear a single word of English.  We have so many different countries, cultures, and communities represented here, it’s so bad-ass. It makes my heart warm.
  • I can buy fucking amazing Indian food from a family-owned restaurant then walk next door to a hipster bar where they play grunge rap and the waitresses wear bra-tops with embroidered  cats on them then walk next door to that and buy artisan flowers that were grown on some chick’s balcony then walk next door to that and have homemade cocktails with like, bacon in them then walk next door and buy a 100 dollar jar of fucking imported body oil from Iceland or some shit like that then walk outside and buy a cool native necklace off a street vendor.  THAT’S JUST NORMAL ‘ROUND HERE.
  • My house is over 100 years old and was part of Canada’s history.  I’m pretty sure someone cool and important lived there at one point (other than me).
  • You want to get together with like-minded people and do something frekkky-weird and awesome?  Go for it.  Have a nude bike ride/zombie walk/disco bike ride/mob pillow fight. Whateves.
  • People in Toronto care about fucking Toronto. Anytime there is a street changed, a building bought, a tree that gets cut down… PEOPLE GIVE A SHIT.  They may be arguing for different sides, but they will definitely have an opinion.  They are PART of the discussion.
  • We have C-U-L-T-U-R-E.  Art galleries up the wazoo.  You want to see the David Bowie exhibit that is only coming to like 5 cities in the whole world?  YEAH, COME TO TORONTO.  You want to see art? Dinosaur bones?  Some old chamber pot that some important guy took a dump in 200 years ago?  COME TO TORONTO.  You want to see up and coming artists? You want to see international musicians?  Up and coming musicians?  You want to see that guy who juggles chainsaws while eating nails (probably), COME TO TORONTO.
  • In my hood there are recovering meth addicts living next to new families living next to hipster renters living next to elderly people who have had their house since the 60’s.  Just damn humans co-existing.  It’s fucking amazing.

Anyways.  Just felt the need to proclaim my love in the midst of this shit. Toronto, don’t let it get you down. You’re still tops in my books.

Posted in Favorite Things, Parkdale Fun, Randomness, Things, Wisdom No Comments »

Sunday at Aberfoyle!

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Since the summer is rapidly (DAMN rapidly) coming to an end, and since Tami the Beautiful invited me, I decided to take the Sunday this weekend and travel to Aberfoyle Antique Market for my yearly “Buy Junk” antiques spree.

The morning started with a lovely snuggle from Molly, who was sad to see me heading out so early.

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Aberfoyle is actually much closer to the city than I thought.  After a quick stop for coffee, Tami and I were pulling into the parking lot while “sit-jumping” with excitement at all the dirty old things we would look at.

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The day was perfect for aimlessly wandering through piles of old shit.  As you can see, the booths were replete with old 70’s mumus and haunted childhood dolls.  So basically, my paradise.

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First, some of the things I didn’t buy:

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Whatever the fuck this thing was, I didn’t buy.

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Kim Mitchell Album I didn’t buy.

And of course, the usual gauntlet of AMAZING old furniture that I don’t need/can’t afford/have no space for:

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So, seriously, if I had a store I would have bought this huge island/display case in a heartbeat.  If I ever do buy a store I’m going to send these pictures to a carpenter and request an exact replica:

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LOOK AT THE BACK.  It’s beautiful from all sides>>>>>!!!!

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Anyhoo.  Other things I didn’t buy but considered buying include a wood-grain Thermos, a book on “Canadian” ettiquette, and a big blue desk with an old calendar thing on it.

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I regret not buying the Canadian Ettiquette book, because it included such useful information as “Where should wraps be checked?” at my “First Formal Dance”:

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OK, on to things I did buy.

I am doing a little side project right now that requires the storage of a bunch of shit.  Since I can’t stand the look of cardboard boxes piled in my kitchen, I wanted to get some super hipstery old dirty boxes to store things in.

I spent an inordinate amount of time deciding on *which* dirty old boxes to buy.  At first I thought the scotch box and the butter box with the rose on it…

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But there was something aesthetically pleasing about the two butter boxes together and I ended up buying the pair:

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Tami saw this first – a pure marble ashtray and LIGHTER.  So the lighter is like, a big marble cube and you put lighter fluid in it and IT WORKS AND LIGHTS YOUR CIGARETTE/CIGAR/QUESTIONABLE THINGS.  It is SO beautiful:

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I placed it with my other raw marble ashtray.  Because I want to collect them now.  I decided.

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Speaking of collections, my collection of Scheurich vases is slowing gaining momentum.  I think I have at least five already… but most of them are the cream/brown or blue/green, and I always lust after the red ones because they are SO MID CENTURY that they give me a design boner.

The red tall one below is really unique and I got a great deal on it.  The short crazy one beside it *probably* (read: definitely) isn’t West German, but it was dirt cheap and COME ON.  IT’S AMAZING:

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I put them on my shelf with my only other red Scheurich… a small little baby.  She looks so much more comfortable with her friends around:

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Tami and I also bought these two wicked pitchers.  They are our friendship pitchers.

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Bought this teeny glass box that I’m going to use as a terrarium.  Obviously.

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Finally, my collection of dirty old bottles needed to get a bit fleshier, so I managed to procure these FIVE wicked elixir and medicine bottles for EIGHT DOLLARS ALL IN.  WHaaaaaaaa???

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Finally, this old green goblet.  Why?  I don’t fucking know.  It’s old-timey looking.

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I’m still working on finessing my “dirty old bottle montage”, but I’m already happy about the direction it’s taking…

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What a profitable day (of unnecessary junk procurement)!  All that remains is to sit back among my dirty old bottles and watch the sun go down, gently nodding to my success.

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Time For New Glasses!

…and when I say that, I mean “two years have passed since the last time I used my vision benefits at work so I’ve decided to use them up again for overpriced frames that I don’t need!”

I’ve decided that I want something less “early 1950’s” and instead something more “late 1940’s”.

That might be the most obnoxious thing I’ve ever written.

Here is my inspiration:

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Feelin’ that FO’ SHO. FO. SHO.

Although James Dean is a boy and I am a girl, and although he was so cool that he could slap a handful of dog shit on his face and he would look dreamy and smart and perfect, I have decided that this is the style of glasses I shall purchase, and no amount of rational discourse will convince me otherwise. On that note…

First attempt – Tart Arnel Frames

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So these are the real business – according to my aggressive and tireless research, these are the actual frames that James Dean wore.

Pros: I can say “these are the frames that James Dean wore.”

Cons: they are only available through special order OR by buying authentic vintage pairs off ebay, which run for around ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS depending on the colour of frame you want. And since neither of these options allows you to actually try them on ma’ damn face before shelling out, I had to begrudgingly move on to other options.

 

Second attempt – Oliver Peoples Gregory Peck Frames:
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So these appear to have everything I need, with the added advantage that Zooey Deschanel wears them in New Girl, which I have been spending an absurd amount of time watching recently, mostly due to the sporadic and unexpected violent make-outs between her and Nick, which is really the reason that anyone should watch anything on television or in film.  To learn how women want to be kissed.

However, when I went to try them on, they made me look like an unattractive man in drag – more so than usual, which is pretty bad.  I soon realized that Zooey has a face that you could throw a handful of dog shit at and she would still look all dreamy and perfect and crap, so I shouldn’t be using her as a barometer.

 

Third attempt- Moscot Lemtosh frames:

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These ones from Moscot are pretty much replicas of the Tart Arnel except they are a bit cheaper and, again, according to my tireless internet research, they simply have a few minor riveting details that most normal people would never notice or care about, including me.  I’d rather pay $200.00 for a pair of frames that look exactly like a pair of $1000.00 frames and use the other $800.00 to say, purchase a bunch of other shit.

Also, I feel strangely un-drag-queen-like in them, despite having my hair up in this picture, and despite constantly looking like a man, especially when wearing glasses.

Yeah?  Yeah.  TIME TO USE UP MY VISION BENEFITS!  HURRAH FOR FULL TIME EMPLOYMENT!

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Posted in Style, Things, Vintage Love 3 Comments »

Vintage Things I Bought This Weekend

I didn’t have a lot to do this weekend, which means I wandered around spending money on things I don’t need.  Here is an analysis of my stupid purchases:

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Item: Vintage 70’s Denim Vest
Purchased at: Trinity Bellwoods Giant Yard Sale
Cost: $3.00
Why I Bought It: SORRY, DID YOU SEE THE PICTURE?  COME. ON.
Wearability: a 4 out of 10.  Can wear Canadian Tuxedo styles with jeans or like, with other things… I don’t know… I’ll figure it out… IT’S AN AWESOME VEST, COME ON.

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Item: Vintage 90’s Floral Flippy Mini Skirt
Purchased at: Philistine
Cost: $35.00
Why I Bought It: It’s getting frigging hot and I need things that are short but that aren’t *actual* shorts because my legs look like sausages in actual shorts.
Wearability: a 6 out of 10.  Very wearable for casual stuff and the navy goes with a lot.  Can’t wear to work as is too slutty.

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Item: Vintage Cole Haan Tassle Loafers
Purchased at: Philistine
Cost: $40.00
Why I Bought It: Although I have many many many pairs of shoes, and many pairs of loafer-type things, I do not have a black pair.  AND these are fucking adorable.  Jesus.
Wearability: a 7 out of 10.  Super comfortable and they are fancy enough to wear for more serious things.  Sometimes black flat shoes make my legs look like sausages though, so I need to be careful.

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Item: Vintage 70’s Cotton Gauze Peasant-Boho-Hippie-Western-Cool-Girl Maxi Dress
Purchased at: Silver Falls Vintage
Cost: $35.00
Why I Bought It: I DON’T KNOW.  THERE IS NO REASON.
Wearability: a 2 out of 10.  Where am I going to wear this fucking thing?  Nowhere.  Never.  It just makes me happy that I have it sitting in my closet and that I can put it on and do pirouettes and feel like a 70’s hippie princess every couple of weeks, and it hides my sausage legs.  Don’t judge me.  I know you’re jealous.

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One Day in Santa Fe (Part Two)

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When I found out I was going to have some free time in Santa Fe, my first course of action was to go into my bank account and calculate how much money I could spend on superfluous pieces of turquoise jewelry and unnecessary southwestern textiles.  Do I need either of these things?  Fuck no.

First thing I wanted to go see was the Native American Vendors Program, which is a government-sponsored/organized section of the local Governors building where Native American artists and vendors can sell their work to walkers-by.

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There was a LOT of turquoise, and I pretty much plottzed.  I guess I thought because I was in New Mexico, the turquoise would be super cheap, and although it was definitely not as expensive as it is in Toronto, it really wasn’t crazy reduced.

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There was lots of great silver-work, too.  I wanted this damn braided bracelet SO F-ING bad, but it was like $250 bucks and even with my superior bartering skills, I can’t afford that shit.  So I left it.  Devastating.  DEV-A-STA-TING!

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First objective: get rings.  I liked this one, but the guy wasn’t budging on price and I was all like “forget you, guy”, and went on to the next booth.  As you can see, I am a shrewd and savvy negotiator.

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In the end, I went a little bananas.  Three turquoise rings, and one sliver one.  I love them so much.  Even though they highlight the piglety-ness of my fingers, I shall wear them as often as I can.

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My second objective was to do some vintage shopping, which is becoming an all-consuming need when I visit a new place.  I have a desire to buy something so that I can be all like “Yeah, whatever, I got it at a vintage store in <insert town here>.  No big deal.”  Since I only had one day, I did a bit of research before coming, and this place called Double Take came up many times.

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Double Take is huge and has like, a bunch of sub-stores within it.  There is a main “regular thrift” store at the bottom, a “western and cowboy vintage” store to one side, a full-on crazy antique and furniture store on the top level, and like baby and kids stores on the side.  I went to the vintage cowboy section first.  OF COURSE.

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I considered getting a pair of cowboy boots, but then I remembered that I have probably about seventeen pairs of cowboy boots already and I never wear them.  I actually restrained myself.  So proud.  Especially after my turquoise binge.

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On to the hats.  I don’t know if you know, but I look *really* good in hats.  Like, all hats.  I think it’s because I have an abnormally large  gorilla-head, and hats balance out its size.  Here are some hats:

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I *wish* I had the nutsack to wear the black hat below around, because I think its so FUCKING bad-ass.  However, it is also in “crazy-lady” territory if you can’t pull it off well.  I chose not to purchase it, because I already think my friends kind of feel like I”m a crazy-lady based on some of the other hats I own.  No need to fan the fires of crazy-lady talk.

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Instead, I moved onto the vintage cowboy/southwestern wear and fell in damn-ass-poo LOVE with this off-the-shoulder southwestern fancy lady shirt.  BOUGHT.

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Double Take is also where I found this weird two stone ring.  Most turquoise rings started at at least $70 USD, even for ones WAY smaller than this one, but for some reason this one was priced at $25.  Neither me nor any of the salespeople were able to determine why it was so cheap.  Stones and silver all real.  BOUGHT.

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There was a *lot* of jewelry.  Bolo ties galore.  I really wanted that blue jug, too, but it was like $140 or some shit. Forget you, snooty expensive blue jug.

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The last (I promise) turquoise thing I bought was this SWEET ASS Zuni necklace below.  The design is called the “Squash Blossom”, and again, these are usually SUPER FUCKING expensive.  Like, we’re talking $1000.00 expensive (Google that shit).  I found this in a huge display case with other turquoise that was 30% off for some reason and there was a small little price written on one corner that said $89.  The salesperson was like… “I’m pretty sure that’s not the price”… and I was all like “Woman.  It says that price.  You have to sell it to me or I’ll sue you.” SO SHE DID.  I have no idea whether you can sue people for writing the wrong price on things, but it seems plausible.

I know it has a couple of stones missing, but I DON’T CARE. BOUGHT.

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OH YEAH.  I also found this Jil Sander skirt for SEVEN DOLLARS.

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YA, I SAID SEVEN DOLLARS.  Please visit here to get a frame of reference on how fucking unbelievable that is.  It also fit like a sexy butt-glove.  It says “as is” on the tag, but I searched for about 20 minutes and couldn’t find a single fucking thing wrong with it.  FUNKING BOUGHT.

The antiques and artwork in the upper level were also pretty amazing.  There is my blue jug, being all expensive:

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I seriously considered buying that “Canada” apron below but then I was like “where the fuck will I put that shit?” so I didn’t.  I also wanted the two posters.  But have no where to put them, either.  Le sob.

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YES.  Neon wolf howling at cactus:

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YES.  Happy skeleton lady, painted on a damn plate:

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YES.  1970’s tacky-amazing dishware:

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Sigh.  Popped into a couple of other stores, but to be perfectly honest, I had pretty much drained my budget at this point so I didn’t really have money to spend anyways.

Went back to my hotel and ate a delicious club sammie:

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Then they were serving s’mores in the lobby so I hauled my fat ass over for a s’more to eat while watching the sun set:

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FYI – the sunsets in Santa Fe are UNBELIEVABLE.  I felt like I was watching the end of a dramatic movie.  The light changes constantly and the colours are so vivid.  Eyeball boner.

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The best part is that as soon as the light drops out of sight, like thirty coyotes howl as loud as fuck.  It was like nature-magic.

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Since it was my last day I wanted to get a video of the sunset, so I took my s’more and ran up a steep hill to get a good view.  Here is my video.  You can hear me gasping for breath like an obese person because I am so out of shape.  Try to block that out and focus on the beauty of the moment:

Highly recommend Santa Fe.  Go.  I’ll leave you with my picstiched Insta of the sunset.  My hipster homage:

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FOR SALE

One pair wedge sneakers.  New in box.  Make me an offer.

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I caved…

…and bought a pair of these damn things, like a damn-ass-loser-y follower:

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Except mine aren’t $645.00.  And they’re not as moon-shoe-ish.

To redeem myself, I will say that I TOTALLY thought these things were SO ridiculous, then one morning I was going to get coffee and there was some gorgeous sinewy model-type in front of me wearing leggings and a pair of high tops with her blond hair all askew and wind-blown and SHIT, and I was all like “must. buy. impractical.and.ridiculous.sneakers”.  I am so disappointed in my lack of restraint.  Here are mine:

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Well… yeah… they’re pretty moon-shoe-ish…

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money to burn

I managed to unexpectedly receive a gift card recently for FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS to spend at Holt Renfrew, which is a bigger present than anything I have ever received in my life.  Having this much money to spend on PURE FRIVOLITY (because, let’s be honest, no one is going to Holt’s to buy like, five-packs of white cotton underwear) made me temporarily feel like an actual, honest-and-for-true, Rich Person.  I decided that, instead of being sensible and using it to buy several moderately-priced smaller items, I wanted to BLOW the whole thing on one amazing item that I could never afford otherwise.

Here are some things I contemplated while trying to figure out what to buy.

First thing I came across was this orange/burgundy/red Marc by Marc Jacobs purse that is f-ing stunning and was “within” my frivolity range at $585.00.  Seriously, it is the perfect fancy-lady-slash-hipster bag, and, as such, I believed it would make me feel like a fancy lady from the 70’s-slash-hipster from the 90’s (which is like a style orgasm for my brain-hole).  It was the first thing I saw, so I didn’t want to jump the gun, but just to be sure I picked it up and walked around the store with it the whole time so that some other fucking person didn’t steal it from me.

The Marc Jacobs bag was pretty much the only purse that I liked that wasn’t $3000.00.  There was also this Rebecca Minkoff bag… but meh.  Didn’t even compare.

 On to the shoe section.  There was a sale on so there were some fancy-person heels on sale that came within my $500.00 range (jesus it is crazy that I just wrote that sentence).  First, some classic pink Louboutins:

I have never tried on Louboutin’s, and since they cost more than a month’s rent, I guess I assumed that when I put them on my foot would start singing and I would feel as if I was wearing magic comfortable uggs-slash-slippers.  JUST SO YOU KNOW… the cost of the shoes is *definitely* not related to comfort.  It felt like I put my foot into an uncomfortable cone of razors.

And, like, seriously – don’t they look exactly the same as a pair of fucking pink shoes from Aldo or Zara or something??  Like, WHAT THE F am I paying hundreds of dollars for?  NOTHING.  THAT’S WHAT.

The only other pair of shoes I tried were these studded Chloe ankle boots.  I actually really liked them, but:

  1. Outside of my $500.00 price range;
  2. One size too big; and
  3. They are *slightly* crazy-person shoes.  Like, if I were the waifish lead-singer of a cool British alt-metal band all hepped up on heroin and on tour in Japan, I could get away with them.  Unfortunately I am a lardy Corporate shill.  So no studded boots for me.

Anyways, fuck the shoe section.  Off to clothing.

So this was the issue with the clothing section.  I am a fat lardo right now and I didn’t want to buy something that fit because I plan on losing copious amounts of lard, and I didn’t want to buy something too small because I might not lose that lard, in which case I would be wasting my $500.00.  Such a ridiculous rich fancy rich lady dilemma.

Tried on a few Helmut Lang blazers… meeeeeeeh.

 

And then this shirt that I thought would look cool and edgy but actually just looked like a shitty futuristic space-uniform:

Anyways.  Of course.  I left with my new love:

Have only worn it about twice because I’m petrified that it might start raining or a baby might throw up on it or something.  Still.  She is beautiful.

And so ends my one, brief, shining moment as a rich person.  Sigh.

Posted in Favorite Things, Style, Things 2 Comments »

necessary impulses

Here are a few things that I purchased for myself on impulse as a reward for nothing.

1. Fuzzy Leopard Wallet

I totally needed a new wallet, so this is a justifiable expense.  Also, this stupid wallet was originally $150.00 and I got it for $30.00.  Who the frig would ever spend $150.00 on a wallet?  You?  You probably should not do that, because you can get them for $30.00.

 

2. Two (count ’em), TWO Rag & Bone Neon-Flecked Cropped Knit Sweaters

Why do I need two, you ask?  Because.  They’re both equally awesome and I liked them both.  That’s why.

 

3. Burgundy Knee-High 70’s Boots with FRIGGIN AWESOME TASSELS

Awww yeah.  So totally unnecessary.

 

4. Snakeskin Oversized Mick Jagger-esque Cool Guy Blazer

So, it’s been a while since I’ve splurged on a Sandro purchase, but I’ve had my eye on this blazer since it came out in early fall and it went on SUPER DUPER DUPER sale and they had one in my size and what-fucking-ever, I bought it.

 

 

5. *Perfect* Black High-Necked Fit-and-Flare Dress

Another Sandro sale purchase.  So, it doesn’t really look like much on the hanger, but this bad boy fits like a G-L-O-V-E  and make me look all svelte and lovely.  It’s about ten pounds too small for me so I have to start eating less.  But I will wear it… mark my words.

  

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Fancier Than You

Due to my extremely large pimpness, I have managed to procure a full 6 place-setting of French china for about 15% of its retail cost from Bernardaud, which is like, extra fancy and only for rich people usually.

DO I NEED A FULL 6-PLACE SETTING OF FRENCH CHINA?  Fuck no.  But I wanted it.

Teacups are EXTRA FANCY.  Especially when the saucers look like this:

JEALOUS YET?  Well, GUESS WHAT?  The design of china is SO FANCY that each different type of dish in the line has a similar-but-different design so that when you stack them all together it looks all extra-fancy and matched-but-mis-matched like SOMETHING EXTRA FANCY:

HAAAAAAAAAA HA HA HA my fanciness is just too overwhelming for you, I know. 

I will soon be having fancy-person dinner parties for the exclusive reason of using my fancy china and telling people “Oh, this china?  No big deal.”

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