Work Kicks.

Fact: I've been looking for new work shoes for over three months.
I tend to go for ballerina style flats because I generally hate sneakers. The problem is that it's terribly hard to find a pair of comfortable yet stylish flats, even though they have been in style for at least two years. I don't have especially wide feet, but almost every cute pair I've found pinches around the sides. Which is even worse than ball-of-foot pain caused by stilettos in my opinion.
So when I find a pair that is comfortable and functional, I wear the hell out of them. I'm still missing on the $5 canvas slip-ons I found at H&M. I wore them until the rubber soles were literally falling off. And then some.
I've been wearing a pair of Converse One Star flats from Target for over 4 months now. While they have had a good run, it's time to switch. Any girl who wears flats on a regular basis knows that they just get nasty over some period of time. We've all tried those little mini-socks, but they always poke out around the edges and are just plain ugly. I don't care if you wash your feet in sea salt and rose petals, flats get BUNK.
I found these sweet double-tongue Converse on clearance. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Converse. Reminds me of high school gym class, being in the group of kids incapable of running even a quarter mile. Plaid pajama pants and Converse sneakers always symbolized the kid that you definitely did not want on your volleyball team. That was me.
Converse is kind of the eternal edge-kid sneaker in my opinion. No cushions, no springs, no reflectors, no technology. This is why Converse will always be in style. It's the quintessential sneaker-of-sneakers, for kids who just need sneakers, and not to be cross country Olympians.


Chocolate Par Avion.

Dear Lover,
I've been a no-good-girlfriend in every way as of late, and all you want is for me to be there. That and home made peanut butter cups. You've been asking for over a month. So finally, here you go.

I made these from this recipe, except with a small addition. I have trouble following recipes to a tee, because I feel like they aren't mine until I personalize them. So the conclusion I came to was to add 1 tsp of Frangelico to the melted chocolate, and a bit of sea salt to the filling. Topped off with some cocoa powder and SHABAM! Except next time I think I'll use a less dark chocolate, these things are POTENT. (I used Ghirardelli 60% with this batch.)
Found some great stickers on clearance at Michael's to decorate the package with. From Martha Stewart. Honestly, she really does have the cutest stuff sometimes but it's generally overpriced. Cute though.

Who wore it better?

Yesterday I went out with my trusty consignment shop treasure map, and hit up Plymouth and Kingston. The original shop I had hoped to find great things at yielded nothing, but I think it was just probably an off-week. It's always hit or miss.
I did however find a little section in the Main Street Marketplace in Plymouth center FULL of vintage clothes at 50% off. I work right across the street from this place and somehow never knew about it. I was able to score not one, but two winter jackets. Honest to god warm winter jackets. I have a terrible habit of buying outerwear that is visually appealing but less practical in January temperatures. I do this every year. But not this time.
Pictured is an official United States Air Force uniform winter jacket, from sometime between 1949 and 1965. This couldn't have been worn even once. Grand total: $10. Being military-grade warm in January: Priceless.


Real vs. Fake: The Materialistic/Superficial Showdown...

I don't like to think of myself as a brand-whore. But the truth is I go through phases, in and out of it. I bought my first high-end piece at the age of 17. I was working at Marshalls part time, scraped together my pennies and managed to win an authentic vintage Louis Vuitton Saint Cloud on Ebay. Which I eventually sold to a pawn shop in Japan for $50, and being sure that it was upsold for at least $300, I still feel cheated and regretful to this day. But that is what pawn shops are for, and at least I payed my rent.

Q: What is it about high-end purses that drives us mad?
A: It is a simple non-confrontational, one-step way to show the world that we are well-off, careless high-maintenance bitches that don't think a thang about dropping $500 on something that only serves to hold all of our shit that we need to carry along, while a plastic shopping bag could serve the same purpose in all logic.

Which is why most girls go for the extremely flashy, most recognizable versions..the LV multicolore (I HATE IT), and COACH. Pastel, multicolored, animal print Coach. Tacky, overly-loud, garish, nasty. HATE IT.

However, I am still a slave to the classics for a number of reasons, including but not limited to the status symbol ordeal...I'm not too proud to admit that I feel pretty fancy with a Louis on my shoulder. About a month-and-a-half back, I bought a replica LV Papillon at Savers. The Papillon has always been my #1 favorite model, so I jumped on it. The monogram was well done, the interior was extremely well done in buttery suede, the stitches were good. I've been using this purse nearly every day since I bought it, and low and behold...the straps are falling apart after a measly 45 days. Unfortunatley, this purse is now no more than a sad lesson learned. I could have bought a bag at a department store for half of the price that would have lasted me ten times longer.

As luck would have it, I went to a consignment shop a few towns over and found an authentic Gucci Bardot purse. Legit authentic. The asking price was $72.00, which I wasn't quite up for, being extremely cheap and all. After some thorough inspection of the bag, I managed to find a tiny coffee stain. The owner of the shop contacted the owner of the purse by phone, and there was a three-way haggle. I managed to pick up this authentic Gucci for $50 today.

This serves as a materialistic substitute for not being able to go to Saratoga with my friends this weekend due to conflicting work schedules and other issues.
So, while I would have rather spent the $50 having fun in Saratoga if it were in any way possible, this is an ok-kind-of consolation. And it will certainly last long enough to pass down to a lucky granddaughter someday.


Meet my new Girlfriend...

She has rendered this Wednesday night interesting and worthwhile, which is not an easy task in Carverland.
She's an animal loving, feminist-in-her-own-way, crazy curly blond Romanian Atheist with convictions that will blow you away. And the facts to support them. One damn smart cookie. She loves the gays, and I love it when she talks ghetto in her Romanian accent.
Her page is HERE.


Wrentham Premium Outlets can Suck It....

I've been admiring this certain Coach keychain for a while, owned by our chef Elliot's wife. It's monogram canvas, which I usually hate from Coach, but the catch for me was that the inside served as a mini picture frame for two small photos. That and the little heart charm...
She told me that she got it at the Coach Wrentham Outlet for $8, and after a few hard waitressing shifts, I thought, why not?
So I took the long drive up to Wrentham this afternoon, only to find that the said key chain sells for $19....
I don't care if it took me 45 minutes to drive there, I'm not paying $19 for a keychain. Unless it is utterly massive and holds all of my personal effects, with a loop on the end to attach my keys...i.e. a BAG.
So I wandered around this giant outlet complex for about two hours. 99% of it was a giant disappointment, except for Barneys...
Walking into the Barneys outlet was like one of those dreams where you find ten million perfect things and they all become yours, then suddenly you wake up. The store was just filled with pieces more beautiful than I'd ever seen in real life, I can't even compare it to Newbury Street in Boston or Takashimaya in Japan...just unbelievable stuff...this basically confirms that I am a country bumpkin. I guess I'm ok with that.
Although I went home from Wrentham entirely empty handed, I had a pretty good day. I took a trip to Target afterwards and found an abundant amount of greatness for less than what that little keychain would have cost me. Let's break it down:
1:Daytime-appropriate fascinator: $3.98
1: Perfect dress in my color...primary-ish green: $7.48
(Worn with boots from Savers, thigh high knit socks from Target last year. Vintage belt.)


Excellent day for a bed upgrade.

I'm keeping this short and simple as I am suffering from hypersomnia resulting from waitressing a full shift after waking up at 4:30 am, but I felt the need to share my joy in the fact that I FINALLY GOT RID OF THAT DAMN TOP BUNK!!!
Granted the bottom half is still huge and can't fit nicely in any other corner of the room, and I will miss the star ceiling. But I've mounted it on the wall for now, needs some tweaking tomorrow. Not tonight. All tonight needs is dreams and a possible puddle of drool on the pillow case. I think my mascara has smudged down to my collarbone at this point. I look like a card-carrying crack addict.


Domestic Bliss: It's a someday thing.

I've always assumed that someday I will find myself living in a modest apartment with a lovely significant other, with my own little kitchen. The cabinets will not be overflowing with useless outdated canned goods in the style of my mother, and there will be no frozen vegetables. I'll do my grocery shopping in small doses, at least every other day, use fresh produce and make my own sauces. Or at least tweak the canned ones. There will be a little window over the sink, and a window box outside of that with fresh herbs that I can just reach out and grab. The dishcloths and napkins will match. Everything is painted in fresh white with shiny red or turquoise trim and knobs. I will never have excessive amounts of cutlery messing up the drawers. I will have gingham cabinet liners.

And when my lurver comes home after a long, tiring work day, I'll have a dinner set out that will rock his world. On the weekends he can try his hand at the stove and make something special for me. Other than that, I want my kitchen to be like my own private art studio...a place where mystery and miracles happen. I want to develop mind-blowing cookie recipes and leave them as secret unexpected presents wrapped in colored tissue in my neighbors mailboxes.

But now, I'm 27 and surviving off of lean cuisines. That, and the rushed meals I eat alone at work. Which are good. But when was the last time I sat down and shared a meal with someone? I can't really remember.
I think a big part of this kitchen dream comes from my experience overseas. I was raised in a house where every other night was "fend-for-yourself-night", eating spagettios and pbj sandwiches. I actually remember using tap water once as a substitute for milk in my cereal when I was little, because the gallon of milk was too heavy for me to pour and nobody was around to help. It was Fruity Pebbles, to be exact.
So when I went to Japan, I was instantly fascinated by the woman's role in the kitchen. It did not strike me as subservient or inferior in any way. Every dinner made in a Japanese household seems to bring the entire family together, no matter how busy or preoccupied they may be (and trust me, they are a busy people...) The meal is always balanced, healthy, satisfying and relaxing. Nothing comes from a can, nothing is ever frozen. It is all created from effort and skill. I had never experienced such a thing.
While on many levels the Japanese Housewife is a painful blemish on the face of modern feminism, there is a different side. A side in which these women are able to keep an exceedingly preoccupied family coming home every night, to enjoy an honest-to-god home cooked meal together. Without these women, family would not exist in Japan. And family is a big deal over there, by the way...
Anyway, tonight I've broken out my recipe binder, and I'm finally going to start filling out pages in preparation for that someday when I'll have someone to share all of these kitchen dreams with. Let's face it. Sharing food is just nice.


File this Under: Days that I wish I had a subscription to Netflix.

Since I'm working tomorrow, Saturday turned into my Sunday. I did acchieve the massive task of switching out summer clothes to fall/winter, coming up with three bags for Salvation Army in the process. Still, it felt like I hadn't done anything and I got itchy for some room-reform. Whenever I feel icked-out on life, one of my first instincts is to move furniture, to paint, to change whatever I can about my immediate surroundings. It's a superficial tendency in a way, but can keep me occupied for a few hours, and sometimes bear favorable results.
However, I've come to the conclusion time after time...there is no way to re-arrange this room and maintain spacial balance. It's just too small, the windows are in bad places and the bed is too damn BIG. Yet I try, again and again. Today I once again accepted defeat after a few wasted hours, and retired to the kitchen where I consoled my feelings of helplessness by sharing a pastrami sandwich with my mother. One day I will have a room that can be switched around at my whim, and it will even have a closet. On this day, I will fall to my knees, weeping in dramatic fashion a la Extreme Home Makover...you know the type...family of twelve living in a two bedroom trailer, kids doing homework on top of the fridge, son is captain of the football team despite everything...etc etc.
When I get a closet, the neighborhood is going to rally at my doorstep and cheer me on because I've been working so hard, and if anyone deserves a closet, it would be me.
(End rambling.)
So the fall clothes are out of the bag(s). I had a pretty good time trying things on, especially these silly old hats. The one with the bow screams grandmother-from-christmas-vacation, but I'm going to rock it anyway.
Also blue vintage shoes from England. Everything I fall for lately seems to be approximately this shade of blue.
And giant furry hat, also vintage. I'm excited to be able to wear it this winter, I couldn't last year because my industrial wasn't healed completely and it hurt it.
(All fur pictured is of the faux varitety. So put down those paint buckets, por favor.)


DIY is Good for the Heart.

Today I started the hefty task of making myself my own personal mini burlesque top hat for the costume. I could have purchased a cheap costume store version of one of these for the same amount I payed on materials (about $17), but honestly I was in need of a project and I think it came out AWESOME. (If I do say so myself...very very proud.)

I started with a mini felt hat made for dolls, found at Michael's. I didn't like the idea of just plain old felt, so I dressed it up with some clearance satin from Joanne's. Attached painstakingly using fabric tape (the kind you use to fix hems in a jiffy, if you're sewing impared like me), and impromptu ghetto patterns made by yours truly. Also some help from the only tape measure in my house, which is older than the concept of retracting buttons and plastic. You have to hand-wind it back up.
Add a satin ribbon, feathers, and black mesh that I dug out from under my bed, and VOILA!!!
It still needs some tweaking. For one, I've got to figure out a good way to make it stick to my head. And some rhinestones also.

In addition, I found a whip today. My costume is officially complete. After one extremely awkward conversation at the tack shop:
Jackie: "I'm looking for a riding crop, or whip...it's for a costume, so it doesn't need to be any type in particular..."
Saleswoman: "What kind of costume?"
Jackie: "Burlesque dancer."
Saleswoman: "What function will the whip play in this costume?"
Jackie: "......."


FOUNDFOUNDFOUND! The Great Day of Findings.

Today I finally made it to the little consignment shop in North Carver. I never get to go there, because their hours are weird, but today worked out. When you walk in, the place is basically a tremendous mess, but there's a little clothing area in the back that's kept up nicely. Let me tell you, this place is cheap as hell. And almost untapped. The kind people of Carver are more into sweatpants and farming gear, I do believe. But the owner's daughter is a design school grad, and collects vintage pieces. Bummer for me. She didn't get everything though.

1:Blue and white dress/jacket combo. The buttons are little white bows. Freaking cute as hell. I tried it on in the dressing room, loved it. When I got home and added the red ribbon: instant cheerleader. Which made me giggle. I think I'll avoid wearing it with the bow in public.
2: Apparently if you spend $5, you get your choice of a free bag. If you spend $10, you get two. How great is that? Pickings were slim, no Coach finds like last time, but I did find this vintage leather purse from Lord & Taylor. And talked her into letting me have this vintage velvet clutch for the second bonus bag. (Did I mention the owner is extremely nice?)
3: New red flats for work FINALLY. $2.
4: KNITKNIT!!!! I have been looking for this book for over a year! I've searched in yarn shops, in Boston, Borders, craft stores, the Harvard bookstore, Northampton EVERRRYYWHEEERE...
And today when I was out buying gluten-free cake mix at the health food store, I saw it in the window of the neighboring bookstore, off of exit five near the jail...of all freaking places. In the window even...AND 75%OFF EVEN. Because the store is closing down. Which is sad. I find something incredibly melancholy about a little bookstore owned by a little old man going out of business, even if it means I can get the much coveted KnitKnit for $5.
5: From the depths of my brother's closet, Mom's vintage plushy-fluffy coat. Apparently my grandmother bought this for her when she was pregnant with me. This will be perfect for keeping warm this Halloween. The upper-half of me anyway. My arse doesn't have a hope in the world.

I've been having a tough week (or two). Today I even got a talking to about keeping my frustration in check at work. Which was due. I have a habit of repressing the big things, and the bottled up rage tends to manifest itself in the wrong places: when customers come in at closing, when the dishes pile up, etc. I have a terrible time hiding my emotions, despite the fact that I lived in Japan for so long. It really does amaze me that I didn't catch on to that social habit a bit more, even though I continue to sit on the floor and take my shoes off every time I enter a house...still can't eat ramen with a fork, I find it unsettling...
Anyhooot, I never usually get talkings-to, and when I do I get extremely upset with myself. But I'd much rather be kept in check and given a heads up, rather than continue the rageathon and unknowingly offend/upset people. Le sigh. I could use a vacation HARDCORE.
So it was nice to find little presents all over the place today. Especially KnitKnit. That elusive book just sitting in the window, I do think that baby jesus put it there just for me.

PS: Great thanks to Erik Piantedosi, the local butcher who kindly informed my boss that I blog about kinky undergarments, especially during this sensitive time when I've been scolded for an outburst. She is going to think that I'm an angry fetishist.
Also, thank you for pointing out that I blushed.


Undercracker Love, September: The Garter Belt and Halloween Preview.

I own three garter belts. I assume that this is approximately three more than the average American woman my age, excluding chintzy/cheap hidden-in-back-of-drawer-in-case-of-impromptu-kinky-sex or costume-use garter belts.
Do I use these on a regular basis? No, unfortunately. However, when I have to get gussied up for weddings and whatnot, they are my best friend. Nylons are a complete bummer for me. I mean, when were nylons ever comfortable for anyone? Who invented toe to waist nylons??? I'd like to have a discussion with them. Throwaway nylons don't look good on anyone. Nobody. PERIOD. Even the skinniest of anorexic models. Not to mention it's like having to take off 1/2 of a scuba diving suit every time you have to pee...
Thigh-highs however, will be fantastically sexy until the end of time, I do believe. Practical, gorgeous, wonderful. This is how I feel about thigh-highs. And garter belts are the plus-alpha.
I'm lucky enough to have a pre-existing mini collection. I take joy in the fact that I don't have to buy sexy things for Halloween, I already own them.
Back-seam thigh-highs: CHECK.
Garter belt: CHECK.
Perfect shoes from two Halloweens ago: CHECK.
So on, and so forth.


Why don't they have a lightbulb that only shines on things worth looking at?

I tend to hate Sundays. They're like the prequel to Mondays. Which always suck. It's like being in the waiting room at a dentists office. Nothing good is going to happen in the imediate future.
I've decided that room cleaning is my Sunday activity of choice. It's productive, refreshing and rewarding. But once that's done, I tend to be at a loss and just wanting for frozen yogurt (you know which kind...)
So I'm keeping myself busy with lastfm, my hula-hoop, George Carlin, coffee and popcorn today.
I really do love hula-hooping. It might just be my greatest athletic ability. And I'm ok with that. And it's good ab exercise too. I swear. Much funner than crunches.

Here are some of my favorite George Carlinisms today:
"You live about 80 years, and at best you get about 6 minutes of pure magic"

"Griddle cakes, pancakes, hotcakes, flapjacks: why are there four names for grilled batter and only one word for love?"

"If it requires a uniform, it's a worthless endeavor"

And tons tons more. But it's Sunday. And I'm too lazy to elaborate further. I used all of my energy taking the AC out of my window this morning. Which was a great visual improvement for my room, although it weighed so much I suspect that it was filled with mercury and cement. Which is probably why it wasn't working in the first place. Damn neighborhood punks.

In other news, I'm terribly excited about the manicure I gave myself yesterday. Little lightning bolts on my toes and red commie stars on my middle fingers. It gives a little added OOMPFH! when I flip someone off, I think.

Shirt: Marshalls, last spring
Skirt: Old Navy, atleast 7 years ago.
Belt: Coach
Necklace: Etsy

Tonight is going to be all about a salad bar, cherry garcia and a movie rental. I'm becoming a creature of habit.