Yep. That's right. The sound of the alarm makes your whole body curl up into a sad little ball, from your fingers to your toes. Even the simple act of reaching one arm out from underneath the covers to make the noise stop takes an excessive amount of courage and dedication. And for what? The only reason for living from the early hours of the morning till at least 11:00 am in January is coffee. And maybe the occasional eggs florentine. But hell! You made all kinds of promises to yourself about avoiding things like hollandaise this year! FUCK JANUARY. I say at least give yourself the comfort of butter, chocolate and cheese until the time comes when you don't have to pre-heat your car as to not go into hypothermic shock on the way to work. Nobody is going to see your ripped abs underneath that goose down parka anyway.
For the past two weeks, there's been an overabundance of rain. Which is better than snow in a few ways. One being that it isn't quite so cold, and also being concerned about puddles while driving around town is not quite as stressful as the alternative...going about your business while worrying about sliding out of control and into a mac truck with a giant plow the size of your house attached and losing your head...so on and so forth. Though rain is not nearly as pretty...win some, lose some.
So in the meantime, I've been taking random photos, and reading my XSi book, aka my new bible. While I'm still baffled by atleast 90% of what this camera can do for me, slowly but surely I'm figuring out new tricks, functions and what-have-you. I find that I learn best from my own mistakes. Example: failure to use faster shutter speed ruined 80% of all pictures taken at Policecop's graduation ceremony. While I was bummed as hell, there was a tiny spark of gladness in the fact that I can now recognize exactly how I screwed things up. Progress!
And to further motivate me, a fantastic photo correspondence project has been set into motion. Me + Buttercup, a dear sexy friend with an equally sexy dslr, + 1 shooting theme per week.
First Challenge: FIRE!
Although I started shooting the night we decided upon this, I have since come up with an idea of much greater, dangerous proportions that will be carried out by the end of this week. For now, I'll share with you my tea light adventures, which look much more impressive in the above animated gif than they do in still jpeg mode.
Things actually started off pretty shitty today when I failed to use the correct grind of coffee for our new machine (Thanks Elliot! For the coffee maker, not the shitty morning. That part was my fault.) Even having worked at the almighty Starbucks for a few years, I didn't realize what horrible things could happen when using coffee ground for a paper filter in a metal one. Well, let me tell you... Go a little bit coarser when you're dealing with a metal filter. Or else, you will end up drinking an entire large mug of what is more or less straight up espresso. This will basically ruin you for about 3-4 hours. I thought I was about ready to shake and shimmy into the afterlife. Sweating, tremors, nausea, the whole shebang. And that was my morning. You think I would have recognized that something was wrong when I poured it and it had a crema layer. My bad, my bad.
I was able to come down from the terrible terrible high, with some help from the best lunch on earth: grilled cheese with sliced roma tomatoes, fresh basil, and tomato soup. After which I set out to find an appropriate getup for Policecop's hometown graduation tomorrow.
Result: I may as well show up at Camp Edwards cradling a baguette, but I like it. Alot. It may or may not have been inspired by my new camera strap on a subconscious level.
Found the shoes at Forever21. I have wanted these for at least 5 months when they showed them in a jean advert, but failed to put them up for sale until about a month ago. I was beginning to assume that they were never going to be available, and considered writing to the company a few times....yes, I wanted them that bad.
The dress I found at Target on clearance for $10. Put together with black cardigan, thrifted beret and my trusty knee socks...which I may or may not wear tomorrow as the boys parents will be there. Paired with the sky-high heels, I think it might just be pushing the provocative envelope a little bit past brunch-appropriate. I'm still debating, but I'm thinking black tights might be the way to go. Better safe than slutty, I suppose.
Now I'm off to sew some buttons and paint some nails. Two things I find incredibly tedious. I would have liked to have gotten them over with earlier, had I not been in a state of perpetual vibration. Blood and OPI everywhere...not the one you want.
Oh hey! It's every indie kids favorite non-sweatshop go-to for extremely generic basic clothing items, using raunchy yet edgy motel sex with an 80's feel to push their product! LOVES IT! Or not so much. Just take a moment to look at these ads above and picture them completely void of text. Because let's face it, you weren't looking at the text in the first place. So what is it exactly that you are trying to sell me, American Apparel? While I'm all for quality goods and the abolition of sweatshops...and even if your merchandise is overpriced to the very calculated just-barely-acceptable mark... I might be more drawn to it if you presented it to me in a less INDIE GIRL LIVES FOR ANAL! type of way. For example, those turquoise tights would look mighty fine with a black dress, only without the desperate breast clutching. And that striped body suit would look kind of neat with wide leg pants, while not outlining the intimate details of my hoo-ha for gaggles of dudes to get off to while peering through their long bangs and listening to The Smiths, alone in their dark room in front of their Mac air books. If these chicks were blonder, tanner, thinner, and had more silicone up in them, I'm pretty sure there would be a semi-big uproar about AA objectifying women in their ads. Sex sells. It's always the same shit.
American Apparel, I think I'm all set. You creep me out.
It is now January 17th and it has just occurred to me that I have not made a single official New Years resolution aside from mastering my beloved XSi. I guess I don't really feel motivated or inspired just by the act of filling another year and having to re-adjust to writing different digits at the end of the date.
For me, winter can be broken down into three stages: 1: Initial onset. Excitement of first snow, wearing knit hats, scarves and boots. 2: Novelty of snow and fancy winter gear has worn thin, but Christmas and New Years provide enough glitter and warmth to distract from barren tundra of arctic death that has overtaken the world. 3: Barren tundra of arctic death with no salvation in sight. Not to mention you feel like a glob having gained 5 lbs over the holidays, and your skin is as dry as antique paper in the Sahara. You want nothing more than to just be one with your electric blanket 24/7 while drinking hot milk tea and eating chicken dinners, with Lost playing on loop in the background till April. Sawyer will keep you warm.
So, stage 3 is where I'm at now. I'm pretty convinced that humans were originally intended to hibernate like the bears, until some tool in some high place decided that it was impractical or not economically productive to do such a thing. What a douchebag.
For me, the onset of spring is always so much more motivating than the New Years switch-over. The smell of the ground thawing out, watching the beginnings of buds start to pop out on the trees, that first semi-non-freezing day that leads you to break out the short-sleeved shirt even though it's still a bit impractical... the first day that you can roll your car windows all the way down and drive down the highway blasting whatever it is that makes your heart soar... As opposed to December 31st, when we all get drunk and dripping in mardi gras beads, counting down the seconds till midnight, which only brings you to last call and a cold-ass walk to the car at which point you realize for the next few months there is still a 100% chance of frostbite, but now only with 0% chance of turkey, presents and other festivities. So, fuck winter. Spring is the New-New-Year.
Tonight I braved the elements to attend a Policecop family dinner at the Charlie Horse. It actually wasn't that horrendous outside, so I was able to put together something at least a little bit cuter than a full-body snow suit. Jacket: Old Navy, on clearance for $22 last weekend. UPDATE: These same jackets are now 50% off of pre-existing clearance price, today I got the navy version for $11. Bag: I've been on a mad search for a big bowler-style bag and finally settled on this one, also at Old Navy 50% off clearance for a grand total of $12. The plan was to find one big enough to hold my camera and other necessities. Mission accomplished, for $113 less than the Betsey Johnson one I was eyeing at TJMaxx for some time. It's not that I wouldn't love a Betsey Johnson, I'd just rather grab something similar and still have enough money to score that sweet EF 50mm 1.8 lens that I'm dying for. Scarf semi-permanently borrowed from Mum, grey sweater/dress and black tights from TJMaxx a while back. $3 Guess shoes from DSW.
Also in the mix, Rudy-cat showing off his fancy winter fur. I may miss my red coat come April, but certainly not as much as I will miss Ruden's out of control fluff situation.
Gaah Monday. Gaah. Today was slow as fheck, made cupcakes and went home an hour early. Got my W2s, taxes are officially FILED. Three cheers for getting stuff done asap. I even returned my latest Netflix DVD, Last Life in the Universe. I finally got around to watching it after it sat on my bedside table for two weeks. Absolutely loved it. Dark meets cute, meets Asano Tadanobu (tearing at my heart strings since 2001).
It's HERE. The DSLR of my dreams, Canon Rebel XSi. Mine, all mine. I've been spending the past week or so just hoping and wishing that work will go by quickly so that I can go home to play with my new toy. So many possibilities, so much to learn, so little time... This camera is entirely wasted on me until I can re-learn everything that I've forgotten from my half-year high school photography course, and then some. Using the automatic settings feels like a sin. Kind of like owning a Maserati when the only driving you do is a 40 minute commute to an industrial park with a pit-stop at Dunkin' Donuts. Just ain't right.
I've been able to get some pretty sweet images out of it, but I feel like I'm just skimming the tip of the iceberg. In addition, this camera has officially added to the list of reasons that I want summer to come back now. It's hard to leave the house when it's 15 degrees out, and I am pretty much spent on taking pictures in my room, of myself. Luckily, Policecop and my dear sister Hilary have been around to keep me company and provide some varied subject matter.
This weekend I did manage to set foot out of my beloved electric blanket to do some semi-frivolous shopping with Policecop. I scored a sweet red military-style jacket at Old Navy on clearance for $22. Also found last week on clearance at Target, neat-o belt buckle ring from the Anna Sheffield collection. Wanted it for ages, glad I waited till it was 50% off.
Today I took Policecop on a hometown tour of Marshfield. It's strange going back to the place that you grew up in after being displaced from it for a decade. There is so much change, manifesting itself mostly in the form of new gas stations and pharmacies, more effective road systems to deal with increased traffic, etc. And yet the things that remain the same are like little relics, ghost-like photographic memories from the past playing out in the present, unadultered and continuing whether you are there to be a part of it or not. I guess I find this equal parts comforting and unsettling. I spent the first 18 years of my life in this little town, in the same little house. My family moved while I was in Japan, and it was really kind of uncomfortable to go home to a "home" that I hadn't been to before when I came back to the states.
I've been to Marshfield many times since my family has moved, I've seen "my house" many times since it was sold to another family. But even today as we pulled into that street, I felt almost as if I could walk right in, through the living room, up the stairs and flop on to my bed. I could have thrown my sony headphones on and listened to Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness, looking out the window at the sliver of beach down 5th Road. For whatever reason, when we got to my old house I didn't have the courage to get out of the car. I could have knocked on my neighbors door and said hello. I could have walked around just a little bit, just short of trespassing. But it just didn't feel like the right thing to do. Kind of like how you wouldn't jump over the velvet rope in a museum and wander about a wax-figure exhibit of native americans fishing in streams before the pilgrims came and fucked shit up. So we went to Gerard's Turkey Farm and got some sweet lunch to-go, drove back to the sea wall and ate it there while taking random pictures. All in all, it was a very good weekend.
Heeeeyooo welcome 2010! In Carverland, things are off to a good start. I have managed to pull together my Christmas monies plus a bit from my paycheck and score myself the DSLR of my wildest dreams. I am excited beyond all reason. And entirely impatient. I ordered it on New Years Eve morning, so the holidays/weekend are causing some delays in the payment processing and shipping. For the meantime, I bought myself an extensive guide book at Borders to study up on this insanely complicated contraption. It has officially become my 2010 resolution to master the xsi by the end of February.
The Christmas wonderland has been dismantled. It was kind of a sad process for me, and the wall tree is looking entirely lonely. I did pick up some pink and white lights on clearance to hang up as a substitute, I wasn't quite ready to let go. I had an above-average Christmas this year. I really enjoyed the gift buying, wrapping, using excessive amounts of curling ribbon, sending cards, the whole bit. I got some pretty sweet gifts myself too...Audrey bookmark from my boss (perfect for tearing through my xsi book), gorgeous Italian crystal bottle and glass set from Gabbelina and Joe at the cafe, and a shoe-a-day calendar for 2010 from Policecop's parents...they obviously have me mapped out pretty well. I want to frame this picture of the Louboutin Anemone pumps.
For New Years Eve, I made it a priority to get doodled up beyond the realm of sensibility. I had wanted to go somewhere fancy for the sole purpose of doing this, but black tie events cost around $180+ per head. Solution: Go to any party, and get gussied-the-hell-up anyway. Approximately $200 saved, Problem SOLVED. And Policecop even played along and wore a suit. He is just that good of a sport. I got the dress for $8 at the same time I scored the famous 17 cent dress this past summer. I knew I'd find a purpose for it, and I was right. I hit up Charlotte Russe for the rhinestone bow heels ($34) and the veiled hair comb ($3.50 whaaat?!). Matched with previously owned back seam thigh highs and leopard print coat from H&M at 70% off, bought as a x-mas present to-self-from-self. Elliot's party was mad fun. The Cornerstone yankee swap is always so ridiculously good that I wish we could do this over drinks at least once a month. I'm going to have trouble waiting one more year, although it gives me plenty of time to think of a gift good enough to counter my bosses donation of an impromptu gift certificate from the pawn shop where I deliver lunch to and regularly walk in on the owner watching porn on his laptop, taking my picture, so on and so forth. When she said she had put something in the swap that was meant just for me, I didn't expect it to be quite so devious and fantastically clever. She is honestly some sort of genius. No joke. I believe Elliot ended up with the Peggy's gift certificate, but I'm positive that it's going to come back to haunt me. As for the aftermath of New Years, Policecop and I went out for some eggs benedict (hash and florentine respectively), and spent the remainder of the weekend in a constant state of laziness, lolling about in our pj's, and enjoying the final season of The Shield from the warmth of my new electric blanket (X-mas present from Policecop. Like heaven. Is going to be the downfall of me, destroying all motivation to leave my bed and do anything productive. It's pretty much on par with having a gateway to Aruba in your closet or something...)
And Hilary's most finest Christmas present, Edward the doll, is guarding our manger setup until one of us here can muster up the motivation to go tromping through two feet of snow for 10 round trips or more to the shed to put all of these decorations away...I'm predicting that Edward stays for a while.