Professing * Reflecting

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

This week's wardrobe inspired by . . .

. . .my 19-year-old self. It's almost March, a month that almost always brings back the pretty powerful memories and energy of a certain time in my life. The Spring of the 19-year-old me (oh these many moons ago) blew my mind in many many ways, both good and bad. There were adolescent epiphanies, a newfound sense of autonomy, a crazy boyfriend, a legal separation (my parents), some illegal substances, much music, many friends, and the carving out of a little nouveau-bohemian existence of my own. All of this hinged on a totally rad, utterly overdetermined aesthetic.

During my 19th year and into my early 20s I dressed at various times and during various moods like three of these characters. Can you guess which?

1. Claire/Molly Ringwald, of course. Though I am still on the lookout for all of the pieces to reproduce that exact ensem. When I find it, I will dance like this.

2. The pre-makeover Allison/Ally Sheedy. Lots of black and gray. Lots of long scarves. Lots of eyeliner.

3. John Bender. Jean jacket? Check. Flannel with cut-off sleeves over long-underwear top? Check. Fingerless gloves? Most definitely, then and now. I also wanted (want) badly to make out with John Bender in a broom closet, which is why he has been my imaginary boyfriend for over 20 years now. Not Judd Nelson, mind you. John Bender.

I would have worn this next outfit when I was 19. I think I did wear this next outfit when I was 19. I am slightly concerned about how orange this person is. Is it the lighting in the photo? Orange tights? An ironic retro self-tanning job? I was not this orange when I was 19.

The boots. The socks. The skinny mini with the crisp buttoned-up white blouse. All of those bracelets! I will steal this look, though not with a mini that wee. Inspiration, yes. Adaptation, yes.

How perfect does this next woman (model Anja Rubik, I think) look? I love everything about this outfit.

This was my 19-year-old haircut. I loved that haircut. I still love that haircut. So New Wave. So Evangelista.

I think I have to go listen to some Thompson Twins now, then maybe go out and buy some potted daffodils, and then maybe try to get at least a conceptual grip on this much too early, must too strong Spring fevah of mine.



Saturday, February 23, 2008

I'm rollin', I'm rollin', I'm rollin'. . .

No, I haven't spent my Saturday morning tripping on Ecstasy (in some ways I really do miss the '80s, in others I really don't) and I haven't spent it shoveling out my car, as I should have. In a fit of procrastination and because I have a fevah, the kind that needs ibuprofen, not more cowbell (unfortunately), I have spent the morning updating my blog roll, and I even neatly organized it into neat little categories (for this part, I blame the impregnating aliens who have turned me into a nesting and sorting freak).

So check yourself and your cool company out. And if I forgot you or you would like to be added, just let me know.



Friday, February 22, 2008

Poetry Friday, man oh man Brautigan


With his hat on
he's about five inches taller
than a taxicab.

I am posting Brautigan's "Man" in celebration of the end of the week's grading and in honor of the one student who kept referring to Man--Man's universe, Man's nature, the virtues of Man, the vices of Man--in his essay. I kept wanting to write in the margins, "Who is this 'Man' fellow you speak of?", but leaving this poem as a comment would have worked beautifully as well.



Wednesday, February 20, 2008

This week's wardrobe inspired by . . .

I am tapped this week, but that in no way means I am too tired to think about clothes.

This week I have returned to the familiar shape of this winter's uniform, the Pippi/Swedish Street Urchin.

I adore the color of this scarf. Adore.

I adore it so much, I am putting touches of it all over my house. This weekend I reupholstered my vanity seat in this fabric, a purchase partly inspired by this dress. (Unfortunately you can't really see how beautiful the gold is in either the photo of the seat or the dress.)

Can you believe I did this myself? The mad nesting of possible alien impregnation continues. Upholstery? Since when do I do upholstery? Crazed Spring Cleaning '08 has officially begun.



Saturday, February 16, 2008

Poetry Friday, a.k.a. Brautigan Saturday

A Mid-February Sky Dance

Dance toward me, please, as
if you were a star
with light-years piled
on top of your hair,

and I will dance toward you
as if I were darkness
with bats piled like a hat
on top of my head.

I had thought I would take a break from the Brautigan, so I started writing a poem yesterday morning with the intention of posting it. Then I had to leave to teach, and I was too tired and museless to return to it last night.

This morning I decided we all still needed the Brautigan anyway, at least enough to get us through the winter. I had a vague memory of a Brautigan poem called "February 15," which turned out to be this. Now that I read it, I think I will include yesterday's poem with it. So here it is, drafty and unfinished, but my own mid-February poem.

Carlton Arms

Room 6C, corner of 3rd and 25th,
The goddess room you called it, rolling over,
Reaching out, covering your eyes with green
Flimsy fabric straying from the window,
Breeze-blown veil for this, your rare hangover.

Please please please aspirin please, if you will.
I will, I say without saying, already
On my way out of your arms, out of doors.

65 degrees on February 15,
Weak wintry morning sun, city well awake,
Shopkeepers sweeping water, melting snow,
Away from shop doors, creating a dance
Of passersby, skirting moving edges.

Away from you, I gather myself, tight
Into the smoke of the day’s first cigarette.
Duane Reade, coffee stand, you, back to you.

We spent that whole day in your hangover,
In the weird green light of the goddess room,
In the rebel breeze of a rebel day.

I told you I felt like a made-up image
From a very old daydream, from my own
Little-girl daydream, like I was not here now,
But there, under a West Virginia tree,
Dreaming 6C, corner of 3rd and 25th.



Wednesday, February 13, 2008

This week's wardrobe inspired by . . .

I chose these a few days ago. All of that gray--I should have known I was headed for some grump and gloom. I am in a mood. I think it's mostly hormonal, but I am also so very drained (already!) from the semester. This job is not always hell but all of the things that make it hell when it is hell are in full force at the moment. (In other words, and to put it simply--because it ultimately is this simple--the Toxic One is in full force.) Must. ignore. this. whirlwind. of. idiocy. and. toxicity.

Maybe a little Dylan will help.



Saturday, February 09, 2008

Poetry Friday, The Galilee Hitch-Hiker, Part 9

My Insect Funeral

When I was a child
I had a graveyard
where I buried insects
and dead birds under
a rose tree.
I would bury the insects
in tin foil and match boxes.
I would bury the birds
in pieces of red cloth.
It was all very sad
and I would cry
as I scooped the dirt
into their small graves
with a spoon.
Baudelaire would come
and join in
my insect funerals,
saying little prayers
the size of
dead birds.

San Francisco
February 1958

I am one day late for poetry Friday again, but here it is--the final part of "The Galilee Hitchhiker." Ta da!

My sister and I used to dig bird graves with spoons and bury birds and have bird funerals and pray little prayers, probably exactly the size of those little dead birds. Our childhood cat, the great bird assassin, Red Baron, would fret and strut nearby during the proceedings, kept at bay solely by the force of little girl glares.

It's been a looooong week. My laptop has returned from the land of repairs. It reportedly has a new logic board (brain?) and seems to be just fine (but does it remember me?). I am lazy and sleepy and not especially interested in straying far from my current position--in bed, laptop in front of me, warm dozing chihuahua in my lap. Trouble is I have 14 billion papers to grade and a few million errands to run and chalupy to let run and play in the park before the next snows arrive. Sigh.

Coffee. More coffee. Some lazy blog reading for a half and hour or so. Some internet window lusting after a few things that I definitely cannot buy until I get my paycheck and should not buy even then. Some more coffee. Then I shall motivate beyond the bed for the day. Happy Saturday, everyone!



Wednesday, February 06, 2008

My laptop went mad

The Mac repair guys are trying to soften the blow by making it sound all technical n' shit, but I think we all know what "complete failure of the main logic board" really means.



Saturday, February 02, 2008

Poetry Friday, The Galilee Hitchhiker, Part 8

Insane Asylum

Baudelaire went
to the insane asylum
disguised as a
He stayed there
for two months
and when he left,
the insane asylum
loved him so much
that if followed
him all over
and Baudelaire
laughed when the
insane asylum
rubbed itself
up against his
leg like a
strange cat.

I had to ship my sweet sweet laptop off for repairs earlier this week. I am bereft, I tell you. When I got my laptop three years ago, I packed up my old iMac to give it to, um, . . .well, I never figured it out, and thanks to my total lack of charitable know-how, I was able to dig it out of the closet and hook it up and--voila--after a few sparks and grunts from the old beast, I am in back in business. Sort of. For example, you'll note that Friday's poem is appearing on Saturday morning. That's how slow this computer is! It's an ancient thing. OS 300 b.c., I believe. My cable modem can't stop laughing at it. I swear to god I can hear gears or something cranking in there.

Anyway, nothing could stop me from posting the penultimate part of Brautigan's "The Galilee Hitchhiker." I suspect I am enjoying posting each part each week more than anyone is actually enjoying reading it, but for me it has been a grand way to transition into the new year. Baudelaire and cats and opium and flowerburgers and ceaseless drunkenness! I simply cannot get enough. And each week, I find the part strangely applicable. This week, for example, I have been thinking about the crazy quite a bit. First, who can ignore Brit Brit's plight this week as her spiral downward lands her back in a California psych ward? (And who can speak of her without falling into entertainment reporting lingo?) Second (this really should be first), madness is figuring large in a few things I am teaching this week. Third (ok, this really really should have been first), I have been pondering over but reveling in my own total lack of mad depression this winter. (Let's just review that priority sequence: Britney, my career, my own mental health. Hrmm.)