Wednesday, September 30, 2015

In Requiem

It's gone. My beloved Yamaha motorcycle is gone.

I woke up this morning, looked out the kitchen window into my backyard and... this is what I saw. Or, more accurately, what I didn't see. No motorcycle. My baby was gone.

I reported the theft to the police. A detective told me there's a group of kids in the area who are stealing motorcycles for joy-rides. He suspects it was them because my bike is old and not worth a lot of money. A professional thief wouldn't have bothered with it.

I'm in shock. I can't believe my baby is gone. I still expect to be able to take it for rides.

I bought this motorcycle twelve years ago. It was the only bike I've ever bought new; all my others have been used and worn when I got them. This one shined like a bright penny. Every mile on it was put there by me.

The bike, a 2003 Yamaha FZ-1, was fast. Rocketship fast. I took it to the racetrack a few years ago and got it up to 140 mph. It was nimble and could lean into corners like a true racing machine. Those capabilities pushed me to improve my skills; the bike was always luring me into faster, more challenging riding. Honestly, the most exciting moments of my life happened while I was sitting in the saddle of this beast. As well as the scariest. Thank God the brakes on this machine were phenomenal.

It's gone. My baby is gone.



Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Dumb Questions

Someone once said there are no dumb questions. They were wrong. Here are some dumb questions for which there is only one right answer...

- I'm going to visit Niagra Falls this weekend. Should I bring my camera?

- Sweet Suzanne, who lives in Toronto,  is offering to travel down to Niagra to meet me for afternoon tea at a charming little hotel during my visit. Should I accept her offer?

- One of the best favorite things I've ever done was visit Longwood Gardens last Spring with Meghan and Megan Mae. Longwood is a big collection of flowers and plants in Pennsylvania with an elegant restaurant. They are having a special outdoor evening light-show and I'm going the weekend after next. Should I blog  about it afterward?

- The weekend after the weekend after next weekend, I'm going to NYC for a blogger-meetup with Patti. Should I be charming with bubbly enthusiasm or withdrawn and sullen?

- Halloween is coming up and this year it's on a Saturday. Should I look for a party?

- My birthday will arrive in a month, just after Halloween. Should I act my age or pretend I'm still young?

- Blogging is hard work which enriches my life beyond measure. Should I keep going or give it up?

Do you have any dumb questions?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Modern Halloween Costumes

I inadvertently revealed my advanced age last year when I picked a costume for Halloween -- cafĂ©-owner Rick from "Casablanca." While the film is a classic in the art of the cinema, it's over 70 years old. Nobody today remembers back that far. Nobody "got" my costume-reference, even when I explained it to them.

In my defense, I did look smashingly handsome in a white dinner jacket at Ashley's party.

The failure is propelling me, while contemplating Halloween costumes this year, to be more modern. To pull from today's news and celebrities. Here's what I came up with. Let me know which of these you like...

- Instead of being Frankenstein's bride, I could be Frankenstein's gay husband at their now-legal wedding

- Our next First Lady: i.e., Donald Trump's third wife Melania Knauss-Trump

- Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis (wearing her cloak of intolerance)

- Kaley Cuoco (sadly single again)

- Teenage Suzanne twirling her baton

- Bernie Sanders's incompetent hairdresser

- Badass sea witch (a/k/a Megan Mae)

- Amy Schumer's BFF (JLaw)

- Kim Kardashian's accountant

- Beyoncé's second daughter, Beige Ivy

- Sheila's shoe collection

- Larry King's eighth (and hopefully final) wife, Shawn Southwick

- The cover of Redbook (September issue) (Christine)

- Lena Dunham's ghost-writer

- The Ghost of Jon Snow

- Kezzie in a Tardis

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Fashion Is Life

Everything in life is connected. If you look closely enough, you see the bonds.

Today I put together an outfit that I like. It has my favorite colors and nice shapes. Plus -- and especially -- the outfit has sentimental value.

During the fun meetup in Vancouver, we went thrifting which was a smart idea since we all love to shop. We visited several thrift-stores. I enjoyed having company; normally I'm alone when I shop. We shared opinions on possible purchases and cooed when something looked good.

I selected a pretty purple skirt. I've been experimenting with pencil-skirts and find them attractive. My choice got Sheila's seal of approval which, in the fashion-blogging world, is a high honor. Sheila is the Maven of Creative Dressing (MCD). She has an ability to find unusual clothes and combine them in creative, attractive ways. Sheila is generous with her advice and you'd be wise to listen to her. Not only will she tell you what to wear, she'll explain why and you'll find yourself nodding your head in agreement. Sheila understands fashion like nobody else I know.

Since then, I've been looking for the right way to present the skirt. I want to give it the respect it deserves, as a reminder of our fun time together. I finally found a perfect accompaniment.

I was shopping at Kohl's this week and my eye was caught by a pink top from Jennifer Lopez. It's an ideal shade of pink, embedded with tiny rhinestones, and has pretty straps in the back. But when I saw it was $36, I put it down; that's way more than I normally pay. I wandered around the store looking for other things without success. My mind couldn't leave the pink top. I circled back and picked it up. Sometimes, touch is powerful. It will tell you whether or not to buy a piece. The fabric, its elasticity and texture, appeal to you or don't. This one did. Because of my fit-problems, elasticity is key. The top is much smaller than I need (a medium) but its stretchiness allows me to wear it.

I still balked at the price but decided to investigate. There were signs in the area saying 70% off. I checked to see if they applied to the top. They did! And, even better, I had a $10 off coupon. So my $36 skirt was marked down to $13 and with my coupon, it cost me $3. Three dollars! For the perfect top. Fate smiled on me.

I like how the top brings out the pink in the purple skirt and unifies the outfit. And how the outfit recalls a nice memory.

What do you think?





Thursday, September 24, 2015


I don't have curves. None. My body is a perfect cylinder: 44-44-44. No hourglass here.

Most women's bodies, due to anatomy, have natural curves. Slopes that society has turned into cultural representation. The traditional S-shape curve of a female body is a common cultural symbol for women.

I desire that or at least the illusion of it. A few years ago I noticed women wearing dresses that make their bodies look very curvy. I realized the dresses create an optical illusion -- an emphasized curvy area is surrounded by negative space. Our eyes see the curves and reject the rest of the image (which are, in fact, other parts of the woman's body).

I wondered if this illusion could work for me. I've been on the lookout for a dress like this for a few months. Most are expensive and available only in tony boutiques. Finally, I spotted one at a thrift-store for $8. It isn't as exaggerated with curves as others are, but it's better than nothing. What do you think?




Wednesday, September 23, 2015


I don't know if I say this often enough, but I should -- thank you.

Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for saying nice things to me. Thank you for supporting me in my difficult, unusual journey. Without you, I'd be lost in the woods, scared and lonely.

You may not realize how important your presence in my life. Do you remember being a little girl when, scared and alone, someone offered you their hand? That simple gesture can change one's whole outlook. The world turns into a nicer place; fear disappears and confidence is instilled. You guys do that for me.

Due largely to your support, I've grown more as a person in the last five years than I had in the previous forty. I'm reaping the benefits of that growth with greater and more frequent happiness. Being able to pursue fun activities, like dressing up as a mermaid, is profoundly joyful for me. You make that possible.

Years from now, when you look back on your life and tally up all the good things you did to change the world in a positive way, you should be proud of having helped someone who needed assistance at a critical moment. That's laudable and you deserve appreciation. You have mine.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

First Fall Outfit

Out of respect for you, I've decided to up my game. Nobody wants to see a schlub. Living in New York, I have no excuse for not wearing beautiful clothes -- they're all around me. I just need sense and cents to grab them.

Planning my first Fall outfit was fun. (So is alliteration.) Over the Summer, Macy's opened a new off-price discount store called Macys Backstage. The store has fashionable clothes at steep savings. I visited one that popped up near me and saw something special -- an item I've always wanted to own but never have. It's something the cool girls had when I was growing up.

It is a faux-fur vest made to look like Mongolian sheep fur. Delicious and unusual. Instantly stylish. And on sale at deep discount for only $22.

Along with my new vest, I'm wearing a very cute pleated skirt with two rows of color which I got in the clothing-swap at the Vancouver Blogger Meetup. The skirt was brought to the swap by Greetje who, coincidentally, chose the red sweater I contributed. (She posts about it here.) I'm also wearing a wooden necklace my friend Gracey gave me showing a silhouette of the State of Oregon with a heart inside. Thanks, big buddy!

I really like this outfit. It's fashion-forward and modern. Often I get stuck in my head and choose clothes I wish I could have worn decades ago during a youth I never had instead of dressing for today. This ensemble, I believe, is more realistic and current.

What do you think? Would you wear a Mongolian sheep fur vest?





Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Oh, Canada

I'm not the kind of person who attracts attention in normal life. My average looks and conventional dress pass unnoticed. Rarely does a stranger speak to me in public.

Today, however, was different. All day long, I was approached for conversation and commented upon for something I was wearing. And you'll never believe what the item was -- a necktie.

During my trip to Vancouver, I fell in love with Canada. While there, I spotted a bold necktie in bright red and white. It has a fun graphic design which suggests (but doesn't replicate) the national symbol (a maple leaf). I snapped up the tie on sight. When I put it on, my fellow-bloggers laughed. They said I look like a Canadian politician trying to drum up votes.

I like the tie because of its attractive colors and design. Sure, it's a symbol of a country but that's secondary to my appreciation of its aesthetics.

Today, dozens of strangers stared at my tie as I walked by. Many complimented it and several asked me why I was wearing it. This type of thing *never* happens to me and it felt really weird. All of a sudden, I went from being completely anonymous to the center-of-attention. Just because of a necktie!

Why do you think the tie garnered such attention? Has this ever happened to you?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

My Blog Is Haunted

I think my blog is haunted.

A few weeks ago, I started seeing a faint image of a teenage girl wearing Colonial-era clothes on my blog. She'd appear, disappear, and come back. I wasn't sure what was going on.

Then messages started popping up. "I wish I could have worn that..." "We weren't allowed to show our ankles." Comments full of sad longing. I felt sorry for her.

Lately, however, she's turned snarky. "That belt with those shoes? Really?!" I was surprised at the change in tone. I PM'd her on Twitter and asked, "Why are you messing with me? Isn't there someone more deserving of abuse?" She half-heartedly apologized and said she was bored. "Eternity isn't the jam you think it's gonna be. Grrl's gotta spice it up." Apparently, when some teenage girls have too much time on their hands, they say mean things.

Has this ever happened to you? I'm thinking of getting an exorcism when the Pope comes to town.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

In The Moment

Normally when I do an outfit-post, it's at the end of a long workday. I'm tired and have limited time. I rush though my makeup, pull out an idea for an ensemble, wiggle into clothes and hope something awful doesn't happen -- like part of my outfit hanging wrong. Being your own model is hard 'cause you don't see what the camera sees until afterward -- when it's too late to fix.

Today was different. Instead of hurrying to meet a goal, I decided to ENJOY myself. Savor the experience of dressing up. I had a whole day to myself so I didn't rush. Instead of worrying what others might think of my outfit, I chose something *I* wanted to wear. For the first time, I relaxed as I applied makeup and got pleasure from what is usually a chore. I shaved my legs and tried new poses. I slowed down my usual frantic pace and focused on each step of the process. I was "in the moment." It was glorious!

This all started last week during a chance visit to my local thrift-shop. While browsing, I uncovered a cute dress and matching wedge-sandals, both in purple (my favorite color) and both with animal-prints. They appeal to me on a gut-level, although I realize they are not "mature." Many might believe these items are inappropriate for an old person like myself but, in my heart, I'm 24 years old. The Fashion Police didn't have a warrant to bust into my home and stop me, so I wore these pieces unimpeded. I added a motorcycle necklace given to me by a friend.

Do you ever wear something just for the fun of it?







Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Happy Face

I was lucky enough to have my camera with me when I stopped at a red light and saw this happy guy. Looking at him just makes me smile. You, too?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

New York City

Walking the streets of Manhattan is a delight. The sights are so visually stimulating. I went into the city last weekend to have afternoon tea with my friend Michi. Beforehand, I walked around for hours with camera in hand. This is what I saw.











Monday, September 7, 2015

I Love The Sixties

If you love clothes, the best friend you can have is a seamstress with a big heart. I have one -- and I appreciate her so much.

My friend Aimee is incredibly talented. She can make anything and even has little labels she puts inside her creations. I met Aimee a few years ago by following her sewing-blog. I ventured upstate on my motorcycle and had a wonderful time visiting her. Aimee is young, strong, smart and sweet. I can't think of anything good she isn't!

One of my most prized possessions is an apron Aimee made for me when I was gushing about pretty aprons. Wearing hers, I feel feminine and pretty. I put the apron on as often as I can, for that emotional rush.

I was thrilled to receive a package in the mail from Aimee recently. It turned out to be a dress she made from an authentic Sixties pattern. The fabric recalls that era vividly. I'm wearing it here with a big smile to reflect my happiness at donning a dress from my favorite period.

What period of fashion speaks to you?



Sunday, September 6, 2015

Wearing Woodstock

Earlier this Summer, I visited Woodstock, site of the legendary rock concert (1969). The charming little town has lots of Sixties clothing and memorabilia. Visiting it was a walk down memory-lane for me. I remember that period -- I was a child in the Sixties, if not a child of the Sixties.

While in Woodstock, I bought a beautiful hand-made dress which I showed you here. I also picked up a cute purple tie-dyed skirt. Tie-dyeing was huge back then and most of us did it ourselves. It's an appealingly-simple process. Even kids can do it.

I wasn't sure how to show off my pretty new skirt so I decided to draw attention to it by keeping the rest of the outfit simple. And Sixties-ish. How's it look?