Thursday, July 31, 2008


One year ago today, a human monster beat the life out of my beautiful little sister Haley for no reason at all. Ever since, all I can think about is to wonder....... why.

Why would anyone hurt her.

She'd regularly pull over on the way home from drive-thru restaurants to give her own dinner to homeless people she saw along the way. She worked for a while as a social worker because she wanted a job where she could help people less fortunate. And often she used her own money to help them out when no other options were available. She worked in elderly & child daycare centers for the same reason. Ditto for her substitute teaching.

Haley was probably one of the most generous humans I have ever known. She was always a give-the-shirt-off-her-back kinda girl. Material stuff meant nothing to her. What she really loved was to make friends and collect smiles from the people she helped out. If you think that sounds corny well, it does. But that doesn't mean it wasn't true. You could ask anyone who knew Haley and they would tell you the same. Haley was a goodhearted person who just liked to please other people, and to help them out.

She even helped her murderer out. He was a stranger to her and he told her he was hungry. So she helped him get food. For that kindness, she paid with her life. Had he asked for more help, I have no doubt Haley would have done what she could to help him. Instead he laid in wait for her at her place, in the dead of night, waited with gloves and duct tape and an evil heart, attacked her, bound her, terrorized her, killed her, robbed her. All for a car which he just abandoned and a computer that wasn't even worth a hundred bucks.

Why. WHY.

Now I don't have a sister anymore. After our Mom's untimely death we were the only two females left in the immediate family, and that was always a source of strength in our relationship. Now there's only me. I don't have a sister anymore.

I still don't understand. I guess I never will.

Haley- I miss you. I think about you every single day. I see shit on tv that I know that only you would appreciate, and I know we'd laugh our asses off. I miss laughing with you. You & I combined used to bring roomfuls of people down in laughter, remember? We were good together, wicked good. I'll never forget our crazy shenanigans when we lived at Gramma's. Damn we had such adventures, damn we were so bad! Remember the snake in the cemetery?? We laughed so hard. I miss those days. I want you to do my hair again. I want to reminisce. I want to hang out and smoke and eat pizza together. I want to go to the movies with you. I want to sing that silly-silly 'Sisters' song with you like we used to. I want to sit up all night on the bed, talking. I want you back. I need you. I don't know how to live without you.

I love you, Little Sis. And I MISS YOU. Always...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

i spy with my little eye...

So there is this alley that runs between our house and the restaurant next door. Now, it's not uncommon to have problems with rowdy people over there at night, it IS a Chico's Tacos after all (for the non-El Pasoans, Chico's is local legend known for it's infamous rolled tacos, and people especially love to go there after a night of drinking) And unfortunately for my poor eyes, drunks pissin' in the alley on weekends is not uncommon. At least it's dark usually.

But today I caught some guy shaking the lizard in the alley in broad daylight! Geeez.

I was returning from picking up a prescription, driving through the alley on the way to the front of the house. As I turned down the alley I see this young guy in baggy shorts, cockatoo in hand, boldly going where many men have gone before. GROSS.

For a second I didn't know what to to.

And then my evil side kicked in. I started hitting the horn repeatedly, pointing at him, and shrieking, "I see it! I see it!!! OMG I seeee it!!!" hysterically. The dood staggered back, and ran off around the corner... struggling to pull up his shorts along the way.

I haven't laughed so hard in ages.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

style that screams

It's been awhile since I've posted a style-related thingy. So today I give you... outfits inspired by one of my favorite things: horror movies and scream queens! Enjoy.

They're coming to get you, Barbra...

Inspired by Night Of The Living Dead

The Bride...

Inspired by The Bride Of Frankenstein

Frida Krueger...

Inspired by A Nightmare On Elm Street

The Birds...

Inspired by The Birds


Inspired by May

(click the pics for details & ordering info on each item)

I went over the top with some of these just for fun.
The idea is to pull inspiration from anywhere and everywhere and work it into your daily look. Express your personality, the real you is so much more interesting than a pile of meaningless trends.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

angsty mcangsterson

These are my darkest days.

I can't remember ever having a lower point. Which sounds crazy, given the great tragedy & drama that has been Life Thus Far. I'm no longer on rough waters, I'm no longer even floundering... I'm just dead weight... still, and limp, and bruised from the inside out, and slowly sinking. I am just in a holding pattern, numb and waiting, and waiting, and waiting...... I can't even summon up a healthy fear of sharks.

A little over 2 years ago, the simple decision of one person whom I had loved and trusted for many years sent my existence into a crash-and-burn. I faced the awful experience of losing everything I had in life in one quick split second. The D-word is never pleasant, but in my case it was beyond painful- it has reshaped my life like a tornado dropping from the sky without warning and brutally rearranging the face of the earth, touching down and transforming it forever into a different thing in a matter of moments.

The heartbreak of losing someone I loved was only the beginning of it- I came home from a work trip (photography assignment in Arizona) to discover- shockingly- that my husband had left without a word while I was away, yes left with someone else, someone secret from the secret hidden life I was unaware of, and had left me alone, with nothing much at all besides what I had with me on that trip. I no longer had a place to live, I didn't have a dime to my name. I had no warning and no time for plans. One second I was tiredly turning my truck- sheathed in Arizona road dust- into our driveway, thinking about a nice hot bath and my old familiar bed... the next second, I was standing on the porch in utter shock, after discovering that my husband had packed up and moved out with no explanation.

Even though it's been years, the shock of that moment and the pain of it's appalling cruelty have yet to wear off. I can still feel it just as vividly as I did that day.

When I came to where I am living now, it was out of desperation. I had no other choice- it was here or the streets. And I came into this place knowing that it wouldn't be a good atmosphere for me. But I was assuming I'd get my shit together and be out of here in a month or two. That was over two years ago now. Doh.

I don't really want to get into detail about why being here is bad for me, because I live with an older relative who really didn't have to help me at all if they didn't want to, and I don't want to openly call them out. I do have a roof over my head. And I appreciate it, I know that I could have it a lot worse. But living here is just kind of killing off my spirit one excruciating day at a time. The way I have to live here is in complete opposition to the way I live my own life. There are conflicting views on life and how it should be lived between me and my benefactor, there are religious/spiritual differences as well. And in order to stay here, I am in a position now where I bow my head in pure subservience to someone else's ideals (though it's given the name 'respect', after 2 years it feels like subservience) It makes me sick inside to live this way. But, it's this, or the streets outside. I have nowhere else to go.

The one room I live in here has spartan bare gray walls. Nothing can be hung on them. No art, no colors or reminders of loved ones and loved things. It's about as cozy as a death row prison cell. Ghosts haunt this room too, though not the literal kind... I can still envision the relative who died in this room, and the sight of his body, lifeless, pale and still in the bed, while I stood there silently looking through tears, waiting for the coroner to get here for what seemed like forever... I can see my murdered little sister in this room too. I can picture how it looked when she lived here during her own hard times... I can still see her vividly, sitting at the end of her bed in this room, alive and telling me her latest stories and poetry and plans. And it makes me remember how happy I was for her when she got out out here and was so happy being on her own, and it hurts to think about what happened to her after, when she should have had her whole life ahead of her.

This room tortures me in it's own special way, both with it's hard memories and with it's lack of comfort. When I wake up, and open my eyes to see the grayness all around, I am filled with heavy depression. It does not get the day off to a good start, that's for sure.

I would have been out of here a long time ago if Fate didn't have another trick up his sleeve *shakes fist* Shortly after I got here my health did a nosedive, and long story short I ended up on Social Security on disability status for a chronic health issue. While I get a (super minuscule) bit of money every month from SS, it's nothing that anyone could ever live on (it's a 3 digit sum just BARELY, and that's all I get per month!)... I'd never be able to afford my medications, doctors visits, lab work, prescriptions, etc without the Medicaid coverage I get through SS. So, I can't work, at least not beyond freelancing type stuff from home, and even then, they have a limit on how much I can earn per month before they take away my benefits. And that limit is pretty low (again, it's a 3-digit number, and that's per month. Sigh) So, like many countless Americans, I have to choose between having health care, or having money to live on. Without health care I'd have no health, so, moot point.

And so I'm stuck living here, on the generosity (and therefore on the whims and under the rules of) my fundamentally-opposed-to-my-beliefs relative. Sure I could have found a very cheap, tiny apartment I suppose- but that would have required me to get rid of my beloved pets. And no matter how bad things have gotten, those are my babies and I'm just not willing to abandon them- I'd literally have to abandon them at a shelter, where they'd have about a 90% chance of being put to death because they are not puppies/kittens, they are older, and some of them have medical problems- blind dog, dog with thyroid problems that require daily medication, etc- and I know there's not much chance of adoption for animals in their situation. Especially when right now our city's animal shelters are facing massive overcrowding and decreased adoptions, due to the recession and the money problems it's causing for everyone. I love them too much to abandon them, ever. No way, no how.

And that's my sucky situation.

This is why I am so anxious about finding a mobile home. The rent on the lot is so, so low (only about 200 bucks with some utilities included!) that I finally have a chance, and a way to move out of here. It is a ray of hope. But it's hard to see sometimes. I'm just in a funk right now, because we have been searching for a place for months now and keep finding great deals that raise my hopes and then just fall apart at the end. So my nerves are beyond frayed at this point. I just keep waking up each day and waiting hour by hour for the Yes Call, the one where the answer is finally, finally, "YES we have a mobile home!"

And that will be the counterpoint, the turning point, because that will surely be one of the brightest days of my life. It will be a whole new beginning for me... independence, and freedom, and privacy ohhhhh glorious PRIVACY!!!

So I am at the end of my rope right now, but... I have tied a knot and am hanging on. If you know of any rituals or sacrifices to the Mobile Home Gods (should I offer up some plastic pink flamingos?) to move this along please let me know. Thanks.

Friday, July 25, 2008

mobile homeless

Major frustration on the mobile home front right now. I have been learning a few things.... #1: decent pre-owned mobile homes are a bitch to find. And #2: a large percentage of people that own mobile homes are completely insane in the membrane.


Here's an example. We met an agent who had a mobile home for sale in our price range. He took us to see it, and the innocent-looking little old lady that lives in it was walking us around, showing the place off, pointing out all the benefits, and basically trying to sell us on it. It wasn't in the nicest condition, but after some consideration (my Pops can fix lots of stuff- he's superhandy- so that's not a total deal-breaker), we decided we wanted to take it. We left the deposit in check form. Few days later, she asked for the full amount in cash. And we brought it over to her... only to find that now the lady is refusing to sign the papers. So we go home confused. A few days later the agent calls her, to see where her mind is at about the deal... and she puts the park manager on the phone, who starts yelling at the agent asking him why he's trying to 'force this lady out of her home' and to 'take her trailer away'..!? So now the agent is also confused. We told him forget it, and got our check back. Later we checked out another home for sale in that same park, and the lady that lived there told us that this saga of the crazy lady selling/not selling her trailer has been going on for a long time. Apparently we're not the first people she's done that to, it's some kind of ongoing thing. So.... *cuckoo!*

That's not the only weird one either. We've explored buying 3-4 others so far that have had some seriously strange owners who did and/or said some seriously strange shit. Practical & serious prospects are difficult to find. Just like with men eh.

Needless to say, I am still mobile homeless.

I'm kind of about to explode from impatience. Especially now because we have already secured the lot where we are going to put the trailer (when we find a trailer, ahem) So now I can drive by and see this nice, big (cause it is really BIG for a mobile home lot, bonus)- yet empty- lot. My smartass Grandmother suggested I pitch a tent there. Ha ha.

So this is my lot:

It's pretty big, and even though it's basically at this time just a bare dirt lot- I LIKE that about it. It's a totally blank canvas. I can lay down some sod, some pavers, some rocks, a bbq grill... do some gardening, add some flora. And my dogs are gonna love that yard. My chihuahua will feel like she is exploring a whole new continent, she'll be prancing around like a little conquistadora. It's out in the desert... so the sunrises, the sunsets, and the stars are gonna look spectacular out there too.

Oh and does anybody know where I can purchase some pink flamingos?? I seriously want some. Wouldn't they be perfect in my yard?

Also, that Shady Oaks graphic, at the top? That's a poster I found at, and I am totally planning on buying that sucker, framing it, and hanging it up proudly in my BOO (that's Base Of Operations in Shadyspeak) Won't it look freaking CUTE?

P.S. I know I've been slacking on the blogging. The lack of comments & feedback here tend to discourage me, cause I tend to equate no comments with= no readers, so then I start to blow the blog off. I shouldn't, I know. It's just hard for me to get motivated. I know people usually say 'write for yourself' and well, I do... just not in blog form! (I have a lot of private writings) I was just really eager for it to be more interactive here by now... *blows raspberry* Ahh well I've also been a bit down in the dumps lately anyway, and sometimes I don't feel like writing (or talking, or transmitting Morse code haha) too publicly when I'm really down because I even turn myself off with the negativity. Usually I immerse myself in Introvertland... drawing something or reading something or writing something (privately), but it might be beneficial to write here more often. Who knows.

I've had a stream of bad luck these past few months that just knocked me to my proverbial ass, so I've been laying low and licking my wounds.
But I'll get it back together soon. I'm sure of it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


My Sis-In-Law showed me the most beautiful thing today. It's an amazing rendition of a song called Clicquot, a sorrowful song about the widow Clicquot mourning her beloved Francois.

The band is Beirut, and the singer is Ed Droste from Grizzly Bear. Awesome.

I just want to hang out and watch these people all day long:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Wheel Of Darkness book giveaway!

Exciting news- I have been given the opportunity to offer you guys the chance to win a free copy of Preston-Child's wonderfully creepy book, The Wheel Of Darkness (read my review here)

There are 5 copies of the book up for grabs. I will be posting a video of me here drawing the winners out of a box, so send in your info now for your chance to win! All you have to do is:

Email me at:
Put 'book giveaway' somewhere in the subject or body of the email.
Be sure to include your name, email address where you would like to be notified if you win, and your mailing address!

(Due to shipping issues this offer is only valid in the US and Canada, and no PO boxes please. Thanks!)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

happiness how'd you get to be happiness

Recently I was passed a Tree Of Happiness by the wicked glam Super Kawaii Mama (if you haven't yet, go over and check out her incredibly stylish blog... you will not regret it, it's fabulous)

Now, the Tree Of Happiness is basically this: I tell you guys 6 things that make me happy, and pass the Tree along to 6 other bloggers so that they may do the same. It's been a hard couple of weeks, and so happiness was harder than usual to consider. But I am glad I did, because these are good silver linings to keep in mind. Ok here are my 6:

#1. Compliments. That's not to say I'm vain! *pokes tongue out* It's because: nowadays, life is so hectic, people get so rushed & disconnected, so defensive & suspicious of one another... it just seems like people are 10 times more ready to voice a complaint than a compliment. Kind words are free, easy, and make people feel good. And compliments are motivating as Hell. So compliments make me happy- both the giving and the receiving. A win-win situation both ways!

#2. This may be rather obvious, but- my pets. I have 3 dogs, 2 cats, a goldfish and 2 dojo loaches. And every one of them brings super-duper-happiness to my life ♥ As they depend on me, I depend on them. I adore them, they each have their own very distinct, crazy personalities. They are always one of my biggest concerns in my imaginary zombie-apocalypse planning... in a hypothetical post-apocalyptic world of the living dead, I'd be running through Walmart, dodging zombies while juggling cans of Alpo and Nine Lives, no doubt.

#3. Tuesday nights. Currently, I go over to my Dad's house on Tuesday nights, as do my brother, sis-in-law, nieces & nephew. My Dad & stepmom cook dinner (mmmm good stuff too, like pot roast with all the trimmings or shish kebab cooked on the grill or homemade pizza), and we all watch the kids run around being crazy and hilarious. I always bring my little chihuahua with me cause the kids love her, sometimes they bring their dog too, and along with my Dad's 2 dogs the pups all go nuts playing together, and the kid's proclaim it a "dog parteeee!" It's good times.

#4. Horror movies make me happy. Maybe that's weird. But I am a horror film fanatic. It especially makes me happy to discover a great new horror flick, the scarier the better. Good horror gives me such an adrenaline rush.

#5. Fashion! Yeah I said it, haha. For instance Polyvore is my online addiction (as you can see from this blog) Also I'm getting my stuff out of storage soon... I have a lot of clothing that I am going to be selling on ebay, and so I've had fashion & clothing on the brain a lot recently... and Polyvore is such a good artistic outlet. I have a lot of fun designing outfits there *grin* But I just love clothing and style in general. Getting dressed up is such fun in a girly way. And I am a girl, after all. But not many people know that I attended a private college for 2+ years working toward a degree in fashion design! I never finished my degree due to the school being closed down before I could finish (and I couldn't transfer my credits anywhere nearby, so I never finished), but I love textiles and clothing design and fashion to this day.

#6. Independence. This is a big one. For a lot of years now I have been forced to live off of someone in one way or another, and have had to suppress myself almost completely from the normal kinds of self-expression I'd freely exhibit if I was alone... stuff like cooking dinner at 3 a.m, or walking through the house in nothing but my underwear, or blasting my music loud as Hell and dancing on my bed. I really miss being able to just, well, be ME. It's a big part of my depression right now, because I am in a situation where I have had to put pretty much all of my self away in order to get along where I am forced to live right now. It's way too dysfunctional to get into the details here *facepalm* But I am still looking for a mobile home, and as soon as we can find one I will be out of here. And tasting real independence for the first time in many years. So I can really say that independence= happiness in my book, I can appreciate that now more than ever before.

And that's it for my Tree... I will be tagging 6 of you to do the same so heads up, doods!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

adirondack-explorer babe

Today's outfit by request is for my very dear friend, Debra.

Deb lives in upstate New York in one of the most lush, beautiful natural settings imaginable, and she loves nature. So she asked me to design her an outfit for 'Adirondack-exploring' that would still be cute & sexy.

Here is what I came up with...

(click the pic for details & ordering info on all pieces)

I know that Deb loves kayaking, and taking long walks, and basically just soaking in all the peaceful and lovely nature that surrounds her. So my main concern was something comfortable. Shorts, moccasins, and a comfy cotton blouse fit the bill. But I tried to bring the SEXY in by choosing pieces with feminine detailing (like the tiny ruffles on the blouse), and by bringing unexpected colors (blue moccasins!) and unexpected accessories (bling!) to the great outdoors. The gray shorts & socks provide a nice neutral base for all the bright pops of color.

The great thing about this look is that it can be adapted endlessly... the shorts could be worn bare-legged or with thigh-high socks for a flirtier look, or you could go with some tights instead for more coverage. You could even replace the shorts with a cute pair of gray jeans with the moccasins worn over them. The top could be worn alone, or unbuttoned over a lacy cami for more even ooomph. It could transition from daytime to evening by replacing the shorts with a cute flouncy skirt and a pair of heels if you wanted, even.

The accessories bring on the fun nature feel, I just had to give her a little Adirondack bling. The gold and copper tones look more 'woodsy' than silver, and paired with wooden pieces they give a nod to the beauty of nature that Debra loves so much. Also the wooden and metal pieces like the bracelets and earrings would be durable enough to survive the outdoors. I realize that she probably isn't gonna wear the owl and squirrel cocktail rings while out kayaking, but, the vibe is perfect, and who knows maybe she could carry these with her in the lovely butterfly-stamped leather satchel, and change into them for a romantic campfire-lit dinner after she's done kayaking...? *wink*

I finished the look with some dashes of feminine flourish like the burgundy wrap belt and flower for the hair- which would add a touch of unexpected nature-girl sexiness while echoing the color of a wild forest berry. Softly tousled hair, natural makeup with a stain of deeper lip color, again pulling in the berry color. And there you have it- my interpretation of sexy Adirondack Explorer Girl!

I really hope you like it, Deb. Cindi's sassy New Orleans night out is coming up next.

And I am still taking outfit requests, so if you have one, send it my way!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

from inspire to desire

Today's style post is about inspiration boys & girls.
Say it with me now: in-spi-rayyy-tion.

I've said it before but I'll say it again, when it comes to personal style, I am a firm believer in finding inspiration from anywhere and everywhere- if I like it, I can build an outfit around it. Doesn't matter what it is.

On that note here are a few outfits I designed which were inspired by Gil Elvgren, pin up artist extraordinaire. Enjoy.

(click the pics for details & ordering info on each piece)

As always I invite you to view my other outfit sets on!

Monday, July 7, 2008

my Dear

It's been awhile since I updated you guys on my life. There is good reason.

For the past week my nights & my days have been consumed with caring for my dog Dearly. Last Sunday I woke up baffled to find that she had gone completely blind overnight.
Yes, blind. Overnight.

Dearly performs an operatic aria cause that's how she rolls

Dearly is a rescue dog. I was photographing a remote desert cemetery one day about 3 years ago, and I found her there. In many of the older cemeteries around here, the graves have been surrounded by 'fences' of chain link (like this) It was on top of a grave, inside one of these 'fences', that I found the most pathetic, starved little creature- and the gate was purposely secured from the outside with a piece of wire. Pissed me off enormously that someone would do something like that to an animal! She had been trapped inside for many days without any food or water and she was near death. She was starved, dehydrated, she had mange, half of her fur was missing, and she had so many cuts and wounds they were uncountable. She had been trying to dig or squeeze her way out under the chain link, and she had dozens of cuts and scrapes to her head & face as a result. She was in extremely bad shape.

This is how she looked after a week of careful care, you can imagine what she looked like when I originally found her:

I brought her home and named her Dearly (as in Dearly D. Parted, in ode to where she was discovered) and with a lot of love and hard work, I nursed her back to health. I wasn't planning to keep her- I thought maybe I'd foster her til she recovered, then adopt her out- but none of the no-kill shelters would take her because she was a 'wild' stray, and I didn't have the heart to send her to the pound (and probable death) after she'd come through so much. So, I kept her.

And this is how Dearly looks today:

Dearly likes hanging around with the newest addition to our fuzzy family, little Mia.

Dearly has always been very timid, and fearful of her own shadow, despite much coaxing from me. But when Mia came to join us at the beginning of this year, Dearly made friends with her and opened up in a whole new way- letting go of her timidity and suddenly tearing through the house, tumbling & playing with Mia without fear. It's like Mia brought out the puppy in her again. It's been wonderful to watch.

Then, disaster strikes- Dearly wakes up last Sunday with absolutely no sight. I first noticed that she seemed disoriented, and when I called to her, she tried to come to me but walked right into the bed. I could tell right away that she couldn't see anything. The more I checked her out the more obvious it was that she was blind.

We got her to the vet and they ran every test they could on her, thinking that they'd find some brain tumor, or neurological issue, or something dreadful like that. Instead, they found absolutely nothing, no reason whatsoever for the instant blindness. However, they did supposedly find that she had a low red blood cell count, and told us that they think she has something called aplastic anemia, a blood disease which is terminal.

Devastating news, especially considering that I just lost my kittycat Nico so recently.

The bizarre thing is that the anemia seems to have nothing to do with the blindness- they said they have no conclusive idea as to why she has gone blind. There is something called SARDs that can cause overnight blindness in dogs, but they didn't know whether or not that had anything to do with it. They sent her home with antibiotics on the off chance that she had a low-grade infection that they couldn't detect, and told us to bring her back in a week to check the progress. There's nothing they can do about her blindness, and there's nothing they can do about the anemia if she does indeed have it. Right now I am in wait-and-see mode, and suddenly have a blind dog to look after. It's been heartbreaking to watch her fear and confusion and to not be able to do a thing about it.

I'm trying to do all I can to take care of her the best I can. I sprayed perfume on all the corners, doorways, and furniture so she would have scent points to guide her (watching her blindly bump into things was so awful, I had to try something) And I've been talking to her a lot, guiding her around by having her follow my voice (and sometimes with a milkbone in my pocket for extra incentive)... and by using her nose & her ears she has been learning how to find her way. I've also been singing to her a lot too, for some reason she seems to really like that. And strangely, she's become a bit braver through all of this, using a confidence that I'd never seen in her before. She is adjusting, as dogs do.

I don't know what is going to happen. My mind has not had a break from worry as far as my pets go... two months ago all of our cats came down with a virulent respiratory infection that could have killed them, and let me tell you something, you think giving a cat medicine sucks, you should try it with several cats, several times a day! My arms looked like cat-scratch road maps for a few weeks. Then, last month my other dog, Courtney, woke up sick as Hell one morning and ended up in surgery a few hours later having an emergency hysterectomy. She very nearly lost her life that day and required some constant nursing on my part for a few weeks (she got her stitches out last week and has recovered nicely) Then while that was happening, Nico got sick and had to be put to sleep. And now this with Dearly. Oi.

Whatever happens, I will take care of her the best I can. I had a one-eyed blind dog once before (though much different, because she went blind gradually over a long period) so I do know what to expect in some senses. And I'll give her heaps of love no matter what happens. As for the future, we'll just have to meet it when we come to it. We'll see.

the bone collector

Today I present you with a random little outfit of deep green & black accented with bone. I wanted to show my goth-ier side- which is obviously present in my love of horror movies and all things scary- without being typically 'goth' about it. And I wanted to show that alluring darkness could be about much more than black on black on black...

(click the pic for details & ordering info on all pieces)

And this is what I came up with. The skull was actually the piece that inspired it all, I liked the way the forest green accented the bone. So I just went from there.

The dress is awesomely romantic with it's feminine cut, Juliet-style sleeves and rich green color, but the corset and the fishnets save it from total over-sweetness. And the color-blocked shoes are just too freaking cute, I love them.

Accessories in real bone (and in the color, Bone) add a bit of unexpected pop to the dark ensemble, and a little bit of sinister chic. Vivid green eyeliner and coils of messy braids (with a bow or two thrown in) give a unique finish to the look.

I would wear this to, say, a fancy museum opening, I think it would look wonderful strolling amongst the giant dinosaur bones *wink*

Sunday, July 6, 2008

rockabilly will never die

Those of you who know me well know that I am a total rockabilly girl.

While I do love a whole lot of different kinds of music- I was raised by/around musicians, I was extensively exposed to everything from The Beatles to Bach to Black Sabbath at a very young age- rockabilly music is the music that has my heart.

It's my earliest musical memory (I can clearly remember sitting at my Pop's feet, playing on the floor with my toys while he strummed on his acoustic guitar & sang Bobby Fulller and Buddy Holly and Ricky Nelson tunes) It's the soundtrack of a very innocent and happy time for me. It's the music that fills me up with excitement & joy. It's my go-to music when I am needing a spark of life in a dreary world.

(click the pic for details & ordering info on all pieces)

Rockabilly & pin up fashion has gotten very trendy in recent years, and this is a double-edged sword switchblade for me.

On the one hand, it can be annoying when something that you genuinely love is turned into a trend... you'll see people who have never even heard the word 'rockabilly' before suddenly sporting the head-to-toe rockabilly style bought right off the mannequin. It's one thing to incorporate some fun & trendy pieces to your own personal style, but quite another to sport a full-on trend costume with no personal point of view, just because it's currently cool.

On the other hand, it means that the availability of really great retro & rockabilly inspired pieces is high, and the prices lower because of it. Which means that I can suddenly find all kinds of things retro and rockabilly easily, and at good prices to boot. So I try to look at it as a blessing from the fashion gods, and grab up what I can while it's hot, so that even after the trendsters move on to something else I'll have reaped some really nice stuff in that trendy period. Bonus.

That said, I love absolutely everything in this set, everything. I only wish I could afford to buy it all! One thing I love about mid-century fashion is how flattering it is to a woman's natural curves. These are not clothes that you have to starve yourself to get into- nay, think about the hot, curvy bods of Marilyn, Bettie, and Rita and you'll see how these clothes are designed for sexy curvaceousness. Very feminine. These are clothes for boobs and a butt.

The dress was the starting point here but as soon as I added the guitar I couldn't help but think of the sweet & sassy looks of Patsy Cline and Brenda Lee. The rest came from there. I think my favorite piece is that retro tattoo inspired parasol. I've been wanting to get a nice parasol to battle the blazing desert sun rays we have out here, and if I could afford it right now this one (or maybe the version in nude, can't decide which I like better) from Happy Trails would be the one. Love it. And those shoes are so great, and come in several really sweet colors. If they had the red pair in my size I'm afraid I would have ordered them on the spot, heh.

As spring and summer have progressed I have also been dreaming of wearing big, flowery blooms in my hair like the blood-red orchid in this set... in fact, I recently ordered a big red rose and a set of smaller white gardenias- both for the hair- from Daddy-O's and I can't wait to get them. I'll wear them to glam up my favorite skinny jeans or to add some retro allure to one of my summer sundresses. Also I have been looking for a sexy little red purse and fell in love with this one and could not resist it. Bad Shady!

And now cats & kittens, I'll leave you with these immortal words from the Stray Cats:

Well my baby and me went out late Saturday night,

I had my hair piled high, my baby just looked so right,
Well, pick you up at ten gotta have you home by two,
Momma don't know what I got in store for you,
But that's all right cause we're looking as cool as can be.

And you know what comes next...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

book review: The Wheel Of Darkness

"Lest into the Dharma you unchain
An uncleanness of evil and pain,
And darkness about darkness wheel,
The Agozyen you must not unseal."

I just finished reading The Wheel Of Darkness, the latest mystery-slash-horror novel by the writing team of Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. If you are not familiar with the duo, they are the guys who penned the novel that was later turned into the 1997 horror flick The Relic (that was the one with the Brazilian hypothalamus-eating lizard monster running rampant in the museum, 'member? Great flick) The eccentric FBI agent played by Tom Sizemore in the movie- Special Agent Pendergast- is a recurring character in the Preston-Child novels, and he plays a starring role in this latest novel as well.

In Darkness, Pendergast (along with his apprentice, Constance Greene- another recurring character Preston-Child universe) is on the trail of a mysterious Pandora's-Box-esque artifact which was stolen from a remote, secretive Tibetian monastery. The article in question is known only as the 'Agozyen'. Not even the monks who guard it know what it is, or even know what is actually contained in it's box; they know only that it wields a unique and very dangerous power, one that can 'cleanse' humankind, and it's up to Pendergast to retrieve the stolen Agozyen before it can be unleashed on the world. His chase leads him aboard the Brittania- a massive luxury liner on it's maiden voyage across the icy Atlantic to New York City, as he hunts for the thief-turned-killer and tries to find the Agozyen before it's too late.

This book is chockful of mystery, history, horror and suspense- staples of the Preston-Child novels. There's a wicked serial killer, a sinister supernatural force, and all manner of dangers-at-sea for Pendergast to contend with, but in this novel his biggest foe is ultimately himself as the Agozyen works it's dark magic on him. I love the Pendergast character- he is (here, as in the other novels he's featured in) strange, smart, and charmingly eccentric... a tall, pale man all dressed in black who investigates the most paranormal and perplexing crimes, kind of like one part Sherlock, one part Mulder, one part James Bond, and a dash of Johnny Cash thrown into the mix. I can totally picture David Bowie playing him in another Pendergast movie (sorry Tom Sizemore!) The cruise ship setting is ridiculously lavish and lusciously detailed, echoing a modern-day Titanic (a comparison that proves to be even more deadly accurate as the story progresses), and the ship becomes more suffocatingly claustrophobic and inescapable with every turn.

This is one of those books that you can pick up and read all the way through. The characters are finely drawn, the dangers are seriously terrifying, the mysteries are truly mysterious, and there is also a wet, red smear of gore running throughout the tale- they don't hold back in that department. The Agozyen is a truly scary and thought-provoking foe. And it's twisted good fun to watch the 'proper', upper crust passengers and the privileged bubble of the fancy cruise ship deteriorate into mad, sordid chaos as things begin to go terribly, terribly wrong.

One thing I like about the Preston-Child novels is that they have the feel of a quickly-moving action flick, but they still have substance and depth in regards to the villains, the protagonists, and the motivations and consequences of their deeds- there is no fluffy stuff here. In fact these books are pretty dark, and yet they are 'light' (in terms of being a fun, entertaining, easy read) at the same time, a perfect summer reading alternative for those who aren't into the usual beach reading fare. Another cool thing about the series is that while there is an overall story arc to them, it's not totally necessary to read them in order to enjoy them, and there are many interesting crossover characters from book to book tying the whole universe of the novels together. So far I've only read 2 of their novels (and seen The Relic of course) but this one has convinced me to go out and find more Preston-Child novels to read, I'd recommend them to anyone who digs serious horror fiction with a lot of strange twists, interesting characters, historical references, and an X-Files vibe.

For more on the Pendergast novels and other works by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child visit their official website. Happy reading.

Friday, July 4, 2008

lady assassin

Next outfit is up (boy I am cranking 'em out here)
This one is for my dear friend Tara.

Tara's request was: sexy assassin (I knew she'd come up with something crazy and fun!) So here is my deadly sweet look for Tara...

(click the pic for details & ordering info on all pieces)

I went over the top with this look because I'm playing here, but I would, in real life, probably wear every single one of these pieces in some way or other (if not all together at once in a full-on she-assassin outfit, since I don't wear those every day) Tara is a wild child and game for anything, so right away I thought of a luscious lacy corset. Black & blue would look fantastic on pale, blue-eyed Tara, but I also went with it because I thought black 'n blue on a butt-kicking lady assassin was kinda funny and I'm a smart ass like that.

The crisp white shirt is added cause she's a professional. Of course with the corset on top it's really dramatic but she could always go demure and wear the corset under the shirt letting just a bit peek out. The satin formal shorts are very very sexy and get even sexier when paired with glossy blue boots. And the bright blue silk trench screams killer glam. Oh I'm killing myself with the puns here.

I made sure to give her some dangerous accessory choices like the poison ring, lipstick knife, death's head brooch, and simple, sexy hair and makeup in shadowy shades of violet. You don't wanna be worrying about complicated hairdos when you're running around doing assassin stuff.

And that's it for this outfit- the rest is classified, if I told ya, I'd have to hire Tara to... well, you know. Any other outfit requests, send them my way.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

1920's goth

My second outfit by request, this one is for my devilishly stylish BFF whom I refer to here as Dollface *wink* She has a fascination with the 1920's, and dreamt of getting dressed up as a 20's party girl. With that in mind, here is the outfit I created for the lovely Dollface...

(click the pic for details & ordering info on all pieces)

Since I know that she loves fantasy & costumery as much as I do, I let my imagination roam a little bit on this one and pictured Doll as a 1920's-era Goth babe, taking the typical flapper getup to a darker, sexier level. I wanted this outfit to be edgy, glamorous, mysterious, and striking, just like Dollface herself.

I used black on black on black in textured & patterned layers that dangle and shiver with every move, and them dropped some bloodred accents here and there for a bit of dark drama. I know that she is into vintage, so the pieces themselves- fringy minidress, elbow-length gloves, strappy satin heels- are still traditional 20's, just with a sexy sinister twist.

But it's not all darkness & gloom- Doll is a real sweetie and so I added a sweet theme of heart shapes in the gorgeous heart-patterned tights (because I know she likes interesting, textured & patterned tights!), in the glittering silver & black-heart earrings, and in the red ruffled-hearts evening bag.

I know from our ladies nights out that Dollface enjoys smoking a cigarette or two while she's enjoying a drink (cran + vodka, baby!), so an elegant cigarette case (holding clove cigarettes, no doubt) and an achingly chic cigarette holder would make luscious accessories for her 20's party girl look. Sweetly curled ringlets & baby doll lashes offset the dramatic eye makeup (a deep smoky black with hints of sultry red) And in place of the usual kind of boa I gave her a deadlier one because, well, she rocks like that. Also, it matches that killer snake cuff bracelet perfectly, hisss.

So that's my 1920's party style for my girl Dollface, I hope she likes it. Any other requests, I am standing by, so, andale chicas!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

lesbian-wedding guest

So, I am excited to post my very first outfit-by-request here in the style section of my blog, yay.

This one is for my lovely friend Julia. Julia asked me to style an outfit for a her to wear to a lesbian wedding! And here is what I came up with...

(click the pic for details & ordering info on each piece)

Julia is a beautiful young girl who looks great in casual jeans & tees. So when I thought of dressing her up for a fancy event, I gravitated toward pants as opposed to a froofy dress because it fits Julia's style, and she could totally get away with it. Especially at a more unconventional type wedding like this one. I thought the skinny pants with the adorable tuxedo-influenced top were elegant and still whimsical, and a nice play on androgyny. And the sexy, fitted tuxedo jacket gives some coverage as well as sex appeal and class, and also adds to the feminine tuxedo look.

The accessories were really fun to choose because Julia is such a fun girl. For example the bowtie clutch is a modern nod to the age-old tux accessory, and the double girl-symbol necklaces make a sweet statement to the day's happy couple. The melting heart earrings speak of love in an edgier way.

I threw in blue as an accent color both to punch it up and because Julia looks GREAT in blue, and if I'm not mistaken, she loves the color. The ultra-sexy blue high heels and the pretty blue bloom (for pinning in the hair, or onto the lapel) add a very girly touch without being too sweet. The fierce hair & makeup also have fun with the androgynous vibe... a little bit glam, a little bit rock 'n roll. The rest of the goodies- bright blue camera (for capturing the special moments of the day), black-tie-style gift wrap, champagne-colored nail polish, sentimental heart-shaped pin, chunky blue bracelet- were all chosen with the same vibe in mind: fun, unique, and very pretty in a modern & elegant way, because that's how I see my friend Julia.

And there you have it, my very first outfit-by-request. I hope you liked it, Julia, and thanks for playing, girl! I am still taking requests, so girls (or guys if you're brave!), send 'em in and tell me what you wanna be dressed for, you may see your outfit here next.

And don't forget to visit me at polyvore for more outfits styled by moi, if you're into that kinda thing.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

blogging into the void

Is this thing on? Can anybody hear me? *tap tap tap*

Blogging is both the easiest and the hardest thing for me to do. Easy, because I have always been a sort of human vessel that just pours forth everything that filters through me... it's very hard for me to self-edit, I just sort of spit out whatever it is that I am thinking or feeling without restraint. Always have.

And hard- because I am showing a very intimate side of myself when I write... despite all the fluffier pieces here and there about movies and fashion and other distractions, I am a person with a lot of serious baggage to handle, I've been through some very hard things, and exposing my life honestly & openly to the world is scary and intimidating. It's very easy to imagine how people might judge me about my clinical depression and my health problems, or my feelings about my little sister's murder and her murderer, or my other various trials and tribulations.

A big part of the reason I continue posting about these personal things like depression and loss is because I know there are people out there who are going through the same crap I am, who feel all alone, and who are afraid to talk about it openly. I hope to give those people some kind of sense that they are not alone. As for everyone else, I'm just hoping to maybe inform and entertain a little or just make 'em smile on occasion.

But the hardest thing about blogging is to keep going on when there is little or no feedback. Without comments, I have no idea if anyone is even reading this. Am I just throwing words into the world wide universe? Or are you guys lurking out there?

Previously, I blogged regularly for7 years before taking a break, so I am familiar with the frustration of receiving little feedback- it happens. And as a reader of blogs myself, I understand that lurking is not personal, I do it sometimes, too (though I have recently made a conscious decision to actually comment on the blogs I love, and it's been a really rewarding thing so far!) But since I am starting all over again here, it's easy to feel a little discouraged when I don't know if anyone is even reading any of this.

So if you're reading- drop a comment! Let me know my mike is plugged in, so to speak. Because without your feedback, I feel like I am, quite literally, blogging into the void...