Archive of ‘unquiet things’ category

Stitch Fix: The Final Reckoning

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So, I think my relationship with Stitch Fix has now come to a close. I’ve shared with you the ups and downs since our rosy beginning, the teeth gritting through our rocky, troubled middle, and our feeble, fumbling ending, so it seems fitting then, to document our last hurrah together.

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After my last box, I sent in some pointed feedback, not exactly “wtf is this foolishness”, but…well, it was actually pretty close to that.  I received a response that they would wave the $25 per box fee on my next one, if I wanted to give it another go.

I didn’t think they’d send me anything really worth looking twice at, but it wasn’t going to cost me anything to look at it, so why not? Within a week, I had received a package containing the above items. Sally, my stylist, sent me four tops, and a dress, with some styling suggestions, per usual. A denim jacket, Sally? What am I, 10 years old in 1986? No denim jackets for me, thanks.

 

top1The Market & Spruce Bexley embroidered bib halter knit top, $48.  This is pretty cute, right? I’m not big on sleeveless tops–especially those of the variety that require a non-standard bra–but there was something about it that tricked me into thinking I could make it work. Maybe with a long gauzy black skirt? I liked the idea of that, but the reality of these sleeveless tops is that I am not comfortable in them unless I am wearing a cardigan with them. And it’s just too hot for that right now, and it doesn’t really look good with anything I own. Any suggestions for me? How might you wear this?

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As I remarked on Instagram, what the hell is this picnic basket bullshit? It’s the Skies Are Blue Dory embroidery detail top for $54, is what it is and I hate it with every fiber of my being. It really does look like the lining of a picnic basket to me…or I don’t know…macaroni art, or something. Also, while it’s a halter, like the previous top, somehow the neckline is infinitely more hateful to me. Back in the box.

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The 41Hawthorne Tova dress for $64 is probably a very pretty dress for someone with the right shape, however, it looks like a lumpy potato sack on me. Unflattering, if you’re not an actual lumpy potato. Aside from that, red+white+blue is not my favorite color combination. Returned.

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Upon first gazing this Papermoon Paulette lace detail blouse, my instinct was to cringe but I can’t quite pinpoint why. I like the black lace, I don’t mind the colors, the black and that pink… but there’s something about daisies and polka dots that all that white space that makes me really twitchy. I feel like I need to pick up my kid from an extracurricular and meet up with the squad for a pottery painting + wine class, and then demand to see someone’s manager. Ack! None of those things sound good to me, shirt, so you’re outta here.

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After two years (or however long, I lost count) on and off with Stitch Fix, I finally received the moody floral of my dreams. And so of course the Adelene top from Velvet by Graham and Spencer is the most expensive of the lot, at $128. Of course. I could wear this with black jeans or that long black gauzy skirt, and I don’t have to wear a ridiculous bra, and it’s almost like a Dutch vanitas painting, so that makes it perfect. This is the best that Stitch Fix can ever possibly do for me, so it is definitely time to call it quits, and I mean it this time!

RE: subscription boxes…what are you guys receiving? I am still getting periodic shipments of wine from Bright Cellars and that’s it! Well, except for a new one that I started, which is kind of fun, and I will fill you in on that one soon (hint: it’s horror-related, but not with a focus on cheap, tacky tchotchkes!)

Puddles: When Coulrophobia Is Not The Issue

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A disclaimer: the following is not a review. It’s not even a complaint. More like …a warning? I guess? Sigh. If you read on, please know that I am probably going to come across as a weird, stick-in-the mud killjoy who really needs to get a grip.

This past Saturday night I accompanied my beau, my sister, and my brother-in-law to see Puddles Pity Party at The Plaza in Orlando. I was super excited about this because one, The Plaza is undoubtedly Orlando’s easiest venue for attending live shows. It’s not in the downtown area, it’s got plentiful, non-complicated parking, and it’s just very…low-production. Two, I had seen some youtube videos of Puddles The Clown and loved both his beautiful, booming voice, as well as the concept of his one man show. Except…I didn’t know exactly what his show entailed. Oh, if only I’d watched a few of his live performances, instead of bunch of overly-produced videos. If only I’d known what was in store.

See…I have this thing with audience participation. Not only do I nearly go catatonic with fright at the mere idea of enforced participation from a personal standpoint, I can’t even watch it happening to other people in front of me, while I watch. Heck, I can’t even watch it in television or the movies. The very thought of it fills me with unspeakable dread. And Puddles the Clown is a master of walking that line between delighting his audience and making them suffer through these uncomfortable feelings . “He doesn’t just break the fourth wall,” writes one reviewer; “he invades people’s personal space.” Time and again throughout his show, Puddles would prowl through the seated, sold-out crowd for volunteers and victims.

When I witnessed the third person pulled from the crowd to join Puddles onstage for some unexpected humiliation, I realized “oh, so this is how it’s going to go,” and literally felt my lower lip tremble and tears threaten to spill. I was seated in the balcony, and there was no way Puddles was making his way up there to grab me. Or…was he? “Please dear god no,” I prayed desperately under my breath as I slunk lower and lower in my seat.

I glanced to my companions on either side of me–both of whom were enjoying themselves, and the show, immensely.  Their laughter sounded faint to my ears, as, unaware of my distress, they joined in the crowd’s merriment of Puddle’s fidgets* and quirks and shenanigans. What is wrong with me? I thought miserably, wishing to be swallowed up entirely by the worn upholstery of the fold-up seats.

NYMag recently posted a fascinating article about why audience participation is so terrifying; they compare it, somewhat, to public speaking, but note that “…the spontaneity of an audience-participation situation, on the other hand, can be stressful because it eliminates that preparation time and adds a layer of spontaneity. It also subverts expectations for the role you’re expected to play. Generally, audiences are supposed to be passive. Performers who single out audience members for an active role have ‘flipped the script,’ , turning a relaxing activity into anything but.”

And of course this can be especially distressing for “shy people or people with social anxiety disorder, who often rely on a predictable and limited set of scripts for social interaction and have a lower tolerance for uncertainty.”

And yet…that rich, extraordinary voice! Was it worth the torment and torture to have heard his gorgeously sorrowful rendition of Space Oddity?  Now that a few days have passed and I have the luxury of the experience as a memory, I can *almost* say yes. Almost. I have to ask myself though…if I had known that was the sort of evening I was in for, would have done in the first place?

I…am thinking no.

*Puddles The Clown was chomping on an obscenely enormous wad of gum throughout the entirety of the show. If you don’t know this about me, you should: I cannot stand gum. There is nothing–nothing!– that disgusts me more. I have to walk away when someone is chewing it in the same room with me, and I’m starting to dry heave just a little right now, even as I type this out, about that imaginary offender.

Ennui & Old Friends

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It is rare that I re-read a book. I used to do it frequently, in my childhood and early teens {Heidi, Harriet The Spy, Rebecca, and Dracula were among those beloved favorites} but nowadays I almost feel it’s a waste of time. I’m a little ashamed to admit feeling like that, because there are so many special stories worth spending time with, again and again, but…as I get older I feel there is less and less time to read all of the things I want to read, and so the cherished tales often stay tucked away on the shelf.

Last night I was experiencing a bit of a funk; I’m almost tempted to use the word “bored” (except I hate that word and I try to never feel that way*) so let’s say, instead, that I’m in the grips of a vague ennui. I blame the relentless summer heat and the fact that we had just had a small sun shower. It’s like, why even bother to rain? Rain and sunshine don’t belong in the same space together. If the skies aren’t dark and the clouds aren’t ponderous and you don’t feel either a little bit scared or sad when it’s happening, then the rain is doing a crappy job. Also: fuck rainbows.

When I get like this, I don’t want to read anything, look at anything, do anything. And it occurred to me that in the grips of a bit of ennui is the perfect time to re-acquaint myself with a book I’d read many years ago. Summer vacation of my 11th year, as a matter of fact. And I’d never been so scared in my life…

About fifty or one hundred pages into Cujo, I’m realizing how differently it is affecting me than it did thirty years ago. The closet-spectre of Frank Dodd is still scary as hell, but the tragic horror of Cujo himself…I mean…it’s just…he was such a good dog! This is so damn sad now. Why did I think I wanted to re-read a story about a poor, rapid pupper?

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I think when I finish this up I’ll re-visit Dracula and Rebecca and Harriet the Spy (and Heidi, if anyone wants to give me with old beat up copy! I lost mine ages ago.) I wonder if they’ll still thrill and amuse and inspire and impact me the same way? What will have changed for me, or in me, that affects my perception of the characters and the story? What details will I notice that escaped me before? What will it recall for me that has since been forgotten? I wonder.

What are your beloved favorites that you return to time and time again, for comfort, or in times of boredom? Are there some that no longer affect you the same way, or perhaps affect you on an entirely different level, now that you are an adult?

*And on the subject of boredom… are we even allowed to be bored? Louis CK says that we are not (at least I think that was him.) But maybe it is good to experience a little bit of boredom every now and then. I mean is it healthy to always be busy, busy, go – go – go? Maybe it is good to say fuck it! Everything is stupid! I don’t want to do any of the shit in this moment right now! It’s dumb and pointless and BORING! What do you think?

The Somber Poetry Of Dreams: The Collage Art Of Hidden Velvet

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A floating cloud softly obscures the face of a cloaked woman whose dark mantle gives away to grey vapors. A soft, pale hand loosely grasps a rose while a both a butterfly perches on a fingertip and a snake slithers in the spaces between. Delicate vines of ivy mark the pages of a book that has opened to an illustration of an ominous figure emerging from its darkened interior. It is easy to become lost in these bittersweet contrasts of lightness and glooms, blooming, fluttering life and the stillness of death, and furtive dread juxtaposed against a serene sense of tranquility.

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This is the imagery that comprises the work of enigmatic collage artist Hidden Velvet, whose somber, dreamy work enchanted me the very first time I laid eyes upon it. Last month I had the pleasure of interviewing Hidden Velvet for Haute Macabre, but worry not–I have not given away all of her secrets, and there are many mysteries in her art to swoon over still.

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Links of the Dead {June 2017}

Artist credit: Matsuyama Miyabi

Artist credit: Matsuyama Miyabi

A gathering of death related links that I have encountered in the past month or so. From somber to hilarious, from informative to creepy, here’s a snippet of things that have been reported on or journaled about in or related to the Death Industry recently.

More reading: Links of the Dead {June 2016}

💀 When Your Loved One’s Last Wish Was ‘No Funeral’
💀 ‘Story of Flowers’ Tells an Epic Animated Tale of Life and Death
💀 A Controversial Trial to Bring the Dead Back to Life
💀 Why does cinema still demonise grieving mothers?
💀 This Farmer Wants To Give Animals A Better Life — And Death
💀 A Guide to Architects’ Mundane and Monumental Graves
💀 When a Pet Dies, Helping Children Through the ‘Worst Day of Their Lives’
💀 Why Trips To The Cemetery Aren’t Just For ‘Big Fat Goths’
💀 Feminism, politics and death: my mum died the night Hillary Clinton lost
💀 One Year After the Pulse Massacre, an Orlando Group Confronts LGBT Death Head-On
💀 Even in death, everyone is striving for that perfect no-makeup makeup look.
💀 Watching funerals streamed online offers a new way to deal with death
💀 What to Know About Donating Your Body to Science

…and finally, A Sad Farewell to the Man Who Started The Death Cafe Movement, Jon Underwood.

Currently {6.27.17}

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Oooof. It has been a rough couple of weeks. I never talk about my day job or my work here, because while it has paid the bills for more than a decade now, it’s of no interest to anyone but myself (and barely even me) and if we’re being honest here–I hate to work. Or to talk about work. Let’s face it, I think I hate even the very concept of “work”. And as of lately, I think I have been loathing the concept–and the reality–even more so than usual.

As that old weirdo, HP Lovecraft, purportedly said: “I never ask a man what his business is, for it never interests me. What I ask him about are his thoughts and dreams.” Too true!
Business, blargh!  Thoughts and dreams are the important stuff.

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Speaking of dreams, mine have been so vivid lately! Last week I dreamed that I decapitated a demon with a garbage can lid, and then used the same weapon to chop off his dongle and shove it up his butt-hole. I then jumped off a balcony and whizzed up into the stars, like a rocket! Hoo boy. Sarah has some issues.

A few nights ago I dreamed that I was a member of a clique-y conspiracy of witches, sort of like the depraved gothed-up coven that descended upon Rome in Argento’s Mother of Tears (pictured above)…except way less chaotic and crazy. More competent. Tidier. We were all prominent members of society, doctors, lawyers, etc. We regularly sacrificed our interns and assistants in terrifically gruesome ways. I ran around wreaking respectable havoc in a lab coat, but underneath it, I am pretty sure there was something like this (nsfw) happening.

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To de-stress, I’ve begun making a of small ritual of the Sunday night bath (and you know how I feel about bathing). Our bathroom has been…ahem…under renovations for quite a while now, and the bath tub has just recently become available again. Huzzah! Time to break out my favorite bathtub-staining bath bombs { exhibit one & two} and my aurora projector, which does a crap job at projecting a magnificent aurora, but for the price I guess it’s okay at producing an eerie bathroom ambience.

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RE: soothing rituals, despite the oppressive summer heat, I’ve taken to spending more time in the kitchen again. I go through phases, I guess. Sometimes I don’t even want to be bothered with the clanging of pots and pans and the chopping and the mincing and the yanking out of gizzards and whatnot…not to mention the hassle of clean up afterward! Sometimes though, perhaps I am channeling my grandmother, and nothing makes me happier than extended periods of gastronomic adventures and culinary experimentation!

Lately I have been spending time perfecting my black bean recipe (tip: this Cuban black bean soup is an excellent place to start), roasting chickens, baking pies, and making, for probably the 100th time, Isa Chandra’s vegan mac & cheese. Also pictured up there is chicken poached in sake & ginger, with hoisin & scallion flecked riced cauliflower and snow peas. We’ve been consuming a lot of Japanese-inspired dishes thanks to our recent obsessions with Wakako Zake, Tokyo Diner Midnight Stories, and Samurai Gourmet. Okonomiyaki night once a week!

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On the knitting front, it has been somewhat slow-going. I just finished a grasshopper-colored (or absinthe-hued, if you prefer) pair of rib and cable socks and I shall shortly, secretly, be sending them to a friend. Because woolen socks in July is such a treat, right? But I hope, come December, they will be glad of them. A few years back I began to send my finished knits away to friends and folks that I admire, or who had, at some time, done me a small kindness.  I still practice this from time to time–I mean, I’m never going to wear all of this stuff, right? And it makes me feel good to let people know how much they mean to me!  This Blue Dahlia shawl has a somewhat similar fate in store for it in that it is headed off to a sweet friend, but it was the result of a bit of a craft trade. (FYI: other than knitting I am not in the least bit arty or crafty or handy, and I am always up for a trade!)

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Eeeep! Don’t you love it when Kickstarter goods that you backed and then forgot about show up in your mail to surprise you? Pictured here is the Slutist Tarot, a “mystical celebration of sex positivity that centers femmes, sexual deviants, divine whores and curious maidens.” Many contemporary tarot artists have been departing from the misogyny, racism, and imperialism of the classic tarot narrative and imagery, an intention that The Slutist Tarot shares– and in doing so, in telling the story of The Fool through the archetype of The Maiden, artist Morgan Claire Sirene has created something incredibly special.

In a fantastic interview Morgan speaks to how The Maiden’s journey differs from The Fool’s journey:

“The Maiden’s Journey is about sexuality specifically. How sex and sexual trauma changes you, your perception of yourself and how you deal with humanity. It doesn’t have to be a woman’s narrative even though I am telling it from a femme perspective. I can’t speak for all woman identified people, but for me and many women I know, having your life defined by sex is kind of inevitable, so it makes sense to me that this is The Maiden’s gift and curse.”

19367476_1903298336362729_4751995929903497216_nDespite the recent upheaval vis-à-vis my reading parlour, I am making headway in my Summer Reading Challenge, six out of twenty five, to be exact.

Strangely Beautiful by Leanna Renee Hieber: I can’t…actually..recommend this book
Hunger by Roxane Gay: Oooof. Yes. I’ll be talking about this over at Haute Macabre soon
Black Hole by Charles Burns: Dark and clever and grotesque. I think it’s a must-read.
Snot Girl Volume One: Social media star with allergies and a mystery. Kind of fun.
Giant Days Volume Five: I love these characters and the author gives a salute to yours truly
Jem and The Holograms Volume Four: Fun and pretty, but not very compelling.

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One-word movie & teevee reviews!

6/3 Wonder Woman: Absolutely
6/8 Phantasm III: Eh
6/17 Star Trek Beyond: Meh
6/22 Raw: Okay
6/24 Frankenhooker: YASSS
6/26 My Neighbor Totoro (re-watch): Always
6/? Riverdale: loooooove

Summer Scents For Those Who Shun The Sun

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Content by S. Elizabeth originally posted on the bloodmilk blog, July 13, 2015.

When I was younger, summertime, to me, meant curling up on a sweaty vinyl chair on the screened-in back porch with a pitcher of powdered iced tea drink and reading stories of ghosts and monsters and possessed children. If I was lucky, the skies would darken at midday, the winds would pick up, and a fearsome storm would thunder through the area; this is a common occurrence on a summer afternoon in central Florida, and normally would not last more than ten minutes.

I avoided the sun when at all possible; I did not relish playing outside with my sisters or the neighbor’s kids, I did not care for trips to the beach, I didn’t like being hot and sticky and gross. And I didn’t really have any friends to do any of those things with, anyhow. But then again, I’d never had many friends, so I really didn’t know any better and I didn’t feel badly about it! These long, sweltering days on the back porch voraciously tearing through stacks upon stacks of cheap, lurid used bookstore finds are some of the happiest memories I have from my pre-teen years. This was how summer was supposed to be, I thought, and at the ages of 11/12/13, I was young enough to have the luxury of spending that time however I liked. And after the daily rains, which were impatiently anticipated and perfectly inevitable -that was my favorite part of the day: a few glorious moments when the humidity dropped the tiniest bit, the air cooled a few degrees, and the sun disappeared entirely, culminating in a rich scent that still tugs at my memories and the edges of my dreams many years later. The musty scent of disintegrating paperbacks, the air heavy with the sweet, musky fragrance of jasmine, the tang of ozone, just before a heavy rainfall. This was the scent of my summers.

Years later when it comes to scenting myself for summer weather, I steer clear of many of the perfumes marketed for these sizzling, stifling afternoons when the evil day star holds sway. I don’t want to smell like the synthetic coconut of greasy suntan lotion, nor do I want to smell like those generic aquatics that are supposedly “crisp and refreshing” or the ubiquitous green tea and cucumber/melon melange which smell like so many country club air fresheners. Yes, I do want something lighter, for anything richer and heavier would certainly suffocate and strangle me in our notoriously murky, muggy Southern summers…but I want a scent that also evokes some sort of nostalgia, triggers a memory, conjured a long-forgotten dream.

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Below is a list of my five preferred fragrances in this vein; scents for these summer months that are at turns cooling, invigorating, revitalizing and imaginative: summer scents for those who shun the sun.

Coriandre by Jean Couturier is a light, lovely chypre launched in the mid-70’s. If you are not familiar with chypres, well, they seem to be a rather divisive grouping of scents, with perfume lovers falling squarely in either the Love Them or Hate Them camps. To me, generically, chypres smell a bit cold and astringent, distant; but Coriandre is on the warmer, more familiar end of the spectrum. It does remind me of something from the 70s; it’s got a hazy Polaroid quality to it. A warm, grassy summer day recalled through the yellowed veil of memory. It’s dry and woody and musky and I think it smells a bit like a lovely little secret that you might never be ready to share.

Annick Goutal’s Mandragore reminds me of a scene in the 1980’s vampire film The Lost Boys, when the main characters’ grandpa says “….well that’s about as close to town as I like to get.” My perfume shelf is filled mostly with deep, dark, resinous fragrances, and Mandragore, with its bright lemony/peppery opening that quickly fades to a soft, minty bergamot, is as close to a “summer scent” as I like to get. It’s a lovely, (softly) zingy scent that calls to mind some sort of mildly alcoholic herbal shandy one might drink to refresh one’s self at the close of a balmy June afternoon. Unfortunately, much like the buzz from this weak cocktail, the scent lasts but a moment and is gone.

Safran Troublant by L’Artisan is a wonderfully restorative, heart-warming/opening scent. It should be part of a comforting bedtime ritual at the end of a long, hot day where one has done a lot of yard work or gardening. There’s a comforting sweetness to it, though not at all sugary or cloying. A creamy sandalwood pudding, a lukewarm bath lightly infused with milk and rose petals and a deep, enveloping hug. You’ll sleep quite well and be visited by the loveliest midsummer dreams.

Danube, by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is a beloved scent that is, for me, more about memory than the actual fragrance itself. It is a deep blue aquatic scent – but not salty, ozone-y, beachy aquatic, nor is it murky, swampy aquatic. Like a cold swimming pool on a hot day (maybe if you were adding grapefruit to your pool instead of chlorine) with every blue flower imaginable floating on top of it. Imagine being 6 years old and holding your breath and submerging yourself in a swimming pool, then slo-o-o-wly sinking to the bottom. The water is chilled, you feel like the only person in the world and everything is totally silent. Imagine peering up and seeing the sun streaming down into the water, between all of the blue petals. It’s calm and soothing and serene and is an absolutely a must for hot, sticky weather and for people who haven’t got a swimming pool. Unfortunately, I do believe that Danube is discontuned. For other other unique summer scents from BPAL, sniff out Fae (sweet, floral, peachy), and Zephyr (light musk, soft lemon and florals), and Aeval (dried herbs & sweet pea & tonka and it smells like all of my favorite occult bookshops at once -herbs and oils and stones and crystals and and the crisp pages of unopened books filled with unlearned knowledge.)

When I was 18, I was dating the boy who used to live next door to me, but who had since graduated high school and moved to Indiana to attend Notre Dame. We spent a week together on summer break, during which time he had flown down South to stay with me and my family. It was early in this visit that he proposed to me on the beach one night, and I accepted…though something told me that this was a doomed venture. I knew it was not going to last, and yet I agreed anyway; I suppose I just liked the idea that something interesting loomed in the distant future for me. One late afternoon a few days later, we took a drive; the sun hung low on the horizon, the windows were down, and on the wind that ruffled our hair was the musky, sweet scent of orange blossoms, as we had just driven past a massive orange grove. Jo Malone’s Orange Blossom smells like that summer afternoon, sweet blooms and dying suns and the melancholy of tears yet to be shed for reasons you’re not quite sure of.

A bonus scent, which I have mentioned before, so it didn’t seem quite fair to list it above: Comme des Garcons Incense Series: Kyoto. To be honest, Kyoto is my go-to fragrance no matter what the season; it’s austere and meditative and calls to mind a dark prayer in a cool, shadowy forest temple. But there is something exceptionally wonderful about it in the summer months. On a day of wretched, heated summertime oppression, do this: draw the curtains, dim the lights, strip naked, and liberally spritz yourself with Kyoto. Lay on your bed, mid-afternoon in the dark. Nap for a time. Dream of cooler places. And for what it’s worth, I just purchased my 5th bottle of this particular scent (and you know I have quite a lot of perfumes to choose from) so Kyoto is obviously getting a lot of mileage.

What scents do you dream of in summer time? What cools you down & soothes your brow when the temperatures soar?

The Many Moons Workbook

Image credit: Sarah Faith Gottesdiener

Image credit: Sarah Faith Gottesdiener

Last month I had the privilege of interviewing Sarah Faith Gottesdiener, a designer, art director, and artist whose artwork and design is based in the spiritual, feminist, and mystical. Sarah is the creative force behind Modern Women, an intersectional feminist gear company, combining the different elements of designing, art-making, publishing, editing, and collaborating under the unifying umbrella of Feminist and Queer philosophy. We spoke specifically about one of her wonderful offerings, The Many Moons workbook, and how the moon and its magic influences her creative practices.

If you missed it when it initially went live on Haute Macabre, I highly encourage you to give our interview a read now–Sarah is a brilliantly inspiring luminary and no doubt this workbook, which imagines a world where witches, women, femmes, & weirdos make their dreams come true, is relevant to all of your interests! You know, all two of you who read this blog.

Illuminating The Many Moons Workbook with Sarah Faith Gottesdiener

Sarah Faith Gottesdiener // Photo credit: Nancy Neil

Sarah Faith Gottesdiener // Photo credit: Nancy Neil

How To Wear: A Box Of Crayons

Kaleidoscope Color editorial shot for Interview Magazine by Greogory Harris, 2011

Kaleidoscope Color editorial shot for Interview Magazine by Gregory Harris, 2011

It’s well and truly summer. Sigh. I guess that means hemlines rise and colors lighten up. SIGH. You know I have a very difficult time with these concepts.

But sometimes it’s good to go with the flow, right? Experiment a little? Maybe don’t go too crazy (as the title of this post suggests), but perhaps…just one crayon at a time? I think we can do this.

Find a slip of a dress that whispers the soft pink of the dawn before the day’s heat begins to blaze; a sheer tank top that reflects the cool, clear blue of a secret swimming spot, a weirdly patterned frock in the bold shades of children’s pool floaties or another echoing the hues of a deep red rose, a tee shirt screaming the lurid orange of the sun’s dying rays on a late July afternoon, or a dress the vibrant green of grass clippings that stick to your feet when you walk outside barefoot to get the mail, after the lawn man has cut two weeks worth of growth…

Below you will find a few suggestions in this vein; as always click each image for more information on the items used and where to purchase.

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Look 9.

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Look 10.

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Previous ridiculous installments of How To Wear:
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: Arsenical Wallpapers
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: Your Favorite Books & Stories
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: A Winter Getaway
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: Your Favorite Horror Film
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: The Arts
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: The Spring Equinox
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: The Winter Solstice
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: The Autumn Equinox
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: A Jean Rollin Film
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: A Gothic Romance Novel
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: Your Favorite Tarot Deck
👁‍🗨 What To Wear Upon Greeting Death
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: A Melancholic Holiday
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: A Date With A Monster
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: Dramatic Jewelry
👁‍🗨 How To Wear: A Tee Shirt

Those Who Disappear

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A long, long time ago, I had a livejournal account. As a matter of fact, I had several. I was always moving around, and purging and deleting and recreating myself. Mostly because I was living with a despot, an utter bastard of a human being who could not bear the fact that I had connections beyond the tenuous and yet tyrannical connection that he had with me. I had few friends beyond those I developed online, and I would be damned if he ruined that.

Thusly, a new livejournal name every three months or so (and again, my apologies to those who had a hard time keeping up with me.) Before all that, though, in the early days of LJ, I became somewhat friends with a certain LJ user. You know what I mean by “somewhat friends”; you thought they were really cool, so you friended them, and then eventually they friended you back and every once in a while you’d comment on each other’s posts but you never exchanged email addresses or AIM account info, so you probably weren’t really good friends, right?

This person, we will call her A.–and I am refraining from using real names or even online usernames or monikers, the reasons for which I will explain shortly*– was an artistic sort, and i loved seeing the creations she chose to share, and the evolution of her work. I enjoyed reading about the new techniques that she employed, and the snippets of whimsical, surreal poetry and prose that would sometimes accompany a new piece. I rejoiced with her when her work was commissioned as cover art for a work of speculative fiction/fantasy. I looked forward to every time something she posted in my feed…until one day, after noting a prolonged absence on her part, I realized her journal had been purged and her site had been taken down.

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I grieved in a quiet sort of, hopefully non-creepy way. I barely knew a thing about this person, and we certainly weren’t true friends, but I found myself strangely bereft not knowing where she was or what was going on with her. Every few years I half-heartedly peek around the internet to see what turns up; one year, through a blog I thought belonged to her partner at the time, I briefly saw her appear under a new username. I found that same username listed in a popular fragrance forum which I lurk about frequently. I reached out to the user and never received a response. A few years after that, while searching for her older user name, I saw that she commented frequently on a certain blog over a decade ago.  It appeared that the blogger and she were on friendly terms and seemed to be personally acquainted, and what excited me is that the blog had been consistently updated and was current. I found the blogger on twitter and contacted him. He wrote back to me! He knew who I was looking for, and thought she was well and said that he would pass my information on.

I never heard back.

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I should learn a lesson from this, I imagine. Some people don’t want to be found. Perhaps some people don’t want to be found by me. Or, at least they don’t want to be found by revenants from their past, good, bad, or otherwise. And so I stopped searching, and poking, and peering and prying. My intentions were good, but I don’t wish to hurt anyone. I don’t wish to be a reminder of a life someone has tried to leave behind…I mean, I think I understand that almost better than anyone. And so I am not linking to anything I have found, or referring to this person by any of the names I know them by–that’s not fair, and who knows, it might even be dangerous for them. I don’t know their circumstances, do I?

But I do hope they are well, and that they are happy, and that they continue to create. I’m afraid for her, and for many artists, I suppose, that once they disappear, their work might too. And I thought it was so beautiful, and that she had so much potential, and it nearly breaks my heart to think that one day there will be no evidence of it. That it will be as if it, and she, never existed.

If you read this one day, A.,you’re probably going to be weirded out.  Our exchanges were so brief… the only one I actually even remember is our mutual complaint of over-sized SUVs in the tiny parking spaces of small apartment complexes. Why do I care so much? Why do I care at all? I think maybe you were (are?) a sensitive soul and I that you will understand, even if I can’t articulate it. Are you still creating? I hope so. Be well, where ever you are.

This is me letting go.

(But I wanted to have a record of some sort, of your fantastical works, just in case. I hope you are okay with that. )

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*though I have refrained from using names, etc., I have left the watermark on the art, because I think it’s kind of rude to mess around with that stuff.

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