Sunday, April 20, 2014

Day 309: Normcore and Bookpiles

Firstly, my look? I was going for 'normcore'. This outfit looks like many 'normcore' images you see, but the definition of the style is more elusive. According to Wikipedia (yes, I am being lazy), it is a 'reaction to hipster culture', and refers to an 'understated, nondescript style', and an attempt to 'fit in rather than stand out'. This outfit would fit in in some of our western suburbs, but in Blogland it certainly doesn't: I would need a full skirt, a graphic t-, some killer heels and a statement necklace. So is this 'normcore' after all? Or just radically fashionable and haute?

It has been too long since I joined up with the amazing readers Christine and Taylor, and their co-host this month, Cassie, for a long satisfying chat about books. AKA: Literary Junkies. Here's what's been happening in my book pile:


Q: What are you reading right now? Tell us about it!

A: 'The Pile'—my notorious bedside shambles of a 'currently reading' pile—grows ever in the wrong direction despite my best efforts. Put it this way. I had a goal, between birthdays, to reduce the number of books on my reading pile to thirteen. It was, at the time I made the goal, about thirty-eight. It is currently sitting at forty. I know, how can I even know what is happening in any of them. It's a juggle. The last few added to the pile were courtesy of my Book Riot Quarterly Box, my Goodreads Giveaways and my idle curiosty.

From Goodreads I won a copy of Reality by Ray Glickman (Teaser*: 'At the heart of this thought provoking novel lie questions of fate and self-determination'; Verdict: Haven't cracked the spine yet).

From Book Riot I ended up with three(!) new books: Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley (Teaser: 'unforgettably weird classic tale of adventure on a travelling bookstore called Parnassus'; Verdict: one sitting has me loving it already, best line 'Reading sonnets always gives me hiccups, too.') and Judging a Book by Its Lover: A Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers Everywhere by Lauren Leto (Teaser: 'A hilarious send-up of—and inspired homage to—the passionate and perculiar world of book culture'; Verdict: haven't cracked this spine either). Book Riot are metatextual this month! I also was one of the lucky recipients of a bonus book in the form of the pre-release copy of The Vacationers by Emma Straub (Teaser: 'This is a story of the sides of ourselves that we choose to show and those we try to conceal'; Verdict: Mmm, yep, nice clean spine at this stage.) Now I understand about the pleasure of recieving these boxes in the post.

From sheer, dumb curiosity and the idea that maybe I could slip something in quickly between all the other books I am reading, I also ended up 'piling' Gone by Lisa Gardener (Teaser: 'If he doesn't get what he wants, Rainie will be gone for good'; Verdict: Good pace, interesting villains and law enforcement personnel. It's book five in a series, but I don't think I am missing anything) because I found it lying around at work and its trade paperback cover suckered me in; and 23 Shades of Black by KJA Wishnia (Teaser: 'tense, psychological thriller set in the East Village punk scene during the early 1980s'; Verdict: Just started, but I like the sassy, Latina female police member who stars in it). Oh well, life's short and I'm not going to be able to read everything: my pile is just the consequence of that way of thinking.

* Teasers all courtesy of Goodreads.


Q: Divergent, Hunger Games, or Twilight. Which do you prefer and why? (If you’ve never read them which do you think you’d prefer?)

A: In this order: in the middle of reading; read; didn't read but saw the movies and they drove me a tad nuts. I am enjoying Divergent, but I loved Hunger Games. Many people compare these novels because of their main female protagonists and the agency they are given. I tend to agree, although I have to admit that my judgment of Bella is based on movies, not books but I'm guessing things wouldn't change hugely in that regard from one to the other. I don't want to get all political, but I can't understand a modernly written woman who's self worth is dependent on the males in her life. You know what I am saying.

List_Addict               Irene

Q: TV Series Based on Books they start out very close to the book to draw in the fans but then will start to separate themselves by changing things and adding characters. What are you thoughts on this?

A: My preference is for the shows to take on their own character and move away from the book. The mediums are so different—it seems foolish to try and make them the same. Everyone seems to be talking about True Blood in answer to this question. In the texts you get a first person perspective; in the series you have multiple fully-developed characters and see things from numerous viewpoints. They are almost incomparable, and I figure if you make them each their own thing, then you get two forms of entertainment instead of comparisons about which is better. I'm for 'inspired by' rather than 'based on'.


Q: You’ve just been recruited to help a movie studio bring your favorite book to the big screen. What’s the movie and who are you choosing to play the main characters?

A: I have problems with 'favourite book' questions so I think I will go with 'recently read' instead. I think that Douglas Copeland's Girlfriend in a Coma or Warren Ellis' Crooked Little Vein would both make fun movies. For the first I would like to see Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter) as Karen, and Jason Bateman as Richard. There are lots of other characters that need to be filled--it's a The Big Chill with a big difference. Cameron Diaz would be Pamela, but the rest are TBA. For Crooked Little Vein, we could have Gerard Butler as Michael McGill, and as Trix, Jennifer Lawrence. But I don't think she will do it--it's a little silly. Maybe she would if Wes Anderson directs it though. Just thinking.


Q: Going back to the above question, do you keep it word for word the same or do you use this chance to change little things you thought would make the book better?

A: I would want them to take on their own cinematic identities, to just be inspired. For Crooked Little Vein, I would just like a bit more clarity on the secret constitution. Although, saying that, if done right, it could be like the glowing golden contents of the briefcase in Pulp Fiction. Like, but not the same. Maybe Tarantino would work as director on this instead. The director could be the key--he's like the second author of the same story.


Q: After you finish a physical copy of a book do you keep it for a reread, put it on a shelf to collect dust, donate it to Goodwill, or do you just not purchase physical copies of books?

A: I love still having real, in-your-hand, paper-paged books. And I need something to fill that book room I keep talking about. Not that I don't have plenty of the electrical kind too. It's a mix. And in both cases I find most books hard to off load once read. In real life I keep most, I re-read some. I mostly give away or donate crime novels or novels I wasn't overly impressed with. I was really into Book Crossing at one stage, but it's hard work. Electronically I have folders which justify not getting rid of anything: 'Bookshelved But Cautious', 'Too Tight To Delete'.


The Outfit
Clearing the Closet: It’s time to go white t-shirt with never-to-be-removed pasta sauce stain.
T-shirt: Target
Track pants: KMart
Shirt: Op shopped
Bracelet: Fitbit
Shoes: Teva


Photographer de Jour: Moi


Who Wore It Better?



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Literary Junkies

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Day 339: Crossing Things Off

In seven shifts and twelve hours of working time, plus a few days off, I am heading overseas for a hiking holiday. A continuation of a journey: Land's End to John O'Groats. I need to get some things. It's always best to make a list. And cross it off.

  • Fabric for a Brownie Uniform: my hikes have 'B' based themes
  • Fabric for a Brownie Smock
  • Sundries for sewing a Brownie uniform and a Brownie smock Sewing in progress as we speak!
  • Brownie badges: only ones whose skills I can justifiably say I possess Handcrafts, Traveller, Literary Arts, Camp Craft, Communications, Emergency, Weather: I am skilled in all of those, and if you are questioning the last, I am a signed-up and paid-up active member of the Cloud Collectors community
  • An orange tie: to wear with my Brownie outfits Gifted from my boy
  • A white shirt: ditto
  • A brown beanie
  • Gloves Black, not white like Brownies, but, hey, white is a nightmare on a hike!
  • Wool Socks Some bought, some gifted—Thanks B——
  • Undies
  • Cargo Pants Well, okay, I bought two pairs. One for hiking and a skinny pair for being a fashionista in.


List_Addict               Irene

  • Gaiters The camping shop gave me the missing piece off the ones I already had and saved me a bit of money!
  • Pack Cover
  • A better Day Pack than the saggy one I currently have
  • A better Lap Bag than the baggy one I currently have
  • Merino Thermal Top Quality merino on special, yay!
  • Merino Thermal Leggings Ditto
  • Bicycle shorts
  • Camera Case Not the specific one I needed, but close enough
  • ear-Pods (earphones for i-Pods) Gifted—Thanks V——
  • i-Books set in Scotland to read while I am in Scotland How Late it Was, How Late by James Kelman (Glasgow); The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks (remote unnamed Scottish village); and; One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson (Edinburgh)
  • Antihistamine cream for horse-fly bites
  • Hayfever pills for the worst hayfever I ever get
  • Other sundry toiletries


The Outfit
Dress: Op-shopped
Jacket: Thrifted, Savers in Lubbock, Texas
Shoes: Irregular Choice 'Fresh Cut Grass'


Photographer de Jour: Moi


Who Wore It Better?



Putting a link on with:

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Life's A Party Dress Like It

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Day 338: Where's My 'Jo?

I've lost my mojo. I don't breathe to blog anymore, and I don't know how to get that back. When I started this blog fifteen months ago, I had two things in mind: it would be easy and simple, just a photo a day and we're all done and onto other things that need doing; and; it'll just be for a year. Neither of those things turned out to be true. As all of you out there who 'fashion' blog know, 'just a photo a day and then you're all done' is actually a long, protracted task involving deciding, styling, ironing, location sourcing, photographing (aided or solo), photo editing, computer programming, labelling, copywriting and marketing. And from the get-go I started 'writing' too. And it was the writing I fell in love with. Too much for most people to read probably (the blog-reading public seems mostly to be about looking at pictures), but I loved the pressure to find something to write about everyday. It was good discipline. I also went shopping. A lot. Op-shopping/thrifting. And so now I have plenty of amazing outfits I need to showcase before I feel I can call this project finished. But where did my 'jo go? And how do I get it back?

Irene               List_Addict

Possible 'jo locations:

Shamesville, KY

Is my 'jo caving to the pressure to be 'like other blogs'? I have been watching fashion blogs for a year. They are mini businesses. Mine is not. Mine isnt sponsored, it isn't designed by a blog designer, it doesn't update every couple of months, I haven't lost heaps of weight and started looking like a celebrity and attended blog conferences and X-City Fashion Weeks. I talk about silliness, not clothing. I don't fit. Maybe I am ashamed of my blog because I haven't grown it—it is exactly what it was fifteen months ago.


Boredomton, ME

This is the complete opposite location from the previous. Maybe my 'jo is MIA because it hasn't changed. If I had to conduct a door-to-door search for my 'jo, this is the town I would start it in. How do I make changes to something when the changes I envisage are possibilities, are the ones mentioned above, which I am not interested in? Will I be reinvigorated by a colour change? Or is it just the plain old fact that I have ADD and a year-long project is all I can manage before a complete radical change of direction is needed? Do I actually have the staying power for a thousand and one blog-posts? Do you?


Distractaberg, FL

Other things seem more exciting. By other things I mean Candy Crush, reading (ten books year-to-date as opposed to five same time last year), Pintresting book-rooms for my house, realestate.com-ing new houses with potential book rooms. Other things seem more intrusive. By other things I mean work being too busy, work being too tiring, sleep being too attractive, people being more present, dogs being more cute demanding.


Lost-t'-plot-bury, Surrey

What is my style? What do I like? What season is it? What is in? What isn't? I really don't even know what to wear anymore. Or who I am. Maybe it is more than my 'jo missing. Maybe if I find my 'jo, I'll find myself. This is all getting much more philosophical than I realised. Maybe my 'jo isn't missing, maybe it ran away.


Missing: My mojo. Pink and yellow brindle; small beady eyes; answers to the name of Darren. Reward of ever-lasting gratitude to anyone who locates it! Call 04765356778276664572938609.

The Outfit
Shirt: Op-shopped
Cricket jumper: Op-shopped
Leggings: Black Milk
Earrings: Retail
Shoes: Irregular Choice 'Spat Attack'


Photographer de Jour: Moi


Who Wore It Better?



Putting a link on with:

STYLELIXIR Style Sessions


Life's A Party Dress Like It


stillbeingmolly


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Day 308: How Darby Thinks?

Don't you wonder how dogs think? When it comes to Mr Darby Pickles, I think it runs something like this:

Sneaker Thoughts:

Darby: Mmm. Why did V—— come to visit me and then lie down and nap with Charlie? Shouldn't he be playing with me, feeding me treats, taking me for a walk and then sitting on the couch so I can lick his face for a solid ten minutes every twenty minutes, or whenever he talks about Lollii? I will take his sneaker outside.

Negotiates a size eleven sneaker through a size seven dog-door.

Darby: This looks odd by itself. I'll get the other one.

Negotiates another size eleven sneaker through a size seven dog-door.

Darby: The humans are still sleeping. These sneakers smell good. I will eat them seeing as they are already here. Mmm. Tasty insteps. Just like a face, only feetier.

List_Addict               Irene

Compass Points:

Darby: There is no one here whose face I can lick for ten minutes every twenty minutes, or if they talk about Lollii. I'm going to look sideways out of the window from the bed for a little bit. Ahh, soft bed. Maybe a lie down. I need a shoe.

Finds a sandal and places it at a position roughly corresponding to North on the bed.

Darby: I need a shoe.

Finds a slipper and places it at a position roughly corresponding to East on the bed.

Darby: I need a shoe.

Finds a clog and places it at a position roughly corresponding to West on the bed.

Darby: I need a shoe.

Finds a sneaker and places it at a position roughly corresponding to South on the bed.

Darby: Mmm. Smells delightfully shoe-y no matter which way I turn! Who needs face licking anyway.


Channelling Casanova:

Darby: I've sat on people's heads when they're sleeping, been for a walk, eaten breakfast and napped, what should I do next? What's this?

Sniffs at a porcelain cup with a table bouquet in it.

Darby: Mmmm, garden-y. Might just have a chew on this. Oh? Water on that board with all the plugs coming out of it, that shouldn't matter. What's B—— doing?

Walks into the bedroom with a rose in his mouth, leaving behind a strange electrical smell.


The Outfit
Clearing the Closet: It’s time to go green but comfy t-shirt with holes.
T-shirt: Op-shopped
Skirt: Op-shopped
Belt: Thrifted, Savers, Lubbock, Texas
Necklaces: Retail
Socks: Target
Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens


Photographer de Jour: B——


Who Wore It Better?



Linky today with:

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Day 307: Escape To The Country

Many things waste my time. Or I find many things to waste it. Is 'waste' the right word? Is procrastination a bad thing? Or is it just focus in other areas, in other interests, than you thought you would focus on when you got up this morning? Which of these is a 'waste' of time: Candy Crush Saga; reading other people's blogs; Pinterest; reading books; sleeping; working (duh, stupid question on that one); or; realestate.com? That last one is the procrastination-de-jour currently keeping me away from the writing of blogs that used to fill each and every day of my life. I'm itching at the bit to buy a house.

Irene               List_Addict

And boy, is it stressful. I am feeling ill from the seriousness of it all. Ulcers, headaches, pimples. What happened, you see, is we found the 'perfect house'. We shouldn't have even been looking. We hadn't seen a bank or a broker about how much we could borrow. We had looked on the Internet, and given ourselves an uninformed idea of what would we could get which didn't take into account three things: my margin lending loan being 'debt', our LVR (Loan Value Ratio—that is the size of the loan in relation to the value of the property, or, less financially obscurely, how big your deposit needs to be for the bank to lend you the rest dependant on how much the house will cost. Make sense? We're learning a lot), and mortgage insurance (also dependant on the size of your deposit and crazily expensive). So when we got all excited about this beautiful 1920's house, high in the hills with a bungalow, wooden floorboards, windows to views that were unbelievable, and wanted to make an offer, we suddenly realised that even though we could make the repayments, we couldn't actually borrow enough to buy the house because of the (weeny) size of our deposit. And we learned another hard house-buying lesson: how much it hurts to have to let go of the house you love!

Hurts, and sets up expectations. We've found another one we like now. Like—on the way to love—but not yet love. It's much cheaper. But it seems not cheap enough for what it is and what the others in the area have sold for. Knowing more is not making anything easier. Buying a house is a funny thing. It is unlike anything else you will ever do. What do you want? What is a deal-breaker? What do the other people buying it with you want or think are deal breakers? Is this house the best or will something else come along? If we don't take this one will nothing else come along? And then—the game! They say they want X, but they actually want X amount plus forty thousand; you offer X amount less twenty thousand, they come back saying they want X amount plus fifty thousand, you offer X plus five thousand, they ... You get the drift. The good thing about not loving, just liking, this latest house is we are prepared to sit back and play the game to our advantage. Aren't we, V——? Unless someone makes an offer? Oh gosh! Don't think these pimples are going anywhere soon. Or this poor blog either! Now you know where I am, in case you were wondering. Back to you sporadically, xxx.

The Outfit
Clearing the Closet: It’s time to go amazing Mexican shirt that has lost all its dye
Top: Mexico
Skirt: Op-shopped
Gloves: Macy's, New York
Shoes: Irregular Choice 'Summer Berries'


Photographer de Jour: Moi


Who Wore It Better?



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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Day 306: The Boy Next Door

A small miracle happened. I finished a pledged-to-a-reading-challenge book. No. Wait. It is even more exciting than that. I finished it during the challenge! I know. Me too. Shocked. But reading is getting much more of a look in this year. To the detriment of blogging. My couch is so appealing. It lets me sit on it and play Candy Crush, read people's blogs and read books on my Scribd account. I'm having trouble getting other things done. But I got 'Romantic Comedy' from Book'd Out's Eclectic Reader Challenge 2014 done, and here it is:

Meg Cabot's The Boy Next Door.


Irene               List_Addict

I love to watch Romantic Comedies: I've not really ever read them. Bridget Jones's Diary excepted. This is what I like dislike like about a challenge that shoves a boot into your backside and pushes you out of your comfort genres. Why don't I read Romantic Comedies? I think I like my reading to be more 'thought provoking' and I surmise (probably unfairly) that the genre won't supply that. For 'easy reading' I go to crime or suspense. I do the same when I want to watch something that allows my brain to just absord rather than interpret. Maybe I like the macarbe rather than the delightful. Maybe I am a glass-half-empty kind of girl. Maybe I think Romantic Comedy is just too 'nice'.

The Boy Next Door suckered me in and spat me out at the other end as marginally converted. It did that first by being epistolary. Written entirely through emails. Cleverly. It portrayed character, relationship, tone and action without ever putting two people together on the same page. Being a heavy subscriber to the word-quirky, I was won over immediately. Then it threw in several sub-plots—including suspense. If you are still reading this I am guessing you know what you are getting into and so I don't need to tell you that plot-outlining spoilers follow. Perpetually late Gossip columnist and Winona Ryder afficionado, Mel, is late again to work after she finds her cranky and elderly neighbour assaulted and unconscious in the flat next door. While her neighbour lies in a coma, someone has to look after her pets, and if Mel is to keep her job, she needs to get hold of her neighbour's nephew. The nephew turns out be quite the catch for jaded-in-the-boy-department Mel. But is he all he appears to be? And is there something more to what happened to the neighbour in the first place? There is a serial murderer running around NYC after all. Sure, it was a little twee. A tab predictable. A smidge cheesy. And possessing of a typically Rom-Com ending. But I gleefully picked up my iPad and hit the Scribd app at any possible opportunity. That's not a bad thing. I don't know how quickly I will jump on the Rom-Com reading wagon again, but I am not as cynical as I was.

Okay. it's not so much a review as a conversation with the Internet: I'm not a traditional reviewer. Check out more Eclectic Reader Challenge 2014 reviews here if you after more great reading ideas.

The Outfit
Clearing the Closet: Yellow Singlet. I'm getting desperate
Dress: Op-shopped
Singlet: Retail
Jacket: Thrifted, Savers Las Vegas, Nevada
Necklaces: Retail
Shoes: Irregular Choice 'Can Can'


Photographer de Jour: Moi——


Who Wore It Better?



Linky today with:

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KimbaLikes


STYLELIXIR Style Sessions


pleated poppy


Friday, March 14, 2014

Day 334: My Mad Face and My Happy Face Are The Same

Caution: if you haven't been seduced by True Blood and plan to watch it (or read it) at a later time, this contains spoilers.

People tell me they have stopped watching True Blood because it got silly. My mum said that, but I feel uncomfortable talking to my mum about this because it is a little lot racey, and I feel weird about my mum watching racey things. A couple of people at work said the same thing. They said that by the time Tru Blood got to its fourth or fifth season, it got ridiculous and unbelievable.

List_Addict               Irene

Okay, let me get this straight. So it wasn't silly when Vampires came out of the coffin and started mainstreaming with normal society; drinking a synthetic blood to enable them to stop eating people. It wasn't silly when vamp blood, better known as 'V' was revealed to be a drug—making you strong and healthy and super high. A mind reading protagonist and a shape-shifting bar owner: not silly. And I am not even going into the silliness that exists in every vampire-related story (Buffy, True Blood, Twilight, etc, etc) that involves an undercurrent of sexual attraction—namely the logic of a heart-beat-less creature being able to raise a heart-beat-related body organ for the purposes of lovin'—if you get my drift. Before we get near to seasons four and five, we come across Wicca, bull-headed gods, werewolves, were jaguars, Faer(ies) and their magical qualities—and the fact Sookie is one. And yet, it 'gets silly' after that?

V—— and I just finished watching the fifth season last night. We're in mourning for the sillinesses we will be without until they release the sixth. I love silliness. It removes you from reality, and there is something lovely about that. The soundtrack is sublime. The characters are artful and either charming, or people you love to hate. Who isn't sad with Russell Edgington's true death? I told you there were spoilers. There is so much to choose from in the way of vampire/zombie/supernatural entertainment. It is like the colour cream (impossible to choose one amongst the plethora of paint samples available, and you won't really know the difference once you have chosen and painted it on your wall). I'm glad we were introduced to True Blood. Are you a fan? Do you think it is silly? What should we watch while we wait for the release of the next season? I'm thinking American Horror Story.

The Outfit
Top: Op-shopped
Tutu: Sock Dreams
(Weirdo) Leggings: Op-shopped
Shoes: Irregular Choice 'Magic Pony'


Photographer de Jour: B——


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