housekeeping, lots of pink, & artsy antique-store pictures

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I am deeply saddened to announce that my camera is dead.

Not buried yet, though. I’m still holding out hope for the Lazarus effect. It’s been out of commission ten days now, and today I finally made a truce with my wallet and took it to the repair shop. Apparently the entire works need replacing (I dropped it onto concrete), and it’ll be at least a week before I can see it again.

I won’t be able to post as frequently as I’d like (and my first Shaped by Style posts might be delayed), but I keep a backlog of photos on hand for precisely this reason. So I’ll be filling the radio silence, albeit with outdated outfits.

I took these about three weeks ago in one of my favorite antique stores.

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Not having a camera is weird, man. It’s made me realize just how much of my fashion sense is performative. I almost don’t see the point in dressing up if I can’t share my outfit with the internet. The past week has been an exercise in looking cute just for the hell of it. And lemme tell you – I have been wearing some hella cute outfits.

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But it’s also given me more time to write. I’m serious about this short-story-collection thing. I’m thinking a hundred-page chapbook of my ten best stories. Cheap enough to produce while nonetheless conveying my range of ability. I’ll set up a website to sell it, and maybe offer copies to a few local/alternative bookstores. One of my favorite thrift shops even sells customers’ art.

Should I produce a separate one for poetry? Or intersperse the poems in with the prose?

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the ragged mummer

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I haven’t done a straight-up super!artsy costumed shoot in too long. I’ve been fantasizing about lush summer pinups and proto-gaias rolling in the dirt, and it’s just not time yet. We’re still, for now, stuck in the in-between.

The solution? Get dressed up and play Spring Herself, of course. The petticoated piper, trailing birdsong and moonshine in her wake.

For a purer ~aesthetic~, I recommend this musical accompaniment.

(Note that I took these before dyeing my hair back to pink. Forgive my roots.)

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floral blouse, blue circle skirt, & ~super!artsy~ photos

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Kristina wrote an excellent post yesterday about actual vintage vs. caricatures that have been historically enshrined as vintage. She writes:

Sure, sometimes they wore red lipstick. Sometimes they did victory rolls. Sometimes they had fluffy skirts held out by petticoats. But watching a movie or searching street style from that era, there was so much more. And very few cat-eye looks, I should point out. I feel as though more often, it was pink or orange or even neutral lipsticks, soft brown shadows (or, hello, blue shadow), liner that was pretty subtle (it was all about the lip shape back then), fantastic brows, and hair that was fluffed and curled to glamorous volume.

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I think sometimes the collective-we forgets that the history we slaver over was inhabited by actual people. Narratives are messy and murky and non-linear. And humans have always been human. The way we categorize them after the fact often has nothing to do with how they really lived. For instance – if I had a dime for every rockabilly type who claimed that vintage bikinis were “so much classier” than today’s stringy counterparts! As though they weren’t considered downright scandalous in their own time. We idolize Marilyn Monroe in the 21st century and forget that in her own, she was basically Kim Kardashian meets Monica Lewinsky.

fbIfbIXDitto when the nostalgia-prone sigh for “real” courtship, for the days when “men were gentlemen and women were ladies”. Maybe that’s how we’ve chosen to remember those days, but it was never that simple. There were still drunken hookups. There was gossip and seduction and guys who didn’t call. Let’s not pretend we don’t know what drive-in movies were really about.

All the things we think are newfangled conventions? They’ve always existed. People were terrified to be open about them.

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Here’s to a fuller remembrance of history. To taking the good parts and leaving the bad to rot, but fundamentally understanding all of it. To knowing that truth is stranger than fiction.

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vintage plaid, red accents, & a silly poem

I submitted this to the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest. Not gonna lie, 90% of why I did so was just to see “Wergle Flomp” on my resume.

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The sun went down at four-o’clock

on the ev’ning of January first.

In its place, the moon unlocked

the gate, and came to quench its thirst.

 

I took the measure of the sky

a-gleaming in its tar.

I posed a question, asking “Why?”

And lo! Was greeted by a star!

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Along the ridge of Mars and North

my vanguard shone for me.

Holding strong and gleaming forth,

never to cower or flee.

 

A metaphor, my star became,

imbuing me with vim.

How brilliant glowed its well-fanned flame –

how holy boomed its hymn!

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The star became my confidant,

soothing troubles from all corners.

Guarding lovers on a jaunt,

wiping tears from distant mourners.

 

The sun went down at nine-o’clock

when June came ‘round the bend.

Alone beneath the moon, I walked

to find the power to transcend.

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I dropped to my knees, my limbs a-tremble.

The star gazed down, so stern.

I should have guessed it to dissemble:

But I, seeking counsel, just churned.

 

“I’m lost,” I cried, “so soothe me, please.

I’m afraid my bearings have slipped.”

My star hung bright, a comfort, an ease:

A smooth face, white, unpipped.

 

When suddenly my tacit friend –

his face split in a wink!

I watched in bitter discontent

as his wisdom toppled off the brink!

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A clown, a mime, a laughing face

hung blankly in the sky.

Where truth once stood was nare a trace –

my lips parted in a cry.

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June had come, rose high,

and the hour was nigh

for my dear friend to depart.

 

The orbit had switched

and the mission was ditched.

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The star I’d wished on every night

turned out to be a satellite.

 

real classicists wear pink

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I have three favorite days. Halloween, my birthday, and Latin Day. O Latin Day.

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The UVM Classics department hosts an annual festival of Roman history and culture for Latin students across the state. Seventh-through-twelfth-graders compete in recitation, grammar, theater, and art. And it’s kiiiind of a big deal. Latin was my whole life in high school, and I spent months preparing for this thing. I was the captain of the quiz bowl team, and my senior year I adapted Cena Trimalchionis for the stage. One year I had a stomach bug so bad I could barely walk, but I still put on my toga and won a blue ribbon for the quiz bowl team. Then I napped on the nice cool auditorium floor until it was time to go home. THAT is how much I love Latin Day.

I’ve been involved with it for seven years now, in multiple capacities. I loved the competitions as a teenager; now, as a Latin minor at UVM, I love the administrative end of things and watching proto-Skyes develop. This year I got to judge the costume contest! I dressed as Arachne, which, if we’re being real, wasn’t much of a costume. I just wore all the spider things I own. And I made these nifty spider hair clips out of pipe cleaners.

(…on the subject of pipe cleaners, I got CARDED while buying them. I mean, I get that they’re technically smoking paraphernalia, but still. Stretch much?)

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Professor Chiu is the Leslie Knope of Classics. For real. I don’t think she sleeps. She just grades papers and makes bitchin’ costumes and infects even the most lethargic with her passion.

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I didn’t get a picture of it, but some beautiful soul brought in homemade gnocchi and globuli (dough balls rolled in honey). Let’s be real: free food is the best part of any event.

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Valete, omnes!

 

this magic keeps him alive / but it’s making him crazy

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Putting the endless twee parade on hold for a moment. Just your average day in the screaming post-apocalyptic abyss – aka my backyard. It makes a pretty great abyss, though.

Josh’s Simon Petrikov cosplay is among the more uncanny likenesses I’ve seen. For those of you who don’t watch Adventure Time – well, first get off this blog and watch all six seasons of Adventure Time – Petrikov is an antiquarian who stumbles upon a madness-inducing crown. It grants him immortality at the cost of his mind, and slowly transforms him into the Ice King. Hilarity – and also really unsettling “this is so not for kids” imagery – ensues.

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all pink all the time forever

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I have two modes: the pixie and the siren. From April to October, the world is Pixie’s oyster. Burgeoning summer means scathing brights, lolita frills, and flowers in my cleavage. November through March is different. Stricter, quieter, more seductive. I’m the slutty librarian who shushes you all day but pounces and snarls at night. She keeps her hair a more respectable red.

With last night’s repinkening, the pixie has officially returned.

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flower crown, peter pan collar, and ~dem boots~

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Sometimes a certain blogger’s aesthetic gets stuck in my head, and I sit around itching until I can emulate it. In this case, it’s Kate of Scathingly Brilliant, specifically this look. She doesn’t post anymore (boo hiss), but her blog was one of my favorites. Say what you will about style ruts, but I admire people who own a certain look and wear the hell out of it. In Kate’s case, super!kawaii pastel Disney princess. It’s not everyone’s thing, but it worked for her.

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Today I’ve also got part of a short story for you. Recently I’ve been editing some of my old stories. I used to think polishing up an old story was “cheating” somehow – that the Skye who wrote it was an entirely different person, someone I’d be somehow ripping off. This just in: I’m so neurotic that I worry about plagiarizing myself. That is not a sign of anything good.

So here you go. It’s a ten-page story, about half of which I’ve rewritten so far. Just an intro to whet your appetite:

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It’s been three years now, to the day, but I still can’t forget how time used to move differently. How three or four or five years ago I wouldn’t have measured in years at all. I moved in seasons and sighs and smoke curling through morning mist. The tensions were high, but the living was grand. We’d be blown to hell soon enough; now was the time for our own hedonic heaven.

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My days poured into the shape of her, bold along her spine or precious in the details of her eyelids. Awash in seconds, hours, days, she glowed. When energy filled her and she brimmed with excitement, with lust, time raged by in bounds. Other days, slow and piecemeal, it was barely there. A meager heartbeat in waxy skin.

“Tell me about her,” my brother asks sometimes. He can tell when she’s glimmering just inside my bones. “Let her out.”

“I can’t,” I tell him, again and again. I never took the time to memorize all of her at once. She wasn’t interesting to me that way; her devilry lay in the details.. She was a smile and a sterling collarbone and a pair of perfect earlobes and a set of hips. I can’t let her out, because that’s all I have. I just need it to stay mine.

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cherries & vintage green

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Easter makes it abundantly evident what a nOOb religion major I am. This morning I went to Mass with a Catholic friend who wrote his thesis on Vatican II. He was full of insights about scriptural quirks and the True Meaning of Resurrection, and I’m just like “…well, I’ve got a bitchin’ hat.”

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I have so much to learn, but depending on your religion of choice, I have any number of lifetimes in which to learn it. I am so fascinated by spiritual systems, by law and creed and myth, both by the holy books and by the ways they are lived.

I am not, myself, inclined toward belief. But I’m not immune to the joy knit through religious communities. Dozens of people united in pursuit of the same divinity is an amazing thing to witness.

But I am never more aware of the horns tattooed on the back of my neck than in a Catholic church.

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pigtails, plaid, & neck tattoos

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I realized upon titling this post that I actually have no idea why bloggers refer to their garments in the plural. After all, I have only one neck tattoo. I see it all over the fashion blogosphere: “yellow skirts”, “LBDs”, “vintage coats”. Maybe they’re sick of using articles for everything? Maybe they want to come across as more of an Everywoman: you too can ape my style! That’s some “army of clones” shit.

I think someone should do a sociolinguistic study of fashion blogging. Something like this Bitch magazine piece, but with a less judgmental slant. Let’s be real: there are some weird-ass conventions in this community, and I’m not entirely sure where they come from.

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A few others I don’t understand:

  •  Why the perpetual pigeon-toeing? I do it because I have messed-up ankles, but I’m guessing not everyone does.
  •  Why so many pictures of food? Not that I’m maligning pictures of food. Food literally keeps me alive. It’s just odd to me that photographing food has become a Thing among fashion bloggers specifically.
  •  Why do people sign their posts “love”? Not to get all grinchy, but I don’t love my readers. At least not vis-a-vis their status as readers. I appreciate them, sure. (But I am fundamentally nihilistic and kind of robotic, so you should probably not defer to me on this one.)
  •  Why do people do that weird crouching pose? GOMI calls it “street pooping”, and I’m reluctantly siding with GOMI on this one.
  • Why is every other post set in a coffee shop or an abandoned building? (Looking at myself on this one. Abandoned buildings are awesome. But they seem to show up disproportionately.)

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It’s not that I think tropes are evil. Even TVTropes says they aren’t. I’m not really a “stick it to the man” kind of person; I don’t think self-memeing subcultures are a bad thing. But I do encourage people to question where their affect comes from. Whether it’s something they’re deliberately cultivating, or something they’ve just sort of slid into. Sometimes I see bloggers who so perfectly hit every. single. mark that I just…wonder if they ever stop to think.

tl;dr self-awareness good

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