Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Okay, I'll bite.

Mark has thrown down the gauntlet.

Here's the deal: "List ten songs you currently are obsessing over -- any genre, any format, etc. If you have a blog, do it there; if you don't, do it here. " Here = the Dowdydiva comments section.

These are the songs that when they appear on my iShuffle, get repeated 2-4 times.

1. Enslaved - Isa
2. Lee Dorsey - On Your Way Down
3. Neil Young - Rocking in the Free World
4. AC/DC - Down Payment Blues
5. Salamander - Galleon
6. Bubba Sparxxx - Overcome
7. Porcupine Tree - Halo
8. Sentenced - Vengeance is Mine
9. Kyuss - Green Machine
10. Gary Lucas - Overture to Tannhauser

Kate, Keith, and four-mystery-non-bloggers, I await your choices. You don't have to use your real names...

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Upcoming Shows

This Tuesday's show at the Acadia, (courtesy of Jaron Childs):

davu seru (percussion) - he has animals where we have hands
charles gillett (guitar) - operating the lock and dam system of granular flows jaron childs (alto saxophone) - effacement de saxophone

milo fine (solo clarinets) - "cast all thou hast into the fire, even unto thy shoes"

tuesday august 30th
1931 nicollett ave. s.

This Saturday :
Paul Metzger - solo banjo
331 Club - Minneapolis
9:00 p.m.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Clearance Gods, they smile upon me, yes they do

In the past two weeks, little treasures (perhaps returned from other stores) have popped up on the 80% sale rack at Field's:

1 plum colored knit Grace sleeveless shell - was $59, now $11.

1 black knit Grace trumpet skirt - was $79, now $15.

And the steal...
1 Ralph Lauren knit black cardigan with a polka dot silk satin front and little pearls for buttons - was $159.00, now $7.88. I saw versions of the sweater in brown and navy that didn't thrill me. But black? That works. Who the hell cares that I have to dry-clean it once in a blue moon?

And the old saw is true - if you want to find TJ Maxx or thrift store prices at the department store, you gotta visit often.

Now to wait for the bathing suits to drop down to nothin'.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Nik-E, So Addictive

I'd be soooo much more excited about the "real women" Nike ads, if they actually made their workout gear in plus sizes, or at least larger than "large". I'm kinda tired of the bland/dowdy selections available for us full-figured gals. Well, I'm not supporting global imperialists like Phil Knight, so my considerable P.C. street cred is intact (fit of tubercular coughing). Yay, me.

Adidas at least let Missy Elliott design some shoes and streetwear for them. And her stuff went up to XXL. Damn. I wish I would have moved sooner. Those cammo pants were cute. Off the hook. The shizzle? Whatever you darn kids are saying right now.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Renaissance Festival Fashion Tips

Yes, you can get a fine jerkin or a one-size-fits-most barwench costume at the Ren Fest, but don't rule it out for your everyday fashion needs, either.

  • Purses
    Yes, there are the cheesy leather drawstring bags and clunky renditions of "mundane" flap bags. But there are also well crafted leather bags in soft, drapey leather with a modern shape. And for prices ranging from $60-150, it's darn good for a day bag in leather.

  • Jewelry
    Pass on the stamped out pewter dragons you can get at a head shop, kitschy porcelain cameos your grandma would give to Goodwill, and the standard bead 'n' wire danglies that anyone with a pair of pliers and some ambition cranks out by the gross. Keep searching. If you see a fair costumed maiden with a necklace you love, ask her where she got it. Chances are it's right there at the fair. That's where I found a fantastic fused-glass jewelry line, Imbroglio. The jewelry seems kind of gaudy on the website, but trust me it's not. It's bold, but it has a lot of subtlety and variation in the colors. Anyhoo, what I'm trying to say, is that I would have never stumbled on this place (it's located in the back of a stained-glass booth, which I generally avoid) if I hadn't asked about it.

  • Belts
    Mostly chunky rocker belts here, but you can pick out the leather, the buckle, and where the holes go. If you keep it oiled, it will outlive you. Bonus: It will hold your sword nicely if you are bedeviled by marauders.

  • Tailors
    Yes, from the days of old. Who do that sewing thing. With the needle? Those places the fashion magazines tell you to go get your pants hemmed at? Well, you might not want to waste their time with hems, but if you can't find the dress you want, or you need to revamp a vintage garment for RIGHT NOW, these are good folks to chat with. Just be polite, and stick to local tailors.

Not that we are dismissing Renaissance fashion. Far from it - the laced bodice is a girl's best friend, regardless of body type, and who can resist a man in a breeches and a pirate shirt?
1492 is now, man!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Style in Your Pocket

I am trying to pare my wardrobe down to a lean, mean stylin' machine. So I've been hitting the books for inspiration. The magazines sure aren't any help: I am truly fed up with Real Simple and In Style coming up with "The Best Look For Plus Sizes". That's crazy - with my, er, small tracts of land, Buddha belly and skinny, long limbs, I don't wear the same clothes as a classically voluptuous friend who has heavy upper arms and shortish legs. (What's odd is that In Style's own book acknowledges that and features a wide array of body shapes.)

Apart from the aforementioned In Style Guide, Lucky's Shopping Manual, and What Not to Wear's What You Wear Can Change Your Life, I've been finding great inspiration in Kendall Farr's The Pocket Stylist (Gotham Books). Here's an interview with Farr in Fashion Tribes that summarizes the book, and features her commentary on this year's fall collections.

Farr categorizes the female form into three shapes (and three "curvy" variations). No hourglass or egg or triangle comparisons here - the groupings are smaller on the top, smaller on the bottom, and in between. Her advice to the three larger body types is equally no-nonsense but useful, being completely realistic about the lack of options out there, but optimistic about the outcome.

The book's just loaded with delightful Anja Kroencke illustrations. Kroencke, the only reason I pick up InStyle these days has a way with a beautiful line, a colorful but not eye-shattering palette, and stylish details. My husband compares her to Shag, but for fashion.

kroencke illustration for Nippon Vogue this past December

There aren't any images of her plus-sized ladies in the handful of Stylist illustrations on her site. But trust me, they are wonderful - stylized Valkyries with the same perfectly flowing hair and swingy fabrics as her size zero subjects. Sure, it's an idealized worldview: The illustrations have no flabby arms, poochy bellies or saddlebags, but that doesn't bother me. It's nice to be included for once, even if it's a mere fashionable fantasy.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Hellbent for Pleather

Article from Slate saying it's a-OK to like heavy metal again. Of course, most of the bands mentioned are pretty great Enslaved's Isa, in particular, is pretty damned insane - the title track marries the greatest faux-Smashing Pumpkins riff to a Muppet-Animal growler of a chorus. Other screwy, way-Viking-damaged bands are Finland's Sentenced and Amorphis, who actually did a concept album about that most Finnish of epic poems, The Kalevala. (They also parted ways with their suave lead singer, and are getting back to the "death" sounding vocals again. Watch my interest wane.) Many of these delightful discs were burned for me by Mr. Kurt, to whom I am indebted. (No thanks for that link to The End Records, though, my bank account is hurtin'.)

So, this means I'm sort of riding the wave of the whole-zeitgeisty thing for once. Hell, yeah, I'll pimp, I mean, loan myself out as a tastemaker. Any takers? You can get the whole metal/token female angle in the same piece!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Scottish Fair Pics

All taken sometime in July on just a broiling hot day.

I'll kind of dole these out - I managed to get some interesting ones. Or, at least interesting to me...

Oh, how Clan Mackay must be proud of their fictional Vic, cutting deals with the 1-9ers, "accidentally" killing suspects and appropriating Armenian drug money. And not really being Scottish in the first place.

A line of pipers! To the barricades, or at least the beer tents!

More cute little UK cars than the Italian Job!

Monday, August 15, 2005

AOL Headline of the Day

On Phil Mickelson's lead in the PGA Tour:

"Five Holes From Glory".

Ha. I am twelve.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

CP is cleaning house

Brainpower State will be archived on the CP Site, my last new post should be there sometime this weekend. They're downsizing, something I know a lot about working in HR 'n' all.