Friday, September 30, 2011

Shifting Into Fall

My favorite part of Fall is that it allows us to wear colored-tights.  I love tights and the panoply of colors available is remarkable.

I bought the dress shown below because, while simple, it presents lots of opportunities for styling.  You guys have taught me many ways to improve outfits with belts, scarves, jewelry and tights.  My first attempt at styling the dress is a little disappointing, but I didn't have a lot of time and energy tonight after arriving home from a hard week of work.  Please suggest other ideas for making this dress shine.  All suggestions welcome!




Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tell Me About Yourself Award



Today, Bella of The Citizen Rosebud was sweet and gave me the above Award.  The mandate of the Award is to share Seven Random Facts about yourself.

Those of you who've been here before know it doesn't take much encouragement to get me to share.  Sometimes, I worry about the opposite -- giving more information than you want.  I often refrain from doing that to avoid overstaying my welcome.  But now, thankfully, Bella has given me the excuse I need.  Ready?  Here goes!

1.  Blogging enables and facilitates my growth as a person.  It allows me to dive deeper into femininity and women's lives than ever before, which is intensely joyful for me and hugely educational.

2. My entire life, I've wanted female friends.  When you look like a boy, it's often hard to get women to see you as a potential friend.  Blogging helps me overcome that barrier; it enables me to offer information which people can use to understand me before having to decide whether they want to be friendly.

3. My work is very demanding.  I'm a commercial litigator, which means I fight other lawyers over business disputes.  I've been doing it for thirty years and am good at it, but it drains me.  I need activities outside of work to refresh my spirit.  Blogging and motorcycling are my primary passions now.

4. Your feedback over the past year has taught me so much.  Not only about fashion, but about how you think, how you talk, what you prefer and what you dislike.  I pay careful attention to every comment and e-mail I get in a steady effort to learn as much as I can.  I'm immensely grateful to you for every communication you direct at me.  They teach me what I desperately want to know.

5. I love to cook.  I make interesting, often unusual dishes with strong flavors and spices.  For example, I'll throw anchovies into a sauce to make it fishy; I'll toss tumeric into a dish to make it pleasingly orange and full of health-benefits; and I use Tamari (soy sauce) to add saltiness to most of my meals.

6. I've learned you can't predict the future; the best you can do is put one foot in front of the other and head in directions you hope will be fulfilling.  I handled school this way; I handled business this way; and I added motorcycling to my life this way.  I'm currently heading toward a more natural and enjoyable female life.  Over the past year, I've made greater strides in that direction than I ever thought was possible.  I have secret dreams of going all the way with this but, given my life-experience, I don't want to get my hopes up for fear of disappointment.  Right now, I'm enjoying the journey and pushing the envelope to the extent I can. 

7. I value friends more than anything in the world.  I prioritize friends and am willing to help them to a greater extent than is conventional.  When I like you, I pull out all the stops and will do anything for you.  Perhaps that's because I'm a Scorpio.  :)

Thank you for indulging me!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Halloween Audition

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays so I don't leave my costume up to chance.  I'm trying out an idea which may work.  I could be a cupcake!

What do you think??




Okay, I know it's short.  Too short for real-life, but I like the way it looks and you guys are the only ones who are going to see it.  Sometimes you are the secret audience for my private life.  Don't you feel lucky?!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wild Ponies

My friend Nicole just returned from a visit to Assateague Island in Maryland.  I myself went there two decades ago.  Nicole and I were both attracted by the same thing -- wild ponies.  These beautiful animals are feral and live in nature untamed by man.

Here are some photos, all taken by Nicole...





Saturday, September 24, 2011

We Have A Winner!

Actually, we have a bunch of winners -- all of our nominees put up posts worthy of adulation.  And we readers won by seeing some of the best blogs around.  This idea worked out really well.  I'm proud of it.

About thirty of you voted.  Every nominee got several votes.  The race for second place was a near-tie among all of the nominees except for one -- the person who got more than twice as many votes as everyone else and won the POTY Prize.  That winner is...



ASHLEY!

Ashley's post on shopping at Target for new Missoni fashion struck a chord with many of you.  And I can see why.  I was laughing halfway through it.  The post is so authentic and funny.

So, Big A gets the $100 bill.  The other five nominees will also get Second-Place Prizes which I'm not going to disclose publicly.  (If they want to, that's up to them.)

Thank you everyone for playing the game.  See ya next year!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Saying Goodbye To Summer

I just found a lovely pastel-colored dress which I'm using to bid farwell to the season.  I suppose this cutie will have to go into my closet until next year.  Do you think I could wear it outside of Summer or is it confined to that season?

Oh, and don't forget to vote for Post Of The Year.  The race is close and the outcome might be decided by the last few ballots.  Tomorrow is the last day to vote.




Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Breaking The Law

Ouch!!

I broke The First Law of Thrifting.  As a result, the Goddess of Fashion punished me.  My pain is palpable.  My dolor is deep.

Yesterday, on the way home from Court, I stopped by my favorite thrift-store.  I browsed the racks and -- lo and behold! -- I spied The Holy Grail.  Or at least *my* Holy Grail.

It was a pristine, white petticoat with huge, fluffy ruffles.  Amazingly, it was priced only $6.  Six dollars!  Yes, it was a few sizes too small but, with an undergarment, I could handle that.  The fix wouldn't be pretty but it'd be hidden.

A petticoat may seem an odd item to you but for me -- someone who's ached to wear ruffles my whole life -- it is the epitome of femininity.  The pinnacle of pulchritude.  The height of adornment.  That, and it widens my hips to give my cylindrical body the illusion of curves.  Finding clothes like this is not a quotidian event for me.

Here's where I made my mistake...

I was riding my motorcycle which has some storage space but too little for a fluffy petticoat.  I'm not kidding when I say this item was over four feet wide.  It stretched almost straight out to the sides.  Since I wouldn't be able to fit it in my bike's trunk, I decided to come back the next day with a borrowed car.  I could carry it home in the car.

Can you imagine what happened next?  Well... I drove back with the car, leaped into the store, bounded down the aisle and... what? huh?  Where is it?!!!

Yes, over the span of one day, the treasure was plundered.  Stolen by another, smarter shopper.  Someone who wasn't riding a motorcycle.

Looking back, I now realize I had another option I should have considered.  I should have bought the petticoat and worn it home over my suit-pants.  That way, it would have made it safely to my closet and not been lost in a black hole.  I might have attracted some attention on the road, but at least I wouldn't be pining here for The Lost Treasure Of Long Island.

What would you have done?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It's Time To Vote! (POTY)

Often, our best posts get buried under a mountain of later posts.  To remedy this, I created a Post Of The Year Award.  We all win when people see our best work.  And one of you will win even more than that -- a crisp $100 bill!

To make voting manageable, there are six nominees.  In addition to those six, there are a dozen more great posts which also deserve attention and love.  Please check out as many of these as you have time for; you won't regret it.

Voting is easy: just pick one of the six nominees and tell me your choice by number or name in either a comment or an e-mail (fhu@pipeline.com).  You are allowed to vote for yourself.  You are allowed to bribe your friends to vote for you.  You are allowed to start a Twitter campaign to have strangers vote for you.  All votes count.  Voting remains open until next Saturday (Sept. 24th).

So, here we go!  Grab a cup of cofee, lean back and enjoy...


THE NOMINEES:



HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Doreen, Northeast Chic
Post: Date Night

Callie, Unladylike
Post: On Road Again

Ralph/Ally, Shybiker
Post: The Prom Project 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Man-Care


IKEA is a terrific store with great selections and prices on furniture and housing items.  I love going there and always pick up bargains.

I noticed they have child-care areas in their stores, with brightly-colored rooms full of toys.  A place to park your child while you shop. 

I just read a news article reporting that IKEA's in Australia now have spaces in their stores for boyfriends and husbands.  The spaces are called "Manland."  They have big TV's showing sports, comfortable couches to lounge in, and free hotdogs.  Women-shoppers are given a buzzer that goes off in thirty minutes to remind them to retrieve their man.

What do you think of this?  Clever  joke?  Useful idea?  Reinforcement of the worst of sexism?

Personally, I don't know why anyone, male or female, wouldn't enjoy creating and decorating their home.  It's an inherently fun activity.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

LBD With A Twist

I dream of getting dressed up and going to a party.  I dream of standing in a circle of women, complimenting their outfits and hearing the latest news about our friends.  I dream of dancing to music in a pretty new outfit.

When you aren't able to live a natural life, you dream a lot.  At least I do.  It's fun to imagine the universe of activities out there.

I thought of parties when I happened upon this dress on a rack at Marshall's.  Only $12, it is a variation of the LBD, with vertical stripes adding interest.  I like how it fits and how it flares.

It doesn't appear I will ever get the chance to attend a party in this dress, but a girl can dream, can't she?







Someone asked for a closeup of the necklace, so here it is.
I'm a little embarrassed that the necklace isn't centered,
but that's what happens when you take pictures alone.


Belts and POTY

Imagine my surprise when I saw one of my old ties -- an item I'd had for years in my closet -- gracing the chic outfit of a fashion-blogger.  One whom I didn't even know and had never seen her blog!




Yes, Megan weaved her magic again.  She transformed the tie into a belt and gave it away as a gift to one of her blogging friends.  I was thrilled when Heather informed me about this.  I'm really pleased to see items from my personal life floating around the blogosphere.

Oh, and a reminder about POTY.  (That's an acronym for Post Of The Year, not toilet-training.)  Please send in any final nominations.  I will present you with a selection of terrific blog-posts soon and then you'll get to vote -- and enjoy them!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Silly Dreams

Most people, when they reach middle-age, give up their dreams.  They realize they'll never be a professional baseball player or President of the United States.  The loss of that prospect often depresses them.

I am not most people.  My attitude is, until they put me in a box, I can still strive toward happiness.  I can still try to live my dreams, if only in an attentuated way.

A few months ago I confided in you guys that I've always wanted to dance.  Like a ballerina.  Now, I haven't signed up for dance lessons (yet), but I am pursuing that dream in little ways.  Ten years ago I bought a pair of real ballet slippers (Capezio) from a dance website.  I wear them when I'm home alone, gliding across the floor, hoping to muster whatever grace nature will allow me.  The shoes are pictured here.

This past weekend I went shopping with my friend Debbie.  I enjoy being with Debbie and I suggested we drop by Hot Topic.  Hot Topic is a mall-store for teenagers; it has silly jewelry, clothes and novelty items.  I knew they sell pink tutus which aren't real dance-apparel but suffice for my purpose.  I talked Debbie into joining me in buying a tutu.  Laughingly, she did.  We walked through the mall carrying matching pink tutus with a light heart.  We smiled and giggled; it's amazing what a $12 piece of cheap polyester can do. :)

Here is the tutu in action.  Obviously, it's not a serious dance-costume -- but wearing it is an improvement over watching TV on a Monday night.  I take baby steps when bigger ones aren't available.

What dream do you harbor in your heart?  Have you taken any steps to fulfill it?

















Friday, September 9, 2011

Wild At Heart

I bought this dress at Marshall's because the wild print reminds me of the Sixties.  And because it was $7.  Seven dollars!



Truth be told, the dress is two sizes too small for me so getting it on was a trip.  Like squeezing two pounds of sausage into a one pound casing...  I managed, with a pair of scissors nearby in case I got stuck.  Actually, I did get stuck twice and, staying calm and wiggling, was able to avoid reaching for the scissors, my last resort.





Other news... I just learned that I've been using the wrong tools to put on makeup.  In fact, they weren't tools at all.  So I went and bought real brushes at Sephora and -- boy! -- how much easier it is.  Plus, I've concluded I need false eyelashes all the time, not just on special occasions.  They make a critical difference in my appearance.  Time-consuming and awkward, yes, but necessary.

Your thoughts?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Post Of The Year


Every so often, we come across a blog-post that is special.  It shows an especially-successful outfit, or examines an interesting question of human nature, or courageously reveals deeply personal facts about the life of the blogger.  The prominence of such a post is palpable.

Unfortunately, however, the format of blogs buries such gems.  The chronological sequence of posts hides special ones beneath an endless pile of new ones.  Sometimes a bunch of ordinary posts will obscure the best ones a blogger has written.

This is often the situation when new readers find our blog and peruse the last week or two of posts.  They get a sense of who we are but, by not going further back, they miss our best efforts.  I've tried to fix this problem by adding a section of links on the side of my blog to posts I'm most proud of.

When I read a great post, I want more people to enjoy it.  I was wishing this recently and realized there's a way I can draw more attention to those special posts.  I'm going to compile a list of terrific posts, present them to you for a vote, and then award the winning blogger two prizes.

In the next two weeks, I'm going to scour all of your blogs for the best posts I can find.  I will compile a list of 6-8 of them and then give them to you to vote upon.  You can help me in this endeavor by nominating good posts, from either your blog or anyone else's.  Nominations can be made in the comments section or by e-mailing me directly (fhu@pipeline.com).  Just tell me where I can find the post (blog & date; or link to it).

The winner will receive two gifts: one from you and one from me.  The gift from you will be new attention to an old post (and hopefully enhanced future readership of the blog).  The gift from me will be cold, hard cash.  (See below.)



Thanks for your help!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Are We Naturally Helpful Or Selfish?


A recent scientific experiment concluded that female chimpanzees prefer to help others instead of act selfishly.  Researchers gave female chimps a choice between helping another chimp get food or just take food for themself.  The subjects repeatedly choose to help the other chimps.

Applying this question to humans, do you think we are naturally kind or selfish?  Do you believe we care about the fate of others or are insensitive to it?  Do you think there's a difference between men and women in this regard?