Sunday, 23 February 2014

Hangin' with the Boys

Calvin & Hobbes
John Constantine
Tyler & Bode Locke
Morpheus & Daniel
Lucifer Morningstar
Thor & Loki
Garfield & Odie
Bigby Wolfe
Batman & Robin

shoes by Wanted; jeans by Silver Jeans; tank top by Streetwear Society; Locke & Key, Volume 5 by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez

Friday, 21 February 2014

The New Age Wonderwoman

She sees the world in Technicolour, no judgement or bias clouding her sight.
Her weapon is the Key of Knowledge, which unlocks the secrets of the ages.
Clothed in language, she is armoured by the almighty word - not of God, but of all who speak, think, and write. 
On her feet lie magical shoes, kin to the silver slippers of Dorothy. Two spins on her toes and she is transported home. 
Her home that she also draws her name from...
She is the Librarian. 

* dress by QED London, shoes "Zingg" by Aldo, vintage key

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Modern Day Superheroes

Whenever I pick up a newspaper or turn on the news I am always astounded. Not at what is being said, but at the overly negative focus it takes. Today's headlines read about a plane high-jacked in Ethiopia, the unexpected increase in amateur bodybuilders (and the negative impact on body image), continuing protest riots in Kyev, and of a trade ban on lacy panties in Russia. Of course there was mention of Canadian victory (or close enough) at the Olympics, but the bad news definitely outweighed the good – even if it seems slightly ridiculous from a Canadian perspective (seriously Russia, is there anything you approve of?).

In comic books we have plenty of superheroes to fight for our rights – yes, there is even a Captain Underpants, though I doubt that his motto is along the lines of “panties for all” – but in the real world we are seemingly let down. There are no men in spandex, no women with magical tiaras, and certainly no Bat-beacon lighting up the sky.

But we do have people who are fighting the good fight and taking a stand against the evils of the world. People like Oprah, who open the discussion on the race issues in America and promotes education in Third World countries. People like Ian Somerhalder, who has a foundation that helps prevent cruelty to animals and encourage environmentalism. People like Neil Gaiman, who actively works with the Comic Book Defence League to protect the right of free speech and fight censorship in literature. People like Malala Yousafzai, who had the courage to voice her opinions on the education of Pakistani women and is now an activist championing these rights.

Three of the four people I mentioned may be celebrities, which I am sure helps them with their causes – money goes a long way, as does an widely accessible audience – but none of these people were born into their causes. Gaiman has often mentioned that he feels so strongly about freedom of speech and the work of the CBDL because it’s not something that exists in the United Kingdom where he began his career as a writer, and I highly doubt that Malala knew the events that would be sparked from her blog post. Their goals can also seem a bit lofty to those of us who don’t have a platform or the funds to encourage widespread change for our causes.

Ideally, we should all be donating and protesting and volunteering, but I don’t think that it’s reasonable to expect the same amount of commitment from everyday people to the big causes since we all have bills to pay and have to spend much of our time working to pay said bills.

So instead of feeling bad that we can’t commit ourselves to being superheroes on a grand scale, we should pick a cause and do what we can. Even if it’s only the adoption of an endangered animal from the WWF, a day a week volunteering at your local SPCA or animal shelter, or raising money during Mo-vember for prostate cancer research a little bit at a time still helps.

So here’s my challenge to you: do something good this month for one of your causes. You might not get to save New York from an alien invasion alongside RDJ, but you can still feel like a modern-day superhero. And if you pick the right cause (*cough*animalshelter*cough*) you might even get something back!

(Seriously, everyone can use a little puppy/kitty-love in February)

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Guilty Pleasures: a Sunday Shoe Story

February is the worst month of the year. Winter depression has made itself home in our heads, the skies are full of snow, and the temperature keeps faking us out with "only" -3°C days (before dropping back to -25°C). But we don't get to see the Spring thaw unless we make it through February, so I've compiled a little list of things that get me through to the other side. I call them my guilty pleasures, but they're really more of a survival technique...

TV Show: JPod
Nerds, doing nerdy things. Must I elaborate?

Books: the Georgia Nicholson series
I've read this series about 5 times, and every time it just gets more hilarious. 

Movie: Rock of Ages
Sometimes a girl just needs some ridiculously campy 80s hair metal
(and Tom Cruise in leather pants)

Shop: Amazon
All the selection, none of the outdoor time!

Food: Purdy's Chocolates custom boxes
All of the chocolates that you want, none of the ones you only tolerate eating!

Music: anything Disney
Yup, I'll never grow out of my Disney phase

Shoes: anything covered in ruffles & satin, or absolutely inappropriate for the weather

images from Tumblr
shoes by Poetic Licence London

Friday, 14 February 2014

50 Shades of Grey

"I think I'm in love," she said. "You're sophisticated, ever-changing, & don't complicate my life. You're everything I ever wanted."
With a hint of a smile, the pile of clothing before her whispered softly back: "We know."

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Love & Communism

The hot topic leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi has undoubtedly been the increase in harsh laws against “unnatural” – read LGBTQ – forms of love. As if people in Russia don’t have it hard enough? What with the rampant government corruption, adverse business practises, and overall poor standard of living I can’t imagine having something as simple as your right to love who you want censored.

Sure, things aren’t perfect here in the Western world – there’s still a large amount of homophobia and persecution around – but things seem to be getting better. I recognise that I am really lucky in that issues concerning alternative lifestyles were never a topic of discussion – they were all accepted to the point not ever having to even be brought up for discussion, and subsequently I can’t even imagine judging someone based on who they love. Does who they sleep with affect my life? No, actually it doesn’t. Unless of course I’m crushing on an adorable gay guy (why are they always so adorable?)…

So, besides the fact that I have zero interest in sports – sure, I get the attraction, but it’s not for me – I now have a more legitimate reason to ignore the entire Olympics performance. Because that’s what it is in large part, a performance, each country trying to put on a show for the rest of the world while with Mother Russia as the key player this time around. I fully respect and support the athletes who are competing for the medals, but I will not be distracted by the pretty light show and ignore what’s happening in the wings.

I am not the only person who has made the connection between the Olympics being a massive distraction after the host country has put into place extremely censorious legislation. If this is anything like what happened with Berlin in 1936, then we have a whole lot more pain coming our way. I’m hoping that we don’t have a historical repeat, but I would not be surprised at all if this is only step one in an unofficially sanctioned plan.  

Sunday, 9 February 2014

No Banjos, Please: a Sunday Shoe Story

Just kidding, banjos are just fine if they’re not of the “twang twang, my dog gone and got hisself shot and mah woman she left me” variety. That being said, the list of country songs on my iPod is rather short. Well, more like “country-lite” anyways…

My second tape (after The Beatles Greatest Hits) was Garth Brooks, and it became a quick staple in our house. Thinking back, this might have been the first tape that Andria (of Anchors and Freedom) and I first made up dance routines to. And yes, they were line dance routines. I’ve drunk away all knowledge of when to step, turn, and kick up my heel to my hand, but I feel no shame in remembering those good old days!

Shania Twain became the big country music star of my high school years, with such memorable tracks as “Man! I feel like a Woman!” and “Honey, I’m Home,” but the one track that’s stuck with me to this day is “That Don’t Impress Me Much.” I guess I was always a feminist with extremely high standards in men!

These days the only semblance of country music that’s on my rotation is more pop rock than actual country, since I don’t mind the occasional influence of country-style guitars. After all, music isn’t really clear cut into genres anymore!

Shoes by ZiGi New York "She's a Rockstar"

Friday, 7 February 2014

Pasturizing: 2014 Trend-Spotting

Western style has always been something that I have disliked. The over-abundance of denim, false-virginity of prairie skirts, and the shameful misuse of glitter (sorry Dolly Parton, but too much is too much) makes me physically ill, so I was loath to discover that the Wild West seemed to be cropping up again and again on style blogs recently. Thankfully, the old clichés seem to be largely gone and the trend seems to be more for Western influences and accessories than an all out cow-town revolution. Praise the shoe gods for that, since my city-girl mind can totally handle the interesting contrast between the Wild Wild West and urbanity! In particular there are four trends that I’m getting behind whole-heartedly: feminine fringe, snakeskin footwear, unexpected bandanna paisley, and (of course) repurposed denim.

Depending on the material, fringe can cross some interesting borders. Leather and lace fringes were common in the clothing of the Roma (gypsy) populations of Europe and the native peoples of North America, but most modern viewpoints are reminiscent of cowboys as well. I’ve always loved fringed purses (I have a signature silver fringed tote), but I’m also really starting to like the fringed lace shawls that I’m seeing kicking around. They might have become popular again due to the Stevie Nicks and American Horror Story influence, but the style definitely screams vintage American bohemian.

In their live form, I am absolutely terrified of snakes, but maybe that’s what makes snakeskin footwear (the fake stuff – jeez) so satisfying: I have those suckers in a place where they’re harmless. Whether it’s Louboutin pumps, sneakers, loafers, or ballet flats, snakeskin seems to be the animal shoe graphic of 2014.

Paisley is a rather odd print. In its more psychedelic hues it can be identified with the 1960s, and bandannas seem to have become more associated with gangs than cowboys. But when it’s classic white on red or blue, once again my brain thinks of Ralph Lauren, classic America, and ranches. Banana paisley seems to be making a comeback specifically in menswear – and in very surprising places. From bow ties to dress shirts, or city-slicker men are taking it back to the Wild Wild West. (Will Smith reference very much intended).

It wouldn’t be possible to post about Western fashion without including a mention of denim. Ever-practical, denim long ago moved away from being simply a working Joe’s staple and became a couture commodity. I figure as long as we steer clear of denim overalls (or any overalls in general…) and the Brittney+Justin couples’ outfits then let the denim trend reign free. 

images from Tumblr

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Going West

If last year was the year of nostalgia (while moving recklessly forward) then this year is shaping up to be the year of forward thinking (while trying to stay rooted). I read lots of my old books and reconnected with people from my past, but ultimately left everything that I’ve known behind for the greener pastures of the prairies. They may be covered in a mixture of snow and ice right now, but I’m told that all changes in June.

Maybe it’s the reckless and constant moving about last year, but my attitude towards being uprooted again has done a complete 180. I actually want to STAY somewhere for longer than a month. More than a year. In fact my head is so convinced that I like it here that I’ve started cruising the humane society and real estate websites in earnest. Clear signs of an urge to “nest” if I ever saw them, since dogs and property are rather permanent commitments.

Of course, wanting to have a dog and a house means that I’m having to rethink some of my priorities. Things like the instinct to shop have to be curbed, anything purchased must be a long-term investment, and I have to be pretty positive so that I don’t burn any bridges. Ironically, it’s only the first two of these that I have issues with – I like spending my money obviously – since I’m absolutely loving my job and the city in general. Even the cold weather doesn’t really bother me anymore. I would be lying if I said I liked the average of -25°C temps, but we’ve only had one -50°C day and the city carried on as usual.

Apparently I’m not the only one who will start to feel more stability this year, since last week we entered the Year of the Horse on Chinese New Years. According to this brand of astrology the year will be filled with lots of oats (abundance), trots rather than gallops (a steady pace forward), and greener pastures (being content). Normally I am not at all into horses (they’re the most boring adolescent cliché in Kamloops ever), but if this transition from the restlessness of the Snake and Dragon Years (2013 and 2012, respectively) to something a bit more mundane is inevitable then I’m going with it. Bring on my “home on the range,” as long as it means I can afford to keep it! Just don’t ask me to rope any cows…

*image from Tumblr