anotheranon: (adventure)
It's been a silly weekend.

Friday I flew out to Sacramento for D.'s 1920s-themed holiday party. He was already out there for work; his company was graciously flying me in for the party itself, and I was looking forward to a break from the cold weather and the opportunity to costume, followed by a visit with D.'s mom.

Yeah, it didn't quite work that way.

I don't think anyone could have predicted that a winter storm would close Dallas/Ft. Worth airport.

Snow and ice. In Dallas. Not incredibly likely, which is why they weren't prepared and hence, the shutdown.

Then the trip got interesting.

I could type out a boring blow by blow: the numerous times I cycled through the main airline desk try and get any flight to the west coast, the inconvenience of losing my bag in luggage limbo for the entire weekend (complete with our costumes, all my clothes, and most of my cosmetics), or the obvious fact that I missed the fun party and definitely got cheated out of warm weather.

But I won't, because that's not the interesting part. )

The oddest of all was how little the chaos got to me. Normally I am a creature of habit, OCD enough that fret over every little thing, but when a situation arose that was beyond control or reckoning I just went with the flow and it turned out ok. And I remembered what it was like to trust people right off the bat.

So what should have sucked, didn't.

As I type my bag is in transit to my door from a local airport - in theory. It was supposed to be here 2 hours ago, but whatever - I'll make do.
anotheranon: (cool)
In my latest round of doing instead of just wishing, I made a day trip to NYC yesterday for the Chaos to Couture exhibit.

Logistics: it is possible to do a day trip from here to NYC if one is willing to get up early enough. D. and I rose at 4:30, had an early breakfast at 6, caught our bus at 7:30. The 5:45 bus back landed us home at 10 pm without feeling rushed, and any lost sleep can be made up in transit.

The exhibit itself: I liked it, despite my earlier venting that couture "punk" is at drastic odds with what real punks wore, I recognize that the Met is an art, not a history, museum, and therefore their focus is going to be on fine art (designer) pieces.

And they did not disappoint. There was a LOT of 70s-early 80s Westwood (of course. And isn't it funny that what has come down to us as the quintessential punk look/band was largely contrived?) displayed alongside garments from more recent collections that were clearly paying homage - sometimes so exactly it was hard to tell a difference.

It's very telling how pervasive the 70s Westwood aesthetic is now that it doesn't read as shocking to modern eyes - skinny jeans, Doc Martens and ripped t shirts are standard teen/rocker wear now. It's as though punk was as extreme as subcultural style could get, and what came after has been variants.

But man, I liked some of those variants VERY much. As ever, the Japanese designers do the wildest things, largely with deconstruction: skirts with sleeves hanging off, a suit jacket wrapped around like a stole/draped off the back like a train. The latter was my favorite, it was one of the pieces from Undercover's fall 2006 collection, a Japanese label by way of Paris, and the (de)construction of menswear intrigues me endlessly.

After a nice messy lunch of New York style pizza D. pulled his ankle but we still had time to kill, so he sat in the shade and took in the sights while I went to one of the last days of Stephen Burrows: When Fashion Danced for another side of 70s fashion. Again, his flowing jersey/polyester silhouettes don't seem all that challenging now but clothing that was comfortable and moved with the body was cherished in the club/disco scene. A much smaller exhibit, but put a lot of slinky club gear into context: in a hot sweaty club with strobe lights you want something that moves with the body and reflects the light, and what reads as cheesy in the light of day often isn't at night (like I shouldn't know better).
anotheranon: (Default)
No, not that kind :P

It seems I spent most of the weekend sweating, mostly because I didn't realize how warm it was going to be. I shouldn't complain, as the weather was BEAUTIFUL and I got to go out into it, I just wish I hadn't worn long sleeves!

I visited with my friend G. who I've not seen in a couple of years, though she only lives across town. She's just bought a house in a quiet, historic-y neighborhood that was once considered kind of sketchy, but due to low rents and abundant warehouse space has become something of an artist's enclave.

This weekend was the annual open studio tour so we walked down to a group of galleries near her house and drove out to studios further away. I enjoyed seeing the studios in their cluttered glory more than the somewhat antiseptic galleries because I like seeing the tools and "in progress" work, it makes it so much more tangible for me to know how these pieces came to be.

Many things were noteworthy but my favorite was an artist who works in unbaked clay and earth - the texture of her white-on-white unfinished clay/porcelain tempted me to touch, but I was a good kid and kept my hands to myself :P There's something about textured monochromatics that I keep coming back to again and again.

Sunday was my weekly fencing lesson, but due to the humidity I was a sweaty mess before I even suited up. I didn't drink enough water to compensate so within an hour of my lesson I was so wrung out that I felt like I was going to fall asleep on the strip :( Left 1/2 hour earlier than usual, had an extra cup of coffee to muster the energy to get to the grocery, and took a fitful nap in the afternoon.

I think I need to seriously look into getting the A/C in my car fixed, especially if this summer threatens to be anything like last year's.
anotheranon: (Default)
I took off time this year, which I never do, even though the actual day was Saturday. But I had good cause:

I made a day trip to Philadelphia on Thursday for a museum collections visit. Six gorgeous Fortuny gowns with all the variations I could hope for (two sleeveless, two long sleeved, one short sleeved. Two were "Delphos", a dress with over-tunic). Lined up like Rockettes, for close inspection and careful notes!

I didn't sit down for the two hours I was allotted, I just kept circling the table and taking notes furiously. I wasn't allowed to touch the dresses, but the curators were there to move, turn, and otherwise handle the garments. I was even allowed to take pictures, and though idjit me forgot the camera D. had carefully set up for me, my phone took surprisingly good images.

I answered a lot of the questions I had about how these pleated gowns are constructed. What I'll do with this information I don't know; I suspect what I figured out isn't new to any collectors or curators so I doubt it's anything publishable. Possibly I'll experiment with shibori pleating on the silk remnants I got last month.

It will have to wait because said remnants are in a box with tape on, in preparation for moving. No - NOT across the country this time! Just across town (maybe even only across the parking lot), because our unit is going to be remodeled. We need to be out in two-ish months. Not sure where we're moving TO yet, but in any event culling and boxing took up Friday, in addition to my original plan of typing up Fortuny notes.

Saturday was my actual birthday and was coincidentally the same night as a big charity gala that we were invited to by some of D.'s colleagues. So we put on evening finery and after a minimal struggle with D.'s bowtie we went out for good food and wine with smart and generous people. Having been told it was my birthday, they had set us up with a junior suite in the hotel, along with cake and champagne on ice :) It's the kind of elegance and glamorous goings on I dreamed about as a kid while isolated in the exurbs, and it may seem strange but I'm just tickled that I get to do things like this now!

Sunday was trying to get back into the swing of things at home, continuing to weed out the bookshelves, starting the laundry, and more notes.

Not a bad way to start my 39th year :)


Mar. 30th, 2012 07:17 pm
anotheranon: (humble)
I know why I keep dithering on whether I'm going to Dress U or not.

It's not that I "have nothing to wear!" My costume collection isn't massive but it's enough for 3 days. There are even some that haven't been worn yet (white Regency), and given that I can drive I don't have to worry about how much/how to get it on a plane.

It's that I know I won't have anything new to wear. Yes, it's almost 2 months away, in theory I could whip up something. I've been sewing for over 20 years, and I AM good - not the best, but good, and am confident that I can make whatever I set my mind to amd I DO feel the urge to show off!

But for me making a good piece is kind of like quality software development: good, cheap, or fast, pick 2 :P And I always pick good and cheap(ish) over fast. Even when I'm working from a purchased pattern I have so many other things going on that the time manages to stretch forever.

Soooo...I perhaps I should just get over myself. Wear my polyester "mock Fortuny" to the Titanic dinner (hey, he was making them in the 19teens!)!
anotheranon: (competent)
Last night I went to my first concert in.....awhile. [ profile] geekchick and [ profile] nminusone told me Bryan Ferry was playing in town (literally in town, in my 'burb, not in the city), and as it was nearby and I'd not seen them in an age it sounded good.

And it was good, but plenty unusual compared to most of my concerts/raves/nightlifey things. The crowd was older, say, 40s-50s, so we were some of the youngest people there. The venue was new and very polished, with velvet covered seats and inlaid wood everything, angled in such a way that there really aren't any bad seats. It was kind of like going to an opera or play, but with rock music.

Of course, this is Bryan Ferry*, so it was slick and classy, with quality musicians and backup dancers (when was the last time I saw those?). The crowd was lively but polite. It was 2 1/2 hours with intermission and ended at a reasonable hour.

Not the wild life, but I've got to admit, I like it! Good music without hauling downtown, staying up till all hours, scraping gunge off my shoes, or navigating a sea of crowded feet and elbows.

Yes, I am old and boring, but I do a hell of lot more activities post-work than I used to when I only went out at weekends, so I think I can be excused for wanting my 8 hours :P

*Who is not the same person as Bryan Adams. Ferry = glam, europop, was born in a suit. Adams = mainstream rock, jeans. If you want musical differences, that's what YouTube is for.
anotheranon: (cool)
I'm looking to go either October 1 or October 15. Anyone planning to be there, or want to go with?


Aug. 13th, 2011 05:49 pm
anotheranon: (790)
I often wish I got downtown more often, but it's been a hassle of late.

Today's plan was to join the local SlutWalk (not as racy as it sounds - it's protesting against sexual violence) and hear the speakers until we got tired/hot. Due to delays on Metro, poor directions at the website, and thwarted attempts to top off fare cards on machines that were undergoing maintenance, we almost missed it. By sheer good luck we emerged from underground just in time to meet the march heading towards us.

It was a short walk and once we found a place to sit by the stage I was able to connect with M. and [ profile] ladyaelfwynn, who I had tried to meet beforehand but it just kinda didn't happen. I'm glad this didn't turn into another of my poor organizational/herding cats fiascos!

Lamentably I didn't get to see much speaking - it started pouring with the first speaker so D. and I made a mad dash for the nearest Metro stop. Even with umbrellas, we were soaked. On the plus side, we were not overheated :P

So the transit was a pain in the ass, but it was good to stand and be counted (because WHY ARE WE STILL HAVING THIS CONVERSATION??) and see my friends. On the up side, the last time I went to a protest I got a cold that turned into a several-month sinus infection, so a fallout of wet socks just isn't as bad.
anotheranon: (busy)
It was a good weekend :) Sometimes it takes company to get me to get out in my own town, and [ profile] shemhazai had some excellent suggestions:

Friday night we ate unholy amounts of Morrocan food. I'd been before, but not for years, and I'd forgotten how good b'stella is!

Saturday: local and very beautiful park that reminded me a lot of the creek near my grandmother's house when I was growing up. The smell of the water and the tangled greenery took me back to some really pleasant childhood memories. I can see going back again.

I also hiked for the first time, inadvertently jumping in with both feet! Several rocky trails were labeled "billy goat" and by mistake we started the most difficult of them. About halfway through we took the "emergency exit" back to the canal towpath, but not before we'd clambered over high uneven rocks and scaled a not-sheer-but-definitely-steep rock face. No falls, ankle twists, or freaking out over heights. I have to admit I felt kind of badass after we escaped :)

Sunday we met up with [ profile] dreamtigress for conversation and sushi. It had been too long since either of us had seen her, and I didn't remember the last time I'd had sushi. A fun and filling time was had by all :)

Then we hit the U.S.S. Constellation. I'd heard of it but never gone, as naval history isn't my "thing", and I found it an interesting experience from a technical viewpoint. I think I'd have made a lousy 19th century sailor due to my apprehension about heights, depths, and small spaces, but the organization and austerity that allowed several hundred men and relevant supplies to be housed and used in a relatively small space impressed me.

I need to remember how good it is to catch up with people and "play tourist".
anotheranon: (cloud9)
D. and I went out to Sheep and Wool on Saturday. For me, it was an excuse to pet fluffy fibers without fear of denting my pocketbook; for both of us it was a nice day to get outside before the summer inferno.

It was good :) Clear, 70sF, little fluffy clouds in the sky to match the little (and not so little - damn, I didn't realize some of them got so big!) fluffy sheep we saw in their pens and being shown.

We ate lamb gyros while watching the sheep show (and I felt a little guilty, sitting there listening to the "baa"ing whilst eating their kinfolk. Why are cute animals so tasty?). Saw an English angora rabbit bigger than Spice. Saw sheepdogs at work, so finely tuned into their shepherd that they could get a flock to Mars given the right equipment. Got some alpaca yarn for my sister and alpaca socks for myself.

Afterwards we saw Thor 3D (high spectacle, low content) and feasted on Lebanese food and good red wine.

During none of this did I get fidgety thinking there was something else I needed to be doing, or somewhere else I was needed or expected. That "being there" is rarer than hen's teeth for me, so I'll take it.
anotheranon: (Default)

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anotheranon: (neat)
After many years of always having something else to do, I finally made it out for a day trip to this large regional sci-fi con.

It was fun :)

snipitude, to spare your friends page )

Summary: It was tres cool and I had fun! I would do it again, but try fervently not to carry a purse or bag, as it's hard on my back. And I'd be sure and make more time for conversation.
anotheranon: (neat)
[ profile] dustdaughter pointed out Shonibare's work to me over a month ago. I liked his aesthetic right away - it reminds me of Vivienne Westwood's in the sense that he takes historic European clothing and turns it on its ear - in his case, 18th century frock coats and the like made out of African fabrics.

Which aren't African, as it happens - they're Dutch batiks purchased in London. Steampunker Ay-Leen the Peacemaker has a thoughtful writeup on the cross-cultural inspirations and implications of his work over at her blog. I'd actually recommend her entire Beyond Victoriana series on non-Eurocentric steampunk (go for the pretty clothes, stay for the political/cultural deconstruction).

As it turns out, his exhibit at the NMAfA goes through March 7. Anyone interested in going in the new year?
anotheranon: (Default)
Given my habitual passivity and limited ability to plan, yesterday's trip with [ profile] dustdaughter to the contemporary Japanese fashion exhibit was good on more than one level: not only was it a fun day out with a friend I've not seen in awhile, it's also proof than I am capable of getting myself out of the house and making plans that involve multiple steps :P

The exhibit itself was small but exquisite. Nothing was in cases and most of the garments were mounted in such a way that I could get very close from multiple angles. The construction was maddening and fascinating, because many of the pieces looked so ordinary, even classic, until examined up close: the obi-waisted trench coat by Miyake that seemed to have front and back all of a piece; the Rei Kawakubo dress that looked like a plain loose shift until I realized there was an extra front panel that might(?) form a pocket. What I wouldn't give to get my hot little hands on some of these...

There was also a screen with repeating video of fashion shows. Normally I don't like video in museum exhibits (if I wanted to watch TV I'd stay home), but it's so rare to see any of these designer's work at all, let alone in motion, that it was really necessary to get an idea of how garments moved on real bodies.

I came home with a renewed appreciation for the designers and an urge to dig up all my Miyake patterns. I've not made one in awhile, it may be time :)

Afterwards we did a little shopping in Dupont (I was able to keep my wallet to myself in Lambda Rising, yay for willpower [and no shelf space]!) and walked over to a chocolate shop I found through Yelp or the like and was keen to try out.

Oh my doG, you all must go too! I want the Audrey cocoa on IV drip! I also had the Lucy and while it was very, very good it couldn't touch the tiny espresso cup of liquid love :) It's crowded and the service can be patchy because of the noise levels (we had to order our 2nd round twice), but emphatically worth checking out if you're in the neighborhood.
anotheranon: (cool)
Sunday D. and I met up with [ profile] kiya, [ profile] lady_masque, and my co worker S. for the Art of Power: Royal Armor and Portraits from Imperial Spain exhibit.

Oh, it was good, so very good! The armor on display was in fantastic shape and wonderfully ornate, being created to convey status and wealth rather than for actual combat use. It was interesting to see how the lines of the armor mirrored the fashionable styles of the times in which they were made - duck-bill toes, peascod bellies, and, yes, Blackadderesque "black russian" codpieces (though to be fair, it makes sense for armor to have a "cup" :P)

The highlights were the small cases that allowed me to get really close to lech on detail, and the fact that some pieces had the original fabric (!!) attached (especially the Roman-style armor - I got to get close looks at the paned trunkhose and trim!) and the discussion with my friends. There's nothing quite like having similarly interested people to say "ooh, look at that!" with.

The frustrations were incomplete fabric info (what kind of fabric??) and the fact that the catalog was sold out and unlikely to be reissued. Given how passive I can be about getting down to local exhibits, I'm glad I got to this one.

Afterwards we went to dinner at a place near the museum. The numbers on the menu caused us to blink a bit but the food really was fantastic (and HUGE!) The apres-dinner port was so good that D., S., and I missed our metro stop 3 times on the way home :P

Next possible group outing: Contemporary Japanese Fashion: The Mary Baskett Collection. I've not decided on a time/date I'm going yet but if it's the sort of thing you'd be interested in, let me know.
anotheranon: (Default)
Got back from KWAR/KWCS a few hours ago. It was one of the better SCA/con-type events I've been to in awhile. I'm not going to do a blow-by-blow narrative, but hit the highlights:

  • Am tired but not wrecked because I paced myself. In all my years of Kalamazoo, Costume Con and the like this is a first and I am much pleased - I didn't kill myself trying to see/do everything so I enjoyed what I DID do!

  • [ profile] ladyaelfwynn is a good road-trip buddy - made a hot, trafficky trip much more pleasant than it would have been otherwise :)

  • Had great fun hanging/dining/nerding/catching up with [ profile] lizapalooza, [ profile] stanci, [ profile] ladyaelfwynn, and [ profile] ellid and meeting [ profile] forsair and many others for the first time :)

  • Asked for and took some criticism about my rapier stance that I needed to hear, and that might also be useful for my sport game (short version: face opponent head on and don't look away like a deer in the headlights).

  • Trial ran the FLK and it's just as easy to wear as I'd hoped :) Also got compliments on my wired coif and blackwork.

  • Was reminded that though I'm not an academic, Laurel, curator or other person of distinction I'm still professional and educated enough to ask to visit collections behind the scenes, and got some ideas of how to best approach it. Project Fortuny is back on.

  • Experienced a variety of food: fast/cheap, posh and celestial, heaping comfort, historic - and while all are grand all are improved vastly by good conversation.

  • Shopped, but modestly - mostly things I'd been looking for for awhile but finally found at good rates and supporting local vendors.

Feeling pretty mellow and catching up on a mountain of laundry.
anotheranon: (Default)
  • 10:38 Between this and the Jamestown bones exhibit, I see myself hitting the Mall sooner rather than later:
  • 11:26 Cashews: can't eat just one.
  • 11:31 RT @wax_fm: Record Stores: Out of Sight, Not Obsolete (New York Times) <- I totally get the "tactile appeal" thing
  • 11:39 Emergency weather statement: it is Hot Chocolate weather.
  • 18:45 RT @YuliZ: New "It" series on Sundance: Anthropologie buyer travels for treasures (and I want his job! ;)
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anotheranon: (humble)
Took me until today to realize that Twittinesis wasn't posting twice, but that LoudTwitter is back. Fixed so that hopefully no more repeats, because fantastic as the Two Towers to a live orchestra/soloists is and was, you don't need to read it twice.

Actually, you need to read it 3 times (mentioned here again), because it WAS that good. The thunderstorm perfectly timed to the beginning of the battle of Helms Deep on screen (wonder how the venue arranged that) as well. And while the violin solo for Eowyn/Rohan gives me chills, it does even more so live!

Sincere thanks to C. who discovered the event/got us tix, and it was a lovely evening out with D., C., C.'s husband A. and A., visiting from out of town :)
anotheranon: (Default)
Because I am back on the ground, in front of a computer with a REAL keyboard....

The trip was fantastic. Not without snags and stresses, but overall both an intellectual kick to the head and 2 weeks of profound change of pace. I'll write more as I have time and get my thoughts organized - there was just so much!

Right now I'm hip deep in laundry and other "just got home from 2 weeks away" maintenance. I did go in to work today, but was tired/jetlagged enough that I didn't get much done apart from delete email. On the plus side, I was tired/jetlagged enough not to care about my lack of productivity :P

In my absence it seems like LJ and seemingly every other site I use on a regular basis updated their looks/feels while I was away and the differences + readjusting to a full size screen is surreal on no sleep/tired eyes :P

I'm attempting to get back on a regular schedule and this includes my usual complement of after work activities, including fencing. I am looking to have a massage or similar though, as 2 weeks of lots of walking on unyielding cobblestones has been pretty hard on the old bod. On the up side, I don't think I gained any weight from my gastronomic extravaganza!

Little else I can hammer into coherent text just now - photos will have to wait too, until I can get them off my camera and in a place/shape that's web ready. Watch this space.
anotheranon: (790)
Yeah, yeah, I know - I should be packing for my trip (and I am) but this is worthy of note:

Note to self - don't plan anything else the day before international travel. Planning for one of these will tank due to divided resources.

Exhibit A: C.'s halloween party last night. One wrong turn and we wound up in the wilds of VA, far away from decent internet reception (so no Google Maps) and so new/obscure that the GPS doesn't have maps for the roads yet.

All whilst running on fumes :(

So yeah, after 2 hours and much tearing of hair and gnashing of teeth, we came home.

Pro: the Zoey vest fits.

Pro: D. got tiny portable book about fine shopping in Florence (not on the road adventure, but on the way home from work).

So, there's that, I suppose.

But, damn.

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