Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sayanora Suede Shoes!

I can't take it anymore! What is it with Pacific NW men, and their love for these hideous suede loafer/sneaker hybrids (or "moccasins "as these Merrill ones are called)? Yes, I know they are comfy and once upon a time they were the hip new style (well, I wouldn't say they were ever hip), but 1995 is long gone! It's time to send these kicks on a vacation...straight down to the local Goodwill.

Men are lucky because they really only need four pairs of shoes, (we ladies, on the other hand, simply cannot get by with less than 15... it's a fact), so I've put together some alternatives for the suede loafer lover.

1. Casual sneakers - These go great with a pair of jeans and t-shirt. Puma carries all sorts of fashionable tennies. Or if you're a bit more of a hipster, a pair of Vans or Converses may be more up your alley.

2. Formal dress shoes - For weddings, funerals, formals etc.

3. Two pairs of casual oxfords, loafers or boots, one in black and one in brown. I happen to like Joseph Seibel shoes. They're fashionable, well-made and go with anything.

So guys, put down the Eddie Bauer catalog and try these new styles on for size.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Year-End Retrospective

Although we still have a few weeks left of 2007, I always complete this questionnaire at the end of every year. It's a way to reminisce about my successes, revisit my failures and think about what I want in the upcoming year. It's also fun to look back at last year's and see how I've progressed (or regressed!). Give it a whirl and be honest! It's good introspective fun.

1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before?
Visited Croatia, London and Venice, was an extra in a movie, went back country snowboarding up by Mt. Baker, completed a triathlon, attended fashion shows, tried authentic French food, tried online dating.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I think I did actually. I don't know if I'll make any this year...they seem kinda useless.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, my good friends Melody and Jessica both gave birth to a baby boys named Ayden.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thank god.

5. What countries did you visit?
Canada, Italy, Croatia, England...drove through parts of Slovenia and Bosnia.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
A job that pays better and doesn't suck out my soul and a condo that's more than 500 square feet.

7. What date from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Sept. 14th - I was robbed at knife point in Split, Croatia
May 23rd - My grandmother turned 90

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Feeling comfortable in my own skin

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not getting out and singing more.
I didn't quite get all my debt paid off.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My plane ticket to Croatia.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Melissa....a true friend during a truly traumatic experience.
Melody...raising her son by herself with dignity and grace.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
*Alvin* (his name has been changed to protect the guilty). He started out as a prince charming but turned into a toad.
My boss....where do I begin?

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent, bills, eating out, my vacation

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My trip to Croatia.

16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2007?
"The Way I Are" - Timbland
"Umbrella" - Rihanna
"Please Read the Letter" - Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
"My Love For You Is Real" - Ryan Adams
"Sensual Seduction" - Snoop Dogg
"Lavender Hill" - The Real Tuesday Weld
"Slideshow" - Rufus Wainwright

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier
ii. thinner or fatter? a bit thinner
iii. richer or poorer? sadly, the same

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Accepted more challenges

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Feeling sorry for myself

20. How did you spend Christmas?
At my mom's house in Montana

22. Did you fall in love in 2007?

23. How many one-night stands?
Notta one. Not my mode of operation anymore.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Dancing With the Stars...good cheesy fun.

25. What was the best book you read?
I know I'm a few years late on this one, but Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. A witty behind-the-scenes look at what really goes on in the restaurant world.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, The Real Tuesday Weld, Cary Brothers, Anthony Hamilton, LCD Soundsystem, Musique Soulchild, The Bird and the Bee, T. Rex (I know they were hot during the late '60s, early '70s, but I just got into them).

27. What did you want and get?
hmmm..well, the year isn't quite over yet. :-)

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
There were a few...Lars and the Real Girl, Superbad, Knocked Up, Juno, Year of the Dog, 2 Days in Paris

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 34. I went rafting down the Yakima River with my friends. They brought a cake along and we celebrated on a little island in the river. It was perfect...well, except for *Alvin* and his diva behavior.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Owning my own condo.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
Sophisticated and sassy. I discovered local designers, funky t-shirts and I have a new appreciation for hand-made jewelry.

32. What kept you sane?
Good friends

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Anything religious right related. Extremists make my blood boil.

35. Who did you miss?
My grandma. I wish I could see her smiling face every day.

36. Who were the best new people you met?
Oh boy, I'll have to think about that one. There's so many.

37. What valuable life lesson(s) did you learn in 2007?
To trust my gut and not force something that doesn't feel right.

38. What was your favorite moment of the year?

39. Where were you when 2007 began and who were you with?
I was up at Mt. Baker with my friends Melissa, Tarah, Kristin and her husband Nate.

40. Where were you when 2007 ended and who were you with?

41. How many different states did you travel to in 2007?
Oregon, Idaho and Montana

42. How many concerts did you see in 2007?
Probably about 10 - Fiest, Viva Voce, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter, The Arcade Fire, Bjork, The Long Winters, Jarvis Cocker,Coolio & Naughty By Nature, Rick Springfield, some Duran Duran tribute concert that included a lot of local bands, Paula Cole & Mandy Moore and John Mayer.

43. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"Some folks get their fill and some folks get to foot the bill"

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Check Out This Rack!

The DefMode Midnight Market benefit was a smashing success despite winter's best effort to shut us down. As you can see the snow (and the hooch) caused us to get a little crazy.

It was a blast meeting people from all different areas of the show... the vendors, makeup artists and hairstylists, DJs models, artists and performers. Everything came together wonderfully and Lo-Fi was an awesome space for the event.

And of course our good friends from Liminist will have photographic evidence of our shenanigans up on their site soon, so stay tuned.

Tarah took a few as well. Check 'em out here.

So next time Tim and crew throw a party, we'll be there, and you should too.

Fo Shizzle

I can't stop watching this new Snoop Dogg video "Sensual Seduction." It's hilarious and the tune is pretty catchy. I don't normally dig his stuff, but this one's Solid Gold good. It'd make Rick James proud.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Getting Crafty

This weekend Tarah and I headed to the I Heart Indie Holidays show at the Seattle Center pavilion, where we met many new and designers and artists, plus some old friends. There was so many interesting things, that I'd wished I coulda done all my Christmas shopping then.

Tarah and I both fell in love with Tastie Pasties, fun accountrements for the girls along with frilly undies, satin gloves and feather boas. It's basically everything you need to put on your own little burlesque show.

I got a riot out of Ugly Baby shower accessories. I especially liked the "Floss Bitch" reminder that fastens onto your mirror. Me and my gums need that kind of tough talk.

And of course, our old friends Liminst Photography were there taking free holiday photos, so yes, our mugs will be on their site again. Sorry, it's tradition!

Wanna shop, burn some calories and help a good cause? Put on your dancing shoes, grab some canned goods and head on down to the Def Mode Midnight Market this Saturday for a night of music, dancing and fashion to benefit NW Harvest. The benefit takes place at Lo-Fi Performance Gallery from 9 pm to 2 am. The cover is only $7 with a food donation plus there will be cocktails a-plenty. It should be a fun high-energy holiday event, so come join us!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Rick, Where Did We Go Wrong?

I've had a thing for Rick Springfield since I was in the 5th grade. My sister and I played his Living in Oz cassette until the tape snapped and we'd drool over him on General Hospital. We thought his movie debut performance in Hard To Hold was nothing short of Oscar-worthy. I've seen that movie recently and sadly, they should've called it "Hard to Follow" and the only thing Oscar-worthy in it is his bare ass.

Tarah and my friends Melody and Melissa share the same obsession, so when we heard he was coming to the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, we pounced on tickets.

All of us, except Melissa have seen him before. He really does put on a great show. He interacts with the audience and he's still quite hot for a man in his fifties, so we were really excited when Melody scored 2nd row seats. That excitement soon turned to despair, then downright disappointment. First off, he made all his bigger hits into one medley. Second, his bluesy guitar solos were long-winded and while he is a good guitar player, we were there to hear "Human Touch" "Love Somebody" and "Don't Talk To Strangers." But what chapped my hide most was the Ricker didn't pay any attention to the left-hand side of the audience, where we were. He rarely even looked our way. The right side of the audience got to feel him up and sing along with him. We felt dissed!

So Rick, if you're reading this, please understand that audiences are like a pair of breasts. If you're gonna pay attention to right, you've got to give the left equal time. It's only fair!

Monday, October 22, 2007

PDX, How You've Changed!

As Tarah and Dawn have already reported, we roadtripped down to Portland to check out Portland Fashion Week. I used to live there 10 years ago (my god, has it been that long?) so I was excited to visit my old stomping grounds. Although a lot has remained the same, there were so many new areas to explore, one being the fabulously revamped Pearl District. It's now a hip neighborhood with galleries, cool eateries and chic lofts, but when I lived there, it was street after street of industrial warehouses where junkies came to shoot up. People were just starting to see its potential back in 1997. Walking through it now, with all its manicured streets and boutiques, it's hard to remember what it used to look. And boutiques it does have! There's so many wonderful little independent stores to check out (Dawn and Tarah give the scoop about the ones we visited). Despite all the changes, it warmed my heart to see a mainstay like Powell's Books still going strong in the same location.

Another big difference is that PDX now has a sleek intercity North-South metro as well as the old East-West route. That's one thing I definitely miss about that city - their transportation options. You can get to pretty much anywhere within the city without a car. Seattle, is so behind the curve. Granted Portland is smaller and still has gridlock in areas, it is much smarter when it comes city planning.

I also have to say that Portland's downtown is really quite elegant and quaint full of beautiful fountains and public art. It's got a Vancouver/European feel to it that Seattle just doesn't have. All in all, it was wonderful to go back and remember what an awesome city it truly is.

On a fashion note...The fashion show was full of all types of people, young, old and really really young - like we're talking 11 years old who came with their parents. It took place in the shipyards outside of town, and while not all that convenient, it added to the show's mystique. I was impressed by the fun and fresh collections by Seattle and Portland designers, (to get the compete fashion show rundown, see Tarah's blog). We have a lot of burgeoning talent here in the Northwest, so it was a pleasure to attend the event. One thing I hope the Portland Fashion Week organizers will do next year and perhaps in later shows this week is elevate the runway, so everyone can see these great pieces.

So next time you're in Portland hop on the Max to the Pearl District and NW 23rd and check out some of the local boutiques (we're working on expanding the UBN to include a Portland directory). There's no sales tax and you don't have to pump your own gas!