Cursing a blue streak

Lackadaisical as I am, as a blogger I do strive for a nano-sized measure of quality control. Immediately after I post, I log out of Flickr and WordPress to doublecheck that everything I want to show SHOWS. Because who the hell wants to look at a bunch of broken links, right?

But for some reason, Flickr SEEMINGLY randomly-and-without-user-error has a need to turn some of my photo permissions private. Then change the image ID/url of those photos. Which in laywoman’s terms means: BROKEN UNPRETTY POSTS.

I’ll email support to make sure it’s not on my end; I mean hey, I try not to mix editing and crack but who’s to say I’m not a multi-tasker? Right now, though, I’m flashing on the way my old boss’ father-in-law, a Louisiana native, once summed up his relationship with a colleague: “I wouldn’t trust that guy in a shithouse with a muzzle.”

Now THAT’S colorful.

Sidestepping toward style [pt 2]

In two earlier posts, I described what drove me to get a customized dress and how I rationalized needing multiple variations.

Up until a few years ago, the whole concept of working with a tailor on minor alternations was foreign to me. Ditto for getting shoes stretched. Clearly my suburban upbringing never included a semester of HomeEc; I’m afraid the glamour of COBOL beat out such fusty and low-status fare.

While I bet classmates who went on to qualify for Women in Technology International membership have no regrets, my fat little high-arched feet are attached to a different sort of brain, and they sure paid a terrible price.

Nowadays, though, I’m coming to terms with the basic tailoring experience. I’ve even gotten brazen and binder-clipped items into place to show what I’d like ruched or nipped. [Of course it LOOKS stupid, but I wouldn’t need binder clips and a tailor if I could make it look pretty!]

Working with someone on a heavily-customized dress dropped me right into stranger in a strange land territory, though. And journeying to several warehouses filled with bolts of fabric (and lots of 80s-looking quilters) was positively anthropological.

I mean, I spent high school wearing my mom’s Norton McNaughton pants to class while the cool girls wore tiny Op shorts like this:

Random internet chick giving me clothing-related PTSD

In a worlds-collide moment, I’m actually thinking Ed Grimley might be WEARING Norton McNaughton pants in the photo I posted earlier to describe my body proportions. Hmmmmm…


And yet here I am, having made big strides away from bad silhouettes and baggy clothes and wearing head-to-toe black (well: 2 out of 3). Here I am, buying this crazy print I love for use in a 40th birthday dress…

only to find out (thanks, Jody!) it’s based on one of Paco Rabanne’s avant-garde creations that quite possibly launched the year I was born:

Paco Rabanne design c 1969, courtesy of


But with the dress in production and no turning back, I start to get Inexperienced-Print-Fabric-Buyer’s Remorse.

Suddenly, I’m beginning to think that my coloring + the print’s coloring + the print itself means trouble. I’m looking at the sample again, and I’m wondering if I have a Breast Cancer Awareness dress underway. No matter how many times I hold it up and squint, I’m no longer seeing “sophisticated”: I’m seeing “nipples.” Lots and lots of dancing nipples.

But it’s a face-on-the-tea-towels situation, which is why an invisipal like Bingo comes in handy. Because when she says:

Don’t worry, everyone’s going to love your Dress of a Thousand Nipples!”

she seems so sincere I can almost believe it.

Next: Part 3 of Sidestepping toward style, aka a few unexpected challenges

As wholesome as a belly full of hotdish

Whenever I see a certain faction of Mr Vix’s family, I semi-voluntarily go all cat burglar on my brain and get super-serious about eradicating traces of my more slatternly tendencies. My efforts are about as successful as my ACTUAL cleaning, but I’ve convinced myself that they are nonetheless appreciated.

While this subgroup’s characteristics include “highly respectable,” “conscientious,” and “integrity-prone,” they aren’t particularly sheltered.

I mean, they can process that their—coincidentally!—preferred vacation community makes more money from the meth trade than from tourist souvenirs. And thanks to Mr Vix being a bit cavalier when answering questions about our Netflix choices, they’re aware that we live vicariously through characters who have lots of sordid encounters and ingest surprisingly massive amounts of legal, illegal, or yet-to-be-categorized substances.

[Of course it’s more that I am the one living vicariously. Not because I’m reliving my youth or my last grocery store detour, but because I get bored with my own brand of self-destructive tendencies and thus enjoy a side order of vive la différence with my entertainment.]

Now unlike my family, his relatives would never use anything I say against me in a court of law or during a heated Scrabble game.

However, over the years I’ve found our get-togethers proceed more smoothly if I try to restrain myself from enthusiastically sharing much of what passes through my head. Sort of or EXACTLY like a lot of people do when they are on the job, yes. But unfortunately I’ve worked in a lot of BOUNDARY-FREE, WHEE environments where I’ve been the comparatively tame one.

As a result, I just don’t have the same skill at self-editing as, say, a married politician who’s trolling for man-on-man dalliances or Argentinian sexcapades. Sadly, tamping myself down requires that four-letter word, WORK.

I suppose it’s good practice in case I ever aspire to move back East and become a lobbyist’s aging trophy wife or something. But jeepers, a Vulgarity Detox can sure leave a broad jonesing for her fix, you know?

Loose(ned up)

So yeah, those that can do and those that can’t critique.

But one of the 3,598,805 reasons I’ve resisted blogging thus far despite participating in online forums and seeing crazy that shockingly rivaled that of my family is…do you want to guess?

No, not fear of being slagged off. Not my boring life. Not laziness–look, they are “right” but not the answer I’m looking for, ok? And since I have 3,598,802 more of these to go, asking you to guess was stupid.

It’s tone. Because frankly after years of mucking around in people’s s-e-xxx lives, I now get paid (sporadically, thank you luck of the Irish) to write copy that is “put together” to varying degrees. Sometimes it needs to read like Barbara Bush looks, all stern and hearty and This Is the Way It Is. Sometimes it can be a bit more sprightly and warm and adorable, like MTM doing Laura Petrie. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what the hell I write because by the time it gets through all the “stakeholders” and lawyers I don’t recognize it anyway.

But when I’m communicating with people who make me laugh and there are no expectations and no constraints I don’t dread writing. [More importantly, I don’t dread re-reading what I’ve written because I’m trying to stay awake or something and whoa, counterproductive.] It’s usually vulgar and run-on and messy and free and often rather mean-spirited, which (somewhat sad to say) is me, unplugged. It’s Janis Joplin meets Bob Dole, yo, and hot damn it feels good.

This is where I remember that in school I always sucked at writing conclusions and it took forever and I’d be in tears but generally triumphant by the end. Or this is where I could think back to yesterday and the trouble I had ending my “more serious” posts so that there could be a nice pithy sound-bite-y sort of wrap up.

And then I realize there’s nothing but me and the memories of my grammar school teachers holding me back from typing:

IN CONCLUSION, I’m glad there are beautifully-crafted blog posts out there; I even enjoy reading some of them. But all them sparkles, it ain’t me.*

* c KD Lang/Ben Mink