Monday, December 31, 2007

Five Men's Fashion First Impressions (With Apologies to Guinea Pigs and Rats and the Readers Who Love Them)

What better way to ring in the last day of the year (a day not often rung in, but let's go with it) than with the triumphant return of the Five Men?

And what better way to ring in the triumphant return of the Five Men (once you start ringing things in, it can be tough to stop) than with this terrifying, $300 lamb-fur satchel, first discussed by Ambika in this spot-on analysis?

Gah! This thing gets scarier every damn time. Let's hand it off to the always articulate men, shall we?

Brother, Age 12: OK...Inside-out cat?

Boyfriend: Whoooaaa.
(Two minute pause)
Me: Take a little longer.
Boyfriend: Hey! Maybe I just won't do this. Then it'll be Four Men's Fashion First Impressions.
Me: That's just as catchy. I engineered it that way so I could break up with you.
Boyfriend: Damn.

Father: (Scoffs) It looks like a purse made of a giant regurgitated owl pellet. Or if I was happily dreaming, it would be made out of 15 or 20 guinea pigs. [Editor's note: My dad has guinea pig issues. Maybe I'll explain later.]

Brother, Age 20: Oh shit...hmmm...(sighs)...umm...
Me: Well, what do you think of it?
Brother, Age 20: Guinea pig? (Turns to leave the room)
Me: Hey where are you going?
Brother, Age 20: What?? It's just really ugly.

Brother, Age 20, returns twenty minutes later, mumbles sheepishly: You know what I just realized? That bag reminds me of Cheesehead*.

Brother, Age 18: Umm...first impression? Shag carpet at a brothel in the 70's, converted into a bag.


*Cheesehead here of course refers to my brother's beloved childhood pet rat. We awoke one morning many years ago to find Cheesehead's cage was empty, and a confrontation with my parents revealed that Cheesehead had died in the night and been buried. My brother and I mourned and we believed the Cheesehead saga was behind us, but a few years ago my mom let it slip that there was much more to the Cheesehead story than she'd previously let on: Somehow, this obese rat had crept out of his cage and made his way into my parents' bed, and my father, settling in for the night...sat on him. In short, my dad popped Cheesehead.

I would like to note here that we have questioned both parents extensively, and have found no evidence of foul play. Also, to my knowledge, this has nothing to do with my dad's disdain for guinea pigs.

God this post got weird.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas to all my stunningly gorgeous and intimidatingly intelligent readers!

If I were a long suffering orphan and my life were an ABC Family holiday movie, Kirk Cameron would show up at my orphanage in a Santa suit and say, "What is your Christmas wish, little girl?" and I'd say, "A shopping spree at Nordstrom with all my readers!" and he would drive me there in a sleigh to meet all of you and he would probably try to talk about Left Behind and I'd be like, "Kirk, seriously, let it go," and then he'd get offended and the sleigh ride would get really awkward for awhile but then we would arrive at Nordstrom and I'd try on dresses with all of you and oh boy would it be swell!


Even though Kirk never showed up (the bastard), I did receive a lovely early present last week when Catwalk Queen named Daddy Likey to their list of Top 100 Fashion and Lifestyle Blogs (check out #13). Thanks so much to Gemma and all the Shiny girls (hopefully they don't remove me from the list for posting a picture of Kirk Cameron), and congrats to all my fellow bloggers!

I'll be back after I'm sufficiently bloated with merriment (i.e. ham). In the meantime, have a wonderful holiday and enjoy this cyber fruitcake!


p.s. Alien vs. Predator: Requiem comes out tomorrow! GOD BLESS AMERICA

Friday, December 21, 2007

ATTENTION SAUCY BRITS

Is "Saucy Brits" an OK thing to say? That's not a derogatory term, is it? I think I heard it in a Hugh Grant movie once, but now that I've put it up there in blaring capital letters, I'm worried that it might be the equivalent of Susie Bubble titling a post "ATTENTION FAT, LAZY AMERICANS," which of course she would never do (unless maaaayybe a fat, lazy American did something really horrible, like sat on her cat and refused to get up, but I'm not even sure that she has a cat and good god this sentence is getting out of hand), but you get the idea?

Anyway...assuming I haven't mortally offended you and/or completely lost your interest, I'm in need of some advice. ASOS: perhaps you've heard of it? They carry delightfully cute things like this top, which my friend Lydia is currently coveting:

What has been your experience with ASOS quality? Do you think this top would look good for an hour and then disintegrate in the rain? Or would it last for decades and become a family heirloom Lydia could pass down to her future well-dressed daughter?

The prices are wonderfully low in pounds, but switch up that currency to dollars and add shipping costs and all of a sudden a coat costs roughly as much as a mini cooper. I've had my eye on a few things on the site as well, so your feedback here could greatly affect numerous American closets.


Help me, Great Britain. You're my only hope.*

*OK, so I kind of lied about the "only hope" thing--I'd love for anyone, anywhere, who has shelled out shipping for an ASOS item to respond. I've got multiple hopes.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

An Imagined Conversation Between Myself and This Extremely Grumpy Mike & Chris Model

Me: So...that's a really nice jacket.

Model: I guess.

Me: That's a Mike & Chris, right?

Model: Yeah.

Me: Oh my gosh I'm so jealous! Are you, like, in heaven right now?

Model: No.

Me: Well, it looks fabulous on you.

Model: I know.

Me: Not to pry, but wow, much does that thing cost? Their leather jackets go for a grand a piece, so a basic cotton trench...hmm...300 bucks? 400?

Model: I don't care.

Me: Did you know that you're wearing my monthly income?

Model: Hm.

Me: Sooo...what's your favorite movie?

Model: I hate movies.

Me: I'm trying to decide between Annie Hall and Heavyweights.

Model: Dreadful.

Me: Which one?

Model: Who cares?

Me: I'm confused.

Model: Mm hmm.

Me: OK, I've gotta know--what's your deal? I mean, you're wearing a Mike & Chris jacket! I'd be pissing with joy right now if I were you. And not only that, you've got a slammin' bod, great bone structure...sure, your hair could use a hot oil treatment, but couldn't we all?

Model: I suppose.

Me: So what's your deal? Is it global warming?

Model: Actually, yeah.

Me: Awww, no tears! It'll be fine. Mike & Chris just came out with some really cute sleeveless tanks and dresses! Actually, to be honest, they're not thaaat cute. They're alright I guess. But obviously their greatest strength is still hoodies and outerwear.

Model: See? Why bother? It's all futile. Life is pointless.

Me: Oh, come on, life's never pointless when you're wearing a Mike & Chris! My life is pointless, sure, but YOU, you've got things goin' for you!

Model: Idiotic drivel. Why are you talking to me?

Me: Have you ever seen that great Woody Allen bit where he's standing next to this girl at a museum, and they're looking at a Jackson Pollock? He asks her what the painting says to her, and she goes on and on about the negativeness of the universe and how there is no God and our very existence is meaningless, and after awhile Woody says, "What are you doing Saturday night?" The girl says, "Committing suicide." So he goes, "How about Friday?"

Model: No, I haven't seen that.

Me: Oh.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My Extremely Modest Eighteen-Year-Old Brother Takes a Shower

My much-requested guest blogger sibling is back with a brutally honest (and always humble) account of his latest shower. In the words of Dog the Bounty Hunter: take it away, Brah:

The sweat soaked the back of my neck, my sideburns were completely saturated, and my shirt produced a smell that most closely resembled broccoli. Having just worked out for thirty minutes (until being scared from the empty gym by a sound that could only be attributed to a velociraptor), I was understandably grimy.

Staying at my sister's condo, I had no choice but to use her shower. When Nona suggested that I write a review of her new peppermint body wash, I thought "Why not go further and review the whole shower experience?"

To begin, the bathroom has a mirror that covers the entire wall; there is no escaping it. So for me, the experience was off to a good start. It took a turn for the worst, however, when I was unable to turn off the scolding hot water and had to receive instruction through the door. The shampoo was adequate and the basic ivory soap served its purpose. It was when I moved to the conditioner that I ran into problems.


The red conditioner bottle* read "None of your frizzness" or something stupid like that. What the shit? Now I'm depressed. I overcame my anger for shitty marketing and lathered up the old mop and was surprised to find an instant silkiness overtake my hair.


With a renewed sense of hope I tried the face wash. I am seriously considering adding face wash to my shower lineup at home due to the recent appearance of zits which, due to perfect genes, are a family taboo. Aside from burning my eyes worse than the time I drove a nail into a can of silicone spray this face wash was pretty satisfying.

The final and arguably best stage of the entire experience was the peppermint body wash**. Two hours after the shower and as I sit typing this I am exuding an intoxicating strong peppermint musk.



In the end, my DaddyLikey's shower experience was above average. Still, there is much room for improvement***.


Editor's notes:
*He is referring here to Herbal Essences "None of Your Frizzness" Smoothing Conditioner
**More specifically, the divine Philosophy Candy Cane body wash/bubble bath that my lovely friend Laila gave me for Christmas.
***Jeez, he's harsh.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Inadvertently Ask Daddy Likey!

Well, well, well, it's finally time once again for Inadvertently Ask Daddy Likey, the recurring feature in which I take a sampling of the searches that led people to this humble blog 'o mine, and respond with a pleasant mix of ridicule and advice. Or, as Queen Michelle summed it up so eloquently, I "take the Google Search Freaks and lead them to a path of righteousness..."

If you still don't get it, read this. And if you do, read on (Google searches in bold italics; my responses below).

Inadvertently Ask Daddy Likey!

how to wear a scarf like a man
Wear scarf. Leave the toilet seat up.

"devon sawa" overweight
Heeeeyyyy now! Mr. Sawa will forever live on in my mind as the toned and trim star of Little Giants.

show me all the perfumes you can buy online bitch
Do you really need to talk to Google that way? Wow. I never thought I'd find myself vehemently defending Google and Devon Sawa in two consecutive sentences.

admitting that you're not like dad
Alright, I admit it.


bio musk
I found this term so intriguing that I had to google it myself. Apparently it is a perfume term, as in "CK Obsession has topnotes of vanilla and BIO-MUSK." Umm...yuck. Doesn't it sound more like a particularly dangerous form of industrial waste?

I had my brother make this because I thought it was funny.

peed in my wedding dress
Thank you for making me feel so much better about my life.

we love daddylikey!
OMG I love you too!

his testicles
In the future, you might want to be a bit more specific in your queries. I mean, are you looking for David Beckham's or Danny DeVito's? Overgeneralizing here could end badly.



my painting was on dharma and greg
That's great! But do you really have to brag to Google? Alright, alright...who am I kidding? My last Google search was "I'm so cool."


the right underwear to wear with black dress to flatten your stomach in ireland
Oh man, do I feel your pain. Once I bought these awesome slimming underwear but they didn't work my red dress. So I bought another pair, and they did work with the red dress and I looked totally hot, but as soon as I crossed the border into Canada, they were rendered useless. See, underwear is like currency. You've got to be sure to exchange it at the airport.

Your American Spanx are no good here.

what size does my boyfriend where in jcrew
Medium?


And finally, the fourth, sixth, and eighth most popular search terms, respectively:

i want to be on inadvertently ask daddy likey!
Wish. Granted.

winona is this going to end up on inadvertently ask daddy likey?
Heck yeah it is!

inadvertently asking daddy likey
Hmm...seems pretty advertent to me.

God I love you guys.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Luckily There Were No IEDs

Quote from one of my brothers upon entering a crowded, messy Ross store at the height of the holiday shopping season:

"Jesus Christ, this is like a market in Baghdad."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Blogback Mountain

Sorry about the worst blogging week EVER. I applied for a writing job with the Onion News Network, which would only be the coolest job EVER (I really hope my potential employers aren't reading this and saying, "Why in god's name would we hire this girl? She's the most repetitive writer EVER"), and they gave me a week to write ten story ideas and a three-page script. Unfortunately, the fast and furious joke-writing required for that gig meant my humor reservoir was tapped by about 3 pm daily. Ah, to have the funny stamina of a twenty-year-old once again!

While watching the Republican debate, I did conjure up the creative juices to make this:

Fred Thompson is a dead ringer for the round-headed goomba from the Super Mario Brothers movie, is he not?? That de-evolution gun is a bitch. I think I like the goomba better.

Anyway, other bloggers were actually blogging this week, so let's focus on them:

The age old question: chic or heinous?

My creative area currently includes a rotting can of Starbucks double shot espresso (I don't even drink coffee so I don't know where in the hell that came from), a sad little check for eleven dollars, and a signed picture of Sinbad. God I need a hyacinth.

Note to self: Find American-made hair ties or wear hair down.

Tango Pirates and Absinthe just keeps getting better and better. Heather, you've been inducted into the elite group of my favorite blogs! Congrats! If I were nicer, I would send you a certificate of accomplishment and a gift card to Chili's.

I wear my leggings like this. Queen Michelle wears hers like this.

The hair I hung out with (see post below for explanation).

Speaking of hair...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Spice Girls: A Thousand Words Is Worth No Pictures

The good news: OMG the Spice Girls concert was the SINGLE GREATEST EXPERIENCE OF MY ENTIRE LIFE. It was everything I'd hoped for and so much more! EEEEP!

The bad news: I didn't have a camera to document it.

The story of how this travesty came to be is a twisting tale that involves me very nearly dumping my boyfriend at the Mandalay Bay arena. I'll recount it only briefly, because every time I think about it I want to simultaneously strangle him, slap myself in the face, and cry. It's a sore subject.

So, as we're getting ready to go to the concert, my boyfriend points out that the tickets say "NO CAMERAS" in large, ominous letters. I respond with something along the lines of "Fuck that, I'll hide it in one of my body cavities." My boyfriend then proceeds to tell me that when he went to a Tool concert, beefy security guards were confiscating cameras and throwing them in barrels of burning oil (I may be exaggerating a bit here, but you get the point). I say, "But my readers! They're expecting pictures!" He says, "Security will search you! You'll lose your camera!" It was then that I made one of the worst decisions of my life: with visions of confiscation dancing in my head, I listened to my boyfriend for the first time in our three year courtship. I left my camera in the hotel.

As soon as I entered the arena, I came upon hordes of screeching girls and gay men excitedly snapping pictures, documenting the apex of their existence. You know how some cultures feel that every time someone takes a picture, it takes away part of your soul? Well, I pretty much get that now.

Anyway, enough of that downer drivel. No pictures of the concert, boohoo. I shall paint you a picture with words! But before I do that, let me paint you a picture with...pictures--a couple I took before and after the concert. Here's what I wore:

Tyra would chide me for not having a neck in this picture. Damn. Anyway, I went for "less is more" because I knew I'd be throwing on a tour t-shirt as soon as I got there, and then dancing myself into a sweaty mess. Both prophecies came true, so I was glad I left my scratchy sequins at home.

And here's what I spent my life savings on:

Dear Friends: This is why you're going to get crappy Christmas gifts. Sorry.

And here's where I actually use words:

Our seats were two sections up from the floor, diagonal from the stage. Three fifty-year-old Scottish men were drinking heavily in the seats in front of us, and since they didn't have any women with them and looked alternately angry and confused throughout the concert, I assumed that they'd fallen asleep at last night's boxing match, woken up at the Spice Girls, and just gone with it.

The way the arena was set up, the box seats for rich people were right above our section, but instead of being boxed in with bulletproof glass and "STAY OUT, PEASANTS!" signs, they were wide open. If we were so inclined, we could reach out and touch the rich people in these seats. It was pleasantly egalitarian.

So anyway, about ten minutes after we sit down, people start pointing to the skybox right behind our seats and shrieking and snapping photos. We turn around, and there's a guy standing there waving at the crowd. He looked sort of like Woody Harrelson after a severe bar fight. The Scottish drunkards were jumping up and down excitedly, so we asked them what the big deal was. "That's Ricky Hatton," they cheered. "He lost to Mayweather last night!"

I pretended to be impressed by this, and called my brother to brag about it. He was impressed. I went back to guilt-tripping my boyfriend about the camera.

A few minutes later, the screams erupted again, ten times stronger, and people started rushing toward our section. I looked back at the box, and DAVID FUCKING BECKHAM was now standing there, ten feet away from me. I nearly DIED. I don't think I've ever seen anyone so good looking in my life. I gasped and made a comment to my boyfriend that I would more than happily have sexual relations with Mr. Beckham. My boyfriend said, "Me too." So that worked out well.

By this time it's about 9:00, and the concert was supposed to have started at 8. Finally, the lights dim and the crowd goes crazy. I glance up at the rich people box one more time, and Becks has taken a seat next to Hatton. A woman is walking toward them. She has incredible hair. Like, really incredible hair. Like, the place is almost dark and her hair is still blinding me with its potent shine. How much do you have to pay to get hair like that HOLY SHIT IT'S KATIE HOLMES! AND OH MY GOD TOM CRUISE IS RIGHT BEHIND HER DOING THAT CREEPY THING HE DOES WHERE HE HOLDS HER HAND UP IN THE AIR AND THEN GESTURES TO HER AS IF HE'S WAITING FOR EVERYONE TO SAY, "VERY NICE WOMAN YOU HAVE THERE, TOM" AND HOLY HELL THEY JUST SAT DOWN NEXT TO BECKHAM AND LIKE HALF THE WORLD'S TOTAL WEALTH IS NOW WITHIN FIFTEEN FEET OF MY GRASP! GAAAAHHH!

I was a bit starstruck.

But can you believe that? Out of all the Spice Girls concerts in all the world they choose this one, and sit down right next to me? I could barely control my bladder. I do have to say that I have never felt any attraction to Tom Cruise before, but good god that man could fill a stadium with his charisma. His smile is like a tractor beam. And I am now a Scientologist.

Alright, I'm done with the name dropping. Actually I'm not. About three-quarters of the way through the concert, I glanced to my left and who is sitting there but Fergie, Duchess of York and Star of Weight Watchers Commercials! She was with her daughter, Princess Beatrice (thank you Wikipedia), who was rocking it out. Those royals know how to boogie.

But now, let's get to the actual concert. The girls came out in their fab Roberto Cavalli outfits (he even knocked off an Adidas workout suit for Sporty), and answered my prayers by opening with "Spice Up Your Life," just as they did in the climactic concert scene of that cinematic classic, Spice World. Next was "Stop" and then an appropriately vampy performance of "The Lady is a Vamp." I self-actualized, and danced my ass off.

They took a break to say "We love you, Vegas," and then sang "Headlines," which we all pretended to like. After that, they each sang a solo number. And when I say "they each sang a solo number," I mean Ginger, Baby, Scary, and Sporty sang solo numbers. Posh...walked up and down a catwalk silently. But I don't know, I felt sort of bad for Posh. Pretty much the whole concert she maintained the facial expression of someone who had grabbed the mike to do some karaoke, and, about ten seconds into their song, realizes they're so not drunk enough to be doing this. Perhaps David's judging eyes made her freeze up?

Other Notes and Observations:
  • Ginger got skinny. Like, Posh skinny. Remember when she was all curvy and saucy and fun? Not anymore. I was worried her dancers were going to crack her in two like a ginger snap. (heh. heh.)
  • Sporty can really sing.
  • During Scary's solo, she brought a male audience member up on stage, strapped him to a ladder, and simulated fellatio on him for like five minutes. It was certainly scary.
  • Baby Spice is adorable.
  • Halfway through the concert, my boyfriend told me that I look like Baby Spice. This is when I started loving my boyfriend again.
  • I missed pretty much all of the concert because I was staring at David Beckham.
So there you have it. My Spice Girls experience. See? Who needs a camera when a plodding, long-winded explanation will suffice?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Self-Actualization


Hmm...why aren't I updating the blog this weekend? Let's see...what could it be? Oh yeah! I'M IN VEGAS FOR THE SPICE GIRLS CONCERT! Be back Monday afternoon with tons of pics and a full rundown, that is, unless I transcend into nothingness. But that would be cool too.

p.s. Meg--jealous much?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Autobiography of a Belly

In a departure from our regularly scheduled programming, I wanted to do a little show and tell of one of the pieces I've been working on for my memoir class this term (and the reason I've been so distracted this past week). Autobiography of a Belly started out as an assignment to emulate the style of Lucy Grealy's book Autobiography of a Face (hence the title), and grew into something that's more my own. It's obviously pretty different in tone and subject matter from what I usually write about here, but it was so challenging and rewarding to push myself out of my comfort zone. I hope you guys enjoy it (hey--it's a way to waste even more time at work!), and I'll be back tomorrow with more funny fashion!


Autobiography of a Belly

I was a chubby child, but I didn’t know it until fourth grade. Until then, I hadn’t seen anything wrong with my body; it was just a body, my body, and it was soft and smooth and allowed me to do terrifically fun things like play basketball and chase after my three younger brothers. I carried most of my weight in my stomach—still do—but when I was a child it was more pronounced. I had small, short legs upon which balanced my spherical torso (Later in life, a quiz in a women’s magazine would tell me that my body shape was an “apple”). Held up by a thick, stubby neck was my round face, all cheeks framed by thick, blond hair. I had round, dramatic features from my Italian mother, colored light shades of German/Irish from my father: big blue eyes, big pink lips, soft skin the color of unripe peaches. My skin was covered in fine blond hair that made it even more pleasing to touch, and my big belly was a smooth mountain that I’d trace my fingers over at night, in quiet awe of the pronounced and perfect curve.

* * *

The fourth grade teacher at my small rural school, Ms. Howler, was notorious for, well, howling, and I was terrified of her. My third grade classroom was next door to hers, and I often sat upright at my desk, frozen in panic at her shrieking tirades that reverberated through the thin wall. I could barely focus on my studies under my current teacher, Ms. Boyk, an exceedingly kind woman who didn’t hide the fact that I was her favorite student.

Toward the end of third grade, I got word that I had been assigned to Ms. Howler’s class for the following year. I was crippled with panic. I expressed my fear to my parents, and they heartily agreed that I would avoid Ms. Howler by transferring to an even smaller school fifteen miles down the highway.

* * *

Buxton Elementary was actually an ancient barn that stood in the middle of a sprawling field in the miniscule town of Buxton, Oregon. It had been converted into a school in the 1940s, and when I made my debut there, its pupils numbered about 75. Compared to my old school, which held 150 students in the bustling metropolis of Banks (population: 680), Buxton felt like a step back in time, and I fancied myself the civilized outsider, a visitor from the future. “At Banks, we run the mile on a real track, only four laps,” I’d wheeze to the kids next to me as we dodged gopher holes on our fifth circle around the back lawn.

“Only eleven more,” our PE teacher bellowed.

I don’t remember being scared on my first day at this new school. Perhaps I was too overcome with schadenfreude at the thought of my old classmates facing Ms. Howler to consider my own situation; perhaps the waffles my dad made me that morning provided genuine comfort. Either way, I tugged open the front door and strode confidently toward the first classroom on the left, my new teacher, my new life.

Mr. Bair, my new teacher, was a middle-aged man with gray hair. He had a glass eye and a temper, but I was only afraid of him for a few minutes. After introducing himself to the class, he asked if any of us enjoyed reading. I raised my hand, which turned out to be the only hand, and from this moment on I became his pet.

Mr. Bair was a voracious reader. Every week or so he’d get the rest of the class going on some inane project, pull a chair up to my desk and ask, “Read any good books lately?” I’d begin to answer, then hesitate, glancing down at the geography printout on my desk that was waiting to be colored. “Don’t worry about it,” he’d gesture toward the busy work, and, satisfied, I’d set down my crayon and regale him with reviews of The Phantom Tollbooth, Anne of Green Gables, and Walk Two Moons. He gave me recommendations and sometimes loaned me favorites out of his personal library. Years later, I saw Mr. Bair at the supermarket, looking shockingly old, and it was only seconds after our initial hellos that he asked, in a warm, raspy voice, if I’d read any good books lately.

With things going so well with my new teacher right off the bat, I couldn’t believe my luck when I found a seemingly wonderful group of friends as quickly. Melissa, Sara, and Becky adopted me into their group during lunch recess on the very first day of school. Melissa, the leader of the group, told me they’d spent the first recess checking me out, and I seemed cool enough to hang out with them.

These girls were much different from my old friends. All three were skinny with stringy hair and ratty clothes, and future slumber parties would reveal that they all lived in mobile homes on the hillsides along the Sunset highway. My old friends and I had spent our recesses engaged in lively games of pirate ship on the playground, but these girls ambled in circles around the yellowed grass of the back lawn, singing country songs I didn’t know. Of course I was still delighted to hang out with them, and hummed along with the lyrics I found cloying and clich├ęd. For weeks, we did this. Becky called me stupid when I kept flubbing a particularly tongue-twisting chorus, so I wrote it down and spent the entire evening practicing. Could ya, would ya, aint ya gonna, if I asked ya would ya wanna be my baby tonight? The next day, I had it down.

Despite my eagerness to please, Becky’s teasing increased in frequency and ferocity. “You’re so dumb,” she would say during class, “You’re such an idiot.” But I knew that I wasn’t dumb; I knew that I was, in fact, quite intelligent, so her words never broke the skin. One day, out on the playground, she tried a different approach. “You’re so fat, Winona,” she hissed, “Your stomach’s huge. It looks like you’re pregnant.” I looked at her, agape, confused. Her small eyes narrowed and a self-satisfied smile crept across her face; she knew she’d hit on something. I ran my hand along the curve of my belly. I’d never thought of it that way before. Maybe it was gross. Maybe I was gross.

Any previous concept of my body had been purely utilitarian; I’d never considered its aesthetic appeal. In that moment on the playground, I learned that bodies can be good or bad, and mine was bad. I didn’t realize the scope of her comment then, but Becky had planted an insecurity that she would lovingly tend to for the next year, watching it grow, taking over my whole being like English ivy.

When my dad picked me up from school that day, I didn’t excitedly recount the past six hours as I usually did. Instead, I sat quietly in the passenger seat as the road hummed by, examining my stomach. My fat separated into two rolls below and above the seatbelt stretched tight across my lap. It was quite disgusting.

I arrived at school the next day feeling like I had a secret, and it was out. I skulked into the classroom and found Becky waiting for me, standing next to my desk, smirking. “Hey tub of lard,” she announced, with the slightly rushed intonation of someone who’d been practicing. My cheeks reddened and I took my seat. Becky walked across the room and took hers. Mr. Bair began a lecture on long division. I hated long division.

At recess, Becky followed me around the playground, repeating “Hey chubby” in my ear. Melissa noticed the pained look on my face and asked what was going on. “She’s calling me chubby,” I murmured, hopeful that our leader would resolve the situation. Melissa paused, looked me up and down in my elastic waist jeans and striped t-shirt. “You are chubby,” she pronounced. Then she pointed to the field. “Let’s go sing.”

A week or so later, I was in the lunch line, loading my tray with celery and carrot sticks (after school, in the safety of my living room, I’d devour chips, cookies, cheese, but here I refused to feed into my fat girl image), when a popular boy rammed into me. As dozens of vegetables fell from my tray onto the filthy linoleum floor, he laughed and said, “Ease up, fatty.” His friends, in line behind him, burst into hysterical laughter, and I hurried over to an empty table with my empty tray, mortified.

What was happening? Suddenly I was the fat girl, the gross girl, the easy target. In bed at night, I still traced my stomach, but I no longer garnered any pleasure from its sloping curve, only stress, rage. Why couldn’t I be like my three friends, skinny as cinnamon sticks, with gaunt faces and long limbs? I fantasized about taking the plastic scissors from the drawer of my bedside table and trimming the fat from my belly, my thighs, my cheeks. I knew that my life would be drastically different, drastically better, if I were thin. I knew that my belly was all that was holding me back.

* * *

After arriving home from a particularly brutal day at school, I walked in the front door and threw my backpack on the kitchen floor. I plodded into the living room, to the soft recliner where my great grandma used to sit every Sunday, and promptly broke down in tears.

I felt better after ten minutes or so, but I purposefully stretched out my breakdown, moaning dramatically, yearning for my mom to notice. I wanted desperately to share my pain with her, but I didn’t know how to tell her. And, although it would have been completely out of character, a part of me was frightened that she might react like Melissa.

My mom was brought up on chicken-fried steak, thick gravies, and wonder bread. It was the menu of an Italian family longing to assimilate into the American middle class, and it gave her a big, round belly. She’d mentioned a few times that the kids at school used to tease her about her weight, and, more horrifying, that her mom did too. I imagined my grandmother, whose three favorite words were “eat, eat, eat,” hissing insults at my mom, telling her to lose weight while serving her more ice cream. My mom had always been so good to me, telling me I was smart and pretty, but Becky had convinced me that I was ugly, fat, and dumb. As I sat in that chair, waiting for my mom to find me, I felt that I was getting ready to confess.

After twenty minutes of sustained whimpering (the feeling of release had long given way to a fake-crying induced headache), she came into the room and noticed my wet, chubby cheeks, my bloodshot eyes.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

I shrugged. I wanted her to work for this.

She sat down on the arm of the chair, brushed a wisp of hair behind my ear. “What’s wrong, Honeygirl?”

I wiped my cheek, took a deep breath, and prepared to give her a full rundown—the cruel taunts, the feelings of isolation, of panic, the sensation of someone pulling the plug on my self-esteem, and watching it run down the drain like dirty bathwater—but something much simpler came out. “Becky called me fat.”

My mom wrapped her arm around me and, in her most soothing voice, told me that we were Italian women, we came from peasant stock, we were built for hard work. She spent a long time explaining how the kids might make fun of me now, but had we lived in Italy in the 19th century, I would have been able to haul buckets of water on my broad shoulders better than any of them.

Maybe this was what my mom told herself when she was my age. Maybe this idea gave her great comfort. She certainly intended it that way for me. In reality, it didn't matter what she said. All I could hear was, "Honeygirl, you are chubby."

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

You Guys Crack Me Up

I'm in the midst of a particularly rough finals week (hence the lack of regular posting and the occurrence of the outfit described below), and I have to tell you that your hilarious comments about said outfit totally buoyed me up, even in my darkest times of academic despair. You're all mega rad.

As for the impassioned cries for photo documentation of my leggings and Uggs: I love you guys like Oprah loves Obama, but, no.

Here, let me give you an idea of what I looked like instead--cool? Imagine this picture of Lindsay Lohan, plus thirty pounds:

Ta-da! Me!

I've got to go do some non-blog writing (I guess I could turn in this post for my memoir final...yeah maybe not), but I'll be back shortly with new installments of Inadvertently Ask Daddy Likey, the Five Men, and more!

As always, thank you thank you thank you for reading and commenting! If I could buy you all a Yoohoo, I would.

Monday, December 03, 2007

In Which I Kill My Credibility

I wore leggings yesterday. As pants. With my purple Ugg boots. And I went out in public. And I liked it.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Blogback Mountain

Probably the coolest brooch ever. (And maybe she's single? Because my brother is going to want to marry her.)

I'd pay extra for a shirt that came with mustard stains, too.

A Cup of Jo has been running the most specific gift guide in history. But it works. I'm waiting for the Dad Who Wants to Build a Bunker in Preparation for Nuclear Holocaust category (but more on that later).

Don't Read Culture Jam While Working At a National Chain Store: A cautionary tale.

When you read the words "Body Image Month," what do you think of? Tony Orlando's holiday diet? Right on, partner.

Fashion Orgasm wants to know your hair issues. Sing 'em loud and proud.

If I saw Ambika on the street wearing her rad new coat, I might have to scream something like "Ooww! Ow! Sex-ay Lady!" and then I would hate myself.

People who are more stylish than me.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I'm Always Gettin' Booty Calls

Hey Winona!!
Good to see you, er...umm...that is write to you.....I really enjoy reading your blog....as you probably know ( who wouldn't enjoy it?). Since you are doing the coat post, I wanted to see if you could help me with another problem...winteresque in nature...I absolutely heart these boots....LOVE THEM>>>


But alas, the site that sells them...only in size 8 and under....and they are cheapo bc they are man made material...Nothing wrong with being cheap...but I would love it if I could buy them for a little more in real leather. I read a little while ago that you did do a post on some Winona-esque boots that you liked....Could you possibly do a posting of Winona-esque boots for something like these? Please Winona, winter is coming and I need something I could wear and not be embarrassed that after a couple weeks of use they would be falling apart.. Thank you so much!!!
Signed,
Booty Call

Dear Booty,
Ah yes, the great boot conundrum. Judging from my friends' laments and the volume of emails I receive about finding the right pair of boots, it is by far the most pressing matter facing our nation today. I'm seriously surprised it wasn't the central issue of last night's republican debates, instead of how to keep brown people out of America.

But back to the specific question at hand (foot?). I have good news and I have bad news. Which do you want first? The good? Well, I applaud you for flouting convention. The good news is that I found a nearly identical, supercute pair of boots on sale for $69! The bad news?

They're suede.

But wait! Hang on! That doesn't have to be bad news. Let's talk about suede. Suede is leather's quiet, kind cousin. Leather might be totally cool and badass and up for anything, but suede is there when you need to talk. You might date leather for awhile and experiment with drugs together and then spend the rest of your life looking back on that time with a confused mix of regret and pride, but suede is the nice, stable one you go back to. You know how Sarah Jessica Parker dated Robert Downey Jr. and then married Matthew Broderick? Leather. Suede.

With that said, I vote you waterproof these puppies and wear 'em with pride. They will probably make you breakfast every morning, which leather would never do. Find them here.

If you're reeaaalllyy into leather (my, that is a risky phrase), then check these out too:

Palladium "Fairbanks", $169, nordstrom.com

Seychelles "At Last", $163, zappos.com

Hush Puppies "Lavish", $140, zappos.com

Puma Sport Fashion "Khaci Wns", $258, zappos.com

Most also come in brown. Godspeed, young squire.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Things I've Read That I Love

I think The Office is the greatest thing that's ever happened to America. Fuck our independence. Fuck the Emancipation Proclamation. Fuck Betty Crocker Warm Delights Brownie Bowls. (I'm probably going to be sent to Guantanamo for typing those last three sentences, but I think it was worth it to make my point).

So when I heard that Mindy Kaling (who writes, produces, and plays Kelly) also writes a fashion blog, I was both threatened and excited. Turns out both instincts were correct, because her blog rocks (yay!). It's like a way funnier version of my blog (bitch).

It's called Things I've Bought That I Love, which is yet another non-pervy title that I wish I'd considered a year ago when Daddy Likey was but a glint in my eye. But oh well, there's no room for jealousy here (I'm kidding, there's lots of room, I moved the couch).

Just go read it and laugh and come back soon, y'all hear?


p.s. Mindy, in my wildest dreams you will read this and send me an email telling me what it was like to work on Crossing Over with John Edward. Never in my life has an IMDB tidbit so piqued my interest.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Coats for the Real Douchebag

One of my BBFFs (Best Blogging Friend Forever, duh), Wendy B, made an extremely insightful comment regarding my last post: "What if I have to find a coat for a douchebag? Any suggestions for that situation?"

If I were Oprah, I would call this an "Aha Moment." (If I really were Oprah, like hell I'd be writing a fashion blog--I'd be paying Matt Damon to eat mini quiche off his abs).

How could I have been so insensitive? How many douchebags read that post and were left reeling by my brusque disregard for their feelings? How many girlfriends of douchebags are still desperately searching for the perfect douchebag-friendly coat?


I asked my brothers for help with this one, because although they are not douchebags themselves, they are experts in the field. I had them on speaker phone as we undertook a massive online search, which included the following unfortunate incident:

Brother: Oh my GOD!
Me: Jesus, what?
Brother: Don't type "douche" into Google if you have your image filter off.

Yes, it was a harrowing task, and one that stole my brother's innocence, but eventually, we found a selection of warm weather essentials perfect for douchebags of any stripe:

Ah, the classic douchebag. Toned, gelled, and bronzed, his well-practiced leer says narcissism with a twist of misogyny, on the rocks. "No means yes" is his middle name, and for this douche, only the finest American icon will do.

Not all douchebags are conformists. Some pretend they are Jared Leto.

This form of douchebaggyness occurs when the skater pothead in the back of your high school science class somehow secures a steady stream of girlfriends into his mid 20's, inflating his ego to dangerous proportions. A busy-print hoodie accessorized with faux gang sign? Dope, yo.

I'm not actually going to tell you where to buy these.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Coats for the NonDouchebag

Editor's note: I attempted to finish up this post and publish it on both Thursday and Friday, but on Thursday I binged on turkey and then watched a four hour documentary on the genocide in Darfur (my boyfriend chooses the most uplifting Thanksgiving entertainment), and yesterday I saw No Country for Old Men. Neither of these films proved conducive to writing jokes.
__________________________________________

So, an embarrassingly long time ago, one of my very dear friends, Lindsay, sent me this email:

Winona,
I have a serious question for you on behalf of my BF Alec. This is why I'm writing to you through your very important and official website blog email. He is currently searching for a jacket, a medium weight, perhaps military inspired, appropriate for a brisk day with possibly layering at a moderate price (maybe under $100). We have been looking for a website that this could be found on, but alas I'm unskilled at online shopping and even more so when it comes to men's clothing.

Love and Bunnies,
Lindsay


Between my move and the ensuing Comcast dramz, I didn't have a chance to craft a full reply before today, but I did have a chance to scour the internet in search of cool men's coats. That search led me to few coats, and one big epiphany: It is borderline impossible to find men's clothes if you are not a douchebag.


I mean, Lindsay and Alec's request doesn't seem that crazy--a cool jacket, under $100--but it is, when you consider that the mid-priced male clothing world seems to be dominated by shit like this:
Seriously. Browsing the men's section of shopping sites is like trudging through a frat party at 3 am. It's an exhausting endeavor, indeed. I brought up this issue with my own non-douchebag boyfriend, and he said flatly, "Yeah, why do you think I never go shopping?"

Even when you find a non-douchebagy item, it is almost always modeled by a douchebag, hence tainting its beauty:

I love this coat. I think it is a beautiful, versatile, flattering coat. But if the model doesn't get the hell over himself in, like, the next minute, I'm going to track him down and punch him in the mouth.
If you're less sensitive than me, here's the info: Mavi Jeans Military Twill Jacket, originally $128, on sale for $65, macys.com


But anyway, I prevailed. I trudged through countless proverbial frat parties, past the puddles of beer, ass grabs, leering glances, and sexist jokes (anyone who wants to complain about my stereotyping of fraternities, go to a fraternity), and I found a few good coats.


First up, one of the few places my boyfriend does shop: J. Crew. (He'll take Hamptons gay over douchebag any day.) Since no one can afford their normal clothes anymore, the online sale section is where it's at, and two supernice, good quality, military-inspired, mostly affordable jackets are hiding there right now:

Love love love this one. It's corduroy, has great details, and is only 80 bucks.
Cord Geary Jacket, jcrew.com

Maybe a bit boring, but it will go with anything, last forever, and keep you warm.
Fatigue Jacket, $99 (down from $145), jcrew.com


During my Great Jacket Search, I came across Topman, the male version of Topshop. I didn't do enough research to be able to declare it douchebag-free, but I did quite enjoy their coat selection. A couple favorites:

Brown Wool Mix Bomber Jacket, 60 pounds (let me just calculate that in dollars real quick...hmm...let's see...factor in the stock market, the war in Iraq, interest rates, the rise of China, the world hating us, and...this coat probably costs like five grand. Damn.), topman.com

Black Longline Jacket, 65 pounds (same deal--and for Americans, "deal" is definitely the wrong word to use there), topman.com

So yeah, the one tiny problem with Topman is that whole currency exchange thing. I'm sure it will blow over soon.


And, thank the lord, you can always count on Ebay. I typed in something really complex like "military-inspired jacket" and found some great options at great prices. One Ebay store I really like is GS-Sense, where I found tons of rad, military-inspired jackets for under 100 bucks. Like these:

G-Star, $89.99

G-Star, $59.99

G-Star, $119

And now, dear readers, I reach out to you for help. Know of any places where Alec could find a sweet jacket? Have any suggestions in general for guys who'd rather not wear message tees containing slightly differentiated versions of "I have a big penis."? Please, share your wisdom in the comments!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Yeah, But One's Way Cuter

Combined price of three key pieces from Rouland Mouret's new line, RM, featuring pockets large enough to store the contents of a one bedroom apartment: $6005


netaporter.com

Approximate monthly price of a 5'x15' unit from Public Storage, large enough to store the contents of a one bedroom apartment: $75

Monday, November 19, 2007

Don't Show-cha Your Chocha: Comeback Edition!

In the words of Stewie Griffin, "Victory is Mine!" Yes, I have finally triumphed over the evil, bloodsucking villain that is Comcast, and attained my own internet connection. Which means...Daddy Likey is back! For serious! Tell your friends!

I do believe that it has been waaaayyy too long since the last installment of Don't Show-cha Your Chocha, don't you?


One of my readers was confused as to why this classic Britney ensemble had yet to be featured on DSYC:

And now, so am I.

Jessica found this shot from a recent Jenni Kayne collection:

Looks like Jenni Kayne wanted to make this model work even harder during NY Fashion Week. Sit the girl in the teeny skirt in a chair.

Definition of Subtlety: See Below.

Says Kirsten: Holy jeebus! And to think this is from Armani.... It's like, hey, how can we make this any more crotch revealing? We'll add a slit in the middle! Brilliant!

Eritia found this little number while browsing Macy's:

Just be sure whatever event you wear it to is standing-room only.

Check out this gem:

Says Andrea: When I saw this picture, my first thought was, "My, yes indeed!"

Alyson sent me the following email: I am honoured to submit the attached picture of serial offender Sienna Miller to the DSYC catalogue of shame. Surely with all the fashion labels clamouring to "dress" her she could have scored a bit more material!

I totally concur. I would call it the cutest dress ever...problem is, that ain't no dress.

And finally, in honor of the concert (aka IMMINENT HIGHLIGHT OF MY LIFE) which I will be attending in approximately three weeks, a Spice Girls DSYC:

Says the brilliant Christine: Of course, the Union Jack dress! It's not even Don't Show-Cha Your Chocha because we're actually seeing her chocha here.

I've gots to get me one of these before December 9th. Anyone know where I should look?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Spoke too soon, damnit!

Well, Comcast screwed me over and I guess I actually won't have reliable internet until Sunday. I was more than a little upset by this and believe I actually used the phrase, "Do you know who you're talking to??" while on the phone with one of their technicians. This is especially bad news because my friend Alec is shivering in the cold right now, awaiting an official coat recommendation from me. COMCAST, IF ALEC LOSES HIS FINGERS IT'S ON YOUR CONSCIENCE!

I've been able to get teeny slices of internet at the library and so forth, so I'll try to get a couple more posts up this week, but if things are slow, you'll know why. And Alec, dear Alec, don't pull a Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic and freeze to death, leaving me no choice but to say, "I'll never let go, Alec," as I drop your frigid body into the Atlantic. (Sidenote: did it annoy anyone else that she says "I'll never let go" as she lets him go? I mean, I get the metaphor, but isn't that sort of like saying "I won't shoot you" as you pull the trigger? Harsh.)

Praying for internet and warm weather,
Winona

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Blogback Mountain

Or: What I Missed During My Internet-less Week

Daddy Likey named to list of Top 100 Fashion Blogs!

Life goal: Stand on the roof in SF with Jennine. Look half as cute as her.


Damnit! I just went to the future and my outfit was totally sub-par. Well, I guess I'll know for next time...

I got to know Wendy Brandes because she kept leaving comments about my posts that were way funnier than the posts themselves. I checked out her site, and it turns out she's also gorgeous and talented. I would probably hate her, if I didn't want to be her BFF.

Send my friend Lydia good juju! NOW! (Your efforts might get her book published!)

For someone I've never met, Ambika knows me too well.

And finally, I'm so glad I got my internet back, because without it, I never would have known how much I needed an eco-friendly Bill Murray tote bag!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Text Message From My Friend Mike That Should Become a Classic Proverb

I love socks. I love flip flops. But you have permission to have me committed if I ever leave my home combining the two.

Aaaaaannnnnd We're Back!

After what seems an eternity (eternity=1 week) of living in the stone age, I'm finally back to suckling the sweet nectar of the internet. It couldn't have come sooner either--at dinner with my mom tonight, I was griping about all of the nagging/complaints/death threats that I've received from friends and readers over the past week, and instead of providing maternal comfort, she looked up from her plate and said, "Yeah, why no new posts? It's been too damn long!"

The plural pronoun in the title ain't no lie: I've brought the Five Men along for my big comeback. If you're a new reader, I'm referring to a regular feature called Five Men's Fashion First Impressions, and you should most definitely read their intro and get all caught up so you'll know what everyone's talking about around the water cooler tomorrow!

Anyway, Queen Marie wrote a hilarious post about the...umm...unique?...purses pictured below (priced at over $500 each), and requested the men's opinions. I'm not one to defy a Queen, so let's get crackin':



Brother, age 20: Wait...that's a shoe? Umm....(scowling)...I really don't like it.
Me: Why?
Brother, age 20: Well, I'm starting to like it.
Me: What? Why?
Brother, age 20: Cuz it would stand up when you set it down!
Me: Are you serious?
Brother, age 20: LOVE IT!

Brother, age 12: (Cocks head to the side, long pause) OK...Is it a shoe or a purse or a clam? Cuz I seriously can't tell.

Father: (Laughing) That's probably one of the dumber ideas I think I've ever seen. They have succeeded in making a sow out of a silk purse...(Notices price)...Five hundred dollars??
Me: Yep.
Father: I think it should be about twice that price.
Me: Why?
Father: Because then nobody would buy it.
[Editor's Note: Someday I'll sit my dad down and gently tell him that people buy $1,000 purses, but not today.]

Brother, age 18, grumpy as hell because I got him out of bed to do this: Bag trying to be a shoe? Or shoe that looks like a bag? Fuck it, I love America but this is too much. How many trees died for these? Hate life, so tired. No more of these please.

Boyfriend: Whoa. Wait. A shoe bag? Shoe. Bag. Hmm...Is it so women can put it down on the bathroom floor and not get grossed out?
[Editor's Note: This is when I said, "Holy shit! Is it?"]
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