Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Don't Show-cha Your Chocha: Real Life Mea Culpa Edition

Check it out.

p.s. Ambika, I love you.

A Shameful Day in the Sun

Ever since my equally fair-skinned father got a cancerous chunk of his nose cut out (that's always a happy, fun way to start a sentence), I've been borderline militant about sun protection. He's fine now, but the event made me realize that I never wanted to have little bits cut out of me (that's always a happy, fun way to end a sentence).

I remember when my 8th grade volleyball team went to a tournament in California, all of my teammates spread out their towels by the pool, sprayed themselves generously with PAM (well, maybe not PAM, exactly, but something close), and contentedly cooked (literally--I heard them sizzle) for a couple hours. Always the party animal, I opted to lather myself with gooey white Coppertone sunblock, sit under an umbrella and a hat, and chastise my fellow 14-year-olds for playing epidermal roulette.

But like a homophobic evangelist preacher sometimes accidentally has a little bit of meth and gay sex, even the most devout sun protection soldiers like myself sometimes accidentally go to the beach for three hours in a tank top without sunscreen. So yeah, I'm sunburned to hell right now (and probably going to hell, too)...what better time is there to preach about sun protection?

The Winners
(My Top Sunscreen Picks, in no particular order)

I've found that pretty much any form of sunblock by Neutrogena is fab. Their Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock is one of my favorites, because it dries quickly, isn't sticky, and it works:

Probably the best thing about Neutrogena, though, is their insanely high SPF numbers (the tube above is SPF 70). My scans of the sunscreen aisle at Walgreen's always go like this: "Hmm...SPF 15...30...10...45...SPF 15,000 SWEET JESUS NEUTROGENA HAS DONE IT AGAIN!" I'm not really sure how they do this. It may involve nuclear scientists or blatant lies. But I trust them.
$9.60, available here.

One of their products that doesn't make ostentatious, triple-digit SPF claims, but is still pretty rad, is the Oil-Free Sunblock Stick:

If you have yet to try a sunblock stick, especially this one, get your ass to the store and do it (that came out really harsh, I know, but I did warn you about my militant 'tude). They are so fun (seriously--I giggly reapply this like eighteen times a day) and you don't have to get any goop on your hands.
$5.99, available here.

Most affordable, high SPF, waterproof sunscreens suck a lot. This one only sucks a little:

A bit stickier than I'd like, but whaddya gonna do? (And wow, have you ever read a more enthusiastic review than that?)
$7.64, available here.

Finally, possibly my favorite, Clinique Sun-Care Face Cream:

This one doesn't dry as quickly as Neutrogena products, but it smells fantastic and makes my skin soft and creamy-beautiful (not to be confused with the film, Crazy/Beautiful, of course, because that movie sucked). I wear it under my makeup everyday (which includes another Clinique SPF layer). I think I'm in love.
$15.50, get it here.

The Sinners

Coppertone Sport Spray:

I feel bad for having to diss the brand that so protected me in 8th grade, but, well, their spray kind of sucks. This stuff left me sticky for approximately four years after application. Not fun. I will say that the last time I tried it was a while back, so it may have improved.

SPF 8? Pffftttt! This doesn't even count as sunscreen. This is wannabe sunscreen:

This is probably what she uses. I hope she won't miss her nose.

Please feel free to discuss your own sunscreen Winners and Sinners in the comments section. Especially if you know of a truly great, not-too-expensive, high SPF, non-sticky, waterproof sunblock (at least I'm not picky, right?), I'd love to hear about it!

Next Up: The Best (and Worst) Fake Tanners.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

Well, I'm off to the beach with my fam for a long weekend. I might be able to get a couple posts up if I find Wi-Fi and feel extra ambitious. But in any event, I'll be back and bloggin' Monday night or Tuesday morning for sure. I do hope you'll come on back too.
p.s. If you haven't yet, and are so inclined, please do take a moment to read the post below and assist my mother. Grazie!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Help A Sistah (or a Mothah) Out

So, this lady I know, who may or may not have housed me in her womb for nine months, is not happy about the dark circles under her eyes. Even though she's very beautiful, the other day we were in the cosmetics section of Macy's, and she caught her reflection in one of the mirrors. "Gah!" she cried, prodding the skin under her eyes, "Look at these things! It's a wonder I still have friends and a job!" (Let me note here that my mother is approximately 50% responsible for my own tendency toward exaggeration.) When she looked up from her self-esteem crisis, her eyes met with this woman's, and she felt she had found a kindred spirit:

We both walked (well, OK, we ran) over to the shelf where this photo was displayed, along with the tagline, "Serious Dark Circles?" and studied the product. It's called Hylexin, it costs $95 for a tiny tube, and the packaging makes it look more like some sort of Serious chemical than a friendly cream that you'd want to put near your eye.

My mom almost bought it on the spot, but was ultimately derailed by her fears about getting eye cancer, and by the Benefit saleswoman who lured us over to her counter with promises of "good-for-you ingredients" and those damn clever product names. She bought a tub of Benefit under eye cream, but remains intrigued by Hylexin's lofty claims, and implored me to ask my readers about it.

So, dear readers, have any of you tried Hylexin? Did it change your life? Or did it just melt off the skin under your eyes? Was it worth the money? Have you found success with any other under eye products? Do you have a vendetta against a particular under eye product because you had to sell one of your children to afford it, and then it didn't help at all? Perhaps you have found a way to make peace with your under eye bags? Please use the comments section to dish on failures and triumphs in the battle of the Serious Dark Circles. My mom (and many other readers, I'm sure) will be forever grateful.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Five Men's Fashion First Impressions: Gas Planets & Man Hands

It's been a long while indeed, but the men are back in action, baby. If you're new to the blog, you might want to catch up on the FMFFI phenom by reading the intro here, or clicking on the FMFFI label below to read the whole archive of confused men vs. high fashion.

In case you're too lazy to click on links, and because I'm an enabler, allow me to explain: Five Men's Fashion First Impressions is a popular feature here at Daddy Likey, in which I ask my boyfriend, dad, and brothers for their opinions on a slightly puzzling (often, really puzzling) piece of high fashion, and publish the first things that come out of their mouths (or, in the case of my dad today, the first many things, plus a photo).

Today's fashion item is this incredibly, er, substantial bracelet from Matthew Williamson's runway show:

I must confess that I lifted this photo from one of Queen Michelle's posts, but I figured that since she's a fan of FMFFI, she wouldn't mind (hopefully, she'll spare my head). You might also recognize the bracelet from Mischa Barton's unfortunate British Elle cover, hilariously dissed here by The Fug Girls.

I happen to think this bracelet is beyond cool (yes, seriously), but let's see what the men make of it, shall we?

Brother, Age 12: Hmmm...it looks like a basketball with a hole through it covered in beads and snakeskin and candy wrappers. Or is it a disco ball?

Brother, Age 17: That's a real thing? (Thoughtful pause) Did someone already say, 'Jupiter?'
Me: No.
Brother, Age 17: Jupiter. Or any gas planet, I guess.

Father: (Long silence) It looks like a bracelet with Elephantiasis.
Me: What the hell is Elephantiasis?
Father: It's a filarial disease. It makes your extremities swell up, among other things...(Another long silence as he stares at the photo)...That's a man's hand.
Me: No it's not.
Father: Yes it is.
Me: No, I have a full photo of the woman walking down the runway.
Father: Oh yeah? Well, she has man hands.
(Another long silence as he stares at the photo, then opens desk drawer to retrieve his extremely chic magnifying glasses, shown below*)

After studying the photo intently under magnification, he proclaims, "That's a man's hand. I'd bet money on it; that is a MAN's hand."

Boyfriend: (Eyes widen in surprise) Your dad was right. Those do look like man hands.

Brother, Age 20: I want to know what kind of man wears a complete purple silk jumpsuit.
Me: Do you think those are a man's hands too?
Brother, Age 20: They are.

So, I did a little digging on Style.com and found that the apparently man-handed model is Hilary Rhoda. Hilary, I apologize. Maybe we could do lunch and put this whole gender-questioning thing behind us, eh?

*Concerning this photo, my dad says, "This is me smiling," and my mom says, "Back off, ladies, he's mine."

Monday, July 23, 2007

Hey, it's OK...

...if the "Hey, it's OK..." page in Glamour kind of makes you want to vomit.

Blogback Mountain: Bloggers I Know In Real Life Edition

I decided not to write a post this weekend partly because I'm lazy, but mostly because I assumed that everyone in the world would be reading Harry Potter and ignoring lesser priorities like eating, sleeping, bowel movements, fashion blogs, etc. I ran some errands on Saturday in the midst of the HP furor, fully expecting an empty streets Vanilla Sky moment (I even wore some spandex jogging pants out in public in anticipation of no human contact), but sadly, I was mistaken. And according to my hit counter, a couple people actually came to my blog too, so yeah, sorry about that.

Speaking of Harry Potter (and who isn't?), my partner in freelance writing crime, Mike, has been doing some mega Deathly Hallows predictions/speculation/analysis on his blog, Seven Minus Four.

My friend Lyndsey thinks you should pay for your damn coffee.

And finally, remember that whole name-my-friend's-puppy thing? Joei has written up the entire puppy saga, including a dramatic sex change and the chosen moniker! Man will this puppy have some stories to tell...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Don't Show-cha Your Chocha: Volume 2

What better day than Friday for the long-awaited second edition of Don't Show-cha Your Chocha? There's been a huge and hilarious response to this feature, so if you don't see your submission yet, fear not, I'm just posting in the order they arrive. And if you are new to the blog, you can click on the Don't Show-cha Your Chocha label below to get yourself all caught up.

It's time to expose the exposed. (I know that sounds like something John Stossel would say before a really lame story about, like, nudist colonies, but I enjoy the pun so we're gonna go with it.)

Maya spotted this little (and I mean that quite literally) number from French Connection:

I'm guessing that slightly confused/glazed/uncomfortable look on this model's face will remain basically the same when she sits down and realizes her dress has come up to her waist. Such a sad plight. Thank god for hosiery.

Emilie found an extremely similar white dress that, if I may quote Britney Spears here (if I had a dime for every time I've said that..), is "not that innocent:"

Wow and look at that! Both models have chosen a nearly identical forward lean with the left hand subtly but firmly holding the hem down. Very clever. I think I see a trend emerging.

ShopBop seems to never fail us in the DSYC department:

From Tiffany: Does she have to pee? And she's embarrassed to look directly into the camera because she forgot to put on her pants!

Don't you hate when that happens?

Anna says: Here's my contribution to the Don't show-cha your chocha/semi-pornographic dresses section. It's called the Kate dress and it is made by the Swedish brand Acne. It's basically just a long undershirt, or tank top or whatever it's called badly disguised as a dress:

What's interesting about this one is that the photo is gorgeous, and the model has very nearly made this crossed legs/forward lean pose look like a glamorous aesthetic decision, rather than a necessary measure taken so as not to expose her lady bits. Were Anna not a Don't Show-cha Your Chocha expert, this "dress" may very well have gone unnoticed, and the model's valiant efforts unheralded. I salute you, Anna.

And finally:

Says Cate about this ShopBop find: I don't even want to get into what that slit and bow over the chochal area could mean. (click on the photo for an even better/more disturbing view.)

Completely agreed, Cate, and you get an extra ten points for turning "chocha" into an adjective.

More installments of DSYC are definitely on the way. Come across a chochal close call during some innocent online shopping? Email me--daddylikeyblog@gmail.com

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Naming Other People's Puppies Is So Hot Right Now

You guys' comments on my Hilary Duff rant were so smart and insightful and empowering that I am very excited to present you with your next, somewhat anticlimactic task: naming my friend's puppy.

Here's an extremely abridged back story: My friend Joei went to a food and wine festival. She didn't eat any food, but she did sample all the wine. On her way out, a guy was standing on the street trying to give a puppy away. He asked Joei if she would like it. She was drunk enough that this seemed like a good idea.*

And voila:

Soooooo uber mega cute, right?

She initially named it Bob, before deciding that Bob is going to be a very big dog one day and the novelty of the name "Bob" works best on small dogs or puppies. Plus, she wants something more original (and boy are her ideas original--do keep in mind that she's a horticulture major). So let's help a sistah out:

What should Joei name her dog?
Dium (short for Cymbidium, the "king" of orchids)
Sympod (short for sympodial, a growth pattern in some orchids meaning "many footed")
Euka (short for Eukaryotic as in cells with a nuclei, i.e. plants, yeast, animals)
Maddox (as in The Best Page in The Universe)
Other (post your idea in the comments)

Please feel free to post any alternate ideas in the comments section as well, and I'll be sure to update you with the chosen moniker of this lucky pup!

*Wow, so that story is surprisingly un-heartwarming when written down and massively condensed, but I swear that it's a good story, because Joei is totally happy to have a puppy and will be such a good owner 4evah.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Her Diet Secret? Being Nineteen.

So, here's the cover of the current issue of Us Weekly:

Hallelujah praise the lord! Hilary did it! ("It" here of course referring to the attainment of a body shape that is neither sickly skinny nor grossly obese by tabloid standards.) And she is generously sharing her diet secrets!

Pardon my French, but this shit is fucked up.

We see so many of these weight-obsessed cover stories these days--"Half My Size!," "One-Eighth My Size!," "I lost 400 Pounds!," "Best (and Worst) Hollywood Beach Bodies!," "Britney Is Now The Size of an Average American Woman--GROSS!," etc, but there's something markedly different about this one, and that is...

...wait for it...

Hilary Duff is nineteen years-old.

Should we really be soliciting "diet secrets" from a young woman who was born in 1987, who is still getting used to and growing into her adult body and who should not be dieting at all? I'm gonna vote a big, fat "No" on that one.

Allow me to illustrate how screwed up it is to shift the diet success story archetype from the forty-something housewives of People magazine's annual "Half My Size" issue and middle-aged celebrity dieters like Janet Jackson and Ricki Lake, who have both had similar Us cover stories, to a much younger person like Ms. Duff: that "before" picture on the cover was taken when she was fifteen.

Think back to when you were fifteen. You may have had extremely teased hair, bad skin, and/or braces. You probably had either no boobs or big boobs, and were keenly aware of the disadvantages of each. You might have thought high-top Reeboks were a really good idea, or that orange-red lipgloss was the epitome of sophistication. I, for one, was chubby, insecure, wore like thirty neon rubber bracelets everyday, and suffered a nasty case of dandruff.

Weren't we all a "before" at fifteen?

What's more, the photo of fifteen-year-old Hilary that the magazine is citing as an awkward, chubby tragedy is, well, not. She looks adorable (she was, after all, already the star of a hugely popular TV show) and healthy, if a bit unsure of herself. I probably would have poisoned my science teacher (no offense, Mr. Beeson) to look like that when I was fifteen.

We've all felt the sting of latent media messages when we see a photo of Jessica Alba's flawless (and photoshopped) abs, look down at our own supple stomach and think, "Damn."

Us Weekly's message this week is pretty damn overt--hundreds of thousands of fifteen-year-old girls are going to see themselves in that "before" picture and be informed that their bodies are not OK. And that's not OK.

Some of these girls will buy the magazine and pore over the "diet secrets" inside (spoiler alert: Hilary's secrets include lean protein, veggies, going easy on the carbs...oh, and being nineteen). None of them, even by the magical "after" age, four years later, will have Hilary Duff's body. This is partly because they don't have her genes or trainers or makeup artists, but mostly because even Hilary Duff doesn't have this body--this cover has been photoshopped to hell. In fact, if I zoomed in on her cleavage, I could easily convince you that it was a photo of a massive crater taken by the Mars Orbiter Camera.

What's next, Us Weekly? Abigail Breslin's triumph over baby fat? Dakota Fanning's sobering struggle to grow boobs?

In conclusion, I had a bacon cheeseburger for dinner as a political statement. It was delicious.

Comment That Might Become My Catchphrase:

"If I can see your heart beating, your outfit is totally inappropriate."

~Applediva, in response to the silver dress a couple posts down.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Scotland ♥s My Brows

The lovely Queen Marie from Kingdom of Style has dedicated an entire post to my eyebrows. I should probably just quit life now, as I'm fairly sure that nothing will ever surpass the glory of this event.

One of the now-famous arches:

When I tried to crop the photo to just show my eyebrow, it ended up looking weirdly pornographic, so I had to make it into one of those uber close, heavily made-up eye+eyebrow pictures that every fourteen-year-old girl has on her myspace with a caption like "come hither" or "2 sexy" or "gosh i'm ugly lol." Sorry about that.

p.s. If you're just joining us, I divulged my secret here (but it's sort of a Portland-centric secret, so don't get your hopes up...unless you want to fly/move here solely for eyebrow maintenance, which I would fully support).

p.p.s.s. Also if you're just joining us, and read the extremely braggy combo of this post and then the "I have the best eyebrows in America" one, and think I'm the most horrifically egotistical person you've ever met and are about to click away from this disturbingly eyebrow-obsessed and shockingly self-congrulatory site, never to return, do be advised that I sometimes write with a hint of sarcasm, and there are probably a couple posts in the Daddy Likey archive that do not concern my eyebrows.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Post Cut Tragically Short...Stupid Spiders

When I was about nineteen, I used to complain to my mom that none of my friends were getting married or even close to getting married and I just wanted to go to a wedding, damnit, and how could they be so selfish as to let me down? My mom would always answer in a strangely calm, oracle-esque voice that I should be careful what I wished for, because in a few years a wave of weddings would hit and I would be lucky to make it out alive (okay, she didn't say the part about making it out alive, but it really works with the Oracle voice I'm imagining so deal with it).

I always replied to this sage wisdom with, "Whatever, Mom," and drowned my lack-of-happy-matrimony sorrows in yet another episode of A Wedding Story.

This summer, the wedding wave struck.

Just ten days ago, I officiated my best friend's fabulous wedding, and today I'm off to see my beautiful friend Meg tie the knot with her betrothed.

I was planning to write a bit more here, but a GIANT black hairy spider just lowered itself down next to my computer in a dead-on Arachnophobia impression, so I'm totally creeped out right now and must retreat to my bed where I hope a giant Amazonian spider isn't waiting to kill me and then stow away in my coffin and drain all my blood and then mate with a common housespider to produce a spider army that will invade an idyllic American town, kill many of its residents, and eventually face off with Jeff Daniels and oh my god my paranoia has made me ramble way too deep into this analogy. I better go.

I'll be back with a real post (and wedding pictures!) when the spider has vacated the premises and/or when I'm not attending a wedding. Hopefully within the year. Kidding! Sort of.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Raccoon's Intuition

My mother always taught me that aluminum foil=delicious treat, and usually her advice serves me well (perfectly good week-old salmon, anyone?), but even I wouldn't trust whatever was wrapped up in this:

Sorry mom, but I've gotta go with my gut feeling on this one.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Fashion Mad Libs Follow-Up: Valentino Is a Malleable Man, Your Mom's Basement Is in Wisconsin

God I hate the heat. My brain seems to have melted completely yesterday but it has now recongealed (ooh, "recongealed," new word! it's like the cool cousin of "reconciled") enough to put together our latest Mad Libbed masterpiece. Today's bastardized text used to be a quite lovely NY Times article about the Valentino retrospective. You can read the original here, although, as usual, ours is a bit more entertaining. Behold:

Potatoes will have been closed. Historic slippers, commandeered. An explosive visit by the Lichtensteinish poncho is on the itinerary. Some 250 tweezers have been hired, and as many fedoras. Hundreds of celebrities, editors, and grannies have been invited, Gwyneth Paltrow, Meryl Streep, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Oprah among them.

Rome has been thrown into chaos, albeit rather fabtastic chaos, as Valentino Garavani this weekend celebrates the 45th anniversary of his chess player. The logistics of staging a unicorn of the Italian designer's grape on Friday, followed by his Manolo on Saturday, with your mom's basement in Wisconsin and a zenith right here, would exterminate most governments. Yet, in the weeks leading up to North Korea, only one thing has worried Valentino himself. "My speech," he wails. "Every night I go to Walmart and I wiggle my speech. You know, I am such a malleable man, but when I do a speech, I start to love."

That last line is so profound, and I especially enjoy it as a speech major. Even more shocking--who knew Valentino was a Walmart man? And every night, no less?

Yeah, seems like his kind of place.

I'm probably going to go to jail for having the terms "North Korea" and "exterminate most governments" in such close proximity my blog (thanks a lot Bob and Laila), so I better go enjoy my last few days of freedom...by laying around with a wet washcloth on my head moaning, "Why did God invent the sun???"

Keep cool today, lovelies.

p.s. Click on the tag below if you're just joining us, and would like to catch up on all the past Fashion Mad Libs action.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fashion Mad Libs!

My friend Hallie was raving about this feature at the wedding, so I figured it was time for another installment. I hope she wakes up early enough to get to fill one in, but if not, too bad. You guys know the drill (and click here if you don't), so let's get Mad Libbin'!

1. Plural Noun
2. Plural Noun
3. Adjective
4. Nationality (example: Italian)
5. Noun
6. Plural Noun
7. Plural Noun
8. Plural Noun
9. Famous Person
10. Adjective
11. Noun
12. Noun
13. Noun
14. Noun
15. Noun
16. Place
17. Noun
18. Place
19. Verb
20. Adjective
21. Place
22. Verb
23. Adjective
24. Verb

Be sure to complete them in order and to write the number next to your word (example: 1. Frogs) to make things easier for me and your fellow Mad Libbers. I'll post our glorious collaboration when that last verb is filled in (well, maybe a little later, since I plan to spend most of the day under my couch hiding from the heat, and my computer doesn't fit down there).
These always come out super funny, and I have a feeling this one's gonna be especially good.

Monday, July 09, 2007

High Fashion Haiku

I designed this coat
when I was three. With a pen
on my parents' wall.

Graffiti-print coat by Versace (copycats), $3280, neimanmarcus.com

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Advanced Fashion Quiz

One of the photos below shows a standard mechanic jumpsuit, currently selling for about 30 bucks on a military surplus site. The other is a J. Crew jumpsuit, priced at over a hundred dollars and currently sold out. Can you guess which is which?

I'm not telling.

Thanks Lyndsey and Bethany.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Three Days, Thirteen Miles, and One Wedding Later....

I know this long blogging absence may have hinted at my demise during the half-marathon, or maybe death-by-public-speaking during the wedding ceremony (such a sad way to go), but don't worry, I'm still here! (If you're just tuning in, read a couple posts down to get the marathon/wedding intro.)

The half-marathon was long and hot and sort of boring. My mom and I actually spent so much time and energy complaining about the course that we failed to see a bald eagle circling above us. We were in the middle of a massive rant about the lack of water stations when one of the other walkers tapped us on the shoulder, pointed to the sky, and said, "Did you guys see the bald eagle?" Since a bald eagle sighting on the fourth of July had been our original goal for the walk, this was very embarrassing, and we took it as a lesson along the lines of "stop and smell the roses"--shut up, look up, and see the bald eagle.

The wedding, on the other hand, was completely and utterly and totally wonderful. Rachel looked luminous, Scott looked handsome, and everyone in attendance was generally well-behaved and genuinely happy for them. My speech (see below) went really well, and I can't express in words how honored I was to get to be such a big part of their wedding.


Here's me reading the vows up there with Rachel and Scott:

They are so in love--their eye contact was so intense that I was a bit worried if I leaned in too close I'd get sucked into the love beam and have to run away with them and form a really creepy bride-groom-reverend menage a trois.

Then I told them to kiss, and they obliged:

Ta-da! Husband and Wife!

Gosh they will have pretty babies.

After the ceremony, Rachel and I pretended to be awkward prom dates:

Here's my real boyfriend and me:

He didn't want me to post this picture, but I'm a reverend so I can.

As for that hotly anticipated reverend outfit, well, it's probably going to be a bit anticlimactic (no flowing robes or pope hat, I'm afraid). The wedding was uber casual and, as I've mentioned, took place in the bride's family's backyard, so the requirements I decided on for my reverend attire were as follows:

1. It's July, so not, like, velvet.

2. A step up in formality from the wedding guests.

3. A step down from the bride (duh).

4. A dark color to contrast the bride, flatter my figure, and hide my pit sweat (again, it's July).

5. Not slutty, cuz, you know, I'm a reverend.

6. No high heels.
7. Below $100.

I found a dress on sale at Nordstrom that met most of these requirements and was absolutely gorgeous, but I just didn't feel comfortable in it. And when you're giving a speech outside in front of 60 people, many of them your old high school classmates, you've gotta be comfy. On a fairly random trip to Macy's the night before the wedding, I spotted this skirt, and decided to change everything up (yeah, I live on the wild side). I bought the skirt, added a ruched Calvin Klein cotton t-shirt, my mom's pearls, some cute flat sandals, and voila, casual reverend chic:

This picture is extremely awkward because I was literally running out the door when I screamed, "Shit! I promised my readers a picture!" So I struck a pose (with way too much cleavage, good god I'm a risque reverend), made my boyfriend snap one picture, yelled at him that he had better not have made me look fat, and continued running for the door. I made sure to pull up my shirt for the ceremony and, hopefully, didn't resemble a 49ers linebacker quite as much (broad shoulders are the bane of my existence).

So that's the finale of wedding news. I'm so happy for my friends, and if you're one of the 7 million couples getting married today, I am happy for you too. Best of luck to all you shiny happy newlyweds, and not to worry, regular posting on Daddy Likey is now resumed.

The Speech.

Here's the speech I wrote for my dear friends Scott and Rachel's wedding. Some of it won't make sense to outsiders, but I think the general ideas in it are applicable to everyone. And since every newscast in recent memory has ignored the war in Iraq in favor of reporting that 7/7/07 is THE day for weddings, it seems like a good time to post this.

It Takes a Village

I’d like to begin by welcoming everyone to the ceremony. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Winona. I first met Rachel in kindergarten, but she didn’t like me because she thought my name was “Vernona.” I didn’t like her because she couldn’t skip a bar on the monkey bars. Needless to say, the friendship didn’t work out.

By second grade, however, we were both more mature and accepting, and we’ve been best friends ever since.

I briefly switched schools in the third grade, and at Buxton Elementary, I met a boy by the name of Scott Nichols. We played wall ball together at recess a few times, even though he was a year older and way too cool for me. Scott and I both came back to Banks two years later, he met Rachel, and I bet you can guess how that story ends.

Never in my wildest elementary school dreams did I imagine that my wall ball partner would grow up and marry my best friend, or that I would perform the ceremony. But here we are. I’m sure I speak for everyone here when I say I couldn’t be happier that these two found each other, and that I’m still a part of their lives.

Rachel and Scott got together six years ago, when most of their peers were involved in the stupid mind games that pass for high school relationships. Even in the very beginning, it was obvious that their relationship was different. I think that, even in the very beginning, we all knew these two would be the ones who made it.

Scott and Rachel’s relationship is different because, well, Scott and Rachel are different. They don’t put a lot of stock in other people’s ideas of how things should be. They are unique, nonconforming, and comfortable with who they are. To this end, they threw out all the “rules” that have suffocated countless other relationships.

When the rules said, “Be cool around your boyfriend,” Rachel was herself. When the rules said, “Don’t show your girlfriend too much affection,” Scott always held Rachel’s hand. When they got to college, and a lot of people said, “Play the field! Date around!,” they chose to lean on each other. And even recently, when people said, “You have to get married in a church,” Rachel and Scott said, “How about the Rachel’s backyard, with lots of beer and illegal fireworks?”

This refusal to conform is what makes their relationship strong, it’s what makes this wedding fun, and it’s certainly one of the things we love most about them.

But enough about the bride and groom; I’d like to take a moment now to address the audience.

When you sit down today to sample one of the cakes, you might find yourself next to someone you’ve never met. You might strike up a conversation and find that you have absolutely nothing in common. But no matter the individual differences between us, we were all brought here today by our love and respect for Rachel and Scott. This fact binds us together almost as strongly as the bride and groom.

Everyone’s heard the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Not everyone realizes that it takes a village to raise a marriage.

We are Scott and Rachel’s village.

We will be there for them in the hard times. We will celebrate the good times. This group has been assembled from both coasts and beyond, and each one of us has played a role in this union—we have lent them support, laughed at their jokes, challenged them and helped create their paradigms of love and happiness. From these two families sitting here today grew two amazing people who are perfect for each other. From the many groups of friends sitting here today have grown priceless experiences, unlimited strength, and two well-honed senses of sarcasm.

Therefore, it is important to acknowledge that long before we took our seats today, we were part of something bigger. This marriage will be unshakable because Scott and Rachel are strong, and they are strong, at least in part, because of us.

Marriage is nothing without gratitude and appreciation. Rachel once said to me, “I think people forget how cool it is that someone wants to be with you forever.”

These are wise words, indeed.

Be grateful for your partner. Tell them they are loved and appreciated until they say, “Okay, I get it.” Never resist a generous impulse.

This gratitude and appreciation for your spouse will come easiest in the good times, but it is perhaps most important in the hard times. These are the times when gratitude will save you. Take a breath, and, to paraphrase the bride: “Remember how cool it is that someone wants to be with you.” Even if, at certain moments, you just want that someone to go away.

In addition to unwavering gratitude, some of the best marriage advice I’ve found comes in the form of a poem by Ogden Nash:

To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up.

The good times in this marriage will far outweigh the hard times. Every single person here today knows that you two will live long and happy lives together. You will achieve great success and have brilliant children who will make ours look bad. Your relationship will find strength in a lifetime of shared challenges and triumphs.

And remember, you will always have your village.

Rachel, do you promise to love, honor, and respect Scott for as long as you both shall live?

Scott, do you promise to love, honor, and respect Rachel for as long as you both shall live?

The rings, please.

These rings symbolize a lifetime together—a promise to honor and respect each other. These rings are an acknowledgement that there are six billion people in this world, and your spouse chose you. Every time you look down at this ring, be grateful for your spouse’s presence, and know that they are always grateful for you.

You may exchange rings.

By the power vested in me by the State of Oregon, I now pronounce you husband and wife.

You may kiss.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I'm a reverend, bitch!

Sorry about the Daddy Likey-less Tuesday. The cyber-gods were apparently not pleased yesterday, and kept me from my precious internet all day.

I won't be able to do a regular post today either because, well, here is my schedule:

7am: Walk a half-marathon. (Yep, another one.)

4pm: Officiate my best friend's wedding.

I probably need to explain this.

So, almost a year ago, Rachel, my best friend since second grade (we actually met in kindergarten but it took us a good two years to hit it off), called me to say that she and her longtime boyfriend Scott, a classmate of mine since third grade (umm...could this story get any cuter?) were getting married. They decided to have the wedding at her house on the 4th of July, because every year on this day, Rachel's entire family makes a pilgrimage to Oregon to blow up massive amounts of illegal fireworks, and Rachel thought it would be natural to squeeze a wedding in between the mortar explosions (if you knew Rachel and Scott, you would say what I said, which was, "Oh my god, Rachel, it's perfect!").

As the wedding came together, I asked her who was going to officiate the ceremony. Rachel and Scott are not religious and bristle at many aspects of traditional weddings. She said, "Oh, damn. Good question."

Now, a while back, my younger brother had received a large package in the mail. When I asked him what it was, he opened it, pulled out a Certificate of Ministry, and said, "I'm a reverend, bitch!" Apparently he'd found a website that ordains anyone, and, for $29.95, sends you a Deluxe Reverend Package that includes, in my brother's words: "a Certificate of Ministry that some guy obviously made at home with Microsoft Publisher, a laminated wallet-sized Reverend ID card that some guy obviously made at home, and a glossy folder with a picture of a rose on the front."

With credentials like those, I couldn't help but offer Rachel my brother's services.
"Hey, my brother could do it," I said. We both laughed, knowing that my brother hates speaking in front of people (actually hates speaking in general), and would be more than likely to drop a few F-bombs during the ceremony.

Then, one of us joked that I should perform the ceremony. We both laughed, but you know how, sometimes, over the course of a conversation, a joke becomes serious, and then all of a sudden you're researching online ordinations that aren't run by a guy in his mom's basement with Microsoft Publisher and a laminating machine? Yeah, that happened.

And within a few days, I was Reverend Winona.

I can now perform marriages, funerals, last rites, baptisms, and absolve people of their sins. I've been bragging about this endlessly, and today I will get to actually walk the walk. Down the aisle, to be exact, where I will stand up, recite a speech I wrote just for my dear friends, and pronounce them husband and wife. How fuckin' rad is that?

As for the thirteen-mile speed walk the morning of the wedding, well, that was probably a stupid idea. Hopefully I'll be able to absolve my legs of their pain.

I'll be sure to tell you how it goes, post some pictures of the blessed event, including my reverend outfit (I almost quit when Rachel wouldn't let me wear a Gandalf robe, but I made do). If Rachel and Scott don't mind and you guys are interested, I also might post the speech I wrote for the ceremony (who knows, maybe I can get some more wedding gigs and tour the country).

The bride and the reverend (with fake moles, of course)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Blogback Mountain

God said "On the seventh day you shall rest." According to my friend Lyndsey, Starbucks didn't get the memo.

Frugal Fashionista is just always good.

Emily from Our Wishful Wardrobe is considering buying Uggs, sweats, and polos to fit in at her new college. Go change her mind.

That Dress is Divine makes a damn good argument for shopping alone.

Lipstick Lady posts an open letter to Susie Bubble. Hella funny.

I live in Oregon, so I know the rain does strange things to people, especially style-wise. Queen Marie lives in Scotland; proves point.

Ambika lives in Seattle; also proves point.

Alright, alright, this one isn't a blog, but I've watched this video approximately seven-hundred times and it never fails to make me wet myself.

What Not Not To Wear With This Bag (I love double negatives and Clinton Kelly)

Dear Winona,
Well, I just purchased this bag:

Yes, it's orange! I rarely wear anything orange, but somehow I was drawn to this bag. Do you have any suggestions on what color shoes, what color top, etc. would go well with this? Thanks!!

Feeling Lost & Blue.. err, Orangey

First of all, adorable bag. Second of all, don't worry; there is no need to run out and purchase a whole new orange wardrobe to accommodate this adorable bag. If there's anything I learned from What Not To Wear (besides the fact that my Gaydar sucks--Clinton Kelly, professional shopper, lover of argyle, and exclaimer of "fabulous!", gay? Surely you jest!), it's that some surprisingly bright-colored accessories can function as neutrals in your wardrobe.

You know how you can throw on a black or white purse with basically any outfit and it works? Well, Stacy and Clinton taught me that this can be done with many other unexpected colors (red, maroon, dark green, etc.), and this beautiful orangey-brown is definitely one of them.

Whenever they're teaching a woman about this on the show, she always picks up the bright red purse they've recommended for her and shrieks, "A red purse! You've got to be kidding! This is absolutely outlandish!" and then Stacy shoves her and tells her to shut up and Clinton patiently explains how a bag like this can totally work as a neutral while the woman shakes her head in disbelief, then she goes back to her hotel room and records a teary video diary about how she doesn't need any fashion help and this is the worst experience of her life and she can't believe she has to go through this and I just want to reach into the TV and throttle her and scream "You are in New York with $5000, damnit! You really can't think of anything worse than that?? What about genocide?", but then at the end of the show she struts out from behind the curtain wearing a hot dress and carrying a red bag and proclaiming that her life is forever changed for the better and oh my gosh Clinton and Stacy were soooo right about the bag.

The point is: wear this purse with basically anything (well, except this--no one should wear that), and it will coordinate and look amazing. This a really great piece too because it will look just as fabulous in the summer with an outfit like this:

as it will in the winter with an outfit like this:

(Had to hit the argyle for Clinton).

Overall (whenever I say that now I picture my actual overalls and get a deviant shot of joy), excellent purchase, my dear. Wear your orangey-brown purse loud and proud.

Summer Outfit:
Laurel ruffle blouse, J. Crew, $78
Fire "Bre" shorts, Nordstrom $24
Havaianas "Top" sandal, Nordstrom, $15

Reese Low-Rise Bootcut Jeans, Delias, $39.50
Hugo Boss Argyle Sweater, Nordstrom, $225
Schutz Boots, Zappos.com, $165
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