Monday, March 31, 2008

All The Kids Are Blogging

My friends Meg and Lindsay (those of blasphemous LA weekend fame) have started their own blogs! If you read them, you will not only be entertained, but you will count as a cyber member of our friend group and therefore stand a chance of being invited to a Passion Party.

Meg writes the modestly titled Meg's Award-Winning Blog, which I would describe the same way I would describe Meg herself: An irreverent mix of bran muffins and Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs. Surely you are intrigued.

Lindsay's blog is All The Kids Are Playing, a mash-up of art, photos, and funny anecdotes. But not funny anecdotes like, "Today my husband and I got lost and he wouldn't ask for directions! Arrggh!" More like, "Today my friends and I almost liquefied one half of a popular French music duo with our car. Oops."

Check 'em out if you want to waste some time at work today (and who doesn't?).

Martin to the Rescue!

Comment yesterday from reader "Bizzle":

I'm having such an awful, horrible, no good day, so it's lovely to see that you always seem to update whenever I need a hit of witty the most. Clearly someone should send Marvin over so I can bury my face in his fur and show him these these sequin-covered heels I bought at Goodwill last week.

Dear Bizzle,

Even though you called me "Marvin," which is a horrible, classless name, I can say with great certainty that I approve of your sequin-covered heels. Now where do I need to go for this face-in-fur action? I conditioned with sardine oil just for the occasion.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

The High Price of Gas

I tried on a pair of Cole Haan wedge sandals at Marshalls yesterday--the kind with Nike Air Technology--and they were shockingly comfortable as well as super cute and affordable. So why did I not take them home with me and place them on a pedestal constructed of the sorry, melted remains of every inferior shoe I've ever owned?

Well, I'm afraid the Nike Air Technology was a little too airy--walking around the store, I sounded a hell of a lot like the infamous kid in my sixth grade class who once farted every step of the entire mile run. By the second lap, the whole class had abandoned our dreams of personal bests and lined up behind him to heckle and laugh.

I can only imagine wearing the Cole Haans on the streets of Portland, followed by a hysterical mob and whimpering, "It's the shoes! I swear! It's the Nike Air Technology! Really! They're cute though, right?"

So. Not. Worth. It.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Blogback Mountain

I've been wanting to do some kind of rad inspiration wall around my desk since I moved in, but hammers keep coming through the wall, which is kind of a buzzkill. Alas, maybe someday...

Chelsea from Frolic is another fabulous Portland blogger and I'm sort of bitter we're not friends yet. Because I'm already friends with everyone else in Portland. Including Danny Glover.

She looks this good while sick and pregnant.

If it wasn't hailing (WTF, Oregon?), I'd be wearing this outfit right now.

I love any clothes that look like they were scribbled on by a mischievous three-year-old, and that sounded sarcastic but I'm serious--I want the entire collection.

Those Sweet Valley High girls were total fatties, huh?

In two cities a few hundred miles apart, two bloggers examined a rack of discounted Tory Burch frocks and said "Ew."

Emi has an idea for new and improved "mom jeans" that is the GREATEST IDEA IN THE HISTORY OF IDEAS. And I never exaggerate.

"The Dailies" on Design For Mankind is just about the coolest feature ever (and like I said, I never exaggerate).

Remember my Junior High Fashion Confessions Contest awhile back? Well, all three finalists have their own blogs now (can we pick 'em or what?), and, as you might expect, they're quite entertaining. Check 'em out here, here, and here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

FMFFI: I'll take those sandals with some fava beans and a nice chianti

It's been much too long since the last installment of Five Men's Fashion First Impressions, don't you think?

For those of you just joining us, FMFFI is a regular feature in which I ask the five men in my life for their first impressions of a strange fashion item. These impressions range from pegging top models as transsexuals to quoting Willow, and I always find them quite amusing.

Today's item: a striking pair of Jeffrey Campbell sandals, available at Urban Outfitters and first brought to my attention by Samida of Stained Couture:

Men! What say you?

Brother, Age 20: Oh man. Oh man. I don't like 'em at all. They look like hands, for one. They look like Shredder's gloves.

Father: All I can say is, Where's Spartacus when you need him?

Brother, Age 18: They look a little out of place without Sigourney Weaver shooting at them...

Boyfriend: (Laughs) They're horrible. Just horrible. They look like they're made of skin. Human skin.

Brother, Age 13: Hmm...It looks like human scalps. A pile of human scalps.

And there you have it: Solid proof that that Urban Outfitters is selling human scalps for 98 bucks. Really, what kind of world do we live in?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How To Clothe A Kenyan In Two Months

Dear Daddy Likey,

My boyfriend is a Kenyan who loves his clothes. He lives in Kenya, and is a poor NGO worker with virtually no clothing budget. I'm going to visit him in two months, and he asked me to bring him brown boots and a new pair of jeans. Although I love reading your blog, I'm not a big shopper, so I thought you might be able to point me in the right direction for some awesome boots and jeans that are great quality and look amazing on my uber-hot boyfriend (and hopefully won't break the bank for me!). Can you help?

How To Clothe A Kenyan in Two Months

Dear How To Clothe A Kenyan,

My dad is one of those people who, if questioned about his ethnic heritage, will regale you for hours with stories of his ancestry. "But my great great grandparents were Scotch-Irish-Mexican," he'll say, "and ay caramba, if they ever met a potato haggis burrito they didn't like!"

What does this have to do with your stylish boyfriend, you may ask? Well, by the time my dad finishes building these verbal family trees, he has claimed roots in basically every country in the world. One day, I swore I heard a fleeting mention of Kenya (OK, OK, it
might have been "Black Irish," but still), and informed my mom, who thought this was hilarious, because my dad is arguably the whitest man alive. Now, in addition to "Big White" and "Mildly Peeved Dog," his stable of nicknames includes the simple but effective "The Kenyan."

So basically, I feel extraordinarily qualified to answer your question. My Kenyan father's go-to outfit includes Carhartt dungarees, suspenders, and a witty message actually that doesn't help at all. Damnit.

My dad is one sassy Kenyan.

Let's start over. I believe your man is in dire need of some Frye boots. Frye boots are the best things ever invented (take that, iPhone! Or, like, lightbulb...). They are sex-ay and durable and versatile. Unfortunately, buying them at full price may cause your bank account to go all Bear Stearns on you (Ooohhhhh!! Too soon?), so I suggest you start an Ebay search for a used pair.

This is a good idea for two reasons:
1. They will be hella cheap.

2. Like a fine wine or the movie
Cradle 2 the Grave, Frye boots only get better with age. Therefore, your boyfriend won't have to take time off from saving the world to break them in. The world needs a lot of saving right now, so this is a huge plus.

Here's a pair of Frye motorcycle boots (my personal favorite style for guys) for $25:

Unfortunately, this particular auction is ending in five hours, but you get the idea. I'm sure if you search "Frye Men's Boots" a few more times in the next couple weeks, your diligence will pay off.

As for the jeans, I've gotta be kind of boring here and recommend good ol' Levis. My non-Kenyan boyfriend has a couple pairs that he's worn nearly every day for two years, and they still look great.

Here, a model deftly displays the perfect pairing of Levis and brown boots:

I personally love a dark wash with some fading like this, but as long as you stay away from the powder-blue tapered style favored by my 9th grade biology teacher, Mr. Beeson, you should be fine (while you're at it, maybe stay away from Mr. Beeson's whole look--those eyeball-magnifying coke bottle glasses were quite disconcerting as well). Look for a slim bootcut to accommodate his hott new boots.

Levi's are available everywhere, but they're often plentiful on those delightful Macy's clearance racks where it's 75% off the original 40% off with an extra 50% off and so on until you take your purchase to the counter and they're like, "We owe you five dollars for these jeans."

Buy yourself an Orange Julius with the profits. You deserve it.

Anyone else have suggestions for affordable brown boots? And while we're at it, what are your favorite kind of jeans on a guy?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Great Excitement!

Check out the this month's issue of National Geographic to see my very first published article!! (Career plan: 1. Debut at the biggest magazine in the world. 2. Proceed downhill.) I wrote a riveting one-page story about the history of chewing gum that appears in the front section of the magazine. Buy a copy if you can--let's show 'em the ol' Daddy Likey sales bump!

There is a small caveat to this Greatest News of My Life. Apparently, different areas of the country receive slightly different versions of National Geographic. Apparently, some of these versions are slightly shorter than the others, as in, a small chunk of of the front section has been omitted. Apparently, my story is sometimes in this omitted chunk. And apparently, Oregon received a hell of a lot of these Winona-free versions, meaning that, before I had a chance to update them, my friends and family roughed up the staff at several bookstores, accusing them of censorship for ripping the best gum article EVER (their words, not mine) out of every single copy on the shelves. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the employees of Powell's, Borders, Barnes&Noble, etc., etc., etc...

Luckily I received a complete copy that I've been carrying around and constantly dropping open in public places to reveal my article, then feigning surprise and squealing, "What's that? Who wrote that? Oh, I DID! Eeeeeeepp!"

Yep, it's poise and professionalism all the way.

UPDATE: I've now heard from many readers in many different places that aren't Oregon who have indeed found my article, and this is giving me even more great excitement! Perhaps Oregon has a specific but little known moratorium on gum articles? I'll have to check on that. In any case, thanks so much for all the support--you guys are seriously the best.

Friday, March 21, 2008

High Fashion Haiku LIMERICK

I couldn't resist:

A chic lady tried clutching this clutch
But she found that the weight was too much
Now her back's out of whack
She switched to a small sack
But it's tough to look chic with a crutch.

Carlos Falchi Oversized (really? I hadn't noticed) Alligator Clutch, $7500 (does not include compensation for medical bills),

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008

Woodrow here.

Remember me? Quick recap: I'm a beaver. I really like wood. I also really liked Yves Saint Laurent's latest collection. But who didn't?

I digress.

These shoes look like they are made entirely of wood, which could make things awkward if you saw someone wearing them and just HAD to take a bite to see if they tasted as delicious as they looked, and then the person wearing them started screaming "Aaaggghhh! These are $300 shoes! Where the hell did this beaver come from??"

But I would never do that. Yessiree, you'd have to be a pretty dumb beaver to do a dumb thing like that. Pretty dumb.

Robert Clergerie Morris, $274,

Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy 3.14, Everybody!

I'm on my way to a Pi Party where we shall watch Pi and eat pizza pies followed by pecan pie. I assume you are making your math teacher proud and doing the same. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Good Foundation is Essential

Yesterday, I promised to give you the lowdown on hot bras for us larger-cupped ladies, except that's an awful phrase, so let me try again: Big-busted beauties? Must...stop...alliterating...

Anyway, finding a bra when you're bigger than a C-cup can be a difficult task, and when I say "difficult task," I mean it can make you want to throw a molotov cocktail into those damn Victoria's Secret drawers and relocate to an African tribe where you can just flop freely.

Since sixth grade, I've endured heartache and backache in search of a supportive bra that was also, you know, cute. Yes, I know, I demand a lot. During that long journey through underwire and lace, here's what I've found:

Best All-Around Bra That You Might Need to Sell Your Car to Afford But It Would Be Worth It

Chantelle Graphie T-Shirt Bra

The last time I went to Nordstrom for a bra fitting, I told my Personal Breast Specialist or whatever the hell they're called that I was on a bit of a budget and if she could only bring me the cheapo shit from the clearance rack, that would be great. She came back with an armload of brassieres, one of which was a $75 Chantelle t-shirt bra.

Now, before I continue, I have to give you some backstory. As long as I can remember, my mom has stressed to my brothers and I the importance of a good brassiere. She would often line us up (yes I'm being serious) and have us repeat the phrase "
A good foundation is essential," until we could say it back to her, verbatim. At random intervals she would test my brothers especially, summoning them from backyard football games to ask, "No matter how poor you are or how many bills you have to pay, what is the one thing you will always buy for your wife?"

"A good bra!" my brothers would declare, and then, with a nod of my mom's head, they were allowed to continue playing.

So, no one can say that I don't appreciate the importance of a good bra, it's just that, wow, $75? Really? I tend to be more of a $30 girl (see below). I told the Nordstrom lady to get it out of my sight immediately, but instead she did some kind of ninja move (little known fact: the Nordstrom lingerie department trains in Japan with Shredder and the Foot Clan) and had me clasped into it before I could say "Holy shit! I'll take it!"

I ended up buying it, and I've worn it nearly every day since.
Chantelle makes different styles of bras that cost even more (some go for $100 and up), which are also amazing, but I'm waiting to buy those until I secure a lucrative book deal (title of my memoir: A Good Foundation Is Essential).

Best Affordable Bra Brand That Looks Expensive

(available at Nordstrom, Bare Necessities, etc.)

Ah, Felina. This brand has been a favorite of mine for years. Their styles are just as cute as the mega-expensive brands but usually cost around 30 bucks. They're not as durable as a brand like Chantelle, but you can buy, like, fifty of them for the same price. Love love love.

Best Supportive Bra that Your Grandmother Would Never Wear (No Offense, Grandma)

Anything by Freya
(available at Fig Leaves, Nordstrom, etc.)

Freya is another fairly new find for me. I love them with a burning passion because they achieve the rare and amazing trifecta of being sexy, comfortable, and actually holding your boobs up.
They have the youngest, funkiest styles I've found for larger cup sizes--colorful and perfect for letting a strap peek out.

They're a bit on the spendy side too, but I found one the other day for 15 bucks at Nordstrom Rack (not to brag...OK, yeah, I'm totally bragging. Jealous?). Even at full price, they're worth it. And many of their bras are available in up to a J-cup, which is totally awesome.

Best Sports Bra That Eliminates The Worry That Your Boobs Might Actually Fly Off During a Vigorous Run*

Adidas Active Underwire Bra, $40,

I've tried many a sports bra in my day, and none have come close to the effectiveness and comfort of this fairly basic, fairly affordable standby. In fact, there was a time when I misplaced mine for a few weeks, and I gained like ten pounds. That's how important this bra is to my life. And, apparently, how much my metabolism hates me.

*Not that I would ever run, but you get the idea.

Many of you already did this yesterday, but feel free to nominate your own favorites in the comments (overly long and superlative-filled titles preferred)!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dear Daddy Likey: Let's Talk About Neckline Issues

Dear Daddy-Likey,

I have a problem and I know you are just the person I've never met who can solve it!!

I had a shopping miracle the other day -- I scored a totally awesome DKNY dress for moi for only $34. It was one of those things where they don't have your size but then you mope about it for a couple of days and go back and THEY HAVE YOUR SIZE and it's half off the sale price and the peasants rejoice.

Here it is:

I would estimate that this dress is about 300% adorable (ballparking) BUT I am a chesty, hourglassy girl and thus I have neckline issues. I wear a 36DDD and between the low neckline and the spatial warping effects of my bust, my usual grandma bra clearly isn't going to work here. I've been shopping for a strapless for other reasons but I kind of think there must be limits to modern bra engineering and I am a little half-hearted on this point. Plus, it is a really low neckline.

Bottom line, I think I am going to have to go with layering something under or wearing a cardigan or something, since I don't think I'm ready to just be out in public with my bra showing. This is where I need your help, because whenever I think about having to add something to this dress I get a little sad. I just don't want to ruin its cuteness! HELP ME DADDY!

Love for you and your awesome blog,
Triple DDDistress

Dear DDDistress,

I totally understand your dilemma. For a strapless bra to be effective on me, it would have to look a lot like the industrial-strength sling Michael Madsen used to transport an Orca in Free Willy, and although things don't seem to be going that well for Michael Madsen right now, he's still not a viable option to hoist my breasts around everyday.

But anyway, I love the dress (and the price! hell yeah!), and I see a couple of ways to remedy your neckline issue:

1. Buy a mega cute bra (with straps), and just OWN it. So what if a pink lacy strap dares to peek from beneath your adorable dress? It just counts as another layer of adorableness, which makes your outfit....hang on a second while I make some quick calculations...mmhmm...carry the three...ah yes, double adorable.

Now, now, I know what you're thinking: "Nice idea, buster, but mega cute bras for mega big boobs don't exist!"

While it's true that most bras larger than a C-cup resemble two cotton trash bags hastily sewn together, I urge you to not give up hope! Tomorrow I'll write about my favorite bra brands for bigger busts. Apparently, this will involve a lot of alliteration. But for now, take this photo as an advanced guarantee:

Look deep into this model's eyes and repeat after me: Cute, large cup bras do exist! Cute, large cup bras do exist!

2. If you're totally against the strap-showing idea, or it won't quite work for your job as a preschool teacher or something, take a step toward professionalism and modesty (it's a step I rarely take so I don't know much about it) and try a cute camisole instead. I can see this dress working really well with a lace-trimmed or patterned cami underneath.

Something like this:

Ruby Sky Forsyth Cami, $18,

You could also see what a classic collared shirt looks like underneath. I can't really tell from the picture, but it's possible that a slim-fitting white button-up would look pretty damn funky/cool. Maybe layer a few necklaces over it to bring out the funkiness? But be sure to stop before you reach this point.

As for putting something over the top, I'd probably do a shrunken cardigan or a structured blazer. Don't worry about ruining the dress's cuteness--try a bright color like pink or yellow, which would look amazing with the brown, and, if I may speak like Lucky magazine for a moment, be "totally on-trend."

p.s. Have any of my big busted readers ever found success with a strapless bra? Any favorite brands out there? Any horror stories? Anyone paid Michael Madsen to drive their boobs to the ocean?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Results of a Godless Childhood, Vol. 1

Yesterday I saw a church billboard that said, "Come walk the labyrinth and find enlightenment!" and I thought, "Finally, some due respect for Bowie as the Goblin King!"

p.s. This is my 500th post. Talk about anticlimactic...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Blogback Mountain

Enter Cuffington's Fashion Show Contest! Stat! Mush! Go!

I would have loved to read this when I was 16.

No one can deny that Twister is the best movie ever. Wait. What's that? Are you denying? Dude! Come on! Cary Elwes as a corrupt, well funded government storm chaser! He leads a caravan of black SUVs with tinted windows and the best technology but he still can't keep up with Helen Hunt's ragtag crew! It's an F5 of fun! OK, OK, fine, speak for yourself, but I'm so buying this to commemorate it.

Constructively criticizing unconstructive criticism. Amen!

I want to print out this blog and hang it on my wall.

One of my favorite bloggers in the history of blogging, Emi from the now-defunct Letters to Marc Jacobs, has FINALLY started a new blog, which means I can FINALLY stop my daily ritual of clicking the link to her old blog, seeing no updates, and crying.

I'm an Oregonian, so I'm contractually prohibited from using an umbrella, but if I could, I would totally use this one.

To do:
1. Get sewing machine.
2. Get fabric.
3. Learn to use sewing machine.
4. Attempt to make a dress.
5. Do not rip up half-finished dress in frustrated rage.
6. Finish dress.
7. Look half as good as Ambika.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Fashion Mad Libs: A Massive Disservice to the Albino Peacock Population

Finally, I present to you the product of today's Fashion Mad Libs. I stole the original text from none other than Queen Michelle of Kingdom of Style (yes, bloggers are no longer safe from Mad Libbers!). It was originally a perfectly fine discussion of harem trousers, but under our creative control, it has become a profound thesis on amorality and drop-crotch platypi. Brilliant.

I know that quite a few well-meaning but late-sleeping (or just West Coast-residing) readers weren't able to join in the Mad Libs fun, so I'll try to get this feature up more often (and maybe in the middle of the day?) to give everybody a chance at grammatically correct entertainment!

Anyway, here's our latest fashion writing masterwork:

Some items of clothing are a bit like ground beef - you either love or hate it. Centipedes being the first one that springs to mind. The superfluous all-in-one has been a firm favourite of mine since the roaring twenties, and I really don't see why there is always such a coffee cup made over them when they are deemed to be "grimy" (which happens every few nanoseconds). I keep wearing mine much to Mr. Rogers's distaste.

However, there is another sartorial offender who seems to be Fashion Public Tower Number One - the harem trouser, the drop-crotch platypus, the weed whacker pant, whatever pseudonym it appears under the reaction is always the same--smelly. The horror is however quadrupled when the offender is caressing the foot of a female. By some reactions you think by wearing them we are doing the whole albino peacock population a massive disservice.

"Weed whacker pants make me sad..."

Men in particular, apart from the very purple polka dot bikini-savvy it would appear, find them especially truck-shaped. I'm not really sure as to why this is. Whilst men seem perfectly at ease with a simple pair of loose albumens hanging on the female form, as soon as the trousers have the small added quirk of a merry crotch they go from being androgynously attractive to downright delicious.

However, and call me languid if you want, whenever I see ladies rocking these 'difficult' trousers I am simply filled with awe and admiration at their balls for invigorating in the face of conventional ideas of "amoral" and doing their own thing. Surely other women should at least appreciate that stiletto even if they find the trousers themselves famous?

I'm perspiring mine today as I ponder this. I really don't find them 350 pounds at all.

Friday Fashion Mad Libs!

So how long has it been since our last Fashion Mad Libs adventure?

Allow me to answer that formerly rhetorical question: it's been seven months! Ah, July of '07. How innocent we were! How simple life was! In fact, the internet didn't even exist back then, so we had to play FML through an elaborate chain letter. It was an eight week process. Not that fun.

But enough about the past. Today marks the triumphant return of this popular yet elusive feature. If you've never participated in Fashion Mad Libs on Daddy Likey, and aren't really getting the self-explanatory name, then click here to read the confusing and convoluted introductory post.

I'll wait.

Done? Confused? OK, so the basic premise is this: I shamelessly steal a fashion related article from a classified source (I'm really excited about today's choice), and turn it into a Mad Libs by having you guys replace words with new ones that don't make sense, so it's funny, see? I'll give you a list of the kinds of words I need, and you give them to me in the comment section. For example, if this was the list:

1. plural noun
2. adjective

Then the first commenter would write "1. ovens" and the second commenter would write "2. bloated." Or whatever. It's molto importante (English translation: molto important) to comment in order and number your entries, or else the next commenters won't know where to start and anarchy will ensue and society will crumble. Or whatever.

In the strained words of the 8th grade softball coach who led me to a record .000 batting average, "The most important thing is to have fun!"

Here is your Mad Libs mission:

1. noun

2. plural noun

3. adjective

4. time period

5. noun

6. adjective

7. famous person

8. noun

9. noun

10. type of tool

11. adjective

12. body part

13. animal

14. noun

15. adjective

16. plural noun

17. adjective

18. adjective

19. adjective

20. verb ending in “ing”

21. adjective

22. noun

23. adjective

24. verb ending “ing”

25. adjective

I'll post our new masterpiece later today, so stay tuned!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

High Fashion Haiku: Paris Fashion Week Edition

I'd be pissed off too
if I couldn't eat during
Girl Scout Cookie time.

This hungry model brought to you by Alexander McQueen.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Sad. True.

"Why does Bebe always make their models look like rape victims?"
~My friend Scott

Monday, March 03, 2008

L.A. Story

A word of caution: If you're the type of person who is offended by things like starfish with vagina mouths, then you might want to skip this post. If you are not, then you should read this post, move to Oregon, and be my friend. Thank you.

So, my accidental blogging hiatus (it began with a genuinely large amount of schoolwork and ended with a weekend of Bosnian pitas, costume parties, and two trips to Eugene) has given me many opportunities to tell many people about my LA adventures, and pretty much everyone I've told has reacted with a slightly forced guffaw, nod, and subject change. But I promised you that I'd share so I'm going to share, damnit! At least you can force a guffaw in the privacy of your own home this way.

First, a bit of backstory. My friends Lindsay, Meg, and I flew down to LA last weekend to visit our friend Rachel, who recently moved there for grad school. I could write thousands of words about the awesome unique person that is Rachel, but for the purpose of this story, we'll focus on this one fact: Rachel hates Passion Parties.

For those of you who have made it this far in life without encountering a Passion Party (congratulations!), allow me to explain. A Passion Party is like a tupperware party, but with sex toys. There are a number of companies that put on these parties, always with names like Pure Romance, Naughty Delights, or Secret Temptations. The basic format involves a "Passion Consultant" teaming with the party host to put out pink decorations and dainty food, and then, when the host's friends arrive, to dispense company-sanctioned sex tips and try to sell them vibrators and glitter lube.

I know a few people who live for these parties, but Rachel hates them with a Passion (tehehe I couldn't help it!). Since Rachel's birthday was a week prior to our visit, and since we are the best friends ever, Meg, Lindsay, and I decided to throw her a freelance Passion Party.

Before we left, we went to a sex shop and bought a number of naughty products to pretend to sell to Rachel. We also went to Fred Meyer and bought pink streamers, a vat of Kroger personal lubricant, and some Wet 'n Wild (never has the name been more appropriate) glitter pots for the craft portion of the party.

We wrapped up our supplies in a pink box, stuck it in our checked baggage (we didn't want to have to explain our motives to the TSA, especially since I was warned on my last trip through airport security that humor is prohibited), and boarded our plane.

Somewhere between Portland and California, we realized that we absolutely needed to have a sex guidebook and companion catalog for our Passion Party. I ripped out pages from my notebook and we spent an hour drawing a bunch of confusing sex positions with names like "The Praying Tetrahedron" and "The Flying Walrus" and writing out hott sex tips (example: "Try sucking seductively on a chicken bouillon cube--no man could resist such a savory temptation!" We were laughing madly and screeching things like, "How much should gravy-flavored lube cost??" and if I had been another passenger I would have hated us.

By the time we stopped in Oakland for our layover, our cheeks were streaked with mascara and our tray tables were strewn with probably forty pages of perverted content. Since we had to wait on the plane anyway, it seemed the perfect, turbulence-free opportunity to design the cover art and logo. We settled on Sensual Sensations for our company name (slogan: "Leading you down the path to pleasure"), but we needed a logo, a mascot, that was totally unique, totally unforgettable, totally disturbing...And so, Sally the Sex-ay Starfish was born. She was sultry, she was memorable, and she had a vagina for a mouth. Rachel was going to hate us.

I drew her on the cover of the catalog and we nearly died laughing. But then something caught our eye and we stopped. We froze. Somewhere on the plane, the pages of SkyMall rustled in the wind.

A Catholic priest was walking toward us.

A number of thoughts rushed through my mind as I watched him amble down the aisle. Mostly, Are you serious? I mean, I'm not sure that I'd ever even seen a Catholic priest before. My debut really had to be now, after a solid hour and a half of unquestionable sexual deviancy? He had to pass up all those perfectly good seats in the front, and come closer and closer to us, to me, to my tray table stacked high with graphically rendered sex acts? He had to be hovering over our seats, cramming his holy briefcase into the compartment above my head? Are you serious?

He plopped down in the seat next to Meg.

I instinctively threw my body over the pile of Passion Party paraphernalia, hugging the papers to my chest and trying to suppress the greatest laugh of my life. Meg was convulsing with giggles and tears, trying desperately to look normal and failing. Lindsay, a former Catholic in the window seat, had curled into a fetal position and was rocking back and forth, sputtering, "I can't do this! I'm freezing up! Oh my God, I'm freezing up!"

It was probably the best moment of my life.

After an eternity on the Oakland runway, the plane finally took off, the priest finally took out a book, and through a series of whispers and hand gestures we decided we had to finish the Sensual Sensations catalog, two feet away from the holy father or not. I think we succeeded in being sort of subtle. Except for the time I asked too loudly if I should draw sprinkles on the dick donut, and the time we dropped the oral stimulation page on the ground under his seat, and, yeah, we failed completely. We're going to hell.

On the bright side (shouldn't every declaration of "We're going to hell" be followed by "On the bright side"?), the Passion Party was a complete success. Rachel was alternately horrified and amused, and, as an art major, I think she really appreciated Sally Starfish.

Since I just wrote a thousand words on the priest story and I promised my boyfriend five days ago that I would unpack my suitcase that's still sitting in the middle of the living room, the rest of my LA experience will have to be summed up in grand bullet point style:
  • We toured Rachel's new art studio and it was so cool that I want to copy her and get my MFA. (Maybe I could use my drawing of Sally Starfish to get me into a top art school?)
  • It was wet and cold the entire time, which was great for "You Oregonians brought the rain with you!" jokes, but not good for Oregonians who didn't bring coats.
  • I have never seen so many designer handbags in my life (we're more into Timbuk2 up here).
  • We ate at Joan's on Third only because Mindy Kaling recommended it on her blog and we all got the same $12 sandwich only because Mindy Kaling recommended it on her blog and it was delicious.
  • However, we did not see Mindy Kaling and therefore she is still not my new best friend and therefore my life is still a meaningless failure.
  • We did see Jason Schwartzman in a boutique at the same time we smelled a bad smell so I've been telling people that Jason Schwartzman farted.
  • Because of that last sentence, I have probably been blacklisted by Francis Ford Coppola.
  • I literally bumped into Kirk from Gilmore Girls, which was a huge thrill, but all my friends are GG haters so they didn't care.
  • On the way home, we missed our plane while standing in line for it, which is another crazy story but I'm tired and I have to go clean so too bad.
In conclusion, I didn't see Pierce Brosnan, I'm going to hell, and it was one of the best weekends of my life.

p.s. Meg, Lindsay, and Rachel: You guys are the best.
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