October 24th, 2014

outfit no. 102

Life has been busy lately. I know the crux of truly living is the inherent lack of downtime, and unfortunately, I tend to write less when I am doing more. While I like new experiences and being productive at work & in grad school, I also like hiding under my covers with a book. So, when I am busy, I need a lot of recovery time alone too (introvert ftw) and end up devouring books and video games at a greater pace than usual. It’s a vicious cycle that all leads to the end result of my not writing. Then, I return to my blog or journal brimming with so many things to say that I forget anything of pseudo-importance. Exhibit A: this blog post.

I have been favoring comfort and ease this week when it comes to my outfits — sweaters thrown over dresses, mostly. After I posted my dream geek wardrobe here, I figured what kind of FF geek would I be if I didn’t own that materia shirt? So, I bought it (and the PacRim one). I ordered it in a large and it’s a little bit batwingy / slouchy — I was hoping ordering a size up would make it longer, but in fact only the girth was increased, so it’s just wider. Don’t you hate that? I exist in a perpetual state of seeking the fashionable slouch in my outfits. Anyway, I don’t particularly care because I am keeping it as is.

Shirt: LookHuman // Dress: UO // Tights: ModCloth // Shoes: Zara

October 22nd, 2014

book talk // fangirling over fangirl.

I fully intended to write this as a brief response on Goodreads, like I normally do, but somehow it SNOWballed (pun alert!) into something much more detailed that I felt I should share here as well.

Alright, so I’ve read two other books by Rainbow Rowell: Eleanor & Park and Attachments. I did not particularly care for either one. I didn’t really identify with any of the characters and I believe my Goodreads review for Attachments sums up how I felt about both stories: “Meh, it was cute.” So, I went into Fangirl with similar expectations of fluffy cuteness and disentanglement.

However, once I started reading, I almost immediately latched on to Cath’s character. I feel like this book, and Cath’s character specifically, was written for the introverted, Internet obsessed, socially anxious loner in all of us. To trace my own roots of Internet loner-dom, I was deeply involved in the pixel / doll art online community in high school and college. Although it’s something I’ve traveled back to experimentally at various points, I’ve never rekindled all the super-deep connection that I felt with a lot of my online friends from that period or the obsessive creative drive that allowed me to hone my digital craft. I also played FFXI in college and was moderately involved in forums and discussion boards and even designed a website for my Linkshell. These hobbies were my secrets, my borderline embarrassing secrets — not stuff I told people at the sporadic parties I dragged myself to at my roommate’s behest. I felt that my own secrets were easily interchangeable with Cath’s Simon Snow fanfic writing. No one would understand! It was my mantra as I ensconced myself in imaginary worlds.

“To really be a nerd, she’d decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one.”Fangirl

If you read fanfiction, you know how immersive that culture can be. It’s consuming simply because it’s never-ending. And slash fic, well… we’ve all read one (or written one). I love how Rowell understands the culture of fanfiction and carefully steeped her story in said culture, despite the mainstream reader potentially knowing nothing about it. Some reviews have maligned Rowell for her extended use of the Simon Snow fic sections, but I kind of loved it — Cath’s story-writing defined her in a way that all art defines true artists, it’s an inextricable part of them. Plus, I liked Rowell’s grittier version of Harry Potter.

Again, perhaps I am injecting my own personality into the story, but I was happy (ecstatic?) to read a NOT steamy new adult, coming-of-age novel. Most of the one’s I’ve read have involved really triggering topics or gratuitous sex and this book was incredibly chaste (all that hand holding!) without being boring. Plus the main characters were all geeks, not in sororities or frats, just ordinary people trying to survive college.

I unintentionally marathoned this novel in one day. Unlike Rowell’s other novels, this one made me laugh out loud in parts and recall what it was like to be alone and scared in my dorm room, or to be kissed by a boy I liked, or to be intimidated by my roommate, or avoid the commissary because I was afraid to sit alone and I didn’t know which sandwiches I was allowed to take and stockpiled ramen noodles instead. The characters linger in a way that the others did not. My one real complaint was that the ending was too abrupt, in my opinion. I mean, did Cath ever finish her fic? What did her fans think? Did she spend the summer on a Nebraskan dude ranch? There are so many questions and I all I got after the book release was an acknowledgements page! However, I’ve noticed the abrupt ending seems to be a part of Rowell’s style in her YA novels. I really hated the way Eleanor & Park ended, it was almost on par with One Day.

Overall Rating: 4 stars
Recommendation: Fellow geeks, introverts and fangirls
artwork of Cath writing from here.

October 17th, 2014

dream dress-up // five fandom friday.

I am not a cosplayer, but I do like to play dress-up. Always have. I am the person who goes all-out for themed parties, Ren faires and Halloween. I do, however, admire cosplayers, especially those who create their own costumes. It’s far beyond my skill set to sew a costume from scratch and have it bear any likeness to one of my fandoms. I’m moderately creative, and I think I could come up with an executable concept, I am simply concerned about the whole putting needle to thread thing. Although Jared and I have made a pact that if we ever go to SDCC we shall cosplay. Oh, we shall.

So, this Five Fandom Friday had to do with five characters I’d love to dress up as for Halloween. Some of the ones I chose are slightly elaborate, but this is dream dress-up. (Also, feel free to peruse my previous Five Fandom Friday)

Number One // Hannah from Rat Queens

Number Two // Mako Mori from Pacific Rim

Number Three // a Miqo’te from FFXIV

Number Four // Nebula from Guardians of the Galaxy

Number Five // Beemo from Adventure Time

Beemo illustrations: 1 & 2

October 16th, 2014

outfit no. 101

I have in my possession an abundance of cute sweaters. I define these sweaters as such because they tend to elicit a comprehensive “aww” when I wear them outside of the apartment. I hadn’t sported my kawaii Bambi one (acquired during my time in Korea) in quite a while. However, I was recently inspired by Erini’s Bambi and Thumper fangirl fashion post, and decided to take this particular sweater out of hiding. I repped the below ensemble to an after work potluck at my school.

Sweater: H&M Korea // Skirt: StitchFix // Tights: ModCloth // Boots: Old Navy

October 14th, 2014

hiking // jack london state park.

Jared and I both happened to have Monday off in celebration of Indigenous People’s Day. I was certain this fortunate intervention meant we had to strive not to waste our precious plus one weekend. Recently, I’d heard talk of a state park that harbored the remains of Jack London’s dream house – The Wolf House – as well as his grave. A flurry of keystrokes revealed that Jack London State Park is actually located just outside Sonoma in Glen Ellen, CA, approximately an hour drive from San Francisco.

We packed 2L of water, 1 bag of trail mix, a pocketknife, sunscreen (so hot!) and my camera in Jared’s daypack. I wore my Keen hiking boots and thick socks, but kept the rest of my outfit light. We hit the trailhead around 9:30 and did the Lake Trail Loop followed by hiking up (and then back down) the Vineyard Trail to see the Ancient Giant (a 2,000 year old first growth Redwood). Overall, it was about 5 miles of moderately difficult terrain.

The park itself is gorgeous and quintessential wine-country with sweeping vistas of vineyards and rolling hillscapes. The sky rained golden leaves upon us in a halo of morning sun as we meandered through the woods. Since the acreage was originally London’s “model farm” there is actually a vineyard within the park (hence Vineyard Trail). There are remnants of this farm at every turn, we encountered several displays of old equipment and buildings. Non-native Eucalyptus groves still thrive near the now silt-filled lake where London and his wife swam. His mark endures everywhere. This particular excursion had the added opportunity of historic significance and we spent some time exploring The Wolf House ruins, a Jack London museum and seeing where London’s ashes were buried. Then, on the way home, we stopped for a free 5-flight wine tasting at Cline Vineyard (because when in Sonoma… or something). History, books, wine and nature — you win again, California.

“I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.” – Jack London

October 10th, 2014

my imaginary geek wardrobe // five fandom friday.

The Nerdy Girlie created a series / linkup called Five Fandom Friday in which geeky habits are discussed and collaged and blogged about. In an attempt to showcase some of the geekier aspects of my personality (and more adequately represent my blog title) I have committed myself to posting about geek-culture, as well as my everyday outfits and explorations. The theme for this week’s linkup was geeky clothing — obviously a topic totally within my preferred comfort zone. Each piece I chose represents one of my distinct fandoms: tea, Final Fantasy, Totoro, Pacific Rim, books and old-school console gaming. I am aware that I actually chose six items (despite being an English teacher, I swear I can count) because the tea cup isn’t exactly an accessory per se. However, as I always tend to have a mug cupped between my palms, I have come to equate them with being an integral part of my wardrobe.

tea cup | totoro kigu | nostalgia tote
materia | jaeger / kaiju | book party

October 8th, 2014

what to read for halloween.

I love Halloween – although Christmas is my all-time favorite holiday, Halloween still holds it’s own special place in my heart. However, the evolution of adult-aged Halloween celebration has been a difficult transition for me. I don’t particularly enjoy getting rowdy with the youths (I’d rather knit or something) or partying with costumed strangers whose primary goal is to hook up with someone dressed as the iconic crush of their youth: Jessica Rabbit, Superman or, in my case, Donatello from TMNT. Every year Jared and I seek Halloween-themed excitement and are inevitably disappointed. And, to be honest, my costumes are always under appreciated.

This is me.

This year, we decided to create our own take on Halloween celebration by booking a campsite for ourselves (and Sherman) in the woods. When I asked Jared what he thought of the idea he said, “That sounds spooky” — which was the precise form of approval I needed to move forward, obviously. So, we are hiking in to our campsite, taking firewood, s’mores fixin’s and a large bottle of hard apple cider, along with some music and thematic reading material.

Admittedly, I am not a big fan of the horror genre. I haven’t read Stephen King, and my experience in horror themed novels doesn’t extend very far beyond Goosebumps. I routinely close my eyes during The Walking Dead and Jared and I have very divergent views on the redeeming qualities of Evil Dead movies. I am, however, a huge fan of the Gothic genre, especially Southern Gothic, and I can recommend the HECK out of some Gothic literature! So, here are my top suggestions for spooky, creepy Halloween reads.

Beyond the obvious (Frankenstein, Edgar Allan Poe, etc.) I think this little collection has a good mix of true crime, Southern Gothicism, total mindf*ck and the more traditional horror of zombies and vampires. Also, I’d love to hear other people’s favorite Halloween themed reads!

October 6th, 2014

a 100 outfit recap.

What I’ve Learned:

  • Posting photos of myself on the Internet for other people’s opinions has required more than a small amount of bravery. Mostly I’ve received really nice, encouraging comments – but there have been some nasty ones too. When people are literally judging how well you put yourself together on any given day, a sharp burst of negativity can be slightly disheartening.
  • I wear a lot of the same things over and over again.  While this is great for maintaining a smaller, capsule-like wardrobe, I sometimes worry that it creates boring blog content.
  • In Texas, I tended toward brighter colors and bold prints; however, in San Francisco, I’ve traded in my floral frocks for black leggings, slouchy sweaters and an overall more muted palette. The transition feels natural to me, so I’m not doing anything to impede it’s progression.
  • I definitely wear skirts & dresses more than pants. I also wear flats more than heels.
  • My style is constantly undergoing changes and so my most recently documented outfits tend to be my favorites. After a time, it becomes difficult for me to find any older posts that I can deem worthy of my current aesthetic.

Most Re-Mixed Items:
Top Left: fawn print dress from Modcloth // Top Right: grey ballerina dress from Urban Outfitters
Bottom Left: fisherman sweater, thrifted, originally from UO // Bottom Right: Chelsea boots from Old Navy

Interestingly, none of my most loved pieces are expensive or brand names. However, I take good care of them and they’ve stood the test of time. Additionally, I have no intention of stopping this ongoing collection of my daily ensembles — it’s been an engaging and enlightening little project. At this point I’ve been doing it for over a year (!!!) so, honestly, I’m not sure I could stop, even if I wanted to.

October 3rd, 2014

outfit no. 100

One of my goals for this year was to reach 100 outfit posts on my blog. Now that the hour is nigh, I find that I can’t believe I’ve taken the time to document 100 #ootds. A handful I’ve retroactively taken down due to personal reasons, but most of them endure — even the really bad, blurry ones I took before I understood how to focus a lens. This little life project has taught me things about my own style and wardrobe that I wasn’t previously aware of, plus it’s fun to go back and review the evolution of my outfits or recall what has consistently “worked” for me.

So, without further adieu, here is outfit no. 100. A layered, slouchy look I sported to get Korean bbq with Jared before he left me to go on a 4-day dove hunting trip in Texas. I have to work, so I didn’t accompany him, but that’s okay because I am going to do a lot of yoga, eat a lot of burritos, and play a lot of video games.

Dress: UO // Sweater: H&M // Tights: Target // Shoes: Ross

October 1st, 2014

September // in review.

September Obsessions: 

  • T-Pumps has become my go-to boba tea spot. I waxed poetic on milk tea previously, and T-Pumps is my mecca. However, this place is far too popular with the youths, so I’ve been continually staking out the storefront to see when the line is shortest. Honey, rose, black milk tea — obsessed.
  • My Minnetonka thunderbird moccasins. I’ve had these guys for over two years and they are still in great shape for hoofing it around the city.
  • My new prAna yoga bag. No more carrying my yoga mat around on the N train like a chump. This bag is also amazing because it holds my gym clothes and other items, thus negating my need to carry an additional purse. I feel so free!

September Listening: 

September Reading: 

  • The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Addiche
  • Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
  • Redeemed by Heather King
  • Rat Queens, Vol 1: Sass and Sorcery

September Exploration: