July 15, 2014


...a new dress doesn’t get you anywhere; it’s the life you’re living in the dress, and the sort of life you had lived before, and what you will do in it later.
- Diana Vreeland

This is an outfit post.

Last week was a very good week for dressing. If I haven't been blogging lately, it's because I've been too busy dying. That one should show up regularly to their blog is the most persistent piece of Pinteresty advice proffered by those who have chosen to live professionally rather than live artfully—so I categorically disagree. I show up to a job, and this can never be that, not like that. Around the same time social media became a core curriculum of marketing programs, style blogging became a viable career option. Clients stopped merely asking if I was "good at Twitter" and starting asking for my credentials (they're my birth year, ass hat). The short window of opportunity for style blog pioneers who created their own conventions (and thus seem less implicated by the inscrutability of those conventions) has been closed for a while now. The Fashion Blog is broken and I don't think it can fix itself anytime soon. Disquietude is a miasma of boredom and anxiety, and the other way around. The dedicated hobbyists pop in every few months, over salting their paragraphs with profuse apologies for 'being lazy' and not 'showing up' to their blogs. Listen, unless your blog pays the mortgage you should never, ever apologize for having unmitigated, undocumented, un-shareable experiences. That's apologizing for living; women do that enough as it is.

Monday nights are my improv class and show. I wore a dress for the first time—a black rayon 90s shift sprinkled with little tan roses that look like beetles—which turned out to be see-through under the stage lights. I don't think I mind. Ironically, this a very personal outlet for me right now. I go alone and I leave alone, sipping a watery whiskey and coke in the back of the theater to loosen up, trusting that my bag won't get stolen when I leave it under the seat to perform. I don't invite family or friends. I take a Lyft home, responding to the driver's bemused inquiries with tipsy observations on why anyone would pay money to learn how to do this: life, comedy, art, etc. We say goodbye and I stumble into bed next to my already sleeping mister.

I had just taken my clothes off to get ready for bed on Tuesday when Andrew texted to see if I'd accompany him to Piero's Chalet. I stood by the bed in my underwear staring at the phone while fingering my belly scars to divine the direction the night's desires. I bought a new dress from Painted Bird earlier that day, a short, long-sleeved jersey thing made in off-register panels of stripes in royal blue and purple and green and black. This is good. I will say yes. This is the life I live in the dress. Life in a dimly lit corner of a members-only speakeasy / 'social sculpture'  comparing notes on your cancer with T. Kelly Mason because his cat has leukemia. Together you wonder aloud why cats and people use different feeding tubes.

Wednesday evening two of my favorite authors read together at the REDCAT theater in downtown LA. I wish I could say it was in the Heart of Downtown, but nothing is the Heart of Downtown just as nowhere is the Heart of Los Angeles and this is why we like it. REDCAT rests plaintively on the backside of the Walt Disney Concert Hall like a humanizing mole on a conventionally attractive person (who for some reason agreed to go to bed with you?) I kept referring to Bruce Hainley and Wayne Koestenbaum collectively as Bruce Wayne, which no one else found clever. I wore a grey silk Kelley Wearstler skirt with white painterly polka dots and a thrifted lavender gingham blouse. The hem of the skirt dips to a longish point in the back for architectural interest and ease of dipping in the toilet. Bruce Wayne read from Wayne's book Hotel Theory, which is actually two novels running alongside one another in two columns, which Wayne actually gets away with. His writing is virtuosic to the point of reverie, but I know others find it virtuosic to the pont of coldness. I disagree, but I understand. I too, once fell for the broken nose of a beautiful man.

Thursday night is dinner at Dominick's with a coterie of lovely people from ArtForum. Thursday is a black knit skirt with yellow and orange embroidery so toxic neon bright I pair it with only a plain black tank top. Thursday is whitefish picatta and roasted artichokes and ricotta fritters with sour cherry compote and a resolve to continue to belong where only you want to be.

Friday is balcony seats for Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, wearing a dress cut down to there, leaning foward in your seat, speechless and weeping as the raised hands of the orchestra pit follow the movement of his crotch—the genius loci of that old Shiners hall, both spiritually and literally—like swaying tentacles of sea anemone.

You are immune to the charms of rock and roll, but not when god is in the house. 

Have a good week.

June 25, 2014

I Wrote You a Poem

This Thing That I Like is on Sale

I've wanted it
since forever

I saw it a
million years ago

but I've wanted it
since forever

I had it in my cart
but it expired

I actually totally
forgot about it

there's a thing
next week

but I don't know
if it would get here in time

I could save it
for the next thing

or an event

this girl I met
at the last thing

has a night every
third saturday


she has a night
every third sunday

at this space

she has a night
every third sunday

at the space

I've been meaning
to go
to the space

I should be
to her night

I'm going to go

if it's still in my size
when I get paid

I'll go

June 23, 2014

Time to Say Hello

These pictures are from behind my house.

vintage ribbon-knit sweater // thrifted skirt //  vintage bag // sandals my mom brought back form Italy

I've been told that I can do it all, and this week I did it. I did the three things that make me happy: I performed in an improv show, finally got started on a little vintage shop, and wrote about art. Somehow I feel I did them all badly and I'm stressed as hell. 

We only like axioms when they feel good, so I'm trying to remember one a former teacher of mine said nearly ten years ago—and I've yet to have anyone else echo the sentiment: 

"Stress, fatigue, and uncertainty are cardinal elements of happiness."

When people say you're killing it, they forget how much it feels like dying.

June 8, 2014

Ticking Boxes

Print-mixing will always be my forté, yet while the little chocolate-covered marxist inside me secretly believes the matching-set trend is a conspiracy of the fashion hegemony to sell 'total looks', this skirt and blouse set from Candela seems greater than the sum of its parts.

Greater than the sum of my pocketbook, anyway.

May 19, 2014

Don't Forget, You Live in a Desert

l'ecole des femmes sailor blouse // topshop skirt // old asos sandals

This burned-out van has been sitting at the top of the block for days now. Whether retribution for some illicit gang-related activity, or simply a prop left over from a film shoot for the new FOX televison show Gang Related that regularly takes place in front of our house, I do not know. Both scenarios are equally possible. Los Angeles is constantly playing itself. 

Sterling snapped a few pictures of me as we made our way down to the liquor store at the bottom of our hill for water and beer. Riding the edge between Echo Park and Chinatown, Victor Heights is a neighborhood in limbo, embodying both the glamorous mythology and the shit reality that gives Los Angeles its perfectly attenuated magic—it's the attenuation that makes our magic real. Cracked and sun-bleached surfaces support thrown-out mattresses spray painted with maudlin one-liners; elderly Chinese couples seated on distinctly un-outdoor furniture, having claimed the slim strip of greenish-brown crab grass between the street and the sidewalk as an ad hoc chess parlor; honeysuckle and dog shit in equal abundance, Lyft drivers that coo at our glittering view of downtown as their pink-mustachioed cars crest the dirty hill. The boom of fireworks alerting us to the end of a triumphant Dodger home game. Maybe there's a toilet in the middle of the street. Kids play with dirty Nerf balls in front of abandoned construction sites for expensive lofts that will one day displace them. One of them puts hands in the air and says "you have big boobs!" and I tell him to watch his goddamn mouth. Wild peacocks perch on sagging telephone wires and make their terrifying call, a florid whine that sounds like crying children, or fighting cats. 

There are crying children and fighting cats, too.