i double dog dare you

stare at this for five minutes.

loopy yet?

i am.

i decided this would be the perfect print for my super secret spy top tutorial. i've been staring at it for an hour.

shoot me.


to wear, or not to wear?

in the spirit of sew weekly's UFO challenge, i decided to finally post this frock i finished eight months ago. it's not my entry-- no flaking on week three, i have a bag full of UFOs to finish, never fear-- it just seemed like a good time to get your opine. 

this short summer dress sat neatly wrapped in a gallon ziploc bag in Makeshift Sublet Sewing Room The Third. it languished in this bag, cut and ready to sew, for a year, surviving two more moves with us. 

the ziploc bag was most definitely its saving grace.

at that point, it really was the most carefully cut pattern i'd ever done. i went bonkers matching those lines. sadly, i didn't know enough about fabric then to realize this wouldn't hang well. i just loved the stripes and had a strong desire to go all cupcake goddess on the details. (her details are buttah.)

however, no, those buttons don't really work. have we met? the pocket does though. it's HEOUGE. invisible zip in le back.

i took the pictures last christmas. in my mind, i haven't really finished a project till i post a picture... so all added up, this is two years worth of UFO finally F'OED.

the facts as per sew weekly's questionnaire:

fabric: medium/heavy cotton from joann's, 2 bucks a yard
pattern: simplicity 5862; pieces & instructions look like the normal insides of an envelope, but the "envelope" is actually a 9x14 magazine page. anybody know if simplicity had magazines? I WANT THEM ALL!!!
year: 1973
notions: orange sherbet colored invisible zip, denim remnant for the pocket, orange shiny shell buttons, yellow topstitching thread
time to complete: two years
first worn: july 2010, at an AA baseball game in two hundred degree southern july weather.
wear again: yes, but only because of the many compliments from ruggian mom. if i look at the pictures too long i waffle on its cuteness. how 'bout you?

are you playing? got any UFO stories?


ulterior interior motives

we're still stuffed from the porkfest that occurred sunday. no, actually that's a lie, i'm hungry just thinking about it. and happy just thinking about it. it's so nice to have a home again, and have it filled with family, and celebrate with your own stuff and not someone else's junk in a junky sublet in a line of junky sublets. 

the anniversarial kalkatroonaans glasses were kept full as their children and grandchildren screamed around the apartment. the under six set were the loudest, though we gave them a run for their money. they also just so happen to be artistes. ruggy thought we could keep them busy with crayons. i thought i could steal their artwork.


as much as ruggy loves my scrawlings, i'm excited to have something else up on the walls. it's becoming more and more of a home every day...

ps: i'm so glad you liked the convertible top, i'm working on a tutorial for y'all!


in over my head

i like to play. 

to that end, i finally decided to play along at mena's sew weekly. a little late to the game, but what else is new. the challenge for this roller coaster first week of spring involved using a pattern. whether you like it or not. actually, decidedly not, as you had to choose a pattern with a questionable cover. 

i've had this pattern for seven years now. i bought it at a yard sale in los angeles, 'natch. the vogue ladies on the cover scared the bejesus out of me (what is WITH that blue eyeshadow), but i had a love/hate thing going on with that extremely odd hood on super secret spy lady. i think she's nonchalantly tapping into the listening device surgically implanted into her right earlobe. part vogue, part minority report, part star wars canteen. i mean, it's weird. but COOL. however, the freaky ladies kept me from ever even opening the envelope. 

friday night, i realized i was about to flake on my sew weekly challenge after only ONE WEEK of joining the group. i hauled my ass off the couch, grabbed this weirdo pattern,  and resigned myself to an hour of tracing and cutting and adjusting a goddammed pattern. i HATE tracing and cutting and adjusting a goddammed pattern. 

and then... oh, then... i opened the worn envelope, and out fell the most neatly folded vintage pattern in history. had it even be used? i wondered. yes, oona. yes it HAD. by an angel of a lady, a sainted seamstress, a gem of a gal by the name of loretta j. this wonder woman had traced the view of the pattern i wanted, right down to the stitching line. no zipper, sans sleeves, EXACTLY as i had envisioned it. two pattern pieces on the fold, and nothing else. like she KNEW.

if miss loretta j. was a lesbian, and she was into my type, i would build a time machine and grant her sexual favors.

while ruggy would, as a boy, applaud this statement, he did not understand the enormity of the situation unfolding at my sewing desk. with every passing second my luck grew. i had the perfect five dollar stretch remnant. i had only four seams to sew. my new girlfriend loretta j had already made petite adjustments. i would have my challenge done in minutes!!! you don't even KNOWi kept muttering to  the cats while occasionally staring dementedly in ruggy's direction in sheer happiness.

you would think i'd jinxed myself with that optimistic mouthiness. peeps, i did not. in fact, i got even more lucky. i ought to play the lotto this weekend. cause you know what i realized while making this pattern? with a few tweaks... i could wear the fracker upside down.

oh, and? it has variations.

don't hate, peeps. especially not on my hot pink tights from the eighties.

if you like it, maybe i'll do a tutorial. no sexual favors required. (unless you wanna trace the rest of my vintage patterns for me.)


saturday in the kitchen

i've been in the kitchen all day. there's not many an occasion that will get an oonaballoona in an apron, but the parental kalkatroonans' anniversary is one of them. i baked. i sauteed. i drank. and tomorrow, ruggy will do some slow cooking of a very juicy animal. it's gonna be BANANAS.

in our neverending search for a camera, ruggy happened upon this short video about the olympus pen. which just happens to be about a 50th anniversary. (a few years off, but still). how fortuitous! i thought. i should put it in a wee blog post!

but, umm. the dude leaves the chick (and daughter) at around 1:30 and goes traipsing around the world and then comes back umpteen years later to toast new years with some dude. can someone tell me what the frig is going on in this video?


how not to grade a pattern

do not add 4 inches to side seams and 6 inches to center front because you just feel it will work. it will not.


quick 'n dirty

i found these babies on etsy, at what the funk. they came out to play for a hot minute this weekend, on a sunny bike ride, during a very little tease of spring. oh spring, you flirtatious minx. you coy tramp. let's get it on already.

ps: happy anniversary, mom and dad. you spring chickens, you.


paying it forward 2011: the line strikes again

warning, folks: this lady swears. a lot. but there's a prize for you at the end.
oona stands in a long line at the local post office. everyone is quiet, resigned to waiting patiently. a woman behind oona (let's call her SAKS) fumes in a chanel suit, heels, pearls and salon coif. suddenly, she begins to yell loudly into her cellular phone.


a timid woman in front of oona turns and gives saks a glance.

saks: (throwing a venomous glance in timid's direction) IN A MINUTE I'M GONNA TELL SOME ASSHOLE TO FUCK OFF, I SWEAR.

timid goes back to staring straight ahead where it's safe.


oona sighs, reminding herself to be kind. attempting to ignore the barrage behind her, she opens the packet in her hand and studies the tax forms about to be mailed. saks peers over her shoulder.


oona: ...are you serious?

saks: WHAT.

oona: did you seriously just look over my shoulder and read my mail?


oona: yes. yes i do. this entire room full of complete strangers is hearing all about your personal business. no one wants to hear about your personal business, and i certainly don't want you reading any of mine.


an even deeper hush falls over the already quiet room. the crowd waits for oona's reply.

oona: i hope everything you just said comes true.

oona turns her attention back towards the front of the line. timid looks at her wide eyed, then gives an approving (albeit timid) thumbs up. saks is silent for a moment.

saks: i'll have to call you back.

i left the post office thinking, oh my god, i really said that? i don't actually want this woman to have a tumor. seriously. COME ON! i was all jedi master calm about dealing with rudeness again and it just came out.

luckily, nette has a post this morning about paying it forward (you can read more about it here). i think i am in need of some of that karmic mojo to make up for line event number two. so, the first 5 peeps who comment on this post will receive a handmade goodie. BUT WAIT THERE'S A CATCH! in order to receive a prize, YOU must first write a blog post promising a little goodie to the first five peeps who comment on YOUR post! fun, yes? i'm excited to go to the post office and mail something out without wishing a tumor on anyone. you too? let's get cracking!

PS: don't let the number of comments fool you, so far no takers on paying it forward. peeps must really be concerned about what line #3 will bring.

edit: pay it forwards payed! that part is closed now. the radio city PO is still open, however, and always good for a laugh.


when irish eyes are sewing, they prolly ought to be sober.

a favorite, because i am a leo. and i like to drink. 

this irish lioness is having a girl's sewing night in, so please have a guinness for me. in fact, make it a black gold: equal parts guinness and champagne. that's right, champagne. when the bartender looks at you sideways, just tell him: you're classy like that. you DESERVE champagne. 

(classiness brought to you by big daddy balloona. the man knows a good drink when he sees one.) 


the space between

sew weekly's current challenge is green. which i take to mean green, but also as in using what you have green. i had scraps, and lots of them, from my burdastyle book entry. and i used every inch of them. green and green: repurposing, upcycling, planet hugging. i think the planet is in need of a hug right now.

this is the one shot you'll see a smile in. it is undoubtedly and repeatedly time, my friends, for a new camera. 

as soon as i type that, i think, nice, oonaBRATtoona, please be a little more unware of the world around you as you post on your sewing blog and complain about, you know, your crappy five megapixel camera. ten years ago you had one megapixel and you were over the moon, now there are nuclear reactors blowing up, but you know, whatever, your blurry photos are WAY more important.

then i stop typing and sigh, because really what can we do. we can host raffles and put up buttons, yes?

i have a confession to make. i have not paid any real attention to the news in ten years. i wouldn't have known about the earthquake in japan had i not looked at my blogroll, like i do every morning, and saw very purple person's post. (yes, ruggy would have eventually informed me that day, he is very up-to-date on the goings on of the world, and keeps me on a much appreciated need to know basis.)

my hibernation started with the election that wasn't. before that, i can't say i was an avid CNN hound, but i did try to stay in touch with what was happening in the world. when the 2000 election rolled around, i decided it was time to drink out of my big girl mug and really get informed. i got intimate with tom brokaw (he, my friends, is a badass), read the daily internet headlines, even got a subscription to the new york times. it was all depressing as hell, but the upcoming election made you feel as if there was something you could DO about it.

you know, and then The Election That Wasn't happened. right, left, or in-between, that was some royally messed up shit. i mean, i just wikipedia-ed to be sure i got the year right, and almost cried when i saw al gore's face.

wondering what was the point of all my nightly news intake, let alone my vote, i kept on with less vigor.

you know, and then 9/11 happened. and that. was some ROYALLY messed up shit. there is no need to wikipedia that. news and life wise here, it was all there was, for a very long time.

(as i expect will be the case in japan. although-- before the whole nuclear reactor situation-- it was a natural disaster. natural. i don't know from experience, and i hope i never will, but there seems to be a way to cope with that in your head. maybe. but then you think about things, things like The Election That Wasn't, and what we're doing to the planet, and what measures might be in place now to ease up on nature if The Election That Wasn't actually WAS...but this is about power plants, yes? not the nuclear bombs of the cold war ready to explode. oh and PS, somebody pictured above needs a swayback adjustment stat. but, as mentioned before, way more important things.)

getting back to the news. after 9/11, there didn't seem to be much i could do by staying connected to it. no, that's not saying it right, i was absolutely disgusted in the knowledge that there was nothing i could do. and hey there bright and shiny wide eyed american, this has been going down all over the world forever, so, your recent interest in the news? is old news, baby. all this has happened before and will happen again. i'm watching too much battlestar galactica.

there are catastrophic events going on every day. from the girl walking down the street who just got a call that her test results were bad, to the family whose granddad was on the bus with the suicide bomber, to the thousands of people in water and rubble and buildings.

and in the middle of all of these events, every one of them huge to the individuals facing them, sometimes i just want to go to a yoga class, and take yoga. i don't want to hear about laying my turmoil down by the yogi altar, or sending my thoughts out to the people in their own turmoil-- i don't want to hear about turmoil. i want to FORGET about turmoil, and feel happy and okay that i'm in a yoga class, and afterwards if i'm lucky i'll sew something that looks good enough to wear. and maybe it will be green and use up scraps of discarded material i already have in the house and reduce my carbon footprint and incrementally make the world a better place. and it will make me happy.

and my being happy, in and of itself, will HELP.

and i know this is the absolutely right way to feel. and i know this is the absolutely wrong way to feel.

and i feel like a heel for going on about my day. and i feel like a hero for going on about my day.


the long and winding line

the cupcake goddess wondered what's on peeps' sewing desks at the moment.

not much. 

however, many things happened this weekend, including snagging a copy of "pattern magic" at the ever enthralling chunk of new york that is the strand. the line there is often long and confusing. no one knows where it begins, it intersects with shoppers, it winds through aisles filled with goodness, and invariably someone will stop and pick something up before moving ahead in line, making the line appear longer than it is and generally pissing people off. it went a little something like this:

oona stands patiently in the long and winding line at the strand, happily clutching a discounted copy of pattern magic. this book, she is certain, will change her sewing rut, well worth fifteen minutes of waiting. suddenly the line bolts forward as cashiers return from breaks. the gentleman in front of her is distracted by a brightly colored kiosk, and pauses to consider as the line ahead of him moves forward. the un-gentleman behind oona is not amused. he addresses oona.)

un-gentlemen: the line is MOVING.

oona turns her gaze and calmly replies.

oona: i think he's looking at something.

un-gentleman: MOVE, he's not buying anything.

oona: i'm sorry, would you please repeat that?

un-gentleman: i said he's not buying anything.

oona: alright.

the distracted customer has stepped aside, and oona closes the gap. un-gentleman finds his voice again.

un-gentleman: what did you THINK i said?

oona: i wasn't sure what you said, but it seemed rude, so i asked you to repeat it.

un-gentleman: well i don't appreciate some STRANGER calling me RUDE.

oona: (shrugging happily) that's okay. i'm done talking to you.

turning her attention to her magic book, oona moves forward. un-gentleman proceeds to spend the next fifteen minutes in line demonstratively offering "excuse me's" and "gesundheits" and "no, after YOU's" to everyone in his line of sight.


enough is enough

this weekend, i will sew if it kills me. i will not decide to reorganize my desk drawers or shop for chardonnay or run errands or write a ghost story just because i have no sewing inspiration. pfft, who needs inspiration. i will take some cloth and cut it up and throw it on miss fugly and see what happens.

that said, i WILL run the one monumental errand of mailing my giveaway packages out. because as much as i've dragged my feet sewing wise, it nowhere near amounts to the absolute sloth i have had in that area. you would think i'm dragging a fricking vintage overlocker to the post office, not some wee lacey accessory. i should be flogged.

if you're tired of waiting on my mad mailing skillz and want to enter another giveaway, jump on over to magpie shinies and win three vintage patterns, one from the 80s! (veronica darling, i'm looking at you.) i have the feeling miss magpie will be a bit more timely. but do it by midnight US central time today!

happy weekend everyone!

saturday post script: i mailed the giveaway packages! it only took me a month and a half! HOORAY FOR ME! i also sewed one seam! i tell you, i am ON FIRE. lastly, woke up in the middle of the night thinking that people would be offended that i so blithely discounted a ghost story that they actually enjoyed reading. and that i REALLY enjoyed writing. i'm thinking of a weekly bloggy story feature. start making your lists, storytellers. there might be prizes. that i might mail in a timely fashion.


mr brown : a ghost story

i was very lucky to spend my collegiate years in the historic old town of boston, MA, at an historic old college founded in the historic old mid 1860s. i chose to live on campus-- well, technically, as a freshman there wasn't a choice. "on campus" meant a block long row of victorian brownstones acknowledged in the national registry of historic places (told ya). i was down for that coolness, freshman or no.

as a pink faced first year, i was assigned to a sprawling room with 12 foot ceilings, crown moldings, and two windows that faced the back alley. the back alley of death. now, as a grownup, armed with years of city living experience, i'm quite certain i would not walk down this back alley by myself. not even at high noon with clear skies in broad daylight. but i did it at all hours back then. i had no choice, it was the shortcut to many classes, and as a quasi-triple-major i didn't have time for the long way. once, i met a police officer running full tilt down the alley, pausing to tell me to GET THE HELL OUT OF THE ALLEY, as he was busy chasing a suspect who had just assaulted a woman. at 1 in the afternoon. HAD I SEEN HIM? no, officer

i'm not even shitting you.

but i digress.

(mom and dad, obviously i survived the back alley so please breathe. okay? okay.)

my dorm room came with two roommates. the first hailed from a sunny tropical island, and we hit it off immediately. she was absolutely game to take the bed by the windows, she wanted the sun, and i was absolutely game to take the bed waaaaaay over on the opposite side of the room, away from the fire escape leading to the back alley of death. we left the bed in the middle for the absentee number three. we rummaged each others' closets, hung the prerequisite comedy/tragedy masks and posters of gloomy rock artists whose music we'd never heard, and went off galavanting nightly in the week before classes began. we had so many days as a twosome, we weren't sure number three would ever arrive. luck was ours! we had the biggest triple in the brownstone, nay, in the SCHOOL, for two! we urban-oufitted the third bed for late night geekfests and schoolwork.

but she did arrive. weeks after the official start of the year, in a stink of rain and hail. the daybed was suddenly enveloped by a dark cloud that seemed to have been accumulating for 17 years. we opened our closets to her, we offered her the fancy daybed pillows, we hastily took our posters off her wall and encouraged her to hang her own.

she was not having us.

the triplet down the hall was much more her style, girls i would deem popular and cool in high school-- we were the straightlaced nerds. she smoked. she drank. she was on academic probation almost upon setting foot in the front door. but she was stuck with us. beyond miserable, and completely volatile to boot, she would scream and curse at us before storming off to the triplets. our quirky brownstone loft became quiet and gloomy. we went with relief to our classes, dreading going back to the dorm.

one night, around 3 am, i woke up completely and calmly to the sound of something shattering. i turned to look at island roomie, way across the room by the windows. and saw a man sitting at the edge of her bed.

it was dark, and he wore a mask. even in his seated position, i could tell he was he was very tall: he was hunched over the foot of her bed, elbows on his knees. he was slowly moving his head from side to side, looking first at my sleeping roomie, then turning his gaze to rest on the sullen newcomer a few feet away. each time he turned his head back to my fair haired roomie, the soft glow from the back alley security light positioned on our fire escape would catch his face, illuminating the shiny brown mask covering his features.

i watched him do this for minutes. it seemed his only purpose. i truly didn't feel he was there to harm anyone, but still, feeling worried for my roomie, and safe enough in my far away bed, i reached for my glasses to get a better look.

and found he had stopped his motion to stare directly at me.

i whispered, "okay, you're cool", and hearing every-bit-of-horror-music-ever-played in my head, i purposefully clenched the covers and pulled them up, slow motion, over my face, seeing him stock still, fixing me in his sights the entire time. under the covers, with my glasses still on, i waited to hear his footsteps fall across the room. they never came. and finally i fell asleep.

the next morning, covers still over my head but with the sweet light of back alley sun flooding across the room, i sat straight up and found island roomie stirring. third was comatose, and usually was till noon. my glasses were still on, the only evidence that anything had happened at all. i grabbed my shower kit and headed for the door, when my foot hit something cool and shiny. a thin ceramic mask, with not a nick on it. a brown mask, of the tragedy sort, lying face up on the floor, seven feet away from where it used to hang... above my bed.

island roomie saw my look of complete horror and as i stammered out my story, third awoke. mad. but listening, quickly quieting, and then turning pale. she barked questions at me. what did he look like? was he tall? was he staring at both of them? or just her? 

a week or so later, she was gone. left school, went home. the triplet down the hall told us, not without some guilt, that her boyfriend had been killed in a car crash, weeks before she was to start college. all of her anger towards us made sense. we had no idea.

we took the masks down and gave them away. after freshman year, i stayed in the dorms, becoming a resident assistant, and made it my business to stick my nose in everyone's business. i still feel badly about her.

(the inspiration for this ghost story post came from the hope that beangirl would post about her haunted house... and she has. do you have one?)

actually, no, but she IS afraid of the needle.

i have to go to the acupuncturist today.

why does anyone go to a doctor who uses the term "puncture" in their field of expertise?

i would rather be piercing fabric with a needle.

that is all.


she's just afraid of the comb

jorth has a lovely picture up, angelic really, of her as a golden locked girlie. she wondered if anyone else would care to share.

ah, the sideshow bob hairstyle. a favorite for unruly kalkatroonan hair.

at times, hot rollers were used to tame the mane.

they did not work. hats, applied to distract one's attention from the botched experiment, also failed.
(brother beast had problems of his own.)

braids were a viable option. i look insanely angry here for one of two reasons:

1. brother beast, knowing full well i like surprises, snooped and told me everything i was getting for christmas.

2. my braids, which were 4 inches diameter each, brained me every time i swung my head in glee at the christmas booty. there was a LOT of booty that year. i probably have a mild concussion in this picture.

apparently, ruggian children had hair issues as well:

that's a wig. and several perfume bottles. i'm just sayin'.

how 'bout yours?


sunday thanks

magdamagda has gifted me a versatile blogger award :) thanks magda! she deserves hers, you ought to stop by and see her stunning garments. here we go y'all seven random facts:

1. i was new jersey's first altar girl. roman catholic, that is. i was all, "why aren't there GIRLS up there helping the priests" and they were all "cause they're AREN'T" and i was all "WHATEVER." my dad was an altar boy, and he told me to change things (thanks dad). trailblazer? yes. good at it? decidedly no.

2. nothing says christmas like a hot dog from gray's papaya. which may clue you in on the whole altar girl thing. it is a vital part of the day when shopping for holiday gifts in manhattan's upper west side. ruggian mom and i were pleased to discover the same goes for any sam's club (thanks mom to the ruggy power).

3. once upon a time, i sang opera. specifically, coloratura soprano. that's the stuff the blue chick sings in the fifth element (i'm pretty sure she's from kalkatroona). i still squeak out some high notes now and then.

4. that said, when i was a baby, they almost cut my voicebox out. i was hospitalized with whooping cough. they kept tracheotomy tools by my crib, and my mom stayed there all night to make sure they didn't (thanks mom).

5. i am a bag of tricks. among other things, in my mix i have: italian, black (from where i do not know), sioux indian, and irish. that's the shortlist.

6. patience is not included in that bag. if it takes me more than 10 days to finish a sewing project, it will die in a box in the back of my closet.

7. imaginary alligators are extremely dangerous. if ruggy tries to push me off the couch when one is around (which they are, pretty much all the time), i will use every ounce of my strength to keep him from doing so. i'm surprisingly strong at times like this.

it might be the taxes, it might be that i have to award a whopping FIFTEEN NEW BLOGS, but i went postal on my links bar today. i take this to mean blogs that are more recent to my linky list, so, newish-to-me blogs, if you happen to stop by, here's your award:

christ. linking took longer than taxes!


in the beginning

when i'm working on something patternless, one of my favorite moments is laying out the fabrics i might put together. that's not happening right now, as i'm doing taxes. actually, the whole balloona household is mired in the stuff... but ruggy's job affords him a little happy ding-y bell on his computer every time he completes a task. a bell that says: YAY! you've accomplished something!

it seriously toots every twenty seconds.

i have a pen, paper, and calculator. all of which stare silently back at me into the void of taxation.


no, oona can't play me-made-march, she might get dirty.

i really would like to get in on me-made-march one of these springs... but every time i set out to make something casual and wearable, it turns into some glam little slip of a dress, or some decadent maxi made for a gala. a gala that does not exist on my social calendar.

i mean, it's 22 degrees outside. fahrenheit. i'm not going outside in this. and according to the rules of MMM, i think you have to go out in public in your stuff. actually, it turned out pretty short-- i might never go out in this. but i do love it!!!

see? SHORT!!! the mirror angle is the only shot i got of the backside. in hindsight (teehee), avec jeans would've been a better choice. but my camera is far too busted to do a reshoot.

it was meant to be this breezy casual garment, inspired by burdastyle member urbandon's grungy tee, but then i pulled out some leather... and some sequins... and well, you know how it goes.

the snakeskin is upcycled from remnants found in the garment district (somehow, that makes it better?) and the sequins were repurposed from a sheath dress bought at daffy's for 8 bucks. EIGHT BUCKS! i've never shopped for sequin trim, but i figured you can't beat that. the dress, which is now hacked to pieces, was from romeo & juliet couture. yesterday, flipping through my bargain vogue, an evil chuckle escaped my lips when i came across some r&j ads. i still have 2 yards of this stuff!

the pale blue on the sides is a beautiful two paneled cozy jersey knit material. the middle piece-y section is leather, of an almost perfect shade match. necessity bore this invention, as the jersey was quite see through and i realized at the very first seam that SOMETHING MUST BE DONE. thus the middle panel was born, which nicely hides the naughty parts above and below.

i love dressing up & playing with my sparkly vintage... now i just need somewhere to go...

in an effort not to repost the same info here as on burdastyle, i'll put different pics up there later today. check 'em out if you want!


i would wear the chandeliers as jewelry

We went to the opera last night. The Metropolitan Opera, to be exact. (Museum coming soon, Mom!). We've only been once before, nine years ago... when we saw the EXACT SAME OPERA we saw last night. This was not by plan. But the tickets were wonderfully free, baby, and as we've been wanting to go back for, well, nine years, we were there. Three acts and two intermissions of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. Actually, this time I liked it much better: it was set in its proper home of Scotland (they had moved it to Italy previously), the voices were beautiful, and the sets were really stunning (they should have been; it took them a full hour to change the sets for the third act, which we spent drinking champagne).

I like the peeps at the opera. It's surprisingly far less pretentious than you'd think, from an audience standpoint. Everyone dresses up, but they're happy about it, and happy to see that you're happy about it. They're appreciative of each other. Come to think of it, it's a very New York feeling you get at concerts-- I mean dance, and jazz, and opera, and theater. And maybe it's because you know you're in New York, generally considered to be a cultural mecca, and you're sharing the experience with like minded people. Or maybe it's because it's art; it's uplifting, and the general feeling is that you're going to leave elevated. So you're happy to be there, and you dress up for the occasion. 

But I don't get that in fashion. I've been to a couple of shows, and you most certainly dress up, but it's very catty, very strike a pose. The audience is not only there to view, it's there to be viewed and to size up the competition sitting across the aisle. I want to say that's understandable, but I don't know why it should be. Fashion is supposed to be art, isn't it? So shouldn't it uplift? ...but for a major part of the population it's demeaning and elitist. Fashion week happens here twice a year. We live close enough to the new grounds to see the entourage stomp by daily. I think you can buy a ticket, but truly, it's such a closed event, they finally had the good sense to move it out of a New York City Public Park (it closed the park down to said public for several weeks each spring and fall), and into Lincoln center... 

Which also houses the Metropolitan Opera house. hmmmmmmmmmmm.

I'm completely late to the party on these thoughts... but hey, I was at the opera last night, and I still feel elevated. 

OH MY GOODNESS looky here ruggy just plopped down a bottle of saint emilion. Lofty rant over! I invite you to uncork a bottle of bordeaux, maybe some scotch, hell, pop open a Bud, and lemme know if you figure out the whole fashion-as-art thing.