Sunday, October 26, 2014

At Any Costume

Holy moly, it's almost Halloween!

As a dress-up devotee, this is the most wonderful time of the year for me. Though I will confess: I haven't actually been waiting for culturally-sanctioned holidays to indulge in disguises. Here's a taste of the random costumes I've donned over the summer...

David Lynch Party
I'm Audrey Horne and I get what I want. 

In June, Quincy and I attended a David Lynch-themed birthday party at Tacocracy.

I will readily confess that I've only ever watched the pilot of Twin Peaks, but I did not let my lack of Lynchian experience slow me down. A half hour of rigorous googling, and I chose Audrey Horne to impersonate.

Audrey HorneAudrey is ready for the #twinpeaks party!
That's right, I rocked the mock. Also, a fake mole.

Not bad, eh? I actually found a brunette wig but, after hacking at it with kitchen scissors, decided my own hair looked more convincing than a mangled plastic wig. The top and shoes were thrifted the day of the party, and will always have a special place in my heart for the St. Vincent de Paul in Newport, Kentucky, for having the perfect wool skirt just waiting for me.

Quincy was the one-armed man. I thought it was pretty good for something he put together in the car outside of the party.

The one leading to the many is Laura Palmer. Laura is the one.

There were a million great costumes, but these were my favorite. Natalie, on the right, was living Laura... Check out that extremely authentic "Best Friends" necklace. Theresa totally stole the show, however, with her dead Laura. She was truly wrapped in plastic! Amazeballs.

Anyway, back to me!

Maude squad

In July, I went to Lebowski Fest in Louisville, Kentucky as Maude Lebowski.

Unlike Twin Peaks, I have seen The Big Lebowski several times and love it. I snagged this green robe-looking-jacket at NVision for a song and wore a low-cut, push-up bathing suit underneath.

It just now occurred to me how hilarious it is that this guy is wearing a pager. Just now.

I was not able to go the night of the costume contest, so I didn't expect many other folks to be dressed up. There were several Dudes in attendance, however, and I have to guess that theirs was less of a costume than a lifestyle. The gentleman above was a total stranger, but how could I refuse this photo op?

Speaking of photo ops, I have several ideas for this Halloween, but I have yet to commit to one... Stay tuned!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Outhouse Outtakes

Saturday, I learned that I am terrible at racing outhouses.


outhouse handout

Josh Flowers and I went to the Great Outhouse Blowout in Gravel Switch, Kentucky to watch as local folks and visitors from all over raced their custom-designed outhouses.

(People keep asking me where Gravel Switch is. Having been there, all I can say is that I still don't know.)

Which latrine reigns supreme?

Josh and I coerced my super sassy little sister Laurie and her man Alex into helping us make a little movie about small town festivals and speeding privies. They aided as we interviewed people about the finer points of making a racing pooper.

That's me in the denim mini and Josh, getting the runs.

...And then they documented our attempt at actually racing an outhouse!

One of the teams needed a couple hands to help travel their toilet, so Josh and I (of course) accepted. Dressed for the occasion, as always, I was just barely able to keep up as my little skirt and heavy boots went flying.

You guys. pushing a poop house at top speed is much harder than you think.

Alex is the second guy from the camera. You can see is boot sticking out there on the left.

Alex stepped in at the last minute and... Well, you'll have to watch the video to see if he fared any better than Josh and I.

potty mouth

Regardless of whether we won the outhouse race, we did talk to a million awesome people. Ms. Jeanne Lane, the event organizer, was especially lovely. She was the epitome of Kentucky to me: funny, smart and friendly.

The Penn house penthouse

Jeanne runs Penn's Store, which is "the oldest country store in America being run continuously by the same family," and the Outhouse Blowout is their annual fundraiser in support of this historic spot.

Many thanks to Jeanne and our reluctant crew, Laurie and Alex!

crew cut

If you think these outhouses are interesting in photographs, just wait 'till you see them in action. Stay tuned for the video!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Whole Nine Yard Sales

...And then some. I like my weekends like I like my yard sales: long.

When I learned that these were King Midget cars, all I could think of was Tyrion Lannister.

My birthday just happened to precede the 127 Yard Sale, also known as the World's Longest Yard Sale. I think it's pretty clear that the Fates determined that I should take a couple days off of work and peruse the castoffs offered up across the country.

Quincy and I took US 127 north from Cincinnati to the end of the deal-laden trail. We stopped just south of Lansing, MI.

We bought lots of amazing crap but it was only a small percentage of the mountains of indescribable oddities we ogled.

690 miles of this



mummy dearest

yard snail

wind miller time

open barn

First find at the #127yardsale #glitter #70s #discoshades
glitter done

These glittery '70s sunglasses were my big find of the sale... Only $5!

Monday, June 30, 2014

When Worlds Collodion

How about some wet plate collodion photography?

Photo by Nadezda Nikolova

I met the beautiful and talented Nadezda Nikolova at the Harry Dean Stanton Fest, where I accosted her and and her handsome escort in an effort to get interviews for my silly movie with Josh Flowers.

She introduced herself and her photographic work and asked if I would model for her.

Would I!?

A lovely day for some wet plate collodion #photography, no?
Do not make fun of his homemade lens cap.

I met Nadezda at Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate in Lexington a week ago, and we worked from mid-morning to late afternoon, taking nine photos.

Nadezda uses an nineteenth-century photography process with the handsome camera above. Because the images must be developed before the plate dries, she uses a craftily-constructed dark room in the back of her car.

Here's her feet as she works in her mobile studio:

developing from the norm

The process requires skill, patience and luck. When everything works perfectly, it's like magic.

Nadezda Nikolova
negative space

These are my favorite photos from the day...

Photo by Nadezda Nikolova
shoe stopper

Photo by Nadezda Nikolova
give me the slip

Photo by Nadezda Nikolova
branch dressing

I am in awe of the remarkable luck that brought in contact with this brilliant artist. I am a big, giant ham and would happily model for most anyone who told me I'm pretty. But Nadezda is one of those rare talents that you only meet once or twice in your life.

I can't wait to be back in front of her antique camera.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Stanton Deliver

You know who Harry Dean Stanton is, right?

Good, 'cause Josh Flowers and I are making a new video about the Harry Dean Stanton Festival!

He made this face all the way down to Lexington.

Lexington local Lucy Jones organized the festival to honor the prolific actor who has been in approx. 928 movies, from Alien to Pretty in Pink. (Alright, I made that number up. But he does have something like 200 acting credits.)

Lucy Jone: Awesome and funny!

HDS is a central Kentucky native and everyone we met was proud to honor a native son. We had a lovely weekend gallivanting around town, interviewing fest attenders and even spending some time in same tiny, crowded bar as Harry Dean Stanton himself.

Michele Phillips and HDS, costars in Dillinger and cohosts of a Q&A at the festival

Our fantastic (and selfie-skilled) camera operator Donny Black was a great help. Mostly because I'm pretty useless with a video camera.


We can't wait to share the fest with y'all!

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Aesthetic Absconder: Suffragettes

So, what's this new employment I've been using as my excuse for sparse updates, you ask? I'm now working at the League of Women Voters!

This historic organization (we're almost 100 years old!) has its roots in the women's suffrage movement and I've been rather inspired by our founding mothers.

Check out these brilliant beauties...
Sophia Loebinger
Sophia Loebinger; Check out this 1909 article about her speech

Ready, Wilson and able

ca 1918
A thousand high fives to Susan B. Anthony

Alice Paul
Alice Paul is also awesome.

1917 White House
banner banter bandwagon


In 1917, Massachusetts Representative Joseph Walsh contented that he'd never yield to "the nagging of iron-jawed angels" who were "bewildered, deluded creatures with short skirts and short hair."

I don't know about you, but that sounds like a group of ladies I'd like to emulate.

So, let's all dress like suffragettes!

Suffragette Style
Fluffy blouse, Free People // High-waisted skirt, Asos // Bandana scarf, H&M // Cloche hat, Anthropologie // Heeled ankle boots, Frye

Is this perfectly Photoshopped or what? Heehee.

ANYWAY. Take yer fluffy blouse, tuck it into a pleated midi skirt, top with a hat and end with some super awesome ankle booties. Finish with a purple and gold (the suffragette colors) sash and you're ready to march on Washington.

Or, wear it to the Bunbury Music Festival and turn all the heads in town because you're not wedged into shorty shorts and a flower crown.

After all, it's your vote to make.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Present Day

Occasionally, someone will give you a gift so wondrous that you have no way of paying it back, have no words with which to adequately thank them and have no idea how you became so lucky.


I totally got a gift like that yesterday.

My lovely friend Anneliese recently lost an aunt. Dealing with the loss of a loved one and a sudden influx of her aunt's objects, Anneliese had a sad heart and a full home to somehow clean up.

So, she chose to do the most beautiful thing: Allow her friends to sift through her aunt's jewelry.


And now I have a Ziploc baggie full of gorgeous items that were much-loved from a gorgeous aunt who was also much loved.


A while back, I swore off "bullshit jewelry": the cheap, bright sparkles they sell on the clearance racks of department stores. While decorative, these pieces felt empty and their lack of meaning made them seem ugly to me.

These gifts from Anneliese are the opposite of that: these are rings and necklaces that have a story and a worth outside of the shine of their rhinestones.


And, whenever I wear them, I will think of the fabulous aunt I never got to know and the great acquaintance who transformed her personal tragedy into a gift to her friends.

And that is beautiful.