fashion: bad at doing it, good at loving it – part five

Somehow I came across Polyvore four years ago. I joined, tried it and wasn’t very good at it, and mostly forgot about it as a social site or a creative site and just used it a couple times a year if I was looking to buy something. It’s really useful for shopping for something in particular, whether it’s an exact product or if you’re just looking for “light green scarf with fringe” or “cotton/poly leopard print blouse” or something else super specific because you have your reasons. Anyway, it’s great, especially when you are on a crusade to be grown up and have a set style and a decent, career-appropriate wardrobe like me, because you can rip things out of magazines, paste them into a journal, and also look up the exact things on Polyvore, where you can find out where you can buy them and (I think) sign up for sale notifications. Wins all around.

Image representing Polyvore as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

But really, Polyvore is this vibrant place where people who are really into fashion and makeup and interior design and also have an eye for it (i.e. not me, but I love swooning over it) can make “sets” that are like virtual collages of products, magazine cutouts, words, music, etc. They’re pretty brilliant, and there are a lot of people who are fucking amazing at it. You can get lost forever and wonder how some people just have an eye for the layering of items and laying out of items and on and on. I am jealous. Really.

As you can see, I did not quite get that the point was to saturate your set with things, not just make a really simple outfit. Continue reading

quien ama la música ama la vida

I miss music. My stint in the Simmons a cappella group didn’t last long, and I really miss choir from college. But strangely, what I miss most is piano. It was my first instrument, but once I discovered that I could sing and that I loved it, I started thinking of it as secondary. And given that I’ve always had a problem with accompanying myself and singing at the same time (I have relative perfect pitch; rhythm is something I’m not awful at but have to actually actively apply my cognition to), I’ve sadly never been able to realize my dreams of being a YouTube-discovered indie piano pop superstar à la Ingrid Michaelson. (By the way, taking suggestions for activities to improve that cognitive skill, or for books that explain how it works and how I can get better.)

Missing music is kind of a crutch and a cop-out, though, because between crit/scholarly stuff, creative writing, and music, they’re always at odds with each other for position as my NUMBERONEFAVORITETHINGFOREVERANDEVERAMEN, and generally I am always required to be working on one, desiring to be working on another, and then missing the third and thinking that my life would be perfect if only I could be doing that instead. I have to do school, and the write-a-thon (plus my new writing stint that I will be starting soon at Paper Droids and some guest posts at other blogs coming up) says that I should be writing (as should my jealousy of how many friends of mine are getting published before I am), so of course I want music. And there’s absolutely no possibility for balance between the three right now, because my life just doesn’t have that kind of leeway in it. Continue reading

how my to-read list works

Until Twitter, Goodreads was probably the social networking website I adapted to (and thus made indispensible to my life) most quickly. My senior year of high school, my friend sent me an invite, and within maybe six months, I was updating obsessively and in great detail. Now, GoodReads is my best friend and my favorite social site. Though I hate being so attached to an Internet thing, I do credit it with making me feel a lot of obligation and guilt if I am not reading consistently and with critical thought and reflection, and that can only be good for my brain.

That said, like I said in my post for 50/50 Me, things on the Internet have the tendency to make me want to know something about everything, and the subjects I am interested in reading about grow at a much faster rate than I read—and that’s saying something, because I have trained myself to read, with understanding and engagement, rather quickly. (Practice makes perfect, right?) So my to-read list grows very quickly, and I have a difficult time deleting books from it, for a variety of reasons.

1. If I added it to my to-read list, something made me want to read it, and usually my memory works in such a way that seeing the title or cover will trigger a conversation with a teacher who recommended the author or an article I read that was inspired by a collection of poems, or whatever. I think I owe it to my memory to at least keep it on the list, in the hopes that someday I might get to it. Continue reading