Monday, August 29, 2011

Heightening My Hypervigilance

Here I Am.
It's Monday Nite, 8.48pm. I'm sitting in my Toy Ugg Boots. Actually, that's not quite true. How could I possibly be sitting in ugg boots, although I wish I could. I'm sure it would feel all Cozy & Womb Like. I'm soo dreading The End of Winter when I'll have to pack them away for yet another year. And as I keep on saying, they're not even  Real Sheepskin, but Toy Sheepskin, bought by my daughter at 'Aldi' for eight bucks.
Who knew that Toy Sheepskin could feel so good? I can't even imagine what The Real Deal would feel like.
Sheepskin Heaven perhaps?
Look at the look on my face taken today. What does it say, I wonder? I can't Decode.
The Sad Clown? After the Earthquake? The Cat that Swallowed the Canary?  On a Clear Day You Can See Forever? 
I'm not sure.
But it's not hard to tell that I'm faking a smile. An informative Guide to Detecting Faux Smiles that I once read said that one way to tell is if the eyes & the smile don't match up.
Mine clearly don't.
And the reason can be found at my feet.

 Yes, I've just finished with the School's Annual Op Shop Parade & Stall. 
I'm sure I explained all of this in my last post. If you can't remember what I wrote or didn't bother reading it, I'll give you a quick Executive Summary:
 Clothes Donations from Girls/Mothers. Some with labels still on. Some a bit off (e.g. Puky Green tee shirt with 'Bouncing Ball Basketball Camp' emblazoned on it in even Pukier Yellow). Stylists. Models. Huge Hair & Slightly Slutty Makeup.  Tears. Accusations. Clothing Stall at lunch time. Absolute mayhem.
Look at what my classroom looked like last thursday when we should have been studying 'Wuthering Heights'.
 Here I am above in Aftershock After the Parade. I'm loaded up with Faux Pearls from the Fruits de Mer section of my Jewellry Vault. I needed it for protection against Angry Student Stylists.

And here I am calmly explaining to a child that the reason why she can't wear 20cm. heels & a midriff top & butt skimming shorts & black glitter lipstick down the runway is because we're not playing 'Schoolgirl or Streetwalker?', which is a variant of the popular 'Starlet or Streetwalker?' segment in my almost favourite show, 'Fashion Police'.

 Earlier last week I was in a slightly more sedate mood when Trixie & I visited 'Abbotsleigh', a v. posh girl's school deep in the heart of the Leafy North Shore of Sydney. I was there with an entire auditorium's worth of other Middleagedteachers  to listen to Carol Dweck, a psychologist from Stanford University who wrote a book called 'Mindset'. Although I'm normally v. interested in what Carol has to say about how we can train our students to be more interested in developing a Growth Mindset, my own mindset couldn't help but fixate on what all the other Middleagedteachers were wearing:
1. A Propensity for Layering.
2 Slight Heels, although nothing Trampy which I think is a shame because  Trampiness can often Add Interest to an Otherwise Dull Outfit.
3. A desire on the part of some women to  Firmly Reclaim their Waist Even Though They Don't Have One Anymore. I admire their Determination.

I was encased in a  Sea of  Brown.
1. Real Calvin Klein dress.
2. A Slightly Creased Scanlan & Theodore Car Coat (one of my Mother's favourite terms) which sadly I don't have the Ability or the Facility to Iron.
3. A v.v. good Louis Vuitton fake bag.
4. A scarf featuring a combination of Fake Hermes Motifs & Wild Animal Print.
5. Toy Gold Jewellry which gave a slight Sharon Stone in 'Casino' feel to the outfit.

 Here's some photos I secretly took of the windows at Chanel at Bondi Westfield. I arrived at the Mall mistakenly way before the shops opened last Saturday & raced to Chanel to photograph it. Sadly, even though no one was around, a big Burly Black-Suited with a Matching Headset Security Person who looked like something out of 'Men in Black' was already in position waiting to tell me that I can't take photographs. Perhaps he has to stay there all nite & guard all the Magnificent Quilted Bags.
I would soo love that black one in the picture above & would not say no to the one below even though it may be made of alligator or perhaps a Venomous Snake.

 And here's me also last week Before the Rot Set In wearing items from the A-List Section of my Wardrobe:
1. a felt Real Valentino cropped Jacket with sleeves with Pirate Overtones. Somehow I've convinced myself that my arms don't look too much like Legs'O Mutton in them.
2. a vintage 'Lanvin' silk dress. It's always stressful wearing it because the button at the front keeps on popping. This heightens my Hypervigilance.

 Oh, here we are Back to the Op Shop. If you look closely, you can see that one of my students is hiding under all those clothes. I am not really standing on her. If I did, it would be a Duty of Care Issue. And we can't have that.
I'm wearing a Real Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress which always feels a Little Too Age Appropriate for my tastes.

 Talking of taste, here's me at last sunday nite's Dinner trying to hack my way through a Pear & Chocolate Tart that I made. As they say in America, I made the shortcrust pastry from 'scratch' & dutifully followed the recipe that I got from, my Recipe Bible, & baked it 'Blind' for a few minutes. (To the uninitiated this means baking the pastry without the filling). Even though I was using a v.v. sharp knife, I could barely cut through it which I totally blame on the Blind Baking not on the fact that I may have Overkneaded the Dough. As if.
In case you were wondering, I'm holding up the carefully folded baking paper that I used on the side of the baking tin in a failed big to emulate my current Cooking Crush, Donna Hay.
I can't believe that I'm wearing an oversized Abercrombie & Fitch tee shirt left by The Previous Regime. 

Lastly, what can I say about Kim's Wedding? Nothing much really. I'll just leave that to Joan Rivers who said that she'd seen 'More tasteful headgear on a Pony'.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Love Hurts

Hello & Welcome to the Inside of a Bag of Slightly Used Clothes.
Yes, that's where I feel I am speaking to you from this late winter's evening.
You see, it's Op Shop Time of Year again.
But, you may ask, isn't it normally Op Shop Time Every Day of the Year for you, Della?
For me personally, yes. But Certainly Not for The School.
For the past few years in late August, I've been organising a Fundraising Op Shop Parade & Stall at the school. I'm not entirely sure why I do this because I'm not known for my organisational skills & I rarely if ever make lists which is what I think most Splendid Organisers do.  I also have had a strong belief that I am bad at getting people to do things because I was once sacked from a job in a boutique  because I didn't sell one thing in a whole entire day. Also, I have been spectacularly unsuccessful over many years at getting students to do their homework. And they never even bother trotting out an excuse like the dog ate it. Occasionally, though someone might say they left it at Dad's House in a bid to make me feel sorry for them. Which I don't.
So, in spite of the fact that I'm a Lousy Organiser & I can't get anyone to do anything, I'm running this Big Fundraiser.
First, I had to cajole students to bring in Donations of  clothes to showcase in the parade & then ti sell the next day. I did this by getting the Principal to agree for the Op Shop Parade Day to be a Mufti Day, which in case you don't know, means NO School Uniform. The word 'Mufti' is a Sacred Word at my school & it's spoken in hushed tones. As if a whole boring day schlepping from one draughty classroom to the next is going to be Magically Transformed because you're allowed to wear your own Ugg Boots & jeans while you're doing it.
(BTW, as I type, my poor little feet that have been punished all week by my slavish insistence on wearing high heels are luxuriating in  Toy Ugg Boots. If Feet Could Purr, they'd be doing it right now )
Anyway, The Principal said to the Entire Student Body at Assembly, 'No Donations. No Mufti'.
'No Mufti?' echoed through the crowd. Quelle Horreur! You'd think that she'd announced that Lunch was cancelled for the rest of the year.
The next day, the Donations began to pour in.

The next thing I had to do was to cajole girls to be Models. You'd think that in these days of  'Australia's Next Top Model' & all those other reality shows, that everyone would be totally gagging to strut down a Toy Catwalk to the tune of Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way'. (Actually I'm planning to use The Glee Cast version. It's just that tiny bit tamer).
Absolutely Not. All they want to do is Hair & Makeup.Or be a Stylist. No one wants to Model because everyone is going to laugh at them because they're Stupid Looking or their Bum's Too Big or both.
(BTW, if you want a good My Bum's Too Big in Jeans story, read Reader Rita's own true story in the comments of my last entry. Not only is it entertaining, but instructive)
Again The Principal was wheeled out At Assembly to say, 'No Models. No Mufti'.
The next day sixty girls signed up.
The Parade is on next thursday & the following day we're selling the donations during lunch time. Last year, we made over a thousand bucks in about twenty minutes. Beats the hell out of a Sausage Sizzle.
Hopefully after then I may return to normal. Or should I say, Normal For Me.
If you're at all wondering what that might be, take a look at this v. brief video I took (or is it 'made'?) today in the Clothes Sorting Room at BednobsEtc, a room I'm not normally allowed to venture into because a Disgruntled Customer complained that I was going in there & getting Preferential Treatment by seeing the clothes before they came out into the shop.
I wasn't. But I'm  still barred from it.
Anyway, in the video, a small Plush Toy Dog is singing 'Love Hurts' which is a more or less accurate enactment of My Normal Internal State.

I hope you bothered to watch it.

 I'm getting v. sleepy & am desperate to hop into bed. And it just might be cold enough for me to wear my Toy Ugg Boots to bed. What a treat if it is!
You can see that I'm angling to finish up & not bother walking you through what I'm wearing in the photos. I'm sure you can work it out for yourselves, although I'll point out what appears to me to be The Bleeding Obvious:
1. A Persistent Black & White Theme.
2. Persistent Pearls.
3. Everything either given to me or thrifted at Bednobs.
4. Bangles with text on them. One of them says 'Hope'.
5. A plastic pin in the shape of a red mouth.

 Some quick points before I go:
*Found it hard to eat the capsicum I paid $4.32 for. In fact, it spent over a week languishing in the fridge before I could bring myself to eat it.
*In spite of bananas being $14.99 a kilo, I still bought one that I used to make little Banana Butterscotch Puddings for my Sunday Nite dinner. Hunter, one of my Regular Guests said that he didn't agree with another guest who claimed that Expensive Bananas were contributing to The Current Inflation Rate. Because he loved & appreciated the smooth taste of a banana, Hunter gladly pays $2.00 or more for the privilege of eating one. I applauded.
* I have Definite Proof that European Style Kissing -i.e.  kissing on both cheeks, is not only Annoying but Dangerous. This evening as I was going up the escalator from Harris Farm Market, a local friend saw me & jumped on the escalator. I turned around & he kissed me on one cheek & then unexpectedly went for the Other Cheek. I was so Unprepared & Put Off by having to quickly snap into gear with this that I suddenly fell backwards & landed on my butt at the top of the escalator. All the staff came running. I promptly assured them that I wasn't going to sue the shop. They went back to their jobs. I limped home.

Before I go, here's The Ex-School Nurse & me taken last saturday at BednobsEtc. Until I saw this photo I thought that I looked fab in the thrifted 'Morrissey' oversized cashmere sweater. Sadly, it looks Slightly Potato Sackesque. E-SN looks very sporty in what she originally thought was a jockey's cap. It wasn't. But it looks great anyway.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Comfort Over Morality

 OMG Twice.
First, because I'm still having trouble Typing this blog. For proof that I'm not just Whining, look no further than that Rogue Underlined 'O' that is peeking out from the photo of the back of me above. Every time I tried to type, it DID THAT. Why why why??????
Second, because I've just seen the World's Roundest Butt worn by a reality star called Coco on this week's edition of 'Fashion Police'. Coco is the instigator of 'Thong Thursday', a movement on Twitter dedicated to inciting Women of all walks of Life to join together in Solidarity every thursday by wearing a G-String.
Thankfully, my butt was Safely Tucked Away inside a thrifted black 'Armani' skirt in the Behind Shot, above. Even though that this is supposed to be a G-Rated Blog (in the slim chance that one of my students might read it), I can't help but mention that I would Never Knowingly Wear a Thong.
Double Yuck with Nuts sprinkled on the Top. To me, it's like being sawn in half by Elasticised Nylon.
So it's not a Morality Issue, it's a Comfort One, although to me there is something Slightly Discomforting about being dressed like a Porn Star underneath my Middleagedteacher Outfit.

Alert Alert! Quelle Horreur! What am I doing wrong? Suddenly, the photo of the Front of Me which was sitting here suddenly deleted itself . I have re-uploaded it & of course it is now totally Out of Order at the beginning of the Entry. I do hope you can follow.
All I can say, Fellow Bloggers, is Beware of Pressing 'Enter'.

 And here's the Front View. I'm kind of Crowing because I bought the jacket last friday morning when I made a Mad Dash into 'BednobsEtc' before making a late start for school.
It was v. cheap. In fact, soo cheap I can't say. And...... it's an Italian designer label that nobody I bragged to about it had heard of.  And clearly, the people who price the stuff at 'BednobsETc' hadn't heard of  it either.
It's called Byblos. I wonder if you know it? Perhaps you've got a whole wardrobe of Byblos outfits.
Anyway, I just did a Google search on it. Gianni Versace once designed for it which cheered me up No End.
I'm also wearing black patent leather Nun's shoes. Patent leather is totally my Preferred Shoe Material. They always remind me of Frank Sinatra who  wore them on stage with his dinner suit.
George, one of my  students, told me this morning that she can always hear me trotting along the crowded corridors because my Heels make such a loud noise. I took it as a compliment.

And now we come to Lunch.
It's been almost a year since Me & Trixie began bringing our lunch to school every day. And I'm pleased to report  that so far, we haven't missed a beat. In fact, I'm such a Dedicated Lunch Bringer that this morning I forgot mine & trudged back home at recess to get it.
You may wonder why I bring my lunch:
1. Oprah always brought her Own Lunch to work. But I guess she got her Special Chef to make it for her. I am my Own Special Chef.
2. I enjoy the Illusion of Control that only Bringing YOur Own Lunch can Create. I am   Mistress of my own Lunchtime.
3. It saves time. Although I still have to go & buy My Regulation Two Lattes each day from 'Zinc'.
4. It is supposed to save me money. But I'm not entirely sure that it does. For instance, look closely at my lunch in the photo, above. Note that it has some Red Food Items in it. Tomatoes & capsicum. That capsicum cost me $4.32 at 'Woolworths'. That's $14.99 a kilo. Again, why why why? Is it the GFC? Global Warming? Greedy Food People? All three?
A Commitment.
From now on, I'm only going to buy vegetables that are no more than $2.99 a kilo. I hope to hell that doesn't mean only eating Swedes & Parsnips. Not that there's anything wrong with them, particularly parsnips, which can have a Slightly Nutty flavour if your taste buds are Highly Sharpened.
5. I like putting food into plastic containers. It creates a sorely needed Illusion of Control.

 Here's another item from the Dead Drag Queen's Wardrobe of Entertaining Outfits that I couldn't help but photograph whilst yet again  trawling the racks at 'Bednobs' on saturday morning. Note the matching gloves.  Can't you just imagine those gloves gesticulating to the audience during a rousing performance of 'Memories' or 'Big Spender' or perhaps 'Streetlife', Randy Crawford's Big Hit?
As a twelve or perhaps thirteen year old, I did a rousing rendition of 'Big Spender' myself, which included Synchronised Butt Movements that I learned from watching Shirley Bassey on TV. It seems that this blog entry has a mind of its own & is determined to keep coming back to Butts. Left to my own devices I would never mention them, except to say that I don't wear jeans because my Mum said that my Bum Looked too Big in them. But I've told you that story more than once.

 What is it with Eiffel Towers & Me? Everywhere I go (and I'm certainly NOT in Paris), I see it. Maybe Eiffel Towers have taken the place of Fish as the most Reproduced Image in the World & I'm merely seeing them because in fact, they are everywhere. 
AJ has just returned from three months in Europe.  Here she is below, looking a little Jet Lagged on saturday. I hope she won't be Too Cross at Me for publishing this photo. I just couldn't help myself. And she knows how I've got Low Impulse Control.
The Weary Traveller is sitting on the floor of my lounge room with gifts that all featured Le Tour Eiffel laid out before me. I was thrilled to pieces.
Table Napkins, miniature papier mache Eiffels & Eiffel Glasses.
Hmm,.....I wonder what the Tower might symbolise? I must ask my Senior Class.
Abundance Through Frugality
.Let me leave you with a Small Food Related Snippet. My daughter Maeflower is keen to help me with my Food Economy Drive. Today she sent me her week's Nitely Dinner Plan which gave me some much needed Food for Thought as to how I can best maximise my Food Dollar. Certainly Not by buying any more four dollar Capsicums. Upon waking tomorrow morning, I will make my own plan, which will be mercifully lacking Swedes & Turnips.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Be Prepared

 Dear Virtual Companion
After the appalling technical difficulties I encountered last time, I approach writing this entry with some trepidation, although it was almost, but not quite worth it to receive the large accolade for my persistence from Elegance Maison. Her comment made me feel that I was an intrepid explorer valiantly Soldiering On in the Face of Interminable Adversity which of course is how I view My Life Generally.
Now I've got that out of the way, I've got Absolutely Loads to tell you.
 But for some reason all I want to talk about  is Eating Kale.
Appearance: It is a v. deep shade of green & is v.v. curly. If you have Confused Tastebuds, you may think that you're eating Spinach. Apparently, European farmers grow Kale to feed their cows which may give Humans the idea that it is like eating Pet Food.
I have just eaten a small quantity of it in my School Lunch. It is not normally part of my Usual Eating Regime, but I was tempted to buy it at the insistence of the salesperson at the Organic Fruit & Vegetable stall at the Saturday Markets in Potts Point, conveniently located across the road from my apartment building. The salesperson said that Kale was loaded with Essential Zinc which sounds like something my body could be craving. I tried to imagine The New Improved Kale Boosted Me. Nothing came to mind. But perhaps I would be able to do Real Pushups on my toes instead of on my knees . Or spontaneously write a Petrarchan Sonnet before breakfast.
Anyway, that's enough about Kale. Oh, except that it tastes pretty ordinary. I can imagine a cow languidly chewing on it.
In the first photo above, I look a little Heavy Lidded. But that's a whole other story that I'm blaming on the iPhone camera. You may notice that I'm holding a poster. I made it to promote the school's Annual Op Shop Parade & Stall. It's coming up at the end of  August. At this stage, I'm trying to encourage girls &  Mothers & teachers to donate their unwanted clothes & accessories to us.
'Girls, remember if you haven't worn it for six months, you're Never Gonna Wear it'.
'Miss, but what about if you're not wearing it because it's the Wrong Season?'
How should I answer such a query, I wonder?

The Impermanence of Wardrobes.
Talking of emptying your wardrobes of Unworn Items, look above. Here is a  beautifully made Cocktail Frock which once belonged to a Drag Queen who Sadly Died. Annie, from 'BednobsEtc' showed it to me when I ventured inside the Magical Shoppe on saturday after I bought The Kale. Oddly enough, I wasn't tempted to buy it, or even to try it on.
I wonder how many times that dress was worn whilst the occupant was miming  'I Will Survive', which would be my Signature Song if I were a Drag Q.

Look at me above, this past week looking Slightly Sour. Although I am easily prone to  Sourness, I wasn't sour at the time. In fact, I was feeling a small slice of accomplishment after I had just freshly taught Shakespeare's sonnet, 'My mistresses' eyes are nothing like the sun' through the Instructive Drawings behind me on the whiteboard.
In the sonnet, the poet says that even though his girlfriend has hair like black wires & breasts the colour of poo & bad breath & a crappy voice & no colour in her cheeks, & has absolutely nothing in common with  a Goddess, he loves her anyway.
My students were appalled. What kind of a dude was Shakespeare?
I honestly can't say. All I know is that he'd be first on my list of People I'd Invite to a Dinner Party  If They Were Available.
Talking of Goddesses, I'm trying to channel a Toy Hermes/Horsey look. Believe it or not, I'm wearing an 'Emmanuelle' by Ungaro skirt that I bought a few years back from a market in Canberra for five bucks. I've carried on the horsebit theme with the large scarf that I bought NEW from 'Sportsgirl' a few weeks back. It was the first new item I had bought in ages.

The Camouflages.
I was soo thrilled & surprised when two of my favourite ex-students, Maddie & Maddie turned up outside my Staffroom door last week.
 They both looked ravishing in their University Wear, each channelling a little bit of Chic Che Guevara. Blond Maddie is also wearing her Mum's fab vintagy 'Lisa Ho' skirt with wonderful pin tucks at the waist. Luckily, I wasn't envying the skirt too much even though I loved it because I don't wear long skirts. Theyconflict with that ever so Slightly Slutty look that I'm going for now.

OMG, I almost but not quite had another Nasty Moment with Blogger just then when no matter how hard I tried, I wasn't able to type here. What is wrong? Is it Me? Is it a Virus? Or  has my blog got the wrong Feng Shui?
Fortunately, I remembered to say a short prayer to St. Anthony, the Patron Saint of Hopeless Cases, & in a twinkling, I was able to type again. Hurrah!
Lastly, I'm standing in front of more Explanatory Drawings of a Shakespearean Sonnet. This time it was
'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?'
I won't bother walking you through that one. I'd rather you look at my hair which is uncharacteristically out of the Strict Dishevelled Ponytail Regime. I love the way that it is curling up which  reminds me of Patty Duke when she was the star of 'The Patty Duke Show', which was my absolute favourite show when I was about eleven. In fact, I loved it so much that I refused to join the Girl Guides because their meetings were on the same night as the show. To this day, I still don't know what Guides do. But I do know that whatever they do, they're Always Prepared.