Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Too Cold To Name This Post

 Hello & Welcome to my Chilly Little World.
It's Evening & I'm Freezing.
 Perhaps that rhymes.
I'd love it if it did. In fact, I'd love it if I could get the Entire Blog Post to rhyme. Perhaps a long series of Dainty Rhyming Couplets. Maybe Soon. But not now.
Anyway, back to being freezing. Even though I'm wearing my Toy Uggs & a series of thick woolen scarves that are wound so tightly around my turkey neck that I feel that I'm in a neck brace & I have two crocheted blankets wrapped across my knees which also holds my laptop that also doubles as a Mild Hot Water Bottle Substitute, I'm still freezing.
But, well may you ask, where is my Electric Heating?
The short answer is, I don't have any. Well, that's not entirely true, but I'm not going to go into it in any detail. Let's just say that I'm Fearful of Bills.
Anyway, someone once told me that Being Cold is a wonderful way to Burn Calories because the body uses up so many trying to get warm.
Of course, none of this has anything to do with the  Pictures. It Never Does. But now let's get to them!
In case you think that the top picture is Me, it's not. Neither is the picture underneath.

And No, I didn't take the pictures either. Lord Snowdon did. Well, at least he took the one above. Not sure about the first one.
By now you might be wondering who this woman is if it isn't me.
It's Eve Arnold, a dead woman.  She died perhaps last year aged 99.
 Many people think that living that long is an achievement. I don't. I'm sure she'd had an Absolute Gutload & was desperate to get out of here, particularly because she was one of the best photographers who ever lived & for the last few years of her life  wasn't even able to hold a camera, much less take an actual photo.
Last week I saw a documentary on Eve's life & work called Eve Arnold in Retrospect. I totally recommend watching it for anyone interested in Photography, Celebrity, Old Women & Life in General. I must admit I viewed it with a mixture of excitement, interest, envy & existential ennui, which have to be My Top Four Emotions of All Time, particularly the last two, although I am pretty fond of Mild to Severe Irritation & of course, Full Blown Rage.

Eve was a Magnum photographer which meant she took photos of all sorts of things in far flung & often dangerous places around the world. But I'm not really interested in that. I'm interested in her photos of Joan Crawford. And also Marilyn.
As soon as you finish reading, go straight to Google Images & type in Eve Arnold. All sorts of amazing photos will come up. Some of them you will  know, & others not. Even though I think I'm a World Expert on Joan & if I were a contestant on a quiz show where you could pick your Special Topic of Interest I'd pick her, I must admit that I'd never seen these pictures of her taken in about 1958. Apparently, Joan commissioned them. There's a whole series of photos of her having excruciating beauty treatments & some scary close ups of her applying her own  eye make up revealing an excruciatingly wrinkled eyelid. She must have done a whole heap of sun baking with her eyes shut & no sunglasses. Maybe sunlamps.
As I'm always Alert But Not Alarmed About Signs of Ageing,  I just examined my eyelid for any Joan-style wrinkles. Not too bad. It's my Naso-Labials that are a worry. But that's a Whole Other Story.

Meanwhile, back to Me.
You know I never mention my Official Classroom Photographer these days.
Her name is George. She likes to tell me what to do.She's organised. Inquisitive. Outgoing. And I don't like it when she doesn't come to class. She never forgets that I need a photo at the end of class. I will miss her when she's gone which will be soon.
Below are photos she took last week of Me & My Outfits.
 Everything, except a pashmina featuring a Roberto Cavalli print, is thrifted from 'BednobsEtc'

n the photo above, I'm wearing a perhaps silk, or at least Silken striped Carla Zampatti skirt which I've had for Some Years. For quite some time, I toyed with the idea of having it taken up but of course I never got around to it which is a good thing because I saw on Fashion Police, which I'm still doggedly watching that Victoria Beckham's range of dresses are all quite long. As well, Camembert, another opinionated student told me today that she much prefers the longer length on me rather than my shorter, Sluttier skirts.
I'm wearing a beautiful pure wool French jacket & a black shirt underneath. Neither item fits, although the shirt kind of does up, which is more than I can say about the jacket. Only the first two buttons do up. French woman must have their Ribs Removed or something.

I'm standing in the picture above like I'm a 1950s Spokesmodel standing in front of a Large, Family size Fridge.  I can't believe how daintily I'm positioning my right leg & holding my lipstick which looks uncannily like a cigarette.
The thing to note in this outfit is that I'm wearing matching black Sweatbands which I totally love which in reality probably look not quite Stupid, but perhaps Silly. I'm wearing them for an Entirely Practical Reason:  they help corral my unruly Wild Animal bracelets. I can't have them getting in the way while I'm writing on the Whiteboard, can I?

And then there's this great jacket which sadly makes my arms look like Lamb Shanks. But it was really because I was wearing about five layers of clothes underneath. Honestly.

Obsession #1:
Look who popped into the classroom!
Yes, Alec Baldwin. I nearly wet myself.
At present I'm watching Series 4 of 30 Rock every nite. I'm obsessed. I so love everything about Alec's character, Jack Donaghy. And I do love Alec as well. I don't actually want to be like him, I want to BE With Him, although I am madly practising talking in a new kind of Breathy Whispering Way which is how Alec speaks. It's not working, though as my voice is more Natural Foghorn.

Obsession #2:
Here, above are some crotcheted rugs that I bought. I'm constantly buying them at BednobsEtc. And because I've got so many, the ones that are wrapped around my knees at the moment are not these ones. Crotcheted blankies are draped across couches & beds all over my apartment. I call it Designer Nursing Home Chic.

Obsession #3: 
Taking photos even though I'm never going to be as good as Eve Arnold.
As I was trudging up the street last week, I came across this poor, bedraggled, abandoned picture. I know exactly how it feels.

Obsession #4: Layering.
Look look above at my dressing table from childhood which I've recently loaded up with layers of mementos. There's my California pennant, which is my Second Favourite place in the World because it's where my BFF Marge lives. An old lamp that I bought about thirty years ago at a market stall. Matching Globe bookends from my daughter Maeflower & her fiance Russell; A miniature Mexican sombrero; A Mexican Tin Mirror , Pictures of Saints, including my Mother's Favourite Saint, St Therese, The Little Flower & some Op Shop Paintings.

Obsession #4:
Perseverance. 688 Blog Posts & still going.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sadly, I'm More of a SabreTooth Than a Cougar

 Yesterday. I was nonchalantly lunching at my desk in the staffroom quietly checking on the price of a new
Diane Von Furstenberg silk jersey wrap dress (mostly $345USD) when The Duchess, who sits to my right & who I can't see because a bookcase conveniently obscures her, burst out, 'Are you ever going to write another blog entry again?'
And then Trixie, who sits to my left said 'Yes, I was wondering that too. You know that it's been nearly a month since you bothered to write anything?'
'Nonsense', I retorted. 'Why, you obviously haven't read my latest blog featuring Holiday Snaps, which incidentally you took'.
'Yes, but that was on the 29th  June. It's almost the end of July'.
I checked & to my horror she was right.
She's always right. That's why we're friends.
So, I thought I'd better bite the bullet & write something to go with all these photos of me in various locations with pretty much the same expression on my face whether I'm at the beach or standing in front of a huge display of Colourful Thongs.

In the Premier Photo, I'm at Maroubra Beach in Sydney with AJ. We're not in Swimwear because it is winter. Everyone else at the beach had clothes on too. So it was not just us.
I would like to point out that I'm wearing one of my favourite new Jewelry Items from 'BednobsEtc', a v. large black enamel strawberry with diamantes where the green bit should be. I'm not sure what that part of the strawberry is actually called as I'm not good with technical terms. The stalk? The cap?
Anyway, I love the strawberry & you might just be able to make it out if you look closely.

 Next I'm at the Art Gallery in Sydney viewing the Biennale with Trixie. The theme of it is 'All Our Relations'. Of course it's obvious that this enormous pile of thongs fits perfectly into the theme as all the thongs, even though they are  diffferent colours are all related to each other. Just like us Humans.
Talk about joining the dots. It's just so easy.
There were many other exciting exhibits on show, including an enormous grid of three cities joined together made entirely in situ from talcum powder. There was a large sign up next to it warning everyone Not to Sneeze.
And then there was a replica of a room in an Asian city which was entirely made of embroidery. It was so realistic, that neither of us noticed.

 Meanwhile back at 'BednobsEtc', I'm triumphantly holding up a Real Not Toy Marc Jacobs canvas tote that I purchased for $18 & mistakenly thought would be the panacea for all my woes.
 Sadly, it wasn't as it's got a rather Workmanlike Feel to it. Besides, the straps aren't quite long enough to use as a shoulder bag which is inconvenient. And then there's the constant stress of having to make sure that the Text is on show at all times as the other side is Blank just like my mind sometimes. I mean, why go to the trouble of having a Marc Jacobs bag without showing off that it is?
BTW, I'm standing with Amos, a volunteer at 'Bednobs' who is marvellously dressed just like a character from a Gilbert & Sullivan Opera. Maybe 'The Pirates of Penzance'.
On the other hand, I'm dressed for a vigorous saturday morning thrift shopping experience as if I'm about to go cruising a late nite bar all in leather & velvet animal print. I just looked up the dictionary definition of a woman older than a Cougar.
It's SabreTooth.

 And then the holidays ended &  I had to return to My Rightful Place in the Universe - in front of the Whiteboard. Do note that I'm wearing the exact same 'Jones, New York' lambswool jacket as I was wearing in front of the Colourful Thongs at the Biennele. But this time, I've teamed it with a magnificent royal blue Real Pashmina that my daughter Maeflower brought back from a trip to Nepal last year.

 Later on that day I noticed a Strange Phenomenon that seems to be creeping into our Staffroom with alarming frequency. As soon as I noticed it, I demanded that Trixie photograph it for posterity.
Can you see it?
Yes, all three of us - Newly-Married Shrub, Me & Newly-Engaged Dobbo are all wearing the exact same colour top/jacket which is a Shade of Teal. As well, Dobbo & me are both wearing Aubergine dresses.
And, here's the Slightly Creepy part -  we Didn't Plan in Advance to do this.

 And then the Very Next Day, Shrub & me did it again - a black & white houndstoothy coat/jacket, although I mercifully didn't wear yellow shoes. Goodness, if I did, imagine what  the Age Appropriate Police over at Fabulous Over Fifty would Think? I shiver at the thought.

I wish I could think of a Technical Term to describe the phenomenon of co-workers coincidentally wearing the same colours/colour combinations to work. It's a bit like women who live in the same house getting their period at the exact same time. Luckily, that's something I don't have to worry about any more.
So, maybe it's  our Unconscious Desire to be Related to each other just like the Giant Pile of Thongs at the Art Gallery?
If you come up with a Term for it, do let me know, I beg you.
The only one I can think of is 'Twinsies'  which is a bit lame although it does remind me of the way that Joan Crawford used to dress herself & her adopted daughters in identical outfits for the cameras.

 Just to show you my Unfailing Dedication to Trying to Look like a Cougar instead of a SabreTooth, here I am yesterday stretching my Glutes (what a vulgar name for a v. large muscle) at the end of my weekly Boot Camp session at Rushcutter's Bay Park in Sydney. My fellow bootcampers aren't featured in the photo as they'd all collapsed in a heap.

Goody Goody, I'm nearly at the end! V. sooon I can hop into bed & listen on my iPod to Thomas Tallis' 'Spem in Alium', a sixteenth century vocal piece for forty voices that has shot back to the top of the charts because it's heavily mentioned in the hugely successful 'Mommy Porn' book, 'Shades of Grey' that I couldn't be bothered reading but some of my colleagues are.
What a stupid name for a book.
Why not 'Shades of Elephant'?
Before you leave, why not check out My Ear? Camembert,  the student who took this photo of it this morning, assured me that it is a v. youthful ear. I was relieved.
But don't just look at the ear, check out what's dangling from the rather saggy lobe - a genuine Versace earring (actually I'm wearing a matching one on the other ear) that I got at BednobsEtc.
I'm thrilled. It makes me feel much more like a Cougar than a SabreTooth.