Monday, April 25, 2011

Heavy Heart

Proud Pop, 2001. Notice the UT t-shirt, my alma mater. 
I know it appears I've abandoned this before it's even started, but I guess as is usually the case with me, I have impeccable timing. I started this thing just as the health of my dear grandfather, aka Pop, is deteriorating. He's battling cancer — one more time.

It's been really hard the last couple of months. But he's strong, a fighter. Always has been and I hope will 'til the very end. As hard as it is to write that.

I can't even describe how much I love Pop. I mean, honestly can't describe it, I'm struggling to find the words to explain it to you right now.

He was born in China and moved to Texas at a very young age. He met my Nana, who is Mexican, in Laredo when they were both very young. They married and started a family and settled in San Antonio. He speaks Chinese, English and Spanish. Though he still has a Chinese accent, it's amazing to watch him speak Spanish, particularly since I never learned! I know, it's really lame, but I attempted it in high school and college. I understand un poquito.

When I was little, my favorite book was Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss. I don't even remember what it's about, but I do remember being so proud that I had a Pop. And I'm still proud and I'm frightened and sad about the day when I don't have one anymore. I'm thankful that I've had him for so long. I'm really not prepared for this. I assume you never really are.

He was born in 1923. He loves to talk and can tell you how much milk or gas or bananas cost in, say, 1942. And he'll tell you every single time he sees you. I love it when he starts his tirades about politics or how he'll start certain sentences with, "It's like the people always say..." or when he says stuff like, "I dunno?!" or "What the hay?" all with a thick Chinese accent. It's adorable.

December 2008
He never learned to drive, but he and my Nana's favorite ride at the amusement park was that drive-the-car ride. You know, the one that allows you to "drive" along a track, waving at those standing by. He loved to drive her around. I always loved that about them. I can picture it now.

We lost my Nana almost 20 years ago, very suddenly. She was 64. We weren't sure he'd live much longer without his beloved, he told us he was ready to go too and I was so worried, but he's still here! TWENTY years later.

He battled colon cancer not too long after Nana passed. Years after fighting that, he got cancer again, in his arm. They removed pretty much the entire muscle, but he fought that too. A couple of years ago, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. It's been hard. Much harder to fight. And I hate it.

He has always been super independent and self-sufficient. My grandfather lived alone after Nana passed and despite not ever driving, he totally got around, riding the bus and walking everywhere! These days, he lives with my Aunt (thank God for her!) and uses a walker around her house, a wheelchair when we go out and is on oxygen 24 hours a day. He's not able to get up on his own, so my Aunt or one of my Uncles or his care provider must help him.

It would be a lot better if he weren't in so much pain. Though he'd NEVER tell me so, I know he is. When I call, he tells me he's good and always wants to know how T and I are doing. He's a trooper. Makes me wish there was something I could do to take it all away from him. He's got a lot of life left in him, I know it.

With everything happening so fast, my family all came over from the East Coast to check in on him, try to lift his spirits. Possibly say goodbye. It broke my heart to think that this might be the last time they see him. But it worked. His spirits were lifted and for the last three weeks, mine were too.

You should have seen how happy he was to see everyone. My sister and her family came first with her husband and two baby girls. He got to meet my youngest niece for the first time and she absolutely adored him (as is usually the case), she's only 6 months old! He ate it up, it was so awesome to watch. He also got to video chat with my brother's wife and children and he was over the moon.
March 2011 with my angel of an Aunt.
Seeing everyone literally put a spring back in his step. When it was time to go to lunch the other day, he practically ran back to his room to get his hat. My Aunt spotted him, but still, we couldn't believe how fast he was moving.

When we got to the Chinese buffet, one of his favorites, he had plate after plate of shrimp. He used to always tell me to never eat the fillers like egg rolls or rice, to load up on the seafood. "You need to get your money's worth!" How fantastic that hasn't changed. While we were there, it was also so cool to watch my baby brother taking such good care of him. He wheeled my Pop around helping him choose what he wanted, cracking the crab legs open for him, making sure he was okay and really not eating much to put Pop first. In the sadness of it all, it was a proud moment.

My point is, it's just been a hard time. And worse, they just ran some tests and found some more spots on his brain and in his shoulder. He's started radiation already. My Aunt tells me that it's supposed to alleviate some of his pain by the fifth treatment. He's already had three and she said she can tell he's doing much better.

Bless her for taking such good care of him. She told my Mom that as long as she's living, Pop will never live in a home.I'm so thankful and I love her to pieces. I'm ashamed that I probably don't articulate how appreciative I am of her.

So this is why I've been MIA. I'm thinking about him a lot.Have spent a lot of time with family lately. My mind is elsewhere.

He was there for my high school graduation, he was there when I graduated from UT and he wants to be there for my wedding. Quite frankly, I want him to be there too. He's always been our proud grandfather. I hope he knows how very much he's loved and that we're really proud of him too.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mock My Mockingbird

Have you seen Portlandia? Love it. I find myself putting it on a Hulu loop (frequently at work). The cool thing is most of my co-workers walk by exclaiming, "Portlandia!" Guess the feeling is mutual. We all dig it. The humor that totally makes fun of things that are all too familiar, particularly for my generation... and well, living in Austin.

A few weeks ago, I finally came across one that totally makes fun of ME. It's me to a T, even the end, when they're totally freaked out by the real birds. I mean, birds are dirty aren't they? I jest, -kind of-.

I'm not sure when it all started. Maybe because I've always wanted a sparrow tattoo. When I created my twitter account, I craved anonymity and found this cool little photo online that I felt epitomized me or at least what I wanted to put on my body.

Ever since then, I seem to be a bit of a collector. Exhibit A:

I could wear a different bird necklace to work for two entire weeks and never wear the same one. And I'm certain the collection will only grow.

I have rings, earrings, I painted a giant canvas that hangs above our bed and I also own some tees, but was too embarrassed to show off everything.

I will, however, show you one of my all time FAVORITE pieces, a big splurge and treat to myself, my Marc by Marc Jacobs hobo bag. I LOVE everything about it. The bohemian style, the floral ditsy print lining, the luxurious feel of the supple leather and, of course, the BIRD on it...

So I guess I'm a cliche, but I can't stop. And frankly, I don't want to. Please tell me there are other girls out there who are just as fanatical? 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fashion Fail, The Other #FF

So the lace get-up wasn't all I thought it would be, not a total failure, but not the brilliance I so dreamed of. They’re a little long in the legs and the color wasn't as delicious as I’d hoped. Eventually, I’ll post photos of how I wear ‘em. In the meantime, here they are in all their glory, snatched straight from the Zappos website.

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Please note I never had any intention of wearing them on their own. I just had high hopes of them peeking through a shorter-than-I'd-like-to-wear-in-public romper. YES, people. I bought a romper. 

My loooooooong torso makes it look like a Nair, "We wear short shorts," commercial. I rarely even wear shorts?! I love me a good pants jumpsuit but... 

Someone please tell me why I didn’t try them on at the store? 

Regardless, I do like them and wanted to give it a shot. So I hit the Internet… and here we are. 

I'm still going to try and find another version, I'm thinking cotton "bike" shorts, preferably with lace trim and I'd like them to be slightly shorter than the Betsey version. I still plan to wear these, likely under some dresses. I feel like a little peek-a-boo could be so cute... just a little. 

We’ll see. In the meantime, I beg. What would you wear them with?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Lace is the Place

I think I may have just ordered something that is going to change my life. I envision multiple outfit pairings. And all from a quick Google search that led me to Zappos.

It's not shoes, ladies. It's Betsey. As in Johnson. Amazingly, the price was right too. Stay tuned. I've already created the first look in my head. Please, oh, please let this be all that I think it will be.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tight Schedule

Don't get me wrong, I'm so thrilled spring is here, especially in Austin — is there anything better than wildflower season? But I've got to say, last week kind of freaked me out when it got up to 93 degrees...

Warm weather usually makes me incredibly happy and it totally did, but after living in South Florida, being able to actually wear boots and tights this winter was a bit of a novelty. And I liked it. A lot. I'm so smitten that this morning when I woke up and discovered it was 40 degrees, I felt actual excitement. I'm certain this is the last hoorah until next winter and trust me, I'm ready. I just really needed today.

Side note: I never thought I'd have to get used to being in front of a camera, but I DO. I look somber. I blame the tripod. Hopefully it gets better.

I adore this skirt, the print immediately caught my eye and I simply love a good turq/orange pairing. The combo is total old school Ho-Jos and I kind of love that too.

Since my first tripod experience was somewhat traumatizing, I walked it off with the munchkin... and ended up capturing him having a happy moment of his own. I don't think I could love him any more than I already do, but then again...

skirt, scoopneck tee and military jacket: Forever 21
hoodie sweater: "vintage" Brass Plum
necklace: Boston Proper 
tights and boots: Target
watch: TIKKR
sunglasses: Michael Kors

Monday, April 4, 2011

When [Someone Great] is Gone

Photo via:
LCD Soundsystem is on the brain. Their last show EVER was at Madison Square Gardens on Saturday. A weekend that made me wish I still lived in NYC.

Sirius XMU had the band hosting all day and it was brilliant. I'm not sure if I liked what they said or what they played better. James Murphy can do no wrong in my book. A real person who makes amazing music, but is grounded enough to still get what it's like to be so completely enamored with music, a musician, a little touch of something that strikes a chord that you can't bear the thought of not seeing them live. Some bands take that for granted. 

Wondering what I'd missed out on I asked Sarah if she'd heard any details of the show and she forwarded me this live video link:

Thank goodness it was a proofing day. I got to pop my headphones in, edit 83 pages and listen/watch the first 3 hours and 4 minutes of their final show. LCD Soundsystem, you will be missed. And not just by me. Cut Copy, Chromeo, Holy Ghost and others weigh in:


ADDENDUM: The above video was removed from youtube. 
That's cool. I distinctly remember James Murphy requesting everyone put down their cameras at the Miami show. He asked that we be in the moment and enjoy it. I can respect that too.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Partner in Crime

Everybody needs one. 
It’s only fitting that this be my first official blog post. My dear friend, Sarah, has been my partner in crime for about five years now. Though we had crossed paths a few years before, we didn’t fall into the kind of friendship we share today until 2006 when I moved back to South Florida. 
I was newly single, having gotten out of a 10-year relationship and ready to explore my freedom — she's always on the go and ready for anything. It was a perfect concoction of madness and mayhem (okay, pause for a moment: I’m listening to Pandora and The Bravery just came on… An Honest Mistake. Totally fitting since around that time it's what we were listening to. So WEIRD, seems like decades ago!).
But I digress. That year we spent almost every waking minute together — her husband allowed me to tag along with them to everything. We went shopping, to parties, to shows, to the beach. You name it. It was a blissful time. She even introduced me to my fiancĂ© (we'll save that story for another time). 
In June of 2009, she and I attended a SFIMA workshop that launched her into the blogosphere and gave us what we thought were great social media ideas for the women’s clothing catalog company we worked for at the time. Today, her blog is still going strong and I no longer work for that company. 
I’m back in Austin now, the city I’ve shared a love affair with for more than 15 years. And as happy as I am to be here, it pains me to be away from the best partner in crime I’ve ever had. We share similar tastes in virtually everything: fashion, food, drinks and MUSIC. I can't even tell you how many musicians we've seen live together and I don’t think there was ever a time she said no to a show I wanted to go to (although, admittedly, there were times I simply couldn’t keep up with her). And now with as many live music opportunities as there are here, I find myself wishing she was too. 
Several weeks ago I attended the Texas Style Council Conference. She would have LOVED it. The people she could have met, the fun we could have had, the whirlwind of boutiques and people and fashion and food and drinks and fantastic blog advice. Plus, a photo booth! 
It was such a good time. I've read every single re-cap and wish I had started this sooner so I could have joined in on the fun. To all my favorite fashion bloggeses: ladies, you know who you are! Thank you for being so welcoming, kind and inspiring. It’s made my foray into this so much easier. 

I've often toyed with starting my own blog but never knew where to begin, wondered if anyone would care about what I had to say and consistently talked myself out of even trying. The truth is, none of that really matters. I just need a place to release my thoughts. Record what makes me happiest at that moment in time. I wish I'd started when Sarah had, I would have amazing documentation of the last couple of years...
At the conference I made the above collage via Charming Charlie damaged jewelry and realized I had @sunlovey on the brain. The colors belong to her (she adores blue) and she just found out she’s having a boy! Her first pregnancy and I am not even there for it. UGH. 
2006. The first of many pool parties.
Anyway, dear Sarah, thanks for being such a brilliant partner in crime and a constant source of inspiration. There are countless times we’ve quoted this song to one another, sometimes simultaneously... I also thank you (and Golden Girls) for that. I miss you dearly and think of you often and I know that when the day comes that I actually do decide to wear a feather headdress, you’ll tell me I am rockin’ it.
December 2009. Sarah's annual holiday Wine & Cheese Party

May 2008. Costa Rica

March 2009. Ultra Music Festival. Just before CUT COPY!

September 2009. Depeche Mode
Prosecco at one of our favorite Miami restaurants, The Pelican