D: I have decided that I need a good coral lipstick.

A Lady: Ooh yes you do.

D: And a good violet gloss.

A Lady: ?

D: Not pastel-violet... plum? Something purple-y.

A Lady: .

D: I got into a red rut.

A Lady:

D: I am taking that “.” as endorsement of this plan, whether you meant it as such or no.

A Lady: Uh huh.
They make berry colors for a reason. S'all I'm sayin’.

D: (My intern is going to come into my office any minute and see me frantically scanning Sephora. This will not surprise anyone.)
I kind of want to go play with this in Audacious Violet.

A Lady: EW. Dude.
Someone has to say it.

D: You never know! When I go play at Sephora, I will take photos. One of us will be proven right.
Hopefully it will be me.

A Lady: .
I know what this will look like. It will look like 1994.

D: Sssssssssh. Naysayer.


D: I will try it out! I am not saying I'm buying it sight unseen or anything.
…maybe more like a purple-y lipstain?

A Lady: Like a popsicle? or a cadaver? NO.

D: Popsicle.

A Lady: No one wants purple popsicle mouth. Cherry, yes. Grape, no.

D: Damn you, naysayer.


D: Photographic evidence, L! The selection at Sephora was a wee bit limited, but I fucked off from work this week for a trip over there with a camera.

First of all, yes, I am obviously somewhat lipstick-impaired. Lipstick application is one of those girl-skills that I never acquired.

And second of, I only cropped the photos, no color correction/retouching. I am vain but not a liar.

A Lady: no.

D: Fuck you. I still think I've proven that yes, one can wear purple lips in real life.

A Lady: WRONG.

Sigh. Ok, internet. Back me up here. These three purple lip experiments were not unsuccessful, right? Comment and tell me you're on my side.

Ed: FINE. No one has opinions. Way to make us feel alone and unloved, internet. (Setting aside the fact that we are often absent and neglectful and... oh, fuck it. I bought some purple gloss. A Lady can deal with it.)


wishful thinking

D: Um, yes. We are the worst bloggers ever.

A Lady:
Sigh. Agreed.

D: Let’s ignore the fact that we are absent and disappointing bloggers and jump ahead like we didn’t accidentally hiatus for, like, three weeks.

A Lady: Yes! Exactly! Let’s get greedy.

D: AKA wishlisting time. This is the best part of holidays: pretending that it’s not a little sad that I, at nearly thirty years old, am still making wishlists.

A Lady: Plus, the Christmas-adjacent birthdays thing. Was this always a pain for you, or a bonus?

D: Oh, always a bonus. My birthday falls three weeks after Christmas, so I’d take the handwritten list off the fridge, carefully cross off all the things I got, leave the un- acquired gifts on the list, and retitle it “Birthday List”. It was all kinds of efficient.

A Lady: Ooh. That’s so clever. My problem has always been of the eleven days prior variety. No, I never know what I want for either holiday. The more important concern is What Do You Want To Do For Your Birthday, and, to be frank I’ve more or less decided to throw in the towel. People are always writing papers or taking finals or already gone home for break and god I resent the academy sometimes.

ANYWAY. What do we want this year, pray tell?

D: I think I can speak for both trollops here when I say “scotch”. Delicious, gorgeous, expensive scotch.

And a table saw would be nice. But probably not recommended to enjoy at the same time as the scotch.

A Lady: And a pony! A Tom Ford-approved pony!

D: And a first edition of “What Shall I Wear”, of course. One must have a well-selected library, naturally.

A Lady: I could always do with a Rothko and a Twombly.

I also feel like either of us would go for the Visionaire boxed edition of Diana Vreeland’s VOGUE memos.
I saw it at Art Basel Miami and pined for a few minutes. The last copy they had on hand was $160 or so. (Which, crap, I should totally have gotten as an investment because on the site they retail at $250 WTF. Not. Worth. It.)

D: Ooooh. That packaging. Swoon.

(I can’t believe you don’t keep a running wishlist through the year. My acquisitiveness knows no bounds: I have a specific list on my calendar just for Things I’d Like To Have Purchased For Me. Sadly, the list only gets longer, not shorter ever. Magpie tendencies.)

A Lady: (I mean, I did, for a hot second, have a running email I was sending to myself to keep track of everything I wanted, but then present time came around and I, um, forgot about it. Because what’s more fun than making life difficult for everyone?)

D: Passive-aggression is everyone's favorite gift.

A Lady: Another thing I could use, since Boswell ate mine, is a new pair of ballet flats. (The
Delmans are dead, long live the cheaper version?) Like these, but in my size.

D: V nice. I can’t believe I haven’t put Improbable Shoes on my wishlist yet. No, my wall of shoes is not quite full yet, and I must remedy that.

These are insane. And so am I, and thus, it is perfect.

We are so easy to buy gifts for, really.



A Lady: There’s a Vera Bradley sale on Rue La La today. I am torn between buying and burning all the stock, and slitting my wrists.

D: Bonfire of the uglies!



Between bouts of popcorn eating, Lip Service watching, and flea marketing during my long weekend in New York, A Lady and I went to East Harlem to swoon over the Notorious and Notable exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York.
(Pro tip: getting anywhere in NYC on the day of the marathon will be an exercise in patience. Oops, bad planning.)

A Lady is still dying over Isadora Duncan's dress in the show; my little heart goes pitter-patter for Marian Anderson's blue dress. So, um, if these pieces mysteriously disappear from the museum anytime soon, we had nothing to do with it, promise.



A quick scene from this weekend:

A Lady and I are scoping out various flea markets in New York, with the following exchange was muttered between us whenever a particularly attractive item was noticed.

Person One (interchangeable): "Hm, this is quite nice, but..."
Person Two: "You know, in Midwest Hometown, this would be found for $4/free/in immaculate condition."
Person One: "When I go back for Christmas, I am thrifting the hell out of Midwest Hometown."



You guys, A Lady is making me breakfast right now, and I am wearing a pair of her fuzzy slippers.
Yes, awesome.



I am sitting in my apartment, looking over my "things to spend money on while in New York" spreadsheet, and avoiding making eye contact with the pile of clothing I have considered and rejected packing.
(Is this pile as tall as my bed? Yes, perhaps, it may be.)

What does one
weaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar for a long weekend with one's most sartorially splendid friends? I chafe at the idea of not having my full closet full of Options for outfit re-thinking and re-tooling. (We will ignore the fact that I am very likely to buy a whole bunch of clothes in NYC, which could solve the wardrobe dilemma right there, but one can never count on this. I mean, what if the only clothing I buy ends up being, like, two pairs of boots and seven sweaters and no pants?)

BAH. This is sending me into a spiral of "I have nothing to wear, and I hate all my clothes, and I should just wear a bathrobe and never leave the house again because hey that worked for J.D. Salinger, right?". Which is objectively silly, considering I have two closets full of lovely clothing, but THERE IS NO REASONING WITH CLOTHING PANIC.

Truly, what does one wear? Because I am staring at one black knit dress, one pair of black boots, and one black cardigan, and I feel this is somehow inadequate for four and a half days.


press play

Currently on heavy rotation on my iPod:

Jay-Z, "Hello Brooklyn v. 2"
KISS, "Back in the New York Groove"
Mos Def, "Brooklyn"
Sex Pistols, "New York"
Jay-Z feat. Biggie Smalls, "Brooklyn's Finest"
The Raveonettes, "New York Was Great"
The Beastie Boys, "No Sleep Till Brooklyn"
Talib Kweli, "New York Shit"
The Black Keys, "Brooklyn Bound"
Charles Hamilton, "Brooklyn Girls"

Oh, I'll bet you can't guess where I'm going this Thursday night, eh? Hint: "...meet up in New York and run riot. Shouldn't be too hard, no?"

C'est vrai. Let's all make squeeeeeeeee noises in unison now, mmmkay? And yes, there will be inevitable blogging of this long-awaited meeting.


A Lady: Martin Luther Vandross

D: Captain Morgan Freeman

A Lady: Can't. Stop.

D: James Taylor Swift

A Lady: Michael Jordin Sparks

D: Ron Paul McCartney

A Lady: Leona Lewis Black

D: Fab Five Freddy Kreuger

A Lady: John Edward Scissorhands

D: Tiny Tim Curry

A Lady: Huey Long John Silver
I keep giggling. In public.

D: Hee

A Lady: Rapunzelstiltskin

D: Ahahahahaha.
Tom Wolfegang Amadeus Mozart

A Lady: Ayn Randy Newman

D: Willie Nelson Muntz

A Lady: Joan Rivers Cuomo

D: Jawdropping.
Wolfman Jack Black

A Lady: Malcom X-Men

D: Jerry Lee Lewis Farrahkan (or however the fuck you spell that)

A Lady: Heh
Dean Martin Sheen

D: Charlie Parker Posey

A Lady: Augh! Braintwins!

D: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA totally unsurprised.

A Lady: Michael Douglas Adams

D: Olivia Newton John Adams

A Lady: Captain Kirk Douglas

D: Marc Anthony Hopkins

A Lady: Serena William Shakespeare

D: Helen of Troy McClure

A Lady: Uncle Tom Ford

D: I was trying to think of a last name Tom too.

A Lady: Ahem. Pollyanna Wintour.


A Lady: I think everyone thinks I'm crazy

D: With the snickering?

A Lady: Flat out laughing. In the park. Walking Bos.

D: Ahaha, that's even better. But at least you're looking at your phone for at least part of the laughter.

A Lady: True.

D: Barbara Walters Matthau

A Lady: Franny and Zooey Deschanel

D: James Joyce Carol Oates
Jamie Lee Curtis Mayfield

A Lady: Jimmy Jon Stewart

D: Robert Sean Leonard Cohen

A Lady: Hugh Laurie Anderson

D: James Earl Ray-J
Grandmaster Flash Gordon

A Lady: Neil.

D: Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice


Neil Simon Doonan

A Lady: Benedict Arnold Schwarzenegger
Les Paul Simon

D: William Henry Harrison Ford

A Lady: Patrick Henry Fonda

D: Chuck D(ee) Snyder

A Lady: Boy George Clooney

D: Bea Arthur Miller

A Lady: Gene Kelly Ripa

D: Melissa Gilbert Godfrey

A Lady: How are we still going?
Vanilla Ice-T

D: We are still going because WE ARE AWESOME (Ooh, a vanilla iced tea sounds good right now.)
Doug E. Fresh Prince

A Lady: Weird Al Capone

D: Mary Shelley Long

A Lady: Carly Simon and Garfunkel
Bob Dylan Thomas

D: Robert E. Lee McQueen

A Lady: Batman and Robin Thicke

D: Bruce Wayne Newton

A Lady: George Michael J. Fox
Babe Ruth Bader Ginsberg

D: OH DAMN. That is good.

A Lady: PS Dirty Harry Houdini

D: You are killing me.

A Lady: Am feeling witty for the first time in ages.

D: It's my Halloween spirit. It has rubbed off on you. Like a tenacious virus.

A Lady: Zachary Ty Bryan Eno
Tim Allen Ginsburg
Jonathan Taylor Thomas Jefferson

D: Jay-Z Z Top

A Lady: Okay. This has to stop

D: Oh, it should have stopped long ago. But do we heed that? Of course not.

A Lady: Kirstie Ally McBeal

D: Wallace Shawn Connery

A Lady: Ew. Ewewew.

D: Ahahahaha

A Lady: Steve Martin Scorsese

D: Debbie Harry Shearer

A Lady: Little Debbie Harry

D: Martin Lawrence of Arabia

A Lady: Oh gaaaaawd
John Henry Adam Sandler

D: Marion Barry Bostwick

A Lady: Bernadette Peter O'Toole

D: Lenny Bruce Lee

A Lady: Arthur Ashley Olsen

D: Henry James Dean
Rick Ross Perot
And with that, HALLOWEEKEND!


when it brainstorms

A Lady: Ahem. Halloween costume ideas. Elizabeth Taylor Hanson.

D: Shirley Temple Grandin

A Lady: James Cagney and Lacey

D: Spencer Tracy Lords

A Lady: Pope John Paul George and Ringo

D: Tommy Lee Harvey Oswald

A Lady: Joe Hannah Montana

D: Steven Tyler Perry

A Lady: Little Orphan Annie Hall

D: John Candy Darling

A Lady: Billy the Kid Rock

D: Jill St. John Belushi

A Lady: John Calvin Klein

D: Pamela Anderson Cooper

A Lady: Chandler Bing Crosby

D: John Philip Sousa(n) Sontag

A Lady: Clarence Thomas Alva Edison

D: Samuel L. Jackson Browne

A Lady: Linda Blair Waldorf

D: Ron Jeremy Irons

A Lady: Anne Frank Sinatra

D: Boy George Michael Bloomberg

A Lady: Harper Leeann Rimes

D: Chan Marshall Mathers

A Lady: Larry David Bowie

D: Kris Kross Kristoffersson

A Lady: Glenn Beck and Call Girl

D: LL Cool J(ay) McInerney.

A Lady: Little Richard Gere

D: Stephen Jay Gouldfinger

A Lady: Smokey Robinson Crusoe

D: Harry Truman Capote

A Lady: Joe Cocker Spaniel (I'm flagging)

D: Andrew Jackson Pollock

D: Elton John Malkovich

D: Peggy Lee(igh) Bowery

A Lady: Okay, you lost me there.

D: Leigh Bowery: http://en.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/296072(rolled w Boy George)

D: Woody Allen/Alan Rickman

A Lady: Okay stop stop stop. We're fading.

D: I know. Sigh. And I've even had coffee.
Was really trying to do something excellent with Alan Rickman though. Failed.

A Lady: Alan Rickman James?

D: That took me a second, but is MUCH improved on my attempt.

A Lady: Jesse James Franco

D: Buddy Holly Madison


don't quit your day job

Backstory: IM from D, received two nights previously. "Upside of last night: got the digits of a hella hella cute butch at the bar. Downside: when she mentioned that she lives in an "intentional community."

A Lady: Good morning! Questions: 1. Why don’t I have a horse? 2. Why am I not a supermodel?

D: Mooooooooooooorning. Oh god so tired.
Anyway, guess who texts me last night when I get home? MS. INTENTIONAL COMMUNITY, THAT'S WHO. I have no interest in your hippie intentions, lady. None. It's a short hop from "intentional community" to "becoming a freegan and wearing dreadlocks."

A Lady: Oh, come now. You said she's hot. This way you could keep the Dating Moratorium on and get a much-needed fix.

D: Dunno, let's not forget "intentional community." Oh my god, that's like lesbian hell: a hippie house full of ex-girlfriends. If she'd just kept that to herself last week, I'd be up on that like white on rice, but anyone who brings that up ON PURPOSE with someone they're trying to impress? There is something wroooooooong with that person.

A Lady: Yes, but at least there's never a shortage of conversation. These types are always very enthusiastic. You probably won't even have to say anything. Or listen.

D: Hmmmmmm. My standards, if not exactly low, are nothing if not situationally flexible. She is enthused about EVERYTHING, it's true. Which causes me to roll my eyes, but at least I can do that silently. Perhaps I will text her back tonight between spray-painting snakes gold and pickling grapes.

A Lady: Exactly. Lie back and think of England, as it were.

D: You are a bad influence. My favorite kind.
Now, what does one DO with a hot-but-hippie girl that is only a clear signal for Let's Go Hook Up and not Let's Converse and Have Feeeeeeeeelings?

A Lady: Bowling. Or whiskey.

D: Whiskey is always the answer, innit? When in doubt, delicious bourbon shall lead the way.

So as the counterpoint to the "Why aren't I a model? With a pony?" lifequest, I just saw this:
and IMMEDIATELY thought "I should play Isabella Blow, duh." Oh, former career path as an actor, how you pop up unexpectedly.

A Lady: Oh dude. You need to come to New York for next Halloween. You’ll be Issy Blow, I’ll be Lee McQueen.
Too soon?

D: Nooooooooooooo. Brilliant. So brilliant.
Issy Blow falls squarely into my Halloween Theme of always, always creating an elaborate headpiece for costumes. Win!

A Lady: Omgomg can we put on a Vicar of Dibley-inspired Christmas pageant? With three kings: Martin Luther, Billie Jean, and Stephen.

What about Nat King Cole?


Truly, why is no one paying us for thoughts like these?


career counselor

In which we plan completely plausible and responsible changes of career! And by “career,” we mostly mean “ways to somehow acquire loads of money without doing much in the way of actual work.”

A Lady: Okay, let’s dream up alternative career plans: run away to England, star in a hilarious Beeb sitcom about two American grad students at the University of Edinburgh. Go!

Alternatively: I move to NYC, and we are scouted by a fabulous-but-not-obnoxious gallery + bar to program their events and create custom drinks. And there is a clothing budget in addition to salary, as our appearance reflects on the gallery/bar's success, naturally.

A Lady: We move to Tuscany, where your inability to speak Italian and my inability to do anything service-related wreak comic havoc on our social lives and ability to run a B&B.
OR we are anonymously nominated to be anonymous members of the anonymous board of nominators for the MacArthur grants. Which, amazingly/conveniently, is actually a high-paying gig!

D: While we are en route to a symposium on Best Practices in Shoe-Blogging, our plane is forced to make an unscheduled landing in Paris. There is a mysterious car waiting to pick us up at the baggage claim, and it whisks us to a Left Bank apartment, where Daphne Guinness announces that she is adopting us! It's France, I'm sure their adoption laws are flexible like that.

A Lady: Oh god, can she? Because then we would be heiresses and Without A Care In The World.

D: OR it turns out that my scathing grad-school takedown of Robert Brustein has attracted the attention of conservative arts lobbyists (a shadowy evil group, obvs) and I am forced to flee the country!; due to the volume of email correspondence exchanged between us, the Evil Conservative Arts Lobbyists or sundry assorted literary critics begin threatening you as well, and you, too, must make your escape! But thankfully, there is a safe haven in Monaco for persecuted brains, funded by the Princess Grace Foundation!

A Lady: I think all this grant-writing has given you a delusional complex about the availability of funds for entirely Unworthy activities.

D: Hush, let's work on getting the MacArthur Genius Grants. That's a life plan, right?

A Lady: Bugger, bugger, bugger. I have been reading all about the MacArthur fellows, little things like “Richard Powers trained in music and got his degree in physics, got bored and quit with his MS. One day he saw a picture and then wrote a novel about the people in it. Then he was a genius.”

D: Let's see... MacArthur likes people who are crafty! Check.
MacArthur likes minorities! Check. (Well, we count for like 3 minority points, anyway.)
MacArthur likes collaborations! Check.
Somehow we can work biking into this, and perhaps facilitate a tiny bit of bribery into the process by making MacArthur people a custom eponymous cocktail buffet. Or we could write a middling-but-Oprah-approved novel and just sell the movie rights, perhaps?

A Lady: Really, I think that’s all we need: a mediocre novel with a heart of gold. The Jean Harlow of novels. Based on pictures like this one!

D: "Consumptives dining on ferry boat" leads to a novel titled...
"Appetite Adrift"?
"Deadly, Hungry, and Unwanted"?

A Lady: “Paddling Toward the Sanatorium”?
“Wasting Away”?
“The Scarlet Dinner Napkin”?

D: Ooh, "Wasting Away" ftw! And then we will get critical acclaim because people will say "oh my god, women were able to write a novel with these fully-realized and compelling male characters, amazing!"
...oh wait, no, that only works in reverse.



D: Inexplicable hatreds: I have many.

A Lady: Hmm, apparently so.
I can't stand kitten heels.

D: I went through a kitten-heel phase in... 2003? It lasted all of three months. I think I do currently have two pairs of 2 ½" heels, but those are more sandal-y type things. Like, breezy summer shoes. Not kitten heels.

A Lady: Precisely. Low heels are not kitten heels. Kitten heels are ½” to 1 ½”. The itty bitty ones.

D: I feel like anything under 3" is teeny, but I also realize that's just my brain.

A Lady: I mean, I don't mind a small stacked heel; it's the little half-ass dinky heel that gets me.

D: Mmmhmm. The kitten heel is like "oh, I am an amateur."

A Lady: Oh! and strappy strappy shoes: the thin straps, not big ones.

D: The ones that look like they're made of licorice whips. Yes. Or rather, nooooo.

A Lady: Exactly.

D: Something about those just screams 1998 to me. SENIOR PROM SEXY SANDALS! CLASS OF 1998!

A Lady: Shoes will date you, people. And movies. They'll date movies.
"Those Crocs! 2007."

D: DON'T YOU DARE. Crocs suggest no time period. They suggest blindness.

A Lady: "Those little embroidered net flats! Most major cities circa 2003!"

D: Ha, yes. My japflaps were totally a 2003 purchase.

A Lady: I'll insist, though, that certain silhouettes are classic.
The straight knee-high boot with a stacked heel.

D: A shift dress.

A Lady: A pencil skirt.

D: A full knee-length skirt, with a close-fitting top. (Do I wear that silhouette? No, because I have no waist. Thus, shift dress.)

A Lady: A white tailored menswear shirt. Similarly forgiving, more breezy.

D: Let's not assume I can wear a white shirt without being clumsy in the vicinity of coffee or red wine or something equally staining, L. Keep your expectations reasonable.


judgment day

A Lady: Sartorial irks, part the second: flimsy suiting. I just don't understand.
Is it because it's ill-fitting? Is it because it's ill-fitting AND made with cheap fabric?

D: It’s because it hangs so poorly.

A Lady: Is tailoring really so painful?

D: Sigh. Everyone should have a tailor. It’s nonnegotiable.

A Lady: I feel like there should be a rule that if you're going to buy a flimsy suit, you should be made to buy it too tight.

Precisely. Like a state tax. A "sin tax", in its way.
Oh god, pet sartorial peeve: when people don't cut the stitch that holds the vent closed after they buy a jacket/skirt/whatever. I want to run around with tiny scissors and snip them. I see it EVERY DAY.

A Lady: Oh god. Yes.

D: Shudder.

A Lady: Also, women who don't re-heel their heels.

D: COBBLERS ARE YOUR FRIEND. Your best friend.

A Lady: Screw-tips are not left exposed for a reason; new taps are not expensive.

D: I have lost count of how many times per year I re-heel my shoes. It's so worth it.

A Lady: Re-heel: you will not slip and fall and kill yourself, and you will not annoy me.

D: Confession: I may be guilty of a lesser version of the suits + backpacks felony. Perhaps a misdemeanor?

A Lady: Nooooooooooooo. Oh god, that shit makes me crazy.

D: …because I do sling my messenger bag with me to work each day.
BUT ONLY WHEN BIKING I SWEAR. And only when a large purse CANNOT be carried. If I’m taking the train? I’m carrying a purse/tote. I promise. But if I’m biking? It’s work dress, heels, messenger bag.

A Lady: Do you immediately take off the messenger bag and put said bag carrying your purse in your purse upon dismounting?

D: Yes. That messenger bag exists only while on the bike.

A Lady: Okay, that's allowed. I've done that too.
I just see grown-ass people on the train, on the street, without bike, with backpacks. It makes me want to scream.

D: Whew. I feel exonerated. Plus, I am wearing a helmet at the point, so I feel like I get a half-pass.

A Lady: Do we even need to mention the tennis shoes/businesswear thing? I feel like Working Girl pretty much said anything that needs to be said, even though people still do it.

D: No. No no no. WHY? Seriously, just put on flats. You can buy them at Target. At Payless. Hell, I do.

A Lady: And even if you have a foot problem, it's totally possible to get an orthopedically AND visually-friendly flat.

D: If necessary, leave your heels in the office. I don't quite get that- why buy shoes you can't walk in?- but I suppose it's an option. BE A GROWN-UP. LOOK LIKE A GROWN-UP.

A Lady: That too. Why do people buy heels they can't use??

D: Because people, dear, are bloody ignorant apes.
Hell, I think half the reason people take me seriously in any professional situation is merely because I am dressed like a grown-up. At least a little bit.

Um on that note: because I am currently wearing dirty jeans and a black t-shirt that is a different shade of black than the cardigan i have over it. Oops. Whatevs, it was work-at-home day.

A Lady: Er, I was about to say…
The irony is that I'm bitching about sartorial pet peeves while wearing, er, cutoff sweatpants and an old v-neck, grey socks, and pigtails.

D: HA. Pigtails, ditto.


D: WE ARE SITTING AT HOME. It’s different.



We hate lots of things. Flaked coconut (D), sweet/savory combinations (A Lady), coffee shops that don't provide free wifi, inexplicable public transit delays, having to explain our love of trashy television shows to those who doubt the necessity of brain-fluff entertainment. Also, I fucking hate ruffles.

A Lady: Ok, D, explain this hatred of ruffles, please.

D: I have never been a ruffly person, but all those ruffle-front things of late enrage me.

A Lady: Me neither, but the rage? I don't get the rage.

D: They just look infantile. Why must retailers take a perfectly good sleeveless shirt and puke up some needlessly involved decoration on it?

A Lady: Oh, well, that, yes.

D: Or this!

A Lady: See, I don't mind the second one.

D: Every time I want to just buy a goddamn plain cotton/silk shell, it's been attacked by accoutrements. Ruffles make me angry, I think, because I see them and mentally snap "dress like a damn adult, not like you're wearing a Formal Bib.”

A Lady: That frustration is understandable, BUT: what about Lanvin?
Do we hate Alber?

D: I'm sure he could make a ruffle that I liked. But I’d be contrary and call it a "pleat detail".

A Lady: See, for me it's a question of degree. One little pathetic cotton jersey ruffle? NO. But lots and lots of silk ruffles? OH YES.

D: All the damn shells/t-shirts I see for sale have some sort of superfluous appliqué/ruffle. Perhaps repeated exposure has induced an allergy.
Or whatever the quackish medical explanation for that would be.

A Lady: Appliqué I cannot stand. Ever.

D: Thank you. It's not a damn "trompe l'oeil" shirt when you just sew some gauze and beads drooping off the neckline. It's just lazy.

A Lady: EW NO. See, that's what I was talking about: cotton jersey.

D: Make it stoooooooooop!
Hmmmmmmmmmm. Maybe it's the Boobs Issue.

A Lady: Yes, like Mary Poppins or something.

D: And I have a weird torso anyway, so my hatred of ruffles might actually be an unconscious aversion to looking like Mary Poppins.

A Lady: Which is totally understandable.

D: I really should click away from J Crew before I murder someone. RAGE!


fun size

A Lady: Why are there always Russians at Daffy's?
D: In Soviet bloc, bargains find YOU.



Apologies, loves. Between A Lady's whole moving/starting new job/attempting to dissuade her dog from eating yet another pair of shoes, and my... um... wait, what's my excuse? oh yes, my general habit of running around to things like Monday night dance parties that leave me waking up on Tuesday morning covered in mylar confetti and gold glitter, well yes, we've been lax at the updating.

In the interim, as we frantically scramble to be witty and amusing, an exchange on How To Hide The Fact That One's Hair Is Disgusting. Perfectly appropriate, as I am on day three of unwashed hair (I did try to rinse out the confetti, but may not have been entirely successful), made all the more attractive by the fact that I have not had a haircut in a long overdue while.

Ways to Hide Last Night's Hair:
1) stay in bed
2) grey woven fedora of my dreams
3) drag queen wig
4) swimcap

A Lady:
5) t-shirt sleeve as head wrap
6) cornstarch
7) bun
8) stay in bed

9) drape pet jauntily around crown of head
10) kerchief
11) hoodie
12) get out of bed, but only to move to couch
I am rocking option #7 today. Last night's hair was definitely not on my mind with This Morning's Oversleeping.

A Lady:
13) execute makeup perfectly, pretend hair is intentionally messy
14) baseball cap
15) beanie
16) balaclava

17) full ski mask
18) turban
19) define self as "J.D. Salinger-esque hermit" and avoid all human contact



D: I have a story for you. It involves bacon, being awkward, and stalking a cute boy in my alley.

I wake up this past Sat morning with a well-deserved hangover and am addressing this by making a huge fucking pan of bacon on the stove, next to my large kitchen window. The phone rings, and I smush myself up against this window to get a little cell reception. I happen to glance outside into the alley and there is a totally cute boy out there. Ginger hair, nice glasses. And you know I am a sucker for nice glasses.

A Lady: Uh huh

D: Then, as I am a spaz, I exclaim into the phone "Dude! There’s a cute boy in my alley!" ... before realizing that I am standing in front of an open window, facing this boy who is now looking up at my window. Who totally heard me.

Then I realize that I am wearing a bathrobe and rocking seriously matted hangover hair, so I run away from the window.

But dude! The bacon! I cannot let the bacon burn!

A Lady: Ahahahaha

D: So I scoot BACK to the stove, next to the window. Cute Boy is still there.

A Lady: Noooo

D: I then proceed to press myself up against that window most of the day in the hopes that he'll come back.

A Lady: Please tell me you peeked from behind your frying pan.

D: Nah. But I should've dangled bacon out the window like a lure.

A Lady: Totally.

D: THEN! I'm out on the back steps later that night and I see him again. He is totally the houseguest of someone in my building! I must go forth and be detective-y!

A Lady: Wait, what was he doing in the alley? Are we sure he's not just loitering?

D: The first time, he was looking confused and looking up at the window as if he’d been accidentally locked out.

The second time, he clearly left from within my building and was heading out on an errand of some sort. Not a homeless dude in the alley, it would seem.

A Lady: Did he recognize you?

D: Nah, I only saw him as he disappeared down the alley.


On Monday night, I'm leaving the building via the back steps, and I run into my downstairs neighbor and I ask: “Hey, you guys didn't have houseguests this weekend, didja?"

(neighbor) "no, why?"

A Lady: Ohoho!

D: (me) Oh, there was this really cute boy in the alley on Saturday who I saw from my kitchen window, and he was looking up at your window like he was locked out."

(neighbor) "Um. How cute? What did he look like?"

(me) "Exceedingly cute. Ginger, nice glasses."


A Lady: OMG



D: (me) "You have a very cute brother."

A Lady: Et????

D: (neighbor) "Mind if I pass along the compliment? …and are you single?"

(me) "Please do …and YES."

A Lady: OMFG. Open-mouth grin.

D: I knooooooooooooow.

Alleystalking: the new meet-cute.

I am hoping to run into the downstairs neighbor again soon to push the Hook A Sister UP With Your Cute Brother agenda.

A Lady: This is amazing. And without the awkward dating-friends'-siblings thing, because he's just a neighbor.


Although, jumping waaaaay ahead into the Realm of Possibility ZOMG, if we do end up hooking up, it may be awkward as his brother's apartment downstairs is the exact same layout as mine. Meaning: my bedroom is directly over theirs.

A Lady: D’oh.

D: (I plan ahead.)


via velo

As A Lady is in the midst of "important" things like moving, starting a new job, and such, imagine her chiming in here to say things like "bikes: we like them!" and "be careful not to rip open any seams held tenuously together with sixty-year-old thread".

"But how do you bike in that, D?"

Yes, I get that a lot. The answer:
comme ça, dear. Put on helmet, place feet in pedal cages, hike up dress, and bike forth. Is it, as A Lady noted, Potentially Inappropriate? Of course it is. I figure that anyone who may see me biking to work, to the grocery, to the bar, etc., is unlikely to be someone I will ever see again, and this turns my give-a-fuck meter down to zero.
N.B.: don't do this while wearing any delicate vintage pieces with seams that are a leeeeetle too tight around one's hips. That's just asking for trouble.

Eventually, one develops biking calluses on the inner thighs from where they rub on the seat. This is 1) highly unattractive, and 2) massively useful, and I am fully in favor of it. I'd rather have little quarter-sized calluses on my legs than have saddle sores. Related: I am gross about things like this. More scar tissue, says I!

(Let's talk about how ridiculous my bike is, guys. I am very lucky to have a free bike (the latest in a long line of free bikes, fantastically), but it is ultra-heavy, and the frame does not fit me, and it's really impractical to do my daily 12+ miles of city biking on a big-ass mountain bike. I lust after the Surly Pacer: I test-rode it last weekend, and oh my lord, I am having a hot-and-heavy imagined affair with this bike. It's perfection, and the Minnesota connection is just a bonus. I take a 56cm frame, if any generous patrons would like to gift a girl.)


peer pressure

In which A Lady bosses me into not cutting my hair before I see her in November. (I am not cutting it in preparation for a truly kick-ass Halloween costume, at the moment.)

D: So: Theda Bara! I am growing my hair out, doing loads of research, and planning the Theda-as-Cleopatra costume. This might be the thing that spurs me to buy a sewing machine.

A Lady: Oooh.

D: IT INVOLVES A HEADPIECE. You know I am a sucker for headpieces.

A Lady: YES. Dude, come here for Halloween, and I'll be Louise Brooks.

D: OOH, YES. Louise Brooks is my idol. And my haircut inspiration, obvs.

A Lady: …Though I am excited to see you with a longer 'do.

D: I might cut it post- Halloween though; it tends to get stringy when longer. But! there will be Halloween photos.

A Lady: Nooooooooo.

D: Striiiiiiiiingy, L.

A Lady: I wanna see it longer. In person.

D: Bossy, bossy.

A Lady: Duh. Also, that's what dry shampoo is for.

D: You will not see it longer in person if it's all lank and gross.

A Lady: Hmph

D: …But if it's behaving, I'll leave it. We'll see.

A Lady: Pah.

Let it be known that if I am sporting unflattering hair around on my vacation this November, it is totally A Lady's fault.


meeting of the minds

I bought myself a little present: a plane ticket for an east coast vacation this fall.

A Lady is east-coasterly.

I believe the formal statement we both issued regarding this event was "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!", accompanied by jazz hands.


how to break up

More in the "advice you did not ask us for" column!

Now, it's highly likely that if one successfully dates us, there may be the eventual part where one must also end the relationship. (If not, after all, we'd have been partnered off at age sixteen or so, and that's a horrifying thought.) (You never know, though! --A Lady)

From D:
I'm lucky enough to have no true horror stories of breakups gone awry, so my contribution is largely a "how do to this right" series of suggestions.

I will admit that I did pull one of the worst breakup moves of all time, though. I broke up with someone via email. I know. I'm ashamed. Long list of excuses, (international long-distance, lacking a phone, the both of us passive-aggressively not signing into Skype, etc.), but: don't do that, kids. You look like an asshole, and for good reason. Breakups should be in person, or at the very very least, via phone in case of extreme long-distance situations.

Things that make a good breakup: be an adult. Don't throw tantrums. Realize that a bit of distance goes a long way towards being civil. Occasional check-ins via email can be nice, but only if they're reciprocated. Otherwise, that's just creepy and desperate.
Mutual friends remain mutual friends. And if you can't say something nice about the ex to the mutual friends, say nothing. Bitching and kvetching should be limited to the inner circle of confidantes, lest you come off as unstable.
And for the love of god, if you don't de-friend on Facebook (which you might want to do, depending on the situation), at the very least hide the other person's status updates and posts and such from your feed. It's for your own good. Under no circumstances should your first post-breakup communication come via Facebook: email or text message is acceptable, writing on the ex's Facebook wall is just icky.

Oh, and note that any of the above bits of advice are absolutely rendered moot if the breakup was instigated by some egregious offense such as being cheated upon or otherwise lied to. In those situations, you have my blessing to lash out as much as you desire. Go ahead, burn the former paramour's favorite shirt and donate all their books to Goodwill and commence with the trash-talking. No one will blame you.

And now, my turn. "Me" being A Lady. I will contribute the "how not to break up with us" part of this, because wow, do I know how to pick 'em. Do not:

Wait wait. Edit. Sorry. Have had the obvious pointed out to me. There's just one good rule for how not to break up with me: do not be a creepy stalker, because it keeps me from being amusing on the Internet. Which I live for.


prefatory posturing

Our warm-up round before last week's Seamless viewing:

D: Ok, glass of bourbon in hand, Netflix open.
A Lady: K, let me pull up the moooovie
Oops just typed in "samless"
D: Hee
A Lady: (The new Kate Winslet vehicle.)
D: (Sean Penn's career minus one movie.)
A Lady: Oh god I can't. That last one finished it.
Oh wait.
(One Boring Summer.)
D: You win. My brain is too tired to pun.
A Lady: Firefox did not appreciate my wit: everything crashed.
D: Judgey bastard.



A Lady has (um, had) an online shopping moratorium. I have a dating moratorium, spurred by a series of underwhelming dates and the realization that I’d rather go to yoga class/ read a book (currently: Hugh Laurie’s The Gun Seller, recommended by Helen)/ make dinner with my friends than go forth and date.

My plan is met with, shall we say, skepticism.

D: No, seriously, I am committed to this DATING MORATORIUM. I am sticking with this. The only dates I have this month are hanging-out-with-my-awesome-friends dates, and that keeps me plenty busy.

Miss North Star: How long will the moratorium stand?

D: Indefinitely. I vote through at least November.

Miss North Star: So… September?

D: Hush!

Miss North Star: You know I’m right.

D: No! I had only started doing the all-dating-all-the-time thing as of, like, this March. And that only really lasted through June. It was tiring.

Miss North Star: I'm not saying you'll go back to dating all the time…

D: Four months on, four months off. Like that farming thing where you let the land lie dormant for a while. It's good for it. Or something. I don’t know, I don’t have farmer cred.

Miss North Star: Right. Sure.

I think it's a load. I'm just going to deplete the nutrients in my soil until it's dry and desperate.

D: Ha.

Miss North Star: And then some nasty weed will take hold. And I'll get married to it.


add to cart

For the record, A Lady's moratorium on online shopping lasted all of eight days. She claims that it was a necessity-purchase to replace underthings that were eaten by a dog.

In that case, every single thing I buy online is a necessity purchase to replace things that were destroyed by... um, by not having them yet. Yes. Like that.

how to date us

“But I did not ask you about this, you trollops,” you say. Scroll down to the bottom of the post, note the tag “advice you did not ask us for," and just go with it.

Good Ideas/Bad Ideas for Dating D
Making an effort is required. And by “making an effort”, I mean that one must take the trouble to make plans in advance, and not just assuming that a last-minute text message is going to cause me to drop whatever plans I already have and make myself available to you. Spontaneity is cute within reason, but if you are unable to formulate a plan that includes a date, time, and location, I am going to be unable to go out with you. I joke about my color-coded calendar, but really: I have an absurdly anal-retentive color-coded calendar, and it fills up with Stuff.

Making an effort also includes things like wearing clean clothes, turning off the volume on your phone unless you have some legitimately pressing situation requiring your availability (Is your best friend due to birth a child soon? That counts. Are you waiting to see if your friends are doing anything fun tonight? That does not count; please go fuck yourself), and making me brunch. I am a total sucker for brunch.
I cannot believe that I’ve just had to clarify that one should wear clean clothes and not continually check one’s phone on a date. Fucking basic, right? You would hope so, but apparently you would be mistaken.

Flowers are also a Really Good Idea. Not stuffy Floral Arrangements, though, because those are formal and kind of weird me out: the last time I got Romantical Flowers the card said “happy one-month anniversary”, which caused me to freak out and drive to another state that night to escape the suffocating awkwardness. But: a peony in a jelly jar? I am guaranteed to adore it.

Apparently if you make me brunch and hand me a peony, I will go into a swoon.

I send pretty clear signals, really: if I make out with you at the bar/ on the street/ while hailing a cab, I like you. If I do not, well, you're going home alone.

Good Ideas/Bad Ideas for Dating A Lady

I favor tulips and calla lilies over peonies, but, like D says, simpler is better. The making an effort bit is, for me, a moot point: if I've agreed to go out with you or have asked you out, I'll already have noted that you are, in fact, making an effort.

Spontaneity is always charming, but only in a "Ooh, you didn't have to bring me coffee on your break!" kind of way. I like plans: they are something to anticipate and show that the other person is looking forward to the next time they see you as much as you are. If you call me up (NB: I hate the phone) after a week of silence and want me to do something three hours later, I will say No, on principle.

Be an adventurous eater and drinker. Make eye contact. Keep up with my horrible attempts at banter. Have rolled-up shirt-sleeves. It's okay to be a little possessive, too, if that's your thing. If you know any old school chivalry (which side of the sidewalk to occupy, whether you should let a lady walk ahead or behind you, standing when she leaves the table, etc.), that's pretty awesome. (Caveat: don't suddenly try to start putting these things in action if you haven't been doing it forever. I wish I were kidding, but I've been knocked aside and jostled by people trying to get me on the right side of the sidewalk. Not cool. Don't call attention to your manners, ever.) If you know how to partner dance and lead well, that's even better.

If you help me on with my coat, I'll go home with you immediately: you'll have just earned the James Brown Seal of Approval.


let's go to the movies

Selections from our inadvertent liveblogging of “Seamless” while on gchat. I can think of few better ways to spend a Monday night than this.

D: After this day, a movie diversion is so welcome.

A Lady: Oh, I have a tub of watermelon at the ready.

D: I suggest adding vodka. Mmm, watermelon. Mmm, booze.

A Lady: Ahahaha I love this intro: "retired, bought out, retired, ABOUT TO DIE." Poor Mr. de la Renta.
Also: I live for Anna's impatient, post-speech headcocks.

D: Anna's head says "I made a point there, motherfucker.”

A Lady: True story: I hate that gay men dress me, or have any say in what I wear.

D: I want ladies to dress me. They get it.
Well, and Alber.

A Lady: And Raf.
Have I mentioned how fucking sick I am of Marc Jacobs? I get it: bows. dots. ugh.
I can't even bring myself to wear stuff of his that I already own.
Oh, P.S., did you see that? Barneys.
No apostrophe.
(I have few pet peeves. That is a major one.)

D: Snob approved.

A Lady: Wait, does she go by Doo.ri? The period included? Like Jennifer 8. Lee?

D: Doo.ri and Jennifer 8. Lee: they have exceeded us in pretension.
(I find it hilare that I am eating pita chips/covered in pita crumbs while watching a movie about high fashion.)

A Lady: (I wish I had a bag of baked cheetos.)

D: Oh duuuude. We should've planned ahead for that.

(Photos from the 2004 CFDA spread in Vogue are on the screen)

A Lady: do you remember any of these pics? Because I do.

D: Poor Peter Som, relegated to the background of his own shoot.

A Lady: Tom Ford trying to figure out how to say "Schouler"? Amazebomb.

D: Proenza Schouler boys: STOP SAYING CUTE



A Lady: "They fit so hot!"

D: Pet peeve. I fucking hate "cute".


"Why am I not...you know...enjoying my freaking brioche?"


A Lady: JINX!
Um, so: Daria. Do you remember the president of the fashion club?


A Lady: …and have you heard her voice yet in this movie?
Because I have. IN A MAN.
“I. Am. The president. Of. The fashion club.”