Great White Snark: April 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

We got no class and we got no principles.

AWESOME, YOU GUYS! I'm now kind of officially a college senior! Super!!

I thought I'd upload some pics of just a few of the books I read this semester.

Books for my research paper. Yeah, I read them. Wanna guess my topic??

Books I'd rec: Great Expectations, Dracula, Northanger Abbey (naturally), Hothouse, Evelina and War of the Worlds. Books to avoid like the plague: To the Lighthouse (not pictured) and Caleb Effing Williams.

This was my bitch of a sci-fi book (quarter for size reference, hah). This was an awesome class and I definitely recommend taking it (LIT 3310, for non-English majors), especially if you need elective credit, but be ye warned: this book plus 3-4 novels are REQUIRED reading. You really can't BS your way through the class. Or, I mean, you can. But you'll fail. Miserably.

Anyway. To all of you who gave me bookmarks this year, THANK YOU. I used every single one of them.

I think it's time now for some of this:

Only I don't look like that AT ALL, my pool is freezing cold and I don't have a nifty inflatable recliner, even if my pool was warm. IT'S THE PRINCIPLE OF THING, YOU GUYS.

ETA: I JUST ate our first radish out of the Victory Garden! SUCCESS! No pics because people who blog pics of themselves eating radishes are probably pedophiles weird. But I'll try and take pics of the garden and some more of our bounty, hopefully this weekend. HOORAY!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sorry for so many confessions. God, I'm so guilty.

I think this movie is fantastic. I despised it when I saw it at 15, but being able to look back at high school and laugh has made me appreciate it. It's snarky, and so quotable and I wish I could spew lines and people would get it. Also, I have a girlcrush on Rachel McAdams.

Don't judge.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Got milk?

I don't know why after 20-something years, I still wake up and think, "Yes, today I think I'll eat all the dairy I want and NOT get sick. TODAY WILL BE THE DAY."

Note to self: You will get sick. Every. Single. Time.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"Everything popular is wrong."

This is how I feel about Virginia Woolf and modernism in general. I feel like literature died with WWI. I hate it.

So DORK MOMENT. Currently, I am DYING to get back to the library, not for my research paper, oh no. I want to go back to the Alice in Wonderland/Sherlock Holmes section, check out books relevant to my interests and take my own sweet time reading them this summer. I will not miss being a student, I think, when it comes to papers and homework. I will however miss having access to such a full library.

Speaking of Sherlock Holmes, I also hate how Arthur Conan Doyle hates Sherlock Holmes and tried to kill him like, 6 billion times, failed, gave a big hissy fit and continued writing, even though you can tell he despises doing so. He snarks his audience constantly throughout the last two Sherlock Holmes books. I feel insulted and want to snark him back. Create custom animated gifs at!

Yeah, regrettably, that's the best I can come up with at the moment. But seriously, how can you hate Sherlock Holmes?!? Or WATSON. COME ON, ACD. COME ON.

I am ridiculously tired, even though I've finally started sleeping again. Must be catching up. That and finals. I can blame anything on finals.

Only a week and a half, only a week and a half, only a week and a half...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

"We must never confuse elegance with snobbery." -Yves Saint Laurent


Right, so I started this blog with the intention of it being a more affordable fashion type blog. Clearly, it's failed thus far in that regard, as it's become more of a sounding board for all my useless opinions.

But I still love the idea of helping people look awesome without breaking the bank. So. Back to the drawing board. This is a post I've had planned since before this blog existed, and I think I've been putting it off simply because I know it'll be huge. But I want to get it done now. :)

Without further ado...

Your Guide to Discout, Consignment and Thrift Stores

*The primary thing to remember about ALL of these places is to take off your judgment goggles. Sure, I love, but really, if you're in a discount or thrift store, you're in there for the same reason as everyone else: to get cheap stuff. So that makes you in NO way better than anyone else shopping there (even if they are wearing silver lamé leggings and a feather boa).

Thrift Stores
I think a lot of people tend to have the idea suggested by the editorial cartoon above, that thrift stores are stanky, nasty garbage receptacles that profit off other people's trash. In some ways, that's absolutely correct. If you're a snobbish cynic. If you're a treasure-seeking opportunist, you can find some incredible things in thrift stores.

The primary thing to remember about thrift stores is this: the things in there are used. But that doesn't mean they're all nasty and disgusting. Yes, there are some icky things. But seriously, you guys? We all use public bathrooms, see concerts in disgusting clubs and smoke/eat/otherwise ingest things that are way more nasty once broken down than most things in thrift stores. So stop pretending that your poop doesn't stink and get over it.

My mom was the co-manager of our church's thrift store for 2 or 3 years, and I learned a lot about them in that time by volunteering a LOT. Here's the thing. Thrift stores don't take everything they get in. Or at least, good ones don't. The stuff people bring in in massive black Hefty bags has to be emptied by people just like you. Yeah, we used to get in things like, a sock or used underwear. That stuff we tossed. Most thrift stores do the same.

Things to Keep in Mind:
-Thrift stores require LOOKING. I've been thrifting before with people who will walk in, take one turn about the store, not touch anything and then be like, "Well, I didn't find anything." NO KIDDING. The thing with thrifting is you really have to go into it with the treasure-hunter mentality. Pirates didn't find buried treasure by just walking around the island and not touching anything. They had to wade through water, get sandy, and dig around. You're a pirate now. You have to touch things and dig around. (And no, I promise, you're not going to contract herpes by looking at thrift store clothes. That's SCIENCE.) You need to go through the racks piece by piece, because chances are, most thrift stores don't organize by size or color. Everything is mingled in together. Which means even though the entire rack is seemingly full of nasty sweater vests that could be useful only for the Ugly Sweater Christmas parties, the one from Abercrombie with the tags still on is in the same section.

-Don't just buy because it's cheap. Make sure you examine the piece--how is the stitching? Is there extensive staining? What about rips and tears? If it's a must-have piece, chances are it can be washed and tailored. If it's just so-so, save your money for a new piece.

-Be sure that what you get will actually go with other things you own. Right now, trendy little vintage clothing blogs are so popular it's almost bizarre. But the truth is, you're not going to get that look after one trip to the thrift store. Sure, you might find an awesome maxi skirt that looks like it fell out of the skies from the 70's, but if you have a black and white conservative wardrobe, it's not worth it to go out and buy the top, shoes and bag to match. Then you're spending more money than the skirt was worth in the first place. If you are looking to rebuild your wardrobe, do it slowly, piece by piece. And buy things you know will work with other things you own for maximum versatility.

-Don't pass judgment on the people working or shopping there. When we were at Re-Threads, we had a number of people come in who I would've otherwise ignored looking at in the street (you know how it is, when you try to avoid making eye contact because it's awkward? Those types of people.). But I talked with a lot of them, and their stories are heartbreaking, heartwarming and encouraging. I think we tend to look at the majority of thrifters as dirty, poor, addicts, etc. Some of this is true. But many of them are parents, siblings, children and friends who are doing incredible things for the people they love. They work two or three jobs, move their parents back home with them to save them from nursing home abuse, deal with more disease and heartache than most of us can even imagine, quit their corporate jobs to live frugally while volunteering for causes they believe's incredible (and every single one of the aforementioned things pertain to certain customers we had. I didn't make ANY of it up). So don't look at them and think, "Ew," because you can't even begin to imagine what some of these people have been through.

Consignment Shops
Consignment shops are stores, usually privately-owned, that re-sell used clothes. The difference between consignment and thrift stores is that consignment stores will either pay you cash for your used clothing outright, or give you a cut of the proceeds if your clothing sells in their store. Being as such, they're more selective than thrift stores since they'll lose a small amount of money paying the original seller. You don't want to give away more money than you're making, so they usually make a concerted effort to choose clothes that they think will sell.

I feel like many consignment shops are going out of business due to the economy. It's so hard to pay rent now, especially on sales made off of used clothes. I think boutiques are the same way--private-owned clothing stores just can't stand up to the corporate big-whigs. And when it comes to paying your electric bill and groceries or clothing, most people will put clothes on the back burner for a while. So I feel like these are the hardest to find, especially good consignment shops.

Things to Keep in Mind:
-PRICE. A lot of consignment shops will charge wayyy more than a piece is worth. I've been in consignment shops that will charge $18 for a pair of used jeans or capris. If you save the $18 twice, you can get a pretty decent pair of brand new jeans. Keep this in mind.

-For the younger shopper, Plato's Closet
is AMAZING. And no, I'm not just pimping it because I worked there. It's really a brilliant concept. They ONLY take clothes made within the last year to two years (we learned how to tell that kind of thing...AWESOME LIFE SKILLS). They're really selective about brand, style and condition, and the prices are so super. Some of my nicest pieces of clothing have come from Plato's, and I know I'd never have been able to afford them brand new. But what's reassuring is the fact that they're not ancient, since it can only be a couple years old max to be accepted. I can deal with that. EASILY. Like the Citizens of Humanity jeans (which sell for anywhere from $150-$300 a pair!) that I found for $35. Ordinarily, I'd think $35 was a bit much to pay for jeans (when I said I was cheap, I wasn't joking. Please, laugh at me. I do it all the time *_~). But because it's such a high quality pair of jeans that I KNOW will last forever (and fit PERFECTLY to boot), I totally didn't mind paying that much.
Also, GUYS! Plato's has perhaps my favorite selection for young men out of any store I can think of. Regardless of your style or tastes, Plato's will pretty much have you covered. Check it out, dudefriends!

Discount Stores

This is where you need to be careful. Everything in the discount stores I'm going to talk about is new, but the quality is sometimes sacrificed in the name of a bargain.

Wal-Mart, Target, etc:
These stores are FANTASTIC for your basic needs. My all-time favorite t-shirts (Hanes men's v-neck!) can be bought for like, $6 at these stores. Same with socks, other basic tees, cami's, etc. Also, Target has really stepped it up in recent years, particularly with their guest designer collections (featuring the likes of Thakoon, Rodarte, Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen, Luella Bartley, and many more). Currently in right now is some ADORABLE stuff from Liberty of London. I feel like the quality of Target's clothing is you get what you pay for. It's decent--I'd venture to say better than stores like Charlotte Russe, but lower than other mall stores (like Express, Gap, or American Eagle, for example). Still, I'm a die-hard Target fan.

Discount Mall Stores
Stores like Charlotte Russe, Wet Seal, and Forever 21 are excellent for buying that trendy, need-it-now seasonal piece for really cheap. I would not recommend such stores for investment pieces like boots, handbags or trench coats. The quality is pretty poor (F21 has gotten better, and is the best of the three), but what'd you expect from a $15 party dress? Be careful of fabrics, too. Anything with cotton in it WILL shrink, probably a whole size down. So while it's depressing to let the stick-thin 16 year old cash out your size 12 jeans, don't be too bummed, because they'll fit perfectly as soon as you wash them (if they survive the washing, that is). And as always, inspect the overall quality of the piece. Make sure the stitching looks relatively sound, check for loose or fraying threads and keep versatility in mind ALWAYS. Even if you're only spending a few bucks on something, you might as well make sure it's something you can use.

TJ Maxx, Ross, Stein Mart, etc:
These stores get such a bad rap, and I have NO idea why. I mean, yes. They are messy. Usually siezure-inducingly so. But I have had some AWESOME scores, especially at TJ Maxx who I feel like carries more better-name brands (Betsey Johnson, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, etc.). It's the same with the thrift stores: you need to be willing to dig and sift and really look if you want to find anything good. All of the products are new, just significantly marked down (mostly, I've noticed, because of being a couple of seasons old). That being said, CHECK FOR DAMAGES. Try on anything you want to buy and make sure there are no unsightly stains or tears. Every once in a while you'll get something, only to realize once you've gotten it home why it was so cheap. Stein Mart is pretty much an "old lady store," but I got my Oscar de la Renta sunglasses there, so I feel the need to pimp. Skip the clothes and just look at the accessories there. So overall: buyer beware, but also HAVE FUN, because you can get some kickass bargains. Don't discount the discount store!!!

WHEW. Okay, I want to show you guys just three examples of stuff I've gotten at the aforementioned stores. Also, despite the original price tags, I didn't pay more than $35 for ANY of them. :)

Adorable Betsey Johnson "Betseyville" (which is her cheaper, but no less adorable, brand) laptop bag.

Juicy Couture wallet I can't WAIT to carry this summer.

Awesomely gorgeous Guess dress that I found lurking in the racks, new with tags. It's one of those rare pieces that looks better on me than the hanger. :D

So there you have it, guys! I hope you enjoyed this article and that it was informative. Hit me up if you ever want to go thrifting--it's one of my favorite things ever--or if you need a list of thrift/consignment stores in the area. I know them ALL. Also, PLEASE let me know if you've scored any awesome bargain deals! I get off on stuff like that. *_~

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

I want to hold your hand.

I don't want sex. Sometimes I just miss being close to someone.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Millie vs. The Squirrel

Okay, so I'm an armchair ornithologist (among other things). I adore birds and bird feeding. So I have a window feeder that I've had up for about seven months and only JUST recently had birds starting coming to it. It's migration/mating season, so bird traffic is pretty heavy.

Well, this morning, I had a very humorous series of events take place that I managed to get on camera and wanted to share with you.

Exhibit A: the now crooked window feeder

Exhibit B: The Squirrel who discovered my feeder was a magical wellspring of seeds and deliciousness (the way he's holding his paw worries me...I hope he didn't injure it. He might just be holding some seed or something).

Exhibit C: Michael's usually completely useless dog, Millie. Millie is something of a space cadet. She whimpers at the sight of anything coming towards her, gets scared of her toys and blankets, and will literally spend 20-30 minutes at a time staring off into space. She also counts out all her pieces of food before she eats them. I wish I was making this stuff up, but I'm not quite that creative.

So The Squirrel notices the bird feeder is full of seeds and wow, there's a window sill right there for him to sit on. Millie happened to notice and went BANANAS over the fact that there is a bushy-tailed rodent sitting on HER window (and by her, I mean mine).

He comes sneaking up, and she's LIVID, whining and crying and scratching the glass.

Of course, he wasn't deterred by her at all. Isn't he cute?!?

This is pretty much what she's been doing for the rest of the day. Silly Millie.

Anyway, just thought I'd share. :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

- Interesting observations on what happened with cell phones this decade.

- Here is a list of darkly humorous and terribly cynical break up services. The "Death Bear" is my personal favorite (because I am a total creep).

- I should warn you that this is NSFW for STRONG LANGUAGE (even though I'm posting the censored version, just in case), but it's so badass I couldn't not post it. Natalie Portman pokes fun at her good-girl image. I will always adore her, but this skyrocketed her amount of awesome points in my scorebook.

- A heinously hilarious list of metaphors and analogies found in real life high school papers. Some of these made me literally laugh out loud. Heartily. Others were facepalm-inducing in the most maddening way.

Captain Picard facepalms your idiocy.

- Also, I don't know if any of you shop at Fred Flare (if not, you SHOULD), but I have a free shipping promo code that expires 4/15. Just enter the code "lace" at checkout.
ETA: just found out they've publicised the code by smattering it on their homepage. Now I have no insider information to share, and instead look like a tool who wishes she was awesome. Which is about right, actually.
My favorite things there include Warhol-inspired sunnies (which I love), the "This Economy Sucks" coin purse (which garners compliments every time I whip it out), CUPCAKE FLOSS, and adorable USB drives (don't own the last two...yet. But buying with them has always been quick and convenient).

- The first ever film version of Alice in Wonderland, made in 1903 (not even forty years after Carroll wrote the book!!!). The quality is terrible, but what'd you expect? It's a silent film made just at the dawn of the moving picture invention. It's still pretty wild to sit and watch it and think about how revolutionary it was back then, and affirms my belief that Alice in Wonderland is an amazing and timeless story.

That's it for now. I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Doctor's orders.

"He removed the thermometer from my mouth, folded his arms and delivered his diagnosis. ‘You are suffering from an ailment that afflicts ladies of romantic imagination. Symptoms include fainting, weariness, loss of appetite, low spirits. While on one level the crisis can be ascribed to wandering about in freezing rain without the benefit of adequate waterproofing, the deeper cause is more likely to be found in some emotional trauma. However, unlike the heroines of your favorite novels, your constitution has not been weakened by the privations of life in earlier, harsher centuries. No tuberculosis, no childhood polio, no unhygienic living conditions. You’ll survive.’

…I reached for the prescription. In a vigorous scrawl, he had inked: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes. Take ten pages, twice a day, till end of course.”

-The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield

Read it.
Listen to it.
Buy it.

Seriously, you have no excuses. Trust me. I'm a doctor. ;)

All I wanna do is *bang bang bang bang* and *cocks gun* *cha-ching!* and take your money.

Dear Emobloggers,

Please stop whining. Please. Or at least stop being so public about it. You've no sense of propriety whatsoever. No one is fooled by your langorous descriptions of friends' parties into thinking you're deep or tormented or whatever. Like everyone else, you're completely unique.
Please go listen to the Beatles and write down ten things that make you happy. Or things you're grateful for. Even if that includes seeing Owl City in concert or getting a new pair of skinny jeans. We'll look past that. For now.
Also invest in a real, touchable, paper-filled diary, where you can expound all your deepest, darkest secrets without looking like a douche in front of God and everyone on the internet.

We love you, Emobloggers. Just please shut up.

Love always XOXO,

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Because I can't get enough Victorian artwork in my life.

Credit. Also, I wanted to do this with Sherman, but couldn't determine the best way to make little bunny ears and a fluffy tail stay on.





I love Fabergé eggs, but this one I particularly like. It's called "The Memory of Azov," made in 1891. The egg is made of Bloodstone, one of my birth stones, and the ship is set on a small cut of Aquamarine, my other birth stone. Plus, it's got a tiny ship. I think it's amazing.

And now on to pics of my own. Here's what I wore to mass this morning.

Dress: Charlotte Russe; Shrug: Wet Seal; Bracelet: gift.

I did a post a while back on literary fashion, and I think this outfit fits in perfectly with my Pride and Prejudice motif. I love the fabric because it's flowy and I like the crocheted lacy detailing. :)

After church, my family and I went to breakfast. Then I came home and took a much-needed nap (which is probably why I look so tired in all these pics) before the extended family came over. Everyone ended up showing up. My mom made a really tasty ham and everyone brought over sides and deserts.

My neighbor made these DELICIOUS cupcakes. They were white cake topped with glazed cherries and powedered sugar. Delish (and pretty!)

My Mom's amazingly scrumptious deviled eggs. This is the only way I'll eat eggs at all.

Easter Lilly, courtesy of Meagan, who is awesome and about whom I am planning a MAJOR blog post sometime this week as time allows.

This is an antique painting my Mom scored at her thrift store when it was still open. We've since seen it in antique shops selling for WAY MORE than the $2 she paid for it. I love it, and it's very Eastery. It hangs in the formal dining room.

One of the tables we set for when the family came over.

What we wore. Mary: Dress= American Eagle (via Plato's), Necklace= also AE. Emily: Shirt= Charlotte Russe, Jeans and flats= Old Navy.

Me and my cousins April and Emily.

Overall, it was really nice. My cousins and I ate by the pool and had a riotous good time laughing. Plus, it's just nice to have all the family over every once and a while. I hope you all had a lovely and blessed Easter!