Saturday, March 31, 2012

Nude Panty Hose Trend, or, Maybe My Mother was Right

Kate Middleton, or Princess Kate, Lady Kate, whatever pompous noble title the British continue to dutifully use to dote and adhere, and I had nothing in common, she being an obnoxiously wealthy and waifish princess, primped and primed to inherit, at least iconically, the throne of the British empire, myself being a perpetually bored and exhausted worker in America, who, hopefully, will one day ascend to the uninteresting and unimpressive ranks of middle management. Until today. Today, I decided to don, for the first time in years, the now ubiquitous and invasive nude panty hose, a concept fallen far and deep from graces until this lanky, bone prominent frame pulled them from the depths of shame on her rise to royalty.

This event was momentous to me not so much because I was mildly emulating a Middleton, rather, because I was heeding advice from my mother that had been much resisted, with tears and force, over eight years ago. I remember, very specifically and vividly, in preparing for my first high school dance, the homecoming, my mother refusing to allow me to leave the house in bare legs. I was, like many girls my age, sufficiently awkward with my new breasts and bad skin, certainly did not require any bolstering in that arena with suffocating, matronly, flesh colored hose that stuck to my calves and thighs like leftover lipstick from the kiss of a wrinkled grandmother, stale coral, resistant to soap and water. I am positive I cried, but, ultimately, she triumphed; while I was miserable for a moment, the effect was not necessarily permanent, though, it has been embedded enough that I can recall it all now. For the record, I was also filled with disdain for my sophisticated and elegant black dress, one that while in university, I continued to wear, because, indeed, it was flattering and sexy, and I was too stupefied by hormones and fear of social inadequacies at fifteen to understand this. The dress in question, which I finally discarded when I moved away from Ithaca, a decision I continue to regret, was cocktail length, fitted, and featured criss-crossing triplet straps across the shoulder blades and middle back. For a second record, I was not officially asked to dance, though, few of my generation tended to adopt such formality even with the prettiest of high school girls in their glittered and polyester garments, and was overall ignored by any creature unfortunate enough to be harboring a Y chromosome, attempting to finish their own slow and tedious development. To complete my case, I was wearing a pair of open toe black heels; from where had I so vehemently worshiped the notion of no hose with open toes, I have no idea. Regardless, the entire affair mortified me, again, at least momentarily, until I was safe in the confines of a sweltering and sweating gymnasium with my few girl friends, who surely neither noticed nor cared.

A bit wiser, and a bit more confident now, at least with my emotional and intellectual self, today, I finally embraced the many obvious advantages of the nude hose: streamlined appeal and coverage for both wanton or neglected leg hair, as well as unseemly scars, of which I have numerous, given my illustrious career as a high school basketball, lacrosse, and soccer player. Here in Rome, where it is lusciously warm, I felt uncomfortable wearing my standard opaque black or navy house, especially given my light camel dress, tailored and well suited for a professional endeavor, with its accompanying bronze, camel, and cream tweed jacket. Nude was the most prudent, and the most flattering. In fact, due to my recent participation in an adult, co-ed, embarrassingly competitive and trying basketball league, I have some nasty bruises on my knees; immediately, they were shielded, hidden beneath the sheer and superficially sparkling façade of nylon glory. Mother, on this point, I do concede, though, I must admit, I still am apprehensive of the nude with the open toe, despite having warmed to the trend with the electric bright tights. I suppose I need another eight years.

(image taken from Hot Momma Gossip)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dressing for Dressler's

I have had this Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch-inspired little black dress for a number of years now, though, recently it has laid dormant, following its popular debut at an academic-centric fraternity formal I attended with a friend, and then re-styling at the university spring fashion show. As I was packing for last weekend, visiting my friend Diana and her crew in the city, I excavated this piece from the back of my closet, literally, and decided to refurbish the awkward length belt tie with this vintage costume brooch. With a longer skirt, pleated, and a classic plunging neckline, this dress is very traditional and serves as a great accessory canvas. Dressler's is a generally casual but nonetheless elegant restaurant in south Williamsburg; rhinestone resplendent dresses are by no means a requirement, but, they do tend to add a delightful ambiance to a meal.

Thursday afternoon Chinese and packing soundtrack: "Hey You! Get Off of My Mountain" the Dramatics

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sartorial Ingredients for the Moveable Feast

I leave for a business trip to Rome tomorrow evening, then, whisk myself off to Paris for my first veritable vacation in months, so many months I believe I can accurately say years. Being substantially preoccupied with various work projects, including and excluding the impending responsibilities in Rome, I have given little proper thought and consideration to a loose, leisure itinerary and even less thought to what to pack. My sister Elizabeth, ever helpful, ever supportive, ever resourceful, and thankfully, lately, with her beloved new profession and lifestyle as mother to Winona, ever available for a quick online chat consultation, proposed making a packing list. She had the following recommendations, to which I wholeheartedly agree: dark denim skinny jeans, black denim skinny jeans, and some basic classics in black, with sufficient sweaters to layer. Various permutations in black never fail. Reading my muddled and befuddled mind precisely with regard to strategy, her simple rationale put all in perspective for me on the ease of my task at hand: look sophisticated.

Although I will not be taking advantage of my obsession, the white button-down blouse paired with a blazer is one of the other classic uniforms I would love to don while traipsing through the narrow Parisian streets. Such masculine appeal with the pristine, almost stiff tailoring of a good blazer, and they still allow for a mischievous, feminine exuberance. Unfortunately, inevitable wrinkles during the packing process set forth a strong barrier to avoid any blouses; maybe I can snag a great one while over there, though, and fulfill this fantasy while I feast upon the city.

(image taken from Tomboy Style)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Save your Milk Money

I spent this past weekend slowly, lethargically gallivanting about the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn with my old childhood friend Diana, her chef beau, and their District of Columbia-based married friends. Following a superficially stylized but still delightfully flavorful meal at trendy Mà Pêche, which has garnered ample attention due to the Momofuku reputation despite its location in the Midtown depressing dead-zone, we sampled some desserts from the companion bakery, Milk Bar.

To speak in broad and grandiose generalizations, in most towns, when a joint is popular, it is either because of an unchallenged monopoly on the market, because it is indeed actually good, or because it has been sufficiently bolstered by media squawking and lemming-like flocking to a locale to simply be popular. Milk Bar, from my limited experience, seems to fall into this final category. I ordered the branded Candy Bar pie, which, completely unsurprisingly, tasted like an amalgamation of various drug store delights smashing into a single pie-shaped pan. Naturally, I was expecting a sucrose prominent treat, one that would perhaps lead to some aching teeth, however, was very disappointed with the complete singular dimension of the dish. There were no savory flairs, no bitterness, no bite; this was a pure plate of saccharine, one that had I been magically transported to my youth, I would have gobbled down without regret or shame. Particularly when I compare this to one of my absolute favorite desserts, one of true decadence, Kentucky Derby pie, which gracefully and maturely unites bittersweet chocolate, rich pecans, and strong, smokey bourbon, I can only shake my head at what was definitely my own mistaken transference of ideals and expectations. To my defense, the promise of pretzels was one that I believed would add a desired crunch texture and a more nuanced taste; alas, the piece featured a single pretzel at the very top. This offered little variety to the sugar-saturated topography of the pie.

In truth, I did gobble my piece down, more so because I had endured a trying day of running about and professional stress, with little nutritional sustenance. For the future, though, rather than dish out the few dollars for this dish, I would prefer to spend a single dollar on a Hershey Take Five or Twix bar.

(image taken from NYC Go)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Maxi Skirt and the London Connection

Last weekend, while hosting my good friends Danya and Peter, each relaxing and letting loose in a responsible adult sort of way for their respective spring breaks, I rekindled a certain fascination and appreciation for some of the strange secret nooks, haunting buildings, and bizarre characters of my quiet town. During a strolling tour, indulging in both luxurious sunlight and even more decadently luxurious ice cream, we passed a shadowed, tunneling staircase; tucked away between my apartment building and the main drag of town, it appears to lead nowhere, trails off to some concrete and weed unknown. A sign references the grand and old city of London; all of us nerds at heart, immediately we alluded to fabricated fantasy realms, this narrowing passage serving as a portal to a new ordinance in the plane of space and time.

Unlike this past weekend, which was a brutal and cruel return to chilled winds and rain, the typical and often admonished, loathed, carriers of spring, last weekend was a delight; I actually found myself a bit warm in this fuchsia pink maxi skirt, worn with tall heeled boots. Despite, in moments that could be characterized as desperate instant gratification, owning a few maxi skirts, I still feel a bit ambivalent about the trend. Perhaps, my propensity to photographing quite poorly, paralleled with the poor photographic rendering of the skirt, are accentuating this ambivalence. Nonetheless, the vibrant color is undeniably beautiful, whether manifesting in a minute swatch on a scarf of, in this case, bountiful flows of fabric. Pairing such a powerful pink with the basic and classic black and white stripes allowed the maxi skirt, rightfully so, to dominate and yet be a bit subdued and tamed.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bullet Bras and Combatting Flat Dimensions

Earlier today, while performing some rigorous online research on various Mad Men images, I stumbled upon this vintage MaidenForm advertisement. Overall, I find the aesthetic endearing and obviously nostalgic, both a veritable, intrinsic nostalgia for my direct childhood and a sort of assumed nostalgia for an imagined childhood in which one did play with paper dolls, affixing on their dresses and accessories with square tags. Simultaneously, I cannot help but examine this with a sharp first wave blended with second wave feminist lens, in which this cheeky tag and endearing, subtly alluring image contributes to popular public discourse objectifying the female body, enforcing a feminine ideal, propagating an obligation to the domestic realm, and suggesting an inherent single dimension to the female brain. This type of analysis is both obvious and general, I admit. Whether this was a successful campaign in targeting a key demographic in the market, housewives and professional women who wear underclothes, a predominance of the female population, it is difficult for me to assess, personally, having clearly not lived in that era and participated in that flavor of public consciousness. I cannot remove myself from the layers of evolving discourse and historical, political, and cultural events that lay between my life and the first appearance of this piece.

Today, when what are construed to be traditional gender roles and stereotypes, at least by Western standards, are manipulated in promotional campaigns, there is often an outcry. Despite media magnification of this type of denunciation, I do often wonder: what is the result in terms of sales? What are the grander market forces, beyond the image with accompanying words on the page or on the screen? There are creators for these campaigns, violent thrusts for these campaigns, because there is an audience, loud and hungry and powerful, willing to listen, or, perhaps more dangerously, unwilling to question what they feed upon.

(image taken from The Beauty Perspective)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Mad Return, or, Professional Parallels with Joan Holloway

(image taken from The Feminist Fatale)

The fifth season of Mad Men commences this Sunday evening, after an eighteen month respite, which for some has surely been more harsh and cruel and trying than those bitter months that Proserpina joins Pluto and Ceres wreaks havoc on the earth. This is in no way groundbreaking or even mildly interesting news, except perhaps to those who live on the cool, gentle edge of Walden Pond, without connectivity to the occasionally intellectually vibrant, oft numbingly inane realm of social media and television culture. While most are in a frenzy to indulge in the juicy and smart narrative of divorce, new relationships, new trysts, and struggling entrepreneurial endeavors in the jungle of advertising, or ready to riot for the glimpses of impeccable vintage fashion, both of which I include myself, I am, however, more acutely concerned with the portrayal of the evolution of gender politics in the professional arena. I am, after all, both a working girl and a writer. So, a fictional portrait of the female struggle to garner respect, opportunities, and success outside of the cult of domesticity, while maintaining a sense of her own physicality and sexuality, while not always factual on television, is at least entertaining. Most compelling, usually, is the lens this fictitious past presents us here, in the present, who continue this struggle daily. Again, even for the most superficial of viewers, surely the premier episode will at least offer some sartorial strategies for looking simultaneously sultry and stern in the office; the tight fitting, well tailored, and high-neck wool dresses frequently flaunted by Joan usually accomplish this feat amazingly well.

(image taken from Wall Street Journal)

In addition to sharing a similar hourglass body type, though myself, admittedly, not garnering nearly the amount of attention as that of the character nor the actress, I have been feeling synchronized with the former single Joan Holloway, now Mrs. Harris. A similar sort of assumption of grander responsibilities, without the appropriate, or deserved, recognition. In the spirit of attempting greater optimism, I am facing this challenge with the perspective that I am respected, my work is respected and valued, and thus I am entrusted with these duties. I often feel tangled in the center of a web, not of stares of sweating heated men, but of client demands and deadlines; I will keep trying to approach each with grace and, hopefully, a bit of style.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Outfit for a Tuesday: Layering Rhinestones

To say I have been in a bit of a slump lately is a gross, bordering grotesque and horrific, understatement; unfortunately, this saturnine sentiment seeps up from deep within my bowels, spleen, liver, stomach and manifests itself even in the superficial layer of clothing covering my skin. I have not written anything substantial or worthwhile in months, it seems, I feel stagnant socially and professionally, despite numerous lovely and enjoyable visits with beautiful friends, and this overwhelming sense of apocalyptic economic doom shadows my waking and sleeping dreams. Since spring has sprung, though, which, in addition to giving me the liberty and authority to wantonly abuse trite aphoristic bastards, is thrusting upon me opportunity for new life, metaphorically, new perspectives, and, at very least, a sunnier disposition.

Yesterday, compelled by the impending Easter holiday and the warm face of our planet's steady star, I wore a new pink and white Oxford striped button-down blouse. Although specifically designed for women by the lovely minds at the Gap and, indeed, featuring the stereotypically feminine pale pink, this blouse had a decidedly crisp, masculine trim to the fit. Juxtaposed with my pseudo-femme, pseudo-investment banker top, I layered two of my favorite vintage costume pieces: a flat, resplendent rhinestone choker and a necklace with clusters of opalescent pearls, congregating as bunches of grapes, with accompanying rhinestone accents. The effect was obviously bright and glittering, a much needed reprieve from my general gloom. Worn within the collar of my new blouse, the sparkle was not obscured, rather, was appropriately contained and framed.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Silver Lining

Last week was rather emotionally turbulent, so I was indeed exceedingly grateful for a relaxing weekend of incredible sanguine weather, beautiful friends visiting from out of town, and some quality cuddling time with my plump and darling niece. Lately, my perpetual, soothing mantra, almost dogmatic, plucked from the poetic lines of gloriously hair-sprayed, bastions of 1980s decadence Loverboy: working for the weekend. I repeat these words, again and again, generally in an internal monotone, occasionally, sung in the shower with a presumed imagined guitar riff. While this philosophy of spending time purely to be able to ultimately pass time leisurely, a sort of deferred fulfillment, is antithetical to how I would prefer to approach lifestyle management, it seems to have become a necessity as of late. Ideally, I will attempt to translate this approach to a less literal interpretation: weekend can be substituted for activities such as playing basketball, reading short fiction, writing poems, cooking a roast chicken, baking biscuits, and so forth, as can easily be accommodated into my after office hours schedule.

These photographs were captured a few weeks ago, prior to embarking on a familiar Friday evening trek to my favorite local cocktail bar for some simple, relaxing frivolities.

I had purchased this particular hue of L’Oréal lipstick, Plum Explosion, with the grandiose expectations that the name branding would be delivered unto my lips: I wanted something deep plum. This shade was not so much plum as it was a wine-infused orange pink, which, ironically, are two colors I typically avoid when perusing lipstick. Alas, my fate. Nevertheless, the potent perfume of fresh, untainted tube of stain was delightful.

After a long week, feeling a bit forlorn and beaten up, when one necklace seems to suffice, add another; the affect is thrilling and chilling.

For a moment of self reflection, convex mirror-like earrings.

These shorts were purchased in time for the last summer season; while I adore the horizontal stripe, alternating cream and blue chambray, the embarrassingly short length was a bit disappointing. Online illusions trump me once again. Lately, I have been wearing them with opaque tights, a look I much prefer as it flatters my legs a bit more.

This is the one and only time this past winter season that I wore my rabbit fur coat; frankly, it was not even truly cold enough to warrant animal fur the other week, but I knew for certain the window was closing so I took advantage of the mild evening bite. Adieu, dear fur, until next year, when surely the winds will howl and the ice will flail upon humanity once more.

It is difficult to harbor tension and stress from various professional obligations when a trail of glitter runs along the calf; very difficult indeed.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Saint Patrick, Encore

Few things embody the defeat of the Druids by the Catholic Saint Patrick like a leprechaun personified, mildly lemon flavored happy smile cookie. My dear friends Danya and Peter, each enjoying spring break this week, are visiting for the weekend; my smile shares a similar gleeful arc.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Still Making Sense

(image taken from LA Times)

(images taken from Tube Radio Land)

For the Christmas season, which also boasts my birthday and our anniversary, in a rather conveniently inconvenient clustering of important dates that connote the concept of memory making as well as gift giving, the filmmaker presented me with the infamous documentary film Stop Making Sense. Additionally, through a slight online ordering mishap, he offered forth the compact disc of the album. My general proclivity for nostalgia of eras in which I was not alive and thus did not participate viscerally, manifest by my affinity for vintage cocktail ware, for art deco aesthetics, for copious costume jewels, combined with my finding large appliances from the 1990s quaint and amusing, means I have kept my childhood boombox in my possession. Mostly, it sits on the floor of my apartment, adorned with a shimmering layer of inevitable dust. Lately though, I have been journeying into the musical recesses of my mind, listening to albums from high school that were played over and over, my repeating soundtracks of triumph and joy and frustration and angst. I am reminded immediately of that now distant anticipated desire of a new album, fresh from the record store, tearing into the glory with feverish speed as soon as possible in the car. Driving away to the beat and rhythm of new songs.

This evening, I finally extracted the precious Talking Heads disc from its taped packaged plastic catacomb. It has been years since I opened a new compact disc, years since I have had to rely on the nimble dexterity of the tips of my fingers to pick and scratch away relentless adhesive. At last, triumph, and a dance party while I cook dinner and tidy up for my weekend visitors. Boombox speakers still got it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Outfit for a Wednesday: Dueling Stripes

Unfortunately, yesterday, the potential insanity perceived in mingling two different patterns of stripes manifested in my actual physical reality; some professional stresses have reached a pinnacle. The fact that I can, despite these tensions, continue to properly, at least by most standards, dress myself is a great feat. After my day at the office, I spent over an hour in the warm weather, playing basketball in the soft glow of a setting fiery sun, the surface of which has been equally stormy and tumultuous. At least, from this perspective, this distance, the effects have been gentle, though the implications on a more cosmic, grand scale than myself remain to be seen. Today, I decided to focus on some these battles from the comforts of my own home, so to better concentrate. Though my mind reminds harried with various phases of worry on a variety of issue, this approach mostly worked. I persevere, though I fear that continually harboring this sentiment of "tomorrow is another day" will begin to take a toll. Indeed, my knee joints have weakened, and, for those who are appalled by pairing stripes with stripes, even those complementing one another by sharing a certain cream hue in common, well, then my mind grows feeble as well.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pi Day

Today has been monumentally awful; the reasons can be very precisely pinpointed and are all professional in nature, however, I am so beyond frustrated that digressing and divulging will offer no solace. Despite this foul mood, I was still delighted to be reminded me of this momentous occasion: Pi Day. Marveling at the steadfast and reliable beauty of mathematics, its permeance and import in my life and the workings of the reality surrounding me, does not offer a complete recovery, but does place a great perspectival lens on the view from here in my eyes.

Ideally, this afternoon and evening would be spent in baking and eating pies to commemorate this blessed number and force in mathematics; alas, my ability to maneuver a hand-made crust would most likely leave something to be desired. Perhaps a grocery store version would suffice, though, after a childhood being spoiled by my mother and grandmother, this is doubtful. I cannot wait for the local farmer's market to open its stalls once more for the spring and summer season; the baker's cart is an impeccable replacement to the goods fresh from my mother's oven.

(image taken from this isn't happiness)

Outfit for a Monday: Mint Mania

Mint, the transient hue between pale baby blue and light green, with a spectrum of chromatic flavors ranging from spear to pepper, has been a completely visually invasive and intrusive trend the past few months. I succumbed to the frenzy, and wore this nearly translucent mint cardigan on Monday, a shade that reminds me of mostly permeable amphibian skin, nearly white layers revealing passages of shifting blood, pulsing organs. Rather than these beautiful anatomic revelries, my thin veil of mint covered a silk champagne camisole. My deep green and camel pseudo-twill slacks infuse me with a desire to go fox hunting, despite having ridden astride a horse maybe once in my life, certainly not at a speed over a few miles an hour, and having no experience with hunting dogs whatsoever. Unfortunately, despite my love for the colors and the texture, these slacks are often neglected. The mint complemented the darker green as well as the camel brown, while lending a fresh, spring appropriate levity to the overall look.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Patrick was a Saint, I Ain't

Luck is with the Irish-Americans and all groups, types, and shapes of peoples who enjoy drinking vehemently and proudly during daylight hours in the great northeast, for here, the celebration for Saint Patrick and his heroics instilling a Catholic institution in Ireland is not one day, rather, three entire weekends. After a generally tumultuous and violent winter, the reward is the almost inappropriate extension of this traditional holiday, a period when the wind still bites but the sun begins to emerge as the community unites in green glory.

This past Saturday, my town organized their annual Saint Patrick Parade, an event that draws nearly 70,000 people to the streets to cheer and gaze on in awe at the hordes of people across this state who have learned how to play the bagpipes, to indulge in corned beef and hoppy libations, and to don some very ridiculous shamrock and leprechaun inspired outfits. The physical march of the parade is down the main street and around the town square, a not impressive distance; however, the number of participating groups was astounding. The filmmaker and I attended for about two hours to watch the parading marvels, then retreated from the cold for a bit to get some sustenance and energy, then headed out and braved the crowds once more to imbibe the appropriate beer. Enjoy a Guinness I certainly did, though, unlike most of the university students and other young adults in my area, I was able to contain my zeal for the occasion and remained comparatively stone sober for the afternoon. Favoring my clear-headed thinking and my steady step aside, I am glad I did, as I was better able to soak in the experience.

Apparently, being the Grand Marshall of this small town parade is a very big ordeal; later that afternoon, while in local pub sipping our beers, the filmmaker and I saw the Grand Marshall enter, much to the delight of every aged man in the crowd. He was adorned, along with his entourage, with a jaunty sash and a top hat.

As some photographs later in my chronology of this event will illustrate, dogs play a fairly prominent role in the frivolities of the parade; these Irish wolf hounds were stunning and majestic specimens. The breed never ceases to amaze me with their size and grand strut.

The first of many, many pipe and drum ensembles; from my untrained ear and unrefined auditory recognition, all groups were seemingly playing the exact same tune, with a loud bagpipe melody and a reverberating drum rhythm. Mostly, I was impressed with the volume of trained players this state boasts, especially among the younger generations; it was refreshing to see so many take a genuine interest in their heritage. Or, perhaps, manage to look regal in a plaid skirt and tall socks despite their disdain for perpetually obeying the ordinances of their parents.

There were fewer Irish dancing troupes than pipe and drum ensembles; their vibrant and stiffly starched triangular dresses were a beautiful and bright sight, though, again, I can imagine the resistance from younger generations to the overly teased and curled pompous hair. My facetious mocking aside, again, it was a pleasure to see people practicing an art could easily be lost in a realm of mechanized, technological delights, practicing this art and allowing it to thrive and propagate.

More bagpipes and more drums, this time, with tall furry caps that evoked my memories of my dear friend Rebecca's monkey hair muff from college; it was a grotesque piece. Never again have I seen a creature that so closely resembles human hair.

Old men in beautiful cream Irish knit sweaters promenaded and carried this large Irish flag; generally, I need my quarters for laundry, and can usually find a use for nickels and dimes, though, at the time, had no loose change on me so did not contribute to their funds. I trust that the aim of all in the crowds was steady and accurate, without the effects of beer causing deviations to the trajectory, because getting clunked in the head over and over again with change cannot be pleasant.

Besides the actual parade, the street was lined with so many peddlers, mostly pushing festive wares that were glittering green, though many also had lots of plastic cartoon character balloons and a general arsenal of crap. I admired their fortitude and, in a sense, the honoring of another type of tradition, inherent in street market and celebrations: trying to make a buck, hawking what can.

Unfortunately, my trip to Dublin last December did not afford me any time to shop for one of these beautiful cream sweaters, much to my dismay; I am still bitter and hurt now. I felt sorely left out.

This group of elderly musicians in their patchwork colored costumes left me quite perplexed, but still impressed at the intricacy of pattern and the highfalutin display of feathers.

A few days prior, while doing some research into the parade, as far as timing and anticipated crowds were concerned, the filmmaker and I stumbled upon an online video from last year, exalting a self-proclaimed thunderous herd of wieners: the South Jersey Dachshund Club. Jokingly, we promised to attend the parade purely to see this spectacle of cylindrical, short-legged dogs, flaunting their hotdog movements with pride and ease.

As a writer and a disciple of the varied texture of the English lexicon, I am not certain that I would use the word "thunderous" to describe the stampede of dachshunds, but it surely was something.

As opposed to the typical and ubiquitous verdant display, I opted for orange to show my unity with the Irish for the day; I paired a sun burnt orange cowl neck sleeveless dress with a light oatmeal cable cord sweater and some plain black leggings. My tall ombre riding boots were ideal with all the standing and maneuvering through swaggering drunkards later in the afternoon.

Large gold and orange dangling earrings to display my cheer for the festive occasion.

I did manage to slip in some green, though rather subtly: my deep emerald bakelite bangles, which complement my leopard cuff very well.