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Send weirdos

I picked up a Wahl Tattoo, aka a glorified nose hair fine line trimmer, to see if I could create awesome designs on the side of my head that remains buzzed.
1. Not on my own head; drawing in hair is difficult enough without also doing it via paired mirrors.
2. I'm keeping it at a #4 guard for sufficient scalp coverage to hide the nolite tattoo. I think with my hair texture I need to be closer to maybe 2+ or 3 for designs to pop?
3. You know what's nice about bad results when your hair is half an inch long? It only takes about two weeks to get past it. If it were worse I'd have just gone guard-free for one more time, but I'll endure a few days of lawnmower jokes for the chance to try again sooner.
4. I'm really, really getting resistant to the idea of paying someone else to touch my hair in my old age.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Skirt of Awesome is put to good use, finally

yarr, bitches yarr, bitches Mhaille, the badass punk pirate queen, stomps around in the Hamptons.

actually i'm not really sure

I asked one of the resident weirdos at work about where one drew the line between post-punk (let's face it, I was still wearing whale print turtlenecks and tan corduroys when punk died) and angry goth. He had no idea. Probably my bad for asking a man who still wears piratey striped shirts every day anything about fashion, but he has been to the Manic Panic retail store and is old enough to have been there when it was in St. Mark's, so it was worth a shot.

Anyhow, can anybody give some identifiers that would place a look in one camp or the other? I can identify Romantic Goth (velvet, lace, big ornate crosses), and as far as I know stripes are goth where plaid is punk? Maybe it doesn't really matter, but damn it, I want to subcategorize the Angry Black-Wearing People!

(We also used to play Goth Or Mennonite, so it's possible I'm just a horrible person.)

Also? I has a doggie and my doggie has a blue mohawk!

taking it to the next level; or, How Do You Top A Rainbow Mohawk?

Oh, hey, I totally failed to post pics of the rainbow mohawk in all its glory. It only took me a week of trying to figure out how to track down all the colors to realize that I could, say, MAKE orange by combining red and yellow. Duh. (And thanks, Mrs. Grinnan!*)

It was a hit at my git of a cousin-in-law's git bridal shower, then it was kept thoroughly under wraps while I was at a hotel filled with German engineers, then faded to assy salmon and various other quasi-blonde shades whilst forming into hippielocks and dyed smurf blue as the quickest hiding non-permanent color... hi, apparently storing up the urge to dye my hair for two years is a bad idea?

Then it was magenta and black to match my dress for the git wedding for the abovementioned git cousin-in-law, then Draco Malfoy lookalike white-blonde, then the sunset ombre pixie, then I intended to grow a hot pink mohawk out into a bubblegum pink faux-hawk, but my spouse has a totally irrational dislike of mohawks... He likes fauxhawks; despite explaining a thousand times that the way my hair grows the way to get a cute fauxhawk is to take the sides down to a #2 or #3** and let them go for a month, he is convinced that every mohawk is the end of the world. So at his probably-regrettable daring, I went bald and grew it out natural and untoasted.

That lasted until the third or fourth round of "Wow, mom, you have a LOT of grey hair!" White as a base for bubblegum pink, which dammit never comes out strong enough, and currently coppery brownish emergency normal because I expect a funeral in the next month and don't want to deal with it.

So if you're not exhausted yet just reading, I've hit the point where just one color, no matter how neon-ly delicious, is *yawn* old hat. I am tired of the myriad shades of brownish reddish purplish pinkish, the blues and greens are sadly unflattering (and include blue-black in that, too, so I can't even go for lazy goth) and just... meh.

I have already climbed that peak, bring me a higher one dammit!

Thoughts, in random order of likeliness:
  • Designs cut into side of head. Pro: nifty! Con: have to pay someone to do this for me.
  • Stencils, to do MP/two or 3 color designs. Pro: AWESOME Con: Hair has to be short, requires frequent upkeep.
  • Variations on multicolored mohawk-with-longer-sides. Pro: my favorite hairstyle. Con: would require actual patience to get my hair long enough. Preferably without frying it.
  • Structural hair- liberty spikes, etc. Pro: new and different! Con: ...with what hair, yet? mine is 3/4" long.
  • Screw it, lazy goth sleek black pixie and let it get juuuuuust long enough to tousle on occasion. Pro: Half a bottle of dye every 6 weeks is cheap enough. Con: Wrong color pale skin and round face :(

God, I wish I could dye it plaid.

*My grammar school art teacher.
**Conveniently, this is also about the length that my roots are when I get annoyed with the current color, so I wind up with all brown sides.

back in my day...

Went out for ice cream this evening (ok, italian ice. Dairy intolerance is back, whee.) and walked past two girls, maybe 14 or 15, and a woman I presume was mom to at least one of them. Current 'do is a sunset ombre pixie, neon pink to neon orange. Said girls actually stopped their inane conversation to stare then laugh out loud.

Now, it's a wee bit garish- forgot that the current stock of pink and orange are both blacklight colors, and it's fresh, so it actively BEAMS hot pinkness in the sunlight. Last night down at the beach, I got the stinkeye from several elderly couples, but at least that generation has the goddamn MANNERS to give the stinkeye quietly.

The urge was to turn around and deliver a lesson on manners- to wit, "I might be a weirdo, but at least someone taught me it's not polite to stare, point and laugh"- followed by a stout bitchslap to the pair of them. Sadly, I got the sense that Mommy would probably have a lawyer on speed dial, so I just cocked an eyebrow and went in to enjoy my root beer ice without a word.

I'm good at the snappy answers to stupid questions ("Did you know your hair is purple? Did you do that on purpose?") but I'm out of practice at dropping catty little 15 year olds in their tracks. Well, without punching them, anyway, which is still not entirely off the table. :P

Anybody have good comebacks to share?

do I have a neon sign on my forehead?

One that says "Class of 1987?"

This is what I wore to the Alien Sex Fiend CD release party at "Heroes" (retro night at T.T. the Bears with DJ Chris Ewen). Early in the evening, I handed him a note that read "Visage, Clan of Xymox, OMD, you get the idea. &hearts" Not long after, he played "Enola Gay."

Later in the evening, he played what might have been my platonic ideal of a dance set:

Yaz - Situation
Sisters of Mercy - Lucretia My Reflection
Echo & the Bunnymen - Lips Like Sugar
Psychedelic Furs - Pretty in Pink
Chameleons - Swamp Thing
Simple Minds - Don't You Forget About Me
New Order - Faith

seriously, was I wearing a sign?

me + business casual = butch

God, I look like such a friggin' TOOL lately.

Our admin (aka Vexing Minion) has been dressing waaaaay inappropriate. See-through tanks (hi, not only can I see the color and pattern of your bra, I think I can make out the size. By reading the tag.), leggings, button down shirts that don't quite button, and the dread Visible Muffin Top.

(I mean, I have pants that give me muffin top. We all do, unless we're lithe and 17, in which case GTFO of this comm and enjoy it while it lasts. This is why I only pair my too-small pants with boring, LOOSE, structured button downs that hide it.)

Bosslady is 80s preppie, through and through. She used to be a stewardess, and, quite frankly, I think she'd wear blue eyeshadow even if it weren't mandatory. And she's counting on me to lead the charge of appropriate business casual office wear.

1. No, seriously, stop rolling around laughing.
2. The words "business casual" strike any sensible person with dread and nausea.
3. Me + polo shirt = Which way to the lesbian golfing tournament, ma'am?

I have a handful of dresses that work. Black wrap shirtdress, black microknit faux-wrap, black frilly babydoll, black microknit with sweetheart neckline- throw my green or pink cardi over any of them, et voila. (I absolutely have to wear sleeves- besides the tats, I have inherited the Shea tendency to bulky upper arms.)

I have nice slacks, including several that actually fit without muffin top. I have exactly two button down shirts that fit right, two pencil skirts, oh and no work appropriate flats, just the hippie jesus sandals.

Long story short, every day I go to work looking like a 40 year old lesbian.

I want FUN HAIR. I want clothes with a bit of flair to them. What do I buy, at the awesome thrift store sale today? One button down, one sweater set, one corduroy blazer, one floor length olive drab pintucked skirt. I want to get away with pushing the envelope, and Vexing Minion is making it so we both have to toe the boring, conservative line.

I also want to be mistaken for 10 years YOUNGER, not OLDER, goddamn it.

is it wrong to be glad I still got it?

Between the fact that my officey clothes are all in sizes that don't currently correlate to the size of my ass (suit: designer eight. Me: wal-mart eight) and the fact that I can stifle the "colorful" side of me for, oh, two weeks max, I have taken Miss Penelope Garcia as my fashion icon for officewear.

(What? She's awesome.)

We have the Goth Office Dominatrix: red plaid cami, black 3/4 sleeve cardigan, black linen pants, red Docs.

We have the Vintage Penelope: black/ivory retro graphics 40s empire waisted dress with red piping, black polka dot socks, red Docs. Oh, and the black cardigan, because it covers all the tats.

Bitchy In Pink, the black microfiber crossover faux-wrap dress with a pink cardi and the pink and white heels (ow never again, ow ow ow) and a hot pink argyle headscarf.

Approaching Professional, the black (subtle) plaid Elie Tahari suit with a black cotton v-neck over a grey cami. I have to go business-business instead of business casual for field interviews and visits to facilities.

Butch? Who's Butch, brown tissue tee under black crewneck fine-gauge sweater, black w/brown pinstripe capris, oxblood doc cap-toe boots.

(I still need decent work flats, although the Ariat boots of much lust are Right Out given the recent acquisition of an internal-combustion money pit.)

Today was the black wrap shirtdress with pink and white striped kneesocks and the red docs, which caused the guy who runs the cafe upstairs to stop dead and express out loud his regret that his kneesocks and stairwells fantasy would not come to pass.

See, these things? They don't happen when I wear the standard issue khakis and polos.

When I was your age, we didn't HAVE Hot Topic

No, if we wanted fabulous gothy party dresses, we hit up the thrift stores, learned to make alterations, and sweated over pots of Rit dye, hoping the vintage synthetic fabrics would take.

And we got results like this:

That dress started out the day as my mother's wedding dress from 1964. She was just going to give it to Goodwill, so I asked if I could turn it into clubwear. I couldn't be happier with the results.

Teenagers. Give them an inch, they swim all over you.

x-posted from my personal LJ

My child, although she is two inches taller and five to ten pounds lighter than I am, is able to fit into most of my clothes, and wears my shoe size.


Now, normally she does not bother with girl clothes, except maybe at conventions or for cosplay. But there are some occasions where she feels they're warranted. Like Seder with her grandparents (my ex-in-laws).

Do you want to know what she informed me she needed to borrow?

The black, just-above-the-knee A-line skirt she had borrowed at Arisia, my Morbid Threads black and grey striped long sleeve off the shoulder shirt with the lace trim and the grommeted shoulder straps (which may just be my favorite shirt), and my 20-eyelet Doc Martens, which she'd already wheedled the loan of last weekend!

...she looked really cute in all of that, dammit.

I do not know whether to be flattered that she likes my taste in clothing, or annoyed that she feels like my entire closet belongs to her on an as-needed basis.

I do know that she's going to be buying HER OWN 20-EYE DOCS with some of her yard care money this summer.


Taking The Plunge

I just posted this to craigslist:

Can't see the back of your own head, but you really want that mohawk?

Manic Panic is awesome, but you can't make it last?

What I have to offer you: A really good pair of clippers, the ability to mow a straight line, and 20 years of experience with 'hawks, chelseas, and multicolored hair that only Cyndi Lauper's mother could love. The location of every Sally's within 10 miles of my house. Nitrile gloves!

What I do not have: the hours to work in a salon, or a lot of experience with hairstyles that don't involve the phrase "mowing a straight line."

You pay for materials, I provide the experience in using them, and if you're not sure what to get I can help get you started. Willing to work for sushi, CDs, or leftover Manic Panic. Sure, you could go to the salon that's advertising $25 for up to 5 "pink, purple or blue" streaks, but they're going to think you're a freak anyway. Come to someone who thinks that's a good thing!

You must be over 18 or have mom and dad's permission, sorry. I'm not taking the flak- if you're defying them, read some DIY on the internet and experiment, how do you think I learned?

Worst case, placing the ad was free. Best case, I get free sushi and one more punk in the world.

Aging hips, killer socks

Hands down, my legs are still my best feature. This is a large part of why my sock collection needs its own zip code.

I can't so much wear skirts- maybe knee length and flowy, of which I own one, maybe, somewhere? because of my job, so I switched to socks + capris. This looks a bit more "deranged hippie science teacher (hi mom!)" than punk, perhaps, but a girl's gotta do something with her socks, right? And there's theoretical acquisition of black cutoff BDUs as a badass capri stand-in.

The bigger problem is that my creaky old ass cannot sustain anything but sensible shoes.

Converse: only semi-sensible, if I buy them big enough to fit arch supports.
Combat boots: Sensible, but not in winter, because mine are jungle boots.
Docs: Sensible as long as I'm not walking any distance whatsoever (anything over 1/2 mile gives me blisters the size of silver dollars.)

I'm looking at these boots as a possible solution, but jeez. For $100 I have to be damn sure that they will fit AND look completely badass with at least 75% of my outfits. The other option is another pair of Docs, but one size larger so I can stuff in all sorts of gel pads.

Anybody got brilliant solutions?

Fate is a fickle beastie

So, what is it, two weeks after I reluctantly dyed my hair Darkest Natural Brown to cover up the bleachy streaks from which the purple had faded, on the promise of an interview for a Very Professional admin position that wound up not materializing, I start another kitchen job. Actual fine-dining pastry chef this time, instead of my usual muffins-and-brownies gig, too. But it's still back-of-the-house, in chef pants and with my hair covered in a bandana, so purple hair streaks? Would have been TOTALLY okay. The sous-chef has full sleeve tattoos.

On the bright side, though, I wore my leather jacket in -- yeah, the one in the icon, classic motorcycle look liberally festooned with 1" band buttons -- and the bar manager admiringly called it "bad-ass."

Too weird to be fashionable, too fashionable to be weird.

Reminds me of my college days, when the lesbians told me I was too straight-acting and the men told me I was too butch. Some days, you just can't win...

So, I've been doing my favorite* thing since I got here: looking for jobs. Seeing as the field I actually trained for isn't currently hiring, I am playing the "Do I understand what this ad means? Good, I'm qualified" game, involving everything I've ever done for money before, which includes retail, food service, childcare, elder care, phone monkey, and probably a few other things I've forgotten or can figure out on the fly, with special attention given to ads that offer to train me in whatever it is they want me to do. There's being flexible, then there's training to be a contortionist, and you can guess which end I'm zipping towards.

So you can imagine my joy when I saw a beauty supply store with a help wanted ad in the window- selling hair color, giving advice, and performing many helpful retail services such as dusting the extensions, filing my nails over the cash register, and the like. I can totally do that! I have enough levels in Hair Color that I spontaneously break out in advice to total strangers in the health and beauty aisle as it is! Truly, it is my lucky day!

I go in, intending to look at products for myself, and am greeted by an aggressively made-up woman with poufed and frosted hair and that lovely orange glow that comes from a combination of 30 years of tanning combined with foundation that's too dark for winter use. What's worse, she is fervently anti-weird, telling me that a plum rinse on my hair (which, for the record, is a level 3, which is hair-color-ese for "dark as hell, the most you'll get without bleaching is maybe a glint if you stand in the sun") would be "like, almost purple in your hair," delivered in the tone I'd use for things like "you're dressed like a Republican**."

I shove down twinges of fear numbers one through 73, all concerning the fact that I am clearly Doin It Rong in the eyes of a leathery, poorly aged debutante, but ask about the sign regardless, only to be told that they want someone who looks "really fashionable" for the job.

Not unexpected, as I knew from the second I stepped in that I was not their kind of artificially colored, but really now. Am I seriously being schooled in how to look feminine by a woman whose face could be mistaken for a pair of chaps?

Now, I understand that I am a New England hippie- the entirety of my makeup fits, and is stored, in a little lunchbox covered in old communist propaganda posters from the early Soviet Union. It is only under great duress that I shave my legs between Halloween and Easter, and, were I in a world where such joy was possible, I would dress like a little skater boy*** better than 75% of the time. However, as I've noticed that North Jersey Scruffy is roughly equivalent to Vermont's idea of Gussified, I have been making the effort with my limited wardrobe, particularly since I may have to deal with Spontaneous Interviews.

I wore heels out two days running, despite considerable objection from my hips, and have been cycling through my two pairs of slacks and one professional skirt that fit, topped with the handful of Nice Shirts I can muster after 7 years of getting to dress like an androgynous hippie and dropping 10 years worth of spare weight, and I like to think that I was at least faking it decently, and you're going to tell me that "fashionable" is limited to pageant-winning pancake faces?

Just think how much I could bring in selling all your customers makeup removal pads, sunscreen and moisturizers!

The worst part- I am going to hit all the local tattoo and piercing places to see if they need a receptionist slash piercing trainee, and I bet you $5 they're gonna look at me and decide I'm too normal, and will scare away their client base.

*Least favorite
**Usage: Are you sure you wanna wear that out? You look like a Republican.
***From the early 90s, that is.

Ok, she's not old, but...

Somebody's finally taking after mom.

Originally uploaded by Mhaille

(no subject)

I saw this today and figured you guys would appreciate it.

I suppose I could be offended that Johnny Rotten sold out, but the truth is that the dude sold out right from the beginning. Instead, I think it's just effing hilarious.

Okay, I'm bragging...

...but this was one of the bright spots in a fairly taxing day on Wednesday.

I drove up to Boston to visit a friend in the hospital. As it was a perfect sunny fall day, I dressed for comfort and my own pleasure, neither sloppy nor over-primped. In my case, that was dark red patent Doc Martens, black skinny leg low-ish rise jeans with a three row pyramid stud belt, and the Cure shirt that I paid too much money for at Madison Square Garden in May.

I thought a shirt that said "Cure" was probably better for a hospital than one with the skull and batwinged heart that's Voltaire's logo, even if my friend loves Voltaire.

My hair was in its usual shoulder length ringlets, currently black with fairly subtle purple streaks (Color Shock Violet Shock, over faded Special Effects Nuclear Red from June, over bleach). I wanted them subtle -- I've got to be job hunting, and I was hoping I wouldn't have to overdye the bleach with black.

And, it being a perfect sunny day, I also had on my cheapie knock-off Ray-Bans. (I will not wear other shapes of sunglasses. Personal thing.)

I had some errands to do in Harvard Square. (Ah, cops with Boston accents and the wafting smell of clove smoke outside the T stop, I am HOME...)

So as I was walking to the T, a college age or maybe early twenties guy, cute, looks at me and smiles and says "Nice shirt!" I smiled back at him, but I was walking. (Also, had a date planned for that night, so not desperate.) Still, nice to be noticed!

And then once I was waiting for my train, an older guy looks at me and says "That's an old shirt, isn't it?" I say, "no, I got it in June, at the concert at Madison Square Garden, it's a current design," and we get to talking. I did a pretty good job keeping it to "cordial" rather than "flirtatious," I think, but anyway... here is the bragging part.

In the course of conversation, I mentioned bringing my daughter to the concert. He asked how old she was, and I said, stretching the point by five days, "Thirteen." (Her birthday's Monday.)

He did a double-take. And said he thought I was college age. I said thank you, and something about college being twenty years ago. I'm 38.

What I did not say, although I thought it, was "You only think I'm younger because I am not dressed in any way like a grown-up."

Sometimes I like being an aging punk. (Goth. Freak. Whatever. Back when I WAS that young, I was a freakin' hippie!)

See, this is what I was talking about *waves cane*

I have a 4th grader and a 1st grader. For the most part, all the kids they know dress like, well, kids. Tshirts featuring either a superhero or a cartoon character, jeans with grass stains, untied sneakers. I know there are prepubescent fashion plates out there, but you never catch them playing outside anyhow.

Today, dropping them off for the bus, I saw two fourth (possibly fifth) grade girls in full retro Mall Punk. Leggings, plaid minis, hoodies, and military caps, and both were in converse high tops. My first thought: "Damn it, that's how I wanted to dress when I was that age, and my parents wouldn't LET me." Unfortunately, this was followed hard upon by some mental math, confirming that I was their age over 20 years ago.

How'm I supposed to rock the punk-femme + hat when it's sold in Limited, Too?

Modelling Agency in NYC Hires Tattooed Freaks; World Ends. Film at eleven!


Cool looking people, obnoxious fluff tone to the piece. Note to self: longer hair can be spiked higher. ;)

Do These Suspenders Make My Ass Look Fat?

This is intended mostly as a style community, but I expect and will gladly tolerate any respectful discussion that veers off into other aspects of punkitude. The key word here is respectful- internet tantrums will be spanked and sent to their rooms with no dessert. This is a community intended for adults, and I expect we can all manage to act like it, even if we're here because we still won't dress like it.