Monday, October 29, 2012

an 80s postcard from California

I thrifted this dream bikini last weekend, and the California weather has insisted that I wear it immediately. Take that mother nature, I'm wearing a bikini in the fall! Unfortunately, the bikini is too big for me, which is of course a tragedy of the greatest order. If anyone is in the market for a pastel 80s bikini that perfectly matches pink triangle-shaped Moving Sound cassette players, please do let me know.  I may reluctantly sell it to you.

In other more personal news, I have wrinkles on my face, lots of them. I have spent the last couple of months fretting over every new wrinkle that has taken residence upon my face.  I wish I could say that I wear my facial lines with pride, that I am beyond dwelling on such trivial matters, that the aging process and the thought of dying don't scare me, but this is not/has not been the case. While sitting in traffic or judging the quality of a photo of myself, I have scrutinized my face with a monomaniacal intensity. And since I’m not one to obsess quietly, I’ve engaged all the women in my life in the discourse concerning the wrinkle epidemic that has been overtaking my face. One friend suggested using Vaseline on my face to add moisture, which I immediately tried, only to break out like a teen after just a few nights of lathering.  Luckily noone had suggested taking a peepee rag and applying it to my face as my dad used to advise when I was a child pondering how to get rid of my freckles; I may have tried that too. I have never been one to dwell on my imperfections, so I was surprised that this obsession lasted as shamefully long as it did.  It overtook me, and it was not until fairly recently (like yesterday) that I stopped and reflected upon the damage I was doing to my Self and on how far I had strayed from being the person I want to be.  Wrinkles are inevitable, and though I have a long way to go before being Zen on the matter, one day I shall be able to say, “With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come” ( William Shakespeare).

All that being said, I ended up purchasing this anti-age cream and it did, in fact, help to diminish the appearance of fine lines, but of course no cream can erase the deep fissures created by obsessive self-criticism.

Love yourselves and each other,

Crystal Lee

*** Update to this blog post: I hope this post isn’t perceived as grossly inappropriate given the aftermath of Sandy in the East Coast. Sorry if I did offend anyone. I certainly wasn’t expecting such a tragedy. What is most saddening to me about a natural disaster of this magnitude is the loss of life. It leads me to reflect on Katrina, which was far more deadly, killing nearly 2000 people in Louisiana and Mississippi. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who have suffered,  and especially to the families who have lost loved ones.    

Monday, October 22, 2012

Joshua Tree

 Can you believe these colors?!

Last weekend, I went to Joshua Tree to attend my friend Jodi's wedding. It was the best kind of wedding - under a bed of stars, a short, tender, and humorous ceremony reflecting the bride and groom’s distinct personalities, a dirt dance floor plus really good tunes, and a table filled with all sorts of yummy desserts. I had so much fun, I forgot to take any photos. The off-road adventure to attend the wedding in my friend Ji’s Prius was equally memorable.

While in Joshua Tree, I played the tourist along with Pete and some of my favorite gals. We went to Desert Christ Park in neighboring Yucca Valley and visited the tiniest museum ever - the Crochet Museum in Joshua Tree. We drank beers at Pappy and Harriott's and put quarters in the juke box. There, I also ate a crazy amount of chili. In the car, I sang loudly along with a new friend to Loretta's "Coal Miner's daughter" while Pete drove us through the long, quiet, undulating desert streets. We hiked a little in the Joshua Tree National Park, and visited Cap Rock where Phil Kaufman set the corpse and coffin of Gram Parson ablaze. The desert is an interesting, serene, weird, sacred place, and I feel lucky to live only a few hours away.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Morro Bay

wearing an old handmade slip of my grandma's. Boy, was she tiny! I can barely fit into it. I packed it just in case a the perfect backdrop presented itself and voila.I also wore it into town in Pismo Beach with Keds sneakers and a cardigan sweater when we stopped in at Old West Cinnamon Roll for a treat. 
an old house along Hwy 101. It would also have made a great backdrop for my grandma's slip, but alas it was fenced in and pretty inaccessible. The house reminds me of the one in the background of  Andrew Wyeth's painting, "Christina's World"
a barely visible Morro Bay Rock, California Central Coast

On a foggy, tranquil summer day in Morro Bay, Pete and I walked around the laid back coastal town, stopping at a few vintage stores where I scored a dress or two, shared an open faced seafood sandwich at The Great American Fish Company, and watched the seals lounge and then clown around. We relaxed in a way that is damn near impossible in Southern California and asked each other a question that comes up often “could we live here?” Inevitably, we probably could not, at least not now, but it’s nice to partake in how pleasantly slow life rolls along California’s central coast.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

summer's lo-fi sound

I've been dying to brag about my favorite summer accessory - an 80s pink triangle-shaped "Moving Sound" cassette player! It has been my constant companion this summer, traveling with me to swimming holes, lakes, oceans, and hikes, serenading me with its wonderful lo-fi sound. I squealed when I found it on Etsy, as it's the one piece of vintage technology that’s been missing from my life. Somewhere I have a box full of old cassette tapes, but I haven’t been able to find it so for now I have only been listening to a small selection of goodies like The Clash’s “Sandinista!”, the duets of Dolly Parton & Porter Wagoner, a Best of George Jones, and a favorite from my junior high years: the Cure’s “Standing on a Beach” (titled “Staring at the Sea” in cd format). One time on the Metro, I saw a thief snatch a girl’s Ipod right from her hands and then run out the door. Luckily, I don’t think I have to worry about being mugged for my cassette player. Can you imagine the disappointment the thief would feel, especially if the thief is also a machismo?

I don’t believe I shared this cowgirl dress with you before. I want to have it remade in an assortment of colors because the cut is just the best, and I especially love the gingham piping. It’s got a kind of Suzy Bishop in Moonrise Kingdom feel too, though the knee high tights kind of contribute to that look. I hope I never feel too old for it. It’s yet another dress from Imonni, my favorite vintage store in Long Beach.

I’m out for now. Until next time, lots of love,

Crystal Lee

Friday, October 5, 2012

Madonna Inn

in the Daisy May room with my new records: Hank Snow & Anita Carter, The Platters
Daisy May

Everyone ought to stay at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, CA, at least once before they die because it is truly a beatific sight to behold. Pink explodes like fireworks before the eyes, and gold cherubs swoop down from the ceilings to greet weary travelers. On a personal note, I can think of no place more appropriate to wear my favorite vintage pink duds.

Pete and I stayed in the Daisy May room, which features rock floors, walls, and ceilings and best of all a rock waterfall shower. But we really didn’t spend too much time in the room. Instead, we spent a breezy evening in the jacuzzi, went to dinner in town, and then came back to listen to a dj spin obscure 90s music to a crowd of ballroom dancing seniors in the Silver Bar cocktail lounge. I can’t wait to return and try out another kitschy room.

Happy Friday, buddies.

Outfit # 1: 60s babydoll lingerie top, leather shorts, chambray Ked’s (thrifted),
Outfit # 2: 60s pink lace dress (Rose Bowl Flea market), Stuart Weitzman heels (Nordstrom’s rack)  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Oh Hi!

film photos taken by Pete, Ojai, CA. (50s denim 2-piece and PF Flyers High tops, thrifted).

Howdy friends! It’s been a good while since I last made an appearance on this here blog, all summer in fact. I had lost inspiration, didn’t exude that idealist summer spirit that normally overtakes me during my most favorite of seasons, and didn’t want to share a lesser version of myself with you. I’m sure you understand. How was your summer?

For most of the summer, I worked full-time during the work week, backslid into bachelordom along with my boyfriend, Pete, on the week nights (There were chores left undone, and many dinner nights where we stuffed our faces with Stoffer’s French bread pizza, which shamefully we both love), and watched my nephew most weekends. I also had several bouts of anxiety, and read lots of literature, including Joan Didion’s “Play it as It Lays,” which I do not recommend reading during anxious times. I didn’t really get into the summer spirit until quite late into the season when Pete and I set out on some much needed adventures. We went to Ojai, Ca (where the above photos were taken), just a few hours away from Los Angeles, but worlds away in terms of pace - it’s a very relaxing place, though we managed to shake things up a bit when we capsized in a canoe on Lake Casitas.

I also finally went to visit my mother’s grave in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and then to Toronto, Canada, where I met up with family. But the most memorable of our end of summer jaunts was a visit to Detroit, Michigan, which I’ll write about in a more detailed post later. Its sad beauty, friendly people, tenacious spirit, and good eats, impressed upon me for weeks after our trip. There were also some weekend get away trips to Prescott, AZ, where I took photos from the back of Pete’s stepdad’s motorcycle, and San Luis Obispo, where we stayed in the perfectly pleasant and pink Madonna Inn. More on that in another post too.

So, kind readers, I’m back with an improved perspective and a renewed vigor. And no matter how my mood or attitude may sway, at least my love for dressing up has yet to diminish. I’m excited to share with you again this one constant in my life.

Affectionately yours,

Crystal Lee
Related Posts with Thumbnails