been circling around for 27 years

When I first moved to Chicago, I was running away and I don't like to admit that to myself, but it's true. I would never ever advocate running away from your problems but sometimes, sometimes, physical distance can help. I had no friends upon my arrival but quickly settled into a scene that would become my home - Chicago's passionate crowd of Britpop and shoegaze devotees. Each month for almost the past 5 years, I eagerly awaited the Panic! dance party where we could dance to Blur and never feel judged by anyone. And on Saturday my boyfriend and I went to the very last Panic! held at Darkroom, which is sadly closing in a few days. John and I met at Darkroom when I was just 21 and his band Airiel was playing a show, so it's a very special place and we'll miss it dearly.

(mandy coon top, opening ceremony skirt from ebay, venessa arizaga necklace, alexander wang shoes)

Saying goodbye to Panic! was incredibly bittersweet because sometimes the most meaningful things become greater than themselves when they die. Remembering all of the times Morgan and I danced to "Bittersweet Symphony", I took inspiration from the Verve for my outfit. Both that song and A Storm in Heaven which is the Verve's psychedelic debut album and a hidden gem from 90s alternative rock. A Storm in Heaven is hugely inspirational to me because of the way its songs are somber yet full of light, hollow-sounding yet a conjurer of worlds that don't exist, simply through Nick McCabe's haunting guitar.

I fell in love with this skirt because it reminded me of the music video for "Bittersweet Symphony", both in the colors and the way the falling leaves project a feeling of melancholy.


"you couldn't pay me to be 24 again." "well, no one's paying me."

So spoketh a legs-akimbo'd Lena Dunham during season 1 of Girls*, and fuck! I'm 27, but this echoes my sentiments exactly. You could not pay me enough to be transplanted back into my early twenties!  

Threw it on the ground because I'M AN ADULT.

It makes sense! Our culture elevates youth to astronomical levels of FUN, impossible levels really. Your body is in its prime! Score many points for fitting into society's definition of attractiveness by virtue of having an elastic metabolism. You can drink and dance and fuck all night and not feel hungover in the morning! You don't have to work a Real Job yet so your life is one big party, right? RIGHT?!

Well, no. What they don't tell you is that there are so many things about being in your early twenties that aren't pleasant. Things like cocaine-addicted roommates who flake out on paying rent. And being so desperately broke that living with uninvited mice in a studio apartment is a totally reasonable thing to do. And eating cardboard food because that's all you can afford, sometimes drinking a bottle of $3 wine for dinner, sometimes not eating all.

When I was 21, I remember feeling no different emotionally than when I was 16, but with the added pressure of feeding and housing myself. And while my journey into adulthood began earlier and more abruptly than most, that feeling of being woefully unprepared for the real world is completely universal. There is no Adult Switch that kicks on when you turn 18. In fact, that Adult Switch is more like an irritating long Adult Flight Next To A Coffee-Breathed Mouthbreather, except the the flight doesn't even start to descend until you are at least 25.

My memories are a blur of random nights in salacious bars, of battered emotions and empty motions, of car trunks and railroad tracks and purple carpets and violet vomit. Drunken madness and sober madness that felt every bit as a horrifying and as visceral as any drug I'd ever done, maybe more so, because sobriety was the most potent form of consciousness that I allowed myself to feel. Every day that I wasn't high was a sharply twisting knife of reality cutting deep into my drained emotional bank. It meant that I was forced to feel my emotions with the intensity of a teenager, while dealing with very adult things.

Being so immature, I believed that "oh, THIS is what real life is like! Being abused and too poor to eat is totally normal and okay and I deserve it all!"And when you are trapped in that kind of thought process, you (un)consciously take steps to perpetuate it. It takes an enormous amount of emotional maturity to be able to put a stop to it, assuming you have resources, which you might not. And a lot of this maturity only comes with spending more time living on this planet.

Our fascination with youth is especially dangerous because it is built on a lie. This lie that your early twenties are the best years of your life, because they aren't! Your early twenties are nothing more than violent brackish waters between childhood and adulthood. Suddenly your personality is hardening and shifting into several different people at once, all simultaneously reacting to and against your unenviable youth. Your ability to regulate your emotions isn't ripe enough and neither is that of your friends, so boyfriends and friend drama reach new heights that make high school look like the Summer of Love. You possess a brain that isn't even fully developed and are expected to use it to pay rent and date and try to find a job and FIND YOURSELF, all while treading water in increasingly unstable economic times. It's impossible to do without coming out unscathed. Maybe your wounds help you mature, but you will probably endure some things that you wish you didn't. 

At some point, a very definite moment of which I can't really pinpoint because it all seems to hazy now in retrospect, I awoke one morning and felt okay. So I guess what I'm trying to say is, it gets better. Your emotions won't feel so intense and this isn't a scary thing because it means that you've gained resilience. Things that seem SO IMPORTANT right now are suddenly the least of your concerns! Your life will calm down. You'll learn how to tend to your basic needs and maybe become stable. You might even beat depression and obtain some self-confidence along the way. And growing up couldn't be more awesome because of it.

In my darkest hours, this song by Rilo Kiley gave me comfort. I used to dream about the day when its lyrics would come true, when I'd laugh and embrace my friends and be happy, and that dream has come true. It will happen to you too.

*Is it okay to quote Girls? I can't quite remember where feminism landed on this issue.



This weekend was a goth weekend. I go through these phases were I can't wear any black at all, and then my inner fashun pendulum swings swiftly to the other side and I can't wear anything except black! At this point I've just learned to ride my style's wave, bending my wardrobe to its will. I've been wearing black for over 10 years and there really is no resisting the call of the gothix!

(vintage velvet dress, thrifted gunne sax blouse gift from a friend, pamela love necklace)
Here is me making an extremely awkward face, in last night's outfit that I wore to Late Bar. Inspired heavily by Dolce & Gabbana's fall 2012 collection. Honestly, I've never been much of a D&G girl, but this collection is DIVINE. Two separate people both mistook me for a sort of religious person, offering me blessings (which took the place of catcalls, I suppose). Barking up the wrong tree on that one, folks.

I got this necklace on ebay recently and it has become a critical part of my Inner Self.

(house of matching colours dress, aa leotard, miu miu shoes, pamela love necklaces)
My HOMC dress is literally a giant piece of sheer black lace which is a VERY good thing. On Saturday I wore it to Nocturna, a really adorable all-ages goth night at the Metro. Nocturna has been running for something like 15 years, giving at least 2 generations of weird kids a safe place to dance to the Sisters of Mercy. A really special moment occurred when Scary Lady Sarah played "Destroy Everything You Touch" by Ladytron because I remember loving that song when I was 20 and wishing that I could dance to it at a bar. At 27 that mini-dream came true as I danced with my friends. Life Aspiration Unlocked!

Here's a better photo of my necklace situation. I used to believe that wearing crosses was really reductive to the sanctity of Catholicism, but lately I'm a lot more comfortable with doing so as a means to integrate my ex-faith into my identity. 


loser life

So the incredible ladies of GOO BLOG were extremely thoughtful and sweet and sent me a lil package! If you aren't familiar with these two, you need make a unicorn dash over to their INTERNET WEBLOG and become acquainted like, yesterday. Fun feminist girls who dress like a Cranes song come to life, pretty much a guaranteed recipe for success. Their blog is inspirational, truly a positive vision and one of my new must-reads. Expect this blog to become one of your must-reads too.

A Place to Bury Strangers angry KILL tee with vintage Mugler (!) jacket, which Mattie described as serious X-Files vibes, and this could not be more accurate. JFC they spoiled me rotten.

Amanda made the amazing shiny diamond bead thing on this lace top, which are 90s and futuristic at the same time, and are iridescent ( MY FAVORITE COLOR). 

They also sent me a Jesus postcard and a handbill for a psychic, and these little fuzzball hairclips. These hairclips are kinda their signature accessory so having a pair is especially heartwarming. Despite being 27 years old I plan on wearing these things all the time because FUCK AGE-APPROPRIATENESS being an overgrown woman-child RULES! 

Doubles as shoe clips too in case I want the Bitch video on my Margiela shoes, which might be often. Thanks Mattie and Amanda, I'm super thankful and am working on a package that will hopefully compare 2 u ^_^


take care tonight

(rodarte x opening ceremony blouse, vintage skirt, pamela love necklace, hansel from basel envelope clutch gift from the brand)

So last night I headed to Darkroom to see my boyfriend's band Lightfoils play a show, because I am a Caring Girlfriend! Despite July being the HOTTEST MONTH EVER ON RECORD, it was a comfortably cool summer night so I was able wear long sleeves and long skirt. I think I've settled on this silhouette being my signature, at least for the moment, but god only knows how my style changes every 14 seconds. This outfit is inspired in tiny part by From Hell, because of the ghosts and Victorian-ness and vague religious undertones. Pretty cliched things, but luckily we are allowed to like things now that being a hipster is over! I mean really, I haven't seen a hipster in Wicker Park in years. The only people still talking about hipsters are Olds who reader Gawker. (I am an Old that hate-reads Gawker and is presently talking about hipsters. The irony is not lost upon me!)

Presenting: The Details, Because I Care About Them Even If You Do Not

I'm majorly attached to this bag that Hansel From Basel was sweet enough to send to me. I've never really been a Bag Lady, but until I received this, I had no idea that my wardrobe had a giant gaping void for a tiny bag for my ID and phone. Useful when I want to go out for exactly one hour and quickly scurry back into my TrollCave under a bridge.

Edit: A commenter has identified this print as Carl Larsson! You guys are awesome.

And finally, this extraordinarily rad skirt from the 70s, featuring hand-drawn Art Nouveau girls. These girls are FABULOUS. Sniffing grapes while wearing a giant bow for a bracelet. Not quite Brett Anderson on the cover of Select Magazine fabulous, but let's be honest, not much can compare to that. NEXT-LEVEL GLAM. Edit: Some wonderful commenters have identified the print on this skirt as Aubrey Beardsley illustrations! Thanks to everyone who is more cultured than I am!

This silhouette lends itself perfectly to GIFness. Newest blog feature?!
pvbEJ7 on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs
Take care tonight and forever, ya blokes.


backyard FACT 75

Here are some outtakes from a low-key photoshoot I did with Tavi a couple months ago. It's weird to say "photoshoot" because really it was just us taking photos in my backyard and hanging out and talking about New Order! Whose album Power, Corruption & Lies incidentally enough, was part of the inspiration behind her outfit. Working with a friend the most fun, because there's no pressure at all to be ultra-profesh and there's never any awkwardness. You can see the much better photos here on Girl Guts.

Tavi was wearing a Creatures of the Wind dress, Miu Miu shoes, Pamela Love necklace, her own rosary.

"lolla weekend is full of fake-famous people"

Lollapalooza weekend in Chicago is THE weekend each year when the whole city goes apeshit, devolving into a drunken cacaphony of fake-famous buzzbands and SECRET AFTERPARTIES. In other words, every weekend in New York. I never go to the fest or afteparties because I'm a fucken square. But! On Friday I found myself at Filter Magazine's Lolla aftershow (which just happened to be LITERALLY across the street from my apartment) featuring none other than Grimes, who is not fake-famous because she deserves her fame, and pushed my way through drunk 22-year-olds to the front so I could take photos for you all, my beloved readers. Her show was really danceable and fun and even though I felt like an Old Fart, it was really nice to just enjoy good music with zero ulterior motives. Grimes is the future of music, a harbinger of a scene that is completely different than the post-post-post-punk bands that dominated much of the mid 2000s. Music is changing and she is on the forefront of it.

Grimes also had a couple dancers and it was adorbz and I'm pretty sure I've taken photos of them at my other job. No namedrops, sorry.