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Life of Colleen: January 2009

Posts This Month
·· Happy Friday!: City of the Dead
·· Happy Friday!: Buster Keaton
·· Cetaphil Sunscreen SPF 50
·· Valerie
·· Sundance revisited; more skirt reviews
·· Why I love Youtube
·· expired
·· I still love Blondie!
·· NCIS - Ziva David - A Girl Like You
·· Troika
·· Cydwoq Sale Alert
·· Wardrobe yadda yadda
·· Garnet Hill coupon code
·· Happy Friday!: Desert Rose
·· Sheer randomness
·· Wardrobe analysis, 2009: Shoes
·· Wardrobe analysis, 2009: Sweaters

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Happy Friday!: City of the Dead
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-01-30 at 10:45 PM (Pacific)

City Of The Dead - The Clash

Hm, bet you weren't expecting that. :D

Not the greatest video, admittedly, but there is this...inner catalogue of music I suppose everyone my age possesses. It's because of the radio. We've become a culture of the visual, thanks to technology, and I'm not knocking it, but the purity of sound is gone.

Why this song? I haven't heard it in decades, for one thing, and there is that synergy of Joe Strummer's voice and sentiments wrapped around Mick Jones' underrated guitar hooks. In those days there were guitar gods, and he wasn't one, but that's what made the sound fresh. Popular music bloats over time and must be burnt to ashes and reborn, periodically. Or at least that's how we saw it.

And now, without further ado (Elvis has left the building, unfortunately), the b-side of "Complete Control" released September 23, 1977 (according to their site anyway, I wouldn't hear it until much later):

This is the city of the dead
As we lie side by side in bed
I'd do something else instead
It is the city of the dead

When we went out kicking around
You got drunk and fallen down
And I wished I could be like you
With the Soho river drinking me down

In the city of the dead
Fall in love and fall in bed
It wasn't anything you said
Except I know we both lie dead

Don't you know where to cop
That's what New York Johnny said
You should get to know your town
Just like I know mine

While all the windows stare ahead
And the streets are filled with dread
Every nation in the world
Slinks through the alley after girls

What we wear is dangerous gear
It'll get you picked on anywhere
Though we get beat up we don't care
At least it livens up the air

But some days we hide inside
All courage gone and paralyzed
Sniff that wind of ugly tension
Today the jerks have got aggression

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Happy Friday!: Buster Keaton
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-01-23 at 9:31 PM (Pacific)

A Buster Keaton Montage

Really outstanding...don't know which I like better, the salt and pepper scene or punching the clock. :D

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Cetaphil Sunscreen SPF 50
posted by Colleen Shirazi at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

cetaphil sunscreen

Here's the press release:

Cetaphil®, the #1 dermatologist-recommended brand of cleansers and moisturizers, introduces a facial moisturizer that provides broad spectrum UV protection all year round. This lightweight, non-greasy formula provides daily sun protection, while moisturizing the skin. Finally, a breakthrough product that goes beyond moisturizing, to provide the highest SPF available for a moisturizer specifically formulated for the face.

Product Benefits:

* Provides broad spectrum SPF protection with an optimum blend of 5 filters
* Shields against UVA/UVB with micronized Titanium Dioxide
* Nourishes and hydrates the skin to avoid evaporation
* Absorbs quickly and leaves no filmy white residue
* Cosmetically elegant and non-greasy lightweight formula that provides daily sun protection
* Fragrance-free and non-irritating (suitable for sensitive skin)
* Non-comedogenic, so it won't clog pores

Price: $13.99

Availability: Cetaphil® UVA/UVB Defense SPF 50 is available in a 1.7 oz. tube at Walgreens.com, CVS.com, major retail, grocery and drug stores nationwide.

Cetaphil Skin Care Club:



O-tay, I haven't tried this, and have no particular inclination to do so. But, I posted it here because people who hate sunscreen might find it palatable.


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posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-01-22 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

amy winehouse valerie

An old friend turned me on to Amy Winehouse; I was clueless. Mostly I'd heard all of the bad things about her, but the thing is to listen to her, only once, and you'll convert forthwith.

by The Zutons

Well sometimes I go out, by myself, and I look across the water.

And I think of all the things, of what you're doing, and in my head I paint a picture.

Since I've come home, well my body's been a mess, and I miss your ginger hair, and the way you like to dress.

Oh won't you come on over, stop making a fool out of me, why don't you come on over, Valerie.


Did you have to go to jail, put your house on up for sale, did you get a good lawyer?

I hope you didn't catch a tan, I hope you find the right man, who'll fix it for you.

Are you shopping anywhere, change the color of your hair, and are you busy.

Did you have to pay that fine, that you were dodging all the time, are you still dizzy.

Since I've come home, well my body's been a mess, and I miss your ginger hair, and the way you like to dress.

Oh won't you come on over, stop making a fool out of me, why don't you come on over, Valerie.


Well sometimes I go out, by myself, and I look across the water.

And I think of all the things, of what you're doing, and in my head I paint a picture.

Since I've come home, well my body's been a mess, and I miss your ginger hair, and the way you like to dress.

Oh won't you come on over, stop making a fool out of me, why don't you come on over, Valerie.


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Sundance revisited; more skirt reviews
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-01-21 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

I made a pilgrimage...well, I went out to the b & m Sundance store in Corte Madera the other day. I don't know why I find it soothing to go there, exactly; I never end up buying much of what I'd gone there to see (thank G-d, poor wallet). But I always find something of interest, and never feel the trip was a waste.

I take it back about these:

sundance toasty tweed sweater

They're actually pretty decent-looking sweaters--I think I was confused, earlier on, as to what was what. Not something I need, but nice punchy colors. The red one above looked lovely, and the black one even better (in real life it's more a mixture of black and grey).

Checked out some skirts:

sundance pasa doble skirt

This was honestly pretty bad. I was expecting a sheer burnout layer with stylin' paisleys, but the sheer effect was hard to see, much less the paisleys, and the overall appearance was too casual for the price.

sundance jardin skirt

This was quite pretty, but too long to do much with. I suppose if you're in the market for a long skirt...but how often do you really need a long skirt?

My argument for even considering Sundance prices, is to try calculating your "cost per wear." The stock advice of a wardrobe blog...you are to buy a wool pencil skirt, diamond earrings, a button-down shirt, yadda yadda... I'm not knocking it, but what about women who don't work in a suit office? What are they really supposed to wear?

sundance golden flower skirt

This was kind of a bust, too. For one thing, the Sundance site claims this to be machine washable (one reason I looked it over in the first place), but the tag inside the skirt says Dry Clean. You've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do you, punk?

Besides that, it's a nice-enough looking skirt, but doesn't strike one as warranting the cost. It's just not versatile enough.

sundance lotus flower skirt

I have to love how the gores terminate in little gathered gores. The structure is quite unusual. But again with the uber length. What are you going to do with it? If it were even a bit shorter, it could be an interesting addition to your casual Friday/weekend stash, what with the black and silver.

Edited to add: They do have a Petite version of this, at 32 inches instead of 35. hermmmmm...

Thanks for reading!

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Why I love Youtube
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-01-19 at 10:50 AM (Pacific)

【80's洋楽m@ster】 Rebel Waltz

I was trawling for a video for The Clash's "Rebel Waltz" and stumbled across this. It is...an unexpected interpretation...yet quite perfect. Easily my favorite video for this song.


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posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-01-18 at 3:17 PM (Pacific)


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I still love Blondie!
posted by Colleen Shirazi at 11:22 AM (Pacific)

What's not to love? Debbie Harry was the first woman I can even recall fronting her own band, and not just being eye candy up front. But more than that--Blondie was the seminal American New Wave band, largely because of Harry. (If you doubt me, picture Blondie as an all-male group.)

Debbie Harry was sexy, but not in some simplistic, leather-and-chains way. She brought humor to the genre, and she was the girl next door. She even did the band with her steady boyfriend...if you go back and examine the videos, he's the one who's always somehow closest to her in them.

However, Harry wasn't squeaky clean; there was always a slight roughness which only made her more appealing. A quintessentially American persona, and what makes this nation great. (Okay, I am a drivelling fan.)

Blondie had to disband in the early 1980's when Chris Stein (the boyfriend) was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Harry broke up the band to take care of Stein.

Stein recovered though and Blondie got back together, fairly recently. Harry is a bit older now, but there's something sentimental and touching about seeing her.

Blondie then:

Dreaming (Live 1979)

The lyrics to this song are to die for.

Heart of Glass

» Play this one

The intro to this video summons the thought: "Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets." :D This is Blondie's token "disco" tune, complete with a mirrored ball.


Apparently this song fared better in Europe. :p But strip away the New Wave tchotchkes and you have a thoroughly modern composition.

And finally, this gem, which I've heard only here and now (it never got radio play):


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NCIS - Ziva David - A Girl Like You
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-01-13 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

NCIS - Ziva David - Never met a girl like you

Still pondering the great issues of developing a work wardrobe, but in the meantime... :) I see another NCIS/Ziva fan here. If I may carp a bit, the video clips are too short, creating a somewhat jarring effect, but the pairing of this tv character with this song is brilliant.

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posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-01-12 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

Is "Troika" superior to "Sheer Randomness" or even "Yadda Yadda"? I myself dislike obscurity in blogging; that's when you wind up with tales of someone else's boring personal life. At least a troika means three items. Wait and see I suppose.

U2 - Two Hearts Beat As One

You'll have to keep in mind, though I've heard these songs many times--because in those days, you'd buy the album, if you wanted to hear anything...then you'd play it from start to finish, since it was analog--I've barely seen the videos. It's funny, seeing them now.

Isn't Adam Clayton (aka Naomi Campbell's ex) dishy? He was always the most overlooked member of the band. I read it was his bass-playing which defined the sound of U2...because he hated being in the background, he made the bass notes higher, which forced the guitar higher than that.

cydwoq office shoe

Shoe porn alert! Bag and Shoe

Why can't these guys be on the West Coast? Preferably the Northern part of Cal? :D Not only do they carry the exact Cydwoqs I want, they're in the right colors too. The key is being able to try them on, in your size, and to have a variety to sample in the first place. Out here, Bulo Shoes in the City are good. But more would be merrier.

LL Bean Supima cotton tee shirt review/update:

supima cotton tee shirts

Dang if these aren't the best tee shirts. Initially I balked at the higher cost, since I've worn Target's Mossimo shirts at half the price. But these are easily twice as versatile, and will no doubt wear at least twice as long. The sizes run a bit large--I got a medium, where I'd get large in the Mossimo tees--you don't get the "bust pulling" thing. The sole complaint I have is the body could be a skosh longer...though, if it is a trade-off, I prefer more fabric in the bust (seriously, modern shirts scrimp on fabric).

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Cydwoq Sale Alert
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-01-11 at 11:17 AM (Pacific)

cydwoq pine boot

Ped Shoes

I'm not affiliated with them, have never bought anything from them, but they do have a bunch of Cydwoq shoes and boots marked down.

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Wardrobe yadda yadda
posted by Colleen Shirazi at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

Slowly catching up on my mending. Though I'm an utter clod on a sewing machine (more's the pity--it would be a useful skill to possess), I've never minded mending clothes by hand.

I "invented" a stitch in fact (I'm sure it exists, just never heard of it). You take a single stitch, then go back over it with another. The logic is, if it ripped in the first place, it's a high stress area. More thread- and time-intensive, but do you really want to come back and repair this place again? I'm thinking of using an excess-stitch technique on other mending projects. Thread now is cheap; time is expensive.

Of course it's a judgment call: when to mend, when to give up and toss the dang thing. I recently unearthed a beautiful cherry red cardigan, formerly belonging to the old man. The thing was coming to pieces. It took me several days to fix it. Still unsure about the sleeve...I went back over it again today.

The thing is this. To replace it now would cost a small fortune, if I could even find anything like it. It's lambswool, machine washable; I've washed it numerous times over the nearly eighteen years I've owned it (it's older than that). It doesn't pill. The sole buggers were a clothes moth invasion (hence days of mending), and stress on the sleeves caused the wrist fabric to split open--my fault, I should have reinforced it before it got that bad. (In my defense, this happened when I was taking care of my kids, so I had to stash a lot of things aside to do later on.)

Otherwise--it's almost as warm as a much heavier wool pullover would be, for being a lightweight cardigan. The lambswool fabric itself is simply wearing away with time. Inspect closely to find many places where the fabric has thinned. Some of my repair was in such places.

But the structure of the thing is sound, and it has three pockets. We've become a dreary world, where we grudge people their pockets to save a paltry few squares of material.


cafepress tank for thebroadroom.net

I was trying to find a photo of the red sweater (I'm almost sure I took one, long ago) and came across this. I made the image for Cafepress for this site, in 2003 I do believe.

In those days, I was so paranoid about copyright infringement that I took a photograph of my own coffee cup and used that (I still have the cup; it's white). There was a red image and a blue one. Heheh...good times.

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Garnet Hill coupon code
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-01-10 at 7:51 PM (Pacific)

$10 off any $50 purchase
$25 off any $150 purhcase
$50 off any $300 purchase


You can also try this (it hasn't been working for me lately):



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Happy Friday!: Desert Rose
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-01-09 at 9:30 PM (Pacific)

Not the biggest fan of Middle Eastern politics, but it's hard to beat Middle Eastern music. Particularly, imo, the Arab style.

Words & music by Sting

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

I dream of fire
Those dreams that tie two hearts that will never die
And near the flames
The shadows play in the shape of a man's desire

This desert rose
Whose shadow bears the secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume that will torture you more than this

And now she turns
This way she moves in the logic of all my dreams
This fire burns
I realize that nothing's as it seems

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

I dream of rain
I lift my gaze to empty skies above
I close my eyes
This rare perfume is the sweet intoxication of love

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

Sweet desert rose
Whose shadow bears the secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume that will torture me more than this

Sweet desert rose
This memory of hidden hearts and souls
This desert flower
This rare perfume is the sweet intoxication of love

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Sheer randomness
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-01-07 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

Sorry, couldn't think of a better theme. :)

woolite for dark laundry

Started using this the other day...Longs Drugs carries it (with a $1 off coupon, check the coupon book). I'm going through my Woolite too quickly, so I'd planned to buy two at a pop anyway.

I haven't had much issue with darks fading (regular Woolite and cold water won't easily fade good darks). Just curious to see if there's a long-term advantage to "Dark Laundry."

Year of the Cat (Al Stewart)

It's...Eric Idle! (just kidding)

Once in a while I feel like mining Youtube for the "real" 1970's. Not Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" blaring in a disco, platform sandals, ginormous afros, cheesy nylon dresses, gold chains draped over hairy chests--although all of those things were real--the decade was far more expansive than that. It was the period after the popularization of birth control pills, and before AIDS.

Not as sexy as it sounds...fantastically awkward is the phrase which comes to mind...yet there was the odd song. I loved this one, long before I comprehended the story. "On a morning from a Bogart movie, in a country where they turned back time, you go strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre contemplating a crime..."

I was going to make this three items not two, but it's getting late.

Thanks for reading!

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Wardrobe analysis, 2009: Shoes
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-01-02 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

Aside from coats and heavy jackets, shoes are the most fundamental wardrobe staple...yadda yadda. I still haven't gotten mine, as I draw toward the close of my wardrobe project.

I do have my eye on some soon-to-be-end-of-the-season boots, to whit:

cydwoq campus

Only the ones I want are all black leather, not black paired with the burn-out design. I've nothing against the burn-out design; I tried it on in the "Handel" boot, and it's less funky and more versatile than it would seem.

Yet...the thing is this. I am getting shoes toward the end of my wardrobe development, not the beginning. It sounds counterintuitive; I'll guess most wardrobe gurus recommend you buy the shoes first, and jackets, then work the rest of the wardrobe around these key pieces.

However, I'm cheap. I would rather get some inexpensive footwear, like the Clarks "Tao" shoes I've been alternating for months:

clarks tao shoes

...until I get enough clothes--enough pieces to compose the outfit I want, day after day, week after week, season after season, without having stuff I don't wear--once this sartorial nirvana has been attained, the "right" shoes will become obvious. Because they are the last puzzle piece, they have to fit in with the already-assembled bulk of the puzzle.

I've tried the Campus boots on; the calves just fit me, while the ankles are not tight. Form-fitting ankles would make these boots feel dated (when I was a kid in the 70's, go-go boots were high fashion; I owned a pair), but the snug calf feels good. The height is cool too...taller than a "shootie," but not a tall boot.

The little wooden heel is ideal for clods like me. (While I was at it, I tried one of their 2" skinny heel models, the Skate bootie...which looked terrific, but I was hopeless in the heels.)

I'm dying to try something like this, in fact:

cydwoq amazone

Or these:
cydwoq gate

...with the shorter heel.

In that regard, it may be some time before I get my shoes, never mind the end-of-the-season boots. It's fine; I don't mind the Tao's. In fact I hate spending money on sandals, so I'm thinking of keeping something like the Tao in my rotation anyway.

images courtesy pedshoes.com, highartshoes.com

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Wardrobe analysis, 2009: Sweaters
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-01-01 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

Happy New Year!


Sweaters are akin to lipsticks: tempting and facile to buy. You may easily end up with a ton load, and use only the same few, over and over again...so it's well to analyze what you do end up wearing.

In retrospect, there were two cardigans I donned much of the time, before the weather turned and I switched to pullovers: an off-white cotton zip-front cardigan from Eddie Bauer, which I have no image of...it's one of those generic Hong Kong style cotton sweaters...and this one, from Banana Republic:

banana republic grey cardigan

Neither strikes one as extraordinary, but that's not why I wear what I do. I want something that works.

Off-white, or any light color, cotton is the best material for our Bay Area summers, because it's chilly in the morning, morphs into sweating heat mid-afternoon, then dips back into chill in time for you to walk to your public transport. You're going to be screwed until you figure out layers...and at least some of it is psychological. I had to remove my light-colored cotton cardigan only a few times this entire summer. Yet it's high-necked and it zips, so you can adjust how warm you want it to be.

Plus, it washed well (precious little pilling, for all the washer abuse I gave it). The one thing it couldn't take was tumble drying, even on low heat. That knocked the cling out of the knit row at the bottom. I'm still recovering, coaxing it back into shape while damp.

The grey one is the perfect color--dark grey, not the crappy medium grey women seem to get stuck with. And the fabric is soft. I've also washed it many times (in a mesh bag; I'm terrified of it pilling) and weirdly, it seems to like the odd tumble dry I've had to give it.

Neither is useful in winter. Here I brought out old sweaters...pullovers I've had for more than ten years, some around twenty. Since they're not new, and I haven't photographed them...eh...most of them are men's sweaters. Men have better sweaters anyway, but particularly pullovers.

I integrated some new ones into the mix:

supima cotton sweaters

These are Supima cotton; I was curious if there were a substantial quality difference. The black and green ones have washed gratifyingly well, but the dark navy blue is edging toward wear at the neck and sleeves. To be fair, I bought it first, but I'm planning to mesh-bag all of them (you can find lovely mesh bags at a Japanese dollar shop, should you be lucky enough to have one).

What about wool? You still need wool, dreary as it is to take care of. I've found tightly-knit lambswool fares better than loosely-knit regular wool, but of course I'm slavering over the concept of machine washable wool and wool blends. This wool/acrylic black beauty, for example:

black wool acrylic blend sweater

Hm, looks like my off-white cardigan in construction, only with cabling. I'm hoping this will not only wash and wear better, wool-wise, but will also attract less in the way of clothes moths.

Which are actually not as indomitable as it would appear: there's a mass of information about clothes moths on the Net, and I've come to think washability of wool might be a factor in keeping them away. Apparently the moths are most attracted to wool which has been worn; the larvae consume your body oils, and any food residue, along with the wool itself.

So, questions for 2009 in Sweaters are--do clothes moths consume wool blends as heartily as pure wools? And are machine washable wools and blends less prone to moth attack? I'll write back here with my observations later on.

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