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Life of Colleen

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·· This blog has moved
·· Mrs. Peel...
·· Continued wardrobe meanderings
·· Happy Friday!
·· Happy Monday!
·· They all end up doing Elvis
·· More wardrobe meanderings
·· Further wardrobe meanderings
·· Should strapless be scary?
·· Happy Saturday!

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Mrs. Peel...
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2010-04-24 at 9:48 AM (Pacific)

The Pretenders - "Don't Get Me Wrong" (1986)

...we're needed.

This might actually be my favorite Pretenders' song...not because it's the acme of their work--which would likely be 1980's Mystery Achievement--but, just because.

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Happy Friday!
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2010-04-02 at 10:43 PM (Pacific)

Hermmm...the week went by quickly, eh?

Thought this was interesting.

strappy black sandals

I tried these shoes...was rather disappointed. Had been going for an Alcoa Building effect:

alcoa building

Dunno, something architectural, line-wise. But the shoes were not really comfortable on my feet. The girder effect was okay; perhaps not as spectacular as I'd hoped. Shoes have to be comfortable. I've decided to return them.

On a cheerier note...

anchor print skirt

I like this skirt. It's an odd piece to own; a touch too long to be fashionable, though I like the high-waisted effect. What sold me was the anchor and rope pattern:

anchor print skirt detail

When did I last see such a design? thirty years ago? Were I not a total 'tard with a sewing machine, this skirt is the fanciful item I'd make myself. Some day I do intend to take up sewing. It makes too much sense not to.

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They all end up doing Elvis
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2010-03-19 at 8:30 PM (Pacific)

Queen - Crazy Little Thing Called Love (1979)

Originally, I was going to dig up a video of an old "Underalls" ad for this post. Not because I ever owned a pair, but because it all seems so esoteric now. However, it is Friday.

This thing called love
I just can't handle it
This thing called love
I must get round to it
I ain't ready
Crazy little thing called love

What I was looking for was simple: a pair of tights, or stockings, with a cotton top and nylon legs. Is it so difficult? I like cotton tights, but the weather has changed; the ones I have feel too heavy now. And I loathe anything pantyhose-shaped that's all nylon.

cotton and nylon tights

Aha! I have one of these on order. Not only a cotton top, but also cotton toes. Seems quite useful...only comes in black though.

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Happy Saturday!
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2010-03-13 at 9:00 PM (Pacific)

International Women's Day - Iranian Embassy - Ottawa, Canada March 8th 2010 (Pt. 1)

I got the skirt.

printed skirt

Mmmmm...even nicer than in the pic. I'd envisioned it as a "slap it on, it's Friday" thing, but it's actually formal enough to wear during the week.

The fabric is thicker than it appears; it's rayon but feels more like a fairly substantial cotton knit. The side "ruffle" is comprised of two pieces of cloth sewn together, engineered to fall as if it were a ruffle. The skirt is lined, with two pockets...and even the sides are interesting. The fabric is not lined up to match perfectly, but it doesn't have to be, because the pattern flows as if the sides were in fact lined up. In real life, the print is even more sprightly, as if some mad artist had scrawled it in a fit of passion.

Because the skirt is not flared (nor is it tight), you could conceivably cover the top part of it with a cardigan or pullover sweater, if you wanted a subtler effect.

All in all...sweet.

harlow silk chemise top

This is so cute!

Like the J. Crew Black Blossom Nico Skirt--based on the image alone, not something I'd normally consider. But, in person, the deep blue version of this is to die for.

The other colors...the pinky-red one was cheesy-looking, like bad lingerie. The lime green and orange versions...hm...not bad, particularly the orange. But the blue was dead-on; looked truly vintage, what with the antiqued lace and deep blue crinkly-ish silk. It reminded me of a vintage silk bed jacket I had when I was a teenager.

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Odds and sods, part 5
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2010-02-12 at 10:26 PM (Pacific)

Milligan: Someone's coming up the stairs, sir!
Bloodnok: What?! Quick, burn this on the fire.
Milligan: Right. What is it?
Bloodnok: A piece of coal.

Listening to:

Mariah Carey - "Fantasy"

I like it even better than the song it sampled (Tom Tom Club's Genius of Love).

Oh when you walk by every night
Talking sweet and looking fine
I get kind of hectic inside
Oh baby I'm so into you
Darling if you only knew
All the things that flow through my mind
But it's just a sweet sweet fantasy...

j.crew boatneck painter tee

On the wardrobe front--I've been seeking a boatneck top for quite some time. The trick lies in finding one that's not overly casual.

Not really sold on the J.Crew version yet. It's unavailable in stores (rolls eyes), so naturally I checked the J.Crew Addict blogs. Mixed reviews; some complaints about fit, and about the raw edge in last year's 'Crew model. Hm. I'd prefer one with a higher, narrower neckline, like this:

boatneck tee

The sole drawback here is the limited color selection--three to be exact (light grey, deep grey and black).

The beauty of a good boatneck is that it's practical. Done right, it can function as business-casual, as well as casual-casual, and few necklaces won't work with it. Or you can skip the necklace; few earrings wouldn't pop against such an uncluttered backdrop. Looks terrific with any hairstyle, pairs equally well with skirts or pants.

I'm not in a hurry to buy one, just looking around.

cydwoq exterior

Much as I fancy myself a total screwtard with heels, I can handle small heels. I had a pair of vintage heels when I was around fifteen that I loved, and haven't been able to replace since. These are actually not too far off, even with the Cydwoq-y cutouts...it's the vibe of the heel itself, and of the long, pointy toes.

Plus, I have been look for something like a cross between a sandal and a pump, with a closed toe.

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I like Duran Duran.
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2010-01-18 at 6:10 PM (Pacific)

Don't hit me.

Duran Duran - "Save a Prayer"

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What I've been into, lately
posted by Colleen Shirazi at 11:26 AM (Pacific)

handmade labradorite pendant necklace

I made this labradorite pendant necklace almost two years ago today (the vermeil beads in back counterweight the stone in front). Admittedly it has lain in a drawer, more often than not, since. Brought it out today...it's perfect. I've found making something, or buying something, years in advance to when you'll need it, is not a bad idea.

deep red supima cotton turtleneck
Supima cotton/Modal turtleneck, made in the U.S.A.

I'm pretty much turtlenecked out, thanks to some spectacular sales.

Originally I was seeking a deep red top of some kind, and wasn't too picky about the shade. Deep red has been one of my favorite colors since I was a kid: all kinds of deep red, such as a red-wine hue, or pomegranate, or a color veering toward dark purple, or a faded deep red approaching orange.

Contemplated this:

burgundy cowl neck top

It's pima cotton, made in Peru, and while that sounds a bit unnecessary I've found pima cotton items made in Peru to be next to indestructible. They were sold out of this top in Large though...I don't mind buying any cotton top in Large, so long as the company doesn't produce mega-baggy tops, since the bust is sure to fit. If it's really too big I can always "cook" it in the dryer.

deep red top

This one (far right)...eh...it's pima cotton and Modal, and likely looks more luxe in real life. But how versatile? When it's cold, I don't want a scoop neck; when the weather warms, will I be as obsessed with deep red? Probably not.

On the purpler end of the spectrum:

reddish purple top

The one in front still has enough red to be of interest...it's described as a fine-gauge pima cotton top, with a subtle puffed sleeve detail. But it would have been $80.95 with shipping (assuming no sales tax). If I'd needed a lightweight pullover sweater, that would have been one thing, but I didn't.

I wound up with the first shirt. It went below $10 from its original $52, and they had it in my size. But I haven't worn it. It's stashed away, likely for next year.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Fortune Faded" (live)

Debated a bit whether to post the official video for this song. The official version has a unique lighting effect (created using glow sticks, according to the comments), but keeps getting pulled off Youtube. If the group is good enough, live is better than canned, anyway.

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What I've been into, lately
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2010-01-11 at 10:20 PM (Pacific)

Everyone came back from our furlough today. It was nice, seeing them all again.

My daughter commented that my wardrobe development was pretty much over with; all I'd need were a few particular items. I should say she's been an excellent wardrobe consultant, having the artistic eye I so do not. It's one of the best ways to do it...find an artist. It's like in school, where you would find the mathematician.

Got one of these:
headband with teeth

It was a splurge, but it's killer. It's just the thing if you have thin, annoying hair like I do. The teeth keep it from sliding around.

Been using this:

pink lipstick

It's a deep pink lipstick I'd tried on at the now-defunct Elephant Pharmacy in Berkeley, years ago. I remembered liking it; but, when I bought it, I found it too much color and wondered why I'd liked it in the first place.

I must have tried it on in the winter, because it works now. So...winter might be a good time to bring out lipsticks that didn't work when you had more color yourself. It's counterintuitive, because you're thinking deeper color would look better against a tan of some sort, but somehow it doesn't, at least on me.

Daryush - "Dastaye To"

This is from a previous "What I've been into, lately" post, because the original was taken down. There was a time in my life when I listened to a lot of Daryush. I find I always return to the same things, the same people, the same concepts.

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Happy Saturday!
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2010-01-09 at 10:39 AM (Pacific)

Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band - "I'm Going Away Smiling"

My mother turned me on to this; it's really just elegant. There are other versions on Youtube, but I like this one the best, just the two of them.

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First post o' the decade
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2010-01-06 at 12:18 PM (Pacific)

marilyn monroe

I've dithered a bit over what to post here. Granted, it's an arbitrary date, but a new year is always special to me. I am one of those people who always make a New Year's resolution, and almost always keep it. (Last year was an exception, due to California's budget crisis...mumbles)

Today is the last of our mandatory furlough days. I don't think I've done this much laundry in years. lol Anything that can be washed has been washed. After a while it becomes scientific...what goes on the line and when (we've been blessed with three clear, mostly sunny days), how many times a combination of dryer sheets can be used, temperatures and cycles, minimums of different kinds of detergent; the whole shmeer really.

Now I just need to do my hair, some minor mending...and put a little E6000 at the base of a zipper on one of my skirts, the part below where it begins to zip. I discovered a rough place there after it got stuck on my tights.

I've had the above image sitting on the server since early last year. It is the most beautiful evocation of summer; what to look at when you start to wonder whether hot weather will ever return. To go with it, the lovely Eddie Cochran:

Eddie Cochran - "Summertime Blues"

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Pacifica Tahitian Gardenia soap, continued
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-12-30 at 8:02 PM (Pacific)

Bryan Ferry - "Will You Love Me Tomorrow"

You must be tired. You've been running through my mind all day. Actually this is not the song that's been running through my mind--that would be "Taxi," from the same Bryan Ferry record. But I like this cover as well.

It's occurred to me Pacifica's Tahitian Gardenia soap smells quite similar to a perfume I've thought about, on and off, for a couple of years: Diptyque's Do Son.

Google Street View of the Diptyque shop on Maiden Lane

Tahitian Gardenia is not as complex as Do Son--you wouldn't expect it to be, soap not being perfume--but this is one type of scent to which I return, time and again.

Do Son was almost freakishly realistic--along with the Tahitian Gardenia slew of white flowers and a fresh green note out of nowhere, it featured a slight bitter edge (as actual flowers possess) and what I swear smelled like running water and a smidge of sunlight. The deal-breaker--like the other Diptyque eau de toilettes I sampled back then (2007, the same time I took a screenshot of the shop), it had no staying power. You'd be like some kind of a nut, spraying it every half hour or so.

So the question--and it's a beauty blog question--would be, how does Pacifica's perfume version of Tahitian Gardenia compare to Diptyque's Do Son? I'll have to look more closely next time I visit Whole Foods; maybe they have Pacifica scents out?

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Merry Christmas!
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-12-25 at 5:58 PM (Pacific)

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Darlene Love

Bono massacred this song at one point, didn't he? :)

All I Want For Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey

My girl Mariah Carey--love her.

Happy holidays to all, and a happy and prosperous New Year (in case I don't post before then).

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Happy Sunday!
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-12-20 at 6:48 PM (Pacific)

Dolapdere Big Gang - Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

Hey, it's the Muni bus! uh huh....

A cheerful rendition of Nina Simone's classical tune (perhaps more famously covered by The Animals).

trasparenze gennifer merino wool tights

Trasparenze Gennifer merino wool tights review, continued

These stretch out half a size with wear. I now feel size 2 is correct for me; they were kinda like doll clothes, coming straight out of the package. You have to wear them once or twice.

Sometime I might check out the other shades--"dark khaki green," for example (Bosco) sounds useful--there is also a dark plum, fawn, and cream, as well as the Rubino red.

Cydwoq Recess shoe

Finally got to see these in person (Bulo Shoes in the City carries them). I'm convinced now that Cydwoq shoes should not be bought online, unless it's a dire emergency. Like all things handmade, the shoes possess an intimate quality which doesn't translate too well to the Web.

The top leather is distressed-looking in real life, while the embossed lower leather isn't (and the pattern appears subtler too). These are the old pair of shoes I've been looking for. Though the footbed seems long and narrow, to me--I have those little Asian pancake feet--these run half a size small. So if I'd bought them online in my usual size, I'd be SOL.

Shantel - Disko Boy

Much as I've tried to avoid slapping up multiple music videos, I can't actually resist this one. Yabadabadai yoboboboboi, I wanna be your disco boy, I wanna dance with you, wanna hold you tight, wanna make you mine tonight...

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Happy Monday!
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-12-14 at 7:55 PM (Pacific)

Persian Music Santoor (Santour, Santur) and Tonbak (1)

I had a sudden craving for santoor music. I don't play the santoor, mind you :) but it is one of the most fascinating instruments to watch someone else play.

The santoor is basically a big box o' strings, and the ones I've seen have absolutely no markings on them anywhere. That's part of what makes watching santoor playing mesmerizing...you're thinking, how does this guy know where to hit this thing? how is it even possible?

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posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-12-01 at 9:26 PM (Pacific)

Timbuk3, "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" (1986)

I study nuclear science
I love my classes
I got a crazy teacher, he wears dark glasses
Things are going great, and they're only getting better
I'm doing all right, getting good grades
The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades

I've got a job waiting for my graduation
Fifty thou a year will buy a lot of beer
Things are going great, and they're only getting better
I'm doing all right, getting good grades
The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades

Well I'm heavenly blessed and worldly wise
I'm a peeping-tom techie with x-ray eyes
Things are going great, and they're only getting better
I'm doing all right, getting good grades
The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades

I study nuclear science
I love my classes
I got a crazy teacher who wears dark glasses
Things are going great, and they're only getting better
I'm doing all right, getting good grades
The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades


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Odds and sods... part 2
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-11-25 at 9:08 PM (Pacific)

Watching an entire video of John & Yoko is too sad, so I liked this blend of Lennon's drawings (animated) and dark New York City clips.

aubrey organics honeysuckle rose shampoo

I picked this up on something of a whim, along with a repurchase of Aubrey Organics Blue Camomile shampoo (reviewed here, a bit). Hm.

Honeysuckle Rose smells heavenly; though, to me, neither of honeysuckle nor of rose. Rather, it evokes orange blossom, only without the loud righteous cleaning-product edge so many orange blossom scented products fall prey to. Really nice soft fragrance, which lingered in my hair a commendable several hours.

But, they're not kidding about "DRY"--this may be the ideal shampoo for desert-arid hair (a notch behind Dr. Hauschka's Macadamia and Orange Shampoo, which could lube your bike chain).

Used Honeysuckle Rose the once this morning, and could tell right away it was too heavy for my fine, limp, "combo" hair (oily roots, dry ends). Oh well. I look forward to mixing it with an Avalon Organics shampoo I find too drying.

I can see Aubrey Organics are a bit literal about their shampoos...Blue Camomile was labelled both "Normal" and "Hydrating," and it made my hair quite normal, perhaps a tad on the hydrated side. Camomile Luxurious was both "Normal" and "Volumizing"--pretty normalizing, a skosh less moisturizing than Blue.

oval two-tone barrette

If loving you is wrong, I don't want to be right. I'm not overly big on hair ornaments, most of which require thick hair, but there are exceptions. One is the "French clip":

french clip inside the barrette

As long as you don't get a huge clip, it should hold even straight, slippery fine hair as well as a claw does.

Originally I was seeking a plain matte black barrette (difficult to find, most are glossy), but the yin and yang of this particular design caught my eye.

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Listening to...
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-11-18 at 9:26 PM (Pacific)

Rolling Stones, "Miss You" (1978)

Mazzy Star, "I've Been Let Down" (1996)

The former...you've probably never heard (okay I have socks older than some people); the latter is a tad obscure, yet amazing.

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Wardrobe meanderings part 3
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-10-21 at 7:50 PM (Pacific)

Sorry, blog! I've totally neglected you, having been mindlessly busy, if that makes any sense.

Fashion-wise...I suppose I've finally become the good Catholic girl I was supposed to be. It's easier to see the virtue in saying no, once you've had plenty of opportunity to say yes. So much of style involves nothing more than saying no, to the onslaught of shopp-ortunities. You must winnow the classical wheat from the trendy chaff.

Take patterned tights:

patterned tights

This style reappeared out of nowhere. Patterned tights were hot when I was in grade school, if I recall correctly; the kind of thing you'd wear with your go-go boots. Part of me still loves them, from sheer sentimentality, but is it worthwhile buying them now?

Eh...it's tempting. I'm inclined to say no, in favor of plain old tights:

grey tights

How about a turtleneck?


Only it's not a regular turtleneck, it's a ginormous neck, which you are to fold and mush down, and it's of thinner material. Probably not the most practical purchase. But is it really that fabulous shade of red?

Again, highly tempting. I'm dithering (idly, since I space out purchases) between this and the more prosaic classical t-neck:


Though I've been on and off lusting over this dress:

print cotton lawn dress

...I know it would be killer on me, what with the old-school printed cotton lawn...this is more what I want to buy now:

andrea gabardine skirt

Lest this appear to be apple vs. orange, both items are in the same price range, and both fulfill the eternal question (what to wear to work today?) with machine-washable charm.

The skirt pic doesn't do it justice; it's a nifty little gabardine number, with an interesting array of gores, almost like a jigsaw puzzle.

And speaking of classics, this Stranglers video has been sitting here; it's a brilliant cover (check the "Light My Fire" interlude). Not at all relevant to this post, I just happen to really like it.

The Stranglers, "Walk On By" (original by Dionne Warwick)

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Linda Ronstadt
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-08-26 at 8:36 PM (Pacific)

Linda Ronstadt, "Blue Bayou" (1978)

Hermmm...Linda Ronstadt was one of my earlier style icons. I don't mean the Linda Ronstadt on roller skates, nor the one at Governor Moonbeam's side, exactly; rather, the girl who would take a quintessential dude's song (Everly Brothers' When Will I Be Loved, Buddy Holly's It's So Easy, Rolling Stones' Tumbling Dice, Elvis Costello's Alison, et cetera, as well as the Roy Orbison tune above), and transform it, like a magician, into something feminine and powerful.

And the girl in photographs such as this:

linda ronstadt

Ronstadt had that California-essence, impossible to duplicate from the East Coast, to the effect: "I just fell out of bed this morning looking fabulous, isn't it great?" I mean this picture was from an article dated 1977. Is there any one aspect of her look you could call outdated, thirty-two years later?

Linda Ronstadt, "You're No Good" (from The Midnight Special, 1975?)

I stumbled across this video--someone had mixed it with Amy Winehouse's You Know I'm No Good--I hadn't liked the song, in the mid-70's, it was a droning AM radio mantra...you're no good, you're no good, you're no good, baby, you're no good...but how entrancing it all seems now.

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Happy Saturday: Freedom
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-08-22 at 11:59 AM (Pacific)

Wham!, "Freedom" (1984)

Nope, the 80's were not only about acid-wash jeans and groups with bad singers and bad musicians. There was also the astonishing 21-year-old George Michael (paired with English-Egyptian beefcake Andrew Ridgeley in those days).

George Michael and Queen, "Somebody to Love" (1992)

After Wham! dissolved, Michael got even better. Sure, he was slammed in the U.S., in our peculiar way of judging people (seems gay politicians are accepted, gay singers not), but history will record Michael as the emperor of pop. Here he fills the late (Parsee) Freddie Mercury's wonderfully arrogant frontman shoes.

George Michael, "Fastlove" (1996)

Thought this video a bit twisted when it came out...hmmm...still kinda is...but the song, to me, complements the original "Freedom." The same amazing individual quality, of a sound you can almost touch.

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Pretty Baby
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-08-11 at 9:07 PM (Pacific)

Much as I detest "embedding disabled by request," this is worth popping open a new tab. Be sure to choose the HQ option; the guy's not blowing smoke.

The original of this song, from Blondie's Parallel Lines (1978), was not quite as good as this live gem, thirty years later. Somehow the original evokes a New Wave "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)", to me. Not that that's bad...kinda dig The Four Tops...but "Pretty Baby" has been playing inside my head for a couple of weeks now, and the live clip transforms it into a modern piece.

Stars live in the evening but the very young need the sun
Pretty baby you look so heavenly
A neo nebula from under the sun
I was forming, some say I had my chance
The boys were falling like an avalanche
Ya ya baby, "La Dolce Vita" is a magic dance
No one was listening
Pretty baby un petite ingenue teenage starlet I fell in love with you
You with the comb
You look okay in every way
I should have known you'd look at me and look away, oh
Pretty baby you look so heavenly
A neo nebula from under the sun
Eyes that tell me incense and peppermints**
Your looks are larger than life
Long live innocence
Petite ingenue I fell in love with you

* A tribute to fellow New Yorker Brooke Shields
** farrrrr out

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Train in Vain
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-07-25 at 8:03 AM (Pacific)

the clash london calling

I was feeling a bit sentimental, as usual...it's funny, you come to understand those middle-aged people, once you become one of them. When I was a kid, the middle-aged folks still loved their 1950's rock and roll. It's understandable (admittedly, I understood it even when I was a kid): this music is beautifully stripped-down. If you want a sartorial analogy, it is akin to the perfect black and white outfit. Everything is there, but nothing in excess.

The Clash, "Train in Vain" (1979)

Not overly nuts about the video, if only because I am old enough to have experienced The Clash firsthand. Mick Jones is merely ten years older than I am. There was a collegial feeling between fans and group, not fan worship.

The nice touch is the predominance of black-and-white images--which, as I say, is not coincidental. Fashion is a phoenix which must periodically burn and be reborn. The minimalist 1950's style became 1970's bloat, before Elvis Costello showed up in a skinny tie and Debbie Harry wearing blonde hair, tights and a simple dress.

I think the next trend will be this kind of simplicity, not another round of Laboutins. (I'm not knocking your Laboutins; it's just a predication.)

You say you'll stand by your man
Tell me something I don't understand
You said you loved me, and that's a fact
And then you left me, said you felt trapped
Well some things you can explain away
But the heartache's in me till this day

You didn't stand by me
No not at all
You didn't stand by me
No way

All the times, you and me were close
I remember these things the most
I've seen all my dreams come tumbling down
I can't be happy without you 'round
So alone I keep the wolves at bay
And there's only one thing I can say

You didn't stand by me
No not at all
You didn't stand by me
No way

You must explain why this must be
Did you lie when you spoke to me?
Did you stand by me
No not at all

Now I got a job but it don't pay
I need new clothes, I need somewhere to stay
But without all these things I can do
Without your love I won't make it through
But you don't understand my point of view
I suppose there's nothing I can do

You didn't stand by me
No not at all
You didn't stand by me
No way

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Happy Saturday!: Please don't ever change...
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-07-11 at 5:54 PM (Pacific)

The Beatles "Don't Ever Change" album "The Beatles Live At The BBC"

The Beatles "I Wanna Be Your Man"

The Beatles "The Night Before" (Paul's Single voice HVS Mix)

No particular theme here (beyond the obvious); just three of their songs I've liked for, ah, decades.

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Troika 3
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-06-25 at 8:02 PM (Pacific)

Sixpence None the Richer, "Kiss Me"

Yay! Finally located a copy of the original, "Jules and Jim" video for this lovely song.

aubrey organics camomile luxurious shampoo

(Looks like my old "Lipstick Page" photography, eh? It's not, I'm just saying.)

Ever the shampoo whore, I picked this up on a whim. Turned out to be cool stuff: an archetypal granola-flavored, health-food-store shampoo. Too thin in consistency to please conventional shampoo-ers, and too herbal in scent, this golden liquid feels almost oily on hair, yet rinses almost too clean (not looking for squeaky), leaving hair feeling pretty darn good.

It does build up, used daily over time, but who cares. Just switch to something else for a while.

I'm impressed enough with this to consider trying other Aubrey Organics hair products.
dr. hauschka nasturtium and lemon shampoo

Dr. Hauschka Nasturtium and Lemon Shampoo, revisited.

Cannot laud this enough; even though, as a shampoo, it's a bit of a total rip-off (raised from $13 to $20 a pop). So, I don't use it as a shampoo, but rather as a scalp treatment, applying a small amount to the top of my head, and washing the main part of my hair with a cheaper shampoo.

This has "cured" that top-of-the-head itchy scalp thing I had, when used over time. I don't think it cured it--I think it just doesn't irritate the top of my head, the way just about every other shampoo does.

Aubrey Organics shampoo image courtesy www.nonasties.com.au

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Happy Friday!: Sentimentality
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-06-19 at 7:26 PM (Pacific)

Daryoosh_ Yavare hamishe momen (Old Version)

Because I don't speak Farsi (beyond "man pul nadaram," "talagh," "ghashange" and the like), it's been a bit difficult for me finding these songs. I've heard them countless times, at a period in my life when I was very lonely...it would be akin to searching for Beatles songs, had they been written in a foreign tongue.

Fortunately, the numbers of these are ever increasing on Youtube. I go through once in a while and see what pops up.

Tange Ghoroobe - Dariush and Aref

According to comments, this is not Aref, but rather Keyvan and Afshin Moghadam. I don't know Aref's voice that well (he made a video some time in the 80's or 90's that's driving me crazy, I can't find it), and have never heard of Keyvan or Afshin Moghadam. It's Daryush though, hard to miss that.

Faryaad Zire Ab

Hermmm...this rather illustrates my point. I couldn't find a third song for this post. The movie always seemed intriguing, and I do like the song; it's just not one I've been looking for.

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An 80's moment
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-06-02 at 6:41 PM (Pacific)

The Smiths - "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out"

Morrissey, singer of The Smiths, was once the laughing stock of rock journalism, chiefly for moaning lyrics such as these:

There's a club if you'd like to go
You could meet somebody who really loves you
So you go and you stand on your own
And you leave on your own
And you go home and you cry and you want to die.

Jeez, lighten up... But, once in a while, The Smiths managed to capture the essence of youth, and never more finely than in "There Is a Light..."

Power Station - "Some Like It Hot"

Some said Power Station was what Duran Duran would have sounded like, had they a competent singer. But that's not entirely accurate; it's as much the percussion buoying the late Robert Palmer's (superior) voice that ensnares. At the end of the day, I rather like the video, which blends neon drawings with dishy (transsexual) model Caroline Cossey.

New Order - "True Faith"

I loathe this video actually (save the live performance bits and nifty sign language, and brief glimpses of a guy trying to stack a pyramid, sphere and cube). It strikes me as emblematic of everything stupid and bloated about early MTV--but the song itself is to die for.

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Dreams of Californication
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-05-23 at 7:36 PM (Pacific)

Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Californication"

Since this version got yanked from Youtube--and doubtlessly will be yanked from Guba, eventually--you might as well watch it now. My favorite part involves driving on the Golden Gate Bridge (who hasn't wanted to do it that way?).

loreal everpure haircare

Hermmm...years after sulfate-less shampoos became a miniature rage, L'Oreal cranks out their line of same. I haven't tried 'em, though I suspect they are good (L'Oreal being eerily adept at haircare); I've long used health food store shampoos to avoid color-fading ingredients (you will need to read product labels, if that's what you're after).

sundance catalog madeleine dress
Sundance Catalog's Madeleine dress

I saw this in person today. It's not as mellifluous as pictured...the colors seemed a bit harsh. Whilst this looked prettier than in the image (ah, my obsession with white shirts):

sundance catalog madeleine dress

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posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-05-16 at 12:32 PM (Pacific)

Don Henley - The Boys of Summer

...you can tell Don Henley is a drummer, more than a singer. I like that, though, in the sense of the background coming to the fore, the foreground receding...ideal for this song.

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Sundry thoughts
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-05-11 at 7:40 PM (Pacific)

crinkled silk tank
crinkled silk tank

Oh, get outta here with that crinkled, no-iron, washable silk tank. I've actually tried this on; it's not worth the retail price imo, buuuuut...it just looks so darn useful.

Even the shade pictured--it's deeper in real life, more to the ecru than to the cream--you could pair it with so very many different skirts and slacks, and the deeper colors and reasonable arm-holes mean less sweat-stain worries. You wash it, squash it, hang it to dry...it works tucked in or worn loose, thanks to the nifty lace at the hem.

Am I talking myself into buying this thing? Eh...but I am up for something similar.

madeleine dress

What caught my eye here was the sprightly, many-hued print. The all-is-made-in-China world o' apparel is ruled by prints of only two colors--much as pockets and extra fabric in the seams have bitten the dust.

madeleine dress detail

This looks like something I could totally not wear, but you never know.

"Candy" Iggy Pop featuring Kate Pierson
» Try this one

I love this unexpected duet. Michigan's Iggy Pop, better known as the Godfather of Punk, a shirtless dude jumping around before Anthony Kiedis (but after Jim Morrison), singing a love song with...Kate Pierson? half of the glamorous side of the B-52's (ask your mother). Yet, it works.

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Happy Friday: Sundry thoughts and product reviews 1
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-05-01 at 6:37 PM (Pacific)

REM Driver 8 (Live, 1985)

Mmmmm...love a Southern guy who keeps his accent. :) This song in particular evokes a slew of things I miss, in the almost 24 years I've been a Southern expatriate. You can hear the grits in this music, and the red clay and kudzu, and the people sipping iced tea from their screened porches.


Brushpicks! My mil turned us on to these. They are essentially plastic toothpicks, but with a tiny brush at one end and a curved pick at the other.

These are sturdy enough to be washed out and re-used many times...but the genius lies in the brush end. When you're totally knackered at the end of the day, and feel like doing nothing so much as brushing your teeth and falling into bed, you can use the brush end of this thing to quickly floss your teeth.

woolite dark laundry

Woolite Dark Laundry, revisited.

Recently repurchased my dual Woolites of regular and Dark Laundry (though I have sighted Woolite for All Colors at Costco). So two Woolites last me almost four months.

It's a bit difficult to say at this point whether Dark Laundry is better than regular Woolite on darks. I have a black linen dress which now shows the most minimal signs of wear, but the thing is legitimately old. The newer darks look pretty good.

Dark Laundry costs the same as regular Woolite, is as mild, and smells nice. If it works even nominally better on darks, you haven't lost anything. I'll probably have a better feel for it after another four months or so, though.

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Troika 2
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-03-27 at 2:10 PM (Pacific)

Hmmm...I have employed way too many exclamation points in my blogger titles, as of late. Oh well. Let's do a bit of catching up, shall we?


Mederma Review, part 2

(see Mederma review, part 1)

I used this faithfully on my scar the recommended 8 weeks--December and January--then got lazy. The scar had faded after that time, but hadn't miraculously disappeared. Hence I have been applying Mederma, since much of the tube remains, whenever I can remember or find the time to do it (it's been pretty sporadic).

Currently--end of March--the scar has all but gone. I checked in the bathroom mirror under electric lights, with a measuring tape. At 3 feet away, the scar can barely be detected (no makeup). If you were good, and bothered to apply concealer, I doubt it could be seen at all. It is next to perfectly flat; only very slightly raised where the cut was deepest.

This was a cut that took nine stitches to close. I think this is a good product and certainly worth trying. (Best price I found was at Costco.)

garnet hill button front tee shirt

Garnet Hill Button-Front Scoop-Neck Tee

I bought Dusty Aqua and White, when they were on sale.

I'd like to say I was bitterly disappointed, but it wouldn't be entirely true. On the Garnet Hill website, the tops are described thusly:

"Trim and slim in a stretchy rib-knit of soft pima cotton, this updated basic is finished with jersey-knit banding at the scooped neckline, button-front placket and elbow-length sleeves. Imported.

This is a slim-fitting style. For a relaxed fit, we recommend that you order up a size."

O-tay...but, perusing the first several pages of customer reviews there, the consensus appeared to be the tops ran true to size, or else ran big. I'm thinking now this is a sign...oh hapless online clothing shoppers...that the top is true to size, or even runs a tad large, if you're built medium to petite, bust-wise. If you're not, forget about it; that's when you need to order one size up.

I mean, according to the sizing chart, the Mediums I'd ordered should have worked for a bust of up 39 inches (size 10-12). The white one had three distinct gaps over the bust, where Dusty Aqua fared better at two lesser gaps--which would have only gapped more, given the washing instructions:

# Machine wash cold, gentle cycle, with similar colors
# Do not use chlorine bleach
# Tumble dry low
# Cool iron when needed

Then I noticed two of the iridescent shell buttons (nice, btw) on the white shirt were flaking off at the back. Clearly the button QA folks had taken the day off when that shirt went down the inspection line.

The blue shirt's buttons seemed a skosh rough on the backs, but at least they weren't flaking off.

Now, the good news. The Dusty Aqua was to die for; the ideal muted greenish blue, more subtly lovely than pictured. The material was nice and soft, lightweight, not overly thin.

The neckline was too scoopy to work as is; you need don a camisole or tank. I think it looks nicer that way though, as it would look blah with a high neck.

The sleeves looked best on me folded up once. (They with long, willowy arms could likely forgo the fold.)

All in all: nice shirts. Dressy enough for casual Fridays or the weekend, when you want to be comfortable without looking like a slob. But I suspect (without having tried the Large yet) your sizing decision should be based almost purely on the size of your bust. The rest of the shirt was not particularly slim-fitting imo.

Garnet Hill does free exchanges. I'm confident the replacement shirts will be just right.

The Animals

Eric Burdon, I love you. Although, for the longest time, I thought of the Animals as having made American music...beautiful, slow, heavy, a sublime singer up front and a real band. Hearing it now...the odd factor is Alan Price's keyboard playing on some of the songs. That sounds quite English to me.

And speaking of that, how about this song with a charming English accent? (Or you could spin the original.)

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Happy Sunday!
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-03-08 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

The Clash - Complete Control

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Troika 1
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-03-03 at 9:57 PM (Pacific)

cherry blossom cardigan

Haven't I been waiting my entire lifetime for a cherry blossom cardigan? mumbles, clutches wallet furtively...

U2 - Stories For Boys

The same peculiar, watery guitar lines as "Another Time, Another Place"; both from 1980's Boy.

engineer boots

I know, I know...an engineer is fortunate if he can get his socks to match, much less his boots. :D But I'm seriously debating these boots. Frye has managed to continue manufacturing them in the U.S., giving at least some people here a decent job.

I should say Frye boots were the 70's - 80's fashion mag staple footwear; there is some sentimentality there for me as well.

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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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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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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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I still love Blondie!
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-01-18 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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