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Life of Colleen

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·· Continued wardrobe meanderings
·· Happy Friday!
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·· They all end up doing Elvis
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·· Should strapless be scary?
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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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Roses are red...
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2010-01-14 at 10:11 PM (Pacific)

Roses are red
Some diamonds are blue
Chivalry is dead
But you're still kind of cute.

--Nelly Furtado, from "Promiscuous"


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Wardrobe yadda yadda
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-01-11 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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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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NCIS Gibbs rules
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-12-30 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

NCIS S04E11 Part 5 "Driven" (spoiler, if you haven't seen it)

I've recently gotten into this show, and I like it. For one thing, in one of the episodes, a pivotal piece of evidence contained computer code. The man accused of writing the code stated he didn't write it, and if they would look at it, they would see he didn't write that code. Correct: no two people write code the same way. (You'd have to watch the episode in full to grasp the motive for the crime, but it's also pretty universal.)

The main character of the show is Gibbs, played by Mark Harmon. From imdb.com:

Periodically Gibbs mentions a rule. In Season 3 episode, Switch, Gibbs tells Ziva there are about 50 rules.

Here are the ones we know so far:

Rule #1: Never let suspects stay together. From episode Yankee White (season 1)

Rule #1: Never screw (over) your partner. From episode Blowback (season 4)

Rule #2: Always wear gloves at a crime scene. From episode Yankee White (season 1)

Rule #3: Don't believe what you're told. Double check. From episode Yankee White (season 1)

Rule #3: Never be unreachable. From episode Deception (season 3)

Rule #4: If you have a secret, the best thing is to keep it to yourself. The second-best is to tell one other person if you must. There is no third-best. From episode Blowback (season 4)

Rule #7: Always be specific when you lie. From episode Reveille (season 1)

Rule #8: Never take anything for granted. From episode Probie (season 3)

Rule #9: Never go anywhere without a knife. From episode One Shot, One Kill (season 1), Missing (season 1) and Probie (season 3)

Rule #12: Never date a coworker. From episode Enigma (season 1) and Minimum Security (season 1)

Rule #15: Always work as a team. From episode Leap of Faith (season 5)

Rule #18: It's better to seek forgiveness than ask permission. From episode Silver War (season 3)

Rule #22: Never, ever bother Gibbs in interrogation. From episode Smoked (season 4)

Rule #23: Never mess with a Marine's coffee if you want to live. From episode Forced Entry (season 2)

Another one of Gibbs' rules which is used more often than the others, but without a number, is "Never say you're sorry, it's a sign of weakness." According to DiNozzo, another rule is "Never date a woman who eats more than you."


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More sentimental journeying
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-12-24 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

Billy Joel - Only The Good Die Young

Come out Virginia, don't let me wait
You Catholic girls start much too late
But sooner or later it comes down to fate
I might as well be the one

Well they showed you a statue, told you to pray
They built you a temple and locked you away
But they never told you the price that you pay
For things that you might have done
Only the good die young
That's what I said
Only the good die young

You might have heard I run with a dangerous crowd
We ain't too pretty, we ain't too proud
We might be laughing a bit too loud
But that never hurt no one

So come on Virginia show me a sign
Send up a signal I'll throw you a line
The stained glass curtain you're hiding behind
Never lets in the sun
Darling only the good die young
I tell ya only the good die young

You got a nice white dress and a party on your confirmation
You got a brand new soul
And a cross of gold
But Virginia they didn't give you quite enough information
You didn't count on me
When you were counting on your rosary

They say there's a heaven for those who will wait
Some say it's better but I say it ain't
I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints
The sinners are much more fun
You know that only the good die young
Only the good die young

You said your mother told you all that I could give you was a reputation
She never cared for me
But did she ever say a prayer for me?

Come out come out come out Virginia don't let me wait
You Catholic girls start much too late
Sooner or later it comes down to fate
I might as well be the one
You know that only the good die young
I tell you baby
You know that only the good die young
Only the good die young

They actually played this on our G-d fearing radio back in the 70's. Of course all the Catholics got it right away. sighs You won't hear it now, but not only because of the lyrics. Joel disappeared from our Clear-Channelled airwaves along with all the other working-class-style singers.

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U2 used to be good!
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-12-23 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

U2 - Another Time, Another Place

Finally found an embeddable U2 video. And just when I was going to write something nice about them.

U2 were once an excellent band, and I played this record, their first, countless times. This particular song evokes a beach in North Carolina I used to drive to. Unlike Virginia Beach, Virginia, or Norfolk's Ocean View, the North Carolinian beach was obscure and only the locals went there. It was fantastic, in the literal sense, because I've always been in love with the sea.

There were little tubular waves; you could see sunlight through their green-blue translucence. I used to just sit there and read a book. No one bothered me.

Bright morning lights
Wipe the sleep from another day's eye
Turn away from the wall
And there's nothing at all
Being naked and afraid
In the open space of my bed
I'll be with you now
I'll be with you now
I'll be with you now
We lie on a cloud
We lie

Just as I am
I awoke with a tear on my tongue
I awoke with a feeling of never before
In my sleep I discover the one
But she ran with the morning sun

I'll be with you now
I'll be with you now
I'll be with you now

We lie on a cloud
We lie
Another time, another place
We lie
Another child has lost the race
We lie
Another time, another place
We lie
Your time, your place

We lie
Another time, another place
We lie
Another child has lost the race

(something in German, I think)

We lie
Another time, another place
We lie
Your time, your place

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Shoe randomness
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-12-14 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

'Tis the season, with the bad drivers to prove it so. :) The thing is to drive more carefully now; the traffic is going to suck. I always get the thousand-year-old dude pulling in front of me (why? does it say "thousand-year-old-dude merge here" in front of my car?) and it's like...just accept it.

I got out to Rabat Shoes in Berkeley today to check out the shoes! I still haven't bought shoes. I've decided that's what I want for Christmas (we tend to give each other cash in my household). It was lovely seeing the Cydwoqs, but the selection is too limited. The atmosphere is nice, but I just need to see more Cydwoqs. They had the "Handel" boot there:

cydwoq handel boot

In person, it doesn't appear quite as funky, but the design is a skosh too un-conservative for what I have in mind. It's next to ideal as a casual boot. Even though they didn't have my size on hand (which is a peeve I have with them...with shoes in this price range, you need to try on your size, not have them bring it in from another store)--the shoe part was a bit too large--the boot upper fit like a dream. I'd forgotten but I had boots like that when I was a kid: snug-fitting with a zipper on the inside.

Handel wasn't a tall boot, nor was it a "shootie," but rather something in between. Which again could be ideal; warmer than a shootie, yet not as potentially sweaty as a tall boot, should the weather change mid-day.

I'm hoping to make it out to Bulo Shoes in the City tomorrow. At least on their site, they seem to have more choices.

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Yadda yadda
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-12-08 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

Joan Armatrading - Me Myself I

Sorry about the plethora of musical videos, paired with an utter dearth of content. I haven't had much time to blog in a while.

I had to post that one anyway as I'd completely forgotten about the song, though not about Armatrading. My friend back home was heavily into her (as I was into Chrissie Hynde), but it's hard to resist lyrics such as these:

I sit here by myself
And you know I love it
You know I don't want someone
To come pay a visit

I wanna be by myself
I came in this world alone
Me myself I

I want to go to China
And to see Japan
I'd like to sail the oceans
Before the seas run dry

I wanna go by myself
I've just room enough for one
Me myself I

I wanna be a big shot
And have ninety cars
I wanna have a boyfriend
And a girl for laughs

But only on Saturdays
Six days to be alone
With just me myself I
Me myself and I
Just me myself I

Don't want to be the bad guy
Don't want to make a soul cry
It's not that I love myself
I just don't want company
Except me myself I
Me myself and I
Just me myself I

I sit here by myself
And you know I love it
You know I don't want someone
To come pay a visit

I wanna be by myself
I came in this world alone
Me myself I
Me myself I
Me myself and I
Just me myself I

Once I stumbled across this on Youtube, I recalled the song blazing out from the radio (yes, we had "radios" back then), and the idea of a woman standing up and saying she wanted to be alone was (and is) quite radical. I suppose a Greta Garbo comes along every few decades or so. :D

So, what have I been up to, beauty- and fashion-wise. Not much. I replaced my MAC Blot pressed powder, after months of parsimoniously chasing the ring o' powder left in the compact. It lasts a surprisingly long time that way, assuming you don't want a lot of powder at once. I've long fallen out of love with MAC, but you can't beat MAC Blot pressed with a stick; nothing like it anywhere.

Also repurchased Dr. Hauschka Nasturtium and Lemon shampoo. I'd brought my first bottle to Jamaica, where I needed to wash my hair twice per day--I'm picky about having clean hair in the morning, and you have to shower off the salt water in the evening before you dress up and eat dinner. Nasturtium and... did very well there.

Its claim to calm itchy scalp is valid, with consistent use. In fact I use Nasturtium and... on the top of my head, and some other shampoo on the rest of my hair. That way I get neither bored nor buildup, and it cuts the cost some.

Other than that, I've been doing more recession-ista shopping. Even as the prices of things you have to buy skyrocket, the prices of things you could probably live without have dropped dramatically. It's well to stock up; you don't need to bring out everything at once.

Joan Armatrading: Ma-Me-O-Beach (04/19/1980)

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Hey I'm back!
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-11-29 at 3:13 PM (Pacific)

Jamaican coat of arms


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The sexiest scene in film history...?
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-28 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

Blow Up

Blowup was released in 1966. I've never seen the film in its entirety; it was one of those reruns shown over and over again on our three-channels-plus-public-tv-plus-CBN television. (CBN, or Christian Broadcasting Network, was a tinny affair in those days, specializing in Bonanza, Petticoat Junction and the like.)

But I stumbled across a reference to Veruschka somewhere...oh yeah, it was on Youtube, where fruitlessly I sought something along the lines of a good makeup video. The name had a familiar ring, so I looked her up, and discovered this scene.

Apparently Veruschka was not Russian. She was German, and a countess, and the daughter of a man hanged for participating in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. She changed her name from Vera to Veruschka in order to get modelling jobs.

I fully expected this scene to be prim by our modern standard, but it's not. Removing it from its context probably doesn't help; it jumps out at you. Bear in mind that what passed for a swingin' decade likely wasn't--it swung only in comparison to prior decades. What I recall personally from the 1970's (supposedly an even more liberated period) was a lot of talk, with a prevailing 1950's mentality toward sex. So you get the shyness here...all that's missing is him lighting a cigarette after finishing the shoot...but it's nice. It's still nice.

As much as people like to gripe now about a too-thin ideal for women, it was worse before. If she put on ten or fifteen pounds or so, this scene would stand today as among the sexiest scenes in film history.

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Happy Friday!: R.E.M.
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-26 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

R.E.M. - So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)

When I heard R.E.M for the first time, on the radio, I hated them. I forget the exact song, it just struck me as a mess. This would have been in the early 1980's.

And then, shortly afterward, I adored them. There was a period...where the songs I listened to became blended with one another, and were intimately woven into my life. If I had to go back and put a finger on it, it was when I left Virginia, drove across the country in my Toyota, ended up in California, worked as a delivery driver, yadda yadda...

REM Driver 8 Video

I still have a sentimentality for songs about the radio itself. They don't make them anymore, because the radio sucks now; it's hard to believe it was ever anything better than a Clear Channel sludge of elevator tunes. But once it was magic, one of only two conduits (the other being books) between the real world and wherever you happened to be from.

R.E.M. - Radio Song

From www.absolutelyrics.com

(Lyrics source: Quoted by Michael Stipe in a letter to Rolling Stone in Dec 1988)

Did you never call? I waited for your call
These rivers of suggestion are driving me away
The trees will bend, the cities wash away
The city on the river there is a girl without a dream

I'm sorry

Eastern to Mountain, third party call, the lines are down
The wise man built his words upon the rocks
But I'm not bound to follow suit
The trees will bend, the conversation's dimmed
Go build yourself another home, this choice isn't mine

Did you never call? I waited for your call
These rivers of suggestion are driving me away
The ocean sang, the conversation's dimmed
Go build yourself another dream, this choice isn't mine

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Explanation of the little purple jumping guy
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-08-24 at 10:05 PM (Pacific)

My daughter made this, pretty much on her own. I put the sequence together, but she came up with the concept and drawings.

Here's her version of the four seasons:



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On cleaning out closets
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-08-23 at 11:50 PM (Pacific)

kitty drawing

That's what I'm doing this weekend: cleaning out my closet. It hardly sounds monumental, but I suppose it represents the close of a distinct period in my life: that in which I stayed at home with my kids, working only as a contractor.

So some of the stuff in there goes back years. It seems reams have been penned on the noble activities of men--their wars, their careers, their...importance. But so little has been written on what women do, other than the aspects of their lives which are congruent to those of men, such as college and career.

Normally I dislike stockpiling, I don't like to accrue. Either it has a purpose, or a sentimental value, or else it goes. Space has a value too; G-d knows it costs enough around here! And I prefer order--not perfect order, but near-perfect order, if that makes any sense. I may not put something in exactly one place, but I like to narrow it to two or at most three places I'd need to look in order to find it.

But, I did not have time to even clean out my closet, during the years I raised my kids. And so I'm finding a Hello Kitty bag I'd meant to give my daughter "when she was older." It contains a pair of tiny Hello Kitty pink gloves, which would have been perfect for her, a few years ago! Once those gloves had seemed so big. Now when I hug her, I'm surprised to see how close her face is to mine.

That's something seldom extolled, the moment when you realize how big your daughter has become. When I look at her, I remember clearly the moment she was born, and when she was a tiny baby, then a bigger baby...everything up to this moment. It's magic.

I found other things...a music box filled with the expensive hair things she wore as a baby. I never liked buying her cheap hair stuff. In retrospect, I'm not sure what I was thinking. But now it all seems right. Here is the music box, with the little collection of barrettes of various metal flower designs and rhinestones. It's hard to find them in stores now.

I found two Eddie Bauer denim skirts on a hanger, both size 8. What are the odds? lol At first I thought, eh, too casual for my job, but then I tried one of them on. (Didn't bother with the other? They're exactly the same.) It's great. The denim is stretchy, so you don't get that stiff skirt o' denim feel, yet it's not tight. Just add a sweater and boots.

I found a pair of casual sandals made in Italy, in a box. I'd always thought they were too big, hence the idea of putting them in the closet, but they're not. I'm wearing them right now. They're really nice.

Of course these are the highlights; there was a ton of junk in there too. Old hats, old clothes, old...shoulder pads. Yup, I found a bag full of shoulder pads.

It's going to be more than a one-day project, but I already have space to hang my work dresses without squashing them.


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So this is the new Blogger...
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2006-12-08 at 5:56 PM (Pacific)



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