Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Canastas: with Amy Gore this Saturday

I know I've taken pains to explain how The Canastas are an all-night act, and we don't play normal, 40 minute sets with other bands. But we're making an exception to play with Amy Gore this Saturday night!

Come witness an epic, mutant battle for the fate of rock and roll!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

You should know about Chris

You guys know my BFF Margaret, but you might not know my other BFF, Chris. He's a friend I'm so crazy about that I'm 32 years old and I still insist on calling him a BEST friend. Because he's the BEST person. He was my BEST man at our wedding. 

We met doing youth theater when we were 13. We've had almost 20 years to potentially drift apart, or be shitty to each other, or let things get weird, but it's never happened. And while that's no doubt partly because he's just a kickass, tolerant, smart, forgiving friend, it's also gotta be at least a little bit because neither of us wanted to take for granted what a lucky fucking thing it is to get somebody and have them get you. 

The world's full of cool people, but it's rare to find a friend where the vibe is effortlessly awesome, right? Chris and I clicked regarding many references linked to the intense nerdery of our tweens (Vampire Hunter D, Iron Maiden, Castlevania), but the crazy part is that it didn't end there. We went on to share a shit ton of interests on both ends of the spectrum: smarty pants high art and irreverent, cheap laughs. He's got the brains and emotional depth to be the friend I want to talk to about rhetorical criticism, art, and philosophy. But probably more importantly to me (if I'm being honest), he's got the sense of humor to be the friend I go to with a butt joke. 

Anyway. I kind of owe my knowledge of movies to Chris. And everything else, probably. We've spent a lot of time, particularly during those formative teen years, watching everything from Jean Cocteau films to Van Damme flicks. I came in with some semi-decent basic cable background knowledge in mostly film noir and kung fu movies, but Chris already had taste -- and an affection for bad taste. One day, we'd be getting our young, art-nerd heads around the use of music in The Shining. The next, we'd be continuing an ongoing search for the shittiest movie of all time (FYI, it's Mac and Me). We'd listen to Queen and we'd listen to Beethoven. We'd talk about the Dutch Masters and we'd talk about nachos. 

These are the things we still do, by the way.  We both clearly came in with back stories that helped make us compatible as buds, but I don't think I'd be half as informed about art in any sense of the word if it weren't for our friendship. It yields so much more net enjoyment if your experience of a book or a movie or something isn't boxed in by strict notions of liking or not liking it -- there's so much more joy available if you can appreciate it on its own terms. That's probably a natural mentality for both of us, but I developed that perspective in a hardcore way because of Chris. Also, it's more fun with a buddy.

So anyway, for Chris' birthday in recent years, I've made a tradition of inserting our pictures into stills from whatever movie we've been discussing most recently, doing so as jankily and ridiculously as possible. Last year it was the Alien franchise. This year, it was Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula. His birthday was actually like a month ago, and I gave him these images as part of a multi-page card (with a pie) but you should be accustomed by now to this blog being at least that far behind on everything.

Happy Birthday, dude.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Grunge florals, plaid, motorcycle jackets

Dress: Asos
Flannel: MC's
Moto jacket: Thrifted for me by MC
Hat: Asos
Sunglasses: Giant Vintage
Boots: Doc Martens via consignment but I think they were new
Jewelry: Gifts from MC

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pretty cardigan. New glasses.

Simple pleasures. It's been too frigid for anything less than a thick wool pullover since December. The fact that it's warm enough for a delicate little cardi feels like a BIG FREAKIN' DEAL.

Skinny jeans: Mango
Booties: Steve Madden
Cardigan: Thrifted, tagless, unknown
Glasses: YSL

Also, I mentioned a million years ago that I got some new frames: two new pair and one vintage pair. Well here's one of the new ones. They're from YSL.  

So far, they're mostly my backup glasses -- the ones I keep in my purse just in case. I admit that my main pair remain my trusty old Oliver Peoples. I like these ones a lot though. My local friend and former owner of our house Lisa noticed in the virtual try-on I posted that they sit kind of high on the face, but like a fool, I thought it was a website glitch. They are kinda high though! I guess I could probably take them into the optometrist and have them fix them with that whirring machine they use to fit your frames. Though in all fairness, Yves Saint Laurent himself did seem to like his glasses to be way up high.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Kitty Cat Bowtie Earrings

MC has my taste down COLD. These earrings were a Valentine's Day gift this year. Fucking delightful, I squealed like a schoolgirl.

As long as I'm posting about Valentine's Day (a month and a half later...): our office is a day-job haven for musicians and artists, so one of the best things about V-day is that we set up a table in the cafeteria every year with construction paper and glitter and stuff, and people spend their breaks making ridiculous cards for their friends and loved ones.

MC and I also printed some additional stuff to paste onto ours from our recent pantheon of romantic avatars. That's always a fun exercise when you get into a show or a movie, right? Who watched the Jonathan Rhys Myers Dracula show?! A cross between Coppola's 1992 Dracula, and Nicola freaking Tesla. So bonkers. 

Anyway, MC also wrote me a poem about a bow tie he wore one fleeting night many years ago to an event we were at, hoping I would notice. To go with his bow tie themed gift! I loved it. He's a clever one.

For my part, I made MC another book.This one compiles all the sexy photos he's taken of me over the years. YEAH, I SAID IT! I don't want to live in a world where you can't play nude-model-and-photographer with your husband.*   

Unfortunately, I can't show you anything other than the cover. Even I have limits for my oversharing. ;)

*Hopefully no reasonably intelligent person needs to be reminded of this, but this blog is sometimes about children, but it is not for children. This blog acknowledges adults as whole people, who can be sexual entities to each other, and be loving parents to their children. If something this natural, healthy and true were to bother someone with dogmatic or fanatically conservative ideas, well then I suppose I would just enjoy pissing them off.  ;P

P.S. There's still time to enter our giveaway for a $139 Jord watch!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dressed Up Giveaway/The Collars Love: JORD Watches -- Now Closed

Time for a giveaway!  Instructions at the bottom of the post!

We're freaking thrilled to be working with an awesome brand this week sponsoring a giveway: Jord wood watches. Jord even sent us a watch to review first. This beautiful black and maple wood timepiece is the Sully. We chose it because it's so awesomely unisex -- weighty on a man, oversized on a woman. Here's what we have to say about it:

It's well crafted. The unit is perfectly hinged and evenly weighted but very light. It slinks around fluidly and it's as smooth as metal, but it's not cold. A major plus for lingering winters like this one. Also, the wristband isn't elasticized, so it doesn't grab your arm hairs.

It's smart. This watch is self-winding. Also, you can easily customize the size of the wristband, as several of the links are secured with tiny but substantial screws that can be removed with a mini screwdriver. Jord officially recommends letting a jeweler do it, but between you and me, we did it ourselves and it took 10 minutes.

The wood finish is extremely versatile. The watch can look classic and collegiate or casual and playful, depending on how you style it. The sun kept creeping in and out from behind the clouds during this shoot, and you can see how dramatically the direct vs. indirect sunlight brings out different aspects in the black maple watchface. Certain lights make it seem almost blue (though that aspect became somewhat amplified in the photos), while other lights highlight the grain.

Wanna enter our giveaway for a $139 watch? Cool, scroll down!

Today, we are giving away one $139 watch like this one. 

To enter
1. Like/follow Jord on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and
2. Leave a comment on this post. 

A winner will be chosen at random on Friday at 9 AM EST. Good luck!

P.S. If you enter anonymously, you must provide a valid email or a FB link or something in your comment. Or it doesn't count.

Entry for this giveaway is now closed, thank you for playing.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Singer's Shoes

When our band plays out, we don't do a 30 minute set with three other bands, like most local rock shows. The Canastas play for four hours, from 10-2, providing constant music for the bar. People dance and party all damn night, like they used to do when dancing to live music was a thing, before discos and clubs and DJs. Some venues have said we turn the place into a juke joint. I'm fine with that description.

Experiments in rock and roll fashion: trading in my heels for these weirdo flatforms

I love it. Playing by the hour lets us spend even more time doing what we love. Also, it pays pretty well, at least compared to most rock shows, which don't really pay at all. It's so much fun to lead the crowd as they dance and rock out. I've played many gigs over the years to people quietly drinking PBR, staring at the stage. At our shows, the floor is so packed with dancing people, if I gesture I might accidentally smack someone.

But 4 hours is a long time to be on your feet in high heels, and MC has been imploring me for the past two years to switch to flats. Guys do this a lot-- always with the "Those are kind of impractical," and the "You're just as sexy in sneakers or flats," acting conveniently oblivious to the elongation factor, let alone the obvious sex-bomb quality you get with heels, which is what I want sometimes (no shame -- I'm grown). What they're really saying is "I'm terrified by how painful those look." And in fairness, after 4 hours, some of them are painful.

MC also points out that I can't jump around or dance as effectively in high heels. FUCK. He really has a point on that one. 

The author is seen performing in various examples of inadvisable footwear.

We're playing out more and more lately, so I thought I'd at least give myself another option. I looked around for some deals and scooped up a couple pairs of Doc Martens (which I'll be posting shortly!), and these totally ridiculous flatform hi-tops from MIA. This is rock and roll, after all.

Lately, I wear mostly metallic disco pants on stage (like the ones in that bottom, middle pic in the collage). I have them in many colors. I'll get some shots of my new shoes with them after our shows this weekend. But for now, here are my new kicks with my usual winter uniform.


I must state for the record that I love Cammila's outrageously high heels. I've always gone more for overt, no-apologies sexiness than for more coy, demure styles. Cammila's dangerously tall shoes broadcast power and ownership. But let's be honest, she really doesn't need them to convey her confidence and allure! And needless to say, speaking more literally, she looks just as sexy in sneakers and jeans. So I'd much rather she save her beautiful feet any pain and while she's at it, free herself up to move. Give the people what they want. ;)  -MC

P.S. Michigan folks be warned: The Canastas are playing tonight at Mash from 10-2, and Saturday at Bar Louie from 9:30-1. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bedtime is the best time

Bedtime is so dang special. For the 22 minutes that we watch an episode of Adam West Batman or Garfield and Friends or something, I'm usually up and down, doing laundry and taking things out of the oven and stuff, but as soon as the show ends and one of us says "Time for bed!" I get the warmest feeling. Gbear is about to grab us by the hands and dance up the stairs. She's about to make up songs about socks and underwear as we hastily throw together a weather appropriate combination of clothes for her the next day, and attempt futily to "hide" behind the door of the bathroom before a parent can enter it, in the hopes of yelling "BOO!" to serious effect. 

I'm about to make her sock creature Zarzak deny fervently that he's secretly eating the shea butter we put on her eczema and then fall asleep on her head. She's about to negotiate for extra "lay with me time" (which is always funny, because she passes out before it ever expires), and then I'm either about to lay there with her and answer 15 solid minutes of questions about how to understand other people's feelings, what it means to be brave, how music works, how to handle feeling weird about picking people to play with at recess, how our soul grows as we get older. Or alternatively, daddy's about to sing a medley of lullabies (he is WAY better at making actual sleep happen). And for the 10 minutes it takes her to fall asleep once she's stopped talking, one of us will get to lay there and cuddle with her. I get to feel her little fingers curled around my hands as I plant a few sleepy kisses on her forehead and say "I love you, baby. You're the best girl in the whole world." The whole thing lasts about 40 minutes (or 20 for MC -- damn he's good!) from Batman credits to tiptoeing out of the room. But it's such a special half hour.

But of course, whichever one of us is tackling bedtime also has to constantly strive to facilitate actual progress during all this. We don't always have time for a story, and there's tons of "Yes, that's very funny," "You'll have to look for that tomorrow," and "Ask after you're done brushing your teeth." We feel such awe at how joyous and affectionate Gbear is, and yeah, it's hard having to mind practical business during a nightly ritual in which our particularly lovey dovey girl gets extra, extra affectionate.

But I guess it's not that bad from her end. I say this because last night, I was hurrying her as she zoned out brushing her teeth, washing her hands, even taking off her sock, and after that last one, she looked up at me and said "I love bedtime."

I chuckled a little, "You like me hustling you along?"

To which Gbear replied "But you do that because I'm important."

Seven years old, you guys. I don't know if I had that kind of emotional intelligence in my teens! My mom (the family therapist) always said kids feel happiest and safest when they're given two things: 1) Praise, love, & affection, and 2) Structure. She always said "Kids feel for structure and boundaries with their hearts as if those were their parents' encircling arms. Without them, they feel lonely, frustrated and scared. With them they feel loved and important."

It's possible that my mom was onto something. Or Gbear is just the best kid in the world. Or both.