Sunday, August 7, 2011

more verdant meadows

This should come as a surprise to none of you since I imagine it's become abundantly clear, but I've recently lost, oh, 90% of my enthusiasm for blogging. It was great fun for several months, but after a year, it's just gotten old. Once in a while, I'm actually excited by the combination of clothes I've donned. Most of the time, however, I don't feel compelled to take a picture of what I'm wearing. I still love clothes, still love getting dressed, but I think I'm no longer as excited by my own style as I once was, if that makes sense. A year ago, I was still coming into my own, and each outfit was evidence of growth, was an exercise in sartorial thought, was an important moment in some narrative of personal style. Or some such nonsense. These days, it often feels self-indulgent or self-congratulatory to take outfit photos.

Beyond that, so much of blogging is about reading other people's blogs. The problem is that after spending eight hours a day staring at a computer at work and what must amount to as much during the school year, it's really hard to drum up any enthusiasm for spending more time looking at a screen, no matter how much I might otherwise enjoy what I'm reading.

So, the big idea I've been spiraling down to, in what I imagine to be be a quite obvious manner, is that I don't think I'm going to be posting on Oh So Sophi anymore. I no longer derive much enjoyment out of it, nor do I feel much excitement for it. It's kind of just become a source of unnecessary guilt--I haven't written in my blog in weeks, I never read anyone else's stuff... Who needs that?

Anyway, I still spend a lot of time browsing the Internet, reading blogs, and writing, and I'd like to keep a little home on the web for housing my discoveries, musings, and, undoubtedly, the occasional outfit. Enter Tumblr, which feels far more casual (i.e., not so grandiosely This Is My Blog) and speaks more to what I want to do, I think: write without feeling obligated to keep it illustrated and expurgated, post outfits without adding in mundane details about my day, and share music and finds without providing more context than necessary.

There's not a lot up yet, but here's where you'll find me:

I also just want to take a moment to thank everyone and anyone who's ever stopped by my blog for your readership and support. In all earnestness, the mere fact that people might be interested in what I have to say (or what I wear) has been so validating and empowering for me, so thank you for your time :)

And, a special thank you shout-out to Michal, Annebeth, Chelsea, Nnenna, Lauren, and Laurel for all of the friendship and support. I hope to stay in touch with you all! And don't be surprised if I tumbl your look!

Lots of love,

Friday, July 15, 2011

kim's got her watermelon gun

Dressed as Dobby for HP7 last night! I was quite pleased with how my ears turned out.

Buying snacks at 7Eleven because I'm cheap and they have better selection than the theatre.

Bobby tries on a sneer as a much cuter and well-groomed version of Snape. Not pictured: the huge smile that broke across his face just after I took the photo. Angryfail! Try to be mad at someone in elf ears. Just try.

Bobby is shaping up to be quite the photographer!

Sweet patronus costumes! As we waited for the previews to start, some guys dressed as dementors came in, and the fellow in the purple robe shouted "expecto patronum," upon which the ladies dressed as patronuses ran around the theatre, chasing out the dementors. Sick!

So, as you can see, we went to go see Harry Potter at midnight last night. I'd get all gooey and wax poetic, but I already did on the ModCloth Blog!

Having a blog post up on the MC Blog is truly a dream come true, and I can't believe I got to write about one of my favorite things in the world to boot!

I was completely exhausted when I woke up this morning since Bobby and I didn't get back to his apartment until 2:30am, and when confronted with the idea of wearing a tucked-in western shirt like I'd planned all day, I felt no small sense of dread. Happily, I thought of stealing one of his sweaters, and it made for a pretty ideal groggy day outfit!

jeans: Gap clearance -- sweater: J. Crew, Bobby's -- sandals: Target

It's very nice and sunny down where I live, but it's been foggy, drizzly, and cool for at least half of the summer up in San Francisco where the office is. Sweater weather in July? Really?

Sweet koala mirror we found for Bobby's room a few weeks ago. $7 at Goodwill. It does not get old.

I've been having an absolutely wonderful time all around, and I've got lots of little snapshots to share with you. I'm planning to take a lot of photos at work sometime soon so you can get a better sense of what I do and what it's like to work there. (It's great, in case you wondered!)

New cowboy boots.

Friends Russ & Brian at A Fun Place to Eat.

Delicious fruit at the ModOffices. I was a jerk and took a bunch of it back to my desk in that sweet heart-shaped bowl.

Bobby sips the (surprisingly good) coffee at AFPTE.

Reading on the train.

More cute snacks at work.

Today's title comes from The Flaming Lips -- Kim's Watermelon Gun.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

ambitious ambitions

Me, fifteen, as photographed by me, fifteen.

When I was a sophomore in high school, my grand ambition in life was to be a mother. I wanted to have three or four kids and I wanted to devote my entire existence to their care and keeping. I even wanted to have a child immediately after finishing my undergrad career. The way I saw it, the best way to make the world a better place was to add wonderful people to it one by one.

I had changed my mind by the beginning of senior year of high school, but only after enough people had told me that my maternal dreams did a disservice to my potential. It took a lot of convincing for me to believe them. I think I'd defined changing the world as either ardent, drop-everything activism or the domestic-scale one-by-one model.

These last couple of years, I haven't known what it is that I want to do. I've daydreamed about professorship, I've contemplated teaching photography, fantasized an entire career as a creative journalist. But in the last couple of months, I've gone through a whole sequence of epiphanies and eurekas. I realized not only how absurdly knowledge-driven I am but also how important it is to me that I push myself to the absolute maximum of my opportunities.

At the end of winter quarter in March, I sat writing essays in my co-op house's computer cluster for almost three days straight. One of my housemates asked what I was writing about, and I quickly launched into a breathless explanation. I'm sure I must have smiled, and I know my eyes must have taken on that stillness of focused thought. When I finished describing my project, my housemate remarked that I was one of the few people she'd met who loved learning with such an earnest curiosity and sense of personal investment. I felt flattered, but it seemed like an exaggeration to put me in that group of people.

Later that day as I put the finishing touches on my paper, I began to weep. Just a few leaky tears, but tears nonetheless. Part of the assignment required completing a supplementary reflection essay, and I sat down on my couch, laptop resting on my legs, and began to type.

There’s something deeply fulfilling about academic writing for me—the sudden flash of inspiration after hours of fruitless research, the moment when those ideas galvanize into a thesis, the incredible adrenaline rush of discovering what I’ve been trying to say and writing with an intensity and purpose that keeps me awake into the night.

It’s almost manic at times. I find myself chewing on paper ideas as I walk to class, arguing with myself in my head, clenching and unclenching my fists as I try to make sense of the article or essay or book that I read.

I am at my best when I am written on the page. All of my faults—pretentiousness, egotism, perfectionism, obsessiveness, I could go on—transform into strengths. There is real love in what I write because I write to solve the problems and answer the questions that I grapple with. I write to find solutions.

Looking back at the document, I can't help but think to myself, "well, that's certainly a bit repetitious, saying variations on 'writing' five times in as many sentences" or "what the heck did I mean by 'real love' anyway? What could I ever purport to know definitively about reality or love?" But I think the sentiment is clear, and it probably gains something from not being chained to my usual penchant for qualifiers.

I've been known to change my mind about what I want fairly frequently, and, beyond that, to declare with relative certainty that whatever it is I Want To Be is really IT this time. I see no contradiction in such claims. I know full well that I might change my mind, but my guesses are still my best bet based on all of the knowledge I've acquired up to that point and the culmination of self-interrogating thought.

I avoid saying words like "know" or "true" when I make any sort of statement to which I want to attach grand meaning, so the way that I can convey this most accurately to both my place in the world and my intended meaning is this:

I was born into unimaginable privilege, and I have thus far managed to capitalize on it to great success. However, at age nineteen (young enough to want to mention that I'm going on twenty), I can hardly claim to have achieved much at all. The opportunities I've been afforded up to this point, boundless as they are, only represent the beginning of what I believe will be an illustrious career of educated guesses, fortuitous connections, and an unwavering loyalty to accuracy. There is little reason to imagine that I would be unable to achieve the goals I set for myself; stated in the positive, a huge body of evidence, as well as logical extrapolation, suggests that I can realize my ambitions.

And I willl go forth and achieve. I'll become a museum curator or director, or maybe an academic. Perhaps a department head, someday. And at some point, I will have a child (probably just one), and he or she will better the world in his or her own way, small- or grand-scale as that might be. Mostly, though, I'm worrying about capitalizing on my own potential myself. I've already started, and I can't wait.

It seems appropriate for me to exit adolescence and begin adulthood utterly empowered. In one final, triumphant gesture toward teenage insecurities:

Me, in a swimsuit, sporting a facial expression that could not be construed as conventionally attractive. Nineteen. Having a great time.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

eat plenty of lasagna until you know that you've had your fill

dress: vintage, altered by me -- vest: thrift, sleeves cut off by me :P -- scarf: thrift -- boots: thrift

I may have mentioned on here like thirty or forty times that I'm incredibly irreverent and silly. See Exhibit A above.

I had a wonderful day yesterday. Nothing that dramatically amazing happened, but the entire day was just a series of small-time awesome happenings. To start things off, I was wearing my favorite dress (seen here), and my morning train was a bit late, meaning I got to spend a few minutes sitting on the platform instead of my usual mad rushing.

Once on the train, I snagged a single seat on the upper level and enjoyed the air conditioning. When the train arrived in San Francisco, I made my way out of the station toward ModCloth only to realize that I'd left the book I'd been reading on the train. Since SF is the last stop, I could have just gone back to get it. But I realized that I felt relieved--liberated, even. See, I'd been reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. And I'd only ever heard good things. And I really wanted to like it. And I enjoyed the writing itself, but just found it... boring. Tedious. Did I mention that it's 1000+ pages with what must be a good 150 pages of 8 pt font end notes? Yeah. So I just left it there. I bought it with money from a psych study anyway, and it was only $10 to start with, so. Not much of a loss.

Work was a lot of fun yesterday. I had a varied set of tasks to attend to and enjoyed the inherent interest the diversity afforded. In case you're curious, I spend my days writing copy for newsletters and contests, writing tweets, writing product descriptions, keeping up writing team output stats, and working on a couple internal projects I've initiated.

Anyway, since the vegetarian catering we had at an event last Friday ran out really quickly, leaving many vegetarian employees hungry (not me of course; I am almost always in the front of every single food line), the lovely people of ModCloth ordered vegetarian catering for the entire office! It was, without a doubt, one of the best five meals I've eaten in my entire life. I had truffle-oil-infused macaroni and cheese, penne with killer pesto, and this absolutely amazing hot eggplant Parmesan sandwich on ciabatta with pesto and red pepper and melty cheese. I went all Liz Lemon--I filled up my plate to its maximum capacity and then went back to my desk to hunker down and eat it like I meant it. So good.

And the winning didn't stop there! I met up with my dear friend Matt for dinner, and we tried a great little Indian place that we found with the Yelp app on my phone. Nice work, technology! We've known each other since I was 13 and he was 11--just coming up on seven years of friendship, actually. He's like my honorary little brother or something. Okay, so now he's 18 and I'm 19, and we're totally peers, but still. Honorary little brother.

I stopped at CVS on my way home to get a couple things, and I treated myself to a red lipstick since I've been meaning to try it for something like a year at this point. When I went to make my purchase, I used a $5 ExtraBuck coupon, which always feels good in and of itself. But then my receipt printed with $9 in ExtraBucks. Whaaat! Like I said, little moments of awesomeness. All day.

When I got to my room, I saw that my mom had not only bought me new sheets since my old ones were all pilled and scratchy but had already laundered them! And, oh, yeah, my beautiful new Seychelles from Piperlime that I scored for 50% off had arrived, and they fit like a dream.

Pretty unbeatable, right? Goodness, what a great day. Ended it with a lovely phone chat with Bobby. Nice.

In closing, here's a picture of a cat that I drew in a bedspread.

Today's title comes from Ween -- "Roses Are Free," a truly bizarre food-themed song that is Sam's and my JAM. The lyric in question is in honor of the tasty (albeit not terribly filling) lasagna I had for lunch today.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

i only play it for real

blazer: Moschino via Goodwill -- jeans: Levi's -- shoes: Taryn by Taryn Rose via Goodwill

Short, sweet, and shallow today :P

My picture is a little fuzzy today because it's from my Android, which takes great close-up shots but less-than-stellar outfit-distance photos. So, I'm not diggin' my jeans. They're just $40 Levi's jeggings, and they tend to bunch up like crazy at my knees (see photo). Furthermore, being jegging-y, their wash leaves something to be desired. I'm in the market for some great high-waisted jeans, preferably in a clean dark rinse. Any suggestions?

So I've been on a huge pink kick recently, and when I saw this blazer on the rack at Goodwill on Thursday night I got really excited. And then I took it off the rack and saw that it was a freakin' MOSCHINO blazer. For $8. Winning!

I wanted to keep it really casual today since my allergies are getting me down. And pants just sounded great--it'd been a while.

Today's title comes from The Brian Jonestown Massacre -- "Anemone," my official 2011 summer jam. Check it! You want to! Seriously!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

the next time you say, "I wish I had been alive in the sixties"

This was the sixties:

But this was also the sixties:

When I was younger I used to say that I wished I had been born in 1947. I would have been there when rock and roll took the world by storm. I would have been there for Beatlemania. I would have been there for Monterey Pop, for Carnaby Street, for the Factory.

But I also would have been there for the height of the Cold War. I would be living in the constant fear of sudden nuclear annihilation. Seriously. My male friends would be drafted to fight in Vietnam. Some of them would die, and most would come back with incapacitating PTSD. If I'd gone to college, it'd be an achievement if I hadn't dropped out and gotten married by the end of my undergraduate years. Only during the 1960s did it become illegal to pay women less than men for doing the exact same job. And if I wanted to have children, I'd have to do so knowing that I'd lose my status at my job if I could return at all. There were riots, assassinations, hell, it took until 1964 for the United States to even protect the human rights of people of color.

What's more, I wouldn't have been there for Monterey Pop AND Carnaby Street AND the Factory. I would have been relegated to wherever I was and whatever letters I could send or receive and pictures I could get. And god forbid someone I loved fell ill. If I was born in 1947 and my father had been born in 1916, he would have probably died by this point in my life. With today's medicine, he's been in complete remission for about two years now and has even run several marathons to boot.

Loving vintage clothing, music, and movies makes it easy to idealize the past. Look how much more creative we were! Look how much better-dressed we were! But we probably weren't. People will look back on the present with the same soft-focus lens of nostalgia that we use to look at the past. So before you write off the present, just remember that even though there's all the conflict in the Middle East, all of the unequal distribution of wealth, all of the sex scandals, and countless other atrocious goings-on, today's society is the one you want to live in. I promise.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

a fun place to eat!

shorts: thrift -- blazer: thrift -- shoes: thrift -- belt: thrift -- top: stolen from my mom five years ago

Hey guys, do you see what's happening in that photo? Do you see what I'm doing? I'M SMILING! Ce n'est pas possible! Laughing, even :)

After seeing all of Kristen Wiig's adorable boyfriend blazers in Bridesmaids (which was fantastic), I was eager to bust mine out for a day of adventures with my friend Bobby. We ate brunch at this diner near my parents' house that I've always secretly longed to try and he just randomly took me to. Nice. The diner advertises itself as being "A Fun Place to Eat!" and the whole thing is covered in these absurd signs with gruesome usage errors and gag-worthy jokes. It's awesome.

My new Taylor & Ng Catbear trivet/wall hanging. $1 at this little thrift store in Felton.

Most adorbs church ever, right? And these last two photos are from my brand new smartphone!

I managed to drop my old phone in the toilet on Tuesday night (damn back pockets...), and it seemed like as good an excuse as any to finally cross over. Of course, my phone still worked once I let it dry, but after such trials as falling 30 feet off a roof, spending a night in the bushes (there was a slug on it in the morning), and a previous aqueous adventure, I figured it probably didn't need any more of my abuse.

I'd been apprehensive about getting a smartphone because I'm already in front of a computer so often that taking a break seemed like a pretty good idea. But I found myself constantly wishing I could have access to the Internet and my email when I'm on-the-go, so I just went for it. I opted for the Droid X2 because it has a giant beautiful screen perfect for perusing blogs and ModCloth and reading Wikipedia and, once I figure out how, watching movies and shows.

The last week of my life has been positively absurd--two final essays, a final exam, moving out of my dorm, shifts at my job in the photo lab, seeing friends before they leave for the summer, and going to ModCloth all day. What I'm lacking in sleep I'm making up for in fun though! Life is awesome :)

I'm working on a serious-ish post I'm really excited to share with all of you! I think you'll love it. I'm aiming for Tuesday.