Setting it on fire

I have to make dinner, so that should tell you my New Year’s Eve plans are NOT exciting. The sequinned dress will NOT be pulled out tonight. But I think I should blog before we set 2009 on fire. That’s what we here at Chez Tanya et Spouse would like to do to it.

BTW, my spouse is all atwitter because Ray Liotta stood behind him in the Starbucks’ line this morning. I told him to get over it: if it was the real Henry Hill, then he could get excited!

Moving on…

I’d like to post some long, rambling diatribe about what I’ve learned these last 12 months, and what I plan to do in 2010. But let’s be honest. You want to get our drink on, and who wants to read my philosophical bullshit? Even I don’t want to read it!

What I can say is I’ve been knitting like a mofo these past two weeks, because I’ll be taking a break as of next week. I’m making an appt. with the bank to cash in what I can of my 401K, and I’m job hunting like there’s no tomorrow. Will I cave and take something at Starbucks or Bed Bath and Beyond? Stay tuned. Desperation has no pride.

If I never knit another one of these…okay, I just need a break.

Seriously - they're all $25 in my shop, shipping is cheap, and you need a hat.

And I’m trying to use my plethora of pink, burgundy and red on some Valentine’s Day specials. Behold, the first:

Yes, it's felted. Quelle supris.

Okay, photos done. I wish I had a better camera, but that ain’t happening.

Look, I’ve learned to live on less, A LOT LESS, in 2009. I quit smoking, thus saving a lot of money and I guess a lot else. Save the lectures! I bought very little for myself clothing-wise, and found the joy of consignment shops when I needed a tiny $15 pick-me-up. I sold what I could to the tune of almost $1000 on And I have more to sell.

I learned that going to Sephora constantly isn’t necessary. I can do with some Maybelline Great Lash, Nars Orgasm Blush (which lasts forever) and a little Revlon lipstick. That’s really all you need.

I could use some new bras, but I’ll quit my bitchin’. That’s one thing I’m REALLY sick of. People and their bitchin’. I’m gonna stop there.

I wish I could have made a go of my “cottage industry” in 2009, but I know it isn’t to be. It’s great for a little “supplemental” income, but I will never make a living on it. C’est la vie. I tried my hand at designing, and though I will be a published writer (in a way) in 2010 — I got my proofs two weeks ago, snap — this is no way to make a buck, people. It’s not for me.

My confidence took such a hit this year, it was hard to feel good about my accomplishments, whatever they may have been. That needs to change. I’m constantly amazed by our ability as people to take each other down, peg by peg. I went through that this year, and it wasn’t pretty. I lost people who I thought were my friends. Why do women turn on each other? I will never understand. Give me a man as a friend any day.

But you know, there are no failures, only lessons learned blah blah blah.

I really have no deep resolutions for 2010, because they never stick. At least I don’t have to smoke my “last cigarette” at 11:59 this year. That one never seemed to work, anyway. I guess all I want to do this year is become a Neo-Luddite. I’m serious. I’m sick of Twitter. I want a rotary phone. I want to listen to my old records, esp. the the Ray Charles and Stax ones, and drink some Tab and Fresca.

So there you have it.

I will tell you a secret: I have always had a theory (I have lots of theories, many of them of the conspiracy nature) that odd-numbered years are supremely unlucky for me. So I have a good feeling about 2010. And 10 has always been my lucky number. It’s true!


The cherry on the sundae of 2009

But first, some pretty: I did the Sugar House Holiday Bazaar (2nd annual, baybee!) at House of Vintage in Delray Beach on Sunday. Here was my table:

All those cabled hats with vintage pins - like a box of Crayolas!

I made pretty good money. Much better than last year, and much better than expected. And it almost didn’t happen.

My partner cancelled at the last minute. Her daughters were in a Christmas play, and I understand — family comes first. But I didn’t have a table, she is the holder of our table. So she brought it over, and my fears were correct: Saturday morning, an hour and half before the show, it wouldn’t fit in my husband’s Jetta.

So MacGyver-ess here put four TV trays together, slapped her blocking board and a tablecloth on top and voilá: instant table.

And now, we were set to leave tomorrow for our vacation to visit my husband’s family in South Carolina. I was excited: My first trip to a yarn shop in forever. Cool weather. And a chance for hubby to be happy.

Last night, his car (our only one) broke down on a busy thoroughfare. We got it started again with the help of a nice samaritan, and to the dealership. Where a nice employee gave us a lift home. All my friends were gone or working, and the dealership’s shuttle van was done for the day.

What we hoped was a dead battery was much, much more, and so, the car won’t be ready and the price is too astronomical to allow us to make the trip anyway.

Every day I ask myself if this year can get any worse, but somehow, it manages to. I am really not that upset, I am mainly saddened for my husband, who rarely gets to visit his family.

I won’t let the disappointments of this year break me. I look forward to rebuilding and reinventing my life in 2010.

But more than that, I look forward to drinking myself into a stupor on New Years Eve. HOLLA!

And for Christmas, we are going to celebrate the way the chosen ones do: A movie and some Chinese food. No disrespect meant. We celebrate all faiths here, so happy whatever you may celebrate! Have a great one, and may 2010 come soon soon soon!

That vintage dress

After teasing for two weeks (?) I finally got some good light. Still have a crappy old camera, though.

Full-length shot. Hard to tell, but it hits me right at the knee, slightly above. Fits like a glove, too. Very slimming.

I’d say it was an 80s – label is Sail Away. Shoulder pads. And the sequins are all hand sewn. Bad photo, but here’s a shot:

At the neckline and cuffs, bugle beads are sewn for a nice touch. Here’s a closeup:

Oh, the necklace? You noticed? Got it at the same Hospice thrift shop. I had to have it – so 70s, don’t you think? Or Mariah Carey in Glitter. Let’s not go there. I’m loving it.

So there you have it! The dress was $15, and I’d say it was worth it. I just need to find a place to wear it. I don’t have any plans to resell it as of yet, and really don’t want to. I’d rather keep it for me, because we all need a little black dress, and the only one I have now is also a vintage piece – a 50s Italian wool dress. With my figure, I’m doomed to be a separates girl, so finding a dress that fits is a luxury.

Got a lot to do before the show this Saturday, and then it’s off for vacation next Wed. Can’t wait! I’ll post before then, but I hope to make some blog changes in the new year. More on that later!

Best of Music – 2000-2009

In pictorial, again, because I so enjoy making collages:

This represents what comes on my iPod (or rather, has) the most in the last 10 years. Things I listen(ed) to when I drove, or still drive my husband’s car from time to time.

Stuff I listen(ed) to when I was in airports, or flying. Entire CDs I used to force on the bluehairs when I worked in retail. They needed to hear this stuff, really they did.
Not as much Britpop as there used to be. Yes, I do like a little country, esp. countrypolitan. And rock en Espanol. And retro soul. And rock en Français!

If I was doing a best singles, I would have R. Kelly on the list, never doubt it, for I am that crazy, yo, and I love that song “Ignition.” Seriously, I do.

My favorite CD of the past decade? The one in the middle. Asking for Flowers by Kathleen Edwards. I remember being on an airplane, looking out the window with tears dripping down my face listening to it; it was that good.

I also remember seeing her for the first time in Orlando. She came on the stage and said, “If you don’t like Tom Petty, you’re fucked.” And then she sang “Face in the Crowd.”

So there you go.

Music has so many memories for all of us, whether it’s my husband and I going to see Pink Martini with a symphony in St. Petersburg and me dressed from head to to in pink (all designer vintage, natch — why didn’t I take a picture??) or playing a Charlotte Gainsborbourg song about facelifts for the crazy Botoxed ladies who used to come into the store I ran, and knowing they had no idea what that song was about.

Or just driving down i-95 with Roisin Murphy cranked to eleven.

My favorite movies of the decade

In movie posters.

I worked very hard on my little collage, so I’ll just say this:

I dig: Swoony romanticism, a little bit of the old ultra-violence, Ed Norton (don’t ever doubt it!) Terry Zwigoff, wooden pickles, outsiders, Wong Kar Wei, color, three-hour movies, losers who are partially redeemed, Asia, Bill, and yes, occasionally Will Ferrell’s ridiculous behavior.

I think that should do it.

I also like wooden pickles. Oh wait, I think I said that.

Smart or Pretty

I spent the last few days finishing custom orders, thrifting and preparing for the show next Saturday. There is still so much to do, I really want it to be a success!
Here is the custom scarf winging it’s way to Chicago, probably tomorrow (I’m still working on the earmuffs):

The hat is based on Norah Gaughan’s Wedge, so it is NOT my pattern (the coming earmuffs ARE), I simply added a MASSIVE ruffle on this pup. I did the base while watching West Side Story on one of the movie channels. Confession: I could watch the gym dance a million times and never tire of it, but here’s the thing: I hate Tony and Maria! They muck up the whole movie for me with their mooning! Give me Anita and Nardo any day of the week. So much more fun.

I have scored so many thrifting finds, and I still haven’t photographed them all yet (sequined dress is coming) but today I hit the motherlode at Thrift City: Half off day, three sweaters for $15 total. Two Ralph Laurens (one vintage I’m pretty sure) and one Anthropologie. I am not reselling any of these – although I will be reselling that 1950s French petit point bag I got at Hospice thrift shop, oh yes! Here are my plans:

I believe this is the vingtage RL - I'll need to research. A 100% wool oatmeal cardi with pretty duck colorwork. It will be felted and remade as a cushion. For sale at a craft show next year.

This is an Anthro sweater from a few seasons ago - I'm ripping it apart for the yarn, a lovely mix of wool an angora. Should make a nice hat or two.

This one is MINE. A vintage RL cashmere, looks like it's never been worn. Could only tell the brand from the tiny buttons - wasn't all tricked out with labels. Very subtle, and my color. Vintage pin was $5.00.

So there you go, a successful day, and that’s not even the entire haul. I’ll have more shots when I get better light.

Oh, and the title of this post? Well, my sister lost her job ONE DAY after she had it. Why? Well, they called her and gave her the old “It’s not you it’s us” thing. She decided to call back and ask one more time, “Was it something I did?,” the question that haunts us all, I know. And since it was a husband/wife operation, the wife said, “Well, my husband needs all the attention on him, and you know, it’s just that you were TOO PRETTY.”

I think we all know what THAT MEANS. My sister, who can be a giant pain in the butt to me, is pretty, dammit. She’s 5′ 10″ and blonde, and once an old friend who owns a used record store (I really need to go visit him) said she looked “like a young Marianne Faitfull,” and yes, she does. To me, she looks like Canadian actress Sarah Polley. You can look them both up and get an idea.

When I talked to my mom, she lamented that my sister couldn’t hold a job because she was too pretty, and I lost my job b/c I was “too smart.” Of course I lamented that hey, I wasn’t that bad to look at, either, but the truth is, she’s right. I spent 17 years in one place, 10 in a department that was okay, and then six in one where my immediate superviser tried to get me fired EVEN THOUGH HE WAS MOVING TO ANOTHER CITY!!! because he was jealous I had won multiple awards for my work and he had won none. I think he hated that a woman had bested him.

And my last, not-so-lamented job – oh well. I think it was such a mish-mash of emotions, money and jealousy. Ladies, I will tell you this: When the boss invites you and your fellow managers for a weekend getaway, and you dress for dinner and come out of the bathroom looking better than the boss, you are in trouble. I can still see the hatred in her eyes.

What can I say, I’ve always loved a short sequined skirt. It’s not my fault my legs are my best feature!

My education

I know I have become such a lazy, useless blogger, and for that, I apologize.

I want to thank Amy for her kind comments in my last post — back at you, girl, and I can’t wait to get my shirt. I’m taking it on my upcoming vacation.

Depression hurts, and Cymbalta helps, or so they say on that commercial. Is that the one with the wind-up doll? Who knows. I am not someone who is on depression meds, nor do I want to be. My situation has caused depression, though, and the only thing that will cure it is… more cowbell? No. After our holiday trip to Charleston, I am taking out some of my 401K (if I can), taking a hit on early withdrawal, and buying a car. I have been under house arrest without one too long. To all those who live in a big city with big city mass transit, God bless you. I live in mofo Florida, and without a car, can’t even look for temp work.


I dragged the husband to An Education yesterday. I liked it, but didn’t love it. I still think, for my money, Bright Star is the movie of the year, and one of my faves of the decade. Yes, there will be a decade retrospective soon. But there was some great vintage fashion, and wait till I show you what I scored before the movie when I can take photos — we’ve been having rainy weather — for $15. You will die.

I think this was my favorite look from the film (sans runny mascara, natch), I swear she is wearing Revlon's Cherries in the Snow lipstick, which I used to wear and recently purchased for nostalgia's sake.

Who doesn't love a little leopard print?

Let me be honest, people. It was all about the Alfred Molina for me. LOVE THAT MAN. If he doesn't get an Oscar nomination, I will cry a river of tears.

Even though Carey Mulligan is being touted for the Oscar (and I do like her, and liked her very much in Little Dorrit, though it looks like she’s starved herself into submission since then), I would have to say my favorite performance in the film was Olivia Williams. But maybe I just have a soft spot for her ever since Rushmore.

I think the point of the movie is basically this: Why get an English degree? Even from Oxford? If you’re a girl, that is. Because what can you do with it besides teach, or go into the civil service? Now, this is set in 1961, but frankly, such is my conundrum today.

So, erm, I was having a hard time with the movie.

What to do, what to do, with my life. Here’s a little tale: My younger sister, who hadn’t spoken to me since last Christmas, got FIRED two weeks ago. My mother was so upset, so I started looking for jobs for her (she has no college degree, but works in a very specific field – vet tech). The second lead I found led to an interview and – gasp, a job.

So, at least the little twerp called me and thanked me, and I guess that’s a start. And my poor, despondent mother won’t have two unemployed daughters for Christmas. But riddle me this, Batman: How come I can find my deadbeat little sister a job and I haven’t even gotten an interview in NINE MONTHS?

At least I did my good deed for the week.

I love everybody! Did that help, God?