Hot Potato!

The lovely Megan of The Fashionable Bureaucrat (who happens to have the most amazing collection of shoes EVER) nominated me for a Liebster Award a couple of weeks ago. And now I’m finally getting around to fulfilling my duties, which are:

  1. Liebster AwardPost 11 facts about myself.
  2. Answer the previous 11 questions.
  3. Choose 11 nominees (no tag back) and link them.
  4. Create 11 new questions for the nominees.
  5. Go and tell them they’ve been nominated.

*takes a deep breath* So! Here I go!

Post 11 Facts

  1. Can't Hardly Kate DressI just celebrated 3 years at ModCloth, and in celebration of my 3-year “Modiversary”, the “Can’t Hardly Kate Dress” (made by one of my fave retro designers, Trashy Diva) was named after me!
  2. Yellow just might be my favorite color.
  3. I minored in Fine Arts. Going for the minor helped me justify (to myself) taking the fine arts classes that I loved.
  4. My great granny lived to 102. Every so often, I use that fact to remind myself that I’m really, really young.
  5. I find it difficult to be outgoing & am naturally more reserved and shy. But I love being part of communities & work hard to overcome my shyness.
  6. Rocky and Jasper, sleeping. They're not usually this calm.I’ve got 2 crazy, cuddly, lovable dogs.
  7. I’m pretty sure I’m solar powered.
  8. I’ve been to 6 continents, assuming that you count North and South America, and Europe and Asia, as separate continents.
  9. I have a thing for multiples of 3.
  10. I love playing games, particularly of the strategic (e.g. Settlers of Catan), palabric (e.g. Scrabble), or numeric (e.g. sudoku) variety.
  11. I’m left-handed.

Answer 11 Questions

  1. Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had it?
    Under a tiled floor in the bathroom. I heard that robbers never really check the bathroom.
  2. Do you currently have all your organs?
    Yes! Is that unusual?
  3. For a pet, would you rather have a crow, a fringed lizard, or a taxidermized wolf?
    Definitely the lizard. Crows are crazy loud, and it’d be hard to give it a good living environment indoors. I’m not a fan of taxidermy and only want live pets, so that leaves the lizard.
  4. Slips – yes or no?
    Only when necessary.
  5. If you could hire one of the following for one year which would you hire: House cleaner, personal chef, or massage therapist?
    House cleaner. My husband is an awesome cook (I’m not bad either, when I get around to it), and as much as I’d enjoy a personal massage therapist, I’d LOVE to not have to clean.
  6. Fruit pie, cream pie or cheesecake?
    Mmm, all sound tasty! Cheesecake, as long as it’s true NY style. Unless the fruit pie is strawberry rhubarb pie, heated, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on top.
  7. If you were on Jeopardy and got the Daily Double, would make it a true daily double?
    Depends on my score relative to the other players. Almost certainly in the first round.
  8. Did you ever wear braces? (If yes, are your teeth still straight?)
  9. Favourite decade – 1970s, 1980s, or 2000s?
    Fashion-wise, the 1980s (some trends from the 1950s – like the full skirt – were incorporated. And I love me some 1950s fashion!). And music-wise too. Guess I’ll just go with the 1980s!
  10. Do you prefer routine or variety?
    I like some variety in my routine.
  11. Do you sleep with your bedroom door open or closed?
    These days, open. But I used to only sleep with it closed.

Choose 11 Nominees

  1. Manners and Moxie
  2. What the Haute
  3. Off Kelly’s Hanger
  4. Ryzenberg On
  5. The Curvy Blogger
  6. Of Corgis & Cocktails
  7. Sarah’s Ambitions
  8. Coca and Vera
  9. The Dapper Bun
  10. Sartorial Sidelines
  11. The Shades of Monet Chronicles

Ask 11 New Questions

  1. Name a movie you loved as a kid.
  2. Do you prefer salty or sweet snacks?
  3. Favorite season?
  4. What’s one of your guilty pleasures?
  5. Preferred silhouette: sheath or fit-and-flare?
  6. Which 1980s cartoon heroine would you be: Strawberry Shortcake, She-Ra, Jem, or Rainbow Brite?
  7. What’s the last game you played?
  8. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
  9. Do you prefer fragrances that are floral, fruity, woody, spicy, or citrusy?
  10. Would you rather live under the sea or in space (assuming both are viable options)?
  11. What was your first blog post about (for your current blog)?

Strawberry ShortcakeShe-RaJemRainbow Brite

Psst! If you want to play along but don’t want to do the whole shebang, I’d love to hear your answers to these questions, or some random fun facts about yourself. :)

Staring at the Sun

On Sunday I saw my very first almost-total solar eclipse. I think. I mean, I know I saw the eclipse – just not entirely sure it was my first. There was one in 1994, and I remember some talk about it, but I don’t remember watching it. In any case, this was certainly my first memorable solar eclipse!

The solar eclipse as seen from San Francisco.

The solar eclipse as seen from San Francisco.

Pat and I went up to the roof with a bottle of champagne, cameras, and DIY-solar-eclipse-viewing equipment. A couple of our neighbors were up there too, and we had a great time chatting, taking pics, and witnessing the eclipse.

At first, the pinhole projector I made wasn’t working – but I read you could see the eclipse through your fingers. The effect was pretty cool!

Watching the solar eclipse through my fingers. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Watching the solar eclipse through my fingers. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

As the moon passed over the sun, the air got chillier and the light on the skyline took a slightly rosy glow. It looked like a mix of a cloudy day (but no clouds!) and early sunset.

The San Francisco skyline during the solar eclipse.

The San Francisco skyline during the solar eclipse.

And then I figured out that the problem with my pinhole projector was that the pinhole was too small. Maybe the ideal projector works with a hole the size of the pin, but mine needed one about 1/6″ in diameter. While I was adjusting the projector, I got a little crazy. After all, why make a projector that shows 1 sun when you can make one that shows 9 suns?

The solar eclipse viewed through a DIY pinhole projector.

The solar eclipse viewed through a DIY pinhole projector.

Watching the solar eclipse – and playing around with the projector and shadows – was awesome. Now I see why some people chase solar eclipses around the world!

The peak of the solar eclipse in San Francisco.

The peak of the solar eclipse in San Francisco.

I’m thinking about getting eclipse glasses to watch the transit of Venus across the sun in June – an event that won’t occur again in this century!

Did you get to see the eclipse? Will you check out the transit of Venus?

[Photos by me except where otherwise noted.]


1. This post was inspired by Amy’s post.

Rocky, my Boston Terrier, crouches down next to his water dish.

2. Rocky is super smart. He also drinks tons of water. When I don’t refill his water bowl quickly enough, he turns it over and crouches pitifully beside it.

3. Sometimes, Rocky is too smart. He’s learned how to put down the window in the car.

Jasper, my poogle (poodle/beagle mix).

4. I have a poogle named Jasper. He’s an absolute sweetheart, but he doesn’t come to work with me because he gets anxious.

5. Both my dogs are rescues.

6. I swear there’s more to my life than dogs!

Polka dot manicure.

7. Like nails. Santina recently taught me how to do polka dots!

8. Board games are awesome. Particularly Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, and Scrabble. Also Bananagrams, even if it’s not really a board game.

9. You know what else is awesome? xkcd. Nothing better than nerdy comics!

10. Speaking of which, nerds are TOTALLY awesome.

Pin curls.

11. My hair is in pin curls as I type. See photo above. Tonight: off to the Art Deco Preservation Ball! [UPDATE: photos from the ball are here: Swanky and Swingin’ at the Art Deco Preservation Ball]

12. Taking a decent self-portrait in pin curls, without makeup, is damned near impossible. Thank goodness for Instagram filters! And that trick of pinching cheeks for a temporary blush (learned from reading 18th/19th century novels).

So, how about you?

Effin A, Man: When Satire Becomes Reality

To celebrate April Fools Day, I wanted to make a little tribute to my favorite (non-political) example of satire becoming reality.

Several years ago, adding ever more accoutrements to razors was the thing. I was perfectly happy with 2 blades, but the razor companies wanted to squeeze more money out of us consumers — and knew that they couldn’t just increase the price of existing products. They had to make something NEW! and IMPROVED!

Like, every 6 months.

It was annoying.

And then The Onion came out with this article in early 2004:

Onion Article: "Fuck Everything, We're Doing Five Blades"

The Onion: "Fuck Everything, We're Doing Five Blades"

My favorite line: “If two blades is good, and three blades is better, obviously five blades would make us the best fucking razor that ever existed.”

I thought it was hilarious.

And then, in late 2005, it happened: Gillette announced it was releasing a razor with 5 blades.

CNN Money: Gillette unveils 5-bladed razor

CNN Money: "Gillette Unveils 5-Bladed Razor"

. . . which was kind of more hilarious than the original Onion article.

For the record, I’m still happy with my 2-blade razor, though finding replacement blades is getting ever more difficult. Le sigh.

Do you have a favorite example of satire becoming reality? I’d love to hear it!

(P.S. The original Onion article is here, and the CNN Money article is here.)