Snow Day and Swimwear Go Hand-in-Hand Like an Oxymoron and Common Sense!

I can remember once when I was going to Sunset Valley Elementary in South Austin, the school district closed for a day because of a quarter-inch of snow. I have no idea how much it snowed today but it was fantastic. Check out my snowball fight with my friend BJ right before I left the Art Institute of Austin campus this afternoon:
The Montanan versus the Ginger.
"This isn't fair! You're used to this stuff! You're from Montana!" -- BJ.
"...I love you?" -- Me, after I sneak attacked him in the face.

Sliding into "reload snowball" mode.

I had so much fun playing in the snow! For my 8 AM class, only 6 of the 16 came to school, so I had an easy class and ventured outside with the fashion girls to frolic about. It's been melted from my yard for about six hours now, but it's still freezing cold, so my South By Southwest crew meeting was canceled due to worries of ice on the road. You win some, you lose some.

Oddly enough, the day it snows in Austin I receive an e-mail from Wish Ut about a swimwear fashion show! The store will be showing its springswimwear collection at The Quarters (2300 Nueces Street) on March 3rd at 8 PM. All ages are welcome, and I'm excited that it's on a day that I can actually go (now I need to switch my hours at work, but I'll live). Haven't been to a Wish fashion show in a while, and maybe this time I'll remember to take my camera!

I'd like to thank those who've commented since Sunday for all the get-well wishes, along with the good thoughts for Mariel Mentink. I'm still sick, but I'm managing it now, whereas before I didn't even want to breathe. If you're in the Austin area or from Chicago, be sure to read my previous blog regarding the Bike For Your Rights event taking place at the Shangri-La on Thursday for Mariel Mentink.
Sure do wish I had a warm coat like this wool Via Spiga toggle coat from Bluefly! Stay warm, lovelies!


Bike For Your Rights: benefit for Mariel Mentink.

I realize I haven't posted in about two weeks: I've been dealing with a nasty chronic bronchitis that won't go away, plus after Foods Not Bombs two weeks ago I found out via e-mail that my brother's aunt passed away. Then Alexander McQueen killed himself, which left me feeling more depressed than I already was, so I've been extraordinarily busy and sick and just trying not to overwork myself because I can't afford to be sick. But with that said, I actually have nothing to complain about, unlike others who are in need of support now:

On the morning of New Year's Day, a cyclist named Mariel Mentink was struck from behind while on her commute home. The 40 mph hit-and-run left Mariel in the intensive-care unit at Brackenridge, and doctors and nurses are still tending to her injuries: skull fractures, broken vertebrae, and other cracked bones. You can read about Mariel's ongoing recovery here, which notes that the back operation Mariel underwent takes six months for the pain to subside. Four days ago, Mariel stood for the first time since January 1st.

With that said, the cycling community has rallied for Mariel and the Mentink family. This coming Thursday, February 25th, the Shangri-La (1016 East 6th Street) is hosting a fundraiser and benefit to help support the Mentinks and raise bike safety awareness in Austin.

The list of local businesses helping out with the benefit is long (Shangri-La, Bijou Tattoo, Freewheeling Bicycles, Whole Foods, Xen Kitchen, etc.), and you can visit the Facebook page here for more information. You can also visit Support Mariel Mentink for information regarding future benefits in support of Mariel. As Mariel is a resident of Chicago, there is information on the Support website about benefits in the Chicago area as well.

Also, if you live or are frequently near where she was hit at (MLK near Springdale), be sure visit the Help Find Who Hit Mariel Mentink Facebook page.


Austin Weekends are One-of-a-Kind.

Chopping veggies for Food Not Bombs yesterday at the 21st Street Co-Op.

I feel like I've been neglecting my blog, while really on top of being ill (chronic bronchitis), I've been ridiculously busy, and have had a few unexpected things come up (one being a computer virus...gnah!). One of my New Year's Resolutions was to be more active in doing things that fit not only what I want to do with my life (fashion writing/styling, etc.), but also things that entertain the insatiable parts of my life: the want to do things that I used to do with my mother has been gnawing at me for months, namely cooking. This weekend I was able to do things that were both productive for my future career and things that my mother would have been proud of.

On Friday, after coming home from work at 11:30 PM, my roomie told me of an extras casting call for the Coen Brothers' remake of True Grit. The Coen Brothers have a dear place in my heart, as I am an avid fan of their Odyssey-inspired 2000 flick O Brother, Where Art Thou?

The film was a favorite of my mother's and a treasured favorite in my family. In fact, my whole entire town (Bigfork, MT) seemed to fall in love with the movie. Through the years, I have sang various renditions of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. The last time I sang a song for the film was at my mother's wake in Montana; my sister and I sang "Down to the River to Pray." Here's the scene in the film:

I was excited until I found out the last casting call was the next day, a day which I had to work during most of. However, after some awesome time management skills that included taking a series of headshots in less than 15 minutes, I was able to attend the casting call. I even ran into my friend, Anton, while typing up the requested paperwork at the Art Institute campus.

Ridiculous stories ensued, and I taught Anton how to take his measurements.

Fun Facts about Anton:
He is an Art Institute film major and doesn't drink coffee.

Since I live near 51st Street but didn't know where the Red Building was, Anton and I carpooled.

Also, because the lovely Rose of Pink Sun Drops asked how it went: Since the film is a remake of True Grit and the premise of the film is set somewhere between 1870-1900 the crew was looking for people with "characteristics". They basically refused to see anyone who had chemical/processed hair, and also wrote on the info sheet that they weren't looking for necessarily gorgeous people. I have a gap between my front teeth (I asked my grandmother to pay for a school-sponsored trip to DC & Boston rather than get braces when I was 13), a crooked nose (a girl broke my nose by punching me in the face when I was 16), and a wine-stain birth mark on my right cheek. Along with naturally curly hair, a decent figure, past equestrian experience, and a knack for old westerns (I can't help it: Gary Cooper was born in Helena, Montana, in my great-great-grandmother's house--which is the only reason that house is still standing to this day), and the people there they said they would be surprised if I wasn't called back.

I wore a black spaghetti-strap top (Wet Seal) , a pair of 7 For All Mankind jeans (thrifted from Buffalo Exchange).

I know that doesn't mean anything, as they may have just been trying to not hurt my feelings, and like my dad siad, I shouldn't get my hopes up. The thing is, if I decide to do costuming/styling/consulting for films in the future, I think this would a great insider's view of what a day for the head stylist would be. In all, even if nothing transpires from this, it was a new Austin adventure that could only be this entertaining because it is what it is: an opportunity to be in a remake of a classic film.

On Sunday, which was my day off from both work and school, my friend Alex and I went to the 21st Street Co-Op to cook for Food Not Bombs. Food Not Bombs is a volunteer organization that protests war and povertry through making vegetarian and vegan meals for the homeless. The Austin Chapter meets at the 21st Street Co-Op Kitchen at about 2:30 on Sunday afternoons to serve meals at Woolridge Park (9th & Guadalupe) around 6 in the evening. You can visit the Austin Chapter's Myspace here.

Emily, one of the volunteers I met.

I'm hoping this can be a regular thing for me, as I miss working in a kitchen (my mother was a chef and I have 9 years of restaurant experience), but I usually work on Sundays. Either way, I met new faces and saw some old ones (I briefly lived at the 21st Street Co-Op when I moved back to Austin in 2008), and had a fantastic time. I liked the volunteer aspect as well, as I have been homeless and I think I can give a little back now that I have more control in my life than ever before. Enjoy the photos and tell me about your weekend!

Alex and me, relaxing on the back porch-swing at the Co-Op while taking a break from chopping vegetables.

Alex and Chris, making mashed potatoes without a proper masher.

The apple-banana crisp the rest of the crew made!

Thanks to the Austin Food Not Bombs for the logo!


The Season For Loving.

I'm going to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of Valentine's Day. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my parents, who were divorced before I can even remember, were married on the holiday. Or maybe it's because this year's Valentine's Day marks what would have been the half-year anniversary of my last committed relationship (it's pathetic that I know this, but that's what happens when you write everything down in a journal).

Regardless of my singlehood, it doesn't mean I haven't been gushing over clothing recently and wondering what would look great if I had a Valentine.

The Scarlet Harlot Dress (aka Boudoir Babe from Forever 21):

Remember that scene from Gone With The Wind where Rhett Butler persuades Madam Belle Watling to lie for the raid party? Maybe not. Either way, although Belle's costumes in the film were mostly white or cream with a touch of pink, this dress reminds me of her and her, ahem, profession. I like the corset-look of it and the bow in the front. I'd match it with a pair of heels, the pair of Naughty Monkey's shown. If I were to wear this dress, I would do a full-effect with the makeup: smoky eyes and a red lipstick, such as Y.S.L's No. 16 Red Temptation. Add a couple gold-chained necklaces along with a black clutch, and I would be set! This dress could easily be overwhelming with the va-va-voom of it all, but that's why I like it: it has some spunk and attitude with a little sex thrown in. I would blow-out my hair for a bedroom look. What occasion would I wear this to? Alamo Drafthouse's Gone With the Wind Valentine's Day Feast, of course.

The Gorgeous Magenta Dress (aka Evening Chelsea Dress from Betsey Johnson):

Yes, this dress has my name in it. No, I would not pick a dress to wear that I didn't like. I adore bubble dresses and the color. Black is always slimming, while layered-bubble effect with the magenta is a little different. Like the previous dress, this one from Betsey Johnson has lace, and the sweetheart neckline is more accentuated, especially because the dress is strapless. I'd wear L.A.M.B.'s black open-toed Zelia Heel stilettos and little-to-no makeup (I'm a fresh-faced girl at heart, and pink always adds a little natural rosiness to my cheeks). I would wear my hair up in a messy bun. As for a purse, I'd go with the Bowtie Affair I found on Bag Haus. And where exactly would I wear this number? The Driskill Grill.

The Honey, I'd Rather Go to a Show Outfit:

Of course, all these outfits are for imaginary dates, but I can probably bet you that my next boyfriend will be a musician in one form or another, as my last two were. With that said, I like to go to concerts more than anything. I remember one boy telling me that I was absolutely crazy for wearing boots to one gig I went to at Antone's (sadly, it was canceled and the Kooks haven't been back to ATX since), but honestly, there is nothing better than a pair of boots for a show.

Why? The boots add height while still protecting my toesies. In fact, I can't think of a concert this past year that I didn't wear boots: even at Austin City Limits when it didn't rain, I wore boots! That's why I love these pointed-toe boots from Guess that I found on Zappos: not only would they would look great with the Dark Gothic Glam Skinny from Miss Me, they would give me the extra height I crave. Matched with the Daytrip Sublimated Floral Babydoll blouse from Buckle and the Heart, Lock, and Key Charm Necklace from RockLove Jewelry, I would probably wear black eye liner, a red lipgloss, and call it good. A little rocker, a little girly...definitely fits my style.

So...now that we all know I'm single for Valentine's Day, let's hope I'll be working! Does anyone have plans for the holiday yet? Decided what you're going to wear? Tell me all the fashion details!
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