A Plainclotheshorse

Sometimes I want to tell y’all what I find at the thrift stores, and maybe post pictures of my finds, but then I don’t, because I’ve realized that I like pretty boring clothes.

Today, for instance, I am wearing black pants, a white shirt, and a fuchsia silk cardigan ($1.91 with orange tag markdown). And black loafers. And no jewelry, because I forgot it. And that’s pretty much about as exciting as my wardrobe gets, unless I bust out a dress or the knee-high boots or something.

The other day I found a brand new pair of brown, unembellished, Unlisted loafers at my second-favorite thrift store, for $6.97. I found one of them on the floor, and I searched the store until I found its mate. And I was so ecstatically happy. “I should take a picture of these and put them on my Flickr page!” I said to myself. Then I realized how underwhelming a picture of brown loafers would be.

Oh, well. I’m still happy about them.

But, if you’d like to see something semi-exciting, go on over to my Flickr page and see that paintings I did to go above my fireplace.

The YouTubes and the CSSes and the BloggerWriters and the InterWebs

I feel kind of sad about the fact that I haven’t posted anything on YouTube yet. I feel un-Web-pioneer-y. I even have stuff to post — two or three readings and lectures I did that people were kind enough to videotape for me and then make DVDs for my use, to post on YouTube as I’d promised I would. And I haven’t yet done it. I even have the video editing software on my computer. I just haven’t had time to get it done.

Other information highway merge lanes I haven’t had time to drive on:

  • podcasting with the MP3s I have of myself reading and yakking at radio show hosts
  • putting something about my books on the domain GwendolynZepeda.com
  • getting on any writer-y sites and telling people I’m a writer
  • updating the design of this here blog

How do y’all web mavens have time to do all this stuff? Is it because you do it as a career? Is it because you don’t have 28 kids, like I do? Are you doing it at your day jobs? Are you tricking high school students into being your web content interns? Help me, ObiWanKenobis. Tell me your secrets.

It just takes time, I guess. Maybe I can do something on the web, next time I feel like painting a bunch of birds and hanging them up above my fireplace.

Weekend Adventure: Farmers’ Market

One of my kid’s friends spent the weekend with us, which was all the excuse we needed to conduct weekend adventures. We dragged that little boy to the Asian grocery store to see the live frogs and purchase cha siu for the fried-rice feast my boyfriend later cooked. We dragged him to a park that we’d never seen before, and that park ended up having bison and pigs and emus, oh my! We sought out a new (to us) carniceria, next door to our second favorite panaderia and ate a fabulously traditional Mexican Sunday breakfast of tacos, pastry, and insanely spicy hot sauce.

After we dropped the boy off at his home, my boyfriend dropped me off at my favorite thrift store for a few hours, which is always a very exciting adventure, for me at least. (Three skirts in gray and taupe! A light blue button-down!) Then we reconvened at Empire, which is the best coffee house in Houston.

(Please don’t write and tell me that Brazil or Dietrich’s are the best. They aren’t. Empire is. Sorry.) (Just kidding. Feel free to tell me which is your fave, and why. I always want to know y’all’s fave restaurants in Houston, okay?)

Best of all, though: We went to the farmers’ market on Airline, which neither Tad nor I had been to since we were children. The Airline farmers’ market is, as my youngest son put it, a “fleamarket of food.” Their restrooms are nastier than those of the nightclub #s. But still — they have beautiful fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs for dirt cheap. We’re going back again very soon. Every single week for the rest of our lives, maybe.

I’ve been meaning to tell y’all this for weeks now…

I no longer like Billy Joel’s music.

You know why? Because, the other day, I heard a song of his I hadn’t heard since I was a kid with snot running down my nose and no sense of what was happening in the world. That song was “Big Shot.”

Here is the chorus and two verses of the song:

Because you had to be a big shot, didn’t you
You had to open up your mouth
You had to be a big shot, didn’t you
All your friends were so knocked out
You had to have the last word, last night
You know what everything’s about
You and to have a white hot spotlight
You had to be a big shot last night

They were all impressed with your Halston dress
And the people you knew at Elaine’s
And the story of your latest success
Kept ’em so entertained
But now you just can’t remember
All the things you said
And you’re not sure you want to know
I’ll give you one hint, honey
You sure did put on a show

Well, it’s no big sin to stick your two cents in
If you know when to leave it alone
But you went over the line
You couldn’t see it was time to go home

What the hell is this guy’s deal? The narrator of this song is mad at some chick because… why? Because she talked a lot? Because her friends were “knocked out” and “entertained” by her stories? Because she wore an expensive dress?

Maybe I’m just reading way too much into it (as I will sometimes do with lyrics when I’m in my van, listening to the radio during my 1.25 hour commute), but it sounds like the narrator just can’t hang with women getting attention. Maybe attention that he feels is rightfully his?

Read those lyrics, then consider the lyrics to “Uptown Girl,” which Mr. Joel presumably wrote later:

Uptown girl
She’s been living in her uptown world
I bet she’s never had a backstreet guy
I bet her momma never told her why

Uptown girl
You know I can’t afford to buy her pearls
But maybe someday when my ship comes in
She’ll understand what kind of guy I’ve been
And then I’ll win

Watch out, uptown girl! Don’t do it! Don’t marry this backstreet guy, because every time you want to have a little fun with your friends or dress up a little or tell anyone about your accomplishments, he’ll ridicule you and your white-bread world. Then, years later, after he’s erroded your self esteem, the two of you will divorce and then he’ll replace you with a younger woman too meek to hold her own on a cooking contest show!

Just kidding. Heh. I’m sure Billy Joel is a very nice person, and his song narrators are no reflection of his own views on women. I just like to listen to music and make up funny little stories for myself when I’m alone in my van.

When I was a child, I memorized lyrics without thinking about them. I also liked Billy Joel and hated Bob Seeger.

But now that I’m older, I can’t help but think about lyrics. Do I want to listen to songs that say “Ha, ha, you rich bitch, I did donuts on your lawn with my motorcycle,” or lyrics that say “I had sex with a rich woman in Hollywood and it was awesome, and now I’m an old, worn-out cliche of a rock star and I only have myself to blame”?

Or do I want to go back to my old favorite, with lyrics that say “It seems like we really hate women, but then again, we did steal most of this music from black musicians nowhere near as famous as us”? Now that Led Zeppelin’s having a little comeback, I mean.

Silverfish, silverfish! It’s Christmas time in the city!

I decorated our Christmas tree (Douglas fir, $17 at Lowe’s with $10-off coupon) last night.

I’m not even going to tell y’all about the all-new holiday trauma tradition we started, which involved the whole family and the meticulous slaughtering of the silverfish that have been breeding in our garage, in the boxes that came over from our apartment more than a year ago, which contained all our Christmas ornaments and decorations.

I’m not even going to tell you about it.

Suffice it to say that tree is up, the garage is clear, and my children will grow up with beautiful holiday memories — the strains of “Deck the Halls” intertwined with the dulcet tones of their mommy’s voice, screaming, “There’s one! KILL IT!” and “Bang it on the floor until they all fall out!” and “Because I gave birth to you, that’s why!”

Beautiful. Priceless. You’re welcome, kids. I love you, too.

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Posted in Christmas, domestic, insects, pop culture, psychobabble, thrifting, vanity on 12/03/2007 12:04 pm

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