mollyringle: (couple w/ umbrella on street)
An open letter to those in charge of stocking items at Target:

Dear madams and sirs,

You have lost a goodly handful of cash, and much of my business, due to being so astoundingly, colossally stupid as to fail to stock kids' rain boots this time of year in Seattle. You currently have flip-flop sandals and swimsuits all over the clothing department, but nary a rain boot to be found. Sirs and madams, this is the Pacific Northwest. Puddle Land. Drizzle Country. We *might* be planning our summer wardrobe this time of year, but it is beyond question that we need rain boots every month of the year except July and August. And often even then. If you do not stock kids' rain boots in early March in Seattle, when and where do you consider it worthwhile to (expletives deleted) stock them?

Your faithful customer--no, actually, someone else's now--

Molly
mollyringle: (Willow - Hi - by aom_leiconz)
Her gaze landed upon a young man across the room in a dark purple cloak, his beard clipped short, his curly black hair braided back and adorned with a wreath of ivy—much less showy than the bright spring flowers Persephone and the others wore in honor of the equinox. He stood apart from the others, squinting against the bright sun as he gazed out the window at the sea.

Soon he turned his head and noticed her. The brooding expression on his face evaporated as he regarded her, an appreciative smile taking its place. Truly, he was quite beautiful. They gazed at each other a moment longer than was proper. A pleasant flutter danced in Persephone’s belly. Was he an immortal? Gold did seem to glint beneath the ivy, as if the vines were twined around one of the gods’ crowns.

Then she recognized him. Hades.
- Persephone's Orchard

* * *

On Hades' purple cloak: in early versions I had him in black robes, as black sounds appropriate for the god of the dead. But online research suggests black cloth was hard to obtain in ancient (and in this case prehistoric) Greece. Dyes required a lot of effort and frequently expense, and black was difficult to make. White wool was the basic material for clothing. Nonetheless, Greeks liked their colors where they could get them, and in addition to adding pretty embroidery to the hems, they did seem to have some reliable dyes. Purple was one of the most expensive. Hence Hades, with his access to the gemstones falling out of the Underworld's walls, could afford it.

But real historians should jump in here to correct any misinformation. We can make adjustments in the next volume.
mollyringle: (couple w/ umbrella on street)
I just re-read the chapters in which Marius and Cosette fall into a mutual adoration of each other from afar in the Luxembourg Gardens, which I love wholeheartedly. As with the whole book, this section is written eloquently and with profound observations about human behavior, but it's also funny and whimsical and charming, and rings quite true. I mean, after exchanging glances with a beautiful stranger, who hasn't arrived at the sudden realization, "Oh my God, my clothes look awful today, why didn't anyone tell me?"

The start of the "grave malady":

---

Marius had thrown open his whole soul to nature, he was not thinking of anything, he simply lived and breathed, he passed near the bench, the young girl raised her eyes to him, the two glances met.

What was there in the young girl's glance on this occasion? Marius could not have told. There was nothing and there was everything. It was a strange flash.

She dropped her eyes, and he pursued his way.

What he had just seen was no longer the ingenuous and simple eye of a child; it was a mysterious gulf which had half opened, then abruptly closed again.

There comes a day when the young girl glances in this manner. Woe to him who chances to be there!

...That evening, on his return to his garret, Marius cast his eyes over his garments, and perceived, for the first time, that he had been so slovenly, indecorous, and inconceivably stupid as to go for his walk in the Luxembourg with his "every-day clothes," that is to say, with a hat battered near the band, coarse carter's boots, black trousers which showed white at the knees, and a black coat which was pale at the elbows.

---

It goes on in equally charming manner for many pages, which I'm refraining from posting in its entirety by serious self-control. Why aren't you reading this novel??
mollyringle: (moon over ocean)
FYI, the online ebook superstore Fictionwise has now added THE GHOST DOWNSTAIRS to their catalog:

http://www.fictionwise.com/eBooks/eBook86349.htm?cache

And since it's a "new" book in their system, it's 15% off for the time being. Get it while it's hot!

I'm honored to share the New Book At Fictionwise category with J.R.R. Tolkien's THE LORD OF THE RINGS, which also is out this week for the first time as an official ebook. :)

If you have a Kindle reader, Amazon.com now carries my title in that format as well. And there's a free Kindle application for iPhones and the iPod Touch, so you can always try it that way if you're one of those folks newly wedded to their iPhones.

---

In other news:

Young men of the world, let me discuss for a moment how stupid those long, baggy basketball shorts look on you. I was walking behind a young man wearing those the other day, and had some time to observe the effect. The material was so satiny, so loose and flowing, and so long, that it honestly looked like he was wearing a skirt. So, if the effect you want is that of walking around in a pretty, silky, rippling spring skirt, then carry on. If you want to wear something manly, try, I don't know, pants that fit.
mollyringle: (Jarvis)
I've been noticing that young men are wearing skinny jeans again, snug fitting all the way to the ankle. Thank the gods. I so do not like the baggy clown pants look that the gangstas made popular.

The gangsta types are actually still wearing those, maybe because you can fit a huge gun inside all that fabric without attracting notice. But fortunately the rest of the men have come to their fashion senses.

Jeans are getting skinnier on gals too. We're losing that flare flap at the ankles, which I shall not miss. I detested "bell bottoms," as I called them, when they came back into fashion fifteen years ago; and although I came to tolerate them and even wear some of the more modestly flared jeans, I never did like the extra fabric flapping around my shins. Let's do skinny again! With the lovely things they're doing with elastic, it doesn't even cut off blood flow anymore.

[Edit: I only mean skinny; I don't mean so tight they amount to denim leggings. Anything that enters "baggy" territory needs to go. That's all I'm saying.]
mollyringle: (kickin yr dog)
A two-in-one! Baby photo, and shot of my short-but-shapely legs in my Dansko sandals.

The baby portion: Z likes to put on shoes, including other people's. Those are Steve's flip-flops, and he (Z) actually managed to walk around the kitchen in them for a little while.

The sandals: I generally have a terrible time finding sandals that don't chafe or blister my poor feet, but these have been an absolute winner. If you're in desperation to find a comfortable pair of sandals that give good arch support, are kind to your skin, and don't look like Birkenstocks--and if you're willing to pay for 'em--I highly recommend the Dansko Lolita. (Ebay often has them for cheaper, if you know your size already.) Many thanks to my sister [livejournal.com profile] peggycafecafe for steering me toward Danskos.

Now...what kind of freaks will be attracted here because of my subject title?
mollyringle: (Dirk - wrath)
Me, leafing through catalogue that arrived in mail: Victoria's Secret really doesn't do nursing wear, do they.
Steve: Aren't all their clothes nursing wear, really?

Good point. Accordingly, I now have some bra-top tanks that do, indeed, tug aside well enough for nursing. I'm pretty much wearing tank tops of some kind all summer, with open button-ups over them for layers.

Our 4th of July was fairly uneventful, which is fine with me. We went to a small barbecue gathering, and viewed a few fireworks from the West Seattle Bridge on the drive home. Though I'm a patriot and all, I often complain that the 4th is a really obnoxious holiday, not for patriotic reasons but because it inspires people to be loud and dangerous and pyromaniacal. My family has made fun of me for this observation, but honestly, can you tell me the 4th of July isn't loud, dangerous, and pyromaniacal?

However, it did rain a bit. Which was especially funny since there was no rain in the forecast. The weather here just seems to know when it's the 4th of July, and rustles up some rainclouds accordingly.

Think I'll go make some more fandom observations. Or take baby for a walk, since he's getting cabin fever. Yah.
mollyringle: (Dirk - crayons)
On today's episode of "Dude, That Is NOT Cool":

I have Zach on the changing table, first thing in the morning. Yawning, I pick up the washcloth sitting there to dry him off, and a nickel-sized dark brown spider skitters out of it and climbs up onto Zach's shirt. Zach does not notice, fortunately. Meanwhile, I am fully jolted awake. My considerable need to keep spiders off the baby outweighs my also considerable need to keep from touching spiders, ever; and I flick it off. It disappears under the table. I don't give chase, figuring it might at least kill some ants under there. But, dude. Not cool.

In other baby news, we got him a Jumperoo, which seems to entertain him. But he only actually jumps in it for about a quarter of the time; the rest of the time, he stands there and watches me forlornly, until I come over and take notice of him, at which point he breaks into the joyous smile shown in the photo. Silly kid. But when he does get into bouncing mode, he's pretty stoked.

As to my previous observation about '80s fashions returning, witness basketball players wearing leg-warmers. OK, so they're tights, and they're supposedly not a fashion statement but a way to keep the muscles warm. Still, '80s leg-warmers also started as a way for dancers to keep their muscles warm, before they spun off into fluffy pink places. So.

Edited to add one more bit of linkage: If you, like me, had no earthly idea what this "Snakes on a Plane" stuff was all about, this article explains it nicely. Awesome. I get it now. I'm grinning. (Turns out it *isn't* about that early scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where the pet snake of the pilot slithers onto Indy in the tiny plane. Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?)
mollyringle: (parfumerie)
I meant to ask you guys:
When visiting my hometown in Oregon a few weeks ago, we noticed that the high school guys were wearing their polo-shirt collars turned up. And I spotted checkered Vans on a high school gal. Is 1986 happening all over again all over the nation? Or did Corvallis get a really outdated memo?

In other news, my nose for perfume is returning, after going on revolt during pregnancy. Hurrah! I can now say that I am liking the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab scent "Velvet," which I had a vial of from last year. Chocolatey, with dusty sandalwood beneath. Mmm. I also sampled the (non-BPAL) unisex fragrance Inis: Energy of the Sea. It smells quite a lot like L'Eau d'Issey, only not as overpowering, so that's good. But I'm not sure I'm sold on this ozonic/aquatic/citrusy/unisex thing. It's very 1990s. Still, I didn't have a desire to wash it off my arm, which is more than I can say for the Lolita Lempicka I sampled the other week. Yeeks.
mollyringle: (Elvgren girlie)
Ladies, you know what color bra you should wear under a white shirt, if you don't want the bra to show through. Don't you?

Not white. Not black. Definitely not leopard-spotted.

Red. I heard this in college, and didn't believe it till I saw it with my own eyes. A white bra shows right through, white being too bright. Black shows as well, being too dark. But red basically vanishes. Has to do with wavelengths: red has the longest wavelength of all visible colors, and therefore gets muted the easiest.

Or something like that. I tried to do a web search on the topic, but when you use strings like "red bra white shirt", you get these "Hi, my name is Heather and I'm 19 and I live in your area and would love to meet you" kind of sites, so at the moment I don't have a website to back this up. Just try it yourselves and you'll see.

I tell you this because I've seen a lot of white bras with white shirts out there. But of course, you folks probably know this already; and, being the snarky lot you are, you're rolling your eyes right now and saying, "Duh, we KNOW. God, you're so condescending!" Hey, just trying to help.

[Edit: I imagine a bra color very close to your skin tone would work fine too. I just don't happen to have such a bra, so I can't say for sure. And red is, like, sexy.]
mollyringle: (Frolijah)
In no particular order.

1. "The most sacred acting experience I've ever had was at the top of Mount Ruapehu with Elijah Wood in my arms," says Sean Astin... At which I melt - and not just for slash reasons, honest. My devotion to this story goes deeper than that, and this scene will be One of Those Moments. Why can't they just show me the movie now? I wouldn't tell anyone. Come on, why not? Please?

2. A huge benefit of the new DSL connection occurred to me yesterday: streaming radio stations from all over the world without slowing down everything else and waiting for it to re-buffer. I'm drooling over the selection, and that's just the list of stations they include on iTunes. Expect cooler and more random things in the "Current music" box from now on.

3. OK, well I don't know about "giddy," but I've planted some flower and vegetable seeds outside. Think we can count on the sun not beating them to a brutal shriveled husk up here. Tending plants is always satisfying in a gentle and long-lasting way. (Yes, [livejournal.com profile] raethe, the jades survived the move too! The hobbit is currently enjoying a north-facing windowsill and being kissed by a tendril from the oregano next to it.)

4. We're going to be dressed to the nines on Saturday night, for my little sister's wedding party. She said "it is not possible to overdress," so I took advantage of being in a glamorous big city, and got a Jessica McClintock floor-length black-and-white gown. Steve will be matching in black suit with gray silk-blend shirt. Apparently we'll each be given a white flower to wear. It'll feel good to be one of the elegant married people rather than the blushing bride or one of the Hi, Still Unmarried guests as I was for so long. (No offense to anyone in that group. I'm just pleased to try on a new category of being a grown-up.)

5. I could add something about a new inexpensive scent I like, but that isn't necessary. That's between me and the people who have to stand next to me.
mollyringle: (Ringlust)
OK, I filled out something like this last year, but I'm just bored enough to do it again. Come on, everybody, join me!

VANITY SURVEY

1. Feature you like best about yourself: Hands

2. Feature you would permanently change about yourself: I would like a flawless complexion, please.

3. If contact lenses weren't a bitch, your eyes would be: Bright green

4. Beauty item you can't live without: Eyelash curler

5. Beauty item you keep around but hardly ever use: Curlers (rollers). (You can't hope to style my hair; you can only hope to contain it.)

6. Beauty item you will never ever use again: Waxing strips on the legs. Surely packing tape could do a better job for the same amount of pain.

7. Celebrity people say you resemble: Lately two separate people have said Audrey Hepburn. I wish this were true.

8. Celebrity you wish you most resembled: Maybe more like Audrey Hepburn?

9. Tip about hair care you would like to pass along to the masses: Do not attempt home perms. In fact, just steer clear of perms generally.

10. Tip about makeup you would like to pass along to the masses: Do not be like me and wait till you're 25 before figuring out how to pluck your eyebrows.

11. Tip about fashion you would like to pass along to the masses: There have been a lot of problems with trousers lately. Women are wearing them too low (I do not want to see your butt cleavage), and men are wearing them too baggy (this applies most prominently to skater-boi types, but men's jeans in general are gettin' a bit floppy).

12. Worst fashion phase you have ever gone through: About '88-'92: the Poison/Warrant/Bon Jovi years. Enough said.

13. What feature of your appearance people compliment you on most: Hair, I guess

14. What feature of your appearance you think they ought to compliment you on: My naturally black eyelashes. Or the stunning shadows under my eyes.

15. Have your parents ever stepped in and stopped you from looking unstylish, and if so, what was the offense?: Yes: Mom rightly enough warned me, my freshman year of high school, that it would be a bad idea to wear a big, ruffly, second-hand lavender prom dress from the '70s to a homecoming dance in about 1990. Thank you, Mom.

16. Is it better to be overdressed or underdressed? (i.e., too formal or too casual): I suppose overdressed.

17. Feature of the opposite sex that catches your eye first: Hair!

18. Celebrity whose fashion sense you love: Got to admit, Halle Berry has worn some awesome dresses at awards ceremonies lately.

19. Celebrity whose fashion sense makes you point and laugh: Oh, definitely Orlando Bloom. Oh, man. I'm laughing just thinking about it. The shirts.

20. This fake-tanning thing: good idea, or no? I admit to owning a self-tanning spray, but I seldom use it. I'd rather be my natural, healthy, pale self and have people think it looks fine. Real tans are of course never healthy. But I do brush some bronzer on the cheekbones sometimes too...
mollyringle: (kodama)
(I know. That's not really French.)

Ways in which I am more like a stereotypical male:

1. I forget birthdays, anniversaries, and Hallmark-holidays constantly, and I don't expect much to happen on them.

2. I play trash-can basketball with crumpled-up Kleenex, paper towels, etc.

3. Some lustful thought or salacious innuendo flits across my mind roughly every 17 seconds.

4. I can do push-ups. (25 in a row.)

5. I roll my eyes and/or make cat-with-hairball noises if faced with unforgivably sappy lines in movies.

6. With very few exceptions, I will not wear pink, nor things with heart shapes on them.

7. I pretty much never paint my fingernails.

8. I'm not very good at sewing, knitting, or home decorating, and don't have much interest in learning them.

9. I hate wearing high heels or other "cute" shoes that cut and mangle my feet and have no traction.

10. I dabbled in skateboarding as a child.

11. I hated most of the wedding preparations. Faffing about with ribbons, flower arrangements, white shoes, something borrowed, something blue, and something to strangle myself with, seemed kind of a waste of time.


On the other hand: ways in which I am, indeed, a stereotypical female:

1. I did enjoy wearing the wedding dress and the fancy accoutrements. In fact, in all honesty, I would also enjoy having an occasion that gave me an excuse to wear a tiara.

2. I am addicted to chocolate.

3. I own and use an impressive array of cosmetics and hair-care products.

4. "Orlando! Elijah! Ewan! Jude! *squeee* They're so cute!" (Yeah, I even make myself sick sometimes. But, in my defense, I ask you to look at Orlando in this post of [livejournal.com profile] kateelvellon's. I mean, for the love of everything holy, how could anyone possibly think his froo-froo-Legolas-blond look was better than that? Granted, I kind of wish he'd shave. Oh, and pay no attention to where his left hand is. I said pay NO attention. Hey, quit staring; I saw him first.)

5. I have almost no interest in sports whatsoever.

6. I played with Barbies and My Little Ponies as a child.

7. I dislike camping. It involves going without electricity and hot running water and locked doors for too long. Not to mention the bugs. And the greasy layer of sunscreen. And the dismalness of granola bars. Isn't this why we invented houses and major appliances in the first place?

8. I have a keen sense of smell. Sometimes eerily so.

9. I can name hundreds of colors, but can only identify about five makes of cars. (VW Beetle, Datsun Z-car, VW bus...uh...PT Cruiser...uh...)

10. I do own some lacy undergarments. And some lavender ones. (But nothing lacy and lavender at the same time.)
mollyringle: (Default)
Lift, fill out, pass around...

1. Feature you like best about yourself: Torso
2. Feature you would permanently change about yourself: I would opt for a flawless complexion
3. If hair dye worked exactly like you wanted, your hair would be: A brown slightly lighter than chocolate, with a glint of red in the sun
4. If contact lenses weren't a bitch, your eyes would be: Lime green
5. Beauty item you can't live without: Eyelash curler
6. Beauty item you keep around but hardly ever use: Nair
7. Beauty item you will never ever use again: Rusk str8 -- I'm sure it works, but it smells horrible, like the cheapest, strongest perfume imaginable. (Thus I also veto any other product that smells similar.)
8. Celebrity you most resemble: Lea Thompson ("Caroline in the City"...)
9. Celebrity you wish you most resembled: Liz Hurley
10. Celebrity who needs to be publicly whipped for their fashion sense: Cher. Or Gwyneth Paltrow.
11. Tip about hair care you would like to pass along to the masses: Unfortunately, the expensive styling products and creams really do make a difference.
12. Tip about makeup you would like to pass along to the masses: Don't be like me and wait till you're 25 before figuring out how to pluck your eyebrows.
13. Tip about fashion you would like to pass along to the masses: Trousers that are several sizes too large, or hang from you as if they were, flatter nobody.
14. Worst fashion phase the world has ever gone through: This isn't the *worst*, but I really dislike that era in the Victorian years where women wore those dumb clusters of curls on top of their ears, and no makeup, and waistlines so high the skirts looked like maternity wear.
15. Worst fashion phase you personally have ever gone through: About 1988-1992: the Poison/Warrant/Bon Jovi years. Enough said.
16. Dream fabric you would always wear if the weather permitted: Cotton, silk, or cashmere.
17. Fabric you hate more than any others: Synthetics that crackle like a lightning storm when you take them off.
18. What feature of your appearance people compliment you on most: Hair
19. What feature of your appearance you think they ought to compliment you on: Eyes
20. At what point should parents step in and stop their child from looking unstylish?: Before formal events at least. I wouldn't recommend intervention on a daily basis; only if you're going somewhere special.
21. Have your parents ever done this to you, and if so, what was the offense?: Yes--Mom rightly enough warned me, my freshman year of high school, that to wear a ruffly, too-big, lavender prom dress from the 1970s to a homecoming dance in about 1990 would not be a good idea.
22. Is it better to be overdressed or underdressed? (i.e., too formal or too casual): Depends on my mood, but probably overdressed more often.
23. Style feature of the opposite sex that draws your eye first: Hair
24. Which is worse: overpowering perfume or B.O.?: Perfume. At least B.O. doesn't cause an allergy attack.
25. Insert your own question here...

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