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Alright, I’m really sorry for being away from my blogging for so long. Actually, I haven’t been away, I’ve just had another forum to voice myself, hence the reason for this posting. I’ve been hired as a writer for the very cool shopping website Splendora.com. So if you want to keep up with me and what I’ve been up to, and get some great product recommendations and entertainment at the same time, visit Splendora.com. It’s worth it, trust me!

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So yesterday was Bay to Breakers 2008. I had such an awesome time, I thought I’d give everyone the play-by-play.

Sun, May 18 (the following timetable is approximate, due to the extraordinary amount of alcohol consumed and the subsequent inability of remembrance of certain details)

5:00am: I go to sleep after working at the bar all night. Had several naps on Sat. night before work so that I would not be a complete zombie for B2B.

7am: I wake up after 2 hours of sleep. Drink very large cup of coffee and get my costume on (roller disco for those who haven’t been keeping up on my posts) and ready to go. Drink another cup of coffee. Do my makeup very 70’s-esque with bright blue eyeshadow and frosted lipstick. Drink more coffee.

8am: Our friends show up for the pre-B2B breakfast at mine and Jenny’s place (they were told to be here at 7:30am, but whatever). We serve bagels from House of Bagels around the corner and fruit salad, with mimosas and tequila shots. I drink some vodka and red bull as well, as you can tell by the following picture of my brother and I:

9am: We set off for Golden Gate Park on our roller skates. Progress is slow and shaky.

11am: We finally make it the 4 blocks to Golden Gate Park (just kidding, it was more like 9:20 when we got there). We see a lot of the more serious runners and walkers (i.e. people still sober and not in costumes). We walk/skate backward along the route to get to the end of the crowd where all of “our people” were.

9:25am: We see the first of the creative costumes. I got a kick out of these “swimmers” and their inflatable portable pools:

9:30am: We see the first of the naked people. It always makes me feel a little curious as to what goes through these peoples’ minds when they decide to do this in the buff. They’re always by themselves too….weird. I like the crown on this dude, like he’s dubbed himself king of the naked people:

9:35am: A school of jellyfish float by, and I like their costumes. Simple idea, but done really well. The tie-dye adds a cool San Francisco touch:

9:45am: I discover a previously undiscovered and unusual talent of mine: I am a pretty darn good hula hooper (while on roller skates and semi-intoxicated to boot). That’s my brother’s very 70’s friend Patrick hooping along with me.

10am: We are thrilled to come upon a bandstand with a cool band playing music for the various walkers and runners. Of course we have to stop and get our boogie on:

10:10am: My brother Jason and friend Alison can’t resist a photo op with this very naked, very “peace-ful” naked dude who is enjoying the music along with us:

10:20am: The Berkeley contingent brings along their mascot. Props to the dude in the bear costume.

10:25am: We pass by dudes dressed up like different wildlife creatures. I have to admire any guy who will fearlessly don spandex for a good cause. The deer is in the front, while the panda is on the left just out of frame, and posing with my brother. Love the bamboo sprig in the panda’s mouth, and the cell phone/camera bulge in the deer’s tights:

10:27am: I pose with this dude purely for the fact that he has an awesome Fu-Manchu. If it looks like I’m doing an obscene gesture, it’s totally a coincidence and only realized that when going through the pictures later:

10:30am: We run across the gang from sesame street on a float near the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park. If I were younger I think I might have been scarred for life by seeing Big Bird and The Chef drinking out of a keg. The Chef actually ran up to my pal Alison at some point later and threw flour on her and yelled, “Borga borga borga!!” I don’t think Alison ever fully recovered.

10:35am: As always there are a few pirates in the crowd. I thought these guys’ float is the most impressive. This isn’t a very good picture, but it’s a full-on pirate ship:

10:40am: A giant bounce-house on wheels goes by, and I am momentarily tempted to enter. After realizing that a) I’m on rollerskates, and b) there are some pretty scary-looking people in the bounce-house, I decide against it.

10:45am: One of the many rolling bars passes by:

11:00am: Alison meets Ace and Gary from the Ambiguously Gay Duo (for you non-SNL fans, don’t worry about it), and then poses with a guy dressed up as someone who was trampled by the crowd:

11:15am: My roommate Jenny makes friends with the two known as the “Hairy Ballers”. If you can’t tell from the picture why they’re called that, I’m not going to try to explain it to you (hint: look down):

11:30am: We are thrilled to find another 70’s troupe, complete with a disco ball, so we have to do an impromptu disco dance with them. They aren’t on skates though, so we win the disco dance-off:

11:55am: Alison meets a pretty peacock, who I have to give props to for an awesome costume:

12:00pm: As the party winds up and my camera battery winds down, we all manage to pose for one last group photo:


And thus one more year of Bay to Breakers comes to an end. Overall, I was a little disappointed in the creativity of other peoples’ costumes–it seemed like people went all out last year and not so much this year. But everyone loved our costumes, and we all had a ball (a disco ball, get it?), so that’s what really matters. Now to decide what we’re going to be next year…

I bought these super-cool fringed sandals at Urban Outfitters the other day, and ever since I’ve been getting insane compliments on them.  They only cost $28, and come in black as well, so snap them up now!  Trust me, you won’t regret it.  Plus it’s super fun to have fringe on your feet slapping around with every step.

OK, Bay to Breakers is finally here!  (Well, on Sunday.  But when you’ve been looking forward to it for the past year, a few days is nothing).  My pals and I finally decided on costumes and I mostly have gotten it all together.  The theme has changed from roller derby to roller disco (not an earth-shattering change, but this theme we decided is more fun. Apparently more fun=more sequins).  Here’s a rundown of what I have:

1.  Burgundy short-shorts with white piping from American Apparel

2.  Sequined gold cropped tube-top purchased at Aardvark’s on Haight Street

3.  Knee-high yellow and burgundy striped athletic socks from American Apparel

4.  Vintage red-white-and-blue roller skates purchased on eBay

5.  White Elton John-esque sunglasses from Evangeline’s in Sacramento

6.  Gold multi-strand necklace from So Good on Haight Street

7.  Black shiny track jacket with yellow stripes bought at Wasteland on Haight Street

I’m still thinking about getting some striped terrycloth wristbands at American Apparel and I’m planning on doing my makeup with bright powder blue eyeshadow and frosted lip gloss, with lots and lots of bronzer.  My hair I’m still figuring out–I was looking for a Farrah Fawcett-like wig, because short hair doesn’t lend itself well to lots of experimental hairstyles, but the wigs I’ve found were sort of sub-par.  And my friend Alison is already wearing an afro wig, so I don’t really want to do the same thing.  Last night my roommate Jenny styled my hair in a really cool feathered-back style that kind of works, so I’ll probably go with that.  

I’m so excited!  I will be sure to post lots of pictures of all the debauchery.  And this year I’ll be sure not to drink so much Jameson so that I might actually remember everything to write about it.

The Met Gala was this week, and I expressed to my roommates how excited I was to see what everyone wore.  They couldn’t understand why I was so excited.  

“But it’s better than the Oscars!” I say.  And I truly believe this, because in my opinion the actors and actresses on the Oscar red carpet are too concerned with being put on someone’s worst dressed list and not so much interested in making a great fashion statement.  Not so with the Met Gala.  Mainly because the Met Gala is attended not only by actors and actresses, but also by people in the art and fashion world, and so are more likely to make some sort of high-fashion statement.  And they did not fail to disappoint.  Here are a few of my faves (and not so faves):

Amber Valetta in Atelier Versace

She just looks great, and not just because she’s a supermodel.  I love the color especially, and the shiny fabric.  And just the way it fits her.  She’s also taken a little chance with the poufy cape-thing, but it totally works.

Christina Ricci in Givenchy Haute Couture

I’m not usually a huge fan of red-pink combos, but this really works.  The sheer fabric and the artful geometric red shapes poking through are genius.

Clive Owen in Armani

He’s just yummy.

Ellen Barkin in Diane Von Furstenburg

I just hope that I look this stunning when I’m older.  Heck, I wish I could look like this now.  It’s a little on the safe side for me, but she looks fantastic so that doesn’t bother me.

Eva Amurri in Louis Vuitton

The fit on this dress is all wrong.  She looks like she’s too squeezed in up top.  OW!  Doesn’t that hurt?  It also looks a little too 80’s prom for my taste.

Hilary Rhoda

She would have been way too boring if it weren’t for the accessories, i.e. the necklace.  That necklace makes the whole outfit, and the somewhat blank canvas of the rest of the outfit the perfect frame for it.

Jennifer Connolly in Balenciaga

I both love and hate certain parts of this outfit.  Love the dress, Nicolas Ghesquiere is a genius.  But don’t like the shoes (too pointy and witch-like), and don’t like the matching necklace/bracelets combo (too many accessories).  She should have just let the cool dress do the talking.

Kate Bosworth in Chanel Haute Couture

This might be my favorite dress of the night.  I love that she is wearing something short, and I love the shoes with the dress.  The dress itself is AMAZING, though it doesn’t really look like Chanel to me, maybe more Pucci, but I still love it.  Don’t like her eye makeup matching her shoes though.  A little too much blue overkill.

Kate Moss and Stella McCartney in Stella McCartney

Kate looks so put together and classic, which is a little different than her usual rock-and-roll disheveled chic (which I also love).  Stella also looks great, I sometimes think the whole one-shoulder toga dress thing is played out, but this dress is saved by it’s interesting draping and awesome color.

Kathryn Neale Schafer 

Way too much going on with the dress–I think it might be Marchesa and I’ve never been a fan of that line’s over-the-top detailing.  The appliques, the draped sleeves, too much.  Plus those leather boot/legging things are just weird.  Ick.

Lou Doillon in Marni (with Consuelo Castiglioni)

Lou is one of my personal style icons, she can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned.  She could put on a paper sack and look awesome.  Love how she accessorized with the cool leather cropped jacket.  She always adds a bit of cool personal style to any outfit.

Melania Trump in Vera Wang

She looks like a deranged hot pink Barbie Doll.  Sugar Daddy Barbie.  Enough said.  

Mischa Barton in Missoni 

Mischa got a lot of flack for this dress, which is understandable.  I don’t think it was as bad as most people said though.  The sleeves are horrible and the bodice has too much beading and stuff going on, but at least she took a risk.

Molly Sims in Versace

This color rocks on her.  I’m a sucker for a low-back dress too.  The turquoise earrings look great with it too.  Another one of my best for the night, though I wish I could see what the front looks like.

Naomi Watts

I’m torn on this one–I like the cool pleating and the star brooch, but I’m so over every blond actress trying to channel Marilyn Monroe.

Plum Sykes in Pucci

I think this dress is fantastic on her.  Normally the print and the sleeves and the volume would be too much, but on her it looks fantastic.  Could do without the satiny pink clutch though.

The Rodarte Contingent

I just love Rodarte’s really artsy designs.  They are so creative and their dresses really are works of art in themselves.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Burberry

I think this is my favorite look of the night.  I don’t really know who this girl is, but she looks great in the dress, the ombre effect is so cool, and the bag matches the blue in the dress really well.  And she didn’t try to overload herself with accessories, she let the cool dress take center stage.  Perfect.

Sarah SIlverman in Dolce and Gabbana

This dress does nothing for her at all.  I’ve never been a fan of the 50’s housewife look, and this makes her look really thick in the middle.  The polka-dots are bad on this skirt too.  Ordinarily I might like the striped half-gloves, but these don’t work here.

Giselle Bundchen (in Versace) with Tom Brady

Normally I might think this dress is a little too hoochy/Versace/sex on wheels, but it’s Giselle and come on, even Tom Brady can’t keep his eyes off her she looks so fantastic in it.

Zac Posen and Kate Mara in Zac Posen

I love her dress (I guess I’m on a yellow kick), but he looks bad.  Maybe he was going for a Superman vibe (the theme of the Gala was superheroes) but together they look like a box of Crayolas gone wrong.

I read today that Karl Lagerfeld is going to be a character in the new Grand Theft Auto Vice City video game. Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that Mr. Lagerfeld is becoming a celebrity in his own right? In this month’s issue of Allure magazine there was an article about various celebs and pop culture figures who have their own doll/action figure made in their likeness. Of course, Karl Lagerfeld was one such celebrity with his own doll (oddly, his doll was the most realistic out of all of them: Beyonce just looked like a black Barbie doll, Gwen Stefani’s doll featured a head that was half the size of her body and John Travolta’s character from Hairspray was just plain freaky). Karl Lagerfeld seems to be becoming the most famous fashion designer since Coco Chanel.

I have to wonder if this newfound celebrity status cheapens Mr. Lagerfeld’s image as a high-fashion designer, or if it instead does the fashion world justice by bringing fashion icons into the popular culture lexicon. A lot of girls I know that are interested in fashion still don’t know exactly who Karl Lagerfeld is. Granted they aren’t fashion freaks and digest every bit of information in every magazine like I do, but they should at least know the designer of one of the biggest and most widely known fashion houses in the world, right?

Maybe this is a good thing and Karl Lagerfeld will become the next Lara Croft. He would certainly add something to the outfit, maybe adding leather half-gloves, black jacket and a silk necktie. You never know.

First of all you will have to excuse my infrequent postings of late–thanks to AT&T I’ve been without internet capabilities at my apartment for the last week.  

But I don’t hold grudges, so let’s move on.

I recently picked up the newest big-name guest designer item at Target, a bag by the brand Gryson.  I LOVE it.  It’s black, shiny, has gold hardware, and best of all, doesn’t look like it cost only $50.  The first thing my roommate said when she saw it was “Wow, cool bag!” in a high, excited register that only dogs can understand.

“Thanks” I say, “I got it at Target.”

My roommate has always insisted that she can never find good things at Target, while I on the other hand, have found numerous cheap and chic treasures.  The Go International idea is fantastic.  Who else besides celebrities, heiresses, or someone who married into a very rich family could afford to buy brands like Proenza Schouler, Gryson, Rafe, Libertine, and Jovovich Hawk? 

As an example, here is a picture of the bag I purchased at the price of $50:

Now here is a real Gryson bag available at the Elements boutique in Chicago:

And the price of the real McCoy?  A whopping $1295.00.  For less than 1/25 of the price of the real thing you can get one designed by the same designer, that looks just as good (if not better in my opinion), but is maybe made out of synthetic leather instead of “slate pebbled leather with navy patent leather detailing.”  

Example #2:  Here is a picture of the Proenza Schouler bustier look shown on their Fall ’05 runway.  I don’t know what it retailed for, but it was probably the price of a small child or a private island:

And here is a bustier they sold at Target under the Go International line for around $60:

See, not quite the same thing, but pretty comparable, and you won’t have to sell a kidney to get it.

Whatever.  I’d rather shop at target and be able to have extra cash around to put into my new fabulous and cheap Gryson for Target bag.

 

One of the most fun things I’ve ever done in this city is an annual event called Bay to Breakers. For those who don’t know, it’s a race in SF from the Bay Bridge to the beach, hence, Bay to Breakers. There are real athletes who participate in the race seriously and actually run, but my friends and I like to do the party route and dress up in costumes and drink with all the other lazy, crazy, (fun loving) people.

Last year we all went as figure skaters a la Blades of Glory (hilarious!). This is my brother, in the costume that I picked out for him (he was such a good sport):

Because the race was on pavement and not ice, we wore roller skates which all the other participants found to be both clever and hysterical. I do have to say though, the roller skates lost their clever edge once we started doing this:

Which led to this:

Bay to Breakers is just so much fun because it’s entirely grown ups acting like idiots and having a good time doing it. My old roommate, who is a nurse and a little bit of a uptight person, was actually doing kegstands out of a rolling shopping cart. Lots of other people dress up, some just go naked (not attractive people, only the ones who sag in places they shouldn’t). Some of my other favorite costumes were the dudes dressed up as the Beatles with a Yellow Submarine Float:

Guys dressed up like MySpace pages:

And this, which I can’t even explain:

Because the skates were such a hit last year, this year we decided to revive the idea (and perhaps consume a little less Jameson in the process). So hence the idea for 1970’s Roller Derby Girls came into fruition. This weekend my roommate Jenny and I tried to look for costume ideas. We started off at Forever 21 downtown where I had seen these disgustingly ’70s terrycloth jumpsuits with short-shorts. Who wears short-shorts? Not I, as I found out after trying on the hideous jumpsuit. But I did manage to find a great raglan-sleeve tee with a big smiley face on the back and the saying, “Come on get happy” on the front.

Next, on to Haight Street where there is an American Apparel store that has sporty ’70’s style shorts with piping down the sides (not terrycloth and not as short as the Forever 21 jumpsuit shorts).

However, the line to try on the garments was huge (don’t go to Haight on a nice Saturday afternoon in SF) and I didn’t really feel like facing another vision of myself in shorts, so Jen and I left without trying them on. So, I am still on the lookout for the perfect Rollergirl incarnation. I have the roller skates in the mail (thanks Ebay!) and I was going to wear some great striped knee-high athletic socks, so I have until May 18 to find a pair of short-shorts that will actually look semi-decent on me.

Wish me luck.

Side note:

I had wanted to go see Death Cab For Cutie at the legendary Fillmore West in San Francisco tonight, but when I went to go purchase tickets to my dismay and disbelief the tickets (for floor seats) is $115.  General Admission is $125.  For Death Cab For Cutie.  They have a couple good songs, and granted, it’s sort of last minute, but I would only pay $125 to see someone really great and/or legendary.  I didn’t even see Paul McCartney when he came to Sacramento a few years ago when he was charging $250 per ticket, and he’s A FREAKING BEATLE.  Take a note, Death Cab For Cutie (or the band’s promoters, or the Fillmore, or whoever is in charge of ticket prices I’m not sure), I’m not going to pay that much to see you, ever, and I like your music.  Instead, tonight I’ll be doing my laundry.  My towels needed washing anyway.

As an interesting juxtaposition to my tomboy-like tendencies, I like to play with makeup.  In fact, my lip gloss collection is something to be marveled at (and stupefied by.  Believe me, I know I have every color I could possibly need already.  I KNOW THAT.  I just need to buy new ones.  Why?  Because I’m sick, that’s why).  That’s why last night I went to something called “Sephora University” here in San Francisco for a Bare Escentuals event.  

I love Bare Escentuals.  For those who aren’t familiar with this brand, it is a makeup line that specializes in all-natural, good-for-your-skin mineral makeup.  I can’t say how much I love love LOVE their foundation.  Nothing else looks as good on my skin, and because it’s a sheer powder I don’t get that awful makeup-mask line where your neck meets your face and makes you look like you’re in some kind of Japanese Kabuki Theater Troupe or something.  I hate that.  OK, enough with the free advertisement, but it really is great and you should try it (http://www.bareescentuals.com/).  So the Sephora store here in SF decided to invite the creator and CEO of Bare Escentuals, Leslie Blodgett (that’s her above in the pic), to come and teach this “master class” to Sephora Insiders (an Insider is someone who owns one of those free frequent buyer cards, and of course I’m one because as we’ve already established, I’m a sick, sick makeup-aholic).  It was actually a really great deal, because all you had to do was pay a $25.00 fee to hold your spot, which can later be redeemed at the event for merchandise.  And because I would probably buy something anyway, it’s a win/win for me.

So my Mom and I (I’ve recently converted her to loving Bare Escentuals too) signed up for the class and she drove down from the Sierra foothills where she lives last night for the event.  I stayed with her at the Hilton, even though I live here and she doesn’t.  I just love hotels.  Plus I got a free continental breakfast and Crabtree&Evelyn mini shower products set out of it.  Aside from being 20 minutes late to the event (I stupidly didn’t read the invitation and didn’t realize that this class wasn’t in fact not at the Sephora store on Powell like I thought, but was instead at a separate location 10 blocks away), it was very interesting.  The place we arrived at was a big office building in the financial district, and after being taken up in elevators decorated with Sephora’s curvy black and silver logos, we arrived at our destination and was greeted by Maggie Rizer in turquoise eyeliner and pink lipstick.  Well, not Maggie herself, but a big poster of her, along with many other Sephora ads and posters lining the hallway.  We were led to a room full of probably thirty large square tables covered with Bare Escentuals products.  Each table fit about six people, and on each seat was a gift bag full of Sephora goodies (See?  I even got free swag out of this sweet deal!).

Leslie Blodgett, a thin, stylish brunette with a powerful voice and sleek white designer dress, was on a stage in front of the room talking about Bare Escentuals (or BE for my fingers’ sake).  She also had 2 makeup artists on stage with her, doing the makeup on 2 models, one using the Fair/Light makeup kit (provided for our examination and experimentation at our tables) and one using the Medium/Dark kit.  There were 2 more kits for a total of 4 different skin tones, each on our tables.  They had a before/after shot of each model after the makeup artists did their thang, which was probably devastating for the models because they did the before sans makeup (my worst nightmare–I am not what you would call a “natural beauty”.  I need at least concealer and mascara to make myself even the least bit presentable).

Then came the most exciting part of the evening (though I didn’t know it at the time).  Leslie Blodgett decided to raffle off a piece of jewelry she had bought that day to a lucky participant at the event.  And to what did my wondering ears did hear?  4-9-8-0-6-1.  Me.  That was my seat and my number on the ticket right in front of me oh my god I think I actually won something!!!  You have to understand, I have never one ANYTHING like this before.  I’m not usually lucky like that.  Lucky in some other ways, bet never in the random-winning-of-goods-and-prizes way.  My mom looked at me in joy and disbelief, and I knew it was real.  So I had to go up on the stage and accept my piece of jewelry from Ms. Blodgett herself.  I hate going up in front of lots of people, but if it’s to accept free pieces of jewelry from a multi-millionaire, well I’ll suck it up.  I came back to my seat and opened my package and…. it was a very delicate, almost transparently so, silver chain necklace with a tiny wishbone charm on it.  It was dainty, delicate, kind of not me, but I liked it.  It was from a brand of jewelry I’ve actually bought for my Mom and Grandma called Dogeared.  They make pieces that are on rope-type chains, and once the rope wears away and the necklace falls off, your wish will supposedly come true.  I gave up on the rope breaking after about 3 months straight of wear, but the one I bought my Grandma supposedly wore off, according to her.  Maybe she just told me that so she wouldn’t have to constantly wear it anymore.  Kidding.  I think.  Anyway, this silver chain version was more expensive looking (i.e. not on rope but on silver) and was something I actually won, so I think it is truly a good luck charm.  (I’m wearing it again today, and I actually scored a free full-size lip gloss from a girl at the Laura Mercier counter at Nordstrom.  So it must be lucky, right?).

The rest of the event was good, though it couldn’t compare to the excitement of winning something.  A makeup artist came to each of the tables and helped everyone at that table out with playing with the various BE products provided for our entertainment.  She color matched foundation on people that hadn’t used the product before, told us which color kit we should use, and answered whatever questions we had about the brand.  My only beef about this even was that they didn’t bring any extra eyeshadow colors for us to play with, only the ones that came in each of the color kits.  When I do my makeup I mainly like to play with my eyeshadow colors, so that’s what I was looking forward to.  But it was a really informative event.  We had little sheets in front of us for us to mark off the products we wanted to use our $25 fee to purchase, and after complimentary wine and dessert we were shown into a little room to put in our orders.  I ended up buying a bronzer called Faux-Tan (I don’t like tanning but also don’t like looking like a ghost), a cool mascara called Big Tease (the wand is double sided, with one side being a regular mascara wand and the other side being more of a teaser to get right to the base of the lashes), and a lip gloss kit with 4 mini sized tubes of tropical colored lip gloss (did I not mention before how sick I am?).  After the $25 redemption I ended up spending about $40.  Not bad.  My mom ended up spending about $100.00, but her bank account can afford it.  Mine can’t.

Sephora needs to do more of these Master Classes with their other brands.  I would go to all of them in a heartbeat.  It really felt like Sephora values their customers and went all out to make this a great event.  My thanks to Ms. Blodgett for the necklace too, I’m sure it will bring me luck.  And if not, who cares?  I got a free necklace and more lipgloss.  Score!