2010-03-31

Imaginary Etsy

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I seem to have gotten lost on the way to the rodeo when I showed up to the final exam of my night course wearing this. No one notices what I wear though, the teacher dresses like a used car salesman and steals all the attention with his glitzy gold jewelry and pointy loafers.


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Boots? thrifted
Jeans? Gap
Tie-dye shirt? h&m (Matt's)
Denim shirt? thrifted
Plaid blazer? Gap, thrifted
Scarf? h&m, won from The Small Fabric of My Life (thanks again!)


A lot of pattern mixing and layering going on here but my shoes are the favourite part of my outfit. I also scored these at the Salvation Army 50% off sale in Winnipeg. So many details to love about these boots but they were labelled as a size 8.5 so I never thought that they would fit. Yet, I couldn't put the boots back and I bought them to resell. The Cinderella moment happened when I got back to Hamilton and was trying them on for fun...
Yes... so about buying stuff so I can sell it... apparently I have an imaginary Etsy store... If it's awesome and it doesn't fit me, I might still take it home because I can't just leave it. But then I get too overwhelmed to commit to selling clothing online...
Maybe it's the spring fever or the fact that Christen just got some stuff in her life figured out, but lately I can't stop thinking about where in the heck I am going with my life. It's not true that money is the root of all evil... thinking is. My brain hurts...
Most of the time, I assure you I am a fun friend, maybe even too fun... But during these times of over analyzing my life and its direction, I sympathize with my friends who bounce their happy babies on their knees and are forced to once again listen to my rantings about growing up. I think there is a two-year grace period after graduation when you are allowed to make rash decisions and be unsure... after that, it's time to get over yourself and make it work. In one month it will be 4 years (!) since I finished my degree in Fashion Design and I'm not sure I'm any closer to figuring it all out... If my life were a movie, the happy ending would be where I 'follow my heart and do what makes me happy'. Which is bullshit because there would definitely be a complicated sequel. Besides... what is happy? I love my job as a landscaper but am I challenging myself enough? Will I still love it in 10 years? Is there room to grow? Should I sell my soul and start my own landscaping company? Should I advance in a management direction and lose what I love best about my job (being outside) but gain new skills? Should I start an etsy store (because Etsy, Modcloth and a fashion blogger is the most natural threesome)? Will I love it (selling clothes online, not the threesome...)? Is selling vintage clothing online a natural business opportunity for me or is it already on the verge of being overplayed? And what am I doing with my degree?
That is the edited list of questions that I ask myself; there are many more... It's selfish to think that I'm the only girl in this world struggling to find out where she belongs. I know there are plenty of people dreaming of escape while they put in hours every week at their not-quite perfect job. I promise you, I won't rant and rave about this subject too often on my blog... it's a little too personal. Besides, this weekend promises to bring sunshine and unnaturally warm temperatures. Thankfully that will distract me from my inner battles as I will need to find the answer to the most pressing question of all; what should I wear when I debut my bare legs this year?

2010-03-29

Better Than the Teenage Years

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Cargos? thrifted
Sheer/jersey top? h&m
Blazer? Braemar, thrifted
Shoes? Derek Lam, Holt's Last Call
Belt? Michael Kors? Winners
Rings? Rose; gifted, braided band; found on street, cats; from my Mama


I'm so glad that cargo pants have grown up since highschool. Back then I wore my cargo pants with my over sized, fleece, Gap sweater. I hadn't really thought of juxtaposing something baggy with something form fitting, so I was just another shapelessly dressed teenager of the 90's. Actually, I didn't wear my cargo pants that much because as a tall kid, I hated that the pants were always a touch too short for me and when it was windy, they whipped around my legs and exposed all the glory of my size 10 feet in my skater shoes. Wow, I'm being really open and honest today... I just admitted to three relatively major fashion blunders; fleece, unintentional flood pants and platypus shaped skater shoes.... I think I need a comforting hug after that over share.
I was a happy kid to find these cargos at the 50% off sale at Salvation Army. They were just what I was hoping to find for spring; grown up khakis that will be fun to dress up and dress down. The only downfall of these khakis is that while they have some awesome features, they also have one major design flaw. The buttons up the back that naturally taper the pant leg, the serious hardware and purse sized pockets rock my socks but the snap button fly was not thought through. I take a breath, I snap a button open, I eat an m&m, I snap the button open again, I pet a cat (and when I do this, I have to make the rounds and pet the other two) and the button pops too. I know this winter was a little inactive and the pants may be a bit tight at the waist but snap button fly openings are a stupid idea, regardless of whether or not I have some extra winter insulation. So, the belt held up the pants 100%. And you thought I wore it because it looked nice...

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2010-03-27

Stay Fabulous Friday

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Skirt? BCBG, thrifted
Tee? Joe Fresh
Cardi? Kieran, Winners
Purse? Elliot Lucca, Winners
Ankle boots? Aldo
Bracelets? Crazy lady at The Ex.
Necklace? F21
I forgot to get dressed this week... OK, I am sure that's not true, I must have made it out of the house appropriately covered, as I didn't get any 'Being Nekkid in Public Tickets' (anyone ever had one and knows the actual name for this offense?) but I don't remember really caring this week. That's weird, usually getting dressed takes precedence over anything else in this house... Yesterday I actually put some effort in. I would have been content to wear something non-descript but Erin decided that yesterday was Stay Fabulous or Get Slapped Friday and I wanted to respect her command. In retaliation for all those who got pinched on St. Patty's, she created this day. I didn't feel like getting slapped so I. got. dressed.
I was running late to meet some friends (as usual, except for to work, then I am very punctual) and I couldn't find anything to wear so I grabbed this BCBG skirt I thrifted. I was totally ready to dismiss this skirt a while back...how stupid would that have been? This whole outfit was as comfortable as wearing a track suit. And the skirt is really versatile, it holds whatever length you put it at. In a few short seconds I can go from ...

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...getting a job to...

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... getting a man.
I kid... Matt likes me for my brain, for the 3 (!) homemade and healthy dinners I made this week and for the fact that I say inappropriate things at the wrong time. He also loves taking my outfit pictures at midnight, downtown, with flash and with people driving by... Yeah, not the wisest choice... I only had 7 pictures to choose from. Oh well... how cool does the vegetation in the background look?

Who Won?

If your name is Kaye Star and you email me before March 30th, 2010, a pretty bucket bag is all yours....
Everyone else, thanks for entering...who knew that a discussion about favourite fruits and stolen produce (and opals!) could be so interesting and funny?

2010-03-24

Shelf Life

My blog is officially ancient... I'm re-blogging an old post. Don't worry it's better this time... Since the first post my camera has been upgraded, the shelves have been painted and the shoes have multiplied (like bunnies... it's natural).
One of the things I love most about my old, pretty, little house, are the built in bookshelves. Instant charm...like dimples on a baby. Sometimes I wish I was one of those people who could live in a pristine house and dutifully dust the one vase that adorned the room... but, it's just not going to happen. I'm a bit of a clutter fiend and these shelves that cover the one wall of our living room give me a place to keep some of the clutter at bay and are a great way to display some interesting bits of our lives. I say, our lives, but it's mostly my stuff on display... Matt did have one of those Maple Leafs Stanley Cups that came in a 24 of beer on the shelf but at some point that mysteriously disappeared.

Some items of interest...(my labelling begs Kendi's forgiveness for being so sub-par...)

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1. A shelf full of artifacts from my family's years of living in Korea. My Oma (Papa's side) later sent me these paper cut-outs, which were framed. They are so pretty and remind me of a woman who's tenacity and style I have always admired.
2. A vintage umbrella that my parents gave me. They give the coolest stuff...
3. An antique hide skinner (?). A few years back, we went as a family to a local antique show. We had a contest within the family to see who could find the most interesting thing for under $10. We even asked a antique vendor to judge us... Matt found this old tool for $15 and told the lady our story of why he needed to buy it for $10. She let him have it because our dorky family competition tugged at herl heart strings... I thought he was on the way to an easy victory but for some reason the judge picked my martini swirler (?) that had a naked bum on top of it and said 'bottoms up'... I think Matt deserved that victory. I should have shared the chocolates I won.
4. Our wedding invitation. No envelope, no reply cards, no inter-twined doves... of all things related to our wedding, this was my favourite part. It was just 'us'. Matt's hockey skates and my fancy shoes on a postcard...
5. My other Oma's old clutch and Bible. I feel really lucky to have these things.
6. A wedding photograph of my Oma and Opa (Mama's side). They were together forever but had to wait until after the war to get married.

I love these shelves... so many memories in such a small space. Are you a sentimental old fool, a pack rat, a displayer of all things pretty...or, (shocking!) a clean and pristine kinda person?

2010-03-23

Ain't No Sunshine

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Blouse? Joe Fresh
Belt? ?, Winners
Boots? Naturalizer, thrifted
Gloves? Steve Madden, Winners
Bangle? thrifted
Hat? UO
Cape? Joe Fresh
Jeans? Zara

I missed all the good weather. I left Ontario when it was just starting to warm up nicely and ended up in cold Winnipeg. Then, when I got home again, all the balmy temperatures were gone and it is now miserable, cold and rainy. I decided to embrace the cold with a classic, cosy outfit. Sure I had to swallow my sadness at the sight of other bloggers exposed knees and elbows, but winter can't hold me down. That's right Winter! You want a piece of me?
So, I've been gone this weekend visiting a friend in Winnipeg. I think she moved there about 6 years ago to teach Grade 3 for a year. She told me she would be back. I told her she would find a man and start a family. She said no way... Guess who has a mortgage, a husband and a baby?
We spent the weekend watching way too many movies, making fancy dinners and shopping(!!!!?). In general, I try not to generalize (though I generally still do), but Winnipeg is not the most fashion forward city. Which was awesome because a lot of good stuff gets left behind to get reduced over and over again. I'm sorry to anyone fashionable who lives in Winnipeg, we totally cleaned off the Joe Fresh sales racks at 4 Superstores (the cape...$10) and did the rounds at seven thrift stores (the boots...Goodwill). Let's just say that my luggage was significantly heavier on the way back. Who would've thought that I would have shopped 10X more in Winnipeg than Paris?

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PS. Thanks Looks and Books for featuring me as the look of the week... I truly appreciate it.
Oh ya... and I did an interview for Jennifer from Bright, Bold and Unexpected. I feel like I've done a lot of interviews lately and I'm thrilled people care (or do they?) but I think I'm going to start making up answers as I would like you all to think I'm awfully exciting.... click here for my final truthful interview. From here on in I start lying....

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P.S. #2... I had major problems uploading this post yesterday (mostly my own fault) and I kept losing pictures and I just now saw that my favourite boot shot got lost in the shuffle... so I'll share it because it's important... real important.

2010-03-19

A Gift to You

Last week I stole some grapes. That's right, I walked out of the grocery store with my bag full of groceries on one arm and a bag full of grapes on the other. I didn't notice until I was half way home. Did your mom ever tell you that stolen grapes would taste bad? She lied, they were delicious. But I did feel guilty.
So, I'm giving away this vintage bag (I'm guessing this bag, in mint condition, is from the 90's, is that vintage yet?) from my collection. I don't think that giving a bag away will make it alright that I stole grapes... more likely I just want to thank all you guys for being pretty amazing. I know I confessed to some unpleasant aspects of blogging a while back, but those aspects are the demons within myself. My readers have been nothing but awesome.

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I chose this bag because it's leather, it's pretty and Lucky magazine just did a whole page on bucket bags, and if Lucky says that a bag is cool, you all better be listening! This giveaway is sponsored by Jentine's Outrageous Collection of Things.
Because I'm cool like that, I had a little fun and styled it up....

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Here's how to enter the giveaway, the rules are simple...

1. You have to actually want the bag, don't just enter because you are a contest maniac and feel a compulsive need to enter everything (I watched a tv show on professional contesters, crazy stuff...)
2. Never steal grapes.
3. Leave a comment and tell me your favourite fruit.
4. That's it (one entry per person clearly...).

I'll draw a winner in the middle of next week! Go get 'em!

P.S. My internet wanderings have been limited the last few days because I'm pretending that I'm a normal person without deep-ties to the information super highway while I'm out here visiting a friend! She's cleaning the house right now so I snuck off to blog this... I'm a bad, sneaky friend.

CONTEST CLOSED!

2010-03-16

Social Klass

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Trench? Mackage, Winners
Skinny jeans? Gap
Boots? ?, Winners
Plaid shirt? Ralph lauren, thrifted
Necklace? antique show
Wood handled clutch? Old Navy... but thrifted

I feel so bad for those poor housewives of Orange County and New York... they seem to think that their social standing will rise along with the size of their lips. The truth is, nothing says 'I'm a classy broad' like a perfect trench. My trench mitigates (is this the right way to use this word or am I pretending to be smart?) the fact that my nails are really chipped, that my jeans attract a lot of the cat hair and threads that are in abundance in our house right now and that my linen shirt is in constant need of a press. All those things fade to the background in the presence of a great trench coat...
Initially I was unsure of whether I should use the clutch with this outfit or not... looking back on the pictures I'm glad I grabbed it. It is really a great pop of colour and the bit of pattern mixing isn't bad either... I convinced myself that the navy and kelly green clutch was good fit because the purple (I wish you could see that better...) of my jeans was undoubtedly a result of mixing navy with a pinch of red. Hence navy is the common denominator... simple mathematics really....

ps. I feel like I just won an Easter colouring contest and took home the 10 lb. chocolate bunny and I don't have to share with any of my brothers!... I won the Capsule Challenge that The Small Fabric of my Life issued out! Yeah! I was bent on using my newly found capsule skills since I'm flying out to meet a friend tomorrow but I just learned I can take 144 lbs of luggage with me! Thanks WestJet!

2010-03-14

Booty Search

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Dress? Gap, thrifted
Jacket? Zara
Boots? Aldo
Tights? ?
Beret? Calvin Klein, winners
Eelskin clutch? thrifted
Ring? gifted
Bracelets? auction and UO

I'm dressed a little more soberly than usual, but I finally got new black ankle boots!
I've been on the look out for a nice pair of black ankle boots for months now. The first time I went looking in earnest I ended up with nude pumps, then I went again a month later and bought Stella McCartney clogs, and then Frye open toes... Discouraged with the lack of selection and my lack of concentration, I went looking online. Understand I never shop online, ever... (Linda and Kendi, you've heard this story already, please skip a few sentences) but I typed 'black booties' into my google search and ...lo and behold, a lot of sites came up but none that sold shoes. My bad. This weekend I finally found a pair I liked enough to take home. Not the perfect pair that was in my mind but pretty close and I knew I had to buy them because the stores are already filling up with metallic sandals. The studded ankle straps are a little more edgy than I am (though this one time... I stayed up until 3 am...) but I never participated in the stud trend of the last year, so I thought they were OK. Besides, they can be removed. One boot, two looks... they need to sell these on the Shopping Channel with that tag line.

I feel pretty brave wearing a hemline that hits me between my ankle and knee. I thrifted the dress with the intention of shortening it but I thought 'Why do I need to do that again?'. High, high heels take this look out of the conservative range and all-in-all, I liked it. Not bad for a back-up outfit...

Yes, a back-up outfit. Are you ready for sad story?

I will preface it by saying that I realize I'm a fortunate girl with lots of dresses but it's still sad...
I recently thrifted the most perfect dress. It was a black, knit Ports International dress, 100% wool (they just don't make them like that anymore), long enough to be appropriate but short enough to be fun. It had perfectly molded shoulder pads, it was flattering at 10 lbs. heavier or ligher and had perfect batwing sleeves. I could go on but you understand, it was perfect. I try my best to wash my thrifted stuff, obviously I won't clean sequins though and I can't afford to dry clean everything so I gently hand wash it most of it. I hand washed this sweater dress (though it had no signs of wear) and I spun it in the gentle cycle so when it was hung it up it wouldn't be too heavy or too wrung out. It wasn't until I put it on later that I noticed tiny holes everywhere. I had spun it with a wool sweater with a zipper and the zipper must have worn through the delicate wool. It's beyond repair... my heart broke a little. Again, how stupid... I went downstairs to tell Matt my sad story and perhaps garner some sympathy. He looked dutifully sad and told me that at least I'd know what not to do the next time I find a perfect wool dress. Yes, thank-you Captain Obvious.

Out take of the day:

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Didn't see this sign until later. Guess who looks like a fool on some one's security tape?

2010-03-12

A Sneak Peak

I don't usually show or write about dresses that I'm working on until after they have made their trip down the aisle. I honestly don't really know why I feel so exposed when I show anything I've made but if you want a whole rehash of my love/hate relationship with designing, check here. Right now I'm on the love side of the design cycle. I've taken on a few projects recently and they are all ones that are pretty exciting. I have six black bridesmaid dresses to do... the skirts are all the same with a pleated, tulip waist and pockets and the tops of the dresses are all different. Level-headed Jentine says that I'm a fool for making custom tops for everyone since the range is really wide and it's a lot more work. Passionate Jentine says that it's so much more fun this way... Passionate Jentine wins, she's way cooler anyways...

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I just finished this dress (OK, I still have to get buttonholes done and sew on a hook and eye, don't be technical) and it melts my heart a little. It's simple, sweet, unexpected with the back opening and can totally be worn again. I know the whole 'you can wear it again' thing can be the kiss of death...chances are you are not going to wear your floor length, highlighter blue dress ever, anywhere (yes, you know who you are)... but I think this is completely versatile. Wear it to the office with a white blouse underneath and a black leather belt and then lop 5 inches off the bottom and wear it out dancing...

2010-03-11

Young Love

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Dress? thrifted
Vest? old Gap
Belt? thrifted
Bag? vintage Roots, thrifted
Denim jacket? French Connection
Boots? Kenneth Cole, Winners
Necklace? thrifted
Sunglasses? vintage Steffi Graf, gifted

I bought this dress at a thrift store last year when I had just fallen in love. The world of fashion blogging had come to steal my time and I remember finding What I Wore's site and falling head-over-heels for Jessica's aesthetic. Yes, she has since had the whole comments debacle and she wears too many crazy coloured tights for my close-minded tastes (I'm trying...) but you can't deny that girl can work.it.out. When I first found her site last year, she was wearing tons of vintage and I was so inspired by her ability to wear clothing from any decade , while keeping the vintage appeal and yet, making the look current. Suddenly dresses that used to scare me in the thrift stores were coming home with me on a regular basis. One of those times I brought home this cotton, floral dress with visions of how Jessica would style it. And then that never happened... In the soft glow of young love, I ignored the fact that the dress has some weird fit issues going on across the top, so every time I tried it on, I was always disappointed with the results. Apparently, it took me a year to realize that a vest could hide a multitude of sins...

This is one of those outfits that requires a beautiful day. Yes, I liked the outfit enough but the half-frozen bay and golden sunlight (no photo editing, just magic lighting and a patient Matthew...) definitely bring out the best of it. Later that night I went to class and it felt different under the fluorescent lights. Slightly conservative and unusual. Once again some college girl gave me the dirtiest look and this time I got a bit offended. I give dirty looks to girls too but those looks are only meant to pick up where one's mother left off. If you are wearing a teeny skirt and have the chest exposed as well, than obviously you missed the lesson on over-exposure. My dirty look is a rebuke, intended to save you from making such a grave mistake again. The look I got from this girl was disdain, maybe because I looked a touch country bumpkin? Screw you witch... I looked good under the fading light of the setting sun....check my blog...*

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* I'm OK, I've calmed down. I just hate the haters who steal the joy out of dressing up with their hatoration/hateration (not sure how to spell that word actually)...

UPDATE: You guys are too kind, seriously. I know I shouldn't take the cut-eye personally and I really don't usually. This cut-eye was the meanest I've ever had though... that's why I turned into a sad baby... I am over it now! Really!

2010-03-09

Time to Let Go

I've been trying really hard to de-clutter this winter. I have a difficult time letting go of stuff, I get all emotionally attached, but our house is only so big (or so small) and for the sake of my sanity, I needed to re-organize. One of the biggest space offenders in our house is magazines. I love pretty pictures and useless information, so I'm a sucker for the glossies. We get some subscriptions but I also just buy them on a whim and when I see a stack and estimate how much they cost me, I cry a little inside for the pair of shoes (nice ones!) that could have been purchased instead. I'm trying to cut down on the number of magazines in the house by going through the archives and making tough decisions (like the Bachelor, only tougher...). It's really fun to page through magazines from a few years back and wonder at how trends and life played out. Two things struck me about fashion magazines from 2004 and onward...

#1. Fringes, lace, nude and bows will always be declared a 'hot new trend' in some magazine every season.
#2. Mischa Barton used to dress really nice... like Best Dressed List nice, what happened?

Surviving the winter purge so far is Vogue, Lucky, Elle and In Style. My Glamours and Cosmos got cut...sorry kids. I worry a little that I should save them because how else will I know 'Men's New Sexual Needs' (actual title) and other important news? I actually think that Glamour has very attractive editorials though, so I went through and ripped out anything inspiring first. The torn pages of these past editorials provided me with my new 'must-have' list...

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#1. A ridiculously pretty see-through white dress with a bold and sassy floral slip.
#2. A knit body suit. I'm pretty sure I'd look scary but I still want one.
#3. A full length khaki skirt with pleats and tucks...sigh.
(I feel a little bad because I don't have direct references for these images as I threw out the magazines... which was the whole purpose of my clean sweep, remember? )

What do you guys do with your old magazines? What magazines makes the cut? And do you feel guilty about the ones you recycle?

2010-03-08

A Glitter Off

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Pleated pants? Liz Claiborne, thrifted
Silk sequin top? thrifted years ago
Leather blazer? Thrifted and altered
Shoes? Steve Madden, DSW
Clutch? Hilary Radley, Style Sense
Rings? wedding, gifted and the sparkly green one is made by Linda
Earrings? antique, gifted
The other day I was putting my canned goods in alphabetical order and I thought to myself 'I really need to find some more interesting blogs to waste my time at'. That day, I found Clyde's Rebirth. It turns out that Merl (the brain and beauty behind the Clyde's Rebirth blog and jewelry line) and I will forever be linked through the magic that is the world wide web because our love for sparkly clothing is only topped by our love for our feline friends. In short, we make 'crazy cat lady' look good...
Through our conversations, it appeared we both had the same vintage butterfly sequin shirt. We agreed to have a 'glitter off' this weekend. A 'glitter off' suggests competition and quite frankly I don't believe in competing against friends, unless I'm stealing cute boyfriends. This was more the kick in the butt I needed to wear this shirt again. I bought two of these babies over 5 years ago (gold and silver) and I gave one to my best friend, who has since given it back, as I'm the certifiably crazy one who wears weird stuff. I've seen this shirt is magazines, on blogs, at Halloween parties... it's a popular one! I can't wait until it's warm enough to wear this with high-waisted shorts in the summer... we'll have to do a 'Glitter Off Round 2' in the summer (you in, Merl?) and maybe we should raise the stakes then. The winner gets a bag of premium cat food or something....

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Even my shadow listens to me. I told it to pose.

P.S. Clare aired my dirty laundry this weekend. She did a great feature on me and asked some good questions. Yup, really good questions, ones that make me, like... think and stuff. One of the highlights of the interview is me opening up about my short lived athletic career... did you know I was a basketball genius?