greetings from shady pines: TV & fashion

i haven’t written in a while. & i did not recap the “top model” finale. once again, my apologies. but once the season is over, it’s really hard for me to muster up the energy to give a fuck, you know? krista won, i knew she would, raina was a finalist, i knew she would be…the whole thing was pretty anti-climactic. neither of them even had hilariously ridiculous sob stories like overcoming psoriasis or struggling to walk a runway guided by only a strobe light when one is epileptic. both krista & raina felt unattractive as adolescents. has there ever been an adolescent that didn’t feel ugly? what a yawn. i do think it’s weird that CW chose to air the cycle clip show last night–after everything was already over. once we know who wins, why the fuck would we want to sit & watch a clip show full of manufactured drama we’ve already seen? i mean, i’ll probably watch it anyway, because it’s been really rainy & sometimes when it’s rainy, i like to sit around & watch mindless TV. but it does seem like a programming faux pas.

speaking of programming faux paseseses, how awful was last week’s episode of “lost”? i watched it & it was like something inside of me broke & suddenly i was overwhelmed with what an incredibly terrible television show “lost” actually is. thank god i didn’t devote the last six years of my life to it–only the last two months. i can write off two months. we all make mistakes. take it from someone who saw every episode of the american version of “farmer wants a wife” (spoiler: he chooses brooke). “farmer wants a wife” might actually be better than “lost”. i will watch the finale, & i admit that this week’s episode was a small step up in quality, but i’ve officially hit my wall.

mostly i have been reading a lot. & watching “the wire” with jared. now that jared is done with his first year of grad school (go jared!), he has had some time to sit around to do nothing. he already watched “the wire” once with his brother, but now he has gotten me into it. every time something terrible happens to one my favorite characters, i have to imagine the camera pulling back to reveal all the TV equipment & microphones & such forth everywhere, & the actor getting up & asking for a towel to rid themselves of the red corn syrup in which they are covered.

i started reading just kids by patti smith yesterday. i am reserving judgment until i am finished, but…i’m having a bit of trouble feeling invested. she used the word “vexed” twice in the first chapter. “vexed”? seriously? is she louisa may alcott?

kansas had had a lot of thunderstorms recently. thunderstorms in the midwest are different from thunderstorms on the east coast. i feel that there is a lot more thunder in the midwest. jared tried to disgree with me about this, & i’m not saying that thunder never happens on the east coast, but there are more thunderstorms in the midwest & more powerful thunder-free rainstorms on the east coast. this matters because charlotte is an east coast cat, so thunder is not a concept with which she is intimately familiar. probably no cat really likes thunder, but the cats i had when i was growing up in ohio handled it better than charlotte does. charlotte seems to think that the thunder is gonna get her, but only if it can see her face. so when it gets especially loud, she skulks into the kitchen & hides her head under the curtain under the sink. she’ll just sit there for huge stretches of time with her head under the curtain, waiting for the thunder to stop.

also lately, i have been feeling strangely old. when i was in high school, i used to be amused but also disturbed by old photos of my parents wearing fashions from the 70s. my mom had huge glasses & parted her hair down the middle & apparently made some effort to straighten it (not that it really worked). she wore bell bottom jeans with big square pockets on the front & lynyrd skynyrd t-shirts & such forth. my dad also had really long hair parted down the middle, but since he looked pretty much exactly the same for his entire adult life, i was more freaked out by pictures of him trying to look “nice” in perma-press olive-colored slacks & geometric print cosby sweatshirts & whatnot. also, he wore a white top hat to his own wedding. not cool.

then i would look in the mirror at what i was wearing. this is when i was 14 or so, which means i dressed like a “sassy” photo spread as much as possible. we’re talking sunflower-print baby doll dresses, engineer boots, enormously over-sized flannels, paisley polyester button-downs teamed with brown old man slacks, braided topknots, face glitter, etc. & i would wonder, is this look going to seem as dated in twenty years as my parents’ photos from 1973 look now? i found it difficult to imagine that i would ever want to wear anything EXCEPT ironic funky winkerbean ringer tees & silver airwalks. i mean, how could such a look ever go out of style? just one more example of the general short-sightedness of the average teenager.

i still think about this kind of thing a lot though. now that i am thirty, when i put my hair up in a bun & put on some nice straight-leg corduroys & sauconys & thick-framed glasses & a scoop-neck tee & a hoodie (my daily uniform…on those rare occasion when my daily uniform is not just pajamas), i wonder if i will look back at photos in twenty years & think i look like a jackass. or if my kids will look back at photos of me from now & laugh. there are little sartorial signposts that seem totally innocuous in the moment, & look totally dated & embarrassing just a few years later. like, remember when everyone was shaping their brows so have a really thin tail back in 2002-2005 or so? seriously, watch any movie or TV show from then, or look at any issue of “harper’s bazaar” or “elle” or whatever, & every celebrity (& hence, average american woman who follows mainstream beuaty trends) has the same eyebrow shape. & no one has that shape anymore. it just screams 2004.

sometimes i think about this kind of thing & feel unaccountably bummed out. it’s a reminder that time really does pass & the past is the past, never to be lived again. i spend a lot of time in my head (as opposed to hanging out with other people), so sometimes i forget that.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

3 thoughts on “greetings from shady pines: TV & fashion

  1. This week’s episode was less shitty than last week’s, but I am so mad about how horrible this season has been. I invested about three years in this show (I was late to the game as well, but not as late as you – jealous!), and I hate how all the science-y/time-travel stuff that made it so cool to me has been reduced to Jesus metaphors and protecting the magic well of vague magicness. AND I HATE how the writers are being smug asses about how awesome their show still is. No, no it isn’t.

    1. i was pretty into the season at first. i liked seeing ben as a high school teacher. but then it just started dragging, failing to answer questions, introducing new characters i don’t give a fuck about (i cheered during the last episode when smoke monster locke killed zoe), not advancing the plot at all. on the island, it’s been a whole season of people just trooping back & forth across the island, swinging by hydra island, not accomplishing anything, & getting killed. we still don’t know why widmore came to the island & what would be so awful about the smoke monster getting off the island. & maybe we will get answers to those things in the finale, but it’s taken so long, i don’t even care anymore. if this whole thing turns out to be some weird christian parable, i am going to be very disappointed. i can’t even follow a lot of the mythology crap because i don’t really know anything about christianity. all those references go over my head. but jared pointed out that the english language bible richard is reading in his back story episode would be considered heretical by the catholic church of the era. there are huge oversights like that that just really piss me off. the writers really seem to think the audience is stupid. at least “farmer wants a wife” didn’t talk down to me, you know?

  2. It’s good to know that I’m not the only person who watched “Farmer Wants a Wife”. Too bad it only lasted one summer season.

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