ragtags studio central: sarah's random this & that

random means "having no definite aim or purpose," (1655), taken from "at random" (1565), "at great speed" (thus, "carelessly, haphazardly"). In 1980s college student slang, it somehow, and sadly, acquired a distinct sense of "inferior, undesirable." (Online Etymology Dictionary, Douglas Harper) Well, okay, fine, Mr. Online Etymology Dictionary person, but THIS is the 21st Century. It's a whole new ball of wax.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Baby, It's Cold Outside, However, a warming trend is expected for the weekend

Happy Friday all you kidz out there in Internet Land!
Are you SOOO proud of my determination and for once, stick-to-itiveness? While it's true I may have failed (head bowed in shame, forgot) to post on Nov. 2, 8, 10, 11, that still means 12 out of the last 16 days I have posted at least some little something. As Dante would say, "3/4 of the time". As Adam Sandler would say, "Not too shabby!"
Yesterday I let Dante borrow my blog for the night - he only put up the video of himself with no commentary. I asked him if he would actually add some writing if he had A Blog of His Own. The result? Yes, he is now the owner of his own blogspot. Still refining it - his most frequently uttered words while setting it up were: "I can always change this, right?" My feelings exactly. One of the pluses? When I looked over what he had written this morning, the spelling was PERFECT! Forgetting what year it is for a sec, I was all, "Hey, how come everything is spelled perfectly?" He looked at me like I was more than a little dense, but very patiently replied, "The red lines. . ."
Oy! What was I thinking. . .

Anyway, my real subject today is a coat - rather the lack thereof. Rather, MY personal lack thereof. "Let me 'splain."

Growing up, we had no money for clothes. No exaggeration, we really didn't. I mostly wore the cast-offs of otherwise-sized girl cousins. Magy, my grandmother, was an expert seamstress - as a matter of fact she and my Grandad had a clothing manufacturing business for a time. Occasionally she made me a dress which actually fit and oh, those cute little smocked ginghams were swell. But rare. In 7th grade I actually learned to sew for myself, but was ill-advised by the home ec teacher. Only when I started reading SEVENTEEN and following my own (pretty good as it turned out) instinct did I start to look passable on a regular basis.
When I was 17 I moved out of my mum and dad's (they were still together back in those days). It was 1971, one of those years when traveling peddlers showed up - at least in Albuquerque - with these AMAZING coats from Afghanistan. Embroidered leather. Big pockets. Lined with - something - sheep, or maybe mountain goat's wool. I was making $1 an hour at the University of New Mexico Child Care Co-op, but my rent was cheap, the farmer's market and L&V Mexican Food provided maximum sustenance for next to nothing and I made my own (relatively few) clothes, except for the India Import pieces I borrowed from my girlfriend Maureen, whose sister worked at the actual India Imports store in Rhode Island. And a store bought pair of jeans. So it wasn't very hard to justify the splurge on an Afghani coat. It was SUCH a good deal. I got extra lucky that year, with my boyfriend Jerry letting me borrow his awesome pea coat; I luxuriated in choices (Ooh, I should have kept that warm navy pea coat; you could get lost in it.) New Mexico may be a desert but it can get cold and between there and Chicago, I wore my Afghani coat until it was threadbare, literally falling apart and stitched back up until the stitches were merely holding other stitches together. Ohhhh! I was sad to see it finally disintegrate into dust on the floor. Well, okay, I admit slight exaggeration there. By then, though, we were living in Oregon, where of course it's always chilly but layers and sweaters were made to suffice. I loved the style of wearing one's pants under skirts for an extra cozy layering technique and still often find myself reaching for both. Anyway. There were alot of kids to worry about dressing too by then, and by the time we moved to Colorado, I was just totally out of the coat habit. The first few years we were here, I kept up my old hippie layering habits despite the fact that everyone around me (well almost everyone) seemed to be wearing jogging suits (yes, I was sticking my fingers down my throat as I typed those words). It was the 80's, that's all I can say about it. I cried at first from having no friends but then pulled myself up by the bootstraps and got some, but didn't get a coat. Oh, it's true, I ended up with some outer layers which are sufficient as long as it's not really COLD outside, or it doesn't need to be buttoned, or one is simply lingering in an open doorway. ("Close that door! Did you grow up in a barn?" - that's Colin's voice you hear, echoing loudly across the Web.) Now, after over 20 years here, skimping by and always freezing, typing with my fingerless gloves, wearing grooveliscious foot warmers thanks to the kindness of Sylvia, I feel like a coat is a highly desirable commodity. At this point, every wrap I have is literally shredding. After over 70 straight days of snow on the ground last winter - lots of snow, not just like oh about half an inch - I am apprehensive about going coatless again. Bet you're saying to yourself, "Why don't she just shut up and go get a coat already?" Easier said. Some of it is just the time factor. But also, I really do spend most of our $$$ on necessities, not just for us, but the extended fam, and on a few others, too - with the exception of art, and of course, books and movies. I totally adore secondhand, vintage look jackets and coats, but they aren't always particularly economical (at least not west of the Mississippi). So I need to find myself the perfect coat, either new or not, that is toasty enough to stave off the shivers of a high desert Colorado winter, actually fits, will not deplete the pockets irrevocably and last but oh so not least, is pretty. Def, I'm open to suggestion.

In the meantime, look what Jennifer Gordon did! You might wanna get yourself Popped!