Homeless, aimless and unemployed, I appear to be in gypsy mode once again. But that doesn’t mean I’m going go overboard with baubles (overbauble?) and dress like a schizophrenic costume shop refugee a like I did in 2009. This time I’m taking the high road (well, only clothing-wise. The low road has WAY better bars).
For the past six months or so, I’ve cooled it with my accessory obsession (obsessory? accession?) (sorry) (not sorry) and stuck to a look comprised mostly of dresses and shoes. There is a get-up-and-go simplicity about it, and it’s given me the opportunity to downsize my wardrobe into a travel-friendly two-bag affair. However, I seem to have only collected a variety of short floral dresses and cowboy boots and now I look like I’m wearing a Jamaica costume.
Something must be done, lest I end up an action figure. I can see it now: a displeased plastic frown from juggling my miniature suitcases while trying to find my tiny boarding pass. My haircut comes pre-experimented on by little kid scissors, and if you look in my luggage, there are seven more outfits exactly like the one I’m wearing.
I have approximately one more month in Tucson before I’m truly floating in the wind. Now is the time for reinvention! So stylistically, I’ve decided to embrace the vagabond life in a Kathleen-Turner-in Body-Heat homage to the 1930’s via the 1980’s.
Confused? Good. So am I.
Whilst thrifting in Flagstaff, AZ with my mom, I came across this pattern:
The masculine/feminine silhouette balance and the monochrome simplicity made me weak at the knees, and better yet, this (view B) is one of those easily thriftable looks. A pair of high rise pleated pants can be easily made into shorts with minimal sewing skills. Just cut a couple of inches longer than intended, then roll up, tack down and press. Wear with a brown belt over a simple silk tank and then throw on one of those ubiquitous oversized white button downs and roll up the sleeves. Top with a wide brimmed hat or a pair of big earrings, adopt a breathy voice, and you’ll win/break the heart of almost every character ever portrayed by Michael Douglas.
Want to embody a modern, monochrome Carmen Sandiego, but avoid the Polly Esther Fabrique? If you’re not me, you could try the actual high road and achieve this look with new clothes!
above photos via fashion gone rogue
And if you want to get just crazy high on the high road (at least as far as scoring points with yours truly is concerned), be sure to check out what may very well be my last Tucson fashion show on July 20th. The theme of the night is “future primitive”, and even though I appear to be doing “vintage modern”, I’m sure I can rationalize it all somehow. In keeping with my current approach toward life in general, the best plan is…no plan?
I wonder how I’ll manage to pull this one off.
Alas! Catastrophe has struck, wholly and without mercy.
Amber and I have been forced to abandon ship and fly home.
Our darling Taco Yacht is still being held hostage in Satan’s Transmission Shop. We’ve had to crash in various cheap motels and camp in leaky tents during Bible Belt downpours. We’ve been taken in by distant relatives and sustained ourselves on beans and rice and cheap beer.
Somehow we managed to preserve most of our dignity, in the form of wardrobes that oddly caused the locals to assume we were foreigners. (Last week a helpful forest ranger directed us to a campsite that “never gets overcrowded, even on the Fourth of–our holidays”.)
As Morale Officer, I tried to keep spirits high by pointing out the bright side of any given situation, beginning every other sentence with, “Well, at least” but as the days flew by and we hovered there as Smoky Mountain ghosts, the open road seemed further and further out of our spectral grasp.
Finally we received word that two weeks later, the yacht still had another week in “repair”. With dwindling savings and heavy hearts, our gentlemen sent us off to safety as they prepared to face whatever lay ahead.
And what lay ahead, you ask? What lay ahead two hours after Amber and I said our goodbyes at the airport in Nashville?
THE YACHT WILL BE FIXED THIS AFTERNOON. That’s right. It seems that Lucifer’s Trannies is only able to fix your vehicle by the time it could be considered bad news. It’s possible, of course, that the old myth of women being bad luck aboard ships is true. Or perhaps the Taco Yacht was jealous of us? Or perhaps Rian and Ryan meticulously planned every detail of this fiasco in order to finally star in their own buddy comedy, and Amber and I somehow missed the little winks they exchanged as everything fell into place? We may never know.
As I look back on our humble beginnings, I remember the hope we once had, the glorious optimism. It seems ages ago that we dipped our toes in the Atlantic. I was a different girl then.
But there’s no point in belaboring broken dreams. Onward and upward, as they say. Now to figure out what do do with my homeless self back in Arizona. Receive it!
We have reached (hopefully) our last day of being stranded in Pigeon Forge, TN. Our darling little Taco Yacht has been in the hospital (a field full of broken down vehicles next to a warehouse) getting her transmission replaced for the last four days. Two days before that, we had decided to take a two night driving break at a friend’s rented cabin, completely unaware that the Smoky Mountains were plotting to envelop us for an entire week.
Of course we are making the best of it, thanks to a series of absurd events. Within an hour of becoming yachtless, we were offered discount tickets to Dollywood by a sweet waitress at a BBQ joint.
This resulted in my finally losing my rollercoaster virginity and afterward being able to see the unfortunate expression I will make the exact moment I know my life is ending. My death face is, thank god, forever lost in the Dollywood Database of Horrified Expressions. The only way to see it would be to kill me.
After three days in Baptist Vegas, we decided to escape briefly.
I’m wearing Amber’s amazing Montecristo Sun Hat, a four dollar swimsuit coverup from H&M as a dress, and my favorite comfy lace up boots from St Vincent de Paul in Tucson. Amber is glowing in my Buffalo Exchange dress, Gentle Souls sandals, a vintage necklace thrifted from Phoenix, AZ and the glorious Traveler Hat.
We procured a rental car and drove into Smoky Mountain National Park to reach the highest point in Tennessee. Then we realized we had driven back into North Carolina. That’s right, folks. Over a week on the road and we’re barely a state over. The view from the top was beyond spectacular
All in all, Pigeon Forge isn’t the worst place to be stranded. There is endless entertainment if you’re willing to spend the cash to experience something as awe-full as the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride or the life size replica of the Titanic. Gatlinburg, the next town over, has proved to be much more varied (they can serve booze here) and down-homey. I’m currently drinking too much coffee in a cutesy little shopping center, and was just about to explain how Gatlinburg seems to have a little more heart and might be a little less conservative than it’s neighbors, and then I looked up and saw a confederate flag in the window of the shop next door. It’s definitely time to make our way north. Next up, Kentucky.
Amber and I have so much to catch you up on, we decided to hunker down in this CABIN MANSION we happen to suddenly be staying in and write half a post before more unexpected events occur.
First off, let me try and express our surroundings to you in mere words. I’m sitting in a cozy plaid armchair in the living room of a 100% pine (not exaggerating here, floor, walls, ceiling, cabinets, the inside of my eyelids) three story cabin with a hot tub on one of the decks which overlooks practically the entire state of Tennessee. And considering the number of miraculous and absurd events that have taken place since we began this journey five days ago, when I look up and see a rainbow glowing in the afternoon light of the Smoky Mountains, it seems almost…normal.
I’m certainly not trying to imply that everything has been easy. Far from it. The Taco Yacht hails from 1971, so of course we were expecting a few mechanical problems along the way, but two weeks before setting sail, the engine blew a head gasket. For a brief and terrifying time we thought the trip was a bust, but some magnificent captaining got her back in action just in time.
After that, we thought everything was going to be relatively smooth sailing, but then something happened that made us stop using nautical puns. Amber’s little brother Nik had been suffering from what seemed to be depression for a long time, and then less than a week before departure, she got a call that he had been misdiagnosed. Nik had a brain tumor and was going into emergency surgery. Amber and Rian drove to Sacramento in the middle of the night, arriving at Mercy San Juan Hospital just in time to get miraculous news from the surgeon: Everything went better than they thought possible. By the next day, he was awake and responsive, and just two days later, Nik was sitting up, making jokes, and eating full meals! Thanks to a skilled surgeon and a vigilant, courageous orderly named Chinwe, Nik is currently recuperating at home, only a little over a week after his life saving surgery.
The trip has been officially dedicated to Nik. Hopefully he’ll be well enough upon our return to join us in LA for the most triumphant 4th of July since 1776.
Truly, life is short. We know this, but we still get caught up in our little dramas, in our routines. We forget. We deprive ourselves. We waste hours on Facebook. In that vein, the Taco Yacht Pleasure Cruise has a very specific assignment: LIVE. We have all agreed that for the duration of this trip, we will eat the best food, drink the best beer and make the best (the worst) puns ever.
And if “truly living” means getting stranded just outside of Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for a week, so be it. A full update is coming your way tonight. Until then, hopefully this will keep you satiated:
The Painfully Hip Roadtrip II : Taco Yacht Pleasure Cruise to the Future has begun! This is me before hopping on a plane headed due east. We started the cruise in Jacksonville, North Carolina and holy moly, it has waaaaay outdone its name. Updates soon.
Yes, I have surrendered to the pastel hair bug. Couldn’t help it, it must be contagious. You could call it spring fever (this cut does remind me of a tulip or an easter egg), but I call it “finally embracing my awkward techni-follicled high school days.”
But my DIY ombre platinum-lavender bowl-cut also happens to be subtle. Right?
It even lets this bold tropical print sing. Ah, birds of paradise. This top obliterates any and all lingering winter blues within seconds.
All clothing and shoes from:
Disclosure: Bloggers received a gift card on behalf of Kohl’s via Glam Media to complete the trend look. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kohl’s. All trademarks and service marks are owned or licensed by Kohl’s Illinois, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc.