Miss Pacificana 2012

by Valerie on Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This one night we are all hanging in my living room. I tell her she would be the perfect contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race because Reena asks the most original questions.

She says, “If you ever get preggars, can I be your kid’s ninona?”

I say, “What’s a ninona?”

“A nino and a nina,” she says.

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And the readings — just listen to what she has to say if I fail to show up to her last invite.

“Did you bring the aloe vera?”

“Aloe vera?” I’m confused. “For what?”

She gives me a sharp stare and says, “for my 3rd degree burns.”

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It’s ok, booboo. You’re still a winner in my heart.

Say Wut?

by Valerie on Thursday, July 19, 2012

According to Wu-Tang’s name generator, from this day forward I will also be known as Sarkastik Worlock.

It’s an ironic nickname, okay.

Sukiyaki

by Valerie on Tuesday, May 1, 2012

“The way to remember how to say ‘you’re welcome’ in Japanese” Kaoru san says, “is ‘don’t touch my moustache.'” After Hope admits she’s taken to Asian men, Kaoru san says, “you riiiike tofuuu?” She says to me, “we are soul mates,” and I believe every word.

We are talking about boys and, “how obvious is that guy from security? He keeps passing by your counter. You know that guy is checking you out?”

“What guy? It’s his job to make rounds,” I say

“That’s what I thought, but you were on one side and he was staring at you while you were helping the customers and then you went to the other side, I dunno, I think to get the merchandise or something and he went out of his way to get to the other side too. And then you went back, and he went back too.”

“Who is this guy? Do I know him?”

“He’s a handsome guy, tall, kinda dark complexion.”

“You mean the guy with the huge Hispanic butt?”

Kaoru san says she was married for 20 years, but now they are separated because you can’t domesticate a Latino. I ask her what’s her type of guy and is she looking for someone new? She says, no she’s not looking. “I’m too old to start over again.”

I say, “you’re never too old for love. I guess it’s just a matter of finding it.”

She talks of her dog, “my Hanachan, gives me enough love… But I like an intelligent man. Maybe one with a heart of gold.”

I tell her, “oh, that sounds like just my type, too,” and think about playing something from Neil Young.

I’m changing the c.d. for our counter music. I ask her does she prefer to listen to anything else in particular and she says, “anything is fine with me, except rap… I don’t really care much for rap.”

I say, “not all rap is bad, yea know. Like Outkast is pretty alright.”

And Kaoru san, this kind little Japanese lady says in the tiniest most agreeable tone of voice, “oh yeah, some is okay… I just don’t like the one’s that are like, ‘da booteh’ and ‘da bitches.'”

“word.”

Theme Day: Chen Man

by Valerie on Monday, April 9, 2012

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Spring has sprung and newness is trickling in.

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The collection, a collaboration between MAC and Chinese fashion photographer Chen Man, was inspired by love and water — two things essential to life. The not-so-essential: pretty packaging.

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Mineralize duo eyeshadows were baked to form the yin and yang symbol — a neat detail. But I swear by Force of Love lipstick and fluid line gel liner in Waveline.

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I was able to salvage these collars from old uniform blazers. Add little Chinese ball buttons to make it more cohesive to our theme and they are the sex!

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face chart

Also, completely off subject, but over the weekend my mom played this song while riding in her car. She’s so groovy!

Hey, Been Tryin’ to Meet You

by Valerie on Monday, March 26, 2012

Two years ago, I started this blog as a supplement to my Etsy store. I had just completed Dressmaking and Design courses and that itch to create something new everyday was more like an infectious disease that overtook my entire being, 28 days later style. Flash forward to the now–where a second job, relationships and the general “I’ve been busy lazy” has become the bane of my existence. Every once in a while I’d post a few random entries, but never really picked up the momentum of my initial attempt. Sad puppy.

I’m a huge advocate of personal blogs. It’s a neat way to stay tuned into what’s been going on with friends and family, especially when there’s so much distance between us and everyone is just so goddamned busy.

Whenever Tina and I go on break and enjoy a plate of pasta together, we always touch on how important it is to live passionately, but how lately what we’ve become is just a couple of couch potatoes. Well, now that I’ve switched from working graveyard to regular day/night shifts, I feel like I’ve regained some sort of homeostasis and I’m ready to hug the world again. And last week, Tina cleared out her old room and started painting again–she just completed two orchid still lifes (one in watercolor and one in acrylic) to get the hang of working with different mediums again. As it turns out, the only mediums we’ve gotten accustomed to working with these days is makeup on other people’s faces.

What I really want to make more than anything is connections, or even making missed connections would be enough. I want to draw and salvage old dresses and read stories before bedtime without feeling the heavy pull like blinds over my eyelids. Talk about accessories and the last pair of shoes I popped a boner for. And do some yoga with my girls under the sun until we’re all NC 42. And sip on some margarita’s along the shoreline while Roni teaches us how to shake our hips the Tahitian way.

I want to write about nothing at all, which is to say, everything. And appreciate terribly mundane incidents. Stuff that we often overlook when at the end of the day, it’s really what makes living that much more bearable. Like when my dude smiles and takes a mental picture with his eyes. Or that one time when I handed her her change, for 3 seconds our fingers touched and it was electric. Or how I wish more people would hug me the way you did before boarding the plane that morning. Like I existed and you knew I was there. I mean, you hug Marcus Aurelius like that and even his cheese would melt.

All that good stuff, if I understand correctly, is what Amy Hempel calls connective tissue. The space that looks empty initially, but adds up to form something complete when seen from afar. In an interview with The Paris Review she says, “If used honestly and not as a gimmick, these spaces can signify the way the mind really works, noting moments and assembling them in such a way that a kind of logic or pattern comes forward, until the accretion of moments forms a whole experience, observation, state of being.”

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