Today, my friend and I went to the very first ever brewery tour for Intuition Ale Works, Jacksonville's latest addition to microbrewing. It was an awesome experience and I am so thrilled to be a witness to Jacksonville's booming culture.

We tasted three of their brews [an IPA, a red, and a stout - yummm], two of which were poured straight from the tanks. All the beers tasted delicious. The owner and brewmaster, Ben, has been home brewing for years now and seems to have the recipes pretty nailed down. He also used to own The Grotto in San Marco and then lived in Northern California for years making wine. What a life.

I'm wearing Silence + Noise jeans, moto boots, black tank from Target, and H&M grey fringe purse.

We heard a train coming and some of the other people on the tour gave us some pennies to lay down on the tracks behind the brewery. When the train didn't come, I told Ben he could go retrieve his flattened pennies at a later date. He voiced concern that the train might derail and crash into the brewery... he knows who to blame now, I guess. Fingers crossed that doesn't happen. [Does that happen? Some powerful pennies...]

Their Tap Room Grand Opening Party is on November 20th. Be there or be square.
It’s election time. Since I recently became an American citizen I was granted the right to vote. It’s a lot of work I ‘ll tell you that, because I have to study all these propositions and really think about the effects that could have once passed. I am obviously also very skeptical of the media coverage because they tend to sensationalize news at a point that they don’t even talk about the real issue; they rather criticize fashion choices of female candidates or focus on dolls created just for certain politicians. And how interesting is to follow how female politicians are portrayed during political candidatures? It’s never about their intellectual capabilities; rather their mother skills are emphasized and fashion items determine their future career in politics.

Sarah Palin at Wall Mart

The Nut Cracker

Christine O'Donnel

No matter their political affiliation, women in politics are discriminated for their sex. A typical example of a patriarchal profession. Even if during the presidential candidatures we had two prominent women running for president and vice president positions it almost seemed that it was a strategic maneuver, not a choice. “Hilary is running? Let me get Sarah Palin too.” Women in politics should not be underpinned to a trend. Nevertheless, Florida has Alex Sink in governor’s race and I have not seen yet any gender stereotyped images of her. I wonder why. Is it because she is just at the state level? Or because Crist’s obsession with tanning beds seems to be more entertaining? By the way, do you see any resemblances with Kumar? Just saying….

You have plenty of Halloween's options now.

Wearing jeans from DKNY (very comfortable); shoes by Mango; Top by Max and Co. (MaxMara); tank top from Forever 21. I desperately need to do something about my hair.

Last night was the beginning of this weekends festivities and, let me tell you, it did not serve me well. I felt like death on a stick this morning. I put on the most comfortable outfit I could find [and it was FINALLY cool enough to wear boots and a sweater again], which I am not sure translates into fashion. I feel like I am wearing my pj's, though, so I could care less.

I am wearing an H&M grey sweater, navy leggings from Forever21, husband's dress socks, moto boots, turq rings and some ivory and jade spiritual pendants my family gave me [to get me through the day].

This outfit was loosely inspired by my mourning over a recent fashion fail on my part. Right before we started this endeavor I bought a few things as a last hoorah and I almost bought [but DIDN'T] these awesome grey and black printed leggings from Lulus.com:

They are now haunting me. I see outfits left and right with similar leggings that I WANT TO WEAR. And cannot. Because I cannot shop. AKA I am sans awesome leggings. Foreverrrrrrrr. [Until January.] I have started my Christmas list early to tide me over. I am experiencing my second wave of shopping withdrawal.

Some of the awesome outfits:

I should have bought the leggings.
I am tired. It's 7:41pm. Just got home from work. I am cooking, while trying to upload my picture and work on a paper. I had prepared my entry about elections but it still needs some editing so it will have to wait. On a different note, I came across this news from NPR, which was shocking, despite the fact that it should not be surprising....Disgusting...

It's about how immigration laws in Arizona are linked to prisons. pretty much Prison's companies to stay in business want to pass these crazy, racist laws. At least that is my take. If you have a better understanding I am open for listening.



It's about 90 degrees in Tallahassee and it's humid and rainy. As a result my face is shiny. I am also tired so I look blah. My jacket is from Stefanel (best clothes ever); my top from Victoria's Secret; my skirt from Zara; and my shoes from Pink Studio (a really good comfortable brand).

The big ring is from a consignment shop back in Columbus, Ohio. I bought some of my best clothes and for dirt cheap. It was amazing. The earring was a present from my mom. The other ring is my wedding band, and the neckless in the back is a gift from my mom. I think the neckless comes from Jordan, Amman where she lived for few years. That is why I chose the map:)

This bag (My dear love) is awesome. It is about to die like my other school bag. It's so sad. My mom bought it for me many years ago at this open market in Viareggio. It's just so beautiful, but it's about to fall apart. Goodbye bag. You have been good to me.
New York Magazine recently published this in-depth analysis of "The Hipster", from the 19050's through 2009... and even through today. It's pretty fascinating. Some [hipsters] might find it harsh, while others might find it refreshing. I'm ambivalently curious.

[caption id="attachment_494" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="(Photo: Plamen Petkov. Prop Styling by Donnie Myers/Defacto)"][/caption]

One of my favorite excerpts:

"Through both phases of the contemporary hipster, and no matter where he identifies himself on the knowingness spectrum, there exists a common element essential to his identity, and that is his relationship to consumption. The hipster, in this framework, is continuous with a cultural type identified in the nineties by the social critic Thomas Frank, who traced it back to Madison Avenue’s absorption of a countercultural ethos in the late sixties. This type he called the “rebel consumer.”

The rebel consumer is the person who, adopting the rhetoric but not the politics of the counterculture, convinces himself that buying the right mass products individualizes him as transgressive. Purchasing the products of authority is thus reimagined as a defiance of authority. Usually this requires a fantasized censor who doesn’t want you to have cologne, or booze, or cars. But the censor doesn’t exist, of course, and hipster culture is not a counterculture. On the contrary, the neighborhood organization of hipsters—their tight-knit colonies of similar-looking, slouching people—represents not hostility to authority (as among punks or hippies) but a superior community of status where the game of knowing-in-advance can be played with maximum refinement. The hipster is a savant at picking up the tiny changes of rapidly cycling consumer distinction.

This in-group competition, more than anything else, is why the term hipster is primarily a pejorative—an insult that belongs to the family of poseur, faker, phony, scenester, andhanger-on. The challenge does not clarify whether the challenger rejects values in common with the hipster—of style, savoir vivre, cool, etc. It just asserts that its target adopts them with the wrong motives. He does not earn them.

It has long been noticed that the majority of people who frequent any traditional bohemia are hangers-on. Somewhere, at the center, will be a very small number of hardworking writers, artists, or politicos, from whom the hangers-on draw their feelings of authenticity. Hipsterdom at its darkest, however, is something like bohemia without the revolutionary core. Among hipsters, the skills of hanging-on—trend-spotting, cool-hunting, plus handicraft skills—become the heroic practice. The most active participants sell something—customized brand-name jeans, airbrushed skateboards, the most special whiskey, the most retro sunglasses—and the more passive just buy it.

Of course, there are artists of hipster-related sensibility who remain artists. In the neighborhoods, though, there was a feeling throughout the last decade that the traditional arts were of little interest to hipsters because their consumer culture substituted a range of narcissistic handicrafts similar enough to sterilize the originals. One could say, exaggerating only slightly, that the hipster moment did not produce artists, but tattoo artists, who gained an entire generation’s arms, sternums, napes, ankles, and lower backs as their canvas. It did not produce photographers, but snapshot and party photographers: Last Night’s Party, Terry Richardson, the Cobra Snake. It did not produce painters, but graphic designers. It did not yield a great literature, but it made good use of fonts. And hipsterism did not make an avant-garde; it made communities of early adopters."
Vorrei che io so a scrivere in italiano molto piu che io so.

That is basically as well as a two year old Italian baby might speak and it took me about eight tries to get it right. Sadly. Although there was a time when I could carry on entire conversations in Italian, though timidly and usually with a non-Italian speaking mate, with definite competence. Thanks to Ginevra.

[caption id="attachment_485" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="A giorno io sono Gin. "][/caption]

I remember when she walked into the classroom for the first time, her iridescent white shell Chanel glasses, her tall Kate Moss like appearance, her cool demeanor, and her scarf the size of a blanket. Cue immediate girl crush. I hung around after class in my bell bottoms and tee shirts, with my unwashed hair and my dark rimmed glasses, thinking up ways to spark a conversation. We would walk around campus, back to her office, while she smoked cigarettes, talking about Italian culture, literature, life. It didn't take too long for us to become friends. I had bagged a TA. Success.

[caption id="attachment_486" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Ciao Ciao."][/caption]

I am wearing black suede boots from Urban Outfitters, grey skinny jeans from H&M, white tee from Ann Taylor Loft, a multicolored striped scarf from Spain, and ONE feather fringe earring.

Now, those memories seem long ago, foggy, and almost surreal. I savor our intellectual debates, our mutual respect for varying opinions, but more often than not, our agreeance on cultural issues and sociological trends. We both love culture and counterculture. We both hover on a fine line between normal and absurd. We are both at once laid back and extreme in our views. Mostly, though, we are just friends. We get along. We enjoy each other's company.

Ginevra's fashion has always made me feel overworked and overdressed. Similar to how the Italian's handle their food, with simplicity, elegance, and more flavor packed inside few ingredients than American's can squeeze out of twenty, she wears her clothes without fuss. But yet, she always makes a statement. She is always her own person. Even in jeans and a teeshirt, she stands above the rest. If I could pull it off, I would. But me, I am more the throw a vest over it, stack the bangles, wear two earrings, and roll my boots. Maybe I just like to make things a little more complicated.

[caption id="attachment_487" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Uno."][/caption]

Gin, however, makes jeans and a teeshirt into a statement. It's about something. Because she is about something.
Spent the day inside the theater with the cast and crew of Yo Gabba Gabba, a few local celebrities, local media, and a gazillion trillion million children. 12 hours. Count them. 12.

It was a long day.

The Sunbears played, the Black Kids danced, the Jaguars grooved, Biz Markie beat the beat. I stood on the sidelines. A cheerleader, a handler, a door opener, a teacher, a booster, and maybe, just ever so slightly, a leader. Work really can be fun sometimes. Even when its hard.

[caption id="attachment_475" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Crew. "][/caption]

I am wearing a Lulus.com grey cowlneck jersey maxi dress, a J.Crew suede belt, coral crocheted vest from Anthropologie, Modcloth multicolored flats, turq ring, and Target earrings. And my name badge and crew "silk" [All Access Pass].

My inspiration came from whowhatwear. Just became acquainted with this site and it is GREAT for inspiration. The outfit in the upper left corner was where my outfit came from:

This was the perfect outfit for today. Unbelievably comfortable. Cute feeling. And fashionable enough for all the hipsters who are obsessed with Yo Gabba Gabba and flocked to the theater for today's debut. Yet, still work appropriate. I definitely looked classier than the girl in a ripped tee-shirt, tight jeans and flip flops managing the after party. Just sayin'. Although, I do wish I could get away with that at work. Haha. Even I have my limits.

Today was fun. Tiring, but very very fun.

[caption id="attachment_477" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Darryl Smith getting down on stage with Yo Gabba Gabba."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_478" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Jaguars! From left: Darryl Smith, Kirk Morrison, Justin Durrant"]"][/caption]

Notice I lost the belt by the end of the night. Eh. C'est la vie.


I cherish this theater by the river. It brings good into my life.

I teach  a gender communication class. What is it? It discusses how the media shape gender stereotypes and how we, the audience, perceive these stereotypes as norm of our society (e.g. women serving as sexual objects; men being macho at all times, etc). I have 10 students, all of which are female. Today we discussed briefly the effects of fashion magazines and I was surprised to find out that my students do not really buy Vogue or Cosmo or Allure; neither they consume much television. They do watch a lot of reality TV shows and avoid fictional TV shows like How I met your Mother or The Modern Family. I was shocked and happy. My students are very smart, articulated and different from all the stereotypes of youth that I have been reading or studying about. As a scholar, to see that change for the better is occurring is a great sensation and conquest. Because it means that we are not doomed; we are not puppets operated by media conglomerates. I just hope the class gives them what they give me: an understanding of culture, life, social relation, power relations, class gaps and more. I wonder what they think of me.....(that I am a crazy foreign chick?Mmmmh).

"I am eating strawberries and I am sexy and I am going to sex you up, because that is what I do everyday I eat strawberry" (sorry, I got carried away). I was trying to find inspirational pictures from Vogue magazine so I did an image search for Vogue Russia, Italy, UK, USA, Brazil and Paris. I noticed two trends: (1) most models are white and blond (Vogue Italy had the most diversity in ethnicity); (2) most models posed in sexual, erotic, provocative positions. I just could not find inspiration for this blog because I just could never post a picture of myself that sexualizes me. I mean, even if I did not have a problem with that, the effects of my pose would be "priceless" (sarcastic tone). Which brings me to wonder why in the heck do we need to commodify and sexualize our bodies? It rapes creativity of a photographer. How boring to see the same sexual poses? Can we go beyond that? If you can't make a dress look cool and awesome on a conventional woman than it probably means that you suck as a designer. Let's not forget that art does not equal a formula (this formula being caucasian model in sexual position). Real art incorporates the real world into our imaginary world and my imaginary world is not made out of sexual objects. How boring would that be?

I am particularly boring and lazy today. I just did not feel to dress or put make up on. I am wearing Fiorucci jeans, an organic t-shirt and that's it.
I apparently woke up this morning determined to be all the things I was aiming not to be yesterday. I felt generic. I felt ill-fit. I felt anxious about stepping outside the box and expressing myself. It was just one of those mornings. I woke up late, nothing looked right, traffic was bad, there was no parking. You know how it goes.

I tried, meagerly, to put on something interesting. I think, when in doubt, layer. It undoubtedly brings a depth into an outfit, even if you dont really like what you're wearing.

Wearing Gap Trousers, Green Zara knit tank, black vest for Target, floral fuscia scarf from a boutique in Berkeley, silver cuff, turq ring, and Aldo black flats.

Anyway, today I was so worky. And the pieces didn't fit right together. The shirt was too short, the vest too long, the pants too low. Whatever. Tomorrow I will put my poofy hair to rest [sans gel the past few washes - run free fluffy curls!] and put together a look.
Hilary and I were talking about each other style so we decided to share what we thought about each other fashion choice. I generally love Hilary’s style and believe that she has a better fashion repertoire than I do. Her items seem more trendy and in-style than mine. I like her vintage looks. It’s a very ethnic with a modern hint. I find my style to be old and uniform. If I was to pick an artist who reflects her style, this person would be Klimt. First, Klimt mostly painted red hair women. He disliked blondes. Second, he loved cats. Third, his colors are vibrant yet classy.

To emulate at my best this style today I am wearing: A dress from Promod, ballet shoes custom-made in Italy. Not quite Klimt, closer to Picasso I would say.

So, on Friday I promised an angry Monday blog about the detriments of "Dressing To Impress"... AKA dumbing down your wardrobe so you are SUITable [pun] for the office. I wrote this blog late at night in a fired up frenzy. I sound a little [or a lot] like some bra burner from the 70's [<-- this NEVER happened, by the way], except this time I'm not trying to put a suit on, I'm trying to take it off. What is that again? Third Wave Feminism? Fighting for my right to be girly?

[caption id="attachment_442" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Work Wear."][/caption]

[I am wearing an Aztec printed tank from Anomaly that was a bday gift from a friend, black knit skirt from Forever21, huarache heels from Alloy, tan suede belt from Urban Outfitters, wooden bangles, turq rings, and fuscia scarf from Spain.]

So, here you have it:

"It is interesting how Gin pointed out her conflict with being an intellect and being fashionable and how, by being fashionable, you might be discrediting your own intellectual prowess by BUYing [pun#2] into the Capitalism of it all. You are a part of the wheel. A brainwashed little worker bee who spends spends spends. Who thinks high heels are fashionable and attractive because THE MAN TOLD ME SO.

I feel a similar conflict in the office. Why is it that you cannot express individuality in the office? I am lucky enough to work in a creative environment, but that wasn't always the case. I used to work in offices that require OFFICE WEAR all the time. And this whole argument reflects the psychological purposes and effects of that dress code.

It's like we are all forced to come to work in ill-fitting slacks and a generic blouse or else we might stand out. And if we stand out we might be noticed... which makes me think people don't want to be noticed because they aren't really interested in working and blending in makes not working at work easier. [I don't think that is true for everyone, really, but its interesting. Maybe people really do just want to blend in! And that begs a bigger question.]

Why can't fashionable clothing, or a unique perspective on a wardrobe, be considered professional? Where is it in the  handbook that all unique, identifiable clothing must go by the wayside? What does this mean? We are being blended into the masses and, once again, the Man is to blame. Like, fall in line little soldiers, don't step too far outside the box. What do people think will happen if they put those horrible slacks to rest? There are actually attractive work clothes out there and it doesn't take too much effort to find work appropriate clothing that isn't totally mundane. But people fall in line pretty easily. I even did for a while until I made a conscious decision to dress more like the me outside of work while inside... the work.

[caption id="attachment_441" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Make a statement."][/caption]

And you know what? No one has seemed to mind. Granted, I work in the entertainment biz and we are all a little more 'unique' as it is. But still, this is an office and this is a job where money passes hands and technically I work for the state.

I just wonder how people would be if they didn't have to buy 'work clothes'. Would they be more unique? Would their inner self match their outer self? It makes me feel like society is being bred to 'fit in'. Maybe too much individuality causes friction in mass government. If we are all thinking on our own and making our own choices about what to wear and how to represent ourselves, then how can they extend the hand of control? It's weird to think that this may be done intentionally through what we wear, because fashion is portrayed as very trivial sometimes. But clothes should be used to help define us to the world at first glance. This is who I am, nice to meet you. People hide behind their wardrobe instead of shining through it. People get so bored in middle age and part of me thinks that if they would just dress a little better, a little more like themselves, throw a little excitement into their wardrobe, they might not feel so glum!

Clothes help define us. Even if you wear really boring clothes, you are basically saying 'I am a boring person. You can tell by this really boring outfit I put on.' Each of us are making these decisions daily, so why shouldn't we decide to wear something that really defines us inside and out?

It just seems like 'they' tell us not to. 'They' tell us we have to dress appropriately. AKA don't stand out. Don't be unique. Because unique is a threat.

Or maybe most people are just lazy."

My mind went a little too far down the rabbit hole on that one, but I agree with my... self. I'm just curious to see a world where we can all wear what we want to wear and aren't forced into a pre-established image. It would be bold and bright and beautiful, I bet.
I wish I had more time to actually set a photo shoot, think about creative ways to take pictures and use photoshop to manipulate them. Unfortunately I don't. Fashion can be boring. How many pictures can I take that do not resemble the same thing? How can I make it fun or entertaining?

This ring was given to me by my good friend Margherita. It's from Krizia. I love it.

It's a butterfly! Well, and a plane. A lot of planes. My husband and I went to the Blue Angels Air Show today, kind of on a whim, after rolling out of bed post Halloween Party, decision made mid-brunching. The outfit was really only intended for comfort purposes, but hey, you can't always know when opportunity will strike.

[caption id="attachment_418" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="It's basically still summer here, hence the summer gear."][/caption]

Wearing Topshop jean shorts, Urban Outfitters woven flops, Anthropologie tank top, scarf from Vietnam, fringe H&M purse [sorry Gin!].

The Air Show was awesome. They fly straight up into the sky [I mean STRAIGHT UP] and then straight back down again, all the while with wing tips touching and any wrong move, any tiny flinch and WHAM. Crash and burn. And possible disaster situation for us viewers down below. They also flew straight towards each other at 193874mphh and moments before impact would twist sideways [been there done that recently... not desirable for the average Joe] and avoid a fiery demise. More than once they flew so close over our heads that I literally screamed. A little. I was very cool.

[caption id="attachment_419" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Save the tatas."][/caption]

And there really were butterflies flying around. Husband kept calling them the NAS Blue Emperors. Even though they were orange.

I love surprising adventures. And I agree with Gin... Sundays and fashion do not go hand in hand.

What do people wear on Sunday? Sunday is the day where fashion style is out of the door. This is evident from previous posts on Sunday. Probably the don't of any fashion blogs. I made lasagne (not lasagna). It took me two days. While cooking I was reading Martin's book "The permanent tax revolt." Lasagne and tax: what do they have in common?

P.s. Lasagne are NOT made with ricotta cheese. That's just an American version. Lasagne are made with besciamella aka Alfredo sauce, but better because the one in the jar tastes synthetic.

Dress by H&M. I haven't shopped at H&M since their scandal, where a graduate student from New York City found piles of garbage bags outside H&M. Inside these bags NEW clothes with perfect matching holes. Pretty much instead of donating clothes, they just threw away NEW clothes making holes in them so people could not steal them or resell them. Wall Mart does this too. So, another store to add to my boycott list. It's very sad. At what point to I stop boycotting? Because it seems that all multinational firms are involved in anti-humanitarian causes. Read more about H&M here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/06/nyregion/06about.html My motto is be aware and then decide.

Socks by the brand with a cat or Jaguar logo.


I am running out the dizoor to a Halloween Partay, but I wanted to get this pic up!

I had to interupt the husband's music making to get him to take these pictures, hence the "studio shot" [aka our spare bedroom/office that he has sufficiently stuffed with musical equipment and makes loud banging sounds out of] [very good loud banging sounds, I should add].

Wearing Dolce Vita moto boots, Topshop high-waisted [yes, I am obsessed with high-waisted] jorts [thank you Denverians for making such great use of that word], Lulus white blouse, and homemade glasses [I popped the lenses out... You will understand later].

It's party time, which is excellent.
Do you want to see something funny? I am the most uncomfortable and unfit person when it comes to perform something that is sport related. It's amazing that I can sky and snowboard. Anyway, the only reason why I am wearing Uggs (bought them at Tjmax in Cincinnati for $50) is because I was cooking and wanted to wear something comfortable. I do not intend to go out wearing those tonight. My dress is from Forever 21, another unusual choice from my closet. Shawn hates this dress because it is probably what any undergraduate students would wear to go out. I think it's fun. I took the belt off because it looked "cheap." I never talk about make up, because I don't wear that much. However, I am into lipstick lately. I think that's all a woman really needs.

Start laughing now.

Not even Maya is interested...

Thank you Shawn for taking these pictures.

Iron Pour: