On a literal whim I decided to get my M Class License (I don't even have a regular driver's license, for context lmao) so that way I could finally get a gas-powered scooter and make our lives easier. I waited outside in the blazing heat with only an umbrella and a water bottle for four hours
just to get inside my local DMV. I had studied the whole week prior, got in, was told I had to take an additional test out of nowhere that I hadn't studied for and yet managed to ace and then... Failed my motorcycle test. I'm normally an all As and like one B kind of student, and I was so devastated I was crying. I managed to talk with some of the folks there at the DMV and they gave me a pass to skip the line the next time I could come in to take the test. I was so heartbroken that day, because they wouldn't let me retake it the same day and the test had asked questions that weren't inside the Motorcycle Manual that the test was based off of.
I came in a day later, hours before I had to go to work and after I'd studied till I passed out (and even studied in the Lyft ride on the way there) and the questions were different this time; they were all questions I knew and I aced the test. The only reason I hadn't the first time was literally because of bad luck, and I'm still a little salty about it. Nevertheless, now I have my motorcycle license permit and I scheduled a private class on scooter riding with a company called Ride Chicago. I confirmed a date and time with them, paid the fee, and when I showed up at the specific date and time... There was nobody there.
I had to call twice before I got someone on the phone and when I explained that I was there, saw their equipment and was completely alone in an empty parking lot, she realized that for some reason their calendar didn't notify them of my lesson and the instructor left early from his last class and wouldn't come back to teach me. I was once again, devastated, and horrified that I'd paid $200 for this. She gave me the option of getting a full refund or rescheduling, but in the end I rescheduled for tomorrow because there are no other classes available, either from other riding schools or offered by the state's own program that aren't either full or cost almost twice as much. I'm going to call tomorrow before I leave this time to make sure there will actually be an instructor there and that my time, efforts, and money spent on transit fees don't go to waste a second time.
In the meantime, in between getting my permit and experiencing that debacle, I had been searching on Facebook Marketplace for my dream scooter: a Honda Elite 80, preferably in any color but red, and with less than 5,000 miles on it for under $1k, and lo and behold right as I got off the phone from complaining to my mother about how I'd been searching for this kind of scooter for the past few months now, I literally stumbled across a listing that had been posted an hour prior, likely when I was whining at my mom about not finding a scooter.
After messaging back and forth with the seller, finding more info out about the scooter, my boyfriend and I scrambled to get together a 9-foot U-Haul cargo van and $995 in cash to go drive the hour out to meet this person and see the scooter before she tried to sell it to someone else. It was about three hours of panicking, stress, and hoping like hell that the next person scheduled to see it didn't decide to show up early. We barely made it in time, I took it for a test ride with the seller's husband, and it exceeded my expectations. I was so excited to give them the money my hands were shaking; they were a nice middle-aged couple. Their kids were all grown up and moved out, and they'd decided they were moving states. The wife didn't ride the scooter enough to warrant hauling it with them, so they sold it for what they bought it for, and included a scooter cover and helmet along with.
They even found us some rope to help us tie the scooter down in the van and with that we headed back home. I managed to find a large scrap of plywood to use as a ramp and we unloaded her with no problems. I actually took her for a test ride the other day in my alley, just to get back to the feeling of being on a bike again (it's been at least 8 years since I last rode a bicycle, and at least 12-15 years since I last drove something with a throttle) and she runs beautifully. Unfortunately the previous owners had taken apart the carburetor to clean it, and they must've been too rough with the fuel line; it was leaking gas. So after a long video call with my dad as the two of us toyed with taking the scooter apart, we found that a stream of gas was shooting from a tiny hole in the fuel line. I'm currently in the process of calling around to see if any of the nearby motorcycle or scooter shops will work on it; I could always try myself but I'd rather have someone with more experience do it instead.
Anyways, here's to hoping tomorrow's lesson pans out how it should and that I can take the driving test next Wednesday and get my license. Then I can get my scooter registered officially under my name, plated, and then hauled off to whatever shop wants to do me the favor of fixing her so I can start riding again.
So I hosted my tea party and it was a lot of fun!! Very stressful (because I stress myself out about every single minute little detail so it's mostly my own fault) but also lots of fun. I really do enjoy hosting events, I just really wish A) my apartment was bigger and B) I hadn't stupidly locked myself out of my storage unit, because a lot of my seasonal decor is in there including everything I wanted to use to decorate for this tea party! Oh well. There's always next time.
It really was nice getting to see so many of my friends for the first time in a long time, and everyone was great at bringing a variety of foods so we weren't just eating sugar the entire duration of the party which... Has happened in the past lol. No, we had a wonderful variety and lots of proper savories and proteins to enjoy with the tea and desserts. I'm quite proud of how the tea turned out though I must say! I was worried I hadn't added enough of the herbal floral tea and that the black tea would overpower it when they mixed, but I think I did it just right and ended up with a perfect floral blend that's not only refreshingly sweet (without any need to add sugar) but also tasted PERFECT iced. It was a great hit at the party! So were my mini Easy Bake Oven cakes--I made a lemon cake, a lavender/vanilla cake, a matcha/vanilla cake, and a chocolate cake covered in fresh, locally-produced currants on top. The currants themselves were another hit that I was a tad surprised by, as there were none left after the party! (Thank god honestly bc I don't know if Leon and I could've finished the whole carton by ourselves without wasting any.)
I can see why they were so often used in 19th century recipes, they were a really great way to balance out all the sweet treats everyone was enjoying with their tea, a kind of unintentional palette cleanser basically. I might have to offer them at parties more often.
All that said though I ended up sleeping and resting for a solid two days after the party to recharge; there is very little else I take as seriously as hosting parties (un?)fortunately. I'm still exhausted TBH LOL. But I don't really have any regrets and it was fun. I think it's time to take a nap now.
Well, July is here in a flash. These months continue to fly by and so many things keep happening. For starters, I went to visit my mom for a week in Iowa in June. It was nice enough, I loved spending time with her of course but being a queer person who's dating another queer person who is also a poc, it was also a stressful visit. Sometimes I felt pressured in some spaces that if I said or did one wrong thing it would ruin everything and make awful memories for both of us, which was quite stressful. It'd been so long since I'd been to a rural conservative area that I forgot just how anxiety-inducing simply being there can be, let alone living there.
Despite that I made many a great thrift and antique find, which was quite nice! One of them was a dollhouse even larger than the one I had found in my alley, so it fits my dolls better, and I STILL have yet to start any kind of work on it, lol.
I hung out with my friends quite a bit in June, including one fun trip to the beach that was my first time swimming or splashing around in water in probably 3-5 years.
Honestly it felt really nice. We also went to Russian Tea Time, a place I'd been wanting to try for many a moon, and it was quite delightful.
Paradiso held their second online event as well (due to the Coronavirus) and my Shoppe was a participating vendor; for the event I made a short commercial-style reel, as well as a boatload of new products to all drop that weekend... To the resounding excitement of crickets. I didn't sell a single thing, in comparison to Royal Vegas Online's event in November where I at least sold a couple items. I'm not sure if it's in part to Paradiso's lack of help in properly advertising and showcasing all of their vendors, or if it's because the event had overall smaller attendance because of the easing restrictions in so many states right now leading everyone to venture outside again and forgo online events (and online shopping) altogether. I think it's a combination of both, and while it's extremely depressing I'm trying not to let it get the better of me. I have to keep trying, because I want to keep sharing my unique ideas with the lolita community and help everyone get a better understanding of sustainability in this fashion.
Fourth of July also happened but I hate that holiday with the burning passion of a thousand suns for many reasons I care not to detail here. My boyfriend and I spent the evening painting each other's nails and it was actually really fun.
And that pretty well catches us up to today; nothing really much going on to be honest. This weekend I am hosting a tea party in my small apartment (I had so many people reserve spots so fast I ended up having to extend the limit by one seat because I couldn't tell who had gotten the last seat first) and I'm definitely a little nervous. Nervous because I want to make sure everything looks good, that everything is clean and presentable and looks perfect, also because the store I'm trying to get my croissants from for the sandwiches STILL has not gotten them back in stock and it's been a few weeks now. It looks like I may have to make an out-of-the-way trip to Target or Walmart to investigate what they offer for croissants that I can bake at home to make sandwiches for everyone. That being said, thank god I'm not the only one making all the food, as this tea party is more of a potluck style.
I had hosted a Halloween tea party in 2019 where I cooked food for everyone and really I should have charged for tickets because of how much I ended up spending on ingredients, not to mention how long it took to cook everything. As a low-income person it was extremely strenuous to the point where I'm currently vehemently against doing such a thing again, at least in our current living situation. Perhaps once our lives are a little more stable and we own a house it will be a different story, but until then... No. Lol. As fun as the party itself was.
Other than all that I can't find much else to report so I suppose I will sign off here!
(TW: Weight loss mention) I just put on some fake nails (honestly I actually really love premade nail sets so much but I'm always afraid to wear them and then they'll get used and scratched and then I can never use ever again so scary wow!!!! Anybody else? No? Just me? Okay. ;__;) and I'm readjusting to typing on my phone and it's so weeeeird.
Yesterday I sold a bunch of old Monster High dolls finally (yay!) and started planning my coords for my first trip in two years now! I am going to visit my mom in Iowa, I get to see her new apartment and meet her new kitty and it will be so nice, I'm so excited. > v < Also, thrifting and antiquing. There will be lots of it and I'm SOOOOO excited aknfnfkejnfks. Maybe I'll find a cute antique hand mirror to go with my antique brush (that I still need to polish and fix oopsieees.) I need a week's worth of coords and I'm pretty happy with what I've planned: all 2006-2010 era old school and casual sweet, and one OTT sweet dress in case we go get tea somewhere. I am very much looking forward to aesthetic mornings drinking tea on her balcony with the cat and looking out to the nearby forest while enjoying the crisp morning air!!! ; A ;
Today I was invited on a walk by my friends to go get coffee at the Starbucks my boyfriend works at; it's hot (already almost 80°F) but the breeze and my hoop skirt + unlined cotton dress made it bearable. I got a Green Tea Matcha latte with an extra scoop of matcha and man it hit the spot. I love matcha so much!
I also jumped at the chance for a walk just because I need all the excuses to get out and exercise so I can get back to my normal, healthy, non-Covid weight! After that I came home, put on my fake nails (my index finger nail keeps painfully splitting down the middle so it's time to put some fakes on top to hopefully let the split grow out and recover :c) and watched Pearlie Cute's latest video which talks about one's relationship with the lolita community, and reminded me I should write on here more often! I already wrote a wall of text on my thoughts as a comment on the video lol but it's a topic I think people really should think more actively about. The relationship between ourselves and what we choose to consume in our social media has a much larger impact on us mentally than we realize.
A great point she brought up was WHY do we post to social media outlets such as Instagram? Do you post because you feel the societal pressure to because everyone else is doing it? Do you feel the need to grow your following, even though you have no particular need to? (ie, you don't own a business, you don't have a Youtube channel, etc.) Do you do it to gain validation from the community based on the number of likes and comments you receive?
Personally I think I posted to Instagram for a mix of all of those reasons for a long time. It was only over the last year or so that I started to question why I felt those ways, and why I let those things be so important to me. Nowadays I certainly have days where I debate just leaving Instagram, but ocer the last year I've noticed so many comments from lolitas wishing to see less staged content; reminiscing of the older days of lifestyle lolita and just wearing the fashion as street clothes instead of a perfect photoshoot costume, and it's thoughts like those that propell me to keep posting on IG.
I'm trying to find the delicate balance of making my photos cute and aesthetic without being outright staged and overly fake; wanting to use cute stickers and frames because I love decorating my photos, but also trying to leave them more natural so their reality is more tangible. It's still a really weird line I have to sense and get a feel for, but I hope maybe my posts help someone out there realize that deep down lolita is a fashion CULTURE and that culture is not all perfect photoshoots.
Wow it's pride month already, though I've never been a huge "WOWEE REE PRIDE WHOO YEAH LET'S CELEBRATE BEING QUEER" kind of gay myself, so I always forget pride month exists until I start seeing all the corporate rainbows plastered from Hell to breakfast and then I'm like "... Oh, right. :/ It's pride month."
Idk at this point it's turned into a corporate capitalism holiday like every other goddamn thing in the Western Hemisphere and more specifically USA. I went to the Chicago pride parade once and it actually wasn't as fun as I thought it would be; the near-naked cis gay men running around thinking they had the right to touch and hug strange women they didn't know (myself included) kind of ruined it for me. 8) All it is is a big excuse for everyone to get drunk in the middle of the day and wear hardly any clothes, and now it's become an oversexualized spectacle for cishet middle and upper class white folk to oogle at to make themselves feel superior. Seriously there was no reason for all the Karens that I saw at the last parade to be there, they weren't there supporting anyone, they were just walking around with their giant sunglasses, neutral and monotone outfits and Calvin Klein bags looking down their noses at everyone and getting some kinda power trip. Super fucking annoying.
Also they kept shoving my own mother, a cancer patient and ACTUAL mother of an ACTUAL gay person out of the way whenever free things were tossed to the crowd like the greedy cunts they are. Go get your plastic Party City bead necklaces at next year's St Patty's parade you stupid ninnies. Because we all know none of you give a rat's ass about your Irish ancestry anyways.
Anyways. Nothing else much to report but I did add more items to the wardrobe page and deleted some things that I sold as well. Yippee!
OOF finally, did a major wardrobe rehaul and update since I recently decided to part with quite a few things in order to make way for new things I like better and all that. Also sales is money, and I always need money lmao. Not a whole lot else to report really? Just lots of existing and doing chores to keep myself busy and procrastinating on making anything for my Etsy shop because I'm terrified of failure. :') I'm such a coward lol. Time to go make something to eat because I am STARVING, and then I need to package some of the things I sold, invoice the customers and hopefully get them mailed out today, in addition to doing laundry and hopefully, HOPEFULLY starting to sew things for my next belated shop update.
On Friday my job sent out an official email saying there would be layoffs because of the desperate financial state the store was in (literally entirely because of upper management) and that layoffs were inevitable over the next few weeks. On Monday I came to my shift like usual to do my normal stuff, and then I was pulled into the office two hours in and told I was being laid off and that I could file for unemployment.
I figured that I would have some time at least? Like that they would go for the new people first and then if that still wasn't enough, let go of other workers who had been there longer, since they claimed in their email that seniority would be taken into consideration and a bunch of new people have been hired since I joined over a year ago, so I'm not sure how honest they were actually being in that email. Part of me is relieved because it means I won't have to see certain people anymore, the other part of me is really heartbroken because I won't get to see my coworkers anymore, I won't get to do my part in helping the community by being an essential worker... Like, I took a lot of pride in that job. Now it's gone. It sucks.
They're saying they're expecting for the store to recover enough to hire people back in 4-6 months but I seriously doubt it'll survive the rest of the year, I'll be shocked if it somehow manages to struggle through. Either way, what happens to it from now until then isn't something I have any hand in whatsoever. Even my poor manager didn't know, they hadn't told him and made the decision without him.
I tried to file for unemployment as soon as I got home but the website kept glitching and telling me I was trying to claim dependents when I didn't have that option even selected, so I had to call the government and get a queue spot for someone to call me back, which they did today and a very kind and patient lady helped me file it over the phone. At the end of the call I guess it finally hit me and I started crying for the first time. I feel so exhausted and hollow.
I'm going to try not to let this bring me down; I'm gonna try to ride this out and see what happens the next few weeks, and use this time to work more on my Etsy shop and prepare for the Purgatorio online event that I will be participating in, in addition to working on my other hobbies and trying to formulate a life outside of work again now that I've had both vaccines and a lot of my friends are getting their second shots now, too. I've been working a lot on a dollhouse I rescued from a dumpster a while ago, I just finished painting the walls and I'll start painting the baseboards I cut from popsicle sticks here soon.
I might also try doing Doordash here on my scooter for a bit of extra income, so we'll see how that goes?
Idr what brought it on but I finally decided to update the Culture section of my Lolita Resource Archive with all the known toys that are or are obviously inspired by lolita fashion, and as I was researching I just started spiraling down a rabbit hole and now I'm trying to buy multiple dolls (with the aid of shopping services) and bookmarking more that I'm finding that I want later and like but okay so SO. YOU GUYS. LET ME JUST. LET ME JUST TALK FOR A BIT. ABOUT JAPANESE DOLLS?
I think most weebs have probably heard of Licca-chan at least once but in case you haven't I'll explain and give context for my royal tangent here.
Barbie did not sell well in Japan. Like at all. She just wasn't popular. So Takara (which would later become the Takara Tomy toy company we know today) made their own fashion doll that they felt would appeal and resonate more with a Japanese audience. Designed by then-popular shoujo manga artist Miyako Maki, Licca-chan was released to the public in 1967. Licca-chan was unique because she came with a full backstory and personality. She's an 11-year-old girl with one older sister, and later 5, yeah, 5
younger siblings. Her parents are uh. Super busy. To this day Licca-chan is the only other fashion doll to directly compete with Barbie and last over 25 years. She still sells well and they still produce her toyline to this day, though we are currently on the 4th generation (or as we would call it in the West, the 4th reboot) so current dolls obviously look different than the originals.
But Mattel still really wanted to get that Japanese kid cash and they still really wanted Barbie to sell well, so they contacted Takara in 1982 to make a Japanese-styled Barbie, aka just make Barbie in a different style that's more familiar but she's totally still Barbie. Thus "Takara Barbie" was decided on and she hit the shelves, and while sales were alright alongside her "Takara Ken", they still weren't GREAT so in 1986 Mattel ended the contract with Takara. Takara on the other hand still saw potential for the doll, so they renamed her to Jenny (which, as stated in advertising and commercials, explained by Jenny herself, the name change supposedly came from Barbie playing a character named Jenny in a play also called Jenny and she liked the name so she decided to change her name from Barbie to Jenny?????) and renamed Takara Ken to "Jeff" (incredible. Stunning. So original.) And the Jenny toyline was officially born.
Jenny is quite different from Licca-chan in that while Jenny is smaller than Barbie by about an inch and a half or so, she can still wear lots of Barbie/similarly sized doll clothes and works well with Barbie/other similar size furniture and playsets. Licca-chan on the other hand is much smaller, only about 8 inches tall vs Barbie's 12 and Jenny's 10.5. Jenny is also depicted as being a trendy teenager, and is largely centered around fashion and clothing whereas Licca-chan has fashion AND ALSO lots of make-believe play.
At some point though Takara decided they needed a Jenny doll that was closer to Licca-chan's size for god knows what reasons, considering they owned both dolls anyways, so they made a new toy line called COMPACT JENNY LOL and Compact Jennys are all around 6 inches tall. Unlike the main Jenny toyline which includes a somewhat-diverse cast of characters (Jenny and her friends such as Annie, Tamaki and Sayuri to name a few,) Compact Jennys were ALL Jenny just with different looks, except for maybe one or two boys that they randomly threw in the mix cuz yknow. She's not a wamin if she ain't got a boyfran. Compact Jennys and the regular Jenny line are all articulated the same way with a wire frame inside the plastic so that the arms and legs are poseable, but Compact Jennys did not enjoy a particularly long run before being discontinued, whereas to my knowledge the regular Jenny line still continues on to this day.
Jenny has also enjoyed an EXTENSIVE amount of collaborations with other properties, most notably with lolita brands in the early 2000s. Victorian Maiden, Angelic Pretty, Metamorphose Temps de Fille, Algonquins, and Baby, the Stars Shine Bright had all collaborated with Jenny to make their own unique dolls that tend to cost a pretty penny whenever they do turn up. I've also heard that there was a Moi Meme Moitie Jenny and a Putumayo Jenny, but have yet to find evidence of either. I really hope it's true though.
In addition to Jenny and Licca-chan there is also the Momoko doll! Momoko is almost the exact same height as Jenny (10.6 inches) but is marketed specifically as a collector doll and is therefor priced like one. Momoko was created in 2001 and manufactured in very small numbers by the company PetWORKS, and later in 2004 they decided to outsource her production to the Sekiguchi company, while also still producing dolls from PetWORKS. As a result there are multiple Momokos in the world that have a variety of facial styles, with certain releases being limited to one or the other production company, but never both. For example, the popular Sweet Poodle sweet lolita Momoko doll was ONLY manufactured by Sekiguchi; PetWORKS did not produce any of that doll. So if you're looking for a specific Momoko, including the name of her specific production company in your search can help.
A quick side note, unlike Jenny and Licca-chan Momoko is made of hard plastic rather than rubber. So instead of having an armature on the inside, Momoko is jointed, think more like a BJD. She has joints at her waist, shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles. I particularly like that her ankles are jointed so she can wear flat or heeled shoes!
And like Jenny, at one point Sekiguchi decided that they should make a small doll too for some reason??? And shrunk Momoko down into Mame Momoko, or Bean Momoko. Lmao. Mame Momokos are roughly 3.5 inches tall, and are basically reverse-engineered slightly larger cousins of Liddle Kiddles.
While Momoko was a collector's doll, she actually hasn't had that many collaborations, and as far as lolita fashion is concerned the only one worthy of mention is the Mame Momoko collaboration with Kamikaze Girls, where they produced "Mame Momoko as Ryugasaki Momoko". Her hairstyle is similar to the Momoko of the film though it's blonde instead of golden brown, and she's wearing a white and pink frilly outfit that's nearly identical to some of the other "lolita-esque" outfits that a few other unaffiliated Mame Momokos were released with. So really the collaboration is mostly just in name. But it's still really cute and I'd really love to have one (and the other loli-style Mame Momokos, just cause they're so small and cute. And I already have some Liddle Kiddles they'll probably fit in with just fine so. Why not?)
Everything else aside though I think we can all agree that while I love Jenny and Momoko way more, Licca-chan has without a doubt THE BEST PLAYSETS AND DOLLHOUSES. LIKE. HOLY SHIT. BARBIE HAS NOTHING ON LICCA-CHAN'S PLAYSETS. Hospitals, bowling alleys, fashion department stores, malls, grocery stores, hair salons, houses, apartments--just to name a few off the top of my head. And the detail leaves Barbie in the dust. Like. Holy shit. I can't wait to start collecting Licca-chan playsets after we move in a few years.
Anyways thanks for coming to my stupid Japanese doll TED Talk, I'm probably gonna go binge-research some more now.
Wow, what a busy week it's been. I suppose I should start from the top?
The day BEFORE my birthday two of my best friends Rosie and Bee came over for afternoon tea, my first in-person tea with friends since the pandemic started. I made us croissant turkey sandwiches, got us macarons from a great local bakery and cafe, and we finished it off with a tasty french vanilla all-organic pudding. We traded dresses and accessories, hung out, looked at old KERA mags, and just really enjoyed each others' company. They gave me a BtssB jacket as a birthday present! ;__;
So ON my birthday I started the morning by sleeping in a little and then playing Animal Crossing New Horizons; this is the first time I've actually experienced an in-game on-time Easter event, but before that three of my villagers had planned a surprise party for me! It was at Agnes' house, and Punchy and Zucker were there to celebrate and cheer me on as I beat the pinata and got cupcakes to give to my other villagers. After that it was all about collecting more eggs, decorating my house for my birthday and making cute Easter-themed DIYs. It was actually really sweet and I had a lot of fun.
Unfortunately because it was Easter Sunday everything was closed so we couldn't actually go anywhere to do anything; luckily the local Pizza Hut was open so I got to order my favorite stuffed crust pizza for delivery (I missed the delivery driver's call three times I felt so bad ;__; ) and we also got bubble tea from one of my favorite places delivered as well. I got my usual rose green tea with pink salt foam and lychee jellies of course, yummmm. We also got a taro bubble tea for mom, who got there a bit later than she had intended bc there was some issues with grandma, which nobody can really help. She brought me a Barbie caboodle that she'd made into a makeshift Easter basket (oh shit I forgot about that I should eat those candies after dinner tonight...) and she had tried to get me a Barbie cookbook but her local Barnes and Noble was out of stock so she paid for my boyfriend to order one online, it got here a few days later and I actually think it's adorable and has great ideas for foods to make for when I can host tea parties again.
After that we ate food and had some of the lemon bundt cake she'd got me, which was also delicious, and just hung out and talked at home. She eventually did have to leave because she was worried about grandma, and so Lion and I watched Clueless and ate more cheese bread and pizza until it was time for bed.
The next day we went to one of our old favorite cafes which we hadn't been to in well over a year because of the pandemic, and it was so nice and refreshing to be there once again, the food was just as good as we remembered it. After that we ran some errands, I got myself some fun goodies for planning at the Dollar Tree, and then we hung out at the park for a while. I wrote a letter to a friend and planned, and Lion read. Then we went home and ordered more boba tea; they got my order wrong but we ordered during the busy hour so I didn't mind--it was still tasty.
The following days were regular work days, and then this weekend I visited Rosie and Bee this time at their apartment and spent the night; I got to meet their new kitty (he's so shy but such a cutie, I love himb ;__; ) and we went to the mall. We took photo booth pictures--I'd taken Purikura before but I hadn't taken regular Western-style photo booth pics, though I'd always wanted to, I just never had friends that wanted to. Lots of people liked our hime and gal outfits, some girls ran up to us saying they loved our power walks and I was stunned LOL I always thought my walk was a little dumpy. It was also kind of crazy because I never in a million years would have thought that I might be that cool girl that the younger girls looked up to? I mean it wasn't just me it was all of us--but I think all three of us kind of felt that way lol. We were all the kinda weird kids in our schools so to be perceived like that was so surreal, but also super heartwarming. We went to Claire's of course, I got some really cute accessories.
We stopped back at their apartment for a quick rest and outfit change (looking hot is a lot of work and very exhausting tbh) before we all scampered off to Goodwill; they found a few things, like an old Bratzilla and a Monster High doll, but I shockingly came up empty-handed. We spent the night trying to watch Just My Luck (and failing not even halfway through because it was SO painfully cringey) while snacking on some REALLY tasty sunflower seeds and ended up watching Night of the Comet instead. I just happened to see it on the free movie list and we were intrigued, and while it was a slow burn we LOVED the cinematography, thought the two FLs were super cute and actually pretty good actresses, and the soundtrack was BANGIN. Two of their kitties visited me off and on throughout the night after we turned in for bed, which I quite enjoyed since I was missing my own two furry bimbos.
Rosie made us tasty breakfast in the morning, and then we were off to a locally owned thrift store which happened to be having a 50% off the entire store sale and hooooly shit we found SO MUCH STUFF. I got some more decor for our apartment that our living room desperately needed, along with a hilarious pin of a flying bird made of real feathers that has wide eyes like he has seen some SHIT and a VINTAGE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE FLAT TWIN SHEET EEEEEEE!!! I'm always on the lookout for cute vintage franchise bedding to use on the daybed in my guest room and I am SO grateful to Rosie for spotting that. ♥♥♥
After that we took some fun photos near their place, got Popeyes chicken and then they dropped me off at home; I passed tf out on my couch after cuddling my boy and my bimbos, and then we showered and watched Troop Beverly Hills which was SO WHOLESOME AND SO CUTE AND I ACTUALLY LOVED IT WAY MORE THAN I THOUGHT I WOULD WOW. So yeah! So far this month has been surprisingly busy but it's been a REALLY nice change of pace. I'm so grateful to my friends for taking the time out of their days to hang out with me and take me places with them, and I'm so thankful to my mom and my boy for always being there for me and putting up with my dumbass shit lmaoooooo. I'm in a really good place in my life right now and I hope life just keeps climbing up from here.
A new month, here at last! Not gonna lie it took me an hour and a half to figure out how I wanted to link to previous blog entries but I think I worked out a system that I liked (and also finally remembered that hello yes I need a java script to do what I want to do, silly goose.) So now here we are! Two days away from my birthday! I don't want to give away any information that could potentially be used against me bc creeps are everywhere but I will say I am in my mid-twenties now and it feels very weird, like mentally I still feel like I just finished senior year of high school. Isn't it so bizarre how time works and our brains often fail to keep up? Yet it's a concept we invented a measuring system for with these very brains? Weird.
Two of my best friends went through their wardrobe to sell some things and we have set items aside for each other to do a trade! So they are coming to visit tomorrow and we are going to have tea in my newwww wardrobe room! It's mostly done so it's good enough for tea I think. I preordered some macarons from a favorite local bakery to be delivered in the morning via GrubHub, hopefully that comes through bc ugh their lemon poppyseed macarons are SO good. I also got some croissants from work, they're premade I just have to pop them in the oven after letting them thaw and then I can make us some tasty turkey croissant sandwiches as our savory and we can have some of my favorite artisnal french vanilla pudding as well. They're bringing the tea, I'm quite excited to try it! But I'm even MORE excited to just have a REAL, IN PERSON TEA PARTY WITH MY FRIENDS! I'm long since clear from my second Covid shot, and while they've both had their first shots I also know they've been extremely responsible in social distancing during this pandemic so I'm not worried about them coming to visit in the slightest. We're in each others' bubble.
On Sunday my mom is coming down to visit for my birthday, and she says she has our dessert covered for dinner that night... I'm assuming she means she got a cake maybe? Or cupcakes? Plus we had a cake at work I got a slice of, and then my boyfriend just brought home some cupcakes that expired today, so the weight I've lost from being on keto might be packed right back on lol OTL. I'm excited to wear some of the dresses that he and my mom got me for my birthday tomorrow and Sunday; tomorrow I'll wear Paraiso Du Un Unicorn for our tea party and lolit swap, and then Sunday I'll wear Nanairo Prism Stripe! Dunno how I'll coord either yet but :D I'll figure it out and post pics here.
I don't mean to make it a habit of writing late at night bc once again it's technically the 25th BUT HERE I AM 8) I can't figure out how to get my background gradient to work properly. 1) I want it to extend to the bottom of the browser window, aka not repeat, but I DO
need the background IMAGE to repeat (the gif of the falling hearts.) 2) For some reason the background gradient only works on the index page and the Find Me Online page, but I want it to apply to ALL pages. I see no differences in the HTML between the links page and the ones where the gradient doesn't work, like there's nothing in the HTML overriding the CSS, and I don't think anything in my CSS dictates that the gradient is only supposed to work on those two pages. I DON'T GET IT GRRRR.
In other news my gigant order from Tenshi arrived; three dresses, a set (blouse/skirt/headdress), a purse, a hat, and a cardigan. It was a very beeg order. I'm very excited to continue losing weight so once I hit my target goal I can get a good old fashioned corset (preferably Victorian I think) and then I can wear smaller things like my Aya Army set skirt and my Charmmy Kitty x BtssB skirt.
I also finally got the buttons for Card Playing Kitty and replaced those yesterday evening; they ended up being a bit small but I think they're good enough, maybe one day I'll buy the next size up and replace them again, but man am I sick of fixing buttons on that poor JSK lmao. I wore it for the first time today and it's quite comfy but a tad short! I could move the buttons down on the straps but ugh I literally just fixed them so I can't be assed. It'll just be short on me. Haters gonna hate. I got better shit to do. But now my Princess Melody bolero has a seam popping open that I need to fix next. It just never ends. ;__;
I organized the rest of my fabric into bins, but I have a few tiny piles that don't fit into the designated storage area because of course it's already full because OF COURSE I HOARD FABRIC HURRDURR. So I have a little pile of red fabrics, a little pile of grays, a little pile of interfacing, and a little pile of pleathers that I just don't know where to put and I just can't think of anything so they're on my floor and I hate it. In a similar vein, I have big hats and bonnets that need a proper storage solution that isn't on a styrofoam wig head that keeps falling off my desktop tower and pissing me off, but IDK WHERE TO PUT THEM EITHER. (8 This room is so tiny, ugh.
In an effort to distract myself from lolita, and also now that I finally have the space, I've been getting back into my dolls and My Little Ponies, like I've been hardcore fixating. I spontaneously bought a Strawberry Shortcake doll that I had as a kid and stupidly gave away, have been bingewatching Strawberry Shortcake and My Little Pony (both the original movie/cartoons from the 80s and the shows from the early 2000s, honestly fuck FiM it's trash) and recently purchased two new playsets. I had a big brain energy epiphany; when I was a teenager first getting into toy photography I was constantly irritated by the juxtaposition of my stylized toys vs the real life they were being photographed in which was downright dreary in comparison. I vividly remember the bright and colorful scenes I'd pictured in my head, only to be disappointed time and again by my photographs never coming close to what I'd envisioned, even with photoshop and editing. But nowadays it's a different story--cameras and technology have evolved SO much I can take a picture on my smartphone, pop it into an app, adjust the colors, add a filter, and then decorate it with animated stickers to bring the image to life just the way I'd always wanted, all within roughly 10 minutes.
I tried it for the first time with some of my G2 ponies and new playset #1, SweetBerry's Kitchen (also G2) and put it on my Instagram, @chizu_bjd and was THRILLED with the result. With this latest discovery I finally feel like I can really put the life into my toys that I'd always wanted to! So I think I'll be particularly enjoying that as an upcoming past time; I'm waiting on my mom to bring down some of the other toys/playsets/accessories from her storage unit next time she visits, and I'm also waiting on playset #2 in the mail. I can't wait to take pictures of my ponies! (And eventually my Monster High dolls as well, but before that I need to get my storage situation better sorted out first.)
So I'll elaborate more now that I feel like actually writing; over the last 10 days some good things did happen, most importantly getting my daybed! The frame arrived and I was able to put it together in about two hours, not bad, and the mattress came the day after so I let it air out overnight and got it all dressed up a day or two before the Minorinrin Zoom tea party. I also got the extension cords I needed for my string light mood lighting to work and I think it turned out ADORABLE. I was grumpy last time I wrote though because I didn't get to spend my weekend quite the way I'd envisioned, mainly because of my period cramps. :') Friday and Sunday were both spent curled up on my daybed doing nothing but feeling shitty and in pain. Yay-rah.
I've recently gotten back into my Style Savvy games, right now I'm putzing around with Trendsetters but I think I might play the original here in a bit. These last few days spent in my wardrobe room have genuinely got me to thinking though: What do we expect of the modern lifestyle lolita? What IS considered lifestyle anymore, and what is it NOT? I don't think anyone's really gone in depth about this topic in any recent years, really most talk of lifestyling that I hear these days is what I find when digging through old blogs, or talking with one of my best friends who is also a lifestyler.
Back in the day (10+ years ago) living a lolita lifestyle or aspiring to was a very common train of thought that most people tended to think of hand in hand with wearing the fashion. The "IT'S LITERALLY JUST CLOTHES" mentality hadn't really sunk into the community yet. Back then it was still very much about playing princess in a way; there are oodles of articles in the GLBs and Kera about ways to lolify your life, how to act like a noble lady, what hobbies you should learn to best fit with your new fashion interests, etc. It's really not so different from regular magazines now that I think about it; talking about lifestyle, cooking, hobbies, media, these are all things even normie Western mags do, so that may be why back then it was considered so normal. People READ magazines back then. I can't think of anybody off the top of my head who actually still reads magazines anymore--not when everything is now online, which I think may be where the separation began to occur.
There was also of course the argument that people couldn't afford
to live a lavish lifestyle and true, I'd wager 95% of lolitas can't. We're too busy putting our spending money towards brand. But I'm not really sure where the thought that being a lolita lifestyler = expensive came from. Going back to the articles in the GLBs and Keras I mentioned previously, it was all DIY. The magazines HAD the tutorials in them for learning new hobbies--tutorials for sewing, crocheting, knitting, making your own doll, learning how to do your own hair and makeup, how to style your outfits. It was all in there, and it was geared towards a young Japanese teenager audience--hardly people with boatloads of frivolous spending money. How did you get a fancy phone that your friends would be envious of? By decorating it yourself, with craft glue and rhinestones and scrap lace. How did you get your dream princess bedroom? By sewing it yourself, making your own bedspread, pillows, and even rugs. How did you get the ultimate aesthetic, frilly and girly roomwear? You upcycled your own clothes or clothes you thrifted and added lace, made alterations, and did it yourself.
This is something that I've also come to realize has long since been lost to this community, and that is the concept of DIY. I feel like this is mostly only a problem in the west, and I can really only specifically speak for American lolitas. American lolitas are fully absorbed in consumerism and capitalism, because it's what we've been inundated with literally since the day we took our first breaths. Nothing matters more to Americans than spending money, because capitalism has taught us that spending money will make us happy, even though the only people it truly makes happy are the rich CEOs making money off of our spending, but that's an entire other can of worms. The point is, handmade lolita has often carried a connotation here in America that causes most lolitas to turn their noses at it. If you go to a meet in an outstanding outfit with pieces you made yourself, you'll get compliments, sure, but the attention always turns to who has the most brand. (And right now, that brand is Angelic Pretty, which has remained the most dominant "status" brand the longest.)
It's gotten to the point where you often see new lolitas in Facebook groups comparing Angelic Pretty to Gucci, Moschino, and Prada.
Yes, I'm dead serious, they think Angelic Pretty is on the same level as actual designer brands.
But just looking at the lolitas I follow on Instagram who hail from Japan, China, and South Korea, yes they do love brand but they are often ALSO adorned head to toe in independent designer accessories. They show off their handmade goods quite proudly, and often I see them selling their handmade goods on Mercari and Fril for a pretty penny. I will say the lolita indie scene has gotten better in the West than it was 5-6 years ago, but it's still got a long way to go before these lolitas relax their iron deathgrip on the idea that they need to parade all their brand at all times in every photo.
I've deviated a bit from my original topic of what is lifestyle in the modern day, but perhaps that's actually best saved for another post, or a Youtube video. Or both. For now I'll continue to sit here and ponder why I feel like a more "proper" lifestyler now that I have a wardrobe room than when I didn't, even though none of my actual personal behaviors, patterns, or hobbies, has changed. I'm getting sleepy, and my 3DS is looking quite forlorn peeking out from under my laptop.
Oops it's been 8 days since my last blog post, oh well. Really not much went on this week, and for some reason my three day weekend was spent primarily on my new wardrobe room Aesthetic (tm) daybed, either feeling like shit, or feeling sorry for myself because of my awful shark week. So all the cleaning and organizing I wanted to do, the sewing, the filming of new video content... Clearly did not happen. (: I did do some household chores, and I did get to work on a skirt repair that is pretty much done, all that's left is to close up some seams I had to pop open to pull out some destroyed boning, and replace the buttons. So there's that.
I did also attend the Minori and Rinrin virtual Zoom tea party and it was okay. It was fun, but by the end of it I was extremely mentally exhausted and there were a few unsavory types that ended up getting in that seemed to make other people than just myself uncomfortable, so dealing with that was quite tiring. It reminded me why I typically don't interact with the lolita community at large; there's just... So much. Too much. Always the same conversation topics, the same questions, the same problems... Young lolitas who come bursting in with enthusiasm only to give up the fashion after 3-4 years which seems to be the average... It's very exhausting. I'd much rather stick to my personal friend circle, and just deal with my local community because I know
most everyone in my local community. It's so much easier to just vibe with other lolitas when you're not constantly trying to bridge the gap between yourself and newbies, or force yourself to open up to strangers. I truly am but a humble turtle in my shell I suppose.
Okay so I got a lot done yesterday and today. Yesterday I cleaned up the wardrobe room and finished putting the wall fringe, lights and floral swags up, handstitched flowers around my bed canopy and got that up hanging from the ceiling, and my bf and I were able to get the floating shelf up on the wall that I got to display my My Little Ponies on and it's all looking rly cute. There was some other things I did but those were the main things.
Today we went on a walk but not before I vacuumed grandpa's chair and got it sprayed with lavender (in case moths try to eat it) and citrus (to keep my cats from clawing it :')) Also I drew today! I posted it on my IG @lace.copics, yknow assuming Instagram doesn't lock this account like it did the first one for some bullshit reasons bc it thinks I'm spam. Which like... IG has the worst algorithm for that lmao there are so many obvious spam bots but they get through all the time meanwhile CLEAR and OBVIOUS human beings make accounts NOPE IT'S GOTTA BE SPAM REEEEEE ugh whatever.
I also got a ticket to the Minori and Rinrin virtual Zoom tea party on the 13th!!! I'm really excited bc I also got a chaki (poloroid) autographed by Minori that I'm hoping to get addressed to one of my best friends who loooves Minori but couldn't attend the party bc she works that day. I'm really hoping my daybed gets here in time, FedEx is saying both the mattress and frame should be here on the 10th which is cutting it clooose lmao. I have all the bedding and decor though to go on it so as soon as it gets here I should be able to put it together quickly! The theme is spring picnic so I'm thinking gingham (gingham? For Spring? Groundbreaking.)
Technically it's the 5th bc it's midnight but whatever. I'm very excited to do some cleaning this weekend, I got a cool new chair that was my grandpa's (I hardly knew him tho but thanks for the cool chair dude) and I need to vacuum all the dust off of it. Then I need to prepare the space for the daybed bc I ORDERED THE FRAME AND MATTRESS YAYAYAY!!!!
Also I think the thing I love the most about Neocities is getting to see everyone in their own little spaces. You can actively choose how much of a community interaction you want, ie by commenting on updates, allowing comments on your site, or messages or w/e, or keep it isolated and just do your own thing. So much of the internet these days is focused solely on socializing, which creates this weird urge in us to pick and choose what we decide to show, but we often pick what we think OTHERS will like most, rather than picking what we like instead. I like that about Neocities; I'm still choosing what I want to show but I have so little "audience" engagement here that it truly feels like this is my space to do whatever the hell I want with. The things I post here are already so vastly different from my Instagram, for example. I love it.
Added an page to my Home page and got that coded and sorted out (kind of, it's still a WIP, I need to make more graphics.) I also added a doll page but I don't have anything on there just yet; my dolls are all very neglected so it'll be a while before I feel like they're ready for photos again.
ALSO I am finally FINALLY FINALLY
going through the images Raine Dragon so graciously was able to code and download for me from the Daily Lolita Livejournal; I have to go through every photo downloaded, which the script downloaded every single photo in a post and back then it was normal to add multiple outfits and extra funsies photos into one post, to find suitable coord shots from every post to then file into another folder for editing to obscur their faces to protect their privacy, and THEN they will be uploaded to the Daily Lolita Archive Flickr
, which hi yes I'm the one who made that in 2019 and promptly ran out of time for it lmfao. SSSSSSSorry. >>" Soooo... Yes, 2009! That is happening! Look forward to it!
Good god trying to figure out the CSS and HTML properties for a scrollbox was infuriating. For some reason no matter where I put it in my CSS I couldn't get any scrollbox style properties to apply to this page, and had to resort to using some basic HTML Div Styles to get this to look remotely decent. It's not bad, just frustrating.
I got my second Covid-19 shot yesterday, and about 9 hours after I was experiencing severe bodily aches and pains, extreme chills (like I needed my heated blanket, a fur blanket and a fleece blanket on top of my flannel sheets and polyfill comforter) in addition to the strong pains in my left arm where the needle went in. Today isn't as bad, my body is regulating temperature a little better, but even with Ibuprofen the aches and pains don't go away, so I've been bedridden all damn day.
Some might be overjoyed by this forced rest but all of my productive activities require the use of both of my arms (sewing, cleaning the apartment, organizing and decorating my wardrobe room, etc. etc...) so I basically just wasted the entire day by being a potato and I hate it. I can't stand sitting still and I was bored out of my skull the entire day. But hey at least it got me working on my website some more?
Speaking of the wardrobe room, it's already come so far now that the last big mountain of my mom's things are out of it; next paycheck I'll be ordering the day bed frame and mattress, to basically serve as a couch/guest bed/filming setup, and I am so so so so excited to get that and put all of my vintage 90s Barbie sheets on it, and the comforter!! OH THE COMFORTER!!!