Radiogurl a la Carte

Saturday, Feb. 26, 2005
Art of Illusion

The title of this entry is as much for me as it is for other folks. I discovered a new toy tonight, and while I haven't had time to play with it yet, it looks veeeery innnnteresting! The program is open source and it's called Art of Illusion. I have been looking for something that would build 3D images but can't justify spending $200+ for a program like Poser, much less the approximately $7000 for Maya. (The reason for the extreme cost of the latter is that it's the same program used by studios like Disney and Dreamworks to create animated feature films. It's professional-level stuff, not really intended for a strict amateur like me.)

I am such a geek. But an artistic geek.

Today was a power shop-a-thon. I attempted haute couture at Wally World first, as it's really the only place around here to buy clothes. Well, it's ALMOST the only place, as I discovered today. I hit the main downtown drag, having remembered one other place that sells women's clothing. They mainly carry formal wear and things that are entirely too frou-frou for me. (Not to mention their penchant for items that are dry clean only, a phrase to which, with few exceptions, I'm deathly allergic.)

But while I was already testing the limits of the bungie cord from work that's surgically attached to my ankle, I kept driving and discovered a wonderful little out-of-the-way shop that's got some very cool things. There were a couple of pantsuits I really liked, a little more kitschy than my norm but really cute. Both were really out of my price range, at $89 and $119 respectively. If I push it I could pay that much for a nice suit for work, but these were much too casual for work attire, and I can guarantee they both required dry cleaning. One was embellished ecru linen, the other was blue print rayon. I love wearing rayons. Unfortunately, the style definitely wasn't meant for the workplace. Otherwise I'd consider going back and getting it. Oh well.

After spending a while checking out that lovely little establishment, which also carries antiques and collectables, I meandered a bit further down the road and stopped in at a second-hand store.

I haven't hit the thrift store for a while, mainly because the one here in town is so limited in its offerings. You don't often find stuff in larger sizes that's in good shape, at least not around here. What they do have is generally in extremely tiny sizes or WAAAY bigger than I ever wore (which is saying a lot.) But apparently today was kismet, or it's just because I'm that much smaller, because I found a pair of khaki-color Ralph Lauren jeans, a brown Bill Blass silk sweater, a broomstick skirt, another silk shirt, a black crinkle gauze shirt, and a pair of dress pants. For all of that haul, plus an ironing board, I paid the huge sum of $16. I came home feeling a little like I'd just won the lottery!

After washing the dress pants I discovered that they must've been dry clean only because they're now about the size to fit 00, even though I washed them in cold water. (They were the only thing I bought that didn't have the tags in them.) If I only lost one item out of that batch, I did extremely well. I just hate that it was those because I really liked them, darn it.

Everything else was washable, including the Blass sweater, and everything is now washed and put away, or drying.

I would brag about being socially conscious and recycling, but in reality I'm just cheap and broke, not necessarily in that order.

Unfortunately I had no such luck finding a pair of shoes. I'm really hesitant to buy second-hand shoes, for a lot of reasons, anyway. Aside from the risk of transmitting athelete's foot and other nasty stuff, it's extremely hard for me to find shoes even at retail. That's something I'm going to have to do shortly, too. I have a pair of bedroom slippers, a pair of flip-flops, and a pair of Nikes, but my pumps have deteriorated beyond salvage. I was going to take them to get them re-heeled, but when I looked closely I realized that the leather's too worn on the sides and front - it's nearly all the way through on the toes of both shoes. No point re-soling them if they're that bad. I think I've had them for four years, and put several hundred miles on them.

Shoes are something I can't buy at Wally World. The Wally World specials generally don't fit, but it's also a medical consideration. When I was at my heaviest I developed heel spurs, and while it's been a long while since I had any real problems with them, that's partly because I had to give up cheap shoes, on doctor's orders.

That will probably mean I buy a pair of Naturalizers online, because their sizes are consistent and I know exactly what I want, for size and style. Besides which, I know ahead of time that I can get what I want, in my color and size. As a bonus, there are two places online where you can order Naturalizers and they pay shipping. If I'm paying that much for a pair of shoes (about comparable to Nikes,) I'm glad at least to not have to pay shipping too. If you've got to wear heels, go with Naturalizers. They're the only pumps I've ever worn that really ARE as comfortable as sneakers.

After talking tonight with her-story, I think I'm going to phone a mutual friend tomorrow, arc-angel666, who has been deathly ill. Her-story and I discussed both calling, but all things considered we decided I'd call, give him both our best wishes, and she and I would talk later in the day.

If you don't already visit Michael's page, kindly say hello and send up a healing prayer for him. He's very much a sweetheart and while a lot of people have already wished him well, I'm sure a few more well-wishes will only help.

Before - After

In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )