Graveyard Shifts At the Crew.

Monday, October 20, 2014

I love my job. I'm happy to say I love my job, despite the complaining that sometimes comes out of my mouth because the 16 year old inside of me, who didn't want to go to school then, and didn't want to go to class in college, and doesn't want to go to work on any given day today because sometimes, we just have those days where we don't want to do a thing. I still love my job... once I arrive.

I love having the responsibilities of the "behind-the-scenes" if you will, at J.Crew. Working at a flagship store out of Los Angles, I have been blessed with amazing learning experiences and opportunities. I am in no way boasting, I just never really mention my work over social media as often as I talk about it with Zeke, my family and close friends.

Sometimes I feel lucky to do the visuals for J.Crew, and I think to myself, why me? How? Zeke's frank response is, "because you have a degree in Fine Arts." There you go... But I really didn't know how much fun I'd have. I love tasks, and busy work, and the nooks and crannies of J.Crew. I love building the shelves, pulling looks for 150+ mannequins, steaming the looks (sometimes I feel like I work as a vogue intern, like Lauren Conrad on 'The Hills', and I like that), dressing and pinning every article of clothing, every layer, every panama hat, every heel or leopard flat and every torte shell statement necklace with a splash of glistening crystals. I love organizing and labeling shoe boxes, sending out pant alterations to our tailor, putting decals on the front store windows, building the front window displays, painting walls, organizing the signage for our promos and sales in our signage library, folding and arranging a perfectly neat table displaying hues of your favorite cashmere sweater with De Kooning and Slim Aarons table books on the side. Do you get it? Do you get that I love this stuff? I love being the one who takes the price gun and marks down all sale items and placing them in the sale section. I love when shipment arrives because that means I get to tear the crap out of 300 boxes with fresh new arrivals and pretend like it's Christmas and that they are all for me - and they're not, but it's a thrill!

I love having the opportunity to work with a great team, and working with a great partner for visuals. I love the opportunity to have frequent visits with Mickey Drexler, and getting to know him, and sharing my personal artwork with him, as well as Jenna Lyons brother, who models every now and then in our Style Guides. That doesn't happen every day folks, nor did I ever imagine that it would have! I love feeling like I am making something happen - putting the store together, making it looks crisp and clean and beautiful. I love to step back and see the hard work I put in and then watch the customers tear it to shreds like animals. I just love my job.

I also love that most of the time, I am in the store when it's closed - either at the butt-crack of dawn, or over-night roll out shifts. I just got home from a rollout shift - it's 7:30 in the morning. I started work at 9 last night, so you best believe I'm going to be nocturnal today, and tomorrow, as I'm doing another rollout tonight, AND tomorrow night. It's a beast, I tell ya. It's a lot of work, hard work - dressing all those mannequins, and putting up the window displays. My back aches and all I want to do is sleep, but when it's all said and done, I realize how much fun I was having. And how I'd do it again and again, and again - which I do and dread it hours before hand. But nonetheless, I feel as though I have gained new skills, and new opportunities and for that I am grateful.

Graveyard shifts at the Crew allow me to do what I love - and that's being creative.

October In California.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

One of my favorite months of the year is here. Obviously, seeing as how we are two and a half weeks into it. I haven't been as festive as I normally am, nor excited nor as obsessed; and I'm having a really hard time wrapping my head around my abnormal Halloween behavior. But I know the root cause of it and there is someone/something to blame - and that's the state everyone and their mother drools over - CALIFORNIA.

I swear I'm celebrating Christmas in July. First off, the weather keeps getting warmer and warmer. I'm sweating throughout the night like a hog, and no leaves outside have changed color. Maybe, just maybe, it's because there are no actual trees in Santa Monica, only palm trees. And maybe, just maybe, the trees we do have last all year - everything is still in full bloom - roses, hydrangeas, you name it. I sound stupid, don't I? Doesn't it all sound like paradise, what I am describing to you?  It is, don't get be wrong. Someone still needs to slap me silly because I am constantly in awe with the beauty of this small city by the Sea, but seasons - I NEED SEASONS. I am such a holiday fanatic, and you cant play the part if you don't have the backdrop or else it feels like you're faking it.

It's hard too because no one here decorates for Halloween. For the most part, everyone is either single, older, or a student and most of the housing are apartments. But if you go a block or two north and you hit the high society and all the old money neighborhoods with their mansions - everything is gated or blocked by boxwoods and hedges so even if they did decorate, I couldn't see it to tell you that they do.

Zeke has even noticed my odd behavior. In the middle of September he kept asking, "Hey, where's the Halloween/Fall decor?" Wait, it's a week till October?! I thought it was JUNE! I truthfully kept forgetting it was fall. I feel like we are still in the midst of summer and that this has been the longest year of my life until I realize I only have two and a half more months of 2014 left. Then I begin to panic.

We still have yet to go to a pumpkin patch, or a haunted house or go ghost hunting. We have watched some scary movies and I did hang up bats in our house, as you can see above, but it's just not doing the trick. I force myself to wear a sweater but then I regret the decision as I am dying of heat and would rather put my swimsuit on and head to the beach. What a blindsided spoil brat I sound like, huh? But, the grass is always greener on the other side, I'm sure. Everyone with seasons and the perfect crisp fall breeze and aroma are thinking how they are so over it all and wish for the beach. Except, on my Instagram feed, that's not the vibe I'm getting. Everyone and their mother is apple picking, going on hayrides, collecting an ombre collection of fall leaves, decorating their porches with pumpkins, eating stew, you name it and they've got the backdrop to prove it's actually October.

Woe is me I guess. I'm starting to understand why people who are okay without seasons move out to sunny California- the weather is perfect year round.

Gone With the Wind 75th Anniversary

Thursday, October 2, 2014

In honor of the 75th Anniversary of my favorite film of all-time, "Gone With the Wind," here are my favorite lines from Margaret Mitchell's novel.

"Magnolia-white skin - that skin so prized by Southern women and so carefully guarded with bonnets, veils and mittens against hot Georgia suns."

"Land is the only thing in the world that amounts to anything. For 'tis the only thing in this world that lasts, and don't you be forgetting it! 'Tis the only thing worth working for, worth fighting for - worth dying for."

" She spoke in the soft slurring voice of the coastal Georgian, liquid of vowels, kind to consonants and with the barest trace of French accent." (description of Ellen O'Hara)

"...There was an air of solidness, of stability and permanence about Tara; and whenever Gerald galloped around the bend in the road and saw his own roof rising through green branches, his heart swelled with pride as though each sight of it were the first sight."

"Savannah- that gently mannered city by the sea."

"Savannah - a quiet jungle beauty of the sea islands draped in their gray moss and tangled green, the white stretches of beach hot beneath a semitropic sun, the long flat vistas of sandy land studded with palmetto and palm."

"Twelve Oaks - they topped the rise and the White House reared it's perfect symmetry before her, tall of columns, wide of verandas, flat of roof, beautiful as a woman is beautiful who is so sure of her charm that she can be generous and gracious to all."

"Savannah and Charleston are like aged grandmothers fanning themselves placidly in the sun."

"Atlanta was a mixture of the old and new in Georgia, in which the old often came off second best in it's conflicts with the self-willed and vigorous new."

"Lonely plantations in Charleston, where the bellow of alligators broke the night stillness; dreaming in it's gardens behind it's high walls. Savannah, with it's wide streets lined with palmetto and the muddy river beside it."

"Southerners were as enthusiastic visitors as they were hosts, and there was nothing unusual in relatives coming to spend the Christmas holidays and remaining until July. Visitors added excitement and variety to the slow-moving Southern life and they were always welcomed."

"Scarlett wanted to be home. She wanted Tara with desperate desire of a frightened child frantic for the only haven it had ever known."

"Her love for this land with it's softly rolling hills of bright-red soil, this beautiful red earth that was blood colored, garnet, brick dust, vermilion, which so miraculously grew green bushes started with white puffs, was one part of Scarlett which did not change when all else was changing. Nowhere else in the world was there land like this."

"Wars were fought for swelling acres, softly furrowed by the plow, for pastures geen with stubby cropped grass, for lazy yellow rivers and white houses that were cool amid magnolias. These were the only things worth fighting for, the red earth which was theirs would be their sons', the red earth which would beat cotton for their sons and their sons' sons."

"God intended women to be timid frightened creatures and there's something unnatural about a women who isn't afraid... Scarlett, always save something to fear - even as you save something to love."

"There was something about cotton that was reassuring, steadying. Tara had risen to riches on cotton, even as the whole South had risen, and Scarlett was Southerner enough to believe that both Tara and the South would rise again out of the red fields."

"I'm like Atlanta. It takes more than Yankees or a burning to keep me down."

"I do mind, very much, the loss of the beauty of the old life I loved. Scarlett, before the war, life was beautiful. There was a glamour to it, a perfection and a completeness and a symmetry to it like Grecian art. Maybe it wasn't so to everyone. I know that. But to me, living at Twelve Oaks, there was a real beauty to living. I belonged in that life. I was a part of it. And now it is gone and I am out of place in this new life, and I am afraid."

"You should be kissed and often, by someone who knows how."

"They burned you," she thought, "and they laid you flat. But they didn't lick you. They couldn't lick you. You'll grow back just as big and sassy as you used to be!"

"But, no matter what sights they had seen, what menial tasks they had done and would have to do, they remained ladies and gentlemen, royalty in exile - bitter, aloof, incurious, kind to one another, diamond hard, as bright and brittle as the crystals of the broken chandelier over their heads. The old days has gone but these people would go their ways as if the old days still existed, charming, leisurely, determined not to rush and scramble for pennies as the Yankees did, determined to part with none of the old ways."

"Atlanta, it seemed, must always be hurrying, not matter what it's circumstances might be. Savannah, Charleston, Augusta, Richmond, New Orleans would never hurry. It was ill bred and Yankeefied to hurry. But in this period, Atlanta was more ill bred and Yankeefied than it had ever been before or would ever be again."

"Night after night, in these newly built homes, the windows were ablaze with gas light and the sound of music and dancing feet drifted out upon the air. Women in stiff bright-colored silks strolled about long verandas, squired by men in evening clothes. Champagne corks popped, and on lace tablecloths seven-course dinners were laid. Hand in wine, pressed duck, pate de foie gras, rare fruits in and out of season, were spread in profusion."

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