Saturday, August 31, 2013

My Strange Addiction on the Last Day

After a surprise banana pudding party on my last day of work, which I loved, I had my exit interview. The moment it was finished, I was whisked out of the office, and I wasn't sure how I should be feeling. I tried to savor the walk south on 5th Avenue and west on 35th, but I think I was in a sort of a daze. This was my last job in New least for now.

Clearly, the only remedy was to have some lunch, go straight home, put on my robe, and watch a nice, full dose of My Strange Addiction. That show, oddly, is my own strange addiction. If you haven't watched it, you need to get on that. It's on Netflix or TLC. For one thing, the fact that a woman who carries a pillow around everywhere she goes has been engaged should give all spinsters hope for the future of our love lives. That's not to say, however, that we should all carry pillows, though that would make on-the-go napping easier. It's just that no matter how much of a freak these people on this show are, a lot of them happen to have fairly normal romances.

After that magnificent siesta, I was so happy I had made dinner plans with my friend Shira to take my mind off how I should be feeling about my entire life and also to discuss the weirdos on My Strange Addiction. Bareburger is amazing, and so is the nail polish selection at Duane Reade. That's what we did, and it was delightful.

More to come on the process and progress of the move. Don't worry, I'll be back to covering true spinster events once my brain starts functioning at normal levels again.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Textures from my Iphone

One of my favorite design blogs, Design is Mine, sometimes has posts that are just ten images of inspiration. This, of course, is a fertile hunting ground for my Pinterest boards. Today, while I was taking photos of samples to send to my merchants, I noticed how high the resolution and quality of my iphone photos can be. So, today, since my brain is progressively growing more and more scattered with my move, I decided to make a post that's mostly about interesting imagery.

In the grid above, you'll see several super close up shots of interesting textures I encountered between 6pm and 7pm last night. Perhaps they'll give you a little inspiration!

Top Left: Closeup of a faceted transparent bead and matte seed bead necklace
Top Middle: Closeup of a yellow pear-shaped rhinestone
Top Right: The textured yellow line on the subway platform.
Bottom Left: A hand knitted hat with multi sequins
Bottom Middle: The metal wall covering in the M train.
Bottom Right: Blush-colored metallic elastic
(click grid to enlarge the entire image)

Note: Today is my last day of work in New York. I feel like I should have more to say about it, but all I can say is that I have mixed emotions. I have a feeing that I won't know what to think or how to feel until...sometime later. I am, however, very much looking forward to the pool at my new apartment complex, chunk sitch or no.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Desk Snacks: An Expert's Guide

Anyone who's ever had a desk job knows the joy of a good desk snack. And anyone who's ever eaten a snack at their desk knows the sadness of having to share that precious goodness. So, today I've made a list of the top five ways to avoid the ol' snack "sharers" (re: the takers) and enjoying your snack.

1. Eat something healthy:
          On monay of this week, I bought a big bunch of grapes. I ate a pretty large amount of them, but hardly anyone asked if they could have any. However, if I had really wanted to have my snack all to myself, I think something like cucumbers, celery, or carrots would really have done the trick. The only down side to this snack is that you have to eat something healthy a a snack...

2. Eat something you have to bite off of:
          Yeah, that title was kind of awkward. But, the truth is this: If you have something that's made of little pieces like a bag of chips or some peanut m&m's, people are more likely to ask if they can have some. If you're putting your hands and mouth all over, say, a snickers or a peach, n one's going to ask for a bite unless they were raised by wolves. And in that case, they probably wouldn't ask. They'd just grab it and run away.

3. Keep your snack in a secret drawer:
           A common place for desk snacks is the bottom desk drawer. This one is usually large enough to fit a regular sized bag of chips or a package of oreos. Don't put your snacks there. If you really want to throw scavengers off the scent, keep them inside another bag inside one of your slimmer drawers. One of my favorite desk snacks is Dove Chocolate. I like to take that out of the bag and put it in a zip-up cosmetics bag. People think there's medicine in there, probably. And, well, it is a kind of medicine now that I think of it.

4. Have a decoy snack:
          If you have a particularly precious snack you'd like to hoard, sometimes it can help to have a decoy snack. It can be a fine snack, appropriate for sharing, like jolly ranchers or peppermints. This way, people will take a piece or two without suspecting you have something more.

5. Become known as stingy:
          So, this should be your last resort, but it really does work quite well. If your coworkers know you hate to share, they're less likely to ask for some of your precious snackery. Sure, they'll think you're weird, but you'll have your snacks to comfort you.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Surprise Portrait: Katie Chandler

Surprise! It's a portrait of my friend and fellow single lady, Katie Chandler! Katie and I grew up in the same neighborhood but didn't really meet until high school. But now it's  been over ten years, and Katie is lovelier now than ever. 

Along with having participated in my favorite high school pastime, photo shoots, Katie admits to having worn one lightening bolt earring in college and is my co-pinner on the "true spinsta for real" pin board on Pinterest. She also harbors a deep love for cats, kittens, and Buzzfeed and is the one who introduced me to #myfriendsaremarried. How could I ever repay her? I'm starting with a surprise portrait. 

Should Katie and I remain spinsters for the rest of our days, we have plans to purchase adjoining town homes with secret doors for our cats so they can be friends. Until then, I suppose we'll continue watching Netflix together long distance. 

Today's portrait was made in photoshop using a photo I stalkerishly downloaded from Katie's facebook as a reference. There's no way to do justice to how blue her eyes are, though, so you'll just have to imagine.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Spinster's Fashion Crossword

 This weekend after I posted the Spinster crossword, a reader commented on The Spinsterhood Diaries' facebook page that I should do a "fashionista" crossword. Well, Ms. Gibbs, your wish is my command!

Today I've put together a fashion-related crossword with some easy questions and some not-so-easy questions. I'd imagine, though, that all answers are googlable if you know what to search. I suspect, though, that if you call yourself a fashionista, you won't have to do any googling at all!

I also decided that today's crossword needed a few little accessories, so I gave it a pair of cat eye sunglasses and a little pouch with a bow on it, just for flare. I hope you all have a brilliant time solving today's puzzle! Click and print!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Big News for the Spinster

This weekend I had to take a last minute trip down to Atlanta Georgia to look at apartments. Yes, that does mean what you think it does. I'm moving to Atlanta! I've accepted a design position with a company down there, and I decided it was time for some real air conditioning and a car.

While the past six years in New York have been amazing and a huge learning experience (I've never been an adult anywhere else), I am super excited for a new adventure!  But don't worry, I'll document my spinsterly adventures right here on The Spinsterhood Diaries.

The moving will start next week, and yes, I am having multiple panic attacks. After waiting and waiting for an answer, it all happened so fast. But, I got an apartment this weekend, and it's about twice the size of my apartment here in New York for less money, so we're off to a good start!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Spinster Word Search

Assuming you've completed yesterday's spinsterly crossword puzzle, I thought you might be ready for yet another game. This one should be a bit easier, and I tried my best to make it a little prettier than yesterday's. This one even has a word bank!

I'm sure any of you that are teachers, especially elementary school and middle school teachers, have used these online tools before, but I think they're so cool! Don't worry, though, I'll try very hard not to pester you with too many more puzzles. Just these two...for now. So click on the photo, print yourself a copy, and get to solving!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Spinster Saturday Crossword

Thursday night I discovered something most of you probably already know: you can make your own crossword puzzles for free online. I used this free puzzle maker to make what you see below.

Now, I don't do the New York Times' crossword puzzle, but it's my understanding that it gets progressively harder as the week goes on. So, this is a Saturday-level puzzle, but I will tell you that some questions are easy, and some are a bit harder. Most of the answers are either googlable or can be found in the content of the good ol' Spinsterhood Diaries. So click on the image to enlarge, print yourself a copy, and get to solving!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Creepy Friday

kitten-stewart, rod-stewart-kitten, rod-stewart-gif
After three consecutive days of text-heavy posts, I've decided to give you a break and just thoroughly creep you out. As you may remember, I have, in the past few months, learned how to make gifs. As it's been a bit of a slow week at the office, I've spent some of my time in what is clearly a productive manner, making the magnificent creations you see in today's post.

First, let me introduce you to Kitten Stewart. As you may remember, I think Rod Stewart's song, "Sometimes when we touch," is one of the strangest and best earworms of all time. So, clearly, it was barely a leap at all for me to combine Rod Stewart with a Kitten to make the delightful frankenkitten you see here. After all, Stewart has always been known for his unruly mane of hair. My only regret here is that his mouth moves one syllable less than it should, and I didn't think to remove the watermark. But alas, it's still creepy enough to give you the heebie-jeebies. Just imagine if I'd somehow incorporated that gross photo of him in a spedo. That would have been too much.

puppy-gif, paul-mccartney-gif, paul-mccartney-puppy, creepy-gifNext, I'd like to introduce you to Puppy McCartney. I think we an all agree that Paul McCartney, in reality, looks like a bird, but I sort of think of him as having more of a puppy's personality. After all, he and Linda only spend something like two nights apart in their entire marriage. Though the real Paul McCartney is now older than 64, Puppy
McCartney is still just a little roly poly puppy. He's just a little chubby wubby, all he wants to know is if you'll still feed him when he's 64 (in dog years.) That's just a little over 9 years in human years. You can manage that, right?

With this gif, I remembered to do the syllables right. My friend Kelly said that this was so creepy it was going to haunt her dreams for the rest of the week. I consider that a job well done. It's still kind of cute, though, right?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wedding Weekend Spinstering: Part 3

As honorary bridesmaids, Katie, Mary Cothonneau, Rachel, and I were charged with handing out the programs. This gave us the benefit of seeing all the guests as they entered and, in turn, being seen by them. Mary Cothonneau and I were on the groom's side's entrance, and I didn't see any bachelors over the age of 18 enter the sanctuary.

Mary Cothonneau did keep me entertained, however, admitting she hadn't brushed her teeth since before the luncheon. Neither had I. In fact, so consumed was I with pretending to gobble up my sister's baby, I had all together neglected to wash my hair that day and had instead opted to douse my head with baby powder and hoped I didn't look like a barrister handing out paperwork instead of programs.

When we ran out of programs, the other honorary bridesmaids and I were summoned to the bride's entrance from the narthex to the sanctuary. We were to be escorted to the second pew of the bride's side for our honored seating. My sister walked down the aisle, led by her usher. Then Katie walked, and the minister from the rehearsal dinner escorted Mary Cothonneau. And then...and then there were no ushers left. The wedding director was in a panic. She was calling around for "another man. We need a man!" Boy, do we. At the last minute, she nudged me from the back and said, "just go." While I made my way toward the front of the sanctuary, I thought, "how appropriate," and I walked down that aisle like the lone wolf (or kitten, really) I am.

At the reception I of course made a B-line for the lemonade and then straight to some crab cakes, then a mini barbecue sandwich, and heaven knows what else. The Sunset Country Cub was all but overflowing with victuals, gigantic flower arrangements, and men wearing wedding rings. While all three were certainly wonderful, the first was the only one I could really do anything about. So, I did my best to ensure the hosts were aware they had chosen an excellent menu. It is important to note, though, that I had some help from a man who spent his entire night standing next to a table housing an ice sculpture and two large arrangements of shrimp cocktail. Though he tried his best, dipping and eating, dipping and eating, I could not see where he was actually depleting the supply of shrimp.

When the cake was cut and the bride and groom had left, Rachel and I caught a golf cart back to our car, exhausted. The next morning, my dad told me that when he'd seen me walking down the aisle by myself, he just thought to himself, "well, I guess she just wanted to sit down front." #Spinster.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wedding weekend spinstering: part 2

As honorary bridesmaids, my sister, Katie, Mary Cothonneau, and I were invited to the bridesmaid's luncheon on the morning of the wedding. The luncheon was hosted in the beautiful home of a family friend, replete with fresh floral arrangements of white hydrangeas and white roses. Mimosas, sparkling grape juice, and spicy cheese wafers were served as hours d'euvrs while everyone arrived, and the place was awash with every bright shade of pink, orange, salmon, and coral you can imagine. Most of the colors were encompassed in printed dresses by Lilly Pulitzer. I wore navy and black, and I thought, "was that wrong?"

The other honorary bridesmaids and I were seated at a square table in the entrance hall just off the dining room, covered with  a white faggotted tablecloth and set with antique china and silver goblets. Aside from my sister, we were all spinsters, and we had the best time discussing cats, babysitting, my sister's attempts at having me kidnapped as a child, and the time Mary Cothonneau's mother changed all her locks because my dad wore a gorilla costume to her Halloween party. 

The lunch menu included the following: plain yogurt with fruit and granola, a tomato cut and stuffed with shrimp salad and topped with a basil leaf, asparagus wrapped in thinly sliced ham wrapped in filo, and heart shaped biscuits served by one of the hostesses from a served platter. Of course I drank sweet tea from my silver goblet. Mary Cothonneau befittingly received a broken heart biscuit, to which she just said "#spinster."

When everyone had finished their lunch, we all gathered around the bridesmaids' table In the dining room for something they called a "cake pull." Encircling a tiered blue and white cake at the center of the table were several small, square, pearlized envelopes with either "Miss" or "Mrs" written in curly script on their fronts. Each guest was to pull an envelope with the title that applied to her. I pulled a "Miss" envelope from the table, and dangling from a length of blush-colored ribbon attached to the envelope was a small silver charm. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that the charm was two tiny wedding bells. The fortune inside of my envelope read, "let the wedding bells sweetly sound." The only thing I could think was "I'd have to meet a single straight man who believes in marriage first."

Mary Cothonneau pulled a cupid and commented that she was in a marriageless love while I was in a loveless marriage. Katie got a fabulously tall high heel charm whose fortune read "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

While we ruminated on our fortunes and were silently pleased no one had accidentally given one of the spinsters the baby carriage charm, the tiered cake was cut and served. And all thinking ceased because it was time for dessert, the spinster's forte. Well, that and all other meals. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wedding Weekend Spinstering: Part 1

Well, I'm back from the wedding, and you'll be happy to know I'm still a spinster. We didn't make it a twofer. However, I did have a good time. I could report a lot of things about how beautiful all the festivities were, but as this is a spinster's blog, lets talk about how I spinstered out hard core the whole time.

Friday night was the rehearsal dinner, and as an honorary bridesmaid, I had the pleasure of eating all of the food without really having to do any work. I mean, take note ladies, this is how it's done. 

I wore a dress I'd bought on a recent shopping trip to Betty Paige with fellow single lady, Chelsea Purcella. It was black, sleeveless, and there was a triangular cutout where my cleavage would have been if I had any. However, once I got to the party, I found myself becoming more and more self conscious about my non-cleave as I noticed many of the male guests averting their eyes. Fellow bridesmaid and single lady, Katie, though, reassured me by noting that we were, after all, the single ladies in attendance. Did anyone expect any less?

At dinner, I inhaled a large pile of beef tenderloin with the help of a silver service that included a knife that was delightfully and surprisingly sharp enough. You don't often find that in sterling flatware. I was so pleased I could have used it on many more piles of beef if they had only given me the chance. However, I suppose if I had done that, I wouldn't be feeling so well afterward.

Across the table from me was one of the cutest guys to don a sport coat and a pair of horn rimmed spectacles in my presence in a long time. But he, too, was averting his gaze. I was tempted to stuff my napkin into the triangle on my dress and pretending it was a low-flying cravat. Why didn't I bring a dickie in my purse? Curses. 

I noticed the spectacle wearer was very, very right handed, thwarting my quest to discover his marital status. Finally, though, I caught him cutting his meat. Married! Thank goodness. Now I didn't need to make myself look like a woman-shaped tissue box with that napkin hanging from my dress's cutout. Later I discovered he was not only married, but he was also a minister. Sigh. I'm fairly sure being a minister's wife was not my calling anyway. And neither was polygamy. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

See You Soon!

Well, good morning! I've been staring at my screen trying to figure out how to say this, but there's no easy way. I'll just come right out and say it: I'm going out of town this weekend for a wedding. Now, now. Stop your crying. My friend Virginia is getting married, and she deserves your well wishes and happiness. I'll be back on Tuesday, and of course I'll be on Instagram.

Also, I had a dream last night my brother wore zebra print baseball pants and no shirt to baseball practice. And he was chubby.

In my absence, if you need your spinster fix, I think you should check out #myfriendsaremarried for a good laugh or all these Buzzfeed articles about kittens if you need to just look at the cuteness. Or this article, if you're worried you're mispronouncing words.

Welp, I think that's it! I'll be back on Tuesday after a weekend of nuptials. Don't worry, though, I'll still be a spinster when I return.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How to Spinster Like a Pro On Your Bday

 Well, as you know, Monday was my birthday, and I spinstered it up big time in honor of myself. Today, in case your birthday is coming up soon (or in case you just want to take a day off work), I'm imparting to you the ways in which you can Spinster like a pro on your birthday with five easy steps!

1. Do your Morning Ritual - at your own pace:
          On the morning of your birthday, you should wake up at whatever time you like. It helps if you've taken the day off work to celebrate. I can't really sleep very late, so I made a morning of watching The Today Show, taking a leisurely shower, and picking an outfit to wear for my day. I felt the need to be fancy, so I wore a dress. But, on your birthday, you should wear exactly what you want. If that's a swimsuit, go for it. If it's a spider man costume, go for it. It's your day. You do what you want.

2. Have a fancy lunch or brunch:
          On my birthday, my lunch plans fell through, so I made a reservation for one at the Russian Tea Room because I'd always wanted to go. The ol' RTR didn't disappoint. I had a round booth to myself, and there were white tablecloths and white glove service. I ordered the Chicken Kiev at my waiter's suggestion, and I had a Darjeeling tea sweetened with sour cherry preserves after lunch. I felt fancy. It was a perfect birthday lunch.

3. Indulge in your favorite luxury:
          On the morning of my birthday, my mom said that one of my gifts was to go to Bendel's and have my makeup done. So, after lunch, I pranced myself over to Bendel's and let the first makeup artist snag me. I told him it was my birthday, and he was so excited. It was so fun. However, if that's not your thing, you could also do a mani-pedi or a massage. Or...pretty much anything else you want.

4. Have your cake:
          After my lunch at The Russian Tea Room, I needed to wait a moment before I had dessert. But, you could clearly have yours right after lunch or brunch. I had a special cupcake in mind, though, and it wasn't anywhere near the RTR. I wanted a Banana cupcake with peanut butter frosting from Butter Lane on east 7th street. Bonus: I saw Kelly Macdonald (of Boardwalk Empire and Gosfard Park fame) there and made a fool of myself. But maybe you're more of an ice cream or pie or fancy chocolate kind of lady. That should be your birthday dessert. Whatever you want.

5. Have another birthday at work:
          Of course you should fill your birthday with whatever kinds of things you want to do. For me, it was a little bit of eating, some shopping, a visit to an art store, a makeover, a cupcake, a celebrity sighting, and a few episodes of My Strange Addiction. For you, it may be something different. The point is I did whatever I wanted.
         Going back to work after such a magnificent day was tough, but the pile of home made key lime sandwich cookies my friend Chelsea had left on my desk certainly softened the blow! All around the cookies were birthday confetti and peanut butter snickers. My dream come true! Then, at 5pm, there were flowers and a cake! There's nothing better than two birthdays in one week! So, if you can manage a second birthday at work, I highly recommend it.

I hope that these five tips have given you an idea of how you might have a wonderfully spinsterly birthday when your time comes. Whether you follow my lead or not, though, the main thing is that you should do exactly what you want to do and nothing else.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Awesome Cat Tees from Urban Outfitters

As a spinster, I'm always on the lookout for some excellent cat-related clothing. So, when I visited Urban Outfitters this weekend, I was overjoyed to find the store packed with cat related merchandise. What was strange, though, was that most of the cat-related merchandise was in the Men's department. What does this mean? Is there a new breed coming? Mansters, perhaps? The good news for me, though, is that men's tee shirts are ok for women to wear sometimes. So, today I present you the eight most awesome cat tees at Urban outfitters. Enjoy!

1. Cat Pocket Tee: For the subtler cat tee wearer.

2. All Over Cat Tank: For the exceptionally warm spinster.

3. Sup Cat Tee: For the Slightly Gangsta spinster.

4. Kitten Paws Muscle Tee: For the Spinster who needs a little extra print and graphic in there.

5. Kitten Mittons: For Spinsters who love It's Always Sunny

6. Astro Cat Muscle Tee: For the Spinster who's into astrology.

7. Meow You Doin: For the pun-loving spinster. (re: all of the spinsters.)

8. Paws: Again, for the Spinster who loves puns...but also the spinster who's into shark week.

...and then there's that cat at the bottom. I just liked that picture.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Spinster Birthday Playlist!

Today, dear readers, is MY BIRTHDAY! I plan to spend the entire day doing only things that I want to do because, of course, that's what a spinster does. The first thing I'll do is watch The Today Show from my bed while I eat a breakfast of Pop Tarts on a paper towel, a preemptive strike so that I don't have to do any cleaning on my birthday other than throwing the paper towel away. While I dress myself for the day, I'll listen to the Spinster Birthday Playlist! Admittedly, finding good birthday-themed songs is a little touch, so I had to use some that were off my regular beaten musical path. It is, nonetheless, still enjoyable.

Click here to listen blindly to The Spinster Birthday Playlist!

Song list:

1. "If I Knew You Were Coming I'd have Baked a Cake" - Eileen Barton
2. "Birthday" (as made popular by the Beatles) - Leiff Garrett
3. "It's My Party" - Lesley Gore
4. "Birthday Song" - Don McLean
5. "Happy Birthday" - Sufjan Stevens
6. "Happy Birthday" - Loretta Lynn
7. "Happy Birthday" - Steppenwolf
8. "Happy Birthday" - The Ting Tings
9. "Birthday" - Flo Rida
10. "Say Aah" - Trey Songz
11. "In Da Club" - 50 Cent


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Surprise Portrait: Hannah

Surprise! It's another surprise portrait, and this time it's of my neighbor, Hannah and her beautiful cat Rosie! Hannah rescued Rosey, and she's just the sweetest, fluffiest thing ever. She's also oddly as light as a feather.

I took the photo for this portrait the day Hannah and I hung out in her apartment making the Earworms Playlist. Then we ate tacos, and it was a magical day.

To reinforce some of the things I said about Sumter people yesterday, here's a story about Hannah and me:

Hannah's apartment was empty for a little over a month after I moved in. It was the winter we had that huge blizzard in New York, and my cab got stuck twice on the way home from the airport after Christmas. The day after I got back to Astoria, clad in my heinous glitter velour track pants, snow boots, a sweatshirt, and my coat, I ran to the drug store to get...whatever it was that I needed. When I returned, I saw Hannah was moving in.

Hannah and I live above our supers, a World War II vet and his wife. I popped my head into Hannah's apartment to say hello, and the super asked where I'd been. "Oh, Carolina?" he asked (a lot of people up here think "the Carolinas" are somehow linked by more than just a name.)"Hannah's from Carolina," he said.

Of course, my next question was whether it was North or South. Hannah said she wasn't really from there but that her parents lived in wait for it...SUMTER. So...small world.

So, hooray for Hannah! Happy sunday!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

More Pronunciation Guides

So yesterday we talked about Gervais Street. Today we have two more of the chronically mispronounced streets in South Carolina. The first name "Huger," is understandably often mistaken or a way to say something is more huge than something else. However, that's not a real thing. I've heard Huger Street pronounced as "Hoo-Ger," or "Huge-ee," or, of course, "Huge-er." However, the correct pronunciation is "You-Gee."

Now, of course, you may be thinking, "Where will I wear this shirt?" Well, like yesterday, I'll tell you. Appropriate places and occasions for the Huger Street tee include but are not limited to:
- Around anyone who thinks "huger" is a word other than the name of a street.
- Around Columbia when you know you'll be seeing someone who habitually mispronounces Huger Street.
- Outside of Columbia, any time you'd like to attract a conversation about Columbia or Charleston, for that matter. (My mother has informed me that this street also exists in Charleston.)
- To the gym, when you want to remember that "huger" isn't a word, but if it were, you wouldn't want to be it.

Check out the Huger Street Tee and other ridiculousness at the Zazzle Spinster Store!

Next, we have the Guignard shirt. I have heard all sorts of pronunciations of this one from "gwig-nard," to "Gillard," to just flat "you know that street that starts with a G..." The pronunciation for this one was actually a little harder to spell out as the 'G' in Guignard is a hard 'G' as in the word "gore." So, I just went ahead and included that part.

Now, as far as where you should wear the Guignard Shirt, I say anywhere in the world. Sumterites get around. I have visited them in South Korea, I apparently was in London at the same time as the spinster Anna Owens. I've also run into Sumterites randomly on the street, and I've he
ard tell of people from Sumter getting on the same elevator in Hong Kong...or was it Shanghai? In any case, this shirt will help you meet fellow Sumter Folk wherever you go!

Tomorrow you'll be free of the pronunciation police, I promise!

Friday, August 9, 2013

It's Pronounced "Jer-Vay"

gervais-street, gervais-street-columbia, columbia-sc, columbia-tee-shirt
I don't know if it's like this in every city, but everywhere I've lived, there's at least one street everyone is continually mispronouncing. And you know that can drive a spinster crazy. In New York, that's Houston, pronounced "house-ton" instead of like Houston, TX. In the town where I went to college, Columbia, SC, one of those streets is Gervais street. Gervais is pronounced "jer-vay," but I've heard all kinds of pronunciations. There's "jervis," and "ger-vase," to name a few. Today, I think I've found a pretty easy solve for this problem: The Gervais Street Tee Shirt.

The Gervais Street tee shirt is almost like a public service announcement. This way, you can help anyone who is confused about the pronunciation of the street name without the embarrassment of having to actually correct them. Because, really, you don't want to come off as a know-it-all. This shirt does that for you! 

Not from Columbia? Don't worry. This shirt is sure to start a conversation. Even if you don't know anything about Gervais street, you at least know how to pronounce it, right? And now, so does everyone who reads your shirt. 

Check out more ridiculous tees at the Zazzle Spinster Store.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Just some Spinstagramming

What!? No Illustration today!? Yes, I'm afraid it's true. However, after some discussion of Instagram yesterday at a vendor meeting, I thought it would be fun to share some photos from this Wednesday.

First, you'll find an image of the temporary cat tattoo my coworker from On Product Marketing gave me. I'm pretty excited about it, and I may need to put it on for my birthday, which is coming up very soon. There's a little bit of a glare here, but the tattoo reads "NOBODY PUTS KITTY IN A CORNER." Priceless. I cannot wait to have this on my body. Probably my wrist. Jonesing for some temporary cat tattoos? In addition to the brand in the photo, you can also find them on Etsy from Hello Harriet.

The Next Image you'll see here is actually the last image I took yesterday. I got off of the R train at Steinway street, and I saw there were workmen down on the tracks, painting bits and pieces of the mechanisms with bright yellow paint. Just at the exit, though, there was a big spill of white paint, with these little strings of white going toward the exit. I debated about whether to photograph this or video it. In the end, I thought it would make a cool composition for a still photo.

The next and last image for today is actually a video. I stopped at the Anthropologie in Rockefeller Center last night on the way home from a vendor meeting/party, but to my surprise, the entrances to the M train were closed at Rock center. So, I had to walk toward Times Square. While I don't think this is any kind of wonderful video quality, It does show how Times Square looks from just outside, by the Superdry store. I especially like how, for some reason, my phone decided it wasn't going to focus in one of the last little clips.

Happy thursday!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Tourist's Guide to New York: The Spinster Suggests

On any first trip to New York there are, of course, the obligatory stops. You have your Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, harbour tours, Chelsea Piers, Bergdorf's, Bendel's, Barney's, Saks, Tiffany's, and any number of other places. Today, however, I want to tell you about my top five spots that might not be top on a first time tourist's list.

1. The Garment Center
          As a fashion designer, you had to know this would be on my list. The Garment Center is also known as the Garment District or, as it likes to call itself, the Fashion Center. A lot of design houses and sewing contractors are in this area, and if you don't know what you're looking for, it can be overwhelming. To get a pretty good idea of what's going on in the garment center, I suggest 38th street between 7th and 8th avenues (home to a bunch of amazing trim shops), and 40th street between 7th and 8th (home to the likes of Paron Fabrics and Elegant Fabrics, to name a few). Of course, you can't forget  Mood on 37th, M&J on 6th Avenue between 36th and 37th, or B&J fabrics (where all the design students swatch early in the morning) on 7th avenue between 38th and 39th. One of the most fun things I think I've done with my mom was buying fabric at Paron's which she then took home and had made into what I think is probably one of her favorite skirts. How fun is that?
          Just south of M&J on 6th avenue are a couple of blocks of crazy costume jewelry shops that are always having a "sale." I somehow think, however, that those are the permanent prices. Whatever their costing structure, though, the jewelry is fun and the prices are great.
          Between 5th and 6th avenues on both 36th and 37th streets are a bunch of bead shops where you can buy beads by the strand or the bag. I love to just go and walk around in these. Though they're not fancy, they do get me in a creative mood.

2. Koreatown
          Just south of M&J (or Herald Square or Macy's) you'll find Koreatown, the home of the delicious food. Most of the best restaurants are on 32nd street between 5th avenue and Broadway, but the Korean Influence spreads as far as 35th street, home of some pretty excellent Korean BBQ and Karaoke. On 32nd Street you'll find little shops, restaurants, bars, and bakeries full of scrumptious things to try. I say have the bibimbap in the stone pot if you're like me, or Korean BBQ if you like to share, followed by something strange, fruity, and amazing from Paris Baguette or Tous Le Jours.

3. The Diamond Center:
          I know I've mentioned the Diamond Center before, but I never knew it existed before I lived in New York. On 47th street between 5th and 6th avenues (yes, that's just below Radio City), it's just store after store after store of jewelry and people ready to make a deal. Bring cash if you're looking to buy. They'll cut you a deal. If you're not looking to buy, they'll still usually let you try on anything you'd like, and I like that. Just be ready to take their business card and write down all their information. If you're not careful, you'll also walk off engaged to the shopkeeper's grandson.

4. The Flatiron District:
          I hesitate to tell this part because as shopping areas in New York go, Flatiron is actually fairly unpopulated. I like to pretend it's my secret shopping spot. Just north of Union Square, Flatiron has all kinds of shopping. If you start just above the Flatiron building, you can stroll through an admittedly very crowded Eataly, hit the Marimekko store, then continue down 5th avenue to visit Comptoire Des Cottonniers, Kate Spade, Madewell, and further down, a pretty good Anthropologie. Of course, there's lots in between. If you take a right when you get to 18th street, you'll run into Paper Presentations, one of my favorite stores that's just full of excellent paper products. Just to the East, on Broadway and 19th, you'll find ABC Home, which is, of course, to die for.

5. Astoria:
          Of course I was going to say this! Take the N,Q,R, or M to Astoria and follow my guide to Astoria. I don't care how may people go on and on and on and on and on about Brooklyn, Astoria's the best!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Tourist's Guide to New York: Timing

If you want to know what could possibly make someone fall in love with such a boiling hot, freezing cold, crowded, lonely, cheap, expensive, crude, sophisticated, career building, soul crushing city, you'll never find the real thing on a saturday night. No, that electricity everyone talks about that makes you feel alive exists in the dull hum of the city on a tuesday night around 9pm, sitting on a bench in Washington Square Park eating falafel. Or it's listening to a musician play George Harrison's "There's Something In the Way She Moves," on a wednesday night while you sit on the fountain in Father Demo Square. Or maybe it's a Thursday night, and you're walking along 59th street from Columbus Circle to 5th avenue so you can get your train, couples walking briskly together along the park. Or maybe it's just any old week night, and you're sitting at the quiet waterfront of Long Island City, staring at the skyline as cars whiz past on the FDR. You can never love the city when you're in the middle of rush hour traffic.

I rarely wax poetic or even romantic about the city, but after nearly six years, I think I may be allowed a little unnecessary lyricism. And, now that we've gotten that out of the way, I can give you some information you may actually want. So, below you'll find five things New York tourists should know about timing.

1. Rush Hour:
          As a tourist, there's absolutely no reason you should be out and about before 9:30 AM, unless you're safely inside a restaurant eating breakfast. New Yorkers are serious business on their way to work, and this is no time to be moseying or getting lost. You'll just end up jostled and stressed. Additionally, nothing's open before 9:30 or 10:00 AM anyway, so do yourself a favor and stay inside. You're on vacation. There's no need to participate in the morning rush.
          The same goes for New York between the hours of, say, 5:30 and 7:00 pm. People want to get home or to the gym or to dinner, and nothing (or no one) can stand in their way. The evening rush is a few degrees less terrifying than the morning one, but if you want to be safe, you should just ensure that you're safely inside a museum or restaurant or some sort of entertainment during this time. This way you'll be sure not to be knocked over by a crazed worker who just wants a dang shower and an evening on his or her sofa.

2. Cab Shifts:
          It just so happens that every time I've not been able to get a cab to stop for me, it's been raining. So, of course, I attributed my failure to the weather. It was not until this past weekend, however, that a cab driver explained to me my problem. It's not the rain, it's that I'm trying to hail a cab during shift change. According to this chatty cabbie, all New York City cabs change shifts at 5AM and 5PM. While I have rarely tried to hail a cab between 4 and 5AM, I have routinely tried to hail one between 4 and 5 pm. This, he says, is no use. The moment the clock strikes five, the cab belongs to another worker, and if a driver is late in returning his car, he has to pay a fine to the driver with whom he shares the cab. Thus, between 4 and 5, cab drivers rarely pick up new fares so they are sure to get gas and return their car with plenty of time. The moral of this story? If it's between 4 and 5, walk or take the subway. It'll just be faster.

3. Meals:
          As a tourist in New York, you  may have some certain places you'd like to eat. When it comes to meals, reservations, and getting a table, it's all about timing. And for a tourist, earlier is usually better.  On a week day you'll either want to spend the time up until 9:30 AM having breakfast at your hotel, or you'll (obviously) need to get a bagel. Should you choose to dine outside of your hotel and before 9:30, my suggestion is, if you don't want to get pushed around or hurried through a line, you should go somewhere away from a business center like the financial district, the garment center, or anything remotely close to Grand Central Station or Penn Station. You can get a great bagel in a quiet place that's not full of regulars who just want to get to work.
          On the weekend, if you're having brunch, which you absolutely must because that's what we all do on the weekend in New York, earlier is better. Aside from Cafe Bar here in Astoria, my favorite brunch spot is Schiller's. While you can most often just walk in, it's better to be safe than sorry. It's important to note that, though the name "brunch" might suggest that this meal would be eaten between breakfast and lunch times, brunch o'clock here in new york is most often 1PM or later. Thus, if you want to be sure to have great service and not be rushed through brunch, 11 or 11:30 AM is really prime.
          For lunch, all I can say is that grabbing a sandwich can prove more stressful than you might think if you're in the wrong part of town. If you're anywhere at all between 50th and, say, 27th street, you may end up ordering something you don't want just to get it over with. My suggestion here is either to go to a sit down restaurant or to find a deli outside of the most hustly-bustly part of the city.
          Dinner o'clock in New York seems to be 8pm. So, if you want reservations, you'll be most likely to get them between 6 and 7. That's all I can say there.

4. Shopping:
          The best time to shop, especially in a shopping-specific neighborhood or department store is undoubtedly on a week day. You'll get your best, most peaceful shopping done between the time the store opens and around 11:30 AM. Between 12 and 2PM, you'll have your lunchtime shoppers, and then from around 2:30 to 4:30, you can get some more good shopping in. Once work lets out, though, you'll be surrounded by frazzled women just trying to pick up some more foundation before work tomorrow, men who forgot to buy a birthday gift, and young ladies who are just trying to waist some time before going back to their cramped apartment and their loud roommate.

5. Entertainment:
          The thing about New York is that the person with an apartment large enough to have guests over with any kind of regularity is a rarity. Thus, any time anyone wants to get together, the group must congregate somewhere outside of their home that offers a place and a reason to linger and spend time together. While most often this kind of place is a bar and/or restaurant, there are clearly other things to be done in The City. And that's how we come to entertainment. As a spinster and a resident of New York, I actually don't go out and see a bunch of Broadway or even Off Broadway shows, though I do love them. I'll usually hit a few shows in the Fringe Festival, accompanying my friend Alexandra, but otherwise I'm a movie theater kind of Spinster. No matter the show you'd like to see, though, the best time to avoid crowds and the highest prices is to go to a daytime show. I, for one, get a real thrill out of going to a movie theater around 3rd avenue and 83rd street that only charges around $7 for a movie if you go before 12pm. And, since I've already been awake for at least 4 hours by that time on any given saturday, this works out great for me.
          The same timing principle, though, can apply to any show you see. The earlier in the day your ticket is, the more likely you are to escape crowds, waiting in obscenely long line, and high prices. But of course, the absolute best time to be in a theater would be during rush hour.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Working Spinster's Playlist

We all know mondays are tough. They're especially tough when you've just had a blissful weekend of spinsterly TV bingeing and takout-eating and hanging out with friends. Who wants that to end? Not me. And sometimes that dislike for monday can turn into a dislike for working in general. We've all felt that way. Sometimes it's legitimate, and sometimes it isn't. But, if you're feeling that way this morning, then boy, do I have the playlist for you!

Today, I present you with the "Work Songs" playlist. Click here to listen blindly.

Work Songs

1. "One Down" - Ben Folds
2. "9 to 5" - Dolly Parton
3. "Shove This Jay-Oh-Bee" - Canibus
4. "Frankly Mr. Shankly" - The Smiths
5. "I've Had It" - Black Flag
6. "Soul Suckin' Jerk" - Beck
7. "Bigg Boss Man" - Elvis Presley
8. "Bang The Drum All Day" - Todd Rundgren
9. "We've Gotta Get Out of This Place" - The Animals
10. "Take This Job and Shove It" - David Allan Coe

Hope this helps you through another Monday!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Summer Looks: As Seen in New York

So, we're four days into August, and I think I've seen enough of all the ladies' summer attire to make a call on what I've been seeing most around the city. Firstly, I must say they're all starting to make me feel a bit old, especially this first one.

The first look I think I'd call very "festival," as in very much what the girls wear at music festivals like Coachella or  Bonnaroo. The main body for this look includes a crop top - most often black or white crochet with a neon bandeau bra underneath - with high-waisted light wash cutoff jean shorts. Bonus points if they're vintage Levi's with a little bit of pocket bag showing and a slight diagonal slanting up toward the outside of the legs.

The accessories here are key; we'll start at the top. First there's a thin headband worn across the forehead.  Just below the headband are the Clubmaster shaped sunglasses in a tortoise or a fun color, maybe even a floral print. Next is the crossbody bag with fringe at the flap. Most likely suede in a tan or black color. The arm party, or stack of bracelets is key to the festival girl. These should be a mix of friendship bracelets, bangles, beaded bracelets, and something with a tassel. The look is finished off with minimal flat sandals, potentially with a pop of neon or metallic. This look isn't for the faint of heart or the self-conscious of body.

The next look is a bit dressier and more forgiving. The main body consists of an elastic-waisted dress, cut in at the shoulders and pitched at the hem. The top is usually double-layered, while the bottom is sheer over a shorter, opaque skirt.

Braids have been huge this summer and, in fact, ever since The Hunger Games came out. While this look isn't always topped off with a braid, it's definitely a trend-appropriate option, especially if you have long hair.

Beneath the hair are some modern, oversized cat eye sunglasses like these delicious beauties from Prada. To die for. Next is the beaded tassel necklace, anywhere from just above the bust to just below the waist. The punchier the colors, the better!

Convertible backpacks have also been really big this season. They come with either convertible straps, or a large top loop so they can be carried as over the shoulder bags as well. These are great for summer travel and carrying an extra bottle of water. And, of course, snacks.

Lastly, and I must say I don't quite get this choice for warm weather, are close-toed lace up boots. Yikes! that seems really hot, but there you have it. They're all over the place.

Well, now that it's been all doodled out for you with my trusty black ball point pen, you can either go out and get these outfits and wear them on repeat, or you can make a game of how many times you see them today. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Tee Shirt Week: Kittens on the Brain

As a spinster, or just a regular person, really, I spend a lot of time thinking about kittens. I can't get them out of my mind. I think about kittens all the time. And then one day, I realized that the shape of a sleeping kitten actually resembled that of a brain. So, of course, how could I not put this thought into imagery? 

Do you have kittens on the brain? Then today's might be for you. 

Where should you wear the "Kittens on the Brain" tee? Well, some places that come to my mind are the ASPCA, a pet supply store, the library (where a lot of spinsters hang out), and should you be in asia, I think this is the perfect thing to wear to a cat cafe. 

If you're a cat lady, then I don't need to tell you where you should wear a cat tee or why you would want one. You already know both these things. So, check out the Kittens on the Brain tee at the Zazzle Spinster Store, and fill your brain with more kittens.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Tee Shirt Week: Merk City Tee

It was not until I lived in New York that I discovered my home town was referred to as "Merk City." I knew my high school had security guards, namely a jacked guy named Ike, and a day care center for children of students, but I was wholly unaware of the merk. Heck, I didn't even know what "merk" meant. Well, Urban Dictionary has set me straight. 

According to wikipedia, the well-respected faux encyclopedia that it is (note my sarcasm), Sumter, SC was once in the top five cities in the US with the most per capita violent crimes. So, I suppose that should explain how it might be called "Merk City."

Now that the title "Merk City" has been explained, I'm sure you're wondering "why the swan?" Well, that one's easy. One of Sumter, SC's claims to fame, other than it's high rate of violent crimes, is Swan Lake and Iris Garden, home to a pair of every kind of swans in the world. It's pretty cool. So, of course it's only natural that today's tee shirt would be the Merk City tee, complete with a menacing swan, because as anyone from Sumter can tell you, those swans will bite you. Clearly, then, it is entirely appropriate that those vicious swans live in merk City.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tee Shirt Week - Art Nouveau Spinster Tee

Ok, so today's image is a little bit of a cheat. I originally made this image as one of the options for the #meetaglipher article Glipho did on me. I like it, though. So, I made it a shirt. With the WGSN article saying more and more women are unabashed to be single, independent women who may or may not end up getting married, The Spinster tee is a great way to sport your spinster pride!

Where will you wear this tee!?  Well, for one thing, you can wear it anywhere you think there will be single men. It's a conversation starter. Not into meeting single men? Never want to speak to them? Well, I understand. They can be pretty awful. You can wear it when you're ordering takeout, watching netflix, eating pizza for breakfast, using paper plates, having a manicure, shopping for jewelry, family reunions, high school reunions, eating entire boxes of doughnuts, or hanging out with your your girls. I mean, the possibilities are really endless.

The real question here is where should you not wear the spinster tee. Well, you probably shouldn't wear it to your wedding. Other than that, I think you're probably ok.

Check out the Art Nouveau Spinster Tee here at the Zazzle Spinster Store among all the other tees you've seen this week! More tomorrow!