geek style · out & about

A Study in Floral Prints

outfit details – dress: American Rag // blazer: Merona // glasses: Derek Cardigan // belt: ?? // shoes: Bass // purse: Coach // Sherlock necklace: Le Fancy Geek Boutique (buy here)

So, what have I been up to lately? Besides incessantly scrolling through indeed.com for job listings, I’m completely caught up with Sherlock despite the fact that it only premiered in the US last Sunday (huzzah for the interwebz! And ERMERGERD Benedict Cumberbatch ♡ Yowza). I’ve been in Sherlock mode for over a month — I re-watched series 1 & 2 after I scored both of them on DVD for under $19 thanks to the British TV sale Barnes & Noble had! But my attention is slightly shifting towards Downton Abbey since it just started here recently as well. I yelled at the TV (mainly at Mary and whatshisface) while watching the latest episode and I’m aching to know what’s going to happen next, but I’ve decided I’m not going to seek out the rest of the fourth series on the internet because if I do I will be immobile for hours and I won’t get anything done at all , and that’s obviously not kosher.

I’m starting to get back into reading for funsies and also to study the way other writers write since I’m stumped with my own writing (style, story structure, dialog, etc). Right now I’m in the middle of Vendela Vida’s novel And Now You Can Go. As I read it, it feels very invasive; as if I’m intruding on the narrator’s innermost thoughts. And I love it for that. I’ll do a little write up about the book once I’m done with it completely. If the author’s name sounds familiar, she co-wrote the screenplay for one of my favorite movies, Away We Go, with Dave Eggers.

A few days ago I dug through a box full of old school assignments and found a rough draft for one of the short stories I started working on during my last semester of school. There were also some pages of feedback from my fellow classmates. I drew inspiration from “Rabbit Fur Coat” by Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins — the story is about a daughter’s lack of a relationship with her dysfunctional mother who is utterly obsessed with her rabbit fur coat. Reading it for the first time in years, I thought, “Hey, this isn’t bad. This is actually decent.” And then I wonder why I ever stopped writing at all. I started coming up with ideas for a third draft and took notes while I was at work the other day (it’s okay, I was just helping proctor exams!). 🙂

The outfit pictures in this post were taken a few weeks ago before my birthday in downtown downton Livermore. Caitlin and I drove down to visit our fellow nerd and Creative Writing homie Amanda where we feasted on Italian food (my pasta kept me full well into the night, which irritated me because I wanted to eat a burrito), checked out a comic book store, and talked about our lack of writing since graduating and being unable to find jobs to help us evolve into fully functioning adults. We also discussed how there’s a lack of literature containing stories about 20-something characters that find themselves in the same situation we’re in — educated, living at home, struggling with adulthood. All coming of age stories are found in the teen-fiction section. Where are the ones for adults? We talked about how we need to change this. We also talked about Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch a lot (for obvious reasons).

I think I may have worn this outfit a million times already, it’s basically one of my go-to’s for work and my Sherlock necklace looks quite dandy against the floral print of the dress. And check out my shoes! I scored these saddle shoes at the Bass outlet in Vacaville a couple months ago for $50. Every time I go there I always hope to find a pair, but they never ever have any in stock. So that made it a justifiable purchase, right? Right. Of course it did.

In case any of you are wondering how I’m doing with that New Years resolution where I don’t buy any new clothing items unless they’re under $7: I’m doing surprisingly well. The only thing is I’m finding myself buying more DVDs and books so I’m thinking I have to add those things in the resolution mix as well. *le sigh* 

Cheers,
Nina

PS: ♡
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Indelible Ink

Whenever I find myself in a transitioning phase, I feel the urge to change something about my physical appearance. Three years ago, I was transitioning back to life in Stockton and cutting ties with people who I once thought were good friends, and also let go of a boy that I had pined over for  waaaay too long because I finally realized that it was just never going to happen. I looked at my long dark locks and said, “Fuck it. It’s ALL going!” And so I had it cut in a bob-like fashion above my shoulders. It was so short that I couldn’t even put my hair in a ponytail which completely freaked me out. Last month I seriously considered getting my hurr did with a deep purple ombre, because why the hell not? I would look like Rarity from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic! But the thing with hair is that you can change it back to the way it was via hair dye and the patience of waiting for it to grow back (which mine does quite quickly). 

I thought of something else I had been wanting to do, a change that is more permanent: get a tattoo. I’ve thought long and hard about this for the past three years, maybe even more, and stumbled upon an artist in San Francisco named Jen Lee by way of one of my Creative Writing classmates, Haley. She has three tattoos done by her, and I’ve looked into Jen Lee’s work and it is extremely beautiful and well done… and sooo ‘spensive (if you look at her work, it’s obvious why she’s expensive). But I feel like she’s the artist who can truly execute what I want done, which is a portrait of Jingles, the lead carrousel horse at Disneyland. 

I set up a consultation with her last Thursday and scheduled April 15 to be the day I get it done. I could’ve had it done as early as February 22, but my parents want me to go somewhere with them that day, and every other available appointment would cut into my tutoring job, and I couldn’t really justify missing work to get a tattoo — even though I want it badly and now. Oh, and I totally went into this without saying a word about it to my mom or dad who aren’t crazy about body art. *nervous laughter* 

I confessed to my mom over a cup of hot chocolate the following day though. I couldn’t keep something like that from her for too long, y’know? To my surprise, she took it very well. She just doesn’t like the idea of it being so big (it’s going to take up a bit of my left forearm) — “Cant’ you get something smaller, like a locket?” she asked. And she’s even going to come with me when I get it done! 😀

With every tattoo (at least some, anyway), there’s significance behind it. So why a carousel horse for me? I’ve always had an affinity for carousels, particularly ones that are strictly equine because I’ve always loved horses too. And of course the one I want on me permanently is from Disneyland. Disneyland’s always been my happy place, it’s the place where I can truly just put every worry behind me and be a child, and no one will judge me for it. It’s important to celebrate your inner-child because life is too short to be so serious; this is something I try to do outside of Disneyland as well. So the carousel horse is to remind me, even in times like the one I’m going through right now, is to never let go of my inner child, and to also be a reminder that I must keep moving forward. 

The first piece of writing I ever had published was a non-fiction essay called “Hop on the Horse.” You can read it here if you’d like. In it, I compare life to a carousel ride. We go through all these ups and downs; the ride just keeps going despite whatever state you find yourself in. 

I suppose the tattoo represents a combination of many things.

Do you any of you have tattoos? What are they of and how did you come to the conclusion that you wanted it on yourself permanently? Or if you’re thinking of getting one, what are you planning on? I’d love to hear some of your tattoo stories 🙂

Cheers,
Nina

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Time to Grow Up

Today is the last day that I can say, “I’m twenty-seven.” It’s an odd feeling coming to the realization that my twenty-something days will soon be behind me. I mean, I know I have one more year, but that’s it. My age will start with a 3 before I know it. But should that matter? It shouldn’t, but the idea of it frightens me. I couldn’t help but think of this quote from Helen Mirren that I came across on Tumblr last month. These are the pivotal years, 18-28,  this is when you really start to discover yourself — who you are and what you want and don’t want. As a child, I imagined what life would be like for me at this time. I thought I’d have my degree and that I’d be married with two kids and a dog, possibly living in San Francisco. As I grew older, the want for some of these childhood expectations began to fade and new dreams replaced them. Mostly the part about having kids and living in San Francisco. I realized I don’t want children, and that’s okay. San Francisco is a fun place to visit, but it’s not a place I’d like to call home. Living in the bay area for two and a half years taught me that. Childhood Nina would understand some of those things, but she’d mostly wonder where she went wrong and what happened to the determination to reach her goals went, or why she hasn’t met some of these childhood expectations.

When I was with Jennifer yesterday she said that time seems to go by faster once you turn 18. I noticed the fickle and mysterious beast known as Time goes by terribly fast at a much younger age. I want to say I was maybe in third or fourth grade. I thought about how kindergarten didn’t seem like it was a long time ago, but it really was; that soon I would be 10, then 11, then 12, then a teenager; middle school and high school would happen and then I’d have to come to terms with being an adult and figuring my life out. Time moved at a glacial pace only when I anticipated something. I’d think, “It’ll be here (whatever it was) before I know it.” And now here I am, almost twenty-eight. I used  my childhood philosophy of “it’ll be here before I know it” when it came to my relationship with Tim. This was the year we were finally going to figure things out, how to be together under one roof as a couple and really begin our lives together. But this is no longer an option, this dream has been put to pasture. I’m accepting it, but not lightly. My heart feels heavy and I often feel like I may spontaneously combust. Time is moving quickly and slowly as I’m trying to get through this and come to terms with growing up as an individual and him no longer being there as I go through the process.

I’m still young, but not that young. I cling to my inner child and celebrate it because having a career and earning money isn’t really enough to make life worth living, or at least I think so. But I need to face the fact that those elements are essential in me evolving as a person and that I do need to in fact embrace adulthood.

This is probably the most serious thing I’ve ever written on this blog. The intent I had when creating Le Fancy Geek three years ago was to have a creative outlet for my love of fashion and geeky things, but also a way for me to keep writing. But I feel like I haven’t quite written anything worth writing since I got my BA in Creative Writing four years ago. FOUR years ago. Christ. I wanted to write stories, I wanted to write things that mattered that people could relate to, I wanted to get lost in books and become inspired. But I lost the drive as fear and anxiety took over any time I tried to write a draft because blank pages are so goddamn intimidating. I found myself, and still find myself, having trouble concentrating on reading books. You can’t write if you don’t read. That’s something many of my professors would say in all my Creative Writing classes. And it’s so true. In some ways I feel like I’ve dumbed down and wasted time. I know I wasted time.

I may start writing like this more often on the blog — being more introspective, more honest, more vulnerable. That’s how I used to write, that’s what made me fall in love with the craft of writing to begin with. I’ll still have fun posts every now and then, but honestly with the state that I’m in, I’m finding it difficult to write the bubbly way that I used to without sounding insincere.

I hope you’ll stick with me.

Cheers,
Nina