Escape From New York.
Just look at those boots, Kurt!
I’m reading about Ray Kurzweil’s book The Singularity is Near on Wikipedia. The Singularity is the moment in which technology will get to the point that it surpasses what we humans can do. Some folks think it can happen within the next ten years. Some folks don’t want it to happen. I’m pretty sure that when it happens, it will be one of the signs of the pending apocalypse.
So… I’m posting this photo, which Danika took the other day of my outfit. It sort of came together around the scarf, which is a triangular lace shawl I knit. The first lace project I made that I felt that was good enough to wear. It’s made with Knit Picks Palete in the color Celestial, which I chose because royal blue is the color of my astrological sign (google that for those of you who want to wish me a belated happy birthday!). This is wool, so I can’t really put it in the washer or the dryer. Also I had to wet it and iron it so it could take it’s nice, triangular and flat shape.
I had already put on the blue tights and figured the scarf would look cute with the rest of the outfit, and then wore this coat as it was appropriate for the weather. It ended up that I was not only too matchy matchy, but I was basically wearing all one color: blue.
Blue seems to be a color I relate to the apocalypse, mostly because I think it’s a color that won’t exist. We don’t generally lose colors, do we? Pantone keeps creating them, but they don’t ever really cease to exist. Color is about light, right? So, I think in the apocalypse, we will still be able to see the color blue, prismatically, but it might not exist naturally anymore. There will be no blue sky. There will be no blue sea. We will be blue, no doubt, because we will miss our green fields and yellow sun. So we will keep this color close. It’s value will increase exponentially.
I think this spring, I will attempt for more moments of Outfit Singularity. Perhaps not the same shade of the same color, but working with a singular color. And while I’m wearing these outfits I’m going to think about what the world is going to be like when my wardrobe will have nanobots inside of the fibers that I will be able to control the color of WITH MY MIND!
Back as far as I could remember, my dad’s winter coat was one of those blue parka type things with the furry trim around the hood. He called it his Survival Coat. I think that may have been the official name in the 70s. It was navy blue. It had an orange puffy lining except for the hood which had a blue fleecy lining. There were zip pockets on the sleeve that were vertical and I think even a pocket on the inside, and toggle buttons to make sure it stayed shut. I remember during snowstorms, when we would bundle up my dad would put on the Survival coat to shovel snow. I remember going up to the Pathmark which was three blocks away on my sled, when there was too much snow to take the car.
The Survival Coat may in fact be the first piece of Apocalyptic clothing of which I was ever aware. This coat lasted for. ever. He had it way before I was born and he wore it well into the 90s when the photo below was taken. I had film to use up and my dad was shoveling from the snow (he was probably in his late-60s/early-70s when this was taken). I loved this coat so much that I had my own version, in green, when I was in elementary school. It may have been procured at the Sears, where I think he got his as well. This was clearly a proto-punk moment for me, because in the late-80s/early-90s all the punk kids had a version of this coat. They were prevalent at thrift stores and army navy supply. The style of course has been co-opted by those who package the vintage idea, so it is now a style that indicates hipness and is seen on the sidewalks of Brooklyn, where I don’t even know if it gets this cold anymore.
Whenever I see this style of coat on anybody, I think of my dad. It kept him warm for a long time.
And by relation, it kept me warm, too.
Now that rowing season is over, Abigail is back to partaking in the fiber arts. She’s made a few scarves and hats thus far, and also this awesome cowl:
The pattern is called the Brioche Cowl, from the Knit 1 LA blog. It’s a free pattern and fairly quick and easy. The yarn was purchased at the amazing local yarn store Fibre Space, and pretty close to what’s used in the original. I would call this color taupe, which is to say it’s definitely not beige (yuck!) and not really gray. And I refuse to call a color by the unfortunate portmanteau “greige” because that’s not a word that should be said out loud. It’s a lovely neutral that can be work with other neutrals, as seen here with my favorite black t-shirt; and, I suppose you could wear it with brighter colors that go with our apopalyptic aesthetic, such as Pantone’s color of 2012, Tangerine Tango — check out this swatch:
And apocalyptic for fairly obvious reasons:
–It covers the face so that you can still see, protecting the wearer from pollution or weather elements like wind or pellets of acid rain.
–It looks good in a neutral color and is designed for relatively thick yarn, which means you’ll keep very warm. Or, if you don’t have any yarn like this available, you could fashion something out of plastic bags (like the ones from the Safeway) that haven’t biodegraded or old scraps you fashion into some kind of knitting material.
–It’s giant! Everything post apocalyptic is giant like this, right?
Abigail said to me: in making this, I totally get why knitting is apocalyptic. Because you can make your own clothes. Of course!
Here’s some more photos of the cowl styled differently:
I finally finished the Lanesplitter skirt!
This pattern is incredibly easy. You basically knit one long rectangle on the bias. You start with four stitches and increase on both side till you get to the desired length. Then, you increase only on one side till you get to the desired width, which will be way longer than you think it is. When you get to that point, you start to decrease on both sides until you’ve got four stitches left. Next you sew the seam, pick up stitches and do ribbing for the waistband, sew it down, inert the elastic and voila: you’ve made stylin’ skirt! The pattern, which utilizes two balls of variegated yarn of the same colorway, calls for that really fancy Noro Kureyon but I used the much more affordable Chroma (worsted weight) from Knit Picks in the Mixtape colorway.
Here is a photo that Julie took of me at the corner of 15th and U Street:
I love this skirt! I was a little worried I could only wear it with tights, but the yarn isn’t itchy! It is dry-clean only so that’s going to be a bit of an issue, since I plan on wearing this skirt all the flipping time. It’s warm, which is a bonus because yesterday was one of those pre-fall days when it’s kind of cold but not too cold, and I was perfectly comfy. It is a little bulky in the waist area due to the elastic, and as Michael Kors might say, who wants to look bulky in the waist area? There are ways to minimize that, though, with belts and sweatshirts, so I think it’ll work out okay.
The Lanesplitter is Apocalyptic because it’s easy and fast, and could probably be switched up in various ways. I think it could work well with yarn that variates in thickness but stays the same color (like Vicky Howell’s Vegas Yarn, but that would end up being a rather expensive skirt), or even materials (plastic bags?). It’s also cute, and in this colorway, Mixtape, I am reminiscent of carefree times, spending hours taping songs off of other tapes, or LPs, or CDs, crafting two 45-minute sides of pure emotion.
It’s back to school time folks! Actually, we’ve been back, for about two and a half weeks now. This is a photo of my Official Back to School Outfit:
There are aspects of this outfit that qualify as Apopalyptic. The colors: grey and black and white. I’ve decided this is the aesthetic I’m going for this fall, and that is because I am obsessed with the new BBC/PBS Sherlock and how London looks all grey wool and felty. And, well, mostly because that’s how they costume Sherlock. I’m calling it Sherlockette. The green sweater, layered over the tank top, serves to suggest the bright-color-as-talisman of spring days that don’t exist anymore. I made the executive decision to tuck in the tank top, which I never do, to show off the waistband of the skirt in all it’s grey satin glory. I feel like this made the whole outfit look like those Degas ballerina statues, which, actually, I find a bit creepy and apocalyptic anyway.
It fits in pretty well without actually looking like I am wearing a face mask, which, in this time of late summer ragweed allergies, might not be a bad idea.
So Julie emailed me two weeks ago, subject line: do you read gofugyourself? On occasion, but not regularly, was my reply. Well, it seems that they have a penchant for calling out people for dressing for the apocalypse, too! In this specific instance: JLo:
In this photo, which I guess was taken on set for some movie JLo is starring in, she’s clearly workin’ the apocalyptic moment: boots with a dress and no tights, a sleeveless shift and a scarf, in a grey color resembling the sky of a moment in which there is no longer a natural world to inspire us.
I can’t really write about this any better than the Fug girls. But I will say that while I am a huge fan of dressing for the apocalypse. I’m not really a huge fan of this outfit. If this is the way the world ends, it’s with a whimper and not with a bang. I expected more from JLo. Really.
On Sunday, June 5th, I ran a half marathon with Elizabeth. The Dexter to Ann Arbor race in Michigan.
It was an amazing feat. I was happy the whole way, even though after the ten mile mark I ended up walking a lot. Aside from not being used to the elevation, the longest distance I have ever done is ten miles and that was a month prior to the race. But it was a great run. I spent time in a beautiful part of the country, ate good food (hello Zingerman’s Roadhouse biscuits with chocolate bacon gravy! I can’t wait to see you again!), listened to music with friends and got to do this thing that I never really thought would ever happen.
Here is my favorite photo that Shane took of us at the end of the race. Elizabeth finished before me, but at the end, after I made my way through fake finish line of balloons (I think it was 13th mile marker), I saw Elizabeth off to the right and started waving to her. She ripped off her bib as to not mess up the chip time, ran towards me and for the last tenth of a mile, we ran together. I crossed the finish line and the announcer said “From Washington, DC: Tina and friend!” I think this photo captures the moment quite brilliantly:
Me seeing Elizabeth as I rounded the finish line!
taken by Shane
As Elizabeth pointed out, I had a very colorful race outfit. It’s similar to what I wore at the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, and what I ended up with on my Run for the Apocalypse on the day the world was supposed to end: bright traffic-cone orange shorts (with purple and yellow trim), kelly green compression socks, a pink cammo headband I scored at the race expo the day before, and a grey tank top. I started off with my cammo running sleeves but it got too hot and somewhere around the first mile Elizabeth put them in her pocket, though I did wear them long enough for a photo opp:
They let kitty cats run half marathons?
taken by Shane
But let’s talk about the compression socks for a bit. A few people along the way asked me if they helped with the long distances. I told one guy: well, I think they do, so I guess that they do. But they really do. They are made of science (like Elizabeth’s compression pants) in that they hold everything in and make your muscles not cramp up, and they really help with shin splints, which put a huge damper on my very first ten mile run. It was a pain that would not go away and got worse if I stopped running. Compression socks don’t entirely fix the problem (for me, it was to up my intake of Vitamin D), but they have helped tremendously. Abigail gave me her extra pair. My compression socks are utilitarian and fashionable, which makes them the most apocalyptic element of my whole running costume. And, as you can see here, they also match my medal:
taken by Shane.
Here’s the other thing. Over the course of the weekend, we talked a lot about running. I hate running. In high school, it took me like a half an hour to run the mile. I always wanted to fake sick that day so I didn’t have to go to gym class. But a few years ago, I just started doing it. I still hated it, but I felt great when I was done. Then I somehow got talked into running the Broad Street 10 Miler, and at some point during that training I was able to run three miles without stopping. I just kept doing it and kept signing up for more races. It’s not so much about trying to be super fast or winning as it is about the fact that this thing I thought I could never do– run ten miles and enjoy it– I’ve actually done… three times! I look forward to my weekend runs and don’t even need the company of my iPod anymore. And now, along with my great friend Elizabeth, I have run the longest distance I’ve ever run, and I’m excited to do it again– what’s up Philadelphia Half!
Will I ever do the full 26.2? Maybe. I am thinking that I might just stick with 13.1 for a while and see how it goes. It’s kind of hard to make our bodies do something that makes absolutely no sense at all, but to quote one of my favorite mottos of all time, from one of my favorite bosses of all time: get your ass out of bed and your head will follow. If I just get out there and start running, then I’m capable of doing anything.
Six O’clock came and went in every time zone in the world on Saturday, and it seems like we’re still status quo. Which means either a) a whole bunch of people were duped into giving some guy a shit ton of money; or, b) it did happen, and those of us who are still here did not get scooped up into the heavenly confines and this is actually the Apocalypse.
If it is the Apocalypse, then I’m prepared because I’m stylin’ in this wrap I indefinitely borrowed from Megan. We decided to curate an impromptu Fin du Monde celebratory barbecue. A dinner party featuring food that we might as well enjoy before the world ends: the most delicious grilled dinner, delightful wine, and s’mores (we weren’t going to go out with a whimper, that was for sure!). As late afternoon morphed into the kind of spring evening we’ve been dreaming of since January, it got chilly out at the Pines. Ever the host, Megan offered wraps to her more temperately-challenged guests. I got this one:
When I was blue in judgment / Cold in Office Cube
Photo by Abigail
Perhaps because it matched my outfit, but also perhaps because as an Aquarius, electric blue is my true astrological shade. Either way, it’s lovely, and is currently keeping me warm at my freezing cold office. According to Pantone, one might call this particular shade “blue depths.” If the Rapture did happen, and I was left on Earth to take care of everyone’s pets, this might be a color that would remind me of our salad days, spending hours sitting and talking with friends on the back porch, drinking delightful beverages and eating all of the food. I would be in the blue depths, with all of that fire and brimstone flesh eating bacteria.
The tag says it’s 100% Viscose, which basically means it’s constructed of a formerly natural material that got turned into Rayon. An appropriate Apocalyptic material– a synthetic manufactured out of an organic liquid. I was hoping to be able to work on this type of material formula Post-Rapture– maybe manufacturing silk out of all those reusable grocery bags I’d be able to scrounge. Alas, we’re all still intact in the World. Maybe I can work on this technique for the next scheduled cataclysm.
According to some, tomorrow is going to be the Rapture.
If this is true, then it might be important to think about what to wear. Because the Rapture is going to bring on the Apocalypse for those of us who get left behind. If the Apocalypse is anything like this… well: sign me up!
This also means that what I plan to wear tomorrow is going to be crucial, because it can happen at any time, and I’ll want to be prepared. Since I have to run ten miles before 11am, the outfit I wear into pending doom may look something like this:
What’s good about this outfit is: layers! I’m wearing tights under the shorts (not as pants, people! not as pants!), a long-sleeved wiking shirt, and my New Order t-shirt from 1989 (which, during this race, actually got a complement around the 5th mile). Notice the shorts are bright orange. This will be useful– in all that muck and darkness, I’ll be able to be seen from afar. It was too cold to wear my running sleeves, but I think that these might be a little more appropriate for any kind of end of days moment that might be happening tomorrow:
My running sleeves have a pocket on each side, which is useful for holding a Goo packet. Goo is like pudding for runners… but it’s in a thing that looks like a ketchup packet. You’re supposed to take one at the beginning of vigorous exercise, and then every fifteen minutes after your first hour. If I do a two hour run tomorrow, that’s five packets! And, if all of a sudden this Rapture thing happens, then it could be days before I can get back to my apartment; a zero calorie energy source will be imperative.
I’ll also be sporting my running pouch. It is important to note that a running pouch is NOT a fanny pack. It is a flat, zippered pouch which holds my iPhone (great for Hipstamatic photos of the Rock Creek when it’s boiling over with the hot fires of hell), keys, emergency Albuterol inhaler (I suspect there will be a lot of dust), and Goo packets.
I’ve been watching a lot of Battlestar Galactica lately. Not the Lorne Green version from the 70s, but the SyFy Channel’s reimagined version. According to that series, only hott people survived the Cylon Attack on the Colonies. Which means we can only hope that the Rapture might include some kind of fraked up battle of man versus toaster. For the record: I’d be totally willing to live for years in a space fleet. I mean…