Thumbs up

My walk around the Silver Lake reservoir this morning was a little bit of the same, yet a whole lot more.

I saw some familiar faces running around the ‘lake’. Not people I know, but people I’ve seen doing the same before. One of them was a guy with a big nose, 80’s style haircut and runners legs who I’d seen lap me a couple of time previously. This time he was out there with a girl and they were doing some cool down jogs. He was fully kitted in a running singlet and shirt and my guess is he’ll be taking part in the LA Marathon this week. The marathon starts not far from here at Dodger Stadium and then they run all the way to Santa Monica. Yes, it is about 40km to Santa Monica from here, which is unexpected when you’re looking at a map and a really long way away.

As I was getting to the last stretches of my lap, a shiny blue pick up truck drove past. The driver was hanging out the window looking at me, and then as the road curved ahead, he drove around the corner with giving me the thumbs up. I put it down to my new exercise outfit. I’ve graduated from being the dork in the t-shirt to the trim thing in fitted gym gear.

Can’t stop shopping

Running shoes
My new running shoes and new matching top. Total = $71

All these super cheap shoes, accessories and clothing are doing my bank balance in.

Heading out purely for necessities (running shoes) I got sidetracked by some majorly good prices and had to hold myself back with rarely displayed discipline. Although, that was probably just because the parking meter was ticking and fines are not cheap.

I went to Off Broadway Shoes with housemate Devoir as he needed to buy some new runners and since he had no vehicle (and at the time I did) and I had left my old runners at home I chauffeured him there. We parked out the back and my jaw slackened and my eyes shone as I surveyed the massive warehouse with rows upon rows of shoes in neat aisles.

I darted around like an excited child with only 30 seconds to get as many lollies as possible in a lolly shop. I started with the running shoes and I could not believe the prices. They were pretty much all in the $50 – $70 price range. As I walked past shoe after shoe I wondered how on earth running shoes can cost three times as much in Australia.

I exercised restraint and only bought the runners and a pair of beige flat lace-up sandals. However, during a power-shop at GAP a little later, I found a couple of tops on sale and way discounted.

I have a feeling that my penchant for shoes is going to see me purchasing lots more. I mean, when they are at these prices, you can afford to have a shoe fetish.

Hey girl, what are you wearing?

A few little cultural cues I’ve picked up lately relate to references between females and attitudes towards tracksuits.

“Hey Girl”
This can be used to catch someone’s attention, like my neighbour calling out “Hey girl, is this your car here?” It is also used as a term of affection for a friend. Like when I overheard one female say to another “Hey girl, it’s been such a long time.” There’s something a bit contrived and condescending about it that I don’t like, so I won’t be saying “Hey girl” anytime soon, unless it’s in a mocking accent of course.

My trackies
I have to admit that I’ve been wearing my trackies quite a bit lately. After going out for a walk I just tend to hang out in them for the rest of the day, which seems to be a big no-no.

I had lunch with my friend He Who Puts The A In LA last week. On the phone I said I’d tidy up a bit, to which he replied “We’ll I’ve just come out of a yoga class, so don’t get too dressed up.” So I reconsidered my outfit, left my tracksuit pants on and put on a nicer t-shirt. When he arrived his first comment to me was “Oh wow, it’s Sporty Spice.”

Yesterday I was doing the washing mid-afternoon and ran into my landlord while wearing my capoeira pants, a red polar fleece and my red Merrell’s. He then asked if we were jogging around the lake and said “You look like you’re all got up in your training gear.”

Clearly the wearing of tracksuits is permissible ONLY when exercising and not as general daywear, which is a little disappointing. I think it’s a good thing Americans don’t know what bogans are, because they’d have branded me one by now without seeing all the fabulous frocks in my wardrobe.

Strutting Silver Lake style

My walking outfit

The Silver Lake strut is alternate speak for a stroll/power walk/jog around the Silver Lake reservoir.

The 2.3 mile walk (3.7km) is a pedestrian and canine freeway filled with fit runners, struggling joggers, power walkers, dog walkers and casual strollers. Most have iPods inserted in their ears and wear sunglasses. I also noted a resurgence in the old wicker tennis shade brim on a few women who were surprisingly under the 45yo median age for that kind of fashion statement.

I garnered quite a few looks from the mostly female passersby. I am fairly sure it was my outfit, but it could have been that I don’t look American. I’m not sure if you’ve ever noticed, but there is something different about how Americans look. I can’t quite pinpoint it enough to describe it, but there is something in the way they hold their faces that gives them away before they can even open their mouth.

As for my attire, I brought with me my red RMIT Alumni cap because I know Americans love their colleges, and I wanted to fit in in that respect. I also brought along my freebie Virgin Blue t-shirt that I got after organising the official welcome to them when they started flying to Mildura. So they could have been trying to figure out my mish-mash of locations or maybe just ponder the big juicy orange on my shirt. But maybe, if I keep this as my exercise outfit, one day someone will stop me and say “Wow I’ve been there!” And one can only hope that it will be a cute boy who says it.

Supermarket fashion

We live in such a cool part of LA.

Day 2 in our new apartment and Gin and I were out and about running errands, buying things etcetera and decided to call past our local Trader Joe’s supermarket on the way home to complement our purchases from the local Wednesday Farmers Market.

It was just on 5pm and the supermarket carpark was busy and so were the aisles. People picked up their daily groceries from the Silver Lake shop which, incidentally, only sells food and not any other type of grocery.

So many trendy types were in there, most on their own. There was only one child that I saw, on the hip of an even hipper mother who looked as though she should be famous, but who had knotted, unbrushed hair. This made me feel better about my knotty, frizzy hair.

Strangely, I hadn’t thought too much about what I was wearing when I left the house. I was still in my clean outfit of black trackie pants, a brown top and black Kathmandu fleece with my lime green Dunlop Volleys thrown on my feet. I looked rather bogan-like, yet rather than feeling too dorky to go out in public, I felt as though my Australian accent cancelled out any bad fashion.

In essence, my Australian accent makes me cool, or at the very least, interesting. That, and I think it also got us out of a parking ticket today!

Oh what a night

Not half excited

Last night was seriously in my top 10 nights ever.

To celebrate my leaving Mildura, I hosted a party for my A-listers and it totally rocked my world. I still can’t wipe the smile off my face. I mean, I normally have a smile on my face, but this is one of those big, stupid, cheesy grins that gives your face major wrinkles.

It was the perfect combination of family, friends and food mixed with dance-time tunes and laughs all around.

I just want to give a MASSIVE shout out to the 60 or so people who came along and made my night. I also want to thank the gate-crashers, because no A-list party is complete without gate-crashers!

Thanks also to Mario and co at Stefano’s Cafe for supplying the fab venue and even fabber food.

There are so many amazing people in my Mildura life, it will be sad to leave their company but with the kind of send off they gave me, they’ll never leave my thoughts.

The party in full-swing

The transit pair

High heels instantly add wow to an outfit. You could have some rather simple, casual outfit on, and then add some skyscraper heels and instantly achieve something far more glamorous.

I am a high heel aficionado. I have about 50 pairs of heels and most times I love wearing them. Although, I have to admit that as I’m getting older, I am finding my time spent in high heels is dwindling as I go for more boring comfortable fast (ie flat) shoes.

At a recent event in the city, I noticed a growing trend, that of the transit pair. Flat shoes emerged from handbags whenever we went to walk from one bar to the next. Usually they were a pair of thongs that would replace a nicer pair of heels, or sometimes little ballet flats to replace a more spectacular pair of heels.

Regardless, with the larger handbags of today, there is plenty of room to carry a transit pair. Perhaps a more sensible option, but I still can’t part with my fabulous shoes once they’re on, even for a few hundred metres.

I feel I have justified my fashion throw-outs

A fashionista friend of mine came around today for a catch up and I took her on a nineties to noughties journey through my bags of throw-out clothes.

I now feel so much better about relegating these clothes to the throw-out pile as she exclaimed her disgust over many of the things I was hanging on to from the late 90s. There is no way I’m going to be wearing those teeny midriff baring tops anymore. So many of the clothes in those four shopping bags are part of the old me.

I like to think that the ‘new me’ has more style. However I also think style is something that you gain with age and increased disposable income. My selections are infinitely better now than they were as a tarty little 19-year-old for whom short skirts, short tops and tight clothes on an even tighter budget were the order of the day. They are also better than those of the 25-year-old me who after returning from a year of travel was trying to get a professional wardrobe together whilst holding on to the last vestiges of her early 20s style.

Even in the past twelve months, my style has evolved further. I’m discovering skinny leg jeans with sneakers and cute tees (I think I’m trying to get this phase in before I get too old to pull it off). I’m also building on my fabulous frocks with some standouts that I’m convinced will be classics.

So with my friend opening my eyes to the horrors that were, I am now free of the little hoarder in me who says “you might want to wear it again” because NO, I won’t.

The scent of Chanel

I’m staying with my friend, Shanghai Slipper, in the city and a special occasion demanded a special scent to accompany my fabulous frock.

When I’m travelling I leave all my ‘good’ perfumes at home and instead travel with a small bottle of Miss Jaguar that I bought in Paraguay about 6 years ago. All the perfumistas out there would be shaking their head and telling me that it would, by now, be rather rancid and lacking all the original notes it held that one day in a Paraguayan department store. However I find that it masks traveller stench quite well, which was the reason I bought perfume in Paraguay in the first place.

While getting ready in the bathroom, Shanghai Slipper’s Chanel No. 5 looked so inviting that I sprayed a sneaky squirt on my pulse points. I have only ever sniffed the nozzle of a bottle of Chanel No. 5 (again, horror to all perfumistas) and it didn’t really impress me that much. This time though, with the perfume embracing my skin with a silky caress, it pulsated from my points as a glorious, elegant and oh-so-lovely scent. Something that Miss Jaguar certainly wouldn’t have been able to do.

I think a bottle of Chanel No. 5 might just be on my next duty-free shopping list.

Huff and puff until…

Until my wrap dress blows open.

I was just walking across the street when a huge gust of wind blew in to play with my hemline. Normally it wouldn’t be such a concern except that my satin dress is a rear opening wrap and I forgot which side it opened.

In a bit of a fluster I grab the left side and dragged it across a little. Then I started trying to recall which side was which, something that soon became apparent as some ladies tittered behind me.

Making it to safety on the kerb I realised I had the wrong end of my dress and had probably only helped the wind to show off my underwear.

I turned to the ladies and asked “Did I just show you my underwear?” They giggled an affirmative as I let out a gale of my own, one of laughter.

They gave me bonus points for being able to laugh about it. I am no longer worried about picking wedgies in public. I’d sooner that than people actually seeing it in all its glory.