Monday, March 31, 2014

Day 22: Plan A Project

Think Kit prompt: "Plan, outline, or mind-map a project you want to tackle in 2014."

Recently, I attended UPRISING, a fantastic artistic event put on once a year by Devon Ginn. BTW, do click on the photos and videos on that Twitter search archive. You'll be glad.)

I've also announced, earlier today, that I'm going back to personal style and street-fashion blogging, along with some musings on lifestyle and politics.

^ video credit to Devon Ginn

Uprising is an example of everything going right in Indianapolis. It was an amazing example of diversity done right, and right on the heels of the facepalm-worthy BlackfaceGate perpetrated by Papa Roux, an eatery which was once beloved by a range of food enthusiasts, but more and more is becoming a litmus test for what douchebags eat.

And I really want CCS to be a part of the artist booths for next year. I want us to have some kind of creative photo booth. I noted many good things at Uprising. One of these was that there were a lot of snappy dressers, and it was really a shame that the blog was still not functional at that time to report on the action. The whole event, though, in general, has good attendance, but could use more coverage.

So, now to plan. The most obvious? I need a decent camera, and also to build some kind of creative, and highly portable, backdrop.

I need to stay in touch with Devon as to what more requirements are needed to have a space at Uprising. He's already received word of my interest in this project, so first contact is out of the way.

And, finally, I need to get back into practice photographing. I can practice with the camera on my phone for now, but I've wishlisted an affordable DSLR on Amazon and I'm working toward saving for it. I'm also going to need one or two people to help run the photo booth, and to decide if we're going to use props such as a dry-erase board for messages to immortalize in photo, in addition to just taking photos of well-dressed people.

It doesn't hurt that my ex, who I'm still on VERY good terms with, is a photographer who I can go to for advice.

More details on this project will be forthcoming as they get hammered out.

The return of personal style!

What's up!

I still don't have the kind of camera that I want in order to do this site justice, but I have finally hit the 21st century by procuring an Android phone! So exciting!

In celebration of this new purchase, I quickly downloaded Instagram to see what all the hype is all about.

I'm about equal parts meh and yay about the whole Instagram thing. But it does seem like it will be a useful tool overall, so if you would like to follow  me there, it's the same handle as you'll find on my Twitter: Circlecitystyle (click to follow me on IG!)

You may recall that this was originally started as a street and personal style/fashion blog. While things are ever evolving in jumps and starts, I feel that it is time to take things back to the root. This will be implemented gradually, and I'm still going to keep discussing the intersections of fashion, lifestyle, and local/state/US politics. That's kind of a different essay entirely to put down in the future, so for now, the tl;dr version is that I'm going to be posting wardrobe pictures again. Full posts will be here on the blog. You'll be able to get previews at the Instagram.

Today's outfit was fun, so let's start there!

Shirt: thrifted, not sure of the label.
Coral lace skater dress, thrifted, Mossimo.
Argyle tights, not sure but probably Target.
I do not remember where I got the robot earrings.
I got the tie-closure flats at

The T-shirt is this really great distressed screenprint of the British flag, but it is a little bit hard to see even in person. I could not find the shirt online, so you'll have to use your imagination aided by this approximation.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Day 21: mantra making

A mantra for the coming year. I probably over-thought this one because it took FOREVER to come up with it. But I finally did.

"Don't judge that person wearing and doing silly things."

Because they're having more fun than you, and you are definitely the bigger fool if you unnecessarily put negativity into a fun thing. It goes well with my main New Years resolution, have more fun.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Day 23: Switch It Up

I'm a big believer in nonlinear progression, so I'm all over the place with these Think Kit prompts.

Here is the prompt from Day 23: Look at your surroundings as if you're seeing them for the first time – take a walk in your 'hood, explore your basement, or visit a favorite spot. What do you notice?

Well... frankly, a lot of people probably wouldn't find much to love about my neighborhood. 38th Street has a reputation, and not a good one. The poverty level is high. Few people can afford cars, and there aren't sidewalks in my area, either. So, that's bad. It's hard to take pride in your area and volunteer to improve it when you're just barely getting by. Even so, with one or two notable exceptions, my neighbors are generally kind, agreeable, good-at-heart people. I was only actually friends with one, and she has since moved to Arizona, so that sucks. But I don't dislike my neighbors, and I really wish leadership within my city didn't ignore them in favor of areas which are already rich in commerce and resources. It's also probably a food desert.

One thing I have noticed daily, recently, is the amount of trash strewn in the field just before the turn-off to my apartment complex. Now that the snow is not covering it, it's really an eyesore. I've thought frequently about seeing what community resources there even are here, and how I can tap in and be of some help. I don't want to be a gentrifier putting my hands in where they are not wanted, but it's clear that some quality-of-life boosts are needed, so one thing I'd like to do to show some pride in the area is to see if we can organize a trash pick-up project, to take one or two Saturdays where we do this one small thing to show some love to the neighborhood.

I think the purpose of this project was to find something you like about your surroundings. I can say to that.... I like the potential it has. Even if few people see that potential.

Being not "from" Indianapolis, I hardly know where to start, so any advice is welcome in the comments. Or you can tweet me @circlecitystyle.

Day 20: Difference Makers

It looks like I have ten more of these to go, but I'm probably counting wrong, because I could have sworn that there were fewer than that. Whatever, I'm going to rock these out over the next few days, and then this blog is going to new places that  I haven't quite figured out yet.

So, day 20 was writing about people who have made a difference in our lives.

Without a doubt, my answer for that in 2013/2014 is the Indy Feminists group. Now, I have a resource to use these convictions I've had for about a decade now and actually effect change in other ways besides just talking to my friends about dreams of a world that is better for everyone through changing paradigms for greater equality of women and men. And, better than that, we've gone from strangers on Twitter talking about common ideas and dreams to a group of real, trusted friends. We've endured a 14-hour-each-way trip to Oklahoma and back together. We spend a LOT of time together, online and offline.

Basically, I'd trust any of these people with my life. We're really just hitting the tip of the iceberg in terms of activist work. But I've gained a core group of trusted friends in Indianapolis who, if I have an emotional or a material need, they'll be an ear and a resource for ideas and solutions. I can ask the people of this group questions I couldn't ask a lot of other people. I'm finally finding my voice as an activist and not just wanting the world to be better, but not knowing how I can help.

As the group grows, I hope the core advisory group stays as tight as we are now. But no matter what, they're always going to have a place in my heart, and I'm grateful for the difference they continue to make in my life.

Day 18: The Season for Nice

I think for this one, writing about the reason I ended up locking my blog down for a few months probably counts. I am not sure how much overall good I did for the world, but it was a solidarity move for every woman and every family that a very, very terrible excuse for a man has hurt.

I got a message from a friend of mine, who is a DJ in the Indianapolis area, that a venue in Chicago had booked this A-hole guy to DJ at an event. A sexual predator who facilitates the harassment and bullying of women to the point where it's not hyperbole to say that lives are ruined. To the point where no fewer than two women have taken their own lives as a result. And now he's a (bleep)ing celebrity DJ.

So we took his booking down through applying public pressure.

I add that, about 3 weeks after he did this, he and his main accomplice were indicted for hacking into women's computers and stealing material to post onto his now-defunct website, along with personal identifying information including phone numbers and addresses. And there are clearly a lot of men out there who hate women enough to harass not only them but also their employers, in an attempt to ruin these women's lives. Revenge porn is still only illegal in, like, four states by the way.

So I spoke up for a lot of women who this jerk has harmed. And then I took myself out of the picture voluntarily for a while afterward, so that I wouldn't be targeted. I don't know how wise it even is to speak about it now, especially given that I have some past online actions that could, honestly, be dug up and used against me (which I was coerced into by a guy I was dating at the time.)

But we cannot afford to all be silent in the face of monsters who walk among us. And I am tired of being afraid of him, and afraid of my past. I figure it can only destroy me if I let it.

Getting it together

In January, I locked-down all social media as a pre-emptive measure against someone I found threatening. I don't know if I would have been targeted, but I know that other women have in the past, and I was not about to take any chances.

I was going to unlock it at the end of February, but it seems like everything this winter got stuck in a mode like we were trying to run through a pool of molasses, so that didn't happen. At least I'm in good company; a lot of people complained of hitting a slump in the long, never-ending winter.

I've also had a particularly fun bout with the depression lately, though I'd still classify it in the mild-to-moderate category. The plan was to finish up on all the Think Kit prompts, which Indy folks had been working on as a group in December, and unlock the blog with all these shiny new prompted posts.

Well, it looks like what happens when nobody is watching is that I just don't write.

I don't know if my drive is actually just that bad, or if it was just the depression combined with my lack of internet at home (it is PROHIBITIVELY expensive. Thanks, near-monopoly!)

I'm leaning toward the latter. I still freely admit that self-discipline is a thing I need to be working daily to strengthen. And it seems to me that a good way to keep myself focused and accountable is to write about my efforts here.

I'm also single again, in nomenclature at least. Allen and I are still crazy over each other, but -- and I'm going to keep a lot of the details just between us -- we had a lot of issues, especially in terms of making enough quality time to be with each other, and well, according to him, it took me ending things to give him a wake-up call. So I'm still bent on taking things slowly and probably non-exclusively dating him and perhaps a few other people over the next couple of months before I make up my mind.

That's the quickie version of what's going on lately. There's a LOT more, but I'm going to save that for when I pound out the last of those December Think Kit prompts, and then tuck into the monthly prompts they've gone to, and also hammer out a sustainable, workable model for this blog. After some discussion with Crystal of Dressed Her Days Vintage, I think I have some ways to make it easier for this place to be more consistently updated and worth reading. But I'm keeping those cards pretty close to my chest for now. After the move in May or June to either Downtown Indy or the west side, things will probably be easier.