Being a Bossypants

Can you tell what book I’m reading?

Yep! Tina Fey’s Bossypants. I’ve been wanting to read this book since it came out. Mostly because I’ve always identified with Tina Fey. Although I’m probably not as funny as her.

“Bossypants”

But as I get more into the book, the more I’m affirmed in my identification with Tina Fey. She talks about her child-size Colonial lady outfit. Had one of those. A college relationship with a guy that wanted to keep the relationship a secret. Had a highschool relationship like that. “I think it was closer to the truth that he was just a control freak…” she said. “Control freak” what an appropriate phrase (if you don’t believe me, ask Anne).

Those are just some examples. But let’s look at why I love Tina Fey in a different way. Her success. How many women are as acknowledged in the comedy world as she is? Not very many.  And she doesn’t write/act/whatever the silly dumb female characters. Partly because I believe she doesn’t think that’s what make female characters funny. Just because you’re smart doesn’t make you serious and unfunny. Just like if you like fashion it doesn’t make you dumb (but that’s a whole other megillah).

My love for Tina Fey isn’t something that’s new. It actually started at around 10, when I started watching Saturday Night Live, there was just something about the funny, smart lady doing the satrical news.

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Fifties recipies

 

In one of my classes “Media and Power: the history of the modern era” we just finished the simulation that went with the paper I discussed last week. Basically my class and I simulated a panel discussion on whether the atomic bomb should be used on Japan. Anyway my prof brought up another project we are going to do this year, which will be getting together and making a meal based totally on food that was popular in the 40’s and 50’s. He mentioned such delicacies as Twinkies suspended in jello and the wonders of such drinks as the atomic cocktail. Because we can’t have alcoholic beverages at the meal due to college procedure and the realitive young age of the class I decided to find some “fun” fifties alternatives and came up with this.

I came across a version of this ad in the book "The 100 Greates Advertisements" This version came from Life magazine in the 70's but the original idea was in the 50's.

I am really looking forward to the dinner, even though most of the food looks kinda-gross. Anyway if anyone has old recipes from the 40’s and 50’s I’d love to get some. I have to choose something to make and I don’t think I want to go with something traditionally thought of as coming from the 50’s such as this jello salad.

I will never understand the 50's and 60's generations love of mixing anything and everything with jello.

And so you all have something a little less stomach turning here is a picture of my grandparents in all their 50’s regalia.

I don't know when this was taken. I'll assume sometime in the 50's because my mother was born in '61 and she was the youngest of 7.

Historical Fashion Drawing

I like to pretend that I’m good a drawing.

From top: Home Course in Fashion Art (1939); Russell's Standard Fashions: 1915-1919; 20th Century Fashion; Fashion Drawings and Illustrations From "Harper's Bazar" (Erte); Fashion Drawing in Vogue

But I’m not very good a drawing most things. It’s still one of those things I like doing. Mostly my drawings are of clothes, historical clothes. Because I like to do this I’ve been trying to amass a good deal of books on historical clothing.

Some fashion drawings in "Home Course in Fashion Art". I think that the previous owner of this book colored in illustrations.

This is one that I found at an antique store when I was out shopping with Anne. It was one of those things that I found and I had to get, because where else would you get a 1930s fashion drawing book? It’s by no means the best, but it does have some interesting tips. This is one of those books that I think have gained a personality over the years.

Two of my favorite covers that Erte did for Harper's Bazaar.

Ah, Erté. I was introduced to him by my mom, who studied fashion and textile design when she was in college. This is a really nice book that I was given for Christmas 2009, and it’s filled with his fashion drawings and Harper’s Bazaar covers. The covers mostly date in the 1930s, but the fashions run from 1917 through the 1920s. My mom also owns a smaller book with plates of costumes Erté designed for productions like Folies-Bergère.

One of my favorite pages in "Fashion Drawing in Vogue".

My newest fashion drawing book Fashion Drawing in Vogue. I saw this book and knew that I needed it. I was right about needing it; it’s one of the most beautiful books that I own. I haven’t had much time to read it, but I’ve just looked at the pictures and I love it. It contains drawings from the early 1920s to the 1980s, but focuses more on the Vogue fashion drawings from 1925 through 1965.

With these books, it’s become less of a “oh, look at that, I wish we could still wear clothes like that” and more of an appreciation and then an understanding that the more I study the fashion of years gone by, I can see how our fashion is being influenced.

My own drawing.

Finally, a drawing I did of a costume that I designed for a play that I have yet to write. It’s somewhat based in early 1920s late ‘Teens dresses, but adapted for a stage.

A Week of Reading

I’ve been terrible at keeping up with my ‘fun’ reading.

I can usually read at least a book a month, and I try to keep track of the books that I read in a journal. I was looking at said journal recently and realized between September 2011 and December 2011 I managed to read two books.

My bed side table of books I need to read.

So, I have set a goal for myself this week (specifically Monday the 9th through Monday the 16th): to read three books.

This week's goal books.

So far I’ve been getting there. I managed to finish Mrs.Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. I saw the movie over the summer (after many years of not seeing it. Funny thing is, the cat, Dragon, is still stuck in my memory), and I wanted to read the book. It wasn’t until this weekend when I went through some books that my brother was getting rid of that I found the book. I finished it in a little over 24 hours. I haven’t read a book that fast for a long time.

I’m currently working on a mystery called Million Dollar Baby. I got it for Christmas and am really enjoying it. It’s one of those books where you come for the mystery but stay for the romance.

My final book I want to finish by Monday is Cat Among the Pigeons, by Agatha Christie. I call myself a mystery novel fanatic, but truth be told, I’ve never read an Agatha Christie novel. Shame.

So, here’s to hoping that next week I can tell you that I managed my goal!

Shelf of books. The far left book is a very old copy of through the looking glass. The second to right book is a funny 1930s romance.