Archives For memories

Earlier this summer, I lost my favourite denim jacket. That was a painful loss, man. I cannot stress the importance of a sweet denim jacket in one’s closet. And this particular jacket was a real winner: Parasuco, scored at Goodwill in the USA for a measly 5$, worn to work, school, and sleep (okay, not sleep, but I did wear it here and here). I was half-tempted to spend my summer in mourning, untagging all my Facebook pictures with it because it’s too painful, then eating a small container of ice cream because that’s what TV has taught me to do.

Anyways, upon the realization that my ol’ buddy was never coming back in an epic Homeward-Bound-esque montage, I eventually found the strength to move on with a new love: this thrifted H&M jacket, worn today with a new thrifted dress (in purple! hooray!). Since this is the first time I’m wearing my new jacket on the blog, I intended to publish a posthumous tribute to it’s predecessor. Y’know, talking about all the things I miss about my old jacket, and all the things I like about my new one. Thrifting circle of life, yadda yadda yadda. Well, I started to work on the tribute, and even pulled a few photos together, when I was suddenly struck with a wicked case of deja-vu:

…I’ve done this before.

Not about my jean jacket, per say. But I had written a very similar ode to a jacket, long before I started up this blog.

You see, in the days prior to WordPress’ and Blogger’s dominion over the blogging universe, I had a LiveJournal, and when all my friends on MSN went to sleep, I wrote in it. I had a hazy recollection of writing about a jacket years ago. So, I returned to that ol’ LiveJournal that I had since totally forgotten about, and did some digging for that post. That’s where things get fun. I found the entry alright, only to realize I’m EXACTLY THE SAME AS I WAS SIX YEARS AGO. Except I don’t shop at Old Navy anymore. How funny is that?! It seems as though I was destined to be a blogger, forever fated to personify my favourite items of clothing with proper pronouns. I still have that jacket too!

I seriously debated sharing that actual link with you. Because if you’re as creepy as I am (which I know you are) you’ll spend some time clicking around that old LiveJournal to confirm your suspicions that I am big loser. In fact, I actually tried to log into that old Livejournal account to delete the embarrassing stuff, but guess what? I can’t. I don’t remember my password or the email I used to create it, and after trying a million times, I just gave up. (Today’s lesson: The Internet is forever.)

Needless to say, I found my old blog endlessly more entertaining that a few pictures of my old jean jacket. I spent so much time trying to prove that “I’m soooo snarky and have suuuuch good taste” – it’s hilarious! So, instead of a tribute to my jacket, how about a tribute to my old blog? I’ll even do you a courtesy by sparring you the effort it would take to scroll through pages of drivel, and just point out some of the goodies:

First off, I love that this LiveJournal is like a time capsule of technological developments for 2005 and 2006. Look how excited I am to get a Dell laptop! And here’s where I discover bit torrents! (In case the Government is reading: I don’t download music illegally any more). Oh, this one is a gem, because I call MySpace a successful blockbuster movie. Ah, to live in a B.Z. world again (B.Z. = Before Zuckerberg).

It’s also a time capsule of my pop cultural tastes (and distastes) in the late 2000s. Here’s where I cryptically predict the demise of The OC and Mischa Barton’s career. You’ll notice on that same day, I posted a link to a fanvid about Jim and Pam and their budding romance on the Office (NBC has since blocked that video for copyright violations, so in case the Government is reading: I don’t make fanvids anymore). My greatest discovery, though, is that Kanye West is STEALING LYRICS FROM ME: Read the second last line of this post.

Honestly, you’re more than welcome to click through that journal if you want to. Of course now it all seems a little silly, and a lot dated, but that’s okay. I’ve got nothing to hide. It represents a small little slice of who I was and – as that jacket entry has proven – who I am. Heck, I know all my musings on this blog will some day seem archaic.

While our preferences and references will age and expire, I can take comfort in one thing: The knowledge that a good jean jacket will age a lot better than any blog, provided you don’t lose it.

Making Amends: Music Wars

February 14, 2012 — 21 Comments

In the spirit of St. Valentine’s Day, I’ve prepared a bit of a longer entry today. One thing to get us started: I hate modern country music. And yet, last week, one of my thrifted outfits made me feel a bit like a cowgirl. Why is this important? Because it’s provided me an occasion to make amends with all my Garth-Brooks loving friends. You’re out there, and I love you. What prompted this public display of affection for dusty boots, desert skirts and denim jackets? Memories from my youth of music wars, subcultures, cliques and geeks. Here goes:

I went to a funny high school. We were a funny high school because while we had all the typical Glee/Mean Girls clique dynamics, it took on a bit of a different face. Instead of jocks & band geeks, we had hippies & punks. The male population of our little school was fiercely divided into these two very distinct groups.

The hippies were the popular kids. And the hippies adhered to a very distinct dress code comprised of plaid hunter jackets, dirty jeans, long shaggy hair, work boots, and a pack of cigarettes (think Hyde from That 70s Show meets Paul Bunyan). In addition to their uniformed attire, they all listened to one radio station – Classic Rock Q 107. Bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, The Doors and AC/DC made up the CD collection as approved by the hippies. The only other bands that made the cut without being actual classic rock where The Tragically Hip. Oh, and they all had animal nicknames for each other.

In stark contract to the hippies on the right were the punks of the left. This scrappy young group of rebels were the underdogs in the social scene (as punks usually are). They, too, had a very uniformed style: A DC/Volcom/Etnies t-shrit, Dickies shorts so low they almost broke the dress code, and Vans shoes. They wore a lot of studded belts, they skateboarded, and they listened to Punk, Ska and Pop-punk. Acceptable bands included Blink 182, Goldfinger, Rancid, and for a brief window, Simple Plan (shudder).

Now, while my particular social group leaned towards the hippie aesthetic, I had friends in both camps. For the most part, these groups stayed out of each other’s way. The hippies would play hockey and the punks would go snowboarding. But because teenagers are so full of angst, it wasn’t long before these two groups entered into an official feud. Here’s how it started:

Every Friday morning, our school would meet in the Commons for an hour or so, and students were encouraged to preform songs, skits, and magic tricks, etc. On this Friday, a rambunctious bunch of punks took to the stage for a few numbers. While I don’t remember the set list, I distinctly remember how they ended the show: In one high note, the singer sang into the mic: “Classic rock suuuuuucks”.

A flurry of grumbles and threats erupted from the hippie crowd. Teachers did their best to quell the tension, and I rolled my eyes at the hilarity of it all. The following assembly, a plaid-clad hippie and his friend played Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and ended with a hurried speech on all the reasons Blink 182 was the “worst band ever”.

A few days later, one of the punks dressed up in a plaid jacket, dirty jeans, and carried around a pack of cigarettes all day. He called himself Spade– a direct take on one of the hippie’s nicknames – Ace (I can’t make this stuff up!). The hippies, of course, took direct offense to this, and made murmurs of retaliation. Luckily though, our school wasn’t Degrassi and so nothing tragic ever came from the feud, and by graduation we were all best buds. Okay not quite, but we did all go to the same prom party. Great times!

What did I take from all of this? Music + fashion are inseparable, and the way we dress is absolutely a reflection of the subculture to which we choose to identify, especially when we’re 16. In hands of adolescent males, this is a recipe for silly hatefulness and testosterone wars. I can still see this exact scenario playing out in high schools across the world. Maybe Emo kids are are feuding with Hipsters. But today, on St. Valentine’s day, let’s set an example for another way, kids!

Listen here, new country music lovers – I don’t like your music. You might even say I think it sucks. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be pals. I may not like your Faith Hill or your Blake Shelton, your sparkly cowboy hats or your “sexy” tractors. But I love your boots and I love your jean jackets, I love your fine leather and I love your handsome cowboys. I even have the occasional soft spot for your Taylor Swift. So let’s not feud, and let’s not fight. Let’s celebrate our shared interests, like Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton! And most of all, let’s do it in love. Because, as Dolly would say, if we’ve got real love, “we’ve got everything we need”.

Happy Valentine’s Day guys!

Outfit breakdown: Ralph Lauren Skirt, Parasuco Jean Jacket, vintage top – all, as always, thrifted.