Princess Cornflakes

Too trashy to print on a cereal box

Let her Speak!

leave a comment »

People always say Hillary Clinton has no personality. After watching last night’s debate, I can see where those rumours come from. Donald Trump was interrupting her and even yelling at her at one point. She had to use all her resources to maintain dignity and composure. Who can have a “personality” while they are being yelled at? He might have a personality, but it’s the personality and charisma of a crazy man.

But she got her message across, even with him yelling in her face.

Even if Hillary didn’t have to stand vigil against his craziness, I don’t understand why we are so obsessed with personality in politics. We elect people like Jesse Ventura or Arnold Schwarzenegger (wow did I spell that right? I DID!) and then they screw up the budget because they are basically ego-crazed showmen and not heads-down workers who knows the rules and listen to constituents. It’s like we just want to be entertained by someone who is diverting on TV. We don’t want to consider how they approach issues, because issues require paying attention and that is boring.

And how did Donald Trump address issues? My biggest issue is the environment, and global warming. My mom told me it was 103 degrees in California today. I don’t know about the rest of you, but that is too hot for late September. Growing up in California I remember the temperatures were in the low 70s this time of year. It’s pumpkin time! How depressing to think of a bunch of kids trying to trick or treat in 103 degree weather, walking around sweating in their costumes.

But Trump does not think global warming is real. At the debate he only laughed about climate change. In the first part of it he made a lot of noise about bringing jobs that have gone to China and Mexico back to America. I don’t know about the rest of America but I don’t want those jobs. They are polluting, dirty industry. In China they can’t even see 20 feet in front of them because of dirty air. Their lakes and streams are all polluted. And in Mexico rivers run green and kids get rashes after going in the water. That kind of pollution is the result of tax breaks to companies so they can expand unregulated and wreck the environment, digging up trees and dumping in rivers, creating a horrible reality for poor neighbors and workers. Those are the kind of jobs Trump is talking about and I don’t want them back.

Hillary did have a vision for growth, and although it was hard to pick up over Trumps repeated rude interrupting, it did come through. She wanted to boost small businesses, and provide tax incentives  for middle class people who are trying to start businesses, and tax the rich who have been getting away with way too much for a long time. And she wanted to create sustainable jobs in alternative energy. That sounds perfect. Collecting tax money from those who should be paying it and building the economy in a slow, sustainable way, protecting trees and the seasons instead of God knows what Trump would do in his short-sighted, backwards vision of Mexican style maquiladoras and tax cuts.


Factory in Yutian, China

I love Hillary’s idea of a sustainable economy – America moving toward the future, paving the way for China and Mexico to create green economies one day too. It is a vision and in a way it reminds me of the leadership of California Governor Jerry Brown, another “boring” politician who is a serious, behind-the-scenes hard worker, who got California out of debt following Schwarzenegger and takes the environment seriously.  Sometimes it’s the boring politicians, who know the rules and just put their heads down and work, who are best to have in office. In fact I’d say that’s true every time.

So Trump went on in the debate with some silly answers and some ridiculous back-pedalling about the Obama birther claims and his refusal to release his tax returns, and terrorism, and lying about how he didn’t support the war in Iraq, all important stuff too, but not as important as climate change (to me). But the most important and scary part was his promise to cut taxes for the rich and bring dirty polluting industry back to America. That is just what we don’t need. We have to move forward.


So I hope Hillary will win. I think she did beautifully at the debate in her quiet, somewhat stiff way. And a little stiffness never hurt anybody. She knows the rules, has a long-term vision, and makes good decisions, and that is more important than entertaining us on TV, although I think she will be able to do that once she is free of her abusive opponent.





Written by nattie

September 27, 2016 at 8:47 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Wearing Black – Punk, Mourning, and Victorian Manners

leave a comment »

I started a blog where I could complain about men on dating sites, but now I’m off all dating sites, and besides that seemed negative, so I will go back to posting random thoughts.

The combination of “victorian” and “punk” is well accepted. After all there is steampunk, and there is that Fall song about the Victorian Child. I’ll post the video, but I won’t post a picture of steampunk, because there are a million of those.

Lately I was thinking about punk, and goth, and Victorian culture, and modern culture. For one thing, people started wearing a lot of black in the 1980s thanks to punk. The hippies never wore black, nor did the yuppies. It was the punks, and the goths who started that. But you’d never know that today, because most themed movies, web sites, etc describe the 80s as a time of really bright clothes. But for some of us, it was a decade to start wearing black, perhaps as a contrast to all that Miami Vice brightness. I think the the beatniks did the same thing in the 50s.

So goths of the 80s wore black, and beatniks of the 50s. And then after the grunge era of the 90s everyone started wearing black, and of course we all do now.

But was wearing black really so rare before the last few decades of the 20th century? And if so, why? I think it was. I’ve been reading the 2nd edition of Emily Post’s etiquette book, from 1922, and she has an entire chapter on the subject of wearing black. It’s called “Funerals”. That’s when it hit me. Wearing black had a special place up until the mid 20th century. It was reserved for funerals! And I just thought of it as a good basic color that went with everything. But most people did not see it that way in 1922:

 Among those who come to the house there is sure to be a woman friend of the family whose taste and method of expenditure is similar to theirs. She looks through the clothes they have, to see if there is not a black dress or suit that can be used, and makes a list of only the necessary articles which will have to be procured.

Not that many women even had black clothes. They had to have them specially made for the occasion of mourning. Ms. Post continues:

Or the mourning departments of the big stores and specialty shops are always willing to send a selection on approval, so that a choice can be made by the family in the privacy of their own rooms.

A mourning department in a store! I’d never heard of such a thing. Back in 1922 black was probably a really powerful and rare color to wear. It meant death. It was a color you did not mess with. And it was rarely worn. I guess that is why the greasers and the beatniks adopted it in the 1950s, and the punks  and goths in the 1980s. Black was the color people always stayed away from, and countercultural groups wanted that power.

Black also had sexual appeal. In her chapter, The Very Young Widow, Ms. Post acknowledges the desirability of a young woman in black:

The young widow should wear deep crepe for a year and then lighter mourning for six months and second mourning for six months longer. There is nothing more utterly captivating than a sweet young face under a widow’s veil, and it is not to be wondered at that her own loneliness and need of sympathy, combined with all that is appealing to sympathy in a man, results in the healing of her heart. She should, however, never remain in mourning for her first husband after she has decided she can be consoled by a second.

There is no reason why a woman (or a man) should not find such consolation, but she should keep the intruding attraction away from her thoughts until the year of respect is up, after which she is free to put on colors and make happier plans.

I mean that sounds like something Nick Cave himself would write, or Lydia Lunch in a more innocent mood.

Incidentally, Ms. Post, who always advised against drawing attention to oneself,  did not approve of wearing fancy black clothes:

Fancy clothes in mourning are always offenses against good taste, because as the word implies, a person is in mourning. To have the impression of “fashion” dominant is contrary to the purpose of somber dress; it is a costume for the spirit, a covering for the visible body of one whose soul seeks the background. Nothing can be in worse taste than crepe which is gathered and ruched and puffed and pleated and made into waterfalls, and imitation ostrich feathers as a garnishing for a hat. The more absolutely plain, the more appropriate and dignified is the mourning dress. A “long veil” is a shade pulled down—a protection—it should never be a flaunting arrangement to arrest the amazed attention of the passerby.

“A Shade pulled down”. That sums up the serious of wearing black in past times. It had one meaning only, and that was death. Now black is just a practical color that does not get dirty in snow and always looks sharp. Today, it has been stripped of it’s meaning of death and  mourning.


But what will the punks and goths, who want to connect with the eternal and the power of death, wear now that everyone is wearing black?

How about wearing white?



Written by nattie

September 14, 2016 at 1:27 am

Posted in Uncategorized

A Random Post

leave a comment »

Today I will just write a post with no theme. I don’t know why you always need an agenda when you write, so I will write about anything. I have no idea why my 11 year old daughter is picky about lunch snacks. She never likes the chips I buy, whether it’s corn chips, corn chips with a “hint of lime”, potato chips, cheezits, or even pretzels. She just does not want them. And then she complains that I do not pack her a “crunchy snack”. WEll I’M TRYING. So today I popped some microwave popcorn and just gave her some of it. I think she was happy.

A post about nothing should also have a picture, so here is one. This seems like as good a picture as any. Disney girl with Alligator from Haunted Mansion. I may replace it with a picture of something else at any time.

And something I am really angry about. Why do old people have to share a blood supply wtth young people? I mean, old people need to just GET OVER THEMSELVES. Like your time comes, and then your number’s up. Is it really necessary to try to live to 100 or longer and especially by taking some younger person’s blood? Just go out and leave the earth to some younger people without making it totally crowded with your old-ass selves. I guess this upsets me because I live in NJ and it’s the most populated state in the nation, so crowds are part of my daily experience.

I’m going to California tomorrow. I have a lot of plans to see family, like every day. Hopefully we will try some good Mexican food too. Among other things we are going to Disneyland, well that is, if the Haunted Mansion is open. A friend told me that Disney is getting rid of all images of alligators in their theme parks, which means that they are changing (sob) that great picture of the girl with the pink parasol in the haunted mansion, on a tightrope with an alligator at her feet. I can’t believe they are doing this. Seriously, grow some balls Disney. It’s sad that little boy got eaten by an alligator. It really is tragic, but that is totally superstitious and lame. On the other hand I can sort of understand it. I would probably do the same thing in my home if I had a pet alligator and it ate a kid.

Sothis is the end of my post about nothing, which has actually been about several things.

Written by nattie

July 8, 2016 at 5:25 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Investing with the Princess

leave a comment »

I learned something very interesting tonight. Investing can be almost as fun as shopping. OK, almost, and I’m new to it so I’m talking out of my ass, I realize.

Still, tonight after work I did two things. I went shopping at Target and Kohl’s, looking for a vest. I didn’t find the right one anywhere and spent about 40 minutes digging through sale racks. I almost bought a furry black vest that said “FILA” in large blue letters, at Kohls, but thinking it was tacky, and as the line was long, I left it there.

When I got home I decided to invest (wow after after not finding a vest, I just realized that!), for the first time ever. I had converted an old 401K  into a rollover IRA a few weeks ago.

My bank kept telling me, “Now you have to invest it”, and emailing me this tool. They really love to email the tool. I have about 6 copies in my inbox right now. I thought “oh, they probably automatically invest it in something like the “Saving Until You Are Old And Decrepit” fund. Whatever man.

But tonight I was bored enough to do something about it so I called them.

Now I should say that Fidelity has the WASP-iest sounding brokers in the world, and they are all men. I’m picturing a bunch of Indians with really good voice training saying they are “Jim Tate” or “Jonathan Peterson” or “George Michael” but good for them and their nice acting skills.

I should back up a little. I had actually done my research and figured out that I’ll never be able to retire. If I want to have $45,000 a year by the time I’m 65, I’ll have to invest well over half my  monthly income in 401K. Forget it! Assuming that I’ll be still be a poor college student at age 65, I can at least do something good with my money because poor students always care about the environment and besides, who cares!

With that in mind I have been researching “social responsibility funds”. Because, for me, the quality of a fund depends on the types of companies it invests in, not how bullish it is (is that the right word?). And there are a lot of social responsibility funds but, as this article points out, they all decide what is socially responsible to them. Most exclude alcohol (I LIKE alcohol, alcohol is GOOD), cigarettes (I don’t care!), and weapons manufacturers (Now we’re talking. I like to exclude weapons manufacturers!).  So in the end you have to do some research down at the level of companies.


Based on this article, I decided that a good fund would be Parnassus. They are doing OK, they invest in public water (yay! I don’t like water bottles everywhere!), and Autodesk (CAD software – plus I used to work at Autodesk and they were nice).

So back to tonight. I called 1-800-whatever and spoke to a very knowledgeable man who explained about the difference between funds (a group of stocks) and stocks (individual companies). He said I could find out about the different stocks using the research tool that he’d be happy to email to me. They do love to email that tool.

He connected me to a trader and, after a brief hold, I seriously heard the following:


“Uh, I’m calling from the outside. I’m a customer” I said.

“Oh I’m sorry, I was not paying attention. Um. Uh.” (puts on a professional tone) “What would you like to do tonight, ma’am? Are you logged in?”

“Yes I am and don’t worry. I thought it was funny” (he’s probably snorting coke off a prostitute’s butt right now).

So after that he showed me the very complicated steps of going to the home page, clicking “trade” and entering the stock symbol and clicking “buy”. When I did it all without a problem he said “well look at you!”. Look at me! It’s almost as fun as shopping!

And that was my first experience investing. I may do it again. I definitely like the fact that even if recycling is a joke, I could possibly be supporting public water, low-cost homes,  vests in colors that I like, or any number of things that make a difference.

Written by nattie

March 4, 2016 at 2:56 am

Posted in money, Uncategorized

More Mayonnaise #7, Summer 1984

leave a comment »

Now you can download More Mayonnaise #7 and travel back to Summer 1984 in super-subcultural Southern California, a time when post-punk music, thrift store clothing, gloomy goth, surfers, and 50s and 60s nostalgia made anything possible and everything fun. Loads of fashion photos and an interview with Nina Hagen. Enjoy, kiddies!


More Mayonnaise #7 cover

Written by nattie

January 23, 2016 at 3:11 pm

Posted in music

A 1960s Wardrobe Pattern

leave a comment »

Now that I am getting back into sewing, I can make anything I want! All I need is a few good patterns, some fabric, a night, some coffee, and some upbeat 80s music like “Pretty In Pink” by the Psychedelic Furs. My life turns into an 80s movie montage. Actually I only have 1 pattern, but it’s a wardrobe pattern and wardrobe patterns have everything on them!


my glamorous wardrobe pattern

After I woke up on new years day, 2016, feeling like I want to be more mod, I bought Butterick 2179 on Etsy.

I can spend literally  hours looking at vintage patterns on Etsy, ordering them, and never making anything. So I decided to turn off my computer and start sewing. I love this pattern so much that I want to make everything on it, but I started with the shell top. I finally determined that my 1962 size is 14, which translates to a modern 10. I don’t understand the numbers, I just go for anything that says “bust 34” (which is nonsense because of course mine is much bigger!).


Anyway the top was really easy to make. A shell top can be worn with anything, a straight skirt, a full skirt, or capri pants, and looks great. I love the back buttons (confession – I’m terrible with zippers!). I chose light blue, because that was the only color I had 6 buttons of, but they worked! My fabric is a thick “fake shantung” in dark red. Perfect for the 60s style. I definitely think you should keep the fabric as true to the style as possible. So use gingham, fun prints, or stripes in 60s colors like avocado or orange. Nothing purple. Did you ever see Gidget wearing purple? Or Sissy from Family Affair? No way Mr. French! They didn’t wear purple in the early 60s.


I love to sew but have had a hard time talking myself back into it as a hobby. Why bother? In the 80s clothing was more expensive. But clothing is so cheap now, and most every style is available at the mall. But here are some good reasons: you can set your creations apart with buttons or thread. You can probably get a sleeveless shell at TJ Maxx, but it won’t have all the darts that they used in the 60s. It won’t have the high neck that is so unsexy that it’s cool, and it will probably  be made out of something stretchy or in a tropical print with little metallic sparkles that you may not like.


Best of all, you can spend 6 hours driving around and hunting for your blouse. Or you can spend 6 hours sewing, feeling creative and listening to the Psychedelic Furs, Arctic Monkeys, Shangri-las, and New Order, and then have time left over to try new hairstyles. I can guarantee which choice will make you feel happier in the end! Happy sewing!

Written by nattie

January 17, 2016 at 2:53 am

Posted in fashion, photos

Programming and sewing

leave a comment »

As someone who has been sewing since the age of 10 (that’s 20+ years) and programming Java since the mid-1990’s (yes I am old!), I am constantly amused at how similar the two activities are. In both practices, you are basically taking things apart and putting things together. Most people can envision how this works in sewing, but trust me, it’s not much different in programming. You put together smaller objects, like you would put together the pieces of a garment, and then you sew the objects together into a larger program. In sewing you finish off the edges so that things won’t unravel. In programming we do this by declaring final classes and static variables. In both you pick apart threads and you join threads together, which is never fun. OK the threads are already woven in sewing, but you still pick them apart sometimes. In both activities you have to patch things occasionally. In both we use patterns. These patterns are templates of how to do things to make something useful, and if the patterns are good, we use them again and again.


A Wedding Gown pattern from the 1940s, from Vintage Patterns Dazespast Blog.

Finally, sometimes our sewing creations are a joy to create and turn out wonderful and useful, and sometimes they turn into a lumpy ugly mess that we spend lots of time reworking until we finally throw them away.

Can you think of other ways that programming and sewing are similar?

Written by nattie

August 29, 2015 at 3:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized