Saturday, January 22, 2011

oh, and a few more things

This dress is the most delicate thing I own. It's so beautiful, but every time I wear it falls apart a little bit. I think it might be for display only now.

So you may remember that I revealed a few things about myself recently, such as my terrible addiction to karaoke and my sordid past as a ballroom dancing teacher. I was pleasantly surprised that so many of you appreciated that post (or maybe it was just the amazing photo of Donut that reeled you in?), so I decided to share a few more tidbits based on the questions I'm asked most frequently...

1. I've had a web site since I was 13.

Think about that for a minute. When I was 13 it was 1997. The word "blog" didn't exist yet, and the concept of a personal web site was really, really strange to most people (especially my peers in junior high). I can't remember what I even wrote about, but I do remember that I was very dedicated to my site and redesigned the entire thing once a month. It went through various incarnations over the years and at one point was called Ashleyland (I know, I know... be kind). It eventually turned into a photography portfolio hosted at and remained untouched for a few years until I decided to start Fancy Fine. I guess I just couldn't stay away.

2. I have a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.

Yup, I went to art school. I enrolled when I was 18, fresh out of high school and dying to finally live in The City (as we call it here) and make things. My major was Interdisciplinary Studies, which basically meant I could have my fingers in many pies. I studied printmaking and painting at first but then eventually focused on photography and bookmaking. It was fun to experiment with a lot of mediums, although I did discover that I am the world's shittiest painter. The highlight of my four years there was seeing a lecture by Martin Parr, one of my favorite photographers.

3. I do not dye my hair.

Gasp! It's funny, I'd say about 90% of the questions people ask me on the internet are about my hair. Funny because I'm pretty low maintenance about it. I do not dye it, although I have in the past (black when I was 18, and a slightly darker brown when I was 22). I can barely even be bothered to brush it most days! My friend Lauren trims my bangs whenever I start resembling Cousin It, and I use Kiehl's Olive Fruit Conditioner to keep it from feeling scraggly. In the morning I blow dry my bangs because I can't stand having wet hair on my face, and I let the rest air dry and do what it pleases. This usually takes about 3 hours because my hair is so darn long.

4. I work for a local clothing designer.

I am manager, shopgirl, visual merchandiser, official shop photographer, etc. I've worked in the shop for four years and my boss is an awesome and feisty lady who is also a good friend. Other past jobs include two years at a record store (which was exactly like Empire Records makes it seem) and secretary at a market research firm.

5. My first karaoke song was "Brand New Key" by Melanie.

A few of you wanted to know what some of my favorite karaoke jams are. So, in no particular order...

"Why Don't You Do Right" by Peggy Lee
"Big Spender" from Sweet Charity
"Whatever Lola Wants" by Sarah Vaughn
"You Ain't Woman Enough" by Loretta Lynn
"Different Drum" by Linda Rondstadt
"Harvest Moon" by Neil Young
"Ballroom Blitz" by The Sweet
"He's a Rebel" by The Crystals
"I Wanna Sex You Up" by Color Me Badd
"Walkin' After Midnight" by Patsy Cline
"Mambo Italiano" by Rosemary Clooney
"Come On-A My House" by Rosemary Clooney


Michelle of The Feather Den said...

Interesting! I can't believe you've had a website for SO long, I mean, I've had one since I was 12/13, but that's only since 2003.
Hard to get away, isn't it? Haha. Also, love your karaoke list.

kater said...

These are quite fun to read!

We didn't have internet until I was about 13, so about 1999. I have friends though that I've talked to almost every day since then, which is really strange. I don't even talk to people I went to high school with anymore.

I am discovering the difficulties of blow-drying bangs. I give up and let them air dry.

Meggstatus said...

You are seriously my favorite.

Penny Dreadful Vintage said...

Brand New Key is one of my karaoke songs too, along with Walkin After Midnight. I don't know a few of the others so will need to look them up!

I feel much better now knowing that you have studied photography properly at art school (another samey thing - I went to art school too but I studied ceramics). I always think your photographs are so fab and wonder why mine are so rubbish in comparison, so a university education helps to explain it a little!

Penny Dreadful Vintage said...

Brand New Key is one of my karaoke songs too, along with Walkin After Midnight. I don't know some of the others so will need to check them out.

Another samey thing is that I went to art school too - but I studied ceramics. It makes me feel better knowing you have done proper study, because your photographs are always so amazing and I've been wondering why mine are so crap in comparison! Your university education in photography makes me feel a bit better about it ;)

Jess ( said...

It always blows my mind how long I've been online ... since I was 9 (so, 1996?) I used to make Geocities site and used Expages for a long time. Thanks for sharing, that brought up some good memories! :)

veronika, tick tock vintage. said...

we have exact opposite taste in karaoke songs, but i bet we'd be a fabulous team on-stage. i can bring the 90's r&b and hiphop, and you can be the country crooner.

okay, i'm done now.

Kathleen said...

I love love love "Brand New Key." My boyfriend and I put it on during road trips, and it keeps us from getting mad at the traffic. I also agree with the part about brushing hair: it's overrated and painful. ;)

Michelle said...

another online veteran here, I used to have (so embarrassing to admit) a Savage Garden fan site when I was 13/14 about '96/97 haha.

Amber said...

well i missed the previous post so I went back and read it and it seems we have a mutual love for the film Troop Beverly Hills! I cant count how many times I have seen it. I know every word to the Cookie Time song :)

The Bohemienne said...

Your job sounds fabulous. What fun to be immersed in such a creative world every day...and to get paid for it!

young said...

I wanna sex you up! That's hilarious, it made me laugh. I can imagine it's pretty fun to sing in karaoke.
I used to have a geocities website back in the late 90s as well, and have had websites, online diaries/journals ever since. It's hard to let go of when you start so early I think.

I've never commented before even though I've been reading your blog for quite a while now. I guess it was time!

Violet Clair said...

1. I just wanted to take a minute to gush and tell you how much I love your blog.

2. I can't really say that I'm proud to admit this but, I had a Jimmy Fallon fansite that was hosted by homestead when I was in 8th grade.

Ana Peregrine said...

I ALWAYS sing "Different Drum." Well, not always, but a lot. In fact, a KJ friend of mine challenged all of his karaoke-going friends to never repeat a song in 2011. I was surprised by so hard that's been, because I didn't realize I repeated songs that often....

jessica said...

Yay for empire records! so were you a young renee or a young liv? (i vote Liv)
Ill give you a 2nd Yay for color me bad... (but im having a little chuckle too)

Anke Weckmann said...

I remember! Although I didn't make the connection between this blog and the website. Can't believe I've 'known' you for so long!