Sunday, November 1, 2015

One Tale, Four Legs: Zoo Story. Also, Some Words from a Would-be Zookeeper

 Chocolate Candy Heart Necklace

Cardigan: Modcloth
Dress: Wet Seal
Shoes: Worthington, J. C. Penney's
Bag: Marshalls
Sunglasses: Michaels

Top: Maison Jules, Macy's
Jeans: City Streets, J. C. Penney's
Shoes: Payless
Bag: Candies, Kohl's
Jacket: XOXO, gifted
Sunglasses: Rampage, Boscov's

Tee: Arizona Jeans, J. C. Penney's
Skirt: Modcloth
Shoes: Betseyville, Macy's
Bag: Gifted
Sunglasses: Kohl's

Oh, Deer Necklace

Dress: Xhilaration, Target
Shoes: Alloy
Bag: Gifted
Sunglasses: Candie's, Kohl's

Mostly, this post is about horses.  I've always had a soft spot for the hooved ones, at least thematically speaking.  There was that time, after all, that I posted that picture of my horse planner along with a blurb about the cartoon "Horseland," a tack that I reprise now with a new (although not improved if its disclaimer is any indication) 2016-2017 planner purchased at that mecca of miscellany, the dollar store.      

This is the disclaimer in case you can't read it: "While we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information in this calendar, we cannot be held liable for any errors, omissions, or inconsistencies."  I think we now know how this piece of merch ended up at the dollar store.  Clearly, it's a case of style over substance.  But then again, confirming if Christmas falls on a Saturday seems irrelevant when you look at that cover stud prance!  

That having been said, there's a good deal of giddyup in this week's ensembles.  There are two horses (one in a necklace and a bunch of little printed ones in the dress, which I count as one), one unicorn (on the tee shirt), one deer (in a necklace) and two seahorses (in the cardigan).  I felt the need to explain this lest anyone is thinking, "Hey, what are those seahorses doing in there?"  Not that I wouldn't be above retorting, "You've heard of Chicken of the Sea?  Well, these two are his equine associates."  Like I said, it's the horses that are the thing.

Horses are a real paradox, running the gamut from gross to glamorous.  They're gross because they're smelly (which is why, incidentally, I like them only thematically), and they're glamorous because they traditionally transport royalty, although, in these modern times mostly plain old rich people, and even then only when they're playing polo.  It's puzzling how much elegant equestrian accessories are out there considering the popularity of terms like "horsey" and its more mean-spirited cousin "horse-faced."  Who could forget those busy, once ubiquitous chain and bridle prints of the late 1980s and early 1990s galloping across blouses, jackets, and scarves in faux aristocratic jewel tones?  I can't laugh too much, though, as I sported it too, in big, floppy bow form, no less.

On that note, I'm going to make what may be my most awkward and least seamless of segues to date.  Which is my way of saying that it's time to talk about Betty White's audiobook If You Ask Me, But You Won't.  Now, this was my first audiobook.  Because I'm an old school book kind of girl who doesn't spend a ton of time in the car.  But this audiobook was passed on to me because Ms. White is one of my all-time favorite famous people.  Beloved actress, animal activist (there's our tie-in!), and all-around delight, Betty has penned (and narrated!) one of the most uplifting, down-to-earth, and inspiring books that I've come across in a long time.  She is so genuine and modest and dare I say silly that she doesn't even seem like a celebrity.  And she was eighty-nine when she wrote this book!  That, to me, is the most incredible part.  She talks about stage fright, health issues, and loss but still manages to be upbeat and optimistic, proving that life does go on and that laughter is the best medicine and all those other cliches that we think we're too cool to live by but secretly love.  With an outlook like that, it's no wonder that she's lived so long, not to mention still acting, writing, and saving the whales!  Speaking of which, Betty hates computers and writes all of her books longhand.  She says that her thoughts need to flow through her fingers and pen onto the paper.  Also, that this was the way John Steinbeck, who was a friend of hers, wrote all of his novels and that "if it's good enough for Steinbeck, then it's good enough for me."  I happen to agree with Betty (and Steinbeck) about the longhand writing thing.  Although it's blasphemy for a blogger to say so, I write every one of these posts on paper before transferring them to the computer.  Betty says that writing is her favorite thing to do.  Also, that she wanted to be a zookeeper or a forest ranger when she was a kid but that those weren't careers for girls.  Years later the National Forest Association made her an honorary park ranger.

Another thing I love about Betty is her ability to be funny without being mean.  She's just such a lady.  And yet not at all uptight (and I have the Who's Your Betty? tee shirt to prove it).  Also, she has principles.  She turned down a role in As Good as it Gets because she was morally opposed to that scene in which the dog is tossed down a laundry chute.  How could you not love a woman of such integrity?  Rose, Betty's "Golden Girls" alter ego, had a lot of integrity, too.  She was simple and pure and endearing, which was what made her so great.  Of course, I also liked Bea Arthur's Dorothy, on account of her cutting wit, even if she was kind of bitter and wore more than her fair share of cowl necks.  Rose rocked pastel dresses and embroidered sweaters, some of which featured our four-legged friends.  Or maybe they were our feathered friends.  But you know what I mean.  

Either way, that's what I call horse power.

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