Year: 2011

Story-time: Cezanne in Russia

I’m a story addict. Seriously. I dope myself up on the stuff until I just can’t take anymore and then I take some more. I especially like when people read stories aloud. I listen to David Sedaris and Anthony Bourdain (my current out-loud favorites) books on tape over and over and over again until their petulant yet hilarious voices permanently seep into the drywall, emitting the odor of sarcasm. It’s a reason I am a co-founder of Story Story Night. Free, unfiltered access to stories every month? Yes, please. So today, I’m introducing a new feature called Cheep Story-time. This will feature original non-fiction and fiction stories by yours truly, Jessica Holmes (or as Dan points out I say on Story Story Night podcasts “Jess-ka Holmes,” or as once known to my then toddler sister “Ca Ca”), a self-acclaimed serious bad ass writer. And they won’t be boring, promise. They will be good stories, read loud. Cheep-tainment, baby! AUDIO: Cheep Story-time by Jessica Holmes: Cezanne in Russia The above story recounts my move, as a naive, …

4 basics of Cheep fashion

My body is wholly unremarkable. When young, this seemed a great hardship. I never grew taller than 5’ 4”. I never developed svelte little muscles to replace my baby fat. And even if I did, I never could develop a tan, so the poor, hard-working dears would be lost in a blinding glare of white. Nevertheless, I somehow look good, almost everyday. There’s a bros-tale passed around by perplexed men: “Women dress for each other, not for us.” Though so simple to be supposed true, their theory sideswipes the main point. People dress to feel good. Nothing changes the way you walk, the way you carry yourself, they way you interact with strangers and others, more than the choices you make in the closet. But don’t fear. Fashion is not serious like calculus. It is frivolous and playful. Big-ticket fashion—in which you pay the actual prices listed in captions to photo shoots—must be a ball. If you can fork over $550 for a brocaded tank top, and you have taste, of course you’ll look good. …

Outfit of the Day: January Story Story Night

Just in time for dieting, resolutions and self-improvement projects, Story Story Night held HOOKED: Stories of Cravings and Compulsions on Jan. 31, 2011, with three incredible featured storytellers (including the inimitable Al Blank) followed by an open story slam. For Story Story Night (I’m the co-founder, host, copywriter and marketing director of this wildly popular monthly live storytelling program), I try to dress to fit (however obliquely) the theme. I also always try to photograph my outfit for Cheep right before, but never fail to run completely out of time. Fortunately, our photographer Will Jones snapped some stellar stage shots of this stellar dress. Because my dieting, resolutions and self-improvement projects fizzled out, I did not wear the amazing blue sequin mini-dress I bought at The Youth Ranch for $6.50. Maybe in 20 pounds. Instead, I wore one of my most fabulous Cheep deals. Outfit Breakdown: Red Calvin Klein dress: $22, original MSRP $200 (new from LUX) Accessories Breakdown: Necklace: $7.50 (from Antique World Mall) Armor Bijoux bracelet: Gift (from Bethany Walter, designer and jewelry diva) RipCurl …

Christmas dinner part II: food

Since this holiday event is over a month old, I’ll keep this post sweet + short. . . . . . «This $5 sticker chalkboard helps us prepare our menu, and gives guests a chance to drool before anything hits the table. . . . . «We got this rotisserie appliance from Dan’s grandparents. With a bit of salt and pepper, and lemon slices placed just under the skin, the taste is unbelievable. This is a nice device for parties during cold winters, to add a bit of warmth to the kitchen, and a focal point for your guests. . . . . . «We found this CuisineArt slow cooker for $20 at The Youth Ranch downtown a week before Christmas, an $80+ savings from the original MSRP. Inside, is a slow cooked lamb shank. Mmmmm…. . . . . . . . . «The food was great, and Dan did most of the cooking. Thanks Dan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …

Christmas dinner part I: decor

This week: food. And decor that goes with food. Because I have been eating quite a lot of quite delicious food lately and have been feeling only slightly guilty about it because after all it is Christmas and my birthday and Tuesday and I’m only 20 pounds over my goal weight and mmm…cheese (burp). So…I’ll start with Christmas dinner, focusing first on decor. Dan and I hosted for our families because (a) we adore hosting dinner parties and things, though I’m sure Dan would use a manlier word. He likes to man host because the planning and preparation of the food is a challenging puzzle and he loves puzzles. I love it because I think like a hostess. Especially when I decorate. I like to think about how someone would feel walking into and mingling around my rooms. I call this step in decor and fashion the “walk into it” test. Turn around, imagine you’re a stranger (a momentary disassociation), walk out and walk back into the room (or into the mirror). See what your eye …

Outfit of the Day: Jan 02 10

My fashion interpretation of a quirky and optimistic Sunday. Bright, hip and comfortable–with glasses. Outfit Breakdown: JohnPaulRichard shirt: $10 (MSRP $38 from Macy’s) [Blank] stretch jeans: $5 (from LUX) Outfit Total: $15 Accessories Breakdown: Gold bird necklace: $22.50 (from Antique World Mall) Steel earrings: $3.25 (from downtown Idaho Youth Ranch) Vintage costume bracelet: $1 (from Antique World Mall) Gold/copper/silver bracelet: permanently borrowed from sister Merrell fleece-lined boots: $15 (MSRP $80, from REI garage sale) Accessories Total: $41.75 Total: $56.75 In a life lived well, time is of the essence. The Cheep life might seem like it takes an inordinate amount of time. But it doesn’t have to. Part of being successful in Cheep is planning ahead and preparing. So keep tabs on your closet weak points and know your Cheep hot spots. Examples: The “50-75% off the lowest marked sale price” racks at Macy’s, or the half off rack outside of LUX downtown. When you have an errand to run, park strategically so that you can pass by the Cheep hot spots. Then do a quick skim for the screamingest …