Tuesday, April 12, 2016


Jenny, Jenny, who can I turn to?

With sincerest apologies to Tommy Tutone, I gotta say that I LOVE the new red Jenny dress from Pinup Girl Clothing. I managed to snag one in the recent April Fool's Day sale on their web site, buying my normal 2X size. After ordering, others were receiving theirs and were unhappy with the sizing, letting other buyers know that the waists seem to run small for this colorway. I was a teeny bit concerned, but only a little, bitty bit because I usually have to take my Jenny dresses in at the waist in order for them to fit me right. My measurements at the moment are 48-36-47.

After a delay in processing my order, and a delay in shipping my order, I finally received my sale purchases this afternoon. I immediately tried on the new Jenny, a little scared that it wouldn't fit or would be uncomfortable.

I needn't have worried: this Jenny dress fits me perfectly right out of the bag; no waist alterations will be necessary. Unlike most of my 2X Jenny dresses, the waist on this one also almost comes down to my bellybutton, which is not something I am used to; I usually have to size up to 3X or 4X and then alter down to fit me for that to happen, considering my freakishly long waist (12 inches from underbust to natural waist). The bust sits and lays right, and, while snug, the waist fits perfectly, nipping in at just the right spot.


Holy crap. I totally forgot that this dress came with POCKETS when I was trying it on, but I just happened to fiddle around over there and noticed that, yup, there's POCKETS! Big, nice, deep ones, too!

In sum, if your measurements are near the top end of your size on the size chart, I'd size up on this dress, but, if you're like me and fall sort of in between on the lower end (for me, between XL & 2X, depending), your normal size should be fine.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Princess & Her Chariot

When I was very young, my father had 1957 Chevy Bel-Airs. I remember when I was about 3 or 4, watching him battle an invisible army of mosquitoes as he set the body on the frame (by himself, mind) on the car that I would grow up in, doing donuts, taking long drives on dirt roads, working on until it got too dark to see. I grew up with dirty fingernails, greasy hands, and busted knuckles, helping my Dad and his friends work on their cars.

My Chevelle. It didn't look like much, but, boy, could she go!
As the years went on, Dad got more and more economical (and practical) cars for his job and the commute, but I've always had a giant car with tons of chrome. The first car I bought for myself with my own money was a 1970 Chevelle Malibu. It had a stroked 383 with a 750 CFM Holley, turbo 350 transmission with shift kit and stall converter, weight reduction, roll cage, NOS setup, slap shifter... the works. I bought it for $1,700 from a guy who'd built into a drag car. This thing was wicked fast.  You had to be going 55 MPH to shift it from first to second. The only way to drive it sanely on the street was to turn down the transmission's vacuum advance so it would shift gears and lower speeds. Otherwise, you put it in "Drive," and the car would sit there and shake while you pushed the gas pedal until it hit a certain RPM and then you'd take off like a rocket.

I spent one whole summer drag racing it on back roads. One day, I got a bug in my bonnet to see just how fast the car really was. So, I took it an hour and half to the closest drag strip to find out. When
 I got there, the tech guys weren't going to let me race. Then this one guy - who'd stood off to the sidelines and not said much until then - said, "Let her do a time."

I was so excited! I lined up, slapped it into drive and pushed the gas. The car sat there and shook while I waited for the green light. It popped green and - all the stars in the sky must've lined up all at once that afternoon - I punched the gas to the floor. The front wheels came up off the ground, and all I can see out the windshield is sky...sky... sky... GROUND. And in a few heartbeats, it was over with my heart going BOOM, BOOM, BOOM down at the end of the strip.

All these guys came running over and made me pull to the side and started yelling at me: "You can't drive that here! You need a harness and a helmet and a license..." And the one guy who'd let me race, he said to another guy standing there, "I told you so."

All I could think to ask was, "How fast was I?"

The guy who let me have a go said, "You did it in 9.29. That's too fast to race here without a special license and safety equipment." He handed me my slip. It was there in black and white: 9.29 at 147 MPH. The most exciting thing I have ever done was finished in under 10 seconds. "You're not driving this back home, are you?" he asked.

"Well, I drove it here," I said. And I got under the car and turned the vacuum advance down and drove back home, content in the knowledge that I had a Seriously Hot Car.

Over the years, I have owned several cars - none as hot as my Chevelle - and they all have one thing in common: big, loud motors. I am a firm believer in big pipes and big blocks. For my birthday a few years back, I bought myself a 1971 Ford LTD Brougham with a factory 429, triple black. I love this car. It will never be a race car, but it is a TON of fun to drive. I haven't gotten to drive it much the last couple of years because we're fixing it up, repairing rust and getting ready to put on a custom paint job. I'll update as the job continues. Here's some photos of my Shillelagh:

My design for my LTD

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Damage Done...

I've mentioned in the past just how hard it's been for me to recuperate from the years of emotional and verbal abuse I endured at the hands of my ex husband. He was vile to me starting about 18 months into our marriage and just got worse over the next 15 years. By the time he dumped me for another woman, I had zero confidence and believed what he told me (and what other members of my family told me, too): that I was fat, ugly, and cheap; a shallow-thinker with little potential; lacking enough talent or drive to do anything worthwhile or notable; lacking motivation to earn more money. I could address this litany of bullshit bulletpoint by bulletpoint, but I won't; instead, I am going to tell you a story.

My new husband, Tommy Lee, recently got a really great job in his shop, and gave me some money to buy whatever I wanted, hinting heavily that I should buy a couple of dresses that he'd had his eye on me wearing. There was a sale at the site, so I bought them. They arrived here on Wednesday, and I tried them on after work and took photos, sharing them with my Instagram and Facebook followers. One in particular got a lot of attention, this one:

You may or may not be able to tell from the picture that I am not wearing any undergarments in this photo; not even a bra. But the dress made me feel pretty, so I shared moment.

Well, one snarky anonymous commenter wrote:
"You look like a Cabbage Patch doll dressed in Barbie clothes."

Now, this anonymous commenter apparently - based on the Instagram feed associated with the account that commented - has a beef with Pinup Girl Clothing. I am not qualified to comment on whether her claims have validity, but I would guess not, considering that it was this person and not PUGC who made such a low, ill-conceived, cowardly comment. I can't speak for other survivors of emotional and mental abuse, but I know how I felt about it, and this cowardly, anonymous commenter ought to feel ashamed of herself. Comments such as these make abuse survivors who lack confidence shrink further back into their shells. It damages people, makes self-doubt worse, and can even lead to depression, thoughts of self-harm and suicide, and more.

I share this story not to garner your sympathy. I'm fine. Sure, the unnecessary comment stung (still does), but I know that this person thinks - for some reason - that I have something to do with PUG; I don't. And she doesn't know me. I am just a customer of theirs who lives far, far away from Los Angeles, out in the boonies, someone who finally found herself and started to heal from years of abuse thanks to pinup culture and the clothes. And though this person may have a problem with the owners and managers of PUGC, taking to shaming their customers - something this person claims PUG does in private - makes the whole thing look like sour grapes, invalidates her arguments against PUG, and makes her look like a petulant, childish twit.

She doesn't know the circumstances of this photo being taken. She doesn't know that I don't show my arms most of the time because I am ashamed of them. She doesn't know that I endure hundreds of abusive, filthy, and rude comments and side-long glances from disapproving and jealous people every day in regards to my breasts. She doesn't know that I put on some weight after quitting smoking and I often look in the mirror and hate myself. She doesn't know that her comments made me think about quitting just about everything that puts me out in public. Those impulses - to give up things you love and hide and surrender to the feelings of worthlessness - are residual effects of the abuse I suffered. I struggle every single day to feel good about myself, to love myself, to be kind to my body for what it is. She doesn't know the damage her words can do - and did do - and probably wouldn't care, even if she did.

If I could give rude commenters some advice, it would be this gem that I learned when I was little, from Bambi: "If you can say something nice, don't say anything at all."

Keep your snarky comments to yourself, regardless of your "motivation" behind them.

I mean, really: is your snarky insult really worth wondering if YOU were the reason someone took his or her life?