Well, we made it through February! I got through all the stuff I had to do this month, even if I only made it out by the skin of my teeth. As I write this, I’ve had a cumulative of ten hours of sleep over three days and I’m pretty exhausted. There’s a never-ending to do list of things I want/need to do, and I’m overwhelmed but very happy with all of everything forever.

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Now it’s March, and I’m excited! It’s not as jam-packed in my Filofax scheduler, but I’m still just as amped up. I’m looking forward to the Spring solstice (and warmer weather!!), the Monarch Workshop in Connecticut, and Joe’s birthday. March is also Deaf History Month and Optimism Month. Are you ready for some silly holidays? March has some good ones like Bagpipe Day on the 10th and Hug A Medievalist Day on the 31st. Don’t forget to get your free pancakes at IHOP on the 3rd for Pancake Day, and Make Up Your Own Holiday is a great opportunity on the 26th for any celebrations you feel aren’t being addressed already.

My top ten things for February were balloon photoshoots with Maura  Joe texting me one thing he loves about me every day for a month  getting articles published about me multiple newspapers and exciting talk about writing a book  the What’s Your View mail art show opening  Philadelphia for Heartburn and absolutely everything about it  snowed in at Cuntwhistle Manor, playing Space Team  seeing Infected Mushroom and hanging out in “Club Vestibule beforehand”  the Bar Crawl Scavenger Hunt  being invited to the Monarch Workshop  workshop at Art Enables. What’s on your list?

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Last month’s photobooth goal for your amusement.

Alright, beautiful. I’m going to get some sleep! Please share what you loved about February and what you’re looking forward to in March in the comments. I hope things are starting off for you in a sparkly way.

 


Plus Size Lingerie Boutique: Not-So-Flat-Chested Flapper | Uncustomary Art

Lately, there’s been a lot of talk, diagrams, and videos circulating the internet about the ideal body type over the years. Every decade of the 20th century had a very specific idea of what was beautiful on a woman, and back in the 20’s, a very boyish body was all the rage. Don’t worry about a waistline or cleavage– in fact, they played down those features.

Plus Size Lingerie Boutique: Not-So-Flat-Chested Flapper | Uncustomary Art

A hundred years later, I’m still extremely fascinated by the Roaring Twenties and the flapper culture that accompanied it. The first time I slid into a fringed flapper dress was when I was eight years old, and I immediately felt comfortable. Not much has changed. Recently, I got a gorgeous flapper costume from the Plus Size Lingerie Boutique, and I couldn’t love it more. They actually have a ton of flapper options, in case you’re into the more classic fringe look. I personally couldn’t resist the sequins, though.

Plus Size Lingerie Boutique: Not-So-Flat-Chested Flapper | Uncustomary Art

As enamored as I am with the fashion and culture of flappers from the 1920’s, I’m not worried about keeping up with tradition. I’m embracing curves and cleavage in my flapper outfit, and hanging out around town.

Plus Size Lingerie Boutique: Not-So-Flat-Chested Flapper | Uncustomary Art

The sequins is satisfyingly sparkly and well attached. I barely shed at all, which isn’t something I can say for the rest of my shiny clothing. The dress is easy to put on and stretchy in the back, and it’s short enough to be sexy (lingerie, anyone?!) but long enough that you can actually wear it out of the house (like I did). Or you can just lounge around with some cats. That’s never a bad day.

Plus Size Lingerie Boutique: Not-So-Flat-Chested Flapper | Uncustomary Art

If costumes aren’t your thing, though, Plus Size Lingerie Boutique has classic lingerie, too. They go all the way up to 6X, and I guarantee you’re going to feel hot in whatever you put on. But let’s face it, that’s because you’re already hot.

Plus Size Lingerie Boutique: Not-So-Flat-Chested Flapper | Uncustomary Art

The costume I got just came with the dress and fancy feather headband, but I paired it with some more stuff to make the outfit a little more complete. Knee high fishnets, garters, shiny pointy flats, and a black fur coat from the 1940’s (thanks to Cristen’s British grandmother).

Plus Size Lingerie Boutique: Not-So-Flat-Chested Flapper | Uncustomary Art

And if you’re not feeling like buying or wearing a flapper costume today, you can still get in the 20’s mood. Did you ever see The Great Gatsby? They recently re-made the movie, and it’s pretty cool. The soundtrack isn’t bad either.

Plus Size Lingerie Boutique: Not-So-Flat-Chested Flapper | Uncustomary Art

PS – Now that it’s 2015, I think we should also investigate the idea of hipster flappers.

Plus Size Lingerie Boutique: Not-So-Flat-Chested Flapper | Uncustomary Art

 Photo Credit: Cristen Hoyt

One of my goals this year is to eat at 15 new restaurants in Baltimore City before my birthday in June. I realized that as often as I am in the city, I tend to go back to the same places I like and one of the great gifts of Baltimore is our delicious food. I want to make sure I get to experience a wide variety of cuisines and environments, so I set a quantifiable goal to it. If it goes well by my birthday, I might extend the goal to 30 by the end of 2015! We’ll see. Anyway, today I’m going to document the first five new places I tried. Clarification: these aren’t restaurants that were just opened, they are new to me.

Baltimore, MD Restaurant Goal | Uncustomary Art

#1: Grano Pasta Bar

This tiny restaurant is located on the corner of The Avenue in Hampden. Their menu is pretty cool because all you have to do is pick the type of noodles and sauce. Mix and match till your heart is content! It was easy to order, the service was great, and they had Mexican bottled sodas (the kind with real sugar). I didn’t like how cramped it was (and that you had to sit at a bar stool!) and I felt like the sauce wasn’t super flavorful, but I left full and happy. They also have another location, which I was unaware of. It’s more restaurant-y, and I’ll probably check that out if I go again!

Ordered: Fettucini Noodles with Pomodoro Sauce
Rating:
Website

Baltimore, MD Restaurant Goal | Uncustomary Art

#2: The Food Market

This place is just a hop, skip, and a twirl away from the Grano Pasta Bar. Another restaurant I’ve walked by hundreds of times without going in. It’s much fancier, and you get that vibe from the beginning. The prices were kind of more than I’d prefer to pay normally, but just by a bit. It was National Popcorn Day when we went, and it was great that they had a mini appetizer of flavored popcorn to oblige us. My group got a variety of dishes, and the presentation on all of them was stellar. The general consensus was that everything was delicious, and I’d love to go back one day for their famous brunch. (Hello hot dogs!) It was also pretty cool that they had the menu laid out in terms of how hungry you might be.

Ordered: Pat Lafrieda Burger with French Fries
Rating:
Website

Baltimore, MD Restaurant Goal | Uncustomary Art

#3: Chap’s Charcoal Restaurant

This is a true gem in Baltimore. A famous pit beef joint located in the middle of a strip club? That’s pretty Charm City, hon. (Tidbit: this is the same strip club where I met Ron Jeremy.) I honestly don’t know how I had never eaten here, except it’s pretty out of the way. I mean, it’s been on The Food Network and countless Best Of Baltimore lists. When I pulled up there were tons of cops waiting to be served and eating in the little dining area that you enter underneath a tarp-tent. They’re really quick, have a ton of options, and very friendly. Can’t wait to go back!

Ordered: Beef Sandwich with French Fries
Rating:
Website

Baltimore, MD Restaurant Goal | Uncustomary Art

#4: Bistro RX

This was a great place for a late night BFF dinner on a low-key evening. The ambiance was amazing, and we were seated immediately. Our waitress was one of the best I’ve ever had. She laughed at our dorky jokes, and was super enthusiastic about everything she said and did. She made great suggestions and was also incredibly patient. We even had a joke running throughout the meal about the movie “Frozen”, and she typed up “Let It Go” on our receipt. The food was above average, and I’d go back if only for the promise of great service and cute lighting.

Ordered: Prime Cheesesteak
Rating:
Website

Baltimore, MD Restaurant Goal | Uncustomary Art

#5: Captain James Landing

This is one of the few restaurants in Maryland that made it onto Roadside America’s list of attractions… because it’s shaped like a boat! So cool, right? It’s right down the street from Joe, and he made reservations for us during Restaurant Week. We were able to get a three course meal for $30/each, which was a great deal for that place. It’s mostly seafood, so if that’s not your forte, you might want to really go over the menu before you get there. I forgot to take photos of the entries, but they were delicious. And trying Baklava for the first time was an amazing experience.

Ordered: Crab Mac and Cheese, Prime Rib, Baklava Sundae
Rating:
Website

When’s the last time you went to a new restaurant in your hometown?
Do any of you Baltimoreans have any suggestions for places I should try next?


We're All Just Kids In Adults Costumes | Uncustomary Art

My friend, Cristen, recently made a status on Facebook about how when she was a teenager, she thought that she’d have everything figured out by her late twenties. It got me thinking, and it doesn’t seem insane to assume that most of us did. Or at the very least, as an adolescent we figured adulthood would be different than it actually turned out to be.

It’s kind of crazy, right? As a young teen, I imagined I would get married around 24 and have three kids by the time I turned 30. I thought I would go to a four year college, graduate, and become a teacher. That was my “plan”. It seems like we all had at least some sort of framework, and a very small percentage of us actually followed through with said plan. And you know what? I think that’s awesome and extremely healthy.

Following an outline you created while you were going through puberty is kind of strange if you think about it. Sure, there are plenty of people who have a ton of life experience by age 15, but in general we can agree that all 15-year-olds have a lot of learning to do. Looking back, would you take your 15-year-old-self’s advice on sex, peer pressure, or how to act on a job interview? Probably not, right? So why would we let them dictate our life’s path?

It’s okay to not be where you thought you would be when you were a kid.

I think one of the main reasons our plans end up changing, though, is that we’re still kids at heart no matter how old we get. We’re much wiser than our 15-year-old counterparts; we’ve experienced way more and know our way around things better by now. But we’re still learning. We’re still growing, endlessly. We still, at our core, don’t really know how to be “adults”.

We're All Just Kids In Adults Costumes | Uncustomary Art

We still have to ask for help doing new things and procrastinate on deadlines as important as taxes. We still sometimes fashion our hair into a mohawk when it’s lathered up with shampoo, and think cookies taste better when they’re in the shape of a dinosaur. If you were given the chance to jump in an “adult” ball pit, you might hesitate, but only for a second. The idea of playing might not be “grown-up” or “professional” but it’s not only important for our mental health, it’s inherent in our nature.

We’re all just kids trying to figure out how to do everything in the best way. I still don’t know the difference between baked and broiled, and get really whiny when I’m sick. We just move along, and do our best to make the most of each day. Sometimes those days teach us new skills that we can use in the future! Maybe next time you won’t have to ask for help with that thing because you’ll remember how to do it., and onlookers will say something to you like, “Wow, you’ve got it all figured out!” or “You’re so put together!” and you’ll laugh, just like every single one of us and say back, “Hahah. No, I really don’t.”

We're All Just Kids In Adults Costumes | Uncustomary Art

Because if you have it all figured out, I think you’d be pretty fucking bored with this whole life thing.

Sometimes scrambling is the most entertaining thing we could hope for, and even if you feel overwhelmed with feeling like you’re not doing things the “right” way, I want you to know that you’re really doing a great job. I’m proud of you. Don’t compare yourself to your Facebook feed or people in your office. It’s silly. There’s plenty of stuff you know more about than they do, and we can all help each other out.

Just do what feels right, babe. Your gut knows what you need.

You might also like Be The Kind Of Adult You Want.
Photo Credit: Maura Housley Photography

Hey there, gorgeous. I’m trying to remind myself that the massive amounts of snow and frigid temperatures don’t equate to a sucky life. I even wrote a post as a reminder to myself (and you!) of 40 things you can do when it’s snowing outside. I elaborated on this idea in this week’s Mary Mail– make sure you’re signed up so you get the next one!

Before I share ten images from this week that have made me happy, I’d like to remind those of you in the area that you’re invited to my scavenger hunt bar crawl this Friday in the Fells Point area of Baltimore. You’ll have to obtain items, perform stunts, and take photos. There’s prizes and surprises. Just bring yourself in a blue shirt and we’ll get to work fun!

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
The way snow makes colorful things look like a beacon of hope

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
Dino time (1)

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
Chinese New Year confetti

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
Drying out the flower from post-PEX-Heartburn brunch

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
Bug cuddles

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
The way my friends utilize my dress up boxes

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
An amazing glittery teal shawl from Riley

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
When digital signs don’t work well

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
A Mary Stays The Night Kit inside a blorg

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
Mardi Gras garlands

What’s on your happy list this week?


One of the original things that inspired me to start my disposable camera installations was this post, where Matthew McVickar sent a disposable camera through the mail in a way that allowed postal workers to document its journey. I decided I would finally do it myself, and fashioned a camera to some cardboard with tape and the appropriate cut outs. I sent it out to my friend Olivia in Chicago and waited.

Disposable Camera Sent Via Snail Mail | Uncustomary Art

By the time Olivia got it, barely ten pictures had been taken. We were bummed, but she decided to send it to her friend in Massachussettes who then sent it back to me. When I got the camera back it was full and I took it to get developed. Unfortunately, almost no one used the flash button, so 99% of them came out blurry, grainy, and purple.

Disposable Camera Sent Via Snail Mail | Uncustomary Art

Something I didn’t think about was that the people handling my camera in Massachusettes might have handled Matthew’s camera a couple years ago. I realized it when I got my film developed, though. Is this guy the same guy from Matthew’s post?! In his post it’s the third picture down; the guy in the black shirt. It’s harder to tell because my photos didn’t really come out, but I swear it’s him. So cool!!

Disposable Camera Sent Via Snail Mail | Uncustomary Art

I know it’s not the best quality, but it’s still fun to peek around and see some of the behind-the-scenes work!

Disposable Camera Sent Via Snail Mail | Uncustomary Art

Disposable Camera Sent Via Snail Mail | Uncustomary Art

The camera was actually supposed to take another detour to California, but it got sent back to Boston. When it got there, Titanium Cranium snapped a photos of PYR, a local public art piece. And that giant building in the background? The United States Postal Service, baby!

Disposable Camera Sent Via Snail Mail | Uncustomary Art

Disposable Camera Sent Via Snail Mail | Uncustomary Art

Disposable Camera Sent Via Snail Mail | Uncustomary Art

Disposable Camera Sent Via Snail Mail | Uncustomary Art

What a journey this camera went on! From Baltimore to Chicago to Boston, all the way back to Baltimore, it survived to tell the tale.

Disposable Camera Sent Via Snail Mail | Uncustomary Art

Thanks again to Olivia Arrow and Titanium Cranium for obliging me with this project. They actually run a Tumblr together, celebrating the colors Purple and Orange, so go say hi and tell them Uncustomary sent you.

Other write-ups: Boston Globe, OliviaArrow


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