Pics & Thoughts from Newport 2014: Pt. I

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hi all! I returned from Newport post-festival last evening, and wanted to share a few photos I took with my iPhone. I have more on my camera, but I'll need to transfer those to my laptop later today. I guess I'll share those in another post.

Follow below the fold for all of the exciting details!

Happy Monday(s)

Friday, July 25, 2014

I was working on a post, but, as so often happens, life moves so quickly that keeping up is well nigh impossible. In this case, though, I am very happy to adjust on the fly.

It all started last week. I had to attend a wake, sadly, and needed to purchase a new dress appropriate for the occassion. I found one in short order, and headed for the cash register. 

I was rummaging through my purse trying - fruitlessly, per usual - to find my wallet. 

Suddenly something caught my eye. I looked up - and saw a dress that literally stopped me in my tracks. 

For the first time I ever thought to myself, "You MUST buy that dress."

There was only one on the rack. 

I checked the label; it was my size.

Without a moment's hesitation I dropped it into my cart and headed for the register. I never even looked at the price. Not that it would have mattered; I was going to buy it. I couldn't explain it; I was drawn to it. 

It was shortly before closing time on a weeknight, so there was only one person in line ahead of me, a woman in her sixties. She glanced up as I passed her, then turned around.

"Hon, you are going to look adorable in that!" she said, unprompted. 

"Oh, thank you," I replied. "That's very sweet of you to say."

"It's perfect for you. I can tell just from looking at it in the cart," she said.

No sooner did I reach the next register when the cashier, also in her 60s, held up the dress and exclamed, "Oh, my!"

I asked her if something was wrong.

"Oh, no, dear," she replied, smiling. "It's just that this dress is perfect for you!"

"Thank you," I said, amazed. "The lady in front of me just now said she liked it too."

"No wonder," she said. "It was made for you! I'm jealous; I can't pull off this  type of dress. But I can tell you;re going to be cute as a button in it."

Needless to say, THAT was a first for me!

My friends J & T had me over for brunch on Sunday. We hadn't seen each other in person for a full year, so I decided to dress up for the occasion and wear it for the first time.

I loved it. It felt wonderfully feminine. *I* felt wonderfully feminine. 

They complimented me on the dress, which was very kind of them. J also complimented me for bringing a sweater (I pick things up quickly, you see).

The best part of this saga, however, was still yet to come.

Monday did not start off well. Work has been even more chaotic than usual, which scarcely seemed possible. Long story short: the crisis du jour was resolved, and we finally, mercifully, finished this project  (other than a few stray documents I need to update once I am given the information to add).

Near the end of the day, I was having a relatively intense work-related discussion with my friend A, whom I have mentioned in this blog before. She is extremely smart, very sweet, quite stylish, and also quite lovely. (Those traits are not necessarily listed in order. ;-p)

We were discussing several of the issues that had been uncovered over the past few days when A suddenly stopped speaking. She stepped back and looked at me for a long moment. It felt as if she were seeing something new.

 "What's up?" I asked.

"Cass... you look absolutely gorgeous today!" she said, smiling.

"Oh, thank you, A!" I said. I am certain I was blushing furiously. "That's such a lovely thing for you to say!"

"It's true," she said. "You really do look beautiful, Cass. You need to wear this style and these colors a lot more often. They really suit your looks, your coloring, and your personality."

I was - am - incredibly flattered. I am not used to anyone really noticing me. I don't say that seeking pity, or out of self-hatred; it is a simple observation. I didn't want anyone to notice me for most of my life. I preferred to lurk in the shadows, where it felt safer. Lonely, but safer.

People do seem to notice me now; I was actually working on a post about the recent rash of total strangers coming up to me to say something about my hair. It's happened a half-dozen times in the past few months, which is hard to belive. As R and S have pointed out, though, "people like gingers." Apparently so. lol)

I am still shocked, pleasantly so, that A would be moved to say that to me. Quite truthfully, I don't see what she must see; I still see him in the mirror, or at least traces of him, every time. I certainly don't feel cute, or pretty, let alone gorgeous.

Perhaps that will change as time goes on and my memories of being "him" fade further. (It is already happening, just as my friends predicted it would. I catch myself referring to "the boy" more and more often as if he were another person altogether - because, of course, he was.)

For now, though, it is wonderfully, incredibly affirming to have someone I look up to in terms of style and presenting oneself pay me such a lovely compliment. 

I have a feeling that moment will stay with me for some time to come. I am smiling right now just typing these words. Perhaps all of the hard work and heartache and stress are beginning to pay off.

I look forward to finding out in the days, weeks, and months to come. :c)

Here are a few shots of the dress in question. I love my expression in the first one; I have no idea why on earth I have such a mischiveous gleam in my eye though! lol

And here I am wearing my glasses:

April calls this one my "sexy librarian" look. I will take that - with the caveat that I cannot WAIT until I can put my hair up in a bun and *really* complete the look. Check this space in one year's time, I suppose...


I am on vacation, as I noted in my last post, and am writing this in my hotel room after returning to downtown Newport from Day 1 of the Folk Festival. It took me over three hours to drive here from Boston, which is typically a 75-80 minute trip, but it is all good.

I saw Band of Horses and Ryan Adams, both of whom were terrific. (The new album from Mr. Adams is going to be a barn-burner, if the songs he debuted during his set are any indication.)

I posted clips of both acts in that previous post, so here's one of another act I am very much looking forward to seeing this weekend: Shovels & Rope.

Aren't they just too cute together? They're a husband and wife duo; their second album is due out in a few weeks, and I am very much looking forward to hearing some of the new songs from it.

Fitter, Happier (more Productive)... And On Vacation :D

Today's post heading is provided, of course, by Radiohead, from the strangest track off their 1997 masterpiece OK Computer. The song itself is eerie and disturbing, but I thought I would have a bit of fun with it. :c)

I am officially on vacation for the next week... thank goodness. I am running on fumes, and have been for quite some time. (I knew when I misspelled "in" three times yesterday that I was in trouble. And no, I am not joking.)

I worked a slightly shortened day today, because I had to leave early for a doctor's appointment. I crammed about 12 hours worth of work into six hours so I could get out on time and not be running six blocks from the train station to the clinic, as I've had to do in the past. (A good thing too, as I was wearing a maxi-skirt today. lol)

Long story short: I had a complete physical; at its conclusion, my doctor proclaimed that I was in perfect health. 

"Now get out there and start living your life, Cassidy!" she said, mock-stern. "No more 60-90 hour work weeks, understood? Doctor's orders!!!"

"Consider it done," I replied. 

And she can.


The photo above was taken in the lobby of the clinic while I waited to get my blood work done. The light was terrific, as you can see. 

In fact, it's so good you can barely see the blotchy skin from Tuesday's electrolysis session. lol (Trust me - it's there!) Anyway, I like how this one turned out.

Time to finish packing; vacation time looms! Woo-hoo!!!


The aforementioned Radiohead song, and the unreleased video shot for it:

Here's the video for "Karma Police," which precedes "Fitter, Happier" on the album. It is beautiful (Thom Yorke's vocals at the end give me shivers every single time I listen to them), but just as eerie as "Fitter, Happier." And the video is downright spooky:

Still Here :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Apologies for the radio silence; things have been frantic for the past few months. Every time I thought they were slowing down... they did not.

It has been a long, hard year so far.

And I am exhausted.

But I am taking a mini-vacation, starting Friday, to attend the Newport Folk Festival.

So relief is on the way.

More to follow on this.


In the meantime, a recent pic, and a few artists I look forward to seeing this weekend.

Stay cool, everyone!



Ryan Adams:

Trampled By Turtles:

Anais Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer (this is stunning):

And these folks are just the tip of the iceberg! :)

Musings: Independence Day(s)

Friday, July 4, 2014

It's Independence Day here in the States.

It's a day to celebrate freedom.

I'm happy that all of my days are now independence days.

No longer do I struggle with the burden of pretending to be someone I was not, and never would be.

And after a bruising, painful year, I am learning to move forward and discover who I really am, rather than trying in vain to fulfill expectations imposed by others, even if they did so with good intentions.

I have worked extremely hard to get to where I am today. I'm worn out, physically and mentally.

But unlike in the past, this exhaustion isn't accompanied by the resignation that it will always be thus.

I know now that this isn't true.

So for a while, I'll rest.

Because I now know I have the opportunity to decide what I want from life.

And to then strive to make it a reality.

As a promising young author once wrote, that's really the most you can ask for:

The opportunity to be yourself, and to live your life to its fullest potential.

I am going to do my best to do just that.

Happy Independence Day, everyone. :c)


Messing around a bit with my not-quite-long-enough-to-wear-up hair today because it's so humid here:

I'm not sure if I like the look or not. But it's more comfortable, and comfort trumps all. Including vanity. :D


For today's musical selection, we begin with a Dave Alvin-penned track from X's final album, See How We Are - "4th of July":

Next is "Almost Independence Day," from Van Morrison's 1972 masterpiece St. Dominic's Preview:

And to round things out, a haunting, atmospheric track from U2's 1984 album The Unforgettable Fire:


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