slubs in the city

Slub (adj): Maverick; unorthodox; independent in behavior or thought.


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baby in a pumpkin suit.

I’m a huge fan of dressing up in costume for any and every occasion, minus the Renaissance Festival. I have never done that, and I don’t believe my life is any bit the worse for it.

Here is a random sampling of past costumes.

80’s night at the bar.

arrested development party. tobias (duh), rita, lindsay, and lucille.

harry potter midnight premier. sirius, hedwig, and fawkes.

religious figures party. buddy shanus (i am my own religious figure…the spanish inquisition would love that) and michael jackson.

parks and recreation party. ben, jerry (that’s a damn fly party shirt), tom, and ron.

dressed up for the Enlightenment Salon junior year of high school. lookin’ fly.

So imagine my delight when Halloween eventually rolls around and I have yet another excuse to pretend to be something I’m clearly not. This year, I dressed up as a zebra and was part of a 5-woman zebra herd. Contrary to general trends in women’s Halloween costuming, I was not a sexy zebra. This is because zebras are not sexy. In fact, zebras kind of resemble donkeys and donkeys are definitely not the lookers of the animal kingdom.

zebra in the middle of grazing on a twizzler.

Another thing that I love almost as much as dressing up in ridiculous costumes is The History Channel’s website. In fine fashion, they’ve been putting out videos and articles and photo slides and infographics galore about the tradition of Halloween, from when it supposedly started as a Celtic celebration called Samhain to its current family-friendly form.

According to THC, the custom of dressing up for Halloween could come from a few historical practices. For example, during the Samhain festival, partygoers would disguise themselves in various ways to make their true identities indistinguishable. The thought was that malevolent spirits wouldn’t know who you were if you didn’t look like yourself, and would thus be less likely to mess with you. Today, some women dress like farmer zombies in flannel and overalls to achieve the same repelling effect on men. Other girls don’t quite get the point.

wut is this. [image credit: here.]

Another popular thought is that the costume idea stems from a practice called “guising”, where young children in the UK would get dressed up and go from door to door, accepting treats (such as food, coins, or wine [alas, it was much easier for a 9-year-old to get drunk back in the good old days]) in exchange for entertainment. When I was a senior at Olaf I went trick-or-treating with some of the international students in Northfield. One of the neighbors wouldn’t give us candy unless we sang Beautiful Savior, which is a hymn any good Ole should have memorized by heart. I didn’t know it. I would have failed at guising.

On Wednesday night I am going to be sitting on my front porch, decked out in my zebra onesie, with a jack- o’-lantern at my side and a huge bowl of candy on my lap. I’m very much hoping that I’ll see a few children running around dressed up as dinosaurs and princesses and Spider Man. A baby in a pumpkin costume would also be acceptable.

definitely yes. [image credit: here.]

None of that above paragraph was intended in any way to imply that I am a creeper.

What is your favorite Halloween guise?

con amor,

shan

[Additional photo credits: muh freendz and muh instagramz.]


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oh queen anne, my queen anne

I found this table at an antique store in Rosemount, and I’m currently coveting it like mad.

It’s an expandable Queen Anne.

It comes with 6 black, high top chairs that only match the table if you have a vaguely eclectic aesthetic taste.

And the fantastic textile on the chairs pulls the look of the entire set together in a surprising way.

It’s all very hipster vintage. I can picture it sitting elegantly in my future dining room with a rug underfoot – maybe bright red? – and a vase of freshly cut flowers. My gut was telling me to impulse-buy the hell out of that table and chairs.

And then reason stepped in.

The summer before my senior year of college I landed an internship that required me to become baseline financially literate. I read a couple of different books to build up my minimal financial knowledge, but the one that most caught my attention was All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan by Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi. The authors’s recommendation for navigating your financial life is simple — get your money in balance. They advocate the 50/30/20 plan, the breakdown of which is explained by this nifty pie chart:

[image credit: here.]

Being a single girl without a mortgage, children or even a dog, and (thanks entirely to my very selfless parents) living a debt-free lifestyle, it’s been relatively easy to stick with the 50/30/20 plan. In all honestly, though, I’m more ready to give credit to my own ignorance for that success than I am to thank my limited financial understanding.

Proof in point: instead of pouncing on that dining set from the antique store, I made myself walk away so I could sleep on my decision. I also decided to balance my monthly spending plan (which I haven’t done since…July, maybe?…) and see how much money I have left to play around with.

To date, I’m in the red $66.14. And I don’t get paid for another 4 days.

I don’t know about you, but when I think about spending money I get tripped up on the scientific difference between a “want” and a “need”.

Here is a list of things I DESPERATELY NEED that would probably only qualify as wants if I was cold-hearted and had absolutely no material desires.

  • The hipster vintage dining room set of my hipster vintage dreams
  • Every piece of clothing that J Crew and Banana Republic has ever manufactured in the history of ever
  • A vacation to Scotland to be with my ginger-haired brethren
  • The new iPhone 5 because I am privileged and think my iPhone 3 is a waste of technology
  • A sassy pair of brown leather boots

Here is a list of the things that I actually do need in my life.

  • A completely new set of tires for my car
  • Enough cash to pay for upcoming birthday, wedding and holiday gifts
  • Renter’s insurance
  • Food from the actual grocery store
  • A check to pay back my mom after having freeloaded on her auto insurance policy and cell phone plan for the last four months

How do you find a balance between addressing your priorities and indulging in your precious life to its fullest? How do you go about making sure that your money provides you with the opportunity to choose, rather than with the limitations of choice? Some days, I think I may be starting to get it. Other days I realize that I really have no idea.

I still want the table and chairs.

con amor,

shan

UPDATE: Yep…I bought the table and chairs. That happened.

[Additional photo credit: My kickass instagram skillz.]