Monthly Archives: March 2006


This is my LJ Mindmap – a map showing the relationships between me and my friends, both geographically and with interlinked LJ “cliques”. I’m tied into the L.A. blog community – just not on Livejournal. Predictably enough, the people most tied to me are the AUS (and EUS and SUS). Which is why I appreciate Livejournal so much, and why I refuse to abandon it. LJ keeps me connected to my friends from UBC.


Protected: comedic relief for my office

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a sustainable future for L.A. (or how i ended up with corn in my cowgirl boots)

I got to sit in a storage bin of dried decorative corn on Friday for two hours, while I listened to speakers with vision for downtown Los Angeles. I wrote up the evening for, and I said, in my entry there, that it gave me hope. Hope that someday, there will be parts of downtown Los Angeles that are like the seawall in Vancouver, or like Gasworks Park in Seattle. I believe that everyone should live someplace as pretty as Victoria, British Columbia – even if it means making the rest of the world a city of gardens, piece by piece and place by place. And that especially goes for all of L.A.

Protected: in which jillian comes out of chastity

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i just hang on, suffer well, sometimes it’s hard….hard to tell

(depeche mode, suffer well)

I’m starting to figure out a lot about myself lately. I’m sure that this is a good thing. I’m a little afraid, because I know that there’s a lot of things that I do not want to deal with that are going to come up. But, for right now, some of the introspection is actually just fine.

Let’s start with one of my more outward facing traits, which is, simply, my love of all things goth. I decided, last night, that instead of going to the party in my usual mix of street/downtown clothing (long jacket, long jeans and high heels, etc), I’d just go dressed in something that was a bit more like me. That outfit happened to include fishnet tights and fingerless fishnet gloves, of course, as well as a rhinestone studded collar, skull/crossbones necklace and a lot of eyeliner.

I felt a bit out of place for a while, until my friend Z came up to me, and she told me I looked fabulous. And a few people agreed with that sentiment over the evening. And part of it was because the outfit was on the flattering side. It’s said, goth suits me, because I have pale skin and dark hair and big eyes, because I have curves. But I think most of it is just that I’m happier and more at ease dressed in black, and everyone looks better when they’re happy in their own skin. Even with the weird looks I get sometimes, even when I have to show up at a party in PVC. And that’s what Z said. And she added, “and I love what you’re wearing!” Which means a lot, coming from her, because she always has such fabulous fashion sense and creativity. And I told her so.

“Really?” she said. “I’ve always admired your fashion sense though!” And then we talked about clothes for five minutes.

Now that I’m kind of admitting to myself that I’m happier in goth or goth-influenced clothing though, I have to start looking at why I identify so strongly with the subculture. Or, rather, why I like so many things – music and fashion – that are associated with goth subculture. And why I’ve relegated that liking to the back of my mind, and why I never really accepted it before last year.

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sing for joy!

I’m out of coffee this morning, so I decided to walk into what I refer to as “the Village”: the strip of restaurants, convenience/liquor stores, bars and coffeeshops at the foot of Washington Boulevard, at Venice Beach. I call it that out of habit, in reference to the high street shopping district of my own home municipality. Oak Bay Village was also the closest source of Starbucks.

And the thing I love about living here is that I can walk out the door, around back, and directly into the Venice canal paths. That takes me through a charmingly beautiful landscape, canals and white arched bridges and overflowing gardens, within thirty seconds of leaving my porch. And as I walked along, zoned out to some particularly pretty synthpop, I was just in a state of absolute joy. And I half-danced along the paths to Starbucks out of sheer happiness.

sammynella said to me on Saturday (and I love her for it), that I remind her of a quote, that I see life as a buffet while others are starving themselves. Which I was thinking about this morning. Because mornings put me into a state of golden retriever happiness. Like my dog back home, “come on, let’s go! there’s places to go and trees to sniff and people to say hello to!”. And that’s exactly how I feel today. Only it’s more like, “come on, let’s go! there’s sunshine to bike through and people to smile at and work to be done! there’s a zillion things to be learned today!”

By the way, have I ever written about how happy I am when I’m learning? I didn’t really realize that until I came to L.A., and started teaching myself an entire history course. I went back to French class and grinned the first week, because I was so happy to be back in a classroom. I’m saving up the time and money to take some writing classes this fall. I like learning. I have lots of it to be done, every single day, and that makes me very happy.

Today, I’m sitting at my desk, with sunshine flooding in the windows, and my on-loan cat asleep in a patch of it. I’m about to go into a job I really like, that I’m finally getting the hang of. I live in one of the most exciting cities in the world, with a million things to be done and learned in it. What isn’tthere to be happy about?

reliving 1999

This year in particular, I have been thinking about 1999. Because it has been seven years since I moved to Amarillo. But while I sometimes feel I do need to reflect on 1999, that’s personal. Today’s Mediapost Search Insider is professional, and I do not want to re-live 1999 in that way at all.

Search: Partying Like It’s 1999

this week’s random myspace email

FROM: Aaron
TO: Jillian
DATE: March 17th, 2006 9:05PM
SUBJECT: No Subject
big piece of ascii art behind cut

how to break in a PVC dress

Last week, a package arrived for me from the UK, containing a shiny new, if somewhat wrinkled, PVC dress. I’d bought it off eBay (link goes to listing with pictures), hoping the size was accurate, because it was less than half the cost it would be in Los Angeles, even with shipping. When I tried it on later that same evening, I found out that the dress fits like it was made for me, with a tight bodice and loose, flowing skirt. The dress actually comes past my ankles, and the lace up back dips low enough to show the tattoo at the base of my spine, and the material itself is heavy PVC, not the light, cheap stuff that splits apart and stretches out.

I decided to break the dress in last night by taking it out to Bar Sinister. It needed to be worn for a while anyways, and aired out to get rid of the air-mattress smell that goes with new PVC (I feel like a piece of camping gear when I first put new items on). And it was crumpled from the folds of the envelope it had arrived in. So I put it on over fishnets and heels, and added velvet armlets (the kind that attach by a loop over my middle fingers, and go up over my elbows) and an onyx necklace. I straightened my hair and pulled it over one eye, and put on black nail polish. I paled down my face with yellow concealer, re-drew my cheekbones in with brown shadowing, applied black liquid eyeliner half an inch past my eyes, brushed on navy blue eyeshadow in wings along the line, darkened my eyebrows and, for a finishing touch, applied a double-coat of deep burgundy lipstick. And behold: the Vampire Jillian!

Of course, that was the outfit I was wearing for the entire evening, including when I went to a friend’s birthday party. At which a dozen-odd people were playing poker, or card games, most of them in jeans. Enter the vampire – and her roomate. Who, might I add, was also wearing eyeliner and black nail polish, which actually, some of the girls thought was pretty hot. Brief shock ensued, while I explained, five times, “it’s not leather, it’s PVC,” before I sat down to learn to play GOLF and plan the next camping trip. I like being the center of attention, don’t get me wrong – I just like being the center of attention for the witty anecdote I’m telling, not because I’m the only person in a Santa Monica poker party wearing a black vinyl princess dress.

But we left after a half hour to go to Bar Sinister. The midnight band was HTTH (or THHT, I forget which), who were, unfortunately, one of those growl-into-the-microphones, heavy metal influenced bands. Which I don’t get. However, they had a great DIY light show: they threw glowsticks and necklaces at the audience. Who threw them back. So there were arcs of light flying around, as a few dozen glowing objects careened off people’s heads. Definitely right up there with the time Babyland used road flares as s/fx on stage. And room freshener for smoke. The whole place smelled of apple cinnamon sulphur.

Over the evening, I’d also been exchanging eye contact with one of the only cute, single, straight guys in the club. Most of the better looking guys are there with their gorgeous goth girlfriends. And as much as I enjoy seeing aethetically pleasing people, it just reminds me that I do not have a dance partner, most of the time. So when the cute boy finally grinned at me, and came over to dance, I was placated. I was especially placated when, after a couple dances, he kissed me (which I’d seen coming because, with my heels, we were the exact same height, which made things way easier) and then we ended up making out for the next half hour, on and off the dancefloor. Since I haven’t so much as kissed anyone in over six weeks – almost since the last time I was at Bar Sinister – it was a much needed respite from my semi-self-imposed chastity.

He walked me to my car, and said, “So, are you going to call me?”

“It’d help if I had your number.”

He gave it to me – but it’s a 626. San Gabriel Valley. Not an undesirable area code, exactly – just lower on the list than the 310, 323 and 213 that are geographically and socially closest. Welcome to L.A., folks – where you are judged on your area code! (All my numbers are 310s, of course)

“This is where I should say something witty,” he added.

I grinned. “Next time,” I said, and got into Zippy.

And when I got out of the car to climb up the steps to the Surf Shaque, I noticed that all the wrinkles were out of my dress, and it didn’t smell like new vinyl anymore. Therefore, I recommend that, the next time anyone needs to break in a PVC dress, they keep my method in mind. Dance for two hours, and then make out with a cute boy on a Bar Sinister couch. It’s a little more elaborate than just hanging it up for a few days, but it’s far more fun.

coffee wars!

In Starbucks’ hometown of Seattle, there’s 1 coffeehouse for every 2,500 residents, Sassoon said. In California, the ratio is 1 to every28,000 residents.

This is from the LA Times article on coffee wars in Socal.

No wonder everyone in Seattle has caffeine addiction issues!