WOOOO-WOOOOOOOOOP!!!!10/15/07

Heeeeeeeeey!

Did you notice that banner at the top of my site? The one with the foxy cats modeling those strange, new shirts? The banner is up there because I HAVE NEW SHIRTS!!

That's right, more than 2 months in the making, the Natalie Dee Fall 2007 T-Shirt Collection is up and ready for purchase. I am pretty pumped about this batch! I mean, I always do my best when I am making stuff, but I really poured over these guys, and I am particularly proud of them.

I may think they all look awesome, and be proud of them all, but that doesn't mean that I'm not going to be discontinuing half of them in the next two weeks, cause that's how we do things around here. If there is a design you are dying to get, get it now cause there is a 50-50 chance that when you come back in a two weeks, it will be sold out.

CHECK OUT THE NEW STUFF!!

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So, I haven't been internetting too much lately. I was working on the closet project, and also some other projects, and I just haven't been cruising around much. Yesterday, however, I was mildly hung over from a trip to the chach bar for my sister's birthday, so I just chilled out and looked at stuff online.

Problem is, 99% of the internet blows an ass, so I would up reading some article in the New York Times about designer dogs, and then Googling the various dog hybrids to see what they could possibly look like. This led me to just look for regular dog breeds, since hanging out on backyard breeders' websites is kinda depressing. Then looking at dogs got boring, and I was looking at puppies for awhile.

Yup, that was my Sunday.

Anyway, a lot of times I look at pictures of fancy dogs. You know, like Upper Wilmingberry's 23 Skidoo or whatever kind of dumbass AKC names they give 'em to make the sperm sell faster. I look at these pictures of Tuffington's Life of Riley and Vanderweet's Midsummer's Night Cream, and I think that these dogs are seriously ass photogenic. They are always just standing there real regal, totally still.

I can hardly take a picture of either of my dogs. For every one picture of Charles or Chester, there are 80 pictures of dog blurs. I just figured that my dogs, being pet-quality rather than show-quality, lacked that certain je ne sais quoi that the show dogs have, much like the difference between myself and someone on America's Next Top Model.

So I was very interested when, during my dog-looking afternoon, I found this:

Dog string

Whoa! They are holding that dog's head up and in place with some fishing line or something! That is messed up. I know that during dog shows they stack and shit, and have those fancy-dog nooses that they drag 'em around the ring in, but sheesh. That can't be too comfortable, although, that dog is nice enough that I am sure that the owners wouldn't do anything to hurt her.

I am just happy that I know that my dogs are not somehow more rondo than other dogs, and that even the fancy ones don't wanna stand still for pictures. This has improved my dog-esteem.

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Speaking of dogs, my own dog Chester has made his 2nd appearance at Cute with Chris. He makes a brief cameo appearance in an animation made by one of Chris' fans in this week's episode.

Pretty awesome! I'm not, like, forcing him to put Chester on or anything, so it has been a treat seeing him pop up. Cute with Chris is a really hilarious website, defintely on my very short list of sites I like, and seeing my own dog on it is like going to see Led Zepplin and Robert Plant is wearing a tshirt with my driver's license picture on it. Pretty wicked!!

Okeedoke. Talk to y'all later!
Love, Natalie
Closetpocalypse 2: The Reckoning10/13/07

HEEEEY!!

I finished cleaning out my closet. It took me forever, and I had some emotional moments getting rid of stuff, but that bitch is DONE.

I was half-kidding when I said I would post pictures of it, but I got a lot of emails from ladies who wanted to see how the closet cleaning turned out, so I thought I would give y'all an update.

THAR SHE BLOWS!!

Closet

Clean, huh? Check out the shoeboxes! They were 99 cents at Target, then my old man took a bunch of pictures of my shoes with his digital camera and I printed off the labels. I don't know why they always suggest that you use Polaroids of your shoes when making the boxes, that just seems a little expensive-- how many people even have Polaroids anymore anyway?

Here is a close-up of the shoeboxes my old man helped me with. Any duplicate pairs of shoes in this shoe collage are just because I have one of those dumb slide-y door closets that only let you see half of the closet at a time.

SHOES!!

Shoeboxes

I even cleaned out my sock drawer. No white socks! We're not tacky up in here, y'all.

Sock Drawer

Anyway, there you go, girls... an update on the state of my week-long closet cleanout. If you wanna see notes on the pics, just check my Flickr.


Closetpocalypse10/10/07

I have been cleaning my closet out for the past TWO DAYS. Rough, guys, rough. I could've sworn that I cleaned it out just a few months ago, and I shouldn't have so much crap in there, but shit. That closet was totally filled with crap. Ugly crap in sizes that fit nobody I know, let alone anyone who lives in my house.

Right now, though, at the end of night two of the purge, things are starting to look up. All of my clothes are put away, and I bet it will only take another day or two to get it totally awesome. It seems that the secret to getting your closet and bedroom in order is to purchase a rack, put it in the basement, and make your husband put all of his stuff down there, and let you have all the upstairs storage.* So, there you go! Tip of the Day!

Maybe I will post a picture when I am done. I feel like I ought to after spending so much time on it.

*This is a small price to pay to get to sleep with me. I'm pretty boss.

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Speaking of pictures, you can feel free to check out my ol' Flickr if you're into that kind of caca. I have put a whole lot on there recently. A lot of the pictures I posted are real old and probably not too interesting if you are not into old stuff, but if you are, boy howdy!

There is a link to my Flickr on the sidebar of this b-log thinger, and also in the paragraph right before this paragraph.

I type like a madwoman.

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So, like, when you make an internet website, and you mention any kind of videogame at all, or videogames period, you will get a bunch of mail from dudes wanting to know what kind of games you play, what kind of system you have, blah blah blah. I dunno, I think I drew something about videogames a few weeks ago or something, cause I have been getting videogame emails lately.

Here is my basic relationship with videogames... I like 'em to be pretty mellow. If it's not mellow, I don't like playing. I don't like having to push buttons really fast or run around in 3D or whatever. I don't even really like videogames enough to play them more than once every few months. I'm just kinda bad at 'em.

The extent my my videogame playing is Warioware and playing Animal Crossing on the DS when I am on vacation. This previous vacation, however, I branched out and, instead of playing Animal Crossing, I played Brain Age. According to Brain Age, I have the brain of a 55 year old. The "game" part of Brain Age is basically like the speed math drills you always had to do in 3rd grade.

3rd grade is, coincidently, when I lost my tenuous grasp on math. See, I have a problem putting effort into something I do not like, and am also kind of bad at, so once I had to actually think about what the numbers were up to, I just shut it out.

I went through school doing the bare minimum in math, and nearly flunking more than once, then avoided it completely when I went on my first little jaunt to college. A few years later, when I got a wild hair up my ass and decided to go back, I thought it might be a good idea to try to take some math classes first, so I could get at least up to speed with a 14 year old.

I took the absolute, most basic math first. I don't even think it was 100 level, strictly remedial. That went alright, and I got a B in it or something. Feeling buoyed by my success at Introduction to Numbers 101 (or, I suppose Introduction to Numbers 050, if you must mince course listings), I went ahead and signed up for the next motherfucking math class.

This one was the rough stuff-- ALGEBRAS!! FRACTIONED!! WHAT IS A PRIME NUMBER?!?! I studied every day after working my depressing-ass job talking to people who'd been maimed. I did all those stupid homework problems, and they weren't even worth anything. I went to class every time. Oh, I was gonna pass that fucker if it killed me, I was gonna be math-literate, so help me.

So, the big test was coming up, the big ass test that was gonna determine our grade for the class. I studied a whole ton, went in, and took that fucker. I mathed the hell out of that test. I worked the problems out, and I whooped 'em. I finished first, put the test on the teacher's desk, and left, feeling pretty confident that I was the smartest remedial math student ever.

I got in my car, and started driving off. I called Drew to let him know how much I mopped the floor with that math test. I told him all about working the problems out all the way, and double checking that caca, and how I finished first.

Drew, probably wondering immediately how I could possibly beat anyone at getting the math done, let alone a whole class full of people, asked me if I had checked the back of the test to see if there were more problems that I needed to do.

I hadn't checked, and I didn't even glance at half the test. I got a perfect 50%, and that, my friends, was the last time I ever went to college.

And that is also why I am not too good at Brain Age.

The Great Myspace Killoff/Foxy Old Dude Awards/ASK NATALIE10/05/07

I'm not entirely sold on this whole Facebook thing. I had an account with them for exactly 45 minutes a few months ago, and it just wasn't fun at all. I mean, you can't really snoop on people unless you are friends with them or some shit? What is the fun of that?

I was a little reluctant about the Myspace, but now I think it is alright. Every few months, I might spend an evening perusing it, to see if there is anyone new on there that I know. Then I can see what they are up to, without having to talk to them at all! I mean, let's be honest, the day to day life of the average late 20-something is pretty boring. All their pages are collages of wedding pictures, or baby pictures, or pictures of people drinking. That is the main gig of most late 20-somethings-- they are either hardcore settling down, or they are clawing desperately to their last days of being able to act like an irresponsible college kid. Unless, of course, they continue clinging to those halcyon days of splitting a Gordita with 4 people in order to have enough money to buy gas station vodka well into their 30s. If that is their bag, then hey! Rage on, grandpa!

Anyway, I get on the Myspace now and then to write notes to my main bitches. I also have a really really lot of people on there who I do not know. I don't add people to my Myspace indiscriminately, but I accept requests from whoever. So, like I said, there is kind of a lot of people on there.

A few weeks ago, I got logged into the Myspace to write to one of my pals, and I noticed that I lost, like, 2500 friends overnight. Whoa!! I was kinda bummed, cause I was really close to 16,000 people or something crazy like that. I felt like a failure. Turns out, MyspaceTom, or whatever IT guy, finally got around to deleting closed accounts from peoples' friend lists.

WHATEVER, TOM. WHATEVER. I know that those 2500 friends were imaginary, but so are the rest of them, kinda! I don't know any of those cats on there! Ugh.

So, If you wanna help repair my damaged sense of self-worth*, you can BE MY FRIEND! You won't even get any junk bulletins from me, cause the stupid Myspace made it so you can't send them if you have more than x-number of friends.

*My self-worth is actually not damaged. I'm doing alright in the self-esteem department.

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THE WINNER OF THE FOXY OLD DUDE AWARD FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER IS....

(drumroll)

Nick Lowe.


Thank you, Nick Lowe, for being pretty foxy for an old dude. You're pretty old!! You get the good parking spot for the rest of the month.

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ASK NATALIE

Q: Being a fellow cardigan lover AND breast possessor, how do you deal with cardigans & boobs? My boobs are semi-large (38 DD, so not humongus, but not teeny) and I have SUCH PROBLEMS with getting cardigans (and button down shirts, but I don't wear those as much) to not gap and pop open when buttoned over my boobs. It seems I have to buy a size larger than I normally wear to get them to stay closed (and sometimes that doesn't even work) but that means the rest of the sweater is all too big and unflattering.

Most of the time I just end up wearing the sweater unbuttoned, but sometimes when it's cold I want to button them. Sometimes I just button them at the neck, which looks good with dresses/fancier tops, but with old t-shirts, it just looks kinda weird. Have you found certain brands that are better about sizing/button-poppage or another solution to this issue?


A: I would definitely err on the side of buying a cardigan in your size , and doctoring up the chest area, rather than buying a cardigan that is too big to fit your boobs, which might make you look like a soccer mom and/or dumpy.

Then, the first course of action would probably be to get a good minimizer bra... Like Tim Gunn says, you have to wear decent foundation garments in order for your clothes to look good. I like the Wacoal minimizer bras, they are pretty comfy, and they cut down on the Dolly Parton-ness. I used to get my bras from Victoria's Secret, but frankly, if you actually have boobs, they are pretty shitty and uncomfortable. And they will send you junkmail every single day forever after. Anyway, if you get a minimizer bra, your boobs will stay still, and it will shave off a little bust circumference.

After you put a good bra on, and your shirt, and your cardigan, you can use my TOP SECRET CARDIGAN CLOSURE METHOD. This method involves safety-pinning the boob-zone buttons so they don't strain themselves. The secret is to pin them from the back, and only go through the button side of the cardigan, and the bottom layer of the buttonhole side of the cardigan. This way, you are secure and gap-free, but you can't see any pins on the outside of your sweater, since they are hidden in the inner workings of it. Here is an illustration, in case my explanation is confusing:



If you are still gapping after doctoring up your buttons, though, the sweater is too small. Go get a slightly bigger sweater. The next size up might be too big, but you can always find a different brand of cardigan that will suit your frame a little better. I like Marc by Marc Jacobs sweaters and etc, and I also have a large rack (the "Dee" stands for DD). Alternately, sometimes you can find nice men's cardigans that work out pretty well.

This method can be used for other items of clothing, also, like pinning the strap of your bra to the strap of your tank top so it stays put, or to pin your mini skirt to your leggings so it doesn't start hiking itself up too much. Just be sure to hide the pin in seams, or between layers of overlapping fabric, so you can't see em from the outside.

It may seem like a pain in the ass to super-fasten all your clothes like this, but it is a lot better to look neat and put together than to look like you are busting out of your shit with all your gear hiked in every direction, or wearing a bunch of really huge dumpy stuff.

If you are lazy and/or your cardigan is NOT a V-neck, you can Google "sweater guard". I find the occasional sweater guard to be a charming accessory. Then again, I am kind of weird and I wear a lot of stuff that other people might not, so you might find that option laughable.

"Hey, hey, Monday!"10/01/07

Oh my lord, am I ever exhausted.

I have a way of letting all my work pile up, then crank it all out at once. Unfortunately, this month, I had a bunch of extra stuff to do in addition to all the work I procrastinated about, so I haven't been doing much of anything fun in the last week or two.

Work work work work work. That was about it.

Since I have been busy, and I haven't had a chance to shoot the shit with you guys, I also haven't had a chance to talk about the results of the ND/TPFD/MTTS TSHIRT CONTEST 2007. Back in the olden days (2002-2003), the contest was not a tshirt picture contest. People just mailed us whatever they wanted, and we picked a winner based on creativity, coolness of the item, etc. Unfortunately, we had to change the format of the contest, because nobody likes living in a house full of other people's cast-off craft projects. Also, during the send-some-stuff era of the contest, some dude mailed Drew an envelope full of rusty screws and Vicodin. Pretty weird. Another thing people don't like is getting drugs and tetanus delivered right to their door.

Anyway, this year went by without a hitch. We got a lot of good pictures, and a lot of poorly-lit camera phone pictures of torsos with no heads, which were so blurry that we could barely tell what shirt they were wearing (which is saying something since we made the shirts.)

The winners are all awesome. The #1 chick, with the frosting on her face, is obviously my favorite one. It looks like she spent a lot of time on it, and there is a TON of stuff going on in the picture. It even looks like she sent it through some 90s camera filter- the lighting reminds me of some kind of L7 video or something. The bottle of Mountain Dude, though, sent the pic to the top of the pile. That chick not only was paying good attention to my comics, but she paid good attention to her own contest entry. So awesome.

The #2 dude who recreated the Morrissey Dance site cracked me the hell up. The first time I clicked it open, I almost shit, I thought it was so funny.

In any case, if you haven't had a chance to check out the contest entries from this year, you ought to. All the pictures featured on the final contest page are great, otherwise they wouldn't be up. If you are the kind to hang out at work and look at stuff on the internet, this contest would be something nice and fresh to peruse before returning to your office drudgery.

CHECK OUT THE CONTEST

One thing that stood out about the contest is that it seems that a lot of our readers are PARTY ANIMALS (WOO-HOOOOOO!) This makes me happy. In the world of Internet, it is very easy to get dragged down into the miasma of Second Life-playing, Code Red-drinking misogynistic teenaged boys. All Transformer shirt-wearing, video game-playing basement dwellers. Somehow, people who read my site and the family of sites associated with it seem to be a group of pretty mellow, cool cats who also like to tie one on. The best part is, the longer I stick to this business, the cooler you guys seem to get. I appreciate this fully, because it would make me feel cruddy to think that I was working on all this stuff for a bunch of uptight nerdflingers who didn't get it. Y'all seem to get it.

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Now, I don't want to make it seem like I am trying to push alcoholism on the general population. I appreciate someone's ability to tie one on more as a sign that someone is willing to let go of obligations for a little while, and relax, and maybe let the relaxation get out of hand.

Me? I actually don't drink that much. I might have a glass of wine at a friend's house once in a great while, or put a shot of Godiva liquor in a cup of coffee or something, but I will go months and months without a drink without thinking much of it. I don't actually like the taste of alcohol that much, so unless something is extremely tasty (see the above Godiva coffee), I will usually only drink if I am in a social situation that makes me nervous.

Alcohol is the best social lubricant.

You may recall, a year and a half ago, I advertised a lecture I was giving at Ohio Wesleyan University on the front of this site. I was contacted by one of the students there, who was in charge of some kind of Amnesty International fundraiser thing, and they wanted ME to talk, for whatever reason.

I am not known for my public speaking skills.

I am, however, known for my soul-crushing anxiety about speaking in public. I agreed to give the lecture, probably because it was so many months away that I figured that April would NEVER come. Unfortunately, it did, and the date of the lecture was quickly decending upon me. Every moment that passed prior to the engagement, I got sicker and sicker with terror.

I was so terrified that I refused to even talk about it. My completely neglected to mention it to my friend John, who I have been friends with for basically my whole life, until we were getting ready to get in the car to drive down there... I just gave him a ring and was like OH, HEY JOHN. I AM GONNA BE GIVING A COLLEGE LECTURE IN, LIKE, 45 MINUTES. WANNA COME?

Anyway, the day of the lecture, I was completely paralyzed with abject horror, so I took a shower, got gussied up, and started motherfucking drinking. I had a couple tequila shots before we left, which loosened me up enough to get in the car (Drew was driving, un-liquored up, FYI). I also brought along one of these things, specifically the larger one:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


I filled up that big ol' aluminum water bottle with a 50-50 mix of Diet Mountain Dew and vodka. I drank this nasty beverage the whole 45 minute drive to the college, and I arrived feeling like a million bucks. Lecture? You want me to give a lecture? Don't mind if I do!!

I drank the entire time I was on stage, talking into some microphone, in front of some giant Powerpoint presentation. I was seven sheets to the wind, and it was probably the best and most entertaining lecture I am capable of giving. If I wasn't too drunk to string together a coherent thought, I might have even broken out into a little tapdance or something.

*burp*....HEY EVERYBODY, LOOKIT ME!! I AM TALKING AT A COLLEGE, AND I NEVER EVEN GRADUATED ANY KIND OF COLLEGE!! WOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Maybe reading this story makes me seem irresponsible, but had I not had my friend the little Grey Goose, I probably would not have made it onto the stage, which would have been more irresponsible.

In closing, if you ever see me at some kind of public, internet-meeting function, I am gonna be drunk. I am just too awful at talking to people I don't know, and especially bad at talking to people who I don't know but who know stuff about me. Every time I have been falling down drunk in the past 4 or 5 years has been when I was at some kind of shindig where I had to meet internet people. Nothing against you guys, I just think you would rather have me say something obnoxious and loud than see me mutter monosyllabically under my breath and not look at anyone. I am still trying to come to terms with why anyone cares about my little hobbies.

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Recently, I was at my mom's pad, and I found a little plastic box filled with my leftover high school senior pictures. I graduated high school in 1998, which is almost 10 years ago for those of you who have a tenuous grasp on numbers and how they work.

I was not particulary enthused about getting this picture taken, as I had the flu the day of my appointment, and my mom had forced me to dye my previously rose-pink hair a very boring auburnish-brown. She also wanted me to wear something other than a torn up Joy Division shirt and jelly bracelets up to my elbows, so I went to the Salvation Army and found the ugliest brown sweater I could find, and put it over my Joy Division shirt.

Here you go, guys. A slice of history:



The best thing about this picture is that I look just like Monica Lewinsky in it... The late 90s was a pretty bad time to look like Monica Lewinsky, and I was pretty tired of hearing about it. Then I got that picture back from the photographer, and there you go. Looking just like her, so much so that I left all the pass-em-out little pictures in their little plastic case, and just left the whole shabang at my mom's place.

Here's a side-by-side if you are not feeling the resemblance:



Welp, I ought to quit writing in this thing before I start writing about the really embarrassing shit. I gotta leave SOMETHING to talk about until next time...

Love, Natalie

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