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I have all sorts of strong opinions about things of consequence but sometimes I don’t say them out loud because people are mean and I am stupidly breakable so instead I make gross old recipes and write essays on weird minutiae from mid- to late-twentieth-century American pop culture.
 
Here are some you might like.
 
 

old books & mags & the dumb things in them 

 
 

This is one of my two most popular posts ever, which is understandable considering our renewed national interest in mock turtlenecks and suspenders that double as rulers.

Fashion Advice from the 1988 Teen Magazine

 
 

#2 most popular post here, and one of the few places on the internet where you can find a crisp, clear image of authentic Fantanza™. (Includes shameful photo of high-school me in my snood and junior prom dress.)

 11 worst wedding gowns from 1985 Brides Magazine

 
 
In the genteel 1970s, before we all went feral, one could buy beautiful museum quality hammered decorator wall plaques right in the pages of Life magazine. Artforum forgot this masterwork, but I never will.  

1970s metal wall art

 
 

Tap here to revisit TV Guide‘s glory days, when it was used as a glum horoscope dispenser, a forum for rude questions about Julia Child, and a dating service for Patrick Stewart.

5 things I learned from the March 1993 TV Guide

 
 

What have I done today that’s charming? Alma Archer senses the answer is “nothing,” and SHE IS JUDGING YOU. Read this, and remember: it’s never too late to start lubricating your elbows.

What I learned from a 1940s etiquette guide to beauty and charm

 
 

adventures in thrifting

 
 
In which I venture into a Cape May thrift store and emerge with six more grey hairs. It’s the clown’s fault. No, the aspic loaf. No, the giant ceramic elf. MY GOD, THE ELF.

Awful things I saw while thrifting in Cape May

 
 

A full curio cabinet of bizarre from a labyrinthine flea mart in the Garden State. Includes a wig that will make you feel real despair and the most disturbing airbrushed t-shirt design I’ve ever clapped eyes on.

Thrift shopping in New Jersey

 
 

I was so traumatized and lazy that I didn’t do part 2 of that post until four months later. This one is probably not as awful, but it does contain a plastic chicken that makes me uncomfortable and the saddest coin-operated kiddie ride in America.

Thrift shopping in New Jersey continued

 
 

A mother-daughter trip to Savers yields a bounty of discoveries that make us wince and giggle. Among them: a KISS trivia game, Perry Como’s head mounted on a Christmas wreath, and MEATSTUMPS IN FATSLEEVES.

Terrible things we saw at the thrift shop on Memorial Day

 
 

creative endeavors, dubious and otherwise

 
 

I am not a Pinterest mom. But somehow we worked this birthday zoo cake thing out. (It helps to have the assistance of a retired mother who used to sew your clothes and make all your Halloween costumes.)

How to make a birthday zoo cake

 
 

I promised my readers I’d make this, so I did. And I ate it. It looks nothing like the vintage photo, mostly because I am food-dumb and had no idea Golden Mushroom Soup still exists.

That time I made frosted meatloaf

 
 

Everyone does this stuff, right? (I mean, except for the part where I sketch a Dementor at a bowling alley and curl up with the unauthorized biography of Julio Iglesias. We Won’t Feel a Thing was a bitch to finish, y’all.)

Things it's normal to do when you're finishing your novel

 
 

I peek in my overflowing mailbag and answer thought-provoking messages from readers, including Strandberg Catterton, Jerseys ForCheap, Get Backlinks, and Xyqtan. They loave me. They really loave me.

I answer my mail

 
 

The kid follows in my fandom footsteps by developing a bit of a crush on a dapper Brit at the tender age of 5. If your day would be significantly improved by a screencap of Mr. Belvedere in a viking helmet, this is the post for you.

my daughter is a fangirl

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