Planes, Trains and Angry Cabbies (Sourpuss Clothing Shoot)

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I thought I would never get to New Jersey when I heard that my flight got delayed.  I was certain I’d done something bad and karma was teaching me a lesson when it got delayed four more hours.  I became friends with a feisty and pissed off grandma who tried to scare me with horror stories involving a New York winter while we waited.  I didn’t listen.  In fact, I got even more excited when I heard the word “snow.”   As JetBlue tried to calm us down with food vouchers (they know Puerto Ricans very well), I re-read some old e-mails.  It hit me that I’d already confirmed my presence at a photo shoot in a town I’d never heard of.  Not even in Kristen Stewart indie movies.  Pennsahken?  Pennsoahken?  Pennsauken.

I’ve been entering Instagram giveaways since I joined the social networking site and didn’t think twice when I saw a post by Sourpuss Clothing looking for models for their Spring 2015 collection.  I’d been a fan of the company for a couple of years and was familiar with their brand.  I even had a sticker on my laptop that read “A Classy Kind of Trashy.”  The sticker was always on display because I believed it defined my personality.  My hair may be up in victory rolls, but I have sailor’s mouth.  I remember thinking it was perfect timing because I would be in New Jersey around that time.  My flight was booked in September and I was going to leave island life behind for two weeks on December 7th.

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                                       Steady Jessie Dress, $72

Scratch that.  I was going to leave on the 8th thanks to JetBlue.  My shoot was scheduled for the 9th and I felt myself getting a bit stressed out sitting next to the angry granny.  Fast forward to when I actually got on the plane and I cried quietly because of the non-stop turbulence.  I was glad it was only a 4 hour flight.  I would not make it alive if the plane is that shaky during an international one.

December 8th

After getting off at the wrong stop thinking I was in Trenton, a nice lady got me on the right train.  One stop and another train later, I was in Pennso… Pennsah… Pennsauken.  I waited for 40 minutes in the cold for a cabby that would later try to hang up a phone call by saying in Spanish that gringos don’t like it when cabbies are talking on the phone.  I surprised him by asking where he’s from—in Spanish.  Turns out we’re basically neighbors.  He’s from the Dominican Republic and I’m from right next to him.  I left him a hefty tip hoping he’d realize that just because a girl had a fair complexion and fake red hair doesn’t necessarily mean she’s gringa.

I hate you, cabby.

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                       Hips and Hair I Hate You Ryder Dress, $50

Can you smile and flip the bird?

After a quick check-in at the motel, I walked about 10 minutes while being showered by freezing rain looking for my room.  King sized bed, Kardashians on TV and a working cellphone.  I was ok.

I called the same cabby the next day even though I could walk to the Sourpuss Clothing warehouse.  I figured I’d spent too much time in the cold anyways.  I was greeted by Amanda, the photographer and what looked like a never ending shoe room.  Her colorful skin made me notice my lack of tattoos.  I hoped I wasn’t too clean looking for them.  I told her I had a septum piercing just in case they wanted to toughen me up a bit but she said it wasn’t necessary.  After getting my makeup done, a very nice lady started doing my hair and I learned that no matter where I go, I’ll always get the “Oh lord!  Thick hair… And lots of it!”  She was extremely patient and funny and it made me happy to hear positive comments about my hair rather than negative ones, which I often get in Puerto Rico.

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Hips and Hair Cute Ryder Dress, $50
Hips and Hair True Love Ryder Dress, $50
Hips and Hair Unimpressed Dress, $50

I was extremely nervous and stiff when Amanda started shooting me but I loosened up once she told me smiling is good and I saw a “Do not do this” sign showing a model with pouty lips and a sultry look.  They also asked me to pose with Alexa Nicole, an experienced alternative model from New Jersey.  After lots of changes and many fun dresses later, they took us to Wawa and I was a first timer.  I was impressed by the touch screen ordering thingamajig and by how fast they made my quesadillas.  Is this the real life?  Is this just fantasy?

After stuffing out faces, we went to Bombshell Pin Ups, a magical place with different themed rooms.  A.K.A. my future home.  We shot at a retro kitchen room and a circus themed one.  We were finally able to use props and had a ton of fun.  Alexa Nicole and I even “fed” each other fake cupcakes.  Yum.

Always feed the models.

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                               Hell Bunny Olivia Cardigan, $62
                               Hell Bunny Calaveras Cardigan, $62

When we returned to the Sourpuss warehouse, we got our checks, a goodie bag (4 dresses and a cardigan yaaaas) and Alexa offered me a ride so I could get back to where I was staying at by getting on a single train.

I’m glad I bit the bullet back in January of last year.  Committing to a daily workout and smaller portions of yummy food was tough but I finally got to where I wanted to be.  I still have a less than long way to go, but I know I’ll get there this year.

This was truly a super fun experience and I got a sneak peek at Sourpuss’s Spring 2015 collection, which is ah-mah-zahng!  I now wish Puerto Rico had more reliable public transportation.  I would take the train every single day.

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                                                   Steady Diva Swing Dress, $76

Can anyone get married?  I need an excuse to purchase this dress.  Please and thank you.

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Revenge Tastes Like the Color Purple

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Salut!

I hope you’re having a great week.  I unfortunately found out I have 4 group projects coming up.  I’m sad, I’m frustrated, I’m anxious.  “Group” projects and I don’t get along.  I admit I’m a bit antisocial, but it’s not because I want to be that way, I’m just “programmed” to function a certain way.  My way is antisocial.  I’m socially awkward and rarely speak up in class.  I let my writing do the job.  I don’t want this post to become a “why group projects suck” type of thing, so I’ll just skip to the other part.

I really wanted to post my thoughts on chivalry this week, but school work and tests didn’t let me.  I know I haven’t given my blog much love lately, so I really, really wanted to post a little something.  Knowing I have a Philosophy test tomorrow blocked me, so I simply decided to share with you one of my assignments.  This was a fun essay to write!

The guidelines were:
-Must involve a conflict, a color and a candy.
-Must be inspired by true events.

Revenge Tastes Like The Color Purple

I’ve never been social enough to bond with roommates, especially with ones that won’t let me sleep, leave the freezer and front door open, the lights and stove on, and turn off the heater when I’m about to take a shower.  I’ve been living in this apartment for almost four years.  I’m the oldest and I have experience.  Naturally, I would be “the boss.”

Cleaning products are expensive, so former roommates and I would split the cost equally.  I’m used to leaving for the summer and returning to find the apartment exactly how I left it.  This year, I returned to an apartment with three freshmen roommates and no cleaning supplies.  They had all arrived during the summer and must have cleaned their asses off, because not even the mop and broom were to be found.  I didn’t even bother to say hi nor learn their names.

“I’m Melanie.  Knock on my door if you need anything.  Leave a $5 bill on the bulletin board to purchase cleaning supplies.”  My introduction was exactly how conversations should be.  Short, sweet and to the point.  A “thank you” wasn’t necessary.

For the next few weeks I would go to class, and go straight to my room as soon as I arrived to the already open apartment, shooing away needless and empty conversations.  I remember finding my melted pint of ice cream in the open freezer a few times.  I also remember waking up in the middle of the night to find most of the lights on and an empty bulletin board.  Am I living with 5 year-olds?  I bought a mop and broom to clean my room and kept them there.

After spending hours studying for an exam, I was hungry and went to the kitchen to get my weekly Snickers bar.  I kept it in the fridge.  At least they knew how to close it and I wouldn’t find it all gushy.  As I opened the fridge, I noticed my name on a piece of paper.  I didn’t read it.  Just the fact that they felt the need to write me a stupid note instead of telling whatever it was they wrote down to my face, irritated me.  I grabbed the Snickers and went to my room.  Before opening it, I heard someone jam the paper between my door and its frame.  Irritation was no longer a word to describe how I was feeling.  I put the candy bar on my bed and decided to take a shower to let off some steam.  I grabbed my stuff and opened the door, letting the note fall to the floor behind me.

The water was so cold, I gasped with every splash.  I could feel their souls giggle with joy after turning off the heater.  I sat my naked and cold ass on the toilet and left the water on to make them think I felt right at home even though I was forced to end my shower after only two minutes.  I got bored and I did some exploring.  I opened the bathroom cabinet and saw our soaps next to our toothbrushes.  Mine was Palmolive next to a no-name soft bristle brush.  Clearly, I’m a gentle and humble human being next to bitches using Dove soap and fancy Oral-B toothbrushes their daddies bought for them.  I turned off the water and went to my room to find the note on my bed next to my Snickers.  I couldn’t believe they had the nerve to open my door and let themselves in.  I read it.

“Melanie,

Please clean the bathroom (mirror, cabinet, toilet, shower, sink and floor).  Your cooperation is appreciated.”

The damn thing was even signed by all three of them, as if it was a legal document.  And the fact that they specified the things they wanted me to clean, irked me even more.  As if I didn’t know the toilet, sink, and shower are a part of a bathroom.  Yes, I was indeed, living with 5 year-olds.  What was I supposed to clean with?  I had nothing and I didn’t plan on using my new broom as a brush.  I was so mad, I lost my appetite and put away the chocolate.  I went to sleep that night thinking about how to make their lives a living hell, just as they were doing to mine.  I woke up the next day pretending they weren’t there.  I didn’t look at them; I didn’t say a word to them.

After taking my exam, I got to the apartment and found yet another note.  This time it was a purple post-it on the bathroom door.  “Please clean me.” – It said.

Rage took over me and my hands took their lavender scented dishwashing detergents, toothbrushes and towels.  I squeezed those bottles all over the toilet, sink, mirror and shower until there was nothing left.  My brushes were their fancy toothbrushes.  It took me forever to get the job done sloppily, but at least I did what I could.

The next day my $5 were no longer on the bulletin board.  I knew they took the money to buy dishwashing detergent and maybe toothbrushes because new cleaning supplies were nowhere to be found.  I wanted to dirty up the bathroom so bad, but I couldn’t do it.  I was not going to undo what I did, but I really did want to get back at them.  I wasn’t willing to leave a piece of crap in the toilet but I was willing to make them think I did, even if it was for a split second.  I took my Snickers bar and dropped it in the clean toilet.  I took one of the purple post-its and wrote “Eat me. J”  Smiley face and all.  I stuck it on the inside of the lid and closed it.

A Snickers bar may be sweet, but revenge is even sweeter.

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I googled “Pin Up Snickers” and this popped up!  It’s Candy II- Snickers by Mel Ramos, who is now one of my favorite artists.  I get how some of his pieces may rub people the wrong way (most of them are like this – women placed on or in something edible) but I find them quite fun.

I hope you liked my inspired by true events homework.  And wouldn’t it be fun if colors had a taste?  What would the color purple taste like?

Lady Stank

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It’s the most horrific time of the year: back to school.  I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with this place (Río Piedras, San Juan, Puerto Rico).  It exudes a sense of freedom.  There’s art everywhere.  A plain white wall is hard to find here.  Everything seems simple.  Just like these sentences.

StreetartThese buildings greet me each day.

didntsee this every Sunday when I get to Río Piedras.

Coffee is almost at arm’s length and a cold beer is just around the corner.  People always say “good morning” as they walk past me.  It’s mostly men.  They don’t always have good intentions, so I focus on their tone.  Some of them make “good morning” sound like a rape announcement.  Those that make it sound like one, don’t get “good morning” back.  I honestly hope their morning ends up being crappy.  Like spill coffee on your crotch crappy.  I guess you could say I’m getting to the hate part of this love-hate relationship.

Time is money here.  Everything is fast paced.  The light is about to turn green?  You better be 10 miles down the road when it does ‘cause if not, Mr. I just spilled my coffee will play you the song that best describes his feelings at the moment.  A little song called “hornraping.”  Anyone can play it, really.  Just honk your horn and never let go.  A beautiful long “beep” will magically make your car disappear.  At least, that’s what Mr. I just spilled my coffee thinks.

I never get why people in cars are always in such a rush.  I’d much rather be in a car with a/c than walk to school in this heat, which is what I’ve been doing for the past 3 1/2 years.  My arms and legs are noticeably darker than the rest of my body thanks to this.  Now we’re getting to the frustration part of this post.

I can’t dress the way I want to.  The way I dress in my hometown is so different.  I always have on at least one vintage-inspired article of clothing.  I can’t do that here.  I sweat buckets of lady stank and am not willing to ruin pieces I almost killed for just to look cute at the university.  And yep, same goes for hair.  What’s the point in curling or victory-rolling it if it’ll be flat by the time I get to class?  My hair is always up in a bun, a high ponytail or maybe a braid.  That’s it, nothing special.  I’m always wearing men’s t-shirts I cut and stretch to make them look less manly.  The pricing on graphic tees is ridiculous.  A Coca-Cola logo shirt for men costs  $12 while the same shirt for women costs $18.  Yeah, I think I’m gonna go with the one for men.  $6 extra for what?  A little shape?  Pfffft!  Don’t even get me started on make-up.

Really, don’t try to get me started, ’cause I won’t start.

The heat here is different than the heat in Ponce.  It’s hot and humid at the same time while in Ponce it’s just hot.  I can wiggle my nose without breaking a sweat over there and the only thing I can wear in both places are these babies:

converseDon’t mind the dingy floor.  It’s been like that since I got here.  Nothing can make it look clean.

Ah yes, my limited edition sequin Converse.  I got these for Christmas when I was 14 years old.  They’ve been everywhere with me.  Music festivals, a Metallica concert, the mall on black friday… They don’t sell them anymore.  I wish I could buy another pair.  I plan on wearing them until they fall apart.

As I’m writing this (almost 11 PM) some kid is screaming at the top of his lungs in the middle of the street.  Why?  Because it’s Río Piedras.  It’s extremely noisy here.  Some truck, I don’t know if it’s the garbage truck or what… But it comes at 4 AM.  Gun shots can be heard almost daily.  Beeping cars are always around and here I am, trying to blog.

Yep, it’s definately a love-hate relationship I have with Río Piedras.  I feel as if I can be free here but at the same time, I can’t express myself the way I enjoy doing it: through fashion.

Throwback Wednesday

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Let’s forget about throwback Thursday for a few minutes because Wednesday is my favorite day of the week.  Say hello to Throwback Wednesday.

Almost a year ago, my friends and I did a little dance to a mix of Peggy Lee’s “Fever” and Si Cranstoun’s “50’s Pin Up” at a fashion show / birthday party as a way to introduce our group, The Sunny Island PinUps.  The birthday boy was a photographer.  I think that explains the fashion show part.

It was hard to rehearse together due to our different work schedules.  In the end, there were a few bloopers here and there, but we had tons of fun.  Most of the dresses were custom made and I got lots of help with my make-up and hair (I didn’t know how to manage it back then).  The lovely Carla Lune did my hair.

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Fancy looking, isn’t it?  I miss having red hair.

I really wanted an excuse to share these pictures because they remind me of a fun, great night I had during a time of sadness.  It was nice to forget about the negative stuff for a tiny while.

SIPU

SIPU3    Marielle.  She did my make-up.  She made me feel so pretty that night!
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  Denisse AKA Denixa.  I wish I had her confidence!


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Singing happy birthday.

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Johnelly.  The comedienne.

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    Geraldine.  The lady boss.

Sadly, there’s not a close-up picture of Michelle.  She’s like a mommy to us, because she’s a real life mommy!

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Michelle is the one in the light blue dress.  Look at that proud mommy stance!

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Carla Lune.  Our favorite Pin Up.

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A fun smile inspired by a fun night.

Thanks for enjoying this trip down memory lane with me!

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Mara-what?

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If you’re one of the few people that enjoyed reading my previous blogs — mellysbutt.com and my MySpace blog (old times!), you’re probably wondering why I constantly jump to other websites and why I named this one after a type cherry. Well call Doc, ’cause we’re about to hit 88! 

I started blogging when I accepted the fact that writing was probably the only thing I was going to be good at.  I was about 14 years young and an old friend made me a MySpace account.  I could have sworn I was going to be a sucky poet for the rest of my life, because poems were the only thing I posted.  Most of them were about teen angst, of course, but one of them was about, prepare yourself—love.  Yep, sourpuss Melly wrote about the L word, and no, not lesbian.  (Note to self: Watch an episode of two of The L Word.  Apparently, it’s good.)

I had just broken up with my second boyfriend, but my first crush and wrote “A Love Story.”  Long story short, I was backstabbed by my Spanish teacher’s daughter, because a months later, “A Love Story” was published under her name.  Needless to say, I was angry, not entirely because of her, but mostly because of myself.  I didn’t do anything, I didn’t fight it, just cried about it.  You got to keep in mind that I went to a school in which you’re story was the absolute truth if a faculty member made you.  Or—if you had a decent amount of money.  If you did, you could get away with anything.  Sadly, my parents actually worked their asses off to keep me in that hell of a school, while others made donations towards new basketball courts (which took over 25 years to make—No, I’m not kidding), in order to be friendly with the principal.  I stopped writing for a long while and I honestly think that was the last poem I wrote for pleasure and not as an assignment.  

Years passed and it was college application season.  I was in a long distance relationship with a hairy asshole and of course, being a hopeless romantic, I filled out an application for one college only—the one he was enrolled in.  Truthfully, I didn’t do it because of him.  I also did it because it’s the only university that offers a BA in Creative Writing.  Of course, like any movie that is truly based on reality, he broke up with me by cheating on me.  I started college as a loner and still am.  I can’t make friends because of my social awkwardness.  I had it easy in school, because you are forced to socialize with the other 61 students in your grade, after all, you met them in Kindergarten and you would say goodbye to them on the last day of Senior year.  Yup, it was one of those schools. 

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My high school self wearing a pink water bra

After taking a few writing courses, I noticed I was rusty, my humor was gone and words didn’t come to me naturally.  I started a blog at blogspot.  MySpace days were totes over.  I decided I was stupid enough to have a domain, so mellysbutt.com was born.  My ass is huge and constantly in people’s mouth (not the salad kind of way!)  The subtitle was “The fabulous things that come out of Melly’s butt,” you know, as in shit?  Because my thoughts are shit?  Yeah? Ok.  Glad we could clear that up. 

Just a few posts later, I heard that poem stealer learned about my new blog, so I pooped my very last poop and got scared shitless.  I quickly deleted every single post and now mellysbutt.com is empty.  I thought long and hard about making another one and decided that I had to.  My writing was getting worse and worse and needed improvement.  I had to exercise writing every single say even if it meant writing about clothing, or shoes (which is what I now enjoy writing about).  So, here we are, at WordPress and I plan on staying.  Go ahead, take your nasty smelling fake Jeffrey Campbells off you bought through eBay and get comfortable.  Now to the yummy part, Maraschino. 

After realizing I was still friendless and wasting too much money shopping online by staying up to get that damn cherry printed, twist tie top, I decided to look for friends.  It sounds way creepier than it is.  I had a love for pin ups and rockabilly clothing.  I loved the idea of being able to wear clothing that embraced my bum.  Luckily, I stumbled upon a group on Facebook called “Puerto Rican Pin Ups.”  Pin Ups?  In Puerto Rico?  Yeah baby!  I was accepted into the group and met amazing girls!  We needed pin up names, so I came up with a shitty one: Melly Cherry.  I wanted one that rhymed but after a few months, I got sick of it and came to the conclusion that it sounded like a teen on MySpace with a pornographic looking picture – Licking a cherry flavored lollipop or something like that.  I still wanted the element of red to be present in my name because of my fake red hair, so I thought Maraschino would do the job. 

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Fake red hair

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My present self

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With my new awesome friends

Ironically, I hate the taste of cherries but at the same time, I think they’re the sexiest fruit—Fuck strawberries!  I now represent an erotic fruit!  So, I hope you like the taste of cherries, my (almost) life story and the taste of my blog.  Keep biting!