Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Snow, Vicariously

While we were snubbed by the Snow Fairy (or whatever it is that brings snow ;o)), Donald's family in Sweden have been dealing with lots of it.

Check out the snow in Ingela's photos on her blog and at Flickr

...Wow.  Can you just imagine all the snowmen you could make... all the snowball fights you could have?  (Not to mention the headache of traveling from Point A to Point B!)

When Donald spoke with Jocke a few days ago, he said that on the road from town to Donald's parents' place-- not just their private driveway-road, as I first thought, but the main road-- the snow was piled up five feet high on both sides.  Probably not a good time or place to have car problems.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Truth, Stranger Than Fiction

Ballet Ski:
A short-lived Olympic event that I might not have believed existed, were it not for video such as this:

I was old enough to remember this, but I don't. Donald told me about it and found the video.

This feels like something you'd see on Monty Python, shake your head over, and wonder where those crazy guys came up with such bizarre ideas.  

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Obama-Lover Commits Racially-Motivated Murders? Really?

Whenever I hear or see it come up in the news, I try to follow along with the unfolding story of the recent University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) shooting.  It's close enough to home to have special interest for me, and it's proving to be so bizarre that I'd probably be interested even if it hadn't happened in my home state.

I'll assume you know most of the details.  (If not, they're easily located.)  For the purposes of this entry, the pertinent facts are that Amy Bishop, a female professor (a native of Massachusetts and Harvard-educated, as they insist on telling us every single time, like it's almost impossible for someone from Harvard to be mentally unbalanced... *eyeroll*), brought a gun to a board meeting and, somewhere in the middle of that meeting, began shooting at her colleagues.  Three were killed and three others seriously injured.  This appears to have been motivated by a tenure denial.  Since then, disturbing stories about Bishop's past behavior have come to light.  Let's just say that it seems that the woman has some serious, long-running instability and that she has sometimes acted out violently. We've also read that she is extremely liberal and such an admirer of Obama as to be described by some as obsessed.  (Make of that what you will.)

Now some would like to say that Amy Bishop's attack was racially motivated-- and more than that, they're linking it (by covering it in the same article) to the Tea Party movement.  (Yeah, makes perfect sense, doesn't it?) 
In November of 2008, a prime debate was whether the United States – with Barack Obama’s election – lived in a post-racial society. Fifteen months later, the answer is a resounding, “hell, no.” The proof: last week’s shooting in Alabama, where a disgruntled white professor murdered three minority professors; and the growing success of the Tea Party movement, which is overwhelmingly white and increasing vocal in its violent dislike of the nation’s first black president.
The author goes on to point out the race of the three people who died in the UAH shooting-- two were black and one a native of India.  And-- dun dun DUN!-- Amy Bishop was . . . (wait for it. . .) . . . white.  That's it. What more proof do you need?  It must've been racially motivated. (Though one wonders about the race of her other intended victims.  What about the three who were seriously injured?  What about the ones Bishop was still attempting to murder when her gun mercifully jammed?  Were they all minorities?  Surely not.)

According to the brilliant mind behind this story, "Bishop may have been, in the words of a Boston Herald report, a 'far-left political extremist who was "obsessed" with President Obama,' but she may still have had issues with non-white people in authority."  Well, yes, I guess she may have.  It's possible, I suppose, but it seems extraordinarily unlikely. If she had "issues" with "non-white people in authority", why would she have been so vocal in her support for a non-white person in the ultimate position of authority?  Why go bonkers for Obama, if she was secretly seething with hatred for minorities?  Doesn't it make much more sense that she was outraged over her situation and lashed out at the people she felt were to blame, regardless of race?  Do you honestly believe she wouldn't have started shooting if all of the faces looking back at her had been white?  I don't believe it, and I don't believe the author does, either. 

If we go by this type of logic, every time a white person kills a member of a racial minority, it may be because that person was racist-- even if on the surface they had no appearance of it-- even if they practically idolized a minority leader.  Does it work the other way 'round, too?  Is it an act of racially motivated violence every time a white person is killed by someone who isn't white?  Every time a man murders a woman-- or a woman murders a man-- should we question whether the crime was at least partially motivated by a hatred of the opposite sex in general?

This type of logic is not logic, and (though I'm sure they march under the banner of equality for all and peace among all races) it feels like people who suggest it are secretly hoping to further engender distrust and strife.  What can be their motivation, I wonder?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How Long Until I Crash & Nap. . .?

This is what happens when you get up at around 2 a.m. (because you feel ill and can't sleep), sit at the computer, start looking at free crochet patterns, find something that strikes your funny bone, and decide to write a blog entry about it:

Crochet Your Way to Romance

I suspect this may be one of those things that seem funny in the middle of the night on a few hours of sleep, only to reveal themselves as fairly bland by the harsh light of day. . . Oh well. (g)

Dogs Allowed!

Dogs Allowed!
Originally uploaded by Spot!

I thought you dog lovers might enjoy this as much as I did. :o)

Friday, February 12, 2010

"The White Stuff"

I'm not a big twitterer, but every now and then, it occurs to me that I'm tweeting about things that I may want to remember (and look up) later. . . and as of yet, I don't think there's a convenient way to do that on Twitter. 

So I'll just take the easy way out, this time, and repost the relevant tweets here.  (I've read that some people loathe the practice, but it's never really bothered me.  Besides, since most of my readers are family and friends, I think I'm safe, as long as I don't make it a habit. (g)) 

  • We may get snow on Friday! Forget the mid-Atlantic "snowpocalypse". Even an *inch* of snow down here would make people go CRAZY. (g) 12:47 PM Feb 10th.
  • The Southern Snow freak-out has begun. At least 2 local counties have closed school for Fri in anticipation of the Great Blizzard of 2010.  About 16 hours ago.
  • Just got back from grocery shopping. It was busy-- everyone stocking up before The Storm. ;o) Drove home through (very light) sleet. About 15 hours ago.
  • Whoever's tweeting for one local news station just actually used the "#snOMG" hashtag. I'm stunned. . . About 15 hours ago.
  • Donald is laughing at our local news-- the (almost) snow-only stories-- the fact that they reported sleet like it was something big. . . About 9 hours ago. 
  • Also, he would like to request that they immediately cease referring to snow as "the white stuff". About 9 hours ago.
  • So far, no snow. Only quite a lot of slow rain. There are puddles. I hope they won't prevent any snow from accumulating, later... 27 minutes ago.
  • And to followers for whom snow is a common occurrence: I apologize for all these boring tweets. They'll continue, but I do apologize. ;o)  25 minutes ago.

Will You Be My Valentine?

I'm a couple of days early (for a change), but have you seen the GOP e-Valentines that've been in the news lately?  I tried sending one with no luck (for some reason it was undeliverable), so I decided to post it here instead.

Happy (Early) Valentines Day, from me to you! 

You know, there have been many times in recent memory when the GOP has disappointed me. . .

This is not one of them. ;o)

(There are several other designs on their website, if you're in the mood for more.)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

More of the Ol' Double Standard

I just heard Donald chuckling over this. . .

NRCC Retouches Pelosi's 2003 Letter to Bush Asking "Where are the Jobs?"...

 I won't bother asking why Pelosi hasn't seen fit to send a similar letter to Obama.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Hurtling Down the Road to Serfdom"

(Hm, this one may not interest many of you, either.  Maybe the next entry. . .)

From "Hurtling Down the Road to Serfdom", by John Stossel:
Government is taking us a long way down the Road to Serfdom. That doesn't just mean that more of us must work for the government. It means that we are changing from independent, self-responsible people into a submissive flock. The welfare state kills the creative spirit.

F.A. Hayek, an Austrian economist living in Britain, wrote "The Road to Serfdom" in 1944 as a warning that central economic planning would extinguish freedom. The book was a hit. Reader's Digest produced a condensed version that sold 5 million copies.

Hayek meant that governments can't plan economies without planning people's lives. After all, an economy is just individuals engaging in exchanges. The scientific-sounding language of President Obama's economic planning hides the fact that people must shelve their own plans in favor of government's single plan.

At the beginning of "The Road to Serfdom," Hayek acknowledges that mere material wealth is not all that's at stake when the government controls our lives: "The most important change ... is a psychological change, an alteration in the character of the people."

This shouldn't be controversial. If government relieves us of the responsibility of living by bailing us out, character will atrophy. The welfare state, however good its intentions of creating material equality, can't help but make us dependent. That changes the psychology of society.

. . .

According to the Tax Foundation, 60 percent of the population now gets more in government benefits than it pays in taxes. What does it say about a society in which more than half the people live at the expense of the rest? Worse, the dependent class is growing. The 60 percent will soon be 70 percent.
And once the majority of people are using the tax and welfare systems for their personal gain, what's to stop them from voting in new law-makers and legislation that will further entrench us in the kind of problems that are already bogging us down?

You can only squeeze so much from the earners of the world before they run dry.  Besides, once you totally obliterate their incentive to work hard and earn, many of them will either move elsewhere or give up and fall into mediocrity.  Why earn more only to have most of it taken away?  Why work harder if industrious behavior is punished?
Kurt Vonnegut understood the threat of government-imposed equality. His short story "Harrison Bergeron" portrays a future in which no one is permitted to have any physical or intellectual advantage over anyone else. A government Handicapper General weighs down the strong and agile, masks the faces of the beautiful and distracts the smart.

So far, the Handicapper General is just fantasy. But Vice President Joe Biden did shout at the Democratic National Convention: "Everyone is your equal, and everyone is equal to you." If he meant that we're all equal in rights and before the law, fine. If he meant government shouldn't put barriers in the way of opportunity, great. But statists like Biden usually have more in mind: They want government to make results more equal.

Two actual examples of the lunacy:
When colleges innovated by having students use Kindle e-book readers instead of expensive textbooks, the Justice Department sued them, complaining that the Kindle discriminates against blind students. The department also is suing the Massachusetts prison system because it makes prospective prison guards take a physical test. Since women don't do as well as men on that test, Justice claims the test discriminates against women.
(This is actually beside the point, but I can't resist. . . ) I don't own a Kindle, but I'm sure I've heard that there's a feature that allows you to listen to your books-- a computerized voice reads it to you-- so it's almost like having an audiobook version for the price of the e-book.  Wouldn't that be ideal for blind students?  I mean, I know it's not Braille, and they couldn't read/listen to the text during lectures, but still. . .

And as for the second example. . . I'm a woman (obviously, I hope, if you've seen my photo up there in the upper righthand corner), and I say that many of these "gender equality" cases are pure rubbish.  If a woman can do a job as well as a man, then yes, she ought to have a chance to do it, if she likes. (And vice versa.)  However, if the job requires certain physical qualities-- such as strength-- and an individual simply isn't physically capable of passing the test, it's ridiculous to say that it's discriminatory to refuse to hire her.  If a male applicant is too fat or feeble to pass the test, is he being discriminated against?  You hire the person best qualified for the job.  For some jobs, the person best qualified will more often be a man than a woman.  When will people finally admit to the obvious and drop this pretended(?) cluelessness?

Anyway. . . There's a little more to the article (linked above), but that's pretty much the gist of it.  That and a question: What do Americans really want-- increased personal freedom or a Mommy State to take care of their every need and want?  I know what most of the people in my life would prefer.  (And lately, I'm finding it harder and harder to be tolerant of people with opposing views.)

"Penny Tax"? (Of Local Interest Only)

(I don't think anyone will really care about this post.  It's just something I felt like grumbling about today.  Maybe the next one will be better.)

Our county will vote next month on a proposed one-cent sales tax increase.  The extra tax revenue is meant to help fund the county's school system, which apparently still needs more money, even after making staff cuts earlier in the school year.

Teachers and students in Baldwin County were left in a world of hurt when they saw their funding resources plummet $61 million.

Last November, we spoke with the state assistant superintendent of schools, Craig Pouncey about the financial crisis. He said the district was warned years ago that this would happen.

Baldwin County School Board members have long maintained they want a premier learning environment for students.

But in trying to create such an atmosphere State Assistant Superintendent Craig Pouncey said, the district may have lived beyond their means.

“We have been working with school systems for the last two years to prepare them for this inevitable downturn. Some districts chose to listen to what we were saying two years ago and begin to downsize; primarily their staffing levels in anticipation of reduced funding,” said Pouncey.

In the last two years, state schools have lost billions of dollars in state appropriations. That's one fourth of all state revenue devoted to public education. According to the state assistant superintendent, the loss of revenue was inevitable. Pouncey told Fox10 News in anticipation of a budget shortfall, the state started working with districts in 2006 to help them establish at least a one-month operating reserve.

“We have been working with school districts with the goal of establishing at least a minimum a one month operating reserve for each school district. This past school year we had 21 school systems that lacked the desired one month operating balance,” said Pouncey.

Baldwin County School board member Bob Callahan argues differently.

“We thought we were supposed to do the best job we could do and not accept limitations on what a child could learn. So it's very difficult to accept an attitude from Montgomery that you solve your problem by lowering your standards as oppose to lets get together and solve this problem, fix the tax base, fix the revenue string and look at the whole thing,” Callahan said.

There are many reasons why Baldwin County schools are struggling to make grade when it comes to funding. The cost of health insurance for education workers has increased by 72 percent since 2003. Despite staffing reductions, the district is still in the red.
Education is all the talk in Baldwin County. There is a one-cent sales tax increase up for vote next month. Some say it will save education in the county, others disagree. In fact, a group has formed to stand against the tax.

Administrators at Daphne High School held a public meeting Tuesday night to talk to the public about what could happen if the one-cent sales tax is not passed. Those with the school system say more teachers will be lost and more programs cut.

"The situation here in Baldwin County is that we're in dire need. I'm always against increased taxes however we're in a situation where we need to something," said David Kirchharr.

"The academics are very important of course, the athletics also. Seeing your kid be a team player and be apart of something," said Riley Gatewood.

Administrators and parent groups from the different schools have organized the meetings to inform the public. Now, they aren't the only ones wanting to talk about the tax.

"It's a $75 million tax that's being sold to the people as a one-penny sales tax. That just isn't right," said Dean Young.

Young has started the "Axe The Tax" campaign. The South Baldwin resident said people approached him to start the group. He said it's not the citizens responsibility to bail out the school system.

"What we see here is a mismanagement of money the has been sent to the school system. Other systems were warned to cut back and they did. Baldwin County didn't," Young said.

Young said he will now do his best to educate the public. Young also announced last month his intention of running for Lt. Governor. When asked if this had any connection to that, Young said he had to stand up for what's right and said if he can't do that in his own county, how could he ever do that for the state.

The sales tax vote in Baldwin County is set for March 23.
I'm not sure what to think.  Of course you want your local schools to be good, even if you don't have any children going to those schools.  On the other hand, my gut reaction to more taxation (even this benign-sounding "penny tax") is "Oh no you don't!  We're taxed enough already!"

Confusion aside, here are a few things I do believe:

First, anything run by the government-- including schools-- will squander money.  Why-oh-why can't they find a penny-pincher to take charge?  Maybe penny-pincher is the wrong word-- or at least has the wrong connotation.  We need someone who will spend wisely-- someone who will treat the taxpayers' hard-earned cash as though it were the fruit of their own toil-- with that same degree of care and consideration.

Second, more money isn't always the key to a quality education.  Increased funding often leads to nothing more than increased waste.  You need enough money to pay for a dedicated, knowledgeable teacher-- a safe place for the learning to take place-- and a few basic materials, such as books, pencils, and paper.  Everything else that I can think of is extra.  Are those extras nice?  Sure!  But they aren't strictly necessary.

(And as any bargain shopper can tell you, you can get a lot of extras for a little cash, if you're careful.  The problem is that people tend not to be careful when they're shopping with someone else's money.  And let's face it, some people aren't even careful with their own money, or else we wouldn't have so much personal debt in this country.  But that's a whole other issue. . .)

Third, if athletics/extracurriculars are the main issue, I'm afraid I don't see an issue.  Those things needn't cost as much as they apparently are costing.  If necessary, increase fees, made do with the uniforms, equipment, etc. you have, cut less popular programs, call for volunteers (parents, for instance) to fill the gaps in instruction, and so on.  I'm sorry, but I'm just not that sympathetic on this subject.  Some people want you to feel awful at the thought of cutbacks in athletics and other extracurricular activities, but I don't see the need to boo-hoo.

Maybe it'd be better if school was for education only and those other things were something completely separate-- something done outside and in addition to school, funded (maybe even organized) by the parents, team members (though fund-raising), and (on a voluntary basis) the community . (Not that I harbor any illusions that that will ever happen, of course.  People care too much about the tradition of the high school football team.)

P.S.  I think that local news channel (and maybe the others-- haven't check them lately) needs someone like me to proofread their articles before they post them online.  I'm not saying I'm perfect, myself, but I still find way too many mistakes to cringe over in most of their (web-)printed stories.   Maybe they just don't care, but it looks so unprofessional!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Maybe it's none of my business, but. . .

Considering that this is happening in Mississippi-- not Alabama-- maybe it's none of my business. . . However, some people (charged with controlling illegal drug use in MS) are already expressing hopes that the states surrounding MS (which do include AL, by the way (g)) will "follow suit", so it may be just a matter of time.

The story, briefly, is this:
Lawmakers in MS are on the verge of requiring people in their state to have a doctor's prescription to buy "cold medications containing pseudoephedrine"-- i.e. Sudafed & similar. In case you've been living under a rock the past few years (or in a place where meth isn't a problem), this is because these drugs can be used (in combination with other chemicals) to create homemade drugs-- meth.

They've already moved these cold and sinus medicines behind the counter and required you to sign for them in the pharmacy.  (Or at least I think that's how it works.  Honestly, I've never bought Sudafed.  ...Which may lead you to wonder why I care at all.  Mainly, I care because I want to know I can get it if I ever do need it, and because the situation is just ridiculous.)

So, as if that wasn't enough of a hassle, the next step is requiring you to have a doctor's prescription to buy something that ten years ago (I'm estimating here) would've been sitting on the shelf near the aspirin and Tylenol.  Not because the drug itself is known to be more dangerous, now-- it's the same as it's ever been-- but because there are some idiots out there who use it to make an illegal drug.

Apparently they're having lots of trouble with meth labs in MS:
Meth lab busts and arrests have skyrocketed in the state of Mississippi over the past year. There were more than 500 labs busted in 2009, that's 441more than in 2008. The new popular way to make the drug, the shake and bake method, is contributing to the problem.

"2009 is the first year methamphetamine arrests have surpassed all other drug arrests, not just in Jackson County but in the state of Mississippi," Narcotics Task Force Commander Lt. Curtis Spiers said.
 Well, that's bad, but is there really no better solution than requiring a prescription?
Lt. Spiers said the proposed ban against selling meds with meth ingredients to people who don't really need them won't create a problem for the people who are truly ill and need them.
"There are over 24 other different types of cold remedies, over the counter cold remedies, that are still available. This doesn't mean in any way shape or from that anyone who has the common cold has to go see a doctor because of it, it simply states you are going to have to go see a doctor to get a prescription for Sudafed," Lt. Spiers said.
Ok. . . But what if I want to take Sudafed?  What if I've found that it works best for me-- better than the "over 24 other different types of cold remedies"?

Proponents of the measure say that if you truly need the medicine, you'll still be able to get it-- yes, but only after you go to the doctor for something that most of us would never see a doctor about, under normal circumstances.  Set aside the expense of seeing the doctor when you really don't need to (probably the biggest objection).  What about the inconvenience?  What about the fact that every time you go to the doctor, you're mixing with a group of other ill people, swapping your cold for their flu?  What about the time (doctors', nurses', etc.) that will be wasted on people who just need a prescription for their Sudafed?

Of course, maybe some health care professionals actually like the idea:
Alexis Graves is a certified Pharmaceutical technician at Walgreens, she says the proposed law would give pharmacists and techs like her more time to concentrate on real patients.

"I think it is going to be an excellent idea, it really takes time from us when we are trying to fill prescriptions for customers who really need our customer service than dealing with a lot of meth heads in this town. If they get that law passed I'll really appreciate it, me and our team that works in the pharmacy," Graves said.
Alright. . . Here's an idea-- if you recognize the same people coming again and again for Sudafed-- if they seem to resemble in any way a "meth head"-- why not make a note of it and contact the authorities?  Just an idea. . . (I suppose that would make too much sense.  It's too much like profiling.  Or something. . .)

Then there's the argument that the drug-makers will just go over state lines to buy the medicine.  (That, of course, is why they hope the rest of us will adopt similar laws.)  I tend to agree that as long as there's any way possible to make the drug (and make it profitably), some low-life will find it.  Meanwhile, the law-abiding folks have to suffer yet another inconvenience-- another expense.

Maybe I'm just a heartless you-know-what for even thinking it, but even if we do manage to make meth a thing of the past, many (maybe even most) of the people who are hooked on it or would become addicted in the future will just find some other way to ruin their lives.  You can't protect people from everything in the world, including themselves.

There are plenty of other illegal drugs out there, despite the never-ending war on drugs.  (I'm not one of the nuts who feel it should all be legalized, but what we've been doing so far hasn't solved the problem of drug use.)  Then there's that perfectly legal drug, alcohol.  Maybe alcohol doesn't belong in the same category as meth, but it's certainly possible to ruin your life and someone else's with too much alcohol.

Life would be so much easier if fewer people were perfect imbeciles.  I have a hard time being patient with my fellow man, sometimes.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fashion Trends

Somehow or other I got started thinking about fashion trends I remember from my (K-12) school days, and I started jotting a list of them, just for the fun of it.  (I may have done something like this before, but I can't remember for certain...)

There's no real reason for listing them here, now, except that the thought occurred to me.
  • t-shirt buckles-- We'd gather up the loose fabric on our long t-shirts and feed it through one of these plastic buckles, which were worn off to one side or the other.  
  • acid-wash jeans
  • slap bracelets-- Which were banned at some point...
  • French-braided hair-- Not that it's completely out of the question, now, but I think it used to be more common...
  • crimped hair-- I think we even had a crimping iron, but it hardly ever got used.  Probably not the best thing for the health of your hair, anyway. . .
  • banana hair clips-- I seem to remember these things either hurting to wear or falling out.  Not practical for elementary-school-age girls with fine hair, I guess. 
  • clip-on hair bows of all kinds-- At one point, we had a whole basketful of these.  Most were ribbons of various kinds and colors, but some were more bizarre-- like the ones made of a bunch of uninflated balloons. (Sounds crazy, doesn't it?  What were people thinking?)
  • tie-dye tees-- But they've been in style since the 60's, I guess. . . more so sometimes than others, I guess.
  • neon / day-glo colors-- particularly neon green and hot pink. . .
  • high tops-- Tennis shoes / sneakers with a built-in cuff that went up over the ankle.  Oh, and there were all kinds of fancy neon shoelaces to go with them. . .
  • Guess brand jeans-- Never had a pair, but they were definitely "cool" for a while.
  • denim jackets-- Another thing that was temporarily so cool.
  • "pop beads"-- Plastic beads made so that they could be "popped" together, taken apart, and popped back in different sequences.  Mostly they were just colorful round beads, but later they came out with hearts and all kinds of different shapes.  
  • plastic chains and charms-- I think I had a whole necklace of these, for a while.  I'd love to look at that thing again.  I remember one charm was a bicycle, but I have no idea what all was on it. . .
  • "jellies"-- Plastic/rubber shoes, many of them translucent with glitter inside.  They seem like torture devices, now, but I think some of them were actually fairly comfortable.  (Others, though, were torturous-- sweaty and sharp-edged.)
  • jams-- I think these were mostly a boys' trend-- long shorts in bold fabrics.  
  • pony tail worn on one side of the head
  • Hypercolor shirts-- Changed color depending on the temperature of whatever touched them.  So, for instance, you could leave a temporary hand print on someone's back.  Kind of pointless, really, but kids were of course impressed.
  • poodle perms-- I've never had a perm, but every so often in elementary school, a girl would come to school with startlingly different hair.  
  • rat tails-- Ugh.  Why did mothers ever allow their sons to have those hideous things?  Not a good look.
  • huge glasses frames-- When I see photos of my first pair of glasses, especially, I cringe.  The frames were huge-- even  more so on my small, young face. (I was in 5th grade, I think.)  But apparently that was an acceptable look back then. . . How long until we look back at our current smaller frames and die of shame over them? ;o) 
  • huge / baggy / oversize sweatshirts & sweaters-- Some of my absolute favorite shirts, at certain times in life, were very baggy.  I remember two or three in particular.  One sweatshirt's bottom edge probably came down within four or five inches of my knees, and I thought it was perfect.  (Ok, yes, I still like baggy shirts, every now and then.  Maybe I secretly even want them to become fashionable again.)
  • slim fit jeans-- For a while, I was obsessed with my jeans being "skinny" enough.  If there was hardly any spare, loose fabric in the jeans, I thought they would make me look fat, and if the cuff of the leg wasn't so small that it was a little of a struggle to get my foot through it, it was too loose.  I'm sure that if that me (whatever age I was... 14 or so?) saw me now, glorying in my comfy boot-cut jeans, she'd have been mortified.  (g)  (Tough luck, kid.)
  • "grunge" fashion-- Flannel, plaid, etc.
  • leather lace-up shoes
And then there was that style for which I don't know the name.  Fabric printed with jewelry-- chains, gems, pearls-- on animal print or jewel-tone colors.  Leather purses with the straps fed through gold chains. . .  I'm having a hard time finding an example of the fabric I mean, online, but I know it has to be out there somewhere. . .

Well, anyway, that's enough of that. 
Did I miss anything important?