Tag Archives: melissa baron

Campus Chic: Quirky, Pop Culture Influenced Style

Photos by Cass Krughoff/Foghorn

Melissa Baron has always been off-limits as a woman to feature for Campus Chic. Due to her position as editor of the Scene section, there was always a conflict of interest.  The same dilemma occurred for me back when the scene section was edited by the fashionable Lulu McAllister and the funky fresh Maro Guevara.

But seeing as how this is the last Campus Chic I will ever write for the Foghorn, EVER, (that’s right EVER!) I can do what I want.  And what I want is to recognize Melissa Baron as a pivotal USF fashion icon.

Last Thursday USF students were making there own kombucha, frolicking with goats, sitting in tents on the lawn – you know the usual – and Melissa Baron was chatting it up with Christopher Moore (as many of the Campus Chic-ers are oft to do). I stopped her conversation to ask her about her outfit.

Melissa’s black button up sweater with white pearls is from Nordstrom.  She purchased it sophomore year of high school to wear at her little sister, Kate’s Bat Mitzvah.  Her blue Beavis and Butt-head shirt, more specifically “Beavis and Butt-head Do America,” is part of Melissa’s extensive collection of graphic T-shirts.  “I have a hundred graphic tees,” Melissa said ranging from Star Wars, Twin peaks and Bruce Springsteen tees.  The Beavis and Butthead shirt represents her love for MTV cartoons.  “They are universally more relatable than anything on TV,” she said.

Photo by Cass Krughoff/Foghorn

Melissa pairs her tee with a floral high-waisted skirt from Forever 21. “Everyone hates on big box stores, but I find lots there so everyone else can suck it.” Around the skirt she wears a thick bright red belt that she found in the sale section at Anthropologie – $40 off.

Photo by Cass Krughoff/Foghorn

Her black tights are from Costco. “For a brief moment in time you could get a pack of two tights for $10 bucks.”  Her white lace up boots were thrifted from Savers in Tucson, Arizona. Over her outfit Melissa has a brown leather coat from Redlight Vintage in Portland. “I desperately wanted a leather bomber jacket, but ultimately determined I don’t really have the right body shape for one. I like the super 70’s shape of this with the high belted waist and big pointy collar. It’s a great color to wear with anything. Plus, the woven collar and pockets make it look funky and unique.”

Photo by Cass Krughoff/Foghorn

Melissa accessorizes with her “Jurassic Park necklace,” an amber necklace with a mosquito inside.  “If I extract the blood from the mosquito I can re-create the dinosaur race,” she explains.  She found this lovely gem for one dollar at the Goodwill in Seattle.

Her silver ring was made by her crafty little sister who was in a jewelry class.  Her sister decided to make rings for everyone in the family.  Melissa also has two piercings, a nose ring and a Monroe, both from Slave to the Needle in Seattle.

Her bag is from the L.L. Bean flagship store. “It was like heaven!” Melissa says of the store. “Duck boots, cardigans, the works. I love their clothes and accessories.”

Photo by Cass Krughoff/Foghorn

The accessory that complete Melissa’s look are her thick-rimmed glasses.  She purchased them at Eyes on Fremont in Seattle, where she buys all of her frames. They were made in Argentina and the inside lining of the framers are just as cool with a city skyline drawn on the sides.  “Glasses and tattoos are my best accessories,” Melissa said.

“I have really schizophrenic style,” Melissa summarized. “I like a lot of things that don’t go together at all.  I try to fuse all of my interests into girly outfits.  I like a lot of nerdy boyish interests, but I also like to look like a female.”

When it comes to fashion icons, Melissa looks to Molly Ringwald’s various John Hughes incarnations for inspiration. “She strikes the perfect mix of boyish and girlish looks in such an effortless natural way. She’s pretty and put together, but also funky and original. Her look is really special.”

A Few College Pointers From Someone Who is Way Smarter, Funnier and Cooler Than You Are

I’ve learned a lot in the past four years. I started off at Northeastern University in Boston and hated New England. It felt like an extension of my upper middle class suburban high school and I was the weird girl, yet again. When I transferred to USF it was nice to be back West (I’m from Seattle) and around like-minded people that seemed to appreciate my eccentric-ness. My college experience has taught me a lot about the world around me, but also about myself. The most important thing I learned is that your life and your experiences are what you make of them. This is my advice:

1) Make friends that are different than you. There’s no reason to pigeonhole yourself in your social life. I’ve formed incredible friendships with people it seems I have nothing in common with. It forces you to get outside your comfort zone in a really important way. Since starting college I’ve befriended sorority sisters, Evangelical Christians, even a pageant girl. Through these relationships I learned we had a lot more in common than I anticipated and we had A LOT of fun together. You may see a new side of yourself come out. Give yourself the freedom to be friends with all kinds of people. You won’t learn anything hanging out with people that are exactly like you.

2) Live outside of San Francisco and your hometown. I never studied abroad, but last summer I did two internships in New York City. Moving to a new place forces you to be resourceful and adaptable. Try finding a normal grocery store in New York (my tip, take the subway to Trader Joe’s in Brooklyn). Finding friends without the aid of school or orientation requires that you take risks and experiment in your social life. Living in New York, my socialite wannabe roommates dragged me to a hip club in Chelsea where I was the only girl with visible tattoos, glasses and a Padawan braid. I felt completely out of my element, but that’s important sometimes. Plus, everyone in the club got to see and envy my smooth dance moves.

3) Get a tattoo (if you want one). I’ve talked to so many people about how badly they want tattoos, but they’re too scared to get one. They spend years thinking about it and never take the plunge. Do it! I know the arguments – my parents will kill me, what if I regret it, what about when I get old? Well according to a study at the Pew Research Institute, the Millennials (that’s us) are the tattoo generation. Their study says that 38% (almost four out of ten) of us have a tattoo. Out of those of us that are already tattooed, 31% have one tattoo, 50% have two to five tattoos and 18% have six or more. When mom and dad ask how you’ll look with tattoos when you’re old and saggy, let them know that your peers will look exactly the same.

4) Join a club or organization. I know it sounds cheesy, but I felt fairly isolated on this campus as a transfer student before I started working for the Foghorn. It’s nice to have a place on campus, an activity and a group of people you feel connected to. When I walk around campus with other friends that transferred, they’re astonished by the amount of people I know. All of that is due to this paper. Beyond the social benefits, working for the Foghorn has allowed me to create something that I think is important. It gives me a platform to write about my interests and share cool things that I like with my peers. And I mean, without the Foghorn how could I write a 1,000-word article about myself? On campus groups need all the help they can get.

5) Become a regular. Find your favorite places around the city, coffee shops, video stores, restaurants, and visit them often. The relationships you make with the people you interact with daily can transform your experience living in a city. I make a point of going back to the same places and having real conversations with the people that work there. I’ve spent hours goofing around with Jeremy and Ben at Lost Weekend Video in the Mission and my barista Brett at Four Barrel directed me to his website to watch a video he made of himself dancing to “Born in the USA” in bright orange underpants. Find an independent record store, coffee shop or bookstore and make connections with the people that work there. They might just be the coolest people you meet here.

6) Experience the city. There’s SO MUCH going on here. Explore all of what San Francisco has to offer. There are great restaurants, bars, stores and coffee shops. People travel from all over the world to visit this place (I know because I live two blocks from Alamo Square Park and I see the tour busses every day). Play tourist for a day – go visit the different neighborhoods. Get a dim sum in China Town, a slice of pizza in North Beach, some fish and chips at Fisherman’s Warf and burrito from a Mission taqueria. Hit up City Lights Books, SF MOMA, Paxton’s Gate and the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market. Go see live music! This city has a history of spectacular live music (Bill Graham, anyone?). There are venues all over with bands playing every night of the week. Get out of the Haight Street, Clement, USF area and discover all the great places to hang out.Get some help from SFist or Yelp! first.

7) Utilize the fresh start. This isn’t high school anymore! Take advantage of this new beginning to be whatever and whoever you want to be. If you want to change your personal style, go for it. If you want to explore new types of music, this is the perfect opportunity. Play around and experiment. Don’t feel tied down to any particular “identity.” I think in a larger sense this ties back to not pigeonholing or sterotyping yourself. You can like indie rock, hip hop, yoga, bike riding, coffee, Anthropologie, live music, classic rock, reading, sports, the Gap, vintage, cooking, break dancing, reggae, jogging and contemporary feminist theory all at once! People are complex with lots of completely unconnected interests. That’s cool! That’s what makes us fun and exciting! You don’t have to be the indie rock, coffee shop, record store girl that only wears vintage. You don’t have to be the sporty dude that only talks about girls and beer. Be whoever you want to be. Be yourself.

Up Close and Personal: Melissa’s Top Tracks

I’ve been writing this mixtape column for a year and a half composing mixes for bus rides, finals week and picnics and hitting genres like hip hop, alternative rock and oldies. After giving so many recommendations for songs to check out, I think it’s time to get personal. For this mix, I’m sharing some of my most listened to tracks. Since I don’t want to repeat artists, I’ve picked the most listened to song from my most listened to artists. They come from diverse artists in many different genres. Of course, this is only songs played on iTunes, so none of my vinyl collection will be in here. If you’ve liked my taste in music in past mixes, check out these songs that I hold dearest.

1) “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen off of “Born to Run” (I’m aware this song has made it on many, many mixes. But I have it tattooed on my arm, so clearly it’s important.)

2) “Silver Tiles” by Matt & Kim off of “Demo”

3) “Halo” by Beyonce off of “I Am…Sasha Fierce”

4) “The Vowels, Pt. 2” by Why? off of “Alopecia”

5) “July, July!” by the Decemberists off of “Castaways and Cutouts”

6) “Old College Try” by the Mountain Goats off of “Tallahassee”

7) “Me and Mia” by Ted Leo & the Pharmacists off of “Shake the Sheets”

8) “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie off of “Classic Queen”

9) “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure off of “Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me”

10) “Blue Letter” by Fleetwood Mac off of “Fleetwood Mac”

11) “Burnout” by Green Day off of “Dookie”

12) “Here’s Your Future” by the Thermals off of “The Body, The Blood, The Machine”

13) “Exodus Damage” by John Vanderslice off of “Pixel Revolt”

14) “Space Oddity” by David Bowie off of “Best of Bowie”

15) “Here Comes Your Man” by the Pixies off of “Doolittle”

16) “We Will Become Silhouettes” by the Postal Service off of “Give Up”

17) “Night Moves” by Bob Seger off of “Greatest Hits”

18) “Mamma Mia” by ABBA off of “ABBA Gold”

19) “A Movie Script Ending” by Death Cab for Cutie off of “The Photo Album”

20) “Any Way You Want It” by Journey off of “Departure”

Making Mom and Dad Your New Roomies

As graduation approaches, I’m sure many of you seniors are facing the same predicament as me: after four years living in dorms and apartments, I’m moving back in with my parents. We’re not alone. In the past few years, newspapers like “The New York Times” and “The Washington Post” have published articles on the large amount of students moving back home after graduating. Sam Roberts’s story “Facing a Financial Pinch, and Moving In With Mom and Dad” from “The New York Times” last month says, “According to the census, 56 percent of men age 18 to 24 and 48 percent of women in the same age group live under the same roof as their parents.” While I’m excited about the free laundry and stocked pantry, it’ll be hard to transition from complete independence to mom and dad’s house. Here are some tips for making it work.

- Take care of yourself. You moved back home, but it’s not high school anymore. Pick up after yourself. Stack your plates in the dishwasher. Having free laundry in unit is convenient, but do your own laundry. It’s really awesome that your parents will let you come back home, so do your part to remind them you’re an adult and capable of taking responsibility for yourself.

- Talk about money. Ask the important questions: Do they want you to pay any rent?  Do they want money for groceries? What bills are you expected to pay (car, cell phone, insurance)? It can be awkward, but it’ll be way more awkward if you don’t talk about it.

- Plan the future. Being an adult means you can’t just board and mom and dad’s house for free forever. You most likely moved home either as a transitional place to live or because you can’t quite afford your own apartment yet. Come up with a plan. Parents are really good at helping with those kinds of big, real life, scary things.

- Figure out how to deal with a significant other. Remember, moving home means you live with your parents, not roommates or peers. If you want your significant other to stay the night, check in with mom and dad first. Try and make your case (you’re a college graduate, you’ve lived alone before), but if they say no way then it’s time to start brainstorming how to make things work (hopefully your significant other has a place you can crash). Also, mom and dad shouldn’t have to see your public displays of affection under their roof (hand holding is likely approved). Save it for behind closed doors.

- Make dinner for your mom and dad. Your parents will probably love having you around to pamper again (at least for the first week). They’ll want to cook you all your favorite meals. It would be such a nice surprise if one night they came home to find dinner already on the table and the dishes done. It’s a great way to say “thanks for letting me move back home.”

- Keep your parents in the loop. Just because you’re in your twenties doesn’t mean mom and dad will stop worrying. You don’t have to call your parents and keep them posted on your location and schedule minute to minute, but it’s courteous to tell them about your plans. If you’re going to be out late or if you’re not coming home at all, let them know otherwise you know they’ll stay up waiting and worrying.

- Don’t feel restricted. Living at home doesn’t have to destroy your social life. Make plans to go out for dinner or drinks with friends. Feel free to have them over too. Parents love seeing you have a good time at home. Just because you live at home doesn’t mean you have to revert back to your high school social schedule (the curfew is probably gone now). You can still hit the town and (but make sure you’re quiet when you get home late, don’t wake up the ‘rents).

- Have fun! Parents are super cool and make great company. Hang out together and make dinner, play a board game, watch a movie or hit happy hour. Your parents will feel ecstatic that you want to spend your  time with them and you might discover it’s a lot more fun than you imagined.

Melissa’s Mix Tape: Soundtrack for a Summer Road Trip

A couple months ago a “Washington Post” blogger named Jenna Johnson contacted me for her blog “Campus Overload.” She asked for my list of ten songs ideal to play on a road trip during spring break and my list showed up on there in mid March. Now that we’re nearing the end of the school year, it’s time for potential summer road trip planning. When spending hours in the car, excellent music choice is crucial. When I drive I like to listen to classic rock, especially the stuff from the 70s and early-mid 80s. I grew up on the classic rock station, so I can’t help but associate it with long drives. My mix is only ten songs, but it’ll last for a little bit of your drive. Check out my picks and see what a few other editors selected for their playlists on the website.

1) “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen off of “Born to Run”

2) “Anyway You Want It” by Journey off of “Departure”

3) “More Than a Feeling” by Boston off of “Boston”

4) “Detroit Rock City” by Kiss off of “Destroyer”

5) “Carry on My Wayward Son” by Kansas off of “Leftoverture”

6) “The Boys are Back in Town” by Thin Lizzy off of “Jailbreak”

7) “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult off of “Agents of Fortune”

8) “Come Sail Away” by Styx off of “The Grand Illusion”

9) “Tom Sawyer” by Rush off of “Moving Pictures”

10) “Runnin’ with the Devil” by Van Halen off of “Van Halen”

Mascot Madness: The Best and Worst Mascots in Sports

Regardless of your feeling about sports, everyone can share in the loveable tradition of team mascots. Costumed individuals dancing around in their bulky suits can bring a smile to nearly anyone’s face. Yet, the world of mascots does have a dark side; the uncomfortably awkward character who frightens instead of bringing joy. Melissa and myself are here to share with you the best and worst mascots in sports today.

Heather’s Best Mascot:

Anaheim Angels – Rally Monkey

I know what you’re thinking… the rally monkey isn’t a real mascot. Congratulations, you are correct. Yet, the rally monkey is so undeniably cute; thus, I find no possible reason others wouldn’t share in my sentiment that he is, by far, the best “mascot.” The loveable Angel’s rally monkey was first seen in 2000, during a game between the Anaheim Angels and San Francisco Giants. The Angels trailed 5-4 at the bottom of the ninth, and in hopes of boosting spirits the Angels showed a clip of a jumping monkey on the big screens with the words “rally monkey” displayed above him. The Angels scored two runs, winning the game. The monkey is now well known, and, whenever the team is down, the rally monkey is brought out to raise morale. Most Angels fans even have their own rally monkey; of course, not a real one, he is plush. Other teams have since robbed the Angels of their fabulous rally monkey idea, and have begun producing ones for their own teams; thus, indisputably proving that the rally monkey reigns supreme. Go Angels!

Heather’s Worst Mascot:

Stanford – Stanford Tree

If you have never seen Stanford’s unofficial mascot, the Stanford Tree, I suggest you Google it immediately. Once you do you’ll most likely agree with my statement that it is possibly one of the foulest looking mascots to date. Its oversized, bulging eyes and its frighteningly large, gaping mouth make it not only ugly, but terrifying. As Stanford is well-known for both their achievements in sports and academics I have a hard time coming to terms with such a disgusting choice of mascot. Apparently, the Stanford Tree isn’t too happy with himself (or herself) either. The tree is notorious for drinking on the job, which was made evident when police witnessed the mascot drinking from a flask during a game. No one likes drunk trees, which is one of the many reasons the Stanford Tree gets my worst mascot award.

Melissa’s Best Mascot:

Milwaukee Brewers – Racing Sausages

Stadium food is clearly the highlight of attending a professional sporting event. From curly fries to hot dogs to peanuts, the greasy treats make even the dullest game viewed from the nosebleeds exciting (not to mention completely delicious). The Milwaukee Brewers immortalized my favorite stadium item with their Racing Sausages, a 1995 mascot experiment turned phenomenon. There are five delectable sausages represented, dressed for their respective nationalities — bratwurst, Polish sausage, Italian sausage, hot dog and chorizo. The mustache on the Italian sausage is absolutely charming. They’re the most adorable savory treats that have ever raced around a baseball field on a nightly sausage run. Their website features extensive biographies of each sausage, highlighting their personal history and what brings them to Milwaukee. They may not be as snuggly as the Rally Monkey, but they look worthy of a cuddle (and definitely worthy of a snack).

Melissa’s Worst Mascot:

Southern Illinois University – Saluki

Conceptually, it sounds like a good idea to have a Saluki as a mascot. They’re one of the oldest known breeds of domesticated dogs and they’ve got a reputation as solid hunting dogs. They’re tall and lean with short hair on their bodies and shaggy ears, tails and limbs. All in all, they’re kind of cute. Somehow Southern Illinois University’s costume interpretation of the Saluki lacks all the adorableness and instead looks like a terrifying werewolf in a tank top and maroon shorts. I’m all for intimidating mascots, but this crosses the line. It’s not the big mouth with enormous and sharp looking front teeth. It’s not even ears that look like pig tales. What’s truly horrifying about the Saluki is the piercing eyes sinking into the sides of the grey head with protruding brow bones. If they’re determined to keep the mascot, it’s definitely time for a new costume.