Wednesday, November 30, 2016

If My Clothing Budget Was Unlimited

No one needs to go out and buy me this stuff, but in a dream world, I would own all of it.  And I would be broke. I mean, I would look great, but I wouldn't be able to afford leaving the house.

1. Tallchief dress from Title 9 ($179) - Don't pretend you don't want a Merino wool dress for winter, too.
2. Friction-Fighter Jeans from Betabrand ($98) - Chub rub destroys 100% of my pants. It's one of the main reasons I almost always wear dresses.  But these made in America pants might become my go to.  Screw it all, I just ordered a pair. They'll be here in March.
3. Just about the entire CYDWOQ catalog - Clockwise, in order I have  Market ($321), Float ($523), and Tear ($326). I would really take any and all. I have the CYDWOQ Bout and it's my go to shoe for just about everything in all seasons except summer and these shoes are well worth the heft price tag.

4. Union Suit from Guideboat ($42) - I was going to buy matching ones for me and Dr. BB last year, but they were sold out before I hit the buy button. I think it would be hysterical to open presents wearing these.I also think I would prefer the full-leg version, as opposed to the shorts. It's cold here, don't you know?
5. Tops from Michael Star - The v-neck ($78) comes in six classic colors and the slub notched tshirt  ($84) comes in six slightly more fun colors.  I really need to get some long-sleeve shirts to make it through winter, so these might be winners. (To be completely honest, I just sent in an order for henleys and tshirts from American Giant and I'm hoping to be done with this whole stupid finding long-sleeve tshirts fiasco for many years.)

6. Workout clothes - I do work out, but I do so in crappy clothing. It's never anything purposefully created to be worked out in, but something like Dr. BB's old boxer shorts or something. Maybe these gathered leggings ($78) or this Mona Tank ($64) from Evolve?
7. Socks - Just buy me all the tall socks you can find. I'm a huge fan of Sock Guys. Consider the knee high Sugar ($14.95). I really just added those to my Amazon wish list. Or maybe you're not a Sock Guys fan? How about some purposefully mismatched socks like these raspberry knee high solmate socks ($24.99). If you are someone who wants socks that are not knee high, you clearly do not live in Wisconsin. I don't understand other height socks at all.
8. Hosiery - Basically I would take anything from the Hue website that comes in tight or sheer styles.  Bold fishnet tights ($7.50), Basic Fishnet tights ($13.50 or 2 for $22 and you should just buy like ten pairs because I wear them all the time), or Cable Sweater tights ($16).  There''s no need to stop there, my friends. I would also like the Diamond on Diamond in white and black, the Dotted Mesh, the Vertical Diamond, the Vertical Net in Black and Shitake, and the Vintage Rose. I will wear it all.
9. A J.W. Hulme Co. bag - Look, I basically drool over this web site regularly, but for now the Century Canteen Bag ($395) and Emerson Weekender ($825) are my favorites. There is no chance in hell I'm going to be able to afford either of those, but a girl can dream a dream.
10. New bras - I actually don't think the prices of Real Girls are crazy, but the Dessous Mesh ($49.50) and Cool Cotton ($34.50) bras could really be useful in my day-to-day wardrobe.
And, with that, I would be all set. Maybe. I bet I could find more if I really wanted to.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Five Christmas Ornaments 2016 Style

 It seems as if I frequently put together a list of five ornaments I consider for our ornament of the year (I went with #2 last year), but I was a bit too late in early December last year for some of the shipping deadlines. This year I'm going to do better.

1. Family Map Ornament ($12.50 + $3.95 shipping) from Rosie's Pendants - I think this might be good for some other family. Both of our families live in the Midwest, so this wouldn't be too spread out, but I think it's charming and sort of want to buy one for someone.
2.Family Stick Figure Ornament ($20) from Georgie Designs - I like the simplicity of this one. Just two stick figures for us and one for Zelda. I dig it. Plus, it's not huge. We have a tiny tree and I like that this ornament would fit on it without looking ridiculous. (One more reason for getting behind house buying. I CAN HAVE A FULL SIZED CHRISTMAS TREE.)
3. Bottle Cap Ornaments ($6.50 + $3.50 shipping) from HMSouthernCreations - I really, really, really want one of these made up with the mascots for my undergrad university, Dr. BB's undergrad university, and the university where we went to graduate school. Unfortunately for me, this shop does only southern schools and when I sent a message in the past, she, understandably, didn't have time for my dinky order for schools that are absolutely not in the south. I shall continue to long for this ornament until such time as I buy some bottle caps and resin and make one for myself. 
4. Personalized Photo Ornament Laser Etched ($23 + $3.50 shipping) from Violet Etch - I am strongly considering getting one of these made for my sister and using a photo of her dog and cat.
5. Puzzle Pieces ($29 + $4.75 shipping) from Wooden Heart Buttons - I like that these are sort of fun and Stranger Things-esque.  It also doesn't have the dreaded hearts all over it, but shows love.  I'm seriously tempted by these. If 2014 was the year of zombies because of The Walking Dead, why can't this year be the year of retro eighties horror?
6. Family Tree ($55 + $4.50 shipping) from MandalaRain - I think I'm going to buy this for my mother-in-law.  I know that her time is limited, but I also know she'll love it.  I'm really struggling with this one. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Things I Am Grateful For Today
1) Obama is still president.
2) I am not getting shot at with water cannons for protecting sacred grounds.
3) There will be endless wine at the dinner table.
4) Tomorrow there will be more Gilmore Girls unleashed on the world.
5) This is (potentially) a nightmare that I will soon wake out of. 

6) My husband and his thoughtfulness and care.
7) My nieces and nephews and their innocence and joy.
8) My friends who send supportive buck up texts when needed.
9) My new Redwing boots are finally broken in and I can wear them longer than twenty minutes, so I can wear them to a wedding on Saturday.
10) The time I have, however limited, with the people who have made my husband the man he is.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Two Months

There were flowers and and blue skies and the world felt so full of promise on September 23. The semester had just started, I never needed a jacket, and everyone was so excited to be alive and be doing something.

Today the rainy drizzle and the chilly temperatures on a mostly deserted campus made for a melancholy walk with wet shoes and dreams of a warmer time, a time when I was motivated and excited to be here.

Tomorrow there will be stress, inevitable tears, and family fights that seem to go on endlessly.

Let's develop a magical device to take us back to September.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Avoidance as Action

Last week my mother sliced her hand open at work and required surgery to repair a cut tendon.  My mother-in-law fell in the garage and broke her hand.  She's been on bone hardeners because of cancer treatment and they can't do surgery to pin and repair because her bones are too fragile and so her fingers are splintered together in the hope that calcium will deposit there and fix it without surgery.

If you are anything like me, when you're stressed and there are too many things beyond your control that are sneaking into your thoughts and causing you even more stress, you deny it all. Okay, you don't have to be like me, but I just keep myself busy because if I stop to sit down, it's all going to fall apart and I don't have time for an emotional breakdown at this moment.

Half a dozen Thanksgiving Day cards? Check. I don't normally even send out Thanksgiving Day cards, but you do what you have to do, you know?  Pay bills that aren't even due for three weeks?  Check.  You know, why do I need that extra money hanging out in my bank account?

Hair cut? Quick trip to the nearby town to buy unnecessary makeup products? Console myself with random online purchases that I know I will later regret but being unable to stop myself from retail therapy? Check. Check. Check.
The thread on the third button is red on purpose. It adds a pop of color to the coat. People comment on the red thread all the time. It's my own design element to an otherwise shitty jacket that I'm always having to fix (buttons, loose seams, ripped lining).  Fuck off, Prana. I'm never buying your brand again.
Fix a loose button and the separating seams in the duvet cover that have been on the to-do list for weeks?  Check. Why not?  That "medium term" list isn't getting any shorter.

Work out compulsively? Check. I haven't done two-a-days in a while. Why not see how physically exhausted I can be when I go to bed? 

Some things you can control.  I'm going to focus on those.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Copper Sun by Sharon Draper

One of my students recommended Copper Sun to me.  I had never heard of the book before, but I'm always game when a student cares enough about literature to actually engage with me on a topic not directly related to my class.  It was a National Book Award finalist, but I'd actually never heard of it before, so I guess I need to stop calling myself a legitimate reader. 


This book was amazing. It was hard to read at times, but it was very compelling and I kept turning the pages even though I sort of didn't want to know what horrors were lurking on the next page, but yet I had know. There was a blurb on the back cover about how this is a good book for "reluctant readers" and I think the "reluctant readers" refers to teens who don't love to read, but I think it spoke to me because I just read The Underground Railroad for book club and I wasn't super excited to dive into yet another sad book about slavery, but it was well worth it.

The book has major sections that switch between two characters, a device I don't always love, but I did think it was well done here. I'm not entirely sure that it was a necessary device in that I think just following one of those characters would have been fine, as well, but it was interesting to see the slave and indentured servant perspectives.

I thought that Draper's portrayal of Amari's emotions and thoughts and how she cycled between hopelessness and hopefulness was riveting. All the historical elements that were woven in - the day to day living of slaves, the transportation of slaves, the language used, and other small detaills - really demonstrated the inhumanity of slavery without beating us over the head with A Message.

In a "Would You Rather" moment, I asked my husband if he'd rather have been like Amari, our main character, who had a great life in Africa with a wonderful family and a handsome fiance before she was enslaved or like Teeny, a woman who was born into slavery with no history of a life with any sort of freedom.  I understand that no one got a choice, but they both sound like horrible outcomes to me. 

Anyway, go read it. It's great.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Super Moon

It was just after six, but just after six means it's pitch black outside. I put dinner in the oven, set the timer for 45 minutes, and put the apartment in Dr. BB's hands to make sure it didn't burn down.

It feels like we're on the precipice.  The sun will rise, the moon will glow, but in the timelines of celestial bodies, humans are naught but a blink.
My yoga mantra was "I believe." I believe it will be okay. No, that's not right. I believe in kindness and love. No, that's wrong, too. I believe I have done enough. Obviously wrong. I believe in the absurdity of it all.  Closer. I believe in the fickle winds of fate.  I don't think that's the sort of mantra the instructor has in mind. I believe I have failed them. No, push the negative thoughts aside.

I believe that the sun will rise and the moon will glow.

And that will have to be enough for right now.
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