Thursday, August 30, 2012

Outfit for a Wednesday: Golden Flowers

I purchased and wore this dress for the convocation speech given during my graduation from university; sitting amidst a sea of anxious now-former students and their parents, sweating under the intensity of the sun and of the occasion, listening to some political pawn rave about how successful he is despite never attending college. Perfect encouragement and inspiration for embarking out into the real world of professional endeavors. Having just spent a substantial portion of money on my education, my parents, needless to say, fumed and were less than amused. Naturally, the next day, I had a very flattering and demure sundress-tan; thankfully, for the most part, the thick straps of the dress correlated with the thick straps of my sleek one-piece bathing suits.

Though I love the simple, almost juvenile joviality of this pattern and the clean use of white and golden yellow, I find this dress a bit too precious for most circumstances, other than perhaps a baby shower, or a garden croquet party somewhere below the Mason-Dixon. And it certainly would push the limits of inappropriate in my office, in a dear way. But I refused to allow these obvious barriers of adorable and sweet impede my devious edge and sartorial conniving; it is summer and a display of golden flowers could happen. 


My strategy, tried and true, was to couple a cobalt blue cardigan with my 1960s backyard cook-out dress, being sure to button the cardigan mostly to the top, creating the illusion of a bright and full a-line skirt. The blue, yellow, and white chromatic triad was complementary, and, unusually, did not immediately evoke some sports team. And, for once, the weather was pleasant and warm-cool, so wearing a light cotton-linen blend sweater from my stroll from apartment to car to office was bearable. 

Golden and white swirl earrings and a bangle of golden bubbles ensnared in clear lucite to complete the look.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Loafer Lusting and Gratuitous J. Crew Rant

My attraction to the sort of masculine melded with feminine loafers reminiscent of the collection donned by my father during his professional years, before the ever nebulous business casual dress code was mandated, continues. This pair from J. Crew, in addition to featuring the once loathed, now adored tassel, boasts a complementing color combination of warm caramel brown with black and a patent leather finish. Perfection for any lady who wishes to indulge in fanciful retro career airs. Naturally, and unfortunately, these loafers are exorbitantly expensive; J. Crew has a penchant for dangling beautiful traditional and classic pieces before me, tantalizing and gossamer, unattainable, as they are often difficult to justify the spend. Surely, the leather is of a certain quality and I am sure the factory craftsmanship is fair, mechanized machines lovingly sewing each stitch, but yet the question of to what the money goes remains. Much like with Anthropologie, my mild disdain for J. Crew, aesthetics asides, stems from a pretense of artisanal boutique wares, a veneer for massively produced and commercialized items. This is coupled with a bemused exhaustion of the extensive media coverage that will invariably surround each and every J. Crew look book; the irony of my participating in that exchange buttressing cultural capital with this amorous tirade has not been missed.

I love you. I hate you. I will gaze upon your spread, long for these loafers, but ultimately, will satisfy my urge with my equally stunning, and surprisingly similar, Parisian penny loafers. Some serious young professional problems, now solved.

(image taken from J. Crew) 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Outfit for a Monday: Rhinestone Spider

Glass filaments drape in wide arching parabolas, shatterings of ice suspended, a near invisible sheen, she weaves her crystalline web, the ideal intersection of beauty and function. Others gather in awe at the collecting dew, which shines and glimmers in early morning sun, while creatures are caught unawares, struggle, suffocation of fear. Its stillness and anticipation are almost frightening, its violent quivering, success, more frightening still.

Tuesday morning commute soundtrack: "Genesis" and "Oblivion" Grimes; "Five Seconds" Twin Shadow; "Baby" Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

Monday, August 27, 2012

Accessorized Exercise

Much to my dismay and my chagrin, after having slimmed down following graduation, no longer overdosing on the cheaper varietals of beer and wine and cocktails, and mostly avoiding greasy and delicious late night snacks of the Thai origin, I have found those extra frisky and mischievous pounds in the past months. I am not one to strictly exclude particular items from my diet, I love food entirely too much to endure that type of silly torture, but I had adopted an intense exercise regimen and would generally monitor caloric intake. Unfortunately, a hectic travel schedule throughout the late winter, spring, and summer has interrupted my normally pleasant and anticipated gym schedule. Occasionally, I would feel ambitious, thinking to myself I could pack running shoes and brightly hued sports bras and mesh athletic shorts to wherever I was headed next. This sentiment would quickly pass, as the reality of my luggage space limits and my stringent daily agendas set in. Needless to mention, travel, whether it be for business or for a weekend of pleasure, also leads to imbibing more wine and indulging in rich restaurant meals. Especially with my clients, and with my friends. So, bluntly, my colon is often displeased with me lately.

Thankfully, I am not one who dreads the gym; rather, I truly relish the opportunity to shut down after a day of work, take time that is purely for my enjoyment and benefit, and sweat silently, no one pestering me or attempting to socialize. My childhood and adolescence were passed as a three- and four-season athlete, so, I feel my happiest when I am challenging my muscles physically, when I move and run and push, syncing the flow of limbs with my heavy steady breathing and rhythmic heart beats. Still, once out of my exercise pace, though I love and long for it, I have difficulties rediscovering the pattern.  Already, I have broken a few promises, made for and to myself, this summer, but my strategy is to stay optimistic. Being overly harsh a critic and disappointed in my own defeats fulfills no real purpose, and is not motivating. My bikini will still be around, ever loyal, next summer.

My gym garb generally consists of red lacrosse shorts from my alma mater, and either a black cotton camisole or a white wife-beater, or, for the politically correct inclined, a white ribbed male tank. My typically copious jewelry is left in my locker, where it belongs. While the fantasy of working out in excessive drippings of pearls and golden chains is an utterly ludicrous one, it is also a simultaneous portrait of decadence. An exuberance of ennui and idyllic pretense, usually associated with tedious housewives. She is a comic figure, but, in a way, also inspiring, with her fun and devil-may-care air. It may not pair well with my wife-beaters, but, I could certainly find a style or two in my wardrobe for that elaborate choker.

(image taken from Nasty Gal)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Miu Miu Moccasins, or, Not My Dad's Loafers

When I was younger, I was simultaneously fascinated and repulsed by the cognac or black or cordovan leather loafers that my father wore to work. Quintessential professional male shoes, they typically featured tasseled accoutrements that seemed to contradict my youthful and naïve notions of masculinity, constructed certainly from television bombardments and confirmed probably by his usual weekend attire. As if a chameleon, he slid between suits and old, worn rugby shirts with ease, only the mildly archaic tassels seeming bizarre and misplaced at the time. Twenty years later, I now find myself salivating over the French and feminine version of his now discarded work garb: the toe is more pointed, the fit more narrow and casual, and, unsurprisingly, they have been doused in a cascade of metallic glitter. Tassels, once a stalwart of window treatments and medieval suits of armor in my mind, have grown on me. Unlike my father, however, I think I would leave these and all of their resplendent glory for my days away from the cubicle.

(image taken from Vogue France) 

Monday, August 20, 2012

French and French: Nina Ricci Frames and The Intouchables

Last Thursday evening, the filmmaker and I sought refuge from the humidity in the cool cavern of our local theater to see popular French film The Intouchables; though still a bit swampy, the temperatures did drop a bit with the sun, an ideal environment for a long, flowing maxi skirt. A black silk-like pleated maxi can imbue a stuffy formality, akin to young Amish maidens, or a pretentious sophistication; paired with basic flats and simple cream, the skirt is infused with a more casual attitude. It is this juxtaposition that I love, a sort of simultaneous casual chic and classic elegance. On sale, I could not resist this BCBG piece, an amalgamation of wardrobe basic, a simple black bottom, and the still omnipotent maxi trend. Despite my very long legs and tall frame, certain maxi skirts and dresses still somehow scrape against the ground, obviously constructed for females of impressive Amazonian proportions. This skirt is the optimum length, neither dragging along in the dirt, but still long enough that I can glide about, holding it up in one hand as though I were some coquette ripped from the pages of a D.H. Lawrence novel.

The blazer was a sort of rational impulse purchase from Zara, a store I often admonish and harangue about, while killing some time at a meeting in Barcelona. It appealed to me as an alternative to a hooded sweatshirt, a clothing article that I try to relegate to the gym alone, or to a basic chunky cardigan: it is a basic soft cotton material, warm and practical, yet also structured. Blazers typically connote professional or preppy, and this one is no exception, though its fabric and heather cream pattern lend it a comfortable look. Mostly, I plan to use this as my new favored travel garb; it works well for air conditioned movie theaters as well.

Unsurprising to anyone who has attended a movie with me, my leather woven Cole Haan purse was filled to the brim with delicious sandwiches; surprisingly, there was no red wine and accompanying plastic cups being stowed away.

Sparkle in a darkened movie theater is perhaps unnecessary, but, nonetheless, my rhinestone resplendent black and silver bangles and earrings bore many a glint and glisten.

These 1960s Nina Ricci frames were a gift to myself from the famous Marché aux Puce St. Ouen in one of the northern neighborhoods in Paris; to me, they are equal parts Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Iris Apfel, a mash-up both hilarious and grand. In anticipation for more autumnal sensibilities, I envision pairing them with my classic camel trench coat and new Frye boots.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Intouchables

(image taken from U Nation)

(image taken from My Dog, Dinner)

Yesterday evening, the filmmaker and I went to see popular French film The Intouchables; we had to hastily seize our opportunity during the incredibly short run at my local theater, as testosterone-fused and adrenaline-gushing smash The Expendables II premiers tonight. Heartily recommended by my mother, father, and younger brother, whose film aesthetics and specific tastes for French culture vary wildly, I was certain the narrative and acting would be laudable and enjoyable, but still a bit unsure as to the balance of comedic and humanist elements, and just generally how I would embrace and reflect on the work. The past few days have been a bit melancholy, and I left the theater last night in heightened spirits, feeling inspired and uplifted and just plain satisfied.

Popular, mainstream French filmmakers have mastered the art of integrating comedy and drama and romance and tragedy in a natural and organic flow, an approach that continues to elude most popular American filmmakers. It takes delicacy, elegance, and a brazen neglect of certain puritanical tenets of propriety and political correctness to tell the story of two vastly different but equally disenfranchised men, in a culture renowned for proud national identity and fierce racism, as well as an arguably justifiable pretension, who overcome personal struggles to develop a veritable bond. And it takes brilliance to do so without compromising the humor, or the poignancy, and without adopting a veil of sickening sentimentality or smelly cheese.

Philippe is a millionaire invalid, a result of an unfortunate and purposeful paragliding accident, a sort of masochistic, cathartic response to grief and to love. He refuses pity, in a characteristically French way. While interviewing various stuffy and overly qualified and clinical applicants to be his assistant, he hires Driss, a Senegalese immigrant, casual criminal, and loafer who simply wants proper documentation to collect social welfare checks. An aesthete who can move only his head, and a compassionate thug who indulges in violent and impulsive thrusts, the two are an unlikely couple, thus the main source of humor, but also the foundation for a meditation on human relationships, personal evolution following adversity, and the crucial nature of challenge, rejection of complacency. 

For me, a young woman, stories of platonic male friendships and bonds always holds a certain intrigue, a mystery of touch and of understanding that in some ways, the most integral, I can never truly know. Here, that archetype is further nuanced by the intricacy of physical dependency: Philippe lives by the arms and legs of Driss, Driss lives by the financial welfare of his successful employer. The clever pun of the title with the familiar social caste in India, the Untouchables, is no mistake
Beyond the allure of beautiful unfolding of this story, the sweeping landscapes of the pristine Swiss Alps mountains and the grittier views of the Parisian projects, unknown and unfamiliar to most Americans, are stunning. Again, though, it is particular subtle moments, quite character of most French film I have seen, that are most compelling, most absent in many commercially popular films produced here: twists of words, glances shared between two characters, short scenes of contact without dialogue. By the end, though bittersweet and powerful, and in many ways concluding just as I was suspecting, and hoping, the film did not exude that sort of clean, sweet, and sometimes morally tinged wrapped-in-a-bow sort feel that many American comedies do. In some ways, it was simple, lacked any extravagance, unassuming; in another sense, it was a rich display of the power of our own human spirits.    

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Taking the Plunge... Frye Boots

My brother-in-law, David, forwarded a personal finance blog article to my siblings and me last night, a simple and rationale meditation on how sometimes spending a little bit more on a specific item, in the long run, will save more money. In terms of quality, one saves by owning the product longer, getting more function and joy from it, not having to endure the costs of replacement. Or, satisfied with one expensive item, one does not purchase myriad cheap items as a consolation. Or, simply, one no longer frets, wasting time and energy, over storage of multiple items where a single nice, quality piece will suffice and be more rewarding. Perhaps this was just the inspiration, or better worded justification, I needed to finally take the grand and glorious plunge and indulge in a pair of Frye boots. After my debacle last season with leather riding boots, which were not at all inexpensive, though not exactly in the range of these Alexis style Frye pair, I have learned my lesson: better to spend a bit more, invest in the long game with quality construction, than to continue to replace an average pair that from short range appears to be the more cost-effective option. Better to scoop up this pair, on sale no less, than find myself stranded in Brooklyn, broken soul, physically and metaphorically, with no alternative other than adolescent-styled ballet flats. In about four to five business days, I can begin visually basking in the warm chocolate leather; unfortunately, it will take another few weeks for the weather to cool enough to even contemplate covering my entire calf in a boot. 

(image taken from Zappos)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sartorial Lusting: Modern Business Casual

Tomorrow, I have a team meeting with one of my prominent clients, a good thing, in terms of escaping the office and potentially spending the afternoon in a productive manner that does not involve becoming enraged by some of the vapidity and myopic analysis of Jezebel articles. Clearly, the summer has been molasses slow for me. Since my knees have mostly heeled, seemingly no further scarred than before, I will probably wear a dress and a suit jacket. What I would actually like to be wearing are these tailored, high-waisted caramelized ochre shorts and accompanying tweed jacket. Every single item clothing this waifish model is one that I have been coveting and yearning for painfully the past few months. Alas. Thankfully, global pharmaceutical brand teams care little for how I cover my body, provided it is indeed covered, and I will more than likely be obscured by some conference table. Such logic is little consolation to my wardrobe greed, however.

(image taken from That Kind of Woman)

Outfit for a Monday: French Cuffs and Jade

Having a brother-in-law is essentially like gaining an older, wiser brother that I occasionally thought would be welcome when I was a child but never really fully understood how much I could want or enjoy. Although David certainly reserves certain acerbic but ultimately good-humored zings for me, most of the brotherly taunting and hassling is reserved for my younger brother. Both of us, however, have reaped many benefits from his keen eye for men's wear design, and his penchant for keeping a replete and refurbished wardrobe, regularly rotated. This past weekend, Adam and I both received a handful of French cuff men's shirts; while Adam is grateful for all of his bounty, I am generally more pleased with looking formal, even in a casual setting.

David and I often comment and joke about the imbalance between women's and men's fashion. It is rather easy, acceptable, and in fact encouraged for women to embrace and adopt masculine aesthetics, while the reverse, men donning feminine detailing or accessories or wardrobe items, is sequestered in the bombastic high-fashion circles, if it manifests at all. He regrets that I can wear cuff links or a pocket watch or pocket squares, and that he would potentially raise some eyebrows if he tried necklaces and bracelets, let alone pumps or a skirt, even in New York. If born in another era, David would definitely be rocking a myriad array of powdered wigs, austere walking canes, and jaunty pointed boots. Though his opportunities to harness internal sparkle and glamor are more limited, he certainly seizes them, always discerning and rotating, permitting Adam and I to glean from the discarded.

Simple white button-down blouses always look elegant and pulled together on the female form; thankfully, those of quality cotton, are also breathable and comfortable in the summer months. A French cuff, coupled naturally with the requisite cuff links, lends a slightly more structured and architectured feel to the basic white blouse and slacks look, without appearing stiff or overly formal. David advises that men only wear French cuff shirts with a jacket; again, women have more free reign, and can bend that rule whenever.

I found these jade and gold cuff links at a small antiques shop to the west of my town, while out on an adventure apple picking; green appears in many of my accessories, as it is a tricky shade for my skin tone and often makes me look ill in larger volumes.

For an added flair and bit of intrigue, I wore these golden, dangling chain earrings. This pair is different, but not too long or hyperbolic, more subdued than many in my collection, so they complemented the simple white blouse and my clean slate gray chinos.

To maintain my masculine vibe, I opted for my comfortable and trusted leopard print tuxedo, or smoking, flats. Residing proudly in my closet for over a year, I think these continue to be one of the most versatile pairs of shoes I own; I wish I had a second, because I am already sort of anxious at the prospect of their growing worn and weary.

Tuesday morning soundtrack: Mature Themes Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Weekend: Brother, Baby, Brewery, and Borges in Brooklyn

This past weekend, I took a few days vacation from work to maximize family bonding time: my younger brother, Adam, was in town visiting my mother, sister, niece, and myself. Until Thursday afternoon, I had not seen Adam since Christmas break, which, for siblings who are exceedingly close, is entirely too long of a time. Being near and dear with both my sister and my brother is beautiful, they are two of the greatest joys and loves of my life, but, with one of us living a bit further south than the other two and still in school as well, it is very tough. So, we all try to compensate a bit when we are all together and really let loose; wise cracks, sarcasm, inside jokes, and laughter always abounds.

Spending time with Adam is always easy, in the truest sense and it pains me that it cannot happen more frequently. Over the weekend, what touched and inspired me most about being surrounded by my family, other than the irritatingly jocular jabs, was seeing Adam play with Winona. He towers over, able to envelope her completely with long limbs, able to raise her above his head and to the heavens in his hands, as she giggles and giggles with her mouth and chubby belly and all her ten toes. He had not seen the baby since sometime in early March, and she has grown and changed drastically; she crawls now, can hold and chew on her books, and speaks eloquently, long gibberish diatribes in baby-tongues.

As Adam has also grown and finally caught up to the rest of the family in terms of legal imbibing age requirement, we decided to make the trek from my mother's temporary home-away-from-home apartment in Carroll Gardens to the Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg. Stowed within a former warehouse off of Nassau Avenue, the building is mostly institutional and unassuming; the poignant and austere quote from a now unknown and foreign Egyptian added some character and a further dimension of truth to the tall walls. Inside, a lighthearted and plain cavernous room was decorated with stark and sturdy picnic tables; we parked ourselves at one, first in line, and staked our claim. Though my mother generally prefers a Manhattan, and I many and any gin concoctions provided they are well shaken, we both joined Adam in sampling generously the various beers. For 20$, five tokens equating to five glasses of brew, a steal for most areas in any of the boroughs of New York.

Conveniently, just outside of the hallowed walls of the brew building, a rather economically shrewd and professionally astute pizza truck was parked; needless to say, after a few rounds of tokens had disappeared, we were eager to sample the pizza. Perhaps surprisingly, if you are unfamiliar with the New York food truck scene, the plain cheese pizza was delicious: piping hot, chunky fresh tomato sauce that was unadulterated and pure, not at all bland, and a satisfying crust with just a sufficient amount of grilled char. We ate as though ravenous; it was grand.

I had no idea Milton Glaser designed the Brooklyn Brewery logo, and many of the campaign posters, though, in retrospect, it makes sense in considering some of his other works. Something new and exciting can be learned even while sitting idly and drinking beer.

Although we were first in line to enter the brewery, the main tasting hall was very soon teeming with people of all ages, young and old. My mother and Adam went on the brief but informative tour of the brewery, while I held down our proverbial fort at the picnic table. I was perfectly content not mingling with other parties there, guzzling beer, so I sipped mine and worked on Labyrinths, a short story collection by Jorge Luis Borges. My atmosphere was a bit distracting, but Borges and his spires of beautiful words were able to keep my attention.

Though we did our fair share of afternoon imbibing and all of the food and frivolity that ensues, we also sampled some of the culture available at every corner and crevice of the city. On Friday afternoon, we toured the Brooklyn Museum, where my brother and I had never been; our mother had toured once and had established a sort of lackluster precedent with her description. As it turns out, she had been while the museum building was under construction, so, the exhibitions were a bit haphazard and misleading.  Currently, though the pieces and various rooms are a diverse and sometimes bizarre amalgamation, the overarching curatorial thrust is to unite mediums, time periods, cultures, and genres of artist, to draw broader, deeper, more personal connections between the works.

Our main initial lure was the Egyptian collection, featuring four mummies, preserved utilizing various methods, differing in cost and intricacies. Historically, there was controversy in displaying the mummies, questioning and fear whispering through and between the living and the dead, between separate and united entities of woven carbon molecules. Walking into the mummy chamber of the museum, lights muted and soft, the air was one of respect and veneration, a tribute to the awe and wonders of human life, the constant evolution of human accomplishment. Unconventional, certainly, but, for myself, a humanist and a romantic, the idea of spending the resting years educating and inspiring others is ideal.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Professional Airs and Sidewalk Scares: Summer Shift Dress

This photograph encapsulates my ideal professionally appropriate and sustainable look for the sweating and sweltering summer: a neutral shift dress, with nude peep-toe pumps. Despite the numerous other articles in my wardrobe, some dated or some crap, some interesting in their own right, mostly it seems all I really want to be wearing is something tailored and simple. And lined, even in the heat. At least as far as my salaried duties are concerned. Due to a recent mishap, dresses and skirts have made me a bit self-conscious. 

Unfortunately, a few weekends ago, before a bridal shower brunch honoring my dear friend Nicole, I rumbled with a scrap of plastic, the taut string in a circle, and splayed, splattered, hard on the pavement, scraping both knees and various other areas of my legs quite badly. Bleeding knees are not foreign to me, a former goalkeeper in soccer, but, admittedly, with a mostly sedentary office lifestyle and my exertion delegated to gym equipment, it has been a number of years. Naturally, I was wearing a crisp white dress with beautiful, sweeping fuchsia and olive florals, from my sister's baby shower, and carrying a nearly full cup of iced coffee. Miraculously, the dress was not tainted, the coffee was not spilled, and in fact was nearly caught by the strangers ambling casually behind me, a canoodling couple.

Whenever anyone from anywhere complains that New Yorkers are rude, I am always the first to interrupt and vehemently disagree with them; this topple was a prime example. The couple who scooped up my coffee, without a drop missing, helped me to my feet, steadied me, and made sure I was mostly in one piece and not seriously injured. They offered to walk with me to a medical center, or at least to the nearest pharmacy. Another complete stranger, walking his small dog, joked, "So, my mother gives me this first-aid kit for Christmas, and I'm like what the fuck am I supposed to do with this, I'm fifty fucking years old," as he graciously handed me two antiseptic wipes. Honestly, I needed the chuckle, to calm my nerves and reclaim my composure, as much as I needed to kill the various microbes and Eighth Avenue bacteria feeding and performing fission in my skin.

Thankfully, I was able to hobble into a nail salon bathroom, clean myself off, and then to a local pharmacy to scour for the biggest adhesive bandages available for purchase. Since then, after a diligent regimen of ointment and bandages and warm water with soap, my knees have scabbed. They were already completely scarred, a testament to my true, not ladylike nature, so, nothing to fear there. Still, donning and displaying the knobby and almost-putrid knees of a five year old boy seems to directly contradict any aura of glamor I may have originally exuded with my fantasy neutral shift dress.  

(image taken from The Pursuit Aesthetic)

Monday, August 6, 2012


Today, my niece is nine months old, a date contemporary mothers and the surrounding culture have cleverly coined Inside-Out Day: nine months in, nine months out. My mind has been a muddle lately, trying to sort thoughts and emotions, and as I gaze back on earlier photographs of this beautiful baby, taken only months before, I cannot believe how tiny she is, how much she grows and changes and develops each time I visit her, and while I am unbelievably proud of her and my sister, an incredible mother, I cannot help but feel a bit bittersweet about it all. After all, I am a romantic and supremely sentimental at heart. Each time I see her, she is bigger and she is different, which thrills me but frightens me, but each time she smiles and recognizes me, which just makes me cascade with happiness.

Weeks after Winona was born, altering both my life and that of my entire family forever, over the long Thanksgiving weekend back home where I was born, grew up, I found these baby girl dresses, belonging to first my sister and then to me, charming and dated in their age, but still adorable. My mother had extracted them, an excavation surely from some large plastic bin in our basement, and hung them neatly in a row in one of the bedroom closets. Seeing these tiny articles of clothing, that had once clothed me from nakedness, it seemed an impossibility, to be so small, so easily covered and protected, easily amazed and joyous at the simple pleasures this world has to offer. I discover this all now, spending time playing and laughing with Winona, how she smiles and giggles openly, from the juice of a fresh peach, from the bright colors and shapes within her books, from the frenetic scurrying of the puppy proudly displaying her stuffed bunny friend. I discover that I was truly that small then, when my primary concerns were playing in the sun, drinking the milk from my cereal and eating another bowl, reading and telling stories to my dolls, trying to catch pet toads in our backyard.

Much time, money, and effort is spent by many mothers now clothing and accessorizing their children, to look like trendy adults, or to look like the children of whatever relevantly irrelevant celebrity is currently splayed across the tabloid pages. Simple cotton dresses with embroidered tiny flowers in pastel pinks and blues and greens have not altogether disappeared, but do seem more rare and quaint in the commercial maelstrom of the baby industry.  In the end, I fear these mothers, those prone to the subterfuge of advertisement and media, are missing it, in this frenzy of superficial pretense; their child, growing up, learning, laughing. I feel so eternally grateful that I have this opportunity to witness and to participate and to learn from and help the development of this new person.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Lizard on a Rock

Feeling less than inspired lately in the wardrobe department, in part due to the constant deluge of sweat cascading down my back, and in second part due to a sort of general lethargy and apathy, I have recently sought innovation in some of my necklaces. Namely, this has entailed my pairing already strong, bold, bodacious pieces with a bejeweled broach, in an exercise of utter hyperbole. For a rather lazy, alcohol-infused casual Friday last week, my entire company commemorating and commiserating the loss of our favorite Jamaican colleague, I paired this striped stone pendant, a street treasure from Rome, with a mysterious rhinestone, fiery-eyed lizard, cold and cruel and stagnant, probably a remnant of my sister's teenage jewelry box. Essentially, the layering of these elements created a picturesque scene of a lone lizard bathing in the sun heat on a smooth rock. My silk blouse featured a pattern of blues and gray, with some streaks of orange, matching the eyes, that resembled the crystalline intricacy of tree branches one connotes with certain Japanese woodblock prints.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Lethargy, or, Summer Fridays

Today, the fractured remnants of my company went out to lunch, to commemorate our hard work on our bill-paying, bacon-buying accounts, and to bid congratulations and a fond farewell to one of our respected and loved colleagues. He is leaving the sometimes stuffy walls of our suburban office to attend medical school; I am exceedingly proud of and happy for him, he is a hard worker and has a beautifully positive spirit. But, I would be lying, if I did not admit I am sad and am jealous to see him go, to see someone who I could complain and commiserate and joke with move forward to newer and more exciting, and fruitful, pastures. For lunch, the group engulfed heavy burgers, laden with various cheeses and toppings, and guzzled some slowly poured beers; it is sweltering outside, and I am mostly drunk with rich food. Shirtless, reading, in air conditioning, this is how my afternoon should be spent.

(image taken from Chuck was Here)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Happy National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

For the worshiper of cream and sugar and frozen fat, the devout of the frozen confection, today is essentially the equivalent of a saint's day, worthy and deserving of reverent observance and celebration. While I definitely love to indulge in the mass-produced, grocery store staple, the traditional chocolate cookie biscuit, perforated in a perfect grid, and vanilla ice cream in that delightful rectangle, encased in a clean white shroud, I prefer a freshly made chocolate chip cookie with soft homemade vanilla ice cream. To be honest, I would be perfectly happy with either, especially at the moment, bored in my cubicle. On the other side of this not at all hallowed wall, two of my colleagues, each married with two sons and each bemoaning and battling the last pounds of pregnancy weight, are arguing about Weight Watchers points. I breathe a sigh of relief, that for now that is not my reality, and pity them for neglecting to embrace the true glory of this sacred day.

(image taken from Ice Cream Sandwich)