Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Sock Effect

As I was walking to the coffee shop for my lunch hour, I basked in the warm sunshine and contemplated running. I hear a low voice murmur something, and it takes my brain a minute to catch it: "Your socks are bitchin'!" the girl had said softly as we crossed paths. I reacted with a cheerful smile and a "Thanks!"

Erin over at A Dress A Day posted yesterday about Michelle Obama's inauguration dress (the lovely yellow/green lace), and how our new First Lady wore that dress:
Michelle Obama does what I advocate everyone should do: she wears what makes her happy. Could she have worn some boring royal-blue, be-Spanx-ed sheath, by Oscar de la Renta (no offense, Oscar, but you know what I'm talking about) and gotten relieved and approving nods from the Fashion Commentariat? You know she could. But she obviously loves those gloves: they made her happy, so she wore them. WITH a yellow wool lace Isabel Toledo!
I like Erin's take on Michelle Obama's dress (it was a great outfit), and on wearing clothes in general. I wear clothes that make me happy. You might remember knee socks on my list from yesterday, and today I wore a pair of black/red/grey argyle knee socks. I love them; I think they're cute; not to mention that they match the rest of my outfit (black pencil skirt, bright red Mandarin collared shirt, acessorized with a grey pearl bracelet, necklace with a square black pendant, and red earrings). I love it when all the various bits of my outfit coordinate just so.

It was amazing how differently I carried myself after I got the compliment. I walked a little taller and was smiling because I was happy and it was sunny and I had bitchin' knee socks. I was wearing an outfit that pleased me. As I walked into the coffee shop, I noticed several people (okay, mostly guys*) looking in my direction. As I made eye contact, we smiled and nodded at one another. I don't know if it was my confident step or my fun knee socks, but whatever I had, I apparently wore it well. If only I could live every day with that that kind of happiness and confidence--who knows what I might accomplish!

*I'm aware knee socks also convey a bit of the naughty school girl thing, but I don't care. They are cute; they make me happy; and they keep my legs warm without me having to wrestle into a pair of tights if I feel like wearing a skirt.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Archies, Jenn-style

I've been coaxed back into posting by reading Donna's blog, and I figured the Archies were due. Since there's nothing I like better than lists*, and all the other kids are doing it, I figured I'd join in. With out further ado, my list of the Best Things of 2008, in no particular order.

1. How I Met Your Mother, Seasons 1-3**
2. A Christmas stocking made especially for me
3. New shiny pots
4. Academic conferences/trip to DC
5. Elections
6. Friend's rotation in NWA
7. Cream of limoncello (made in LR!)
8. Winter market
9. Homemade apple butter (sans sugar)
10. Lost and Found
11. Chalice
12. Running tights
13. 30 Rock
14. Hulu
15. Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
16. Christmas gift packages in the mail from the Secret Knitter
17. Pedicures
18. Ann Taylor suit separates
19. Knee socks
20. NPR: Fresh Air/This American Life
21. The Decemberists' Always the Bridesmaid: Vols 1-3
22. Camping
23. His and Hers Bikes
24. Trips to Spain (Two year Archie!)
25. Free Senso coffee maker
26. Etsy!
27. The Kitchn
28. Greens (kale, chard, turnip/beet/mustard greens)
29. Food processor (how did I live without one?)
30. Experiments with vanilla extracting
31. The return to NWA of a wonderful friend!
32. Another pal's new baby. He's a cutie.
33. Lance's family
34. How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
35. Petunias that bloom through the winter
36. Fingerless gloves
37. Yoga/cupcake buddy (and her engagement!)
38. Tiny spoons and pretty cups
39. Greek Gods Yogurt and Ice Cream
40. MA coursework finished

And I'm done. Mostly because 40 is a good number, and partly because I'm tired of hunting down links and I could think up things about 2008 that were awesome all day long...

*Okay, there is. Footnotes, for example.
**I haven't watched 4 yet.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

And A Happy New Year!

Phew, now that I've gotten that out of my system. I've been carrying around excess loathing of the-books-that-shall-not-be-named that I needed to purge. And since it's the new year, it's time to cast off the excess baggage and move forward with a light heart and a clean slate. I'm sure 2009 will give me some new crappy fiction to loathe and to rip apart in future posts.

2008 was pretty awesome. I lived in my own apartment for the first time, and I loved it. I finished up my course work for my MA. I kicked off the year with a trip to Spain, and concluded it with a two week vacation from work, traveling the state and visiting family and friends. I had many new experiences, learned lots of interesting things, and met lots of neat people. I threw a bitchin' New Year's Eve party. It's been a good year.

Since I was up until 3am, entertaining and playing bartender, I stayed in bed until 11am, surrounded by my kitties. I woke up and leisurely got moving, finally shoving myself out the door for a three mile run. It was a terrible run (at first) because I drank last night, but it ended up being a great run because I did it and felt pretty good that I was starting the year off right. After more dilly-dallying (etc), Lance and I packed up and headed to stay with dear friends. And I hope to see even more dear friends tomorrow (that's you, EP and MD!).

I have a few New Year's Resolutions: I'm not letting myself buy new books until I read the unread material in my ever-growing library*. I'm going to try to do less and relax more**. I will finish my thesis. You know, that sort of thing.

Happy New Year to everyone!

*Of course, I can "cheat" by using the public library or borrowing from friends. But the point is to keep me from adding to my bookshelves until I actually read what I already own.
**Which means pedicures. Not often, but occasionally--I got one on Monday, and it was nice.


Yes, I read them. Yes, I watched the movie. But it and its merchandising spawn need to go away.

What has sparked this hatred toward the latest fad in terrible fiction? As I was driving around recently I pulled up behind an annoyingly shiny SUV. As I looked at the monster before, I saw a license plate frame that read: "Warning: I drive like a Cullen". Because vampires have awesome superhuman senses, they can drive like bats out of hell and not get caught.

Robin McKinley sums up her dislike of Stephenie Meyer's abominations by talking about their bad example. I think a book that encourages young women to be passive little twits, wholly consumed by their seemingly undying love for a creepy stalker boy, and empty of any personality or common sense is BAD. Also books that encourage people to continue driving huge pointless SUVs and buying crap related to them are BAD. But whatever.

I feel that my dislike for Twilight, etc. has grown exponentially into hatred. Crappy fiction needs to go away. Luckily crappy fiction tends to fade after a few years, so that in roughly a decade few will remember these silly vampire stories.

If you want a good vampire story, read Sunshine by Robin McKinley. It has a complex female heroine, good writing, and an awesome vampire battle.