Weekend Update.

October 18, 2009

Boston, MA. 2009.

This week has been pretty much a wash for me. I’ve been sick with a multi-day fever for the first time in five years. Thursday, I was sick at home and couldn’t even read. My brain literally could not process words – it was like trying to getting a calculator to compute the sum of broccoli + Toyota. The Mysterious Mystery Fever of Mysterious Origins is the only real symptom I’ve had, but man, it’s been a nasty one. I’ve also been suffering sporadic headaches, though I think that my choice in lotion may be a contributing factor there,  which is too bad because I do enjoy smelling like a cherry blossom, but I do not enjoy waking up every half an hour in the night with the feeling that someone is shoving needles into my brain via my sinuses.

This is a really cheery update, huh?

Things with the Things are going well. Daily Doodles have been sporadic, a mere *two* this week, but considering the Mysterious Mystery Fever, I’m considering that acceptable. It’s a lot harder to draw when you can’t remember what you were going to draw or how the pen makes those lines on the paper in the first place.

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So, these panties? They vibrate?

I’ve now finished Season One of Mad Men, and I am solidly hooked. It’s helped to think of it as taking place in an alternate universe as opposed to a concrete past that my grandparents participated in. Also, it’s been an interesting thought experiment for me to use Mad Men as a vehicle to think about now in the context of being somebody else’s past. Because it will be. Some day, we will be as dated as the 60’s are to us and what on earth is that going to look like? If you’ll excuse me, I just blew my own mind.

(Certainly the set designs will be chock full of Ikea furniture, everyone will carry an iPhone, and skinny jeans will be all too prevalent.)

It’s a slow weekend and a rainy Sunday, perhaps I can get some more drawing done. Or some “real” art. Or I could do some massive updating to the book blog to bring joy to my darling Kat.  Or I could camp out with Hulu and catch up on Jon Stewart, who has the audacity to be on TV past my old-man bedtime of 10PM. Or, as usual, I can do none of these things, play Civ all day, and wonder where the time went. If so, it’ll be a good day. Nothing is one of my absolute favorite things to do and something that, being sick aside, I don’t have nearly enough time for.

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Weekend Update.

October 4, 2009

[Pawtucket, RI. 2005.]

Down to the wire on this, I know. It’s been that kind of day. After I wrote my last entry, I made a nice fall playlist and got in my car to drive up to Brighton to visit a dear friend. And my car didn’t start. Soooo. I called around and it was actually my employers who drove over and gave me a jump (did I mention that I work for the GREATEST FAMILY EVER?) – which, y’know, was also in their best interest since it means I’ll be able to go to work tomorrow. Anyhow, I did not drive to Brighton as I did not want to get stuck there.

I did, however, drive to juice up the battery a bit. It was a very zen-like enterprise; drive as far as I could without stopping. I drove out past Fall River on 195, went to a drive thru to get a snack (so I didn’t have to turn off the car, though I did feel bad for how much gas I wasted while I sat idling in the parking lot. Oh well.), and drove back. All journey, no destination whatsoever. It was very soothing. And my playlist was lovely: all songs that remind me of fall.

[Easthampton, MA. 2006.]

For some reason, those songs are always kind of sad songs for me. Fall is my difficult season. October is traditionally my worst month. Fall to me is grey skies and cold rain and the smell of leaves and woodsmoke. Slow music. Very acoustic. Almost dirge-like. And it was so lovely to see the leaves turning while listening to songs that evoke for me of the very soul of this season. I sang along, of course. Singing in the car is one of my favorite pastimes, it’s really a force of will for me *not* to sing along if I know the song. This is, I’ve found, best done alone. Not because I’m self-conscious, but because my singing apparently bothers my co-pilot.

(This has nothing to do with my voice, which has been trained. Singing is like my secret super-power. No one knows I’m actually quite good at it until they hear me, and then there is much surprise. Nuno is just a purist who wants to hear the recorded music without any extras on top.)

And so, it’s been that kind of a day. I played a bunch of Civ, and even started a decent game with Nuno. I can definitely attest to having mellowed him out a bunch over the last two years – when we started dating, he would have been out for blood. Now? We’re chatting back and forth so that we don’t step on each other’s toes. We’re not exactly collaborating, but we’re respectful enough of the other person’s strategy to interfere as little as possible. It’s way more fun than trying so hard to “win.”

[Reykjavík, Iceland. 2005.]

I originally sat down wanting to write about books that I’ve read and how I’m going to be blogging about my biblioholic activities over here since I don’t have the time to update separately at GoudaBuddhaBooks anymore. I’m sad to admit this, since I love Kat and I love books and I love the idea of collaborative blogging, but realism indicates that any efforts that I made over there right now would be half-assed and I really prefer, when possible, to put my whole ass into things.

So, I suppose that, along with the other new project I have cooking in my wee brain, will come later.

For now, it’s half past bed time for this old man.

Weekend Update.

September 27, 2009

Fuller Hall, Vermont Academy.

I came up here to Vermont under the auspices of going to my 10 year high school reunion – which I did. I also had dinner with my father and went to see an old high school friend for lunch. Given that I have done these things in a 24 hour period of time, it has really tested the limits of my endurance and I have a very vivid mental note to self written about how exhausting it is to do this much on the weekend after having worked all week! I need another weekend to recover from my weekend!

The reunion… wasn’t much re-uniting. It’s a small school, so I wasn’t expecting more than 10 people to be there, but I also wasn’t expecting the reality that there were two. Me and one other guy. Thankfully, the one other guy is someone I’d had a lot of classes with and was happy to see and had things to talk about with – which is pretty lucky, if we’re talking about a reunion of two!

It’s strange though that no one else showed up. Or is it? I don’t know. In conversations the past two days, the bizarre and often unhealthy relationship between students and school back in high school (and often the bizarre and unhealthy relationships between the students themselves, though that is endemic to the high school experience and can’t at all be thought of to be unique to our particular school) has been examined and it’s pretty obvious that if this is what we, the alums, are taking away from the experience, there’s absolutely no reason why anyone would go back.

It’s unfortunate. I saw lots of happy reunions from classes of yore, but other than a group meeting to honor a late classmate, the next-youngest alums that I saw were from the class of ’84. It would be the five year reunion for the class of ’04, and I didn’t see a one of ’em. Perhaps they were hiding. In any case, both of us from ’99 came out of a sense of “Well, we’re around so we might as well go and say hi” and not out of an overwhelming devotion to the school.

1321161784_156a0cd349The school as it was when it was built in 1887. The class of 1887 also had a notably poor showing.

In my case, I never really fit in in high school. Which is putting it mildly. Nuno commented that he’s never seen me more out of place, and if this is true now, just imagine how bad it was ten years ago. I went to Hampshire to go someplace as different from high school as humanly possible, and it was a good choice. If we go to Hampshire alumni weekend, he can remark “Omig-d! They’re all crazy hippies! Just like you!” And actually, for a Hampshire alum, my hippie quotient is pretty tame.

(Just a few weeks ago, someone familiar with the Hampshire experience commented “You’re a Hampshire grad? I’m surprised you’re able to find a job and live indoors!” While, um, gee, thanks, I do also see where she’s coming from.)

So, what is it exactly about the school that leaves its graduates feeling apathetic at best after graduation? It’s a very jock school with a huge emphasis on competition and sports, but that certainly isn’t unique. Looking back, it’s amazing that the school didn’t have any psych. support staff – I know that I could have benefited from such a thing, and I imagine that I’m not alone here. Other glaring problems revolve around the fact that making a school co-ed is more difficult than just admitting a bunch of girls to an all-boys’ school. When I started my sophomore year, VA had 3 guys for every girl.

(To say that I was one of the very, very few girls who did not have guys chasing her gives you an idea on how little fitting in I did, given the dearth of girls, no one was particularly choosy. Unless the choice was me or a few of my nerd-sisters.)

And that creates some issues, beyond just housing. Which was really the only adjustment that – from what I can see – VA made. “Oh yeah, we’ll make some girls’ dorms!” Say what you will for equality, putting teenage girl hormones in a stew of teenage boy hormones is a recipe for strife. You want to treat everyone like they’re all on the same level, but denying the various needs of the students and assuming that girls’ needs are the same as boys’ needs is just… well… asinine.

Jones Hall, Vermont Academy.

I don’t know what other grads are thinking, and I know that for me, going back was weird. But hey, I’m willing to put that behind me and have a beverage or two with my compadres from back in the day. I’m also willing to examine why exactly we’re not flocking in droves to do so.

All of this is especially weird in light of the very successful reunion the public high school had this spring – the Class of ’99 that I was in elementary school with had about 30 people come back, which is pretty great for a class of ~100.

Anyhow, it’s been a long weekend and I’m going to reunite with a cup of tea.

Weekend Update.

September 12, 2009

Off-work fashion! At work, I’m still working with the layers – hopefully this week I’ll have the time and energy to grab a few photos. This week has been so crazy busy! There’s been a lot going on chez Work Fam and Thing 1 has started a preschool program! Busy busy busy. So, these are all photos from the past week that were taken in my off time.

#1 is today’s outfit, which I consider to be the most successful. My mama gave me this skirt for my birthday and it goes very well with the new boots. I like the length since it hides my weird knees! I’ve started wearing my hair down in my off-time since looking through the photos with the ubiquitous ponytail I’ve noticed that it looks a bit sloppy. This is one of the benefits of outfit documentation! I never would have thought of it otherwise.

#2 is from last night’s MetaFilter meetup and I don’t hate this outfit per se… but it’s so… college-y. I always get mistaken for being younger than I am, and I really don’t need to encourage that. This is really the first time I’ve gone for the miniskirt and layers and bright colors and thought “Wow. This is really a young outfit. I don’t know if I like that.” I guess I really am an old man.

#3 I would consider another success. This is what I wore to Stitch & Bitch this week and it was great, except that my feet got cold with open toed shoes! The café where we meet is always too cold. Always. I considered this before I left and decided to suffer for fashion. And suffer I did. (And no, I did not drive in those heels, I drove barefoot. Totally illegal, but also totally safer than driving a stick shift with those heels. Good lord, I can only imagine how much I would stall trying to hit the clutch with 4″ heels! Yes, I drive a stick shift in a city. Yes, I’m kinda nutso.)

#4 is showing what happens when I don’t think about my clothes! It’s not a bad outfit really, but I wasn’t planning on photo documentation! Kat just felt that my fashion statements while petting cows needed documentation. This shows exactly what I mean by looking sloppy with my hair pulled back while wearing otherwise decent clothes. (Except for Nuno’s hoodie, but that even wouldn’t be so bad if I’d had my hair down and maybe an accessory or two.)

So, yeah, there’s the week in fashion. As mentioned, I went to a MetaFilter meetup last night in celebration of our beloved moderator cortex’s MetaFilter tour of America! It was really great, even though driving to/from Boston right after getting off of work meant that I was up for 20 straight hours. Oi. I haven’t stayed up that late or slept this late in the morning in eons and it doesn’t feel as awesome as it used to. Totally worth it though! I really enjoy hanging out with MeFites, who are in general a really smart and friendly bunch. I’ve been to enough Boston meetups that I’m starting to actually get to know a few regulars. I haven’t had time to actually read or post to MeFi in the past couple of weeks, so hangin’ with my nerds definitely made me feel like I still have a connection to my favorite internet community.

This is by far my best photo of the night – Heather (user lunit) gets a makeover:

Weekend Update.

September 5, 2009

It was requested that I provide a photo of my rockin’ new boots. And man, do they rock. I haven’t been able to document my outfits for wardroberemix this week due to computing issues, but with the new Stringer Bell lifestyle (SB is what I’ve named my new MacBook), I can get back on that. New computer, new boots, some other new clothes for the birthday – it’s a very chic life I’ve got going on! So, here are the boots (along with y’know, other clothes):

Photo taken by Kat at East Matunuck Beach, RI. Five minutes later, I changed into a t-shirt and went swimming.

Mostly, I wanted to use this space this week for home-fashion. Kat had wanted to see some photos of my apartment to help me decorate, and so I took some… right before she got there. Doesn’t really help *her* any, but at the very least it’s good documentation of where we’re at in the decorating process right now. And let’s face it, everybody loves a good housetour on Apartment Therapy, so here’s a little something for your inner voyeur. Whole set is on Flickr.

Also noteable, Desk pre-Stringer Bell with jury-rigged keyboard setup :

Desk with Stringer Bell – so much better:

Kat helped me decorate even without advance knowledge of the apartment – she bought me a few prints and lovingly framed them, including the Buddha print I had on my Etsy wishes! Here’s Buddha gracing my living room, bringing me tons of joy :

Weekend Update.

August 29, 2009

Yes, I know, “Fashion Friday” would be alliterative, but it is hard to commit to posting every single Friday. Friday is tricky, as are all weekdays as I can never bank on how tired I’m going to be and how much energy I’ll be able to devote to anything when I get home. If I get home, as Friday can be – even for me, the most boring human on earth – a social night. So, in the grand tradition of SNL: Weekend Update. Bonus: I can use this space for miscellany and not just “fashion.”

I did try to document where I’m starting off in terms of “work fashion” this week, however I did run into some technical difficulties with my computer and it being totally unusable for the purposes of typing anything other than the letter “z.” (A new computer is on its way to me courtesy of some financial planning rigged up by my partner, who is in training to be the Master of the Universe. That’s not to say he’s paying for the whole thing, just that the financial side of things wouldn’t be possible if not for him. Anyway. It’s certainly an exciting end to a frustrating week!)

So, this is where I’m at. Yoga pants and layers. But it’s really hard to do layers with highs of 91F. The outfit in the middle is a non-work outfit that I wore to a BBQ (with the work-fam, actually, but I wasn’t on-duty) to show that yes, occasionally, I wear a skirt. I’m thinking that as we ease into fall, I am indeed going to invest in some leggings to layer with cotton skirts/sweater dresses. I’m hesitant on this as I have giant weird-looking knees, but they allow for a lot of layering options and are certainly easy to wash. It’s a trend I’ve eyed suspiciously, but here I am.

Some inspiration!

1. Daily Outfit — 8/19/09, 2. 060, 3. Untitled