A lesson in how to overuse parentheses in a single paragraph

Remember how I ordered stuff from Athleta on that one day everything was on super-sale?  Well, one thing was supposed to arrive by this Friday (the Friday that hasn’t gotten here yet), and the other four things weren’t supposed to arrive until the 14th.  Last night (Tuesday night), we heard a knock on our door (which pretty much always makes us cringe and consider pretending no one is home – don’t bother us!  We’re very anti-social, and we don’t like surprise visits!  Also, we don’t have a peephole!  I’m opening that door blind every time!  Granted, we have a keypad lock on the front door of the house, but still!  Enough with the exclamation points!  Gah!), and when we opened it, our upstairs neighbor handed me a package.  Yay stuff!  It was from Athleta, early no matter what it was, and I assumed it was the first item arriving a few days early.  I was wrong!  (I know you didn’t see that coming.  It’s so rare.)  The package contained my other four things, to my excitement.

I was ultimately disappointed (a little – I’ll be okay).  Everything fits, and I’m going to keep them, but I ordered on-sale clothes that are much more suited for the spring/fall temperatures we were enjoying before this week.  I didn’t think that through.  Winter has set in, and I won’t be wearing 3-quarter sleeve shirts, tank tops, or sleeveless dresses for quite a while.  Not sure where my brain went – I bought a sleeveless dress on New Year’s Day.  But the fifth thing (that’s supposed to arrive Friday) is pants!  …Lightweight…pants…

Ugly “sweaters”

This year’s festivities included an ugly sweater contest.   I was not inclined to participate (and John didn’t really care).  We don’t own Christmas sweaters, and I didn’t see much point in buying an ugly sweater just for this.  Seemed dumb.  So we arrived without, and Emily was disappointed in our lack of enthusiasm.  I caved to family pressure (a little) and bought two t-shirts and some fabric markers from Michael’s.

John wrote the end of Chevy Chase’s rant from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on his.  I found that fabric markers (red and silver) didn’t show up on my black t-shirt at all.  Luckily, Molly had some glitter paint markers left over from who knows what, so I painted a menorah on the front and wrote “Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal” on the back.  (Thank you, Home Alone.)

IMG_20151224_201311

IMG_20151224_201304

It was a little harder to read when I actually wore the shirt.  Also, it was glitter paint, so it needed time to dry.  I put the shirt on hanger (with a swivel hook) and hung it in a doorway.  The paint ran, especially on the menorah.  It’s fine on the candles.  I can imagine that’s dripping wax.  But the menorah’s base was supposed to end at that horizontal line.  After the dripping, it kind of looks like a pitchfork.  Oh, well.

Now that I think about it, I don’t think we actually judged or ranked the clothes.

Partly the clothes, partly the lifestyle

I have expressed my love for Athleta before, but it was reinforced yesterday.  I took the day off to shop (and relax), and, as is my wont at that store, I tried on nearly everything they had.  I did not BUY everything they have – that would be crazy – but I did get the things I was on the lookout for.  I’ll just lust after EVERYTHING ELSE.

I love them so much.

Hats, Part 2

I tried the hat thing again.  I wore one most of the day on Saturday (hanging out with Jess, lunch sitting outside, driving to and from Annapolis, out to dinner with John), and it was comfortable enough, but the longer I wore it, the less I liked how it looked.  I think I need something with a broader brim, maybe like one of these:

hat-hello-fashion

 

Peggy_Carter_suit

Not in red, though.  I want something I can wear with anything.  I will certainly be bringing these pictures the next time I head to the hat store.

The purge continues

We’re still going through everything we own and trying to get rid of as much as possible.  We want to lighten the load, both for moving and for living.  “As much as possible” = as much as we’re comfortable getting rid of, and we don’t always agree on that, but we’ll keep adjusting as we move along.

We spent about 4 hours on Friday in the storage unit choosing which of our children to give away and which ones to keep.  It was painful, and we only got halfway through, so we’re going to have to do it again soon.  On the plus side, I don’t regret our decisions, and I get to drive around with a carload of books until I get rid of them (the car smells good).  It was the right thing to do!

Then we got home and I started going through my dresser drawers again.  I’ve got a stack of t-shirts that are going away, and Molly has claimed much of my work wardrobe (such as it is), which is helpful to a point – I don’t dress up for work much (mostly jeans), so there’s not that much to give away.  I think I can get rid of more shoes…  Winter clothes are harder to make decisions about now.  I’ve already done the easy stuff (I didn’t wear at all last winter?  It’s gone.), but in summer I’m inclined to toss everything.  That won’t be all that helpful when it starts to get cold again, and I have to buy new things.  I wonder how much of a pain it would be if we used the storage unit to store seasonal clothes.  Too many trips?  With boxes?  Maybe.  I didn’t even go to the trouble of storing seasonal clothes in the house (which is why I needed two dressers and a closet).  But it would mean we’d be traveling with less.  Except when we go somewhere for longer than one or two seasons…yeah, I think that’s a bad idea.  Fewer clothes!  I need to get rid of more stuff.

What am I missing?

You know what I don’t understand?  Vests.  Not the sweater vest or leather vest (although those, too).  I’m talking about outerwear here.  The puffy kind or the quilted kind – it doesn’t matter.

puffy vest

quilted vest

I don’t understand the point.  Under what circumstances would I want warmth and protection from the elements for my body but not my arms?  My arms get just as cold, if not colder, than the rest of me.  I guess I’ve just never been in the right situation, but I really cannot imagine what that situation might be.  When I run in the cold, I certainly start out in need of body and arm warmth, and I’ve never felt that my arms warm up before the rest of me.  When it’s time to lose the outer layer (if I ever warm up that much), it’s not just my arms that are overheated.  And I’ve really never had hot arms just walking around outside.  The whole idea sounds ridiculous.

Is this a fashion thing I don’t understand?  ‘Cause there are lots of those.  I mean, check this one out:

riding

Does this one even close, tiny as she is?  And what’s up with those gloves?  Honestly – I need someone to explain this to me.  The whole vest thing, not just the oddity in that last picture.

I guess it made a lot of money

John and I watched Star Trek: The Motion Picture last night.  The theory (not counting the new reboot and its sequel) is that the even-numbered Star Trek movies are good, and the odd-numbered ones are bad.  Before last night, the only one I’d ever seen was the one with the whales (the fourth one – one of the supposed good ones).  Question: if the first one (the one we just watched) was so bad, why would the studio ever agree to make a second?  And I have to say, it wasn’t very good.  It was the slowest-paced movie I think I’ve ever seen.  Not a lot of plot going on for a movie over two hours long.

I’m trying to distract myself from the fact that it’s a beautiful sunny October Saturday and no one is coming by to look at our house.  I keep reminding myself that it’s okay.  Really.  I got out this morning to do some bridesmaid dress scouting for Emily (found some nice ones), and I want to go for a run this afternoon (it’ll be a nice change to run in daylight again), and I have a whole list of things I’d like to do today and tomorrow.  Distractions abound.  I just need them to work so I can stop obsessing.

My new obsession

The new Athleta catalog came today.  I want everything in it.  (I bought a sleeveless dress last spring – love it.)  They have a whole travel clothes section, and just looking at the pictures makes me want to pack up and GO.  I’d like to be a well-dressed (but still comfortable) traveler.  I want to go for walks in fields and hikes in forests and strolls on wintery beaches wearing the chicest of chic travel clothes.  (Hell, I’d dress like the Von Trapps crossing the Alps if I thought I’d be warm and comfortable enough.  Who needs chic?)

I would totally wear Liesl’s hat.

Of course, there are some ridiculous assumptions in their descriptions.  They’ve got a cowl neck tunic-length cashmere sweater (beautiful, of course, and not cheap), but the description assumes you’re going to want to wrap yourself in it after your workout.  Who would put that on when they’re still sweaty from a workout?  Maybe they mean you’d want to wear it after you shower, but then it’s just clothes, not post-workout clothes.  And the picture shows a woman in a yoga studio with her mat hanging from her shoulder while wearing that sweater.  I get sweaty during yoga, but maybe she doesn’t.  Maybe if I had 15 cowl neck cashmere sweaters, I’d feel comfortable designating one to be my sweaty post-workout comfy sweater.  Maybe.

I’ve run out of clothes to buy

I have tried on every dress within 15 miles of my house over the last week looking for the one I’m going to wear to the wedding this weekend.  ALL by myself.  I’d walk into a store, grab armloads of dresses in my size, take over a dressing room, and try on every one.  I took pictures of the good ones and sent them to my posse (Pat, Emily, and Molly for immediate feedback via text, Mom and Mindy for more leisurely feedback over email), all of whom talked me into buying entirely too many dresses, most of which I will be returning (I’ve returned one.  Two more are in the car, waiting for me to get back to the mall.).  Sunday was about shoes.  I bought THESE most awesome shoes in hot pink:

I should take a break from shopping.

My first dance class EVER (almost)

I just got home from my teen/adult jazz (beginner) class.  Beginner my ass.  Out of four women, I was the only one who’d never danced before.  (I don’t count one month of tap in high school for a musical or ballet as a six-year-old that I promptly quit.)  Two of them were teenagers who used to dance when they were little, which actually meant until they were about 13.  They’re 16-17 now.  The fourth woman used to dance.  So…yeah.  This is going to sound…I don’t care how it sounds.  It’s true.  I can’t remember the last time I was the worst at something in a group of people.  It’s a little bit stressful, even when the class is fun.  But it’ll get better (I’ll get better), and I did enjoy it, and now I’m REALLY annoyed that I’m going to miss the first tap class on Thursday.  I’ll be SO behind next week.  At least I didn’t have to worry about what I was wearing.  Only one of the teenagers was wearing little dance shorts.  The older woman was wearing long loose yoga pants and a blouse-y top, and I wore my capri yoga pants and a tank top.  Perfectly acceptable.

Oh, crap.  Gotta run.  There’s laundry to do before I can pack for this wedding.

Me and Chas at the wedding

I just wrote a post about these pictures and the wedding my friend and I were at and how we danced our asses off, but for some reason it is now lost.  I am going to assume it’s because this is my tablet’s trial run. And my tablet keyboard’s trial run.  So somehow, when I clicked Save Draft, it did not do that.  Like, at all.  So, no story.  Just pictures.  Oh, this is the dress I linked to a few weeks ago.  Love it.

And this is my friend Chastity.

I’d like the early bird special, please

I went shopping a couple of weeks ago and bought the CUTEST dresses.  I wore the sheath dress to the ballet with Emily in March (so I guess the shopping trip was more like a month ago), and I think I’m going to wear the other one (which looks better on me than it does in the picture, if I may say so myself) to a coworker’s wedding in a couple of weeks.  I love dresses.

I am so completely exhausted.  I skipped yoga.  I shouldn’t have, but I got home and told John I was going to go, and his “oh, really?” sounded small and slightly disappointed, and that’s all it took to change my mind.  And the best part is that it’s only just after 8, and there’s no reason I can’t go to bed RIGHT NOW.  I can climb into my nice comfy bed and read my book until I fall asleep and I’ll still get a good night’s sleep…why am I still here?

P.S. Riley’s fine.  His paw isn’t bothering him at all anymore.  No more limping.

Chivalry isn’t dead, but it drives the wrong car

A guy in a fedora held a door open for me today.  That makes him twice the gentleman any other guy holding a door open would be.  But then he got into a Jeep Wrangler.  That is not the right car for a guy in a fedora.  But what is the right car for a fedora-wearing dude?  (It’s possible he was wearing a trench coat, too, but it’s more likely that my memory is making things up to fill in the blanks.  Apparently, my memory wants him to be Humphrey Bogart (or Rick Blaine, anyway).  But taller.  This guy was taller.)  I really don’t know the answer to that question – wait!  I totally do (because I watch Mad Men).  He should be driving a ’60s era Cadillac or something with fins.  (John says a giant Cadillac or a ’58 Lincoln.)  Definitely not a little bitty Jeep.

All shopped out

My friend Stephanie and I spent FIVE HOURS outlet shopping today.  We tried on all the clothes at the Ann Taylor and Banana Republic Factory Stores and bought half of them, and then we visited every single shoe outlet there.  Struck out on shoes, though.  I’ve lost track of what I’m looking for, except for a pair of black pumps that I can wear with anything for work and a pair of boots.  I didn’t find anything remotely like the boots I want.  I’ve been noticing people wearing them, but I don’t know where they’re from.  I’ll be heading to DSW again soon.  I checked Zappos and they’ve got what I’m looking for.  I’d just like to try some styles on before I order.

I’m looking for something like these:

Type Z Mamie

Lucky Brand May

Romantic Soles Brooke (Wide Calf)

Gabriella Rocha Abbey

Enzo Angiolini Visco

They’re casual, something I wouldn’t be afraid to really wear (I don’t want to have to worry about scuffing them, so I want boots that can take it), looks good with jeans…  I love boots.  Before I buy anything else, though, I’m going to clean out my closet.  For real.  I wear the boots I have, so they can stay, but most of my other shoes will go.  I mean it.  Clothes, too.  I’ll be ruthless.

I still have paint in my hair

I think someone cheated and skipped a few days in September.  It went by awfully fast.  What I remember of it was nice, though.  Especially last weekend.  The weather was perfect, and we spent the majority of those two days outside painting the porch.  Not normally my favorite thing to do, but we had a good time.  (Let me tell you a secret: I like spending entire days with John, just us.  It’s fun.  Shh.  Don’t tell anyone.)  We finished the second coat yesterday, and I went for a long bike ride, and now my butt is sore.  I can’t decide if I want to keep doing that.  If I do, I think I might need to invest in those padded bike shorts.  Just checked – those can be kind of expensive.  Also, they look kind of ridiculous.  But not as ridiculous as I look when my butt hurts.

On to the opposite of ridiculous:

I WANT THIS DRESS.  (Thank you, Tom and Lorenzo, for giving me a style goal.)

Not the shoes.  I don’t like the shoes.  (I totally just spelled shoes “shoose”.)  The dress has a Grace Kelly-esque silhouette and have I mentioned how much I want to dress like Grace Kelly?

 

Of course, I all too often have paint in my hair (all too often = every time I paint something), so I shouldn’t really be allowed near nice clothes.

 

A little (or a lot) on the girly side

If I may say so myself (and you just watch while I do), I looked super-cute today.  I’ve already changed into schlubby clothes,  though, so no pictures.  I didn’t think about it.  I wore a white cap sleeve blouse with tiny black polka dots over a straight black knit skirt and peep-toe black heels.  Love the outfit, and I felt really good in it.  Except for the sleeves.  I like cap sleeves (and I always thought they were capped sleeves, but Google tells me I’m wrong), I think they’re cute, but because of where the edge of the sleeve hit the top of my arm, I spent the entire day thinking my bra straps were falling down.  And then, because I got used to that, I didn’t notice when my bra straps actually did fall down.  So that was a little annoying.  I also might need new bras.  Let’s go shopping!  No, that’s next week.  For serious.  I have a shopping date planned.

Look what I got today!

When I got home from work today, there was a box on the island for me.  How very exciting.  Of course, I knew exactly what it was because I ordered it and I tracked it once it was shipped.  No surprises there.

Check out my new hat!

I have a very serious self-portrait problem.  I’m really very bad at taking them.  (Exhibit A: my numerous attempts on that trip to Boston two years ago.)  It takes every ounce of brainpower I have to get my eyes looking in the right place, and then I don’t have any left over to click the button, so I look at the camera to find the button and then I can’t find where I’m supposed to look again.

Here’s attempt #2 (the winner above was #4):

See? I think I’m looking at myself in the mirror instead of the camera, and it’s blurry. Cute hat, though.

I need to take lessons.  Or just quit trying.  I can’t figure out how to keep the phone out of the picture.

Wherein I over-emphasize

So…I bought new yoga pants yesterday because I found a hole in my old pair.  I’m sure the hole came from overuse and the fact that they were cheap pants and is NOT a commentary on my weight.  I’m sure of it.  (Me?  Defensive?  No…)  Anyway, I was inspired to get rid of other old clothes – clothes I don’t wear, clothes that even if I could fit into them I wouldn’t wear, other clothes that are so old they also have holes in them.  I went through every drawer in my dressers and filled one garbage bag with clothes to give away and another one with clothes (old socks, old underwear, a pair of sweatpants that has holes AND is covered in paint, etc.) to throw away.  Okay, the trash bag of trash isn’t filled with clothes.  I don’t have that many things that were so torn apart they had to be thrown away.  Although I am throwing away the pair of red nylon running pants I ruined with a hot iron.  I honestly can’t remember why I tried to iron those.  Seriously, let’s think about this.  For one thing, I HATE ironing.  I do it when I have to, but usually I just ask to John to iron something of mine when he’s ironing his work shirts in the morning.  For another thing, these pants are NYLON (or some other synthetic fabric that MELTS when it gets hot).  I had that information before I tried to iron them, really I did.  I knew what would happen, but obviously, my brain wasn’t present at the time.  For one more thing, these were jogging pants.  Why would I be ironing them?  They don’t get wrinkled in the first place, and even if they did, who cares? Maybe, just maybe, the pants happened to be on the ironing board while I was in the midst of ironing other things (unlikely – see my first point), and I just happened to set the hot iron on one of the legs.  But that doesn’t ring true.  We might as well assume I’m an idiot.  It would be closer to the truth.