Macaroni

Busy week.

  Now that the rain has stopped and the sun is out, the work on the backyard continues.  Noisy, messy work involving lots of rocks, stones, dirt– and mulch. Heaps and heaps of mulch.  This project has dragged on for too long.  “Just get it done,” she screams inside her head.

 I’m spending about 3 hours per day in the car driving Z-D to work and back.  It’s all interstate highway or downtown driving at rush hour.  I’m a suburban babe, so this sort of driving is a bit stressful for me.

 We’re social butterflies this week.

  • Drinks and dinner with friends from long ago who we bumped into while walking into Lowe’s.  Go figure.  Decided on the spot that we needed to get together for dinner to catch up, so on Sunday night we did.  It was great fun.
  • Dinner with one of Z-D’s former co-workers who is in town.  Always good to hear what this guy is doing.  He’s smart, interesting– definitely not one of the sheeple. Hallelujah!
  • Ballgame as business guests.  I like suites.  I like tasty food.  I like free beer.  This event aims to be the trifecta of good times for me.

 Got my curly hair cut shorter yesterday.  It’s more like the Keri Russell hairstyle that everyone hated years ago– which I always thought looked good on her.  I’ve got lots of layers with more curl and wave going on now.  Kind of kicky.  Less predictable… if that is even possible!

Later.

Oh, You’ve Got To Have Friends

I found this photo when I was going through some boxes of stuff that I’ve dragged around with me for years.  I’ve been in an organizing mood of late.  Most of the stuff in the boxes was of no value, but this photo– well, it’s a classic.  Worthy of note.

It’s a photograph of my third grade class.  I’m the girl in the middle of the front row holding my hands behind my back.  With long blonde hair.  Sporting a lovely pair of cat eye spectacles.  Tres chic!

Looking at this photo I have no idea why I’m not wearing a cute little plaid dress like the other girls.  I had lots of them, but for some reason I’m standing there in a shapeless jumper.  My mother worked when I was a kid, so maybe this was the only outfit that was clean that day for me to wear.  That could be it.  Or maybe I forgot that it was photo day and put the jumper on instead of something cute.  That’s probably more like it.

I have good memories of third grade.  Mrs. Bosh, our teacher, was enthusiastic and fun. The kids in my class were silly and goofy and friendly.  I remember adoring arithmetic & science, and that we did the coolest art projects.  I remember despising spelling tests, while thoroughly enjoying music class.

I also remember receiving my first Nancy Drew book that year.  It was a birthday present from the girl on the end of the front row nearest to the teacher.  I still have the book in fact.

But what I remember the most about third grade is that we played lots of games on the playground– and we included everyone.  No cliques.  No clubs.  No snobs.  That’s what was coming our way in fourth grade.

Of course, we didn’t know that yet when this photo was taken.  We were still just a bunch of happy kids.  Friends.  Wearing our best clothes and smiling for the camera.

Regarding Personal Style

I met a friend for dinner.  She arrived rocking the 1970s style trend that’s so popular now.  She looked perfectly at ease in that era’s clothes;  but then I realized that she always looks perfectly at ease no matter what she’s wearing.  So I asked her: “how do you always know what to wear to look good all the time?”

I figured that her answer would be about fashion magazines, long shopping trips to the mall and personal shoppers.

But instead, she seemed dumbfounded by my question.  And her answer made me laugh.  As she looked down to see what she had on, she told me that she had no idea what she was wearing.  She said that she just bought whatever was in the stores when she walked in– or online when she got around to shopping for clothes and accessories.

No planning.  No stress.  No external manifestation of deeper inner meaning. Just whatever.  “I’m too busy to keep up with fashion,” she told me.  “Do I have a style?”

I assured her that she did, and explained it to her.  She thought about what I’d said, agreed with me, and then asked me: “How do you know about all this?  Where are you getting this from?”

My answer was easy: “I read blogs.”  Blogs written by women with professional backgrounds in fashion who work as stylists.  Woman who are active amateurs with a passion for fashion.  Woman who dress well and like to share what they’ve figured out along the way.  All sorts of women.  All ages of women.  All kinds of styles.

Naturally, she wanted to know specifically what I was reading, so I told her.

When I got home I realized that a list of personal style/fashion bloggers would make a good and useful addition to my “Wonderful Blogs To Read” tab.  [Look up– white letters in the black line– kind of middle to right-ish– the one at the end.  Yep, that’s it.]  So I added a section to my blog roll that lets you, my gentle readers, know my current fav blogs.

Check it out, why don’t you?  You know you want to look good.  🙂  [Please note: fashion blogs on my blogroll deleted 10.11.  No longer interested in them.  Learned enough, I guess.]

Shopping For Clothes

I don’t like to shop for clothes– at the mall– in the department stores.  However, last week it seemed like a good idea. So…

I went to the mall to look for some spring clothes for me.  I parked in the only place I could find– a parking garage about halfway between two department store anchors on either end of the mall.  Then I walked to the end of the mall to shop in the big bad department.

Once inside I went to the exact spot in the exact department where I had seen, in January, what I wanted to buy.  But my item was not there.  In fact, the whole large area formerly devoted to this particular brand was gone.  So I went in search of a sales associate.  Eventually I found a woman and asked her where the brand I wanted was hiding.  I know department stores.  They hide things.

She told me that they no longer carried that brand.  So I asked: “why?” And this is what she told me.

The brand that I was interested in buying is also sold on a tv shopping network.  Dishonest shoppers, who had purchased discounted  items on the tv shopping network, were returning these discounted items to the big bad department store– where the big bad department store was giving them a full price refund— which was costing the big bad department store money.

[I have no idea why the big bad department store didn’t pull a Nancy Reagan and “Just Say NO” to the scam artists.  That’s what I’d do if I was in charge.  But, of course, I am rational and ethical– which in my experience is the antithesis of how department stores work.]

Instead, the big bad department store did the only thing it could think of to solve this problem;  it stopped carrying the brand altogether.  The brand that I had finally decided to buy.  The brand that this annoying store has promoted ad nauseum for years.  That brand.  *sigh*

So I thanked the sales associate for letting me know what was going on and left the big bad department store empty-handed.  Again.

As I was walking back to my car, I started thinking about what had just happened.  I had made the effort to buy something, but was defeated by the very store that had convinced me that I needed this item.  That was annoying.

I’d  been told a story that made the big bad department store look like a victim– which, I guess, the sales associate thought would make me sympathetic to the plight of the store.  That was weird.

But most importantly, I’d had the belated realization that I should never, ever listen to what the big bad department store says. Everything about the place is  hinky.  And this insight, gentle readers, was worth the trip to the mall.  I have learned.  I am better for it.

And you know what?  I’m not going back there again.

[Hello FTC!  I cannot lie.  I didn’t put this disclaimer on this post when I first published it because I didn’t use any names of the companies that I’m writing about here.  But now I can see that in the comments below I will be revealing the identity of the big bad department store.  So just to be safe, here is what you like to see: I have received no money or other compensation for the opinions stated in this post or in the comments below.]



Yippie-yi-yo-ki-yay

I know that it is customary in the blogosphere to put a photo of yourself on your blog.  As I understand it, the reasoning goes that by showing the world what you look like, more people will be interested in what you have to say.  You will be legit.

[I have my doubts about the truth of this assumption, but that isn’t what I’m in the mood to talk about today.]

So, not wanting to seem standoffish or out-of-touch, I decided to look for a picture of me.  This project seemed easy enough until I realized that I have very few photos of me.  I think that I must have been Amish in another life because I don’t like to have my photo taken.  Ever.

Still, I persevered and eventually I found this photo of me, age 3 (maybe 4?).

I think that this photo is close enough to what I look like now to qualify as a current photo of me. I still squint when looking into the sun.  I still have short blonde, sometimes curly, not quite straight hair.  I still have a rather casual approach to everyday outfits.

However, there are two important things about me that have changed since this photo was snapped.  First, I wear glasses all the time.

[Feel free to print this photo and draw glasses on me.  Make them kind of rectangular, rimless, with no-line bifocals– and make them very expensive.]

And second, I no longer carry a toy gun with me wherever I go.  I cannot overemphasize this point enough.

You see, this photo was taken during my “Wyatt Earp/Dale Evans” phase when I was convinced that if I dragged this gun around with me all the time, I’d eventually get my parents to buy me a cute little cowgirl outfit.  My tactics failed.  I never got the outfit and at some point a few months after this photo was taken, my little gun mysteriously got broken and was thrown out.

While it’s true that I never achieved my cowgirl dreams, this photo of me and the toy gun remains today.  And because of it I can show the world who I really am.  Or was. And more importantly, I can show the world that I’m a serious blogger with a picture of myself clearly posted for everyone to see.