Monday, July 20, 2009

Bianca Arrived--and other notes

This post will be a bit of a summary. I've been silent as I'm busy trying to get things done before I go to England at the crack of dawn on Wednesday. One of those things I won't finish, alas, is the book. The final read through (the one I knew would reveal those hitherto invisible problems) highlighted a really messy chapter 1. While I can deal with it, the rewrite won't be exactly minor. Even if I was here for the next two weeks, it would take a week or so to correct. So I guess the book will get in shortly after I return. The other chapters are OK--some great, some needing a little tidying up, but there is stuff in chapter 1 that needs to be in 2 and 3, so that's another matter to deal with. I don't have the distance to evaluate the intro and I hope it isn't going to be like chapter 1.

Saturday was kind of an imposed exile from writing. It was our friend Adrienne's birthday and she wanted to hang out at PS 1. So we spent the afternoon with her there (and I did like one or two of the exhibits, including the installation outside). Hanging out at PS 1 brought back old memories of when I went there most Saturdays for Warm Up. Then we headed to Prospect Park as Evan wanted to see King Sunny Ade. It was a great day to be out, but I did need to work, so it wasn't without some guilt.

Bianca arrived on Friday and is lovely. It fits and I'm thrilled to have it, although it was a splurge I can't repeat. I wore it on Sunday when I went into Manhattan to meet Cindy and hand Melissa her Rising Sun wedges. I was bad and got some Fiorentini and Baker boots in Barneys, but they were about 75%. Pictures of both items (although not worn together) will be posted at some point, although I'm too swamped to deal with that now. Sunday I also picked up Baby Gap pieces for my niece--Cindy was a great help. My mum needed me to do this, as she lost Charlotte's hat in the park. I also got my brother Giles a gift for his birthday.

Today--more work, more errands. I'm on a brief writing break as I'm trying to work out a knot in this chapter's conclusion. Hopefully, I'll get one more post in before I leave.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Be careful

I was washing my hands while wearing Santa Thereas and noticed a few drops of water had fallen on the skirt. I thought it was no big deal, but then realized two hours later that these had become significant water stains. The tie on the dress also needs to be resewn. Be careful if you have this dress. Get the tie reinforced and realize that this beautiful fabric should not go anywhere near water. I think they aren't that noticeable, but I know a $10 dry cleaning bill is in my near future--and a repair job too. I think this won't be making the trip to England with me, alas.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I took a break from writing to go to acupuncture today. The intro is looking good, I think, so that was a relief. Acupuncture was pretty amazing too. I went to somebody in Union Square (following a friend's recommendation) and was really impressed. My acupuncturist was so nice, very thorough and helpful and spent about an hour with me discussing everything that might have to do with my case, fertility, etc. I also mentioned a few other minor health issues, like bad colds, and I think she helped me with those too. She covered diet and general wellness, giving me a lot of good advice, including some I didn't expect--avoid salads, smoothies, fruit juices.

Evidently my Qi is weak (although she said could also be because I hadn't eaten all day--and my appointment was at 2.30--a bad habit I sometimes fall into), as was my pulse, so I have to build that. This means focusing on warm foods (I have a list). This, and other blockages, may account for some of my problems conceiving. Evidently, my tongue showed I am stagnating--which I felt too (see the unfinished book), and so she was going to work on that too.

Then the acupuncture. I was reticent at first, maybe a little fearful, but it was amazing. I felt some of the needles going in (mainly in the center of my abdomen, the ones near my hips and the one in my forehead). The ones on my hands and feet I never felt. I was surprised how few needles they use--I'd fallen for the old cliched image where I'd end up like a porcupine. But there was no real pain. Indeed, I think I could have stayed there for hours. It was an odd and pleasant sensation--and I was amazed by how different parts of my body reacted. I felt both energized and relaxed, sometimes sequentially, other times simultaneously. I also felt pulling in my lower back despite no needles. Most curiously, I closed my eyes and saw a deep pink (like the Cassis Clothilde!) and green vying for dominance (odd), I felt my breathing at one point open up to my lower abdomen as some blockage seemed to suddenly give way, and I felt the needle in my head gradually clear my sinuses. I also felt the needle in the center of my stomach and the one in my forehead vying for dominance, as though my over-thinking was being put in check so the abdomen, the site of creativity, could dominate. Towards the end, I had a strange, faint image of being in labor, albeit without pain and in a dreamlike way. Most of this--the breathing, sense of a removed block, the power of the two central needles, I explained to Juliette. She was pleased and said I responded well.

So I left with two forms of medicine-- a curious black chicken in wax eggs and You Gui. I go back next Tuesday for my next session where she will also teach me some stomach massage techniques.

I then met up with Jen, which was lots of fun. We talked and window shopped our way around Soho and Nolita. We walked down Elizabeth Street and I felt compelled to look in 242. The store was empty, save for a yellow motorcycle and black helmet (Jane's desk/register had gone). But the infrastructure was the same. I suspect it has been rented but if so, for what? The motorcycle suggests it won't be for a similar store, if one ever existed--and as we know, there's nothing comparable out there.

Upside Down

There's something odd about the trance I get into when writing. Today, I got through three rewrites of my introduction, eliminating some repetition, refining the structure, adding some transitions/expository sentences and further developing a few points. I'd hoped to sent it off to my friend Amanda tonight (we read each other's work) but it was not to be.

My sense of time really gets messed up when I'm writing. I thought it was lunchtime at 4 p.m., Evan practically had to drag me out of Starbucks around 9 p.m. as he was starving and I thought it was still nearer 7, and then I was shocked when he turned on the Daily Show (I thought it was still early evening). By my calculations, I must have been writing or editing for 12 hours or more today, and I put in at least that yesterday. I have no idea if this book is good, bad or makes any sense at this point. There's this parallel universe where I know what I want to say but I'm no longer able to say if this matches what I have on paper/screen. I think this is probably when you hand it over to an editor but I want this to be good, and my perfectionism may be getting in the way--at least Evan seems to think so.

Tomorrow, acupuncture. And I am not taking my chapter with me.

Monday, July 13, 2009


I'm on a self-imposed deadline to finish the book. My goal this week is to get the introduction completed and then print up everything (all seven chapters and the intro), read it through for repetition/style/clarity of argument, edit it down, correct it, and then read through one last time. Then I compose the letter to UC press explaining the huge amount of work that went into this rewrite and the whole thing goes in the mail and a large number of attachments are simultaneously sent to the editor in Berkeley.

That is why I spent a sunny weekend inside, moving away from any bright sunlight that hit my laptop, furrowing around papers and cutting, pasting, rewriting, rephrasing my prose. It's 12.19 am and I am just taking a break. I intend to finish reading this draft of the introduction before bedtime. Evan's also working hard on a paper so I have good company.

This is also the week I start acupuncture. I'm not so scared and hope it will have good results.

I've also got a fun assignment. I've been asked to write 800-1,200 words on the picture of Britney shaving her head for an academic journal (I suspect one of my former students has something to do with that as he was in my Celebrity seminar at NYU a year or so back). Regardless, it will be fun. I've discussed that image before, often in discussions of Judith Butler's gender trouble--after all, nothing elucidates dense and poorly written theory like references to Britney Spears!

Other than work, we did sneak out for two films this weekend (both with friends). Public Enemies was really good, despite a slight pacing issue 2/3 of the way through. The costumes and Chicago location shooting were amazing, as was Johnny Depp. Christian Bale was perfectly cast as an automaton FBI agent with little affect. We also saw Bruno, which veered between being riotously (and obscenely) funny and somewhat dislocated. But certainly it was fun. I'm trying to make sure I laugh heartily several times a day and it definitely ensured that was the case.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Great Wednesday

I suppose I've been a little reluctant to post, solely because I don't want to bump the pictures of Peeps further down the page. But yesterday was such a great day I need to mark it here. In the morning, I headed over to the Mayle showroom (again) to pick up some pieces that Jessie had held for Cindy and me because she didn't know the price. I got the Fabienne vest in gray (a color that didn't go into production, I believe); Cindy got the Astrid dress, the very one that Jane had held back for herself.

After that, I went to Whole Foods to grab lunch, then to Starbucks to write before meeting Evan at West Elm to choose some dining room chairs. In the absence of a dining room, these will go in the kitchen. After that, I headed back up to Penn Station to meet Loretta, who grabbed a salad, then we headed over to the Rachel Comey sample sale to meet Cindy. The first person we saw was Yoon, whose gorgeous Rio Plata Mayle top we'd just discussed. Yoon--we have to hang out sometime soon.

I thought the sale was overpriced and there wasn't so much stock (prices were higher than at Mayle and I know the price points for Rachel Comey are a lot lower, although it's also clearly a far smaller enterprise). The dress I'd been thinking about was there (the top was not, or rather, it was only available in ivory, not the print I wanted). Dresses werer $165 and up, tops around $145 or so. Items were also moving fast. Shoes were a better deal, but Rachel Comey's shoes run small--at least in the larger sizes--and there was literally nothing that fit me. Cindy did a lot better, however. I left empty handed, thinking that I could get what I wanted much cheaper elsewhere. Tax was not included, making the final decision for me--along with Cindy's veto of the dress I slipped on over Sonya.

If it wasn't great enough to meet up with Loretta and Cindy, we also saw Elise at the sale--she's currently interning with Rachel Comey. We will definitely see her again soon.

We then went to the West Village to Julie's apartment, where we met up with Monica and then spent a wonderful evening together. After looking at our new Mayle items, making some trades and trying on pieces, we all headed up to Julie's roof for drinks and snacks, before finally heading out to dinner. It was a great night with great friends. Julie was a wonderful and graceful host and we'll certainly all get together again soon.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Pictures I Had to Share: Ms Peeps Furrvis Models Target Cat Couture

As you can see, I'm not the only person in my household who enjoys dressing up. Peeps is like her Mummy in more ways than one, as displayed here. She actually seems to like being dressed up in various Target cat costumes, even though most of her hats are too small and her ears can't poke out through the holes and just get squashed. I hoe you enjoy these as much as I do. Unlike her brother, she readily let me put this new hat on her head.

A Few More

Here's the Ilaria dress in pansy lace from the SS 09 sample sale special editions and Monica from SS 05 (or was it 06)?

Ana Lucia Romper

The photos for this don't do it justice. Indeed, it is tough to shoot black silk items that I skipped over a lot of pieces today. This is a great piece, however, and one that turns from 30s inspired to a very contemporary item when paired with the Tati belt. There is a row of three buttons on the bottom of each leg, but I couldn't get a picture that showed the detail.

This is from SS 08, of course.


Here's another recent acquisition from Fall 07. It's beautiful and as yet unworn (I've seem to had some luck in picking up pieces recently).

Mariya and Marguerita

Two of my all time favorites from one of my favorite collections--Fall 07.

More color

The green top from SS 05 is one of my earlier Mayle pieces (looks great with jeans or with my black Lyell skirts). It has a half belt that fastens at the back, although it falls down in a loop when hanging up.

You'll all likely recognize the Paradiso top from fall 08. Such lovely fabric.

The Helen shirt is another great Mayle bright--I've shown the back and some detail as this is such a pretty piece. I haven't had a chance to wear this one yet (as you can see--the tag is still hanging)


Much desired and finally found, here's another splash of color from Clothilde.

One of my favorites: Federica

My Federica in persimmon. I love this dress--it looks much better on but I wanted to share its beauty in some form.

More Pictures

Here's my Anais in purple. SS 07, but a recent acquisition. It is more purple than my camera suggests, and more beautiful.

Finally Photos!

As promised, here are some pictures. First, the Santa Theresa dress, which is a variant on Avignon, with hints of Therese.

Pictures to follow

After major searching,I found my missing camera charger (and my Envirosac bag), so some pictures of my most recent finds will follow.

On Friday, Cindy and I went to the Mayle showroom to pick up our bags. I got the indigo full sized Billie bag, which is lovely. I've never owned a Billie and really wanted one. The bag is beautiful, and if I could chose a color, this would have been it, with the loden green as a close runner up, a color that wasn't on offer. Cindy got the purple suede Baby Billie and a Toro Baby Billie, both of them stunning. I just carry too much junk in my wallet to go for the smaller bags. Indeed, in grad school, one of my friends would randomly pull receipts from my wallet to see how old they were. I try not to stuff it so much these days, but old habits--and fear of identity theft--die hard.

Besides bags, there was a limited amount of merchandise left over from the sample sale. I got a dress based on the Avignon, the Santa Theresa dress. Basically, it's the Avignon cut (the shorter, re-edition version) in the tan striped silk used for Mia and the body of Anahi with black silk and black lace trim (so there is some influence from the Therese dress). It uses the same black lace seen on the SE Therese reeditions on the shoulders with black silk bordering the upper part of the v-neck, finished with a black and gold button on each side. There's also a black silk tie at the waist. I hadn't planned on getting yet another Mayle dress so soon, but this may be the last for a while, given the shortage of stock in NYC consignment stores and on ebay.

I will put pictures up later today. I'll also share pictures of my lovely Poupette necklaces.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Poupette necklace and another find

Early this evening, Cindy and I met up with Geri from Poupette to pick up our custom necklaces. Cindy's has a small disc imprinted with a diamond and it appears to float on a chain; I had an M (for obvious reasons!), again with a small diamond, hanging at a 45 degree angle on its chain. Both are delicately worked in the most beautiful pinky 14 ct rose gold (a true rose rather than a yellowy red). I'm thrilled with my second beautiful piece from Poupette. Geri's custom work is very reasonable, barely any more than her already reasonably priced stock. I don't usually do this, but you should check her out at I also rarely wear jewelry. I don't like to spend a fortune on accessories and I know what I like--vintage items, old lockets (again in rose gold), and the delicate artisan jewelry that Geri specializes in. She's also really nice, which is always a bonus. And she owns a Fabiana dress in Amalfi!

Other than that, I got Danya from INA. I know I don't need it (I have Marguerita and Mariya and Katia which all have some resemblance to it), but I got it anyway. It was a shade under $175 with tax so I'm officially going to start keeping a wish list from this point on so I only get the Mayle I can't live without. From now on, discipline will reign. The book will be done, the medical treatment endured so I can have Evan's and my baby, and I will start saving again.