Monday, May 31, 2010

Another Good Memorial Day Code

I like There's a lot of merchandise that's not to my taste, but they offer free shipping and regular coupons, as well as Alexander Wang (regular and T lines), Opening Ceremony and others. I love the Surface to Air shoes that I bought from them and now use them to get my organic Kimberley Sayer moisturisers and other eco-minded beauty goods (as well as envirosacs). My last order from them was placed just last week with their previous 20% off code. They have a 25% discount for Memorial Day--there are a few exceptions--that I share below. Surface to Air shoes are included, as are envirosacs (just $7.50 and free shipping--I use mine all the time and got another one recently as they are strong, hold lots of groceries, and fold up into a small pouch), and their organic beauty lines.

25% off regular priced lines

Offer ends Monday 05/31/10 11:59pm PST. Excludes items already on sale, and all merchandise from A.P.C., Alexander Wang, Anthony Logistics for Men, Comme des Garcons, Comme des Garcons Play, Converse, G-Star, Hudson Jeans, Hunter, Nixon, T by Alexander Wang, and TOMS Shoes. No minimum purchase necessary. Not valid on previous purchases and cannot be combined with other coupons or price matching.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day weekend--so far

It's been a warm and busy weekend so far. I've managed to proof read and correct four more book chapters (just two more to go--the last two required little corrections but I don't know if the final pair are as clear). But I've also found time for fun.

Yesterday was Evan's birthday and celebrations continued into today. To mark the date, we went to Sriprathai last night for always amazing Thai food and sat outside in the garden. Six of our friends were able to make it, others were out of town. Evan's gifts included amazing letterpressed cd covers (and a mix cd) from our artist friend, Adrienne, who has her own Etsy store. I'm going to photograph them and post a link tomorrow, if time permits.

After dinner, we went bowling. Evan won both games (I never knew he was such a good bowler). I'm terrible but managed to avoid coming in last, more by luck than anything else. Back in grad school, we went bowling often (partly because there's little to do in Wisconsin and partly because it seemed so delightfully camp and retro). Wisconsinites take their bowling seriously--alleys were pristine and any infractions of bowling etiquette were fiercely policed. As a clueless English girl (I'd previously bowled once), I had no idea what to do. Hurling a ball seemed tough, risked making a noise that would alert somebody to come over and yell at us, so I'd run up, stop, gently drop the ball (maybe push it in the direction I hoped it should go) and then watch it lose momentum and slide into the gutter. Occasionally, it would slowly stay in the center and hit the pins, which would gently wobble and finally, maybe collapse. Whatever happened, my friends found the results hysterical. I saw no reason to change. In the interim years, I've never been back in a bowling alley.

Bowling in Queens is different. Nobody cares if you drop balls, or make a noise. As my friend Alyssa rightly noted, there's so much going on in NYC, people just learn to filter some of it out. There also doesn't appear to be the same bowling culture. I had a little bit of beginners luck, but before long, my old tactics failed--gutter ball followed gutter ball. I'm not in my early 20s any more so somewhere in the middle of the second game it hit me: if this isn't working for you, try something new. So, for the first time ever, I remembered what I'd been told and ran up and actually threw the ball (and looked ahead rather than away). 9 pins fell. I couldn't aim well enough to get the spare, but for four of the remaining five frames, I got 9 pins, and even the final 5 was better than a gutter ball. So I guess there is something to this aging=wisdom thing.

Today, we worked a little more, had brunch with Alyssa, dinner in Astoria with Evan's parents and cleaned house. Tomorrow, it's brunch with Ben and his friend Brynn, followed by a matinee of Sex and the City 2. Yes, we know it's bad--Ben already blogged about how terrible the reviews, previews and posters were--we've read the reviews, the word of mouth from trusted friends has been terrible. We've even asked why are we doing this? But I have to see it for the next book anyway (even if just to say its a terrible footnote and a perversion of the feminine ideals I'm writing about) and Ben has to blog about it--if for no other reason than his might be the funniest and smartest final word. As camp afficianados, we only intended to laugh at it (the original series was amazing, the films have been a greedy, wrongheaded and mindless perversion). But this may be beyond even our best efforts at some kind of recuperation/mockery and be the worst kind of bad--tedious, inept and embarrasing. I'll report back on that tomorrow, but in the meantime, if you haven't looked at the reviews, they are highly entertaining. Personal favorites include Salon's, Rex Reed's New York Observer review and the review in New York Magazine. If I have time, I'll add the links tomorrow.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Lyell Closing Sale

There have been several times over the last month where I thought this is the last time I will ever go to Lyell. Abrupt as their farewell appeared, Lyell's closing drew out more than I expected. On Tuesday, I received an email announcing their closing sample sale to be held this Thursday and Friday. I had plans with Evan earlier and had already scheduled to meet a student, so I couldn't make it in for its noon start. While I assume press, staff, friends, family etc. would already pick over the remnants before the sale opened to the public, I also remember there being very little stock for the last sample sale, most of it in the tiniest of sizes.

I got to the sale at 2.30 and it was pretty much as expected. There was very ittle stock mostly from this season, along with a few samples (mainly pants and shorts), a smattering of vintage (likely pieces used for inspiration) and a few of the halter tops with a collar and low back from last summer. No coats, no jackets, no skirts, no dresses and no cardigans (I saw someone purchase the last fuschia cardigan which would otherwise have gone home with me). The new season stock consisted of striped scarves ($50) in both the teal and yellow colorway, 2 teal striped and about four yellow striped sleeveless sweaters ($80), one pair of purple suede shorts ($120), the gray cotton shirt ($90), the white cotton shirt with minimal lace trim ($90 or $110), the navy chiffon blouses that I'd aready dismissed as too delicate and too expensive (the tan had completely sold out), now $280, was $380, originally planned to be $700, a few camisoles in various colors and designs ($65 and $75), red silk ruffled knickers/pants at $30, 2 matching bras at $30, two styles of leotards at $110 and suede belts adorned with a bow $50. There were also a few Lipstick Queen lipsticks at $10.

This all sounds like reasonably bounty but it really wasn't. There were two racks, but both were sparcely stocked. It had evidently been busy early on, but I'm sure there wasn't that much stock. I got a teal striped sweater and a red bra (it's like a 20s piece, delicate and vintage), Caroline bought a pair of patterned blue shorts from last summer that she'd really wanted (they fit her perfectly) and a black vintage dress. In a way I was glad there weren't coats there in my size as I would have been tempted. But I basically got everything I coveted from this spring--although I'd like to have gotten the Bonnie Parker sweater in a M and snagged one of the bags, so I can't complain. I'd have liked to have paid less for the black dress too but that's just me being naughty. I'll be saving even more now my other reliable souce of expensive clothes has shuttered. Much as I like Jeffrey Monteiro, his sizing is not consistent and some of his dresses are hard to track down, even in NYC.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bright and Sunny

It's such a perfect day--blue skies and dry warmth--that it seemed appropriate to wear a similarly sunny dress, like my Federica in persimmon. Orange is such a happy color and so much easier to wear than most people think.

Not that I'm going to be out and about much--I have to finish proof-reading and editing my first book chapter. As luck would have it, it happens to be the weakest of the seven, partly because of the lack of really strong materials (a historiographic issue--evidence isn't always as good as we'd like). While I've considered jettisoning it many times, I think I need it, so it stays, but I'd love to start on more of a stronger note. Hopefully by the end of the day, it will be more compelling--at least, I think I'm making headway on the necessary improvements. The game plan is to have it all done by June 1 and then start on the second book. I'm hoping for a fun but structured summer.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Frances May

 After trying on a pair yesterday, I decided to get a pair of No. 6 clogs. I liked the t-straps best in penguin, although the gold in their lookbook was also striking.

Before I custom ordered, I followed Jennifer's suggestion and checked out the Frances May sale (20% off with FMTURNS2). They had the t-straps in 41 in red, and with the discount and shipping, I saved about $60. Much as I liked the penguin, I also like their three strap style (shown in the lookbook in that very color), so if these work, that will likely be a future purchase. I love the way they are styled with socks and can see that being a great fall--or cooler summer day--look.

So, here they are. I think these will work well into the fall.

If anybody else gets clogs or other items from FM, let me know about your finds in the comments.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Another Lovely Day

 Since school finished, Evan and I have been cleaning house. Out went the old comforter, spilling down, along with papers, old video tapes (now copied to DVD) and other assorted clutter. The apartment is still too ful of stuff but such is NYC life where space is at a premium and not always available when you were looking for an apartment.

After doing my laundry this morning, I headed into Manhattan to meet up with Joyce and Jennifer at Lyell. They were both completely lovely and we had a fun afternoon in the perfect sunshine. I think this trip to Lyell was my last one--there is very little left and much of it is still a little more expensive than I'd like to pay. The chiffon blouses--their very last new item--are in but they are so delicate and nearly transparent with parts of the blouse being a single layer of silk chiffon. At around $360, they also have a hefty price tag. Pretty as they are, they aren't practical for my life (and cats) and they are just a tad too ruffle-y for me. Then we headed to No. 6 where the dresses seemed very picked over and not to my taste--their fall look book was in the shop and looked promising, even though I only gave it a quick browse. The clogs won me over. I'd thought they may be too rigid but one pair I tried on--the t-straps--were so comfortable that I think I'll order a custom pair to get the color I want (a pale green delightfully named penguin). The leathers are all organic and the clogs are handmade, which I hadn't realized. You can also order an upper in one size and a sole in another to get more width.

We then went to the McNally bookstore to talk more (and meet Ben, Joyce's lovely husband). I had to leave all too soon to go to acupuncture but hope I get to see both Joyce and Jennifer again in the not too distant future.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Great Weekend

Although I still have some schoolwork to do before dedicating myself to finishing one book and starting the next, I was able to take most of this weekend off. First of all, Evan and I started the big spring clean, throwing away papers and other clutter that amassed over the last academic year. The weekend was bookended with fun. Friday night, I met Monica after work and we headed down to Barmarche to meet Marti and Alison. We stopped off at Lyell along the way--the shelves are almost bare, just a few old pieces, some underwear, camisoles and sleeveless sweaters are left. Then we had a great dinner--it was so good to see everybody and we had such fun.

Sunday afternoon, I met Marti again to tour Soho shops and consignment stores. There really wasn't much that excited me--this time around, Topshop was pretty uninspiring. Just two weeks ago, it was so much better but unlike the ones in England, this gets ravaged and restocked with completely different clothes remarkably quickly. A lot of the design may work but the fabrications are really too cheap for the price. I did, however, buy a great red and white striped tank that I'm wearing right now ($28) and a pair of purple knitted tights, on sale for $10. Isabel Marant also underwhelmed--I think this label is both horribly over-rated and highly overpriced. I guess the ethnic/hippie look has never spoken to me. I've always found the late 1960s a sad time. People moved away from exciting youthful minis, wonderfully angular yet futuristic style and clean, stylish European looks to dirty, messy looks, void of style. Romanticize it as Marant might, it just doesn't work for me, with few rare exceptions (Anita Pallenberg in Performance may be one). J. Crew was underwhelming too--there really just isn't that much out there right now.

There wasn't much in the consignment stores either, but I did score a pair of brand new--that is, never worn--green Mayle flat sandals from somewhere around 2004-5. They are very comfortable and will fit in well with my summer dresses. Now I just have to get back in enough shape to wear my shorts...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Target Sucks

Last month, I posted about staying up after 1 am to grab the Zac Posen snap tape dress in a M or L as soon as they came online. I knew it would go fast, but even as the logo announced Posen was now here, nothing was available for sale. The next morning, the only available size was an XL. I ordered it anyway, hoping I could either find an L in stores or return it if it was really too large. I was not happy given that it was clear they had stocked things in the middle of the night and ebay vultures had likely snapped up most of the hotter pieces.  I should have been even more suspicious when June 17 was listed as the shipping date.

Today I received the following email:

Thank you for shopping at

Unfortunately, the following item is not currently available from
any of our sources.

 Zac Posen for Target® Snap Tape Dress - Blue  XL

We have cancelled this item from your order and can't say for sure
if it might be back in stock. If you are still interested please
check back every once in a while to see if it's available.

To view the current status and the costs associated with your order,
please visit My Account (

Because you only pay for items when we ship them to you, your credit
card has not been charged for this item.

Thank you for being a valued Guest.  We hope you visit us again.


Guest Service Department

Please note: This e-mail was sent from a notification-only address
that cannot accept incoming e-mail.  Please do not reply to this
message.  If you have further questions, please visit our online Help

Besides the fact that I want an L or M and the dress is now listed as in store only (and both options evidently exist somewhere), I'm furious that they took an order--or many orders--knowing they couldn't fulfill them. I also had ordered a Liberty nightdress and now will likely have to swallow shipping on that, when I'd be a little happier if they at least comped shipping of that item.

I have had bad experience calling Target customer service--when I called about the Liberty of London items that I could put in my cart repeatedly but would vanish as I checked out (clearly just gone out of stock but not all parts of the program recognized this), the guy on the other end claimed that a totally different nightdress was the same item and then told me he had no idea what I should do other than go to my local Target and buy it there (the fact it was out of stock according to the online inventory was clearly irrelevant). So I decided to email them and express my anger only to find no email address available. Their phone service is notoriously bad and I don't want to ruin my Saturday.

So this is my public way of announcing that I will not be visiting Target online again and will seriously consider never shopping at your store again. If you can't manage your online inventory, at least offer a customer service email or improve your phone service.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Grades are In

Every semester I underestimate the work involved in grading. I finally handed in grades yesterday and now I am somewhat more free I'll be updating the blog again. Right now, I have to deal with everything I neglected this past five days, including literally hundreds of emails and errands I've left undone.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Lyell Redux

 Just a brief note--if the refinery29 online Lyell store is anything to go by, it looks like the stock is almost all gone. I have to see if the new blouse came in...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Election

I'm sitting here, flipping between the BBC and The Guardian online, hoping against hope that Cameron and the Conservatives lose. He is a very dangerous man, drawing on oily charm, fears about the economy that are more global than national and resentment against immigration to win power. I fear if he wins, education, health, training and the poor and middle classes will suffer, while the rich will get richer. Alas, as my mother so often notes, people cannot remember what it was like to live in England under a Conservative government and may find that they really don't like what they get. I'm hoping that somehow a Labour or Lib-Lab coilition will result, but commentators are pessimistic about their prospects.

While I miss the cameraderie of watching results with friends, at least the timing is more civilized. No waiting until 4-5 am for a sense of what's going on.

In other news, I tore my Belda trench. We had the windows open because it was so hot. As I left my apartment, a cross draft caused the door to slam while it also blew my coat into the lock. As a result there are now three small (around 1 inch) tears and a couple of oil smudges. I'm going to have to pay to get it repaired and cleaned just as I need to wear it over a rainy weekend.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lyell finds

I was busy all day Monday, so when I received the Lyell closing email, I pencilled in a visit for Tuesday afternoon before acupuncture. I contacted Caroline and agreed to meet her in the store at 4 p.m. Given the email's promise of new stock to come, I figured I was probably a little premature, but I wanted to see what had come in and find out more about reductions, stock and sizing. Refinery29's store displays the Lyell inventory so I checked for sizes and pricing. Full runs seemed available although pries weren't adjusted online so I was confident I'd find what I wanted. Top of my list was the Bonnie Parker sweater I mentioned a month or two ago; second was the tulip skirt in size 10. Skirts are actually tough and two of my favorites are from Lyell: a box pleat silk mini from SS 2007 (I liked it so much, I bought a second one at their spring 2008 sample sale) and the gathered purple wool skirt from last fall. The tulip skirt seemed like a new favorite staple from the first moment I saw it. The idea of new dresses, as yet unseen and reduced tempted me, as did the possibility of getting a bag. I'd heard about the shoes that were coming in and they were also on my list. I didn't do the math or think about what this would cost--probably close to what I had spent at the Mayle sample sale a year ago, a sum I had not intended to spend on clothes this spring.

There are times when I realize that I'm being a little naive: this is NYC and any idea, quirk or plan you might have, no matter how seemingly original, is shared by a few hundred other like minded people. Or maybe just fifty like minded shoppers. In a city of eight million plus, this is indeed a tiny percentage, but when there is a small store with very limited stock, it makes a big difference. Most people I know have never heard of Lyell and would think I was insane to spend that much on an item, even on sale. Still when I got to Lyell at a shade before 4 on Tuesday, I found a pretty empty store--a couple of shelves of sweaters and tiny, diaphanous bras, camisoles and scarves, one rack of vintage (not on sale) and one small rack of clothes. Most of the items featured in the early Spring 2010 lookbook (which wasn't published in book form or even a postcard) were present, but sizes were limited. A few other new arrivals were featured, mainly silk camisoles (which may be pretty but they aren't something I've felt the need to wear for at least 5-6 years), swimsuits (or possibly bodysuits) and a pair of purple suede scalloped shorts--again, not for me, although I can see why these could sell in a season of leather shorts. After all, Emma's shorts do have a strong following. Absent? The tulip skirt. I asked about it, and the lovely sales assistant found one size 8 remaining. I asked if they had bags but those had also sold out. Evidently the store had been mobbed all day Monday and Tuesday morning and lunchtime. Basically, this was one party where I arrived a little too late. Furthermore, the promise of new stock was effectively no more. One blouse will be coming in later in the week and that's that--no shoes, no dresses, nothing. I suppose they were able to cancel orders.

Amongst the new items were cardigans in blue and fuschia--I tried the blue. I also tried on the black silk knit dress--the last Lyell frock ever. I also tried on the Bonnie Parker sweater in L (although a M would probably have been better, there was only a L left) and the tulip skirt. As usual, Lyell's sizing was far from consistent--the size 8 skirt was more of a 4 and barely fastened. It looked obscenely bad but I would have loved it had it fitted (beautifully cut, lovely fabric). The knit dress was perfect--the slightest puff at the top of the sleeve and the scalloped edges at the bottom, just below the elbow, were my favorite features. I don't really need another simple black dress but I'd always wanted a Lyell knit or crocheted dress and they always sold fast. The fabric (a silk/wool mix) was lovely so I splurged. I also got the Bonnie Parker sweater which was slightly misshaped in the shoulders from being on a hanger (which upset me as I don't think this will come out). A M would perhaps have been better but given the size fluctuations, it may have been worse. But the sweater was pretty, worked well enough and was so soft, so that went in the bag too. I passed on the cardigan because I couldn't spend more and would prefer to get the shirt that's coming in--if I get anything else at all. Here are lookbook photos of my finds--I will try to take photos and post them this weekend as the dress is actually better styled without the belt.

Caroline already owned the Bonnie Parker sweater and got the black knitted dress and some fine knit leggings with scalloped bottoms, decorated with small gold dots. They looked so great together on her and indeed were styled together in the lookbook. 

Still plentiful were the sleeveless stripe sweater, the cardigans, shorts, the knit dress (only in the L and P), camisoles, underwear, leggings, and shorts. A beautiful taupe suede/leather jacket with hand painted silk lining seemed to be around $595, possibly less, but I know I'd ruin it.

I may go back in again a couple of times before the shop closes--I think it's at the end of the month--but this is probably my big splurge. The few available styles speak to the limited scope of Emma's production so if only 75-150 NY shoppers can't resist, most of the stock will be gone in a week. I suspect the camis and underwear may be all that's left at the end.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I may be a little late, but I want to add a few more words to the chorus of Lyell obituaries. As beautiful as Emma's line has been, I'm actually surprised she managed to last this long, given the economy and her limited production (both in terms of the numbers of items produced and the number of pieces in each collection). From what I could tell, she was a true independent, working without a backer, and as such she was likely hurt more when she wasn't paid for a collection by Chicago's Jake than some of the other similarly defrauded designers. After this event, she cut back to focus on her store and effectively became the sole retailer of her clothes. But the timing couldn't have been worse--with people looking to buy cheaper and get items on markdowns (despite retailers' reluctance to cater to this trend), reducing output inevitably means higher prices, fewer markdowns and the loss of some customers. I think Lyell's higher prices didn't help--as beautiful and well crafted as her collections are, there wasn't always enough of a wow factor to convince me that her blouses were worth $400 plus, especally when the earlier price points were less than half that just five years earlier. The quick and sudden shift to more costly tags just meant that fans--like me--had to buy on sale or skip items entirely, losing custom to other lines.

Even though I wasn't surprised to read the email yesterday, I thought Emma had managed to weather the storm. Her UO line, while varying immensely in quality, gave her a reliable source of funding without comprising Lyell's integrity. She had reduced production and managed to sell much of her fall collection without offering major reductions (which is why I was only able to buy one skirt and one jacket). There was very little stock left for her sample sale, which was quickly mobbed. This season she was expanding out to bags and returning to shoes for the first time since her initial collection, something I saw as a sign of health. Emma had even started offering a bespoke gown service, which seemed wise--her beautiful understated gowns would never fit into my lifestyle, and seemed an odd fit in a small collection, but I'm sure there was a great market in NYC and elsewhere for a wedding or special event. Nobody else would have the same dress and for $1,500, you could call this a bargain. But, as with Mayle (Lyell's closing email closely resembled Jane's own), the renewal of a commercial lease played a major role. Obviously with a line this small, losing the store would be a fatal blow and I can only imagine the increase--the tiny size of the shop and its very slightly out of the way location likely made it affordable when she first signed the lease (which had to be five or six years ago, not seven), but probably didn't offset a massive increase.

While this was a business whose mistakes were obvious even at the time, I applaud Emma for sticking to her vision and quality. At times I wished she had spread out more--offered more prints and color (her forays into these areas were good), employed a fit model so her clothes didn't run so small, hadn't struck out into areas that were doomed to fail (like jeans) and maybe taken on a partner so she could increase runs and get her collections out in time. But balancing quality and style had to be an effort and Emma's items remained as beautifully made at the end as they were in the beginning. Few designers working on this scale or price point could match that achievement.

As her line ends, I'm reminded of its beginnings--or at least my discovery of Lyell near the end of its first season. I was shopping in Steven Alan in Tribeca when I found a beautifully made pair of dark green pumps, fashioned from the softest leather. Even though I couldn't wear that style of shoe, I paid closer attention to the then unfamiliar label. I noticed two soft silk dresses from the same designer and the friend I was with mentioned that she thought there was a Lyell store, not far from Mayle in Nolita. Lyell was our next stop and I fell in love with the collection--from Fall 05, I believe--purchasing the navy silk 20s inspired Bonnie and Clyde dress. Within weeks, after repeated visits, I owned a 1940s navy cashmere inspired coat, a navy small polka dotted silk blouse (still the perfect blouse), a thick ivory cashmere cardigan, a pair of navy t-strap shoes, a black and ivory dotted ruffle dress, a perfect black wool peacoat and a ruffled navy and ivory dotted tie neck blouse. The prices were good--$250 or so for a dress, $150 for a blouse, $500 for a coat--and even better on sale. There were several good sales early on where I saw friends pick up tops for $50 and dresses for $75. I was eager for the second collection, especially after hearing descriptions of some of the items from Alice, Emma's wonderful sales assistant, but as months drew on, only a few pieces came in. It was soon clear that most of these items wouldn't come in, would never make it past the sample stage, and it seemed possible that Lyell would fold. That spring's collection was really fragments of a collection that never was, but after that disaster, prices rose, reductions were less extreme and ambitions were likely curbed. The fact that Emma kept this venture afloat for another five years, even expanding to offer (briefly) holiday lines and staging a fashion show after winning a fashion award speaks to her courage, tenacity and talent. I wish her luck with her future. While this may mean one or two final splurges, it leaves me with just a few designers who excite me and thus may be very good for my bank account.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Little Stir Crazy

Summer in NYC--even a premature glimpse of summer--is generally energizing and uplifting. The one problem that always gets to me is the lack of outdoor/green space. I no longer live near a park. I thought I'd found something this morning but it turns out that the one small city park in the area is concrete, small, filled with swings and inadequate for the children in the area, let alone those adults who want to sit and grade under the quiet shade of a tree.

There seems to be a scrap of green space in the center of our building but I have no idea how to access it and nor does Evan. There appears to be a door which likely needs a key--which we don't have. Other than working hard this summer, finding a yoga class nearby and going through some of the clutter in our apt., finding a way into this space is a top priority. Even when I lived in Chicago, there was green space available for each apt. and it really improves the quality of life no end.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


My NYU classes finished on Thursday. It was all very anticlimactic, as the end of the semester tends to be. While I appreciate having more time to work on my research, finish my book and get my sample chapter written for my second book proposal, I will miss my classes and students. In England, courses often last for a year--in the case of my grad class, I think we could have easily gone longer. Having set up the basics, we're now ready to have some fun and develop concepts further. Besides, I'll miss my students. While I am sure I'll get to teach many of the grads again, most of my undergrads are graduating this month. One came by my office yesterday and asked if he'd see me again, which made me a little sad.

On other matters, my Mayle sandals arrived. They fit, are in perfect brand new shape and look great with tights or bare legs. Their timing was perfect, coinciding with the latest burst of summery weather. I still haven't received my J.M. dress and the tracking number doesn't seem to work, but I'm not going to stress about it yet. Again, photos to follow.

On Thursday night, Evan discovered some nasty cuts on his cat Remy so she went to the vet yesterday. The likely culprit is my bad boy Blue, I'm afraid. I had found some scratches around his neck last week and the vet believes Remy's cuts were a week-old bite that she'd scratched and licked open. There's a dime size open wound on her back, all the more visible now she has been part-shaved and is wearing an Elizabethan collar. Some cute, sad and surreal pictures to follow.