Thursday, May 17, 2012

Back to work

I'm in that point in the semester where not all the papers are in and therefore grades can't be submitted. It's tempting to see this week as one where you can relax, catch up on house cleaning, perhaps take a day off to see a movie or window shop. But I'm increasingly aware that these days are precious and today started work--writing a paper proposal (and hopefully, soon, a chapter) on D.W. Griffith and Progressivism which has meant a day watching Biograph shorts and taking notes (at this point, 17 pages). Notes are not papers, of course, but it's funny how quickly my appetite for real work has returned after about 6 weeks of teaching/grading and little time to write or research. I hope to have the proposal in over the next couple of days, but in the meantime it is so good to work and I am just hoping that this energy stays with me and helps me to finish the chapter and article revisions that I'd like to have done by the end of May/very early June.


Last week, my four wonderful fashion tutorial students presented me with an amazing gift--four bottles of Chanel nail polish (Delight, Holiday, Black Pearl and Rose Exuberant). Translated these are a wonderful gold/pale bronze, orange, opalescent black/blue and fuchsia. I'm wearing the Delight now and it truly is one--it dries fast and looks like a professional manicure so a bottle actually works out as a pretty good deal.

On the way to a graduation event yesterday, I dug up an old Bloomingdale's gift card and inspired by this gift, I hit the Chanel counter and bought a bottle of Peridot--a limited edition shade from the fall (green/gold with a touch of blue) that has sold out in Bergdorfs and the city's Chanel boutiques. With five bottles I'm set but it was a nice treat that didn't actually come out of my bank account.

My new frugality is going relatively well--it's funny how the less you spend, the less you want. Even though I hope it doesn't have to last forever, it's amazing how cutting back really makes you question whether you need something or not and, in turn, makes you appreciate relatively small treats.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

End of the semester

Teaching is finally over for another semester and while this one went well, it has seemed longer than usual in some ways, and shorter than others. My fashion tutorial was one of its high spots--I taught four incredibly smart, wonderful young women who I'm delighted to say will be in my Media and Fashion class this fall. We finished our tutorial with the Prada/Schiaparelli exhibit last week which was really a great way to end such a perfect teaching experience.

I'm in that limbo now where I have a ton of grading to do very quickly, a few graduation events to attend and then its back to the chapter I left in March--it's a mess and needs to be turned around in three weeks. After that, I have a conference paper to write and then I head to England for a month for the conference and some family celebrations--including meeting my new niece, Molly! I booked the ticket today and am excited about the prospect of being home and seeing both of my nieces.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Under the Weather

I've not been feeling well for a while--I'm not abandoning the blog just fighting nausea and exhaustion. I'm hoping to feel well enough to blog about the Prada exhibit at the Met--I attended the member preview this week and it was pretty amazing. But until my energy returns I'll spend my time on the couch with the cats feeling sorry for myself while trying to write essay questions, lectures and all the other end of semester stuff that won't wait.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

APC Sample Sale

It's been a long and very strange semester. My book is in (and I'm now just waiting to hear from the board), I'm working on other projects and I've managed to fall behind on way too many things. I'm still trying to get through the email backlog and to make matters more complex, I've had a cold, stomach upset and picked up pretty much everything my students have had this semester. Add to that, I had my first real brush with identity theft when some unknown person stole my debit card number and used it to open an account. As I have my amazon account linked to my debit card, they sent me an alert, I called my bank and the card was canceled. The problem was timing. I was about to leave for a trip where I was spending one night in a hotel and was left with the cash I had and no way of getting any more (I have stopped using credit cards and cut up the ones I had). Net result, I had to pay for a hotel in cash, beg them to accept and eat Dunkin Donuts bagels as that was all I could afford to buy at the station. Not fun.

On another note, for the first time in weeks, I actually engaged with clothes and shopping this Friday. Not that my abstemious mindset has been unwelcome--I've been so busy I've barely thought about fashion other than in my academic work and teaching. My clothes encounters have largely involved picking a denim skirt and Steven Alan/Rag and Bone shirt each morning, grabbing a cardigan and my trusty blue Tocca coat and heading out to work--a result of early morning classes and long days that demanded practicality. My hypothyroid related weight gain has finally stalled but there's been no weight loss so a lot of my closet is effectively unwearable until I get back to a fighting weight. It's funny the difference 5-10lbs can make.

I did, however, go to the A.P.C. sample sale with my friend Emilie. She found a lot of good stuff, texted me, we met and I grabbed dress after dress, happily thinking these would work with tights, in the summer, in the spring and the autumn. At $50 a pop, I wondered how I could go wrong. Except I could. Forget the 5-10 lb weight gain. A.P.C. cuts do not accommodate frames with shoulders or wide backs so none of the dresses fit and I felt like a large beached whale as I struggled out of size L cotton dresses. Even worse, some had dropped waists with no zippers or fastenings beneath the small openings at the neck so the dresses wouldn't fit on any conventional human body. Now granted the stock was old (as you'd expect for the price)--probably 2008-09. But the sizing was insanely small and I don't think I was the only person struggling to get out of cotton dresses that were otherwise very me (a me with no shoulders or hips, that is). I have no idea who their fit model is but there's something very annoying about brands that make their size L fit a large size 6/small size 8. Indeed, it was enough to put me off shopping. I did get a green suede wallet for $30 but there were three dresses I really loved and would have adored if they had just been slightly wider in the shoulders/upper back and I would have worn them for years.