Archive for November, 2010

Blah

Lauren over at I’m Better in Real Life just had to go and get herself an Amazon Widget.  Which, of course, I thought was a fantastic idea, and I should do it, too.

So, I spent the better part of the evening constructing it.  Then, I went to publish it, and found out that WordPress doesn’t so much like the Amazon Widget.  BOO.

And, now, I was going to actually for reals blog tonight, but that’s all blown to smithereens.

This and that

1.  It’s been insane at work.  INSANE.  We’re doing layoffs, and I work in HR.  It’s been a massive undertaking, where I’ve learned a lot (which is a good thing), but I’ve had to tell people they’re losing their jobs in the process (which, frankly, sucks).  It’s been emotionally draining and as a result I haven’t had much left over for anything else.

2.  Yes, it IS affecting my marriage, and I hate that.  But, part of me kind of loves it – not me being moody toward him, or he being over-sensitive to my moods, or anything in-between, but the fact that we are a UNIT and all things that happen affect us both.  I’m not sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing that C is on the road right now.  I feel like I would feel better if he was here, but then again leaning on him as an emotional crutch isn’t healthy, either.

3.  Speaking of lists, I don’t think I’m into this whole “Life List” phenomenon.  And I’m refreshed to see that other bloggers aren’t into it, either.  I don’t think my reasons are as articulate as Sarah’s:  my Type A overacheiver is tempered compared to hers, but she brings up some good points.  There are a lot of things I want to do/try/achieve, but right now, because of #1, I’m really just trying to keep my head above water and stay positive about my life and my work (which, fortunately, is relatively easy to do, given the circumstances … not everyone is so lucky).

4.  I have been trying to blog more lately.  I’ve let this get a bit more personal than I have let (public) blogs get in the past, and I think that’s OK so long as it doesn’t cross a line.  It is therapeutic, but it can also be very dangerous, which I am keenly aware of.  However, sometimes, I don’t have the energy to write something insightful.  Sometimes, I just want to write.

5.  I’m currently devouring Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood, and I am nursing a splitting sinus headache and a nasty cold, so I think I’m going to pack it in for the night.  Yes, at 8pm.  Shut up, I’m sick.

6.  I just got back from New Orleans, and do have some insightful things to share.  Later. When I kick this cold.

Five Things.

It’s going to be a crummy week.  Not in the “Blah I have a lot to do and I don’t WANNA!” sort of way, but in an “George Clooney as  Ryan Bingham” sort of way.

On top of that, C is out of town til December, and because I’ll be on the road for half the week, Finnegan is at my mother’s.  Roscoe, being more independent, is here with me and keeping me company, but I miss my other boys like crazy, ESPECIALLY since it is going to be such a tough week.

Anyway, instead of being terminally cranky (as I have been on Twitter), I am going to list Five Things that are good.

1.  My mother-in-law made mac n’ cheese over the weekend, and let me take the leftovers home with me.  No one does comfort food like my MIL.  This will be dinner for at least a couple nights this week.

2.  I have Thursday off for Veteran’s day.  I’ve always thought that we should have Veteran’s Day as our second floater instead of Lincoln’s B’day (the other floater being Election Day), as it often lands middle of the week.  However, I am so looking forward to the random mid-week day off this year to recharge my batteries.

3.  When I went to the dentist last week, I got the hygienist’s equivalent of an A+.  This has never happened before.  I was gleaming with pride.

4.  For the first time since … well, a long time, I have Christmas week off.  I was going to take a handful of days surrounding Christmas and New Years to ease some of the traveling I’m doing, when I realized that for the same number of days, I could just take the week off.  I can’t wait.

5.  I’M GOING TO NEW ORLEANS ON SATURDAY!  For four days.  And I get to see my hubby.  And eat delicious Creole and Cajun food.  And po’boys.  And beignets.

I think I can make it through the week knowing what I have to look forward to.

Not your mother’s skinny jeans

Oh, come on now.  I know at least some of my readers have moms who were in their 20s in the 1980s.  Right?  I mean, my mother was (relatively) young when she had me, but she wasn’t *that* young.  She graduated college in Dec. of 1980 (I was born in Oct. ’81).  And, anyway, I’m 29 and this skinny jean thing only recently came back into style.  So there.  The heading is appropriate.  Your mom probably wore skinny jeans.  Except I don’t think they were called that.

 

Anyway, when the style began to resurface about 2 years or so ago, I got pretty nervous.  I was always worried that the super-tight, uncomfortable, unflattering tapered ankle style would return, replacing the boot cut style that is really so flattering on most women.  However, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the evolution.  Children of the 80s – don’t you remember that scene in Adventures in Babysitting where Elisabeth Shue has to lay down on her bed to zip up her jeans?  Yeah.  That style of jeans was not flattering on you if they actually fit, or were a little big (helllllooo, Mom Jeans!), only if you had to lay down on your bed to zip them up.

Rebecca Gayheart, Third Trimester

Eat your heart out, Chris Parker

This does not sound appealing to anyone.
However, fortunately for us later Gen-Xers and Millennials, fashoin designers have decided that this is not flattering on anyone.  So, therefore, they’ve created the “skinny jean,” which is flattering on EVERYONE.  Needless to say, I’m now addicted to the skinny jean, long fitted shirt, and tall slouchy boot look.  I bought my first pair of skinny jeans over the summer and rocked them for my bachelorette party.  I don’t have any full length photos, but I wore them with a hip-length crocheted top and slouchy suede ankle boots.  I was stunned at how COMFORTABLE I was all night long.  They’re more comfortable than my dark wash bootcut jeans, which don’t have stretchy material.Even glowing, very pregnant ladies can rock this look.
I mean, really – this outfit Rebecca Gayheart is sporting is simply phenomenal.  It almost makes me want to get pregnant so I can copy it …
… okay, not really.  Not even a little bit.  But you get the idea.

This should not be worn in public.

The look seems to be a merger of two different looks from the 80s – the skintight denim look that was the bane of all sane women’s existences, and the Olivia Newton John “Physical” look, complete with a long flowy teeshirt, spandex, and legwarmers.  Now, you have instead, stretchy jeans (instead of spandex), long flowy (or fitted, so long as they hit your hip or lower) tops, and slouchy boots (instead of leg warmers).
Skinny Jeans 2010 style

Way better than spandex

Personally, my favorite ones are from The Gap, specifically the Always Skinny line.  With their being nearly as many Gap outlets as retail stores, it’s easy to find a great price on them (I got mine for $40).  I know Kristi Gustafson is a fan of the Matchstick Jeans from J.Crew.  Again, opt for outlet prices.  As for footwear, I recommend Bass Outlets – they constantly are having great sales on boots.  Just last month I stumbled upon a “buy one get two free,” so I ended up with three great pairs of boots for, well, about the price of one pair of Matchstick jeans.  🙂
Or, if you even balk at that, there’s always stores like Plato’s Closet.  HINT:  You can get some REALLY great boots from places like that as well!  Just, if you bring your old clothes there for cash or credit, make sure your cat doesn’t lay all over them first.  They don’t look too kindly onto that …

Homeownership and Adulthood (psst – they’re not related)

In my office’s pantry, there is a table where people bring in their old magazines that others can flip through and enjoy while, say, microwaving their hot water to make tea 15 times a day (I take a lot of bathroom breaks, too … please don’t judge).  Anyway, I spotted a great article in TIME Magazine regarding homeownership.

Remember my annoying coworker?  We run into each other a lot in this pantry.  It’s made me seriously consider bringing an electric teakettle into the office so I don’t have to see her 15 times a day and have to dodge her many suggestions about What Makes a Good Marriage.  Or whatever.  One day – right around the time I browsed this article, possibly even the same day – she got harping on the fact that I live in “the city,” and have no space (we’re fine, really) and it’s “dangerous” (it’s not, really).  Trying to put her off, “Oh, we can’t afford to buy in the neighborhood we want to live in, so we’re in no hurry.”

“You should buy a trailer!” she exclaimed.

Uhhh …

No.

Now, let me preface this.  There is NOTHING WRONG with buying/living in a trailer.  It’s just not for me.  I just finished telling her that where we live is more important to us than whether or not we own, and she tells me the solution is to … buy something that forces us to live somewhere that we don’t want to live.  Because, you know, we would own it.  Only KIDS rent.  We’re ADULTS now, seeing as we’re married and all, and by golly you’d better start thinking about your OWN babies and you simply can’t live in that urban school district!

At least, that’s the presumption.

Yet, TIME says this:

Yet by idealizing the act of buying a home, we have ignored the downsides. In the bubble years, lending standards slipped dramatically, allowing many Americans to put far too much of their income into paying for their housing. And we ignored longer-term phenomena too. Homeownership contributed to the hollowing out of cities and kept renters out of the best neighborhoods. It fed America’s overuse of energy and oil. It made it more difficult for those who had lost a job to find another. Perhaps worst of all, it helped us become casually self-deceiving: by telling ourselves that homeownership was a pathway to wealth and stable communities and better test scores, we avoided dealing with these formidable issues head-on.

Whoa.  Yes, exactly this.  Seconding the hollowing out of cities part.  I live in a vibrant, artsy, fun neighborhood filled with young professionals; a great selection of bars, shops, bakeries, and restaurants within walking distance; and a gorgeous Olmstead park that is very dog friendly. (Finnegan LOVES his park, by the way – he does not feel deprived in an apartment with that park … and, really, what dog would?  Parks are WAY better than backyards!)  C and I have talked about buying when we can realistically afford it in a neighborhood close by, that is a bit sleepier, but is filled with tree-lined streets; different (though also wonderful) bars, restaurants, shops, and bakeries; and close enough to our current ‘hood that we could regularly visit.

We like to call it the “grownup” version of our neighborhood.  See, even we can’t completely shake ourselves of this myth.

Friends of ours bought a house last year, in time for the tax credit.  They bought in a nice enough neighborhood, though it wasn’t exactly where they wanted to live (they compromised because of the price tag), and initially they bragged that their “mortgage payment was less than their rent!”  Until, that is, they got their first utility bill.  And then their tax bill.  Oh, and let’s not forget, water and garbage, as those are no longer covered.

And on, and on, and on.

I don’t think they’re sorry they bought a house; but I do think they were sold a bill of goods that wasn’t delivered the way they expected.

C and I have made a conscious decision to abstain from homeownership until we can buy somewhere that we will want to stay in for 30 years.  A house is NOT a good investment by itself; making it your home makes it a good investment.  And, yeah, I would like more space.  C and I would like a workout room.  C also wants room to stash a kayak.  A patio with a grill would be nice.  I would like a backyard, so we could get a second dog.  I would also love a dining room and a china cabinet to entertain with.  But, does not having these things make me less of an adult?  I certainly hope not.

And, if it does, maybe I just don’t want to grow up yet.  Besides, I suppose, that means I’d have to pack it in to the ‘burbs, since adults who make good decisions don’t live in cities, either.  But I won’t open that can of worms in this post …

[oops]