Thursday, March 31, 2011


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Yes. I'm still here. 

I've been super busy with work and with my house and haven't had the time to post. My house is a money pit and a time suck. I spent an entire weekend last fall just digging a trench to bury an electric line. I was very, very proud of that trench, but it still wasn't my idea of a fun weekend.

When I'm not taking care of the house, I'm working side jobs so that I can earn money to maintain it (like paying the electrician to replace the electric line). Now that my kids are grown, there's no point in keeping the house any longer, and I can't wait to move!

Unfortunately, I tend to be a saver -- a collector of goodies (my parents used to say that if there were two of something, I started a collection). So my house is packed full of stuff, and I mean full. It's easy to get overwhelmed by all this stuff ...

Image from
And no -- this is not my stuff! 

When I get overwhelmed, I have a hard time making decisions, and that includes deciding what to wear. More often than not, I'll end up pulling out the same old, same old ... and I just end up feeling like nothing ever changes. I've been trying to find some new and fun ways of wearing my "same old, same old" clothes to try and combat those feelings.

shirt -- Rafaella (Boscov's)
sweater -- Designers Original (thrifted)
skirt -- Carlisle (thrifted)
boots -- Dansko (outlet)

With that in mind, I turned to the news for a source of "fashion" inspiration. Today's outfit was inspired by Geraldine Ferraro, who passed away last Saturday at the age of 75.

In 1984, Geraldine Ferraro made history as the vice presidential nominee for the Democratic Party -- the first woman to run on the ticket of a major party. You don't have to agree with her politics (I did!) to recognize her achievement.

I'm wearing a skirt, because she typically wore skirts and dresses (as opposed to pant suits). The colors I selected -- red, white, and green -- are the colors in the Italian flag. In addition to being the first woman, she was also the first Italian American. She often said that that was a bigger obstacle than being a woman.

My green was more of a forest green, and I added a statement necklace. I know that statement necklaces were not in vogue in the 80s, but that's okay. My sweater actually had a matching tank that went with it -- I think these were called twin sets.

I don't remember much about the 1984 presidential campaign, but I do remember the nationally televised debate between Ferraro and the then Vice President George H.W. Bush, and her saying, "Let me say first of all that I almost resent, Vice President Bush, your patronizing attitude, that you have to teach me about foreign policy." I probably did let out a few whoops at that point! And does anybody else remember the Fritz and Tits slurs that were directed at the Mondale-Ferraro ticket?

Some other notable facts about Geraldine Ferraro: 
  1. Was born on August 26, 1935. A scant 15 years earlier, women were given the right to vote.
  2. Skipped three grades, and graduated high school at 16. 
  3. Taught second grade in the New York Public Schools for five years. While teaching, she put herself through Fordham Law School at night. 
  4. Kept her maiden name in honor of her mother, a seamstress, who supported the family after her father died. Ferraro means blacksmith in Italian, originally derived from the Latin ferrum meaning "iron."  
  5. Was a stay-at-home mom for 13 years before joining the Queens County District Attorney's Office. 
  6. Headed the Special Victims Bureau at the Queens County DA -- the real-life model for NBC's award-winning Law and Order SVU.
  7. When asked to describe Ferraro, Barbara Bush was once quoted as saying “It rhymes with rich.” Bush later apologized. 
I had a lot of fun using Geraldine Ferraro as my inspiration. I also learned a lot about her. I'm not sure that I liked this outfit on me that much. I mean, I think that I looked okay, but it seems more like I reverted back to a style that I was comfortable with rather than trying something new. The way I put it together was new, but not the look. I did wear boots, which was something that I never ever used to wear, and I wore a statement necklace, which was new. I always used to wear small and dainty.

How do you think I did?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Week in Review

Sunday, March 27, 2011

One of the things that I like about blogging and taking my picture is the ability to go back and look at my outfits, when I am not as emotionally vested as I was on the day of the picture.

Here is last week, with my favorite outfit (surprise, surprise) in the center. 


Wow! I'm still gravitating toward those dark colors, aren't I?

Go-To Outfit

Friday, March 25, 2011

If you could wear anything you wanted, what would it be? Would you pull out the same thing each time? Or would you pull out something different? Would it be something dressy? Or something casual?

Before I started writing this blog -- or really before I started taking my picture every day, I would have said that that my "go-to" outfit would have been a pair of jeans (or comfy sweats) and a t-shirt. If I was just going to stay around the house, then it would definitely be sweats, but if I was going to venture out, then I would get changed into a pair of jeans.

I loved casual Friday at work for that reason -- I could wear my go-to outfit. I could wear what I was comfortable in -- I could wear jeans. Yay!

shirt -- Variations
belt (thrifted)
jeans -- Lee (thrifted)
blazer -- Old Navy (thrifted)
boots -- Nomad (thrifted)

Today I was shocked to realize that I didn't want to wear jeans! Wow -- what happened? It's Friday, and I didn't want to wear jeans! I am having so much fun in getting dressed up lately, that I didn't want to wear jeans today. You can't really do anything different with them. I mean, I tried, but I couldn't really come up with anything that was a little different -- that would make wearing jeans a little bit more exciting. 

I tried wearing a scarf -- aggh ... talk about feeling all bulked up. I played around with wearing a belt, and with wearing boots -- nada. zip. It just felt boring.

What is a jean-loving girl woman to do?

All Night Long

Thursday, March 24, 2011

When was the last time that you pulled an all nighter? For me, it was last night. It's something I used to do fairly regularly when I was in school and needed to cram for some exam, but unfortunately I still have to pull one much too frequently. I say unfortunately, because I don't bounce back the way I did when I was younger. 

Pulling an all nighter is sometimes my fault because I have a bad habit of procrastinating until the absolute last minute, and then I find that I have backed myself into a corner time wise. Other times, it's simply because I don't have enough hours in the day to do what needs to be done. I suppose that's just an excuse though. If I managed my time better -- if I learned how to say, "No" -- or if if I had more money, I probably never would have to pull an all nighter.

Last night it was mainly because my financial situation precluded my ability to say no. I had to edit a paper* that I really didn't have time to do. But I needed the money, and so I said yes. I finished editing it around 6 am, so I did manage to get about 3 hours of sleep. But it wasn't enough, and I felt like death warmed over when I got up. Needless to say, I didn't really have the energy to put a lot of thought and effort into what I was wearing, and it kind of shows.

*I do love to edit, so it's hard for me to say no -- I basically get paid to learn. Last night, the paper was on the emissions from cruise ships. I was shocked to find out how bad cruises are for the environment!

cami -- Express
sweater -- Carolyn Taylor (Freecycle freebie)
pants -- Zen Cabana (local shop)
shoes -- Dansko (outlet)

These pants are a little strange. The inside of the waistband and the hems are in a contrasting fabric, which makes  me think that the waistband should be turned or rolled over and the hems folded up. But the clothing tag is on the inside of the pants, so if the waistband is rolled over to show the fabric then the tag shows. And the pants are made of rayon, which is so slippery that if I roll up the hems to show the contrasting fabric, they fall right out. 

My necklace is a piece of fused glass that my mom made (thanks Mom!). 

I  am a huge environmentalist, and I was shocked to see how bad cruises are for the environment! One study estimates that a cruise generates about 1 pound (approximately .5 kg) of carbon dioxide per passenger-mile (this translates into almost a ton of carbon dioxide per passenger per cruise!). In comparison, a long-haul plane flight (flights that are greater than 6 hours in duration) are half that. 

Although the paper I was working on focused solely on air pollution, cruises also generate blackwater and greywater, which is usually dumped directly into the ocean; bilge water; ballast water (a source of invasive plants and animals); and solid waste. When I look at the environmental damage caused by a cruise, it just makes me go "ewwww!" and not want to go on a cruise until they can be made more environmentally friendly. 

Lyrics: All Night Long, Lionel Richie

 Well, my friends the time has come,
Raise the roof and have some fun.
Throw a-way de work to be done,
Let the music play on.
(Play on, play on, play on...)
Everybody sing, everybody dance.
Lose yourself in wild romance.
We're go'ng to party, Karamu, fiesta, forever.
Come on and sing along.
We're go'ng to party, Karamu, fiesta, forever.
Come on and sing a-long.

All night long (all night), all night (all night).
All night long (all night), all night (all night).

People dancing all in the street.
See the rhythm all in their feet.
Life is good, wild and sweet,
Let the music play on.
(Play on, play on, play on, play on...)
Feel it in your heart,
And feel it in your soul.
Let the music take control.
We're go'ng to party, liming, fiesta, forever.
Come on and sing my song.

All night long (all night), ooh (all night).
All night long (all night), yeaz (all night).

Yeah, once you get started you can't sit down.
Come join the fun, it's a merry-go-round.
Everyone's dancing their troubles away.
Come join our party, see how we play!

(Jambo nipe centi moja.)
(Yeah, jambo, jambo.)
(Way to party o' we go'n',)
(Oh, jambalai.)
(Jambo nipe centi moja.)
(Yeah, jambo, jambo.)

Oh-oh-oh-oh, yes.
We're gonna have a party, yeah, ugh!
All night long (all night),
All night (all night).
All night long (all night),
All night (all night).
All night long (all night),
All night (all night).
All night long (all night), ugh.

Everyone you meet (all night),
They're jamming in the street (all night),
All night long (all night).
Yeah, (all night).
I said, everyone you meet (all night)
They're jamming in the street (all night),
All night long. (all night).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

No Blue Curls

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

When you need a haircut, how do you go about it? Do you have a regularly scheduled appointment, where you go in to get a trim and an oil change every six weeks? Or do you wait until you can't stand it anymore, and then run in screaming, because you can't take it one more day? Do you have a stylist that you go to all the time? Or do you take whoever is available?

Up until a few months ago, as you can probably guess, I was in the latter category. And I was probably even worse than taking whoever was available -- I went to a beauty school. So not only did I take whoever was available, but I also had a student cutting my hair with varying degrees of experience and talent. But hey, it was cheap, and you just couldn't beat the price. But sometimes -- in fact, most of the time, my hair ended up looking just like that -- like I had had a pretty cheap haircut.

Then I found Taquoia. And I have to say, "Wow." This girl cuts hair like I have never seen before. She is amazing! This is what she did today. Do you think I should keep her as my hair dresser?

Oh. My. I love her. I found her at the school, and I am SO lucky that she was assigned to me. I have never EVER had somebody cut my hair as good as she does. I put her name in my phone immediately, and that's where it stays. And I follow her from salon to salon (she's cut my hair three times now, and each time it looks better than the time before). 

She is not afraid of hair. Even though she just got her license, I think she has been cutting hair for a long time. She cuts my hair dry, because she sees where the natural curl is, as opposed to when it is wet and your hair lays the way you comb it. And fast. Boy is she fast!

Today, I walked in, and said, "Taquoia, just work your magic." I told her that I knew I would like what she did, so she should just do her thing, and I didn't even get nervous (didn't even look in the mirror while she was cutting!). When she was done, and I looked in the mirror, I squealed. Literally. And then I danced out of that salon and into my car.

And then I danced right back in.

"Taquoia! How do I make it look like this again?!"

Then when I got home, I was still so excited (can you tell that getting a GOOD haircut is still such an amazing treat for me?!) that I couldn't wait to get dressed for work so that I could show it off!

shirt -- Dia
skirt -- Anthony Richards (thrifted)
belt -- thrifted
boots -- Dexter (Payless)

My skirt was another oversized skirt that I hoisted up to my armpits and wore as a dress (my faux dress look again). My shirt -- I've had so long I can't remember a time that I didn't have it.

Oh my, did I prance around work today! That is the only word for it -- I pranced.

The only caveat I gave to Taquoia was that I didn't want any blue curls. She wasn't quite sure what I meant, and then I explained -- you know, the little old ladies with the blue-tinted hair, going in for the weekly hair appointment? I told her that I wasn't ready for blue curls yet.

She promised me that I would not get blue curls.

What do you think?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lady in Red

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

So yesterday I was the Lady in Blue, and today I'm the Lady in Red. Not sure about this outfit -- it was colorful, but safe. It just seems that I could have done something that really jazzed it up and made it memorable. Maybe I should have tried pairing it with a black cardigan and red tights? I may have to try it again just to see.

 cami -- 21
cardigan -- Delia*s
skirt -- Jones New York (thrifted)
shoes -- Thom McAn

My necklace was probably my favorite thing about today's outfit. I just liked how it looked -- it was the perfect length, and it picked up the red and the black in my skirt. It's funny -- it was definitely an impulse buy (JC Penney), and I was worried when I got it that it was impractical, and I wouldn't have anything to wear it with, but I think I've worn it a couple of times already, and I just really liked it. It's nothing really fancy, but yet, I just like it. I love it when I find things like that.


I was trying to figure what kind of pattern my skirt -- it's not a herringbone (a herringbone is an arrangement of rectangles), but it's some kind of periodic tiling. 

This is a herringbone

Don't you think that with this song leading the way, my outfit should have been unforgettable? (And yeah, I had the name of the song completely wrong yesterday ... )

The lady in red is dancing with me, cheek to cheek,
There's nobody here, it's just you and me,
It's where I want to be,
But I hardly know this beauty by my side,
I'll never forget the way you look tonight;

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lady in Blue

Monday, March 21, 2011

Did you ever have a weekend where you had planned to get a lot done -- had lists of things to do, and then instead of doing any of it, you crashed and burned and didn't get anything done? That was my weekend. I ended up hiding away, and spending Sunday in my room. On the plus side, I got a lot of sleep, and I needed it. 

I was still feeling very blue today, so I thought a blue sweater was apropo.

sweater -- Lark Lane (thrifted)
shirt -- Red Tab by Levi's
pants -- Liz Claiborne
shoes -- Steve Madden (DSW)

Not sure how I feel about this outfit (the sweater, to be exact). The blue was a good color for me, but ruffles aren't really me. I actually thought that the sweater would have lifted my spirits a little, but it just wasn't meant to be. It just wasn't a good day. I don't think that I would have been happy with anything.

I'm also wondering if this outfit qualifies as "color blocking," or should I have had different bright colored pants? Have I been color blocking all these years and just never knew it? Or do I still not really understand what color blocking is?

I didn't realize until I got home from work and was getting changed for bed that I had my necklace on backwards. It was a gift from my mom.

I tried to find the lyrics to the song -- the one that goes, "lady in blue, I'm dancing with you, cheek to cheek ... " but I wasn't getting anywhere. And since I now have a lot of work to do to make up for not getting anything done this weekend, I will have to skip that until I have more time. I am not very good when it comes to remembering the names of songs and the lyrics, so I could have it completely a** backwards. 

Hope everybody had a better Monday than me. 

(I did a pretty good job of faking it for my picture though, don't you think?)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Haves and Have Nots

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Today was St Patty's Day, and even though I don't have a shred of Irish in me, I still like to wear some green and show some Irish spirit. I also usually pull out my crock pot and make corned beef and cabbage, with potatoes and carrots, and serve it completely slathered with butter and a healthy (or unhealthy) dose of salt and pepper. Mmmmm ... I haven't had a chance to make it yet, but maybe this weekend. 

shirt -- Gap (thrifted)
pants -- London jean (Victoria's Secret)
clogs -- Dansko (outlet)

I actually wore this sash/scarf as a belt for most of the day. I just liked how bright green it was in contrast to the muted tones of my shirt and pants.

Here's a close-up of my belt -- a very nice beaded belt (thrifted, of course)

And wow! do I ever need a haircut! I look like one of those dandelion puffballs.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *
Japanese symbol for help

And now to switch gears for a minute -- the above calligraphy is the Japanese symbol for help, aid, relief, salvation. I don't know if it is the most fitting of their symbols for what is needed, but I don't think it matters if I am semantically wrong. You all know what I am trying to express.

I did not participate in the blogger's day of silence, although I support all of you who did. I am still struggling with how I want to express my feelings about the tragedy and if I even want to go down that road on this blog. I have a lot of trouble in compartmentalizing my thoughts, and it is quite jarring for me to go from blogging about happy, smiling pictures of me to blogging about my feelings and concerns. These kind of issues tend to consume me, and I want and need my blog to be a place where I can escape the struggles and difficulties and the heart-wrenching stories of the present-day reality -- a place for me to go where I could feel good.

These days, it is not just Japan that causes me both stress and distress -- I am devastated by what is happening in our country. The increasing gap between the haves and the have nots in almost every metric that can be used to assess a person's quality of life is going to make life unsustainable for the vast majority of people in this country. The disparity in disposable income. The disparity in education. The disparity in the quality and availability of health care. The list goes on. It's scary.

Look at the city of Boston, for example. It is expensive to live there even if you have a good job. What about people who don't have good jobs? The people who pick up your garbage and clean your office? Where are they supposed to live? We don't want to pay them more money, we don't want to subsidize their living expenses, and we don't want to help them go to school so they can possibly get a better job.

And then there is the agenda of the religious extremists, which is embraced by the gun-toting zealots. In plain English, that scares me. When did we decide that we, as a country, wanted to move backwards? I don't understand, and I can't comprehend it. 

Ignorance is NOT bliss.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Faux Dress

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My dress today was actually a skirt. I just hiked it up to my shoulders, and layered a cardigan over it so you couldn't tell that it was strapless and sleeveless. I can't take credit for this idea -- I've seen a lot of bloggers do this and thought that it would be easy enough to try.

I really was quite pleased -- both with the idea of wearing the skirt this way as well as how it turned out. Usually it takes me a few tries before I can say, "Yeah. I really like that." The only thing that I wasn't quite sure about was the asymmetry of the hem. 

skirt -- J.B.S. Ltd (thrifted)
cardigan -- Old Navy 
boots -- Dansko (outlet)

I had to take my picture on the QT (and with the timer), so this is the only one that came out halfway decent. Even so, I think you get the idea of how it turned out -- I might retake the pictures this weekend, so I can get a better shot of it. 

My necklace was Chico's (thrifted). It really picked up the print in my skirt. I don't think that I could have found a better match!

And now for something completely different: In late November, the company I work for was bought out by a larger company -- a larger company that prides itself on swallowing up smaller companies (and yes, they are proud of it). I don't know when or why or how this became something to be proud of. 

Anyway, for the past three months, as we have become absorbed into the bigger company, we (and by we, I mean us worker bees -- AKA the low men on the totem pole) have had to go through one change (disruption) after another. The latest is how we do our timesheets. We had been clocking in and out on the computer every day, which was another issue altogether. 

Now, we have to manually fill out a time sheet, send it to our boss, who signs it, and then sends it to her boss. Her boss then has to open and upload every time sheet to a server, which can then be accessed by somebody in India. That person has to then manually enter our information on to a spreadsheet, which then comes back to somebody in payroll. 

We have reverted to the dark ages.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Girly Girls

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What do you call one of these?

a button-down shirt ... a button-up shirt ... or a button-front shirt?

Whatever you call it, it can be somewhat uncomfortable to wear. If it fits across my back, it will more than likely be too big everywhere else and it'll hang on me like a great big bag -- not the most fashionable look. If it fits me nicely on the sides, then chances are that it will be uncomfortably tight around my shoulders, arms, and back. 

However, it's supposed to be a wardrobe staple, so I thought that I'd try wearing it a little differently from how I normally do and see if the IFF (it feels funny) factor would improve. Maybe I'll even end up looking so awesome that I won't notice how uncomfortable I really was. 

 shirt -- Notations Clothing Co. (thrifted)
jeggings -- 17/21 exclusive denim (Marshalls)
shoes -- Thom McKan (Kmart)

So here I am wearing a button down with a pair of jeggings and a belt over the top of the shirt (ignore the fact that the belt is twisted -- why oh why don't I notice these things during the photo shoot, and not after?!). Normally, I would have tucked the shirt into my pants, my belt would have been threaded through the loops in my pants, and I would have spent the entire day obsessing over the way my shirt was puffing and ballooning and pulling out of my pants.

I think this is an improvement over the tucked-in look. The shirt was still rather uncomfortably tight under my arms and across my back, but I didn't have to deal with a puffy shirt all day. 

My earrings were a gift from my daughter -- she got them at the Fair Trade store in town.

And now, horrors! I was patting myself on the back yesterday because I didn't think that I looked like a stereotypical science nerd. I even chided Larry and Al for fitting those stereotypes, remember? Look at what both of them are wearing?! 

and now look at what I'm wearing!

Yikes! Maybe I fit the stereotype after all?! 

Seriously speaking, I always thought that paying attention to your clothes and make-up and your hair was for "girly-girls" -- girls who were shallow and materialistic
and who were the proverbial "dumb blondes".
I am coming very late to this whole idea that when you look good, you feel good about yourself and that is the image that you will project. I was always clean and presentable, but I didn't dress in a way that made people look at me and see someone who was strong, self-assured, and confident. I dressed and styled myself to make myself as invisible as possible. 

This is a whole new experience for me, and I'm learning that playing around with the way I dress and the way I do my hair is not only fun but that it's also helping me feel better about me.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy Pi Day

Tuesday, March 14, 1:59 pm, 2011

"3.14159 Come on Lehigh, hit 'em with a log!" 

Is that corny, or what? That line actually came from the Lehigh University fight song -- my college alma mater. We were the Engineers*, and guess what our colors were? Brown and white -- the brown-and-white engineering nerds of Lehigh. How pitiful is that? Instead of having cute little stuffed animals on our beds that represented our mascot, we had slide rules and calculators. Haha ... no we didn't, but I bet you weren't sure. 

*In all fairness to Lehigh, they have changed their mascot, and they are now known as the Mountain Hawks. 

I didn't wear brown and white but I did wear purple polka dots in honor of Pi Day. It was the closest that I could get to wearing something with circles -- pi (otherwise known as π or 3.14159) is the number you get when you divide the circumference of a circle by its diameter. 

shirt -- LL Bean (thrifted)
pants -- Morgan by Delia*s
shoes -- Dansko (outlet)

My pin is a Kenneth Jay Lane shoe pin, that was designed to "step out" and fight breast cancer. A portion of the proceeds of its sale went to support breast cancer research. It was made in sterling silver -- I have the gold tone version.


March 14th has been recognized as Pi Day since 1989 when Larry Shaw, a theoretical physicist who appears to fit every stereotype every written about a physicist, decided that it was the perfect day to celebrate this intriguing mathematical constant. It was Shaw's daughter who realized that the newly designated "Pi Day" also coincided with another notable day in the science world -- namely that of Albert Einstein's birthday, another theoretical physicist. 

Larry Shaw, the founder of Pi Day,
at the Exploratorium in San Francisco
Albert Einstein

Surprisingly enough, even the U.S. House of Representatives was able to agree on the importance of Pi Day and in 2009, passed H. RES. 224, supporting the designation of March 14th as Pi Day.    

Another disclaimer -- I majored in physics for 2 1/2 years while at Lehigh. I eventually switched majors, but it wasn't all that drastic of a switch. I graduated with a degree in geophysics, which was a concentration in geology, math, and physics. I went on to get my master's degree in materials science and engineering, with a concentration in the electrical properties of materials. I was interested in being able to design a material that had the properties you wanted. 

I don't think that I look like the stereotypical physicist though, do you? 

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