Native Resident

Where have I been? Just out pushing every limit I’ve got — and, hell, it’s been interesting!

Today is “17 of 20,” meaning I’m working day 17 of a 20 day streak. (Oof! It was only supposed to be 12 days, but morphed when I spent A LOT of time prepping for a group on Sunday.) While working 17 days is a lot, I somehow packed the schedule with more than usual tasks and meetings. In that period of time, I have:

  1. Hosted six private museum tours: three adult groups, three school groups.
  2. Managed four theatre performances.
  3. Attended my first book club meeting, during which we discussed Fiston Mwanza Mujila’s newly translated Tram 83.
  4. Attended tea at the house of two 90-year-old former professors and heard about their life escapades.
  5. Heard from an old friend who I thought I’d lost a long time ago.
  6. Was formally interviewed on views and takes of my fair little city for a community video by a local real estate company. (More below.)
  7. Was offered, negotiated, and accepted a promotion. (Wait, wha…? I’ll get back to this one in the near future.)
  8. Saw a heartbreaking production of A Streetcar Named Desire, as well as a performance of Beethoven’s Pastoral.
  9. Watched three movies: Guillermo Del Toro’s Crimson Peak (great actors; not the best script, though it falls in line with my gothic lit frenzy lately; oh, and Tom Hiddleston — swoon!); Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs (can’t go wrong with Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet); and National Theatre’s filmed production of Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch. (Just add James McAvoy and I’d have seen all of my favorite — and dreamy — leading actors in a week!)

So that’s where I’ve been!

But you’re here for clothes! Back to the main topic!

A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by a local real estate company to be interviewed for a city-specific promo to help soon-to-be-transplants decide what region in which to settle. In addition to having worked in my little city for a couple of years, I also grew up in the area; seems appropriate, I guess, to explain the ins and outs to newbies.

IMG_4076IMG_4068IMG_4163IMG_4142 IMG_4155

Dress: H&M

Sweater: H&M

Belt: Target

Tights: Target

Shoes: Naturalizer via DSW

This is a pretty no fuss outfit. The dress doesn’t wrinkle easily and the sweater is comfy without being dowdy. I added a little punch with the leopard print belt (which, admittedly, was buried in some chub when I was sitting for my interview — oops!). While I love pops of color and punches of pattern, I didn’t know how well that would play on camera, so I erred on solids.

When I walked into the museum that morning, I looked as I do here: specifically, sans lipstick. My colleague pretty much pulled me aside and asked if I was going to put some on because I wear it so often! Glad to be known for that trademark! I went with Model Co.’s Peony because it’s a great pop of fuchsia without, I think, being comical. (I hear “fuchsia lipstick” and think 1980’s Barbie cartoons.)

(B and I finished watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt this summer — but every so often, I reenact Titus’ “Circle of Life” scene with our cats. They are not as accommodating as his feline, though.)

Advertisements

The Cat’s Meow

We have three felines. I think their nicknames give you a sense of each personality. (When TS Elliot wrote that cats have several names, not just the ones we give them, he wasn’t kidding.)

  1. Lenka, aka “Cat-Face,” “Baby Guurl,” or, when she’s particularly naughty, “Lenka-what-are-you-DOING?!” (all one word).
  2. Sweetie, aka “Sweetheart,” “Skinny Minny,” “Vomit-a-tron 1” (yeah, gross, but apt).
  3. Violet, aka “Shrinking Violet” or, lately, “Miss Meows-a-lot.”

In my “about me” page, I mention that sometimes our cats photobomb these mini morning shoots. Usually it’s a casual walk through or sometimes they roll a ball at me to play. But, for some reason, this morning all of our cats decided that they wanted to hang out with me in front of the camera.

IMG_3865 IMG_3874 IMG_3895 IMG_3901 IMG_3918
IMG_3940 IMG_3951 IMG_3962

Top: LOFT

Skirt: Stitch Fix

Tights: Target

Flats: TOMS

Necklace: The Knotty Owl via Etsy

Sweetie is the demure tuxedo I’m holding in the first photo, while Lenka is the photogenic Maine Coon. (Yes, I’m holding her on her back upside down: we’ve developed a weird gymnastic routine for her because she loves attention so much.) And Violet is the flash of black fur.

I don’t know why they wanted to join me today. Maybe it’s the skirt? Sweetie liked it last time I wore it. Or maybe they liked my raven’s skull necklace from The Knotty Owl?

IMG_3969

I really like this outfit because it’s a fun way to play with texture and pattern. The shirt has a great iridescent sheen to it, which plays well against the grain of the skirt: each light up in various ways as they shift. The skirt also has a larger, geometric pattern, which fly right up against the organic cheetah print of the shoes. And the tights? They provide a dark background for the shoes to pop and I like that the neutral color of top and the black of the tights are both picked up again in the shoes. Oh, and it’s autumn in New England and they’re part of the uniform now.

Finally: the necklace! I bought this stunner a couple of years ago when Ashley listed it on sale for 40% off. I simply couldn’t decline a beautiful hand carved replica of a ravens’s skull at reduced price. (I mean, really?!) When it arrived, B named this guy “Lookout” after the rook’s skull in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. I didn’t know the allusion readily, but I loved that there could be such a reference made. He “looks out” for those cats all the time, making sure they don’t bat all my other gems and trinkets around.

“Overcome / by ordinary contentment.”

When I was in college, I majored in English and, with probably one or two more classes, I would have concentrated in poetry. The almost-concentration wasn’t something I planned but failed to complete: I just happened to take a lot of poetry classes. (All of this can also be said for creative writing too. Guess what I wrote primarily? Poetry.)

What does that have to do with anything, right?

Well, I was trying to think of a quippy bird idiom to name this post, and kept coming back to one of my favorite poems. The title comes from Jane Kenyon’s “Having It Out with Melancholy,” which is a transparent, raw look at depression. I’ve been thinking about the last part of the poem lately, “Wood Thrush:” the perfect line break, the twisting emotions, the haunting last line. There’s something about the pivotal moment Kenyon captures — awaking from sadness — and keying into the world around you, honing all your attention into a singular place, forgetting pain that resonates with me so deeply lately.

IMG_3707 IMG_3743 IMG_3697

Sweater: LOFT

Skirt: Old Navy

Tights: Target

Shoes: Naturalizer via DSW

Watch: Fossil

Necklace: Modcloth

I’ve felt like these photos a lot lately: distant, aloof, off kilter. There’s a lot swirling around, between a number of huge museum endeavors this month, a sudden death of someone at the theatre, back pain, exhaustion, etc. But through this, I’m trying to hold onto those brilliant moments that pierce through it all: a striated sunrise or golden light through leaves. The days are long and tough, but they’re marked with such beauty.

(I guess if there was any one thing I learned from my failed meditation training session this weekend, it’s this: breathe and observe.)

All Quiet on the Western Front

After B took photos for me this morning, as I was about to zoom out the door to work, he said how I look like a lady gun-slinger from an old western film. While it’s rainy and dreary and officially autumn in New England, I’ll admit that I put an extra swagger in my step today after that comment.

IMG_3778[1] IMG_3790[1] IMG_3798[1] IMG_3810[1] IMG_3837[1]

IMG_3833[1]

Dress: TJ Maxx

Sweater: H&M

Boots: Naturalizer

Belt: Target

Hat: Target

My weekend is far from a rodeo though. I’m about to attend a mini-training session on meditation practices, mainly because, well, I need it. I’m hoping to pull some good life skills out of these next 24 hours because during the next month, I will be pushing myself beyond all my limits: professionally, socially, physically, and intellectually. Am I doing anything glammy or glitzy that’s causing so many boundaries to be pushed? Not really: lots of work, per usual. I’ve just lined up my schedule in such a way that I really need to conquer every hurdle gracefully to win it. I think I’ve nailed down my “fierce” face though.

IMG_3842[1]

IMG_3851[1] IMG_3852[1]

Busted!

B and I were recently discussing the virtues of fixing things instead of automatically replacing them. Why? Because I feel like the past few weeks, all I’ve done is shuttle pieces of my wardrobe back and forth to various vendors for mending; two dresses to the tailors (one for a busted zipper, another a burst seam); my favorite watch to the jewelers — twice; soon, my best knee-high boots will visit the cobbler for some resoling. Oy.

Why do I bring this up today? Well. This dress.

When taking photos this morning, I was elated that I still managed to get another “summery” wear out of this frock. I jazzed it up with a cobalt blue belt, snow leopard print flats, and a blue-purple gem pendant (a slight variation from the last time you saw it). I thought these were fun, bright ways to wear it slightly differently before autumn weather really set in.

Then, while at work, my hand brushed against the side seam, above the trumpet flair of the skirt, and I felt it: a mass of errant threads that only means a burst seam. Ugh. I left it and thought, “ok, not too bad, I can fix that.” Then, an hour later, I thought to test the back seam — conveniently right on my butt — and, yes, you guessed it, another wider, uglier mess. Sigh.

With a work event this evening, I asked B to bring me another dress to wear at least. He’s a peach.

IMG_3409 IMG_3411 IMG_3418 IMG_3452 IMG_3434 IMG_3429 IMG_3458 IMG_3463

Dress: Donna Morgan via Modcloth (sold out)

Flats: TOMS

Belt: TJ Maxx via another dress

Necklace: Global Odyssey

I love this dress. So what’s a girl supposed to do? I ended up Google searching “Donna Morgan dress red” and found it at Nordstrom Rack — the last one, one size bigger and for $45. After some debating, I decided to buy it (it’s thankfully a pay week!). While I’m dismayed at how fragile this dress it, I’m wondering (and hoping) that a slightly larger size will give me some ease on the more pressured seams (especially in the skirt). Also, despite buying this dress twice, I still haven’t spent the full retail amount. Damn you, Donna Morgan, on making such an addictive product! Gah!