In Which Tuesday Displays Some Very Monday-like Qualities

It’s the day before classes start for spring semester and I have a full day planned. I started my morning at the campus gym on the treadmill and then was heading to my office to work on course prep for tomorrow class meetings. One major problem: I was planning on showering and changing into work clothes at the gym, but I forgot to bring pants. PANTS. I don’t know about y’all, but for me, pants are kind of essential.

Fine, fine. In all honesty, it was leggings I was planning to wear. Leggings with an entirely modest, butt-covering tunic, tall boots, etc. So I forgot my leggings, which I realized as I was completing my cool down run. I had a few options: 1) go back home after my workout and shower and change there, 2) shower and change at the gym as planned, putting my running capri tights back on in lieu of pants, then driving home to grab pants and heading back to work, or 3) just…wearing my sweaty running tights all day.

Option one would waste too much time — showering and changing at home, with the pets and the distractions? I might as well just stay home if I did that. I was leaning toward option two, until I realized that maybe, just maybe, I could disguise the fact that I was wearing sweaty, capri-length running tights instead of pants. I had knee socks and leg warmers with me, which I arranged just so in order to cover the hem of the tights right below my knee. They were icky with cold, damp sweat, but maybe no one would be able to see or smell that? They’re a bold pattern, but it’s neutral and maybe kind of goes with my top? Enh?

Oops.

So here I am at work, dressed in the outfit I intended from the waist up, and just hoping not to run into anyone too important. I’m so glad this didn’t happen on a teaching day. Really though, this outfit would be totally FINE with plain black running tights, which are barely distinguishable from leggings anyway (more seams, usually, and sometimes more shine). Why didn’t I wear black capris? Or, you know, REMEMBER MY GOT DANGED PANTS.

Leaving the house this morning was a real pain in the butt, actually, which is probably how the pants got forgotten. In the bathroom, I dropped a bottle of perfume on the tile floor and I don’t need to tell you how much fun that was to clean up. Little shards of glass everywhere, fumes, and — of course — the bitter frustration arising from the fact that I’d JUST BOUGHT the perfume a couple of months ago. Sad, sad start to the day.

So I smashed my perfume; I forgot my pants; I’m wearing sweaty running tights. Can’t wait until I can go home and pour myself an ice-cold glass of…water. Hmpf.

Warming Up, Help Wanted

Please don’t rescind my feminist card, but I am too scared to light the pilot light on our gas fireplace by myself. I am waiting for my husband to do it for me. Help me please; I find gas terrifying. (Seriously. I don’t even like to think about it too much.)

It’s time, though. Things are getting nice and cold here. I’m wearing mukluks at this very moment.

In fact, I bought a new winter coat today chez Target, but I am only 80% sure about it. It’s kind of an asymmetrical wrap type coat. It does button all the way down, but seems to require the belt in order not to be too shapeless.

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CW says it “reads” Alabama (as in too houndstoothy, as in I will look like a ‘Bama fan, which would be undesirable here in Auburn) and also that looks like a sweater.

I don’t know. I like it, but I don’t love it. But it was only $40, and I don’t particularly feel like looking for another coat. But maybe I should. This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind (I was thinking of something more classic/dressy in black or charcoal, but all the good ones are so pricey). Opinions?

Or, better yet, do you have a suggestion on where to look for reasonably priced wool coats in a thigh/knee length?

Moles, Clothes, and More Wedding Planning

School is officially back in session as of this week, and let me assure you, I am feeling it. This fall is going to be an incredibly busy semester, but a good one, I think. After all, I’ve got a lovely view from my now-private office (!) and I’ve got Marcel Proust keeping me company on my desktop.

...depending on where you look..I would like to welcome M. Marcel Proust to my office. BIENVENUE!

In other news, I recently had my first visit to a dermatologist for a check up. Have any of you ever done that? The phrase “full-body skin exam” was invoked and I did not anticipate it with pleasure. I envisioned someone inspecting every inch of my naked body with, like, a jeweler’s loupe while I stood in awkward positions and laughed nervously, apologizing for my cellulite. In reality, it was very quick and not too embarrassing at all. The doctor did find a suspicious mole on the back of my shoulder, in a spot I can’t really see. It was two-tone, which is a sign it could be a malignant melanoma, so she removed it and sent it off for testing. She numbed the skin with an injection of local anesthetic and then just cut the offending mark right off. I didn’t even feel a thing, even though I now have what my fiancé refers to as “a crater” in the spot where the mole once was.

I will admit that while I was waiting for the results of the biopsy to come back, I allowed some worry and fear to enter my mind. I imagined hearing that it was cancer, that it had spread, that I’d get sick and have to go through treatment and basically ruin our lives right before the wedding. Or, you know, die. I’m sure that sounds like a dramatic overreaction, but tell me you wouldn’t have some similar worries if you were in my shoes. I think anyone would. At any rate, the results turned out to be normal, so there’s now nothing to fret about. Sigh of relief, I tell you.

I do wear sunscreen and I do keep track of my (many, many) moles for signs of change, but it’s impossible to see all of them myself. So if you, like me, spend any time outdoors (hello, fellow runners and cyclists, I am looking at you!), even if you wear sunscreen, you may want to get your skin checked. It’s really not as scary as you might think. Quick and painless, even the mole removal.

Hmm, what else? Oh, I started posting work outfit photos on my tumblr again, if you are interested. And frankly, why wouldn’t you be? This is gripping stuff. Really, though, I think tumblr is a good little place for me to tuck those away so that my Twitter/Instagram/blog doesn’t get too full of selfies. Not that I’m opposed to selfies — au contraire. I love them. Everyone’s selfies, not just mine. (I like to see pictures of people! I find get to like people even more online when I see their smiling faces more often.) But at any rate, I just don’t feel like this blog is the place for daily outfit selfies. I might post a favorite here every now and then, but if you want the full spectrum of my pilly old Target wardrobe, you’ll have to head to tumblr. Deal? Deal.

In wedding planning news, there isn’t a lot of wedding planning news. During the time when CW and I were moving and then traveling, we let it sit on the back burner for a while and just didn’t worry about doing much of anything related to the wedding. Now, though, we’ve got to get back on it. We just placed our order for invitations, and I am so excited to get them and send them out! They’re fabulous. Did I tell you I got a dress? I can’t remember if I did. Well, I got a dress! I fell in love with one at Ann Taylor (yes, that Ann Taylor, go figure!), but it was on final sale and they didn’t have my size. Tragedy. But! I wound up finding an incredibly similar one elsewhere, even less expensive, and it fits me almost perfectly right off the rack. Can you believe the luck? I just have to get it shortened by about 1-2 inches, which I can do at my local tailor. I also found a pair of shoes (ivory ballet flats) and I think I’ve decided on a hair doohickey instead of a veil, but we’ll see.

Regarding flowers: did anyone out there make your own bouquets? That’s what I’m going to do, but I’m waffling between ordering the flowers online or buying bouquets from Kroger the day before. In both cases, I’d have to trim, assemble, and wrap them myself. The difference is, Kroger flowers would be half the price of ordering in bulk, BUT you never know what exactly they’ll have in their bouquets on any given day, so there would be less control over colors and flower types. Thoughts? Should I trust it to Kroger to save myself $75-100?

Still to do: arrange with our potential photographer, order the cake, order boutonnieres/corsages, do a food tasting, confirm with my hairstylist, make playlists, buy rings, meet with our officiant, write vows, choose readings, make seating chart, remember the things I’m forgetting, and oh my dog not freak out because the wedding is only 79 days away. Pas de problème.

File Under: At Least it's Not Yoga Pants, I Guess?

Yesterday, one of my students revealed that all semester she had assumed I’m a grad student. She was wondering if I had any final exams to take. Uh, no. So you’re already done with grad school? I’ve been done for a WHILE now, actually.

We laughed it off, like, hey, you just look so young! My secret potion must be working, I cackled. Awkwardness mostly erased.

But it stuck with me in an annoying way, and I found myself having an Imagination Argument this morning as I tidied up the kitchen before work. What is it that makes me seem more student, less faculty? I know I haven’t been dressing very nicely the last month or so — I’m sick of all my clothes and I’ve been wearing jeans more often than usual. The last couple of weeks, it’s been too hot for a blazer. My legs and feet are revolting against heels. All the little tokens of my wardrobe that tend to quietly point toward “professional” rather than “student” are therefore absent. I think I still put myself together in a neat and polished manner, but, you know. I’m not feeling it lately. So is that it? I’m not dressing for the part?

I’d like to think that at as long as there’s a firm line between my typical outfits and the students’ typical outfits (Nike shorts, leggings as pants, oversized tee-shirts, Chacos), I’m doing okay.  And let me take this opportunity to share this post on My Life as a College Professor, my new favorite tumblr:

When a Student Wears Their Pajamas to Class:

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I’d rather it be the wardrobe than my teaching style or persona, you know? Wardrobe is easier to fix. But then I thought to myself, surely — SURELY — I demonstrate teaching skills and a base of knowledge that are appropriate for someone who has been teaching on the university level for thirteen years and has a terminal degree in the field. RIGHT? I refuse to imagine that this is the problem.

WELL. I see I have gone on about this subject for far longer than I had intended. Really what I wanted to say was this: Self, dress nicer and stop saying “like.”

Hot weather is here, though, and I just find it so wearying to try to look professional in hot-weather clothes. I don’t have any great summer-weight trousers; blazers and cardigans are almost always too hot (with some exceptions, maybe). Some dresses look okay, others tend to suggest that I’m on my way to a beach party. I can tell the difference, of course, between beach-party dresses and work-appropriate dresses. Maybe I’d rather be headed to the beach, you know? It’s just frustrating. Not a lot of what I have for summer clothing really works well at work. I’m not buying more this summer because I’m on a strict budget — which is also the case EVERY summer, so little about this situation is likely to change.

I also think I’m just tired of dressing up. It’s near the end of the school year and I’ve lost that feeling of fresh newness I had in August, when I wanted to make more of an effort. I was just fantasizing the other day about how I longed to just lounge around in sundresses and shorts and tee shirts for a while. I want to spend all of May and June just being relaxed and casual and even — if I feel like it — a complete slob. I will wear my flip flops every day! No one can stop me! You hear me?!

Boyfriend, Spectacles, Egon Update

It seems that lately I don’t have really developed, coherent topics for posts. I also haven’t been participating in the Project 365 daily photo challenge this year, so I don’t have a lot of photography to share at the moment either. Nonetheless, I’m feeling a desire to write over here and just witter on about my day, my week, my life. I hope you all don’t mind that it’s a bit of a hodge podge at the moment.

So annoying when the big themes in your life aren’t really bloggable, isn’t it? Personal relationships, work stuff. You know the drill. Any idiot knows you don’t blog about work. My boyfriend, fantastic as he is, is a private person. He hates having his photo posted anywhere online. The first words out of his mouth when he sees someone pull out a camera: “Don’t put that on Facebook, please” (at least he is nice about it). He’d surely be uncomfortable if I made his stories a part of my blog. After all, he didn’t sign up to have his life documented on the internets by his girlfriend. He’s part of my life, and my life is the subject of this blog, of course, but I like to stay away from writing anything too personal about him — anything that really would be his story to tell, if he chose.

Speaking of my boyfriend, here’s a little story I feel like I can tell you, because it is mostly about me: he’s going to be out of town over Valentine’s Day, so I was asking him if he wanted to do our Valentine’s Day thing the weekend before or after his trip, and he was all, “Hmmm?” It turns out I’d given the impression (mostly unintentionally) that I don’t like and/or don’t “do” Valentine’s Day. Not the case! What I’d meant to convey at the time — and I don’t know exactly what I said, but what I meant — was that I don’t want to exchange expensive gifts or go out anywhere fancy or make a big production of it. I do enjoy things like cards, or small nice things, like, say, I might bake him a batch of cookies or give him a small, fun/funny item. Or we could cook dinner together and get a nicer-than-usual bottle of wine. You know. A little fun, nice acknowledgement of the day, but not a big huge deal.

Right? Right. So of course I had to try to explain all of that when I became aware of the miscommunication and lord only knows what I actually conveyed during the whole conversation because I was so flustered. Like, NO, please don’t spend oodles of money on seasonally overpriced flowers and please don’t stress out, but, you know, don’t ignore the day, either. Ai yi yi. Stupid holiday. And what is the deal with cards? Are you a card person? I LOVE cards. Finding neat ones (I love Etsy for this purpose), choosing ones that remind me of the person, making my own, sending them in the mail, everything. Are cards a Girl Thing only, though? Do men not like cards? Hmpf.

So what else is going on? Well, I finally replaced the pair of brown glasses that broke last fall. I like to keep a brown pair and a black pair in the rotation for outfits with different color palettes, but my last brown tortoise pair, a cheapie set from Zenni Optical, had broken — and it was the second pair of Zennis to break in that exact spot. So, cheap and fun as Zenni is, I didn’t want to order from there again.

This time I tried Warby Parker. If you don’t know them, they operate on the same principle as Toms shoes: for every pair you buy, they donate a pair to a needy person. I like that philosophy. I also really like their styles, their prices ($95 for the frames and lenses; add on an extra $30 if you, like me, are blind enough to need high-index lenses — still a good deal compared to my optometrist’s shop) and their at-home try-on program where they’ll send you five pairs to try on, free of charge, and you just send them back in five days (free shipping). Totally not being paid to advertise here — but I do wholeheartedly recommend them if you’re in the market for new specs. I did the home try-on twice, trying a total of 8 different frames, before I decided on these:

New Specs

These are the Colton in hazelwood. I love them!

In other news, Egon the Dachshund just turned seven years old. (His birthday is on Groundhog Day — weirdly appropriate for a dog bred to hunt small burrowing rodents, right?)

Dapper Dude.Oh, well hey there.
Sunny January Afternoon Walk

He enjoyed a quiet celebration at home with his person and step-person, went for a roll with his wheels, spent some time wrestling around with his blankie in the most dignified manner, and received several luxurious ear scratches and shoulder rubs. Happy birthday, short guy!

If you’re wondering how he is doing lately, I am delighted to say that there just isn’t much news, which is why I haven’t really updated. He has settled into post-paralysis life really well. He’s as happy as ever — the main things that’ve changed for him are that he’s no longer allowed on any furniture at any time (he used to love to snuggle on the couch and sleep in my bed, but now he has a nice comfy dog bed he likes to lounge on) and I help him take care of business in the bathroom (yes, the actual toilet). When he’s scooting around the house, he really doesn’t seem to be limited at all, and when we go out for a roll around the neighborhood with his wheels, he can really fly!

Well, it seems I have found a lot of words to say. I’ll have to wait until next time to tell you about my new fitness regime. Please don’t wait with bated breath, though. Keep breathing.

What's Up

Oh, you guys. It has been a long week and it’s only Thursday. Normally I’d be rejoicing at the prospect of a Thursday night, as I almost always have the option of working from home on Fridays, but tomorrow I’ll be going in for a couple of meetings and other such things. So the week isn’t done and yet I feel like I’ve already buried it several times over.

Tuesday night was so (wonderful, but) exhausting. By the time both candidates’ speeches were over and we were staggering tiredly to bed, I felt like I’d lived three full days in the previous 18 hours. Teaching and other work duties have been busy all week, too, and there’s nothing I want more than a relaxing and restorative weekend.

So what will that entail?

  • having a night out with some ladyfriends
  • doing laundry
  • house cleaning
  • working on an academic writing project
  • judging a thesis for a contest
  • starting a big, secret craft project
  • going for a 5-6-mile run
  • watching at least one super-girly movie if not, like, four
  • doing a manicure/pedicure (at home)
  • spending plenty of time in my favorite PJs and slippers

Ok, Claire's Vans, Imma let you finish...

I am looking forward to a good mix of neglected things that really need to get done (Laundry, sweet fancy Moses! I’m about to have to go buy a few new 6-packs of Hanes Her Way if I don’t do the laundry soon) and lazy, fun, me things. I’m flying solo this weekend while my guy is out of town and I’m such a dork that I miss him already, but I’m not going to let that dampen my two days off, right? Right.

Two more things:

If you were one of the people following my weekly outfit posts, I’ve made a new home for them on their own tumblr, safely tucked away where no one has to see them unless they want to. I didn’t really like loading my own blog and seeing tons of huge photos of myself looking at myself in the mirror with my phone in my hand. Ugh. It just wasn’t the content I wanted to have here, useful though it is for me to document that kind of thing. I do still find that snapping a photo of my outfit everyday helps me be less repetetive, more creative, and generally more thoughtful in my choices. This past couple of weeks, I’ve been a bit lazy about putting good outfits together, I admit, but the act of taking/posting the photo makes me want to do better, which must be a good thing. So anyway, follow along on tumblr if you like; ignore if you don’t.

Also, did you notice I’m planning on a 5-6 mile run this weekend? OH YEAH BABY I AM. I have decided to aim for a local 10K on December first. I’ve done a handful of successful 5 mile runs in the last couple of months and I feel like I’m ready to increase the distance up to 6.2. I certainly can’t run that far very fast, at least compared to where I was for the same 10K race last year. I expect to take the hills really slowly (hills aggravate my hip issue) and probably take a couple walk/stretch breaks — both of those strategies usually enable me to run longer without pain. I wish I were ready to be competitive again, but I’m just not. Like my physical therapist said, first endurance without pain, then speed. Last year I PR’d this race in 53:34; this year I hope to come in under 1:06:00, or maybe even closer to 1:00:00. I don’t know, y’all. We’ll see.

So what are your weekend plans? I must know.

 

 

What I Wore to Work: Week 9

Apparently I am still doing this outfit documentation thing. Rest assured, I have no intention of becoming a style blogger — this is merely for my own amusement. And maybe for the amusement of other people like me who shop almost exclusively at Target and Old Navy? I don’t know; most style/outfit bloggers I know of have really nice, high quality clothing. It still seems sort of silly to be posting my clearance special nonsense, but hey, I’m a teacher, so this is what you get! I do find the thought of photographing what I’m wearing has made me put a little more thought into my choices, which in turn has made me feel, on most days, better dressed and more confident. So there’s that, which is good.

This was a short week with just three regular workday outfits — and a bonus outfit just because I was feeling silly.

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Monday Lecture: This was a boring, hurry-up outfit because I was feeling rushed and uninspired in the morning. I’m glad I have a few standby things that I can throw on whenever that’s the case, but I really can’t say anything interesting about this outfit because of it. Sweater: Target. Blouse: Target. Trousers: Gap. Shoes: Rampage. Hair: Braided bun that didn’t come out quite as well as hoped, but I still liked it.

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Tuesday Honors: I love this dress and always feel good wearing it. This is one of my favorite cuts — I have a similar one in grey tweed and another in grey sort of wool, bouclé-ish kind of, ah, thing. Anyway, this is the black linen version, courtesy of Claire’s donation pile. It has served me well! I got a couple of compliments on the outfit and felt good in it. It also works a lot better on a non-lecture day, since there’s no need to clip on a microphone battery pack (I don’t wear this with a belt and there are no pockets, making the mic impossible to clip on). Dress: Talbots. Sweater: Target. Shoes: Target. Bracelet: Target. Earrings: Old Navy. Kind of digging the preppy pearl jewelry thing lately. These are cheap fake ones because for some reason I refuse to pull out the real ones for anything less than the best occasion. I am stubborn.

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Wednesday Lecture: I loved this outfit! I’ve worn this dress before, exactly as it was sold (with the pink sash), but I was happy to have been able to wear it again in a totally new way. I was also happy to have chosen boots on this day, as not only was I standing up lecturing, but I was also hoofing it around to various meetings all coincidentally scheduled on the same day. Whew! Dress: Anthropologie. Sweater: Target. Belt: Target. Boots: Frye. Stupid Expression: I’m sorry.

Stone Cold Chillin'

At the end of the day on Wednesday I got home, exhausted, but dragged my butt out the door for an evening run anyway. Afterward, I was so tired that I decided the ultimate comfy clothes were an absolute necessity, so I put on this ridiculous lounging get-up and then posted a joking photo to Instagram. Soon enough, everyone was clamoring for details. Who was I wearing? Were these pieces from this season’s collections? Was it custom? Vintage? Could the average budget shopper get a similar look? Well, rest easy. It is more shit from Target. Sweater: Target Men’s Section. Tee Shirt: Herbivore. Sweat Pants: Target. Socks: Injiji.