Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dress Up

I am currently at home for Thanksgiving, and I have a really big craving to go thrift shopping. Forget the mall on Black Friday, Goodwill is where it's at! However, there are two things keeping me from going out shopping. 1) I don't really have time 2) I am trying to save all my money for winter break when I go on vacation to visit Natalie in Hawaii and then we go San Francisco. Our B&B is on Haight Street for goodness' sake! I need to save my money!

Also, I really don't need more clothes. As a general rule for myself, I am trying to wear the clothes that I already own more instead of buying new ones. Even with Newberry Street 300 miles away, I still should not break that rule.

Then, I remembered that I have a closet filled with vintage/thrifted clothes from high school that I don't wear for various reasons: they are too outrageous, I just I didn't wear them when I had them with me when I was at school, etc., etc. To appease my want to go shopping, I decided to scrounge through my cloest and play dress up with the clothes I already have. Here are the results:

First, I found this dress:

I got it from an estate sale that my parents went to. Nice floral pattern.

Wait! Let's let my hair down, and add some leggings.

Then, let's add an over-sized cardigan and some throwback attitude, and voila! An outfit! I am bringing this dress back to Boston with me to wear.

This is one of my mom's old peasant tops. Alas, it has a stain down the middle. It is also a little too short.

Look at the cute detail on the back:

This is a bag that I found in Philadelphia near South Street. I love it so much that I don't want to ruin it, so I don't use it, so in my room it stays.

It also makes a good hat.

Hey, I remember this coat! This was actually my winter coat in high school. I got it at a church rummage sale on the main street of my town. Why did I stop wearing this? Oh yeah, I stopped fitting into it...but it fits again! woo hoo!

Maybe I should bring it back to Boston? It's not really that warm enough for the harsh Boston winters...

I love this sweater! I call it my "Pretty in Pink Sweater." It may be hard to tell by the pictures but the pink and purple are so dated. It hurts your eyes when you look at it and pairing it with an appropriate bottom is hard. It doesn't even semi-match with anything I own. Oh, maybe because it's not 1983.

This is me trying to look sultry.

This is me trying to look innocent.

I know what you're thinking.
Ruthanne, this post is missing sequins. Well, don't worry! Here they are:

Once I saw this in the thrift store, and I couldn't leave it there.

How could you?

Or this?

This is also another dress from the estate sale.

No outfit is complete without Madeline.

She's not as into it as I am.

Oh, appendix.

Another dress also from the estate sale. I don't think I could get away with wearing this around.

Maybe with some sassy attitude? No, probably not.

Last but not least, this is one of my favorite skirts:

I got this in high school when I sometimes wore funky stuff like this, but it didn't really fit in with my style at college. I tried it on but again, but something is still off... I love the sailboat pattern though.

Wait, what if we pull it up a little? And add leggings?

And add a belt!

And a cardigan! We definitely have something here.

Yay! Another thing to bring back to Boston!

This dress up session was very fun and successful. I was able to remince and add some things to my wardrobe. Also, most importantly, I still have more money for swimming with sea lions and shopping on Haight Street!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Satan or the lack thereof

This post is based on a conversation I had once with Ruthanne during the period when I was sleeping on her floor like a bum. I had just returned from Ghana and, having nowhere to lay my little head, showed up with wide, moist eyes at Ruthanne's lovely new Burstein dorm. Freshly misted by the early summertime Boston air, hands red from carting luggage over continents and oceans, and clothes suspiciously pungent from a month in the third world, I was impossible to turn away. Like a puppy, or someone else's toddler, or that second (and sometimes third!) serving of double chocolate mousse, she looked me in the eye and attempted to do the prudent thing (slam the door in my face), but ultimately - conquered by purity of heart - forced a smile and stepped aside.

I settled in for a delightful week of leeching, enjoying the feeling of getting up late, going out to eat with Mal and Rue, and prancing around campus during the days without any particular need to be anywhere. Also fascinating was the possibility of viewing Rueallery in their natural habitat - something I've always found delightfully fascinating. I love seeing if a person I thought I knew so well leaves a pile of dirty clothes perpetually humped in a corner, or goes through the trouble and money to actually purchaes a toothbrush holder. Do they rely on the great brown-box-scrounge each semester when it's time to clean out their dorm room, or is everything always neatly packed away in plastic Bed, Bath, and Beyond crates that have been with them since freshman year? What do they do right before they go to bed? Are there jokes made during dinner? Is life more like How I Met Your Mother or Flight of the Conchords? There are always delightful things to learn.

One night I was, inexplicably, drifting off to sleep before Ruthanne. I say inexplicably, because there was really no reason for me to be feeling sleepy at all, considering my idle life. She, on the other had, had work full-time that she went to, hours before I even managed to drag myself up from her comfy air bed, and rustle around her kitchen, making myself elaborate, hour-long breakfasts. Groggily awakening, seeing only the timid little light coming from her computer, I determined that she was a watching a movie too riveting to abandon for slumber. Being to obsessive, borderline mentally-unhealthy movie-watcher that I am, I shoved the quilts over my ears, refusing to see even of a glimpse of a movie that I was tuning in to half-way through. I hummed maniacally in my head like a child with a history of abuse, or a dolphin trying to communicate underwater.

The next morning, again awakening to dreamy crisp New England-aired solitude, I was alarmed to see that the video case atop Rue's computer was Rosemary's Baby. Ruthanne, I was pretty sure, had at one point told me to turn down the commercials for the lates Saw installment, because scary movie previews frighten her. I started to panic for her own fragile mental well-being. I myself had never seen Rosemary's Baby but I remember traumatic accounts of my mother explaining the entire plot to preteen-me. It sounded much worse than the Excorcist, and there were scenes in the Excorcist (namely, bloody crucifix-masturbation scene) that I felt fairly certain would traumatize Ruthanne into a lifelong muteness.

Ruthanne finally returned home to find me in a writhing wreck, half out of concern for her, and half with my own wild, torturous imaginings of what it must have been like to watch Rosemary's Baby at midnight in a completely dark room when everyone else is asleep. She seemed very confused with my concern and I began to think that there were TWO Rosemary's Baby's - one about devil-rape, and another about, like, a happy little baby elf or something. No, she said. There was devil rape. I demanded she tell me the plot, and the reiteration of a story that frightened me so much just by hearing it, said in such a matter-of-fact tone confused me. Was she already traumatized? Repressed? Am I just going insane?

We eventually discovered that Rue - being Jewish - doesn't really accept the concept of the devil. So stories about the devil coming and wreaking his anti-christ havoc don't ring close to home with her at all! It was fascinating. I mean, I never considered myself very religious, and certainly wouldn't have thought that how I react to scary movies was shaped by my spiritual upbringing. I would have considered that any role catholocism played in that perception came from the culture i was brought up in as a whole, a culture that had, as a whole, indirectly absorbed aspects of Catholocism.

The devil to me is the quintessential evil, evil concentrated, evil incarnate. The greatest scourge on all existence and goodness. To Rue, it's just another made-up boogeyman story. See what you learn about people when you sleep on their floor?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Grass is Always Greener

I have a bad case of the Wintertime Blues.

"Winter times blues?" you say, "Why Ruthanne, it's only November!"

What can I say? Winter has come early for me this year. When sun starts setting at 3 PM, my whole mentality changes. In my head I become I creature of the night, craving a ray of sunshine. The nights are so long. I start listening to more Cat Power and Bright Eyes, rather than Mates of State and Stars (summer music). Perhaps I could twist the idea of long nights into something mysterious, cool, and adventurous but I'm just not in the mood to. My days are spent in class and working, my nights spent studying or procastinating studying and then worrying that I'm not studying enough. No time to be creative or go for walks. I should start going to bed and waking up earlier.

The coldness has really hit me hard this fall, too. I am not ready to feel chilled to the bone yet! I have said this many times, but on behalf of the city of Boston, I would like to challenge Chicago as being the "Windy City." Brrrr.

When I start thinking how I'm not ready for winter, start becoming really nostalgic for this past summer, and I'm not really sure why. This past summer was one of the loneliest periods of my life. I was in a large city with all of friends thousands of miles away.

I think I miss the warmth of the sun that stayed out till 8PM. Or the flowers in the flower beds and leaves on the trees. Or that I had a HUGE bedroom all to myself (miss you Burstein 311, room B!!!!). Actually, most of the time I didn't have just a bedroom to myself, but a whole apartment too. My roommate worked long hours and was hardly at home. At the time, my apartment's vacancy depressed me. Now I crave for some quite in my apartment.

It may have sounded like I was having fun when I called you on the weekends when I was forming superficial party-friend relationships and making a utter fool out of myself, but it wasn't always fun (although I believe I had more than a few people laughing at me).

During the week, I spent a lot of time in my room, by myself. To keep myself busy, I would go to the gym, and go for walks around the Fens and the Charles River. I would write in my journal. It was nice to have that free time to myself, but I often wished I was walking with someone, or talking to someone instead of writing.

One thing that is very telling about how much free time I had in the summer was that I was totally on top of my laundry and my groceries. Every two weeks I would go grocery shopping. I knew exactly what items I needed and how much money I would spend. I did my laundry every week, and never ran out of clean clothes. Now, in the rush of fall, last week I survived off of cheese crackers and granola bars because I haven't gone grocery shopping in over a month and I hate spending so much money eating out. I have yet to resort to bathing suit bottoms as underwear, but the semester isn't over yet.

Is it hard to tell which time is better for me, summer or winter? It is for me. I had hoped to make a more definitive comparison, but I think my conclusions are very telling of how jumbled my mind is.

Please know that I really miss you and Krupa, if you didn't get that sentiment from me already. My trip to see you in HAWAII in December will be my reward to a stressful, bummer of a semester. I can't wait till everyone is back in Boston!

I have been procrastinating writing in this blog. I feel unmotivated and that I have nothing worthy to say. Every time I write an entry, I stop half way through because I feel what I write is complete crap. Should I put on a happy facade? Should I really complain about my privileged life as a college student? Boo-fucking-hoo.

I promise my next entry will be better.