Tuesday, January 25, 2011

books I have read lately

The Happiness Project
Not that Kind of Girl
The Dirty Life
Nicomachean Ethics
The Consolation of Philosophy
The Pretend Wife
Broke is Beautiful
No More Dirty Looks

books I must read soon

Discourse on Method
Augustine's Confessions
Paradise Lost
Abelard's Ethics
Time and Narrative
Oneself as Another

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

philosophy may begin in wonder...

I suppose I should be a little bothered by the ants in the ladies room, but I'm kind of fond of them. They seem so determined and look as though they know where they are going. It seems to me as if the floor should be for them a tiled desert, a grim and vast white and shadowed wasteland. I picture miniature Charlton Heston-ants looking for a promised land. Ants with staffs.

But then sometimes the grout looks like a smooth paved street dicing up perfect city blocks. And then an ant or two will climb up out of the road to wander in curves across the tile and I wonder whether it crawls into a building or over it. Little Don Draper-ants with briefcases.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

More reflections on my wardrobe

(wow. that sounds excessively self-involved)

It occurred to me yesterday, after having written yesterday's blog post, that I really like my current wardrobe.

In my head, I am a jeans and flannel or jeans and tank top kind of gal. (This is probably related to my ardent early-adolescent desire to be a tomboy. If you have to want to be a tomboy, you should just resign yourself to not actually being a tomboy.) In my head, I like to wear sturdy, well-made, no-frills jeans, sturdy, warm, and well-fitted flannel shirts (or thick, well-fitted tank tops) with good boots and maybe a nice belt.
I am prepared for all sorts of work, am super-low maintenance, unconcerned with getting dirty, able to move about freely and comfortably and probably carry large and heavy sacks of ... something frequently.

That is not my life. In any way. And it is certainly not my wardrobe.

I wear skirts and sweaters and tights almost every day. Most are wool, wool-blend, or cashmere. In the summer I wear more dresses. I wear boots or dansko shoes. (And I probably should buy any other shoes except for exercising. They are the most comfortable shoes I can find.) And I find I am prepared for all of the things I actually do, am low maintenance, unconcerned with getting dirty, able to move around freely and comfortably, and feel perfectly appropriate all of the time.

In other words, my actual wardrobe matches my actual life and so I am not concerned (as I have been when younger) with any insecurities about the fittingness of my wardrobe. I don't think very much about trends (although Fall 2010 was full of clothes that are just my thing. That rarely happens!) because I am more concerned with longevity and fit. It doesn't bother me to dress differently than those around me because I am at home in my clothing.

pretty neat.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wardrobe Projects

Perhaps some of you have noticed wardrobe challenges throughout the blogosphere. Over at Academichic, at ReadyMade, and elsewhere, bloggers did 30 for 30 challenges, wherein they selected 30 items (including accessories) they would wear for the next 30 days, denying themselves access to the rest of their wardrobes for the duration.

There's another challenge I just saw today (though others have been doing this one since fall, at the very least). It's called "project 333" and those taking this challenge are selecting 33 items to create a seasonal wardrobe (3 months).

I thought I'd give it a shot, and I started listing to myself the things I wear all the time. (Seriously. These are the things I wear at least once a week.):

1. Gray skirt
2. Green skirt
3. Plaid skirt
4. Green patterned skirt

5. Green sweater
6. Navy sweater
7. Black sweater (favorite)

8. black boots
9. frye boots
10. danskos (around the house for support)

11. down parka
12. scarf
13. hat

14. jeans (the new ones)

Then it started getting more difficult. Those are the things I wear all the time. Wow. 14 things. This doesn't include pajamas, underwear (so I'm not counting tights, either), or workout clothes.

15. earrings (I've been too lazy to switch out the diamond studs lately)
16. green necklace (which I wear with the green sweater sometimes)

17. brown skirt
18. houndstooth dress

19. brown cardigan
20. tan cardigan
21. gray sweater (fuzzy)
22. gray sweater (ribbed)

I don't add in other shirts under my sweaters (if I do, they count as underwear because they aren't ones I'd actually wear to work or in public). This does keep my wardrobe small.

23. black coat
24. other scarf
25. black hat

There is not much else I wear on anything like a regular basis during the late fall/winter season.

26. snow boots
27. boots I just ordered because I realize I do not have enough for a proper rotation; boots I will wear all the time, for sure.

things I wear infrequently but can add since I still have space:
28. other black sweater
29. reddish/marroonish sweater
30. black lace skirt
31. tan sweater
32. blue plaid skirt

I might have to go home and look at my closet to find item 33.

I think of myself as having lots and lots of clothes. It is probably true that I have more clothes than I need. Most of my excess takes the form of spring-fall shirts I keep because I don't have many spring-fall shirts I like. However, it looks like I can streamline my closet even more. I won't take out all my winter stuff that is not on this list (which is not much. I'll still keep those pink sweaters. I just haven't worn them much), but I can take out anything that isn't perfect.

I feel even better about my clothing choices having done this little exercise. I get a lot of stuff on eBay or from used clothing stores. I try to get things made from natural fibers as much as possible and I shop for my current body shape only. I have a lot of wool (a lot!). Lots of A-line and fuller skirts. Lots of body-skimming sweaters. This is what suits me. Buying what suits me in quality fabrics, flattering, well-made cuts means that a lot of what I have can be combined in various ways. Moreover, everything is long lasting and washable.

It will be interesting to do this for spring and summer.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It's a new year, folks!

And the philosophotarian, who seems to have forgotten how to budget, will relearn! Hooray!

January budgetary challenge:

$20/week (or less) on groceries. Not even $20.01.

It is likely that I stay within that most of the time, so this will be a good way to ease my way into a year of budgetary challenges. (snacks and beverages out are far worse for my pocketbook than trips to the grocery store.)

Once the intercampus shuttle is up and running again, I'll hit up Trader Joe's more frequently for frozen fruit, oils and other pantry staples.
Meat will only be organic for now, so there will be less meat.
Eggs will also be only organic/cage free etc. for now, so I'll have to spend my eggs more carefully.
To get the most bang for my vegetable buck, I'll stop being so lazy: instead of buying so much of my produce at the big (expensive, not very good) grocery store two blocks away, I'll head to the smaller (cheaper, better) grocery stores about a half-mile away.

All of this, naturally, is fuel for dissertating and preparation for Exile. Obviously.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Lady's Book of Last Names

Dear feminists, womyn writers, list-makers, genealogists, compilers, indexers, people who can't write well but nevertheless want to be authors, and others,

Please make this book. Finding a new last name is otherwise Too Hard and I am Too Lazy to put any work into this project.

Will edit the book for free. Ready Set Go!