Monday, September 29, 2014

Another Try at the Old Blog

Well, it seems like I am going to give this old blog another try.  It has been almost a year since I rambled on about appropriate work attire for women in my last post - but what a year it has been.  Am loving the new job and am doing another graduate degree - my employer very generously pays for it.  Despite the absolute torture of APA citations, I love it.

The classes are online and I must admit that this modality was an acquired taste. But I do like the fact that that my student colleagues are from every where and have offered interesting perspectives that are new to me.

The books that I've had to read include:

How Colleges Work: The Cybernetics of Academic Organization and Leadership  by Robert Birnbaum - Can't fib, I found the first few chapters to be snoozers but then it got much better.

A History of American Higher Education by John Thelin - Love history.  Loved this.

It's Not What You Sell, It's What You Stand For:  Why Every Extraordinary Business is Driven by Purpose by Roy Spense - a friend in Austin works for GSD&M.  I was able to get the inside scoop and do really well on the project related to this book.

Right now I am in case study heaven/hell, so a little creativity via this blog will be just the thing.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankfulness and Abundance

The house has quieted after a bevy of Thanksgiving Eve activity.  As I sit here typing, the kitchen is redolent of the leftover sage, rosemary, and thyme that someone arranged in a bowl and put on the kitchen table. 

Throughout the day, friends and family noisily arrived  - some celebrating how their plans were not thwarted by the storm.  For dinner, I cooked a massive tray of macaroni and cheese.  Something new for Thanksgiving prep night and overall, a wonderful discovery for Thanksgiving. 

Last week at my job, we had Thanksgiving lunch - yes, a turkey was cooked - and we all brought dishes.  New colleagues shared that in their culture macaroni and cheese is part of their Thanksgiving meal.  I am all for macaroni and cheese - any time.   Shakenna's recipe was amazing and I am grateful that she shared it with me.  It was devoured here tonight and the big tin foil tray is already rolled up in the recycle bin.

So tonight was a perfect example of the great abundance in my life.  We ate and talked, chopped and remembered, peeled and laughed.  I always love the happy sound of friends and family in my house.

Now folks are safely tucked in or assembled in various places - by the fireplace finishing that last glass of wine or in the den watching a movie.  I will join them in a minute.  I just want to acknowledge what a lucky gal I am and how much I have to be thankful for.

Take it away Bing. 

 A favorite tune for the season and always.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Friday, November 15, 2013

Work Wear

There have been mornings, this morning being one of them, where I have ridden up in the elevator to my office and wondered if I was going to a bar or discotheque. 


 I am often the only woman in the elevator who is not wearing things like:

  •  Mini skirts
  • Thigh high boots
  • High heeled sandals topped by ankle bracelets
  • See through blouses with strappy tops (thank God) underneath
  • Those really tight pants that get narrower and narrower as they go down the leg - you know the ones that flatter no one and make one's behind look gigantic

This being said, I've also seen more than my life time's share of cleavage in the elevator.  Sad to say that this comes in many varieties:

  • Fat and spilling out
  • Old and wrinkled
  • Tanned and tattooed
To paraphrase Jane Austen, I am being severe upon my own sex, but...
The impetus for this entry is the fact that this morning I rode up with a woman who was wearing a sequined top whose "wares were freely advertised."  (Dad's line.)

Sequins for work?  When did this happen and why?  I have no explanation and can only feel badly that my female elevator riders are compelled to wear club clothes to work.  In stark contrast, the men in the elevator are in suits most recently topped by nice wool coats.  This bothers me.  The women look like - well you know...

So what do I wear to work?  Mostly my travel clothes from my last job.  Meaning suits - with pants.  I like these because I can just blunder to the closet in the morning and put one on.  I don't have to bother with separates and that mixing and matching stuff.  I just do not have time now that I have a longish commute.  Plus, I am going to work to work - not to advertise certain charms.  Ugh!  How boring to be thinking about that kind of thing at work...

My suits range in quality and style.  I've bought really nice ones from various stores but have also found men's ones in thrift shops that I have had tailored.  This last has worked well for me - I have really long arms and legs and look like a silly gorilla in some women's clothes - most especially shirts. 

What's more - there have also been emergency occasions where I have had to venture into Mr. Weston's closet to "accidentally borrow" a shirt or some socks.  I then accessorize with a nice scarf, necklace, or bracelets.

Shoes?  Forget that loathsomely, stupid look of high heels with pants.  Loafers.  Nice ones. They last for years. - Mom and Gram are loafer gals as well.

So this begs the question of my style icons.


Marlene's suit -
Close to what I wear to work but no tie
but some times a pocket square

Suit envy

I have one of these that I found in a thrift shop - with hat.
Have worn for Halloween and costume parties.
The cigarette holder looks great but no smoking here.

Casual Marlene
I wear jackets and pants like this out to the grocery
again sans the tie.

This was featured in a Talbot's ad a few years ago.
Close to my work wear.

Katharine after the hurricane of 1938
Almost like my 'round the house duds.


 I know that everyone has a proclivity and right for their own personal presentation but why after all the advances that women have made, are women dressing as I have described.  Is it the media influence?  The lowering of standards?  Or a desire to look sexy and retain youth like magazines promote?  I don't have the answer. 

I'm sure that to the club women who share my elevator space, I must appear to be odd. Well that is just fine with me.




Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween with Georgie

I have the Halloween decorations out and the pumpkin is inexpertly carved and lit on the front step.  Candy has been bought - and for now is safely stored in the linen closet - otherwise I would eat it.  All is ready for the big night.

On Sunday my little neighbor informed me that I would never guess what his costume would be - this after he told me his Dad bought him a big, red pitchfork.  So priceless and adorable.

It would not be Halloween without Georgie.  I love this story by Robert Bright about a little ghost, Georgie, who suddenly finds himself homeless.

Each year I put my childhood copy -
now  battered and masking taped bound -
out on the coffee table.

As Georgie looks for a new home, each house is already occupied.

The only house without a ghost is Mr. Gloam's place.
Don't you just love that name?

My favorite line from the book - since used for anything big and grand.

The Darling Georgie

Georgie and Miss Oliver, the owl.

Thank you Robert Bright for originally writing for
Robin and Beatrice but ultimately for the enjoyment of many.

Image of Robert Bright
Robert Bright 
Apparently a dog lover as well...

All illustrations from Georgie by Robert Bright.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fancy Drinks and Short Orders

So last weekend I made a quick stop at the local flea market.  Sadly, many of the vendors display things that one does not want such as - really bad socks that look like they would incubate athlete's foot and scary looking robotic plastic toys. 

But still there are vendors who have what I call good stuff - old books, furniture that needs refinishing that I have no business haggling over, and boxes that contain a crazy assortment of stuff.  Of course, none of the stuff is marked with a price and the moment one picks anything up it is immediately worth a fortune.

That being said, I was digging in one of these boxes and found a little package of old matchbook covers.  I was able to buy them for one dollar.

There was this one.

Gee, I sure would like to "dance till !" to Lester Grant's Orchestra. 

Not entirely sure where the Bungalow is.  Did only cursory research and came up with this.

Love the names of the original owners, Milbert and Lilly, whose busiest day of the week during Prohibition was Sunday.  The secret room that was thought to "hide slot machines and moonshine" is intriguing. Still this place in MN is unlikely to be the one of my matchbook, since it was only named the Bungalow Inn in 1969...

Until I can do more research, the fancy drinks and short orders are fruit for the imagination.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Bat Aplomb = Great Hostess


So with a new job comes new social responsibilities.  Last Friday night I commandeered Mr. Weston and off we went to the home of the leader of my new institution.  I was giddy with anticipated delight.  What fun - more importantly, I did not have to cook.

We were having a delightful time sampling the hors d'oeuvres that were being passed around.  I was enjoying the baked Granny Smith apple slices with prosciutto skewered with brie in some kind of sauce - when a gigantic bat flew in.

I am not a bat expert, but I think that it had a terrifying 20 foot wing span.  This was discerned as it dived up and down amongst the guests.

It was one of those moments where people seemed to be frozen in time.  No screams, no panic. There was a stunned silence, a best behavior numbness.  Immediately our hostess, the institution's esteemed leader, put her skills into action and threw open the front door.  The uninvited guest soon exited.

No one dared to say anything.  Then, as if nothing had happened, our hostess exclaimed with a happy clap of her hands, "Now for something sparkling!"

Champagne for all!


Monday, September 2, 2013

Late Summer Mega Read

It seemed like I waited "a hundred summers" for this book when it finally came in at the library last week.  It is another mega summer read with a long wait list - which means definitely not renewable. 

No worries here.  I finished it last night. 

As I have mentioned, I don't normally read a lot of new fiction so my question is:  What is up with the trend of back and forth chapters?

This book, like the other work that I just read, goes back and forth from past to present by alternating chapters.  In this case:

Chapter 1:  1931
Chapter 2:  1938
Chapter 3:  1931
Chapter 4:  1938

I find this annoying.  By the end of Chapter 4, I went forward by only reading every other chapter then reading the chapters that I skipped.  This gave some order to the story. 

Then there was a boo boo.  Part of the story takes place at Smith College.  The characters go to a local breakfast place in Northampton.  The proprietress says,

           " Best pancakes in the Berkshires.  Ask anyone." 

Anyone here will tell you that Northampton is not in the Berkshires but in the Pioneer Valley.  Oopsie.

Then there are hysterical lines like: 

            "The waitress came in, a slaughtered lamb of a twenty-year old girl."

I pointed this bit of conversation out to Mr. Weston.  It was uttered by the male love interest: 

            "Where did you come from Lily?  You're a miracle."
            "Your miracle," Lily responds.

We have similar conversations daily.

Overall the book was entertaining enough and drama filled.  I did like the how the author's bio adroitly ended:

           "She lives with her husband and four young children in southwestern Connecticut,
            where she divides her time between writing and laundry."

The book concludes with the dreadful hurricane of 1938 where most of the characters we have come to dislike are conveniently swept off to sea.

At this point, I am heading back to the world of nonfiction. The author recommended "Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938" which I have already ordered up.