Wednesday, December 30, 2009

bonjour wednesday!

Last week of the year, you have been a lonely one.

I bought this top for 10 euros when I was living in Ireland. The corset clasps are pretty mangled and I think it's nearing the end of its life... I may have to retire it entirely into the trash for 2010, but I did want to get one last wear out of it before saying goodbye!

(skirt/scarf/belt: vintage; corset top: some store in Ireland, maybe TopShop, definitely clearance; shoes: DSW; cardigan: old H&M)
Please forgive the blurry photo, but my camera apparently had a secret anxiety attack this morning because there were major focus issues. It was probably just freaked out about going outside--I know I was! Temperatures haven't climbed above zero this week!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I like my new shoes.

Today I opted for super-casual because it's Tuesday (and honestly, I think Tuesday is even harder than Monday...) and because I bought so many many great BASICS this weekend (and in the past I have been severely basics-impaired).

Since the beginning of time (it seems), I have been on the hunt for 1) a nice heather gray vneeck tee shirt that isn't too a) clingy, b) transparent, c) large and 2) the perfect pair of skinny jeans. The primary reason that I wanted skinny jeans was for boot-tucking, but I couldn't resist trying out my new Minnetonka moccasins (even if I did have to change into snow boots for the commute to work--it's blizzarding here!)
Maybe the skinny jeans aren't perfect, but I've looked high and low and I'm not sure if it's possible for them to fit me exactly right. I'm pretty short and I have skinny legs so they always bunch at the ankles&knees (and I don't necessarily want them to look like leggings). I got this particular pair (and the same in gray because it was buy-one-get-one-free!) at PacSun, which I have been hesitant to go in to, if not downright intimidated, because the kids working there look like they should be playing bass for obnoxiously emo teen skater-punk bands (or whatever it is the kids are calling it these days).
To top it off, the perfectly-plaid scarf that I found stuffed in my stocking :) I've been wearing it constantly since it appeared on Christmas morning.
Speaking of shoes (sort of), I would most definitely classify myself as a "shoe person" (also, a "dog person" and a "wine person"). While some girls will go out and buy gaggles of bags, I will a) steal bags, or b) receive bags as gifts. The only bag I have ever bought myself is my awesome straw purse, which hardly counts--it's not big enough to hold much of anything. I literally can not hold on to clutches (I put them down, they disappear... usually with valuables inside), so I don't buy them. My mother gave me a red leather bag a few years ago, and although it makes a great, classy carry-on, it's not terribly practical for daily use because it doesn't have any pockets.

For the purpose of practicality, I was ultimately forced to resort to theft (from my mother). Behold my beautifully-battered boho bag:

Don't get me wrong, I love my saggy bag (stains and all), but it isn't appropriate when I want to look... well, nice. And although I know I should invest in something basic and prac*YAWN*tical (and probably black)...

...I keep getting sidetracked by bags that are so much more interesting. Bags that have so much more character:

And then I moan and groan for so long that they sell out... and then I'm a little bit sad and I maybe curse myself just once or twice. There may be a "fun" in "functional" but I don't see it. Basics, Caitlin, basics...

But ooh, I kind of like this one:

Monday, December 28, 2009

merry monday

Well, I guess that's that! Christmas has officially come and gone, and I must admit I feel mostly relieved. It was lovely to spend the extra-long weekend with the family playing nonstop games of BANANAGRAMS and stuffing myself with chocolate, cheese and wine, but after a while all good things start to feel a little bit sickening (at least, the chocolate, cheese and wine do... the BANANAGRAMS are still awesome).

After the wild annual Christmas Eve party at my parents' house, which looked a little something like this...

...and a nine-hour day of successful shopping with my like-minded mother, it's back to work I go:

(dress: Filene's Basement; blazer: mom's; belt/scarf: thrifted; tights: stocking stuffer; shoes: Marshall's)

My only goal this week is to apply for my passport so that I am allowed to leave the country. These borders suffocate me if I can't pass over them at least once every six months. I'm currently coveting a train trip (although we will take the car to maximize freedom of movement) from Quebec to Newfoundland & New Brunswick:

(photos courtesy of

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

party of five

I dedicate this outfit to Brother #2, who expressed exasperation and befuddlement regarding the new high-waisted skirt trend... "why do girls wear their skirts all the way up to here??" he demanded to know. I tried to explain to him that it made perfect sense; that this is actually where a woman's waist is. He wasn't having it, exclaiming: "there's hardly any shirt anymore!"

(cardigan: old navy; lacy tank top: charlotte russe; scarf&skirt: vintage; tights: HUE; boots: ALDO)

He seems to have forgotten that the last time I wore this skirt in his presence he laughed at me and said I "reminded him of his Halloween costume" (he went as a 'hipster').

Ah yes, the joys of holidays at home...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

So, the sad news is that K has gone "home" for the Holidays (aka to his parents' house) and I am left all alone in our festive little barn apartment. Getting him on the airplane turned out to be quite the ordeal. The huge blizzard that surprised the East Coast this weekend didn't directly affect us here in VT, but his connecting flight in DC was cancelled (one of the problems with living in a small state is that you can't really get out without stopping somewhere along the way). After hours on hold with Delta we drove to the airport to reschedule in person and ended up booking a flight out of Boston for super-early the next morning (all flights out of Burlington were booked until two days before Christmas). Unfortunately, by the time we got back to the apartment the storm had hit Boston and they were getting all freaked out down there and cancelling flights like crazy people. Finally, after hours and hours on hold (again...and I mean hours) he decided to book a flight with another airline and I ended up driving him all the way down to Boston (we only experienced the very tail-end of the storm) and all the way back that same evening. I couldn't even light up the tree when I got home... it was too depressing. I'll be going "home" (aka to my parents' house) tonight to spend some quality time with the family for the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, I took advantage of K's absence by borrowing his clothes! HA! Shh don't tell:
Sometimes I wish I were taller, but being small does have its perks! I mean, K is tall but he's not a giant or anything... and the shirt is still only borderline inappropriate when worn as a dress (By me. If he wore it as a dress that would be inappropriate in many ways. Not that I don't support men wearing dresses if they're into that kind of thing).

So last night I was a little less bummed out about his desertion (time heals all wounds...) and decided to spend some quality time with myself. I wined and dined (mm yes please leftover fried-bean-curd-in-garlic-sauce chinese takeout):

Hung out in the library:

And watched two consecutive documentaries about the Ballet:

I've been meaning to watch these films for a long time, not just because I have a newfound infatuation with ballet (which I do... although I suppose it's more of a fascination), but because I'm doing "research." I've been frustrated with my creative stagnation for long enough--and while this blog offers temporary relief on a day-to-day basis (like bandaids or tylenol), it doesn't really satisfy my serious artistic impulses. I need to move beyond the quick fix and focus more of my attention on truly finding fulfillment. And so I found myself scribbling notes about ballerinas on a Tuesday night... and that's good! That's a first step, anyway.

I've had many ideas over the past couple of years and never sat down to develop them, but I keep returning to the concept of spirituality and faith in the modern world and the ways in which people create their own sort of "religion" when they are disconnected from traditional religious communities. I know people who have found calmness and completion in religious devotion and faith--people who are generally far more well-balanced and comfortable with their humanity than I will ever be--and as someone who can't subscribe to any particular religious doctrine, I find myself observing the ways in which other people fill that spiritual void.

The development of my potential story began long ago with "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance..." or maybe "What the #$*! do We (K)now?" (a silly movie, but a good starting point for brain-jumping) and moved through Simone de Beauvoir and the philosophy of the individual, mysticism and eastern religion (esp. Sufism & the whirling dervishes), quantam theory, Leonard Cohen's zen Monastery and performance as prayer, the faith of the masses in Obama's political mission and movement, the ways in which romantic love parallels and possibly replaces divine love...

Wow, blah blah blah, right? This is why I need to sit down and "develop," because otherwise I ramble ramble ramble and never really get my point across.
Anyway, that's what I'm working on. In case you were wondering.

PS. I apologize for the disorderly state of my dresser drawers. It's bound to happen when you have one tiny tiny closet and an overabundance of clothes, but I admit I probably could have at least tried to close them.
PPS. If your eyes were distracted from the disheveled dresser by the visible half of my awesome antique singer sewing machine, well played.


i am suddenly stricken by the sense that i may not be able to go on without this book on my coffee table (and/or without a coffee table to put this book on):

Why, you ask? See for yourself:

(discovered by way of the always-hilarious Fug Girls)

Friday, December 18, 2009

nanook of the north

Yeah, so, I don't know about where you are, but where I am it is suddenly FRIGID. And the temperature is steadily dropping with every waking minute.

That said, I am pretty proud of the five minutes (a generous estimate) I spent snapping these sunny shots this afternoon:

To be quite clear on how veryvery soul-crushingly cold it is on this day, in the five minutes that I stood coatless&brave against the icy air, my coffee went from piping hot to chilled-to-the-core.

Just call me Nanook.

In weather like this I really should be wearing fur bloomers and a sealskin coat. Instead, I stand around in really inappropriate clothing and feebly attempt to warm myself from the inside out (which only works as long as coffee stays hot). Tonight I will take inner warmth to a new level as I stuff myself with spicy samosas and hothot curry and warm, sweet Darjeeling tea! Can't wait, can't wait (I'm in love with Indian food)!