Sunday, March 19, 2006

Events Of The Non-Event Kind

And life goes on. After a rather hectic week at work training my replacement among other things I am finally all ready for my leave. I will only be gone for 6 weeks but it is amazing how many things there were to hand off. I have been looking forward to this because it would be nice to spend more time with my family of course. But now that it's here I feel oddly reluctant to leave. I keep thinking I am forgetting something. Maybe it's just travel anxiety. You know, like when you are halfway to the airport and can't stop freaking out about leaving the stove on? Even though you haven't actually turned the stove on in 2 & 1/2 years? Yes, that kind of anxiety.

On the subject of blogging and privacy, yes, I realize that this is a rather open medium but that doesn't preclude an individual's right to privacy or expectation thereof. However, there are people, both in real life as in the internet, who clearly have a different definition of social propriety than me. And I still want to keep blogging for reasons of my own so I guess I will have to deal with the comments as they come. I considered turning comments off altogether and I may still do that or turn moderation on but for now I am not changing anything. Most people, as several commenters pointed out, are nice.

In random events of the real life kind - John's driving me to the airport again, I bought some new clothes for the trip (my mom would be pleased!) and I have suddenly become a photography enthusiast. Oh and coffee guy, who incidentally happens to be a photographer by hobby and profession (and my inspiration), woke me up at 2 am this morning to play James Blunt's "You are Beautiful," then drunkenly said "thassyou" or something to that effect and hung up. We have hung out a couple of times and I have the greatest time when I am with him but I have yet to decide whether this is adorable or creepy.

I guess I now have 6 weeks to figure it out.

Friday, March 10, 2006

I can't bring myself to write.

Edited June 23rd: Because I obviously can bring myself to write again. However, the reasons that prompted this post originally and the vulnerability displayed in it (although cringeworthy in retrospect) were much too real for this post to be removed altogether.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Word

To anyone reading this blog, there are a few things you should know about me. In this blog, as in real life, when I come across an inappropriate comment or an offensive remark my tendency is to either ignore it or reply nicely in an attempt to deflect the tone. Not because I can't think of anything else to say but because by nature I am polite first. It's not encouragement to post inappropriate comments. I say this because I have had to delete a few comments lately that crossed the line. This blog is essentially my home in the cyberspace. I didn't create it to generate traffic, in search of my 15 minutes of internet fame or to finagle a book deal in some incredibly circuitous way. This is a glimpse into my life. A privileged glimpse if you will if you happen to be here by chance. If there are things you wouldn't say to a new neighbor you have never met in person you probably shouldn't say them here either. Please be respectful and courteous.

And to the majority of my readers who are already courteous and polite - thank you. I appreciate it.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Paris Fashion Week

In honor of today being the last day of the Paris Fall Fashion Week I have decided to spend tonight rummaging through my wardrobe. I have two dinners this weekend, not to mention laundry and all the other typical weekend errands, so doing this over the weekend is out. Plus, there is no greater motivation than tall, thin, lifeless dolls languidly walking down a narrow runway in the latest Chanel or YSL couture when it comes to a wardrobe makeover.

My personal style is fairly simple. I have and will always prefer a cute shirt or a fitted tee and a great pair of jeans or a little black skirt to the entire rack of new arrivals at Banana Republic. But at the same time, I have been feeling a little stuck in fashion rut lately. Part of this is reflective of the internal state of my mind. Color therapists will tell you that when you are in a gray mood you are more likely to pull on something dull and gray. To cheer yourself up you are supposed to do the exact opposite and pull on something bright and colorful. Easier said than done because bright bottle green when you are feeling restless just seems incongruous. Besides, as a ninety year old toothless man once told me, I look good in gray! But then again, what do I know. I am not a color therapist (and neither was my ninety year old admirer I am pretty sure), so I am going to give it a try.

If you are reading this, consider this fair warning. This post, with a few exceptions, will almost entirely be about fashion.

Fall 2006 Paris Runway Show













Those (above) are my favorite looks from this year! From top to bottom: row 1 is Stefano Pilati for YSL, row 2 is Olivier Theyskens for Rochas, row 3 is Tischi for Givenchy, row 4 is Isabel Marant, row 5 is Jean Paul Gaultier and row 6 is, from left to right, Hussein Chalayan (#1 & #2), Sophia Kokosalaki (#3 & #4) and Ann Demeulemeester (#5).

The difference between fashion and style is that fashion is very much of the moment whereas style is timeless. Style is all about adapting fashion trends to suit your personality rather than borrowing looks straight off the runway. Much as I love every single one of the above looks I would look ridiculous if I walked out of my home looking like a style.com picture not to mention the fact that I will probably go bankrupt if I tried.

YSL


I love what Pilati has done for YSL. It's very French chic revival meets S&M and what's better, the looks are accessible. I am not crazy about the shapeless jacket in the first picture or the fur collars in 1 & 3 for that matter but I can wear the cropped pants and the ankle boots with regular turtlenecks or buttondown shirts. The third ensemble is fine on its own if you remove the fur collar and I love the little black dress and those goth glam shoes in the middle picture. What's better, I already have the turtlenecks, buttowndown shirts, wide black belt, the little black skirtsuit and the ankle boot so all I need are the cropped pants and the dress & the shoes (or similar ones) in the middle picture.

Rochas


I loved everything by Rochas. Theyskens said his look was inspired by chimney sweeps. Clearly I am in the wrong profession. I should be a chimney sweep! The first picture was wishful thinking on my part because even my most glamorous holiday parties don't call for anything so glamorous but the second and the third outfits can easily go from work to evening. Unfortunately, I don't have any of these pieces so I may have to buy them. But, the good news is that they are versatile, will work well for Spring as well (at least the the pants and the top) and will mix well with what I already own. Growing up I was so used to getting only 1 or 2 new outfits a year that it was important for my clothes to multi-task. Now that I can afford more I still like things to multi-task. Some lessons just stay with you.

Givenchy


Givenchy was one of the few houses to deviate from the black & white theme preferred by most designers for fall. They didn't exactly go too far but the pale blues and the splashes of red really stood out. I already have the black skirt and I have a pale blue shirt (no one said, when adapting a runway fashion to your wardrobe, you have to stick to the exact same item - a pale blue top can be replaced by a pale blue shirt, that is unless you do have the budget to go buy everything new every season). I just need a semi-sheer red blouse and a wide red belt. I think I will pass on the white pumps, gorgeous as they are.

Isabel Marant


I love the stark black & white of Isabel Marant. It's so quintessentially French. All these looks, however, seem to be geared towards teenagers so much as I love them I think I will stick to what I already own except for 2 things. I am getting a black satin belt like the one in the first picture to use with my sleeveless white sheath dress and a black & white print skirt to wear with my black turtleneck.

Jean Paul Gaultier


I really liked these when I first saw them but now that I am looking at them again I am not so sure. They are simply not my style. I do like the yellow dress in the third picture though except maybe with less feather. And minus a poodle.

Hussein Chalayan, Sophia Kokosalaki and Ann Demeulemeester


Another designer I love, next to Pilati and Olivier Theyskens, is Hussein Chalayan. I want everything from the first two pictures. I would wear them unaltered, just as they are. From the rest I like the long black skirt and the silver tube top (except without the fur collar) from the 3rd picture, the boots in the 4th picture and the skirt in the last one. I have a long black skirt but none of the other items.

Just one problem I can see from the above is that famous designers, like me, seem to prefer the monochromatic theme. Not a whole lot of color up there, is it? So, I guess, I am on my own on that.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Nature Of Regrets

Since it hasn't even been 36 hours since I was waxing eloquent on the subject of regrets and time misspent it is only fair that I should turn around and start regretting the way I am spending my time.

I haven't cooked since last Tuesday. I haven't done any drawings since the last one weeks ago. I haven't been to the gym since last Friday. And so on and so forth. Of course, there are many things I have done but that's not what this post is about.

It's kind of funny that when I think of regrets, even think back really hard, those are the things I can think of. Somehow I don't regret meeting T or the last 4 years. I don't regret my childhood with poverty as its constant companion. I don't regret anything about the 16 school years despite so many things not going my way so many times. I don't even regret the 8 years in Big 4 consulting even though I was always gone and missed many opportunities to connect with friends and family and would be lovers. It's the not cooking since last Tuesday that I regret.

I guess as regrets go there are worse ones.

John & I have plans to go bowling again tonight. We made plans on Monday but I have been thinking of cancelling because I have so much to do. My upcoming leave is less than 3 weeks away and then I will be gone for six weeks. I want to straighten my apartment, learn to cook, sign up for Salsa lessons, stick to the marathon training schedule, list some things on eBay, weed out some old clothes to donate to charity and maybe buy some new ones. Excuses. Reasons to not go out and do something fun. But I can't help but accept that I tend to regret the things I don't do a lot more than the things I do no matter what the outcome.

So, the cleaning will have to wait for tomorrow, drawing I will have plenty of time for when I am back home and Salsa lessons will still be here when I get back. Tonight I go bowling. Because as regrets go, not cooking since last Tuesday is a lesser one than not going out with a guy I like because I am afraid.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Who Moved My Tiara?

A few years ago I ran into an old classmate at an airport. I was on my way back from a client site and she was on her way out of town. I was wearing a black crew neck sweater, blue jeans and slightly high heeled black boots. My hair was in a low ponytail with a side part and my only makeup was a pinkish nude lipstick. She was wearing a short skirt, a deep V sweater with a peekaboo bra and makeup that screamed for attention. She recognized me immediately. I didn’t recognize her.

Over coffee we caught up on the intervening years. We both had decent jobs and boyfriends but while I was still pretty much the same she had gone from wallflower to consummate party girl. We were as different then as we had been years before in high school except her pendulum had firmly swung from one end to the other. It was an interesting phenomenon.

She wasn’t the only one either. Over the years I have noticed that half the people I run into either seem to be trying to recapture their high school glory days or compensate for the fact that they didn’t make as much of an impression as they would have liked back then. Sometimes I wonder how many people are still stuck in those years. How many times do we do things because we feel we should or to impress others?

Last night I turned down two offers to go out, came home and unclogged the bathtub drain. Yes, glamorous. I had noticed in the morning in the shower a small pool of water cheerfully nipping at my toes. After I had peeled myself off the ceiling I knew I had to do something and fast. For whatever reason, I am happy as a newborn seal in a drawn bath but the idea of standing around even in 1 inch water when I am showering makes me shudder. (It is one of those delightful inconsistencies that make me, me. Or so I like to believe.) Of course, in keeping with my ignorance of all things domestic I had absolutely no idea what to do and I didn’t get much time to research online at work. So, my first order of business on coming home was to log on and try to figure out where to go from there.

I poured myself a drink, kicked off my shoes, dropped my tote and laptop onto a chair and cozied up to the glowing screen with a box of bon bons I save for special occasions. No reason why one can’t be comfortable as she makes her foray into the jungle of cleaning products. A few soft taps and swishes of the mouse later I was deep in literature on drains and pipes. What a fascinating world! I never knew it existed. After an hour of being immersed in the world of drains and clogs which somehow led to a 5-page article on the one thousand and one uses of baking soda (the little overachiever!) which in turn led to a website offering homemade recipes for salt scrubs and bath bombs which led to a few excited minutes with my credit card ordering supplies for making my own personal care products (it looked like fun) I reluctantly pulled myself away from the screen and made a quick run to the store for supplies. Later, I ate yummy Chinese food directly from the take out containers in-between pouring cleaner down the drain and chatting with a friend on the phone as I half-watched Gilmore Girls and Supernatural on WB. The evening flew by. And then I realized that it had been just as much fun as last Tuesday night with John. (No reflection on John!)

Some days I feel disgruntled about life, some days I feel impatient, restless. And then there are days like these when I feel grateful. High school was good to me but popularity was neither something I sought nor rejected. Maybe that’s why I have moved on. I feel glad that I am propelled by neither the need to relive my youth nor to make up for it and staying in can be as much fun as going out ... because the worst kind of regret? Is the regret of time misspent.