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April 8th, 2017

02:21 pm - Over at Dreamwidth, Post #15
All, the new Livejournal users' agreement disturbed me enough that I have made a Dreamwidth account, usedtobeljs.dreamwidth.org, and I will likely be doing my posting there for the foreseeable future. I am not going to do whatever the Dreamwidth equivalent of friendslocking is, but anyway...

See you there. :)

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April 2nd, 2017

09:11 am - This week's joy, Post #14
This past week has been... exhausting. I meant to do cool stuff yesterday afternoon on my Day Off, but after working out, doing some cleaning, and doing the monthly 'big' shop (I get paid once a month and shop for pantry and freezer stores then), I mostly lounged around in manner of Pre-Raphaelite Heroine or similar.

Last night I had vivid dreams, culminating in a cinematic thriller wherein I was one of a plucky band of corporate whistleblowers being chased by Evil Kevin Spacey as CEO/Assassin through a nightmarish Business Casual hotel (like a Marriott but ever-expanding into creepy rooms, with a broken elevator in each wing), ending up somehow in one of my childhood homes. I woke up 45 minutes past my alarm-time, with fog-light silhouetted around the curtain and Master Danger rattling his crate in his nearby bedroom.

I'm a little off my game, is what I'm saying.

So this week's joys, a bit incoherent:
*I made it through!
*Routine car service, which after an initial ten-minute delay was fast, courteous, and competent; the service guy made a point of Not Upselling.
*Fish and chips with one of my best friends Friday night
*the glowing reviews for David Tennant in Don Juan in Soho, which I'm seeing in May (I've linked to a sample review)
*I GET TO SEE TONY HEAD IN LOVE IN IDLENESS, AFTER ALL! \O/ Here, let's look at him in the role.
*A long walk (despite pollen) yesterday, with light and color and birds perched on poles watching me go by.

What's making you happy right now?

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March 26th, 2017

01:35 pm - Proportion and Silhouette, Post #13
Happy day to all! Sympathies to those in the UK who just lost your hour to British Summer Time. I'm still trying to overcome our time change two weeks ago....

Instead of joys, today I'm going to talk about silliness, style conundrums, proportion and silhouettes. This morning I lost an hour trying to think about one "use case," specifically what I will wear on the plane to London and back, in mid-May.

The variables and silliness:
Mid-May in the subtropics is hot (say, 88 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit), perhaps with high humidity. I'll be going to the airport in the hottest part of the day, too. I have to layer....

Because on the plane I often get cold, and it should be much chillier in Manchester when I arrive (and in London when I leave 8 days later). My own silliness: I really really don't like to dress down to fly, even if it's an overnight flight, but I do want to be as comfortable as I can be. I prefer not to fly in jeans if I can avoid it, and my nice trousers might get too wrinkled in an eight-hour flight especially since I'll likely be wearing them for another seven hours until hotel check-in. Also, my preferred silhouette for spring/summer is either tailored, cropped trousers or a pencil skirt worn with a classic-fit (not too close to the body) Thomas Pink or Brooks Brothers button-down, which are not travel-friendly.

You see the conundrum.

So I spent this morning [after workout and 30 minutes cutting palm fronds, whee] online looking at maxi-dresses, the kind that forgive a multitude of sins, but... they were SO NOT my style vibe. [I have an exception, to be discussed in a bit.] A dear friend of mine looks awesome in these kind of clothes, but she's a Strong Boho Queen. I am not Boho in the slightest, nor am I queenly. (In Alyson Walsh's lexicon of Grownup Style Tribes, I fall between The Gentlewoman and the Fabulous Femme.) Also, since I'd have to throw a jacket or a sweater over the dress, the proportions were mostly All Wrong. This was not happening.

It was time to shop my closet, especially as today's the day I'm changing winter closet to summer.

(In shopping my closet, I *did* rediscover the one long dress that works for my vibe: a decades-old, sleek, silk Laura Ashley piece, restrained in cut except for the high side-slits, in a glorious peacock with black and teal accents, which looks GREAT with a modern cropped black jacket I have. It's going to be my Ritz-and-David-Tennant outfit.)

After twenty minutes of fruitless search, I realized that a) the black knit skirt I usually travel in and my ankle boots are foundational, especially if I throw a vintage Levi's jean jacket and a scarf on top once aloft, and b) I need a sleeveless black turtleneck like I used to wear. That is my comfort-and-style sweet spot.

I told you I was silly. ;) But I feel so much better having nailed this down.

What's your favorite travel outfit?

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March 18th, 2017

05:49 pm - Last twelve days' joy, Post #12
Basically, the icon of circles signifies where I've been the past not-quite-a-fortnight -- chasing around in circles, never exiting the maze. But I have had to take today off because I am trying not to succumb to the sinus infection that's brewing. (POLLEN IS THE DEVIL.)

So let's go on to happy things:

*thinking of Champagne. Drinking the inexpensive but perfectly dry and crisp Veuve du Vernay Brut (non-vintage) with friends last night downtown. Looking at Shini Park's blogtorial spread for Moet et Chandon. (Guilty secret: I prefer Taittinger or Bollinger to Moet.)

*I should only be shopping for shoes for my London trip, but.... Boden has backless loafers (ON TREND) going on sale. This is my idea of subtropical summer footwear.

*My place of employment had its annual health screening fair this past week. I am pleased to report that my good cholesterol is apparently *remarkably* good (thanks, morning oatmeal!), as is my blood sugar. Weight, well, not so good. I have resumed mindful eating....

*Which was not happening during the past couple of months, or during the short jaunt to the Plains a week ago to see Aged Parent and my brothers. "I blame the weight gain on the Vienna Fingers** you had at the house," I told my Aged Parent, to which he dryly replied, "Yes. I'm sure that was it." This characteristic reply is a sign that he's holding his own after last year's illness -- still weaker and unsteadier than one would hope, but hanging in there.
**Vienna Fingers (a brand of cookie) and Publix Ginger Snaps are of course my favorite mass-produced cookie, and peanut butter cookies are my favorite cookie ever. I will wave goodbye to them for a few months, however.

*Making plans with my landscape guy for the last of the front-yard projects. ("Your projects are really smaller than we usually do," he told me, "but you're a really good client and, you know, only five blocks from our shop, so...") He's giving me oakleaf hydrangeas, whee!

And next year he gets to start the backyard.

What great stuff is happening for you?
Current Mood: exanimateexanimate

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March 6th, 2017

08:39 pm - Last week's joys, Post #11
Oh Lord. I'm supposed to have time off this week, but ha! Not so much. Every new email is like a carrier of some work-disease, spreading at a horrifying rate. Ah well.

But let us go straight to the joys:
*I have the new Bujold novella -- the further adventures of Penric and his demon -- on my Kindle.
*I cooked a pot of red beans today, with Penzey's chili powder and a sprinkle of Penzey's dried shallots. Mmmm.
*Two big work-tasks are DONE, yes, praise all gods.
*All About Eve on the big screen, which is joy upon joy.
*Watching the first five minutes of Doctor Foster -- after which the story takes us to a bad bad place -- for the B Carvel of it all.
*Two and a half months to London!

What's great for you this week? What are you celebrating?

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February 26th, 2017

10:45 am - This week's joys, Post #10

Let us pass over the allergies from hell, and focus on good things:

*my tree guys came Friday and cleaned up one section of the backyard, including trimming a cherry laurel that now looks like total awesomeness and cutting back a hell-holly that was trying to kill me every time I walked by. Whee!
*Naomie Harris got an OBE and looked like a million pounds. Awesomeness.
*The reprinted Virginia Woolf short story, "In The Looking Glass," in the March Harpers Bazaar UK. First line: "People should not leave looking glasses hanging in their rooms any more than they should leave open cheque books or letters confessing some hideous crime."
*Having friends over on Wednesday and Thursday. These were, I blush to confess, the first social gatherings I've held in two years. My friends are awesome, though, and they made me happy with their presence.
*Also, Paradiso de Maria Sauvignon Blanc from Benziger. A+++.
*new ankle-strap chunky-heel black shoes.
*thinking of B Carvel for a project I'm working on.
*Dancing this morning.

By the way, these lists I've been posting don't mean I'm not horrified by the political climate at present. They're just moments to keep me going.

Anything good for you guys this week?

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February 18th, 2017

10:23 am - This week's joys, Post #9
So that week also happened. [falls face-first on floor, narrowly missing Master Danger]

The week's joys:
*booking a lunch for a couple of weeks from now with a colleague and friend I don't see often
*completing a work-task I'd been dreading and putting off
*not yet getting the death-rhinovirus going around my workplace (it's knocking on the door, but I've not let it in)
*after the passing of Al Jarreau, pulling out all of my 80s vinyl and remembering how I loved him
*finishing The Riviera Set by Mary Lovell, a nonfiction book about the glamourous years 1920-1960. I loved the first half, pre-WWII. It took me forever to get through the post-war chapters, however, since I didn't care for those people.... But it's finished!
*this image of Caroline Issa in a color combo from my past
*thinking about David Hockney, excited to see the exhibition
*making iced tea with Fortnum's Rwanda Orange Pekoe, local honey, and two slices of lemon
*finding a shirt-dress I'd forgotten I had [rolls eyes at self] in my closet
*new Brooks Brothers cunningly cut blue shirt on massive sale (I'd link but it's gone from the website)
*azalea season
*writing a couple of pages on my stalled project

What's making you happy these dark days? Sending good thoughts and light your way.

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February 12th, 2017

07:02 pm - State of Me, Post #8
So that week happened.

1) Master Danger is now on (temporary) medication for a minor but annoying condition, and that medication means he has to go pee every two hours. He seems to be peeing each time approximately twice the amount of liquid he is actually consuming and I have NO IDEA what is happening. Also, sigh.

2) I am in the throes of allergy badness at the moment. This morning I went for a walk (damn the pollen), and then came home and collapsed in a little heap. For the next five hours -- a) I have told myself I can't take Benadryl because it makes me sleepy and unable to function, b) I have tried to do some Important Task, c) I have utterly failed because allergies also make me sleepy and unable to function. So yeah.

3) I love love love the Victoria Beckham Autumn-Winter 2017 collection that was shown today in NYC. I cannot even tell you how I want to live in these garments, including the gloves. Like, I want to wear this dress every damn day of the year. I would travel around the globe so it would always be the perfect weather to wear that dress. I LOVE IT.

And as I contemplated how I love these clothes and yet would have to lose weight to wear them, I made a batch of oatmeal-cranberry cookies. What is wrong with me?

4) I tried to watch the second episode of this Abbie-free season of Sleepy Hollow, despite not making it all the way through Episode One. (I have been thinking a lot about Tom Mison, for reasons which need not be explored at this juncture.) Made it literally three minutes in before bolting for the hills. Dear Sleepy Hollow Season 4 writers, spoilerCollapse ) well, GROSS GROSS GROSS.

May you have better lists for your week ahead. :)

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February 5th, 2017

04:59 pm - Things of Joy, Post #7
This week's joys:

*the new entry in Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series, The Hanging Tree
*Thomas Nightingale in that series. Posh,(seemingly) middle-aged, beautifully mannered English wizard who favours well-cut suits and drives a Jag whilst he deploys his enormous power in the service of good... No, I don't have a type, why do you ask? (Hee.)
*This week's Lucifer
*A kind package from ljrags
*random nice words
*roses from Publix
*listening to Jamie Cullum
*fog this morning, curling around the houses as Master Danger and I passed
*happy hour with some of my fave people Friday evening in a perfect subtropical golden sunset

May your week ahead be full of joys!

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February 4th, 2017

03:41 pm - Mistakes were Made, Post #6
Three quick things, after dropping off the face of Livejournal:

1) Sometimes a mistake works in one's favor. Last week I had that wonderful massage; afterward I booked what I thought was a March 4 appointment for a followup. The thing was that I (my mind already in February) had said I wanted a massage "next month," and so the receptionist duly put me down for the first Saturday in the next month.

Which, er, was today.

I didn't pick up the confirmation voicemail until yesterday evening, after their office had closed. It was really too late to cancel, and anyway -- it had been a stressful week.

I've had the massage, and let's just say that it was a great mistake to have made.

2) I have been drowning at work, just barely dog-paddling along while the waves got higher and higher, and the awful thing is that I bear most of the blame for the flood of horror. (Also the aftermath: afternoon stress-eating Girl Scout peanut butter sandwiches which had been delivered to my office? Child, what a bad idea.)

But I think that I might actually get one week out of the month to breathe, just a little. (Not next week, but the one after that.)

Tea. Walking in pollen-heavy mornings. More tea. Thinking about London in May. Mentally casting Neil Gaiman's Good Omens which should be in pre-production as a limited series. (I'm thinking Bertie Carvel as Crowley and, because of his sweet smile, Adrian Lester as Aziraphale. Who would you like to see?) Still more tea. These are a few of my coping mechanisms.

3) One thing -- not a mistake -- that I've been doing this year is set aside a bit of money each month for one direct giving opportunity to a person who needs a little help. Right now this family, moving across country to seek better opportunities, needs a little help. Give if you feel moved to do so.

Cheers, tea, no more mistakes!

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