About Me

Musings of a hopeful wanderer.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Decidedly not 1 of 30

I understand there's a new 30 for 30 Challenge a-brewing around these parts.  While I loved participating in the last one, I'm bowing out this time around.  You see, I live in Texas and the weather now is no different than it was 3 months ago.  I don't really have a lot of clothes and most of my work-appropriate wear I included the last time around.  If I did it now, I'd be wearing all the same clothes as last time.  (Kendi, also a Texan, for sure has way more clothes than me.)

See for yourself:
 See, I wore this shirt last time.
 And this skirt.
Even the belt, which isn't technically included in the challenge but I think you see where I'm going with this.

So what I'm really saying is that I'm basically "30 for 30-ing" all the damn time because I don't have that many clothes.  I'm looking forward to seeing all the badass remixing going on, though.  And I do plan to join you for the spring challenge, when you'll see me trying to figure out how to endure what will, I'm sure, already be 80+ degree temps.

I am a wuss.

Skirt: Old Navy, second-hand via Elaine
Shirt: Brooks Brothers, thrifted
Socks: Target
Boots: via DSW
Bare legs: It was 70 degrees AGAIN today, people!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekend wear

I don't usually post on the weekends because I usually just wear pajamas, but I had a fairly productive weekend, a weekend that required clothes.

Ok, it didn't require clothes, but I did do a lot of homework and apartment cleaning and errands.  And if I don't put on real clothes, I sit in my pajamas on the couch watching Weeds or the L Word for like the 15th time.

Friday: Casual work day.
This is one of my favorite shirts of all time.  I got it around 2006 at a thrift store near Bethesda, MD.  It was my first-ever real thrift excursion (I used to get t-shirts and costumer pieces all the time at Salvation Army; this was the first time I went looking for good-quality, everyday pieces) and I'd say it was a success.

Immediately after taking these photos, I changed clothes and Ed and I went hiking in Austin's Greenbelt.  It was 75 degrees.  In January.

Shirt: French Connection, thrifted
Jeans: Old Navy
(Overworn) Undershirt: Gap
Shoes: Target

Sundays I volunteer at our local library-bookstore (it's a bookstore owned by the library that sells overstock and whatnot).  I'm on my feet for 3 hours and it's always overly-chilly; comfort is key (and when isn't it, really?).
Ed calls this sweater my "In the Ready Room, drinking Earl Grey" sweater.  He promises me no one will get that.  To help, it's a Star Trek reference.  Love is never having to say "you're nerdy."
Again, don't let these pictures fool you.  Its another 75-degree sunny day in central Texas.

Sweater and Jeans: Gap
Shirt: Urban Outfitters
Shoes: Vans, via the Vans Outlet in Round Rock

How was your weekend?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blue Valentine

I'm feeling much better and am inspired to do a kind of post I've been meaning to: a movie review.  If you don't know, I'm a huge movie buff.  I average at least a movie a day and my biggest vice (besides coffee and Diet Dr. Pepper) is going to see a movie.  I love it.  LOVE IT.

This weekend, Ed and I saw Blue Valentine.  It's the story of a dissolution of a marriage.  But really, its the story of any relationship's breaking point (and if we have ever had similar relationships, a breaking point doesn't necessarily mean the end of a relationship, but the point at which something has to change.)  Originally rated NC-17 for a fairly graphic oral sex scene, the entire movie is intimate.  The shots are so close you feel like you're watching something you shouldn't be privy to; more than once I felt like I wanted to give Cindy (Michelle Williams) and Dean (Ryan Gosling) their privacy. 

It's dark, it's serious, it's heart-warming, it's at times painful to watch and yes, it's a bit depressing.  But it's beautifully written, brilliantly directed, and speaks to anyone who's ever stood at the edge of a relationship wondering what's next.

If you go for any reason at all, go for the soundtrack.  This gem was actually written by Gosling (as well as performed by him in the movie):


Or this, Cindy and Dean's "song:"


The rest of the soundtrack is Grizzly Bear.  What's not to love?!

And her clothes.  I was really inspired by Michelle's Williams' character's clothes.  She mixed feminine floral dresses with big combat boots.  This was my interpretation:

That's me on the right, if you couldn't tell.  I'm often told she's my celebrity doppleganger.


So, Blue Valentine.  Go see it!

Dress: Old Navy
Cardigan: Express
Tights: TJ Maxx
Boots: via DSW
Inspiration: Blue Valentine

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Re-do

Sorry about the hiatus, folks.  There's something about Friday to Monday that makes me a total Luddite (if you don't include watching crazy amounts of movies as technology...).

Today was one of those days where everything was a little off.  While I was on the bus, I realized I forgot something I needed; I got off at the next stop, ran home, and waited 10 minutes for the next bus.  I didn't have time to make coffee in the student lounge before class.

I felt two steps behind everyone else in my Web Design class.  I was the annoying "Wait, what did you just do?" person everyone loves so much.

At work I forgot to save a document I was working on. 

I made a beautiful quiche for dinner; a quiche so chocked full of nice cheeses and vegetables that it filled two pie crusts.  I dropped one when taking it out of the oven.  I was in a foul mood and picked a totally unnecessary fight with Ed.

My outfit seemed so perfect in theory.  Stripes, cardigan, comfy pants.  But every time I looked in the mirror, something just seemed off.  Also, it felt a little too casual for my workplace.  Because I'm an intern and the youngest person in the office, I feel pressure to be BUSINESS CASUAL.  Today was more the latter than the former.  I don't usually post outfits I'm not crazy about, but this is life, right?  Sometimes you ace it, sometimes you make a C-.





So yes, re-do, ok?

Pants and Cardigan: Urban Outfitters
Boots: via DSW
Striped shirt: Fossil
Undershirt: Gap
Crazy-person hair: Bad Tuesday

Friday, January 21, 2011

Casual Wednesday

You may not know this, but the state of Texas celebrates Confederate Heroes' Day.  This is an absurd holiday (some years it actually falls ON MLK day!), but nevertheless, working for the state afforded me the day off.

I spent the day casually, of course.  I went to campus to do some work and eat lunch with a friend.  I wanted to wear something comfortable (when don't I?) and I absolutely love this shirt, its one of those shirts I've had in my closet forever, but its so damn casual I can't ever wear it to work.  Hello, casual Wednesday.


Shirt: Urban Outfitters
Undershirt: Gap
Cords: Urban Outfitters
Shoes: Urban Outfitters (I mean, are they paying me here or WHAT?)
Casualness: c/o Confederate Heroes

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nobody understands me!

The lovely Angela tagged me in another "About Me" type-a thing because she reads this blog and thinks I'm cute.  I think you're cute, too, Angela!  We "met" during the 30-for-30 and she has an impeccable style.  Also, she is a school teacher and is getting married soon.  Congrats to you, Angela!

Anyway, I did the "7 Things: High School" thing wherein I let you into my somewhat sordid adolescence.  Today, I'll keep it PG and give you 7 things you may not know about me:

1. I used to play saxophone and I was good.  Really!  In 7th grade I sat 2nd chair in the 8th grade band.  I also made All-Regional band once.  I went to band camp.  I was kind of a big deal.

2. In college I took Hebrew as my foreign language.  In hindsight it doesn't make much sense to learn a language that only about 6 million people speak, all of whom also speak English.  Today, I can say "Where is the bathroom?" and the all important "I don't speak Hebrew."

3. Twice in my life I have been vegetarian.  Once, for a few months in the 5th grade, and again for two years in college.  I don't think I'll ever go back.

4. I was a Women's Studies major in college.  I'm not sure what else to say about that except I'm one of those "no-fun" people at parties who will call people out for making rape jokes or being totally racist.

5.  I've lived in seven different states, five of which were when I was a kid.  My dad was in the military.  I have an urge to move every few years just to keep things interesting (hence the blog name).

6. I am completely and totally afraid of flying.  The first time I was on a plane was when I was 6 weeks old.  I've traveled a lot and am on planes several times a year.  In fact, my father is a pilot.  Huge panic attack every time.  Everyone loves sitting next to me!

7. I absolutely hate when people sing "Happy Birthday."  To me, to anyone else, it's totally uncomfortable.  Just standing around listening to people sing?  Watching someone BEING SUNG TO?  No, just no.

Thanks, Angela, it was fun!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

First day

Today was the first day of classes for this semester.  I don't know if y'all know how big of a nerd I am, but I am a nerd.  A big one.  I LOVE the first day of classes!  It starts out so hopeful, you know. 

At the University of Texas School of Information, all the graduate courses meet once a week for 3 hours.  Thus, I only had one class today: Designing Dynamic Webpages.  Y'all, I'm terrified of this class.  I have no experience, NONE AT ALL, in web design or even basic programming languages.  But you know what?  It's going to be a ton of work, but I will get through it.  I haven't put myself outside of my comfort zone, like, ever, so now's a good time to start.  And web design is totally useful.  And I will succeed.  And I will be ok with not making an A.  (These are my mantras for the next 12 weeks.)

Anyway, what better way to say "I'm capable!" than a sweater vest?

If you answered "There's no better way too look both capable and adorable!" then you are correct.  You get an A (minus.  I grade on a curve.)

Striped top: Urban Outfitters
Sweater vest: Small boutique in Ann Arbor
Skirt: Gap, thrifted
Shoes: Urban Outfitters
Tights: TJ Maxx
Go-getter attitude: First day of classes geekiness

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Stripes

I absolutely LOVED this outfit.  It was comfortable and chic and there was an element of playfulness to it, as you can tell by these pictures.

Y'all, for real, how adorable is this?!

It was one of those "I can't get any good ones, so I'm going to use my silly warm-up ones" kind of a picture day.  As if you couldn't tell.  

Sweater and tank: second hand via Mel
Cords: Urban Outfitters
Boots: I don't remember, via DSW
Carefree attitude: see above

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Round 2

Sick again today but feeling better.  Tea, pajamas, and taking care of a whiny-ass puppy all day will do that to you.  I'll be back at work again tomorrow, my amount of sick days left says I have to.

I did not wear this today.  I wore pajamas.  But I did wear this last week.
I really didn't like this one all that much; it's unflattering and not very creative.  When I wear wide-leg trousers, I usually try to pair it with a more fitted top.
And as you can see, its time to wash the ole brown cardigan.  I couldn't get it to stay on my shoulders.

So why did I even take pictures of this mediocre outfit?  The hair.  Folks, this was the best hair day yet.  So much curl and volume!  And the trick?  It's dirty.

Shh, don't tell.

Polka-dot top: Urban Outfitters
Cardigan: H&M
Trousers: I can't remember, I think a department store
Shoes: Urban Outfitters
Awesome hair: Pollution and hair products

Monday, January 10, 2011

Rebecca is sick and probably hates you.

I woke up this morning with a sore throat, monster headache, and a terribly foul mood.  Not totally atypical for a Monday morning, so I rolled with it.  On days that I hate everything, I have to force myself to get dressed up and pretend like everything is ok.

Not bad, right?

This is how I was actually feeling.



All day long I lived by the ole AA motto "Fake it till you make it."  That hacking and wheezing?  It's just allergies!  The mucus-y voice and watery eyes? I feel fine!  By 3pm, though,  I felt like poop and couldn't keep my eyes open so I took the rest of the day off.  I came home, made myself some tea, changed into pajamas and napped with my puppy.

I love sick days.

Dress: Pac Sun, circa 2004
Tights: TJ Maxx
Cardigan: F21
Boots: via DSW
Belt: H&M

Saturday, January 8, 2011

All in

Last night Ed and I went to a concert on the (in)famous 6th street.  Shamefully, this was our first concert in Austin.  We don't love Austin, you see, and part of us is rebelling against the OHMYGODAUSTINISTHEBESTPLACEEVER crowd (which is, um, everyone).  But it's Free Week, which means a bunch of music venues are hosting local bands with no covers.  A friend invited us to one.  Y'all, they were so good!  And I used to know the keyboardist in high school!  Small world! 

We decided that at least once a month we're going to do something Austin-y.  So there, Austin lovers, get off our backs.

This is not what I wore to the show.  I wore a variation on this number, but with boots and knee-socks.  Obviously I didn't take a picture.
I wore this a few days ago when the weather still approximated winter (today, by contrast, is 73 degrees).  ALSO: I took these by myself! With a tripod!  Ed was working late and if we don't get these in when the sun is still out, just forget about it.  Please accept this as explanation for my silly face.
I'm still trying to figure out a proper hair care regimen.  Some days my hair is awesome and curly, some days its like this.  Bear with me.

Dress: American Apparel
Vest: F21
Tights, UO
Boots, via DSW
Dopey look: because I'm using a timer and am confused by it

Friday, January 7, 2011

No-Spend Month

Y'all, I love talking about budgets.  Seriously, I know it's tacky to talk about how much people make and what they spend on their money on, but knowing how people save money and still feel satisfied is like porn to me.  Wisebread is on my Google Reader.  I'm fairly straight-forward about Ed and I being close to the poverty line.  We're both students and work part-time and well, shit happens.  To save money for ourselves, we cook at home at least 6 nights a week, we set aside a small amount of money for discretionary expenses like the occasional movie out AND DO NOT SPEND MORE THAN THAT EVER, we don't have cable, we keep the apartment at a moderate temperature, we never use credit cards and whenever possible I take the bus (which fortunately takes me to work and school).  And yet, every month is a close call.

Ed and I have very equitably split up our household financial responsibilities; my biggest responsibility is rent.  This month because of a careless miskeying of my checking account number, our rent was late.  Our tyrannical apartment complex charges a $50 late fee.  Now I don't need to tell you that around these parts $50 is a substantial amount of money.  Long story short, I have a $6 balance in my account.

For a long time I've wanted to introduce a No-Spend Month and now, mostly out of necessity, seems like a good time.  The rules are simple: no spending a single solitary cent on anything that is unnecessary.  "Necessary" costs are also strictly defined: rent, groceries, utilities, and financial responsibilities (like loan or credit card payments).  So, no coffeeshop coffee, no books, no clothes, nothing unless its totally necessary.  We still have our small amount of monthly discretionary to use for dates, but that is it.  No more eating out at work, no more pre- and post-class coffee runs.  For the whole month.

I'll keep you guys posted.  In the meantime, what are your belt-tightening tricks?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

7 things, the high school edition

There's this meme floating about wherein bloggers admit 7 things about who they were when they were younger.  Y'all, this is terrible.  I have very few photos of myself at that time on my computer; they are all in a box at my parent's house with the words "TO BURN" on them.  You'll see why:

1. I was emo, aka, Took Myself Extraordinarily Seriously.  This pretty  much sums everything up.  Think Dashboard Confessional and Death Cab for Cutie.  Think journaling.  Think dark eye make-up.  Yes.  It's true.

2. Not unrelatedly, I was hugely into music.  I listened to music all the damn time.  If I could've listened to music in class and during family dinner, believe you me I would've.  My all-time favorites were Brand New, Modest Mouse, Counting Crows, Rilo Kiley, and Radiohead.  In fact, I went to a Radiohead concert in 2003 and I remembering thinking to myself afterward "THIS IS THE ONLY MUSIC THAT MATTERS."  (Remember the whole taking myself very seriously thing? I wasn't joking.)  My only consolation is that Radiohead is still my favorite band; so much so, in fact, that in 2008 I got a Radiohead tattoo on my left tricep.
The image is from the cover of Amnesiac.  Here's hoping they're still my favorite in 50 years!

3. I had nearly crippling anxiety during my adolescence.  It was assuaged mostly with drinking and my journal.  Not a diary, ok?  Like, what am I, seven?  I still have the journal and I read it occasionally.  It's definitely good for an eye-roll and every so often serves to remind me how far I've come.

4. Ah, drinking.  I was somewhat of a party girl in high school.  I went on a (very unsupervised) school-sponsored trip to Europe between my sophomore and junior year.  Well it turns out that in 2003, Europe was very lax about their drinking laws and needless to say, we were kids in the proverbial candy store.  During one particularly unsupervised night in France, the 20 or so of us on the trip managed to trash a hotel room.  I won't go into details, but let's just say we owed several thousand dollars in reparations.  There is enough video footage of that night to bar me and any close relatives from ever running for a public office.

5. Most of my close friends were guys.  I had such a terribly shitty middle school experience (hello, who doesn't?) that by the time I hit 9th grade, I was done with girls forever.  I'm still very close with most of them, a few even live in Austin.  I lifted my ban on girl friendships in college once I was sufficiently healed.  The fact that like 80% of the college I went to as a freshman were women also helped.

6. I spent every single summer of my adolescence at a Jewish summer camp in central Texas.  It was my favorite place in the entire world and I can't remember a happier time in my life than when I was at camp.  I had two serious boyfriends and two best friends come from that place.  Look, here's a picture of me dancing at camp!
Girl needed some bangs and an anti-frizz conditioner, for real.
7. I was very idealistic as a teenager.  Despite the emo-ness and the anxiety, I had real hope for the future and wanted to impact real change.  I spent freshman year of college at American University in Washington, D.C.  I wanted to be a ambassador to Israel.  It took me about two weeks to be fully indoctrinated into the Cynical Lifestyle and about the same amount of time to realize I needed to look for another alma mater.  This is me with my dad on my first day of college, still so excited! 
Frizzy hair like whoa.  Also, why am I wearing pajamas on the first day of college?!

So there you have it.  I was mostly insufferable to be around, but I think I'm better now.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Intentions and such

My mother reminded me yesterday that I haven't yet blogged a "New Years Resolutions" post.  My father always jokes that his resolutions are "To lose weight and be a better person."  Those have been his resolutions since at least I've been alive.  Mentioning my parents twice in one paragraph?  It's because they're the only ones reading it.

I agree with most people that resolutions are only ways to set yourself up for failure.  Thats why I try to make meaningful, intentional resolutions for the year.  Nothing like "lose weight" or "save more money," but more life-changing, mood-enhancing intentions like "admit when I'm wrong more often" (two years ago) or "learn to trust my gut" (last year).  Those are the big ones, the ones you can't fail doing.  I'm a strong believer in the process, not the product (but really only because of the last few year's intentions). 

Here goes.

1. Get serious about my health.  Physically, I need to listen to my body more.  I need to be better at knowing when I'm hungry, when my body is nutrient deficient, when I'm lethargic, when I'm distracted.  My diet, like all diets, could use some improvement, and sure I should exercise more often.  But mostly I want to listen to what my body is telling me it needs.  I want to focus on nourishment.  I want to deepen my understanding of my body as an ecosystem. Which brings me to...

2. Listen more.  I'm not a very good listener, I'm embarrassed to admit.  Too often I get lost in my own anxiety and perfectionism; I pay more attention to how I think the other person is perceiving me, or relaying a faux pas, or trying to be witty, than actually listening to other person speak and responding to it.  It's a novel idea, I know.  Similarly, I want to listen to myself more often.  This is similar to last year's "learn to trust my gut" but, perhaps, more focused.  I need to set time to actually listen to my thoughts.  If I'm feeling anxious, try to pinpoint the source.  If I'm feeling cranky, try to understand what I'm lacking.  Behavior is the language of needs and I need to become more fluent in my own.

3. Stop buying new things unless absolutely necessary.  It's not just to save money (though that's always a bonus), but because the energy and human resources necessary to grow raw materials, process, manufacture, and ship all of our stuff is just too much.  It's no longer a system I can comfortably be a part of.  Buying things second-hand is a way to reduce waste, shop locally, and rely less on international production and shipping.  I tried to do this before, but I'm feeling unusually committed this time around.  And really, I have everything I need anyway.

Are you ready for some clothes now?  I'm particularly proud of this one because EVERYTHING was purchased either second-hand or with a gift card. (While a gift card certainly isn't promoting sustainable production, the way I see it is that a particular store was supported with the gift card was purchased.)

Shirt: Brooks Brothers, thrifted
Skirt: Gap, thrifted
Tights: TJ Maxx with gift card
Shoes: UO with gift card
Belt: H&M, gift
Disheveled hair: Dad's side of the family

So that's it: my year's intentions.  I'm hoping you guys will keep me honest and accountable.  Or if not, just tell me how cute I am.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The year in pictures

'Tis the season for reflecting and refocusing.  2010 had its ups and downs, as every year since does.  Mostly downs, but they've left me refreshed and closer to my little family of 3 than I could've imagined.  As I've stated, I'm not good about taking pictures, but here's what I got.

Although we officially welcomed Gus into the clan in 2009, it wasn't until 2010 that he really started to feel like ours.

Ed lost his job in 2010; I had a job I hated.  We fought, we were broke, we didn't think we'd make it out alive.  But we did and we're stronger and we're better partners and communicators because of it.  And right when we thought we were going to explode, we took a trip to Jamaica to see two of our closest friends get married.  (Don't worry, the trip was paid for BEFORE the unemployment.)

Because of the whole no-job/hating-job situation, it wasn't a hard decision to apply to Information Science programs, or to take the plunge to move from Ann Arbor, MI to Austin, TX.  I am now, for the second time in my life, a Texan.
In 2010 I went from unhappy and uneagerly employed to a student and excited to begin a new career path.  As a bonus, I, of course, began this blogging adventure, which I'm excited to see grow in 2011.
I have some resolutions, of course.  But those are for another day.  Today I'm remembering.