Monday, January 25, 2010

The dangers of jewelry

How fun is this ring? As a former pianist, I've always had to keep my fingernails very short and rings were always forbidden.  Even though I gave up piano professionally several years ago now, it still feels very unnatural for me to wear rings. It was really an adjustment to wear my wedding ring every day!  Now that I've finally gotten used to that, I'm trying to branch out more and play around with rings. The size of this one is pretty extreme for someone who isn't used to wearing rings, but it's so colorful and perky, I was drawn to it right away. (The price was right, too-- only $6!)

I thought I looked pretty rad with it on yesterday. Until, that is, I found the best parallel parking space in the world right in front of the library, and I had to make a sudden turn to back into it before anyone else spotted it, and scraped the heck out of my thigh with the ring in the process.  OUUUCH!!  I now have three lovely red scratches on top of a purple-blue bruise the size of a half-dollar.

They weren't joking when they said beauty is pain, people.

It was also deceptively cold outside today! Bright and sunny, but that wind is a killer.

I was kind of in a bad mood when I took this outfit picture. Does anyone else find that their pictures don't come out well when they're in a bad mood?

I felt a little better after working out today. I did my two miles, but I had to walk for almost half of it because my knee started to hurt again. Annoying, but I didn't want to push it and make it worse. I thought about switching to swimming again like I did during undergrad. But then I thought some more, and remembered that my hair was short when I used to swim a lot, and then thought about how I would spend as much time blow-drying my hair as I would actually exercising. Or maybe that's just my laziness coming up with excuses, hahaha. If nothing else, I'll switch to Wii Fit or yoga to give my knee a rest for the next few days. Oh, the sacrifices I make :)

Well, off to the library again! 

cardigan, tights - Target / top - Macy's / shoes - Dillards / shorts - JC Penney
earrings - Forever 21 / ring - Belk's

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Happy Saturday!

1:45 on a Saturday and I've already been to the library to work on my microfilm projects. Now, time to take a break and... go on a picnic?

Oh wait. Occupied :(

Guess I'll have to make other plans for lunch...

On my way to campus this morning, I noticed a tree that is already covered in pale pink flowers! It seems like a pretty early sign of spring, even here. But it made me so happy to see it! Spring always seemed to be fairly nonexistent when I lived up north, but here it's one of my favorite seasons. I can't wait till the magnolias and paperwhites start blooming. It won't be long!

In hopes of early spring, I've really been into the florals lately.

dress - Kimchi & Blue / tights - Target / shoes - Target / shoes - Target

This is what I wore yesterday. I switched to my black tights when I went to the Shakespeare production with my students because they're warmer.  Sorry for the weird lighting, I took these when it was already dark outside.

Can I just say I love these shoes? They make me four inches taller! I'm almost as tall as the Mr. when I wear them.


I'm also a fan of this hairstyle. Perfect for Fridays, when I feel too lazy to try very hard.

The production of A Midsummer Night's Dream was pretty solid. It's a play that is very near and dear to my heart because I played the role of Hermia in a production of it when I was a senior in high school. The actors in this production were quite good, but they went for a 1940s theme with the costumes of the mortals. The fairies were wearing a hodgepodge of costumes, including track pants, leather vests, and jersey skirts. The fairies also performed this weird butt-shaking hip-hop dance in the second act. I'm all for creative reinterpretations, but in spite of these updates to the play, they still used the original Shakespearean lines. I thought it would have been more effective if they would have updates the script with more modern English if they were going to update everything else about it. K said it would be neat to reinterpret Athens in the play to Athens, Georgia, and do an Old South-style production of it, script and all. Hm.

"Lysander, I do declare..."

It would certainly be interesting.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mango Passionfruit... the flavor of tea I'm drinking! It's an herbal blend from Stash. Generally I prefer loose teas, but as far as grocery store brands go, Stash is pretty solid. I feel I need a sunny, tropical taste tonight because Mother Nature has decided to punish me for gloating about the nice weather by making it rain all day today.

I took these yesterday on campus.  Come back soon, sunny weather!

In the meantime, I've had to modify my wardrobe a bit. Nothing too special today since I had to traipse around in the puddles. In fact, most of the day I didn't even wear these boots you see here, I had my purple plaid rain boots on! Wearing them makes me want to jump into every puddle I see. Yes, deep down I am five years old.


These jeans are not one of my favorites. I really don't care for those faded sections on the front. But really, it was so icky today, why would I want to wear one of my favorite pairs of jeans?

By the way, I am really loving this warm chocolate-colored nail polish this winter. It has just enough sparkle to make me feel glam. I haven't tried the matte craze yet, but I'm kicking it around. Any tips for a first-time matte nail polish wearer?

As you may or may not know, early last spring I had a slew of frequent flier miles set to expire. I didn't have enough to use for my summer trip to Japan, and I wasn't really planning on going anywhere else, so I decided to take advantage of a "VERY SPECIAL OFFER" that the airline offered-- to cash them all in on magazine subscriptions instead! See the humongous stack of them next to me? That's not all of them. There are more scattered on those shelves, and on my desk, and in the magazine rack by our couch. And the 12 months of subscriptions aren't up yet. I get a magazine usually every three days, and occasionally I get two or three at once. Once the 12 months end, I plan to take them to a used book store and make a little cash. If they give me enough for even a halfway decent dinner, I'll be happy. My thrifty spirit can't pass up something free!

Or maybe I'll give some of the profit to my mailman as a tip, since I'm sure he loathes me by now.

sweater - too old to remember / jeans - American Rag
scarf - old / boots - thrifted

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Golden like the sunshine

cardigan - Target / dress - thrifted / belt - thrifted / shoes - Target

The grand total for this outfit- including shoes, but not including underwear :P - was $16. I'm in love with this retro lace overlay dress, and even more in love with the price: $5.00! Oh thrift stores, how I love you. Sometimes I really wish I lived in a bigger city with lots of great thrift stores, but as you can see here, it's possible to find some treasures even here in South Carolina. Still, if I ever find myself in New York, you can bet I'll hit up every thrift store I can find....

This week, I have some exciting things coming up. Too bad not all of them are exciting in the good way :(  I've hinted before that I've been having some issues with my thesis/dissertation committee, and none of that has gone away as I had hoped. So tomorrow, my director has requested a meeting with me to discuss "options." Somehow that sounds really scary to me. I also have a meeting with the professor I work for in my research assistantship. Right now, I'm going through hundreds of transcripts of interviews that are part of the Appalachian Oral History Project. It's a huge series of interviews that were recorded in eastern Tennessee with locals who were mostly elderly at the time. There's really some incredible material in them, I wish I had time to sit down and really read through each one. It's so strange to read interviews with people who start out by saying they were born in 1890. It's amazing to me that I'm able to read the exact words of people who grew up so long ago, sharing their personal histories.

I also get to take one of my ESL students to a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream this Friday. I'm super excited about it! She is such a good student, and it was her choice to start reading Shakespeare plays last fall. She has to be one of the most ambitious students I've ever met-- to tackle Shakespeare as a non-native speaker takes some guts. We've started reading and discussing our third Shakespeare play together, and I'm very impressed with her. It really is rewarding to work with young teens and watch them grow into the people they will be as adults. 

As much as I'm enjoying the work I'm doing right now, and the classes I'm taking (Second Language Acquisition and Advanced Topics in Japanese Sociolinguistics- taught in Japanese! eek!), I'm already making plans for spring break. K and I have decided to take a few days and go down to Savannah. I can't believe I've lived this close to Savannah for almost two years now and I've still never been there! So, we're going to go down and do it properly and see all the sights, and hopefully eat at Paula Deen's restaurant!!  Have any of you ever been to Savannah? I'd love to hear tips and must-sees if you have.

P.S.~ Thank you so much for all the comments and follows lately :) I really appreciate it. You guys are so sweet!  

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Rosy tea party

dress - Urban Outfitters / cardigan - JC Penney / shoes - Target

I found this beautiful dress on the clearance rack at Urban Outfitters, and it just screamed "tea party" to me. I also discovered my new favorite place to take pictures in my apartment. Finally, a place that looks halfway decent. It can be a tricky thing to find when you live in an apartment this small!

Even though it's been really warm today, I just had to have tea. A friend and I had a study date earlier in the day, and I treated her to some of my new jasmine tea I brought back from Okinawa. It's nice, but it's pretty strong compared to most mainland Japan teas. I wonder if they drink something similar in Taiwan? Anyhow, I'd love to make a tea latte out of it and sweeten it up a bit. 

In a stroke of luck today, it's beautifully sunny outside right now! The forecast called for rain, and it was pouring earlier, but now it's lovely. I think I might go for a jog later. By the way, I can jog two miles now without stopping! Not bad, huh? Of course, it's not the quickest two miles on record, but I'm super proud that I can even do it. It's good progress towards the St. Patrick's Day 5k that I'd like to try to do. 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Technicolor gams

dress - Target / cardigan - Charlotte Russe / belt - Charlotte Russe / tights - Target / shoes - Shi / scarf - Filene's Basement

I decided to try the colored tights trend tonight! I really wasn't sure about this one because I'm kind of insecure about my legs, but I couldn't resist trying these bright purple ones. I didn't want to go too crazy with the color so I kept everything else kind of muted (except the scarf). I have a stack of fun scarves like this in my closet, left over from my teaching in Japan days. The dress code was really strict, so I wore scarves to have a little bit of personality. Even though the skirt suit + silk scarf combo led a lot of people to ask me if I was a flight attendant....

Sorry for posting only one picture. We spent the day in Charleston, and unfortunately it rained the whole time, so it was kind of tough to get some good shots. I also bought a pair of red tights, and I'm trying to think of ways to wear them without looking too Mrs. Claus. We'll see!

First week down

cardigan - Forever21 / halter top - Forever21 / skirt - Filene's Basement / boots - Macy's / earrings - New York & Company
Sorry for the brief hiatus!  This was the first week of classes for spring semester, so it's been pretty busy chez moi. Plus, the outfit you see above is what I wore to buy a new car.

Yep. After K's car dramatically killed itself, we had to go car shopping again. I had a serious case of deja-vu-- oh wait, I just did this five months ago, that's why! Funny, I bought my other car the first week of fall semester. So we ended up getting a 2006 Kia Spectra5. Right, it's not new, but it's new to us! I think it's really cute. I had been eyeing an Aveo hatchback, but I actually like the Kia better after test driving it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that having a 2006 and a 2007 means that we won't have to deal with car repair issues for a long long time.

If you aren't familiar with the Spectra5, here's a glamour shot of one. Mine is black!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Farmer's Daughter

Hamming it up with self-timer mode while the Mr. was at work today.

Wow, I've really been wearing a lot of plaid lately, haven't I? I'll make it a point to wear something entirely non-plaid tomorrow, then. Whatever I wear, it'll have to keep me warm, because I will be outside for much of the day. At car lots.

Snippet of conversation yesterday which took place in the lobby of our local Midas:
K: So what do I owe you for the diagnostic?
Mechanic: [laughs] Don't worry about it. I have a heart, man.

When you hear a mechanic say this, you know you're screwed.

45 minutes prior to this, K and I pushed his car from his office parking lot over to Midas for a diagnostic. It broke down on him while he was driving down to Charleston for work the other day. Thank goodness he wasn't hurt, but the car is so dead that the mechanic didn't even put it on the lift to announce the diagnosis. It's currently sitting in the Midas parking lot until we make an appointment for the car donation people to tow it off.

Which means we now have one car between us, and my classes start next week. My tutoring job was supposed to start next week, too, but I haven't set anything up yet because I don't know if I'll be able to go anywhere. It's really not a good time financially for this to happen. Sigh. Especially since neither of our parents are in a position to help us out right now. So we are stuck with the choice of either A) paying a little bit, mostly up front, for a piece of junk that may or may not last through the summer, or B) trying our luck to get financed for something newer and more reliable and having to deal with the monthly payments on top of everything else. I don't even know if we could get a reasonable financing plan since I just took out a car loan last August when my car died. Needless to say, stress levels are super high right now. Which I think has contributed to K coming down with a cold today. Things could definitely be worse, I know, I know. But sheesh, couldn't they be a little bit better? At this rate I won't be able to afford school in the fall, which will leave me two courses short of an M.A. -_-

What's a girl to do? 

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Rad Plaid

I love love love this plaid coat! Got it at Dillard's about a year ago hot off the clearance rack. What's that? Me? Shopping from the clearance rack? Shocking, I know.  The boots are from my mom for Christmas. I love them! I've been craving some high black boots for a while, but they can be so pricey. The broach is my latest favorite accessory, purchased (on sale) at San-A in Miyako. I love the blend of traditional and modern in it-- it's very similar to flower ornaments that geisha apprentices put in their hair, but the colors and the rhinestones and pearls are completely modern. I've never worn a broach before, but I just had to have this one. Here I am showing it off in Ginza!

It feels so posh to say "Here I am in Ginza!" but the truth is that I can't even afford to walk into most of the stores there XD  Still, it's fun to pretend. Also, it's nice to show that I don't spend my entire life in the backwoods of South Carolina, haha!

Classes begin next week. I only have one class that I actually have to attend (Second Language Acquisition), and then one independent study (Advanced Topics in Japanese Sociolinguistics), and tutoring my students for credit. This should give me plenty of time to catch up on my hours for my research assistantship. I can't wait to get back into it. Part of what I do is scour letters written during the Civil War, from soldiers missing their families or in desperate need of help because they are deserters. It's fascinating stuff, but admittedly very difficult to read at times. Some of the words they use are also very interesting, and many are terms that were very relevant to the culture at the time, but that hardly anyone today would understand. Luckily my professor seems to know absolutely everything about everything, so he can answer my questions.

I've also been working on figuring out my program of study. I haven't been freaking out about it, only thinking about it. Progress!  I think I've come to a conclusion that will work best for me at this point in my life, and still leave plenty of academic doors open. I'll share more on this once it's finalized.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Too cold for flappers

New dress, straight from the clearance racks at $9.99! I love this flapper style, and it's lined chiffon, which will be great come spring and summer. I don't think you can see it in these pictures, but the dress actually has a teeny-tiny multicolor floral print.  I can't wait to try it with a bright, shorter cardigan when it gets warmer.

These pictures were taken on my beautiful campus (honestly, that's one of the things that drew me to this school).  The last picture was taken near the entrance to the university rose garden.  Look at the fountain!  It's very rare that you see such a thing in South Carolina, so I just had to snap a picture with it.

Here's another picture I just had to take-- look at how comfortable Dexter is on his chair! I think this is his favorite spot in the whole house. We have this chair sitting in the dormer, so it gets lots of sunlight, which of course kittles like. I can't believe how big he is! To think that when he showed up last summer he was only about 3 weeks old.  Sometimes I wish he was still the size of a 3-week-old, particularly when he decides to tear around the place like a psychopath.

Psycho kitty, qu'est-ce que c'est?

Yeah. Really bad. I know.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Scarf Love

I am in love with this new scarf! I got it on sale in Japan last week. Around New Year's, just like here, the sales in Japan are incredible. This gem was only 400 yen (around $4.25). Can you believe it? I love the Burberry-esque look for Goodwill prices. I got K one in a charcoal and red plaid.

As it's Saturday, we're just hanging out until K has to go to work later today, and doing a little thrifting. While we were out, we took advantage of the clear (although COLD) weather and K took some fun shots of me.

It's supposed to be pretty frigid the next few days, but still sunny. It always seems like a trick when you look outside and the sun is bright, but then you step out and it's F-R-E-E-Z-I-N-G! Well, I'm just grateful that we don't get snow down here XD