Twenty years and here we are

In 1994, I was fourteen years old, sported hair that was a sleek pixie when I was right out of the salon, but promptly started poofing within a week. I was a freshman in high school, active in nerdy extracurriculars like speech team, drama club, choir and academic bowl, and primarily wore jeans and flannel shirts.

 

1994
1994 by muzy featuring leather boots

In 2014, I’m thirty-four years old, and I wear my hair in a curly bob died garnet red. I have a B.A in Economics and an M.A. in Library and Information Studies. I work full-time in the tech industry. My outside of work hobbies include baking, online roleplay games, and my cat. This fall, I’ll mostly be wearing jeans and flannel shirts.

2014

But I swear some things have changed.

Judge a T-Shirt By It’s Cover

Out of Print Clothing is going to be a problem for me, I can tell. It started with their Library Stamp t-shirt, which I just had to buy because I’m a nerd and I work for a library technology company, so clearly I need that shirt. (It doesn’t get as many comments as I expected.)

Next came the book cover shirts, though, and that’s where I expect I’m going to run into problems. I just got this one this week:

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Women’s Tee, $28

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was my favorite book for a three to four year period between 10-14. I think I probably read it at least fifty times, so buying this one was a no brainer. But there’s so many other cool options too!

Madeline Tee, $28. I mostly like this color

Alice in Wonderland. $28. Alice is always awesome.

For Whom the Bell Tolls, $28. Only Hemingway book I can stand.

 

It’s a hard life, I tell you.

Apparently the definition of hypochondria is making a doctor’s appointment

I don’t really think so, especially after five days of stomach pain and bloating. I’d say that’s a sign of taking care of my health instead of letting the sick feelings linger further. But this isn’t the point of view of my mother, who thinks that I’m making a big dramatic deal out of nothing.

Really. I can accept that going to the doctor after one or two days of feeling like I’m going to explode might be excessive, but the better part of a week? I don’t think that’s particularly ridiculous. Of course, this is the woman who put off seeing a doctor about her own digestive track issues until she had to have emergency gall bladder surgery because a stone had ripped a hole in the wall of her small intestine.

I didn’t point that out on the phone, but I kind of wanted to.

Sunday Night Dinner: BAT Sandwich

Rachael Ray was a formative part of my early cooking experiments. She does not, by any means, make the most elegant recipes, and she’s not a professional chef, but for a twenty-five year old straight out of graduate school and trying to remove pizza as a major food group, Thirty Minute Meals was one of the best ways I expanded my repertoire from beyond the handful of meals my mom taught me before I left home.

Unfortunately, woman cannot live by tuna noodle casserole, german potato salad, and assorted cookies alone.

The BAT (bacon-avocado-tomato) sandwich was, I think, made to accompany some soup from the show that I never made, but it became a weekly staple in 2005-2006. See, I don’t really like lettuce that much, and tomato and bacon was good, but somehow missing something. The addition of avocado was perfect – creamy and fresh – and I ate it often enough that this sandwich may have contributed to me not fitting into my favorite pencil skirt by the end of that year.

The key to this sandwich – besides the obvious bacon, avocado, and tomato – is the seasoning. You can use what you want; in 2005 I used Penzey’s Sandwich Sprinkle, which is a garlicky, peppery, herby seasoning I always had on hand then. I don’t have it anymore – tonight I used Greek seasoning, and it was just as good.

(Probably the pizza contributed more)

BAT Sandwich

Two slices, multigrain bread

1-2 T Miracle Whip or Mayo

3 slices bacon, fried crisp

1/2 Avocado, sliced

1-2 slices tomato

Seasoning of your choice

 

Fry bacon to a crisp in a pan, and let drain on paper towels. While the bacon drains, toast the bread and slice the tomato and avocado. Then, assemble; spread one slice of bread with miracle whip, sprinkle with seasoning, and then layer the ingredients.

Spread the second slice with the miracle whip, sprinkle with seasoning, smash on top of the sandwich and enjoy.

20140427-192216.jpg

Mmm, bacon.

 

 

 

In the Rough

Lately, I’ve been all about jewelry that looks a little raw, a little rough, a little unfinished. Earrings that are essentially chunks of quartz, agate slice necklaces, that kind of thing. Here are a few recent purchases:

Quartz Statement Earrings

 

Got these from my old stand-by for random jewelry, Jewelmint. They’ve just arrived this week and already they’re becoming a go-to neutral earring choice.

Pyrite Bird Cage Earrings

 

Also from Jewelmint, these have yet to arrive, but will probably be worn with a lot of breezy jersey dresses and my Birkenstocks. Because that’s how I roll.

OOAK Large Agate Pendant

This I have in a blue-teal color, and it’s also something I frequently toss over t-shirts and hoodies. Easy, and a little bit interesting (at least, I like to think so).

In the category of Someday Maybe, when it comes to organic looking jewelry, there is, of course, Alexis Bittar.  Let’s pretend money is no object.

I’m not much of a bangle person, but these? These I would wear.

I love this enough to almost spend the $280 it costs. Luckily it’s also sold out.

 

I’d probably wear these twice a week. I love Labradorite.

I Sense a Theme

One of the hardest parts for me about moving from business casual to completely casual is that it’s really easy to just default to jeans and sneakers and t-shirts. Because that’s okay. My winter uniform (and winter did, in fact, last forever) was one of three things:

  1. Jeans/t-shirt/hoodie
  2. Jeans/t-shirt/cardigan
  3. Jeans/sweater

Worn with, all winter long, the same pair of Frye Harness 12R boots that I am currently so very sick of…and haven’t worn for at least two weeks. It’s exciting. But I digress.

The fact is that I really like dressing up, and I wasn’t anymore. I even implemented Fancy Fridays for myself at work so that I put some of my dressy clothes to work again. It’s been working okay, but as the weather has ever so slowly warmed up, I’ve realized that I got rid of most of my spring dresses last year during a fit of rage over how nothing fit. This was probably due to the immense number of tacos and burritos I ordered last winter.

This brought me to Modcloth, a store I’ve browsed for ages but never bought anything from – sort of a budget Anthropologie, and I love Anthropologie beyond any other store. Modcloth, I’ve always felt, skews towards the just out of college vintage-loving girl, and I’m pretty far removed from college now. But finally I decided it didn’t matter, and yesterday I went shopping on my lunch break (at my desk, as you do):

 

Alma Mater of Fact

I work for a library tech company on a product named Alma. We have monthly seminars called Alma Matters. I had to buy this dress.

It’s not the only library related purchase I’ve made recently. I hit up Out of Print Clothing after seeing some pictures on Tumblr, and I ended up with two things. First:

 

Library Card Tote Bag

 

Which will probably be used to haul groceries and/or knitting.

A week later, when it came back in stock, I got this:

Library Stamp T-Shirt

Which doesn’t go at all with my plan to dress up a little more, but will look amazing with a black blazer and jeans, or the day-glo orange skirt I have sitting in my closet waiting for actual, real-live warm weather.

Plus, they both appeal to my inner nerd, which we all know is not all that inner.

Murasaki Slouch Hat

The thing is, when you start knitting, you get completely excited and willy-nilly start promising projects to friends and family. Before I had completely finished my beginning knitting class (taken in large part because I could not figure out how to cast on from YouTube videos), I’d promised my mother a cowl, taken on making my sister a hat for her birthday, and promised one of my oldest friends a hat.

The name of this hat is a doubler. Murasaki happens to be my friend’s online handle, but it’s also the Japanese word for purple, which, in turn, is her favorite color.

 

 

This is not her. This is me.

You can’t see the whole hat here, but you can see the interesting bit – the patterned brim. I used the Knit Night Hat pattern, and it was a super quick knit. Super quick knits are my favorite thing, since I’ve got the attention span of a gnat on speed.

Peacock Honey Hat

I never thought I’d finish this, even though it didn’t take so long in retrospect. It’s just that while actually knitting, the miles of K3P1 were about to kill me.

This is not the miles of K3P1

In the end, it turned out well. I finished most of it off on the flight back from Seattle, and spent my first Saturday back home in Chicago swearing at my yarn and dpns, as you do. Now all that remains is the blocking, which I will do this weekend, and the mailing to my sister, which I will do when it’s dry.

I loved the yarn, which was Malabrigo Rastita in Peacock, and have enough leftover for a mini project or two. Making myself a headband with <a href=”http://noidlehandswithyarn.blogspot.com/2011/04/gabby-headband-pattern.html”>this pattern</a>, and then maybe being a good cat mommy and knitting some catnip toys for his imperial majesty.

The hat is Madelinetosh’s Honey Hat pattern. I didn’t make any mods, except the accidental kind. Because that’s how I roll.

Save It for the Coffee Shop Philosophers

Work sent me to Seattle last week, and here’s a newsflash: it doesn’t rain there nearly as much as they claim it does. It sprinkled one morning, and there was a downpour Thursday afternoon (this, naturally, was the only day this week I wore my 2.5 inch wedges instead of my ballet flats) but other than that, it was bright, sunny and gorgeous.

In my spare time, I shopped. The coworkers I was with are from out of the country, so I spent an extreme amount of time in shopping malls and actually went to Ross Dress for Less three times in the space of two days. But I also forced them to go to Pike Place Market, Seattle Center, and we went to the Seattle Art Museum, too.

On the last day, when they went hiking, I went back out shopping myself. For yarn. You saw this coming, didn’t you?

First, I continued my obsession with Malabrigo yarn with a skein of sock yarn:

Malabrigo Sock Yarn in Primavera, Image c/o Fabulous Yarn

This is going to be a hat, specifically the Sockhead Hat. The slouchy ribbed hat I got last year is starting to show some wear, so it’s time for a new one.

Also got this:

Madelinetosh DK in Nebula, Image c/o Knitterly

No idea what it’s going to be yet, but I love the color. It’s my favorite. I might use it for another pair of fingerless gloves, or just make myself the same honey cowl I made my mom.

Both skeins were purchased at Weaving Works in the U District, where they also taught me how to wind my yarn! Which only went partly okay.

Pity the Fool

Television Without Pity is shutting down! Also Daily Candy, but words cannot express how little I care about that.

Television Without Pity, though, was an integral part of my tv viewing for a number of years. I did not watch an episode of either Alias or Veronica Mars without also reading the recaps. The Alias recaps were better; Erin’s recaps were so good that she was actually featured on the commentary track for one of the season dvd sets (nope, can’t remember which one). I even followed Sarah Bunting from TWOP to her own blog at Tomato Nation.

There’s no denying that TWOP lost some of its edge after NBC Universal bought it. It was defanged, slightly, the snark toned down. It wasn’t as fun, but I still read it as long as I was in tv fandoms. I haven’t been in tv fandoms in a long time now, haven’t watched much tv for the last several years – other than a painful stint in the Supernatural fandom – so TWOP stopped being a site I followed. Still, this is the end of an era. TWOP was one of the first sites – if not the first – that really took tv viewing seriously.

I don’t know if recaps are a thing anymore. I’d suspect that people aren’t centralizing them as much – they’re finding them on blogs or on tumblrs. Maybe a site like TWOP isn’t necessary.

I would, however, read every word Erin wrote about Sleepy Hollow. And I probably would have bothered keeping up with the show if I’d been reading snarktastic recaps.