Month: June 2012

Bikini breakdown.

Why in god’s name you would sell a bathing suit top in sizes small, medium, and large, BUT NOT x-large when you sell the bottoms in XL???

Awesome striped bikini top by Mossimo. Photo (c) Target.com

Perplexing.

I got a really cute bikini from Target, which I had to order online as the color I wanted was not available in stores. My other bikini top from the same brand is a large, so I thought I was safe, but alas, in this style top, the large is woefully inadequate. Like ridiculous amount of side boob and possible nipple exposure inadequate. Even my boob-loving husband conceded that the top might not be the best option for me. Cue return.

When I checked the website to explore my return/exchange options, I was really disappointed to see that I can’t get an XL. But I like the turquoise bottoms. So now I will have to crawl the internet for another cute black and white top that will complement the portion of the bathing suit that successfully covers my backside.

Wish me luck. Grrr…..

Searching for the Dodge

In a few months, Tim and I head to Japan for a wonderful trip to visit my cousin. As soon as we get back, I start saving for the dream car in earnest. In a perfect world, I would find a 1940 Dodge that has already been rebuilt to be crazy fast, but still has the original look…not all chopped up. I realize this is highly unlikely.

A somewhat more likely scenario: I find a 1940 Dodge body in Florida, take it to my Uncle Ray in Daytona to work on, then fly down to drive it home. The beauty of my Uncle Ray: he makes things stupid fast. And it would give my car that additional family connection.

Or I just find a car somewhere in the Northeast that runs and realize that I may not get both looks and speed right away. They’re out there, in varying conditions and at wildly varying prices.

I recently discovered this website: http://cars.yakaz.com/dodge-for-sale-1940 which seems to aggregate cars for sale from around the country. Right now it lists a baby blue D-17 in South Dakota for $1500 (needs an engine, radiator, springs, and glass); a business coupe in Alabama for $18,900 (that’s been redone: power steering, power windows, and a 350 Chevy engine); a white 4-door in New Mexico for $7,500 (that runs). The ebay auction ended for a deep blue D-14 business coupe in White Plains, New York for $12,500. That looks like it’s in really good shape and it runs.

This gives me hope that when I’m ready, my car will be out there. We’ll find each other.

 

Realizations reached through cleaning

bookshelves

The bookshelves I’ve already purged. Yay, progress!

As I’ve been cleaning my office over the last week or so, I’ve realized that I have a lot of stuff. Some of it is really cool stuff that I’d completely forgotten about because it was hidden behind other less cool stuff that I felt obligated to keep even though I never used it. Like a cigar box with beautiful graphics inside. Bakelite jewelry. Fantastic vintage magazines I’d forgotten about. I have cool stuff in here.

And junk. Lots and lots of junk.

I feel obligated to keep things people give me, even if they’re not quite my taste.

I’m realizing this is stupid. If I don’t love something, why should I keep it? Especially when I could release it out in the wild where there’s a greater chance it will end up with someone who DOES love and want it?

So far, I’ve removed several large bags of books from my office. I’ve also recycled the contents of seven three-ring binders. I’m not going to teach again, so why should I hang onto all my old teaching notes? I’ll take the books to the faculty office at the school where I used to work so they can find new homes. I will keep the binders, however, because I LOVE three-ring binders. It’s kind of a sickness. But I will take them to work and use them there.

I’m moving photo albums I never look at to a place where I will be able to retrieve them if I DO want to see them, but they’re not taking up valuable real estate in my office, where I should be surrounded by the things that will inspire me in my daily life. I’m trying to make my office reflect my best self…creative, organized, resourceful, and efficient, yet quirky and fun. Because I am definitely quirky and fun.

I’m keeping old pieces of writing. When I started looking for jobs in 2010, I gathered a ton of magazine articles and brochures and other marketing copy I had written so I could use it in my portfolio. Going through those samples of my work showed my progress as a writer–even though I’ll never use some of those pieces in a portfolio again, I like having that yardstick to see how I’ve grown. I may go through and winnow the collection, so I only have duplicates of my best work. I may not.

I may wait until after I’ve finished tearing apart the closet in here (which unfortunately serves as our linen closet, since we don’t have one anywhere else in the house) and reorganizing behind the eaves so I can make more productive use of that space. After I’ve built shelves for my compact collection, because they’re MY compacts, and why the heck should my husband have to deal with shelves when I’m perfectly capable of creating beautifully mitered edges as a result of working in a mall picture frame store for years?  After I’ve reupholstered the gorgeous vintage slipper chair that’s been sitting in my garage for years in the aftermath of an unfortunate cat pee incident. After I’ve gotten rid of the papasan that takes up far too much space and isn’t even really that comfortable any more.

I’m realizing I have plans for this space. And I can make this happen. I can let go of the unwanted to make room for the things I really do want. I’m on a roll. It’s a good thing, because I still have a long way to go.

argh.

Some of the stuff I still have to sift through.

more stuff

More things I still have to deal with.

Old Radio World: Amazing archives

Earlier this week, one of my coworkers shared this site with me: http://www.oldradioworld.com/

I’m hooked. The site offers all kinds of great classic radio programs, now entering the public domain. Detective stories, comedies, westerns, Glen Miller, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, great old commercials… wonderful stuff. So far I’ve checked out some of the Glen Miller and a few of the commercials. I love the commercials. They’re so over the top, I just can’t get enough. The site also offers recordings of some historic moments. It’s an eclectic collection, ranging from Hitler opening the Olympics and Albert Einstein on the bomb to Amelia Earhart on women in air travel and Lou Gehrig’s farewell speech.

I’m looking forward to listening to some of these programs on long drives…especially The Shadow. I’ve been reading a mystery series lately that frequently refers to the radio program, so it will be nice to have a better frame of reference. Very cool stuff.

Tips + Tricks from ’46

Some housekeeping tricks from the summer 1946 issue of The Homemaker:

Tips + Tricks

Cooking, beauty, man care, pest elimination…all covered here.

While some of these tips are familiar, such as using lemon juice to prevent pared fruit from turning brown, many of them were new to me. I’m not sure I want to put cucumber rind on my floors at night to eliminate ants, but it’s an interesting tip. I really wonder who discovered that ants dislike cucumber peels? And how did she convince her friends to try? Do you think the editors of The Homemaker tested all these tips before publication? How many magazine staffers had cucumber peels adorning their floors?

This issue of the magazine also featured an article on how to make some cute summer clothes from bandanas. Much more practical than spreading vegetable peels across your domicile.

bandanna dressbandana patternsThese outfits really appeal to me…someday, when I learn to sew, these will be some of the first items I attempt.  If any seamstresses out there  make these, I’d love to see how they come out.

Closet inspiration

Last night, Tim and I were invited to tag along to a barbecue. The hosts live in a lovely mid-century modern home…fantastic fireplaces, great windows, wonderful yard… all kinds of enviable features. But what really got me: Terri’s closet. It was beautifully organized. You could see everything. Her shoe shelves were gorgeous. Her hangers all matched.

My closet is a disaster. My office is a disaster. Basically, most of the second floor of our house is a disaster, and Tim has little part in that state of affairs. It’s all me. Sigh.

While you think seeing Terri’s lovely closet would inspire me to rip apart my own, it actually made me think about my office more. Because I think if I can manage my office better, I can create space that will help with the closet situation.

Too many books, clothes, and compacts combined with too little storage space really doesn’t bode well for creating an attractive, comfortable room. I know there are things I can do to improve this situation. I feel a serious book purge coming on. While I’ve gotten much better about getting rid of clothes recently, removing books from my house always feels like a sin. But really, I’m not going to go back and reread most of the titles on my shelves. So why keep them? And as much as I love the feel of a good book in my hand, I’m a sucker for the instant gratification–and hundreds of books without the clutter–I can get on my Kindle.

So, office purge.  I’m feeling shivery, like I’m on the edge of something big.

Wish me the dedication to see this through. I’ll need it.

Vintage Kodak camera

Camera conundrum

Later this summer, Tim and I are going to Japan to visit my cousin Becky and her husband, Andrew. We’re both really excited. Tokyo sounds amazing, but even more than that, I really miss Becky. She’s been in Japan for years now and we’re both sporadic about emailing. (She’s better about it than I am-I’m not going to lie.) Anyway, our trip is just a few months away, which means I need to get serious about buying luggage and the other things we need to take with us.

Like a new camera. You may have noticed that the photos on this blog aren’t always great. That’s because they’re all iPhone photos. Which isn’t necessarily bad, but — it’s a phone that takes pictures as a bonus feature. I want a camera designed with photography as its sole function. I actually started college with the intent of becoming a photojournalist. That didn’t happen. My freshman year I had a lousy photography instructor who hated me and it really put me off photography for a long time.

When Tim and I first met, we had a few dates focused on photography. He bought me my first digital camera, a Nikon Coolpix that I loved right up until I tripped over our black cat and dropped it onto the slate floor of our screen porch. Naturally, Tim has decided that my next camera should be shock-proof. I started researching the Olympus TG-610 Tough and discovered that while it may be tough, many users complained of poor focus, lousy color in indoor photos, weak battery life and slow recycle time. Not for me.

So I turned to Nikon. I’ve always loved Nikons. My dad shot with a Nikon. My high school graduation present was a Nikon. My first digital camera was a Nikon because Tim respects my brand loyalty there.

And Nikon does indeed make a waterproof, shockproof camera, which seems to have everything I want (and indeed, a few things I clearly don’t need, like a GPS).  But they also make this:

Nikon Coolpix L120

Nikon Coolpix L120.

Which just looks cooler. It’s red and sparkly and more classically camera-looking than the waterproof, shockproof Coolpix AW100. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to get the one I can drop safely. But I still wish they just made a shockproof model that looks like this. Because lame as it sounds, I want my camera to look pretty, too. Why don’t they make retro-looking digital cameras? You know, something along these lines:

Vintage Kodak camera

My grandmother’s camera.

I don’t see it happening any time soon, so I’ll settle for the sturdy, functional, yet unattractive modern version.

Sigh. I better love the photos.