Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wide leg pants

Are you bored of skinny, super skinny, impossibly skinny jeans yet? I am. And it seems to me that there is only one way to go now given that skinny jeans have been popular for so many years running: wide, and even pleated. Karlie Kloss looks amazing in this pair (far left), and I wonder if they would look as good on someone (me!) who is nowhere near as tall:

And, guess what my pretties, Old Navy has a fairly similar pair, for under $40.00:

And there is a short version as well:


This coat...

I am not sure that I feel compelled to give Kendall Jenner any more press than she already gets, but I can't stop thinking about this coat. Gosh, the bias cut, and the way that it falls over her body is just perfect. Makes me realize how good it feels to have a great fitting coat. I have not had one in years, since I bought myself a J.Crew Plaza coat and wore it for a decade straight, until it not longer fit and was beyond repair.  I am trying to figure out who makes it. Probably costs an arm and a leg, but worth investigating.

No the no-resolution, resolution.

This post is just a link to a Huffington Post article, but, man, I was so relieved when I found it this morning. I was thinking about resolutions, and how to explain that I don't normally do resolutions so much as set intentions for the year. Maybe the intentions are closer to goals, I am not sure. It is hard to describe how I interpret this ritual. What I do know is that after 36 years I have finally figured out this old, you already have everything you need mantra. You do. I do. And so I think that Pema is right: there is no need for "self-improvement." You look fine. Your house looks fine. Your fit enough. So maybe this year, the resolution might be to just keep doing what you are doing. Stay the course. Travel your path:

That doesn't mean you get a free-pass, however. It is more like you don't have to try to so hard, because the universe will serve up plenty of new opportunities for you (for us!) to deal with what we need to deal with. Pema says it as Pema says it: "Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to learn." And, I think, that when we see life as just one big learning project, one big day at school, maybe everything becomes less scary, and more evocative and exciting instead. I mean, what's so wrong with being schooled if you need to be schooled. (Plus: I was always so good at school!)


Stop saying sorry.

Women as one of my students this semester reminded me through her end-of-the-semester research project are always apologizing. Always. For. Everything. We need to stop. I need to stop. I am going to try to say, sorry, far less frequently this year. I am only going to use the word when I truly mean it, when I have a good reason to apologize and I am not going to use it every time someone steps in front of me, or every time I do something that I perceive as annoying to others. I am not, in other words, going to apologize for my very self, for existing. And you should not either.

And, so, too, I am not going to negate my own power.

Let's change this old sticky to, I'm not sorry! 

What's your word-of-the-year for 2015?

What is your word-of-the-year for 2015? In response to a recent afternoon with a tarot card reader who used the Mother Peace deck––a copy of which I own, and which I found at a street-sale in San Francisco in the late 90s, and which was conceived of the year that I was born, 1978––my word is: ALLOW.

The "Magician" card came up in the reading, too, and well, in response, I am planning to wear a lot more leopard print this year. Have to get it out of my system, or have to get it in my system, I should say.

What is yours?

Monday, December 29, 2014

On invulnerability

In Todd May's piece in today's New York Times he opens with the question that many of us ask ourselves at this time of the year: how can I improve my life in the coming year? Sometimes, for the morally inclined, this also means asking ourselves how we can become better people––better at taking care of ourselves, our relationships, our work, and other things that we try to dedicate ourselves to.  He suggests that we often look toward philosophy and religion to help us achieve a "tranquil state." And one of the ways that Eastern religions such as Buddhism, Stoicism, and Taoism, teach us to do this is through detaching from desire and the emotional states created by desire (and the frustration of desire). While this detaching might help us create what May calls "invulnerablism"and may help us navigate the "world's vicissitudes," he suggests that it can also create a state in which we are too far removed from the world and do not experience a range of emotions - from grief to joy (although to be honest, I have tons of trouble with the word joy, but more on that later).  Thus, his question is, do we want this kind of distance from our emotions, our very lives?

Invulnerabilism recommends that we secrete a distance between ourselves and the world so that ultimately it cannot touch us. The extremity of such a view can be illustrated by reference to the Stoic’s ratification of the ancient philosopher Anaxagoras’ reported remark upon hearing of his son’s death: “I always knew that my child was a mortal.” It is possible perhaps that some few among us can reach this degree of distance from the world. But the question is, do we want it? I suspect I am not alone in thinking that the death of one of my children should shatter me, even if it should not ultimately destroy me.

His answer is a resounding, no. We don't want so much distance between ourselves and the world, or from our emotions that we fail to experience life and all that it has to offer:

Most of us want to feel caught up in the world. We want to feel gripped by what we do and those we care about, involved with them, taken up by them. The price of this involvement is our vulnerability. We must stand prepared to feel the loss of what we care about, because that is part of what it means to care. Caring requires desiring for the sake of others, which in an uncertain world entails that that desiring can be frustrated.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

More winter beauty...

Oh, and one needs a new lipstick or lipgloss to get through the winter as well. I couldn't decide what I wanted, I wanted some serious color but my old standby, Fresh's Sugar Lip Treatment in Berry, suddenly seemed too bright, too young, and not moody enough to match how I have been feeling lately.  (But I bought a new Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Berry just to keep it around, because it is a never-fail, go-to.)

When in doubt, I go back to Bobbi Brown. Her colors for both lips and cheeks are pretty much flawless and the formula's are so wearable that you don't feel like you are wearing makeup, makeup. I couldn't land on a lipstick color that made sense, so I went to the lipgloss. I surprised myself by circling around and around and finally buying this one, a plum with gold flecks. It's totally ock n' roll:

Maybe, I'm feeling just a little bit Brooklyn, baby...

Winter beauty...

Let's be honest, winter is not my favorite season. I struggle with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and a general discontent for the holidays. But, a season is a season, and what the change of the seasons tell me is that it is time for a new scent and a new beauty routine. I struggled to decide on a scent for the season, winter scents are rich and heavy and sometimes too sweet. I almost went back to an old standby Stella by Stella McCartney, which is love for its rose base and moody amber notes.  I love this one when I was in my late twenties. So worn out was I from writing my dissertation, that one of my ways back into the world was to wander around Sephora trying on scents and deciding what kind of woman I would like to become next, Ph.D. in hand and one way out of Pittsburgh. The Stella, by Stella  McCartney got me out:

But, by now I don't want to go back to wearing the same scent that I wore when I was twenty seven, but I do want something equally sultry and moody and dark to get me through the winter Solstice, and the holidays, and the general darkness that is winter in upstate New York. I went back and forth about whether or not Elizabeth and James's Nirvana Black was the next place to go, and indeed it turned out be just the thing to get me to look forward.

I love the violet and sandalwood, but was less sure about the vanilla as I did not want it to seem too powdery or overly sweet. The vanilla it turns out fades out first and you are left with violet and sandalwood and a deep need to listen to the new Lana Del Ray album, Ultraviolence, over and over and over again:

Le Hiatus. So, shoes

It has been more than three months since I have posted anything. Suffice is to say, I have been busy. Busy good and busy bad. So, let's start small, let's start easy, let's star with shoes.

Dansko released this beauties a few weeks before the holidays. I should have bought them in black immediately, only I am trying to pay down debts and get to a place where I can start saving for bigger more important things, like having children and buying a house. Nevertheless, I should have listened to Lauren and bought the damn shoes. They are a brilliant and affordable take on the Sam Edelman booties that were hugely popular a few years ago. They also seem to borrow from No 6 clog boots, the one's that every hip woman in NYC wears. So, see if you follow the progression of influence here. I don't know if the Edelmans or the No.6s launched first, but how I saw the progression.

Let's start with the Edelman pair:

And, then, the No. 6s.

And, then, the Dansko pair, which are the best of the lot in my opinion––and the one's that I should have bought and worn forever in black. The putty is pretty great, too: