Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm not okay

I was a huge My Chemical Romance fan, back in the day.  I knew every word to every song.  Eventually, I discovered more bands and MCR slowly eased its way out of my playlists.

My brother and I share a car, and usually he leaves rap blasting for me.  When I went home for fall break a few years ago, he surprised me by leaving the original MCR cd at a normal volume in the car.  I listened to it twice all the way through and reminisced over what I used to love.

I have so many memories tied into this cd.  Somehow that weekend I also managed to find more meaning in those songs than there was before.  I guess I've grown a little since 7th grade.

i'm not ok
dress, tights, boots, hat, scarf, belt

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Blending in

I survived the last two days, which was pretty much my only goal for this weekend.  Friday I left my dorm at 8:30 am and came back for about 20 minutes for lunch.  After meeting some sisters for dinner, going to a wonderful band concert, and hitting up a (kind of lame) halloween party, I went to trombone-girl sleepover, which was a lot of fun, but didn't involve much sleep.  We got up at 6 the next morning and hopped on a bus to Kalamazoo for an away game.  It was long and cold, but fun.  I got home at around 11pm, and put on sweats and curled up with skype and got to relax for a change.  Now I'm spending the day catching up on homework.  There's a recital in a few hours that I'm performing in, so I suppose I'll need to change out of pajamas for that.

Really, it was a great weekend, and everything went well.  It was just exhausting.  This week looks like it'll be wonderfully slow in comparison.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy Thoughts for Thursday

Food!  I was really crabby last night, and couldn't figure out why.  Then I remembered that I forgot to eat dinner.  Once I ate I felt much better!

Halloween is this Monday, which means that we get to celebrate all weekend long.  We're dressing up for marching band rehearsal tomorrow, and I'm going to a party with friends on Friday night.  I love dressing up, and more than that I love cheep bulk candy!  Also, halloween decorations: we made our dorm room like like Hogwarts!  We have plastic sheets printed with bricks hung on the wall, and each corner is dedicated to a different house.  Unfortunately we can't keep it up since it's blocking a vent.

The fact that according to spellcheck, hogwarts is spelled wrong, not because it isn't a word, but because it is a proper noun and needs to be capitalized.  Life is great.

Band.  Football season is almost over, which means that so is marching band.  I have mixed feelings about this, which I'm planning on discussing here sometime in the future.  After winning a grand total of 2 games last year, our team is actually doing decently, and has a shot at making it to a bowl game this year.  That'd be nice, but it would also extend the season, and I've already penciled in study time into all my free weekends.  I don't really want them taken back.  Also, the basketball season starts in about 3 weeks, which means that the marching band and basketball band season overlaps too.  Things'll be pretty crazy around here when that happens.  I have to say, I stomach the football games in order to march, but I love basketball all on it's own!  I can't wait.

This: In order to graduate, everyone must pass Comm210.  It is possible to test out of it if you took a speech class in high school, and can pass a written test on the basics of the course, and successfully give a speech to a panel.  I planned on attempting to test out, and was going to study all semester long for the written portion.  Tuesday night I remembered that I had scheduled my test for Wednesday night.  I ended up reading the entire textbook over a day and a half, and taking the test.  I passed by 1 question.  Now I just have to give a speech!

COFFEE.  What else is new?

New friends.  Last weekend a mutual friend introduced my friends and me to another girl from marching band.  We spent 3 hours together, and by the end of the night we were all just thinking "She Is Awesome!!", which, you know, is a cool reaction to have to a person.  I hope we can turn this acquaintance into a real friendship.

This blog/project: So. Freaking. Cool.  Plus, I love lloyd.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Get tested!

On your vocabulary, that is.  This website will give you an estimation of how many words you know.  Pretty cool, right?  Plus, all the data that they gather is used to research how age and education affect vocabulary size, and how that relates to second language learners.  Research is hard enough to begin with, so be nice and take the survey afterwards.

Here's my result.  I did better than the average 19 year old, but I still wish I new more words.  I guess that's what happens when I have friends that are walking dictionaries, though.  Maybe it's time to start reading the dictionary again like I did in grade school.

Final result
Your total vocabulary size is estimated to be:

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wishes do come true

I haven't put up an outfit post for a while; then again, I haven't really been wearing anything that excites me too much.  It's too hard to both wear cute clothes in the rain, and taking pictures of wet clothes is not as satisfying as putting on dry ones.  Enough with the excuses; I went to goodwill this weekend to search for some halloween materials, and picked up this little beauty of a blazer.  I mentioned last week that I've been searching for a tan tweed blazer.  Isn't it lucky how things work out like that?  This one is a tan, light grey, and plum tweed.  It's a little frumpy, but it's not too bad.
Honestly, I was a little on the fence about buying it, but this pocket sold me over.  It just looked so nicely  made that I couldn't resist.  Isn't it a nice looking pocket?

Paradise City

I never really liked "classic rock".  Metallica, Guns & Roses, whatever else it is my dad listens too; it just never really appealed to me much.  My feelings about a lot of this music have changed over the past few months, though, and I'm not sure why.  I only know that not only can I stand a little Cheap Trick and the like now and then, but that I actually enjoy it.

This song came into orbit in my brain during Saturday football games.  The marching band arrives about 4 hours early, and we get to watch the preparations for the game. As these go on, there's usually music playing over the sound system, and they're the same songs every week.  Maybe that's the secret to liking this- continual exposure.  Anyway, this is a good song.  
 Rock doesn't mean you have to dress in all black and have holes in your jeans.  Rockers can wear dresses, too.  I like this dress with a denim vest over it and some good stomping boots, plus tights and a cardigan thrown over it for warmth in this chilly fall weather.  

Sunday, October 23, 2011

80's Icons

Here we've got a little Pretty in Pink, a little Madonna; a bit of girlie sparkles to pair with some 80's edge.  That pretty much sums up how I feel most of the time.  Happy Sunday!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Happy Thoughts for Thursday

Fall break was wonderful.  Honestly, it was probably the most perfect break I've had from school, ever.  I got to spend some time with both sides of my extended family and literally almost died laughing Saturday night.  (Hey thanks, asthma!)  I got to see my boyfriend, and I spent a lot of time with my little sister.  She's growing up so fast!  I swear she's at least 6 inches taller than she was 2 months ago.  I also spent some quality time with my sewing machine.  More on that later.  As sad as it was that none of my other friends were home, it meant that I really got to focus my attention on a few special people instead of trying to spread myself out.  Also, I didn't cry saying goodbye to anyone this time.  I didn't have any problems with that last year, but this year's been difficult.  There were a few close calls, but no tears.

Fall trees! Alex and I went to an arboretum, which was absolutely beautiful.  It was a little chilly for walking around in, but we've been out in colder before.  My camera was running low on batteries so I didn't take many pictures, which was a shame.  I didn't take any of just the pretty trees, either.  My grandpa always told us to never take a picture without a person in it, since other people are the most important part of your life.  I think that's really good advice, but I do enjoy a well done nature shot, too.

3 day weeks and cancelled classes.  Thanks to our 4 day weekend, there's only 3 days of work this week!  Life is great.  And, I have 4 known cancelled classes in the next 2 weeks, 3 of which are for 2 hour classes, which means that I have an extra 7 hours coming up!

Running into friends.  I've run into a few people in the short time I've been back that I haven't talked to all semester, and it's so nice to see them!  I hope something comes out of our catch-up ideas.  I'd like to see my awesome friends more than on accident!

Frozen yogurt.   There's a frozen yogurt shop in town.  How did I not know this?  You pay by the ounce, and it's wonderful.  I love frozen yogurt.  It's a really good thing that I don't have a car, because if I didn't have to depend on someone else to get me there I might live there.  Also, I went with a bunch of awesome ladies.


Coffee and orange mango juice, first thing in the morning.  I'm telling you, my bladder is getting a work out today.

This, yesterday:
Thanks Daughter Fish for letting me know!

Sending and receiving mail.  I got a lovely letter last week, which I'll respond to as soon as I get my hands on some stamps! Promise, mr!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wishlist part 1: para llevar

It's October, which means that it's almost my birthday and Christmas!  By request of my mother, this means that it's time for wishlists!  Hint hint, mom.  I've been doing some daydreaming, and this is what I've come up with so far:

1. Blazer.  I've been looking for a brown, preferable tweed blazer for some time.  Obviously this one won't happen, but this is the style I'm looking for.
2. Aran sweater.  Something thick and oversized, in a dark color.
3.  Scarf.  I want a soft, solid colored scarf to bury myself in once it gets cold.  
4. Shoes!  I love shoes.  In the past I've survived in a pair or two of shoes all year; recently I've discovered the magic of choice.  I've fallen particularly hard for oxfords and lace-up boots.  See these and these and these.  
5. A dainty necklace.  For the past few years I've been wearing the longer charm necklaces, and recently have been dreaming over something smaller.  
6.  Button up shirts. I find myself wearing a lot of these lately.  I like them.
7.  Stripes!  Really, anything with stripes is good, but they're even better in the form of oversized sweaters.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gatsby dress

Remember the June Challenge?  No?  Oh yeah, that's because it ended 4 months ago.  I'm finally getting around to posting the last dress that I made for the challenge.  Hello, my name is lazy.

This was supposed to be a super easy dress.  It was based off of a Forever 21 dress that I bought in April.  The original dress fit like a glove and was perfect in every way, except for being scant inches short of immodesty.  Forever 21 must use midgets to draft their patterns on.  Their dresses are just never long enough.

I laid the forever 21 dress out on top of newspaper, and carefully traced the pieces out, and added seam allowances and everything.  I had bought navy blue mystery fabric from the Fabric Discount Outlet in Pilsen, and I used almost all of it for this dress.  The fabric is great; it's very light and drapey, and has polkadots worked into the fabric.  I don't know what the technical term for that is.  It's like the popcorn stitch in knitting, but smaller and woven.  Anyway, it's pretty.

Once the pieces were cut out, piecing them together went relatively quickly.  I decided I should probably try it on before I put the zipper in and hemmed it.  Um, problem.  There was an itty bitty tiny (4 inch) gap in the back.  Well, poop.  Luckily I had enough scrap fabric to be able to put 2 inch panels on either side of the back.  Of course, they don't match the waistband, and they taper off into the skirt, which means that the back bunches strangely around my butt.

Crisis averted.  I put the zipper in, and everything appears to be going well.  I step into the dress...and it won't go over my hips.  No problem. I'll just put it over my head.  It won't go over my chest.  What do you know, I'm a girl after all.  The zipper was too short, and ended about an inch above the smallest part of the waist of the dress.  Instead of going out and buying a new zipper, I just ripped it out and undid some of the back seam and scooted it down a few inches, then sewed the top of the dress together again, by hand.  Now it's still pretty tight over my head, but it's doable.  I just need to remember to not put deodorant on until  after I put the dress on, otherwise disaster ensues.

Aside from the frustration involved in making this fit, I'm really happy with it.  It fits and has a nice, classic feel to it.  Plus, it matches the cover of my copy of The Great Gatsby, which I read for the first time while I was making this.  (I rescued the book from my brother's trash pile.  He supposedly read it in english class, and thought it wasn't worth saving.  Blasphemy.  Books are never trash).  I kind of loved the book, which is why it took so long to get these pictures up.  I had an idea in mind of what I wanted them to look like, and they involved my pretty book.

This weekend I made another dress using the same pattern that I drafted for this dress, plus some alteration.  Maybe I'll post that one before January.  Maybe.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Edge of Glory

I'm not a die hard Lady Gaga fan, but I love this song.  It has a definite 80's feel to it, and I have a love for 80's pop culture.  Maybe it's the saxophone solo.  Saxophones have been having a bit of a moment in pop songs this year.

Personally, I think this is a love song.  It doesn't have to be anything overtly sexual, either.  Have you ever been around a person who makes you feel so wonderful that you feel like you could be on the edge of glory?
I have two outfits for this song.  This first one is channeling the party mood that is inherently part of Lady Gaga songs, for singing and dancing with girlfriends and having the fun that Gaga brings.


shirt, skirt, heels, banglewatch, ring

The second outfit is more for the darker tones in this song.  The song has a different feel to it depending on when you're listening to it.  This is the nighttime outfit.  A cozy sweater keeps you warm in this chilly fall air, but your inner Gaga can still come through with the crazy shoes.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

From The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, T.S. Elliot

Friday, October 14, 2011

9 Things to do when campus is empty

Now that Fall Break is upon us, I have a few suggestions for the poor unfortunate souls who are unable to go home for break.  Contrary to popular belief, being stuck on campus during a break is not as bad as it sounds.  Here are some good ways to occupy yourself.

Get caught up with classwork. (Maybe even work ahead.)  There won't be a time where campus is quieter or less distracting.  You have to di it sometime, so it might as well be now.  

Do laundry.  Do all your laundry.  Take up the entire laundry room.  If everyone else left to go home, you might as well, and it won't matter if you use every machine available.

Movie marathon!  This is probably my favorite way to pass time when I'm alone somewhere for days on end.  There's no bargaining with which movies to see, there's no taking turns picking things out.  Watch all your favorites back to back, or have yourself a theme night.  Check out the campus library to see what they have available, and plan accordingly.  Popcorn advised.

Be a photographer for a day.  Did you ever want to wander around campus pretending to be all artsy, taking pictures of trees and random things?  Maybe it's just me.  I always felt that stopping to take a picture of a tree was kind of embarrassing; I'm not a hipster, I swear!  However, with no one around to judge, feel free to let loose your inner artist and use that camera.  

Explore campus.  College campuses are great places that usually have tons of quality, under-used facilities.  Now is your time to explore this.  Check out the fitness center; there won't be any intimidating body builders, so you can try out workout machines without having to wait in lines.  Maybe your rec center has some cool draw, like a rock wall.  Does your campus have a museum, or a garden you could explore?  Maybe go to tech labs and experiment with computers.  Or, just go for a walk and see new corners of campus that you don't normally venture too.  (Don't forget sunscreen.)

Read one of those book things.  I don't know about you, but since coming to school I've had less and less time to read for fun.  Take advantage of this time to read something that doesn't make your head pound.  Or read something that does, if that's what you like.  Borrow a cheesy romance novel from someone, or tackle that old classic that you've been meaning to read your whole life.

Hobby time!  If you already have a hobby, you know what to do.  Get cracking.  If you're new to the crafty life, check out some internet tutorials or go to the library and teach yourself a new skill.  Personally, I would recommend learning to knit.  It's fun, everyone should do it, you've heard it all before.  Or, search the internet for some easy diy projects to spice up your dorm room.  May I recommend checking out Elsie's blog?  She has a lot of great ideas up there.

Reorganize your life.  The first step in organization is usually tearing everything apart, and if your roommates are gone, there's one less person you have to worry about interrupting.  Go ahead, clean out your closet, or alphabetize your bookshelf, or if your feeling really daring, rearrange your furniture!

Do nothing.  This is break, after all.  Enjoy a mental health day and catch up on sleep for once.  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Happy Thoughts for Thursday

My roommate, who is awesome.  Love her.

Getting to see my family and boyfriend this weekend.

Checking things off.  I gave a presentation yesterday in my spanish class on the political history of Nicaragua, and now I don't have to worry about it.  It's over.  I also finished a paper this weekend, and it's done and I don't have to think about it anymore.

Sunscreen.  After 20 hours of marching band this weekend, I'm only slightly burned, thanks to the modern marvel that is sunscreen.

Leaves!  I thought that having a class that is a half mile walk from my dorm first thing in the morning would be a bad thing.  However, the fact that this means I get to kick through fallen leaves as I hike through the Quad every other morning kind of makes my life better.  There's really no better way to improve your mood than to walk between trees and crunch on leaves.  (Dear campus groundspeople: please stop composting the leaves.  I know that you want to get them up off the ground.   But it's not fall without leaves, and they look so pretty as they are.  Thanks!)

Making plans for the future.  We're working on finding a house to rent for next year, and we're all super excited.  Homes mean not following dorm rules for quiet hours, making our own food, decorating how we want to, and trying on adulthood.  I'm super excited.  Plus, off campus housing is about half the price of the dorms.

Clean dishes.  Sadly, we don't wash dishes as much as we should.  This week I washed the sugar bowl out, and someone washed the coffee pot, and now we have nice clean, crust-free things to use.  Goodness.

Cold.  Indian summer is over, and now fall is setting in for real.  I love fall!

Having the will power to do laundry AND fold it.  In the same night.  It's tough, man.

Good hair days.

All of my friends.  I just feel so lucky.  My friends at home, the trombone girlies, all of the suitemates; they're all great people and I'm so glad to have them around me.

Coffee.  Always, always.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Black state of mind again

Lately all I want to do is wear black.  I blame the weather; it's been unseasonably warm, and black is such a warm cozy color that I think I'm subconsciously trying to will the weather cold.  It's working.  The weather is supposed to be dropping after this week.  Rain tomorrow!  

I've been plotting out a black aran sweater, inspired mostly by these pictures of people cuddled up in oversized sweaters.  I'm debating between an oversized sweater and a cropped draped one.  Decisions, decisions.  I guess I should finish the sweater that I'm working on now before I worry about the next one.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Another great idea

Elsie from A Beautiful Mess posted this tutorial today on transferring photos to fabric, and it looks great!  I can't wait to try this out.  Isn't she a genius?

Monday, October 10, 2011

What You Know

This week's Music Monday post is the song What You Know by Two Door Cinema Club.  I just started listening to them and I can't stop.  They're so good.  Where have I been?
what you know

dress, blazer, boots, bagring, hat, lipstick

This outfit is pretty much how I see them: pulled together, but light and playful.  It's a good mix, I think.  

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A black state of mind

I admit that these are not the best collages that I've ever made; however they are the closest that I have right now for how I've been feeling lately.  It's fall, and all I want to do is cozy up in layers and fuzzy scarves, preferably all in black.  Black doesn't have to be mournful or rebellious; it can also be warm and familiar.  Sadly, it's been warm all week.  Hopefully this week the temperature will drop back into an appropriate fall range.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The nature of an outfit

The morning routine: get out of bed, get cleaned up, get dressed; once those are done we’re free to go out in public and be productive members of society.  There’s this idea ingrained in our heads that with the changing of our clothes comes a beginning, a fresh start.  Why is it that it is only once we’re fit for the public view that our time is validated?

I’m sure we all have days spent in pajamas, working on front of a computer that really are no less productive than the days that we put on clothes and venture outside; yet, we’re coerced into feeling guilty for this type of behavior.  Similarly, we’re expected to wear different clothes each day.  There’s shame involved in getting caught wearing the same item within a short time frame.

It’s also strange to change your clothes multiple times in a day.  Once you choose an outfit, you’re expected to stick with it.  There are variations that are permissible, for example, the adding or removing of temperature dependent layers.  In general, once you significantly change your ensemble you’re expected to remain in your home.

I want to know why.  Why is indecision in dress not ok?  Why do I have to wait 3 weeks to style a favorite piece again, when I can rework it after noon?  Why am I supposed to continue wearing uncomfortable shoes for at least an 8 hour period just because  I started my day with them?

Is there a practical explanation?  Is the answer as simple as more clothes means more laundry?  Or does it go deeper?  Maybe the ability to  wear a different outfit everyday is an expression of our capitalistic culture.  Or is there a connection to the value we place on individualism?  In order to be perceived as an individual with a unique way of wearing clothes, style, if you will, maybe we need to have as little variation as possible within our own choices, to minimize chances of overlapping with others.  Or maybe remaining homogenous throughout the day is a tool to help distinguish ourselves from the rest, since clothes are a more visible teller of identity than our much smaller faces.

I guess what I really want to know is why there is so much disdain for changing outfits on any schedule other than every 24 hours.  Following the popular theory of dressing to please only ourselves, shouldn’t we also have a choice with how often we wish to do that?  One of the glories of clothes is that our choices seldom cause pain to others; what we wear is truly an individual choice.  Why should we have time limits on when it’s acceptable to make those choices?

Here's me yesterday; I started the day off in a skirt, then later had to change to go to marching band.  Does that devalue to the time I spent in a skirt?  Am I less dedicated to maintaining my own style because there are times when I need to be practical?  

What’s your opinion?s

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy Thoughts for Thursday

Waking up early enough to watch the stars fade into daylight. 

Fall trees.  Changing leaves are so pretty.

Planning visits home.  Fall break is coming up, and I want to see as many awesome people as I can.  Someone once told me that at first you only go home to see your friends, but as you get older, you only go home to see family.  I think that's becoming true.

Movie night with the trombones.  We've got our Will Ferrell fix.  Now the marching season can officially start.

Teachers who move deadlines back.  I worked on a paper for 12 hours on Sunday, and still didn't finish it.  So when the teacher announced that he was moving the due date back a week, it was like Christmas came early.

Running outside.  I have to admit, I put off exercising for years only because I was intimidated by the super strong people that occupy the gym.  This morning I went to the gym by myself for the first time since I've been on campus, and then I went for a run outside.  I'd been apprehensive about running outside because there are always people out there, and I'm such a slow runner.  Really, nobody who's walking to class at 7 in the morning cares how fast or slow I run.  Once I convinced myself to try it, I remembered what I liked about it this summer.  It is so much easier to keep going when you're running for real than it is on the treadmill.  I went an extra quarter of a mile without even noticing that I was past my usual stop point.  Plus, it's really nice to run in the nippy fall morning air than in summer's humidity.  Also, when the front desk people remember you. 

Feeling on top of life.  I spent all weekend doing homework, and I'm all caught up in my classes.  Some classes I'm even ahead.  I've been working out steadily for half a semester.  I've been flossing my teeth every day.  I'm right on track with where I want to be.

Not panicking.  So remember how a few weeks ago I said that I was grateful for teachers who make exceptions for you?  Well, turns out she misunderstood the department head, and I actually can't take the classes that I want to take.  But it's ok.  I rearranged my 4 year plan again, and it will all work out.

Listening to music in the morning. Not that I don't love my roommate, but it's kind of nice that she's gone this week.  I can play music in the morning while I'm getting ready and not worry about waking her up.  Nevertheless, I'll be happy when she gets home.  Life is a little lonely without someone to talk to during homework time.