Friday, May 28, 2010

the forest for the trees

I chose to take my outfit photos on this forest lane because I thought the mottled pattern of shadow and light looked cool. Later I realized a) it makes for very complicated lighting (not all good) and b) that's okay, because it's like an echo of the pattern on my dress:

Pretty nifty juxtaposition, mais non? You heard what I said about the micro- and macrocosm paradigm... but anyway. Depending on which way the wind and the breeze floated through the leaves at the exact moment that the shutter clicked closed, it was either too dark:

Or sun-burst bright:

So be it. You get the idea. Once again, I'm demonstrating my extremely schizophrenic style by unapologetically shifting from Tom Sawyer to Lolita to Rain Queen Modjadji (okay, maybe not, but it is a kind of tribal dress) over the course of a week. Bear with me! Sometimes I wonder if I should perhaps sit myself down for a minute and fine-tune my personal style, but then I think: but that would be so boring! I'm not one-dimensional, why should my style be?

I hope you all have fantastic Memorial Day weekends! I've got to hit the bank for some Canadian dollars (K and I are taking a little day trip up to Montreal tomorrow), so I'm out of here!

(dress/gold cuff: F21; boots: ALDO; sunglasses: UO; necklace: vintage)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

wormhole wednesday

When I was in eighth grade my friend S and I did a project on wormholes for science class. This may or may not have been one of the most pivotal moments of my life--in fact, my existence could quite possibly be divided into two halves: BW (before wormholes) and AW (after wormholes). Before that project I was not unaware of the concept of space and time (we had studied the solar system like all other elementary and middle school students), but my primary concern was navigating my middle school universe, and both of my feet were firmly planted on Planet Adolescence.

BW, my time was not spent philosophizing about the cosmos and my place or purpose in it. Like most thirteen-year-old girls, mine was a very ego-centric universe. Most of my days were spent constructing entire villages of paper dolls by cutting pictures of models out of magazines and dreaming up entire lifelines and complicated relationships for them, or directing my brothers and the neighborhood kids in dramatic reproductions of Disney movies and/or original plays (clearly I enjoyed elevating myself to a God-like status by exercising control over the world around me.)

But that's neither here nor there. The point is, ever since that day I've been fascinated by the innerworkings of our immense macrocosm and the symmetrical Pythagoran systems that govern both our physical bodies and the celestial sphere. Wormholes were just the beginning. That project was literally a gateway to another world for me--a metaphysical plane that ran parallel to both science and religion and fused the two disciplines forever in my mind.

My science teacher was arrested later that year when fields of marijuana were found behind his house. We had a substitute for the remainder of the semester, and all of the girls had crushes on him because he was young, had nice teeth (one of the questions on his final exam was: "Why are my teeth so perfectly straight and white?"--no joke) and let us play frisbee during class. I thought he was a complete tool--I had clearly transcended the plane of the average middle school experience when I passed through that wormhole project, enlightened.

What was the point of all that, you ask? Nothing, really. These tunnels are kind of reminiscent of wormholes & sent me spiraling backward through time.

Back to the Present: I got this tres adorable little shirt at Battery Street Jeans in Burlington.

This is the perfect "summer's here!" ensemble. It's been upward of ninety degrees all week, which is hot hot hot for little Vermont! Speaking of hot, these shorts are perhaps a little bit too hot-pants for work, but I say phooey to that. The shirt provides enough coverage that the lotta-leg look isn't overwhelmingly provocative, n'est-ce pas?

(shirt: BSJ; shorts; Bargain Basement; shoes: Marshall's; sunnies: UO)

Monday, May 24, 2010

birds flying high you know how i feel

I do love the summer sun.

This is my awesome new romper, which I love. It's perfect for lounging around while getting a sunburn on my knees:

It was another busy, busy weekend for me! On Saturday K, K's bro & I took another road trip in search of microbrews. We first stopped at Rock Art in Morrisville (I skipped the tasting because I was too cheap, but we'll say it was because I was the DD, which I was...) before driving clear across the state to visit Trout River in Lyndonville. We got there a little bit before 3 pm and the pub didn't open until 4, so we killed some time buying chocolate and maple syrup for K's parents and wandering around St. Johnsbury. K got a sweet train-conductor hat that actually kind of looks like an inverted version of this romper, and I scored a $5 perfect-fit denim jacket at the Salvation Army.

We finally went back to the brewpub, skipped out on the supposedly fantastic (the descriptions alone had my mouth watering) flatbread pizza in favor of saving our appetites for a sushi dinner, ordered a few beers, and were on the road again. One thing I learned this weekend: I think I like Belgian-style beers the best. I always liked Blue Moon but hadn't had many other varieties... most of the beers I ended up trying on our tasting adventures were fruity Belgians and I was a fan of all of them!

That night we went to Asiana House in Burlington and I got the exact same thing I got last time I was there: sweet potato tempura maki and avocado/cucumber/tofu skin maki (plus a seaweed salad, bien sur). All I can say is: Heaven. I just wish their cocktails weren't so exorbitantly expensive. Ten dollars for a martini?? No thanks.

Sunday was lovely. K brought his brother to the airport around 4 am and we woke up around 9 to glorious sunshine. We strolled over to the park and I stopped at On the Rise for a chocolate croissant and an iced coffee (I love my little town!!) to enjoy while I finished my book!

The evening was spent picnicking at Hubbard Park in Montpelier (K was too exhausted to accompany me) to celebrate the graduation of a very dear friend, who just got her BA in film (like me!). I ate waaaaaaaay more than an acceptable number of cookies and brownies (so. good.) and noshed on a veggie burger, corn, and miscellaneous sauteed vegetables. After most of the party had dispersed, a group of us relocated to sit on a bench by a little pond and wax philosophical about life (you know, the usual).

All-in-all, a lovely, fun-filled weekend! This morning felt like a fresh start in so many ways: K and I have the apartment to ourselves again, I went for a long run after a three-day hiatus, I started a new book (The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver--last year I read her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, which I highly recommend), and I'm feeling good!

Birds flying high you know how I feel
Sun in the sky you know how I feel
Breeze drifting on by you know how I feel
It's a new dawn,
It's a new day,
It's a new life for me
And I'm feeling good.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

the chambray way

I am in love with this chambray shirtdress. I picked it up at TJMaxx this weekend (while the boys were off drinking beers at breweries) and kind of want to wear it every day. If a day passes sans posting, it's probably because I don't want to bore you with its inevitable, identical encore performances.

Funny story: I thought I had set up tripod-shop in a rather secluded and inconspicuous spot this morning, but... not so much. As I was tromping around in front of the camera, a large woman with a mullet and a cigarette in hand let out an exuberantly incredulous, "what are you doing?" that startled me half to death. I attempted to explain to her that I was taking photos for my blog, which she surprisingly accepted as a legitmate response) before she interjected that she didn't mean to be judgmental (actually she said "nosy-mental" or some combination of words--I got the gist...), but "why (was I taking photographs) right next to a sewage treatment facility?"

... good question. I actually didn't know what the heck that industrial-looking building was... I just liked the line of trees shading it from view. Alas. Awkward encounters abound.

(chambray shirtdress: TJMaxx; shoes/socks: Kohl's; belt: Old Navy)

Last night we (me, K, K's bro) drove down to Bristol to check out the Bobcat Cafe (a local brewpub). Actually, not terribly local--it was a pretty long drive--but Bristol is a quaint little town and the cafe itself was cozy and classic, like a tavern. I was pretty disappointed that the food left a lot to be desired for the price. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't worth what they charged for it (maybe I'm just spoiled by all of the really fantastic locavore restaurants I've frequented of late), and all of the beers on tap were, at first sip, described as "interesting" and accompanied by a confused look. I got the flatbread special (basically a small pizza topped with beans, peppers, pumpkin seeds and cheese) and the boys both had mediocre beef burgers at twelve bucks a pop. I ordered a "Strawberries and Cream" beer, expecting it to be as delicious as the award-winning framboise brew at the Vermont Pub and Brewery, but it tasted more like Bud Light (fruity flavor noticeably absent).

Still, it was a pretty cool place, and if I had wanted to spend seventeen dollars on the porcini mushroom/polenta dish I probably would have been more satisfied (but instead I spent ~$17 on a sweet chambray shirtdress and went cheap on the eats... I think I chose wisely).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

modcloth mode

Hi everyone! It's finally time to debut my first Modcloth purchase (ever)--the Sweet Magnolia Dress (now sold out)!

I wore this dress on Mother's Day, but it was snowing (!!) so I didn't leave the apartment in it. The Sunday sunshine inspired me to give it another go!

I think initially what drew me to purchase this dress (as opposed to the other 400 million adorable little floral dresses available on Modcloth that I didn't buy) was a) spring was here and I was desperate, but more likely b) it sort of reminded me of those gorgeous watercolor-floral gowns from Elie Saab's 2010 haute couture collection (which I gushed about here):

So I bought it. Can you blame me? One thing that I both love and kind of don't love about the dress is that the skirt is excessively swish-y. This means that it has a nice swing to it when I walk but also means that the wind can catch it off guard and hoist the hem up around my ears à la Marilyn Monroe. To counteract that image, here I am looking like a Girl Scout (two fingers in the air and I'm there):

Also, it matched the beautiful blue sky:

(dress: Modcloth; shoes: Kohl's)

Monday, May 17, 2010

whirlwind weekend

What a busy weekend I had! K's brother is visiting from Washington, and attempts to entertain have forced us to deviate from our everyday routine (not a bad thing).

Friday night we made some serious nachos and went to the late showing of Iron Man 2. It was actually really amusing, which pleased me. Robert Downey Jr. is scoring some major points with his blockbuster performances lately--I thought he was great in Sherlock Holmes and, although he basically played the exact same character, I was equally impressed in IM2.

On Saturday, the boys spent the day touring Vermont microbreweries while I went shopping. I was pretty disappointed with the selection at my usual haunts, but I did manage to pick up a chambray shirt dress and a pinstripe linen romper at TJMaxx.

On Sunday (after I took a nice stroll down the sunny street to pick up the paper (and butter) from my new favorite corner market and K made delicious (local) eggs with (local) salsa and (local) coffee), we drove down to Middlebury to visit the Otter Creek brewery... and it was closed. It was also closed the last time K and I tried to check it out, but so be it. The drive was lovely and scenic and it was such a gorgeous day nothing could get us down! After driving all the way back up to Burlington we stopped at Magic Hat (nobody was terribly impressed, and it was agreed that MH should perhaps redirect their focus to the brewing of beer, rather than the creativity of presentation) before walking along the boardwalk and strolling down Church Street in the afternoon sun.

I spent the evening at Sarducci's with the family, celebrating Brother #1 passing his certification test to be a Nurse's aide, Brother #2 emerging intact from freshman year at BU, and my recent promotion. The only sad news there is that Sarducci's has discontinued its heavenly flourless chocolate cake (a travesty!). Another enlightening evening out... as soon as we arrived Brothers #1 & #2 launched into an argument about whether or not the government should give funding to the arts, which turned into a discussion of democracy vs. anarchy (of course), slowly transitioned into Brother #1 asking why we "didn't eat" the duck my mother hit with her car and a discussion of the unusual per diem bird-slaughterer with the "Out Back, Killing" sign on his door, and finally ended with my eighteen-year-old brother telling my father to grow up (jokingly, of course). Just another ordinary dinner out with the Flood family.

When I got home last night I was so exhausted I collapsed on the bed and fell asleep almost immediately. I'm like an old woman. Also, I need to figure out what the heck I'm doing with my life.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Sometimes I pick up a book and the experience of reading it is like sitting by a window in the late afternoon sun--I feel a warmth and light fold over me and illuminate all of my little dark hidden places and spill into my cracks and crevices until I feel full of contentedness and clarity and peace. I so very much love when that happens. And then, sometimes, that floating feeling frustrates me and I hate the book for making me so happy. I start wondering how it can be that I didn't write it. I start wondering if I am ever going to write anything even remotely in the same league. I start wondering if I'll ever make it past that first sprint of inspiration that comes like the first flush of life and then vanishes, like a ghost. I start wondering how the heck the author manages to make every single sentence so sensationally profound.

After dragging my weary mind through the thousand-page behemoth Infinite Jest, which I picked up after hearing about David Foster Wallace's suicide on VPR (and only later learned that it is very highly regarded and has an almost obsessive cult following), Norman Rush's Mating is more than a breath of fresh air. With the turn of every page, it is like I'm rediscovering myself.

I realize that's quite a statement, but I love books that remind me that reading can simultaneously be pleasurable and intellectually expansive. I've felt this way before, with Wallace Stegner and Tom Robbins and Robert M. Pirsig and Simone de Beauvoir (and others...), and I usually go out and buy up all of the books new favorite authors have ever written and plough through the pages like my life depends on it. Which it doesn't, quite. What my life does depend on, however, is keeping up a steady stream of these literary love affairs from now on.

Oh, by the way, this is what I wore today:

(dress/socks: TJMaxx; scarf: thrifted; shoes: Marshall's; necklace/headband: UO)

I'm so so pale! I look like I've been living in a cave for the past couple of years. Oh wait, I have... cubicle::cave, same idea.

Recommended Reading
(in case anyone is interested)

1. Crossing to Safety - Wallace Stegner
2. Mating - Norman Rush
3. Fear of Flying - Erica Jong
4. The Mandarins - Simone de Beauvoir
5. Prague - Arthur Phillips
6. The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera
7. Suite Francaise - Irene Nemirovsky
8. The Garden of Eden - Ernest Hemingway
9. Tender is the Night - F. Scott Fitzgerald
10. Skinny Legs and All - Tom Robbins