Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Project 333 - Day 8

It is incredibly windy out. Last night the temperature dropped enough that even J noticed it was really cold. I went to sleep shivering and work up sweaty.

Something must have happened overnight with my employer's network, as I don't appear to have Internet access outside the corporate firewall and my email access is spotty. Which is problematic, as I need external Internet access to figure out what the hell I am doing testing-wise.

Today's Attire:
Lucky Brand jeans.
Black Flexees tank.
Red three-quarters length sleeve top.
Lucky Brand embroidered blue leather belt.
Lucky Brand scarf.
Black Dansko clogs.

Jewelry:
Tag Heuer Carrera automatic watch.
Engagement & wedding ring.
Baccarat iridescent crystal pendant.
Silver deco ring.

Observations:
1. The jeans are probably the final pair of Lucky Brand I will purchase. I'm incredibly disappointed, as they do make stylish, well fitting jeans in larger sizes, but I can't afford to burn over $100.00 a pair, a only to have them fall apart a year later (as the last two pairs did so recently). I have one more pair of straight-legged jeans from this brand, which I purchased from a discount store but never wore because the legs felt too tight. In light of the fact that they will probably fall apart anyway, they will go into my burgeoning charity pile.
2. I have been more comfortable in my clothing in the last week. Deliberately choosing the clothing I like, rather than dithering over those pieces I feel obligated to wear, has been really liberating. I is still taking me a while to get dressed, mainly because I have not pulled my capsule wardrobe together, but I am almost ready to commit.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Project 333 - Day 7

Another slow Monday morning. I made it into work later than I intended. The outfit that I planned today was not going to work - too dark and not spring-like.

Today's Attire:
Lauren jeans.
Max Studio white cowl neck top.
Tommy Hilfinger navy blue cotton sweater.
Lucky Brand embroidered blue leather belt.
Black Dansko clogs.

Jewelry:
Tag Heuer Carrera automatic watch.
Engagement & wedding ring.
Baccarat iridescent crystal pendant.

I have a combination of the mean reds and the blues today. The home buying/selling process can do the to a person.

J and I are in the process of selling our old home. It felt like a miracle, receiving a respectable offer five days after listing the home. We are in the appraisal/inspection waiting period and the buyers agent is not the most communicative of the breed.

It makes me anxious, as I feel like we, our agent included, are being viewed as adversaries. Which is understandable, but stupid as J and I just want to be able to wash our hands of financial responsibility. We are more than happy to lose any gains we may make, as long as we are able to pay off the loan, cover the fees to the city/county/agent and turn off the utilities.

The only information our agent has been able get is that the slate is crumbling and the buyer is going to have a roofer inspect it. We don't know the appraisal value, we don't know what other issues were uncovered in the inspection, we don't have anything information so we can do the right thing.

Observations (Tuesday Morning)
1. I felt bland all day. I looked fine, I just felt bland. Mostly my mood I think.
2. J got referrals for roofers. Now we need a sunny day to get a proper assessment done and get it fixed.

48° Sunny
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Monday, April 07, 2014

Project 333 - Day 6

Today I slept late. Went to the flea market. Had brunch. Purchased new pillows for Boy Alien's room. Did two loads of dark clothing. Changed the sheets in the master bedroom. Puttered. Tried to figure out if there is a pants elf running around the neighborhood, snatching packages from unsuspecting UPS drivers and delivering them to their appropriate owner days later.

Late last night, upon returning home from dinner with friends, I discovered a small Zappos package beneath my mailbox. Inside contained the missing pair of pants, which I verified by checking the order number. As Zappos is sending me a replacement pair, I will have to arrange to ship one pair back.

I am mystified. J's guess is that the driver lied about delivering the package, but he would have to have known he was coming back on Saturday. If it was a neighbor, a note would have been welcome, to save me the trouble of reporting them missing.

Today's Attire:
Calvin Klein jeans.
Green Gap t-shirt.
Gap brown leather belt.
Black Dansko clogs.
Purple and orange scarf.
Roots red “Canada” hoody.

Jewelry:
Tag Heuer Carrera automatic watch.
Engagement & wedding ring.

Observations:
1. The semi-obsessive recording of everything I wear and my feelings is a pretty significant exercise in frivolous naval-gazing, but it is not without a purpose. I want to figure out what I genuinely feel good wearing and get rid of any item that does not make me feel awesome or is a hassle to wear (such as a sweater that will not stay buttoned.)
2. I have not culled my clothes down to 33 items yet. I already know that it is probably not going to be possible for another week and I am ok with that.
3. I really want it to be consistently warmer.

54° Clear
Whitehall, Pennsylvania, United States

Project 333 - Day 5

I don't have any idea what I am going to wear today. I need to attend a bridal shower (ugh) this afternoon and meet friends for dinner this evening. Part of my reasoning in doing this first week without choosing my 33 items upfront was to determine which pieces of clothing and accessories I genuinely love. Now it is Saturday, I need to go from a business causal event to an informal dinner and all of the ideas I had planned in my head are probably not going to work. They all involve items I love, but the weather is classic cold spring slush.

Idea 1: Brown XCVI pants, ordered from Zappos on Thursday afternoon, as a replacement for my two ruined pairs of jeans. Paired with a flowing, white Thomas Pink blouse. The pants are made of cotton poplin and have the funky kind of styling that can go from a bridal shower to a causal dinner. Zappos has next day shipping on items ordered before 1:00PM PST, so (fit willing, but I've had excellent luck with XCVI) they would have been perfect.
The bonus would have been being able to add the pants to my rotation for the whole summer.

Except that I never received them. The UPS driver handed the package over to someone trespassing in our yard. Zappos, to their credit is sending a new pair of pants, but I will not receive them until Monday.
UPS gets a few more cents profit, as they get used again for shipping. I know that Zappos will probably recover that money in the end, but in the meantime UPS earns a few cents interest on a shipment they deliberately delivered incorrectly.

Idea 2: Meadow green XCVI shirred skirt with the Thomas Pink blouse. The downside is that it is not going to get close to 50F until 4:00 PM, which means I will need to wear hosiery and I don't have shoes that go well with hose in spring/summer, since it is supposed to be warm enough to go without.
I think I am going to just fuck it and wear trouser-style jeans.

What I ended up wearing…

Today's Attire:
Wide legged trouser-style jeans
Gray Flexees tank.
Cream three-quarters length sleeve sweater.
Lucky Brand embroidered blue leather belt.
Black Dansko clogs.
Purple and blue scarf.
Slim, knee-length black leather coat.

Jewelry:
Tag Heuer Carrera automatic watch.
Engagement & wedding ring.
String of black diamond beads.
Silver deco ring.

Observations:
1. I originally wore a pair of purple Dansko sandals, but the weather was so cold that I had to put on socks, which look stupid with the sandals.
2. The jeans are from the now-defunct Martin and Osa. I was crushed when American Eagle Outfitters decided to close those stores. They were specifically tailored to fit me and are the only pair of pants I did not have to discard post-pregnancy. I am so delighted to be able to wear them again.
3. The sweater, which is really lovely, will not remain buttoned. After the shower I gave up and changed into a blue Max Studio cowl neck t-shirt. The sweater will be washed and added to the charity pile.
4. I still hate showers.

37° Cloudy
Whitehall, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, April 04, 2014

Project 333 - Day 4

I feel as if I must explain that my jeans don't fall apart just because my thighs are enormous and can friction their way through denim.

When my employer moved into their current space, they inherited the furniture left by the prior business. This furniture included authentic Aeron chairs in each of the cubicles. Some of the employees lucky enough to be assigned to a cube disliked the chair, so they swapped with employees unfortunate enough to be assigned to one of the former lab spaces built in the interior of the building, far away from amenities such as working heat/ac and natural light.

I hope you have gathered by now that I worked in one of the former labs for over two years. It sucked. After the buyout of my employer by large international behemoth was complete, all of us working in the former labs were moved to empty cubes. I really need to write about the twisted politics that lead to the bulk of the engineering staff working in those rooms.

By trading, I managed to score a chair that cost more money then the powers-that-be put spent renovating the interior rooms. In the process I developed the habit of kicking off my shoes and sitting crossed legged on the chair.

The unholy alliance of quirky sitting habits, fat thighs and thinner material resulted in me trashing two pair of jeans in the past three weeks, due to tears on the inner left thigh. One pair was a complete loss. Both pairs were from the same manufacturer, so I will not be buying jeans from them again.

All of this meant I spent a fair amount of time scrutinizing my remaining jeans, evaluating which pair was least likely to call it quits on me today. I also checked my cottons/linen pants.

Today's Attire:
Calvin Klein jeans.
Cream Flexees tank. (I have two of these. Both badly need to be discarded due to some pretty serious under-arm staining)
White cotton t-shirt with burned-out illustration of a butterfly.
Lucky Brand embroidered blue leather belt.
Black Dansko clogs.
Gap 1969 denim jacket.
Lucky Brand scarf.

Jewelry:
Tag Heuer Carrera automatic
Engagement & wedding ring.
Baccarat Crystal Flower Pendant.
Sliver and red enameled ring.

Observations (10:38PM)
1. I felt very comfortable in my clothes today.

57° Mist and Fog
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Project 333 - Day 3

I am writing this at the allergist's office, waiting to be released after getting my shots. I will go to Starbucks, then back to work.

I had a difficult time getting up this morning. Wigford was silent, captivated (I hope) by a bird or other small creature. He has been incredibly lonely since Axel and Lucy died. Both of his buddies gone in a span of two years. I've wrestled with getting another cat, but I am starting to feel so much better now that the allergies are under control.

So the bed did not get made and my time in the shower stretched longer than usual. Two more pieces of clothing went into the charity pile - thin sweaters in peach and orange, colors that look truly awful on me. I am trying to be merciless.

Today's Attire:
Lucky Brand jeans.
Nude Flexees tank.
Cream Lucky Brand three-quarters sleeve blouse.
Gap brown leather belt.
Black Dansko clogs.
Slim, knee-length black leather coat.

Jewelry:
Tag Heuer Carrera automatic
Engagement & wedding ring.
Baccarat Crystal Pendant.

This morning it was more difficult to he dressed as I felt really lukewarm towards most of the options I had planned out in my head last night. The jeans and belt were easy, the shirt was difficult. For the past several years I've had an ongoing problem finding spring/summer shirts that I love. Getting rid of the ones that I bought in desperation to have something to wear feels really good.

There was also the issue of being sock less, as I forgot to throw the clothes in the dryer last night. So I had to dig up a pair of ankle socks I reserve for yoga.

Observations (1:06 PM)
1. I am not as comfortable today. Part of it is that I lost my jeans to my thighs after my allergy shot this morning. I sat down in my chair, tried to cross my legs and heard that oh-so-ominous tear.
2. The good news is that the jeans are salvageable for shorts. The bad is that this is the second pair, in the same brand, to fall apart on me at work in less than a month.
3. And the shirt, while adorable (and tear free) wrinkled very quickly.

40.4429° N, 80.0071° W

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Project 333 - Day 2

Every morning Wigford wakes me early with his meowing. Most mornings I end up spending upwards an hour dozing and returning to the same sad, intrusive thoughts while waiting for the alarm to go off. Since we moved to the new house, I end up rushed to get to work. So today I just got up and decided to write until the alarm.

Today's Attire (Planned):
Lauren jeans from Marshall's/TJ Maxx.
Black polka-dot Flexees tank.
Red, three-quarters length sleeve boat neck-ish shirt.
Lucky Brand embroidered blue leather belt.
Lucky Brand red, three-quarters length sleeve bolero.
Black Dansko clogs.
White raincoat.

Jewelry:
Tag Heuer Carrera automatic
Engagement & wedding ring.
Grey pearls (fake).
Silver and topaz ring.

Music This Morning:
David Grey. Mostly his moody, death ballads - Kathleen, Long Black Veil, Easy Way to Cry, The World to Me.

Additional Observations (1:10 PM)
1. I received a compliment from a coworker on the bolero. She thought I looked nice in.
2. I am much more comfortable in this outfit then I thought I would be.
3. Dark red is good color on me.
4. I should have left the raincoat at home.

50° Rain
Whitehall, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Project 333 - Day 1

In an attempt to get out of my own head and do something, even if it is something a lot of people would think is stupid and frivolous, I decided to give Project 333 (http://theproject333.com) a shot.

One of the things that has been bugging me is that I seem to have lost my inner sense of style. F0r the past few years, most of my clothing choices have been dictated by fear of judgement over my overweight body, flabby belly, fat ankles and sagging face.

I read an article on xoJane yesterday called 8 Essential Basics for Spring Even Though Basics Are Boring And Spring's Never Coming. There were several photographs of the author. She was tattooed and chubby and looked like an incredibly bad-assed, happy woman in her clothes. That is what I want.

Project 333 is a minimalist fashion challenge - wear the same 33 items for 3 months, focusing on the clothes you love.

Included: shoes, jewelry, scarves and outerwear.
Excluded: undergarments, hosiery, sentimental jewelry (such as a wedding ring) workout gear, and pajamas.

Jewelry should be easy, I wear the same pieces almost every day. I rotate some, but not much. I really need to look at selling several pieces that I never wear any longer.

Scarves, gloves and hats (especially cold weather gear) will be difficult, as I like having a variety to choose from.
Instead of choosing 33 items right away, I am going to spend this week culling my clothes down. If it does not fit or looks even remotely ridiculous, into the Goodwill bag it goes right away.

Lessons Learned Today
1. The two long skirts that I purchased last summer look terrible on me. Too tight in the hips, too long in the length. When I purchased them, I was desperate to find something right then to replace the one I tore earlier that day. Into the Goodwill bag they went.
2. I excluded Flexees tanks from the 33, as I wear them under everything.
3. I feel weird wearing the leggings, but they are really comfortable.

Today's Attire:
Purple three-quarters sleeve cotton cardigan.
Gray XCVI skirt.
Gray Flexees tank.
Gray sheer leggings.
Flower-patterned Marimekko Chucks.
No socks, as it is April 1!

Jewelry:
Tag Heuer Carrera automatic watch.
Baccarat iridescent crystal pendant.
Engagement & wedding ring.
Silver deco ring.
Works of Man titanium and sterling bangle.

Additional Observations (6:42PM)
1. The leggings were fun and comfortable, but would work better with a narrower skirt.
2. I was not as self-conscious of my ankles.
3. J said I had a Pippi look going between the leggings, the bright shoes and pendant. He meant it as a compliment.
4. The hostess at Eat N Park liked my pendant and shoes.


45° Clear
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Thursday, March 13, 2014

I AM

A really crappy excuse for a human being.
I said something horrible to my child in a moment of anger.
I can't take it back.
And it was the truth, not the whole truth, a small part of a much larger, more complicated truth. But it was the worst part of the larger, more complicated truth.

It came from the relentless voice, small, sneaky, in the corner of my brain that likes to remind me that I will never, ever be good enough and doesn't understand why I try.
The disappointed part.
The analytical part, the one that tries to figure out why I can't seem to connect and build friendships with the women around me, in spite of my honest efforts.

This is the part that makes me seem cold, because I don't want to come off as too eager.
This is the part that makes me seem distant, because I don't want to end up self-centered.
This is the part that makes me seem quiet, because I fear my questions will be intrusive.

This part gets louder every time I try to make a playdate with a kid's mom, or a woman friend for some girl time, only to be ditched at the last minute.
This part gets louder every time I try to make plans, only to hear the word no.

I know how that voice got here. I know that it comes from all those years trying to navigate a social environment in which not matter what I did, it was wrong.

I hate that voice. I hate what it is still doing to me, at forty years old. I hate that repeated attempts at therapy have only achieved in silencing it for short periods of time.

I am trying so hard to get healthy again. Subjecting myself to injections every week to get rid of the allergies that have come close to crippling my life. There is so much in my life that is good right now, yet I can't seem to cease the act of self-sabotage.

I don't know what to do any more.