Monday, March 26, 2012

I'm heading out of town tomorrow. I'll be back East, in Philadelphia, on business, Wednesday through Friday. I booked an extra day (Saturday) and worked in some blocks of free time between meetings to spend time with my brothers and their families, but so far, only a cousin and a friend from here (who just moved there) have asked to spend time with me. My deal was that I would make it the first few thousand miles if they would close the gap and come the last 40.

If they blow me off, I guess I'll go to the art museum on Saturday. Not sure what I'll do Saturday night. Ah, dysfunctional families. I never feel so unloved and unwanted as I do in the presence of my disdainful family.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Brainucopia is far from empty

It's possible that the Brainucopia has never been so copiously full of thoughts. Between having a new computer along with a Nook, I've been spending a lot of time reading. Reading, reading, reading. I've read a few books, as I posted recently, but I've been reading magazines, blogs, new sites, and lots of Twitter posts. Twitter is oddly addicting for me.

My new favorite blog is Jezebel. It's what I long wished this blog would be, but I"m not that clever, witty, informed, or angry. Great stuff over there.

Topics filling the Brainucopia:
  • Women's reproductive rights and the massive assault from the social conservatives and hypocritical evangelical Christian machine. (Kudos to Gary Trudeau on addressing this so scathingly in the past week's Doonesbury strip.)
  •  Women as human beings and the assault on that from Republicans, the social conservatives and the hypocritical evangelical Christian machine.
  • Wishing that Rick Perry and Rick Santorum would just evaporate in their own Rapture for two. Hey, it's 2012. Maybe it can be just the end of their world. If I believed in god, I'd pray for them to be swooped off into the afterlife so they could take their sanctimonious, woman-demeaning crap somewhere else.
  • Trying not to hyperventilate when I hear Rick Santorum say things like this: "When people read the Constitution and say, 'Oh, we get our rights from the Constitution,' that is wrong. The Constitution does not give us rights. It recognizes rights that are written on our heart because we are a creature of God. That's where we get our rights from." (This one kept me awake almost an entire night).
  • The fact that there are people who fervently hope Santorum will become president of the United States. This gives me stomach knots.
  • People blowing each other up all over the world. This is still a really hard one for me. I just want it to stop.
  • Iran. Anything about Iran.
  • Super PACs and how unfairly they're dragging us into a plutocracy.
  • Shopping for a modest dress that isn't made of matte jersey and doesn't show any cleavage and has sleeves. Is this really so much to ask?
 I offset the intensity of NPR, The Economist, The Atlantic, The New York Times, Jezebel, Slate, NBC Nightly News, and The Daily Show (yes, TDS because at its heart, it's dead-on in identifying the bullshit of the political world) by checking in every day with the blog, "Crazy Days and Nights." Celebrity gossip hasn't been my thing for a really long time, but it works for me at the moment, even though I don't know who half of the celebrities are. This is kind of shocking to me, considering how much television I watch. Too much HGTV, not enough scripted dramas.

So many thoughts, so little power to influence the outcomes of the situations that trouble me so deeply.


Usually, my clothes shopping frustration is related to not being able to find pants that fit. I seem to be OK with pants for the moment, although I do resent having to hem anything I buy. Regular length are too long, but the petite (or short) length is always too short.

On my agenda lately: Dress shopping. I have very specific requirements: No matte jersey or other clingy fabric. Knee length. Not form-fitting or sheath-style. Must be machine washable. No cross-over style at the top because then I have to wear a camisole and I don't want another layer. No buttons all the way down the front. Preferably an empire waist. No cleavage showing. Most important of all, though...The dress must have sleeves. Real sleeves. They can be short sleeves, 3/4 sleeves, or long sleeves. No cap sleeves, no fluttery sleeves, no see-through or split sleeves.

I hate my upper arms. Even at my absolute fittest when I worked out every day and did weight training, my upper arms looked big and soft, belying the muscle tone in the biceps and triceps.Not only that, but I get cold easily. As difficult as it is to find a modest but cute dress--not too dressy, not too casual--finding an evening or cocktail dress with sleeves is nearly impossible--even in the dead of winter. Have sleeves suddenly become too expensive to produce?

My wedding dress had sleeves. Short sleeves. It was a long search. Long sleeves would have been OK, too, but I could only find dresses with illusion fabric for sleeves, which was as effective as no sleeves at all. It wasn't at all dowdy, but it had sleeves. I loved my dress.

What is it with fashion designers that has caused this wholesale rejection of sleeves? In a nation where more people are overweight than ever, I would expect that many women feel as I do.

I've noticed that the mini-sweater and the shrug are gaining popularity. You wear it over your sleeveless dress to make up for the fact that the dress doesn't cover your arms. I don't want a shrug. I don't want another layer. I want sleeves.

I want dresses I can dress up or dress down. Criteria: Fashionable, cute, modest neckline, easy to move in, easy to wash, not maxi, not spaghetti strapped, not dressy, not ready for the beach, comfortable, and with sleeves. Here are some dresses that work or almost work. These are from Mikarose, Jen Clothing, and Land's End. I bought the last two from Land's End. They were overpriced for the less-than-impressive quality and the fuchsia one makes me look like I have a bun in the oven, but they're the closest I could get to what I wanted. And no matte jersey in sight!