Wednesday, May 30, 2007

the 3-piece suit

It all started with Lakshmi and me talking about my favorite male, red-headed thespian, and voilà, here I am drooling over Paul Smith's collections of two years ago! How does this happen??

I like some of the cuts from the `07 and `06 collections, but the muted tones aren't doing much for me.

I remembered this clip from Agatha Christie's "Five Little Piggies," and how awesome Toby Stephens looks in a 3-piece suit. Frankly, the scene where he's at the window makes me weak in the knees, but that's another story.

Seriously, when will the 3-piece come back as the staple of men's fashion? I can take or leave hats, but the put-together suit, with contrasting tie or shirt are just drop-dead gorgeous. When will they realize it?? And sweaters on men, just look fantastic. Again, see the Christie clip to see what I'm talking about.

Paul Smith's womens' collection is phenomenal too. I love the bold colors of 2005! And the tartan.... oh, to be independently wealthy!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Nice Toes!

It's that time of year again, time for the weekly or so pedicure. I didn't used to believe in the necessity of toenail decoration, but an older co-worker, Terri, introduced me to the concept, and I've never looked back. She wears a frosted violet on her toenails, and rarely touches it up. But you know what? Nobody notices that it's a little chipped here and there, all they notice is a hot woman in her late 50's with pretty toes! And that's when I had my Eureka! moment. I had always felt self-conscious about my feet (who doesn't I guess, right?). But now I had found a way to make a liability an asset. And let me tell you, I've gone to town with it!

See, I don't go out for pedicures, I do them at home, mostly because of stinginess and paranoia on my part. So, I have all sorts of tools, lotions, potions, foot tubs, and of course color choices!

Unlike make-up, where I have moved away from the cheap drug-store variety, nail polish, in my opinion, should be cheap - because they all chip the same, no matter what the label says. My favorite brand was always Wet 'n' Wild, the 99 cent variety, until the consumer value store where I shop no longer carried it. Now they carry "NYC" brand. So, that's my current brand of choice.

I use two base coats of nail strengthener, since my nails tend to tear, one coat applied vertically, the other horizontally, to make the nails stronger. This also cuts down on toenail discoloration that can happen when you use dark colors, like I do. Then my color, at least 2 coats. Then clear, which I make sure to brush all the way over the end of the nail, to try to keep it from chipping as long as possible. So, the pedi lasts about 2 weeks. I don't try to match my color to my outfits. And I don't do my finger nails, since I do too much with my hands, and I hate how chipped fingernail polish looks. That's the beauty of the pedicure - no one notices the little flaws, and the overall effect is so excellent!

John William Waterhouse: Sweet Summer - 1912, Oil on canvas, Private Collection, actual size: (W x H): 84 cm x 38 cm, from

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Stop the World I Want to Get Off!

Lots has been happening in my life recently, and I'm feeling overwhelmed. And not in a good way, like Jane Eyre when Mr. Rochester asks her, "Well, are you OverWhelmed?" [sigh]

The last time I felt like this I made a plan to go to a monastery with my friend, Ladybird. I picked a place that would be relatively convenient for both of us, but far enough away to let us feel truly relaxed. We ended up going to Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, NY. We had a great, reflective, relaxing time.

I had wanted to visit and stay at a monastery for years. I love the idea of removing oneself from the world for a little while, and rejuvenating. I love the history and the tradition of hospitality and service at a monastery. The attention to the passing of time, the hours of the day. The nourishment of the body [the food was excellent!] and the soul. And being forced to acknowledge God every few hours, really brings life into perspective.

It made me realize very quickly that I could not be a monk or a nun. I need to live in the world. But I also need to get away from the world every now and then. I need to be forced to remember God.

We worked on praying while we were there, it became our main objective. There are little silent chapels in the "crypt" at Holy Cross. Ladybird and I went and decided to try meditation/prayer for half an hour before the vespers service. Neither of us felt very proficient at it beforehand. But we worked out a mantra, "God's will." Kind of like how you have a mantra in yoga, and it helped us to keep our minds focused. We didn't end up following each idea that surfaced like a rabbit down a hole. It was relaxing and uplifting at the same time.

I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Catherine of Alexandria

Rough week at work.

It seems to be working out. I'm finding all sorts of help in places I wouldn't have expected.

God is all around.

Keep me in your prayers!