[Fashion Binge.]

The worst part about having a shopping addiction problem is when the items you want have a legitimate place in your wardrobe.

A couple weeks ago the boyfriend and I went out to a lovely Italian restaurant in SF (the Magic Flute, which was supremely awesome, I do recommend it) and I was faced with the fact that my “going” out wardrobe needs updating, or expanding. I’ve been so busy with my work-looks (i.e. looking just-so while hopefully expanding the minds of college freshmen) that I forgot all about the equally important night-look! Granted, I usually spend Saturday nights watching Criminal Minds and eating soy ice-cream due to the “convenient” schedule of said boyfriend, who works as a residential youth counselor, but still! Add to that the fact that I recently dropped several dress-sizes, which means that basically most of my clothes are a bit bigger on me, which for going-out is not so good.

A girl needs options!

But when such options are not used every day, there’s no point in over-spending, and I if anything a smart shopper (except I will never embrace my mother’s adage that you can save 100% off an item if you don’t buy it at all – no fun). I was quite happy to snag a deal on this shirt, with silver-white beading instead of grey. Just loose enough to balance a super-tightly dressed lower half. ($19.99 marked down from $88 – it’s like a drug!) Quotation: Matty M Jersey Tank with Beaded Neckline

(Maybe you see where I’m going…) This isn’t the exact skirt, but similar…and so cute! It actually unzips though, which means I have to wear the zipper on the front, otherwise bad things could…happen.

Jack BB Dakota-The Shanae Skirt in Black

I also tried on  several spectacular-looking shoes, but ultimately chickened out – you see, I’ve had mixed opinions about the “latest” shoes, the ones that are sky high with hidden platforms and insane strappiness. You’ve seen the like, I’m sure. (Still can’t get on board with the whole “caged-in” look)GraysonThey just seem impractical, and too extreme. But things are changing, and now I am in need. Maybe Lady Gaga is sneaking in somewhere. Tried on a pair of black-patent Nine West (not expensive, a plus) sandals with a platform and what must be 5 inch heels, at least, and I was surprised at how comfortable they were, due to the platform, I’m sure.

Nine West Women's Elkie Platform Sandal

But these seem a bit better to me, more wearable (though the pair I tried on had a different ankle strap, this one seems less flattering). The only problem with heels this high, even though they’e do-able (ha, ha ha) you have to walk different, and I’m a fast-walker by nature, not used to being slowed down by anything over 4 inches. Nine West Hambert

So I think I might be able to rock this pair in “real life” more easily – plus, they’re blue! I don’t have any blue shoes…..yet……

But then again, don’t these look practical to you? Basic black, un-adorned, simple? Perfect for any occasion and season? Yes? Really?

(Did I mention they were Prada? Does that change your answer?)

Now let me ask you, is is wrong to spend an entire month of graduate student-teacher’s salary on a pair of Prada platform crisscross sandals that may or may not be in next season?

[Yes. Dammit.]

I’m putting the word out there, fashion gods. Send me the perfect pair of platform sandals – oh, and if they could be on sale and versatile, that would be great.

Because sometimes a grad student needs to put down the books, and go out. In the perfect pair of shoes. How else can we change the image of people who read too many books?


It should come as no suprise- after all I’ve been devouring (with an intense literary appetite) Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings for years. But, on a whim, I picked up the latest craze and decided to read. Fast forward to 3 am that night, and I am fully involved in Twilight. And why? If you aren’t really into books and I can’t quite begin to explain. But – I did find this lovely quote

“Meyer and Rowling do share two important traits. Both writers embed their fantasy in the modern world–Meyer’s vampires are as deracinated and contemporary as Rowling’s wizards. And people do not want to just read Meyer’s books; they want to climb inside them and live there. James Patterson may sell more books, but not a lot of people dress up like Alex Cross. There’s no literary term for the quality Twilight and Harry Potter (and The Lord of the Rings) share, but you know it when you see it: their worlds have a freestanding internal integrity that makes you feel as if you should be able to buy real estate there.”

And, although Meyer’s books are quite “clean” in that kids won’t really get what all is going on, underneath “they are absolutely, deliciously filthy”(according to newsweek). Honestly there is some raw emotion being expressed there, even if there isn’t that much physical touching. But, in my opinion, those books that make you feverishly turn the page just hoping that something will happen between the couple can be much more erotic that when you get every detail. Besides – I’m sure there are many fanfic people out there writing enough sultry material to satisfy any over-curious reader.

I did find Meyer’s religious background a bit unsettling at first, after all I didn’t expect her to be Mormon when I was reading, especially compared to other works that have been written by very religious writers. Some Christian fiction can be so heavy in ellusions to what a ‘proper’ Chrisitan should be that the text loses it ease, and trades effortless narration for overwrought prose. However, aside from the no sex till marriage thing I haven’t found anything nagging. In fact, the sheer force of the book is enough for me to forget the author entirely. Honestly, the few Mormons I actually ever knew were a bit odd, and weren’t allowed to go to dances or even group dates, which seemed silly. (But then, these people may have been odd all on their own, faith excluding.) One family would stand in their driveway every October 31st, saying “We don’t celebrate Halloween” to trick-or-treaters. I’m glad to see that Meyer has not shyed away from anything supernatural, but rather embraces it, and even prefers it to humanity.

There is an odd effect produced when a book attempts to appeal to both teens and adults alike, like Harry Potter and Twilight. Somehow there is a fairytale-like sense of realism where things can happen which we yearn for but know can’t happen, for whatever reason. And it is odd that in this realm of magic and vampires that readers can find actual human passion and truth, in their most basic form. And I think that is what grasps the modern reader. So many more realistic adult novels are wonderfully expressive, dark or not, but some lose that universality that comes from more fantastic stories.

In any case, these books have a hold on me, as many already do. I have already “devoured” (sorry, couldn’t help it) the first two books, two to go. And I’m quite happy that I came upon this series late in the game, because there is NO WAITING! The final book comes out in ONE day, and I already reserved it. No more waiting for years….because waiting for Harry Potter was tortuous enough.

All this excitement about books has me extremely encouraged, because it means the public can finally get excited about something that doesn’t have to be plugged in. It means that literature still has a power over us…

…It means there is hope that someday, after all my years of pricey education, that there will be a job waiting. It means there is hope for humanity.

Last year, I read an article which declared that this was the year where “Harry Potter Saved Reading.” I sincerly hope this is true – that people are reaching past television and video games for something more substantial, something that can reach our minds, and persuade them to come alive.