25 August 2009

Searching for Size 2

I admire how guys shop. They can go into a store, go directly to what they need, get what they need, and be back in the car in five minutes. That’s how I like to think I shop, but last weekend, I got sucked into a shopping vortex that lasted for three strange days. It all started on a sunny Saturday afternoon...

I needed interview/work clothes quickly, and I didn’t want to risk something not fitting, so I decided to visit an actual store rather than shop online. I breezed into Macy’s thinking I would grab some career pants and skirts in size 2, try them on, and be out of there. The glum-faced men waiting for their wives would gape in awe as I blazed by, and the women would secretly suspect I was transsexual. But nooo-no, none of that fun stuff happened, because there was nothing below size 4 except in petites, juniors, and the INC line. I’m 5’8”, 39 years old, and not feeling INC, so none of those worked for me.

Undeterred, I ventured back out on Sunday and tried the discount/off-season/overstock approach. I found one single solitary pant in size 2, and the legs were uneven. *sigh*

On Monday, back at the mall, I found some size 2s scattered throughout a few stores, but selections were limited, or things didn’t fit, or prices were too high, or quality was too low. Wondering whether to wear my size 8 pants (creatively belted?) or my khaki Capris (with heels and a jacket?) to the interviews, I dragged myself into the last shop on my itinerary, Ann Taylor LOFT. Boy did I hit pay dirt. They had plenty of things in my size, well made and well fitting, and I could actually afford them! Bless those people, and bless my friend Kristin for suggesting them.

Whether the dearth of 0s and 2s in stores is size discrimination or simply supply and demand in action, it is frustrating. Are we not supposed to be smaller than size 4, even when the size 4 of today is the size 8 of ten or twenty years ago? Where are we going with this, people? Can somebody please start making career wear in children’s sizes, just in case?

18 August 2009

Seeing the Light

This was not my first visit to the Morris Museum of Art, but it was the first wherein I actually looked at all of the art. The Morris collects only Southern art, thus they have one of the largest (if not the largest) Southern art collections in the world.

During my first visit to the museum, I learned that the impressionist movement made its way to the American South in the late 1800s, and many impressionist works were created here. Of course, those works don’t all reside at the Morris, but several do.

Then, during this week’s visit, I discovered a style of painting that had somehow eluded me all these years: luminism. There’s a neo-impressionist version of luminism as well as an American version, the latter of which was an offshoot of the Hudson River School (also new to me). The American version focuses on the use of light in landscapes, specifically, while the neo-impressionist version focuses on light in general.

Since light is important in many (or all?) styles of painting, I was surprised to learn there’s a style that focuses specifically on light, and I love that it’s related to impressionism (i.e., emotion). I adore modern art, but impressionist art is possibly my favorite, and the dreamier it is, the better. I like expressionist art too, which is also about feeling, albeit with darker, more existentialist leanings. Impressionism’s pale pink lilies are expressionism’s shadowy trees full of secrets, and I like both depictions of life—the light and the dark.

So now I’m thinking there should be a modern style that blends expressionism, impressionism, and a bit of luminism. Light made brighter by shadow, and shadow made darker by light, but with edges more soft than stark. The film noir of painting, but lighter than Goya’s Peintures Noires. Does such a thing exist? If not, let the eximluminism movement begin.

11 August 2009

Reading the Tea Leaves

My friend Lisabel recently asked me what my greatest joy moment was for that day. I had to think about it, because I’m generally so grateful for the many joy moments in a day, I wouldn’t dare compare them. Not even sure I could. But sometimes, I’ve discovered, moments do stand out.

Remember those free samples I talked about in a previous post? That was how it started, and that was how I found myself with three types of Yogi Tea to try. After some deliberation (and sniffing), I decided to try Himalayan Apple Spice first. I opened the paper pouch, pulled out the teabag, and relished the enticing scent—appley and spicy, just like the name says. Ooh this is gonna be good. Then I noticed a tiny message on the paper that holds the string. It simply said, “Love your soul.”

I mean, isn’t that what we all need to do—love our souls? And wouldn’t you love to say that to someone, or hear them say it to you? Seriously sweet. My other teabag messages were precious too. The second was, “Every heartbeat creates a miracle,” and the third was, “Your infinity in you is the reality in you.” Awww...

Thanks Yogi, for the tea and the joy. :)

04 August 2009

Rediscovering the Dollar Movies

It was Saturday afternoon before I realized I hadn’t planned anything New for the weekend. Hadn’t even looked at the Metro Spirit calendar. After a few wide-eyed seconds, I remembered I have backup New Things for precisely this type of crisis situation. I exhaled. The time had come at last to rediscover the dollar movies... or the $1.99 movies. I hadn’t been in nearly a decade.

I checked showtimes online and was all set to see either Terminator Salvation or The Taking of Pelham 123, but I meandered and then had unexpected parking difficulties, due to 300 other people having the same idea I had. By the time I reached the ticket window, can you guess what was playing? Yep, Drag Me to Hell. Not my first choice, but I was grateful it wasn’t a kiddie movie. I figured it might even be fun.

It turned out to be more fun than I expected. There were a few jokesters in the audience whose one-liners and sound effects turned the movie into a comedy. My cheeks were hurting from laughing so much. I don’t think that’s the effect director Sam Raimi intended, but I suspect even he would’ve been laughing. Plus, comedy aside, the film was a lot more entertaining than much of what I’ve seen lately.

I look forward to seeing more $1.99 movies, and I hope the same silly people are in the audience from time to time. I don’t know who they are, but I like them.