Sunday, October 31, 2010

Off To The Military Ball

I know I threatened to wear trashtastic faux-military garb to the Military Ball, but let's face it: a middle-aged woman in an outfit like that is an invitation to a party nobody wants to go to.

My fairy godsister Rachel came through on short notice with this toile-printed dress. I chose to pair it with a cardigan and stockings because although I know it's more trendy to wear a boobie dress and bare legs, the temperatures were in the forties last night. I don't mind having my feet hurt for fashion, but I hate being cold.

Rachel also sent me some Moroccan Oil, which helped to get my hair smooth instead of curly. Be very impressed - that's a 45 minute hairdo right there. You won't be seeing it again any time soon.

What I'm wearing:
Dress by Mystic, borrowed from my awesome sister Rachel
Sweater by Mag Couture, purchased from
Shoes (even though you can't see them) by Mootsies Tootsies
Vintage jewelry, belonged to my Gram
Vintage handbag, belonged to my Gram

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

That'll Learn Him

A few days ago - on Saturday, October 16, to be exact - the Army Dude blithely told me that he is expected to go to the Military Ball and he needs a date. On October 30th. He was certain it wouldn't be a problem. Surely I have something in my closet that would be perfect for the event. "Don't stress," he said.

Don't stress? Clearly, the Army Dude doesn't know me all that well. If the invitation says "Flannel Pajamas," I have a multitude of options. But for a ball? Not so much. I didn't just stress, I hyperventilated and began plotting his murder.

Fortunately, this little number will be perfect. After all, you can't spell Army Sergeant without a little T and A, amirite?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Creeping Crud

What do Old Maids do when we don't feel well? We catch up on our reading, of course.

You know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men: that it's all well and fine as long as you are feeling well and fine. Or something like that.

I had a long list of Things To Accomplish this weekend. I woke up yesterday full of motivation, and then around nine o'clock, I started feeling... not well. I took a nap. I woke up feeling... still not well. I took my temperature, and it was as high as other people's normal body temperature so clearly, I was sick. I looked around at everything that needed doing and thought "Oh, the hell with it," gathered up my reading material, and hit the couch.

The more sharp-eyed among my gentle readers will notice that there is way more material in this photograph than can be read in an afternoon -- particularly since my NOOK has approximately ten books that have been downloaded but are still marked "new." But I always find it comforting to be surrounded by books. I browsed through magazines, I read a chapter or two of The Peabody Sisters of Salem. I napped again. I read a little more. It was actually quite pleasant despite the fact that I had a headache and body aches.

Note to self: Add "spend an afternoon on the couch reading whatever you damn well please" to the list of winter projects. Why should I only do that when I'm feeling lousy and can't fully enjoy it?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Witch Auntie?

For some reason, I've recently developed an aversion to garlic.

The Army Dude and I went to Salem, MA on Monday. That's right, we went to a tourist destination on a holiday weekend. I don't know what I was thinking. Actually, I do - I was thinking that the town would be filled with professorial types in sensible shoes and cardigans with elbow patches taking advantage of a day off from school to revel in colonial history. I was wrong.

It was filled with the same sorts of people who visit every other tourist spot. Loud people. People who wander out into traffic. People who say to their children "witches believe..." and then get it completely wrong.

The performance artist was great, though. The picture doesn't really do her makeup and costume justice.

My nickname at work is Fatima. As in Our Lady of. If I have to explain to you why that is the best nickname ever, it's not going to be funny any more.

I tried to convince the Army Dude to get a Tarot card reading, or his palm read, or a picture taken of his aura. No luck. Capricorns. They are so sensible.

This very pretty headstone is in the noisiest graveyard in Christendom. Seriously, there were people all over the place. Kids were running around and climbing trees. There was a loudspeaker announcing the times for tours of a nearby attraction. It was like a carnival, but with gravestones. You'll note that Mistress Higginson's stone does not say "rest in peace." Good thing, because she isn't getting any.

Eventually I had to mentally block out my fellow tourists because they were getting on my nerves. I tried to focus on the history and architecture, like this door on the house at number ten Chestnut Street. It's not every day you see a doorknocker wearing a tricorn hat.

Or this building, which had a pagoda-like feel to it and I have no idea why. It was pretty, though.

Over all, we didn't get more than a smattering of history, and what we did get I already knew. So our trip to Salem was not the learning experience I'd hoped for. We didn't even go the the House of Seven Gables, because it turns out the Army Dude still harbors some resentment against Nathaniel Hawthorne for a little book you may have heard of called The Scarlet Letter, which the Army Dude was forced to read in high school.

My friends, I was not about to argue with an Army Dude who has been nursing a grudge for thirty years.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Hookt On Fonix

I took this picture across the street from the Common Burying Ground, which has graves dating back to the colonial period.
Here's a little tip, kids:
If you are trying to convince people by means of your edgy and original graffiti that satanic cults not only exist, but they increase their activity right before Halloween, spelling counts.

Saturday, October 02, 2010


I've been MIA for a week or so. I know, I know, you've missed me dreadfully and have been bearing up bravely in my absence. But I have excuses reasons! Things have been busy here at the Old Maid HQ: ballet has started up again, so I've been making groaning noises like an old lady every time I have to move; my young giant of a nephew turned fifteen; and my brother visited from LA for a few days.

There has been, in short, a great deal of merrymaking going on - including, but not limited to, getting thrown out of one of Providence's more pretentious and down-at-the-heel dining establishments. I'm exhausted.

I'm also working on a list of Winter Projects - or, to be perfectly accurate, a list of things I've been putting off with the excuse that the weather is too nice to bother with them. Here it is, in no particular order:

1. Clean the apartment top to bottom - REALLY top to bottom, not just dusting and vacuuming the areas that can be seen and praying that my visitors don't look too closely.
2. Catch up on hand washing. I might want to wear some wool sweaters still sitting in that particular hamper.
3. Make jewelry. I'm already getting Christmas present hints, and I've promised my brother's girlfriend a bracelet.
4. Reorganize and purge bookshelves. About once a year, I realize that books are taking up almost every horizontal space in my apartment and something must be done. I purge, I donate, I send books to friends, I recycle. And then I buy more books. This may at some point require a 12-step program.

I'm thinking about a new system, wherein I get rid of not just the duds I will never read again, but also anything by Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and the like. It's about time I got over the need to prove that I Read Literature by having classics on my shelves that I can get easily at the library. Let the library store them, I say. They have more space.

In addition to making merry and making lists, I've been spent many a happy hour procrastinating while reading Got Medieval, a very funny blog by a guy working on his PhD in medieval studies. That's right, he's a medievalist. And he's funny. It surprised me too.