Stone cold frozen

Today is just one of those days when everything seems too awful to function. I’m supposed to be finishing my part of a year-long project that was due yesterday (in fact, should have been done weeks or months ago….) and I’m sitting at my desk, paralyzed and crying re: the NEH, the families of Manchester, this woman/mother/grandmother/wonderful letter writer, and just feeling everything too much, in that “maybe I should leave work and go pick up my kid right now because I can’t shake this pound of dread in my gut that something awful is going to happen before I can get to her” kind of way.

Is it only Tuesday?

I’ve encountered two things today that are helping me power through, and that also seem in direct tension with one another:

What If We Cultivated Our Ugliness? or: The Monstrous Beauty of Medusa” by Jess Zimmerman–about owning yourself and your power; agency through ugliness–and, well, “Put on Your Sunday Clothes,” which is all about fancying up on the outside to force momentum on the inside. Well, and Babs, which may be the real point.

Today my Tuesday clothes are all black head-to-toe with an oversized sage green men’s travel shirt (my dad’s) and a wide black belt.

Photo on 5-23-17 at 4.30 PM

According to a co-worker (who never fails to notice my fashion choices in the worst way possible, like telling me that my yellow wool coat evokes Dick Tracy, rather than Audrey Hepburn in Charade. Problem was, he’s not wrong…), I look like a jaunty swashbuckler.

Unfortunately I was kind of going for, like, Doris Day doing casual yardwork.

So. All this to say, not a lot of buckle swashing going on round these parts, despite all effort to the contrary.



At Clog Last…

Photo on 5-26-16 at 10.50 PM #3Great news! I finally got some clunky, Danish-style clogs. So I guess I can (finally!) be a real librarian now.

What I’m wearing:

  • J.Jill taupe jersey blazer thing, gift from MIL ca. 2012
  • Burgundy swingy tank top thing, Target, 2006 (oh God this tank top is 10 years old probably not OK to wear to work…)
  • Black linen cropped pants, Old Navy, 2016
  • Sanita “Professional Dream Work” (a-what now?) clog in in red

These shoes come in European sizes and I am almost certain I should have sized up. I normally wear 8 1/2. Tried a “40,” which seemed like the right conversion, but it felt like a boat on my foot, so went 39, which at least stayed on. But now after a day of wear, they seem pretty snug. Oh well: we’ll let ’em break in, stretch, etc.

Last night at DSW I was supposed to be getting new gym shoes, but I put them back in order to justify purchasing these.

I felt remarkably steady on my feet this morning as I crashed down the steps with three bags and a toddler on my hip, but then, wouldn’t you know it, later in the day I completely tripped and rolled my ankle while carrying nothing at all. So, you know. Walking: still dangerous.

Snazz Matazz

This is my first week back in the office full time. And yesterday, my co-worker told me I looked “snazz matazz”:


“And with a kid on my arm I’m still an exceptional earner” ~Britney

  • Luna Claire dress, purchased at a boutique in uptown Normal, IL, gift from my mother-in-law ca. 2014. This dress has a super wide neckline and low cut back. In the past, I always found this a frustrating reason not to wear it. I have to have excellent posture all the time or it slips off my shoulders, and I HAVE to wear a tank top under it. But today, I discovered that this is a feature, not a bug. Is it unexpectedly hot out? Just push the neckline off your sholulders, shimmy out of the bodice, and and tie the sleeves around your waist. Boom!
  • Navy “tami” tank top, Old Navy, 2013. Because it’s necessary, as above.
  • Purple 3/4-length-sleeve shrug, Coldwater Creek, 2007. This was purchased to wear over a strapless dress for my college graduation. Waste not want not! Don’t remember the last time I wore this, but it comes in handy. Just dug it out of the “summer box” was reminded of its existence last week..
  • Navy tights, Meijer or something, 2014. By the end of the day it was waaaaaay too hot for tights, but needed them in th echilly
  • Purple Doc Martens, Oxford, 2013. Don’t leave home without ’em!
  • Babe! 2015. This is after we picked her up from daycare, where she was stripped of her long-sleeved onesie layer and socks. Who needs ’em?

Normally navy and purple is probably not a thing I would do. But I followed the dress’s lead and we all survived.


I started this blog just over a year ago, mainly as a way to distract myself through the last gasps of winter.

Then in December I wore myself out getting a little too into Christmas.

Then I wore the same thing every day for four months. Thanks winter!

Then I plotted my return to Chameleon with lots of useful, interesting, and personal things, from “my love affair with my purple Docs” to “how I pack for hitting the gym before work” to “can anyone help me mash up This Old Heart of Mine and Back in My Arms Again?” to an obituary for my parents’ dog, Buddy, who died unexpectedly the first week in January. And other things, too.

Some of these things may still make it to the blog one of these days. But what I really wanted to share with you today is just this: when I was in elementary school I really, really, really wanted a brightly colored silk shirt. Some of my friends had them and I would always be creepy and annoying by asking repeatedly to touch their sleeves.

Anyway, now I have one:

  • Photo on 4-28-14 at 8.46 AMSilk floral button-down shirt, found at The GetUp Vintage, Ann Arbor, April 2014
  • Yellow V-neck pullover sweater, Orchid Lane, Ann Arbor, April 2014
  • Bootcut Sweetheart Jeans, Old Navy, January 2014
  • Purple Dr. Marten 1460 boots, Oxford, September 2013

And if anyone wants to pet my sleeve, I’ll totally let you.

Being a grown-up is awesome.

Tartan it up

Photo on 1-10-14 at 9.55 AM #2Thanks to the polar vortex, from Saturday-Thursday last week I wore basically the same uniform of scarf-turtleneck-sweatdress-skinny jeans-snowboots every day. But then on Friday, the universe thawed out just enough for me to try something a little different.

  • Plaid jacket, Christopher & Banks, thrifted by my mother-in-law, handed off to me December 2013.  This jacket is an XL. Not quite sure how that works, except as an object lesson that sizes are meaningless. I did look up Christopher & Banks, though, and it looks like they have lines for misses (what are misses, exactly? I’ve never really understood that) and petites, so maybe that’s what this is. The sleeves are a touch short…
  • Blue ponte fit’n’flare dress, Old Navy, Janary 2014. My favorite fit and fabric for casual dresses in the universe. So comfortable, so flattering. Basically I buy one of these every time I walk into Old Navy.
  • Yellow belt, neighborhood yard sale spring 2012. I think I paid $.50 for it. One of the few belts I really like to wear. What do you do with dresses and belts, though? How do you stop the tail from flapping around?
  • Black fleece-lined tights, Meijer, fall 2013. Just buy a dozen of these for yourself and everyone you know.

Photo on 1-10-14 at 9.54 AM

  • Red suede boots, on clearance at DSW, January 2014. Originally priced around $100, they were 50% off, and then another 30% off of that. As marched around DSW like I owned the place, Sam said, “$35 for something that makes you that happy? Seems like a good deal.” He doesn’t like shopping and he doesn’t like spending money and he doesn’t care for shoes. Which is why I usually go to DSW by myself. So we just hit on a lucky day, I guess.
  • Unfortunate flipped out hair. Sigh.