Thursday, May 25, 2017

Life Update

Hey! I promise that my blog still exists and that I'm still alive. Look, I even have a pin to prove it:

Appropriately, I took this photo while waiting outside my therapist's office.

However, posts have been scarce this month for a few reasons:

  • I don't know where my money will come from after August, where I'll be living, or whether I'll even stay in academia, so most of my energy has been devoted to sorting that out
  • I'll probably be defending my dissertation in a few months and it needs a lot of editing plus an introduction, hahaha kill me
  • I've been revising an article that I want to send off again by the end of the month
  • The weather has been shitty and overcast for most of May, limiting my ability to take decent photos
  • Literally everything else in the world is awful??

I have a habit of announcing a blog hiatus only to write a post two days later, so I'm not going to do that now, but I think it's fair to say that posting may be slow over the next few months as I blunder toward a plan for this year slash the rest of my life. For now, I thought I'd share a little photo album of what I've been doing/seeing/buying/reading this month.

One of the nice things about living in the suburbs is that everyone competes to have a greener thumb than their neighbors:

I've been getting back into embroidery, an on-and-off hobby of mine since second grade. I started by embroidering a Jenny Holzer truism that seemed apt for this particular political moment. I fucked up the spacing, but hey, Trump is fucking up our entire democracy; IT'S ART, OKAY. I'll add some flowers or something eventually.

I just started Lara Elena Donnelly's novel Amberlough, and though I can't deliver a definitive verdict yet, I'm enjoying the hell out of it so far. I mean, what's not to like about queer speculative fiction full of political intrigue and cabaret? It reminds me of a less prolix Mieville novel. And since my main complaint about Mieville is that he uses 30 words when he could use five, that's a very good thing.

I went to Philadelphia last week to visit one of my grad-school friends before she moves back to the UK at the end of the month. I love the old houses along Baltimore Avenue in West Philly; they're an interesting mix of heavy Northeastern materials and quasi-Southern design. And those colors!

I escaped the 95-degree heat with a visit to the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. They had a exhibit on magic in the ancient world, featuring all sorts of amulets and talismans, like this statuette of a soldier with a Medusa-head shield:

And Mesopotamian plaques with images of captured demons:

While in Philly, I bought a nail polish from the indie brand Philly Loves Lacquer, which sadly closed up shop last year:

This shade is Stinking Glitterveta, named after the Philly-based prog-metal trio Stinking Lizaveta, which itself is named after a character in Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. That complexity of allusion (and glitter) is hard to find outside the indie world. I layered Stinking Glitterveta over two coats of Barry M Butterscotch Sundae, but it turned out to be one of those annoying glitter polishes that require you to pour a blob of product onto a piece of paper and use a tool to fish out the larger glitters one by one. Still, I think it turned out well, even if the points of the stars tend to detach from the nail:

That particular combination of fuchsia, lime, and black reminds me of my early childhood, when it seemed to be everywhere. I had a Barbie dress in that color combo, as well as a little fuchsia-and-lime wallet that I decorated with sparkly fabric paint and rhinestones. And speaking of fuchsia, I also bought a third Wet n Wild Liquid Catsuit in Nice to Fuchsia, which reminds me of my dear departed NARS Angela. Here's NtF next to a Revlon lipstick I've decided to return; I really need to stop buying warm brown nudes.

I think this shade of magenta-berry is one of my most flattering colors, though I don't wear it often.

I usually steer clear of Urban Outfitters polishes, which seem to be prone to chipping, but I couldn't resist this metallic rose shade, called (wait for it) Metallic Rose. It's quick-drying, opaque in two coats, and not particularly brushstrokey. Unfortunately, it does start chipping on me in a day or two, but it's so pretty that I really don't mind. I'm happy to wear it for as long as it consents to stay on my nails.

Amid all this buying, I finished my second lipstick of the year: Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Streak, which I took to layering over other shades for a more muted, brownish peach.

Here I am wearing Streak over Glossier Generation G in Cake, as well as some Modern Renaissance shades on my eyes. Sorry the photo is a little washed out.

I've been enjoying Burnt Orange as a crease color, with lighter peaches and beiges on the lid:

And that's all for now! I actually have quite a few products to review, but I have a weird hangup about writing review posts if I can't make them interesting in some other way. Still, better a straightforward review than nothing at all, I suppose.


  1. Trying to figure out what to do with the rest of your life is awful and people never stop asking, making you even feel more awful, so all I'm going to say is that I feel you and that I hope you have a lot of alcohol to cope with it, preferably paid for by someone else.

    I want to like glitter polishes with large glitters like that, but the application is so difficult that I'll just admire the bottles at the store.

    1. My boyfriend bought me a large bottle of Beefeater gin before he left last month, so that's been tiding me over nicely! And yeah, I should know better than to buy polishes with huge glitters, but sometimes they're just so pretty that I can't resist.

  2. Well this is probably unhelpful but the finishing the dissertation/job search/unemployment for a bit was an awful time. Being done after all those years in school and then having no more school to go to was a complete mindfuck. I guess I just want to say hang in there and I empathize. AND! It will eventually be over. I too am working on revisions on a paper - it was specifically recruited for a special issue of a journal then rejected because it...didn't fit the scope of the special issue (which is just as awesome as it sounds).

    1. Yeah, I keep telling myself that things can only get better from here (right...?). One annoying realization I've had recently is that many people who manage to keep themselves afloat post-defense and pre-job are independently wealthy. If you're like me and don't have a nice safety net, it all feels a lot more precarious. And sorry about the journal fiasco! I got the nastiest reader's report earlier this spring. It was so mean-spirited that I couldn't return to the article for about a month.

  3. good luck for everything!!!!!

  4. Um sorry this is kind of only loosely related to the post but can I ask where your nice leather jacket is from? I've been looking at some cheap faux leather jackets in shops lately but none of those really fit right (too short/huge sleeves/etc), I guess I should look for something a bit more expensive...

    I hope everything goes well for you money & academia wise!

    1. Haha, my stepmother bought it from some seller on Amazon--I have no idea which one or how much it cost. Sorry I can't be of more help! Have you tried looking in thrift stores?

    2. :D oh, okay! Looking in thrift stores sounds like a good idea, I'll probably start doing that.

  5. coffeeatpemberleyMay 27, 2017 at 9:12 AM

    Good luck for everything! I really admire that you keep going and follow your goals. As far as I can see, you're a good role model for young academics, so I'm sure everything will work out after some time.

    1. That's very sweet of you to say. I certainly hope I am! And if I can't find a job in academia, it won't be the end of the world.