Thursday, December 29, 2011

in which I have dreams about fezes

Excerpted from my dream journal: "I was on a bus and the Eleventh Doctor--wearing his fez--sat behind me. He said, 'Don't I know you?' and we studied each other. He showed off his fez, and I said that I liked it. He took it off and put it on my head. 'They're very expensive now, unfortunately,' he told me."

The subconscious of a geek, apparently.

If you're wondering what it is that a grad student does during the winter holidays, let me give you the low-down. The lo-down? The low down. Anyway.

1. Read.

Yes. This doesn't sound all that different from what a grad student does during the semester, now does it? I'm just finishing up a biography of Jean Rhys, which unfortunately was not particularly well written or informative. And I am still pondering the ethics of its very existence, seeing as Jean Rhys stated very explicitly before her death that she did not want anyone to write a biography of her after she was gone. A couple of days ago I started reading the new translation of The Second Sex (Simone de Beauvoir) which R had surprised me with for my birthday this past year.

I also recently completed Hotel World by Ali Smith, one of the only contemporary authors whose work I am familar with due to a class in contemporary British fiction that I took 5 years ago. It was decent; I like the idea of different story lines coming together loosely, but I didn't feel particularly driven to reach the end. For a short book, it felt rather like a chore to finish reading. The first section is from the point of view of the ghost of a nineteen-year old girl who has just died by plummeting to the ground in a dumbwaiter at the hotel where she works. There is a part where the ghost interacts with the physical corpse of the girl--they have an actual conversation in her grave--and that was both an interesting idea and well done. But the rest of the short novel did not reach the expectations that this beginning section set forth.

On the plane to Austin several weeks ago I finished Rebecca West's The Fountain Overflows. I found this novel downright bizarre. A couple of hundred pages in, the narrative of a family who never has much money due to the father's unscrupulous 'investments' is starkly interrupted by a chapter in which young teenager narrator Rose and her mother go to visit their cousins and encounter poltergeists. After the chapter, where the poltergeists up and leave due to the high spiritual energy they sense within Rose and her mother, they are almost never mentioned again and the narrative resumes matter-of-factly, as if ghosts who throw dishes and rip clothes off of the clothesline are a routine matter in interwar Britain. Rebecca West, I ask you: what?

2. Watch TV via Netflix.

I just finished watching the first season of Downton Abbey on Netflix. I love it. How could I not? The books I read for fun tend to be written between 1815 and 1945, and I absolutely love period dramas (or comedies)when it comes to film. So, naturally, this television show about the aristocratic family living at Downton Abbey and their household staff in the period just before the first World War (the first episode is in 1912, the day the Titanic sank, and the season ends with England's declaration of war on Germany) as good as had my name on it. Bonus: the actor who portrays Harriet Jones in Doctor Who is in the show, as well as Maggie Smith.

R has a thing for the show Bones, so I watched a couple of episodes from the 4th season to placate him. He thought that because the two episodes were set in London that I would be sure to fall in love with the show. While I did not fall in love, I was intrigued, so we've started to watch the first season and quite frankly at this point I find it addictive. I suspect this has something to do with the fact that I grew up watching Law and Order and CSI with my Dad, when there would be several episodes on one after the other post-dinner.

3. Go on dates.

The fact that I have an abundance of free time combined with the fact that I am taking my vacation to live with my long-distance boyfriend means that multiple nights a week are date nights. We go to dinner; we get drinks; we read at coffeeshops; we come home and watch movies. Sometimes I even meet R for lunch in the middle of the day--like today, for instance, I believe we are going to try some of the famous food carts on South Congress (Hey Cupcake! originated here, if you are one of the people who are not from Austin but who pay attention to these things).

And so, all of that being said, how does a grad student dress during the winter holidays to do these things?

shoes: gifted Clark's (thanks, Mum!)
tights: JCrew
skirt: gifted Anthropologie (again, thanks, Mum!)
shirt: American Apparel
necklace: gifted
purse: Le Mode

I don't quite dress like this every day. This outfit was for date night! R and I went to a pub for a couple of drinks after he left work. I don't see myself as donning these heels too too often, unless I get used to them quickly. You might have noticed that aside from boots, I am inexperienced in heels.

1 comment:

Vanessa said...

This skirt is so pretty! I love the print, and it looks adorable paired with the black tights and grey top. It sounds like you've had a lovely time off. TV, reading, dates = sounds like perfection to me!