Sunday, April 08, 2012

Music Monday: in which I love my laundry detergent

I did a load of laundry, and half of the clothes are hanging up to dry all over my apartment. With the windows open and the breeze blowing through all of my rooms, the smell of lavender is carried forth from my clean clothes and into... well, my nostrils. And I am loving it.

lately4-8 by Laur on Grooveshark

These are a small sample of the songs that have been recurringly making it onto various different mood playlists of mine. I'm not sure I can say what they have in common. They feel crisp and fresh, just like recently laundered clothes or a Midwestern spring breeze. That must be it.

[blazer: thrifted, dress: thrifted, vest: vintage, thigh-high socks: Sock Dreams, tights: Sock Dreams boots: gifted, necklace: via my mum, shoulder bag: via my mum]
Working Weekend: in which I go back in time

When I was in college, my English classes did not stress historical context. My training lies in extended close readings. Until a year ago, it never occurred to me that one might (should?)consider anything outside of the text itself in a piece of literary analysis. Incidentally, I know very little about history. I took one history class on British Empire when I was in London--but of course, I was concentrating much more on being in London than I was on Empire or anything else that I was supposed to be learning about. My semester in England was more of an emotional and psychological education than an intellectual one.

Almost everything I know about American history I learned from the American Girl books growing up. Almost everything I know about world history I learned from Simone de Beauvoir's memoirs--or Doctor Who.

But suddenly I am a graduate student, and regardless of poststructuralism, I cannot ignore history. (For a million reasons, some intellectual and some ethical).

This weekend I have thrust myself back in time to the 18th and 19th centuries for two different assignments. I am writing a 5 page cultural history essay on hair jewelry in the 18th century, and a 5 page essay on three different reviews of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall from 1848. Meanwhile, I am reading a book on emotional discourse in the 19th century--which seems to tie everything together, in that I am investigating what feels like one giant cloud of sentimentality that set over Britain in the early 18th century and did not dissipate until the onset of Modernism in the early 20th century. That's me: feelings in literature. I'm that gal.

[cardigan: Urban Outfitters, dress: Modcloth, belt: vintage tights: Sock Dreams, boots: gifted, bag: Iowa City Public Library]

Friday, April 06, 2012

Food Friday: in which I make pizza

About once a month or so I traipse down to the co-op a few blocks southeast of my apartment to see if there are any outstanding deals on things like sweet potato chips, organic avocados, lavender goat milk soap, or Wensleydale cheese. Usually none of these things are on sale, but a couple of other desirable items are. Last month I needed a cucumber for some peanut noodles and did not feel like driving to Hyvee, so I walked to the co-op and paid about $3.50 for an organic cucumber.

But I am not here to complain about paying over 3 times the regular price for a cucumber at the co-op.

I happened to find a whole wheat pizza crust for $2.00. These things, even at normal grocery stores, can cost about $5--at the co-op, they usually run about $7.50. I bought the pizza crust and it sat in my pantry until earlier this week when I decided to make two pizzas with it.

1st Half of the Pizza: Jalapeno and Pepperoni
2nd Half of the Pizza: Pineapple and Pesto

I used an organic canned pizza sauce for the 1st half, added a pinch of basil, and topped the sauce with shredded mozzarella (um, how the hell is that word spelled?) before adding pepperoni and jalapenos from a jar. For the second half, I topped the crust with pesto (instead of pizza sauce), and added shredded mozzarella (??no seriously) and then chunks of canned pineapple. I baked the pizza according to the package directions for the crust, and voila!

And--spring! Please note the lack of tights.
On this particular day, I found myself not entirely disappointed that I had left some grading in my office and needed to ride my bike to campus and back. Alonso and I enjoyed the fresh pre-thunderstorm air, so crisp and somehow... fizzy.

[dress: vintage, cardigan: JCrew, shoes: Urban Outfitters belt: vintage necklace: hand-me-down, bag: Myopic Books in Chicago]

Monday, April 02, 2012

Music Monday: in which I am lame and pass up seeing Antlers live

This weekend, I was at a conference here at the university, where I chaired a panel on Revolutions in Feminist Aesthetics. This weekend was also the Mission Creek Music Festival, a sort-of multi-venue music fest that is held every almost-April here in Iowa City. On Saturday evening, after the conference reception, I had two choices.

1. Walk home in a thunderstorm, call R, wrap my wet hair in a towel, and go to bed.
2. Go to see Antlers, one of my favorite bands, at 11:00.

I opted for the first.

And, oh, friends. I used to be the kind of gal who drove 6 hours to Dallas and 6 hours back to Conway in the same night just to see a band that I generally liked.I braved ACL Fest in 110 degree heat and nearly danced myself to death from dehydration in 2004 for Franz Ferdinand. I, who hail from the Live Music Capital of the World. I went home.

So I know now that I am officially lame. Antlers, I'm sorry. When I saw your abbreviated set at SXSW two years ago, I was blown away. I'm sorry I missed you this time around. Come back to Iowa City--just make sure to play before 9, please.

Last of the photos from my old camera. RIP old camera. You served me well in 7 different countries.

[dress: vintage shop in Paris, cardigan: Anthropologie, leggings: American Apparel, boots: gifted, necklace: thrifted]