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Archive for the ‘fashion’ Category

Hell on Heels

I consider myself a grown-up, for the most part.  I pay bills and dutifully save money and buy healthy food even though what I really want to eat is Sausage, Egg, and Cheese on an onion bagel all day, every day.

There is one thing, though, that I have a hard time accepting.  And that is the notion that sophisticated grown-up city gals wear high heels.  And not just for special occasions.  All. The freaking. Time.

Just your typical everday footwear

Sex and the City was not lying when it depicted NYC as the land of the platform stiletto monster heel.  Women here march around in the most ridiculous shoes I have ever seen.  And I’m not sure it’s a case of “look at my heels, I’m so fashionable,” or just because they truly enjoy mangling their feet.  Who knows.  This place is full of weirdo masochists.

I just can’t wrap my head around it.  You would think in this city, where walking is generally the standard for getting around, people would wear shoes which facilitate actual walking. But no.  Instead they (and by ‘they’ I mean women) teeter around in shoes that defy all reason, logic, and physics.

Alexander McQueen heels...the pinacle of insanity.

Don’t get me wrong: I admire these ladies.  I am downright jealous of them.  Because I am physically incapable of wearing high heels.  Wait, correction.  I am physically incapable of functioning in high heels.  Putting them on my feet: fine.  Attempting to then move around and live life after they have been put on: not so fine.  I struggle with high heels.  To say the least.

It’s not because I’m one of those silly girls who ‘can’t walk in heels.’  I know how to walk in heels.  I know you have to revise the way you move and work it.  Which, let’s be honest, is kind of awesome and fun and all I am woman hear me roar, biatch.  The problem is my feet.   H calls them my ‘clubbies.’  As in they are club-shaped.  Small and squared-off and really really inappropriate for any sort of shoe other than maybe a ballet flat, which is what I live in.  I put on heels, admire how nice they make my legs look and how adorable they are, and the minute I start walking around my feet and toes begin to protest.  Hang on a minute girlfriend.  You really think we’re going to stand being shoved in this shoe and forced into a different shape?  Hells to the no.  We’re going to blister and bleed and ache until you come to your senses and realize this is NOT working.  It’s science.

Thanks, oddly shaped feet and toes…Thanks a ton for working with me here.  Really making my life easier.

However, regardless of this genetic predisposition, I still try.  You know how there’s that saying that goes: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?

That is my relationship with heels, in a nut shell.

It still hasn’t occurred to me that I should probably stop buying heels.  My closet is a virtual graveyard of shoes I loved in the store, bought, wore for a night, and then swore off because it took two weeks for my feet to heal afterwards. That’s probably part of the problem: I get so incensed at the pain these stupid shoes put me though that I swear I will banish them forever after a single wear.  Thus effectively stopping the ever important ‘breaking-in’ process cold.  Really, before it even began.

I am a huge baby.  Have I mentioned that?  High heels have made me cry.  Sure, it might have been after a martini or 4, but still.  Tears.

I do try to make them comfortable.  I try to buy higher-end heels with the notion that if they are better made they will hurt less (they don’t).  I buy tons of little accessories to try to protect my precious tootsies: heel pads and gel inserts and moleskin…you name it, I’ve bought it.  But nothing, and I mean nothing, saves me from feet covered in band aids, begging to be put out of their misery.  It probably goes without saying that I am also that girl who will give up on wearing heels at the end of the night and wanders barefoot through questionable terrain just to be free of those damn shoes.  How I do not have tetanus or rabies is beyond me.

If I was smart I would carry around a secondary pair of non-heels for the days when I brave the stiletto.  Of course I don’t do that.  Because it defeats the whole purpose of wearing a high heel. And anyway, I am stubborn.

I will continue to gape at purdy heels in store windows.  I will continue to spend pointless dollars on them.  I will continue to force H to carry me around at the end of evenings when my be-heeled feet have had too much.  I will continue this all, damn it, until my feet get the memo and submit.  So help me god.

A girl can dream, right?

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I would be really impressed if you knew. Because up until approximately 3 days ago I had no idea what a turbot was (and clearly if I don’t know, you probably don’t know. Clearly.). And then I saw them in the very meager seafood section of my grocery store (really not even a section, more like the tail end of the meat section. An afterthought at most).

It’s yet another Mary-fends-for-herself week here, so I bought some on a whim, comforted by the fact that if it was gross I could just toss it and I wouldn’t get dirty looks from H about ‘wasting food.’ It was like 3 dollars for a small-ish fillet–perfect for 1 and cheap enough that I wouldn’t feel guilty if it sucked.

So what to do with this mystery fish? After some online hunting I discovered a turbot is a member of the flounder family. And it is one ugly creature.

Hi. I'm a Turbot.

Luckily for me my piece of Turbot did not look like this when I bought it. Which is good, because I don’t do so well when my food has eyes.

I decided to cook it using the “en papillote” which is a fancy French term for cooking things in a pouch. Which basically means I threw some crap onto aluminum foil, sealed it off, and put it in the oven for less than 10 mins.

Turbot “En Papillote” with Lemony-Dill Wine Sauce.

Ingredients

1 fillet of Turbot (or, any other white fish)

2 tablespoons of butter, softened

2 teaspoons of Dill (I used dried. I’m sure fresh, for those of us who have such things on hand, would be lovely)

3 cloves of garlic, finely minced

2 teaspoons of lemon zest

Salt & Pepper

a shot-glass worth of dry white wine

1. In a small bowl combine butter, dill, garlic, lemon zest, salt & pep. Stir well.

2. Place 1 sheet of tin foil on a cookie sheet.

3. Take a small amt. of butter mixture and spread it on the tin foil before laying down the fillet. This will make sure the fish doesn’t stick. Turn up edges of aluminum just a bit (so wine doesn’t run wild).

4. Spread rest of butter mixture over the fillet.

5. Add wine around fillet

6. Cover the fillet with another sheet of tin foil. Make sure you seal the edges well. Creating steam is the key to this technique of cooking.

7. Bake in a 425-degree oven for no more than 10 minutes. I think mine (a rather thin fillet) took 8 mins.

Turbot & Salad

Voila! If you’re feeling extra gluttonous you can pour the remaining juices over the fish, but I found that my fish was quite buttery enough. Olive Oil would be a healthier alternative than butter, obviously. But I love butter (as I might have mentioned). So sorry, EVOO. You can suck it.

And you know what else I love? NOT WASHING POTS AND PANS. The fish was good and stuff but my favorite part of this little experiment was that it left exactly ONE plate to wash…or (let’s be honest) for me to leave in our sink until H gets home and washes it for me.

I know what your thinking…but why don’t you try living without a dishwasher, and then we can talk.

In other, totally unrelated news, I wanted to share something that I am extremely proud of myself for:

BAM.

I BOUGHT THESE. TO PUT ON MY FEET. After whining through that fashion-y post I decided to put my money where my mouth is. Literally. Encouraged by a particularly chic young lady (and blood relation), these little beauties are now all mine. I am still flabbergasted by my sheer edginess.

The photo at left is me, whipping out said edgy shoe in my cubicle, snapping an iPhone pic of it as my neighbor gaped at me (she liked them, though), and sending it to literally everyone I know. Well…I didn’t send it to Sister 2 (sorry, sister) because Sister 1 gave me this response:

“THOSE are the shoes you bought?…………..Interesting.”

Sigh. Can’t win ’em all. Judginess be damned, I love these shoes. I know they aren’t anything special, but to me, they are a step (ha, shoe pun!) in the right direction.

Oh and one more thing: HOW ghostly does my hand look in that picture? Horrifying. I’m embarrassed.

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So I had a bit of a revelation this weekend. A little shining moment of self-discovery. The epiphany was this: I have incredibly bizarre and nonsensical rules for myself regarding clothing.

Okay, I know. This isn’t really super life altering. But it’s something that I’ve been doing subconsciously forever, and I think the fact that I just now am realizing it is quite a milestone.
So, newsflash to all you readers out there: I have red hair. And it’s not strawberry blonde or auburn or anything swishy like that. It. Is. Red. And it is said hair that has given me a clothing complex; a set of personal rules so ingrained that it took me approximately 24 years to realize they were even there.  So what are these weird clothing/fashion rules I have for myself, you ask? Well, let me put it in an easy readable format so that you non-Gingers might understand. As follows, the personal fashion rules of moi.

1. No red. Exceptions: shoes. And possibly Nantucket red pants/skirts/bottoms. This is a cardinal (ha! Get it? Red!!) rule of mine, for obvious reasons. Shades of pink and orange are also forbidden. Yellow too. Also any taupe/ecru shade that comes too close to the color of my skin(read: pale).
2. So what colors are acceptable? Earth tones–just call me Dwight Shrute. Blues are a go-to, greens are a little trickier ( kelly green, for example, equals leprechaun).
3. Nothing too flashy. Nothing with weird built in jewelry, deffinetly no sequins.

4. Not too many ruffles, either.

5. No khaki’s.  They  stopped being an acceptable form of pants in about 8th grade.

6. Sneakers are for exercise ONLY.  Not for everyday wear.

7. I have short little legs.  Cropped pants do not help this affliction.  Therefore, I have decided that Capri pants are not my friend.

8. Be wary of prints and patterns.

9. Pastels wash me out.  Neons wash me out.  Colors in general wash. me. out.

10. Nothing that depends on a nice set of boobs to look good.  This is self-explanatory.

11. And finally, if it is trendy, than I certainly won’t look good in it.  I’m just not hip enough.

It’s like there is a little tiny Tim Gunn inside my head.  It’s exsausting.

My hair and general coloring aren’t the only factors that have made me fashion retarded.  I’m sure the environments where I grew up don’t help.  My super preppy, super conservative, “I’m going to give you the stink eye if you wear anything ‘weird’ ” town/high-school absolutely contributed to my bizarre thinking.  Likewise my tiny, preppy, conservative college.  And I won’t even go into my two lovely but incredibly judgmental and critical sisters.  Why don’t YOU try bringing home something you bought only to get a “why in the holy hell would you spend money on that” look from your own flesh and blood.  See how confident about clothing you are then.

This is a No.

Now, my weird fashion rules does not mean that I don’t like to shop.  On the contrary.  I absolutely love to shop.  It is my preferred Saturday activity, actually.  I like doing it alone, I like doing it with friends, I even like doing it with my boyfriend.  I’m not sure why I like it so much, because it almost always ends with my leaving a store in frustration because I can’t find anything that “I like” (that is, I can’t find anything that adheres to my rules).

I’ve been trying to break free of these self-imposed shackles.  I bought a leather jacket in Italy last fall–gutsy move for me.  I also bought a salmon colored tee shirt a couple weeks ago.  Baby steps, people.

Absolutely Not.

The really sad thing is is that I have a feeling that all these stupid rules are exactly that–stupid.   No one is going to withdraw in horror if I wear a pink shirt that “clashes” with my hair.  No one will blink if I throw on a quirky little dress.  Hello, I live in New York City!  A place where I know that no matter WHAT I wear, there is always going to be someone who is dressed far FAR more strangely than I.

I just have to keep telling myself that.  I need to continue to inch out of my comfort zone, of what is ‘allowed’.  It’s an uphill battle, and my opponent is scary: myself.  But sorry, self.  I’m just getting sick of earth tones and blue jeans and flats.  This girl has had enough

Not even CLOSE to being cool enough to pull this off.

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