Here's the Scoop

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 | | 2 comments
So I haven't posted in awhile, so here is my life update:

1. My doctor and hospital visits have amounted to ovarian cysts and an inflamed colon. This explains my severe stomach pain and nausea, finally some explanations. That's the good news. The bad news is there are more doctor and hospital visits. I'm on medication that takes the edge off the pain and completely eliminates the nausea. So I'm good to go.

2. I have a dentist appointment today. I hate going to the dentist, I have terrible teeth and they like to torture me while I'm there. I've never had a cavity but that's because I go to the dentist every three months instead of every six months like a normal person. I've been putting off my dentist visit for awhile now with excuses like I can't miss class, or the weather is bad. But today there are no more excuses so I have to go.

3. I got an iphone for Christmas. Yeah, Eric let me have it early because I was dying to play with it..ahem...I mean use it. I think he was just as excited to use it because he tried to "trade" me phones one day. haha. I think not. This is coming from the man who tried to get me to buy the Palm Centro! I think he's changed his mind about who has the best phone now! Anyway, if you are looking to buy a new phone, I highly suggest the iphone. I'm addicted.

4. Over the Winter Intercession (yes, Mizzou has fancy words for Christmas Break) I'm taking a Computer Aided Design class with my favorite professor, Dr. Wilson. In all my years at Stephens, I never took a design class so I'm really excited! The class meets one week before Spring Semester begins and we have class all day long, from 8am to 4pm. We got a homework assignment yesterday asking us to create a design portfolio with various design elements such as stripes, plaids, twills, children clothing designs, women and men clothing designs, etc. Yes, this is what the fashion industry is all about. Finally a chance to be creative after a semester of writing intensive courses and economy lectures.

5. My family took Eric and me to Kansas City last Saturday. We shopped around at the Legends and the Plaza, I visited a college friend of mine, Alissa, at her place of work, St. John's. It was fantastic catching up with her, it has been way too long! She sent me an adorable card for the holidays with a picture of her and her boyfriend at the Kansas City Chiefs game. Unfortunately, we didn't get to visit long because our table at The Melting Pot opened up. We had the most amazing dinner, if you've never been to The Melting Pot, you really need to check it out! Everything is served fondue style. I'm in Heaven when I eat there.

6. I have only one final this semester and it is on Friday. Wish me luck!

Whew, that's my update. I hope you all are doing well. Hopefully I'll get back into the routine of blogging with more regular updates.

Christmas Party

Monday, December 15, 2008 | | 2 comments
I'm back! After many doctor and hospital visits, I've been diagnosed with a variety of things that is leading to more doctor and hospital visits. Despite my current condition, Eric and I hosted a party of our parents and his siblings. I stole the following pictures from my mom's blog, which you should visit if you haven't already:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 | | 3 comments
I just found out I'll be teaching my very own class this summer!!! I'm so excited! I'll be teaching TAM 1100, or Survey of Textiles and Apparel. For those of you who went to Stephens and majored in Fashion, it is comparable to Survey of Fashion. I already have ideas for guest speakers and homework assignments. I'm so excited!!

I'm also still sick. I went home early yesterday with a fever and woke up this morning not feeling much better. What a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week to be sick.

The Lingerie Dress

Tuesday, December 9, 2008 | | 3 comments

I've spent much of this semester studying a single dress in the University of Missouri costume collection. This dress was worn by Margaret Strickler as a wedding gown on August 25, 1910. I'm about to turn in a final paper and make a presentation on my research of the gown which placed the dress in time historically and culturally. In addition to studying this particular gown, I also researched similar gowns in other costume collections, advertisements and patterns from the 1900s, and similar gowns in the collection. Some interesting information about the Lingerie Dress:

- Contrary to what the name would lead you to believe, the dress was worn in public for a variety of occasions including bridal, graduation, or simply an evening with the ladies.
- The name comes from the fine materials used often in undergarments.
- Lingerie dresses could be hand made or bought through a catalog. If the owner chose to make the gown, the lace was probably machine-made whereas the embroidery was most likely done by hand.

Sick, Tired, and Hungry

Monday, December 8, 2008 | | 2 comments

Even during my lucky week I'm not this lucky. It is about 10pm, I'm at the Library waiting for Eric to get out of class. I'm sick, tired, and hungry. I've been coming down with an annoying cold, which keeps me up at night leaving me tired early in the evening, and I didn't have time for lunch today and Eric doesn't get out of class until 10 so dinner is late tonight. So I'd really appreciate it if my office would call and ask if I can stay home a few more days. Is that so much to ask?

Morning Rituals

Eric takes longer to get ready in the morning than I do. I've suspected this for a long time, but I've never had solid proof. Usually I get up before he does, so it makes sense that he wouldn't be ready until after me. But today, we started getting ready at the same time. I woke up early but felt pretty sick so I laid around the apartment feeling sorry for myself until 7:00am...we leave the apartment at 7:30 to get to school/work by 8. So like I said, we started getting ready at the same time and I was ready a good ten minutes before him! How can a guy possibly take longer to get ready than a girl?! Especially Eric??

His ritual: Shower, shave, wash his face, brush his teeth, get dressed, go.
My ritual: Shower, shave, wash my face, brush my teeth, dry my hair, straighten my hair, poof my hair (sometimes), do my makeup, get dressed, get dressed again because I didn't like the first outfit, touch up my hair, add a little makeup, go.

So how is it I am always ready before he is? Until this morning he's denied it, saying he got up later or didn't get into the shower until later, etc. Nope, no excuses anymore.


Friday, December 5, 2008 | | 4 comments

I love Kaldi's coffee, but Starbucks really takes the cake when it comes to customer service.

This quote from "You've Got Mail" really explains everything:

The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don't know what the hell they're doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.

Not only do you get excellent coffee, you get a defining sense of self....okay, in all seriousness...I went to Starbucks yesterday and ordered my usual: Grande Cinnamon Dolce Latte. But they were out! So I decided to try the new Grande Espresso Truffle. No big deal, I've been wanting to try it but was afraid of changing my usual order. This gave me the courage to try something new. But the excellent Starbucks employees didn't stop there, they gave me a coupon for a free coffee drink, any drink of my choice!!

Another Starbucks experience occured last year while I was taking classes through Mizzou Extension. I had class until 10pm so I stopped by Starbucks to keep me awake during lecture. I came up to the window and paid for my drink and they offered me 5 venti drinks for free that they made for practice. Needless to say, I was the favorite of the class that evening.

So I really like Starbucks. I've had good luck with them. But if you want really excellent coffee, try Kaldis.

Inspired-Pay in Forward

Thursday, December 4, 2008 | | 4 comments
I was kind of depressed by my experience with the Bitchy Barista (those are my mom's words) and I got to thinking about why this world is such an evil place. Why don't people take a few seconds out of their day to make someone's?

Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." So I looked for a way to take a few seconds out of my day to help someone else, a complete stranger to me.

On my way to class this morning I found myself walking behind a woman juggling her baby and trying to open a door. She was about to set her baby down because she couldn't seem to get the door open while still holding her baby, but I caught her and offered to open the door for her. It was cold, the street was dirty, and her baby didn't need to be outside any longer than she had to.

It took me less than a few seconds to help her and she was very grateful. The idea of "Pay it Forward" is overused, but I still challenge you to do a little good in your day and help out a stranger.

Unnecessary Evils

Wednesday, December 3, 2008 | | 2 comments
While I was in line for my daily dose of rocket fuel to keep me going mid-day, I overheard an unfortunate foreign girl ask the barista why she only had a cup of hot water instead of tea. The barista (this is a highly misleading term because "barista" sounds sexy and this woman resembled a late 60s version of the wicked witch of the west) snapped back, "I don't know what this is" gesturing to the cup. The poor girl replied, a little more sheepishly, "I ordered tea, this is just water." The Wicked Barista rolled her eyes and snapped, "We don't mix your tea for you! You have to get it yourself, we can't do everything." The poor girl walked around aimlessly looking for the tea, she still couldn't find it. I'm not sure she really understood the Wicked Barista's English. As I took my latte and began to leave, I noticed she was giving up home and walking toward the trash to throw away her hot water. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a stand of boxes and realized it was the tea the poor girl was looking for. I stopped her from throwing away the water and directed her towards the tea instructing her to pick out the flavor she wanted. It took me about two seconds to help her, two seconds the Wicked Barista was unwilling to spare. Relieved, the poor girl thanked my profusely.

Why is it so difficult to help out a stranger? Why did the Wicked Barista have to be so short with the poor girl? How difficult is it to take two seconds to answer an honest question? Think twice before you snap at someone and remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question.

I have this theory that the McDonald's located across from Ellis Library on Mizzou's campus was built in the 1960s/1970s as a bomb shelter because the people at the time couldn't imagine life underground during the nuclear war without a McDonald's.

Yes, for those of you who are not familiar with Mizzou's campus, the McDonald's is located underground beneath the Student Center. I am proud to say that I resisted eating there for 15 weeks while on campus. I walked by every day resisting the odd allure of greasy hamburgers and fries, but yesterday I caved. I got out of class around 6:30 and due to my crazy class schedule I had to skip lunch. I called Eric hoping he could meet me somewhere decent for dinner but he had homework to do. The allure was getting stronger and the smell more tempting. What is it about those hamburgers? Is it the mere convenience? Whatever it is, it hooked me last night.

I walked down the stairs (yes, down, it is undergound) and through the retro doors...I think they are made to look 60s because the bomb shelter wouldn't have had glass doors. Can you believe the McDonald's was quieter than the library? I found myself thinking it would be a good haven to get away from the crazy guy next to me in the library humming a vaguely familiar song or the guy across from me reading numbers in the most aggravating monotone voice. "One, one, one, one, two, two, one, one, one, one, three, two, three, three, three, three, one, one, one, one...." The McDonald's was peaceful.

I had to snap myself out of it. The last thing I need is to find inner peace in McDonald's.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008 | | 2 comments
My professor, Dr. Dickerson, presented this thought on life in class today:

(the text art is my own creation.) I just had to share this. As a woman in a creative field, I love the thought of creating myself and being a product of my own design rather than the idea of myself already being out there and needing to be found.

Go create yourselves.


Monday, December 1, 2008 | | 2 comments

Columbia, MO experienced the first snow of the season yesterday! For those of you who have lived here, you know this is the first of many more devastating snows to come. And staying true to Columbia tradition, the roads are in terrible condition despite the relatively little amount of snow we got. I took pictures of our outside Christmas decorations lightly dusted with snow and Eric cleaning off my car getting ready for our first day back to work after Thanksgiving break. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

A bit of knowledge from a Fashion Professional

At one of our many Thanksgiving celebrations this past week (I won't disclose which one to protect myself from any hard feelings from family members) a few people made some rather pointed comments about consumers of "expensive" goods. I put "expensive" in quotations because these people used the term loosely to mean goods not found at the likes of Target, WalMart and Forever 21. The conversation started when one person showed up with Ugg look-a-likes and was asked about her new Uggs. She bluntly stated that they were not Uggs and couldn't understand why anyone would purchase such expensive boots. Others agreed and the conversation took off from there. As a graduate from Stephens College with a bachelors degree in Fashion Marketing and Management and a graduate student at the University of Missouri in Textiles and Apparel Management, I was surprised that no one asked for my opinion. To avoid any family conflict, I kept my opinon to myself and waited to share it with all of you. The question is a valid one, why DO people spend so much money on goods? The owner of the Ugg look-a-likes might claim it was for vain purposes. I cannot argue that many people often buy goods for their labels, but there are other reasons to buy originals instead of look-a-likes. I make my case below.

1. Quality: my Uggs will last many more seasons than their fake counterparts

2. Intellectual Property: I choose to support the brains behind the operation by purchasing original designs and encouraging true artists, not the knock-offs.

3. Artifically low prices: those Ugg look-a-likes were purchased at an artifically low price where corners were cut to lower costs. Cut corners may include horrid working conditions in Chinese factories and devestating environmental "accidents."

I'm certainly not saying I am immune to the lure of cheap goods, but I don't criticize those who do choose to buy more expensive goods. There are reasons behind consumption choices beyond vanity. I encourage you to think twice before you judge someone by what they wear or choose to buy. Give people the benefit of the doubt and second guess yourself when you reach for the $2 t-shirt most likely made by a poor Chinese child desperate for food and shelter and unpaid by their employer.

Never heard of Uggs? Click on the picture to view their website.
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