Thursday, December 20, 2007

wrapping with maps.

map box

I have this conflict with wrapping paper. I love meticulously wrapped presents and can spend lots of time in fancy paper stores. I also hate how inherently wasteful the process is, both monetarily and in actual paper waste. You can spend a lot of time and money making something look pretty, only to have it torn apart in seconds, leaving a pile of paper that can rarely even be recycled. (Or in my case, you carefully open any present with superior paper, in the hopes that you might use it later but you never ever do, are you kidding yourself?)

Maybe I haven't mentioned this here, but anyone who knows me knows I love maps. My shower curtain is a map, I have a map under plexiglass on my coffee table, and I collect them whenever I have a chance. I especially like old maps with countries that don't exist anymore, so I of course jump at the chance to grab any old atlases that are about to be thrown out at school.

The last atlas I got is relatively large, and I've been cutting out map pieces to decorate postcards and such. But at the rate I'm using it will be with me for years, so I have a new plan: map wrapping paper! Alright, so it's not super Christmasy. BUT it is pretty, it's reusing old things instead of throwing them away, and it's maybe teaching people geography while they get gifts. (maybe.) I wasn't even sure of what to wrap yet, so I made one of those gift wrapped boxes that stay wrapped forever, which is nice in and of itself. It's the gift box that keeps on giving!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

coat conundrum, part 2.

About a week ago, I ordered this coat from J. Crew. I had a 20% off code for the night only, I could get it in tall aand with thinsulate, so it seemed like the right thing to do. When it finally arrived, I put it on, looked in the mirror and sighed. It just wasn't right. I wasn't sure why, but it wasn't good. I whined to friends online who assured me that it probably wasn't that bad, why not take a picture and show us? So I did, and the results were the same: something was off with the fit. I sighed some more, promised to return it, and quickly deleted any pictures posted. For some reason, I felt embarrassed that I had bought a bad coat, even though it's not my fault! The pictures were cute! Other coats in the store were cute! How did this one go so wrong?

So, we're still on the lookout for the perfect coat that doesn't exist. I did move one of the buttons on my formerly way-too-boxy tweed thrift store coat to give it a little more shape. It's not fabulous, but better.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

the side effects of winter: part 1, the gym.

The winter this year has turned me into a total baby. I can't stand the cold, and I don't have enough layers to keep me warm wherever to go. The cold weather has even driven me to a horrible thing: joining the gym.

The thing is, I'm a runner. I step out the door and go. It's free (save the cost of apparel and shoes) and fast and it works. And I could run the same route four times a week and not get bored because there's always different people and different cars and different light. But this just doesn't happen in the cold, when it gets dark at 4:30, when there are unplowed sidewalks all over the place. So, the gym I went.

There is the good and the bad. The bad is mostly that I'm moving but I'm not going anywhere, that the scenery never changes, and that I have to pay for all of this. Something seems wrong with that. The good is that it's not cold, I can sort of read the New Yorker on the elliptical (which is also better for my knees), and can catch conversations like this:

(scene: locker room, where the girls swim team had just finished practice)

Girl 1 (presumably Nina): Someone left the shower on!
Girl 2: Nina I can hear you!
[Nina returns from showers]
Girl 2: Did you turn the shower off?
Nina: Uhhhh....[turns around to amend the situation]
Girl 2: (in a sing-song voice) Nina, turn the shower off because that wastes water which causes global warming which makes the glaciers melt!

(Cute, but I think I'll try to avoid the locker room around that time from now on.)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Some random stuff, in numerical order.

  1. My new favorite blog is Strange Maps.
  2. I am making Christmas presents. Normally whenever I made something I immediately post pictures on flickr and blab about it, but no. Recipients of the gifts could be reading this! (Note: they largely don't, but they could.)
  3. Though I did make a bib for my niece and decided she needed to have it right away.
  4. Sometimes I get flustered because I want to make things for myself instead of other people. Such as this purse made from old pants.
  5. Not to mention, something about the holidays makes me want to buy tons of things for myself.
  6. Pictures of Christmas cupcakes, you say? Try here.