Friday, October 26, 2012


So I must've offended some being, as after saying 'thank goodness' for my officemate not using our office, he showed up and nearly killed me with his fragrant self. So I wasted pretty much the entire week living like a nomad, travelling from place to place with all my textbooks strapped onto my back, looking for some non-toxic place to study in. At the risk of offending the same/another being, thank goodness for my department's office staff finally taking me seriously and re-assigning me to my very own scent-free space.* Now I can read Derrida to my heart's content. Oh, and do some work. Honestly, I only had to read a couple pages of Derrida for my literary theory grad course, but I loved him so much that I got my (librarian) man to check out Derrida's Of Grammatology for me to read just for fun. Some people get hung up on the fact that Derrida said deconstruction isn't definable. I say, who cares? When it gives rise to something such as the 'Decon jacket' by Barbara Í Gongini (a.k.a. 'all I want for Christmas'), every one should just be happy to know that it is (and isn't). It makes a lot more sense than postmodernism, at any rate.

*Notice I didn't use the term 'office'; I've been reassigned to a broom closet. Literally. I'm excited to get the walk through next week.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Cenabis bene, mi Fabulle, apud me

With All Hallows' Eve approaching, it seems everything is horror-themed these days. So it's rather fitting that I just translated a poem that contains what is pretty much my worst nightmare. For whatever reason, the gods have decreed that I should become ridiculously sensitive to every single fragrance in a very short time span. Nary three months ago I loved the smell of dryers and of Japanese mint oil. Now, I stop breathing when I suspect the person approaching me has showered and/or used any scented product within the last 12 hours. Let's just say thank goodness for my office and for the non-existence of the person I share it with. Anyway, Catullus 13 is an amusing invitation to one Fabullus to come over to Catullus' house for dinner, provided that he brings the food, the girls, the wine, and the laughs. In return, Catullus promises that Fabullus will get 'undiluted love' (meros amores) and some perfume that Venus and Cupid gave his girlfriend. Now, here's the scary part: apparently this perfume smells so good that Catullus says to Fabullus:

quod tu cum olfacies, deos rogabis, / totum ut te faciant, Fabulle, nasum

Translation: "Fabullus, when you smell this stuff, you're going to beg the gods to make you all nose." Seeing as my little sniffer is making me prefer the smell of rotting garbage to clean people, I couldn't imagine a worse fate.

(Photo from Jessica Darwin - looks like this piece is going to come in handy for me after all!)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Deconstruction in silk and red

Two days ago we had the first snow of the winter (yes, winter comes early here), and the ground is carpeted with green leaves that didn't even have a chance to change colour yet. Funnily enough, I don't even mind that much this time around (at least not yet), as I'm not relying on the outside-of-work world to pick up my spirits (like in the previous 5-ish fall-winter changeovers). Even so, the pre-mature death of a season brought to mind something that I intended on posting when it was still summer (which was not so long ago...). Amanda deLeon's F/W 12 collection, which is now available in her shop, includes one of the most gorgeous dresses I have ever seen, the Silk Cemetery Gown. What truly makes this dress is the print (yes, a print!), which is from a photo of the Greenwood Cemetery in New Orleans. I suspect I'd love this dress even more when styled with the pick-ups that are on the sides, perhaps an ArtLab belt, and some boots (of the Fluevog/Dr. Martens/Chuck variety). Having said that though, the red version would also look great with my red plaid Dr. Martens...

Then, speaking of red, I want Amanda's Red Wool Blazer. And, speaking of blazer, I need to get back to work. Can anyone summarize deconstruction in 1000 words or less for me?*

*Trick question: You can't summarize deconstruction. You can only deconstruct it.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Academic integrity...and stuff

Yesterday my required 'Research Methods' course was a lecture about academic integrity and what happens if you cheat/steal another's work. I kind of think that if you don't know what you shouldn't do, you probably shouldn't be in grad school, but whatever. Anyway, the talk, while kind of scary, made me really want to stay in this academic game for a while. It somehow gave me warm fuzzies, for lack of a better term, to think about how the academia is so serious about honesty and integrity, two things that are sorely lacking in most other professions. And it can't really be any other way, as its a profession completely based on reputation; without that reputation and the subsequent trust of the public, scholarship would be completely useless. So, as long as the rules (of being honest and having integrity) remain, academia can't/shouldn't go down the drain like everything else. Like I said: warm fuzzies. Of course, I was brought back down to earth when I overheard the following in a campus coffee shop: (friend coaching friend on how to fill up space on a course paper) "Just make your periods bigger. That's a little trick I learned in grade 5." Sigh.

Anyway, while I would in no way advocate uniforms for post-secondary students, I definitely think it helps your overall mindset to make an effort in having your appearance show that you respect your role as a scholar. Two recent additions to my wardrobe (courtesy of an unexpected fellowship) are making me sit up a bit straighter (metaphorically speaking). First up is my beloved new Moop bag, The Backpack (above left, and in sidebar on right). I have had Moop's The Letter Bag (above right) for a couple years now but, due to a shoulder issue from a previous injury, I knew that I'd need to spring for a bag that both balanced me out and protected my laptop on the walk to and from campus. Lo and behold, just in time for school to start, Moop came out with the coolest backpack on the block, in the waxed canvas I love. It somehow makes me excited to leave home in the morning just by carrying it. Seriously. And, when coupled with my very first Ursa Minor piece (and new favorite basic!), the Victorine Blouse (below), I'm a raring scholar machine. Kind of. Here's hoping both will help me when I present in 28 days in NY!

P.S. Moop is having a 12% of sale today only, just because it's 10-11-12. In Moop's online shop (not their Etsy), enter this code at checkout: 101112

Update (Oct 26th): The Victorine blouse is now available in black and in cream in the Ursa Minor Etsy shop and online shop! Don't be surprised if I get the black one too. I love this top.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Post-Raphaelites

I finally came up with a topic for my Latin paper + one of my favorite discoveries here on kOs has posted a new collection on NJAL = the world makes sense again! Poppy Warwicker-Le Breton's newest offerings (under the label 'SuperCollider') appeal to me in a way that simply can't be explained. Kind of like Lacan's 'Real' (warning: stay away from psychoanalytic literary criticism if you can, Freudian and Lacanian alike). The first piece in particular brought back a memory I had forgotten, of how one of the most influential professors in my life used to make me push up my sleeves because somehow pulling them down to cover my hands was holding me back from my academic potential. Or something. Let's just say I used to be/am a wallflower (i.e. I cried like a baby when I saw the movie last night). Anyway, Poppy, glad to see you're back. Oh, and Catullus 51/Sappho 31, I'm coming for you.

(Photos via NJAL)

Thursday, October 4, 2012


The pure loveliness of this young designer's work got me flipping through the photos so fast that I had to immediately go through them again to make sure I had just seen what I thought I had seen. And I did. Or had. You know what I mean.

Anyway, found via NJAL, Ukrainian designer Yulia Yefimtchuk has now been added to my list of favorites. Her minimalist conservative school-girl look is just spot on, even when not in black (as seen in the perfect outfit above). And though this F/W 12 collection didn't just go down the runway, I'm naming this the best collection of the season. It really fills the hole that Junya left this time around. And with running shoes, no less! While I'm actually going to call all the pieces pictured here my 'favorite' of the collection, the details of the apron-y piece warrants a couple more questions.

Thank you, Yulia, for saving the day.

(Photos via NJAL and Yulia's Facebook)

20 minutes of epic Glass-ness

Beck and Philip Glass. Now that is a perfect match. Enjoy.

(Via Pitchfork)