Week 1 – Trial by fire

Wednesday: YY top, Rachel Comey Lure pant, Lems shoes.

wednesday

Thursday: YY top, Uniqlo pant, Jil Sander shoes.

thursday

Friday: Top from Yesstyle (Chinese vendor), Rachel Comey Menace pant, Frye shoes.

friday

This week has officially kicked my ass. I’m reminded of the rushed, stressed feeling from when I was first given my client accounts back in January/February, which were a mess. Everything was late and I was frantically rushing about to all the areas of the shop, constantly checking on product status.

This first week I’ve been taking over a coworker’s account while he’s on vacation and it’s the largest client account we have. Basically I’ve been tasked with taming a wild, galloping elephant and it’s getting the better of me. I knew this account was a bit of a clusterfuck to begin with, but damn…. this is beyond anything I could’ve ever imagined. Also, I don’t think my coworker anticipated any of the stuff I ended up encountering. He said I only had prototypes to worry about… well, the prototypes were the easiest part of what I’ve had to worry about all week. I’ve been in contact with the client rep 4-5 times every day. My boss is the only other one who knows what’s going with this client and he’s been out half the week at a conference. He’s checked in with me every day and yesterday I flat out said to him, “I’m drowning.” I was given a report from the client to work on and I was floored by how much we are backordered and what goes into all the orders we do for this client. My clients are peanuts by comparison. I’ve gotten them all under control now and have a really good rapport with them. So to be given this task with a new rep that I’m only temporarily working with has literally thrown me back into the deep end of the pool with everyone standing at the side saying, “swim, damnit!”

However, I have managed to gain a much greater respect for my senior who handles this account because it’s so insane and I’ve learned a lot of new things about how we operate and manage the work load. And I’ve been given tasks that I had no idea ever fell on my department before. I’ve had so many 5-minute-tutorials on how to change things in our system to accommodate the work load I’ve left work with my head spinning and a general sense of anxiety, wondering if what I did was correct. Even today I turned to the more seasoned employee next to me and asked if I did X, Y and Z things right that were entered the day before. I won’t say it’s been easy or the best way for me to learn this stuff, considering it’s all on the fly, but I’m gaining a much greater grasp of how I can help out.

The new admin has been great in seeing if I’m ok and even coming to me with silly things or comments just to make me smile. It’s obvious she cares and is worried about me and that makes me feel all the better about us hiring her. I’ve given her a huge task I used to handle simply because I’m so swamped I can’t take care of it now, which she will need some guidance with, but I’m sure she’ll be helpful. After seeing some of the stuff I had to deal with, even on a generally slow Friday, she said she didn’t envy me at all but is still willing to help me out whenever possible. It’s really nice having that kind of support.

The biggest thing to help me this week has been being able to run. I’ve run three times this week and getting that stress out of my system by exhausting myself physically has done wonders for me emotionally. I’m still restraining myself because I know I risk running myself into a new injury out of sheer stubbornness, but what little I’ve done has worked. Granted, I’ve got a mean case of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) in my legs, but the little masochist in me is saying, “Yaaaaassssssss, my preciousss.” Once I get over the soreness, I’ll get to the strengthening part and after that the muscle memory part and then… it’s all routine and my head clears and I move mechanically – in a good way.

I thought about running tonight, but I did run a lot more than I intended to yesterday so Z told me to take it is. So… I’ve had a double of Johnny Walker Red and am about to stuff myself with grilled brats and apricots and couch potato it with more beer and watch new anime season premieres.

This is a skirt. And way too much ranting on running shoes.

Wednesday: Rosen linen top, Rachel Comey Menace Pant, Eileen Fisher mules.

wednesday

We’ve been wanting to go back to the restaurant where we were married for a while. It’s hands-down the best food to be had in a 50 mile radius and the biggest reason why we chose it for our wedding. It’s also very pricey. We had a gift card from Z’s dad and wanted to use it before our next anniversary. We tried to go a couple weeks ago but it was booked up until 9 pm and that late of a dinner doesn’t work for us.

Since the hotel is right off the river, there’s a walking bridge 50 feet away from the building and we also go for a walk on it – or in our case, more like a post dinner waddle.

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I don’t have a photo for Thursday because it was my last PT session and I forgot to take a picture that morning. I also had a follow up appointment with the orthopedic surgeon this week. He said unless my ankle got worse or started to bother me, there was no need to have any more visits. If in the next couple of months anything goes wrong, I could get an MRI.

The general verdict is: I still need to spend many many MANY more months strengthening my leg. I have a list of exercises to do at home now for flexibility and strength. I’ve been given the ok to run, but to build up at a glacial pace so I don’t overdo it again. Also, I might never be rid of the bump, which is slightly frustrating because that means I may always have problems wearing regular shoes with a hard back. The only thing that could technically get rid of it is surgery, but that would put me at square one again and I don’t want that. It’s also possible that over time it will eventually go away. How long that takes is anyone’s guess.

Friday: Ann Demeulemeester top, Uniqlo linen pants, Adidas Boston 7 shoes.

Friday

So how’s that for a funky, DGAF-because-it’s-Friday look?

These are my new trainers. Did I need to buy ones that have Boston Marathon on them with the the Unicorn mascot (on the back)? No, but damnit, they are slick looking and I got them at a hell of a discount AND they actually feel really good. Earlier in the week I went out to three different shoe stores to look for new running trainers and hated everything I tried on. Nike shoes fit so weirdly nowadays I can’t find anything in their line that feels right, despite how nice they look. I’m more of a New Balance type because those were always so comfortable, decent looking and had the right amount of support and cushioning. But now a lot of their line has gone with this weird cushion insert thingie that’s like memory foam. I have a basic pair of NB cross trainers but my foot slides everywhere inside due to the slickness of the insert. They have a Cush runner, but it’s not nearly as good their older types of running shoes. I’m not too keen on the other kinds of runners they have these days either. I’m not a huge fan of Saucony and don’t think their running shoes are all that great. Brooks, while having a running lineage, are just too damn expensive for what you get. To me, they are just as ok as Asics, but with a bigger price tag and more wacky colors. Mizunos are good, but for some weird reason, I’ve never gotten the sizing right and when I think I do, they change the style of the shoe and I have to start all over again. The last pair of Mizunos I had were a full size over what I normally wear, but still felt small in the toe box.

I went home feeling a bit defeated that I spent two hours at 3 shops trying on I don’t know how many running shoes and came away with nothing. To feel better, I screen shopped the new Y-3 summer catalog that just came out and then it hit me: why the heck haven’t I looked at Adidas? Oh right, because trying to find Adidas around here is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. The market is so  insanely saturated with Nike and Reebok (*shudders*) that Adidas isn’t easy to get a hold of. I looked up their running shoe line and read several reviews. Of course, my eyes were immediately drawn to the colors of the 2018 Adizero Boston 7 and I found a coupon. I really don’t like buying running shoes online because I spend a lot of time going over the shoes before buying. When I was out at the stores, I walk up and down the aisles with different shoes on my feet. I even run standing in place and run up and down the aisles. I’m insanely picky about them because running in shoes that don’t work only ends in disaster. I’ve had plantar fasciitis in both feet, countless blisters, and nearly snapped my calf muscle. The right running shoes are very important.

Luckily, the Adidas worked out. They even come with a replacement set of shoe laces (or if you just want a different color – the extras are navy). I’ve only done a treadmill run in these so far, but they are so much better than the Sauconys I was running in. I’m a believer now in the Boost cushioning system. So much so that I’ve already bought another pair of Adidas, which should arrive tomorrow. The other pair – Adizero Tempo 9 – also has the Boost, but more than the Boston 7. That’s another thing about running – you can never ever have too many running shoes. In fact, having several to rotate through is a must in order to stave off injuries.

I’m not giving up on the other brands, but I may wait a bit until some of the styles change over before looking again. The two Adidas will hold me over for a little while, but I generally like to have 3-4 pairs of running shoes to rotate.

Sunday: Yohji Yamamoto skirt and Eileen Fisher mules.

skirt

Yep, this is a skirt. I recently got another order in from Rakuten – two YY shirts and this skirt. Even though the skirt says it’s a size 1, which is technically too small for me, this is one of those weird cases where the style of the item makes sizing all but impossible to figure out. The dimensions on the site for the skirt made it sound like it would fit me perfectly. When I got it I was incredibly confused. The skirt is very wide at the waist. I’d say it’s 36 inches and since I’m a size 28 waist that’s a lot of extra fabric. There is zero elastic. The only fasteners are one snap button and two pieces of string placed apart on the side. Whut? I spent an hour trying to figure out how to wear it as a skirt and it dawned on me that this is one of those truly avant-garde pieces. One is not supposed to wear it normally. More like – one gets to interpret how to wear this item correctly and no one way is or isn’t correct. It’s like my skirt/pants. It can be worn in half a dozen ways and no one – not even the designer – would really tell you what’s right or isn’t.

I bought this skirt because I loved the dress part of the YY suit I have so I got curious about wearing more skirts. I like the length of most YY skirts I’ve seen and believed this simple, lined linen skirt would be my gateway into wearing more. End result? Look at this fantastic, lightweight summer dress! I’m not wearing a bra and the only thing keeping me from flashing the world is one little bow and a snap button. Oh and I do kinda have to watch the top because the snap is actually a flap over. The upper part of the dress in the photo shows a line. I can actually put my whole hand through that. So bending over and letting that flap open too much might flash some boob as well. However, I’ve been wearing it all day today and love it so far as a dress. There is a bit of side boobage depending on how I move since there is no elastic up top and the width is greater than my bust size, but so far this is working out great. There’s also that big slit up the middle, which technically goes to the side when it’s worn as a skirt, but I’ve not had any issues with that either. The linen is blended with a little rayon so it’s super soft and lightweight and it doesn’t wrinkle like crazy. Being lined on the inside makes it very smooth and easy to drape as well. Despite the seemingly immensely easy ways this dress can go wrong and cause outfit malfunctions it’s super comfortable and I’ve not had to fuss with it at all. It’s really weird how I went for one thing and ended up with something else entirely that became a win in the end.

Today is Z’s birthday. We went to see Incredibles 2, which was much better than I thought it would be. The beginning of it started off with a very sexist slant that doesn’t entirely justify how it works itself out of that by calling out how well Mr Incredible and Elastagirl know each in their marriage, but overall it was an enjoyable watch.

Dressing Normie

Wednesdaythursday

I wouldn’t say I dress too far out there, but I do very much skew masculine and have worn many weird proportions. Today (the photo directly above), however, made me feel like a normie, aka normal office person. I grabbed one of the company pullovers from the stock room yesterday before leaving work (covering up logo in photo). It’s a large so it is a bit big, but I’m ok with that. I think a lot of it had to do with the pants as well, which are from Uniqlo. They are meant to be office pants and super basic, which is fine. I wore an office shirt today because execs from my main client were visiting our facility. My whole morning was spent hanging out with them and giving them a tour of the building with my boss. I was very conscious the whole day of feeling like an employee while wearing this outfit and half expecting to hear someone whispering “one of ussssss”. This just made me want to run home and change all the more. I know it’s ridiculous and all in my head. I thought it would be funny to share this feeling of wearing a fake skin.

The client meeting went well, which surprised me. The operations director, who is the boss of my main contact, never gave me the impression he was an easy person to deal with based on email exchanges. I was a bit nervous and prepared to hear a bit of shaming on our part for the whole slew of late orders last month. However, that didn’t happen. In fact, he praised me quite a bit and said my constant communication really helped them know we were doing our best despite the problems we encountered. As we toured the facility we showed them the assembly section and had none of their parts there because we shipped them all out yesterday. I told him a certain product they needed was in that shipment and he high-fived me very happy about the early delivery.

The clients left and my boss took us out to lunch. Afterwards, I was right back at it in a meeting regarding a new issue on a different product from the same client. I was hoping for an easy afternoon, but this was a blatant reminder of how I’ll need to up my game with my new role.

I get my admin on Monday! Finally! And while I was riding high on the thought of having someone take care of all those little admin things I was thrown a curve ball from my boss about taking on another client account, which I thought I was going to squeak by. This new one is in fact a new “old” client who came back to us and is being super nit-picky about a whole slew of things for their current orders about to be shipped out. *head*desk* It clearly never ends….

I know this whole post is just about work, but today was a bit of a Big Day so to speak. I have a hair appointment after dinner, which I’m hoping will go well. I’m trying yet another salon because I haven’t found one that really gets me yet. Also, I may have bought a custom sized shirt from Rosen and may plan on having a suit customized from them next month because I’ll be dragged to more conferences and so I may as well brace myself now for it. Also, I don’t want to go as a normie to these events. I want to go as ME.

 

In favor of enough

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The last photo was taken today. I put on the pants just for this photo and then took them off and put on the jeans I had been wearing beforehand and put my shoe/boot back on. I simply wanted to take a photo to show the pants I got from Uniqlo today before I wash them.

I also wanted to show the jacket I’m wearing as well. I’ve not worn this jacket in over a year (maybe even closer to two years), but I never got rid of it. For some reason, it escaped many of my KonMari purges since we’ve moved into this house. I’ve had this jacket for nearly 10 years. It’s from Old Navy and for many years I lived in it. It was the only in-between weather jacket I had that worked for spring/autumn weather. It was warm enough to wear on 50-ish days and provided just enough protection from light rain/drizzle despite being entirely cotton (canvas on the outside – not weather proof – flannel plaid inside). This jacket made sense for wearing today. It’s drizzling with a few heavy rain storms. Although the jacket is old and faded a little, it still works great and I do think it looks nice.

This jacket made me glad I didn’t purge it even though I’ve not worn it in a long time. As I drove to the mall I thought about other clothes I’d gotten rid of and somehow kinda wished I hadn’t. There was a big, black sweater I had and I still think about it. I’m really not sure why I got rid of it, but I know I was in the thick of the whole “less is more” minimalist mantra at the time. I’d read the KonMari book and we were getting ready to move and I was so proud of myself for giving away/donating/trashing so many bags of stuff we didn’t need… or did we?

Now, I really hate that “less is more” mantra. It pisses me off because I fell into it’s gimmicky trap. I got rid of things I still think about, but at the time convinced myself I could do without. I wasn’t really listening to myself – I was listening to how cool it sounded to say I could get rid of so much stuff. The reality is: less is less.

4 years ago I had 2 pairs of jeans and 1 pair of pants. Currently, I have

  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 3 pairs of black pants
  • 2 pairs of navy pants
  • 1 pair of brown pants
  • and 2 pairs of denim pants.

Today I bought a pair of olive pants. And I still intend on buying more pants. Why?  My circumstances are a lot different now than they were 4 years ago. I’m in a job where I need to wear nicer clothes and having a variety to choose from helps me greatly. With my old job, I could wear whatever I wanted so I didn’t think about wearing more than what I had simply because I didn’t care about how I looked. Now I do care and now I want more options to choose from. It doesn’t mean I’m going to buy ALL THE PANTS, but simply enough pants to cover all seasons and allow me a variety for each.

That’s another thing I realized. I remember writing here how I wanted to have a small wardrobe that had pieces I could layer throughout the year. Um…. yeah, let’s face reality a bit. I live on the east coast and summers here get up to 100F and winters get down to -12F. I need a wardrobe big enough to accommodate those extremes. A few layers won’t cut it. I need clothes that are meant to be worn in extreme weather conditions. Sure those clothes may only get worn a few months out of the year, but they are worth it because they protect me and are necessary for this environment. Do I still have more clothes than I may actually need? Probably, but I’m tired of feeling like I shouldn’t have as much as I do. It’s like I’ve felt some sort of guilt over…. nothing. I do wear all of my clothes, so why should I feel bad for buying a little more I know I’ll add into the rotation? I don’t intend on buying clothes for the sake of buying clothes, I’m buying them because they fill a gap.

[This is really sounding like I’m writing all of this to justify today’s purchase and future purchases to myself – huh? So let’s just call it what it is – justification and writing therapy to get these thoughts out of my head. Here is the 4th wall moment. Now let’s continue….]

So, I bought a pair of pants today. I was thinking a lot about the Pas de Calais pants that are really expensive. I decided to look around at places where I’d bought clothes before and saw Uniqlo came out with a new kind of pant: a cotton/linen blend. They looked good online, but their sizing can be a bit weird for me so I drove out to the mall to try them on. They fit perfectly and the beige kind were opaque enough for me as well. Part of the reason why I don’t have light colored pants is because I wear black underwear 99.999% of the time. But the Uniqlo ones had the perfect amount of coverage and they are incredibly comfortable. I’d been looking for an in-between weather kind of pants and these fit the bill perfectly. I also like the length and I can roll them up when it gets warmer and make them look a little better with different shoe combinations. I was shocked at how much I really liked these pants. When I saw these in the olive color I knew I’d want them because in the back of my head I’ve been coveting a good pair of olive pants for at least 6 months now. I can wear these with plenty of shirts already in my wardrobe. I considered this purchase a major score for myself. I almost bought the beige ones as well to call it a day, but then I stopped and put them back.

I planned on buying the beige ones as a way of passing on the Pas de Calais pants.  However, I realized I do in fact want those Pas de Calais pants. I’m allowed to have pants that cost $29.90 and pants that cost $320.00 in my wardrobe. I found their online shop and they have them in beige. They look really nice and I don’t need yet another pair of black pants. They are expensive and if need be, I can return them. I haven’t decided when I’ll buy them, but I do plan on it. Maybe when the weather gets a little bit warmer (and to see if they go on sale anytime soon). Eventually, there will be yet another pair of pants in my collection and then I think I will have enough.

Moderation is key and always has been, even if it takes us a damn long time to get there. It’s not about buying too much or showing off how little we have. It’s all about having enough and my enough is going to be very different from everyone elses’ enough.

 

Eat the stuff

stuff

It’s incredibly nice outside today – 56F – so of course Z and I had to take out the Mustang. We drove to a little tourist trap of a town about 30 minutes away from our house. It’s a very cute little town, but parking is nigh impossible to find after a certain time (there were 3 spots left when we got there at 11:45 am) and the sidewalks are usually jam-packed with people.  We didn’t stop at the restaurant advertised in the photo, but I liked the sign.

I’m not sure if I’m fighting off something or if the stress of the past week is still weighing on me. I slept a lot last night, but still felt heavy and drained this morning. I almost fell asleep in the car ride to the town. We stopped at a food court plaza because Z needed brunch and I needed a pick-me-up.

affogatotots

I was going to get a latte, but when I saw they served affogato, I knew that would be it. Hardly any place serves affogato around here, so this is a treat and now knowing this is where I can get it – I’ll be back. The barista told me he makes a shake version with two shots of espresso, and a little milk. I’m sure that’s nice in the summertime, but I like getting scoops of the ice cream in one bite and then a bit of espresso the next. Coffee shakes can be had almost anywhere, affogato is rare at any coffee shop or ice cream parlor.

Z was tempted by the Breakfast Tots he found at a different food stall in the plaza. The tots are covered in two large pieces of pork roll, topped by two fried eggs, chili sauce, chives, and cheese. He said he was in trouble because he wanted the tots from one stand, Indian from another stand, and Peruvian from another stand. Suffice to say, we’ll be going back there several times. The hot chocolate barista got us as well. We were given samples of a dark chocolate drinking cocoa and it was amazing – not too sweet, not too bitter.

Uniqlo top, 45rpm jacket, Rachel Comey pants.

I look like quite the little old lady in the first photo. I didn’t even know Z took that until I took the photos off my camera. He asked to take my photo outside.

We ran a few more errands and then headed home. I’m quite tuckered out now. Walking on the cobblestone sidewalks in the tourist town was not easy and did a number on my back and functioning leg as it compensated a lot for all the wobbling I was doing on the boot. Time to chill out, and maybe play more Zelda…