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Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Tomorrow begins my fifth consecutive semester of taking classes.  Fortunately for me, I'll have only one class this semester (as opposed to the two I've taken for the past three semesters), and it'll be online.  So no more late night slogs back home from campus!

The instructor for this semester's course has already given us an assignment to complete by the start of the semester.  I'm going to be deliberately vague about details about the class (you know, in case the instructor reaches the end of the internet, finds my blog, and makes the connection between it and me).  But...this assignment was all about her, not at all about the subject matter.  I'm serious.  We had to look for answers to questions like where she went to school, titles and synopses of her thesis and dissertation, where she works now, and her research interests.  I'm very protective of my free time, and this seemed like a massive waste of it, particularly before the semester even began.

So, was there a pedagogical purpose to this assignment that I'm either too dense or too cranky to understand?  Or--as I fear--does this indicate that I'll spend the semester trying to manage a professorial ego trip?  I'm sure I'll find out soon.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Life's Little Triumphs: I Made A Pair Of Pants Fit Me!

I wonder sometimes how many women are truly well served by the clothing choices available.  The older I get, the more fit issues I have, but the one that has been a constant since my teens has been pants length.  I'm 5'11", with my height concentrated in my legs.  Ideally, I like to wear a 36" inseam.  Sometimes a 35" inseam works out okay, depending on the style of the pants.  But nothing shorter than that works out for me.  I scoff at clothing companies that claim to carry tall sizes, when the longest inseam they actually provide is 32".

Ironically, I should note here that over the years, some of my more petite female friends have told me that they have trouble getting pants that are short enough.  Maybe there is some magical unicorn out there whose legs are exactly the right length who can have as many pairs of pants as she wants.

In the past few years, my pants length problem has been exacerbated by the popularity of cropped pants.  Don't get me wrong, I have no objection whatsoever to other people wearing them.  It's just that when I wear them, I'm reminded of wearing high-waters as a teenager because I couldn't find long enough pants.  That isn't a time in my life that I care to relive.

If a shorter woman wants full-length pants in the middle of the cropped pants craze, presumably she can order cropped pants in the tall size and get what she wants.  But if you already have to buy pants in the tall size, then cropped pants will always truly be cropped pants.

I had been a little cranky because Banana Republic had some nice looking corduroy pants, but they were cropped.  In the tall size, the inseam was 33".  Grrr.  When I zoomed in on the hem, I could see that the hem was wide enough that there was some extra fabric to work with.  But even on sale, they were pricey enough that I didn't want to risk it.  Plus, if I spend enough money on an article of clothing, I kind of expect the length to be correct from the start.

But then, after the holidays, these pants went on a sort of super sale!  When I saw that I could get a pair for around $21, I decided that was inexpensive enough to try playing with the hem.  The pants arrived, they fit well around the waist and hips, and the hem was indeed wide enough to add some length to the pants.  I picked out the hem and washed the pants.  I was pleased that the original crease that had been at the bottom of the pants washed out nicely, as that was something I had been concerned about.  I used bias tape to help me use as little of the corduroy pants as possible in creating a new hem.  And--voila--I ended up with pants that are long enough for me!

Yay for sewing machines!  Yay for pants that aren't quite long enough but have wide hems!  And I'm going to optimistically give a preemptive "yay" to cropped pants going out of style so that I can buy long enough full-length pants again.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Online Shopping Mystery: The Shower Rod

I do a lot of my shopping online because crowded stores exhaust me and because there is something to be said for being home in my pajamas.  Most of the time, this works out pretty well, with some interesting exceptions.

Earlier this month, I ordered a lamp, hand cream, and make-up remover from The lamp arrived by itself.  Shortly thereafter, I received an email that the other items were delayed due to the recent winter storm. 

In my building, any packages that are too large to fit in our mailboxes are collected at the front desk.  We then receive an email when we have a package to pick up.  When I got an email about a package today, I assumed it would be my hand cream and make-up remover.  My heart sank when the guy at the front desk went to the room where the freakishly large packages are stored.  I couldn't think what I would have ordered that would need to be in that room, and I didn't feel like lugging a large box upstairs.  He emerged with a skinny package about four feet long.  I tried to discreetly check the shipping label to make sure I wasn't getting someone else's stuff.

Nope, it was addressed to me.  And it was a shower rod.  Something that I never ordered, and do not need, considering that I live in an apartment.  Our apartment management is by no means perfect, but they did equip every apartment with a shower rod.

I chatted online with someone on, who had very little insight as to why I had received a shower rod.  I suggested that the shower rod was perhaps sent by mistake instead of my hand cream and make-up remover.  The employee accepted that, generously (ha!) told me I could keep the shower rod, and processed a refund for the hand cream and make-up remover that I didn't receive.

I know that anyone could order a shower rod, but I'm enjoying imagining that it was a burly man who enjoys home improvement projects, and that he is now the recipient of my hand cream and make-up remover.  In the meantime, I have this surprise shower rod.  Any creative ideas about what to do with a shower rod, when your shower already has one?