Saturday, January 29, 2011

Peppermint Friday

Red and white stripe top: H&M
Gray tank: AE
Black skirt: Merona
Gray tights: Target
Turquoise Moccasins: Payless

Since I had a Vanilla Monday, I knew I needed to sweeten up Friday just a bit.  This red striped top was just vivacious enough for a short reference shift and some coffee shop studying (with a peppermint mocha, appropriately).  I originally paired this outfit with my trusty brown boots but then felt I had been over wearing them lately so I put on my snow boots and tossed these turquoise flats in my bag.  There is something utterly irresistible to me about the red and turquoise combo.

And this sparrow  I first saw it over at Inside a Black Apple (which is a lovely sartorial inspiration) and followed the Etsy link to buy one of my own.

I need to do a post about birds in the future; I used to have a canary when I was a girl and fell madly in love with birds and bird imagery as a result.

Hopefully my obsession does not turn into this:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What to wear to a librarian potluck

Fair isle sweater: Forever 21
Gray long sleeve tee: Gap
Jeans: Old Navy
Belt: F21

Today was such a successful day!!  I feel like I have been just trying to make it through for the past few days (I am already behind on my cataloging reading and it is week 2 of the semester. Eek!).  Today I woke up before my alarm for the first time in a long time and, upon searching my closet for warm clothes for my trek to campus, came upon this little sweater I got on sale at Forever 21 last year.  It's so bright and cheery it changed my whole day.  One downside is that is oddly cut so it makes me look a bit bulkier, but the neck detail makes up for it.  I think Fair Isle is a magical pattern (it did originate from Scotland, after all); it definitely made me into a super librarian today.  Feeling very blithe indeed, I felt compelled to wash all of my dishes (which admittedly does not happen until Friday night) and take out my garbage before boarding the bus. I also made a delicious veggie dish for a potluck (more on that later). I worked out today.  I had a lovely reference shift and I also got my intended reading done during slow times.  I got a free cookie while buying an afternoon caffeine fix.  I attended a wonderful potluck dinner with some lovely people.  It's the sweater- I know it.

I need more magic clothes. Perhaps an invisibility cloak as well?

More importantly, this is the dish my sweater and I made for said potluck: Healthy Edamame Salad (Vegan!)

I cannot claim to have found this first; my friends S & B brought this along on a recent friend vacation.  It is amazing and everyone loves it!

All you do is boil some edamame and corn to add to black beans:

Chop some delicious things like limes, garlic, cilantro, scallions, and tomatoes for the vinaigrette dressing:

Then combine and eat:

This and the fair isle sweater are two of my favorite things.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Two for one

White Blouse: F21
Gray pinstripe skirt: The Limited
Red Belt: ??
Black tights: Target
Black heels: Candies

Mustard Cardigan: Merona
Red  blouse: Old Navy
Jeans: Old Navy
Belt: Forever 21
Shoes: Xhilaration

It's soooo past my bedtime but I had to stay up to finish reading about government documents (I think the key point is not that we have access but that we know how/ have the ability to use this information).  Since I was up (and still in my outfit from today) I decided to catch up on my outfit cataloging and snap both yesterday's and today's outfits since I felt good about them.  Since I focused on the Liz Lemon side of my wardrobe last week I decided to try a bit of the Jenna Maroney side.  I don't think I am up for the JM side of my wardrobe- secretary skirts always make me feel awkwardly sexy.  Like I feel that people will think I am trying to be sexy because I am wearing a snug skirt and I feel self conscious.  It might stem from a past classroom experience where I wore this exact skirt and one of my students actually told me I looked hot (ah community college).  So I went back to pants for the rest of my time there.

I know the "sexy librarian" is a stereotype, just like the strict frumpy librarian, but it feels so inappropriate to be even the least bit sexy.  I guess when your job includes helping students access some of the great scholars and thinkers, attractiveness feels superfluous.

I hope I can find a balance between cute clothes and conservative frumpy librarian wear.  I think that clothing can be a sort of text: it can be symbolic for who we are, how we feel in that given moment.

Too much thought for so late at night!

P.S. In trying to find a picture of JM to illustrate the skirt and blouse combo I actually found one of her awesome boyfriend in said outfit. Even better:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Vanilla Mondae

Vanilla Sundae, originally uploaded by You dress like a librarian.
Book: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Cream ruffle henley: Aeropostale
Black skirt: Merona
Belt: F21
Tights: Target
Boots: Tretorn

Today was a blah day outside and inside- I was feeling like comfort colors, grays and cream.   However, my day brightened when I put on my trusty red boots.  I actually ended up wearing them all day instead of changing into the gold flats I brought to wear at work. Opps.  The truth is that I felt like being as cozy as possible today since I had to truck it to campus for my virtual chat shift and for a cataloging project when I really felt like staying in bed and reading my book.

It turned out that cataloging was interesting enough without the red boots- I get to go through old versions of travel books to check their metadata record for consistency and to get them ready to be moved to our storage facility.  It was strangely luxurious to sneak peaks at travel books of Egypt, Quebec, China, and Mexico from the 70's. 

And I'm reminded of the importance of what I do- that good books can take people so far.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tasty Weekend

I had a fairly typical winter weekend.

Friday:  Went to work, read in the library with some chai tea, came home and had a late lunch while reading The Sun magazine, watched Fringe (!!!), and had drinks with co-workers.  As my outfit was nothing fancy (purple zip-up hoodie and skinny jeans) I decided to photograph lunch instead.

I am a bit obsessed with broccoli slaw.  I made a big batch last week and finished it up for lunch on Friday.  Here is my recipe:

Broccoli Slaw:
1/2 cup of canola oil
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
Splash of soy sauce
Splash of sesame oil
Dashs of salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder

Salad part:
1 package of broccoli slaw
Small handful of chopped scallions
Handful of chopped red pepper
1/2 cup of toasted slivered almonds and 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

1. Mix together dressing ingredients and whisk together.

2. Start toasting almonds and sesame seeds together.

3. Cut scallions and red pepper.  Toss broccoli slaw mix with dressing and add scallions and red pepper.

4. Add toasted almonds and sesame seeds and eat!

Saturday:  Mostly a lazy day where I hid underneath my quilt and read non school books.  Then I made myself a to-do list and realized I had over 250 pages of reading due this week for class. Panicked. Started reading for school.

Sunday: Worked at the Circulation desk (learned how to transfer phone calls. Yeah!) while delicious stuffed peppers cooked in the slow cooker. Procrastinated after work by watching episodes of Scrubs.  Now, reading about descriptive cataloging rules before bed.

Slow cooker stuffed peppers:
(This is something I threw together from several recipes on the internet.  They turned out well but were a bit too juicy from the chicken stock so I still have to experiment a bit to get the taste right.  They also needed more tomato flavor, I thought, so next time I might pour in some tomato soup over the top for more flavor.)

Ingredients (makes six):
6 green bell peppers
1.5 pounds of ground beef
1 medium onion
1 clove of garlic
About 1 cup of cooked brown rice
1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese
1 can of diced tomatoes
A few good dashes of Worcestershire sauce
A few good shakes of various seasonings: salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder
2 cups of chicken or beef stock or broth

1. Brown the beef with the onion and garlic, breaking it apart as you go. Drain the excess liquid before proceeding.

2. Combine beef mixture, rice, cheese, 3/4 of the can of tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, and seasoning.  Mix together and let sit.  Cut the tops of the green peppers.

3. Place green peppers in the crock pot.  Stuff them with the beef mixture.  Spoon the rest of the tomatoes over the top (or add a bit of water to some tomato soup for a gravy consistency and spoon that over the top).

4. Add chicken broth and any remaining tomato liquid to the crock pot, surrounding the peppers.  Cook on low for about 5-6 hours (since the meat is cooked already) or on high for 3 hours.

You get this:

I am feeling especially full right now (especially since I downed a mug of mint hot cocoa) and content.  Besides the food, my contentment springs from a current obsessions: typing videos on youtube.  One of the perks of being in a library (seriously, for me) is listening to the sound of typing.  It makes my brain tingle with happiness because it is so relaxing.  Kind of weird but it really helps me study.  I just pop on a typing video on youtube repeat (Do you know about this?  When you find a video you like you type the word repeat after the youtube part of the URL.  Try it!) and, with my mug of tea or hot cocoa, am able to power through my reading.  Whatever works.

P.S. Red polka dot plates!!!  Currently at Target and rocking my world.  On Friday, the only thing that got me out of bed was the thought of honey toast on that plate (and freshly ground coffee, of course).

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Liz Lemon Inspired

Gingham Girl, originally uploaded by You dress like a librarian.
Blue gingham checked shirt: Old Navy
Navy Cardigan: Aeropostale
Gray skirt: Merona
Belt: F21
Tights: Target
Boots: Famous Footwear

In honor of tonight's new 30 Rock episode (which I am currently watching) I decided to take a page out of Liz Lemon's book: checkered shirt, navy cardigan, and funky glasses.  I traded the jeans and sneakers for a skirt and tights for a more appropriate reference desk look.  And, of course, I had to belt it.

Today I woke up to the sound of the snow plow.  It snowed thickly and softly for most of the afternoon, which made for a beautiful bus ride.  Whenever it snows, I can't help thinking about the final line of "The Dead": "His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead."  I swoon a bit when it snows- everything is so pure and clean I feel as if I can do anything.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Anne of Green Gables

Green Gables, originally uploaded by You dress like a librarian.

Shawl collar cardigan: Mossimo
Green dress: Mossimo
Gray tights: Target
Brown boots: ? (purchased from famous footwear)
Bird pin and clock necklace: etsy

So I have a confession to make- I am a sucker for period dramas.  So much so that the "20th Century period pieces" is always a recommended category in Netflix.  It seems very librarian of me to be sartorially inspired by books or movies based on books.  Books rule my life.   I've just resigned myself to the fact that my movie collection is kind of geeky and that I shouldn't be ashamed to admit that I watch Anne of Green Gables multiple times in one week. Lately, I've also been watching a ton of the old TV show Road to Avonlea.  It is a major guilty pleasure. Sigh.  I've always been obsessed with the shawl collar cardigans that permeate this movie, so when I saw a reasonably priced brown one at Target this past fall, I snatched it up fast.  It's not exact but it does make me feel a bit more cozy.

My schedule is strange this semester- I spend much more time at home because we are trying out shifts from home for IM chat and I am taking two online classes.  I am horrible at self-discipline so I have to force myself to pick out a real (i.e. not sweatpants) outfit and keep the tv either off or on mute while working.  I kind of hate working from home because it takes so much longer to get things done.  I love having a job I can go to, work hard, and then leave (without having the take home grading I did when I was teaching composition).  So I'm struggling to find a balance of work and rest.

Coffee helps.

P.S. I just returned from the post office where I mailed new pretty camera off to Nikon so they could look at the stuck lens (it is still under warranty).  For now I have a beat-up loaner camera from a friend to get by.  It may be permanent if pretty camera is unfixable.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Librarian Fashion Inspiration: Liz Lemon and Jenna Maroney

One other component of librarian fashion I want to explore is fictional characters who dress like librarians.  When I was thinking about this part of the blog, Liz Lemon(of the show 30 Rock) came to mind immediately.  However, when sharing my idea with a friend she insisted that Jenna Maroney had more of a sexy librarian vibe going on.  So I asked her which one I dressed like.  She said: "Honestly, Gina, a bit of both.  Most of the time you are a kind of frumpy Liz Lemon with your cardigans and glasses and sometimes you are like Jenna with her cute blouses and secretary skirts."

It's an interesting idea: Liz Lemon is the frumpy old lady librarian (sorry Tina Fey, I think you are gorgeous!) and Jenna Maroney is the sexy librarian.  Two stereotypes in one show. Awesome.

The point of this endeavor will be to feature outfits I already own that mirror these two librarian fashion inspirations.

The sad part is that I don't need to try that hard for a Liz lemon look.  Many times I will turn on 30 Rock and will find that, to quote GFY, "Liz Lemon pops up in something I also have and I get concerned about myself."
 So get ready for a month of the best of 30 Rock's librarian fare. 

In other news, a new semester starts on Monday and I am doing my best to avoid getting ready for it.  I finally checked my email (librarians send about a million emails a day) today and spent all morning just cleaning out my inbox.  Looks like things are back to busy.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bread and Resolutions

So I did make some delicious Minestrone soup yesterday as well as some simple ciabatta bread.

Soup (I used 4 cups of beef broth instead of 2 cups broth and 2 cups water)

One minute (kinda) ciabatta bread

And because I myself need lots of visual imagery and because my camera is still on the fritz, I am using the recipe's picture (mine looked fairly similar, with less herbs):

And since nothing clears the mind more than a nice winter's night with a bowl of homemade soup and bread, I started thinking more about why I started this blog, why I've been meaning to start this blog, and what my 2011 goals are.

1. Try to work in rarely worn clothes into my daily wardrobe.  I pretty much have a uniform of a dress or skirt, tank top, cardigan, and boots/flats.  I have some shirts and outfits that fit me and yet have stayed in my closet for years despite not being worn.  Also, as I am a poor grad student, my other clothes goal this year is to not buy anything unless it is necessary.  I pray this blog forces me to be more creative about my outfits so I won't be so tempted to buy beautiful clothes I cannot afford.

2. Get out more: explore the world.  While I have wonderful friends and family (and am plenty busy between work and friends visiting) I would like to spend more time around this town, meeting new people. I'm hoping that the motivation to take pictures of my daily life, to catalog on this blog, inspires me to try new things.

3. Try a new recipe each week.  I love to cook; it saves me money and it is so fun to create delicious things.  However, I fall into the staple recipes (mashed potatoes, baked chicken, stir fry veggies) too frequently!  By the end of this year, I hope the food category on this blog will be filled with my new staples (side note: this makes me think of that recent 30 Rock episode where Tracy Jordan's old son makes that restaurant called Staples that has the fake Godzila fights.  I hope my endeavors are not as disastrous)

4. As usual, continue to read voraciously.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Corduroy and Camera Blues

corduroy blues, originally uploaded by You dress like a librarian.
Scarf: F21
Blue Sweater: Mossimo
White Tank: Jcrew
Cords: Old Navy

One of the positive points of my day was this picture, which happened by accident (I was trying to prepare for the picture because I thought I had longer).  I am focusing on the serendipity right now and the fact that it snowed, heavily and softly, all day.

Because, after I took this exact picture, I went over to check the picture and ended up dropping the camera on the hardwood floor, lens out.  As you can already tell from the title of this post, this was not a good thing.  My lens is now stuck.  As luck would have it one of my friends might know how to fix it.  If not, I will have to go back to ye olde Panasonic camera from 2001 which actually still runs on batteries and has a memory card too big to actually upload photos to my laptop.  Also, the set up manual shows how to plug the USB cord into an ancient and huge looking "IBM computer."

I imagine that this type of sob story will be all too frequent on this blog as I drop things on a really consistent basis.

I started off so well and now I will be picture-less for about a week, which is a shame as I was planning to capture a delicious day tomorrow of soup and bread making.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Spectacle

I believe Dorothy Parker once said that men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.  Which is a shame because I could probably be considered legally blind without my trusty black frames or my contacts.

It's also a shame because librarians wear glasses- and not just any glasses, thick geeky glasses, stereotypically.  In real life, I can only think of two people I currently work with at my library who wear glasses.

The outside world, however, has a much different opinion.  When typing in "librarian" into Etsy, the most frequent object in the search result was a necklace with librarian glasses, such as this beauty:

Don't get me wrong, my own real glasses look suspiciously like this and I am currently debating whether I actually want to buy this pretty necklace.

However, I am curious as to how glasses got linked to librarianship.  Perhaps librarians do tend to wear glasses because they read small print more frequently and the public noticed this trend of librarians wearing glasses at work?

Since my favorite thing to do is research, I decided to get some background information on glasses.  The World Book Encyclopedia entry on glasses informed me that the first people to wear glasses were Europeans in the 1200's.  Apparently, Marco Polo reported that he saw people wearing glasses in China in 1275.  Here's the real kicker: "the demand for glasses used for reading increased after printed books started to become available in the late 1400's."   So it's easy to see how glasses could be associated with reading and librarianship.

There is also an interesting article entitled "The Last Librarian" by Norman D. Stephens printed in the October 2001 issue of American Libraries that touches on the history of this image.  In 1876, Melvil Dewey identified a librarian as a "mouser" working with "dusty books."  Even more interesting is what Edmund Pearson had to say about librarians in 1907: "as for the sex which in numbers predominates the profession we resolutely decline to be drawn into a discussion of that phase of the subject, other than to note their curious fondness for a pince-nes that is fastened to the hair by a small golden chain?"  Stephens smartly points out the this brief reference is the first identifiable notice of the connection of glasses to librarianship and that it "was soon to emerge full-blown."

It looks like the glasses on a chain image might be just that- full-blown.  While I know just as many librarians today who wear glasses as librarians who do not wear glasses I have to wonder if this stereotype will really die down.  Some librarians need to wear glasses to see so patrons will always see librarians with glasses.

I myself will keep wearing my (probably ironic) black thick frame glasses because, well, I need to see.

But I may also get myself this cute necklace just so people know for sure I am librarian when I am outside my workplace. ;)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Shhhh! This is a library!

The creation of this blog has been a long time coming.  It happened for two reasons:

1. Last year I applied to and successfully got accepted to my MLS program of choice.  When the inevitable question of what I was doing with my life came up at weddings, family functions, and parties, the most common response to my answer of "librarian" was this: "How wonderful!!  And you dress like a librarian already!"

I always laughed this off but in the past few months of starting school (I finished my first semester of the MLS program this past December, FYI) I've been pondering this statement more and more.  What does it mean to be a librarian?  More importantly, how does society peg librarians?  Is this stereotype truthful? Harmful?

That's why this will be a case study of my actions, fashion choices, and language as a librarian.  I hope to find out if I really dress like a librarian and what that entails.

2.  This blog is also personal.  It is a way for me to catalog the ideas and events that occur during my journey from library patron to full scale librarian.

So what will this blog include? A bit of everything: fashion, food, books, current events, and library theory.  It's not quite professional but more than a personal diary.

Who am I?  For the purposes of this blog I am a semi-anonymous stereotypical (up for debate) librarian.  I will tell you that I currently reside as a student at an MLS program in the Midwest.  I also am lucky enough to have a graduate assistantship where I work behind the reference desk at the University library and teach library instruction classes.  Eventually, I would like to be an Academic Reference librarian but also have a passing interest in cataloging.

Let the research begin!