Mia’s Clothes Storage Situation

Hey, everybody! How’s tricks? A comment from Elise yesterday made me think that it’s high time I show you guys where and how I store my clothing–not that any of it is a shining example of storage ingenuity, but at least you’ll get TRUE MIA REALNESS. (True Mia Realness may involve some sloppiness, because I am kind of an untidy person. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

The main body of my clothing lives here, in the hall closet. I generously let Mike have the smaller bedroom closet, so this one’s all mine. From left to right, we have heavy coats, jackets, blazers, cardigans, scarves, shirts, and other tops. Tall boots (plus miscellaneous junk) live on the floor. See that big brown suitcase? That’s currently where I’m storing my warmer sweaters and skirts, and that’s where the thinner shirts and skirts will go when the weather finally changes and I swap things out. Some tops and skirts are year-round versatile and live on the racks all the time.

If you peek in a little bit, you can see the closet extends to include skirts and dresses. Sometimes I keep things in color order; now is not that time.

Also in the living room, we have an Ikea EXPEDIT; although I know this looks like a bottomless black portal to Hell, I promise it’s the cube where I keep my tights and thigh-high socks. (Okay, maybe it also does double-duty as a Hellmouth, what do I know?) I also have a cube for belts and a cube for bras, underwear, and regular socks, but I’ll spare you those.

In the bedroom, I have my own little half-size chest-of-drawers-type-thing: the open top holds necklaces, bracelets, rings, and headbands (and Mike’s alarm clock, that’s what the black box is), the first drawer holds earrings, the next drawer holds junk, the third holds casual t-shirts, the next two hold shorts and work pants, and the bottom holds pajamas. Not pictured here is Mike’s larger chest of drawers, of which I have also stolen borrowed two drawers to hold 1) camisoles and layering tees and 2) jeans, although the jeans drawer could probably be done away with, now that I only own three pairs after the Great Jeans Purge of ’12.

Finally, we have my Shoe Mess. Don’t do this to your shoes, people, treat them with more respect than I do. This container was originally meant to be stored under beds, but when we got it home it became immediately apparent that it will only fit under beds that aren’t ours. So it lives in the corner of the bedroom, looking goofy and awkward, because I’m too busy/lazy to figure out something better.

It’s kind of funny, because I don’t normally think of myself as having a lot of clothes, but I guess it is a lot, isn’t it? It makes me feel strange and self-conscious to admit that. I actually had some trouble confronting this last night while taking these pictures, because I have a knee-jerk reaction to assign a moral system to objects–so obviously if I own a lot of clothes I’m not as good a person as someone who owns less. I know I’m not the only person who struggles with that feeling, and it’s at least partially tied to the general media portrayal of women who enjoy shopping and own a lot of clothing as being shallow, vain, selfish, materialistic, and intellectually bereft. And we already know that’s not true! Not intrinsically true, anyway. I’m sure there are plenty of shallow, vain, etc. people who also own a lot of clothing, but correlation does not equal causation, any more than seeing a tall person kick a puppy means that all tall people kick puppies. (Right, Gracey?)

It’s still something that I personally have trouble with, though; as with many things, it’s easier to give other people a break than to give myself one, and I do catch myself saying and thinking things about my own circumstances that I would never say to someone I cared about. (Working on it, working on it…)

Like Sal says in her post on “How much clothing should a person own?”, everyone has a different level of “need,” and bringing “should” into the equation breeds judgement and comparison. Like, whew! so long as I don’t own as much clothing as that person over there I’m fine! But this person over here still has less than me, so they’re better. They’re winning. Winning at what? This train of thought becomes so dangerous and nonsensical so quickly, doesn’t it? It’s not productive, and it certainly doesn’t make me happy, so I’m doing my best to derail that train when it starts choo-chooing through my head. So: yes, I do own a lot of clothes. And this is how I store them! And that’s that.

Outfit Post: 9/25/12

Back to pictures where the data is known to me, hurray! I wore this on my first day back from San Francisco, because Chicago has -officially- fallen into autumn. It’s a brisk ride in the mornings to school, and this blazer was perfect. I got this at a swap when the weather was far too warm for it, and have been waiting (im)patiently to wear it ever since.


The funny thing about this blazer is I almost didn’t go for it, thinking the tweed was a little old fashioned, and not exactly in my colors. I grabbed it mostly because I’ve been wanting blazers like mad for a while now, and had had so little success finding ones that fit, that I jumped on this one in the end. The funny part is I saw a pretty much identical blazer at Forever21 in San Francisco on Sunday, so…not so old fashioned, I guess!


Even with this guy and my plaid blazer, I still want a nice, basic, black peplum shoulder-padless blazer. I guess I have my new thrifting mission, if I should have ever have some free time to go thrifting. Maybe when Mia comes to town in November…well, at least almost for sure then! But that’s over a month and a half away, and by then, we’ll be a little bit past optimal blazer weather, I think. All the better for finding them in thrift stores though!


Outfit Post: 9/25/12

Dress: Ross — Shirt and flats: Goodwill — Necklace: Gift — Bangle: Thrifted — Hat: Swapped

I ended up taking Tuesday as a sick day, but more as the preventative type than the I’m-coughing-hacking-and-wheezing type. Sometimes I feel lazy and selfish for taking sick days when I’m not actually exuding mucus from every orifice, but if a day off now and then keeps me happier and healthier, what the hey.

Plus, I got a lot done! Cleaning, errand-running, and cooking (quinoa superfood salad and bacon and pea risotto), all that fun housewifely stuff that I end up doing despite being neither a house nor a wife. Well, I’m only being half-sarcastic; I like the cooking and even the grocery shopping, it’s mostly the cleaning that I only do because it needs to get done.

In truth, this outfit was actually a little warm for Tuesday, mostly because the Valley refuses to acknowledge that it’s fall now and continues to assault us with face-melting sun and heat. (It’s supposed to be 102 on Sunday. 102!! Some last day of September that’ll be.)

I felt cute and purple, though, and the hat adequately hid my obnoxious rebelling hair from general view. See how you like that, hair! Maybe next time you’ll actually do what the hairbrush tells you to do.

Plus, I found this bangle again! It cracked at some point and got shoved to the back of my jewelry box, and I finally dug it out and put some wood glue on it. The fix isn’t perfect, but like my personal crest says: “Good Enough.”

It actually looks a lot like the Failure shirt design from Dinosaur Comics. Damn that T-Rex, always stealing my ideas before I come up with them.

Outfit Post: Vesty Mcgee

These pictures are also from some time before the conference. Maybe Wednesday or so? Tuesday? I don’t know.

I’m thinking it was Tuesday, considering I seem to pumped to be showing off my hip hop moves. I’ve really been enjoying learning a new form of dance, even though I had to take this week off to get more sleep.

This vest was another thrift find. I’m not sure about it, honestly. It’s not as fitted as most vests I wear, so the affect is a little less put together…in my mind. But then, I tend to strongly associate fittedness with put togetherness.


I should probably examine those thoughts, and where they come from. Or, alternatively, get my vest tailored.



How To: Spend Five Hours of Your Life Making Pierogi

Hey, guys! I heard you want to learn how to make pierogi!

What’s that? You don’t? Well, sit down and shut up, because this is all I got today, so you’re gonna get a pierogi recipe and you’re gonna like it.

Also, there are no process pictures, because it’s not only 5 hours worth of work, it’s 5 hours worth of consistent, tedious work. Sounds like fun, right? I’ll break it down for you:

1) Decide you want to make pierogi. Rope good friend with larger kitchen than you into being your pierogi-making buddy, because misery loves company. Plus, she lived in Poland for two months so it’ll be more authentic.

2) The night before, decide what fillings you want to have, and make ’em.

2a) i.e. Saute mushrooms until brown, then add an equal part of sauerkraut to the pan and cook for a minute; or boil peeled potatoes, mash, add milk, butter, and/or sour cream, then add healthy handfuls of grated cheese, sauteed onion, garlic, whatever you like.

2b) Also caramelize some onions for topping.

2c) Be sure to do this even if it’s suddenly 11:00 at night and you’re tired and want desperately to sleep; you won’t want to do this tomorrow, either.

3) On the Sacred Day of Pierogi-Making, eyeball the amount of filling you have and decide that multiplying this dough recipe by four ought to do the trick.

3a) Remember this later, so you can laugh at it.

4) Prep said dough and let it rest–it’s a bit springy because all you had on hand was bread flour, but you’re sure it’ll be delicious anyway. Clear your friend’s beautiful marble counters for the rolling-out of the dough.

5) Roll out dough. And roll and roll and roll. That dough sure is springy from the bread flour, huh? Find a glass that’s about 4 inches in diameter, and use that to cut the finally-rolled-out-to-1/16-of-an-inch dough.

6) Add filling to your cut-outs; dab the edge with water, fold, crimp with a fork, and hope fervently that they won’t split during the boiling process.

7) Boil a test batch; watch them all split at the edges.

7a) Curse your inferior crimping technique.

8) Roll roll roll; cut cut cut; fill fold crimp, fill fold crimp. Really go to town on those edges, ordering them not to split.

9) Realize that you don’t want to fry the boiled test batch just yet, because these need to be fresh and warm at book club tonight. Oil them in a vain attempt to keep them from sticking to each other like horny teenagers. Or is that horny slugs?

9a) Make a note to research slug mating habits for future reference.

10) Repeat ad nauseum for the next two or three hours until your hands start to cramp.

11) Realize that you still have a mountain of filling; laugh at 3a); run to the store for more sour cream and regular AP flour and make another 20-count batch of dough.

12) Roll roll roll; cut cut cut; fill fold crimp. Use up all of the sauerkraut and mushroom filling and most of the potato filling, and decide that that’s good enough.

13) Decide to count your pierogi; realize that with dough for sixty you have made ninety-five.

13a) Take a moment of silence to admire what ninety-five pierogi look like. (It’s pretty dang majestic.)

14) Fry up a few for a taste-test, and realize it was all worth it.

15) Cart a portion of them to book club, fry them up in butter, and luxuriate in the admiration of others.

(See? Majestic.)


16) Serve with a beautiful salad made by another club member from bell peppers, quinoa, squash, and herbs.

17) Add some chicken and apple sausage for protein and chow down.

17a) Talk about books or whatever. (Ours for this month was Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book.)

18) Admire the also-beautiful lemon and rosemary sandwich cookies made by another club member.

19) Scarf said cookies with an adorable cat-mug full of black tea. Go home, exhausted but triumphant, with a container full of uncooked pierogi for later.

20) Never make pierogi ever again. (Just kidding. Make them again in six months when you’ve forgotten what a pain in the ass it is. Rinse and repeat.)

Outfit Post: Not a white tee

So…I’m not sure when these were taken. Some time before the conference for sure. And I do remember that I wore my boots specifically because I didn’t feel like rolling up my jeans to bike into work this day.

I was really confused when I saw these on the camera, because my camera’s display made my top look white. I own exactly zero plain white tees and I was baffled. However, uploading to my laptop revealed the truth: it’s a pink tee. And that makes way more sense.

I really love pairing pale pink and green like this, so I’m not at aaaall surprised now that I can see the appropriate contrast and colors. Silly me.

Have you ever found mystery outfit pictures on a camera? Did you end up posting them?





This Just In: People of Color DO Write Speculative Fiction

People of color? In MY speculative fiction? It’s more likely than you think–or it should be. (photo via i09)

In case you haven’t heard, Aarti of BookLust recently organized a reading tour, A More Diverse Universe, dedicated to increasing exposure of speculative fiction written by people of color. Diversity in science-fiction and fantasy has been increasing recently, but it’s still sorely lacking, and in Aarti’s words:

Did you know that there are more books in publication about people of character that are by Caucasian authors than there are by people of color authors?!  That means that if you are white and write a book about an Indian girl named Aarti and her life in Chicago (and perhaps a fantastical journey to Fairyland) you are more likely than I am to get that book published.  That’s messed up.

That is messed up, Aarti. Support for diversity in the writing world is so important, and the outpouring of enthusiasm for this reading tour has been phenomenal. There are so many books and authors on the schedule that I haven’t even heard of, and that’s a damn shame! My own post over at Nisaba Be Praised reviewing Samuel Delany’s early work The Einstein Intersection went up today, and if I’m not mistaken, my co-blogger Jessica will be talking about Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed later this week. Laura from Ruby Bastille is participating too! Some other reviews of books and stories I’ve read and can recommend:

+ “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate” by Ted Chiang, over at Untitled United

+ Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, over at Always Cooking Up Something

+ The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin, over at Bay State Reader’s Advisory

The tour is going on through Saturday, so check out the schedule and stay tuned for reviews you might find interesting! At the very least, jot a few titles down and check them out sometime soon.

Dressing for Conferences

Hey guys! I have sucked(a lot) at blogging. Part of this has just been the ridiculous amount of busy I’ve experienced this semester. Part of it has been strength training three days a week at the beginning of each day, and not changing into my outfit for pictures until after I’ve worked out, and thus having to do night pictures(aka those pictures just don’t happen). BUT! Thursday – Monday, I was in San Francisco.

I took pictures each day, remarkably enough while I was there. I think I’ve talked before about conferences – computer science conferences are so weird in their dressing standards. Most students don’t dress up, but I feel like because of my hair, I want to dress nicely.

I don’t have too much to say about dressing professionally, since it still is not an expectation for me(and whenever I show up to the lab in a button down and a vest, I still get weird looks and comments from my labmates), but I do love to dress smart.

Anyway! I’ve actually got like three days of outfits on my camera, I just need to make the time to write posts! So hopefully you’ll see me more frequently in the coming weeks. I know Mia’s got some team outfit pics taken by the dear Tito to process later too.





Outfit Post: 9/19/12

Top, skirt, and flats: Goodwill — Camisole [pictured below]: Gap Outlet — Mushroom pendant: Gift from Katie! — Bracelet: Hand-me-down — Earrings: Target

Super-swishy skirts when it’s windy: great idea or terrible idea?

I’d say great, but then again, I had my bike shorts on.

Plus, some days you just gotta represent with double polka dots. Or wait, hold on a sec…


(Not gonna lie, if I could figure out how to make this photo into a “deal with it” gif, I would. Good thing for you all I’m too lazy.)

Swishy skirts, secret triple polka dots, and pretty gold jewelry.

Or rather, swishy skirts, secret triple polka dots, and pretty gold jewelry, some of which was purchased at Target on clearance for under $5.

And you know that’s fly. Flyyyyyyy!

Outfit Post: 9/17/12

Top: Target — Pants: Old Navy — Sandals: Goodwill (Aerosoles) — Bangles: Thrifted — Earrings: Gift from Katie! 

Despite what my face may be telling you here, I was actually thrilled to get away with a fancy-pajamas equivalent at work on Monday.

I mean, loose flowy top + loose flowy pants with weird-but-amazing yoga waistband = comfort and joy forever. And I still looked like a classy dame! (Please don’t tell me when I don’t look like a classy dame. I like to pretend.)

Just slap on a few bangles…

…and a simple pair of pretty earrings and you’re good to go! Too bad the cool weather is starting to move in; I’m going to have to start thinking about Winter Pajamas pretty soon…