Thursday, March 17, 2011

life's more obvious luxuries


I've been feeling rather spoiled in the last few months, what with Christmas, where I got everything I wanted (my family thought I deserved some recompense for all the mental flogging I'd been up to since August) and then my birthday, where I got a lot of unexpected surprises (we usually don't do a lot of gift giving for birthdays).


I love beautiful things-- as I'm sure everyone does-- but they also serve the purpose of keeping me interested in the material/social side of life. I can very easily stop caring about my clothes, shoes, general appearance, and outside ties only to be sucked into a little mental world where there are, I suppose, a lot of rewards, but the stakes for validation are entirely self-made and fulfilled so that I end up rather intense and unhappy most of the time. Sometimes it is nice to simply look nice and have someone tell you so. Some of these presents help me care a bit more about that side of life.


This purse was actually not a gift, at least not this year. I'd had a giftcard to Coach for a few years and finally decided that I'd better use it before the company went bankrupt or decided not to honor giftcards anymore. This brings my purse count up to TWO. The first one was a gift as well. I like to look nice and have functional things, but I can't really get into the purse obsession.


Books for my birthday, naturally. The selection is a bit schizophrenic, but what can I say? I'm looking at five plus years of purposeful reading starting this fall, so I'm planning on a lot of promiscuous perusals until then.


These are my new favorite earrings. Could they be more perfect? Tiny miniature violets in earring form. No, couldn't be better. I love the whole pansy/viola/violet family: they're so perfectly shaped that you're always surprised that you can grow them, they're Victorian, and they have the most colorways. I need the lilac color too, obviously.


And ah, my Tardis cellphone charm which quite unfortunately doesn't work with my cellphone, but I didn't really expect it to. It was made in the UK in 2007, so I'm sure my current network is vastly different than what it was made for. I'll have to put it on my keys in the hopes that it picks up some call SOMEDAY and then I'll get to see it work. Would have been as hilariously annoying as the Dalek alarm clock I got for Christmas.

Then there was this:


which wasn't a present for anything in particular. I was fixing dinner for my dad one day after work and he asked me what I thought about kindles. Being me, I naturally went into a spiel about how I hated ebook readers because I like the smell of, the feel of, the look (cover art!) of, the physical space taken up by, the way I can put my fingers in, the lastingness of books etc. Then he came around the corner and handed me a box with this brand new 3G kindle in it, in a rather diminished way-- poor guy. I got very excited after that, rather hypocritically, because I love gadgets, though I wouldn't have bought a kindle for myself. Seriously though: forever free (we'll see) 3G connections? Creepy ink screen? Tiny? Very cool. It will also come in very handy for all those texts that I read that are in the public domain, on Google books, or that are not in print (or only have ugly self-published editions). Gaskell's "Lady Ludlow," for example, was the first thing I downloaded on my new toy. It will keep me from having to print out e-reserve documents as well, if I ever encounter that in graduate school. It is not quite the same as reading a physical document, but it does have a notes function, though I doubt I'd be able to reference my notes as easily as on paper.


I had to get a pretty gelaskin right away. This is a custom one made with John Singer Sargents "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose." I did Google image searches for a few favorite painters until I found one with the right resolution (they have a filter for this) and the right feel for a reading device. This painting has wonderful vibrant colors, flowers and reminds me of childhood wonder, which is what I'm trying to recapture when I read. I would have preferred Harold Knight's "Girl Reading" but you can't even find a print of it, not to mention a good quality image online.

Sadly, I have yet to find a screen protector that actually fits the screen. This one, that I ordered, is too small and leaves gaps on the sides that trap dust. I also need to make a pouch so it will be protected on my trip to Boston next week. I can imagine that it will be very handy at the airport, especially as I've downloaded the entire Agatha Christie collection...


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