Read in February.

Only five books this month, though I dabbled in many more than that. This was a huge nonfiction month, both due to the Lint Project and to the arrival of a couple of nonfiction books that were on hold. I like nonfiction, but often find that if I read too much of it, I need to retreat to fiction, if only for a book.

The Mermaid Chair
Sue Monk Kidd

The History of Love
Nicole Krauss

Ready to wear: an experts guide to choosing and using your wardrobe
Mary Lou Andre

Comeback: A Mother & Daughter’s Journey Through Hell and Back
Claire & Mia Fontaine

If the Creek Don’t Rise: My Life Out West With the Last Black Widow of the Civil War
Rita Williams

The Pocket Stylist: Behind-the-Scenes Expertise From a Fashion Pro on Creating Your Own Look
Kendall Farr

Started but didn’t finish.
Secrets of style: the complete guide to dressing your best every day
Editors of In Style
I got started on this, but they spent too much time discussing how to disguise flaws, so my attention wandered.

The look.
Randolph Duke
I enjoyed this book. Randolph Duke had a nice section about “the line” which was good to read. He also had flattering name for body types. No “pears” were mentioned. I read through the work clothing section and wandered off when I got to casual wear.

Didn’t even start.
Truth and Bright Water.
Thomas King

(The remaining books were checked out for research purposes and I finished the research portion of the Lint Project before I got to the books.)

10 Steps to Fashion Freedom: Discover Your Personal Style From The Inside Out
Malcom Levine & Kate Mayfield

Business casual made easy: the complete guide to business casual dress for men and women
Ilene Amiel & Angie Michael

The Lucky Shopping Manual: Building and Improving Your Wardrobe Piece by Piece.
Andrea Linnett

Sam Saboura’s Real Style: Style Secrets For Real Women With Real Bodies
Sam Saboura

Chic Simple Dress Smart for Women: Wardrobes that Win in the Workplace.
Kim Johnson Gross

Resolution 2008 Update. Letters written Feb 11-29

This 2/3 of the the month saw me run out of people to write too, start to feel like a stalker because of the number of letters sent to the Oregonian, and miss my first days of writing. I’m glad I missed a day so early on. I once heard a tale (fiction, I think) of a senator who in his 30 year career never missed a vote. Near the end of his life he was even carried into the Senate chambers so he could cast his vote. When offering advice to a new Senator, his first instruction was to miss a vote early on. By missing a day in the first month of my project I have relived the worry that I would just stop writing. Now I know I can miss a day and still bounce back.

11 letters to people I know, 6 to people I don’t know, 2 days without writing. My three letters I’ve written to politicians in February didn’t sway any issues. Although I got a very nice letter back from Representative Kotek and she agrees with me, not enough of her colleagues agreed with us.

February 11 Jane. Get well soon card.
February 12 Sara. Postcard.
February 13 Nicole. Thank you note.
February 14 Commissioner Eric Sten. No on Island Expansion of the River District. This plan was approved.
February 15 Nestor Ramos (my movie review boyfriend).
**Letter back: Representative Tina Kotek. re: no on OSU’s palatial new basketball arena. She agreed with me and thanked me for writing. Sadly, the funding plan was passed.
February 16 Gaya at Savvy Plus.
February 17 MAunts. Postcard inquiring about state quarters.
February 18 Mary Lou Andre, author of Ready to Wear.
February 19 Jenna. Letter.
**Letter back. Alison Bechtel.
February 20 Territorial Seed Co. Thank you.
February 21 Kristi Turnquist. Letter agreeing with her Oscar article.
February 22 Dad & Barb.
**Postcard back. Sara.
February 23 Nothing. Completely forgot.
February 24 Nothing. Didn’t make time.
February 25 Leath. Letter.
February 26 Sara. Letter part I.
February 27 Sara. Letter part II.
February 28 Sara. Letter part III.
February 29 Barbara. Letter.

Update re: duct tape and parade/Randy Leonard letter from last time. You can now be fined for marking your space at a parade with duct tape. Well thank god Commissioner Leonard has saved us from that non-problem.

Davis Street Door

My walk from the Max to work takes me along Davis Street. I’ve walked the length of sidewalk between Second and Third Avenues more than 100 times and never looked to my left at just the right moment. Due to some welding that was happening on the side of the street I usually walk on, today I crossed street and I spied a doorway. “How long has that been there?” I wondered to myself.

It looked open, so I wandered in. I followed the brick path through a brick corridor…
…and ended up in a charming courtyard.
There was a handy sign to let me know that the Merchants’ Hotel was built in 1885 and not only was it a fancy hotel, it had one of the first hydraulic elevators in Portland. Between World Wars, the hotel housed a number of Japanese businesses, including the Japanese-Oregon daily newspaper. The sign does not go on to say that with the coming of World War II all of those Japanese businesses would be abandoned as the Japanese were “relocated”, but ideally you know that story.
Excited to have found a nook of history on a day that only comes around every four years, I turned around and happily continued my trek to work.

Plant grows out of building

I was on my way to the doctor when I came across this upstart plant. It had the nerve to grow out of the side of a building!

I thought perhaps it had grown from the ground up behind the metal panel between the two windows, emerging mid-building.
A closer look revealed that it hadn’t come from the ground at all, but had taken root halfway up the building.
Whenever I find something like this, it reminds me how temporary our buildings are, without a human to maintain them. Plants, water, wind and weather are much stronger than concrete, given enough time.

Lint Progress: Consignment store names.

What is it with consignment stores and dumb names. For example:

Seams to Fit.

What’s Upstairs.

It’s like the owners think cute or punny names are fun. To me though, they are just irritating. Even my favorite consignment stores are guilty of this.

There is the very hard to say out loud:

Here We Go Again Consignments

And even my my most favorite consignment store has a lame name:

Savvy Plus

It sounds like a more innocuous version of Mr. Pinky’s Hefty Hideaway.

The only consignment store with a good name that I can think of offhand is:


The Pocket Stylist: Behind-the-Scenes Expertise From a Fashion Pro on Creating Your Own Look

I really liked this book. It is small, so you can take it with you when you shop. The author explains what she, as a stylist does. Aside from dressing movie starts and personal clients, she also is hired by advertising agencies to dress any model you may see in the ad. This is a niche market I never even thought about.

There were some good tips in the book. My favorite was to take your waist measurement and your rise measurement. When looking for pants, bring along a tape measure and use it to decide if you want to try on a pair of pants. The front of the pants should be half your waist measurement. If the rise matches, you have a potential winner. If not, move up or down a size. Genius! She also solved the mystery of taking measurements. I’ve often wondered how tight to pull the tape. I learned for comfortable ease, always add the width of two fingers into your measurements.

If the Creek Don’t Rise: My Life Out West With the Last Black Widow of the Civil War

Rita Williams’ mother died when she was four and after that she was raised by her Aunt Daisy. The book explores their contentious relationship, growing up Black in the middle of lily-white Colorado, their self-sufficiency and their extreme poverty. It was a very sad, yet fascinating story. I would love to find out what happened to Rita Williams after she left her Aunt’s care.

Lint Progress: Goodwill on 10th part II

I had some time to kill before watching the Oscars, so I made my way back to the Goodwill on 10th. I tried on a lot of pants and found a pair that fit–black even–but I didn’t really like them. I realized that if I bought the pants, I would just be perpetuating the dislike of my closet. So I put them back. Having more time to kill, I tried on skirts. Nothing really worked there either. Then I moved on to dresses.

I’ve always loved dresses, much more so than skirts. I like that you just put on a dress and you are done. Of course, the mix and match abilities are more limited than with a skirt or pants, but dresses are more fun for me. I found two excellent additions to my wardrobe.

This is an excellent dress. It can crossover seasons and can be dressed up or down. Though probably I shouldn’t appear in public in stripy socks and slippers. It also, as the picture indicates, has excellent twirl factor, something I’m always looking for in a dress. The material is thick and luxurious feeling. When I bought it, it was a bit too big at the sides, so I had it taken in and it fits perfectly now. I’m very excited about this dress.
This is also a fabulous dress. It’s got a very nice wrap front and two layers of fabric which makes for a nice skimming effect the style books are always talking about. It’s a little fancy for where I work, but I can wear it to things like winter weddings, (which I bought it for) holidays and parties.
I also found some shoes. They were barley used and much more comfortable than the shoes I was wearing. I snapped them up.

It was a good shopping trip.