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Bobby Pins, Dresses, Underwear and a European Vacation

I WAS IN ITALY!

I didn’t leave a note saying anything about my vacation on Facebook or on this blog because my mother has scared me to death about peeps using the information to break into my house while away.  Now, I am sure that people do use this information one in a million times – but could that be another interactive/social network urban legend?  Besides, I have a house sitter, two dogs and two ferocious attack kitties – you would have to be insane to break into this house.  The cats are intense.  Anywhoo…

ITALY!

I had so much anxiety about what to pack and what was worse, I had to fit it all in a CARRY ON (GASP!!). I am a notorious over-packer (hello, Boston wedding trip).  Not because I have to be prepared (hello, Ramona from RHNY in Morocco), or because I just have so many awesome things that must be unleashed on the world.  It’s mainly because I am incredibly lazy.  And, totally fickle.  One day, I like popped-collared, pink preppy stuff and it must be fitted and look complete only with a pearl earrings.  The next, I must wear 70’s high wasted, pin-tucked jeans with vintage wooden sandals and feather earrings and a ring on every finger.  The very next, WAY over-sized 80’s army pant/cutoffs, white v-neck t-shirt and 8 rhinestone bracelets.  Some would call this evidence of a deep-seated self-identity issue – I call it neurotic self-expression with a touch of multiple personality disorder.

What?  I was a social work major in college.  Don’t think we don’t diagnose ourselves first.

Back to me being lazy and fickle and having issues packing.  Really, it all comes down to things I can’t predict.  Like, how skinny I will feel when I get dressed in the morning, what will inspire me that day, and if the lighting is bad in the room I am getting dressed in.  I know, I am totally and completely shallow.  So be it..   Point is – I suck at packing.

What I brought with me and am planning on unceremoniously burning once this burn ban is lifted in Austin:

3 pairs of jeans: One high wasted, one boyfriend style, one black skinny.  Should have brought only one pair, MAYBE. And not the skinnys.

4 slubby cotton tee shirts: 3 cotton, 1 rayon that could stupidly only be dry cleaned – note to self, check the washing label.  These all got stretched out and totally un-cute.

2 button downs: Decent choices for the plane rides.  But really too hot to wear. Plus they wrinkled, and not in a good cotton casual way.

1 long skirt: Skirt has tight elastic waist.  Never wore.  I was in Italy eating pasta for nearly every single meal.  (see feeling fat issue above)

1 thin, large cotton scarf: Good choice

1 jean jacket: I never wore.  Don’t know what I was thinking.  What, was I going to wear it with the jeans I brought like  a Canadian tux?  Ugh.

1 black sweater: Good choice.  I used it as a robe in the mornings over my PJs and was great as a blanket on the plane.

20 pairs of underwear: My only luxury – changing underwear all of the time.

Before you gag and pass judgement, please know that we had a washing machine.  I could wash these terrible choices and keep wearing them every.single.day reminding myself that I should have brought something else..

What I should have done was bring 8 cotton dresses of varying styles to satisfy my multiple personalities.  It was hot.  It was sweaty.  It was windy in those mid-evil towns atop mountains.  Just think how appropriately dramatic a gauzy billowy 70’s dress would have looked! Dresses are cool, and you can wear them out at night.

BF kept pointing out all of the better dressed tourists with a “Darlin’, wouldn’t you be more comfortable if you were wearing a flowy dress like that girl?”  And then a “Darlin, don’t YOU have like 9 million dresses?”  To both I answered yes, as I pictured my “dress closet” at home and reminded myself that I was wearing jeans and a belt with a stretched out wrinkled shirt that was sticking to ALL the wrong bits and pieces.  And, yes, I have a closet dedicated to only dresses at home.  Some are preppy, some are 70’s vintage, some are bohemian – 80% are cotton and would have been comfortable.  And, probably I wouldn’t have gotten such bad farmers tans from the dresses.  Oh, the tee-shirt tan lines.  Argh, lovely.

So.  Heed my advice, women who travel to Italy in the summer! Take dresses.  All dresses.  All of the time.  Bring two pairs of cute, comfy shoes (my Toms were good), and a colorful scarf to wrap over your shoulders when visiting a church.  Also, bring a flat, small cross-body bag to stow extra toilet paper in and to hold your map of Rome and your tiny digital camera.  Don’t forget red lipstick, sunglasses that don’t pinch your nose,  deodorant and 20 pairs of underwear.  And, bobby pins for your hair to create cute up-dos because I guarantee you won’t want to wear your hair down and you will be so busy seeing beautiful things you won’t want to waste time in the bathroom blow drying it.  And, one last tip not clothing related  – remember to face away from the spout when using a Turkish toilet (see extra toilet paper tip).

I am not a world traveler, but I aim to be one day.  And maybe that day I won’t be so lazy and fickle and will be able to fill a carry on with options all of my personalities would be satisfied and happy to wear.

*Side note: I totally watch RHNY (Real Housewives of New York).  Don’t hate.

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My Three of the Week: Music

Maybe I should say…weekend?

NUMBER 1:

Such a stressful two weeks ahead.  Have been trying to relax this weekend, sleep in, walk my dogs, swim, listen to music..  You know, be slightly more zen-like than my normally kinda neurotic, “ass on fire” self.

I can’t stop with Deerhunter.  I just can’t.  Don’t quit me, Deerhunter – with your rhythms, and pings, and pops.  Some of the songs on the last album feel like you are lolling about in the ocean.  Some others – I swear I can harmonize with.  Really.  Me.  Har-MO-NI-ZING.  Impossible you say?  Listen to track 2 – Don’t Cry –  on the album Halcyon Digest and tell me you don’t feel like you can harmonize with them..  (My BF is totally rolling his eyes right now – “sorry darlin’ you can not sing – nevermind HAR-MO-NIZE with those geniuses.”  Genius-i?  Or, “Darlin’, these guys are such genius-i that even YOU can harmonize with them.”).

Buy their albums it if you are the like, one and only person that hasn’t.

And you are welcome.

Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest Album Cover

NUMBER 2:

And, another kinda oldie (when you talk about album releases) – but a goodie.  Phantogram.

Again – if you haven’t purchased Eyelid Movies – just do.  It’s goooood.

And I kinda have a girl-crush on Sarah Barthel.  Call me cray – cray, or just listen to the album and watch a video or two and you will see what I mean.  Girl. Crush.  Or, Boy. Crush.  Y’know, depending on your assigned or chosen gender.

Phantogram – Eyelid Movies Covers

NUMBER 3:

In addition to walking the dogs, etc etc etc.  I have been maniacally watching the first season of Friday Night Lights.  And, was happily reminded of Explosions in the Sky and their music in the movie.

We were listening to The Earth is not a Cold Dead Place.

EITS – The Earth is not a Cold Dead Place Cover

Enjoy!

XOXO – Secret Recess

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