Monday, July 30, 2018

Style and a Sunflower

Somehow I managed to stay awake all day yesterday, despite only dozing on the plane. Then, last night, I went to bed and slept seven hours, and now I feel pretty much normal. I'm sure it will take a few days to completely reset my system -- just in time to go to Florida -- but I feel like I'm doing pretty well so far.

Speaking of Florida, I forgot to mention that while standing in the passport and immigration queue at Heathrow yesterday, I saw a guy wearing a University of South Florida t-shirt. (That's my alma mater, in Tampa.) This happens every once in a while in London, but it's not that common, so I said hi, told him I was also a USF Bull and asked him what he studied there. He reacted monosyllabically, just enough to not be completely rude, but it was obvious he had no interest talking to me. We walked away and Dave said, "He seems like a pretty dim bulb."

Good old USF, churning out new generations of scintillating conversationalists.

I staked up a lot of our crazily leaning plants yesterday. I also reset all our mouse traps because I noticed some nibbly marks on Olga's dog food bowl, which we'd sealed in her absence with a plastic cover. Last night we caught two mice. Which brings the grand total since our crackdown in the spring up to, what, fourteen?

I wonder if this is just going to be the new normal? I suppose we could have an exterminator come and crawl around under the house (because I'm definitely not doing that) and try to figure out how they're getting in. Or I could just accept that we live in a 100-year-old house and we're going to kill one or two every now and then. Fortunately they're staying out of our food, which is the main thing.

I watched the John Hughes movie "Weird Science" yesterday. Totally silly, but nostalgic fun. I miss the '80s -- and when I was in them, they seemed so uninteresting and characterless compared to, say, the '60s. Just Ronald Reagan and bad synth music. I remember thinking the '80s had no distinctive style, which in retrospect is of course completely untrue. I guess it's not always easy to see that sort of thing up close.

I feel like our time period now is pretty indistinct, style-wise. All my clothes look pretty much just like they did at the turn of the millennium. (In fact, I'm still wearing some of them from back then!) I remember reading an article years ago that debated the rise of Banana Republic "good taste," the uniforms of khakis and black t-shirts, and how they were robbing us of individuality and a sense of a distinctly stylish time period. What do you think? Will someone ever look back at the clothes we're wearing now and think, "Oh, that's so 2018?"

(Photo: One of the sunflowers we bought from the herb man at the Jester Festival in July. They're both blooming now.)


  1. Perhaps the fellow in the queue had never been to The University of South Florida. The T-shirt may, in his eyes, just have had a random American university design on the front. I used to have a Cleveland Browns T-shirt but surprising as it may seem, I never played for Cleveland Browns.

  2. YP has partly beaten me to the punch with his comment; undeterred, I will press on with mine. The so-called SFU student might have found the T-shirt in a Goodwill/Oxfam/opshop somewhere and has never darkened the doorway of your alma mater.
    And while the two men and their dog are away, the mice will play.

  3. Those mice can reproduce every 3 weeks and so it could be some time before they are completely erradicated.

  4. I'm glad you're back to normal now.
    Honestly, you might want to talk to your landlord about getting someone to come and deal with that mouse situation. That can't be good. (Said the woman who lives in a house that's over 150 years old and who regularly finds mouse poop in the aluminum foil drawer.)
    I have completely given up on style. Truthfully, I never was much into it but looking back at what was being worn in the eighties makes me more convinced than ever that it is best to avoid the fashions of the day.

  5. I totally agree with you about the 80s. The styles look so dated now, particularly interior design styles. As a style now, I look at my kids and their friends and I see a definite style, for guys very skinny pants, slightly high water length jeans are in style, leather shoes and no socks, fitted tees. For girls, jumpers that are way too short, bare shoulders and a bit side boob, wide leg pants, jeans like a second skin, ripped jean shorts, ombre hair, gray or purple extensions in hair, that sort of thing. You and I, my friend, are just past caring.

  6. I think the man with the Florida t shirt probably just had the t shirt and had never been near the university.

  7. I agree with Red. That was my very first thought, too.

    Is Olga home now? I'll bet she was overjoyed to see you! Also, I've been meaning to tell you how much I've enjoyed your Vietnam posts. What a wonderful getaway!

  8. maybe he thought you were hitting on him. love that picture of the sunflower. and clothing? style? me? ha ha ha ha

  9. I hardly remember the 80's. Too busy with career and raising children and moving around every couple of years. I did like "big hair", tho. The picture of the sunflower is amazing!!

  10. I have often wondered about eras of art, music, and style. I think only a few eras are ever marked by a distinct style that maintains its distinction over long periods of time. We are definitely in a long period right now of the unremarkable. I worry that the internet itself has made it almost impossible for some new art to emerge-- music, clothing, paint on canvas. Everything is rendered equally dull at the moment. And, I agree with Red, the guy in the tee shit never went to the university.

  11. I was thinking the same as several others above; perhaps the guy bought that t-shirt at a thrift store and had no idea what you were talking about.

    Or maybe, as Dave said, he was a dim bulb.

  12. Angela's comment has reawakened my desire for ombre hair. I need to find someone to do that for me. Ha!

  13. In answer to your last sentence, I would say yes.

  14. Sounds like you treated that jet lag the correct way. I love that wonderful sunflower! Sunflowers are always so cheerful.

  15. Stunning sunflower photo! It's always nice to get home after travel and get back into the routine. Or is that just me? :)

  16. YP: But have you been to Cleveland? No, seriously, the guy DID go to USF. He said that much. He majors in chemical engineering. And that's all the info I got out of him.

    Alphie: As I said above, he did say he went to USF. Maybe he was pulling my leg to cover up his thrift store purchase?

    Briony: EVERY THREE WEEKS???!!! Good grief! I had no idea.

    Ms Moon: Honestly, they don't really bother me unless they start getting into our (or Olga's) food. I don't think it rises to the level of landlord involvement, at least not yet.

    37P: Now that you mention some of the modern trends, I see that you're right. We DO have a "look" now. I just don't participate in it, as you said. :) By the way, I had to look up what "ombre" hair is! I've never heard of that at all.

    Red: Well, he said he went there, but who knows.

    Jennifer: She is indeed home! We are so happy! Glad you liked the Vietnam posts.

    Ellen: Well, that would be quite a conclusion to jump to -- particularly as he was traveling with a young woman -- but I guess anything's possible!

    Peace Thyme: Remember how big that big hair was?! It didn't strike me that way at the time, but when I see photos now, I'm like, holy cow.

    Robin: I know what you mean. A sea of mediocrity! The internet has given voice to everyone, and that seems to drown out the skill of those who select and publish truly exceptional artists.

    Catalyst: I'm opting for the latter.

    Bug: I had to look up "ombre" hair. That's a new one on me!

    Colette: Yeah, as Rosemarie spelled out, we do have a few rather distinct styles going on at the moment, I guess.

    John: They are very summery flowers, especially alongside our orange zinnias!

    Sharon: They really are! We bought them on a whim and I'm so glad we did.

    Jenny-O: As someone said, the best thing about vacation is coming home!