03 April 2009

Thesis Wordles

I mentioned Wordle to my old roommate Rachel (remember her?), because we have both turned in our theses, placing them in the proverbial shoebox. Wordle makes "beautiful word clouds" out of a text that you can copy and paste into a text box.
I copied and pasted my thesis, in all of its 132 pages of glory, into the box. This included the many, many Roman numerals from the curricular piece, about 90 pages, which show up in all three of the Wordles. Check out the results!
Can you guess what my thesis was about, based on my Wordles?
Looking at the Wordles, I'm pretty amazed at how secular it seems. Good thing Shemittah (The good comments helped me learn some Hebrew I hadn't learned yet...) made it into the Wordle, since I spent all year learning about it! That's the thing about Wordles. You can't always tell what's on the inside just by looking at a "beautiful word cloud."

Thank you thank you to Wordle.net!

02 April 2009

What Not To Wear

So, a month or so back, I was the victim of an attack on my wardrobe. One of my friends, whose friendship status is tenuous with me at best, decided that I should be on TLC's What Not To Wear, a delightful reality show that I DVR. I like it because they take people who have mullets and acid-wash jeans and dress them up in pretty clothes, usually purchased in NYC, the center of my universe. It also reminds me of Pimp My Ride, which is totally about tikkun olam, I don't care what anybody says. But I digress.

This friend meant it to be a nice surprise. She got it wrong. See below:

Dear friends of fashion trauma SBB: So since I am jobless at the moment, and obviously bored, I have decided that it is time that we take matters into our own hands and nominate our dear friend Sara Beth for TLC's What Not to Wear!!! I know you may think this is a little far off, but come on; have you seen her wardrobe lately??? (and if you haven't it hasn't changed much since about 1996)!!!

I will let the punctuation go, and just focus on the fact that in 1996 I wore colored and patterned socks with white sneakers and shorts. I was also an awkward skinny minny. Unfair.
Elementary school, but you get the point. Embarrassing now, hilarious then.

Jobless or not, don't be casting aspersions on me. I am not always the most fashion-forward, but I often get compliments on my wardrobe, particularly from my colleagues at "my very best friend the Storah," and since they're the coolest people I know, everyone else can go take a hike.

Totally doesn't count when you're dressed for a day on the lake. But I do love me a good bucket hat...

So, after an already crazy morning and afternoon, I was walking on 5th Avenue before meeting my friend in Union Square for dinner. I wandered into an Ann Taylor at 40-somethingth and 5th. I took off my hat (it was raining), shook out my hair and began sifting through racks of suits and pretty dresses. I heard a voice...the voice of my DVR! Stacy London from What Not To Wear was in the store! She looks toward the front door, and me, and says, "Oh, is it raining?" I said, "Yes."

She did not cringe at my outfit. She looked divine, of course.

I ran downstairs to look at the sale rack, and began furiously texting my posse, to let them know I had seen Stacy and she didn't mind my outfit. I heard another voice. Clinton Kelly!

I wandered some more, and I was too excited to do anything else but walk back upstairs and maybe gawk at Clinton. He was wearing this really great magenta argyle sweater over pink stripes. He's so fashionable, but I could never dress my brothers or boyfriend up like him. I mean, Rafi in magneta wouldn't work.

Cameras were everywhere, and they were clearly wrapping up filming at Ann Taylor, at least for the time being. I paused at the top of the stairs, saw Clinton chatting with a cute little woman who is probably going to be on WNTW in the next few months and I realized, I could go on being a New Yorker and ignore the famous, or I could do this:

SBB: Hi, I'm so sorry to interrupt [Lie], but could I ask you a question?
Clinton: No problem. Hi.
SBB: You're Clinton from What Not To Wear, right?
Clinton: Yes.
SBB: OK, so I'm a big fan of the show. I love it, I DVR it. But I have a question. I got into a big fight with a friend over whether or not I belonged on What Not To Wear. I wanted to ask you what you thought of my outfit today, particularly because I am wearing my most contraversial [ok, I said ugly] article of clothing today.

Flowered Docs, b. 1996, d. NEVER!

[Clinton and companion look at my feet.]

Clinton: Yeah, those are awful.
SBB: But it's rainy and I'm wearing them as rainboots.
Clinton: OK, fine, but you should hem your pants. [Pants, btw, were a present from "friend" who nominated me, although I will admit it's my own laziness that prevents the hemming.]
SBB: That's fair, but what about my coat? [$50 at Old Navy] The rest of my outfit? [Gap, Banana, JCrew]
Clinton: It's cute. I would hem the pants, and you should worry about what you look like when the coat comes off, but...
SBB: Not bad?
Clinton: Pretty cute. Hem your pants.
SBB: Thank you!

I sashayed out of Ann Taylor, happy as I could be. I then ran into my lovely friend E, who took two pictures of my WNTW-approved outfit, and shoes. Thanks, E!
They're just not that into my shoes, but it's ok, because I'm CUTE! Clinton said so!