Monthly Archives: February 2009

Bootie Call

Ugh.  As anticipated, the Banana Republic box (filled with Spring purchases from earlier this week) arrived and the bulk of the contents were so truly hideous that I nearly threw myself out the window.  After this affront, Banana and I may break up permanently.  However, I am considering keeping two pieces: a khaki tulip skirt and a gold short sleeved sweater . . .  

Also arrived – the GZ booties – and they are divine . . .

bootie

XO Debtonaire

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New Header . . . again

Changed the header, again.  Due to the liquidation of the spring surplus and resulting shipments coming in over the next week or so, I am feeling all flush with retail therapy endorphins.  The old header – with the little red Chloe bag in the nuclear winter – was just too depressing . . .

XO Debtonaire

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Surplus Liberated

Apparently I completely missed National Margarita Day yesterday.   Any holiday revolving around a cocktail is a-okay and a spectacular idea – no need to ask Debtonaire twice, in fact, there ought to be more cocktail themed holidays.  Particularly if the New York Times plans to print more Sunday Business section articles like Gretchen Morgenson’s “After Huge Losses a Movement to Reclaim Executive Pay” (actually, the headline in the print edition was a bit more inflammatory – “Gimme Back Your Paycheck, After the Losses, Who Shares the Pain?”, New York Times, February 22, 2009).  The article details the pay packages of, and chronicles the outlash against, Wall Street executives.  The hook is the possibility of ‘clawback’ provisions on their historical compensation based on their collective firms’ $107 BN in losses since 2007 . . . plunging the financial system into chaos, mayhem and ruin, tax payers bailing out said financial system . . .  Point taken, however, apart from the sheer scale of horrors, what is different in the current situation that that perpetuated by the financial services industry since time began?  As with the dot-com bust, the I-bankers were responding to demand for their crap product, just like they have in every other bubble.  Wall Street is a sales machine, and if there are people buying, Wall Street is going to be selling.  There was a bid and an ask for MBSs, ABSs, CDOs – until there wasn’t.  Just like 2000 – there was a market for completely nonsensical multiple-inflated New Economy dot com IPOs – until there wasn’t. 

Flash forward to the NYT Sunday Styles section, where Gwyneth Paltrow was bandied about for repositioning herself as a lifestyle coach/guru/whatever.  Through judicious use of quotes, the NYT dished her recent lifestyle forays, upcoming cookbook and website (Goop.com) quite handily.  So of course I visited the website, expecting the worst of condescending horrors.  I thought it was nice, really kind of cute.  I liked the “Get” section, the newsletter formats, the concept of an interchangeable ‘uniform’ or sorts, although I love to acquire clothing and accessories, I am busy and frazzled and often have no idea what to do with my purchases.  Also, ‘Dress up’ in my metro area often means ‘wear the NICE sweatshirt, not the one with the bleach spots and the pen marks on the sleeve’.  I fight, but fear that I am slowly succumbing to the frumpitude.  I was (not so secretly) pleased that Gwyneth appears to own the same grey Giuseppe Zanotti peep-toe grey booties that I purchased on Friday.  I must be in the GOOP target demographic.  (Frankly, Debtonaire is an excellent consumer and likely in a lot of target demographics – at least until the marketers find out about my bonus-less state. )  

Speaking of booties and Friday, I have now spent my spring surplus . . . almost twice over in fact.  Late Friday afternoon, I liberated the rest of the early spring budget surplus on several delightfully intoxicating clearance priced accessories at eLuxury – flesh-patent peep toe slingbacks from Marc Jacobs, D&G chunky heel black-patent sandals, and a charcoal sleeveless cashmere tie neck sweater, as well as the aforementioned mindblowingly adorable Giuseppe Zanotti peep-toe grey booties.  So that was Friday.  Saturday, no action.  Good behavior.  Then Sunday, fueled by all sorts of nonsense in the NYT business section (as referenced above), run ins with my husband’s ex, and two soy lattes, I succumbed to several Banana Republic ads.  I ordered bunches of stuff, but it will probably all go back – never fear.  I don’t know what my problem is with Banana – it always looks great in the ads, but when the package arrives and I try it on, its borderline horrid.  I have some hoarded Christmas gift cards from J.Crew to fill basic wardrobe needs and will also rely on my tailor to retool and freshen a few existing items (I found a great brown leather jacket in my closet that is dying for a bracelet sleeve).

Also, the Chloe sandals arrived today and are stunning – surprisingly comfortable for shoes so fierce. 

No shopping today, but since I missed Margarita Day on Sunday, this evening, after Game 2 of my stepson’s basketball tourney, I plan to enjoy a classic ‘rocks’ Margarita (Hopefully it will be a victory cocktail!) employing a 2:1:2 ratio between tequila, Cointreau and fresh lime juice and recommend that you do the same.  margarita1

Happy (Belated) Margarita Day!

XO Debtonaire

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Analyst Class of 2009?

Last night I had a Horrible NIGHTMARE.  I do not typically dream, remember my dreams, or share them with others and generally rail against such things on principal– so thanks in advance for your indulgence in this regard.

In the nightmare, I found myself in the very plush offices of (get this) Wormwood Ltd., an investment bank where I had applied for (sweet mercy!) one of a handful of seats in the incoming corporate finance analyst class of 2009, due to begin training in June.  Reception escorted me to a classroom where a tall, muscular woman,  rather Germanic of feature and poured into a thankfully sturdy looking charcoal tweed skirt suit, was administering a ‘personality test’ to a group of approximately 25 prospective analysts.  Like me, these prospects had successfully navigated several rounds of grueling interviews – at this stage of the hiring process, the remaining candidates were fully vetted.  Final selection would come down to margins of suitability that earlier on would have been rounding errors.  The anxiety level among the candidates was palpable –we were all on high alert for signs of weakness in our competitors, or any variety of blood in the water.  The test itself resembled a chain restaurant menu (full-color high-gloss double-sided) and was oddly subjective – sections included dance-ability of popular music, ranking meals in order of deliciousness, etc.  The tester singled me out with concerns regarding my test taking method.  I had left the ‘deliciousness’ section, chronologically the first section of the test, until last.  She was concerned that I might be an abstract, circular thinker, and indicated Wormwood’s preference for linear types.  After testing, the class broke for lunch, and I flooded into the warm spring afternoon en masse with the other candidates.  I spied into one of my interviewers, a managing director of one of the industry groups, among the wrought iron tables in the Wormwood piazza, and proceeded to regale the poor guy (who was just trying to eat his sandwich) with an impassioned discourse on my unique suitability for a position in Wormwood’s analyst class because I had “done it all before, still knew all the analyses backwards and forwards”, and “had absolutely no ego problems stepping into an analyst role again” because, above all else, I was “looking for a solid cultural fit and growth opportunity”.  I think I was just about to spit shine the man’s shoes when, thank goodness, I woke up. 

 This dream was so vivid, right down to the Wormwood offices –from the modern art on the walls, blonde marble floors, wood molding so wide it was over halfway to wainscoting, to the personal details of the principals, the fabric of the suits, gorgeous glossy shoes, the tiny pink horseshoes on the rose silk Hermes necktie of the managing director, and the creamy thick stock Wormwood business cards which bore raised type and a hand-embossed logo of a massive gnarled tree.  It was all so real that I must confess to still being a bit shaken up and, frankly, mortified at my obsequious behavior.  Given my tenuous employ and the limited opportunities in the financial sector at large, what I would do if a real life “Wormwood opportunity” presented itself.  Clearly my subconscious is in anxiety-ridden Freudian overdrive (Wormwood? seriously now . . .), but is my situation truly so dire that I would position myself to toady against 22 year-old Ivys for the opportunity to once again crank out pitchbooks at 3 a.m.?  

XO Debtonaire

 

 

 

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Payroll Report

Pleased to report that my battered little firm will be able to make payroll tomorrow!  Three cheers and a ‘debt service’ tiger for me!  Hurrah! 

XO Debtonaire

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I adore . . . Bourjois Eye Pencil (05 Vert Inspiré)

Earlier this week I happened upon a fantastically wearable alternative to black eyeliner.  Although I love and adore black eyeliner, even applied with the lightest of hand, it tends to make me look a little too “retro”.  Even more unfortunate, “retro” in the morning typically morphs into “Goth” by afternoon as the majority of the liner migrates and eventually settles in the crease of my lid, just under the brow bone.  

In my quest for black eyeliner perfection, I have tried many formulations:  liquid eyeliner (harsh); various pencils thick and thin, waterproof and regular (either too hard or too smeary); black eye shadow applied with a tiny wet brush (vaporizes instantly).  I have also experimented with other dark toned liners in hues such as:

Aubergine (Easter rabbit effect if smudged);

red-rabbit-eye

Navy (lovely if you work in a diner);

blueeyeshadow

and Grey (too spooky sickly Les Miserables). 

les-mis

Bourgois Paris Kohl and Contour eye pencil in 05 Vert Inspiré  (yes, a dark green) – purchased by mistake several months ago and languishing in my makeup drawer ever since – is really a sunny-toned charcoal that walks the knife edge between appropriate for office professional daytime use but could just as easily pull off full-out-glamorama.  Although not a waterproof formula, the liner does not creep around my eyelid or under the eye, and is soft enough to smudge nicely and apply without tugging.  $12.50 at Ulta.   

 XO Debtonaire

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Liquid Keratin Update #3 – Recovery

Progress post Liquid Keratin remains slow.  Color is on the upswing, slightly on the warm side but not at all orange.  Tony’s corrective color was successful, and at his suggestion I am supplementing with a violet color depositing shampoo and conditioner every third shampoo.  (The color deposit shampoo and conditioner aren’t very moisturizing, so I mix half-and-half with my regular shampoo and conditioner.  This does not appear to diminish the color depositing properties – the violet pigment in the shampoo is robust enough to stain the grout in my shower.)  Color has settled in my preferred spectrum of somewhere between butter and beige blonde – almost back to normal. 

The texture, however, is slower to bounce back.  My hair is still fairly straight, but brittle, and to the touch feels almost like doll hair (not the divinely slick Barbie texture – I am referring to baby doll hair).  I ration shampooing to every third day, or absolute worst case, every other day.  I use a non-sulfate shampoo, and alternate between an organic conditioner and Kerastase deep conditioner, when not using the color deposit products.  I apply Moroccan Oil before any blow drying and, when I can remember, before I go to sleep on pre-shampoo nights.  My next step is to migrate to all Kerastase products including styling products for the near term.  No flat irons.

I consider myself fortunate as far as the Liquid Keratin victims are concerned. Had I done my research, there are several harrowing tales on certain curly hair discussion boards – dark red deposits, hair breaking off, etc.  I believe I have been spared total breakage because: 1) wait time of 1 week between application of Liquid Keratin and corrective coloring, 2) my colorist is skilled and restored a natural color without further stripping the follicle; perhaps most importantly 3) my hair was in decent shape before the application of Liquid Keratin.  As a result, damaged as it appears to be, my hair is responding slowly to conditioning products.  Additionally, given the texture issues, I remain cautious about returning to the Coppola straightening system (which gave me a great result) until my hair has recovered completely.  I anticipate that this will entail fighting frizz and waves through the humid portions of 2009, sans flatiron . . . 

I will continue to provide update on the Liquid Keratin recovery progress.  Wish me luck!

XO Debtonaire

 

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