A Topographic Brooch

Reflecting on the last eight months, I have to admit that as much as I have been missing normal life, I may be particularly well-disposed for months of remote work. I’m an introvert, I live with two fluffy lap cats, and I have a large collection of strange, statement necklaces and brooches perfect for Zoom. Check, check, check! In addition to these resources, I am with The Photographer, who has the heart of a quartermaster; he excels in procuring and monitoring supplies.

Watching the economy crater and jobs disappear, The Photographer and I agreed that we needed to be sure to support our neighborhood restaurants and small businesses.+ So, we try to shop heavily at the neighborhood markets (Uptown, Breadfurst, and Magruders) and “eat-out” (i.e., take-out) at least once a week.
I decided that rather than buying new clothes, discretionary spending should be directed toward arts and crafts.*
Are you ready to see some arts and crafts?
Is you ready?

You’re ready!
This is a typical remote work costume: an old jacket, an old blouse, and some old khakis. And something very special.
Do you see it?

Before we get to the Something Very Special, we’ll take a brief detour to my footwear.
In colder weather, I’ve been wearing sneakers rather than flats or mules. I have to keep my feet warm. If I were working at the office, I would be wearing dresses with tights and knee-high boots, but wearing knee-high boots to sit in my dining room office all day would be uncomfortable.
Thus: fun sneakers, like these platform Supergas.
Although no one can tell on Zoom, these Supergas make me so tall

Back to the main event: a brooch by Clarissa Long from Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h.
From a distance, it looks a little like a cameo — or, a modern take on a cameo — doesn’t it?  
But it’s actually thin layers of plywood, cut and stacked to look like the markings on a topographic map.
Have you ever seen anything so wonderful?
Come closer, my darlings

I’ll answer the question for you.
No. You have not.
So wonderful

Is it a destination? Or a portal?
For once, I am not experiencing a limbic impulse to stuff something wondrous in my mouth.
Instead, I am having a fully reasoned, totally rational response. I want to become very tiny and step into this brooch.

For those who want to get to know the sneakers better, a close-up.
They go with everything!
Cheetah, like leopard, goes with everything

Heading back in now, masked to pass through the common areas of my building.
I’ve been jotting down random things that might amuse, entertain, or amuse you and they’ll be trickling out over the next few posts.

You should read these two articles on Gritty (the Philadelphia Flyers mascot) and his moment of national significance as the unanticipated mascot of the presidential election: Nick Greene in Slate and Emily VanDerWerff in Vox.
You should watch Ted Lasso on Apple TV. The show was launched from the Ted Lasso promotional spots for NBC’s broadcast of Premier League games — which were hilarious — but the writers decided to point the series in a sweet and poignant direction. It’s still funny, but it’s kind. If you liked Parks & Recreation, I think you’ll enjoy it.

Perhapsleberry I will re-watch Ted Lasso between Christmas and New Year’s

And now, questions for you: What is your favorite holiday movie?** And what movie do you (or you and your family) traditionally watch over the holidays?++
* Despite the effort to buy local, we also seem to receive a shipment from Amazon every other day. Apparently, we buy a lot of air-conditioner filters, tissues, protein supplements, vacuum bags, and vitamins.
+ Despite the effort to not buy any clothes, some clothes have been purchased.
** By “holiday movie” I mean a movie that involves a holiday falling between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. But it need not be a movie that is about a holiday. My favorite holiday movie is Meet Me in St. Louis.
++ One of my close college friends was one of four boys. When he was growing up, his family would watch Seven Brides for Seven Brothers on Christmas. Years after he told me this, I am still turning it around in my mind.

20 thoughts on “A Topographic Brooch”

  1. Well, my favorite movie that involves a holiday is “Auntie Mame.” I don’t watch it every year, but I am going to watch it this year. Maybe later today. And tomorrow. And the next day. The scene where she grabs a bit of ivy and an ornament off the Christmas tree and appends them to her simple cloche is pos-it-iv-ly heartwarming.

  2. I love the brooch and its very effective placement on your black jacket. And the blouse is giving me major Gunne Sax flashbacks. I’d be tempted to see if the brooch fits over a bottle cap.

  3. Favorite holiday movie? The Lion in Winter. Love the broach. Your entire outfit is perfect for our Zoom Times and I’m a fan of animal print sneakers, too.

  4. In perhaps the least important Directrice comment of the year, I disagree with The Directrice’s spelling of “perhapsleberry.” I think it should be “perhaps-o-berry.” That’s how I heard it the first time she said it, and that’s how it stuck in my mind.

    It won’t surprise readers of The Directrice that Tory has a vocabulary all her own: “fur-covered brain,” “mouse’s teacup,” “poims,” and various other phrases cobbled together from 1980s movies. Half the fun of our marriage is that we both love wordplay.

  5. the brooch is fabulous but the shoes … oh the shoes!!!!! They are the best thing ever. So wonderful to have The Directrice back. I hadn’t realized how much I missed her until she suddenly reappeared in my in-box. Reason to live!

  6. Love the brooch and the sneaks. I tried Supergas but find them wicked uncomfortable. Being a ghoul, Rosemary’s Baby is my favorite holiday movie

  7. Love the brooch as sneaks as well. Yay to shopping local when possible, but we have given in to the evil empire (Amazon) as well – laundry detergent, legal pads, and ditto on the vitamins. As for holiday movies, have to give a shout out to Scrooged, with Bill Murray. In fact all things Bill Murray. Groundhog Day has the unnervingly perfect combination of holiday, winter, and 2020 elements. It would make a good follow up. Cheers and happy holidays to fellow Directrice fans. Stay safe, warm and amused whenever possible. May 2021 bring better news.

    • No house! Perhaps you are seeing a future vision? Or an alternative universe? Or maybe you are remembering how Instagram decided my chief interest is “front drives” and curated a feed of stately drives and driveways for me based on my own photos . . .

  8. 1. obsessed with these sneakers.
    2. Ted Lasso is one of the best shows of the year. hands down. Juno Temple is exceptional.
    3. one movie that I find I always watch during Christmas is “Sense & Sensibility,” I think because when I was younger, my mom would have me wrap all of the gifts. I’d sit on the floor of the living room wrapping away and somehow always end up watching Emma and Kate do their thing.
    3a. some newer classics we’ve been enjoying include “Arthur’s Christmas,” which is actually a very sweet, funny cartoon. And “Klaus” is excellent. oh, and “When Harry Met Sally” is 100% a Christmas movie and every time I buy a tree in NYC, it reminds me of Sally dragging her tree down the street. I’ve been that Sally. it resonates.
    4. stay well! Happy Christmas 🙂

    • I love your list of movies, so now, along with the Directrice’s endorsement, I am adding Ted Lasso to my TV watch list. Thank you!

  9. Welcome back, Directrice! I have missed your posts! I second the motion on dress sneakers, they an important and growing wardrobe department for me as well. Looking forward to seeing more outfits featuring them!
    My favourite holiday movie is a tie between Charlie Brown Christmas and Rudolph. I’ve watched them my whole life, and have a huge nostalgic connection to both. They take me back to my youngest days in a way that few other things can, and though we now own both, I love to recall the thrill of 70s TV when you had to wait for something special to be “on”, and everyone dropped everything and gathered together at the appointed time for the main event.

  10. I like this entire outfit. Very pleasing to see the sneakers. As for Christmas entertainment I always have and still love the classics. Jean Shepherd ‘s A Christmas Story , A Christmas Carol, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Nutcracker .


Leave a Comment