Guaranteed Satisfaction


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I've been a bit under the weather the last few days — fighting off a cold, nothing that Dayquil wasn't specially engineered by NASA to handle (wait, am I thinking of TANG? Oh, well, they're both orange) — and have been casting about a bit to make sure that I meet or exceed my recommended daily allowance of happiness. (Happiness is even MORE effective than Dayquil in fighting cold symptoms. Have not yet done the head-to-head of happiness vs. TANG.)

Anyway, some things just WORK, happiness-wise. Like, David Tennant as Dr Who. Like, gratuitous, yet sensitive, use of the synthesizer. Like, imagining, even for ONE MINUTE, that at some point, your email inbox will be empty.

But, more than any of those things (although, depending on the episode, David Tennant as Dr Who is hard to beat) happiness is browsing random keywords on Google Book Search.

Look at this gem, found by looking for "famous" and "dresses":

From 1873 to 1887, especially in the last three years of that period, the adoption of European dress progressed rapidly amongst the upper classes. It had been made compulsory for officials when on duty in 1873, and had steadily gained ground amongst students, bankers, merchants, and others coming, more or less directly, under foreign influence.
The wave of German influence that swept over Japan from 1885 to 1887 carried the innovation to a still more dangerous point. The beautiful costume of the women of Japan so absolutely becoming to its wears that one can hardly imagine them clad in any other way, was threatened, and sad to relate, the ladies of the Court began to order dresses from—Paris? No—the pen almost refuses to chronicle the appalling fact—from Berlin! In the nick of time, the reaction against a Slavish imitation of Occidental customs unsuited to the country came to the rescue.

[from Japan as Seen and Described by Famous Writers, by Esther Singleton (1904).]

Did you get that "Slavish" imitation bit? I wish my pen would almost refuse to write when I try to make bad puns like that.

Anyway, if you're feeling a bit low, start playing with Google Book Search (for maximum enjoyment, I suggest limiting your search to "full text" books only — under "Advanced Search").

The picture here, by the way, comes from Fenwick's Career. If it makes you want to read the rest of the book, click on the image …

Oh, and a hearty Dress a Day welcome to our newest advertiser, over there on the right: Michelle Lee's Patterns from the Past! Go check out her site, if you will.

0 thoughts on “Guaranteed Satisfaction

  1. David Tennant isn’t bad, but Christopher Eccleston was better! I was never interested in Dr. Who before he took on the role for, unfortunately, just the one season

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  2. it’s very generous of you to recommend google book search, especially in its more arcane forms. I love it so much, I only share it with my very closest friends.

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  3. “Anyway, some things just WORK, happiness-wise. Like, David Tennant as Dr Who.”Oh yes. We get a few things right over here. Are you getting the new series already?

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  4. I am reminded of a book I read a few years ago called _The Ginger Tree_, by Oswald Wynd about a Scottish woman living in Japan during the Meiji period who provided western dress to Japanese women. Also in this vein is _China Chic: East Meets West_, by Valerie Steele, a more academic treatment of this subject that sparked my interest in societies that were required by their governments to adopt western dress.wqjnw

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  5. How bizarre… first the interest in dresses and sewing, the ability to look at a pattern and visualize Six in a similar dress, and now Doctor Who. Were we all separated at birth?Perhaps the Doctor needs to investigate!Loved Eccleston so much, really like Tennant too. Always like Tom Baker.Loved Rose’s pink patent leather pumps in “The Idiot’s Lantern” Episode! Oh, and the petticoat…

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  6. I liked Eccleston, but when he quit after one season, it showed me he wasn’t really committed to the character. And I was skeptical, but David Tennant was born to be the Doctor! He obviously relishes the role, and has made it his own. Did you see him in Viva Blackpool? Now must go drool over vintage patterns…

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  7. Dresses and David Tennant, what a great discussion! I was never a fan of Doctor Who until the new episodes with Christopher Eccleston, then I became a fan. He was great and have you seen him on Heroes? David Tennant has this cute geek-boy appeal, and it’s obvious that he really loves the role. I wish Sci-Fi would show the episodes more regularly.

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  8. This is probably a day late & a dollar short, but when we kids used to get colds my mom actually had us drink warm Tang. The citrus chased away the icky throat and the warmth was relaxing. Odd, but there you go! 🙂

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  9. I missed the new Dr. Who on my local PBS (aka BBC) station because I was too sick and forgot! And I was watching TV anyway! (I decided a Buffy marathon was the proper stimulation for my flagging immune system.) I haven’t played around with Google book search yet; I’m so afraid of how much they rule my world already…

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