Archive | January, 2012

fumbling towards style.

25 Jan

I’ve gone from one style extreme to the next: fashion forward toddler (courtesy of The Mother); teenager clad in black all the time; the unfortunate college years, where I think it was telling that my psychology professor noticed my wearing-the-same-jacket-all-the-time habits; the weird 20s, when I volleyed between frumpiness and…frumpiness; and now the early 30s, where, up until recently, I was just kind of functional.

Functional happens. In the process of discovering who we are as indivduals, sometimes we forget that a large part of that involves how we look on the outside. It’s true, and it’s life. Along with the emotional you, there is the physical you. Bouncing around from one style extreme to the next didn’t really give me an opportunity to find a happy medium for the physical me, being that I spent a large part of my formative years despising my physical appearance. Another needless to say truth: self-image/body acceptance affects what you wear and how you want to present yourself. (These days, I wholly accept how wonderfully made and gorgeous I am. It’s taken about, oh, 14 years or so to come to this? But everything in life requires journeying, and this was one of many for me.) As adults and as women, the paying bills/working/my car needs another oil change?/other responsibilities can sometimes blanket everything else. For me, I wasn’t taking the time out to identify my wardrobe, my style. I was wearing whatever I believed fit and/or camouflaged me or whatever was affordable, which meant plenty of sad, loose jeans and loads of polyester. All of this came to a head one afternoon when, as I gazed at myself in the mirror, I realized that I resembled a homeless woman. 

Identifying the Issue(s)

I’ve always hated shopping. I don’t know what matches. I’ve always hated trying on clothes. I assigned these things as completely natural, but when you don’t like your body, the desire to dress it up is a bit like desiring to go to the dentist, right? There is no such desire. This was the main issue. The other things were byproducts of that.

Coming to Terms with the Issue(s) (Reluctantly)

It was time to stop. Stop ignoring the real issue here, that I needed to work on 1) admitting that I had positives to accentuate; 2) wanting to accentuate them.

Long Story Short

Once I laid claim to the main issue and chose to fight it and fix it, a few other things needed to be done. For one thing, color. Black and brown had become my staples for far too long. Another thing, fit. I had to recognize that loose is not really a good thing. Yeah, a few pounds came off and that was exciting, but I’m not Stevie Nicks. She can do the flowy thing. My version of flowy just looked tenty and, well, homeless. The next: I needed to choose a style. There are a zillion style archetypes out there. Did I want to be earthy? Preppy? Sporty? (Haha) Glam? Retro? 

The Present 

Simply, modern and chic is for me. Less Bea Arthur, more me. I love clean and chicness and up-to-date, and that’s the style I want to have. So far, so good. Ultimately, dressing for me, accentuating those nice positives—can’t go wrong, can you?

Oh, and to deal with generally being challenged when it comes to all things shopping, I just take outfit ideas from magazines, or gaze at mannequins like a crazy person in the store. (No, they don’t come alive.) I also try things on, despite my belief that something is wrong with those mirrors in there; I worry less about matching and more about the right look and accessorizing well. So still fumbling towards style, yes, but with far more confidence and optimism than ever before. This is a good thing.

READERS: What’s your style? How did you find it?

conversational snowflakes, and other such topics.

24 Jan

“Conversational snowflakes,” courtesy of a good friend of mine. I love it. Anywho, it was an interesting weekend all around, with plenty of topics for conversation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, it did snow, and there was plenty to say about it. It wasn’t the “just flurries” jive turkey that the weather quacks predicted. Certainly, it wasn’t the Snowmageddon situation that happened in these parts some years ago, but there was accumulation. Enough to keep me in my pajamas for the entirety of Saturday. And since I judge the seriousness of weather based on my having to wear sleepwear during the day, yes, it was something. Really, though? I feel that all of us on the mid-Atlantic and the East Coast (myself included) should stop being shocked at wintry weather. We are in the middle of winter, after all. Why do we open our mouths in surprise? Who do we shake our fists at the gray, snow-producing skies? Come, precipitation! We await you. Oh, and can I just say that pajamas all day are the best ever? The absolute best ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This will be a generalization. Sorry. Men? Are the above. I won’t go into much detail right now. Just trust and believe that they are, and the truth of that generalized statement was more than underscored for me this past weekend. What about the good ones out there, Kitten Heel Marvel? someone may ask. There ARE good ones! Perhaps. I don’t know any, though. No, no, I do, but they don’t count toward this argument. And I’m sticking to this argument like glue. Once I unclench my fists, perhaps I may let up. Until then? Ignore the obese cuteness of that creature and reflect on what I’m saying. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A haiku for my favorite sleepwear:

warm and flannel pajamas

on a winter’s day

i promise to keep you close.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It really does make a difference, to have an assembly of friends and people who do the above for you. I’m fortunate and thankful to have such people in my life. I reunited with two of them this past weekend. They are a husband-and-wife team of inspiration and goodness. Just lovely. There are a few changes afoot in my life right now (all good, more info later), and to have those two people in my corner, cheerleading me on: what an inestimable treat.

So despite the snow and resulting ice, despite the presence of pigs, the weekend was filled with fuzzy pajamas and a personal, emotional boost for me.

How was your weekend?*

*I recognize that it’s Tuesday, and the past weekend may have retreated back in the hazy corner of memory, but try to remember? Please and thank you?

the past is prologue?

21 Jan

Four years ago, on January 21, 2008, this was what I posted. Apparently, I was concerned with horrors unleashed on my DMV photo, and sibling-related vengeance. So…not much has changed, huh?

Reflections of the Way I…Used to Be?

So I recently renewed my driver’s license online. It was painless, quick and easy (unlike the last time, when I was inexplicably forced to take a faulty test and almost manifested my rage at the guy taking my picture. One should never desire to kick someone in the knee, not ever), and I was slated to receive the new license about five days later.

I received the license this past Friday. A few things:

  1. I looked like a pig. An actual pig. AN ACTUAL PIG.
  2. Oddly enough, it wasn’t the photo from the license I had just renewed, which I assumed it would be. It was some other weird looking photo, where my posture was terrible and I had this strange, almost smug smirk on my face. Smug? I never look smug! (Well, I don’t try to).
  3. It appeared as if my picture had been age-progressed. Seriously. Rather than feature what I currently look like, the picture seemed to guess what I’ll look like 5 years from now, when the license expires.

My younger brother seemed to get a kick out of #3. “You’ve been age-progressed! Ha ha!” That particular revenge will be sweet. Anyway…

I placed the license in my wallet with a resolute sigh, pleased that, at least, a trip to the horrid DMV had been avoided. These days, even thinking about kicking someone may land me in some jail somewhere. Times have changed.

The weekend was interesting. Packed with activity and pretty fast. Wasn’t it just last Friday?

oh, theodore! and sylvia and carlos, too!

19 Jan

I’m deeming this Poetry Thursday. (Thursday will always be Thurstinkday to me, of course, but in my efforts to stop being a Negative Nancy about everything…)

For this First Official Thursday, find below three of my favorite favorite poems by some of my favorite favorite poets. Incidentally, I’ve decided that my future husby will have to be a poet. That’s one of the few prerequisites for Future Husby, along with sanity, goodness, and an understanding his wife (me) will be charmingly off her rocker. What if he’s not a poet, you ask? I’d like to imagine that we will meet at a poetry reading where he’s performing, which would cancel out the fact that he may not be, but really, whatever. Sanity, goodness, and the charmingly nuts wife understanding will do fine. (I think.) Anyway. Please: read, enjoy, analyze, take in. FOR READERS: What are your favorite poems/poets, and why?

 
In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood–
A lord of nature weeping to a tree,
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.
What’s madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day’s on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall,
That place among the rocks–is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have.A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is–
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.

Dark,dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.

Lady Lazarus – Sylvia Plath

I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it—–

A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot

A paperweight,
My featureless, fine
Jew linen.

Peel off the napkin
O my enemy.
Do I terrify?——-

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.

Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be
At home on me

And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.

This is Number Three.
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.

What a million filaments.
The Peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand and foot ——
The big strip tease.
Gentleman , ladies

These are my hands
My knees.
I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was ten.
It was an accident.

The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.
I rocked shut

As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

Dying
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I’ve a call.

It’s easy enough to do it in a cell.
It’s easy enough to do it and stay put.
It’s the theatrical

Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
Amused shout:

‘A miracle!’
That knocks me out.
There is a charge

For the eyeing my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart—
It really goes.

And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair on my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, ash—
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there—-

A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer
Beware
Beware.

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.

This is Just to Say – William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

It’s a Possibility! It’s a POSSIBILITY!

18 Jan

I know, I know, take it down a notch, find a sedative.

But my excitement lies in the following: some time ago, I discussed wanting this little cute creature in my life, complete with said awesome name and many miniature T-shirts. I also discussed that my schedule and other issues (read: my mother pushing me down a flight of stairs if I had the audacity to bring one into her house), however, precluded me from having him.

Well, alert the media. The Mother wants a dog.

Yes, you read that right. She with the HGTV dreams and model home wishes, who has long refused to be the one stuck with walking a dog at dawn and *potentially cleaning up after him, very much wants me to buy us a puppy. (To be specific, she wants me to purchase a dog for myself, and one for her. After kindly assuring her that two dogs would never happen, we have agreed on one.)

But yay! We’re getting a dog!

I don’t know when. A few months from now, but soon. I’m currently doing research on the right dog for us; making sure that it’s hypoallergenic (my ‘Lil Bro is allergic to everything but the sun and the moon); that it can be trained and will adapt to our environs; that sort of thing. Initially, we spoke about a Yorkie (click on that link above and awwww at that deathly cuteness), and a Yorkshire Terrier was on the potential dog owner quiz that I took…but I’ve changed my mind to another breed that was on the list…

The new **Atticus S. Finch! Don’t you want to just squeeze that face? It’s a Shih Tzu, and I’m really liking the research I’ve done about the breed so far. Plus, my friend’s mom has one and my brief time hanging out with her was pretty great. (Until I had to crate her and nearly wept at that pitiful, imprisoned face. Which means that my puppy will take over my life.) More research to come, and then hopefully soon, we’ll have a new arrival at Chez Girley’s Mother’s House!

FOR READERS: Any advice from dog owners out there?

* I’m coming to terms with the whole-cleaning-up-after-the-dog thing. I am. Slowly. That hard gulp you heard was me, by the way.

**His full name: Atticus Scout Finch [My Last Name], III. Doesn’t the III make it seem like he would belong to someone with a yacht? I love it.

Dear Insane Woman:

17 Jan

On the heels of you almost murdering me this morning with your green Honda Accord, just wanted to make mention of the following:

  • You saw the sour, oh-Lord-another-workday look on my face, I suppose? And wanted to put me out of my misery? Thanks, but no, thanks. Running me over with your car wouldn’t have accomplished, by any means, putting me out of my misery. Maybe a free wine cooler at a nice restaurant would have done that. Not a hit-and-run. (You so would’ve hit and run, lady. We both know this.)
  • Couldn’t you have waited a second or two for me to cross the street before pulling in? Your fender was thisclose to my ankles. Seriously. It would’ve taken 3 seconds, tops, for me to get across. I’m famous for walking incredibly slow and being allergic to any kind of rushing, but I do rush when cars are nearby. Promise.
  • So you sped up. So you almost killed me. Did you get to work on time? No, you didn’t. Admit it: you were still late. And you’re still ridiculous. So nothing came out of this morning’s activities.
  • You saw me turn around to cast a shocked, almost creamed glare in your rearview mirror. You saw it and you know what you did.
  • Like photos of this guy, I made a mental impression of your car and your black coat and your circa 1986 haircut. And I will remember you.
  • Thank you for reminding me that late DC drivers who are woefully dressed like any female supporting character from a mid 1980s movie will try to kill me, so I need to be doubly careful when walking to work in the morning.

Yours,

Still Alive, thank you very much.

p.s.: Watch your precious backs, friends and readers. There are shoulder pad wielding lunatics out there behind the wheel, aiming their vehicles toward your sweet ankles.

BJ & FE SCOTT

...LIVING THE BEST LIFE EVER!

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