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seriously, what in the world does Kitten Heel Marvel mean?

3 Aug

Marvel at the kitten heels, why don’t you?

We’ve talked before about the genesis of Kitten Heel Marvel. In short, this blog was formerly titled “So I Don’t Forget,” in reference to reminding myself not to forget my love of writing. After experiencing a really weird and long strain of writer’s block, a former co-worker suggested that I blog in an attempt to keep my creative brain stimulated. I took her advice, and “So I Don’t Forget” was born. However, I wanted something more eye-catching, more interesting to call my little JournaBlog. Enter kitten heels. Literally, inspiration came by way of shoe.I bought a pair of kitten heels at the store one day and marveled at the combination of comfort and dressiness they provided me. (Late bloomer, ok? Just…late bloomer.) Yes, I really did marvel at a pair of shoes. But I started reflecting that life itself is a marvel. To be human is a marvel. Writing, thoughts, family, work…all part of the marvelous human experience, my human experience. Enter Kitten Heel Marvel.Well, this morning, I read “Ten Steps to Better Blogging” from WordPress. The “Get Focused” feature caught my eye, and it was an interesting read. Essentially, a particular thought stood out to me from the article:

Even if you’ve been blogging regularly for years, this is a good opportunity to revisit and refine your site’s focus. 

I went all existential on Kitten Heel Marvel. What is the true focus of this site? What does it all mean? Can my life, writing, and experiences fit into a neat one or two-word format, like Travel or Pop Culture? After all, when I started my other blog baby, The Lonely Passport, it was done with a specific goal in mind: discuss my adventures, love, and plans for all-things travel and only travel. And you know what? Early on, I enjoyed posting on The Lonely Passport more than I did for Kitten Heel Marvel. (If these two things were children, I would so be on the Maury Show for the “Giiiirrrl, you Playin’ Favorites!” episode.) The Passport felt more streamlined, neater, interesting. Perhaps it was because I could take a less personal (read: less revealing about yours truly) approach to the Passport, whereas Kitten Heel Marvel is purely about me, even if I do tend to hold back for reasons I’ve mentioned before. (Still working on that.) Or, perhaps I considered the Passport as having more of a structure, and sometimes I looked at the Marvel as more of a free-for-all. In a battle of specificity and generality, I would almost always choose the former, and I think, in the beginning, the Passport represented that to me. These days, though, I love all my children equally, which is largely evidenced by my equally irregular posting for both blogs. All about equality, I am.

But remember: I went all existential on the Marvel. And I had to ask the following big question: is it the name of this blog that has me thinking about its true focus? Do name, content, and focus go hand in hand? There are countless of blogs that I enjoy visiting.  And you know what? Most of them have blog names that uniquely express the content you’re about to find. Even The Lonely Passport gives you a huge clue that it’s travel-related. So what is Kitten Heel Marvel saying? Fashion blog? Shoe blog? Marvel comics? Or does it all even matter?

I call this forum my little JournaBlog because it is precisely that to me: a journal. I journal about my life, my thoughts, my writing, all things uniquely related to me that I would like to share. But if we want to categorize Kitten Heel Marvel, I would call it a lifestyle blog, for sure. All aspects of my life, posted for your reading pleasure, if you so choose to read. And perhaps that is the focus: all things uniquely related to me. It may not be a one or two-word description about the format, but there it is…

However, and to be super honest, I’m wondering about this name. Because in all written work, there’s nothing like a good title…

Tell me: what kind of thought did you put into the name of your blogs, if you blog? Do you think a good name inherently goes with the interest readers will have in your blog? Did the name inspire the focus/content, or was it the other way around? Does it even matter? And lastly, because I’m all about questions, obviously, should I think about retiring Kitten Heel Marvel as a name?

there’s a footprint on my heart! there’s a FOOTPRINT on my heart!

2 Aug

Because that’s what crushes are, right? In the end, your heart is crushed, dusty from the outline of the shoe that stamped all over it, you’ve eaten your entire daily caloric intake in one meal, and you’re alternating between man-hating tunes from Alanis Morrissette and tear-inducing tunes from every other lady singer. (Here’s to you, Sarah McLachlan, Jewel, Tori Amos, and Joni Mitchell.)

No one can understand love who has not experienced infatuation. And no one can understand infatuation, no matter how many times he has experienced it.
~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960
I thought my first crush was in the fourth grade. He was the spitting image of Michael Jackson, so naturally, I was quickly moony-eyed over the boy. However, my mother believes that my first crush was this guy:
Little Ricky Schroder. (He will always be little Ricky to me, always.) Apparently, as we watched The Champ, my mother says that I walked up to the television and placed my hand right on little Ricky’s televised cheek, stroking it. As far as little Ricky being my first crush, the jury’s out on that one. I may have been trying to comfort little Ricky and his tear-streaked face, being that The Champ arguably has the saddest ending of all time. (Watch it if you dare.) I don’t know if it was a crush then (I was about two years old at the time)…but it became one years later, when this show came out. Sigh…

Infatuation Love – a wildly misunderstood although highly desirable malfunction of the heart which weakens the brain, causes eyes to sparkle, cheeks to glow, blood pressure to rise and the lips to pucker.

From the Michael Jackson look-alike to the thousands that came after, my journey down Infatuation Highway was filled with the usual impossibly long gazes, imagined gazebo weddings, smiles in my direction that propelled me straight to the moon, love letters stuffed in hall lockers (yes, I did that), and so much more. In the end, when reality and heartbreak would invariably finally set in, I would caution myself to never do it again. To let it all go. To stop it. To straighten up and fly right. To open my eyes. To stop essentially breaking my own heart, being that I always knew what the finale would be. To, to, to…until the next crush.

It’s so easy to be infatuated with someone but hard to find that someone who will catch you.
For a long time, however, I did keep to my promise. I was crush-free for a while. It was freeing. It was also utterly boring. So is that it, then? Are crushes a way to keep the old brain occupied? Rather than silence and boredom, do I long for the distraction of a crush? 

I know I am but summer to your heart, and not the full four seasons of the year.Edna St. Vincent Millay

Or is it less about boredom and more about that feeling? There may be a footprint on the old aorta in the end, but my goodness, that feeling in the beginning. The giddiness, the butterflies in the belly, the simple sight of that person, the sweetness and craziness of it all—it just feels awesome. After all, it really has nothing to do with the individual, does it? It’s not love. Love is real. Infatuation is celluloid/matinee idols/8 year-old co-stars of The Champ/boys who may be jerks but are super cute/who grow up to be men who may be jerks but are super cute/so on and so emptily forth. But nothing beats that feeling, does it?

Cinderella didn’t love the Prince. She loved that shoe. – Kitten Heel Marvel

So what is it? What motivates me to break my own promises and allow the stars to fall right back into my eyes, when the outcome is pretty much unavoidable? Is it the distraction? The feeling? Footprint on the heart, remember? Infinitely crushed, bloated, angry because of Alanis, crying because of Joni? What is it?

The essence of love begins when infatuation ends. – Anonymous


compliment, threat, same thing…?

17 Mar


This morning, as I made my way toward the metro escalators, I noticed a woman adjacent to me, also heading for the escalators. Even more notable was the fact that she was looking directly at me, a sort of knowing smile/smirk on her face. At first, I wondered if we knew each other. We didn’t. Nonetheless, as we arrived at the top of the escalators around the same time, she said, “you look pretty today.” I smiled, thanked her, and continued to descend down the stairs.

I was completely rattled.

The following thoughts took over:

  • who was that woman?
  • do i know her? have we had a conversation before on the train?
  • she wants to harvest my kidneys.
  • i’m wearing a huge coat, a scarf, sneakers. i look pretty?
  • i look pretty TODAY? as opposed to the other days when she had seen me?
  • what was with that weird smile?
  • please, please don’t sit next to me on the train.
  • where did she go? she was right behind me and now she’s gone!
  • did I imagine that whole exchange?
  • maybe she thought she knew me…
  • who WAS that woman?

The end. (I refuse to psychoanalyze myself in this instance. I’m accepting my reaction. The woman freaked me out.) 


Eternally Paranoid Girley

A Wednesday Miscellaneous Pie. Mmm, pie…

16 Mar

So much on my mind today…

Glee. I try to stay away from anything too Hollywood-y or entertainment-y on this forum (save for a few things, as in Mr. Darcy winning an Oscar and so on), but I’m ascending this particular soapbox for a moment. Forgive me. The following is all opinion. There was a time in the not too distant past when this show kind of made me crazy. After the first episode, my sis and I called each other on the phone and squealed for half an hour. We were those kids in high school. We loved theater, we loved music, we burst into Barbra Streisand while walking home from school. Those initial moments of Glee took us back to the days. It was awesome. I have since purchased about a million dollars worth of Glee music, and it’s all good. However. I don’t even watch it anymore. Why? A sweet, beautiful show about embracing who you are—especially at that tender age when doing that is absolutely necessary—has turned into this weird exercise that proves that believing in your own hype can become a TV show’s downfall. It stopped being fun. It stopped being sweet. It became kind of mean and snarky. I just didn’t enjoy it anymore. So that’s that, Glee. Save for a few visits here and there to catch sights of my current TV crush (I heart you, Matthew Morrison), it’s goodbye.

Old friends. Back in Ghana (where yours truly grew up for the first 8 years of her little life), we had a neighbor named Evelyn. Evelyn was the coolest gal in the entire world to us. She wore cool clothes, she wore cool, colorful bangles, she was tall and gorgeous. We loved her. Even more: Evelyn used to have Madonna dance contests. She would play Madonna songs and have us dance around our complex and whoever won would get chocolates. Cool, or what? It may be why 1) hearing old school Madonna puts the largest, silliest smile on my face, and 2) despite my best intentions, a piece of chocolate will always win me over. Love you, Evelyn, wherever you are…

I Must be a Bear. I hibernate every winter. Specifically, shaving my legs goes into hibernation. I let nature have its way. The problem with that is when spring rears its lovely head and the cold air begins to get warmer, hibernation is over. I buy a whole bunch of extra blades for my Intution razor (love it) and get to work on those crazy legs (I’ve already discussed my issues with hair; I’m Teen Wolf’s older sister, apparently). This time, “work” took so long that the water in the shower turned completely cold. I was in there for close to an hour? Two hours? I think I went through a worm hole. Even the walls were perspiring in the bathroom. You would think, at some point, that I would learn my lesson and shave throughout the year, so as to avoid this insane routine whenever spring comes? A normal person would do that, yes. But I’ve never been normal. My legs are so smooth…and when winter comes again, they won’t be. Can’t force a bear to stop hibernating, can you?

What is it about candy? There was major eye candy on the metro this morning. It was completely insane. I mean, that level of eye candy must be illegal in the tri-state area or something. Someone should have arrested those guys for infiltrating the senses in such a manner. Yiikes…

Can’t Believe it. I love my boss. He is absolutely terrific. It’s a bit incredulous, this feeling. Having been subjected to some of the craziest employers in the past—one of whom seriously had us humming the Flying Monkeys music from “The Wizard of Oz” whenever she was on the warpath—it’s both surprising and refreshing to work with someone so fair and accommodating. Very balanced, my boss. I’m utterly grateful, really. (The job itself, on the other hand, has its moments, which I’ve discussed before. Sigh.)

On that note, I will put the fork down and leave this Miscellaneous Pie for now. Onwards…

Inquiring Minds (and some comments along the way)

27 Feb

Why do some of your co-workers enter conversations that entirely do not involve them?

Which Target stores sell the awesome clothes and fashions featured on their cool commercials? (I’ve been to several Targets. Still looking.)

Seriously – do I find those clothes at Gap? Because they’re awesome. And they’re not at Target!

Why do the producers of the Academy Awards still insist, after 80 long years, on having fake, animated characters presenting awards? What does anyone get out of it? Who keeps greenlighting this stuff? And then they have the audacity to cut off the actors that are droning on and on with that orchestra music? If they cut out the talking bee, maybe Mr. or Mrs. Actress can have time to thank their 8th grade drama teacher. It’s very simple, is it not?

Who really is the muffin man? Does he know which Target sells the awesome clothes?



Sincerely, Taj

Dear World, I have stuff to say, so get cozy. Here, I've got cupcakes.

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