Sunday, May 29, 2011

Grey Skies

I'm feeling particularly disinterested in being productive today, even though my to-do list is quite extensive.  Perhaps its the unpredictable and very loud weather conditions that we've been having.  Nothing makes me feel more like being a slug bug than the rain.  In fact, in my undergrad years, rain was the top reason on my long list of reasons not to go to classes (so as you can probably imagine those weren't the most productive academic years of my life).  There's nothing I like more than to cuddle up with an imposter fleece throw, pop a DVD in or grab a good book, and waste the day away (preferably with ice cream and/or vino).

I'm sure I am not the only person that feels this way.  At least I hope not..  

So if you're sitting around waiting for the sun to return, unproductively so, like moi.  You might be interested in reading The SAB.  Its the new(est) blog by actor Stephen Amell (Vampire Diaries, Hung).  I find his writing style very engaging and his sarcasm welcoming.  If you're a fan of my blog, most likely he is your cup of tea as well.  So do yourself a fun favor a check it out, again it's: The SAB 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tick-Tock Goes to Clock

I was thinking about the phrase "time heals all."  It seems like one of those annoying cliche things that you say to someone going through a rough time, one of those things you know is true but doesn't feel like it, but I wonder if anything thinks about why it's really such a sound statement.

Realistically, time doesn't do anything.  Time is arbitrary, a social construct that philosophers and scientists and mathematicians have made up to categorize the passing of, for lack of a synonym, time.  But, it makes sense that you feel better after some "time" has passed.  Obviously, the more time between you and an event, the less attached you are to it.  So maybe distance heals all is more rhetorically correct?      

Friday, May 27, 2011

Scornfully Yours, Portland

What do I want from life?

Well, right now, I'd like some guy who has scorned me to show up at my door, with orchids and my favorite perfume, bare his soul, willfully admit he's a jerk, and mean it.

But those things don't happen in real life, they only happen in the movies. Right?

And furthermore, it's flippin' annoying when characters in movies have lines like that, when they are actually in a movie and five minutes ahead in the plot whatever they complained about not happening in "real life" happens.  Whoever approves scripts with lines like that should really consider his work more carefully in the future.  Thanks.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Twenty Something and Crushed?

I've been scouring the website for Liz Funk's new book, Coming of Age in a Crap Economy, aptly titled Oh, Crap and I feel comforted.  It's refreshing to read the words that could have just as easily come out of my own head.

I use the phrase "Bitch, this is a recession" (in some form or another) on a daily basis in conversation with friends.  It's meant as a joke, but in reality we all know it's not.  Being in your twenties right now is no easy task.  

The website outlines the premise for her new book on the difficulties of being a twenty something adult in this economy [read: recession].  One of the thing she discusses is the giving up or limiting of the luxuries that you might have enjoyed previously with the help of a job, or supplemental income from mommy-and-daddy.  I think this is a great point, let's be honest -- it's not easy giving up things, especially when they are things that you have become accustomed to -- something that most financial guru's overlook.  In almost every article on getting out of debt you read sentence after sentence telling you to give up that $4.80 Starbucks every morning or stop shopping for things you don't need (which is most of the things I love to shop for), but no one ever talks about what that does to you emotionally.  I consider myself to be a fairly frugal spender, even with my shopping addiction considered, but that cup of Starbucks in the morning or on the way to a looooong night class, after a loooong day at work is sometimes the only thing standing between me and crazy.  Just because it sounds like a good idea, and other people live without it, doesn't mean you can just snap your fingers and not want it anymore.  Funk says, "that having to downsize is possibly the worst part of coming of age in a crap economy."  (And by downsize, she means giving things case there was any confusion or connecting the dots issues)

This evening I was faced with a dilemma that (at least to me) is a great example of this.  I was sitting at my computer checking my e-mail after I finally got home from work, and realized that I hadn't made anything for lunch at work tomorrow.  By this time, it was already getting late and frankly I was feeling lazy/exhausted.  I knew I had 3 options:

  1.  Get off my duff, head downstairs and make something with the groceries that my parents supply for me (almost free of charge)
  2. Plan on heading to Panera during lunch hours
  3. Lie to myself about waking up early to make lunch, and then knowing that would never happen, decide to go to Panera and pick something up
I liked option 2.  Tomorrow is pay day, and it would be a nice treat.  The problem with that option, and option 3of course, is that a) gas prices are insane! and b) it's not free.  I had to opt for making my lunch, even though I not-so-secretly would prefer to eat out every day of the week and be able to afford someone else to prepare all my lunches. And breakfasts.  Ok, and dinners.  (honestly, I loved cooking when I lived on my own, but my parents have killed that desire).  In the end, I realize that my made at home lunch is way healthier and a smarter financial decision.  Unfortunately, I don't make oodles of money and I have to budget.

Reading about someone else going through something similar to what I'm going through makes me feel better about myself, it gives me a certain sense of motivation (like when I read Women's Health to validate my hours at the gym).  If you are in your twenties, or even just going through a rough time, I would recommend you check this website out.

For your convenience, another link to it: Coming of Age in a Crap Economy

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Weathering the Storm

I was thinking about the weather, and how the weather is really a lot like our relationships.  Friendships, and love, and family, are never simple.  No matter how much you want to believe that there's that one person who makes everything seem ok, that it's just so easy to be around, that it feels simple - it's not. there's not.  Relationships are rough, and stormy, and sometimes you feel like you're in the middle of tropical storm Ignacio and sometimes they resemble a perfect day where you can imagine lying on your back on a blanket in the yard staring up at the clouds, making up names for the shapes in the sky.  But it's just that, that's exactly what makes relationships special, that just like the weather, they're unpredictable.

And just like the weather, sometime you don't make it through them; but life moves on.  If it wasn't for the stormy weather and rough patches, you wouldn't know to appreciate the sunshine.  Without one, the other just becomes ordinary, and let's face it, as much as we may wish sometimes that relationships were cookie cutter and there was some guidebook telling us what to say and how much to push and when to walk away (just like we wish the weatherman was better at his/her job), there's not.  Sometimes there aren't any warning of rocky times ahead, they just appear, out of thin air, and rain starts falling on your head.

But the sun always comes out eventually, sometimes you just have to wait for it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

"Fit for Summer, Fit for Life"

I was outside sunning myself, and while my back was getting its allotted time of shine I picked up the latest issue of Women's Health (which is one of the few magazines that I willfully pay for).  I didn't make it passed the "Letter from the Editor" before I was inspired.  Editor-in-Chief Michele Promaulayko said:

"Think about it: Each and every person who has ever climbed out of a fitness slump chose one day to get off their duff."

She goes on to talk about the "notion of personal responsibility," which plays a role in so many different aspects of our lives.  Whether it's the decision to skip the fried cheese appetizer or take a chance with your career, this is your life.  And like it or not, when you look back 10, 20, 67 years from now, you have no one to blame except yourself for where you are..and hopefully instead of the word blame in that sentence, you will be able to insert "congratulate" or "pat on the back" or "take on a whirlwind shopping spree" instead.

Change is now, embrace it. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Reaction to Newsweek (May 2, 2011 Edition)

Let me start by saying that I am not a regular Newsweek reader.  Even though my household has a subscription to it, I am more of an occasional reader.  I like to skim through it, read only certain articles, pull nuggets out for conversational purposes.  Rarely do I find an article that I am just enthralled with, even among the many many very good ones, I think I have trouble relating to them.

However, I am not afraid to admit that at 25 I am still a huge fan of the Olsen twins.  When I was scouring the mail and saw them on the cover, I was thrilled.

[side note: it was finals week, thus the delayed reaction] 

After months of the mishaps of Lindsay Lohan seeming to be the only representation of my contemporaries being bandied about news media, the tabloids, and invading my Twitter-feed.  Coming across an article that raised the stakes and turned the tables on what "kids" my age our doing with their lives was a phenomenal moment.  A tinge of me felt like I was the slacker in this situation comparatively, as I'm sure others my age can relate, but ultimately I felt proud that members of my generation are really stepping it up.  The work ethic that the Olsen Twins have is AMAZING!  They go after what they want and are role-models for all generations.  In fact, after reading this article I feel more motivated to pursue my dreams and take risks.

I hope that Newsweek features more young Americans in future articles, the future is today and we are that future. 

**Check out the article, Look, Ma, We're Fashion Moguls! by Robin Givhan (@RobinGivhan)  #importedfromDetroit like me!

No Vacancy

If you're like me, then downsizing your wardrobe might prove to be a formidable task.  You probably have a hard time pinpointing when your closet started to look like it was on steroids, or possibly started to take over your room.

Exhibit 1: My overstuffed closet, complete with over the door hooks and a shirt bar that allows for twice as much stuff.. Photobucket

Exhibit Dos: Yes, that is an entire wall covered in racks of clothing! Photobucket

For me, it's a combination of 1) being addicted to shopping, and 2) not being able to part with items promptly enough to keep up with the replacements.

To meet the demands of my limited space, I have been forced to box up things approximately twice a year to make room for more seasonally appealing options.  This weekend, since the sun has finally appeared over Chicagoland Indiana for longer than 36 hours, I decided to allocate some time to the transition of items.  This also is a great time to discard winter things that I never wore and summer things that I had to come to terms with were never going to be worn.  Some things however present a challenge for me.  Although, I tend to not hold on to things for sentimental reasons, when it comes to clothing it's the complete opposite.  When I look at an item there are a few things that come to mind:

1) The last time I wore it (or when I bought it, since the tags are still on) - chronologically speaking only, If I wore it last summer it's probably going straight to a hanger or hitting a shelf, whether realistically or not I would wear it again.  Unless it's something that maybe I only wore because it was teetering the line between keeping and tossing, and I wore it as a last ditch effort to prove what my mother always says wrong, that I buy things just to buy them.

2) Where did I wear it - see I attach some intrinsic worth to an item based on the memory I associate with it.  I have an uncanny memory when it comes to certain details.  I probably can't list for you everything I wore last week to work, but I can look at a shirt that I haven't worn since undergrad (four years ago now) and tell you the exact party I wore it to, and why that night was so special to me, and therefore why I just cannot part with it. 

3) Does it still fit me - And lately that answer has been overwhelmingly no to at least a 1/4 of my closet (thus the Lindsay's "clothes that I need to lose 10 lbs to fit into again" box sitting in the hallway waiting for someone to lovingly transport it to the basement for me..and if I leave it there long enough, trust me, someone will - and perhaps they'll take my box of "books I already read" and "boots") 

I think that perhaps the biggest thing that most women suffer from would be number 3.  My weight, like most, fluctuates.  And clothing are particularly sensitive to that.  The jeans might have looks great 5 pounds ago, but now I question whether wearing them out could pose a danger to someone if the button pops off and ricochets of something, taking an eye out on the way.  That skirt would be perfect if I took an inch off both of the inner thighs and they looked like they did last summer when I had more time to work out.  An inch here, a pound there, all these things have the power to effect the way something fits and looks.  It is incredibly frustrating and unless you have the time to suffer through consistent workouts or will power to endure challenging diets - this is a reality for many women. 

Stay Strong.  And remember, if you haven't worn it in over a year, you should probably donate it (keep a list, and write it off during next year's taxes!).  Clothes come and go, they shouldn't be what's weighing you down.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lessons Forgotten

The term “big kid” is thrown around a lot to describe adults that are immature, irresponsible.  It’s one of those idioms that has become a more pc way to refer to people that we actually like, without being completely insulting.  But what are we really losing by using the word kid this way.  We are ultimately marginalizing the characteristics of children that are positive, like:

  1. Children are a ball of energy – They are really quite amazing that way.  I can’t remember the last time I had unlimited energy that lasted all day.  Even with the help of caffeine, I’m lucky if I can pretend to be full of energy, and even then it only lasts a max of a few hours.  Yes, sometimes we as adults find burst of energy, but realistically it doesn’t last all that long.  I love men that have energy, kid-like energy.  I think it’s incredibly attractive and I feed off of it. 
  2. Children don’t hold grudges – No one forgets being mad faster than a child.  They really know the meaning of “brush your shoulder off.”  They fall down and get back up and go back to what they were doing before.  This is an excellent quality to have.  I know there are times when it’s a matter of emotional self-defense to keep your distance from someone, or even write them off, but holding a grudge for the sake of holding a grudge is unhealthy.  It causes stress that ultimately hurts you more than the other person.  Kids don’t know anything about that. 
  3. Children are not afraid to cry – In fact, kids will cry anywhere, at anytime, for any reason.  They have absolutely no problem showing their emotions.  They don’t bottle up their feelings until that boil over and cause a big stir, they are honest.  They haven’t learned yet how to lie with their emotions.  Maybe this is what we can learn most from children.  That it’s perfectly acceptable to feel.

I hope one day someone calls me a big kid, and means it in the best way.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Run Fat Boy, Run!

It has come to my attention the utter hypocrisy that exists within the American educational system.

Running in the halls!

The news is constantly focused on the rise in child obesity, yet we tell children not to run in the halls.  Perhaps if we encouraged more physical activity, especially during time periods where they don't have the option of slug bugging it and indulging in the television (or the "idiot box" as my mother unwittingly calls it) children wouldn't be so fat.  Yes, I said it, F-A-T fat!  There are too many chunky monkeys walking around elementary schools these days, and let's face it, chunky monkey-ness is only cute for a limited time.

We need to seize every available opportunity to get our future leaders hearts racing, blood pumping!

Therefore, I am a strong supporter of running in the hallways (even allowing them to walk briskly would quench my thirst)..UNLESS there shoes are untied, and in that case they should step into a doorway as to avoid being run over like the father did in The Lion King during the stampede (that part still makes me cry).

**Side Note: Despite the title, this is a gender neutral commentary**

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Day After The Last Day

I have made it 115 Days without shopping, and today, 116 for good measures. 

Out of the four freebies I allotted myself, I used two.  One, a pair of frilly pumps, the other, an Indiana University tank top from the Victoria's Secret PINK collection. 

How do I feel?

Well, today (after suffering from an "I'm fat and none of my clothes look good on me" morning) I decided that I should dump my whole wardrobe and start again.  Probably not the best idea coming off of a 4-month long shopping hiatus.  Plus, I'm not really fat.  Instead, I think the better decision would be to do some laundry..
that's right. I admit it. I DO NOT LIKE TO DO LAUNDRY!  So, it doesn't get done very often..and even though my closet (read: half of my room turned closet) doesn't appear to be missing any items, when my staple pieces are all dirty - it causes me mass panic and thus "I'm fat and none of my clothes look good on me" mornings that result on me barely getting in the door at work on time.

To be honest, I am still in the throws of finals and unfortunately grad school is consuming my life right now.  Therefore, I haven't had much time to contemplate my upcoming shopping celebration(s)..

I'm sure I'll have more of a philosophical response to this experience after Monday night.