Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 5-0

I've made it 50 days without purchasing anything apparel or beauty related (with the exception of my first month's freebie).

How does it feel?

Well, right now after spending the last month or so seeing the flutter of award show images of girls in pretty dresses take over the internet (and my Twitter-feed)..It feels pretty shitty.

I've never considered myself a slave to fashion, but shopping is so much more than that for me.  It's the most convenient way to relieve stress and put a smile of my face.  I used to reward myself for going to class by picking up a lovely gift on the way to the last class of the week.  This got me through the first semester of grad school (and is something I credit for my perfect attendance in this round of schooling).  Ironic since if I had attended the majority of my undergrad classes, I might not have needed to go back and further my education - but hindsight is 20/20. 

The idea of finding a "sponsor" for this non-shopping endeavor seems to be taking up constant attention in my frontal lobe (or maybe whatever lobe is responsible for such thoughts).  I wonder if a magazine editor would take pity on my quest and trade clothes for reviews?  The more I contemplate the idea, the more I think it's a perfectly reasonable request. 

It looks like this hiatus may be extended, my car is making a squeak and I'm foreseeing a new car in the nearer future..Oh lovely pieces o' clothes and fashionable footwear - you may have to wait a bit longer to find your way home to my closet ::tears::

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Critical Review

After listening to the tape of my recent interview, several times, I have made a few crucial discoveries:

1.  I use the word "like" an inordinate amount of time
2.  My voice sounds much better in my head

3.  I am noticeably more funny in person, or on paper, either or

Friday, February 11, 2011

'Imported From Detroit'

Me, Myself, and We

Do you ever talk to yourself when you workout?

Well, I do.

I have 2 styles of conversation that I follow to motivate myself [only while in the process of doing cardio, using an sort of weights or muscle building machine causes me severe pain and skews to thoughts dually trying to register in my mind]. 

1.  Negotiations:  I prefer this method during my stints on the elliptical.  It sounds almost identical to a business meeting, except I play the roles of all sides involved.  I like to trade workout time for promises of shopping, but since my current hiatus from that activity, I have to come up with new and exciting ways to move negotiations along.  For example, "If you [and by you I mean me] keep your heart rate above 170 for the next 20 minutes, you [me] can procrastinate on that homework we're dreading until tomorrow" -  which has replaced, "5 more minutes and you've earned that yummy pair of knee-high boots that would look great with that darling sweater you earned at our last meeting."

2.  One-Up-Manship:  On the treadmill, it's a different ball game.  I'm currently, and possibly futilely, training myself to be a runner using the interval technique [also recommended to reduce the risk of Type II Diabetes].  The conversation with myself goes something like this:

"You only have to run at x speed for 1.5 minutes and than you can go back to walking for 3 minutes."
"Hell no!  I'm going to run for 2 minutes, and only walk for 2.5, and than do it again"

It goes on like that for a half hour, until at which time I'm particularly sweaty gross, and both sides agree that cardio is accomplished for the day. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"I guess I'm an Actor"

I'm working on a 'popular article' that started out very much in the name of a grade, and has just blossomed into something so much more.  That's such an ambiguous statement, but I'm not sure how else to frame it.  I took a risk, I guess you can call it that, and asked someone that I have recently become very aware of and equally intrigued by to take a chance on me.  I asked for an interview, pretty much on a whim, thinking the worst thing that could come out of was a harsh "hell no" type of scenario.  Amazingly, he agreed, despite having no real reason to not assume I was a complete single-white-female-stalker chick and this wasn't going to turn into some sort of fatal attraction situation [besides my identifying myself as attached to a grad school, which I'm pretty sure he just took me by my word on]. 

Well I'm not [psychotic] and this isn't [daytime television].

I've already gotten so much out of the experience and I'm still knee deep in it.  I like to think of myself as a fairly non-addictive personality - I don't even have the energy to play dress up for the Twilight midnight opening night, and I LOVE the series - but I am OBSESSED with this whole process.

Everything from the research, to the actual interview itself, to the combing through the recording [play.stop.rewind. repeat. repeat. repeat. play], to the first draft, to the complete overhaul I did this afternoon, and the critiques and edits, all of it.  There's so much that goes in to writing a piece like this.  Yes, in a sense you're still writing it for yourself and a particular audience [and in my case a professor standing in the way of an actual audience], but it's also about the subject.  I'm doing a profile on an actual person, not an ambiguous object or a lofty idea/theory, and you want to be able to do that person justice; to really tell their story in a way that represents them honestly.  There are so many positions and angles that you can take on a project like this, it's up to the writer to find a theme in the story and take a set of information and turn that into a 5 page or however long depiction of someone's life.

There's definitely a certain element of pressure, but it's quite thrilling and humbling at the same time.  I'm very excited/eager to see what the end product looks like.     

Day 31 & 1/3

Dear Editors of People StyleWatch:

For the last six months (maybe longer) your magazine, which I insist on subscribing to as my own cheaper version of a look book, has been mediocre at best.  This month however, the content was stellar. 

Why are you doing this to me?!

As soon as I vow to increase my self awareness by going on an extended shopping hiatus, you hit me with this unsolicited melarky; plenty of diverse selection, varying costs, and a combination of simplistic styles and bright colors.   

I am outraged.

Although you should know, as my monthly "freebie" I will be purchasing one of your recommendated (or sponsored) items; one of the 37 items I angrily marked.. 

Carry on and try not to let this happen again until at least May.

Respectfully Yours,

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Call Me, Bob

The prevailing theme that I ascribe to as of late is the idea that "even Mother Theresa had haters;" a quote I discovered in an unlikely location - the pages of Women's Health.

The exact quote [in case you didn't click on the link] goes like this:
Being Disliked
"Instead of worrying about whether so-and-so likes you, ask yourself whether you like so-and-so. Hey, even Mother Teresa had haters."

I look to WH for many things, but life philosophy isn't generally one of them.  So imagine my pleasant surprise one evening flipping through the October (?) issue and coming across this gem of advice.  In fact, this might be one of the most intuitive thoughts-to-print I've even come across.  It seems like this is one of those common sensical positions that is put into words in such an ironic way that you can't help but read it twice - which I did, and then I read it an extra time for good measure [and tweeted it, plus made it my facebook status].  Overkill perhaps, but sharing is caring.

I'm sure you've already realized that people spend a more than necessary amount of time obsessing over social relations, or their lack thereof.  Even if you are someone who is generally liked, it is still plausible for there to be people who don't choose to jump on the bandwagon; and you just have to deal with it.  You, however, do not have to talk, text, tweet, blog about it.  People either will or won't like you either way.

Now some people may have an urge to argue with this logic - but it's really sound intelligence.  Clearly, in some cases you may influence the regards that people have toward you; but on most occasions, personal feelings aside, there is inexplicably and absolutely nothing in your arsenal of control to remedy ill will faced in your directions.

Remember, "Even Mother Teresa had haters!" and she is possibly a saint..and be comforted by that notion.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


The problem with being too comfortable, the way I see it, is that you makes you weak.  Let me clarify that by saying that it makes your weak with fear.  Sometimes being comfortable is a great thing.  Being comfortable with your friends and in relationships, keeps you safe; it allows you to have healthy alliances and life experiences not coupled with constant discussions of "trust".  On the other hand, sometimes it leaves you vulnerable; it makes you forget your dreams and keeps you in a state of "what if's" and "what should have been".  Life is full of moments that you either take advantage of, or they just pass you by.  Being too comfortable can be a hindrance.  It can keep you from going after what's important in exchange for being safe.  But that the thing, is being safe always the best option?

You decide.

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!"

Day numero dos for snowsaster 2011, if your are in the Chicago-land area (Chicago/Northwest Indiana) then you are aware #Chicagoisscrewed.  Record amounts of snow were dumped in our front lawn (and everywhere else) in the last 36 hours.  If you tried to shovel yesterday - good for you.  In my opinion, not the smartest use of your time.  I suffered from not-so-smart syndrome for approx. 30 min before I gave up in the realization that "O crap, it's still snowing" and all my hard work was covered over in the next few minutes.  However, before coming back inside to thaw out - I made snow angels.

Today, however, is a new day and the snow has stopped. If you are (un)lucky enough to have another day off you have no excuse to sit on your bum and be unproductive.  Most importantly, if you are not bored of being "snowed in" by now - you have other issues [which I am not qualified to talk you through].  Consider this a catch up day.  Get a head start on weekend chores: laundry, homework, the Netflix sitting on your desk for the past week.. [or whatever else you do with your weekends..maybe a bottle of cheap vino awaits you].  Or perhaps you've been putting off an activity that needs your attention (i.e. fixing something).  Yesterday. it was perfectly acceptable to thrash any ideas of being productive in the intended sense of the word - a snow day is after all a fluke of nature, literally - but today, let's be real it's kind of like a gift and you know what "they" say, don't look a gift horse in the mouth.  I'm not entirely sure what that means because a horse has never come bearing a present for me, but it's mostly just an expression, right?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


For the record:

I plan to include a smattering of all my suggestions into my day tomorrow.  Without regard for the safety of others, I found someone ::insert adjective here:: enough to drive me around to pick up the supplies necessary for S'mores.  No, not because I couldn't just get in my car and drive myself, but because I was practicing being snow day lazy.  Two stores and a stop at Taco Bell later, I am confident that I will survive the current blip on the weather radar.

Snopocalypto Briefing

Snow.  Obviously weather related.

If you're lucky enough to find yourself with a snowcation from work/school, you should take advantage of it.  I have taken the liberty to compile a list of suggestions for snow day related activities to pass the time until real life resumes.

1. S'mores: No longer just a childhood activity or reserved solely for camping adventures, this yummy masterpiece is great for the indoors; a fireplace or gas stove and you're set.
2. Snow Angels:  Only in this weather is it acceptably permitted for you to fall backwards not in the accompaniment of a trust exercise and flail around as if suffering from a seizure.  Enjoy.
3. Play Battleship: 2 players, board game not required.
4.  Have a snowball fight with unused tissue because it's actually too cold to go outside..or you just don't want to get out of your pjs and layer up.
5.  Update all social media status's to indicate you are indeed snowed in (even if it's only a half truth)
6.  Spend all day acting like your 5 year old self; watch the Disney channel all day with some sort of cheese snack.
7.  Have a twitter conversation with a stranger about the size of your..snowman.
8.  First, construct a snowman in perfect view of your front window using vegetables that you dislike for all the features (take a picture for proof)
9.  Google yourself..twice.
10.  Stream snow related movies for 24 hours straight.

Whatever you choose to do, please note that it is completely unacceptable to be sick on a snow day.  Thank you for taking that into consideration.