Friday, November 4, 2011

PSA: These are PANTS. These are NOT.

Attention Ladies & Gentleman, but particularly ladies, this is a public service announcement for you.

It has come to many people's attention that some of you are not aware of the difference between pants and well, just about anything else. Here are a few handy dandy visuals to test yourself if you're not sure about what pants are, or how to wear them.

These are pants:

These are not:

However this is a song about both of these things (TAKE NOTE: Everyone in this video is wearing PANTS.)

These are pants:

These are not:

These are pants:

These are not:

Are you starting to get it?

I know it can be confusing, but let's move on to some more advanced challenges.

Which of these ladies is wearing pants?

Did you guess one? Well you shouldn't have. NONE of these are PANTS.

Print for reference.

The more you know, the less you show.

That is all.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Revisiting the Christmas Wish List

My friends are beginning to post their kids' funny and cute Christmas lists on Facebook and Twitter and it reminded me of the great pride and care I employed to craft the perfect Christmas list as a child. See Christmas was done REALLY. BIG. at my house. Birthdays were casual affairs with a couple of nice, moderately priced gifts...but Christmas? Well that was a different story. On Christmas morning there would be beautifully wrapped packages in every corner of the living room - too many for just under the tree. Each family member was assigned their own gift wrap pattern - a stroke of genius by my uber organized and "fair" mother.

I was never disappointed - I received so many wonderful, thoughtful, and fun presents over the years I don't have even one Christmas memory that isn't joyful.

This was partly due to the obvious generosity of Santa (my parents). And now that I'm an adult, I realize that is attributed to their very careful planning and saving.

And partly due to the very calculated and inclusive lists I created, very soon after the last roasted pumpkin seeds from Halloween were eaten.

The intent behind every list was to come off humble, yet be clear in your requests and also provide a variety of options for "Santa". For most items I would have an "A" (the one I wanted) paired with a "B" (a similar item at lower cost, or perhaps slightly different). This allowed Santa to select gifts based on budget and availability, it also drove home the amount of desire to have such items.

I also think I liked doing this because it built in a layer of surprise and anticipation that I probably wouldn't have had if I had just said, I want a "Preemie Girl Cabbage Patch Kid". Instead that was "A", followed by "B" which was "ANY CABBAGE PATCH KID, preemie, white, black, boy or girl" since that was a very difficult item to attain Christmas 1983.

Secondly, it was very effective to present great acts of obedience alongside the most highly coveted items. (An early lesson in presenting budgets and performance evaluations to determine project funds or raises.) For example: Made bed every day this year: Peaches 'N Cream Barbie.

Finally - our lists were never limited. By doing this our parents taught us to understand the value of things, and also to understand that as children, we sometimes needed to pace some of our dreams and build towards those loftier presents. Wish for a trip to Europe? Get a globe and a book about France. Wish for your own ballet bar and mirror? Get new dance clothes and a Center Stage Barbie that spins on her own pedestal.

I was so fortunate to have parents that truly sacrificed, scrimped, bargain shopped, and saved to give us these kind of Christmases. But even then...there are a handful of items I never got.

I have come to understand the reasoning behind why some requests were never granted, Barbie Dream House? Too expensive (or so I thought...keep reading). Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine? Too messy. Easy Bake Oven? Sister had one, why get another.

However as I flip through the pages of the Sears catalog, nostalgically dog-earring pages as I go, I realize that I can now buy myself these treasures that for whatever reason Santa didn't bring. Did they create some void of playtime fun I can now correct?

Here's my list of all time wished for, but never received toys and gifts. I will purchase some of these items (marked *) to determine if they still deserve the wistful regret I still give them. In upcoming blogs I'll report on their enjoyment and nostalgic value. After they have served their purpose, I will be donating them to little ones in need.

*Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine (How messy is it after all?)$17.99

Barbie Malibu Dream House *REVELATION* My sister and I teamed up to ask for this one...and instead got the Barbie Townhouse - which we thought was not as good, come to find out TODAY that the TOWNHOUSE is actually a lot more expensive. I guess that goofy elevator on a string was really more of a manufacturing feat than we gave it credit for - we did really enjoy that present. Today the Malibu Dream House is $129.00, the Townhouse a whopping $169.00! (Since I guess I already did get the better of the two of these...I think I'll skip buying myself the Dream House, and instead buy something for my own house.)

Power Wheels Pink Jeep. Obviously, I no longer would fit in one of these, so I believe I'll skip this one too - and put that money into some repairs on the "grown-up" Jeep I already own. I think Mom & Dad had safety in mind as much as the high price tag. Goes for $299 these days.

Trampoline - Another safety first denial (and cost + neighbor safety concerns.) That and I think my dad liked to keep the yard uncluttered to practice pitching golf balls. I live in a condo in a city and have no yard. I do still love jumping on a trampoline though.

*Easy Bake Oven - classic light bulb style - which I hear is going to be discontinued - I guess it's not safe? Still, it keeps Mommy's oven clean - so I think I'll give this one a go. This classic model retails for $24.99, the "Ultimate" retails for $49.99. I can't tell the difference, and want the old school version. I will also of course be picking out some packets of flavorless dry cake mix and pasty frosting to use - wonder if they've improved that at all?

*Barbie Head - I had a couple of these and asked for a new one every year. This was my parents lesson in taking care of things. I thought I was just perfecting doll haircuts. I would still enjoy an afternoon styling one of these. Although it doesn't come with makeup anymore, it's just all about the hair. Guess they figured that's what it was always about anyway. Now that makeup is not included, I'm disappointed. Of course that blue eyeshadow never went on all that great anyway. This retails for $34.99.

Happy List-Making Everyone and here's to a road down nostalgia lane!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stuff I Miss - Or TigerMom Free Summers

It was my third request to the neighbors children and "manny" playing immediately outside of my door when I (in a very stern voice - one that sounded exactly like my mother's) opened the door and said, "Fellas, Mr.Taylor is trying to sleep, and I am trying to work. Please keep it down, I would really appreciate it."

A wave of nausea washed over me as I closed the door.

1) Who the fuck is Mr. Taylor?, and
2) Fellas?

It is becoming more and more clear that the proximity to my youth is slipping further and further behind me. I couldn't imagine hanging around inside on a beautiful day when I was the age of those boys (4 and 9 or close to that). I spent every waking minute squirting my sunbathing sister with the hose, watching ants carry things, playing ghost in the graveyard, building blanket forts, swimming, playing badminton and challenging unsuspecting neighbors to games of old-fashioned, horrifically dangerous, lawn darts.

I realize things are different now. Kids (who for sure know more than we did, but who are perhaps not any smarter) participate in different kinds of activities all throughout the summer to stimulate their minds a la Tiger Mommy protocol. Back then, you had from dawn til dusk to entertain yourself however you liked. I also didn't live in a city, I grew up in a "town", but have doubts life would have been much different. There were still creepy guys in vans, but I knew not to talk to anyone in a van - unless it was the Bookmobile driver. Anyway I started thinking about all of the things I did when I was young - and how many of them aren't around anymore. From games that we played, to snacks we loved to clothes we wore. Here's my list of things that I just can't find anywhere...and for anyone who grew up with me, it's a way to remember these things and never forget them.

Old Fashioned Dangerous Lawn Darts.
(Or, why you don't have to tell someone my age something twice. )


Magic Middles Cookies


The Smell of this (couldn't find a picture of the old elixir style bottle though):

A favorite snack:

And all of the fun in the sun that I had with this lady:

-and no - that's not a painted on swimsuit...those are tan lines - which you could make even more obvious by placing Malibu Barbie under a lamp or leave her out in the yard while you go to the park, then the pool, then to the Bookmobile.

Somehow this kept me afloat in the deep end:

At least long enough to yell for my Mom to "watch me! watch me! watch me!".

Now I just blog.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Face the Mirror

Look, it's not like I'm trying to say Jennifer Aniston isn't attractive, fit, or youthful looking, but lately I have become so annoyed at her style rut that I'm compelled to post about it.
First, I'll start with the positive!

  1. She's holding up incredibly well. She certainly does not look 40+. Good for her. She's a natural beauty, doesn't seem to have had much work done, and maintains a really amazing figure. A+ there.

  2. It's totally fine that's she's a perennial "single" girl. If we can accept this of George Clooney, we're being sexist if we label her an old maid. I say, hold your head up - and try dating a few "normals". (Your revolving door of B-List boyfriends stinks of Jennifer Love Hewitt.) Own your personal situation a little more - that could be incredibly advantageous for you.

  3. Although I'm not a huge fan, I think that when JA is pushed and stretched her work is good and she really does seem pretty nice. And again, she's completely gorgeous, this is only about fashion and PR.

Okay - so about this rut.

It's a 3-parter.

Part 1 - The Hair.

Here's a selection of images over the last 10 years. Sure, it looks nice - but...come on. It's boring. And it's always hanging in her face. At 42, the coy hiding behind my side swept bangs is a little depressing. Chin up, you're a woman. Try some blunt bangs, a darker tone, a little curl every now and then. Maybe wear it up at an event? Very glamorous and more sophisticated.

Part 2 - The bridesmaid sandals.

Sure a strappy sandal can make an outfit...but so can a chunky platform, and there are other kinds of straps. These all look like Mootsies Tootsies. And that black pair? Dyeables, right? Your dresses are "bare" enough. Try at least covering your feet.

Part 3: The Nails

Sure - we all love a neutral and occasionally need to give our nails a break and rock a natural look... but mix it up occasionally - it's dated, and never red carpet appropriate.

There's such a difference between "signature look" and "rut". The finesse is how you punch it up for the red carpet, special occasions, and incorporate new trends and fresh colors. Just a few things we should all watch out for...

But - it has to be said, if this is the worst a rut can's not so bad!

What are your "I will not stop wearing _________" pieces?

Mine are white tank tops, skinny jeans, platform shoes, and simple gold jewelry.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hello Darlin' My Personal Campaign to Get Joshua Jackson to Play John Ross

Here is the evidence:

A young Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing.

Fast Forward to the "New Dallas"

Joshua Jackson as "John Ross". Do you see the resemblance??? Can JJ pull off the irresistible swagger and arrogance of a true Ewing? YES! Forget Fringe! Dallas needs Joshua more.

That is all.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

10 Things I Miss About the South

It's a hot one today in Chicago and I had a hankering for a cold, crisp glass of iced tea. That ended in failure:

But, it got me thinking about how my mama always has a pitcher of sweet iced tea in the fridge (and a stand by steeping on the counter) , in addition to "whatever kinda Cokes y'all want" and lemonade. And so, it got me missing home a little bit. Here's 10 reasons why.

10) Talking in lines and general camaraderie. Hey, how are you?

9) People asking "round about my family". They're fine. Daddy's back's been acting up - but he still shot a 72 at the club on Toosdee. Mama's good, has a new recipe for blueberry lemon squares. Sissy is still good, her garden looks better than the Biltmore's.

8) Upon entry to any southern home being invited to "fixyuhaplate" from a constantly tended buffet of southern delicacies such as calabash shrimp, corn muffins and cheese straws (my favorite kind is from A Southern Season).

7) Lilly Pulitzer capri pants and obnoxiously cheery and bright textiles to cover you, your family, your dog, your baby, your couch and your porch swing.

6) Enjoying the front porch and waving at neighbors from afar. (Because they live "over there" not upstairs.)

5) Complaining about the heat (not the snow/smog).

4) Acting interested and charmed when handsome fellas called Chip and Trey start debating about SEC vs. ACC football tailgates.

The Grove at Ole Miss is my favorite.

3) Wearing a sweater to the grocery store cause the Harry Peter's frozen foods aisle will freeze your daggone arms off. (Apparently in Charleston it's also a great place to pick up if you're not properly took jus' yet: read.)

2) Sitting on towels in your leather interiored convertible so you don't blister the backs of your legs.

1) All y'all other southerners.

Y'all take care now. Tell your mama hi for me.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bullying Beyond the Playground

You know that kid in elementary school that everyone picked on? The one with a weird habit of pulling on their nose or twirling their hair? The one that answered too many questions from the teacher and didn't play kickball all that well?

You know how you sort of giggled about that person and called them names and didn't want to have to sit with them at lunch or be on a team with them?

Well, that person was me. Sixth Grade. Still, one of the worst years of my life. I forgave my tormentors years ago (they were just kids after all), but I've never been able to forgive myself. And I still see traces of that insecure and scared little girl whenever I encounter today's version of bullies (at work, at concerts, wherever).

I wonder what I could have done to protect myself - what I could have worn, said, or stopped doing to make those kids stop targeting me. I wonder how I could get that co-worker to stop giving me a hard time - or that fellow cast mate. The truth, I guess, is, you can stand up for yourself - but I think you have to know a little more about your bully.

Bullies are insecure people after all - with their own problems and fears. Is the answer to ask them what's really wrong? To reach out and help them? How long could/should you simply ignore a bully (especially if they are really threatening or abusive)?

Get an Adult? But what if you your bully is an adult, and you're an adult?

The problem with bullying is you never do grow out of it - bullies are more than a part of growing up - sometimes they are grown ups. The roles may reverse (with bullies getting picked on later or "wimps" growing into bullies over time), but in any case - it's not all schoolyard scuff-ups. Bullies lurk around every cubicle, parking lot and grocery aisle. Cyber bullying is a whole new way for jerks to get a platform - and a whole new way for others to be mistreated or targeted.

In any case - I will try to stand up for myself more - but more importantly, try NOT to bully anyone myself. It's one of those things that is hardest to recognize in yourself...but an easy thing to fix. Just stop.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Failed Year as a Guitar Player

I took guitar lessons for more than a year. I can now play 2 songs: Southern Cross and Jane Says. The latter I already knew how to play before the year of lessons. At the height of my guitar playing career I could play around 4 songs.

I cried when I quit (I don't like to quit anything.) But I was never practicing, and it never came easy to me. How could someone who wanted something so bad not want to do everything it took to get where they wanted to be? Laziness. And a dislike of fingertip callouses. And a lack of accountability (had I been a group either my competitive nature or my fear of being behind would have kicked in and I would have practiced at least enough to be mediocre.)

I've been considering revisiting lessons...the guitar sits on a stand at the foot on my bed staring at me, reminding me of my failure, mocking my shortcomings as a musician.

It frustrates me that music does not come naturally to me at all - I can't read sheet music, can't stay on pitch when I sing, can't hear the difference between scales, can't sustain a note for very long. But I love music, and I really am moved by it, I just wish it was easier to participate in it.

I am going to revisit the guitar...and to start I'm going to take it to be restrung (I may not play it, but I can at least respect the instrument, right?)

I'll let you know what happens after that...


Friday, May 6, 2011

I've Put the Pressure On

So I decided it would be fun to host a "day at the beach" for my theater company...which raises lots of issues, the one most at the forefront of my mind - is the fact that I have elected to wear swimwear in front of these people.

Now, a theater company (especialy this one is very nearly your family. They are some of your best friends in the world, and they typically hold unconditional love and affection for you. However, I am usually fully clothed. On this day, I won't be, and hope to feel just as confident as I do in jeans and a tee shirt.

I have maintained a weight loss (40 lbs) for over a year now...but hit a wall on getting a few areas in check. I needed something to push me harder. And what could be more inspiring than a public reveal of oneself in a bikini?

So for the second summer of my life since I was maybe 14, I am not starting the season freaked out about how awful I look, square one not being too gross...but I would like to actually look good in a swimsuit this year, not just keep people from going "ew".

So over the next several weeks - follow along with me if you like - I've stepped up the work out game adding some sessions from P90X (only the ones where the girls in the sessions don't look like men), and upping my cardio and decreasing my calories.

Here's to a summer of losing the cover ups and feeling confident!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Current Obsession: The Blow's "Hey Boy"

So as I prowl around Pandora and other people's Facebook pages for ideas of new (to me) music (always looking - I guess I get bored fast) I occasionally bump into something I really like and can't stop listening to...until I can't stand it anymore.

Not sure why I'm so completely all or nothing about music, but when I really like a song or a band or a style, I tend to obsess and delve into it so deeply, I almost get mad about other songs trying to sneak space in my subconscious. I also listen only to what I really like, what turns me on so to speak, so I'm either way ahead of the curve or more often, horrifically, pathetically behind it.

Lately, it's this song, Hey Boy, an unassuming cut off a rather otherwise unremarkable album...however I can't stop listening to it. I work out to it. I ride the train to it. I walk around listening to it. I throw it on when I'm in the shower and in a hurry cause I know exactly how long it is (2:46).

If you're a glutton for punishment (it's catchy friends) check it out, it's on Poor Aim: Love Songs (Bonus Track).

Quiz Answers: Derby Horse or Indie Rock Band?

Quiz Answers:

Is this a Derby Horse

or a Band?

An Horse - Band (with poor grammar)
Morning Runner (Band)
Pants on Fire (Derby Horse)
Tennis (Band)
Dialled In (Derby Horse)
Moe (Band)
Uncle Mo (Derby Horse)
Archarcharch (Derby Horse)
Electrelane (Band)
Comma to the Top (Derby Horse)
Fences (Band)
Twinspired (Derby Horse)
The Blow (Band)
Derby Kitten (Derby Horse)
Santiva (Derby Horse)

Get your juleps on! My family's recipe:

Take one ice cold julep cup and fill with 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp water and 1 tbsp mint. Muddle until you get a nice paste. Fill glass with crushed ice. Chuck that in the grass somewhere in the infield and fill cup with Bourbon. Drink.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Derby Horse or Indie Rock Band?

A Quiz:

Is this a Derby Horse or a Band?

An Horse
Morning Runner
Pants on Fire
Dialled In
Uncle Mo
Comma to the Top
The Blow
Derby Kitten

Just thought this year's runners sounded like a pretty cool festival lineup.

That is all.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Reading, Writing, & Arithmatic

Books have taken over my home. Solution: Kendall. Which has taken over my bank account. The ability to purchase a book in one click is genius - and dangerous.

I've recently joined my first book club, which is composed of actual published writers, an educator, a communication specialist, a media attorney...and me. (One of these things is NOT like the other things - and I'm finding my role as court jester fun and fitting.)

The Writing part of this post is this post. And my need to get back to it. I'm afraid to revisit the book I started last summer - fearing it was all just crap and not worth anyone's time including my own. Hoping I might surprise myself when I finally am brave enough to click the file open and reread.

Arithmatic - Tax season, need I say more? And expense reports. And theater company grant proposals and plans. Oddly, this is the part of my life that has been most exciting. I guess number crunching isn't so bad when it's to make dreams come true. Even though it's true "math is hard" and I'd "rather go to the mall." But the mall is online now, so at least I save on gas.

Short post. But hey look, I did it!

Friday, January 21, 2011

We're Listening.

An evolution seems to be underway in my personal Twitterverse - which is composed of the 190 tweeps I have carefully selected to follow (and includes the peeps they follow and RT). It is changing from a ego-centric platform leveraged to "brand" oneself to this warm, kind, gentle, self-depricating, accountable, and conscientious world - that not only pushes messages, but also receives them. This makes me wonder, is this what listening is in 2011?

I am honestly a more aware, informed, and human person for having logged on today and reading (or "listening" to) the tweets of my "tweeps". This community is one in which I feel priviledged to be a part of (as it is "invitation only" in regards to mutual acceptance), and one in which leaders and followers co-exist in the old-fashioned and appropriate "best people rise to the top" manner.

However, I also control this universe. If I feel someone's tweets have become too self serving or perhaps have moved too far in the self-righteous direction, or are just mean-spiritied or unfunny, then I simply "unfollow" (stop listening) them. But all in all - it seems to be popular these days to be sending out messages that help, inspire, and oddly, bring us together in a more human way. Of course, hilarious pithy comments are enjoyed by all - but I am really digging that Twitter provides that and a little something more.

Facebook, although it seems to only be evolving as fast as actual people can, still helps us to listen better. Particularly to ourselves.

Facebook is the mirror reflecting the number and quality of your friends, a personal history of your hair metamorphises, a public account of your triumphs and failures, and a diary to record it all and remind us that we are all too human - and none of it really seems to matter without someone else to hear about it. It's a reflection also of the world we can't control. I mean, Facebook is made up of the people you actually do know. The ones that you chat with in the copy room, perform with on stage, wake up with in the same house, pass gravy to at the Thanksgiving table. These are the people that, like it or not, you can't "unfollow" (or stop listening to), without some unsavory consequences anyway.

But like a rudimentary tin can telephone, reception is only possible when both ends of the string are pulled tight, and an ear is open to hearing. And with more talking - albeit in the form of tweets, status updates, blogs, pings, texts....there is more listening. And that's always a good thing.