Thursday, February 2, 2012

Padded bra, padded ego

Warning: this story is incredibly charming, like myself. If you cannot handle overwhelming amounts of charm, I’d suggest you back away slowly, or at least sit down. Please refrain from emotional eating. If you are at the library, please keep your hands and boogers to yourself.

The story begins in a Nordstrom Rack dressing room, where one young woman (myself) was trying on unmentionables. Or bras. Oops, I mentioned it. Damn. (UNDERWEAR! UNDERWEARS FOREVER!!) It was at this point that I realized that the amount of padding that the bras I was trying on was directly related to how much I was padding my ego. Due to a pretty hefty weight loss that resulted in looking not fat in a bikini (yay), but not busty (regular women just can’t win), I had to go down a notch or two on the bra size. A crushing defeat as a woman in her “prime of life”, I admit. The beginning of the alphabet is a weird place to be. It is a place that goes uninhabited by the Salma Hayeks of the world and that lady from Modern Family. The latina one, not the blonde skeleton one (no no, the blonde skeleton, she lives there). Thus, a little ego padding/chest padding was needed on my part. I mean, who really wants to look like a washboard, and not in the toned ab muscles sort of way.

And as I made my purchase, I realized the same probably goes for a lot of women. The amount of padding your bra has may directly correspond to how much padding your ego needs. I am not saying this is true for all women. And I’m certainly not saying that a women’s sense of self-worth should be derivative of her breast size. But let’s face it, as soon as boob jobs were invented, countless members of my gender have rushed to get under the knife and get those suckers enhanced. Pump up the jam. Women who stuff their bras with Kleenex have even more ego problems that a simple padded bra can just not handle by itself. Obviously, it is a source of esteem for women in one way or another, and it always will be. Oh shut, up feminists. You know it’s true and inevitable.

So chalk up another one for self-discovery, I suppose. Who would have thought that undergarment-shopping would provide such a heart-warming tale of one woman's quest for self-acceptance and true love. I mean, a bra that fits. Same thing. To the men who have read this post, I apologize if you are feeling discriminated against or generally awkward. To compensate, I will try to come up with a phallic joke. Or tell me one, because I don’t know any. (Actually, never mind, because penis jokes aren’t funny.) And to the pervert who thought this was a girl blogging about her wild panty raids, I am truly sorry. I don’t even know what a panty raid is. Though I do tend to get my knickers in a twist from time to time. That counts, I think.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ah, I just died in your arms tonight...

*The title of this post has nothing to do with the content therein. It was the song I was listening to at the time when I was trying to come up with a title.

...Well, it's unofficially official: I have recently re-acquired my writing mojo. My writin' jones. I have been intravenously re-infected with the writing bug. Like a guy who only sort of seems to like you, my desire to write disappeared unexplained for a while. And like a guy who only sort of seems to like you, it reappeared and called me out of the blue. I answered, confused and purposefully annoyed-sounding, but on the inside, I rejoiced and welcomed it with relief back into my life. Such is the life of a writer and a girl who guys maybe sort of sometimes probably like in a half-assed fashion.

Like the disappearance of the elusive Peanut Butter Snickers back in the '80s, no one can really explain the disappearance of my writer's thumb. Or index finger. I'm just glad both the candy bar and my writing have re-appeared to a crowd of anxious, adoring fans. Dry spells just happen for "creative types" I guess. And for whatever reason, my compulsive need to ramble on aimlessly in written form about my mundane daily dealings was relegated to sit on the back burner, like the grotesquely gurgling, spattering pot of gravy-mush that it is. There is no one or no one thing to blame for bringing it back. But if I had to blame/thank someone, it would be the people who have told me that I am an un-bad writer and that my writing is not akin to eating crap on toast for breakfast. I wouldn't know, because my restricted diet does not allow me to eat crap-toast for breakfast, so I will just have to trust them. So to you folks: thank you. I am back, new and improooved. (Now with 30% less sugar and 50% more cholesterol!)

The problem is, I don't know what to write about anymore. Nothing and everything has happened in my life as of late. Nothing has happened in the "I'm really cool/important and travel all around the world and eat adventurous foods and am incredibly captivating" way. But everything has happened in the "Personal journey where no one travels but they learn way too much about themselves and still feels themselves growing up at age 25" way. I am at a turning point both in life and as a writer. But as I've been counseled to do by various friends (who probably secretly think I'm way too tightly wound), I will stop over-thinking things and pick a candy bar, dammit/go out with that guy/dance like a moron.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hitch yourself up to the golden.

"Here, I'm alive. Everything all of the time."

Today, while my thoughts unraveled from the oft-muddled jumble that they are and were sifted into contemplation of what and who I want to be, this lyric from Radiohead's second-weirdest album kept repeating itself over and over in my head like a broken record. And it's true. Here I am, world. And what I want to be is everything. Everything all of the time.

You see, the way I view the world as a wide-eyed post-grad is a strange duality. I could chalk it up to having textbook anxiety that sometimes hovers over one's mind like one of those stupid little bee-like bugs you see in the summer that hover in one place for a really long time (for years I've tried to figure out what those bugs are. I still don't know). Or, I could label it "the mind of an artist" because that's so much cooler (I mean, it's not like anxiety has ever been in vogue). Yes, I choose the latter--the rose-colored, unpredictable, erratic, translucent mind of an artist. Through my eyes, the world is wide and magnificent and full of possibilities. It is an incredible, beautiful place. With that said, it can also be a daunting, overwhelming, panicky place. So much to do! So much unfamiliarity. So much fear of failure. So much wide-open space, metaphorically and physically. How do I even know where to begin without my head exploding into a hailstorm of mashed potatoes and raspberry jam?

Everything all of the time. I want to be a writer. Which is good, because that is my bankable skill. One needs to make a living somehow. But the problem is, I also want to be everything. A musician, an artist, a researcher. A fantastic cook. An expert pie-maker who can whip out the perfect crust that puts Grandma's to shame. The matriarch of an incredible, happy, functional family (though obviously not at the moment). An environmentalist. I want to research bugs and plants and count rings on trees. I want to research soil and watershed systems for some reason. I want to appease my strange fascination with mycology and dig up mushrooms in a forest. I want camp out in the woods and go fishing and eat wild raspberries. I want to learn how to kick up my heels and dance non-self-consciously even though I am completely uncoordinated. I want to climb walls of craggy rocks and get cuts that develop into scars of honor. I want to be a printmaker and make woodcut prints on giant slabs of beautiful, swirly oak or irritable, sliver-giving birch. To painstakingly roll strips of ink into the thirsty pores of the wood and turn it in the press with carefully laid paper and see the ghost of my engravings in colors and space and shapes. And carve away, reductive process upon process until it's clean and beautiful and perfectly aligned. I want to paint, even though the very thought of painting makes me want to tear the top of my head off because I don't understand it. I want the world. I want to be, to do and to say many things.

So where does one begin to tackle these hopes and aspirations and quell the anxiety and fear that creeps up and boils over and douses any kindled flame of aspiration? Add that to the fear of not "fitting in" with any of the tradespeople of whatever you are pursuing, and you've got a self-inflicted, cumbersome situation on your hands. Which is just silly. An unecessary worry I've too often concerned myself with. "Fitting in"--or the lack thereof--is just a mind-set. And who cares anyway? If you want to do something, do it. You fit in by proxy because you are simply a human being surrounded by peers who share that same passion met with insecurity that you do, and you're all working toward a common goal. To express. To conjure beauty and stir things up and make things happen. To get through difficult times and to bask in the joy of precious life. This, coupled with the mere notion that we are fortunate enough to have these opportunities to thrive, celebrate and embrace--well, my friends, that could very well be the remedy to the post-grad's quandry. That, and to just breathe once in a while. It all glows warm in time, but the time to start is right now.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I nicked it when you let your guard down for that split second. And I'd do it again. Goodbye.

...Oh, how I sorely wish I could hide in a giant mound of sugar whilst stealing some of it for my tea at my leisure.

You see, I've completely gone off of sugar. (And into the deep-end.) As per per doctor's orders. It's been three days. I am also temporarily going without any form of carbohydrates (also per doctor's orders), but that's beside the point.* The point is, I am here to unabashedly whine about going off of sugar. And to go a little crazy. It's now embarrassingly clear how much of a hold it has on me. So much so, that before I started this gig, I can't remember the last time I went without at least a little piece of chocolate per day. I never thought "going without chocolate" was a real thing that people did, like buying eggs or watching Chevy Chase marathons. But it is. As is going without sugar. Before now, my brain just couldn't comprehend it. I would seriously try to understand the concept, and it never ended well. It just did not compute. "Go... with-out choc-o-luhhhht?? Wha? No... shoog-ar? Mom?" By that point, I'd be lying on the sidewalk with my eyes glazed over, thinking of some kind of weapon I would have to fashion in order to survive without such things. Or I would have just avoided full comprehension and moved onto something completely unrelated. "I wonder how many ladders it would take to get to the moon?" The possibility of going without sugar just wasn't a possibility.

The sad thing is, the gap between hyperbole vs. reality is slim here. I haven't ended up on the sidewalk in the past few days, but basically, I am having withdrawals that make me feel like a venomous, ravenous baby dinosaur and everythingisannoyingandIhateverythingalways!!! There have been tears. Mood swings. (Sorry, Mom.) Which doesn't sound like a whole lot if you're aware of my propensity for such things. It's kind of nuts. Sugar and I are going through a terrible break-up, and now I'm shuffling around the house in my robe, weeping quietly, hands clasping a wad of tissues, while thinking fondly of the great times we had together, and also thinking of how toxic our relationship was and how crazy it made me. But still. Oh, how I crave it. It's now painfully clear how truly addicted I was to sugar. Also, it's clear now why God portions it out in those tiny packets. And why he lives on a plantation in Hawaii.** But nothing really worth doing is going to be easy. That's just the way life is. And it's okay. Maybe even grand.

We'll see how long I can last without ingesting a single grain of sugar (and without a single grain of rice to boot!). Just don't be surprised if you find me crouched by the Lazy Susan eating brown sugar straight out of the bag with my bare hands.*** In the meantime, here's to everyone's good health. And to being grateful for health. And to doing everything we can to maintain it, even if it makes some of us a little crazy sometimes. May everyone feel great and be happy. Happy belated 2011, everyone! Let us all raise a glass in gratitude. A glass of plain-flavored water, of course. (Now with more plain flavor!)

*Don't worry, it's nothing serious. Just health issues that I don't really want to share on a public forum. You understand, right? Oh, and it's not because I want to be on the Atkins Diet. I'll haunt the Atkins Diet in its dreams! No, it's actually to lose weight. I'm really trying to get down to 80 lbs now. JUST KIDDING. Just very kidding.

**Simpsons reference. (Do they ever stop? Nope, they don't. Sorry.)

***This may or may not have happened once in the recent past. Or twice.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

...and the truth will set you free.

I wish I could say that I just watched An Inconvenient Truth and now have some profound thoughts to share about it. No, I have not actually ever seen that movie. And yes, I feel ashamed. Al Gore worked so hard. Surprising that I haven't seen it, I know, being the animal-tree-everything-hugger that I am. However, I was just thinking of the title of that documentary, and it stirred up an interesting thought. That's almost the same as watching it, I think. Right?

An Inconvenient Truth.

The phrase seems a bit redundant, yeah? Because, when you think about it, aren't most truths inconvenient? I'm not speaking of eternal truths, like the things that make the world comfortably spin. I am just speaking of Truth with a capital T. While studying to be a journalist (which still has yet to happen. Answer my emails, my darling Salt Lake Magazine!), Truth was branded into our brains. We were taught to analyze what truth really was, and when it was appropriate to seek and reveal truth so as to not harm individuals who might be affected by such revelations. We were also taught not to hide it because of vested interests. (That's the very short version of it. It's been a while since I've been in school, so I've forgotten how to speak of my trade in an eloquent fashion. Um, I like... words. Good words are... good. Roast... beef?) Nevertheless, it was drilled over and over into our eager, nubile minds to seek truth and report it, no matter how hair-ripping-out-inducing or cumbersome. We explored instances in which exposing the truth might be especially painful, or inconvenient. Of course, there are the heartbreaking situations involving death, accidents, medical results and such. Those suck. Those really, really suck, to put it ever so articulately. Sometimes there is nothing more painful than finding out a harsh reality of life. And dealing with it. Devastating, and yes, not the most convenient thing in the world. But on a lighter note, the title, An Inconvenient Truth got me thinking about different truths that may not be so convenient to discover or reveal.

Here are some.

"I'm sorry, sir, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to amputate your butt." (No one wants or expects to have their butt removed.)

"I love you." Or, "I hate you." (Let's face it, you may not love or hate that person back. And that can be so darn inconvenient. And heartbreaking.)

"Excuse me, I ran over your cat. Oh, and I ate all your hotdogs." (Cat death + consumption of all your hard-earned sodium-injected mystery meat = no good.)

Realizing that there is no toilet paper in your bathroom stall.

"Oh hey, I just shrunk your favorite jeans down to a size negative zero in the dryer. Oh, and that canned chili you just ate? That was actually Botulism-in-a-can."

"You know that person you've been calling "Grandma" your whole life? Yeah, that's just a house plant named Steve."

Peering at your bank account. (A harsh truth/reality for some. "Some" meaning myself.)

See, all of these truths are rather inconvenient. In fact, they're downright difficult and sometimes painful. That's not to say truth can't be convenient, however. I may be beating a dead horse here, but the point is, no matter how incovenient or how terrifying, truth is not something to cower behind. What do we have to gain as individuals? Or as a society?

Whether in journalistic discipline or in everyday life, truth should irrevocably be sought out by ourselves. How far does anyone get not being true to themselves or to others? No matter what religious belief or ethics system you adhere to, truth should be the pinnacle of all that is right in the world. Because with it comes justice. And peace. Clarity. And so many things. Truth as an eternal, infinite principle is rather inexplicable. It's one of those things that just is. One of those things that makes the world turn and steadies the cosmos. I'd almost say that truth itself is a universal truth. It just is because it is. And no matter our quest to find truth, is guaranteed to be worth it in the end. Let us be true and honest with ourselves and with others. And the world will turn madly, steadily, bravely on.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The perils of modern vernacular (and how that involves a dress made of cream cheese).


I am now going to take billions of words to express how vehemently opposed I am to the recent implementation and incessant usage of this word in the 18 - 40 crowd's daily vernacular. I hate it. Nay, I loathe it. (I made "loathe" a vomity green color to effectively express my distaste.) I realize it's rather ridiculous to go on about how much you hate a word, especially when it's inevitable that it has taken over everyone's vocabulary around you and there's nothing you can do about it. And that it's just a word, and there are much bigger problems in the world and maybe you should just get over it and go help some starving children. I also realize that pretentiously griping about it is probably just as annoying and trite as the offending word itself. But oftentimes word-nerds and nerds in general are moved to defend the honor of their respective fields, whether it be the English language or sci-fi films. And as a word nerd, I realize how hard-pressed people become to find words besides "cool" and "awesome" to describe cool and awesome things. ("My, those sneakers are capital!" "Boy, that guitar solo sure was first-rate!" See, I know how hard it can be.) Basically, "epic" is to 2010 as "radical" was to the 1980s. It's happening, and I'll just have to fall off my crippled high-horse and deal with it. Move over, "cool", there's a new sheriff in town and his name is "over-used, overblown adjective that should only be used in high-action thriller film trailers starring Will Smith." On that note, I've decided there are a limited number of situations in which "epic" should be used only:

1. In aforementioned trailers for thrilling, action-or-drama-packed blockbuster films starring Will Smith or Denzel Washington or that guy who has a creepy smile on his face all the time but is a really good actor.

2. I can't think of anything else.

I can't think of any situation that would ever occur in the existence of mankind in which I would use this word. I would rather shimmy around town wearing a dress made of cream cheese instead of using this word. Even if... let's see. Say there was an Radiohead/Led Zeppelin/Arcade Fire concert. And Steve Carell with a beard asks me to be his date. And then me and Steve are hanging out in our front-row seats with the Society of Beard Growers, and Conan O'Brien shows up doing a jig. Both of them tell me how great I am, and then Robert Plant winks at me from on stage, after which fireworks start shooting out iPhones and someone has a giant baby and Steve Carell proposes to me and Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead gives me his signed guitar and tells me that we are, in fact, related. Whew! Mind-blowing! Unbelievable! Still, STILL, I could not bring myself to use that word. "Epic" to me is like "Voldemort" to those dorky Harry Potter people. It must not be named .

Here are some real-life examples to help you properly use this word:

"Check out my epic mustache! My girlfriend hates it!"** NO. NOT ACCEPTABLE USAGE. YOU GET AN F.

"Did you see my grandma's milk mustache? It's epic!" ALSO NOT OKAY. And stop making fun of Grandma.

"Man, I can't wait for the millennium! It's going to be epic!" YAY! ACCEPTABLE.

So, here is a good rule of thumb. Millennium/apocalypse = okay to use. Will Smith action movie = acceptable. Everything else = not okay. (It is also important to note that the transitive property does not apply here: Willennium, Will Smith's 1999 sophomore rap album = not okay.)

Also, if you choose, here are some more appropriate, less cringe-inducing words/phrases you can use instead:





Brain-aneurysm inducing


Oh, raspberries!


I can't believe it's not butter! Oh wait, it is butter!

If you are an "epic" junkie, I surely hope these tips will help you break your habit. "Epic" is so 2010. Boooooo to 2010! What say we come up with a new word for bright, shiny 2011? Grandtacularitis. No, that sounds like a vicious STD. Fantagrandimose? (Mmm, Fanta. Remember Fanta?) Spectubulawesocool. These keep sounding like diseases, so I suggest you come up with some of your own. Just remember, if the situation arises where you think you might need to use the word "epic," you don't need to use it. Just walk away. Look at you, you're way too sassy to be using such a silly word. Though for someone who hates it so much, I've sure used it a lot in this diatribe. Funny. But not... well, you know.

**However, beards are a whole different story than mustaches. Although I do not think that a good, self-respecting beard should be marred with the word "epic" in its description. Heck, use epic to describe your mustaches, I don't care. They're usually only grown in an ironic fashion and they deserve it. Call me biased.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

This things I believe.

I know. There is a blatant grammatical error in the title of this post. I actually did it on purpose for humorous effect. It's from that Simpsons episode where Homer stays home from church and calls in to that radio station... you know, the one... ergh, never mind.*

This post is a departure from the usual tangential, ridiculous, humorous-if-you-like-reading-about-housecats-and-shameful-admissions ramblings in this thing I call a "blog." This post is simply a reflection on a few things I've learned as of late. Nothing too profound. If you're looking for something with great profundity, I'd suggest looking elsewhere on The Internets for such things. (The same goes for great meatloaf recipes. You will not find those here, either. Nor will you find anything having to do with Meatloaf the musician guy, or cooking meatloaf with Meatloaf the musician guy.) Nonetheless, I am simply sharing some realizations. This is a more serious post of a spiritual nature that may or may not be rife with cliche. But I'm okay with that. Sometimes I am just one big, walking cliche. Sometimes you just have to own it. So, here it goes. You've been warned.

I've learned that God has a funny/interesting/what-the-what?! way of teaching us things. A way that sometimes makes us shake our heads and say, "Really?? Really?!!" or just give a big thumbs-up to the sky and smile and say, "You got it, dude," like that horrible catch phrase Michelle from Full House used to say. (Remember Full House, you guys? I liked Who's The Boss better.)

With that said, it's funny how it so often takes the hardest of times to make us turn to spirituality. To open that portal that has been completely boarded with "caution" tape for too long. I can't deny the difference between a life void of spirituality and one that is spiritually fulfilled. And I choose the latter. (The former is like trying to ride a bicycle with no seat. It's difficult and doesn't really make a lot of sense. And it probably hurts your posterior regions a lot more.) Life just makes more sense that way. And is infinitely greater that way.

And while we're speaking of the Powers That Be (is that supposed to be capitalized? I feel weird!), I've decided I simply cannot deny divine inspiration/intervention in my life. It's just too coincidental to be chalked up to, well, coincidence. I believe in it, and that is that. Take it as you will. (I'd recommend taking it with a large grain of salt if this is too preachy for you.)

I've realized I love music more than any non-living thing. Okay, most non-living things. (And maybe more than some living things?) I love making it, sharing it, nerding-out about it, just being part of it in any way possible. It's not like this is any kind of new discovery, but I just keep loving it more and more. There's just no way around it.

On that note, there is nothing better than discovering music that awakens you, that revives you from trudging through a wandering slumber of life. Music that leaves you shaken and stirred. There's something to be said when a syncopated bass surprises you and melts your insides a little. Or when that siren guitar solo punches you in the gut (in a good way) and tells you that there is a god and the world is a magnificent little place.

To Adrianne: I've finally learned to love like you do--fiercely, unabashedly, unconditionally. I understand what life is about, and I understand what you were all about more than I ever have before. And I wish you were here so I could tell you all of this.

As with most things in life, becoming an excellent pie-maker requires time, patience and practice. And the wherewithall not to throw the balled-up pie crust at your mom and run away screaming.** One should not invest their ego in their pie-making, at least until they've honed their craft.

Finding peace with yourself and your surroundings is sometimes a tall order. Nonetheless, it is always my goal.

Life is funny, incredibly hard and beautiful, all in one neat little package. It is enchanting, and I adore it, quite. Don't you?

*Okay, fine. Season 3, episode: "Homer the Heretic."
**This didn't happen. Okay, maybe it happened a little.