Wednesday, July 29, 2009

One step forward two pieces of cake

Did you ever notice that when you are determined to eat just to eat, you eat the weirdest shit? I'm just going to assume you can relate.

Often this is because you wisely got rid of everything junky in the house back when you were feeling healthy and strong. So, now you are forced to find something reasonably bad to help you carry out your self sabotage moment.

Hence the crackers and ranch dressing combo or the never before eaten walnuts AND peanut butter with three year old sugar in the raw sprinkled on top. And/or you get the flour and sugar down from the top most unused shelf and mix it with fake butter in an attempt to create makeshift cookie dough. Then in disgust you throw it in the garbage but immediately regret it and make some more.

It is like you just don't know what you want because you really don't want anything but you want something to make you feel better/worse. I find that these moments really punch up the fact that I have a mental problem. I try to blame PMS or free floating anxiety or just the fact that it is late at night, however, most of the time it is just passing madness. No getting around it.

Sometimes after work I stop at the grocery store and walk through every aisle telling myself I can have something while simultaneously talking myself out of everything. This is where the burden of choice can play in my favor.

It doesn't change the mental thing though.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'm telling you that you can because you can, I know you can and deep down you know it too.

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard a variation on the following:

"I love your eye makeup. You always wear the best stuff. I could never make that happen"


"Well the effort for one and I just don't wear eyeshadow and I don't know how to put it on and I don't know what colors to get and I just don't think I can pull it off..."

It is my life's mission to demystify eye makeup. Sure it can be complicated and time consuming if you are trying something really involved but for the most part applying eye make up takes under 3 minutes. And anyone who has 3 minutes can "pull it off." It takes more time for me to put concealer under my eyes and try to even out my skin tone than it takes to put on eye makeup. And not lame eye make up either. Really nice looking shit.

I can wax poetic about different eye shadows and liners and mascara. I have things I love and things that don't work for me. Getting the correct tools is important and finding colors you love to wear is beyond fun. Once you have the stuff you need it is just a matter of waking up 3 minutes earlier. The vibe of your whole day can improve with a little excitement on the lid.

I think I am going to start a recurring "What I'm in love with now" feature because I not only love products, I LOVE to share my findings with anyone who will listen. I also love to hear other people's favorite items as well. I can understand Oprah's desire to give perfect strangers her "favorite things." If I was Oprah I would totally do that too. Or if I had Oprah's money I would give all my blog followers raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens and brown paper packages tied up with string. Inside that brown paper package tied up with string would be:

A gorgeous neutral colored eyeshadow. Benefit's creme eye shadow in "Birthday Suit" is my current favorite.
Urban Decay eyeliners. It would be the gift set of bright colors.
Dior Show mascara.

That is literally all you need to make a great eye.

Smear the creme shadow from your lash to just above the crease. Let it dry for a couple of beats. Then take the urban decay eyeliner in electric blue or the teal one and draw a line from the outer corner of your lash line to 3/4 of the way in (toward your nose). Make the line thicker on the outer end and taper it as you drag it in. Put a thick coat of Dior Show mascara on (start at the base of your lashes and wiggle the wand upward and out). That's it. You are good to go. Not hard AT ALL.

I'm going to make a "How to" video and post it on ehow. Seriously. I am. There is absolutely no reason anyone should think eye makeup is beyond their reach. It's ridiculous and I will not hear of it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Phlebotomist is a word I love to say and I will every chance I get

We all have something that we love about ourselves and we all have something we hate. For me these things change from moment to moment depending on life, workout, water retention etc. On those days when I have a hard time finding something to like, I can always rely on my default: I have great veins.

I received my first compliment when I was donating blood.

Phlebotomist: You have really great veins.
Me: Really?
Phlebotomist: I bet you hear that a lot.
Me: No, not really.
Phlebotomist: This is going to be my easiest stick all day. What a pleasure.
Me: Ummm, thanks.
Phlebotomist: Wow, that bag filled up quickly.


And yet, after I recovered from passing out and was enjoying my jelly dot cookie (they made me eat it) I decided that if all else failed at least these veins were something I could always love about myself. Up to this point they were something of an annoyance. I always knew they were pretty prominent considering my practically see through skin but I didn't really have time to obsess about them what with my thighs and bad hair days and homework and stuff. Well it doesn't take as much time or effort to actually like something about yourself so I welcomed the opportunity.

I credit my veins for getting me a part in Dracula. These babies make me really attractive to vampires. Awesome.

Another plus: if I'm ever in some kind of accident and I need blood, there will be no time wasted trying to find my veins for a transfusion. That's valuable.

So anyway, my fingers feel like sausages today and I didn't have time to workout but at least I have my veins. That's all I'm saying.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Who are you calling shallow?

Got into an argument/discussion today about the importance of style. If you buy into the idea that some people "don't care about fashion and how they look" because they care more about other things, you are naive.

You are your own canvas. Your style is a reflection of what is going on inside you.

The thing is we are all selling something different and as a result we all advertise differently. Those folks care just as much. They are making decisions about their style based on the image they want to project just like their counterparts. They are saying "I'm an artist" or "I'm not shallow" or "I'm so not pretentious" or "I'm too busy to care about how I look." And everyone has a personality that backs up their advertising. To say that so and so "doesn't think about what they put on and doesn't care because they are so into such and such" is ridiculous. They must have thought something when they bought those clothes. I've said it before and I'll say it again: "Clothes don't just happen to you, you are an active participant."

On the same note, caring about how you look doesn't equal being shallow or materialistic. Those are personality traits not style. To assume such is buying in to a stereotype.

I watched a homeless woman pick through some clothes I left by my dumpster. She didn't just take everything. She chose what she wanted.

I'm not going to lie. I was a little hurt by some of the items she discarded.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The secret art of attracting repellent

Kim is in town and we have all sorts of goals during our time together. She was on the hunt for an "Off Fan" thing that you clip to yourself and it apparently emits bug spray without you having to wear any. It sounds like it creates a bug repellent aura around you. Neat. Apparently they flew off the shelves in Illinois. So it became a quest for her to find it. It isn't even for her but for someone else. I, of course, completely understand that nagging "I have to find this" feeling and the sense of personal challenge it can bring. I was recently challenged to find a discontinued shade of OPI (actually for Kim) and I scoured the city and then online to find it. That feeling of satisfaction when you accomplish a shopping mission is unparalleled.

We found the Off Fan at the first place we looked. It was the last one on the shelf, which made the victory even sweeter. It was an exciting moment in the Rite Aid for her. I was also elated because I love nothing more than being a part of the moment of success. Contrary to popular belief, shopping is, in fact, a team sport and I get points for the assist.

That being said, I'm extremely wary of the fashion choice of clipping a (not so small) fan to your outfit. I can see sitting next to it at a bbq, but clipping it to yourself? Ummmm, no. Now I will admit that zillions of people must disagree since this item is so hard to find. However, I will say in support of my case, I have never seen anyone actually wearing the fan. You would think that a hard to find item would mean that you are seeing people all over the place wearing their battery operated, personal fans.

"OMG where did you find that? I can't get one anywhere. Not even on Ebay."
"you know I got lucky. A friend of a friend works at a place that had some accidentally delivered there and she held one for me."
"I got mine on the black market and I paid wayyyyy to much for it. But totally worth it."
"Listen, I got in on the ground floor. I've always been ahead of my time when it comes to bug repellent and fashion fans."

Well, it looks like I missed out and will have to stick to the old fashion sprays. My picks: Skin So Soft (for you and your dog) or Flea the Scene (insect repellent and sunscreen for the pup).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hair Mantra

Hair is for changing.
Hair is one of the greatest forms of expression.
Hair grows therfore it should not be a prison.
Hair is important and unimportant at the same time.
Hair = crowning glory.
Hair can make or break a day.
A bad hair day can sink a thousand ships.
A signature hairstyle is not your only hairstyle.
Hair products are your friend.
Don't dismiss the idea of a hair product cocktail. That is not excessive.
Hats can hide a multitude of sins and keep you looking fashionable.
Rapunzel and Medusa. Different looks. Powerful hair.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Does this fat make me look fat?

My friend Bernie bought a fancy new camera for the photography class he is taking. So Sandi, Bernie and I hung out and snapped a giant load of pictures the other night. Taking pictures is fun. Reviewing them, on the other hand, proves more difficult:

Krista: These colors look amazing. The reds are so intense. If you ignore my back fat, this is a really good picture.
Bernie: What are you talking about? Shut up.
Sandi: Oh my god look at that one. I have a chin thing. We can’t keep that one.
Krista: And more backfat, yeah that one should go.
Bernie: It looks good. My photography teacher did say not to show the pictures to the subjects.
Krista: Why?
Bernie: Gee, I wonder.
Sandi: That one is ok, I look kind of cute there.
Krista: You do. That is a keeper.
Krista: What am I doing with my face? Delete.
Bernie: What? Where?
Sandi: Jesus that is a giant leg. Delete.
Bernie: how about this one? Is your leg ok in that one?
Sandi: Yes. I look hot in that one.
Bernie: I think this whole series is good. What about this one? Leg?
Sandi: No! Delete
Krista: That is just goofy. Keep that one it is kind of funny.
Bernie: This is blurry in the wrong places.
Krista: But my arm looks good. Keep.
Bad hair. Delete.
Terrible smile
ooo but nice cleavage
Good arm again. That shadow is really helping
I look skinny!
It’s blurry.
But I look skinny. keep.
I’m glad I changed my shirt
This looks like we are on a set. Great color. Good work.
How cool is that?
Why am I kissing a baby foot that is coming out of her shirt. That looks weird.
It was weird when you were doing it.
Oh, it somehow didn’t feel weird.
Fat. Nope.
What’s that swank?
Oh that. Delete.
Cute. I’m adorable there.
You guys are crazy.

Oh the packing

I find traveling stressful. Once I am at my destination I'm fine. However, planning and actually getting there drives me nuts. First, I hate having to pick out outfits ahead of time. I never know how I'm going to feel so it is hard to limit my choices to suitcase size. I dream of traveling "light" but every time I try, I end up having nothing I need. I'm very envious of those people who can simply take a backpack for a two week trip. I have to face it, I am not low maintenance.

I want to have a great outfit for every person I'm seeing on my trip because I don't see them very often. I would hate for them to remember me in just jeans and a t-shirt and, god forbid, not even remember my shoe choice.

They say when you are nervous or anxious it is important to do something soothing, calming and therapeutic. The day before I left for my recent trip, I spent 5 hours at the mall. For me shopping is as good as doing yoga or meditating. It also makes me feel better to have a couple of new items for my trip. Well, it makes me feel better to have a couple of new things. Period.

Another element of stress is the fact that I need to go through every single thing I own as I pack while simultaneously cleaning and organizing my apartment. It is almost as if I need to inventory everything as a ritual to make sure I'm bringing the best of my wardrobe. Additionally, I can't leave if my stuff is in too much chaos. I have a thing about someone looking through my stuff if I am in a plane crash. I get to a point where I have to turn that thought off or I would never leave my apartment. Trying to keep my stuff in a "death ready" state is exhausting. I think the worst would be if the plane crashed ala Cast Away and everyone went through my stuff but then I came back. I don't think about them being happy that I am alive but rather the fact that they will look at me and think "wow you had a million wine foils in a drawer and your photos were woefully unorganized"

The good thing about going on a trip is that I always put together an outfit that I have never worn before or I bring something that I have bought on a daring impulse but haven't had the guts to wear yet. Wearing something different and new is exciting when you are away from home. That is always fun and completely worth the anxiety.

Monday, July 13, 2009

He said it, I said it and we were all thinking it so what's the big deal?

There is a lot to be said about the mall. Especially a mall next to a mall. I can't say enough good things about being able to run from store to store for hours on end looking for a needle in a haystack. It is very satisfying.

Today I was on a shopping mission. I went alone as my time was short and my goals large. I normally love shopping with others, but today I didn't have time to entertain anyone else's agenda so I had to fly solo.

I was looking for a lightweight cargo type pant. Seems a simple enough task. Not so. I mistakenly thought that the cargo was seasonless and always in style.

However, I could not find what I was looking for anywhere. I don't give up or tire easily. I wasn't being lazy about it. I simply couldn't find them.

Come on. In my mind I was thinking I would have to sift through the billions of different kinds of cargo pants to find the perfect ones for me (and by that I do mean my special needs thighs).

No no, I'm not being mean to myself, I am being factual. I'm not really emotional about it (anymore). My thighs are disproportionately large. They are muscular, a thought I used to try and comfort myself with in school. Hmmmm.

My thighs have been this way since about the third grade. I distinctly remember sitting in the second row from the left in Mrs. McCabe's class wearing thick Lee jeans on one of the hottest days of the year. (Nancy wouldn't let us wear shorts to school. Cardboard wings and a crown were fine, but shorts were apparently hideously offensive and inappropriate). I looked down at my legs which I was sure I would find to be on fire when I noticed that my thighs "spread out" on the chair more than most everyone else's did. This was the beginning of a life long obsessive hate/hate relationship with my thighs. Additionally, it was about this time that I began to appreciate the "no shorts" rule.

I would like to present to the unbelievers, exhibit A:

In the 7th grade Tony soandso called me "tree trunk legs." I was mortified. Mostly because it confirmed the conversation I had been having in my head for years. I said it. He said it. And now it was out there.

My thighs became an individual that seemed separate from myself. I talked to them and about them constantly. It wasn't just about their size either. Their length came under fire, their pasty plucked chicken skin appearance elevated them to freak show level in my mind.

Anyway, because of my limbs, buying pants has always been a challenge. Jeans especially. I need a wide leg for my wide leg.

I love when I actually find a pair of pants that is "thigh minimizing." I usually by two. In every color. That is why I was looking forward to my cargo pant hunt. The chances of there being a baggy but flattering pair with the pockets in all the right places seemed good. However, much to my chagrin, the linen pant seems to have replaced the cargo for the time being.

I may have come up empty today but I am like a dog with a bone when I get a fashion "want" in my head. Cargo pants now have a holy grail quality about them and I will continue my quest in other cities and on the web and to lands far beyond if necessary.

Thunder thighs may have won this round but I have many cards yet to play. What am I, an amateur?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Heal the World

It is impossible to deny as I sit here and watch the Michael Jackson memorial, that he was a phenomenon. I am usually a cold and unfeeling person as most can attest but I am truly moved. He was quite the style maker to be sure. I didn't realize until now how much I missed him while he was out of the musical spotlight. Where was he for so long? Why wasn't I paying attention.

I remember clearly, that in jr. high I tried to be the one person who didn't have a zillion Michael Jackson buttons on my backpack and on my jean jacket. I think I was trying to run upstream but I did have the albums and I secretly knew all the words. Then the Thriller video came out and I couldn't pretend any longer. I was a giant fan. His theatrics were magnetic and couldn't be resisted. I was all in. His music always makes me move and sing and laugh. It brings me back to the best of those awful, awkward growing up years.

Newshead misses his news. He keeps complaining about how no one is reporting anything but "Michael Jackson stuff." I realize the world of politics and the fight for health care is important. But this is Michael Jackson. I mean, he is the world.

Janet, Rebbie and LaToya look lovely. Very regal with the big hats and sunglasses. The picture of mourning. Sad but Beautiful. Queen Latifa is so compelling. Maya Angelou proves once again that she is a genius. I have been reminded how pretty Brooke Shields is. I feel sorriest for her for some reason. Maybe I want to be her right now. I wish I had known him like she did.

I never had an active goal to meet Michael Jackson but now that he is gone, I am so sad that I will never get the chance. I know it makes no sense but I am so jealous. His memorial makes me wish I somehow had the chance to get dragged into his craziness because with all the bizarre stuff in his world there also seems to have been so much hope and helping and light. I wish I had been closer to it. All I can hope now is that I can make the tiniest speck of a mark on the world. He is an inspiration. Weird, bizarre, troubled, an enigma, but truly an inspiration.

*Note to self. Renewed interest in Brooke Shields. I guess I should netflix Lipstick Jungle or watch Blue Lagoon again.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Wanted: the strength of 10,000 men

Seeking confidence and strength.

Need a good outfit to go and confront my boss or, more accurately, the person who is below my boss and then possibly my boss. Need outfit to say "I'm serious about this" but not too confrontational right off the bat. Need outfit to be appealing but not sexy like "I'm trying to sleep with you to solve this problem." Need outfit to be understated but not dismissed. Need outfit to make me look strong but not fat; skinny but not frail. Need outfit to make me feel comfortable and possibly comforted depending on how this goes. Need outfit to have a layer to hide sweat marks. Need padded bra in case it is cold. Need outfit to say "I'm a professional hard working person that you will be sorry to lose" while at the same time say "I'm not afraid of you and I don't really care." Need outfit to hold up to the devil's stare.

Fuck, I really don't have the right shoes for this.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

How to not eat when you really want to (but aren't hungry at all)

No matter what diet you are on (and I've tried them all) there will come a time when you need to avoid temptation and triggers. Here are some tips and tricks, do's and don'ts to skillfully distract yourself from falling off of the diet wagon. Try at least three in a row before mindlessly eating something.

Drink a HUGE glass of water. More than you even think you can consume. If your stomach is rumbling eat a couple of antacid tablets and drink some more water.

Call a friend. Preferably one that is also on a diet and will tell you "no" in a really firm voice. Talk about how hard it is. Venting helps.

Clean your apartment. As soon as you go into the kitchen grab some cleaning supplies and start cleaning instead. Not only will you put off eating for a while longer, you will burn some calories and have a clean apartment.

Someone at a Weight Watchers meeting said she bent down and picked up magazines during commercials.

No offense, but that is really lame.

Fast forward through commercials or leave the room. No one needs to see all those delicious fast food temptations. During those intervals brag to yourself about how well you are doing. Tell yourself how proud you are for not giving in to temptation. You can't disappoint yourself after a pep talk.

Put on really tight clothing. You won't want to make yourself more uncomfortable by eating.

Brush your teeth or chew sugar free, minty gum.

Work on a project that involves your hands. Paint, make jewelry, scrapbook, assemble small things.

It is also helpful to gross yourself out. Imagine eating bugs or some other vile thing.

Don't have a "Sex in the City Marathon." While it is the greatest show ever, all they do is eat. A fact that is magnified when you watch them all in a row. Instead pick a show like "Angel" where all they eat is blood.

Go to sleep. If you just woke up, drink some nyquil and knock yourself out again. Never mind if you have things to do. You can do stuff when you are skinny.

It may sound like I'm kidding but I assure you I am not.

Happy Independence Day! Celebrate your independence from food.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

On the evolution of style, pt. deux

Somewhere in the middle of college I went through a "it's cool to look low maintenance" phase. Looking back this was the biggest blot on my reputation as a person of taste. Talk about dampening my style and softening all my edges. Ugh.

Here's the thing. I didn't want to seem into my looks. That kind of vanity was beneath a serious artist like myself. I was going for some kind of "natural, effortless" thing.

Of course, I really really worked hard at it. At some point I just stopped getting my hair cut and let it grow like a not really curly, not really straight weed. My clothing style incorporated a vacillation between androgynous and anything with a flower print. Most notably, everything I wore was baggy in a misguided attempt to look thin (as evidenced by the lovely people who insist on putting pictures of me on facebook, really, must you???).

I strategically applied makeup to look like I wasn't wearing any. I was way before my time with the "no makeup makeup" look. Yeah, I saved the big makeup guns for the stage where I over-applied like a champ.

The weird, depressive narcissist that I wasted my last semester on, broke up with me the day before my graduation. Nice. So in all of my pictures I look like a sad, chubby, mountain of blonde hair in a baggy, flower print dress.

I went back to my parents' house and cried for four days straight. When I finally looked in the mirror, I was horrified by what I had become. So far from my former, sparkling glory (and when I say sparkling, I do mean that literally. There were lots of sparkles).

The very next day I started doing step aerobics, got my hair cut off and bought clothes in a style I had never owned before (thank you Nordstrom Jrs). I kissed that boring sad sack goodbye and never looked back (again, the facebook thing, not helpful).

When my ex attempted a re-entry into my life, I stared at him through my brand new eyes that donned a color that practically screamed "I'm wearing makeup" and had the confidence to act like I barely remembered who he was.

There are no do overs. Only onward and upward.

With better hair and better style.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

On the evolution of style (ok, my style)

I feel as though I haven't reached the pinnacle of my own personal style. Just like most therapists I've come from my own fucked up shit and now I think I have learned just enough to help others. However, I am still working on myself.

My goal is to bookend my life with great individual style.

My fashion sense was quite adventurous when I was a kid. From awareness until about 6th grade I was really creative with my clothing choices. Then all that insecure, "I want boys to like me, I should be more normal/skinny" stuff happened and created a big, fat grey area in my fashion history.

My favorite stuff pre-premature puberty (which really ruined everything) was any skirt or dress that was layered like a cake, anything that twirled, had sparkles, resembled a princess or someone from a bygone era. My idea of "vintage" was the pilgrim outfit and I wore it to school faithfully every year for Thanksgiving until it no longer fit and even then I think I wore the hat long after.

I sported cardboard wings with glitter (stolen from Kim's girl scout ceremony), party hats, bright green gauchos, wands, and blue courdory pants with lions' heads. I reached fashion nirvana when Kim started taking ice skating lessons. Those ice skating costume designers really know how to do it. I strongly felt they were more appropriate as street wear. I actually started taking lessons myself for the clothes. Imagine my extreme disappointment when in my first show we were fucking lightbulbs (horrible look) and in my second show we were stupid, ugly railroad workers. I was a girly girl. I did not appreciate masculine style at the time. I quit after that disaster and just waited for Kim to be done with the blue gingham, tulle number with the red sequin trim and shiny red butt bow.