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Archive for January, 2011

I , like most of you, have a day job.

And though I like my job, love the people I work with, think my company’s great, and have been there for a quite a while now … the tedium of working in a cubicle from 9-5 during the week can really wear on me. Let’s just say I work with brilliant people in a drab environment. Most people there view creativity as some exotic animal that they fear and respect but make damn sure not to get too close to just in case they catch anything from it. So, over the years, I’ve come to realize that I tend to wear a different combination of clothes to work every day in order to add some spice to my routine. And I really really try to avoid every wearing the same combination twice. This has led to some complications, lots of money dropped at Target on clothes I wear only once, and general misery over always wanting and spending more, more, more on clothes.

Then, this past summer a friend of mine told me about a bunch of different ladies from different fashion blogs doing a 30-for-30 Challenge. The challenge was that you could pick tops, bottoms, skirts, pants, shoes, etc. but you could only have 30 of them for 30 days … and that was it. FORCED remixing and creativity. A pretty terrifying thought, and my friend and I only did it during the work week (and the two of us work 4 days a week, so it was really a 30 for 16 challenge – and it was hard). The plusses were we got dressed a lot quicker in the mornings, found new ways to wear things, had less laundry to do. The minuses were that we got really sad and out of ideas by the end of it, and worried that people noticed we were wearing the same items again and again.

But of course no one noticed (again – brilliant people in a drab environment, picture Jeans Fridays being the peak of fashion excitement…) and by the end of it, I got rid of half of my wardrobe. I dontated tons of clothes that I would never be willing to be stuck with wearing over and over for 30 days. After just one month I got a lot more sensible with what I tried on and what I was willing to spend money on. Sure, a lot of this probably sounds frivolous to some people, but I consider my clothes as having a direct and positive influence on my life and well-being. Plus it’s fun to challenge yourself in tiny increments! Not to mention save money for where it should go – vacation, hollah!

So anyway. It’s time for a new 30-for-30, the Winter Version on this blog by the lovely Kendi, starting February 1st. I tried to be a bit braver this time around with my choices (the first time was pretty much ALL grays) but as you’ll see below, it’s still a mite drab. But shutup! I’m doing this for 30 days! F’real people!

In conclusion, when you see pictures of me pop up on this blog every day in different outfits, don’t think I’ve completely lost my marbles. I’m just doing a clothes challenge. And you should too. 😉

30 for 30 selection

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A Cocktail of Feelings

Tomorrow is going to be my first bout since I decided to go on a leave of absence. It’s now been a year (almost exactly) since the first bout I was going to play in (which, then, got snowed out and I ended up playing in February instead – but shh. I’m calling it as a year!). This brings up some feelings. I really want to go to help make things happen and cheer on my team and support all the many derby peeps I’ve come to know and love. I want to make sure I stay connected so I don’t feel completely alienated, now that I’ve had to take a break from practicing.

But I just feel so sad. I was SO excited and into derby before, and it’s terrible that I can’t find time for it. I don’t want to complain, because I’m happy with all the other things going on in my life, and I feel it’s totally worth it to take a break while I work on other things this year. I honestly don’t have time to commit fully to derby, and you have to commit fully to derby. In the short time I’ve been involved, I’ve seen a bunch of ladies struggle with this – the attrition rate in derby is crazy high, and there’s a reason for it. The holy trilogy – injury, pregnancy, and – well, life.

I guess all I’m saying is – it feels really weird to be on the outskirts. It’s hard for me to see something that huge put to the sidelines. I’m worried I’ll never be able to come back.

. . . The bright side is my derby l’il sis is going to be skating in my uniform tomorrow.

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Snow Exciting!

I know, I know, I know … I’m going to be dull and post pictures of snow like everyone else. But I think these pictures accurately depict my new obsession with gray and yellow color combinations …

 

Snow Drops

Glossy Night

Snow Berries

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Every morning, as I walk in towards my building at work, it’s a race. People are inevitably behind me and in more of a hurry than me to get through the doors. (hello, I wear heels) The sidewalks are wide, so I don’t mind so much when people pass me. I, too, have been stuck behind a meanderer who can’t choose the speed/direction/angle of their walking whatsoever and I end up tottling awkwardly behind them until I finally decide – screw it – make a break for it to pass them. So I get that urge to pass. Passing is fine.

What I can’t stand, however, is people who rush up behind me enough to the point where as I’m opening a door, they reach over me to open it, taking said door out of my hands.

This is unacceptable. Even more unacceptable is when they do it to me twice in a row. That’s right – through two sets of doors. At this point, I usually stop, turn around and stare perplexed.

The unfortunate thing about this (besides my immediate rush to annoyance) is that I’m sure these guys are doing it (it’s always guys) from a place of good manners, rather than out of rudeness. Most people don’t try to pick fights with you in the morning. So it bothers me somewhat that I can interpret a nice gesture as a rude one. Is my filter that out of whack that I can’t even recognize chivalry anymore? I love when people hold doors open for me that I’m rushing to get to in time. It makes my day when someone helps me pick something up, or tells me I have a sock stuck to my pants. But certain gestures – just particular ones – piss me off to no end. No, you may not grab a door out of my hands. No, you cannot offer to let me go first out of an elevator. Don’t even try to put your hand on my back to guide me out of anywhere. No. I’m going to be choosy with my acceptance of polite gestures.

Now what do you suppose I’m doing daily that offends someone? Kind of an exciting thought …

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The First Five

Why do the first five minutes of a workout have to suck so bad? A workout can be 30 minutes, or 2 hours, and those first five minutes remain killer. They’re the deal-breaker. They give you just enough time to reconsider what you’re doing.

“Do I really need to be jump roping right now?”

“Wasn’t there some errand I needed to run?”

“Come on, it’s not like I ever wear a bathing suit, anyway …”

Your mind decides to take a field day in those first five minutes and thumb through all its greatest hits of excuses. All the tried-and-true ones, the ones that have really proven promising in the past. And even though you’ve been good about working out, for some reason those first five minutes can make you feel nauseous, jittery, and (how dare they) out of breath! So now you look like a poser, like you’re already worn out before you’ve begun. Sigh.

This is when I like to think of Jack and Kate in those early LOST episodes, when they were overcome by strange situations of fear on the island that they had to deal with. And Jack’s method for dealing, that he passed along to Kate, was to count to five. Let the fear take over you, envelope you, and let yourself be terrified for five seconds. And know, as you were counting, that that five seconds were all that you were going to give to fear. After that, you were done, and it was on.

Have I mentioned I’ve been watching nothing but LOST episodes as I’ve been working out?

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Chips While Driving

I’m a fan of resolutions because I like creating “fresh starts” for myself all over the place. It’s an excuse to reinvent myself in some small way, or shake up the humdrum of my routine, or just a way to figure out how to tackle a problem I’ve been struggling with. Just like Valentine’s Day, I view New Year’s Day as an opportunity/excuse to do something fun and positive and productive. I don’t whine about the reality of whether or not resolutions “actually work”. I don’t scoff at someone I love trying to do something nice for me on Valentine’s Day because “it’s a fabricated holiday”.

So unfortunately, this year I’m already having to make some tough decisions about what I want to do, and what I have time enough to actually do. This year I’ll be working on a 2nd graphic novel and more responsibility at my day job. And since I’ve already been operating as a crazy person from having to juggle work, comic work, freelance work, derby, and derby art committee work, it came time for me to choose.

(And this is really difficult. I’m a Libra, you see.)

So after a lot of hemming and hawing and asking everyone else I knew for their opinion, then promptly ignoring their advice (as is my custom whenever debating anything), … I at last came to the conclusion that, sadly, I have to hang up my skates for the moment. This is a big, big frowny face for me. Never in my life have I taken on something as challenging and thrilling and wonderful and had to work so hard to earn a place for it in my life. But the sad truth is I can’t just skate and go to bouts. Derby requires a lot of love, hard work, participation, and perhaps most wonderfully – it asks for your help in creating it. You don’t get to just be a visitor in the land of Derby. Oh no. It loves you, but it asks a lot out of you. And if you’re not careful, you’ll let it ask for more than you can give.

So I don’t want to dwell at this for the moment, because honestly I still haven’t made any final decisions about everything (Libra). All I know is if I stay in derby, I’ll do a shitty job and will end up bitter and annoyed at every aspect of my life because I’m stretched too thin. For right now, I’m taking a break from the skating part, and helping transition other people into doing more of the committee work I’ve been doing. Ease my way to the side. And then, when I’m ready and have my act together, I can come back to derby a healthy and whole person again. Because it deserves no less.

Anyway.

My ginger kitty looking forward into 2011

My cat has the right idea – let’s move forward and enjoy it, okay? My resolutions are going to be gradual but ambitious. Set goals and inch towards them. Unlike the dude I saw shoving chips into his mouth while driving, talking on his cell about his new gym membership, I will be under no illusions as to what I can and can’t handle.

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