Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Let Go

Full disclosure: this might be SUPER TRITE. Let's just acknowledge that and get on to the post.

I just lived through a fairly challenging yoga class. I've gained weight in the past few months which is making multiple things difficult at the moment (such as jeans, forward folds, and looking at pictures of myself). I'm being incredibly hard on myself about it because I said I'd never get back to this weight and here I am. I'm in dresses I had hoped would never fit again. I can't fit into the super cute jeans I got for Christmas. I feel disgusting and unattractive.

I have this little brain scar about my weight. This little brain scar tells me that I'm only desirable at a size 8, between 130-135 pounds. This little brain scar tells me that as I get older it'll naturally be more difficult to lose weight so I can't go running around being frivolous now. I had frivolity: it was called ages 22 to 25. This little brain scar tells me that if I'm not in excellent shape before I have children that I will be hideous after having children and that the person I've had said children with will no longer love me. This little brain scar reminds me that I'm not loveable at 150 lbs.

Today I am 151 lbs.

Let's be real: that brain scar is an asshole. That brain scar lies to me! It's a total dick about fooling me into feeling unworthy - but just me! It's the kind of backstabber that plants little thoughts like, "All of these women who are bigger or smaller or exactly your size are beautiful and fabulous, just not you." And since the call is coming from inside the house, so to speak, this makes me want to punch myself in the face.

But punching myself in the face isn't actually going to work. There's this unbelievably lovely yoga teaching that says if something is challenging or hurts, instead of giving up you just sort of breathe through it and see if it changes. Shift slightly, focus on breathing (meaning you are alive and this is not killing you), and realize that this isn't forever. At most, this challenging moment will last for, what? A minute? Two minutes? And then something else will happen. Maybe the next thing will also be challenging, but at the very least you'll be fortified by the knowledge that you got through the previous challenging minute or two. Or maybe the next thing will feel amazing or can be easily accomplished by your body, which gives you a different sense of fortification.

I struggle with that part of breathing and just sitting through the challenge. I know my challenge right now is how I'm viewing myself and dealing with these negative ghost feelings while I do the work required to get back to where I want to be, physically. But then, today, in yoga my instructor tossed out a few little words that changed everything.

"This is an easy little mantra if you're feeling like your mind is racing: breathe in and silently say the word 'LET,' breathe out and silently say the word 'GO.'"

Let. Go. Let. Go. Let Go.

It's amazing how the simplest answers can be so powerfully effective.

Monday, July 23, 2012

This is about food, not sad and scary world events

Oh my god, you guys: the summer of lard has reared its ugly head. One of my dearest friends of all time, Mr. Mike, was visiting Philly this weekend and we decided that we'd do our best to pump as much fat and sugar into our systems as possible to celebrate.

Friday Night: epic happy hour at Farmicia + dinner at National Mechanics
Lessons Learned: Um, Pimms Cup is delicious? Who knew?
Unfortunate Event: I may or may not have flashed my bra but NO ONE WAS LOOKING except my friends.

Saturday Morning/Afternoon: Federal Donuts fried chicken + donuts. All the donuts. All the fried chicken.
Lessons Learned: That shit is delicious, y'all. Za'atar rub for the win.
Unfortunate Event: We ate all of the fried chicken and all of the donuts and then were full for the rest of the day into the night.

abandon all waistlines, ye who enter here
(photo by Sara)

Saturday Night: Gianfranco's pizza, a lovely green salad, Doritos, pretzels, beer, wine, jello shots ('cause we're all in our 30s now?), homemade pickles, and fresh cherry tomatoes
Lessons Learned: It's possible to snarf a jello shot and have it spray all over the walls. I didn't snarf it, I just cleaned it up.
Unfortunate Event: Polishing off the bag of Doritos between 3 people before anyone else showed up.

Sunday Afternoon: Backyard cookout with hand-formed burgers and homemade tomato jam, ballpark franks, cucumber tomato salad, Suddenly Salad (my favorite food from a box), homemade salsa, hummus and veggies, white sangria. AND THEN MIKE MADE THESE AMAZING TRIPLE CITRUS CUPCAKES THAT WERE AMAZING.
Lessons Learned: Apparently, it was possible for us to continue eating.
Unfortunate Event: Serious gas.

Sunday Evening: Rita's Water Ice
Lessons Learned: Sometimes you just want soft serve and that is okay.
Unfortunate Event: Soft serve for dinner to cap off a truly disgusting delicious weekend of eating.

Mike's on his way back to Chicago today and I will miss him for sure. So far today I have had a cup of coffee this morning and a big salad for lunch. And I went to pilates class. And I'm making salsa chicken in the crock pot for dinner. Back on track!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Things that go through your brain when you are super tired

* I prefer wearing underwear to going commando.

* Why is 7:30 an acceptable bedtime for children but not adults?

* If I go to bed when I get home will it be a nap or a bedtime?

* How did I used to function on 4 hours of sleep a night? Does 10 years really make that much of a difference?

* What is up with jeans suits!? First Timberlake, now Pacey?

* And a v-neck under it?! Diane must want to kill him.

* I wonder if I'll ever be the kind of woman who could tactfully make a man change out of a bad outfit and into a good one. I've never successfully done that.

* I could never do that no shampooing thing.

* I love ice water.

* Does anyone but me know that my legs are in severe need of a shave?

* I wonder if going to happy hour will make me violate bar rule #1 or if it will just make the day better.

* Can I leave now?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Books I've Wanted To Live In

Harry Potter and the All Of The Everything
Truthfully,  I don't want to live in Little Whinging or in the damn tent during all of the "Gloom Camping" but I have often fantasized about living in Hogwarts or staying over in the Leaky Cauldron. It's not just the magic... okay, it's mostly the magic. I was able to visit Hogsmeade once and that was pretty sweet.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Ever since I read this book as a young girl, I have wanted to sit on the fire escape of some city apartment building with a good book and some peppermint candies. The comfort and luxury of small things like a cup of coffee seems all the sweeter when it's really all there is.

Anne of Green Gables
I think this might be more about hanging out with Marilla and Matthew than actually living at Green Gables. It might also be a little bit about the clothes and using slates for schoolwork and the academic competition with (sigh) Gilbert Blythe.

Little Women
Reading to Aunt March in her drafty old manor, doing homework on slates (again), writing by candlelight, scandals over stolen gloves, hanging out with Marmee... but especially putting on plays in the attic. Perfect.

The Betsy-Tacy Series
Turn of the 20th century Minnesota? Fancy hairstyles? A dress maker comes to the house every summer to make your school clothes? Eating dinner with your best friends at the top of a hill? Picnics? Yes to all of this. Mostly, though, I just want to go to one of Mr. Ray's Sunday night lunches and eat his onion sandwiches.

Franny and Zooey
Oh to be part of the Glass family, even for just a moment! Not that I want Bessie to watch me take a bath, but you know what I mean. I just want a bowl of consecrated chicken soup.

Bridget Jones' Diary
This one is a little easier to realize. If Bridget Jones was set in South Philly, it would practically be about my life except that I prefer pinot noir to chardonnay. Singletons unite!

Carter Beats The Devil
Again with the magic - but this time it's stage magic. 1920s, a romantic and mysterious blind woman, impossible escape, adventure, history... I kind of just want to live in the language of this book.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Face and hair and products OH MY

I decided this morning that I need to confess something to you, my dear readers. I have been wearing makeup again. I rediscovered the joy of makeup (thanks, in part, to big dark eyebrows being very now) and also I dyed my hair redder and find that I need a little "hey hello" on my face, if you know what I'm saying.

One thing is very odd: I have noticed for the first time that my eyes are ever so slightly different shapes. I often noticed in pictures that one of my eyes looks more closed than the other, but never figured out why.

You see what I mean? The left eye? Of course you do.

This makes my life hard sometimes, like when I'm trying to do symmetrical eye makeup. Oh lordy, how I must toil to make my liquid eyeliner look decent! But makeup isn't really that hard. I've been doing it for over half my life and I enjoy it. Fighting with my hair is a different story.

My hair has been through it all...







permed... (no photo available, thank god)...

But the thing my hair has never had is body. Oh how I wish for big, huge hair. I am from New Jersey for pete's sake! I should be able to pump up my hair! I use this crazy thick mousse, I have used a thickening spray, I tried pomades and lotions and powders and gels and all sorts of things. I have spent many dollars on hair products that promise me Big Sexy Hair and yet... limp and sad. Maybe someday I'll get my wish and my hair can look this amazing...

Until then, I suppose I'll just keep trying products.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Rules you can actually use

My dear readers, I hope you had a lovely mid-week holiday. My lovely roommate and I ventured out last night for a very American dinner at one of our local mexican restaurants. Nothing says Independence Day like a pitcher of margaritas and some awesome salad. While we were there, we heard the servers complain in astonishment about a couple who ran out on a $75 check and we witnessed a drunk man a) fall asleep at his table, and b) walk down the street carrying a glass of iced coffee that the waitstaff made for him. A real glass. He just took it and walked down the street. His server decided it wasn't worth the trouble to chase him.

This made me think of one of the earliest lessons my dad ever taught me: do not fall asleep on/at the bar. Perhaps not an appropriate lesson for a 7 year old, but it has served me well since then. I thought that I would impart some other lessons to you, my dear readers! Think of this as The Rules if The Rules was actually helpful to your life.

not pictured: the drunk dude just to the left outside the frame.

* Do not fall asleep on/at the bar. You will be kicked out and it's really bad form.

* NEVER dine and dash. How can you live with yourself if you do this? Seriously. If you don't have the money to go out, don't go out.

* If you cannot afford to tip, you cannot afford to drink. That's it. There is no way around this.

* Not that this ever happened to me* but if you manage to get yourself thrown out of a bar, do not argue, do not fight. Go quietly. You may not return to that bar or restaurant for a full 2 weeks AT LEAST.

* If you return to a bar you were thrown out of, be as quiet and courteous as possible. Tip heavily. Be nice. Don't bring it up.

* Know what you want to drink before you start speaking to the bartender. There are probably lots of people waiting for drinks and your hemming and hawing is not cute. It is one thing to ask what beers are on tap, it is an entirely different thing to stand there being like, "Hrmm, what do I want? What. Do. I. Want. Do I want a gin rickey? Noooo....Maybe a glass of wine? Um, come back to me..." That bartender is never coming back, my friend.

* Similarly, know where you are. Don't order a margarita in a brew pub. Don't ask for a lager at a wine bar. If you're not sure, pay attention to what everyone is drinking and let that help you make an informed decision.

* But it's okay to get suggestions sometimes if you are stymied and the bar isn't jam packed.
WRONG: "What do you like to drink here?"
RIGHT: "I really like dark beers, especially porters. Do you have anything close on tap?"

* Brew pubs or places with interesting draft lists that constantly change are the best places to ask for a taste or a sample so that you know what you're getting before you order a full glass.

* No more than 2 samples, though. Seriously. That's just rude.

* There is never any need to make a big deal out of not wanting alcohol in a bar. Just order your club soda and leave it at that.

* Oh! Bartenders and the like are on your side! A few years ago my friend found out she was pregnant but wasn't ready to tell the world. Unfortunately, she had a number of occasions of going out with friends who would know something was up if she didn't drink. So she conspired with the bartender to give her a seltzer and cranberry juice with a lime in the same glass it would be served if that seltzer was vodka. The bartender thought the game was fun and the friend got to keep her secret until she was ready to announce.

* Always be nice and engage with your bartender but never be fooled into thinking a cute bartender is going to make out with you. They are not. (USUALLY. That is another story for another time.)

* Tip well, smile, be polite, have fun!

*Bachelorette party 9 years ago. Cuba Libre. I've never been back.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I'monna be real with you...

What is more American than consumerism?

To celebrate the 4th of July (my second favorite holiday) and because I just got paid, I am going to indulge in the sale at Old Navy and buy all of their t-shirts.

Last week I wandered in there and picked up two of the "vintage style" v-necks because they were $7 each if you bought two or more. Y'all. I am going back tonight to buy every color they have. They are comfortable, adorable, easy, and I got a lot of compliments on my boobs when I was wearing it.

This is not the first time I have found something I liked and then just got it in a bunch of different colors. I tend to do that  - I do it with cheap ballet flats, camp-style shirts, sundresses, tights. Do you do this?

Happy 4th of July, Americans! Happy Wednesday, non-Americans! If you see me, please feel free to tell my my boobs look nice. I appreciate that sort of thing.