Monday, March 18, 2013

Mean Brain VS. The Wall

My dear readers, I have finally hit a Wall. You know the Wall - it's the wall that says, "Oh, hi - you can no longer pretend that pizza is a health food." The Wall also says, "Remember how you found out a few years ago that working out is a good thing? Let's try that again." The Wall is not a bad thing.

The bad thing is my Mean Brain. My Mean Brain says things like, "Eh. You're fine," and "Seriously, if you work out at lunch time you're going to be all gross and sweaty and what if you run into someone you know on the way to rehearsal?!" My Mean Brain also calls my body really nasty words all the time.

You guys! I'm sick and tired of those nasty words! I'm also sick and tired of not wearing some things in my closet and feeling sort of worn out and old. So guess what? I'm embracing the Wall.

Mean Brain wants pizza and candy and lots of sitting down. Wall wants kale and yogurt and pilates. Mean Brain wants to come home from rehearsal and have a couple of beers and a good laugh. Wall wants to come home from rehearsal and have some peppermint tea and a good laugh. At least we can all agree on laughing.

Let's talk about the kale for a second, okay? It sounds SO BORING. And it takes a little bit of work. But I actually really like it (and not just because it's trendy). I feel good when I eat it. I feel full. I like how it tastes. I like the kale salad my friend Jeni told me about. Here it is!

Jeni's Kale Salad

* a bunch of kale cut up small
* some quinoa
* some nuts or whatever you like (I'm doing sunflower seeds)
* some dried fruit (I'm doing dried cranberries)

Make some quinoa - it's 2 cups water to 1 cup quinoa. I usually just make about a half a cup at a time and then split that between two servings of the salad.

Okay, the kale: apparently  to make it not gross and hard to eat you have to massage it for a couple of minutes. This step really did not excite me until I did it - YOU GUYS. When you massage it, the kale turns bright green and it's pretty thrilling! Also I find that doing this helps separate the stems from the leafy goodness and then I don't chomp into a piece of kale spine and hate my life.

So massage the kale. Then add in the quinoa and your other things. BOOM. You are done. I don't even think this needs dressing. Go for it if you like, but I think the sweetness of the fruit is enough.

I'm not going to pretend that vegetables are as delicious as cheese or bread or anything else that isn't all that good for you. I'm just saying that if I can override Mean Brain long enough to actually start putting good stuff into my body, I find that I enjoy the good stuff. You guys all probably know this but it's something I have to learn again and again.

I have goals about overriding Mean Brain and embracing the Wall. They are quantifiable and attainable. They are also constructed with full knowledge that there will be days the Mean Brain wins. Goal #1 concludes on my birthday and we are calling it Better at 33 Than 23. Goal #2 concludes in the beginning of September and we are calling it Operation: Pants Off Dance Off. Goal #3 concludes at the end of the year and we are calling it Strong and Steady.

For funsies, here are a few photos from roughly a decade ago.

Better at 33 Than 23 is GO. Screw you, Mean Brain. I can do this.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ode to Stacy and Clinton

It was announced yesterday that What Not To Wear is coming to an end. While it's true that I didn't actually know it was still on the air, the news saddens me a bit because I owe Stacy and Clinton a lot. Because of their guidance I can go about my life adding in a pop of color and only buying sweaters and shirts that hit me in the sweet spot right at the bottom of my hips. Also because of them, I know that wearing a fitted jacket helps hide my tummy because the jacket does the work for you. And that A-line skirts flair at the bottom, balancing my hips and thighs. And that for short, curvy girls like me, a skirt should hit above the knees. And that classics never die, which is why I will pretty much never ever get rid of my pencil skirt.

But most of all, I honestly thank Stacy and Clinton for the aha moment of many years ago when it finally got into my head that the clothes you wear send a signal about how you feel about yourself. Do I still leave the house in grubby sneakers and a gross hoodie? Yes, sometimes - but at least I'm actively choosing that now.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I think I'm getting dumber

My dear readers, all we've been doing lately is fashion so let's do something completely different now that we have a breather until the Met Gala. Allow me to spew.

I sincerely think I'm getting dumber.

I used to fancy myself quite a smart lady. I thought big thoughts, I read big books, I thought about those books, I saw challenging movies, I had larger conversations, I wanted knowledge for the sake of knowledge. More than knowledge, I wanted personal growth. I wanted to think deeply about the things I took for granted, I wanted to think hard on my future and why I wanted what I thought I wanted. I did a lot of writing, a lot of thinking. Now? Not so much.

IN FACT! I just took a break from writing this to look up this photo to show Reader Katya that Justin Bieber was wearing poopy diaper pants the other day.


I don't like that. I like being smart, inquisitive, insightful. I've been reading my friend Adrienne's amazing arts blog and just feeling the chasm grow between my former self and my present self. Obviously, this isn't Adrienne's fault. And obviously there is a lot of time in our world for both intellectual analysis and Justin Bieber poopy pants. Too much of one or the other makes us all very dull.

The thing is: I know I still have the capacity to think deeply and learn. Or as my grad school friends say, "unpack." (PS - why is that such a specifically grad school word? Cause it really is.) And sometimes I start to think deeper, start to figure things out, start to ask the hardest hard questions. And sometimes I do start to re-read The Second Sex because I cannot remember the finer points. But it always seems to be at the end of a long day and the unpacking is so exhausting and The Second Sex is not the world's #1 guilty pleasure book and I end up giving up and going to some thought, some entertainment, something that demands nothing of me.

I mean not EVERY day but... too much

And then I feel lazy and kind of dumb. And mad because I do not have a Time Turner which would enable me to make more time in the day during which I could sit down and figure things out. I guess what I'm saying is: can I get an amen? Does anyone else feel stultified* like I do?

Maybe I just need to grow up and tough it out. I'm almost 33. You'd think I'd be tough by now. But I'm about as tough as the Sharks and Jets. And guys? Musical theatre tough isn't actually tough. It's pretty, though!

*True fact: I have been in love with the word stultify since I first heard it on Lisa Loeb's debut album, Tails. 
True fact #2: I still listen to Lisa Loeb all the time.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Oscars 2013: The WTF!

I have a bit of conundrum here, my dear readers. I actually have a WTF that is a FABULOUS gown that looks AMAZING on the star but still makes me say WTF?! Let's start there, shall we?


Naomi Watts!
Let's be real: she looks amazing and this dress is pretty damn fabulous. But... what in the world is happening on the left side of her chest!? And why?! Oh, Naomi. I'll never understand but you just keep doing you. You look fantastic.

Kristen Stewart!
Kristen Stewart is a) clearly very high, b) wearing a dress that doesn't fit her, and c) afraid of brushes. I simply cannot tolerate an inch of what is happening here. The Dark Shadows makeup, the bedhead, the exploding lace gown that is far too big... it's all one big WTF.

Marcia Gay Harden!
And with those sleeves Marcia Gay Harden entered her aging drag queen years. (Look, the cut of the bust and the choice of material don't help either.)

Barbra Streisand!
Long witchy sleeves, poker straight hair, goth choker, off-the-shoulder gauzy dress, far too many necklaces... I mean, she's a tambourine away from a Stevie Nicks costume, right?

Brandi Glanville!
How - why -- gravity - decency - I, but--


Friday, March 1, 2013

Oscars 2013: The Bad!

Wow, you guys really did not like what Renee Zellweger wore at all! Also, we are all in agreement that she was drunk at the Oscars. Let's keep that in mind for when we go to the Oscars: wait until the afterparty!


Sally Field!
Sally. Sally, Sally Sally. What has happened here? Why are you in the unholy union of Rihanna's dress from the Grammys and a very large crinoline? With a train! It hurts all the more because you were doing so well.

Steven Spielberg (seen here with Kate Capshaw)!
Worst fitting tux of the night! He looks like a little boy in his dad's suit. Get it together! (Also, I know the 90s are back and all, but can we please put the kibosh on the choker trend? Other than that, Kate looks fantastic. Against all odds, I love the shoes.)

Naomie Harris!
Miss Moneypenny is threatening a money shot. Besides the highest slit this side of Angelina, the bodice is awful and the color isn't great on her.

Jacki Weaver!
Remember when Lea Michele wore a tablecloth to the SAG Awards? Jacki Weaver thought that looked fantastic.

Quentin Tarantino and Lianne Spiderbaby!
Oh my god. I mean beyond the fact that this tux is far too large for him, Quentin couldn't be bothered to button his top button nor properly wear his... is that a leather tie!?!?!?!? Oh god, it just keeps getting worse. And then when he, you know, ACCEPTED HIS OSCAR his shirt collar was halfway popped. Disaster-mess. As for Ms. Spiderbaby (not a typo...apparently), that is the worst and least-flattering neckline I have ever seen. Paired with the little braids, the voluminous and too-long skirt, and the pattern on the top, it's really just awful. Will the two of you just go home and try again please?

Amanda Seyfried!
I am begging you, Amanda: wear a jewel tone.

La Kidman!
I'm not sure the Oscars are the right time to pay sartorial homage to all of the mollusks lost in the BP oil spill. Additionally, surely you can hire someone to help you with your hair?

Anne Hathaway!
Ugh. There is a time and a place for a big ol' necklace but this is not it. Between the neckline and the baby pink gown, this just screams junior prom to me. It's really not good, Anne. Not good at all.

Sandra Bullock!
Can we please be done with this trend now? Actually, I'd be glad if we were done with both the long lace dress over short nude lining AND poker straight hair in your face on the red carpet. It's so boring! It flies directly in the face of our primary rule: Don't Bore Nina.

Kelly Rowland!
Well this is the opposite of boring. The skirt is far too tight, I don't understand why half her bodice looks like it's trying to escape, and on top of all that she looks like a conehead. Kelly, honey, I am definitely not ready for this jelly.

Amy Adams!
It looks like the top of a really interesting gown got drunk halfway down and threw up all over itself. Congratulations, Amy. I have finally found an Oscar de la Renta gown I hate and you are wearing it. I'm questioning my entire life now.

Melissa McCarthy!
Oh girl. Oh no. No no no. Whoever styled you for this event is not your friend. Drop them immediately.

Jennifer Garner (seen here with Ben Affleck)!
Look at that necklace! YES! That's what I'm talking about! And this color is divine on her! But...wait...what's that ruffle stuff in the back...?