August 28, 2014 § Leave a comment
This ALS Ice Bucket Challenge will not rest until everyone in the world has completed it. If we keep going at this rate, we only have 22 days left. Your welcome.
1st world people love a dare. I was having a hard time with the whole “you are wasting clean water on your head while some people don’t even have water” thing. PS there is a show called “Surviver” Why don’t you attack the exploitation of extreme conditions for entertainment? Or people who let the faucet run while they brush their teeth? Or the wining team of any football championship ever? See, ice bucket dousing is not a new thing. And yes, it’s a stupid waste of water. Maybe get in the face of people who didn’t pony up at least five bucks for a donation.
But then again, my state is in a severe drought, so I do get the point. I’m pretty sure in a few months we are going to be mandated to shower on alternate days. California is few dry months away from becoming the smelly kids. And here’s the bad news for the winter: we supply a lot of your produce Midwest, Northeast, etc. Just stop challenging Californians, we get taxed enough as it is. We’ll do a bucket of sand instead. We can’t afford it, you can’t afford it. We got enough on our hands with not only the drought, but the recent earthquake. In a few months when the price of wine skyrockets, you might wish you sent your five bucks to Napa Valley instead.
No, I kid. Your money is being donated to the right place. ALS has raised over 94 million dollars. Which is wicked awesome for a disease a lot of people forgot about since Lou Gehrig. However, there is an even more of an upside to this. ALS isn’t the only neurodegenerative disease. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s are also in this category. Later in life onset, these diseases are a death sentence that you have to live with long before you kick the bucket. Sure, I feel for the people without clean water, but I also want to know there is serious funding behind a chunk of diseases I might possibly have one day. What helps ALS helps all of this research, and knowledge is power.
I truly hope the people who took on this challenge know what it means beyond the stupid stunt. Sometimes we live our lives pissed off at our wi-fi signals, or traffic, or missing out on taco tuesday. When you boil that bucket of ice water down, health is wealth. Whether we have clean water to dump on our heads or water our crops, if we are healthy surrounded by those we love, we are doing all right. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is simply ridiculous slap stick for a good cause. Who doesn’t love slap stick? Who doesn’t love a good cause?
Also, I’m an expert on this cause I did it. With Ocean Ice Water, mind you. I did not waste any potential crop water, dear farmers and California Government. Don’t tax me. If you want to donate to MIND you don’t need a challenge to do it. http://www.massgeneral.org/mind/ Just click and see all the cool research and trials that are helping people today!
August 19, 2014 § Leave a comment
NEW TO YOU. I wrote this piece over a year ago as the final chapter of my manuscript (that is no longer a memoir, RIP). It’s only fitting I tell it now, on the 4 year anniversary of this blog. I was afraid you’d feel like I was no longer a bachelorette, so I held it close. I’m not a poser, but I believe my days as a true bachelorette are numbered. Please enjoy.
We watched the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry and guest star, Teri Hatcher, are pretend married so she can get a discount on her dry cleaning. Then Mister Red turns to me and asks, “Will you be my pretend wife?”
I quoted the 1995 film, Clueless, “as if?!” I capped it with an open mouthed blank stare even Cher Horowitz would roll her eyes at. “I’m pretty sure if I’m going to be anybody’s wife I won’t be playing pretend.”
There had been light discussion about rings and proposals since our shared Costco credit card had been in our wallets. But he totally brought it up first, so it wasn’t like I started giving him ultimatums about the wedding that had yet to be proposed. I didn’t even talk to him about it. I was still getting acquainted with it in my own head. And yeah, yeah, everyone says it happens when you’re not looking… blah, blah, blah. Idiots.
Did you know that the diamond ring marriage proposal was originally an insurance policy for deflowering a fair maiden? After she’s been poked, no one will want her, and if the engagement didn’t work out at least she’d have a ring to pawn off. That’s where the whole “two month’s salary” ring price came in. Kind of an elaborate prostitution scheme if you ask me. But then again, they aren’t called gold diggers and trophy wives because they are champion mineworkers.
My co-economical anxiety began to calm down. I had concluded sharing finances was the next step to being legally bound to my, and I use the term loosely, soul mate. I use the term loosely because I’m still not sure I believe in all the “every mitten has its mate” crap. But if I did, he’d be the left because I’m always right.
Mister Red asked me one Saturday morning while laying in bed, “why marriage? What would it mean? Would it be different?”
I had to think for a moment. I wanted to get married, but I wasn’t sure I had the best answer. My first thought was, ‘so you don’t run for the hills if I get fat.’ Truth. There is a sense of security in civil matrimony. Then I thought about marriage equality. The strength and security of same sex unions is still unrecognized by some states, yet those bonds stand firm with just vows to one another. I don’t want him to stay with me just because some lawyer might make it difficult to leave. I confessed my better answer.
“Because I want to be legally bound to you. I want to share everything with you. I want the tax breaks, I want to be able to visit you in the hospital, and I want to call you my husband out loud.” And then I revealed, “I already say it in my head sometimes. Is that weird?”
I was honest. A make-believe marriage was not going to cut it. I wanted the real legal deal. It seemed like he was gearing up for something so I told him when he was ready to plan the proposal he should talk to Miss Pepper, my ex-co-producer and reality dating show aficionado. After that it was as though I let a whole ant colony loose in his pants. Every two seconds he was checking in, “you still want to marry me, right?”
Mister Red would bring it up, but then abruptly end the conversation after getting irritable about money. I reassured him there was no rush. It would be better if we waited until my mother retired. Then she could plan the whole thing like she wants anyway.
Still he pressed. “But I wanted to do it months ago. I should have nailed you down by now.”
“You can nail me down anytime you want,” I said playfully, but that’s not what he meant. I had just gotten over my fear of sharing my money, ahem, our money. Truly, I’m in no rush, I get heart palpitations when I think about changing my last name.
We shelved the topic for a while after I got a phone call from my mother about the family dog passing. It seemed inappropriate to discuss eventualities with sorrows on the table.
My mother isn’t superstitious or even that spiritual, but she was raised Catholic and thinks it’s a good idea to say grace, pray, and go to church once in a while. You know, just in case. Way back before Mister Red and I were serious I told her of the coincidences between us, she just couldn’t listen.
“We’re born two days apart, same year. His parent’s met at Indiana University just like you and Dad. They got married in the same year you guys did. His dad’s from the east coast like you, and his mom’s from the mid-west like dad. His mom’s birthday is three days before yours, you all graduated in the same year, and they had a dog named Chelsea–“
“Okay stop it, I’ve heard enough. Too creepy.” My mom’s hometown is Chelsea. I guess it was a lot to take in. I had only known the guy for a week at the time.
Our family dog was named Murphy, ‘cause we’re Irish. My mom and dad had a little Irish wake for the beloved pet. The next day she was watching the news hoping her school day was cancelled due to unseasonable weather (and probably she was hung over). The only school closing was Murphy elementary. She was sure it was a sign from the dog in appreciation of the Irish wake. She thought that was creepy too.
The wedding that had yet to be proposed was back in the forefront of everyone’s minds when Mister Red and I journeyed to my hometown to attend another wedding. Los Angeles creates an environment allowing us to forget that most people in this country, maybe in the world, just want to love someone and have a happy, healthy family. In Tinsel Town it’s all about the big break. Small town Michigan has deep roots to its trees and so little transplants. Everyone had questions and expectations about our relationship, some of them putting the carriage before the baby.
“I guess you guys are next.”
“Have you thought about where you’re going to have it?”
“What would your dress be like?”
“I think I can find some maternity clothes in your size. How tall are you?”
I just showed them the back of my left hand to light heartedly poke fun at questions I didn’t know how to answer. People can be pushy when they think they know what’s best for you. However, I think it comes from a place called love.
We spent five days in the small town seeing family and friends, holding babies, toasting many drinks to many different things, and bearing witness to classy nuptials. My mother was able to hold her tongue about the wedding that had yet to be proposed, instead she rambled on about our late puppy.
By the time we left, Mister Red had gone cookoo for small town standards. My prettier half found himself indulging in something not abundant in LA. He could not stop talking about ring shopping and the names of our future children.
Isn’t it ironic that the first time I went out with Mister Red I had just returned from my hometown feeling the very same small townie sentiments? It was these same family values casting a spell on me when I summoned him in the first place. Back then I was hoping for a toasty fella antidote in escape of adult aspirations. Three years later, I had that same toasty fella inquiring about my ring size. Obviously, another plan backfired; the curse somehow swallowed us both into a domesticated wistful circle.
I had a hard time talking him down. What would take his mind off of matrimony? I couldn’t exactly bring him to yoga class to watch hot yogi girls handstand into down dogs when deep down I really did want him to propose. Instead, I agreed to ring shopping under the guise of learning my ring size, and also stipulating an acceptable sized diamond. The way he was talking he wanted to save up for several carats, but I didn’t want to wait forever for an eventual grandma ring. I’m one of those people who can’t have nice things anyway.
We were going to test some rocks after I taught a Pilates class, cause that was something I did in my new career. Mister Red, feeling extra attached, decided to accompany me to the studio. When we got there my boss politely brought us in on a little chit-chat.
“How was your weekend?” she asked.
“Good.” We answered in unison like a couple of four year olds at the dentist office.
“What do you have planned for the rest of it?”
Mister Red shot a look at me, “do you want to tell her?”
I froze and turned as red as his hair. Then, because I’m a bad liar and even worse under pressure, I blurted out, “We’re going ring shopping.”
I let her think it was a bigger deal than it was, most people are more excitable than me. I know he put me on the spot because he was just enthusiastic, but I was mortified and not ready to be sharing such truths.
Post Pilates and embarrassing myself in front of my superior, we were trying to pick a jeweler and also pretty hungry. Averaging the two, we picked something nearby a sandwich shop. And that’s how we roll.
When we finally got there I let Mister Red do the talking. Fortunately for me, my partner is a people person. Seriously, he’s a professional host, you should really hire him for your next event so you can attend your own party, it’s amazing.
This sales lady, Ruth, and Mister Red were chatting it up while she learned our names like all good sales people do. She helped another tall handsome man earlier by the same name, a firefighter. Blah, blah, blah, meanwhile I’m silently panicking as I glance around at all the sparkly things. My Nana is pretty into the bling so I’ve seen my fair share of glitz before, but I’ve never owned anything of the sorts.
So I was me and… I hardly said a word. Very passively smiling and nodding looking around trying to keep the butterflies down and my feet planted. As a little girl on Christmas morning, I reacted the same way, stoic and about to upchuck. Remember, I’m not a fan of a wrapped present or an expected surprise.
I did not behave like the average chick shopping for engagement rings. I was a deer in headlights. Good thing Ruth was reminding me of my name every 10 seconds or I would have forgotten.
I did know one thing about my future engagement ring, I wanted an emerald cut. It turns out to be the most expensive. What can I say, champagne taste, beer pocketbook. I was shown a couple of different cuts for the sake of size, and noticed they didn’t have at all what I wanted when Ruth interrupted my thoughts.
“Let’s try this one on, just to see the size of the diamond and how the cut looks on you.”
Ruth smiled and took my hand, which was shaking rather noticeably. “Ooooo! You have nice long fingers,” she said. This was news to me, but what was weirder than her remark about flanges was how the ring looked on my finger.
I was not ready to make a decision. We tried on several more, and I left more confused than when I came in.
I do not recall any of my gal pals going ring shopping. Either that, or it didn’t impact them like it did me. I didn’t know it would be so chilling. I was giggling nervously for at least an hour after. I told Mister Red we might need to go to a couple more jewelers to try on a few more rings before I felt totally comfortable. Later we met Sister Spills and her BF for drinks to take the edge off. Mister Red announced the news, of course. But why was this news?
“So did you tell your mom?” Sister Spills asks buying into the whole hoopla.
“Awe hell no. The last thing she needs is encouragement.”
I waited at least two weeks to tell my mom. I wanted to assure her it was not a big deal, we were just looking and I was petrified. Of course after our previous fights over the wedding that had yet to be proposed, she learned to keep her excitement to herself. A couple weeks later she shares with me that she purchased several bridal magazines.
“Just to look!” she says, “Just looking.”
Come to find out, she cleared the shelves of the season’s bridal magazines (which are the size of encyclopedias). I was beginning to think she’d have the cake baked before he’s even down on one knee.
I got a little lightheaded picturing Mister Red on one knee. I began to doubt I’d ever be ready. Maybe I wasn’t the marrying type? Maybe I’m just one Barbie who doesn’t come with a Ken? I’m like forever Skipper.
I thought back through the events of the ring browsing and remembered what Ruth said when she met Mister Red, “A tall handsome firefighter by the same name came in just yesterday.” My late grandfather was a tall handsome firefighter. Creepy? I tried to find other signs of reassurance in dead relatives. My grandma Lily had passed before I turned 21, she always said she’d take me to Vegas, Red had taken me to his hometown of Las Vegas many times. My paternal grandfather always winked at me. If Red didn’t wink at me there would be none of this. Getting creepier?
If my mother is allowed to think the dog sent her a message via an elementary school closure it’s acceptable for me to believe I was given my grandfather’s approval from a zealous jewelry dealer. In fact, it was probably my dead grandfather who made it his personal deceased business Mister Red and I meet. I began to relax about the whole thing because it was clearly meant to be. People condone it from the grave.
Before I started comparing Mister Red’s behaviors to my dead cat (midnight snacking), I worked up the courage to set a few things straight regarding my hand.
“If you’re going to propose there are a few rules.”
“Okay…?” He didn’t expect rules.
“You can’t let me see it coming. Buy the ring, but then don’t get all dancey and excited and blow the whole thing.”
“I can’t be expecting it, I’ll have too much anxiety about the whole event to be happy, and it will be weird and then we’ll have this awful engagement story about how I had bad lunch face.”
“Alright, I’ll try.”
“No, you cannot let me know. AT ALL.”
“Okay, you got it. What else?”
“Whatever you do, don’t do it at a restaurant. The whole eating thing… no, not while on one knee and a napkin on my lap. Don’t let me say ‘yes’ with a napkin on my lap!”
“Got it, no restaurant. What about a baseball game?”
I shot him a glare. “This isn’t the time for jokes.”
“I wasn’t joking.”
“You don’t even like baseball.”
“I know I was joking.”
“Just don’t let me know it’s coming.”
“But you’re going to say yes?”
He didn’t like that, but it didn’t deter him. He knows I’m going to say yes. We’d skip the ring, the planning, and the wedding to elope if my mother didn’t tell Mister Red she would murder him if he let that happen. She literally said she’d kill him.
A couple of weeks later I was asked to be a bridesmaid for the 6th time, and it stung just a little. “Always a bridesmaid,” I sulked. But wait, I’m petrified of this whole event, I curl up into a ball when discussing the wedding that has yet to be proposed. I shouldn’t be jealous, it should be more practice so I don’t run scared screaming when it happens to me.
I don’t know if I’m ready, or if I’m not ready, or maybe it’s just gas. I do know that Mister Red is the fork to my spoon, the butter to my toast, the plug to my outlet. Who else is going to throw pens at hipsters in traffic, watch 60 Minutes, and call his Dr. Dad every time I have a bladder infection? He makes a good companion, even if he doesn’t have enough money to buy me a rock just yet, and my dead relatives agree.
Maybe we won’t have a million and ten babies, maybe we won’t be rich, maybe we’ll just continue to look horrible on paper and fight uphill battles on fixed gear bikes. Maybe he’ll wait seven more years to propose and drive my mother nuts. Maybe that’s just fine. It’s not the ring that matters. Rings can be given back, pawned off, and traded in for hard cash.
I only needed to know one thing.
“Can you see yourself with me for the rest of your life?” I asked, whole-heartedly.
“Sure. If I squint,” he said with out batting an eye. It really is his personal mission to make me laugh. I can’t help but love the man with a sense of humor, and he does have a grin like a Ken doll. If his head doesn’t pop off I think we might actually make it down the aisle—
Before the end of time.
August 12, 2014 § 1 Comment
No matter how hard you try you can’t hide on the internet. If you have a digital footprint, you can be followed and found. By anyone, any where. Pretty creepy. Facebook is a place where you can be your own number one fan. Twitter is a dump where people throw trash in 140 characters into the landfill of tweets. Linkedin is Facebook with a necktie (we talked about ties last week, you know what that means). Youtube is the poor man’s TV. Flickr is living out your fantasy of being a photographer. MySpace lost to Facebook a while ago. Google+ is for the anti-facebook community but it’s not really catching on, so I guess Facebook won again. Instagram is the hipsters’ Flickr. Tumblr is for people with short attention spans. Yelp is for complainers. Tinder is for the horny. You get the idea.
What I’ve been spending some time on lately is Pinterest. I’ve rekindled my love affair with a visual to-do, to-want, to-buy, to-make list of things. Has anyone figured out how long it would take to do everything on each of their boards. Probably more time than I have to live.
Anyway… Behold the online incarnation of the vision board. You can’t tweet your darkest secrets but you can pin them. Basically Pinterest is for stealing. Stealing ideas and looks from websites, other pinners. Stealing DIY projects, outfits, hairstyles, recipes, stealing hopes and dreams. With brides you can only imagine how ugly this might get.
I’m okay with this digital kleptomania. In fact, it’s super fun. Here are a few reasons I have an interest in Pinterest.
1. Pinterest. Because it’s curbing my Facebook habit.
2. Pinterest. Because even though I’m surfing the web for hours on end, I feel like I’m actually doing something.
3. For every healthy recipe I pin there are five I should never make.
5. People WANT you to repin, unlike on Facebook where people get lynched for stealing a status update.
6. Pinterest. Because it’s never to early to start planning your wedding.
7. Making a visual list of projects you will never have time to complete because you spend too much time on Pinterest.
8. Pinterest. Because there are too many inspirational quotes to commit to memory.
10. Sure it looks great on the model, but probably hideous on me. I’m going to pin it anyway.
11. Pinterest told me eyelet skirts and cut off jean shorts are in for spring. I don’t want to get left behind.
12. Pinterest is making a bucket list of all the places I can only dream of seeing. Then making me more depressed because I’ll probably just live vicariously through these pictures.
13. I just didn’t know hair could do that until I pinned it.
14. Pinterest. Because maybe he’ll see the cut of diamond I like. Would save him a lot of trouble.
15. Pinterest. Because I haven’t lusted after famous dudes since I cut out pictures of hot guys from BOP and Tiger Beat in 5th grade.
17. Pinterest. It’s the sorority that everyone who pledges becomes a sister. But they’ll make you wait.
18. Because there are so many shoes I just have to pin.
19. Pinterest. Because people who sell stuff on etsy don’t have much of a budget for advertising.
20. Pinterest because you can stop a friend from purchasing something horrible. Like an orange couch.
21. Because I will never EVER be able to afford that bag, but I want it sooooo bad.
Stay clever, Pinners! Promote small business and artists. Want, pine, like, steal and pin forth toward inspiration for all areas of your life. #PINNING!!!
August 6, 2014 § Leave a comment
(BUT YOU DO!) 1. “Relax Your Shoulders” needs to be a bumper sticker. I think the highway would be a better place if everyone’s shoulders weren’t stressed out to their ears. Whatever you are doing, whenever you are doing it, think about where you put stress first. It’s usually your shoulders and neck. I can’t tell you how many times a day I say, “relax your shoulders” it has to be close to 100 over the course of three classes and a couple private sessions. You are going to get football player neck… I know, I’m halfway there myself. 2. “Muscle Takes Up Less Space Than Fat” So don’t obsesses about numbers on the scale. Sometimes you feel smaller but the scale stays the same. If your clothes are loose, why do you care what the scale says anyway? I will never get the people who are crunching these numbers. When I watch the scale I get frustrated. I weigh about 140lbs give or take about 5 depending how and what kind of stressed out I am. Yeah, I said it. I don’t care. My clothes fit great, I feel great, and if I don’t stare too long at my naked pre shower body, I’m pretty confident about it. The number always seems heavier than I look cause I’m dense as all hell with my man arms. Ignore the scale, and buy a tape measure. The happiest weight is the number you maintain at your healthiest, by eating right and exercising regularly.
3. “You can target areas to tone, but not to lose” You can’t point at your thighs and say, “I want this gone.” If you are changing your eating habits and exercise in the hopes to become healthier and lose weight, you don’t get to pick an choose what goes and what stays. Boobs are going to shrink if the rest of you is shrinking. You can target areas to tone, but then you are building muscle in that area. If you want to build a butt, do some squats. If you want to lose the pooch, change your diet.
4. “Looking Good Is a Side Effect Of Healthy” So is feeling good! If you are focused on your health and not doing crazy juice cleanses to drop a few, before you know it you’ll be fitting into your skinny jeans for good. I see people go through the motions of a fit life in order to attain goals, but they these goals have no longevity without a full commitment to health. You will never “deserve” a banana split. It’s either for your health or it’s against it. You can’t be perfect all the time, but you never earn your right to be bad. Your hips always find out when you’ve eaten chocolate.
5. “Don’t Be Afraid Of Heavy Weights” If you lift the same weights you are not building muscle strength you are building muscle endurance. This cracks me up when female clients shy away from anything over 3lbs. I know they have babies four times that. If you can lift your baby, don’t be afraid to lift a dumbbell. A woman’s body will not bulk from a 10lb weight. But honestly, even if you do put on muscle, isn’t it better than fat? And whats so wrong with being strong?
6. “Watch Your Form” Prevent injury. The last thing we want to see in an injury. Slow it down, THINK about what you are doing and how you are doing it. Injuries are often results of human error. If you have a question about form, ask it (we love questions, bet you didn’t know that).
7. “Abs Are Made In The Kitchen” You can’t be fit on exercise alone. You are what you eat and all those other things. You can’t eat like a teenager forever. Changing your eating habits not only does the body good on the outside, but on the inside too. Look within your diet to change what is ailing you. Eating healthy will never hurt a preexisting condition.
8. “Switch It Up” Don’t do the same thing expecting different results is the definition of insanity, right? Right. Your body likes to be efficient and will burn less calories as it gets used to your exercises. You have to switch it up. When it gets easy, you are stronger. Time to make it hard again by trying something different.
9. “Hydrate, Eat Before a Workout” Yes in the morning too. If you are nauseous during a workout, chances are you didn’t eat. Banana, hard boiled egg, nut butter sandwich, and almonds are great grab and go items for early birds. Reach for water first, then the coffee.
10. “Make It Count” Or don’t. It’s your money and time. Do what you want with it. I’ve taught many places and I’m happy to finally find a place and clients that syncs with my style. When I take class, I don’t even want to take a water break or re-ponytail because I want to get the full benefit of everything the instructor is teaching. I don’t want to miss a single rep, or push, or go at half speed. If I’m feeling in top form I will push myself to try everything my body is capable of. We know the tricks: bathroom breaks, fixing your hair, water time out, chatting, waiting until the last second to get in position (sometimes these are legit, but sometimes they aren’t… you know who you are). Not every client is going to want to be at the workout. Not every client wants to work their hardest. But everyone who does will reach their goals faster. Which are you?