Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's me, evil twin Traycina.

I just switched this blog magically from one gmail account to another. Phew! I've been wondering how I could manage that without changing my blog address. Success achieved.

Now, being that my blog corresponds with my most used gmail account, it'll be easier for me to post more frequently!

Aren't you luckyyyy....

Stop the bus, I'm getting off!

Bus = Fairview.

I'm done! Wow!! I've been working there full time for over seven years. It's a bit unfathomable that I won't be doing the daily grind anymore. I won't be seeing the same faces, or doing my open enrollment, or coordinating the Holiday Giving Program (one of my favorite parts), or getting my benefits, or carpooling in the mornings with my hubby....

It's the end of an era.

And I'm going to sleep in tomorrow like I've never slept in before. Ahhhh.

Psych.

Here's an interesting article....

Someone posted it on the Nest and it sparked a bit of conversation today, from the legality of abortion to our own stance on the issue to our thoughts on addiction.

Here's my opinion... FYI, it's copied and pasted from the discussion. It's a lazy way to get a blog post out. :-)

This woman is nuts. Fucking nuts. And this situation bothers me a great deal.

While I don't consider it "murder" in the legal sense, it gives me a similar pit-of-the-stomach feeling when I hear of women abandoning their new born babies or murdering their children. So obviously this is my emotional response to the subject.

The thing that really bothers me is the fact that she is entertaining this odd control fantasy and almost "playing God" by conceiving and then killing a life. And she's doing it in a strange revenge sort of way that makes it even more concerning.

I think she needs SERIOUS psychological help. I'd consider her behavior to be beyond addiction and quite sociopathic. She has an unhealthy obsession with life and death and what lies in between.

-----------------

What do you think?

Consider me orientated.

Yes, I know that's incorrect.

Went to orientation yesterday to get me orientamated. Woo hoo. I was super anxious before getting there and then I realized it was just a boring school orientation :-)

Here's the breakdown:
- Check-in
- Pay kit fee (sadly, we didn't get the kits)
- Awkwardly look for seat
- Introduce self to girl sitting next to me
- ....and her mother... ? Oh, she's 18, got it
- Look around room
- Judge people (see below)
- Watch DVD about Aveda
- Play getting to know you game (see below)
- Listen to admissions lady talk about policies, dress code, blah blah blah
- Take ID picture (good thing I look decent)
- Done more than 1.5 hours before it's supposed to "end" (nice scheduling, folks)

First, I'd like to address the "getting to know you game." You've all played it before. It's a piece of paper that has a grid with boxes in which are phrases like "Has been to Europe" and "Has never broken a bone." You go around to see who's name you can fit in the boxes. Except they made theirs into a bingo, and made it a competition.... so it was done in like 2 minutes, if that. Wow, because I really got to know so many people (the three at my table and three-four others) during that process.

FAIL.

Secondly, the people..... the judging... You could feel the eyes glaring around the room giving each other the once-over. I like to think that when I do such things, pan across a group and judge people, at least I look fairly pleasant and normal doing so. Not so for Ms. Stink Eye over there.... couple that with the overdramatic hair toss and I'm practically laughing aloud at the ridiculousness. And the hairstyles... my my, the hairstyles....

To be honest, the judgmental behavior is a bit of my concern for my new career. While I'm a self-declared amiable person, I wonder what it'll be like to be surrounded on a daily basis by vanity and cattiness. Will I constantly have to endure characters straight out of "The Plastics?"

OK, I'm thinking too hard about this post.... ciao for now!

Monday, October 5, 2009

New Neighbor!

I had a date Saturday at 11am with a good friend of mine over at the Original Pancake House. YUM. I'd been craving it since the last (and only other) time I had been there with my lovely cousin. I'll say that despite the very long wait, the Pumpkin Pancakes were TOTALLY WORTH IT. I got a half order with the pecans on top, then added a little butter, little syrup and the very tiny side of whip cream it comes with and was practically drooling WHILE I ate them.

But alas, this is not the intent of my post. Although I seriously wish I could have some of those pancakes RIGHT NOW.

I left my house at about 10:40 that morning (ok, it was more like 10:45 which made me a bit late to Plymouth despite driving 72mph in the carpool lane) and mere moments before I walked out the door, my landlord had come and gone unbeknownst to me. When I stepped out the door and saw the "FOR RENT" sign in the lawn, I was totally bewildered! Huh? I'm being kicked out? Oh, maybe it's the people downstairs... yeah, that's it. I wonder what the new neighbors will be like.....

So off I went to OPH to indulge in delicious hot pumpkin pancakes with said pancake friend (she went bananas...banana pancakes, that is). During our 45-50 minute wait and outpouring of conversation (we like to talk), she mentioned the fact that she's looking for apartments. HEY! I have one of those! I mean.... one that I know is open! And..... it happens to be next door! (If it's below you, is it still considered "next door?")

We discussed things like her fear of change (she's a suburban girl, you know), proximity to her job, traffic, blahblahblah, and it started to sound like she was willing to consider it! YAY!

So, after breakfast, she followed me home to take a good look around my place and LOVED it! I told her I had no idea what the downstairs would look like, but I kind of gave her my forecast. She was so excited at the prospect, she immediately emailed our landlord and ended up scheduling a showing for Sunday (yesterday!) at 12:30.....

Well, the lease is all but signed!!! I'm going to have an awesome, fun, wonderful, great, super, lovely, cool new neighbor!!!!! And I'm PUMPED!

Earworm.

If you haven't figured it out, my newest TV love is GLEE. It's a funny, highly entertaining, slightly inappropriate show (nothing like a high school choir singing "Push It" by Salt n' Pepa) about a high school show choir. (It's creator, Ryan Murphy, also created an old fave, Popular.)

There is, however, one slight problem.....

I CAN'T GET THE SONGS OUT OF MY HEAD!!!!!

Last week's episode, The Rhodes Not Taken, ended with a jaw-dropping rendition of Queen's Somebody to Love. I'm not lying to you when I say that I've listened to this about 100 times since the show aired....

Click here for video with sound. Now, tell me you don't want to listen to that a hundred more times!

I'm looking forward to this week's episode partly so I can get this song out of my head and replace it with a new one. Prior to the rockin' Queen song, I was all about this one.

Who knows what's on the docket for this week? I can't wait to find out!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

You were always on my mind.

It's a simple fact of adulthood that life can be tough, crappy and downright awful at times. And the reality is that there are many among us enduring such situations. Those close to me have certainly been on my mind lately.

When I pray for someone, I always visualize the person I'm praying for curled up and sleeping peacefully in big, soft, cozy, caring hands. God's hands. No aches, no pains, no anxieties, no fears. Just peace, comfort, love and much-needed solace from whatever may be troubling them.

It looks a little something like this....

Photobucket

You may find it strange or lame or cheesy, and that's okay. You do what you do, and I'll do what I do. The imagery is very emotionally effective to me. I sometimes will think of myself in the same position when the world has me down. It's a very peaceful thought.

Anyways, as I mentioned above, there are a number of friends and family members that are on my mind and in my prayers. Job losses, relationship troubles, new babies, financial woes, mental and physical health issues, etc. I hope they find the peace they're seeking.

Photobucket
photos courtesy of sewell photography

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's a good day.

My hubby is 36 today!





He doesn't look it at all - no grays, bright eyes, youthful disposition, video games... - but his wisdom gives him away. I mean, he'll initially talk gaming geekery, college football and beer, indicating that perhaps he is a twenty-something, but get him drunk and he talks metaphysics, spirtituality, religion and existentialism. (Note that he'll talk about those when sober, too, it's just a bit of an outpouring when he's in his cups...)

I'm sure I don't really NEED to tell all of you, but I feel like it anyway.... I love this man. From the big beautiful brown eyes and long eyelashes (that I know he'll give to our babies someday), to the little curl in his widow's peak, to the tips of his toes, I love him. It's funny - a few years back he got his "birth certificate" (the souvenier version the hospital gives you) from his mom and hit had his lil' baby footprints on it..... SO CUTE! His tiny feet looked exactly the same (but mini!) as his feet do now :-)



But, there's a lot more to love than just his pretty face and baby feet.... He's a wonderful husband, a good friend and a great person. The rest, I'll save for him!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Miscellaneous thoughts for a Wednesday afternoon.

1. I can't handle crazy people.

2. This website cracks me up -- who doesn't feel like they could start their own blog of this nature? www.myhusbandisannoying.com (love you, Bri)

3. I thoroughly enjoy having heart-to-hearts with friends. I crave it sometimes.... neigh, often. It makes me feel like a good friend to be entrusted with intimate details and listen while they talk things out. I love my friends and like feeling close to them.

4. I just caught up with episodes of GLEE and totally love it. If you haven't watched it yet, check out the pilot episode on hulu.

5. It's time for me to leave work! Hooray!

Finally.

I have officially secured funding for my entire Aveda Institute tuition.



So suck it, Financial Aid process.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

As it should be.

Financial Aid is frickin' difficult. The process is complicated, confusing, and *just for amusement* a pain in the ass. Here's my latest:


Aveda: Go to this website and apply for your Stafford Loan.

Stafford site: Sign your loan with your handy dandy PIN.

Me: <<enters PIN>> Huh, this was *surprisingly* easy.

Stafford site: Oh shoot, your last name on your App and your last name on your PIN don't match. Go apply for a new PIN.

Me: Futher muckers.

PIN site: I will fuck your shit up.

Me: Yeah, I know...

PIN site: Click here to apply for a PIN.... fill in all this information... and this... enter your SSN 6 times... oh wait, it looks like you already have a PIN. You can't do this then. Sorry!

Me: So.... ok back to main menu, how about Update PIN info...

PIN site: Thanks for coming in to update! Change anything but your last name and SSN!

Me: BALLS.

PIN site: If you want to change your name, you'll have to update it with the Social Security Administration. Then after you do that, you'll see rainbows and fairies and puppies and ice cream!! And we'll give you a LOAN! Hooray!!!

Me: .....I did that in JANUARY...

.....

So then, I decide mayhaps I should email their customer service peeps to see what the fug is up. And I get copy & pasted responses THREE SEPARATE TIMES telling me to apply for a new PIN. APPLY FOR A NEW PIN they say.... sheesh, what a clever idea except it's NOTFUCKINGWORKINGSGSHDKFJHKSDF.

::::shoots self in face::::

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Back in action.

After a nice lonnng weekend, an adventure to Chicago and a crazy return back to work, I am here. Have thought a few times about blogging, but I'm not entirely sure that I have a true theme for this post.... it might be one of those boring life updates where I tell you about the lame minutae of my days and "this is what I ate for breakfast kind of crap." Lucky you.

But, in actuality, it's just going to be this teaser of a post. Things are just nuts here and I can barely formulate a thought, and those I can muster up are to be used for figuring out my financials for school.

Did you know I go to Orientation in TWENTY days?!? omg. And school starts a week after that! Craziness!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

HHH.

I'm here at the MSP airport typey typing on my Blackberry. I don't usually utilize my phone like this because... I'm not sure why not. I think it costs me everytime I use the interwebz, and I pay a bajilliondy dollars to begin with, but hey I'd pay as much or more for an Us Weekly, so there.

If you're unawares, I'm heading off for a long-overdue trip to Chicago to visit friends Kelly and Dana. I've only been "hoping" to visit since we parted ways from Drake 7 years ago... Well, they moved to Chicago post-grad in 05.

So anyway, I've sadly never been to Chicago. I'm a bit of a homebody, if you didn't know, and haven't done nearly enough adventuring. I hate the assumptions people make about those who are not well-traveled.... Like I'm some kind of Midwestern country bumpkin. Hrmphf. I've been to Europe, bitches, leave me alone! (Granted I was 17 and had my entire trip planned out for me...)

Anywhodiddles, I best be finishing my cold press so I can mosey to my terminal.

:::looks at clock:::

I have 50 minutes before scheduled departure. Perhaps you'll see a second Post in a bit...

OK byeeeee

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ask, and ye shall receive.

Dammmmn, I'm on a roll! Three in 24 hours? Awesome. And just watch, I'll stop then for like two weeks. Hehhh.

Did you know that I'm off to CHICAGO tomorrow? Yep! TOMORROW!!!!! I haven't even started packing. Whoops. But I'm going to visit old friends, and while they're very cool and stylish, I'm sure they won't mind if I look like normal old me ;-)

I'll be visiting Kelly and Dana, college friends from yesteryear. Kelly lives in Lincoln Park, with her fluffy kitty Zek and her pup Drake (clever, yes?) - I'm looking forward to simple moments of sitting on the couch laughing and chatting, and of course looking forward to exploring Chi-town, USA.

Any of you have favorite places in Chicago? I'm thinking I might need to see their M.A.C store!

Kelly is also super fashion gal. I'm going to feel like a total slob standing next to her, but that's okay! I figure I'll just do awesome makeup to compensate. And speaking of fashion, how great are these adorable booties???

All in all, I'm really excited for the trip and surprisingly not anxious or nervous like I normally would be. I know these girls will make me feel right at home :-)

Now.... off to the ATM for some spending money!! Teeheehee...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

That felt good. How about another?

I enjoy writing. And I also enjoy communicating with people. So it's safe to assume that I enjoy blogging. Although they say that "assumptions make an ASS out of U and .... MPTION" (?), in this case it is truth.

Now, it's no secret, however, that I struggle from time to time with nailing down a topic or really committing to a post. I'll start writing something and whaddya know, I'll drift away (mentally or otherwise) never to return again. Sighhhhh. I blame ADHD. And a lot of blinky lights and move-y things in our house. OK not really, but sometimes the TV is on, and damn that Brian for trying to talk to me while I'm on the computer! Oh and those very very few occasions that I try to bust out a post while at work. It's hard to allow free flowing thought while minimizing your window every 90-120 seconds. (They're watching meeee!)

OK, so there's a relatively interesting intro.... now what? Do I tell you about my awesome writing skillz? Or about my long struggle with ADHD and how it's BLINKY LIGHT!

I'm sorry, where was I....

Nah, I think for now I'll really just ramble a bit until I decide that my eyes are too blurry to see through and I best be getting to bed so I can more easily drag my butt out of bed tomorrow. Did you know that I am sooooooososososo not a morning person? Ask my husband. And my mom.

I get a good amount of motivation to post knowing that others are checking. I don't know how often you check or who you are always, but toss up a comment so I know I'm not writing to dead air space. I find that readers make me feel a bit more accountable for providing entertainment. I make no guarantees that the posts are, in fact, entertaining, but at least I'll typey type out a few coherent thoughts and hit the post button. (Ahh if only it were that simple.)

Speaking of ADHD and typey type, have you tried Twitter? It's like blogging for the ADHD mind -- short form, one sentence, here's my thought, annnnnd DONE. You can do it once a day or once every 30 minutes, depending on how many thoughts you have circling your brain. And NO, it's not like FB status updates where you merely tell people what you're doing at any given time... it's more like the "other" updates where you say interesting things like "Rachel Zoe is totally bananas, but needs to eat, you know, cheeseburgers" and "Would you rather be the top scientist in your field, or have mad cow?"

So I guess what I'm saying is that my blog will be about everything, and yet nothing. Whoa. <--Keanu-style

OK byeeeeeeee.
_____________________________

OMG UPDATE: I tried to post this and it went all FAIL on me and I thought I'd lost the WHOLE THING (which is like, crazy bad, because this was the prologue to my autobiography), and I was about to say "f_ck this sh_t, I'm never f__ing blogging again because this is clearly a sign from GOD that it's not meant to be, and my career as a blogger/writer is over!!!" and then throw my computer down and go wash my face and brush my teeth and get ready for bed. Booyah.

But it turns out it's okay! I'm gonna copy this before I try hitting "publish post" again..... juuuust incase.

If this post and I don't make it thru the night..... come find me on twitter.

Hmmm.... which is best?

So here's a question only you fine folks can help me answer....

When I'm in school, after I've completed the "alpha phase" (first 16 weeks), we have the option of going to the second shift, meaning M-F from 12noon to 9pm. This would be instead of the Tu-Sat 8:30 to 5pm "standard" schedule. I honestly don't know which one I'm leaning towards....

Initially, I'm tempted to say the second shift: I'd have my Saturdays free! But the thought of losing ALL my weeknights is a bit displeasing.... and honestly, would I really get ANYTHING done between waking and starting school at noon? Unless you call getting up at 9:30am, surfing the internet, watching "10 Years Younger" on TLC and putting on makeup for a good hour "getting something done." My guess is no.

The other part to this pros v cons conundrum is a big motivator: TIPS. When you're a student at Aveda and performing services on client on the floor, you don't get any part of the flat cost, but the tips are allll yours to keep... !! That means I'm making money while in school..... to pay off my student loans of course ;-) Seriously though, do you think I'd be more successful with 5 weekday evenings, or 4 weekdays and a FULL Saturday? My inkling is toward the former, but perhaps I underestimate the power of a weekday.

Thoughts of the two options swirl around my head.

While I'm tempted by the 12-9 M-F, I honestly feel the original schedule is the better choice. It offers me weeknights (to spend time with my hubs, part time job, etc.), gets me out of bed to have a full and effective day, allows me to keep my Friday evenings, still gives me Saturday evenings and Sundays, AND I'll get full Mondays with which I may do whatever I please (exciting things like doctor/dentist appts and trips to the DMV! Hooray!).

What do you think sounds like the better option? Share your thoughts with the group?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Why hello again, 18. And hey there, 27.

My skin is breaking out like MAD this past week!!! Horomones are apparently fluctuating, and I think I'm wearing my fair food on my face.... :-/ BOO! It's definitely a hinderance on my birthday week joy. I feel like a slimey greaseball and I HATE that feeling. Add that on to the warmer temps and lack of A/C at home and suddenly I'm a sweaty slimey greaseball. Yay me.

So, I've been debating what kind of present I might want from my hubby. Essentially, since we're getting tight on funds before school and since we share all funds he just asks what I want and gets it for me! I'm 50% "yay present!" and 50% "ehh that money could be better utilized..."

This is what I was touching on last post when I said that I'm caught between practicality and frivolity.... do I get something practical like comfy nice black close-toed shoes that I'll wear daily for school? Or something more fun like the home decor items that I'd picked out from Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware? OR, I could go entirely practical and tell him to transfer $100 to savings and skip the gift stuff altogether.

What might these two things have to do with one another? I ventured to Sephora tonight in the hopes of utilizing my 10% off Beauty Insider VIB coupon, spending my $20 giftcard (thanks to the Rohnes) and finding some sort of skin product that would make me feel fab. Well, wouldn't you know there was an Esthetician from MD Skincare right there in the store :-) I walked away with this cleanser and this peel system thanks to my lovely husband and his birthday gift to me -- shopping :-)

Wish me luck! I'll let you know how it goes!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hey, turns out you're reading this!

Not sure who you are, though. Just saw on my google analytics that you're here -- some directly, some from emailing links in gmail, some from who knows where. But the good part is that you're here.

A few things:
1. I saw the Green Durango in it's usual parking spot a few weeks ago..... I shook my head.
2. School starts six weeks from yesterday and I'm freaking a bit. Trying to get loans and such in order while also maintaining some sanity.
3. My birthday is Friday and... well... I just don't feel it. This week is a bit stressful, after all. But still.... sad face at you, 27 :-(
4. The combination of financial anxiety before school and my birthday makes for a hard choice between practicality and frivolity. I try to strike a balance, but it's harrrrrrrrd. Especially considering I've been searcing websites and picking out things I love but can't have. Namely house decor and the like. Sighhhh.

OK, I'm about to crash sitting here in the recliner. Ta ta, lovely friends!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Beauty in the eye of the beholder

It's no wonder that we have unrealistic beauty standards. Look at this:

Congrats to the photo editing team at Victoria's Secret for successfully airbrushing out all signs of emaciation.

And don't even get me started on most mascara ads.

~~~~~~~~~~

On that note, I thought I would post images of beauty and the features I admire:

This first photo is not safe for work -- it's of model Crystal Renn. I could fill this blog with images of her, as I find her absolutely stunning. And my beauty icon (I DIE for those eyebrows). She was formerly a high fashion model but depended on eating disorders to keep her there. She walked away from it to get healthy and is now a very successful plus-size model.

OK, just a few more pics of her.....



In a stark contrast to Crystal's soft, feminine look, here are some beautiful photos of athleticism and strength.

Hilary Swank in an awesome ad/mag shoot

This chick is a javelin thrower from Paraguay... who knew! I wonder if modern medicine has perfected leg transplants yet.
Gymnasts and ballerinas astound me with their musculature and power. The balance and technique require lots of amazing, tiny muscles that my body can't comprehend.





And Gabrielle Reece is just.... I would honestly kill for this body

Others I'd like to mention (aka aspects of my friends I totally envy!):
- Erin's blue eyes, great teeth and rockin' body
- Kate's thick hair, long lashes and hourglass shape
- Micaela's runners legs and long 'n' leanness
- Bridgett's gorgeous hair and pretty hands
- Andrea's radiant skin, lovely curls and bedroomy eyes
- Ana's adorable smile, graceful neck and great legs
- Angie's perfect skin and cheekbones
I could go on and on and on and on about my beautiful friends..... and if you want me to, just ask :-)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Why, God, Why?

I am STILL somehow stuck in a blog rut. I thought separating out my beauty stuff over to my new beauty blog would be helpful! But apparently not. I guess the details of my every day existence seem too mundane for the likes of y'all.... whomever you are out there.

Will pull through somehow, someday!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

THE update:

I signed my life away at Aveda the other day. Oooooo!!! It's very very exciting and very TERRRIFYING at the same time. I'm thrilled at the prospect of getting a formal education in something that's been a long-time passion, but also scared at all the risk involved in delving into a new industry, especially one as fickle and inconsistent as beauty.

A few things:

I have to wear all black all the time: full-length pants, solid black tops and close-toed shoes. This means my wardrobe needs some serious updating. I have two pairs of black pants - one that's a little tight (ehhh) and one that's 3" too long on the leg (regulars are way short and talls are too long...). I have maybe two solid black tops that will suffice. And as for pairs of shoes - there's ONE I could last in all day. OY. I forsee a couple of bucks being spent on clothes to last me my 11 months of school. Huzzah.

I messaged my stylist, Kim at Cole's Salon Eagan Station, via Facebook and told her the good news. I also asked if she had any names I could contact to inquire about potential jobs upon graduation.... WELL, Kim said that Nikki (a girl I went to HS with who has worked reception at Coles for years) had mentioned me to their manager, as had Kim, so now the manager is all excited to meet me! I haven't even STARTED school yet, and I'm already desirable. What an awesome feeling!!!

OK, that's all for now!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wake Up!!!

I found this on YouTube and HAD to share.

This piece was something we did in high school. It was an instant favorite because of the strong emotion and amazingly uplifting ending. We sang it as our final piece at our senior choir concert and cried like little girls (especially you, Katie G).

You MUST follow along with the lyrics, as the poetry is 50% of the beauty of this piece.

Your heart and soul will rejoice right along with it, I promise!



I dreamed a dream,
a silent dream of a land not far away
where no bird sang, no steeples rang, and teardrops fell like rain.

I dreamed a dream; a silent dream.
I dreamed a dream of a land so filled with pride
that every song, both weak and strong, withered and died.

I dreamed a dream
No hallelujah; not one hosanna!
No song of love, no lullaby.
And no choir sang to change the world.
No pipers played, no dancers twirled.
I dreamed a dream; a silent dream.

Awake, awake! Soli deo gloria! Awake, Awake!
Awake my soul and sing, the time for praise has come.
The silence of the night has passed, a new day has begun!

Let music never die in me; forever let my spirit sing!
Wherever emptiness is found let there be joy and glorious sound.

Let music never die in me; forever let my spirit sing!
Let all our voices join as one to praise the giver of the sun!

Awake, awake! Let music live!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ouf.

Pool time was rough on Sunday. Weather was beautifully perfect. Company was wonderful (Ana, Andrea, Alishia and Katie Z. (and hubby)). Hangover was unbelievably awful.

Yay :-/

(Let's just say that there was some vomiting involved. Kids, don't drink and hottub at the same time. It's bad for you.)

Friday, July 24, 2009

POOL TIME!

This weekend marks the start of POOL TIME for me!!! I'm soooo excited.
Check your phone for a text from me and let me know if/when you're coming. I'm assuming there will be plennnnty of people out there, since it's opening weekend, but I'll get down there early to grab a good spot (our corner).
Yay sunshine!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Housing Update!

OK, time to talk about something happeeeeeey!

As you may or may not know, B and I are moving mid-August. HOORAY!!! We're headed to NE Minneapolis and are thrilled at the coming change.

The purpose of our relocation is to be closer to school for me (so I can walk, bike, or bus there) and to "downsize" in terms of cost.

And also to get out of the effing Burlington.

Although I can't hate it as much now that the pool opened yesterday....!!!

Our new place is an upper unit duplex. It has refinished (aka "gleaming!) hardwood floors, original woodwork around the "archways" and windows, updated kitchen, clawfoot tub, a cute front porch and other fun. There are some really great features about this place. The rent was the cheapest we found, the landlord is great and really put together, it has free laundry, storage in the basement, good space in the kitchen.... oh yeah, and we get our own front door. Finally!

Here are a few pics for your viewing:


Front of house (duhr). We're the upstairs unit. See the cute porch? I can't wait to put flowers and chairs and a table out there :-)


Front-side: windows along the side there are living room, dining room (2), kitchen (2) and then a strange little porch. I think we'll put a trash bin there. Or recycling. Or the kitties when they're nauuuughty.


Kitchen (duhrrr): only this wall has cabinets, but there's a big original built in on the other side. Stove is gas (victory) and there's room in the center for an island/cart of some sort.



The right door leads into the bathroom, and the left door to the 2nd bedroom/"guestroom" (back right corner of house)


And here's my dorked up little floor plan (not actual size) -- you can click it to see the image full size.


Cute place, yes? We're very excited. You can certainly expect more pictures to come as we head back in once we're "tenants."

HOORAY!!!!!!!

Ponderings

I'm having a hard time today. I've had a lottt to think about lately on this subject and it hasn't become any easier.

I sort of feel like I've been tossed back into grade school, what with all the friend drama and fluctuating alliances. Honestly, I didn't sign up for this, I never meant to get in this deep. I'm past grade school, past college and no longer need to entertain faux friendships. Or so I thought.

Life is seemingly all about politics. And I hate that. No, not just in your work life / professional life. Personal relationships have their own version. Some know how to play the game better than others. Some don't. It gets confusing, frustrating and often times you end up getting hurt.

But alas, at this point in the state of things, it's best to just get through things as cleanly and smoothly as possible; I need to ride it out a bit longer and then the charade can end. I want SO BADLY to deal with it now, directly, plainly, simply and maturely, but that's not what's best for those I care for.

What happened?? How did I get to this point in my life where my friends give me this much anxiety and worry? I stay up at night thinking about it, I cry because I feel lonely with no one to talk to (well, Brian listens, but I feel bad for dumping on him), and I fear what may become of certain friendships if I acknowledge my feelings aloud.

I'm very honestly and truly hurt. Why did I waste my time entertaining all of this bullshit? I knew it wasn't the real thing over a year ago, and yet here I am.

So.... if you look at your "list" and think about calling those friends in your time of need, who do you trust to pick up the phone?

I need a hug.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

It's time.

"I just feel like I have so much to say but no good place to share it. Oh wait, that blog thing...."

HEY, friends! It's me :-)

Bet you've stopped reading.

Well, things have been really busy. Really frickin busy. Between twice weekly softball games, trying to find a new place to live, visitors, showers, friends, clients, and family stuff, my head is kind of spinning!

The best bet for me is always an outline format. Eliminates that whole extra complication of transitions....

1. The pool is still fucking closed. Softball friend Taylor just moved to the Burlington and can see the progress (whereas my place doesn't have a view). Let's just say that there isn't any. I'm seriously furious and it's definitely caused a big hit to my emotional health.... it's the absolute foundation of my happiness in the summer months and now every nice day I get serious pangs of anxiety feeling like I should be out, by water, somewhere. Hey doc, I need a boost in my SSRI dosage.... yep.

But is there anything I can do about it? It was estimated to be finished by, well, yesterday, and clearly isn't anywhere close. I wish I could get a discounted rent, but I'm afraid to ask....

2. Business is good. Not referring to my day job, obviously. Although that's fine as well. I've booked a number of clients and just did two last week. I'm thinking of starting a separate blog through my makeup website detailing some of my work with the clients and such. Kind of make it a bit more personal and make the potentials and even those that I've already booked feel a little more "in" on the inner-most workings of the arteeest.

So, here's the schedule:
June 23rd -- did a boudoir session, super fun! I love doing these because of the extra "va va voom" factor. Everyone wants to vamp it up.

June 27th -- bride + others. Bride looked exactly like Kendra from Girls Next Door (except 35 and not annoying). Gorgeous!! Did her 15 year old daughter, and her 70 year old mother(s), so there was a good range.

July 11th -- another boudoir shoot shot by pal photographer "Callie V."
July 25th -- bride + others
August 8th -- bride + others
August 15th -- Erin's wedding!! Bride, mother, bridesmaids, self...
August 22nd -- Ashley's wedding to my cousin Mike!! Bride, bridesmaids....
September 12th -- Lisa's wedding!! Not sure of who....
September 26th -- Cretin Derham Hall homecoming girls
October 9th -- bride + others
October 17th -- bride + others

Then I start school on October 20th.... holy cow!

3. Softball is going -- and I have the MOTHER of all bruises on my right thigh. It's literally larger than my hand. It's about 6" in diameter. A fast hit, low-flying ball took a hop off the ground and nailed me. Yeeeowtch!

We WERE doing great until we had a game cancelled -- we've tanked ever since.

4. That's all I can manage for right now.... because otherwise I'll get distracted and never finish.

Hope you've enjoyed!

Friday, May 22, 2009

How to start a fun weekend.

I made the mistake this morning of stepping on my scale. I hope to God I was wearing 40-lb pants.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Summer Lovin'

For years, Erin and I have discussed making a list of "to dos" for the summer months. This year, we've decided to actually buckle down and do it. Here are some ten thoughts I just came up with:

1. Get a sweet tan, and some super sexy tan lines to match

2. Bar hop - high on the list are those with great patios: Stella's, Cowboy Slims, Brit's, Psycho Suzi's, Solera, Billy's..... Drink Uptown if I'm desperate ;-)

3. Attend a BBQ

4. Go to a beach in town - feel sand between my toes.

5. Bike

6. Walk

7. Grill food

8. A trip to the cabin with my fantabulous cousins

9. Have a sleepover with girlfriends

10. Go hiking with my hubby. I love being outdoors but have a hard time getting myself out the door..... I hope to change that this year!

Ask.... and ye shall receive.

At the request of a reader, I am blogging more to give you some workday entertainment. I'm not sure if that's what this can be defined as, but at least it's something to do. Yah? Yah.

I'm currently reading Angels & Demons (Dan Brown) and can't put it down. I read DaVinci Code years ago, right before the movie came out, and have to say that I like this one better! It's got such a driving mystery - clues, secrets, murders, shock, suspense - and couples with great historical background on the Vatican and Catholicism, making it a very entertaining read.

Sometimes it's hard not to get wrapped up in the story and details, considering all the factual references. This, I imagine, is why there were so many crazies after the DaVinci Code came out..... It would, however, be SUPER cool to do an adventure through Rome seeing all the sites outlined in the book. Lordy Christ, I need to travel.

That's all for now. Wow, that's incredibly boring. More later.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Don't forget -- Sunday Secrets 5/17

Oooops, I've missed these!

If you haven't seen it before POST SECRET is an art project - turned blog, book, and travelling art show - to which people send postcards with anonymous "secrets" written on them. (ALSO -- they post extra items on their Twitter page, so be sure to follow them there!)

I love Post Secret as it routinely makes me forget about my own problems, or makes me feel like I'm not the only one.... I'm not the only one with flaws, regrets, doubts, fears, or various idiosyncrasies or oddities. Different postcards help me reflect on different moments in my life and bring me momentary peace and "in-tunedness" with the world.... maybe it'll bring you the same.

TODAYS FAVORITES

It may not be the sender's intended message, but to me, this one represents that moment in a new relationship where some insecurities about your partner's past slowly surface. Some handle this moment better than others, of course, but it's still hard to imagine your one and only sharing intimate moments with someone else.
My mind shivers at the thought even six years later....



I love this partly for the sentiment behind it and partly for the execution. HA!
From a deeper perspective, I think of those with great bodies and terrible control issues, fear of aging, weight gain, etc., and/or are overly judgemental of others, and what might happen to that person when suddenly the body is changing before their eyes....

Remember me?

It's been awhile. You've probably stopped checking to see if I've even written because it's been so long. I've successfully driven away all five of my loyal readers. SIGH.

Things have been BUSY lately! Softball started on Tuesdays & Thursdays, I still have choir Wednesdays (and Sundays obv), I confirmed a start date with Aveda finally, so discussions and prep have started for that, we made a SECOND trip down to Madison for yet another wedding (WAY less trashy, in fact, not trashy at all), I put together my website and have been receiving some contacts (yay!).... it's nutty I tell you!

I don't have much to say at this point except SORRY! I'll blog again very soon, like 24 hours, so check back for something more interesting than all of this ^^ nonsense.

Ciao!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My New Website!

After discovering that my lovely friend Erin had linked my blog as my website in her wedding "vendors" listing, I decided it was time to toss something together.

Two days later and I have this:

KM makeup services

As I said, it's not a full-fledged work, and some pieces are missing, but should work well for all intents and purposes at this point in the process. I'm enjoying getting together a collection of photos of my work -- it's so fun to look back and remember those moments shared with friends.

Please let me know your thoughts and criticisms! And thanks to those that have already helped make it better :-)

xoxo,
KTM

Monday, May 4, 2009

Another Saturday, Another Gorgeous Bride!

This past Saturday, I had the privilege once again of doing makeup for a bride on her wedding day. What a fun experience this is! It brings me so much joy and fulfillment to make someone look and feel beautiful, especially on such an important day while surrounded by CAMERAS!

Saturday's bride, Jen, was so sweet and had such great features to work with. A beautiful bride, that's for sure. She has the most gorgeous green eyes with caramel brown in the center and holy schamoly lashes! I'll hopefully have pictures to share soon.

Some day in the near future, I'm going to create an online photo album of befores and afters of all sorts of friends, brides, etc. So look forward to that!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Don't Forget -- Sunday Secrets 5-3

This week's secrets are up!

Because I routinely forget, I post weekly reminders about Post Secret's "Sunday Secrets" ...to remind YOU to check them out!

If you haven't seen it before POST SECRET is an art project - turned blog, book, and travelling art show - to which people send postcards with anonymous "secrets" written on them. (ALSO -- they post extra items on their Twitter page, so be sure to follow them there!)

I love Post Secret as it routinely makes me forget about my own problems, or makes me feel like I'm not the only one.... I'm not the only one with flaws, regrets, doubts, fears, or various idiosyncrasies or oddities. Different postcards help me reflect on different moments in my life and bring me momentary peace and "in-tunedness" with the world.... maybe it'll bring you the same.

TODAYS FAVORITES


This one is because I secrely hope this was submitted by my friend Andrea.
Cuz' that would be awesome.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Night cheese.

How can you not love a TV show where Salma Hayek turns to Tina Fey and says "isn't there a Slanket somewhere you should be filling with your farts?"

Oh, and Tina Fey sings a song about night cheese.

Genious.

I look really good in shoulder pads!

Admittedly, I used to love watching the Golden Girls. Nothing better than a summer day as a 12-year old, sitting on the couch with a bowl of Ramen and "catching up" on Golden Girls, Murder She Wrote and Hogan's Heroes.

But somewhere along the way, I've forgotten that love. The Ramen noodles and oldies of my youth were replaced with the more grown-up choices like Pasta Roni and TLC / Bravo.

And then Bea Arthur passed. I've since found myself longing for the thrilling goings on of the fab four - hair styled with a pick, large costume earrings, and drapey nightgowns. So tonight, when I saw it on the TV listings, I couldn't NOT turn it on. Brian rolled his eyes. I felt my heart melt a little for the nostalgia.

I can't help but wonder what my days as a retired gal might be like. How long will my ol' man live? Where will I be? How can I get my salt and pepper locks to hold curl and puff up/feather out so my gold dangly earrings show??

I think it would be a wonderful thing, if widowed, to move in and live it up a bit with my girlfriends. I would certainly be sad to lose my husband, but it'd be fun to have a lil' ol' blue hair sorority! I sometimes get a bit sad that I never had the opportunity to live with girlfriends, but the prospect of doing so in my "golden years" brings a smile to my face. Ohhhh the shenanigans we'll get ourselves into.....

So.... who's with me??

Monday, April 27, 2009

We're years past "shotgun"...

This is killing you. You can't take it anymore. You're dying to know, aren't you.....

Alright then, here's the as-promised story of the WHITE TRASH WEDDING.

Background: this is Brian's 26-year old cousin that knocked up his girlfriend when they were 18 and then again at 20. While still living at home. Fast forward to Saturday.

To start, the ceremony was at 2pm at the courthouse. One could expect a 20-minute wedding, if that. The reception start time was listed as 6pm. Super. We skipped out on the tiny courthouse deal, and let Brian's parents go without us and hit the reception part. There was likely no way that all of the invited guests could fit at a courthouse wedding anyway.

So, onto the reception at the Monona Community Center. Picture it if you will: A small, 70's style gymnasium type room with a few strands of icicle lights, cafeteria tables lined up with plastic chairs, plastic table"cloths", fake lavender rose petals strewn across them with random glass containers in which swam purple beta fish.

Hope that set the tone and the ambience appropriately for you.

Now how about the food & beverage situation?? Always important in the wedding world. The tiny bar had a little soda station (the old kind with the four tappers you used to see at high school football games) set up next to it with plastic cups. Kids surrounded the machine. The bar itself was serving complementary Miller High Life in plastic cups. The champagne of beers if you will (which WAS consumed by the bridal party out of champagne glasses. Ironic, no?). Other than that, it was cash only.

It came time for the buffet, so folks started lining up..... we finally arrived at the buffet table to find styrofoam plates and plastic "silverware." They had run out of napkins. A couple of veggies & dip trays, followed by giant containers of potato salad (heavy on the mayo), pasta salad (very heavy on the mayo), and coleslaw (guess what? MAYO). A box of buns, and two trays with meat -- BBQ pulled pork and pulled turkey -- completed the spread. I ate all my veggies and one small pork sandwich. I didn't bother with the mayo-plus salads.

The cake, prominently displayed by the buffet, was an instant throwback to 1988. Tiers offset with little "bridges" in between upon which stood the little plastic (purple) bridal party, leading up to the top tier featuring the plastic bride and groom. And don't forget a red wine fountain positioned beneath the top tier. Everyone raved at how beautiful and what a masterpiece this cake was. The bride's neighborlady had made it. I'm pretty sure her name was Barb or Kathy or something.

But the real treat was the interesting crew of guests in attendance..... I can sum it up in one word: babymomma. OK, maybe that's two and maybe a few more words are necessary.... such as JEANS, t-shirts, baseball caps, drunks, flip flops, cigarettes, (short) sun dresses, unfortunate English usage, tattoos, hoop earrings, tennis shoes, "pimp hats"...... the list goes on. And LOTS of kids. My favorite was the 8 months pregnant girl (19 maybe?) wearing a SHORT blue sundress (spaghetti straps no less) with silver flip flops slow dancing with her man (baby daddy? not sure) while he grabbed her butt. Score dude, high five.

The highlights of the evening:

MUCH TO MY JOY, the cake was frickin' delicious. WAY TO GO, Connie!!!! or whatever your name was. Perfectly delightful lemon poppyseed with white buttercream. Yummmm. I had two pieces. But hey, I didn't have much dinner :-/

And the night was MADE when the DJ announced that the bride and groom requested that guests not clink their glasses to get them to kiss, but instead sing yadda yadda..... clink our glasses, you say? Um, excuse me... Mr. DJ.... may I briefly hearken back to the part in the story where I mentioned plastic cups and plastic "silverware?" Not much clinking to be done, eh?

We left still laughing....

HOWEVER, I do have to say that when budgets get cut, some otherwise "classy" brides & grooms eliminate things for their guests such as dinner, free alcohol / soda / bevs of any sort, dessert, and dancing while still expecting people to show up with gifts. This couple made sure to provide those items while remaining within their means, which is definitely worthy of praise. So CHEERS, Chris & April!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

ADHD about blogging: a collection of mini-updates

There are many times each week where I think of an idea for a blog post, but become so overwhelmed with the idea of said post that I just nix it all together. And then times where I have 10 potential ideas and don't know where to start.

This is the story of my life.

So rather than topical, organized posts.... I thought maybe I could just word vomit (in an outlined format, of course) about various stuff and things all in one place. Okay? Okay.

#1: Things are almost set for me to start school at Aveda on October 20th. HOORAY!

I'm really pumped at the thought of being a stylist! Colors, cuts, straightening, curling, men, women, children. I love hair! I cut Brian's hair the other night, and while it was a new "style" and new process (from his usual crew cuts), I think it worked out pretty well! The longer hair definitely hides mistakes better, which is nice ;-)

#2: Our six-month anniversary was yesterday. HOORAY!

We celebrated by spending two nights at my in-laws house on twin beds and going to the most white-trash wedding I have ever seen. OH, and 8 hours in a car together. FUN!!! I did get some sweet throw pillows out of the deal though.... so glad I told him that YES it's standard to get your wife a gift for your 6-month.

#3: I really love shopping.

My budget does not support my passion, however. This can be annoying at times. I did get a FANTASTIC new spring windbreaker the other day from, surprisingly, NY & Company. I'd written the place off as the sizing can be weird and the tops aren't big enough in the bust. But thanks to Melinda, we ventured in and I found this gem:
Cute right??

OK, that's all for now. More to come later tonight or tomorrow, including the fantastic tale of yesterdays super white-trash wedding!! I KNOW you want to hear all about it.... ;-)

Don't Forget -- Sunday Secrets 4-26

This week's secrets are up!

Because I routinely forget, I post weekly reminders about Post Secret's "Sunday Secrets" ...to remind YOU to check them out!

If you haven't seen it before POST SECRET is an art project - turned blog, book, and travelling art show - to which people send postcards with anonymous "secrets" written on them. (ALSO -- they post extra items on their Twitter page, so be sure to follow them there!)

I love Post Secret as it routinely makes me forget about my own problems, or makes me feel like I'm not the only one.... I'm not the only one with flaws, regrets, doubts, fears, or various idiosyncrasies or oddities. Different postcards help me reflect on different moments in my life and bring me momentary peace and "in-tunedness" with the world.... maybe it'll bring you the same.

TODAYS FAVORITES

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

Thank you, North Carolina....

...for not being a total fry in the Miss USA competition last night, unlike your friends Miss Arizona and Miss California.

The top 5 went into the Q&A segment. The first questions were easy and the second were more difficult, such as the questions asked of Arizona and California....

Miss Arizona: Keenan Thompson, celebrity pageant judge, asked if the USA should have healthcare coverage as a right of citizenship.

I can't find a quote, but she essentially dodged the question entirely, talking about politics and how she doesn't get into those arguements or something. It was weird.

Miss California: Perez Hilton, celebrity pageant judge, asked what her thoughts were on legalizing gay marriage in the US.

Her response: "We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised."

Which of course was met with mixed reactions from the crowd -- some certainly booed but others, being they were in Texas, cheered. It was really quite appauling.

First of all, NO. People can't choose same-sex marriage. That's the point of the question. (And WTF is opposite marriage??)

I understand that you feel in your church that marriage should be between a man and a woman - no government will force churches to start marrying gays. BUT, from a legal right perspective, don't you think the courts can allow them to marry?

Oh, and honey you may want to watch your back. There are plenty of gays in the pageant circuit, likely including but not limited to: your stylist, your hair dresser, your makeup artist, the pageant producers, etc. Not to mention the fact that you represent CALIFORNIA and they'll likely have a bit of backlash for you..... Good luck with that.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Don't Forget -- Sunday Secrets

REPOST -- This week's secrets are up!

Because I routinely forget, I've decided that I'm going to post weekly reminders about Post Secret's "Sunday Secrets" ...to remind YOU to check them out!
If you haven't seen it before POST SECRET is an art project - turned blog, book, and travelling art show - to which people send in postcards with anonymous "secrets" written on them. (ALSO -- they post extra items on their Twitter page, so be sure to follow them there!)

I love Post Secret as it routinely makes me forget about my own problems, or makes me feel like I'm not the only one.... I'm not the only one with flaws, regrets, doubts, fears, or various idiosyncrasies or oddities. Different postcards help me reflect on different moments in my life and bring me momentary peace and "in-tunedness" with the world.... maybe it'll bring you the same.

TODAYS FAVORITES






Friday, April 17, 2009

Camera Ready: A Product Spotlight AND Technique Tutorial!

There are so many people who just don't seem to get it when it comes to mascara and curling eyelashes. I find lashes to be a fairly important feature when it comes to makeup. Like the icing on the cake.... Cue blog post.

I consider myself to be a bit of a LASH MASTER. You can tell me how you have short, stubby or really thin lashes, but somehow I'll still make you look like this ----->

What's that you say? You don't WANT to look like you're wearing feathers on your eyelids? Oh come on. Incase of dusting emergencies!! Eeew.

Alright fine. I'll tone it down a bit for you.

There are three important aspects to fab lashes: curling the lashes, mascara and application technique. Let's delve into all three, shall we?


CURLING

Most men and makeup-challenged women will look at an eyelash curler and see a medieval torturing device. BE NOT AFRAID. If 12 year-olds can do it, so can you.

The tool of choice: The shu uemura. It is, as their site states, emblematic.

Curling should be done before any eye makeup is applied. Open the curler, position the silver top bar right down along the lash line and against the lid, take a few seconds to make sure all the lashes are in between and then press together. This spot on the lashes is where you want the most bend, as it will make your lashes appear longer from straight on.

BUT, don't stop there! Move the curler out a bit on the lashes and pinch them there gently, move it out a little further and pinch there too. Look closely at your eyelashes, though, as you don't want the tips to be pointing back towards the lids. That indicates you've curled too much at the midpoints.


MASCARA

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to mascara. I, for one, can't wear anything but waterproof. I can't explain it, but NON waterproof makes my pre-curled lashes straighten back out. Frustration ensues. So, I don't fight it and stick to the WP formulas.

While it's difficult to find that one kind that works well on everyone, I think I may have found a contender or two....

#1 Budget Fave: CoverGirl Lash Blast - While I tire of the "Fat tube = FAT lashes!" concept, I absolutely love this stuff - both the formula and the brush. (Although it's a bit TOO fat at the end for those little lashes.)

#2 Splurge Fave: Chanel Inimitable - Ahhhh perfection. For a mere $29 a tube, it can be yours. :::pauses::: My thoughts exactly.



APPLICATION

For many mascaras, a brand new tube means too much product comes out on the brush. A quick swipe through a piece of paper, paper towel or rough (so as not to leave lint) tissue/toilet paper should solve those goopy messy woes of a new tube.

Wiggle the brush side to side at the roots of the lashes to get the bristles in between them. Move the brush outward, continuing a little of the side-t0-side to get a good coating. Add a couple more swipes to complete the first coat.

After you've finished up the "first coat," it's important to take this moment to separate your lashes while they're still tacky from the mascara.

I SWEAR by metal eyelash combs a la the one at right by Sonia Kashuk (Target!). Nothing works better to really get in there, separate the lashes, get rid of gobs and make them look feathery.

Once you've done some separating, you can apply another coat. Annnnnd again, grab your comb and separate. This repetition will build up the thickness of the lashes while maintaining the separation.

Voila. Hope this brings you to a new level of lashiness.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The sun'll come ooooout tooooomorrow.... and the day after, and the day after.

I am so freaking happy about the weather lately. This is absolute perfection. Glorious sunshine, temperate 60's, and Minnesotans curing their cabin fever, outside in droves.... seriously, there are SO. MANY. PEOPLE. outside!!!

A few years ago, a relative from Texas was up here visiting in the spring / summer / fall (clearly I've forgotten). She could not get over how many people there were outdoors.... everywhere. Walking the paths, biking, running, playgrounds full of kids, softball diamonds, soccer fields, picnic tables, mini malls, people everywhere. Happy people. I was surprised by this. Wait just a darn sec, you live in Austin, TX where people can and SHOULD be out all the time. Why is this shocking?

I think that here up Nort' we have a particular appreciation for sunshine and tolerable temps (this varies)... it's as if life outside beckons us out of our homes, especially come April. Our cabin fever drives us to near incapacitating levels of crazy, so we burst out the doors like we've been imprisoned for decades.... and sometimes it sure feels like it!

This weather has prompted me to make my own sort of commitment to the great outdoors (and it truly is great) -- I want to see more of it, enjoy more of it and soak in every possible drop of beautiful earth, water and sky I possibly can. What does that mean exactly? It means happy hours on patios, cleaning off that bike on the balcony and using it, cleaning off the BALCONY so we can actually sit out there, softball two nights a week, POOL time as often as possible with whomever may care to join me, walking around Como, Saints games, more than one trip up to the lake, playing outside with my freakishly adorable nephew, BBQs (but not at our place sorry!), petitioning for an invite to Andrea's family boat (K. Syrah), hell even sitting out on a blanket with a friend and a bottle of wine (or Boone's Farm as we did in college, watching the boys play football... sighhhh).

SO..... care to join me??

Friday, April 10, 2009

I rock.

Would you take a look at this? I mean, granted some credit can be given to Dan, Candy and GOD, but the makeup.... all me, baby. And can you believe how gorgeous she is???


Doing makeup for weddings is on the top of my list of things that make me happy. There's nothing greater than making a bride feel AMAZING on her wedding day. And when I step away and watch them look at themselves in a mirror, that's one of my favorite moments. Or when they turn to their mother, best friends, etc. and they all bask in her glow and rave about her beauty, I know I've made it happen for that bride. One of the UTMOST important thing about any woman's wedding day is that she feel stunning, radiant and gorgeous.

My process for preparing for the day always involves finding out more about the bride's usual makeup, what she wants to accentuate, her trouble spots, and a photo helps too. Every woman who wears makeup has their "it" things, whether it be flawless looking, non-oily skin, lots of bronzer, mascara mascara mascara, beautifully blushed cheeks or a pension for heavy eyeliner. Taking those into consideration immediately puts her at ease to know someone is going to give the same time and attention to those as she would for a special occasion.

I literally study these things and the photo(s) before the big day. I try to determine bone structure, how to best accentuate the eyes, skin tones and texture, eye color, etc. When asking for photos, I always ask for a picture that she feels she looks gorgeous in. That helps me to determine how she wants to look in photos. If she's 50lbs thinner in the picture, I'll be sure to contour her better. If she's got a nice glowing summer tan, I'm looking for where her face tans.

The point of all this? I love to do wedding day makeup and I'm fucking awesome at it. That's my point.

(But secretly, it still intimidates me just a little!)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Let's get our church on!

I left the house tonight for choir feeling like total crap. The onset of a cold, horrible cramps, general malaise. Sucksville. I had taken a nap upon arrival at home and just did NOT want to get out of bed to go to choir. Le sigh.

But you know what, it's really frickin' hard to stay pouty and pitiful when surrounded by some fabulous people, making incredible music and preparing for the ultimate of spiritual experiences. It's as if God doesn't allow it. I went from mopey and near feverish this afternoon to dancing down the aisles to galavanting around the church during breaks. Thank God! ;-)

If you're not familiar with the concept of Holy week, it consists of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Tenebrae, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday. A quick overview of each:
- Holy Thursday: the Last Supper, the washing of the feet (as Jesus did for his apostles), the last opportunity for Eucharist (communion) before Easter
- Good Friday: Jesus is crucified, Veneration of the Cross
- Tenebrae (friday also): Jesus is buried
- Easter Vigil: people gather to await the rising of Christ... starts very dark with candlelight, the great Alleluia is proclaimed again (Alleluia is not sung in the church throughout Lent), and everyone sits for a really long time as new Catholics are baptised, communed and confirmed.
- Easter Sunday: the fun parts of Vigil but in pretty pastel clothing (and little girls in frilly dresses in white patent mary janes with ruffled socks!)

While most "CAPE Catholics" (Christmas, Ashes, Palms, Easter) come for mostly the fun stuff (Ash Wednesday obv not 'fun'.... you can kinda tell by the name) - Christmas Carols, Easter lilies, rainbows, puppies, all that is happy - we in the choir know when the REALLY good stuff happens..... FRIDAY.

All Catholic churches will have a Good Friday service. This is very central to our Christianity, as it is the moment where Christ dies on a cross for us. Heavy stuff. It's a very introspective, meditative atmosphere as you ponder that reality. And then they pass the cross. Literally - it's essentially 'crowd surfed' over the congregation. From a choir perspective, we watch from above as each person bears that weight. Then everyone has the opportunity to go forward to genuflect at the cross, each silently expressing their gratitude, and leaving, singing "Stay here and keep watch with me... the hour has come."

Oh but wait.... there's more....

A very special and unique experience happens at 7pm -- The Office of Tenebrae. It's maybe not something you've heard of before, but it is a spiritual experience unlike any other.

Traditionally, Tenebrae was celebrated on Wed, Thurs and Fridays. From wiki: "Lighting was gradually reduced throughout the service. Initially 15 candles were lit and placed on a special stand known as a hearse, which were extinguished one by one after each psalm. The last candle was hidden beneath the altar, ending the service in total darkness. In some places the use of a strepitus (Latin for "great noise") was included as part of the service. The great noise was usually generated by slamming a book closed, banging a hymnal or breviary against the pew, or stomping on the floor, symbolizing the earthquake that followed Christ's death. This custom seems to have originated as a simple signal to depart in silence. Following the great noise a single candle, which had been hidden from view, was returned to the top of the hearse, signifying the return of Christ to the world with the Resurrection."

It's seriously unbelievable.... but you can't forget MUSIC.....

At Tenebrae, the Basilica Chamber Choir sings the Miserere by Allegri. Now, this piece is absolutely beautiful and instantly gives the feeling of meditation. But there's more to that story.... a pretty cool history, in fact (from wiki again):

Miserere by Italian composer Gregorio Allegri is a setting of Psalm 51 (50) composed during the reign of Pope Urban VIII, probably during the 1630s, for use in the Sistine Chapel during matins on Wednesday and Friday of Holy Week. It was the last of twelve falsobordone Miserere settings composed and chanted at the service since 1514 and the most popular: at some point, it became forbidden to transcribe the music and it was only allowed to be performed at those particular services, adding to the mystery surrounding it. Writing it down or performing it elsewhere was punishable by excommunication.

Although there were a handful of supposed transcriptions in various royal courts in Europe, none of them succeeded in capturing the beauty of the Miserere as performed annually in the Sistine Chapel. According to the popular story (backed up by family letters), the fourteen-year-old Mozart was visiting Rome, when he first heard the piece during the Wednesday service. Later that day, he wrote it down entirely from memory, returning to the Chapel that Friday to make minor corrections. Some time during his travels, he met the British historian Dr Charles Burney, who obtained the piece from him and took it to London, where it was published in 1771. Once published, the ban was lifted and Allegri's Miserere has since become one of the most popular a cappella choral works now performed.

Mozart was summoned to Rome by the Pope, only instead of excommunicating the boy, the Pope showered praises on him for his feat of musical genius.

All in all, it's an amazing experience and, in my opinion, the best service of the entire year. I've managed to get Andrea and Ana to commit to joining us, so hopefully it'll live up to my hype!

And there you have it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Baby steps....

Literally.

We enjoyed a pre-Easter Easter Brunch this morning after church with the family and got some great time with our favorite nephew Luke. As of yesterday, this cool dude is 1 year and 3 months old. Now lil' P (short for Peanut!) is a smart cookie. And unbelievably adorable. But as much as he loves to move and shake, scoot and play, he just hasn't yet mastered walking. Why walk when one can be carried? Mom's arms are getting tired, lil' dude!!!

GENIUS. Youngest IT manager ever. (photo not in India, FYI)

So we gave it a concentrated effort today, getting some steps in with all his fans watching in anticipation. It's so much fun to watch and even more fun to get in on the action. I'd grab him, face him towards mom or dad (his favorite people in the whole world) and put my arms out like bumpers at a bowling alley. He'd get himself balanced on his feet, clap for himself and lurch forward, sometimes with his feet first.... other times just leaning forward (the face-plant method is less successful). I can imagine his difficulty trying to balance being that he's so TALL these days - those 10 month olds have a much lower center of gravity - but he enjoys the process.

My favorite part of the whole process was... well TWO favorites. First was the fact that he started every attempt with a round of applause for himself. Self-affirmation is a very good way to take on a new endeavor! And it's frickin' cute. Claps and a smile before starting off in his new direction. Have you tried this method lately?

My second favorite was bonding with my lil' pal. He doesn't exactly recognize me at first sight, and I know that. So instead, I slowly try to engage with him. Walking into a household for one of our family gatherings, you're immediately struck by loud voices and conversations. He gets overwhelmed and clings to mom and dad. So rather than get all up in his business and offend his delicate sensibilities (like some unnamed family members), I start to talk to him quietly, let him stare at me a bit while he figures me out and slowly start to play with him after he's warmed up a bit. And that's when the fun starts!

As time passes, I know his recognition and engagement will only get better and better.... but I so enjoy every morsel of love, affection and happiness he shares with me at this point in his development because I feel like I'm earning it. Not to say that I won't enjoy the day that he sees me walk in the door and runs over to give me a big bear hug..... Man, it's gonna be fun to watch Luke grow!!!

Kid tested. Luke approved.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I'm watching you.

I just installed Google Analytics. Holy crap. It's nuts how much it can tell me.... I don't even know 80% of what it's telling me, but DO know that it's telling me something. Catch all that?

More to come....

Friday, April 3, 2009

Back on the Blog Horse, I'm Lame, Kate's Wedding

OK, so it's been awhile.... specifically 2.5 weeks. Have you missed me?? And by "you" I mean the 6 of you readers that cared to comment on my Roll Call post below. So, Erin, Ali, Melinda, Brian, Missy and Tom - THANK YOU. This is for you, friends!

Life as of late has been.... interesting. And by interesting I mean dull. Oh, and I was in a wedding. I am a homebody that loves to stay put. I somehow manage to keep friends despite the fact that I'd surprisingly rather be in my pajamas on my couch. Did you know that I'm a bit of an introvert? Yeah.... everyone thinks I'm really extroverted, but I'm just really chatty out of nervousness.

Back to what's new.... Kate's wedding was a really grand time. I don't know if you have seen pictures or what not, but she was an unbelievably gorgeous bride. Katie has timeless good looks -- beautiful bright eyes, great bone structure, long lashes and big lips... can't go wrong, right? Seriously though, she looked stunning.
I myself looked awesomely tan. Hooray!!! A victory in and of itself. I've found the cocktail of electric beaching plus self-tanning two days before = the perfect bronze goddess look.
Here are a few other notes from the big day:

1. Kate & Tyge are a cute couple -- they also have very good looking friends.

2. Christos Union Depot is beautiful!!

3. WHY can't the bridal party sit down at some of these weddings? My feet were numb. I had eventually stopped listening to the goings on because I was so focused on rediscovering my toes. I even considered if anyone would notice me sliding my foot out of my shoe and standing barefoot on the altar. It was bad.

4. I love being a bridesmaid.

5. I am annoyed easily. But we'll leave that one cryptically disguised.

6. I never cried on my own wedding day... is that bad?

7. I may not be the most gorgeous bridesmaid, but I am satisfied hearing that people think I'm "so hilarious" and clearly awesome at taking pictures....



All in all, it was a great wedding. I'm entirely jealous and want to plan my OWN again, because that's how I roll, but I'm so happy that K & T had the wedding of their dreams.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Unfortunate discovery. And a HAPPY THOUGHT!

My stories aren't very good! I'm pretty okay with talking about thoughts, opinions, philosphies, experiences, etc... but when it comes to stories, none can compare to the crazy, deranged tales of Miss Melinda (my evil twin). I suppose I'm okay with that, though. I mean, some of us entertain via reality, while others require excessive embellishment and far-out exaggerations (like a soap opera or telemundo).

It is a bit pathetic that my most entertaining story details my feelings and actions against a violator of simple parking law..... but the interest in this tale has been surprising! Apparently people enjoy boring tales of vigil ante justice :-)

Meanwhile, I've been dreaming of pool time. With the warm weather approaching and thoughts of tanning (for Kate's wedding next week), I've been very jazzed about spending some good, quality time by the pool this summer with some of my favorite people:

- Erin will be done with her L2 year of law school (and will probably appear at my doorstep drunk after her last final in a swimsuit) and needing some SUNSHINE. Ali will be with her.
- Kate will be an old married lady with FINALLY some more time on her hands to spend with ME
- Angie's finally a MN resident again
- Micaela and I will be hanging out three days a week with softball Tues & Thurs
- Melinda will come despite the vegitation in her drink last year (it's just MINT, sheesh)
- Andrea will take a break from her hip, fun life living in uptown and being a comedianne
- Ana will find a break from earning all that Pharmacist $$$ between weird shift rotations at the hospital and casual work in Winona
- Bridgett will hopefully come (with or without baby Harper)
- And maybe, JUST MAYBE, Tom & Kathryn will bring Luke over for some fun in the sun.... or drop him with grandma Lois and go nuts ;-)
- Oh, don't forget about "gay or European?" and his 'girlfriend' "Tits on a Stick"

GOODNESS, this is going to be a busy summer! Thank God I have such fabulous people in my life to share it with. Mark your calendars, clean out your coolers and go buy yourself some new flip flops!

Now.... I'm gonna start work on an iPod poolside mix ;-) I'm thinking some oldies, some pop tunes, some fun country.... AHHHHH, it'll be great!

ROLL CALL

If you are reading this post, please comment below! Even if you are a complete stranger, I want to see who's with me!

(I wonder if Blogger will let me do a one answer poll..... hmmmm....)

And.... GO.

Edit: yes indeed you CAN do a one answer poll. Google is dumm like that. See the top right. Please answer, but do so wisely.... (:::cue Monty Python quote::: WHAT is your favorite color??)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Incase you've found yourself wondering....

.....NO, I have NOT seen the Green Durango since the day those fire trucks appeared.

"What happened???" you might ask yourself.... but we will never know. The world will never know.

Until next time, Green Durango..... next time....

Not the Durango in question, but a photographic representation.

Pressure is on!

Let me preface by saying that I am so not very funny on my blog. I tried funny, but I became so overwhelmed at the thought of having to "perform" here that I just ultimately stopped posting. Once I took a deep breath and realized that it's MY blog and I can write whateverIwantsodontjudgeme, it lifted the burden!

Also, I'm way funnier in person. It involves a lot of jazz hands, weird facial expressions and strange voices. Here I'm just.... words. :-/

My heart skipped a bit of a beat when my blog was publicly outted by my fab wedding florist, Jackie (LOVE HER! Just Bloomed) over on her lovely flowery blog (love the idea of a florist's blog! Who doesn't love to look at beautiful flowers??). OMG she said my blog was funny and then LINKED it. So, a slightly awkward helloooooo to anyone who's come here from there thinking "who is this WEIRDO??"

In all seriousity, I really think that Jackie is phenomenal at what she does. I love flowers and I love pretty wedding bouquets, but it's a really really difficult thing to arrange flowers WELL. She is so creative, coming up with superb bouquets in both a modern style and a romantic style. Two favorites:



See? Beautiful. And this is reason enough for a fabulous flower blog.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Angry models.

I'm HUNGRY. I started a two-week diet yesterday in prep for a friends wedding in... two weeks!.... and I'm really getting in tune with my own hunger. It's an interesting feeling.

But seriously, now I know why models are so bitchy most of the time.... THE PANGS. Gah. I just want to eat a big bowl of pasta, french fries, a bag of chips..... but noooo.

So this diet, you ask [assumption].... well, I decided on a whim the other day to stop at SuperTarget and get carrots, spinach, celery, cucumbers, green peppers, spinach, strawberries and oranges, "salad spritzer" dressing and chicken breasts. Add in eggs, whole wheat bread(the really chunky kind), and some Lean Cuisines... and LOTS OF WATER.... and you have a really really shitty cake.... kidding, you have my daily intake. Granted, this is the end of day two :-)

Sustainable? Nope. Effective? Yeah, you know it! Add in some workouts and I should see some pounds fall off pretty quick. It may be a nice jumpstart into a habit of healthy eating that IS sustainable, however! It's pretty good for the overall awareness to get a better idea of what calories you're ingesting, what your body feels like when you eat a, b and c vs. x, y, and z, etc. I've found that I can be more disciplined than I thought I could. I've found that sometimes more water can solve my issues better than more (craptastic) food. I've also found that a nap is a great cure for nearly intolerable cravings!

Now, weekdays are a different story than weekends -- and tomorrow marks weekend day one. I do have plans to meet the fabulous Melinda for lunch at the Olive Garden (OMG I want a bowl of alfredo and a spooooon), but I've pre-scoped the menu and nutrition info online for a decent choice(s). They have Garden Fare options which are essentially some usual entrees with vegetables replacing the usual potato side. My plan is for the Pork Filettino -- 350 calories for "Grilled pork tenderloin marinated in extra-virgin olive oil and rosemary. Served with broccoli and red bell peppers." YUM! And by picking something pretty low on the caloric scale, I can splurge on a breadstick or two dipped in alfredo. YUMMMMM.



Fuck, looking through this menu is making me SO HUNGRY. I think that means it's time to go to bed!!

I think my blog is cool. And just because you're pretty doesn't mean you can act like that.

So, now that I have a new look and post a bit more regularly, I feel like my blog is kinda cool again. It's that idea that confidence can make ANYONE feel cool, you know? So even if my blog is the weird geek of the blog world, it feels pretty fucking awesome and smart and knows that it will make more money than your "popular" blog someday ;-) Eat that, Bloggess.

I'm teetering on the idea of sharing it with various family and friends, however. I'm afraid that my love for the f-word might offend someone and the blog could end up in the wrong hands and then my brother will be all "kiss your... OUR mother with that mouth?!?" and I'll be all "YOU taught me these words, assface." Hi Tom! But I don't think my usage is that excessive that someone wouldn't be able to tolerate it. And really, there are some things that cannot be expressed in literary terms without cursing.....

Maybe someday when I have a baby blog I'll keep it to like one per post.

And now, I seamlessly transition into my next topic....

I visited lovely friend Bridgett tonight with adorable yet fussy baby Harper out in "disturbia." Poor Bridgett..... Harper just does not like to cooperate with the whole "sleeping" thing. As Bridgett so kindly puts it, "she's a needy little girl." It really is in her own benefit, however, that she's such a PRETTY baby!!! God, what a cute lil' face that girl has! Daddy Josh said tonight "I'd rather have an ugly baby that SLEPT," but they're both happy with their creation :-) Hopefully soon things will settle down, but in the meantime say a little prayer for the Gawlik family that they maintain sanity!