Friday, November 27, 2015

The Force Awakens: A Lippy Review

As someone who used to avoid lipstick years ago, I now see how it has enhanced my otherwise washed-out, vampire-tanned face and added that extra pizzazz needed to complete an outfit.

I do realize, in the wake of terrorist attacks {Pray for Paris}, makeup and hair and clothing all seem rather insignificant and vain, but in spite of such atrocities in the world, we should still retain some of those froo-froo habits and interests, for when we cower down in fear and relinquish all pleasures and enjoyment, that is whey "they" have won.

I try my damnedest to refrain from international affairs and political views, not out of ignorance {the world fascinates me, and out into the world I aspire to go...}, but feel this is not the place for such matters with so broad an audience. We live in times when the next generation {and even my own} is coddled relentlessly and mediocrity is the new standard as expectations are lowered and lowered...

But I digress per usual...

With the release of the new film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, CoverGirl got extra creative with its new line, inspired by the Light and Dark Sides of the Force.

Naturally, I was of my favorite movie empires coupled with my new-found appreciation for lippy and its powers over the past few years.

While I was home, I picked up two shades, surprised my hometown Wal-Mart even carried the collection.

Silver #10 & Dark Purple #50, shown above, respectively.

The silver was a bit thin, but left a pretty sheen. I may utilize it to mix things up a bit or for a special occasion.

The purple, however, da-yum. It goes on so well and slowly fades to a purple-y rouge after a little wear and tear. As long as lasting, this color lasted all day, from morning until night. Evening was when I noticed the more rosy-hue, but even when I removed my makeup at night for bed, quite a bit came off.

These two are my go-to's: Wet 'n' Wild's Black Orchid 508A and Revlon's Wine with Everything 525.

They're both a deeper hue than the typical rouge, albeit the 525 is bit more red than the former. While both provide excellent coverage for several hours, the CoverGirl dark purple has them both beat.

While some lippy will become cake-like even with proper moisturizing prep before and during application, all of the aforementioned stay on evenly. I have noticed I need to reapply both chapstick and lippy with the 508A and 525, though...the chapstick adds moisture but does not take the pigment with it when applied on the dark purple as moisturizer is needed later in the day. thinks the CoverGirl will be making a luscious debut tomorrow at the rock concert....

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Homegrown Sassypants

Coming home is always a rejuvenating time, a time to get away and refresh my batteries....and not wear pants.

Looking back at old times, time seemed to stretch endlessly with limitless possibilities of how they future may unfold. As my friend Emily's latest blog post discusses, home can be one of countless places, wherever we may lay our heads for the night.

Home for me for 18 years was walking to Grammie's house, catching up on all the craziness of our small town and the bureaucracy of grade school {particularly high school}, and snacking on Klondike bars and Pepsi.

Since her passing, and being away for so long, my connections to this small town keep *ping ping* snapping, releasing their tethers, which is bittersweet as I always thought I wanted to get away, but hold on to certain memories to preserve them for as long as possible...

Booboobeeboo, Grammie, and my beautiful sissy

Glancing through old photographs and my phone's photo reel, it's evident how I've grown, not merely physically, but mentally and psychologically as well.... Reading through Emily's post had me thinking of the transition to my new home and my natural tendency to continue to refer to my childhood digs as "home."

While E-town is my current home, according to my credit cards' billing address and updated DMV profile, bumfuck C-field and wherever my Mum and Fajer are located will always feel like home as well....and same goes for dear ol' London. Hell's bells, I even called the Greyhound bus during my birthday escape from life excursion home as that is where I laid my head to catch some zzzz's overnight. Home truly is a state, not merely a location, as it morphs us into the person we are today: resilient, arrogant, open-minded, kind, standoffish, etc.

This bright-eyed girl has seen many, many things and many places. In looking back, I never could have fathomed I'd be where I am {for better or for worse}, but hope that I can be someone of whom my younger self could possibly be proud. 

And even though many of my adventures have been taken alone instead of with the person I had thought they would be with when I was younger, perhaps that has only helped shape me to be more independent, fiercer and hungrier for happiness.

Maybe home can be in my own head and heart, both of which have seemed hostile at one point or another {or twelve}. Perhaps the key into my safe haven is finding peace with myself and, like Emily, calling my night's final resting place, "home."

Happy photos from happy times in the past: 17 & 18, respectively. As much as I like to think I've grown from this smiling brunette, I can't help but wish I could channel some of her optimistic spirit to help fuel my wild child and bull-headed tendencies, and fashion them into serum for when I'm feeling trapped or doubting my capabilities, whether it's in personal or professional aspects.

Little girl. I've spoken back to her in my journal before as a means of comfort, and I hope that little girl inside at least hears some of the things I tell her, albeit knowing my stubborn self, she likely won't.

Verdict on home: it's within every one of us. It's a plethora of things: a person, a place, a memory, a song. It's comfort.

It's bed, which is where I'm heading.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Winding down from pre-Thanksgiving

Boo, it wasn't pay week.

On the plus side, after a semi-hellishly busy week, I came home to find a lovely letter from my favorite gingey in the mail. Heidi letters have become something to which I highly look forward to receiving in the mail as they always seem to arrive juuuuust as I need them aka when I've had a bad night or ready to collapse from exhaustion....or low blood sugar.

Busy day calls for no pants.
{Leggings are not truly pants}
Despite the near-fainting spells at work {that means I'm working hard, doesn't it??}, I feel this past week has been a productive one. Have you ever felt so busy that the hours seem to simply float past, one thing after another, yet it would be damn near impossible to rattle off a laundry list of all that was accomplished because there was SO MUCH done?

I actually styled my hair for once this week!
Now, I simply have to relearn my body so as to avoid fainting in an elevator....hurrah for these strong, lean arms to hold onto and large pieces of equipment which can bear my weight as I feel my vision tunneling and my body collapsing, internally feeling as though the whole world is caving in...

My mum, sis, and Superman have told me I should see a doctor {I know, I should} but I'm as stubborn as an grown-ass man - *hint, hint* I don't go to the doctor's unless I'm at death's door and even then it's debatable. Stress will slowly subside, I hope, and with adequate sleep {and kitty snuggles}, I'll be back up and running in tip-top shape.

On the plus side, I managed to look semi-okay this week...or not. You be the {hopefully gentle} judge of that.

In these frames, I wanted to show off the BA Obi-wan Kenobi lightsaber umbrella Tree had given me for my birthday - wrapped up in wrapping paper which resembled tree bark, no less. This Jedi Master felt pretty darn loved by all of her friends and family for her birthday, even weeks after the fact. Maybe people still like me at 23 despite what Blink-182 thinks....and if not, well, haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. Potatoes gonna potate, tate, tate, tate, tate.

Wrapping up my week with a still of geekdom heaven: putting together my sister's new independence, one electronic element at a time. Surrounded by cables and parts, I could totally appreciate the giddiness and happiness experienced by Lovely when he's putting together a new gadget....

And that's a wrap. But after leaving here, check out Alessia Cara because she's pretty dang fabulous. Here describes how I have often felt at a party - awkward and very much an outsider and ready to hightail it out of there to go have my own party.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Love and that 9-5 Work Grind

....or in my case, usually 11-11:30, or whenever called for assistance and/or physical help.

Once again, this week seems to have slipped by; hours, blood, and sweat {no tears!} into work to help the shifts along. One week closer to Thanksgiving, which is already starting off on an interesting start as my Mum is none too thrilled that I will be traveling home after work on Wednesday {fingers crossed for leaving early}.

At times, work gets the best of me, resulting in stress and worry that I'm not giving my all and perhaps that's why things go awry. I don't feel I'm the center of the sometimes clusterfuck that is work, but merely I'm not taking enough preventative and responsive action to contend with such clusterfuck, or simply not doing enough as a leader as I should be as I try to ensure the team on duty is fit for service and aren't stressing out themselves...

Kitty snuggles make a great start to the day

And with all this, feeling as though I'm stumbling in my career, I stumble in that twisted realm of "feelings" and "like" and "love," while struggling with finding time to sleep in order to rest my brain from all of the directions in which it's being pulled from all aspects of my life: family, friends, dumb heart, career, wanderlust, compassion for Paris, fear of terrorism, etc.

Thank goodness for Hello Giggles and its wondrously thoughtful articles to lend a hand for relevant, open-minded perspectives... In the wake of figuring out who the hell I am {goodness, I sound so dang cliché}, I turn to HelloGiggles as I absentmindedly scroll through my FB feed, not truly engaged with what's going on in so-and-so's life, this person's new baby, this rando-couple's engagement photos, the blah-blah-blah mundane social media in between crises.

On that 9-5 just to stay alive.... -Beyoncé
Dress cute for work for improved performance and spirits!

As I've always struggled with that balance between hard-fact reality and my whimsically, fantastically romantic heart, I find the L-O-V-E articles particularly interesting, furtively saving these gems for late night reads before passing out in bed, another day gone and another night feeling exhausted to the very soul.

Some of my recent favorites:

  • A couple shared a journal for a year, which reminded me of when I went away for Uni for the first time, excited and fearful of what the implications would be for Lovely and I... It was a way to keep in touch and note the little, seemingly mundane, details which often get swept under the rug from all of the excitement of merely hearing someone on the other end of the line. It's a wonderful idea for friends as well, to take the time to write about the day, an outlet to say all the things which couldn't possibly be squeezed into a 45-minute phone call, or an instant message conversation.
  • This beautiful couple, who stay connected across their 7,000 mile stretch through social media and creativity - experiencing life "together" through their joint Instagram account. Beautiful. Heart melting.
  • And this little boy, who spoke out against a man who was verbally harassing a young woman as she was out for a jog. As a woman, this resonated, as my friends and I have experienced this countless times. Cue: Bye Felipe, postings from encounters with f*<kboys.
  • Best for last, eh? Or last one for those feeling particularly in touch with their tear ducts: breaking up while you're still in love. When things aren't bad....when your heart bleeds for someone, and despite all of the lengths one would go for this person, it leads to a puddle of tears, worn out sneakers from trying to run away from inner thoughts, and a new-found appreciation for love, whether it comes from a friend, family member, or SO.
Hello Giggles is quite delightful....and I shall leave you with these articles, and this gem. I'm constantly hunting down new artists with whom to fall in love {metaphorically- and musically-speaking}.

OH! And of COURSE: Adele's new album is out. Yaaaaaaaassss.

Listening on repeat before I succumb to zzzzz.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Root of my {anti-}socialism

Social anxiety is a relatively common occurrence, inflicting more 200,000 cases in the US annually {or roughly 1 in every 1,600 Americans}. While one may find comfort in numbers and statistics, social anxiety at any level can be stressful.

It's rather embarrassing, experiencing that griping, debilitating feeling of fear, rushing heart, panic...especially when it's around friends or family. That over-stimulation of people all around, even if they're all friendly. Hyperventilating and worrying someone will notice as you frantically attempt to cover any symptoms by controlling your breath and contorting your face into a convincing smile.

I admit I've missed out on many things, or simply made an excuse not to go to something so as to avoid these feelings...overcome with the buildup of anxietal pressure inside my mind and heavy on my consciousness. In the past, both Tree and Lovely have witnessed this: I was lucky in that they were understanding in my discomfort, holding my hand and making sure I was okay in order to aid me as I struggled to unfreeze from this mental paralysis.

In solitude I've often sought solace in order to recharge and put myself back together, giving countless inner-thought prep thoughts to tell myself I'm A-OK, but it comes in waves of varying degree and strength. At times, I feel on top of the world, at others, it seems as though I'd rather be knocked upside the head or feel a few capfuls of Captain rather tempting as means to overcome the discomfort and mental spasms going on as all of the wrong types of fireworks go off in my head.

Written articulation seems to come in handy as an outlet for inner turmoil so perhaps that's why people I know have found it odd and difficult to believe I'm not a people-person nor an extrovert in the least... Social media presence paints a more outgoing persona, which I hold onto as a shell and is still very much a part of me, but one I exude as opposed to showing the tizzies I occasionally experience, locked inside my own thoughts.

There's a reason for the appeal to staying in bed: minimal social interaction means less risk of feeling overwhelmed.

And so that's my little confession time, dear readers...hopefully you don't think any less of me for being a looney loser loner with bouts of social anxiety.

Auf wiederlesen, meine Lieblings!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Antisocialism at its finest

"The ever-creasing weight of responsibilities that enmeshes our lives keeps us locked into the system. We become the pulse that keeps the beast alive, but the cost is our own lives. The natural world around us shrinks, crushed beneath the suffocating might of work."
-Fennel Hudson

Finding time to be social and physically interacting with friends is mandated and dictated by our very own sanity, for only then can we truly be free from work....a valid excuse to unplug from the demands associated with our careers. While we owe it to ourselves to set away for a fresh recharge, it is all too often that we don't feel as though it is justified unless people about whom we care deeply are involved, i.e. friends and family.

Thank goodness for understanding managers who realize the importance of unplugging and postponing non-urgent items for days actually spent in the office. I'm realizing more and more how involved a management position is, and potential future business endeavors may be, and it's quite unnerving in a sense because I want to work to live, not live to work.

Comfy pants for long hours: check.
Realization of this weekend: I hardly did anything but sleep and work, and work some more, and nearly wore myself out into a puddle of exhaustion on the floor. With books piling up, unread, expeditions left untravelled {is that a word??}, albeit making plans for my days off certainly helped get me through. C'est la vie, la vie de travailler, non?

Although a bit of a loner introvert with some extroverted qualities {when necessary *shudder*} who is prone to social anxiety and the occasional fainting spell, getting out of the apartment for little bouts {in between work, sleep, working at home, and travels} has been a great means of refuel.

One of many items cast aside in the donation piles...
Many hours were spent with my sis, packing and moving all of her shit her belongings to her new digs. Since college, I've attempted a more minimalist approach to things so seeing how much we had to pack out of that small bedroom was rather jaw-dropping, but also cleansing as we also hauled away bag after bag of garbage, recycling, donations, and items for selling.

Hours spent purging her room and rekindling the relationship with one of my favorite people to roam this planet...

A whole night with friends, pizza, beer, and board games reminded me just how secluded I've become, using my work schedule as an excuse for my unavailability {to some extent, this does hinder}. It's all in how we choose to allot our time that dictates the work/life balance... holy cow, revelation.

As the weeks fly by and I have the occasional nightmare of something catastrophic occurring to someone I love {screw you, scaredy-cat brain}, realizing how all too often I've simply let work take over or wasted my free time doing not much of anything but wait for life to occur.

We have just as many hours as Beyoncé so we should use them wisely. Mental note to self.

Speaking of efficient time's already past 11 o'clock and I have only left bed to insert contacts and make a semi-healthy pb banana smoothie for lunch meeting @12:30. Nbd.

Okay, maybe I'm wrong....maybe being antisocial and staying in bed all day is the life after all. Warmth, Mr. Hippy, books, and phone charger within reach...bed is hard to leave sometimes.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Roundup of Days Gone By

Once again, time is getting the best of me, passing by altogether too quickly, which is both good and bad.

I have been up to a few productive things {please see my post on lazy productivity}...and I consider catching up on sleep and improving my cooking abilities to be two of them. I also consider showering daily as being productive on one's day off because let's be real, that can be a chore - I have a lot of hair on my head that needs conditioned!

I digress as usual....

I've managed to stomach doing a little Xmas shopping for my bestie. For someone who can't stand Xmas carols until December 24th and gets quite irritated seeing tinsel and garland prior to that same date, that is quite an ordeal. {No, I do not do Black Friday shopping either, unless my Mum wants accompanied, but only because I love her.}

Lots of hair & attitude - perfect for a Parisian day off, non?
Aside from that, cat-sitting for Tree {considering this as a future career}, helping my sis pack for her new digs, working, and sleeping, I'm a boring lady...

My snuggle buddy; neediness and cuddliness at its best.

Max & Jax: on the warpath for pets and snugg's.
Mais regardez!! J'ai fais les nourrritures! C'est quelque chose, je pense....

For those of you unfamiliar with English traditions....Guy Fawkes Day, or Bonfire Night, was November 5th. While I am no longer in the UK, much to my chagrin, I could not resist a bit of English-ness in celebration {albeit by accident}.

I nearly forgot about this wondrous day until I was divulging in my crumpets and mango chutney {thank you, Wegman's international aisle} and mindlessly scrolling through Facebook.

My stomach was trying to tell me something with its cravings for an English brekkie...or I was simply feeling peckish for 'shrooms, eggs and carbs.

Experimentation {that sounds kinky....} is often the best way of cooking, I've found. Case in point: late-night hunger from forgetting to eat since lunchtime calls for a light late-night meal and one a bit creative considering I haven't had time to restock the fridge properly since my birthday hiatus from real life.

Ta-da! Simple pimple pizza using Pillsbury low-fat buttermilk biscuits. Low-fat plus veggies and pesto makes it healthy, non?

The things I tell myself so I can sleep at night....

Since I've started salivating from looking at these delicious pictures, I'll share a few songs I've enjoyed this week, thus proving I'm not totally out of sync with the world. I'm currently reading a book on quantum theorems throughout history and the world's acceptance of the uncertainty associated with such matter, so that's something worldly...

I shall leave you with that, kind readers. Auf wiederlesen!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Netflix and Chill

Proof of my naïveté and innocence: I thought "Netflix and chill" meant actually binging on House of Cards online with some friends or a S/O....little did I know...

Thank you, Superman, for correcting my ignorance before I made a complete assclown of myself in front of someone.

23: it seems every year that I become increasingly astonished that I'm this old ha. I don't feel this old, nor particularly old in the least for that matter.

I feel ready to take on life, my career {eventually, at some point, when I figure out what I want to be when I "grow up"}, travels...hell's bells, I've taken on Paris, Chicago, and Nashville all by my lonesome, so I'm feeling quite confident, albeit avoiding cockiness...

A brekkie suitable for 5- and 23-year olds. Lovely's mummy had bought this wonderful sealife waffle iron for me 2 Xmas's ago and I'm only now digging it out, feeling it would be rather dangerous {knowing my luck} to attempt to make waffles in a dorm room.


C/O of Mum and Sis: BA Vader watch and R2-D2 sweats and socks. "Growing up" means wearing all the cool things I never knew existed nor had the nerve to wear...

Obviously, I'm a mega man-repeller, but that's A-ok to me. only advice: run away. Or, enjoy and run with it, letting your heart gain experience, while simultaneously living on the edge, where at any point, that heart of yours could be pulverized and beaten to a pulp, cast aside like an old sweater now overly stretched and holey, no longer suitable for its basic job of warmth.

Perhaps I grow ever more pessimistic on the surface with age, while remaining a total vulnerable softie underneath, afraid of any deep-rooted leaps of faith unless they're out of an airplane {hello, future skydiving excursion!}.

Fear. Fear is a terrible emotion to with which I've become quite accustomed to taking head-on.

Currently finishing up the last season of Glee and this quote from lovable Brittany caught my attention:
You know...these Mounds bars are delicious but you have to eat them. If you just hold them in your hand, hoping that you might get to eat them one day, they're going to melt. Then you'll look like somebody just pooped in your hand. Don't let waiting for things to maybe work out with Blaine turn you into the guy who looks like somebody just pooped in your hand.

Now, this seems silly, but can be applicable in love and life: grab Mounds bars life by the proverbial horns and run with it, fear or no.

Untangling my thoughts on love and my career: we crave those comforts in life, those which come with familiarity and safety nets but perhaps what is needed are those giant leaps of blind faith to get to somewhere truly wonderful...

Okay, enough deep feelings for today. I'm craving chocolate, which means water for this grouchy dieting wench.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloweenies on Halloween

Perhaps it's due to my being born on trick-or-treat night, but I quite love Halloween. To me, the whole month of October is Halloween, and November is simply Halloween hangover month until Thanksgiving, during which no one shaves, followed by December aka avoid everything Xmas-y until the 24th.

Priorities. Obviously.

Halloween über alles.

The long train rides took me back to the shady Harrisburg station, and I even made an acquaintance! A lovely person named Kevin kept me company as we traversed the whole way from Nashville, TN with same destination in mind.

We rolled up to Harrisburg at the ass crack of dawn promptly 10:13AM, where we were shortly accosted bombarded by a drunk man who insisted we were both "pretty," but that I was "prettier and [he] liked me better because [I'm] a girl." eeeeek

No matter, no matter....Kevin and I parted ways as I dodged bushes and eventually the cars in the green-lighted streets to make my way to the Small Town Titans' bus waiting for me in the parking lot in which they found themselves after trying to find the pick-up zone of the Greyhound station.

By that point, I was quite elated to be walking again and relieved to see friendly, non-threatening faces and swiftly caught up with some of my adventurous stories before curly up on their futon as they delivered the rest of their crowd-funding bundles.

Before I knew it, we were at Ben's house for {yucky} coffee - only yucky because the smell alone makes me feel queasy - and off to Hagerstown, MD for their Halloween show.

While I haven't the photos to prove it, my eyeliner looked quite bangin' despite applying on the bumpy band bus.

Several bands opened for the night and my buddy Nolan Neal was there as well. *insert giddy girl dance as he remembered me*

He did not disappoint, albeit his set was a bit drawn out: quite loquacious onstage for his set...

STT put on a great show and stayed in character with {aside from the actual playing and singing part} as the Trailer Park Boys, a trio from a Canadian trailer park in a show bearing the same namesake.

Seemed quite appropriate they would embody a group of shenanigan-causing misfits as they wreak havoc on stage their mad skillz. {Yes, with a 'z.'}

All in all, good way to end the solo birthday adventure before I was taken home...quite sad to say goodbye to these three goofs as they head back out on the road just as I was getting back.

Kick ass and leave your marks wherever you go, guys!

Oh, and kidnap me for a leg or two while you're at it...