Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Taking Lemons and Making Lemon Drop Shots...NonAlcoholic Lemon Drop Shots, that is...

So the trip to Key West went bunk and I'm trying to figure out what to do with the time off I set aside for vacation...and boy do I need a vacation. I'm taking one anyways, even if it means staying at home alone for a few days (while Taylor is out of town and at Lake Texoma...sorry, but hanging out on a boat at a lake in 100 degree heat while everyone around you gets shit faced drunk is not my idea of FUN right now...in fact, it sounds like HELL). I haven't taken any time off since December, when we went on that cruise. Since that cruise, literally since the day we returned, my life has been a circus.

Not a bad scary clown circus, but a circus none the less. Moving into a new house during an ice storm with no electricity, the holidays (which are stressful for most people!), finding out we were pregnant, Taylor getting a new job that requires him to work out of town a lot, finding out we lost the baby, recovering mentally and emotionally from losing the baby, going a little nuts from losing the baby and suffering a mild identity crisis while living in another city away from immediate family and close friends, completely gutting and renovating the entire downstairs floor of our new house, finding out we are pregnant again and spending the first trimester sick as shit for three months while living amongst the chaos of renovating our new house and having no kitchen....

I also "lost" a very close and dear friend of mine during all of that commotion, for stupid reasons that still baffle me. I think, despite my defensive and indifferent front, that has stressed me out a lot more than I like to believe and let on. I've cut loose friends in the past for being assholes, but this particular friend's exit from my life has hurt me more than any of the others ever have. But I've learned that you can't get sucked into other people's neurosis and you can't fall "victim" into allowing yourself to be a punching bag for other people's issues. Some people can't be helped or saved or reasoned with without making you a glutton for punishment on their behalf. It's not healthy. Some friendships just expire, and like with love relationships, "break ups" with people you are closest to HURT. It's unfortunate, but I really believe that the entire situation had a big affect on the way I view friendship and how many eggs I feel comfortable placing in anyone else's basket, so to speak. I wouldn't say I'm crippled and damaged, but definitely even more guarded and tentative...it has really made me reevaluate what (I believe) it means to be a "friend." One thing I've learned is to lower expectations...lower them waaaaay down. Whittle them down to next to nothing. Sometimes I guess you have to or people will continually disappoint you, and that just creates unwanted, unneeded stress....and who needs more stress?

I think some people get mistaken into thinking that just because people get married and try to start a family and kick "domestic" life into full swing, their worlds become all peaches and cream and sunshine 24/7...like their stress factor becomes anything less important or significant than theirs might be. Stress doesn't discriminate and it is distributed equally for everyone in different forms. Stress never goes away, it just evolves and turns into new kinds of stress. How we handle it and grow to adapt to how we deal with it makes all the difference.

Shoving all of that brain clutter of mine aside, I've been making an extra big effort to try to deflect stress from my world and I'm really trying not to let anything bring me down. I think of it as "cleaning house." Now is not the time to dwell on negativity and sweat the small stuff, but it can be quite an internal struggle for someone who is hard-wired to sweat the small stuff and dwell on cynicism. Old habits die hard, but I firmly believe that my attitude and vibe and well-being and ability to filter out the bullshit that comes at me has an impact on how my baby will be hard-wired. Every second of every day, I'm working to keep light of situations. I'm learning to recycle the "noise" and "garbage" and walk away having gained better insight, adamantly trying avoid anything that might upset me. It's really so amazing what someone whom you haven't even met yet can do to enrich and better your life. When I start to feel anxious and up in arms, I just meditate on Taylor's and my little "gift" and focus on all that is good in my life. No thing and no one else matters.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Team Jolie

I found myself immersed in an interesting conversation the other evening, while stuffing wedding invitations for my best friend. It's interesting the kind of chatter that comes about when you get a group of women together who don't know one another all that well.

It's foreign territory for me~ I rarely find myself socializing with more than one or two females- and when I do, those females are pretty much always my best friends- that is, of course, unless there is drinking involved.

It's once in a blue moon that it is a gathering of sober females and sober conversation... and the curious thing was that I don't believe the group of females I was sitting with individually do it often either- sober or not, I believe this group to have been a group that, like me, rarely finds themselves in groups of other women to chat.

Anyways, the conversation somehow come about to a "discussion" about Angelina Jolie versus Jennifer Aniston...a debate that I've noticed always divides certain kinds of women from one another: it's always particular kinds of chicks who are on "Team Aniston" and particular kinds of chicks who are on "Team Jolie." Although I love Jennifer Aniston on "Friends," I personally am an Angelina fan. Jennifer Aniston is OK, but I think she's plain and boring and one-dimensional as anything other than playing Rachel Green. She's a romantic comedy princess...and I'm not a romantic comedy kind of girl. YAWN.

Angelina is interesting and aggressive and edgy. She makes action movies and films that are more mysterious and exciting...thus, making her more mysterious and exciting and complicated. She's an action heroine. Jennifer Aniston could NEVER have pulled off sociopath Lisa in "Girl Interrupted." And that sums up why I prefer Angelina to Jennifer. I prefer eccentrics and outcasts over your run of the mill cookie cutters any day.

But I don't really see any celebrity as actual human beings or people. They are as fictitious to me as they characters they portray in movies or on TV. No one, besides their immediate spouses, friends, family and personal acquaintances, actually knows what kind of people celebrities really are...and it's hilarious when I hear people talk about them like they do.

My mother does this with Angelina Jolie. My brother and I call her "Team Jolie" because she just thinks she's the most interesting, beautiful, exotic, awesome celebrity in the world. She loves her philanthropic work and her choice to adopt children, among other things. She doesn't see her as the bitch that stole Brad Pitt from Jennifer Aniston, America's Sweetheart.

One of the "Team Anistons" at the wedding invitation stuffing gathering insisted that Jennifer Aniston is "such a sweetheart" and that Angelina Jolie is a home wrecker. Most of the other "Team Anistons" agreed whole heartedly. I always find this perspective to be amusing, because the chicks who always side with Aniston talk as if she is one of their girlfriends, and seem to take the entire Jennfier/Brad/Angelina thing so personally.

As if they spent nights consoling poor Jennifer during her split from Brad and personally have experienced her All-American "sweetness." How does anyone really know if Jennifer Aniston is the sweetheart that the media paints her to be? Maybe she's a huge pain in the ass bitch in real-life. Maybe she is so utterly lacking in personality that Brad got so incredibly bored with the mundane life he'd gotten himself into that he was about to lose his mind if he didn't find something more stimulating and fulfilling.

Strictly on the surface, he got a hell of a lot more interesting once he got together with Angelina, that's for sure. He went from glitzy pretty boy Hollywood cookie cutter with Aniston to globe trotting, philanthropic attempting-to-better-the-world with his fame father of internationally adopted children with Jolie. It looks to me like he want more in life than just walking the red carpet and playing Ken and Barbie.

Who knows. All I know is that it takes two to tango, two to make a relationship work or fail. And not only that, but who fucking cares? Angelina, Brad and Jennifer are all mythological creatures who exist on the silver screen. They aren't even real.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Feeling a Tad Vain Today

Thinking today about personal style and I how I am going to adjust my wardrobe to accommodate my progressively expanding preggo bod. I don't believe it's going to be as big of a transition as I thought it might be however. I have never been into clingy revealing clothing as it is, mind the occasional tight baby t-shirt or butt-hugging jeans when feeling extra sassy for a night out.

I'm finding myself adjusting to my growing tummy quite nicely considering I've always preferred the flowy, mid-drift hiding tops anyways. My mid-section has never been my most flattering area, obviously. I blame it on my addiction to white rice and avid refusal to do partake in stomach toning physical activity. It has always been worth the sacrifice, in my opinion, to enjoy my white rice and absence of stress from worry of having toned abs. I had other assets to work in my favor that didn't really require me to try and there is nothing that a little strategic clothing choices couldn't hide.

But it is quite unnerving to realize that the one part of your body you have always been the most self-conscious about in the first place has now become the focal point of your entire physical existence...and people want to come up and poke and touch it. This is frustrating and makes me want to swipe at them like an angry cat.

A) Because I don't believe that pregnancy makes a woman suddenly public property
B) Most of my "bump" is just a protective layer of fat (PLOF) that has developed to keep my little fetus safe until it actually grows bigger than a shrimp or lime or whatever food item BabyCenter.com wants to call it right now.

I'm happy with the sundresses I've been wearing. They do a most excellent job of making my PLOF look more like a cute little baby bump (which IS there, but slowly peeking out from the PLOF) than just a gut. In fact, that's ALL I care to wear. I'm only at the end of my first trimester and I've only worn pants once in the last 3 weeks. I just may never wear them again.

I'm really working on establishing an artillery of clothing that does not require me to wear pants for as long as humanly possible, and also reviving my collection of accessories, which to me is the most important part of any wardrobe anyways. I LOVE my accessories...especially my sunglasses. I think that a woman's sunglasses are some of the most important investments she can have in regards to what she wears.

I mean, if my face is inevitably going to get round and go "moon pie" (as my mother calls it) with pregnancy weight gain, then damn it, I'm going to make sure that I have some kick ass eye wear to make sure it is cute.

I've never been one for designer labels...but I must admit that I am a pretentious eye wear snob. I think that comes with the territory though, after spending 5 years managing a Sunglass Hut and selling designer sunglasses. Once you've owned a pair of Prada or Versace or Ray Bans or Maui Jims...well, you just don't go back.

You could wear an outfit consisting of items straight off of bargain racks (which is the first place I zero in on in a store) and give it a whole new life with a sweet pair of designer shades...and on the flip side, you could wear all the designer labels you want on your body, but if you are sporting cheap, knock of sunglasses the outfit immediately is WACK.

I'm sorry, but cheap knock off sunglasses are one of my biggest pet peeves and I hate the excuse of, "Oh, I'm not spending that much on a pair of sunglasses that I am just going to break or lose." How about you just take care of your shit instead?

Hello! It's your FACE- that's the most important part of your body. What you wear everywhere else is just an afterthought if you ask me. Designer sunglasses are the one item that you can get away with wearing with everything you own, because they can go with everything you own.

Not only that, but wearing crappy cheapos can fuck up your eyes- think about it. You get one set of eyeballs...your tools for VISION. Why would you want to look around through cheap plastic lenses that aren't even optically correct, therefore slowly distorting your eyesight over the years and causing you to have to prematurely wear bifocals because you were too cheap to invest in quality eye wear in your younger days?

People need to get a clue. As someone who has worn glasses since I was 7, I can appreciate protecting my baby browns as best I can, since I already can't see for shit without the help of contacts and spectacles.

I'm getting a pair of Burberrys tomorrow and I'm SO excited. It's like getting a new pet!

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