Wednesday, June 29, 2011

But What Should I WEAR?

Last week, I wrote about taking the plunge into piles of clothes in my room to pick out a decent outfit.

Today, I would like to begin this post with tears.

Tears of frustration. Pain. Anger.

Let me tell you something: sometimes, when a girl gets ready in the morning, she hits a few bumps in the road, so to speak.

She realizes that the shirt she thought of last night as she was starting to fall asleep, now that it's on her, actually looks ridiculous.

The skirt that had taken her three minutes to find (three minutes she cannot spare in the morning) now makes her look fat.

She can only find one earring of the only pair she feels like wearing.

Standing there in front of the mirror, eyes glazed over and a pile of crumpled material under her feet, this girl wonders if it's too early for chocolate.

Suddenly, a sorrowful glance at the clock reveals that she is now ten minute behind. And she'll barely have time to brush her teeth, let alone pick out the perfect outfit.

Luckily, there is time to grab chocolate.

There's always time to grab chocolate.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Cutting of the Hairs

Well, I got a haircut this last Friday.

Every couple months, when I have to start pushing the curls back with a headband, I know it's time to hack it all off. And when I'm sitting in the swively chair with that cape thing tied all around me, I just keep saying "shorter! shorter!" until there are hair remnants on the floor all around me.

Then, I get home. And look in the mirror. I freeze, shocked at how short I went. And my self-esteem starts to quaver.

(I just typed this last word before realizing, hey, I don't think this is a real word. I think I just invented a cross between quiver and waver. Well, you saw it here first, ladies and gentlemen.)

Did I go this short last time?

Do I look stupid?

Do I look like a boy?

Do I like like a 40-year-old woman? Because I really don't need any more people calling me ma'am, thank you very much.

Once I get home and wash it (using waaaay too much shampoo at first. You know how that is when you cut your hair?) and it dries, it always looks different than when I was sitting in the chair wanting it shorter.

After a few hours of second-guessing myself and scaring myself when I look in the mirror, I finally decide it will be all right. I just hope that I don't hear any of the following when I go out in public:

Telltale Comments When You Got a Bad Haircut

1. Oh, do you like it?

2. That certainly is a haircut.

3. Wow. It's so short!

4. Did you mean to do that?

5. It must be a lot easier to take care of, now that most of it is gone!

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Kindly Librarian

I'm too nice.

Librarians are too nice.

And sometimes, certain patrons like to take advantage of that niceness.

They're used to us being very accomodating. Doing whatever we can to make them happy. Going above and beyond to get them what they want. Because that's our job!

And also, I love it. I enjoy it. I like to make people happy in the library.

But, sometimes I don't make people happy in the library. I get to tell them fun things like, "You have $40 in fines," while cringing and expecting an argument.

Some patrons just get this shocked look on their faces, like, all of a sudden this kindly librarian is giving them bad news. But the library's supposed to be a happy place! Everything's supposed to be free!

Well, it is. As long as you follow the rules. You will never have to pay a dime if you return things on time.

And now you have a fine because you forgot about the 16 dvds you checked out three weeks ago.

I'm sorry. This is my fault, how?

And then the expectant look. "Fix it, you kindly librarian!"

It doesn't work that way, buddy.

And suddenly, the kindly librarian grows a monstrous, fire-breathing head. A claw reaches out and grips the patron's shirt in a threatening sort of way.

Not really. But the patron responds as if that's the way we act. When all we really want is to give people free books and avoid confrontation.

If I'm seen as mean or unaccomodating because I follow the rules, so be it. I'm a protector of the books!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

If Outfits Were Flowers, I'd Pick...Um...

*idea taken from a conversation with my sister*

So, getting dressed in the morning. Sometimes it's a process. Okay, always. In case you struggle with putting together the perfect outfit, I've prepared an easy-to-follow list of instructions.

This is pretty basic, just to warn you. I don't know which color is best for your skin tone. Or if you're allowed to wear brown with black. Or navy blue with black. Or socks and sandals...

Okay, I do know that one for sure. No socks with sandals. For real.

Step One: Approach pile of clothing. Gingerly and with respect.

Step Two: Root through it. Furiously and with gusto.

Step Three. Find a not-too-wrinkly top or bottom.

Step Four: Shake and smell. Be sure your pile of dirty clothes did not get mixed up with the pile of clean.

Step Five: Once you find a top or bottom that passes inspection, choose something to go with it. Something that matches. Get feedback if possible.

Congratulations. You now have the perfect outfit. Maybe I should start a consulting business...?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Child's Play

Remember when you were a kid?

When you would be really "into" something? And that was the only thing you did for hours every day?

My sister was always my companion in this. We would all of a sudden get really obsessed with a certain game or activity and then plunge into it for days, only stopping to eat and sleep.

All of a sudden, our Polly Pocket village would become the most important thing in our lives, taking over the entire living room where people would step on pieces by accident. We'd be laying there on our stomachs, moving the tiny people around (back when they were REALLY tiny. you know, choking hazards.) and acting out life as we knew it by our favorite books or tv shows.

Or sometimes we would keep playing a game. One week we played UNO every waking moment until we were completely sick of it. Or there was the game of Monopoly that would keep stretching out as we proclaimed we would not STOP until someone won!

At one house we lived in, we had a sandbox in the backyard. My sister and I took it upon ourselves to begin sifting all the sand in it with our blue plastic sifters, taking out twigs and rocks and such. A pile of pristine, sifted sand grew in one corner of the sandbox, and we worked tirelessly to clean up the rest!

When you're a kid, playing is your occupation. Imagination and creativity are your tools. You just have to go for it and do your best, no matter how long it takes! How sweaty you get! How many fights you have with your sister!

But after a few days, it all wears off. Your mom realizes that it has been some time since the giant tower of blocks has been touched. You know, that tower that was going to reach all the way to the ceiling. And then you have to clean it all up.

Now, onto something new!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bad Eyes, Cont.

So, my eyes are bad. I've had glasses since I was about seven.

They get on your nerves after a while, you know? Especially when you have to wear them all. the. time. They fog up when you come in from the cold. They get wet when it's raining or snowing. You have to clean them all the time if you are a perfectionist...

So when I finally got contacts my freshman year of college, it was a pretty big deal. I'll never forget the first time I looked in the mirror and I could see myself. Without my glasses. Without having to be half an inch from the mirror, wondering what I looked like without glasses. It was pretty exciting.

(Now, after the eye doctor put them in the first time, I had to take them out and put them in again. Which took me at LEAST a grueling hour to do. I couldn't take them with me until I figured it out. Good times....)

And now, it's nice to have the option of either glasses or contacts. Or just one contact. Which I have done in a pinch. And in case you were wondering, yes, it does mess with depth perception. And I would not recommend driving or operating heavy machinery.

I'm glad I live in a time when I have the option to SEE! Glasses or contacts, I'm just glad I don't have to live in a world of fuzziness.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blind as a Bat. But Not As Scary.

My eyes are bad. Like, really bad. Without my glasses or contacts, I basically can't see ANYthing.

So I keep having this scary thought: What if I was stranded on an island after a plane crash (by the way, thank you, LOST for contributing to this thought. also Cast Away.) and my glasses broke? And my contacts ran out? What would I do?

Obviously, this wouldn't be the only problem I would run into on an abandoned island. But it sure would make things a lot harder!

Is it strange to worry about this, as well as try to plot out a strategy?

I should probably just hope that I am stranded with some resourceful people. It's funny, when I think of people I would like to be stranded with on an island, only characters from tv shows come to mind. Like LOST. Or Burn Notice. Shows with characters who know what they're doing.

In summary, my eyes are bad. And I really depend on my contacts. I feel like I have more to say, but I'm running out of time before work. So, to be continued...

Monday, June 13, 2011

How Do I Love Thee, Grocery Store?

Five Reasons Why I Love the Grocery Store:

1. Produce section. What a fresh, healthy-looking place! The produce section is full of possibilities. Lots of colors, lots of shapes. Just being in the middle of it makes me feel energetic. Not to mention those awesome water spray things that mist down onto the lettuce.

2. Carts. Hunching over the handle thing (what's that called?) at the front, you can race around corners with both speed and precision if you have the right kind of cart. If you get stuck with a nasty old cart that always wants to go left, you have a different kind of challenge.

3. Atmosphere. Everyone's shopping! For food! That means, lots of people to give you advice if you're trying to decide on a type of spaghetti sauce when faced with a wall of six dozen kinds.

4. Bakery. Hellooooo! Fresh bread smell? I'm there. I just like to wander around and look at all the delicious baked goods and check out the designs they'll put on a cake for you. Dora the Explorer, anyone?

5. Food. Hey, I'm there to shop for food! Which usually means that I'm helping out my mom and making dinner. So I need different ingredients to whip up a new recipe, or some delicious favorite. As you may know, I love being in the kitchen, so I see the grocery store as the first stop on the way to a good meal I can feed my family!

I got this picture off this site that gives healthy shopping tips. It includes not shopping while hungry, which YES I do, okay? Click here if you want to read it!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Running Away From Running

A few weeks ago (months? hard to tell), I ran 7 miles. At once. On the treadmill in my basement. While watching The A-Team. But that part's not really important...

Anyway, I ran 7 miles! Hooray!

But now, apparently, after hitting that significant milestone, I have completely lost interest in running. I've run maybe three times since then.

Part of the reason is probably that, since joining the gym for a whole year, I've wanted to go there more often. I don't run at the gym because...well, just because.

Things I've Learned About Running, As I Apparently Wrap Up This Season of My Life:

-I love exercise and the way it makes me feel (look...).

-I don't love running.

-I never found the elusive "runner's high." Unless that's what a second wind is.

-Running makes my knees hurt.

-There are other ways to exercise that don't involve... running.

-I am not going to run 10 miles. Which was my New Year's resolution. I've accepted it and I'm moving on.

I guess I just got sick of running. I never fell in love with it, and I found cycling instead to fill that hole. I really love the cycling classes at the gym, and I'm able to go three times a week and challenge myself.

So, goodbye, running. At least for now.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lazy Summer Days of Being a Kid

There's something about summer that makes me miss being a kid again.

Remember those carefree days of, well, nothing? When the most difficult choice of your day was the flavor popsicle you picked? When you had time to just stare at an anthill for 45 minutes?

Well, no more. Gone are those days.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy being a "grown-up," and wouldn't ever go back in time to relive those younger years (mostly because of junior high. *cringe*). But in these days of work and decisions (tougher than popsicle flavors), it's a nice escape to think of past summer days.

When I think of summers as a kid, a few things come to mind:

-going to the library! and pulling out piles and piles of books to lug home.

-me and my sister getting kicked out of the house to play.

-playing imaginary games outside involving sticks, rocks, and dirt under my fingernails.

-tough feet from going barefoot.

-long, long days of nothing. absolutely nothing.

Summers are different now. This is my first summer with a full-time job. Which I LOVE! But, it's different. Like a lot of other things these days.

Well, I am bound and determined to enjoy this summer with everything I've got. I don't want to see snow again for a long, long time!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Up, Up, and Away!

So, a couple times this past week I was at the gym before 6am.

I know, right? Who does that? Weirdo...

On Wednesday, I really wanted to go to a cycling class, and since I have an earlier shift on Wednesday, I decided to go to the one at 6 in the morning.

So I set my alarm for 5:30 and made myself presentable for, well, the gym. Where expectations are low. Or should be, anyway.

I got to the gym about ten minutes early and managed to claim the last bike in the room. Wait - what?

I noticed while I was driving to the gym that there were actually people on the roads. Going places. It's like there're these whole magical hours I know nothing about. Because I don't get up earlier than 6 unless it is a certain Friday in November.

So I got the last bike in the room! Because, apparently, there enough hard-core gym members that go regularly at 6am. Craziness.

I just sat there on my bike for a few minutes, blinking, pondering my existence. Then the class started and I didn't have time to think about how early it was. There was only time for sweat.

Getting up that early on Wednesday made me warm up to the idea a bit, so I got up the same time on Sunday. I went to the gym to join about four people (Seriously. Four people.) to exercise on various machines. What a difference.

All right, then! It's a new week. If you're like me, you nearly burst into tears at the thought of having to get out of bed, and delayed it as long as possible.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hammock Reading. Without Bugs.

I love being outside. Don't get me wrong, here.

But it has always been hard for me to sit in the grass and read. Sitting in the grass can just be so...irritating. Back when I was in college, other students would study outside. But I never lasted more than a couple minute.

Bugs. Tickly grass. Wind. People walking by. It was all just too distracting.

So I admit it. I don't really like to read outside. Unless I can control my surroundings a bit more.

We have a hammock that we hang outside in a couple trees, and that isn't too bad! It's suspended above the ground so the grass isn't an issue, and those intrusive bugs that like to crawl up your shorts can't get to you. Ha! Take that, stupid bugs. Find somebody else's leg to climb up!

I remember reading the last Harry Potter book in that hammock. I didn't budge for hours. I didn't have to, since I had some necessities with me.

Phone. Water. More books. Pillow. Food.

Something you should know about me and going somewhere to read: I have to be all set up. Once I'm cozy with my book, I don't like to have to go anywhere. I like to surround myself with anything else I might possibly need.

This is especially important in a hammock all the way in the corner of our backyard. It's kind of an event getting in and out of it. The sharp rocks underneath on an incline make for an exciting adventure.

So do you like to read outside? Do you have a book list for the summer? I don't have anything in particular, since I read nonstop all the time. Although I'm definitely reading Harry Potter again before the last movie comes out.

I'll probably read them in the hammock. For old times' sake.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

In My Day, a Nook Was the Corner Where You Read a Book

So, remember last week when I said that I got to take home the library Nook so I could learn how to use it?

Well, here are some observations:

1. Nooks are cool. Like, really cool. I felt like I went up 10 whole cool points with a Nook in my hand.

2. Nooks can do cool things. Like read a kids' picture book (in color!) to you. And look up words for you. And download books for you super quick whenever you want.

3. Like all technology, Nooks can get frustrating. Especially the touch screen. Are my fingers that obese that I can't click on exactly what I want? Apparently.

4. I kept comparing Nooks to books. Books don't run out of battery. I don't have to charge my books overnight. My books don't go into "sleep mode" when I put them down for a minute.

In fact, this made me realize how often I get distracted and stare into space thinking about something I read. Books are more forgiving than Nooks. Nooks are like, Fine, you're going to ignore me? See ya, loser.

5. The tapping got repetitive. Initially, when I wanted to turn a page, I slid my finger across the screen because it felt really cool. Then, I got sick of doing that. So I just tapped the corner of the screen. Then, I got sick of that. It must just be because it's an unusual movement for me. But I really missed turning the pages. Turning pages, that I'm used to doing. Also, I kept tapping in slightly the wrong place and bringing up a menu. So that was annoying.

6. I felt like I didn't ever have the whole book in front of me. It was like I was reading one single page apart from any others. Like I didn't have any context. Sure, I could go to any page I wanted at a couple touches of the screen, but I felt like I coudn't sense the book as a whole.

7. I realized that the only reasons I would ever buy a Nook (or other e-reader) would be if:
a. I wanted to maintain those 10 cool points (which means I would have to take my Nook places where people would see me...)
b. I became a world traveler and needed to carry hundreds of books with me in a simple, space-efficient way.
c. Pigs ever flew.

Hey, like I've said before: If people are reading, who cares what they read or how they do it? Not me. If a Nook or Kindle floats your boat, go ahead. I won't judge. But after having one for a weekend, I've pretty much decided that they're not for me.

To me, books are individual. I love the covers, the pages, the smells. I love the hardcovers and the paperbacks. The books I can throw in my purse, the books I can stack by my bed. The books I flip through, the books I read all the way to the end and then read again.

Nooks just can't compete. At least in MY book.