Friday, November 12, 2010

You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em

By now, you have probably memorized the bland, neutral-toned pattern on my workplace carpet by heart, but I am going to feature another couple of photographs right from where I'm at. Today, I feel like I'm from Texas. This might be quite a stereotype based on how I am dressed, but I'm going with it.  One by one, I am quickly running out of suitable, comfortable boots for this cooler weather.  Many pairs have received an unwelcome and not-so-comfortable crack along the sole, which allows cold, slushy precipitation to seep onto my socks.  Sounds fun, right? But, this is precisely the reason I was having quite a predicament on this jeans Friday. I really like jeans day, but that can be included a different post entirely.

I was scouring my closet for a comfortable, non-heeled pair of boots to tuck my favorite skinny jeans into-- when I looked up and saw my white, frilled boots that I had purchased from the Salvation Army at least three years ago.  Delighted, I put them on and continued to get ready. With the finishing touches, I found my pink vintage necklace and placed it around my neck. It always reminds me of Texas, and I only found out today that it reminds others of flamingos or Wonder Woman, but we will pretend that I didn't hear that. At the moment I put the necklace on, I realized that both items were from vintage or used clothing stores, and it reminded me of how much I love those places. My most beloved pieces are from shops like those, and I think people count out these places often.

"You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done."
-Kenny Rogers

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Music is an outburst of the soul

I have been preparing for the last couple of weeks for a show I am playing at this coming Saturday.  I'll be the opening act, and will be playing for between thirty and forty-five minutes.  I have previously performed on a somewhat regular basis at cafes and open mics, but have since spent quite a bit of time away from that circuit.  Because of this, one would assume that I would have spent the past three months preparing for the event, but, as is characteristic of myself, I waited until the two weeks beforehand to begin practicing.

I prefaced my current statement simply to point out that I think many of us procrastinate in this way, but once we actually get to doing what it is we need to do, we end up liking it.  I will be playing both guitar and ukulele, singing, and I will perform both cover songs and my own original tunes.  It has been an incredibly fulfilling experience to thumb through my old music folder, to strum and sing along to songs I wrote in 2004, pages yellowed and corners wrinkled.  Although it has been years since I have acted like music was one of the most important things in my life, it has continued to be so, and preparing for this coffeehouse has brought it back into my every-day reality.

I hope I continue this practice, because playing every day has brought me
to a place of self-evaluation, of peace, and of happiness.

"Music is an outburst of the soul." -Frederick Delius

"I've never known a musician who regretted being one.  Whatever deceptions life may have in store for you, music itself is not going to let you down." -Virgil Thompson

Thursday, November 4, 2010

stripes or spots?

I adore animal prints. They were in style at some point in the 1990s and then became gaudy for the next several years. This was very disappointing to me, so imagine my delight when I started seeing stripes and spots appearing in department stores.  I was also pleased to find that designers had improved on their prior 1990s collections, which had included short, tight, sleeveless turtlenecks. 

As I often do, I was browsing through Would you wear these trends? segment in the fashion section of, and I had quite an epiphany. I think many of us do not realize how much stuff we have, and how much we can also re-work into new styles. It is easy to just take out our credit cards and constantly purchase new trends, but often times, what we need is right in our own home. After seeing these wonderful leopard totes, I recalled receiving a medium-sized leopard bag as part of a beauty gift pack for a holiday.  As soon as I arrived at home, I dug through the bottom drawer in my tall, creamy white dresser, and immediately switched my essentials to the new purse. Thus, here I am at work, receiving compliments on a bag I already owned!

Here's to being fierce--without spending the money for it.

"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening." -Coco Chanel


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Goodness gracious...

...Great balls of fire!  In the midst of a somewhat uneventful day, I enjoyed a crunchy, leafy, balsamic-drizzled salad.  The taste was scrumptious, and it was very satisfying, until I realized what the after-taste was like.  Have you ever been there?  I quickly started to wonder if the delicious lunch was worth the price I paid--and I'm not talking about money. Without any gum or mints in sight, and devoid of any cash my my wallet, my friend, Kristen, graciously purchased a ten cent fireball for me, along with one for herself.  I think I am going to consider this our first date.

I am making this fireball last for as long as possible.  My primary concern is that my teeth will turn fluorescent red; I couldn't care less that my neighbors here in the workplace are probably starting to notice my partially eaten fireball on an open wrapper and a napkin on my desk.  I assume they have already started to give me a nickname, like fireball girl, or red hot, or something.  My newly red hair isn't helping, either.  But, the delectable taste of this fireball is incredibly worth it. 

I generally don't like spicy or especially hot foods; it is evident, however, that my life is very adventurous--and the best thing about my day today has been this Atomic Fireball.

I wasn't in the mood to find an inspiring quote about candy (if that exists), so here's something else:

"If you think you can win, you can win. Faith is necessary to victory." -William Hazlitt

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

any day now, you'll call me up on the phone...

Yesterday, I made a phone call to a friend that I haven't spoken to in years.  She didn't answer, and I left a voicemail.  I hope she calls me back.  To be completely honest, she called me a few months ago because I work with her mother, and I failed to call back.  Staying in touch is not my strong point, but it is something I am aware of and trying to work on.  The reason I called this friend is that I heard a song on the radio by an artist who was mildly popular when I was in high school.  It brought back an inside joke that I had with her, and I thought about calling her, and then I thought about not calling her.

I called her, because even though I feel badly about not calling for so long, I realized that maybe that is a reason why people fall out of touch and stay out of touch: one or both people feel guilty about having the ball in their court and waiting so long, so they don't call at all.  I caught myself in that game, and decided that our friendship is more important to me than who called last.  I am sorry that it's been so long, but if someone is a real friend, you won't be afraid to take that step.  In a day with the prevalence of Facebook, e-mail, and twitter, it would have been just as easy to use those mediums.  But, while I think there are positive factors in the use of those, I believe they can also be used as an excuse to forget about the human factor in relationships.  It's not always as easy to call, but it's more worth it, even if she doesn't return my call.

"If we can call them friends then we can call them on their telephones
and they won't pretend that they're too busy or that they're not alone."
-Andrew Bird

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'll tap the brake, while you crack the window

This morning, I was a few minutes late to work as I packed my things, one by one, into the frost-covered car.  (Yes, I said frost covered. If you asked, I'd tell you I think it's a little too early for that).  As my driver's side door creaked shut, I realized that I had forgotten my inhaler.  Much to my annoyance, I hurriedly shuffled up three flights of stairs, grabbed the item, and rushed back down.  Halfway down my usual route, I got a call from my husband telling me there was major traffic and to go the back way to the highway.  So, I turned around, spent an extra ten minutes to get to the highway -- with a police officer driving behind me almost the whole way -- only to realize that there was dead-stop traffic on the main route as well.  Not only was there bumper-to-bumper traffic on one highway, but it was on both highways that I take to get to my place of work.  Needless to say, by the time I arrived, I was half-an-hour late.

Let's back up a little bit.  As I was sitting at a stand still in my vehicle, I attempted to calm myself down.  It took a situation like this for me to realize that I had not obtained any phone numbers from work friends or from my manager.  Since the situation was completely out of my control, I decided to listen to some Cat Power and wind down.  Then, I began talking to myself.  I admit it; I do that from time to time.  I'm thankful for this car.  I'm warm and it's not breaking down.  I'm thankful for my job.  I'm thankful for my wonderful husband.  And, you know, it actually worked!  I arrived to work late today, but it wasn't really worth my stress.

Okay, I didn't drive 300 miles today, but it felt like it.

"I'll tap the brake while you crack the window. The smell of smoke is making my lungs
explode.  The 51 is backed up and too slow.  Let's tune out by turning on the radio."
-The Format

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

le beau jour

Judging by the photo below, it should be evident that today was a boring day at work.  Not a whole lot happened and I spent most of my time rushing to get a project in before a six-hour training tomorrow.  With the strong desire to go home, I suddenly had an epiphany: This isn't so bad.  If being bored is the worst that it's getting, there's a lot I need to be thankful for.  Compared to my prior work, the stress level here is fairly low.

I've also been having conversations lately with several different friends about the idea of waiting for things--big things--to happen in life.  Many of us try to get through the days as fast as possible, in anticipation of events or goals to be achieved in life.  I've been learning that this day, this boring day, is a big part of my life.  Each one of these days makes up what my life is, and what my life will be. And every day is a chance to start over.

"The purpose of life is a life of purpose."  -Robert Byrne