On Shopping And Pretty Things

I was reading my Twitter feed this evening, getting excited to see all the buzz about RuPaul’s Drag Race [#TeamSharon #PittsburghRepresent], when I noticed Giuliana Rancic retweeting the following status:

Luv it!!! @LivingInYellow: Everybody and their mom needs to stop tweeting G so that she actually notices my blog post, http://www.livinginyellow.com/2012/04/dear-giuliana-and-baby-to-be.html

Now, I’m a sucker for good blogs. If those blogs involve Actual Good Writing, mentions of art, cats, couture, and a dash of crazy. NailsBails, Alle Malice, Le Clown, Prawn&Quartered, Miss Cristy, Stacie Chadwick, Ivonne, Kitties & Couture…definitely some of the ones in my frequent reads. Those people remind me of the good days back on LiveJournal, when it was less about your nine million views and more about how to run a troll out of your community.

Speaking of running people out of communities, I once got myself banned from the WoW community on Livejournal – the only community I’ve ever been banned from. That sucked, because it used to be a really good source of information. I played well with others, so the ban was a total surprise that only was realized when I went to post and got the “banned” error message. Great. My realization dawned too late: there were a few posts I made over the years (they have an informal 3-strike rule, if I recall correctly) that others in the community answered, and in receiving satisfactory answers, it seemed best to disable comments. Why have others post misleading information after we’ve already solved the question, right? Yeah, no – mods don’t like when you disable comments. There was no warning shot, just a ‘ban’ message. Awesome. No return warm welcome when I asked to be a part of the community again either, so that sucked. Aaaanyway… /tangent.

Back to shopping. Yay for new blogs, right? So I read Living In Yellow’s post about going sixty days without shopping, in which she says: “In all seriousness, I am excited about the next sixty days. I am excited to not focus on myself and material goods. There are so many better uses for my money, this I know. My first step? Sponsoring a little nugget over in the Philippines.

That post did something to my brain, and at first my emotions were a bit all over the place. Anger at the shallowness of someone only loving material things, jealousy at not being able to buy things for myself, sadness at feeling ANY sort of anger and also sadness for her at not realizing how lucky she is, happiness because she’s using the excess funds to sponsor a munchkin. There’s some further sadness at the fact I’m not getting a raise anytime soon, but also some elation in there at the thought of having my current bills paid down enough to actually start *saving* money.

That saving thing is quite some time away though. In all honesty, we’re looking at somewhere close to two years before I can afford to start having a real wardrobe. Maybe longer.

I’m 31.

I make less than……. um, less than I should. Less than I’d like to, and less than I deserve, but my viewpoint continues to be optimistic because my paycheck is consistent, unlike many many MANY people’s. There are people out there, some of whom are my close friends, who haven’t had a job in years. Their unemployment has run out. It’s not right to say that those who can afford to shop shouldn’t, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t bum me out that my clothes are old and mostly ill-fitting.

I live vicariously through fabulous people like RuPaul and Stacy London. The outfits, the makeup, the shoes, the carefree demeanor of it all – why not me? How does one obtain all that without going even further into debt? I’m under twenty grand in the hole, but that’s still *in* and not *out*. How can you get enough strength to sashay down the runway when you are already exhausted from just barely treading water? Yes, celebrities and people in any spotlight get hooked up with sponsorships, but here in Sandy Eggo, you see everybody and anybody with Brand Name Bags and Shoes. Z90 – a local station – is doing this whole “Snag Your Bag, Choose Your Shoes” giveaway, where if you’re very lucky and very good then you might get blessed with some sort of designer something to flaunt at the mall.

My friends have seasonal handbags, seasonal shoes. I have clothes that keep me from being naked in public. That’s all. I have tops and bottoms that can be worn at an office, some only when it’s hot and some only when it’s cold, and lots of free or adopted t-shirts. Some of the t-shirts are fun and artsy, but most are the kind that a tourist will bring back from their trip to Hawaii or Bermuda. We’re talking free large white or blue or red t-shirt. I have shirts from high school that still fit. I have a shirt from sixth grade that still fits. I borrow a lot of my husband’s t-shirts, own two hoodies, have adopted some random coat he found in a locker room, have a nice-ish fake fur coat for when it’s REALLY cold, and I wear hockey jerseys in public during times other than when I’m going to a hockey game. My other items of clothing consist of ‘active wear’ from clearance sections, a few nice pieces, lingerie or fetish-style stuff suitable for go go dancing/clubbing, one fitted/pushup/’nice’ bra, two “everyday” bras, and one (fairly expensive) sports bra. I might own a bracelet or two, have a handful of rings, some cheap necklaces, and that’s about it in the accessory department if you don’t count my awesome watch that needs a new battery. I have some body spray from Victoria’s Secret but no actual perfume. My makeup is cheap, old, and lacking. I have less than ten pairs of wearable shoes. I don’t mean work shoes or dressy shoes or running shoes, I mean: LESS THAN TEN PAIRS OF WEARABLE SHOES. There were shoes in my closet for years that used to get Sharpied to cover up where the color/paint was peeling off. My current shoes for doing yard/housework in are a pair of classic black Reeboks that were purchased for about $40 around the time my *last* boyfriend and I started dating. In 1997.

I only recall when these were purchased because they've got paint stains on them from when I helped him paint his office.

They were my workout shoes as well until 2009ish, when I finally decided to start caring about what was happening to my feet during exercise, and snagged some cross-train/walking shoes from Sketchers.

They look similar to this, but darker and with no pink anywhere.

Why? Why do I have this stuff? Yes, a large part of 2009 – 2011 was spent at a gym or taking dance classes, so when you’re working out at least fifteen hours a week you don’t have the time/energy/motivation to do much more than put on your bike shorts and that t-shirt that the gym sent you as a thank you gift. (Seriously, 24 Hour’s corporate office sent me a nice thank you care package for A) referring people to them and B) being such a big fan online. I’ve never heard of that happening to anyone else and it was awesome.) I wore my hair up in a weird messy ponytail for at least eighteen months, the kind of ponytail you only pull through the band halfway to make a sort-of bun.

Here’s my dilemma: I enjoy glamour and couture and fashion, but I also enjoy being comfortable. I do my current job better in jeans and a t-shirt, but enjoy feeling put together in a professional adult manner. I don’t have a tailor, and can’t afford to drop money on the attire I want, because the thought of spending $50 on jeans gets overridden by the fact that fifty bucks will buy me lunch for a week or gas for three. [Shoutout to Hyundai for being FANTASTIC on gas, btw.] I’d rather spend $40 on a meal but get bummed out because I don’t have anything fashionable to wear to said meal.

This is where my life is at right now. Three paychecks ago I said that my next paycheck was going to take me to Old Navy, where I was going to buy four pairs of pants and five shirts for work, and then just wear that in weekly rotation like a uniform. Two pairs of black pants and two pairs of some other pants, and five shirts in the same style but different color. You know what happened? Doctor’s appointments, more medication, and an $1100 estimation on car repair. I wanted to spend seventy bucks at Old Navy to “refresh my wardrobe” so I don’t have to keep wearing this same pair of “dress pants” (hint: they’re actually yoga pants) with a hole in them, but that didn’t happen. You’ll have to excuse me if I am not the happiest of campers.

I work at a marina where sometimes my customers are drunk. And homeless. They’re not looking for high class, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to wear sky-high heels (because I do, really and truly). You know what else happens, is that I stop caring about things like makeup or fixing my hair. You’re all lucky if my hair gets *brushed*, which bugs me as well but that’s just how it is right now. That’s how it has been for as long as I can remember, and that’s also why I make a big deal about my haircuts or if I buy new ANYTHING.

Let’s get a visual on some of this, shall we?

Photo from January 2008. I can't remember how old this leopard print shirt is, but it's close to 7 years old, and is currently still in my weekly work shirt rotation. The black shirt over it is attached.

Champagne and a ceramic chicken, at the Glorietta Bay Inn. Don’t judge.

Photo from feb 2010, white DKNY skirt purchased at Ross for $15 sometime in 2006.

Early last year that skirt caught on a nail and ripped to a point where it couldn’t be repaired, which was a HUGE bummer. I loved it.

Photo from sometime in 2010. The suit jacket has a matching skirt, both still fit me, both were purchased near the end of my high school years. This is the only actual suit I own, and I wore it to my 2007 interview for my current job.

Photo from August 2007. The little black ballet flats were $5 from Ross & were purchased sometime between 2005 & 2006. I wear them at least three days per week right now to work. They are the only ballet flats I own, and also the only closed-toe black flats I own as well.

Photo from 2007. Shoes from Walmart, $15. Jeans from Charlotte Russe, $20. Hoodie from Hot Topic that was birthday present in 2001. Yes, I still own the hoodie but don't wear it, just want to make something out of the material because it was sentimental.

Aforementioned hoodie. It says "Bad Kitty" on the sleeves. This photo is from 2002-2003ish. No, it didn't have attached mittens.

Photo from August 2010. Yes, it's a Ouija Board shirt.

Do you remember when Delia’s first came out in the mid-90’s? They had items in 5-7-9, which was the forever 21 of Beaver Valley Mall. I ordered that shirt FROM A DELIA’S CATALOG IN 1998 because it had stars on it. I loved stars on things, mostly because I loved Everclear and they talked about pale green stars in one of their songs. It didn’t dawn on me until a few years ago that it was a ouija board and hello, touch my chesticles. Anyway. Yeah, that shirt right now is in my drawer and gets worn around the house or to work out in.

Halloween 2009. Bought that pink shirt from goodwill for $3. Shoes purchased in 1998, less than $30.

Whenever I dressed up as a schoolgirl for anything, those were the shoes I defaulted to.

Aformentioned pink shirt. Wore it in October 2011 to meet Anthony Bourdain, one of my literary heroes.

I hope he appreciated my cleavage.

Pink shirt from Victoria's Secret. Black overshirt and black skirt from somewhere I can't remember.

This photo was in April 2009, at the Bellagio for my friend’s wedding. All my clothes are at least six years old. That is one of my ‘nice’ outfits, and I probably will wear it to a wedding this weekend. All the items are in good condition, except for the shoes (the stitching is starting to come out).

Again with the square shoes. They are heavy and have a silver metal O-ring on them. This is me in the Bellagio, May 2004.

Those shoes are now currently in a bag that needs to be dropped off at one of those donation boxes when I remember to put it in my car, I think the last time I wore them was spring of last year.

Again with the shoes. This photo is from 2006. The jeans were purchased prior to that, came from Charlotte Russe, and cost less than $30. I still own them. They are one of three pairs that I currently own.

Vegas, 2002. I still own that shirt, it still fits and is in good condition.

Last year I finally got rid of the pinstriped bondage pants, after six years of not being able to wear them.

I am proud of my husband's hockey teams. This particular team gave out t-shirts, and this shirt was probably from their 2007 championship. This photo is from about three years ago. I still wear this shirt on a regular basis (at least twice a month).

Thanksgiving 2010. Free 24 Hour Fitness t-shirt and capri sweats from Old Navy that were less than $20.

This is typically what I wear to sit around the house, run errands, or go to hang out at people’s houses in. Cat: $150, purchased in September 2001, value: priceless. I love my cat more than I love most people.

The two crowning lowlights of my wardrobe are as follows…

Photo from September 2010 - I still have a white skirt to go with that suit jacket, but the skirt doesn't fit anymore. It's not a bad suit jacket, it's in decent condition and gets worn over dresses or other shirts.

The aforementioned white skirt/jacket combo was part of this suit. This photo is me, headed to my now-husband's FIRST wedding, which my then-boyfriend was a groomsman in. That was in 1996, if my mental recollection of time periods was correct.

This is me in middle school. That black t-shirt is from our eighth grade field trip to Washington, DC.

My friend Jen (who I’ve got my arm around) passed away in 2001. That t-shirt is in my dryer right now, and in regular rotation in my wardrobe. It’s still in fairly good condition, no holes, somewhat faded, and still fits just fine.

So there you have it. My fabulous life that I don’t ever talk about.

It actually hurts me to write about this stuff, because it brings attention to my clothes and also the feeling of not being quite grown up. Does not owning a Dior bag (or perfume) qualify me for not being an adult? No, it just means that you get to see me as-is, every day. Does it make me a bad person to not have any real sort of wardrobe? Not particularly. You also get to see me bummed out at the boring people on What Not To Wear. If you’ve ever seen an uninspiring guest on there, a guest who is just rolling their eyes the entire time, you’ll know my frustration. As this guest blogger put it: “I mean seriously. How could a human woman, no matter how hideous her fashion sense, NOT be honored to have two of America’s style icons spend not one, not two, but four almost-full-days molding and shaping them into a happier. hipper, less 80s streetwalker looking person? How? How could you not be excited and open to such an awesome experience?! I just don’t get it.

Please, someone, put me on that show so I can get a free wardrobe/makeover. PLEASE. It’s been over a decade of awful clothing for me, and it’s time for a change. A well deserved one. At the very least I’ll be a little more excited about life and getting out of debt, because another two-to-three years of these same horrible clothes/shoes/accessories is making me very unhappy.

Short version: good for Living In Yellow and other people at being able to buy stuff, boo for them not realizing how lucky they are, boo for me not ever being able to (EVER). Now being unsure what point exactly I’d like to make with this post, let’s just end it here. Sorry for the Debbie Downer mode – I don’t want to fight with anybody, I just felt like getting that stuff off my chest.


Hunger Games: Parking Lot Version

You’ve probably been to a store recently, or some place that involves a parking lot. Have you seen a parking lot before? The kind with lines? Of course you have. Here’s a photo to help jog your memory.

This evening required a quick trip over to the local Best Buy, which (crazily enough) has a very similar parking lot to the one in the photo above. The photo below is basically what it looked like when I got there. Cars were lined up all neatly, in even little efficient rows with everyone parked evenly next to each other.

And then, there was this.

It’s a nice car.

It was in one of the first spots closest to the store.

They did SO WELL at parking that I think everyone needs to know; click it!

See the tail edge of that white line in the shot on the left? Yes, that person parked juuuuust perfectly enough in between the two spots, perfectly over the line, perfectly obnoxiously. I know – and have seen – people who will spit on their driver’s side window AND door handle for that sort of thing. It wasn’t me, because spitting is gross, but I’ve seen it done.

I have a question for you, Mercedes Benz of Anaheim
: how much extra did your customer pay for their DOUBLE PARKING PERMIT?? HMMM?!?! BECAUSE THEY’RE DOUBLE PARKED. LIKE A JERK. Maybe you could advise your future customers (or returning customers, or everyone, really) to not do that. They wanted to advertise how great you were with that nice license plate cover, so I thought you should know.

At the time of taking that photo I was furious enough to want to stand and wait for the owner of the vehicle, just to ask them WHY they felt the need to park that way. Do you see the cars in the background? Do you see how THEY are parked? I took a deep breath and left, but still. Look, I get that people all want to be individuals and follow their dream and be self-righteous jerks*unique snowflakes, but come on now. I actually drove away, fuming, and then came back to take the photo. That’s because part of me actually wanted to key my question (Y U NO PARK PROPERLY) into their shiny new paint job, but then logic dictates that “vandalism” isn’t generally accepted in society, so I opted to do something a little more fun… like tell the internet.

Please, people. Spread the word. Car dealerships, let your customers know: DON’T DOUBLE PARK. If you double park, you make people angry, and angry people aren’t always rational. Law enforcement officers: yes, I am angry, but because I do not want to go to jail (ever), one of my personal rules is to not do anything like bash in a window or key a car or slash a tire. For the record, yes, I will angrily post online but that’s as far as it goes. Other angry irrational people (who are not me) might do something worse.

People parking in places they shouldn’t are on a special list of mine. It makes me very upset, and you know why? Because if I or any of my friends tried to pull that, we would get towed. At the very least, we’d get a ticket. It’s not because of the kinds of cars we drive, because I have friends that own Maseratis, Jaguars, Cadillacs, BMWs, Benz, etc. It’s because my friends don’t have the sense of entitlement that overwhelms their sense of logic.

You know when you go to a business and certain spots say “Reserved” or “Patient Parking” or “Staff Only” or “Commercial Loading”? Well, for the general public, those parking spots are not where you are supposed to park. You park there if you work there, if you are a patient there, if you’re Employee of the Freaking Month at a mortgage company and that’s the spot you won because you closed more loans than anyone for the month of whatever. You don’t park there because you don’t feel like looking for another spot.

Sometimes the parking indicators are on the ground. At my office, there are eight metal signs that stick up about four feet out of the ground (right about eye level when you’re seated in a vehicle that pulls in to a space). These signs say in big bold letters: STAFF PARKING. We all have our own parking spots. What makes me want to smash their windshield is when I go away to lunch for 30 minutes, come back, and despite ALLLL the other spots open in nearby rows (no seriously like twenty spots), someone who is NOT STAFF has parked in my spot. I can’t explain how furious it makes me, but there is very little that gets me very mad very quickly quite the way that stuff does.

Why? Why do you do this? When I park somewhere that I’ve never been (for example, last week to Wine Steals at Liberty Station, whose parking situation is VERY minimal during busy times, check out Google Maps), please believe the first thing on my ‘leaving the car’ checklist is make sure that it’s okay to park wherever. Is there a sign at the entrance to the lot? Are the spaces numbered but there’s no box to pay? Do some of the spots have cement bumpers and some don’t? Is there a sign ANYWHERE in the lot that designates times that it’s not okay to park there? Why is it that not everyone cares about this sort of thing? It doesn’t matter if you can afford to get your car out of impound, or afford to just say “oh well” and buy a new one. It just makes you a jerkface if you don’t do this.

PEOPLE. PLEASE. PAY. ATTENTION. It takes no extra time and you won’t accidentally make someone angry because of your actions. I don’t care how much you paid for your car, I don’t care if you’re driving a limo or a HOVERCRAFT. If you don’t park properly and it’s not an emergency, I hate you. [For the record: my trip into Best Buy took about half an hour. That car was there upon my arrival and also upon my departure, so if there was an emergency it probably involved a lengthy discussion about if they should get the 60″ or the 72″ LCD panel TV for their outdoor kitchen because it might interfere with the view of the fountain and not quite tie the area together. In other words, there was no emergency.]


*I keep using the word jerk/jerks because every time I search for another descriptive phrase it’s got a lot of um, curse-insertion. Colorful language, you might say.

Read this. Know and understand. [Your humble narrator fully appreciates, understands, and agrees with this repost.] Great trip down memory lane!!

Kloipy Speaks

A list of some of the things that helped make me into who I am today

View original post 1,050 more words

Good News is Good News

After nearly a year of feeling like I’m losing my mind, three doctors, hundreds of dollars, too many bottles of pills, and far too many “let’s try this and see if it works”, someone finally gave me an answer that I wanted to hear.

Blood and lab test results: completely healthy, all vitals right where they should be, blood pressure great, no h. pylori, not pregnant. One very slight/mild allergy (peanuts). This is a bummer because chocolate-and-peanut-butter is one of my favorite combinations EVER, but hey. Small price to pay.

ENG test results: A weakened area on my left side showed mild labyrinthitis, but it appears to be resolving. My ENT (Dr. Rivet) doesn’t feel that physical therapy is necessary, and concurs with the audiologist that walking/light exercise is a good idea, as it will help the healing process move along. The audiologist also said the lighting in the office may have some effect on my symptoms, but said having natural light can help (which there is a lot of but the florescent lights are really awful). Inquired if there was anything I should stay away from, he suggested ladders and roofing (LOL). I also asked if there was any specific food or beverage I should stay away from and he said no, so that means that eventually you’ll all be able to buy me drinks again. 😉 I let him know about the peanut allergy and he noted that for the file.

Followup: None needed.

Overall: day two of feeling alright. Not perfect, but functional. Not nauseous at the moment, still taking it one hour at a time. Had my first soy chai latte in over a week, and it is amazing how that one beverage makes me feel the way a grande white mocha and two cups of coffee used to. Definitely excited about keeping a low caffeine tolerance.

SUPER AWESOME PART: The ENT said he feels like we’re done, and in a couple months everything should be resolved and I should be back to normal. NORMAL!!! Like… like a regular person that doesn’t have to worry about the room spinning or the light being too bright or loud noises or half a cup of regular coffee or feeling like the evening will be ruined if I don’t have two sets of medication in my purse. NORMAL!!!!!!!

Verklempt, that’s me.

Sunday Night Brownies

It’s been a good day. Got up around noon, went grocery shopping, saw a fight, made bacon, saw another fight, read until I passed out, woke up an hour ago, began making brownies just now.

Ghirardelli’s Chocolate Caramel Turtle Brownies, to be exact.

Very exciting. 🙂 And yes, those were real-life fights, the kind where somebody gets wrestled to the ground outside a store and the screaming match kind. It actually was a very nice day out, so it’s unfortunate to see violence and discontent. The only violence I wanted to see was Game of Thrones and Wrestlemania, but we don’t have HBO and didn’t buy the Pay Per View, so the back of my eyelids had to suffice.

It makes me sad to not be watching GoT right now though. For real.

At the homestead today we discussed upgrading my Kindle to pass my current one on so that Other Half could start reading some of our eBooks. It’s a nice thought but I don’t have the $$ for an upgrade at the moment, so that’s on the back burner. That lead to discussion of why am *I* not writing a book, which lead to me saying that there’s really nothing going on in my mind as far as story or plot or character lines, so it’s not happening. It’d be nice though. I would write a book. Any suggestions? Fiction please.

What else. Last night I went out to Sabbat and was able to dance a bit. As in ten minutes worth. After doing nothing for months, my body hurts quite a bit today, and it was a sad reminder of just how much further I need to go.

I got to wear sparkly fake eyelashes though; here’s a shot of me and my friend Jen. Please excuse Zombie Mode Face; the flash was REALLY bright.

If only there was a way to make camera flash less painful.

Speaking of a long way to go, I survived my ENG test on Friday with only minor nausea and dizziness. The intense nausea from all of last week seems to have subsided (which is great), but I still don’t have my lab test results back from that. The next step is for a neurologist to review my stuff from Friday, then my ENT gets it, and then by Wednesday I should have an idea of my next visit.

The audiologist was super nice. She had a great sense of humor and made things bearable, which is a very much appreciated thing. The ENG test was about as pleasant as you might imagine. You put on goggles (zey actually do somezink), watch dots on the wall, and then get your ears flushed out with cool and burningwarm water.

Think of it as a spa for your inner ear, she said.

Looks nice, doesn't it. You know how sometimes the hot tub is *too* hot? Well, just imagine the jets of hot water shooting into your ear for 30 seconds.

Other than feeling like I had water trapped in my ear for the rest of the day, and other than being really tired, things went well. She said there were a few minor abnormalities but I’m borderline normal, which is my new band name.

This rabbit is Borderline Normal, but I wouldn't want to run across it at night.

We talked about a lot of things. How depressed and frustrated I’ve been, how awful I’ve felt, how far away normal really does seem, how active I once was to how things are now. She said that she suspects things are getting better, healing, but there are still months to go before things are okay. Essentially I get to learn to walk again: apparently the ear/eye/brain combo that most people have doesn’t function properly for me anymore, so part of my rehab is literally going out to walk when I can. Ten minutes here, fifteen there, and that should help me heal faster. The nausea thing may have just been a bug, but I still want the results to see if I’ve got any allergies.

All of this reminds me how much I miss dancing. Really and truly. As my debt gets paid down, the thought of being able to go back to dance classes and eventually perform sticks in my mind. I miss it terribly. Also, Showgirls is on, and it’s my first viewing. They have CGI BRAS. Like… Roger Rabbit cartoon status. It’s awful but I will tell you it doesn’t make me want to dance any less.

My brownies are ready. Y’all have a nice night.