Thank you so much for visiting A Splash of Sass! I hope you'll click through to my new blog for more style photos and posts!
See you at Closet 12!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

30 Days of Truth

I came across this project on a few other blogs and I thought I'd give it a try.  30 days of writing is bound to get the creative juices flowing and keep me from whining about the day-to-day goings on of my life.

A topic is assigned each day.  Some of the topics look like a lot of fun, others look terrifying, so its sure to be a challenge.  Each day, I will link the post back to this one as sort of a checklist. Enjoy!

1. Something you hate about yourself
2. Something you love about yourself
3. Something you have to forgive yourself for
4. Something you have to forgive someone for
5. Something you hope to do in your life
6. Something you hope to never have to do
7. Someone who has made your life worth living for
8. Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit
9. Someone you didn't want to let go, but but just drifted
10. Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn't know
11. Something people seem to compliment you the most on
12. Something you never get complimented on
13. A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough-ass days (write a letter)
14. A hero that has let you down (letter)
15. Something or someone you couldn't live without, because you've tried living without it
16. Someone or something you definitely could live without
17. A book you've read that's changed your views on something
18. Your views on gay marriage
19. What do you think of religion? or What do you think of politics?
20. Your views on drugs & alcohol
21. (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two fought an hour before. What do you do?
22. Something you wish you hadn't done in your life
23. Something you wish you HAD done in your life
24. Make a playlist to someone and explain why you chose all the songs (just titles/artists and reasons)
25. The reason you believe you're still alive today
26. Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
27. What's the best thing going for your right now?
28. What if you were pregnant, or had gotten someone pregnant, what would you do?
29. Something you hope to change about yourself and why?
30. A letter to yourself. Tell yourself everything you love about yourself.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cold City

Its amazing how things can change so quickly.  Even more interesting is how I've noticed a shift in my perceptions of other, seemingly unrelated things since this most recent change began.

One of my bosses, who is a good friend of mine from college, and I sat down for coffee a week before I was to leave for Florida.  It was also my second payday since working for him.  I hadn't seen him around the studio much  that week and I knew he'd had some personal things going on.  Almost as soon as we sat down, he informed me that it was quite likely that he and his business partner would be closing the business and, in any case, they were not able to pay me my contracted amount anymore.  I was really glad that I'd been on my way to The Writer's place when I stopped for coffee, because I burst into tears the minute I was through his door, which I'm sure the TV repair guys who were there at the time really appreciated.

My work situation was a pretty unique one.  I was hired to do public relations and marketing for this friend's dance studio, however, their business was unable to pay me enough to make it my full-time job, so I was also hired by the adjoining fitness center to man the common front desk.  It was a pretty advantageous set-up, had it worked, since I was essentially being paid twice to sit there once and I was off by noon almost everyday.  I had left my somewhat unstable position in retail and turned down another decent offer to take this job.  So, when I found out that it was going to be ending, I felt like I had been thrown back to square one.  It had barely been a month since I'd started and I'd hated the feeling of insecurity that I'd had when I was job hunting the last time.  I'm sure that many people in America are familiar with this feeling, given the current economy.

When things were going well at my dual jobs, I didn't mind working in the downtown area.  I could deal with the toothless, jobless, and mostly uneducated individuals who spoke their demands to me in half-sentences.  I liked the view of the old buildings and being able to walk to my hair stylist's after work.  Even though this city's crime and poverty rates are depressingly high, the city felt almost romantic to me. I've always loved the feel of old cities and hope that life frequently finds me in their hustle and bustle.

This city is different for me now.  I loathe the cold sky that blankets it.  The buildings are stark and crumbling and there's no money anywhere to restore them.  Restoration is no where in sight for the people either. So, who was I, to think that my own restoration and profitability lay in one of these buildings or that these people who paid for their gym memberships with government checks would lead to a business that would support my own income?  Perhaps I was foolish, perhaps this is just another bump in the post-winter, potholed road I've been on.

A potential opportunity may have presented itself yesterday, and for this, I am hopeful.  It, like my last employment venture, could be profitable.  It's closer to what I want to be doing, but I don't want to get my hopes up.  Best case scenario: it detracts from the failure of the last month and a half's work and leads to something huge in another city.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Writer & Redhead Take Miami

The Writer and I finally got some good, solid alone time yesterday.  We drove across Alligator Alley to South Beach, Miami.  No alligators were seen on the way there or on the way back.  After all the wildlife we've seen on this vacation, I almost expected a few alligators or, if we were lucky, a panther.

I made the mistake of not eating a good breakfast before we left, so by the time we got there I was a little cranky from being hungry.  We walked our way down the Lincoln Drive Mall, making a few stops before my stomach really started grumbling.  We found a beachfront Italian restaurant for beers and mojitos to go with his steak and my veggie panini, which were absolutely delicious!

Our parking meter was almost up, so we decided to take a spin further down South Beach.  There was a music festival that The Writer was really interested in and wanted to try to sneak in some listening. We had thought about getting tickets, but it was a three-day event and the passes were pricey.  I wanted to check out Dash, since I'm a little bit of a Kardashian fan, but parking was nowhere to be found.  We managed to drive by our points of interest, so at least we can say that we were there.

We parked back at the original lot and hit Starbucks for some caffienation and the use of their bathrooms.  Even though we both try to avoid chain restaurants and such while exploring a new area, Starbucks is somehow different. Maybe it's the air conditioning, but it always seems to be calming when you step into a Starbucks far from home.  After some more shopping and a long walk along the beach (I think The Writer was trying to find UltraFest again) we headed to dinner at The Big Pink.  Thankfully, there was parking closer to the restaurant because my feet were thoroughly worn out.

Dinner was delish! I usually don't go for any kind of cheesesteak, since I'm used to authentic Philly cuisine, but I took the waiters recommendation and tried the chicken cheesesteak with peppers, onions, and mushrooms.  I like to add some spaghetti sauce for a pizza cheesesteak feel. After dinner, we headed back to his parent's house in the dark, not a nerve-wracking experience at all! Well, not for me because I fell asleep, but The Writer had to be sure he didn't hit any alligators or run out of gas. We made it back safely and slept extremely well.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring Break 2011

The Writer and I have been in Fort Myers, Florida since last Friday.  His parents moved down here last August and we're spending the week in their gorgeous home.  After this past winter, we definitely needed some sun and we've sure had it.  It's been 85 degrees and and sunny the whole time!

We nearly missed missed our flight down here.  The plane was set to depart at 5:40 am and we didn't get on the airport shuttle until 5:00 because we slept through our alarms.  It's a good thing the front desk called us when we weren't there for the 4:30 shuttle as planned and that an airport employee informed us that there was a completely empty security checkpoint only one terminal down or we would have been making alternate travel plans.

For dinner that night, I tried alligator tail! I can't say its something I'd want to add to my regular diet, since the consistency is a bit tough, but it was tasty and worth the adventure.  I was still trying to stick to my diet as much as possible during those first few days, so I may have been persuaded to eat it by its extremely high protein content.  Needless to say, my diet and exercising effort have diminished considerably as vacation mode has set in.  I still try to load up on salad when I can and we're staying pretty active by biking, kayaking, and walking along the beaches, but I'm definitely letting myself indulge on desserts and carbs way more than I have for the two weeks leading up to vacation.

We've seen lots of interesting wildlife, too.  Almost immediately after arriving at The Writer's parent's house, we saw a bald eagle flying overhead and a manatee down by their dock.  The next day, which we spent on Sanibel Island, we visited a park that had a variety of parrots, ducks, and lemurs.  We saw another manatee and a few dolphins on our boating excursion the next day, although not nearly as many as they usually see, which was a little disappointing. Yesterday, we were back on Sanibel beach, and saw a group of 10 stingrays swimming along the shoreline together.  There have also been numerous turtle and lizard sightings, as well as a trip to the most exotic pet store I've ever been in.  It was so hard to leave without a puppy or a baby hedgehog, but lack of funds and the distance we'd have to transport our new pet deterred us.

I'm not missing work or job hunting at all.  When I first heard that the one business that I work for, a dance studio, was most likely going to be closing and that they could no longer pay me, I felt as if this vacation was coming at a bad time.  I'd started looking for a new and more permanent position immediately and had to postpone an interview until after our return.  I'm glad to have gotten away.  I think that the time I've spent relaxing in the sun and having a more normal schedule instead of having to wake up at 3:45 am for work has made me realize that nothing about my current employment situation is suitable to me.  Granted, it is better that trying to make it on a retail salesperson job, but it isn't the nine-to-five I was hoping it would be.  The Writer's parents have given me some good advice that I'll hopefully be able to use to find something that's a good fit as soon as we get home.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Fiction Friday

Reggie hugged his cardigan closer. There was a breeze on the canal that he didn't remember being there before.  It was so unlike the California breeze he'd grown used to.  The breeze here was cool and the sky was gray.  California's breeze was warm and it's sky was bright, yet he reaped none of the benefits often associated with sunshine and fresh air in the six months since he'd been back.  Sara had grown concerned. He'd wanted to be happy, for her, but instead of being comforting, the warm sun on his face felt like a slap.   Reggie walked the beaches endlessly, as if searching for something in the sand that would unlock a door to the way things were.

The barge bumped the side of the canal. The boat's captain, if you could call him that, nodded to Reggie and smiled through his graying stubble.  Reggie put one foot on the stone staircase that would take him to the street level, then the other.  He paused before continuing.  He'd never stood here alone before, but he hadn't come back to stand at the side of a canal.  Up the stairs went and the familiar reddish glare washed over him.  Reggie could feel Jim's elbow digging into his ribs; hear their beer bottles clinking together in a toast to the adventures their night would certainly hold.  They were on leave with a pocketful of cash and a what-happens-here-stays-here attitude.

Maybe he'd find her again. Rose.  His heart quickened for the first time in a long time at the memory of her long tempting eyelashes and even longer and more tempting legs.  She had to still be here.  It wasn't the sort of place you moved on from, Reggie imagined.  Jim had spotted her first, almost hidden away in a third-story window, yet fully on display.  She had bent down to blow the boys a kiss and they'd run up the building's steps like schoolboys, fighting each other to be first.

Later on, in a bar filled with sickly-sweet smoke, Reggie and Jim had sat speechless, empty shot glasses lining the bar in front of them.  Reggie remembered with a cynical chuckle how a lay he'd won by the flip of a coin had made him feel so alive.  Rose was the ideal woman, although Jim would argue that her friend, Lily, was more deserving of the title.  Another round later and the two boys stumbled out onto the street.  Jim had run himself straight into a lamppost, Reggie remembered.  Every corner had one, yet he still imagined he'd look up and see the exact same one right in front of him.  Maybe Jim would be there, too, laughing and puking his guts out on the cobblestone.

Reggie kept walking.  Both sides of the canal, along with their side streets, held stories high buildings with ceiling to floor-length windows.  Instead of being seductive, the red tube lights on either side of each window now only reminded him of the bare fluorescents that had hung above their bunks.  No longer were the women in this place young and supple.  They had aged, just like he had, much too fast in the short time they hadn't seen each other.  Each girl's eyes looked just like the next's.  They all had Rose's legs, her curves.  Reggie felt no excitement at the spectacle before him.  Instead, he wished he could hear Jim's piggish catcalls instead of the welcoming cries of dungeon masters who stood on the porticos of each den of sin.

His breath grew short.  A woman was walking several yards ahead of him.  She was flanked on either side by a large bodyguard.  Insurance.  Protecting the merchandise.  She was not old and haggard. Her pin-curls were the same as he remembered.  Surely, this was the girl from before.  Reggie's pace quickened.  When he was close enough to get her attention, he called out her name.  She didn't skip a step to acknowledge him.  Again, he called, more pleading this time.  She stopped, and her human armor moved closer.  She turned, looking at this character inquisitively.  He repeated her name, quietly this time, for before him stood the woman he'd been dreaming of for the better part of a year.  Rose looked back at him with hardness in her once soft eyes and said firmly in accented English, "That's not my name," and continued on her way once again. Reggie jogged to become parallel to the striding beauty, all the while spouting foolish recollections so she'd remember him.  The bodyguard on her right became more interested in Reggie than Rose seemed to be, turning abruptly to block his path.  Reggie's exclamations met more forceful contradictions from the much larger man.  Nothing mattered to Reggie but her recognition.  The one tie to that night was walking away from him.  He couldn't let that happen.  He fought harder, causing a scene.

Shoving ensued.  Reggie's feet left the ground in the grasp of the giant and he turned them into weapons, flailing in every direction in a desperate attempt to pursue the disappearing woman.  Finally, having had enough of Reggie's futile struggles, the bodyguard hurled him toward the stone building.  Reggie felt the feeling of flying and was suddenly not traveling towards a stone facade, but away from the terrific blast of an improvised explosive device in a far off desert.  The shattering glass and red glow of the window his body made contact with was not a whore's playhouse, but shrapnel and best friend's blood raining down around him.  The bodyguard left him with one swift kick and Reggie sat in the ruins of a window and a memory.

And he finally cried.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me."

-Ayn Rand

Who Are We, To Be Anything But Fabulous?

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." 

- Marianne Williamson (A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

And I Dance, Dance, Dance!

Last night, Andrew Fulmer Dance Studios, waived the entrance fee to their 5:30 Latin Cardio class.  Since it was free and my day had been too busy for my typical yoga dvd, I decided to pop in.  I'd been meaning to check out the classes at the studio for a while, but had been dragging my feet.  I was scared. Dance is something that fascinates me, but I've had extremely minimal training and didn't want to embarrass myself in front of a group of skilled dancers.

When I arrived, Jonathan was leading a moderate sized group consisting of people from a variety of age ranges and demographics through a sequence of four or so power dance moves, one-by-one.  After the group had caught on, they were all combined into a sequence.  It definitely got my heart rate elevated.  A short break later and we were learning another set of moves.  Not only did these steps get my heart pumping, I could feel my muscles working.  If you've ever seen any sort of latin dance performed, you know that it involves a fair amount of hip movement.  Swiveling of one's hips inevitably leads to an ab workout, and an intense one, at that.  I could also feel the workout in my glutes, since several moves involved backwards lunges.

After we learned that last of three sequences, it was time to put them all together.  Several people in the class, including myself, looked a little nervous at this instruction.  I was doing well to remember the steps to the individual sequences!  Nevertheless, Jonathan began calling out the steps and each one would be executed repeatedly until it was time for the next step.  It worked out well for us beginners because, even if you didn't get it right away, the repetition gave us a chance to see what Jonathan and the others were doing and join in before it was time for the next step.

The class environment was truly enjoyable.  In some ways, I had expected a group of snobby dance aficionados.  Instead, everyone seemed to be having a great time, which made it easy to laugh off my inevitable missteps.  Instead of being intimidating, the mirrored room made learning easier to learn, since you could see the instructor from every angle and there was always someone to follow, no matter which direction you looked.

I'm definitely going to be attending this class whenever I can.  With any luck, my missteps will decrease along with the circumference of my waistline and I may even learn to hold my own on the dance floor.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Style Self Help

I've found myself wandering the aisles of shelves at my local Borders several times in the last few weeks.  I usually always browse through several sections: yoga, diet, fiction, and style.  Books on style intrigue me. I  enjoy reading them, but I can't say that they really affect my fashion decisions all that much.  Perhaps I have too much faith in my fashion sense, but they usually tell me things I already know.

There are people that need these books.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that an extremely large portion of the population could benefit from some sort of style self-help manual.  The flaw in the publishing of these books is that most of the people who need them the most aren't aware of their need or the existence of a solution.  For example, there is a book by Clinton Kelly, of What Not To Wear fame, in which he outlines   the top 100 fashion mistakes and how not to commit a fashion felony.  One of the top blunders listed is tracksuits, velour and otherwise. Does anybody remember that scene in Mean Girls where Regina's mom's chihuahua is chewing on her nipple through her pink velour tracksuit? There shouldn't have been any questions about whether or not tracksuits were a good idea after that.

The next book I picked up was titled, How Not To Look Fat, Ever. This, I thought, had potential.  We all have fat days and I know that I never feel like wearing any of my clothes on those days because I feel like they all look awful. Solution! No. This book should be titled, How To Look Less Fat Even Though You Are Fat. Never once does this book suggest going to a gym or putting down the Doritos. I could publish a one page manual on "How Not To Look Fat" and I'd give it away.  It would read thus: "Take the $30 you were going to spend on a book to help you camouflage your fat and use it to join a gym. Stop buying soda and junk food and use that surplus to continue paying for your new gym membership. Then, you will not only not look fat, you will not be fat."

After that, I left. I wanted to leaf through more tomes of fashion, but was too sick to my stomach to keep going.  On my way out, I witnessed a woman in brown legging with brown socks pulled up over the bottom. Tights? Not quite. I think they have a book for that.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Weekenders

Surprise, surprise! My fabulous self went out every night this weekend!

Friday was pretty low key. I was supposed to get drinks with Tessa and some of her friends, but they weren't planning on going out until later, so I met up with Anna at Starbucks for some good girl talk.  It was her birthday and she'd just been out to a nearby vineyard for dinner with her husband.  I've heard such good things about Gervasi, but its pretty pricey, so The Writer and I haven't quite made our way out there yet.  11pm rolled around and Tessa, etcetera, still hadn't left to get drinks, so I decided to call it a night, since I'd been awake since 4:00 am.

Saturday brought more Anna-time! We met for lunch at Corky's for some good food with disappointing service.  I love their veggie burgers and sweet potato chips, but our server was so unenthusiastic and rude that I would reconsider going back, which is a real shame.  After lunch, we went to get our noses pierced.  She'd had hers done a few months ago, but it had gotten pulled out with a washcloth one night, so she needed to get it done again. I've wanted a little nose stud for a while as well.  We stopped by The Writer's work to pick up some smoothies, since Anna was a bit lightheaded after having a needle shoved through her nose, poor thing.

After church on Saturday night, The Writer and I picked up The Roommate for dinner. No, she wasn't third-wheelin' it, we had set her up on a date with one of The Writer's best friends, Matt.  The Writer and I were going along to help their first date be less awkward. They'd never met each other and were going to Luigi's for dinner.  Luigi's has a sort of cult following in this area, apparently, and The Writer was not about to miss it.  After dinner, we picked up angel food cake and strawberries and settled in at The Writer's apartment to watch Office Space. It's one of those movies that he always tells me I need to see, since I fell asleep the first time I tried watching it. I may have made it through the first half, maybe less.  It didn't take me long to doze off.

Sunday morning meant blueberry and leftover strawberry pancakes.  Since he's been picking up more hours at work, he had to go in later.  I got back to my place with just enough time to get ready for our roommate reunion that we'd been planning for a month or so.  The Roommate and I used to live in a big house that we shared with Anna and five other girls.  Most people cringe when they think of eight girls living together, but we loved it...most of the time.  We'd all gone our separate ways last May.  Anna and one other girl were getting married, The Roommate, Sammy, and I found a condo to spend the next year in, two of the other girls created another community house to live in, and one moved back onto campus.  We hadn't all been together since moving out, so we decided to meet for dinner at Olive Garden. I remember why I never eat at Olive Garden - my stomach hated me later that night and last night after I had the leftovers.  It was so much fun seeing everyone that it was worth the heavy cream sauce and Black Tie Mousse Cake that I indulged in.  I was NOT feeling skinny anymore after that dinner.

A quick and fruitless trip to Target later and it was bedtime for me.  My weekend hasn't been that busy in a while! It may have been a strong contributing factor to the bad "case of The Mondays" that I had yesterday (I was awake for that part).
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...