Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blog #81:Bet you're not so civilized

Things certainly are looking up around here.

NFL football is back. This is huge. Without the NFL, the blog this Fall would just be a series of posts of me whining about having nothing to do on Sundays. Or Monday  nights outside of internship. And sometimes Thursdays. Oh snap! I just realized to cut down my ATT Uverse bill, I got rid of all bonus channels! I'm going to have to find someone with ESPN and NFL network and make them my new best friend. Apply within.

The Chiefs are totally rocking their free agency too. I don't know that I've been this excited about a Chiefs season before it started before now. I guess an AFC West title and a kick ass (albeit shortened by the lockout) off season are all it takes to light my football fire.

No football centered post would be complete without mentioning my Bearcats. Poor buddies. I'm still smarting over the loss in the semi's last season, which was then followed by an emotional roller coaster off season wherein our iconic and legendary head coach retired, passing on his title to a man devoted to the Bearcats as Defensive coordinator for 14+ years. Coach Bostwick was ready to take on his dream job when he suffered a fatal heart attack before getting a chance to coach a game. The upcoming season is charged with so many emotions it could go to the extreme in either direction. It is my belief that the Bearcats are resilient and will play with a purpose stronger than we understand.

So, fair warning, if you don't care about football - be prepared to be very uninterested in me for a few months.

In other news, I'm about to have a whirlwind of a weekend. Tomorrow I'm going to see Cinderella the musical at Starlight with my sister in law. Saturday I have some Solace House hours, then I'll be taking my little sister to a big old country extravaganza at Arrowhead featuring Zac Brown Band (my main attraction) and Kenny Chesney (Madi's main attraction.) Then, Sunday my cousin and I are participating in WARRIOR DASH (all caps because you get a viking hat) wherein we will climb rope ladders, jump over fire, and crawl through mud. Our outfits are themed after the 80's classic, Scandal's "Warrior." Shooting at the walls of heartache. Bang Bang. Enjoy the video below.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Blog #80: I WANT.

When you get time, read my post on comparisons below. Normally I would leave it at the top longer but there is a very pressing issue at hand: Hunter Rain Boots.


I WANT I WANT I WANT I WANT.

And one of my favorite fashion blogs, Rose A'La Mode, is giving 2 pair away in honor of her 1 year blogiversary. If you win, you get a pair for yourself and a pair to give away (and tis better to give than to receive, no?)  So, HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY, LINDA & ROSE A'LA MODE! I can't decide whether I need a purple pair or a green pair, but I know I need a pair.

Check the links out to see how you can win. Or don't, because then I have more of a chance to win and I WANT. But you really should check out the blog. It's a winner.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Blog #79: Compare & Contrast

We have now entered day 3 in the sinus  headache/migraine/brain tumor hybrid saga. This is probably what I would consider the worst day yet. That sounds whiny and negative though, so I will say that this is the day with the most opportunity for me to overcome adversity yet. I've found that I can keep the irritation under control so long as I wear my glasses and hold my head and neck completely still and rested against a soft surface. So, very practical. As I type I have my chair at an angle that allows for me to barely need to move my eyes to see the words and still keep the back of my head rested against the plush comfort of my chair. The headache makes it difficult to focus on anything for too long or move very quickly, which is a struggle because I always have so much to do.

I need to unpack my thoughts on something though. Hand writing it would be better because it involves a physical and cognitive act more than typing and because you move your hand from one side to the next and your eyes follow, it engages both sides of your brain and allows you to process your thoughts much more completely. However. I can't even begin to imagine the angle at which I could begin to make that work with my current headache.

This is about the idea of comparing and contrasting. More specifically, the idea of comparing and contrasting one's body and looks with another's. Obviously this is unhealthy. I'm not going to spend too much time on that because then I'd have to follow up with the fact that sports teams prefer to win games rather than lose them and I am not interested in becoming the John Madden of the blog world. I want to delve more into the experience of it because I discovered something very interesting the other day. Let me start earlier than that though, from the beginning.

I am notoriously guilty from an early age of looking at other girls' frames and wishing my body was shaped that way instead of the way that it was/is shaped OR (and I'm not proud of this) being glad that "at least my [whatever] was thinner/prettier/better than so and so's [whatever]". I remember 6th grade gymnastics. I had what I still prefer to call "baby fat". I wasn't an obese child by any means. I had always been in the 50th percentile of weight (though 20th in height). I wasn't even overweight. I was just, average. Most of my weight placed itself around my face and around my belly, so I had fairly lean arms and legs and no butt at all. That's kind of the opposite of most gymnasts, though. They are flat and strong in their core, and their bulk is  muscle and  is primarily in their legs (to provide for all those flips.) I remember one girl making fun of me by making the "wide load backing up" beeping sound as I did a backwards walk on the balance beam. I didn't take gymnastics for very long. It was around that time that I began to become very aware of body differences and what they "mean" for girls.

This carried on into middle and high school. I remember saying things to my friends such as "I wish I looked as great as you. You have the best figure." I'm sure my expression wasn't quite as eloquent. It probably was more like "you look way better in that outfit than I do." but the meaning is the same. I thought I was complimenting them. I thought I was making them feel good (though lowering my own self worth in the process.) Obviously, comparing and contrasting with someone else who had a completely different build and genetic makeup than I did was unhealthy and did not make me feel good. By trying to work to get my body to that standard I was on an impossible quest for an unattainable aesthetic, and for no good reason.

Here is the plot twist. Recently I have had individuals say to me, "I wish I could pull that look off. I couldn't look like you do in that outfit though," and statements like that. I say that not to brag or anything, though I am often really proud of my outfits and ability to find flattering pieces that work with my shape. My body itself really isn't in prime physical shape. Stress and grad school have me small but soft. Not strong. My point here, though, is that these comments do not make me feel good because they aren't about me or anything I do well. In fact, they do the opposite of boost my self esteem. The comment isn't "wow, you always look so put together. I'd love to learn to dress for my figure the way you do." That would be a great compliment. However, this comment is all about the giver. It's not really about anything that I have control over. And it leaves me in a place with having no clue how to respond. I mean, "thank you" isn't really appropriate.

This lead to this revelation: all of those times that I was saying things like that to these beautiful women in my life that I loved, I was doing the same thing to them! It doesn't feel good to even be on the "better" end of someone else's comparison. Comparing isn't pleasant for the comparing party (obvious) OR the compared party (way less obvious.)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Blog #78: There's a video at the end of this one.

Bad news. The migraine/sinus headache/brain tumor hybrid is back. It began yesterday morning and despite an exhorbitant amount of drugs, water, and caffeine it will not leave. When I stand up too quickly I get the really fun experience of having about 10 seconds of super intense pain. I experienced the most relief after sleeping and showering this morning, but it settled in again after I got to work. Crap.

Otherwise, everything is great. Boss is out of town so I have been parking in his primo numero uno spot this week. It's nice always having a guaranteed place to put Edie Elantra. I can feel free actually leaving over lunch or for errands instead of hoarding my "I got here at 7am so I got the best spot other than executives and visitors" parking space in a "MY PRECIOUS" manner. The downside is... well Boss is out of town. Days are considerably less interesting.

I can not say enough good things about Friday Night Lights. I am now 10 episodes in (yes, in 3 days) and OH IT IS LOVE. Seriously. Kyle Campbell as Coach Taylor is phenom and I want to be love his wife (on the show) too.

I'm wearing my cowboy boots (or do I say cowgirl boots? Or do I say Jessica Simpson Western Inspired boots, because I did not get them at a country western store, rather I ordered them from Nordstrom online?) today. I'm just getting in the spirit.

I am so ready for this weekend! Friday night is BFF reunion, Saturday is some SH hours as well as another stop at Trader Joes and nonstop Friday Night Lights marathon chores around the apartment. Then Sunday, I will be heading to Lawrence to meet up with the FC and plan our WARRIOR (shooting at the walls of heartache, BANG BANG) outfits for the Warrior Dash next Sunday!

I am kind of falling in love with Chris Young. Let me tell you about my first reaction to his song, "Tomorrow". I heard it and thought, "Well this is incredibly selfish and unhealthy." I changed the station when it came on. Then, once I thought, "he does have a good voice, though. And he's super sexy." I figured it couldn't hurt to let it play through. And then I had "the moment." The one where the song is playing and I hear him belting out the chorus and I HAD TO HAVE IT. I thought, "OHMYGOSH THIS SONG IS THE BEST EVER I NEED TO LISTEN TO IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN." Then I watched the music video and fell even more in love. Country music, what are you doing to me?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Blog #77:Confessional

I have a confession to make. I have little to no interest in home aesthetics/decor. I don't really care if my apartment/room looks sassy or cool. I care if my bed or couch is super comfy and if I have high definition TV to watch football, but not about the color scheme of my living room or kitchen. I feel like this is a pivotal female trait that I'm missing. I'd rather spend money on music or experiences than on making my home look good. I guess it could be because not only do I rarely have guests, I also am rarely home myself. Plus, I am on the ridiculously messy side. Maybe I just lack the follow through to create a "space" of my own. Whatever it is, I don't feel any defined tug or yearning when I walk into a home furnishings store or see impeccably decorated rooms on the internet. My "for the home" pinterest pin board has I think one picture on it, and it's a funny break dancing floor sticker for a garage or something. Maybe later on in life as I get settled and grow up, it will be more interesting to me. For now, I'd rather not.

Here's another confession: I am straight up obsessed with country music right now. The Highway is my current favorite satellite station and I just spent about $30 on iTunes adding key country songs to my library. It makes me smile. I sing along. It's a little embarrassing because I don't think I've hit a country phase this hard since high school and I never really wanted to be one of those people that only listens to country... but nothing else even grabs me right now. Bring on Miranda Lambert, The Band Perry, Chris Young, Blake Shelton, Josh Turner, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Sugarland, all of it (except for Taylor Swift. I still won't go there, so help me God.)

Confession number 3: I claim to love both TV and football, but I never got into Friday Night Lights... UNTIL NOW. Oh. My. Gosh. I just got season 1 at Target ($10!) and watched the first two episodes last night and I AM SO IN LOVE I CAN'T HELP MYSELF. I don't know how I missed it when it was on but I guess it's a blessing in disguise because now I can watch all 5 seasons at my own pace and not have to wait for anything new to be released, which means I should be done with all of them in about 2 weeks or so. I plan on dedicating pretty much all of my free time to it.

This feeling of non-permanence, country music obsession, Friday Night Lights addiction, and recurring urge to wear cowgirl boots can only mean one thing: my move to Austin is creeping up on me. I just signed my new lease with my apartment complex, but only signed for 6 months. This means that I have 6 and 1/2 months left in Kansas City. Wow. Given that I feel like just yesterday was the New Year, I'd say that this is going to go really quickly.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blog #76:Oh, the humidity.

This is a list.

1. I am LOVING my dry shampoo by Big Sexy Hair. If you are in the market for some dry shampoo, I highly recommend it.

2. I just signed up for Birchbox. For $10/month you get a box of all kinds of beauty goodies each month from high end brands. I am anxiously anticipating my first box!

3. Essie nail polish. Oh, how I love thee for thy long lasting consistency and thy bright, fun colors. (Pictured below in the color I'm currently sporting, California Coral.)
4. The Macarena is playing on the XM 90's station right now. And now it will be stuck in your head all day too. You're welcome.
5. I used hot rollers in my hair this morning. Before I left the house, it looked so good, in a messy, beach, rolly curls way. When I looked in the mirror at the office, it looked like this:
so that went well.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Blog #75: This one is actually kind of boring. sorry about that.

This weekend was different than I anticipated. Friday night I went to bed at 8:30pm. I was just beat, and even though it was a 4 day work week, I needed the extra rest. Plus, I had 2 beers at the office in the afternoon and although it did not make me drunk, it did make me sleepy.

I got up around 8 the next day and had a pretty productive Saturday. I made a stop into Ulta because I decided it was finally time to get in on this "dry shampoo" craze so that I can take more time between washing my hair. Honestly, not having dry shampoo hasn't kept me from skipping hair washings, but having it has now made my hair look better on the days that I do skip. It's a good thing that it's summer and I need to shave because otherwise I might not shower at all. It's just so darn time consuming. Not the shower itself, but all the stuff that you have to do AFTER a shower. I don't know about you but I'd much rather sleep in for another hour. Especially since I've been having trouble sleeping at night because of my new Criminal Minds habit. Don't worry though. I don't get stinky.

Saturday  night - I went out with Beth Ann. We had a sweet ride out with a black cowboy. Not Darius Rucker, though I thought he was the only one. Then we were at PBR all night and I had one too many Vodka Cranberry cocktails. This resulted in me sitting in front of a $15 buffet plate of just eggs and some pasta the next day for brunch with my family. I was not well. Note to self: eat dinner before a night out.

Aside from barely stomaching lunch, Sunday was noneventful as I was in full recovery mode. Yesterday was back to work and back to life as normal. You know, commissioning the shuffleboard tournament, questioning my boss about the large flame embellished inflatable hammer in his office.

Now, for countdowns:
I keep to only including things that are coming up in the next 90 days. Something I JUST found out about this morning is actually exactly 90 days away... my very first business trip! I'll be attending this big conference for my boss's industry in October.

So, in 90 days I join the world of traveling businessmen and women.

In 80 days I turn 27 (oh my.)

In 67 days I'm going SKY DIVING in Colorado. (The more I say it, the more I HAVE to do it.)

In 60 days I'll be going to the Bearcat home opener.

I MAY have some August excitement!: In 24 days there's a chance the BFF will come spend the weekend! Please say yes. Late August/early September still needs some love though.

In 19 days I'll be competing in the Warrior Dash. (I use the term "competing" loosely. I'm really just in it for the viking hat.)

In 18 Days I'll be seeing ZBB at Arrowhead. Field seats. That's what I'm talking about.

In just 3 days I get a night out with my former roomie (who is still currently one of my favorite people.) We're going to enjoy a little dinner, a little Guys & Dolls at Starlight, then perhaps some time on the town. The world is our oyster.

In 4

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Blog # 74: THUNDER

Oh my gosh you guys I am so tired today. I don't think I have been sleeping well the last couple of nights because waking up in the morning has been a challenge this week. You might say, "Marissa, it's probably because you watch those episodes of Criminal Minds before you go to bed wherein they feature characters that kill people then rip their eyes out or drink their blood or make women have babies then murder them." To which I would reply "Excellent use of the word 'wherein!. And you're probably right."

This morning it was storming to beat the band outside as I woke up. I'm not kidding. For a second, after one particularly startling blast of thunder, I wondered if ACDC was giving a concert outside my window. I knew I had to shower because I was gross, but I only half heartedly attempted to blow dry my hair. I had no interest in fooling myself into wasting THAT energy only to be drenched upon walking out the door. Then, I looked in my closet which is currently in shambles to try to find something suitable for work/solace house and hit a wall.All I wanted was comfort and ease in dressing. I was desperate for jeans. Thursdays aren't usually a jeans day for me because we aren't supposed to wear them when we have clients at SH but I couldn't resist. Jeans and a flowy top. Gladiator sandals. I grabbed some non-blue denim to change into for when I see clients later but comfort is the name of the game today. Now I'm going to put my head down on my desk and sleep until my boss gets back. I wish.

OH! B T DUBBS. I put my personal shopping skills to use again over the weekend in helping my mom pick out some good summer skirts for those hot Texas days when she doesn't want to wear shorts. I love helping other people shop because I get to be involved in the act of shopping (which I love) and styling (which I also love) wihtout spending money (which I don't mind but let's face it, I don't have it to spend.)We ventured out to the Outlet Malls at Osage Beach. We spent quite a bit of time at Gap outlet but left empty handed. Nothing sang to us in the way that said "I'm cute enough and cheap enough that I'm worth standing 20 minutes in line for!" so we moved on to the same parent company but different store in Banana Republic. That, my friends, is where we hit the gold mine. Like Gap, everything at BR was an additional 50% off the listed price for the 4th of July (God Bless you, America and Herbie Hancock!). I was going to post pictures of the skirts I helped her pick out and explain how I advised her to wear them but because they are outlet I can not find them on the website. I will try to get some shots of her modeling a few looks for next time.

Countdowns:
85: Days until my 27th (EEK) birthday
74: Days until I go SKYDIVING in Colorado
67: Days until the Bearcat Football home opener in Maryville
24: Days until The Warrior Dash
23: Days until the Zac Brown Band concert at Arrowhead (field seats - BOOYAH!)
8: Days until I see THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS MY ROOMMATE and we take in a show at Starlight then hit the town.

There's like 2 other Starlight shows sprinkled in there somewhere and I'm sure some other occasional fun things, but those are the biggies. I try to keep my life event filled and wonderful.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Blog #73: My life is always an adventure

I'm re-entering my life after a 6 day hiatus in which I drove to Denver, to Greeley, back to Denver, to Colorado Springs, back to Kansas City, to The Ozarks, and back to Kansas City again. All in all I put in over 30 hours of driving in a one week span. It's as awesome as it sounds.

I actually don't mind spending a day driving WEST across KS. The drive out always seems to go quicker and the anticipation of spending time in one of my favorite places (Colorado) with my favorite people (family and camp friends) energizes me. It's the drive EAST across KS that makes me feel like I'm dying a slow death. Next time I do it, I'm planning some treats for myself for the drive back aside from my typical stop at the Colby, KS Oasis on the Plains. Indeed, some wine tasting at Oz Winery and a detour to see the live six legged steer should make the trip better.

So after a whirlwind 3 days in Colorado in which I went to a bachelorette party, visited the sweetest brand new baby, went to a wedding, and then went and then visited one of my favorite cousins, I drove back to Kansas City. My plan was to drive straight through to the Ozarks but by the time I got to KC I was nearly in tears wanting to sleep. So, sleep I did. SLEEP, I DID. Then I got up bright and early Sunday morning to drive down to Sunrise Beach in the Ozarks to spend a night (2 days) with my mom and family who I never get to see anymore because they are in Austin all the time. We spent the majority of our time immersed in the Casey Anthony trial because it was too humid and hot to consider spending too much time outside. We only went outside to watch the fireworks sunday evening because after the Casey Anthony special there was an undercover special on sex trafficking that was really bumming us out.

One of my favorite moments for the weekend occurred when we were out on the driveway watching fireworks. Neither my mom or I really care for fireworks that much, but we don't mind them from a distance (insert Bette Midler reference here..."From a distance, the world...something something something). Anyhow, there we were watching fireworks and I was so swept up in the patriotism that I played Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" on my phone and my mom and I both proudly stood up next to each other at the appropriate moment in the song. The whole thing was done intentionally over the top on both of our parts.

It was an exciting 6 days and I am reluctantly letting them go in order to move on with life and get back into the routine of 15 hour packed full days of work, school, internship. Lucky for me I am always looking forward to one adventure or another and the next 75 days are no exception:

24: Days until I get to see the Zac Brown Band live
25: Days until I get to participate in the Warrior Dash
65: Days until I get to drive up to Maryville for the Bearcat Football home opener
72: Days until I get to go SKY DIVING in Colorado with my aunt and cousins.

The month of August is unfortunately empty. I'll work on that.