Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Recording History

So the truth is that I live a really great life. I have a job that I don't hate (most days), a brilliant and smart and gorgeous daughter, a husband who is so wonderful that all my girlfriends want to find a man like him, a beautiful house that's fully paid off, a convertible BMW, and all the purses and shoes a label whore could possibly want. And on top of that, I have so much fun. We just do fun things together and make every bit of life an adventure on our own terms. So what that means is that no, we are not jumping out of planes. But we are hopping in the car on a moment's notice to go to the racetrack and then to wander the boardwalk and then find some new place to eat. Or that we are hearing about that new brewery and popping in on day one to celebrate with the owners and letting them know that we will be back often. Or going to see an old punk band at a theater an hour away and seeking out a new joint in that neighborhood for dinner and cocktails. So it's not that we are adventurous, per se. It's more that we just decide to do stuff and then we do it.

Most people I know have calmed down a lot. They have kids, some of them. And they just don't want to be tired all the time. And I get that, because I am fucking tired all.the.time. But my motto since high school has been "I'll sleep when I'm dead" and I still adhere to that. We generally do something at least one weeknight per week, and then Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday. We just like to go. We like to explore. We like to be together as a family, bonding over visiting our favorite places again and again or finding a brand new favorite.

I decided that I wanted to document our summer in some way, and a scrapbook seemed to be my best bet. I'm forever picking up postcards or business cards and taking pictures of every little thing...why not put all that to use? But yo, I'm not that kind of girl. I am not the picture of a scrapbooker. So I'm going to make my own way of it - modern scrapbooking? cool scrapbooking? urban scrapbooking? punkbooking? I have no bloody idea. But I want to be able to have a way to show my daughter, when she gets older, here is what we did when you were 11, before you were a teenager and potentially shunned us from your life. Here's all the fun we had. Here are all the cool places we went and all the awesome things we did. Here's you, here's me, here's Daddy, here are Grammy and Pop, here are your friends...and here's how we all spent our summer.

So off I go...starting my documentation of the Summer of 2015, which starts with Memorial Day weekend. So far, we have 2 breweries, mini golf, a diner visit, a trip to Asbury Park to the boardwalk and Johnny Mac's and dinner, a visit to the racetrack for food truck day, dinners out, a concert by the Princess herself where she dressed as Dolley Madison...and that is just the past 4 days.

This is going to be one full scrapbook.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Fashion Forward

I'm seeking new fashion inspiration all over the place these days, more and more so as I get older. This is a pretty big deal for a girl who has spent most of her life in monochrome. I loved every color...as long as it was black. It comes from my days of being a punk with black hair, as well as knowing that black makes you look thinner...or so they like to tell us.

A few years ago when capes were new and they weren't even on people's radars yet, I bought one. I loved it. It was a pretty marbley-grey and fit perfectly. I felt uber fashionable in it. We went out to dinner with friends and my girlfriend mocked my cape, saying it was too weird and who exactly wears a cape? Um, me, because I'm a fucking superhero. But still I felt self-conscious about it for a minute. Was I being too daring? Going too far towards the runway and too far from reality? When I was younger, I would have stuffed that cape in the closet and never looked at it again. But what do you know...fast forward to a year later, when capes were everywhere. That same friend was all of a sudden sporting a cape.

The big jewelry trend was the same way for me. I love me some big, bold jewelry, and not just a statement necklace. Right now I'm wearing a hammered gold ring that is so long that it goes from mid-hand to nearly my fingertip. I've always been really into bold accessories (maybe because my wardrobe was always black on black and the funky jewels gave it some personality?). Again, friends commented on my jewelry and how it was "too much" - and what do you know, again? Fast forward to them wearing the same stuff I was wearing 2 years before.

Yesterday I wore a pair of those big pearl double-sided ball earrings (which I love) to work and had a colleague stare at them for a good 10 minutes while we talked. I could literally feel her gaze on them. She then said, "I don't know what to make of those earrings; I think I don't like them." At some point in my life, I would have cringed and felt awkward and self-conscious...someone doesn't like something about me! Now, however, I told her that I loved them and that she would be seeing a lot more of them. I was actually happy that I wore something to work that people were sort of appalled by!

Today, I'm in a kimono at work, which I would have admired on other people when I was younger but never had the guts to wear it. Now I'm finding my own "voice" when it comes to what I wear, and wearing what makes me feel good and pretty and strong. And most importantly, I'm wearing what makes me feel like ME.

I guess I have realized that I like working trends into my wardrobe. I like seeing what celebs and fashionistas and runways tell me about fashion, and then taking those ideas and making them my own in my own way. I like not wearing all black and I like standing out rather than fading into the background. And I also love knowing that you might look at me strangely today, but in two years you'll be copying that look from me and I will be happily onto the next.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Black vs. Blonde

So these are the things that keep me up at night: what color shall I dye my hair?

I spent a good portion of my best years with jet black hair. I often had some dark red chunks of color thrown in just to make it a little less goth, or something? I have just always felt like black hair complimented my personality. I'm dark. I have a dark sense of humor and I mostly do not like people. I am sultry and sexy and a little mysterious. I am full of sarcasm and vinegar and I really don't give a fuck what you think about me. So black hair has always matched me well.
I am the goddess of darkness and evil.

As I age (quite gracefully, if I do say so myself, but aging nonetheless), I feel like black hair shows every imperfection in my face. I am very pale ("alabaster" is my shade, I have been told) and until now I have always liked the contrast of darkest hair with lightest face. Now though, I fear it makes me look older, which is not something I am particularly looking for at this stage of the game. Light hair keeps my skin looking lighter and fresher and non-wrinkly. Black hair reveals every secret my face is trying to hide with a good makeup job.

(Now, don't get me wrong. I am not a wrinkled mess. I have very few wrinkles and pretty good skin. A former boyfriend's mom used to call me a porcelain doll because my skin was so perfect, and I'm not that anymore. That was in high school. But I'm still pretty happy with what I've got.)

I really needed a drastic change a few years back and my hair has always taken the brunt of my rash decisions to go insane. During a spontaneous visit to the salon, I went from black to blonde in one afternoon. And I then went even blonder. I liked it, but was it really representative of me?
I am sweetness and light and everything nice. Except, I'm not.

I am currently a medium blonde. I don't love it. It feels mature and serious and while I may be at an age that is mature and serious, I am not. I have a high-level job and own a house and a BMW and have a kid...so yeah, I guess there's some of that in there. But I'm also the broad who will decide on a whim to fly off somewhere and spend a weekend letting loose. I'll jump in a mosh pit. I'll be decidedly unladylike in my consumption of beers and then argue my feminist politics with drunk fratboys till they give up or pass out because I outdrank them.

So I feel like my hair does not represent me right now and I don't know what to do. Part of me says, just go platinum blonde. Go for it. Dye your hair whitish blonde and cut it short in a pixie and say fuck it all. Another part of me says, Go for it. Dye your hair jet black again, maybe with dark blue highlights this time, and leave it long and gothy and punky and say fuck it all.

The truth is, as I try to make the "right" decision for my hair, I will never be younger than I am today. I dyed my hair pink a couple years ago and I felt like I had really had my fill of that when I was 20. But I did it because I wanted to and I loved it and so did everyone else (except my boss, I suppose...). So I think I just need to do what I want to do and not worry about age or any of that, because I won't be any younger next year so the window will just keep closing on what I think is "appropriate" for me.

Now, if I could just decide between way too blonde and way too black, I'd be in good shape.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Kids and Kissing

I had such a strange thing happen the other day and I don't know if I'm handling it right. I'd love advice because I want to do the right thing, but I don't want to sensationalize it by talking to people who know the players about it, I don't want to post it on facebook for advice because the person involved will see it, and twitter is too simplistic for this kind of question. So I figured I'd blog it and no one will see it or give advice, but maybe typing it all out will give me some clarity.

We were having dinner with one of Princess' friends, who is a girl of about 10 years old. I am forever trying to find out what boys Princess likes and she won't tell me...so I asked this friend (let's call her Jessica) who she herself likes. I was trying to prime the pump so I could then ask her who Princess likes. Jessica replied to me by holding up 2 fingers. I said, whoa, two boys? And she said no, actually, one boy and one girl (both around her same age). That answer surprised me a little, but I tried not to show it. We talked some more about it and she was very matter of fact about it (which impressed me - no guilt, no fearful questioning, no worrying that I wouldn't be accepting. What a difference a generation can make!).

Then, she told me that she had "done stuff" with the girl, which included kissing in her bed. They had gone into her bed, which is the top bunk of a bunk bed she shares with her younger sister, and set up pillows all around it so no one could see in. That's where I kind of got concerned. I mean, its one thing at 10 to have crushes or to like boys or girls or whatever. But the sneaking into her bed? The putting up the pillows so it was secret? The kissing in bed, at 10 years old?

After she told me all about this girl and boy she liked, she said that she was bisexual. Used that label, that word to describe herself. That threw me for a loop. Where had she learned that word, at 10 years old, and who told her that was the label for what she is?

I asked her if her mom knew about the people she had crushes on and about the kissing. She said no.

So the question is - should I tell her mother? My gut says no because I don't want to out this kid to her mom. I am friendly with the mom and she is a nice person...but she is very religious so I don't know how she would react. I don't know if it's my place to tell the mom something that the kid confided in me, something that she deliberately did not tell her mom. Maybe this opens a door for Jessica to talk to me about things she can't talk to her mom about, and I can guide her. Which, in all honesty, I did not do this time around because I was in shock and didn't know what to say. But I would be better next time.

But then I think about it and if this was my kid telling another mom that she was bisexual and kissing girls secretively in her bed...I would want to know. I'd want to deal with the kissing-in-the-bed part because I don't care if its a boy or girl or alien, they are not to be in your bed and you are not to be kissing. These are 5th graders we are talking about here.

I think my best bet is to leave it alone. I'd hate myself if I told the mom and then she punished the kid in some way for liking girls. I don't think I can take that chance, knowing what the repercussions could be.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Blizzard of 2015

I have to say, although the much-hyped Blizzard of 2015 was a dud, I still enjoyed it greatly. Because I work in Human Resources, I am usually up at the crack of dawn making the decision on whether my company stays open or closes. The part of me that's an employee feels like we should always close because it's sure nice to have an unexpected day off. The HR part of me needs to make sure we stay open if at all possible so business gets done. But the almighty blizzard made the choice easy and the staying at home enjoyable,

We made the call on Monday to close the office at 2pm so everyone could get home safe before the worst of the snow and wind hit. I was home in my jammies by 2:30pm, and Princess was at a friend's house around the block, and I had a nice afternoon alone with my dog. Then, around 9pm, we decided to close on Tuesday. This was great on several levels....for one, I had off on Tuesday! Secondly, and maybe most importantly, I didn't have to set an alarm! So I slept till around 10, watched The Interview with hubby (while Princess was at yet another friend's house), and then went out to a local craft beer bar and dinner. The roads were clear, no one was really out, and it was a peaceful day.

So thank you, Blizzard of 2015. Many are cursing you for curving to the east or west or whichever way you swerved to avoid us, but I could not be happier. And to your cousin who looks like s/he might be headed our way on Sunday night...bring it on!