Friday, February 25, 2011

Today I didn't even have to use my A.K.

I got to say it was a good day.

Ice Cube got it right. Damn.

I just wanted to take a moment to say IT WAS A GOOD DAY!  And it's only 4pm.

I've been beyond creative and full of ideas at work.  Collaborating has come with ease in the past two days and it's really been exciting me.  I've been toying with the idea of shooting for Creative Director or at least being more involved with the creative process (in advertising) for a while, now, and I've finally gotten right into it.  Sink or swim, and I'm Michael Phelps.

It feels so good.

That doubled with the fact that two of my dearest friends are coming up to CT tonight (Adina from PA and Boots all the way from OH!!!) to see me.  Man.  I have been here for about 6 months, now, and none of my friends have made it up to see me, yet.  I'm beyond excited to have visitors.

I adore Dan so very much, and I'm so absolutely lucky to have him in my life, but having a lack of females around can get a gal down.  Even though I still do all of the same things I did previously before moving to CT, I don't have anyone to talk makeup with or play dress up with.  I still do those things and Dan puts up with them, but he isn't really involved with what I'm talking about/doing.  I'm totally doing it up on Saturday before we go out.  I'm THRILLED.

On top of the great creativity that flowed today and yesterday, I upgraded Final Cut today (my editing software), which is always sexy, and THEN was startled by the yelling of "Get ya beeeeee-ah heeeee-ah" from my office door.  It was my boss with a makeshift "beer cart" full of delicious Hooker and Harpoon beers.  YUM.

The work day hasn't even ended, and yet, I'm nothing but smiles and energy.  I can't wait to see my friends tonight.  It's only going to enhance what I'm already feeling.

Happy Friday, indeed.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Misunderstood Art: Fashion

I made a choice in high school that I would pursue art as a career.  I went into college with one thing most people entering college rarely have-- a path.  I knew that I wanted to do something I love for a living, but I also have a fondness for the finer things in life (great food, wine, sexy designer bags and shoes...) and art very rarely pays off financially when it comes to career.  The term "starving artist" is a household phrase for a reason.

There were a few paths I considered (and still think about trying my hand at all the time):
-  Culinary school
-  Tattooist
-  Hair Stylist/Colorist
-  and finally...  Fashion Designer

When I made the choice to go to art school and pursue photography (something I've always had a passion for, and I know people can make a living at), my fashion design teacher was really disappointed.  It actually made me think twice about the whole thing since she seemed to have so much hope for me...  But when I really thought about it, she was a "fashion teacher" at a high school in the middle of nowhere, Maryland, and I knew how cutthroat the fashion industry truly is, so I went with my original plan of studying photography (I know I ended up with Video as my major, but still graduated with a concentration in Photography and minor in Literature, but that's another story for another time).

Alexander McQueen

Few things inspire me as much as fashion does or can.  I have physical reactions to fashion that I don't get from many other things.  It appeals to me in so many ways.  Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen (RIP) have made bags that have actually made my mouth water.  How crazy is that?

Not only can some pieces be considered wearable art (bags and well made pieces becoming an investment), but amazing shoes or clothing can totally change a person's mood or view of themselves.  Confidence levels can rise (which, to me, is invaluable) and the amount of creativity that can go into collections or even just one little handbag, can be mind-blowing.  I also certainly expressed myself through fashion while growing up.  I loved that one day I could be a goth gal, and the next wear some cute preppy get-up to show all sides of me.  What I loved the best was mixing the two looks (or any two looks, for that matter) and that remains my favorite part of piecing together outfits AND is also what my favorite designers are most successful in doing.  Putting soft with hard and pretty with rough.

MY 1st Marc Jacobs bag
This fondness I have always have for fashion and designing really bloomed into a full-blown love affair when I began working (my face off) in advertising and actually had the means to participate in owning some of this artwork (i.e. I could afford to buy some nice things for once).  I welled up with tears when I purchased and held my first Marc Jacobs handbag of my very own.  It was an emotional moment because not only did I own a piece of art from someone I so admire and respect and adore, but it was a mark of pride that I had worked hard enough for long enough to have earned the right to purchase something that purely was just for my own happiness.  That's how I feel about each designer piece I own.

Most people don't understand this passion and most people I've run into seem to think that it's all a big waste of money.  I always found it funny that while I was buying a new LAMB handbag and driving my 1997 Toyota Corolla (that ran fine) I was being told that my money was being spent foolishly, but others could drive around in over-the-top expensive luxury cars and wear sweatpants.  It's all in what makes us happy, folks.  I choose a handbag that makes me drool and you choose a fast car that gives you a hard-on.  What's the difference?  We both can afford the toys--  I understand how ridiculous buying a $500 bag is if you can't afford your rent or can't go grocery shopping for a month or two-- but the same goes for a fancy car or going to bars every night of the week.

Budgeting your money is a must, but even when I didn't have the money to own the fashion, it was still a passion and a hobby of mine.  Just like people love watching sports, I had fashion to follow.  It's not that difficult to grasp.  I bet the same people who give me shit for spending money on labels wouldn't give me shit for buying a Warhol...  *sighs*

I digress...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What Doesn't Kill Us... Still Sucks.

"Gym Loris"
It's official.  I've been sick for a week, now.  I got a flu shot this year, and I'm not even quite sure that this is the flu, but it's awful.  I move like molasses and think at the same speed.  I've only gone to the gym maybe twice the whole week and decided to deem myself a "gym loris" instead of "gym rat" or "gym mouse" or "gym rabbit", as Dan sometimes refers to me.  I'm skipping it again today.

My fingers even type slower, and all of my joints ache.  Even each individual knuckle in my digits, my elbows, knees and hips.

So while I wanted to write a nice Valentine's Day post about the beautiful Valentine's Day flowers my daddy had sent to my work, Dan and I's dinner, my new dress and tights (Marshall's - Dress $12, Givenchy tights $6), the couple's massage that is yet to be scheduled and the tattoo gift certificate that has Dan's mind contemplating what his next piece of permanent artwork will be, it will have to wait, or may be just a memory for myself and not the internets.

I've somehow managed to schedule a casting session, make casting selects and coordinate a shoot in 2 days.  We'll see how the editing goes.  Hopefully as quickly, or we won't meet our deadline.  Shoot is Friday, and if I'm not well by then, we will have some serious problems.

I can't edit or animate like a slow loris.  It's unacceptable in this situation.  And while I'd say I would take the entire weekend to lay around and rest up for the upcoming (crammed) work week, I can't.  Dan has packed it full of social plans, which I am usually yearning for.

I have fallen asleep after dinner on the couch each night this week.  It's a combination of my illness and the new heating blanket Dan got us that lands me in an instant coma as soon as it's switched on and turned up above the "6" setting.  (Mental note:  I should change the words to "Instant Karma" to "Instant Coma" before I drift off next time...)  I never nap, so this is definitely my body telling me something is up.

V-Day Flowers from Daddy
On top of the sick and exhaustion and fair amount of depression swirling around, there has also been a new development in my endometriosis.  And by "new development", I mean it's back.  It's insane that it truly does pop up every two years (with a surgery in between each of the two years).  During the two years, I rarely think about it and then out of nowhere-- BAM!  There's the reminder that your downstairs mix up is a jumbled mess you'd like to throw down the garbage disposal.

I'm attempting to reach out to a new specialist up here, but I don't know if I'd feel comfortable going to someone new to do my next surgery (which is seemingly inevitable).  I just wish I could scrape it all out and be done with it.  Last night I was saying, "I'll just take em out, and I'm sure SOMEBODY..." then I stopped.  "Nevermind.  No one would want those bunk ass ovaries and uterus."  Defective.  That's how I feel.  Not in the "ohhh, I'm broken" type of sense, but in the "who needs em'?" type of sense.  I'm just tired of having to take meds ALL THE TIME.

Anyhoo, that's what's new.  I will be writing a NY Fashion Week post in the near future as soon as my fingers hurt less.  This year has been unlike any other since I actually got to experience a lot of it from the comfort of my own apartment (or office...).  It was truly amazing and has changed my life and inspired me beyond words.  I'll attempt to explain with words in my next post.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Harm of Delusions

If there’s one thing that I’ve prided myself on, it’s being realistic and honest with myself.  There have been times in my life (like after moving to CT) where I have attempted the old trick of telling oneself something over and over to try to make oneself believe in something, but it has never worked for me.  I’m too brutally honest with myself to trick myself into such silly things.

The point of this post is partly to give myself a pat on the back for a trait I think is rare and difficult to obtain (it’s far easier to lie and pretend life is easy or full of rainbows and gumdrops), and partly to make any possible readers think about how they walk through life.

Much like my posts about the responsibility of one’s own mental health and how failing to take care of yourself by bottling up emotions or problems for one reason or another can harm those around you, it’s the same thing as walking through life pretending nothing is wrong, or worse yet, acting or verbalizing that you are somehow on a level above your peers when it comes to dealing with the rough waves that life sometimes deals out. 

There are harmless lies people tell themselves (and unfortunately others) like what size dress they wear/how much they weigh or materialistic things, such as how much money they make or are projected to make or how much they spent on certain items (telling the original price tag vs. what was actually paid), etc.   The problem with telling these “harmless lies” is that for one, it’s disrespectful to the people you’re lying to (aside from yourself).  You don’t lie unless you believe you can get away with it and you don’t ever think you can get away with a lie unless you think you are smarter than whomever you’re telling the lie to (aka, you think your peers are dumb). 

Secondly, people who aren’t gullible or who do have a good grip on reality will see the lies for what they are and resentment will grow.

Unless someone is truly socially unaware, people who are exceptionally good at something usually don’t feel the need to broadcast it, and this is especially true between friends or in professional atmospheres.

There is a definite line between being positive and optimistic and being falsely arrogant or bragging about a life you don’t live, or traits you simply do not have.

This all goes along the lines of telling people “you couldn’t possibly know how this feels” or “you don’t have any idea how hard my life is”.  It’s a slap in the face to those around you, as you most certainly do not know how difficult your peers’ lives are, and you could never know what someone may be going through at the time.  As my good friend had to remind me recently, “Rach—you know very well that everyone has their own issues” when told about someone I see as “having it all,” feeling as bad as I had been. 

It’s easy to forget that we do all have our own problems.  Not everyone broadcasts their lives over the internet.  Not everyone is dumber than you.  Not everyone is so easily manipulated.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Still Waiting For Something to Give...

Today was not a great day, I can say without hesitation.  The weather is beating this poor state down and making it it's bitch.  If Connecticut had a face, it would be black and blue and it would be crying and telling everyone who asked what happened that it "fell down the stairs."  The weather blows, and since I actually decided to do something with myself last weekend (NYC for Dismemberment Plan reunion), I ended up getting sick.  I spent most of yesterday laying around with my heating pad, dozing on and off and taking lots of medicine.  I feel better today, but was stuck, yet again, inside all day because of the weather.  Needless to say, it's been getting lonely around here since my boyfriend never gets snow days...

I think it's a mix of being sick, feeling sore, being cooped up in a small apartment for days, but everything that had been sitting on the back burner of my brain and heart came to the surface today with another snippet of possibly bad news.

I have really been putting a lot of stock in moving closer to Hartford (a city up here in CT).  We had an apartment that is seemingly perfect fall into our lap when a friend of mine from work let us know that she and her fiancee had just bought a house and had to give up their apartment that they adored.  Fortunately for them (and unfortunately for us), they closed on the house a lot quicker than they had originally expected which puts us in a place to have to make a decision very quickly.  Each time we've made plans to see the apartment, the weather has made us their bitch, as well!

On top of this, the fact that our lease is up in June kinda puts a damper on the whole plan...  Sure, there are other apartments in and around Hartford, but I've really been falling in love with everything I've been hearing about this one...

Today I just really felt the weight of how important our next location really is.  Everything I've hoped for up here in Connecticut just hasn't quite panned out.  I've tried a lot, and things work to a certain extent, but nothing has been great or turned out better than planned or been a nice surprise.  Nothing so far.

15 Mins. of chipping work.
It gets frustrating and it gets hard to keep going.

I've been saying that moving close to the city is my last hope here - to find somewhere I can actually fit in, make new friends and call "home," and if that were to fall through, I don't know where it would leave me, but I saw glimpses of it today, and it wasn't pleasant.

After taking that all in and a nice hot shower, I decided to focus on the only true good thing that I do love about Connecticut-- and that is cooking dinner for Dan, eating dinner with Dan and laying around and watching my stupid shows at night with Dan.

I can escape and be creative in the kitchen and I've always loved cooking.  I also love to make people happy, so serving food to anyone at all I really enjoy.  I go all out--for instance: tonight it was chili, so I had all of the fixin's laid out to choose from.  Red onion finely chopped, shredded cheese, sour cream, etc.  I use the best ingredients and also made salads and cornbread to accompany the main course.  This was all just for Dan and I to enjoy.

And the night cap?  Making fun of TV together.  I mean, we obviously enjoy the shows we settle in to watch, but there's just so much to laugh about when it's just the two of us, and thank christ for that.

So...  here's to keeping in mind why I'm here, and the only reason I'm here...  And here's to hoping that I soon have other reasons to be here...