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For all the fabulous finds out there, there are many items of strangeness. Take, for example, the following:

Shoe designers spend all day thinking about how to design shoes which for all occasions and aspects of life. Now, I can only image what the design-pitch for this was. Euophony

“Ok guys,  now imaging you are a young, modern woman just graduating from clown college, venturing out on her own. Now what are you going to wear during a night out on the town? Not those big, clunky (oversized) work shoes – no, this woman needs something better. Sexy but still with a hint of the big-top circus.”

I don’t know what would look decent with this, and maybe I don’t want to know. My worry is that someone might try to match this shoe to something patterned in the same colors. The design itself is not bad, but the color, oh the color.

Editor

Yes, Anne Klein, I’m looking at you.

And I know you can make cute, sexy shoes! I even support you, as I just bought these in black patent; they’ll be perfect for Valentine’s Day night-out. (The little pendant on the front has a lion. Rawr.)

[P.S. Having bought a pair of platform heels, I’m now relived from my previous-post’s fashion crisis. And I did happen to come across a pair of shoes that were knock-offs of the aforementioned Pradas, and they were not so good. Sigh]

The ironic thing is that the higher up in fashion (price and designer-wise) you get, the weirder things are – witness Lady Gaga, a (pant-less) clothes-horse who loves the oddity. But when you see strange things in regular ready-to-wear, I wonder how many people out there like it enough to, you know, wear it.

[Shudder]

 

(I know what you must be thinking; Why the umbrella?)

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I thought it fitting to change up the look of the site a bit, new year and all!

Because every female on Facebook is updating their status with the color of their bra (yes, I let the cat out of the bag) for “cancer awareness” – I admit, I did it too, though I’m not sure if it actually has anything to do with breast cancer awareness or was just made up by some person with nothing to do – I thought I’d share my own stupid bra story. Just for kicks.

Today, I did a stupid thing, and as a veteran snagger-of-deals, I must lament.

This evening, I cruised over the local outlet mall to buy a couple things, including some new underclothing things. I walked in, wandered over to what I was looking for, selected a few, and proceeded to the dressing room where I tried said items on. (And while we’re here, why is it so annoying to try on underwear in public? And why, in the name of all that is good, do they put the tags right in the area where you would otherwise put a limb? How do they expect you to get the right fit if you’re being poked to death by sharp paper? By the time I’m done in the dressing room I look as if I’ve been assaulted by an army of tiny paper-wielding elves.)

[Tangent.]

I found what I wanted. The brand had a buy three for 15.99 thing going on, which I ignored because I didn’t have an intention of buying three. And I was already thinking that I was getting a good deal, as the same item would have cost me about $11 more if I had bought it at Macy’s rather than the outlet store. So  I get to the register, and the woman tells me about the deal, which I turned down, because I didn’t want any more colors. I leave.

Then, at the exact time I turn my car onto the road heading home, my brain turns on and I realize that I am an idiot because I didn’t do the math: basically, if I had paid about $2 more, I could have got an entire extra bra. Two dollars!! Not that I really needed another one, but hey, what’s the difference?

Then, when I got home, I actually did the numbers and had another moment of idiocy. Sigh.

[I could always go back and exchange…..but do I really need it? (No.) ]

See kids, this is why you need to take math class: for when you buy underwear on sale.

[Except don’t ask me what a squirrel has to do with anything…]

Recently there has been a lot of news about going gluten-free, which is wonderful for those people who have suffered with Celiac’s disease for many years due to the increase of gluten-free products and information. But many people bring up gluten-free diets as a new way to lose weight, as if cutting out gluten was 2010’s version of the Atkins diet. The bottom line is, cutting out gluten might help you lose weight, but ultimately it should be done for health reasons. It can be an incredibly hard choice to live with.

This past year, my mom was diagnosed with Celiac’s disease (people who are gluten-intolerant are either simply allergic/intolerant to gluten or have Celiac’s, which affects your digestive system and can lead to malnutrition, infertility, arthritis, or even death) after struggling with food for many years. But she wasn’t led to this diagnosis by a doctor, it was ironically her chiropractor who suggested she be tested after noticing significant and chronic inflammation in her joints. She tested positive and immediately decided to cut out gluten.

But the road to a gluten-free life is not paved with easy decisions. Many people who have Celiac’s are also lactose-intolerant, as is my mom, so trying to find products with no dairy or wheat is quite a feat in itself. Add to that the fact that you pretty much can’t eat at restaurants (because even if you see no gluten-ingredients on the menu there can be traces everywhere) or at other people’s houses. You have to tell basically everyone that you can’t have gluten, and before you know it you’re a gluten-free broken record. And gluten is sneaky, and you find it in places you never would expect, like alcohol, vanilla extract, soy-products, vegan products, or those ever popular “natural flavors.” Thankfully healthy food is becoming every more in vogue, and stores like Whole Foods and Oliver’s market make it much easier to shop and, well, eat!

Haha milkCeliac’s can also be passed genetically, so insert me into this issue. When I was 20 or so I became lactose-intolerant, and now I’m starting to worry that I may be gluten-intolerant as well. The problem is, that the symptoms for both are pretty much the same, and you might not feel the effects of something you ate for a couple hours, or a couple days, so pinpointing the source is tricky. Why not get tested? Well, the test for gluten intolerance is about $700+ and as a grad student, insurance doesn’t cover it. So what to do, what to dooo?

Luckily, I don’t eat much gluten anyway. I cut out bread last year, and found that it made dropping that 10-15 pounds much simpler. I also don’t really ever eat dairy, and love Amy’s meals, which are usually gluten and dairy-free (and quite good, tamales are awesome, and the tamale pie makes a great low-cal lunch). But the move to cut out all wheat (like cereal) seems really limiting right now, and the thought of having to avoid it forever is rather depressing. At this point I’d kind of accepted that my digestive system would bug me off and on no matter what, but now I have to wonder if cutting out dairy and gluten entirely would solve it all. I know I won’t be able to be tested for Celiac’s for a long time, years probably, so I have to make this decision myself. I have to wonder though, how many people had this problem hundreds of years ago, before gluten was inserted into 90% of all processed foods, or before processed foods in general. Is the human body even meant to deal with gluten on a daily basis? Maybe no one will eat gluten in the future.

It’s a matter of willpower, in the end. The bottom line is that lately, when I don’t eat gluten or dairy, I feel and look better. Shouldn’t that make this an easy decision? Maybe.

Last night my boyfriend decided to make a grilled cheese sandwich, and it smelled lovely. We started cracking up, thinking that for me,

 

= Death.

Well, maybe not quite. But humor is essential :^)

Reasons why I love living in California:

~ Beach weather in January that looks like beach weather in the spring:

DSCN5316   Including, and not limited to;

Birds in flightDSCN5334

Fun photo-oppsDSCN5352

Foamy waterDSCN5341

Lovely sunsets! DSCN5370

Ok, so the weather today is rather cloudy/rainy/foggy etc, but variety is supposedly the spice of life, right?

Cheers.

These days, it takes more than a smile to get me in a movie theater. I am far from the days when I worked at a theater and saw every movie released on 2003 just because, well, it was free (and the following year was shot for movie rentals – I’d already seen them all!). Don’t get me wrong, I love movies, but I go for the visual spectacle, the thrill of the big-screen. I have no problem watching an romantic comedy or indie film at home; not much is lost. But for some movies, like Lord of the Rings (my first real big-screen love), home-viewing just doesn’t cut it.

However, for this New Year’s Eve, I decided to head out and see Up in the Air, and I was pleasantly surprised, though I did walk in expecting a good movie to begin with. The movie begins with credits – which I always love, it sets the mood – that feature sweeping birds-eye shots from airplanes that manage to make the American landscape look, well, interesting. (Though I’m still not sure what those big circle-fields were for…)

Now, I’m not a big George Clooney fan – he’s not on my “list” if you know what I mean – but whenever I see him in a movie I remember how likeable he is as an actor. His character, who could have come off colder if played by another actor, is actually quite appealing, despite the fact that he’s pretty much the nightmare for any commitment-wanting woman on the planet. But you just can’t hate him, which makes the big surprise at the end (which I won’t give away) rather heartbreaking. 

This movie doesn’t have a “happy ending” per-se, but it does make a fairly effective point about life and the different ways of living it. There’s a big “follow your bliss” thing going on here, though it’s a bit hidden at times. The themes of freedom, humanity, and compassion are played out in a way that is unique compared to what else I’ve seen recently – Avatar, for example, was a visual spectacle which I recommend that everyone should see, but the story itself is not all that unique, and the ending is predictable. It makes you think, but maybe not so much about the issues – we’ve seen them before. Up in the Air, of course, isn’t saying anything new, exactly, but it leaves an nice aftertaste.

I must also say that Anna Kendrick is fascinating to watch. I’ve been a fan of hers since her first witty little quips in Twilight, and she doesn’t disappoint here. In fact, the casting for this movie was on point; even the numerous unknown actors portraying fired employees do a wonderful job of illustrating what is means to be an employee in today’s bleak economy.

The dialogue is also very entertaining, poignant without being overwhelming, and hilarious enough to balance the reality of the film. (I will forever remember the advice Clooney’s character gives for getting through the airport faster.) The same witty-banter between characters we saw in Juno is here, but toned down a bit with less of those silly catch-phrases (i.e. there’s no “your eggo is preggo”). It has language but not enough that it moves into Judd Apatow territory, which would be all wrong here.

This movie is, at heart, a character-driven piece that refreshingly captures a bit of struggle to negotiate life in the 21st century. Isn’t that nice?

So, here we are, leaving 2009 in the dust.

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Sometimes I think that the idea of resolutions is silly, because really, when you think about it, the new year is just another day. There’s no magical transformation overnight, things aren’t usually any different the next morning. Y2k never happened. But then again, I can’t be against a day that makes people stop and think about the reality of their lives, and give themselves goals. But there is so much stigma over these resolutions that they almost seem useless – people make ‘em to break ‘em, essentially.  How often do people make resolutions that they feel obligated to say, then forget about them the next day, right after the New Year’s alcohol leaves their bloodstream? How many women say they want to lose weight – as Bridget Jones so accurately pens, “Obviously, will lose 20 pounds” – because they think they should, or because they feel outside pressure to say they should? How many people pledge to go to the gym 5 times a week, or to completely revamp their career without ever changing their weekly routine a step?

It’s silly to make resolutions that aren’t realistically achievable, only to feel guilty at year-end.  But then again, is it not a good idea to put those goals out there? And I must say that I’m rather happy to report that I finally conquered one resolution I’ve been writing down for the last 6 or so years! It makes me think that although you might want to do or have a certain thing for years, it might not be the right time; you just have to be patient and let things come to you.

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So this year, instead of resolutions, these are the things I’m looking forward to in 2010 (which I still don’t know how to refer to, the 10s?):

Teaching and TA-ing at SSU

Graduating and getting my Master’s,

Going to Europe, finally seeing the UK, France, Germany, Italy, etc! (this summer or bust)

Spending more time outside, enjoying my kayak more

Harry Potter 7 in theaters!

Figuring out what some of my plans for the future will be…

There are some more things that I want to make sure happen, but I think I’ll keep those in my head, where they’re always hopping around anyway!

Here’s hoping that 2010 brings peace, hope, and clarity!

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