December 8, 2011

I am a robot. Life is work and work is life. Lather rinse and repeat. My alarm goes off and I rise. My back straightens until I am an L. My head turns left. Target spotted. My closet. I locate a shirt. I locate pants. My head turns left. I scowl at the subject still sleeping next to me. Legs rotate to the right, feet dangle towards the ground. Pressure hits the feet from heel to big toe. One leg moves forward, then next one follows. Face gets washed and teeth get brushed. Subject gets in vehicle and exits. I am robot on the go.

By Wednesday, it is inevitable the mundane routine that is everyday has set in. Mornings are set to auto pilot. Do you ever find yourself in such routine that you forget to apply thought to anything? Today when I was driving to work I was noticing that even my driving was bored. My ride to work is my prepare time. I require good music and hopefully a touch of sunshine. I love to turn up the volume and sing. I check my makeup in the rear view mirror and get ready to punish the day. I confidently embrace challenges. I succumb to the thought that this is the first and only time where I will have any sort of control of how my day will go. 
Lately I have lost track of my embrace of challenges. The morning has turned into my dread of the everyday. I am feeling more like a robot than a person. Last week, I was driving down my street. I can feel my my leg go from gas to brake on the same spot in front of the stop sign on my street. Like a child, I look both ways and cross the street. Only this time I didn’t look both ways. My head turned left then right and my foot loosened on the brake and started on the gas. But I didn’t look both ways. As I started on the gas, there was a car coming. Heart racing, I slammed right back to the brake and threw my hand up in an apologetic wave as the two old ladies who almost met the front of my car looked at me with that “damn young people” stare. I stopped though. I looked both ways. The everyday has a way of taking over your body leaving you with the emptiness that is going through the motions. Once again today, I was driving to work. I take the same route and have even gotten behind the same silver VW Jetta. I turned onto the busy street and headed toward the light where I would get in the turning lane and go left. As I went into the turning lane, I began my descent left..taking the turn. I stopped, let my foot off the brake to go left and looked at the light. It was red. The red didn’t register..then a car sped past. That registered. Luckily I had barely done my turn before I realized that the everyday had once again taken the wheel.  I think the everyday and winter don’t mix well for me. I have stopped thinking about anything on my way to work. I noticed today the radio wasn’t even turned on. 
I am lucky that the everyday didn’t cause any substantial property damage. There are mornings that I am optimistic and ready and there are mornings where I am mentally hiding under the covers. For anyone else who has ever had that day where you feel like you are more like taking up space on the earth rather than being significant at all..then this post is for you.  I don’t remember even getting dressed…I just reached for a sweater in a nice but not too bright color. Brown pants, brown shoes…hair up due to time constraints…there was really no inspiration in my morning. After a couple compliments on my hair and outfit..I suddenly felt a little less like


Sweater: Gap
Pants/Scarf: The Limited
Necklace: Charlotte Russe
Shoes: Payless Shoe Source
Earrings: Target

The Miracle

December 5, 2011


I find it ironic how much we prep ourselves to both love and loathe miracles. I spent a good part of the morning in a google trance. “best acne treatments”…..”does Clinique 3 step work?”..(sounds like a dance)…”coupon code for proactive”. As always I look for the Google Gods to find me the miracle answers I so desire.

As always, my mind bounced around ideas about how much of a cynic I am about so called miracles. When you are watching TV, you come across these products that claim to be a miracle fix to life’s most vigorous problems. Do you feel fat? Well, it is Sunday morning and I am in sweats eating ice cream for breakfast. Yes! Have you tried many times to get skinny and got frustrated how nothing works? The sit-on-your-ass-and-watch -TV diet has failed me so many times. I need something to spring my legs into walking position. Do you want to see results in as little as three days? Heck yes! For four easy payments of 19.99 we can send you the ass blaster 3000. And channel change.

I find as I am lazily switching through channels, I often find myself stopping on infomercials. Bras that don’t poke and lift your boobs up, kitchen gadgets that practically cook dinner for you, cleaning products that do it all….Who can’t resist a miracle solution to the things that tangle up your sweats and couch time? Then I laugh. I remember that such miracles just don’t exist.

We refer to things like birth and religious encounters to be Miraculous (Virgin Mary toast anyone?). We also go through life with a healthy dose of skepticism. It is such an interesting and ironic parallel. We know that there is not  a magic contraption that gives us six pack abs while we watch TV but even the biggest of cynics have to believe in miracles greater than themselves. I am embracing the small miracles in life….like days when the girls don’t fight or days I don’t have to remind anyone to unload the dishwasher. I like shopping miracles, like finding the Nintendo DSI that Liv wants for under $100. I pretend to believe in the miracle that is a fat bearded man in a red velvet suit that will come down my chimney and bring Olivia the flat screen TV I said she doesn’t need. I like to believe in the miracles of the Christmas season like peace on earth and goodwill to all. The fact that I open my eyes every morning in my nice house with my great family is nothing short of a miracle. When you Christmas becomes something straight out of National Lampoos’s Christmas Vacation, remember that it isn’t about the gifts or the magic weight loss drugs or the Snuggies in life..but the small miracles we see in the everyday. 

One small miracle I celebrated was the fact that my “skinny” cords fit. I have noticed the size of my butt resembling my couch cushion which screams “time to hit the gym”. Every morning I squeeze my eyes shut as I shimmy into a pair of pants and cross my fingers for the miracle that is them buttoning. When I got on my skinny cords and navy sweater, it was nothing short of a miracle that they fit…even if I had to do the pants dance to loosen them up. For those of you unfamiliar with the pants dance, it is that thing you do when you stretch out your limbs much like a pilates class to try to loosen up the pants so they aren’t pushing the muffin too close to the top..and your camel isn’t near the toe. It usually occurs after pants are washed..or when the butt is a little too big. After the pants dance, putting on some ankle booties and matching jewelry made me feel a little better about the whole outfit. The first thing I put on was what I ended up wearing for the day…now that is a real miracle!


Sweater/Cords: The Gap

Shirt: Target
Earrings: Charlotte Russe
Bracelet: Flea Market
Booties: Madden Girl 

The Cage

November 21, 2011
“I’m standing on a stage. Of fear and self-doubt. It’s a hollow play. But they’ll clap anyway”
-The Arcade Fire


There are those days when I feel like my physical and mental state are not at all inline. I will look at people at times and wonder where they are in their creative process. I wonder if they are deep in tuned with their process or at the part when they are not at all inline. Some days you feel like you are stuck in a cage. Something is containing you. Maybe the key is near, but your arm doesn’t quite reach. Life is keeping you stuck inside of yourself like a cage. Maybe there is something from your past that has become shackled to your leg and is slowing your stride. Maybe self doubt has kept you from even wanting to leave the house. The cage can be anything we trap ourselves in.

I guess tonight I am getting a case of Sunday anxiety. The end of one thing and the beginning of the next can be both enlightening and terrifying. The holidays are around the corner and the end of another year. What part of the creative process have I accomplished? Am still stuck in the cage of fear and self doubt? Or have I taken that step forward. There is this part of the daily rut that can really trap us. Self doubt can really trap us. Can I be always destined to fail? Or have I not even started the race. Some days I feel quirky and individual…others I feel like a joke that has no punch line.

I usually don’t like to use this space to be sad or to vent, but as I sit here on a cold Sunday night, I feel some pressure coming my way. Maybe it is pressure to be something better than I have ever been. Maybe it the pressure to get out of the cage I have created for myself. Maybe it is the pressure to contain the chaos around me. Does anyone else get Migraines? I feel like the pressure of migraines building in my chest and head. The head wants something the heart can’t always deliver. I can feel some pressure building a cage around me. The world is spinning too fast around me and I need to take a minute and step out of it to regain my ground. I need to put my feet back on solid ground and align my intuitions. There is the key. I can reach out and almost touch it. It is close. stretch my fingers out as long as they will go. I can almost reach it. It is that night where I put on my self doubt playlist (yes, I have one of those) and succomb and allow myself to sit in the cage. “My body is a cage..that keeps me from dancing with the one I love..but my mind holds the key.”

When I get that feeling of depression, there is really only one place where I can lift my spirits…the mall. I was in desperate need of a little retail therapy. I think the reason there is so many holiday sales is for people like me who use shopping to cure the blues. Like Charlie at the Chocolate factory..I was doe eyed looking around at the holiday sales. Half off here…buy one get one free there. Shop temptation was all around. So I showed my girls how a new dress can make us all feel better. What did I get from this weekend? I realized that sometimes it is ok to doubt yourself and to be afraid of what the future holds….and a nice new red dress

DSC_0091.jpg DSC_0102.jpg

Dress/Belt/Scarf: The Limited
Boots: Cole Haan (TJ Maxx)
Bracelet: The Bahamas

The Resume

November 18, 2011

If they tell you not to judge a book by its cover, then why does the potential world of employment judge us by a resume? If I am a book, then my resume would be the cover…or would the cover letter be the cover? I have to wonder if our system of finding and attracting employees based on our perceived notion of their resume is somewhat flawed. We use a piece of paper to draw out traits from a person before we have even met them. We draw an ethnicity and gender out of their name and automatically assume they fit into what ever stereotypes apply. You resume is the most important piece of paper you will ever write, it is what the world will think of you. You are the book and it is your cover, so when you sit down to craft this delicate outline of your life’s accomplishments, it is hard to sum up what kind of a person you think you are. Then the employer judges you on the person you think you are. I put down that I bring my analytical skills to the table. Maybe that is valuable..maybe they are looking for someone who is skilled in the art of pressing enter and printing perfect margins. Job descriptions are constantly looking for self starters, organized and a multitasker. Yikes, I would describe myself as needs to be pushed, disorganized and can barely concentrate on the task at hand (aka ADHD).

What if life had you write a resume. Your friends would only allow you to the group if you had a certain skill set they were looking for. This skill set changes as you get older. In middle school it is: Can speak to the other sex. In high school it is: Own a car, can beer bong, has a late curfew, makes me look cool and lets me borrow clothes. In college you start to get picky: Isnt’ a 75, has fake ID, would let me live with them. When you reach full blown adulthood, you start to pick your friends based on similarities: have children, swear, likes music, doesn’t think I am weird. We seem to value what people bring to the table whether or not it is a desirable trait…or a work friendly trait.

Maybe we need resumes to date. I am Kristen…I like music, art, reading, long walks along the beach and I tend to get clingy after date 3. Think about the person you are with…how would they stand up in your resume test? Josh: 5’2 on a good day, likes video games, Yanni, and drinks with little umbrellas. Yes..that is my husband. I am really unfamiliar with the online dating world…I found my husband the old fashioned way..in a bar. My relationship was not one that was mapped out by compatibility features. My husband proposed to me the old fashioned way…by getting me pregnant.

I guess I am a little unnerved by the way we find jobs. We turn in a piece of paper and hope it is better than all the other pieces of paper in the pile. We don’t know what makes it better than the other pieces of paper, it could be the font we use or our ten years of customer service. Then if our piece of paper moves on to the next round we have to sit in a room where a stranger asks a series of questions we hope to say the right answer to. Then if they like our answers we are brought back to the room to ask even more questions. If this round of questions is acceptable..then they will dig into our background. They call our friends and ask them a series of questions we can only hope our friends know the answer to. Then they check our criminal records, our credit score, our driving record and even in some cases (gasp) our urine. ALL this at the chance that we may be a good fit.

I guess I read a bit too far into it…but for anyone who has been in the job hunting game it is a nightmare. It is the kind of thing that keeps us in jobs from graduation until retirement. We say we don’t like change, but what we really don’t like is the idea of our life being once again brought into question by strangers. If you are like me, you put a bunch of stuff on your piece of paper that you thought that people wanted to hear. You added skills and qualifications for an imaginary position you hoped to get. For me the only reason I like interviews is the interview outfit. It is the only time during the whole process where the other person is going to judge you based on the picture you painted. If you wear an outfit that is polished and professional with out looking too stuffy, you are going to have a better shot at that job. I am the kind of person who would wear a Calvin Klein dress to an interview at McDonalds.

This morning when I tucked my head into my navy BCBG shirt dress, I felt like I was putting on my resume for life. The dress paired with a cardi one of my favorite brick red/ navy combos with a scarf and tights..no that is something that defines me. I think getting dressed every morning is writing your resume for life. You never know when a potential employer is out there. You may hold the door open for them at the Mall or you may let them borrow a pen. I don’t necessary buy that I can be summed up on a piece of paper (or by six months of blogging). I can be summed up by a navy shirt dress.







Dress: BCBG
Cardi: JCrew
Necklace: Homemade
Tights: Kohls
Shoes:MIA (DSW)
Scarf: The Limited
Coat: Modcloth
Purse: Fossil 
Earrings: Charlotte Russe

The Fish Bowl

November 6, 2011
We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl year after year. Running over the same old ground..what have we found? The same old fears. 
Pink Floyd 

I started to think about all the things I have done lately that are not even close to being in my comfort zone. For example, checking Twitter has now become part of my morning (not monthly) routine. Six months ago I started my own blog for everyone to see. Now as I float around in a world of tweets, tublrs, flickrs and who knows what other things I need to do in order to get my blog noticed by the (gasp) world, I wonder why the hell I didn’t start doing this ten years ago when I graduated from Ohio State with a bachelors in Creative Writing. It would have saved me time, effort and of course the expense of a Masters Degree in Accounting which has gotten me a position as a bookkeeper. I guess that is the irony of life. It took me ten years to realize I loved to write as a child…and another ten to realize it was what I really wanted to do in life..

Speaking of things that are way out of my comfort zone, I am still reflecting on my cruise. I promise this is my last cruise post…back to normal life again tomorrow….my mind is still wandering in the middle of the ocean. I love the ocean..especially the blue and aqua white sand kind of ocean. It is stunning to look at. And I emphasise to look at. I hate swimming in the ocean. Salt water, sand, mystery creatures, jelly fish, sea lice…no way. Give me a chlorinated pool and a beer holding raft any day. I am that person who will lay out by the waves and run like hell when one comes too close. Those crab infested waves can stay far away from my delicate feet.

Confession time: I am terrified of fish. I was adamantly against even getting goldfish in our house but lost that battle miserably as I came home from work one day and there were six creatures with their slimy scales and their bug eyes staring right back at me. I called Josh at work to let him know the first time one of those things went belly up. We had a fish tank when I was a kid..I remember one day one of the zebra fish decided to end it all by way of jumping out of the back of the tank. No one noticed for a few days (maybe a reason he decided to take his own life). Then one day, while sprinkling those smelly little flakes at the top of the tank, something completely morbid caught my eye. There he was, like a zombie fish all dried out and just laying there…his bug eyes all hardened. I did what any normal kid would do in that situation…I screamed like hell until my dad flushed his little dried out body right down the toilet.

That incident was not the reason that every time I look at a fish, my whole body shudders. I can see them on TV, in aquariums and anywhere else that i know there is not the slight chance that their weird pursed little lips will come anywhere near me. So when Josh suggested we go snorkeling at one of the islands on the cruise you can bet your life my response was an astounding hell no. So he rented his equipment and went out for a couple hours only to come back telling me how wonderful the whole thing was. It was the general consensus from the group that it was amazing. There were fish and sunken ships and all other things that would make a girl feel like Ariel. Half afraid, half curious, I agreed to this adventure. I borrowed Josh’s mask, vest, and fins to check out what mystery was waiting under the crystal blue sea.

About ten minutes in, I had swallowed a couple gallons of salt water from my screams every time a fish swam even close to me. From the corner of my eye, I could see the ties from the life jacket swimming about…and often I mistook that for a fish and would try to swim away from it. The whole experience was like swimming inside of a fish bowl….a really big one. I would hold my head up above water and see the safety of shore dwindling farther and farther away. I could see the bar and longed to be sitting on the deck watching the ocean with a tropical drink in hand.  Luckily, there was another girl on the trip who felt this way. We did not wander off far from each other and when the bar was too far for us to see, we made the executive decision to flutter our little fins back to the shore..and grab a drink. Swimming against the tide in salt and fish filled water was quite a challenge. It took all I had not to give up and just sink. When we got our drinks, she described the experience as “terrifying and amazing at the same time” While it was nice to feel what the inside of a fish tank feels like, I was leaning more toward terrifying.

I guess in life we have to accept the challenges. Had I not looked at the ocean thought salt filled goggles, I may have always wondered what it would be like. This week, I challenge you to take a step out of your comfort zone and see what happens. Maybe you will find you are wrong or maybe, like me, your fears will be validated…with a great story to tell. When I was a kid, I had this hangup about my legs. The were bird like and every time I shaved, they would break out.  I hated them and would often wear jeans and long skirts all summer long. This went on for a few years. Once, in high school, I wore a dress on my birthday. I looking special on my special day. With freshly shaved legs, I wore this cute Ralph Lauren black shirt dress. That was ruined when someone asked if I “shaved my legs with a lawnmower”. (funny..yes…hurtful..you bet).  Slowly, I tried to let go of that. I would challenge my self to throw on a pair of shorts or skirt every once in a while. Now, I am completely addicted to skirts and shorts. Pants are so boring. I have been told alot lately I have great legs..who would have know these gams were hiding under one bad lawnmower comment.


Shirt: Old Navy
Cardi: J.Crew
Belt/Cami: The Limited
Necklace: Target
Shoes; MIA (from my sister)
Shorts: Urban Outfitters (from Gabriel Brothers)