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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ugly

Two years ago, I was obsessed with fashion. Not just cute clothing, but Vogue fashion. The type of fashion that is more like art and less like things that should be on a body that needs to move and get stuff done. I was rarely comfortable, shoes pinching feet, belt cinching in waist, jewelry hooking on furniture as I passed. I did feel good, however. Comfort was replaced with the buzz that comes from looking at beautiful things and the endorphins of compliments.

Before moving to Los Angeles for college, I had always believed that judging anything based on looks was a shallow waste of time. LA knocked that thought out of me. I still think judging solely on appearance is a mistake, but I now realize that we are only given five senses, and to ignore any of them is a mistake. Sorry folks, but how you look matters. How you smell matters. The way you speak and the words you choose matter. The way you taste may only matter to one person, or a few at a time if you are into liberal living and not monogamy, but love, sex, and reproduction matter. The way you touch and how you feel inside your body and to others also matters. Our senses guide us through the world, alerting us to good and bad that is instinctively felt, not intellectually worked out. So, yes. Looks matter. For better or worse, we are immediately judged on looks and we all have to deal with it.

That said, I now live in Wyoming. Looks matter less. Maybe looks matter in a different way. Here, looking cold is looking stupid. Oh! You wore a really cute wool coat from Marc Jacobs to a party. Well, no one thinks you look good because it's actually a bon-fire party and you're so cold you are turning blue. Not cute. You can't frolic in the river because you are wearing sexy strappy sandals? Not hot.

I've watched my cute dresses move to the back of the closet and my form fitting blazers have been replaced with polar-tech fleeces that when zipped up all the way make me look like I'm wearing a scuba suit. Not like Jessica Alba in a scuba suit, but like a normal person with no make-up and bad lighting in a scuba suit. You may not have to own anything this ugly, but there are active-lifestyle coats with hoods that zip all the way up the neck. I own a couple for the coat part of the garment, but really, this look is so ridiculous that as much as I try to give over to practicality over looks, I'm only zipping the coat up all the way if I'm lost in the woods for over 2 days and I'm either alone or with woman. Time that I used to spend picking out belts and cute necklaces is now devoted to figuring out how many layers are necessary for the given temperature.

The worst part about all this practical clothing that can keep you warm in negative 20 or sweat free in 96 degrees is that it's all so expensive. A good pair of snow boots to keep you warm and from slipping usually cost about $150. A sweet ski coat with all the technology and a bit of steaze (aka: style) is gonna set you back about $300. My $500 dollar skis are now my most expensive foot wear. A few years ago, I thought that money was going to be spent on Christian Louboutin heels and I would be like the ladies of Sex and the City. I can't lie. I miss cute shoes and adorable outfits. Sometimes, I watch the glammed out women in music videos and want to rip the smart-wool socks off my feet and run back to Los Angeles, where spending 2 hours getting ready in the morning won't make me a social leper and mascara has a fighting chance of staying on my face. That's not going to happen though, because I'm actually, incredibly happy, warm, comfortable and doing awesome things in my ugly fleeces. And, the pants I have to wear to ski down a mountain may not show off my assets, but my assets are a lot firmer and more lifted now that I am skiing down mountains.

Fighting against the practical outdoor clothing is useless anyways, because once you own one thing, you'll own it forever. The friggen stuff is all damn near indestructible, being made for bear wrestling or whatever, and it's water resistant and impossible to stain. Plus, tons of it comes with life-time guarantees. These outdoorsy types are tricky, conspiring to make me look ugly and not show off my natural waist, but they sure do know how to have a good time and prevent stains.

I have a dream. Someday, I will be such a badass that I will be able to have good hair while hiking and find ski pants that show off my butt. I'll find a moisturizer and sunscreen that keep me from turning all leathery and I'll be so thin that even a boxy fleece won't make me look fat. It may not be tomorrow, or the next day, or the next year, but I will accomplish my dreams.




ps. Some of my dreams even involve helping others and making the world a better place.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Before We Go Any Further

I must mention a story I heard at my recent job orientation. Working for an ski resort that has a reputation for extreme terrain, I should expect to be asked, "Would you please share your most adventurous experience with the group?" Didn't. Flabbergasted that I am now such an adventurous person that people would ask me to share adventure stories as part of my job, I started to search my mind.

Oh, yes! The story about taking a 4 person plane packed with 5 people off the island in Honduras. That could be good. Jumping off the 40 foot waterfall? Could work. Yeah. Maybe. Not that great. Poking the lava with a stick. I could touch on the bus ride over the mountain pass with the open door. Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhh...

"Ok, Todd. How bout if you start?"

"Sure. Uhhh, well? I guess it would be about 5 years ago. I was mountain biking with a couple of my friends and of course I was way ahead of the two of them, and, I was attacked by a grizzly bear."

The group waits. Eyes begin tentatively shifting ever so slightly. The search for confirmation of that being the entirety of the story is discreetly underway. Todd looks to his right and tries to pass the torch. The cardigan wearing snow bunny to his right is horrified. Luckily, this time, that snow bunny wasn't me. I would have tried to follow this story. The actual snow bunny knew better. She just stared at Todd, until, some dude asked, "What? Dude? Where? How?" Simple questions, but apparently the right ones.

It should be said, Todd is older. A ski patroller of middle age. No visible scarring on the face.

"Yeah, so I was headed up (name of trail omitted cause I forgot) and I was pretty far ahead of my two buddies. This griz comes at me from the side. All I heard was gnarly thumping, something I don't usually hear. So, I see the bear and it's already charging me. Man, it got me really good."

"Dude, how'd you get it off you?"

"My friends finally caught up and unloaded two cans of bear spray."

There is more to the story, but I'm already doing Todd an injustice with the shotty telling, so I'll let the gist of it speak for itself. The real gem of the story, though, came later when we were discussing the merits of helmets while skiing. Todd, piped up, "I'm sure psyched that I wear a helmet when I mountain bike. That bear busted one gnawing on my head."

I told the story of poking lava with a stick. Becoming a badass is a constant education in humility.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Failure/Success

I'm badassing all over the place. This is success. I've skied 3 out of the last 4 days. I just got back from Central America. The problem is, all this badassing is leaving not a lot of time and energy to write the stories. Failure.

Don't tell anyone, please, but the whole reason I ever do anything sweet is to try to impress other people later with the story. I've heard about this whole "only you can make yourself happy. Don't try to impress others..." thing. "To thine own self be true" is more my thing. If I can't make other laugh, jealous, or inspired, I feel dead inside. So, it's time to trim down the action and up the writing. Once again, it all comes down to balance. I bet core strength is involved some how too. Oh, life. I'm gonna getcha.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Splits

My friend, Anna, can do the splits in the way I could when I was 15. Legs fully apart. Arms up in the air. Big Smile. I am so jealous. So very, very, very, very jealous. Five minutes ago, I was working on my splits. Thank you for the true life inspiration, Anna.

Bitch.

No. I'm kidding. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Whole Country of Guatemalie Should Require a Waver

I have been doing the most incredible bad-ass things on my travels here in Central America, but never have the time or opportunity to blog. Look forward to amazing stories about jumping off 40 foot waterfalls, 4 person planes out of Honduras with 5 people on them, climbing active volcanos and so much more. I have to go now before they yell at me in Spanish about a time limit on the computer. The only spanish I know so far is ¨Yo marania?¨ This is my on going joke where I ask Latinos if I look tan. Every one very seriously responds "no". Lost in translation, I guess. Thank you for your patients.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Scuba Poopa

I`m currently in Honduras getting scuba certified. I also have the dreaded Central America poops. Sorry to share so much. No pooping in the wet suit. What more can I hope to accomplish? I might be peaking right now as a badass. There might be a pun in there. Oh, and mosquitoes have attacked me mainly on the bum. Holy God. Perhaps I`ve been putting the bad-ass vibe out to the universe too much. Be careful everyone.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

PUBLISHED!!!! AHHH!

Major step has been completed on my path to becoming a professional badass writer. I got published!

www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog/CategoryView,category,7 Things I've Learned So Far.aspx
*I don`t know how to post a link. Please help*
Check me out!

Also, I`m in Honduras getting scuba certified. The country is undergoing a coup de tat and just finished up a hurricane. Pretty badass. Pretty rainy. Pray for me.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

International Party Girl

Before I set out to become a badass, I was set on becoming an international party girl. My funds are limited and I'm not very interested in being the next Paris Hilton, although I wouldn't mind being as popular in Japan as she is, but I have accomplished my goal. Today I'm flying to El Salvador. Let the international partying begin.

Possible badass adventures to come: surfing, scuba, trekking, accidentally drinking the water, and being the blondest babe to travel around Central America without being kidnapped.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Best Plan Ever

I've decided that for my 40th birthday I'm going to get certified as a yoga instructor. This is a distant plan.

1) Being a yogi is always badass. A 40-year-old taking on a big physical challenge is super-badass.
2) I'll be healthier, hotter, and more flexible in mind, body, and spirit.
3) If I get left by a man going through a mid-life crisis I'll start an all male yoga class. If I'm still in love and not being left, I'll give private lessons.

What's your best plan ever?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Off-Season

It's rainy and quiet in  Jackson Hole.  This is what's known as the off-season.  There are very few tourist, very little work, and overall, very little to do.  For those reasons, a lot of people leave town.  I'm still here and I've gotten the off-season blues.  Sure, I've been working out, writing, reading, organizing my closet, winning Miss Oktoberfest, but I've still got all this time left over to think.  I know that a lot of people really believe in thinking.  Apparently, it's helped some people get stuff done.  It's just made me feel like I should be doing something I'm not and created a big craving to nap all day.  I don't want to think, I just want to have a good time and become more badass.

I feel like typing this news will make me feel better.  

This Friday I'm going to Los Angeles, then up to Oregon.  

I'll be spending Halloween in Nashville.

I'm going to be in El Salvador, Honduras, and Belize for three weeks.

So, I guess even international party girls get the off-season blues.    

   

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I am Miss Oktoberfest!

I'm having an excessively tough time writing this because of the amount of alcohol that went into my winning Miss Oktoberfest.  Some woman win through beauty and talent.  I won due to a goofy hat and a public spanking.

To begin at the beginning...

It all started with a simple thought:  a  night of good food, richly crafted environment, and maybe a discreet beer sampler at one of Jackson Hole's finest dinning establishments, Stiegler's.  I had been lucky enough to be squeezed into the exclusive Oktoberfest event and was ready to be treated to one of the most perfect and opulent dining experiences of my life.  My vision of grandeur was skewed when I learned 8 hours before the dinner that it was actually a costume party.  The concept of this Oktoberfest being a costume party immediately seemed strange because why would anyone want to dilute the beautiful experience of eating a perfectly prepared veal wellington with the hilarious humiliation of eating it dressed as a pumpkin?  Costume parties are an excuse to get blackout drunk with the excuse of needing the extra alcohol to maintain your Hunter S. Thompson impression, not the time to exercise your taste buds.  I heard that it was a costume party from one of the restaurant's employees, so I thought, well, it must be true.  
My partner in crime, Shaun, loved that it was a costume party and quickly decided to go as a peppermint.  His costume would consist of red tighty whities, red tube socks, a red and white striped shirt, and a red hat.  This really seemed like a bad idea, but since we were going to this since it was his birthday, I felt like my hands were tied.  I agreed to wear my new purple skirt and go as a grape lozenge.  
Later that day, as I shopped for a striped shirt and a purple leotard, Shaun called to say that the peppermint thing was going to be too much.  We should dress as Austrians or Germans or something.  Now, I love costumes.  I love costumes so much that I wore one almost every day in college.  One day I would be studious girl, the next girl who loves movies from the 70's, the next girl who loves '40s glamour.  These days, I am pretty committed to being the girl who wears jeans and a cute top, but when the opportunity for a costume comes up, I like to nail the outfit.  I ended up in fuzzy boots, jeans, a turtleneck, suspenders, a totally legit sweater from the thrift store that was made in Norway, and a very cute Austrian cap that a friend of mine happens to own.  I was the real deal.  Shaun hated all of the goofy options I had gotten him and ended up in a sweater, corduroys, and a hunting cap.  He looked like a normal person who doesn't dress well, and I looked like a freak who loves caps and suspenders.  What I felt like, though, was a badass who could easily blend into any culture.  My costume was perfect. 

Unfortunately, it wasn't a costume party.  When I walked in the door, the place was almost empty, but the 4 other women there were in heels, nice jeans, and a cute spangly top.  Aka:  dressed for modern life, not 1976 Austria.  As more people walked in, it became increasingly clear that the only other costumes I was going to see where the traditional lederhosen and dirndl that the waitstaff wore.  I introduced myself to everyone as "Hi, I'm jessicatheytoldmethiswasacostumeparty."  People were really supportive of the outfit and I started to have fun with the whole thing.  That or I was just drinking more.  

When I introduced myself the the manager, he informed me that there was actually a dance/costume contest.  Oh, it was on.  I found two male guests who had worn their own lederhosen, the only two other people in costume.  One was a man in his thirties with unwashed hair, piercings, and a charming German/ New Jersey accent.  The other was a spitfire in his seventies.  Both men took very well to me telling them that they might as well not even compete because I was going to school them in the competition.  Neither knew that there was a competition, but after enough berating, rose to the challenge, the old man asking, "ok, so when are you going to change into your costume."  and the younger man doing taunting German dances in my general direction.  

The Break-Through

As I was passing by the live band, the 72-year-old saxophone player stopped me and started feeling the arm of my sweater.  He asked me with a heavy accent,  "What type of wool is this?"
"Oh!  I don't know!  I just got it today.  Here, look at the tag."  
As I unhooked my sweater and arched my back forward to get to the tag, the accordion player and guitarist came to look too.  As the saxophonist felt my sweater more and more fully, he said, "I can tell that this is camel hair.  Yes, definitely.  I know for sure."
"Really?  Oh, wow.  It says it's made in Norway."
"Yes, I recognize it by the two humps in it."  He said, looking at my breasts.  

For the rest of the night I was referred to as camel hair.  

The Glory

The rest was right place, right time, right goofy hat.   I happened to be standing near the dance floor, watching couples take there turn, when the saxophone player stepped onto the dance floor and asked for a dance partner.  No one volunteered, and when he turned around and saw me behind him he said, "Camel hair!" and extended arm as an invitation to dance.  We started by hopping, stomping and doing that odd dance where you lift your ankle in and out and slap it.  We then moved onto a dance where you pretend to hit each other in the head and clap.  Germans are so weird.  The whole restaurant was clapping along, beer mugs in the air, laughing with me as I tried to figure out what the hell I was supposed to do.  I thought we were about to take a bow, when my frisky dance partner said one phrase I understood.
"Bend over."
"What?"
"Bend over."
As I made eye contact with a beautiful and classy woman in her 60's, "I don't think so, Mister."
"Put your hands on the ground."

I looked questioningly at the audience.  Every one was nodding for me to do it and sloshing their glasses in time with the music.  I bent over.  The Austrian grabbed my legs wheelbarrow style, and wrapped them around his waist.  He told me to hang on, and proceeded to smack my bottom rhythmically.  My cap fell off, but otherwise, the whole thing was pretty good.  I was let up, the crowd cheered, I was feeling good, when the man said, "Next time, we do the whole dance."

"I want to do it now."
"Ok, then you must hold on again with your legs, but now you must reach through and smack my bottom at the same time I smack yours."

And I did.  I won a apron with a hot cartoon body of an Austrian barmaid who accidentally forgot her shirt but is just covered by her suspenders, a free dinner for two, and the incredible honor of being 2009 Miss Oktoberfest.   

Sometimes, just when you feel like the biggest loser of all, you turn out to be the winner. 

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Porcelain Princess

My cousin just described me in her own blog as someone going from "porcelain princess to a complete badass."  I'm so proud.  So excited.  So want to write that book.  Thanks Jennifer! 

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

E is for Effort to Make My Best Better

I've worked out with weights for two days in a row now.  My faulty knees, which I'm kinda proud of because I can't believe I'm active enough to mess up my knees, are spurring me into some training for ski season.  Midway through my exercises I thought my neck was paralyzed at an extremely awkward angle.  It's not.  The magazine I was following told me to do the routine twice and I could only do it once before my urge to nap overwhelmed all motivation.  After laying on the ground for a few minutes and watching my new heart monitor drop rapidly below my fat burning zone, I said, "Body!  Hells no!  We are not going out like this!"  I got up, had a neck spasm and decided to stretch.  Half a workout is better than zero workout.  

Stay posted for news on my emerging six pack.  Sadly, it's currently buried but if I push an inch or two into my stomach I can feel it.  Don't worry little six pack.  I'ma coming to getcha!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Blood, Guts, and a Nice Scarf

A few days ago, Jackson had the first snow fall of the season.  Since I'm a southern girl at heart, when I see snow I automatically think, "Snow Day!"  All impulses turn to the couch and stillness.  The day was spent reading magazines, lolling about, and pouting that I no longer have anywhere to wear adorable heels, skirt, blazer combos.  Ohhh, new plum nail polish for fall!  Wait, that will just be chipped off in my mittens as I claw the damn ice off my windshield.  I was really getting on a roll, considering moving to a place where pedicures are considered a requirement, not frivolity, when I received a call.  

"Jes, I think I have a plan that might really excite you.  Really get you going on becoming a badass."

Interest peaked.  If I can't be well accessorized, I would like to be a badass.

"Chase just killed an elk and we can hike into the woods and help him pack it out."

"I'm in."

"Ok, just wear warm clothing that you can get bloody."

"Um, ok.  Yeah.  Sure." 

One minute, I'm wishing for new over the knee boots.  The next minute, I'm wondering why I don't have more warm clothing I can get bloody.  I wore all black, but it turns out, you're supposed to wear orange so that you don't get shot by another hunter.  I looked like a bear.   Definitely need to get in on the hot neon trend happening right now.  If anyone has access to an H&M, please send a nice neon scarf.  Orange would be nice, but pink will do.  Thanks.  I'm saving for a rifle or I would buy my own scarf.

Proof that I went:

Elks stomachs are large enough to fit a small female adult in the fetal position.

The meat is hauled out, but the intestines are left in the woods for coyotes or something to eat. 

Steam rises out of the animals insides as the cold air meets the warm body.

You don't want to shoot the spine because there is a lot of good meat in that area.
 

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Scramble

I've scrambled eggs.  I've scrambled to get good hair, a decent outfit, and be on time.  And just recently, I've scrambled* a mountain.  

*In my efforts to become a better writer, I've reviewed some critiques and found that I'm over explaining to my badass readers.  Apparently, I don't need to explain what hooking-up is because you are all big sluts and already know.  Please see my essay In Defense of Dating if you don't know what hooking up is, prude.  You all probably know what scrambling is too, because you're badasses, but I didn't, so here's a definition:

Scrabbling:  climbing on rocks or boulders, but not straight up requiring a harness.  Just climbing up the rocks like a crab, or nimble mountain goat on two legs.  Or, as dictionary.com says, "a quick climb or progression over rough, irregular ground."  Dang it!  How do I get this font back to normal?  This is not going well.  better. Normal?  Ok, I give up.  

As i climbed carefully over rocks, testing for stability, my fearless leader, Shaun, bounded up the damn things.  A rock would slip from under his foot he would surfer balance, find his center, and leap to the next one.  Waiting for me to catch-up, he would even ride a big flat rock down the loose rocks, as if he were Fred Flinstone's country cousin, and a woolly mammoth was chasing him down the mountain.    bonus detail:  Shaun is very southern.  On an especially slide-prone section of smaller rocks, I looked down, and realized, if I fell, I could really hurt myself.  I could, in an unlikely chance, die.  My body froze with fear.  Shaun yelped as the rocks gave way under him.  My heart stopped.  Shaun laughed, got up, and kept on surfing down the mountain.  He just made it look so fun that stopping climbing was not an option. 

When things stop growing, they start to decay.  Biological truth.  Playing it safe on the couch will kill you too and it won't be nearly as fun.  And you'll get fat.  And your brain will go numb.  and people will think you are a big loser.  And you will forget how to laugh.  That's what I had to tell myself to get up the damn mountain.  I did.  It was incredible.    

Good News

I had switched to the new editor of blogspot and that took away my spellcheck.  Being the lazy badass that I am, I was just winging it, praying for good spelling or accidental puns.  I've taken control of my life and blog.  I got the old editor and the old spellcheck.  Hopefully, I'll be a little more correct in the future.  Thank you for your patience.  

ps.  blogspot is identified as being spelled wrong.  so is badass.  I guess I'm just gonna have to keep breaking the rules.  

Monday, September 14, 2009

tightness

My hands been sore ever since it got stitches.  Although the cut's healed nicely, it has seemed like it was swollen and bruised under the cut.  Any pressure on my hand, especially leaning directly on it, ached.  I haven't wanted to ride a bike.  There's been no downward dogs.  Essentially, I've been un-essentially handicapped.

On this fine rainy day, I don't have to work.  I don't have to go out and play.  Thanks, rain.  I've got nothing to do besides  try to figure out how to enjoy myself.  There's been some reading, some sandwiches,   E! True Hollywood Story: Oprah, and most recently, there's been some stretching.  The past few weeks being peak season, I've been working my booty off to try and support the international jet set life I aspire to, and it's been making me uptight in mind and body.  I wake-up in the middle of the night and my mind races, "Did I drop off 223's ribs?"  Nightmares of forgotten food haunt waitresses around the world.  Physically, I'm developing TMJ and a grandma walk.  My muscles are so tight and my feet so sore, people must think I'm Estelle Getty from behind in a blonde wig.  Thanks to this lovely day off, I can try to turn my hobble into its former sashay.  I'm limbering up, when it occurs to me that maybe my hand isn't bruised.  Maybe it's just tight.  Maybe nothing has been wrong all along, but a fear to use it, causing me to lose it.

On that inspirational and jazzy slogan, I'm going to return to stretching.  Keep on, folks.  You can do more than you can ever realize.  

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Learning Circle

Yesterday, I went on a hike up mountain.  I've done this before, but usually, I go up switch backs, which are a zig-zag trail that helps with steepness. My mountain hike yesterday was just straight up a ski run (gros ventre for those in Jackson).  Lungs burning, legs skidding out from under me, and sweating profusely in front of my friend who I've never hiked with before, I felt like a lame-o.

Luckily, I had a fond memory to look back on and keep me motivated.  A few months ago, I took a couple of newbies up Snow King, which is a steep mountain right in town that I had my first badass break through on years ago.  My two newbie friends are from NYC and incredibly badass in many ways, including, but not limited to, outfit coordination and witty banter.  These girls were not at all prepared to hike up a mountain.  I greeted them in full athletic apparel, with a camel pack (back pack with water bladder), and a gung-ho spirit.  They greeted me with a small leather purse, adorable cut-offs, converse, and a cup with a straw.  I couldn't help but smile to myself.  I used to have no idea how to do this stuff either and now I kinda do.  I know what it takes to get up Snow King.  But my badass hiker friend, Ali, proved to me yesterday that I still don't know crap about heading straight up a mountain.  I love the circle of life.  There will always be someone who is better at something and someone who is worse.  Kinda sweet.  There will always be someone to teach you, and then, there will be someone to make you feel like a badass cause you can teach them later.

The Little Prince says, every adult was once a child.
Every badass was once a lame-o.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Simplicity

The other day girls at my work were looking through US Weekly and wondering why Angelina Jolie always wears black.  Listen up world, cause I know.

1)  She's got a rediculous number of kids and one could spit up on her at any moment.  Black is the best camoflage to spittle.

2)  Lady's saving the world as a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN.  That leaves less time for assembling ensembles.

She throws on a black dress, knows she looks great, grabs a baby or two, and heads out to end world hunger.  The lesson here is if you want to get mad stuff done, you gotta simplify the essentials.  In honor of badassing, I'm simplifying.  But I'm only going to wear red cause I deal with a lot of ketchup at work and, lately, I bleed a lot.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Death and Rebirth: Tale of Toenails

Last January I skied in a pair of boots that were too big, slammed my toes up against the front for a few hours and, to my horror, killed by two big toe nails.  Their death was slow.  First, they bruised.  A few months passed and they became brittle and then, one of the jerks just loosened itself from the body and had to be cut off.  A thin layer of ridged nail was left, thank God, since I expected there to be just goopy skin, but overall, the whole thing was horrifying.  I've scared children, manicurist, female friends, but to my shock and amazement, guys really don't seem to mind.  I was at the beginning of a relationship when the first toenail dropped and not only was the handsome fellow not disgusted, he seemed to like helping me deal with the departure.  He was the hero, I was the wounded gazelle.  Nice.  

Turns out, most dudes have lost a toe nail, and to them, it's no big deal.  Every guy who saw the bruised toenail would say, "oh, you're gonna lose that."  I would pout and say, "but it's going to be sandal season!  I'm disgusting."  The guys would just scoff and move on.  Looking back, the only disgusting thing about the situation is that I would spend time crying over lost toenails.  The other toenail just fell off.  I'll miss it.  It was big and beautiful and really looked good hot pink but it'll be back.  In the mean time, I should probably do some badass volunteer work (note to self:  find charity.  Being this self-involved is not badass.)  After all, some little underprivileged girls can't even afford nail polish for the nails they have.  

OOOOOOHHHHH!  Maybe I could give underprivileged girls manicures?  Start my own charity. That's badass.  I'll be looking for volunteers.  People, just because we've lost toenails, that doesn't mean we don't still have a lot to give. 


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Scraped Knees Ain't Just for Kiddies

The entire time I was growing up I had scraped knees. I'd trip on my skip-it, slide wrong coming out of a tree, miss my landing jumping off the swings, and lose a layer of skin. There was always pain but it was a sacrifice I was willing to make for having so much fun. Sadly, it's been years since I've had a scraped knee and I can't help but think that it's a sign that I haven't been having enough fun. All that's in the past though, cause I scraped the crap out of my knee and had to get stitches on my hand! The badass is back and ready to play.

I've always prided myself on not being the type of woman who refuses to kiss a man cause it will ruin my make-up or won't get my hair wet in a pool. I try to prioritize a good time before a good look, but if I'm going to be a badass, I'm going to have to take things a step further. It's time for a confession. Ever since moving to Jackson, I've seen women with mangled skin. Anyone who mountain bikes gets some nasty road rash (cuts and scrapes). I've always thought, secretly, to myself, gross. I never wanted my pretty legs to be cut and gnarly. I thought scars were ok for men, but these women should really be more careful. They were really detracting from their summer dress beauty and men weren't going to think they were attractive. Turns out, somewhere around fourteen, I started sacrificing fun in order to be what I thought was pretty. I've just learned what these women must know: Why be pretty when you can be having the time of your life? And really? What's better looking then someone having an incredible time? Nothing, you fools.

And now it's time for a story: I Fell Off My Bike and I Liked It.

I fell off my bike. Riding back from the river, a short trip, in nothing but a bathing suit, I turned off a paved path onto a gravel road too quickly and skidded over. A rookie mistake. Apparently, a lot of people know about this whole pavement to gravel thing. I didn't. Now, I do.

I was with Shaun and I really didn't want to cry in front of him. The second I hit the ground I prayed, please don't let him do that thing where he babies me and then I turn into a sniveling infant. Luckily, I needn't worry. Shaun is a man of little compassion and much joy. He's made this apparent to me on a number of occasions. This is the same man who after seeing me leave work miserable because I was going through a break up texted me, "hold on to the night. hold on to the memories." I looked up at him from the gravel and said, "I'm fine. Don't freak out." The second my eyes fully focused I realized his face was frozen in a look of awe and excitement.

He said, "That was amazing!" Laughter. More laughter. Big laughter. I nervously giggled as I stood and contemplated wiping the gravel off my leg. What was clinging and what was embedded?

"I totally saw that coming. I watched the whole thing! Don't you feel great?"

"I guess it doesn't hurt that bad."

"Isn't it exhilarating? Aren't you happy you can still do that?"

Blood dripped off my hands. Standing there, in my bathing suit, the pain started to emerge. At first there had been nothing. Now, though, as I stared at an open wound, not scrap, not cut, but gash, a true wound on my hand, it started to burn. It burned until it stung and then stung until it ached. I believe Shaun was now shouting, "You're a badass!" Suddenly, a mini-van is beside me. A bleeding girl in a red bikini with scraped knees stands next to a fallen bicycle and a minivan. That sentence could be used to describe everyone of my k-5th summers. There I was fifteen years later and nothing had changed. As I talked to the dad in the mini-van, I started to feel good. Don't worry about me, sir. I'm fine. Just fell off my bike. Not the first time it's happened and you know what? I hope it's not the last. Shaun's point was sinking in. I can get hurt and it can be worth it. The moments leading up to the crash were definitely worth a scraped knee. I had just floated down a river on my back for the first time ever. I had danced around on the beach. I had raced along laughing hysterically on a bike, something I haven't done in way too long and trust me, the laugh was an incredible one.

If you're pushing yourself to do things you haven't done or do something better then you've ever done it, you're going to fail. You're going to fall. Failing and falling both hurt, but they are things that happen on the way to awesomeness. So what if my pretty little knee is a little less pretty? It's a little less scared and that's worth it being a little more scarred.

Plus, I got five stitches in my hand. I've never had stitches before. I'm a badass.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I did Vegas

and I told the door guy at the door that I couldn't stand in line or pay because "then I would feel ugly."  He let me in and gave me his last piece of gum.  HOT.

I lost a belly flop competition.

I drank, drank, drank, and didn't puke.

I danced, danced, danced in heels and didn't bust it.

I perfected shaking just my booty and keeping the rest of my body firm.  The largest black man I've ever seen complimented me.  Life goal accomplished.  

Vegas done.  


Monday, August 10, 2009

the slut/badass conundrum*

The art of female badassing is difficult to master.  One of the most evil forces trying to stop women from kicking ass like a female is the slut factor.  Being a woman is sexy.  Looking sexy is the whip cream on top of the accomplishment sundae.  Meagan Fox would be a sweet mechanic in Transformers if she wore a baseball hat and carhartt overalls but what makes her the f-ing shinz is that she fixes bikes in hot cutoffs and tousled waves.  She doesn't have to down play her female sexual power to be taken seriously because she can produce some serious work.  My question is, how many woman see her in those shorts and immediately write her off as a slut?

The reason I'm thinking about the slut/badass conundrum is because of my personal love of pillow fights.  Before moving to Jackson I had a lot of feminine prejudice against sexy women.  You would think that living in LA would have made me respect out rightly sexy woman, since the typical LAite tends to overindulge in sexual power.  The problem is that a lot of the LAites don't back their sexiness with intelligence, power, niceness, and drive.  Or maybe they do so much that I was too intimidated to notice.  I'll have to do further investigation on that topic.  When I got to Jackson, though, I met some seriously sexy hardballers.  My immediate best friend, K , is a 5'10" serious hottie, with lips like Angelina Jolie and legs up to my ribs.  She looks hot all the time.  Not booty hanging outta her shorts, giving it all way, nasty hot, but the girl's got a great body and she appropriately shows it off.  Hating her was a huge temptation, but she helped me ski, taught me how to make a bloody mary from scratch, introduced me to the power to knee high socks, drove me around the icy roads, and made it all look good.  This girl is from Texas and isn't afraid to raise chickens, build stuff, mow 5 acres of land, and lift what needs to be lifted.    While she never really convinced me that it's better to lift stuff yourself rather than tricking a man into lifting it, she did teach me that their is no reason to not look foxy while doing the dirty work.  

The moment I realize that K had smooshed my prejudices against obviously hot girls in boob shirts who like to take shots and go "whoo"  was the night she invited me over to hot tub with her boyfriend and a couple of friends.  I was the first to arrive.  After setting ourselves up with some cocktails, we put on some music and started the waiting game.    We're goofing off, listening to pop music and talking about the silly sexiness of hot tubs.  K gets the brilliant idea of pretending like we are having a pillow fight in our bikinis when her boyfriend arrives.  She's pretty sure he will pass out from excitement and we will be able to giggle about it for years to come.  As we started testing out our hilarious pillow moves, a strange thing happened.  We started having the time of our lives.  The reason slutty girls are always giggling in teen movies as they pillow fight is because pillow fighting is an amazingly fun/goofy/riotous past time.  There we were, in bikinis, alone, jumping off couches, trying to beat the crap out of each other and I was laughing so hard I thought either my ab muscles were going to give out or I was going to wet myself.  Perhaps, even both, chain reaction style.  I felt like a my carefree nine year old self at a slumber party.  

The Argument

Let's take a look at some masculine badass past times:  Dirt bikes.  Climbing shit and jumping off it (paragliding, skiing, etc.).  Blowing stuff up.  Pretty much the same activities associated with the deep desires of the common eleven year old boy.  In a lot of ways, badasses are just people who refuse to stop having the physically reckless fun of youth.  Hell, even Cool Hand Luke ate 50 eggs.  If eating contest aren't juvenile...

Awesome female pastimes that become slutty as we get older:  pillow fights, jumping on trampolines, cartwheel/splits contests, co-ed slumber parties, dressing up like barbies, etc., etc., etc.

Why should woman be held back from having a good time?  Girls always want to be pretty and feel like girls.  Woman always want to push themselves to the ultimate, whether it's starting a business, changing our own oil, cliff jumping, or learning to shake it like Beyonce.  Let's not let our desire to look good stop us from doing whatever we want.  Let's look like goddesses and act like badasses.  


*this article in no way encourages sexual promiscuity.  giving it up like it isn't worth anything is sluttacular and not to be done.


  

Sunday, August 9, 2009

bloody mary from scratch

I've just made a bloody mary from scratch and am once again cleaning.  The badassness about this is 1)bloody mary made from scratch/memory.  (way obvi badass) 2)  I have to clean because of a wild pillow fight incident 3) I'm just stalling for time because I haven't been able to blog due to an overwhelming amount of badassness.

Please, stay tuned for enthralling tales on pillow fights, cliff jumping, old men hiking, trail running clubs, badass cubs in training and more.  Much more if you don't hear from me till I get back from Vegas ;)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Everyday Badassing

Lately, I've been a little distraught about not having enough time to push forward in my physical quests to become a badass.  Sure, I've been climbing mountains, driving boats, having run-ins with bears and throwing incredible dinner parties, but I haven't been pushing my limits.  I haven't been mountain biking, rock climbing, paragliding.  Hell, I haven't even been keeping my bathroom clean.  Most of the time I've just been working.  While it is badass to make the moneys and take care of yourself, the simple act is not going to keep the fire fueled in my soul.  I crave adventure.  

But, I also crave a bathroom clean enough to not catch the swine flu from and a room I can walk through with out having to tango through piles of clothing.  I don't mind the tango during the day, but at night it's damn near impossible and I've nearly given myself a concussion.  A very not badass way to go out.  So, I've created a compromise with myself and am taking this day to do some everyday badassing.  I'm going to clean.  

Not badass?  I'm going to clean in my cutest heels and most fetching knickers.  I've heard stories about hikers carrying huge packs for miles and miles, days and days.  When their load seems to be too much for them to carry and they feel like they can't go on, they add a twenty pound rock to their pack and haul it for a few miles.  By the time they unload the rock, their pack seems light.  As an homage to these wild adventures, I'm going to clean in heels because sometimes you have to make something harder to make it easier.  By the time I take the heels off, my calves will be aching but my space will be clean.  It won't be easy but it will be a hell of a lot more fun.  If being able to have fun while doing something you don't want to do and seems initially painful isn't badass then I don't know why God gave us the after workout/extremeness adrenaline rush.   

Friday, July 24, 2009

definition

Who's a badass?  

Someone who tries it.
Someone who goes further than they thought they were comfortable with.

Lot's of people in Jackson want to act like being in being the ultimate (skier, climber, etc) is what makes someone a badass, and that competing for that title is the only way to achieve badassness.  I've talked about my first attempt mountain biking and been scoffed at.  Incredible hair, driving stick shift, and making an incredible sandwich have all be seen as givens, not accomplishments.  Let's take a moment to remember, if you can do it and others can't then you will look like a badass.  

This adventure is about physical challenges, extreme sports, and manning off against nature but it's also about hair that gets free drinks, being able to drive a strangers porche, and sandwiches good enough to create a life long love.  

In conclusion, to all the haters, I would like to say:  Sorry for partying.  And partying in more ways than you even knew were possible.       

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Learning to Ride a Bike: This Time For Realsy

I know how to ride a bike.   Or so I thought.  Turns out, I only kinda knew.  If you can balance and pedal, you can ride a bike, scoot about town and maybe even teach a child how to some day.  But if you're really gonna bike, on trails or paths for long distances here's some crap to know:

1)  Gears are your new best friend.
      a) the low numbers are for uphill, high numbers for downhill, and middle for flat.
      b)  save yourself some ickyness and try to change gears at a point where you are pushing the peddles and moving yourself forward.  AKA:  Only make changes while fully engaged.  May apply to other life actions.
      c) the chain loops around the spiky.  If things go all shades of horrible and the chain falls off the round spiky (possibly due to ignoring advice b), put the gears in 1st and put the chain around the littlest round spiky.  Actually, not that hard but you will get dirty.
      BONUS TIP:  Don't wear white.  Biking is surprisingly messy.
2)  Wear sunglasses*

*to be expounded on in inspirational story

That's actually pretty much it for biking.  And now for an INSPIRATIONAL STORY...

To further along my Becoming of a Badass, I've taken up biking, as in, gone on two bike rides.  This has immediate benefits because I haven't biked in the pas, so I'm adding a whole new activity to my roster, automatically giving me huge badass points.  More auto points are gained from the maneuvering of the bike out of a tiny storage space and scraping up my legs, which sucks, but does make it look like I'm into mountain biking.  I get on the bike (this is day two of biking), slouch over the handle bars, a tip from my friends who said my good posture was making me look like a wimpy cruiser.  I'm coasting down big hills, not breaking cause I ain't afraid of speed.  I'm arm signaling my turns cause I love sharing the road.  A not:  One armed biking takes some skill.  Shake off that lapse in balances, slouch over handle bars, and keep on going.  

I've gone about 1/4 a mile when I notice my chain is making bad, clinking, dragging sounds.  I pull over, only catching my toe momentarily as I dismount, and start solving problems.  Hmmm.  Chain.  Rubbing against metal.  Flashback to my youth... Wasn't the chain always around the round poky thing?  Yes!  I put it on the poky thing.  Which is easy!  Swift remount with extra toe lift and I'm off.

Cruising over an unpaved road (elk refugee in Jackson), blow past a man walking his dog and can fully appreciate the speed a bike supplies.  Shifting gears up and down hills, I'm getting cocky and having a great time.  I experiment with weaving around tiny pot holes and even imitated the nine year old I saw yesterday jerking his handle bars up to hop a curb.  Sure, I'm only jumping dents in the read but it's fun.  I'm feeling the flush of enthusiasm that's so present in youth and so much harder to find as we age.

Around mile five, she appears.  Her tiny body is all sinewy muscle and spandex.  Her gait is steady, sure, and well, really f-ing fast.  How can she be running this fast five miles in?  Surely, she came from one of the turn offs.  This has to be her three mile sprint pace over a rushed lunch break.  Maybe her child is in need of medicine at home and her car is broken.  She is headed toward the hospital.  Only those desperate mother endorphins could explain her speed.  I nearly fall off my bike as I search for her behind me, looking to see if she turns off.  She must have cause I can't spot her, and then, suddenly, I see her neon pink body streaking down the road.  She's already so far away I can barely see her.  

I turn around, having come to the end of the path and, now, fear is in my heart.  She's out of eye sight.  Does this mean... Is she running faster then I'm biking?  That seems physically impossible, but I've been out skied by three year olds on leashes and don't doubt anything.  

I'm pumping my hear out for two miles before I catch up to this woman.  I fly past her, not out of a sense of pride, but because I can't stand her getting a good look at how obviously overheated and sweaty I am.  Just as my confidence is about to plummet to the pathetic depths of self pity, and while my mind is repeating, How slow of a biker do you have to be to almost be out run?  Just then, God sends a mercenary angel.  Or a kamikaze angel rather in the body of a big juicy bug, that hits my forehead and splatters.  

Now, I don't know the exact mathematic equation, although I imagine it's something like:  (biker's speed) times (bug's speed) divided by (juiciness of bug), that equates to smashing a bug on your face, but gosh darn it, it's never happened to me jogging.  I must have been going pretty fast.  If I hadn't been wearing sunglasses and the thing hit my eye, I definitely would have required medical assistance.  Just one of the risks us badasses have to take.  I wiped the goo off my forehead and smugly pedaled back home.  I love being extreme.  The risk is always worth the story.  

Friday, July 10, 2009

Becoming a Badass: The Beginning

When starting something new the learning curve can pop up and boink you in the head.  The likelihood of this happening increases greatly if you give into temptation and use someone else’s learning curve.  Let’s say your gym buddy is a natural athlete, who has been competing in triathalons with her family since her daddy removed her training wheels.  This girl’s learning curve is going to batter you unrecognizable in spinning class.  You are you.  The bad news is you have to start with the knowledge, skill, and strength you have.  The incredible and invigorating news is that your potential is limitless. 

 

Lesson:  You’ve got your own learning curve.  Stand by it and be proud of your personal progress.

And now, it’s time for an Inspirational Story.

            I currently live in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the adopted homeland of extreme athletes.  Out here people don’t ask how your day was, they ask what you did today.  I’ve learned the hard way that the response, I watched three hours of Sex and the City on DVD and cleaned my bathroom is a super lame-o answer.  Being a loser will garner no friends and no party invites.  Sure, we all need chill days to ourselves but make them rare and say that your knee was acting up.  The response people are looking for, and the one that is actually way more fun to truthfully answer is something like, I biked 12 miles, grabbed some food and a beer with friends and then we all went camping.  The people I look up to say stuff like, I biked up the pass (big mountain), went for a jog through the trails up to see the wildflowers, and got back to my car just in time to grab a burrito and see if my kayak was done being repaired. 

            I moved here from LA, where I was active, as in morning jogs, occasional yoga, and vigorous barhopping.  When I got to Jackson, I learned that physically, I had a lot of catching up to do.  Luckily, that was only because there was a lot of fun I as missing out on. 

            Lots of people aren’t active because they don’t think they are coordinated or strong or flexible or in shape.  I spent years using a combination of all these excuses to avoid trying fun activities.  I’d dabble, but I would inevitably be the stupidest looking goof on the court/dance floor/field/etc.  The “I can’t because I’m not…” excuse became my mantra.  Well, me amigos, I’ve traversed the physical challenge mountain and am here to report back what I’ve learned.  You don’t need to be awesome or a natural to start learning!  You just have to keep trying and you become awesome at things!

            And with that we end the preaching.  I believe in leading by example.  So, here are some tales of one girl’s adventures as she…

Becomes a Badass

            My extremeness all started with hiking.  One summer between years at college, I was feeling particularly losery and fat.  Grumpily, sitting around my parent’s new home in Jackson, Wyoming, where I had zero friends, I was swiftly starting to have sub-zero will to live.  As another day of watching marathon America’s Next Top Model came to a close, I sighed, lolled my head back and said to myself, “what are my options?  I can either go for a walk or kill myself.”  A small spark of enthusiasm pushed me toward the walk and my inner cynical bitch agreed, figuring there would always be time after the walk to slit my wrists.  A little way into my walk, fresh oxygen fueling my thoughts, I started to get pissed.  I am not a loser.  I will not go out like this.  Especially in Wyoming!  I will persevere.  I will climb that fucking mountain!  In some towns, the mountain would be a metaphor for kicking butt and overcoming obstacles.  In Jackson, you don’t have to be that creative.  There are big mountains everywhere and paths for hiking up them.  One, in fact, is less than ½ mile from my home (Snowking for any locals) and I was conveniently staring at its grandeur. 

            The next morning, decked out in an ugly T-shirt, yoga pants, sweat bands, barely used hiking boots, and a full body layer of prayer, I headed up the mountain.  My outfit was stupid.  A 75-year-old man with a walking stick passed me.  Children passed me.  Tiny four-pound dogs that had to take 22 steps to equal one of mine passed me.  About halfway up, red faced, drenched in sweat, wheezing, I turned around.  The next day I tried it again.  I figured, hell, I’m in Wyoming.  Who cares what these people think about my salt dripping, seemingly asthmatic, chubby butt.  It might take some time, but I would climb the mountain.  And I did.  Still do.  Only now, I do it in tiny athletic shorts and a sports bra.  As I jog down, I say, “You’re almost there.  Hang in there!”  to the poor, sweaty saps who look close to flinging themselves off the side of the mountain. 

            Just remember, we all have to start at the bottom of the mountain, but we all have the potential to climb it.

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