Thursday, December 10, 2009
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
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
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
No. I'm kidding. Thank you.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
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
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
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
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
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
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
Thursday, September 3, 2009
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
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
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.