James Franco, I love you.

Today was the kind of day where you find a mushroom growing in your bathroom, you cook dinner to discover when it’s done that the chicken is most definitely bad, and James Franco is at the beach you were at today and you didn’t realize it until you stalked his Instagram while laying in bed… Like now.

IMG_2467.PNG
Is this real life?

On a positive note, I did run four miles today. So, there’s that.

Daily Post: Why, Thank You?

What’s the best (or rather, worst) backhanded compliment you’ve ever received? If you can’t think of any — when’s the last time someone paid you a compliment you didn’t actually deserve?

IMG_2458.PNG
Back handed compliments never fall short in this world, but rather than focusing on the negative I would like to discuss compliments. Obviously. Compliments are the best.

After starting this blog I would get the occasional “you just have it all figured out” as though to suggest just that… I had my life figured out. They would then take it further to state that they did not as though to ask me the greatest question of all: HOW? The craziest part about this situation is that it happened more than once. Each time someone would discuss the life I posted on the internet, I wondered what I was projecting that someone would assume that I solved a piece of life’s puzzle. It felt odd because I often felt as though I had so much to resolve within my own life. The truth is, we all want to figure “it” out and find ourselves, or discover what creates a greater meaning for us in this world. But who has any of these things really figured it? Deepak Chopra?! Certainly not me.

So while it has been exceptionally flattering that people think because I am self-reflective in a public forum that this living this is so easy it’s for the birds, it’s not. I’m just soaking up this world too. And since I have zero insight to provide you with, I’ll leave you with my boy, Deepak.

IMG_0550.JPG

IMG_0552.JPG

IMG_0549.JPG

IMG_0551.PNG

Why, Thank You? | The Daily Post
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/why-thank-you/

To Mermaid or Not to Mermaid…

That is the ultimate female question. Long hair vs. short hair… It’s quite the conundrum.

Have you ever seen those makeover shows where a girl has hair to her knees but refuses to cut it as though it was a necessary extremity?! Well…

True life: I rather let my hair grow out ratty with massive roots and damaged split ends then get a bad haircut and color. This has actually worked out well with hair fashion giving ombré it’s moment in the sun. These aren’t roots… It’s ombré.

Is this hair anxiety? Absolutely. Hair anxiety that was born from the stresses of poor hair decisions. And in part, this anxiety was caused by my mom. My mother, a woman that begged and pleaded with me not to cut my beautiful long hair. I did. Not to dye my beautiful blonde hair. I did. Not to touch my face with piercings. I did. Word to the wise: if you are a parent, be careful what you push on your children… They will rebel. And I will now show you some of my favorite hair moments and if you pay careful attention you can also see some classic eyebrow style moments as well.

1. Aunt Lori, I know you did my hair and in the 90s, this was the coolest. Especially the bra strap headband used for the ponytail. Now… I’m not sure what we were thinking.

IMG_0539.JPG
2. That time I thought braiding my hair in Jamaica would be cool.

IMG_0541.JPG
3. The time I didn’t learn my lesson.

IMG_0540.JPG
4. When straight bangs were the coolest thing since the last coolest thing.

IMG_0542.JPG
5. When I had a quarter life crisis and made my friend buy boxed hair dye with me only to destroy my hair and then go even darker… To then go even lighter. For way too long. With blonde roots.

IMG_0544.JPG

IMG_0545.JPG
6. When rebellion was the coolest. And by rebellion I mean that one streak of pink I had.

IMG_0546.JPG
7. A multitude of bangs. Full on. Side swept. Awful, terrible, no good, very rotten, bangs.

IMG_0547.JPG
The fear is real. I have made so many poor choices- some too heinous to share with the world, which is saying a lot because I’m a huge over sharer! This is why the IDEA of cutting and coloring my hair is better left as an idea. But yesterday I caved in because I recognized the fombré nest I have been rocking was borderline unprofessional. And it’s almost that time of the year where I have to become a professional again. So I made the call and decided, like I always do, to go drastic. Because- it’s just hair. It will grow back… That’s my hair mantra. And I did it.

I said sorry to my mom- like I do every time I decide to cut it all off… and I made the plunge.

IMG_0538.JPG
And I realized that I needed to get a little weight off my shoulders and that sometimes change ain’t that bad. Now I just have to figure out how to tie my hair back so it stays while I’m running… And how to relinquish my love for looking like a mermaid.

One of those times I was judgmental

Gym outfits- I treat them more like that awkward school uniform that you hate so much because it’s so ugly, but you appreciate it at the same exact time because it makes your life that much easier. My gym prep is even better than my gym uniform- I wash my face and put on some deodorant. 

No, I am not part of the Lululemon movement of sexy wardrobes and beautifully done hair and makeup. The reason is simple- I sweat a lot and I’m too poor to afford adorable gym wear. Let’s not ignore the fact that I barely have time to make myself look socially acceptable when I go to work so please don’t expect me to try for the gym. A psychologist would say this disdain for adorableness is rooted in some deep childhood trauma of being picked last for kickball. And dodgeball. And soccer. And every other sport I ever played… but I think it’s mostly because I’m lazy. I mean, why should I put myself together for one hour of sweating?

I bring this up because the other day I found myself being extraordinarily judgmental of a woman at the gym. Her hair was tied back in a flawless pony tail, her makeup was exquisite, and her belly shirt was on point. I stared at her for not enough time for her to think I’m a stalker, but enough time for her to maybe think I would ask her out on a date. I then found myself checking out my own mix and match of an old shirt with yellow stains around the neck, shorts with built in granny-panties*, and two socks that not only came above my sneaker, but do not even go together. And in that moment I was in awe of this woman and I hated her for her effort. 

I found myself creating a hypothetical situation in which she was judging me in return and wondering how difficult it would be to match a pair of socks after I do laundry. In my day-dream I would then tell her that I lost the other sock a long time ago and none of my socks have a partner. And then I snapped out of it. I snapped out of it because maybe she wasn’t thinking anything at all because she does not go to the gym to judge others, she goes for herself. And in this simple few minutes of my day it made me think about who I am. I try so hard not to be that girl. You know. The girl that says what. the. _____. But there I was, being that girl. Shame on me. And in those few extremely weird moments I decided never to judge a gym outfit again. Because who cares what you look like- it’s the gym. 

 

*yes, I know the word panties is gross, but when you add the granny in front the rules no longer apply

It’s been a year?!

I missed my blogiversary – Meaning, I completely overlooked the year I’ve spent writing, running, yoga-ing… Recreating my understanding of myself. Ay-yay-yay! Have I stopped caring about my paperless child?!

No.

But in one year I’ve come so full circle that this blog has taken a back seat in my life. I don’t know how I feel about that- 49% of me loves forgetting to write. I hate to say it, but it became a chore. I lost my drive and desire (and honestly maybe my ability) to casually write. 51% of me thought, shit. I deserve to celebrate this year long process. For me.

What’s it like to write about your life for a year? In this year people have scoffed at my blog and in my insecurities I lost a bit of my desire to write- this is my own flaw, my inability to stop caring about what others think. I’m aware. But I’ve also had people I admire thank me for blogging. In some way I connected to a part of them- whether it was an email I received from an old friend saying they feel like they can run because of me, or a person I bumped into running on the boardwalk. One of my favorite emails was from a stranger thanking me for writing about rhinoplasty. Because why not let it all hang out. John joined in on my running bandwagon as well. And in this year a guy who never ran more than a mile would become one of my biggest inspirations in the process. Blogging is nothing more than making connections and so many have been made. Underneath all of our differences we share so many similarities.

So let me say: I’m human. And in 365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months… I have done wonderful things for myself that have helped to inspire myself, and I have let things slip. I’ve run 8 miles, and I have also felt as though – today, I just can’t go past two. I have probably done 50 miles in a month and said who needs two more, no one has to know. I have unintentionally lost ten pounds and dropped a pant size and then I unintentionally gained ten pounds and went up a dress size. Like I said, I’m a human. And a female with a booty.

Throughout the year, one of my favorite parts about using wordpress is seeing how people find my blog. So thank you for searching for:

IMG_0530.PNG

IMG_0531.PNG

IMG_0533.PNG

IMG_0532.PNG

IMG_0534.PNG
Yes.Yes.Yes.

You searched: I’m calling bull on lupus AND then you found my blog. Or, sexy boob images… None of those on here. Sorry. Someone just searched Jews. Present! Or my personal favorite… Beyoncé body odor. Shut up. She has none.

And this is why 51% of me loves this. So thank you for a great year and for stopping by and reading about lupus and life.

Strike Out ALS

As the ice bucket challenge to strike out Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) swept my news feed, I was… Annoyed. My annoyance was multi-dimensional. One part of my annoyance was so selfish I could slap myself – why didn’t I think of some cool way to bring awareness to lupus. Martha Stewart (aw, my auto correct tried to change her name to Sewer rat) isn’t dumping ice water over her head for SLE. But mostly I was annoyed because I wanted someone to articulate to me how pouring ice water over your head instead of donating the hundred dollars is going to strike out anything?!

And as much as I verbally hated on the ice bucket challenge, I now recognized that it comes down to raising awareness which is so critical for misunderstood diseases. But I was still annoyed. I found that I was still uneducated about a disease I knew only as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” despite watching countless people freeze their asses off for it. Did they even know what they were doing? I decided to do some research on my own because what good person who wants people to know about their disease isn’t willing to learn and become empathetic towards other diseases:

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

Website: What is ALS

So before you dump a bucket of freezing cold water over yourself, possibly taking on the challenge of hypothermia, I challenge you to research ALS first, and say one or two facts about the disease before you dump the water over your head. This will not only make you indefinitely more educated, but it will educate others too. Now, in order to watch you shrivel on the floor screaming about how cold you are, we will have to learn something first.

Good luck! Now I’m off to think of self-deprecating ways to strike out lupus:
Pee your pants for lupus- all of the cool kids are doing it.

SUP

Never judge a task by how easy really good people make it look. I’m looking at you, Jess, my standup paddle board queen!

Omigoodness- I never thought I would be a rockstar on my first SUP (that’s standup paddle boarding for you new people) outing, I didn’t expect I would struggle as much as I did either. And maybe that’s my fault… I’ve mentioned it before, but I loathe not being immediately skilled at things in life that require skills… What do you mean I can’t just pick up Mandarin Chinese?!

I didn’t bomb today, but holding your arm straight as you paddle is surprisingly difficult. I also didn’t fall into the water which is a huge pro. And I got to try yoga on a paddle board- you thought yoga required balance on a mat? Good luck as you gently rock (barf) in marshlands as boats pass by.

So, how did I get this new life experience handed to me? I’ve mentioned Jess numerous times on this blog because she’s my yoga buddy. She returns for another story: she is now a certified yoga instructor and stand up paddle board instructor AND stand up paddle board yoga instructor. That was a mouthful. I’m so unbelievably proud of how far she’s come in such a short amount of time- thanks for taking me out for a lesson. It was a blast. I promise to have slightly less self doubt next time. Because we all need that. Just stop making it look so effortless. I’m basically asking you to slip into the water, just once, to make me feel like the rockstar.

IMG_0516.JPG

Becoming Rachel Ray

Not everyone is a [insert favorite chef] in the kitchen. John and I often joke that if I lived on my own I would probably starve to death or survive off of Chinese food – preferably Merry Land. Despite loving food like it’s my favorite hobby, my fridge usually holds condiments and liquids rather than food itself.

It’s not that I can’t cook, it’s that I despise the act of cooking. The idea of cooking reminds me of a 1950s housewife and that doesn’t fly in this household. I’m all about equal rights for men to express themselves artistically in the kitchen. As I sit on a throne. Drinking a glass of wine. We all have our fantasies.

Months back, my doll of a friend, Sarah, offered me a week of free meals from a website called Blue Apron (click to see website). Blue Apron packages the supplies and directions necessary to create three fabulously impressive meals. Though I was initially apprehensive to the idea, I’ll try anything that’s free. What did I have to lose? Worst case scenario: I make a horrific meal, I throw it out and call up Merry Land. Have the number ready to dial and everything. Sesame chicken emergency option.

It turns out I am stellar at following directions because I made some banging meals. Meals good enough that I continued my account through Blue Apron- now, it’s not cheap, but it’s definitely less expensive than a night out on the town. Three meals are sent each week totaling out to $60, or $10 per person per meal. Each week you can choose to accept the order or decline the order for the week. If you are like me you will possibly forget to cancel a week and find an order on your doorstep like I did yesterday.

IMG_0503-0.JPG

IMG_0504-0.JPG

IMG_0505-0.JPG

IMG_0506-0.JPG
And now my fridge looks a little more like I’m 26 and less like I’m 18!

IMG_0507.JPG
And I get a little street credit from my boyfriend- we were so excited to dig into the stuffed poblano peppers last night that I forgot to take a picture after they looked perfectly plated.

IMG_0514.JPG
So, now that I’ve spent enough money (unintentionally forgetting to cancel weeks) I get free meals to give to friends! Two meals have already been given away, but I have one left. I’m looking to pay it forward to one of my readers that are interested and will genuinely use it only- I want to hear about what you cooked! Background on the website- You do have to put in credit card information into the website so after you get your free week they can begin sending you meals- meals which you can choose to cancel, or you can cancel altogether if you are not satisfied. I chose to continue to use Blue Apron, most weeks I do not select. I have received three weeks worth of meals in the months that I have been signed up for it.

So, friends! Let me know – take one week free from me! Tell me why you want it… Are you also a delivery only person that survives on ketchup and mustard? Are you a world class cook that wants to see what this is all about?! Leave a solid comment and it’s yours!

Curiosity Never Killed Anything

Whoever said humans are born evil never actually met a baby. Unless it was me, they did call me the demon fetus. What I can tell you is that the purest form of happiness comes directly from babies- and it doesn’t matter that they haven’t yet acquired language fully, their expressions and excitement for life are cross cultural. I truly believe we can see our connectedness as humans rather than our differences through country or culture when we look into the innocent eyes of a young child. In the life of a child two things are certain and universal: laughter and a curiosity for life. Somewhere along the line we lose these two beautiful things, but I would like to believe that many of us long for them.

This year I spent a lot of time thinking about the question: When do we lose our passion for the world? The joy, exuberance, and thrill of the little things becomes lost in mundane tasks and chores of daily life. This week I got to spend a few days with my beautiful, 15 month old niece, Ayla. And let me tell you something, that child appreciates life to the fullest. Or as much as any baby with two legs and a penchant to run can have.

20140806-102538-37538074.jpg

20140806-102539-37539131.jpg
I am willing to lose followers by stating that she is by far the best and most intelligent child. In the world. And she’s so stinking cute too. But that’s just a perk. At 15 months, she took her little legs and exhausted herself as she ran from exhibit to exhibit at the Museum of Natural History. The excitement and wonder that we all wish we could maintain is alive in this child.

As much as I love seeing babies be babies, I want a piece of that excitement for life cake. So, in my endless effort to tap into my inner child, my friend Jess and I had the pleasure to see Fuerza Bruta, a performance show, in the city (New Yorkers call manhattan the city… Because it’s the only city in the world.) I’m not even sure how to describe this show other than to see it helps bring back the wow factor that kids still have. The show takes place all around you- above your head, on the floor, and with the audience. It’s unbelievable. In one portion of the show, a pool comes down from the ceiling and a performance takes place over your head in the water.

20140806-103403-38043068.jpg

20140806-103404-38044684.jpg

20140806-103403-38043916.jpg
The ceiling gradually moved closer to all of us as people reached out for the chance to touch the hand of one of the girls from the other side of the glass. Magical, ethereal, and at times a cross between a fantasy and a nightmare, this show had it all.

As the performance came to an end, a portion of the room began to pour- seriously, water flowed like rain as people danced underneath, quite literally becoming soaked through their clothing.

20140806-103645-38205370.jpg
We left the show beaming from ear to ear, like little kids. We never fully lose that wonder.

What makes you feel young?!

Why am I Always Hungry and How Did I Get A Grease Stain On My Shirt

Mindy Kaling is basically my best friend in my head. And I know that we would have a buttload boatload (more appropriate?) of giggles together. The most evidence that I have to support my unnatural love for a person I have never met is that I have read her book twice, and that is double the amount of times that I have read most books so she’s sort of a big deal.

In her life changing memoir: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (which I completely relate to by the title alone) Mindy basically says every single thing I wish I had the ability to articulate and then sell to people, for example:

“You should know I disagree with a lot of traditional advice. For instance, they say the best revenge is living well. I say it’s acid in the face—who will love them now?” 

 

“I’m the kind of person who would rather get my hopes up really high and watch them get dashed to pieces than wisely keep my expectations at bay and hope they are exceeded. This quality has made me a needy and theatrical friend, but has given me a spectacularly dramatic emotional life.” 

 

“I don’t think it should be socially acceptable for people to say they are “bad with names.” No one is bad with names. That is not a real thing. Not knowing people’s names isn’t a neurological condition; it’s a choice. You choose not to make learning people’s names a priority. It’s like saying, “Hey, a disclaimer about me: I’m rude.” 

 

“The chorus of “Jack and Diane” is: Oh yeah, life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone. Are you kidding me? The thrill of living was high school? Come on, Mr. Cougar Mellencamp. Get a life.”

 

“You might also see that some of my playlists are simply two songs on repeat fifteen times, like I’m a psycho getting pumped up to murder the president.”

 

“I’m the one who looks at the infant, smiles nervously, and as my contribution to small talk, robotically announces to the parent, “Your child looks healthy and well cared for.”

― Mindy Kaling, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Typing these in just made me relive the out loud laughs followed by unabashed stares from complete strangers the last time I perused my copy. Oh, Mindy, you just get me. 

In one chapter, Mindy examines possible book title choices. As an active blogger- and by active I mean my mom reads every day, I know the struggle to finding the perfect name for your child. It was almost as challenging as the time I had to name the day-gecko that I took home for extra credit over winter break from science class and then tragically and 100% accidentally killed. RIP Geico Gecko… really creative, I know.

Mindy’s chapter got me thinking. 

What would my imaginary book title about my life be titled? Inspired by my woman crush, I have created a few à la Mindy:

  • Why am I Always Hungry and How Did I Get A Grease Stain On My Shirt
  • Why am I Always Hungry and How Did I Get A Grease Stain On My Shirt Again (this is my second book)
  • Baby Powder and Body Spray
  • The Gym is My Frenemy: I Hate You, but I Love You. Bitch.
  • The life of a Human Seagull (to fully understand this one you need to know that I will eat anything. Seriously…) 
  • No, It’s Not Sexually Transmitted and Other Facts About Lupus 

This all leads me to summarize with this question:

If you had to create one title for a book all about you, what would your book title be?