Friday, March 28, 2014

Wearing Tutus = Not Running

I didn't start running until I was 31.

One of my girlfriends had been trying to get in shape. We were discussing workouts and staying fit and she brought up that she wanted to try this obstacle course out, a 5K called The Warrior Dash.  I had never enjoyed running.  I wasn't amped to even consider it.  I wasn't even sure I could run 3 miles in one swoop.

My girlfriend sent me a link to the Warrior Dash website.  I see these photos of people running, smiling, covered in mud....and in costume.


There is a sporting event where you can dress up like a Viking?!

I was hooked.  I signed up.  And we had a whole crew go.  And I found out that I could indeed run 3 miles.  Hell, a few races later I upped it to running 10k's....6.2 miles.

Over the course of the first 3-4 years of running, I participated in over 20 races.  Most involved either mud, obstacle courses, a sparkly medal and, ever so often, a costume.  It was the inclusion of those things that kept me going back.

Who knew running could be FUN?!?

I can't even imagine the amount of new runners that have started to run because a race brought in an element of fun. Workouts weren't the static, depleting and dreadful experience I had come to expect anymore.

The idea of running is intimidating for someone who is not a competitive athlete.  It's a huge task to commit to moving oneself at a fast pace for an extended period of time....especially when sitting sounds so much better.  Safer.  If you were to look at my sitting skills, they would be A-plus.  I sit for work every day.  I multi-task from this chair like a BOSS. 

Now running, I'm not super fast.  I'm not graceful.  At times I plod through.  If I get a cramp, the whole world will know and my face will have that pained look of dying while in motion.  I don't multi-task whilst running....I'm lucky to be breathing steady and going in a semi-straight line.  If you were to look at my skills, you would not be impressed. 

I don't want to be judged for my running.  Ever.  So if I'm in costume or in a wig, if I've painted myself are laughing with me, not at me.  

I'm not running, I'm funning.

This whole stream of thought sparks from the notorious SELF Magazine article, which threw shade at runners in tutus.  It made fun of the so-called "tutu epidemic."  What they also did was ignorantly post a photo of a cancer survivor who was in a tutu, doing her first run while on chemo.  She also makes tutus for runners.  The profits from the sales of the tutus goes to a local charity which helps young girls stay motivated to be healthy and exercise.

BIG mistake for SELF Magazine.  HUGE.  This has cause such an uproar in the running community, which has lovingly welcomed thousands of tutu wearing, fun-loving people who handle themselves with a better sense of sportsmanship than SELF has demonstrated.  The magazine issued an apology and retracted their superior stance on the subject.  ......meh.  Unimpressed over here.

What I would really like SELF to do is pull their next glorified celeb off of the cover and give us this tutu wearing, cancer surviving, charitable, female athlete who does more for promoting the cause of staying healthy and having a good body image than another article telling us how Kate Hudson lost her post-baby weight.

I. Hate. My. Dress.

When you are plodding along and checking off the items on your Wedding To-Do List, one of the first things that a bride does is finalize THE dress. 

And I did that.

Back in mid-December, I took a few of my girlies over to Pebbles Bridal.  I let them pick all kinds of gowns for me, just to be silly.  Then I stuck to looking over more casual dresses in the bridesmaid section.  I'm getting married on a beach lawn, so I didn't want a prom-bomb or anything over embellished.  Several dresses were workable, then I tried on this construction cone orange dress, which aside from the color, looked like it met all of the requirements.  I declared us DONE! Checked the item off of my to-do list and moved on to the next line item.

Note, I am a very decisive person and I love a well-made and executed To-Do list.

My dress came in last week.  I was so excited to go pick it up.  I went Saturday afternoon, with my bridal lingerie in tow, so I could try on the entire ensemble.  The sales woman gave me a dressing room and my gown.  Everything fit ok, but I still felt it was a bit tight in the hips.  I walked out of the dressing room to look in the the same time a girl had brought a 12-person entourage to the same mirror to watch her be fit in a gown.  So as soon as I walked out, a dozen heads swiveled around and I heard several "Oooohs" and "Aaaahhhhs."  I was a bit overwhelmed at the hub-bub, smiled and then returned to my dressing room to disrobe.

I left with my dress, still unsure what it looked like, but I definitely opted to buy some Spanx to help with that tight-in-the-hips feel.

Almost 37 years old and I bought my first pair of Spanx.  They are like a boa constrictor and a pair of panty hose mated and had an ugly step-child. 

Once the Spanx arrived, I locked myself in the back of the house and once again assembled everything.  I went over to the mirror and tried to like it.  I amped myself up to like it.  But it just wasn't there.  When I first tried it on in the eclectic, distracting orange, it was great!  It was fun!  I even said, "But who would want this in orange?!"  However, it was exactly that trait that made the dress work.  In white, it was limp, cheap looking and there was no bright color to distract from the fact that the darts weren't in the right place for someone my height.  The whole reason it felt tight through the hips was the misplacement of the darts.  I would spend my wedding and reception trying to tug it in place all day.

I felt uncomfortable, under dressed.....and just not bride-like and beautiful.

That moment of honesty hit me like a brick.  I. Hate. My. Dress.

Then the brick melted into and ice cold wash of anxiety as I accepted that I am getting married in 18 days...and I don't have THE dress.  I have A dress.  But not THE dress.

I put everything back on the hanger and in their proper bags.  My sweats went back on and I walked out into the living room.  I picked up the computer and started looking at every wedding dress I could find online.

Jesse looked at me and asked what I was doing.  I waved him off and said that I was just doing "something" and he didn't need to concern himself.  After my "something" took up over an hour of my undivided attention, Jesse started to question me again.  He knew something was quite off.

I looked up at him and meekly stated, "I hate my dress."

His face just fell.  The same brick hit him.  He was immediately empathetic and wanted me to talk about it and not "shut him out."

My response was that I wasn't shutting him out, I was just not going to talk about it or I would go absolutely bezerk and possibly start crying.  In lieu of such activity, I decided to start searching online to see if there was anything I could rush order overnight.  I prefer to find solutions over having a hysterical moment.

After I confessed the horrible truth to him, I was able to Facebook one girlfriend, who works in fashion and went to the fitting with me.  She didn't write back, but called me immediately. Her first words, "Are you o-k?"

I assured her that I was not in full blown panic, but I don't love my dress.  She offered to come over to look at it, to see if it was just me being silly, whatever.  I responded that I knew this wasn't the one.  I didn't feel special.  I didn't feel beautiful.  I didn't feel it was right for my day.  I also let her know I was rush ordering items to my office and if that didn't work out, I might need her to ride sidekick for a whole bride-zilla dress shopping extravaganza.

I felt good about being honest.  I felt good about not trying to make the dress work.  I did not feel good about having nothing to wear to my wedding. 

I found two dresses and paid rush delivery.  They came in today.  I went to a loft we own upstairs with two of my coworkers who could help me pull them on.  We have a space, which has big mirrors and great natural lighting.

Both dresses looked better that the one I have deemed "unworkable."  And one looks perfectly heavenly.  The color works with my skin tone.  It's elegant, understated, simple, and it's THE dress.

Crisis averted.  I don't have to get married in my skivvies or a burlap sack.

Monday, March 17, 2014

What makes you think it will work this time?

My guy and I went out of town to Santa Barbara a couple of weekends ago.  One of the highlights of our trip wasn't a planned excursion.  We were both hungry and driving in circles, not really knowing what restaurants were near us.  We happened upon a small eatery with several tables outside and warming lamps.

Tre Lune.

I was in my converse high-tops and a fleece sweatshirt.  The entire crowd was dressed Santa Barbara casual....which is fancier than your normal casual.  I felt so underdressed and uncomfortable.  But being hungry over shadowed being properly attired.  I was positive the hostess was trying to find a way to hide us at the back bar, when miraculously a front table opened up. My fleece sweater was first and foremost the thing that each new diner was able to see.

And I'm sure my fleece sweater and converse made a huge impression on Carol Burnett, who was sitting at the table to our right.  I did my best to not loudly hum songs from Annie or the theme song to The Carol Burnett Show.

But the presence of a great female comedian/performer was not the moment that makes me smile.

To our left was another older couple.  The gentleman leaned over and said to Jesse, "You seem like a nice, polite young man and yet these tattoos you have speak of a much harsher experience.  Would you mind telling me their story?"

Jesse opened up and explained how his tattoos evolved from a poorly chosen wedding band tattoo and how they had grown from that one mistake into a beautiful and strong piece of body art, that is still in the creation process.  The couple were enamored by the story and we ended up conversing through the whole meal.

We found out that the husband of the couple was none other than, Mark Singer, the inventor of Gorilla Glue and that he sold his company several years ago.  He now gets to focus on his love of designing and building modern wood furniture.  You can see his story with Giati Furniture here:

Our quickly approaching marriage became a subject of conversation.  Mark asked Jesse and me, "What makes you think it will work this time?"  And I chose to respond with, "Well, we have both failed at marriage before.  We know what makes it not work and what is truly important to making it work."

Mark asked what I felt had made my marriage not work.  And I explained that I worried more about other people's happiness than my own.  I said, "I didn't speak my mind about how I truly felt.  I shoved it down, in an effort to be pleasing and perfect....and 7 years later, when I am in the hospital with a bleeding ulcer and wishing that I could change it all, I saw just how much damage my reluctance to be honest had taken." 

My first marriage was to a person who took full advantage of my people-pleasing personality and there was no honesty between us  At the end, there was just his expectations and me submissively fulfilling them.  Anger, resentment and self-loathing had taken center stage in our marriage, which led him to infidelity and our final separation.

I further went on to explain that Jesse had shown me that he could love me, knowing my story, knowing my pitfalls, my failures, my experiences...the lump sum that equates my existence....he knows and he loves, whether he understands or not.  He loves me.  And we are moving in the same direction, towards the same goals in life, family and work.  I have a partner, not a boss.  We are complimentary towards each other.  And that relationship, with continual work, honest communication and trust, equals success.  I have no doubt.

It was that moment, which makes me smile and makes my stomach flutter.  I have no doubt that I know this is the romance and the love I was meant for....this is the love that people wish and pray for.  And I'm worth receiving it.  I had to live out my life to get to a point where I could be ok with being loved, truly.

And this is it.

Walk Away.....


It is March 17th.  And to me, this is a big milestone.  It marks the one year anniversary of my last day working in nightlife.

Early 2013, started with a lot of drama and stress culminating from a series of bad, reckless decisions.  I was in over my head and trying to go about my day as if everything was alright.  Instead of acknowledging that I was part of a duplicitous side-business, my ex was threatening my life and I had to miss a day of work, so I could install security cameras in my apartment.

I was scared and I was mad and I felt trapped.  So trapped.  I spoke with a friend and he said two magical words, "Walk away."  If you are around dangerous people and involved in a situation you no longer feel safe within, you can walk away.  Just peace out.  You do not owe people your life or your sanity.

I don't?

No, I don't.  And I made two phone calls and walked away from promises, from people and from a heap of anxiety. 

Once I made that choice, I realized that I truly wanted a path of wholeness, of being appreciated and a serious decrease in the drama swirling about me.

A huge factor of the drama was working for nightlife.  I had a boss who had a major drug problem, who I'd caught stealing twice and who tried to switch me to other venues.  He also tried to block clients from using hosts, would lie about sales totals to minimize commissions on big sales and was basically a greedy drug addict who felt he could get away with murder.  Having corporate know he was stealing, sleeping through shifts, dumping work on other managers and treating people according to the size of their bar tab and it not affecting his job security one bit, maybe his feelings of indestructibility had merit.  Along with him, I had a co-worker who would binge on drugs and alcohol and the mood swings from that were nearly unbearable.

The amount of lying, stealing, cheating and an all over failure to deliver a level of customer service that was equitable to the loyalty of our clientele, had me completely appalled.  I stayed because I loved what our venue brought and the happiness I derived from giving my clients their best memories of birthday parties, sporting events and corporate success parties.  However, giving others happiness tends to fall short as the company you work for denies proper compensation for your effort, your input and the proper credit for giving your all to others.

My last day, my manager did not announce my departure or arrange any type of well-wishes.  I had given two years of service and he didn't even bother mentioning me in the pre-shift.  And when an email was sent from my supervisor, including management, to prompt an acknowledgment and a possible thank went neglected.

I walked away.  And I was so angry that it meant nothing to them.  So angry and bitter that I wasn't valued.  After a year has gone by, I can see that I was never valued.  I was merely a vessel that could be put in one place or another and use my endearing nature to squeeze money from clients and build a fortune for a company who could replace me in a heartbeat. 

It was one of the worst "relationships" in my life.  One filled with lies, cheating, theft and alcohol and drug abuse that I had to suffer through.

And like any bad can choose to walk away.

And when you value yourself more than the ego that comes with your phone blowing up and red ropes being lifted for you...when your sanity and self esteem are priorities above having your own table and a bottle of low-level booze, walking away can include a skip, a hop and a jump into a better lifestyle.

A year later, I am getting married in 27 days.  I can easily be away from my phone for hours on end.  I haven't been to a club in a year....and I'm experiencing life, love and a brighter future.

Walk away from what's dragging you down, to free yourself to walk into something that lifts you up.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine when I'm at the gym.  I roll up to the first available treadmill, place my water bottle and towel in their accessible positions and start to walk.  Every two minutes, I increase the incline. I hum along to my tunes and notice out of the corner of my eye, the person next to me, is gripping the treadmill for their life.

Guy or girl, doesn't matter.  They're holding onto the treadmill and ignoring that fact that by doing so, they are negating 15-20% of the calories they *think* they are burning.  Treadmill, elliptical, moving stairs, whichever....You are cheating!  Cheating yourself more than anything.  Little legs are wildly flailing and your knuckles are turning white.  It's probably the part of your body getting the greatest workout.

Cardio is hard.  The hardest thing is showing up consistently.  The next hardest thing is consistently challenging your body, so you don't plateau.

I know, I know....I shouldn't judge, but it infuriates me to see people continue such bad habits in the gym, just KNOWING that somewhere out there, they are griping to someone about seeing no results.

Just stop hanging onto the railings people....swing your arms, clench your buttocks, get results!

Words, Words, Words....

I am an intelligent creature...I swear by my beloved Frenchie, who farts, that I can add, subtract, email at break neck speed and read a book a week, simply for kicks. Moderately intelligent. I will give myself that...moderately. I feel good about that level, not too generous, but not underestimating the value of what a four year degree earns you....even when I delay that process and take 7 years to finish that degree...I WAS UNDECIDED ON MY MAJOR...ok?

Recently, I have come across the philosophical and over thinkers of our time. I can sit in a room with them and nod my head along with their discussion, interject an "I see" or "well, makes sense." When in all reality, I don't see, I don't even hear...I'm lost on what the meaning of the last 30 syllables that left your mouth were and I'm inconspicuously looking for the damned thesaurus you must be hiding somewhere.

It's when I realize that these fops, these narcissists of their own verbology, have never been called out on how perverse and moronic that they actually sound. And I'm pretty safe at assuming not a single idea that left their mottled brain was actually original....being that they seem to spout many quotes and references and use those bunny ear quotes a lot. I like bunnies. Really do, especially rabid ones.

The crowd that basks in the glow of the overly worded, is too embarrassed that they can't follow, they can't comprehend, they can't truly remember what the discussion is actually about, but could really use some hallucinogenic drugs at this point to watch the speaker's head melt...cause it would simply be more entertaining and remarkable.

God these people bore me and they do it while gleefully believing themselves to be the most interesting creatures on the planet. Hit head on wall, hit head on wall, hit head on wall.

So I've come to the point of where I plan to stand up for my people, the majority, us. The American population has an average intelligence and reading level of third graders. You know why? Cause we have to work, pay bills, we don't desperately cling to what we learned in British Literature or high school Calculus...cause you know why???? We have things to do and more valuable, lovely things to think upon and we are secure in that indulgence. I, myself, vow to claim ignorance, admit my lack of time spent studying the dictionary while instead I enjoyed the real world (complete with rabid bunnies).

Because if these philosophers actually cared to get their point across. If their main goal was to impress a major point and belief upon the world at large concerning religion, politics or perhaps the sexual practices of the Haitian peoples, as their legacy, then they would surely want to be understood. Instead, it seems that they merely want to hear their magnificent brains pouring from their tea stained lips (cause these people spend hell-of-time sipping hot teas at the local Sbucks). And each superior syllable that eeks past their gaping holes for mouths, challenges me to dare NOT to understand.

Well, I don't...dammit I don't. And I'm not sure I would really care about the topic if I did understand the words spewing from their mouth. these plunderers of the English language .. the time wasters of life ... the soulless who claim to have souls...the unoriginal who claim to be the MOST unique people ever (what a common statement).... I say to you ....

You are better than a Xanax. You are less exciting than an annual obgyn exam. A speculum has more personality and depth of character than you. You make me want to rip your face off and feed it to my lovely rabid bunnies whose sheer existence is a larger mark on society than your own.

And to you who actually listen to this drivel and revel in it, you are just as vapid. Go get a life. Find the philosophy of existing and maybe, just maybe, you will create your own life epiphany…and I swear when you do, the best and grandest of life's discoveries comes in the words of children, the colors from a crayon box and humbling experiences of the common man.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What Are You Going to do After the Wedding? ...huh.

Being wedding-obsessed is somewhat fun.  Colors, flowers, musicians, food, planning, planning,'s a good time for a creative person with too much creativity inside and nowhere to put it.  It's been thrilling.  It is my pièce de résistance

I wake up and have a purpose.  Today I need to pick a cake flavor.  Tomorrow I really need to make a flower choice.  By next week, we should really have that itinerary, itenerized.  Every day there is a new challenge for my bridal-mind.  I mean, I had a mini-celebration when I finally found the right nail color this week.  If you heard people shouting in the streets or any celebrations nearby, it was most likely due to the success of the perfect manicure.

One of my coworkers asked me this week: "What will you do once the wedding is over?"

I laughed it off and replied, "Oh, just go back to being peaceful and quiet. Duuuhhhh."

Inside, there was screaming, a panic attack.  Holy crap! At some point, this wedding shin-dig will be complete.  I'll be all married and my art, my purpose, my sole driving focus will have reached the pinnacle.  I will have crested and then comes the plummet....face-plant into life.

I see why so many women go into baby-making mode right after a wedding.  That's a sure-fire way to ensure a life long project of raising a child and having a purpose gnawing at you every day. I'm not going into that mode.....just yet.  We do want kids, but I'd still like to selfishly enjoy my hubby, just the two of us, for a little while longer, uninterrupted. 

Where this line of thought has taken me to is that I love having a font of creativity.  This continual drive to focus, plan, divine into being, has been a breath of fresh air.  I like having something to do.  A sweet little project which keeps me humming about and feeling useful is nice.  I get so caught up in work and the daily grind that I end up putting all of my energy into earning a paycheck and paying my bills, that my artistic side withers and wastes away...forgotten.

I'm going to relish this planning time and my all-encompassing need to plan and be involved in creating my dream wedding to my favorite human.

But all of my friends and family ....beware.  Once I'm all married and back in LA as Mrs. Vital, I will be looking for personal projects and you might just get dragged in.