Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Trying this again...

Ok, I am clearly not making the point I wanted to make... so I shall try again.

What unnerved me about the exchange with my Yoga pant, non Yoga practicing neighbor is the assertion that I have more time on my hands - therefore I dress I certain way. As with all backhanded compliments - it is actually A) mean-spirited in nature and B) it actually I think highlights something about herself, with which she is dissatisfied.

My point on Monday on Facebook and with this mornings blog post - was to say A) it actually takes no time, maybe less - to dress as I did on Monday and folks, I am not talking fancy here... I literally mean it took me 5 minutes. Now given I have a great and very easy to manage head of hair, but still - her notion that I got up early and worked hard on getting dressed - not accurate. Have I given time to my overall appearance and wharedrobe - yes, why yes I have... I actually think most of my yoga stuff is not all that chic...

My point is, I have made a very active and conscious choice to express myself through how I choose to go out and about. Yes, I wore my Yoga pant from my house, to school to drop off L and then to the gym. That seemed time efficient and a very normal thing to do.

I also made a choice to change at the gym in order to go out to lunch with E, at a reasonably nice, yet casual restaurant.

I think if you want your image and your brand to be Yoga Mom on the Go, I am down with that. I am not sure it is appropriate. I mean I suppose you could make it your brand to go about town in a bikini and Ughs!. Strange, but whatever. H suggested maybe trendy bathrobes... Can you imagine...

What I am saying is my neighbor could totally go my route, it takes no more or less time than HER CHOICE. I have never called her out on her attire choices until now. Totally her choice. She brought it up. Do I think that maybe, just maybe as a culture we need to be less casual, yes I do. Sorry to be all Miss Manners, but I think we are just too casual and frankly I am not sure it lends much to equation, but my real point here and what ticked me off Monday was the notion that in some way I was wasting my time... I was showing her up...

What I am saying is as a culture, I think, we have lost site of things such as being appropriate and investing time in ourselves and what our image might be, there was a time when Sunday best, was Sunday best... Google "pictures of Audrey Hepburn" even while in Africa, doing humanitarian work, she took time on her appearance. She gave time to herself and to others. Not out of vanity, but out of self love, I would say. There is for me anyway, a powerful lesson there...

And as I pointed out to H - I am not telling anyone what to do nor do I think I am right or wrong on this point... I am only telling you what I think... as my facebook says, "I cannot tell you what you want to know, Only what I know... and folks what I know is it took me 5 minutes to get dressed on Monday morning and I know I do it for me...

I wore Yoga pants...

to Yoga yesterday. Imagine that. Then after Yoga, I changed into chic jeans and a top and went to lunch with E. I rocked those Yoga pants and I rocked the jeans if the smile on a young fellows face is a good barometer of my rockabilly.

I started a bit of a debate on my Facebook page posting about why I think Yoga pants are only for Yoga. Hot moms in Yoga pants sipping latte's as visually appealing as it might be, I think the moms would be just as hot in well fitting pants or jeans. A skirt anyone???

For me it is one part fashion and one part being appropriate. Yoga pants have the title of a sport in them for a reason. Would you wear jeans to Yoga, I think not. (We are so not going to get on the topic of jeggings, that as a concept gives me a headache.)

I think what set me off was my neighbors assertion that she did not have time to look chic in the morning, when my efforts took less than 5 minutes all in. It takes no more time to pull on chic jeans and a blouse than it does to pull on Yoga pants and a tattered T-shirt. My neighbor had on more make up than I did and she had spent way more time on her hair. So really - don't diss me for looking sharp and put together. (If I had done more make up than lip gloss, it might have taken me 10 minutes)

I am not vain, but I do care.

My mother offered me some advice on my wedding day and I think it was some of the best. Remember the woman he asked to married him. Taking care of ones appearance, is not all about vanity. It is about being loving to yourself. It is about honoring your partner and yourself. It is about having a personal sense of style and branding yourself. It is about being appropriate and respecting others. We sadly as a culture have lost site of this. We no longer take the time to honor ourselves and others.

My outfit the other morning was the result of some strategic shopping and some thought about my wardrobe. It is about wanting to look confident, put together and appropriate.

It is also not about spending alot of money. In fact, one could be super chic at Target. It is about knowing your body, picking a sense of style and working it. The beauty of the what not to wear franchise is it works. Take some time and get a proper bra fitting, it matters. Take some time to figure out what styles flatter your body. Trust me, certain pants on me, not flattering... Figure out how to work your assets. It will put a smile on your face.

I am just saying... Yoga pants are for Yoga, chic jeans are for running errands and knowing the difference is priceless. In my opinion. Heck I love summer - a cute dress - takes like 2 minutes all in, cute flats and flip flops 30 seconds.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

I just don't know what is wrong with alot of people...

This is the weekend where I have to wonder... in less than two days two of my favorite bloggers have announced they are stopping. One becasue her baby is getting older and she worries what he might read on the blog some day. Recently she has gotten alot of hate speech on her blog her beautiful work has inspired hate filled blog posts - why? Cuz she is a single mama, who speaks up, who shares her story. Cuz she is a beautiful writer with alot of courage and determination.

Another is a blogger with alt leanings. Someone decided to out her to her boss. Seriously. This woman has taken great pains to shield herself and still someone went to the trouble of uncovering her true identity and then outed her. Criminal in my opinion. Her writing is beautiful, soul searching and amazing. I have read her words and been changed. She can make you feel and think with simple and complex sentences.

Last time I checked, this is a free country. We have in that aging and brittle document certain rights. The big one is FREE SPEECH. You don't have to agree with me or anyone for that matter, but neither do you have the right to attack me (slander and libel do apply in the blogshere.) You can dissent, please, dissent away. Write your little heart out - ON YOUR OWN BLOG. Thoughtful dissenting comments welcome, grammar and spelling appreciated and noted.

Ms. Singlemama and GrayLily were simply exercising their creative muscles and offering us all something of value. If it does not interest you, move it along nothing to see, no need to shred or slander or out. No comment bombs. A simple Google search will find you plenty of other reading material more to your liking. Seriously - sky is the limit folks.

I rather dislike certain TV programs, talk shows and books, but you know what- I do not have to read them, watch them, or think about them... my choice.

I am reasonably anonymous here. Not that anything I say here I would not say to anyone's face or be shocked to find on the front of the New York Times (oh please, please run this in the Times...) I keep some other blogs where I have taken some pains to disguise my identity. More for my safety and privacy. Those stories on the front page of the New York Times, while slightly shocking, would ultimately be ok too. (Again, if they like them, please run them, my normal fees would apply...)

It is my choices being taken away which is a central issue. Do not try to limit my freedom to SPEAK by trampling on my words or being hateful.

I am not on these blogs or anywhere I write telling you what you should believe, or what is universally true, or how you should behave, I do not need you to be my lap dog or "mini me." I am simply telling you WHAT I BELIEVE to be true. I title my Facebook page, "I cannot tell you what you want to know, only what I know." Feel free to POLITELY disagree.

Dissenting is a crucial part of democracy. The RIGHT to dissent is crucial. The ART of DISSENT, clearly needs a little work contemporary American culture.

I am very sorry to see both these women leave the blogshere, for however long they choose to be away - we are the poorer for it.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

SPAM is canned meat

In American studies 201, our Prof, Prof Martha gave us an assignment. She brought in these cans, gift wrapped and made us write about them. They were cans of SPAM. I was a practicing vegetarian then and was totally grossed out. Needless to say I did not eat it as part of the assignment. Knowing me I donated to the local food pantry or a friend who would eat it. Ugh! I can safely say, I have never and hope to never have to eat SPAM. I am thinking it can't possibly be gluten free.

Canned meat is not the topic of this post.

I have been thinking and writing a good deal about SPAM. Wanna see what else I have written? Go here.

I think the idea of SPAM email is fascinating. I just do. Recently I posted this to Twitter - which feeds my facebook...

I should like to meet some Spammers to better understand what their overall goals are. I have been getting some rather inventive UPS spam.

Which gardener this comment from a friend:

The goal is to separate you from your money. How about you give me a hundred bucks and we call it even.

And I replied:

See therein lies the problem, generally in commerce the exchange is based on a good or service of value. Where pray tell is the value here?!? ;)

Now my friend was teasing me and I was tongue in cheek responding, well kind of, I was serious.

I know SPAMMERS are trying to make a buck. But how in this case. How do they benefit from sending me a virus laden email, pretending to be UPS. Brown knows where my package is thank you Ms. Osma from Odessa. Brown also knows how to contact me, and frankly their English is impeccable...

Once while visiting my very good friend in Boston, SS and I took the T to Feline's. It was a decent ride. At the stop after we got on, three homeless people got on the train. Two middle aged men and an older woman. Clearly they were homeless. I am going to go with mental ill and/or struggling with substance abuse issues also.

They were hatching some kind of plan for the day for the balance of the ride. It was fascinating. In another context, in a perfect world, in suits, around a board room table these three could have ruled the world. Donald Trump cannot negotiate as well as these three. I remember being in awe of their attention to detail, their carefully constructed back up plans, evaluations of alternatives and barriers to execution.

It was an example of good business sense at its finest.

Yesterday while snowboarding with friends, I was noting that I thought the resort had not known about the school holiday and had failed to staff accordingly and that would hurt business, that good businesses know about events in the community and plan accordingly. My friend, a small business owner himself, chuckled and said, "You just can't turn it off, always thinking with the business half of your brain."

Well yes actually.

I think that is what has be so intrigued by the Vicodin SPAM and the fake UPS spam messages. The drugs I get, if you are running a bootleg pharmacy company, I can see SPAM being a viable marketing ploy, although fairly risky. Most drug dealers try to operate with a modicum of discretion. You may know which corner they are on, but it is word of mouth marketing and I can tell you there are no signs advertising why they are milling around on the corner. Vicodin email sort of makes the DEAs job that much easier I should think.

With the UPS spam it is anyone's guess I think. My anti virus software jumped on those emails like stink on a skunk. What possible economic incentive is there to sending me a virus and making my computer stop working. I cannot visit your bootleg sites if I am unable to connect to the Internet. Seriously. I doubt these folks with bad spelling but creative minds are working for the local computer repair shop. That folks makes some economic sense though, it is illegal but it makes sense to me and my MBA brain. I suppose sending me a snooping virus might make sense, but really if the virus mucks with my machine, it is not going last long, it will be found and then I am not working on the computer. As a freelance writer, that messes with my productivity and makes it less likely for me to visit your pay per click site...

What I find amazing is these folks have a handle on the business model, for the most part. They get marketing and they have an idea how the Internet works. Why not apply it to a legitimate business and work the hell out of it? Like the group on the train. They had a handle on the business model and I have no doubt that they executed their plan. I think their survival depended on it actually. It was a cold and snowy day. They had little room for miscues. So I ask the SPAMMERs out there, "Why not take this knowledge you have and apply it to a legitimate business. You have skills and creativity and that is half the battle."

I would love to have coffee with a SPAMMER. My MBA brain just cannot figure it out. In business the exchange or the balanced equation is easy - it is a trade for something of economic value... I have X and you want X and you have Y and I will exchange X for Y, it is that easy. Really, it is... it works - it has worked for years...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Staring up at the sun cuz I crashed on my...

SNOWBOARD. Yep, that is right, I went today and learned a winter sport, a sport that involves snow. I know, I know, I do not like snow, but L had the day off school and a few of her friends (and mine) had invited to us to join them for some Friday fun.

It should be mentioned at this point in the story, that I cannot ski. I have taken lessons. H and I spent our 1st wedding anniversary in Breckenridge, CO and all I got for my trouble was a sore behind, a wind burned and sun burned face and altitude sickness. On the 4th day of the 6 day trip, I asked him how this possible could compare with a trip to the beach. (Did I mention I was black and blue everywhere...)

My mother picked us up at the airport. She recalls thinking, "Well it must have been that good..." I looked a wreck getting off the plane.

Last time I went out on the slopes.

Skiing perplexes me. What to do with the poles, and the skis go in opposite directions... do not even get me started on the chair lift which totally freaks me out, in part becasue I have no idea what to do with the poles. Beyond that it is a lawn chair on a chain, how is that safe I ask you?

So L and I decided we would try to snowboard. We rented our gear and took a lesson, she will other little people and me with the adults.

I have to say, not having poles is a plus.

Only having one board to deal with verses two skis, a bonus.

It took some doing, but I got the hang of it. L struggled some too, but by the end of the day, we both managed clean runs, down the practice hill, bunny hills. L zooming down her last run, like a pro. She looked so strong and confident.

I felt strong and confident. It seems to me that my Yoga practice really applies here - the body awareness and the focus on where the energy is flowing. L does it on instinct. She goes with the board. She has no fear and is determined. She is strong.

A year or so ago, I think I would not have felt physically well enough to attempt this. Today, I feel like I could conqueror the world. As I sit and type this I feel the bruise forming on my knee, I went down hard. I ought to have a bruise on my left hip but I don't. Otherwise my muscles ache like they do after a good workout.

Maybe it is the euphoria of tackling something that I always thought I would never do and actually enjoying it to boot. I want to do it again. With more lessons, I might even be able to tackle the big hills and who knows, maybe I have found the winter sport for me.

Ironically H has tried snowboarding and found it not to his liking. Tonight in a voicemail he said, he needed his two feet in skis pointing straight and not on a board side ways.

It also helped that today was a perfect winter day. No wind, warm, bright sun shining down on us, clear blue sky like a bowl overhead.

Just a perfect day, to grab life with both hands and live the hell out of it.