Sunday, October 31, 2010


I always try to be a big girl. Big girls don't cry. Big girls are brave, strong, confident and whole. Big girls don't cry.

Big girls don't cry under the sheets clutching their teddy bears for hope.

Sometimes it's just too much work to be a big girl.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wish List Wednesday!

Today is October 27th! There are four days until the official date of Halloween, however, festivities for me start this year on Friday the 29th. Certain things are better in three's and apparently Halloween celebrations also fall under that category. In the spirit of Halloween, this week's Wish List Wednesday is devoted to costumes that truly go above and beyond the call of duty.

First up, we have the costume that could have been. A friend of mine is being a very realistic Link from the Legend of Zelda series, and thus I was really really tempted to be Sheik.

This costume was the basis for what I would have constructed. Hopefully I'll have a job next year and more time and money to attempt this.

Secondly, perusing the internet I found our next amazing costume. Many Transformers costumes have been attempted, carried out and done, however, I do enjoy giving credit where credit is due.

The last costume of awesomeness comes from pop culture. I enjoy Lady Gaga, partially due to her music and partially because of her crazy costumes, so I applaud the individual below.

While it initially does not look that hard to construct, props for the creation of the red lace hat.

That concludes this week's Wish List Wednesday! What are you being for Halloween?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gagging on Bubble Gum

Pink and I have had an interesting relationship over the years. Apparently when I was under four feet tall, my childhood saw a lot of pink. The bags that have departed to GoodWill tell of leggings and t-shirts galore swashed in the vibrant rosey color. Around third grade, I decided that the color and I were not to be allowed in the same room together, and remained on those terms until my junior prom dress.
Said dress at a New Year's Eve Party two years ago.

Pink and I are generally getting along these days, with sample visits here and there in the form of the dress, a v-neck t-shirt and underwear. We have our boundaries, and the relationship seems to work for both parties, however, there are certain instances where representatives of Pink make me want to vomit. Enter Exhibit A:

Although Urban Outfitters can be known to committ some collsal blunders, the dress above just makes me question who they have in charge of selecting certain items for retail. Excuse me while I go and gag now; I believe there is nothing more to be said here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

'Tis the Season...Not Quite

Today is October 24th. It is still October. The leaves are changing, some have started to fall, but some still linger. Halloween is in another week, and we have 31 days until Thanksgiving. It is still Autumn, or Fall as some would have it. Now I am aware that every year, Christmas retail spirit attempts to befall the stores earlier and earlier. Most years, commercials and Christmas advertising begin a week or two before Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is still in November. We are still in October. WHY IS THERE CHRISTMAS ADVERTISING ALREADY?

I should note that I am a Christmas freak. I have a tree up at college right after Thanksgiving, I put up lights, stockings for all my house-mates are hung, Christmas cookies are warmed in the oven, mistletoe, carols, the whole shebang and nine yards are decked out in my apartment. I love Christmas. When the Christmas freak says it's too early, then it's bloody too early.

I'm a bit too lazy tonight to bother doing intensive research to the spread of this early festivity virus, but seriously people? Seriously.

Yesterday I went to Macy's to get some necessary items and kill some time with retail therapy. Christmas balls and flatware were to be found on the second floor at Crossgates. Just now, perusing the internet my eyes laid upon the "holiday lingerie shop" at Victoria's Secret. Really? Isn't it a bit early to be purchasing the seasonal fine china and jingling some balls?

I'm too lazy tonight to bother investigating the spread of this onslaught of early festivity sales, but seriously people? Seriously?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Water Polo, Bruises, and Carbs

If it is not already evident by the title of this post, the focus of this publication is weight, self-image and self-esteem. On Sunday, I turned 21. I have been on this Earth for 21 years, two days and 22 hours. While not the greatest time in the world, or even in a lifetime, that is still a large amount of time. It took 21 years for a girl to be okay with how she looks on the inside, outside, with her face, features and body. If that doesn't depress you, then you either have been living under a rock and are immune to the harsh pressures of society, or you like eathing puppies.

My main hesitance in writing this post is, that while I find it a personal accomplishment that I mean every single word of self-worth, "body-image" topics are a touchy subject and sometimes people are unsure of how to handle them. I am not asking for pity. I am not asking for a pat on the back. On the same side, I am not asking for commentary, or even thoughts, of condescention on "silly" girls for not being able to tough up and bear it in society.

Today people are donning the color purple in protest largely against the bullying that occured causing individuals to chose suicide. To this day, I do not understand bullying. While one might be insecure, I personally collapse inward with my insecurities, so the idea of lashing out in the opposite direction perplexes me. I have also been bullied so yes, I am a bit biased.

Growing up, I was not grossly overweight, but from about third grade until sophomore year of high school, I had a lot of extra weight on me. I was chuncky and the combination of being overweight and rounded bangs didn't really help me out in the physical beauty department. While I have judged based upon physical appearance, I do not let that alter my behavior towards individuals. I can't say the same for the rest of the world. Being bullied at school for several counts, physical appearance included, societal expectations, and some very hurtful comments at home led me to have a horrible impression of myself. For many years I did not like what I saw in the mirror.

Six months ago I did not like what I saw in the mirror.

Age, puberty and the normal growth process elongated my face, so I no longer look like the exact image of myself at four years old, although it is still a very very close resemblance. Losing weight though was more difficult. I have always played soccer and enjoyed playing outside, however, with my sweet tooth, love of food, and metabolism, that level of physical activity quickly proved to not be adequate. By freshman year of high school, I was sick of bullying, off-hand comments and, at my worst, being a size 13. That year I started cutting out junk food and soda and joined the track team at my high school throwing javelin. While not as cardio intense as the sprinters' group, it was certaintly more than sitting reading all day.

Sophomore year was when things started to really take root. I was still playing soccer, but switched to running sprints for the track team and finally joined the swim team. I have always loved swimming; water is both my depressant and stimulant, thus there could be no better fit for me and exercise. The main thing that really sticks in my mind though from that year is that was when I started counting calories. I would keep a running total in my head every day throught the school day for every gram, every number. If it entered my digestive system, a complex series of counting mechanisms and weighted system would have run three times before it entered my mouth. Initally it wasn't too bad. Initially.

Junior year was really when I should have been slapped silly. A heavy course load, my first boyfriend and my own mental pressures started getting to me. After losing about 15 pounds over sophomore year, and being in a pool for five hours every day doing my Christian Service project, being thin was the new norm for me. In addition, a constant rate of weight loss became the norm for me. In sophomore year I counted calories giving myself a daily maximum of 1600-1800 calories, which for a girl of my height, is a decent point to aim for. In Junior year, and the summer that followed, my restriction was set down to 1200. The summer after Junior year I ran or swam between five to seven days out of the week, but never really counted how much I was doing. Looking back on it, I was overexherting myself. Being a bit of a perfectionist can be a double edged sword with weight loss. Calorie counting becomes a day, a competition to strive to achieve the best every day, every second, everything that entered my body. On my "worst" day, I remember being proud running for 45 minutes, swimming for 2 hours and consuming 800 calories.

Numbers are a tricky thing. If we go by the numbers, I was never really anorexic or bulemic, or whatever you want to call it. At my lowest, I weighted 115-120 pounds. For some girls, that's normal. For some that's overweight. For me, on a 5'7" frame with athletics and my build, that means I lose a lot of bulkier muscle, am a size 0 and pardon my bluntness, but don't have much in terms of the womanly junk. My parents never really said much, but that summer at the shore on our family trip, I remmeber recieving a lot of looks and comments from my uncles. The first comment when we arrived in the door was that I needed to eat something.

Eating disorders are always a touchy thing to discuss. Knowing what certain friends know about me, the opinion ranges from that I was mildly anorexic to just taking normal activites a bit too far, however, sometimes no matter what opinion you are hearing, it just isn't enough. This brings me to college years. The mentality that I wasn't good enough every time I looked in the mirror persisted until just recently. I know I spent too much time looking into the mirror, varying angles, asking my ex-boyfriend if I didn't look fat.

I still look into the mirror now, still suck my stomach in a bit, but it no longer is a measurable competition how thin I can attempt to make myself look. I like to say I'm a size four since I fit into some 2's and some 6's. For my male readership, a four in jeans is a 27" waist. Yes I am aware that womens' sizing makes no sense. The main hurdle that I credit to my body acceptance is finding the balance with my body and my activity level in college. I am about 140 pounds and I'm happy with that. I like my muscle. It's hard to find a specific turning point, but personally, once the idea that muscle weighs more than fat sets in, an athletic contentness can take hold. Some women love their curves. I love my muscle. I love my stocky thighs because of their leverage in wrestling with friends, because I can climb and scramble in easier directions. I love my muscles because they are me, and well I happen to actually like myself.

While this posting seems to jump from trials and struggles to a happy outcome, I feel that this is an extension for how personal acceptance can occur. I do not claim to speak for all situations--every one is different and impossible to be comperable--but I offer up my own situation for personal fulfillment and reader understanding. With any disorder and disatisfaction, where do we point to as the leading cause? The individual themselves or the environment surrounding them? Personally it was a combination that drove me towards a desire to lose weight, to be the "best" (or more socially acceptable definition of "beautiful") me, although my own mental processes were the more difficult hurdle to overcome.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that beholder should only be the individual themselves. In relation to bullying, it'd be nice if we could all back off a little and let kids be. They'll figure things out. Every awkward child is a gem, every shy girl is to be treasured, and every girl's body is her own to hopefully decide what she wants to look like in her own way. Attractive is not dolled up in a skirt, dress, makeup and size two frame. Attractive is whatever the individual wants it to be, and for me, attractive is my muscles in a double layered swimsuit with my mascara running and laughing my ass off at my own awkwardness during water polo practice.


Wish List Wednesday!

Wish List Wednesday will occur this week! Huzzah! However, the post will go up for publication when I am at work today since there is maintenance being performed on Blogger, and I have already had a bit of difficulty in posting. Image overload might be a bad idea.

More excitement for your Wednesday nights!

Refreshing Reconsideration

As some of you may know, and as I have come to see through the drop off in readership through my weekly hit counter, I have not posted for 15 days. That is over two weeks. The maintenance of regular postings, two to three times a week, that I had hoped to be consistent with from the summer is harder than I thought. It is not for lack of interesting, random, sugar-high and caffeine-buzz, or educated thougts occurring in my head. On the contrary, being around a larger number of friends and peers as well as being back into a technical, academic setting, the volume is overflowing.

I'm just lazy sometimes.

I am a bit behind in my application process for employment. My graduate class is harder than I expected. Ordinary Differential Equations kicked my ass for a bit. I had some personal questioning in the relationship department. My romantic life blossomed into a million roses that make me smile with every step I take in the dull mud of Troy's streets in the fall.

I turned 21 on Sunday. No revelation or magical excitement occurred, save for the fact that I can actually go out with friends to drink and have more options than my normal nightcaps. In my recent writing, my greatest challenge, apart from consistency in frequency, appears to be thought and order. This posts perfectly orchestrates that idea since my soul really does reflect a bit much.

I am 21. I feel old. I was very tempted to resign, give up, and shut down this blog due to difficulty in maintaining my literary love child, however, I recently read through the comments of my last post. One was a drunk posting by a friend with a decent deal of thought behind it, and the other was a thoughtful post by my youngest sister Lizzy. My baby sister Lizzy can form educated arguements about the conditions of discrimination in today's society. My baby sister.

Now I feel old.

Condescention is an annoying trait in anyone, and unfortunately I am guilty of it through my protectionism and love for my sisters. For those who know me personally, you maybe already aware that I tolerate almost no level of moves, come-ons, hitting on, jokes, or any form of sexual line about my sisters. I am an overprotective sister. I am aware I smother. I love them. Through my own hardships, they are the world to me. There is nothing that I would not do for either of them. The hinderance of my love is that it is very easy to idolize a younger, more innocent, version of them to protect. Both of them are sometimes frozen in a moment of elementary school in my mind, back when the three of us were all at the same school. I could lead by good example, I could protect from snots in their class and on the bus, and I could be there to swap fruit snacks.

I can't do that anymore. I can lead by example still, and it is rewarding that all three of us have a sisterly relationship with a greater friendship feel instead of hierarchy, but the knight in shining armor is dead. The knight had to put a dress back on again and relocate to tea parties. I want to be there to ward off boys, high school drama, bad college study habits and just be there in every sense.

I am both proud and saddened by the aging of my sisters. My youngest is in her final year of high school. She is beautiful, intelligent, amazing, and still a thorn in my side occassionally. I love her and our middle sister with the intensity of a thousand suns, and for once, there is not any sarcasm painted onto that phrase. Regular posting as well as the growth and maturity of my darling little sisters are just things that I'm going to have to get used to. Both rewarding and disheartening at the same time, time goes on.

In the words of my mom and many other people wiser than myself, getting old's a bitch.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Because Feminists Actually Hate Everything

I normally attempt to publish a balanced blog in many aspects, including the overall tone and emotions that base the individual postings. Unfortunately though, since a good majority of my blogging subjects arise from unpredicted events or thoughts in my day, it is not always easy to sway or maintain that balance. Compounding that with the fact that my smartphone enabling me to not be on my computer 24/7, schoolwork being in full swing, and that I have been enjoying a happy and rewarding social life, means that I have not blogged in a while, so the negativity is surfacing to the top like the cream in a mug of coffee you've left out for too long.

I am a supervisor at RenXchange, the student arm of the Annual Fund in charge of receiving donations and connecting with alumni, at RPI. Being a supervisor entails charting the attendance of callers, assigning them through our calling program, SmartCall, prepping announcements, setting up games and selcting Jeopardy questions and other duties in the beginning of the night. When you have around 20 people entering the room, these tasks can take some time and thought, which is why we normally schedule two supervisors to work together.

On Sunday, I was scheduled to work both shifts, one during the afternoon and one during the evening with about a two hour break in between. Shortly after the first shift, my fellow supervisor texted me asking if she could be late for the second shift we were to work together. I responded that she could due to our loving, awesome relationship. I knew that this would mean that I would have to do all of the start of shift activities. I knew what I was getting into work wise. I was not aware of human behavior responses.

We select Jeopardy questions from an online archive of past televised games. Normally I do take the time to select and screen past games, but being in a bit of a rush due to a double workload, I clicked on and selected the first Celebrity Jeopardy game I could find. From the categories available in the selected game, I chose: City Nicknames, Shoes, Chick Flicks, Dorothys Rebeccas & Summers, Bad Hair Days and 4-Letter Anatomy.

Apparently I was actually selecting categories to push a radical feminist ideology down my poor callers' throats. While Dorothys Rebeccas & Summers did not register many complaints, but simply avoidance, the categories "Chick Flicks", "Shoes" and "Bad Hair Days" drew outcries of injustice from more than one male caller. I was accused of biasing the categories, of swaying the intellectual ability, of being unfair and picking "girly" categories. Apparently anything remotely female completely renders the male brain useless and incompetent. None of the male callers asked for clarification on the types of questions in each of those selected categories, even though "Bad Hair Days" dealt with the hair of both sexes and three out of five of the "Shoes" questions were about Harley Davidson, Chuck Taylors, and Nike.

None of my accusers seemed to comprehend that I had just done the work of two people, so it could be expected that quality might not be up to its normal par. None of my accusers seemed to be flexible to different categories or patience for me to find a new game, rather the overall message, through both phrasing and tone was that "female" categories are inferior to others.

When discussing this with Chelsea, she offered up her own anecdote of when she was deciding how to decorate her residents' doors. Selecting a superhero, she chose Wonder Woman and had to prepare herself mentally for backlash of why male residents had a girl on their doors. Remarkably for her, no negative criticism was voiced, save for the complaint that Wonder Woman does not seem to have many recognizable arch-enemies or villains. Her unspoken mental argument was this: if she had put Superman on everyone's doors, would the girls have complained? No, but somehow, if a guy has a Wonder Woman picture on his door it becomes a grave injustice against him, his gender and emasculates him.

It both perplexes and frustrates me that this ideology still exists in society, especially the educated bubble where I dwell. The flip side is even more frustrating. If I as a woman, speak openly about some injustice or something I find biased towards men, then I become judged for being an angry, feminist crybaby who wants the world handed to her on a platter. Whatever happened to both being equal? Feminism does not support superiority, nay, the very essence of it at its core is equality between the sexes, so then I ask, what is so threatening to men about anything female?