Archive for March, 2011

Cage Match! ENFP vs. DOPE

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

My husband’s been working from home for the last week or so and it’s been very, um, enlightening. Thanks to Fragrant Liar’s recent post, it occurred to me to research our respective personality types so I could better understand our inter-dynamics and optimize our unexpected together time. As such, I’ve discovered that I am an ENFP and my husband is a DOPE.

 

I dug deeper. Turns out my husband did indeed fit the characteristics of the DOPE personality profile:

 

–Tendency to leave the house several times a day accompanied by a propensity to return 10 seconds later for pants, keys, sunglasses, and wallet.

 

–Experiences temporary blindness to overflowing trash cans, wet towels, and kitchen counter crumbs the size of small woodland creatures.

 

–Has sudden onset of super acute vision during Victoria’s Secret Angel commercials.

 

–Emits loud noises at inopportune intervals.

 

–Requires explanation for simple words and phrases such as “PMS” and “Girl’s Night Out.”

 

–Lapses into a mental state of confusion triggered by the absence of processed meats from the refrigerator.

 

–Disappears for long periods of time after harmless statements including but not limited to, “We need to talk.”

 

I don’t know. I’m a little worried here. What’s an ENFP to do with a DOPE? Especially when my personality characteristics are so opposite from his. I mean, everyone knows ENFPs are:

 

–P

 

–E

 

–R

 

–F

 

–E

 

–C

 

–T

 

Stay tuned. I’m working to rehabilitate my husband, starting with that Victoria’s Secret eye malady.

 

PROMPTuesday #147: Proceed As If

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

This Saturday, I’m auditioning for something where I have to get up in front of people and talk. Boy am I nervous. I’ve written before that my fortes are pen, paper, and the keyboard. Say my words? Yikes. Sure I did it once before, but before I even began to talk I stood shaking for a full sweaty minute. In front of a waiting audience. Now I’m putting myself up there again. And I think I’m going to try to be funny. Which is hilarious. Because I don’t do funny in person.

 

But I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

 

This is why I am doing something I am so uncomfortable doing: To push myself. To challenge my long-held belief that I “can’t.” To get up there. To shed labels of what I’ve told myself I am. To do it. To act as if. As if I CAN.

 

So I will.

 

What have you told yourself you can’t do, and have either done or plan to do?

 

Please post your submission in the comments OR post in your blog and leave a link to your blog in the comments.

 

First time to PROMPTuesday? Read a bit about it here. Want to see what’s been written in the past? Catch up on the PROMPTuesdays archive here.

 

Why I’m Here

Monday, March 28th, 2011

I took the weekend off from most things that exist online. I had to because I’ve been suffering from over-stimulation and saturation. It’s affecting everything — my creativity most horrifyingly of all. You know how when you exist within the same boundaries for too long and start to think that’s all there is? And your world begins to narrow? That’s what’s happening to me on Twitter/Facebook/the Internet. I need my soul and brain to know there is more. And to go there.

 

I welcome the clarity that came these last few days with a wide open mind. There’s more to do, but I’m re-focused on what I want and why I’m here. It’s too easy to blur your online motivations once you jump into the blogging pool. You think maybe you want fame. Or recognition for the sake of it. You perhaps want to win popularity contests and then become less of who you are because you sacrifice your goals by agreeing with everyone or not speaking up when you should. Or saying no when you ought to.

 

I’ve discovered over and over that I’m best in small groups. Among people who know who they are, and live authentically from that place. I cherish these personal connections, but scatter when I spread myself too thin or try to be everything to everybody.

 

But that’s just me. Everyone has their reason, their motivation, their truth.

 

I just rest easier knowing mine. And not pretending any different.

 

P.S. This is nothing to do with not wanting to interact online, and everything about interacting authentically.

 

It’s Coming, It’s Coming (An Excerpt)

Monday, March 28th, 2011

{{I’m just about there. Almost done. This holds me accountable. Next? Revisions. Oy gevalt.}}

 

The map fell with a clap from the front door and then all went quiet, except for the crackling of the fire. Annie tuned to look and in the flames saw the outline of someone familiar.

 

“Is that?” Coriander gasped.

 

“Yes.” Carlos agreed. “Let’s go.”

 

A red flame shot from the fireplace and curled around the three of them. “What do we have here?” It was a gravelly voice, unmistakable and sinister.

 

Carlos threw the door open.

 

Annie looked at the dark waves rushing at the rocks far below them, and turned back to see the shape of Mrs. Schlocken, made entirely of fire, begin to grow larger in the fireplace. “What now?” She screamed, just barely audible above the sound of the furious wind blowing outside.

 

“Hold on,” Carlos shoved the map and its cover in his jeans pocket and grabbed the girls’ hands. They stepped onto the small rectangle of land separating them from the sea below. A clanking sound exploded just behind them. Annie didn’t dare look.

 

Carlos yanked them forward and they fell off the end of the world.

 

Anatomy of a Swag Bag, II

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

meandromy2

 

Me (the blonde) and Romy (the exotic dark-haired beauty)

Neither one was included in the swag bag.

Photo from JennKL Photography

 

Sometimes a girl’s gotta break up the monotony of Big Jerks and hack parenting with a post about fun stuff she likes, you know?

 

This is that post.

 

But first let me tell you, that I would write not a THING about this stuff if I didn’t truly love it.

 

And foreshadowing: One of these things changed me for the better. In that it helped my skin not look like the backside of a monkey.

 

So my raves for this month came aptly enough from an event Romy Raves threw back in January, called Face to Face LA. As she is wont to do, Romy organized a class act party for social media chicks complete with amazing food from Heirloom LA (Belgian waffles with jidori chicken and blueberry maple glaze? That’s all I got to say about that) and dessert from Magnolia Bakery (I was face down in the banana pudding. Ask La Jolla Mom) and spa services and giveaways and general coolness.

 

And then if that weren’t enough, Romy gifted all attendees with a swag bag of epic proportions, containing the products she loves. and which I have since grown to worship. Some of those coolios are as follows:

 

Therapon Skin Health Skin Renewal Kits and NuPeel

 

media

 

Did you know about my skin? Let me break it down for you: It sucks. I’ve used everything on the planet to make it less sucky. Sometimes products work, sometimes they don’t. But Therapon? Really changed my skin. Here’s the thing: my skin is oily but dry but zitty but wrinkly but that of an adolescent but that of an 80-year-old. I started using the Therapon cleanser THE NIGHT I RECEIVED IT and my skin felt more “balanced” instantly. I continue to use the whole renewal system and my complexion has improved considerably. It isn’t too dry, it isn’t too oily, it isn’t too sucky. I really and truly find this system amazing for my skin. Maybe if your face doesn’t suck, you won’t like it as much. But Therapon really is a product I will go back to again and again.

 

I like that I’m not only cleaning with the system, I am also exfoliating and moisturizing and hitting all the skincare bases with a minimum of products. There’s also a Therapon product called NuPeel, which a manicurist used on my hands, making them smooth and less spotty-looking. Naturally, I apply this peel on my face. It does the same thing.

 

I cannot recommend Therapon enough. Any product that makes my skin more palatable is a winner for me.

 

Xtreme AMPLIFeye

 

amplifeye-226x300

 

AMPLIFeye is a drug-free lash strengthener that uses natural ingredients. I like this, because the competitive lash strengthener on the market? Terrifies me. I’m convinced it will kill my corneas. As such, AMPLIFeye will be the only lash fortifier I use. I’ve been using it for more than six weeks now and I see lash sprouts! This is good. Just don’t apply this to places where you don’t want hair.

 

Repechage Lip Rescue Kit

 

rr90

 

Remember about my skin? I got lip problems too. And my lips are BIG, so the problems are BIG. Issues such as dryness, fine lines, and corpse lip plague me. Repechage Lip Rescue downplays my torment. The kit comes with a lip exfoliater that you leave on for 30 seconds, a moisturizer, a massager (rub it over your lubed lips a minute or two) and a plumping gloss. I like how supple my lips feel after this process. However, after I use the plumping gloss, my lips could eat Manhattan.

 

There were a million other products in the swag bag I could go on and on about, but I highlighted my top three favorites. If you want to check out the full swag line-up, go here.

 

But wait! At the same event? I won this in a giveaway:

 

rbcir1jas_full

 

It’s made out of recycled rice bags!

 

Good times.

 

You might also like Anatomy of a Swag Bag, I

 

The Gift of Reading

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

book

 

The month after I turned eight, my mom’s sister, Auntie Jo, invited me to her hip San Francisco apartment for Chinese food, the Nutcracker, and a sleepover. I red-lined the days on a calendar pinned to my wall, and after interminable, anguished waiting, finally crossed off the last numbered square. As I’d imagined for what felt like eons in kid years, my aunt’s yellow VW bug idled for real in the driveway. I hopped in like a Mexican jumping bean, barely waving goodbye to my mom. The acrid smell of the seats, the jerking stick shift, the lint on the carpet under my feet; it’s still in my head. So is flying down the freeway with wind in my hands and AM soft rock buzzily playing from the radio. It was my first trip away from home and an unfamiliar freedom tickled my feet.

 

I still see snapshots of images tamped firmly down in my cerebral cortex . A cramped booth at a brightly lit Chinese joint, a blue glow cast over silken ballerina feet, a snow-fuzzed stage, my aunt’s tiny and narrow kitchen, her spotted cat sitting on the fire escape, a bed draped in amber Indian curtains. The grown-up feeling I had as I climbed in for the night, and pulled the goose down comforter to my chin. I imagined a far-off apartment of my own someday, with zig-zagged bookcases, curry smells from the hall, and city lights twinkling through a bay window.

“There’s more tomorrow,” my aunt promised as she tucked me in.

 

The next morning, with shafts of sunlight spilling through the third floor windows, my aunt presented me with a set of books. Mustard yellow and black, with titles written in simple blue on the covers. I drew each book to my nose and sniffed, then relished their heft in my hands, let air blow on my fingers as I shuffled through the pages. I lined the books up and read their spines. A Wrinkle in Time, Little House in the Big Woods, Mary Poppins, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Black Stallion, and The Wonderful World of Oz. On the inside cover, written in my aunt’s distinctive script was “Deborah – Christmas 1976.”

 

bookcover

 

“Use your imagination,” my aunt told me. “It’s a gift.”

 

That day and those words changed my life much like the night before shifted my axis. In a space measuring less than 24 hours, I’d tasted freedom and salt from relentless waves and sweat from walking hills you didn’t want to end. The previous evening, I suspected that life could be rich and full and smelly and beautiful and set with adventure, with a sea to take you anywhere, and people of all different colors and souls for me to know. But I didn’t have the words with which to paint my tickled freedom feet, and those books and my aunt gave them to me. I was transported, irretrievably.

 

I can’t help but say it again: That day changed everything about me. Solidly, assuredly, divinely. I still hold its psychic vibration viscerally in my deepest soul strand: When I realized my imagination could take me anywhere and I could be anything.

 

What a gift.

 

It will be passed on.

 

PROMPTuesday #146: Books as Life

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Today? This is your creative writing prompt mission:

 

If you could live within any book for a week, which one would it be?

 

Please post your submission in the comments OR post in your blog and leave a link to your blog in the comments.

 

First time to PROMPTuesday? Read a bit about it here. Want to see what’s been written in the past? Catch up on the PROMPTuesdays archive here.

 

Be You

Monday, March 21st, 2011

dimples

 

It helps to know who you are. Where your boundaries give, and where they don’t. What you’ll do and what you won’t. It helps to know, but sometimes it will hurt, too. Because you’re not always going to fit in, sometimes you’ll go it alone. But deep down? All that matters? Is that you know who you are.

 

************

 

My daughter rushed in from outside with red cheeks and rainstorm eyes. “They don’t want to play with me!” she shouted as the tears took full sail and tumbled headlong to her chin.

 

Who?” I put my arm around her shoulder, not wanting to give the moment too much power, because downplaying the gut-rip of how people hurt you seemed sensible.

 

She threw herself face down on the couch and ignored my question. “What do I do?” she managed through muffled sobs.

 

Tell me what happened.” I rubbed her shaking back. “Who doesn’t want to play with you?”

 

The boys.”

 

Ah.” I couldn’t think of something other to say, so I continued to soothe with my hands.

 

She wasn’t having it.

 

I have a Nerf gun and everything. They just told me I wasn’t old enough.”

 

I knew that wasn’t it. She was seven and so were many of them.

 

Sometimes people aren’t nice, honey. I’m sorry. But you need to keep being you.”

 

I rolled my eyes at my insignificant words; words that were like band-aids on a missing leg. I suspected I was failing miserably at this whole “learning talk” endeavor.

 

“What do you mean?” She pushed the couch pillows out of the way and waited in a “tell me more” position.

 

I searched for the right thing.

 

Not everyone is going to like everyone else. And sometimes it’s for silly reasons, like maybe because you’re a girl or you’re too young, and sometimes you just won’t know why, but it’s always important to stay who you are, and find people who love you for that.”

 

She remained dubious.

 

I tried again. “Who are you?”

 

The tears kept falling. “I don’t know.”

 

You’re funny, smart, sweet, imaginative, and silly. You are a good friend. You like to read. You…”

 

She hugged me mid-sentence.

 

I pulled away for a brief second. “I want you to know who you are, OK? Because people might try to tell you different. But if you know who you are on the inside, it doesn’t matter what other people say. So…who are you?”

 

I am…”

 

At that second, the doorbell rang. I heard giggling. I jumped up to open the door, not altogether surprised to find the boys at the threshold. The tallest one spoke up: “Can Toots play?

 

My eyes narrowed. Was this a joke at her expense? I didn’t know if I could stand watching those tears again.

 

My daughter joined me at the door. “What do you want?” Her eyes weren’t even dry.

 

They looked a little sheepish, God bless them. “We want to play hide and seek and need a good counter and runner.”

 

She didn’t close the door behind her. “I am…” she shouted for me to hear. “A good counter and runner!” And off she went.

 

I followed her out to ensure everything was on the up and up; no one would tease, or lob hurtful words her way. I stayed on the fringes, watching carefully, feeling the full weight of parental responsibility and heartbreak at not being able to orchestrate happy endings for my daughter every time.

 

All the while certain I didn’t have control over every outcome, and hoping that if there were one thing — one! I could ingrain in her deepest deepest self, it would be to know who you are.