Tuesday, March 16, 2010

She Has Not Learned A Thing

Yes. It's time for another edition of What Not To Wear I Wore It

Why? Because I do not seem to be getting the message about personal appearance, pride, dignity, pretty & casual vs. pretty casual.

To be fair, and to assure my mom that I do try: I am not a morning person to begin with, and the government's insistence that playing with our clocks twice a year "is necessary," really messes with my already hampered routine.

Speaking of hampered, despite appearances, none of these clothes was pulled from a hamper. I did sleep in the red, floral pajama bottoms and a tank. The flip-flops I added, after I got up. Even the kitty shoes could not have helped this ensemble. Thank goodness I have some sense of modesty, propriety... I grabbed Geoff's, clean, shirt from the dryer on my way out the door. I think it helped. Or did it?

Nothing was brushed. Not my hair. Not this image. Not my teeth.

Alex and Max are grateful to be getting a ride to school. Okay, Max does cringe sometimes, and I know I can make him really nervous if I ask about coming out of the car to meet his friends. Betty does not care what I look like when I come to feed her.

But this is a pointless survey. Asking two boys and a chicken whether I am "presentable" is hardly worthy evidence in a trial of my grooming habits and personal appearance.

What I really should be taking in to account is that I know people in this town, more every day. And I am very likely to cross paths with these people. And even though our clothes and pedicures are a superficial layer, their effect and impression can be anything but superficial. Like it or not, (and I am lecturing myself here, so feel free to leave. Go see if Ree has a new donut recipe or something. Don't tell me though. About the donuts. I don't need to know.)

... where was I? Oh, yes...

Like it, or not, Natalie, you have got to... to...

Hold on.
I am trying to put this the right way.

Natalie. Shape up. Long walks. Small meals. Buy an alarm clock. Use it.
Please see an optometrist... for goodness sake... thread-repaired glasses from 1994 are wrong. Leave your husband's shirts in his side of the closet.
And one more thing, and please don't take this the wrong way,
but maybe you don't need to share *everything* in Chickenblog.
Just saying.
Love, Your Inner Voice

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

What? These Ol' Things?

I'll pretend to be coy... My kitty-kitty shoes? You like? They're just something to slip on when I am pussyfooting around.

Here kitty-kitties, come to mama.

Oh, yeah. Had to have them. I saw them at Happy Zombie's house, and then I traipsed over to Calamity Kim's place and sure enough, there they were again.


I hope you can adopt a pair too. With any kitties you bring home there is a period of adjustment... they were a bit tight across the top of my feet. Monica, is that why you removed the strap? But, beauty hurts, as the saying goes, so I wore them for a little bit at a time every now and again, and I find they are loosening up and getting comfortable. I know that when Nikkipolani brings home kitties, they get the best, and Aunt Carol would give them her utmost love and devotion too.

It's funny. Most places I go, I am like the invisible woman. Quiet. Low-key. Mousy. Dressed to kill mildly irritate. But the kitties they Meow and whenever I take them out on the town, they turn heads. It kind of throws me off-guard, when they call attention, purring like they do. They get a lot of compliments. Many, many comments and nods of approval.

Tara, if they came in Chicken I'd faint.

If they came in Maria's size, she would leap, fly and slide down a rainbow.

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The List
This is not to be confused with a bucket list. This is a list meant to kick my posterior in to immediate action. A reminder. An organizer. A contract. My destiny. The ugly truth. A dare. High priorities for the month.

I did cross some things of the big list. And so I will add my "Best Foot Forward."

1. buy freezer paper, and shoe laces
2. buy food for dinner, breakfast, lunch, dinner :: repeat X 3
3. package and mail all kinds of stuff
4. prepare Greengoose for regionals 1 & 2
5. pick up Max's homework packet
6. get snack calendar for Maria's classroom
7. schedule parent conference with Ms Jane
8. turn men's medium T-shirt in to a dress
9. trim the ends of Maria's hair
10. email Daniel and get hair cut appointments for Max and Alex
11. get dishwasher repaired
12. find Japanese language tutor (He couldn't take Spanish?!)
13. incorporate yoga in to routine
14. incorporate routine in to life
15. pay bills
16. get Odyssy Odeyssy Odyssey car repaired
17. carve out personal time to contemplate navel
18. see # 13 :: find navel
19. learn French
20. find users' manual for the camera
21. read users' manual for the camera
22. apply knowledge to use of the camera
23. decipher Google's intentions for urls hosted by Blogger, but not using Blogger
24. rescue Chcieknblog C h i c k e n b l o g from Google-Blogger destruction mission
25. create new Chickenblog label for items that should be filed under "Disturbing, Yet Captiavating, But Mostly Disturbing"
26. host a discussion about why I am disturbed by many things that occurred in the seventies
27. clean the house
28. build a chicken coop
29. turn the garage in to the ultimate workshop and laundry facility ever created
30. clean the house again
31. reaffirm my commitment to never play Dynomite again
32. turn the compost
33. clarify that Geoff will be the one actually doing # 23 and #24
34. take cats to vet
35. think happy thoughts
36. make plan for spring break
37. make plans for summer
38. get school registration(s) signed, sealed, set
39. make time to see friends
40. see friends
41. visit family
42. host a giveaway

I bet there's more. There is always more, right? I registered a miniscule sense of achievement when I addressed part of #2, part of #10, and all of #6. Does this count as #35, think happy thoughts? No. I would like to aim a bit higher.

Truthfully, # 29 makes me excited. I have a vision.

This list is serious. It's so serious I am not even going to include a picture. Serious things rarely include illustrations. Isn't that sad? Okay, if I accomplish five things from the list today I will add a picture of something good. Something worthy of 3-2-1-0!

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I Wore It :: Earring Edition

This is a gratitude post, more than a fashion-faux pas episode. My mother read my post about how I look most mornings, what I am not doing to make myself presentable, and naturally she was shocked in to action by one particular tragedy. I know she loves me, but when she sees that I am going without earrings, I think it must stun and devastate her.

She ponders the forces in the universe and asks, "Why? How can my own flesh and blood, my daughter, greet the world without earrings? Why does she disrespect the lessons I have taught her? Where is her dignity?" Then she probably suspects that I am not taking vitamins, that I leave the house with wet hair, that I keep shabby panties.

And she's right. How does she know these things?

And so, not for the first time, a package arrives and it is full of her wisdom and love, her concern, and her stern warning to get my act together. She sent earrings. Lots of them.

And in honor of her beautiful art, I bought two tubes of lipstick. I brushed my hair too. She didn't run to the bedazzle kiosk at the mall. She makes these earrings. She makes many delectable jewelry pieces. With the exception of my engagement ring and wedding band, I think all of my jewelry comes from her studio, which reflects how much I like what she makes and especially how generous she is. Lucky me.

Self portraits always look like self portraits.
I like this lipstick shade :: Blushing Berry-L'Oréal.
I hope they are a decent company and don't use enslaved chickens to make this stuff.
If a person is thinking of coloring their hair, should they consider a color that complements their lipstick?
This is what I wore to pull weeds for 5 hours. Maria and I found about 42 big earthworms. We need about 900 more for our worm farm.

Thank you Mommy. I am wearing the purple ones today, and I took some vitamins this week. I also got help pruning all those roses. Yesterday I planted a third apple tree, so now we have three apples varieties, a plumcot, peach, Santa Rosa Plum, pomegranate and lots of grape vines planted. I still need to dig holes for the blackberries. Thank you for care packages and jewels, for loving me and calling me, for knowing me. I love you.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

What Not to Wear I Wore It

This is a whole new theme. I am going to either shame myself in to a real makeover, or resign myself to embracing my "inner" beauty. I am not so shallow as to propose that nice clothes and a hair brush are above kindness and good deeds, but something tells me I could do better.

My intentions are to:

1. Learn how to use my Christmas tripod.
2. Amuse myself.
3. Confess. We are talking full disclosure.
4. Challenge myself to graduate to a mature-sophisticated-aware state of being.


1. I have not located/unpacked my earrings.
I know this is a minor factor in the overall problem subject, but wearing earrings is a small yet effective means of caring about one's appearance, I think.

2. I am not a morning person. I should quantify that... I am not a person that cooperatively and enthusiastically rises and agrees to submit to the timetables and rigors of school schedules.

3. Morning is my time and my time is never-ever-ever dedicated to:
a. ironing, unless for sewing
b. brushing my hair
c. being uncomfortable
d. applying make-up

4. All of the above would go a very long way to making me look less... Sasquatch.

I know.
I could do better.
I should do better.

It's an issue.

The hat. Well, the hat is cute. I made it. But it is, of course, hiding the hair that went unwashed... I could blame the septic system this week, but honestly, most mornings my shower comes late.

I do wear sunscreen, but obviously I have not located/unpacked my make-up. No mascara or foundation or concealer or lipstick or airbrushed shellac.

The brows. Well, yes, I shouldn't leave home without tweezers and a fine toothed comb. Enough said.

Sure, I can let iMac run the airbrush over my picture, but family and neighbors don't get this glossed over version, so it doesn't really count.

Step this way, if you will...

These shoes looked good. They looked good last June. Without socks. I think wearing my heavy wool socks with these summer shoes may have stretched them too much, because my feet are coming way forward and frankly, I don't think they look any better without socks. (Last pedicure: May 1998.)

The pants work for one wearing. One. I must not treat them like my farm-girl jeans that I won't wash until they can stand freely. These pants get wonky and wrinkled after a day and slipping them on for speed and ease is fashionably criminal. Even I can see that. Also, the big red stain on the hip... it's fading, sure, but it is there. Note to self: Lose these pants.

First of all, I want to congratulate myself for putting on a bra. Small measure, huge difference. The T-shirt is another matter. For one thing it is not my T-shirt, and that means one or two things: I am raiding Geoff's side of the closet because my diet is fail, and I have not kept up with laundry. So, as much as I loved SIGGRAPH, I am not wearing this ginormous T-shirt as a geek statement.

I like the coat. The coat is thrift shop vintage... White Stag, Portland, Oregon... in case that means something to real fashionistas.

I like my tripod. Thank you Geoff.

So. This is what I wore today when I dropped Alex, then Max off at school. I came home and, technically, I had time to make certain improvements before taking the next shift, but I did not. This is what I wore when I dropped off William, and I actually walked Maria in to her classroom wearing exactly this outfit. If I hustle, I can shower and change before I pick Maria up. We'll see.

Did I mention... ? I find this amusing. I see what can be done, but there are so many other ways to pass the time, that my personal style will only improve with significant effort. "Significant effort" may not be too big a deterrent, because studying these images I can see that I am closer to Crazy Chicken Lady than Uniquely Herself. I think my goal should be a Uniquely Me look.

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Sunday, March 09, 2003

Wedding count down! I have no more than 62 days to look good in these shoes. "Feeling good" may be out of the question. I think I have passed the expiration date for comfortably wearing fashionable, high heeled, pretty shoes. Naturally the bride and groom are concerned with taking their vows of love and commitment, organizing hundreds of guests, reserving space for a ceremony and reception, and selecting floral arrangements. And I certainly don't mean to minimize the significance of their special day, but I have issues too!

It's been a long time since I walked around in shoes like the ones I will be wearing in Bill and Alison's wedding. Hans and Gretchen bought me Uggs a few Christmases ago and let me tell you those boots are pure comfort; one big, all traction, fleecy hug and massage. Another time Hans and Gretchen gave me some Doc Marten's. They're black and sturdy and made for action. They are mud kicking, snake stomping, hard core mountain munchers. For my last birthday they sent rainbow colored, all fluff bedroom slippers. They are cushy and whimsical. Very, very laid back. So you see, I am seriously out of practice in the realm of tilted, elevated, strappy, snappy little red dress shoes.

I wore them around the house today. I figure I should let them start to break me in as soon as possible. I think I've got the balance aspect mastered; they aren't that high. The angle is a little tough to hold; I'll need to work up to longer and longer standing times. I must be careful not to cook or clean in them, because they are not hose-able. I suppose I should also avoid feeding chickens while in active training. I plan to wear them 3-4 times per week for 20-30 minutes at a time. Hopefully my gait and stance and my overall stamina will improve.

A pedicure, I think, is more than a luxury in this circumstance. I should definitely be looking at an intensive exfoliation program. I need to also work on cuticles, nails, rough heels and a total moisturizing regimen. I have already accepted that shaving is not optional, and I am cool with that. Initial observation has revealed to me that hip young women are not wearing hosiery. Furthermore, nobody even says "hosiery" anymore.

Okay. I have a plan. I'm feeling hopeful. And tomorrow I will think about strapless bras, make-up, hair, weight training and weight loss, and how to dress three boys for a "cocktail dress" wedding and reception.

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