Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Tricks & Treats 10/31/2014

Treat or Treat!  Smell my feet!  Give me something good to eat!!
Happy Halloween!!  It is the most wonderful time of the year and I'm so glad you're stopping by to celebrate with me today!  Thank you!

-  Seriously creepy dreams Friday night.  I will never mix Pumpkin Pie Beer with Skittles again.  Never. 
-  I tried to do something that I thought was a good thing, and was treated like I did something wrong and I decided "Fuck it".  That "Fuck It" went from being passive anger to outright rage when the person who treated me like I did something wrong realized they were being a jerk and had someone else apologize for them.  Yeah.  That seriously happened.  Which then turned into attitude and an explosion and now... now I just don't know.  I was told this is the end.  I guess we'll see but I'm not going to be the one apologizing.  
-  I was SOOO cranky on Saturday.  And I drank a whole bottle of wine. 
-  I made a seriously poor decision in a moment of weakness and I'm feeling a lot of regret.  It was only made worse by the fact that I missed a day of work the next day... partially because I couldn't bear to face myself.  I'm still trying to make peace.
-  I wasn't ready for Halloween.

+  Finally finished my shopping for my Witchy Halloween Giveaway.  Most of the items are local, so I feel really good about that. (I hope you enjoy your prize, Gayle)
+  My favorite Cheese and Jelly makers were at the Farmer's market, so I was able to get jam to get me through the winter (hopefully).
+  I was cranky on Saturday, but I still got to spend time with my nephew and eat Mexican Lasagna.  And we got to see this doll downtown....
+ Last week, I reviewed the Beautyblender with not so wonderful results.  This week, Birchbox Customer Service came through for me and replaced my ripped BeautyBlender.  And I am SOOO glad they did!
+  I pulled together a last minute costume and I look frickin awesome.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Confessions: Satisfied

This Week's prompt:

When I first announced this week's prompt, the two most common reactions I got were about sex or food. 


To be honest, it was my first thought too.  

But as I sat and thought about it this week I realized that satisfied should really be applied more and I had to ask myself if I'm satisfied in other areas of my life. 

Am I satisfied with my relationships?

Am I satisfied with my home?

Am I satisfied with my job?

Am I satisfied with myself?

There are some people in my life right now who aren't satisfied with themselves.  It bothers me because I think they should be.  They're good people.  They have people who love them.  They have jobs and homes and families.  And yet, somehow... they aren't satisfied and so they look for that satisfaction from people who come along and are willing to tell them a story and sell them a dream.

These people can't provide what they're peddling.  They have no intention to.  Perhaps somewhere in their minds they think they could be the person they want to talk about being, maybe that is someone they actually want to be... but the fact of the matter is that if they were going to be that person they would already be that person.

I think one of the most important things I'm learning is that it is important to ask people if they are satisfied with their life, and then look at their life based on their answer because it will tell you a lot about who they are.  

Are you satisfied?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Feats & Fails 10/24/2014

Sometimes you  just need to embrace you inner Xena: Warrior Princess.  Happy Friday Everyone!

- Stood in the cold and the rain to spend 20 minutes inside a Halloween thing at the library with my nephew.  But whatever, the kid liked it I guess. 

- Literally spent most of my day in bed Saturday night and Sunday due to a migraine. 

-  My coworker returned from vacation and got sick on the plane.  I've spent most of the week listening to the phlegm rattle around in her lungs.  It doesn't sound all that different than death rale other than her persistent chatter.  Of course, being that she was just on vacation, she wont take a day off.  *Lysols desk AGAIN*

-  The guinea pigs ran out of food.  I always feel guilty when the animals run out of food even if it is only for a little bit.  It had been a long day so I tossed on a camo thermal shirt, grey yoga pants and purple flip flops to run to Wal- Mart.  Then while at the store I *almost* ran into a bunch of people I didn't want to see.  My evening then ended with a text from my ex.  I just don't even have the energy for that drama.  

-  Speaking of drama... ugh.  I'm so tired of drama.  I avoid it as a general rule and I'm practically hiding in my house, not taking phones calls, not getting involved with anything or anyone in an attempt to avoid it and yet somehow it keeps seeking me out and crawling into my lap.

-  I still haven't done my shopping for the Halloween Giveaway.

-  My coworkers were very sad when I told them my most recent bit of news, but it is for the best.

-  Still not counting calories like I'm supposed to be.  In fact, I'm just kind of sucking in the general health area this week.

-  Finally ordered a BeautyBlender, things were problematic to say the least.

+  Stood in the cold and rain, went into the haunted basement with my nephew and took him to the Walls of Mart later that night.  Coolest Auntie Ever status: Still Active

+  Got to see Bonehead and spend quality time together.  Which is always good.

+  My mommy made creamy seafood enchiladas... which are one of my favorite things EVER!

+  Not only was I offered a position that I was very excited about, but I was contacted about interviewing for two others.  I chose to go with the offer instead of waiting to see what would come of the other potential opportunities, and I am very excited to be pursuing a new employment opportunity.  VERY EXCITED.

+  I'm actually taking my medicine and my back is slowly feeling better, so that is good.

+  I'm not counting my calories but I AM doing my walking.  So that is a positive.

Overall, there were quite a few little shitty petty things, but the few good things were BIG good things and I feel like it all evens out.  I'm excited about the coming weeks ahead.

What happened during your week?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Product Junkie Review: The Original Beauty Blender

I saw the Original beautyblender in stores, but didn't know how to use it and was turned off by the price tag ($20 at most retailers). So far I've made it an incredibly long time without really hearing anything about it or being told I NEED one until recently when my favorite coworker asked me if I'd tried it yet because she'd heard awesome things but didn't want to pay for it only to end up hating it.

Then, as if by magic, Birchbox sent me an email with a special code for certain featured products, including the beautyblender Best Friends set and it was an offer I couldn't resist. So my coworker and I went in together and got it!

We placed the order on Friday and it showed up on Monday!

I wasn't sure what to expect. I have combination skin and because the seasons are changing I'm having a little bit of a problem with dry skin. While I'm pretty blemish free at the moment, my foundation isn't going on very smooth. I wasn't sure how this was going to go, but I couldn't wait to give it a try!

About The Original BeautyBlender:
According to the website:

'Now you can look like a movie star without the pricey services of a major make up artist. Introducing Beautyblender, the ultimate make up sponge applicator. Invented by top Hollywood make up artist Rea Ann Silva, Beautyblender has been created to leave you with a professional finish and a flawless complexion. Silva knows that the key to a perfect face is simple: a perfect blend. So forget your fingers or sharp-edged triangular sponges, these application methods waste make up and can leave visible streaks.'

Beauyblender’s patent-pending elliptical shape makes application foolproof by allowing you to access hard-to-reach areas with stunning ease. Its suede texture is sensual to the touch and its unique curves fit the contours of your face, leaving your make up dazzling and undetectable. Beautyblender is latex free, non-allergenic and odor free.’

My First Thoughts:
I was really, really surprised when I took it out of the container. I don't know why but I was honestly expecting something a little firmer like a foam or like other sponges I've used (you know, the kind with the edges and usually contain latex). Boy, was I wrong!!!

The blender is incredibly soft to the touch and squishy.  It really isn't very firm.  It is much small than I expected but when wet doubles in size.

How to use the BeautyBlender:
1. Wet the beauty blender (I just ran mine under the tap while squishing it).

2. The beautyblender will almost double in size when wet (I noticed while watching YouTube videos that some people didn't seem to thoroughly soak it... this really does nearly double in size). When done, squeeze out all the water, then wrap in tissue or towel and squeeze again.

3. I dotted foundation across my face (be sure to use a thicker foundation, not one that is "runny" or pourable. Foundations that have a pump are recommended). Then using the rounded base "bounce" or stipple it across your face pushing the foundation inward.

4. The tip of the sponge can be use to apply concealer and get into those hard to reach areas.

How to clean the Beauty Blender:
There are two cleansers specially created to clean the blender, one is a solid cleanser and the other is a liquid cleanser, which are available on both Birchbox, Amazon and the BeautyBlender site. But the cleansers, in my opinion, are a wee bit pricey. Not to mention the fact that the BeautyBlender site advertises the liquid cleanser as being lavender scented... I'm not really a fan of lavender. Many of the tutorials I've seen say you can use a regular mild cleanser. I opted to use my Honest Company Lemongrass hand soap (read review here) because it is natural, hypo-allergenic, non-toxic, biodegradable and pH balanced... and not lavender scented.

I rubbed a squirt into the blender, then added some water and squished it until there was a foam, then cleaned it under the tap until the water ran clear. Then I placed it on the counter to dry overnight.

For those of you who like YouTube tutorials, here is one on using and cleaning the BeautyBlender from CoffeeBreakWithDani. I found her tutorial looking up how to use the BeautyBlender and she is wonderful. I'll definitely be tuning in to her channel in the future.

What I like about BeautyBlender:
  • super light, almost flawless finish. It was INCREDIBLE! 
  • blended my foundation beautifully (I used two different brands/colors) AND I didn't have any problems with streaks or lines because it blended it all so wonderfully 
  • I don't think the actual application took longer than my normal application, just different. 
  • would be great to make a heavy foundation sheer or lighter 
  • it is cute and pink 
What I do not like about BeautyBlender:
  • between getting it wet, application, and then washing it... it IS time consuming. 
  • this gives a really light coverage. Luckily, I don't need maximum coverage right now, but this isn't going to give someone the same look and coverage they might need or want. 
  • Not suitable for all kinds of foundation. This is going to soak up thinner, more liquid foundations because it is a sponge (and sponges soak up liquids). That being said, people who want to use this might have to try some new products, and there is going to be a certain amount of product that gets "wasted". 
  • Cute and pink does not last long. Mine stained after the first use. There is a black beautyblender, but I prefer being able to see what is on my sponge. 
  • Super soft BeautyBlender could tear easily. In fact, mine did after ONE use. When I went to get it wet the next day, I squished it to see how dry it had gotten (after reading reviews about mold, I wanted to see how dry it had gotten overnight) and looked down at it to see little rips.

They aren't HUGE tears and I proceeded to use it like normal, but I WAS concerned about the fact that I had used it one time and it was already breaking down. When I contacted BeautyBlender asking if this was common or if I had done something wrong, this was their response:

I don't know that I actually expect a replacement, especially not if I'm doing something wrong (other than not using their expensive cleanser), but their response comes off a little terse with the whole "a determination will be made as to whether a replacement will be sent" especially because I didn't even ask for a replacement or refund.  At the time of this post, I still have yet to hear from Birchbox. 

Final Impression:

I really like it.  I'm going to continue using it to get the flawless, slightly dewy looking complexion which I haven't ever been able to get before.  I'm definitely happier with it than I have been with brushes.  I don't know that I will use it when I need heavier coverage (cue breakout), but I'm very happy overall.  If you're interested in a more natural, flawless look then I highly recommend it especially if you aren't 100% thrilled with brushes or other sponges. 

After reading some reviews on the dupes, I don't know if they're worth it or not.  I might try one in the future just to see what kind of results I get, but just looking at them I can see how the BeautyBlender's softness is a definite advantage over more dense products.  I also have concerns about the latex and wonder if the BeautyBlender helps my skin look so good because I'm not exposing myself to latex (I have a minor latex allergy).  

Have you tried the BeautyBlender?  Have you tried one of the Dupes?  How were your results?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Confessions: CLOSE

This week's prompt:

I don't enjoy having people I'm not close to in my close personal space.  This is part of the reason I don't like the dentist... I mean, there's a stranger picking food out of your teeth.  

I clearly live alone as I rarely close the bathroom door anymore.  And when I do, there is a cat who feels slighted on the other side of it.  But I also close the toilet lid, because those same cats will drink out of the toilet.  

There has been so much door closing and windows opening in my life the last few months that sometimes I think the draft is going to negatively impact me... like a psychological cold.  Maybe that is why I'm ok with closing most people out right now.

I rarely close my browser before shutting down my computer.

I hate closing umbrellas because it is never as fun as opening them.

I really hate the sound of a door closing heavily behind me. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Feats & Fails 10/17/2014

I PROMISE not to sing "Friday" again.  I'm just SO excited for my weekend.  People always tell me I'm wishing my life away when I wish it was Friday and I always say I don't do much living when I'm working 40 hours a week.  I guess it all comes down to how you want to look at things.  Speaking of how we want to look at things, let's get into the Feats & Fails...

-  I took last Friday afternoon off.  I got out of work 30 minutes late.  Then, I got out of town late.  Then I didn't get where I was going in time.  I hate it when that shit happens.

-  Woke up Saturday with a sore throat which turned into a sore throat and a fever, so I didn't get to have my nephew that night because I don't want him or my sister getting sick.

-  I let myself be sucked into drama by a crazy person who seems to spread misery for no other reason than Misery loves company.  And then I nicknamed her Crazy Horse and I'm waiting to see how long it is before she gets wind of that, which might be a fail or just really funny.  Also, in hindsight, I should have nicknamed her "Misery", but she's way scarier than Kathy Bates.  Either way, I'm annoyed with myself that I got sucked in and I'm being an ass.

-  I'm having nightmares again.  And the thing is... they aren't really even nightmares.  They just upset me, and my exes keep showing up in them.  But the fact that I consider just their presence something that makes a dream a nightmare really says a lot.

-  Speaking of exes...  So, I decided to write my first guest post for another blogger.  She asked me months ago, and I worked on it and then set it aside.  Then it magically disappeared off my laptop.  Then she reminded me about it a few days ago and I've been working on it again.  Well, the subject matter is a little sensitive and I was having a hard time remembering some of the details surrounding my life at the time everything happened.  And I reached out to my ex for help.  Not my crazy, abusive ex who still slow rolls past my house, but someone who has made it pretty clear they don't respect or appreciate me in any capacity (even as a friend).  Basically, I'm mad at myself for reaching out and opening the door when I should have left it shut when I closed it last time.

- I haven't been tracking my calories, exercising or doing anything good for myself.  I'm kind of in fuck it mode.

+  Quality time with Bonehead last Friday.  He makes me smile.

+  After spending time with Bonehead, I went to see "Dracula Untold" with my brother and got to spend some time with him.  I love my brother.  Last night I was hanging out at my mom's with my brother and I got to pretend I could play guitar with my favorite guitar, and we started watching the Godzilla movie.  So that was awesome.

+  I got to see my sister yesterday.  Which is always good.  We really don't spend enough time together which is sad because sometimes she is exactly what I need.

+  I got cool stuff in my Birchbox this month, traded in some points and actually got around to writing a review for it.  Yay Me!

+  My sore throat and fever didn't turn into full blown cold or Ebola.  So there's that.

+  I finally shared my Signs It Is About to Get Weird post.

+  I got overtime.

+  There might be a super positive change in the near future.  I can't really be more specific, but I'm feeling optimistic.

+  I'm feeling really good and full of ideas this week.  Super awesome feeling!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Product Junkie Reviews: Birchbox October 2014

It's been a long time since I did a Birchbox Review, which is unfortunate because I've been getting some seriously wonderful products that I've been absolutely in love with lately!  Shame on me!

If you read other Birchbox Reviews, some people have noted that there are times when you get a "good" box versus one that isn't so good.  I've come to realize that I'm not a fan of anything that comes in a packet because I feel like I don't get a large enough size to really get a feel for a product.  So this month was definitely a WIN in my book!

(And as much as I personally LOVE Birchbox, I understand that some people might not be so thrilled with the idea of a monthly subscription so I am now adding my favorite products to my Amazon "Products I Love" Widget on the right of the screen.  Check it out to see what I'm eating, using, and loving at my house!)

But let's get to the products I got in this month's Birchbox!

Dr. Brandt® Pores No More® Vacuum Cleaner  (1 oz/$45)  I won't lie... I don't have many blackheads and part of that is because I have an Extractor/Blackhead Blemish Remover Tool  and I LOVE it (in spite of the fact that it is missing right now).  If I were being honest I would tell you that I am a recovering Pimple Popper and sometimes I relapse.  But I can see this product as being a great help in getting over that.  The directions state: Two to three times a week, apply a thin layer of gel to affected areas after cleansing. Let dry 5–10 minutes—or until it turns a chalky hue. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.  

It dried fast and really did turn chalky on my face, but it wasn't flaky or messy like masks tend to get so that was surprising and totally wonderful.  When I rinsed it off in the shower, it came off easily without scrubbing.  There was no dryness or irritation and my skin felt good.  I didn't notice any immediate results, but overall was pretty pleased.  I'll continue to use this.

Mally Beauty High-Shine Liquid Lipstick Pens (.12 oz/$20)  This is hands down one of my favorite products from October 2014.  I got the Lipety Split color (pictured).  I really wasn't sure what to expect from this product because it had the color of a lipstick and the consistency of a really good gloss.  The color was pretty strong and seemed to have some staying power, but my favorite part was how good it felt on my lips for hours.  I hate products that seem to dry out fast and this really didn't.  I didn't really notice much of a flavor, but it smelled like cotton candy which I found pleasant.  I highly recommend this.

Essentiel Elements Wake Up Rosemary Shower Gel (8 oz./$19)  The scent of this body wash was like a punch in the face, I can see why they call it "Wake Up" because it will wake you up for sure!  It cleans pretty effectively,  I HATE products that smell good, but when you get out of the shower you're still smelly.  I don't know how well it actually woke me up in the morning, but... whatever is in this sure woke up my more sensitive areas when I absentmindedly washed them.  So... watch out for that. 

Harvey Prince Petaly Noir  (8.8mL/$26 or 50mL/$55)  Oh Harvey Prince, what a complicated relationship we have.  I previously purchased the Harvey Prince "Hello" spray because I love it so much only to come to learn that it has no staying power.  NONE.  Forget a quick spritz in the morning and going all day.  Even "scent layering" with the lotion does not improve the staying power.  How did Petaly Noir compare?  I won't lie, I didn't have high hopes for it.  The scent is musky and woody (due to the sandalwood, amber and patchouli) while still being feminine which surprised me.  I found it to be reminiscent of Baby Phat's Seductive Goddess but softer, more feminine and floral due to the notes of jasmine, tropical orchid, and lily of the valley.  As far as staying power, it seemed to hold on.  It made it through a few hours more than "Hello", overall... I'm very happy with the scents themselves and while this one lasted longer than "Hello", I don't think I'm going to buy it.

ModelCo Power Lash Long Wear Black Mascara (10mL/$20)  The application was smooth, though the formula seemed a little thin.  Two layers and I felt like it was getting clumpy.  It felt very wet for awhile and I checked my lids a few times to make sure I hadn't gotten it everywhere.  But my lashes looked huge and that was a big plus.  While I like it, I don't care for it as much as some of the other samples I've tried recently.  


I've been hoarding my points away like a squirrel with a nut, waiting for a great deal that I just couldn't refuse to get some of my favorite products... and I think I made out like a bandit.

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Full Strength ($45)  I'd received the Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel for Sensitive Skin in my Birchbox quite some time ago.  When I decided to purchase it for myself I went straight for full strength and I am even happier.  Works like a dream, leaves my skin looking great right away.  I was worried that I might react to something stronger, but I didn't.  I walked away with more even tone and my skin looked and felt amazing (even the time I accidentally left it on twice as long as I was supposed to).  I love this and I'm sharing with everyone.  I'm going to end up having to buy more before I know it.

Smashbox Cosmetics Try It Kit  ($19.00 includes: 0.25 oz. Photo Finish Foundation Primer; 0.02 oz. Photo Finish Lid Primer; 0.03 oz. Limitless Eye Liner in Onyx; 0.14 oz. Full Exposure Mascara in Jet Black; 0.14 oz. Lip Enhancing Gloss in Illume)  I've never tried Smashbox.  It isn't a brand that I know of as being readily available in my area, but of course I know the name.  I wasn't sure how it was going to compare to what I'm already using, many of the items in the set I already have a product that is similar I am happy with but this set BLEW ME AWAY.  Love the primers, especially the eyeshadow primer because it is amazing and keeps my eyeshadow on and looking great so much longer.  The eyeliner is pure black and literally glides on.  The lip gloss is beautiful and seemed to enhance my lips without too much minty/menthol punch like what you normally get with enhancers. The mascara has got to be my favorite part because it is thicker in application, great big wand, dries fast and my lashes look thick and huge and amazing without tarantula eyes or clumps.  And the size of everything in the Smashbox Try It Kit is so good that I've already gotten multiple uses out of all of them and still have more than half of each product left.  I was super thrilled with this kit!

Mystery Sample Pack (free with $35 purchase)  Even though I was
buying stuff with Points, I STILL get a free Mystery Sample Pack because I made a purchase.  Have I told you lately how much I love Birchbox?   I love how every time I get a Mystery Sample Pack... they always send me something super awesome that I end up loving and what I got this time was no exception!

 For example, they once sent me FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE FLIRT Lip Gloss by Secret Agent Beauty ($18) and I forgot to mention it!  Birchbox doesn't seem to carry it anymore, but this stuff is AMAZING and I love it.  It plumps my lips and gives me great color with a light mint feel.  It has a great consistency and isn't goopy or sticky and the color is just right.  I'm in love and it doesn't hurt that the logo is so great.  Highly recommend trying it out if you're looking for a great plumping colored gloss.

This month I received the Palette Sampler from the Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette in Sunset ($19.95).  While I only got 4 of the colors in my sampler, I'm SO glad I finally got to try Coastal Scents colors because I've always wanted to.  AWESOME.  I've seen Coastal Scents palettes used in countless tutorials and it seems to be a highly favored product but I've always been hesitant to buy it.  I usually don't care for palettes because I find that I end up using a couple of colors and the rest just go to waste (even the most original of us can't use every color) and end up as clutter in an already cluttered makeup cabinet.  But I might just end up buying this one for sure.  The colors are wonderfully pigmented, a little goes a long way but you can still apply lightly and blend well (I find high pigments don't always handle a light hand so well).  It is soft, smooth, and holds incredibly well throughout my day but washes off nice at night.  The colors I received are awesome and I really want to see how I look in the rest of the palette.

My second sample: Ofra Universal Eyebrow Pencil ($13).  I have a confession to make... I've never purchased an eyebrow pencil for myself.  In fact, often than not I just ignore the fact that I have eyebrows (yes, it's true).  So I was excited to try this when I got it.  I was amazed that the color was just right but when I looked it up on Birchbox I see that it is created to look good on everyone!  Birchbox says: No more wondering which pencil, powder, or mousse best matches your brows: Pick up this pencil from Ofra, and you’ve got the right shade. Its universally flattering tone works to define and fill brows of any color, and the water-resistant formula stays put all day.  They aren't joking... it really is universally flattering, it really does stay put all day and my brows look fantastic.  I was really worried about being that lady with the smudged eyebrow pencil and it hasn't happened yet.  My brows look so great now that when I posted a picture of myself on my way to see Bonehead, a fellow blogger commented on the photos and told me she was jealous of my eyebrows and when I asked why she told me they are perfect.  No one has ever told me I have perfect eyebrows.  Like ever.  It must be a sign.

Overall, October was a pretty kickass month for Birchbox.  I wont lie, I still REALLY want a BeautyBlender  What did you get in your box this month?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Online Dating: Signs It Is About To Get Weird

There are so many different kinds of weirdos. At one point, I wasn't ready to date again.  When I was ready, I could not get over some of the things I've seen on the Profiles of people looking for love online, especially the things that people are open about that perhaps should be left behind closed doors. I even stumbled on my ex's online dating profile once. There are so many kinds of weird messages you can get, but what are the warning signs that your online conversation is about to get weird?

I seem to attract men who start out normal. It begins as seemingly normal small talk that leads to creepy confessions (usually about sexual fetishes) before I ever even get to know their name.  I began noticing that there are usually signs that things are about to get weird or that someone has some particular tastes, so... here are some of the warning signs things are about to be weird:

You Smoke, He Doesn't.  I'm not saying smokers and non-smokers can't mingle. I was a smoker and I've dated non-smokers for many years without problems (believe it or not), but most of my non-smoking beaus merely tolerated it. I'm sure there are men who genuinely do not care, but I haven't encountered one. In my experience a man who eeks out a smoker either thinks he can get her to quit or is into watching women smoke.  My last encounter online with a man who was into smoking women asked me a lot of questions. How long did I smoke? What did I smoke? If I had quit, did I ever have one occasionally? At first, I thought he wanted to try and talk to me about quitting, but eventually admitting to me that he thought watching a woman smoke was one of the sexiest things ever.  

You're so hot.  Compliments and adoration are always appreciated.  But if that's all he has to say to you the messages are going to taper off.  He'll either run out of things to say and stop messaging you or they're going to gradually get more sexual. One day out of the blue he'll say something super inappropriate.  The inappropriate message will come right after he asked you a nice normal question about your job or hobbies.  You'll be writing a thoughtful response about living alone with your cat and how much you like to Modge Podge (or macrame) and then you'll send the message. You'll be thinking that he might really be a cool guy because he's always complimenting you and asked about your hobbies. Then you'll get the message he sent. In the four minutes it took you to respond, he will have worked himself into a lather over your "hotness". Then you'll get a message about how much he wants to "modge podge" on your face. 

Do you like to swim?  Once upon a time, I worked for a very popular mail-order bedding company taking orders over the phone.  It was not unusual to get creepy phone calls from time to time, but the call center had a frequent caller who liked to call and pretend to start an order with a fake name and address, and would then start asking the representative on the phone questions like "Do you like to swim?".  He would do this with adult entertainment playing in the background which would progressively get louder.  Every once in awhile, I'll get a message from a man on a dating site and it will start with the usual "Hey", "How are you?" and "What do you like to do?".  He'll answer the same questions in return, but then all of a sudden he'll ask about a hobby that I don't mention on my profile.  There is nothing wrong with that by itself especially if he is trying to see if we have any mutual interests, but in my experience it usually leads to something more.  The one I encounter most is "Do you like to swim?".  The most recent guy, when I replied "Not Really", responded with "Seriously?" and then I never heard from him again.  

Truth or Dare?  When I was in middle school, it was a thing for the "cool" kids to get together and play Truth or Dare.  Let's be honest, it was my generation's version of Spin the Bottle. Once you hit middle school it isn't a fun game anymore so much as it is the beginning of sexual exploration and/or utter humiliation in front of your peer group. Granted, most people were still in the kissing stage and maybe some light over-the-clothes radio-tuning boob grabbing (Tune in Tokyo!) but I know many people who experienced their first kiss or streaked for the first time as a result of playing Truth or Dare with that particular group of people.  I was only invited to attend a few times, but never actually went. Sadly, there are still men who use this "Truth or Dare?" tactic on Online Dating sites. The goal appears to be to learn intimate details without actually having to invest time, energy, money or genuine effort in getting to know someone. It is a quick thrill approach which only really gets a response from people who respond to being dared to do things, not measure or determine someone's true character or intent.  It weeds out women who are impulsive or interested in casual sex. If you're looking for casual it's great, but if you aren't and you respond to this you can count on it going bad fast.  The first time a guy sent me a message asking me "Truth or Dare?" I thought it was refreshing and decided to play along while being reasonably sure it would go South fast.  I chose "Truth" because only a moron says "Dare" right off the bat.  His first question was "Do you like to kiss?"  Pretty harmless I guess, but from there it goes downhill because there is no other way to go.

He wants to "be honest".  If a man on an online dating site asks if he can be honest with you, brace yourself.  There is usually some kind of personal "issue" bomb or explicit comment headed your way. 

He goes Buffalo Bill. I seem to attract guys who quote Silence of the Lambs". One time, a man told me that he liked Big Beautiful Women (BBW) because "you can be rough with them and they have soft skin that jiggles when they walk".  I'm clearly "All about That Bass" and I must look like some kind of edible deliciousness but there is something incredibly creepy about having a man you don't know make comments about your skin. I do have soft skin.  I also work hard to have soft feet. It's still  creepy when someone I've never met starts making comments about the texture of my skin or about eating me. My ideal skin compliment is "Oh Baby, you have such a soft looking, smooth, wrinkle and acne-free face" (on the rare occasion that is actually the case).  But when they start making typos and the word "skinless" comes up it is just best to walk away before it leads to asking if you want company. You don't. Not from this guy anyway. 

Sometimes it pays to be a Judgy McJudgypants. Yes, I totally just said that. If he is "looking for someone open-minded" OR mentions wanting someone "nonjudgmental", start mentally preparing yourself.  This is the number one way to tell it is about to get weird.  I've come to believe that online dating sites are a hotbed for men with fetishes.  Most fetishes don't bother me, I believe we all just want someone to love and accept us.  When it comes to online dating, expect to encounter many people who feel self-conscious or insecure about their fetish (most being rather tame and common in nature) and are lonely. In fact, most of the aforementioned clues to weirdness are (obviously) really about fetishes.

If you're interested in hearing what he is going to say and seeing what he is into, then by all means ask him what exactly he means by nonjudgmental.  I find that taking the direct approach will get you the most straightforward answer every time because they don't expect it.  Pro-tip: I highly recommend going somewhere where your reaction to his answer will not be seen or heard by others, especially if he says both open-minded and nonjudgmental.

I've encountered two men who were looking for someone who was both open-minded and nonjudgmental. One was openly into feet, which doesn't bother me so much.  What DID bother me was when he started telling me that he was actually into trampling. If you don't know, trampling is a specialized kind of foot fetish which can involve stepping, walking, and stomping on the person. He wanted me Snausage Stomp him. Then he told me he wanted to watch me step on fish while wearing flip flops. That was the end of our conversation. I don't believe in harming or involving animals, reptiles, bugs or fish in my sexual exploits. Ever.

The other "gentleman" said he was looking for someone open-minded and when I asked what that meant he said his interest was non-sexual, but he wanted me to think about all the men who had ever hurt me before and then kick him "in the balls" until he fell over. Then he wanted me to describe how I would step on him.  Our conversation ended there but in hindsight perhaps I should have gotten his number...

Overall, the lesson I've taken away from online dating that I've come here to share with you is that things are rarely as innocent as they seem.  I honestly believe in online dating and that there are people out there who are normal, functional, and interested in a relationship but might have a hard time meeting people in person or are shy.  Maybe I'm more of an optimist than I realize, but I think it is important to be wary and expect that a good portion of the interactions you have are going to get weird even when they start out in a seemingly normal manner because sometimes you have to kiss more than a few frogs before you find a prince.

What signs have you noticed that things are about to get weird when having a conversation with someone on an online dating site?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Confession: Design

This week's prompt:

I can't for the life of me figure out why adults ask children what they want to be when they grow up.  Maybe because it is cute, maybe it is to start focusing them on some goal to work towards for their adulthood. 

Mine changed every year.  You could always tell when I had a teacher I liked because that year I wanted to be a teacher.  Other years I wanted to be a veterinarian, maybe one year even a nurse.  

But one summer, I decided I wanted to be a fashion designer.  

I spent hours on the back porch of our house, drinking kool-aid and drawing what I thought were glamorous fashions on paper.  I barely remember any of them, but I can't imagine what I thought glamorous was at the time... at I was a child during the early 90's.  

I don't know if any of those drawings still exist, but I'm hopeful they don't.  Fashion designer.  Good grief.  I can barely dress myself some days. 

An InLinkz Link-up

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Feats & Fails 10/10/2014

Friday, Friday
Gettin' down on Friday
Everybody's lookin' forward to the weekend

Finally, Friday!  It actually wasn't that long of a week, but that might be because my weekend is starting early.  But I'm ready.  Really. 


-  I deactivated my Facebook account this week, which only lasted a day because I realized that because I had done it out of the blue and I didn't want people to worry.  But clearly I've let things get to a point where I need to actually step away from social media because the drama isn't something I need in my life, it has become a huge distraction for me, and I need to do more ACTUAL interacting with people I care about.

-  I had to work overtime.

-  Some friends have been facing some personal losses and struggles, and while that isn't a fail for me... I feel for them so hard and wish I could make things better for them. 

-  I didn't get anything done around the house except laundry.  Like, I avoided my house this weekend way more than I should have. 

+  That fight I had with Bonehead last week?  Well, sometimes fighting with Bonehead is exactly what needs to happen in my life.  I know that sounds loony, but wait... I can explain.  Fighting with Bonehead isn't like fighting with other people.  When I get mad at Bonehead and then we argue, I get SO much madder than I do at anyone else.  I think a huge part of that is the fact that I rarely ever get actually mad or angry with him, so when I do it is seriously ROUGH.  And while we get frustrated with each other and downright stubborn, selfish and inconsiderate... for the most part, we still stay respectful of each other and that is important. 

The wonderful thing about Bonehead is when we have a problem... one of us always comes back around and says, "So WHY do you feel that way?" or "Why did you react so strongly to that?"  And it isn't said with aggression, and it isn't instigating another fight because it isn't about walking away and coming back to reiterate your points again (like more people do).  It stops being about opinions and makes it about feelings, and feelings don't always make sense.  Questions like that make all of the difference in the world sometimes because sometimes being asked to explain your feelings and reactions not only helps the other person to understand you, but also causes you to explore your feelings deeper and sometimes shows you where personal issues and baggage might be impacting your relationships with other people.  

This time, it was me.  It was totally me.  I have social anxiety, which got worse during my relationship with my ex...  much worse.  I didn't realize it, and couldn't really explain it.  Unfortunately, to Bonehead I seem like a fully functional adult who answers the phone for a living and appears to only have a moderate dislike for people until a situation arose and I acted like an ass.  Being forced to explain that my Introvert nature has taken a turn towards agoraphobia made me realize that I need to work on some things before I end up weighing 600 pounds, surrounded by cats and can't make it through my hoard to the door to let the Hoarders producers in.  I'm not kidding... I'm an overweight cat lady with hoarding tendencies and I cannot afford for my general dislike of the public at large to turn into full-blown agoraphobia. 

So... it's a positive.  And don't show up at my house with A&E or I'll kick you in the crotch I swear.  My house is just cluttered, I don't need a professional intervention yet. 

+  I spent time with my Mom this weekend and my nephew on Saturday who called me and invited me over to watch "Cool Runnings" with him because... well, "Cool Runnings".

+  I'm only working a half day this Friday (whoo-hoo!) and I got extra hours this week so I don't lose any pay.  Whoop!

+  Sunday Night my mom made some amazing Butternut Squash soup.  It was awesome and low calorie.  

+  I've been under my calories a lot this week. Not every day, but I'm doing better.  Which is awesome. 

Overall, it's been a pretty positive week.  What about you?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Just Don't Speak

My Open-Mouth Insert-Foot Disorder is acting up again.

Unfortunately, my brain seems capable of realizing just how bad my faux pas actually is only after it has completely escaped into the world to shock and offend.  It seems there are people who are able to "pinch off" their verbal load mid-evacuation... sadly, it does not appear to be a skill I possess.

While it plagues me, my struggle with saying the wrong thing at the wrong time and to the wrong person is by far not the the worst case I've ever seen.  Oddly enough, it appears I DO in fact have a filter.  It's just glitchy selective as to when it wants to operate, and even when I try not to say anything sometimes a snort, snicker or giggle escapes... any of which are usually preferable to what might really be going on in my head.

But I'd be a liar if I said I'm not struggling and it's happening in the worst places possible lately.  

I find that my Open-Mouth Insert-Foot Disorder is exacerbated by personal conversations.  I'm really lucky to have the friends that I do because every single one of them either accepts/excepts the inappropriate and generally snarky strands of word turds that come out of me or revels in them; People who can't find the funny in my "disorder" or my general way of being don't often last long.  

I went in to the workplace as a naive 17-year-old thinking that like anything else in life I would make friends and it would be ok in spite of being work.  In fact, for a very long time I felt I HAD to be friends with the people around me, as if being friends with everyone were part of my job, a sign of being a good employee. Though I don't know where that idea came from, I still fought to implement it.

Someone once told me you should never discuss sex, politics or religion in mixed company.  Another little gem I've heard often: one should never shit where they eat.  

I have always tried to be mindful of those oh-so-relevant life lessons.  Which kind of places me in quite a pickle. One would think such knowledge of one's self combined with common sense would discourage me from making more personal connections and having conversations where opinions might come into play.  Unfortunately, that mixed company line becomes incredibly blurred when you work in a small office with people who talk about everything from hot flashes to dinner recipes and have a coworker who has hung a picture of Jesus in her cubicle and has been known to chastise and condemn the others of the same faith in the office for not being as rigid or unyielding in their religious observations as she is (Lent is super fun). 

If you struggle with Open-Mouth Insert-Foot Disorder, you can probably imagine what a hotbed for unsuitable conversation this is for me.  Hell, someone who doesn't struggle with tasting their own foot on a regular basis can probably see how this could be a huge problem for everyone involved and quite possibly a human resources nightmare.

I learned how to avoid conversational landmines years ago at my first "real" job; However, I find the most benign topics in both social and work-related situations turning into controversial discussions lately and not consistently due to commentary made by me.  I've been incredibly hard on myself for giving into the pressure to socialize only to find myself sucked into yet another uncomfortable conversation.  I go home at night and find myself rehashing conversations and wondering if I could have said or not said something and avoided the whole mess.  I wash away the dirt from the day in the shower and my thoughts seem to bounce off the tile walls back at me in a deafening echo of what I woulda, shoulda, coulda said.  In the morning, the Earth's gravitational pull seems like it might overcome me, as if it can sense my waning energy and thinks it might be best if I just stay home watching Netflix for the day with my phone turned off.  

It is hard not to stay in bed; I want to stay home because I'm exhausted from the combination of these discussions that make me so angry inside and forcing myself to not say what is really on my mind.  Day after day of listening to ignorant things said about things I actually know and care about or watching another innocent conversation lead to a soapbox rant.  Every weekend I go home angry for not being able to stop myself from saying what little I thought I could get away with while swallowing huge, hot loads of anger and growing resentment and I wait to see if the dreaded "Please, don't come back" call comes.  Then I log on the Internet to find more of the same. 

And I think to myself...Just Don't Speak.  This doesn't have to be hard.  Just don't speak.  If you do your job and don't say anything, no one can hold that against you.  If you just scroll past it, there can't be repercussions. 

When things get like this, I often remember one of my favorite episodes of Malcolm in the Middle.  After being kicked off of the basketball team for criticizing the coach's game plans, Malcolm realizes that his smart mouth consistently gets him into trouble and vows to keep his opinions to himself.  In a very short time, he reclaims his position on the basketball team, gets on good terms with his girlfriend, earns an allowance from his father and begins enjoying a less stressful relationship with his mother. 

It isn't long, however, until Malcolm's inner voice grows angrier and more sarcastic when finally, just as the coach is about to put Malcolm into the game... he spits up blood.  His parent's take him to the doctor, who reveals that Malcolm has the stomach of a middle-aged man and is suffering from a peptic ulcer, brought on by all of his bottled-up stress.  The episode ends with Malcolm letting it all go. 

Every time I start feeling this way, things seem to be going fine until my stomach rumbles and I consider that I might finally be developing that ulcer.  

Like everyone else, I have a lot going on right now.  As much as I would love to be friends with everyone, I've come to realize I generally work with people that I wouldn't choose to be friends with.  That doesn't mean I couldn't make friends in the workplace and it isn't a statement about my coworkers, it just means that we weren't all chosen to be here based on our ability to be friends with each other and it is ok to acknowledge that.  That also means that not only do I not have to have personal conversations with anyone, but I also don't have to take things like bigotry personally because conversations shouldn't even get to that depth point.

I'm kind of hiding out from social situations.  I don't really have anything good to say and I get tired of watching my friends feign interest in my uglier thoughts.  Not to mention the incredible case of the fake people I seem to have caught as of late.  So I'm hiding out.  I need to be doing some thinking and personal self-growth right now anyway so it all works in the end.  I feel guilty because I'm not out and about interacting, but... I don't have anything awesome to say right now. 

I've felt really awful lately because I've been holding myself responsible for things that I shouldn't because of my little "problem".  I don't need to fill every silent moment with the sound of my own voice; I need to work on being comfortable with my own silence again.  I'm never going to cure my Open-Mouth Insert-Foot Disorder and it doesn't matter how much prescription strength Tequila I can get my hands on (which really DOES help).  I've sat here blaming myself for OTHER PEOPLE saying things that go beyond Open-Mouth Insert-Foot Disorder.  And who honestly needs to take more responsibility for things like that?

Maybe, just maybe... I'm doing alright.  I might be hiding out and avoiding social situations.  And things might take awhile to change after having been the girl who always has something to say, but it isn't like I'm still not going to slip up and say shitty inappropriate things... but for right now, I think I'm just going to focus on not saying anything if I don't have anything nice to say, and thinking before I speak and if I say something wrong, so be it.  But at least I'm not getting an ulcer.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday Confession: Run

This week's prompt:

I'm out of shape, overweight and don't exercise much as a general rule.  It is safe to say that I don't run.  

Not that I don't want to.  I've read the blogs and talked to natural born runners... the kind of people who seem to feel the world shift into a place that isn't so confusing when they break that sweat or find sense in the thud thud thud of their own footsteps; People who find themselves best able to think when their own heartbeat drowns out the sounds of life around them.  I've read their blogs and talked to them.  

I don't get the physical act of running.

Maybe the peace, joy, euphoria whatever you want to call it is something that comes later.  Later like when your body stops cramping and screaming at you and when you reach a point where you muscles crave the stretch and the feel of your feet rhythmically landing on the road. 

I'm still a runner.  Just a different kind.

During a previous Sunday Confession, my friend Jenniy wrote about what happens when your first sexual experience is rape (or when any experience is rape).  She said something that described so many situations:
Like a phoenix with an anxiety disorder and a guilt-complex that keeps it from soaring as high and freely as it could otherwise.
As strange as it sounds, this is what it is like to survive the loss of a parent at an early age and experienced the dissolution of close relationships in terrible, hurtful ways.  I have abandonment issues.  I've been hurt so many times that when I think I see "the end" coming my body flies into "Fight or Flight" so fast I feel like I could actually BE one of those runners who actually enjoys it. 

I am an emotional runner.  When I am afraid of something or when something causes me anxiety, I most often react with anger or fear that both infuriates and confuses the people that surround me.  I hide the fact that I am scared with attitude.  

Some people would say that I don't like confrontation or call me passive-aggressive, but when something happens that hurts my feelings or shows conflict between me and someone I care about... more often than not I take it as a sign that the relationship is coming to a close.  In many ways, I just expect people to come and go in and out of my life as if there were a revolving door.  I don't understand people who have had friends for decades, not that I don't wish I did.  But it just seems that for people like me... people come and people go.  Expecting something different is like expecting death not to be a finality. 

When people get too close, I respond in various ways.  But when it ends... when the phone calls or the text messages stop coming so frequently, when the invitations dwindle, when I'm left feeling emotionally "hanging" from someone I invested my feelings in... I pack up my emotions and I hit the road.  The end is always ugly and sometimes I try to get away with as many good memories as I can.  I run from the ugly ending that always seems to happen.  I pack up rather than drag out conversations and situations that will seem unable to be fixed.  

I'd rather run.  I'd rather accept that everything comes to an end than stick around and try to fight it out only to be let down in the end.

I'm trying so hard to stick things out.  I'm trying to find solutions, not another suitcase for what will become emotional baggage.  I'm trying to have those talks about things that hurt me.  I'm trying not to be a runner, but fighting what feels like the unfortunate evolution of your defense mechanisms often feels like fighting to do what comes natural... like breathing.  Suddenly, staying in spite of what isn't going well feels like a fight for air and my chest feels like it is about to explode and I am afraid if I stay I'll drown.

And I wonder, if I don't run... what happens next?  Do I learn to swim or do I drown?