Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Resolutions 2013

Writing your resolutions on a drink coaster? Well, if it's in writing, you have a commitment, no matter how drunk you were.

While gathering unwanted items in the house for a garage sale last year, I stumbled upon the super-secret Chemistry textbook that contains notes written fast and furious by Cindy and I when we should have been paying attention to Fr. McLearnen's lectures. Among the lovelorn notes, teenage conspiracies, overly-dramatized replays of running into a crush in the hall was my new year's resolution list for the year 1986. In a facebook conversation with my BFF, I described the list as such:

"In 1985, I made 17 new years resolutions. The first 4 are about homework; number 5 is about the Detroit Tigers; 6 and 7 are about boys; 8 is about being more adult; 9 & 10 back to homework; 11 is about the Tigers; 12 - 16 personal goals; 17 back to boys. It's pretty funny."

If homework now equals housework, I've got some work to do there. I think my issues with with boys is properly resolved. The Tigers? They have their own resolutions to make. So that leaves me with personal goals.

Here we go 'thirteen!

Pass Gold Moves. I regret to say this resolution was not achieved in '12, unless there's a last-minute new year's eve miracle. The good news is I have not been slacking, and according to my coach, all the moves are at or above passing with the exception of the brackets. I hate the brackets. BUT here we are a year later, and I have all 8 brackets turns down, it's a matter of riding the edge back to the line to complete the lobe. Huh? Skaters understand.

Train like a 10K. I find it hilarious that I hemmed and hawed about the RBR last year. No only did I compete in that race, I competed in SIX races this year! So much for me not being a runner. So now what? I still view running as a means to an end for skating and weight loss, but I'm wondering if it isn't possible this spring to push the endurance a little further. I have until the end of April to decide to do the 5 or 10K for the RBR.

Move yer ass. I have found that while I'm not especially fond of running, I'm addicted to achieving the goal, the satisfaction of completion. It wasn't too much to do 6 events this year, but to balance it with skating, I've resolved to do at least 4 runs this next year. Two are already on the calendar, the RBR in May and the Run for the Lights in Grand Haven in February. I'm pretty sure I'll do the Turkey Trot again, but now I'm thinking Warrior Dash on September 21.

Get back to competing. I can't say I've missed competing this year, I think preparing yourself to perform better is equally important. But at some point, you have to put it out there and say "lookit that!" Mids and ANs is off the table with family commitments coinciding with the timing of the events. But that still leaves a season that is wide open. I could do GRO, Michigan Showcase, Buckeye, Peach, even find a club competition to test the waters.

AXEL! The holy grail of adult skating. I can do them two-footed from a standstill. Time for momma to step up her game.

Incredible Shrinking Woman, part 2. I am proud to say I have thus far lost 31 pounds since the end of January, when the perfect storm of March Madness, Biggest Loser and my diabetes diagnosis gave me the necessary push to make changes in my life. I am more than halfway towards my goal, but there's more to lose. I'm aiming for 150, so I need to lose 18 more - for those keeping track at home, you do the math. 

Home. Yeah, clean the house more.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Typing Out Loud: My Consessions to Girly-Girlness

You know you want a pair.

There is a dichotomy in the perception of me at times. Growing up, I felt that I couldn't tolerate being a girly-girl: the lace and ruffles, the dolls, the caked-on makeup, pretending to be scared of spiders, and standing in circles talking about boys when I could be over at the fence talking TO boys.

But rest assured, I am pure girl. When I got in a fight with Tommy the next street over, I remember the swirl of my skirt as I wound up to smack him upside the head with my Love Pup (not a doll but a red stuffed dog), while screeching menacingly "leave my sister alone!"

On with the list.

NOT: Lace and ruffles. Ugh, so prissy and far too fussy. In more practical terms, lace as outerwear or as trim, scratchy. Ruffles, on a girl that was a D cup by 11 years old? Makes a girl appear even bigger. Total pass.

GIRLY! Embroidery. I fell in love with Mexican peasant blouses when my grandmother brought me one from her trip to Mexico back when I was in single digits. I am immediately drawn to tops, skirts and dresses with intricately stitched designs.

NOT: dolls. I played with them, but it was more about setting them up as action figures dive bombing bubble baths. No packed wardrobes of tiny plastic shoes, no aching for the Barbie Dream house.

GIRLY! Little House books. It all started with On the Banks of Plum Creek and the summer of my eighth year was devoted to walks to the Orange Street library to check the books out, one by one, until I received the set for my 9th birthday from grandma and grandpa. A set I still have 32 years later.

NOT: makeup. I am really not a fan. I of course wore the hell out of it in grade school when the nuns would scrutinize our face for detectable levels of the devil paint. I became quite skilled at blending and shading so when our school principal Sister Gloria would tell makeup offenders to go scrub their faces, I was left looking fresh and dewy while the rest of the girls wiped away their telltale orange lines of foundation.

GIRLY! lipstick/gloss. From the dollar store to the department store, I am drawn like a magnet to any version of lip care. I love 'em all, be it a pot, a wand, a stick, a tube or a roller ball. All time favorites are Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush in Pinked Lemonade, Clinique's Raspberry Glace, mint Chapstick, and Avon's Dew Kiss.

NOT: baseball. This one is iffy because I know a lot of girls who love baseball. But there are factions out there that are at the game to flirt, drink beer and stare a men in tight white pants. The line "chicks dig the long ball"? I always answer by saying "this chick also digs the squeeze play, the outfield assist, and when the pitcher strikes out the side." One of the pictures burnished on my memory is walking up the tunnel at Tiger Stadium for a night game, all that green and blue and white on the perfect summer night, one of the most beautiful sights one could see.

GIRLY! figure skating. I have loved skating since the '76 Olympics and the iconic Dorothy Hamill. What do I love about it? depends on the discipline. For the ladies, I love the costumes, music, artistry, and everything pretty. For men, the power, skill, and interpretation. For pairs, the power, relationship and storytelling. Ice dance, it's all about the costumes and story.

NOT: baking. I don't bake. Period.

GIRLY! shopping. I can make a dent in a budget when it comes to clothes shopping. As has been covered before, to counteract my tendency towards being a clotheshorse, I am quite the thrift and resale shopper. Some may think it's gross, but when you can get a pair of designer jeans that fit like a glove for 69 cents, you sew the button then do a load of wash.

NOT: Led Zeppelin. One of the most startling comments ever made to me in my courtship days was by an ex, who scornfully commented "Girls don't listen to Led Zeppelin. It's a little unladylike, don't you think?" I shoulda broke up with him then, but continued to date him through series of eye rolling commentary and observations best suited for the 1950s. Ramble on, Matt.

GIRLY! Spice Girls. There are some acts that fly in the face of the whole "Imma rocker!" ideal. Truth is, I grew up with a taste for light as air top 40. I don't think I miss a weekly countdown from the age of 7 through the age of 15. Even today, reclaiming my access to the VH1 video countdown, I feel all is right again with the world. As heavy and bluesy as Zep were, sometimes you need joyful jangles and catchy hooks coupled with a little girl power.  

And the spiders? Ugh, hate them, they are downright squeal-worthy, but you'd never find me dancing on top of a table demanding a man finish the job. That is when all that shoe shopping comes in handy.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Why Art Matters: Betty Rizzo

"Sounds like a drag."

I've never wanted to be an actress. The exception is the role of Betty Rizzo in the musical Grease.

The most iconic Riz was played with lustful zeal by Stockard Channing in the classic '78 movie adaptation. Although 33 at the time, Channing played Rizzo as a teenager on the verge of adulthood, a tough yet vulnerable mix of girl/woman who thinks she's more mature than she really is.

Channing shines in her two musical numbers, "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee," and "There Are Worse Things I Could Do." The first is played with juvenile absurdity and that come-hither sexiness. The other is gentle in its treatment of her vulnerability and private wounds.

Even though Olivia Newton-John was the star, Channing got the best wardrobe. Note the chic all-black number above - for school! The body-hugging red prom dress with the sequinned polka dots. Skinny jeans and her boyfriend's leather jacket. The man's shirt sleepwear. The button-downs with the tight skirts. Then for fun at the carnival, her fire engine and cotton candy palette. And a big shout-out from curly-girls everywhere, Stockard rocks the close-cropped 'do, I love it! (Thanks to the blog "Clothes on Film" for their in-depth analysis.)

Channing also delivers all Rizzo's lines with more meaning than intended, from sensual flirtation to acidic sarcasm and double entendres, all are delivered with tongue firmly in cheek. And I quote:

She looks to pure to be pink!

What's up, Kenick?

When told to bite the weenie: With relish.

I feel like a defective typewriter.

I've got so many hickies people will think I'm a leper.

Peachy keen, jellybean.

Eat your heart out.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December Playlist: 2012

Bruno Mars at '12 Grammys - channeling Elvis, again!

Let's flash forward 25 years to what's NEW in music. I mean, there's only so much 80s nostalgia you can stomach in one year, and I did a little too much of that with this year's playlists.

So what can I tell you about me and new music? I'm over Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, not that I was under them or even into them. My tastes are somewhere in between VH1, adult top 40, and indie WYCE. And when I'm listening to YCE, I don't know anymore if a song is brand-new or 15 years old. No, I'm not cool; not even sure if I was ever cool. Who gives a crap, my kid requested I put the Monkees on the other day when I was listening to some podcasts. At least it wasn't Disney.

Gimme All Your Love, Madonna - debuted at Superbowl with LMAFO, Nicki Minaj and some Brit chick who flashed her boob.

That's What Makes You Beautiful, One Direction - sunshine pop from a Brit boy band. Perfect summer song. Don't judge.

Settle Down, No Doubt - I feel a kinship with Gwen Stefani, as well as Nancy Kerrigan and J.Lo since we are all the same age. So it stands to reason that I would love a new effort from the resurrected band that made Just a Girl famous. Get-get-get!

Fifty Ways to Say Goodbye, Train - mariachi pop. Hilarious lyrics. Even more amusing video.

Call Me Maybe, Carly Rae Jepsen - more sunshine, with lyrics as innocent as innocent gets. Nothing more than hey, you're cute, and if you think I'm cute, give me a call.

Runaway Baby, Bruno Mars - Oh sweet little Bruno. I like thinking I saw him in Vegas years ago performing as Little Elvis. While he's never been a favorite, there isn't a song of his that has been released that I haven't liked. This one, however, I loved.

Somebody I Used to Know, Goyte - Earworm as high art, the video is just cool, as Goyte and Kimbra, singing in response, turn into an abstract painting. Both the video and the song turned into prime parody material, including the above. I think the song is STILL on the charts.

Rumor Has It, Adele - Driving and hypnotic bass, aggressive lyrics and sung by this year's pop queen.

Pound the Alarm, Nicki Minaj - and now the year's batshit crazy rap queen. Infectious anime Barbie pop by a rap artist. It's like an African American Hello Kitty doll at a Japanese-industrial rave. I'm too old to figure this crap out, I just enjoy dancing to it during WERQ class. Her exorcism at the Grammys was a serious WTF? moment.