Archive for September, 2013

“40 is the new 30″  I think I read or saw that somewhere.  Maybe Jennifer Anniston said it on the cover of Fabulously Forty. In that case, 40 through 70 is the new 30 if you LIVE IN HOLLYWOOD.  No disrespect to any celebrity that works hard to maintain a youthful glow – I totally get the yearning to have clearer, softer younger skin and not having to actually search for my lip line when applying the latest shintastic glam-slam-dunkalicous goo to my lips.

Just the other day I was rattled out of a semi 1/2 conscious afternoon moment when some dazzling looking 50 year old was screaming, I mean singing “YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE”.   I was like, “what in the Oz great road of bricks is this all about”.   It was a commercial for life lift, a semi-surgicial procedure in which you get a face lift, but you don’t look like you got a face-lift. You know, very similar to going to get your hair highlighted or low lighted or blown out with chemicals but not so much actually  looking like you spent 6500 hours in the salon chair till your ‘tookus’ went numb all so you can get that naturally “30” looking look.  Beyond that, I’m not 100% sure what the point of screaming this song at the top of her lungs was all about and now I mute or change the channel, because quite frankly the commercial just depresses the heck out of me.

I apologize for my lack of inclusion to the twenty year old population and male gender.  Let’s face it, in your twenties, you aint’ worried about nothing and if you are a man, getting older just means looking more distinguished and they actually sell “salt and pepper” HAIR COLORING???  to get the “mature” look. I warned the twenty year olds already and I do not have a lot of sympathy for the aging male considering their metabolism doesn’t do a kamikaze  dive bomb and they cut out “cheese-itz and beer” and lose 15 lbs in a week.  I have no sympathy for their plight :)

Let’s be clear on what really happens as we venture in to this twilight era of our life.  The half-quarter-way-new-kinda-sorta-mid life crisis, depending upon whatever life expectancy is these days .  Things do not just start to fade, lose gravity, become sallow, less bendier, more crackly – they sprint.   Here’s my all time favorite, you start growing more hair on areas like your chin, your feet  and the hair you currently have on your head or legs becomes coarser and more brittle.  Really?  Is God so much of a comedian that he thinks this is funny?    I remember near my thirtieth birthday it had already started because I was driving my car and my dearest friend grabbed at my chin and said GOT IT.  I was like ” What in the rabbit’s hole of Alice’s wonderland are you doing?” She said “You had a long, dark, curly, straggly, crackly hair coming out of your chin.”   So whatever hormone that pulses through our womanly veins had started to pillage into mine at this young age.

Do you really want to know why I am writing this article, blog, vlog, or clog of words or whatever hipster terminology is out therefor randomly sharing my thoughts with the world via the internet. (OMG OH EM GEE, I sound like a forty year old).   Do you know how or why I got the idea to write about this?  I had just finished inhaling my lunch (another phenomenon that happens with age, my table manners have got down that rabbit hole with alice)…Anyways,   I often go into the parlor after lunch to read. Ok no, I don’t really do that.  I went into the “parlor” or the front room, which I utilize because it has amazing light, no not to read, I would rather squint in the dark to do that activity.  – I go into this room, to pluck my eyebrows.  Yes I use this God-given  natural light to ensure I get every last one of those hairs to create the Victoria’s Secret model arch on my brow.

Okay, again, I stretch the truth.  I  occasionally get my brows waxed, and I KNOW these ladies are smirking and talking about me in hushed tones in the back corridor. They come back with their long strip of wax dripping in their gloved hands as I squirm and reel back a little knowing the pain about to be inflicted on my amazing arch and tell me directly  that I really, truly need to stop  plucking my own eyebrows.

I cannot tell a lie, the other reason I use that room is to pluck the dark hairs that appear on my feet the morning of my fortieth birthday.  I’m not getting my feet waxed. Yes, Ill share the fact that I have man-feet with the world, but I will not allow wax to be applied to my varicose “veiny” , bony feet.  Oh yes, that’s another fantastic phenomenon that comes with age.   A more translucent , Robert Pattin son-eque skin tone, that allows the bubbly , inflamed vein of our yesteryear to debut it’s vampire-ish elegance.

And I shall end with the notion that every time you told yourself as a teen or a twenty year old “Hey it’s okay if I lie out today without any sunscreen” or “hey , it’s after 2:00, baby oil should be a safe barrier from the sun”.     You will be happily welcome what I call “oh great I have freckles now, and they aren’t cute like the girl in the Gap commercial”. They don’t cascade around your nose into cheeks and give you that  Emma Stone  adorableness. (seriously could she be any more adorable..) They are a misshapen-pea to Lima-bean shaped in size and they are the color of what you can imagine to be called “drab-khaki” in a paint store. Oh and what’s really great, if they become raised or “crusty”, you have to get them laser-ed or aqua-net freeze-dried off and biopsied at the dermatologist office for cancer! Yipee!! So fun! I have had that done a few times and it’s like a manicure ON YOUR FACE.   It’s different for everyone, depending upon their skin tone, but whatever skin-tone or color you don’t want, that’s the color of the sunspot you will have for every. time. you. “forgot” sunscreen.

If you were twenty, and you read this. I warned you.

We live in a world of polarizing extremes.   I recently got rid of a book I purchased a few years ago, titled ” So and So’s method to a flat stomach” I don’t know why I even purchased the book, lets just say it was an impulse buy during a massive outbreak of PMM- Pre-menstrual-mania. I’m sure I even purchased the book at some super cute Starbucks-BarnesNobility along with a frosted orange-cranberry -scone (my favorite treat , in case you were wondering what to bring me as a baked-good surprise.  )

I’m not immune to the strobe-light eye-bulging-pings of pictures of muscled up models , with their fashionably tousled,  frazzled hair and looks of  undeniable pain and beautiful desperation in their face with quotes such as “If you do not look like me while you are working out, then you should go eat that orange-cranberry -frosted scone while you sob in the corner for not pushing yourself this morning, you lazy , sad person”  Yes, I’m being facetious with my quote; however, unless you live in a hole, you have seen something of this sort somewhere in a magazine, in social media or at the nail salon while buffing up your nails.

I have been down the exercise-lunatic road-  secretly running at 3 am in Boston Massachusetts, ironically “hiding” my completely obvious obsessive compulsive-exercise disorder in the depth of the pre-Team Jacob  hour, praying that no-one would notice my mania.  I would- pretend I was “just taking out the trash” when I came back dripping wet, limping from overused tendons and shaking from hunger in my “running clothes.”  I have had to ceremoniously burn all my fitness fanatic magazines as a form of therapy to rid myself of the demons to have what I thought might have been the perfect figure because I imagined that punishing myself for eating would bring me peace, content and eternal happiness.

I really do not know many women (and some men) who struggle with their body size, image & food intake,  etc on a daily basis. Lest, here I am again , teaching fitness , joining a run club and blogging about what continues to creep into my mind , yes sometimes on a daily basis  Am I dancing with the flame that burnt me to the ground twenty years ago? Should I teach Dance as fitness? (which I came to the conclusion after a few classes that , no , this might not be my skill set , as Carlton Banks tried to sue me for stealing his patented moves)  I have also listed other questions that pop up in my mind and minds of others due to the insidious ADHD’ness of the fitness-fanatic posts..

“Am I working out enough? Am I eating too many carbs?  Am I eating enough carbs? Are carbs and grains really that bad for you?  Seriously now fruit has too much sugar in it??  Am I doing the right exercises? Should I be lifting weights more because strong is the new sexy which is the new skinny which, inevitably the people lifting still look pretty darn skinny so that’s just totally confusing and overwhelming? Should I try to lose 5lbs because someone asked me to be in their challenge group to “get fitter?”   STOP!!!

I want to inspire and motivate people to be and live a healthy lifestyle; yet not let it consume them in a negative self-centered, controlling manner.  I haven’t figured out the best means to carry out this message, but I am learning slowly that standing up for the us “middle-grounders” is a good place to start.  You can be healthy, run, exercise, walk, jog, crawl, teach, box, tae-bo, turbo, ski , jump, hop , bungy jump , swim, zumba, dance, frog jump, play red-light , green light or what have you  and ENJOY IT!  I guess I just feel like health& fitness on social media sends the message that inevitably frightens people the most that really need a reason and an authentic, stimulating catalyst to get up and start appreciating exercise as a part of their life that’s flippin’ fun! not agony!!!!

As I am trying to put into my own words, I’ll lean on the very media that sometime pushes the negative voices in ourselves to an advertisement that literally makes me want to cry because I’m so in love with the message.  I’m referring to the Special K advertisement currently on tv. (google it!).  In a nutshell it’s a variety of beautiful women, all different shapes and sizes, trying on “size-less’ jeans ,with words of inspiration as tag instead of “size x, y or z”.  This advertisement is such a breath of fresh air betwixt the other messages of “do or die to get to a size” .

The inspiration for this blog was my post on Facebook today “What do you think of the popular fitness/health Facebook post “Abs are made in the kitchen”.    Here is a quick summary on how I feel about this post:

  • Being healthy & exercise is more about how I feel than looks. Yes- I want to feel confident about myself- but quilting my way out of something enjoyable to have ripped-up abs- is just not my cup of Joe- Plus Cups of Joe should be starting in the kitchen..For me, it about feeling peaceful & healthy and intuition and moderation play and major role in my decision making when it comes to eating. I do not measure, count calories or weight myself.  (ok, occasionally I step on the scale, but I really try to avoid at all costs)  I am not saying that people who want to lose weight – should follow my protocol, I’m just saying that if I’m not listening to my body in terms of what I feel like I need to eat , and stop when I am full and I’m going by a calorie counter- I end up feeling deprived, restricted and angry.  
  • Please let it be noted, I’m not disrespecting anyone who uses these methods to stay healthy, I think that’s awesome! I’m a HUGE HUGE fan of weight watchers and my fitness pal.c om because it does encourage moderation and nothing is “off limits, I’m simply referring to how my brain works and hoping to inspire people to think about a variety of ways to be healthy, lose weight, gain muscle – etc!

In closing, Do not let your self worth be determined by number on a scale, jean size at  Jones, or a flat stomach flapping in magazine in front of you.    Ok, I wanted my blog to have more of a humorous slant, but for me this is a serious subject too because of the fact that anorexia and obesity are one of the same disease. They are eating disorders, and both should be treated as such. Do you know that when I was anorexic, my therapist made me go to Over-eaters Anonymous?  What the frack?  Well, what I realized is that OA, is not just about – overeating!, it’s about using food to control your emotions!!!  Therefore, my message to anyone that may be struggling with eating and health,  if you feel like you have a serious problem- there is help, and getting control of the emotional aspect of literally “what’s eating away at you”, is the first step in freeing yourself from emotions that bind you into using food/exercise (lack of /overuse) I will list a few hotlines, links below.  Thanks so much for reading! I hope i have inspired or helped at least one person to take the step for a health life , that is not driven by a jean size or a scale number.

http://www.oa.org/

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/

http://www.recoverymonth.gov/

I tape 106 & Park to create my playlists for running or jamming in my car. (When I say jammin, yes I’m the crazy suburban mom, practicing the Dougie at the stop light). While I am unable to watch every single episode, I can not tell a lie, I’m absolutely fascinated with hip hop culture, music and straight-up bootie music.  Sadly, I have never been blessed with much of a bootie – as Sir Mix a lot once referred to ” flat butts are the scene”  – I think maybe he had my bootie in mind.  However, I have worked on increasing the capacity for my bootie to possibly contend with the junior booties showcased in possibly the blurry, smoke-filled background of a hip hop video, due to some running, lunging – and yes, maybe an occasional practice “pop lock and drop it” in the mirror…

Look, right now, my favorite jam is “Headband” by a variety of artists (B.O.B and 2chainz, yes that’s with a z.) who showcase the beauty of a bootie. There is nothing deep or emotionally moving about this song. It won’t “inspire you like the lights of NYC” or make your eyes well up with tears.   It just makes me want to get up and practice what I’m genetically inclined to not be able to do..”bootie-poppin in a headstand” . Seriously dawg,  if I tried this gymnastically inspired “urbanassticastic” move (yes I made up a word), I would most definitely , end up at the local “doc in the box”for head trauma.   Maybe I’m just green with old fashioned jealousy that no one has shown their adoration for the convenience of being able to set a cognac “back der”.

I did not grow up in the city, or next to LL Cool J.  Yes my family did a stint in Cleveland Ohio, but that does not count.  My formative years were spent on a farm  in Maine.  My sister did listen to a ton of Run DMC and I wrote out every single word to “Five minutes of Funk” by Whodini for a 2nd grade poetry assignment in which we where charged with the task of writing   out the words to our favorite poem.   I do not have any musicians in my family. My brother was obsessed with Led Zepplin and most of my friends at school had Bon Jovi posters plastered on every wall of their bedroom. Now, don’t get me wrong, Bon Jovi did make some great hits and I know all about Tommy and Gina and yes, I have been know to howl out “Tommy used to work on the docks  …” at many a traffic light as well.

Maybe it comes for my Dad’s indelible love for the Blues. So much in fact, he played the trumpet to a number of tunes by BB King, Louie Armstrong , even Muddy Waters – who I do not believe, even owned a trumpet.  These Trumpet paying solos occurred in the driveway, with a old fashioned vinyl record player plugged into an outlet in our barn.  Usually at twilight, in the summer,  rolling my eyes incessantly begging Spock to tele-transport  me to the mall.  Fast forward 15 years from these torturous “dadbarrassments” (yes, another made up word), and I’m jamming out with BB King and Lucille…

Sometimes “bootie music/hip hop/ rap  gets a bad ‘rap’ (haha)  because it can be degrading to women, or it celebrates violence and a lot of hip hop uses the a highly controversial and overuses a derogatory word that Oprah has openly criticized rap music for utilizing way too much.   I do not like that part either. I try to download the cleanest versions I can find and do my best to not have it fill my ears.  However, that’s not a battle or topic I really want to dig into at this moment, but I did want to touch on it as I’m sure there will people that will be critical of this blog – for that reason, and I respect the criticism ahead of time.  

I do not know the ins and outs of all hip hop. I’m by no means an expert on the subject.  I do know this. The majority of the songs I listen to have a message (majority, I say!!, no, “Headband” doesn’t necessarily have the strongest of all messages). 

If you are a so-called critic of all Hip-Hop/bootie music etc, and you think it’s all degrading and violent. I challenge you to listen to Tupac’s “Changes” or Common’s “Announcement” or Eminem’s “I’m Not Afraid”.  

Let’s take Tupac’s Changes for one minute.  Every time I Listen to that song, I literally get chills.   This man was before his time.    Take a look at this verse  :

All I see is racist faces.
Misplaced hate makes disgrace to races we under.
I wonder what it takes to make this one better place…
let’s erase the wasted.

And although it seems heaven sent,
we ain’t ready to see a black President, uhh.
It ain’t a secret don’t conceal the fact.

Can’t a brother get a little peace?
There’s war on the streets and the war in the Middle East.
Instead of war on poverty,
they got a war on drugs so the police can bother me.
And I ain’t never did a crime I ain’t have to do.
But now I’m back with the facts givin’ ‘em back to you.

I think he words speak for themselves without any translation on my part.

Enough of the deep thoughts by Laurie Jane.  For the most part, I like hip hop music because it moves me. If the beat is deep & strong and the lyrics are fun ( or moving) – I want to move.  It makes me want to be an active person,  it makes me feel soulful, young and alive, and yes, at times it makes me want to tackle the courageous feat of “bootie poppin in a head stand”

 

Seriously, let’s talk Writers Block.  No, I really should call it “developing my creativity”.  The last post in this blog was a year ago, because the more time goes by the more I tell myself the worse it is because the longer I waited so why not wait longer to develop myself more creatively because I’m developing my brain in some sort of creative boot camp. A friend in college referred to my insane way of thinking and writing as my “stream of consciousness” writing and thinking. Nowadays, experts call this ADD.   No matter what it’s called, the way my brain operates is far from the norm.

I have flickers of inspiration throughout the day. everyday In the car.  In traffic. As I fall asleep. In the bathroom (don’t even try to deny that if you have family of any sort, this becomes a hiding place for your thoughts).  I have even written entire stories in my head as I have fallen asleep and I kick myself to this very day I didn’t harness my  Jerry Mcquire moment and write them down in spastic Tom Cruise fashion.   I try to jot down my thoughts on my ‘note pad in my phone’, or on the beautiful collection of sticky  notes I have amassed throughout the years, and alas, through social media. My tweets, Facebook posts and instagram revelations have been in part, the surge of my creativity.  My English Professors are going to cringe in horror at this next statment.  I told myself that this past year of twittering to the world was suffiiently filling the “Write for at least 2 hours a day To Do item” that  would pop on on my reminders every. single . morning.  Oh, it gets better. This “to do item” , changed throughout the year.  It changed to “OMG LAURIE WILL YOU WRITE” to “HEY YOU< WRITE OR DIE PLAYAH” to several other, eye catching blurbs that I inevitably would hit “snooze” or “re-remind” or whatever other fantastic button Steve Jobs allows us to organize and reorganize our life through apps & such.

Another piece of advice that one of my dearest friends have giving me about writing is, “KEEP IT SIMPLE LJ.  People Be busy. ”  I’m long winded.  If you have ever received a text from me, I’m sure you have rolled your eyes and sighed deeply as you pulled your reading glasses out of the drawer… or maybe you jumped for joy because you got a free novel text-ed to you and  counted it as “escape to the bathroom to read” time.  I  love to write. SO alas, I haven’t written in my blog this last year, many of you have been recipients of long long emails bordering on the line of Freudian in nature, ridiculous texts that were so long they vibrated your phone  off the dash board in your car, or my occasional hand-written letter that was so illegible you  asked your Doctor if 1) he/she could translate and 2)  Should she be tested?

Procrastination

Posted: September 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

Procrastination.