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Friday, August 31, 2012

Is It Your Attitude Or Your Lifestyle

Over at Advanced Style we have Ari posting a soon to be released documentary about Iris Apfel.  The promo looks truly inspiring even though her lifestyle and mine are light years apart.  She claims style is all attitude, attitude, attitude and I agree.  But I would add ones lifestyle dictates how we dress even more than attitude.  She attends gala events and art exhibits in New York it appears on a regular basis.  It also seems she has a lifestyle of the rich and famous that few of us have.  Yet I agree with her message whole-heartedly that we each could come out of our shell and express ourselves even more than we do with the clothes we wear.  No matter what our lifestyle.
Google photo Iris Apfel 
 Now this looks like a million dollars but way too cumbersome for the way I work and my general activities.  I work in an environment where "anything goes" so I can have as much fun and creativity in my choices as I can come up with.   I like to take risks and it is fun to experiment with different looks.  The trick is looking elegant for the occasion.  Sitting at a computer on the phone does not speak to a wardrobe of clothing the same as the ladies who "lunch".  Taking five ballet classes a week  means when not at work I am going to and from the dance studio where  I only like to wear items I can throw in the washer and dryer.  When out and about on my own at the neighborhood library, the grocery store, shopping at the malls and boutiques I do not mind drawing attention to myself but I want it to be subtle.  A look that is noticeable but more like a pleasant scent than one that draws stares.
Google photo Iris Apfel  definitely not a part of my world

 In other words I think my "ATTITUDE" is fun loving and free,  romantic and flamboyant at times, but my lifestyle is more demure.  I know their are no rules and yet I wonder where my inner critique voice comes from?  I do not have someone in my past that I can identify as my teacher on how to dress. Do you know where your style comes from?  Where did you get your ideas about "good taste"?  Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Jackie O, seem to be a standard.  Is it from the movies and celebrities that speak to us about our own personal style?  Or is it simply a comfortable look that blends in with your environment?  Is it personality type or economics?  What is you attitude when getting dressed each day?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Deciding Not To Wear Eye Makeup

When going through my eating disorder over the years at one point I was extremely weak.  I could walk down the sidewalk of a 4 lane commercial street and the breeze from the cars going past made me feel it would blow me over.  Along the way on that journey I had also decided I did not need to wear make-up anymore.  I had started experimenting with makeup in the sixth grade and by now I was in my forties and slowly stopped.    I did not connect the dots until much later that it was all  part of a sign I was in trouble.  By the time I went for help I was told my kidneys had all but shut down due to my dieting. 

That was many years ago when my desire to be thin over powered my sensibilities and after endless trial and error I wised up to realize the number one priority was to find a way to feed myself to be healthy and then let the thinness evolve into itself.  Thankfully I found a way to have a diet that keeps me strong enough mentally and physically to pursue my ballet passion now and be a reasonable weight.  Of course in the ballet world one cannot be too thin.  As they say in the modelling world as well.  The lines are just either more elegant or just what we are conditioned to think are more beautiful who knows?
Google photo Linda Rodin
Yesterday as I was putting my makeup on before ballet class I decided not to wear mascara anymore.  Thinking maybe it is too harsh for my look and to just stop.  Then today I clicked on  the Advanced Style blog and found Linda Rodin a model who is 10 years younger than myself.  She says she does not wear eye makeup.  I thought aha, one can look nice without it.  But checking out her photos she ALWAYS wears glasses.
Google photo of Linda Rodin
  Since I never wear glasses of any kind ever I am now having second thoughts.  Tonight I have decided to wear tons of eye shadow and no mascara.  This makes me realize that I have way too much time to spend thinking about "nothing" and need to take a creative writing class.

Linda also said she thinks we should age naturally instead of looking like an old person with a face lift.  She has created her own face cream and she seems to have beautiful skin.  It is available for purchase.  It is supposed to have all natural ingredients but something has to be added to it for shelf life?    It seems to me if a serum or cream for wrinkles actually works then it would be the same as a drug where there is always a cause and effect.  When one problem is addressed it causes something else to be effected.  Does this make sense?

Has anyone tried Linda's oils sold at Barney's?  

Friday, August 24, 2012

What Does It Mean To Live Strong

Google photo 3 days ago

Is Lance Armstrong just a plain old chronic liar or what is going on?  Did he even have cancer and beat it at all odds to go on to win 7 Titles?   How much money is involved in all this?  Do the coaches really convince you the pills you are taking are meds not drugs?  Who teaches you all the ways there is to cheat the drug tests?  I know one has to be strong to not go along for the ride when investors want a super fast machine to sell to the Tour de France and decide you are it.

Easy for me to say now but there was something about Armstrong that I never liked when I would hear him being interviewed.  Do you know the feeling when someone just does not ring true?  But then I wondered if I was being shallow and just did not like his looks?  I do know his Live Strong wrist bands were worn 5 or more at a time on all the kids here and when my co-workers wanted to know diet tips or what energy drinks were the best went to the Live Strong website for help. 

So how he goes down in the history books no one knows yet.  It must be one of those things if you tell yourself something is not dope then it isn't and you can go on with your race, and your win, and your lies forever?  Self determination can bite you or be an inspiration each day.  Keeping greedy people away from you and not being greedy yourself I would think would be one meaning of how to live strong.  Easy for me to say when I am not the one being tested.

This week I took an Adult Ballet Intensive and Contemporary Jazz class for 3 hours a day. It was fun yet soooo challenging I had to seriously talk myself into going the distance.  Does anyone else take part in an activity that completely pushes you each day with no tangible improvement you can realize but you keep doing it anyway?  I asked my co-worker today if she ever does anything where she always feels like a"fish out of water" and she laughed saying, "No, not interested in that feeling, thank you."

I am testing a new height on my tripod for my camera to take photos.  This is the uniform I wear to dance class each day.  A white leotard, black tights, and white lounge pants, with any shoe I can slip on and off easily.  I have much to learn about taking pictures.  I don't think I would do anything if I waited until I knew what I was doing.

Monday, August 20, 2012

What To Do With A 76" x 38" Scarf

Over the years watching videos on how to tie a scarf I have never found a way that suits me.  Basically I just do not like anything around my neck so I just admire others in their scarves and leave it at that.  When one of my best friends showed up at the Mall in a scarf tied to wear as a vest and or a dress I HAD TO try it.  And I love it only it is NOT editorial.

Maybe it is because I take my own photos with a tripod, a small point and shoot Canon and know nothing about how to use lenses or lighting that has something to do with it as well.  Yet I hear two different sides to that story.  One is to get yourself a good camera and learn how to use it before you embarrass yourself posting pics.  The second story is it's not about the camera it s about getting experience taking photos.

My story is my outfits are not EDITORIAL!!  Do not judge by these pictures how this translates in real life.  If you have a scarf 76" x 38" or close to those dimensions and want to try it let me know.  I can easily email the instructions on how to tie it.  Believe me it is FUN!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Will Power-How To Get Some

It's Friday and 100 degrees.  I love the sun and enjoy hot temps.  I am such a baby when it gets cold and whine and complain willingly so when it is hot......I just smile and enjoy the ride knowing it passes within a day or two in this town.  I do not like air-conditioning so I wet a towel with cold water to wrap around my neck and I'm good.  It does seem to zap my energy but since I have  not had work and ballet classes are few in August my routine has just naturally slowed to enjoy the lazy days of summer while maintaining an exercise program that will keep my muscles from turning to mush.

Today I did get the call to come back to work next week which means I will have an income to pay for ballet classes and will return to my regular scheduled  programming.
These are my training wheels.  An old pair of soft shoes to wear at home to remind myself temporarily cutting back on training only exacerbates the problems when once again training seriously.  The ageing athlete needs consistency.  I do not see ballet dancers in class even close to my age and could be the dedication it takes just to get to class.  I recently read about the issue is not ageing so much as it is failing to adequately and appropriately change our life style and training regimen as we get older.  It is definitely a relationship that has to be tended to with love and will power.

Many people ask me why I spend so much time and energy not to mention dollars it takes for ballet classes?  Uh, because it's fun for me to challenge myself to improve at impossible odds.  A recent study about "will power" showed people who work on their posture improved control in all areas of their lives.  Because of my ballet training plus teaching yoga for 25 years I think working on my posture has improved my will power.  Yes if you could sell "will power" this would be the poster child.
Google photo Good Posture

Monday, August 13, 2012

What Is Style?

Starting week four with no work projects.  This is the longest I can remember going without work.  Each time I tell myself it is never worth the fret I put myself through  because everything always works out.  Yet each and every time it feels like a different situation.  Now once again my mind wants to go into worry mode even when I remind myself I am just making up stories.  Learning from past experiences is not helpful when one never knows anything for sure!!!

This absolutely exquisite yet apprehensive summer time vacation allows me to work on myself.  Just watching my thoughts is a huge learning experience.  Last night I started reading, "All We Know" by Lisa Cohen.  "What is style" is a question she asks Marguerite Young an American author.

Google photo Marguerite Young 1908 - 1995

She replied:  Style is "thinking".  A riddle of unconscious excitement and conscious choices style is a way to fascinate oneself and others ----and to transform oneself and the world.

 Style is an attempt to make the ordinary and the tragic moments bearable.

Style is a didactic impulse that aspires to banish doubt, a form of certainty about everything illusive and uncertain.  Style is at once fleeting and lasting and it has everything to do with excess---even when its excesses are those of austerity or self-denial. It tells all kinds of stories about the public and the private life.
 As a form of pleasure for oneself and an audience-----and an expression of the wish to exceed and confound expectations to be exceptional. Style is a response to the terror of invisibility and isolation----a wish for inclusion.

Above all style is a productive act that although it concerns itself with the creations and experiences of brilliant surfaces is powerful because it unsettles what we think we know about the superficial and the profound.
I can relate perfectly with all Marguerite Young had to say about style.  For me I would say it is about "feeling".  As soon as I look in the mirror I can feel if it is what I want to say at the time.  I would love to hear any and all thoughts you have about style.  Do you think it speaks louder than words? 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


"We're going to be positive, positive, positive".  That is a line from one of my favorite movies about relationships called "Knocked Up".  She admits she had to drink 3 Red Bulls to feel that way but I have only had to drink 1 can of Starbucks Double Shot.    This is my third week of not having any work with none in sight meaning no income.

Don't even try calling for Unemployment.  I used to be able to process a claim online but now no matter what option I choose and there is about 7 of them I get to a screen that tells me I have to contact my UE claims representative.  When I call the number it takes me through a no less than 5 minute recording about various UE issues and then......and only then says. "Due to a high volume of calls you may want to call back later."  I venture to say that recording stays on 24/7.  If you do not hang up the recording takes you through a series of so many questions that needs me to key in a number on my little digi cell phone that if the number does not register it says, "call ended" and you have to start the whole process all over again.  Yes this fun loving, look on the bright side, be positive ME turns into a livid raving maniac!!!!!  I decided to go to the UE office.  There is none.  All is done online or over the phone.

Back to being unpaid vacation is glorious.  I am basking in the sun,  reading in the shade, walking walking, walking, and taking some ballet classes.  All of my favorite things.  I just finished reading "Encounters: a memoir"by Dorothy Norman.
I enjoy her style of writing because it is personal and did not seem contrived.  I learned a great deal about history, art, and all of her many famous encounters in the 1930's, 40's and 50's.  Turn on the news today and CNN is discussing the exact same issues in the exact same way as they were back then during the Great Depression.  Different era.....same party's, same discourse.

Back to positive.....A gentleman approached me in the grocery store the other day, and introduced himself.   I remembered a part I had read in this book.  "Whatever fills you with delight, or wonder, or love, or awe is wonderful.  The event that counts,  a person, a bird, a flower,  produces a wonderful response and when it happens it is good in a way that needs no explaining."

Thursday, August 2, 2012

When You've Got It Flaunt It

My favorite thing is not going to museums or arts and crafts fairs.  I would much rather see the artist in the act of creation.  No matter if your element is sculpture in wood or metal or glass, make quilts, paint in oils, I am fascinated in watching how you go about the process.

So you can imagine my favorite television show of all time is Project Runway.  Already my favorites for this season are Ven and Dmitry.  I am in awe of everyone who competes on that show.   And Tim Gunn is perfect in his role of mentor.  He tells one of the contestants "Get into a nice calm zone and work work work work."  That would be good advice for all of us when we have to do some house cleaning or any chore that we keep putting off.

One of my ballet friends needs to audition for PR. She showed me pictures of a dress she made for a Circus theme party all out of popcorn bags.
Cmon'......anyone who can make an outfit out of these has to at least try out for the show.

One of the highlights is when the contestants show what they have created and Heidi exclaims, "I would totally wear that!!!"  It always brings to mind how many times she has appeared on Fashion Police and not in a good way.
Why do I think if I had all the money in the world and access to choose any outfit I wanted I would never get it wrong!!  And yes, I also like contestants who are full of themselves too!  GO VEN!!!!  GO DMITRY!!!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Image Matters

On my way home from my Wednesday morning walk I pass by a news stand.  USA Today had a photo of Michael Phelps with a huge caption that read "THE GREATEST".
Google photo Michael Phelps
Okay........I guess.  After losing one event, not even qualifying for another one, losing a third,  finally his team mates give him a win and a medal.  Technically the greatest but actually the most decorated.  I don't know why just does not impress me much.

Watching the Olympics is much better than watching our Presidential race. In this era of mega media image is everything.  It seems people are in search of a father figure to help them cling to their cell phones and credit cards so the stylists have Romney all decked out to look like Father Knows Best.
Google photo Father Knows Best

Google photo Governor Romney
"I'm gonna' fix the economy", he says from the scripts written for him.  He does look like the fictionary daddy we grew up with on TV.  It could work.

Then we have President Obama that looks more like "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?"  He is called a rock star and he is much more like the  leading man who gets the girl rather than the stodgy old father figure.
Google photo President Obama
Speaking of THE GREATEST.  It is no secret who gets my vote.  Today I am celebrating another day of vacation with the sun on my toes, ballet class tonight and wonder if there is somewhere I should volunteer my services?  Maybe I will quietly focus on hoping we don't go back to the 1950's.  Seriously!!!
Google photos 1950