Tag Archives: friends/family

A Brothers’ Diptych

Right before Xmas this past year, the bee came up with a great gift idea for his mom. The previous year he had given her, along with his 3 older brothers, a framed copy of a photograph taken of the boys sometime around 1984. In the picture, all the brothers at that time (the youngest wouldn’t turn up until 1991) posed for a picture in front of the fireplace in the family’s living room.

As with most kids, it’s usually a chore to get them to sit still for a minute, let alone the time needed to organize a proper photo but his mom managed to get a group shot where at least half of them are actually looking at the camera. Two outta four ain’t bad, right?

So this past holiday season, bee decided it might be cool to recreate the scene, some 26 years later, in much the same fashion. The original fireplace was unavailable since they had moved from that house in the early 90’s but we were lucky enough to find a suitable replacement to hold the photo shoot.

With myself behind the camera and some 80 or so shutter clicks later, I was pretty sure we had found a great match-up to the original. The framing and tone of the second picture doesn’t perfectly mimic the original but I think, as a collective effort, we did pretty darn good.

top photo: circa 1984, bottom photo: December 2010

A lot can change in a quarter century but I find it quite refreshing that a lot manages to stay so much the same.

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Filed under (me), projects, the bee

These pictures would be great if they weren’t so terrible…

Make sure you spare no expense when purchasing otherwise inexpensive yet generally dependable disposable cameras for YOUR informal post-wedding celebratory event.

Otherwise your photos might end up like this*:

ah, yes... it looks like there could be a table there, and wait! some people AT that table, but for the most part... just blackness.

oh, and look... here's a charming shot of the bride and groom about to kiss! oh, wait maybe not. i mainly just see cupcakes.

oh, my. just... *wow*. this is a great one. this photo brings us just *this* much closer to solid proof that (due to unknown causes) a body CAN separate from it head, causing spontaneous floating head-itis**... specifically during informal post-wedding celebratory events.

**spontaneous floating head-itis can also cause momentary facial blurring which can be very useful if you plan on commiting any major crimes and wish to evade security cams or police survelliance.

 

and finally…

the very best and worst? photo of the bunch:
at least it had some color…

*it also helps to have significant sunlight. or some other kind of light. just light. in general.

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Free Stuff! Giveaways! RAH-RAH-RAH!!!

You may remember a few months back when I showed off an adorable crocheted clutch made by my dear friend Kate who has a fabulous Etsy store. Now she has an equally awesome Art Fire store where she sells many more of her handmade creations and she’s having a GIVE-AWAY!!!

Do you KNOW what that means?

Well, it means that all you have to do is head over here and leave a comment and that will put you that much closer to winning this crafty crochet chain link headband:

And what’s better than free stuff?!

Nothing.

Except getting paid to do nothing which I’m finding is a really difficult industry to break into…

So hurry on over and leave a comment! Drawing ends January 31st.

YAY!

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Filed under just a thought...

On Books And Their Covers

The other day a friend of mine sent me a text saying she had been reading my blog and enjoying it. She mentioned, in particular, the post I did recently which featured my passport photo taken in highschool. Since she attended the same trip the photo was taken for she remarked that it reminded her of when we first became good friends, which made me smile.

Then she said that before we were friends she always thought that I thought I was “too cool for school”. This also made me smile, just not for the same reason.

I told her that I was pretty sure she was right about that. The more I thought about it the more I started to understand the purpose behind my chilly exterior of long ago. Then I realized that I probably still carried around that same demeanor depending on the situation which meant I couldn’t really blame it on the foolishness of youth.

***

When I started my freshman year of highschool I had absolutely no friends. ZERO. I went from a public junior high where I had my safe little group of like-minded comrades to a Catholic prep school where 90% of the kids got a brand new car on their 17th birthday and where I had to muster up all the strength within me not to self-destruct when my mom would pick me up in her white ’89 Ford Bronco ala O.J. Simpson.

I was going through a very rebellious stage of my life. Within the year I had gone from being an only child, to a full-time sister/babysitter. My close-knit circle of friends and extracurricular activities became distant memories of a life that I once knew but had a hard time grasping onto now. I went from being a comfortable and somewhat well-adjusted youth to a melancholy shadow of my former self, thrust into a world of the torturous unknown.

I spent the first few months of school avoiding people, which meant steering clear of the cafeteria altogether. Instead I opted to spend lunch and any and all free periods I had in the library. Alone. In a corner. Reading something, ANYthing so as not to die of embarrassment for being the lamest of all the lame loser’s in all the land. I was embarrassed at how badly my life had spun out of control and there was very little in the way of safety or familiarity in anything to give me comfort.

I ended up becoming friends with a girl who I had spent most of junior high despising. I’m pretty sure the feeling was mutual though neither of us ever had the nerve to bring that up. We found solace in our outsider status and chose instead of being miserable alone to do it as a team. Together we smoked & drank and convinced ourselves that it was everyone ELSE who had the problem. That THEY were missing out for not knowing how cool WE were.

At the end of my freshman year, I was really no better off than I had been at the beginning. The one friend I made, moved away at the end of the school year when her dad got transferred. In retrospect it was the best thing that could have happened. Ours was the Paris Hilton/Nicole Richie (circa 2003) of friendships; less about being good friends than not wanting to admit how alone and desperate we would appear without the other.

The summer before sophomore year I turned over a new leaf.  I decided it was much less important to be aloof and unreachable and decided to make these changes on both the inside and out. I bleached my hair as blonde as it would let me and chose not to concern myself with the prospect of having or NOT having friends. This new attitude suited me very well and it didn’t take long before those who barely acknowledged my existence prior, started to actually pay me mind.

Although my outlook on life (and hair) had brightened a bit I really wasn’t any different from the person I had been before. I still refused to buy into the typical highschool bullshit; kissing the asses of some and snubbing others just because. It didn’t feel right and I knew my new-found “popularity” (in quotes because I was really by no means popular, just less wildly unpopular than I had been before) had little to do with anything but outward appearances so I continued to tread warily around those I hadn’t fully sussed out.

There is no doubt, due to this type of behavior, that I might have come across as a little rough around the edges initially. In fact, another friend of mine confided that before we became friends how she thought I looked as though I had “throwing knives for eyes” when we would pass each other in the hallway. Not entirely sure I know what that means but I’m thinking it’s not good. My personae became my bullet proof glass and the only way I knew to protect myself from the firing range of viciousness and cruelty that was a highschool hallway. Or gymnasium. Or cafeteria. Or parking lot.

Nowhere was safe.

***

I still feel like that.

A lot.

Not as much as I did as an angst-ridden teen but most days I still find it hard to locate a place where I “fit”. I’m a homebody for good reason: it’s safe there. Home offers me comfort and solitude and it’s filled to the brim with the things that I love. Nothing at home makes baseless judgements about me or ridicules me behind my back for the way I talk or dress or think. My home welcomes me back inside everyday even when I leave it behind for hours or days at a time.

Home is the one place where I can put away the pretense, the mask, the look of indifference and just be me and whole again.

Whoever that is.

It’s not anyone’s fault but my own that I’ve been categorized as a bitch or mean or a loner at one time or another. There is a time and a place where all those monikers ring true. I’d like to think of myself as multi-faceted but if I do that probably means some of those facets are going to be less than desirable. Those who had the nerve to tell me how they perceived me are my friends for a reason. They saw a glimmering crack in my exterior and instead of kicking me aside they chipped away to find something unexpected, something they liked.

To those who did, I thank  you. I’d REALLY be a friendless loser if you hadn’t.

And to those who still read this blog despite the questionable content and lapses in comedic judgement, I thank you too.

Y’all are awesome and A-OK

in my book.

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The Quest for Perfection Only Leads to Despair

Growing up I longed to have green eyes like my grandmother. I thought by having green eyes I’d be just that much better: prettier, confident, more likeable. It’s not like I had a PROBLEM with brown eyes in general, just the fact that I had to have them. I wanted to be different and unordinary and in my immediate family filled with eyes of brown, their presence became my oppressor.  

In the 8th grade I wore a pair of disposable purple contacts for almost the entire school year. I wore them long after their life-span until they were yellowed and itchy. (There’s a really good reason they’re labeled as disposable.) I didn’t care though. I suffered through it because I wanted to be just that much closer to my idea of personal perfection.  

It was also around this time that I bought my first straightening iron. With that discovery I was taking great strides toward finding my “best” self. One without kinky-frizzy hair overtaking my head and face. Now I had the sleek and smooth strands that it seemed all the rest of the world had without struggle.  

i was making "sexy-face" in this picture which is WAY more embarrassment than i'm ready to deal with just yet...

I soon learned that all these methods of “improvement” were really just a means of trickery to hide my own self-loathing. For the moment I would feel better about myself because it was like I had duped mother nature: “Haha, bitch. Look at me now! I’m AWESOME! No thanks to you… ”  

living the lie

But contacts must come out at night (unless you want to peel them off your eyeballs the next morning) and at the slightest hint of humidity, even the most fastidiously flattened hair will curl when confronted with moisture. It’s physics. Or something…  

After years of fighting my ocular pigmentation and follicular genetics I decided to toss the lenses once and for all and chop off my hair. I no longer had to worry about spending hours on my tresses or what might happen to it if exposed to certain elements. Extra hold hairspray and Bed Head wax were my good friends and little, if anything, could permeate my super coif…  

giving the camera my best "jerk-face" and Ronald McDonald a run for his money

It wasn’t too long before I began to miss my long hair and all the hassle it had once caused me. Talk about indecisiveness. I just couldn’t figure out what it was that would make me happy with the way I looked. If it wasn’t my hair bothering me then it was my jiggly thighs, chunky arms, convex belly, excessive body hair, et al.  

I began to realize that something had to give. Since I was kind of stuck with my physical attributes no matter how much it des-troyed me to accept, it became clear that something had to be me. I had to start being happy with what I did have and not focus so much on the flaws.   

Isn’t it less plausible that “perfect” people are not without flaw themselves but rather that they refuse to let it ruin them? Food for thought…  

I know I’m not covering ground-breaking content by saying all this. I think most sane/living people have this revelation at one point or another otherwise they end up insane/dead. Since I’m not all that keen on joining the latter just yet, it became clear that I had to start thinking highly of myself* otherwise I couldn’t expect anyone else to.  

I mention all this because for most of my adulthood my “career” has existed in complete opposition with this theory.  

Instead of looking for change inside of myself I kept expecting each of my jobs to hold the answers to my professional pursuits. I never had a good idea of what it was I wanted to do when I “grew up”. I figured with enough time and effort put forth I could shape my job(s) into something that would last the test of time, make me happy and secure. Clearly, this never happened.  

I have never had a job that I wanted. I have only had work that I needed. For the last 5 years I have had 3 jobs all of which I have taken on out of sheer desperation. The need for money has always been the determining factor in seeking employment; my personal needs from a job have always taken a back burner because of this.  

It’s not that I think my story is all that different or all that much worse than anybody elses out there. We have all hated our jobs at one point or another. We have all faced workplace injustices and convinced ourselves that we deserve better than (because in my experience we usually do) what our jobs can offer us.  

The difference is this: I’m not playing second fiddle in my life anymore.  

When I started at my current job, 3 years ago, I was definitely bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I was eager to please and willing to take on ANYTHING that was up for grabs. It was never a means to be a show-off or better than anyone but to prove, mainly to myself, that I was a hard-working, fast-learner who would rather be busy at work than twiddling my thumbs, clockwatching and praying for day’s end.  

I won’t bore you with the specifics now since I’ve gone into quite elaborate detail about both my rise and fall from grace at work before. I will, however, say this: There was a time when I thought I could make my current job work for me. I envisioned an almost perfect future for myself and my family given the opportunities this job could afford me. I considered myself lucky for having a job that some people work towards and look forward to having their whole life.  

It didn’t take long for me to realize that my quest for “perfection” in a career path I hadn’t really wanted was only leading me to despair. I needed to be happy and if I couldn’t feel that way with what I was doing then I had to be the one to make the change because lord knows the job wasn’t going to just start getting better. I had to learn to accept imperfection from both life AND myself.  

It certainly hasn’t been easy but I’m not about to give up.  

It’s been incredibly hard for the über practical person I am to commit to taking such a risk. To embark upon a chapter full of the unknown has left me riddled with questions in search of answers:  

Q: What if I quit my job and then CAN’T just CANNOT find another job and I have to shuffle back with my tail between my legs begging for employment?  

A: That’s not going to happen because the fact of the matter is that job is NOT right for me. I’ve done my time there, worked my butt off and if it comes down to absolutely needing money I WILL find another job; full-time/part-time/whatever it takes. Even if it means I must take a considerable pay cut, as long as I am happily living in the moment and satisfied by my way of life then that’s all that matters.  

Q: What if I find myself completely unable to handle the prospects of self-employment/entrepreneurship and all the hardships/inconsistencies that are involved?  

A: Then I get myself another crappy corporate job somewhere else and hope it’s not as bad as the place I left behind except I can’t imagine ever being that desperate because I’d rather have sold off all my personal property and/or sell oranges by the freeway than go back to cube-hell. (15 internet points if you can correctly identify the origins of the probably imprecise, definitely pilfered orange quotes!!!)  

Q: What if I realize I’ve made a terrible mistake and the 9-5 corporate life really is for me?  

A: Not gonna happen. Not now, not never. Just, NO.  

I will never be perfect and, moreover, do not wish that for myself anymore. Perfection is boring, stagnant, tepid, flat and EASY. That’s right, the quest for perfection is a pursuit for the easy way out. It always has been for me, anyway. Looking perfect makes it easier to get by, you don’t have to use your intelligence or personality as much and that’s just sad. Working the perfect job is also easy because you will likely never feel the rush of a real challenge, the thrill of seeking out something new and unfamiliar.  

I’m not looking for that anymore. I’m looking to live the shit out of my life.  

Starting… NOW.  

So, if you’re looking for a hard-working, smart-mouthed, wannabe writer/blogger extraordinaire, cat obsessed, manic-depressive misanthrope… I’m totes your gal. 

*My definition of thinking highly of myself fluctuates often. One day thom could mean: I am the effin’ cat’s pajamas! I totally rock at life and I’m going to conquer the pants off of the UNIVERSE!!! Give it another day and thom sounds more like: At least I’m not the biggest heinous-faced loser on the planet. Probably…

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a brolondringe-ish nest of significant mystery and intrigue…

First things first.

Friday will mark the one year anniversary of this ol’ girl on the interwebz, blog stylee… aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand this here post is entry number one-hundred-and-the-first for (me) and the bee

That’s all something worth celebrating, right? 

So, what better gift to get just days before but my very own custom-made Forest Campfire Clutch from my fan-tabulous friend Kate’s awesome Etsy store!!! 

it even goes with my chipped blue nail polish and rubber band bracelet!

As all former fake-redheads (who are too lazy/indecisive to touch-up their color so now it’s more of a brolondringe-ish nest of significant mystery and intrigue) know… 

green is a most complimentary color so I’m super happy with my clutch. 

It’s perfect for carrying some cash, your cell phone, lipstick and a mirror, except I wouldn’t keep any of THOSE things in mine. Instead I’d have my debit card which allows me greater spur-of-the-moment spending freedom while virtually negating the possibility of having to lend out cash to broke-ass hos. Nix the cell phone because who needs THAT burden? Keep the mirror, because I am vain, afterall. Just not “lipstick vain”, more like “has my uni-brow grown back?” vain. So, replace lipstick with tweezers and VOILA! you’ve got the essentials. 

Oh, and holy crap, y’all… 

Kate has made new stuff since the last time I featured her here

Like the Color Hysteria Clutch

She doesn’t know it yet, but I plan on putting Kate to work very soon because I’m buying everyone’s holiday gifts from her this year. 

I’m *thinking* you should too… 

Hopefully the bee won’t mind getting homemade dog treats in his stocking!

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Weekend Bee-ject’s #24

All images were captured by the bee between July 4th – 10th with a Digital Harinezumi V.2:

sooooOOOooooo emo...

Click here for additional patriotism & true American spirit.

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Kate Is Great*

Long weekends tend to make for looooooooooooong transitions back to the real world.

Here it is Wednesday and I’m just starting to rise out of the fog.

It’s hot as holy hell around here and if you give me a minute I’ll think of more things to complain about.

If I spent the same amount of time actually doing the things I need to be more productive and motivated instead of just bitching about shit and fantasizing about mid-day naps, I would have completed more this weekend than just setting up my dress-form and getting the bejeezus scared out of me everytime I woke up in the middle of the night to see the shadowy form of its naked, headless, legless body standing just feet from our couch/bed.

truth is *i* didn't even put it together. the bee did. -10 points for me...

The dress-form is supposed to be the first step of many on my path to sartorial success on Etsy. I have to remind myself to stay positive despite the fact that the last thing I made was this, preceded only by this.

Clearly I’m far from prolific but I hope if once I get some free time in the near future I can get crackin’ with all of this pent-up creativity itching to burst from my fingertips.

Speaking of Etsy…

My friend Kate, who moved to California earlier this year to escape the evils of the East Coast, has her own Etsy shop up and running and her creations are FAB-TABULOUS!

Kate sells her own custom-made crocheted & knit items along with vintage home goods and gorgeous photo prints.

Do you have a dog?

Well HOLY SHIT, yo. Kate even makes her own dog treats!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand to sweeten the pot even more, Etsy is currently having their Christmas in July sale so select items in her store are 10-20% off their already freakishly reasonable prices!

So hop to, people! The Forest Campfire Clutch has my name written all over it so you should probably hurry…

*also happens to be my favorite Bouncing Souls song.

So there.

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Filed under (me), just a thought..., projects

Introducing… (dun dun da duuuuuuuuuuuuun) KITTEN!!!

Please put your hands together for: 

If the whole name thing is confusing to you I have a feeling you’re probably not alone. We named him after the red-haired co-lead of our favorite band; Scott McMicken of Dr. Dog

the force is strong with these two...

Teh kitten? He is awesome. 

From the looks of him I think it’s safe to say he’s a ginger tabby but I think there’s also a good chance he’s part dog. 

He likes to follow me around the house and he’s taken a liking to licking me on the mouth. 

He seems to spend most of his time sleeping, looking like he’s sleeping, playing and just generally being cute. 

How-ever… 

There is an entirely different, much DARKER, side to lil’ ol’ Scotty Mc’s… 

You see, on the one end of the spectrum we have Dr. Scott: sweet, docile and lazy…

Allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll the way at the other end we have… 

Mr. HOBBES!!! 

Hobbes isn’t bad per say. He’s just a little high-strung, wound-up, crazed, energetic, hyper and CRAZED

After his first day alone in the house while (me) and the bee were out to work, Scott must have been just a tad bit lonely. So he made us pay for it later that evening. 

He spent the majority of the night attempting to ferociously mount/mutilate any and all exposed body parts of ours. For being a neutered guy I must say I was quite impressed at his unwillingness to be emasculated by his “situation”. 

Hobbes scales the couch like a a professional tree climber, wrapping his legs around the backrest for support and then proceeds to hoist himself upwards with a few vertical thrusts and the assistance of some HELLA sharp little talons. 

It’s then that he usually decides to dart recklessly from one end of the sofa to the next, attempting to break his own record for speediness each time. Hobbes also enjoys relentlessly tackling his own shadow and I’m fairly certain that the growls (good lord the GROWLS!) that come out of his tiny body when he’s on the chase of fresh prey would rival that of a dwarf tiger.

If there were such a thing… 

 

*** 

Enough cat talk. Let’s talk dog.

Dr. Dog

(me) and the bee have tickets to see them TWICE next week. Once in Philly on Thursday and then again Saturday night in NYC. If they were playing a show on Friday night, we’d be at that shit too. 

ALSO… 

Next Wednesday we’re going to see Ricky Gervais at Madison Square Garden so, needless to say, next week is going to be reDONKulous schedule-wise. I did a shit job this week keeping up with normal posting and my only excuse was I was too lazy because I got a cat so I have a feeling next week things might be even worse. 

I really hope I haven’t ruined your entire life with the notion that you might be lacking in meandthebee material in the near future but I PROMISE my absence will be worth it because, no doubt, all these adventures will bring with it some crazy-azz shenanigans that I will love nothing more than to share with ya’ll. 

Until then, the Hobbes’ will dance you outta here…

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Don’t Put Marbles In Your Nose/Put Them In There/DO NOT PUT THEM IN THERE (or anything else for that matter)

I’ve always been a “different” kind of person. Words that have been used to describe me since as far back as I can remember include: weird, strange, eccentric, alternative, unique, quirky, DIFFERENT. And those are just the nicer ones.

I mention this because when I was much younger I decided that shoving fuzzy willows* up my nose would be a great idea because I liked how they felt.

There is no doubt that fuzzy willows are perhaps some of the most decadently soft and luxurious little suckers in all of existence. In fact, if someone was entrepreneurial enough, I’d bet that harvested willows could be turned into some seriously excellent fabric, potentially putting the fur industry out of business.

Think about it…

Now, picture this:

I am 3 years old.

At the time, we lived with my grandmother, and my Gramm, being my Gramm (and likely my direct link to eccentricities abound) had less of a house and more of a museum filled to the brim with various tchotchkes, antiques and oddities. One of those oddities was an old spittoon that held branches of fuzzy willows.

My mother is busy at the sink, finishing up the last few dishes before she has to jet off to work. I am all of 5 feet away curiously picking at the fuzzy roundness of the willow branch emerging from the brim of the spittoon when one after another after another AFTER ANOTHER find their way into my pint-sized self’s nostril. No sooner than the last of ’em have been shoved into my nose, my mom turns to find her 3-year-old looking something like this:

My mom has now entered into full panic-mode.

So here I am, 5 or more (nobody is really sure) fuzzy willows unceremoniously shoved into one nostril, my breathing is struggled and my complexion is spotty.

~momentary aside~

I was very inquisitive and somewhat independent as a child, frequently looking to push the boundaries of what was the norm or acceptable into something that what was straight up bizarre-nified. I went through a brief phase where I would only wear different shoes together. I can remember being in kindergarten and wearing 1 pink cowboy boot and 1 rubber soled canvas slip-on to school. Rubber soled so I could still participate in that day’s poor excuse for physical activity: jump roping. So while I perfected the one-legged double jump, I’m sure my biggest success was establishing myself forever more as a closeted extrovert.

I’m not entirely sure something like that even exists but I’m totally claiming its discovery as my own.

(except i can’t because i just googled “closeted extrovert” and found someone’s blog! check. it. out.)

So!

The closeted extrovert (according to my own definition) is someone who just lives to push the envelope but doesn’t want to be seen as overly “show-off-y” or “obnoxious”. Just sort of outer circle and mysterious/weird, strange, eccentric, alternative, unique, quirky, DIFFERENT. Apparently there is also something called a “clos-et extrovert” and that’s basically the exact opposite of what I’m talking about so let’s forget I even mentioned it…

~resuming~

My mom runs next door to get my uncle (because what the hell ELSE do you do in a situation like this?) and he looks at me and then looks at her and suggests I be seen by some medical professionals.

The next few hours are a blur of lab coats and arms holding down my tiny body to an exam table so I don’t squirm away while a GINORMOUS pair of tweezers infiltrates my nostril in the hopes of removing the fuzzy perpetrators before they lodge themselves too much farther inside my nasal cavity.

Thankfully, I was left physically unscathed by the whole incident and (probably) all willows were successfully removed from my head.

It was a highly traumatic event to say the least but I learned my lesson. If you’re going to put things up your nose make sure they are BIGGER than your nostril.

Like a tiny marshmallow.

Duh.

*i had to ammend the name of said item due to a large number of kiddie p()rn perverts finding my blog.

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