Monthly Archives: September 2009

Signs are for windows… and comment boxes

Have you ever wanted – begged – for a sign?

The other day I treated myself to a little something that I posted about here. I fell in love with nothing special, really – just a sign in a window that spelled out exactly what I’d been thinking lately – “I LOVE YOU BLOGS.. AND COFFEE”

It was exactly what I needed.

The sign wasn’t cheap, but worth every penny, especially because the lady who sold it to me asked me an important question that I think was high time I answered: “So, what’s your blog about?”

And that was a million dollar question.

It’s written in black and white on my “About SandyB” page, so I know I’ve thought this out at least once before. And hell knows I talk about the effing blog to my sister and husband daily. They even have an ‘oh shit, are we talking about the blog again’ look.. but they always pull through with good advice, editing skills and sometimes they’re the ones who inspire these posts. I’m a lucky B.

But I didn’t start this blog to post at 6:00 a.m. and drink coffee, like I’m doing now.

Lately this blog has been enjoying readers. I didn’t ever think it would. When I started, I figured it would hit at least one person’s screen, and that was enough for me. If just one other reader, blogger, stalker stuck with me for the whole year until I finished my List, it was worth it. Not because my year-long project is for anyone else, but because I really do think the world is a stage, and sometimes we need someone other than ourselves to finish the performance for. Even if it’s just for an audience of one.

And the next thing I’m going to write might strike a chord (or ten) with some of you:

When you blog, who do you do it for?

It’s not a bad thing to do it for the entertainment of others. It’s not bad to want to connect with people who read you as you see yourself. And it’s not even bad if all you want is a place to park your thoughts – the stuff you can’t say at the office, in your house or while you’re buying signs about blogs and coffee. As long as you know why you blog, as long as you have a reason, then it’s worth it every time.

And since this is so obviously not the kind of post where I swear excessively, make fun of my life or put on my wedding dress, I guess it would be a good time to tell you that I was hoping my blog would be more than just about my List. I just wasn’t sure what I wanted that something to be.

And then, in my comment box, I got another sign from someone who’s Not That Kind of Girl.

“I take it you’ve also been working on the longer-term ones — like, the ones that aren’t a one-shot that you can cross off right away? It would be cool at some point to read a status update of how you’re changing for the better, or if anything hasn’t been as worthwhile as you hoped.”

Since I first hit publish not so long ago, there is one thing I’ve learned that I know will stick with me for a long time, maybe even forever..

I’d rather meaningfully reach one person than casually stir a million. And I’m over the moon today if that one person is you.

“I believe that one defines oneself by reinvention. To not be like your parents. To not be like your friends. To be yourself. To cut yourself out of stone.”

-Henry Rollins

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Filed under Reinvention Inspiration, this is where shit gets deep

Marriage is all about getting the stuff off your chest that just keeps you up at night.

The following conversation is real. I wouldn’t lie about something this ridiculous.

So we had the pleasure of getting all of these free channels to preview when we signed up with a new cable company. They’re always so awesome in the beginning. Kind of like how your new boss is nice to you for the first month before turning into the kind of boss that makes you want to slit your wrists in the bathroom, because everything you do is wrong and you totally get in shit for dumb things like speaking out of turn at a meeting, leaving your coffee mug in the communal kitchen sink or missing deadlines that you didn’t even know existed.

Anyways. This post isn’t about bosses or cable companies. It’s about putting yourself in other people’s shoes, and then acting accordingly.

Let me break this down for you with a story..

Before the honeymoon period with our cable company was over and we had all of our new, “free” channels ripped away from us, we decided to watch ALL OF THEM. I’m such a sucker for free shit.

One night we came across this Mexican TV channel, which I thought was pretty interesting because before this I had no idea it even existed. Rob and I previewed this channel and actually really started to get into it. The Y&R has nothing on these Latin American soaps… they show boobs. And then for no particular reason, it occurred to us:

If we had a Mexican cleaning lady, would we subscribe to Mexican TV?

On one hand, getting the Mexican TV channel would mean admitting that you’re a sucker. You know she’s totally going to be watching TV when SHE’S SUPPOSED TO BE WORKING. On the other hand, NOT getting the Mexican TV channel says that you’re a tyrant. Are you made of stone? Even you don’t just work all day. Are you reading this blog on your lunch hour right now? Didn’t think so.

Here’s a fact: It doesn’t take six hours to clean a 1000-square foot apartment. Maybe you could stretch it out for three, but not six. That said, there are two things that will happen once your cleaning lady is done dusting and buffing your crap-

1. She will riffle through your stuff, including (but not limited to) your medicine cabinet, under your mattress, in your closet and most definitely through the pile of papers and statements you just leave lying around (idiot).

2. She will watch TV.

If you’re lucky, she’ll choose number two. I, for one, would prefer that she did and I’m willing to do anything to make sure she takes that option over looking through my bank statements only to realize she makes more money than I do.

And with that, Rob and I decided that we WOULD subscribe to the Mexican TV channel if we had a Mexican cleaning lady. We’d probably even ask her what channel her novella was on, who was sleeping with whom and who’s waking up from a coma this week, etc. Just for the record we’d do the same for a Greek, Italian, Polish or Filipino cleaning lady, too. Any cleaning lady, for that matter. Ours happens to be Portuguese.

In the end, the take home message is, ‘Do Unto Others As You Would Want Them To Do Unto YOU’.

(And for God’s sake, burn your bank statements.)

Actual footage of our cleaning supply closet. Dramatic, isn't it?

Actual footage of our cleaning supply closet. Dramatic, isn't it?

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Filed under couldn't think of a category for this, stuff on my mind

I’m one of those assholes who texts while standing in line ordering a Venti (mild with two shots of pumpkin spice) and then doesn’t apologize.

(actual phone conversation…)

ME: I’v been meaning to call for a while now. I’m just not happy with you anymore. What you’ve given me.. it isn’t working, not like it used to.

HIM: Well, let’s see if can change that.

ME: I hope so. Otherwise I may have to walk away. This is just costing me too much, and I know there’s better out there.

HIM: Like what?

ME: More options, more fun.. my friends have told me.

HIM: Well, why don’t you start by telling me what you want.

ME: I want something new. Better.

HIM: Well, I don’t know that I can…

ME: Look, let’s just say I’ve shopped around. There are others… and I’m prepared to walk away from-

HIM: Let me see what I can do…

ME: If I can’t get what I need here, I’ll leave. It’s that simple- I’ve thought about doing this for some time.

HIM: But that will cost you…

ME: I don’t care- it’s worth it to get what I want. I just thought, after all these years, my loyalty, that you’d (long-ish pause). I’m just not satisfied.

HIM: Well, you have been loyal and you’re right, that deserves something.

ME: Exactly.

HIM: Ok, I think we can fix this. Just give me a few minutes to process this.

ME: If it means getting what I need, take all the time in the world.

And THAT is how you get your fucking cell phone company to send you a FREE iPhone in the mail.


You got any tricks?

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Filed under Stuff I know for sure

When opportunity strikes, you dive.

There are two things that happen when you run naked into the ocean:

1. From your towel on the sand until your naked bits are fully immersed in cold, salty water you hold your breath because somehow, even though you know better and your mother told it wasn’t true, you still hope that not breathing will somehow make you invisible.

2. As you’re nearing the water- boobs and cooch out-  you suddenly remember you’ll have to make the same trip back to your towel, making you wish you had ‘de-bushed’ with a little more effort in the shower that morning. Europe or not, being superbly manicured down there is a lot like breathing- it’s just necessary (plus, I’m pretty sure it makes you look thinner. But whatever.)

All in all, being naked on the beach went swimmingly and I’d highly recommend it to a friend.

(But for those wondering, ‘so, what’s the take-home message in all of this?’ keep reading.)

In the days leading up to my nudeness, I started to fret.

“Who the hell do I think I am?”

“Am I some closeted exhibitionist or something… something”

“Why am I being such a gaylord about all this?”

“Should I shave it off or just wax the sides?”

Decisions! Decisions!

At one point the whole damn thing just started to overwhelm me and I started to doubt my plan, my List. Everything.

Doubt. I started to DOUBT, which is bad news all around, any way you slice it.

But then, somewhere between slipping off my bottoms beach-side and strutting into the water (ok, I didn’t strut.. but I definitely sauntered) I realized this:

Sometimes you have to shed a little something to get a little something. I decided that I could keep my suit on, covering the most vulnerable parts of me, or I could strip it away, head for the ocean and dive into an opportunity to wash the stench of self-doubt off me.

So dive I did.

Other things I did in the buff included (but were not limited to):

Sun bathe

Read

Jam out with the iPod to Prince. Of course.

Swim

Things I did not do (and highly advise against):

Bend over

Chase my wind-blown hat down the beach

Yawn and/or sneeze

Dance

(All things the middle-aged man on the towel next to me did do, by the way.)

But even the darkest moments have their silver lining. Here are those take-home messages you’ve been dying for:

1. As I stood in awe of the middle-aged man pulling off these nuddie no-nos, I felt a certain ease knowing that I wasn’t the only one in the buff. When I surveyed this little stretch of beach, I saw there were others.. I was with my people. As they say, there is strength in numbers (and maybe even a little comfort) and there’s no harm in that.

2. Lately self-doubt has been creeping into all crevices of my life and when you’re naked I guess it can even get into the nooks you didn’t know you had. But that’s no reason to let doubt make you uncomfortable- like a wedgie, you’ve got to pick it out, and then move on- even if, every now and then, it means going commando.

In the end, I considered how much worse I would feel to sit here and write this post telling you how I chickened out, that I wasn’t a woman of my word. When it boils down to it, sometimes considering how you’ll feel if you don’t take the plunge is enough to tip the scales of self-confidence in your favor so you can at least try.

Once in a while you’ve got to tug on that string that’s tying you to your doubts- it’ll bind you up, hold you back and keep you down. You’ve got to find the strength to pull it loose and set yourself free…

Even if that string happens to be on the end of a bikini.

IMG_1603

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Filed under #14 Go to a nude beach (but don't touch anything or anyone or stare. Definitely don't stare.), Stuff I know for sure

Nudity has its perks.

14. Nude Beach-it

I’ll only be 29 once, so I’m going all out- and being literal about it. This year I will dabble in Full On Frontal at a nude beach in Portugal while vacationing.


(Eh-hem… I am, shall we say, a new woman. Freshly Europed… jet-lagged. Details tomorrow. Sleep. Is. A. Must.)

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Filed under #14 Go to a nude beach (but don't touch anything or anyone or stare. Definitely don't stare.), Before I Turn 30 List

I love you blogs & coffee

store window of SoHo Custom Arts & Framing, Roncesvalles

store window of SoHo Custom Arts & Framing, Roncesvalles

Saw this in a store window today, on my way back from Cherry Bomb.

Funny how when you think about something enough it just seems to… appear.

(So, off to Europe now- be back in two weeks. Word.)

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Filed under Roncesvalles, stuff on my mind

So, I’m really glad I went to work today.

nudist-beach

Size does not always matter when it comes to breasts. For many men, it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing, as long as they see nipples. Wear something sheer, even peekaboo. Give him a little show. Let the strap of your chemise slip. Wear pasties and slowly peel them off. He’ll be like a deer in headlights.

-taken from, Underneath It All: A Girl’s Guide to Buying, Wearing, and Loving Lingerie

So this book landed on my desk today. Sometimes I don’t even get an opportunity to crack the books I’m sent to review, but this one had a message; it called to me. The nipple reference couldn’t have come at a better time either, especially since I’ve decided that before I turn 30, I need to be nude in public.

Now before you judge, hear me out. About six years ago I took my top off at a beach (it’s ok- I was in Europe) but the whole experience left me feeling like the kind of girl who just let’s a guy touch her boobs “on top of the sweater” but never lets him go all the way. Total tease.

As my next birthday creeps, I feel quite strongly about fixing this smidge of unfinished business, and the only way to do that, I’ve deduced, is to commit to Full On Frontal. It’s the only right thing to do. Nobody likes a tease.

While Rob and I vaccay in Portugal this month (leaving this Saturday for two weeks, should have mentioned it, but didn’t want to smother; we just met) we’ve added “stop at nude beach” to our list of things to do (and you know how I feel about lists).

It’s not like I’ll be the only one there with my stuff hanging out, so I guess this isn’t exactly insightful or anything- even most of my slutty friends have done it- but it’s a big step for me, especially since in the past I’ve gone to great lengths to keep my nipples out of plain view. I even taped them down once, but I don’t really want to talk about it. I’m actually quite conservative about body parts.

Anyways.

I’m so certain this needs to happen that I’ve decided to put it on the List, and when something’s on the list it’s going to happen, because that’s just how I roll.

This next year is about reinvention and trying things that scare me, excite me and make me a better version of myself; somehow “jam out with your clam out” just fits the bill.

We shall see.

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Filed under #14 Go to a nude beach (but don't touch anything or anyone or stare. Definitely don't stare.)