Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pity, party of one. Can I have a table by the window, please?

I don't feel like being funny tonight. I feel like I need a swift kick in the ass to get me out of this pity party. I feel like I need a reality check. But most of all, I feel like I need to just get this out of my system. Maybe then I won't feel like this anymore.

There are many things I am today that I never imagined I would be. Here they are in no particular order.

I never thought I would be (as of yet):

not a college graduate
not a professional doing something good for this earth or society
a data analyst (seriously, how did THAT happen?)
someone who still didn't know what they wanted to do with their life
not a mother

And worst of all, I never thought I'd be the type of person who, upon hearing great news from her best friend in the entire world, can now only feel sorry for herself and wonder, "Why not me?".

I know I'm not the first person to feel this way. But here's my dirty little secret: most things come easy to me. I don't know if I always expected them to and that's how it happened, but most things in my life seem to usually line up where I end up coming up ahead. Or if not, I'm willful enough to make them happen. I'm sure most of you know that about me by now; the word "no" is my kryptonite. If something doesn't seem to be going my way, I generally do what I have to do to make it happen. And luckily, for a good portion of my life, I've been attractive enough to be able to use my looks to my advantage when necessary to make things happen. I'm not talking about prostitution, but things are just easier if you're attractive. It's a stereotype because it's true.

So now I have this issue that I can't change. I can't excercise my way better or diet my way better or sew my way better or bully my way better. It just is what it is and I have to accept that. And most of the time I do. But today is one of those infrequent days where I just don't feel like accepting it at all. I know I complain a lot, but I don't think I normally give in to pity. I don't know, maybe I do and I'm just to vain to notice it about myself. I wouldn't put it past me.

Wow, I thought I'd feel better writing about this but I really don't. That theory's shot to shit. I did call Shrimp earlier though to make me feel better and that helped. I know the saying is 'misery loves company' and while most of the time I do enjoy other people's misery, it's just nice having someone who's been there to tell you that yes, it's hard, and yes, it sucks, but there's nothing you can do about it so quit whining about it already. I may have paraphrased that last part but you know what I mean. Shrimp got me through my divorce when I felt like my heart was being ripped apart every night.

My other sister Abby is someone who is amazing to talk to but has the unfortunate personality trait of being too nice. I know, maybe we should test her blood type. She's who I call when I want a sympathetic ear or someone who will laugh and cry with me. She thinks she's crazy, and we're not arguing with her on that point (I think she had a t-shirt made up that says Crazy Abby), but she can also channel that energy into being my fiercest supporter whenever I need her. But she's way too nice to ever tell me that sometimes, you need to put your own feelings aside and just suck it up. Seriously, where did she come from? The rest of us don't have a nice bone in our body. I think we just got the nice earrings; that way we can add or remove at will.

So I'm done. As self-centered as I am, and let's face it, I just started this blog to talk about myself, even I can't take my whining anymore. I'm finished, and tomorrow I can go back to being happy for my friend. Because I really am happy for her. And I'm not even wearing the earrings at the moment.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Why, hot yoga, why???

Why have you forsaken me?? (Insert half-assed fist shake in the air because I'm too weak for a good one). What, did I make you angry after making fun of you on Monday night? Come on, that was a joke! Don't you have a sense of humor, hot yoga? How can I make it up to you: beer bouquet, jerky of the month club, what? Just tell me and I'll do it. Just please don't make me go through another night like tonight!

I was so excited to go back tonight. I was feeling slightly supermodelish after Monday night so I figured I'd top off my weekend by getting a class in tonight. And since I knew what to expect, this would be a cakewalk. You can't eat at least 2 hours before class or you'll get sick, so with class starting at 6, 4pm was my cut-off. I hadn't eaten lunch and it was 3:30 and I was on my way to meet Bobby at his office and just when I was wondering what I was going to do, bam! I swear, this must be good Friday because who else but Jesus would have put a sabrett cart on the corner right next to Bobby's shop AND the guy said I got there just in time because he was about to close up! Are you as excited as I am? It's an Easter miracle, 2 days early, complete with sauerkraut and onions. Oh, and for you doubters, Bobby said he'd never seen the guy there before. So there!
And then he said, "Let there be hotdogs".
At 5:50 pm, I roll up with my mat like how I do and get prepared to get my sweat on. It was the same instructor- I checked- and I knew that a Friday night class wouldn't be that crowded. And I was right; there were only 7 other women in class tonight as opposed to 21 other women in Monday night's class. But that's when things started to go bad, so bad. I know it doesn't make any sense that it'd be hotter with less people, but somehow it was. It was like there were less idiots to soak up the heat so us 8 had to soak it all in. I didn't notice it at first. I even thought it wasn't as hot because a half hour in, my face felt like it was going to explode but I didn't have sweat pooling anywhere yet. And then it happened.
It was suddenly like I was one of those things you hook up to a hose when you're a kid, you know, it looks like a doll and the water comes out of the hair and all the tubes whip around everywhere. It was coming out of every pore and not stopping. It was like I had peed myself, but all over. So then I'd drink some water but it was so hot that it just made me feel sick and then I'd have to sit down for a minute. One lady in our group left after 10 minutes and then another went for a 'walk' and never came back. We can't balance, all of us are falling over everywhere. We looked like the rejects for the special olympics.
And that hotdog from Jesus I ate earlier? Well I was paying for my sins now. I'm pretty sure I felt the sauerkraut come out of the sweat pores on my back. You don't even want to know where I think the bun came out.  I felt sick sick sick and from what I could tell from the body language of my commrades, they were feeling it too. We were all vets in the same war here.
Okay, here is the only way to describe the feeling. You know how you go out with friends and you have a few drinks and you're feeling buzzed and you're super happy and love everything? And what do you do then? That's right, you drink a gallon of high octane alcohol so you don't 'lose your buzz' and suddenly, time slows down, you're laughing, dancing, woo hoo! Then you step off the dance floor and all of the sudden it hits you. You aren't just drunk, your are UBER DRUNK. Everything is moving around you, you're breaking out in a sweat, and you stare at the trash can just willing yourself not to puke in it. There, right there! THAT'S the feeling that I had after doing each position tonight.
It turns out, it wasn't our imagination- it really was hotter in there tonight. The girl next to me was next to the thermometer and while it's normally between 100 and 105 degrees,she said tonight it was up to 114. That shit is not going to fly next time. I am going to get a guarantee that they shut off the heater at 105 before I do it again. I mean, what was that? Are they smoking meat as a side business now or something? If so, I want a cut. Preferably from the back of the cow. I like a good rump roast.
I was more exhausted than I ever remember being when I got in the car, and that's including the time I got the free pass to the YMCA and I wanted to try everything so I did an hour of spinning then an hour on the elliptical and then an hour in zumba. That night I couldn't even get my arms high enough to wash my hair. This was worse. I had to move my car seat forward just to make it easier to press on the gas pedal tonight. It was like hot yoga had made me a nice hot cup of go frick yourself and then told me to go outside a play a quick game of what? Oh yeah, hide and go frick yourself. You can replace frick with your word of choice.

Hey hot yoga, next time are you at least going to kiss me before you- oh, well, you know what you did to me tonight. I hope you're happy. I'm gonna open a can on you next week! A can of what, you say?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bathing Suit Cover-Up: Because you have to wear something to buy beer at Publix on the way to the beach

As you heard from my hot yoga post, I just bought by first new bikini in years last week. It's pretty cute. Here's a picture:

 Do you know what a pain it was getting this bikini on my dress form? I felt like I was trying to date-rape it. Maybe I should have slipped it a roofie or bought it a wine cooler first. But anyway, once I got this sucker home, I realized that I have a bunch of this see-throughish fabric left over from one of Abby's maternity dresses and my upcycled sweater that would match my bikini perfectly. I wanted to make something really easy so instead of using a dress pattern, I actually used a t-shirt pattern and just made it a little bit longer and added on a pleated ruffle at the bottom.  
This is the Vogue pattern that I used:

I've used the pattern for the short sleeve shirt previously to make this shirt a long time ago.

The intention was to use this pattern to make a bunch of t-shirts with it but cute knit material is hard to find at Jo-Ann's and let's face it, Old Navy is always cheaper anyway. But the pattern is simply one piece for the back, one for the front and then the sleeves. You have facing for the neckline but it's super-fast to make.

Here is the bathing suit cover with the front and back sewn together so far. I extended the pattern about 6 inches below the normal stopping point to add length.

At this point, it's a litle boxy so I have it pinned at the waist to take it in a little more.


Next I cut out the sleeves. Before I sewed them together, I went ahead and hemmed them. I just folded over the edge once, sewed it, and then folded it over again and sewed it one more time so that there are no raw edges showing.

Once that's done, I sew the sleeve together at the seam and then attach it to the dress.

Usually I would baste the top of the sleeve and then pull the thread to gather it at the top, but instead I just fold it over into pleats and pin them as I go.
This is what the sleeve looks like when it's all pinned and ready to be sewn. 
And here it is with the sleeves sewn on. Now we just have to do the facing for the neckline.   
First you cut out the two facing pieces and then sew them together to end up with this.

Then you pin it on top of the dress with the dress right side out so that you have right sides to right sides and sew slowly along the entire neckline.
Once it's sewn, flip it to the inside and then sew it again so it stays put. I always pin everything but you don't have to.
Because it's a little short, I cut out 2 more long pieces of fabric to make a ruffle on the bottom. I did a double hem like I did on the sleeve before pinning it in pleats onto the bottom on the dress and sewing it on.

Here is the finished product:

And that was it! This was really easy and a good pattern to try out if you're just starting to sew. Good luck! I'll be the cougar at Clearwater Beach trying to pick up college freshmen boys if you need any help! Oh, and bring beer.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hot Yoga. Are you frickin' kidding me?

Have you ever heard that if you try to put a frog in boiling water he'll just jump out, but if you put him in warm water and heat the water slowly to boiling, he won't notice the water getting hotter and stay in there? I know, there are many flaws to this story, such as who are all these people boiling frogs and did this really happen enough for the story to get passed around this much? I'm guessing this originated from a redneck recipe. Nevertheless, last night, I was the frog in the warm water too dumb to jump out of the pot.

A few weeks ago, Living Social had a deal from Hot Yoga Largo for 15 sessions for $20. Since I'm about as bendable as a day old chicken bone, I figured, what the hell, why not? Oh, and I'd read that it burns a ton of calories. I am always up for getting more results from a minimum amount of effort so this was right up my alley.

Since I just bought a new bikini and the bottom was considerably larger than the top, I figured this was a good week to start. I went online last night and signed up for the 7-8:30 pm class. 90 minutes? That seemed kinda long, but that's just more calories so I'm good. I did some research and read that first time students sometimes get sick or pass out from the heat. This is sounding like a party already! Anytime I need a bucket or smelling salts, I know a good time is a'comin.

About 10 years ago, I wisely invested in a yoga mat. I cracked it open for the first time yesterday afternoon. Literally- this thing had been rolled up for so long it was like unrolling a saltine. I've always had all these fantastic visions of me in a cool yoga outfit, all calm and fit and doing yoga all in super cliche places, like at the beach or out by the pool before work (turns out I'd have to wake up more than 30 seconds before I start working AND go outside, two strikes in my book), or maybe I'd do it before I went to sleep to help me relax. Whatever I intended, it didn't happen, so last night my mat and I were making our virgin trip to the yoga studio. And of course, like a teenage mom on her way to see her boyfriend during visiting hours at JDC, I left that baby at home and had to turn around halfway there and go back and get it.

I get to the studio, check in, then head inside to set up the mat. I didn't expect the room to be hot already when I walked in. I thought it would heat up gradually once we got started, but okay, I can deal with this. It wasn't bad, kind of like a really low temp dry sauna. But I immediately had a problem; the only available space was right in front of the heater in the corner. Frick that. The instructor correctly interpreted my standing there looking pointedly at the heater and back at her and had everyone move their mats together so I picked a spot in the middle of the room next to a girl my age but much larger. I knew I'd suck at most of this stuff so I wanted to sit next to the one person who'd make me feel better. Don't judge me- who wants to sit next to the anorexic gumby lady that will make you look dumpy? Be my guest. Me, I'll stick to the Lane Bryant model myself.

I get my mat all set up: my beach towel over my mat, my water behind me, small towel to wipe the pits when I start burning it up like Jane Fonda. I'm starting to sweat a little but I'm still not seeing how it's really going to be hot enough to burn as many calories as they claim. I'm a little concerned because naturally, I assumed that after this class I would wake up looking like a supermodel and everyone would ask me what my secret is, and then I'd laugh self-consciously and say, Oh, I guess it's just natural! I read The Secret. It could happen. Then, while I'm eavesdropping, someone asks the girl behind me if she's done this before and she's all like, "Oh my god, I love it!" Judging by the number of chins she's sporting, I'm guessing she likes the Sara Lee outlet better, but it doesn't instill much confidence in the weight loss claims of this here class.

The girl next to me strikes up a conversation and says, "So you've done this before I guess, for a while?" At first I have no idea why she would think this, especially the 'awhile' part, but I take a look at myself in the mirror and then I understand. I just got a new can of spray tan and I'd used it wisely this morning.  I'd sprayed on a few abs and heck, while I was at it, gave myself some biceps to boot. Dang, I am looking good.  I'm thinking dim lighting and glistening sweat is a look I could totally rock. As I start to fall just a little more in love with myself, class starts.

I think this would be easiest to describe using a timeline.

Minute 1: Okay, I have no idea what this lady is saying. One minute we're standing, the next minute she's talking super fast like a crack whore with a new crack spoon, saying something like, "Breathe deep and exhale going into a folding position right into half moon crane and then we are back up and exhale and inhale bring hands to blah blah blah blah blah." It really didn't matter what she was saying because I'm not getting any of it. I'm in a half crouch, not sure if I should be standing or squatting, so I end up bent over at the waist trying to 'relax my face' while trying to look between my knees to see what everyone else is doing. This is not off to a great start. And okay, I'm starting to sweat a little now.

Minute 30: I've got my arms twisted together and one leg crossed over the other, balancing on one foot. This can't really be a thing, can it? Did someone just bet one of their friends when they were drunk that they could get people to do the dumbest things you could think of under the guise of calling it 'exercise'? And the sweat is just pouring off of me now. Okay, no problem, I'll get my little towel and wipe down. Oh crap. My little towel is light blue. If I use that to wipe down, will I wipe off the fake tan that I sprayed on earlier and be all streaky and my towel will get all nasty? I debate whether I care or not but since fake tan ain't cheap, I figure I can suck it up for now. I know what you're thinking: what kind of dumbass puts on fake tan the same day as a hot yoga class? Apparently this dumbass.

Minute 45: We move into downward dog, a phrase I'm familiar with from, ahem, other activities that make you sweat. Oh my god, this is disgusting! As I'm bending over, the sweat is running down my face and over my lips! Do not throw up. Do NOT throw up. How is everyone else doing this? How the hell did I end up here again? The heat's making me lightheaded enough to feel a little high. Maybe this is how people get hooked?

Minute 60: Moving into the floor poses. I lay down and never want to get up again. Ever. I take a deep breath and the smell hits me like a wall. This must be what a jock strap smells like. Apparently all of our Lady Speedstick sweated off around minute 26 and although I didn't expect us to smell this bad, the only thing I relate this stench to is a week old bag of used hockey equipment left in the trunk during a heat wave.

We go through all of our exercises on our backs and now roll over onto our stomachs for the next phase. I know it's my own mat and towel, but I'm still grossed out having to touch that much of my body to it while I'm so sweaty. I try to relax. I really like this new fabric softener we're using. I'm starting to lose focus, but then we do the cobra pose, pushing up from our hands, and my arms look totally ripped! I immediately try to think of how I could casually assume this position while out in the real world so that everyone can appreciate the awesomeness of my arms but I'm coming up blank. I guess it's just gonna be me and Lane Bryant who are gonna get to soak up that view.

Minutes 80-90: We are lying quietly on our mats, eyes closed, and the instructor opens up the side door to let the heat out. But then it's quiet for like 5 minutes. Is this lady taking a smoke break or something? Is it Miller time?

Just as I start getting suspicious, she comes back in and has us sit up to do our last deep breaths. She tells us, I kid you not, to 'feel all the spaces between our muscles filling up'. With what, nougat? I mean, that's cool, you get to totally get to make stuff up and it sounds all yoga-like. It's like going to an apothecary or something.

She tells us to picture our energy connecting us to the earth and I'm visualizing this yellow thunderbolt going though my butt and spearing me into the ground like a shish-ka-bob. Okay, I don't get it, but I go with it. I actually really like the instructor. She isn't snotty at all or a drill sergeant type so I'm sticking with this lady. But I need a yoga-slang cheat sheet that I can tape to my mat next time to translate some of this lingo. I think she made up some new words for body parts and that info could come in handy.

I'm a little nauseous as I walk out, kind of like I'm either starting my period or getting a case of the runs. Luckily, neither happens on the way home but I'm so tired, I'm not sure I'd give a crap if I did crap myself. Maybe that's why those yoga people are so calm; they're too damn tired to do anything else.

 Overall, I kinda liked it. Regardless of whether I did or didn't like it, I've got 14 more sessions to use up. Anyone wanna join me? I swear, you'll look like Cindy Crawford! Promise! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sneak Peak at What's Hot for Rednecks for 2011!

Hey there, redneck! Thanks for reading! Now don't get put off by all the 'words' in this post, there are plenty of pictures to get you through this relatively easily. By the way, since you're here, can you please put some shoes on your kid when you take them to the fair? Thanks. But moving on- have you been staring at your closet, wondering what color bandanas are 'in' this year or how you should be doing your hair to fit in at the muddin' hole? Worry no more, my friend. At my sister's party, all the latest fads and trends for rednecks were strutted out, worn by people in model-like condition. At least they look like models compared to yourself.

You all have heard me talk about my sister Shrimp. As you may not have realized from her pictures since she uses more preservatives than a canning factory, she is old. OOOOOld. In fact, she just turned the big 4-0. You're welcome for making that information public, Shrimpo! So her super awesome husband Eric decided to throw her the surprise party that dreams are made of:  A Big Fat Redneck Party.

You see, for whatever reason, Shrimp is fascinated with anything redneck. She loved that show "My Big Fat Redneck Wedding", she can do the accent perfectly, and occasionally likes to make us all go to the Round Up so that we can stumble around and call it line dancing. By the way, I think most of those cowboys are gay. I don't get hit on nearly enough there. It's like being on the set of BrokeBack Mountain.

So anyway, Eric started planning weeks in advance and set the bar pretty high, as far as redneck parties go. Abby was down from Maine so we just assembled some decorations (beer cans and plastic flowers in TP vases) and made the side dishes. Basically, anything with the term casserole in it (corn casserole, zucchini casserole, hash brown casserole), baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad, cheese bread. Or anything that had mayo listed as it's main ingredient. But the best part was designing the outfits.

It was quite a dilemma; do we go with the traditional hair in curlers/housecoat look or something more trendy, like wearing pants and a shirt together at the same time? And there were so many choices for camo wear at Wal-Mart. Did we go with the camo shirt as well as the camo purse and hat or mix it up a little with a pink leopard print tank top? Where will she put her can of dip- down her boobs or have Echo hold it? So many decisions. We found ourselves asking- what would Gretchen Wilson do? After all, we too wanted to be proper redneck women.

After scouring the pages of Rogue for hours (Redneck Vogue), we finally assembled what we thought was the trifecta of this season's creme de la creme of redneck fashions: a Camaro t-shirt , which Shrimp 'personalized' by cutting a subtle neckline showing off her bra and some venting across the back, cut-offs, big belt buckle, camo hat, 80's earrings & lipstick, and camo purse. Or the 'camo & camaro' look, as we're calling it.

Eric is sporting the head-to-toe camo look, complete with the bottle opener in the hat brim. Rogue refers to this look as 'every other man who has a gun rack in his truck.' Work it, Eric!

We wanted to go for the 'au natural' look for the teeth so we left the grill at home and just let Shrimp and Echo show off these beauties.

Here we see Abby showing off the latest in hair and make-up. This season, lay on that bronzer but be sure to use white eyeliner and eyeshadow to really make your eyes 'pop'!

Abby also found this rockin' hair piece at - hold on, you're not going to believe this- the Dollar Store! Yes, I know, this piece looks like it should cost ones of dollars, not just a single dollar. I have a feeling this will be making a reappearance in Maine, if not the runways in Paris.

I decided to go for the classic rollers/bandana hair-did and since I didn't have a jeans skirt, I just cut open a pair of jean shorts and threw on some old spandex shorts. Combine that with my whale tale, and, well, I don't think sexy really encompasses everything here.
And as Mary's mother-in-law Ann pointed out, I didn't even have to fake the trashy looking tramp stamp! That sucker is a Pasco County original baby. I'm so proud. But I don't have any pics of it.

Abby couldn't find another jean tube top small enough for baby Mary so she just took a tank top and cut it off to make a skirt. FRA (Future Rednecks of America), take note: you've got to be inventive when dressing the chilluns. They can't work a pair of scissors and light your cigarette at the same time. Yet.

For Echo, we just put her in some jean shorts and a t-shirt and let her go barefoot. If all else fails, a general lack of effort will work in a pinch.

But wouldn't you know it, those babies start drinking.....

.....and soon their clothes magically disappear! Could this be any more of a case of like mothers like daughters?
Sure girls, it's cute now, but in about two decades this kind of behaviour is going to land you in all kinds of videos you don't want to be in.

Erin and Mike are showing off our couple's wear. This look will take you from the slot machines to church the next morning with just a quick stop off at the Circle K bathroom for a wipe-down. Looking good, guys!

Here are a few action shots from the party.
 Got toilet seats? Then you got game. And a leg up on your neighbors for having more than one crapper cover.

Just like the teeth, the natural facial hair look is back this year too. Got a unibrow? Grow it out! Wear it loud and proud. And if your pit hair gets long enough, make sure to dye it to match your hair on your head. Not only do you want the carpet to match the drapes, but the throw pillows as well.

Need a cake for your kid's party but got loaded and forgot to order it ahead of time? Don't worry- just go to Piggy Wiggly and pick one out of the freezer that someone else ordered, scrape their kid's name off, and insert candle! I bet you can't even tell there used to be writing on this cake.

        Who doesn't love a good round of cornhole? Oh, and this beanbag game too.
We don't need an explanation for every picture, right?
Then after the barbeque came the very best part- the Figure Eight Schoolbus Races at DeSoto Super Speedway!

Aw yeah, that's right- we were taking this fashion show on the road. Now prepare yourself for a dose of sexy that you have not experienced since Kim Kardashian released that sex tape. Are you ready? You sure? Okay, here it is:

I know what you're thinking. You're welcome.

Before we went into the track, we wanted to get our drink on so we participated in some shotgun tailgating. Shrimp brought her usual cocktail of vodka with a vodka mixer and more vodka in ziplock baggies for the track. Eric has his cup o' whiskey because he don't waste no time getting wasted. FYI, that's also a good tip for a succesful date night.
Bobby and I decided we'd try to procreate in the back of the car so we could name the kid 'DeSoto Racetrack Matos'. We have dibs- no stealing!

Here are Mary's high-class friends at the races. No rollers, camo, or animal print among the bunch. I know, we all felt bad for them because they just didn't fit in. Don't worry, I made sure to give them lots of tips and they seemed very appreciative. Jackie said I could give her a home perm next week.

So this concludes our recap of what's to come in 2011 for redneck fashions. Please, if you have any questions or need fashion advice, just send me a message and I'll be sure to give out Shrimp's home number. She said to call anytime, day or night, for your redneck fashion emergency.