Monday, October 29, 2012

On Pause.

Philadelphia-where many of my loved ones live. Image VIA
Central Park - Image VIA the amazing Tim Kang.
Image VIA
I love the unique culture of the East Coast. I love many people who reside on the East Coast (Hi, Auntie Barbie!). I love SO many places on the East Coast.

With respect to that, Halloween posts on pause.

Stay safe over there. Stay warm. 
I'm thinking of you all and wishing I could help more!

BOO! - the first

 Can Halloween be every day?

Really though.

What is more fun than dressing in a random costume of your choosing and parading around with your friends? I wish it were twice a year - at least. 

I tend to wear three outfits every Halloween year: One for the Friday, one for the Saturday and a work appropriate one for the office. I am a big fan of dressing up at work merely because it makes the work day just a bit more enjoyable - and anytime I can manage that feat, I am a happy girl (College Kids: These are the things that are exciting as you get older... I hope you think of this the next time you even CONSIDER complaining about any facet of your current situation in heaven College).

For Friday this year, I pillaged my Halloween box and came up with a "Beer Girl", well- make that a "Dead Beer Girl". Or a decaying one? I don't know, I just wanted her to be a bit "dark" so I adjusted accordingly with a little eyeliner magic, grabbed my French Boyfriend and headed off into the night...
Hallo! Bonjour! - in our Friday night costumes 10/26/12
Dead Bier Girl & Roadkill
The Boy living up his French reputation (he doesn't really smoke- I would never date a smoker!) and the Hottest Dog that you ever did see.
My College Buddies
Just so darn happy it's Halloween.
Zee French Man enjoys some Wine
Part of the Halloween Crew I was lucky enough to hang out with
Red Hair don't care
Apparently his Costume has now turned into a Burqa...
Just a couple of Europeans enjoying a moment.
 And would you believe that I was really weirded out by not having side-swept bangs in my face like I usually do? I spent most of the night moving non-existent bangs away from my eyes out of habit. Made me realize I should spice it up a bit more in the hair department. And dye my hair red, because that was all kinds of fun - just some deep thoughts to help kick your week off on an intellectual note.

[FYI: in the middle of a long process of switching photo servers, so some previous posts make lack any pictures at all- this is due to that and will be remedied shortly. I just feel the need to declare this as the posts look horrible right now and it's bugging me.]

Happiest Monday!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

5 Reasons Why Bloggers are Pathetic Losers

When I decided to start a Blog in 2009, it was merely for my own pleasure and enjoyment. I needed (and have always needed) some type of outlet like this. Documenting my life, writing about it etc. wasn't new at all - that has always been me (see: my 500 journals that look like scrapbooks). However, the firestorm I walked into (as fun as it was)- is far more political than I realized. People seem to have very strong opinions about blogging- good and bad. And this has lead to a lot of thought about what this Blog is all about... and I decided (true to my self-denunciation form) that the following post is how I wanted to address the issue.
5 Reasons Why Bloggers are Pathetic Losers

1) Outfit Posts
I run a 'Whatever' Blog- meaning that I write whatever I feel like. So while I don't try to commit to a 'Fashion' Blog- I still like a good ol' outfit post every now and again. And when I do post one, what you see a picture of a girl innocently showing you what she wore. But how did I really get that picture? Welp; I got ready and deemed what I wore "post worthy". Upon determining this, I then allot 15 minutes of extra time before we take off so my poor Boyfriend can take a picture of me. Then, we stand (usually) outside while I strike awkward poses to the same rhythm of his eye rolling and boredom. It's pathetic. And then I post a "What I Wore!" blog and call it good. Yes, it is what I wore, but what kind of loser needs to showcase it like that?!? When you picture a bunch of Bloggers doing this (even the ones in couture), please tell me you see how ridiculous it is and feel better about yourself.

2) Solo DSLRing like a Boss.
I have a nice camera. Due to my lifelong hobby of taking pictures, eventually ending up with one of these was as inevitable as Jessica Simpson's pregnancy weight-gain. But DSLRs are cumbersome and a little rough to use in some cases. Take THIS POST for example (image above from it). I DO make these drinks constantly and that is how I make them. But do you know how hard it was to do that post and capture the process by myself? I literally had to sit there with the knife in my hand while my shaky left hand tried to take a picture with the other hand balanced way above my head. Reallllllly picture that: Crazy girl on her balcony with a staged knife and a shaky left hand trying to capture the moment. My poor neighbors.

3) It takes all but 1 minute to set up a Blog.
In 2009, at about 11 AM, I wanted to start a Blog. By 11:04 AM same day- I had a blog set-up! Well that was certainly hard. I never get Bloggers who act as if they are so tight simply because they spent 2 minutes creating a password, picking a name and throwing some words on the screen. Oooo-Ahhhh!

4) The Time Wasted.
We are all allotted the same amount of hours in the day, so the discrepancy becomes not how much time we have but what we use that time for. I work full-time, I workout thereafter most days and I maintain a social life. On top of that, I write this Blog. And what all Bloggers know (and most readers do not)- is that Blogging is SOO time consuming. From the idea-plotting, to the photo editing- it's a complete time suck. Sometimes I'm up into the wee hours trying to orchestrate the 'perfect post'. Dear Lord Caitlin, no one cares! Go to bed. And guess what else? When I don't post for a few days- here's the amount of people it affects. Ready? Ready?  0.

5) "Fans"? You ain't got no stinkin' Fans.
I am being so, so severely honest when I say that half the reason I Blog is to interact with others. I feel like I have pen-pals all over the world. And that is precious to me. But I'm turned off by any Blog that starts acting as if their Readers are their "fans". Sayyy what? See item 3, please! We do not have fans. We have people who have found something to do between 8 and 8:15 while they sip their coffee and delay the inevitable workday. And if they too wanted to join this 'elite' crowd, they could officially join in 4 minutes by creating their own Blog. So you, dear Reader, are far cooler than anyone else who misconstrues this as celebrity status. In fact- you are much cooler than me for going about your day without feeling the need to tell people what you did. And I mean that earnestly.

So the next time you read a Blog and get down about what you can't afford or don't have, remember that your jealousy stems from someone who sits at home and sets up pretty little home decor landscapes, or tendered, sweet outfits to put on their Blog to share for no apparent reason at all.

And to Bloggers who take offense to this: I come in peace. The only thing I love more than Blogging is a healthy dose of self-deprecation so do as I do and shamelessly write on.

 Much Love.
Monday, October 22, 2012

My Father, My Hero: 56 years.

 If you've watched"Modern Family" - you've witnessed a fairly good depiction of how I was raised on one side of the Parent equation. You see- Claire and all her tough-love and strict Parenting - is my Dad. While others I know were talking their way out of Groundings and getting money from their parents that they didn't have to pay back- I was STUCK at home Grounded (when I warranted 'grounding' there was no way I could finagle my way out of it) and creating Payment Plans to be a responsible loan-borrower from my Dad. My Dad believe(s)(ed) that the best way to prepare you for life ahead- is to show you that life will not be fair or easy, but if done with finesse and care, can be a wonderful existence.
My Sister (standing), My Dad and Me- proving the theory that Dads are the Original Hipsters
For as many days as I wasted fighting with my Dad in my youth and cursing his rules, I also spent reaping the rewards of his lessons: through persistent job hunting, I have a very good job; I know my way around a tool kit; I enjoy throwing the football; I believe that financial success means you MUST start to give back where you can; I do not (and haven't ever) felt like I'm some untouchable Princess. This will forever keep me capable, grounded and willing to work for what I want. And of course my Dad is fun too, he made Sunday morning breakfasts a blast, had me thinking the Denver Broncos were God's gift to Humans and he never says no to a game of Donkey Kong or Cribbage.
Dad, Brother and Me
Due to my Dad's inherent nature of being such a Parent to my Siblings and Me, we always talk about what he must have been like before work, before kids, before adult responsiblity- it's so hard to picture. However, I imagine that he was a bit wilder/crazy than he'd like us to imagine- someday I will get my Mom and Aunt/Uncles to tell me the truth.

Regardless- my tough, goofy Dad gave me a life of stability, love, tenderness and care. For few love his kids as much as my Dad loves his. And for that- I am forever and ever grateful.
Skiing with my Dad- one of the many things he taught me. See you at the bottom!
Happiest Birthday, Dad. Love you always and always. And thank you so much for not letting me grow up a Brat.
In the simplest terms- thank you for always being there.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

just a wee rant

3 things I want gone:

1) Radio DJs pitching weight-loss products. If I take it will I get a body that's perfect for Radio?

2) Websites with songs or videos that automatically play when you load them- takes a lot of nerve to just assume I want your sound to all of a sudden sprout from my speakers. In the words of Kenny Powers: You're f*ckin' Out! 

3) Lance Armstrong. What a prevaricator. And a disappointment.

Anything you could do without?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

View from the Top

 As long-term readers know (a.k.a. Hi Mom!), I am on a forever quest to make Portland interesting to me again. Not that I don't LOVE Portland. I do, I do! But I just am sooooooooooooooooooo tired of it after being here so long. But while I may talk sh*t of it from time to time, be aware that if you do- them's fighting words! Ye be warned! Just kidding... but really serious... :)

One of the ways I do this is by simply recognizing how amazing the City is and all of the cool places that I know it offers. Such as Portland City Grill which The Boy and I pillaged last weekend:
Hello my City. My Home. Keeper of all my stories.
Before we got the window seat we had to sit in a booth- like PEASANTS!
I love seeing two of the buildings my Dad worked in when I was a wee one. Memmmories.

Downtown West Portland- facing the Willamette River and over into the East Side (as seen left side of river)

The Boy takes it alllll in - I'm sure they were thrilled when he rolled in with a backwards baseball cap on...
I win the 'emo picture award'
And finally... the iPhone Instagram view.
Do you have a place that makes you love your home all over again?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Nestling in the Camera

 Last week in THIS post, I referenced the amazing bag on my shoulder. Not because it was a "pop of color" (does that phrase make anyone else want to shoot themselves these days?!?) or because it was merely new but because it is AMAAAAAZING for the photo-ogging lover just like myself.

In an effort to make The Boy think for himself, I put this bag on my Birthday list last August but sent it only to my family. However, My Sister circumnavigated that idea and sent it on over to him. And so he (sweetly) delivered to me the bag I've been coveting for awhile.

I mean... it's just perfect for any DSLR owner:
It's just so stinkin' adorable.
Inside has removable, convertible foam pads so you can comfortably fit your camera (far right), additional lenses (middle) and regular purse contents (left).
Not to mention numerous other pockets and pouches.
Rocking the adorable bagwith an outfit that doesn't deserve it: walking to get Coffee at my Sister's after sleeping over at her place (I also used her for her cute front stoop for this post).

I just love, love, love it and can't wait to build up my Jo Totes Collection of camera bags. Sure beats carting a purse AND a camera bag everywhere you go! Not to mention- their customer service team was incredibly helpful in dealing with a blip in our order. All in all: I'm in love.

****Note:Though it sounds like it,  I did NOT have ANY association with Jo Totes when writing this post. I am recommending on my complete and own authority because I simply love the product.****

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fit or Fat? Fat.

Two weeks ago I fell on my knee very hard. The kind of fall that little kids are accustomed to as they sprint down the street, trip over their shoelaces and go flying into the pavement. That kind of fall. After a week of severe pain and realizing there was NO outward sign of injury, I decided to head to the Doctor to make sure that I wasn't strolling around with a bone injury. Well thankfully, the muscle beneath my knee is just badly bruised and needs weeks of TLC. But I did get a diagnosis at the Doctor that I had long suspected but couldn't bring myself to fathom its intensity: Since moving in with the boy I've gained 25 motherf&^*ing, whopping pounds
This is my body when I work out 4-5 days a week for an hour and don't eat like a pig. NOT.THAT.HARD.CAITLIN.
 There have been many signs - the little belly that has never, ever been there before. The usual go-to dresses that I suddenly feel the urge to burn in a fire after trying them on. The fact that I just have felt generally shittier in stores. They've been there- yet, I have been too scared to step on a scale and see the damage.

So what the f*ck?

My Sis on Left, me on Right: My High School Body- couldn't have gained weight if I tried!
With great humility I must say that this has been the first time I have ever had an issue with my weight. Before that sounds condescending or conceited- let me quickly explain why this is so in 3 reasons.

1) Body History: I had one of those eat-anything metabolisms up until College. I was always skinny without trying in elementary, middle and high school. So it was just a non-issue for me.

2) Working It Out has been a Lifestyle: I played Sports my entire life and was a 4-year Athletic Letterer at my high school which meant year-round, 5-day workouts. Even if my body had transitioned into gaining weight easier, I wouldn't have known as I exercising so much that nothing would have stayed on. When  I did start to gain weight in College- due to my years in Sports-I knew how to maintain it to a degree I felt comfortable with. No problem there. Eassssy-Peasssy! Pass the Keg Tap!
I did okay weight-wise in College due to my athletic youth. But I am still friends with this doofus, so I didn't do so great. (wink, wink Jeej).
3)Healthy body image: As I've gotten older, it has been much harder to keep weight off- but even though I don't have the body I did at 18, I'm f*cking okay with it. I don't need to be super skinny (and I promise you, I do not want to be!!) so maintaining a FIT body has been easy to me. My butt will ALWAYS be big. My thighs will always be rotund: All about realistic expectations!

So why the weight gain?

Though I am asking myself this a lot lately (why has a lifetime of healthy body habits all of a sudden changed?), I feel there's a few reasons:

1) Weeknights: I have never liked hanging out with people on the weeknights. Minus the occasional Thursday, I use my weekdays for work, gym, sleep. Even when I would take a couple days off here and there, they would only be filled with more TV. Now I LIVE with a friend. It's sooo much easier to lounge around. And the nights I skip are detrimental- we revel in the break and make big dinners and crack a bottle of wine.

2) I am NOT a boy. Let's just say that I live with one of those classic guys who can eat like sh*t and not gain an ounce. Thus, when he prepares those meals, I need to be b*tchslapped and reminded that it will affect me differently.

3) I'm attached. While I still enjoy opposite-sex attention like any other red-blooded human, I don't feel AS much of a need for it as I did when I was single. As normal as that is it kind of sucks, I think the drive to gain that attention (as long as it's in a healthy manner!) makes for a solid body. [Hi Babe, I'll be flirting in the name of my Goal Weight. K? K! XOXO].
My Post-College Skinniest. But I was mid-breakup. So besides Work- all I did was cry and exercise.

So what am I going to do?

Well, despite KNOWING that I'm going to fully return to my Sunday-Wednesday workouts (and no wine!), I've decided to jumpstart with THIS PLAN

Which means this is my meal for today and tomorrow to get it going. 
 No: I am not a fan of crazy diets. Yes: I am a fan of a 1-2 days cleanse every now and again.
Wish me lots of luck, plenty of motivation and the ability to remind myself that I do not want to ever wind up in one of those electronic scooters. And once I actually lose some weight from this, be ready for some before/after pictures. Definitely made The Boy take some "BEFORES" tonight and bless his little eat-whatever-he-wants heart, he tried very hard to act like he didn't notice my weight gain... kinda. His eyes speak. I'm debating starting a fight over it.
Why you make me fat?! 
In regards to weight, it all comes down to how you feel. And as I know and feel that this is not the right weight for me, I'm going to change it- simple as that. And by 'simple' I mean 'holy h@ll this will suck'.

Have you ever faced a weight showdown?