Sunday, December 10, 2017

"A Spoonful Of...Say What?!"













   Over the years people have compared my likeness to many other individuals.  I've always found this odd considering I don’t think I’ve ever once said to someone, “Hey, you look just like…”  Perhaps I’m simply not observant enough to link people to their doppelgangers.  Admittedly I’m not always the most astute individual.  Okay, so there was that one dude in college that me and my friend always referred to as Duran Duran…but please…that hair?…it was a no-brainer.  
   Maybe the other reason I don’t mention to people who they remind me of is simply due to the fact that I fear it may offend them.  I remember once, in my early twenties, I was at a bar in Minneapolis and this table full of people…equally as young and dumb as I was at the time…was staring me down.  Despite the fact that I had drank myself into a state of feeling pretty good I did notice the attention and was starting to feel rather intimidated by it.  After a while the obvious, “ring leader,” of this merry band of hipsters approached me and demanded to know if I was an actress.  I answered, “No,” and immediately found myself smiling from ear to ear.  She explained to me that her table had been arguing about which independent film starlet they thought I was.  She continued by stating that the general consensus was that none of them could identify my name, however they were all certain they had seen the films I had been in.  Of course at the time I was thrilled.  “Mwah?,” An indie film star?  In my dreams!"  I immediately started having visions of people mistaking me for goddesses like Jennifer Connelly and Mena Suvari.  Of course this only lasted until the, "friendly hipster," interjected … “Well, the only thing our table could agree on was the fact that every movie you've made you played a strung out druggie on the brink of death.”  Okay, this may not have been the exact words that came out of her mouth, but it was something quite similar.  “Bubble popped,” I thought as I came back to reality and the idea that I probably resembled an addict more than a Hollywood movie star. 
   Of course, it’s always nice to get attention, even if it’s not specifically the kind you had in mind.  As I previously mentioned, over the years I’ve had many people compare my appearance to celebrities.  I’m not sure if this is something people do out of honesty, or whether they're seeking my approval.  For instance a few of the women I’ve often been compared to include:  Liv Tyler, Heather Nova, Amanda Peet, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Sandra Bullock…yes, I said Sandra Bullock.  Can you believe I’ve had multiple men tell me I resemble this woman?  It’s insane and I can’t quit obsessing over it.  I mean, the others ladies I can at least understand a hint of what they were seeing….Bryce Dallas Howard…yeah the hair style…I get it.  Amanda Peet…yes, from certain angles I can definitely understand.  However, I LOOK NOTHING LIKE SANDRA BULLOCK!!!  Honestly, is Sandra Bullock simply the go to, “hottie,” that middle aged men choose in order to hit on women?  It boggles my mind. 
   The reason I decided to write about this now is simply because today I can add a new name to my repertoire.  As I was buying a bottle of water at the Get-N-Go I had a cashier turn to me and state, “Oh my God, you remind me so much of Mary Poppins!!!”  “Uh…what?,” I answered.  She went on to insist that, “I looked just like Mary Poppins and she absolutely loved that movie as a child.”  She continued by incredulously asking me, “You’ve never been told this before?”  “Nope, that’s a new one,” I said and left totally perplexed.  “My God, no wonder the kids at work love it so much when I belt out, “A Spoonful Of Sugar.”  Honestly, this is something I sing with them when I’m feeling stupid.  I guess it’s true that everyone likes Julie Andrews.  In addition, I’m sure when you first set eyes on this blog post you thought, “Man, give that lady an umbrella and watch her fly!”
-r.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

"Mouthbreather"...yes, I also love, "Stranger Things"












   As I sit here writing this I can’t help but stare at these pictures and marvel, “Oh yeah, there was a time that I felt well.”  Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I fear I’m going to spend the majority of this post complaining about how sick I am…again.  I’m disgruntled to report this is the third time I’ve been ill since the beginning of September and I’m seriously getting tired of it.  I know...everyone told me that working in childcare was infamous for contracting ill…blah, blah, blah…I really feel cruddy right now and can’t even concentrate on finishing a thought.  In fact, this morning when I took the dog out I was so disorientated, from either congestion or NyQuil, I considered laying down in the remains of a False Indigo bush in order to regain my bearings until I could find the backdoor again.  Since when do crunchy perennials look comfortable?  Well, if one drinks enough cold medicine I’d venture to think even a cold slab of concrete looks inviting…which, ironically enough, was my second choice for a nap location.  I’m happy to report my trusty canine friend led me back to safety...solidifying my confidence, yet again, that if I ever fall in a well, mine shaft, or simply wander off to take a siesta in some dead foliage she will fetch help. 
   Of course there was a time when I wasn’t such a train wreck.  Seriously, not so long ago I was a fairly put together lady.  The woman in the pictures above is not one who is lying unconscious in her driveway.  She is not a, "mouthbreather," who lacks the intelligence to actually use the rather large protrusion sprouting from the center of her face…which by the way, I’m proud to state I know how to use. I simply can’t, due to an abundance of mucus.  Yes, my mom is so proud.  Of course, in several of the pictures above my mouth seems to be slightly ajar.  I don’t recall having any congestion then.  Huh…uh oh. 
   As someone who rarely has the self-control to sit still and do nothing, I dread the long hours of the day ahead.  What am I going to do with myself?  I mean seriously, when one is not well enough to even hit the Starbucks drive-thru what’s the point of being conscious.  Well, there’s a solid argument for catching some z’s in the shrubberez.  See what I did there?...cute huh?...no?...alright.  I’ll take that as a sign to wrap this up.  I will state that last night I did finally acknowledge the horrid fact that I was ill again.  I took it as a sign to finally sit down and watch a Criterion movie that has been on my list for quite some time.  Of course, it was an Italian film and by the end of it…in between pulls of NyQuil and the many vapors of Vicks… I had convinced myself I was no longer reading subtitles and had miraculously learned to speak Italian.  Now that should be a commercial for cold medicine! "Are you stuck at home sick and feeling stir crazy?  After a couple of slugs of this stuff you’ll find yourself in bleak post war Italy…begging seers for visions of a better life and considering theft for survival."  Are there any other geeky movie buffs reading this?  Can you guess what film I was watching?  Wait...was it a movie...or was it just another Saturday night? 
   Okay sorry…enough stupidity.  In closing, I’m sick as hell and not even sure this post makes sense.  I look forward to the day I can put back on the sweater I’m wearing in the above pictures and feel like a woman who has her shit together…until then, I’m just going to take a little snooze on this countertop. 
-r.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

"Tears Of A Clown"












   A few nights ago I had a coworker say to me, “Jeesh, you’re just like my mom!”  Admittedly, I did force this individual into my vehicle so I could drive him home.  I simply couldn’t watch him bundle up in order to trudge through the November darkness to catch three different buses just to get home.  In actuality, I’ve watched him do this very thing many evenings.  I should also clarify that this particular person seems very comfortable with his chosen means of transportation.  I marvel at his ability to navigate through everyday life without owning a car.  Honestly, it must be quite liberating.  However, some evenings I would assume it’s nice to get home early.  In addition, the other night he did me a solid at work so I felt I owed him a favor.  Upon arrival at his apartment I immediately went through my mental checklist out loud with him.  “Okay, have you got your phone?  Do you have your keys?  I’ll wait until you reach the door before I pull away,” I stated.  At that point this obviously adult and extremely capable person, quite legitimately, accused me of mothering him.  “Huh, my bad,” I thought.
   Of course, this is by far not the first time I’ve heard these words.  Actually, it was this very issue that nearly destroyed the relationship between me and my brother.  At the time we lived together in the, “BIG BAD CITY.”  We were both in our twenties and admittedly not the most responsible people.  It was not unusual for either one of us to roll…or physically crawl…into our apartment at all hours of the night.  In fact, I recall one evening in particular that I did just that…the crawling thing, that is…while wearing a Mexican luchador mask.  I remember finally getting to the apartment sometime around 2:00 AM and drunkenly giggling at the idea of my brother’s face when he saw me.  I should have known he would nonchalantly swing open the door and state without hesitation, “Oh, it’s just you.”  I hate when my antics are so predictable.  As a side note, if any of my readers ever have the opportunity to go to a Los Straitjackets concert I recommend going…like now! 
   However, I digress…the point of this sordid tale of sophomoric stupidity is, unlike my brother, I couldn’t handle when he was out late and I didn’t know if he was okay.  Considering both of our penchants for unpredictable shenanigans, combined with the undeniably crime ridden neighborhood we resided in, I was constantly concerned about his well-being.  About once a week I was totally convinced he had finally bummed a cigarette to the wrong individual and as a result was tied up in the back of some panel van, with orange shag carpet, on its way to sell him into a bizarre prostitution ring.  Of course, my constant calls and scolding seriously irritated him.  Eventually it became clear we probably shouldn’t live together.  However, his total inability to wash a dish didn’t help either.  
   I’d like to report that I’ve gotten over this obsessive compulsion to smother other individuals.  Thankfully today, both my brother and I are far beyond our, “wild years.”  I feel fairly confident in his ability to care for himself.  However, there was that tiny little setback on my last visit with him.  He had left his apartment on foot to pick up cookies for us at an all-night bakery.  Like I stated, our wild years are definitely done.  It was very late and when he didn’t return for quite a while…due to…well… due to what I instantly assumed was a human trafficking situation, I started to freak.  In actuality I didn’t need to be prepping myself to scour the neighborhood for clues.  He eventually returned with a bunch of delicious cookies and a lot less cigarettes.  His antics are also very predictable.
   Lastly, I guess the reason all of this has been on my mind is due to the fact that one of my outdoor cats has been missing for nearly a week now and I can’t get right with it.  The day I wore the outfit in the above photographs I was bitching about the fact that my cats would not leave me alone while I was posing.  Reflecting on this now, I could slap myself due to the fact that I would be more than happy to tolerate this small inconvenience in order to know they were all safe.  Unfortunately I currently do not know, and I’m not certain I ever will.  I've yelled my cat’s name repeatedly before and after work every day until I barely have a voice left.  I've paced every inch of our property, some of which has been quite challenging, due to dense shelterbelts, in search of clues or…god forbid…a body.   I've investigated each abandoned building on our land and every inch of the nearby highway in order to find some confirmation of what might have happened to my fuzzy companion.  Lastly, I've racked my brain trying to remember anything out of the ordinary the last time I saw him.  Finally today, when I resorted to stuffing a random ball of something like unidentifiable roadkill into my coat pocket with the intention of further analysis my boyfriend finally intervened, “You have to stop CSIing this Rayna.  You're making yourself crazy.  If he is alive, he will come back when he’s ready.” 
   In closing, it’s been a crappy week in my world and as a result this post took a rather serious turn.  I guess one can only write cutesy anecdotes for so long until they finally have to face what’s bothering them.  The thing that's really upsetting to me is the fact that one can do everything they’re supposed to do….one can be so careful…one can anticipate every problem…one can constantly ask, “Do you have your phone?  Do you have your keys?” and still your loved ones can get lost coming home.
-r.


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Karmic Exile












   When I initially took these pictures a couple of months ago I had anticipated the topic of this post to revolve around the fantastic pair of thrift store sunglasses I'm wearing.  Unfortunately, this is one of the major drawbacks of stockpiling images.  By the time I’m actually ready to post them the original topic I had in mind seems rather, “Meh,” in its relevancy toward my current life.  I guess I would still like to toot my own horn at the fact that I found these specs secondhand for two dollars!  Can you believe someone willingly parted with these babies?  “Toot! Toot!”
   Now I’d like to focus on a more current subject.  It’s quite possible I’ve told this story before…my memory is admittedly not the sharpest… however, some things in my mind are just too funny not to repeat.  A very old and dear friend of mine was once driven to the brink of insanity by a song that was stuck in his head.  The fact that the song was Tina Turner’s, “Private Dancer,” has always given me the uncontrollable giggles.  Basically, this friend is of the rugged woodsman variety.  I can’t seem to get past the flannel clad image of him strutting around shopping for canteens and humming, “Private Dancer,” through his full beard and mustache. 
   I remember the day he confessed to me his proclivity for this song.  He looked me in the eye…ironically, across a table filled with enough food to motivate one to chop wood…and stated he could not get Tina’s song out of his head and it was seriously starting to scare him.  After I stopped laughing…which was about the time the check came…I realized, “Oh man, I think he’s serious.”  It suddenly occurred to me that my friend was being haunted by a ratted hair, red nailed, plunging necklined, epically structured shouldered succubus whose song of lust was sending him to an early grave!  Okay, maybe that last sentence was a tad dramatic, and please don’t take that succubus comment to mean that I have something against Tina Turner.  I simply want to convey just how much her lusty song was sucking the life out of my friend.  Well, and admittedly another friend told me all about succubuses?…succubi?...over coffee the other day and I wanted to try out the word for myself.  Give me a break, alright. 
   The reason I’ve had my friend's misery on my mind lately is because I myself have been experiencing the same issue.  For some reason…that I can only attribute to karma… I cannot get the 1978 song, “I Wanna Kiss You All Over,” by Exile out of my mind.  It started about a month ago and has occupied a rather distracting amount of my headspace.  For example, there are many times I will be on break at work trying to pack as much leisure reading in as I can in a half hours’ time.  I’ll be devouring the page of some thriller and in my head it will sound something like, “She was running through the forest.  Tree branches were whipping her arms as she passed. Welts were starting to appear on her milky white skin.  These lesions could only be seen by the reflection of a harvest moon coming from a nearby creek.  As she ran she couldn’t help but wonder if her pursuer would use this body of water as her ultimate demise.  How ironic that the same place she had spent so many happy times as a child would ultimately lead to her death.  Now, as she sprinted through the near impossible overgrowth, she attempted to hear if HE was getting near.  What was that?!  A twig snapped followed by the screeching soun…I wanna kiss you all over.  And over again….”
   I can honestly say that many years after my friend's near bout of insanity I too have caught the bug.  I hear this song when I’m reading.  I hum this song when I’m working.  I sing this song when I’m grocery shopping…and people look at me awkwardly until I notice that I’m doing it rather loud.  Lastly, I think this song while I’m writing…so much that it seems to have dominated a post that could have been about a topic as exciting as eyewear.  I fear the day that I will become so absorbed by this tune that I will no longer be able to finish a pos… “I wanna kiss you all over.  Till the night closes in… Till the night closes in…”
-r.


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sasoo...in love with this dress!













   Sometimes when I’m sitting here in the library, I wonder if people think I’m crazy.  I swear I can hear them thinking, “What’s with the hooker lipstick?  It’s only two in the afternoon and we’re in a library for crying out loud.”  In response I’d like to say, “Hey, people, give a lady a break.  I just took blog pictures in the park and nothing shows up better on camera than a little of Rimmel's, “Metallic Seduction.”  Of course this statement would not help improve the status of my sanity.  I'm well aware of the fact that a near forty year old stalking around the park taking glamour shots is a tad off.  What’s even more sad is when the individual in question is willing to fight off Canada geese in order to do so.  My God, those buggers can be aggressive...and in hoards they can be rather intimidating.  Of course, they don’t hold a candle to this blogger on a mission.  I say, “Bah!” to taking pictures of wildlife in the park.  I’ve got a fantastic scarf to feature and I’m willing to fight for the perfect backdrop.  Let me tell you, in the end those birds chose to beat it.
   Of course, while I was fighting fowl in the forest most people in my neck of the woods are fixated on football.  Just this morning my boyfriend asked me, “Why can’t you just sit at home and watch the game today?”  It seemed obvious to me that watching a football game while wearing, “Metallic Seduction,” was just silly, but apparently this concept is not clear to others.  I mean, I understand why I have it on in the public library, but while watching football?  That’s just garish.
   Writing this now, in the calmness of a near empty library…like I said it’s football day in the Midwest…I can’t help but reflect on the pictures featured in the post above.  I believe I felt silly for overdressing on that afternoon too.  If I remember correctly I had absolutely nothing to do but get groceries that day.  I went to my closet and was instantly drawn to the dress I'm wearing.  It was a recent Goodwill find that I had been dying to take out on the town…except the town was providing nowhere exciting for me to go…so I decided to take it to Walmart…and let’s face it, to Goodwill again in the hopes that its’ original owner might have dropped off some additional adorable items.  As a side note, if I were to teach a class on thrifting this would be one of the tips I would lecture on.  If one is lucky enough to find a piece they're in love with at the thrift store, chances are quite good this item was dropped off in a bag full of additional garments that will equally suit your fancy.  This statement reminds me of an exciting thrifting trip where I happened to stumble onto the best paisley vintage skirt I had ever seen…until I found another…and another!  To this day I still give thanks to the old hippie who cleaned out her closet that week.
   Unfortunately, I never did find the rest of the items from the original owner of this blue dress.  Maybe it was the only thing that person dropped off.  I think of it like a shooting star.  It was original and fleeting and obviously it made my dreams come true.  Okay…admittedly that’s a bit much, but I do love this dress.  Not only does it fit me like a glove, it’s vintage ‘80s Sasson which makes me crazy.  There's nothing better than 1980's Sasson or Jordache.  Aah…I can hear the Motley Crue blaring over the hiss of an Aqua Net can.  
   I think it's notable to mention a few years before acquiring this dress I had a close call with my ethics that revolved around a Sasson piece.  On this particular occasion I'd been organizing donated clothes at a local homeless shelter.  No really…I was…I didn’t just put that sentence in to make me appear more socially conscious.  Anyhow, this next statement will take away any charity points I just earned.  As I was hanging coats for residents to choose from I came across the most amazing ‘80s burgundy faux fur Sasson jacket.  It was truly a stunner.  At that moment I literally found myself tempted to steal from a shelter.  With shaking fingers I remember hanging the coat on the rack and rushing to another project before my integrity was lost forever.  I guess, I like to believe my Sasson dress was a karmic reward for doing the right thing.  Of course, to be honest, this dress doesn’t look as good with, “Metallic Seduction,” as that coat would have.  However, who cares when you’re too ashamed to look at your own face.
-r.   





Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Days That I Did Things












   If I were being totally honest I would admit that today’s blog post is mostly about trying to ditch the last of my summer outfit pictures…that, and getting this thing written so I can finally binge watch the second season of, “Stranger Things,” on Netflix.  Um…as a side note, is anyone else totally impressed with what Netflix has been putting out lately?  “Mindhunter,” owned me for three days!  This being stated, I believe it’s probably obvious I’ve been wasting a large portion of my time lately in front of the tube.  Basically, in my mind winter has already begun and it’s time to hibernate.
   Of course, even in the summer hibernation is not that foreign of a concept for me.  I’m quite comfortable holing myself up with a good book at my favorite Starbucks or the public library.  However, I'll state that venturing out to even these inconspicuous locations is becoming a bit of a challenge.  In fact, it was just yesterday I found myself in my favorite comfy chair at the library.  I had settled in to read about two hours of a thriller I’ve been currently devouring.  This stop between errands was to be an early reward for my inevitable biweekly grocery trip to…gasp!...Walmart.  Keeping that horrid task in mind, I had limited time for, “leisure,” and I wasn’t in the mood for distractions.  Unfortunately, not everyone seems acquainted with the concept that libraries are supposed to be a quiet place.  As a result, the majority of my time there was spent listening to some jerk’s cell phone conversation with his girlfriend.  This is why bookworms are so antisocial.  I don't care what time your girlfriend is demanding you get home!...I've got a killer to catch!  
   Of course, apart from this issue, it hasn’t been that challenging to stay home lately. Unfortunately, I’ve already experienced two head colds this fall that damn near killed me.  I seriously found myself worrying, “My God! Can I suffocate from phlegm?!”  
   Looking at the pictures above does make me smile at the recollection of summer.  Yes, last summer…a time where I did find myself, “actually doing,” quite a few things!  For instance, on the days these pictures were taken I had attended a rodeo and gone to a lake.  I can’t help but laugh now at the realization that I had theme dressed for both occasions.  I feel like maybe there's a group available for this kind of problem.  “Hi, My name is Rayna and I theme dress.”
   I guess I look forward to the idea of actually, “doing things,” again.  However, it’s hard when there are so many kitschy, “Degrassi,” episodes left to watch…or killers to be exposed in the next hundred pages…or Stevie Nicks pictures to pin on my Pinterest board…or handbags to put on my ultimate wish list…or ‘S’mores to microwave and eat…or cats to cuddle and converse with…or Woody Guthrie albums to spin on the turntable…or fashion houses to follow on Instagram...or Post Malone videos to watch on YouTube...or garbage pail kid punk rock jackets to be made…or…  You know, maybe I am doing stuff?  Better yet, I think I can theme dress for all of these activities.  A flannel shirt and sweat pants sounds good.  Whew…perfect!  I’m right on track then.
-r.