Friday, July 24, 2009

A few more pictures for your enjoyment. I will be posting more to my website when it launches.

Photos courtesy of Adrienne Gunde.
Las Vegas is both fun and depressing.

Everybody loves a good time and what place better to do it than Vegas where you can gamble, party, and drink 24/7? Just lost 10 pounds? Great! Go to Vegas and show off that body because there is no place else on Earth where it is acceptable to be scandalous just because it's Tuesday. Believe me, I enjoy this as much as the next person.

What irks me is the "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" mentality. It's too temporary and too lenient on the idea of being somebody and acting a certain way you normally would not. I am all for expanding your horizons and thinking outside of the box but not when it entails being embarrassed about your actions. Vegas promotes the theme of "when in Rome..." and people buy into that. It's easy to excuse disgraceful behavior when you can dismiss it as part of being the "Vegas experience."

I will admit to having fallen in line with these beliefs. I have made weekend trips to Vegas to escape the sometimes mundane, sometimes dramatic reality of my life. It sounds like a fail-proof plan: take a weekend getaway, forget your problems, and take part in a weekend of debauchery and fun under the premise that it's temporary and that no one will ever find out about the events. Unfortunately, at the end of that entertaining weekend, you are left with the cold, desperate pangs of reality. Like Vegas, the fun and outrageous occurrences of the weekend are fleeting. This makes returning to the "real world" on Monday an even more sobering moment. Frankly, it's depressing.

Upon further examination of the Vegas "incidences," you find yourself incredibly grateful that no one will ever find out about them. To what purpose did these things serve? It is easy to be somebody different when there are little to no consequences for your actions and words. Does this make you feel like a better, more empowered person?

My take on it is that while most people look back at Vegas excursions as fun and exciting trips, it leaves much to be desired. There are no real connections, no truths to be revealed in a city designed for temporary release. What it does lead to is a brighter spotlight on the issues you were so desperate to escape.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Real women love football. Clearly, I do.

Photo courtesy of Adrienne Gunde.

Friday, July 17, 2009

"...some would accuse you of being too idealistic and a dreamer, but isn't it nice to still think of the grand possibilities, and not yet be jaded or cynical?"

I'm an optimist and a romantic.

I believe the best in people unless they prove me wrong. Even when they prove me wrong, I continue to give them chances to redeem themselves even if I am constantly disappointed. That's what it means to feel disappointment in someone; you had an expectation that they have failed to fulfill. When that same person continues to disappoint on further occasions, it's because you still have expectations. I think it is quite sad when you actually stop feeling disappointment because you are no longer hopeful.

I believe that everything happens for a reason even if it is unclear at the time. It is possible that life is truly comprised of random occurences and coincidences. If that were the case, what would you have to look forward to? Do you just depend on chance? You may or may not meet someone with whom you share a great love; it may be today, next week, or never. There are too many "what ifs" in a life composed of accidents.

I believe that following your heart will lead you to real happiness. While, of course, reasoning and logic are involved in the decision making process, pursuing dreams sometimes means you'll have to toss those things aside. Second guessing and doing what is "responsible" all the time puts you in a position of stability, true, but it also puts you in state of mediocrity. Is being content better than being happy? Do you settle or do you reach for the stars?

I live by these mantras but it hasn't always placed me in the most ideal of situations. In fact, there have been times when they have been counter-effective to fulfilling my goals. Even so, I still believe. I'd rather regret something I have done than something I have not.

Go ahead. Call me idealistic and a dreamer.
Be yourself. Live life with no regrets.

Monday, July 06, 2009

I'm not sure what it is about me that screams, "PLEASE TALK TO ME ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS AND LOVE!" I suppose my blog background hints at my inner romantic.

Over the weekend, I had a long conversation with a guy I've known for many years regarding the necessity (or lack thereof) of relationships to live a happy, meaningful life. It all started when he posed the following questions, "What's going on with you? Are you dating again?"

To which I responded, "I'm giving up on that; it's been too disappointing. Besides, I've relied too heavily on the guys I've dated in the past to make me happy. I'm trying to focus on my career and pursuing goals that will make me happy without depending on a relationship."

"Really? Will that be enough? I think men can live that way but I think it's different for women; they need a relationship to be happy."

We must have been distracted by something at that point because I can't seem to recall the reasoning behind this statement. Or, perhaps, I was so infuriated by this clearly sexist comment that I simply did not hear the rest of the conversation. Although, after much thought and consideration, I am inclined to agree with his opinion.

Ladies, before you bite my head off, allow me a moment to explain. Women, in general, are complex creatures. As much as we may attempt to simplify our lives (and ourselves), it has become painfully clear to me that these efforts are pointless. Take, for example, the "angry woman." In a relationship, when a woman becomes angry, she quietly seethes, waiting for the man to notice and prostrate himself in total apologetic surrender. The longer he takes to notice, the angrier she gets. When he finally asks, "What's wrong, honey?" she will ultimately respond with, "NOTHING." Why? Because we expect you to already know and if you don't know, we want you to be concerned enough to keep asking and make it up to us. (Whitney Cummings does a great bit about this).

Unquestionably, women are wired differently than men. It has been my experience that women are more emotional than men. Maybe it's the estrogen or maybe it's the lack of testosterone. Whatever the case may be, because women are more emotional, we tend to want to "talk things out." While, yes, we have fabulous friends who will no doubt lend an ear, sometimes it requires more - perhaps a tender touch or a loving gaze. Unfortunately, these warm-hearted moments are few and far between with casual dalliances. So I say that, yes, we need a relationship if for no other reason than to keep ourselves sane.

With that being said,

I'm trying to focus on my career and pursuing goals that will make me happy without depending on a relationship.

I'm doomed.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

I was at the grocery store the other day picking up essentials like ground turkey and Nutella (not to be used together, of course). While perusing the dairy aisle, a woman approached me and asked, "Do you know the difference between organic milk and regular milk? Why does the organic milk last so much longer than regular milk?"

I'm not sure what gave her the impression that I would know, but I tried my best to answer. "I think it's because organic milk is ultra-pasteurized although I can't tell you what that really means."

"Oh! Well, I only asked you because you look like you're smart, technically savvy. Well, thanks." And she went on her merry way.

It's not that I mind being perceived as intelligent, but how does one look like s/he is "smart" and "technically savvy" (I think she really meant "technologically savvy")? Mind you, I was wearing low-ride jeans and a San Francisco-themed Paul Frank baby tee and not a pair of suspenders with a graphing calculator clipped to the belt.

What is it that causes people to perceive characteristics of a person upon first glimpse? I am surreptitiously glancing at the bleach blonde, incredibly thin, perfectly tanned girl (wearing a bikini top and shorts small enough to not leave anything to the imagination) sitting at the table across from me at this cafe and I automatically assume she's another actress/model trying to make it in Hollywood. Who knows, though? Maybe she's actually an aerospace engineer trying to absorb her daily dose of vitamin D from the sun during her lunch break.

My point is, first appearances can be deceiving. I've been told that I am intimidating and unapproachable at first glance. I can understand this perception and it is highly probable that I promote this image of myself because it is far better to pleasantly surprise as opposed to disappointing someone. Regardless, a person can "put on" appearances as s/he pleases, but it is at the sole discretion of the outsiders to perceive him/her as they will.

I have consistently struggled with the theme of perception. The many layers make it difficult to determine what "true self" means. There is the way I want to be perceived versus the way I think I'm perceived versus the way I actually am perceived. It's so much to keep track of that I eventually will just need to throw up my hands in surrender to societal generalizations and views.

What truly concerns me is when I look in the mirror, I have difficulty answering the questions "Who am I?" and "What defines me?" Surely it is not only the narrowly defined representations forced upon me by society. Yet at the same time, there are instances when a person can accurately be defined by generalized characteristics. For example, I can see someone as courageous, driven, passionate. I do not believe that there is "nothing else to him," but it is his essence and what sets him apart from everyone else. I think what really defines a person are not only personality traits, but the experiences that contribute to your outlook on life and your very being.

Magic Mirror
The Magic Mirror from Beauty and the Beast

Wouldn't it be easy if we all had a Magic Mirror that would reflect not an image but a definition? It would find "you" in the "Magic Mirror dictionary" and display exactly who you are.

I meant for this to be a whimsical post about striking up conversations with random people, but it somehow turned into a philosophical examination of self and perception. Nice, Tammy.