Thursday, April 26, 2012

BlueShame of the Week

This is a story about two people who never grew up and one clueless sap who got caught in the midst of this reprehensible maelstrom. This woman is hands down the BlueShame of the week - maybe even the entire month. Am I judging? Absolutely. I hope this story reminds you all how best to treat one another.

Rewind nine years to me as a fresh-faced and vaguely promiscuous 23-year-old working at a dream job in Boston that was perfect for me. Enter Tony, an account guy at my work 14 years my senior and so incredibly wonderfully grumpy and brusque that what could I do but fall head over heels in love with the guy? He had just left a ten-year marriage and wasn't ready to give me a chance to be his girlfriend, but he was ready to bone me, which he did very enthusiastically a few times but never really pursued it beyond getting off. This sorta broke my heart. but I left the dream job and didn't have to look at him anymore, so the whole out-of-sight-out-of-mind thing kicked in and I was ready for the next one if I couldn't have the one that had my heart.

In walks Eli, a super sweet and available guy. Ten years my senior and ready to settle down. He is an insanely smart tech guy and just thinks the sun rises and sets in me. Knowing that the one I really want doesn't want me, I dive into a relationship with Eli. We move in together almost immediately. Eli is amazing and open, and tells me he loves me and I fall in love with him. He goes on a trip around the world for a year, and I go with him. He proposes, I accept. Then I run into Tony and sleep with him. Repeatedly. And it's amazing. Whoops. I know, I know. I'm awful and I know it, but I don't want to hurt Eli, so I just do the right thing and buy a house with him and marry him without ever breathing a word. That's okay, right? No? Whoops again.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Knowing

Even as I am going through the long, draining, and tumultuous process of figuring what to do next with my life really my career... I'm talking five [give or take] months spent generating ideas then shooting some down, negotiating job offers, turning countless gigs down, navigating around requisite and in[s]ane bosses, dealing with defamation, handling disrespect, noting light-bulb moments, keeping myself positive and motivated, scratching off to-dos, working and re-working cash budgets, creating outlines, visualizing incessantly, jotting down lengthy lists of goals, feeling the burn of exhaustion and the flames of light within...

One thing has remained constant: There was never a question in my mind that I was going to make it... as Gaga so eloquently and eerily stated above. I say eerie because she is the first person I heard articulate so eloquently the sentiment that I have inherently felt for years now. 

"I told so many people for so long that I was a superstar and I wasn't, and one morning I woke up and the delusion was real..."
- Lady Gaga

It's the kind of statement that sounds nutty as hell if it's not a method or mindset you ascribe to, but I completely get it [you have to see it first before you can reach it], so I'm not worried about it how it sounds. What I'm trying to understand is how this person outside me understands so much of what is going on inside me...?! Now you know why I feel a connection to this woman and why I love her.

As I said in the dawn of this past Monday on Twitter:

HUSTLE and BELIEVE and IT will come. [It has no choice but to at that point!]

p.s. - For those of you who were looking for The Weeknd's song "The Knowing"... just know that that track sucks anyway. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Arcona Review

The Basic Five for problem skin

Here are some details from the Arcona website:
Arcona’s Basic Five skin care regimen begins with products chosen to address your particular skin concerns. The purpose of the Basic Five is to help speed up, strengthen and enhance the skin’s own renewal process. The products you use in the morning nourish, strengthen and protect your skin by day. The products you use at night heal, repair and regenerate your skin as you rest. You’re likely to see an immediate difference in the way your skin looks and feels, and with faithful continuous use, the Basic Five will bring your skin into balance for cumulative long-term change.

I purchased the Basic Five for problem skin which includes:
  • Raspberry Clarifying Bar [Scrub]
  • Cranberry Gommage [Cleanser]
  • AM Acne Lotion [Daytime treatment]
  • Tabula Rasa [Spot treatment]
  • The Solution [Night treatment]
The Regenerate - Purify Kit which includes:
  • Vitamin A Complex [Anytime treatment]
  • Night Breeze [Night treatment]
  • Youth Serum [Daytime treatment]
  • Magic White Ice [Hydrator]
  • Tea Tree Mask [Mask]
  • Desert Mist [Daytime protective treatment/Hydrator]
  • Hydrating Serum [Hydrator]

Let me just say upfront that within two weeks Arcona transformed my skin. It brightened my complexion and cleared the rash-like allergic reaction I got from using an at-home TCA peel. Here is my individual product breakdown [this is long, so your best bet is to scroll down to the products you're interested in. Or else, just read on!]:

The Raspberry Clarifying Soap is a hockey puck shaped piece of soap that smells like a cheap cherry lollipop. The smell doesn't linger, and as I lather I try not to think about it. The first time I used it, it dried my face out so bad that I almost chucked the soap in the garbage. But I committed to using it for at least two weeks, and I stuck with it. For the whole first week my face felt tight, and as a somewhat oily-skinned girl I wasn't used to that. By the second week, my skin started feeling more comfortable. I used the soap every morning and night, and after realizing that it could completely remove a full face of makeup in one fell swoop, I was a convert. Definite repurchase.

The Cranberry Gommage has the texture of wet sand [although it's far less grainy than that] and smells like a combination of fruit punch and blueberries [by far the best smelling product of the basic five set]. It is to be used during the day, ideally the morning after using The Solution [the night prior]. It does a pretty good job of buffing away the dullness and flakes, and it rinses clean, but at $42 for 3oz, and $75 for 6oz, I'll stick with my $10 C. Booth Microdermabrasion Scrub [which smells like granny smith apples and does one helluva job]. No use spending that kind of money on something that isn't a huge skin enhancer and is literally washing down the drain.

The AM Acne Lotion has the consistency of honey, and smells like a Long Island Iced Tea [most of these products really do smell delicious]. It's a product you use five mornings a week, right after the soap/gommage. I love this product! You have to apply it quickly [damp skin is best] because it's sticky at first, but give it a minute, it will sink it nicely. This is a definite repurchase as I feel it does a great job of fighting blemishes and keeping my skin semi-hydrated throughout the day.

Tabula Rasa is a green liquid that smells like aloe and acetone. Yep... *sniffs it again* nailed it. It's a spot treatment that is applied daily after the AM Acne Lotion dries. This is a product I'm still on the fence about. You're instructed to use a Q-tip to help spot treat, but in order to avoid unnecessary product waste, I pump it into my palm and use my other finger to apply it. I haven't seen much of a difference, so I'm going to begin using it as a toner all over my problem spots before the AM Acne Lotion. If I don't see any positive effects before this bottle is through, there will be no repurchase.

The Solution is pale yellow liquid that smells like witch hazel and oregano. Yes. It's to be used 2-4 times a week at bedtime, and it's supposed to be this crazy powerful almighty treatment. I used to spray it in my palm and then press it on my face a la Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone, but now find that it's just easier [and probably more effective] to use a cotton pad. I'm not sure this product is doing anything for me, but maybe it's because I don't feel anything as I'm applying it. Either way, I have a sneaky suspicion that it's this and the AM Acne Lotion keeping my zits at bay, so it's a repurchase, but next time I'm getting the pads.

Night Breeze is a sheer white serum-like consistency and it smells like stale cotton [seriously, I need a job doing this people!] It's a night treatment, and it's to be used 1-2 times a week [since you can only use The Solution a few nights a week, I got Night Breeze to use on the other nights]. I like Night Breeze. I'm not sure why because I'm not really sure what it's doing for me, but it delivers oxygen to the skin, helps kills bacteria and it's anti-inflammatory. Plus, it's a cheaper version of the Natura Bisse Oxygen Serum [a product I'd been lusting over for weeks now], and all the benefits sound like a good bet to me. 

Magic White Ice is a multipurpose hydrating serum with a milky white color and a wonderfully elegant fruit punch scent. It was the product I was most excited to try, and the only one that really didn't work out for me. [It was a mismatch for my skin type.] After a few days of waiting for my skin to acclimate to the new routine, I started using a dab of this to hydrate. I was hoping that the coconut derivatives in the product wouldn't break me out, but after a few mornings of waking up to blistery bumps, I had to give it up. It was all very unfortunate really, since it had such an awesome name and smelled like a delicious fruit drink. But when I really think about it, it didn't do such a good job hydrating my skin – my face still felt tight after application. I'd recommend the product for non acne-prone, oily skinned types.

Youth Serum is an orange liquid that smells a little like soy sauce. It's full of vitamin C and claims to defend against free radicals [what are those anyway?] You're supposed to use it everyday before your hydrator, but seeing as though I'm 23 and don't really need this, I just use it on Sunday mornings. I'm not really seeing any notable changes, but frankly it doesn't matter since due to my aforementioned age, this isn't a repurchase anyway. 

Vitamin A Complex is a yellow liquid with the consistency of the contents of a vitamin E capsule and a serum. Basically, it feels oily in your hand but sinks in without a greasy after-feel. This has lots of good stuff in it, and you're supposed to use it 2-3 times a week but I just use on the nights after I've done my mask. I'm not sure about repurchasing this product; one because I can't tell if my skin is reaping the benefits of it, and two because I think it's quite pricy at $68 for 1 oz.

I bought the Tea Tree Mask due to all the raves I saw online. It is a pale yellow color with the consistency of yogurt and smells faintly of tea tree, menthol and sulfur – at least initially. I think it's neat that it never dries [I hate that tight my-face-will-crack-if-I-smile feeling you get from most clay masks] and it actually does a great job of calming skin down but what I couldn't stand was the strong sulfur smell that lingered on my skin way after I'd rinsed the mask off. Do you know what sulfur smells like?! A boiled egg. The first time I used this mask, the smell lingered for a whole day [until I showered next]. And on top of that, I smelled it on my towel, my pillow and anything else that might've touched my face during or after the 20 minute application time. I was irritated. The second time I used the mask, I washed it off with the raspberry soap thinking I'd kill the stank sulfur smell for good this time [even though washing off the mask with soap might have diluted its effects, I really couldn't handle smelling like ass for a whole 48 hour period after]. The smell seemed to be gone... but every time I turned my head, there it was again! Grrr! I decided to only use the mask right before hopping in the shower, until I use it up.

Desert Mist is in liquid form, and smells exactly like soy sauce [which was a recurring complaint in the reviews for this product]. With that being said, I don't really mind it. It dissipates quickly and gives my skin a luxurious feeling after I pat it on in the mornings [after my AM Acne Lotion and Tabula Rasa]. It is an AM treatment that is supposed to "defend against environmental damage and free radicals" and "reinforce daily hydration" which I love for two reasons: I live in New York City where the air of full of yuck, and my skin sometimes suffers from dehydration. Although I don't think I've seen a difference using this, I think I feel a difference, so this is a re-buy for me.

Hydrating Serum has a light gel-like texture, one girl described it as having a waxy-pineappleish smell. To me it smells more like... brand new plastic. Blegh. I don't know, maybe I got a bad batch. Anyway, the hydrating serum can be used anytime and it's smooth and light, so light that I barely feel it on my skin. That's a good thing and a bad thing. Sometimes it seems to quench my skin's insatiable thirst, and other times I bypass it and reach for my argan oil instead. I am thinking it will be a great summer moisturizer, but I'm on the fence about whether I would repurchase.

Arcona has many more fabulous products in their arsenal, so check them out! The products are pricy, but they're effective - and as seen in my case - mostly worth it!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fair Game

I think this is what an angel [or an eccentric bride-to-be] looks like.
I love that Gaga has fun with her celebrity, and always dresses the part of a "star".
I don't always agree with her sartorial choices, but she looks all goddess-y and glamorous here. It's stunning.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What do you want?


What do you want? I heard Oprah ask Lady Gaga this simple yet loaded question during their interview, and again of the live audience on her show Lifeclass. Before my lips could scramble to reiterate one of the common answers: success, peace, good health - a quiet voice in my head popped up, stopped me in my tracks, and whispered:


Yep... Sit on that for a second.

That revelation stunned even me when I heard it. But when I took a moment to let it sink in, I realized it was the heartfelt truth. I want to feel glory, receive glory and be glorious in all that I do. And if that sounds haughty to you... then you must know that I don't give a fuck. [Like Bishop T.D. Jakes said on a Lifeclass show a week ago: "When you know who you are and where you are going, you don't need validation from anyone." That explains it really. It's why I am the way I am, and have been for as long as I can remember.]

What do you want? It's really a wonderful question to ask yourself. You might surprised at your answer.

Monday, April 16, 2012

My two cents on your two cents

All the 'two cents' I told people to keep.

As some of you might already know: I really hate unsolicited advice. And when I say hate, I mean it. Most of the time when I talk to people, I just want them to listen. By no means do I want their ideas on what I should do next, unless I explicitly ask for them. Now that might sound super smug and bratty, but hear me out.I'm very interested in the “why” of things. We need to ask why more often. So I asked myself: Why do I hate unsolicited advice? Because - I feel that most people don't know what the hell they're talking about. For the purpose of this blog post, we'll call them SAGs [shitty advice givers]. 

SAGs are stealthy, and come in many different forms:
  • SAGs do not think outside of the box, they give advice based on their limited worldview and life experiences. “New York City is for whores and hustlers!” - meanwhile they've never even visited. They have never attempted to do anything special so they will push you toward complacency too. That is all they have known – so that is the perspective that they will share with others.
  • SAGs don't know the difference between right and wrong, best and worst, integrity and criminality. They encourage you to do all sorts of crazy, deceitful, and devious shit because well, fuck it – YOLO! These are people who don't care about life or consequences in general and whose free-spirited nature is actually just carelessness.
  • SAGs lack the ability to empathize or put themselves in another person's shoes. You pour your heart out and they don't hear you, you explain your side and they dismiss your feelings. They are hard and callous and they think that your worries are pointless and petty. These people don't deserve friends.
  • SAGs are often pushing their own agenda. They invite you to their church all the time, or they try to convince you that you'll feel a lot better if you just follow the light and go vegan. Yep, not gonna happen.
  • SAGs aren't intelligent enough to give you a logical and reasonable response. They give you backwards-ass suggestions for everything: pursuing opportunity, love, friendship and anything else that takes a brain.
  • SAGs come from a negative or pessimistic place. They say things like all men are dogs, you can never trust anyone, watch your back etc etc. Miserable people will only give you tips on how to be as miserable as they are. Why would they do otherwise? Their words are coming from a mind and body that is stuck in a terrible spot. Miserable people have a miserable perspective.
  • SAGs don't actually care about your predicament. They will uh-huh and okay and that's cool you to death, they zone out as you talk and they respond to all your concerns with “I'm sure it will all work out" proving that they just want you to wrap it up and move on to the next topic already.
  • SAGs are dumb. People on the internet love to spout out tips and advice yet they're barely able to construct a proper sentence. Please have a seat. Have all the seats in the world. Forever. Far too many people are idiots, and far too many idiots are critics. Every dummy can tell you what bullshit the next guy is getting into meanwhile their life is falling apart right underneath them. Morons are to be completely avoided in all aspects of life but especially when it comes to advice. You'll only end up scratching your head and asking yourself “Am I crazy or...?”
Here are a few examples of crap advice that I didn't follow:

A family member is always telling me "Don't push too hard, take what you can get" when it comes to job offers. It's no coincidence that she has a full time job that she loathes. I refused to listen to her and have always chosen to negotiate, which has resulted in hundreds of dollars in salary increases for me, and various other benefits. Just because she has settled in her career doesn't mean that I have to follow suit.

Another time an ex-buddy told me that I should don fake eyelashes to enhance my eyes, and to shave one side of my head since the cut would look “really cute” on me. After I retorted that the idea was tacky and hideous, I side-eyed her so hard I thought my eyes were gonna pop out of my head. She's no longer in the picture for reasons such as these.

Then there were all the times my Dad tried to convince me to move to North Carolina, all the people who tried to talk me out of moving to New York City, all the people who tried to bully me into getting a pointless degree, all the people who tried to convince me to lower my standards. No... no... and... no.

I would never write to Dear Coquette [née Dear Coke Talk] or any of these other advice columnists for real life direction. Because, who are these people? What are their credentials? Are their lives in order? Can they remain objective? [Truth: no one really can.] I only ask for input on my life from people I personally know who are on my level or above it. People who have qualities I admire or things that I want. People who are deep and logical thinkers. Every other Tom, Dick, Harry, Debbie Downer and Nosy Nancy can put their two cents back in their pocket and mind their business.

As I said on twitter the other day: Ask the people who have what you want how they got it [keys to success!]. Never ask a miserable ass person for shit, let alone advice. If you need relationship advice, ask someone who's in a healthy relationship, if you need career advice talk to someone at their top of their game and so on and so forth. For the all the others who are exemplary at nothing? NUNYA! Don't share tips when you're down below looking up at me!

P.S. - In case you were wondering, I think actually, I know [ask around] that I give great advice. It falls a bit on the tough love side of the spectrum, but I think people are so emotionally coddled nowadays that a swift kick in the ass is often necessary. In fact, it's just the minimum.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Blues

This artist - Dante - sounds like Phil Collins & The Weeknd. He remixed Adele's 'He won't go' here which I like! Enjoy:

The House Party

Methinks I could give Twilight a run for its money with this tale of young suburban/urban love. This is the ninth of seventeen chapters I penned as a teenager [about 10 years ago - gasp!], and other than a minor edit for length and clarity, I wrote exactly what follows. Funny enough, I ended up dating many guys like Mike [good-looking, smooth, charming] as an adult... but that's a story for another day. For a glimpse into my romantic and imaginative mind of yesteryear, read on: 

The House Party:

Three days ago, Naree had informed Julia about a house party happening tonight, somewhere on the west side of Manhattan. “Look adorable!” Naree had quipped before hanging up. It had taken an hour, but Julia finally decided on cute summer outfit: a denim miniskirt, a white embroidered top, wedges and a green, light jacket. Julia had been instructed to hop on the subway and meet Naree at Penn Station. Julia arrived there at 9:17 p.m., and worriedly looked around for her city guide, Naree. It was a good thing Naree gave her explicit directions, or else Julia would have been panicking more than she already was. Julia felt a tap on her shoulder and spotted Narree. She left out a sigh of relief. “Well, you got here all in one piece didn’t cha?” Naree smiled, giving Julia a kiss on the cheek. “Yeah,” Julia nodded. Naree’s eyes were lined in black, her lips were bright and her curvy body was in black pants, heels and a glamorized t-shirt that read Kisses: FREE. Julia smirked and was surprised at how the evening had transformed her usually demure friend. “C’mon,” Naree said, wrapping her arm around Julia’s neck, “a party awaits us.”

Once outside, Naree hailed a taxi like she’d done it a million times before. Julia didn’t know she was gawking at her that hard until Naree snapped and said “I’m a city girl, what can I say?” before hopping in. Julia stared out the windows taking in every bit of the city that she could. The city made her feel so free, for a reason she never quite understood. Within a few minutes, they were outside of the spot. “I think this is it,” Naree said, looking up at the place and then back down at her directions. She smiled after a moment and looked back at Julia “C'mon girl! Are you ready?” She grabbed Julia and they made their way up to the floor that was busy booming beats out of the windows.

Julia felt a wave of anxiety hit her, like a brick wall, but she glimpsed Naree’s smiling face and caught her breath. Julia followed Naree inside and tried to get a good look at everyone. It was hard though, because Naree was veering left and right introducing Julia to everyone as her “new friend”. Julia spotted a few fellas eyeing her and it made her uncomfortable, so Naree continued mingling as Julia grabbed a drink and found a deserted corner to hang out in. Near the windows was a huge wrap-around couch, with coats and people with drinks strewn all over it. The crowd seemed young, well-dressed and full of soul. Some people were already dancing, but others were standing, looking for whatever new person that could possibly be potential. The vibe was cool and low-key and Julia felt comfortable despite the odd thoughts dashing through her head by the minute. She looked down at her bare legs and saw that she was tapping her feet.

Her head snapped towards the door every time it opened, almost as if she seemed to be expecting something unexpected. Naree trotted over and asked “Are you having a good time?” Julia ignored her question and instead asked “Is this it?” pointing to all the people hanging around. Naree stuck out her bottom lip. “I wouldn’t know.” Naree took a sip of her wine cooler only to realize it was empty. “Anyways, Imma get myself another drink; you comin’?” Julia followed without a word. Naree snatched a wine cooler from the dozens and looked at Julia. “Don’t look so down Julia!” Naree cried, “You’re supposed to be havin’ fun here. Not draggin’ your ass through it.” Julia grabbed a wine cooler and found a bottle opener.

She walked back to her corner, took a sip of her strawberry drink, and met Mike’s face as he strode in casually like he had no worries, no hang-ups, not one concern. There he was, the surprise she'd been waiting for. She realized that his friends Diego and Evan were coming in behind him. And she also realized that it hadn’t even crossed her mind to ask Naree about the possibility of Mike showing up. But for the moment, she was so thankful that none of the trio had seen her, at least yet. Mike was busy mingling, giving pounds and props, kisses and hellos, to every dude and chick he recognized. One pretty girl clad in the crowd wrapped her skinny arms around Mike’s neck and you could see the fire rush to his face. The only girl he wanted wrapped around him like that didn’t even want him. He had come to the realization that that was over with, and that there was no chance left. He missed her, that’s for sure, but he knew that you should never hold a butterfly down, no matter how much you wanted to keep its beautiful wings in your hands. Julia realized she’d been staring too long, so she looked away quickly.

Julia saw Naree catch sight of Mike, and witnessed their dramatic embrace. Two jesters in their element, Julia thought. Mike was wearing a forest-green polo, with jeans and green-and-white sneakers. His super short hair looked like it usually did, except this time it looked like he’d just come back from a trip to the barbershop. Basically, he was looking fresh. So was Diego; clad in a fedora hat, jeans and boots, and a black tee with a tie imprinted on it. Evan was wearing a white, long-sleeved shirt, jeans and sneakers, and his signature chain.

Julia strode toward the couch and sparked up conversation with the nearest fellow she came across. She couldn’t remember his name, but when he asked her to dance she said “Okay.” She did it half because she really wanted to, and half because Mike was around now, and she wanted to appear busy. The guy she was bopping with danced in an odd, fidgety sort of way, and was grabbing her in all the wrong places. By the time that was over, Julia was embarrassed and retreated back onto the couch. She sat back for the next four songs, all of which were her favorites. From the corner of her eye, she could see three girls lingering around Mike, all giggling and tossing their hair as he told jokes and laughed alongside them. She watched as he grabbed one of them, held her hand, and made her dance. What was with making people dance with him? Julia thought. The girl was short and only moved her hips but regardless of that fact, Mike looked like he was having a good time. It made Julia wince, but within another minute he was back around Naree, Evan and Diego. It gave her a weird feeling because she knew that in any other situation, she would be right there with them. She decided that her observing had been enough, so she got up from the couch and decided to make her move.

As fast as her heart was flying, Julia didn’t even think of hiding. Even though at one point in time she didn’t even want to hear Mike’s voice, she knew that tonight, conversation would flow easy. And she also knew that if he pushed hard enough, she just might surrender. She had to admit that being mad at him was easier when he was out of sight. Naree pointed Mike in Julia’s direction and he had to look twice because it’d been a while since he’d seen her anywhere but his dreams. Naree, Evan and Diego dispersed as Mike headed towards her.

Julia turned towards the crowd and pretended she didn’t see him coming, while at the same time, calming herself down so that she wouldn't scream. He stood next to her, facing the same way she was, and spoke into the air. “You look nice,” he stated, still not looking her way. “Naree told me to represent, so I tried my best,” she responded after a minute. “Represent,” he repeated to himself, nodding and noting the change in her vocabulary. “Did you get your groove on yet?” he smirked. She looked at him fiercely and then turned to face him completely. He turned to face her as well. At that moment, Naree and Evan popped up and Evan extended his arms to Julia for a hug. Evan smiled big as they exchanged pleasantries. Evan was a cutie, with chocolate skin and an earring in his ear. He was honest and earnest, and always available for a reality check. His history with girls seemed a bit nonexistent, with only a few dates to really account for. They had a little mini-conversation, as Naree and Mike made faces at each other. “Excuse us,” Mike said, grabbing Julia’s hand and leading her somewhere else. “C’mon!” he exclaimed when she resisted.

Julia could feel her muscles relax, and she was starting to feel really comfortable. She didn’t know if she wanted to dance or get swept away. Mike pulled her into the kitchen and leaned in close to her.

“What are you doing?!” she yelped.
“Yo, what happened to you last week?” Mike replied.
“Last week when?” Julia asked.
“My graduation, how come you didn't show up? That was important to me,” Mike said.
“Did you really expect me to be there and support you? Even though I really wanted to punch you?” Julia said.
Mike shrugged. “It would have been the nice thing to do.”
“The nice thing, Mike?” she gave him an evil look, as he recalled what happened at prom.
“Fine, forget it,” he agreed.

He noticed her mini-skirt and realized that he’d never seen this much of her body before. She had a small stud in her upper ear, something he’d never seen before either. “When’d you get that?” Mike asked, pointing to her ear. She touched it carefully. “I got it with Naree. She knew someone who could do it.” He hated how she was so easily swayed, but at the same time he loved it because it happened to work to his advantage.

“You know I probably would have gone up to you first tonight, but I bet I wouldn’t have gotten two words in before some girl yanked you away to gas up your head,” Julia remarked, breaking the silence. Mike laughed, and said to no one in particular, “Whoa, she’s trying to play me!” Julia took a swig of her mock wine, and Mike gasped. “You drink?” he asked. She nodded “Occasionally. Or should I say, socially.” “Dag Julia. I don’t even drink.” “Why not?” Julia asked, more out of curiosity, not as a direct blow. “Football, basketball, my coaches…my Dad.” Julia wondered what he meant by his father, but decided not to get into it tonight.

Mike stared at her for the second after that. It was like seeing her for the first time. He looked at her eyes and lips and could tell she had makeup on. He wondered who she was trying to impress, since his arrival was apparently a surprise to her. “Come here for a sec,” he said, “I wanna show you something.” She knew this line from the movies, and went along. They went all the way downstairs and walked outside; Mike with his hands in his pockets and his shoulders up. Julia scurried behind him and stood outside aimlessly. Mike wanted to avoid talking about prom, and he knew Julia did too. It just wasn’t the right time, and he didn’t wanna ruin the moment they were about to have. “Full moon,” he said motioning in the direction of the sky. “Yeah,” she said, gazing dreamily. “It’s beautiful.” Mike thought he could have said something about her being beautiful, but decided to pass. He came near to her, took hold of her face with his left hand and stared into her eyes. He noticed the alarm in her eyes right away. “Don’t scream,” he said. Her forehead scrunched up, “What are you--”

“Shhh,” he said pressing his thumb to her lips. “Don’t resist either.” He put his right hand on her waist and pulled her close. Her hands followed suit. Her heart was pounding like manic drums and something was telling her to back out, but it was too late. Mike softly pressed his lips to Julia’s, and feelings she’d pushed down ever since prom had swiftly surfaced. As they embraced, Julia felt her pain and resentment slip away, and she melted with Mike as they stood there in the dark.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Storm, Jean Gray and Rogue for Vogue Nippon by Sana Takeda. [Stunning image.]

What's your super hero name? My superhero name is Lady Blue, duh. Lady Blue allows me to get things done; plus she's articulate, straight-forward and quite easy on the eyes. But above all, she's a true lady – and nowadays that's something that is almost as mythical as having an actual superpower. I wrote a little rap about my name. Enjoy!

Ain't no shame in my game”

I'm Lady Blue of BlueShame Fame
fresh and fly is what I claim
Whether you love or hate the dame
you're still callin' out my name
I don't sweat the attention I gain
it's like massive moths to a flame
If you're blue I'm not to blame
I'm not the reason you're in pain
I'm just maintaining my reign
You know you all should be ashamed
Because while my game grows insane
Your lame brain remains the same.

[Woo-Hah! I got you all in check!]

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sparkling Words

Catch Yourself - NikiLynn

What's your favorite piece of advice that you've been given? I'm so glad that Danielle LaPorte asked this question because I started a new journal on Monday of this week. [I bought a five year diary with the intention of starting a gratitude journal like Oprah – but I chucked the gratitude idea in favor of “lessons and growth”, a theme that better suits me and reflects one of my life passions.] At the end of each day I jot down what I learned that day, and if I haven't learned anything at all, I'll just note one of my favorite pieces of advice or lessons. I love the practice because it forces me to take a few minutes to reflect upon my day, something that unfortunately I had never made a daily habit of doing. And because of my propensity to hurriedly move forward in my life, all the beautiful moments or the lessons I'd learned over time would turn into one big blur of hazy memories and oft forgotten incidents.

So now due to my "What I've learned" daily journal, there will be no more of that. To bring everything back full circle, when I got my journal, I was thinking of my all-time favorite lessons to write down in the front of the book. The one standout was a gem I received years ago, from a hip acquaintance named “Amy” that my sisters and I knew from church. Amy was a stylish young woman with a super chill husband and a personality that was proudly no-nonsense. As a matter of fact, she was probably the first person I ever saw employ the “side-eye”. Ever the executive, I organized a girls night out one evening, a ruse intended solely to glean information from all the older women I'd invited [I was a sheltered teenager fascinated by adults – people who seemed to have everything I so desperately wanted at that time]. In the midst of dinner chit-chat, I asked the group “What is one thing you wish you knew at my age?” I can't recall any of the other answers, but I remember Amy pausing and her voice softening a bit before she quietly stated:

“I wish I knew how powerful I was.” 

The table went quiet, and it was like we all had a light-bulb moment. That or she stunned us by making the mistake of revealing the honest truth which is: we do have control over our lives and we are not powerless. She didn't even have to expound, because I got it. I remember those words immediately affecting me, and the more I swirled the phrase around in my head - You are more powerful than you think - the more profound it became. She had touched upon something that I always intrinsically felt but didn't know how to describe. Despite all the years of neglect and abuse that I suffered at the hands of my mother, despite being extremely sheltered - spending days and entire summers holed up in my room, I somehow knew that there was more to life, that somewhere there was something better for me and that my normal was in fact, not normal. And beyond that; I knew that I had the ability to change my circumstances, and that at some point in time I'd have the chance to achieve the things that I had dreamed. I knew that I was greater than I had been led to believe and that I was wholly capable, but I did not realize that I was powerful – and to this day I am still working to understand the depth and complexity of my personal power.

I haven't spoken to Amy in years [I left the church a few years later and she moved down South and became a mother], but I'll always remember her heartfelt and moving response to my innocent teenage inquiry. What I do know about mankind's power, is this: 

Your life choices are not limited to the ones that you see before you. All that talk about "You can't"? That's a story you tell yourself to give yourself a pass to quit, an excuse to never even try, a reason to let your fear continue to flourish and let your bravery bail out. Dare to dream! Realize how limitless your mind really is and let your body take you there. Your past does not equal your future – just because my past life was filled with abandonment does not mean my present or future life has to be a mirror image of history. You've never done it before? So what, that doesn't mean that you cannot do it now. "Your past is not your future unless you live there." – Tony Robbins on this week's Oprah's Lifeclass.
You are more powerful than you think. It's time you start believing it.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Simple is Sexy

These photos - to me - are proof, that classic style is the best way to go. These women are outfitted in 3-4 pieces with minimal jewelry and accessories, which shows that you can dress for everyday life while still being stylish. I have never been one for all the "extra" anyway, but right now, I'm convinced that simple is the absolute sexiest.

The jeans fit super well and I'm loving the olive top - that's my go to color.
This color combo isn't my fave but the drape and fit of this pant is so regal.
Clean, with just the perfect amount of bad-ass edge. This look is perfect!
Subtle sexiness in just two pieces. Well done.
All white with a pop of royal blue? J'adore.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

New Directions

See nothing, say nothing, just look fabulous bitch!

If you've visited my blog at any point over the past two weeks, you may have found it missing posts or even empty. 

I've been toying with this idea for a while now, but I've finally got all my ducks in a row and my shit figured out.

So, my loyal readers, I have an announcement to make.

It was BlueShame's three year anniversary on Friday [yay!] and upon hitting this glorious milestone I've decided to celebrate in the best way possible:

By putting this blogging thing to rest.

Why, you might ask?

Well, I've learned that a pretty woman is taken more seriously with her mouth shut. Plus, I'm becoming a model! Look:

Me. Posing.

I can pose my ass off you see?

I have surmised that instead of sitting behind a computer screen expressing my thoughts and stuff, I could provide more value as a woman in this society by standing in a kitchen or on a corner or at attention.

I've decided to devote the rest of my life [or the last good years I've got] to showing off
the other powerful asset above my neck: my face.

Lord knows I would still be fighting men off even if my head was hollow.

It's time to focus on more important things like
"Just how attractive am I to the opposite sex?" and "Am I talking too much?"

No more blathering on about ambition and independence. I'm just going to spend my days cooking and my nights looking cute in a minidress.

No more hard work for me. I'm going to put my feet up and rest on my genetic lotto laurels.

I'm almost 24 for godsakes, time is running out!

RIP BlueShame.
It was nice knowin' ya.

Yay! Now you can all rest your eyes!