Saturday, August 09, 2014

On Change

So lately, and by lately, I mean since January or so, I've been making changes. There are many things that I've been meaning to work on, in general. I find that new habits are formed slowly, and not through drastic change. For me anyway. Many of my keto habits remain to this day, even when I'm not actively on keto (namely the water drinking and eating times/portions) I really do want to get back into keto later this year though, mostly because I've noticed that I'm starting to get thick again. I'm hovering between the 165 and 170 mark. The problem is that I've been also enjoying trying out new foods and drinks, lately. I have, since the new year, discovered a head-over-heels-love for hard cider, which is not keto friendly obviously, but really nice to drink in the summer!

Among other habits that I've slowly picked up as I've gotten more and more into makeup, have been of the skincare type. I now wash my face 2 times a day minimum, regardless of anything, and try to select things that will make my acne clear out. It's been an on-going effort, but I've noticed the difference.

I also read more now, and spend far less time in front of my computer (aside from work obviously) and generally spend more time playing my guitar, and/or hanging out with people I know.

However, not too long ago, I decided that I had spent enough time being a shut-in and refusing to go outside. My excuse of being pale and easily sun-burned has a very simple solution. Specially now that I'm more into caring for my skin, I wind up with sunscreen on everyday anyway. So I've been venturing outside more often. I actually do things like go sit in the park with a book for instance, or simply sitting outside on the Jive balcony. Baby steps.

I've also been trying to be less messy with my apartment, but that's a never-ending quest I tend to fail. It has gotten a lot better! I still live like a college student for the most part though... For now I mostly try to put effort into keeping the bathroom and kitchen areas always clean. If I make something, I clean the kitchen that same day. If I get my bathroom mirror or counter dirty with toothpaste or lotion, I don't just let it sit there anymore. I'll be damned if I ever make my bed though; I like a messy bed. My carpet is still a sad excuse of a carpet... I swear I'm going bald.

Hair. Balls. Everywhere.

I'm probably gonna be more diligent about that once I move to my new apartment, which has hardwood floors. At first I wasn't specially excited about those, because I like to be barefoot most often. Now, I'm more inclined to like it, as it'll be easier to keep clean with a broom, sweeper, and minimal effort. We'll see if my high-entropy desk situation ever changes though. I do love my chaos. That all said, the packing madness has begun, and as such, there's crap all over my apartment right meow.

Another thing I've been working on, since the new year or so, is that I'm trying really hard to not freak out when people touch me anymore. I'm making a very conscious effort there, and it is getting a lot better. So, yay! I will note, however, that I still reserve the right to ask people not to if I feel they're getting to handsy with me or something.

... and with that, I go! /whoosh

Saturday, June 07, 2014

"Please, don't touch me."

I've been considering writing about this for a while now. I finally decided last night that I would just go ahead and do it though. It probably won't seem like a huge deal to anyone but me, and it's hard to explain why or where all of this comes from, or how it even started. I don't normally talk about this, even though people often ask me. It's not some major traumatic thing, by the way. Just throwing that out there, I'll get to that later on...

Anyone who's known me longer than a week probably knows that I do not like to be touched. I do not hug people unless it's a special occasion or you're someone very special like, my family or my significant-other. So first, I'd like to go into what touching means to me:

In the wonderland that is my brain, if I let you touch me, or I decide to touch you, it means that I trust you implicitly. I feel safe around you, boy or girl. I'm known to flinch to people's touch regardless of anything; they startle me, even if it's something simple like putting their hand on my back while they talk to me. This is my problem, not yours. If I haven't asked you not to touch me at this point, how would you know? That's all good and dandy. When it's not good and dandy: when I ask you not to and you do it anyway.

Often times people assume that it is okay to touch me because they are comfortable with touch. I always put the breaks on that early on, and never rudely. I always say something like "Please, don't touch/hug me, I don't like being touched." When I said that to (who would later on become my best friend in college) Trevor, he dropped it. No questions asked, which is the reaction I wish more folks would have to that. I don't think that's too much to ask, frankly. At this point the problem is still my problem, not yours. A somewhat funny side-effect of that is that when I gave Trevor a hug for Graduation and for his wedding, he freaked the fuck out. It was super cute.

However, what happens more often is that when I ask people not to touch me, their reaction is to touch me incessantly. I mean, things like "Oh, it's just a hug!" and hug me anyway, or hover-hug me, because tongue-in-cheek "I'm not touching you", or poke me non-stop because they immediately assume that I'm joking because "lol who doesn't like to be touched?" Lots of people actually, and I'm guessing rape victims who have similar issues find it even less amusing than me.

I'll tell you what happens on my end of that equation, whatever trust I had in you at that point, vanishes into thin air, and is severed permanently. For those who don't believe that, they could ask my very good friend Paul, who I've known for about 7 years, whether I let him touch me. Let's just say it's a shortcut for being in the so-called "friend zone" permanently. I can still be friends with people who I don't fully trust, but that's as far as it would ever go. I also am not even sure I'd rely on him in a time of deep trouble either. It's a trust issue at that point, but you know I'm a-ok hanging out and laughing about random things with him, but I'll always back away if he comes too close.

Why is this such a big deal to me? Because I like people to respect what I say and more specifically, what I say about my boundaries. I shouldn't need some traumatic event in my life to justify that I do not like being touched. It's none of your goddamn business. You're welcome to ask me why, which I may or may not answer.

Touching me when I explicitly ask you not to, instead of simply asking why, is like the difference between asking someone why they don't eat sushi, and forcing sushi down their throats. If I tell you to not touch me, and you do it anyway, what are you going to do if you make any type of sexual advance to me and I say no? I understand that I'm extrapolating here, but that is what I think of. If I refuse someone's offer to buy me a drink at a bar, I shouldn't need to invent a boyfriend to get them to back off. My word on the matter should be enough.

... And at the end of this road, it all circles back to my feelings on feminism. lol.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Girly Tomboy

Most people who know me fairly well, by now know that I'm in a "girly phase." I'm the first to admit that I went full 180 from where I was last November/December. I used to resent girly things, mostly because they remind me of just how shallow I used to be during my first few teenage years. My mother still gets pissed off when I say that. She's delusional and maintains that I was never shallow to begin with. The kicker is that I consider her to be one of the shallowest people in my life, if not the shallowest. I once re-call that she wanted me to skip dance class because I had a pimple on my shoulder. So her opinion is questionable at best, but I digress...

When I went full nerd during my college years, I more or less also went full tomboy. Whenever I told people that I used to be a full-time ballerina, the reaction was always incredulity. Disclaimer: I've always been a ballerina with a dark streak.

Sometime before the new year I did some thinking on all of this, and on my own accord decided that this was a pretty stupid reason to hate on girly things. My inner monologue was at war with itself. I had been thinking about feminism too much at that point in time. I was also apprehensive at first, and took a lot of me to start wearing a full face of makeup to work. Mostly because it is just weird in this industry; I always get the impression that women don't get taken seriously if they have a full-face on. As always though, I march to the beat of my own drum and went: "Well, fuck that. People at Jive should already know what I'm capable of. I do what I want." If anything, the makeup helps with the whole "Being polished" thing.

Now here's what's starting to bug me about all of this. Whenever I do *anything* remotely girly, most of my friends feel inclined to make a comment about it. "I'm so confused to see you so girly" or "why are you suddenly girly?" I guess five months is not quite enough time to get used to the girlishness after many years of being virtually one of the dudes (A No Doubt song comes to mind.) I mean it's fine, they're curious/notice the change and that's fine. They also noticed when I dyed my hair blue. What's not fine, is when the questions don't come out as "I'm curious" but rather with a disappointed air. As if this was somehow bad. I get it, there's a substantial subset of guys in this planet that prefer girls who wear no makeup, or rather, what they perceive to be no makeup. I'm so tired of making these two points to people lately:

1. People who claim to not like makeup just don't understand that there's different styles and degrees of makeup application. Here's a little secret for those people: no-makeup makeup generally requires more makeup than just wearing red lipstick, liner and mascara. Though the latter look is often referred as "too much makeup" or "caked on" even though you didn't even put on foundation.

Exhibit A.

No-makeup makeup. # of products? 13.

Exhibit B.

Ridiculous makeup. # of products? 3.

2. I don't do my makeup for you. I do what I want; leave me alone. Shoo.

I know I ranted about that in more detail not too long ago... I honestly feel like a broken record at this point.

At any rate, I've also been doing my nails and just generally paying more attention to my appearance. I'm glad that I learned how to apply makeup and do my nails early-on in life thanks to Ballet shows and my mother, because once I decided to embrace all of this again, it just came back naturally. Eye-shadow blending skills are still pro after years of not utilizing them. Hell, I'm pretty sure I could still put on false eye-lashes with my bare fingers (that's actually difficult) but I haven't found the need/desire to put on fake eyelashes. Nothing quite like stage makeup to teach you everything you need to know about makeup and your face.

I like makeup in the same way I like to change my hair, same with my nails. They're creative outlets. Similar to drawing or playing an instrument. I consider myself a creative person, I gravitate towards those types of things generally speaking. I realized that I virtually shut that part of myself out altogether when I was in college, because I needed to cultivate the so-called other side of the brain. That said, I actually think that being creative and thinking like an artist enhances my technical abilities instead of hindering them.

Anyway, this long rambly entry had no real point to it. I've mostly been inside my head about how I look lately, and have been in a quest to re-design my style. The first of many changes was the makeup and the nails quickly followed, but now I'm looking at other things. Such as wardrobe, shoes, accessories, etc.

I've pretty much settled on the type of style I want to achieve. Think of the White Stripes album covers, Zooey Deschanel, Dita Von Teese and skinny-jeans in a blender.

I started with going back to all-black hair, and obtaining Zooey Deschanel bangs:

Coming up next: 
  • I'm getting rid of all my colored clothes. Only keeping items that are either black, white or gray (or otherwise considered neutral, like my cargo jacket or jeans.) My wardrobe shall be monochromatic from now on. 
  • I'm also archiving my t-shirts, opting for proper tops/blouses. I'll be acquiring more tops in the near future. Including some white ones. *gasp* I don't even remember the last time I was seen in public wearing a white top.
  • Lastly, the hardest of them all, I've decided to archive the chucks. I won't be buying any more pairs; I won't get rid of them either, but I fully intend to stop wearing them. To achieve this, I'm in the market for 3 pairs of shoes:
    • Black flats
    • Flesh toned heels or flats (jury is still out on the heels)
    • Red flats
  • I may consider some longish skirts+leggings at some point. I know this will raise many eyebrows. Last time I wore a dress to work people kept asking me "is that a dress?" I almost wanted to say no. Questions like "Why are you dressed up?" and "Do you have a date?" were also heard throughout the day.
  • I fully intend to accessorize with mostly red things, like belts and headbands. I will, however, also include other bright-colored accessories. Since the rest of the wardrobe will be neutral-toned. 
  • For the winter, I *must* acquire a nice red coat. It's been 2 winters I've been looking for a nice one. I refuse to go another winter without the perfect red coat.
I guess it is somewhat ironic that these days I'm pretty obsessed with the red/black/white scheme, when my favorite color is actually blue. lawl. I maintain that red, black and white are the components of the holy-tricolor-grail. There is no superior tricolor. That is all.

And at the end of this road, I just want (the proverbial) you to rest assured that my inner tomboy is still alive and kicking. There's still a metal head in my soul, a techie in my heart, a foul mouth to speak, a super nerd, and the appetite and table manners of a trucker. 


Friday, February 07, 2014

Quirky McQuirckison

I have many quirks; I thought I should make a list for the lulz. Why? Because, yes.
  1. I hate minimizing windows.
  2. I type quickly, but hit backspace very slowly when I need to delete something I've typed. Don't question the quirks.
  3. I absolutely cannot stand having unread items in my inboxes. Any of them. This causes me to obsessively read everything I can get my eyes on.
  4. I don't do phone calls; if you want to get a hold of me, text me. I can guarantee you, I'll read it immediately.
  5. If I can use a semi-colon instead of a period, I will.
  6. Sometimes I stop talking mid-sentence while I frantically search for the word I want to use. A synonym will not do. Sometimes, it's a matter of translating a word from Spanish.
  7. When I want to know the time, I say "Que hora son, mi corazon?" When I'm around people, I just say it in my head, but rest assured, it happens!
  8. I take the same route to work everyday, and I take the same route from work everyday. However, the route to work is drastically different than the route home. If I'm walking with people, and they change either of these routes on me, I feel weird.
  9. I am more uncomfortable than I care to admit, when someone touches me, even if it is to take something I handing them. 
  10. I play Tetris everywhere. Specially when I'm packing.
  11. My desk has elevated entropy, and if you move anything on it, I will notice. I like my chaos, dammit. I know people mess with my desk at work. Let me tell you, it does not amuse me. 
  12. I dislike boring socks; my socks are always interesting
  13. Incidentally, I never wear matching socks.
  14. I basically wear the same thing every day; outfits take too much effort.
  15. People that misspell "definitely" drive me positively bonkers.
  16. I get bored of my hair quickly, so it changes often.
  17. I love saying "They don't call me little ghost for nothing" even if it's not really applicable. 
  18. I dislike ambiguity. 
  19. I take long showers; they're one of my favorite things in life.
  20. I like to dress in neutral colors with bold-colored accessories. These accessories seldom match each other.
  21. I listen to symphonic metal obsessively. 
  22. If you ask me a question, I will answer honestly, and sometimes without applying a filter. 
  23. I have an odd relationship with my electronic devices, when one of them breaks, I mourn for them.
  24. I am so much of a Harry Potter nerd, that I am often embarrassed to admit it. 
  25. I bite the tip of my left annular finger when I'm reading something interesting. I don't even know why.
  26. If I could talk in memes all the time, I would.
  27. I own 45+ hats. This includes a $150 top hat.
  28. I like to sit in odd ways. Sitting cross legged is probably my favorite way of sitting. I hate that my feet fall asleep if I sit that way for too long.
  29. I don't like natural blonde hair. 
  30. I can't feel anything on the left side of my tongue. That generally means that I bite it by accident and make myself bleed without really realizing it until I taste blood. So much fun. 
  31. I recognize people by the way they walk.
  32. I do not multitask. I concentrate on one thing at the time, and that's that.
  33. If I have a choice to pick or make something blue, I will. I like blue. I really wish I looked better in blue eye shadows. Blue mascara, is super cool. I should wear that more often.
  34. I talk to myself, all the time, by the way.
  35. Somewhere between my second and third drink I go from super tipsy to shitfaced. Don't put it to the test please.
  36. I really like Opera trained voices, more so than any other style of singing. Diana Damrau is a goddess. 
  37. I drink red wine or white russians. That's about it, though there are some exceptions. I've been enjoying sweet hard ciders lately.
  38. I eat for fun.
  39. I evaluate people's appearance by how good/bad of a ballet dancer they'd be given their physical attributes. 
  40. When my dog whines at me, I whine back in the same tone.
There's probably more... but I think that'll do for now, and with that, I go!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

On make-up

Ever since the holiday party at work was announced, I've been thinking about make-up a lot. Mostly because I couldn't even remember the last time I did my make-up properly. Over the years I've gotten lazier, and lazier, and lazier. For the party, I actually had to go to Sephora, and ended up spending close to $200. I no longer owned things like brushes, concealer, powder, foundation, etc, etc, etc. I also worried endlessly about whether or not I had somehow forgotten how to apply make-up in the 10 years I didn't keep on practicing. Luckily for me, it was more or less like riding a bike. Just soooooo time consuming, gawd.

In high-school, I used to do my make-up every. single. morning. I would rather be late to class than not put my face on (lol priorities of a 15-year-old, right there.) When I got to college, the amount of make-up I would put on depended largely on the amount of sleep I had gotten the night before, and how early my morning class was. I would be damned if I left my apartment without eye-liner and mascara though, those take less than 3 minutes to apply.

When I graduated college it got even worse; I often showed up to work without any make-up whatsoever, because I started valuing my sleep more than my ability to look pretty every day. Yep, even those 3 minutes were golden time I could be sleeping instead. That is also why I wear the same thing every day, by the by, though I've slowly been changing that a bit more. The number of coats I own make it seem like I have a bunch of different outfits, but in reality it goes like this: Skinny jeans, tank top, t-shirt, chucks, coat. Sometimes I'll wear a hat and/or a scarf, and be on my way. It generally takes me less than 10 minutes to get ready in the morning.

Now... not to be utterly narcissistic or anything, I happen to be good looking enough to be able to walk around wearing literally no make-up and not be asked questions like: "Are you sick?" and "Did you not sleep enough last night?" A bunch of my most favorite selfies have been taken without any make-up on, mostly because I forgot to put it on before I took the picture. Such as this one:

I took that picture to show off my new hair color, so I literally took it as soon as I was out of the shower and had dried my bangs... you can even tell the rest of my hair is still wet. I'm a-ok walking around like that, but that's mostly because I happened to luck out on the genes lottery if we're being honest.

Now, for the point I want to make on this entry: (talk about the longest intro ever...)

One of my biggest pet-peeves is when I hear people (mostly guys) say how girls always look better without make-up. It drives me off the freaking wall. Mostly because, generally speaking, that isn't true. People are just very oblivious. What they actually mean by "Girls look better without make-up" is: "Girls look better when they only put on skin products, fill in their eye-brows and wear mascara." Or "Girls look better when they're not wearing lots of eye-liner and eye-shadow with red lipstick." I get that those are mouthfuls, my point is... that is still a lot of make-up that gets put on, and it looks like there's no make-up to the untrained eye.

This is me wearing just that (as I'm writing this), foundation, concealer, blush, filled out eye-brows and mascara:


Might not be totally obvious, but that is really a lot of make-up. It took me good 20 minutes to apply and I feel like I'm all dolled-up...

Aaaaand it looks like nothing.

Now say, if my skin was REALLY bad, or I had bad dark circles under my eyes, the difference between the first picture, and these two would be like night and day. That is what is up with most girls, and why it drives me crazy when people say they look better without make up. The large majority doesn't.

What most folks actually mean is that I look better on the two pictures above than I do on this one:


That said, if I actually gave two shits about what people thought of my make-up, I probably would only ever wear the "no make-up" make up. And since I don't, I do what I want. I don't do my make-up for you.

I mostly wanted to rant about people making silly claims based on cluelessness. That annoys me greatly, regardless of subject matter.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Non-scale Victories and Superficiality

So, I woke up today at 163.8 lbs. Lowest it's been in a while, last time I was ~160 was over a year and a half ago. No matter though, keto-on. I have no real intention of stopping any time soon... aside from the occasional cheat day, since you know, I want to stay sane.

I mostly want to talk about how I notice people's attitude towards me change over time as I get closer to the 160 mark. I observed this last time I dropped to 160 too, when I went to deposit my paycheck and the teller spent the entire time being extra nice, smiling and making googly eyes at me. It just drives me a little batty, like somehow I deserve better treatment from a stranger because I happen to be thin-ish. (I wouldn't say 5'4' 160 is exactly... thin, bee tee dubs.)

So I suppose I should take it as a compliment, right? That's how it's meant to come off as, and I get it. I know that it's not something people do on purpose. I just don't take it as a compliment, because I remember how that same bank teller treated me 3 months before that when I was closer to 200lbs. He only talked to me because it was literally his job. No smile, no eye contact, not so much as a "have a nice day" at the end of the transaction. He might not remember me, but I remember things, both a curse and a blessing depending on what you're remembering. Point being, you couldn't pay me enough to go out with that guy, based on that alone.

Is it really that guys just flirt as a reflex (over generalizing, I know, tsk tsk) and that if the person they're speaking to is fat, they go out of their way to not give out any hint of emotion of any kind. A poker face if I ever saw one. Are they literally afraid that being friendly is something the fat girl is gonna take as a sign to stalk them and give them their number? I honestly don't get it.

Also, why is it so polarized? They're either super in my face, or they want absolutely nothing to do with me, and this is all dependent on what size of pants I'm able to squeeze in at that point in time.

What's funny about all of this, is that I had actually forgotten that I've already done some thinking on the matter, because I happened to put weight back on. Something reminded me of it today though...

I caught a co-worker literally checking me out in the break room during lunch. Wasn't even subtle! I looked him right in the face too, almost wanted to go "What!" but that's a) overly in your face b) not appropriate to yell across the room. I'm not a subtle woman ._____.

Quiet? Yep. Introverted? Yep. Says whatever thought she's thinking? Definitely. I actually have to make a serious effort to not complain about things too much and/or not say inappropriate things in front of... people.

Luckily for me, I had never seen this guy around before, so I'm gonna go ahead and assume he works on a different floor and do my usual LALALALA in which I ignore things that are uncomfortable. I don't know his name nor want to find out.

In essence, this reminded me that I am approaching that line once again, and sent me into a conversation with myself again. All in all though, it is a victory. Whether I like said victory's implication or not. It just means it is working, and I'm a-ok with that.

To close up this entry, I want to leave you with a picture of a dress. A dress!? Val in a dress?! Why yes. It was a dress for Trevor's wedding a while ago, and I tried it on for shits and giggles a few days ago. I was expecting it to be a tad lose, but zomg. Talk about needing to go visit a tailor...

And with that, I go!

Monday, November 04, 2013

Confesiones de OtoƱo

Tengo que confesarte ahora: nunca crei en la felicidad; a veces algo se le parace, pero es pura casualidad.

That loosely translates to: "I have this to confess to you: I never believed in happiness; sometimes some thing looks like it, but it is nothing but a fluke"

I don't think I mean that necessarily; it's just a clever line from a song. At least I don't mean it when it comes to happiness. I believe in happiness. Not necessarily in that thing people want to achieve, but it is a good thing to want to be happy. Anyway, that line tends to very eloquently explain how I feel about the idea of being in love. Sometimes, some thing looks like it, but it's just a fluke.

Yeah, this Fall I feel grouchy about things. You'd think it's Christmas time. I just always forget this fundamental truth when I start dating/seeing someone or whatever. I just disregard this thing I know to be true from where I stand. It's not until months after the relationship has ended that I even remember I wasn't convinced to begin with. I just snap out of eventually, and it's very sudden. I only re-call two instances in which it was not sudden. The first time, I left the country. The second time, he dumped me. So it took a little longer to "fall out of love" with both of them. The second one was pretty damn miserable I have to admit, though. Me being someone who had never been dumped before that, was... ugh. Made that summer very pathetic. I just remember walking to Calculus class looking like a wounded sad puppy. It makes me angry to even remember just how hurt I was. The guy was an idiot, didn't even have the guts to properly break-up with me, which only added to the perpetual mopiness. I think I didn't date anyone else for almost two years after that. I made up a fictitious boyfriend who lived in Michigan so that guys would leave me alone. It worked pretty well.

The early jitters of the relationship are always fun, and very easily confused with this love thing. Usually people declare their love for each other within the first month, but really, how could you possibly know that so soon?

It is different to love someone, than to be in love with someone. The former being plausible, possible and likely even, and the latter being total fantasy.

So what brought on all of this. Shawn and I split up some time ago... and by that I mean, several months? I don't even remember. I'm not even sure we told anyone. The thing about it though, is that nothing changed, for months we talked and really treated each other like we always had. For all intents and purposes, everything was still the same. Recently, I've been trying to put some distance between us, though. I just snapped out of it the other day, and that was that. That I want more than what he has to offer, and that he needs more than what I can offer.

There's a line on a different song: "Do you feel a certain sense of synergy between yourself and me? A kind of macabre and somber wonder-twin type of harmony?" Which I always used to describe our relationship to myself. Shawn gets me, in a way I'm not sure anyone else does. He understands my quirks better than anyone. I don't need to tell him half of the stuff I'm thinking because he is already giggling at the retarded penis joke. When we were together we were disgusting; we took special joy in making people vomit. Even our music compatibility was near 100% and I'm not entirely convinced I'll ever find anyone else who is even comparable.

But in the end, why does any of this matter? When we were together, we were awesome, and when we were not together, we were still awesome. Yet I still snapped out of it when I had a cold head to think about what I want for myself and my life. Sometimes, some thing looks like it, but it's nothing but a fluke.