Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Seriously? When a shirt isn't just a shirt.

I don't watch commercials on television very often anymore, not since I got my Tivo box years ago. But now and again, I will. Usually, when I am in the middle of doing something else, often times in another room, so I mostly "hear" the commercial a handful of times before I actually see it.

I've "heard" the following commercial quite a few times in the last couple of weeks, and every time, I thought "well, that just doesn't sound right to me".

Today, for the first time, I actually saw the ad. What ad? This ad:

Nope, that just doesn't seem quite right, does it? What message is being put out there? That it's okay for a mom to "borrow" her daughter's shirt without telling her, lie to her when she asks you about it, go behind her back to continue hiding the fact that you wore it, and then act like it's HER FAULT she couldn't find the shirt in the first place?

I'm not a mom, but somehow, I don't think this is the lesson I want to teach MY KIDS whenever/if ever I do have them.

Not to mention the mom's "you know that's not my style" comment. Meaning what? That mom has this whole other personality, out with her friends, partying, drinking, in leather pants, that she hides from her daughter (and perhaps the rest of her family) as she sits at home in a grandma sweater with no make-up on?

Saying that what? A woman can't be both a good mom, and have fun with her friends, wear makeup and look good?

I don't know...I suppose whoever came up with this concept was going for some sort of sitcom humor, but...sitcom humor doesn't work in 30 second spots, and it sure as hell doesn't seem like the sort of thing that would inspire me to buy a product...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Popinjay - Abnormal

This week’s Popinjay prompt is ABNORMAL.



1.not normal, average, typical, or usual; deviating from a standard: abnormal powers of concentration; an abnormal amount of snow; abnormal behavior.


extremely or excessively large: abnormal profit.

I knew right away what image I would use for this prompt.

Okay, so perhaps he’s “abnormal” on purpose, but so what?

Stop by Michelle's to see what other abnormal things people found.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Popinjay - Confident

This week's popinjay prompt is "Confident". This is a hard one for me, because as much as I may portray an image of self-confidence and independence out in the world...the truth is, I battle self esteem issues daily.

I've discussed this before on this blog, so I won't get into it all over again, but let's just say that confidence, for me, is a struggle.

At least, it is when I stop to think about it.

But that's the thing I realized this week, while trying to find some image to represent the things I am confident about.

The truth is, I am confident about many things. I feel proud and sure of who I am and the choices I make. I like "me" and what I stand for.

It is only when I stop to really think about it, and start to analyze myself that the doubts begin to creep in.

I think if I trust my instincts, I can't go wrong, but when I question them, that's when I get into trouble with confidence and doubt, and all those things.

This week I'm cheating a little because I did not take this picture, but it represents what I'm trying to say here. This is a photo taken of the bridal party at my cousin's wedding.

In this shot, you see a group of women laughing, loving life, joking, and feeling fully confident in the moment, in themselves.

I have no doubt internally we all have our doubts. But life takes place in the moment, doesn't it?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Popinjay - Breathtaking

Today's Popinjay prompt is "Breathtaking".

I believe that if we just open our eyes we'll see that God is always painting beautiful pictures for us...some of them, absolutely breathtaking:

Check out what else is absolutely breathtaking over at Michelle's.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Concert Review - John Mayer

I’ve been a John Mayer fan for a while now. I know the guy gets a bad rap in the public eye, and I realize that people have really strong feelings about him, one way or the other, but personally, I like him. I won’t get into the why or how of all that, but I have written a post about my feelings about him, his persona, and his talent here if you are curious.

This is not that post.

This is about the concert I attended on Friday, August 6, and the fact that talent wise, this man is pure genius.

If you’re at all familiar with John Mayer’s music, then you know that with him, it’s all about his guitar, and his voice. There’s no fanfare, no light show, no costumes…he just plays his instruments and sings. It’s also, very much, about the lyrics.

Anyway, after a pretty unexciting opener by Train, John Mayer took the stage. I suppose, in all fairness, I should note that it wasn’t that Train weren’t good, I’m just not a big fan, and wasn’t overly attentive to their performance. I think they did a fairly good job, people seemed to be enjoying them and having a good time.

But I was there for John Mayer.

He took the stage and started off with "Vultures", followed by "Clarity", and then his current hit "Heartbreak Warfare".

At one point he launched into this crazy guitar solo. When he took the guitar off his torso and placed it on the floor, and continued to play, I knew we were in for a treat.

Seriously? Raw talent, right?

The rest of the Set list was as follows: Ain't No Sunshine "Bill Withers Cover", Who Says, Why Georgia, Perfectly Lonely (one of my favorites by him, and a point in the concert where he really connected with the audience and had us all laughing with him); War Of My Life, Waiting On The World To Change, Gravity, Do You Know Me, Raspberry Beret (Prince Cover) - Which was SOOOO good, Half of my Heart.

When the lights went out, we knew he'd be out for an Encore. because, after all, when does a concert not include an encore now a days? Encore: Free Fallin' (Tom Petty Cover). Your Body is a Wonderland. Edge of Desire.

The surprise here was that for his Encore, John showed up not on stage, but amidst the audience, with just his guitar, singing a cover of Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’, quite possibly my favorite moment of the evening.

He then returned to stage for a few more songs (Your Body is a Wonderland - another favorite of mine) and Edge of Desire, before signing off for the night.

In between sets, John colored the show with his easy banter with the audience. He told a few stories about his songs, he related to this particular audience reflecting back on his days in Boston, when he was attending Berklee, he talked about love, heartbreak, success and hardship. And he was humble, and sweet as he thanked his fans for supporting him and standing by him even when he stumbles on this road through fame.

He was exactly as I expected him to be on stage. Serious and joking. Giving his ALL to his performance, but not taking himself too seriously. He connected, and he delivered. And I think I’d rank this at the top of my favorite concerts attended. Yes, it was that good.

I’d definitely go see him again. Maybe not 27 times, like the lady in line in the bathroom has…but a few more times, yes.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Popinjay - Afraid

The Popinjay prompt this week is “Afraid”.

There are so many different directions I could take this prompt. Fear is a strange thing. We all have different fears, and I think they can range from the basic “eek, I don’t like spiders” to the all encompassing and overpowering irrational “phobias” to everything in between.

I’d like to sit here and tell you that I’m not afraid of very many things, but, well…I’m afraid I can’t do that, for it would be a lie. (See what I did there?)

The truth is, I’m afraid of a lot more things than I’d like to give credit to. Most of my fears, however, I think I can classify as healthy fears. You know, the type that keep you from doing stupid things, or treading dangerous ground. The fear of going out for a run alone, at night, is not an entirely bad thing, as I don’t live in the safest part of the country.

Then there are the less tangible, but just as important emotional fears. I have plenty of those. For the most part, these fears keep me on my toes, constantly evaluating myself and my choices, and for those reason, I appreciate these fears as well. For without them, I might not be as aware of who I truly am.

The little fears, spiders (really, really don’t like them), dogs (which I’ve managed to overcome for the most part, but still not completely), walking into a room full of strangers…those I can deal with on a daily basis. A healthy dose of adrenaline now and again, and then head held high, I remove said spider (ew), walk by that dog (sometimes more cautiously than usual), walk into that room and make eye contact with a few people…conquering those fears.

But it is the irrational phobias that I can’t conquer. Can’t conquer because I can’t explain or even begin to understand them. Thus, the irrational part. I have two very specific phobias. With both of these I am completely aware of the futility of said fears. I have no doubt that I could, and likely should battle and conquer said fears. But, just typing these words is making my heart race faster and my palms start sweating. If you’ve never suffered from a phobia, from the panic that mounts in your chest, your mouth, your hands, your mind as the thought of facing whatever it is that induces the fear, well, then you are lucky.

My first, and biggest fear is the fear of being underwater. Let me explain, this is not a fear of drowning. It is not a fear of water. I love water. I can spend hour upon hour in a pool, lake or ocean. I swim, fairly well. No, this fear has nothing to do with water specifically. It is about being UNDER water. Completely submerged, with my full body, and specifically my head, underneath. I shudder at the thought. All those hours I spend in a pool? My face never makes it under water. That feeling of peace people speak of when they go under and can’t hear the world above them? I don’t know it and don’t ever want to. I can’t do it. I won’t go to water parks because at the end of a water slide is the inevitable plunge into deep water. No scuba diving for me (shudder), no diving, none of that. There was an incident with an inner tube, when I was about 11 that set this fear in motion, and I’ve yet to overcome it.

It is my second phobia that I picked for today’s popinjay however. I have a deep fear of ledges. Again, I must explain, I am not afraid of heights. Not in the general sense anyway. Like anyone else, I think there’s a certain amount of trepidation when I’m up high, but it doesn’t really freak me out, as much as I find it exhilarating. But a ledge? Especially an unprotected ledge? It can be 3 feet off the ground and it sends those same feelings of panic (sweaty palms, fast beating heart) into me as the thought of submerging myself in water. And the worst part of this fear? It is not limited to me. In fact, the fear lessens if I am the person on the ledge myself, because I am aware of my intentions and control on that ledge. It is when I witness someone else standing too close to the edge that panic mode flares up. Can you picture me at the grand canyon with all those adrenaline junkies peering over the wide edges of the canyon? HEART ATTACK CITY over here. I’m forced to look away, lest I pull complete strangers back to safety, where no danger was even present. I can’t help it.

That there? Is my little brother and my cousin's daughter standing a bit too close to the edge of a rock at a beach in Gloucester, MA a few weeks ago…what you don’t see is the tiny beads of sweat on my forehead as I snapped the picture.

Fear is a funny thing, isn’t it? What are you afraid of? Let Michelle (and the rest of us) know

Friday, August 06, 2010

All She Wants To Do Is Dance

I’m determined to start posting more regularly on this blog, and I think in order to do that, I have to let go of some of my self-imposed expectations and allow myself to just write.

See, back in the day, when I had more time, I would write these lengthy creative posts, with pictures and links and things.

Because I no longer have the time or the energy for those, I find myself not writing at all.

And that’s just a shame.

So, I’m letting go, and I’m just going to write. I’m going back to basics and back to when I used this blog to write my random thoughts and feelings of my daily life.

Today, I’m going to tell you about last Saturday night, because it was both a fun night, and also, unfortunately, a bit of a reality check.

I went out Saturday night with my cousin M&M and her friend, who is now also my friend, who, for my own reasons, will be known as Match.

Anyway, Match and I kicked off the evening at a “not-tupperware” party. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, that’s just as well, but for those of you who have a slight suspicion, yes, it was one of THOSE. M&M couldn’t join us, so Match and I went, and had a pretty decent time. Really, it was pretty hilarious.

After said party, we headed over to M&M’s for drinks and some munchies, before really heading out for a night of dancing and fun at a local bar/club.

Now, my days of nightclubs are far far behind me. When I was in my 20’s every weekend was a chance to spend 2 to 3 nights dancing the night away. In my heyday, there was rarely a club night that didn’t include a little drinking, a lot of dancing, and always some flirting and phone number exchange.

Out on a dance floor, I was full of confidence, knowing I CAN dance, and that confidence without fail always translated into male attention.

In those days, I knew I had IT, and IT always resulted in plenty of dates. I was never lacking for attention from the opposite sex. It was so easy then.

But things have changed. I spent the better part of my late 20’s and early 30’s in a sort of “holding pattern”. Single, content, hardly ever meeting any eligible men, never mind dating, and not exactly noticing or caring all that much about it.

Suddenly, at 35, I find myself once again wanting to date. I would love to meet a nice guy who can create a spark of chemistry between us, make me laugh, and arouse my intellect.

In the meantime, I wouldn’t mind a simple flirtation or two.

So, Saturday night, armed with the knowledge that my leaner, fitter body looked pretty hot in my skinny jeans, high heels and form fitting, but not sleazy tank top, I headed out on the dance floor. My domain. The one place I have always felt confident, and irresistible.

And I can still dance. My confidence in that aspect has never wavered. But it was all different.

I was surrounded by kids in their late teens and early 20’s. Surrounded by little girls in littler dresses, flaunting ALL their stuff with zero inhibitions, performing moves on the dance floor which should be reserved for the stripper pole.

And although I remember being wild in my heyday, I’m pretty sure I drew the line somewhere much tamer than this.

And I found myself beating back the motherly instinct to tell these girls to put some clothes on and stop acting like Jersey Shore Snookie. And I’m not even a mother.

And I realized that IT no longer belongs to me. And the truth of it all is, I’m pretty sure I no longer want IT anyway. Not if that’s the way to get IT now…

Don’t get me wrong, I had fun. The three of us danced the night away, and the people watching alone was worth the price of admission.

But I felt old and out of place, and sure I didn’t belong.

Even the adorable 29 year old boy who argued I didn’t look a day over 25 (bless his heart) couldn’t take away the feeling that as much as I love to dance, this is so no longer my scene.

And even the adorable 29 year old boy wasn’t interested in my phone number.

Because as much fun as we had flirting and joking for a few minutes, I was no competition for the barely dressed 23 year olds he was dancing with later on that evening. Nor did I want to be.

I’ve had my turn, it’s time, perhaps, to pass that torch.

And yet…a part of me grieves for that younger me, out on the dance floor, having the time of her life. Never suspecting that one day, many years later, she’d have to let go, grow up, and put away her dancing shoes.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Blog Hop '10

Welcome to my humble little blog! I’m glad you had a chance to stop by on your whirlwind tour around the blogosphere during Robin's Blog Hop '10.

I know you have places to go and people to see, so I won’t keep you long, but please, have a martini, and feel free to browse my shoe closet while I tell you a little bit about myself.

As a blogger, I’ll admit it, I’m a slacker lately, but I’m ever hoping to turn things around, and don’t ask me why, but I feel this is the time it’ll take. I feel full of inspiration and the desire to write and share of myself again, so hopefully that’ll translate into a once again active blog.

And what exactly do I blog about you ask? Well, that really depends on the day. I’m a single woman in my 30’s, venturing back into the dating world after a LONG hiatus, so there’s that. I’m also a bit of a shopaholic (cough{understatement}cough), and have a special weakness for VERY HIGH heeled shoes.

More recently I’m a bit of a fitness nut, and a new runner, about half way through the Couch to 5K program, hoping to run my first ever 5K in September. Um…wow, that’s sneakily right around the corner…

I also try my hardest to eat healthy, but I have a lifelong love affair with food that is hard to break off completely…

I’m a writer, and currently am doing the Write Fifteen Minutes A Day challenge, hoping to create a writing habit and finish my current Work In Progress.

I am an avid reader, my kindle is always with me.

I am a tech geek and a fashion diva.

I am an amateur photographer and a professional music lover.

I also work full time, as an executive assistant to the president of a credit union.

I’m a person of deep faith, God the center of everything for me, but I firmly believe faith to be a very personal thing, so you won’t hear preaching from me here. You will, however, have no doubt, see the strong influence my faith has on my life.

I’m the leader of a youth group, and those kids give me hope for the future, and I will defend teenagers today to the end. I believe they get a bad rap, and I don’t know about you, but I certainly wouldn’t want to be a teen today.

I am not a mother, but I am a big sister to a 17 year old girl through Big Brother Big Sister. She was 8 when we were paired up and in the last 9 years we’ve grown to love each other like real family. She is so much more to me than words can ever express.

I am a daughter to two amazing parents, still married after 36 years and still adorably in love with one another. I am also big sister to a 20something brother, who also happens to be one of my best friends now that we are both adults.

I am a cousin, a niece, a friend, a coworker.

I am silly and serious, I am confident and self-conscious, I am driven and lazy, I am a bevy of contradictions.

And all these things make up my blog. On any given day you can find me sharing my photography, waxing poetic about the latest concert I attended, or sharing my deepest darkest feelings about the lack of male attention in my life.

And I do hope you’ll come back to share these things with me, because as witty and funny as I think I am at times, if nobody is there to share the joke…well…you know that whole tree falls in the woods thing…was there ever really a joke? Or a blog post?

But oh, goodness, look at the time! Your drink is empty, and I’d offer you a refill, but I know you have to get going, there are other parties to get to.

Go, go, others are waiting! But please, come back ANYTIME, you are always welcome at Candid Karina’s!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

And You Call Yourself A Writer

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, then you’ve learned a few things about me.

1. I love shoes;

2. I think I’m funny and witty…sometimes, I am…not always;

3. I don’t blog nearly enough or with any kind of consistency;

4. I am a person of deep faith;

5. I try my best at being healthy and staying in shape;

6. I love my family;

7. I consider myself a writer.

It is this last one that I want to focus on right now. Because, as a writer, there is one basic thing I need to do…WRITE. And I find myself going long periods of time without doing any writing at all.

Why is that? How is it that something as essential to my character as writing, something I have been doing my entire life, that gives me purpose and brings me great joy, can be placed on the back burner for months at a time?

Life is hectic, things get in the way, the Muse goes into hiding, I get writer’s block. Excuses.

Truth is, they are all valid excuses, but they don’t change the basic truth, and that is, I am a writer, and therefore, I need to make time to write.

So, when the other day on Twitter my friend @districtbelle sent out a Tweet about the “Write Fifteen Minutes A Day” Challenge (#WFMAD), I knew I’d have to join her.

The challenge is the brain child of Laurie Halse Anderson, and you can learn more about it at her blog Mad Woman In The Forest, and also here at Sterling Editing.

Laurie is posting daily writing prompts in August and inspirational and motivational posts to help get writers…well…writing.

I may or may not use some of her prompts throughout the month. What I WILL do is write for at least 15 minutes a day, every day, starting today.

For the most part, I plan to use that time to work on my “Work In Progress” NaNoWriMo novel. After all, I am THISCLOSE to the end of my first draft, and I would really like to be able to say I completed it before the next NaNoWriMo in November.

But on days where the inspiration isn’t there to work on that particular story, maybe I will use her prompts. Or maybe I will write a blog post. And maybe I will use her prompts to actually come up with blog posts, because lately? Even that has been blocked for me.

Either way, I’m excited about joining this challenge, and already, I’ve written my first non-popinjay blog post in weeks…I’d say that’s a good start.

What about you? Will you join me?