Thursday, October 30, 2014

Treat-or-Treating: How old is too old?

We could pass for elementary schoolers, right? Wrong. 

I'll see your #ThrowBackThursday and raise you three 15-year-olds about to embark on a night of trick-or-treating. 

Let's start with the costumes. We didn't even try to disguise our age. Smarter, more self-aware teenagers would have at least thrown on some masks, leaving the neighbours to assume they were just abnormally tall for their age. But no, we had our pride to think about. What kind of self-respecting person goes trick-or-treating in a plastic mask from Bartell's? Like we would ever do something so expected—so, as Nina Garcia would say, pedestrian. Yeah right.

I, always the drag king never the bride, was dressed as Harry Potter. I bought the wig and glasses, but the robe (Anna's graduation gown), tie (my Dad's), shirt (Max's?) and badge (old dish rag + sharpie marker + glue) were all from around the house. The first Harry Potter film was coming out a few weeks after Halloween, and I planned to attend the premiere as the 'Boy Who Lived' himself. Going as HP for Halloween just made good, economical sense. Two birds, one stone.

Centre stage is Erika, in a panda costume that my Mom had sewn several years earlier for Francie when she was in 4th grade. As is clear even in this grainy photo, the panda costume was far too small for Erika, the tallest of all my friends. I believe the white belly section was supposed to extend down past the knees like a dress, not end at the waist like a bizarre, wooly wifebeater. And I remember working up a sweat trying to squeeze the hood part over Erika's 15-year-old head.

Then there's Connie, the jar of Carmex. This was another one of Francie's old costumes (amazing costume decisions btw, Francie) and we managed to convince Connie that it was the perfect choice. "You know, because you love Carmex so much!!" "I do? Yeah, ok. Sure!"

After this photo was taken, I'm sure we ran straight to the Arrowhead Point neighbourhood where, as years' of experience had taught us, it's pretty much bowl city. You see, rich people go to rich people parties on Halloween. Time is money, and they don't have time to hand out fun-sized Snickers like commoners. Instead, they leave a bowl full of candy on the front porch with a note that says: "Happy Halloween! Take one or two." Take one or two. Yeah right.

Perhaps I should be embarrassed that I trick-or-treated past the socially-acceptable 6th grade mark. And I suppose I should be ashamed that I grabbed handfuls of candy from every bowl I came across. But I'm not! I look back on those years and all I can think is, "Get it, girl. You do your thang."

Because being a teenager is hard. Suddenly, you're not a kid anymore. One day you're adorable, the next day you're awkward. When it comes to emotions—sadness, fear, excitement, joy, etc.—you're expected to conduct yourself like an adult. But when it comes to freedom and responsibility, you're still completely beholden to your parents.

As a teenager, I was hyperaware of my low status in society. I totally got it. I knew that I wasn't young enough to be cute, I wasn't smart enough to be interesting, I wasn't witty enough to be charming, and I didn't even have enough life experience to be useful. I was just in this horrible age purgatory, somewhere between blissful childhood and respected adulthood.

In those transitional teenage years, you're continually confronted with things that are too young for you and things that are too old for you. You're either secretly watching 'Wishbone', the time-travelling Jack Russell Terrier, on TV in your basement, or you're at a friend's house watching 'Cruel Intentions' and feeling really uncomfortable. Other than the odd junior high dance, teenagers have nothing to claim as their own!

So, when I was faced with the choice of 1) going trick-or-treating with my friends or 2) staying at home and passing out candy with my parents, I made the decision to go with Option 1. Can you blame me?


P.S. Have you entered the #TurkeyHat giveaway yet? Do it before it's too late! I ordered the hat on Amazon today, and then I'll ship it out to the lucky winner.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Kargaret Kay-Kardashian

I'm seriously considering buying something from the Kardashian Kollection. The Winter 2014 line.

Although the rational part of my brain says,"Don't give them any money! They don't need it!" and "You have neither the body nor the occasion for a black jumpsuit with a mesh and velvet-lined sweetheart neckline", the emotional, Sasha Fierce part of my brain thinks WHY NOT?!

With a bit of bronzer, some fake lashes and a leather bodycon dress, I could rule the world.

Actually, my feeling toward the Kardashians' winter collection is a microcosm of my feelings toward the ladies in general. Intellectually, I'm against them. Spiritually, they are my soul sisters. Fellow goddesses of sultry, Armenian beauty. Audacious in their fashion choices, unapologetic for their fame.

Do the stuffed leopards and white ukeleles come with the dress, or do you have to buy those separately?

Siiiigh. I've had a busy day of work, and staring at this screen is making my eyes hurt. Although I could write a dissertation on my complex feelings about the Kardashians, it's probably best if I refrain and direct you to my #TurkeyHat giveaway instead.

If you haven't entered for a chance to win the fantastic piece Thanksgiving garb, do it now! You only have until Saturday morning (Edinburgh time). Don't let his opportunity pass you by!

There will be a better blog tomorrowI promise!


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Celebrating 110,000 views - enter to WIN a turkey hat!

This post will, hopefully, take me past the 110,000 views mark. To honour the occasion, I've decided to do my first ever giveaway!

The prize? A turkey hat, similar to the one seen here on a young, 23-year-old Andy.

Thanksgiving is coming up, and you're probably in the market for a hat to wear to the big meal. What could be more fitting than a cap shaped like a roast turkey? It will be a huge hit, trust me.

For a chance to win, all you have to do is log into Rafflecopter using the widget below, and then send out a tweet and/or answer my one-question poll. If you do both, you double your chance of winning.

The competition starts now, and it ends Saturday morning at 9am Edinburgh time. If you win, I'll send you the hat just in time for Thanksgiving.

If you're British and do not honour the annual feast, or if you're Canadian and have already celebrated your fake Thanksgiving, then you can always wear the prize on Christmas instead.

Note: it's kind of confusing to enter by tweeting, but basically you just click the small "tweet" button in the widget, and then the tweet is already written for you, you just have to send it. THEN, you have to post the URL of that tweet into the widget to verify that you've done it. Sigh...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, and don't F it up!


Monday, October 27, 2014

Thanks for nothing, Halle Berry

Halle Berry was recently interviewed by Yahoo style (what, you don't subscribe to Yahoo style!? Unfriending you right now) and dropped a major advice bomb on the women of planet earth.

From the article:

She also recalled a crucial life lesson her mom taught her: always wear a good bra, or gravity will show no mercy. “She said if I don’t want my boobs to hit my knees by the time I’m 30, always wear a bra, even to bed,” Berry says.


I've never been a fan.
Image by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

I'll admit it, as soon as I get home from work, the bra comes off and the baggy sweatshirt goes on. And I don't even go to work! I work from home! SHITE! That means...let me do some quick math...I probably only wear a bra about 25% of the time.

When I nip across the street (pun intended) to the corner shop to get a Snickers, I often just throw on a jacket and do the arms-crossed manoeuvre I perfected back in eighth grade.


This ain't good.

Oh well. All I can do at this stage is promise to get my bra-wearing game back on track. Oh, and remind you that Halle Berry did a hit and run once. Let's not forget that.

In other news, I've had a blog topic request from the aforementioned Julie Fredrickson (famous for being fun and low maintenance). Read it for yourself:

Great suggestion, Julie! And let me just say that I admire your devil-may-care approach to office supplies.

After some careful consideration, I realised that I tend to avoid excitement at all costs. When I walk to the supermarket, I cross the road at the exact same point every time—no deviations. I NEVER answer calls from unknown numbers. I'm even too afraid to walk underneath trees in case 1) a branch falls off or 2) a perching bird poops on me.

That said, I have managed to think of a few ways I spice up my life (as Geri, Victoria, Emma and the Mels would say). Here they are:

  • Sleeping on an air mattress in the living room — On the weekends, Andy and I sometimes set up a "den" in the living room, comprised of the air mattress and all the pillows and blankets in the flat. Even though our actual bedroom is three feet down the hall, it's a real treat to be able to watch TV lying down and reach across to grab dinner out of the oven without even needing to stand up (our living room is also our kitchen...small flat).
  • In a restaurant, ordering at the VERY last second — This bizarre habit is more likely a result of my indecisiveness, but it definitely keeps me on my toes!
  • Farting all the time in public — If you're new to this blog/my life, then you might not know that I was extremely constipated for a good part of 2008 (culminating in a three-month pooping hiatus). Something I learned during that tough time was, if you need to pass gas, DO IT. Holding it in only leads to trouble. I also learned to perfect the art of the slow, quiet release. Works for me about 80% of the time—the other 20% is why I've included this on the list. 
That's all for now! Happy almost Halloween!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

5 things you don't have to feel guilty about

Of all the human emotions, guilt is probably the worst. Sure, it can be an appropriate response to a genuine wrongdoing, allowing us to recognise our errors and feel remorseful. But for the most part, guilt is misguided, damaging and ultimately unproductive. We spend far too much time feeling guilty when we shouldn't.

Not too long ago, I decided to make a concerted effort to cut guilt out of my life completely. And I'm not going to feel bad about it!

If you find guilt creeping into your psyche far too often, here are just five (of many) scenarios that you no longer need to beat yourself up over:

1. Getting an expensive haircut

"You wear your hair every day."

Those are my aunt Barbara's famous words of wisdom. How right she is! If you feel bad about getting a somewhat high-end haircut, ask yourself if you would spend the same money on a pair of jeans or some new running shoes. Would you? Of course you would, and you only wear those items a couple times a week.

2. Eating carbs

If you're American, this one might seem controversial. If you're not, this one might seem obvious. Either way, it's important to recognise that carbs are OK. They're absolutely fine.

In fact, based solely on my personal experience (and thus, 100% scientific fact) carbohydrates are key to feeling full and satisfied. Without them, you're more likely to get hungry between meals and binge on dry dry drier than dry unsalted almonds.

3. Not sending Christmas cards / Birthday cards

If you find the time and have the motivation, then send away! If it's December 26th and you've completely dropped the ball, rest assured that nobody cares. Cards are fun to get, but most people won't notice if they don't get one.

Same goes for birthdays. If it's your friend's birthday and you haven't sent them anything, just give them a call.

4. Having a slow work day

I've talked about this before. Some days are more productive than others—that's just the cold, hard truth. If you've been staring at that blank Word document for an hour, take a break and walk to your nearest artisan coffee shop. There's no point in trying to force inspiration that isn't there. You'll be better tomorrow.

5. Being a privileged, middle class Westerner

It's easy to look at the lives of less fortunate people across the world and feel guilty about the privilege you were born into. But feeling guilty doesn't change anything. It's also irrational to blame yourself for circumstances you have no control over. Instead of feeling guilty, look for ways you can improve the lives of people around you and try your best to enjoy the life you have (e.g. eating carbs and not whining about feeling guilty).

A privileged British man about to dig into some creamy mashed potatoes. 

Yuck! I hate this post. It feels preachy and very far from the Madgespace brand. Oh well, it's not like I'm going to write another one tonight! HAHAHAHA. Yeah right! I've got TV to watch, fishcakes to eat and dry skin all over my body to scratch.

See ya,

P.S. Let's bring back 'yeah right'. It's so sarcastic and sassy, and I feel like it's not as popular as it was in the 90s.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Just in case...

I'm scheduling this post just in case I am having too much fun to write anything tonight. My friends and I are meeting for 'Diva Night', our bi-monthly evening of reality TV watching, snacking and gossiping. On tonight's agenda: Project Runway finale and the latest America's Next Top Model.

Hopefully I will make it back in time to write something more substantial. But just in case, here's something to ponder:

Remember that MTV show 'Room Raiders'? It's that show where a guy or gal searches through the bedrooms of three potential suitors and chooses one of them to take on a date based solely on their cleanliness/fashion sense/choice of bedspread. Yeah, that show wasn't very good. It wasn't at the time, and looking back now, I stand by that assessment. Mainly because it was staged and because you didn't get to see the actual dates.

OK, bye!

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