Saturday, September 29, 2007

a makeover.

this month, i've decided to give myself a total makeover. i won't lie; this is partially due to the fact that i've been watching "tim gunn's guide to style." as cheesy as that may sound, it made me think about a couple things.

1. over the past few years, i've been gaining weight. and while i'm working to remedy that situation, i still need clothes that accentuate the strengths of my silhouette and hide the flaws... at least better than i am doing right now. so i need to look harder for clothes with the right fit, even if that means buying sizes that i'm in denial about wearing, and visiting the tailor more than i'd like. [ even though she's the cutest woman and i love her, and actually sort of look forward to seeing her... ok, maybe the tailor isn't such a bad thing ]

2. while all that is going on, however, there is no need for me to look like a sloth. sure, i still have a HUGE respect for a cool t-shirt collection, and i don't think i'll be casting off my flip-flop fetish entirely. but it is time for me to start looking and dressing like a grown-up. what's funny is i used to do this every day. but i think because of the way i was doing it, ie, clothes and shoes that didn't fit properly, i associated fashion and dressing well with both pain and poverty... since the only reason i was dressing that way was because i was working my ass off in a women's clothing store. so not only am i trying to find clothes that work in the adult world, i'm also trying to find clothes that i know i'll be able to breathe, walk, and work in, so i'm not sucking in all day, or rubbing my tootsies, or unbuttoning top buttons, or hoping my shirt doesn't pop open. unbelievably, this was a complete revelation.

3. it's time to clean out my closet. it was a complete disaster in there. i'm about 80% done, and i already feel better. next is completely cleaning the bathroom and organizing my bedroom in a way that makes sense. i feel like bringing a sense of order to my home is going to help my mental state immensely.

4. all the fashion thoughts got me on a trail of looking at my body. i NEED to do more for myself. so i'm trying to eat better, and i've been going to the gym more this week, and hopefully will continue to do so. i even scheduled a long overdue trip to the gyno for an annual exam. i'm just trying to take better care of myself in general. i owe it to myself. no one else is going to do it. [ ...and i need to lose 10 lbs:) ]

5. on the line of taking care of myself, i need to stop pulling teeth when it comes to my love life. no more accepting less than i deserve. i made a promise to myself a while ago that i didnt' keep too well, but now i realize i absolutely need to. my best friend's wedding is next may, and i am the maid of honor. i feel like in the next 7 months, anyone who i even potentially look at, i need to ask, is this the kind of person that is going to be crazy enough about me that he'll fly across the country to go to this very important wedding with me? if not, fuck him! i don't have time to fuck around and act like i don't want a serious, meaningful relationship. i do. and anything that doesnt' head in that direction is no longer worth my time.

6. and speaking of mental state, i think i finally figured out what how i'm going to move forward in my whole job/identity crisis. after much pondering... i'm talking YEARS of it... i think the most sound thing to do is to stay with my career in advertising but write more on the side. take up projects that i have complete control over. i've already done 2, and they felt great. now it's time to do more, more, more.

i'm hoping this better clothed, more healthy, and more mental health-aware me will start some good life momentum. whether that means a new job, a new guy, or just a better feeling getting up in the morning, i think this is probably the most worthwhile project i can undertake. it's taken me some time to care enough to do something about myself, but it feels really good taking it on.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

great news!

i'm planning on going to europe for the very first time. my friend ron is spending a few months out there with his friends, and i am leeching off his good nature. so october 11 i'm landing in heathrow for a few days of london and then we're off to paris for two days! i am so, so excited. i hope this is just the first of many international trips. i've been itching for changes of scenery lately, which helps explain the weekend jaunt to NY and the impulsive buying of tickets to DC. but europe, i feel, will be worth its cost many times over. and i'm so glad i won't be experiencing it with total strangers, which i was afraid it was going to come down to if much more time passed! anyway, more to come, pictures, all that good stuff. i can't wait to wear my new peacoat!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

random thought

random thought:
if an auto store is having a sale on tires, i don't think they should call it a "blowout."

Thursday, September 6, 2007

how to change iraq, by madeleine albright.

in today's washington post

How To Change Iraq
Bush Should Start By Admitting Fault
By Madeleine K. Albright
Thursday, September 6, 2007; Page A21

The threshold question in any war is: What are we fighting for? Our troops, especially, deserve a convincing answer.

In Iraq, the list of missions that were tried on but didn't fit includes: protection from weapons of mass destruction, creating a model democracy in the Arab world, punishing those responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks and stopping terrorists from catching the next plane to New York. The latest mission, linked to the "surge" of troops this year, was to give Iraqi leaders the security and maneuvering room needed to make stabilizing political arrangements -- which they have thus far shown little interest in doing.

A cynic might suggest that the military's real mission is to enable President Bush to continue denying that his invasion has evolved into disaster. A less jaded view might identify three goals: to prevent Iraq from becoming a haven for al-Qaeda, a client state of Iran or a spark that inflames regionwide war. These goals respond not to dangers that prompted the invasion but to those that resulted from it. Our troops are being asked to risk their lives to solve problems our civilian leaders created. The president is beseeching us to fear failure, but he has yet to explain how our military can succeed given Iraq's tangled politics and his administration's lack of credibility.

This disconnect between mission and capabilities should be at the center of debate as Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker report on the war's status and congressional leaders prepare their fall strategies. Despite the hopes of many, this debate is unlikely to end the war soon; nor will it produce fresh support for our present dismal course. Although U.S. troop levels will surely start to come down, big decisions about whether and under what circumstances to complete the withdrawal seem certain to remain for the next president, when he or she takes office. Yet this should not preclude Democrats and Republicans from trying to agree on ways to minimize the damage before then.

According to the National Intelligence Estimate released last month, the recent modest but extremely hard-won military gains will mean little "unless there is a fundamental shift in the factors driving Iraqi political and security developments."

Given the depth of the sectarian divisions within Iraq, such a fundamental shift will not occur through Iraqi actions alone. Given America's lack of leverage, it will not result from our patrols, benchmarks, speeches or "surprise" presidential visits to Anbar province. That leaves coordinated international assistance as the only option.

The Balkans are at peace today through the joint efforts of the United States, the European Union and the United Nations -- all of which worked to help moderate leaders inside the region. A similar strategy should have been part of our Iraq policy from the outset but has never been seriously attempted.

Is such an initiative still viable? Perhaps. The United Nations has pledged to become more involved. Europe's new leaders -- led by Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel and Gordon Brown -- understand their region's stake in Iraq's future and seem willing to assist. The Saudi, Jordanian and Syrian governments all view Iraqi instability as a profound security threat. Turkish and Kurdish representatives recently signed an agreement to cooperate along their troubled border. Iran is the wildest of cards, but it would be unlikely to isolate itself from a broad international program aimed at reconciliation. If it does, it would only hand a political victory to us and to the many Iraqi leaders, Shiite and Sunni alike, who would prefer to minimize Iranian influence.

President Bush could do his part by admitting what the world knows -- that many prewar criticisms of the invasion were on target. Such an admission would be just the shock a serious diplomatic project would need. It would make it easier for European and Arab leaders to help, as their constituents are reluctant to bail out a president who still insists that he was right and they were wrong. Our troops face death every day; the least the president can do is face the truth.

A coordinated international effort could help Iraq by patrolling borders, aiding reconstruction, further training its army and police, and strengthening legislative and judicial institutions. It could also send a unified message to Iraq's sectarian leaders that a political power-sharing arrangement that recognizes majority rule and protects minority rights is the only solution and is also attainable.

If there is a chance to avoid deeper disaster in Iraq, it depends on a psychological transformation so people begin preparing to compete for power peacefully instead of plotting how to survive amid anarchy. The international community cannot ensure such a shift, but we can and should do more to encourage it.

The writer was secretary of state from 1997 to 2001. She is principal of theAlbright Group LLC.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

says you/what's the difference

tuesday nights on kcrw, you can hear a quirky little game called
says you.
it's sort of like balderdash; a panel of people make up definitions to obscure words from the dictionary. it doesn't sound like an amusing thing to listen to on the radio, but somehow, it really is.

anyway, they do little variations on games, and tonight, one of them was "what's the difference?" i thought some of the questions were worth sharing.

for instance, do you know the difference between ability and capability?

what about the difference between pronunciation and enunciation?

and, perhaps less essentially, but by no means less interesting, the difference between a tortoise and a turtle, or a rabbit and a jackrabbit?

you should have tuned in, my friends.

but. no worries. i'm not the type to make you go look up the answers yourself. actually, i am, except that i want to have them archived for my own sake the next time i need to look this up. so here they are...

ABILITY is something innate, while CAPABILITY is a skill that's been demonstrated or improved.
for instance, many have the ABILITY to hit a baseball; few have the capability to hit a long ball.

are we learning??

next up, according to the dictionary they used, PRONUNCIATION is the manner in which a word is spoken, while ENUNCIATION is the expression of a proposition or theory in clear or definite terms.
therefore, you PRONOUNCE the word declaration but you ENUNCIATE the declaration of independence.


last up, our animals.
tortoises are terrestrial; turtles are sea creatures.
and jackrabbits are hares, while rabbits are not. a jackrabbit's ears and legs are longer than a rabbit's, and their nesting habits are different [ a hare lives in simple nests above ground, while a rabbit burrows ]

see what you can learn when you listen to npr!! tell me you're not a more interesting person now. go ahead, tell me!