Monday, August 25, 2014

here be (not really) naked pictures

As you may have heard via my Instagram account, this blog post, or my twitter account, in July Erica and I did something really stupid, even by our super social softball league standards. We bought Groupons (already you should see red flags) for a photo session at Glamour Shots (bright red flags everywhere). But it turns out that I didn't pay much attention to the fine print of the Groupon and the deal was not for your typical headshot session, it was for a bourdoir session. (can you see anything besides red at this point?)

So, after much laughing until I was crying, Erica and I buckled down and decided to treat this session with as much sarcasm as we could muster. In her case that meant pictures dressed in a flannel shirt and Wayne's World hat and for me Google Glass, a Captain America shirt, and jparks' gaming headphones. We were also told to bring our husband's favorite coffee mug, which confused me. I mean I keep 2.5 gallons of iced coffee in my fridge at all times and even I don't know how a coffee mug equals sexy. But being a rule follower, I grabbed a Star Wars mug and packed it into the bags of props I had ready to go.
Are you incredibly turned on right now? I'm sorry, blame Vader.

The whole situation was pretty ridiculous in ways that even my "imagine every possible negative outcome" brain couldn't imagine. The photo taking part was actually less horrifying than I had prepared myself for but after that was over, and the salesgirls thankfully let Erica and me put back on real clothes, they sat us in a room which was delightfully decorated and just left us there. For a really, really long time. I still get nervous sweats just thinking about that damn "living room" and all the tasteful photograph options displayed.
 Don't forget, it's not too late to get that Glamour Shots credit card you've always dreamed about. 
 We were really having a great time, as I'm sure you can tell from this picture. 

After hours and hours and the hardest sell I've ever experienced, our freedom was finally bought and we were allowed to rejoin society. A few weeks later the three final images from my session arrived and I spent the rest of that day staring at them wondering exactly how much photoshopping it took to make my legs so fake. Also, are my legs really so bad off that they had to take pity on me and do free retouching, something they usually charge quite a bit for? Should I be more concerned than I am? What do you know Glamour Shots, that you aren't telling me?

That's a lot of build up for three images that really aren't much of anything. They aren't funny in the way that Glamour Shots from the early 1990s are. They aren't overly ridiculous like some of Glamour Shots boudoir pictures are. Don't get me wrong, they are ridiculous, but in a "You invested how much time, energy, and money into this?!?" sort of way.

Have I sufficiently built up and then crushed your expectations? Perfect, that's right where I want you.

I have no real way to close this except to say hello to all the new parents from preschool and kindergarten who have Googled me and landed here. Good luck looking me in the eye at Back to School night.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

a television experience

Last year my fellow Super Social Food League member, Erica, attended the Austin Television Festival and made it sound so damn delightful that I immediately bought a ticket for this year's festival. Then I forgot about it until the festival started emailing me saying I should register for panels and get excited about the various shows they were screening. At that point I checked the schedule and got really skeptical about what was going to happen that weekend. Guys, I watch A LOT of tv and I didn't know many of the shows/actors/writers speaking on panels or being featured at screenings. But whatever, I was committed to this weekend so I pressed on, fueled by coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. Stumptown take the wheel.

We kicked the festival off by attending a screening of Orange is the New Black where we watched Season 2, episode 1 and then heard from Big Boo, Crazy Eyes, and Taystee. They were right there! So close! Holy crap, this Festival was going to be awesome!
What I didn't realize is that sitting five rows from celebrities is not really close by this festival's standards. We went back to the hotel where celebrities were everywhere. I mean, seriously just hanging around us normal people! It was weird, like we're all just a bunch of humans. 

Oh, hi Uzo! You are lovely when not wearing prison beige!

Nick, you're pretty in person. Sorry I stopped watching Revenge when the show fell apart at the start of season two. Kerry, you were a good panelist even though you were on just about every panel I attended. 

Ray, get a haircut. Do that and I'll forgive you for asking Emily if her and her writing partner ever kiss. 

Friday night Erica and I attended an Adult Swim special at Alamo and I don't know what to say about it other than that The Heart, She Holler was like sticking a Q-tip into my ear too far and poking my brain. That and that Robot Chicken is still funny. 

Saturday a bunch of stuff happened including me talking to Brenda Strong and having no clue that she was famous. After that I was told to treat anyone with nice hair and exfoliated skin like a celebrity. The real excitement of that day came when we decided to try to attend the screening of Fargo, followed by the world premier of Guillermo del Toro's new show, The Strain. Despite our best judgement we got in line early and waited in the heat to get into the State Theatre to watch a show with a horrifying poster. 

"Hey Erica, won't it be funny if I manage to get in and you don't?" 
"We're letting in 15 more people! 1, 2, 3... 13, 14, 15" right at me. Too bad Erica makes a really good sad face because they ended up letting her in and now we both need therapy to deal with what Guillermo did to us. How bad could it have been? Well, check out the poster! After dealing with an hour of the show we then got to stare at that for another 45 minutes during the panel. Thanks Guillermo!

Here's Sean Astin acting out how we felt by the end of it. 

I know Sean, I know. It was tiresome and stressful. I just wanted a nap too. Especially since it was at this screening that Erica and I had full blown church giggles causing jparks to question if we were drunk when I recounted the story for him. For the record, we were not. We were, however, hopped up on ice cream and cookies. 

Thankfully the last day was less traumatic and we ended on a higher note. And by high note I mean, I embarrassed Erica by approaching Andy Daly and asking him about his coffee since she refused to take a picture with him. After finding out his coffee came from the Green Room (aren't you fancy Mr. Daly) I used my stealthy paparazzi skills (read as: none at all) to take a picture of Andy. 

I'm sure he totally didn't notice me doing this and also wasn't thinking "went to Austin, acquired a new stalker."

Now that it's over I really can't say enough good things about ATX Festival. I had a lot of fun, discovered a lot of new shows, and made an ass out of myself a shockingly large number of times. I plan on attending next year and can't wait to talk coffee with another famous person who will be confused about why I'm excited about coffee and not about meeting him. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

forward momentum

Lately I've been feeling unlike myself. I sit at the keyboard and it doesn't feel right. I pick up my camera and have to think about what to do with it instead of just doing. I prep for a run, step off, and stumble. Place a barbell on my back and I struggle to move it. You get the picture. 

I'm not sure what it is. I would say the keyboard/camera thing is from lack of using those muscles but I know that's not the case with the running/lifting heavy shit. To steal a line from Robert Frost "The best way out is always through" so I'm forcing myself to work through the discomfort. 

Today that meant not quitting the workout even when my coach asked if I needed to stop. (I can only imagine how bad I looked for her to ask that because quitting is usually not an option. Failing, yes. Quitting, no.) It means sitting down and droning on here with no point or plan or anything. (lucky you!) Just reacquainting my fingers with the keyboard. Making my brain flex its vocabulary muscle a bit.  It means dragging my camera bag out and taking my camera with me again. And learning to not feel like a tourist whenever I use it. I'm also trying to teach myself how to use Lightroom which is not going well at all. I am suddenly remembering that I am not the best teacher for myself. I would say I'm going to go run and not concern myself with stumbling but frankly my legs are done for today after this morning's lifting session.

So there you have it, I'm unlike myself lately and I can't pinpoint why. I'm trying to improve the situation but who knows how long that will take. I bought a bathing suit and plan to wear it with no shame this summer. (That is obviously unrelated to anything but important.)

Don't worry guys, the cat is as skeptical as you are. Stop scowling Tangi, I can do it! I can figure out Lightroom and run again! 
Now, does anyone have any suggestions for Lightroom tutorials? I've got work to do. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

not every run is a success

Humble brag warning, but I generally can get up on a Sunday and know I can run a half marathon without too much worry. As I'm fond of saying, my stubbornness can carry me for 13.1 miles pretty easily. But every so often I get a surprise where a half marathon just kicks the crap out of me. Two times I've run the Austin Half Marathon with no issues, last year I even PR'ed at it.  This year, not so much.

It started innocently enough, the morning was humid and hazy. Probably should have started to question things right about then since I hate running in humidity. I'm not good at it, I don't enjoy it, screw you humidity!

The first six miles include a fair amount of climbing and I was actually feeling okay with the hills but the fact that my sweat had no where to go was a bit of a downer. It couldn't evaporate and was just sitting on my skin making me feel really, horribly gross. We got to South Congress and as I ran with the pacers, people kept bumping into me. All of a sudden I felt like I couldn't go another step. I was drowning in sweat; my sweat and every person around me's sweat. I couldn't go another damn step until there were less people near me, touching me, sweating on me. I told Amanda I planned to start running some intervals and I would see her at the finish. Little did I know there was worse in store for me.

I managed to pick up my pace again around mile 6 and easily ran down South 1st St. At mile 8 I realized I hadn't eaten anything yet so I busted out my pouch of sweet potatoes. Now listen, I don't enjoy baby food sweet potatoes but if I'm trying to be a good diet focused person that's the best option. I usually try to down about half the pack in the first squeeze so I don't have to fight through too much more. At this race I did just that and immediately realized something was terribly wrong with what I was eating.

It turns out, that despite the 2015 expiration date and sealed top, the sweet potatoes were bad. Like fizzy, alcohol tasting, black mold bad. And I had just swallowed a large amount and still had some in my mouth. I stopped dead in my tracks, mouth full of molded baby food, looked around and tried to figure out what I could possibly do in this situation. We were on a bridge so jumping to my death seemed like a pretty good option. There were no water stops near by so I had to flip the pouch over and spit it into the underside of the pouch, carry it for a bit, and ditch it at the next water stop. Good times.

So yeah, the last five miles were pretty awful. Every time I started to run my stomach would get upset. Actually just walking was a little stomach upsetting but running was even worse. But whatever, I finished. It took for-freaking-ever but I did it. I guess I should stop over estimating how far stubbornness can actually carry me.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

In another dimension I hate shoes

Last night I had quite the learning experience; I made my first trip to the ER for myself since I was 5-ish and busted my chin open. Let me lead with a proclamation that I am fine. Totally fine! Still living! Sorry to disappoint you but I still have all my limbs and gained no stitches.

Around 8pm my left eye developed a weird spot, like I had been staring at a bright light except I hadn't. I tried to ignore it for a bit but it progressively got worse and when I had a legit blind spot I figured I should tell jparks. Shortly after that I decided I would catch a cab to the ER because there was no way I could drive. I mean hell, I tried to turn on the bathroom light and missed the light switch two times, I didn't want to take out all the light posts on the 1.7 mile trip to the hospital. 

As it turns out, and maybe you already know this because you're smarter than I am, eye problems are not really an ER thing. "Oh, you close your right eye and can't see shit out your left? Call this eye doctor tomorrow." Okay, so he was a little nicer than that but the sentiment was the same. Today my eye is better-ish, I can see but it takes a second or so for it to focus. I have a headache and am being appropriately lazy by sitting on the couch and watching The League

Really, all of that was just to lead me into the best part of the ER: Bizarro World Regan and jparks! I was waiting for my room when a woman came tearing into the ER, pushing people out of her way as she ran up to the information desk. "My husband Jason Park was brought here in an ambulance! Where is he?!? Bring me to him!" The poor woman working the desk told her she needed to wait in line and Bizarro World Regan grumbled to her friend and went to the end of the line. Y'all, that's when I noticed it, she was barefoot. Barefoot in the ER! 
I spent the rest of my visit trying to figure out what horrible thing would have to happen to the real jparks to make me go to the ER shoeless. After a few minutes her other friend came in wearing flip flops that were bejeweled with crystal crosses and said she finally managed to park the car. So BWRegan had the whole car ride to the ER to put on shoes. And if she didn't have shoes, why didn't her friend offer up her holy flip flops? I'm also really disappointed that I never found out what happened to Jason Park. When I was walking to my room I saw his name on the patient board but it's like the staff didn't want me snooping because they hurried me by it pretty quickly. It also didn't help that I kinda couldn't see jack shit by that point. Stupid eye ruining all my fun.