Bad Vibes

Lately, I have not been good company. This morning, I decided to delete all the negative stuff I’ve posted since August. I log into WordPress and load my published posts only to find, I had just a few posts to delete. Why? Because I am not writing anymore.

I’ve been sucked into these bad vibes. I cannot say that I am extremely good at picking up on other people’s emotions. I used to think I was. But really… All I’ve been able to do is reflect anxiety and be completely a mess.

What’s even worse,  I have shutdown all activities (excluding CDubs activities). No posting, no positive thoughts, just shallow attempts at normalcy. I used to get 80+ hits a day on my blog, now I get 15 or less.

The content that’s being  viewed is from 2015. Nothing from 2016 except my goodbye friend letter.

Can we all agree 2016 was shit? I am longing to shake these bad vibes once and for all.

(Buzzfeed)

I mean just really. While I know 2017 is gearing up to be an orange-colored shitstorm, because I live in the good old US of A, I can try to stop the vibes from further screwing my life.

I can at least try.

So I want to go back to writing about things I’m reading about in the news, or problems I’m seeing around me that spark reflection.

I want to write about positive things that are going on, review some products cause I can afford to, talk about new things I’m trying to better myself.

I want to talk about everything with a better attitude and a bolder, less anxious outlook.

I used to do that a lot.

I’ve just been drained. They say new teachers don’t last more than 5 years, and then they are completely burned out. That we, new teachers, are weak kids who just can’t take working a full day with kids. Maybe we are.

But I’m just not happy. So I’m going to be happy. I’m looking into other avenues of employment very tentatively. I don’t want to rock the boat hardcore… that is unless I’m offered something that’s $10,000 more a year… then screw the boat, I’m swimming!

In the meantime, I’m offering more activities I enjoy in my classes, and really taking advantage of what I have, instead of complaining about what I don’t.


I mean that’s (above) what I have to work with in droves.

So I must change, adapt, or you know shake a leg!

For Christmas I received some wonderful gifts. I received beautiful charms from my husband and son for Christmas. I need some chains to display them properly. Both are simply beautiful pieces.

My aunt sent me the most beautiful lipstick by Too Faced called Unicorn Tears


Don’t worry, it turns pink after application!

I also received some Amazon money, and some other funds. I have been extremely blessed this holiday season!

I’ve used the money on me. Usually I buy things for CDubs. Maybe I’ll buy some household items like cleaning suppliers and splurge on the leopard print rubber gloves.

This year, self care all the way. I’ve gotten my nails done twice, a pedicure, an at home foot peel (that stuff is scary but works!), some clothes that fit, jewelry, makeup, makeup brushes (Ry found me a deal!), purchased some more happy place masks, facial soap, all that kind of stuff.
Probably should have saved it all but…

I’m also working on learning proper 21st century make up techniques. I was doing my makeup very 1960’s without really realizing it. Very flat, 2D type, cover all things, sort of make up. I can’t say after all the videos I’ve been watching lately that I’m anywhere bordering on proficient; but I am enjoying the process.

I’m a little shy sharing my forays into modern makeup because this happens:


I’m not bragging about the above, and I’m certainly not, “Oh woe, my clear skin and long lashes!” It’s just, anytime I post about me and makeup or even put on makeup for work someone tells me, “You don’t need makeup.”

Well no, I don’t, and you don’t need GTA5 or a new piece of jewelry. Still, you have/ do these things because you enjoy doing it or having those things. It’s a skill, artists take courses in developing their art, why can’t I practice makeup application?

Why can’t I enjoy makeup? Because only ugly girls wear makeup? Only insecure girls wear makeup? Please don’t even suggest only slutty girls wear makeup. That’s not true, none of those statements are true. You should see what I look like on the weekends, when I say screw maintenance I want to sleep instead! Seriously, what is with this stigma when it comes to wearing makeup? It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.

Models wear makeup. You can’t say models are slutty, ugly, or insecure. Now I am NOT model pretty, I have no features on my face that make me, what’s the statistic? Five percent of the world’s population is unique enough to be a model?

I’m going to sound like the witch from Into The Woods here when I say, I’m not beautiful, I’m not flawless , I’m just pretty. I don’t have delusions. It’s okay to be cute (I’m past cute at this point, I’m not under 18), there’s nothing wrong with pretty. There are a lot of pretty people in the world; it’s okay to be pretty and not beautiful.

So that coupled with awkward selfies, I am documenting my rise into learning how to sculpt and line and shade my face. It’s hard too, being partially sighted I don’t see all of the colors anymore or the shades. Makeup has stupid names like posh, and weekend fun. What the hell kind of color is trendy?!
I ask Ry a lot. To recap I can’t see shades of blue or green and often mistake them for each other, pinks and purples can be browns or greys to me, and yellow is white. Woohoo. I can wear… red, orange… well orange sometimes looks like red. (My type of color blindness is called Tritanopia and I recently discovered it’s not hereditary but a casualty of my eye disease. I had color vision loss before the damaging effects of my disease were apparent.)

(I had to check this twice because the first time I loaded the same picture😓 they honestly look the same to me)
Maybe I shouldn’t use anything unless labeled Neutral Palette. 

Then blending. I took art in school. I got a 75 on my gradient shading project for BLACK. Black to white. My professor said I was to drastic between shades. To me, it looked just like his example. So there is that to contend with too.

I could just switch my profession to becoming a for hire clown, using only primary colors for my face paint.

It could be exciting.

Maybe not.

As for my weight loss blog, I received some negative feedback on that and have decided they can bite my nicely rounded ass; I am starting over again. I do love myself. Because I love myself I want to be healthier for me. It’s not because I don’t love myself enough or I feel like people who are plus sized are unhealthy my blood pressure is 105/80 people. It’s crazy and healthier than some of my more slender, running associates from school. So bam! Back up off!

Alright, I’ve talked way too much. I hope though I’ve convinced you my bad vibes will be countered at every turn and that I’m here, back at WordPress and ready to go!

Voluptuous Goddess Pageant: The Results!!

The day of the pageant dawned bright and sleepy with CDubs crying for milk. After that was taken care of, we began to take stock, we need groceries but today was not the day for buying them! It’s pageant day!

So we rushed off to lunch and CDubs enjoyed his burger and apple slices. I sat and thought about my lyrics.

On Wednesday this past week I decided, with the help of fellow teachers, that I needed to sing something I was comfortable with. For me, the competition is the talent portion. I know I have good outfits, that I look nice enough, I don’t walk well but I’m sincere in my actions. I’d love to win but for me the goal, the win, was singing in public.

So I sit and think, what song do I know to my bones? What song can I remember each word, every phrase?

My first Broadway song, Fine, Fine Line from the musical Avenue Q. That’s it.

All I can think of, is trying to remember my lyrics, thinking of my timing, doing my best. We finish lunch and head to Wal-Mart.

I notice my phone had a notification for a text I had missed! My good friend M was on his way to L-Town and I still needed to buy a CD to burn my Karaoke track to!

We snag the blank CDs, pay and rush to meet M at our house! He’s very affably waiting,  and we really appreciate him being in town for the pageant!

We catch up a little and I go through the whole getting ready process while CDubs takes his afternoon nap.


I choose my outfits:

Parade

 

  • Purple Goddess shirt, cut up and off the shoulder
  • Jeans
  • Moccasins
  • Ugandan Beaded Necklace

Talent

 

  • Red plaid button down
  • Silver sequins skirt
  • Red drop earrings and red vine ring
  • Black dress wedges

Favorite Outfit

 

  • Black dress pants
  • White long sleeve shirt
  • Black poncho sweater with cursive words (love, beautiful, strong, etc)
  • Black dress wedges

Formal

 

  • Green dress with side ruffle and gathered waist (sort of)
  • Red kitten heels
  • Big cubic zirconium necklace and matching earrings

We rush out an hour before I need to check my music with the DJ, to eat dinner.

Chinese food is quickly eaten, we pile into the car and 7 minutes down the road, we arrive at the venue. I’m the second person to arrive! I get my make up on and talk with the DJ. My CD won’t cut it. He’s afraid it will skip. Luckily, my husband thought to bring my computer! We just hook it up to the DJ’s set up and it’s back to getting ready.

Backstage is chaos. Dresses, shoes, people, shape wear, heels, children…

But everyone is so nice! We get ready and walk out. We all sit prettily on the stage waiting until all contestants are seated on the stage. Once Mrs.Z does her MCing, we Dab out to change:


I know people in the audience. Oh man, my principal is there, coworkers in the pageant and watching! The butterflies are fluttering little nuisances in my tummy. I change into my sequins and plaid outfit and…

Contestant Number 1!


I walk out and wave and… I hear my intro….

I was nervous. I was sharp. I sang to the door.

I didn’t forget the words. I didn’t choke, I didn’t throw up. I didn’t cry.


Actually, I am elated.  I did it. It wasn’t that bad! No one laughed, no boos, yes there was recordings. I might be on YouTube somewhere.

I was brave. I am so proud.

Yeah, I am pretty sure other people sang better. Yup, they totally did. Thing I can’t believe is I did it!

I rush back to the dressing room, and toss on outfit 2, the favorite outfit. I hear poems about loving yourself, songs thanking our Creator, original monologues… I realize we have such talented, brave women competing tonight. Women, like me who may not be comfortable in their skin. Women who have struggled to look like everyone else only to be told or shown they just cannot. Women who aren’t necessarily told to hate themselves, but have been told that through examples in our world.

All of us came together to say we are beautiful.

Being 1st in a pageant rounds out to a lot of waiting. So I dressed in my favorite outfit and floated around just looking at other outfits and people. There were cute little tutu girls running around, women curling hair, and everyone being so complementary towards one another.

I’m called to show my outfit of choice, and I do my best to strut my stuff.

I know next we have a dinner intermission, and I ate at 4PM. So I glam up, darken my eye shadow for a nighttime look and sneak out to the audience. I am noticed a bit and my dress is praised, (confidence boost!) and I sit with M talking about how the pageant is going, how things looked, how the other talents were great. Then, a surprise.

A beautiful women approaches us and tells me, I am one of her favorite contestants. She loves my individuality and how I am being authentic to myself.

So I still came off as my kooky self, no matter how glamorous I looked, lol!

The buzz in the room became excited and a little restless, so I wove my way back and prepared for line up. I try to strut my stuff for the audience. I remember cheers, so I think I did okay.

Once again, we walked out, one by one and stood by the stage.


The judges talked and tallied and we stalled as they debated:



But finally it was time to announce the Winning Goddess and the 2nd and 3rd place winners.

Mrs. Z announced something amazing had occurred, the Winning Goddess had tied with another contestant, and it was a perfect match in all ways. The crowd was to cheer for which contestant they felt deserved the crown!

The tie, for the Winning Goddess is between Contestant 1 and Contestant 2!

WHAT?! WHHHHAAATTTTT?!

Like a fish I gaped at the audience in utter shock. We were called up one at a time for the tie braking cheer:



I could tell though, while I received quite a bit of shreeking and hollering and cheering of my own (thank you!), that Number 2 was the clear winner!


Which I couldn’t have been happier. I knew I had won by singing my song, in a room of people I didn’t know. I succeeded. My for real prayers had been answered. So I was quite elated as it was.

Now, I understand, that normally, I would then be called the runner-up, 2nd place Goddess. However, the pageant was not set up that way, and another two ladies tied for 2nd. While I heard some buzzing from the audience (there was a bit of a stir, the audience thought I deserved 2nd place, when instead I didn’t place at all), another vote by audience and another woman was sashed. Third place was not a tie, and was sashed to cheers as well.

We posed for our last shots:


And I was approached for selfies with the Winning Goddess. We were a package deal for a bit, and ladies approached me and told me I was so brave (wait…. Did I sound that awful?), and they loved my dress. Then, from the crowd, my good Friend M emerged and helped me back to the dressing rooms. I gathered my things and thanked my teacher friends for their support.

Truly, without all of the encouragement from online, from them, even students; I probably would have just dropped out. Everyone was so encouraging and wonderful.

In the car, M told me he was approached as well, after the pageant with, almost condolences and people saying, “she should have gotten…”

But I am sorry, I just had the absolute best time. Hands down, the best time I’ve had in a long time. I’m just happy I did it!

At home, Ry greeted us and we spilled the news of sorts. He was actually a little miffed I didn’t get 2nd place which was cute. After reassuring him that wasn’t the point, he quieted down his protests. He was only being miffed on my behalf, like a good hubby.

M drove home and I peeled my face off and took some NyQuil so I could slip into oblivion (remember I have been sick!). Wonderful, awesome day. Totally would do it again!

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Voluptuous Goddess Pageant: Run Through/ Informational Meeting

I had a little trouble finding the venue for today’s run through. It was chilly today and wouldn’t you know it, no one leases buildings on holiday weekends?

Huddled in coats and scarves, the coldest it’s been in weeks (which isn’t hard since it was 73° on Christmas), we awaited our fellow pageant mates.

FOUND ON PINTEREST, ARTIST UNKNOWN

 

Okay it wasn’t snowing, but it was cold.

The fabulous Mrs. Z was waiting, hip hop music playing while we all waited for more Goddesses and Contestants to appear.

The Voluptuous Goddesses are a group of empowered plus sized women who educate others on positive body image. Some contestants were Goddesses and some were not.

Once a reasonable number arrived, business began. I missed the memo that we need to purchase contest tee shirts (like really, the email was not sent) to wear during the opening parade. Luckily my wallet was packed with checks due to it being rent paying time.

Once purchased, people bought reduced price tickets for the show. Since the event is at 6:30PM-9:30PMish (give or take) CDubs will be tucked away, or cranky and wishing he were in bed. (Must ask Mrs. Z if I can bum a ride home Saturday) Son and loud music and such, no good. We decided we wouldn’t be buying any tickets.

This lead to the order of events. There would be an opening with a Plus Sized Vocalist (Plus Sized was the descriptor used), followed by a Goddess/ Contestant Parade:

SCREENSHOT FROM MLP

 

Followed by some MCing and the Talent Portion:

IMAGE FROM FANPOP, NO I WILL NOT BE PLAYING THE CELLO.

 

Followed by Favorite Outfit (that shows your personality):

IMAGE BY KRAZEE OZYMANDIUS

Followed by a break in which to chow down hopefully:

SCREENSHOT FROM MLP

 

Concluded by a formal wear/ awarding winner portion:

IMAGE FOUND ON PINTEREST, ARTIST UNKNOWN

So we actually change 4 times instead of the 3 that I had originally expected. The formal wear was unexpected (to me being a non-pageant performing person).

After that small shock, I was greeted by another, I’m first. First contestant, first talent, first every darn thing.

ART BY NEODARKWING @ DEVIANTART

Which is good and bad. I can’t psyche myself out too hard listening to the others. I can be judged harsher because there is no talent to be compared to.

That aside, I did enjoy practicing my walk, light socializing, and learning what happens when. I even had a good laugh about, once again, being the only white girl in the pageant, which really makes Mrs.Z happy.

I’m really not expecting to win, but I am expecting to have fun.

I think I will be singing My Funny Valentine the Ella Fitzgerald version, as simplified as possible. Ella was magical, and my voice just doesn’t do all that lyrical movement. I still will hit lots of notes, just not lots and lots of notes…. Lol!

I have down, I think the beginning:


Which is just the tip of the Oh-my-word-can-I-even-well-I-hit-the-notes-for-that-interval-well-maybe….. Iceberg.

I can do this. I keep picturing lots of people when I practice, my friends, students, coworkers, anyone who I’d be embarrassed to sing in front of. Which is mad, because I have a fine voice. I do. Kings will never weep at my feet but it’s just fine all the same.

Confidence is needed.

Mrs.Z though, helped:

You have already won. Most plus sized women are still afraid to show the world what they can do. You being on stage, bravely showing others that you love yourself, will encourage others to love themselves too.

Can’t say boo to that.

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Voluptuous Goddess Pageant: What Was I Thinking?!

It was the end of October, possibly the beginning of November when I was approached by the beautiful Mrs. Z. This woman is beautiful. 5’4″ curvy, bronzed clear skin, perfect make up and hair, on point outfits with those amazing little touches only she could make, this woman made a cheerleading tutu out of multi colored mesh squares. Instead of looking utterly ridiculous she made it come together some how; and all the kids wanted one (faculty basketball game for students), she is just flawless.

So, as I said Mrs. Z sashayed up to me and confidently, almost trivially, laid out this plan for a Plus Sized Woman’s Beauty pageant. I gave her the sideways squint of, “a Pageant, here? Like glitter and ball gowns, and sponsors and…”

She assured me oh no, no, not like that! She gave me this image of togetherness and friendly competition and of course the eventual crowning of a winner.

“Sounds fun.” I remark, thinking perhaps she wants me to spread the word, get Ry to run sound, ask the band to perform (which I sincerely hoped was not the case!).

“It is! All you need to do is sign up with a basic contract, and pay a $25 holding fee and you’re set!”

……….

…….

.

After that largely pregnant pause, she explained it would consist of 3 parts, a parade, a talent portion, and a favorite outfit portion.

The dusty gears in my brain worked themselves furiously trying to get my brain started. Me? Compete? Talents? What?

Maybe it was the look in her eyes, a sort of please say yes, it will be fun look; maybe it was a momentary lapse of sanity, either way, I agreed.

“I’ll get you the contract/ waver as soon as I can!” She squealed, “I finally have a Caucasian girl in the pageant!”

Mildly amused, we part ways for duties and such.

Weeks pass, no mention of a contract, nothing. Then one day she comes up, bedazzled in holiday perfection,”Did you get my email over Thanksgiving?”

Maybe? I was so sick, I honestly didn’t remember.

Students were sent as little pages back and forth from our kingdoms during study hall (let’s be honest, if a student refuses to study and all actions are taken and they are still drawing in their notebooks… Sending them on an errand isn’t a horrific thing.). Contracts, envelopes with checks and waivers and statements are sent.

All done, it’s done, back to worrying about the concert, parade, testing, etc.

Except! Surprise!

Text received yesterday, the Pageant is the NEXT week! I forgot. I totally lost my voice after the parade and didn’t care cause it was break. Except, tomorrow is the run through, and next Saturday is the event.

MOONGAZEPONIES @ DEVIANTART

What to do? Well, I think my voice is healed enough to sing. Playing trombone…. I don’t think that’s what the audience wants, especially Trombone music from 100 or more years ago (it’s what I got). I just realized I could totally do a color guard flag routine to some song… But getting all the tricks ready by Saturday… Probably not.

So I am to sing. I sing very low, songs from musicals and the Renaissance period (It’s all for me grog, me jolly jolly grog! Or perhaps Oft have I sighed, Oft have I sighed, Oft have I sighed for he who hears me not!).

I do a tolerable Fantine, a reasonable  Mame, but it’s been a long freaking time. I can sing Yuē Lang Lang in mock child soprano with more confidence than those college songs. (Music from China, music education class standard) But I could try.

The last song I was working in was Adam’s part from Children of Eden The Hardest Part of Love. That was difficult because I was trying to stay in my man voice the whole time.

At this point I could back out. Get sick and run for my life and dignity. I know I don’t make babies cry anymore when I sing. I also know if I was spectacular, I’d be on Broadway, and I’m not.

So maybe, I’ll just dash it all and try to do something…. Maybe a jazz standard.

I’m afraid no one will be hearing me sing something new, my voice just isn’t poppy. It’s belting-out-in-a-bar-and-I-hope-everyone-is-feeling-sentimental- and- a little-tone- deaf- here-we-go!

Yes, I’ve been as classically trained,  as much as a vocal minor who is teaching band can be (4 years worth of 1 hour a week lessons plus small performances in front of peers). So I have a leg up…. Maybe?

Sigh. But I need this. Performance experience. It’s important. If I ever want to get better…. Practice, exposure, and possibly vomiting.

Well I signed up for this, let’s quit the *^%#*+%# and let’s go!

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