Sidetracked


Magazine Obsessed: This just scratches the surface

My love affair with magazines began in junior high. I really wanted subscriptions to all the teen mags, but my mom wouldn't allow it. I suppose she thought they'd create eating disorders and make me boy crazy. Unbeknownst to her, I was both of those things without the subscriptions. I started hanging out by the magazine racks at bookstores, hungrily flipping through glossy pages, worried my mom would catch me.

I still like to go to bookstores for the sole purpose of perusing the latest issues, but I don't feel ashamed of this obsession any more. The magazines below are just a few that I read, but I will read anything from "Men's Health" to "Parenting" to "Wired." And if you know me, you know that I've actually purchased copies of "US Weekly."

“Texas Monthly”
"Texas Monthly" is all about the nooks and crannies of my home state. From down-home diners and smoke houses with dusty back porches to the best ice-cold rivers to float in the middle of July, this magazine shows proud Texans what they really have to be proud of. I read it now because it takes me back. I read it then because I fantasized about writing for them someday. Maybe I will.

“Self”
"Self" empowers women to be their best selves, while sort of removing the notion that we all have to be skinny blonds with large breasts. They occasionally feature such models, but for the most part they provide realistic goals for those of us dying for a normal self-image after overdosing on Cosmo, Vogue, and Elle.

“O”
As if you didn't know, "O" is Oprah's baby. The target market is women ages 30 to 60+, which makes me a little too young to fully appreciate the content. But I like it because it gives readers a peek into Oprah's world, has great recipes, and just has a warm, motherly feel to it.

“Marie Claire”
I just flipped through this magazine for the first time about a year ago. I'd skipped over it on the racks, writing it off as another makeup/clothes/body/boy obsessed publication. It does have that sort of content but in a classier way. It feeds those indulgences that are so ingrained, that our feminist sides want so badly to rebel against, but there's something that it has that the others don't.


Kill all my demons…

My only real vice is crappy television, and I don't even have time to indulge in that as much as I'd like. After a long day, there's nothing better than putting on sweats and climbing into bed with the laptop for a couple of Friday Night Lights episodes, or camping out on the couch for a Gilmore Girls marathon.

I gave up smoking a couple of years ago. I really loved it and still fantasize about sitting on the porch with my sisters, smoking and chatting into the night. I gave up Diet Coke about a month ago. I was feeling kind of hooked and didn't like that.

I guess what happens next is filling those voids with good stuff.


Plink

See that post down below? That’s my Plinky! It’s one of the many distractions keeping me from writing here more often.


If I had easy access to a helicopter, I'd fly to Austin, Texas this weekend

First off, it's a helluva lot warmer than Chicago right now. I'd play with my pal, Catherine, say "hi" to my favorite Starbucks people, grab a drink at Lamberts Barbecue, then go for a long drive in the Hill Country. Sigh… How could anyone resist?


Mind-bending 2009

Happy belated New Year from me, Dave and Ben!

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My original resolution was to be on time, all the time. I’m notoriously late and have been known to stall so much that I’ve been late for job interviews. I was significantly late for my first date with Dave, which caused me so much stress that I really won’t forget that night. My dad once told me that being late for a meeting with someone tells that person that you don’t value their time. That always stuck with me in a way that makes me feel guilty and anxious.

So, I changed my resolution. I’m a very anxious person. So much so that I’ve considered taking medication for my almost constant anxiety. Instead of going that route, I’m going to work on staying in the moment. Every time anxiety starts welling up or depression tightens it’s grip, I’m going to try to bring my mind back to what’s happening that very moment. To me, this is the ultimate meditative practice, which will hopefully help me overcome those issues.

Or, at the very least, it might help me be on time, all the time.


This and That

1. The doors to my truck were frozen shut today. Dave broke my ice scraper trying to pry one of the doors open and I bent the key to the ignition trying to pull the same maneuver. We are geniuses.

2. If you find yourself standing in a long line at a popular coffee shop chain, please don’t get mad at the baristas. That company is cutting back on labor to save some money, and the baristas are probably as aggravated as you are.

3. I’ve been obsessively entering to win ApartmentTherapy.com’s holiday giveaways. I haven’t shared this with you, because I though you’d try to win these awesome gifts too and lower my chances. But I felt guilty about hording my knowledge. Happy holidays.


There are rules

MightyGirl has an excellent post about coffee shop etiquette. After reading number 3 and 4, I wanted to fly to San Francisco to shake her hand.

I’d like to add that we don’t mind supplying you with cup of hot water for your own tea bag, if you don’t mind tipping us in return. Also, I don’t want to hear about the really interesting thing you just learned while reading your book about China. I’m working.


So this is four below

This morning, after fighting with the clogged toilet (frozen pipes?) for half an hour, I headed out the door and literally slid across the frozen street to my truck. I pried open the door, turned the ignition and felt the engine shudder hard. I know, baby, I know, I thought as I sat there watching clouds of air puff from my mouth and waited for the truck to warm up.

As I backed out of the parking space the wheels spun and danced on the ice, and the radio gave me the weather report. Nine degrees at Midway, two degrees at the lake. The wind chill is four below. I smiled as she said this. Four below. I don’t recall ever feeling four below. I’ve felt 32 degrees plenty of times: the walk-in freezer at the restaurant I worked at in college, the ice cubes used to keep my favorite cocktail chilled, the pitcher of ice I use to calibrate the milk thermometers at work.

But I don’t remember seeing the roads lacquered to a black sheen. I don’t remember my finger tips burning as they warm up. I don’t remember my skin ever being so dry.

I’m starting to forget what those sticky, luke warm Texas winters feel like.


Home for Christmas

Thanksgiving was very unorthodox this year. I worked. I made a big chunk of money, but it was still work. Regular customers came in with their families or on their way to see families. Coworkers bundled up and headed out into the cold to make it to dinner on time. And people from out of town stopped in for a hot chocolate or a cup of tea for their after dinner treat. I served coffee and smiled and assured everyone it was okay that I was working, after all I volunteered to. But secretly, I missed my family and felt a little sorry for myself.

After work, me and my friend who closed the store with me drove around town looking for an open restaurant. We were hungry and tired and wishing for someone to wait on us for once. We finally found an open diner. As we commiserated over cheeseburgers and Cokes, I thought about my parents when they were my age, with two little ones living in a trailer park and saving what they could for a better home, a better life. I felt disgusted with my bad attitude and thankful to be sitting there with my good friend sharing a warm meal, however unconventional.

I was never one for holidays. My family usually has me dreading them. Maybe it’s being so far from them now, maybe it’s because I’m figuring out that the hard parts of life never really let up, but this time around it’s different. I’m looking forward to Christmas.


Tundra

As I head into my first real winter ever, I kind of feel like I’m beginning a journey into No Man’s Land. It’s dark, frigid, gloomy. Charlie’s huddling close for protection. I’m not sure if we’ll make it the other side alive. And as I take the first few steps, I look back at the dreamy, warm place I’m leaving behind.

Hold me.


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