Monday, February 25, 2013

Terrible Tuesdays: Four-Eyes

I have a terrible problem--I have to make a decision and I am notoriously bad at decision-making. And change. Especially when it comes to changing my appearance. (Please note I have only changed my hair one time since I was 20 and chopped it off for Locks of Love, and that was the Bang Phase of 2010. Let it be known that bangs and summer do NOT mix.)

Well, as you may or may not know, I do not have perfect vision. I have had some form of eyewear prescription since 1997, although I got contacts in college and never looked back. In fact I have only owned 3 pairs of glasses since 6th grade. Which is why a.) my current glasses are 11 years old, b.) they are outdated, and c.) I hate them with the passion of a thousand suns.

Here are my current glasses:

I can kind of see where sophomore-Natalie was coming from, I like the blue frames, but the shape is a little too mid-2000s for me. And they give me awful glasses marks. And once, when we were driving through Yellowstone on a family trip, my brother hit me across the face and these glasses CUT ME between my eyes. They will never be forgiven.

So anyway, after getting my prescription updated for the first time in 4.5 years (look away, Quinns!), I decided I should probably get new glasses that help me actually see in case I, like, need to see.

Enter Warby Parker.

I have a couple of friends who have gotten glasses from Warby Parker. Cute and stylish friends to boot. And I loved the idea of an at-home try-on without a pushy salesperson or fluorescent lights. So I online shopped, and a box was delivered chez moi this afternoon with five pairs of glasses (sans prescription) for me to try on!

Now, as I said, I need your help. I am hyper-critical of photos of myself (aren't we all), and so I can't really look at these pictures without seeing the zit on my nose, my pointy chin, and the fact that my eyes aren't symmetrical (nor are the tops of my ears). So, if you have a moment or two, please just look at this montage of photos and tell me which ones suck less. Please? I just suffered through taking like 50 pictures of myself, it's the least you can do...I mean, you're reading this, so just opinionated for a sec. kthx.

First up, the contestants:

For the record, as you will see in further photos, I wrote "what's up with these names" under "Clyde," because I was attempting humor, and seriously, I feel like I'm talking about horses or pretentious private schoolers.

Next up, a straight-on shot of me in each pair, hopefully similar enough to compare the shape of the frames to the shape of my face/eyes/zit:

note--the two photos correspond so you know which frame is which

Finally, the talent round! Let's see what these puppies can do when I interject a little personality into them. Each contestant gets one basic shot, one shot with hair pulled back, and one "fun" shot. Let's see what these girls are made of!






Ladies and gentlemen, those are our contestants! Please judge away, but in a nice tone.


*Leave comments here or on facebook/pinterest/wherever this was linked--I'll find them!!*

Note: I am not sponsored by, nor affiliated with Warby Parker in any way, shape, or form. I'm just a customer, homie.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Terrible Tuesdays: I Need a Hobby

an early cartwheel attempt
It's funny how when you get older your idea of what constitutes "fun" changes so drastically. What was your favorite activity on a sunny afternoon when you were little? Mine, personally were:

- attempting to beat my previous record of continuous cartwheels in a row before I fell from dizziness (my best memory put that number around 35)...later this became much more dangerous as I learned how to do back handsprings
- making up sweet dances with my bffs
- building forts in the woods
- riding my "horse" (it was a beautiful bicycle with pink and green tires) named Sharon around the neighborhood

young Natalie's reaction
to my lack of hobbies
Nowadays, these are not the first things that pop into my head when I have an afternoon free. On any given day after work I am a.) napping, b.) attempting to surf the internet on my bed without falling asleep, c.) attempting to clean my room without falling asleep, or d.) eating.

My hobbies are a sorry state of affairs. It was much simpler when I lived in larger cities. In New York and Paris, the majority of my afternoons were spent just walking. I would explore nearby neighborhoods, walk along the river, try new foods, go to a free museum, etc. It was all at my fingertips, and it was the perfect combination of free, easy, and interesting. AND that 2-5 mile walk usually equally an extra pastry at the end of the day. If that isn't motivation, I don't know what is.

just a sight walking home
I guess one of the hardest parts of transitioning into adulthood is that things aren't "built-in." It's not easy or in-your-face to join clubs or teams. Gyms no longer come with your tuition, and for the first time in your life, it might be easier to just drive to the store than to find a ride or walk. Moving out of larger cities amplifies this by like a million, too. It's not like we have world-renowned art museums here in Athens. Or 3 different cool events every weekend. There are only so many neighborhoods to explore here, and if you grew up here then you've been through them all already, and probably explored several of the houses, too. I hiked all the trails in Athens a long time ago, and yes, the remnants of our fort are still behind my house.

an easy subway ride away from
my old apartment
This is a hobby; this blog is good. But I think it is time for me to get back into some of the things I used to enjoy when they were easy. Will I still like yoga if I have to pay per class? Am I that interested in photography when there aren't beautiful historical buildings surrounding me? Is it going to be fun to search for books I'm interested in, instead of having my friends lend me their new favorites?
exciting views in my current 'hood

Like I said, it's funny how we change as we get older.

**For the record, I was in the middle of doing this post on my bed and I fell asleep. It's like sleep is gravity and I'm trying to fly or something.**

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Terrible Tuesdays: Managing

Remember when I said some posts were going to be short?

My boss is out of town this week and I am the Head Honcho 'round these parts right now. Last night I went out to dinner, and then I fell asleep. I was supposed to pick up milk for the coffee shop that afternoon, but we had plenty for the next half a day, so I put it off till after dinner. Of course, how could I anticipate that I would fall asleep? (Three hours of rest the night before should have clued me in.) Luckily I have an alarm at 10pm every evening, and that roused me.

So it's 10pm, we need milk, I have to be at work in 8 hours. Wal-Mart it is. Now, if there is one thing I have learned in my adult life, it's that Wal-Mart is just the worst. Hey, Wal-mart, where are your tissues?? Not near the medicine, not near the make up, not in "Health and Beauty." No, they are by the paper towels and toilet paper. Which are all in the opposite corner of a giant store. Yeah, that makes sense.

Luckily, I have a saint of a mother, and when I called to find out if our second fridge (that's another story) had enough room to store 25 gallons of milk overnight (it does), she caught the sleep in my voice and offered to come help. We hustled into Wal-Mart, meaning business. Straight to the back, grabbed 15 whole, 10 skim (we mix them if someone asks for 2%), out of there in less than 10 minutes total. GOOD TO GO, BABY.

Fast forward to this afternoon. I worked my 9-hour shift, went to the post office (aka the other worst), and came home,  and prepared to relax, make muffuletta for Mardi Gras, and not work.

Ding ding.

Obviously text from work.

"hey...someone bought 1%, not skim"


I cursed myself for not checking labels/caps (Wal-Mart's skim milks have PINK caps, everyone else has BLUE caps), rushed to work, grabbed the milk, rushed to Wal-Mart, loaded it all in a cart, ran it inside, stood in line, asked for an exchange, grabbed another cart, rushed to the back of the store, loaded 10 skim milks, waited in line again, exchanged the stuff, went back to the milk section because we needed some more whole milk for tomorrow, looked EVERYWHERE for Clif Bars (I hate Wal-Mart), paid, drove back to work, unloaded, and...finally...finished my day. An hour and a half in total, including the convenient State Street detour they set up on my way back with the new milk.

My boss comes back tomorrow. I'm so excited, I'm delirious. The next person who looks at the harried version of me pushing a cartload of milk, and goes, "Got milk?" is going down.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Terrible Tuesdays: My Car is Stuck

snowy Toledo
Sunday was the Superbowl. You probably knew that, but I like to be clear. Sunday was also a very long day in the Life of Natalie. We were up in Toledo for a funeral this past weekend, and on Sunday, I had two sick parents, a dog with a bleeding dew claw and paranoia, a lot of cleaning to do, and a four-hour car ride. Let's also note, that this was at the end of a weekend where I felt the most like a kid I have felt in a long time. (Please note this is not anyone's fault of anything, but something about sleeping on a couch, being the only single person around, having no privacy, and not being in charge of what was happening at all will do that to a person.)

age I felt last weekend
So it was a long weekend. And when we finally got back to Athens, I felt like I had just read the most meandering novel ever. Probably we all felt like that--blurry eyes, dry mouth, a desire to crawl under the blankets but an inability to sleep....or maybe that was just me?

Anyway, I had made plans to go watch the Superbowl. And I was feeling crazy already, after being cooped up in snowy Toledo. You know when you can sort of feel the tears rising in your throat and they make no sense, so you just ignore them because all you want to feel is normal? It was sort of that feeling all day.
cooped up

We back into the driveway at home, and of course it's slippery. Dad puts the brakes on, and we decide to just haul our stuff in from there. Of course, the first thing to happen is I fall down, dropping my pillow in the snow and landing a bit hard on my right wrist. After righting myself, I proceed to almost fall 3 more times before reaching the top of the driveway. Remember the mounting frustration, and let's continue...

...we unloaded the car slowly, and I got salt all over my pants from bracing myself on the van...

...I'm getting ready to leave and my mother's sincere, good intentions confuse me, and so I become impatient and further frustrated...

...I go to put on my rubber boots and step in melted snow (from me, earlier), thus soaking my warmest socks, and requiring me to go back upstairs, get dry socks, walk in the melted snow with bare feet back to my wet boots, dry my feet and then put on the socks and boots again...

...then I realize I left my coat upstairs...

...after which I can't find the keys I had in my hand when the sock debacle began, and I start rummaging angrily through my giant, bottomless purse...

site of debacle, bottom right corner
...during all of which my parents are being extremely nice which just makes me feel crazier in comparison... I head out to clean off my car, which means I end up with snow up my sleeve...

...and car won't budge from the curb.

The wheels are spinning. I can smell hot tires. But it the pavement is clear under my car, and all my rationality is slipping away faster and faster. I am pretty sure I growled at this point, and then yanked my keys from the ignition, stomp up the driveway and wrench open the door.


Mom and Dad come to the top of the stairs.

Dad: "What?"


Dad: "Keep the wheels strai--"


Dad: "Natalie, you don't need to get worked up like this."


Yup, big, grown-up Natalie starts bawling. I throw my keys on the stairs and had the decency to walk away for the moment. I knew, during the moment, that I was being irrational. But it couldn't be helped. It was inevitable that I was going to cry at some point during the evening, and when my Taurus wouldn't budge, it was the end.

Luckily, my saintly mother (recognizing something in me, perhaps?), followed me out the door. She salted under my tires, and gave me a push, and I pulled out. On my way to get gas (oh, yeah, my gas light was on, which always gets me a little panicky), I kept up this awful, gulping sob noise. It was bizarre. Honestly, looking back, it's obvious that I was overstressed from the funeral, the tight quarters, and feeling a little helpless all weekend. And of course, it ended up being a nice evening, and I returned to normal fairly quickly.

Anyone else get that rising-tears-crazy feeling from time to time? Isn't it the worst? Hopefully the story I tell next Tuesday doesn't involve anymore tears!

acting normal again