Thursday, February 25, 2010

Feel Good Moment

So it's hardly a secret that I have never really considered myself good looking. "Cute" would never be a word I would ever use to describe myself. I think that that my general features, coupled with increasing age and my daily attempts at athleticism, never really leave me feeling all that good about myself. Let's face - I have a really poor opinion of myself when it comes to how I look.

These last few weeks have been particularly hard, though. I guess I was just feeling kind of shitty all around ("bluesy," as I now describe), and then I saw some pictures of myself from my recent Florida trip - and I just sort of tumbled down this really steep and dangerous hole of low self-esteem.

And listen - I am certainly not saying any of this to get compliments in return - fact is, these thoughts are so commonplace for me at this point that no sweet, nice, kind words of support are really going to soften up the hard view I have of my physical appearance.

Today was slightly different though.

Today, I got my hair cut.

And as shallow as it may sound, I actually felt...well, not so ugly.

It was a new hair stylist (I took a HUGE chance at this one) and walked out feeling like, "Huh. This sort of worked out."

In fact, I even took pictures of myself. Like, just of myself and my hair - not of anything else.

And since these moments are so few and far between, I am going to document this hair cut, and then try to remember how good I felt today when I am having one of those "other" days.

Here is the "before" - taken this wekeend at a fundraiser - what you can't see sit hat my hair literally goes down to the middle of my back.

And here is the after:

And another:

Clearly, the big difference is the bangs. I have become ULTRA sensitive of late regarding the size of me head and forehead, and took the bangs leap. It paid off, IMO. In these pictures, they are swept to the side, but when brushed straight, they are really long and hang over my eyes (like this):

(Yeah, this isn't actually me with my imaginary baby, but you get the idea)

The other big difference is the length - it now falls just below my shoulders, and just feels so much better - so soft, so light, so healthy. Not heavy and hanging and weighing me down.

(Insert male eye-rolling)

Anyways, I am sharing this more for me than anything - taking advantage of that rare moment in which I feel, well, like a lady.

Because of course, my three-hour brick in the morning is going to beat any sort of "lady" right out of it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Disney Recap Will Have To Wait

Because I simply couldn't let this one pass without posting.

"Uh, mom? Yeeeeaaaaah...see, the thing is, I don't remember this being part of the 'Little Brother' contract I signed back in August. So howsabout you stop taking pictures, put down that cell phone, and get this half-nekkid child who's trying to style me as a contenstant in the 'Lil Leprechaun pageant off my back? Sigh. Makes me want for the good old days when he would just kick me in the head while I laid in the Boppy."

Morale of the story?

Time to start getting ready for St. Patrick's Day, or it may creep up and surprise you.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

If you know me on Facebook, odds are that you have already seen my mushy-mushy lovefest for the newest addition to the Project Procrastination family - Mr. Brody Banks McC--.

And if you don't know me on Facebook - why not? I mean, what are you waiting for? Some of my finest wit is demonstrated by those gosh-silly Status Updates. And by finest wit, I mean compelte lack of originality and senseless babbling. Surely you don't want to miss that.

Now, getting back to the main point of this delicious smooshies south of the Sears Tower.

Mr. Brody was born at 10:05pm, all the way down there by Nashville, Tennessee.

He is 25% Pure Sugar Sweetness, 25% Devilish Good Looks, and 50% Rough-Housing, Baseball Throwing, Football Passing BOY.

Brody is the son of this man (crap, I said "Man"), my brother Nolan. It wasn't that long ago when Nolan himself was a baby - and by baby, I mean the neighborhood terror who spent the first few years of his own life thinking his name was "Nolan NO!" Times certainly have changed.

Brody is partially named out his Momma's father (Banks), and partially after that creepy dude from MTV who's related to that Kardashian family. Naw, just kidding about that second part.

Jenny, my sister-in-law and proud mother, was a super-trooper who battled through the labor - girl, I don't know how on earth you did it, but THAT is impressive!

It makes me a little sad that Brody lives so far away, and I can't just pop over there to give him Auntie kisses the same way I can go over and smother Baby Nolan and Aiden. But I know that when I do get to meet him, he'll probably love me and beg his Momma and Papa to come and visit his crazy Chicago aunt.

It's amazing how my family is growing up, moving forward and ever-expanding. To see my siblings - all of whom came up under me - now having their own kids makes my head explode with love sometimes. Man, where is the time going?!?!
I am so proud of Jenny and Nolan, and I can't wait to meet my new nephew!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Mom, You Made the Blog!**

(**My mom loves making the blog!)

So have I ever mentioned that I am Croatian?

Yeah, I know - the Irish name throws ya off, but one glance at my olive skin and it's pretty clear that there's a little bit o'somethin' else in this blood.

I get it from my mom - along with my pear-shaped body, oily-but-easily-tannable-skin, and struggle to maintain muscle tone.


Anycellulitdimples, I was never really raised with any sort of emphasis on my cultural ethnic background. If I had any identity at all, it was as a Chicagoan and daughter of Bridgeport parents - one of which was a Chicago cop.

Come to think of it - neither of my parents was all that big on schooling us on the roots and branches of our family tree. I mean, I knew some basic stories about my grandparents, but when it comes to actual country and culture of origin, my knowledge amounts to "my dad's irish and my mom's croatian."

(By the way, this was always a treat in grammer school, where it was only cool to be Irish - and most kids were- and anything other than that was considered "weird." And since I was never one to want to stick out and hated when the kids made fun of me when I said the word "Croatian," I usually stuck to the Irish title.)

However, as I've aged, I have become increasingly interested in know more about where my mother's family came from (Croatia) and more about the culture itself - well, aside from my one-word knowledge of the Croatian translation for "shut up your mouth," which my mother's ingrained in us at an early age.

And which I still use with regularity.

So last week, when my brother-in-law told us he was taking my mom to Croatian festival, naturally I wanted to take part.

Turns out, this annual festival's 2010 theme was "Carnival," and it was encouraged to come in costume - of which I did not.

But Patrick made my mom and him costumes - toucans!

Because when you think of Croatia, the first thing you associate with it is toucans, is it not?

Getting ready

No toucan is complete without the head-gear.

And she's ready!!

If she turned her head to the side, you'd see she had a beak coming out the top of her forehead. Me, on the other hand - well, that's just my regular nose.

So two toucans walk into a bar....stop me if you heard it.....

Me and my costume-less date, ready to get our food on.

Toucans gotta eat too, right? Weird, but I had no idea swiss cheese, salami, and corned beef was a Croatian appetizer, but hey - what do I know?

Uh, Patrick?.....nevermind.

Ah, there we go - there's that beak!

Me and the moms.

So basically, we watched a REALLY long play that was spoken all in Croatian, and apparently was funny given the laughs of all the Croatian-speaking people around us (sorry, I didn't have any decent pics of this theatre production). And after what seemed like a really long time (and in my food-hunger-feed me world, two hours is LOOOOONG), we feasted on veggies, mostaccoli, and fried chicken.

Wait - what?!?!

Who knew fried chicken was a Croatian delicacy?

After dinner, dessert and some Croatian beers, Cheese and I had our fill of the evening so we packed it up and headed home.

Okay, I'm out of steam right now - that's my story - that's all I got.