Friday, April 26, 2013

Who's your mama?

With Mothers Day approaching (it’s May 12th - don't panic - everything's fine)
I’ve been thinking a lot about my mom and what to get her.
My mom is pretty awesome.
She was and continues to be a great role model of the type of mom I want to be.
She's just a great person.
The queen is pleased.

When I was younger I would write poems for my mom, draw her pictures, make her macaroni art, ceramic ashtrays, tissue paper corsages, and a clay necklace that weighs around thirty pounds that she still wears around her neck every Mother’s Day like a medal of honor. We did and still do a lot of stuff together.

Matching hair? Check.
Matching dress? Check.

Wear red, dry hair, be annoyed.

Workin' it out.

At a parade - again, not amused.

Bizarre Grey Gardens-style portrait of the two of us.

 This year, I want to get her something that she will totally love.
I know it will be hard to top the thirty-pound-1979-medallion, but I’m going to try.

Since I love mine so much, I think I’m gonna give her a Birchbox.

Chock full of goodness.

Last months haul included some of my favorites yet:

Super fancy eye-cream that I have totally been wanting to try.

Sicilian Body Gel, because I want to
smell like oranges and olive oil.

I was wary of the gluten-free/vegan thing,
but these were good.

How could she not love it? Who wouldn’t? She'll get it for three months!
I didn't have to go to the mall! Which kind of sucks, because I love going to the mall.
Click here to find out more about sending a box of beauty-love in the mail to yo' mama.
Mom is totally worth it - every year she still hauls out that medallion and wears it out to brunch.
She can barely walk by the end of the day.
That's love.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Soap gets in your eyes.

Right along with the rest of the planet, here is what I've been sharing this week :

At the end of the week maybe this Dove Soap beauty campaign has completely exhausted you; maybe you haven't seen it yet. But it hit close to home for me. 

Like seriously close to home.

Like in my living room sitting next to me on the couch while I eat my sixteenth Ritz with peanut butter and jelly close to home.

I remember shopping with my bestie Laura several years ago, trying on pants that I thought fit me perfectly.
I came out of the dressing room to show Laura, and the conversation went something like this:

“They’re cute, but they’re waaay too big on you Lori, do you want me to get you the next size down?”

“No, this is my size.”

“No it’s not. It might be the size you wear but it sure as hell isn't your size.”

This wasn’t following some big weight loss where I was still seeing myself a certain way, or a PMS day, or the day after Thanksgiving - this was just an average day with me hiding behind some giant pants - this was how I saw myself.

Now I’m no sketch-artist, but please enjoy a few self-portraits courtesy of my diaries from back in the day:

My first loathing self portrait, age 8.
Linda Lotts looked the prettiest and I looked like a monster - A MONSTER.

Thigh anxiety, age 16.
Nose and chin - much too pointy, age 18.

And now, this drawing I made of myself at work last week.

Still on my desk buried under some boring notes this lovely self-portrait was created first thing in the morning, like at 7:00 a.m.

Before I even had a full cup of coffee I was happy to have a lively discussion with two female co-workers about things we don't like about our faces and bodies. Seems like a good start to the day. 

I told them I could better explain if I drew how I see myself:
Good hair at least? Age 40-something.

All these years later and this is pretty much the same picture I drew of myself in high school - the one in the bathing suit with the big thighs.

And yes I know I probably should work on this.
A lot.
I really am going to try to.

In fact I'm pretty mad/sad/annoyed by the whole thing.
That I'm still drawing that same picture.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Master of illusion.

I'm pretty good at covering things up.

Like I can arrange candy in a half-eaten candy bowl juuuust right so it still looks full.

I can put on a variety of spandex "body shaping" undergarments that will make you ask our friends, "Do you think Lori's getting too skinny?"

And acne, you better watch out. I am the queen of concealor.

I use a special mix of foundation, brush strokes, high lights and low lights that trick you into thinking I have the clearest skin on the planet. Your eyes dart around and your head starts to spin, confused with the feeling that I'm hiding something from you - because I am.

After covering up all these years - since around junior high - I've kind of become an expert.
Sad, being an expert in something you have no desire to be an expert in.

I know, waaah, waaah, waaah, everybody gets zits.
What I currently have on my face is not in the same league as zits.
It's cystic acne that comes in and out of my life in waves.

Horrible, horrible not fun waves.

I know when it's coming. I feel a big 'ol knot under my skin, usually around my chin area and most times there's more than one monster.

So today I am surrendering and doing something that I have to do. I know that all of the over-the-counter zit creams in the world can't begin to touch what is on my face. I'm going into my dermatologist for cortisone injections.

When I first started getting shots in my face I was young and pretty freaked out about it. Then it became routine, with the relief I would feel afterwards knowing how quickly the spots would disappear.

In high school it was a huge vanity thing but today it's more of a painful annoyance, I don't like not being able to sleep on my left side because I have a pimple that hurts like the devil. Plus...yeah...the vanity thing is still there too.

So I'm spending my lunch hour today as a human pin cushion. I'm a junkie who needs her fix and my dealer is my lovely dermatologist who I have been seeing here in Portland for years.

This afternoon we are dealing with three main offenders on my chin, and a straggler on my cheek that has taken up residence for a month or so. Since my hair is so long and curly it's been covering up that puppy but while I'm here of course it will be dealt with. And I've missed wearing a ponytail.

This picture doesn't do these evil bumps justice.

It hurts to be beautiful.
For reals.

A memory that leaves my stomach, as well as my face a little sore is one of going to get injections when I was around fifteen. My mom drove me to my weird little dermatologist (who you can read more about here) in the morning before school when face was in one of its worst states, a minefield, all painful and hot.

I had around twenty pokes that day to which the doctor commented was probably the most he had ever done in one sitting. Awesome.

On the verge of a breakdown I got into the car and slumped down in the seat. Mom noticed how extra-quiet I was, she knew things weren’t good. How could I go to school today looking like this? How??? I was a mess. She then did one of the nicest things ever, asking if I would like to take a day off from school and stay home. I burst into tears, “YES!” I cried, letting it all out in an big, ugly, crying mess. She probably doesn’t remember that day but I sure do.

I also remember that she took me to a really nice shopping center where I bought a belt and we got TCBY frozen yogurt – I was so happy I didn’t care what the store clerks or the yogurt people thought of my face. We had a nice, unexpected day together.

Today I do have to go back to the office for two more hours.

Bandaged up and back to work.
One of the guys asked me if I was ok, noticing my band aid.
I told him, “I cut myself shaving” which seemed like the natural thing to say.
He looked confused.

I’d much rather be shopping with Mom, licking a giant fro-yo.
But at least today wasn't a twenty-poke-day.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sucker for a spokesman.

I’m an ad junkie.

I love a commercial with a snappy song, slogan or jingle. I can’t remember how old I am or what year my car is, but I can sing the song from the Charlie perfume commercial that aired back in 1979, no problem.

A good spokesman is hard to come by. It takes real talent to implant a product in your brain for life. He has to have the voice, the look, the personality, the finesse and the crazy gleam in his eye. He must possess all this and more to be the complete spokes-package.

Below are my three favorite spokesmen ever.
They could sell sand in the desert, fish in the ocean, babies to an octomom...
You get the idea - they're good.

Tom Carvel.
My friends all know of my Carvel obsession - before Mick Jagger there was Tom Carvel.

My first spokes-boyfriend coincided beautifully with my love of really, really good soft serve ice cream and cakes shaped like whales, Santa Claus heads, and Cookie Pusses.

That gravelly voice, that unrehearsed delivery, that smoky sounding grandpa – that’s my Tom Carvel.

Crazy Eddie.
Here is what you need to know about Crazy Eddie:

1. He is crazy.

2. He has quality electronics and audio video component systems to unload at discount prices.

3. His prices are INSANE.


As a child I went to a Crazy Eddie store once, to purchase a radio with my dad. I was disappointed that Crazy Eddie himself wasn’t manning the cash register or trying to sell me component systems, whatever they are. I was also disappointed to learn that Crazy Eddie was just a crazy character played by a radio DJ named Jerry Carroll. To this day anytime I refer to anything as “insane” Crazy Eddie pops into my head. And I feel a little, well, you know, insane.

Sam Behr.
Time for a southern gentleman to join the group. Our move down south introduced us to Sam Behr, the face and voice for Allied Discount Tires who had locations throughout central Florida. My family and I loved these commercials - when they would come on we would call each other into the room so at the end we could all yell, "That's Allied Discount Tahhhhhrrrrrrrs!"

My favorite by old Sam was this gem where he seems so earnest yet also exhausted by the whole production.
Just buy the damn tires already.

Now who today is selling anything out there with this much passion?

So how could you resist buying ice cream/electronics/tires from these guys?
I couldn’t.

And I still can’t - even though I live thousands of miles away from a Carvel.

Thank you Safeway freezer section.
It's no Fudgie, but it'll do.

Oh, one last thing. I just tried calling the phone number on the Carvel commercial for old times sake to say hello, see if by chance some relative of Tom Carvel answered so I could tell them how much I love their product and it’s now "America’s Hottest Chat Line."
No shit.

They’re serving up something different now – it’s gone from cold and innocent to hot and steamy.

The “spokeswoman” on the line had nothing on Tom Carvel.