Monday, May 16, 2011

Friend Makin' Monday Awesomeness

Happy Monday!

I have all kinds of fun stuff in the works for this week - I can't wait to share it all with you.  Today's post, since it's our last full day with Kenz and Kent, will be a short but sweet Friend Makin' Monday!

What makes you awesome? List at least five qualities/hobbies/habits make you cool and unique? 

1)  I have a good heart.  I am full of love, I have a lot of positive energy, and I like to share that with the people around me.  And now, thanks to all the exercise I've been doing, my heart is in physically good shape, too!  I keep freaking out nurses with my good blood pressure.  "Are you feeling OK?  Shouldn't your blood pressure be higher?"  Nope, I'm feeling just fine, I've been making my heart happy with knee-lifts and bicep-curls!

2)  I'm creative.  I live and breathe creativity.  This comes out in so many different ways. From my writing to what we made last night for dinner. From my birthday parties (I once held a day-long creative retreat at the Old LA Zoo, where we drew, acted, danced, and made impromptu performance art) to the way that I dress... I don't feel complete unless I'm expressing myself in a creative way.

3)  I'm brave.  When the time is right, I'm not afraid to take a gigantic step toward making my life what I want it to be.  For instance, when I moved to Los Angeles nine years ago, I came to the city without a job, an apartment, family or friends in the area.  I knew I wanted to be here, and with the help of my parents, I made it happen.  And over those nine years, I've built a career, I've established a home, I've started a (two-person and three-cat) family, and found support and love in a community of which I am proud to be a part.

4)  I am a "fun aunt" to ten nieces and nephews.  It helps that I'm the youngest sibling of both sides of the family, but I am proud to be an aunt that gets along with, understands, and appreciates each of them.  I love them all to pieces.  (And I can't wait to meet our newest one, little Charlotte!  I hope I'll be one of her fun aunts, too.)

5)  I love movies and television.  LOVE.  I don't talk about it much here on my blog, but I'm a complete nerd when it comes to the big and small screen.  (And the stage, for that matter.)  I have a great background of knowledge and experience as a watcher (and a maker) of movies, and that makes me an excellent person to recommend entertainment.  If ever you're looking to watch something that will make your heart blossom like a spring peony, just ask, and I'll make a recommendation tailored to your tastes.

What are five awesome things about you?  Do tell.  (I want to know that you know you're awesome.  And I want you to know that I know you're awesome.)

All right!  I'll be back tomorrow with some exciting news AND an exciting link to my guest post on All the Weigh.  Until then, take care of you!


  1. I can attest to 1, 2, 3 and 5. Gonna have to take you at your word for 4 - - but I'm willing to cut you some slack.

  2. I know it’s kind of late, but reading your post got me thinking. I’m not quite comfortable enough to use the adjective “awesome” to describe myself, or aspects of myself, but I like the idea of “5 things I love about myself,” or “5 things I appreciate about myself.” So, here are mine. Please forgive the length; I apparently had a lot to say.

    1) I have an innate understanding of cultural references, particularly pop cultural references. I’m especially good at this when it comes music, literature and personal style (not haute couture, about which I know or care absolutely nothing, but personal/street style). I’m not so good at it with film and television, although I’m better than most. In other words, I can easily recognize the Everly Brothers, Phil Spector, My Bloody Valentine and Jesus & Mary Chain influences when I hear a song by the Raveonettes. I can easily pick out the Cocteau Twins, Lush and Single Gun Theory influences on a School of Seven Bells album. I understand the Dickens- and Twain-like plot elements in Sarah Waters’ early novels, and the Tolkien-like world building of Tad Williams’ current fantasy series. I can recognize how certain stylistic eras meld together through similarities and differences – i.e., how the dramatic drape-sleeved, kimono tops and menswear styled trousers of the 1930s and ‘40s connect to ‘70s styles; how 1950s boho-hipster and garden party styles were resurrected in the ‘80s. I have an innate understanding of how to put certain styles together to achieve a certain look, and what someone is trying to communicate stylistically when they put certain items of clothing together. This innate understanding, ability (whatever you want to call it) when it comes to cultural references leads me to points 2 and 3…

    2) I’m a damn good music critic and have a nearly exhaustive knowledge of specific genres of music, especially morose indie pop music from the ‘80s and ‘90s. I did the college DJ thing in the ‘90s and was excellent at finding the right song with the right mood for the moment at hand. Thanks to my music reviews and band interviews for my friend’s indie music magazine in the ‘90s, my friend was solicited by a mainstream publisher who was interested in buying and developing her ‘zine. Unfortunately, my friend decided not to sell. But Warner Bros took out several full-page ads in our little independent ‘zine, largely on the strength of my reviews. In addition, I’m always developing my taste in music. My taste is discriminating and, at times, damn snobby. But I know what’s good, what’s innovative, and what’s moving. And I’ve got most of it in my collection.

  3. 3) I love my sense of style and how I developed it. After years of trial and error, and growing up during a time when stylish options for plus size shopping were truly limited, the journey to discover and define my personal style has been an interesting one. My body shape is not an easy one to dress, and it plays a large part in my sense of style and how I developed it. As my style developed and I discovered more plus size shopping options, my sense of confidence and appreciation of my body improved. These days, my style is pretty well defined, but I tweak it in little ways to incorporate trends I like or that can help underscore a particular element of my style that I want to highlight (for example, the recent trend of pin-tucking and ruffles). I know what I want my style to say, and, for the most part, I’ve accomplished that with my wardrobe.

    4) I’m a survivor/seem to have a limitless supply of personal strength. I don’t know where it comes from and sometimes see it as more of a burden than a blessing. But it’s there, always keeping me going, even when I want to stop. I’ve experienced some very trying times in my life when I want to give in to the luxury of depression and/or have contemplated hurting myself, but I’ve never acted on it. I sometimes wonder if my seemingly unending strength is more of an obstacle to keep me from hitting bottom which may be where I need to go to get through some of the deep sadness and anger I feel about a lot of things in my past. I always find a way to keep going, but not always a way to feel.

    Like you, I moved to LA on my own, with no family or friends here. I had a job and found a place to live before I moved, but I’ve always been a person who likes to have a safety net before she takes a step, largely because I grew up in a family where I received no emotional support or recognition, and little financial support. I’ve learned to take care of myself because no one else will. My mom has borderline personality disorder, which can lead to a lot of emotional neglect and abuse. In my case, it did. As one of my co-workers likes to say with regard to my childhood, not all the flowers in my garden were watered.

    I’ve gone through career changes; job loss; evictions (once, all three at the same time); many job interviews and rejections; grad school applications and rejections; the endings of several serious relationships and close friendships; the death of a friend who had become estranged before sudden illness took her life; many highs and deep lows in my relationship with my mother; and once I’d finally established a stable career in education that I wanted to pursue, dealing with statewide budget cuts to education that may prevent me from keeping my job. Through it all, my strength has kept me going, often when I didn’t think I’d be able to. But at the same time, I don’t always understand why. It’s a blessing and a curse in equal measure.

  4. Last one; #5, I swear. :)

    5) I’m a very caring person, which I believe I inherited from my mom. Despite her emotional abuse and neglect, she can be a very caring person when it comes to some things – particularly, animals. I think a large part of the reason my mom loves animals so much is because they can’t challenge her opinions and they’re completely reliant on her. Despite her reasons, she rescued many stray dogs and cats, fostered them, found them homes, and was part of a network of other animal rescuers when I was a kid. I inherited her caring nature when it comes to animals and have rescued and fostered my share of strays, too. I also care deeply about my work as a school counselor and pride myself on being a hard worker, which I also believe I inherited from my mom. She was a hard worker and prided herself on it. Unlike my mom, though, I care deeply about being a good communicator, striving to have healthy interpersonal relationships, and operating from a place of emotional integrity. These desires inform everything I do and how I live my life. I would never give up my deep sense of caring.