My friend has challenged me to design some pieces for his upcoming Digital Glitz Fashion Show. I found these fashions both museful and inspiring, so I thought I’d share!

Futuristic Cocktail Dress

Ara Jo Design

Ara Jo Design

LumiGram Fiber Optic Fashion

Norma Desmond Digital Dress

Advertisements

I recently read an article in Psychology Today about how good employees stay focused and driven at work (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-procrastination-equation/201112/beyond-the-coffee-crutch-the-secret-vitality-work). It was full of delusional – oops, I mean HELPFUL – tips like not drinking caffeine, not answering emails and not surfing the web. Hmm.

Upon reading this optimistic list of stellar employable qualities I was washed with a wave of guilt. All I drink at work is caffeine. Sitting in front of my computer most the day means that I not only surf the web, but I over analyze my music selection (actually this article said that listening to music is a no-no too), respond to phone calls and emails as they come, and even watch the occasional YouTube video. Sudden panic set in, should I be fired?

Whoa there work self, calm down. For those of you like me, I’d like to set out a revised list of how to focus and stay energetic at work. (Disclaimer: I don’t do all of these. In fact, the only ones I can say I do with consistency are 4 & 6…)

  1. Caffeine can help, but drink water too. I mean, who can argue with caffeine’s, well, caffeinating qualities?
  2. Eat! I mean, not all the time, but don’t wait until your stomach is growling to get yourself a snack or lunch. It will force you to move around and eat smaller amounts more often.
  3. Get up every couple of hours, even if it’s just to walk into the next room and say hi to a coworker. Yes, it may annoy them, but you’ll feel refreshed.
  4. Listen to energizing music that helps you focus. Dubstep? Gangsta rap? Bach? I’m not gonna judge, whatever works.
  5. Intersperse fun tasks with the more benign ones.
  6. Allow yourself a couple minutes of mindless web surfing or NyanCat-like You Tubeness at least every hour. Anything that makes you laugh is bound to be energizing.
  7. Write yourself a task list for the following day.
  8. By all means, if it’s 5:30 on a Friday and you’ve finished a task and don’t have the energy to begin another, update your WordPress!

Office Space

Welcome to Vegas

I traveled to Vegas not for a Hunter S. Thompson- inspired weekend of debauchery, but for my first half marathon. I’m happy to report that my mission to run a half marathon was an absolute success.

Now, to catch you up, I’ve never been a runner. In fact, I’ve been known to scoff at people who choose to spend their time doing something as seemingly boring and unnecessarily stressful as running. Last year, my friends challenged me to train for a half marathon. With utmost hesitation I gave a meek ‘yes’ and attempted to “train” (read: run a couple miles and, winded, return home and brew some coffee). Needless to say, I felt saved when the race sold out before I “got a chance” to sign up.

This time around, when my friends recruited me to train for a half in Vegas, I thought, well, Vegas…hmm…at least if I don’t run I can drink from the sidelines. Why the hell not? So I said yes.

And oh, how the times change. Consider me a running convert. I see people running outside of my office window and I actually get jealous (yes, you heard right). No longer do I scoff, I actually yearn for that feeling of my feet pounding pavement, wind against my face, iPod in my ears.

I’m happy to report that my training paid off. 13.1 miles never felt so easy (maybe it was the low altitude…). For those who haven’t caught the running bug yet, I invite you to start. In fact, I’m considering training for the Barcelona or Paris marathon (as in FULL marathon…eek!) in 2013. Just in time to celebrate my 30th in style. Healthy style that is.

Fellow runners: run on! Inspired soon-to-be runners: today’s a great day to get started! Apathetic non-athletes: grab a drink, get on the sidelines, and at least cheer us on!

Seeing as how WordPress tends to attract people who, well, like to write, I thought it would be good to share a couple thoughts from my experience participating in (and winning!) National Novel Writing Month. For those who don’t know, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a challenge to write a 50,000+ word novel in one month, from November 1st through 30th. Sound intimidating? It was.

I would say that the first 2,000 words were relatively easy, with all my ideas that had been brewing just pouring out. The next 10,000 or so were brutal, as I tried to silence the inner critic that kept telling me, your ideas suck, your characters are lame, your story doesn’t deserve to be written. I literally would have to tell myself to shut up and write. And write I did. Aside from a slog in week three that came from having no clue how to direct a story that had literally taken on a life of its own and had derailed from all of my organizational best intentions (outlines and character profiles be damned!), I poured words out without looking back, without rereading (except for the occasional plot or character referencing), and without listening to that persistent little voice asking ‘Why bother?’

For those of you who are aspiring writers, I’ll tell you why you should bother to participate in NaNoWriMo. If you’re like myself , you tend to be paralyzed by the fear that your ideas aren’t good enough, that you don’t have enough time to dedicate to writing, that no one will want to read what you write, there is nothing more freeing than finally writing a book – and fast. It is absolutely liberating to have a word goal pulling you through the self-doubting moments. And it is an incredibly empowering feeling actually hitting that 50,000 word mark, actually typing that final sentence that has been floating around your brain for months, maybe even years.

So, for all you writers out there, I encourage you to take inspiration from NaNoWriMo. Even if you don’t participate in the challenge, try to silence that inner critic and get those words out. The act of writing is the most important step in writing. The editing can come later.

Until next time, happy writing!

I recently got back from a wedding in Connecticut. These two were so cute and so in love in the truly traditional sense – dating since high school and still googly-eyed for each other – that it got me thinking about what marriage is in the modern world. You hear it all the time – hell, I’ve even said it – marriage is outdated, seeped in religion and the odds of divorce are stacked against you. Certainly, marriage has changed for a lot of people. Even my old-school Connecticut couple lived together before being married. People are being married later, suddenly people with more education are more likely to be married than those without, not to mention the rate of marriage has gone down from 70 percent in 1960 to about 50 percent today. (http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2031962,00.html)

But even with all those statistics there is something desirable, something romantic, about wanting to be married. Wanting to be with someone as you age, to claim them as yours and to make promises to each other in front of those close to you. So I say cheers to those who are brave enough to make that promise to each other (and yes, this absolutely includes gay marriage!), to go against the odds and many of their modern-minded ‘marriage is dead’ friends. I’m wishing you all the best of luck.

image by gruntzooki, courtesy Flickr Creative Commons

WordPress advised me to write change the title of the above post, but I rather like Hello World!, not least of all because at one point my partner at work went a little mad and posted it all over the office. All over the office.

At any rate, there’s something kind of nice about the simple announcement that you are here. Let’s just hope I follow up with something more creative. 🙂