Katy Perry, My Unexpected Guru

I’m one of those woo-woo people who believes in what I like to call Universal Magic. I believe in synchronicity, the Law of Attraction, and especially in guidance from signs, symbols, and teachers. So-called “coincidences” happen to all of us, all of the time (hooray for miracles!), but it’s only when we have open minds and hearts that we can truly receive the messages that these occurrences bring.

One thing I’ve learned from personal experience is that the universe has a pretty awesome sense of humor. One time I was searching for The Perfect Shirt, something– as I put it so eloquently– “had my name written all over it”. Lo and behold, a minute or two after I said that to myself, I walked by a thrift store with the most God Awful Shirt I Had Ever Seen. It was a long-sleeved cotton get up in royal blue, and– get this!– it had the word “Dana” stamped all over it in too-large, mustard yellow, Comic Sans font. As I stared, aghast at this beast of an ugly shirt, I imagined the Universe cracking up all around me. “You said you wanted your name all over it!”, it probably gasped, barely able to contain its delight at my horrified expression. “I was being figurative!“, I fumed back, humiliated. “Obviously, I don’t actually want my name written all over a shirt! Geez!” But this taught me to be specific in my future requests, not to mention careful what I wished for. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I am in an Age of Mentors when it comes to my own development lately. I am reading more books than I’ve been able to in a long, long time, and I am gobbling up online courses, meditations, and Mastermind Group opportunities whenever they pop up. “Teach me what I most need to learn” has been my mantra as of late, and learning is what I’ve been doing indeed. Most of the teachers on my path have been expected, or at least not drastically surprising. There’s been Marie Forleo, she of the amazing (and highly recommended) B-School course; Danielle LaPorte of The Fire Starter Sessions and The Desire Map; and Marianne Williamson, whom I somehow never read until this summer. (I know! WTH?)

And then there was Katy Perry. Yu-huh.

For those of you who might not know who Katy Perry is (possibly because you are more than 11 years old), she is a pop star. A wildly famous pop star, at that. She appeals mostly to tween and adolescent girls, though there are a number of adolescent boys thrown into the mix as well. Her hits include “I Kissed A Girl” and “Firework“, but the only time I’ve ever actually listened to her music is when it was forced on me during workout classes at the YMCA.

The peppermint candies on this dress actually spun! (Image courtesy of www.therpf.com)

Katy Perry! The peppermint candies on this dress actually spun! (Image courtesy of http://www.therpf.com)


Marty has been at a training camp all week, so I’ve been doing random things like eating Indian takeout every night and flipping through documentaries on Netflix. (Marty eats Indian food and watches documentaries as well, but I think it’s safe to say he would NEVER have watched the documentary I did tonight, which wasย Katy Perry: Part of Me. Just a hunch.)

I'm sure Marty can appreciate a good carousel dress, but I doubt he would have lasted through 90+ minutes of a Katy Perry documentary. (Image courtesy of www.teen.com)

I’m sure Marty can appreciate a good carousel dress like the next forty-something year old man, but I doubt he would have lasted through 90+ minutes of a Katy Perry documentary. (Image courtesy of http://www.teen.com)

I’m surprised that I even hovered over the Katy Perry: Part of Me image long enough to read its blurb while browsing titles on Netflix. But I did read the blurb, and it said “suitable for 11-12 year old girls”. It also had a “best guess rating for Dana” of 2 stars out of 5. Excellent. I felt resistance chorus through my veins, and yet I strangely hit the Play button all the same. Like I said, the Universe has a pretty stellar sense of humor.

(Image courtesy of http://www.thestar.com)

The joke was on me for sure, though. I watched the whole movie… and cried like a tween girl the entire time. Maybe it was the Indian takeout, but I teared up watching Katy change from one elaborate, candy-themed costume to another, and I positively sobbed when her sister handed out backstage passes to a couple of kids dressed up like a gingerbread man and a banana. (I can’t even make this shit up!) I found myself rooting for her, and every time Katy overcame an obstacle in the documentary, my heart poured forth with love and gratitude, not to mention streams of tears and a substantial case of the sniffles, too. (I might as well live alone with a dozen cats now, right? That’s apparently how cool I am. Ha.)

What I learned from Katy Perry was this:

1. Be yourself. No matter what.

2. Be your crazy ass, wonderfully odd self, even if your parents are hardcore Christians and can’t believe you’re singing about kissing girls, and even if the major record labels can’t imagine giving a record contract to a young woman who wants to dress up in blue wigs and bedazzled onesies to fancy industry events.

(Image courtesy of www.idolator.com)

(Image courtesy of http://www.idolator.com)

3. Be true to your amazing, 100% unique self, and your tribe will find you in spades (possibly with wigs, sparkles, and cupcake hats on!)

(Image courtesy of www.public.fr)

(Image courtesy of http://www.public.fr)

4. Did I mention “Be Yourself” yet? Because that’s what I learned to the core of my being from Katy Perry and her “suitable for 11-12 year old girls” documentary. I’m probably the only person who cried (a lot) during this movie… and I might even be the only person over 15 who has seen the movie, period.

What about you, dear readers?

Have you ever been caught off guard by happenstance, universal lessons, or movies made for 11-12 year old girls?

What’s your favorite manifestation or magical moment? (I totally love stories about this, so share away!)

Sunday Signage: Public Library FAIL

(Warning: This post contains a bad word! Do not read ahead without your mommy or daddy’s permission.)

Seen on the Public Library website:

Excuse the 1990s pixel-effects of this photo.

Oh boy. The actual book cover cleverly covers up the discriminating letters with a picture of a full moon. I believe the official title of the book is even “Go the F**k to Sleep”. Alas, the Public Library had to go and spell it out for all of us who couldn’t see past those asterisks. Way to be literal, public library– We probably couldn’t have figured it out without you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve been totally swamped by work lately, so apologies for being MIA from your comments section. I’ll be back to regular reading, posting, and commenting by mid-September! (Hopefully!) In the meantime, I hope your summer months are going swimmingly.

Bad Haircuts: Giving A Whole New Meaning to the Term “Muffin Top”

After a whole year of being lazy growing my hair into a horse-like mane, I decided that it was time to head back to the hairdresser’s. I was ready for a drastic change in my look and even stalked a friend’s Facebook page in advance, creating a creepy photo collage of her stylish haircut for my hairdresser’s future reference. I was positive that her (much shorter) cut would look perfect on me, too, even though my research gathering methods reeked ofย  Single White Female stalkery.

I placed a call to my stylist in Victoria and was crestfallen to learn that she was no longer with the salon. Chris had always cut my hair exactly the way I wanted it, creating retro, flipped styles that required minimal upkeep effort on my part. She was a true Hair Wizard in my books. And now she was gone. Poof! Disappeared!

An example of Chris' magic, styled by yours truly. Just 10 minutes with a round brush needed. Zero product involved!

With cautious optimism (and no way to get in contact with Chris again), I did the unthinkable and booked my appointment with the owner of the salon instead. I hoped with all my heart that she could perform even more magic with my hair. (Perhaps she was the True Master and Chris was merely her gifted apprentice?)

On Monday afternoon, I arrived to the salon with a greasy ponytail and shamefully showed my new hair stylist the Superfreak Collage of my friend’s hair. The stylist agreed that the cut was fabulous but felt I was “too tall” for the style and that the winter months were not an appropriate time to hack off gigantic swaths of hair, anyway. Defeated, I folded up my collage and (true to form) later burned it in our wood stove. Let’s never speak of it again. Anyway. The stylist ran her fingers through my flowing locks, gauging the weight and relative waviness of them, and she asked me questions about my personality and style in the hopes of determining My Perfect Cut. Here is a summary of what I told her:

1. I heart retro styles, especially ones that involve outward flips of the hair.

I was picturing this:

... but with less poufiness and blood-sucking lipstick

Or even this:

2. I am a woman, but if you could only use one word to describe me, it would not be “feminine”.

Most people, when pressed, have actually used the word “alternative” to describe me, whatever the eff that means. In my world:

a. Pants > Dresses

b. Low Maintenance > Flat Irons and Hairspray

c. Tall Boots > High Heels ALWAYS

d. Sage, Lavender, Citrus, Cedar, Patchouli > Anything floral

3. Please no Triangle Hair.

Dear New Hairdresser: If you value your life, do not give me anything even closely resembling this:

I will kill you.

Armed with this information and not-so-veiled threats regarding my severe loathing of triangle hair, my stylist embarked on Operation: Long Hair-B-Gone. She told me she would give me a “retro” cut with layers that I could easily style into 40s, 50s, or 60s looks. That sounded great!

So how, pray tell, did I end up with a gigantic muffin top on my head??

Tell me, doth this haircut not reek of femininity?? Thankfully this image is blurred for my own protection.

When I said “No Triangle Hair”, should I also have specified “No Elliptical Hair”, “No Spherical Hair”, and “No Mushroom-Slash-Muffin-Top Hair”? Did I really need to spell out all of the shapes? If so: No Rectangle Or Square Hair either, please.

Sadly, I ended up with the equivalent of a mid-calf-length skirt on my head. It would look much better if it were either a tiny bit shorter or a tiny bit longer, but this in-between length is unflattering and awkward. Yes, the haircut made me look “younger”, but I’m only 30 to begin with and didn’t really need to look 12. I’m afraid my issues with getting carded at liquor stores will only get worse until this cut grows out. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Fortunately, I am an optimist at heart, so I’ve found three ways to look at the bright side of this mortifying situation:

1. Having a muffin top on my head can detract from potential muffin tops around my mid-section.

I’m still in the process of losing 20-some odd pounds and will welcome anything that diverts attention from my waist back up to my face. It’s a decoy muffin top!

2. My new haircut is probably the visual, follicular embodiment of complex mathematical equations.

For those of us who aren’t mathematically or scientifically inclined, be rest assured that my hair is now a perfect, graphical representation of light and sound waves… or the path of motion taken on elliptical machines at the gym. (You will never fail a “graph this” question on a physics exam again– Just think of my hair when you’re under pressure!) My haircut probably also harbors solutions to world hunger. Who knows what other marvels are burrowed in this muffin-shaped nest?

3. Speaking of dieting woes, guess who lost 1 pound by cutting off her flowing locks and having them styled into a muffin top?

Beware the low-carb diet craze– my new hairstyle proves that you can have all of the (figurative) baked goods you like and still lose weight! (Disclaimer: instead of “having your cake and eating it, too”, this 1-pound diet solution involves “having your muffin tops and wearing them shamelessly on your head… not like you have a choice in the matter at this point… too”.)

I’m having a hard time taking myself seriously, dear readers. What say you?

Lucky Sevens

I’m taking this opportunity to highlight some of my favourite posts, including ones that might have been missed or overlooked by newer readers:

1. Most Beautiful

“Beautiful” isn’t usually a word I would use to describe my own writing, but if I had to choose my most beautiful-ish post, it would probably be Are You There, Margaret? It’s Me: God. A post about love should never be ugly, right?

2. Most Popular

One would think that my Freshly Pressed Post, Crying (and Cursing) Over Spilled Milk— in which I outlined the trials and tribulations of making almond milk for the first time– would be my most popular. Surprisingly, it is not. Rather, an otherwise nondescript post about ugly Christmas sweaters crushes the entire competition. In Search of the World’s Worst Christmas Sweater has nearly 4 times as many hits as any other post on my blog, including my Freshly Pressed post. Most of the search engine terms that lead people to my blog also have to do with ugly and horrific Christmas sweaters. Go figure.

A bit of sparkle from a gigantic Ugly Christmas Sweater I borrowed from a colleague. Unfortunately, it reeked of Bounce sheets and gave both Marty and I allergies. We couldn’t even wear it as a joke. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

3. Most Controversial

I have two categories of controversial posts– the first category deals with issues of censorship and the boundaries around what we choose to share online. A Visit from the Overshare Fairy chronicles the fallout of posting a little bit too much information about myself on the internet.

The second category of controversy is controversial only because it contains graphic details about a circumstance which many women face, but few women talk about openly: miscarriage. My This Day In History series– parts One, Two, and Three— address the messy range of emotions that Marty and I faced when we lost a pregnancy back in 2006.

Not me– this is my sis when she was pregnant with our niece, Lily

4. Most Helpful

In case you haven’t noticed, my primary objective on this blog is not necessarily to be helpful. I write mostly to entertain (or be entertained), but one of my posts inadvertently became helpful to others and continues to generate a lot of ‘thank you’ e-mails. Chlorella: Superfood, My Ass! was originally written as a flippant, eff-you homage to the nutritional supplement that renders me paralyzed with projectile vomit. It’s not an especially well-written post by any means, but lots of people have since discovered it and written me privately to say thank you– either for naming the substance that was causing them severe GI distress or for simply acknowledging that not everyone does well on so-called superfoods. (So in case you were wondering, helpful posts can have the word “Ass” in the title. Who knew?)

5. Most Surprisingly Successful

The post that continues to garner many surprising hits (although not new comments) was written way back in 2008. Talk to the Hand recounts my experience visiting a palm reader at our local mall. If my site stats and search engine terms are any indication, lots and lots of people take to the internet to learn more about mysterious beauty marks on their palms. Hence, if you need to boost traffic to your blog, might I suggest writing about finding the ‘ugly Christmas sweater’ line on your palms? And vomit– lots and lots of projectile vomit. ๐Ÿ™‚

6. Most Underrated

It must be a Universal Blogging Experience: you write a new post, congratulate yourself for your expert use of prose and scintillating adjectives, and then hit ‘Publish’– fully expecting a tsunami of Online Fandom to come crashing down in your comments section. But it doesn’t. To make matters worse, not only are you not ravaged by a destructive gale-force wind of admiration, but you also don’t even seem to make a ripple in the blogosphere. Maybe one person comments on your post… out of pity. The rest of your readers are already on to the next blogging sensation, and your Fantastic Post dies a quiet death in a lonely corner, all by itself.

The post I would like to offer up for your resurrection consideration is The Most Important Evening of Our Lives, in which I fail miserably as a wife, hairdresser, and a general human being.

At least *my* hair looked good on The Most Important Evening of Our Lives

7. Most Worthy of Pride

It probably seems a little strange, but I’m really proud of a post I wrote about eggs. The Dirty Dozen: My Initiation Into A Life of Crime came together effortlessly and incorporated all three of the essential ingredients in any winning post: hippies, Hollywood, and the Russian mafia. Every time I see this title in my “Your Recent Favourites” sidebar, I foolishly beam with the pride of a mother who has just watched her little Johnny hit a home run in a T-ball game. Other moms might not think my Johnny is a big deal, but I’m proud all the same. ๐Ÿ™‚