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Being Hip Without Breaking a Hip at www.xoxodarya.com
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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Drain Bamage

I would like to think that when the Caveman conked me over the head with his club and dragged me back to his cave, I suffered some sort of brain damage.

But, truth be told, it started long before that.

If I lose something in the house and I say, "Has anyone seen my black bra/skinny cammo jeans/keys/phone charger/date book/knitting needles?" The Caveman doesn't even look up from his iPad he just says, "Did you look in the freezer?" Because once or maybe even twice I left my bra in the freezer and I am almost certain it was by accident.

I literally have three generations of men in my life who scratch their watches and wind their asses trying to figure out how I get from point A to point B during my day because I let it slip one goddamn time that I do not make left-hand turns preferring to make three right-hand turns to get where I need to go. In all honesty, even Dr. Headshrinker found this a little odd.

I will freely admit I have a pretty self-deprecating humor and I am the first one to bring up a funny anecdote or incident or accident:  I trip down stairs; I fall in sprinkler holes; I slip in mud and I slide on ice; I break ankles and toes and I have walked in to my fair share of door jams and fallen out of windows at parties and I continue getting lost going to the same places I have gone since returning to California in 1986.

But when it turns mean or someone you love can't see beyond that, well, then I gotta throw the bullshit flag. It seems in a family or at work or with friends we all have our roles to play and when one person gets fed up with not wanting to perform in that role any longer, it rocks the boat or rains on the parade or just generally sends everyone into a tailspin.

I think a lot about how I did raising the Hero, and I try to grade my own paper honestly. I certainly hope I did him a solid by not locking him into some predestined role based solely on my idea of how he did something as a child or worse laying certain thoughts or behaviors on that part of his DNA he received from his father. I hope I have allowed him to grow and learn and experience without the added anchor of my judgments.

Expectations, yes; judgments, no. Big, big difference.

He is a freethinking and intelligent young man who is going to do awesome things in his life or maybe he is simply a decent guy who will do ordinary things. I don't know. I don't care. It doesn't matter.

I just know that I will love him either way and I will never put baby in that corner.

xoxo Darya



Friday, March 21, 2014

It Is Me & Not You, Birchbox

I had every intention of doing a review of my March 2014 Birchbox because it seems like all the really cool girls are doing it and I have even seen Birchbox reviews on YouTube. YouTube? Really? That just seems excessive to be talking about Birchox vs Glossy Box vs Cool Shit Box, but those girls have YouTube presence and I do not so consider my opinion with a grain of salt. Just seems kinda silly to me.

I ain't hating; I am just saying.

Mostly, I think I do not have a sporting enough spirit to make the most of my Birchbox experience. I work hard for my money, and I really do not relish surprises.  I like to pick something perfectly suited to me and wear it and live with it. Oh, and I am EXTREMELY brand loyal, which is the exact opposite reason to join something like Birchbox. Because, evidently, I want every month to be a cavalcade of perfectly tinted and toned make-up on a par with Chanel and Tom Ford with full-sized Karestase or Oribe hair product thrown in with a hand-crafted perfume oil that could become my signature scent and maybe just maybe that ONE red lipstick I am always looking for, and if I am being totally honest and curating my very own dream box, I would have tossed in an extra freebie by Dior or Hourglass. I also understand that you get what you pay for and Birchbox is $12.99 a month. This is not, however, the way this particular set-up works. More is the pity.

I believe it comes down to expectations.

I understand that trying new items is the complete idea behind Birchbox. And I received two samples that I did buy the full-size product of and continue to use to this day: Klorane Dry Shampoo and Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint maybe I will do product reviews on those, hmmm. That is another thing: You have the opportunity to review your monthly products and accumulate points toward purchase discounts, which I won't lie, I thought was pretty generous as well as the size of the samples, and a couple of times I received ordered product free because of points I had accumulated by product reviews combined with purchase points and I really did not make a lot of purchases in the Birchbox store.

As you see, it really is me, not you, Birchbox.

On the up-side, receiving my pretty Birchbox in my mailbox during my self-imposed shopping ban has been the highlight of my month, and who knows that Jergens BB Skin Cream may just be the concoction to whip my white, pasty, cellulite-ridden thighs into submission, and the Stila Lip Glaze in Pink Pomegranate is really pretty on my lips and is especially on trend with Pantone's 2014 Radiant Orchid even though it smells so sweetly delicious and beyond fruity that I am afraid that bees may swarm around my kisser now there's a picture to leave in your mind's eye, huh.

Oh, well, you live and you learn.

All in all, I am glad I played and I even gave my husband a men's subscription for Christmas hmmm, maybe I will let the Caveman write his own Birchbox review, that might be worth the price of admission, right there.

xoxo Darya

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Random Ramblings

When you grow up with a name like Darya, you never ever find your name on the little license plates at Disneyland.  There are no Darya personalized mugs or stationary or any manner of cool shit.

And I tell ya', things were made worse by the fact that my maiden name started with Van Dah-di-dah so alphabetically I had to sit right in front of Jay Van Wormer for most of my grammar and junior high school years and lemmetellyou Jay Van Wormer was an asshole to me.  Ironically enough, I was paired to walk down the aisle of 8th grade graduation on his arm in 1976...in a halter dress...and oh, did I mention, I have looked exactly like this since the summer between 7th and 8th grade.  Hah!  The crazy shit you remember.  

But with the influx of Russian and Persian immigrants, my name has become more and more easily recognizable and properly pronounced, and I really gotta give props to those 1990's icons of stupidity, Beavus and Butthead, whose neighbor and nemesis was Daria Morgendorfer, who as a side note went on to have her own successful MTV spin-off.   

Anyhoo, whenever I have the chance, which is just about every time I am standing in a grocery check out line or waiting for a prescription and I see a baby name book or a pamphlet describing names and their origins and meanings, or I am in a touristy place like Solvang or Palm Springs or Stater Bros., I gotta look my name up. Mostly it's not there, but I am a big girl so I hide my disappointment and move on with my life. Clearly.

Imagine my surprise and how over-the-moon-happy I was when I looked Darya up in the Urban Dictionary. And please do not ask me why I would do that or what my life has come to, other than that one time last month and the infamous My Blue Sweater Daythat would prompt me to actually type my name into the Urban Dictionary 'cause why in the hell would it be there of all places.  But there it was!

1.  Darya
Cool cat.  Likes to have fun with friends.  Friends are Darya's L-I-F-E.
Guy 1:  Hey look, it's Darya!
Guy 2:  Yeah, she's a cool cat.

2.  Darya 
Utterly amazing name belonging to an amazing girl, most usually.  A true gem hidden in the rough, tends to shine when unearthed.  Warning:  Can fall in love with a Darya easily.
Guy 1:  So, how's Darya?
Guy 2:  She's amazing, but I've got a problem.
Guy 1:  Falling in love?
Guy 2:  Big time.  Be my best man?

And just for the record in case you were sitting on the fence on whether there was a God or not, let me put your mind at ease because there is, and he graciously did not allow the Urban Dictionary to give my name a definition like the one for poopsterbate or drinking watermelon.

xoxo Darya



PS - If you are wondering why there is a picture of my cat, Jules, attached to this post, it is because a) definition no. 1 says that I am a cool cat and b) I read somewhere that if you post a pic of a cat or puppy or an odd-numbered list on your blog then people will give you more page views.  Clearly, I am whoring my cat out for more blog lovin'.  Don't judge me; just blog love me.

Monday, March 10, 2014

My Blue Sweater Day

For all the bitching and fussing I do about what Mother Nature and my parents did or did not provide to me, I am fully aware of and thankful for the gifts I did receive.  One of those God-given gifts is the gift of a sixth sense or the ability to hear God or my conscience or perhaps even my own schizophrenic voice talking to me.

Sometimes it is a feeling in the pit of my stomach or a dread in my heart or something as solid as the leg of the coffee table that tears off my little baby toe and makes me howl.  But however it comes to me, I recognize it and I act on it--it is not something I ignore.  Ever.

I had this experience at the SITSgirls Women Get Social blogger's conference this weekend in San Diego when two amazing and well-accomplished women said two things to me well, the whole room actually but I know they were really talking directly to me.  

First, Fawn Weaver, author of the Happy Wives Club, asked me to close my eyes and ask myself, "Why not me; why not now"--and this was not an interrogative; what I heard was a goddamn imperative exclamation point.

Second, Nell Merlino, THE woman behind, Take Your Daughter to Work Day, informed me that as a woman I have had to "fit" into a world prefabricated long before I came along.

Now, I must confess that there is a little part deep down inside of me where my brain is supposed to be but where that sixth sense resides that knew all of this already--this was no new news here.  My Spide-y sense had confirmed that the uncomfortableness I have felt most of my life has been me trying to fit AND make-do all at the same time.  And it has been vital that I fit and make-do for a whole host of reasons least of which is because I possess a less-than-adequate education; and I was a young-and-dumb bride and mom; and I sat in bankruptcy court alone, young and dumb; and I had no other real options; and more importantly I needed to put food on the table and own a reliable car and obtain medical benefits; and most importantly I needed to care for a little boy who didn't sign up for anything less than the very best in life and who, in my opinion, got totally gypped.  And when a light was shined into that  little part deep down inside of me and I really allowed myself to sit with that knowledge and admit all of this to myself  I felt that sixth sense start whispering and I could perceptibly feel my life begin to change.

Now, because I have spent so much time and energy asking the interrogative and not living the imperative, I have been left exhausted and uninspired, so when the Tuesday morning after the conference rolled around and I couldn't even begin to figure out what to wear with a blue cashmere sweater, well,  that was the last straw.  I cried and then I made a decision and then I posted this on Instagram:
If you are so uninspired in the am that you actually type into Pinterest search the words "navy sweater", it is time to reassess your life.  So, I did. Then, I drove to work & walked in to the Cancer Program Chairman's office & quit. I ain't lying. I am not fooling around with this one life I got.  #navysweater  #makeitwork #ootd #wiwt #jcrew #cashmere












In all honesty, it is a job that has been chafing and binding and itching and ill-fitting and I have been struggling and fidgeting and pulling at the crotch and cuffs just to have even a modicum of fit.  I have been making do. But it wasn't fitting and it didn't do a thing for me except pay decent money.  Instead, it was killing me slowly every day.

But no more.

Tuesday was my Blue Sweater Day and I am moving forward with all the right-of-way and enthusiasm that I would have not felt or even could have imagined still existed within me one weekend ago.

Because, all together now:  Why not me and why the hell not now!

xoxo Darya


PS - I have had many, okay a couple, all right one blog supporter tell me how they long for their own "blue sweater day".  So, henceforth, any really big decision-making day will forever be known as "A Blue Sweater Day".  So let it be written; so let it be done. 


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Random Ramblings

I did a whole bunch of things last week that were so beyond my comfort zone, least of which included braving the West Coast Stormageddon to get to the SITSgirls Women Get Social blogging conference.  I am so glad I did!  And I have a ton to say about the conference, but clearly, I am the slowest blogger in the world.
In a nutshell, all that awesomeness and inspiration led to My Blue Sweater Day post on Instagram and on the xoxo Darya Facebook fan page.  And, let me tell you, for anyone and everyone who is stuck and uninspired and dying just a little bit every day, I wish for you a Blue Sweater Day ; )

Finally, just some pretty.  A pic of my first Nuncio Gem white camellia of the season--some goddamn bug will eventually eat them all before they even have a chance to bloom, but in the meantime I get to enjoy one or two.  'Cause we all need a little pretty.


xoxo Darya