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Barbie Ink

Have you heard about Mattel’s lastest creation?

This new “Totally Stylin’ Tattoos” Barbie?

Parents across the country are said to be outraged.

I can’t help but feel completely outraged myself.

How can it be the teenie tiny butterfly stickers, that come with this new Barbie doll, that parents find so outrageous?

Call me crazy but wouldn’t it be a tad healthier to be inspired to get a teenie tatt, than it would to be inspired to LOOK like the impossibly proportioned Barbie?

I find it down right nuts that there are some parents out there who feel that it’s okay for a young girl to be surrounded by piles of these mini models in their rooms, but add a heart sticker to the back of her bony shoulder and ooooohhhh SNAP, now we’ve got a problem!? Did these parents think for a second about the Barbie doll itself before it was brought into the home? Did the parents look at the thing and ponder who she is, what she stands for?

I mean, what is a girl to think when her first learning toy is tall anorexic blonde who rolls a pink corvette and chills in a plush mansion?

And the rents are plexing on some stickers stuck to her?

I’m so confused.

I was a bit of a tom boy growing up, so Barbies weren’t my thing. I had a My Little Pony and rocked a Care Bears hoodie, but that’s as far as I went with the frilly stuff. Once I was given a Barbie spa as a birthday gift, but since I didn’t have any Barbies to put in it, my brother and I added it to his GI Joe training camp he had set up in the backyard. It was pretty sweet, but it broke after a few sessions.

I did have one friend who collected all of the Barbie items … we’re talking the whole 9 … the mansion, the car, the horse, the vacation hut, hundreds of outfits and the microscopic purses to match each one. Every birthday, every holiday, was all about raking in the Barbie goods and her parents didn’t hold back. I distinctly remember thinking it was all really lame.

I remember asking myself, who are these rail thin, busty blondes with giant smiles smothered in lipstick? None of our moms looked like her. None of our teachers resembled that. Not our friends or our big sisters.

Who is this Barbie?

It’s funny, as I’m writing this, I’m thinking about how many women look Barbie-esque these days … I just pictured those trainwrecked “real housewives of the OC” … ugh … and they’re everywhere. Times have changed. Is it because of the doll?

I believe that she is part of it, yes.

Girls have been playing with Barbie since 1959, but thanks to technology and the advancing medical field, her look has become much more visible and much more attainable.

I believe Mattel’s Barbie doll helped fuel the fire of the distorted self image that women and young girls walk around with every day. Is Mattel soley responsible for girls starving themselves, getting boob jobs, nose jobs, blonde highlights and extra long hair extensions? No, but it was and is certainly instrumental.

Which is where the parents come in. It’s the choice of the parents whether or not to let their children collect Barbie dolls and watch whatever trashy reality show is on the tv. It’s the parents’ decision whether or not to talk to their kids about what it all means.

The fact that mothers and fathers would make a decision to allow Barbie into the playrooms of their children and NOT BE DISTURBED AT ALL BY THEIR DAUGHTER HAVING THE IDEA THAT SHE WILL ONE DAY GROW UP TO LOOK JUST LIKE HER PRECIOUS BARBIE … but be thoroughly disturbed by their daughter one day growing up and getting a “totally stylin’ tattoo” is absolutely MAD to me.

Wicked, so wicked

www.rileysride.com

I went to the Orpheum Theater in San Francisco Friday night for the opening of Wicked the musical. As a theater neophyte, I cannot break down for you in proper lingo what makes this production so special, but what I can tell you is that Wicked, was so wicked cool.

The night began as expected … I was totally unprepared; changing in the car, trying to put on mascara in the dark as we weaved in and out of traffic on a rainy 101 freeway. We arrived 20 minutes late for press call, but right on time for the red carpet; a low-key scene which consisted of San Francisco socialites, clusters of black beret-wearing smokers straight out of a Shag painting and shutterbugs that flickered like fireworks at the pair behind us (Mayor Newsom and his blushing bride).

We checked in, and then quickly checked out. The line for the bar snaked all the way through the lobby and back to the press tables, YIKES. After learning we had 30 minutes to kill before we’d be allowed to our seats, we made a mad dash in the rain to a hotel across the street. I threw back a glass of champagne, the bf a glass of scotch. It was raining when we entered, but 8 minutes later, torrential down pour … naturally. The bf’s jacket kept my hair dry but we were soaked to the bone when we ducked back into the Orpheum. The lobby was more crowded and definitely louder, a combination of cocktails from the bar and a buzz that was not being fueled by liquor … but by excitement as the clock was ticking quickly toward show time.

I was very pleased when we were finally bustled into the theater — our seats were orchestra level — FABULOUS! (Big ups to PR director Erin Garcia, thank you!)

I forgot how much I love the Orpheum … the smell, the wood-carved ceilings … it’s a very magical place.

The only way I can describe act one of Wicked is like a big fat heart attack that one can only hope to have.

The closing of EVERY SINGLE scene felt like a huge grand finale. We’re talking heart-stopping moments … one after another. It was INCREDIBLE. The crowd roared and applauded uncontrollably. It was exhausting and enthralling to watch each performer pour their heart and lungs out right in front of you, for HOURS on end. It was brilliant.

I’d never seen Wicked before and purposely didn’t read anything about it, so I had no idea how the story was supposed to begin or end. When the last scene in act one closed, I actually gasped and cried out loud, “Oh no! Is it over?!” (Dork.)

The bf and I fumbled through our playbills as the crowd shuffled around us. When we realized that there was another full act, we were pleased.

We bolted back across the street in the rain (which was, at that point, down to a sprinkle) and into the hotel bar. The corner stools we sat on the first time around were occupied by a hooker and her cross-dressing pimp, so we snagged seats between a sulking business man surrounded by newspapers and empty glasses and an over weight drug dealer-looking dude who smiled at me, revealing his gold grill. After a quick Goose rocks, another scotch for the bf, we were off — back to the Orpheum.

I couldn’t wait for more Wicked. I was dying to see where this story would go. How could the friendship turn? How could a good girl go so bad? Who would get the guy??

It was easier to breathe during act two, there were less special effects and a lot more story. Each of my questions were answered as the tale unfolded with love, lessons about life, and a ton of humor. 3+ hours, and I didn’t want to leave, I didn’t want it to end.

Curtain call drew a much-deserved standing O from the audience.

Again, I am NOT a theater person … not much for musicals either, and this production was absolutely outstanding! I would go see it again tonight. It was funny, witty and just wicked cool … SO worth the money, imho.

www.rileysride.com

www.rileysride.com

Change.

If I was playing that game where you blurt out the first thing that comes to mind when you hear a word … and the word given to me was “change” … my response would go something like this:

Clothes.
Coins.
Campaign signs.

The designers of the Obama/Biden campaign might deserve a Pulitzer, it was nothing short of brilliant … and the word change, no doubt, played a role in its brilliancy. But, please note, those campaign signs that we saw everywhere, every day for 2 years, was NOT the first thing to come to mind.

Until today, the word change was only a word.

A catchy campaign slogan. A one syllable verb that, for me, represented the idea of getting the Bush administration the hell out of DC.

What a difference a day makes.

If prompted to play that same game tonight, my responses would definitely be different because I had an experience.

This morning, I experienced the C-H-A-N-G-E that was printed on millions of paper signs. I watched it come to life … in the form of head nods, smiles, and prolonged eye contact between strangers that would, on any other day, be flat out weird.

I SAW CHANGE in the faces of random people on the street, at the gym, in the coffee shop, and on the elevator. Witnessing strangers holding one another’s gaze long enough to exchange an approving gesture is something truly incredible. The times in my life that I’ve seen two people who don’t know one another, swap a stare and a nod, it ended in a fist-flying fight.

This is definitely a different day.

Everyone knew that January 20, 2009 would be a historic, exciting day … but to actually see people WANTING TO SHARE this day with one another was completely unexpected, to me.

Stangers giddy, hugging and smiling? This is extreme.

It makes me believe that people truly are ready to take the word change and put it into action in some way in their own lives. The look that I saw on the faces of so many people this morning makes me think that we might be ready to create this “better America” that we’ve heard so many candidates preach about.

This kind of change goes far beyond a new administration in the White House. This kind of change is B-I-G.

Our president, Barack Obama, did what he said he was going to do … he inspired CHANGE in America … if only for a day, in my book that’s huge. I felt this energy on November 4 of last year, but today, I SAW IT come to life with my own eyes.

If this day is any indication of what President Obama can do … deriving good spirits and a fresh tone out of a discouraged population drowning in an endangered economy … I can’t wait to see what he can do in four year’s time.

www.rileysride.com

Scrabbulous Scrabblefaction

www.rileysride.com

Vampire.

Jukebox.

Qualify.

Zygosis.

Knights.

Weapons.

Xeroxes.

VERY FEW THINGS ARE AS FABULOUS AND AS SATISFYING AS DE-RACKING ON A TRIPLE WORD SCORE.

You Scrabble heads know what I’m talking about.

Last night, my friend and I had one of our best boards yet. It was magical. Every pull was perfection, words branched out in each direction, covered the board equally and intersected with ease … making for mad points.

Scrabble is the only game in my house that doesn’t require an outlet and gets some serious play.

It’s one of the only games I’ve been playing for decades and haven’t gotten the slightest bit bored with. I play quite a bit, sometimes it’s a casual game over drinks and Family Guy reruns, other times it’s a balls-to-the-wall competition with teams and cash. It’s always fun, and SO gratifying when the (Scrabble) stars aline.

I think the game is so addictive because victory is just as attainable as it is impossible. You can have the most expansive vocabulary catalogued alphabetically in your brain, but if you get a bad pull — you lose. Or, let’s say, your opponent throws down POSE, you intersect it with OZONE and then pull T, X, J, U, A — beautiful!

Well … it’s beautiful … until your opponent spells off of POSE and then POOF, your JUXTAPOSED dreams go up in flames.

It’s all about luck and timing.

Last night, my friend and I had both. And it was more than beautiful. Both of us scored into the 500s, can’t remember exact numbers — there was some wine … ;-)

I’m in the best mood ever today, because we rocked Scrabble so hard … is that ridiculous?

We left the board filled out, in all of its glory, on the table … we didn’t have the heart to break up all of the grand words and poetic intersections.

NERD ALERT: I’m considering a stop on the way home tonight to pick up some super glue so that I can permanently stick the tiles down and hang the board on my wall.

www.rileysride.com

Monday Fantasies

www.rileysride.com

I HAVE A SERIOUS CASE OF THE MONDAYS TODAY.

Ugh.

I’m swamped with work and I’m convinced that some mad man broke into the diner and extracted the caffeine from all the coffee in the building. I’ve had 3 cups and NOTHIN’ … I could crawl into bed right now and pass out ’til tomorrow.

It’s been a while since I’ve felt this rough around the edges after the weekend, and I have no excuse. I stayed in town and watched football all weekend … there were no late night shenanigans or big benders, I’m just tired. I need one more day to get some stuff done and get my head back in the game.

A few weeks ago I gave a shout out for government-mandated siestas and today, I would like to add one more thing to my fantasy request: the 4-day work week.

10 hour work days, 4 days a week … permanent 3-day weekends.

You with me?

Think about how different you would feel right now, if you knew siesta was in an hour and your weekend begins on Thursday evening.

Personally, I’d have no problem putting in the extra time, I’m already here for 9 or so hours, what’s a few more? It would be so worth it come Wednesday … knowing the weekend is almost here … oh my, how fabulous that would be.

I got an email from a former co-worker who is now living overseas, basking in his I have the best job ever glory. I’m sure he didn’t mean to pose his note this way, but like I said, I’ve got a case of the Mondays, so that’s how it felt this morning.

He’s a journalist with deadlines like any other job, but his work environment is not like any other and he’s looooooving it. There aren’t scheduled siestas in his new country, but there aren’t schedules either … he is free to come and go, work from home, nap whenever … as long as he hits the deadline. This obviously wouldn’t apply to most jobs, but the idea of creating a 40 hour week with flexibility, is dreamy.

And dreamy it shall remain.

The day that we all clock in on a 4-day work week with mandatory siestas will also be the day that we all have to ice skate home … BECAUSE HELL WILL HAVE JUST FROZEN OVER.

I’ll have my skates ready …

www.rileysride.com

www.rileysride.com

… According to Vogue magazine.

I believe it was the September issue that examined the new lash phenomenon. The reporter had me cracking up with the lash-boob analogy … writing about how “every woman in the world wants them bigger and better” … but it’s so true.

IT’S ALL ABOUT LUSCIOUS LASHES RIGHT NOW.

A friend of mine called last night to tell me how excited she was for her morning appointment.

“I’m getting them done!” she shrieked.

“Oh, who’s them?” I asked, thinking there’s no room for any additional cc’s inside of her already bursting chest. I don’t have to hide my distaste, she’s well aware that I’m not down with all of her cosmetic procedures.

“My lashes! I’m getting extensions tomorrow!” she squealed in my ear.

I tried to talk her out of it, like I do every time she consults me prior to having something “done.”

3 of my friends already have eyelash extensions. It’s a tedious, expensive process that involves heat-activated bonds just like the ones hairstylists use on the head … except that the glue is pressed a pinhead away from your eyeball — EEK! There’s also a lot of up-keep; frequent appointments for touch-ups and special cleaning regimens — which equals more time and money (no thanks).

I embellished some of the horror stories that I’ve heard trying to convince my procedure-feigning friend that she doesn’t need the damn extensions.

I must admit that when everything goes as planned, the final product is incredibly beautiful and the idea of not having to wear mascara is ever-so tempting.

But I say SKIP THE PERMANENT IMPLANTS and opt for the wide variety of push-up mascaras available dirt-cheap at every drug store across the country.

I was a mascara junkie long before the lash frenzy of ’08 that Vogue devoted an entire 4-page editorial to. I got it from my mom. She doesn’t wear a lot of make-up, just one hefty sweep of mascara and a dab of lipgloss. I adopted her methodology, as a tween trying to be as pretty as her mother, and have been addicted to pumped-up lashes ever since.

To my delight, cosmetic companies have really turned it up a notch since my early lash-loving years. There’s no reason to buy the pricey name brands at department stores. I’ve tried them all, and have had the most success with the drug store brands priced under 10 bucks.

Here’s my top 5:

Lash Stylist – Maybelline
Sky High Curves – Maybelline
Voluminous – Loreal
Glam Eyes – Rimmel
2000 Calories – Max Factor

My friend told me Dior Blackout is her fav. There was a lot of hype surrounding this product over the summer, so I caved and bought it. I was not floored by the results.

I pitched my 5 favs to my friend over the phone last night … she put me on hold to grab a pen and a piece of paper. I urged her to run out to the nearest Duane Reade (she’s in NYC) and try one of them before her appointment today. I also reminded her that she can still rock the glue-ons for special events … they’re TEMPORARY, they look great and require no up-keep. Either she got nervous, or I seriously need to consider getting back into the business of sales, because the last text I got from her said that she made a mad dash for the store and bought ALL 5 on my list to try.

Btw … all 5 tubes cost less than 1 tube of Dior.

I texted her back this morning … so curious to know if she’s ditching her appointment.

No word yet.

The fact that the business of eyelash extensions even exists is a bit disturbing, no?

The whole nip-tuck-inject-enhance thing makes me uncomfortable. I don’t think I could do it. Even though there are 16 different things on my body that I can think of, right now, that I’d LOVE to change. The idea of actually making an appointment and going under the knife — or under the needle — is unimaginable. I’m also afraid that if I did one, I’d go nuts and do them all.

I’M NOT GOOD WITH MODERATION.

I’d end up looking like Lisa Rinna, who by the way, recently confessed on momlogic.com that she sees a freak when she looks in the mirror. Yikes. Sad.

I think I’ll go ahead and stick to my magic drug store mascara … and other ways of image lifting rather than image changing.

Still no text from my friend yet … she’s probably lying back in a chair as we speak. I can picture her being so patient and still as some talented stylist carefully glues on her new luscious lashes.

I can see her exiting the salon when it’s all done … walking onto a breezy New York street, turning heads left and right.

She looks GORGEOUS.

Just as gorgeous as she did when she walked in …

www.rileysride.com

www.rileysride.com

It’s a quarter after 2 in the morning.

The BF disappeared into the dungeon hours ago, said he’d “be right back.”

I can hear the freakin’ raid talk through the walls.

I AM REALLY HATING WoW RIGHT NOW.

End blog.

www.rileysride.com

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