Sunday, October 26, 2014


Once upon a time, I found basics to be the ultimate bore. Black, cream, grey, navy sweaters? Button down shirts? Basic pumps? Zzz.

Not so much anymore. It's probably just the evolution of my own personal style (and age and maturity, but let's not think about that), but now I find the same pieces to be sophisticated and chic. Sure, they still aren't as exciting to shop for compared to sequined dresses and snazzier items, but I wear them constantly and I love their simplicity. Because of this, I've gone from trendier cheaper things from places like H&M, to a main focus on quality. Since sweaters, button down tops and the like are so simple, poor quality stands out much more with them than in some busy top with a crazy cut. And because they're classic and worn often, it makes better sense to buy the higher quality versions. A craptastic white button down from F21 will be made of poorer materials, not fit as well, and won't hold up. Below is a list of items I find essential for a basic wardrobe foundation. They go with everything, require little to no effort to throw in the morning, and always look expensive and stylish. From here, you can leave as is or add the fun stuff for days that require a little more pizzazz - Miu Miu yellow pouf skirt, printed maxi dresses. These are just my basic necessities.

Silk button downs
Solid colors, collar styles varying. I have point collars, rounded collars, and collarless. They can be worn casually with cuffed denim, slightly dressed up with skirts, under dresses, worn with trousers or cropped pants professionally, etc. The possibilities are endless.

Everlane is great for affordable versions, and Nordstrom Rack, Marshalls, TJ Maxx and the like sell Equipment Signature, Brett, and other popular styles for about $60-$90. No need to pay $200 for the same top at Bloomingdales. 

Fine knits
I've been on a cashmere kick, and have started with the super basics - an oversized black v-neck by some no-name on Gilt, and a cream colored v-neck from Uniqlo. They say cheap cashmere isn't worth it, that it isn't as finely milled, but Uniqlo's versions had decent reviews, so I went for it. They have a giant selection of colors and I bought mine in a large, since I wanted an oversized, roomier fit.  I'm pretty new to the cashmere world, so we'll see how these hold up. If poor, then I'll save up and invest in some Brora or some brand known for its high quality.

La Robe Noire
I dislike the term "LBD," but whatever you want to call them, they are a necessity. No matter your body shape or size, there are countless ways to make black dresses work for your personal style. You also can't deny that black makes everything look more expensive.

Half of my closet is black, and about a quarter of that is made up of black dresses. They're mostly classic styles - a-line, shifts, little to no prints. My favorites are from Comptoir des Cotonniers and a pleated skirted version from Zara that everyone and their mother had when they were in store. I actually loved the Zara version so much I hunted down the same one in red on Ebay.

Good flats
Every brand makes flats, but not every brand makes them well. A lot are too wide, unrefined, and overall look poorly made. For me, I find it imperative to invest in great flats. As much as I love my heels, I tend to wear flats more often (work, shopping, anything that requires excessive walking).

Repetto is the original. I have a red patent pair from my trip to Paris in 2009, and though now totally beat up, they still look great (as long as you don't investigate them too closely). The toe is the perfect almond shape - not too round or square or pointy. It's slimming and very feminine on the foot. To some people, they may look like any basic ballet flat, but they so are not. They are much superior than your average no-name ballet flat. They also run small, so best to try on in person.  I was fitted to a 38, when my typical shoe size is a 6-6.5.

For a slightly dressier ballerina, Ferragamo Vara flats are tres chic. Available in several colors, materials, widths, and even customizable, they are super versatile. I will say though that the sizing is a bit off. I have the patent "new bisque" pair in a 5.5, which is rarely ever my size. Apparently I have narrow feet (read: bony) but still fit a regular width in a smaller size, so be sure to try these on in person before buying. I actually love these so much I plan on eventually getting them in regular black, patent black, and patent red. The slight heel also makes them more exciting than your average flat.

And of course, Chanel makes a great flat. The basic tan/black toe ballerina is on my must-have list.

Quality black bag
I don't think anyone can argue the importance of a great black bag. Doesn't matter the brand, as long as the quality and style is there. I prefer mine with gold hardware, made of amazing leather.

My black bags are the Chloe Paraty and two classic Chanel flaps. The Chloe may eventually look passe, but so far, so good. I've had it for three years, worn it almost daily, and it has held up great, and goes with almost all outfits. The Chanels... well, no explanation needed. I bought mine vintage from the mid-90s since I can't afford brand new ones and can't support the ridiculous price increases. Benefits to vintage Chanel aside from price:
  • 18k gold-plated hardware (new ones don't have this)
  • Supposedly, the new ones have parts made in China and overall are of poorer quality than vintage
  • Discontinued styles - one of mine is the jumbo with the giant ass gold CCs
So new + more $$$ + poorer quality, or pre-owned + real gold-plated hardware + superior quality - you choose. The only downside with vintage is finding a reputable seller and getting one in good condition. But I don't mind. I love the hunt and the history that comes with vintage.

Great jackets/coats
Ah. There is little that beats a perfectly fitting jacket or coat. The classic styles are always the best to invest in, of course. Trench, peacoat, basic blazer. Interestingly enough, Zara's coats and jackets fit me better than any other high end brand I've tried. The shoulders are PERFECT. My current two favorites are a red jacket and a brown coat, and though I haven't worn the red yet, the brown always gets me compliments. I had been searching for a great red jacket for a few years, so I was uber excited when I found one at Zara a few months ago. I'm ready for real fall temperatures to bust it out, but I live in LA and it's still high-70s. Lame.

Well-fitting jeans
Any brand without all the tacky stitching or embellishments. Thanks to Emmanuelle Alt, Topshop's Baxter jeans are my favorite to cuff and they're only $70. They're the perfect relaxed skinny jean. Rag & Bone jeans are also great for your basic, full-length skinny jean in a great wash.

Heeled sandals and pumps: black, nude. Single-soled or slight covered platform. Comfortable, genuine leather. Mine are Louboutin Decolletes, Zara, Aldo (Isabel Marant Poppy wannabes but SO comfortable), and Schutz.

Clean, streamlined, minimalistic boots. Stuart Weitzman 5050 in nappa or suede.

Quality jewelry
This is where I need the most help in. This help will come with more money. Quality jewelry for me unfortunately also means significantly higher costs, and this is a category I don't like settling on. One of my jewelry dreams? A gold Rolex with white face. I can't even get myself to buy more inexpensive gold watches, because I feel it'd just be a temporary solution. And I'd rather wait for the holy grail.

Black belt with gold hardware. Brown belt. Some scarves. It's really all I need.

And as I've posted before, none of this matters if the fit isn't there and your beauty routine isn't perfected. Great hair, skin, and makeup. It should look natural and healthy. If it doesn't fit right, pay the extra $ and go to a tailor. It is well worth it. If you have both of these, your simplistic, high-quality wardrobe will just accentuate your natural beauty. It's what I feel a wardrobe should do, anyway. People shouldn't notice your wardrobe more than they notice you.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Easy Breezy Beautiful...

Typically, beauty and fashion go hand in hand. While I'm not completely clueless, my forte has never been makeup. Like style, it's something that's always evolving, that I'm learning more about as I age. It started with nail polish in middle school, then extended to eyeliner/eyeshadow in high school, and didn't go much further than that for many years. When my friends would buy makeup, I'd emulate them by getting the same products and applying them similarly, unaware that my face was complete different from theirs - it's Asian. It's no wonder many of my past pictures are quite the embarrassment! Alas, after many years of makeup-testing and understanding my individual needs, I've determined which colors and types of products work best on me. I don't wear the below everyday, but I do like to whip them out for special occasions.

Eyeliner - Maybelline Line Stiletto Liquid Eyeliner
After testing gel formulas and typical liquid liners, I've realized pen-style liners are ideal for me.  I'm the type who wakes up 20 minutes before having to go to work, so ease of application is especially important. Pen-style eyeliners are easy to apply, with no need for additional tools. This Maybelline one is excellent, though it could possibly be darker. No need to splurge on the Chanel version, this one satisfies for a fraction of the cost. I use this everyday.

Kiss me Heroine Make Long & Curl Mascara (Volume & Curl works as well)
This is the ultimate Asian-eyelash mascara. Naturally curly-lashed girls may find this mascara unimpressive, however, for the gals like me whose lashes are stick straight and point DOWN, this is the absolute best at holding a curl. It's extremely waterproof, so buying the mascara remover by the same name is necessary. But it's SO good. I've never had a mascara hold my curl all day like this. And by hold a curl, I mean it looks the same as when you first curl them in the morning. Sometimes you get a half-assed curl, where it's somewhere in between fully curled and fully flat. This mascara keeps them totally curled and lengthens as well. It's amazing.

Sonia Kashuk Eye on Neutral Eyeshadow Palette
This palette is available at Target and about $20 for twelve highly-pigmented neutral shades. Perfect for someone who likes natural looks. While I admire those MAC employees with purple glitter eyelids, it's just not my style. This palette is inexpensive, and the colors can be mixed and matched for many looks. I don't wear eyeshadow everyday, so this will last me forever!

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 5.75
I've been lucky with my skin in that I don't need to use any foundations or powders on a daily basis. On days I want to look especially polished, however, I use this. It evens out my skin, and gives it a fabulous finish. It's very natural, and not overly matte or dewy. It's probably best for dryer skins like mine, and I've read that it's light to medium coverage. I apply this with a Sonia Kashuk brush. I don't have tons of experience in foundations, but this works well for me. I'd definitely repurchase.

MAC Mineralize SkinFinish Powder in Medium Plus
I was recommended this at the MAC counter when looking for a powder to finish off my foundation routine. I know MAC gets a bad rep for its skin products, but I've honestly never had a problem with them. This one looks pink in the pan, but applies beautifully. It's great to use on its own as well. Only problem with this is that it doesn't come with a mirror or puff for application. No problem though, I buy the puff things at a Japanese beauty store and slide them into the compact.

YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch in 1.5
This is my newest discovery and I love it. There seems to be debate on whether this is a highlighter or concealer, but I'd say it's a combo of both. It's more of a highlighter than a concealer, but it does conceal minor imperfections. I bought it as a highlighter for under my eyes and the bridge of my nose. It covers my not-too-dark circles and awakens my face. I was unsure about the color since you're supposed to go lighter if using it as a highlighter, so I was matched at Nordstrom to 1.5. Originally I thought I'd be a 2.5 or 3.5, but 1.5 is perfect. People complain that it's pricey for the amount, but it's been worth it in my short experience. Plus, it comes in a pretty gold tube. I love gold.

Tom Ford Lipstick in Indian Rose
Excellent moisturizing lipstick for my pigmented lips. It's a "my-lips-but-better" shade, which works well for me, since my lips are kind of big, and I don't really like calling attention to them with bright colors. I must admit though, I don't use this as often as I should.

Milani Liquid Eye Eyeliner - black or brown
Previously called Liquifeye, this is the softest, smoothest, pigmented pencil liner. Screw Urban Decay 24/7 that everyone loves, this one is $10 max and glides on so easily. Repurchased several times over.

There are many other items in my makeup bag, but these are the standouts. Makeup products differ for everyone so greatly that their performance is highly subjective. With my increasing age comes new discoveries. Until next time...

Monday, January 13, 2014

Eminence Organics

Beginning approximately five years ago, I started paying more attention to skincare. I think I wrote about it in a previous post (since I never post anymore, I don't remember when it was), but I do believe the sudden awareness came from a combination of living in vain-city (Los Angeles) and my inevitable aging. So I went from using just Oil of Olay SPF15 once a day to Jason's 25,000 IU vitamin e cream at night, Thayer's Witch Hazel Rose toner, and SPF35 during the day. Recently, I've even tried incorporating a homemade vitamin C serum to the mix.

In the last year or so, I've become even MORE into skincare, and just health overall. I've been making it a point to avoid processed food, anything with chemicals. I'm not super strict with it though, and do occasionally have pizza, fast food, etc. But I'm specifically trying to be more serious with skincare, and in my quest for magical moisturizers and the like, I stumbled across Eminence Organics. I think I just searched "organic moisturizer" in Amazon, and Eminence was one of the brands that came up. The line had great reviews, and I loved that it was organic and free of sulfates, parabens, etc.

For reference, my face is normal to dry, doesn't have many issues, and I like my nighttime moisturizers thick and heavy - the Jason's cream I use is a good example of that. I feel they're really doing their moisturizing job when they're heavy, and the additional moisture doesn't make me oily or breakout. Since LA weather is so dry anyway, the more moisture, the better. The Jason's cream is great too, but I wanted to try other more sophisticated moisturizers since I had really only ever tried the Jason's.

I received the Blueberry Soy Night Recovery Cream for Christmas. It's super luxurious and smells like blueberry Hi-Chew. I used it for the first time last night, and woke up with super soft, smooth skin. It was soft in a different way than other moisturizers had previously made it feel. I can really only describe it as baby-ass soft. It felt delicate, though it wasn't. It didn't look much different, but I don't have wrinkles or dullness begin with, so I don't think there was that much the cream could have done in that department. Overall? A fabulous night cream. Smells great, leaves skin super soft and hydrated, no adverse reaction, and even comes with a little spatula to scoop out the product.

I also bought various Eminence samples, and have nothing but positive reviews for them. They have a variety of products for all sorts of skin types, so I'd recommend doing some research (Amazon, MakeupAlley) or getting some samples (here) before purchasing full-sizes. I've also tried the Wild Plum Eye Cream and that's equally as amazing and delicious-scented. It's my next purchase in my attempt to maintain eternally youthful skin.

I know most people have their beauty routines down and are resistant to change. But I really think those big brands with heavy price tags are mostly just that - big names. I'm sure they have higher quality ingredients than your average drugstore product, but how well can they really perform to justify the $100ish price tags? Not very well, in my opinion. I prefer the simple, natural route, instead of one filled with mysterious chemicals and I don't know, gold flakes and diamonds (keep that ish in your jewelry). Shop Eminence here.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Little Bra Company

I have small boobs. That's a given, once you look at me. When I was in middle school, and all my friends' boobs were coming in, I excitedly waited for mine. They never came. Over the years, I've gone through many stages of mixed emotions on my little boobs, but have come to appreciate and actually prefer my smaller chest over more voluptuous ones. Small boobs are more high fashion (when have you seen a Vogue editorial with DDs?) and I don't need to wear a bra or even bikini top with serious support like gals with probably C+ boobs do. Plus, big boobs just aren't my style (side note: I actually am really fascinated with big boobs. I love them, but they're just so not me). I just feel like I would be really uncomfortable with them and afraid that I'd look like one of those heavily-made up skanky Asian chicks. Many girls can pull off big tatas - I am not one of them.

However, small boobs aren't without their disadvantages. While it's nice to have a smaller chest for the reasons stated above, finding bras and bikinis can be a laborious task. Growing up, I always wore Victoria's Secret because they were the go-to brand of every teenage and college girl. They were younger and prettier, unlike the matronly bras at many department stores. But I really, really didn't know my size. I'd start out with 32A, because that was always the smallest size, but then would sometimes purchase 34A (totally wrong!). A couple times I was measured to a 32B, and one time a few years ago at Bloomingdales, the lady measured me to be smaller than a 32, but told me they only carried 32. So I then started buying 32B bras. But even after purchasing all these bras in a plethora of small sizes, they almost always gapped at the top of the cups (especially when sitting), and looked too big for my body. I rarely bought bras anymore - the time-consuming failure of a search had turned me into a bra-pessimist. Woe was me.

The bras that fit the best until TLBC. From top to bottom: Victoria's Secret Pink Push Up Bra 32B, Victoria's Secret Dream Angels Demi Bra 32B, H&M printed bra 32B, The Little Bra Company Yvonne 30B

Then one day, I randomly came across a video on YouTube and discovered The Little Bra Company. These bras are made especially for petite women and small boobs such as my own. After much debate and research on bra styles and sizes, I ordered the mocha Yvonne Bra in a size 30B. When I received it, I finally knew what a properly-fitting bra should be. It was almost perfect - maybe slightly tight in the band and a smidgen small in the cup, but I'd read they stretch, so it was fine. I did the LBC's scoop technique, and lo and behold - I was boobilicious! Or more accurately, I gave off the impression that I was boobilicious. From the side particularly, my boobs actually looked somewhat big. Not only did the bra fit, the bra was pretty. The lace detail on the band and the straps adds a nice feminine touch, so if I ever wanted to wear a shirt where they may be exposed, I wouldn't need to worry about thick ugly lactating-bra style straps showing. I fill out the cups and there is no gapping. Finally, I'd found a bra that fit. And because I was so excited, I wanted to get many more. Next on my list? The Lucia, possibly the Sascha if a strapless is needed, maybe the Nicole for something more fun?

I've recommended these bras to my fellow small-breasted friends and will continue to do so. Just as big boobs need specially designed bras, so do little ones. Now if only TLBC expanded to swimwear (hint, hint)!

For reference, I am 5'4", approx 97 lbs, size 24/00/XS, extra narrow torso.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Vintage Peignoir

The only thing I miss about my old, odious job from 2008-2011? The House of Return thrift store on Washington, just a minute away from the office. It's a no-frills type of place run by some lady with lots of makeup and heavy brown bangs who really isn't too friendly, but who cares? This is a Jewish thrift store, not Barneys. As long as she isn't a total heinous bitch, I don't mind. I can usually find something great and unique here, and that alone overrides the lack of customer service. Of course this type of store isn't as edited as a place like The Way We Wore, and you have to dig through lots of faded black Express dresses from the mid-90s and shoulder-padded Escada suits to find your silky beaded tops, but it's totally worth it.

Anyway, after a short day at work a couple weeks ago, I decided to make the trip out to Culver City and take a gander at what was in store. Immediately, I found this lacy, perfectly flowy peignoir set sitting in front of their "designer" rack. It's by vintage designer Tosca, and similar or exact peignoir sets like this go for $200+ online (under $50 for me!). I pictured myself in this, perched at my mirrored vanity whilst spritzing perfume on or powdering my face with a big, exaggerated pouf. I had to have it.

The picture obviously doesn't do it justice. It's super pretty and delicate, with pearl buttons, and is in excellent vintage condition. Once I get my own place, I will wear this and float around my apartment with a cigarette and glass of champagne in hand. I mean, what else would you do with a peignoir set such as this?

P.S. The cigarette is all for looks. I think smoking is one of the worst things in the world, next to bleu cheese and dentists.


So... I'm a bad Asian. I can't speak my language, I'm bad at math, and I just bought my first BB cream. And I love it (the cream).

About a year ago, I posted about Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer and how much I loved it, that I had found a makeup product I would happily smear all over my face. And while I do love it, for some reason, I just never really wear it. I still have the tube, but I don't wear it regularly, or even once a month. I think it's because although I do like it, it's not very matte, and it makes my face feel kind of slippery or wet or something. I know, I know. This can probably be fixed with some loose powder. But I really don't like the feeling (and look) of a lot of makeup on my skin.

That is, until I bought the Missha Perfect Cover BB cream last week. I was at the Japanese store inside the mediocre Westside Pavilion mall, and picked it up in shade 23. It wasn't a complete impulse buy - I had researched this particular BB cream before and had the same cream in shade 27 in my Amazon cart. 23 was the darkest shade the store had (for all the Asians who want pale, porcelain skin), but I wanted to buy it anyway because it was available in person.

As it goes whenever I get new beauty products, I went online immediately for reviews. I had heard that Asian BB cream shades were slightly grey and that was what worried me most since I'm tan with yellowish undertones. Another concern was that I seemed to be darker than most of the reviewers who used this shade. Most recommended shade 23 for NC25-30 skin tones, and I think I'm more of an NC30-35+. But surprisingly, this BB cream was fine. It comes out of the tube greyish, but oxidizes into my skin without any major issues. It's thicker than my Laura Mercier TM, but it also leaves my skin more matte, and really doesn't feel like I'm wearing anything on my face. It evens out my skin and covers minor flaws like undereye darkness. And the best part? The SPF42, and the supposed fabulous qualities it has - anti-aging, whitening, and overall evening out of the skin.

And even though shade 23 works fine for me, I'd probably still try shade 27 because I do think it would be a better match overall. I've read it has more yellow undertones and is more suited to those who are NC30+. I think the 23 may leave a very slight grey cast on me, but nothing that anyone would really notice unless I pointed it out. I would also recommend the Asian brand BB creams over the American versions. I've heard the American ones are just glorified tinted moisturizers without as many skin benefits, and I always like to use the version closest to the original as possible.

So far, I've worn it every weekday (I avoid makeup Saturday mornings/afternoons) and I haven't felt like I did with the Laura Mercier - somewhat wet, and afraid that if I touched it with anything, it would leave a big orange/brown smear. We'll see how long this honeymoon period lasts. I find it really hard to continuously use certain makeup products on a daily or regular basis. Aside from eyeliner or mascara, everything else just kinda sits in my bag and expires (hello Tom Ford Indian Rose lipstick). But so far, so good!

Update 3/19/13: Still loving and wearing this BB cream on a week-daily basis! I think the combo of high SPF + slight coverage did it for me. It's more than just a makeup product, it's a skincare product as well. I just ordered the 27 from the Missha site, however, so we'll see how that goes. Hopefully it'll make me more glowy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Fall trees in LA!  Off Barrington, south of Santa Monica


Time - where has it gone?  Clearly it hasn't been spent on my blog! 

It's been over a year since I've moved back from my brief (but exciting) 6-month stint in NYC, and it feels much less. I haven't even been back for a visit due to career/job stuff, family issues, and weather. I still miss it, and often have dreams I'm back there again (a strange, dreamy NYC that is really not NYC).  

Though the professional fashion part of my life has been put on hold indefinitely, I'm pretty satisfied at where I am now. I've had many past jobs with horrible work environments, and never one that I was mostly satisfied with. It was always one of these, or all: lazy coworkers, people who blame you for things because they can't take responsibility, lazy, cowardly bosses, bitch bosses, unmotivated people, etc. So far (knock on wood), I have none of these people at my job now and it is glorious. Like I've said before, it isn't a seemingly-glamorous job filled with fashion weeks and clothing samples, but for now, it's probably the best I could have hoped for.  I mean, it pays! Crazy, right?

As for fashion... for now, this is being practiced in my personal life. Before this job, it had been over a year that I made real, consistent money (with the exception of the one month fashion week freelance) and I so missed the freedom to shop.  It seems like this has been a constant battle with myself, but I'm really trying to spend less on the cheaper, "fast" things, and focus more on the long term. For me, that means no trendy things like studded jackets, neons, pastels, bib collar necklaces (these should go away), polyester lovelies from H&M and F21, etc. Instead, it's more basic items like higher quality knits, silk blouses, anything without uber-trendy details. I'm also trying to wear everything in my closet. I have probably ten or more articles that I've never worn that I'm "saving" for unknown, nonexistent events. I'm making it a point to break these out and wear them. Life is short!

I really need to add more pictures on my blog, but all I have are phone shots!  

Until next time.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Somewhere in the midst of business lunches at Sur and constant planning meetings at work, my team (I have never worked in a place where I was on a "team") has gotten to know me as someone characterized by many "issues".  These "issues" aren't as serious as they seem.  They're more like pet peeves, quirks, and stories I've remembered growing up that have shaped me into the peculiar person they know me as today.  I'd like to share some of these here.

I've never been an athletic person.  I think it's partially genetic and partially because I always associated athleticism with masculinity, and I'd always been a girly-girl - the kind who put things like dollhouses and Easy Bake Ovens on her Christmas list.  In school, I hated P.E almost more than math (but still hated math most).   Growing up, I would find any excuse to skip running the miles on Monday (forged period-cramp notes from my mom), and looked forward to the end of required P.E. after the tenth grade.  I've been very open about this over the years, but when I was in elementary school and more insecure around kids who just loooved P.E., I pretended to be just as enthusiastic.  Just to be fair though, P.E. in elementary school was a lot different from P.E. in middle or high school.  It didn't require earning a letter grade while sweating in hideous clothes (shapeless heather grey tshirts and blue knee length shorts - probably the most unflattering colors and styles I've ever worn) that sat and stank up my locker for a week.  No, physical education in grades 1 through 5 were given as a "reward" for good behavior.  Secretly, I wished that everyone behaved horribly so we could always skip it since for me, P.E. was more of a punishment than any kind of reward.  But my rotten classmates would often behave well and bestow the ill P.E. fate upon me.  So we'd play games like Capture the Flag or Heads up Seven Up on rainy days - games that I had no problem with because I wasn't really required to do much.  But then there were the other games - the games that made me feel sick to my stomach in anticipation of them, mostly because of my inaptitude and the embarrassment that was to come from it.  I would even try to use this sick fear feeling as an excuse to get out of participating with my teachers.  Unfortunately, they saw through these tactics and almost always made me play ("oh just plaaaay, have fun!").  Although it was an excuse to prevent humiliation, the sick stomach feeling was very much real.

These fear-inducing games were ones that put each kid in the spotlight - dodgeball, Steal the Bacon (hate), and one in particular I remember too well - baseball.  It was the third grade.  With the exception of this experience, I'd say third grade was a good year.  I loved my teacher Miss Reilly - she was young and pretty and super nice - and it was the year I got my Samantha doll.  But I was 8-9 years old and raised by FOB parents who probably didn't even know what all-American things like I dunno - spaghetti - were until they moved here in the 70s.  So I knew what baseball looked like, but I had no idea how to play it.  I think Miss Reilly went over the rules and such really quickly, but I still didn't understand it.  I was fine when I just stood far out on the field while the other team hit the ball (batted?) and I would just kind of half-ass run towards wherever it went.  But then it was my turn to hit it and I had to actually perform.  I remember thinking to myself "so I swing the bat, then run?  When do I run?  Do I have to hit the ball?  What if I can't hit the ball and everybody is staring at me?  What if I can't run fast enough?"

I don't quite recall every detail of this particular incident because I'm positive most of it has been pushed into a Freudian area in my brain, but I do know that I either swung the bat and ran, or was already on one of those bases and would run whenever someone else attempted to hit the ball.  But...I wasn't supposed to run, because apparently you're only supposed to run when someone actually hits the ball.  But I did anyway, and all the kids and my teacher were yelling at me, "GO BACK! Go back!"  Go back?  When was I was supposed to run?!  Confused, I ran back to my base.  But then someone would swing, and I would run, and again I'd hear "GO BACK, GO BACK!"  I was so lost.  How do you play this dumb game?  And I remember my dear Miss Reilly yelling at me in her sunglasses and wedge sandals, gesturing with her hands for me to go back, go back.  But I just kept running at the wrong times, because I didn't get the stupid ass sport, and over and over again it was "GO BACK! GO BACK!"  I was maybe only eight years old, but I know my face was all red out of pure humiliation and my mind was filled with WTF.

To this day, I still loathe P.E., and more specifically, baseball.  Yeah, I haven't taken a P.E. class in about ten years, but it's experiences like these that remind me of my disdain towards forced athletic participation.  I'm not sure if I'm the only sad child who has a story like this, but I'm hoping more unathletic children will share their traumatizing stories.  These on-the-spot type games put too much pressure on timid little kids such as myself, whom would have much preferred to have stayed inside playing with Samantha dolls or reading The Baby-Sitters Club.   Baseball is so painfully boring anyway.

I know I probably come off as totally physically incompetent, so just as an FYI (whether you believe it or not) - I was the only girl who was able to compete against the boys in the 7th grade high jump, and I kick ass in HORSE.

But don't get me started on volleyball.