"Pageantin' ain't easy" - MC Neekee

I'm trying to find a tacky/not-tacky widget to place on the side of the blog here, where you can see a countdown clock to the pageant day.  Widget added! (Thanks Lan!) August 6th seems like...oh EFF, like next week???  As of now, where am I in pageant progress?  What have I accomplished?  What do I still need to do?  If I had a widget that showed my pageant prep progress, this is where I would want to be:

This is where I feel like I am:

Things I can cross off my list:

  • Start a blog
  • Eat like I'm not in a pageant, i.e. cheeseburger and fries for lunch and Chinese takeout for dinner
  • Look awful in pageant photos
  • Walk decently in high heels
  • Buy a bass for talent portion
  • Find a piano accompanist for talent
  • Most important: Get boba tea after every pageant rehearsal (in progress)
Things I have yet to do:
  • Actually write in the blog when I say I will
  • Expand my evening gown options (we need TWO now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
  • Learn how to not slouch
  • Perfect the choreography for the bobee dance
  • Play the correct notes for my talent piece
I have to admit that I am struggling with all the above.  I feel so resigned to look for/buy a dress, especially when evening gowns seem so impractical.  At least with the six Ross dresses I bought earlier in the month, I can always wear the ones I don't return to parties/out.  When would I ever wear an evening gown again?  Do any of you fashion forecasters see them coming back in [to normal society]?  ie, can I wear this to work, a club, anywhere besides another pageant...

Important note to consider: can I walk my dog in my evening gown?
Item number three, you'll see, is to not slouch.  This is perhaps the biggest mountain to climb (while standing straight).  It is pretty obvious to me that I never developed the muscles in my back/shoulders to stand up straight.  I am not sure of the likelihood of developing those muscles in ten days, when I've been neglecting them for 22 years.  At rehearsals, I've gotten so many comments from adults on the sidelines, telling me to fix my posture.  

I don't understand!  It seems the more I try to do what they tell me, the more my body bends into an "S" shape.  There's like some weird disconnect in my muscles, where my head will refuse to align with my back, and my back refuses to work with my shoulders.  
By this point, the adults on the sidelines just look at me and sigh.  

Speaking of major disappointments, my photos from the photoshoot were so terrible that I was called out for being un-photogenic!  The good news is that I was allowed to retake them, and this time did not smile or try to look happy.  For some reason, that look just works for me.  As a bonus for your patience with me through this blogging ordeal, I will treat you to the worst photos from the first shoot:

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

Do I look surprised because someone planted a wig on my head? Or uncomfortable because I have lockjaw?

For comparative purposes, here is a better professional photo of me that proves smiling should be frowned upon (HAHAHAHA):

Anyway, I'm just relieved that the photo thing is behind me now.  I will say that I do want to become more photogenic; it sounds vain, but does anyone need a practice model?  I really could use the training.

Speaking of speaking of major disappointments, you know what also failed this week and caused me major headaches?  My heels.  I was told last week at rehearsal that my shoes weren't silvery enough.  I assumed this would be a simple fix with the help of Michaels, the hobby and crafts store.  Of course, it wasn't.  Take a look at this simple formula I've recently discovered:

Basically what happened is after the spray's glue-like paint dried, the shoe looked...exactly the same.  Rather than wasting more time and money trying to fix the pair I had, I just went to Payless and bought a pair of silver-silver heels (which the store clerk asked if it was because I was a bridesmaid). Huh.

Lastly, I know several people have asked me about this bobee dance.  Basically, it's mostly the choreography from the Taiwanese video, with a little booty shaking from T-ara's dance.  As luck would have it, I happen to be positioned front and center, meaning it is even more imperative that I learn this dance properly.  I've definitely made progress, but it is still far from Queen-worthy.  

Between practicing my talent and practicing the dance, I've realized that participating in this pageant is far more time consuming than just buying dresses and walking in heels.  The second I feel like I have a break from work-work, I remember that I have to do pageant work.  It's almost like being in school again.  Almost.

Anyway, that's what I've been up to.  Maybe you can come up with a better graphic representation of my progress bar.

PS: I know this post is off and my schedule is all weirdo.  If it makes you feel any better, pageants have been following me everywhere on a near-daily basis, reminding me that I haven't lived up to my blogging goals.  For instance, yesterday, I saw ads for The Annenberg Space for Photography's exhibition "Beauty Culture", which sounds like a fantastic field trip for me.  As the website describes:

Through different lenses focused on the body beautiful, the exhibition examines both traditional and unconventional definitions of beauty, challenging stereotypes of gender, race and age. It explores the links between beauty and violence, glamour and sexuality and the cost (in its multiple meanings) of beauty.

Would anyone like to field trip it with me?
As a side note, I've loved reading all your comments on my last post, where interestingly, many found the topic of beauty to be the most compelling.    

The other instance occurred this evening, as I drove home from work. There was an offbeat piece about pageants on NPR.  "Move over, "Toddlers and Tiaras." Take a seat, Miss Universe. Meet the newest beauty queen on the scene," the narrator started.  And I honestly thought they were talking about me.

But no, they were talking about the new 2011 Miss Alabama Nursing Home, Andalusia Manor.  First of all, can we not think of a better old person name than Andalusia Manor? 

Me in 80 years (I'm on the far right)
Second of all, doesn't this piece throw an entirely different curveball into my last post?  You know what happens to post-pageanters?  More pageanting.  Pageants4Lyfe.

Anyway, just thought you should all know that I've been visited by at least two ghosts of pageantry, have learned my lesson and will never be late for a post again (...maybe).


  1. Front and center?! They love you, the really love you! Posture tip: do 60 sit ups before walking on stage/taking photos/doing other pageant things that you need to stand up straight for. Good posture generally comes from core strength, so the sit-ups help engage your core immediately after, and you don't have to actively think about it. You may be thinking "this is terrible advice, I'll be wearing a dress, and I can't go on stage all sweaty". Well....you're right.

  2. I firmly believe that evening gowns will make a comeback. I am on it. ILOVEWINDSOR.

    Also, why didn't we strut down Griffiths 3rd floor more often? We could have collectively worked on our posture! Were you there for the days when Rachel used to show us her moves learned on Buffy? Just like that.

  3. Nyan Cat!

    Also, http://mycountdown.org/getwidget/

  4. HOW IS IT I'M LATE ON THIS THE MOST INTERESTING POST EVER! I don't even know how to comment properly on this.

    1) I like your follow up on the beauty comments with the art exhibit. I'm down if you are. Is it like within driving distance for both of us? Is that even possible? Why is the world so cruel!

    2) HOLY SHIT NINE DAYS! I'm not ready for your blog to just leave my life like that.

    3) There are many acceptable events for beauty gowns. Let me flesh out this outline with examples:
    (a) Cruise ship fancy dinner night
    (b) Fancy work event
    (c) As a date to someone else's fancy work event
    (d) Random girly friend throws evening gown birthday party

    These might seem contrived but I have worn evening gowns to all of these things in real life (except fancy work event...but I did go as a date so it's not that much of a stretch to say you might have such an even since you actually have a job unlike me WHOA THERE run-on sentence!)

    Wait can we really go to an art museum together and talk about beauty and look at paintings and stuffffff?

  5. I love Rachel's list, and if need be I would throw an evening-gown-mandatory party just to justify your dress purchases.

  6. I love the sparkles! It's raining evening dresses!

    Also, evening dresses can always be scaled down with proper shoes and a jacket for dressy-ish dinners.

  7. I think Andalusia is the name of a region in Spain and being photogenic is not ALL that ( i should know). As far as the evening gown, you can wear it to my house when you come over and just chill in the backyard with some lemonade (or a Snapple) and your progress is better than the Debt Debacle in Congress, so I'd say you're well ahead of the rest of the country as a whole!

  8. O and if I gave you advice on posture, you know you shouldn't take it, it is one hell of a curse.

  9. 1. The gown should be returned. You won't use it again.

    2. You are being hard on yourself! Remember when you said you wanted to do this to stretch yourself and experience new things? Well, the pain of it all = you growing. What an awesome thing, so try not to fixate on the negatives. Your photos look gorgeous and you get to live in this alternate reality (at least IMO), so enjoy!

    3. You're funny. I look forward to seeing you deadpan as you slowly turn into a 20-something caucasian in 80 years.

    - Jie

  10. SO many comments ran through my mind while reading this post...
    1) I don't know which I like better the dress or the doggy.
    2) You can totally wear a gown again...like when you go on a date with a rich dude you met in Hollywood and he fly's you on his private jet to the San Francisco Opera. Or just when you have a wedding or a big party to go to. I recently went to my moms friends wedding in a very classy dress and it was a hit.
    3) Smiles are nice, I think so just felt and therefore looked awkward. Also try a little bronzer and less powder, your face looked a little washed out from the makeup.
    4) posture...watch a Jane Austin movie and take some pointers. lol
    5) I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to see you dance....I just cant picture it.

  11. I love that dress. And that dog. You should find both of them. And buy them.