Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Stages of Sickness

Monday: Hmm. My chest is tight and I'm coughing. I'd better have an Emergen-C and drink lots of tea today. Green tea has antioxidants!

Tuesday: Cough, cough, hack, wheeze. Not feeling good, but still mobile. I cancel an appt I had with a friend so she won't catch my gross germs, but still meet her for lunch and Christmas shopping. Drink lots of water, Emergen-C and more tea. I schedule a haircut appt for Sunday because surely I'll be better by then!

Wednesday: Go to my internship where I'm transcribing an oral history. Keep sipping on my water bottle, and push through. The library is freaking cold! Go home and take a hot shower that feels so good. Trench makes chili that I douse with Sriracha sauce. I will burn the bacteria out of me!

Thursday: Drag my sick ass into work. Decline going home early because it's holiday time and I need to make some money. Take a Sudafed, drink lots of water, order spicy Thai food, and drink a hot toddy.

Friday: The virus has moved up into my sinuses. I'm off today, so I hole up on Couch Island with my cat, a box of tissues, and endless cups of herbal tea. I celebrate 12/21/2012 by watching every apocalypse themed episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. After a day of rest, I should be better by tomorrow, right?

Saturday: Drag myself to work again. Take a Sudafed and it does absolutely nothing. Barely drink any water because what's the fucking point? Same with tea and Emergen-C. Antioxidants have failed me. Fuck off, hydration. Go home, eat some dinner, try to sleep and fail. I have my haircut appt tomorrow and I really want to go.

Sunday: Cancel hair appt. Today shall be the hunt for antibiotics. Minute Clinic, here I come.

Monday, October 15, 2012

product junkie

Wow, haven't posted since my birthday. Not surprising since that was also the first day of school for me. This semester has been a challenge. I only take two classes a semester, but one of those classes has proved to be a huge time-suck, including a shit-ton of reading that we have to discuss in class (so I can't get away with not reading it, although I still try), and an internship in which my teacher wants us to complete 60 hours in eight weeks. I have a paper to write today, but I figure that some blogging will get me in the right frame of mind. I do have lots of ideas for posts that I jot down sometimes, but trying to do anything creative during the school year is difficult.

So I'm going to turn my brain off and post about something fun that is the polar opposite of archiving and library management. Beauty products! In my day job as an esthetician, I get to play with products all the time. These days it's makeup, but I do miss working with skincare products, and have recently signed up for Birchbox so I can feed my inner product junkie without shelling out tons of money for the full sizes. Here is what I'm using these days.

Miss Jessie, where have you been all my life? After trying a generous-sized sample from Birchbox, I immediately bought the full size (which I swear I will only do if the product is REALLY REALLY AWESOME). To tame my curls I've always had to use a bunch of products...leave in conditioner, mousse, cream, gel. Not exaggerating at all. I've never been able to use just one product in my hair, and have that be it. Miss Jessie's Pillow Soft Curls is officially the Hair Product To Rule Them All. After a shower, I'll put a nickel-sized amount in my wet hair, and then plop it into a t-shirt. My curls have never looked better, and it never looks frizzy anymore. I just wish I had learned this trick back in July when it was over 100 degrees every day!

I also recently purchased a Clairsonic Mia 2, after years of wanting one and not being able to justify the money. Thank you birthday gift card!
Such a great buy! The brush head is soft enough for my sensitive skin (although I think I want to get the "delicate" one for the winter), it gets off makeup like nobody's business, my skin is soooo soft and smooth after using it, and my pores really do look smaller. And all these years I've been washing my face with my hands like a sucker!

In all my years of working with skincare, I have one cleanser that stands out as my absolute favorite. That would be the B. Kamins Vegetable Cleanser.

I used to use this for almost every facial. It incredibly gentle, takes off makeup easily, and makes the skin feel clean and soft. I'm out of this right now, and every other cleanser I use just isn't the same. Might need to make a trip to the spa I used to work at to replenish.

As for face cream and eye cream, I'm using some stuff, but I haven't found anything I'm crazy about in a long time. My skin is starting to change, so I'm on the look out for products with more heavy duty ingredients like retinol and peptides. I generally just use Cetaphil in the dead of winter because my environment-activated rosacea flares up, but I still want something I can use during the rest of the year. If anyone has suggestions, or if you just want to dish about your own favorite products, leave a comment!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

birthday musings

Today is my birthday. I'm turning 36. Meh. I'm not doing very much today besides collecting all of my birthday greetings on facebook, then later I go to my first Management class at my university's campus in the burbs. Yawn. But there is a party planned in a couple of weeks. Trench and I have our birthdays five days apart, and in our 20's, we threw giant house parties at the end of every August. Good times, but now that I'm in my 30's, I just don't want to spend the whole day cleaning anymore. And everyone leaves by midnight anyway because booze makes us sleepy now. So this year's party is going to be at a swanky bar, but is on a Sunday night and starts at 7 so people can be in bed by ten if they need to. This is how we party in our 30's. But at this point it's more of an excuse to get all our favorite people together in one room.

The parties in our 20's used to be raucous affairs. At the very first one a friend of ours brought over the two baby kittens she found abandoned in her garage, who were destined to become Puck and Elle. Random people from different groups of friends would hook up (sometimes in our basement). One time a whole posse of teenaged punk kids descended on us uninvited, and we finally kicked them out when we saw the 10-year-old drinking a beer. A friend of ours did "psychic backrubs", in which he would tell you things about yourself and deduce your future by rubbing your shoulders. Perhaps he regretted showing off this skill when every year people would descend on him with cries of, "Give me a psychic backrub!" and he would spend entire parties at work. One time Trench and another friend took off their clothes and went streaking in the rain at four in the morning. Another time a friend (the same one who brought the kittens) brought a jug of Peach Schnapps that no one drank. The next morning Trench tried giving it to a homeless man who was crashed out on the stairs next door to us and not even he wanted it. There was dancing and hugging and laughing and people passing out on our couches. I wouldn't exactly say that things have changed that much since we left that particular stage. Just that some of us have an earlier bedtime now, and hangovers can't be chased away with a couple of Advil and a glass of water.

No matter what goes down every year at the end of August, I'm grateful for the amazing friends that I have who bring joy and light to every occasion, whether it's a manic house party in our 20's or a tea party at the nursing home when we're in our 80's. I've carved a pretty fabulous life out for myself, and it's something I need to remember when I fret over whether I should have done this or that differently years ago. That is definitely something to toast. Cheers.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Gentle Read

Recently I needed a new book to read before bed. Something simple that wouldn't be too gripping that could ease me to sleep. I have a shelf dedicated to old favorites from childhood/YA years, and I saw Madeleine L'Engle's Meet The Austin's. "Hey, that would be fun!" I thought. "I haven't read that since I was a kid!"

Oh my.

Um, it was kind of annoying. The Austins were L'Engle's concept of the perfect family. Two parents and four children in New England, with strong morals and high intellects. They spend their evenings singing psalms and quoting Shakespeare. Sometimes they fight, but gosh darn it, they love each other despite it all! The oldest one is building his own space suit. One of the girls wants to be a doctor and performs operations on her dolls. Their grandfather lives in a stable that he converted into a library (okay, that part is cool). They call their parents "Mother" and "Daddy", even the sixteen year old son. But when a young orphan named Maggy comes to live with them, she disrupts everything with her spoiled, selfish ways. Oh noes!

I loved the Austin books when I was younger, and read them over and over, but  I read them all out of order, and when I finally picked up Meet The Austins I distinctly remember not liking it as much as the others. This is the one where the narrator, Vicky, is thirteen, and doesn't do much more than talk about her awesome family, complain about Maggy, and crash her bike. In the other books she's a teenager, and there is Romance and Mystery and Intrigue. This book is merely the introduction of the world's nicest family, who always say grace before dinner and listens to classical music. My Reader's Advisory class at library school would probably classify this as a "Gentle Read."

A small part of me wants to re-read all the Austin books and blog about them, but I feel like snarking on L'Engle crosses a line somewhere. I have a feeling that even re-reading the books I liked might cause great amounts of snark, because I'm pretty sure that although Vicky gets more interesting and has Love Triangles, a lot of her teenaged angst has to do with whether God really exists and if we're just alone in this crazy universe. Just to be clear, I identify as an agnostic (I don't know what's out there after we die, and I don't think anyone else does either), but the heavy Christian overtones don't bother me too much since this was written in the 1960's and I consider it to be part of the time period. That said, goddamn, this one is preachy!

I grew up loving L'Engle's work, so I might leave the Austins and revisit the Murrys. The Murry/O'Keefe family traveled through time and space and even biology (the world of mitochondria!). However, I still might write a snarky review of Meet The Austins if there is popular demand for it.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Living With An Attack Cat

My brother in law is visiting from California, and so far my cat Puck has not tried to attack him. Puck is usually pretty good with immediate family, but he's been so unpredictable lately that I was nervous. Puck has always been the tough guy of my two cats, and as he's getting older, he's getting worsel.

Puck and his brother Elle were found in my friend Diane's garage when they were wee little babies. Puck had a gash on his back so something must have attacked them. As Diane and her posse were en route to our birthday party (Trench and I are five days apart and threw massive parties all throughout our 20's), she brought them with in case anyone wanted to adopt them. Of course the minute I picked up Puck, it was love. It was our other friend Michelle who took both newborns home and nursed them to robust health with a combination of kitten formula and an eye dropper. I took Puck home when the time was right.

As a kitten, Puck could be a little terror, but he was also pretty chill. He was friendly and liked to be around people. He'd jump in laps and want to play, and we were very proud of our sweet little guy. I'm not quite sure when that changed. It might have been when he had his first vet appointment to get shots. He had his first kitty melt down and had to be held down and wrapped in a blanket. Perhaps it reminded him of being held down by whatever it was that attacked him when he was a baby in a garage? After that he decided that anyone who wasn't me sucked and deserved nothing but wrath.

Most of our friends are aware of Puck and his evil tendencies. Our other cat Bowie doesn't care much for people either, but he hides under the dresser like a proper cat. Puck still has to be out in the mix, and does this incredibly sneaky thing where he rubs up against people (trying to get their scent), then viciously attacks when they try to pet him. A lot of our friends have suffered at the claws of Puck over the years, but we learned to warn people when they came in to just not pet him. "Look," we'd say, "when you come in, Puck is going to approach you and act like he likes you, but he doesn't really like you, so don't try to touch him." It was always the "cat people" who ended up injured, because they had such a hard time understanding that they aren't the Cat Whisperer that All Cats Adore.

Most people would probably wonder why we'd keep a cat like this around. A dog that attacked so many people would have gotten put down by now. But Puck is a mama's boy who is a marshmallow around me. He follows me from room to room, cries when I leave the house, pushes past the laptop and any book I'm reading to get in my lap, and swivels himself around to put his front paws around me when I pick him up. He's absolutely my baby.

The "don't pet the cat" trick worked for a number of years, until recently. Puck's more territorial than ever before. He's learned he can freak people out even more if he combines hissing with a growl that turns into a scary yowl as he advances. I've had to fend him off with a pillow while guests race to the spare bedroom and slam the door. It might be scent that gets to him. Immediate family seems to be safe...they must smell familiar enough. Dog owners also seem to get along better with Puck...he must smell a bigger animal and decide not to mess with this one. If he can smell cat on you? Forget it! Sometimes even guests who don't have cats can get their leg pounced on if they do something alarming like drop something or laugh too loudly. One recent guest spilled a pitcher of coffee in the middle of the night, and said it was like a cartoon attacked him. So I've had to resort to keeping him separated. If people are just coming over for an evening, that's not a big deal. It's less stressful for everyone involved, including Puck. When people are visiting for a weekend, it's harder because I feel so terrible to keep my cat locked in a room all the time.

I'm trying to do research for answers. Trench and I started watching My Cat From Hell, and I even bought the host's latest book. So far I haven't seen a cat quite like Puck. Once money is flowing a little more freely, perhaps I'll splurge and get a cat behaviorist to give us answers on why Puck does what he does. (Stop rolling your eyes, dog people! You're the ones shelling out big bucks on obedience school and day care!) But right now he's chill, so the world must be alright as far as he's concerned. For now.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

being a grown up

When I was eighteen, I had a job at my mom's office that I really shouldn't have even had. I made lots of mistakes and was bored all the time, and the only thing I learned from it is that I don't work well in offices. I endured it much longer than I should have because the pay was better than the retail jobs that my friends were working, and when I got laid off due to budget cuts, I had to force myself to keep from breaking out into a big smile.

I remember one night I was sitting at my desk, waiting impatiently to get out because it was my one year and four month or whatever anniversary with my boyfriend, and we were going to go out for dinner somewhere fancy. We were kids in the suburbs so "somewhere fancy" meant Red Lobster, but it was at least a step up from Dennys. I had my outfit all planned out and I couldn't wait to wear it...I think it was a silvery A-line dress with silver shoes, very Clueless-inspired. A couple of my coworkers asked me what I was doing that night. They were ones I kind of was a single mom and the other was in his mid-20's and very sweet. I talked about my outfit I had planned and they laughed good naturedly about how I was like a little girl, excited to put on a pretty dress. Then they suddenly switched gears and started telling me how eventually I'd grow out of all that and I wouldn't care about what I was wearing anymore. I protested that yes, I would! They did the world-weary adult thing of, "No you won't, you'll stop caring, you'll have more important things to be concerned with."

Way to ruin my evening, coworkers! I remember that I went home, put on my cute dress and shoes, and went out with my boyfriend, and not even tasteless, rubbery lobster could cheer me up. I was in a funk the rest of the night about the death sentence that just got put on my grown up life was going to be gray and joyless and I would be too worried about bills and kids and my crappy office job to enjoy putting on a cute dress every now and then.

I'm 35 now, and putting on a cute dress still makes me smile. Yes, there are plenty of more important things to be concerned with, but that doesn't mean I can't still get excited about planning the perfect outfit to wear to a friend's wedding or a restaurant that isn't part of a nationwide chain. I actually like being a grown up, and quite frankly I wouldn't trade the problems I have as an adult for the problems I had as a nineteen-year-old for all the John Fluevog shoes in the world. I married a man who doesn't leave the house without putting on a fedora and knows how to rock pinstripes. I'd say everyone in our circles upon circles of friends are a fun loving bunch who know how to dress with style (from crunchy granola to librarian chic), and I'm relieved to see that parenthood hasn't changed that for any of them. I'm happy to say that getting older doesn't mean your personality has to change. It can deepen into something much better and much more you as the years go on, but it doesn't mutate to fit a mold of what society thinks an adult is supposed to be.

I wish I could take credit for this next quote, but it's something that a friend of a friend posted as a "happy birthday" on a facebook page, and I loved it so much I copied and pasted it so I wouldn't lose it. "My 20's were pretty interesting, but my 30's turned out to be even cooler, and my 40's even cooler still. Life seems to be like some kind of self-renewing plant - as long as you keep adding water and re-pot now and then, the darn thing keeps turning out flowers and getting more beautiful."

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Little Old Ladies

At the train station about a month ago when it was still cold, I saw this little old lady buying a ticket, and by that I mean she was exactly the image conjured when you hear the words "little old lady"—headscarf, old wool coat, thick beige nylons, white nondescript sneakers. She saw a couple pennies that had been dropped on the ground by the machines, and made a noise as if she had found someone's lost engagement ring. She approached a CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) employee, and tried turning them in to her. At first I didn't understand what her little-old-lady logic was. Did she think someone was going to come back to the Jarvis station and check the lost and found for the two pennies he or she had dropped? It can be confusing and slightly irritating when little old ladies do stuff like that. It's something my grandmother would have done, but she grew up in the Depression, so somehow that makes it understandable. Remembering that made me wonder what this little old lady's story was. Perhaps she had lived through some time in her life where every penny counted?

In any case, the CTA employee refused to take the pennies, explaining that they weren't allowed to take money from people. Little Old Lady's voice was too soft for me to tell if there was a language barrier, because she didn't seem to understand. She tried putting the pennies on the counter and the CTA employee got all snappish and said, "You can't do that! You can't put those there!" That was even more irritating. I wanted to get involved and say, "Come on! She's not giving you money, she's a little old lady trying to do the right thing by turning in dropped pennies. Do you think you're gonna get fired for taking them? Just take the fucking pennies and say thank you and throw them out afterwards if you want!" But I'm fairly certain that would have just pissed off both parties even more, so I just let it go and walked upstairs to catch the train.

Moral of the story: When a little old lady hands you something, just fucking take it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

just say "red" to this book

Yes, it's been awhile since I've posted. Even two classes doesn't leave a lot of room for fun writing. I really enjoyed my classes this semester, and would encourage anyone looking for a good book to check out the blog that my classmates and I all contributed to for my Reader's Advisory class. It covers almost every genre, so there's bound to be something in there to appeal to anyone.

So after a semester of reading good books, I decided to turn off my brain and read the book everyone is reading right now. Do I even have to say it? Yes, I read 50 Shades of Grey. I was expecting it to be bad in a cheesy so-bad-it's-good way. In the words of Enid from Ghost World, "This cycled past good and went right back to bad again." I know it started off as Twilight fan fiction, but it didn't even remind me much of Twilight, except for the obvious bits about Christian and Edward being so handsome, and Bella and Anastasia being clumsy. To me it felt like reading a Sweet Valley High novel. If Francine Pascal had thought to get Elizabeth Wakefield and Bruce Patman  together and throw in some S&M (well, technically she did, but it was much more vanilla), it would have been this book. Although the writing would have been a lot better. Think about what I just said.

To give everyone who has resisted the lurid song of 50 Shades a taste of what they've been missing, here's my take on a typical 50 Shades scene.

"Anastasia, I'm going to fuck you fast and hard," Christian muttered as he thrust his enormous penis inside me. At least, I think it's enormous. I've never even had a sexual thought in my life until I first laid eyes on Christian Grey, so it goes without saying that I've never seen a penis. Holy cow! I gasped and bit my lower lip. "Don't bite your lip, you know what it does to me!" he murmured. My subconscious looked up from her copy of "The Feminine Mystique" and tutted at me while my inner goddess did naked cartwheels around the room, the slut. "Okay, you can come now," he commanded. I gasped and immediately had fifteen orgasms in a row.

That's pretty much it. The rest of the book is mostly text messages and emails. Seriously. Henry and June it ain't. In fact, as far as S&M goes, it's pretty tame. The first book is just spanking. There are two sequels, so maybe it gets more intense. I hear the next book has butt plugs.

I happen to know a thing or two...not very much, literally just a thing or two...about the fetish community, which might be why a lot of this seemed far fetched to me. First of all:

1. Men like Christian Grey who are very rich and very powerful are rarely doms. It makes sense that they would be right? He's a control freak so that means he needs control in every aspect of his life, right? Nope. It's men like Christian who go to dungeons and pay women good money to stomp on their testicles while wearing stilettos. It's very rare to want that sort of control in all aspects of your life.

2. Which is probably why so many middle class moms are eating this story like candy right now. When you're spending your days changing diapers, herding the kiddos to school and soccer practice, making sure all homework is done, cooking three meals a day, and all those other things that moms are expected to do, it isn't a surprise that the idea of being tied up and blindfolded while someone else does all the work sounds enticing.

3. Safety words exist for a reason. There are a few times Christian goes over Anastasia's boundaries. This isn't hard to do because Anastasia, despite bragging about how high her GPA is for the entire book, has the communication skills of a rock. I kept yelling at her in my head, "Say 'red', Anastasia. Just say 'red.' He told you to say 'red' if things got out of hand. How about 'yellow'? Oh never mind, you just had ten orgasms anyway. Stop crying."

4. One thing that the book got right? Anastasia emails Christian (half the book! I'm serious!) and simpers about how he scares her sometimes and makes her want to run away, but she can't because she'd miss him and blah blah blah. He writes back, "What I think you fail to realize is that in Dom/sub relationships it is the sub who has all the power. That's you." Yes! Finally, the book gets something right! In other words, JUST SAY "RED", ANASTASIA!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The School for Dangerous Girls

I haven't written too much about grad school, but I'm currently enrolled in the Library & Information Science program at Dominican University. I've generally liked all my classes so far (except for cataloging, which I hated), but I'm really loving my classes this semester. One of the classes is Reader's Advisory, which is teaching us how to recommend books to people. How do you not love that? Every week we read a book in a different genre and post about it on a class blog. Check it out at RA763 if you want to find something new to read. The stuff posted there is mostly about why the book would appeal to someone looking for a book in that genre, so I figured I would write broader reviews on this blog. Warning: thar be spoilers.

Last week we had to read a suspense novel. Think John Grisham and the like. I'm not a big fan of that genre...I mean, I like suspense, but not the OMG THE CLOCK IS TICKING AND THE BAD GUYS ARE CLOSING IN GO GO GO variety. I asked Trench to lend me something, so he gave me an Elmore Leonard book. I was bored in two chapters. I only had a week to read something, so I decided to look for a YA novel with suspense in it. I found "The School for Dangerous Girls" on Novelist, like a good library student. It was perfect for the assignment and I breezed through it on my Nook in a weekend.

Fifteen year old Angela is troublemaker  and her parents have had enough of it. To get her away from her older boyfriend, she gets sent to Hidden Oak, a school for troubled girls hidden away in the mountains of Colorado. Angela makes two very different friends...Carmen, sweet and quiet, and Juin, loud and brash. After the first month, girls begin getting sorted into different groups. The gold thread is for girls that show hope of changing their dangerous ways, while the purple thread is for the girls the school deems to be lost causes (but don't want to just expel because then they would lose their parents tuition money). Carmen is put into the gold thread and Juin is put into the purple thread. Angela walks the line, but ultimately is thought to be just smart enough to go gold. After finding herself with the "good girls", Angela can't stop asking about what happened to the purple thread, which is a big no no, and she's severely punished for it. This just makes her more curious, until she finds a way to contact Juin and finds out that the purple thread girls have been left to fend for themselves Lord of the Flies-style in an abandoned gym, and are punished harshly for trying to escape. Angela, Juin and Carmen figure out the school's dark past and find a way to stage a rebellion and bring down the school for good.

During Angela's counseling sessions, her psychiatrist tells her that her problem is that she only acts on what she wants that minute rather than what would make her happy the next day. If Present Angela wants to run away with her boyfriend, she will do it without a thought to whether Future Angela will be as happy about it. At the end of the book, Angela has to choose between the quick getaway with Juin, which she knows will end badly because there's nowhere for her to go and Juin is kind of crazy, or staying behind with Carmen and helping to bring down the school (or possibly stay trapped there if things go wrong). Angela's arc is complete when she chooses Carmen.

What goes wrong: (SPOILERS HERE!) The girls are winning! Incriminating tapes have been found! The evil staff is outnumbered! Angela takes off for civilization with her sexy love interest (sigh...there had to be a love interest, even though it was unnecessary and lame), and he warns her that this still might not go well. The authorities rarely listen to girls like her, and they might side with the school no matter what's on the tapes. The final chapter is the epilogue, which takes place two months later. Angela and the dude return to the school, where the rest of the girls are.

Angela: It all totes worked out, just like I knew it would! How do you like my haircut?

Seriously, that was the ending. Everything wrapped up beautifully with a big fluffy bow on it, and no one even mentioned what happened to Juin after she escaped with the teacher she seduced (yup).

If I have to give it a grade, I'll give it a B-. If you like YA novels that are fast paced and suspenseful, give it a read.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentines Day: What I've Learned From Seven Years In the Beauty Industry

  • Everyone knows that February 14th is Valentine's Day...but February 13th is V-Day for the mistress. Good to know that as the wife, you retain all rights to the 14th, but if you're ever feeling suspicious, find out what your husband is doing February 13th.
  • A popular service at the spa on V-Day is a Couples Massage, where you and your partner get massages in the same room together. Massage therapists hate the couples massage because rather than being romantic, it's just a way for control freak couples to make sure their partner isn't getting a happy ending. One partner will keep craning his/her neck to make sure his/her significant other isn't enjoying the massage too much. Also, massage therapists will usually spend the whole time making goofy faces at each other and trying not to crack up. 
  • Also, if the couples massage you are booked cancels at the last minute or doesn't show at all, it's safe to assume that they broke up.
  • As an esthetician, you are almost more likely to work on ladies who are single and decide to treat themselves to a facial or a waxing.
  • (Please, I beg of you, don't snicker at the word "facial". The joke is less funny when it's your profession. How would you like it if I snickered every time you mentioned that you had a "conference call" or "power point"?)
  • V-Day only registers for the newly in love. Those who are married or have been in a relationship for a really long time are all, "Huh? It's Valentines Day? Whatever. I guess we'll order in sushi or something."
  • If you are a gentleman booking a day of spa services for your girlfriend, please spare the staff the embarrassment of booking her name as "Dreamgirl." And then forcing everyone to call her "Dreamgirl" the entire day. Yes, that happened.
  • Tip generously. Your esthetician has had to look at a lot of vagina all day, and your massage therapist's hands are going numb.

Friday, February 3, 2012

magic onions!

So recently I learned through the Power of the Internet that if you put the white parts of green onions into a glass of water, they will magically regenerate and you will always have green onions. I figured it was worth a shot, so the next time I used green onions (for miso soup), I put them into a small glass of water. And lo and behold!
 I took that picture last week so the onions are even taller now and ready to be sliced up the next time I'm peckish. Never ending onions! Thank you, Internet! Now I have to those of you who have green thumbs have any other tips like this? Is there another vegetable that will magically regenerate if I put it in a glass of water? As crafty as I can be, I've never been able to get into gardening because I make plants die.

In other cooking news, I managed not to succumb to the siren song of sushi takeout, and made myself a quick soup. Can of white beans, onions and red bell peppers that were already chopped up and leftover from another dinner, a whole head of garlic (yeah, that's right), can of green chiles, veggie broth. Boil, simmer, eat. I like it when it's simple.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

let's add some teal

The Great Moth Infestation has finally been handled. Any yarn that wasn't thrown out was put in the freezer, thawed, microwaved, rinse and repeat several times. Sweaters were taken to the dry cleaners. Blocks of cedar/lavender sachets/cedar and lavender sprays were purchased. The salvaged yarn (mostly acrylics and cottons) were re-wound with my swift and ball winder and put into ziploc bags. Take that, you little fuckers.

Quite frankly, my knitting corner was asking for it. I had yarn hanging out in baskets and boxes. Even with all of that gone it was still a mess. I had knitting/other crafty books spilling all over an end table.

Yes, they were filed away neatly at one point. Shut up! Know what else is a mess? Your mom!

Trench and I took a trip to our favorite little gem in Chicago, Nadeau, which sells furniture from India and Indonesia for WHOLESALE PRICES! We combed through the warehouse and finally settled on this beauty.

We moved the table off to the side and will most likely be getting rid of it. You can't tell under all those books, but it's an antique that I grew up with. I'm sad to part with it, but I'm hoping someone in my family will take it back. Otherwise I'll try finding it a good home elsewhere. Here's how the cabinet looks filled up with books and yarn.
It would be prettier if the yarn wasn't stored in ziploc bags, but unfortunately ziploc bags are now an indispensable item. I did try to organize by color (which wasn't hard because I mostly have purples and reds). I was shocked that almost all my books fit on the bottom shelf.

I don't think this would have held even half of what I used to have, but I think I was due for a purging anyway. I've decided not to add anymore to the stash until I get through some of what I already have. I haven't done much knitting in a long time, mostly because the old light fixtures we had were so dim, but we're replacing those too so things are better. I just cast on for a new project and I'm falling back in love with the craft.

Besides that, we also found this little table that we couldn't resist getting.
We almost always watch TV by hooking it up to the laptop so we can watch Hulu. The laptop would sit on a dining room chair. It was such a fixture that we decided the laptop needed its own table to sit on.

I'm liking the way this corner looks now, although in its natural state there are a lot more wires and such hanging about. Next on the agenda...a new lamp, ditching the old end table, and replacing our not-very-old purple chair that our cat Bowie decided to turn into a scratching post.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Trench and I moved into our condo almost two years ago. We had a fit of decorating/organization, threw a housewarming party, then promptly gave up. We're finally picking up where we left off and doing projects like putting our CD collection on itunes so we can sell the CDs (except for a few sentimental favorites), and organizing areas that have gotten cluttered. Today I fixed up our front entry way. We did a good job of decorating when we first moved in, but it's been starting to look a little shabby. I had a couple of nice pictures that were just sitting out without any frames. I decided to finally go buy some today. I went to the closest neighborhood with cute boutiques and couldn't find a damn thing until one furniture shop owner recommended that I check out Equinox. I did, and it became my new favorite store. There were shelves of cute frames! Big enough for my 5 x 7 pictures! Huzzah! It has all sorts of cute items for the home as well.

So here's a shot of my now much more put together front entry way:
The large picture on the wall is actually a stick-on decal from Blik. We've named her Matilda.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Blogging about blogging

I haven't updated this blog very much. Why is that? I love writing and when I do update I feel accomplished and proud of what I put out there. So why am I posting once every few months? And promising to post more, then not doing it?

The simple answer is that between work and school, I have a lot going on. Which is true...when school is in session there's a lot that I need to get done and anything creative is put on the back burner. On the other hand, I always have the time to check facebook. Why is it so hard to find the time to do something enriching instead of something passive?

It isn't that I don't have ideas. I love reading design blogs and craft blogs and food blogs and fashion blogs. I'm not opposed to incorporating a little of each of those into this. I've probably written more about food than anything else, so why not turn this into a food blog? Trench and I are getting back into the swing of decorating our place and have bought some new fixtures for it, so why not post some pictures of my new light fixture or new dishware? I love dressing up and I'm attempting to break old habits (like only wearing black and red). Why not post some pictures of outfits? I think that with each of those ideas, I get worried that no one would want to read about it. I worry that posting about trying to eat healthy would make people roll their eyes and think of me as an HTTH (Holier Than Thou Hippie), or if I posted pics of outfits that people would think I was bragging or vain. Suddenly the challenge becomes how to incorporate some self-deprecation into what I'm trying to say. There's also a fear of putting too much personal stuff out into the public.

It's all so silly, because the only people even reading this thing are my friends, who are the most supportive people in the universe. It's not like I have an audience. Then I get depressed because secretly I would love to have a blog that went viral and had a large amount of people reading it (or so I think anyway...the reality might not be as fun as I think). Years ago I started a blog about working in a spa. It was a really good idea, and the type of thing that probably could have gained an audience because there's nothing else like it out there. The flipside is that it meant writing about my job on my off hours, so it languished until I couldn't even remember what my password was to get in.

So I'm going to make the promises again about posting more. It doesn't have to be perfect, it doesn't have to be self-deprecating, it doesn't have to be that interesting even. It just has to be out there. I can even make a game where one week I pretend to be a design blog and another week I'll pretend to be a fashion blog. Who knows, eventually maybe something will stick. Till then, I'll just keep throwing spaghetti at the wall.