Wednesday, November 25, 2009

You say potato, I say marshmallow (and I think s'more)

With Thanksgiving just around the corner I am, yet again, being manipulated into attempting domestic endeavors. I'm fairly certain that I will be ruining some mashed sweet potatoes tomorrow. I like it so much better when I am left alone to heat and assemble things that I wouldn't feed another human being.

That isn't really important. The point I'm really trying to make is that I opened the bag of marshmallows that are intended for the sweet potato dish. The first bite was really great. Full of memories of food gone by. Very satisfying. Why, oh why, can't I just stop with that? But no, I'm already 5 in and, as predicted, I've stopped actually tasting them, however, I won't stop eating them.

Now I'm at that place where I'm trying to figure out how many I need to leave in order to cover the top of the sweet potatoes and failing that, what time the store is open on Thanksgiving day so that I can pretend this whole thing never happened.

Eating is never just eating.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Another reason good style is essential.

"Being well turned out shows respect for the world you live in."

--Daphne Guinness

I agree with this and, yes, it makes me want to buy her super expensive perfume that is only being sold at Barneys. Never mind that I've never been to Barneys.

Dress code: Business Attire

I just spent a week having to wear conservative "business attire" and let me tell you, I feel for people who have to spend the majority of their lives in "business attire."

First of all, it is way more difficult to show your individuality and personality with those tight boundaries. I hate having to worry if something is too flashy or crosses the line from conservative to...what is the opposite of conservative...stylish? No, there HAS to be some sense of style that still falls into conservative boundaries. Right? Is it that you aren't to draw too much attention to yourself?

I mean I get that there are skirt lengths and shoes that are unprofessional in the "business" sense of the word. I know slutty isn't professional unless you are a porn star. I'm talking more about the subtleties. Where is the line between drone and funky?

Shoes are an area for personality in the world of suits but they pose a difficulty. You have to wear shoes that are comfortable enough to last an 8-12 hour work day. How many super cute shoes fit that criteria?

Additionally, suits are expensive. I guess it is assumed that you can wear them over and over without judgment and therefore you need to invest in fewer of them. That sucks.

Literally, the blazers I bought 3 years ago seem frumpy now and I hate being the person who tries to pull of blacks that don't match as a suit. I had to do it but I hated myself every minute.

Anyway, my point is that my sympathies go out to those who have to live with such restrictive and expensive attire. Suits feel too much like uniforms. I've had to wear my share of Diner restaurant uniforms and while it made getting dressed much simpler, I felt like a little piece of me died every day.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Mortally wounded

Here's something you don't want to hear:

"I'm really liking the way my hair is now. It's very Thomas Jefferson."

That was Newshead. I waited for the laugh. It never came. I scoured his words for even a hint of sarcasm. Nothing.

I mean seriously, what am I supposed to do with that? I try to be open minded and supportive of most choices but I'm sorry, you're not supposed to look like Thomas Jefferson unless you are actually playing Thomas Jefferson.

It is almost like he hates me.

Some period hairstyles fall into the category of "Retro" or "vintage" and it works. 1776 doesn't happen to be one of those periods.

Gwen Stefani has it down. It works. Mormon polygamists? Nope. Sometimes the rules aren't hard and fast. You just have to have a feel for it.

Even if he was trying to sell it to me as "Thomas Jeffersonesque" or a "modern day TJ," but no, it is straight up Thomas Jefferson.

I think I'm going to cry.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The importance of a proper foundation

Wish list:

Some day I want to have all the right undergarments for everything I own. Bras, underwear, tanks, camisoles, slips, spanx, assets, hose, tights, socks, leggings, all of it.

No more clothes languishing in the closet because I don't have the proper foundation.

That's when I will know I've arrived.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

You've got a Fast Car

For some people cars are about image. Actually, the car you drive says something about you whether you are into cars or not. I don't really care about cars. Sure I appreciate the cuteness of a VW bug or a mini or the classic beauty of an old Mercedes or vintage whatever. I'd like to be able to afford a "green" car (being the greenest seems to be reserved for the wealthy or at least the steadily employed) but that is as far as my interest goes. Right now my Corolla says "practical, reliable, would rather spend money on shoes." I'm ok with that.

I take serious issue with people who get splashy, flashy, sporty cars and then drive 10 miles under the speed limit. There is nothing more annoying than driving behind a Porsche that can't seem to go the actual speed limit when that image requires you go at least 10 over. Now I'm not advocating recklessness, or perhaps I am, because that is what I expect when I see an expensive "sports" car.

There should be a driving test for anyone wanting to get a car with a "speedy, zippy" image. If you can't live up to it, you can't have it. These car makers should be really worried. Too many people are ruining their brand and I for one am sick of it. If you are driving a Cadillac or a Lincoln town car, I got ya, you're slow. You have money but you are SLOW. Fine. But don't you dare hold me up in your BMW speed racer going 30 in a 55. For shame.

Now everyone is allowed to exceed their car image. Driving a lusty 70 on the highway in your ancient pick up truck with a bunch of lawn equipment, hazzah. You surprise and delight me. Let us both pass the beautiful Viper sadly falling short of its potential.

It doesn't matter what you drive. It matters how lame you drive.

If you can't drive the image you can't buy the image. That is all I'm saying.

Now please be careful out there (and stop embarrassing us both).

Monday, November 9, 2009

iphone. Private. Do not read.

I think I need some clarity on this whole iphone photo etiquette thing. I personally think of my iphone photos as a private diary of my craziness that I will selectively show someone a small portion of.

However, every time I hand the phone over to prove that yes I did put a sequin bow tie on the pug and he liked it, people start flipping though ALL my photos. I guess I don't blame people, the iphone makes it all too easy and fun to do so. I actually blame myself for thinking people won't do that.

I never would, but that is probably because I take crazy embarrassing pictures with mine. They act like it is the most natural thing in the world and I just want to snatch it out of their hands and scream "NOOOOO" but I'm the dumb ass who handed it over so that wouldn't be polite. Instead I go into a high pitched narration of what they are viewing as if that will make it more normal and understandable.

"Oh, I was trying to see if my makeup would show up in pictures."
"Um that is me taking a picture of my Kate Moss hair."
"Uh, I thought that pee stained fire hydrant was pretty."
"those are the pugs wearing sweaters."
"that is the pug and Rose wearing twin sweaters"
"Ah, that's a homeless woman trying to brush some amazing bed head hair."
"Yeah, that's funny (or not) because that guy is wearing all pink."
"yeah, um, that's me and my sister taking 'how fat are my thighs?' pictures"
"Oh, that's me trying to take before pictures of my wrinkles so I can see if the mushrooms are working."
"you take mushrooms?"
"yes, but not that kind, ok I need to erase these I'll just take that phone back now..."

I mean really! No unauthorized flipping! I know what it looks like, that's why I don't want you looking!
I'm aware that what I see as a social or fashion experiment others may see as a trip down the river narcissism. It is like I'm a teenager again having my inner most thoughts completely misunderstood.

Why am I too lazy to just erase the damn things. That, I think, is the real question.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Excuse me sir, 1993 called...

Driving home today I graciously let a man walk across the street (and by gracious I mean I didn't want to get a ticket for not stopping for a pedestrian). Since he was so freaking slow, I had time to stare at him. I didn't have my edit button on and I said rather loudly "Hey, fanny pack." My windows were mostly closed but I don't think that would have stopped me anyway.

Hearing it come out of my mouth it sounded like an insult. Probably because it was. Now don't get me wrong, the fanny pack is a genius idea; all that hands free convenience, carries more than a wallet yet less than a purse. Totally useful and uber practical. I can understand someone being blinded by its usefulness and completely unable to see that it is a trend that went out hard. Really really hard.

I feel especially bad for men. They are expected to walk around with everything they need in their pockets. It used to be that their only option was a back pack or a briefcase (both of which have very specific connotations). However, the advent of the "man bag" or "murse" has opened the door for men in such a way that they should never reach for the fanny pack again. Now I've heard some resistance to the murse so might I suggest a nice leather or canvas cross body messenger style bag. It is classic, timeless and useful without being pretentious. I mean seriously, if you were able to wear a fanny pack, you should be able to wrap your head around this idea.

Sporadic use of the fanny pack is ok. For instance if you are power shopping in a filthy downtown wholesale area where there are pick pockets, a fanny pack would be a good idea. However, that is the exception to the rule. And no, I don't care if it is a high end, designer fanny pack.

Please stop arguing with me.

PS- I had a fanny pack and I could never figure out what to wear with it. Talk about looking fat. Pardon me while I strap this fake belly around my own fat stomach and then I'll put this sweatshirt over the whole thing. What do you mean when am I due?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cooking is overrated anyway

I have a lot of spices for someone who doesn't cook. A great deal of cabinet space has been devoted to spices that I never use. I have no idea what I have because I so rarely use them. As a result I accidentally buy duplicate spices on the rare occasion that I think I need something. To be honest I have no idea why I have three bottles of curry and four of ground mustard. I can't recall ever making anything fancy enough to require that.

I used to pretend that I cooked. Back when I thought that I should.

I'm a more confident person now so I freely admit that the most I can do is assemble. Occasionally I will heat some weird combination of things and assemble them into something delicious. Delicious to me, that is. Nothing I would ever put in front of another human being.

Nothing I've created has ever required saffron or tarragon or coriander or all spice (whatever the flip that is) but I had it all.

I say "had" because I just discovered today (after years and years) that these things expire! It never occurred to me that spices go bad. Imagine my surprise and annoyance. I mean, I carted a lot of them across the country because I felt bad about throwing them away that and who wants to build a whole new useless spice collection? Not I. So I moved them. Several times. I dusted them. I allowed them more space than they deserved; only to find out they aren't just window dressing but rotten window dressing.
Not cool.

I can't express the huge amount of relief I felt when I threw them all away. I no longer have to open that cabinet and face all that judgment. That incessent "you should really know how to use us" sneer from the spice mob eight jars deep. I just hope whoever goes through the recycle bin doesn't connect me with the spice massacre. I'll never confess. That would be humiliating.

Nah, I'm pretty confident I look like I can cook.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A wrinkle in time (and wrinkles are never good).

The beginning of November is usually a time of hope and optimism for me. At this time of year I plan on getting all my holiday shopping done early, all of my loose ends tied up, my finances in order, my house cleaned and organized and everything in my life exactly as it should be (whatever the flip that means). It is as if I believe that every December 31st, I will expire and I must be ready (for what I am not sure).

I never ever actually get even close to meeting these lofty goals and they are therefore transferred to my New Year's resolution/to do list. Every year I think I am being proactive and on top of things and then suddenly it is Christmas and I haven't really gotten anything done.
I am always so surprised.

This time of year seems proof that time isn't linear but bends in the most obnoxious way. It can't possibly be my fault.

I'm aware of the pattern and yet every year I can't help but think "this year it will be different." So here I am, thinking about the gifts I will or will not be able to afford to give and how I might make personal and unique gifts as a way to make up for their inherent frugality.

If I do actually buy gifts way ahead of time, I usually forget that I've gotten them only to find them way after the fact. However, if I do think of a really special homemade gift, it is usually far too late in the game to make it a reality.

Because I have to mail all my gifts it would really behoove me to get it done early (and I know this) but I usually end up spending as much for shipping as I spent on the gift itself because I am apparently a hopeless procrastinator.

You would think that all this knowing and planning would help. But it doesn't.

I should probably just accept the fact that it will be the same this year.

But I won't.

This charade is clearly a nice, warm, familiar blanket.

How will I know it is Christmas without it?

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I took a hiatus. It was a necessary thing. I had a lot of tv watching to catch up on. I deprive myself of small pleasures when I feel I have a lot of obligations. I just power through and then when I get a ton of stuff done or finish a huge project, I reward myself with tv watching and full on escapism.

Vacation for me is pretending my bed is an island...well actually my apartment because the pugs suck at refilling coffee.

And now it is November. Time to start a new diet that will allow me to lose enough weight so that if I gain anything over the holiday season, I'll still just need to lose that last 7lbs. So, if my math is correct, I have 25 days to lose 15lbs and 37 days to prevent gaining it back. It is a complicated formula. Don't feel bad if you can't make sense of it.

On another note, I managed to lose my concealer. It's just gone. I thought maybe that was a sign that I should try to be less dependent on the art of concealing. So I tried going without it. I still wore eyeshadow and mascara (of course) and an illuminating tinted moisturizer but no under eye or blemish coverage. As an added challenge I had to stop picking at my face because I could no longer hide the evidence.
Clearly I'm a serious and dedicated journalist.

I even had to go out of my apartment a few times and I felt like everyone was staring at me.
It was really tough but I dug down deep and kept going. I thought maybe I would learn something on this journey, something important about myself. Maybe in my stripped down state I would be more accepting of the real me and it would be freeing somehow.

After a week the only thing I learned was that I need concealer. Why would I choose to look tired? That just seemed silly.

This new concealer I got from The Balm doesn't just conceal but it also fights wrinkles!

I can even wear it to bed!

Life is good.