Wednesday, October 01, 2014

September 2014 Books

Redshirts by John Scalzi (library book) - This book was painfully boring until the end.  But there are three codas at the end of this book that make the rest of the book worth reading. It's too bad Scalzi didn't have as much character development in the actual meat of the novel as he did with those codas. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

4.30 Contemplate - Personal Hygiene

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the thirtieth day of each month is "Contemplate."
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As I was getting ready for work this morning, I considered all the other things I could be doing instead of showering, lotioning, and putting on makeup. I considered all the hours I have spent in my lifetime taking care of personal hygiene and I decided that I could have, on average, an hour of extra sleep each day if I didn't have to that shit.
Look, I get it. Cleanliness is good and keeps away many disgusting diseases (does anyone else listen to Sawbones? whenever they start talking about how epidemics could have been prevented if folks had clean water and used it to wash their hands, I just want to hit my head on something hard). Good oral health is also important in preventing certain kinds of cancers, heart disease, and you know, losing your teeth.
But ever since I read (ummm...listened to the audiobook) The Kite Runner, I think about the internal monologue Amir has when he's getting his ass kicked and he starts adding up the hours he's spent brushing his teeth in his lifetime and what a waste it was since his teeth were now on the ground in front of him.  I spend twenty minutes each day brushing, flossing, and poking at my gums. I'm going to be super pissed when the dentist finally gives up and tells me I need to have my bottom teeth pulled. Just like Amir.

I know everyone is dying to know about my makeup products. Here's what I wear to work each day in order to look like what I looked like in my mid-20s on a bad day.

Two Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer ($30 for one ounce) - You need a good primer or your foundation will just sink into the lines and wrinkles, especially around the eyes. I could get away without it when I was in my 20s, but no more. I also like Benefit's Porefressional, but it's more expensive and I don't notice that much of a difference.

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation ($47 for one ounce) - I know. The price stings.  But I have stupid sensitive skin and it has red spots all over and this is THE BEST foundation for coverage that won't make folks with sensitive skin break out. I allow myself this makeup splurge and YOU CAN'T MAKE ME FEEL BAD ABOUT IT.

Benefit Stay Don't Stray eye primers ($26 for .33 ounces) - I use eye primers because it means I can use cheap eyeshadow. You can totally do without eye primer, but you'll have to pony out more money for eyeshadows.  I hate the packaging, but I love the product. It's has a "dip-n-dab" (their words) wand, so you actually put the wand on your eye. I dislike this because it means I need to replace the product a lot earlier than I would have to based on usage. Plus, the opaque packaging makes it impossible to know how much you have left. Anyway, it works really well which is why I'm still using it, over three years after I last complained about it.

Benefit Big Beautiful Eyes ($32) or The Body Shop Bunch of Violets Shimmer Cubes ($22) - Eyeshadow depends on what I'm wearing, but I like these two. I also have 347892374892 tiny things of cheap eyeshadow I buy at Walgreens because I'm weak. If you use primer on your eyes, you can get away with it.

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara ($5.99) - You're supposed to replace this every three months. You are crazy if you think I'm spending $20 or more on mascara that I will only use a fraction of and have to throw away.

Nars Blush (Orgasm) ($30) - I hemmed and hawed over spending $30 on blush. It seemed like too much, but the internet was correct - I would pay twice that for this blush now. I will never go back to drugstore blush again.  Nars, you win.

Blistex  Lip Medex (almost always on sale at 2 for $3) - I'm addicted to Blistex and I refuse to do anything about this addiction.

*As always, I am paid nothing for these reviews. I purchased all of this on my own with my own money.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Monday, September 29, 2014

4.29 Music - Drumming

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-ninth day of each month is "Music."
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I used to teach at a performing arts high school and there was a kid named Vinny who played drums like nobody's business. He was a charmer, Vinny was.  He wasn't particularly good at math, so I was his least favorite teacher, but he would give me this grin and a roll on his desk with his ever present drumsticks whenever I would announce an upcoming test or quiz. This kid here reminded me of Vinny.  He gave me this smile and hammed it up when he saw I was taking a picture.
I liked the simplicity of this performance. I like it when there is only one instrument for me to follow. It wasn't discordant or broken, but kind of lyrical in its own drummy way.  When I threw two dollar bills in the bucket, I noticed there wasn't much more than that and I hope he had only just started. 

And I hope somewhere out there Vinny is still drumming, too.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

4.28 Cooking - Eating Out

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-eighth day of each month is "Cooking."
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I've got nothing. I haven't done anything but eat out all weekend. So let's discuss some places I've eaten.  Last night I had Native Foods Cafe, mostly because it was around the corner from my hotel. The twisted twister wrap (chicken drenched in buffalo sauce with lettuce and avocado) was pretty good. The watermelon fresca drink was delightful.  The key lime pie was mostly crust and I was not a fan, but maybe you would be if you mostly like carbs.
I also kind of wanted to eat at this fish bar, but it just never works out. It's close to the office, but I'm usually so strapped for time at lunch that I just run to a random sandwich shop and scarf something down so I can work for the rest of the time.
Also, my hotel had free water. I liked that a lot and took advantage of it every time I walked by the water fountain. If I stayed in the shadiest hotel in Chicago last week, I'm in one of the fanciest this weekend.
Fancy!
Next month I'll try to at least chop up some vegetables for the cooking prompt.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

4.27 Media - Puppet Show

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-seventh day of each month is "Media."
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I walked up State Street, spending a small fortune in hosiery at American Apparel and small bottles of unguents and salves at Sephora, when I stumbled on this scene.
This puppet was doing absolutely nothing more than dancing to some music and calling out hello to the children walking by. Kids were riveted and kept responding hello back to the puppet. It was refreshingly low tech and charming. People burst into spontaneous applause (how do I know this? I watched for twenty minutes, of course) and stood next to the puppet to get their photos taken.
Nothing radical happened on my train ride today. A seemingly mentally ill fellow stood on the platform randomly shouting obscenities, a couple was doing some seriously suspect making out on the 6:30am Saturday morning red line, and I eavesdropped on a couple throwing some serious shade on some folks who I could only imagine were on another train saying equally rude things about the two sitting next to me.
Post office boxes. Because I wander into post offices and libraries wherever I am.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Friday, September 26, 2014

4.26 Support - Doing It All

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-sxith day of each month is "Support."
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I'm not one to complain about work-life balance. On the whole, I don't give a fig for attempting to balance it because I know that the thing that really matters is the life part of the equation. I love my job(s) and I give them my all, but the most important priorities in life are more than just my career.  But lately I've been swamped with work and things on the important side of the equation are getting the shaft.

So I took the afternoon off and I went on a hike with my husband. It was part "I don't really want to work out, so I'll call this a workout" and part "I want to spend time with my husband" and it really took care of both things quite nicely.
The sumac is already turning. Fall is here!
The boy has been incredibly supportive of my additional workload this semester. He's been great about helping out when he can, especially on all these weekends when I'm out of town. I think the cat is starting to think he's the main human, since I'm really only feeding her about half the time now. She likes it when he feeds her because he is more generous with the kibble than I am.

But today has been a weird day because I went from bugs and rocks and hiking to Macy's and trains and sidewalks faster than the arrival of an autumn thunderstorm.
I even took some time to admire the Calder in Federal Plaza tonight.  I'm not normally a giant red sculpture kind of girl, but even I had to admire the arc of the piece mirroring the curves in the windows of the building behind it. 
Tomorrow I'm hoping for some awesome public transit stories. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

4.25 Courage - Standing Up to the Questions

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-fifth day of each month is "Courage."
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A friend of mine posted a parenting dilemma on Facebook recently. Some genius allowed someone from the Boy Scouts to come and talk to her child's class and her son is interested (overnight at a museum! camping! badges!). She is uncomfortable with some of the organization's policies, not least among them the exclusionary practices among gay counselors and the Christian doctrine.

She wants to encourage his interests and allow him to be involved in the community. She wants him to learn some of the lessons that come with the Scouts - the useful outdoor skills, as well as the getting along with others and developing relationships with other boys.  She doesn't necessarily want to cram all of her complicated issues regarding religion, spirituality, and human rights down his throat.

But she also doesn't want to financially support an organization that actively works against some of the things she holds precious and dear.

I was impressed that she put this out on Facebook, where sometimes people are cruel. She put her own values out there in a way that I'm not sure I would have done. She's brave. Brave to have a child. Brave to know that there's no easy answer to these kinds of questions. Brave to seek feedback from people she knows will disagree with her. Brave for asking the hard questions.
Here's to you, my friend. Whatever decision you make will serve your son well.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.
 
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