Thursday, April 29, 2010

Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.

Weekly Exfoliation - The Sequel
Monday, April 26, 2010
Will an exfoliation be a weekly thing for me? Let's hope so, but I also remain realistic that I'm not good at habits. Too flighty. (shrugs)

Last week, I was thinking blankly during my 15-minute morning routine about how I felt increasingly slow in the morning. If you know me at all, you know that I value sleep above pretty much everything else in life, including those items resting atop Maslow's hierarchy of needs - like FOOD. And that, dear friends, is saying something.

So in an effort to blow the dust off my morning routine, I exorcised my bathroom cabinet - and managed to shed about 15 pounds of old and/or unusued personal products. Now, I know some product hoes, and I will say that I don't keep a lot around as it is - my collection is tiny compared to some lovely people that I know. But size is not the issue - inactivity is my focus in this exfoliation.

I mean, c'mon. Am I really going to use those Whitestrips from 2008? No? What about the makeup remover wipes that I didn't really like, and that are mostly dry and useless now? Those seemed a good candidate to be tossed.

After I was done, I let open the windows and stared at my gorgeous, gleaming, somewhat bare cabinets with an incredible sense of peace - so peaceful that I'm almost embarassed to admit it. This exfoliation thing is awesome.

Sunday, April 25, 2010
Last time I was conscious of the world around me, it was Tuesday. Then all of a sudden, it was Saturday and I was left scratching my head at the insanity. It was just one of those weeks, ya'll, and if you don't mind, I'll just be over here wiping the mud off my face from the tire marks that last week left all over me, as it sped away with my brain.

Apropos of nothing, there are a couple things fermenting in the ol' noggin, and I feel the need to get them out into the open. For what other purpose might I have this blog, anyhow?! Exactly.

- I've been totally mesmerized by this book, and how it makes a cabin in the woods seem like an ideal life right about now. I bought a copy weeks ago, and have just now started up - too bad the book is massive otherwise I'd bring it on the train to work every day. Reading this book makes me perform mental arithmetic like "If a train is moving..." except my version is more like "How many goats would I have to raise and milk in order to fully offset the environmental damage that I would do by taking a sledgehammer to my laptop, then dumping it in the small pond on my newly procured 40-acre plot of farmland?" I have yet to calculate the answer.

- My niece and nephew had a "sleepover" at the house this weekend, and we did fun things together like arts and crafts, and reading books, and laughing, and skipping, and going to Chuck E. Cheese for more than 2 hours...oh wait, did I say FUN things? Then scratch the Chuck E. Cheese part. Pictures and stories to follow.

- I injured my hand at the office last week, and the remaining pain has been somewhat irritating. I've had tendinitis before, but in my hand? Well that is a real pain. Literally. I have a newfound appreciation for people who suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia, and the like. YEE-OUCH. Next up? Figuring out how to go to the bathroom without using my dominant hand. Good times.

- This week, I need to learn how to harvest chives and rosemary (some of my window box plants have begun to sprout out everywhere). Then, I should probably figure out what I can cook with chives and rosemary. Container garden FAIL. Suggestions welcome.

- My nephew Chase crawled today! Watch out, world.

Rises Like Olympus Above the Serengeti
Thursday, April 22, 2010
I went to some pretty great schools - my high school has been nationally ranked for excellence, and my college years were spent at one of the best public universities in the Midwest. So why is it, I ask you, that the only way I can remember the geographical location of Mt. Kilimanjaro is to sing the lyrics of "Africa" by Toto to myself?!

This deep thought has been brought to you by children of the 80's everywhere.

So Umm...I Had an Interesting Weekend
Sunday, April 18, 2010

Unusual, but hilarious and fun! Happy 30th Birthday, Adrienne!

Good For Your Skin, Even Better For Your Soul
Saturday, April 17, 2010
One of my new favorite websites, Makeunder My Life does a handy little life tool/exercise called "weekly exfoliation." It is basically the act of taking 10-25 minutes out of your day (once a week, hence the title) and finding things you can shed from your life - these things can be donated, or something as basic as pruning your cosmetics case to finally get rid of that mascara from college. (not that I would know about that, or anything. *looks at the ground*)

This week, I exfoliated three pair of shoes (in good condition) to a church shoe drive for Haitian earthquake victims (although I'll be honest, I'm not entirely sure they need those leather heels - but the point is that I don't need them, so farewell, heels I only wore twice)...and an entire bag of clothing that came out of my "spring/summer" clothing boxes and hadn't been worn in at least 2 years. I can't tell you the great sigh of relief that left my body upon recognizing that I will never wear those clothes again. Once upon a time, they were favorites, but it was guilt that kept them in my closet. How incredibly needless - all that guilt, and to think, someone else who needs this stuff can have it now.

So much better than staring angrily into my closet, wishing I were thinner and could "wear them again." In my heart of hearts, I could lose 30 pounds overnight, and still never wear that stuff again. GOODBYE STUFF. Have a lovely life. Next up: the chair o'doom, where my un-ironed clothing goes to die:

What can YOU exfoliate this week?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

As a rule, I do not recall my dreams. At the approach of day their plots inevitably fade. So why did last December's dreams etch themselves into my memory with the precision of a laser beam? Perhaps that is how it is with coma. Since you never return to reality, your dreams don't have the luxury of evaporating. Instead they pile up, one upon another, to form a long ongoing pageant whose episodes recur with the insistence of a soap opera. This evening, one such episode has come back to me.

Please don't hate me, internet, but I just didn't like this one. 2/5 stars. Meh.

Wise Words
Monday, April 12, 2010
"Have you ever wondered why God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth? Perhaps we are to spend twice as much time listening than talking. A good pause would serve us well in the long run. Time and words are two things that, once gone, can never be recovered. We must take our time and weight our words before we release them."

I read this blurb in a book recently, and got full-body shivers. I have been known all my life (by various parties) for being mouthy. Precocious. Blunt. Outspoken. It's a behavior for which I have received both reprimands ("Jamie, you really should not have said that.") and compliments ("I know Jamie, she's the talkative redhead, right?"). My verbose, sarcastic nature is very much a part of my habits, my thoughts, and my worries. I always worry that I've said too much, said the wrong thing, not said enough, and the fret list goes on and on.

In the past weeks, I have come to the irritating-but-true conclusion that I do a lot of talking, but don't really say anything. Add to the mix a healthy dose of worry, and no matter how safe or discreet I may try to be, being a ladylike wallflower is just not in my personality DNA. Polite? Yes. Delicate and quiet? Umm, NO. Working in HR has certainly helped curb a lot of it, via several very uncomfortable mistakes that I remember all too vividly.

But enough self-flagellation. On with it. There are things to be said, and somebody must say them. I like to think of this as my calling. (sarcasm)

Friday Randomness
Friday, April 09, 2010
Just a couple of things to share with you on this gorgeous, sunny day...

1. I have never understood the phrase "butt naked." Is the reference to buttocks supposed to imply or indicate nudity? I don't get it - just because someone has a butt doesn't necessarily mean they are naked. I find this utterly confusing. Mostly this term just irritates me.

2. I am the type of person who never truly finishes a personal product - I don't put a little water into the bottom of my mascara, or my foundation, I don't usually turn the ketchup bottle upside down, I find myself tossing deodorants that still have 1/2 inch of product remaining. I've always done this, and while I realize it's ultimately wasteful, it has become an habit unconsciously done. In my life, I've probably tossed the equivalent of 3-5 full sticks of deodorant. At the end of the day, this fact really doesn't bother me. Should it bother me?

Back in Glossy, Well-Manicured Action
Thursday, April 08, 2010
After a brief hiatus, DeLush is back in action! Wheee! Click here for my latest review. Enjoy!

Trip to Arizona: Desert Buggy Outing
Tuesday, April 06, 2010

One of the coolest things we got the chance to do in Arizona was a trip in and around the Sonoran Desert in a Tomcar. I'm still not entirely sure what a "tomcar" really is, but I would describe it as a golf cart on giant shocks with a roll cage around it. On steroids.

We got a chance to learn more about the local landscape, see an eagle's nest (dutifully protected by the mama eagle) from afar, and return to our hotel ABSOLUTELY COVERED in desert dust. I started counting the people who teased me for wearing white, but eventually I ran out of fingers and toes, and was forced to stop keeping track. Sigh. All is well, however, for my favorite white cardigan, which came out of the washer looking as good as new. I know - you were worried.

The outing involved other mini-events, like my near heart attack prior to heading up a steep hill. (click on link for video) Needless to say, Sean drove the entire time. My primary job was to snap photos and scream my everloving face off. To that end, I say: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Oh, and a *huge* thank you to my good friend Heather, who has done this before, and suggested that I wear a sports bra. (click on link for video) That helpful tidbit was maybe more crucial to my having a good time on this trip than was our 50SPF sunblock, or perhaps our rental car. THANK YOU HEATHER, I HEART YOU IN ALL CAPS.

If you're ever in the area, I recommend our vendor Green Zebra Tours. They were knowledgeable and friendly - what more can a person ask for? Other than a guarantee that I won't die as a result of my participation, that is.

Monday Playlist
Monday, April 05, 2010
My songs from this morning's commute:

Pump It Up - Elvis Costello
Four Seasons (Spring) - Antonio Vivaldi
Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa - Vampire Weekend
March to Battle - The Chieftains
All of this Could Have Been Yours - Shooter Jennings/Hierophant
Arthur's Theme (Best You Can Do) - Christopher Cross
One Last Look - Gin Wigmore
I've Got Your Number - Passion Pit

Trip to Arizona: Spring Training!
Saturday, April 03, 2010

I'm finally getting around to posting updates on our trip, so flog me if you must, but I will have you know that some very important things were happening this past week - events that demanded my time and attention, like the first elimination round of Dancing with the Stars. So you're just going have get over your disappointment, folks. Heh.

in a moment of brilliance, Sean decided we should try to snag tickets to a major league spring training game while we were nearby. After all, when is the next time we might find ourselves in Arizona? Right then. Carpe baseball it is.

We had really great seats - about midway up in the second tier of seating behind the third base line (is that even what it's called?). I could see the entire stadium, and thanks to my zoom lense, got some pretty cool shots.

Despite the above reference, this photo was actually taken by Sean, whose reflexes are apparently far better than my own.

I think our biggest surprise was the crowd - we were not prepared for the traffic into the complex, and to be honest, I dreaded the end of the game and it's inevitable parking lot of slow, outbound cars. Oh ho HO - it was not so, people. These baseball folks have the crowd control figured out, and all went smoothly. I didn't even have time to worry about how disgustingly sweaty I was! That is fast.

All in all, a fabulous day for the Cubs (who soundly beat the White Sox - crosstown classic! PWNED!) and for us, too.

Friday, April 02, 2010

It was the tiny details that he could easily have missed if he had not been alert: some papers not as evenly stacked as he remembered; a binder not quite flush on the shelf; his desk drawer closed all the way - he was positive that it was an inch open when he left.

Someone had been inside his cottage.

Photo Credit: Best Little Bookshelf in Texas