Friday, March 26

With Sprinkles

[With Sprinkles]

Imagine sex in a bakery. That's perhaps the most accurate way to describe my ongoing fragrance themes.

The featured pastries vary.

Sometimes, when particularly sassy, I like The Chocolate Theme [brought to you by a range of products including but not limited to Fresh's Fluers de Chocolat, Thierry Mugler's Angel, John Frieda's Brilliant Brunette Line and Urban Decay's Cocoa — which is flavored as well as scented].

When I'm feeling more subdued, I tend toward The Honey Citrus Theme [brought to you by a range of products including but not limited to Fresh's Sugar, Garnier's Fructis Line, and Urban Decay's Honey — which, like the Cocoa, is flavored].

It never occurred to me that I might require something more . . . . something, as it is said, One More Louder . . . . that I might require, for example, sprinkles. I don't think I require them . . . . but I feel that I need to investigate further.

Wednesday, March 24

New Blogskin

[New Blogskin]

It's not quite right . . . but, I was quite bored with the other one. I may go back. I may tweak this one. I may just make a whole new one. I dunno yet. I'm still thinking . . . .

Friday, March 19

Hate | Love

[Hate | Love]

What do we mean when we use these words?

I am uncertain they mean much to many anymore. They have been diluted by overuse.

Imagine an amalgam of utterances where we overhear [hear would likely be more appropriate than overhear here — it would be impossible to ignore her chatter] half of a mobile phone conversation on the train. The woman won't shut up. We are forced to listen to her drone on. Let's call her Alicia.

Apparently, Alicia loves and hates many things. She loves chocolate martinis. She hates Tami's boyfriend's fucking stuck-up attitude. She loves Brent's new girlfriend, although she was convinced that she would hate her at first. She hates her hair. She loves her manicure. She hates the neighbor's dog. She loves reality TV. She hates SBC. She loves her new headset. She hates the weather. She loves the new shoes that Traci got. She hates her new purse, but she had been convinced when she bought it that she would love it. She loves the new barista. She hates Kyle's taste in Music. She loves the other sushi place. She hates a coworker . . . .

Does Alicia really love or hate these things? If she did, she would have a severe personality disorder. I doubt she does. I think it's more likely that she has a severe linguistic disorder. Sadly, I think it is one that many share.

I try not to use the word hate at all. Whenever I catch myself even thinking it, I try to pause and reflect.

I do use the word love. I try to use it only when I mean it, and only about people. But, what do I mean by it? What do I mean by saying that I love someone? That varies so much. Among other things, I love you has meant:
  • I view your happiness, right now, in this moment, as important as my own.

  • I completely forgive you.

  • I wish that I could take away your pain, suffer instead of you, and if I could, I would gladly do so.

  • I could never thank you enough for the kindness, empathy and support you have shown me.

  • I will do everything I can to understand you better by trying view the world from your perspective.

  • Thank you . . . . my life is better with you in it.
Why is society at large so set on ripping the meaning from such powerful sentiments?

Opportunity

[Opportunity]

Yes, it's the livejournal of the Mars Opportunity Rover. Good stuff.

Thursday, March 18

The Other White Meat

[The Other White Meat]

[Index of a bunch of these circa 1974 Weight Watcher's recipe cards which have —yes, sometimes I'm slow— been up for about a year at Candyboots]

Here's a recipe for Caucasian Shashlik, ostensibly from the Russian Tea Room. It sounds kind of tasty.

Jiggy

[Jiggy]

Creative Nail Design's Jiggy is the nail enamel for the week. I've two coats on my fingernails and three on my toenails. On the first coat it's a sheer opalescent lavender. Two coats and it's more like a shimmery mimeograph purple. Third coat and it's a royal blue with a lilac shimmer.

      

Any number of coats and it glows. So very girly.

Wednesday, March 17

Sans Bulletproof Bra | Appropriate Office Attire

[Sans Bulletproof Bra | Appropriate Office Attire]

I frequently wear bulletproof [read: thick enough to hide erect nipples] bras. However, I've been really bad about the laundry recently, and I'm down to my last dozen bras, all of which are a bit casual [and frequently flimsy, which is rarely recommended for actual day wear in size 38D foundation garments]. Today, I'm wearing a sweater set, and I've had the cardigan tied around my waist or shoulders through much of the morning. I went to the ladies room and the first thing I noticed as I was walking by the mirror was my obviously erect nipples. And, if it’s that noticeable to me, how noticeable is it to everyone else?

Monday, March 15

Today's Big Question

[Today's Big Question]

Raspberry sauce that's served drizzled on a plate under a piece of key lime pie: welcome enhancement or unwarranted adulteration?

Sunday, March 14

Stoner Chow

[Stoner Chow]

Lapsed Catholic

[Lapsed Catholic]

It's all so very complicated.

During this Lenten Season, I've been thinking about my Catholic upbringing. My father was a devout Catholic, my mother [originally Russian Orthodox] quite a bit less so. I've been trying to determine what good the Catholic Religion has brought into my life  . . . .

I remember my [now deceased] father teaching me to pray when I was a very little girl. I remember the two of us kneeling beside my bed, him prodding me through my nightly prayers. In the beginning, the foci were always thankfulness and blessing: for what was I thankful and whom did I want to pray for God to bless. As I got older, new themes were added: what may one ask of God? Wisdom to make appropriate choices. Strength to follow through. Empathy. Clarity to process.

I also remember Father Jude, the priest at a local college's Newman Center, who was, when I was in highschool, among my favorite adult voices-of-reason. Granted, I didn't have to encounter him in church. On the weekends, Father Jude would hang out at a local all-night diner drinking coffee, eating french fries and pie, and smoking cigarettes while talking to anyone who came along. Because he was kind, a veritable vault when it came to secrets, logical, and open, many people [and not necessarily Catholic or even religious people] would be prone to sliding into the booth across from him just to shoot the shit.

When faced with a stated moral conundrum, he'd frequently recommend that one read something, although I don't ever recall him recommending the Bible or the Catholic Catechism. He'd recommend classical philosophers, Shakespeare, Zen writings, Milton, Judy Frickin' Blume. Fuck, he'd recommend we read the Cliff's Notes of things just to get the idea.

He was open about the Atrocities of the Church . . . . in fact, in my sheltered life, his chats were the first I knew of the Children's Crusades or the Boxer Rebellion.

The only ideas he seemed to preach were do unto others, only s/he without sin may cast the first stone, and pause and really reflect before you say or do something. I very much respected him for that. I think I'd have entirely different questions for Father Jude now. But, I want to believe that he'd address my new questions honestly and without reservation. I wish I could drag a few friends down to that diner so we could ask him questions. Alas, I don't even know if he's still there [I doubt it . . . . I think they get moved around] or still even alive.

He was an archetype of the priesthood for me for some time, and it was horribly disenchanting for me to realize how rare he was.

I rarely go to church anymore, perhaps once or twice a year. The last time I went to church was this Ash Wednesday. I was surprised at how comforting I found the rituals to be. I hit the appropriate sacraments for the day, mass including communion, ashes, and yes, even confession.

Confession is particularly tricky for me. I don't think that My God has a problem with all of the things the Catholic Church teaches, so I don't intend to stop doing them. [Even as a child, I absolutely refused to buy into parts of the dogma. Certainly, over the years I pieced my way through much of it, discarding this bit and internalizing that one.] Because I don't intend to stop doing some things, it would be silly and pointless for me to confess them and be absolved for them. I view the confessional as a time/place to unpack and lay-out those things that I did/do but wish that I had the fortitude and control to avoid, and will sincerely try to avoid in the future: presumption, cruelty, dishonesty . . . .

[I realize that many will see this as a type of roll-your-own religious attitude that has no place within the Catholic Church and is probably better suited within Unitarian Universalism, but that's another discussion].

I'm not the same person I was those many years ago, not the little girl who prayed with her daddy beside her bed at night, nor the rebellious and possibly tipsy teenager seeking guidance from a college priest at a diner. But, each year, during Lent, as an exercise in willpower, denial and reflection, I give up something I really like. And, I still pray for wisdom, strength, empathy and clarity.

Hangin' in Southpark

[Hangin' in Southpark]

Have you ever wondered what you would look like in Southpark? I certainly have . . . .

  

[Thanks to Mutilato for the link.]

Wednesday, March 10

Out of whack | Wack

[Out of whack | Wack]

Last Wednesday, I lost my glasses. I was out with Katie. We had sushi and then a few glasses of wine. On the way out of the bar, I realized that I couldn’t find my glasses. They weren’t in my purse. They weren’t at the bar. Frustrated, I left, deciding that it was time to get a new pair anyway. The ones I had were a few years old, and I was certain that my prescription had changed considerably since I’d gotten them.

So, I went to a Pearle Express that accepts my insurance on Saturday. I did the whole exam thing, and confirmed — by having the new prescription compared to my old prescription sunglasses — that my vision has indeed gotten quite a bit worse. I found some cute lightweight frames and made the purchase. The price shocked me. Granted, my post insurance cost was only about $200, but the pre-insurance cost was close to $700. That seemed really high to me.

I was thinking about it again on Sunday when I was getting ready to visit Keely [for a lovely afternoon of product shopping, toenail painting, college basketball and kvetching] I was looking for something to wear when I came across the sweater I’d worn last Wednesday. As I folded it, I noticed a hard lump. I found my old glasses — one arm had gotten caught in the tag at the neck.

I needed new glasses regardless, and they're less severe than my hipster-geek-girl-black-frame-square-standard old ones, so I’m glad that I got them. But, I deposited a check recently that bounced, and I’m not on the surest footing and it would have been nice to have waited a few weeks.

Sigh.

I've also not been feeling well. I keep telling myself that it's allergies, but I'm not sure that I didn't / don't have a cold. I also don't know whether I'd be exhasted without all the cold /allergy medication because not taking it would mean I'd be unable to breathe, so I can't test the premise. I came home early today from work and took a two-hour nap. And, already, just three hours after I got up, I feel like I could / should go back to bed. Ukky.

Monday, March 8

Viral Memetics

[Viral Memetics]

I've been reading Douglas R. Hofstadter's Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern [loan from Jeremy] for a few days now. I find myself giggling and smirking and musing with furrowed brow while reading on the bus [almost] oblivious to the curious glances from my fellow passengers. If I care at all what they think, it's because I hope some of them assumes the truth: the book is fabulous and I am a geeky girl. Quoted in the book:
The performance value of an idea depends upon the change it brings to the behavior of the person or the group that adopts it. The human group upon which a given idea confers greater cohesiveness, greater ambition, and greater self-confidence thereby receives from it an added power to expend which will insure the promotion of the idea itself. Its capacity to "take", the extent to which it can be "put over" has little to do with the amount of objective truth the idea may contain. The important thing about the stout armature [an ideology] constitutes for a society is not what goes into its structure, but the fact that this structure is accepted, that it gains sway. So one cannot well separate such an idea's power to spread from its power to perform.

—Jacques Monrod in Chance and Necessity
[emphasis added]

Back to the book.

Monday, March 1

Crystal Avatars

[Crystal Avatars]

The avatar tool at Dookyweb is so very fun . . . .

      
      

Send me yours! Please?