Suddenly I’m Bright and Breezy (FMM)

Greetings and salutations.  It’s been a while.  I’ve composed about 9000 half-drafts of things, but I haven’t finished any of them.  Life has been a little shitty-ish lately.

So I’m just going to get right on with Friend-Makin’ Monday, sponsored by Kenlie at All the Weigh. If you drop by, please say hi. Also, if you decide to play, leave a link to your answers here & on Kenlie’s post. This week’s theme is:

Getting To Know Each Other

1. What is your favorite flower?
The white roses with the blood-red tips. Or any other multicolored rose.

2. What is a date on the calendar that you’re looking forward to?
September 11. I know, that’s fucked up, but I’m having a procedure done on my back that will likely alleviate the lower back agony that I have been dealing with for the last 6 weeks. Also September 14, because it’s the Cutest Niece in the World’s first birthday.

3. List at least five characteristics of your ideal mate.
Loyal, intelligent, honest, funny, independent.

4. What is your favorite travel destination?
Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take you to Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama….

And now that your Monday earworm is planted, of the places I’ve been, my favorites are Disney World and the Oregon coast. But I want to go to a lot of other places.

5. What is your idea of the perfect date?
“I’d have to say April 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.”

6. What is your relationship with your family like?
Mostly good, but a little complicated. I think my parents would both like it if I visited and/or talked to them more often, but I have to keep a little distance or I end up turning into an over-involved basket case. There’s a reason my nearest relative is 473 miles away.

7. What time did you wake up this morning?
6:38 a.m. (My alarm is always set for some random time like this.)

8. What characteristic do you like most about yourself? Which do you dislike most?
Like: intelligence. Dislike: also intelligence. To me, it’s a double-edged sword. It makes me learn things quickly, but I also get bored with them quickly. And I tend to get frustrated easily with people who require 97 explanations of how to do something before they “get it.”

9. What is your favorite sport to watch?
None of the above. If I wanted to watch dudes play with each other’s balls, I’d go download some gay porn.

10. Share a few interesting things that you did over the weekend.
Uh, let’s see. Went to the eye doctor because I woke up Saturday and my eye looked all swollen. Turned out to be nothing major, but the eye doctor gave me some free sample antibiotic eyedrops. Wandered around the mall and bought a few things at the Body Shop and a custom box of See’s candy. (Mostly orange creams and butterscotch squares, because clearly those are the best ones.) Went to see “The World’s End,” which wasn’t bad, but wasn’t as good as Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead.

Song of the Day: “I Don’t Care” – Icona Pop
Today’s Time Waster: Meetings suck enough without bad slides.
What I’m Craving: My eye infection to be over so I can stop wearing these idiot glasses. I tried to buy new ones, but none of the “one-hour glasses” shops stock lenses in my prescription, at least not the ones where I can actually see to drive. Aside from not being fond of this pair aesthetically, the prescription is off just enough to give me a headache. I can’t take Advil till after my back procedure on Wednesday (because it thins your blood and makes you bleed a lot).



We’re All a Little Loony (FMM)

I have a lot on my mind at the moment, and a few serious entries are percolating, but in the meantime, I decided to actually do FMM on time this week. I will preface this by saying that I don’t generally watch a whole lot of TV. I do occasionally watch things, but I read way more than I watch TV. Lest you think that this means I am super snooty literary, let me put your mind at ease. A lot of the time, I think of books they way some people think of TV. Lately, I’ve re-read all of the Sue Grafton “alphabet mysteries” up through “K” because they were on sale for $1.99 for the Kindle. I also read some trashy chick book by Kristin Hannah, which was ok but did use a few tired-ass plots (sexual tension between BFF and husband; omg cancer; etc.), and a book called The Velvet Room, which is kind of a YA book but which was actually pretty decent. I’ve got a bunch of other things lined up to read. I am bad about putting books on my “to read” list on Goodreads and then not reading them. Oh well. I’ll probably read that shit eventually, after I get done beating Jewel Quest Heritage and the new levels on Angry Birds.

So, on to the questions. If you answer, please link in my comments and in those of our hostess with the mostest, Kenlie at All the Weigh. Say hi if you’re dropping by! I like hearing from people and finding new people to read. This week’s theme is “Let’s Talk about TV.”

1. Share your current “Must-See” TV shows.

Bizarre Foods America. I tried to get into Big Brother, but when I found out that stupid bitch Rachel had a sister in the cast…PASS. That means that Rachel will make another appearance somewhere and I never ever want to see her again.

2. Do you prefer reality shows or sitcoms?

Depends on my mood. I like reality shows that are of things that are fucked up, like the medical anomaly ones (like the Tree Man or 100 Pound Face Tumors, not the fat people ones. Those are just awful.)

3. Who is your favorite talk show host?

Probably Ellen DeGeneres. Or Craig Ferguson.

4. Which network(s) do you turn to for news?

I really get most of my news on the internet. Sometimes CNN, sometimes BBC. Sometimes one of the awful local stations (but only in inclement weather).

5. Do you have Tivo or DVR? If so, which programs do you have set to record?

I have it set to record What Not to Wear (which sadly is over), Glee, and Bizarre Foods America. My significant other records Dr. Who, Archer, Venture Brothers, sometimes other random movies and shit. I occasionally record a movie or a concert.

6. Have you ever started watching a show simply because you heard so much about it on social media? If so, which one did you watch?

No. Unless you consider my BFF emailing me and informing me that I *had* to watch Big Brother with her (2 years ago) “social media.”

7. List any TV series that you own on DVD.

Oh god. This is a LIST. Some of these are mine, some are his but since we live in the same house they count.

    30 Rock
    Chappelle’s Show
    CSI (several seasons, all pre-departure of Grissom)
    Dead Like Me (which makes me sad that it was canceled)
    Family Guy
    The Guild
    It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
    The Simpsons
    South Park
    Mr. Show
    Robot Chicken
    Dr. Who
    The Big Bang Theory
    Six Feet Under
    Venture Brothers
    The League
    Tiny Toon Adventures
    Lie to Me
    Arrested Development
    The Good Wife

I think there are some more around here somewhere, but those would definitely be Lando’s.

8. Do you have a subscription to Netflix, Hulu, etc? If so, what kind of device do you use to stream it?

I have Amazon Prime, which I use on my Kindle Fire or on my computer. We also have Netflix, which he streams on his computer or tablet or the PS3. I could stream Netflix, but I can never remember the password and Amazon has the same shit anyway. What’s funny is that I don’t really watch much in the way of TV or movies, but I guarantee that Prime has been worth it because of the amount of stupid shit I buy and have them ship to me 2nd day.

9. If you could star in a TV show that already exists, which one would you choose?

I think we had a variation on this a couple of months ago, but my answer is still Glee (even without Cory Monteith, which is just so sad). Second choice: CSI.

10. If you could bring back one TV show that is no longer on the air, which one would you choose?

Dead Like Me.

That concludes this evening’s pointless drivel.

Song of the Day: Tori Amos – “Precious Things”
Today’s Time Waster: Free fonts…I have no idea why I need these, but I find them fascinating.
What I’m Craving: The end of summer.

I am smitten by the real thing (by the real thing)

While I like buying makeup as much as the next person, I have limited space to store it. Plus, I hate having to think first thing in the morning when I’m getting ready. I need to go through my “mostly rejected” basket and toss some things. I do have several kinds of foundation, mostly because my skin has been in a MOOD lately and nothing seems to be making it happy, except going without makeup, and I don’t like to do that in the summer because my skin is all oily and blotchy and my makeup has sunscreen. I always use the same blush, and despite what I like to believe, most of my lipsticks are almost the same corporate-goth-burgundy-ish color. (I have a few bright reds and a couple of more brownish ones, but yeah. I own at least half a dozen that are the burgundy lipstick version of Blush and Bashful.) But my real makeup vice is eyeliner. I just counted. I have 46. There are a few duplicates, since Urban Decay and Sephora have earned spots on my shit list for recently discontinuing my favorite colors and I stocked up a little (1999 and Flashy Brown, respectively), but most of them are not.

Behold, the rainbow of fruit flavors:

The only color I'm missing is yellow.

The only color I’m missing is yellow.

The reason I like eyeliners is because I can fit (almost) all of them into a cup that doesn’t take up a whole lot of space on our nowhere-near-adequate bathroom counter:

The counter is a mess, so I'm hand modeling.  Nail polish is OPI "Suzi Says Feng Shui."

The counter is a mess, so I’m hand modeling. Nail polish is OPI “Suzi Says Feng Shui.”

“Almost” because I have one gel and one from Lush that don’t really fit in the cup. Also, I just had to buy a bigger cup, but hey, that means I have room for a few more! These can be grouped into a few basic color categories, of course: browns, purples, blues, greens, and random.

Let’s start with the ones I wear the most often, though. They are: Urban Decay 1999, Sephora Flashy Brown, Stila Smudge Sticks in Turquoise, and Urban Decay Underground.

I might have an extra or two of 1999 and Flashy Brown.

I might have an extra or two of 1999 and Flashy Brown.

The Flashy Brown especially is a good neutral for me. I don’t even look right in black eyeliner. I just look kind of old and cheap and used up. It makes my eye color pop, but beyond that, the rest of my face is just like “UGH NO.” 1999 is very subtle, kind of a golden purple. The new color “Ether” is SIMILAR, but it’s more of a gray undertone rather than a gold one. The turquoise is really more green than I would consider turquoise to be, but it stays on like a dream and I love it. Sadly, it’s a limited edition. I may have to go buy another one shortly, because nothing else is that color and matte. I think I looked at all possible cheaper options before I allowed myself to go buy it. Urban Decay in Underground is a little more grayish and is also good for every day.

Next, we shall move on to the brown ones. Because I love you, I swatched all of these eyeliners on my freckled hands. Hopefully the pictures don’t suck as bad as I think they do. I am the worst photographer ever. Seriously. I’ve taken like 3 good pictures in my entire life. I think of my photography skills like that old saying about monkeys and typewriters and eventually accidentally coming up with “Hamlet.” Anyway, on to the browns!

The pencils.

The pencils.

L to R: UD Bourbon, UD Whiskey, Sephora Flashy Brown, UD Underground, UD Stray Dog, UD Lucky, Sephora Glitter Copper, Ulta Golden Eyes.

L to R: UD Bourbon, UD Whiskey, Sephora Flashy Brown, UD Underground, UD Stray Dog, UD Lucky, Sephora Glitter Copper, Ulta Golden Eyes.

“Lucky” is a new addition to my collection. The Urban Decay “Vintage” 24/7 pencils (meaning the colors they discontinued) are on sale on their website for half price. The Urban Decay liners are great. They go on smoothly without tugging, and they stay on fairly well. If you don’t wear primer and/or have oily skin and/or live somewhere it’s hot, they can melt a little by the end of the day. The Sephora brand liners are mostly good…they have discontinued the “Flashy” line, but still have the ones like the glitter one. They stay on well, also, but the glitter fucking migrates under my contacts, even with primer. The non-glitter ones of this type are fine.

Let’s get purple!

Purple is supposed to be a good color for those of us with brown/amber eyes.

Purple is supposed to be a good color for those of us with brown/amber eyes.

L to R: UD Crash, Rimmel Purple Passion, Almay Purple Amethyst, UD Ransom, Sephora Flashy Ultra Violet, Sephora Fancy Violet (liquid), UD 1999, NYX Lavender Shimmer.

L to R: UD Crash, Rimmel Purple Passion, Almay Purple Amethyst, UD Ransom, Sephora Flashy Ultra Violet, Sephora Fancy Violet (liquid), UD 1999, NYX Lavender Shimmer.

“Crash” is also new & I haven’t tried it yet. I like the lavender one, although I’m not 100% fond of the texture…it’s cheaper, and it goes on like it’s cheaper. Still, for the price, it’s not horrible. I’m not as fond of the bluish-purples…they’re okay sometimes, but I prefer the more true purple or the brownish/reddish purples.

Next, I’ve got the blues…

I wasn't really sure where the hell to classify the turquoise one.

I wasn’t really sure where the hell to classify the turquoise one.

L to R: Rimmel Light Blue, Rimmel Denim, L'Oreal Navy (Gel), Sephora Fancy Blue (Liquid), UD Radium; Lush Calm (Liquid), Sephora Flashy Blue; Sephora Teal, Stila Turquoise.

L to R: Rimmel Light Blue, Rimmel Denim, L’Oreal Navy (Gel), Sephora Fancy Blue (Liquid), UD Radium; Lush Calm (Liquid), Sephora Flashy Blue; Sephora Teal, Stila Turquoise.

The gel liner is a little easier than liquid if you’re a klutz like I am. It also dries faster. Still, I’m not 100% sold on the whole navy thing. I love the light blue, and the turquoise(s), and I want the UD pencil version of the bright blue because waiting for shit to dry is dumb.

Greens, also known as “these match way too much of my wardrobe”:

Some of these I debated about whether to call them green or blue.

Some of these I debated about whether to call them green or blue.

L to R: Rimmel Ivy; Sephora Flashy Moss; UD Junkie; Sephora Green; Sephora Pantone Color of the Year (Emerald) Set (there's another one around here somewhere too); CoverGirl Liquiline Blast  (I must have sharpened off the name.)

L to R: Rimmel Ivy; Sephora Flashy Moss; UD Junkie; Sephora Green; Sephora Pantone Color of the Year (Emerald) Set (there’s another one around here somewhere too); CoverGirl Liquiline Blast (I must have sharpened off the name.)

The “Color of the Year” ones irritated my eyes a little, and they are hard to get off with makeup remover or soap but feed on your allergic reaction tears. Really, the glitter one was the worst. The matte version is what I was wearing in my May Sartorial Medley post. The darker greens I don’t wear so much, but I like the lime green CoverGirl one. It’s pretty decent quality, as well…softer than the Rimmel pencils.

AND FINALLY, the last batch, which are metallic neutrals, bright colors, and my lone black eyeliner:

You really didn't think I'd be able to take all these pictures without a cat photobomb, right?

You really didn’t think I’d be able to take all these pictures without a cat photobomb, right?

Minus the Amelia snout.

Minus the Amelia snout.

Top to Bottom:  Sephora Flashy Black; Sephora Flashy Gunmetal (it only came in a set); NYX Extreme Silver (Liquid); Ulta Starlet; Sephora Flashy Silver; UD Woodstock (Liquid); UD Woodstock (Pencil); Sephora Color of the Year from last year aka Orange.

Top to Bottom: Sephora Flashy Black; Sephora Flashy Gunmetal (it only came in a set); NYX Extreme Silver (Liquid); Ulta Starlet; Sephora Flashy Silver; UD Woodstock (Liquid); UD Woodstock (Pencil); Sephora Color of the Year from last year aka Orange.

Whew. Woodstock I love, even though I’m not really into pink for clothing. I love the gunmetal color and wish it was permanent, but I think there is a similar Urban Decay color. The Sephora Flashy Silver is the only one from that line I hated…it goes on streaky, the tip breaks off about four times on each eye because it’s too soft, and it doesn’t stay put. However, it’s ok for the occasional highlight, so I kept it (also maybe because I am a packrat).

This post has taken more effort than I put forth at work all day today. Today was one of those “type a few letters, go take a long lunch for someone’s birthday, type a few revisions, rejoice when they let you leave early” days.

Song of the Day: REM – “Crush with Eyeliner”
Today’s Time Waster: Frosting is important, like gravy.
What I’m Craving: Sleep for the love of god. I think I figured out the problem, though. I thought my multivitamins were just the women’s kind with more iron and calcium and shit, but it turns out, they’re the “metabolism boosting” ones that have a metric ass ton of caffeine in them. Must remember “no green bottles” next time.

No one likes to be let down. (FMM)

Why hello everyone. This past week was filled with bullshit. One of our kitties, Miles, does not like one of our other kitties, Amelia. Miles is a big, loudmouth boy cat, and he’s normally very sweet and snuggly. He loves our other girl cat, Zooey, even though she’s kind of mean to him, but he sees Amelia as an intruder to be attacked. I have no idea why. When we got him, we had three elderly female cats, and he never started any shit with them, and he adopted Zooey from the moment I brought her home, but even though Amelia is the most shy, scaredy baby, he just goes after her. We keep them separated….Miles & Zooey live in the living area, and Amelia lives in the bedroom. Amelia is fine with this arrangement. She’s a pretty independent sort…she likes to watch the birds and the bugs outside, she likes to play with her toys, she likes us but mostly because we give her snacks.

So anyway. Lando accidentally didn’t shut her door all the way, and Miles got in the bedroom…and tagged her ear, and then she pooped and peed a lot, and then she went and hid in the closet and wouldn’t come out. Miles was not very repentant. Therefore, we had to wash all the blankets and pillowcases and give Amelia lots of snacks and canned food to make her happy again. All seems to be well, but I really wish he would quit being a little butthole. I mean, she’s like half his size and doesn’t even fight back.

Bonus Cat Pics:

Miles looks vicious, right?

Zooey likes boxes.

Amelia is my sweet little derp.

Then, on top of that, my computer monitor decided to quit working, so there’s another $246.99 I wasn’t planning on spending. Grrr. Our “backup” monitor is this tiny 17″ piece of crap that I’ve had for at least 9 years, and I don’t even think I have an adapter to make it plug in to my computer. Plus, I’m used to my 27″. I have bad eyesight, ya’ll. The new monitor is now in place and works fine.

I spent most of the weekend taking naps. Since my insomnia has flared up again, I’m living on too little sleep, which I make up for by over-caffeinating…it’s a vicious cycle. We did go out to dinner for Lando’s dad’s birthday/Father’s Day. The restaurant is one of those vaguely hipster brewpubs…they have classic comfort food, but it’s all served on weird-shaped plates and arranged just so. I had chicken fried steak, and it was ok, but they put like 2 little dots of gravy on it. Bitch, please. The gravy is IMPORTANT. I asked for more gravy and got this little tiny ramekin. Those are for DIPPING SAUCE, not GRAVY. I guess next time I’ll order something more fancy.

Anyway, on to the Friend-Makin’ Monday festivities, hosted as usual by Kenlie at All the Weigh. This week’s topic is “Just Wondering” and is as random as I feel today. If you decide to play, either answer on your own blog and leave comments for me and for Kenlie, or answer in my comments if you’re not the blogging type. Be sure to check out the comments on Kenlie’s site, too, for more people to visit!

1. Do you wear glasses and/or contacts?

Contacts whenever possible, but sometimes when my allergies are bad, I have to wear glasses. I also sometimes get things stuck under my contacts, like cat fur (my cat Zooey is generally all up in my grill) or eye makeup (the glitter liners from Sephora are the worst offenders, but sometimes the Urban Decay shadows or whatever shitty mascara I was forced to buy because they were out of my brand are culprits).

2. Do you have summer vacation plans? If so, where are you going?

Not so far…I just started a new job, so I don’t have any vacation time yet. Maybe in the fall.

3. What is your favorite food to eat for breakfast?

Donuts! (Especially the chocolate frosted kind with cream filling.) I’m also fond of the little sausage rolls they have at the donut place. (There are two independent donut shops close to us, and they both have those little sausage rolls. They also have big sausage rolls, but I like the little ones better.) (That’s NOT what she said.)

4. Do you enjoy window shopping?

Yes, I kind of do. I enjoy buying things more, but sometimes, if I’m having a bad day, I can just go wander around and touch things at somewhere like Ross or Marshall’s. I cannot wander around Ulta or Sephora, though, because I will buy things. I’m also a fan of internet window-shopping…I tend to put things in my cart a lot and not buy them. Note: sometimes if you do this, and leave it for a day or two, the retailer will send you a coupon code.

5. What is your favorite candle scent?

I actually like one from Walmart called Cranberry Mandarin…it’s good for all seasons. I also like the Yankee Candles Buttercream, but it makes me hungry.

6. If you had to choose between going to a zoo or an aquarium, which one would you pick?

Aquarium. It’s inside, and I love watching all the fish. I don’t like outside. I especially don’t like outside in the summer…there are bugs and it’s too hot and you smell poop all day.

7. How many times do you plan to exercise this week?

That all depends…exercise what? Hehe.

8. Do you speak another language fluently?

No…I took French in high school and college, and I wasn’t bad at it, but my skills are not what they were. I can still sometimes read it. I can also generally pronounce things in French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Latin…thank you, five years of voice lessons and god knows how many years of choir where singing in English was just not what the cool kids did.

9. What are you currently reading?

I recently finished

    Tiny Beautiful Things

, by Cheryl Strayed, which is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time…it’s just stunning, I can’t even explain. It’s part advice column, part memoir. I am also reading the “Ender’s Game” series by Orson Scott Card – I’m currently on “Xenocide.” I liked the first one, the second took me a while to get into but was good once I did, and the third is dragging ass but I’m trying to get through it.

10. What are you looking forward to most in the coming week?

Not much, really. I need to go grocery shopping and do laundry and my insomnia is back with a vengeance. Maybe I’ll go with “once I go grocery shopping I can make more chocolate cake.”

Song of the Day: Jack Johnson – “Flake”
Today’s Time Waster: Sleepy animals. (Not just cats, for all you dog people…)
What I’m Craving: A maid.

Folks Lining up Outside Just to Get Down (FMM)

Greetings and salutations. My weekend was totally uneventful. All I’ve wanted to do the last two weekends is sleep, which is sad. I’m still trying to adjust to working again, I think. I did make some cake. I also learned that saving 50 cents on bacon isn’t worth it because it burns really easily.

Kenlie is back from her hiatus, so it’s time for Friend-Makin’ Monday once more. If you are not familiar with the rules, answer the questions below on your blog, and link back in Kenlie’s comments (and mine). If you are stopping by, hiya! And please leave a comment, because they make me happy. This week’s theme was “How Do You Celebrate?” and it concerned birthdays:

1. When is your birthday?

May 12.

2. Do you like to celebrate it or do you prefer to keep it quiet?

I like to celebrate, but since my birthday is always right around Mother’s Day or someone’s graduation, my festivities usually either get ganked or happen late.

3. Have you ever had a surprise party?

Sort of. See #6. It wasn’t really a full-on party, but it was unexpected and nice. Generally, though, I’m not terribly fond of surprises, especially if they involve some sort of occasion where I will be photographed.

4. What sign are you? Does it represent you well?

I’m a Taurus, and from what I’ve read – we’re into security, stability, nice stuff, and food; and we’re very stubborn and very loyal. So mostly, I’d say yes, it does. DON’T MESS WITH THE BULL BOY, YOU’LL GET THE HORNS.

5. Do you tell the truth about your age?

Yes, so far…I am 39.

6. Share your best birthday memory.

I think my 16th was probably the best – it was on a Saturday, so I couldn’t go get my actual driver’s license that day. There was a play rehearsal/set building workday all day. It was actually a lot of fun…I remember we did a lot of listening to the B-52’s “Cosmic Thing” album. Towards the end of the day, they brought me a birthday cake. I was really surprised…I didn’t think anyone remembered it was my birthday.

7. Share a few item that could be on your birthday wishlist.

My Amazon wishlist can be found here.

8. What is your favorite kind of cake?

Pioneer Woman Chocolate Sheet Cake, hands down. I also like chocolate cake with whipped cream frosting.

9. If you could be anywhere on your next birthday, where would you be?

Amsterdam. That’s probably not going to happen. But, according to my friend who is turning 50 a month before I turn 40 (ugh I hate even typing that), we ARE going to go to Mexico.

10. Do you make a wish when you blow out the candles?

I don’t remember the last time I got actual candles…but yes.

Bonus: Picture of me looking at my first birthday cakes. I’m not sure if my expression indicates “why is it taking you this long to feed me cake” or “this is inadequate.”

1st bday cakes

Song of the Day: Leonard Cohen – “Famous Blue Raincoat”
Today’s Time Waster: I have played this one for a few days…
What I’m Craving: Probably more cake, because I have problems.

Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair

Over the weekend, I was bored. So I decided it was time for a project. As I’ve said before, I am not really very “crafty.” I think it’s a combination of frustration and impatience, coupled with the fact that I cannot make my hands do what I see in my head. However, the one arts-and-crafts type thing that I can do…is tie-dye. I wanted to make some tie-dye things for the niece, because no baby should ever be free of hippie awesomeness. Granted, the child needs clothes like she needs a hole in the head…Lando’s mom has pretty much purchased/found enough clothes to last her till kindergarten…but she shouldn’t get to have all the fun.

Lando makes fun of my hippie tendencies, but he always wants in on the tie-dye action. Because baby clothes don’t take up nearly all the dye, we also each dyed a shirt.

The last time I dyed things, the dye didn’t hold nearly as well as I wanted it to. I use a kit similar to this. (This brand, but I couldn’t find the colors I used.) It says one step, but that’s kind of bullshit. If you don’t pre-treat the fabric, the colors are not nearly so vibrant as they appear in that picture once they have been rinsed and washed. Therefore, this time, I presoaked the garments with soda ash, a/k/a washing soda. (It was on the laundry aisle near the fabric softener…it comes in a box like baking soda, only it’s stronger.) I used a sink full of water and about 1/3 cup of washing soda, and let the stuff soak for about half an hour.

This was Lando’s shirt:










These were the baby ones (Lando did the blue & purple one in the bottom corner). I was really happy with how the skirt turned out. I was a little worried about it, because it wasn’t 100% cotton…it’s a cotton/poly/spandex blend. In order for the dye to be vivid, you really need to use natural fabrics. The skirt was more cotton than otherwise, so we took a chance.













And this is mine, which is also this month’s contribution to Sartorial Medley, the monthly fashion challenge hosted by Hailey and Ais. The theme this month was “skirts.” If you want to participate, e-mail your link and picture to Hailey – divinemrsdiva at gmail dot com.













Being that we actually had a nice day, I decided it was time to mow the winter growth on my legs and wear something short. The skirt is actually a skort…it has shorts underneath. I got it last summer at Catherine’s on clearance, and I think they have some similar items at Lane Bryant and Catherine’s this summer. I love it, because it’s comfy and it looks cute, but you don’t worry about flashing people. The t-shirt was a plain white Just My Size t-shirt from Walmart in a 5x…they have changed those shirts so much over the years. I have a couple that I have seriously had for at least 10 years, and they’re a 4x. They fit perfectly, they’re a good length, and while they’re a little worn, they’re still fine for wearing around the house. The newer versions shrink insanely bad when you wash them, especially lengthwise. But, for $5.97, they’re okay. The shoes are Sanuk Yoga Mat Flip-Flops. Because I was worried about width, I ordered them in an 11, but I may order a new pair for this summer in a 10. They did stretch a little, and the soles are not as slick as some of the cheaper flip-flops. They’re nice and squishy and comfortable, and they come in a billion colors.

Song of the Day: Radiohead – “Creep”
Today’s Time Waster: Read the reviews.
What I’m Craving: A limeade.

We Find the Defendant….

So Stiletto Siren has a “Be Yourself” type challenge going on, and the current theme is to make a playlist of your “guilty pleasures” and call it “not guilty.” While my musical tastes are many and varied, most of the time I would be ok if someone grabbed my iPod and started scrolling. I think I would be more worried if someone started scrolling through my Kindle. There may or may not be some books on there that feature cats solving mysteries and some trashy romance novels. I am willing to own up to my Abba and Barry Manilow and Billy Joel and most of the stuff I listened to in the 80’s and 90’s and even the 00’s. However, the list below are the songs that I’m a little embarrassed that I own and probably paid for. The list is mostly alphabetical, but some of the songs are only on compilation albums or on random mixes that are not correctly labeled. Please post your own list & link in the comments and on Stiletto’s blog so I don’t feel so alone in my shame or so that I know what to download on Amazon the next time I can’t sleep.


Ace of Base – “The Sign”
Aerosmith – “Dream On”
Air Supply – “Even the Nights Are Better”
Anne Murray – “I Just Fall in Love Again”
Avril Lavigne – “I’m With You”
The Bangles – “Eternal Flame”
Barenaked Ladies – “If I Had $1,000,000”
Blackstreet – “No Diggity”
Bon Jovi – “You Give Love a Bad Name”
Britney Spears “…Baby One More Time”
Bryan Adams – “Heaven”
Celine Dion – “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now”
Cher/Peter Cetera – “After All”
Chicago – “Hard Habit to Break”
Christina Aguilera – “Dirrty”
Doug Stone – “I Was Too Busy”
Eminem – “The Real Slim Shady”
Evanescence – “My Immortal”
Fastball – “The Way”
Georgia Satellites – “Keep Your Hands to Yourself”
Jann Arden – “Insensitive”
Jimmy Buffett – “Come Monday”
Jordin Sparks – “Tattoo”
Katy Perry – “I Kissed a Girl”
Lionel Richie – “Hello”
Live – “Selling the Drama”
Matchbox 20 – “Unwell”
Meat Loaf – “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”
Paul Simon – “Kodachrome”
Phil Collins – “Something Happened on the Way to Heaven”
Puddle of Mudd – “She Hates Me”
Richard Marx – “Hazard”
Rihanna – “Umbrella”
Rod Stewart – “Rhythm of My Heart”
Savage Garden – “To the Moon & Back”
Train – “Hey Soul Sister”
UB40 – “Red Red Wine”
Toto – “Africa”
Shakira – “Underneath Your Clothes”
Backstreet Boys – “I Want it That Way”
Marc Cohn – “Walking in Memphis”
Wham! – “Freedom”
Whitney Houston – “All at Once”
Amy Grant – “Big Yellow Taxi”
Bette Midler – “Wind Beneath My Wings”

Food Making Monday. I Mean, Friend Making Monday.

Oh hai.  It’s Monday again, which means it’s time to bemoan the fact that you are still unemployed and think you suck time to make friends, courtesy of Kenlie at All the Weigh.  This week’s topic is food.  All I want to really eat are Russell Stover Coconut Cream Eggs right now.

Food Questions

1. What did you eat for dinner last night?
Hot dogs. I need to go to the grocery store.

2. If you could make one food calorie-free for the next year, What would you choose?

3. How often do you go to the grocery store?
About once a week or so, depending. If I have a random craving for something or I forgot something important (like cat food or asswipe), I’ll go back.

4. Do you make a list before buying groceries?
Sort of. I try to make mental notes of what we’re out of (see above re: cat food, toilet paper, coffee), and if I’m making something specific, I usually write down the ingredients if it’s stuff I don’t ordinarily buy.

5. List three things that can always be found in your kitchen.
Soda, ramen, a cat or two.

6. How often do you clean out your fridge?
Not very often…I sometimes find scary things. Mostly we don’t keep leftovers that long, but sometimes a stray bottle of coffee creamer or package of cheese or something will hide.

7. Do you ever use a slow cooker? If so, will you share a recipe?
Yes. Not as often as I should, probably…but I just discovered (1) slow cooker liners – these are GENIUS; and (2) that the crock pot does, with a little wiggling, actually fit in the dishwasher. Recipe I tried last week for the first time is adapted from the Pioneer Woman. You will need:

  • One 5-6 pound pork shoulder roast (sometimes called pork butt or picnic roast)
  • Two large-ish onions (her recipe called for one, I used an extra because I like onions)
  • Two 12-ounce cans of Dr. Pepper
  • One small can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • Salt & pepper

Cut the onions in big chunks and throw them in the bottom of the crock pot. Rinse off the roast & cut the strings off if it has them. Salt & pepper the roast. Stick it in the crock pot on top of the onions, fat side up. Pour in the Dr. Pepper. Add the peppers – I only used half the can and it was plenty spicy for me, but if you like it hot dump the whole can in there. When it’s done cooking, it will basically fall apart. If it doesn’t fall apart, cook it longer. After it’s done, scoop all the meat out of the crock pot. Skim off the fat. Shred the pork. After it’s shredded, skim the fat out of the crock pot as best you can…it would help if you had one of those wire skimmer/strainer things, which I do not. I need to remember to grab one of those if I make this again. After the pork is shredded & the fat skimmed, stick it back in the crock pot to keep it warm for serving. We used it for sandwiches, but you could also use it in soft tacos, by itself with mashed potatoes, etc. It’s delicious.

(As far as temperature, I put mine on high for a couple of hours because I am a dumbass and forgot to turn on the crockpot when I first put the stuff in there. After about 2 hours, I turned it to low and left it there. I did flip the roast over for a bit late in the afternoon (actual cooking started about 10:30 am). However, I think if you put it on low earlier in the morning and say, went to work, it would probably be perfect when you got home.)

8. How often do you try new recipes?
Not really as often as I would like. I’m kind of scared that if I try a new recipe, I won’t like it or the man won’t like it, and ingredients can get kind of pricey. I would like to learn to cook seafood, because I love it, but I can’t really afford to throw away $30 on a recipe that doesn’t turn out. I have made a few new things in the last month or so, since I haven’t been working.

9. What is the most delicious meal(s) you make?
Chicken and dumplings. I also make an awesome grilled cheese.

10. Share at least one thing that is currently in your kitchen even though you don’t like it.
There’s not much right at the moment…like I said, I need to go to the store. Heh. The manpanion likes different chips than I do, and he also buys ham, which I do not like (it’s pink. I don’t like pink food). Oh wait, there is frozen broccoli. I don’t like broccoli. I will eat it raw in a salad or something, or cooked if it’s in the middle of a pile of rice and cheese, but otherwise, I’m not a fan. Actually, I tend to like veggies more raw than cooked…I don’t like cooked carrots, for example. It’s ok if they’re in with a roast and soaked in meat juice. I really don’t like cooked celery.

Song of the Day: “Oxford Comma” – Vampire Weekend
What I’m Craving: Tacos.

Chasing her way through the constellations.

I continue to love some Gwynnie Bee.  Everything arrives packaged perfectly, and the turnaround time is super fast.  In my second shipment, I received the Harlow Dress in Jade, the Alma Top (not this pattern – the purple leopard print, which is evidently sold out), and the Asos Galaxy Wrap (also reviewed by Hailey, here. I have not worn the Harlow dress yet…I haven’t felt like getting that dressed up, heh.  The color in person is way closer to a bright teal…it has a lot more blue and it is a lot brighter than the picture.  The Alma top I already reviewed…I didn’t get a picture of the other pattern, but it fit identically.  Finally, the Galaxy Wrap.

I was drawn to the top because of the gorgeous colors.  They were not quite as vibrant in person as I expected, but they were still beautiful.  Since they weren’t super bright, though, i had to abandon my original plan of pairing the top with a black pencil skirt and some purple tights…my tights were way too obnoxious.  I ended up wearing it with a pair of lighter wash bootcut jeans and some black flats.


Top – Asos Curve, US 22 (their sizes are pretty generous…I think the last time my ass fit anywhere near a 22 was during my diet and workout phase.  That said, I would probably go a size up if one was available, which it is not).

Jeans – Old Navy, 26 (I have no idea how long ago…at least 5 years).

Flats – LifeStride Devlin, 11 (they’re a little long, but they didn’t have a 10)

Turtleneck is from Walmart, the necklace I bought on clearance at LB.  Hair is pissing me right the hell off right now, because I’m trying to grow it out and it’s in stage poofy.  I did at least get it colored and trimmed.  My hairstylist suggested a flat iron, which is not going to happen. I wash my hair in the mornings, because I feel gross if I don’t. It takes a billion years to dry, even with my pimp-ass expensive hair dryer. So her “well, you can just do it really fast on the top layer” routine would take half an hour, in which I would rather be sleeping, drinking coffee, or buying more shit on Amazon that I can’t afford. She did flat-iron it, and it did look cute:


I mean, the lack of makeup and the flannel aren’t cute, but hey. I was getting my hair colored, so um, I didn’t want to get hair dye on my good clothes! (Either that or I totally rolled out of bed and maybe put on jeans instead of pajama pants and thought that was more than adequate.) (Also the stupid picture is, despite my best efforts, sideways. Sigh.)

Where was I? Oh yes.  Reviewing the shirt.  I love the colors, but I wasn’t totally fond of the cut.  It’s hard to tell in the picture, but there’s a lot of weird bubbly pleating at the hem…I felt like my ass had wings.  Also, I wanted the belt to be wider.  However, I’m glad I tried this out, and I wish that I had a scarf in this print.

I also stepped out of my comfort zone a little and ordered a top from Kiyonna that I wasn’t sure I would like…the Sadie Ruched Top.  (I got it in black, 4x).  It’s a little more fitted around the middle than I would ordinarily choose.  However, I thought a more fitted top might look better with a couple of my skirts, so I decided to give it a chance.  I’m really, really glad I did.  I LOVE IT.  So soft, so comfy, such cute little ruching on the sleeves.  My only beef is that, like most of Kiyonna’s tops on me, it’s a smidge low-cut for office wear.  I wore a cami under it, just to be sure I wasn’t flashing the goodies at anyone.  The skirt is from Lane Bryant, on clearance last summer for like $10.  I have the same skirt in a black-and-white floral and in solid black, as well:


Of course, the picture where the outfit is the clearest is the one where I was making stupid faces at my co-worker…

That will conclude this evening’s entertainment.  I need to log on to World of Warcraft and take a stab at the holiday boss so I can once again not be the owner of a Big Love Rocket:








….which takes us right back to the post title.  I AM AWESOME.  Heh.

Song of the Day:  “I Was Too Busy” – Doug Stone (don’t hate. Sometimes I need me a cheesy country song.)

Today’s Time Waster:   World of Warcraft. (hit me up for a referral if you want to play)

What I’m Craving:  The rest of the box of Little Debbie Chocolate Chip Snacky Cakes.

One is silver and the other gold?

Since I got a Kindle for Christmas four years ago, I have been a rock-solid supporter of the e-reader phenomenon.  I wasn’t entirely sure I would like it…but once I had it for a week, I wondered exactly how I ever lived without one.

I am the kind of person that re-reads books fairly frequently.  First, it cuts down on the (admittedly ridiculous) amount of money I spend on reading material.  Second, I think of books the way a lot of people think about movies or tv shows.  I lose myself in them; I want to read them once for the story and once for the writing and another time to see how I’ve changed since I read it the first time.  And if it’s a book I really like, I’ll read it periodically, because it’s a comfort.  It’s losing myself, but in a place that is familiar.

Since I am a re-reader, I of course want all the books on Kindle.  Unfortunately, publishing has not entirely caught up with technology.  Most new books – even those by holdouts like J.K. Rowling – are now available in electronic format.  I’ve discovered several new authors that are (or were) only published electronically.  But sadly, a lot of my oldest favorites are now out of print and/or are not available.  I’m going to have to break down and hit up the library, I guess…I don’t usually library it because I have a terrible track record with returning them.  Back in junior high and high school, this was not an issue.  Our local library had a summer volunteer program for 6Ì-8th graders.  I tried to sign up the summer before 6th grade, and they told me to come back the next year.  So I did.  And I did for the two summers after that.  After working my ass off as a volunteer, I never ever had to pay another library fine.  Sadly, that is not the case now, and after a few unpleasant college experiences (with both movies and books), I decided that in the long run, it’s cheaper for me to just own things.

Anyway, I got the urge to read something again – a book of short stories and poetry from my college days, one that featured prominently in my collegiate competitive speech career.  Of course, this book, called Elvis in Oz, is not even remotely in print or available electronically.  So I checked around on Amazon, and found a used edition with free shipping.  I got it in the mail today.

And I remember why I love actual books again.  The book is a collection from writers who were in the creative writing program at Hollins College.  The copy I received is autographed – not just by the editors, but by a number of the authors as well.  The copy is inscribed “for Frank.”  From a cursory glance through the contents, Frank is not a featured author.

However, he must have been someone who figured in prominently at the college – perhaps a professor?  Or a patron?  But I do wonder how this book ended up at a used bookstore in Kentucky, when the college is in Virginia, and why someone would give away a book that people had so lovingly inscribed with both their signatures and their witticisms.

I love the convenience of having a book with me wherever I go, and never having that horrible feeling of being somewhere that involves a lot of waiting and knowing that you only have one book with you and you’re almost done with it.  I love that I can enlarge the font a little so that my terrible eyes can maybe make it without reading glasses for a few years longer.  I love that I can bookmark things and not either (a) destroy the pages by folding the corners down or (b) have the bookmark fall out and then have to find my place.

But nothing will ever replace the feeling of home I get in a bookstore or library.  And nothing is quite like knowing that the person whose words you’re reading has touched the same pages you are touching.

Song of the Day:   Audra Mae & the Almighty Sound – “Little Red Wagon”

Today’s Time Waster:

What I’m Craving:  A house big enough for a library.