Thursday, November 28, 2013

Weirdities Explained

Someone emailed and asked me to explain my phobias - or what I call my "personal qualms." I admit I have some quirks that run deep.

I guess I should thank the person who was cool enough to email me. Instead of just writing me off as a nutty nut job, they came right out and asked why I have all these phobias. If they were snickering as they typed, none of that leaked into the email.

In the years I've blogged here, I've talked so much about my little "issues" that I don't remember if I ever have explained them. I'm just a strange person. Not strange-bad (I don't think), but I have my ways. Maybe being a Cancer is part of it. And I am a serious moon child.

Going back through my old posts, I realized that I might actually need some kind of therapy. For instance, I have discussed here:
  • Not being able to even watch another person in a deprivation chamber that involved water submersion. They looked too close to going under. I mean, just now using the words "water" and "submersion" together gave me the creeps.
  • Having problems with my roommate (and a former best friend) because of her messiness and my fear of it.
  • Quitting smoking made me dream my phobias. Note: Quitting smoking = good for you and adds years of life (I guess). Chantix = great way to stop smoking. Quitting smoking with Chantix = great way to dream yourself into a straitjacket.
  • Being "normal" probably means having one or two things that freak you out. I re-read this post and, based on the number of things that I freak about, I am seeing some therapy or psychotropic drugs in my future.
One good thing about having neuro-sarc: I forget how crazy I am until someone reminds me - or until I review these blog entries. Maybe it's not such a good idea that I have pretty much documented my life here on BeingFree. All my craziness is going to haunt me as long as there is a world wide web.


"I'm not crazy, I'm just interesting." (yeah, I said it)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

One of Those Days

Once again, this wouldn't be my life if it weren't funny.

You guys have heard me talk about my Sarc enough to know that it makes me clumsy sometimes, right? And I've told you how I have less than great eyesight. I am near- and far-sighted. I use my reading glasses more than I use my distance glasses for driving, but I pretty much can't see details either way without concentrating.

So on top of being a klutz and poor-sighted, I also have self-acquired Attention Deficit Disorder. And what I mean is that my ADD comes from mental laziness more than from the neuro-Sarc. I'm a daydreamer and I just don't always pay full attention to things.

Now keep all this in mind when I tell you that it was no one's fault but my own when I came this close to sliding under a half-ton pick-up truck the other day.

I had to make a quick run up to a convenience store. Just needed one loaf of bread and didn't want to fight the crowds at the grocery store. Of course, I am too vain to just do the wrap-a-coat-over-the-pjs thing. (My roommate does that all the time and I tell her that she's going to regret it when she meets someone special or important while she's looking ratty.) I don't like to go out anywhere without brushing my teeth, combing my hair and putting on at least some good Chapstick.

And, ladies, understand that I don't do this to impress the guys as much as I do it for you. I hate nothing worse than looking like crap when I run into another woman who looks like she's got it all pulled together. The only sleepwear I will wear in public has "Pink" written on it. Yes, I love my Victoria's Secret type lounge-wear ("type" could be Victoria's Stepsister off the rack at Walmart. Cute does not have to be expensive).

So anyway, I brush my teeth, tame the hair (oh boy) and gloss the lips. I tug on my cutest boots - which are not so ice-friendly but, what the heck, I'm just going from car to store and back. I'd tested the boots on our sanded lot at the apartment. And did I mention that they are really cute boots.

The boots were the first mistake.

Like always, I turn on the music in the car. Now, here's the thing: when I listen to music, I kind of go to that special place in my imagination. It's the place where I can sing well and I give concerts to imaginary fans, chair-dancing included. (Don't worry. I don't do the dancing thing while the car is in motion. That's just for stop lights and parking spaces.)

The music was the second mistake.

I get to the store, park and sit in the car until "No Parking on the Dance Floor" finishes. I'm shy about a lot of things, but I have no inhibition about singing and dancing in my car. Everybody wants to. I just happen to not care who sees me doing it.

So there I am, just killing it to the last little bit of the song.

This is a classic dance jam.

Just when the song was finishing, I noticed a big and beautiful shining monster of a blue truck pull into the space next to mine. I'm still doing my little shoulder-groove thing while I'm getting out of the car - because I can still kind of hear the music in my head.

The guy getting out of the truck is watching me and kind of smiling to himself because - I don't know, I'm the crazy-cool lady jamming down to sounds in her head? Or maybe he's just so damn happy to be driving that gorgeous vehicle? Anyway, as I go to step out of the car, I don't notice that the lot hasn't been salted or sanded. Also, I forgot that I was wearing my too-cute but not-safe-for-the-ice boots. I do the girly car exit (legs together, swivel and stand) still bopping away to my head-music and-

While it was in no way graceful, I bet skaters would kill to pull off the move I did. Everything seemed to be happening in slow-motion.

As I went into an immediate slide, I grabbed the door of my car. That only made things worse because I kind of whipped around and pulled the door out toward me.

Truck Guy came to the rescue. He caught me just as I was about to do an inspection of the underside of his ride. I ended up with my face planted in his underarm while my feet were doing this Scooby-Doo slip-slide-run thing. I felt like this went on forever, but I guess it only lasted a few seconds. Finally, I was standing upright but unable to move without sliding again.

Truck Guy was a gentleman. I know this because, even though I could feel him shaking with laughter, he kept a straight face while he asked if I was okay. I mean, he didn't even crack half a smile. That's control.

Of course I wasn't okay. I was embarrassed and I think I got whiplash in my ass.

Worst of all? There was a woman in Truck Guy's vehicle. He was polite about not cracking up but that bitch was laughing so hard she was about to give herself a hernia.

Truck Guy sort of toddler-walked me into the store and he even waited while I paid for my bread. He practically carried me back to my car. God bless that man, whoever he is... I'm sure that he and old girl entertained all their friends with that story. I know she did. That heifer.


Monday, November 25, 2013

**REVIEW** Lancome DreamTone (end of wk 3) UPDATED


It's over for me, ladies.

Sorry, but I gave up on the Lancome DreamTone that I've been trying out. It simply made my skin feel too dry. That's the bad news. The good news is that I am letting my sister try it. She might have better luck with it than I did. Already she likes the way it makes her skin feel. And she is pretty picky about products. Again, the bad news: she won't agree to let me photograph the full-face results. Something about not trusting the internet... I am going to try doing close-ups of her skin to mark progress.

For my personal final statements regarding DreamTone, it smelled good, felt great and I loved the design of the container. My main problem is that it made my skin feel thirsty. I work hard at moisturizing my entire body. For me, dry equals damage and wear. I like to feel soft and touchable.

Using DreamTone did not seem to damage my skin, but I did not see any dramatic improvements either.

At around $100, the DreamTone is rather expensive. As an alternative, I can purchase Anew for around $30 (for approximately 2 months use alone) or Olay for around $25 which would last over a month if using it with any other type of OTC moisturizer. At the cheapest, I can use olive, coconut or sesame oil in place of all the cosmetic brands. For someone in my financial position, the difference between five and thirty dollars for a vanity product is, well, enough of a difference. I get complimented on my skin all the time, so I will work with what I have for the time being. When I start having major issues with my skin, I might consider shifting more money away from food toward things like cosmetics and other vanity items.

Bottom line: DreamTone is probably just right for some skin types. Unless any results are expected to last for a while past final use of the product, the price seems high for the average working woman.  Using the product lightly twice a day, I could have expected to spend over $700 a year. For that kind of money, a woman could get a professional treatment in a doctor's office to handle minor issues.

Maybe DreamTone is going to be marketed to women in a higher income bracket. I don't know. My skin concerns are not that serious and my pockets aren't that deep. My sister says that, depending on how the product works, she would consider budgeting for it to use intermittently with other products. That's a thought, I guess, and it would be nice if there were more than one size and price option.


Forgot to add pics. I took the most honest ones I could: first thing in the morning, after sleeping with eye makeup on, hair NOT done. This was tough, but here goes:

I wanted to get rid of the dark "freckle" like spots on the left side

I didn't use DreamTone the day before, but went back to "cleaning" w/oil & using my Anew moisturizer.

Left my skin soft but just feeling too dry & kind of tight. That has passed now that I've stopped using it.

Not good to sleep in makeup. 

I might see a little smoothing of the lines on my forehead. A little.
(I'll make this one a profile pic since you can't see the lines! LOL)

I prefer to call them  smile lines. You don't notice them if I'm smiling!

Now all I need to do is start working on that hair!

Me and This Hair of Mine

A lot of women are going to be able to relate to this post. +Merry Weathers and I were having a conversation about our hair and I wanted to keep it going here on the blog.

(First of all, let me say that when I am talking about those who wear "natural" hair, I am speaking about black women. Not that it is only black women who have, in general, hair texture that is curly, kinky, thick or coarse. I am just speaking to what I know for myself.)

I am in a love/hate relationship with my hair. Hate is the current feeling at the moment. Okay - maybe not hate, but a strong irritation. And I'm not always the innocent party in this arrangement. Sometimes I'm abusive, then I make it up by being gentle and buying great products. Then I get lazy and start taking things for granted... It's a vicious cycle. But I am ready to admit my faults and accept help. I wish there was a Hair Help Anonymous for curly girls. I'd be all up in the front row of those meets:

"My name is Free and I abuse my hair."

If I treated my hair the way I treated my skin, I'd probably have a healthy and happy Afro by now. As it is, I have this TWA that dries up like a tumbleweed two seconds after I leave water. It wasn't until I started checking in with Curly Nikki on a regular basis that I figured out my problem(s).

Number One - I had never bothered to identify my hair type. This helped explain a lot. Now, I at least know that my hair is in the category of "low porosity" (versus "normal" and "high"). This helps me in choosing products that are better for my hair. You won't believe the mountain of products I have that are completely wrong for my hair type. ~sigh~

Number Two - Though I know some things now about my hair, I'm still a slow learner compared to folks who know the letter and number designation of their hair.  I know that my hair is nappy. Why the heck do I need to have a designation for that? The silliness. (I thought that was just for store-bought tresses! Live and learn.)

Number Three - Hair (especially when you are trying to "go natural") is like the best friend you pissed off a week ago: it's still there for you, but you have to treat it special for a while before things are good again. The relationship needs some real growth.

So, now that I have some clues about my hair type, I've been learning how to treat it better. I'm learning all about the Cherry Lola treatment, steaming (without spending a fortune), and which products work better for high, normal and low porosity hair. (True story: Talk about dry hair... in testing for my porosity type, I put a strand of my hair in a cup of water. It floated for two hours! It probably would still be floating, but I tossed it.)

I will tell you right now that if you are doing the "natural" look,  you need to check out the these sites. Be sure to let me know your suggestions for other sources of info.

I am learning that there is a whole language to the natural hair world. The co-wash, pre-poo, etc. It's a lot to grasp, but common sense should be your guide. For instance, I kept seeing "glycerin" being mentioned as a good moisturizer for my "lo-po" hair. Could have driven myself crazy getting to a supply store to purchase something. Guess what? My nephew had some SoftSheen Sta-Sof-Fro hair and scalp spray in a bathroom pantry. The second ingredient listed: glycerin. (Too oily for daytime, but a steamer treatment product for me.)

If anyone gets hold of more info, please share it with me. I'm off to steam my hair with a wet towel, plastic bag and a borrowed dryer.


Friday, November 22, 2013

I Challenge You All: To Do vs Done It

I am an app junkie. Time, weather, math, spelling, games... If there's an android app, I probably have had it on my phone.

It's dawned on me in the past few days that what I need is not a "To Do" app, but a "Done It" app. Until I find such an app (or learn to create one), I have been using pen and paper. Every couple hours or so, I make notes of what I have actually accomplished. Just before bed, I take a look and - well, I just started doing this so, right now, I mostly realize how little I do accomplish. What I am learning is that I waste a lot of time. Since I am forcing myself to be more aware of how I spend my time, I hope to start spending it better.

The Challenge:
If you want to try this, I suggest that you keep pen and paper nearby. Every couple hours, jot down what you have accomplished. (It can be a little cringe-worthy at first. If you don't think so, look at my first list below.) Don't try to change your usual routine for the first day if you want to get an honest idea of your time use. On Day Two, on one side of your paper, make a note of what you'd like to get done by day's end. On the other side of the paper, keep a log of what you actually did get done.

Wow, right?

So, yeah. That's my little challenge. But I'm not knocking the use of apps. Matter of fact, some apps are really necessary for me. I have one that tracks my blood pressure checks. This is because my doctor's like to monitor that sort of thing and I can rarely remember appointments, let alone a month's worth of pressure readings. Because I check my phone so much, I always notice the widget, which reminds me to check my pressure and log it.

I used one app when I was quitting smoking. It was (literally, I guess) a lifesaver. Whenever I wanted a smoke - which was about every 2 seconds, it seemed - I'd open Quit Smoking: Cessation Nation (*) and play a game or check my quit stats. It's kind of nice to be reminded of how your body is healing itself after years of nicotine abuse.

The apps I love though are the ones I just know I am going to use. I see them and think, "Wow, this is what I need to help solve every life problem I have." (Okay, not really, but I do get all hopeful like that.) I have so many apps on my phone that I forget about half of them unless I try to re-download them. Seriously.

One of the things I struggle with is keeping myself on track with goals. I am trying to get this book written, but I have trouble keeping plot and characters in line. Evernote has been my best friend for a minute now - though I don't like its widget. But the main kinds of apps I have been attracted to are the memo and list apps.

I actually use the Memo app (that came on my Samsung Infuse) several times a week. It's the only app of its kind that I do use on a regular basis. Not that it's the only good app of its kind, but there is something about how easy it is to use. Also, it never gets trashed up with updates. It's a good thing and they let it be. Bravo! (Watch what happens now that I mentioned it...)

Here are just some of the other apps I always intend to make use of:
By the way, I hope my challenge works for you.


My 1st Day List 

Checked and answered email
Blogged & Music
Set out stuff for dinner
Online and email while eating
Exercised for about half an hour
Light cleaning
Music and on phone
Visited family and took a nap
Early dinner
Ran errands
Some editing

That's it. Like I said, cringe worthy. I am pretty embarrassed that I got nothing much done. And what in the hell did I do that warranted taking a nap? What am I - 2 years old?

Thankfully, I can say that this is one of my slower days, but I was up at around 8am and in bed by about 11pm. This is all I did with my precious life hours??? Yeah, so, my next step will be tracking start and finish times. 

(*) Thank you, Ron Horner, for an app that probably really did add some years to my life.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Stuff I Was Surprised is Online

My ex always liked to say that there are 2 things that will surprise us about heaven: who will be there and who won't. That's probably true (sure hope I get to find out!), but I am still being surprised about the here and now.

I know that the internet has broken barriers to almost everything. Why am I still so surprised when I run across what's available to anyone with an internet connection? If I were raising kids today, I would be so out-gunned. When I was helping to raise my two nieces, half my power as an adult was my ability to lie with a straight face. (Don't you judge me. Every adult stretches the truth about some things in order to frighten kids into behaving.)

Anyway, if our kids had had access to the internet back then, there's no way they'd have bought my bluff about knowing if they'd been having sex by taking their pulse. 

Courtesy the internet, you can learn just about anything and anything about anything - and not just how to add, subtract multiply and write code, which you can learn withing ten minutes of a Google search. You can learn useless stuff, cool stuff,  fun stuff. For instance, I found you can do the following:
  • Attend a handbag academy. Not kidding you. For a hundred bucks a year (or twenty-five per month), you can learn how to make handbags at home. You might even be able to sell them. Now, that's what I'm talking about. (My broke ass is already  plotting how to afford this.)
  • Learn to chant. Yes, chant. I think I'd have to learn to hold a tune first.
  • Learn how to get qualified to fly a plane. (I won't be worrying about this one. Hell, I'm not coherent enough to figure out if that last sentence made sense!) 
  • Buy Canned Unicorn Meat? Seriously? Sort of. Well, yes. And other strange things. I found out about this silliness via a post on the Mother Nature Network. (And, yes, I do really need either a man in my life or a job. Like ten minutes ago.)
Now, this isn't a huge list because I went ahead and found these other places you can check for more weird online stuff:
  • Incredible Things - Very cool site. Don't go over there if you are supposed to be getting anything else done for a while. If you need to be taking care of things like work or chores or rescuing a kid who's gotten his head stuck in a drawer (remember when that happened to DJ on "Roseanne"?)
  • Having home delivery is cool, but having tampons delivered? I don't want any stranger knowing that much about my life.
  • I only put this in because I like playing Sims.
  • More weird buys, via Reddit.
  • Weird college classes you can take online. (Ask me why the hell I bookmarked that page? Maybe because there's an "Art of Walking" class? I dunno.)
  • Blisstree has a bunch of stuff to check out. Hope the links here are all still good. It's an older post entry.
One thing I thought of when I was looking at some of these sites is, I'm not the only odd person out there checking out weird stuff. It's good to know you aren't alone.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hi. How Are You? Who Are You?

The other day, when I was looking at stats to identify the blog's most popular posts, I also glanced at where returning visitors come from. Actually, over the past several months, I have used Feedjit off and on to see where my visitors hail from. (By the way, I myself don't like the idea of being watched, so I don't like to look too closely at my readers without their knowing. That's kind of creepy, don't you think?) Anyway, Feedjit just gives me a look at locations of readers. If it does give me any more info than that, I don't really know or care.

The only reason I even like knowing where readers come in from is that I'd like to sometimes post about things that might interest them instead of talking about myself all the time. Because I have the attention span of a toddler, even though I glance at my reader stats all the time, I remember those stats for about half a second. The good thing about that is, repeat visitors kind of stand out even in my memory.

It looks like I have some faithful readers out there from outside Paris, France, in Washington state and California and New York and down in Brisbane and Sydney. I get a lot of visitors from the UK. If I look closer at stats, I seem to attract the attention of more folks outside the US - at least enough for them to come back. Wonder what that means?


Blogger, Technorati, Feedjit... numbers, graphs and charts. I can give myself a major headache if i look too long at any of this stuff. What am I supposed to do with this information? No clue. I just found it interesting for about five minutes. And it made me want to know about the folks who come over and take a look at the blog. I'm so self-focused when write my posts, but, if I could talk to you guys, I'd want to know more about you.

So, all right then, I am talking to you, and I am very nosy:

  • Where are you from & do you like it there or not? Why?
  • Are you Android or Apple?
  • What would you do if you could do anything and get paid for it?
  • What's your favorite social network, if you have one? (G+, Facebook, Twitter....)
  • Are you creative & how?
  • Do you have a theme song? What is it?
  • What's your zodiac sign?
  • Are you part of a big family? Do you like that?
  • What's your favorite song, book, quote...?
  • What cycle of your life are you in right now? (Happy, sad, changing, learning...)

Of course, I have learned from experience that my readers tend to be shy. I get more direct emails than I do comments here and on G+. That's okay. If you do email, please remember to put the post title in the Subject line. Sometimes things go straight to my junk folder and I can't tell what's what.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Theme Music. Life Music.

Katt Williams suggested it. Ally McBeal did it. Me too.

I decided I needed some theme music for my life. A soundtrack, I guess.

What would be your theme song if you could have just one tune to represent you? If you could pick more than one song - say, 10 or 12 - would they all be from one time period or genre?

The idea of having hearing music playing in my head when I walk into a roomful of strangers - or enemies - or while I am writing... It's just such a cool idea. And it wasn't Katt Williams or Ally McBeal who first put the idea out there in public. When I started this blog, I met (online) another blogger who talked about a life soundtracks.  This woman was way ahead of the times and she is way more than a blogger, but this is where I discovered her.

So the idea has been there. Katt put humor (and truth) to it.

Once I saw that, I realized I'd been doing this all my life! I've always been like Rose. C'mon, you know Rose, don't you? Best comic strip ever.* 

Anyway, I am usually cooled out like "regular" Rose until I need to bring out my inner "biker chick", then I'm all

image by Don Wimmer

Yeah. Like that.

The thing is, one song is not enough to cover my many moods, oddities and whims. For that, I probably could put together a multi-disc pack. But, if limited to just one song, it would be "Shine" by the Bar Kays,

 but I have music of all kinds running through my head all the time. It must be something with me and the songs about inner light. INXS's "Shine Like it Does" is my back-up theme song. The words are so beautiful. The reminders do me good.

By the way, when I told someone about my theme music, they (of course) pointed out that I only mentioned secular songs. Well, guess what? I don't think that any one genre of music has God locked down. Matter of fact, the "Shine Like it Does" lyrics are all about something positive and eternal. So, you can just miss me with that criticism. I'd get all on my soapbox about "Shine" too, but I can't find the lyrics anywhere online. (And I'm bad with lyrics. To this day, my family starts snickering when I try to sing along with "In Da Club" by 50 Cent.)

Not to appease anyone, but I do have my one gospel song that I will really lean on when I'm just worn down.

Like I said, it's about being reminded.


*For more Rose, check this out.

Monday, November 18, 2013

**REVIEW** Lancome DreamTone (end of wk 2)

Okay. This is Day 15 of using and reviewing the Lancome's DreamTone I received (compliments of SheSpeaks). Not much has changed visually in the last week, so I won't do photos this time. What I have noticed is a little bit of difference in the way my skin feels.

(And, before I start product reveiw, let me mention for Lancome: The skin type listing should be on the front of the container. On the back, it's not easy to spot whether the product is customized for 1/Fair, 2/Medium or 3/Dark. Just a minor quibble.)

Before using DreamTone, I could go a couple hours after waking before having to apply any of my usual moisturizers: the oil I use to clean and soothe my morning skin and the Anew that I sometimes use after removing the oil with a warm, damp rag. (If I just had to, I could skip all this until around noon.)

Since I have been using DreamTone, my cleaned and moisturized skin feels nice - a little smoother to the touch, I think - but...

This is a big "but": my skin dries out a lot quicker in between moisturizing. I'm super sensitive to changes in my skin's moisture level. If my skin feels dry, I will apply a little oil or moisturizer during a nighttime bathroom run.

It's only been 15 days, so I am trying to decide if it's worth the hassle of the extra-moisturizing. This is not me being lazy, folks. This is me being broke and my skin being addicted to moisturizer that costs a little more than I like to spend in the first place. Pre-DreamTone, I was using oil to cleanse and moisturize about twice a day (morning and night). I use my Avon Anew on days when the atmosphere is drier due to extreme cold or heat - or my not drinking enough water, having a cold... Ya know. I've already dipped into my Anew way more than I'd like to this month. Also, do I want to use something that might improve the look of my skin but cause it to dry out? I mean, who wants dry skin, no matter how good it might look? That's got to be bad in the long-run, right?

I have to start getting some more visible results - and soon - to make using the DreamTone worth it. I don't want to dry my skin to make it look better, any more than I'd want to use surgery to change it. Another question is, if it works, will I need to continue using it long-term to keep any benefits gained?

This brings up a truly "First World problem": if the product does  work, I have to figure out how to afford it. The price is $98 for 1.3 fl. oz. I can score a lot of single gal groceries with five 20-dollar bills (when 6 eggs run $0.78 at Walmart). You know? But I am woman so for a miracle product I'd add it to my gift wishlists, but... for a little bit of a difference? Nope. I wouldn't want a gift that cost that kind of money. My last name is not Getty.

Here's something else I want to say:

Product reviews are great in one way (you learn if anyone had seriously horrific reactions or not), for the main thing, but you really do have to make adjustments for your individual differences. When reading (or writing) reviews, I like to think of skin products the way I do perfumes: we all have a "type" that seems to work better. My sister and I are different, so I can wear Hynotic Poison like it was made for me and, on her it reeks. (I mean, it's goat-funky!) It goes the same for skin products. I like Olay and Anew, but those don't work well for my sister. Olay makes her break out.

I suggest that when you read other reviews for DreamTone (or any product) that you check out what the reviewer likes for their skin type in general. I'm just saying.

Check SheSpeaks for reviews from other ladies. Also, here's another via YouTube from a lady in another country who had my question about long-term retention of results. Love that accent.)


(P.S.: A little sarc'ed today. Hope post is coherent enough!)

Being Free is Almost 8 Years Old

Playing around with an app called Days Since, I realized that this blog is - at this very moment - 7 years, 9 months and 11 days old.


Up to now I have published 702 posts (not including this one).


Since I haven't published any of my fiction novels, this blog is the most of myself as a "writer" that I have put out for anyone to see. Here's to another 8 years of the blog. Until I do get a book ready to be published, here are the posts that people seem to like the most. Based on Blogger's stats, these have all gotten the most views. (To those of you who have posts regularly hitting in the thousands, let me just have my little moment here.)

If I wrote only to get a lot of visitors to the blog, I guess I would write more about kids, the devil and skin products! But I write to make myself think or laugh or wonder, and it's pretty cool when so many other people come over here to share it all with me.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Quickie Post: Multiple Uses for Ordinary Items

Hmmph! Some people on my list for lifehack mailouts* are such grumps. Fine, I will list my latest list of hacks I wanted to pass on here. For you. The gracious bunch of you.

Multi Uses for:

Other Goodies:

*I get most of my "hacks" from here. You can subscribe to a feed. Let me know of other good places for hacks.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Entertainment vs Real Life

Until more movies start reflecting people and situations as I know them, I'm going to rant. There are two versions of life, apparently: the movie version and the real thing. How do they compare?

Scary movie vs Real life
  • Movie: When night comes, everyone goes to their separate rooms. Reality: I'm not going anywhere by myself. If you are going to your room for the night, I am going with you. Matter of fact, I'll get there with you before your skin does.
  • Movie: People do things quickly. The first idiot goes off to get killed within the first couple of minutes. Lead Guy and Lead Girl fall in love so fast it's insane. And when Lead Guy is in love, he's pretty quick to get chivalrous. "Stay here," he'll command when something happens - like a strange noise or something. Lead Girl is so in love, she usually obeys. Reality: Not me. I'll never be that in love. Stay here, my ass. Baby, if you so much as move one inch, I'll be so up on you, I'll become your proctologist.
  • Movie: It's not just Lead Guy who wants to play the hero. There's always that one ballsy (or crazy) person who runs  off to investigate "that noise." Reality: I'm so nosy that I once fell through my boss's door trying to listen in, but I don't care so much for things that go bump or "screee..." Nah. I'm good. Unless not going means I'll be left alone. In that case, once again - me and your doctor...
  • Movie: It takes a lot to happen before everyone is on board that there is a ghost or demon or something. It's usually not until after a lot of inanimate objects move on their own that folks seem to know something bad's going down. Got to be all hardheaded. Reality: When it comes to scary stuff, I'm Lionel Richie. All easy like Sunday morning. You let one door slam even one time. I'm leaving footprints across someone's back getting the hell out of there.
  • Movie: Folks will play with a Ouija board or draw pentagrams, or whatever it takes, to "call up" things they have no damn business calling up. The idea is that they can control things. Reality: Not me, boo boo. The way I see it, if it died and came back, or it never lived but is trying to come around here, I want not a damn thing to do with it. I have a six word rule of thumb: "Leave it alone. Let it be." You can set that to music and sing away your troubles.
You let me even imagine I'm seeing something that looks like it came from "beyond" or whatever...

Romance/RomComs vs RealRoms

  • Movie: Guy meets Girl, there's a little bit of conflict, then there's a miraculous resolution. Guy and Girl either live happily ever after or, at the least, end up as really good friends. Reality: Guy and Girl meet. If he's not really crazy, stupid or walking around with the emotional maturity of a fetus, she is. There's rarely a resolution, but often a compromise, in which case they end up miserably connected for life or going through every trouble in the world to avoid seeing each other. (Okay - I went a little overboard on that one, but it's been a rough few years.)
  • Movie: The sex is always phenomenal - for both parties - and the morning-after cuteness is never marred with breath that could light forest fires.  Reality: We all know that sex is often good and sometimes phenomenal but, I swear, good sex must create bad breathe. I have never in my life been able to roll over in the morning and say "Hello" in anything but sign language to someone who doesn't love me a whole lot. For anything else to happen, I'd first have go on a water-only fast and refuse to burp.
  • Movie: The women always look great - no matter what the situation. The starring actress in, say, a romantic comedy, can survive a horrific physical mishap, a family tragedy, the loss of her job and every decent thing in her closet and she will still look: miserable-and-sexy, smudged-up-and-sexy, forlorn-and-sexy, sexy-and-sexy - or, at the very least, really cute and adorable in a goofy or quirky or "It Factor" kind of way.  Reality: The average and decent-looking woman living in this real world of ours can pull off sexy. I think we all have a sexy-ness inside. Some of us just require the right lighting, some really good foundation and the talents of the makeup girl at Nordstrom to pull it off right. I mean, I can be hella sexy, don't get it twisted. I just can't pull of my sexiest without a good night's sleep and at least one cup of morning coffee. Then I will sexy my ass off - and yours too.
  • Movie: Men are always hot in some kind of way. If they aren't built like an Adonis, they are hot because they are so smart or have a drawl or an accent or they have perfected the kind of bad-boy sizzle that can make a gal's toes curl just by giving her a glance. There are men on some magazine's "Hottest" list who some of us would run screaming away from if their names hadn't been top-billed at a theater.  Reality: The guy trying to hit on you in the check-out line at Safeway can have all the drawl or accent they want or bad-boy sizzle there is. If we see them loading their bags onto a bicycle, they won't be feeling anything from us but an arctic chill. We woman can be such bitches in real life - not all cuddly and cute like a Meg Ryan at all. (Because she'd ride that bike with him and find out he has a Porsche parked at his summer home.)
  • Movie: The mean mother or nosy sister or awkward friend always adds a little "flavor" to a couple's relationship. Not like in  Reality: where the lovers damn near end up on a TV court show because of the fist fight that broke out at the engagement party or something. I actually have a friend whose parents didn't know she was living with her boyfriend (for FIVE years) before the couple married. The woman's parents (especially her mother) were that awful. 
Cable TV Shows vs Real Life
  • Series: Ugly Betty, Nip/Tuck, Desperate Housewives, Weeds Reality: First of all, how many "regular" folk have that much money, that much sex, raise kids that badly and live life with such carelessness? I mean, the world is pretty messed up, but not (yet) that freaking apocalyptic... 
And, don't bring up the so-called "Reality" TV shows. Most of the Real Housewives aren't (or never stay) married. I'd rant more, but the only reality shows I watch are about women in Atlanta and Orange County who are supposed to be classy, fabulous and rich. Most of them dress like poorly paid hookers, trade friendships like Pokemon cards and rent their homes. Yeah, fabulous. But at least they are entertaining. So far.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

All a Woman Wants

It's been said that all a woman wants is everything. Okay, it was most likely a man that said that, but... Come on, ladies, you know it's sorta true. The reason it's so hard for men to understand us is because we are still trying to figure it all out for ourselves.

Let me stop right here and say that, Number One: you might be offended by the rest of this post. Number Two: I don't care. My blog, my thoughts.

If we are talking about clothes, a woman wants garments that make her look more or less thin, thick, tall, approachable, whorish or lady-like. I am with the fellows who get mad at the woman who dresses with her tits falling out of her blouse then wants to blast out anybody who happens to stare at her chest for more than five seconds. (I'm hetero, but, if I was gay, I think I'd be into boobs. If I see a woman with her boobs on display, I can't help but stare like a nursing infant.)

If we are talking about work vs family, a woman wants to be multiple people. She wants to be the wife running the marriage, the mom there for every game and PTA meeting. She wants to be the on-the-go executive on the fast-track to the next promotion. She wants to be in demand yet free, on the move yet rested.

If we are talking about identities, a woman wants to be romanced like a Jezebel but cared for like a a treasure. She wants someone to cherish her but not go easy on her, make her feel safe but not bored. She wants that "bad boy" who will treat her like a nice guy would. She says money doesn't matter but she hates paying for everything. She says a pearls are a nice as diamonds but she's not jealous of anyone's pearls. She wants a man she can "run," but she doesn't respect that kind of guy. She wants friends she can talk to, but she doesn't want them "all up in her business." She wants to be understood, but she doesn't want to open her heart.

If we are talking about just living life, she talks a healthy game but dreams in technicolor sin. She is a black woman who wants bone straight hair and blue eyes, or a white woman who wants the deepest tan and a curvier butt. She wants what she thinks you want but she doesn't understand that you are just the mirror of her.

Got that?

All a woman wants is everything - until she learns to be happy with who she is and what she has within herself.

So if there is a woman in your life you want to make happy, here is what you can do to help:

  • Let her be okay with who she is.
  • Love her the way she is at this moment and who she will be in the next moment.
  • Give her room to make mistakes and when she pulls away from you a little, let her. 
  • If she is fat or skinny or tall or short, with hair that's straight or nappy, either love her body completely or leave her heart alone.
  • If she is one of those "strong" women, let her reserve the right to be a little weak sometimes.
  • When you do find her weakness, try to understand it without exploiting it.
  • Let her "sexy" be whatever her sexy is (and her sexy might not be what's on a magazine cover or in a popular movie or song).
  • Let her see you for who and what you really are. A front is nice for the "front porch" of a relationship. If you want to get behind doors with her, then get all the way behind those doors.
  • If you are going to be her lover, also be her friend. If you are going to be her friend, also be someone she can trust completely. If you are going to break her heart, do it sooner rather than later.

Woman are like secrets within secrets within secrets. We play games - not to hurt anyone but to keep from getting hurt. Any woman you meet today can be someone you only want her to be - or who she really is. How far into her heart you get is up to you.

Male or female, all any of us want is everything, but my everything is not your everything.

Now, that's the end of my little rant for the day. (Don't know why I feel like I should have been reading all that into a microphone with some jazz playing in the background.)


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thankful to be an Ingrate

With Thanksgiving coming up, I've been thinking more about all I have to be thankful for. (First, I had to climb down off my pity-pot.) God and I had a little falling out when my family was hit by a string of tragedies. Thing is, whenever I "fall out" with God, I fall right into a mess and He's always right there to catch me.

One of the main things I am thankful for is that I am still here to be such a freaking ingrate. And, believe this: when I set my mind to it, I can be the queen of all that is selfish and mean. (Just ask anybody who has known me for more than ten minutes.) So, I guess I am thankful that I have folks who love me enough to put up with me. I'm definitely thankful to still be around to be a pain in their backsides!

Another thing I am thankful for is just waking up every morning healthier than I was a while back. As old folks are fond of saying: "A lot of us didn't wake up this morning."

I woke up and got another day older. Ha! One thing about getting older (and by "older", I mean old enough, not old as dirt) is that you do start actually reading obituary notices when you pick up a newspaper. I used to accidentally catch sight of a notice and pay no attention at all except to be upset that someone, anyone had died. These days, I sometimes check the news only for the obits.

It's a thought-stirring thing to realize that a lot of the people in the obits are very close to my age. Or that they look a lot like people I could have gone to school with or worked alongside... I want to go back to the days when the ages given in obituaries were up there in the late 80's and 90's.  That's the way it seemed to have been when I was younger.    Or maybe it was that ages like 50- and 60-something seemed as old to me as 80 and 90.

Another thing I am thankful for is that I have survived every single thing that I thought was going to be the end of me. You all know what I mean. We have things happen that, at the time, seem like they are going to just destroy us: lost friendships, broken romances, finances that went out of control. When you go through some things, you (or at least I) just feel like you can't bear another ounce of weight on your soul. Then, somehow, you manage to get through one moment of the agony, and then another moment and another. And... you have survived it. What's the saying about living to fight another day? Well.

Mostly, I'm super-thankful that I am getting to watch that nephew of mine as he goes from baby to toddler to whatever kind of kid he's going to be. He is truly a wonder to me. He doesn't know it and I'll probably forget to tell him when he's older, but he has been such a light for me when I felt like I was lost in the shadows of fear and depression.  Looking at a child will do that for you. It reminds me that God made us all that pure and innocent.

There are a bunch of other (and some truly shallow) additions to my list of thanks:
  • I'm not nearly as chunky as I was last year. I am on the verge of convincing myself I might be a little "hot" again.
  • I can wear heels again. Not skinny heels (or super high heels) and I can't run in them (or even break into one of those cute, hip-swaying trots), but I can teeter around without walking into walls. 
  • My hair, while still way shorter than I originally wanted, is getting thicker. I can do things with it if I wasn't way too lazy to. At least I can wear this TWA and make it work for me.
  • I still have my sense of humor (even though I sometimes use it to be not-so-nice).
  • I'm smoke-free.
  • I'm prednisone-free.
So, yeah, I've got a huge list of stuff to be thankful for. I won't even spoil this post by adding my the things I wish could be on this list. 


P.S.: I've gotten addicted to Gifsoup, if you hadn't noticed.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I'm One of THOSE Ex-Smokers

I always swore that I'd never be one of those sanctimonious former smokers. So far, I have been pretty good about how I treat and act toward people who (still) smoke. That is, for the most part.

The other day, my doctor's assistant called in a bit of a huff. Apparently, when I checked on my insurance change-over at the pharmacy, they re-ordered all my 'scripts. They are pretty helpful like that (I think because they think I'm a little slower than I actually am), but they called in a RX for an expired Chantix. My niece picked up the meds but I just left them at her house. Still, I'm pretty sure my doctor was telepathically kicking my ass since I am taking estrogen now.

When I told my friend, she asked if she could have the Chantix.  First of all, I don't give out my meds. Second of all, this chick could get those pills any time she wants. She doesn't want a thing to do with quitting smoking. She was just trying to mess with my head. Her doc had prescribed her some months ago. I think she took them like she takes her vitamins - when she feels in need of one. Idiot. I wasn't as bitchy about it as I could have been; it was easier (and nicer) to just say that my niece tossed the meds. I don't know who was more relieved: my friend or- No, it was her.

The very next day - I mean, less than 24 hours later - this chick asked if I could pick her up a couple packs of cigarettes while I was out. Her car is in the shop for a couple of days and I know what it's like to be without a ready ride. Hell, I know what it's like to be a smoker and out of cigarettes. Still, I think it's rude for her to ask me to pick up cigarettes for her. Why not ask an alcoholic to stop by the liquor store for you? It's rude. And I am actually okay with being around cigarettes and smokers - that's not my point. What bothers me is that, in this case, with this friend, I had to beat my nicotine habit while she smoked around me. After I did beat my habit, I had to get an air purifier for my room so that I don't get all of her smoke and stink and ick second-hand. The only time this girl isn't puffing is when she is in my car. She smokes so much, she won't even pick a brand. She smoked three different kinds of cigarettes - King or 100's, Full Flavor or Light, Menthol or Regular - all at the same time. She keeps at least three open packs around her at all times!

~deep breath~

Anyway, when she managed to fix her lips to ask that I go and buy her cigarettes, I fixed my lips to tell her to kiss my not-as-fat-as-it-used-to-be ass. I didn't actually tell her to do that, but I did fix my lips to tell her. Then I had a visit from that little cartoon figure of my conscience. (It was a little pencil-drawn me puffing on a cigarette.) My cartoon-me told me not to be a bitch. She reminded me of what I used to feel like when I wanted a cigarette and couldn't get to one. She told me that being mean to my friend was not going to keep her from smoking.

I listened to cartoon-me and ended up giving my friend a lift to buy her own cigarettes. That was the nice part of real-me. (The bitch part of me knew that my friend couldn't wait to light up the minute we got back home so I made a few stops for errands along the way. She almost slid down getting out of that car when we got to the apartment.)

At any rate, this has all reminded me that I really don't want to be one of those ex-smokers. I don't want to act like I never had a killer habit for nicotine. I don't want to pretend that there wasn't a time I would've probably turned a couple of tricks for a pack of cigarettes if I'd had to. You think I'm kidding? Ask a smoker what's the most they would do for a cigarette - but ask them when they are out of smokes and don't have another pack on hand.

While I don't want to be that kind of an ex-smoker, I sure am glad to be any kind of an ex-smoker.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

**REVIEW** Lancome DreamTone (end of wk 1)

This is my 7th day using and reviewing Lancome's DreamTone*.

I apologize right now for the poor quality pics. My webcam is either not the best or I just don't know how to adjust the thing. I can say that, for the most part, the pics are not that far off from what I saw in the mirror, just a little bit blurry.

Washed. No products applied.
One of  my guy friends says this is his favorite look for me. I can get this look with my regular serum and no moisturizer. A female friends says my skin looks a little too dry at this stage. ~shrug~


Moisturized & w/DreamTone applied.

My 2 friends and I agree that while my skin feels amazing at this point, it's a lot shinier than it needs to be. (My cam contrast creates only some of that nose shine. In the mirror it was almost as linding. I seriously could have been guiding reindeer traffic.


No foundation. Eyeliner and lipstick only.

(Freaking stoopid, cheap camera!) This really is not a great rep of what the mirror shows. My skin is not nearly as shiny (because I did blot with a clean face sponge) and you just cannot tell how wonderful my face feels. Now, there is not a thing I can do about my doublechin (except lay off the Ben & Jerry's), but I do love what the DreamTone Serum is doing for my face so far. I hate that you can't see the small spots without my posting this horrible photo from my phone cam:

Still not great with my phone cam, but these are the little spots I want rid of...

I don't wear foundation except for those occasions when I'm trying hard to be supercute, so you might not think I am a good judge of this product. Wrong. For one thing, my skin is over 50 years old. I can't get away with the no-foundation thing like I used to. I haven't been scaring off small animals without it, but I don't have that same natural glow that I did in my twenties and thirties.

The bottom-line so far:  After a week of the DreamTone, I don't think I'm getting a lot of visible results yet, but I can tell a huge difference in the way my skin feels with the DreamTone on. Without the DreamTone (after rinsing and in-between applications), I notice that my skin feels smoother, but gets a little drier than usual overnight. Usually, I can moisturize once in the morning and that will get me through the day. Sometimes, I don't have to use my regular products to moisturize my face before bed. The last few days, I've been making sure to moisturize pretty heavily under the DreamTone and most definitely before bed.

So far, I can say that I am pleased with the product. At this point, I would still recommend it for friends. Can't wait to see how the next few weeks go.


* Disclaimer: I received my Lancome DreamTone product from Lancome free of charge via SheSpeaks. 

Friday, November 08, 2013

Watching Folks, Watching Life

I am sitting here at Starbucks, drinking the cheapest serving of coffee to pay for my seat and wifi access. The library is off limits to me today. I never go to the library when I'm sure someone there is going to piss me off.

So, here at Starbucks, I am doing some serious people-watching. I hadn't intended to, but then I saw this guy come in who caught my attention and got me started. Just a gorgeous young man, but in that weird way that some people have. He is dressed like he has a job in a bank behind a desk, but he's got purple highlights in his hair, and he's wearing lipstick. His lips are amazing. (If I was a man and had lips like that, I'd wear lipstick too.) And he's wearing black nail polish. Damn, he is cute. Very hetero-acting, which is a turn-on because of the makeup. And he's so confident. This man should be on a magazine cover or red carpet, or in my bed tonight. Except he's about 25 years younger than me. I'd probably end up in the E.R. It might be worth it.


Then there is the dude sitting over in the opposite corner of the room. Very strange-looking. He's either a visibly tortured artist or a budding serial-killer. He just has that look: sorta-crazy-but-sorta-brilliant. He's writing in a ratty little memo book with a broken-off pencil. He's being really intense. He caught me looking at him a second ago and he started biting his bottom lip. Damnnn! That was kind of sexy until I realized that Ted Bundy was pretty hot too.

If I were a fairy godmother, I'd wave my wand and hook up the hot guy with the nail polish with the cute server with the ponytail. (She's cute in a very clean and honest-looking way. She looks like someone who has a great personality without trying to channel any pop culture idols.)  I'd hook crazy guy up with myself if I also had a weapon just in case he's dangerous, but, without knowing, I'd like to see him with this one lady who is being very self-consciously fashionable. She's pretty hot-looking, but she's way too aware of herself. I like her Chanel bag but you can tell she wants everyone to notice that it is a Chanel bag. Her coat is probably designer too. It hangs really well and it's one of those items that looks very plain and expensive and probably didn't come from Burlington but from a store with the designer's name on the door. Bitch. (See what I'm doing here? Giving her a hot-looking, sexy guy but only because he might be a felony about to happen.)

Oh shit! Hot guy - lipstick-hot, not crazy-hot - just passed my table and smiled at me. He's got a cleft chin. Cleft chins are my weakness... I sure hope that God made him in multiple (older) models and I get a chance to run into one someday.

Chanel girl has friends joining her. One of them is the local version of Iman. I'd swear this chick was a model if she weren't about ten inches too short. She's got every beautiful feature women want: high cheekbones, wide eyes, perfect teeth and good boobs. She's wearing a sweater, but I can tell that her boobs probably sit up good even without a bra. Bitch. She's a black woman so I am double-triple jealous. (If my baby with his cleft chin even looks her way, I'm going to hire crazy-man to hit on her.)

This might be the first post where you guys get to see just how my head works. Of course, I'm not all-sane - that would be no fun at all. But if you live here in Anchorage and ever hang out at Starbucks, I might get a chance to blog about you. Now, since I'm not buying a six-dollar sandwich and I'm too full of liquid, I'm going to pack up and go elsewhere to people-watch.


Monday, November 04, 2013

**REVIEW** Lancome DreamTone. It's About to Get Pretty Around Here!

My SheSpeaks campaign for Lancome's DreamTone Customized Skin Tone Correcting Serum starts right now. I received my complimentary package of product in the mail today and I just went into the bathroom and baby-wiped my face clean to put some on.

It feels really good. It has a really faint color (and I am using the tone for "Dark" skin), no odor and a very, very creamy texture that just sort of wisps onto the skin. I can't even tell you how cool the product is packaged. There's no top to pop off and get lost. You simply twist to raise and expose the dispensing nozzle. Because I was entertained by the idea, I spent at least two minutes just twisting the bottle opened and closed. Judge me if you want.

And now... I'm taking a big breath here because I have to be brave and expose this freaking "Before" pic for you:

Maybe I will have a cute hairstyle by the 30th.

Yeah, I'm very self-conscious about being photographed. It was just me and my lonely in the bathroom mirror but I got nervous when I heard the dog whining outside the door.

Now I have to use the product for 4 weeks. I will be back here with an "After" pic and the final review on the 30th.

(I will be tweeting any reveiw updates via Twitter. Check other users talk under the #bareselfie movement and #DreamTone.)


Sunday, November 03, 2013

5 Annoying Habits of Certain Websites

Sometimes I think of websites as having personalities, like potential friends who'd be perfect but for that one little thing... Of course, we don't exclude people from our lives because of a couple of flaws (because people, people need people), but we do get to bitch about it:

  1. You are attached at the hip to that person I really just cannot stand. This is from those sites that still refuse to let you choose whether or not you want to Facebook. I would like to erase the presence of Facebook from my life. Really, I would, but on a couple of sites (hi there, She Speaks and Bzz Agent) insist that if I want to get full benefit of their time, I'd better have a FB account. It's not gonna happen. Too bad that I might miss out scoring as many points as the subscriber who is still in love with FB. Just. Too. Bad.
  2. You ignore the new kid on the block - just because they are different. Even though G+ is a way more varied and grown-up network, some of you sites just have not clued in yet. G+ is that funky new sound that hasn't been watered down enough for heavy airplay. I guess.
  3. You won't let me come over and play with you unless I agree to swap blood with you. Ick. I'm talking about you, Zulilly's. I don't know why you think I'd want to agree to give you my contact information just to get to know you. I mean, what if I don't like you after I glance around your house? 
  4. You are that freaking embarrassing and loud-assed friend who starts shouting the minute I walk up to you. There are too many sites guilty of blasting audio-ads or entertainment news the second the page loads. I damn near got kicked out of the library once because I forgot to shut off the volume and treated the whole fourth third floor of Loussac to a shrieking ad for freaking "Poo-pourri." I was just trying to read a news article. Talk about needing poop deodorant. Pretty near shit myself.
  5. You are that friend who whips out a slideshow for every story about your kid, your dog, your job... I mean, I am interested in what you have to say, but do you have do do it one picture at a time? (Take a cue from Cracked. I don't care what you think of me for being in love with They at least give you the choice between "article view" or torture by a slow connection.)
The number 5 looked best in the title of this post, but I have another peeve with one (or two?) of my favorite sites of all: Twitter and YouTube. If you try to tweet a video from YouTube, you get that irritating stalker box trying to force you to "Follow" a couple of their accounts. I can't remember which ones because I Followed both just to get rid of the irritation! Damn. (I just tweeted "I Can't Make You Love Me" to vent at them. Because I'm so mature.)


Saturday, November 02, 2013

Skincare Gone to Seed

My skin feels so amazing right now, and it smells delicious. Downright edible.

And you'd think that would be a good thing, right? Well...

A friend who knows what a fanatic I am about taking care of my skin read my recent post about using oils to moisturize. She was pretty excited to tell me about an oil I've never used before: Sesame Seed Oil. Not only is this stuff supposed to be good for the skin and hair but, apparently, it's got benefits I hadn't known about.

When I ran out to do my grocery shopping earlier today, I saw a bottle of the oil at Walmart. The price wasn't bad so I picked up a bottle. We don't have our snow yet and the rainy weather has been great for my skin and hair, but I decided to give myself a rubdown with the oil while watching "Scandal" on Hulu. 

The oil's smell was strong right off. ~shrug~ Coconut and Olive oils have specific odors, but they are fairly mild and they can be masked with a light perfume. Not so for the Sesame oil. When I told you my skin feels amazing, that is no lie. When I told you it smells edible, that is no lie. I smell like an order of Almond Chicken. I love my Chinese food (Hi, Golden Gate!), but I don't want to smell like my dinner.

Ohmigoodheavens, there is no masking this odor. If I add another scent to my body right now, I'll smell like a Chinese-French hors d'oeuvre. 


I call up my friend and tell her how I just couldn't wait to try out the oil as a moisturizer, but ended up smelling like food. She had the nerve to catch a little attitude. "You got the wrong kind, you dumbass." (Because she said it with love, it's okay that she called me a dumbass. We are friends close enough that "bitch" really is a term of endearment. I guess. Bitch.)

Turns out I was supposed to get a particular kind of sesame oil - raw

Oh, well. I will keep this little bottle for cooking with. Next time I'm out, I will check out prices for the raw sesame oil. If it makes my skin feel as good as this "toasted" version, I will be a happy gal. 

I will mention now that, unless its being toasted has something to do with the intensity, I won't be able to use the oil on my face. There is a feeling of warmth that the oil gave my skin, which was fine - actually, it felt invigorating - for my torso, but my face felt too sensitive to it. You better bet I'll be careful not to let it leak onto any other body parts that might be, um, sacred.

So, I'll get back to you about the raw sesame oil when I try it. In the meantime, compared to coconut and olive oils, I want to say it made my skin feel a little more nourished. I will think of it as a "night oil" and use the others for less intensive or "day treatments." Also, coconut and olive oils weren't irritating to even the most sensitive parts of the body and are fine (for me) as, um "personal lubricants." This sesame oil? That's getting nowhere past the panty-line, I can tell you that!

Recap: I guess you can use sesame oil for its health benefits (and here), skin and hair benefits and, if you are into it, Ayurvedic beauty treatments. Here's an article on toasted vs raw. I should have done more research before just grabbing a bottle!


Friday, November 01, 2013

**REVIEW**: Insta Bulb

The Insta Bulb.

I should be called an  Insta Idiot for buying this since it was a complete Insta Waste of Money. And why did I even buy this thing in the first place? Well, my roommate has an adorable dog. Paddy is a Lhasa Apso. Our perfect little sentinel pup (who happens to be afraid of the dark). We love the little critter so we leave the stovehood light on for him at night. I can see the light seep in underneath my bedroom door. I hate that. I like to sleep in complete darkness and, well, with the Insta Bulb, I get my wish, but the dog is gonna need therapy.

Usually, when I make a dud purchase, I can soothe myself with at least a few "Pros" about the product. Not this time. I can only think of a single good thing to say about Insta Bulb: it's not horrible-looking. That's it. Matter of fact, let me clear my throat and lay out the whole truth of my experience:
  • It provides less light than an just blown out match.
  • It doesn't adhere well to anything. (Okay, it did stick to a wood surface - until I pulled on the string to turn on the "light." I have to hold the mounting while pulling the string so I don't get clunked in the face by the fallout*.)
  • It should not be allowed to call itself "light" or any word that indicates eliminating darkness.
Oh! Wait, wait - I found another Pro: Since it doesn't stick well to anything, I can snatch that bitch down and toss it! I was hesitant to even write this review because I'm ashamed to admit I bought the product.

I'm going to return this thing to the store - if they will take it. If I was them, I wouldn't.

If you think I'm kidding, here are the photos:

Kitchen overhead & Stovehood lights on. Insta Bulb on.

Overhead & Stovehood lights on. Insta Bulb off.

Overhead off. Stovehood light on. Insta Bulb on.
Notice that I left the stovehood light on. That's because I didn't want to be in this kind of darkness to take the photo:

THIS is with only the Insta Bulb on. Paddy almost lost his mind.

* The mounting  did hold a little bit better when I stood and mashed against it for a good full minute after mounting. (I don't have time for that & it's not what I expected to have to do.)