Wednesday, September 30, 2009

wardrobe malfunction

Somehow, magically, I have made it this far in life without a pair of black trousers. Please, please don't tell any television makeover personalities. I know every woman on the planet swears "it's so hard to find clothes that fit me!" but I'm going to toss my hat in the body-shape-issues-ring nonetheless. I have long legs (which are neither toned nor tan and constantly covered in mystery bruises so no jealousy needed), which defy even "tall" inseams. I have no hips. Small, but if I do say, perky, rear end. What I will lovingly refer to as love handles. Since I don't know any fruits that bear a resemblance to my middle half, the following is probably the best visual representation:
photo from here


Unfortunately the time has come where I can no longer operate in skirts alone. The blazers this season are just too enticing (it doesn't look the same with skirts, trust, I've tried). Because shopping for pants falls just below "being trapped in an elevator with Rush Limbaugh," and "going spelunking with the Duggar family," on my list of things I'd like to do on a Saturday afternoon, I keep putting this particular chore off. I have, however, set a deadline for myself. When I go home in October for a weekend, I am dragging my pathetic, oddly shaped self to J. Crew and trying on ever pair of wool-twill-four way stretch-trouser-superfits they have in stock until something fits. Or fits close enough so that I can scream my credit card number over the big red in-store phone to order the tall version, obviously.

Any more well balanced, or at least well proportioned readers out there? Is there anything you absolutely hate shopping for?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

word vomit

  • I got my copy of Vegan Yum Yum in the mail today (thanks to Mama Strapless Living, an exceedingly generous woman when it comes to Amazon.com) and am very excited to make all sorts of crazy tofu things. My only concern is that because I'm not really going vegan full blast, but rather meekly avoiding most dairy, that I'm going to mess up some of the recipes. I've got the soy milk, sure, but egg beaters instead of complete egg replacer. Also, I don't have a food processor, which seems to be a bit of a problem for a lot of the recipes (see earlier posts re: size of my kitchen for explanation as to why procuring one isn't particularly practical). Regardless, I'm going to try to do at least on recipe a week; I'll let you know how it goes.
  • Speaking of not eating dairy, I agreed to babysit for a friend of mine who just had a baby (I know, I know, this totally contradicts my fear of babies, but I couldn't say no) and she graciously insisted on making me dinner. Since she just birthed a TWELVE POUND baby a month ago, I didn't want to unload my dietary insanity on her and will be eating Spanish Tortilla tonight. Fingers crossed no heart attacks.

gratuitous plaid love

  • List love is spreading. Since I am usually unable to write things not in list format, perhaps I should submit something?
  • What should I write a list of? How to act like a geriatric? Members of bands one should try to avoid losing their virginity to in the back of rental cars? Ideas welcome.

Monday, September 28, 2009

weekend notes

  • Made my first trek to the Pacific Ave. Target in Brooklyn on Friday. While their homegoods and shampoo selection were noticeably lacking, can I get an "amen!" for $4 prescriptions please?
  • The wireless connection in my building was no longer cutting it so Time Warner put in my new internet and cable this weekend. I tried to refuse the $100 triple play package (digital cable, phone, and internet for $100/mos) but when they tossed in free DVR it was over. You know what else is now over? The likelihood that I will do anything besides watch TV for the next six months.
  • Veganism is going...okay. Tried making this on Friday but it ultimately tasted too yeasty for my liking (I recognize this could have been user error, certainly). Tried eating fish yesterday (barf, will have to get omega-3s elsewhere). Managed to avoid "Pizza Fridays" last week at work (!!!) but am not sure how to reconcile my need for mayo. Eating vegannaise is not an option (too many chemicals, plus it just seems a bit douchey for my taste) so will have to savor minuscule amounts of miracle whip on special occasions.
  • You know what is really fun and awesome to do if you are poor and have unfettered access to Quicken Online? Trying to fit J. Crew cashmere v-necks into you budget. Hours upon hours of fun!

Friday, September 25, 2009

unfortunateness

You know what I haven't blogged about recently? All the tremendously ugly stuff Urban Outfitters sells, which, hello! is my favorite thing to talk about! On the chopping block today? The following boot trend:



This is one of those looks that all the magazines and all the blogs will try to tell you is "SO HOT RIGHT NOW." Do not listen to them! They are liars! Or well meaning but ultimately hazardous ne'er do wells! Are you Olive Oyl? Are you trying to rid yourself of a Cockney accent with a doctor by the name of Doolittle? Are you an in the midst of an Okie dust storm during the great depression? Are you perhaps in a stage production of "Oliver," for your local theater troupe? Are you a time traveler on your way to the Victorian era? Are you someone who suffers from chilly ankle disease? No? Then move on, nothing to see here.

photos of overpriced, overglorified footwear from here

Thursday, September 24, 2009

accidental vegan

.
I am 22 years old. I am 5'10, and at any given time weigh between 138-142lbs. I am a vegetarian. I don't smoke, and a modest drinker by 22 year old standards. Which is why when my doctor called yesterday to inform me that my cholesterol level was obscenely high, even she sounded confused. The first thing to try, she said, was a low cholesterol diet: no dairy, no meat (non-issue), no trans fat, no saturated fat, no dairy, no dairy, no dairy. Here's the problem: Some of my favorite foods, in no particular order, are: quesadillas, chocolate chip cookies, bagels with {lots of} cream cheese, fried egg sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, quiche, fettuccine alfredo, and grilled cheese sandwiches.


Honestly, and I know this is going to sound dramatic, but when I heard this at 5 o'clock I bitched and moaned but dismissed it. Then at 7 o'clock I opened my cupboards in preparation for making dinner and burst into tears. I couldn't think of a single thing to eat. I'm southern for God's sake! We invented deep fried butter! My grandmother, upon hearing I was a vegetarian, said things like "well this only has a little bacon in it."




Eventually I pulled it together enough to make tacos with kidney beans, lettuce, onions (unfortunately my red bell pepper had turned for the worse, or that would have been in there too), and salsa. No cheese. No sour cream. (the horror, the horror). They weren't bad, they're weren't awesome, but they weren't bad. Since I am pretty much being forced to empty the contents of my refrigerator and start over, I've decided to treat myself to delivery from Fresh Direct (update: just found out the Fairway in Red Hook delivers, so scratch the Fresh Direct). Soy milk, egg beaters, lots and lots of beans, tofu, more Kashi, whole wheat everything. I'm going to try to avoid the faux-dairy products (see: cheese made out of rice and other such crazies) for as long a possible in order to occasionally reward myself with minute servings of the real stuff.


*vegans stop reading at this point*

Honestly, I hate this crap. I hate that when I got Gwyneth Paltrow's patronizingly obnoxious GOOP newsletter this morning, replete with gluten-free, dairy free, and sugar free cookie recipes, I was one of the people who actually needed something like that. I've been a vegetarian for more than half of my life but I have never once considered going vegan. I think eggs and milk and leather are wonderful gifts from beasts of burden that we should appreciate and enjoy. I am not a foodie. I do not want to know the answers to questions like "what is pudding made out of?" But I don't want to have a heart attack either. When being referred to a as "heartless bitch," I want the comfort of knowing there really is a heart in there, happily beating away. Which is why I'm going to hunker down and figure my shit out and do what I'm told. Anybody know any good dairy-free resources that won't make my apartment reek of patchouli or force me to eat quinoa (I'm looking at you Jules!)? Send them this direction please. And if you happen to walk past me in the grocery store, curled up in front of the dairy case, just know that it is part of my grieving process, I suspect I'll be in mourning for a while.

photos from here

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

bright lights, big city

.things I like about living in New York so far:
  • the ability to get a {mediocre} manicure/pedicure for $18.
  • not buying gas. getting my monthly metrocard free from work.
  • 24 hour diners and the fried egg sandwiches they provide.
  • not having to drive an hour and a half to Louisville, an hour to Cincinnati, or three hours to Nashville to see bands that I love.
  • the jacuzzi tub in my apartment.
  • stoop sales. Also, getting the board game Operation for $2.
  • reading New York Magazine without shame.
  • never having to say "I love {name of store} but we don't have one here."

Thing I don't like about living in New York so far:
  • the increased level of "consumption pressure." Sure, Nashville lacked the museums, the international vibe, the intellectual residency, the propensity to see Gossip Girl filming, and the je ne sais quoi, but living there I didn't constantly have this streaming through my head "I've got to get an iphone. No, a Kindle! No, that new Miu Miu bag. Or maybe I should troll flea markets for one of a kind vintage pieces? No! What I definitely definitely need is a new laptop...or maybe ten J. Crew cardigans?" There is so much stuff here that it can be a bit overwhelming.
  • not having a car. or alternatively, not having every grocery store offer cheap delivery like in Montreal. girl here is lazy. l-a-z-y. schlepping cases of diet coke=not my cup of tea.

photos from here and here

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

embarrassing fact #14

I am super awkward around babies. My brother was born when I was eight and I vaguely remember being okay with it. But for some reason whenever someone brings a chubby cheeked, soft skinned, fine haired creature near me I am instantly rendered mute, my eyes wide like an acid tripping freshman listening to The Cure. This behavior is reinforced whenever I am in the presence of a baby because I am, more often than not, also in the presence of between one and forty-seven women who know all sorts of bouncy tricks and speak fluent "coo." So I usually just stand there rigidly, holding the tiny tot's hand and mentally going "please, please, tell me what to do." But they just sit there, staring into my eyes/glasses, until eventually I become so terrified that my mouth dries up and I thrust them back into the arms of whatever exhausted parent was hoping for a reprieve.

My mother assures me that this will change. "I didn't like babies either, but once you have one, it just figures itself out." As ringing as that endorsement is, I don't believe her. A family friend, who put me up for my current job, brought her one month old into the office today and I was so nervous the whole time she was here that I gave myself a headache. How could that same person, no matter how matured, ever be expected to nurture anything?

Fortunately, I am not planning to enter motherhood anytime soon, anytime this decade, anytime ever. But for some reason my performance this afternoon left me a little deflated, a little jealous other women's ovaries that came stamped with baby proofing manuals and internal thermometers for testing bottled milk. One can only hope that this will improve with time, age, the presence of a male partner with whom I wish to pass on my genes. Perhaps, perhaps.

funny or die

Thursday, September 17, 2009

unfortunateness


I recognize it is not exactly creative blogging to steal a picture from Go Fug Yourself and add additional commentary but in this case it needs to happen. Mostly because while the lovely ladies at GFY comment on what an atrocious visual attack the outfit is, I want to discuss how it must feel. There is no way wearing that is comfortable. I would rank it alongside wearing of those life jackets that snaps under the crotch. Or perhaps a rock climbing harness. Or a dog collar. A dog collar attached to what could only be described as a "harem diaper."I don't know who convinced Fergie that "side ass" was the new "side boob," but I wouldn't wish the feeling of both "heavy zipper near lady parts" and "sagging blouse near lady parts" on my worst enemy.

random thoughts at 12:49 on a Thursday

  • This morning I had an appointment with my new primary care doctor. First time doctor appointments are sort of like first dates, or maybe first dates before an arranged marriage. It's awkward, you're a little suspicious of each other, you'll probably be too lazy to pick someone else, and they might feel you up (though hopefully a date wouldn't follow it up with a lecture on the importance of self-check breast exams).
  • Earlier this week I watched "Sunshine Cleaning," which I thought would be a dark comedy but was in fact just dark. Not a bad movie, but Emily Blunt can't pull of a midwestern American accent to save her life (which could just be payback for all those horrible British accents us Americans (and Keira Knightly) use in films). Netflix with caution.
  • Have had a few sweet eating slip ups. Mostly in the form of Cosi cookies brought into our office for a meeting and a few bites of a belated birthday (not mine) cupcake.
  • Today after stepping on the scale at the doctor's office, the nurse looked at my weight and said "you look so skinny but...I guess not." To which I respond, "dude! harsh!"
  • Am trying to save up some cash to upgrade my Powerbook to a Macbook Pro without using a credit card. How good am I at delayed gratification? NOT GOOD. Every time I try to watch Mad Men online only to have my computer freeze, blow blue smoke, and change the language settings to Arabic, I have to sit on my hands to avoid putting my mastercard number in the checkout box at apple.com.

Friday, September 11, 2009

hair's night out

As you may have heard Anna Wintour discussing on her first-date-level-of-awkward appearance on Letterman, last night was "Fashion's Night Out" in New York. The evening was, during which stores held events and stayed open late, was mean to spur a flurry of retail activity. As much as I would love to revitalize the economy armed with nothing more than a mastercard, this week's paycheck needed to go to revitalizing my own personal economy; The Gap, Dior, and Juicy Couture would just have to figure things out on their own.Of course in an effort to lure in shoppers, many stores were offering free samples, cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and so on. Since zero dollars does happen to fit snuggly within my budget, my roommate J and I headed to midtown with umbrellas, comfortable shoes, and, at least in my wallet, a "just in case" credit card. We started out at Saks where the estrogen in the room was positively stifling. Or maybe it was the Chanel No. 5. We'll never know, as J and I did a lap and then ran. We meandered up 5th Avenue, pausing to watch pedestrians scooping up the white roses scattered in front of Tiffany's, or line up to have classic handbags embossed at Chanel. Mostly we rolled our eyes. And tried not to drool too much on Chanel's carpet as we petted pumps and stilettos and boots and ballet flats and anything else that made a month's rent seem like a reasonable price for footwear.


We had read that Bumble and Bumble was offering free updos at their salon and, as I was hoping to score a free sample size of their {expensive but so worth it} thickening spray, we headed in that direction. We were pleasantly surprised to find it bustling but not packed and armed with several cases of complimentary champagne. So we made appointments and mulled around sipping from generously filled flutes. When a salon is offering free "updos," one can usually expect to have their hair hastily tossed up in a curly bun reminiscent of prom-after-parties and too-young-to-be-getting-married-bridal-stylings. Instead, we were graciously provided with the following:
  • A shampoo replete with comfy massage chair.
  • Refills of champagne that magically appeared from various members of the staff.
  • Generous use of styling products with absolutely no "this product is really wonderful for your hair, if you like it we can get some for you on your way out" sales pitches.
  • Occasional over the top compliments from the tipsy owner.
  • A delightful and perfect-level-of-chatty stylist who showed absolutely no sign of annoyance at having to do hair for free.
  • The most meticulous blowout of my life.
  • Gorgeous pin curls and so much volume I was drunkenly squealing "OH MY GOD I CAN FEEL MY HAIR MOVE" the entire way home.
not me, but the feeling was similar

Honestly, as girlie and ridiculous as this sounds, it was exactly what I needed. To feel feminine and fawned over and gorgeous. Plus Bumble and Bumble can now book an appointment for me every six months for life as they have completely and utterly won me over.

photos from here

Thursday, September 10, 2009

pizza

True fact: In order to make toast in my apartment you have to pull the toaster out from under a shelf, balance precariously on the edge of the kitchen sink, plug it in, and hope for the best. So I understand if you have no desire to take food suggestions from me. But if you have a food processor and spare can of Heineken around, please try this recipe out and tell me how delicious it is so I can live vicariously through you.

she had a sweet tooth

I am on a diet. Not one where you count calories or only eat croutons (my mother's method of choice for losing a few pounds in college) but a very simple alteration in my food consumption habits. In plain English: I'm not allowed to eat sweets.

My history with sweets is a long and sordid one that, in fact, predates my birth. On a dreary winter's night, December 22, 1957, my grandmother and great aunt were pulling taffy. They sold homemade confections to make ends meet: peanut butter cups the size of a a grown man's fist, sticky sweet lollipops, fudge sugary enough to make your eyes cross, and of course, taffy. If you've never witnessed taffy being made, you should know that it's an arduous process; the candy has to be pulled and stretched into oblivion to achieve its perfectly chewy texture. So on that night, as my grandmother labored so my aunts and uncles could have a bright Christmas morning, she pulled so hard that she sent herself into a different kind of labor (ed note: I might give up the sweets, I'll never quit the puns) and the next day my father was born.

And so you see, sugar is itself a vital component of my very existence, as I'm sure it is for many people. How many couples would have never made it to the maternity ward without a box of Godiva? Or Ghiradelli's from the drugstore on the way home from work? Hershey bars after a fight?

And so, it's killing me. I have allowed myself a few loopholes, 100 calorie packs from the kitchen in work are okay, as are 60 calorie vanilla pudding reminiscent of packed school lunches. But I haven't used them as much as I thought I would (last night I opened a pudding and ended up only finishing half of it. the horror!) because I know that the goal of the exercise isn't so much to lose weight (although my jeans' waistbands would probably appreciate a reprieve) but to change my fundamental desire for the stuff. I would guess that there have been days where 75% of my caloric intake has been from sugar and, honestly, that kind of embarrasses me. Craving candy nowadays is a secret shame, a weakness akin to gambling or feverish adherence to cocktail hour. And so, save for a bite of a carrot cake cupcake this afternoon (with my boss, I had no choice, sucking up was not slashed with this diet), I haven't strayed.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

resolutions

I know it's September but newly crisp air puts me in more of a "resolution making mood" than eight glasses of champagne and no midnight kiss. So these are my post-labor-day resolutions, feel free to hold me as accountable to them as you feel necessary:
  • Stop reading about, talking about, or writing about Sarah Palin. Just because I think she's the worst kind of American public figure right now but all that attention is just going to make her bigger.
  • Leave my poor skin alone. I have a pore obsession that causes me to attack my skin with toners, scrubs, and industrial grade buffers at every opportunity. It has got to stop.
  • Start ironing. Whatever crazy person wrote into Dear Heloise claiming that hanging your clothes in the bathroom will steam the wrinkles out during your shower has caused me to show up to work slightly rumpled for my entire life.
  • Stop freaking out about my finances. I am twenty two years old. I have no student loans. I have a job. I have an apartment I can {sort of} afford. I have all my needs covered, with little room to spare. So I need to stop laying awake at night trying to fit that new Marc Jacobs into my budget. It's. Not. Going. To. Happen.
  • Become a morning person.
  • Or maybe just go to bed earlier?
  • And finally, stop making "oh my god bewildered!" faces when cute boys smile at me on the subway. Honestly, it's only because I'm in an enclosed space with nowhere to go that I don't employ the patented "oh my god a cute boy sprint," which is my main form of cardio.
If the upcoming season inspires you to make some changes as well, best of luck! If you are perfect and not a constant embarrassment to yourself well then fine, but would you mind sitting next to me on the subway?

Monday, September 7, 2009

in sickness and in health

Want something that will never leave your side even when your noise is red and raw and making that whistling noise that emerges after forty hours of nose blowing? I present to you: your DVD player.

Last Thursday I came home from work, parked myself on the couch and watched both of my new Netflix arrivals (Eastbound and Down Season 1, which your boyfriend will love you for renting and which I'd give a 6/10, and Wonderfalls Season 1, which I'd give a 7 out of 10) while going through a box of Kleenex and spiking a fever. Friday morning I was feeling better so I headed to work. On the way up the Whitehall Station escalator I started to feel like I was going to faint. One always hopes that should they need to faint, there will be a soft feather bed for them to collapse onto. One never hopes that their body will give out on an escalator surrounded by women in sensible heels and men carrying Kenneth Cole Reaction briefcases. After collecting myself slumped on the ground outside of the subway station, I went home Friday afternoon to watch the first season of House MD on DVD while shotgunning orange juice and chasing it with sudafed. Saturday morning I dragged myself to the grocery store for more orange juice, pillsbury cinnamon rolls, and blank dvds to burn the third season of 30 Rock.

Sunday I was feeling better so I headed to the Barney's Warehouse sale. Watching women load Prada dresses and beat up Miu Miu platforms into huge garbage bags was a little disheartening (and sinus destroying) so I limped home to finish up 30 Rock and watch Runaway Bride.

It's a little pathetic I know, but honestly? I'm feeling much better.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

talk talk talk

As someone who listens to MSNBC 8 hours a day, every working day, I feel totally confident in declaring the following: cable news is destroying America. Just in case you thought that terrorism, the Republican (or Democratic!) Party, jeggings, the health care system, the presence of Canada to the north, swine flu, or the Real Housewives of New Jersey were slowing eating away at our fine nation, I'll go ahead and assure you that each of those things, although terrifying, is only moderately nibbling at the country we call home. What is really poking constitution in the back seat of its mom's minivan until it wants to scream is cable news: CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and so on.

Today MSNBC has devoted what seems like hours to discussing President Obama's plan to address school children now that new school year is upon us. Parents are outraged! He's spreading Socialism (or as one delightful interviewee called it: Socialisticism!)! He's "betraying everything good about America!" Propaganda! The next Hitler! Keep him out of our schools! The schools that are run by the government, of which he is the head, he who went to Harvard and probably knows that 6 year-olds don't regularly influence their parents' voting decisions!

This is pure speculation, but my guess is that many of the uber-conservative pundits feigning outrage are the same ones who would give your kid the stink-eye should they not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance during homeroom. Because clearly Obama's speech to tiny tots will be the first time anyone in government has ever made their presence known to people under 18.

Am I the only one who remembers mock elections in primary school? Time for Kids magazine passed out by teachers? Parents who were actual adults and probably would have absentmindedly nodded while doing the crossword had you come home and shrieked "MOM! DAD! Guess what happened at school today? Marie Ellen's dad brought in a submarine and we all got in and sailed to the Ukraine where we took part in a Greenpeace protest! ISN'T THAT AWESOME?" My mom though the woman who taught my 5th grade etiquette courses was absolutely bonkers but she didn't go on MSNBC to complain I was being brainwashed into buying BonneBell lip glosses (which, duh, I totally was).

I guess what I am, meanderingly, trying to say, is that I think Freedom of Speech is morphing into Freedom to Shout. Say what you want, but please, don't scream it, you're scaring the kids.

thursday is the new humpday

Gratuitous sexiness for your mid-afternoon slump.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

cloudy with a chance of meatballs


Last night I had the privilege of seeing "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," a full two weeks before it comes out in theaters, courtesy of a friend-of-a-friend sort of thing (I know, I'm so glamorous it kills me). Having only seen a couple previews for the movie, my expectations didn't extend much beyond "it's free! awesome!" Maybe it was the free concessions (hello bunch-a-crunch, hello large diet coke), the 3D glasses (which looked more like Ray Ban knockoffs than the red and blue freebies of yore), or the adorable speech given by the directors (who informed us that we were the first audience to see it in 3D and looked like they might throw up), but I found the thing an absolute delight.

Colorful enough for kids, subtle enough for grownups, and I dare you to not crave spaghetti afterwords (my roommate and I both came home and had some for dinner; someone get Prego on the phone, I smell a product partnership!). The voicework was solid (it's amazing how much more you like Anna Farris when you don't actually have to see her), but what really impressed me was how much I liked, or failed to hate, the 3D effects. This was the first full length film I've seen in 3D, I typically find those "oh no! water droplets are going to hit your face!" gimmicks a little stale and, occasionally, nausea inducing. But CwaCoM held back in that arena, leaving just enough "oh my god that tornado is coming right at us!" effects to wow the kiddies but otherwise restraining themselves to impressive scenery and facial dimensions.

So if you don't mind shelling out the extra $4 (in New York, at least) they charge for 3D movie tickets, I would definitely recommend the movie for anyone needing to entertain kiddies in the near future (my friend-of-a-friend said the 3D effects were better than in "Up," and did I mention there are a few not so subtle plugs for healthy eating?), but if you, like me, are still wondering what happened to the $3 matinees of the 90s, then skip the special effects and reserve your Netflix copy for January.





note: this post was not sponsored by the film, but if anyone else would like to give me something to review, you'd be amazed at how cheaply I can be bought.