Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Is Not Leaving Fast Enough

Just this morning I got locked out of my apartment in my PJs with NO BRA, BAREFOOT, WEARING ABOUT TWO OUNCES OF CLOTHING, completely locked out, in the Freezing Rain, while Titan threw up the Chinese lead-infused candy he was too dumb NOT to eat into the grass and the Man Who Brings Lawsuits (aka the Postman) walked inexorably towards us.

Please hurry up, 2010. THANK YOU.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Christmas Eve, about noon, and I'm lazing around the house, putting my gifts together. My tree is decorated all in tasteful gold, my presents from Korea are carefully wrapped, my pretty Roccoco boxes of French lavender drawer liners and fancy soap sit on my sunlit white cafe table. There is some confusion of wrapping paper, looking lovely in the sunlight. James Galway's flute strains, backed by the Royal Philharmonic BBC Choir, serenade me from the computer. I'm emptying out some trash when my next-door neighbor opens his door.

"Hey, why aren't you singing right now?" he says, smiling at me. I smile back.

"You didn't put your request in," I said, and he laughs and turns his attention to my roommate, who is wagging his tail and giving Paul the big begging eyes. "Hey, Titan! Come here, big fella."

Titan runs in and I follow into...Bachelor Pad Craziness.

Eminem BLARES from the laptop, brown leather coats and shoes lay flung about everywhere, and the kitchen has two burners going at once as Paul makes onion jam for Christmas presents. He shoves the pan at me. "You need to have some of this," he says. "Just stick your finger in it. Usually I make it with red onion, but this is milder--good with all kinds of cheeses, although my favorite is blue. Oh, and have a cookie. They're good. Homemade frosting, too."

"Mm-hmm," I say, following instructions.

"Did I tell you about the BLAH BLAH BLAH," he says, adding to the noise level, dumping onion jam into a glass jar and getting some on the counter, which he wipes up faster than I can blink. He breaks off his stream to say, "...huh. Not a very pretty color."

"I have ribbon," I said, and left to get it. My light, white and blue apartment, accessorized with light flute music, of course has a specifically designated wrapping paper box, which I utilized.

Back to the brown leather and loud and gangsta rap I go, four ribbon spools in hand. Paul fusses with the ribbon, shirtless, wearing cap, leather cuff, jeans, and sneakers. He finally glues it in place. "Martha Stewart would be proud," he says, turning up the 2Pac.

It's been a while since I lived with boys, or next to boys, and it's a lot of fun, to see them at home, to see what they do and don't do. Not all boys cook like Paul, obviously, but all of them do something fascinating. And today is a moment which, like all moments, might not be repeated. My apartment is hardly ever this clean or this peaceful; I don't often sit by the window, pensive, with a cup of coffee. (Okay, so I do that on a regular basis.) But I don't THINK of myself as having a peaceful, girly space. I play Xzibit on a regular basis. I turn my music up LOUD. I have people over.

Just in a different way.

Merry Christmas, everyone. Say hi to your neighbor for me.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Better Love Letter, to a Different City

I've seen a lot of really good love letters to New York City, but this one has to be among the top five in history.

Alicia Key's soaring vocals SLAY me.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Love Letter

Tonight is one of those nights that make living in the Pacific Northwest seem worth the other 364 nights of the year. It must be 50 degrees out there, and softly humid with kissing mist. Titan and I walked a long way, sniffing things, looking at things. Broadway is pretty quiet tonight so far, which either means we're in for a quiet night--possible--or this will turn out to be one of those nights in which sirens are still going at 3 in the morning. Could go either way.

On the way to the park we passed a group of hipsters making fun of the urban cowboy in front of them--oh, sweet irony. Right in front of us a drug deal happened, two guys touching hands for a brief moment. I counted five separate people walking home--or wherever they were headed--with full Dick's bags, sipping on milkshakes. And then, while eyeing Roy Street Coffee House as I walked by, thinking about taking my laptop there later, I heard the words "airshow" behind me.

I made Titan slow down, trying to catch the snippets of conversation the couple was having. "They just rolled it out because they'd promised the airlines," one guy said. "Just for the show!" And that was all I could get, even though I tried to follow them--the wind shifted and I couldn't walk closely enough to overhear without stepping on their heels.

It's a misty city, dark 16 hours a day in the winter, with coffee and internet and drug deals and classic hamburger drive-ins, and it's still a company town. And it's MINE.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More Milestones!

Woman! Woe, man. Whoa-ho-ho-ho-ho man.

My birthday was celebrated by friends, food, and wine, and my applications are done and submitted and I have nothing to do tonight and really, life could not be better. Now if the Tank just gets fixed, I will be UNSTOPPABLE. I haven't yet iced my fingers, but that might happen tonight after I rearrange my apartment.

Yes, I planned on rearranging my apartment this evening. I know. I'm not holding my breath, either.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen: As of TODAY, I am twenty-nine years old. Hooray!

What am I doing about it, you ask? At midnight this morning I was salsa-dancing, and now I'm busting my rear trying to get my grad school applications done. I'd post, but I've typed so much in the past week that my fingers are going to fall off. And I've been at work for nine hours and I have another hour to go.

So if you need me, I'll be over here, drinking a glass of wine and putting my fingers on ice. Thanks.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Winter Hates My Skin, But I Love Products

Wow, a lot of "hate" posts today. Whatever. I like things, I swear--there's good things around me. I'll list some of those, too. Yes, I said List. Because from time to time it's nice to do one of these round-up type of posts about what products I use. (The men in my audience have already left. Hey, come back here! I swear I will talk about Jay-Z later.)

SERIOUSLY, people. We're a nation of consumers and even though I'm trying not to be, these days, there's a few things that are making my life a lot easier right now and I wanted to give credit where credit was due. And the first item I even discovered because I ran out of lotion and refused to by more, so it's RECESSION-CHIC, and that item is:

1. Coconut oil. No fancy brand names here, no sirree. I got the big black tub at Whole Foods back in my vegan days; look for any brand that says "virgin" and "organic". Coconut oil, if you're not vegan and have never heard of it, is solid at room temperature and looks a little like lard; it's white and sort of translucent. It's used in place of butter in most vegan baking and cooking, and it's the BOMB, is what it is. There's a lot of websites that praise coconut oil in near-religious accolades, but you don't have to believe all that hype. I dug my two-year-old jar out of my fridge because I ran out of lotion and since it's barely 35 degrees, my skin will not--NOT--survive without moisturizer. I break off chunks of the oil and rub it on like an ice cube--it melts just fine, and it really works, soaking in evenly and not dripping oil spots on my clothes, and yes, I even put it on my face. But I am a) obsessed with finding single-ingredient things to put on my skin, and b) unafraid to use things like solid oil. I dug my deodorant out of a jar and rubbed it on my underarms with my fingertips for a whole year. I put arrowroot flour in my hair. (Works great as a dry shampoo! Doesn't count as a "liquid" when you travel!) I'm weird.

2. Soy Eggnong. (Silk makes the best one.) Want to drink eggnog but don't want to consume three days worth of saturated fat? Silk has your back. And it's so tasty. Good in coffee.

3. V-8 juice and powdered green mix. Speaking of weird things, I'm also one of those people that likes green smoothies with the weird textures, and powdered green mixes are no exception. I have one from Madison Market, here in Seattle, right now. I'm sure Whole Foods has an equally good house brand. I mix into orange juice along with Vitamin D drops, and I feel actually better after just a day or two of regular use. It MAKES A DIFFERENCE. And V-8 juice just because, hey, veggies are good for you and they're hard to eat raw in the winter. Eating right is one of those things that has to be done EVERY DAY to make a difference, but when you manage to do it for a couple weeks in a row, you wonder why your hair and nails and skin look so great and why you're sleeping better at night, and then you stop eating healthy and sink into a coffee-fueled downward spiral and you wonder what happened. Don't do that.

4. Silk long underwear from REI. A lot better than the stuff from Eddie Bauer, I think. And it raises my core temperature by at least a crucial three degrees.

5. Hats. I LOVE a good hat, and even a bad hat. I wear hats every day that I can possibly get away with them. (All weekend. And I'm thinking of starting to wear them at work.) One of the best things about it being cold is that I can wear hats EVEN MORE.

6. Cashmere. Yes, I know, this is such a SATC-girl thing to put down, it's SO worth the money. Even so, I only have a little bit and I got all my pieces on huge extreme sale. I took a navy cashmere hoodie to Thailand and it weighed about as much as a sneeze and instantly elevated every outfit I wore, and I never overheated. I wore a cashmere SHORT-SLEEVED T-shirt dress out last night over a pair of jeans and I was plenty warm, just sitting in the restaurant. It has some sort of magical heat-sensing addition or something. Cashmere is worth every penny, and you will never take off whatever you put on. I want socks and gloves and armwarmers and legwarmers of this magical stuff.

7. Fresh skin care. Everything I've tried from this line, I've loved. It's super expensive--like, gaspingly expensive, and I don't care. It's amazing.

8. Rose Salve lip balm. Best chapstick ever, and in fact, the only one that works. And it has a bit of shine.

9. Gangster rap. (See? Jay-Z!) Actually I have Kardinal Offishall Not4Sale on repeat right now, and it raises my whole apartment temperature by at least two degrees. Lots of energy.

Things I'm Over:

1. Zeno. This never made a difference for me, ever. It might now that I have less bumpy skin and only have a few concentrated spots, but I've already given up and sold mine.

2. Clarisonic. I might dig out my "sensitive skin" brush and give this another try, far, not impressed.

3. The Furminator. This has to be wielded in expert hands to make much of a difference. I have a great big teardrop-shaped serrated comb that works just as well and covers more area. (And was probably a tenth of the price.) And like I said, Titan mainly gets groomed by pros anyway.

4. All other forms of chapstick besides Rose Salve. I swear every other kind--even a Neutrogena kind I brought back from FRANCE--just dries my lips up more and makes my skin fall off in flakes. Gross.


1. Wool socks. My cotton ones are useless; my toes are going numb.
2. Wool gloves.
3. ANOTHER coat. My Mom is about to kill me--she just found me an awesome coat and I love it, but it's too formal for walking around the city in sneakers and a baseball hat. It looks weird. For more Titan-walking-appropriate occasions, I want a puffy waist-length one with a big hood and a fur trim around the hood.

Not much, right? Anyone else have wish-list items or product recommendations?

Check It. And I Hate on Nickels.

When you check out magazines from the library, they give you an awesome bag!


And yes, I took this picture on the bus. The bus is warmer than the Tank. Plus the Tank was downtown, chilling (HA!) on Western, recovering from carrying a great deal of food and luggage down to C's place over the weekend. I was on my way to GET the Tank and I missed a bus, and I burned fifteen minutes in the Library, which was thankfully open because the City Council added $863,000 dollars back to the library budget.

Also, when you read that article, note two things: 1. Seattle's libraries are USED, people, and 2. Nickels is a douchebag.

Friday, December 04, 2009

We Interrupt This Broadcast

Hello. It is freezing here. Seriously, it was 29 degrees this morning. I am frozen to the bone. And the blower on the Tank is out, so the heat just...drifts...out of the vents. And that car is not particularly airtight in the first place. (My mother is composing a worried email right now. I'M FINE, MOM.)

But put "Gloves" on the Christmas list, will you? Nice wool (NOT COTTON) ones with a leather palm and maybe some leather pads on the inner fingers, and if isn't too much trouble, could they be the fingerless kind with the mitten top that buttons over? Because those are AWESOME.

I'm not particular as to color.

On to the home life: Titan has recently been to the groomer. This is one of those very small things in my life that I totally struggle with because I apparently don't have enough things to think about. (Not true. But it is one of the quirks of the human brain that we focus on, say, laundry, and not on, say, the human rights violations in Burma.) Anyway. Titan's hair situation is beyond even the imaginings of most pet owners. He is part German Shepherd and part Husky, and one of the banes of his existence is that he doesn't live somewhere like the North Pole, where he could fall asleep in a nice comfortable snow storm. Instead I insist at keeping my house at 70 at least. I keep trying to brush him out myself--and yes, I have the Furminator--but without getting the hair wet and then blow-drying it out, you just can't get at the really deep undercoat. I could Furminate him once a week, if I was that kind of girl. (I'm not.) So the POINT is that yes, I pay someone else to brush him out, and I'M OKAY WITH IT, DAMMIT.

And maybe I should sell my grooming equipment.