Monthly Archives: April 2013

Happy Birthday To Me!


How can I NOT Have a Happy Birthday When I Look This Fab?

Today, at 11:23 a.m., I will turn 30.  And I’m actually pretty thrilled about it.  Not just because I’m getting office cake (my favorite kind of cake) and Ian arranged my vanity so that all my Monster High Dollies were holding my presents, and not just because I got an MST3K box set and Epic Mickey 2, but because I feel like 30 will bring forward all these new, wonderful possibilities.  20 was fun, for the first half, but the latter just felt like purgatory: too old to goof off and stay up drinking red wine all night, too young for anyone to really take me seriously.  I was not going to be some young hip thing, so I just sort of floundered around.

But now I’m 30, and I feel like things will all fall into place.  Of course, the fact that I still LOOK 24 (stay out of the sun, avoid fast food, never go NEAR a cigarette and keep booze to a minimum) makes it that much more enjoyable.

And even though it’s press day and I have at least 9 hours of work ahead of me, at the very least, I’m wearing my favorite heels, my black and white Betsey Johnson booties, and it’s hard not to be awesome in Betsey Johnson booties.

The Girls Don’t Seem to Care

Kick off your high-heeled sneakers, it’s party time” Steely Dan, “FM”

Though I can’t find a specific quote referring to it, I recall reading somewhere that a woman should always wear heels.  Something about having nice legs and men like them and so on.  Maybe Victoria Beckham said it, I don’t know.

But THIS WEEK I am going to wear high heels WITH EVERY OUTFIT.  Oh yeah.   I started yesterday, wearing these CUTE round-toe Bettie Page heels I got from Mandee when I was in college with rose-print Betsey Johnson socks and skinny jeans.  Wearing funky socks with heels is MY NEW LOOK, stolen off the back of the Betsey Johnson sock package.

Today I wore pretty much the same combo, only with black and white patterned socks and slightly different pants.  And since I sit all day, my feet didn’t hurt too badly.  Strutting around the grocery store, I felt very, very sexy.  It feels good to wear heels again.

Dirty Words

“Avoid obscenity . . .with rare exception, an obscene word is nothing more than a crude substitute for  a better word.” Quientin Crisp & Donald Carroll Doing It With Style (1981)

I’ll confess, I’ve fallen pretty hard back on my old swearing ways post-Lent.  I’ve had a rough few weeks, but that’s no excuse.  My language is filthy, and it needs to be cleaned up, unless I want to look like this bimbo:

Beet Face

With a tiny gold knife I slice a morsel from the beet and rub it onto my lips and cheek.” Ultra Violet, Famous for 15 Minutes (1988).

Beet are one of those vegetables I’m sort of afraid of.  I’ve never eaten them, and I wouldn’t even know how to prepare them if I did.  But I bought one expressly for this purpose, sliced off a piece with a mostly-dull kitchen knife and proceeded to put it on my face.

The beet gave my lips a slight red tint, less than my Dr. Pepper lip gloss but more than Vaseline.  My fingertips took on a brilliant flush, and my cheeks took on the splotchy red tint of acne, or a bad fever.  

This is why God invented lipstick–so we didn’t have to rub beets on our faces and could leave them in the ground.

Cooking With Carnation (Part 1)

“The smart girl fills her cream pitcher with Carnation . . . brings out richer coffee flavor”  Mary Blake, Teen -Time Cooking with Carnation


It’s Fun To Be a Housewife!

Ian found this little cookbook for me at a local ephemera show and it is simultaneously awesome and terrifying.  Mrs. Blake suggests you put Carnation Evaporated Milk in burgers (Hamburger On a Stick) Tuna Salad (which she suggest you make instead of being a “Sad Suzy”) and other disgusting recipes I’ll absolutely be trying throughout the rest of this project.

Naturally, we drink a lot of coffee at the newspaper, but without a fridge, we’re stuck with powdered milk, which none of us like but all of us use (except Jim, who, as a consummate newspaper man, takes his black).  

I brought in some Carnation evaporated milk and Thom in sales was the first to eagerly try it out.  He was impressed.  “I don’t have to add a ton of sugar!” he said.

I tried it out next and was similarly impressed.  It wasn’t better than milk, but it was sure as hell better than the powdered stuff.  And back at the homestead, I’ve got some Whoopie Pie flavored coffee, which would probably be neat with “the milk that whips!” and some raw sugar. (except that I left my can opener at work–twice.)

It’s also got 1/3 the calories of regular milk, which makes me feel less terrible* about messing up my diet last week.


*I’m kidding.  I didn’t feel terrible at all.

Dieting During a Tragedy

So Monday I epically failed my glamour-girl diet.  Not just because I failed to pack any real protein, but because as I watched the bombing aftermath unfold, I realized that life is too short, to precious, to waste feeling like crap for the arbitrary goal of beauty.

No one should have to wait for a text that says their friend is okay.  No one should ever have to try and figure out who they know who might be running so they can try to contact and make sure they’re not dead or lying bloody in the streets.  

As a reporter, I not only had to worry about my own friends, but I had to call around for local leads on what might be the worst day of somebody’s life.  We got a Facebook message hinting that one girl, who’d been at the finish line, was in the hospital, and I got charged with calling her mother at 9 at night and asking what happened when all I knew was that her kid might be dead.  She wasn’t, luckily, and while she had indeed been at the finish line, she left 20 minutes before the explosion for a doctor’s appointment at the hospital.  It was a happy ending to an otherwise grim day, but that’s not something you can do on an empty stomach.  It just makes a world that’s already scary even more terrifying.

Being a reporter means that you’re in the middle of all the tragedies but there’s nothing you can do, and that in itself can be emotionally trying.  You just have to stand there, writing down every moment of the Worst Day Of Someone’s Life.  But because it’s not your tragedy, you feel bad about feeling bad.  People tell you “others had it worse” or accuse you of being a grief thief.  And sometimes, there’s nothing to do but suffer in silence, because there’s deadlines, there’s work to do and there’s always another lead to chase.  This is the second Really Awful story I’ve had to do in the last two months (the first was a murder-murder-suicide where the woman killed her boyfriend, the dog, then herself and set the house on fire, and the cops found the husband had been stuffed into a barrel for three years). In addition to covering City Hall and Community Profiles, I’ve got the Awful Beat.

There’s a reason there is “comfort food.”  Carrots and yogurt are awesome, but they don’t bring the same emotional soothing as a real meal at the end of a long, long day.  There’s a reason we bring food to the grieving.  No one eats non-fat yogurt after a funeral. 

You Can Donate to the Victims Here.

The Glamorous Girl’s Diet (Updated)

HGB suggests that your work day “glamour girl” lunch should be veggies, fruits and non-fat yogurt OR a wedge of cheese.  This is a very good suggestion, these are all good foods, but my usual workday lunch, which I eat at my desk, is usually a cup of delicious homemade soup, some peanut butter crackers, a banana and a two fun-sized Baby Ruths, because I deserve a treat.

Five hours into my work day and a cup of oatmeal, 6 oz of carrots and a cup of Chobani strawberry banana yogurt later, I. am. STARVING, with only a banana left to get me through the last four hours of my day.

Also, I have a headache  and blurry vision, with bizarre floaters making it nearly impossible to see what’s on my screen like my computer has been taken over by J.J. Abrams.  I don’t know if this is related to my hunger or to the fact that when I did manage to sleep last night (which wasn’t much) I dreamed that B.D. Wong was trying to seduce me into going on a crime spree with him, but whatever it is, it’s making it hard to concentrate.

UPDATE (2:25 p.m.) OH MY GOD I AM GOING TO DIE.  My head feels like someone is hitting the base of my skull with a rubber mallet while stabbing their thumbs into my eyeballs and grinding an awl through my left temple.  I’ve gone past feeling hungry to merely feeling ill.  I have not eaten my banana.  I can’t concentrate and I alternate feeling overheated and freezing.

BUT I WANT YOU ALL TO KNOW that I have NOT touched the Gummy Bears Cathy brought in, EVEN THOUGH I WANT ONE MORE THAN ANYTHING.

UPDATE: (3 p.m.) Ian just texted me to say he  is bringing home more steak, plus shrimp and peppers.  I think he’s taunting me.  Only my sheer Taurus stubbornness is keeping me going.

UPDATE (4:04).  Ate banana. Headache worse, but I think that has more to do with the awful bombing at the Boston Marathon than any mild feelings of hunger.

UPDATE: (4:49) Feck it all.  I’m getting some crackers and trying not to cry from the sheer insanity and cruelty of the world.  Today is too ugly to diet. (not a link to news stuff, I promise)

Kiss & Make Up: Part II

Last night I tried Arlene’s suggestion that I wear pale lipstick to bed.  Now lipstick and I have never gotten along.  Within mere moments of me putting it on, I look like Courtney Love.  I’ve tried Wet ‘n’ Wild, Sephora, Victoria’s Secret (the worst, by far) and nothing, nothing stays on my lips.

I wore a little pink lipstick to bed, and was fully prepared for Ian, who came in after I was asleep, to wake up next to me screaming. But surprisingly, I did not wake up looking like the Joker.  It must have all come off on my pillow, which since I have dark red pillowcases, is just fine.  Because there’s nothing worse than waking up to a screaming husband who thinks you have mutated/OD’d.

Kiss and Make-Up

“I’m all for wearing a few touches of make-up to bed.”  Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man.

I barely wear makeup in the daytime, let alone at night.  I never really learned how to put makeup on, (which is something I’ll learn later in this adventure) so it’s always more fuss than it’s worth-my lipstick vanishes, my eyeliner smears and my mascara just makes me look scary.  

But last night I tried Arlene’s tip; with a little blue eyeliner, a little pink sparkly shadow and some black mascara.  Ian looked at me funny when I came out of the bathroom, and I was sure that by the end of the night, I would look like I just got roughed up at a metal concert.

To my surprise, not a whole lot of it was left when I got up.  There was a little hint of eyeshadow and a faint sparkle of eyeliner, but of course, I’m supposed to get up and be ready before Ian even opens his eyes, so I’d have time to redo all of it.

I didn’t, of course, and am now rocking this awesome “partied all night” look, which is, personally, how I kind of dig my makeup anyways.