Monday, September 29, 2008

What's Your Fantasy: Everybody at the Table, Getting Tipsy

Scribey and I recently had this conversation about dating during your 30s, which is so radically different from dating in your 20s because it's a good time to get over the list of ideals - you know, the whole "tall, dark," whatever - and consider what else is out there. But this post isn't so much about my own love life (ha!) than it is about what I've been finding attractive lately on a male, in general.

Case in point: A few months ago I started watching MOJO TV's Three Sheets (available on both Hulu and iTunes) only because I thought Zane Lamprey was kinda cute. Well, he sort of is, in a Steve Guttenberg-ish kind of way, but after sitting through his frat-boy schtick I concluded that I'd probably find him more attractive if I was, say, ten years younger, and preferably with the same level of alcohol tolerance that I had in my early twenties.

At around the same time, I also started watching Lidia's Italy on PBS - understandable, because I love Italy and Italian food, and seeing both in the same cooking show is the TV equivalent of Zoloft for me. Lidia Bastianich, of course, is the marquee star of the show, and the food is mighty tasty... but it's the guest appearances from her son Joseph that really makes the shows for me.

Joe Bastianich, of course, is also a big deal in the F&B world - considering that he counts both Lidia and Mario Batali as his business partners, on top of his expertise in Italian wines. (Note to self: Must. Borrow. Heat. NOW.) All that I already knew before I started watching his Mom's show... and yet, watching him walk and talk (and drink) his way through la bella Italia as he recommends the best tipples for his Mom's cooking just made me all happy inside. Nothing at all like the snotty, effete sommeliers you'd see in other restaurants - and yet, there's not even a hint of eau de Frat Boy on him. Sure, he's got a physique like an oak cask - and God help us if he even duplicates Zane Lamprey's attempts to run around in a banana hammock - but Joseph's screen presence is so easygoing that you almost want to come along with him and have a few drinks with Mama's home cooking.

And yet, for some reason, the whole Bastianich package - the gravelly voice, the bald head, the expertise with the cocktail shaker - strikes me as more attractive than average. Maybe it's because I'm developing a thing for knowledgeable older men who age wisely, or maybe I'm just an aging crone who's losing my taste for the bar scene of my misbegotten youth... but, still.

Tutto a tavola a mangiare, indeed.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

All Seven, and We'll Watch Them Fall: A Meme

Stolen from a friend on Multiply.

1. unemployment
2. poisonous creepy-crawlies that can bite (e.g. spiders and centipedes)
3. the apocalypse
4. people or things that might end up seriously hurting my loved ones
5. terminal disease
6. horror movies
7. living an unfulfilled life

1. God
2. family
3. friends
4. work
5. kids
6. books
7. beauty

1. my bed
2. my religious icons
3. my clothes
4. my bags
5. my laptop (including DSL connection and webcam)
6. my shoes
7. my wallet

1. I'm much crankier than you think
2. I won't stop drinking coffee (even when I have to switch to decaf for medical reasons)
3. I sometimes dance around in my apartment wearing nothing but my underwear
4. Living on my own without roomies has made #3 possible
5. Sometimes I smell like patchouli
6. I'd like to start dating again... someday... but soon...
7. Yes, I'm going to start teaching Sunday School next month. Got a problem with that? ;)

1. Get my driver's license - yes, I know, but really!
2. Be in a satisfying long-term romantic relationship
3. Get married and have kids
4. Visit one or more of the following, preferably on my own or with somebody I really love and care about: Scotland, Australia, Brazil, Portugal, Costa Rica, Malaysia, New York, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Florida, Atlanta
5. Finish my novel(s)
6. Live long enough to see my fiction get adapted for film and/or television in an award-winning production
7. Plan, host and cook an entire dinner party for my loved ones

1. Teach
2. Write
3. Dress appropriately for my body type
4. Have some restraint
5. Dance
6. Sing
7. Spot good bargains all-around

1. Dress appropriately for my age (unfortunately)
2. Go overboard with my orders at Yogurtland
3. Be an absolute complete vegetarian
4. Stop eating chocolate
5. Get lipstick on my teeth
6. Wear high heels for longer than 4 hours
7. Hide my displeasure, even when the situation calls for it

1. Okay, kids - line up quietly, boy-girl, boy-girl...
2. Yes, they're supposed to line up quietly, boy-girl, boy-girl...
3. Aw, isn't that cute?
4. Um, not until you finish your work.
5. Oh, honey, come over here and gimme a hug.
6. Are we OK here?
7. Man, I'm gonna need a beer.

1. Peter Sarsgaard
2. Colin Firth
3. The Rock
4. Clive Owen
5. Tim Gunn
6. Stephen Fry
7. Neil Patrick Harris

Monday, September 15, 2008

Game Changers

Before I begin: Here's what last week's haircut looks like right now.

Now, it does seem like cutting my hair this short in the fall may be counter-intuitive, but we're now in the middle of Humidity Season here in HNL (i.e. steaming hot days followed by sudden rain) and I couldn't stand putting my hair up in a ponytail any more.

Also, I did forget to take off my makeup after changing into my bathrobe. What can I say - I'm kind of vain that way.


With the resolution of the Major Job Situation looming in the horizon - and the backlog of unwritten blog-entry ideas piling up - I thought I'd devote some space to products that have been working pretty well for me in the last two weeks. I can't guarantee that some of this stuff will work for you, but I will say for sure that the stuff I write about here at this moment have yet to do me wrong.

- Getting my entire face waxed every fiscal quarter. A nail/wax place opened next to the Neighborhood Chain over the summer, and today I went to them to get both my brow and upper lip done. Guess what - they did such a great job with my eyebrows that they actually look much fuller now. Surprised? So was I. :)

- Arbonne Daily Nutritional Chews for Teens. In case you're wondering, let me explain: I have nothing against direct-sales companies at all. (And yes, there is an Arbonne-centric entry in the works.) That said, when I placed my first Arbonne order with my friend Trix, I balked at the insane prices for the vitamins... until she told me that the chews packed as much nutritional punch as the other stuff for less money ($24 for a box of 60). Needless to say, I tried them out - and believe me when I say that the energy boost I got from this stuff is so amazing that I had to check the box twice to make sure that there were no stimulants involved. (Luckily for me, there are none.) The chews are no bigger than a Starburst, but take one with a meal during the daytime (twice is optimum) and it'll keep you running, crash-free.

- Eye cream and anti-aging serum, in general. Again, this has something to do with the Arbonne samples that I've received recently (especially this, this, and this) - but it also made me stand up and pay attention to the other anti-aging stuff that I've stashed in various regions of my medicine cabinet, especially since I've been looking haggard lately. Until recently I thought serum was another word for "fancypants moisturizer," but using it under my moisturizer has made a much bigger difference for me. Same deal with eye cream; using it on my lids and dark circles has also helped me deal with my usual problems in that area.

- Eyeshadow on top of eyeliner. Check the above picture again; the eye sockets have been darkened with the Jordana black eyeliner pencil, which was then layered with the black side of MAC Hot Contrast (applied with an eyeliner brush) for more visual interest. It's a trick I've been reading about a lot lately - Mally Roncal, for one, swears that powdering over the pencil renders your liner "bulletproof" - but it's only now that I've managed to make the whole deal work for me.

- Suave Professionals Volumizing Conditioner. Yes, it's the one that's supposed to "work as well as" Matrix Amplify for significantly less coin - and while I haven't used the real thing yet, I've found that the Suave version works so well with my other shampoos that it's become part and parcel of my workday hair routine, just for giving my hair both volume and softness in one long-lasting package. Goodbye, oppressive ponytailers!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Seven Years Onward...

I should make a point to post this song every year around this time.

And I'm not saying this to be insensitive, people. Come to think of it, the more I listen to this song, the more I remember the moment for what it truly was: a call to stand up and take a good look at what was still good, and true, and necessary.

It didn't matter which way was up or down; ultimately the blame game was useless and unnecessary. As long as we knew we were going to find a place to stand, it was still a good place to heal.

And seven years onward, we can't afford to let the bastards win by arguing ourselves to death.

Remember. And believe.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Four-Eyed Domesticity!

So: I finally picked up my first set of reading glasses today at Sears.

(Forgive the craptastic lighting here; to my credit, at least the shots match the vintage look of the frames.)
Don't worry; my vision is still pretty much 20/20 for the most part - it's just that I need these to help me read and pay attention to more detailed reading material, like books and field-related forms.

Pair #1 (Covington frames in Dark Amber, $49.99) happens to be everyone's favorite; there's a bit of a Tina Fey/ Clark Kent vibe to them, and the thick frames are a nice counterpoint to my Kewpie-doll face. (In the "moody" photo, above, they also make me look a little like my own Dad - not much of a stretch, since he also used to wear dark, thick frames before he switched to bifocal aviators.) Really, really cute... though I'll be the first to admit that they're too cute for me to tote around and bandy about in public, especially since I'm not as good about not keeping my sunglasses where they ought to be.

Pair #2 (Thornton & Banks square wire frames, $19.99) caught my eye at the store - not just for the price, but also for the '50s-style design. On the rack it looks pretty masculine, but here it's deceptively lightweight and feminine. (And if the first pair made me look like my Dad, these ones make me look like the carbon copy of my Mom... plus she already wears a similar pair of bifocals, too, with cat-eye frames instead of square ones.) I don't mind wearing these out in public, either - and not because it should keep bartenders and liquor-store clerks from carding me, although it might not help with store clerks who already refer to me as "Mrs. Meimei." I actually road-tested these by reading the latest issue of Lush Times (seriously, Lush North America - could you shrink your typefaces any more than you already do?) and while my eyes still needed getting used to, at least I was able to really concentrate and take my time reading.

I love both pairs equally, but I thought I'd open it up to the readers to see which pair is sassier: Would it be the thick-set superhero specs, or the more debonair square half-wires? Comments welcome below.