Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Also, this:

Y'all need to check out this song right now. I am not even joking. Was introduced to Arthur Russell's music this weekend, and holy shit. That's all I can say.

Nonstop YouTube listening party.

Things I forgot I love:

My gold signet ring. I've taken nearly a yearlong hiatus from wearing this guy, choosing instead to wear my stump ring (which, fear not, has not been stricken from the rotation). This weekend, I reincorporated him into my Accessories Schema, and I'm ever-so-glad that I did. Strikingly simple, daintily suited to my hand, the ring brings me back to late-spring of 2009, when I'd wrapped up my coursework and had put the finishing touches on my thesis and spent a few fraught weeks sweating out my demons in Northampton. The ring was a graduation gift from my mom; mom, who thought I should ask for something more practical (and less fragile?), purchased it at the behest of Ali, who understands my true, deep love for jewelry.

I remember walking through the Smith gardens with my dad and Donna. I wore straight-leg jeans, an open-backed, black, raglan-sleeve tee, and a black cardigan. The sun cast steep shadows onto the paths. We narrowly avoided collision with insects.

Post-graduation dinner: I forgot what I ordered. Steak, likely. Beer, certainly. My dad got lamb (rare) -- I remember being unnerved by the redness of the meat. Afterward, we trouped back to Ali's and my apartment, where we had chocolate cake with buttercream frosting, special-ordered from Henion. All of us in that sweltering kitchen, my elbows stuck to the vinyl tablecloth, cat hair clotting every corner and joint. Silence as we ate, and silence afterward.

To this day, I'm charmed by my decision to leave the ring unengraved. Blank, its face draws more attention than it would were it marked with a symbol. Blank, it could stand for anything. It holds a fingerprint for hours (sigh: why not longer?), only to be wiped clean: renewed.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

DOOM IS NIGH, but my face is flawless.

Hi, friends! It's been a while, hasn't it? I've been busy updating I Eat, learning the ropes of giving foodie tours, and running, so DTR hasn't gotten much love. If one were to create a visual representation of this blog and its response to the lack of attention it has received, that representation would be a picture of all the plants I've allowed to die during the last year. Or something.

But so anyways, LAZINESS ASIDE, guess what? Judgment day is nigh! That's right: for those of you who haven't been paying attention to bus shelter ads, The Rapture is slated for 5/21/2011 -- a mere three days away. Are you prepared? Have you planned your last meal? Have you shredded every last page of your junior high/high school diaries so that future iterations of humans will never find those diaries and make fun of your now-deceased self? Good.

I'm also fully prepared -- just yesterday, I bought new mascara (Clinique High Lengths in black, natch) and also some facial illuminator. I've been plotting for months to get my paws on some of that stuff, and yesterday I realized that the world is going to motherfucking END -- if not now, when will I ever increase the dewiness of my upper cheeks/outer eye sockets?

Shopping under pressure usually raises my anxiety like whoa*, but Leila** set my mind at ease when she suggested I try Mineralize Skinfinish. Applied just above the blushline (who knew?), Skinfinish adds a soft glow to the normally drab upper cheek region. My days of having boring cheeks are OVER -- no longer will I have to rely solely on blush and bronzer to enhance my facial shimmer! Thanks to this product, a whole new area of my face can be radiant.

Seriously, though: how did I live without this shit for so long? I don't think facial illuminator even existed when I was Coming of Age -- we had to make do with old-timey cosmetics like rosewater and talc. I've only had Skinfinish for 12 hours, and I'm already thanking my lucky stars that a cosmetic chemist somewhere had the flash of brilliance to create such a product. My only regret is that I didn't jump on the Illuminator Train sooner; as it stands, I have only three days to enjoy the hell out of this product. In which case, I better get illuminatin'.


*And what greater pressure exists than trying to look good on the End of Days?
**Not her real name, but one that seems fitting for a MAC counter associate.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sad but True:

DTR isn't getting the love it deserves. Poor middle child: I will make a good-faith effort to update you more frequently. No promises, though -- your siblings are more interesting and relevant than you. #burn.

Busy two weeks here -- no surprise there. Here is a recap (in brief):

1) My sewing machine arrived this week. (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!x1000.) Last night, Hook and I hit up Fabric Outlet in the Mission to get supplies for our first projects. I snagged an apron pattern and some cowboy-themed cotton (holla!). Gentleman that he is, Hook purchased sundry necessary items -- pins, good scissors, a seam ripper, a measuring tape, etc. -- in addition to material. Last night, I taught Hook how to wind a bobbin and thread the machine, and we each did a few lines of practice stitchery. Now comes the trickiest part: getting myself to use the pattern I bought rather than just messin' around/yielding crappy results. The second trickiest part will be disallowing myself from getting ueberfrustrated and giving up on whatever project I've started.

2) I got an awesome belt. Mayhap this doesn't deserve its own bulletpoint, but whatevs. I've spent ages searching for the ideal wide, brown belt (to be worn over dresses & tunics), and finally I have found it! Finally, I can get rid of that vinyl monstrosity from Target, the one with no loop to secure the belt tail and with the crappy plasticmetal buckle. Hallelujah!

3) I've been running outside. A few weeks ago, I took a weeklong break from exercise. Not by choice -- a college pal was in town for a day, then my family arrived 1.5 days later (and stayed through the weekend). As much as that sedentary stretch sucked, it reminded me how great a role exercise plays in my overall mood scheme. I hopped back on the running bandwagon and haven't thought about deboarding.

Confession: I haven't been to the gym in like, two weeks. It's not that I don't like the gym, but I like running outside more. The outdoors has trees and scenery, and it smells all floral and stuff (at least in the wee hours of the morning). I like feeling the sun on my face; I like running on actual ground instead of a rubber belt. I've also been scared of treadmills since my Treadmill Incident, so there is that...

4) I've been updating my other blogz. With frequency. Pat on the back.

It's sunny and 75 here. All I can think about is picnicking in Dolores Park. If this weather carries through the weekend, I am organizing a picnic. You are all invited.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nap Nostalgia

Today's acute exhaustion got me thinking about naps: the best, the worst, the totally mediocre. Wait: does a mediocre nap exist? It seems to me that naps are either awesome, leaving the napper totally satisfied/refreshed/ready to face the world!, or that they're total shit. Some of you will disagree with me on this point, but late-afternoon-into-evening naps fall into the latter category. I hate falling asleep as the sun is fading and waking up in the dark: the disorientation I face totally outweighs any benefits of added sleep. I don't have quantitative data to back up this assertion, but late-afternoon-into-evening naps also cause me to become overheated*, a factor that further lessens the naps' appeal.

Some of my best naps took place in Seymour Library (pictured above). Senior year, thanks to my decision to complete an Honors Project, I had a private office on the library's top floor. Sparsely furnished though it was (the only pieces of furniture I had were a chair, a lamp, and a large table), the office was cozier than the sum of its parts. I found such joy in having a place that was completely my own -- a rare thing in college -- and I loved the security that came with a locking door. It's strange: Knox was a relatively safe place -- really safe, even -- so I'm not sure why I derived such pleasure from being able to lock my office door. I think perhaps I relished the fact that I could isolate myself: that no one could actually reach me, should I not want to be reached.

Annnnnnnyway: napping. I took some damn good naps in that office. Yes, I'll admit that, beyond the standard-issue furniture, the only other things I had in my office were mustard packets (for grab n' go subs), some pens, a fleece blanket, and a pillow. The fleece blanket wasn't even mine; indeed, I am to this day clueless re: its origins. But the blanket was thick and, when folded onto itself, made a decent mattress. After long stretches of writing or revising (or just staring at the blank wall, identifying micropatterns in the abraded paint), when my eyes would droop, I'd fold my blanket, spread it across the table, and "rest my eyes." I never napped for more than an hour, though I was once startled by a friend who roused me from slumber by knocking on my door. I'd meant to meet her for dinner but, lacking an alarm clock, slept through the date.

I miss that office. I miss the total seclusion the space offered, and I miss the absence of stuff. I'd like to have a table, three pens, and a few mustard packets.

Totally unrelated: I would cut off my arm for a hot ham and cheese sandwich. It's been years (YEARS) since I've had one. Whence came this craving? (Note: This is a true "cheese sandwich" post, LOLZ.)


*Which phenomenon may owe to the fact that I sometimes nap in my clothes.

Friday, March 4, 2011


It's been a while, mostly because I've been hard at work updating my other blog ( and, with Hook, starting another project: Yes, that's right: Bobo Woes: the small gripes that plague the lives of bourgeois bohemians. Check it out. You'll like it. YOU WILL LIKE IT.

In sartorial news, I have a new shoe obsession: Swedish Hasbeens. I'm late to jump on this boat*, I realize. I never jump on a boat until it has reached its final resting place (i.e., port of destination) and been totally roped to the dock. Anyway, anyway, I need to convince myself not to buy these shoes! Here are the cons I've brainstormed so far:

1) I don't need any more shoes. Ever.
2) These puppies are kind of expensive (for clogs, anyway), and shouldn't I be saving for retirement?
3) If I order online (which I'll have to do, unless I want to journey to Saks), I won't be able to try before I buy; if the shoes don't fit, I 1) must acquit; and 2) will have to return them via USPS, which is always a pain in the arse.

On the other hand:

1) Ohmygodtheseshoesaresocute, and they come in such vibrant shades!
2) No one never really needs new clothes; if I stop buying, I'm just hindering the growth of our already draggy economy.
3) But these shoes come in such vibrant shades.

Verdict? I'll think about it. I could just buy the Hasbeens and "let god sort it out," god being my bank account. Ehhhhhhhhh.


*In case you were curious, "jump on the boat" is a portmanteau meaning to jump on a bandwagon after that bandwagon's ship has sailed.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Our mutual mural dislike

Sunday was a momentous day, not only because Hook and I ran a 5K* but also because the weather was summery. Non-Californians, I'm sorry: I know you're up to your navels in snow. Minor wars are being waged over shoveled-out parking spots, and Seasonal Affective Disorder is striking down all but the most robust souls. On Sunday, it was 72 and sunny here. After we'd run and collected our swag and walked back through the park to get showered and dressed, Hook and I had lunch at Magnolia. Magnolia is, at best, average: their beers are solid, but their menu lacks and lacks and lacks! I'll explain it like this: most of the dishes on the menu seem alright, but for one (or two) ingredients that are totally offputting. Arugula, baby beets, goat cheese, candied pecans, and dressing? Sure! Oh, with a poached egg? NO! I cannot wait for the poached egg trend to fizzle, let me tell you. Scrambled, fried, even over-medium -- fine. Poached eggs have the texture of mucous.

Back to the story. H. and I sat outside to capitalize on the summery weather, and what did we see but a mural in the process of being painted. How interesting, is what I would have liked to think. Instead, I thought, How douchey.

"I hate murals," said Hook, verbalizing my judgmental inner monologue.

But wait! Before you pigeonhole us as a bunch of asshole haters of public art, hear me out! During the course of our brunch, Hook and I compiled our list of reasons why MURALS SUCK:

1) They incorporate lame themes. This qualm is a tricky one to articulate, so let me say this: I like diversity, friendship, togetherness, cooperation, compassion, empathy, etc. as much as the next lady, but I hate hackneyed representations of these here abstractions. It's not so much that I mind murals' tendency to depict Themes of Unity, but the means in which they do. Really, do you think it's clever to slap up a rainbow of kid-sized palmprints meant to signify the exuberance and joy of Kids Working Together? How many of you really feel that compassion is personified by a lopsided caretaker reaching out to a grandmother whose face sags under waves of bloodhoundlike wrinkles? If you're going to create a piece around a Big Theme, move away from well-established symbolism and make your own meaning. This leads into justification two, which is...

2) The quality of the "art" is middling to poor. When was the last time you saw a mural that made you think, "Whoa! That's awesome -- I'd like to have a print of that!" Or even, "Hey, that's pretty good -- props to the dude [or lady] who painted that." What's that? Never? In my 1.5 years here, I've seen exactly two murals that I've liked enough to considering hanging reproductions thereof in my own home. TWO. It seems to me that many mural artists, carried away by the grandiosity of theme they're stretching to depict, lose focus and let slide their artistic skillz. Or maybe the skillz weren't there in the first place.

3) Mural artists can be self-satisfied. This really only applies to the Mural Artiste we saw on Sunday, who was swigging from a can of PBR and fist-bumping passersby, even though the "face" he'd outlined looked like it had been drawn by a child. A PBR-swilling child.

I wrote this post at the risk of sounding like a massive asshole: I'm aware of this. And as I said, it's not that I don't like what murals (in many ways) represent -- community unification, kids working on projects, togetherness, what have you. I just wish that, in their quest to promote Positive Values, murals could look nicer. Pretty things are what we respond to best, and the only two murals I've seen here and loved are not at all related to unity. One depicts a series of woodland creatures, and the other features a robot. I'm pretty sure that "Unity" > robots, but I want public art to confirm this suspicion. Step it up, mural artists.


*And I'd be lying if I told anyone my performance was momentous, unless "momentous" euphemizes "pretty fucking bad."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tiny tiny

Last night, Hook took me on an impromptu date to see "Tiny Furniture." OK: I knew [almost] nothing about the movie before I got to the theater, but am I glad I went? So very glad. Lena Dunham's conceptualization of post-graduate life is schlumpy, monochromatic, and startlingly accurate. Her dialogue is sharp without seeming like a total artifice; her hair is pleasantly unruly. I was impressed by the casting decisions made here and even more impressed by the characters' shoes. Related to shoes (and mostly unrelated to other aspects of the movie), I loved Aura's wardrobe and wanted to reappropriate it all for myself. That blue v-neck dress with the white rick-rack along the hems? Mine. Those oversized, hammered-silver hoops? Mine. And that white blouse with the multicolored trimmings along the edge of the collar -- oh, yes! "Tiny Furniture" made me want to be a better man. Scratch that: it made me want to wear nothing but 3.1 Phillip Lim.

I'm pretty sure it's a "girl thing," but sometimes, I have the feeling that I want to jettison my entire wardrobe and start fresh. Hook doesn't know what I'm talking about. "But I like your wardrobe," he says. "You always dress well." Hook is a good boyfriend, and I am glad he feels this way about my sartorial choices, even when I do not! Lately, though, the urge to discard and reamass has been strong. Like, planetary gravitational pull strong. I don't even know what that means, but it sounds about right.

Late-week good news: I got a promotion! I'm starting in my new position on Tuesday and am the most excited! I just hope my new desk has an accessible outlet and room for my coffeemaker.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Buttons and bows

I went for a haircut today, considering drastic change -- think bangs, heavy and angled. I envisioned myself with spidery lashes, dramatic blush, aglow in the awesomeness of My New Haircut. Much to my disappointment (though not to my surprise), my stylist told me that dramatic change is hard to achieve when one is growing one's hair to Maximum Length.

"Wear braids," she suggested, "or get a new headband."

By means of compromise, Betsy cut my bangs so that they fall straighter and heavier. Eager to uphold my end of the bargain, I got two headbands: one leopard, and one black with an oblong plume of iridescent feathers. Oh, how I wish I could be one of those girls who look [somehow] normal while donning the most outlandish crepe flowers and bejeweled bobby pins! Alas. I'll start small and work my way up. I've got my eye on a golden headband with a trio of enameled blossoms, each with a rhinestone in place of the pollen, but that would be too much too soon.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The importance of REM sleep.

When my alarm went off at five, I was deep in the middle of prime REM sleep. How do I know? Because I was also deep in a dream. I dreamed that I was commissioned to write a review of the latest Lorrie Moore novel. I'd just begun reading the novel, the female protagonist of which was complaining about her clumsy but well-meaning boyfriend (a cement mixer -- that's what I dreamed: that this man was a "cement mixer."). The boyfriend, aiming for creativity, embroidered on the ass of a pair of sweatpants the phrase "Annie's Mannies." Annie was the novel's female protagonist, and "mannies," in my dream world, was British slang for ladyparts. "Annie's Mannies" amused me ALL DAY LONG.

Can we please start referring to ladyparts as "Mannies?"

I am glad that I got my ass out of bed in time to hit the gym, but I am bummed that 1) I could not continue the above-described dream; and 2) I was so fucking tired all day long due to my truncated REM sleep. Ah, well. It's nearly bedtime. Hook brought me some flourless mocha chocolate cake (eff yeah!), I volunteered at the Bike Coalition, and I've got half a gallon of OJ in the fridge. Life is good.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Striking vs. Standard: Continued Examination of Why Striking-Looking Women are More Attractive Than Their Standardly-Beautiful Counterparts

This article (er, blog post from OKCupid, via The Hairpin) corroborates what I've maintained for a long time: that striking-looking people are perceived as more attractive than their still-attractive-but-more-conventionally-so peers. Funny that I encountered the post this morning, just hours after Hook and I had a conversation about practically the same thing.

The scenario was this: it was post-Jeopardy time and Hook and I failed to turn off the TV. "The Bachelor" came on, at which point H. and I started speculating about the female contestants' motives and looks.

"How weird," I said, "that some of these people QUIT THEIR JOBS for a shot at a dude they have not met IRL."

"No shit," said Hook. "Also, most of them are not that attractive."

In keeping with my NY's resolution to be more positive, I played the role of Devil's Advocate and tried to defend the looks of some of the ladies. "They're not terrible," I said. "They're conventionally-good looking." That is, they all have long hair and symmetrical features. They're universally thin, and they seem to shop at the exact same mall. Who knew that attractiveness so relied on the ability to snag a bunch of shit from BCBG? Moreover, who knew that actually bucking the attractiveness norm set for us by shows like "The Bachelor" may actually have a more positive impact than adhering rigidly to it?

Anyway, my coffee break is almost over, and I digress. Know this, ladies: not all dudes are into flat-ironed hair and spray tans and knockoff Tiffany jewelry! At least my dude isn't, and this is just one reason I love him.

Friday, January 7, 2011


Yes, it's that time again: minitrip time. Hook and I are heading to LA tonight for a weekend of Jandek, Pinkberry, and [not too much] general debauchery. True fact: I have lived in California for one year, five months and I have never been to LA. How is possible? Eh, I don't like to leave the city like, ever. That is a lie. I actually don't know how I've never been to LA, but this situation will be rectified in mere hours!

Project ROC is going well in the sense that I 1) bought the product; and 2) have used it consistently since purchasing it. The package claimed that positive results will be seen (in most users) in four weeks. FOUR WEEKS? Do I look like I'm made of time, or something? In four weeks, I'll likely have forgotten all about this Very Important Self-Beautification Initiative (VISBI).

Until I start seeing miraclework on ma face, I can distract myself with this, which will make my face shiny in all the right places (and in a non-sweaty, ungross way).

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

For real, though, you guys.

Heh @ my inability to start Roc Plan ("RP") yesterday -- instead of hitting the drugstore on my afternoon break, AS and I went to Safeway so I could get an apple, she an Odwalla bar. (Note: I realize that these details aren't critical to your understanding that I failed to buy Roc cream, but a concrete excuse makes me feel better about failing to fulfill my own expectations.) Am I perhaps dragging my heels because I do not want to acknowledge the possibility of crows' feet on my gd face? Might this be the vainest blog on the In-ter-netz?

I've decided that any skirts I buy henceforth must be biking compatible. What makes a skirt biking compatible, you ask? It must be machine washable, cut wide enough to allow for leg motion, and preferably not too short. It must not be made of a fabric easily torn, snagged, or marked with indentations. I realize that this buying strategy markedly limits my potential wardrobe, but it's cool. Biking > pencil skirts, for real. Pencil skirts are the enemy.

This blog is fast becoming a true Chronicle of Consumerism.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Starlet preferences

Hook and I had a random little conversation last night -- a chat spurred by Hook's sighting of my copy of "The English Patient." (Note: Yep, that sentence is circuitous, but I'm only just now making coffee & my brain no is work good.) Hook was like, "Oh, The English Patient, eh?" To which I responded, "Yes -- it was one of my favorite movies in high school." I mentioned too that I always thought Kristin Scott Thomas was really pretty. To which Hook responded, "Her? I always thought she was kind of plain." ICE BURN! Noting my crumpled look, H. amended, "I mean, plain-pretty. I mean, not hot-hot, but hot."

Now, I didn't say KST was hot, but I do think she's a lot better looking than many female celebs out there (Kardashian clan, I'm looking at you). Hook's assessment started a longer assessment of which female celebs are the most attractive. My picks were SJ, Uma Thurman, Chloe Sevigny, Kate Moss, and Zooey Deschanel. Hook's picks were SJ, AMY ADAMS*, Natalie Portman...and I think that's it -- he may have listed more if I hadn't been talking so much.

Where am I going with this? Oh, yes: Hook noted that all of the celebs I found most attractive have "extremely thin faces" (his words). (Note: I would argue that SJ has a normal-width face, but that's one woman's opinion.) "I mean, their faces all look gaunt," he claimed, bringing up a pic of Uma Thurman. "I don't like seeing people's bones." This sentiment interested me -- that some of the [arguably] most attractive female celebrities are judged (by one male, at least) as having faces that are too narrow. What other celebrities might be judged as less attractive than People purports them to be? I'm curious. Also, I still don't understand the fuss about Natalie Portman and I probably never will. Being a brunette myself, this quandary is doubly disappointing.


In related news (or semi-related: take your pick), today is the day that I'm going to start using Roc under eye cream. There: I've said it. For most of my early twenties, I fretted not about crows' feet but about the possibility thereof. Examining my face this weekend, though, I think I've found crows' feet for real. Faint though they are, they're there, and I'm going to lotion the hell out of them until they reabsorb into my skin. Heh.

*Y'all, Amy Adams looks like a grown-up marching band girl. Enuff said.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New year, new projects.

Hell yeah, 2o11: you're off on the right foot! I say this despite my inability to get up before 2pm yesterday, thanks in toto to our celebration of the new year/A-ron's 30th birthday. Gotta love Latin American Club and their generous Manhattans, but you know it's going to be a rough morning when you walk -- in stocking feet, no less! -- from the bar to 16th and Valencia for a bacon dog. Bacon dogs have become shorthand for the best [worst?] nights.

I set only one formal resolution this year -- to work out four times/week. No reading goal for 2011. I was 1.5 books short of my goal for this year (and one book short of reaching the selfsame goal in 2009). It's not as though the absence of a reading outline will discourage me from reading. On the contrary! I think that not having pressure re: how much reading I must accomplish might actually spur me to exceed my own unspoken expectations. We'll see.

But back to the exercise goal. I've devised a plan for myself, my mom, and my sister: we're each going to set a goal (any goal) and keep each other posted on our progress via weekly emails. If we achieve our goal 80% of the time, then we'll take a trip at year's end. Our destination of choice will either be Hawaii or Alaska. Ali's pulling for the latter, but I think Mai Tais on the beach might be a nice way to cap off a year of fitness.

We're listening to a Kamikaze Hearts album, blogging (me) and browsing for guitar accessories (Hook). The heat is on; I could go for a nap. Still, the year is young enough that the desire for sleep is outweighed by the desire to be ultimately productive! And so I will.