Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Plague Upon Both Your Houses...Or at least your face.

I think we can all agree that we don't like it when our faces break out. When I was a zit-faced adolescent, I was under the illusion that once I got through that really stupid puberty thing, I was going to have wonderful, clear skin. Lies. To this day, I still break out, although not to the same extreme.  However, it is still as irritating as all get out when it happens. Recently, my face freaked the fuck out.  Don't know why, but it did. In days past, I would venture into Sephora and get help from a Sales Associate, but in New York, this is difficult. Those poor people are always slammed and it's near impossible to have the long conversation my face deserves. What's a girl to do? Don't worry, Sephora thought about this, and if you call their corporate line, you can get a free consult. After a lengthy conversation with a very helpful lady, I ended up ordering Glam Glow Tingling and Exfoliating Mud.

This is quite possibly the most bad ass product I have ever used. Championing natural stuff like tea tree leaves, pumice, and French sea clay, this concoction seemed bound to be wimpy. I gave it a try, ready to hate it. It's not exactly welcoming looking - it's a weird grey-green color and has a fine grit to it. Most disarmingly, it has actual chunks of leaves in it. I mixed it up with my finger, put on a thin layer and waited for it to dry.

When they said tingling, they were not kidding. In fact, they probably should have called it Glam Glow Burn Your Acne Off Mud. It's not intolerable, but it isn't a sensation I would rank in my all time most pleasurable list, but pain, no gain. Word to the wise; If you own a Clarisonic, by no means use this mask after having just used your Clarisonic. The tingle inches dangerously close to the pain line. Do not do this. It is not fun. Trust me. Unless you're a masochist. Then you'd probably like it.

Once it dries, the tingle goes away. I left it on for awhile after, figuring it would pull some more crap out of my face. Parts of the mask started looking like they had pinpoints of moisture, which was most likely oil, or something even grosser. Who knows what was lurking, but it was coming out.

I hopped in the shower and got the mask wet again, rubbed it for a bit for the exfoliating aspect. I was a little apprehensive about exfoliating using pumice. It wasn't harsh and was a nice addition to the mask.  My face was definitely glowing, and when I woke up in the morning, it still was. I have been using this mask for a month now, and I'm happy to say that my face is pretty much clear all the time now. This stuff is pretty pricey, but I think it's worth it. You can get a tiny jar for $20, which has enough in it for 4-5 uses, as you don't need to use a ton. The larger version is a wallet hurting $68 a pop, but reviews said it lasted about six months, which isn't that bad, and if I stay clear it means I am using less makeup, meaning I'm not spending that money, nor trying other things to fix my face and spending even more money, and therefore makes it totally worth it. Girl math for the win.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

I'm With The Band

I have a twin. He is my Wonder Twin. Really. Okay, fine, we aren't twins, or even related for that matter, but can get away with telling people we're related. And we're both kinda weird. He's more weird. Anyway, he is the Zal to my Jayna. We don't have stupid purple outfits, nor a pet monkey (we should totally get a pet monkey), and we aren't actually as lame as the characters are. Although, we do use the catch phrase and choose completely unreasonable forms.

Zal has a band. He plays the bass. I have been a consistently bad friend and not gone to any of his shows, until this last one. THE last one. One of the guys is moving to pursue his career, which is totally stupid and self indulgent of him, but whatever. (I do not really harbor any dislike for this move, it's smart and the kid's got talent, but for purposes of this post, and my not being able to see another show, I'm going to blame him, despite the fact that really it's my own fault for not seeing them more.) I can only hope that when he comes to visit he will be kidnapped by former band mates, locked in a basement, and forced to play drums till he cries. I will also accept him being made to play a reunion show so I can see them again.

The show was at I don't know where in Long Island City in a gallery. There was a showing of various artists. I looked around, liked what I saw, but didn't take photos. Sorry. Copyright infringement and all that.

The band was...well...awesome. Keyboards, bass, singing, and two drummers. Fucking. Awesome. It's all I can say. I can't describe their music, but just that it is the type that makes you want to do something. Go for a run. Dance around. Steal a car and drive fast. Have a sword fight. Become a vigilante. Fight a group of sixty Kindergarteners. Something. I settled for bouncing around, while another friend was running around like an eight year old on speed. Sometimes you gotta do, you know?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Your Fortune Sucks.

I have a love/hate relationship with fortune cookies. To be more honest, a hate/hate relationship with them. I'd say about three years ago, I started getting malicious fortune cookies. At the very least, very apropos cookies that seemed to be taking at dig at some aspect of my life that was bothering me.  They had it out for me. They wanted to ruin my day and my self esteem. They were sentient, and there was no other possible explanation.

Once I got the gem "You don't get what you want, you get what you are." What the hell, fortune cookie? I didn't do anything to you and you get all judgey on me. I thought maybe it was the particular restaurant. A bad batch? A vengeful short order cook? Something. Next fortune cookie, different restaurant, "You will get a parking ticket." I kid you not. And then guess what.  I did. After that, I quit fortune cookies. That's a lie, but they continued to be ass hats. I had a more, but definitely stopped getting Chinese as much.

So, life turned around a bit, I moved, and found a Chinese place that didn't give fortune cookies. Safety at last! Until your restaurant decides to not be open on a Saturday afternoon and the only thing in the world that is going to cure your hangover is some beef lo mein. I ordered, and there it was. A fortune cookie. I ate my food and stared that thing down. I busted its little cookie body open and read what it said.

From bad ones, to ones worth printing. And, considering life, still completely on point, but kinda like an edible motivational speaker now.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fat Kid Saturdays

For Christina.  

Recently, I was assigned my first homework in years. Read Danny Meyer's Setting the Table. The book is about hospitality and business in the restaurant world and how Mr. Meyer found himself in the place he is now; Owner of 11 restaurants, three of which are go-to places for me, without knowing that they were in anyway connected. Obviously, this man and I are on the same page when it comes to food, so accordingly, I decided that I would use his first restaurant, The Union Square Cafe to lose my eating alone virginity, especially since making the single diner feel welcome is supposedly very important to him.

I put on my brave face, walked through the entrance, and asked to be seated at the bar. I have to admit, I really was second guessing this whole eating alone thing. I felt a bit silly, but realized that there were several other people on their own. I was given a menu by a cheery bar man, named Chris. He asked if I was reading the book. Sheepishly, I admitted to my nerd-dom. Chris and I swapped stories about food, and where we were from. Quickly, I didn't feel like I was eating alone, but in a good way. He talked to me while carrying on with his tasks, and helped me choose my meal, assuring me I wouldn't leave without being full.  

Before I ordered, Chris gave me some breads, a large pat of butter, and a ramekin of olives. The breads were soft and chewy. One slice of brown, a sesame covered white roll, and rosemary flatbread, which was to die for. The butter was delicious. It was, well, buttery, thick, but easy to spread, and sprinkled with sea salt. The kalamata olives were covered in olive oil that had been infused with lemon and orange zest. I tore through them, and probably would have left happily with just these things. But no...had to get mains too.  

I went for the Garganelli - a lamb ragu with mint, peas, and pecorino romano, over house made pasta.  This certainly isn't is your standard summer fare, but if you tasted it, you wouldn't care. It was rich, but not heavy. You could taste it all. I liked it so much, I'm tempted to never try anything else on the menu.  I will try other things, but the garganelli will be my first USC love.  

Seeing as I had a half portion of the pasta, it was okay to get dessert. I opted for the oldest thing on the menu - the Banana Tart, which has been there since the restaurant opened in 1985. I know what you're don't like bananas...are you a liar or stupid??? I should clarify, I like bananas, but they have to be in something, not just there being all cooked slug-like. I thought this was safe. I was wrong.  I was presented with a macadamia nut base, with, well a whole, unadulterated banana that had been caramelized. COOKED SLUG!!! I had to eat it. Chris said it was good. I trusted him. He wouldn't lead me astray, right? RIGHT? Well, he didn't. It did taste good, and I even got past the texture after cream mixed into things has a magical effect. I'm positive that a person who likes bananas would absolutely love this tart. It had a crispy shell, with warm banana, that went phenomenally with the macadamia nuts. The honey-vanilla ice cream was fantastic. Creamy, cool, not too sweet. Did it convert me to the church of banana eating? Hell no, but I'd definitely recommend it.  

As I finished, another regular showed up. He was a nice man from Brooklyn. Everyone greeted him.  He and I started talked, and I ended up hanging out with him and Chris for another half hour. I had a completely unanticipated fun time. I truly loved my entire experience, to the point where I want to be a regular. Really. Pretty impressive in this city. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Discourse with Friends

In order to not create unwanted Google searches for my friends, I am giving them pseudonyms.

My friend, we shall call her "Sconnie Nation," was having a bad day (I'm looking at you, Ryan Braun.). We got some drinks, and after talking through her woes, she said the following to me regarding my take on her situation:

"I'm not sure if you should be my role model, or if you seriously need a mentor."

Funny girl...

On another note, here is a picture of a giant tomato. I think it also used PEDs.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Smudgers Unite!

It's not like I am unable to paint my own nails. I can do it. I'm even pretty good at it, but that whole letting them dry thing gets me every time. Usually, I go to bed after waiting a few hours, but unfortunately, I sleep like a freak with my arms underneath me, and BOOM! Bed sheet textured nails.  Other times, I really, really have to pee. Despite all my careful unbuttoning, it happens - nails bearing the battle scars from the never-ending war against wetting yourself.  

What can a girl do? Stop sleeping? Nope. Give up wearing pants regardless of the fact that your roommate is home? Maybe, but probably not a popular decision.

Enter nail polish strips. You can buy these all over the place, from various manufactures. I impulse purchased Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips randomly at Duane Reade in "Gold Rush."

The little box comes with sixteen polish strips in varying sizes, a file with three different sides, an orange stick (not pictured, it got camera shy and hid under the couch), and directions.

They are easy to apply - push down cuticles, shape your nails, buff the tops of your nails using the white side of the provided file, swipe some polish remover to remove oil, choose a strip that fits, stick the sucker on, and file using a different part of the file to remove the giant extra chunk of polish. Make sure the edges are stuck down and you're done. They're dry. You can take all the pee breaks you want while doing your nails. The strips are tacky, and stay "wet" for awhile, so you can take your time. The strips eventually dry once opened, but it's not instant. You don't have to use top coat, but I must maintain a little danger in life.

The colors you can get are mostly tacky patterns, but not all are bad, and there are more conservative offerings. My three year old self was loving the glitter ombre. I felt cool. I felt sparkly. I felt like one of those girls that you enviously stare down on the subway. I kept looking at my nails. All. The. Time.  

For the most part, these things are a good deal. They cost less than a manicure at about $9 online (which I assume ranges regionally, as mine were NOT that cheap). They lasted through two trips to the airport, standing in a torrential downpour for two hours while holding luggage, and a weekend in San Diego, where I had an argument over the lyrics to "Part of Your World," showered/washed my hair multiple times, and went to the beach. At the five day mark, I had chipped an edge off one nail, but was too lazy to take them off. Day six, I chipped most of them off at work. The box says they last up to ten days, which may be true, but I didn't try to get there. The remainder came off with nail polish remover, which took some time, partially due to the fact that they were glitter. That being said, I think these things are more difficult to remove than traditional polish because the parts that were still stuck on were really stuck on.

Overall, I like these, and would buy them again.  They don't smudge, they don't smell, and they fulfill my penchant for having something stupid and tacky. Most importantly, you can have pretty nails, get to bed at a reasonable time, and keep on wearing pants while doing your nails.