Monday, July 28, 2014

Don't try so hard

I'm trying to do more link-ups as a fun way to get to know other bloggers and for them to get to know me. At the same time,  I don't want to over do it with the linkups, so I'm limiting myself to one per week.
This week I'm linking up with Jackie at Jade & Oak for Don't Try So Hard. Participants are posting makeup free pictures as very welcome antidote to the perfectionist image crafting that is rampant in blogland, Facebook, and every day life.
Jade and Oak
I have no problem walking around in real life without makeup.  I'd like to say its because I'm a hardcore feminist railing against the oppression of society's expectations of females, but its mostly because I'm lazy. If you've met me in real life, there is a 99% chance you've seen me without makeup.
The challenge for me is posting a photo of myself on the blog. I don't know if you've noticed, but I don't post many pictures of myself because
1. I try to focus on writing. This isn't a fashion blog, I don't have to put up pictures of myself if I don't want to.
2. I'm an awkward picture taker. Evidence here.
In addition to being lazy, I don't have a long history with makeup. I didn't wear any in high school or college except for special occasions like school dances, and I usually enlisted my big sister or a friend to do my makeup for me. 
Fast-forward a few years and my day-to-day makeup routine is pretty sparse. Mascara and light pink lipstick for work. Here's a covert picture from my cubicle:
My hair is in an awkward grow out phase and the fluorescent lighting is not my friend, but 40 hours out of the week this is what I look like. Most weekends I don't bother to put make-up on unless I'm Going Out, in which case I will add powder and eye shadow. If I'm feeling bold, a bright lipstick:

But these aren't the pictures were meant to post. Nope its time for the makeup free selfie. Since I've already put on my mascara for the day, I'm posting an old one I found in my phone, which explains the hair length discrepancy. Here I am without a stitch of make-up.
Blonde eyelashes and blonde eyebrows in all their glory. This is what I look like most of the time, although usually my hair is not quite so brushed. TA DA! As part of the linkup we're supposed to say something we like about ourselves and for me its my clear complexion. My teenage years were zitty,  but after leaving my teens I've been pretty clear of blemishes.

Thanks again to The Florkens and Jade & Oak for hosting.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

How to Lose Your Dignity on a Sunday. (Fair warning: this post is about cats)

I know, I know. I'm breaking a cardinal blogging rule here. NO one cares about your your dreams, what you had for lunch (unless it was like, really really good) or your pets. But I'm going to talk about my cat now for one post. Feel free to skip it.

Anyone still here? Ok. Meet Gremlin, or Gremlin Schwarzkopf if you're feeling fancy. I adopted him from a local shelter when he was a kitten.   He was the last lonely kitty sitting in the cage. It broke my heart to see him in there, so I scooped him up and brought him home.  That was two years ago.

He got his name because that's what he is: a gremlin. He causes mischief beyond the purview of the average cat, or at least all the other cats with whom I'm acquainted. Gremlin is an indoor cat, partly because I live in apartments but mostly because I'm neurotic.

Six months ago I moved to an apartment with a balcony.  I let him out there from time to time so he can look at birds and take in the sunshine. It's not a big balcony, barely enough for two people and their chairs to sit comfortably. There is a window in my kitchen that leads out to the balcony, and I leave the screen open for him to come and go as he pleases.

This morning I started my Sunday ritual as always by making myself coffee and feeding the cats. I opened the window to the balcony and left the room to take a shower. I was rinsing the conditioner from my hair when I heard a horrible squawking noise. It sounded like a very large, angry, goose had entered my apartment. I snatched a towel and ran down the hallway to find Gremlin with a bird in his mouth. Not a goose, not a crane, just a tiny little Starling screeching for dear life.

I felt momentarily torn because cats are hunters, and a small part of me was proud of him for being such an agile little dude, making the most of his small patch of the outdoors. The other part of me felt awful for the bird and concerned about the potential mess this would make in my rented apartment.

I grabbed Gremlin by his hind legs as he tried to run down the hall to my disaster of a spare room where he could easily evade me. He actually growled at me which was a new noise for him.  I managed to coax his mouth open, releasing the bird which then flew down the hallway into the back room. One problem solved, another created.

Stupidly I let go of Gremlin who beelined for the back room, so it was a mad dash through the house to beat him to the bird.  Success. I closed the door behind me and locked myself in the room.   I opened a window and the bird flew out, leaving with a few less feathers and blood than when he entered.

Remember earlier when I mentioned earlier I was in the shower? All of this running around in the apartment was done soaking wet in a towel that I was desperately attempting to keep clamped under my arm while playing "Animal Control." You see, while I may have been home alone, I live in the second floor of a duplex with neighbors on all four sides. My windows are generally kept open during the summer to allow the breeze in. The houses in this city are so close to one another I can hear my neighbors fart. Charming, right? Since I plan to live here for awhile, I thought the polite thing to do would be to keep myself covered up while I thundered about my apartment chasing after wildlife.

I think I should stop letting Gremlin on the balcony. At the very least, maybe I will put some kitten mittens on him so his weapons are neutralized. See, this is not the first time he's managed to grab a bird off the balcony. It's actually his third, and the last two were not so lucky. (This is not even counting that that time an entire flock of birds flew in my apartment, which was before Gremlin was around) Ugh. Did someone place a bird curse on my head?

"Shelly," you might protest, "that's just what cats DO. Your cat isn't special." Well, I know for a fact its not what ALL cats do because of this guy.  Meet The General. My boyfriend's cat who lives here too. He has yet to bring one bird into this house, and is decidedly less troublesome.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to go finish that bottle of Rose I was working on last night, while I google tips on getting bird blood out of carpet.

Happy Sunday.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Netflix for your Weekend

Did you hear the angels singing this morning? Its Friday! I hope you have fun plans this weekend that involve taking in all the sunshine and margaritas you can until you collapse on the couch to recover. May I share a piece of hard earned wisdom? The worst show to watch when you're nursing a hangover is It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (The shouting will hurt your head). Best: Law and Order. Just a lot of dramatic looks and two-note background music. BUM-BUM. Perfect for naps.

Other great shows to check out, regardless of your physical condition:

Orange Is The New Black season 2.  JUST DO IT.

A Young Doctors Notebook. Funny and gruesome at the same time. An older doctor  recalls his first year of out of medical school serving as the only doctor in the middle-of-nowhere, cold-as-balls Russia. Starring Harry Potter and Don Draper. No, seriously.

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.Just like No Reservations but with a high speed camera and more far flung locations.  If you didnt watch No Reservations, the summary is: the somewhat prickish but loveable celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain, travels the world to eat, drink and imbibe the local culture.

We Cause Scenes Documentary about they man behind Improv Everywhere, the group best known for its massive public pranks like the No Pants Subway Ride and Frozen Grand Central Station. I could watch their videos all day, they make me so happy.

The Regular Show Being a 28 year old woman,  I don't watch many cartoons. But this one grabbed me. The Regular Show follows Mordecai the blue jay and Rigby the raccoon as they slack off at their job at a theme park which often leads to a bizarre adventure. Their boss is a bubblegum machine. No,  I don't know why. But the show won an Emmy! And I don't know how else to explain it, just give it a go!