Monday, January 29, 2007

Saturday Lushie

OK, I wish to note for the record that I was just forced to switch my blog to the new system today, which was not my favorite thing ever.

Griping aside, this was a pretty interesting weekend. Yes, I did in fact go to Troy Lush, and I picked a good day because the weather was clear. It was an up-and-down experience--here's the story.

Woke up and got going a bit late, but, well, who cares, it's Saturday. I dressed for cuteness and then went to get gas and a pumpkin spice cappucino from the gas station (because for some reason, I dig those machine cappas). The drive was great; I listened to my birthday mix CD, didn't run into any major traffic, and felt pretty good about life, grinning like a fool.

I hit the first but minor snag when I was on 75 near Detroit; Freeway Closed, it said, M-10 to 375. Use alternate rte. Well, ok, but are you going to give me one? Please? I just stayed on the highway and decided to let God and the highway system angels work it out. This would have been the time to use the talking travel guide my mom got me, if in fact I'd remembered to put it in the car. It transpires, however, that in fact they were going to give me a route, 96 to 94 to 75, a detour which not only worked like a charm but I suspect may have gained me a minute or two in time.

I found the mall with no trouble, and in typical fashion parked as near to where I came in as I could manage, in fact getting lucky when someone left when I was sitting right there (a favor I later returned). I grabbed a map just outside of Macy's and found the Lush, third level, following my nose all the way. I walked in, grabbed a basket, and was immediately called on for it as a person who has obviously been to a Lush before. I whipped out my shopping list, saying, "You don't know the half of it." I think in the course of the ensuing hour and a half I talked to every person in the shop, but made special friends with a few, even chatting about life with a gal named Maggie who I believe is my new best Lush friend. I was given a face mask and moisturizer diagnosis and picked up all the stock that I was running out of. This really couldn't have come at a better time, because my skin is currently in crisis, breaking out but also outrageously dry from wind burn and the cold. They were actually out of both of my usual moisturizers, so I picked out two more to test. I also restocked my supply of bath melts and body butters, and picked up a few new soaps because I'm working through what I already have with gusto. Maggie informed me that she has about ten different soaps.

The bad news is, they're getting rid of Ginger. This is terrible news, so I made sure to get my dusting powder and my soap. I didn't buy the fragrance, because it's pretty pricey. I will make do with the powder and hope I can eke it out until I find something equally awesome.

Eventually, I'd reached my Lush limit, and departed from my friends to get some lunch. This is where things got bad. As I was standing at the court, looking at the food stands, suddenly my stomach turned; or rather, the remainder of my digestive system did. I got a coke and a piece of spinach pie because it was quite late and I thought I should eat, but my heart wasn't in it. I don't know what was happening, but I felt awful. I kept thinking that any minute something unbearable was about to happen, but it didn't. I tried to go to a few stores that interested me, bought a couple of cute things, but really was unable to maximize my experience any further. I sat in the Macy's ladies' room lounge until I felt better, and then got in the car to go home. It was a quiet drive, and actually went pretty fast. By the time I returned home, I felt a little weak, but better.

The remainder of the day was better also. I didn't eat much, but I watched both Pirates of the Carribean movies and took a bath with a Black Pearl bath bomb that my Mum had gotten me for Christmas, and Angel's Delight soap my sister got me for my birthday (p.s. to my sister--I used the Christmas bath bomb last week and it smelled awesome! And there was confetti!) Thus, my house smells nice. If you haven't tried the Black Pearl, it is worth it in so many ways. There's a message inside, it smells great, and it turns the water a silvery color.

So, that was the adventure. It was a good time, despite the few hours of small misery (I blame the three taquitos I had the night before, which for some reason contain jalopenos in small but very obvious dosage. I'd rather not blame the cappucino, though it's possible.). Sunday, it snowed, so I was glad I didn't try to go then.

And now, the obligatory picture of my current Lush stash, old and new thrown together in wild array (note that this does not look like as much because a: stuff is in the basket, and b: I didn't buy as much stuff time, but spent an equivalent amount because of the lotions, etc.):

Friday, January 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, Pearl!

If you are wondering what baby Pearl received for turning one week old, have a look:

That's right, it's a quilt with a string of pearls, with scalloped binding. It came out of the dry cleaners looking lovely, and while I know it matches the colors of a lot of the baby stuff Pearl has, I think it also in a way matches the style her parents might like her to have.
I still have to do a tag for it, and the next time I'm over there I'll stitch it on.
Good times.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Glad Game

In an effort to pretend that I haven't lost all my stored body heat already today and am therefore freezing, indoors, in a sweater, and am so sleepy I'm wondering if hypothermia is possible, here are some things I'm glad about:
1. LUSH Troy, MI is OPEN. I noticed they'd changed the designation from Coming Soon to NEW on the Lush site, and then I called, yes that's right I called, them to see if it could possibly true; two weeks, people, I've been sitting here wondering when it would come, and then I find it's been out there all this time. 14 DAYS! I told the lady she'd made me very happy, and she laughed and said, "We'll be looking for you!"
I have a lovely, happy selection of bath bombs, soap, and shower gel from my mom and sister from birthday and Christmas; supplies, however, are just beginning to dwindle, and I am completely out of face lotion (a disaster if your skin is like mine) and I'd like to buy a mask (which you can only get in shops) and some bath melts (which don't ship well sometimes) to complete my collection. And also some Ginger dusting powder. That's right, I have a list. Get into it. So, the plan is, get as many essays graded as I can Wednesday - Friday, and if the weather is decent Saturday, make the trek up to Troy as a reward for good behavior.
2. My face is the correct color. Yes, over break I discovered that the Classic Ivory Cover Girl shade is in fact a bit too light for my face and is therefore the reason I often look ghostly pale in photos; I'm actually Natural Ivory and am wearing this shade today, and while it's not perfect, it is way closer.
3. New Gilmores and Veronica tonight, and since House is not on (sad), no conflicts.
4. For dinner? I think some spinach and pierogies casserole. Cheesy. Delicious. Hot.
5. 24 more hours of no essays.

Monday, January 22, 2007

An Adventure in Lamb Chops

Sunday is "good eating karma" day. No matter what I seem to do, it always turns out delicious and I have the best meal of the week Sunday night, often a little late.
This time, I decided to thaw out the two lamb chops I had in the fridge. It's been a while since I've had lamb, and I have a long history of looking for it in stores and not finding it. I set out the lamb in the afternoon, and when I started getting peckish around 7:30, I looked for recipes and selected two to blend from a Greek cookbook I have. The lamb, it transpires, was perfectly thawed; the meat was red and soft, and looked fresh (I purchased it at Kroger...I don't often get meat there, but it paid off this time). Here's what I used:
crushed into a dish; I put two Tbsp. of butter over it and stuck it in the microwave to melt the butter over the spices, then added a few squirts of lemon juice.
I salted and peppered the meat, then basted the chops with the above deliciousness, and put them under the broiler in an unslotted broiling pan. After 3 minutes, I basted again. At seven minutes, I flipped the chops, basted some more...
then received a shock. It seriously sounded like my oven was going to explode...I'm pretty sure there was an inferno of flame in there. I turned off the oven for a minute while I tried to figure out what had happened. The truth is, I have no idea. I did discover, however, that my cookbook, propped open on top of the stove, which was off, was singed and probably about to burst into flame itself. Removed that, restarted the oven/broiler, and everything transpired normally. Rebasted the meat at the next 3 minute mark.
Meanwhile, I sliced a frozen section of formerly fresh sourdough baguette in half and drizzled olive oil over it, put it on a rack, and put it in the oven. At six minutes, I removed the chops and the bread. The bread had a few dark edges, and I didn't hold out much hope since it had been frozen, but then something amazing happened: The bread was perfectly toasted on the outside and soft in the middle. Huh what? PERFECT bread.
I was scared about the chops; I have a tendency to overcook meat, and as I looked at one of the chops (which had curled), it looked a little bit dry. When I cut into it, the cut was a little difficult in spots. The chops had been a little thin, and probably could have used less time. However, the second miraculous thing happened--it turns out the meat, which had a perfect arrangement of fat, was not only juicy, but tasted absolutely delicious with the herbs, butter, and lemon. I haven't made meat that good in months.
So, I ate a lamb chop and some bread, with some mozzarella slices, olives stuffed with feta (thanks to my bro-in-law), a salad, and milk. It was such a nice change from all the junk I've been eating lately out of exhaustion and cravings.
Edited to add: I forgot to mention that part of my basting ingredients were chopped green bag of onions was looking like it was ready to go off, so I chopped the rest up and put them in the freezer. Consequently, I cried for about two hours.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

About the Globes

Helen Mirren: gorgeous; her dress was amazing, in an unusual color but completely complementary to her coloring and figure. She rocks. I also love when two burly men escorted her up the steps. She seemed to think it kind of neat also.
Hugh Laurie: Sadly, and in a slightly ridiculously traditional manner, I missed his award completely in the show, but caught his E! Winner's Circle dealie afterward. I heart him. I believe I've mentioned this.
His costars, Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer: engaged! How sweet is that? They've even made out on tv already, and her character was high. Cute as buttons in real life.
Sacha Baron Cohen: overrated and kind of dumb (don't hate me Steve)
America Ferrara: star of the best show I don't watch regularly. It takes me forever to get into a show, so hopefully it will stay on for a long time. Her speech was darling. I love her energy.

In other TV news, NOTHING is new tonight if you are not an American Idol fan. Help! How can TV be so bad? House is off for several weeks, Gilmore Girls hasn't been new in ages, and Top Chef has been a total pain and I'm considering seriously quitting, especially since Medium is better and is on at the same time. Last week, I watched Medium at 10 and sort of half-watched Top Chef at 11. TV, why are you abandoning me? Supernatural is back, but even so they totally failed to deliver on the cliffhanger from the previous episode, you know, when Sam asks Dean what Dad told him, and Dean looks away? Yeah, turns out Dad didn't tell him least, nothing he's willing to admit to right now. It seriously sounded like the writers couldn't come up with anything dramatic enough between eps, so they decided just not to say anything. The coming war thing is kind of interesting, but all very vague...vague is one thing, but vague-which-feels-like-writers-block isn't.
Come on, TV. I have one more week of relative freedom before essays come in. Get on it. When I watch Dodgeball twice when it's on FX, even though I own it on dvd, you know you got problems.

Friday, January 12, 2007

getting personal

Do you ever have that thing where you come across a song that doesn't just interest you but hits almost uncomfortably close to you in some way? Even where maybe the whole thing just kind of gets you?
I have this CD Carrie made me for my birthday, and I like many of the songs on it as more than friends, but today I was listening to a Regina Spektor song called "Fidelity" in the car. I learned the chorus and was thinking, gosh, I'd like to have a look at the lyrics so I can pick out the rest. So I brought it in to the office and looked them up and, suddenly,felt the song a whole lot more.
You can sing any song and bring something out of yourself; but sometimes you can sing a song and it already is you. You're already singing exactly what you are.

First verse/chorus:
"I never loved nobody fully/Always one foot on the ground/And by protecting my heart truly/I got lost in the sounds/I hear in my mind/All these voices/I hear in my mind/ all these words/I hear in my mind/ all this music/And it breaks my heart..."

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Man of My Dreams: Part 1

I'm beginning what I think might be a regular feature here at Avaciously. Whenever I have a weird dream about a famous man, I'm going to tell you about it. Because I know you'll be interested.

So my most recent reve celebrite involved none other than Karl Urban, aka Eomer from LotR, except that I called him Keith (yes, I know there's a Keith Urban, but this was Karl; I just like the name Keith better, so I made a substitution).
We were all in school, and I wandered into his history class where they were watching a video; I flirted with at least five boys, stroking their hair and making sly comments. I sat down with the teacher, and noticed that she was in the video, in her prior existence as a communist.
After class, evidently (and I say evidently because I'm not sure how we got there), Karl and I went to play a game that was a weird combination of pool and mini-golf. It actually resembled a video game Steve has where you roll around picking up stuff in a giant ball. Anyway, when you hit your ball in our game, it turned into an object, thus making it very difficult to get it to go in the proper direction; mine kept turning into a wicker dress form.
I quickly tired of this game, and so I gave up and we sat down on the grass. I sat in Karl's lap. My friend Michelle was there with some guy (I never saw his face), and we were "chilling" when that Salt n' Pepa classic "Shoop" started playing on the radio. We all started singing our respective boy and girl lines, and laughing. I'm pretty sure a make-out was imminent, but naturally...
I woke up.

This was a pretty long dream at the tail end of a huge festival of dreams, and I actually wrote it down because it seemed funny to me.
Scale of 1 to 10: 8.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Shout out of the week

Today I'd like to send a great big holla to Newman's Marathon, on Main St. two blocks from my house. I've tried to get my gas there as often as possible for several reasons, including
  • Two Christmases ago, giving a little box of chocolates to all gas customers as a thank-you.
  • Looking at my car when it was being confusing and, not finding anything wrong, not charging me a cent and telling me to bring it back the instant it did something else weird.
to which they added today when
  • I went in to pay for my gas and went to get a cappuccino. The machine, the man explained, was new, and not heated up fully yet. I decided to get some regular coffee instead and he didn't charge me for it because he knew I wanted a capp.

These people have always been sweet to me, and you should all buy your gas there. They've gone above and beyond the concept of service.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Catch up: part 3

Carrie, I dub thee "bearer of good tidings."
In the past month, I have received no fewer than two extraordinary text messages from Carrie. One was the title of HP 7. The other, last week, was the stupefying news that a LUSH store is going into the Somerset mall in Troy, MI. I grant you, this is on the opposite side of Detroit, but it is a heckuva lot better than all the way to Chicago or Canada and it is all on I-75.
I need to know the instant it opens. I need to get me some stuff. And not pay shipping.

Catch-up part 2: What Happened to Resolutions?

Time seems to be smashing itself together. I could swear I had resolutions for the new year last year, but unable to find more than a couple of bad habits I wanted to break, I realize I'm remembering formal resolutions of the year before. How sad is that? Looking back at two years of resolutions, I have stopped saying "duh" all the time, and have become more ladylike, and I think I gossip less. I also knit better, though still having difficulty with crocheting, and I watch TV less when I grade. However, I don't exercise as much as I should (now anyway; it was easier in summer), and I still bite my nails.

For this year, I'd like to swear less, especially with a new niece or nephew on the way.
Also, I would like to scowl less. I've realized that I have a bad habit of scowling; the problem is, what I feel is the neutral expression for my face (when I'm not putting in muscular effort) is a slight frown, especially when I'm thinking. The problem is thus that it is easy to slip into a full scowl when I'm miffed. When they say it takes more muscles to frown than to smile, they're wrong; they mean smiling or frowning intentionally. But if your face makes a frown naturally, then you have to put in extra effort. My mom has perfected a look that can best be described as pleasant, and I think I may need to work on that.

Catch-Up: Part 1

Baby's got a whole lotta blogging stored up, so let's get started, shall we?
First, I got tagged for this, so let's see where we stand on:
Five things you don't want to know about me

1. I have a poster of Jonathan Brandis in my bedroom, circa SeaQuest DSV. I think I also have some Teen Beats somewhere with him in them. And an action figure set, complete with Hammerhead shark.

2. While watching the episode of X-Files in which Mulder supposedly shot himself (season 4 finale), I was alone in the house and I actually screamed. Loudly. Since I was always taught not to scream unless it was an emergency, this was a pretty big deal.

3. I hate drugs and drug culture; I mean, I HATE them, and I don't hate much. I'm not talking about Tylenol here, but things that are illegal and/or used for getting high or low or whatever really piss me off. So much that I don't want to talk about it anymore except to say that I once had an enormous crush on a boy; the day I found out he'd started smoking pot, I went off him completely. I could go on all day about cigarettes, too, except that they're legal. I don't hate alcohol, but I have mixed feelings about drunk people. Even when I am one.

4. I have seriously questioned my ability to be a mother based on my inability to deal with throw up. I'm not sure why, since my mother shares the problem and did just fine, but the prospect terrifies me.

5. On New Year's Eve I my apartment in my pajamas doing a puzzle. Sorry, guys.