Saturday, August 30, 2008

Makeup Makeover

I just watched the most amazing fireworks from our balcony, complete with chattering bats flying by. I hate living in Massachusetts, but the town of Dracut is charming, what with its holiday celebrations held on the front yard of the school complex and its random wildlife appearances. It also has one hell of a talented high school musical theatre program.

Speaking of that, earlier I took on the task of sorting through my makeup--some of it from my high school drama days (green base, anyone?), some from middle school. Fifteen-year-old makeup? Disgusting, I know.

During the sorting process I tried out the things I planned to throw away, to verify that they were either too gross or too weird of colors to keep. The result was a rainbow face that was half middle school and half crazy stage character that left Jason shaking his head at the bizarre person he'd married. To add to the effect, I put some of my hair in a ponytail and pulled it forward to mimic the bangs I had seventh through ninth grades. I had liquid eyeliner, nasty old eyeshadow my mom passed on to me in the mid-nineties, and a Burt's Bees cream eyeshadow on one eye; kohl, silver sponge-on shadow, and silver shimmer gel on the other. The blush was from my stage makeup--think Baby Bernice. For lipstick, I used a red stage makeup lipliner and a red lipstick I think I'd had since elementary school on the top lip, and a bronze Clinique lipstick I'd had since middle school on the bottom lip. You can't see it well in the picture, but I also patted on a nasty, congealed-looking Burt's Bees tinted moisturizer on my chin and nose. The natural products, they do not keep well.

Sadly, I only managed to toss out a small pile from my stash--the items on the carpet. I guess you could call me a makeup hoarder. There are worse things.

The boys did not like me very much during my teen years (the straight boys, anyway). I blame the above look. Bad bangs, inability to apply makeup in middle school, and far too much time spent in stage makeup (when I had actually learned how to put it on) in high school. I look back now and laugh about it, but at the time I felt like there was something wrong with me. So many other girls had boyfriends; I just wished I had one. In retrospect, the memories I have from acting are far better than any teenaged romance I could have had.

Some of my characters: Ethel Chauvenet, Harvey; Lottie Child, Crazy For You; Baby Bernice Bumble, The Great All-American Musical Disaster; Fruma Sarah, Fiddler on the Roof

Monday, August 25, 2008

Citius Altius Fortius

Hello Internet, perhaps you were wondering where I have been. Not to worry, I've been right here (well, and also in Michigan), too busy being transfixed by the Olympics to do anything else. I love the Olympics. I'll watch any sport, even the weird ones no one else watches. Whitewater kayaking? Bring it on. Fencing? Judo? Steeplechase? Check, sure, and definitely--I'll watch anything with people leaping over a fence into a shallow pool of water.

For simplicity's sake, I'll present the rest of my doings in handy list form.

  • I went home to Michigan: I went home for a long weekend to attend my great grandma's 100th birthday party. Crazy! That's her with my uncle on the left and my dad on the right. She doesn't look a day over 80. The party was fun, the cake was good, and I saw a lot of random relatives, some of whom I had never met and won't likely see again until a funeral (morbid but true, and unfortunately I have a good idea whose it'll be--not great grandma's, though). My sister and I had fun taking "senior pictures" in our cousin's yard (hence the swing shot).

    At my dad's, there was the usual cuddling of cats and chickens and baby raccoons--there are now twelve cats (plus one from the last trip), one chicken (minus one--Sally disappeared), and two raccoons (minus four--they moved on to adult raccoon world). I floated in the pool, worked in the garden, and went to Beaner's far more times than was necessary. I'm not sure when I'll go back next--boo!

  • Mommy is getting married: A few weeks ago while my mother was in Michigan hobnobbing with the fam, she and her longtime love decided to make it official. That's right, Mommy and Phillip are tying the knot!

    They've been together for ten years, through graduations, births, deaths, cross-country moves (including my mom's move to Massachusetts), out-of-country trips, surgeries, weddings, funerals, and lots and lots of theatre.

    Phillip has been there for me as a stepfather and friend, and even as the officiant at our wedding last December. As Phillip would say, Conga-Rats to them!

  • I want these sparkly things: I've been looking at engagement rings and wedding bands with Mommy, so of course I've found some things that I want for myself. The Pavé Diamond Infinity Wedding Ring or the Channel-Set Milgrain Diamond Eternity Ring would be perfect right-hand rings. Anniversary present? The Diamond Pavé Hoop Earrings match my engagement ring and wedding band--perfect Christmas present! I know I'll never get these things, but a girl can dream, right?

  • Back to the Navy?: Jason got out of the Navy in March 2007 when his initial four-year commitment ended. Recently he decided he wants to go back in, and I couldn't be prouder of him. He recently took and passed the Physical Readiness Test, and the next step is to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)--it's basically the SAT for soldiers and sailors, and it's no joke. Math, verbal, and reading comprehension, plus a mechanical section. He did well when he took it prior to his first enlistment, so we hope he'll do even better now that he's older and wiser. What does going back in mean to us? It means true job satisfaction for Jason, a fresh start somewhere other than Massachusetts, and a lot of pride for both of us. Nothing is for sure yet--we won't know if he'll be able to retain his rate and rank until he takes the test, has a physical, and talks with the recruiter more. I have my fingers crossed.

So that's it. Life might change greatly pretty soon, and I couldn't be more ready.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Joyeux anniversaire.

It's almost over, but today is my twenty-sixth birthday!

I celebrated by being ridiculously busy with work all day--I didn't even manage to put on a shirt until after 3 p.m. I never knew I could be so busy just sitting around in my underpants. If Jason knew I had spent the day working topless, he would have come home at lunchtime.

In between crazy work moments, I got calls from loved ones. My sister told me that today was the worst day of her life, but I pointed out that she wasn't alive on the day that I was born, so technically the day that she was born (when she became my sister) was the worst day of her life. She was kidding, of course. My grandparents left me a message singing happy birthday, which my grandma then apologized for. I love my family.

Jason and I went to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory to celebrate, so I had the opportunity to dress up (as much as wearing jeans with a nice top and wedge heels is dressing up). I even put on makeup and wore jewelry! It's nice to glam it up a bit when I go out to make up for the unglamorous life I lead at home, where I spend most of my time cleaning up cat puke.

Jason spent most of the evening staring at my boobs, and I was thrilled to have my first meal of the day. (How do you expect me to feed myself on a day when I can't even manage to get dressed?) I had planned to do it up right and have a few drinks, but was so hungry that I only managed to have one--a shame, because The Cheesecake Factory's cocktails are so ridiculously good. I had a Georgia peach this time, but their pineapple mojito is my favorite, with the peach bellini and traditional mojito coming in close behind. And Long Island iced tea is a perennial favorite. My goal is to try every drink on the menu. I aim high.

Alas, my plan to seduce my husband with my inebriated charm and low-cut top failed. He went to bed 15 minutes ago.

I guess this is old age.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sunday Lazy Sunday

I am at home today, spending some quality time with Jason before he heads off on a business trip tomorrow.

Well, what I really mean is that I came home last night to get laid, and today I am doing a few loads of laundry and hand-washing my bras so that Jason can have clean clothes to work in and I can keep my cannons loaded.

This morning I made a tasty breakfast of chocolate chip almond pancakes with organic maple syrup. I use the recipe on a box of Heart Smart Bisquick, substituting soy milk for dairy and adding an extra quarter cup of soy milk in place of an egg. Add a splash of almond extract and a handful of chocolate chips to the batter, mix thoroughly, and cook on a hot nonstick skillet (I have this one). The picture is from a few weeks ago when I made pancakes and tofu scramble. For the scramble, I sautéed a chopped onion and some sliced mushrooms in olive oil, then added cubed tofu, chopped garlic, sliced green bell pepper, chili powder to taste, and a jar of salsa to the pan. Jason asked for it, so you know it's good.

Since my bras are wet, I'm wearing one of those tank tops with a "supportive inner layer." Unfortunately, my girls have never met a tank top they didn't like to spill out of, so in order to keep Jason focused on his math homework, I had to install an alarm--a magnetic security strip that I found stuck to the couch (no doubt from the Legendary version of Halo 3 that he brought home the other night). Whenever he approaches, it beeps like when you "accidentally" leave Gamestop without paying (or, if you're like us, when your remote-start key fob sets off the store alarm as you walk in--true story).

Ok, so my boob alarm doesn't really beep, but it has been an amusing game all afternoon. If I could just get that stupid Master Chief helmet on my head, my protective gear would be all set.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Good morning sunshine! Here is my breakfast.

One morning this week I awoke to the sound of Jason moaning and groaning in disgust and despair. He and Lola had been enjoying their morning routine--she sits on his chest and puts her face in his face and he lies there still half asleep and ignores her. Well, she was enjoying it--he was sleeping. That morning she didn't take well to being ignored, so she proceeded to deposit the contents of her stomach all over his shoulder. Yes, Little Miss Puke Alarm Clock got him out of bed in record time, stomping and muttering obscenities all the way to the bathroom to wipe the slimy, gooey chunks of half-digested cat food off of his neck.

Call me a bad wife, but I wish I had been fully awake so as to better appreciate the humor of this event!

Another amusing Lola puke story: once she was sleeping on the top perch of one of our cat trees, pictured at right. She woke up, leaned her head over the edge, and in one giant pile puked out all of the dry food she had just eaten. It was barely wet and not at all digested, almost as if she'd been holding it in her mouth, waiting for a chance to spit it out. Stomach emptied, she curled up and went back to sleep without so much as blinking an eye.

My latest project is a sleek Excel spreadsheet of cat costs. It's super-fancy with stand-out headings for each different subtotalled section and a grand total section that I spent forever on just getting the subtotals to add together properly. I know, I'm so high-tech. I started it because I was curious to know just how much we spend on Jacob, Jasper and Lola. We don't have to worry much about our budget, but I wanted to know exactly how much of it was going toward the felines of the family.

So far this year, we've doled out just more than $2000. We've spent nearly $650 on food, toys, and other supplies--and that's not counting the boxes of litter I sometimes pick up on grocery runs. I'll have to start keeping those receipts to log boxes of Swheat Scoop (we buy expensive litter--no clumping clay crap for my kitties). $375 went for kitty health insurance after Jasper's claw debacle--not applicable to his treatment for that, but we thought it would be prudent in case of any other emergencies. We've spent about $950 on vet care--$830 of that was just on Jasper. That vet bills number will grow, too, because Lola will need an annual physical and vaccinations in the fall, and we need to take Jasper back in for some blood tests as he might be diabetic. And, of course, we spent a mint to have Lola checked out, tested for diseases, spayed, and microchipped last year, which I'm not counting because this is only for 2008. There's also the $10/month "pet rent" tacked on to our regular rent (I always say that apartment companies should charge "child rent"--those little bastards are far more destructive than our cats).

Bottom line, cats are expensive! I'm all for people going to the local shelter and giving a kitty companion a new lease on life, but only if they can afford it--and many people, I'm sorry to say, cannot. Companion animals may not be as expensive as kids, but they should be regarded as just as much of an emotional and financial commitment.

Stepping off my soapbox... This is what our mornings are like--except we have three cats and way more toys scattered all over the floor:

Friday, August 1, 2008

Somewhere THROUGH the rainbow

I've been driving back and forth from Dracut to Worcester a lot because I'm bunny-sitting Velveteen while my mom is out of town.

Yesterday on the way back to Dracut it rained so hard that there was standing water on the highway--the drains couldn't keep up with what was coming down. As I drove the sun gradually peeked out, even though it was still raining.

As I came around a bend, I saw an amazing rainbow. I snapped a few shots of it, camera in one hand and steering wheel in the other. I thought I would pass under it as I drove, so I put the camera down when I managed to get a non-blurry shot. To my surprise, the rainbow got lower as I got closer. And then, for a fraction of a second, I was in the rainbow. IN. THE. RAINBOW.

It was breathtaking. There were bands of color shooting through the car, making everything look as if I were wearing glasses with multicolored lenses. When I die, I don't want to go to heaven. I want to go in the rainbow again.

I imagine it as a world where you get free Skittles... and they are vegan. Surely there are no rendered animal bones necessary in happy rainbow land. Damn gelatin ruining my ex-favorite candy. I have yet to find a vegan Skittles-esque treat. If anyone knows of one, let me know. Otherwise I might have to die and go to rainbow land a little early.