Friday, August 29, 2008

XY's...skip this post...

Ladies, call off the dogs.

The hunt is over.

I've found it. Amazing mascara.

I know that when it comes to makeup, girls can be weird with being loyal to brands for years and years and never trying new stuff. The problem with that is...products improve. I have been trying different mascaras for a few years now, and this is one of my favorites...CoverGirl LashBlast mascara.

I love black eyeliner (maybe a little too much). I love fake lashes but am still mastering the application (it's an artform). But most of all...I love black mascara. I use at least two different brands every morning.

This is $7 at Target, comes in a cool fat orange tube, has a weird prickly wand, and doubles my lashes. I use it with Maybelline Discovery Lash Mascara for even more fringe benefits. Give it a shot.

You're welcome, ladies!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

An Uninvited Guest

Actual conversation, said in the acidic tone of a spoiled teenager:

"WHAT are you doing?"


"WHO do you think you are?"

Not a flinch.

"This isn't YOUR house."


I didn't know what to do. I was home alone, or so I thought. I couldn't even enter the bathroom that was occupied by this unwanted visitor. How was I to take a shower?

Minutes passed, but it seemed like an hour. A stare-down was all I could think to do. Productivity could not exist in this state of agitation.

Finally, my dad came home from the store. He killed the giant thing, the eight-legged horror who could not, would not, be persuaded.

Everything's fine now.


I'm on vacation with my parents in Oregon, staying at their house on the coast. My grandpa drove down from Seattle to visit us. Grandpa Al is quite a character. I can't really describe him in a way that would do him justice; he's a fascinating man, smart and stubborn, wise but childish, strong but fragile. Instead, I will just tell you some of the things he told us while he was visiting.

First, when he checked into his hotel, he asked the receptionist if she was wearing an underwire bra. "Uh, yeah..." she said. "You should not wear these things when there is lightning. It could KILL you." My grandpa has a thick German accent, so hearing him say this was hilarious. And he was serious! Oh, Grandpa...always eager to help.

At dinner, Grandpa Al was telling us about how his neighbor had to get dental work done and it cost him $2000. "He's so stupid!" He told us. Turns out, part of my grandpa's tooth chipped off and he merely SUPER-GLUED it back, and it's been fine ever since. There you go. No wonder he thinks people who spend money for tooth repairs are idiots. Just buy some super glue. Bada bing.

This last story really tops it off...Washington is a much more environmentally-conscious state than California. You must recycle and they have very strict restrictions about how much trash you can throw out each week. They also charge you high fees to pick up old electronic equipment, like, oh, television sets.

So my grandpa had this old clunky TV for years and years, and it caused him a lot of grief. He told us that he finally bought a new Sony plasma TV and loves it. But...what did he do with the old one? How about DROPPING IT OFF THE BALCONY of his house so it shattered into a million pieces. Duh...common sense, right? All he had to do was put a little bit of the remains in the trash each week, and no one was the wiser. Extra fee? BAH. Take that, Washington State Waste Management!!

Can you imagine seeing your 82-year-old neighbor dropping a huge TV from his balcony? Oh, I can't stop smiling just thinking about it. So, there you go...some quick lessons on resourcefulness from Grandpa Al Birle.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

No Reservations

I really, really like Anthony Bourdain.

He rubbed me the wrong way when I first watched No Reservations, his show on the Travel Channel. He came off as a pompous know-it-all. But then I realized…he does know it all. Well, at least all about the world of secret culinary delights, which he has been a part of for twenty-eight years.

Tony is not the sort of person I would immediately find endearing. His arrogance is apparent in his hoity gait, that obligatory I’m-too-cool-for-this-place leather jacket, and his sanctimonious tone. He’s cynical, hates vegetarians, and cusses.

So…why do I think he’s so….cool?!

It’s really the other stuff he does…the writing, cooking, and traveling. Tony eats weird stuff like fuzzy tofu and cobra hearts. He travels all over the world, seeking adventure, knowledge, and delicious experiences. He dines with gangsters in Russia, hunts with Ted Nugent, and drinks in nosedive bars with has-been rock stars in Detroit. He makes being a chef something that’s cool, manly…dangerous!

What, according to Tony, is the grossest thing he’s ever eaten?

Chicken McNuggets. =)

Watch No Reservations, Mondays at 10 on the Travel Channel.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I love this quote!

"Snap the Whip" by Winslow Homer, 1872.

Childhood is not from birth to a certain age and at a certain age the child is grown, and puts away childish things. Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.
--Edna St. Vincent Millay

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


The Jonas Brothers were on 20/20 on Friday night. "Dad, which one do you think I think is the cutest? Just guess..." My dad pointed to Joe, the middle one. He was right. Good job, Dad.

Then my mom walked into the room. "Mom, guess which Jonas Brother is my favorite." She also picked Joe. Why? "He's the girliest."

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for knowing me so well. I do prefer the term "artsy" instead of "girly" though ;-)