Stuff


Sometimes individual things add up to form a light-shedding, bigger picture.  Sometimes it is not a pretty one, and sometimes it is deceptively pretty, which is not to say that either may be accurate.  No, wait, come back!  I promise, I am going somewhere with this, Your Honor.

I have a Blackberry, which I regularly use as a mental scribbling pad or an electronic ribbon-around-the-finger to remind me to do stuff.  It is better than a ribbon, because it vibrates and blinks and when I pull it out of its little leather case, it says things to me, like:  (19:00) MILK, or (21:00) Client meeting tmmw – IRON/GO TO BED, or (10:30) SandPOW.  These are all recent reminders that Past Tailfeather sent myself at various points.  The first, clearly, was to remind myself to pick up some milk on the way home from work.  The second was to remind myself not to stay up until midnight drinking wine and watching Community on the internet but to, instead, pluck the least crumpled blouse out of my wardrobe and pass out at 11:00 pm after forgetting to call my mother.  The third, sadly, I have stared at for the last three weeks as a saved reminder in my Outlook calendar and still have no idea to what it pertains.  I have a friend nicknamed Sandy, but what is POW?  I refuse to delete it until I figure it out.  It is like a riddle of my own creation.

This Blackberry is a company-owned one, which is another reason I tend to keep my non-work-related reminders cryptic.  This is why one might enter “RX,” for example, instead of “pick up yeast infect meds.”  Also, it is catchier.  So with both work and personal reminders, I sometimes find myself making lists that grow throughout the day.  A work example would be if I have several clients or contacts to call in Southeast Asia.  As I sort through them the day before, my 9:00 am reminder grows from:  (9:00) Call Client X, to (9:00) Call Client X, Provider Y, Client D, Contact A, Contact C.  And then I know to start calling those people early in the day so I can spend my morning sweet-talking them.  Likewise, a personal errand list might grow from: (18:30) Nails, to (18:30) Nails, shower gel, toothpicks, sea bass, SORT RECYCLING.

Those items on my last example list are not related.  Like, that is at least two stops, if not three, plus home from there, as I do not professionally sort recycling or get my nails done at a place where I can also buy seafood.  And yet if you were a television detective trying to solve my murder by reviewing my planner, you might be confuddled.   “Let’s just go to Soho,” you would say wearily.  “It must be some underground perv thing.  Or drugs.  Shower Gel is a big thing now, right?  Oh, sorry, yeah.  That’s Bath Salts.” (more…)

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I have been using Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes recently, as I scored a fancy new job and am wearing mascara for the first time in my life.  Because that is fancy for me.  For the vast majority of you, mascara is not an extravagant addition to your repertoire, but something you’ve been expertly applying for 20 years, so keep in mind that I am a Domestic Dilettante and a Noob of the Feminine Arts.

Anyway, I finally discovered makeup remover after 15 years of just washing my face with good cleanser and attacking any raccoon-eyes with a Q-tip and moisturizer.  The “problem” I have (I have put “problem” in bunny-ears because, like, people in Haiti have problems – I am struggling with mascara and an ill-judged haircut.  Oh, the humanity!) is that the wipes are way too big, and I hate to waste them.  I use less than half a wipe, and have tried to make it last until the next day, which works reasonably well, but it gets a bit dried out.

Full disclosure:  Despite being an avid consumer of mass-produced shit, I am loathe to waste things.  It is the weird result of growing up in the age of cheap consumerism and environmental awareness, and the essentially foolish tightrope one always walks between the two.  I recycle everything I can and hate to waste food, but purchase ready-meals and coasters picturing Flamenco dancers because they are on sale and cute.  I also use half a tissue, save it, and then finish it off on a second nose-blow.  I thought this was all thrifty and fine until a colleague was in my office and yanked the top tissue out of my Kleenex box, to find it had been half-crumpled and stuffed back in.

HER:  “What is this?  Is this a… half-used tissue?”

ME:  “Eerrrmmm…  There was a…  You know what, give that to me, and I’ll give you a new one.”

See, if I were really all that environmental, surely I would use a handkerchief.  My dad does, which I think is adorable and retro until I start to think about germs, and then I have to bring in my sanitizing hand lotion to gently massage away the icky.

So these makeup wipes.  Only half-useful, and then dried out and not-so-useful on a second go-around.  But you know that they are good for?  Cleaning your bathroom counter!  My super-’70s pad has a stainless steel sink that collects toothpaste like so much bird shit.  I have found that a discarded make-up wipe works a treat for a quick spin over the basin, counter, and mirror to cut through any built-up scum.

Go forth, my bare-eyed and shiny-sinked friends.  Namaste.

If there is one thing that every young radical who has the misfortune of reaching their late-twenties and discovering that non-profit work fails to pay the electricity bill will discover, it’s that her cooler friends will accuse her of selling out.  And in all likelihood, the accusation will be just, and the “victim” of said insinuation or outright accusation will find herself with only a shaky stiletto on which to stand.

To many people, it doesn’t matter how much I recycle, that I walk to work, or how much money I donate to Planned Parenthood and the Red Cross.  The fact that I listen to NPR only consolidates my place in the affluent white liberal ranks.  I am a meat-eater who feels guilt because I am too lazy to make it to the organic farmer’s market every weekend.  I have a Banksy coffee-table book.  I am friends with my housekeeper.  I yearn to be a roller derby girl but don’t have time and was rejected by Teach for America.  My best friend bought me a Kindle for Christmas.  I am an embarrassing living embodiment of Stuff White People Like.

And yet, last week, when my best friend from high school jokingly emailed me something about my job as a “corporate shill,” I about spluttered my Merlot all over my Netbook.  I am far from moneyed, after all!  My apartment doesn’t even have a dishwasher (and I will tell you, I never thought I would be practically 30 and living without basic mod-cons like central air).  I do have a classic dryer from the 1970s, and a television that, as best I can tell, was the finest model on offer in 1995.  I have a mouse for a roommate and a potentially murderous mold problem in my bathroom.

If I were a proper corporate shill, I would have a condo and a standing appointment for a weekly bikini wax.  I would fucking know how to ski.  I would not have a deep-discount wine habit and holes in the toes of all my socks.  Just because he’s living in one of the Carolinas and getting his PhD in Hippie Pot-Smoking does not mean that I suddenly know how to iron. (more…)

It’s been a while since we did one of these, and I’m going out of town this weekend so this is all my lazy ass has time for anyway.

The Golden Age of Country – because I grew up in Texas and this is what I listened to while I figured out what kind of music I like.  This and classic rap are my perennial faves.  No matter what when I hear this stuff it makes me want to start a tailgate party out the back of my truck.  It also makes me horny and ready to drink and fight – go figure.

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Rockies – because along with wanting to party, scrap and fuck I also want my ass to look good and nothing makes your ass look finer than a tight pair of Rockies.  There are no pockets!!  And one cheek separating seam down the middle!!  They actually accomplish that ‘lift and separate’ thing that Spanx promise but don’t deliver!!  I mean, you have to learn how to pull up your zipper with a pair of pliers and get used to breathing through your eyes – but your ass will never look so good!  (I can’t find any good pictures of these online, I’ll have to look through my HIGH SCHOOL pics to find you an authentic representation).

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Super SPF Face/Baby Sunblock – I love the sun, it’s one of the reasons I left the Midwest for the west coast.  But you can’t play around with the sun in the desert, so every chance I get I slather myself in SPF 90 and lie naked in my backyard.  I’m 80% positive that my neighbor peeks at me from his upstairs window but I really don’t care – he’s the perv and it’s not my fault his wife has a handlebar mustache and four ass cheeks.

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Pre rolled cones – specifically RAW pre rolled cones.  It’s no secret that I am utterly hopeless at rolling a joint and I was using a handsfree vaporizer for a while but the air is so dry here that it actually irritates my throat to use it.  Smoking from a pipe is about the worst way to do it (save for using a bong) so I’ve always liked the pre rolled cones, usually found in Dutch smoke shops.  My bud BritneyCanadaWhore sent me some RAW papes one day and I really like the unbleached, vegan hippy aspect of them so it was a no brainer when I found the cones made of the same stuff.  They come in a pack of 3 which is really handy to travel with and each cone has a straw inside to tamp your bud down.  It’s so easy, you could pack a sticky fat tasty cone of Cantaloupe Haze in the back of a Nissan on the way up to Twin Peaks in San Francisco with the window down – tested and approved!

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Spicy Garlic Edamame – there’s a great sushi place right by my house that will quick fry up some garlic and chili at your request and toss it with freshly steamed edamame.  Fuckin’ yum.

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Shoe tree – it keeps shoes off the floor and out of my throwing hand.  ‘Nuff said.

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Ona gel – this is one of my secrets, this stuff is magical at controlling odor in your house.  If you’re like me, you want your place to smell clean and fresh and not like the trash can or the ashtray or that dude or the litter box or the corner where your hockey gear goes and insects seem to drop dead in midair.  But, you hate the cloying smell of candles, oil, room sprayers or really gross, potpourri (hork), not to mention the cost of replacing them all the goddamn time.  So, all you need is a jar of Ona Gel and you’re good to go.  This stuff just needs to be set in the area that stinks and the jelly-like crystals absorb stink and leave you with a neutral and clean smell.  Just open the jar or pour some in a dish and walk away, you’ll notice it working immediately and all you have to do is replace it when it dries up.

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Hemp cereal – this stuff is good and good for you.  Just be aware that sometimes the little grains look like fleas so I don’t advise eating when you’re fucked up or before you put your contacts in.

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Zen shooter – this is a cigarette stuffer, you load it with tobacco and stick an empty cig tube on the end and push.  You end up with your very own stuffed cig.  I don’t smoke tobacco so you can guess what I stuff my empty cigarette tubes with.  You’re welcome.

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Lather Licorice Root Eye Cream – I know we haven’t given you hookers any beauty posts for a while now, but you’re not getting one now either so that was a bad way to start, huh?  Anyway, I don’t have bags or dark circles under my eyes but I do have oily skin in an arid environment.  I need a heavy duty moisturizing eye cream that will vanish into my skin and not have my eyeliner sliding off my face like tread marks.  This stuff is semi-organic, affordable and does the job.

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Bulleit Bourbon – I surprise myself with this one because I haven’t really been a drinker for about 5 years now.  Hangovers were turning into 2 day affairs, a sure sign your ass is getting old and you need to stop thinking you are so cute anytime you have a vodka cranberry in your hand.  But!  A weekend in San Francisco with my favorite fancy dykes ended with me falling hard for the deliciousness that is Bulleit Bourbon.  We should do a favorite cocktails post, huh?  I know we’ll have lots of bourbon entries.

I know you can't tell, but this is Friday breakfast for me. There's bourbon in that mug.

Like?  Hate?  Don’t care?  Tell me…

Catastrophic weather events and tax-payer hell are admittedly superior nuisances to one of my latest first-world problems, but I’m not going to let that prevent me from sharing a little recent frustration.  Actually, “recent” isn’t strictly accurate, as this is an annoyance that’s been plaguing me for the last year, and my irritation is down to my fellow citizens rather than the faceless powers that be (as far as I know…).

When I moved into this flat, one of the first things I did after sorting out the bills was to contact the council and ask for a recycling bag.   This was straightforward.  My liberal guilt is not assuaged by the fact that I use only public transport (my black soul yearns for my old Subaru, and if I were richer, I would have it), but it is somewhat appeased by my rabid recycling habit.  Glass, plastic, and aluminum are all lovingly washed out and dried next to the sink, to be placed with smug reverence in my Recycling Bag.  I rip the plastic windows out of my junkmail to recycle the envelopes, and take anything with my name on to work to shred and return to the holy green bag.  I take pride (yes, pride!) in the fact that my two-person household produces half a 13 gallon bag a week of trash.  If I had a garden, I would have a compost heap and grow my own herbs, and your eyes would water in the face of my fuckin’ halo.

Basically, recycling not only makes me feel righteous, it just feels right.  As a person who actually has apocalyptic nightmares about the world drowning in mountains of trash, this is my last and weakest defense against the coming garbage tsunami, and as a drinker, it is solace.  We may consume the contents of the beer and wine, but by god, the packaging is to be used again.  Ditto for the oven-ready meals.

As a liberal consumer with liberal culpability, I have to recycle.  Just as Hitler was a vegetarian, whatever else I am responsible for inflicting on the environment, I can comfort myself with the fact that at least I am a Dedicated Recycler.

So, I ordered my recycling bag and saved up my recycling for two weeks.  When the bag came, I was pleased to hoist up my contributions on the wrought-iron fence outside my flat, representing my own milk and canned-soup habit in the face of my thoughtful neighbors.  Despite the fact that I didn’t know any of them, I felt like a part of the conscientious community.  It barely registered that I appeared to be the only recycler in my corner-block of four apartments.  I was part of the whole solution, after all, and felt a soft glow of togetherness throughout the day, until I returned home that evening after work and my bag was gone. (more…)

Happy Friday, Y’all!                                       

I hope you all have excellent plans for the weekend and if you don’t then you better get you some.  As for me, I have an incredible weekend planned in San Francisco with the fanciest of gays known ’round here as SkinnyBoneJones and The Dashing M, with a special guest appearance by my homeskillet, BritneyCanadaWhore.  I know, I know it’s tough but try not to hate, you’ll just make wrinkles.  Ahhh, but don’t worry your pretty faces about it, I have some alternative weekend action JUST FOR YOU!

Allow me to present; Liberator Bedroom Adventure Gear!  More realistically known as: The Fanciest Sex Pillows You Will Ever Need!  (aka ‘Pushin’ Cushions’ if you’re hillbilly like that) (more…)

I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year since I did a post about a piece of advertising that irritates me!  Surely for someone as easily irritated as me, this should be ripe blog fodder and yet I haven’t touched that poisonous fruit in some time.  Wondering how that could be, I’ve come to the conclusion that a) my resistance to live television viewing is strong and b) like most folk in this day and age, I’m so generally bombarded by it as to become largely inured.  I don’t read magazines anymore, so most of my exposure comes from online ads (which barely register, with the exception of the ubiquitous ModCloth ads – cute dresses!) and product placement in films/shows (again, unless someone blatantly pops open and takes an Adam’s-apple-bobbing gulp of Pepsi or ostentatiously places their Apple Mac in the smack-dab center of the screen, I don’t so much notice).

The one place I do notice it is on the street.  Billboards on buses and cabs, posters on buildings, and above all else, the massive adverts along the walls of the tube.  The latter is the only situation in which I am forced to stare at an ad for a prolonged period of time, contemplate it, internalize it.  Nothing subliminal about staring at a Hennessy ad for two minutes while you wait for the train and avoid eye contact with your fellow commuters.  So while I’ve been waiting for the tube every morning for the last week and a half, I am annoyed afresh by this relentlessly stupid Google Chrome ad that’s directly in front of my preferred Stand for the Train Space (halfway down the platform to the right of the entrance, approximately six cars from the back – it’s an art form): (more…)

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