Sunday, April 30, 2006

hula hoop

I was online today and suddenly got an IM from a guy that was in marching band with me for a year or two. I don't really know him; he's pretty good friends with some of my friends, but for the most part he's just an acquaintance. He was never in my section in marching band, and to be honest I've really only talked to him a handful of times.

W: this might seem lame.. but I am honestly tired of being a regular marching band... I'm not expecting any major differences because it takes everyone just not a handful of people to do that.. But I remember when you are section leader that you made everything really organized for you section *as well as others* and people respected you..
W: and tips or advice?

He typed this, and I just kind of sat there for a minute. Sure, there were a couple of grammar mistakes... but wow, hearing from someone who wasn't even in my section or group of friends that he saw me as a respected and good section leader made me feel really good.

For those of you that don't know me (in case there's actually someone random reading this), I started band the summer before fifth grade playing the french horn. In 9th grade, I opted to try marching band because they told us we had to march one season before we could *just* be in concert band. I didn't think I wanted to march- didn't really see the point- but I agreed to do the mandatory season because I wanted to stay in concert band.

As it turned out, by my senior year, I was marching my fourth season as mellophone section leader and band council president. A lot of what I love about marching is the feeling of teamwork you end up with. Sure, the practices can be long... and hot... and tiring. Sure, the competitions take up all Saturday, every Saturday. Sure, you'll probably get yelled at at least once during the season. But when the competition comes along and you perform the show- with each person doing their own individual part that amazingly fits in with everyone else's individual parts- there's an amazing feeling of unity. All the hard work you've put in somehow becomes worth it when the group performs an exhilarating show.

I was proud to become a leader of our band. Indiana has some very good marching bands, many of which routinely place high in national competitions. When our band traveled to Ohio, we were grand champions (two years in a row, I believe)... in our own state, we very rarely won. Still, I felt it was an organization I could be proud to be in. We worked hard, but we also had fun. We were willing to try something different and do a 'weird' or innovative show. We had much less money than many of our competitors, and because the classes were divided on school size and not band size, some of our competitors were two or three times bigger than us in size (and therefore had the capacity to be *much* louder). And while I was in the band, there were many really good student leaders for me to look up to (usually, they were older, but not always), and when I became a leader, I tried my best to learn from them because I really, really respected them.

I miss band-- but even though I certainly enjoy playing the french horn, that's not what I miss most. What I really miss is that feeling of unity, the people, and the camaraderie of the group. We'd been through a lot together, and most of my best friends in high school were either members of band and/or drama (another group that I often spent enough time with to develop an extremely close-knit relationship).

I felt like I put a lot into the band while I was in it. It becomes like a family, in many ways, and this year it felt strange but good to go back and visit the band (marching, concert, jazz, and winterguard- yes, I visited all of them). I was glad to be a leader, both of the mello section and the band council, but I really did give a lot of time and work to the band. I'm not completely satisfied with my leadership roles; here arte a lot of things I wish I would've done better. But I still feel like I invested a lot of time and effort.

Damn, I started writing with the intention of explaining just how good it felt for someone to have not only noticed, but to have remembered me as a good leader. To be honest, though, now that I'm writing, I'm not sure I can really put it into words. It's not that I became a leader or tried to be a good example to others because I wanted someone to tell me I did a good job, but hearing that someone who didn't even know me thought that- and a year and a half later when he wants to be a good leader asks me for advice- it just feels absolutely amazing. I feel appreciated, and proud, and like I actually made a difference to an organization that meant- and still means- a lot to me. I know it's just one person, but I also know how I felt about some of the leaders I looked up to. And to think that someone might look at me that way is one of the best compliments I could ever receive.

I only hope I can make that kind of impact again sometime.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Somehow, I've pretty much escaped our nation's obsession with reality shows... with one major exception.

America's Next Top Model

If someone would've told me I would love this show, I probably would've laughed in their face. But at some point, I caught an episode of this show and really enjoyed it.

In case it's not obvious, the point of the show: Tyra Banks and her posse of judges (currently 'noted fashion photographer' Nigel Barker [nice but blunt], 'fashion icon' Twiggy [she's so adorable and sweet], and 'runway diva' Miss J. Alexander [just plain weird]) pick out 13 contestants to compete for the opportunity to become 'America's Next Top Model.' The winner gets a contract with Ford Models, a $100,000 contract with CoverGirl and a fashion spread in Elle magazine, shot by world-renowned photographer Gilles Bensimon. The thirteen girls live together in a posh house, filmed constantly, and attend a photo shoot and some kind of challenge activity each week (they're usually related somehow). Each challenge produces a 'winner,' and the winner, sometimes along with a friend or two, gets some kind of prize (anything from a spa treatment by the other girls to a shopping spree to a surprise visit from a family member to a diamond necklace). Then, the photos from each photo shoot (or occasionally performances at a fashion show) are critiqued by the judges, and one girl is sent home each week (well, two the last week) until only one remains.

I think the strength of the show lies in its challenge. Most people think of modeling as a pretty girl dressing up nice and having professionals make them look great. Occasionally walking down a runway and spinning around a little. Maybe throwing up to stay skinny. But seriously-- few people give models much credit.

ANTM is interesting because it shows the aspects of all-around modeling. These girls can't just be pretty and walk down a runway; they have to have a signature walk and be good at spinning in heels and flowing skirts or maybe even while a cockroach crawls on them (one show this season involved jeweled cockroaches as accessories- yes, seriously). They can't just stand there and smile in a photo shoot; they have to know their angles, pose sitting on a block of ice in a thong, portray emotion, fight through the pain of being dangled nearly upside down by a tight harness, "crunk" dance, run on a treadmill in heels, walk the fine line between looking sexy and slutty, fall onto a mattress- any of a number of things- while still looking pretty. The girls also have to be personable and intelligent-sounding in an interview situation, look good in a paparazzi photo, and take harsh criticism. The girls have to both memorize and improvise lines and actions for a television commercial. ANTM looks for an all-around model- not just runway or print, but everything-- and that's hard.

Of course, as with any reality show, there's plenty of drama between the girls. (But, seriously, stick 13 girls in a house for a couple of days, even, and you're going to get drama.) Sure, there's also shameless product placement. But, for the most part, the show sticks to the modeling.

It's interesting to see the challenges of modeling and all that's involved with it, because most of us normally only see the finish product; and, as it's meant to, the final product makes everything look easy. I admit I was a little surprised to see just how difficult all-around modeling is-- but what surprised me even more?

How much fun modeling looks! I think that's what brings me back to the show week after week. I'll never be 5'7 and 120 pounds, but if I could... I think I would LOVE to try modeling. Or at least this show! Modeling is, of course, about looking pretty, but it's also about acting and making it believable... and it's also about looking and moving gracefully. As I watch, I see plenty of opportunities where dance and acting experience would help, and plenty of creative photo shoots that just make me want to try it. I wonder if I'd be any good- and, like I said, I'm not made to be a model... but to me, it's impressive that this show makes me want to try modeling, when it's never really been an interest of mine at all before.

Despite the fact this is the 6th 'cycle' of America's Next Top Model, Tyra Banks and her cohorts seem to be coming up with countless innovative experiences and challenges for the models. The show is always interesting, and shows the challenges and fun of modeling but also incorporates typical reality show elements of drama between contestants and the competition/curiosity of weekly eliminations.

Addictive? Absolutely. I recommend watching it at least once (Tuesday nights on UPN are repeats, Wednesday nights on UPN are new episodes, and VH1 shows episodes of previous cycles all the time- sometimes in marathons)... who knows, you might like it as much as me. :)

PS-- For the record, I totally want Joanie to win.

Monday, April 24, 2006


I'm not sure where Boozer found this, but I'm pretty sure it's one of the funniest things I've ever seen in my life.

"Hippo Eats Dwarf"-- and apparently it's entirely serious. This is almost like a *squoze* story, where you're not even sure you can believe that it really happened, but just the thought it might be is somehow terribly amusing, even though you feel a little bad for finding it funny.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

mustache and a mullet

I feel like writing, but none of the things I'm writing about my feelings seem to come out right tonight.

Instead, I have been inspired by this website to write about my view on designer purses/handbags/clutches/coin purses/etc. I realize some girls may think a post of this type is equivalent to treason, or something crazy like that, but I would much rather buy a bag from the website above than from Coach or Prada or any of the big designer names. I honestly don't understand the craze over designer purses.

Yes, I've been raised to be thrifty... bargain shopping runs in our family (last time my aunt came in town, she went with my grandma, mom, little cousin, and I on a Wal-Mart and dollar store run). I have a really hard time spending $40 on jeans, or $20 on a t-shirt. It's partially because I'm poor, but it's partially because Mom would rarely buy anything for me that wasn't on the clearance or sale rack. I'm not at all ashamed to go in a store and skip straight to the back of the section to check what's cheap; I'm proud when I find a really good deal. It's just how I've been raised, I suppose, and I think it's pretty smart. I'm never going to be a woman who goes out and blows a few hundred dollars in an afternoon on clothes or shoes, no matter how much money I have. I just can't do it.

This is probably a lot of the reason I can't picture myself buying a designer purse. Even if the purse is cute, I have a really hard time spending that much money on a purse. (Never mind the fact that I'm not huge on purses to begin with- I use one for a few months at a time, usually- it's never matched to my outfit or anything.) And with designer purses, I have an even harder time.

It's like shopping at Abercrombie or American Eagle or any store where the name is 'popular.' I hate that they can charge twice as much for the same piece of clothing I can buy at another store just because it has a certain name on it. There was a time I cared a little more about that, and I'm not going to say I don't own anything from either of those stores... but I can say that I have never paid full price for something from Abercrombie or American Eagle. And I'm proud of that simply because the prices are absurd, and not because they're better quality clothes (I'm not even going to go into the idiocy of paying more for less fabric).

Anyway. Back to purses. I don't like that I'm paying for the name. If I think the purse is cute, I'm not going to insist on the 'real thing.' I'm buying it because I like the style; why would I care if it's a 'fake'?

I don't understand the need for status symbols, I guess. Maybe that's because my family has never placed a lot of focus on money- we've always seemed to have enough money, but not an excessive amount. And I don't understand the need for conformity; as one friend explained, her cousins having Coach purses has made her want them too. I don't know; I can walk next to this same friend with an Old Navy purse I bought at our church auction for a couple of bucks and not feel at all ashamed or jealous of her Coach purse.

I wouldn't say I have unique style, by any means, and that's actually something I kind of envy. I have a few friends who have their own fashion sense and the confidence to pull off whatever look they try. I'm jealous- there are times I'll see something and not buy it because I don't think it's 'me' even though I like it, or I would feel like a poser or something. This is stupid, I know- but I console myself by saying that at least if my style isn't terribly original, it's not the carbon copy of whatever's 'popular' at the time. So even if I do have a Tommy purse (a clearance buy given to me by Mom when I was in need of a new purse)... I don't have it because it's Tommy, it didn't cost a fortune, and it's not like everyone else's.

I guess I just wonder about the allure of these purses and things because I've never really experienced it. To me, a purse is kind of a necessary evil... I don't like carrying it, but a lot of my clothes don't have sufficient pockets to carry stuff with me. To spend more than $30 on a purse seems laughable (exceptions are only for amazing purses like Dominique's teapot-shaped and watering-can-shaped purses); $100 seems insane.

This argument applies to so many things (what makes Tiffany jewelry so damn special?)... but basically, I'm glad that I'll never be wearing Ralph Lauren from head to toe and a Tiffany jewelry set while toting Louis Vuitton luggage and a Coach purse. There are so many things I'd rather spend my money on than a designer name or logo.

Friday, April 14, 2006

I was browsing back through some old LJ entries, and I stumbled across one that I wrote when upset, and somehow it ended up fairly coherent. In fact, I think it's pretty well written, and it actually made me cry again to read over it. So... I felt like posting it here (most of it, anyhow). If you've already read it, fine, but if not... enjoy, or something.

I miss Daddy so much. And sometimes I feel like it's been so long (since he died in summer '98- about 6 and a half years) that I shouldn't still get so sad. It's like there's something in me that makes me think I have to be strong. I know I don't; I tell everyone else that, and believe it. For some reason, I hold myself to higher standards, though, and I can't take my own advice. I do that on a lot of things. Then other times, I realize how much I'm forgetting, and how much I'm moving on, and I feel guilty. Like I shouldn't be ABLE to put thoughts of my dad out of my head as much as I do. And if I'm forgetting things now, imagine once I'm OLDER. I'm not going to be able to remember many things that aren't in pictures.

The problem is, when you're in 5th grade, you're a whole hell of a lot more worried about moving on to middle school, that guy-you-think-you-like, and the weird "talk" you've just heard than you are about cementing memories and what someone looks like- really looks like, not just in pictures- into your brain. I can't go in my head and picture my dad, the way he was... I can picture the way I've seen him in pictures; I can remember those moments we've captured and the things I did with him over and over. But it's not like it is on TV (Everwood, Boy Meets World), where you can sit there and play a memory in your head, or "see" the person and how they might give you advice on something. I just can't do that. And I hate it. I close my eyes and try to picture his face, and the only things I can see are the expressions I remember from pictures and his face in the coffin, and that face isn't even HIM. Anyone who's seen someone after they die can attest to that- it's just not even the same face. My lack of great visual memory is probably part, if not most, of the reason I love pictures so much, and why I take random pictures of stupid moments that other people might think are retarded. I want to remember EVERYTHING- especially those little moments that seem pointless at the time. Later the pictures can conjure a memory of a feeling that's totally goofy and fun and happy and real. I like candid snapshots, where no one's faking a smile, no one's sucking in their stomach, no one's trying to look different than they really are, and you see the person exactly as they really are/were and feel/felt to be around. I think I just want to capture as much of a true snapshot of a person as I can, because I'm afraid that later I'll lose that person- whether we lose touch, get mad at each other forever, grow apart, or something terrible happens- and I won't be able to remember them. Or I'll be able to remember the posed moments, but not the little everyday things about them that I took for granted. Or the spontaneous goofy moments. And that's part of what I hate about the memories of my dad- I remember very few of the little things, until I touch someone's hands that are big and rough, or I see someone wearing suspenders, or I hear someone singing who obviously loves music but has absolutely no musical talent whatsoever. There are all kinds of little tiny sensations like that that bring the memories rushing back, but it's like they last just a second and then I lose them again.

Occasionally I'll see a dad really into something- like Mr. Griffin with winterguard, or something- and think that my dad would probably be right there too if he was still around. I mean, he owned his own business, and when we were little, he arranged the times he worked so he could coach our teams or help out with stuff that we were in, and I really, honestly, could've seen him being an active helper in TechnoKats or band or guard or whatever, and I wish he could've done it. Sometimes I'll see other peoples' dads that remind me of my dad, or I'll meet one that I just know he'd get along with. When I babysat for Fogelbergs, I remember one time their dad coming home. He doesn't look exactly like my dad, and he's a lot younger, but he's got about the same body build and somewhat similar features, and this strong, loud laugh, and I'm not really sure what it is, but there's something about him that reminds me of my dad. And the one time their dad came home at 5, the kids both stopped playing when they heard the door open, and ran to greet him and give him big hugs when we got home. It was so reminiscent of so many moments in my own childhood that I about cried just watching them. I think it's the moments like that, the ones that catch me off-guard, that are the hardest. When it's my dad's birthday or the anniversary of his death, or I'm visiting his grave, or I put on Phantom music, or something like that... I kind of expect the memories to come. But when they're unexpected, it kind of takes my breath for just a second and then I have to regain my composure.

Sometimes I feel like it's not fair. I try to remind myself how blessed I am, because I totally have about everything else I could ask for. Besides a talent for chemistry, but who knows, maybe I don't even need that. I'm sure I have whatever I need for the life God has planned. But I still have to wonder why, exactly. I know God has a reason and a plan and all that, and I do believe it. I don't expect to be able to understand everything he does-- I mean, I'm only human. But there are times where I just think... "why him?"

I remember when my brother and I initially went into the principal's office and saw my mom and the pastor, and my first thought was that something had happened to my aunt, or maybe uncle. They both had- and have- perpetually bad health, and have been in for hospital visits and surgeries and who knows what else for as long as I can remember. And as soon as I realized something was wrong, they came to mind. It didn't even register that my dad was missing from the room.

I think I never expected it partly because I was still naive, and basically, who expects their healthy dad to get a heart attack at 42? Especially when it's your last day of 5th grade. It's the furthest worry from your mind. And yet... it happens. Whether or not your dad seems healthy to you, whether or not he had a good report at his physical two weeks ago (...he did), whether or not you're too young to lose a parent (Steve was in first grade), it can, and did, happen.

My dad's heart attack was caused by an arrythmia. Basically, a random funky heartbeat. So, the reason? I really wish I knew. I know that it's definitely the single most defining experience of my life, but I still wish I knew WHY. I shouldn't judge people, but I look around at other people who are just... awful, in some ways. And I know I probably think of my dad better both because he was my daddy and because he's not here anymore, but I can't help but wonder why he's gone before some other people. I don't think anyone who knew him thought of him badly. At his viewing, all kinds of people who knew him only through working with the business showed up. Through solely a business relationship with a lot of people, he established such rapport with them that if I go into Napa today and mention my dad's name, they'll remember him, and maybe even remember him bringing Bill and I in there in the Jimmy, and them giving us Tootsie Roll Pops for free even though they were on sale for a quarter. Lots of people who only knew him from working with our family business respected him enough to come to his viewing. It amazes me, and impresses me, that he was able to create such a great business with such strong customer loyalty, despite having lost both of his parents by the time he was my age and following honest business practices and still making time for family. I know I'm probably biased, but ...that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

I think I miss him most or get sad the most when I think about the *big* moments in my life he'll miss, or the people he'll never meet. My dad wasn't there for my graduation from high school, and he won't be there for my graduation from college, or my wedding, or when I have kids. He has never met most of my best friends now, and he's never met any of my boyfriends. He won't get to walk me down the aisle and give me away; he has never gotten to interrogate or intimidate a guy before a date. He never heard me play french horn decently; he never got to tell me that I wasn't allowed out in what I was wearing. He didn't get to help me choose Purdue (though he probably would've pushed for me to look at IU a little more/sooner than I did, lol); he didn't get to see me all dressed up for proms. There are a million more moments, and I hate that any *big* happy moment in my life is going to have this little piece of my heart holding back from being entirely thrilled. When I get married, I'm going to want to be elated, and I'm sure I will be- but there's going to be some little piece of me that can't help but be sad that my Daddy's not there too. No moment that should be happy will be entirely perfect. I know the moments won't be ruined... but it still bothers me. I'm selfish, and I want my daddy with me.

I feel bad sometimes because I treat telling someone about my dad like this necessary evil. Whenever I meet someone, and start to get to know them, I don't immediately bring it up, but I also feel like I should tell them at some point, because I've been in too many situations where I don't mention that my dad's no longer alive, and then somehow the topic randomly comes up and things are horribly awkward. And I think when I tell people, I try to pass it off as not being a big deal, because I hate when people pity me or treat me differently. But I really hope it doesn't come off that way, because my dad's dying definitely WAS a big deal. Still IS a big deal. I think I treat it like a tumor or something sometimes, though. The conversation where I tell a new friend about my dad is just something I feel like I have to get through and do to avoid it being awkward later. And then I feel awful that I treat talking about it like a chore. But I think a lot of the ways I deal with it aren't the best... they're just how I am.

I miss him even more when I'm upset about something. And this semester I've missed him probably more than I had anytime recently. As you all have read way too many times, I just don't quite feel like myself, and I feel like I don't know who I am and who I'm supposed to be becoming. College is supposed to change you and develop you and teach you and transition you to the adult version of you. And I feel like I'm going backwards in almost every aspect. I'm losing my sense of identity, and I feel more and more weak as time goes on. I'm less proud of myself, and more lazy, and less close to God, and more pessimistic, and I just feel like I'm more lost than I've been anytime in the past few years, at least, and I need someone who knows me and gets me to give me the right advice. My mom and I are pretty close, I guess, but I always felt like a daddy's girl. We just got each other, in so many ways. And I just wish I could talk to him, and find out his advice, and feel his arms around me to comfort me. I know it's probably immature, but I just feel like if he were here, he'd be able to help me figure out what's going on with me, and help me get over it. I'm sick of feeling so bad about and so unhappy with myself, but I'm basically stuck in this rut, and I know the things I need to do to get out of it, but for some reason it's just really, really hard. And my friends help- don't get me wrong... some of you help SO much. But other times, I feel like a little girl again and all I want is my daddy to hold me and hug me and make everything better. And then I feel even worse, because I know he can't be there. I'm sure it's just wishful thinking, and he probably would be able to do no more than anyone else can for me right now. But I still wish it.

I know I've said most of this before, but I don't care. And this was long and rambly and now I'm sitting here with tears streaming down my face and my nose is running and I don't exactly know why I started writing, or why I went on the tangents that I did. I know this makes very little sense, and I did a horrible job of expressing anything of worth. But... I think some feelings just can't be expressed in words, no matter how much you try, and I think I just need to go upstairs and have a good cry more than I need to sit here like the English nerd I am trying to make this make more sense.

Anyway. Happy birthday, Daddy... I miss you like crazy, even though I know you're in Heaven and that has to be amazing and wonderful.

I love you sooo much.

-Originally posted 12/26/05.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Working at Hallmark for the past summer and winter break has given me a different perspective on cards. Before then, occasionally I'd get a cool card, but for the most part I wondered why they were such a big deal.

Once I worked there, though- I watched some of the people who spend lots of money on cards. I would see people who come in with a list of cards they need to get for the month, and they'll spend an hour or more poring (pouring?) over the cards for just the right ones. These shoppers are hardcore- some of them know the card layout better than I do.

One lady, around Christmas, came in and asked me to help her choose a card for a good friend of hers. Apparently this lady can't read too many cards in succession, or she'll have tremors, but she likes to pick out just the right card, so one of us who works there helps her each time she comes in. She's a sweet lady, and although at first it seemed a little strange to give my advice on which cards were better, I remember feeling really satisfied when she settled on a card and thanked me for all of my help, saying she would've had to just pick one quickly without me.

Hallmark's motto is "When you care to send the very best," but what I realized from working there is that most people don't come to Hallmark because the cards are any better than anywhere else; rather, they come to Hallmark because it's primarily a card store, and they're able to pick out one that doesn't just 'work'- instead, it fits the person and situation specifically. It's not because they care to send the best; it's just because they care.

Even if a card just has a quick, scrawled note on it, a card represents caring. Receiving a card- or, really, any mail- is a reminder that someone is thinking of you. And, while it may take more time, effort, or even a little more money for the sender, when you open the envelope and find a card that you think must have been written with you in mind... it makes you feel loved.

While it's exhausting to pull out card after card to read, and then try to decide which one you like the most, there are plenty of people who think the process is worth it to find that certain card. I can see it sometimes when I'm working the register; the customer comes up to me with this triumphant smile, their eyes shouting, "I found it! I found the perfect card!"

Hallmark may be kind of expensive, capitalizing on the fact that people want to come to a store where they have lots of card options, but I like working there, for the most part. Most of our customers are there to do something nice for someone else, and I like that- both because they're generally not mean to employees, and because I like to see things like a young boy taking his little sister to buy a card and stuffed animal for their mom, who's in the hospital- and then paying for it himself. Working at Hallmark allows me to see people at their least selfish and most caring.

And, occasionally, I stumble on one of those perfect cards myself. :)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

stealth fighter

Current Mood: procrastinating (how utterly common)
Current Music: Malaguena (how utterly AMAZING)

I've decided to post again, mainly to keep momentum going for this thing. I don't really have a good idea of something to write about today, so I'm going to steal one from Bradley.

Jenny's Shower-Going Odyssey

I mostly stick to stuff that has been given to me or provided for me by the Mom. At some point, probably due to some members of my family having somewhat dry/sensitive/easy-allergic skin, we added shower gel and a loofah to the soap selection. Yes, loofahs are poofy and girly, but they do a much better job of scrubbing a little as well as soaping you up, and I happen to very much like the plethora of options when it comes to body washes. My family generally uses Oil of Olay's Sensitive Skin body wash. This stuff foams up, doesn't smell like much of anything, and makes my skin soft. Currently, I've taken a break from the Olay to use some Victoria's Secret "luxorious shower gel." The scent (Pure Seduction) is lovely, and if you use more than about 3 drops, the foam becomes too much to handle; the bottle will surely last me at least through the summer. It's definitely luxorious and I very much like it (thank you). :)

As for other skin products, I use about half of the ProActiv regimen- not sure how well it works. My skin would surely be better if I actually did the 3-step process twice a day plus the mask twice a week, but I think anyone who washes their face that well that often is going to have bad skin, no matter what the product. Apparently unlike Jessica Simpson, I have better things to do. Stray makeup is removed with any kind of Clinique makeup remover, because I've found nothing that works better annnd it doesn't hurt my eyes (a big plus). I also use various types of lotion on occasion, notable favorites including Skin Milk (the bottle looks like an old-fashioned milk bottle; smells a little funny but makes my legs shiny and soft), skin-silkening body lotion in Pure Seduction (it makes my hands uber-soft), Bath and Body Works Body Cream or Lotion (either work fairly well, and there are a thousand scents to choose from) and Olay body "quench" body lotion (a soft but pleasant smell, and even a little bit of shimmer). Deoderant wise, I've always used Secret just because it's what the Mom has bought for me, but specifically Secret Platinum's Glacier Mist seems to both work and have a nice scent, so that's my favorite.

(I've just now realized that a girl's shower-going odyssey is probably a bigger undertaking than a guy's. And I'm realizing that this probably isn't exactly the stimulating, entertaining type of writing I planned to put in this blog, but I've written too much to go back now. Continuing!)

Shaving! I stick to my Venus razor, which is sooo much better than the old disposable razors my mom used to get. The disposable tips are easy to use, and while they're kind of expensive, Sam's Club sells them for cheaper. I also use Skintimate shave gel stuff (I currently have "Melon Burst"), which foam up to make shaving smoother and help me know where I've already shaved, so I don't cut myself too badly, forget a spot, or get razorburn very often. The aforementioned lotions being applied after shaving also help with that (the razorburn, not the cuts- oh man, lotion in cuts will earn you nothing but pain! and doesn't help if you forgot a spot either).

As for my hair, I'm fairly low-maintenance. I suppose that's both my personality (I just plain would rather not mess with it most of the time) and my hair type (boring and straight, but at least that doesn't call for tons of mousse or frizz-control products). Suave shampoos seem to work well for cheap. Currently, I use Suave Kids Hair Smoothers in Strawberry Swirl. I don't care that this is obviously meant for kids. It smells like a strawberry smoothie, a nice compliment to the Suave Kids Go-Go-Grape Conditioner Plus Detangler (which I like for not only the great smell and smooth, easy-to-comb hair afterwards, but also the cute frog on the bottle). I know some people don't use conditioner, but it makes hair *so* much more manageable and soft. When I've had to go without conditioner, it really drives me crazy. Shampoo-plus-conditioners are better than nothing... but it's not quite the same. Really, use conditioner. It doesn't take that much longer, and it's sooo worth it, especially if your hair is at all long or hard to control. I also use a bit of pomade or hair spray to keep my swoopy bangs going to the side, if necessary, but for the most part I'm just lazy.

And, finally, we come to teeth. This may not appear to be a part of a shower, but sometimes it is for me. One less step, it seems... it's more convenient, at least when I don't have a sink in my room (grr dorm bathrooms). Anyway, I have to use little floss threaders to get through the built-in retainer on my bottom teeth, so I don't bother with flossing every day. I know I should. My toothpaste of choice is Crest Whitening Plus Scope in Minty Fresh Striped. I'm really sort of afraid to try the whole citrus thing. I suppose that would solve the problem of not being able to have orange juice with breakfast if you've just brushed your teeth, but really, I'm not sure how that can feel very clean. For now, I'll stick to mint. I like the Scope-ness of my toothpaste because it feels like I'm doing two steps in one. :) In a pinch for breath freshness, I love Life Savers in Spearmint (with the added bonus of a breathing hole if you choke on one!), Oral-B Brush-Ups (it feels a little like brushing your teeth with your finger, except it actually kind of works), and Trident White in Spearmint (haven't noticed whitening, but it makes me feel minty fresh!). If I go for mouthwash, it's Scope- Listerine's just a bit too strong for me, and my grandma Fran always used Scope.

Well, this was crazy long, and probably not particularly interesting, but there ya go. :)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


I'm not sure why, but it's incredibly difficult to come up with the first entry of a journal, and probably even moreso for blogs, because there's an audience.

I guess I'll begin with a quick explanation of what I created this blog for. I already have a LiveJournal, where I write out what's happening in my life (and while it's somewhat informational, it's probably not all that interesting). I have a good old-fashioned paper journal (where I write when it's just for me). So, what's this blog for, you might ask?

This blog is for me to just do some writing "for the masses." I like the idea of other people- maybe even those I don't know at all- stumbling across something I've written and finding it at least mildly entertaining. And so, instead of writing about my personal life, and worrying that information will fall into the wrong hands (creepy strangers or family members, namely), I hope to just write some random stuff in here and try to make it interesting to others. Perhaps I'll write out something interesting I saw that day, my opinion on some thing or topic, or a memory I feel like reliving.

Basically, this blog is a little less about keeping people informed about what's going on in my life, and a little more about me just writing. Who knows if I'll keep it up, but I'd certainly like to try. Feedback- positive or negative- or comments are always appreciated. :) Here we go!