Saturday, April 20, 2013

More junkie recommendations

While packing for a trip, and trying to cull my beauty supplies down to a semi-reasonable travel bag, I realized that I have quite a few more current favorites and "holy grail" products than those I just wrote about. So in case you're one of the people who have asked me for product recommendations recently, or you're looking for something new, or are buying a present for someone and want some tips, or are secretly a junkie too: here are some more things I think are great. If you are none of these things....well, thanks again for stopping by.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Love songs

I take public transportation, and my commute into work can take anywhere between 45 minutes to almost 2 hours depending on what kinds of issues the Metro system is having that day. During that time, subject to my mood, I will either do some reading, listen to podcasts, and/or put the iPod on shuffle and see what comes up.

Today I went for random shuffle. Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes came up, immediately followed by The Cure's A Lettter to Elise. I love both those songs. Like, a lot. I have cried listening to them, although not for the same reasons. They are two very different kinds of love songs. The first is all epic, and deals with finding that perfect someone with whom you feel complete, with choice lyrics like "I look to the time with you to keep me awake and alive" and is for many of us linked to Lloyd Dobler and that boombox. Whereas the latter is about a relationship that is probably ending, with lyrics like "I let the dream go and the promises broke and the make-believe ran out."

So because my mind often wanders when I'm just sitting on a train listening to music, I started thinking about love songs, and how they're split in the two camps, sweeping/hopeful/romantic, and mournful/heartbroken. And it seemed that many of my favorites fall into the second category. (Not sure what that says about me, but I don't feel like doing any self analysis right now.) Then I started trying to make a mental list of what all my favorite love songs are. Although my musical taste tends to be pretty cheesy overall, and I do enjoy a poppy love song, most of my favorites in this category don't really fall into that guilty pleasure category. I also concluded that a lot of my favorite love songs make really great background music for movie montages. (Again, let's not analyze that.)

Here are some of the songs I thought of right off the bat, besides the two already mentioned. They all stir up all kinds of feelings every time I hear them. There have been a lot of worn-out tapes and bad sing-alongs tied to each one of these.
  • Donny Hathaway A Song For You If you don't get feels when you listen to this song, we just don't have much in common.
  • Madonna Crazy for You - This songs transports me back to middle school, and that ridiculous crush. Who apparently never did feel the weight of my stare, or, if he did, didn't give a shit. 
  • Elvis Costello She One of those sweeping love songs I like to imagine is being sung about me.
  • Etta James At Last - A classic for a reason. I don't want no remake, give me the original every time.
  • U2 Bad I have a real weakness for dudes that sing their hearts off onstage.
  • Indigo Girls Love Will Come To You and Ghost both sung loudly and off key many a time.
  • ABBA The Winner Takes It All - No list of my favorite songs doesn't include ABBAIf you've seen THE TRIP or MAMMA MIA, you know this one is a classic.
  • Mecano Me Cuesta Tanto Olvidarte Pretty perfect song - trust me, even if you don't understand Spanish. (Also, please click on that link if only to check out the questionable and very 80s fashion and makeup choices.)
So those are a few of the love songs that get me so emotional...wait, did I leave Whitney off the list? Oops, my bad. If I thought about it more than a few minutes during my commute this would be a REALLY long list. So I'm going to stop thinking about it.

What are some of your favorite love songs?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A junkie recommends

The word has gotten out about my beauty junkie status. My close friends and family have always known about my habit - they've seen how my eyes light up when I step inside a beauty supply store, and laughed at the amount of products I deem as essential for travel (while then borrowing liberally from the stash). But for the most part, colleagues and casual acquaintances have been in the dark about my addiction, other than perhaps noticing that I change my nail color frequently.  But when your boss mentions your habit in an all-staff meeting, along with an accompanying slide show that really hammers the point home - the jig is up. Suddenly folks I barely ever talked to before are asking for product recommendations. And I am in hog heaven. :)

So since just this past week I've gotten questions and requests for recommendations from half a dozen different sources, I thought I'd write about my current favorites and "holy grail" products - in case you're one of the people who have asked, or you're looking for something new, or are buying a present for someone and want some tips, or are secretly a junkie too. If you are none of these things....well, thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Fickle passions

I love cooking, eating good food, and watching people cook on TV. I'm not all that particularly fashionable or into trends, but I do try to at least not to look like one of those "don't" pictures in fashion publications, so pay attention to style trends. I love "girlie" things like makeup and jewelry, peruse magazines, blogs, and pop culture websites on a regular basis, and watch entirely too much TV. I start off every morning listening to a local radio show, which in addition to offering some news, humor, and information on upcoming concerts, provides me with enough knowledge of professional sports my eyes don't immediately glaze over when I run into folks who want to talk about "the game" last night. And I love movies. I like going to the theater, I like watching them at home, and sometimes the in-flight movie is the best part of a work trip.

The thing about having so many interests is that I tend to be seasonal about how much time I dedicate to any one thing in particular. I'll go through a period of reading 2-4 books a week, then not pick one up for months.It would probably take me years to get through all the books I own in my "to read" pile, both printed and electronic. I will do movie marathons, then not see a new movie until I happen to win passes to a free movie screening. I'll get a new cookbook or a new kitchen gadget and whip up all kinds of delicacies, then go for weeks without doing any real cooking. I have drawers full of beading supplies from my occasional periods of fancying myself a jewelry maker, but I can't remember the last time I pulled them out to use them. I have enough beauty supplies to be a professional makeup artist, yet will often go days, if not weeks, wearing no makeup other than maybe lipstick. My love, it would seem, is fickle.

The end result of all these seasonal interests is that I have a lot of stuff. Not quite ready to be on an episode of HOARDERS or anything, but definitely creating some pretty junky areas in my home. And probably some pretty junky areas of my brain too - I have forgotten most of my education to make room for a ton of useless movie trivia knowledge.

Which brings me to yesterday, and me staring longingly at a picture of a fancy waffle maker on sale at one of those discount sites you have to sign up for. I'm pretty picky about breakfast foods, but waffles aren't one of the things I turn my nose at. I like waffles. The thing is, I hardly ever eat them. I don't buy the frozen variety you can toast up at home, and I rarely order them when I eat out. I eat waffles maybe once or twice a year. Yet I found myself spending way too much staring at the picture of the waffle maker on the website, and trying to justify why I should buy it. (Over 50% off! It's your birthday, treat yourself! You can experiment with fillings! It would be great for a brunch party!) And then I thought about the lack of counter space in my kitchen. And all the other kitchen gadgets I own that are gathering dust due to lack of use - the bread machine that hasn't been used in years, the rice cooker that was only used once, the mandolin that just sits there all by itself. And I clicked away.

Unfortunately, I then got an email about a new set of eyeliners, and remembered that 15% off coupon I had in my purse, and.... well, I am a makeup junkie. And it's my birthday! And I can experiment with new looks! And it will be great for a costume party.... Ok, so maybe not all of my passions are fickle.