When we said we were ready to party…we lied. Like big time lied because unless the word pajama and dance come before it, we aren’t doing a whole lot of partying these days. (We’re also late on posting this week…sorry…there’s a heat wave here and uh…we’re lazy.)
Now that we live together, we are slowly establishing a rhythm for the week and weekend. Wake up, go to work, return home, watch Say Yes to the Dress, rinse and repeat. On the weekend, we get out of the house during the day, but end up back on the couch in the evening just like every other weeknight. We have the infamous couch-party on lockdown, friends!
And for the most part it feels pretty good. Since we are both the eat popcorn, drink tea, laze around in our PJs types, we are generally content to watch brides bitch, moan, and cry on the boob-tube every night including Friday’s and Saturday’s. We cackle mercilessly and spontaneously dance in the dining room between episodes (there’s a lot of Hall & Oates playing here). We are old maids minus the old and the celibacy (we live with our boyfriends too) and cat ladies minus the cats (there’s a no pets clause in our lease but know that if it weren’t there we would fill our cottage with furry creatures in a heartbeat).
Since our current idea of a good party consists of dancing in our pajamas and watching TV until Netflix asks us if we’re still there (this happens multiple times a night…damn you, Netflix!), we wanted to confess that we’re a little out of touch with the usual party-going scene…you know, the one that takes place outside of our home. In case you thought we were experts regarding this week’s theme…or something.
What’s your idea of a good party? Is it a girls-night out in the city or a tv marathon on your best friend’s couch? Wherever you’re doing your thang, if you’re having a good time then you know it’s legit.
FYI, in case you’re concerned about our night-outing health, we do have plans to go to this sometime soon…we’ll let you know when that happens.
If you’re as much of a radio podcast lover as we are, then you too are constantly searching for new and wonderful episodes to listen to in the archives of your favorite shows. Since Elly is taking a wee blogging hiatus, we’re posting a few of our favorites today from This American Life and Savage Lovecast (two of our favorite shows).
This American Life
This episode is an oldy but goody from 1997. The first story about a Peter Pan stage production gone wrong will have you in stitches!
An oldy too, this episode is full of gems. You will laugh until tears pour down your face and you pee your pants. Squirrel!
Experimenting is part of every person’s life. And some people’s experimental phases are funnier than others. Tis true with this episode. You will not be disappointed.
Oh to be in college! And drunk! #1 Party School starts off in State College, PA, where Ira and TAL producer Sarah Koenig listen to the sounds of crazy youth in their natural habitat.
Episode 64 starting at 14:25
One of the more bizarre fetishes we’ve encountered on the Lovecast.
And another woman who has it!
Our best advice: just start at episode 1 and make your way to now. Dan does not disappoint!
There is something about this warmer weather that makes me want to host a backyard picnic style dinner. These images have me dreaming about and looking forward to warm nights under the stars with friends.
One of my favorite things to do during the summer is collect glass jars of all shapes and sizes and put tea lights in them. You can set them up on a patio, stoop, or in a backyard to add an instant magical glow and twinkle to your evenings.
Image via Jessica Clifford on Flickr
Featured image via The Fresh Exchange
It is officially spring in California and we are basking in the warm sunlit afternoons and the sweet smell of jasmine. We don’t mean to sound like a poem but, well, sometimes we can’t help it. When we are not enjoying the great outdoors (and by this we mean walking to the supermarket) we are trolling the internet (let’s be real, we mostly troll the internet). And while perusing this world wide web we came across these images. We swear if you squint hard enough, and imagine the light emanating from your computer is in fact real sunlight, you will feel like you are there.
The liberals and environmentalists were wrong; there IS oil worthy of a few world wars, drone strikes, and dead baby seals. COCONUT OIL.
Coconut oil is the end all be all of hair oils – it’s economical, smells fantastic, and is one of the few oils that has the right combination of molecular size and shape that can penetrate the hair shaft. Its chemical structure (lauric acid derivation) has an affinity for protein, assisting in reducing protein loss in your strands.
Story time: I just recently dyed my hair. I haven’t had virgin hair for awhile. Performing a bit of math, I realize the lower 5 inches or so of my hair has been processed at LEAST 4 times (not counting likely, accidental re-dying when I touch up my roots). That’s 4 different full applications of permanent dye. You don’t have to be a stylist to know that this is the hair equivalent of attempted murder. But, aside from those times when I’m months late for my regular trim, my hair seldom looks like a cheap Halloween witch wig. And it doesn’t feel like steel wool. It’s not witchcraft – put away that newt’s eye, that cauldron, and that wizard’s hat-shaped bong because that shit is crazy and pot makes you lazy. And like weirdly numb. Or is that just me? Either way, you don’t need that – just get a big ass jar of unrefined virgin coconut oil (found frequently for less than 75 cents an ounce) and follow my instructions.
Before at LEAST one shampoo a week, do a pre-poo (love that phrase) and give it time to set:
I also coat my hair with CO before I dye my hair. That’s right – it won’t affect hair dye uptake! BLACK MAGIC. Aside from not being a hindrance to the processing, CO contains compounds that chelate iron and copper, which prevents the iron and copper that has been absorbed into your hair from tap water and some hair products from reacting with the peroxide in dye and producing free radicals. These free radicals produce a great deal of damage and dryness in hair, but with the CO as a pre-dye prophylactic, you can nip a lot of damage in the bud and rock a new color.
Fair warning: damaged hair is damaged hair. No matter how many photoshopped actresses vouch for it, NO product can REVERSE damage. But you can improve the general moisture level and prevent its further demise. When I’ve slipped up on my pre-poo regimen, my hair definitely feels different and my ends cry for a quick death.
Another warning: you wannabe gingers out there, red dye fades faster than me after a big dinner and two glasses of wine, especially with frequent oiling (the red dye apparently is very small molecularly, so it leeches out fast). I’ve had no problems with my medium golden blonde, strawberry blonde, or honey blonde post-dye color. My light auburn did seem to fade a bit fast.
Get good and oily, ladies. And feel free to use your coconut oil for other things too. I can vouch for almost all of these and add a rumored one: apparently, coconut oil is the lubricant of choice for many ladies in pornography (not mixing it with latex, of course). It apparently helps reduce yeast infections (a major job hazard). Turns out we women CAN learn something from porn. Who knew?
Image Source: National Geographic Found Tumblr (Pretty Rad)
Growing up in Oregon, “being green” wasn’t so much a conscious decision as it was a societal norm. Everyone reduced and reused and everywhere recycling bins were bigger than garbage cans. I did my part, but living in such a place (or similarly intensely green cities like San Francisco), you can start to feel a little inadequate, you know? I, for example, do not have a bucket to collect the cold water from the shower as it’s warming up (I do in the kitchen sink though…) nor do I ever remember to bring reusable produce bags with me to the grocery store (gasp! I know…). However, there are a few simple, more subtle things I’ve incorporated into my life that are easy ways to make your routine a little more green.
| Line Dry Your Laundry | Especially with the warmer weather coming, you can air-dry clothes no matter where you live – often cutting your energy bill, reducing your carbon footprint, and preserving your favorite clothing (you know all that lint in the lint trap? Yeah, that used to be part of your shirt…) all at the same time. And who doesn’t love that fresh-air smell? Plus, there’s some really great eco-detergents out there: Seventh Generation, Meyers, or my personal favorite, BioKleen, to make your laundry smell even better. (I do however stick with drying little things like socks and underwear in the dryer and use lavender dryer bags from Trader Joes…oh so good)
| Reusable Bags | Yes, everyone knows you’re supposed to use these bags, but it’s often so hard to remember! I keep one of those little stuff sack bags in my purse at all times, which is good for quick stops at the grocery store or unexpected finds at thrift shops. And, for the love of all that is clean, please remember to wash them!
| Buy Locally and in Season | Farmer’s markets or veggie boxes are the best for this kind of thing – but you can also do it in your local grocery store. Checking to see where things are from and knowing what fruits and vegetables are in season is not only good for your local economy but also for you – things taste better when they’re fresher and don’t have to travel so far!
| Give Used Gifts | Thrift store finds and vintage clothes are so in right now – so you’re probably already doing this, but it’s always fun to go gift shopping at garage sales, second-hand stores, or even your own closet. The presents make for good conversation plus you’re finding a great home for that used item.
| Put a Timer on Your Water Heater | This is a little bit more of a big ticket item, but I discovered this recently and love it! Water heaters usually keep water hot 24-hours a day, but you really only use it in the morning and the evening if you’re working regular hours. So some companies have this thing so you can set your hot water heater to turn off at night and during the day and then only turn on again during those hours you need it. Genius right? (Same thing goes for your thermostat.) Saves money and energy…
| Repurpose Old Jars for Bulk Items (Also, Buy Bulk Items) | Head for the bulk bins for spices, grains, granola, etc. and store your goods in non-toxic, stylish jars. They come in a variety of sizes, styles, and colors and can be found pretty much anywhere (I’d check your recycling bin first, and then head out to the flea markets)
| Grow Your Own Herb Garden | Herbs are a delicious way to spice up any dish, and they’re so easy to grow in something as simple as a window box. Just reach over and clip a few sprigs before dinner!
Images Courtesy of: Minna May
Responsibility means many different things to everyone. Perhaps some of you immediately think of bills to be paid, bills you wish you could pay, jobs you’re ignoring as you read this, children to which you must attend, husbands/wives you need to feed, etc. For me, responsibility simply means doing the right thing whether or not that be the easy thing. And for me, there is no more hard-earned responsibility as being married.
For some reason, in my mind, this odd constitution between two people is the ultimate sign that you are a responsible member of society. I realize it makes no sense, but I have this notion in my mind that once I’m married, I am forever a responsible adult.
So, as an unmarried woman watching many of my friends get married, I feel like my time to be irresponsible is dwindling! But I’m not done being stupid and young and irresponsible…and something tells me that you’re in the same boat right along side me.
So in the spirit of being responsible, I think right now is the time to be irresponsible while we’re still allowed! Now is the time to go out and drink too much and rip your pants as you literally fall to the floor laughing at your own sad attempt at dancing. Now is the time to make the wrong decision and get that piercing you’ve always wanted (maybe stay away from tattoos as those are more permanently regrettable though…). Now is the time to enjoy our blissfully irresponsible existence while we still have the chance to be irresponsible.
So I guess my point of all this is that I feel like while I do have your typical responsibilities – bills to pay, dogs to feed, exercise to complete, etc., I also feel that I have the responsibility to hang on to my own stupidity while I can. Sooner or later, my sense of responsibility will win and my fun-loving-alcholic-pants-ripper will be someone I rarely see. So I’m adding irresponsibility to my list of responsibilities these days while I still can. Join me, won’t you?
Before I let my fingers dance for too long on my keyboard, I am warning the readers and my compatriots at Beginners that this will be a shorter post than I intended/is necessary for the quantity and spread of buckshot I intend to spray about this topic. For now, let’s all see this as the intro to a rant that might take a while to formulate. Its current form is nonverbal: crazy eyes, grunting, and flailing arms.
Alright, everybody: we’ve got to start taking responsibility for the world we inhabit.
This means a multitude of things. I don’t really desire to be political or apolitical about this. I could talk about climate change and carbon footprints, sure. (Just saw “Animal Animal Mammal Mine” at the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts so I’m already primed to do so.) But I think that the immediate association allows for too many people to oversee other ways in which they are responsible for societal and cultural reverb that continues well past their drunken weekend decisions.
YOU are responsible for the entertainment/media/art that will get produced and funded in the near future. Every time you buy a ticket for a formulaic, vapid, vulgar/vulgarly offensive, artless, humorless, and/or degrading movie or concert or event or whatever, you are using your consumer power and, in essence, placing a vote for what will be produced next – sucky crap meant to appeal to the lowest common denominator.
YOU and your hard-earned money make choices in how the global economy works. In general, almost everyone doesn’t realize that, collectively, our consumption paves the way for what industries prosper and what industries fail.
It’s not that you only attract bad men, it’s that YOU accept bad men. And it’s by accepting bad men that YOU help maintain the notion that negative behavior towards women has no consequences and, actually, elicits positive results.
YOU have to accept that there are certain things you can’t control, of course. But YOU have to figure out what the fuck you actually do have some control over and work from there. Nobody is going to do that for you.
We need a goddamn revolution. Collective action is necessary or else rape culture will continue and “Transformers” movies will keep being made. And rebooted. And rebooted. And rebooted again. For hundreds of millions of dollars. (And just think about how many young directors – future Wes Andersons and Claire Denises and Katheryn Bigelows and David Cronenbergs and Quentin Tarantinos – could have been funded with that?)
No. Not parenthood. But close!
I am talking about moving. Ugh. What a shit show! A couple weeks back Kelly and Kylin posted about their house hunting nightmare (they ended up finding a great place, bless them) and in response I would like to voice my own renting frustrations…
So I just got a job in Memphis, TN! I have absolutely no clue what I’m doing, girls, but I knew I had to quickly figure out a lot in order to start sanely 1 month after accepting the offer. Little did I know securing a place and getting my stuff there would be harder than landing the job itself! Here are a few things I’ve learned in the process…
1) The Move. Moving companies suck! (Okay, to an extent.) The actual guys who came to pick up my things were these two really sweet Latino fellows. I learned, however, once they were at my front door, that they weren’t in fact from the actual moving company who I had been corresponding with in the days prior. Rather they were a group contracted out of the actual company. If you’re confused…yeah, me too. Then I was told since I wouldn’t physically be there to receive my things (I would be coming a week later), I could pay the remaining balance for the move over the phone. The truck weighs your things and then you pay the rest of the bill after it has arrived. All good. But then this third party manager tells me on the phone that not only do I need to pay upfront via credit card, I also must leave the amount blank! Like signing a blank check!? I pretty much had no choice at this point, my stuff was all packed, and so I took a picture of the slip and also got the driver to sign a statement of my own. But seriously. All of this fuss and practically zero communication between the moving company and the people they’d contracted. Everything ended up alright in the end, but it was still a really stressful process. My recommendation: ask more specific questions about the company, moving process, and payment before signing on to anything.
2) The Neighborhood. Phew…okay now that that’s off my chest. My next two biggest concerns about moving to Memphis are the crime rate in various areas and…bug problems! (Joy!) I found these two websites to be particularly useful when looking for a good place:
3) The People. Another useful tool in getting aquainted to a new city is phoning up local bloggers/business people. I found a blog, akin to Beginners and run by a Memphis gal, and it was really great getting to speak with her over the phone about the city. When you can, reach out to real people and don’t believe everything you read online! (I found an awful blog that explained how to prepare for walking the streets of Memphis,even suggesting that one have a dagger and dollar bill handy for close encounters with psychos). Scareeeeee!!!
4) The Craigslist (hahaha). For places you are unfamiliar with, I really would not trust Craigslist. But it was great for helping me locate people willing to give away moving boxes for free in Pittsburgh!! Use your resources wisely.
Like a responsible (smart!) adult, I made an excel sheet listing apartments, their prices, pros and cons, and other details. I highly recommend getting organized in this way. Even if doing so doesn’t help your apartment-hunt in the slightest, the very act of using excel and filling out information will make you feel like you have your shit together. And doesn’t that feel good?
That’s all I got for now, folks! Good luck and happy moving/organizing this Spring! You can do it!
I am one of the most responsible people you will ever meet. I am always on time. I never miss a day of work. I honor my commitments. I call my grandmothers every Sunday. I’m responsible, reliable, respectable. (Are you reading this, future employers?) But, to those who don’t know me well, or who only know me on paper, I am anything but. I move around, I flit, I float, I “live life off the grid, baby!” I have a nice wandering soul/gypsy spirit persona thing going on, and so I figured, why not embrace it? So to those of you out there who want to keep the dream alive, I present to you (in the form of a nicely organized list) the ways in which I am not yet a responsible adult:
And so there you have it: five (of the countless more ways) in which I am irresponsible. There’s more, I promise, but I started to feel a little embarrassed around point four… Please make me feel better and tell me some of you out there have some secret irresponsibilities too!
I’m not going to lie to you guys: this post is going to be short. There are many reasons for this, but the main reason is that there is a GIANT spider lurking somewhere in the room with me and I’m very motivated to GTFO.
Anyway, onto the theme of this week: travel. I’ve done a bit of traveling in my now sort-of-short lifetime. I’ve been to various states across those United and couple different countries – Mexico, France and Australia. What’s interesting (to me) is what I remember about these various trips – such strange tidbits that have stuck in my mind. So, for my short post, I thought I’d share a couple of them with you.
My memory of Oregon: trees and Starbucks.
My memory of New York: walking 33 blocks in the wrong direction (wooooops!).
My memory of Montana: so many rocks! (wtf?)
My memory of Mexico: my hair.
My memory of Australia: learning about the camel spider.
I am legitimately too afraid to even paste a picture of a camel spider, so this is a peacock spider…
Aaaand that reminds me of the spider and I’ve got to go! Happy Friday and I hope your weekend is filled with anything but spiders.
I’m planning a trip back home, yet another stressful flight, potentially carcinogenic body scans, and a terrible load of shit-tastic airport time. Now, I’m not especially well-traveled, and there are likely more experienced people who can comment on this topic, but I hope my humble little piece will prevent your accrual of bad karma for being THAT person. You know, that person. The person you can smell a mile away, hear them clanking and jostling, huffing and puffing. That person that drives a lapsed Catholic to mumble a quick, earnest prayer – a prayer that you are not in their security line or, God forbid, on their flight.
A list of some of the worst people at the airport:
1. I’m not sure if people who wear heavy perfume often are even capable of detecting the error of their ways. I’m sure that prolonged exposure to “aromatic” lab chemicals of this quantity has deadened their sense of smell. Or their reason for this exuberant usage is a sign of the deadened sense to begin with, unleashing a vicious cycle of irrational, unconscientious perfume abuse and dependence. It’s a chicken/egg situation, a debate left to the more litigious or stubborn. What is beyond debate is fuck you if you come on to the airplane wearing enough of the new Britney Spears’ perfume to destroy the appetite of a whole village of undernourished Ethiopians. We are in an enclosed space, a space where we cannot even select the people we sit next to for hours. You are a selfish ape shit for forcing us into a Biodome of your intense odors. What, are you planning on seducing someone on the plane? Even if a drunk and frisky Bradley Cooper is on your damn flight, you don’t need to read Cosmo to realize that smelling insanely like flowers and enraging the senses aren’t going to help you get into a fine man’s pants. And even if you did succeed, you’ll never know if Bradley loved you for your body, your personality, or your Paris Hilton cologne (provided you still delusionally think men prefer their women smelling like cotton candy).
2. Speaking of seducing people and delusions: you ladies wearing sky-high heels, Mardi Gras-style layers of necklaces, and those fancy belts, we can hear you coming a mile away, clanking and shit, parading and swinging your hips, chandelier earrings blowing in the breeze and getting tangled in your freshly styled hair. Our hate is not jealousy. We all “clean up” nicely too. What we don’t do is wear all our shit to the airport. Why? Because we want to clear security as quickly as possible. When you swing in, covered in mixed metals and in a complicated outfit, wearing shoes that make you a strained, slow-moving asshat, we are doing the math in our heads on how long it’ll take your butt to get through the metal detector.
3. Though not as ostentatious and self-serving, the overly high-maintenance parent with child is also a source of great fear and discontent. I am not intending to go all clichéd comedian on you and complain about babies on planes. Hey, they can’t help it; flying is scary and if my ears pop and often lead to a whole day of soreness, I can’t imagine how frustrating and painful it would be to a child not totally aware of what’s happening. This is about those parents that brought all kinds of crazy shit with them: their noisiest toys, their largest strollers, their largest diaper bag. It’s a 3 hour flight and they sell diapers everywhere. Is it really worthwhile to bring a week’s worth of diapers? Are diapers that much more expensive in Houston? What the hell?
4. This isn’t exclusive in airports, the odds of exposure are just high there: the loud foreigners. This isn’t racist or xenophobic, because my loathing knows no race or color. It’s for the group of people who share a language not commonly spoken at their current location and decide to speak it amongst themselves IN THE LOUDEST VOICE possible. Just because we don’t speak Korean/German/Swahili/Whatever, doesn’t mean you can abuse everyone’s eardrums by yelling. It’s as if you’re flaunting your ingroup secrecy in as grating a way as possible. This happened with a trio of Asian women in front of me at the US Airways security line in March. I don’t remember the last time I wanted to headbutt someone so intensely.
5. Actually, thinking over number four, people dead set on flaunting their ingroup status should also be on this list. They can be easily spotted by their matching shirts (sign of a bachelor party/school trip/athletic competition/etc), their herd-like clustering, and their boisterous enthusiasm and anticipation for their shared journey to begin. This group will likely be the hooting and hollering people on the plane as their cozy ingroup status has lead to a lowered fear of being despised/ostracized by the outgroup. This means they’re more likely to make hair-raising jokes to the TSA (“Why no, I didn’t pack my own bag. I had my Muslim roommate do it for me. Har, har, har! *wink at friends*) or will carry out their loud conversations laden with bravado and innuendo well into the flight.
All I know is if I am plummeting to my death from 25,000 feet, my last memories before the terror of our flight gone wrong better not be someone hooting “That’s what she said! Am I right, fellas?! Har, har har!” or an aggressive burst of lab-created night blooming jasmine. And if we crash into the ocean, that bitch in the spike heels and jagged jewelry better be miles away from my inflated lifejacket. She gets close to me, I’m seriously punching some implants.
“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves.”
This quote, or the idea at least, is an often repeated phrase in the world of wandering souls. While I would love to say that with each move to a new city and with each new travel adventure, I am finding myself a bit more (god, I hope that’s true), it’s really the first part of this quote that resonates with me. Sure, I have fun with being the new girl in town – using fake names at coffee shops, playing the “I was just confused, I’m new here” card when I don’t pay the right bus fare – but my favorite part of being new in town is only having to reveal as much of my backstory as I’m comfortable with. It’s freeing to not have everyone know my family history, my dating past, that embarrassing phase I went through where I crushed hard on guys with Jersey accents (yeah, it was going to come out at some point…), etc.
Often when I move to a new city or am traveling, I don’t know for how long I’m going to be there so, for a moment at least, I have the opportunity to make a new life for myself, uninhibited by the realities in my past or the uncertainties in my future. It’s kind of like starting with a clean slate – albeit, with the shadows of what had been written there still visible. My past is always going to be a part of who I am, but not all of it has to define who I become.
All Images by the amazing Randy P. Martin