Wednesday, June 22, 2011

cruel & unusual punishment

No, I'm not talking about a firing squad, hanging, or being drawn & quartered. I'm talking about a punishment each of us is bound to endure, some of us on a regular basis.

I'm talking about doing the dishes.

Cruel and unusual punishment forced upon you for committing the crime of being an adult and getting to do all the fun adult things.

They sit there, waiting. Mocking you. They know you hate them, but they also know you can't avoid them forever.

It's your birthday - dishes will still be there.
It's your anniversary - dishes are waiting.
You're sick - dishes will have to be done when you're better, and they're just going to get worse!

I live with two others (boys), and we've assigned certain chores to certain people.I have drawn dishes...(vacuuming and taking out the trash were the other choices). I say I drew dishes, but truthfully, I selected my own torture. I've tried to let the boys do the dishes in the past, but they can't seem to do them right. I know I've heard that men are supposed to be better at spatial things and puzzles of that sort, figuring out how machines/tools work, but these guys cannot load a dishwasher to save their lives!

Alas, I must step in. I'm fairly familiar with the dishwasher. When I was growing up and living at home, I actually enjoyed doing the dishes. But while growing up, I also learned that doing things poorly means mom will step in and say "Stop! You're doing it wrong...oh, never mind I'll just do it" *grumble grumble grumble*

So, boys, I'm onto you.

A sad fact of being an adult is that you now have limited immediate contacts; fewer people to pawn your chores off to. No more, "Hey little sister - I'll give you $2 if you do the dishes for me tonight". Just doesn't seem to have the same effect on your boyfriend, and you'll definitely have to up the ante in the compensation department.

FYI, this is exactly what I look like when doing the dishes~

(I wish!)

Adulthood: full of daily, tortuous punishment.

So, I've tried to make doing the dishes more entertaining, or at least, more tolerable, by trying to find the perfect dish washing tool.

I have two handled sponges, because obviously just one won't do.

One of these:

and one of these:

I like each of them equally, though I'm not ready to say I'll form a lifelong commitment. I've still got an eye out for the next one - newer, stronger, easier. Not to mention my phobia of sponge germs. I have always hated sponges...they sit there, brewing bacteriums in lukewarm water covered in old food and germs. I can't use a standard sponge (can't bring myself to touch it without gloves, gross!), which is why I'm so fond of the "dish wands". When I learned that sponges could be sanitized in the microwave, I did a little happy dance (no, seriously).

Side note, I like to use these:

to clean the sink/kitchen counters/etc. When I do the dishes, it tends to spark a cleaning streak and I go off and sanitize the kitchen.

Dear Dishes,

I hate your stinking guts. You make me vomit. You are the scum between my toes.



The truth about adulthood: there is no real world.

There is no real world, and I am obviously not talking about the glorious smut that is on MTV (San Diego is my favorite season, Shh). That show will live on forever. I am talking about the one that they promote in middle school and high school, and really even college.  They educate you on how to write a twelve page paper the night before, survive a week on ramen and exactly how late you can sleep and still be able to beat traffic to get to class on time. Oh wait are those just mine? Moving along, what they don’t tell you is that what is happening around you as you bust your ass writing that paper, this is your life. What is happening is the real world. There is no glorious change once you graduate. There is no magical floodgate of jobs that happens to open just because, you, special snowflake, now have a degree.  I’m not hating on those that have already completed higher education, the opposite in fact.

I am about a year out from finishing my first degree so that I may be employable. In this economy that we are in however, graduation lurking around the corner feels more like a death sentence than a release into the magical world portrayed by every sitcom about being in your mid-20’s ever made.  The cruelest joke of it all is that the majority of this generation was raised on the belief of get an education and the world is at your feet. 

Sadly, this is no longer true, we have an economy where people with bachelor degrees and masters are accepting jobs at McDonalds just to have employment.
Colleges are still treating students as if this is the gold standard, you will leave this institute anywhere from 10-100 grand in debt, but it will all be worth it because the day after graduation someone, maybe even your dream job will contact you and ask you to be employed with them for obscene amounts of money, and even healthcare! This is not the truth. The truth is the harsh reality of struggling in college carries over into what they have deemed the “Real World”. So students, start saving now, because it’s gonna be a harsh reality when the new real world slaps you with it’s open palm.

This post has been brought to you by June Gloom, George W. Bush Jr. and my growing daily college debt with graduation lurking around the corner.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I'm Just a Summer Girl

I wear my flip flops and when I let my hair down, that's when the party starts~

I love summer. (and it's only just begun!)


beachy afternoons

writing your name in the sand with your toes~

The days get longer and somehow, some way, I seem to get a little happier.

Happy first day of summer :)


Sunday, June 19, 2011

A little of this, A little of that

Grateful for:
-A new space to create in
-Mom calling to check on me, just because
-Silly sweet boys that hold my hand while I get my first tattoo
-A tattoo that feels like an extension of who I am
-Sleepy kitty that has decided I am his new favorite thing to sleep on all day
-That I can feel my creative juices finally brewing again
-Lazy Sundays with lots and lots of raindrops:
-& a little bit of this:

Monday, June 13, 2011

The truth about adulthood: things I can't do despite being in my mid-twenties.

As a mid twenty something there are things that I feel I should be doing or know how to do, but can't, or I didn't learn them properly (due to the fact I didn't wanna):

#1 Grilling
(this occurred tonight and inspired said blog post) we had pork chops that needed to be cooked, inspired by our recently glorious weather, I decided to grill. I mean how hard can it be? Turns out it requires a lot more patience that I thought to make things delicious (sorry tester pork chop). The key element I found was to cook low and slow, not scorch and leave raw in the middle, live and learn.

#2 Cutting up my food in a somewhat classy fashion
This one comes and goes, sometimes I can manage, sometimes I feel like I am a five year old with a butter knife. Tonight was a butter knife kind of night. came thisclose to dumping dinner all over my lap, and upon bringing my dishes to the sink I came thisclose to losing a toe to the knife. Sigh.

#3 Cleaning my room in a reasonable amount of time
This has something to do with my aforementioned procrastination issues and a lot to do with my need to look at everything that is in my room. I feel the need to sort and organize and revamp vs just get everything where it belongs.

All of these things combined today made me feel like a slacker or as I like to call it "not a real adult". So in that vein (and because I like giving myself an ego boost) here are three things I can do now that I am not a real adult:

#1 I can open a beer bottle using just a dollar bill.
Or a twenty, just has to be paper money*, and I am a broke college student, lets face it. It's a dollar bill. Related: I can also use a counter or a lighter, and open wine with my shoe. It's all about the classy skills folks

#2 I can stay up all night.
File this one under I have totally ruined my sleep schedule by staying up all night, repeatedly.

#3 I can eat candy that is leftover from Halloween and not die.
Is this marketable? All of the candy is still delicious and to be fair some of it is leftover from Easter. Either way, I didn't die.

I'm going to go drink my landshark beer and watch The Secret Life of the American Teenager, you know since I am not a real adult yet.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Sesame Ginger Chicken

I'm a huge fan of cooking, especially when it's easy and comes out tasting gourmet. I created this recipe last night (although my Mom executed it). It's simple and has a ton of wow factor.

2 Chicken Breasts; I used larger organic chicken because it was actually on sale
1/4 to 1/2 C Newman's Own Sesame Ginger Dressing
1C Rice, Uncooked
1-2 C Fresh Snow Peas; I broke mine into smaller bites for eating ease
1C Carrots, chopped
1 bottle of white wine

-Chop chicken into bite size chunks, throw in a pan over medium heat with a small amount of olive oil, I usually go around the pan once.
-Once the chicken is cooked, pour the Sesame Ginger dressing over it making sure to stir thoroughly. Turn the heat down to low, cover and allow to simmer.
-While the rice and chicken simmer throw the peas and carrots together and steam them (I use the Pampered Chef Micro-Steamer, well worth the investment, I use it almost daily) and prepare rice according to the package directions. I have also used the Micro-Steamer to make rice and it turned out fantastic.
-While everything is cooking and simmering, crack open the bottle of wine and enjoy a glass, you deserve it.
-Once the chicken has simmered for around 20 minutes and the rice is ready, add the veggies to the chicken and serve over rice.


Reasons I Hate My Phone
(Blackberry Curve 8530)

Camera sucks
  • no flash
  • poor image quality
  • impossible to take photos in low light
  • no customization available for photos
  • can't take action shots at all
Memory issues
  • restarts randomly
  • can't handle very many apps
  • runs very slowly when anything other than basic items are open
  • freezes all the time
  • claims to be able to use pandora but LIES because it FREEZES
Inferior options
  • crappy app selection
  • even apps in the BLACKBERRY APP WORLD are crap and won't work with this phone because it's cheap and old and dumb and worst
  • apps are all $5 (free apps suck)
  • updates take forever to install (constant restarting)
  • web browser/capabilites are crappy
  • youtube viewing is mediocre
Sound sucks
  • people can't hear me when i have it on speaker
  • I can't hear people when i have it on speaker
  • ringtones/music sound crappy
Battery life sucks
  • every app drains life
  • bluetooth connection drains life
  • wifi drains life
  • texting drains life
  • mms drains life
  • being ON drains life
Screen is too small
  • poor viewing of webpages
  • poor viewing of youtubes
  • poor viewing of lolcats
In order to upgrade my phone, I have to renew my contract for another 24 months...and every 14 and 22 months after that I am eligible for a discounted upgrade ($75 credit and $150 credit, respectively). Back when phones were $200 - $300, this seemed like a pretty sweet deal. Now that phones cost as much as a laptop (the Nexus S 4g is $549.99...the HP Pavillion laptop? also $549.99), I've soured on smartphones/cell phones all together. I'm not too great at math, but it seems like getting a basic flip phone (hello high school!) and investing in a tablet or more portable laptop might be cheaper in the long run than getting a new phone every 2 years that will just be obsolete 6months (I'm being generous) after purchase.

But I'm a consumer whore, and I will eventually get a new phone. And I'm a net-addict, so it will be a smartphone. Ergo, it will be expensive.

When I bought this much loathed phone about a year ago, it was an impulse purchase after my much-loved still-weeped-for Blackberry Curve (OG!) died a most painful and heartbreaking death. The phone was already obsolete...couldn't handle the new rim OS, apps killed it, etc., but I was in love. I had customized and personalized that phone so that it was 100% KP. When I had to buy this phone, I thought upgrading to the "newer version" of the Curve was a logical step with little's basically the same phone, right?


The old Curve was gloriously ahead of its time with a superior calendar, email and app selection than many phones at the time...the new Curve is overshadowed by often cheaper and more customizable androids (I won't speak of the iPhone), and even other Crackberries. All the best parts of the old Curve were stripped down from the new one (flash, camera quality, customizable trackball...etc.). And since having upgraded, smartphone technology has made huge leaps and bounds and has left RIM/Blackberry in the dust and left me. . . resentful.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Procrastination Nation

I am a list maker. I enjoy making list and keeping things organized. My calendar is color coordinated by event (and during school times, by class) so I know exactly when things are due. However, despite all my planning, I am a procrastinator. Not just a little one, I like to toe the line of it's due in a few hours and OH GOD I HAVEN'T STARTED YET.

I like to tell myself that I "work well under pressure" which is the biggest (partial) lie ever. I cave under pressure. I have a melt down, I cry, I flail around, and question every choice I have ever made that got me to the point I am now. Then, once I have cried myself out, and feel like I am empty inside I can begin my paper process.

That is when the glorious work begins, I become Mark Twain (FINE, more like Francine Pascal) the words just flow. This quarter in English the only paper that I didn't do the night that it was due, in one instance making the deadline by four minutes, was ironically the biggest. 11 double spaced, times new roman-ed hell thesis pointing out everything that is wrong with how we currently handle Human Trafficking as an issue. It's easily the best paper I have ever written.

Is it because I started earlier? Yes and no, because I wasn't having a meltdown, and I had time to let the paper set I was able to edit it with a more critical eye versus the rush you get from HOLY MOTHER OF GOD I MADE THE PAGE/WORD REQUIREMENT TIME TO TURN IT IN. As grown up as I felt turning my paper in hours before it was due, I still couldn't get over the feeling of I actually turned something in without a nuclear meltdown. Now about that communications paper that I have due tomorrow....

*I feel it should be noted that I started this entry and it took me 45 minutes to actually start writing, and that communications paper has not been started. Guilty.

Eyes, Lips, Face

Makeup. Love it or hate it, most of us use it.

For the longest time, since I started wearing makeup in High School, I swore by Bare Minerals, Smashbox, Urban Decay, and M.A.C., etc. I thought that price = quality. For the most part, those brands were great; they lasted almost a full day, provided adequate coverage, and didn't make me break out.

Then, the recession happened. My wallet kicked and screamed and cried every time I had to buy mascara (goodbye, Dior Show). I was forced to look for another cheaper less expensive alternative.

That's when I was referred to E.L.F.. I forget who referred me, or if I found them through my own clever detectiveness, but I'm sure glad I did.

Now, while their makeup may not be 100% of the quality (or 100% of the color choices) of some of the other mainstream brands, their prices, shipping discounts, specials, and online ordering make up for a lot of what might be lacking. And as a plus, they're well on their way to improving each item and are introducing new items all the time!

Here are some of my favorites/makeup staples:

Tinted Moisturizer
I wear this every day (Apricot Beige). A little bit goes a long way, and it's especially great during the summer. It never makes my skin break out, doesn't aggravate any of my numerous allergies, and leaves my skin looking revived, fresh, and dewy. In the summer, I'll wear it on it's own with a little bit of blush (listed below) and mascara (not from e.l.f.) and head out during the day to work, beach, disneyland, etc. Lighter coverage, but great for evening out skin tones and highlighting the face. At night, or if I'm looking for more coverage, I'll put a little bit on my face under the Mineral Foundation powder (see below) and it provides a great base and helps the mineral powder stay put longer.

I like Glow and Innocence (Shy is too pink, brings out my red undertones). This is a great blush to dust lightly over cheeks, and I love wearing a little bit of Glow on my cheeks over just the tinted moisturizer. At night, use the blush with a little bit of bronzer for a slightly more dramatic affect.

Mineral Foundation
This.Stuff.Is.Awesome. I SWORE by Bare Minerals, but this stuff is about 85% as good. It actually feels like it covers better, but weighs less than the bare minerals stuff. They don't give you as much in the little tub, but for $5 you can't beat the price. I use the Light foundation (sometimes warm if the summer months are good to me), and typically dust it over my face with a Kabuki brush. If I need specific spot coverage or I'm feeling extra sassy and want more, I use a more concentrated brush (that actually came with my bare minerals set). This is great as foundation on its own, as a light powder to set a liquid foundation, over a tinted moisturizer, or as a quick refresher to even out skin tone. You can layer more or less depending on what you need, and it never feels heavy.

I use this under my eyes, mostly (apricot beige). I have some pretty serious bags about 99% of the time, and a swipe and dabble of this camouflages them pretty well! I don't recommend this for spot coverage over discolorations or pimples (a bit greasier than I would like), but it's good if your skin looks sallow or you have bags like mine!

Cream Eyeliner
This is my favorite eyeliner. I use their liquid eyeliner, too, sometimes (in black) when I want to be dramatic, but for an every day, day or night eyeliner, their cream line is the best. The black is great for doing a smokey eye, but the brown is the cream of the crop. Dark enough to look sexy, but muted enough to be appropriate for brunch on the beach. Goes on smooth, and if you put a primer on your lids, it won't goop or gump.

Lip Color
Hypershine Lip Gloss, I own it in Flirt (I like peach-tones, can you tell?). The greatest thing about this gloss is that you can determine how much color you want by twisting the bottom. If you like just a touch of color, a couple clicks and it will lightly glaze your lips with a hint of pink...more color, click the darn thing about 8 times and you will have a full-on painted pout. It will rub off (so easy on the drinks and kisses), but it looks and feels awesome and actually conditions your lips.

I still use traditional drug store brands for things like Mascara, or name brands for dramatic looks with lots of eyeshadow (Urban Decay ftw!), but for the basics and every day - E.L.F. has the eyes, lips, and face covered.

- k.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

easy, breezy, beautiful...and wasted indoors.

There's nothing worse than having a beautiful, breezy 72° greet you when you step walk to the laundry room. Instead of laying by the pool or heading to the beach with the doggy, I have to face the fact that today is Sunday.

Sunday. Laundry day.

Today, I am lucky (I suppose). Today is only towel laundry, and laundry that I have left over from our Vegas vacation last weekend (everything comes back smelling like smoke...everything). Fortunately, there were enough washers and dryers for me to successfully start and finish all three loads at once. Yet, as per usual, I had to tack on an extra 40 minutes of waiting after my 25 minute wash cycle and ~before~ my 45 minute dry cycle (which may or may not have to be extended because our dryers are cheap and awful) because someone had just put their stuff in the dryer. On top of that, one of the dryers didn't get one load of towels dry, so I had to spend another $1.25 and 45 minutes waiting. Total laundry time: Just over 3hrs. Living in an apartment complex, laundry turns into an all-day affair.

Starting the laundry is Step 1. I find it easiest to throw everything into my big blue ikea bag and run down to the laundry room. Man-up, don't think about it...just like ripping off a bandaid. Most of the time, this all-at-once system works. Occasionally, however, I get side-tracked by an overwhelming urge to lay around...wasting time, pretending to be productive...maybe I'll sort the laundry by colors! Oh! look - the cat's doing something funny - I should grab my camera! These dishes need to be rinsed again...(putting off one loathed chore by performing another...lowest of low).

Step 2 is trying to remember to change the laundry over on time. This time, since I had to wait an extra 40 minutes, remembering to switch the laundry over wasn't as difficult because I could time it with a rerun episode of Criminal Minds (the one with the blind kid whose mother was murdered). Normally, this is a very difficult step. Not only does it require timing, but also a second exertion of effort to walk down to the laundry room to merely switch over the laundry (not gratifying, no reward!), moving the heavy, wet, soggy laundry across the hot and poorly ventilated room into the dryers, only to hurry up and wait again.

Step 3. Verification. Are the clothes completely dry? Am I finally done with laundry day? This can be the most gratifying or frustrating time of laundry day. Meander back down to the laundry room, see the giant 0 MINS REMAIN on the dryer - deep inhale and slowly open the door. The first gush of warm dry air almost makes the whole ordeal seem worth it. Today, however, it was not worth it. Towel load # 2 was still wet. Not damp, not "maybe i'll just dump these un-dry clothes all over the bed and let it ~air-dry~" damp, but wet. Not soaked, the dryer still did some work...but wet. Forced restart. -45 minutes to my life score.

So, as I sit and wait and pass the time on my computer while the laundry runs (because everyone knows you're not allowed to do ANYTHING while the laundry is running), I look longingly outside as the sun beats down at the pool. Some sort of sick punishment for procrastinating? The children splashing and screaming offer me some I happen to be in a "mood" and want nothing to do with loud, obnoxious children.

I suppose I could've sat by the pool while waiting for the clothes to dry...but then laundry day would've taken a full 8 hrs instead of just over 3 - I guarantee I would've lost track of time, been forced to restart laundry multiple times, or worse, have had my laundry removed from the machines by the over-eager annoying laundry woman. You know the one...she has 5 loads of laundry to do, all at once, and must wait in the laundry room while the clothes are running. She'll sit and read a book, or sometimes I even catch her staring off into the distance. And god forbid you are 2 minutes late getting to your laundry, because she's there when the timer clicks to 0, pulling your clothes out of the washer or dryer and setting them on top of the machine - usurping your place in the hierarchy of laundry day. You may have been there first, but if you dilly-dally, you will be overthrown. Her antics are infuriating, but effective - I definitely pay more attention to the clock (though, not enough to set a timer).

It's not necessarily the fact that she steals your machine or makes your laundry day last longer that angers me most, me, it's the personal violation that I feel when I realize she's probably touched my freshly cleaned undies or seen the size of my jeans. Forced intimacy. Unnerving. Don't put your dirt-bag hands all over my laundry!

Step 4. Grand Finale. Folding. Putting away of all the things. For now, this step can wait. Indefinitely. -k.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hair Repair

Recently, I have been on a quest to take better care of my body, mentally and physically; I have cut out fast food and have been cooking as close to organic as I can at home. Based on this I have started exploring more natural means for having healthy hair. In the past I have browsed going the no shampoo route and, as awesome as people say it is, I can't bring myself to totally ditch it (part of the reason being that the area that I live in has incredibly hard water which makes you feel completely skeezy without scrubbing down). All of that to say, I went on a quest to find a way to deep condition my hair without having to spend a lot of money or using chemicals. That led me to the treatment below which my co-author and I will be attempting and then updating with the results.

Olive Oil Hair Treatment


(enough for 1 or 2 treatments, depending on the length and thickness of your hair)

½ cup olive oil
5 drops frankincense essential oil (others may be substituted, if you wish)
1 plastic bag that can fit over your hair

1. Pour olive oil into a jar with a lid, then add essential oil. Put lid on jar and shake well to disperse the essential oil. Let sit for 24 hours in a cool, dark place. Shake again before use.

2. Rinse hair with warm water. Warm 1 tablespoon of oil treatment in the palms of your hands. Using your fingertips (not nails), gently massage the oil into the scalp in a circular motion. Repeat until the entire scalp has been massaged. Rub the ends of your hair with the remaining oil.

3. Place a plastic bag over your hair, secure by tying or with a hair clip or clothespin, and allow the oil to remain for at least a half-hour.

4. Rinse well, then shampoo as usual.

Treatment originally found here

spelling, grammar and other nuisances

At what point do we give up and just alter the meaning of words? We seem to be willing to create words easily enough..."wassup" was just recently added to the Oxford English dictionary (p.s. thanks, Budweiser!). I'm first to admit that my online etiquette when just casually chatting or browsing is not one that portrays an air of sophistication, but I don't think that internet memes and shorthand have changed my handle of the English language. I still know the difference between your and you're (and use them correctly unless character limits force me to use the dreaded "ur").

I'm actually trying very hard to resist the temptation to write in strictly non-caps (lower-case letters are just more aesthetically pleasing!).

At work, I have had to abandon my love for the serial comma and single spaces after a period (no serials unless absolutely necessary and 2 spaces after a period ALWAYS!!!).

I think we need to go back to the fundamentals.