Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Old vs.The New

At the risk of sounding like a brat (...too late...), I really don't know why I blog sometimes.  It's not like it serves any purpose other than to make me feel less bad about not keeping journal when I really could because I'm not that tired at the end of my work day.  But I sort of am.  But I'm sort of not.  Whatever, don't look at me.

For the past forty-eight hours, I've been battling the big bad flu but I am sure you would never know because it's not like there is an ever so subtle whine to this post.  And it's not like I've asked you to just leave me here to die.  But maybe you should.

Wait.  Don't leave.  I swear I am stopping.

So what can I possibly have to type about that is not a complaint?  Well.  Funny you should ask because before I found myself practically shuffling off this mortal coil, I was planning an almost useful post about all the new things that I like.

You probably don't need to have a talent for telepathy to know that I am almost always hesitant when it comes to new things.  It's not that I don't like to try new things--contrary to popular belief, I have a pretty open mind about almost everything, that's not the problem--but it's just that I really, really like the old things.  I would call myself a creature of habit if that classification didn't kind of make me want to die.  Well, even more than the flu does already...

So in an effort to be moderately more adventurous and by moderately I mean, barely, I've tried some new products/movies/fill in the blank and am here to report back on how they compare to the old favorites.

Yes.  The Garlic Press.  A thrilling place to start.  I don't know about you but I always cook with garlic. And I mean allllways.  Always.  Garlic is one of those things that grows particularly well in upstate New York and Moses' parents keep us pretty well supplied.

My old garlic press was fine.  It did the job, I had no complaints.  But it turns out that in this instance, I was so ridiculously wrong.  It was a terrible, medieval contraption and I didn't know how wondrous it could really be until Moses ordered me this garlic press, which just about changed my life for the better in every way possible.  First of all, you just get so much more garlic out of the cloves with this press.  Like 50% more and you're not constantly have to prod the sticky insides to readjust the clove so you can get just that little bit extra out of it.  It's a one and done kind of thing.

And the cleaning.  Oh!  The cleaning!  No matter how well I scrubbed the old one there were always remnants of garlic that I could get out of it because the sponge just couldn't hit all those tiny crevices.  But the new garlic press comes with its own brush that fits right inside one of the arms of the press so that those prone to losing adjustments (clearly not me because I am perfect) won't "misplace" it in the trash can or down the sink.

The new garlic press is only three dollars more expensive than our old one and approximately a trillion times better.  So best decision ever.  New totally wins out.

I wear a fair amount of lipstick.  Not as much as I used to but that's mostly because all of my grooming habits have gone steadily downhill due to laziness.

What I hate, and I mean hate, about wearing regular lipstick is taking a sip of coffee and seeing the plum colored lip print on the rim of the mug.  It drives me bonkers and yes, I realize this probably means that I have some form of as of yet undiagnosed OCD.  Regardless, because I hate the smearing with such a passion, I usually go more for lip stains, or at least products that claim they don't smudge (although trust me when I say that most of them are liars.)

Until recently, my go-to was CoverGirl Outlast Double Lip Shine.  It didn't smudge, it didn't dry out my lips; I could apply it in the morning and maybe retouch it once during the day and would need to scrub it off at evening.  It was that good.

But in recent years, the elbow grease required to take it off became too much effort and the wear and tear of it was too rough on my lips, so I either wore regular lip stick and suffered through the smearing and smudging or just regular ol' chap-stick.

That is, until Moses' brother's girlfriend, Mallika (side note: maybe we should come up with a term for each other so I don't ever have to type that out again), sent me Tarte LipSurgence for Christmas.  It's a natural matte lip stain and it's perfect; the color is rich, it doesn't smudge, and it leaves my lips incredibly moist. Like: don't feel the need to reapply chap-stick every five minutes (per the usge) moist.  I do have to reapply it more than once per day but it wipes off clean and easily; no vigorous scrubbing required. I've also gotten tons of compliments on it, which is what I pretty much live for.

Oh Jillian, Jillian, Jillian, I've done every single one of her work out videos and as annoying as she can be, she gives you results.  But I've been doing Jillian's videos pretty religiously (and by religiously I mean on and off--I'm not an Olympic athlete, people) for over four years now and as much I hate/love them, they've gotten a little boring. So I thought I would throw a new exercise dvd into the rotation: Mary Bowers' Ballet Beautiful workout.  She is much less obnoxious than Jillian and her work outs give you that long lean look--essential for someone like me who bulks up easily--but I've got to admit readers, this one's a bit of a toss up.  Don't get me wrong, Mary's work out are challenging and I am always sore the next day but it doesn't give me that: I just worked off a whole beluga whale's worth of fat feeling that Jillian's work outs often do.  Also, it doesn't contain as much ballet as I had hoped for, so I've kept the high intensity cardio and circuit training from Jillian and gone to Mary Bowers for my muscle toning.

Of course, I did just get my Ballet Conditioning DVD in the mail today, which may very well replace both those fools if it really is as good as all the reviews say.  I'll test it out once I am not longer succumbing to influenza.

Okay, so this one is a little unfair because Sofia Coppola's Bling Ring is only loosely based on the short-lived E! reality show Pretty Wild.  I was probably one of five viewers (my girl Teah, being one of the few others) who watched Pretty Wild when it was on and who still watches it now that it is on Netflix Watch Instantly.  And let me tell you: the Bling Ring has n.o.t.h.i.n.g on Pretty Wild.  

Pretty Wild is so upsetting and absurdly fascinating, it makes me wish I was getting a PhD in Cultural Studies, just so that I could write my dissertation on what that shows says about youth, femininity, education, and capitalist culture.

For a young-ish gal from a family of Polish immigrants and Irish farmers, raised in a small liberal, intellectual town, who was always taught to value cleverness above beauty, watching this show is like peering through the Looking Glass into a bizarre and truly frightening realm that I would never have even known existed. And the Bling Ring? Well, the Bling Ring is kind of like a really long and boring music video.

Let's start this analysis off with a little analogy, shall we?  Wendy: Clothing :: Moses: Board Games.  And I'm not talking about Milton Bradley board games here, I am talking about sophisticated, well crafted board games or sophistocraft games, if you are looking to drive people to stare at the ceiling for a moment.  Or fifteen.

Settler of Catan has been kicking around for a while and almost all of my good friends have played it and liked it.  Now, I want to urge all you fans of Settlers to invest in Arkham Horror and make it your next Thursday game night game.  Why?  Because it's interesting, dark, challenging, and collaborative. You're all playing as cool, film noir-esque characters, battling monsters and the end of the world as you know it.  It's a bit of an investment to learn but after a few playthroughs, you will be seasoned veterans of the game.  And unlike Settlers, it's a game that is just as fun with two people as it is with five.

I'm not a fan of Starbucks and I don't go there unless:

A. It is the only coffee shop around for miles; any coffee is better than no coffee.

B. I am on my way back to work from the dentist: there is a conveniently located Starbucks Drive-Thru where I can have blissfully minimal interactions with other humans and still get my coffee just how I like it.

C. It's been a long, rough day and I need to splurge.

Today, I had to go into to work for a few hours and the only thing getting me through, aside from being heavily medicated, was the thought of getting a tall latte of my choice with whipped cream when it was all over.

My usual preferences are the seasonal lattes: Pumpkin Spice, Salted Caramel Mocha, and Peppermint Mocha.  But today, since all my favs have since retreated into suspended animation until the next holiday season rolls around, I thought I would give the new Caramel Flan Latte a try.

Big, BIG mistake.  It had the strangest aftertaste that was both waxy and burnt.  I forced five sips before I slunk into a deep depression (that I have not as of yet climbed out of) for spending four whole dollars on something so undrinkable.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, first world problems.

Anyways, this is exactly what makes me reluctant to try new things: I like the old things so much and the new things might only disappoint me.  Of course, if I always adopted that philosophy I never would have come to experience anything that I now love (see entire list).   I also probably wouldn't have ever watched Game of Thrones (which I resisted for the longest time) and that I just can't abide by.

All right, all right.  That'll do pig. Now off to sleep another fifteen hours.

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