Monday, August 4, 2008

Stop Trying to Make Fetch Happen. It's NOT Going to Happen.

After a nice weekend of low key and thus great hanging out, I have a brief miscellany report. It's a lazy Monday, and I don't have any long, ambling political babble for you (yet). The best I can do right now is to offer up some Things That Are Great for your enjoyment, which really...not bad for a Monday.

I am a writing snob. This is unavoidable. I love stationery and spend a lot of time over at Smythson fantasizing about which set of bespoke stationery or which gorgeous leather writing desk I'm going to buy when the whole Winning The Lottery Plan pans out. When my parents went to Italy some years ago and brought back beautiful writing papers from Il Papiro, my life as a writer was changed forever. When we went to Italy last year, Il Papiro was the store I spent the most money in...this in a country known for shoes. I'm just saying.

For all this "it's all about the craaaaaahft" type posturing on my part, I have a weird affection for regular, run of the mill, totally unsnazzy blue Papermate ballpoint pens. I almost always write in blue ink, and I particularly like the shade that Papermate uses. I also find that these pens routinely write smoothly and that the barrel is comfortable. Mostly because I like these pens so much, when you say "Papermate," I think only of a blue plastic ballpoint. However, last week, our Office Max people came in and gave my boss two Papermate Ph.D pens, one of which she in turn gave to me. I usually have a hard time with pens that have large barrels, and squishy grippy areas often make my fingers crampy, but this Ph.D pen is fantastic. No cramping, nice writing, good weight. Nice work, Papermate people! (According to their website, the grip is endorsed by the "American Physical Theraphy Association," so that's something, right? SHAME, Papermate web editors!)

I can't end the discussion of pens without mentioning the MAGIC Cross fountain pen that Mom and Dad gave me for Christmas this past year. When I was younger, I went through a fountain pen phase, which basically meant my hands were black and blue all the time from spilling cheap fountain ink all over creation. You really need to invest in your fountain pens, and being in high school at the time, I usually either had no money or was busy investing it in bulk shipments of body glitter and ill-advised makeup (high school was such a strange, scary time in retrospect, no?), so I bought cheap fountain pens that leaked like a mofo and did not achieve the desired effect of instant suaveitude and fabulousity that I had hoped for. THIS pen however, accomplishes all that and more, and I am pretty much one step away from actually sleeping with it under my pillow at all times. The pen in question is the Cross Century II Starlight fountain pen, and I have it in the midnight blue shown below.

I went to the Solomon Pond Mall with School Friend Cindy this Saturday, breaking a years-long tradition of staying as far away as possible from it in order to avoid the more irritating high school alums. There's really no way to say this without sounding like a jerk, but the fact of the matter is that every time I go to Solomon Pond, I don't run into the select few people from high school that I would LIKE to see. I inevitably run into the people who I either hated or just didn't care for, and these people ALWAYS want to catch up on our entire lives from graduation to the present. I don't mean to be rude, but...we weren't tight in high school, you don't actually care what I've been up to, and even if you've received some kind of blow to the head that made you all Super Empath and you do care, I don't really care what you've been up to. I know exactly how this sounds - snobbish and jerky - but I don't really like malls as it is (sensory overload) and I prefer to get in and get out, so the addition of 20 minutes of catching up with someone who I didn't really give a rip about in high school is unwelcome to say the least. That all being said, the Solomon Pond Mall has really progressed since I had last been there, and it was fun to wander around with School Friend Cindy and boggle over the fact that there is now a COACH there as well as a White House/Black Market. Who knew?

There is also an Aldo, which was selling a covered platform stiletto called Atlanticcity that was magic. School Friend Cindy got to see my shoe shopping technique, which is to stare weirdly at the shoe for roughly forever while picking it up and putting it down over and over again before finally trying them on and standing up, but not usually walking around. The color of these was particularly glorious...not too bright a red, not too dark, not too dull. I am also a big fan of classic looks with little modern this case, the covered platform, funky toe shape, and interestingly cut toe box. I'm a big fan of Irregular Choice, and one of the things I like is their use of different toe box shapes - rather than your standard scooped or pointed cut, they curve right around where your foot starts turning into your toes. It gives the shoe an interesting retro-but-not-outdated-or-aggressive look, and it's easiest to see in their Marie Antoinette shoe...which of course I cannot find online, but I CAN find their Courtesan shoe online which I also own, but in a purple and gold rather than the turquoise shown in that link. Yes, I have worn those in public. Anyway, I am in love with Atlanticcity, even if right now I am looking at the picture and wondering why every damn shoe I like lately looks like a stripper shoe in pictures.

Stuff from the Body Shop
There is also a Body Shop in Solomon Pond now, and School Friend Cindy needed to stock up on some essentials, so in we went. I have been meaning to try lip and cheek stains for a while now, and picked up a promising looking one, as well as a hemp lip protector (read: chapstick). I wore the lip stain out later that night for Martha the Canuck's birthday shindig at Funky Murphy's in the Woo, and it was great...not only did it keep my lip situation off the rims of glasses, but it was a good foray for me into the land of pink, which I usually am afraid of. I doubt I'll ever use it on my cheeks, but that's more of an issue of my not liking blushes in general. My theory on my face is that I pretty much hit the jackpot in terms of natural coloring, so I try not to mess too much with its color...whatever I do use (with the exception of eyeshadow) usually winds up being a simple magnification of my natural coloring, including the notable example of one lipstick I have that is identical to my lip tone, but sparkly. That's just how I roll.

The hemp lip stuff is also great...School Friend Cindy warned me about the smell of Body Shop's hemp stuff, which I agree is not my favorite, but in chapstick form, it's negligable and far outweighed by the excellence of the product itself. My lips and hands have been doing this great thing lately where they are super dry and spend a lot of their time flaking (leprosy?), so I've been going through chapstick and hand cream like my life depends on it. Chapstick is a tricky beast...everyone's had slimy, greasy, and ineffective chapsticks, and everyone has a preferred type. I like ones that absorb easily and that have a firm texture, so I go mostly for beeswax based ones (like the ninety seven Burt's Bees ones in my possession). Highly recommend, though IF you buy both the chapstick and the lipstain and think "I'll just use good lip product etiquette and apply this chapstick to moisturize first to ensure smooth application," do not follow that instinct - the lip stain needs a pretty clean lip so it can set up and get itself situated.

No Body Shop praise can be complete without a nod to their excellent social policy - while as you know I'm not a fan of people buying shit made out of hemp or handmade by African children just so they can tell you about it, Body Shop has struck a good balance in making all their products as good quality and natural as you could possibly hope, while also encouraging fair trade. They are walking the walk, big time, and I appreciate that about them.

...that does not mean I am not going to make fun of them when they act dumb as hell. I have a bath puff that has a plastic cartoon frog on the top of it that YES I bought on purpose because when I am not busy being 80 years old I fill my time with being 5, and said froggy bath puff is getting a little beat up. I picked up a bath puff in the Body Shop and it was fabulously skooshy and soft and significantly cartoon-frog-free, so I bought it. I used it yesterday and today with my Philosophy Bubbly body wash that I also love and it was great. That being said, the Body Shop has decided that this item, shown below, used for applying body wash in the shower, is called...

...a bath lily. What in the blue fuck? A BATH LILY? Who comes up with this? This is exactly why marketing people always make me never know when they're going to spring this crap on you. I'm sorry, Body Shop, I'm just not at a place in my life where I'm willing to call this thing a bath lily. Stop trying to make bath lily happen. It's NOT going to happen.


  1. I love me a good pen. Lee got me addicted to the gel rollers, which I love.

    I need those shoes in bone.

    Body Shop is the best. I can't say enough about their products, especially their eye shadow, their tea tree line and cocoa butter lip balm. I'm not a fan of their hemp stuff because it stinks. The cocoa butter scent is amazing though, and it's the only lip balm that doesn't make my upper lip line break out in fat juicy zits.

  2. Get yourself a Zebra ballpoint. They click and they always work. You will never need another. I love those things but even at $4 for two I lose them too much; they're too good for me so I use the Skilcraft ink sticks because they're made by the blind (and I get them for free from work).