belated tidings of nailpolish

I promised to report back on the nailpolish, didn’t I? Well, it’s a good thing I’m so prompt and not, like, almost a month late on that. Or anything.

nail polishAnyway, yes, nailpolish. I luuuurve it. The colors are fab, it’s super shiny, and it lasted forever on my toes. (Fingers = another story, but that’s mostly because once the polish chips at all I start worrying at it and the whole thing goes to hell. Yay, OCD!)

toesOne weird thing: it’s darker on the nails than in the bottle. Which I guess makes sense, seeing as it is essentially paint, and they say that about paint, right? Although it’s never quite made sense to me. It seems like it should be the opposite, and I can’t figure out why I think that but I do. So the Tramp Stamp color (pictured) is somewhat more gothy than I’d intended, which figures, since all my nailpolish is pretty gothy. I thought I was taking baby steps in another direction, but as it turns out I was wrong. Oh well.

So the verdict is that the butter LONDON 3 Free polish is a win, and I would totally buy it again if it wasn’t $12 a bottle. Or if I wasn’t so broke.

in which donuts are consumed

I’m out of coffee, so Ellison and I took a stroll and picked up a latte and some donuts. I love donuts. It’s not even the sugar – I really wish I could get raised donuts without any glaze. Then I would buy them by the flat and eat them for every meal of every day.

On second thought, maybe it’s best that I can’t get them.

I had an uneventful bout of online window shopping last night. For those who don’t know, online window shopping is much like actual window shopping, only in the comfort of your own bed. I am a huge proponent of activities which can be undertaken while snuggled under a blanket. I visited the Gap, where the denim pencil skirt I want so badly is still not on sale, and Old Navy, where it is inexplicably 1987, and, where the shoes are cheap but indexed so badly that you have to wade through twenty pages of bespangled mules to find a simple pair of flip-flops.

Despite adding several things to various carts, I didn’t buy anything until I got to Or, specifically,, which now shares a cart with I clicked over on a whim (and because the kid was sleeping on my chest, so what else was I going to do?) (digital illustration, shockingly enough, is v. difficult to do with one hand) and completely by accident stumbled on –

Well, here, let me give a little background: I’ve been searching for nail polish that is free from Formaldehyde, Toluene, and Dibutyl Phthalate ever since I got all weird and paranoid about chemicals (about the same time I switched out all my cleaning products for Method and Mrs. Meyer and Ecover) but it’s been just impossible to find. Which is weird, right? I live in Portland, for crying out loud; we’re practically the epicenter of the environmental movement. But, whatev. So I’ve been searching online, but aside from some weird water soluble (?) or peel-off (??) polishes, it’s been a big no-go.

BUT! When I clicked over to, I found butter LONDON 3 Free, which is not only all non-toxic, it’s British. I got some in Union Jack Black, Tramp Stamp, and Come to Bed Red. Will report back on final result, which I fully expect will be full of fabulousness.

The caffeine is finally hitting my bloodstream so I’m going into web design mode. Cheers, y’all.

is it monday already?

It’s Monday. And it’s June. How the hell did that happen?

I foolishly jinxed myself a couple of weeks ago by saying – out loud – that I intended to take some time off in June. Now, of course, I am inundated with unsolicited projects, which is lovely, of course, because I love my job, but also a wee bit frustrating. (Not that my “time off” would be actual time off, per se – I have a novel to finish, after all, and a toddler to…toddle, and a house that desperately craves some TLC, or a reasonable facsimile thereof.) So I’m torn between doing a happy little dance because I’ve got new projects and kicking things. I could always do both! That’s the principle behind Goth dancing, after all.

But I did manage to kick last week’s Cold of Death after only a day and a half of real illness. YAY, IMMUNE SYSTEM! Managed to kick it and still get the house tidy enough to have a friend over on Friday. I never have friends over! It was glorious, and why don’t I do that more? I mentioned the social anxiety thing in my last post, but what I don’t think I mentioned is that my social anxiety is SO MUCH BETTER NOW. Seriously, the Wellbutrin might not have done a lot for my, you know, chronic depression, but it went to town on my social anxiety.

Used to be, I literally could not be in a crowd of people without feeling like I was stuck inside my head. You know, watching the whole thing from about three feet back and cringing every time I spoke? Yeah, was not what I would call “good.” But ever since I started taking the meds, I’ve had no problem being in group situations. Even if there’s more than two people in the room, I feel like I’m actually present. It’s so neat!

Curiously, the lingering bits of social anxiety seem to coalesce around the making and execution of plans. I still hate contacting people. I still would rather poke myself repeatedly in the eye than actually call someone on the phone. And I still spend the time leading up to a social engagement in a state of hair-rending panic, imagining all the myriad ways I could make a fool of myself and cause everyone to forever shun me, which I probably did the last time they invited me anywhere, and they probably just invited me this time to be polite, and OMG I SHOULD JUST STAY HOME.

But as long as I ignore all that, I always have a fantastic time. And it’s getting easier to ignore, sort of. Sort of. Depending.

In other news, I posted another video post. Whee!

bore da

So I’m teaching myself Welsh. Yes! I am a crazy person. I can’t tell you that in Welsh yet, of course. Currently I am limited to basic introductions (Good morning! I am Jessica!) and the declaration that I am going to a club. (I am not going to a club, actually, but I could tell people I am. In Wales.)

I was inspired, of course, by a combination of too much Doctor Who/Torchwood (Cardiff is so pretty!) and Not So’s flat disbelief in the idea (“You’re going to teach yourself Welsh. Really.”) which is CLEARLY A CHALLENGE. So what if I have no talent for languages? I will learn Welsh, yo, and then we will go to Wales and I will converse with the locals and it will be glorious.

Moving on.

But, yeah, that’s what 34 has been so far: unrealistic goals, undertaken with great enthusiasm. Could be worse, yeah? My birthday was surprisingly Not Terrible, and it involved a gift of perfume from my beloved and a vast amount of chocolate cake. Can it be my birthday everyday, maybe? And we got our tax return, too, so it’s like my birthday and Christmas, only minus the pathos! It was good timing, too, because our DVD player picked last week to completely lose its little electronic mind. This could have been tragic (small child + me trying to work – televised entertainment = DOOM) but we were all flush with cash and financially irresponsible and splurged on a high-def Blu-Ray player. Hey, it was on sale! And we already have a high-def TV, so, really, it was almost sensible. (Need any purchases justified? Give me a ring!)

I also got a cheap and unimpressive (but functional, I think) external mic, so there will be another video post in the very near future. I can’t say exactly when, since we haven’t gotten to the “time” section of the Welsh lessons, but soon.

tattooed strippers for the win

I finally got to go to the Sinferno Cabaret at Dante’s last night, and I’d just like to say, if I wasn’t all flabby and lacking in any sense of rhythm, I would totally want to be a go-go dancer. Except that I would need more tattoos, obviously, and possibly some piercings. Oh, and I think I’d need to be about ten years younger. But then! Then I would totally do it.

(Let’s face it: if I’d have gone to that place before I had the kid, I would probably have been all over it. But – alas! – I no longer have the preternaturally perky boobs and cute little flat belly. It’s a shame.)

This was the first time I went out – like, at night, to a club, where they check your ID and stuff – since a brief sojourn to Dakota last time I was in Santa Cruz. And that was a little bit lame, since none of my friends came, but last night was a freaking blast. I totally didn’t expect it to be, because – well, let’s just say I thought there would be rather more righteous indignation aimed in the direction of my flaky alcoholic friends and less grooving out while girls in various stage of undress had money stuffed into their waistbands. Good times, good times.

I don’t think it occurred to me how much I miss my friends. Well, it sort of did, but it hasn’t really been at the forefront of my mind, you know? It’s so nice to be out with a bunch of people who you’ve known forever and you don’t have to worry about. Also? Some random girl in the bathroom told me I looked hot, and the ridiculously cute cocktail waitress ran her hand down my arm as she walked past. I AM SO NOT JUST A FRUMPY MOM-PERSON WITH ANXIETY ISSUES.

Today I have post-club voice, which means I sound hoarse and sexy. Whee! I should go do a poetry reading or something. Yeah. I’ll let you contemplate that train wreck while I go have some more coffee.

resolve face

Happy New Year, internets! It’s an even-numbered year, which always makes me feel vaguely twitchy, but I have high hopes for 2008. If I knew anything about numerology I’d probably have something pithy to say about the auspiciousness of all the numbers adding up to 1, but I don’t, so I’ll just…move on to something I do know about. Like resolutions! I resolve things. I do. And sometimes I actually do the things I resolve. More often not, since I tend to forget my resolutions by roughly January 2, and don’t remember them again until the last days in December, when…well, it’s a bit too late to lose 20lbs by that time, yes?

So in an effort to keep this year’s resolutions in the running, I give you my list:

* Finish at least one novel (incl. rewrites – I technically *finished* at least one during NaNoWriMo, but it needs to be reworked, to put it mildly) and submit to agents
* Exercise at least 2x/week
* Schedule 2 afternoons/week to devote to playing/spending time with the kid
* End next year with at least $5000 in our savings account (current balance: 68 cents)

I feel like there ought to be more in there, like “Get thee to therapy!” or “Learn to Salsa!” but I’m going with what I have. Optimism! Optimism is my friend.

Except maybe there should be something in there about my hair.


missing sync

pearlSo I got sick of my BlackBerry Pearl – which I still love unreasonably, by the way – not playing nicely with my Mac and downloaded the Missing Sync the other day. Oh my god, it is cool. My phone suddenly has this whole new level of functionality. I can upload! And download! Things are the same on my computer as they are on my phone. I have this weird computer organization fetish, so this fills me with glee.

Well, and I also geeked out and created thumbnail photo icons for all of my contacts (both on Highrise and in my Address Book), which – viola! – are now in my phone as well, so when people call me I see a friendly little picture of them on my screen. THIS IS SO COOL. (In a related note, yes, I am aware that I am an enormous geek.)

It also lets me easily download all the images from my phone’s camera, so now I have, like, a year’s worth of crappy snapshots to look through. The camera on my Pearl is kind of suck, which is fine – all cameraphones are kind of low-quality, right? – as long as I faithfully ignore photos taken with an iPhone. (The iPhone camera fills me with unattractive envy, so for my purposes it does not exist.)

I do like having a camera on my phone, though. It’s handy, and it makes me feel pleasantly tech-geeky, and I always have it with me, unlike the enormous Nikon which requires its own backpack. But I’m lazy about uploading images because (until now) I’ve had to do it over Bluetooth, which is somewhat lugubrious and effort-intensive. Seriously, only one picture at a time? Who has the attention span for that?

Now, though, I can transfer all my pictures at the same time I’m syncing my phone, so I just uploaded a bunch of badly-lit, poorly composed, out of date images to Flickr. YOU ARE SO HAPPY ABOUT THIS.

matt and ellison in the park mama and baby on the MAX library mama shoes self

So now I’ve got my phone syncing with my desktop, plus the revamped Google Mobile suite (gmail and maps on the go, whee!) which means my phone is, like, the coolest thing ever. I think I might need to make out with it for a little while.

silver bells

The year totally heard me talking smack about it and decided to stack the decks in its favor. This took the form of Not So surprising me with a pre-arranged date at bluehour, the seriously swanky, seriously exciting restaurant I’ve been dying to go to ever since we moved to Portland. He got us a babysitter and everything.  I got to go out on a date with my husband! And…oh my god. Year, you are totally forgiven for all the sucking, because I had THE BEST TIME EVER.

I just finished (almost) all my holiday shopping, and I no longer have a creeping sense of doom about this Christmas, which has got to be good, right? Because Christmas often equals creeping doom. Everyone knows that. We’ve totally failed to impart any sense of holiday spirit to the kid, but he’ll figure it out soon  enough.

Besides, houseful of atheists? Not exactly the best advocates for the socially accepted version of Christmas. In my family, Christmas was a firmly secular affair, which heavy emphasis on a) food and b) Santa Claus (in that order). The only time there was any mention of Jesus or mangers was when we children started spouting Christmas carols. Which I still like. Sort of.

Although this year there’s been a lot more of Mike Doughty’s I Hear The Bells than anything involving wise men or strategically placed stars.

I hear the bells
They are like emeralds, and
Glints in the night
Commas and ampersands
Your moony face
So inaccessible
Your inner mind
So inexpressible

And if that doesn’t say ‘Merry Christmas,’ I don’t know what does.

the mortality express

You’d think that the news of my father’s death would be one of those hugely traumatic things that leaves an indelible mark on my psyche. And, in a way, you’d be right. This is me: I’m marked. But not by his death, which was a long time coming and not exactly unexpected.

Here’s what’s good about my dad being dead:

  • I don’t need to worry that he is going to show up anywhere that I am
  • He isn’t going to demand to meet his grandson
  • There is no chance that he will find my number and call to manipulate me into doing things for him or giving him money
  • He will not find me on the internet and say cruel things on my websites, or try to discredit me in any way
  • I can finally get around to some serious grieving

Because, see, my grief process has been on hold for the past…however many years (10? 20? Longer? I mean, we can date it from when I cut off all contact with him [10], or from when I had enough and ran away from home when I was almost 13 [20], or we can count it from the first time he hit me and made me feel bad about myself, and who knows when that was). I haven’t let myself access any of the good memories I have of my father, because if I did I’d leave myself open to another one of his attacks. I’d be, in the parlance of sleazy lawyers everywhere, asking for it.

Here’s what sucks about my dad being dead:

  • He still gets the last word: my sister and I have to pony up for his cremation expenses, which I can’t help but feel he would have deliberately pre-arranged if he could as a last “fuck you” to his daughters
  • Finding someone who will cremate a 400 lb man is somewhat challenging
  • And now I have to figure out what to do with all the crap he left in the motel room he’s been living in for the past 6 or 7 years, which, if any of his past residences were any indication, is probably a pit of garbage, rotting food, and computer parts

Notice that none of the negatives include “his being dead.” One could argue that being bedridden and alone in a cheap motel room for several years, with his only human contact coming from a state-mandated caregiver, was a terrible way to live, so his death must have come as a relief to him. One could argue that, but I won’t. His death is a relief to me.

Maybe I sound ice-maiden like, which would just figure, since I feel raw and unfettered for the first time, oh, ever. I could be pedantic and list all the things he did to make things the way they are, and follow them with an even longer list of reasons why I’m justified in feeling however I feel. But what would be the point of that?

I’m sad, but I’m not sad that he’s dead. I’m sad because he’s dead; because I can finally let myself love him without him hurting me.