Sunday, May 13, 2007

Muddled MishMash, For Your Reading Pleasure

Some days discouragement creeps up on me, the kind that makes it a little unbearable to think of making it nearly three more months, living where I work, doing the job I do, and this was one of those days. Maybe it had something to do with being awakened this morning by Al's shrill playful screams, the pitch of which would wake every dog in our neighborhood, not to mention four towns over and across Long Island Sound. Maybe it's that the weekend goes by all too quickly when I could use just a little more time to myself. Maybe it's that it's been too long since I've seen Jarod's face in person. Maybe it's a little bit of everything. I hate to say that because 1) I recognize that I chose to stay here for the summer, and I have a thing about not complaining about it since I did make this choice knowing full well that it would be hard sometimes, and 2) I did have such a good weekend that I hate to spoil it by focusing on the negative. So let's get the negative out of the way, and then I'll let you in on the good stuff. Deal?

I really have just one negative thing to mention, beyond the vague reference to not wanting to deal with working and living where I do, and it is just a quick public service announcement.

Dear Ladies of New York City, Residents and Tourists Alike,

It is not necessary to pee on public restroom seats. I realize that you may be reluctant to touch the seat of a public toilet, but there are options other than hovering ineffectively and peeing all over the place. If your quads and glutes are not strong enough to hold you aloft and still so that everything goes where it is intended to go, you really need to just sit down or use your own bathroom before you leave the house (or hotel, for you tourists). Period. It is not polite to pee on a seat because you don't want to touch it. Someone has to clean up after you, you know, whether it's the next person in the stall or the employee forced to deal with your untidy habits. Please make note that toilet seats are designed so that no bodily-fluid-emitting surface actually touches the seat, so it's quite ridiculous of you to hover and cause what is normally a fairly clean surface to be contaminated. It's generally just the backs of the thighs that touch the actual seat surface, and let's just be practical, ladies, and recognize that the backs of thighs are generally covered by pants or a skirt, protected from most elements and grime, and therefore kept cleaner than much of the rest of the body. Unless the person who has used the stall before you has not bathed in quite some time, you can assume that the backs of their thighs are going to be fairly clean. If you are going to go so far as to assume that they haven't bathed, and therefore it is too dirty for you, simply use a toilet seat cover or some fresh, sanitary toilet paper to make a barrier between the seat and your person. Otherwise, as mentioned before, just go at home.

Thank you,
That Girl Who Somehow Always Ends Up in the Stall Right After You and Isn't Too Thrilled About Your Habits


Yesterday I went to Greenwich (which I like to call by its full name, Greenwich Pain-in-the-Ass Connecticut) on an emergency skincare errand. I have been using Proactiv for a few years, but a couple of months ago I finally got fed up with the way it bleaches out the neckbands of my shirts and also the part where I have to order it and receive it in the mail more than a week later (not exactly handy when I've been busy and don't realize until the last moment that I'm nearly out of something essential). So I decided to switch to Philopsophy products, which are easier to come by, do not contain benzoyl peroxide, and come highly recommended by several sources.

Except I made a mistake.

I chose my new skincare regimen based on how my skin is while using Proactiv, and not how my skin actually is on its own. On Proactiv, my skin is still a little congested. I still get blackheads on my nose and I break out at, ahem, that time of the month or when I'm stressed out or too tired. So initially I chose this set because I was in denial. MAJOR denial, as it happens. I used the products for a couple of weeks, but the warmer the weather got, the more irritated my skin got, until finally on Friday night it was so broken out and painful that I would have gone to Sephora in the middle of the night if they'd been open. Because what I really needed? From the get-go? Was this. The box that says ACNE on it in huge letters so everyone will know. (I say this as if they wouldn't know anyway by the ginormous zits all over my face and neck.)

I've always hoped that as an adult, my acne would go away. I wanted it to be something that I grew out of over time. And when that didn't happen, I wanted to relegate it to the area of vanity and cosmetic disappointment so that I wouldn't have to deal with it or spend great sums of money making it go away. I felt guilty spending money controlling it because I think that as a society we tend to see it as just a cosmetic issue, and I was totally buying into that. But the truth is that acne is, in fact, a chronic medical condition for many people, and it's more than just a vanity issue. Acne is a bacterial infection in the skin. It's physically uncomfortable, even painful when there are inflamed areas and pustules (I hate that word, by the way, but there it is). I have finally come to the place where I accept that and am allowing myself to spend what it takes to bring it under control. I am fortunate that my acne responds to over the counter treatments. I am thrilled that after just twenty-four hours this new set of products seems to be working brilliantly. And I don't at all regret taking on an extra job this weekend to be able to pay for it. Not one little bit.

(Also, just as an aside, if your skin is acne-prone and sensitive, like mine, I highly recommend this foundation, which I picked up with the cash I had left in my wallet once I'd paid for my ACNE treatment kit. I normally can't make it a whole day in foundation without feeling like I need to either wash my face immediately or just claw my skin right off, but I went all day with this on and didn't feel it at all. My skin just felt normal. It may have helped that I also put on a primer; I bought the tiny travel size tube of this one so I could try it out. I know that both products are lots more expensive than anything you might get at Target, but I finally just got over myself and, with the help of Sephora's generous return policy, decided to go for something that I might actually be able to wear. That thing about getting what you pay for? Totally true in this case.)


Today I visited The Museum of the City of New York, and I loved it. It's a smaller museum, and not as well known as, say, MoMA or The Guggenheim, so it was not too crowded. I especially enjoyed the do-wop concert in the basement (lots of hootin' and hollerin' goin' on) and this exhibit, which I recommend to anyone who is in or will be in the NYC vicinity between now and September 4. Remarkable.


Even when it's hard here, there is still so much to love, so much I'll miss. I have been working for two Brit families from time to time, and I get such a warm reception from both sets of children that it's simply a joy to take on the additional hours. In fact, last night's job would have been cancelled, as their mother didn't really feel like going out, except that the children were so looking forward to my visit that she felt she couldn't deny them the evening with me. I think that is positively lovely. I will miss them dearly when I go.


holly said...

i think you should look into the oil-cleansing method that i've been using now for a long long time. it's wonderful, cleans beautifully, leaves my face moisturized, smooth and clear. i'm sure it's not for everyone, but it might solve your problems! :) lemme know if you want some resources for it...

Jennifer said...

wow- I thought only our cats were that happy to see us! Serious warm fuzzies to get that from kids! I'm happy for you to have those moments. They are great.
Detoxing takes serious time, esp. if you are not going whole hog, but I bet you will see some improvement in your skin with your decreased sugar intake too, no? or am I regurgitating old wives tales? (which Chris used to call an "old wise tale"... it was a long time convincing him otherwise)
But I am happy you found products that really make a difference... speaking of which, I should go down my Ambrotose. :~)
I am sorry, too, for those down days.. they just plain suck, what else can be said for them. I'd cyber-hug you, but meh... what would you get out of it, except maybe a comment you don't want to post talking about affection and cyber in the same sentence. :P
Love you Mary...