Friday, June 19, 2015

Like an urban cowboy.

I’m pretty open to trying new things. 

But there is a short list of things that you cannot convince me to like; no matter much you like them or how great you tell me they are. 

Like...

Deer. Quail. Or elk. Any meat you describe to me as "gamey."

Yoga. Holy moly. I'm bored.

Honeydew. When is it ever ripe? Never? I think never.

Harry Potter. I don't like it! It's ok!

Country music. This one is not negotiable because it makes me break out in a mental rash; it always has. And don't try and sell me with the business about how today country music has crossed over and is now at the top of the Billboard charts.

I just don't like it. I don't like cowboy boots or cowboy hats. I don't like cowboys.
Except for one:


John Travolta in Urban Cowboy is the only cowboy on my list of cowboys that I like.
I will always stop on and watch it I’m flipping around and land on it. If you don’t know this classic film from 1980 I have to wonder what you were doing in the early '80s when it was in the theatres or later running on a loop on HBO. Maybe you were working. Or playing outside or some nonsense like that. But you should have been watching Urban Cowboy.

Coming off of a hot streak of Grease and Saturday Night Fever (both of which I will also watch in their entirety anytime day or night) Mr. Travolta tried his hand at the country western thing. And in my book, he succeeded. Greatly.

Because if I am going to be interested in a cowboy it’s going to be an Italian one from New York with really good hair who always wins the big trophy in any organized dance contest.
Urban Cowboy tells the story of Bud (Travolta) a cowboy who learns many lessons about life, love and mechanical bull riding.


Beside the obvious (young, hot early ‘80s Travolta) here are several other reasons why I love this movie.

DEBRA WINGER AS SISSY.
Sissy is tough, sexy, doesn't take any crap. She wins the contest for sexiest mechanical bull ride ever. I love the way she can make the name "Bud" five syllables long. Also I love her constantly asking Bud, "You a real cowboy, ain't ya?" I love Sissy.

GILLEY'S.
The bar where the mechanical bull lives. Someday I will go there and swig Bud Light while screaming really loud for someone to play "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" ONE MORE TIME!

THE CHARLIE DANIELS BAND.
"I done told you once you son of a bitch I'm the best there's ever been..." 
Count this as one country song I enjoy.
UNCLE BOB.
The sweetest uncle who ever died in an explosion at a refinery.

THE BAD GUY.
Every movie has to have a bad guy right? Wes is real bad. He's out on parole. He drinks too much, fights too much and knocks Sissy around. He has a bad attitude and complexion to match and in one scene he wears a MESH SHIRT. Which isn't bad at all. It is awesome.
"FINE! FORGET IT."
Because nobody says "fine, forget it" like Bud and Sissy.



OK. So maybe I don't hate everything about country stuff. 

I would like to go to Gilley's. I'd totally do an overnighter in Bud and Sissy's mobile home. That "Lookin' for Love" song gets me a little nostalgic and misty so hey, I guess I like two country songs. I'd ride in a truck and be all excited that there was a tiny license plate with my name on it in the back window that a guy bought to show things were getting serious between us. 

And I'd argue really loud in a parking lot with young cowboy-Travolta and and wrestle him down to the ground in a giant mud puddle. That's what country people do, right?

And I would kinda like to try riding that bull.

Bud and Sissy forever.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Dove love.

I was so excited to try the new Quench Absolute Collection -- Dove's new line 
geared just toward us curly haired girls


I'm a huge fan of Dove, their powerful campaign for real beauty ads celebrate real women. And their White Beauty Bar is the only soap I'll ever use.

Having dry, frizzy, coarse curls, especially this time of year (IT'S HUMID) it seemed like a good time to try something new.

To be honest, sometimes I think it's impossible for me to find a decent hair care line that actually works for me that's priced under $900. 

Seriously. Why is it hard for me to find something that I can wash my hair with from the drugstore? 

Well guess what? This stuff is good. 

And it's not expensive. And unlike 90% of everything else out there, it's made for ME. And you. If you have curly hair. If you don't you have lots of other choices you lucky duck. 

The star of the show is this shampoo because here's the deal; I know I'm supposed to like the no-lather, cleansing conditioner, no-poo thing that's happening right now but you guys...

I need my poo. I mean my lather. I mean I like shampoo with bubbles.
This shampoo is super rich and luxurious. It smells good. And it has bubbles.

The conditioner is great too, but what I really love this rich, creamy Intensive Restoration Mask. Can I use the word luxurious again? Because it is. LUXURY!


the restoration mask -- like a tub of custard.
For the grand finale I used a little of the Supreme Creme Serum as a leave in conditioner.

The result? My curls are soft. I can (sort of) run my fingers through them. And they are more "boing-y" (perfectly formed, coiled, springy, bouncy) than usual. Which is a good thing.

The shampoo/conditioner is $4.99 and the serum/mask are $5.99. Now I'm no good at math, but add those up and it's a lot less than $900. 

So curly haired girls, give your hair a drink. Make your curls less frizzy and more...um...curly. More soft. More bouncy. More boing-y.

Friday, May 8, 2015

The motherload.

With Mother's Day upon us this weekend I've been thinking a lot about the women who raised me -- which was no small feat.

These are three strong, amazing beauties.
Lee.
This was my Grandma Ewart, my mom's mom. 
Her name was Emma but she apparently didn't like that name.
She changed it to Emily and went by Lee. These things that make me think of her:

  • Cream of Wheat with globs of real butter and heaps of brown sugar.
  • Baking. Christmas cookies. Those peanut butter cookwith the Hershey's Kiss pressed in the middle. Any kind of homemade cookie.
  • Day-after-Thanksgiving sandwiches on homemade rolls with mayo and cranberry which were better than dinner the night before.
  • Camping in the Catskills. I only camped with Grandma and Grandpa Ewart in a camper where you slept in the part over the drivers seat. 

Eleanor.
My dads mom, Ella. We spent every Sunday at her house. 
I think of Grandma when I:

  • Hear about or see photos of an old Woolworth's five-and-ten store.
  • Frank Sinatra. She still loves him, sings along with him, and refers to him as "her boyfriend."
  • Card games -- bridge and solitaire. She's 94 and still plays them.
  • The song "Stormy Weather." Belted out at any party, wedding, holiday or opportunity where a microphone was available.

Bonnie.

This is my mom. 
She made me who I am today. I'm very lucky. 
Growing up I remember my mom:

  • Had the Time Magazine cover with John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever on it hanging in her closet.
  • Made every holiday extremely special, especially my birthday.
  • Was home waiting for me when I came home from school.
  • When I was sick and had to stay home she would make me soup and bring it up to me in bed on a little tray. She would also roll in a small, black and white TV so I could watch The Rockford Files while I ate lunch. 
  • Took me to see the "PG" version of Saturday Night Fever in the movie theatre even though my dad was against it. Empathized with me when I didn't get into the million things I tried out for. Made fancy dinners like tomato noodle dandy and beef stroganoff. Drove me everywhere. Doll cakes. Bought me that ESPRIT sailor dress she knew I really wanted. Banana bread. Always cheered for me and was there for me when others weren't. Made our house feel like home to all of my friends. 

I'm lucky that today Mom lives just a few blocks away. Today she loaned me her car because mine is in the shop and we may go for a walk after dinner tonight. 

Grandma Ewart passed away a few years ago, she was able to meet my first born and I was happy to go back for one last Thanksgiving sandwich with her.  

I miss my grandma Ella back in New York. We talk on the phone and she's still sharp as a tack. She likes to try and argue with me about politics. She still calls me "baby." She would sing "Stormy Weather" over the phone anytime if I asked her to. 

I can only hope to be half as smart, helpful, kind, funny and nurturing with my boys as these women were with me.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Roller girl.

When I was little I used to love to watch the women in my life primp -- put on make-up, do their hair, perhaps indulge in a refreshing splash of Jean Naté.

When I had sleepovers at my grandma’s I’d lay on her bed and play with this set she had -- a little matching tray that had a hand mirror, a brush and an empty container of dusting powder that contained an ancient puff and a faint musty smell. Grandma would roll her hair up for the night in those pink old school rollers, the ones with the two separate pieces, put a little shower/night cap on. We’d retire for the evening in her bed falling asleep on our sides facing the little TV cart she’d roll around the house as Johnny Carson lulled us to sleep.

When I was older I would lay on my moms bed, watching her get ready for a night on the town. I’d admire her pretty bottle of Paris perfume and paint on lipstick with a little brush from her Mary Kay lip palate as she rolled the ends her Dorothy Hamill style bob up with those spiky Clairol hot rollers with the u-shaped hooks. You remember, the ones that you didn't dare rest your head against anything for fear of a spike going into your brain but they made your hair look real pretty? Those.

I have found a new curler that I am currently freaking out about. And good news, it requires no protective cap, no heat and no spikes.

Benefit’s new Roller Lash mascara is theeeee shit. It might be the best mascara I’ve ever used. There, I said it. The last time I said that was about They’re Real mascara, which is also put out by benefit, so I don’t really feel bad about it. They’re still getting my 24 smackers for a tube of mascara.

Now I don’t like to spend 24 of my hard earned dollars on mascara but here’s the deal -- this stuff is amazing and it works, so I will.

I’ve said before I have puny lashes. I think they've all broken off over and over since I’ve been curling my eyelashes with a metal curler every day of my life since the 7th grade. 

I have challenged many mascaras before with their promises of curl, length and volume and come home both broke and disappointed.

This mascara is different, it’s like it was made for my sad baby lashes -- the wand has what they call a “hook and roll” brush (patent-pending! SCIENCE!) that hooks onto your lashes and rolls them upwards, giving lift and volume.


You have to play with it, kind of learn how to use the brush to roll those lashes up. In fact I watched several tutorials of different women applying it and found it fascinating to watch as they squinted, stuck this brush insanely close to their eyeballs and rolled like experts. 

And once I got the hang of it -- wowza. I actually have eyelashes. And they look really long. And pretty.

And you know I’m a sucker for cutesy packaging, this mascara is like porn to me, I mean come on. Even if it didn’t work I just want to look at this pink and black retro goodness.

But it actually does work, so, that’s good, right?

The box said I can get rid of my eyelash curler but I’m not ready for that step yet. I must keep crimping and clamping them them before I curl. Old habits die hard.

I wish I knew how to quit you.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Local love - Okamura Farmacopia.

Sometimes you just need an hour. An hour that is just for you. It’s amazing what sixty little minutes of peace and quiet can do to kick start your soul.

It does help that if during these sixty little minutes there’s somebody standing above you making circular motions continuously with their fingertips around your eyes, like little spinning bicycle tires.

Recently I had a facial with Sherry at Urbaca Salon here in Portland and I’m still basking in the afterglow.

Sherry’s space at Urbaca is a mini-sanctuary with soft lights, pretty music and a bed that I was more than happy to dive into.

The facial she gave was lovely -- cleansing, hot bubbly steam, lotions, masks, lots of warm washcloths, oils, toners, massage -- an absolute treat.

Sherry uses her own line of products called Okamura Farmacopia that she created back in 2005.

Using as few chemicals as possible and only when necessary, the line is made here in Oregon and is truly plentiful -– cleansers, moisturizers, masks, tonics, beard oil for the fellas (again, made in Oregon.) 

Fantastic products with pretty packaging in little glass bottles, I was drawn to it before any of it made its way onto my face. 





I'm particularly in love with these aromatherapy toners.

I brought home two, one is the softening spray which is an essential oil blend of lavender, and chamomile to provide space for better communication and hope.

The vital spray is a blend of grapefruit, tea tree oil and juniper berry. It's good for mental/physical detoxing. I need this. If you don't, well, good on you.

I've been using these round the clock, as a pick me up or a calm me down. Clouds of it float throughout my house. I spritz it on my face, hair, bod, pillow, children -- wherever.

I love them. They feel cool and soothing and both smell like a giant massage/facial/pampering explosion.






I'm also trying the clear cleanse face wash along with the supreme creme moisturizer

The cleanser is a pretty blue-black color because it has charcoal in it to draw out toxins and impurities. The creme is good for my "mature" skin -- moisturizing while minimizing fine lines.

The thing that makes a facial with Sherry unique is the chakra energy balancing work she does at the end. 

I had pretty much passed out from being so relaxed but I could feel her down at my feet.  

She took her time, slowly making her way from my toes to the top of my head, placing her hands on different parts of my body, massaging, holding and tapping like a mini jackhammer where need be.

Afterwards we talked about what the different chakras were, how they related with what she felt on my bod and what it all meant. Eerily a lot of it rang true for what was going on in my life right now, particularly what was going on that day.

It was a little on the groovy side but I liked it. I found it interesting that I am well rooted with my ancestors, I have a good, strong intuition and that my sixth chakra (intelligence/vision/mental health/processing) is extremely overworked.

Which tells me I need like, a gallon jug of that vital spray to help my brain chill out. And that I could use more time with Sherry. Check out her products here or schedule an appointment for a facial or other treatment with her here.

Sixty little minutes can make your day/week/month/outlook on life much better.

Chakra Khan.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Valentine's Duds.

I heart Valentine's Day! Let's celebrate love, hearts, perfume, quality chocolate, 
pretty flowers and quality chocolate!

I heart childhood memories of classroom parties, passing out valentine's and making cards for my parents like this:


I especially heart sickeningly sweet '80s teendom valentines! 
Bad poetry, red carnations, "Suddenly" by Billy Ocean and romantic nights like this:


Today, I don't need anything fancy for Valentine's Day. I just love you and want to spend time with you. But maybe you can get me a nice card, and some of that chocolate I was talking about.

While I do heart Valentine's Day and all the things mentioned above, I do not heart the following Valentines:

Fifty Shades of Grey Bear.
Mr. Grey will see you now. Then he will seduce you with his silky, smoky Grey fur; smoldering Grey eyes; 
a handsome Grey suit and silver tie. He even comes with a mask and handcuffs. You can’t help but submit to loving him. This was all taken from The Vermont Teddy Bear Company website and no, I am not kidding. 
If you enjoy a stuffed toy that is into BDSM then this is the bear for you. 


Mall Jewelry. 
He got me an Open Hearts necklace and an Eiffel Tower charm for my Pandora Charm Bracelet. 
HE WENT TO JARED.


This.
No.


Drugstore Purchase.
Because I have enough mugs. And I don't want a plush novelty. 
Especially plush novelty in a mug. I really don't.


Sweethearts.
No wonder I've never liked these conversation hearts...they're just lousy Necco Wafers 
pounded into a heart shape. All these years I never knew. 
Crazy 4U? HOT CHA? OH YOU KID?!? I don't think so. 

Happy lover's day all. Put on "Songbird" by Kenny G, have a slow dance and save that last piece of *quality chocolate por moi.

*Quality chocolate is a giant, delicious box of Scotchmallow's from See's Candies. In case you were wondering.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Turn on those sad songs.

Sometimes I need a good cry.

Music is very important to me and music makes me cry. Music makes me cry a lot, probably more than most people. Certain songs some make me really sad in a very happy way -- it's weird. Here are a handful of ones that get me -- put the needle on the record. I will cry, it will happen. 

*Side note -- this list does not list the obvious cry-songs; including but not limited to:

  • The entire "Les Misérablessoundtrack.
  • That song by Train that talks about finding yourself via fried chicken and the "best-soy-latte-that you-ever-had."
  • Any background music from "Terms of Endearment" "Rocky" or "The Elephant Man."

But duh, those are pretty obvious, right?

"King of Pain" by the Police.
I was never the biggest Police fan but something about this song always got me and still does. It's kind of haunting, those same piano chords over and over, that "klink klink" that sounds like water dripping on a tin can, and Sting saying things like "There's a rich man sleeping on a golden bed, there's a skeleton choking on a crust of bread...it's a pretty heavy, little-black-spot-on-the-sun-today song. Poor Sting. He'll always be the King of Pain.

 


"You Can't Always Get What You Want" by The Rolling Stones.
Because, of course.




"I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues" by Elton John.
This song is just so pretty to me. And sad. And so pretty. And Stevie Wonder plays the harmonica on it. I love my '80s Elton John -- "Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)" gets me big time too. I of course also loved this epic video on MTV when I was younger. When Elton sings the "I simply love you more than I love life itself" part my heart aches real bad. That's a good song.

 

"Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd.
Didja think "Comfortably Numb" was gonna make me cry? Nope. It's this one that makes me think of college (naturally) and my roommate playing this in our living room on his guitar. Good lord, that's depressing. Don't think of that. It really is a lovely song.




"Gypsy" by Fleetwood Mac.
Stevie is all feathers, lace, crystal balls, leg warmers, spinning in circles and splits in front of antique mirrors in this video and she's beautiful. It's more melancholy than sad, but it’s all Stevie -– and her voice is so fantastic it makes me teary.


After listening to these four songs I am exhausted and nostalgic and sad and happy. I will sleep well tonight under a warm blanket of pretty melodies, memories and images of Stevie Nicks dancing with three little faerie girls on the edge of a cliff.