Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Can you see them, see right through them

It's the end of an era.

Sadly, I am down to my last beloved Pure Tints. Back when I was last bitching about the tendency of products I like to be discontinued, I bought ten of them from drugstore.com, but now I am (almost) bereft. There's like a centimeter left in the tube of this one, and then that's the end.


For a while I tried rationing the Pure Tints out and not using them so much, hoping in vain to stretch them out, but I love them so; it was impossible.

I got all excited because I saw at the drugstore that Almay has a new line of lipcolors that look somewhat like the Pure Tints. But then I read the fine print - they're technically lipsticks and they cost friggin' $8.99 a piece. Tempting, but no. I can rationalize blowing four bucks on trying out a shade that I may or may not like, but nine dollars is above my waste of money threshold, methinks. Plus the whole point with the Pure Tints was that they were sheer and light and not too much of the "Hello! I'm wearing lipstick!" and more of the "My lips are naturally this smashing color, you silly!"


Then I got my hopes up because I saw that Burt's Bees has come out with these , and I love their stuff. They even have a shade called "cocoa," which is what my old Pure Tints favorite was. And only four bucks! Huzzah! So I bought one post-haste and rushed home to try it out.

But I was deceived. The supposed "cocoa" looked more like PUCE. Ugh. Nothing like the color of the cap. Shiny, silvery lavender-y grossness. That went right in the trash. Now I don't know if I should even bother trying another shade of those. You know, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, I'm a fucking idiot.

So I ordered a couple of these from drugstore.com. (I swear I'm not plugging drugstore.com on purpose, they're just the only place I buy this kind of stuff from online, mostly becuase I'm too lazy to even look for or research another one.) I use a lot of other Neutrogena products for my face, and I generally like their stuff, so we'll see. Seven bucks each, though, oof. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

(Can I just say*, also, I hate when cosmetics companies [and clothing companies, and shoe companies, et cetera] make up stupid names for their colors that have absolutely no relationship to what the color actually looks like. I mean, "Clean?" What the fuck color is "Clean?" Wouldn't that be NO color at all? I understand that each company wants to distinguish its particular dark brown thing from every other dark brown product that's out there in the world vying for consumers' attention, but Jesus. Try to have your color name have some bearing on reality, please, product-makers of the world. Orange is a color. Forest green is a color. "Jazzy" is not a color. Even color names like "chestnut" and "daffodil" I can tolerate, because those are universally [pretty much] well-known objects that are all generally the same color, so we have a point of reference. Chestnut is probably a dark brown, daffodil probably a cheerful yellow, right? But then you get into things like "sky." Well, what kind of sky, exactly? I mean, I know it's most likely a pale blue, but who's to say it's not raining that day? And from there they just go spinning into a fairy land of "perky" and "stucco" and "fang." Just tell me what the hell colors those are supposed to be, please.)

(I also hate, while we're on the subject, when catalog titles don't just say something straightforward like "Spring 2007" or whatever. I got one the other day that said "Anticipating Summer 2007." I refuse to buy anything from a catalog that stupidly named, sheerly for the principle.)

*Of course I can say. It's my blog, for pete's sake. Why must I ask my own permission?

Where was I? Oh yes. No more Pure Tints. Boo.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Where my love lies waiting silently for me

So our house has not sold yet.

Not that I'm freaking out, it's only been about six weeks, which really isn't bad, according to our agent. We still have lots of time left, so maybe we can start freaking out in...oh, say, early May.

In the meantime, we're trying to decide if it's worth it to try and look for/buy a house in Princeton or if we should rent a place for a little while to get the lay of the land. I think there are pros and cons to both approaches, and at the moment KB and I are on opposite sides of the fence on this one.

(As a side note which will probably turn into a longer tangent [if I know me, and I think I do, oh yes] it's very hard going for he and I right now, mostly because we almost never get to see each other. KB is in the midst of his preparation for the board exam in addition to working at his regular gig and moonlighting as much as he can for the extra dough, so he's pretty much not around. He leaves for work at 6:15 am and doesn't get back until 8:30. Which means he doesn't get to see Nolan at all, and Nolan doesn't get to see his Dada. Which also means I'm basically a single parent at the moment. Which sucks big donkey dick.

Plus we have no time for each other - when we talk, we end up just exchanging "important" information; I give him an update on Nolan's activities for the day, he tells me about any upcoming schedule things, and then we kind of look at each other and go, "Okay, I'm getting ready for bed." Don't even talk to me about our sex life, okay?

The only good thing is that we know this is for a limited time - once we get to Princeton and he starts his "real" job, he'll have much more regular (and shorter!) hours, better pay, and no board exam to study for when he does have time off. So we're getting through it by just telling ourselves that it won't last forever, and things will be a lot better in a very short while.

But that very short while is going to last another three months, so if y'all are just sitting around in the evening thinking "What's up with Athena?" please feel free to give me a call and offer some moral support, tales from the single life, humor, or...well, hell, I'll take anything to get me out of my head for a little bit. I would appreciate it greatly.

Thus endeth the abnormally long parenthetical.)

I think renting for a while is definitely a smart idea in a very logical sense - we can find out which neighborhoods we like, where the stuff we want to be close to is, et cetera - but I'm not very jazzed about having to move twice once we get there. I think I've mentioned numerous times before my aversion to starting over again with the neighborhoods and the stores and the friends and the glaven. I just want to get where we're going and STAY THERE.

But I also see the point that KB makes, which is that if we wait a year or two and save up even more for a good chunk of a down payment, we'll get a better rate on a mortgage and probably spend less money in the long run, and by then we'll have a better idea of what part of town we want to live in and all that.

It's just that we've been operating under the assumption that we'll be buying a house for the last few months, so we've been looking (albeit in a very preliminary way; mostly just searching online) for a little while, and I've kind of gotten into the mindset that we'll be buying a house. And looking forward to it. And fantasizing about it, in a real-estate porn kind of way. So it's hard for me to now turn around and go, "Never mind, we're going to rent for awhile," even if I can see the logic of it.


So that's what's on my mind right now.

Also, don't bother buying any strawberries that aren't organic. Regular store-bought strawberries now are just not worth it. It's kind of like porn star breasts - they look all luscious and juicy and you think they're going to be great, but then you get one in your mouth and you think, "Ew. Plastic and fake."

Thanks for reading.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Then you wouldn't have to say that you loved me

Some other Nolan-isms that are popular these days:

-"Noney." This is what Nolan calls himself when he refers to himself out loud, as he does frequently.* Sometimes we call him Noney as well - I was at a playground last week (on the one really nice day we had before the goddamn blizzard hit us) and there was a little boy with his grandmother, and I guess he calls her "Nonney," so he kept looking at me funny when I called out "Noney!" to Nolan. At first I thought his name might actually be Noney, and I was thinking, "Is that actually a real name someone might name their kid?" until I realized what was going on.

(I usually try to call myself "Mama" or "Mommy" when talking to/with him, and I try to call him "Nolan" (or "Noney") as much as possible. The whole I/You pronoun thing is apparently very confusing for little kids. Who wouldn't be confused? Try explaining it out loud to someone else - "When I say 'I,' I'm talking about me, and when I say 'you,' I'm talking about you. But when you say 'I,' you're talking about you, and when you say 'you,' you're talking about me." Yeah. Clear as a bell. It gets old, constantly saying, "Give that to Mama," or "Let's find Nolan's shoes," but I think it helps him a lot, clarity-wise.)

*When Nolan was a newborn and we told one woman his name, she told us this great story from when her son was young. He had a friend named Nolan, but he couldn't say the "l" sound very well, so whenever he talked about the friend, he called him "Nowun." This led to such Who's-On-First conversations as: "Who did you play with today?" "Nowun." "No one? But who's that little boy?" "That's Nowun!" and so on.

-"Gake o wick" This is what Nolan calls Jake, one of our cats. A long time ago when I worked at HBO, my boss would refer to someone she didn't get along with as a "jerkowitz," which I adopted into "Jakeowitz" for Jake. "Gake o wick" is Nolan's take on Jakeowitz.

-"A-lowa" Our other cat, Lola. For some words, Nolan can't just start with the consonant, he has to put a little schwa syllable in there at the beginning. It makes him sound like a small Italian tourist. When he's just woken up or gotten hurt and is crying for me, he always says, "A-mama! A-mama!" I'm still waiting for "Molto bene, that's a-nice a-donut."

-"Huggle" When I'm holding Nolan and comforting him, I usually call it a "snuggle." As in, "Ooh, that looked like it hurt. Do you need a snuggle?" The other night while I was getting him in his PJs, Nolan put his arms out to me and said, "Huggle." Which just killed me, it was so cute. He has a hard time with the "s" sound, it seems, so he usually substitutes an "h" instead. "Hock" instead of "sock," "uh-het" instead of "upset." This leads to some confusion occasionally - he'll say something like "hide uck," and I wonder if he's going to hide the truck or if the truck is on its side.

-"Nunnel" What Nolan calls a tunnel. (There are LOTS of tunnels at Gymboree, so he has plenty of opportunities to use this word.) Not sure why he substitutes the "n" for the "t," because he can say the "t" sound in other words.

Sometimes I wonder if it's a bad thing that I can understand him so well, because then he doesn't have to try harder to pronounce words correctly and make himself understood. He still says "Gah" for "star," even though I'm sure he could probably get quite a bit closer to the actual pronunciation if he wanted to. I think that's the case with "tunnel," too. I know what he means when he says it, and I'm usually around to translate for him, so he doesn't have to work at it.

I don't know. I guess I need some sort of "summing up" paragraph here, but I can't think of anything and I just wanted to list more of Nolan's phrases anyway. Thptpth.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I can imagine the moment, breaking out through the silence

So, believe it or not, there was no family drama at my step-sister's wedding/shower doohickey last weekend. I was all geared up for the Big Fight or the Not-So-Subtle Snubbing or the Stupid Misunderstanding, or any of the other special little extravaganzas my family likes to trot out when we're all gathered together in a group. But either I wasn't a witness to it, or it didn't happen. Astonishing.

What I really want to blog about is Nolan's language skills - they're growing at an incredible rate. He talks ALL THE TIME. Every day it's a constant narration of what he's doing, how he's doing it, what he's thinking, what he wants, et cetera. God forbid I don't chime in or repeat whatever he's saying back to him, because then he just says it over and over and over and over again until my brain jumps out of my skull, smacks me in the face, and says, "ANSWER HIM WHY DON'T YOU?"

Hmmmm. It seems I'm a little cranky this evening. Must be PMS.

But anyway, it's actually very cool to hear how much he talks. He gets on these jags where he repeats the same sentence over and over, and for some reason the last word of the sentence is always shouted, like he's really relieved he made it to the end of the sentence.

Some examples (and their translations for those of you who don't speak Nolan):

A nigh dey haaa FUUNNNNNN! ("It's a nice day to have fun," which KB said to him when we were on our way to Castle Island a week ago. He repeated it over and over the whole car ride there.)

Fie ayuh pane go Nana HOOWWWWWWWW! ("Fly on the airplane to go to Nana's house," said repeatedly this past weekend.)

coupled with:

Fie ayuh pane go HOOMMMMMMME! ("Fly on the airplane to go home.")

Oh, noooo, a weeo aka-DENNNNN! ("Oh, no, it's a real accident," which my mom taught him this weekend. Apparently, my Grammy (my mom's mom) used to say that ("It was a real accident") whenever one of the grandkids did something wrong that was pretty obviously NOT an accident.)

Wa happy lie-uh FEYYYYYY? ("What happened to the lion's face?" - something I said to him when he was puzzling over a foam lion toy that a friend of his had bitten the face off of.)

Luck-uh guy pay NICKOWWWWW! ("I'm a lucky guy, I got to play with Snickers," who is my aunt and uncle's dog - a very sweet and excitable formerly abused Italian greyhound they adopted. Nolan was playing with her at the shower - she got out of the house once and ran like crazy around the yard (and, as you might imagine, this dog can run) and Nolan laughed hysterically watching her zoom around, which led to:

Nickow run a run a run oww FUNT! ("Snickers ran and ran and ran out front")

Boon fie away SKYYYYYYY! ("Balloon fly away into the sky" - he had a balloon at the shower that he let go of outside.)

It's interesting to me to see what phrases he latches onto out of all the different things I say to him every day. It's also really nice to be able to talk to him now, but it makes it even more frustrating for both of us when I can't understand what he's saying. I'm pretty much his best interpreter because I spend the most time with him and was there for the genesis of most of his words, but there are times when even I can't figure out what he's saying, and then the fuss really hits the fan.

But he's a lot of fun right now. I have to figure out a way to tape him and get it on here so you all can hear him.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

On the road again

Another trip to Dirty Jers.

This time just Nolan and I are going, and we're flying.

KB left at oh-dark-thirty this morning to catch his flight to Florida, where he is taking a Radiology Board Review course for four days. I was jealous for a little while (Florida? In March? While it's eight degrees here? Sign me up!) until I saw the schedule for his course - they have every minute of time accounted for from 7:30 am to 9pm. All their meals are being eaten in the hotel restaurant, and they have "mini-breaks" of ten minutes scheduled between each study session, I guess so they can pee. It sounds like he's not even going to leave the hotel, much less have a chance to enjoy the weather. (Although, to be honest, even that sounds heavenly to me - four days of using only my brain while someone else cooks for me, cleans my bedroom and bathroom, and schedules my entire day down to five-minute increments? I'll take it!)

Meanwhile, Nolan and I are flying to stay with my mom for four days so we can attend my stepsister's wedding/baby shower combo weekend thang. She's due in April, and I guess in the long tradition of white trash shotgun weddings everywhere, she and her boyfriend decided to make it official since everyone in the family was coming in for the shower anyway. So this should be interesting. I'm in charge of the games for the baby shower. Yee, I say, yee-ha. Bobbing for cotton balls, anyone?

And our house hasn't sold yet, so we have to leave it in super-clean shiny perfect happy condition when we leave in case our agent needs to show it while we're gone. It's not too hard to keep it clean since I did the big scrubbing a few weeks ago, but it's always like a scavenger hunt with Nolan's toys - he has about thirteen hundred little cars and people and dump trucks and motorcycles that he likes to stash in unlikely places around the house. Pretty much any horizontal surface is fair game for "racing" his Hot Wheels, so I find them everywhere - on the ledge of the bathtub, under the bed in the guest room, behind the grandfather clock, et cetera. In fact, I see one right now that I missed in last night's round up, under the little cart in the dining room. Sigh.

So I shall be off the grid for another little while here. I feel I've been neglecting my blog lately (and neglecting myself, truth be told) but then, I knew this was going to be a tough time, this few months before we move. We just have to keep plugging away.

Thanks for reading.