Friday, April 15, 2011

Shaggin' Wagon

The first day of cubicle job in 2007, we were asked a variety of "getting to know you" questions like, "What is your dream job," or "If you could have any car, what car would it be?" For the latter question, I remember so many people wrote ridiculous answers consisting of things like Porsches, Ferraris (you're going to drive that in Western Pennsylvania? Good luck not ripping the ground fx off, idiot), and super fancy Lexi (that's the plural of Lexus, you know).  I remember writing, even with the infinite number of auto possibilities, a Subaru Outback Wagon. My mother still makes fun of me for being a twenty something that wanted a station wagon, but my dream never wavered.

When Dustin went away to Iraq, I no longer had the big, strong man to drive me to work when the snow was heavy and the roads were icy. I mean, I am a feminist, but sometimes...I like being a demure girl, especially when it comes to adverse driving conditions. Cut me some slack. Right before he left, too, his sport utility vehicle, an Isuzu Trooper died a less-than-dignified death. My 2005 Toyota Corolla is a wonderfully sturdy car, but I was uneasy to have just a front-wheel drive vehicle in a part of the country with a road-work motto of, "We'll get to it when we get to it."

I was then set with the task of finding a new car, and of course my first thought was Subaru. I tried other brands and even another Subaru model, but my mother convinced me that if this was what I really wanted, then I should pay a little extra for it. It was a good piece of advice, too, because I couldn't be happier with the purchase that I made, and the level of customer service I received after my purchase, including a completely interactive website, specifically designed for me!

With a profile on, I am able to track the trade value of my vehicle (Subarus do hold the most resale value of every other brand...not that I'm trading it...ever), the maintenance schedule, and any recalls or accessory sales that may pertain to the specific model. I received also, a subscription to "Drive" magazine which highlights Subaru owners as well as delves deeper into the Subaru's mechanical components. It was actually an interesting and entertaining read for a super-nerd like myself.

For the more flashy Subaru owner, each Subaru purchase affords the owner to a "Badge of Ownership." Although it's completely ridiculous to have such an item on a car, it's interesting that Subaru would provide such a badge (badges! we don't need no stinking badges), free of charge. This badge, for instance, shows that this is the fourth Subaru that this family has owned, and they are interested in biking, outdoor activities and performance vehicles. It's a funny and slightly bourgie way to show what a rad person you are, but it's also the least Subaru can do for that kind of brand loyalty.

This car, for me, not only reflects a milestone of being in the position to be able to afford to purchase my own car, but it also showcases a dream realized: no matter how dorky that dream was. I was proud when Dustin came home for a visit in January, he was happy with the choice that I had made, as this car is as much his as it is mine. Margo, as a I affectionately call her, has gotten me through a Pennsylvania winter without even a bat of an eyelash and has helped me feel capable and confident as a driver. We're quite a team.Best Blogger Tips

Thursday, April 14, 2011

One Step Away from Turquoise Jewelry

I bought these shoes today to eradicate the flats that dominate my summer sock-less shoe wardrobe. Keen shoes, according to Wikipedia,

were invented to develop a sandal that could also protect the toes—they feature a signature thick black bumper covering the toes. They found a ready market in sailing and other outdoor and water activities. KEEN Footwear now offers shoes for many outdoor activities as well as casual shoes.

These shoes, like much of the granola-y clothing and accessories I secretly love, seem to bring me one step closer to being the kind of twenty-eight year old that dresses like a fifty-six year old Anthropology Professor from the University of New Mexico. Don't act like you don't know exactly what I'm talking about.

After these delightful shoes (which support my arches quite nicely, thank you very much), I went full-on granola and made a stop at Columbia Sportswear Company Outlet. It's my friend Dana's fault that I even went in there, and amazingly enough, they had more Women's size clothing than ever before. I bought some capri pants, a hoodie, a linen shirt, and a long-sleeved t-shirt. All within a very appropriate and granola color palette and all very age-appropriate. 

Dana and I also had a conversation about age-appropriate clothing. At first, I was very resistant to the notion age-appropriate clothing, because nothing that I do is really age-appropriate, but with more dialogue with several different people, I've really been convinced that there is something to be said for dressing your age. While people like Mimi Bobeck are fun in VERY small amounts, there's a reason that characters like Mimi (a woman that dresses as though she has the fashion proclivities of a six year old on pixy stick bender) are inserted into sitcoms for comedic fodder. Gina gave a really great example of Betsey Johnson (feh!). At some point (probably way before Betsey Johnson thinks), it is not longer cute/wacky/fun/silly/avant garde/funky/chic/whatever other adjective you can think of to dress like you're eighteen: actually, it looks like you might have a mental illness.

To be able to strike the balance between edgy and appropriate is my ultimate goal, while still keeping my own age in mind: not one day older or one day younger.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lunatic Fridge

When I was a kid, my parents didn't have a lot of fridge magnets. I can venture to guess that it's because my Dad is a bit neurotic in that sense and doesn't deal well with the disorder of something haphazardly you would place a magnet. My aunt, on the other hand, had a fridge full of magnets, including ones that she'd made of my cousins (and one I broke but put back on the fridge and never told anyone until now).

When I finally got my own place, one of the first things I started to get were zany magnets. Dustin had a few Disney-related magnets from a previous trip with his daughter, as well as some really great Smiths magnets that I adore. It's gotten to the point where not just magnets belong on the fridge, but a bevy of postcards, greeting cards, and various items that we've picked up along the way.

I'm constantly cursing these objects falling off the fridge and the cats knocking them around the kitchen floor, but I'd never change it. It's a gallery that keeps my food cold, and when we moved to the new place in November 2009, the first decorative item that went up were the hundreds of fridge accents...because it's a fun and wall-mount free way to make a house a home.

My fridge is a representation of my life and my exploits: no matter how boring they may be. At any time of the day, I can glance across my kitchen and be reminded of the people in my life, the places I've been and the things that I've seen. It's pretty rad.

When I look at this particular photo, for example, I see a postcard that I got when I went to the gay bookstore with Garett, a photo of Plastic Bertrand that I sent to Dustin because of it's awesome ridiculousness, a magnet from Mackinac Island from when my parents went there and said that Michigan is boring and smelly (except for Bronner's. It's awesome and awesome), and a the corner of a Polaroid photo that was taken at the McDonald Fair when Natalie was visiting...and it was so rainy and gross that everyone was up to their ankles in mud but still came to the fair anyway because there's really nothing else to do in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Besides keeping your bottled water and yogurt cold, what is your fridge doing at your house?Best Blogger Tips

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Guilty Pleasure Tuesday: Orange You Glad I Didn't say Banana

I ate these cupcakes yesterday.  I'm pretty sure that they're just a mixture of lard, imitation orange extract, red dye #5 (which I'm pretty positive causes hyperactivity and cancerous tumors) and flour, but hot damn...they're a tasty treat.

When I was on the chocolate wagon, one of my favorite guilty pleasures was to eat the chocolate variety in secret, while pretend to be a pastry purist that only dined on the most homemade and delectable treats made by grandma's recipes or European Pastry Artisans. I'm a fraud. A poor, lazy, and sexy fraud.

When you eat these cupcakes, you must peel off the sticky, lardy icing and eat it first. Why? Because if you're going to eat something so bad for you, then at least eat the best part case you have a heart attack before getting to the cake-part of the cupcake. Then, if you're still without chest pains, eat the cake part by pulling the cupcake in half and poking at the cream-filling. Why? Because if you're going to eat something that's made for children and truck should make it last.

Once you're finished, that sense of overwhelming guilt is normal and it is followed by a mild tooth pain and nausea. Just roll with it, because you'll forget all about it in a month, when you're standing in line at the gas station and you see these beauties once more.
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Monday, April 11, 2011

PO Box 346

I was walking to the Post Office this morning, and I noticed not one...but TWO individuals with air conditioners ablaze. Really?

From what I heard, because I was trapped in the candle shoppe all day yesterday, it was an especially warm day (considering that two days before everyone was wearing sweaters and boots). The indication of warm weather was inside the mall as the tramp-wear was out in full force. Today, though, it can't be more than seventy-two degrees outside and the breeze is blowing nicely. With ceiling fans, open windows and doors, it's actually quite comfortable and pleasant.

An air conditioner? Now? It is my personal mission this year to do my best not to use air conditioning all summer. It is an expensive electricity waster (waster?) that recycles dirty and air spits it back out into my lungs. Rant over.

Because it's such a nice day, I started arranging the pots for the balcony garden, and I've decided that I definitely need more. I should be more concerned about the porch completely ripping off the house, but I'm throwing caution to achieve a completely retro garden.

I've started looking up different retro plants that are coming back in fashion, and I found this interesting article/video featuring my gardening crush: P. Allen Smith.

He's probably gay and into crazy latex-bondage, but his gardening persona is totally attractive, and he seems like the kind of guy that I could call up with my personal gardening problems and he would come over and help me out. That is, if he's not in the middle of whipping a gimp his personal dungeon.

Anyway, I have this idea of planting all of the things that were popular in the fifties and sixties, including but not limited to, zinnias, marigolds, and coleus. My grandmother always planted marigolds as a means to ward off a lot of unwanted garden pests, but I really enjoy the variety of oranges, yellows and reds these flowers can be found in, and also their completely full blooms.

More than just the flowers, I'm also a big fan of weird gardening tschotskes and windchimes. I really enjoy found objects that are broken or unidentifiable that serve no actual purpose, other than to take up space and make my dad say something like, "What the hell are you doing with that thing? It's just SITTING there!" ha.

In this photo:

1. An Old Vase that a wayward pigeon got stuck in last year and my neighbor rescued.
2. An old lamp harp in the vase. This really ticked my Dad off, so it definitely stays.
3. That metal thing that was Dustin's but I have no idea what it is.
4. The cat's old scratching-post that they completely lost interest in and turned to all of my furniture for their scratching needs instead.

I'm also gaining a bit of a windchime obsession that I'm sure really enchants my neighbors.

These are from a really awesome trip to The Palace of Gold in Wheeling, WV, where we spent an afternoon with the Hari Krishnas.

Although I'm sure it's nothing more than a really tacky souvenir, it's a nice reminder of something that Dustin and I did together that most couples don't do, because they're really busy spending their Saturday nights at the mall, annoying the flying fuck out of me.

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