Gardening: TAKE TWO

One of my many Life Dreams is to have a farm. A cute little farm where I’d have reasonably sized chickens running around that aren’t hopped up on steroids. I’m not looking for gym chickens who regularly miss leg day and don’t see sunlight. I currently don’t eat chicken for this reason, and dream of eating eggs from chickens that are loved and healthy. And also mine. Mostly that part.

Below is a picture of me, hugging and petting one of my chickens who totally doesn’t have sharp talons and a viciously pointy beak. I’m living my best life and don’t care about safety or the future.

L’image contient peut-être : 1 personne, debout, enfant, herbe, arbre, plein air et nature
miraculously, I lived past childhood

I also desperately want bees, but that’s a post for another time. Bee’s are tantamount to our future and we are not taking it seriously. Wasps and hornets can go straight back to the hellfire whenst they came, but the rest can stay. And since we’re on the topic of creatures from the beyond, while moths and butterflies should be next in line, they do have the characteristic that they help pollination, so they get a pass from me.

To recap: I want a farm with bees and chickens. Until then, I’ll just have to garden.

The only drawback is that I’m a pretty lousy Grower of Things. Through trial and error I’ve figured out where things won’t grow in my yard, but it’s wasted nearly three years of decent produce. So I chalk it up to the dirt in which I plant. We’ll see what this year’s crop yields…

Today I planted lavender, and I’m so excited about it!

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cultivating my french garden 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also have a pepper plant and four tomato plants going.

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look at these little buds!

 

 

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pepper buds!

There’s nothing of note about my marigolds, since I seem to have a golden thumb when it comes to those guys. They are sprouting up like plants on a mission!

 

 

 

My goal is to actually have all these lil’ fellas to grow, bloom, and thrive. LET’S SEE!

I actually want to make an immediate redaction. I hate moths. They don’t have a pass. So they can go. They can go first. I won’t have peace until then.

 

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My Accutane Journey: Eight Weeks In

Alright….I just took some photos of my face sans makeup today, which was demoralizing as usual. BUT, I’m not going to let that bother me, because I’m in California for a well-deserved break from ~real life~.

I attended Coachella the other week! The entire event was truly amazing. I have never experienced anything like it, and will give you guys an update on that soon.

*Disclaimer* I took these photos a week ago, and I’ve got to say my face looks better since then. This statement was also to make myself feel not so ugly? I really wish I’d been more vigilant in taking a photo each week to personally track my progress. It’s validating and makes me feel like the $$$$$$$$ I am dropping on this medication is worth it? I hope so?

It’s my biggest fear -after moths, of course– that this won’t work and I’ll be in the percentage that just gets acne again once I get off the medication.

At this point in the treatment, my skin is a sponge. Guys, it is a sponge. I caved and bought a face serum. Like some kind of fancy-pants, bourgeois, kale popcorn eating, Stepford wife. Or someone who takes pride in their skincare.

So. My lips need constant moisturizing. While in California, I bought five, five, chapsticks. I kept forgetting to put them in my bag and would inevitably find that my lips needed moisture wicking, salvation bringing life. The last time I forgot my lip balm at home I just went to target and bought a pack of three Carmex tins to end the nonsense once and for all. There is no moment in which Carmex is not on my lips.

By far the worst part is the cracking in the corners of my mouth. If they get too dry, the skin rips apart again, even if it has slightly healed. Its great. Nothing like not being able to eat salad with oil and vinegar dressing to remind you to slather on more Carmex!

I’m not sponsored by Carmex.

I try to keep my face as clean as possible and wash my makeup off as soon as I get home and have nowhere to be. My makeup brushes are cleaned every other day if they touch my face. I drink loads of water. I have gentle facial cleansers and a gentle toner.

I caved and bought micellar water. I use sunscreen! Good god! I am a changed woman.

But the dryness is real, folks. I’ve been trying to stay hydrated and moisturized. Basically I am a low-wattage lightbulb.

As for my progress, since there are no previous photos to pit this against, I can’t give you a good before/after comparison.

But *cringing* here are my photos! I’m facing *hah* a very real fear here, especially since this is connected to my social media…

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my better side….plus my beauty mark/mole thing
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:/

 

 

 

the void in which I reside

 

 

 

 

Honestly I have never put a photo up without makeup on. I’m trying not to scroll back up and look at it and wallow in the hopeless feeling it gives me. It’s easy for me to get bummed out about this situation, but if this is one of my biggest problems, I think I’ll be ok.

Here’s hoping next month will be even better! Cause it does get better, I promise.

 

 

My Accutane Journey: Finally Beginning

Bringing out the big guns was, according to my dermatologist, not that necessary. We can tackle this with antibiotics and prescription face washes, she said, while I, internally screaming, nodded along.

Sureok we can give it a try. It became a phrase I got used to saying to my doctor and dermatologists over the years, when I knew it would do close to nothing. The last time my dermatologist prescribed me a three-part treatment, I only chose the face wash, which was gentle on skin and had a secondary purpose of treating roseacea. So, um, ok, this roseacea was news to me. I assume it was because I had washed my face with an aggressive cleanser to take off my work make up. But hey, what do know.

But I chose only the face wash because the antibiotic and the topical cream she prescribed would only have a minor effect.

After 10+ years of struggling with some sort of blemish on my face, I like to think I have a vague understanding of how my face and body react to treatments. I did not appreciate being unheard by my medical professionals. I was frustrated and angry, especially when I learned that I would have to go through six months of alternative treatment before I could qualify for Isotretinoin.

Wow. Woooooow.

Wasn’t my entire adolescent life proof enough?

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My preferred selfie. Obscured face.

As a somewhat important side note: I’ve never had severe cystic acne, or even moderate cystic acne. I don’t know that struggle, and I can’t pretend to.  Just persistent, seemingly endless breakouts and pimple parties. As I type this, I have a lurker right on the tip of my nose. I’ve never had that before. It’s almost like a final screw you from my face.

Anyways, I haven’t seen my actual face without some sort of acne on it since I was eleven years old. This has taken an immense toll on me throughout the years. My confidence and self-worth is on the longest roller coaster ride I never bought tickets for. I would like to stop this ride now, please.

So, I’ve found myself at the door of Accutane Claravis, hoping for some, for any respite. My derm finally allowed me to go on the medication, a song and dance for another post.

Right now I’m on day ten, and I’m starting to feel like a dried out sponge, and it could be a placebo effect, but I’m feeling better about my skin. I thought I would keep a log to compare my months, and maybe post pictures? Yikes?

I hope this works, and I’ll start posting my grievances and tips as I come across them.

 

Adventures in Adulthood

I made my first student loan payment today!

Hooray! I am thrilled to have entered the next, new stage in my life, i.e. indentured servitude.

While my soul cried as I finalized my payment, my mind stopped all unnecessary thoughts not directly related to my future finances.

“You have to pay X amount every month? How will you survive?” it said, every syllable drawn out in agonizing, invisible pain. “This crippling debt will leave you devoid of a social life, or worse, gourmet cat food in the future.”

adulthoood
“????????” -me

source: IMDB

I’m irritated every time I think about it. This is no way to start my new exciting life as An Adult. It’s no way to start the holiday season. Loans have such a lack of Christmas spirit that I’m sure they were raised in Grinch colonies devoid of any joy, where the main activity on Friday nights isn’t a trip to the local ice cream shop, but to the local fire pit where they roast their hopes and dreams to a crisp.

It takes a village, after all.

And yet, here I am, click click clicking around to see what loans should be payed when so I don’t pay an extra elbow and kneecap on top of the arm and leg I’m sacrificing for my education.

I’ve thought of a few things I could do with my money* for instead (especially that huge slap-in-the-face estimated interest**):

  1. Burn it in a trash can fire
  2. Place as a training mat for your house training pet
  3. Tissues
  4. Actually give to charities and people on the street when they ask
  5. Test out new paper shredders
  6. Move out of the house sooner

Instead of going on weekend trips or lavishing my little princess Figgy with expensive gravy-based packets of Fancy Feast, I have to wave goodbye to my hard-earned money while it sails away without me. Probably to an exotic location like the Land of Crushed Dreams. You should visit, they have the best collection of lost souls crying in their cars on display.

All negativity aside, it’s sort of fun getting rid of these scary-huge*** statements as soon as I can. And by fun I really mean satisfying like putting a pumice stone to your feet for hours.

*A stupid social construct that is somehow necessary but also totally meaningless. I’d love to tell you about my totally unrealistic goals for the future of global finances sometimes. It involves large amounts of apple orchards and manual labor trade and would obliterate money forever. Contact me here if you want to help spread my version of a hugely dystopian future!

**wtf is this anyways?  Why would I want to give you an EXTRA few thousand dollars? In the words of Louis Van Gaal, “What is this world twisted?”

*** A scarier idea is that I’m not paying that much –relatively—to many of my friends and peers. What is this world twisted, indeed.

A Response to a Wedding Photographer

Perusing Facebook, I came across This article, which talks about photography at weddings. More specifically, non-photographers taking pictures during the wedding. The writer uses a picture in which the groom is looking past guests holding up their phones.

As someone who is generally bothered by handheld technology at events and gatherings, I understood the photographer’s complaint. Not only does it look bad in the professional photos the bride and groom are paying for, it is a distraction and keeps the guests from being fully present in the wedding.

This goes for intimate dinners or gatherings with friends. I’m always bothered when it becomes “phone-time,” the term my friends and I dubbed for the moments where somehow our phones drag our attentions away from real life interactions. I’m guilty of it, of course, but I hate when it happens. I feel guilty that I’m checking Facebook when my friends are in front of my face. Once, at a game night with my friends, one of us checked our phones. This may not be the most Earth-shattering thing to happen, but I couldn’t imagine who my friend was talking to. “What other friends do you have? We are all literally here! In this room!” My friend laughed at our outburst, her cheeks turning slightly pink, telling us we were right and that it was just a habit.

But back to this photographer. While it is probably impossible, and a little unfair, to ban electronics from a wedding, I find him totally justified. The photographer is paid to take pictures of the event so that you don’t have to! You can have fun! And look at the pictures later! That sounds great to me, because I’d rather be having fun with my friends than taking mediocre pictures with my phone.

Speaking from a photographer’s point of view, I’d love it if the photo wasn’t compromised by others with their phones up. The lack of visual distractions like other cameras is a totally understandable thing to want. Just be present and get off your phones, you’re at an event that was most likely planned with excruciating detail. If they’ve hired a photographer, do both parties a service and unplug.

If they haven’t, then I guess go for it! It’s fun to be a part of the documenting, just maybe keep it for the moments where you won’t get in the way. Discretion is probably key, and so is moderation. Don’t step out in the aisle, get in the way of cutting the cake, or anything else that is an Important Moment.

As Mr. Stewart rightly put it, “you are witnesses to their marriage, so for goodness sake, watch them with your eyes and your minds, not your phones.” I totally agree with this advice, and I’m glad I indulged in some phone bashing when I got the chance.

Post-grad life

It’s been 21.5 weeks since I graduated. That’s 147 days, or 3,528 hours, or 211,680 minutes. In seconds it would be 12,700,800, and ugh how grim is that? Now that fall has truly, officially, irreversibly arrived, I am stumped. How did this happen? When did I let the days slip away?

Update: I spent a while looking at this post while it was in construction. I had nothing new to add to it in the few days I worked on it, which sounds bad, right? Nothing seemed right to add, and I’ve been totally consumed with trying to get gifs to work on this blog, only to find that, in fact, gifs are a plug-in that wont work unless I save them and then insert as media. So I’m still working on doing that without imploding my page.

Also part of this update: It’s been a few weeks since I did the math above so just assume the number is larger. More minutes and more seconds. Grimmer than the Brother’s Grimm and the Grim reaper combined.

An early Friday Faves + some history

It’s been a while, and I’ve missed giving my opinion to the masses maybe three people who read my posts? Two? It could be more, but I’m convinced my WordPress analytic is broken and giving me very low reads, depriving me of knowing my true fan count.

Ha.

This week I did a every bad thing. This bad thing was going to the library, which triggered the gaping hole in my psyche that convinces me to read at the expense of absolutely everything else in my life. I’m not lying when I say that I may be addicted to reading, and I won’t lie and say that I don’t have a problem with consuming books. I’ve been a voracious reader ever since I had the ability to put letters together to make words and as far back as I can remember, it’s been a torturous existence.

Reading takes over my free time and my non-free time. Throughout middle school and high school I developed weird reading habits at home, like reading in the closet or extended bathroom trips where my activity was to read. If I heard my mom or dad coming up the stairs or any movement headed toward my direction, I would make sure to hide whatever book I was reading and pretend to do homework. I was actually a super-dweeb.

Once my mom got so mad on seeing I was reading that she actually ripped whatever book that was (just kidding, I totally remember what it was. That event has been seared into my brain tissue) in half.

In half.

She was that mad.

She would actually complain to my teachers that I would read too much, although their reactions weren’t quite what she hoped.

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Oops!

But throughout college, where I had less free time – actually more, but not enough time to devote to mindless, debilitating reading – somehow it didn’t even crack the top five things to do. Which is literally unimaginable for me, considering I went to the library the other day on a whim and took out three books, because why not? It could be the post-grad blues plus the abundance of time in my evenings, or it could be that I can’t help myself. In the past week I’ve gone back to the library multiple times and taken out some more books.
I. Can’t. Stop. Even now, just thinking about it, I want to head back and look through the stacks.

Long story short: I visited the library this week and checked out these three gems.

california
source: edanlepucki.com

California by Edan Lepucki

This dystopian, futuristic (not in the traditional robot way), post-apocalyptic novel was gripping. I literally couldn’t put it down and carried it with me all day until I finished it. I read snippets of it wherever I could, from the hospital waiting room, to the
train station, to late at night when I read the last, goosebumps inducing sentence. The buildup was perfect, but I could have more of the end, since it felt a bit rushed. I give it 3.5 shivers out of 5.

Flirting with French: How a Language Charmed Me, Seduced Me, and Nearly Broke my Heart by William Alexander

flirting with french
source: amazon books, unfortunately

I love anything French, so the punchy cover page immediately drew me in, but the book consistently held my interest. Alexander writes so honestly about the struggles of learning a language past the “accepted” age that I desperately needed to know if he was successful in his endeavor. He cites real research throughout the chapters which mixed up the narrative in a great way. Like a good salmon, not too dry and not too juicy, this was a great memoir on learning a language and keeping your mind young. Four ouais out of cinq.

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

ABG
source: amazon.com, unfortunately

Stop the presses. I was laughing out loud (literally lol-ing) at  every chapter. Rae writes so well about her life, family, memories from her childhood that continue to haunt her, that I felt every wince, grimace, and post-traumatic embarrassment with her. She struck so many chords with me that I couldn’t help stop the embarrassing moments  from cropping up into my mind. Thanks a lot Jo-Issa! No, seriously, thanks for writing such a great collection of memories from your life so far. Four facepalms out of five.

The takeaway: go to the library! You enrich your life and you keep a venerable institution going for as long as we, as a functioning society, can!

Quick garden update

So the garden grew.

The tomato plants have shot up past my shoulders, filled with tiny yellow flower buds and unripe vegetables scattered throughout the greenery.

The cilantro was a huge success. No complaints there.

However, the beets… What a crushing disappointment.

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My problematic faves

They grew, yes, but did they ever really take root? No. Did they ever produce a fruit I could look at with pride and say “we did it. You and me, beets, we did it, and now I shall eat you”? Hardly.

What I pulled out of the ground was no larger than a quarter, if that. Weeks of loving labor were condensed into the smallest, tiniest, most minuscule edible beet. It was SO TINY. LOOK.

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TRAGIC

I know this is because I planted everything late. My timeline was off, the soil was not the greatest, it happens. I’m still very much excited that I grew something from a tiny seed and then ate it. My suggestion is that everyone grow at least something in their lives and consume it. Its better for you, for your living space, for the world. You wont regret it!

Adventures in gardening

Since graduating, I’ve had a tiny large amount of free time on my hands. When I’m not at the beach, reading, applying for work, or shamelessly mooching off the household, I’ve been gardening. Which is way more fun than I thought it would be!

I bought 3 seed packets, and now I’m growing tomatoes, beets and cilantro. I wish I had taken pictures of all the plants when I initially plants them. They were in old plastic take out boxes and were so cute once they sprouted. Now they’re all flourishing, and I’m a proud mama! This truly is post grad life at it’s best.

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Had a visitor while I gardened!
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A cluster of beet plants before being spreadout.

Today I was outside weeding around my cutie little plants because they were being smothered by giant, leafy, weeds and my goal is to see at least a few fruits of my labor. The cilantro grew perfectly, but the tomatoes and beets are a little more high maintenance. I’ve had to rehome the beets a few times after they start to crowd each other, and the tomato plants had to be rearranged to climb up poles, but otherwise they are moving at a great pace. I can’t wait to see little red tomatoes and at least one beet! If even one beet plant successfully produces a beet, I will be prouder than an honor-roll student’s mom.

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Separated beet babies :)

We’ll see what happens. I hope they take root and start become big beets soon :) I highly suggest gardening. It’s been immensely rewarding seeing real results of my hard work. I feel so zen putting around the garden and getting my mind off of bothersome topics, and I love that I learned a new skill that has real, tangible effects in my life.

A walk about Pa…

A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life.
Thomas Jefferson

Though I haven’t posted in a while, I’ll keep this one short.

I have not read a truer or more concise statement about Paris yet. Walking around Paris really does give this sentiment validation. There is history everywhere and of course unrivaled beauty pouring out of every building, metro stop and boulangerie, but the real things one learns from Paris are about life.

Do you agree? Are there any cities that speak to you, that you’ve learned from?