On Solitude and Spring Break

tumblr_mk5h9d5IYn1qmywbko1_500I’ve been on Spring Break this week, and, for those of you who don’t know, Spring Break for people over the age of 30 typically means sleeping past 6am and catching up on housework.

Both of these I have accomplished, in addition to handsomely chopping down my to-do list.

I’ve also been flying solo with week, with the g/f in Cleveland on a job.  Historically, I haven’t been very good at being by myself for any extended period of time.  I haven’t lived alone in almost 10 years, and I wasn’t very good at it when I did.  Alone time is when all your weird and disordered habits creep into your mind space.  Things like my strange and complicated relationship with food, a preference for 45 minute baths over 10 minute showers, and an affinity for the Discovery Fit and Health Channel, which, by the way, doesn’t even come in HD, making it even more pathetic.

I’m not saying that these habits went away; this week, I still spent a good chunk of time in the bath and in front of DFH.  I went to battle with a bag of dried cranberries and stayed up until 2am watching Dances With Wolves for the 16th time.  But I also felt strangely in control of my behavior. Make no mistake, this is a huge breakthrough for me.  I can’t say whether it’s maturity, confidence, a different living situation, all, or none of the above.  What I can say, is that I’m now able to embrace my weirdness and be comfortable with myself – even when I’m by myself.

Tomorrow I’m taking myself on my first solo hike.  Ok, so maybe it’s a small forest preserve in Crystal Lake, IL and not the Appalachian Trail.  The point is, for a long time I’ve wanted to experience hiking alone but never had the chutzpah to do it.  I’ll be sure to make a full report.

Two Vintage Beauty Products I Can’t Live Without


When the Twinkie left us for good, I wasn’t in any way saddened to see it go.  It did, however, give me pause to think of the things that have been around for awhile that I maybe take for granted.

So, I’m not a person who primps…

Not by a long shot.

But every lady has some semblance of a beauty regimen, and mine includes a couple of vintage products that are still kickin’ it on the shelves of my local big box store:

1. Barbasol shaving cream.  Ok, it’s a men’s shaving cream that says “beard buster” on the canister.  But it’s foamy, and smells good (i.e. you don’t step out of the tub with old man musk smell on your legs), and Barabasol is much more effective than those silly pink gels that are marketed specifically to woman.

2. Aquanet.  My secret weapon.  There has never been, nor will there ever be, an equal competitor.  I’d like to think that in most things I’m environmentally conscious.  I bring reusable bags to the grocery store.  I don’t use plastic silverware.  I bring a travel coffee mug with me, and even when I don’t I have a reusable sleeve for my cup of Starbucks.  I have composting worms in my kitchen, for crying out loud.

But one thing I simply refuse to bend on is aerosol hair spray.  It’s not an every day occurrence, just special occasions and anything dance-related.  Sometimes you just need that extra hold, and a little extra volume.  That’s something you can’t get from a spritzer that spits out globs of heavy, sticky goo on to your perfectly placed up do.  It’s got to be Aquanet… there is no comparison.

What are your non-negotiable beauty products?