Let’s do a LINKS post

Because, and let’s be real here, instead of going out with the express purpose to curate a fine collection of links…these are sites that are hanging out in tabs in my browser, somewhere in limbo between taking action and being lost forever in the mildly interesting flood that is the information superhighway.

I might want to find these again, anyway. You might too.

» Milk Makeup. Haven’t tried it yet, can’t vouch for any of the products, but I’m intrigued by their lip/cheek combo and like their clean aesthetic. Shoutout to Nubby Twiglet for the find.

» Another beauty bookmark…Borotalco Powder. Apparently Linda Rodin uses this, and apparently also Rodin is coming out with a line of lipsticks. I’m still on the fence about how I feel about powder skin products but I want to be able to find this again after I do more research.

» Down the K-Drama rabbit hole, episode 2 of Modern Farmer. This one seems fun, but I’ve been too tapped out on time and mental energy to deal with subtitles lately, so I swapped over to…

» …watching my way through Casey Neistat’s vlogging backlist. DO IT. Do it now while there are only 300-some to catch up on.

» And then I’m listening to Glengarry Glen Ross on Hoopla. Thanks to Casey for the recommendation. Selling can be dirty, but everything is selling all the time, so we might as well get used to the idea. Always be closing, baby.




Consider the body.

Everyday it works with what it has been given, breaking down, building up, transporting, transforming, synthesizing, momentarily holding onto, expelling and otherwise utilizing what is moving through it at the moment. Of course, during all this cell activity there is waste material. People who are concerned with cleansing like to call these ‘toxins,’ but generally they are really not problematic as long as the body moves the waste along smoothly and synthesizes or disposes of it properly and efficiently before it has had time to become ‘toxic.’ As Susun Weed, one of my teachers years ago, pointed out, if you didn’t have toxins (waste) running through your body, you’d be dead. Point taken.

So what is the key to good health? Flow. There are many channels that flow through your body. Lymph fluid, urine, feces and blood are the most obvious. Meridians are the more subtle energetic channels. Even emotions need to flow.

I have come to believe that this applies to our external lives as well: the information that we take in, the way that we keep our living spaces, how we relate to people. Mind, body, and spirit are all tied up together and issues tend to mirror themselves inside and out.

In the quest for health, it’s easy to get caught up in the quest for a “toxin free” lifestyle. Since we live in a fallen world that includes toxic things like pollutants and hateful worlds, we’ll never be able to ensconce ourselves in a tiny protective bubble. Instead, we have to figure out the best ways to let–ahem–the hate flow through us instead of letting it stick and fester. It is more important to  help our body systems do their jobs than it is to attempt to avoid the bad stuff altogether.

Make it BEEEEEEPing Fun

I recently ran into a old coworker slash friend on the bus. We don’t see each other very often any more, so we spent a lot of time chatting and catching up. Eventually the conversation circled around to work (as it inevitably does with old coworkers) and he told me about a lady who had visited his customer service window the week before.

It seems that she had some kind of Tourette-type situation that caused her to emit a beeping noise at various intervals. Like, full on involuntary BEEEEEEEEEP. All throughout his interaction with her, she kept glancing back at the line of people behind her, especially after one of these droid noises escaped her. She looked embarrassed.

“You know what?” I said to my friend. “If I had a condition like that, I’d grab myself an R2D2 hat or something and make the most of it. If the noises are going to happen whether I want them to or not, why not acknowledge that they’re weird and roll with it?”

“I don’t think she would do a thing like that,” said my friend. “She looked pretty miserable.”

“Where is the fun in that?”

For me, that’s the catch. What good is it being miserable? Long term, I mean. There is always always always something to rejoice in, even if it’s the fact that time only runs in one direction and someday you’ll be done dealing with this.

Short term, there can be plenty of reason to cry and be miserable and curl up under the covers with a pot of tea and a large helping of pity party. But when it comes to living your life—really living—learning to roll with the punches of your disease is imperative.

So your life sucks. Make it fun anyway.

Filthy Casuals


Last week, an acquaintance of mine mentioned his new commitment to eating better. “Yeah, I’m trying intermittent fasting, and I stopped eating sugar,” he said. Cool. Good for him.

This week, I asked him how it was going. “Actually,” says he, “I went to a men’s breakfast over the weekend, so I had to kinda eat whatever. Oh well.”

I get it: different people value different things. This guy values fellowship over food. Some people value cost or convenience or vanity. That’s fine for them. But if you have come to a place where you know your diet needs to take precedence over everything else, you have to value it more than you value things like “easy to make” or “trying to avoid disappointing my coworker who always brings donuts.”

What  I mean to say is this: if you’re going to change your diet, CHANGE YOUR DIET. Don’t give yourself the option to cheat. Don’t think about how you’ll give it a year and then you’ll eat cake again. Don’t let your old habits get in your way.

Do things differently. Make new habits. Relish the foods you can eat. Plan ahead. Whatever you need to do.

Become as fanatical about your diet as a gamer who spent thousands of hours leveling up his paladin on the custom gaming computer he built with his own two hands after three or four arguments with his gaming buddies about which graphics card is superior. Because if you’re casual about your diet game, you’ll never give your body enough time to adapt or heal.

So put away those thoughts of cheating. Don’t be one of those filthy casuals. Stay the course.

Book Review: How to Look Expensive

Behind the Scenes with Aveda™ – Osklen SS14 – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York Spring Summer 2014 – #MBFW #NYFW – September 17, 2013 – Creative Commons (cc) photos distributed by Mainstream via Aveda Corporation

Lettuce kick off our book review series with a howtoo book: How to Look Expensive: A Beauty Editor’s Secrets to Getting Gorgeous Without Breaking the Bank. This one was actually worth my time. It was written by Glamour editor Andrea Pomerantz Lustig. I’ve never been a huge fan of Glamour magazine, but this book was definitely worth it. I’m actually considering buying it so I can have it on hand always.

Pro: Andrea knows what we women are up against in terms of competition: celebrities. She provide various categories of celebrities, what their look is, and how to achieve it. She makes a big deal out of having interviewed a bunch of hairdressers and makeup artists, and she may be right–there is a wealth of information here, and ACTIONABLE information, unlike many other beauty howtoos which are incredibly vague. I also did not expect how compatible this book is with a more natural beauty regimen: chapter three is all about skincare, culminating in a home-spa howtoo that features natural recipes. I am going to try skincare routines, and the DIY blowout instructions.

Con: While very self-aware, Andrea is also wrapped up in a temporal beauty-bind. Many of the recommendations are centered around current celebrities and current looks (…but on the other hand, what else IS beauty than temporal?). Very few directives for how to fix beauty blunders–I realized today in the rain that a blow-out would not last in the Portland rain and I have no idea how to fix that. I will also dock points for New Yorker Syndrome: recommending a waxing salon on the basis that it is the best, but neglecting to realize that the salon in question is located on the East coast.

Surprising: That so many of the DIY skincare remedies are compatible with a natural lifestyle (see more info in an upcoming post). Name checking Michelle Phan (even more so recommending one of her older videos about a DIY pore mask–one of the only vids of hers I remember from the old days). Confirming the idea that expensive-looking hair is the most important thing, rather than hair the right color or length or style.

Overall: at least get it from the library. It’s full of actually helpful tips and actual beauty brands so that even a klutz can have some sense of direction.

Bottom line: Read it. I’ve never had a book tell me that I’m really looking for hair like Angelina Jolie along with instructions on how to blow dry it.