Assorted cosmetics and tools

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Growing up following my older brother around, I missed out on a ton of girly opportunities. It didn’t help that my mother, during the time I hit puberty, was on a natural kick and wasn’t shaving her armpits or legs, let alone wearing any makeup.

When those nasty girls at school started teasing me about the fact I didn’t shave my legs yet (I couldn’t have been any older than 11!) I had to sneak a shave with my dad’s face razor—sorry pops!—because my mom would not get me my own razor the necessary shaving accoutrement. Ma also wouldn’t let me wear normal deodorant for a while so I was stanky. Eventually, maybe when she realized I was practically being hazed at school/sneaking a shave behind her back, she got me a nice shaving kit with a note that read “From your hairy but loving mama.” You’re awesome, Ma! Anyways, she has since given up her European look (do French women really not shave or is that some ignorant American belief…when I was in France I didn’t notice any particularly hairy women…).

Where is this rant going? Oh yes, I don’t particularly know how to be a girl. That’s not totally true, I love dresses and frilly underwear. But I have NO idea how to lip balm—sometimes I go a little wild and wear tinted!—and mascara. I also have a bunch of makeup that is probably a good five years old when I went through this I-will-learn-to-wear-makeup phase. It includes foundation, bronzer, blush, eye shadow and eyeliner—all which should be thrown out because it is way too old.

So I have decided maybe I will try to get back into some sort of beauty routine! And now the issue is, where can I find cruelty free makeup that is still quality? So far I have been collecting MAC and Bare Minerals swag. Also I got Alicia Silverstone’s line, Ecotools, variety of makeup brushes. Actually I don’t think it is her line but they just use her as a spokeswoman? Whatever, they got me…

Here is a nifty list by Leaping Bunny that highlights cruelty free cosmetic companies so I don’t have to think.  

What cruelty free brands do you use? Please tell me I must know!

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Aww. Vomit.

I am always in a relationship. I’m a serial monogamist. Seriously, when it comes to partners, I’m a bit like a hermit crab. As soon as I’ve shed one shell (read: significant other) I scuttle around all naked feeling and awkward looking in search of the next suitable shell. I’ve done this for a decade now—never spending more than a 6 month period not in a monogamous relationship.

While I admit this is probably not the healthiest behavior, I have come to terms with it. Someone (probably a therapist) once pointed out that my hermit crab analogy implies that I need a significant other for protection, and to feel whole. Blah blah blah,  psycho babble. I LIKE being in a relationship. Plus, I  have tried to change it, getting out of a bad relationship and saying to myself (and the rest of my friends/drunken bar patrons) “That’s it! No more relationships! I am going to enjoy being single!”

But the truth is I don’t enjoy being single. I like having someone to come home to, someone to call when I need help, someone to take care of if I feel the need to nurture, and someone who can take care of me when I need it! And of course, don’t forget the cuddling!

And then there is the real reason I don’t enjoy being single: I really like sex. What? Single people have tons of sex! When I am single, and I want to have sex, that means having at least somewhat casual sex. From totally casual one-night stand deals to laid back friends-with-benefits situations, casual sex makes me down-right anxious. I have been in situations where I sleep with someone who I am attracted to but whom I would never ever actually consider dating, and then all of a sudden I am running around wringing my hands and wondering why they aren’t calling me! I go from collected and self-assured to spazz status. I fight an inner battle with myself going “but you don’t even like them!” and responding with “but..they should be calling! Or texting! Facebook chat!” I end up hyperventilating while resisting all urges to contact the sexer for fear of coming off as clingy.

Or worse, I end up dating someone who I only planned on sleeping with once or twice. Perfect example is the guy I dated for an entire year during college. Aside from the fact he was adorable, I slept with him because I had just gotten out of a relationship, and this dude was a total stoner, did nothing but play video games all day and had his mother help him with his class assignments. I am still not totally sure if he showered regularly. Totally un-datable. The perfect candidate for a short-nothing-type fling. Except then I got involved, and then we were dating, and then I spent 9 out of the 12 months we were together trying to break up with him only to change my mind every time when he burst into tears. Damn you, sensitive side.

One of my room mates in college was convinced that my inability to enjoy singlehood would be solved if I only had an array of sex toys ala the Dresden Dolls ‘Coin Operated Boy’. Her self-proclaimed ingenious method was that she would go to parties and flirt with whoever she wanted to, knowing she wouldn’t take them home because her vibrator would do a better job anyways. To further ensure she would go home alone she would stop shaving. (She was Italian.) She was often found at 2 p.m. yelling down the stairs “do you have any AA batteries?!” as I cozied on the couch with my mancandy, allowing her the room to herself and…herself.

I revel in not only the satisfaction but also the feeling of connection that goes along with sex, something that cannot be quenched via an orgasm from a piece of buzzing plastic. Not that I am bashing masturbation, not at all! But I imagine after a handful of weeks playing solely with myself, well I would get a bit lonely! But I could be wrong. The next time I find myself naked and shell-less (read:single), perhaps I will order a plethora of new sex toys instead of finding someone new to date. Pfft…who am I kidding?

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Everyone has their own opinion of what is sexy. Some get turned on by a soulful jazz riff, some by a certain scent, or a touch in a particular spot. Some are attracted to a bad-ass attitude, some go for the loud and boisterous type, some like quiet and laid back. Personally, I like people who can out-argue me for fun, make fun of themselves, carry on an insightful conversation (not just talk about themselves in my general direction) and cook me a meal. It really doesn’t have to be a great meal—it’s the effort that is important.  

The thought behind cooking someone a meal—from choosing a recipe, shopping for ingredients and devoting time in the kitchen—shows caring and consideration, which is attractive. Eating as an act itself utilizes most of the senses, from smell to taste to texture, and that alone can be invigorating and sensual.

Cooking for someone is the ultimate expression of love; you are literally trying to provide them with nourishment. You are giving them something essential, something they can’t do without. You are, if only for that one meal, their provider.

Eating was never meant to be a solo affair—it brings people together, acting as a comforting experience that should be shared. This is why all of our holidays, and most of my social calendar, revolves around food. When I like someone, regardless of the fashion (romantic or platonic), I always try to feed them. I don’t even think about it anymore, it’s the way I express myself, a language that I understand. Although it’s my mother who is the chef by profession, both of my parents love to cook, and growing up this was a way affection was shown in our family. On a birthday, the intricate cake my mother would bake would be more important than the gifts received. Favorite meals were prepared as rewards for achievements or special occasions. It’s a non-verbal way of communicating, of sharing feelings without words, of connecting.

Someone who knows their way around the kitchen, or is at least curious to explore and discover, is the sexiest someone of all. Screw the flowers and Kama Sutra inspired bedroom moves (okay, keep those)—cook me a meal, dammit!

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Now before I get into this topic I want to preface: I think in most cases it’s good to use anatomically correct terms when discussing our bits and pieces. If I have kids, my daughter won’t be calling her vulva her “front bum” or what have you. Vulva, vagina–it’s important to use and be comfortable with these terms. However, I do have a bit of a problem with these terms in bed. And it seems I’m not the only one.

Last weekend I moseyed down south to go to my college roomie’s wedding and see all my lovely friends  that I miss when I am in Connecticut.  At midnight on Saturday I found myself cozied up with my man, my friend Hannah and her boyfriend, Jesse, sitting on old church pews in a super cool divey pizza place/bar eating this amazing vegan pizza covered in tofu and spicy Thai sauce. As if eating vegan pizza with my beloveds at a bar at midnight (in Virgina, of all places) wasn’t amazing enough, we then kicked it up a notch by talking about vaginas.

Actually, we began talking about how no one talks about vaginas, in the bedroom that is. They are the Lord Voldermort of the boudoir. They go un-named. They become an “it.”

While male sex organs have tons of cool words that are fun to say and sound sexy—my favorite is cock! What a fun word!—women are doomed to have a private part that sounds like a nasty sickness. “I have a terrible case of vagina. I’ve been in the bathroom all day.” I have a big thing against certain words (moist! Blech!) and in my opinion, the word vagina isn’t sexy, and so no one who is trying to be sexy is going to utter the word vagina in bed. I know that’s very anti-woman of me, but it’s true. I will not be turned on if someone starts describing all the things they want to do to my vagina.

The friends I was with agreed. After running through a list of possible alternatives (Vulva? Too clinical. Beaver? Not mainstream enough) we decided the only word men ever really use to name a vagina while trying to get in a vagina is “pussy,” and I HATE that word. Okay sorry, hate is for hitler, but really, “pussy” reminds me of a creepy Spanish porno where the only word that I understand is pussy and everyone is sweating too much. Not that I watch many of those, but I have an active imagination.

The Blood Hound Gang’s Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo (that spells fuck, for anyone who can’t understand the military-style phonetic alphabet) has lots of fun and very creative alternatives for vagina–and penis, but penis already has enough fun names. Stop being greedy!  The BHG song includes names such as the squish mitten, ham wallet, pudding hatch and my all time fav, the bitch wrinkle.

However, I don’t think anyone would utter any of those in bed, either. So unless you are ballsy enough to say “pussy” in bed (my boyfriend isn’t, nor would I want him to be because it would make me gag), or want to sound like a middle school health teacher and say vagina, the lady bits will forever go unmentioned between the sheets.

What do you call a vagina in bed? Do you just call it a vagina? Am I being ridiculous? Please do share.

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I just finished reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals, and boy, did it fuck me sideways!

I thought I knew things about things! I mean, obviously I knew many terrors of factory farming, one of the largest reasons I don’t eat meat! But I can’t really stomach all those scary PETA videos so I don’t watch them because they give me nightmares, like the time in college I had to drop anatomy because I developed severe anxiety over the thrice weekly cadaver lab where I had to slice and dice an old dead lady that reminded me of my Nani!

Anyways, I love Foer’s fiction which was part of the reason I picked up the book. I once listened to Everything is Illuminated while driving to Va, and it may just have been the hilarious accents the guy reading the tape put on, but those 8 hours flew by. Foer, a life-long on again off again vegetarian (commitment issues!), starts researching factory farming after the birth of his son, as he is wondering what to feed him—meat, or no meat?—and where the food comes from. At the start of his journey Foer is a locavore, picky about where his meat comes from, but still eating it. By the end, he is a full on vegetarian. The book has some startling statistics, and it will be hard for me to hold my tongue the next time one of my good intentioned friends says “oh I only eat fish because they have no feelings.” (People don’t like to hear about their food being tortured, so I usually don’t rant about animal abuse  unless provoked…)

The title of the book states not only the obvious, that we eat animals, but also that WE are ANIMALS that EAT. It has great themes about food as the bond between people and traditions and families, about the importance of sharing a meal together and what it symbolizes, and a sprinkling of amusing anecdotes and Foer’s general easy-reading style of writing. Also, the first chapter makes a convincing (satirical) argument on why, common sense-wise, if we were to eat any animals, it should be dogs! Outrageous!

For some reason, whenever I refer the book to people I call it Feeding Animals instead of Eating Animals. I even wrote it a few times in this post and had to correct myself! I suppose I like the image of me at a happy farm feeding a sweet big-eyed cow some grass rather than me with a steak on my plate. Anyways…

Read it! Go!

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I got my first job when I was 14 and spent the next two years saving up to a buy a super awesome used Honda Civic that I had a lot of (really bad) sex in before it was stolen OUT OF MY DRIVEWAY, stripped and lit on fire. But before I was working, I cleaned the bathrooms, took out the trash and did the dishes for an allowance of 25 dollars a week. What did I do with this money, you ask? What any 14 year old with a wad of cash in her back pocket who desperately wants to be sexy would do—bought a shit ton of fancy underwear.

What!? Yes. My mother once said to me if I came home with one more Victoria’s Secret bag she was going to cease my cash flow. At least, I think that happened. I remember it happening, anyways. I LOVE underwear. There is nothing better than walking around all day, even if you’re in nappy sweats and your hair is unwashed, knowing that you have a killer pair of underwear on underneath. It’s like having a juicy secret that no one knows about—unless your shorts are too short and you flash everyone in your English class a nice view of your lacey purple crotch. I made lots of friends in English class.

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I don’t think I will shock anyone with the statement that I LOVE good food, and finding new veg-friendly places to eat is always a blast. A few weeks ago, before I moved to my new swanky apartment (by swanky I mean I can walk around in my underwear without the fear some rapist/murderer is going to come plowing through a window..) my friend Mike was dropping me off at my dad’s, where I had been living for a few months while I looked for said super-awesome pad. Mike said, “Oh, you live near that Jamaican vegan restaurant.”

Say what? Apparently I had been living on and off (in between school, job changes and apartmentlessness) only a handful of blocks away from Shandal’s Vegetarian Café in Bridgeport, Conn. The reason I never found it is because, well, in the blocks separating us the city gets a bit rough (see above rapist-through-window reference). On the corner in front of Shandal’s is a candle and stuffed animal shrine to someone who was shot there.

Anyways, I hiked up my brave big girl panties and trucked on down to Shandal’s to give it a shot. And boy, am I glad! What is better than delicious all vegan Jamaican style faux-meat? Delicious all vegan Jamaican style faux-meat in portions that could feed me for two days and only sets me back eight bucks. EIGHT BUCKS! For eight dollars I can pick six delicious things from behind the cafeteria style counter. Choices include sunshine tofu, faux beef stew made from tempeh, “chicken” (seitan) and peppers, brown rice and beans, a variety of veggies, mashed potatoes, some delish wheat-gluten faux pork and beans and my all time fav—the bbq tofu smothered in delicious home-made oh so smoky sauce. After I raved about the food, the nice Jamaican guy behind the counter (was it Shandal?! Who knows!) told me he would love to be able to get it into stores one day, but as of now doesn’t have the means. He told me to pray for him. I don’t pray, so this is my equivalent of doing a good deed and spreading the love.

The place is literally a hole in the wall. It is super divey, which I think is very endearing. They also only take cash so I had to walk a few blocks deeper into sketch-ville to go to an ATM. In a skirt and heels. Bad choice.

Shandal’s also has fresh juices! Please if you are in CT, go visit Shandal’s, located at520 Capitol Ave. You won’t get shot. Well you might, but it would probably be worth it.  Also, I was so excited to eat my food I didn’t take a photo of it, so I lovingly borrowed these photos from Yelp. Don’t sue me!

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At first I wasn’t sure if porn could even be considered a fetish because, well, it is so mainstream! It is like calling the missionary position with your pajama top on and the lights off kinky!

I mean, 90 percent of people look at porn at some point! (60 percent of statistics are made up on the spot because writers are too lazy to do substantial research and would rather get on with the topic at hand especially when it is as juicy as porn!). But then I decided to look up the actual definition of fetish to see if porn qualifies.


[fet-ish, fee-tish] –noun

Psychology . any object or nongenital part of the body that causes a habitual erotic response or fixation.

The English word was derived from the French fétiche, and the Portuguese feitiço which means sorcery. How delicious! Okay back to porn.

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"Try my sausage!"

Last week two PETA activists lobbying to racing fans at the Grand Prix covered an interesting angle. While handing out meat-free sausages, the girls (dressed in sexy racing outfits, of course) explained to spectators that eating a vegetarian diet makes for better bedroom moves. Well, sort of.

“Animal proteins can block blood vessels and arteries to all organs, not just the heart, and result in a breakdown in the bedroom,” explained PETA’s Melissa Galianos. “So we’re encouraging people to get their protein from vegetables.” Their clever tie in for racing and vegetarian sausages? The activists hold signs reading “Rev Your Engine—Go Vegan!” The girls claimed that a vegan diet is better for the libido than taking sex drugs.

Of course, there will always be haters. The Dignified Rant blogger Brian J. Dunn posted about the occurrence on Sunday. His verdict? “Meat wins!” He continues with

Face it, vegetables are good. I eat them. But no vegetable can match the joy of eating even a cheap fast-food burger let alone an expensive cut of meat. I’m not ashamed of being at the top of the food chain–I’m grateful.

While Dunn covers the “joy of eating meat” and bangs his chest over making it to the top of the food-chain (no judgements!),  he sidesteps the actual claim made by the pleather-clad PETA gals, which is that remaining meat-free is better for your libido and will lead to squeaky clean arteries, resulting in a Viagra-free life in the boudoir. How is your sex life, Dunny?

Also, totally unrelated but check out this sweet-ass (literally) PETA ad featuring Jack Ass star Steve-O:

Released into the public domain by PETA.

Image via Wikipedia

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I know I constantly jabber on about the hilarious things people Google to get to However, non can top the dumb-ass search that showed up today…drum-roll please:

How to flash boobs at truckers driving by my house.

I am going to answer this because clearly if this person cannot figure this out for themselves, there is no hope for them. They NEED me. So, to little miss Mystery Novice Truck-Flasher:

Step 1) Get out in front of your house, which ( I am assuming) is in a place where lots of truckers pass, so by house you must mean trailer on the side of a major freeway. (Be sure to be braless, which makes for easier range of flashing. Unless you are super ninja stealth with the bra removal like that guy I dated in the 10th grade who actually practiced with his sister’s bra and a pillow.)

Step 2) Wait for truck to rumble past your house (trailer).

Step 3) Expose yourself.

Step 4) Get a real job. Seriously. Who ARE you? Last weekend I wound up at a bar down south that, until recently, had been named Cattle Annie’s.  I must have seen you there, grinding on that dude with a mullet drinking a King Cobra.

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