Bah, Cats.


Growing up I had two cats. There was Jake, the refined rescue from the SPCA, that looked as if he was wearing a tuxedo and acted more like James Bond than a cat. He preferred the company of my mother, most likely because she was not going to dress him up in doll clothes and subject him to tea parties. Gizmoe, the short-haired Turkish Van that was larger than a full-grown male Basset hound, was my playmate. No matter how many diets we out him on, that cat was always the fattest cat you have ever seen. He was my companion, and hogged most of my twin bed every night while I slept. We also had a beautiful Sheltie named Halo, but she was resolutely my brother's dog. 

Gizmoe was a saint. He put up with all of my shenanigans, from playing beauty salon (the blue sidewalk chalk that I had used to color his fur nearly gave my mom a heart attack) to pretending he was my diaper-wearing baby, he would just calmly go along with nearly every scenario I threw at him. He never bit me, and rarely did he scratch me--and when he did, I knew that I had gone too far and deserved his anger. 

This wonderful childhood experience had led me to believe that I was a cat person. I was always very active in the care and training of our dog, and I have always absolutely adored dogs. Despite my love for dogs of all breeds and sizes, I was convinced that I was a cat person. So when I bought my condo, knowing full well that I was no longer living with anyone allergic to them, I got two kittens.  Very quickly I realized that there is a large difference between kittens and adult cats. Also very quickly I began to realize that, while cats entertain me to no end, I don't particularly like them. 

At first, I thought that it was because they were kittens. Then, as they started to grow, I blamed it on the, being orange cats and naturally crazy. Last fall I gave one of them to a friend of mine because the two of them were just too much. "One is easier", everyone was telling me. "With one, they calm down and are less trouble." 

Thanks for lying to me, jerks. 

One cat has not gotten easier. Cheaper, yes, because I happened to give away the one that ate 10lbs of food in a week, but in no way has it gotten easier. 

I still don't sleep, because she always wants attention. She destroys everything that she can get her paws on, and even the collars and room sprays that are supposed to help calm her don't work. She has toys galore, but she would much prefer pulling my books off of my shelves and breaking my snow globes to keep her entertained. 

I cannot comprehend how one cat can produce so much bodily waste, and I cannot keep up with the kitty litter--some days I have to clean it morning and night just to keep it from smelling up my condo. I have tried every kind of door neutralizer, cleaner, air freshener, and box deodorizer that I can get my hands on, and none of them have done even a satisfactory job. 

It turns out that I am also allergic to her, although I'm sure anyone would be stuffed up when a cat attempts to sleep on their face at night. Her saliva makes me itchy, I cannot handle the amount of cat hair that is EVERYWHERE (even with me vacuuming daily), and I can barely breathe when I'm at home. And I'm only mildly allergic to her--poor B can't spend more than a few minutes in my place before he has to leave--his throat will start bleeding if he is around cats too long--and I have to change my clothes as soon as I get to his house so that I don't spread the dander there too. 

I do love Gilford, don't get me wrong. She can be sweet as pie, and some days I really enjoy curling up on the couch with her and watching TV. The happiness that she brings to my daughter makes my heart swell...althought that could also be an allergic reaction to the dander. But those moments are not enough for me. 

It has taken two long, frustrating years, but I feel very confident in saying that I am not a cat person in the slightest. 

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sorry i'm not sorry

photo via Amna on weheartit.com | caption by me
...for leaving my makeup on the bathroom counter. 
...for only liking one brand of pen. 
...for not caring that my car is messy. 
...that I drink coffee with my milk.
...that I prioritize sleep over blogging when I get busy. 
...that I prioritize spending time with Little A over absolutely everything. 
...that I hate winter. Period. 
...that I take a {timed} Pinterest break when I feel overwhelmed at work, because it really is the best way to empty your mind of everything. 
...that I still laugh when someone makes a fart joke. 
...for being sensitive.
...for having high standards and expectations for myself--and the same standards and expectations for others. 
...for not being empathetic towards people who refuse to help themselves.
...for having specific drink orders for Starbucks and Second Cup because if I'm going to pay $6 for a coffee, it's going to be made my way
...that I'm entirely ok with a woman choosing plastic surgery to alter a portion of their body as long as it's not a substitute for self esteem. 
...for being traditional. 
...for being compassionate, and loving. 
...for being completely over the "BLOGGING IS A BUSINESS" thing, because too many people stopped being nice when money got involved. 
...for wanting a large family, a dog, and a proverbial white picket fence.
...for not being able to finish books, yet still buying more. 
...that I always use those "spend $50 and save $10" cards that my favourite stores give me because I am going to spend money there anyways, so why not save at the same time? 
...that I talk a lot. 
...that I have a loud voice. 
...that I speak my mind. 

What are you not sorry for? 

sometimes I stamp my feet in a jealous rage

Image via LucyArg on weheartit.com 

Travel envy is a total bummer to have. Out of all of the different online envies that you can develop, for me travel envy is the absolute worst. I don't get blog envy, and rarely do I experience fashion or design envy. But travel envy...she is a cruel mistress. I want to be excited for people when they get to go on weekend getaways to fantastic places, but mostly I just get grumpy. 

Canada is a difficult country to travel in. There are so many amazing places to visit, but it's just so expensive.    The country is absolutely massive, so to get anywhere outside of 'weekend road trip' range you have to fly, but Canada doesn't have any low-cost airlines. Heck even Peru has three separate low-cost carriers operating domestic flights, but Canada has yet to jump on that bandwagon. A return ticket from Edmonton to Vancouver (a little over an hours' flight time) is usually $500; yet you can fly the same distance from London to Amsterdam for £65 all in--roughly $100 Canadian. 

So when I read about people dashing off to Paris or Rome or Hobart or the Whitsundays for a relaxing weekend away--and on a very modest budget, no less--I get a little grumpy. And more than just a little envious. It's something that I'm working on because obviously it is entirely ridiculous for something so small to turn me into a scowling child, however it doesn't change the fact that I come down with a nasty case of travel envy.

This is incredibly inconvenient for me, because the majority of the blogs that I read are focused on travel. Perhaps I am just a glutton for punishment. 


in defense of the zooey's of the world

Images via Maya on Tumblr

I like glitter, bows, lace, ruffles, polka dots, pencil skirts, pearls, sock buns, high heels, and A-line dresses. Pride & Prejudice and The Princess Bride are my two favourite books. I regularly listen to Taylor Swift and She & Him. I adore Anne Hathaway, Zooey Deschanel, and Emma Watson. I read wedding blogs even though I'm nowhere near getting married, simply because I love the romance of them. I'm girly, is what I'm saying. 

Having a love of lace or believing in true love doesn't mean I'm not a feminist, the same way that being divorced doesn't mean that I'm a bitter spinster. So why is the world so hard on us for showing our girliness? Why is it OK for men to post on social media about how difficult it is to pass a level on whatever video game is currently hip, but it's mindless and ridiculous for a female to post about an irritating nail polish incident? 

Quite frankly, I'm a little tired of the anti-Zooeyish movement. My gold-striped phone case does not make me a vapid idiot, my A-line dresses don't make me a slave to trends, and the fact that I sometimes take pictures of my most current nail polish shade doesn't mean that I'm a Stepford Wife. 

The next time you decide to {publicly} judge someone for how they choose to express themselves, or for something that they post on their social media, remember that they're probably holding back their own judgement over the fact that you have four kids with four separate women. 

To each their own, right? 


Get a Grip



Hormones are the devil, am I right ladies? 

Here is a list of the things that have made me cry over the last week:

  • Spirit in the Sky
  • a Charmin commercial {the part where Papa Bear tells Baby Bear that she only needs two sheets gets me every time}.
  • Running out of hard boiled eggs.
  • My cat knocking the bookmark out of my book. 
  • Forgetting to bring a straw for my can of mango juice. 
  • B {in his sleep} rolling away from me. It woke me up, and for some reason I took it incredibly personally. 
  • Spelling an email address incorrectly and getting a 'delivery failed' receipt. 
  • Gewurztraminer {this one might have been my fault}
  • Not being able to find the match to a certain pair of socks
  • When my cat pulled my clean clothes out of my drawer, and turned them into a her nest at the foot of my bed. 
  • When I tripped over my cat when I got up to get a drink last night. 
  • When my cat left a hairball in my slipper, most likely as retaliation for me tripping over her. 
  • When my cat woke me up for the fifth time this morning, more than an hour before my alarm was set to go off. 
  • When I found out that Outlook didn't send my 165 scheduled emails, and instead trashed them. 
  • Chipping my nail polish within 12 hours of doing my nails.
  • The moment when I realized that while I really, really, really want a dog, my schedule just doesn't allow for one at this point in time. {Damn you, 137km commute. Bonus damn you to me for buying a condo downtown}
What outrageously normal events have made you cry?


Well, That Escalated Quickly

Every few months, I get this insatiable itch to change something

At first I'll feed this need with small changes: 
a new hair color 
a few blog tweaks 
a new ringtone for my phone. 

I can't count the shadows to keep myself safe; 
 the itch will always catch up with me
just like the vashta nerada will always catch up with those in the shadows.

The night started out innocently enough; 
I was just going to change my navigation bar. 
I had created a new one a few weeks ago, 
and from the second that I installed it I absolutely hated it. 
I've been mulling it over for weeks, 
and finally I decided to get up off my rump and change it. 

Well.

Before I could get to the nav bar, I stared at my font choices. 
The font (Origin Light) that I once loved so much was now making my eye twitch. 
It was decided.
I needed to change my fonts. 

But.

You can't just change your font willy-nilly. 
You have to take your time. 
The font that you choose is an integral part of your design; 
it helps form the basis for your brand. 

DOWNLOAD ALL THE FONTS!

And then...

I sorted through all of my new fonts. 
Some had to be ruled out because they didn't have the ability to type the umlaut in my blog title. 
(the dots on top of the a in rakas kesä is an umlaut.)

So...

I typed.
I switched between fonts. 
I wrote down about thirty font names, 
and I slowly eliminated them
one by one. 

Finally, I was down to two fonts. 
I can work with two. 

So off I went, 
creating a new navigation bar. 
Once that was finished I had another revelation:
my blog header no longer matched. 
Neither did my buttons. 
You know.
The buttons that are everywhere? 

So off I went, 
creating a new header. 
New buttons. 
A new list of sidebar links 
(although the links? Not working at the moment. Fury.) {UPDATE: fixed!}
The new links lead to new widget titles. 

Finally, I had it all installed. 
And boy, did it look pretty. 

I've kept the amazing welcome image that Chelsea created for me earlier this year because it just cannot be topped.

But the rest?

The rest was all painstakingly created by me. 

Did I stop there?

After triumphantly overhauling my entire blog design in one night
did I turn off my laptop and crawl into bed? 

No. 

Because suddenly
I had motivation. 

That 'work with me' page that I've been avoiding finishing for so long? 
I HAD TO FINISH IT. 

The Great Design Beast took over
and I just kept going. 
Creating, 
changing, 
trashing, 
mapping, 
installing. 

When my (Vancouver) best friend texted me to ask why the hell I wasn't asleep yet
I finally looked at the clock. 
Five hours. 
I had spent five consecutive hours 
making all of these changes, 
pausing only to plug my laptop in when it told me to plug in or I'd lose everything. 

This is my random, 
weird, 
rambling 
not-poem 
about that time that I compulsively re-designed my blog 
instead of sleeping. 

Better make it five and a half hours, since I also decided to blog.

Don't judge me. 

What Do You Mean, I'm An Adult?

There are certain things that are expected of adults. Adults hold a steady job and pay their bills on time. They have kids and careers, savings accounts and a balanced budget. They are responsible, contributing members of society. Well...most are, at least. And I can do (most) of those things--I'm looking at you, budget that never balances. These are some things that I am not so good at, however; all of these things are expected of adults.

  • Cleaning the car. I take out the trash regularly, but I usually have various items strewn across the backseat including but not limited to: shoes (adult- and preschool-sized), colouring books (just preschool-style), a few mismatched socks, a tire iron, a few Barbie bits and pieces, and crushed cereal crumbs. 
  • Waking up without hitting snooze ten times. I was told that when you become an adult, you suddenly start waking up at 6am all happy and ready for the day. I'm not sure if this is a lie, or if I'm just not an adult yet...
  • Cooking (and eating!) healthy, balanced meals every day. There are days where we have Ichiban soup with a side of cheese and grapes for dinner, and one time I had apples with caramel dip for lunch and dinner. Note that I do feed Little A healthy foods, I just don't seem to eat them myself.  I don't enjoy cooking (I blame my tiny kitchen, but I don't cook in B's kitchen either), and quite frankly I'm just not very good at it. There are some dishes that I can pull off and have taste magnificent, but those are a select few recipes and most are holiday dishes. 
  • Being on time. Growing up, I was always the last one out of the door. For some reason my brain just assumes that it will take me an hour to get ready, and that I'll need thirty minutes to get somewhere. Those are the default times my brain calculates everything off of, and I can't seem to rewrite the code. Thus, I am perennially late. 
  • Returning books to the library on time. I'm a big fan of public libraries, even though I'd rather own a book myself than borrow one. Maybe it's because of this preference that I tend to just never return them, and then end up buying them from the library in the form of outrageously high overdue fees. I'm told that proper adults bring them back in a timely manner--that's what the librarian tells me, anyways.
  • Working during proper hours. From 9am-5pm, I am distracted. There are unplanned phone calls and emails that come in, people that walk through my door, and so many little things that crop up to distract me from that day's To Do List. My most productive--and inspired--hours are from about 6:30-9:30pm. In those three hours, I can get more finished than I can in an entire eight hour day. As long as I'm not trying to work from home, because then my PVR calls to me like the Sirens called to Odysseus. 
  • Grocery shopping. Y'all, this one I have thrown my hands up in the air over. Under any other circumstance, I am compulsively organized. I create lists, habits and patterns of behaviour in all circumstances. Except grocery shopping. I can never wander through the store in the same pattern, and Lord help me I can't ever stick to my list. This leads to me to feel as if I'm failing, so of course I'm going to avoid the activity all together until we are down to Saltines and old mustard and I am forced to either grocery shop or starve. 


How are you bad at being an adult?


Obvious Statement of the Day: I'm a Geek.

{original image pinned by Cherree | original source found here | text added by me}

Growing up, I was a geek. I read every book that I could get my hands on (including War and Peace--I finished that over the summer holidays before grade seven). I would comb through the bibliographies of my text books and read the related texts in my spare time. I watched Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and anything Joss Whedon put on TV, as well as any documentaries that I could get my hands on. I played video games--albeit not very well, but with earnest--until I started losing, then I would yell at the console and/or TV.  

I am still that person.

Even though I am most comfortable around people that are just like me, not all of my friends are geeky. Actually, most aren't. Regardless of their personality type, I am so lucky that the people that I surround myself with accept me for who I am. They love me even though they don't understand the shows that I watch, or completely miss when I slide an awesome quote into a conversation {this part hurts my soul, just a little, because usually the context is bang on}. They watch me get unnaturally excited about things that most people wouldn't even notice {like the Firefly reunion show}, and keep their teasing to a minimum. 

I used to hide my geekiness from new people so that I could gauge how they would handle it. Now, I don't bother; I just throw my whole self at them right from the get-go, and if they can't take it then that's the end of that. I'm not sure if this shift occurred because I've grown into who I am, or if it's because society as a whole seems to be more willing to accept geeks. Either way? I'm glad that I can let my geek flag fly!

What do you geek out over?

Office Dialogue

It is entirely normal to walk into our office and find yourself in the middle of a random conversation. Topically we are all over the map, because we like to keep things interesting. A conversation about documentaries turned into the below exchange. 



*Note: My co-workers are well aware of my neurosis regarding organization and categorization, and they love me for it. Or in spite of it. Either way, they accept me which is why they are so wonderful.*



Me: I loved Shark Week! National Geographic Channel had 24/7 shark shows for the whole week, it was so much better than Discovery Channel. 

(Co-workers stare blankly at me. This is a normal reaction in the course of a conversation with me, I have found.)

Me: Great White sharks were my favourite animal growing up. 

Co-worker #1: (laughing) This explains so much about who you are!

Co-worker #2: I like giraffes. 

Me: Oh me too! That's my favourite land-based animal. 

Co-worker #1: (laughter) Of course you have a division between favourite land- and water-based animals. 

Co-worker #2: (laughter) I'm happy with just giraffes.

Me: (slightly embarrassed) Technically, the giraffe is my favourite Sub-Saharan animal....

Co-workers: (so much laughter)



And with that, a new office meme was born: #ConversationsWithAshley


What is your favourite animal?
(Feel free to include categories and sub-categories. This is a judgement-free zone!)

Life, or Something Like It


Source unknown; found on Pinterest

I am a bit neurotic. I am a compulsive planner. I am obsessively organized, and it will bug me incessantly if I somehow mess it up. Failure is not an option for me, so when I do fail at something I am incredibly hard on myself. Leave me alone for too long in a quiet room, and I will start to go crazy. I constantly overbook myself, because I don't enjoy having nothing to do. In fact, I thrive on action-packed or stressful situations. Or, rather, I will get overwhelmed and cry, but as soon as my cry is over I will thrive. 

If you know me in real life, you will know that these are not startling revelations. 

It isn't always easy to live in harmony with my quirks; instead, I often feel as though I am battling against them. I am uncomfortable with change {if it is sprung on me}, so it tends to make me {more than} a little bit hard to live around. 

I had a plan for my life. I had set goals and deadlines, as well as establishing check-points to ensure that I was on track in order to live up to my plan. Instead of changing the deadline, I would alter the method that I would use to reach my goals. Everything was incrementally mapped out, the way one would lay out the route for a marathon. 

Are you surprised to hear that my life has not gone according to my plan? You shouldn't be. I'm not even that surprised, if I'm completely honest with myself. But that doesn't mean that it is easy to give up The Plan. It means forgiving yourself for not meeting your goals, for taking turns in life that you didn't ever expect yourself to take. It's about letting go of the constant that you had to rely on that is no longer even a remote possibility.

We all have a plan, whether we admit it or not. Those vague ideas that flit around in your head of when you want to get married, have kids, buy a house, or even what job you want to do: those are all part of your plan. Mine was detailed; methodically laid out in a logical sequence complete with concrete deadlines. 

I did not make those deadlines. It's extremely difficult for me to reconcile the fact that I failed, and even harder for me to accept that I have had to change my timeline so drastically from what I had originally envisioned for myself.

The next time I'm having a hard time accepting that my life didn't go according to my plan, remember that I'm happy. I'm so happy with so many aspects of my life that it can be overwhelming at times--but that doesn't stop me from lamenting what I see as failures. 

Are you hard on yourself about anything?

Eff, Marry, Kill: The Doctors


To say that my household is obsessed with Doctor Who is an understatement!
Eff, Marry, Kill gives me the perfect platform to show my true colors. 
Those that know me won't be surprised by my picks!
It's confusing, because they are each regenerations of the same person...
But when they regenerate, they take on a new form, and each form has a unique personality. 
So while technically they are the same person...they just aren't!
Did you follow that? 


Eff....the 9th Doctor {no explanation required, amiright ladies?}

Marry....the 10th Doctor {really, do I even need to explain this one?? Those eyes, that suit, and that personality! He is the best Doctor, hands down. I swoon on a regular basis for David Tennant's Doctor.}

Kill...the 11th Doctor {the bowtie just doesn't do it for me, and he just seems like a bit of a weenie. BEFORE YOU FANGIRLS GO NUTS ON ME, know that I haven't actually watched his season(s) yet. So this is an unscientific and wholly biased EMK.}

Where do the Doctors land on your list? 

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Don't forget to join the fun at The Vintage Apple!


Heart of a Bugatti, Physically a Corolla


Everyone has their curse in life. For some, it's being so good looking that it hurts; for others, it's being born into an obscenely rich family and never having to worry about anything more tragic than "We ran out of champagne!"

I'm not so lucky as to have #richkidproblems. My curse is my damn car. 

Meet Betsy, the not-so-loveable 2001 Corolla that I drive.

{this isn't a photo of Betsy, it's Google's closest option}

It's the fastest car on the road. Just kidding

The story of how I ended up with Betsy is simple: my previous car, Meredith the 2001 Focus, unceremoniously crapped out on me a week before Christmas in 2010. Through a series of family-related events, I ended up in possession of Betsy. 

Long before Betsy was in my life, when I knew that Mer was on her last legs, I decided that I would save up for a newer car. Nothing super fancy, but something reliable that would last for longer than a few years. 

Well, then I ended up with Betsy. The car that burns more oil than gas. The car that doesn't have power windows. The car whose radio resets itself on a regular basis, erasing any favourite stations that were saved. The car whose radio who (lately) only works when the planets align just so and allow me to listen to CISN without static. 

She's been on her last legs for a little while now, but this week winter hit and she's taken a turn for the worst. She's an automatic, but she stalled five times on the way to work this morning. {Why is it that cars always stall at the worst times, like in an intersection when you're turning left, instead of when you're in a parking lot or a residential street?}

I've been sweet-talking her and cajoling her into not breaking down yet. So far it's been working, but I think her hearing is starting to go. I need to get through this winter, just one more winter, and then she can go to the farm to play with all of the other cars.

Maybe one day I won't have car woes.

What's your 'curse' in life?

Testing Pinterest: Nutella Cookies

The Pin, The Cookie, The Legend {via
Pinterest Recipe
1 cup Nutella
1 cup Flour
1 whole egg
1/4 cup sugar

Roll into 1 inch balls, place on baking sheet
Bake at 350F for 6-8 minutes

My recipe
1 cup Nutella
1 cup Flour
1 whole egg (large)
1 tbsp milk

Drop tablespoon-sized dollops on baking sheet.
Bake at 350F for 10 minutes--check at about 8 minutes.

If you have been on Pinterest at all in the last month, you'll have seen this recipe at least once. I'm pretty sure that I've actually pinned it a couple times, now that I think about it. It takes Nutella, the most magical and wonderful condiment ever created, and turns it into a cookie! How could I not pin it {a few times}?

It follows the same basic formula as peanut butter cookies, but substituting peanut butter with Nutella. So without further ado, the results of my {very scientific} test:

Difficulty: Caveman {my four year old helped, with no issues}

Result of recipe {round one--as pinned}: Disaster {too sweet, too dry, didn't cook properly}

Result of recipe {round two--as altered}: Fixed! {The first batch of cookies went into the trash. The sugar made them unbearably sweet, so I cut it out altogether--Nutella is sweet enough for me as-is. I added the milk because the mixture was too dry, and instead of rolling into balls like the recipe said, it was crumbly.}

Overall Impression: Fail

Would I make this again? No. {The cookies were ok, but not good enough to justify using an entire container of Nutella to make them!}


The "fixed" cookies--not as good as advertised, hey?


Emmy Red Carpet: Hits, Misses & Mehs.

Honestly, I am not an awards show gal. I don't watch the actual show because it bores me to tears, so I generally read about the winners in the morning. The only thing that I do love about award shows is the fashion--I die for it. I would kill for someone to pay me exorbitant amounts of money to play dress up in gorgeous gowns. 

Because I am clearly a fashion expert (note: sarcasm), I always turn into a super critic during the red carpet. "Why would she do that with her hair?", "WHY IS SHE WEARING THOSE SHOES??" and "Did they apply her makeup with a trowel?" are among my most common exclamations. There are usually a few moments where I will gasp at the beauty of a gown, but over the years I have seen so many red carpets that I've become incredibly selective about what I actually love. So, you know, don't yell at me for my meh's. 


Emily Van Camp in J.Mendel
Emily's look was my favourite of the entire night. Everything seemed spot-on: hair, accessories, and good lord that dress. Can I have it in white and get married in it please? 

Zooey Deschanel in Reem Acra
Zooey is my runner-up for best dressed of the night. Some people have complained that this is "classic Zooey", but I don't see how that is a bad thing! Girl knows what works for her, and she looks amazing. Look at the laser-cut edges on this gown. She is old school Hollywood glamour, and I love her for it. 


Padma Lakshmi in Monique Lhullier Resort
You know...I'm not blown away. The dress is pretty, and of course Padma is gorgeous, but this just doesn't do it for me. The color is luscious, so the fact that she managed to make it boring almost makes me mad. 

Claire Danes in Lanvin
Confession: I have a girl crush on Claire Danes. I have been smitten with her ever since My So Called Life. I would say that I worship her, if that wouldn't be so awkward. She makes pregnancy look absolutely stunning--I know that I didn't look like that while I had a baby baking in my tummy! She's on my Meh List because this is boring and so very cliche: a strapless maxi dress while preggers. Put her hair in a topknot, wash off the makeup, and swap the heels for flip flops and she could be grocery shopping. And that, my friends, is not the point of the Emmy Awards red carpet!

Kristen Wiig in Balenciaga
Kristen Wiig looks gorgeous...from the neck up. Her hair and makeup team deserve a million gold stars, because she looks amazing without wearing a ton of makeup. I can't stand the dress though, it makes me think of those cheesy white dresses that you buy from markets in the Caribbean when you're off of the cruise ship. 

Tina Fey in Vivienne Westwood
SERIOUSLY, DON'T HATE ME FOR THIS ONE. Tina Fey looks every kind of amazing {that body!}, but no matter how many times I look at the photos I'm not wowed. I can't quite put my finger on it, although I think it could be the hair. I don't love the hair. 


I'm going to offer these up without comment, because I don't want to be mean. I love these ladies, and think that they are insanely talented in the acting department. I'm just not feeling their choices this time around.

Ashley Judd in Caroline Herrera 

Julianna Margulies in Giambattista Valli Couture 
Christina Hendricks in Christian Siriano


All photos borrowed from Coco Perez

Judgement Day is Upon Me, or The Story of How I Ended Up Reading 50 Shades of Grey

I'm going to blame it on my flu-addled brain, because I refuse to contemplate any alternative. 

Last Thursday I got dressed and made the 45 minute drive from Boyfriend's house to work, stopping three times to puke along the way. Each hot flash, with it's accompanying pool of sweat, was followed by intense bouts of cold. Not the "oh, the A/C is too high" kind of cold; no, this was the "I'm standing naked in the Arctic, my teeth are chattering and my lips are turning blue" cold. 

Boyfriend was smart; he just stayed in bed sick after a long night of being flu-y. He was also smart enough to bring his laptop home with him the day before, while I left mine at work to avoid the inevitable whining over how ridiculously large and heavy it is. From the moment that I put my pants on, I knew that I would end up grabbing the damn thing and immediately returning to that wonderful king-sized bed for a day of sleep. 

Upon arriving at the office I made the executive decision to brush my teeth because ugh; this is a decision that I would come to regret immediately. Lesson learned: the flavor of Crest activates my gag reflex when sick. I stumbled to my desk, fell into my chair, and held on for dear life. The spins are the very worst part of being sick.

It was at this point when I wondered if driving home would actually be the best choice; I work in a hotel, for Pete's sake {sidebar: who is Pete?}. I was moments away from convincing my boss to let me borrow a room until check-in when my phone rang. I scooped up my computer, jammed it into my bag, and walked into my bosses office to announce my leave. 

I sat in my car with my head in my hands for a good ten minutes before I became the master of those damn spins and felt like I could safely navigate home. I knew that I needed Gravol as soon as possible, so I stopped at my mom's house on the way. Moms make everything better, right? 

Well, she tried. She gave me a book that I've been waiting to read (win!), and naturally I left with about six Tupperware containers of leftovers and healthy foods (slightly mean since I couldn't keep anything down, but in the end win because yum fresh fruit), but she had no Gravol. I sighed, and accepted that I would just have to stop at the drug store as well. 

Shoppers Drug Mart, I just can't quit you. It's one of those stores that I should never visit unsupervised or while carrying a debit or credit card. My arms were loaded down with lemon and ginger tea (that didn't actually settle my stomach and tasted horrible), the new Cosmo (because I accidentally bought last month's issue on Tuesday), arrowroot cookies (what? They help my tummy!), fast-acting Gravol (my sickness savior), and NeoCitron for my pounding headache. Somehow, lost in that haul of goodies, was a copy of 50 Shades of Grey. 

I will admit that I have been reading Lorraine's amazing (and snarky) chapter-by-chapter recaps of the horribleness of this book. I knew that I would be cringing and yelling at the book constantly, yet a small part of me was curious. Surely she was exaggerating about murmurs and incongruent descriptions of facial expressions for the sake of comedy? How could a book sell an infinite number of copies and actually be that bad?

Well, ok. I've read the Twilight series, so I knew that a book could be written by a fourth grader and still sell millions of copies. But surely the world wouldn't allow this to happen for a second time? My poor sleep-deprived, flu-stricken brain rationalized faster than I thought possible (or, more likely, just didn't think about it at all) and allowed me to pick it up. 

Lovelies, I was so very wrong. So very, very naive. 

When I read Twilight, the run-on sentences and four-page long descriptions of Edward's facial expression (Coles Notes: it's blank, entirely perfect, and he has beautiful hazel eyes) would transform me into a crazy woman. This time I wanted to be proactive and avoid as much rage as possible, so I planned to keep a highlighter and a pen nearby--the idea being that I could make corrections as I went. Somehow, this makes more sense to me than to just not read a poorly-written book

Guys, the first hundred pages are basically all pink or otherwise written on. 

this was me throughout the book

Because a John Cleese/Monty Python gif is always appropriate. Also I've been hoarding this for weeks since I found it and needed an excuse to use it. Maybe subconsciously this is why I bought the damn book? 

As if buying the book, and then actually starting to read it, wasn't enough to kill any self-respect that I had, I've found that I cannot put the godforsaken thing down. I crawled into bed last night at a reasonable ten o'clock, only to tear my eyes away from it at one in the morning. ONE. 

In my very professional, I-took-Psych 101-so-I'm-a-therapist opinion, this is similar to the weird fascination that we have we driving slowly past a car accident or watching Teen Mom. It's horrible, and we hate ourselves for it, yet we continue to subject ourselves to it. 

The lowest point of this whole experience was asking my co-worker if I can borrow book two. What, at least I don't have to pay for it!

What's the very worst book that you've ever read?