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October 20th, 2003
Whining, a lot

I feel like I’ve been whining a lot lately. This is a bummer, because I really don’t like being a whiny person.

So this post will be the anti-whine post. *grin*

Here are some cool things I like.

This website is for the author of the Joe Grey mystery series. If you like mysteries, and you like cats, this is the perfect series. I like it even better than Lillian Jackson Braun’s “Cat Who” series (and I really like that series, so…)

Send Someone a Postcard!

Found Art: make something. Give it away.

A toy store that is really cool.

One of my cats woke me up at 4 o’clock this morning. She was nosing me in the face, trying to wake me up. She wanted some affection, purring and rubbing and pushing her head into my hand. I ended up petting her for about half an hour before I went back to sleep. It’s so funny, I can’t figure out what came over her–she hasn’t done that before. She was gone when I got up at six.

Posted by Claire at 10:30 AM | Days Go By | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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Coffee

I’m not ashamed to admit I like Starbucks’ coffee. It’s true, when it comes to prepared drinks, the Cloud Cap coffee booth at the Portland Saturday Market float my boat a lot more–but they are only there on the weekends, so I must get my fix somewhere else during the week. We don’t go out for coffee much anymore (oh, to NOT be so damn poor!), but we still buy good coffee beans for home coffee. I figure, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, and I don’t do any other drugs to suck up my money, so I’m allowed a small coffee habit for my one vice…

Our current favorite is Serena Organic Blend. It’s delightful. However, this year’s Special Reserve Blend is REALLY good. I’m going to be sad when it’s gone, because it rocks. Yes it does.

I am mindful of the fact that many people don’t like Starbucks. These folks grow shade grown coffee down in Brazil, and because of some help I’m giving them on a non-coffee related project, they’re sending me a sampling of their beans. I can’t wait to try them, because if we like them a lot, we’ll switch.

Posted by Claire at 10:00 AM | Days Go By | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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October 17th, 2003
Painful

I read Dooce’s weblog regularly. I like her sense of humour. I like the way she doesn’t take things very seriously, in a good way. (Does that make any sense at all??)

This post is one of the most accurate and painful descriptions of what clinical depression can do to a person. I relate to this much more than I would like. It made me tear up, just reading it, because I know that pain too well.

I wish I had something useful to say to Dooce. I don’t, not really. I’m not currently on medication, and I’m doing okay, but only just okay. I can’t go more than a day or two, or even a few hours, without freaking out about something, a freak-out that I wouldn’t have if I were on medication. I also don’t have access to a doctor who can prescribe me something. The medication I was on could have had bad interactions with my asthma medication (which I use a lot more in the winter), and it put me asleep besides. Not just for the first few hours after taking it–more like all the freaking time. It was just a matter of time before I fell asleep driving (I did doze off, but luckily for me there are “wake-up” strips on most of Interstate 5, and they do work.)

The only advice I have to offer to other people who are suffering, is to try therapy. It sounds SO cliche, I hate to even say it, but it was so very helpful for me. I visited three different therapists, and it was only the third one who was actually helpful. She seemed to know which questions to ask, and mostly let me talk. She asked very, very good questions, guiding me to answers that I was finally willing to see, although accepting them takes more time. I don’t like therapy. It’s like draining wounds–hurts like hell, and you’d just assume leave the wound festering. Maybe you don’t want to see the truth or hear it, because then you couldn’t ignore it anymore.

But I believe that the three months of therapy I had this summer are the only reason I am okay right now, with no medication. There are things going on which have the capability to really screw up my head, and I’ve been okay. I don’t think it’s a weakness to say that I can’t wait until I can see a doctor and take medication again. I’d prefer to be great instead of just okay.

I would also like to mention that like Dooce’s husband, my own has been a total rock. In the worst days, before I ever took medication, we were 20 year olds in our first year of marriage, and I can’t believe he didn’t flee (even my own mother said that most 20 year old newlyweds would have split if their bride turned into the monster from hell). I went from being something of a black rain cloud sometimes to becoming a full-on freak-out suicidal psycho before he convinced me to walk into University Counseling and get some help. He had to hold my hand or I would never have gone. He continues to hold my hand, and the rest of me, when things are bad. If it weren’t for him, I do not doubt that I would have attempted suicide years ago.

Depression sucks. It sucks the life right out of you and I hate that I have it. But, I live with it. I can do it, it doesn’t have to define my life or who I am. I can be a person who has depression, not a depressed person.

Posted by Claire at 10:45 PM | Days Go By | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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October 16th, 2003
Cheap

I don’t wear a lot of cosmetics. Lip gloss, mostly, and I like to use moisturizer. I wash my face with the soap I make, and I don’t fuss much beyond that.

But I like to shop for cosmetics. It’s sort of like looking at art supplies, that I’d probably never buy, but I like to look at anyway. I see cosmetics (makeup, specifically) as art supplies for your face. It’s fun to “dress up” and put on makeup, but too much of a drag for everyday wear.

I don’t buy much in the way of expensive makeup, although I really like to browse Sephora’s website. I’ve bought some lip glosses from there, and they’re really nice. The biggest difference, to me, is that “nice” makeup smells better than cheap makeup. The brands at Sephora all scent their products so that they smell sweet, or pretty, or whatever. Is this weird that I care?

Cheap makeup for women (teen makeup is a different story) smells like plastic or chemicals, or just ICK. Even the not-rock-bottom cheap brands like Revlon or L’Oreal have nasty smelling products. I especially hate what I call “lipstick smell.” I bought a $3.50 lip gloss (Vinylwear, if you follow that link to look at products) last night, a color I really like, but the stuff smells and tastes a lot like Ivory soap. Fragrance IS listed on the ingredients, so why did someone choose THIS particular scent? Eww.

Bonne Bell has some of the best smelling drugstore cosmetics around, but the colors are all in “teen” shades–pinks and mauves and maybe some tans and browns, and some crazy frost shades. Okay, they’re pretty, and I like them, but if I want a real RED Bonne Bell doesn’t make it. I don’t understand how these other companies whose products are priced the same as Bonne Belle products haven’t caught on to making them smell and taste better.

I enjoy making soap and other cosmetics because I’m really smell-oriented. My desire is to make some of the nicest smelling products around, because smell is very strongly linked to memory, to stress-relief, and to the pleasure centers of the brain. We like things that smell good to us, and they have the power to actually make us feel better, or even to turn us on.

Smell (and to a lesser extent, flavor, as in lip gloss and balms) can sway people to purchase one product over another–hence the rise in popularity of variously scented dish detergents and other cleaners, in different dryer sheet scents besides the “Downy smell,” to the wide array in cosmetic and bath product scents. I even discovered that Alberto VO5 makes BLUEBERRY scented shampoo now…yummy!

Since scent is so important, when are the cosmetic companies going to catch on and quit making their products smell (and taste) icky? C’mon guys! Take a cue from the expensive brands and change your scent formulations. They all ADD scent (just read the ingredients) but the scents they are adding stink.

Posted by Claire at 12:01 PM | Beauty Queen | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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October 15th, 2003
Dog With Bone

Salon is running another article on black box voting. You can find it here. Standard stuff about watching a brief commercial to access content on their site applies.

I swear, until regular people start making A LOT of noise about this issue, the mainstream media isn’t going to touch it with a ten-foot pole. C’mon people, this is the future of democracy in the country. These machines can steal your votes!

Posted by Claire at 08:53 AM | Politics | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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