Archive | March, 2012

baby piggie!

23 Mar

I just wanted ya’ll to see this little thing.

That’s all.



hair fail – and a giveaway

19 Mar

I only wished my hair looked this good. I'm pretty sure I could have molded it into this pretty easily, though...

In my imaginary world, I am a wonderful hippie who grows her own food on my (also imaginary) roof-top garden next to my (fictional) solar panels and (nonexistent) menagerie of animals. I also live in a commune with all of my best friends and all day long we laugh and play and create organic something-or-anothers from the wonderful, natural materials we have grown together with love and friendship. I’m also a mermaid, but that’s another story.

In reality, my hippiedom has merely translated into sometimes buying some organic stuff and using non-toxic cleaners in my house (at least I can always eat whatever falls on the floor…). But the desire to improve is there and I am constantly looking for little (aka: easy) ways in which I can feel better about my lifestyle.

Enter shampoo bars.

More specifically, shampoo bars made (with love!!) by a mom-and-pop outfit in Ohio – OHIO! – with happy, natural, planet-pleasing ingredients like snuggles and lollipops. AND none other than my beautiful opera-singer friend,* owner of miles and miles of shiny, shampoo-commercial-worthy hair, swore by the stuff. I figured the proof was in the pudding, right?

I bought the shampoo bars. I used the shampoo bars. My hair felt funny and a little dull. I kept using the shampoo bars (the website said it can take a week or two for your hair to adjust). My hair started to feel as if I were coating it with wax or plastic. I switched flavors of shampoo bars (did I tell you that I bought six different samples? I was going to find the BEST shampoo bar for my hair!). My hair continued to feel plastic-y and was starting to look dirty. I rinsed my hair with baking soda and vinegar. I kept at it. I was determined. Pretty soon I could barely get a brush through my hair, let alone a comb, and putting my hair into a pony tail felt less like a simple act of daily life and more like an epic struggle against unnatural forces. Yet I still continued to use the shampoo bars. I was going to have beautiful, shiny, earth friendly hair! I just had to wait until my hair “adjusted” to the new soap. Oh, and people, I still have bangs so you can imagine what sort of looks I was getting out on the streets of Chicago.

Finally, I gave up. I saw on their website that the soap doesn’t work so good for people with hard water (apparently, the Great Lakes region has very hard water.) But I did not yet hang up the towel. *insert laugh* Oh no, if mom-and-pop shampoo bars weren’t going to work, at least I could use the all-organic amazing shampoo and conditioner touted by beauty insiders around the world as the most wonderful shampoo in the world. *insert sparkles* All I had to do was sell a kidney to buy it. And I’d like to say it didn’t work or that I realized the folly of spending five brazillion dollars on a small bottle of shampoo so I never ordered it. But I did order it; and it probably would have worked, too, if it didn’t smell like death eating a grilled cheese. I never used it.

So dear friends, the moral of the story is that being a green machine doesn’t always work. I’m sending back the expensive stuff and have gone back to my drug store “evil” shampoo.

But my hair looks good…

* For those of you that don’t have any opera-singer friends, the ladies are notorious for knowing how to look good. There’s a reason they’re called “divas.”

Oh yeah, I mentioned a give-away! I still have three sample sizes of the shampoo bars that I am never going to use. If you’d like to try ’em out, I’ll send them to you. First responder gets them. Just make sure you don’t have hard water!

words to encourage

18 Mar

If any of you out there are attempting to create or try something new, whatever that may be, please listen to this video of Ira Glass. He’s talking about the art of storytelling, but the message is universal. Love it.

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

all about me

13 Mar

I thought this post needed a picture. This is me in Germany. I am indicating that this is my second gigantic pretzel of the day. You can probably tell from my face that I am very serious about this pretzel. The picture has nothing to do with the post.

My friend Quiana of the blog Harlem Love Birds recently asked me to participate in a “getting to know you” type of bloggy “tag.” And when I say recent, I mean, like, a month ago. You can see her original post here.

The object of the game is to answer the questions and then posit more of your own to send to your particular blog-friends. Obviously, I am not timely with these sorts of things. I can remember dozens of unanswered chain letters – actual letters- sent to me in my youth warning me of unspeakable horrors if I did not send them to five/ten/a million of my closest friends and relatives. I’m pretty sure I will be smote down any day now. However, as a woman of my word, I will not let Quiana down. Below are her questions and my answers followed by a few questions for YOU, lucky readers. I promise you won’t be graded on them. In fact, you don’t need to respond back with your answers, or even say them out loud. They are just a couple of things (hopefully nice things) that you might like to think about today.

Quiana’s Questions for the 5 Bloggers She Tagged:

1.  Did you watch the Super Bowl? If yes, did your team win? If no, what were you doing instead?

Yup. I was with my in-laws in Arizona, routing for the Giants. I was the youngest person in the room, the only female watching the game, and I knew the NFL rules better than the old-timers. Take that stereotypes!

2. If you could be a female pop star which one would you be and why?

I’m assuming that Miss Piggy doesn’t count. So, I will say Lady Gaga. I think it would be fun to be so shocking. I would sing better than her, though.

3. If you weren’t doing your current job/role what else could you imagine yourself doing?

I’d like to have my own travel show. It would involve me saying, “wow!” and “that’s so pretty!” a lot of the time and making faces as I attempt to eat strange things. Sounds fascinating, no? 🙂

4. What’s the last great book you read?

Oh gee, I love books. I would eat them if I could so they would literally (pun intended) be inside of me. I recently read “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” which satisfied both the historical/voyeur part of me as well as my science-y nerd-y self.

5. Share an interesting dream you’ve had. 

I just had an angry dream where popular (and bad) actors were misquoting Shakespeare all over the place (I was somehow in charge of auditioning them for a part that I wasn’t allowed to play) and they were all so stupid and wrong but smug about it. I was about to freak out on them (in my dream, of course) until Emma Thompson came and saved the day.

Please analyze.

6. What’s your favorite restaurant and when you go what do you order?

That is so tough because I like to eat. a lot. I am going to cop out by saying the best meal I’ve ever had at a restaurant was at Blue Hill in NYC. The dessert was so good, I came very very seriously close to licking the plate.

7. What part of your home do you hate to clean?

The toilet. More specifically, the base of the toilet.

8. Are you a fan of Valentine’s Day? Why or why not?

Um hum! I love pink and red together and flowers and candy. But I think Valentine’s Day should be for everyone, not just couples.

9. What grade of elementary school was your favorite and why?

Fifth grade. My teacher was cool.

10. What’s the next vacation destination you’d love to go to?

Anywhere warm and beachy.

11. What made you smile today?

The sunshine! It’s so nice outside today!

Ok. Enough about me, now some questions for you!

1. Who is your best friend? Have you told them you loved them lately?

2. When is the last time you gave someone flowers?

3. What is the nicest thing anyone’s done for you? (If that’s too hard, how about the nicest thing that’s happened to you this past month?)

4. Who is your hero?

5. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?


storytime: third time’s a charm

13 Mar

Hiya friends,

I know you all think I am a major tease for spreading these stories out. What can I say? I like to build suspense among the three of you that actually read this blog. (Is it working??)

This next addition to the story time series is my own. A word of warning: it contains a very slight bit of un-lady-like language. If you have extremely delicate sensibilities, I won’t be offended if you decline to read it.  I WILL be offended if you read it and don’t like it.

I joke.

Okie dokie smokie, without further ado, I give you “Mr. Linden’s Library.”

click here!

the power of vulnerability

5 Mar

I just watched the following TED talk online and wanted to share it with you. An enlightening and beautiful talk about what vulnerability means. As someone who often has to stop and force myself to be brave, I found it really inspiring. It’s just a smidge over twenty minutes but doesn’t seem that long:

the real southwest

1 Mar

Saguaro cactus

Hey friends,

If you’ve been hanging out in Chicago lately you may have noticed that there are signs up in the L (or “el” – it’s for “elevated,” as in trains) advertising Tucson as “the REAL Southwest.”  Tucson’s basically throwing down the gauntlet, folks. Never one to let blatant statements go unchallenged, I decided to check out Tucson’s claim to fame for myself. **

Here’s a bit of what I saw:

Barn owl at the Desert Museum

The owl is obviously real. The woman…undecided. Check one for “real” and one for “not real.”

Local cafe decorations

Clearly “real.” All of my wall skeletons have wigs, too.

San Xavier Mission

Again, score for “real.” Cactus AND an old mission church founded in 1692? Make that two points for “real.”

Shops steps in the new barrio shopping center

I’m going to have to go with “not real” here for two reasons: one, the shop was not open so who knows what kind of un-Southwestern stuff they could have been hawking in there; and two, the designs don’t scream “Southwest” to me (they sure are pretty, though!). Two points awarded to “not real.”

Once, again, one point for “real.” This moonshiner/gold panner even has a donkey. A donkey! Is there anything more authentic?

It looks like the verdict is in: Tucson is, indeed, the real Southwest. My condolences to Phoenix, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and anyplace in Nevada or Utah. Looks like you’re going to have to try a little harder…

What do you think? Is Tucson the REAL Southwest?

** actually, Tim’s parents got me a ticket to visit them for my Christmas present, but I thought if any of the ad whizzes behind the subway el campaign were reading this, it might make them feel like they nabbed someone.