Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Old People Acids?

I am well pleased to be (mostly) out of the topical salicyclic acid (and benzoyl peroxide) phase of my life.  While they rear their nasty little heads (pun intended) every now and again, zits are not something causing me great concern on a regular basis.  Nor, frankly, are wrinkles.
But as winter approaches and my skin seems to tighten around, it occurs to me that maybe wrinkles, and avoidance of future wrinkles, should be causing me a bit more concern.
Maybe I should be applying some miracle cream.
Heck, maybe there's an acid for that.
So, two questions.  1) Do you have any acids in your "beauty regime" (glycolic, alpha hydroxy, GABA, lipoic, others)?  2) Do you have any other grown-up products I should know about?
(For instance, I recently tried a beauty balm [BB!] and loved it (between a tinted moisturizer and regular foundation), I've started using "primers" around my eyes, and my gel manicure for New York really did last 3 weeks [but nobody told me I would never be able to remove it]).
I think I'll definitely need an acid facial before the end of the acid year and other suggestions will be taken under consideration.

Monday, November 26, 2012

STIR up some ghosts

New: We're going to be reading "A Christmas Carol" for the December STIR.  Like many of you, I have seen many productions of this, but I am not sure if I have actually read the original Charles Dickens text.  So, let's read and discuss.  Sure, I know we're in the midst of holiday craziness and finals time but A Christmas Carol* is short, it is timely, it is good, and it is widely available for free (including on several forms through Project Gutenberg here).  Grab, borrow, or download yourself a copy and we'll start discussing on Dec. 20th.

Newish:  We're going to be reading Kenneth Miller's Finding Darwin's God for January at the request of one of my students who wants to discuss.

Sorta Random: Has anyone made vinegar, sauerkraut or kimchee?

Old: I had the good fortune to see Janet and skype with Brenda recently.  Janet and I discussed July's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and concluded that Tom Wolfe was fantastic at re-creating the scene, but that we were overall satisfied to be done with that scene (both in the book and satisfied that it wasn't part of our life).  Brenda and I each had issues with verisimilitude in Diary of Marie Landry.  The book is allegedly the diary of a 14-year old.  I didn't believe that her English would be quite that good and thought that the diary device was overall unnecessary.  Brenda didn't believe that Marie would whine so little and be so repentant when she did whine.  Brenda was also waiting for some sexual tension or growing up issues.

*Novel or short story?  To italicize or quote?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Young Punks with Personality

Technically, Aster's Halloween costume was the same as Dianthus's two years ago.  But, "yet another young punk" is not like any other "another young punk" (Aster, for instance, plays Elmo guitar with his knees, mostly because he walks room to room on his knees; Dianthus was more conventional [and had far less hair and far fewer teeth]).

Dianthus decided months ago that he was going to be a firefighter for Halloween.  He also determined I was going to be a witch (I always am), the Mister was to be a pirate (?) and Aster a train conductor.  He was disappointed at first with Aster's costume, but by the time we were trick or treating, it was with obvious pride that he announced.  "I'm a firefighter.  My baby is a rock star."
Here's Aster as a black cat in 2009 and both boys last year, should you need any convincing that young people change quickly.


When you wait 5 months to post cute pictures, there's time for the pain of a roomful of paper scrapes to fade. 
Sometimes I reminisce fondly about the days when they were almost one and almost three.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

New STIR: Diary of Marie Landry

If you've been thinking, "Gee, I would really like to read a short new YA historical novel about the plight of the Acadians after being kicked out of Nova Scotia written by A woman from New Orleans with some connection to the University of Lome in Togo," now's your chance.  If you haven't been thinking that, here's your chance to think that and then read and discuss it.
The new STIR selection is The Diary of Marie Landry: Acadian Exile by Stacy Demoran Albritton.  Brenda, who lives in Lome, Togo, is the selector of this work, based on some connection to the author or illustrator or translator (I'll admit I've forgotten).
The book is short, moving and an easy-read.  Neither the writing nor the story is fantastic; it feels a bit like reading a junior high "history made personal" assignment, but altogether it is solid.
I think both mothers would enjoy it, as well as Beth as many others.
Please join us!
Kenneth Miller's Finding Darwin's God it is on for January if I can find someone to read it with me (I'm reading it because one of my students couldn't put it down, but very much wants to discuss) and I think we'll do A Christmas Carol later in December.