F/W Season (of Discontent)

It's mid-November. Leaves turn the color of Tang and Kool-Aid and then just brown and gone. I hate the early darkness. The pull towards blankets and slippers and tea and chocolate is strong. If I can't hibernate, I will be displeased. (So, mostly, I'm displeased.)

As with times of displeasure, I want. I want a lot of stuff. A parka. Some stupid warm cozy vegan fake Uggs for when I inevitably stop caring about looks this winter. Dress after dress. Necklaces. Sneakers. Sandals for next summer. And frankly, I've already overspent plenty. And none of this is going to make me love fall or winter or fix the issues I'm dealing with right now.

But it's very hard to get back on the right track. To find gratitude in nature when all you see is dying and death and pain and hurt, both seasonally and with the world at large. It's hard to find faith in the equilibrium of the world and in Mr. Rogers posthumously advising you to look for the people who are helping. And sometimes it's hard to know how to help. Especially when I want to cocoon and be a misathrope (misandrist?). There is something about the winter that really takes the "helper" out of me. It doesn't take my empathy - which I have in spades. But the ability to show up and participate and to feel connected and grateful.

You can see why a new parka, left unexamined, would seem like an easier fix, right? But it's not. And so I have to figure out how to reconnect -- against biology and brain chemistry and all that can downward spiral. That's what the fix is. Hugs. People. Cats. Warmth. Soup. Candles. The power in people who are good. That's what's actually important.


Hacks I learned on the internet: pastel hair dye

If you've ever bleached your hair and dyed it any of the Manic Panic-range of unnatural colors, you'll know they fade pretty fast. The blues and greens more so than the reds and pinks but they all fade, especially the more you wash your hair. Since I've been doing these kinds of colors with the front of my hair for a while I end up with the color I actually want for about 1 week out of a month. The first two weeks are way too bright for my liking, then I hit a nice pastel week.  The fourth week I'm down to kind of white with unfortunate undertones of the color I used to have. The kind of week where you hope you don't run into anyone who is that professionally important to you.

Recently I heard a rumor online that you can mix dye in with your conditioner to give the color a boost when it's fading - or to create a more pastel and less vivid color overall. I was at the end of my dye cycle so I tried it. And it worked.

^ This was white with lilac (read: green) undertones before. This was 50/50 conditioner and shampoo for under 10 minutes. Yes, even my pajamas are striped.

^ This is the color I used. When you use this with the proper directions, it comes out way more vivid than I actually want. 

The verdict: Not only did it work but there was so much less to clean up; I just rinsed the dye and conditioner out together and I didn't need to use gloves or a dye brush for application. 

Manic Panic: I prefer Manic Panic because they've always been staunchly against animal testing, they label their products as vegan and they're made in the USA. I just found out that Manic Panic carries a Pastelizer for their hair dyes (you mix it with their current colors), so that's good to know. I'm not sure if it would last longer than the conditioner/dye method but I'm glad to know there's something else to try if this fades too fast. 


Happy belated Halloween, love, your horrible blogger friend, Jesse

I know it's not even the day after Halloween but the day after the day after Halloween - so I'm pretty late in posting a Halloween post but, as procrastinators love to say, "Better late than never." aka #tardy4life

My costume this year - Andy Warhol. And I didn't even have to carry around a Campbell's soup can all night. I usually try to avoid buying a bunch of Halloween-specific stuff for my costumes so the fact that I only needed to buy a vintage Polaroid Swinger was appealing. I was going for non-suit Andy and I already had a) a black turtleneck or striped shirt, b) a blazer, c) Ray Bans or clear frames, d) dark pants and dark shoes. I avoided wearing stuff I wear all the time (striped shirts) so the costume would look less like me.  (Word to the wise: I neglected to get a Polaroid that had a neckstrap -- don't they all have them, for f's sake!? --  so I ended up duct-taping ribbon down the back, which failed on me twice that night but was good enough. But you should get one with camera strap loops already.)

The hair. This was a combination of Batiste and talc plus hair spray. I was basically off-gassing Batiste and hairspray aerosol all night. (Plus fake-dandruff shedding.) I tried to get better ideas for how to create white hair without having to buy scary-chemical Halloween hair spray but the talc/hairspray combo was the best DIY I found online. I am usually impressed with DIY stuff I find online but this was an exception. I found makeup message board where the author of the white hair quandary was unaware that scary-chemical Halloween hairspray existed and was delighted there was an answer to all of her problems. And hey guys, don't judge her for being really daring and wanting white hair for you know, a wacky choice like a Bride of Frankenstein costume. Please don't let me digress into the insecurity of women to not be something conventionally attractive for Halloween. Let's cue Lindsey Lohan as zombie bride in Mean Girls and move on.  Summary: this was the best I came up with but if I had to do it again, I'd try a little harder to figure out white hair that doesn't shed.

As for wins on the internet DIY front, these pepper jack-o-lantern dip holders were my favorite. As per usual with most of the foodstuffs-with-faces I like, they are recommended for children in the original blog post. The dip kind of smooshed out of their faces a little bit but whatevs, it's Halloween. (The big white things are hearts of palm.)

We also carved pumpkins this year. (I like Halloween and all but we have friends who really like Halloween so all of this stuff was for those events.) I picked a tiny one, mostly because I hate scooping the guts out and also because they're just going to get composted anyway. Oh, and also because I'm an underachiever I know my limits. Another bonus: my pumpkin was less than $2. As expected by all, I created a teeny tiny cat-o-lantern while my boyfriend free-styled a complex jack-o-lantern that looked flawless in essentially the same amount of time. 

Turns out the teeny tiny cat-o-lantern was a sound decision, though. As soon as we put our pumpkins outside, they began their race to the death and my smaller pumpkin was more structurally sound. Sorry, Better Pumpkin.

Mother Nature truly gets the last laugh. We need to scrape the flattened pumpkin bodies off our fire escape and get them to the city composting drop off next week. Good one, Nature.