Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Blackberry Ninja

7 months ago, as we were moving into our new place, I had a vision of my future summer self, lounging on the hammock with raspberry lemonade made from the fruit I grew as pumpkin vines curled at my feet, ready to do my bidding.  However, things don't always turn out the way you want, as evidenced by my cat's complete incompetency at filing taxes.  So far this summer, my lemon tree has stopped growing and now has white fuzzy things on it that alarm me, those venomous squirrels have eaten most of our raspberries and strawberries, and I'm pretty sure those white fuzzy things might be alien eggs now that I think about it.  Anyways, as anyone know who has eaten fruit straight off the plant/tree/vine, it is about 182 kablillion times better than storebought, and I felt like my dreams were crushed beneath my feet.
Is it just me or does "an asshole" sound wrong?  "A asshole" sounds even more not right.  Maybe because "asshole" is usually used in the plural, as it is hard to limit yourself to just one asshole?  This particular squirrel, however, deserves singling out due to the ridiculous way he is holding the nut.  What are we, at a tea party?  USE YOUR PINKY FINGER ASSHOLE.
Anyways, my work has a giant blackberry bush that is blooming right by the exit to the parking lot.  The thing with this is that people in Oregon treat blackberry bushes like they're a communicable disease and typically don't approach blackberry bushes unless its with a bottle of planticide and full body armor (blackberry plants are very hurty).
If you can believe it, even the LEAVES are painful.  Forget chinese water torture, if I ever have to go torturing I will just whack people in the armpits with blackberry branches.
I  figured I would stop by one day after work, grab a few berries, and bring them back as a treat for LOML. It was then that I made the fatal mistake of tasting a delicious berry.  Flash forward to an hour after work ended and I am manically limping through the bushes (I stepped on a giant thorn because of the hole in the sole of my stupid vegan shoe) with blood all over my hands and scratches on my arms.  Every time a car came by I feel the need to duck in the bushes, thereby spilling my blackberries and making me screech insults at anything in the nearby vicinity.  I ate berries like I hadn't eaten in a year, and the madness didn't stop until I heard a bear*,** in the bushes and ran away, screaming like a little girl.
delicious, magical fruit.
So I brought home whatever loot hadn't gone in my mouth and we devoured it in a matter of minutes.  The next day, I dragged LOML back there to get more, and we spent another hour, me with a little less enthusiasm as I am never anything but a classy lady in front of LOML.  Then two days later I was back again, and now I'm sitting at work wondering how I can slip out and pick berries for an hour without anyone noticing my absence, so this is evidently a new problem for me and I might need an intervention.

Now comes the point in the story where I really don't know how to end this, and all I really want to do is go pick berries and mash them in my face.  So I will just wrap this up with a picture of the chicken mask I want to buy.
I could name him Friar Chicken.  Get it?  Because it's so close to fried chicken?  Genius.

*I never actually saw the bear, and LOMLs assertions that there aren't bears in an office park remain unfounded until he can prove to me that there isn't a bear in there.
**Actually, it could have been a vampire, because I did have a lot of blood all over me.  Or a shark.   Regardless, a hasty retreat probably saved my life.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Old-fashioned green beauty: leeches for the derriere

Why is it so hard to buy you?

For some reason in the past month I've stumbled across three different articles about all natural beauty treatments from ye olden days.  There were a lot of recipes that were really ahead of their times, such an old wrinkle remedy that involved a lead powder concoction (lead poisoning definitely takes the attention away from your crows feet), but the one that tickled my fancy the most was the mention of anal leeching.  I do appreciate that back then, women didn't pay $60 for an eye cream to evil salary magnets like Sephora, no, they just whipped up a skin mask with the good ol' arsenic supply from their pantry.  But you can't get greener than leeches.  Not only is there no packaging to waste, but you are supporting the eco-system by feeding them top-of-the-line human blood, which, according to my vampire book obsession, is so much better than disgusting animal blood.  And apparently, the "discreet lady" liked to keep her leeching private, and what better privacy for both her and the leech than to gently guide the creature towards the anus.  Apparently this was done for the sake of skin whitening, and I think if these women were to time travel today and see women paying to tan their skin in a machine they would most definitely faint whilst shedding a tear over the indecency of the loose-moraled modern women.
This is also pretty discreet, and with the application of a few well-placed rhinestones could totally be a glamorous earring.

Due to my genes, I think I would have lucked out in the anus department because my morbidly pale complexion is au natural, thankyouverymuch.  However, what I am really getting into with this is making your own beauty products, even if google won't let you buy arsenic unless you're in Europe where apparently they don't treat grown ups like they're kids who can't handle a little responsibility around poison, and I am guessing I am now on some kind of flagged list because I just googled "anal leeching for beauty" and "how to buy arsenic" in the past 5 minutes.  Bring it on, terrorism unit, I have a ninja cat to defend me*.

Anyways, I remember way back in the day when my friend Courtney and I would make our own beauty concoctions by mixing together everything we found in her bathroom, which surprisingly did not turn out to be all that effective.  Nowadays I do more research, if you can define research as "I put it on my face and see if my skin bubbles or not."  I've found through various successes and failures that when it comes to kitchen skincare, one should always refer to my life's motto: simpler is better, because when you mix shit together it tends to smell bad and burn you.

In case you care, here are some of my favorites:
1. Olive oil and honey: warm it up and put it in your hair for as long as you can stand to be sticky. Warning -- do not heat up for a minute in microwave and then pour on your head without testing, as it will scald you and you will have to ice your head for at least 2 hours.  The benefit is that if it drips in your mouth you can eat it, unless you are allergic to olive oil or honey, in which case you shouldn't do this mask, and you should probably also hate yourself a little because you can never enjoy the wonder that is bruschetta.
I love the presentation here.  Usually when I need sugar I get the plastic  bag that  is gooey from me grabbing it with lotion/soap on my hands, swat away the fruit flies and just cram my hand in there, like a lady.
2. Sugar. You can use this as a scrub for anything and it is awesome and you can eat it.  If i'm feeling productive, I will make a mix of this with vanilla extract and whatever oil I can find, but if I'm lazy and heading out and realize that my hands feel more like Gollum than I would care to admit I just squirt on some soap and lotion, grab a handful and 2 minutes later my hands feel less like ass.  Warning: do not do this right before a zombie attack.  It will make your skin taste much better.  I would recommend substituting salt, because I'm sure even zombies worry about their sodium intake, but you would still have the smooth skin necessary for living a life in fear of flesh-eating mutants.

3. My favorite, coconut oil.  You can put this shit anywhere. No makeup remover? Done.  Shaving cream? No problem.  Got your hand stuck in a mason jar trying to get the last chocolate chip that melted onto the bottom?  Well, this will only work sometimes, depending on the fatness of your hand and size of the jar, but all I can recommend there is that slamming your hand bottle against a hard surface to break it isn't a good idea either.  Anyways, this stuff is amazing and smells like Tahiti and works and lasts forever.

I have plans to phase out my purchases and make all my own skincare, so I will keep you updated on how that is going.  When I finally do it.  <Cough.>

Side note, I found out that Demi Moore admitted to using leeches. My absolute favorite part of the article is when she says that "These aren't just swamp leeches though - we are talking about highly trained medical leeches."  How do the workers at the spa keep a straight face when they tell clients that?  I'm picturing Demi in her fancy leech robe drinking spa water as some yokel trudges through the waiting room with swamp boots on slurring "I delivered them leeches ma'am, I was promised some moonshine y'hear?"
I'm willing to bet Swamp Thing  preferred to keep his leeching private as well.
*I am now definitely on a black list because I had to google "who will the government send if they think I am going to arsenic a bunch of people", which didn't even come close to giving me a correct answer, until I read this link which let me know that the government will just think I fucking grow chickens and feed them to the population at large, which really should be a whole other blog post because that is crazy and why don't more people know about this?
This chicken likes to grease itself up with coconut oil, lay on the beach, and dream of a time when  it wasn't fed arsenic.