Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Sea of Blue, An Ode to Indy

Did you hear, the Colts won? Being as lame as I am, I fell asleep. Am I turning into a middle-aged fat guy? I didn't even have a beer.

The enthusiasm for the Colts is heartwarming, and contagious. I've resisted buying a jersey or hoodie because I'm cheap and they start at about 30 bucks. They do not go on sale, let alone clearance, ever. I'm just going to have to break down and fork it over. The Colts are not only a great team, they do a lot for Indy, in many positive ways. The least I can do is give them part of thirty bucks.

I'm really very happy in Indy; who could have predicted that one? Out of all the places on the map we stuck proverbial pins into, I would not have put Indy in the top five for I Can Tolerate Anything. It turns out that I really love it here. It's got that mixture of the blue and white collar vibe I fit into so well.

I like not knowing everyone and their brother here though, and the history behind every building. The only people who know I used to be a Republican here are the ones I tell. It's a shameful secret that I haven't always shared with everyone.

I like living in a city. I find it funny when people say parts of Indy are "bad". They are bad like Ypsilanti bad. Not very bad ass at all. Knock wood, I'm never fearful. That's not to say Indy is without violent crime; it just seems that the cops have a fair handle on it and it's not like a war zone.

There's so much to do, no matter what your age or background or interests. We've got art, we've got music, a zoo, sports, theatre, lots and lots of food. We Hoosiers like to eat out, and we've got every type of restuarant you can imagine. People are for the most part very nice and friendly and everyone really tries to get along. People don't think you're weird if you pass the time of day with them. It took me a while to get used to people I didn't know talking to me; I couldn't imagine why they would be.

Now, I sometimes talk to strangers. Me, socially awkward me.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Girly Stuff

I love makeup. I like trying new things, but I'm also picky and I'm not willing to spend a lot on makeup unless I know it's something I will use. I wear a mismatch of department store and drugstore makeup. I'm the same way with hair products and skin care.

I'm not any sort of expert, but I thought from time to time I would write about beauty products that I use. I'm always curious to know what other people use, their never-fail stuff.

I'm sure if I have any male readers, they are dozing off by now; that's fine guys, see you in a couple days. Sometimes I feel badly that more people don't read my blog, like I'm not funny or interesting. Other times, I like it that I'm under the radar. I feel more comfortable, I guess.


Deeply Violet *

It's taken me a long time to get my nails in decent shape. I wore acrylics for at least ten years. If I take care of my nails, they can look nice. I use Sally Hansen Hard As Nails original formula or Opi Nail Envy. I like wearing color on my nails lately. This is Sally Hansen Diamond Strength in Deeply Violet. I've been wearing it pretty much since I got it. I love the color and it wears pretty well, touch up every other day or so. It is thick, though, and requires careful application. That's kind of a pain, but the color is really great.

A Brighter Me

I have dark circles under my eyes. They drive me crazy. I've used everything on them. Clinque All About Eyes worked for a long time. I tried Hydrozolyne, which I had high hopes for. They really sold me on that stuff. Not impressed.

I've been using the Physician's Formula for about a month now. It's heavy, you have to really blend, and it dries quickly. It does cover well, and it does seem like my dark circles are lessening.

I haven't tanned since laying out by the pool in mid-September. You can do that in Indiana in mid-September.

I think my tanning days may be over. Except for the spray-on or other sunless type.

Winter Splash

I went into Bath & Body Works to get a gift for a friend's birthday. They were having a huge clearance sale. Some stuff was even 90% off. I got this body splash, which is actually a spray. It's a huge bottle, ten ounces. I have a hard time with scents; florals smell terrible on me. I've worn Clinque Aromatic Elixir for years but I'm pretty tired of it. It's rare that I find anything I like enough to wear more than once other than the Aromatic Elixir.

This is light, yet not sweet or flowery at all. It's described as "A vibrant, winter-inspired blend of citrus, mint, iced pear sorbet and blonde woods." It smells citrusy and fresh and green to me. I quite like it. Original price? $19.50. My price? $2.90. I'm sure once this bottle is gone, it won't be around anymore, but I'll enjoy it while I can.

*I originally typed that as "Deeply Violent." That's kind of a Goth sort of nail polish name.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

All The Little Chicks With Crimson Lips

Indy needs to make a new tourism commercial. Instead of singing, "Cleveland Rocks," the lyrics change to "Indy Rocks" and it has "famous" Hoosiers featured. They could get Peyton Manning, that mysterious and spooky Greg Ballard, Not My Man Mitch, (wouldn't you pay to see those two act silly for the good of our fair state, and not in their political beliefs?), the Playboy chick and her cute Colts husband; some Colts fans all decked out at a game like the Indians fans in the video; Garfield, Bobby Knight (although I doubt he'd do it) and Larry Bird, John Mellencamp. They could film at Lucas Oil Stadium, the zoo, the Children's Museum and the Art Museum. Show the Pyramids and downtown, Mug & Bun, The Union Jack and the War Memorial, and of course, I hear there is a Speedway around here and why not get Sarah Fisher and Helio to jam out a little?

At the end, instead of shouting "OHIO!", obviously, "INDIANA" would be substituted.

I'm fairly sure I read that Indy is trying for an influx of dollars as a destination place. Other than the annual Future Farmers of America convention (get those kids in on the act as well!). Aren't they angling for some sort of soccer tournament? I think that commercial would make Indy look hip, which it is, in its quiet Midwestern sort of way.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Fry Up

The Brit is fond of fry ups; me, not so much. In fact, I won't eat it, and prefer he cooks them when I am not home. A fry up happens when you throw all your leftovers into a pan, usually with eggs, and fry it up. I am terrible with titles and since I'm goint to write about a mish-mash of things, I thought fry up worked well for the alliteration value at the least.

The Debate Begins

Martin and I came to the decision that Indianapolis will be our home unless something extremely dramatic happens, i.e., he gets a huge promotion to a tropical locale or we hit the Hoosier Lotto. Which, at the pinnacle of irony, if we ever do hit the Hoosier Lotto, the first thing we would do is move out of the Hoosier state to a tropical locale.

Part of setting down roots is buying a home. Our goal is loosely set within the next year. There are a lot of options we can use financially that make it silly not to buy, even though we don't have anything close to a good down payment. Good for us, and the overall resettling of the middle class.

Already, we are disagreeing on what we want. I hate the cookie cutter subdivisions, known as "additions" or "vinyl villages" here. I loathe them. The idea of living in one sometimes makes me want to cry. When Martin sent me a link to a robin's egg blue member of a vast vinyl village, I actually got tears. The decor on the inside, which I realize is easily remedied but still difficult to get past, looked like Laura Ashely threw up. Any kind of surface that could have had a big ass flower or a precious tiny flower print of some sort on it, did. Why, people, why???

I'm all about a house with some character and unique charm. I love the mid-century modern style, anything modern for that matter. There are very few modern style homes I've been able to find that weren't way out of our price range, certainly no additions or villages of them, and although I love the MCM, which are fairly readily available here, most of the houses are in the area of fifty years old. We just aren't going down that road. We remodeled the house I grew up in, $17,000 over the budget we planned, and then it started to fall apart. Including three incidents of flooding in our finished basement. Which as part of that $17,000 overage, included an $8,000 repair to fix the leaking basement. Nope, not buying something that requires walls torn out or a new roof. I can handle tearing down wallpaper, tearing up carpet and painting, but nothing that requires a sledgehammer.

I understand the appeal of a new house. All the upgrades, wired for anything, big rooms, enough bathrooms and generally good use of space. The roof isn't going to fall off, the furnace isn't from 1970 and neither are the kitchen cabinets and the 14 layers of wallpaper.

The trick is going to be finding something that will suit what both of us want. A newer home that has some unique features and style. I pity the agent who ends up with us. I talked to one yesterday, and explained the situation; she sounded confident and up for the challenge, so I'm willing to give her a shot when the time comes.

The Christmas Underoo Bomber

Maybe I'm missing something. I've been following this story, and I'm a little confused. Why is no one getting all pissed off at Nigeria or Amsterdam about this guy? To paraphrase some of what Jon Stewart had to say and throw in my own ideas, he was coming from Nigeria, going through Amsterdam, had only a shoulder carry on and no luggage or coat, and paid cash for his one way ticket to Detroit. What was he going to do in Detroit? Start a new life? Look for a job? Why is all the blame falling solely on us? Regardless of whatever intelligence the U.S. may have had on him, none of those other things raised any sort of alert anywhere down the line? REALLY?

I also find it funny, that a passenger of the flight, when he figured out what The Christmas Underoo Bomber was up to, allegedly knocked the shit out of him. Like it's not bad enough you're ending up in Detroit, you have to deal with this joker?

It's All About The Hair

I am failing an innate duty to my daughter. Her hair is not beautiful and it should be, because she is a beautiful little girl, inside and out. I've tried to do her hair myself. She's not had great experiences getting her hair professionally done. The last time, Martin actually took her instead of me, thinking it would go better, and the stylist had some pretty negative things to say. In front of my daughter. About me and my care of her hair. In her defense, it was the Saturday before Mother's Day and it was very busy. In my defense, I had let her hair go a couple days, knowing she was getting it done. That still really soured me, at least on that salon. If she would have been kind, she would have been getting fifty bucks without fail every two weeks and I would have kissed her ass six ways until Tuesday.

I've tried with Mia's hair. I really have. It's been an ordeal for both Mia and me, no matter if I do it or someone else does. But we're getting her hair done professionally from now on and that's it. She deserves to look better than what I can do.

I'll let you know how that goes tomorrow. Wish me luck, say a prayer, light a candle, please feel free to add whatever positive spirits you can send our way.

Shut Up And Drive

I got a flyer form our local State Rep, Kathy Kreag Richardson. I should preface this by saying, I know nothing about her, her voting record, her policies, nothing. There was an invitation to a survey in the flyer, so being an active citizen who never passes up a chance to voice my opinion, I dutifully filled it out.

One of the questions was regarding enacting laws about the use cell phones while driving. This, my friends, should be a no-brainer. Just like seat belts. I realize that people can see this as an intrusion into your rights, but sometimes, it is necessary to legislate common sense. This is a most basic safety element that most people would have no second thought about. I think motorcycles helmets should be required as well, because while it's up to the rider if they want get on a bike, I have no issues with that; I've ridden on the back of my share of bikes and Martin has toyed with getting one to drive to work; I do, however, have issues with the fact that if something happens, I don't want to see the remains of your head smeared all on I-465.


Part of the charm of Indiana is the friendly attitude of just about everyone you meet. I can't count the number of totally random conversations I've had with strangers in which we shared a laugh. It's nice. Aside from that hairdresser mentioned up there.

This outlook spills over into driving; they just don't think that person is going to pull right in front of them because people are nice and don't do stupid things to you on purpose.

I think the average Hoosier driver just lacks that sense of defense. I know that some of my fellow Hoosier drivers find me to be terribly aggressive and quick with the horn, or hand as the case may be since the Mini's horn is inconveniently located. Most find Martin just plain ass-puckering scary.

People, here is a hint: While you are leisurely rolling along, your fellow drivers are out to get you. Hang up the phone and pay attention. Although you may have learned to drive by running a combine in the middle of a field where the worst that can happen is you clip a few rows of crop you shouldn't have or run over a nest of unsuspecting bunnies, you aren't in the field now and there is danger and it surrounds you. Stop being so trusting and please don't try to talk on the phone unless it's hands free, or heaven forbid TEXT while you are behind the wheel. Must we waste time and money making this a law, when you should know better?


I grew up an only child and that's hard in so many ways. I spent a lot of time with cousins from both sides of the family as a kid. Vacations, holidays, summers. I have a lot of (mostly) good memories of those times. I've reconnected with many of them, through Face Book of course, and although sometimes I feel like I have nothing in common with them, I'm still glad to reconnect. I'm sure to some, I'm completely bewildering but I hope there's still something to make me likable there.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Magic of Motown

Martin got me a new Mp3 player quite a while ago, since my previous one had moved back to Michigan with Dexter. I did nothing with it for a good two months. The new one is very high tech, but to put not too fine a point on it, I hate it. It has the capabilities to hold a huge amount of songs, and pictures and video (which I will never use) but nothing about it is straightforward. I'm sure I'll get accustomed to the necessary manipulations, but right now, it just pisses me off a lot.

I really need to work on the patience thing. Sometime.

I'm on a kick, lately, with Motown. Some of the songs I'm loving lately:

Martha Reeves & The Vandells, Nowhere To Run To
The Foundations, Buttercup
The Marvelettes, Too Many Fish In The Sea
Junior Walker, Shotgun
The Jackson 5, ABC
Stevie Wonder, Superstition
The Miracles, Shop Around

Part of this, I am sure, is because I have distinct memories of driving in the car with my mom and listening to CKLW and singing along. She also played it a lot at home, on this ancient radio we had on the counter in the kitchen.

I'd forgotten how much I love Motown music, and what sheer fun it is. Plus, it's got a good beat and it's easy to dance to.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Home Alone

Martin went back to work yesterday, after being on call throughout the New Year Holiday, and actually working during a good portion of it. Mia is back to school today on her normal schedule and I am home alone.

I'm home alone and it feels so good. Just me and CNN in the background, with a dog sleeping on my feet. The dog on my feet is a good thing, though, because it's a balmy eight degrees outside. I'm a hearty Michigan gal originally, so eight degrees wouldn't bother me so much, except that the wind makes it bone chillingly cold, the type of cold that makes you want to make a pot of tea and lay on the couch with a quilt and a good book.

Our townhouse is terribly insulated. The upstairs is a sauna and the downstairs is a wind tunnel. I'm tempted to call maintenance and ask when they plan on coming over to cover the downstairs windows with plastic, since they obviously have the original poorly insulated windows from when the place was built, circa 1978 or so. It's a shame that the management company here is so cheap. The location is good, a bit off the beaten path; the townhouse itself is laid out nicely with a good use of space, the price is reasonable but there certainly isn't anything fancy about it and they aren't into upgrades or modernizations. You should see my kitchen cabinets; functional is the most complimentary thing I can come up with and it's a weak functional since all the drawers stick and the inside bottom of them sag precariously.

I've fallen in love with the Mid-Century Modern Style and Indy has a huge selection. I stumbled across Atomic Indy and I'm drooling. I love the use of the Indiana limestone, the wall of windows, the low profile fireplaces and the built-ins. Clean, sleek, utilitarian use of spaces, (built in planters, oh my!) yet timeless. As the Atomic Indy author points out, some of the remodeling is bewildering, but easily fixed. The nicest part is that we could easily afford many of the houses. Oh sure, there is a beautiful behemoth in Carmel for a half million, but I don't want to live in stinking Carmel. I'm an Indy girl, now.

I predict a busy spring of open houses.