Wednesday, July 27, 2005

This is pretty cool visually. I guess they're saying the condom is really strong...because he looks really strong...and he's definitely not getting free of that binding. I also think it's cute that the flavored condom looks like a little banana. Posted by Picasa

Heehee. This doesn't make any sense...but it looks really naughty. Posted by Picasa

Funny. This Japanese ad cracks me up. The characters may not mean something relevant to sexual protection...but they certainly imply certain sexual positions. Posted by Picasa

Pretty. I don't understand the bubble being blown because that doesn't look like something safe to use...but visually it rocks. Posted by Picasa

Gross. I don't get it. Posted by Picasa

I like the suggestion in this condom ad that a condom can make "doin' it" a whole lot more fun. I guess it can if it makes the partners feel free, safe, less worried about implications. Posted by Picasa

Another Durex ad. I took this a couple ways (many of the ads I'm not posting I just had no clue least I can use my imagination with this one). 1. Be careful, he or she has slept with 5 people that day, or that month, or whatever. 2. Durex condoms are just so fabulous (they're not, they're our least popular ones that we distribute) that they "did it" 5 times that day. Posted by Picasa

This is a Durex ad for flavored condoms. For one...that penis looks as though it's pretty big...and I don't know how I'd feel about powdered sugar... Posted by Picasa

This is a pretty funny condom ad. That wouldn't fly everywhere...but I like the idea of the situation being so scandalous that Mary covers Jesus' eyes...but she peeks (you KNOW she didn't DIE a virgin...even Mary can enjoy a little scandal). Posted by Picasa

This is an unusual ad for flavored condoms. I like the vibe they're throwin'...sweet tasting condoms...bees...whatever. Posted by Picasa

That's my new henna that the boyfriend did. I love it...this one came out much more even as far as the coloring. He tried a little trick using "New Skin". Note to anyone who tries this same technique...SHAVE THE AREA TO BE SPRAYED BEFORE APPLYING...YOUCH! Posted by Picasa

That's Luna. I felt a little guilty posting a picture of Jack and me without including her. She's old and bitchy...I definitely have a special little place in my heart for her. She's very affectionate and unreasonably needy.  Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Strange Beat

The song Yeah, by Usher, is on the radio right now. The washing machine is unbalanced and is thumping to the beat of the song. I'm concerned about the washer wobbling it's way off the concrete platform, but also strangely intrigued by it keeping the beat.

Last Burning Man gift that I'll subject y'all to. This is the only one I'm tempted to keep for myself...but I can always make another. Posted by Picasa

Another Burning Man gift. My challenge has been making things that aren't necessarily my style. This is really cute to me, but it's not something I would wear.  Posted by Picasa

These are gifts to use as currency at Burning Man (it's completely a gift economy). I put my "signature bead" on everything I plan to gift there, or for anyone else I make something for. It looks like an atomic symbol. Posted by Picasa

I made two of these for myself. I adore "hand jewelry". Posted by Picasa

Some creative pictures for y'all (Maria...I know you'll love this...we need to get together to bead SOON!!). I made this set for my mother's birthday. It's the first thing I made. Posted by Picasa

Me and Jack when I was sick. The boyfriend took this, I felt ok about the picture (even though I look like crap). Jack looks cute enough for both of us. Posted by Picasa

This is a picture from the bridal shower I put on with the other bridesmaid last weekend. Luckily, the bride and other bridesmaid are two of my closest friends so the planning was pretty easy-going and casual (I'm on the right, bride in the middle, other bridesmaid on the left). We head for the wedding in Jamaica in two weeks. Posted by Picasa

The Island

Saw The Island last night and I LOVED it. The boyfriend wasn't QUITE as impressed, but he's a tiny bit more of a movie snob than me (baby, you know that's the truth...and I love that about you).

For St. Louis readers out there...the Moolah Theater kicks ass. There are 5 rows of squishy leather 2-3 person couches, then a balcony and regular seating. They serve regular concessions, as well as wine and beer (not Bud light, but real beer...not that I can ever partake...but it's nice for all the drinking folk). It's that cool building on SLU campus at Vandeventer and Lindell.

We were a tad creeped out that Ewan McGregor is 34 and his love interest is 20...but you'll have that in movies...I don't think that's specific to American movies...I just that's just the way it is. Ewan does a good job of pulling it off, and Scarlett seems older than her dewy-skinned years. We debated whether the movie industry would succeed in making her a sex it seems they're trying. I kind of put her in the Claire Danes or Natalie Portman catagory. She's a good actress, has made interesting and smart choices in roles, and seems to be a balanced, intelligent girl...although I know NOTHING about her other than what the gossip mags report.

Visually it was amazing (Scarlett Johannson's skin and lips aside), there was plenty of eye-candy for the geeks, as well as enough ethical issues for social advocate-types such as myself. It was fast-paced and you were really rooting for the heros.

There were also plenty of not too realistic elements (on what planet and in what time period do two clones that have never lived in the world get away from a crack team of ex-Navy SEALS...right?!?!).

Good use of music also...they got a tiny tear from me at the end. I would see it again.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Pain in My Ass...and Head

I HATE calling in sick for work...and I've done it twice this week. Not only do I feel guilty, but I have huge issues with being idle.

I've had this ongoing migraine/tension headache since Monday night. I've been doing what I typically do - I ignore whatever's wrong in hopes that my body will take care of it on it's own.

Until I threw up blood last night.

It was minor, but it totally freaked me out. Under pressure (from the boyfriend), I called my doctor and left a message. He called me back and we chatted about my symptoms. I've had issues with headaches in the past, so he was prepaired. I picked up a prescription for migraines, as well as Compazine for nausea. Some precautions are to be careful being in the heat because one of the meds can cause heatstroke and extensive sunburn...which I'm already prone to...hello? I'm totally redheaded and pale...or as my diplomatic father would say...porcelain (I type this as I'm listening to the heat advisory on TV...warning people to stay inside). I'm not really allowed to drive, unless I run around the backyard or neighborhood...I should be safe from heatstroke.

Funny, the flyer on the outside of the bag had "helpful hints" on two different subjects. They're different each time. Today, they said, "Addicted to Caffeine?" and "What's the Problem with Quick Weight Loss?". Very coincidental.

So I've posted on my what...I'm bored.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Random Sighting

When I was at the gas station this morning I saw a really interesting dog. This large, tan pitt bull was sitting in the driver's seat of a parked car at another pump. The way he was sitting looked as though he were human. He looked over at me, then casually put his leg and paw up on the edge of the opened window.

When his master came back, I was shocked when he reclaimed his dog demeaner and jumped into the back seat.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


So I went to my headshrinker today. Not because I really needed my headshrunk or whatever, but because I have to check in every 3 months to get my ritalin...very important.

I don't try to pull the wool over his eyes, but I'm usually pretty stable...I keep order in my life...I try to minimize possible drama. We were talking, and he asked a couple questions that made me a little uncomfortable (he noticed weight loss, dark circles under my eyes, he also thought I seemed tense). I told him everything's great, "I mean, I'm lucky to have a life that's this full. There's so much going on, but it's good...I mean, it means I have a life, right? I'M JUST SO OVERWHELMED (picture dramatic hands on my temples, tears and wailing)!"

I'm not sure if his next move was some sort of secret headshrinker secret, or if it was something to do because he didn't know what else to do...but he opened his desk drawer and offered 2 lemondrops. This made me giggle (which of course made me think it was an ancient headshrinker secret).

We revisited a plan of attack that he's been trying to get me to follow for YEARS. I've been resistent (some might say stubborn). I'm finally giving in. I have to formulate a weekly plan (he's not impressed by my mini planner with pencil scratchings all over to indicate work meetings). I have to plan HOURLY what I'll do each day. Not every hour has to be filled in...but there are extra elements besides work.

We made a list of priorities:
1. Self (includes the gym/yoga, fellowship meetings, journaling, meals, etc.)
2. Relationship (includes planned "dates", although he was pleased that this area seems to be well-maintained. We always include time for each other...which REALLY takes a lot of pressure off this planning process).
3. Work
4. Friends
5. Communication (phone calls to family and friends)
6. Misc. (beading, fire-spinning, sewing, costume-making, etc.)

I'm kind of excited to be making a plan to balance things out. If I don't take care of can I do all the rest?

Monday, July 18, 2005

I Caved...

So the no coffee thing didn't go so well. Once I left the safety and security of the office...yeah, totally caved. I got to my meeting at Barnes & Noble and all it took was, "Hey, Carolyn, you want treat?" and I said exactly this, "No, I'm good, I'm trying to cut back on coffee...yeah, I'm good...(clasping my hands around my head), I REALLY need a cup of coffee!".

And that was that.

I REALLY Want to Punch Someone in the Face

I finally got off my ass this morning and went to the gym...which was my old routine...and it worked well for me.

I did some cardio, lifted weights, showered, and went to work. At my desk, as usual, I ate plain yogurt, a hard-boiled egg, and some fruit.

And then I slowly wound my way up to the front desk...lurking down the hall, making my move to the coffee machine. And then the door bursts open and our new, highly enthusiastic program coordinator comes in...bringing with him morning sunshine.

I'm distracted from my mission and return to the department (after carefully weighing my my new guy, coffee/train my new guy). We get back to our department and start chatting about our weekend...and I snap. I tell him I really need to go back out there and get some coffee real quick. He has a fabulous idea, why don't we quit drinking coffee together? I ponder this idea, and consider that I'm trying to get back to being healthy (and there ain't nothin' healthy about the amount of sugar I use...not sweet n Low, not Splenda...pure, beautiful, white sugar, and let's not forget the non-dairy creamer with partially hydrogenated blahblahblah).

I grudgingly agree. Well, kinda. He's still needling that I haven't totally agreed. I told him that I need a little room for World's Fair Donuts on occasion. I also tell him that I might crash and become unpleasant...which could negatively impact him as his supervisor.

I have never considered myself a coffee drinker. I occasionally dabbled, and often felt like the little kid drinking out of her parent's coffee cup. As life became busier, my coffee consumption increased, while my hours asleep decreased. While I've only been partaking in this new habit for 6 months to a year, it's clearly had more impact than I realized least on days when I go to the gym at 6 am.

Moral of the story: I will take baby steps to healthier habits, and I am definitely not a casual coffee drinker.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

That's a picture of me spinning fire. I'm not that great or fancy...but this is the first time I spinned and felt good about myself. My sister was visiting and took this picture. I liked how I felt that night because I felt encouraged to keep working at it. Posted by Picasa

This is how it looked after the henna was removed and without the sugar/lemon juice on it (that's why the other picture looks shiny).  Posted by Picasa

I love this picture. The boyfriend did this henna design. He was really nervous about not doing well enough (it was his first design on someone other than him...and it's pretty damn complicated). We had a fabulous night relaxing at home...I guess I relaxed, he henna-ed...we didn't worry about running around, just planned NOTHING. I love how it turned out, it made me feel really beautiful when I looked down at it from time to time. Posted by Picasa

Sudden, Unexplained Burst of Gratitude

As I was driving home tonight, I had this unexplained burst of gratitude for a bunch of small things that kept coming to mind as I drove.

1. The way my overworked, overstressed boyfriend answered the phone. He said hello in a way that implied he might either be a) near death, b) expecting it to be "Death" on the other end of the phone, or c) preparing for his grad school committee meeting tomorrow. As soon as he realized it was me, he giggled and gave me a warm greeting. That's definitely something to make my heart feel warm and grateful.

2. That I let myself stop at one of possibly 115 McDonald's on my way down Manchester Road to get an Oreo McFlurry.

3. That my favorite KDHX radio show was on (Juxtaposition) and that they played ChkChkChk.

4. That I have a list of things to do for a friend's bridal shower this weekend. That may seem like a strange one, but the gratitude comes in when I realize that instead of feeling totally overwhelmed and stressed, I feel lucky to have a friend that I love enough that I want to put on a shower for her.

5. That the weather cooled off and I could open the sunroof and turn up the music.

That seems like enough. All those happened in the 15 minute drive home...PLUS, I was greeted by our adorable kitty, Luna, in the most adorable way EVER.

That seems like more than enough good things for one night.

My Feelings Are Still Here...

It's strange that there are often times that something will be fresh on my mind, something I've read about, or something I hear about on the news and then it springs in front of me in real life. (Most of what I'm going to write about will be extremely vague, protecting confidentiality for my client is more important than me clearly explaining the situation to the offense).

Most of my clients come in for HIV counseling and testing and, while each session is unique...different risks, different risk reduction plans, different ways of making them comfortable...they all kind of follow the same pattern. They're coming in for their annual or bi-annual test, they did something crazy and have been going out of their minds with fear, or they're the worried well (those who use condoms 100%...even during oral sex...and they still worry, and they're just as important as everyone else...they benefit from a pat on the back, reassurance, and eventually the test result). Occasionally I'll have a client that's been assaulted. These are difficult, but I've been trained to counsel them, and I understand their cultural perspective...I don't fear instilling more fear or shame in them through a language barrier or miscommunication.

Ok, so I've written this paragraph 3 times and each time I still feel like I'm being too specific. Basically, I had a client walk in today from a country with a very different culture, especially where the prevalence and acceptance of sexual violence is concerned. I could tell it was very difficult for this client to even talk to me. I could feel his/her shame and discomfort. I wasn't sure what the appropriate approach was. I could only speak from my experience as a white, American female.

So I did what I could. We talked, I clarified some information about HIV and STDs, and that was it. They thanked me, told me they were glad they had met me, and agreed to call with questions (I gave my cell phone number out for the first time to a client).

After he/she left, I felt like I had let them down (mostly because of my own ignorance). So I made an action plan of sorts.
1. I got their permission to call them with a mental health referral from the International Institute (they have counselors that are trained to understand different cultures).
2. I found research on culture and sexuality in this particular country. It's actually quite fascinating and written in a very straight-forward manner. I'm going to read the paper before we meet again in 3 weeks.

So I wrote this to pretty much just get it off my chest. It's also a good reminder for me that I'm still human. Sometimes I feel like nothing a client says could shock me. I need to remember that when it really comes down to it, my feelings are still here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

NOT a Jag-u-ar for Everyone!

I saw the commercial tonight while watching the new, highly addictive show, "Rescue Me". We have very basic cable and thankfully, FX provides all the smutty comedic dramas we could ever hope for given the limited amount of time we have for TV (let's not forget "Nip/Tuck", and while not smutty, "30 Days" is an excellent, yet socially responsible show).

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. As it turns out, the Jags that are apparently available to everyone, are $469/month. so I worked the math (with the limited amount of math abilities that I have), and even on a 6 year loan, that's $33,768.00. I've missed a detail somewhere...perhaps they require $60,000 down.

So, I paid more attention than usual, and yet I still haven't gotten all the information necessary to keep mocking the generous folks at Jaguar.

I'll watch again...and I'll get to the bottom of this.

A Jag-u-ar For Everyone...WoooHooo!

There is a commercial on TV right now that just makes my jaw clench and ALWAYS burst into a sarcastic rant. Ever notice how condescending and pretentious Jaguar commercials are? Well, apparently they've tweeked their target market and are trying to be the "regular" person's car of choice.

First off, if you're targeting the working dude (or chick), please don't pronounce Jaguar as Jag-u-ar. It confuses me, I do not understand your fancy British accent, or your snazzy way of enunciating your product.

Second, the mere phrase, "Jag-u-ars for everyone" makes me about lose my shit! On what planet is there a Jag for everybody. There are not many of these on the road to start with, and to give hope to Regular Joe out there that he's going to be cruising in said vehicle is just cruel.

I'm picturing high school history teachers cruising down the road in their shiny green roadsters, waving to students, scoping out the ladies, etc. Or perhaps the checker at Schnucks and the ticket-taker at the movie theater could go cruising together on a Sunday afternoon. Not seein' it.

I really need to pay attention the next time it's on to see what their starting price is. I get so flustered that I lose all content besides the sexy British lady saying Jag-u-ar.

Friday, July 01, 2005

War of the Worlds

So I did something last night that I swore I wouldn't do...that's financially support Tom Cruise. I saw War of the Worlds...and it was fabulous!

I am REALLY having issues with:
1. Tom's level of craziness and instability.
2. Him ruining Katie Holmes (although I heard an ugly, delicious rumor that Tom was caught in bed with Rob he in Matchbox 20?...I know he's a Scientologist...and his wife threatened to go public. Solution? Pay Katie Holmes an unGodly amount of money well as promise her elevation from maybe a B-lister to an A-lister...although let's be honest, a tarnished, totally cheesy pose as his doting girlfriend. Scrumptious if it were true, yes?)
3. Being on ritalin myself, I tend to resent crazies that say bad things about THE ONLY THING THAT MADE MY LIFE WORTH ANYTHING (well, I worked pretty hard to get my shit together, but it certainly helped that I had the focus to do so, instead of being crazy unfocused running around not sure where I'm going...oh, candy...still crazy you get the point).

There are three things that I felt excellent about (I'm not sure why I'm on this list kick right now).
1. Dakota Fanning, although if you see her in interviews, she's completely insane. For an 11-year-old to be so much more eloquent and a master of the English language than yours truly is unnatural. She's 11 going on 41. But she was definitely one of the highlight characters.
2. It scared the crap out of me. I jumped, screamed, clenched the boyfriend's hand really hard, and obsessed. Not about Tom Cruise, as some misguided ladies might have been doing. I obsessed about what I'd do if this really happened. It seemed so tragic, and so absolute. On the drive home I broached the topic with the boyfriend. "Baby, I was really scared when all those people were running around from town to town, trying to escape. Oh, you were too. Good. So, if this were to really happen, will you hide in our cedar closet with me in the basement? The cats can come too...we can let them out periodically to use the litter box and bring their food and water downstairs."
3. Tom Cruise, besides being delusional, socially innapropriate and a chaser of the young tail, is an amazing actor. Granted, he played a total jackass...but he played his role so well that I forgot to hate him. I got past his cheesiness and got into the character.

So, final assessment...a definite must see in the theaters.