Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Things I Would Tell My Teenage Self

I was at a conference this Monday, and during it I started thinking about all the things I would tell my past self, which is what you do when you're at a conference for teenagers and young people. Over the years, I've read a lot of these, but I've never made my list. So, here's what I'd tell teenage Laura, if she would just pick up the phone for once.

Teenage me, on a parade float, dressed in a borrowed poodle skirt.

Reading is awesome. Making excuses to people who hate reading for why you LIKE reading sucks up too much time and is a bummer. Tell the losers who ask you incessantly why you're reading that smart people read, and you feel sorry for them if they don't. Then tell them not to interrupt you while you're reading. You're practicing for your future career.

Don't spend time with people who make you feel awful. You spend time with a few people, some of whom are related to you, that make an effort to tell you terrible things about yourself, punish you for being who you are, and otherwise are horrible. You don't have to talk to them. There are really cool people who love you in the world, and only by dropping the awful people will you find the cool ones.

Don't let your passport expire. It will get too expensive for you to want to renew it. And then you will watch it get even more expensive and never bother to renew it. Not that you travel, but you CAN'T travel if you don't renew that sucker. Mental note: renew passport.

Find a doctor that listens to you.You are not supposed to feel sick all the time. I know your doctor keeps telling you there's nothing wrong, but he's the wrong one. You actually are sick. You have three different chronic illnesses. Three. So, there's a reason you feel like crap.

Fitness shouldn't hurt. It does. I know, but it won't always hurt to run and play like you used to as a kid. Go to the doctor again. Find a better one. See above. Soon you will have lots of fun playing outside or at the Y, and it will help your brain work better.

Buy better foundation. It will match. Drugstore foundations never do. It is worth the extra money, because you won't buy five foundations that you throw away or give away when they don't match, you'll just buy one.

Go places by yourself. People underestimate you and make you doubt yourself. You can totally drive up to see your aunt or grandparents alone. Why are people stopping you? Ask that question more.

Dental Checkups: Go to them. Schedule more. It will save you money in the long run. Basically half your teeth are made of tooth and half of them are made of filling now. You could have probably prevented some of these fillings, if you'd gone to the dentist during college.

Shoes. Get good ones. Vegan leather is plastic. Plastic causes blisters. You aren't vegan. Get good shoes. You walk weird and it destroys your body. You need arch support and narrow shoes, not normal shoes. You especially need these for running. You'll thank me later when you don't have shin splints.

You will figure out your hair. Eventually. Most days. Just don't print the pictures, it will be like that haircut you have right now never happened. And DON'T let your mother color your hair. She has no idea what she's doing. She will look at you and cry, and then you will cry, and then you'll spend too much trying to fix what happened and will look like a zebra for six months. Just go to a stylist like a real adult. And stop cutting out pictures of people who look cute with their hair and instead ask that stylist what she (spoiler alert: your favorite hair stylist in the world will be a woman) thinks will work best for you.

There's more, but you probably stopped listening after I told you to go to the dentist. I get it. I have to find ANOTHER new one. Stop laughing. I'm you. My suffering should make you feel bad.

What would you tell your teenage self? Let me know in the comments. I'm curious.

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Best Thing Ever

I am a hairy girl. Like, not gorilla-level hairy, but I am very pale with extremely dark hair, so I FEEL very hairy, because the hair stands out more on my skin. I remember being a kid at the dunes outside of Chicago and thinking, "Wow, no one else has arm hair as thick as mine," because no one in my family did, except my dad, and he is a man. So yeah. That's fun for you to realize when you're eleven and want to be pretty.

For years I have tried everything to diminish the appearance of hair (bleach, anyone?). I shave my legs, but it does me no good because the root is so dark under my translucent skin, it looks like I didn't bother. I even experimented with at-home mustache waxing, because I thought, "I can do this!" And, "The Internet says shaving makes the hair darker!" But my hands aren't warm enough to melt the wax strip, leading me to put the wax strip under my sports bra, leading my to fall asleep trying to melt the wax, leading to me waking up and wondering how this wax strip ended up in my bra all night.

I am a feminist, and if you don't want to shave, good for you. I wish I could be that kind of person. I really would love to be, but my skin is so sensitive, when my hair (or a piece of grass, or a bit of splinter, or a pine needle) pricks it, I have an allergic reaction. If I grow my hair out, it literally gives me hives. This is loads of fun, I might add. Really. so much fun. You should try it.

Enter my new favorite thing, the epilator.

I got the Braun Silk-epil 9. It has been in my Amazon cart for over a year. I finally clicked "order" when a friend bought one, and ironically, she didn't end up loving it. But the week I have spent ripping all my hair out with the epilator has been the happiest of my life.

It comes with a bunch of stuff. And it is beautiful.

I epilated my legs. They looked hairless. Actually looked hairless. I have never shaved and look like I'd bothered to shave. I have smooth legs for the first time ever. I had a 5 o'clock leg hair shadow by 10:00 AM. Seriously. It is why I stopped wearing shorts. Because the prickly leg thing was so annoying, and then hives would appear. Good times. Really, try being allergic to life sometime.

I said, "What the heck, let's just commit." So I epilated my arms. Oh my goodness. I am planning on installing a shrine to this thing. I haven't had hives in days, except for where the hair on my head hits my shoulders (time for a haircut).

This is amazing. It's like no-benadryl Christmas here.

Epilator review, 13/10. Buy at once.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

On My Wishlist This Month

Transitional Clothes

I am not in massive need for any clothing, unlike at the start of summer. This is because, on November 9th, when I was in mourning for humanity, I purged only the summer/spring section of my wardrobe, not the fall/winter, which I had in my closet and not in storage. Still, there are a few bits that I'm loving that I may treat myself to, should they go on sale in the near future.

One, Two

Yeah, I cannot afford the Gucci loafers, nor would I spend that kind of money on shoes if I COULD afford the Gucci loafers. You walk on shoes. They fall apart after a while, no matter how nice you are to them, and eventually, no cobbler or shoe expert can rescue them. I had a pair of boots I wore all through junior high, high school, and college, but when I got in a car accident, they got a scratch in the leather that no one can fix. Bad stuff happens to shoes. Why spend crazy money on them? Instead, buy yourself a plane ticket to somewhere cool. Or buy five pairs of more reasonably priced shoes. Or 20 pairs of cheap shoes. I am Richard Gilmore.

But I like the look, so I've been hunting for shoes that are similar enough to satisfy my shoe-craving without putting me into the poorhouse.

One, Two, Three

I'm leaning toward number one, which has gold hardware, but really I'm spoiled for choice. Loads of brands have done loafers in this style. These are just the first few results I saw on Zappos. Right now you can get them in any color, any pattern, with or without embroidery, vegan or leather, cheap or pricey. It's actually a nice time to shop for loafers. if you're in the market.


Andy Weir has a new book, Artemis coming out in November. John Le CarrĂ©'s new book comes out September 5th. The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye, which is either book five in Stieg Larsson's Millennium series or book two in the spin off series by David Lagercrantz, depending on how you look at it, is coming out on September 12th. (Unpopular opinion: I actually like the spin off better. I like how Lagercrantz writes a more believable Blomkvist who does not automatically seduce women just by breathing in the same room as them, but that's just me.)

Other Bits

I'm dying for one of these pencils. This notebook is arriving in the mail for me on Monday and has the perfect weight of paper for writing with fountain pens, like this one.