The Devil Wears Anthropologie

You know how I’m always saying I can predict fashion trends and everyone thinks I’m crazy at the time I start liking things (sometimes even myself) but then later on it’s all over the place?

Well, this time I have proof.
Today I was perusing the Anthropologie website for a cute canister to keep sugar in (mission failed) and discovered that the “Kitchen” tab has become overrun with 1950s style housewife aprons.

Proof I thought of it first:
1. This blog entry from back in February
2. This Etsy purchase dated October 26, 2007:

Seriously. Two years ago. Before I was even a McKechnie. If only I could find a way to use my powers for evil. I can almost hear my heels clicking across the marble floor of the Vogue lobby…


One of my favorite food-ogling websites, TasteSpotting has begun to toy with the idea of advertising recently. While not completely defiled, what was once a pristine, beautiful ad-free site is showing signs of inevitability. Of economic times and the real world where I could stand to lose three pounds of belly fat.

Not entirely pleased, not entirely disgusted, but it makes me wonder. What if they only solicited paid advertisements from food companies and restaurants? What if they appeared as well-photographed and mouth-watering as the other pictures?

Would this be blurring the lines? Would you feel somehow slighted if the ads felt less like ads and you couldn’t tell which was which? If the syrupy, delightful photos were also laden with hidden agenda, would this be worse than just coming out and saying “You should try Tyson Skillet Creations”?

Personally, I would prefer this to the wasted square telling me I’m fat. All the other squares tell me “life is good, so is this pomegranate muffin” and maybe because I’m in the advertising industry myself, the blurred lines don’t seem so threatening as long as they are bringing me something useful and interesting.


I’ll Bring the Conversation

Wanted: Two very specific kinds of friends.

1. The friend who takes fabulous and flattering photos of everything you do, keeping a pictorial history of your adventures together so that you know every time she is invited you can leave your camera at home. Also makes you look interesting to everyone online. Religious Facebook uploader.

2. The friend who really, really, earnestly loves to cook. Hosts unpretentious dinner parties because they like to share their art. Invites me with the stipulation I never bring anything edible with the understanding I am for entertainment value only.

Work Hard, Play Easy

That’s what I’m thinking of changing my blog to. I considered the possibility of starting a “Things to do in Houston” type blog, but then I remembered how antisocial I am, how anything classified as “playing hard” makes me feel lethargic just thinking about it, and how I would have exhausted both myself and any previous experiences in a matter of days.

Because the truth is when I am not at work, I am NOT at work. Checked out, on vacation, sianara, goodnight. I watch TV, I peruse Netflix, I occasionally venture out for a frozen yogurt and some light shopping at Target before returning to my cave/apartment to recuperate.
I often question if it’s possible to be an interesting person without ever doing anything interesting. I hope to God the answer is yes.
So onward with the blog about nothing. If Seinfeld can do it, why not me?

Taking a Summer Day

Today I took a day off to relax and do nothing but by noon I was ready to crawl out of my skin. I think I am changing as a person- I never saw myself as a busy body, but these days I’m finding it harder and harder to just sit and do nothing. I feel restless. Restless enough that after four hours of “relaxing” I decided to make an appointment, drive to Sugar Land and do this:

Ten inches- GONE. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a “maintenance” hair cut in my entire life. I wait and wait between hair cuts and always get something completely different. It somehow feels like a waste just to get a trim and come out looking pretty much the same. Hair cuts should always be enough change that even a straight man would notice.
In other news, I completed my framing project. Took apart an old custom frame, peeled out all the staples, moved the hanger thingie on the back, used real tools and everything. Result:

Aside from looking nice, it makes me laugh a little that there is now a crown above our “throne” in the bathroom. Cheap thrills.

Evolution of The Chic Alt-Rock Chick: Brunettes with Bangs

Lily Allen, 2009. Already watched this video over and over about 14 times. The fashion, the hair, the eyes. The gold dress. The attitude. It’s all perfection.

….which all reminds me of an earlier obsession- Shirley Manson, cerca 1996. Same attitude, same eyes. Great hair.

…which all reminds me of Chrissie Hynde, cerca I’m-too-young-to-know. Fastforward through the douchebag introducing the band and just get to the close-ups and it’s all there- the attitude, the eyeliner, the fantabulous brunette bangs.

Weekend Discoveries

1. Fadi’s Mediterranean Grill. Delicious. Also, I can’t spell Mediterranean.

2. Tasti-D-Lite is now open at Post Oak and San Felipe and it is everything SATC made it out to be. Fab-U-Lous.

3. Yuzu + Bergamot + my skin = cat urine. Seriously. They say perfume is different on everyone, but who knew that chemistry could go so horribly wrong.

4. I am 99.9% sure I am allergic to soy after a reaffirming read-through of WebMD and a number of gastrointestinal episodes involving cereal made with vanilla Silk, which was ironically purchased in an attempt to curb Aaron’s lactose-intolerance issues.

5. Nobody beats a Macy’s sale. NOBODY.

6. The new lust of my life: these Nine West shoes which I will be watching like a hawk until the moment they go on sale.

7. French Connection hasn’t altered their dress sizes to appease the growing waistlines of American women. My fatless sister needed a size 4 and I’ll never tell a living soul what size I would need this dress in, but I want it, need it, gotta have it. The picture doesn’t do it justice. It’s all very Audrey Hepburn in my head right now.

Make the Switch

You might have caught on to this by now, but I love BeneFit cosmetics. I also have been using Clinique for the last eight years or so because of my rather severe allergies to various products (the latest of which I discovered to be soy milk- story on THAT horror later).Well, it’s taken me some time to trust a new brand with my same old face but bit by bit I’ve made the switch and discovered some fantastic replacements/improvements to my Clinique makeup regime.
A Guide:
1. Foundation: If you use Almost Makeup SPF 15 consider trying “That Gal”

2. Powder: If you use Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder in Stay Buff consider trying “Hello Flawless” in Petal (with SPF 15 to compensate for the lack of it in “That Gal”).

3. Mascara: If you use High Impact Mascara consider trying BADgal Lash.
Unique to BeneFit:
1. FY…Eye! Primer Makes eye makeup last all day and then some. When I put this stuff on in the morning it works so well that by the time I go to take my makeup off at night I actually feel a little bad washing it off because it still looks as good as it did when I put it on. Love, love, love this stuff.

2. Lip Gloss in “Kiss You” I have yet to find anywhere else that sells a color remotely close to this and although it looks like crazy fuschia in the bottle the color is genius on lips.

It’s Not Easy Being Green

…when you’re an apartment dweller in the city of Houston.

This is my “collection.” The crazy bag-lady stash of recyclables I keep in my kitchen until the next time I drive to Sugar Land to visit my family in their “real” house because “real” houses get curb-side pickup twice a week. For some reason the fourth largest city in the United States assumes people in apartments don’t consume anything packaged in paper, plastic or aluminum. 

….when your thumb just isn’t.

Meet Todd and Basil. Todd is a Asparagus Fern, which I didn’t know when I bought him. He is highly poisonous to animals and small children, which I also did not know when I bought him. That is why he is outside hanging on the balcony in his original container and Basil is inside comfortably repotted in a larger container. Despite the preferential treatment, I fully expect both to be dead within 30 days. In the meantime I will have fresh basil in my uh, “cooking” and Ruby will not be having any leafy midnight snacks.
…when you’re an archaic beast.

This is my father’s lawn mower. It is older than I am and my dad needs to offer it a severance package. Like a lot of my dad’s things it has survived so many cycles in fashion it has actually come full circle to become somewhat attractive again. I think someone could do an entire photo essay on the archaic and strangely beautiful things he owns. Note to self.


…in about six months.

Carnival Conquest, leaving out of Galveston December 27th, 2009. We’ll visit Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Cozumel, Mexico and return January 3rd, 2010.

If I was better at math, I’d be counting the days already.

Best part of the whole thing? A guarantee that New Year’s Eve will be great because I can’t possibly self-destruct, procrastinate or end up alone like usual when my entire family and husband will be trapped on the boat with me.

And because I’m pretty sure there are no icebergs in the Caribbean.

My Reservations:

1. The reservations. My family is about as flaky as they make ’em when it comes to vacation plans. They don’t like to spend a lot of money and nailing down their five different schedules is like nailing Jello to a wall. I don’t think I’ve ever been more happy to agree to the term “non-refundable deposit” because I know they would never renege on plans that would cost them $1000 to undo.

2. I’ve been told Royal Caribbean is way better, that it’s worth the extra money and Carnival is in essence trashier. But when it came down to Carnival or no cruise at all, I thought to myself “just how fancy do I think I am?” and booked the Conquest. It’s like Royal Caribbean is the girl you want to marry and date someday when you can afford her, but for now you’ll take Carnival out dancing on lady’s night and to TJIFriday’s because you’d rather not go home alone. Yes, that’s what I’m looking for in a cruise.

3. Aaron has already purchased 3 boat shirts in the two weeks its taken us to finalize the plans. If the pattern continues until December it’s going to be fratterific up in here in the worst way possible, because someone has yet to communicate to him effectively why exactly these should only be worn (along with Sperry’s) when within direct contact of a boat.

4. My baby Ruby! It’s the longest we’ve ever been apart and she will miss me and I will have to feed her extra the week before to bulk her up just in case she decides to hunger strike.

5. I’ve heard since I last went on a cruise (back in 2004) they have done away with midnight dessert buffets. If I wasn’t in such deep denial I would ask WHY GOD WHY?

Seriously, if someone could clear that up for me, that would be great. You don’t have to be God to answer.

Mind the Gap

Since the day in seventh grade when my best friend got a Blueberry iMac and we began spending our Saturdays on Yahoo! Chat scanning in pictures from magazines, giggling over McDonalds milkshakes and trying to convince other chatters we were surfer chicks from California- I have walked a thin line of virtual and actual identity.

It was 2000, we were fifteen. We chatted before they coined the name “internet predator,” we blogged before we could drive. We did our homework together over ICQ and AOL. Why dial a phone when you can dial-up? It was the age of innocence for a medium that gave me free reign at a time when I craved it most, and growing up with it as such has allowed me to put myself out there in a way many still shrink from.

Like housewives of the 1950s, we left our windows open and our doors unlocked because the breeze was good and everything seemed safe. Even today, despite what my mother and every other To Catch a Predator viewer believe, I refuse to admit the internet is solely a place of shadows where the shady choose to lurk. The same rules apply to the internet as they do in real life- don’t be stupid, don’t give out information you don’t want given, use your head.

For so long it has been perceived that anyone on the internet was there for some dubious purpose, that no one smart would ever cross the divide and meet such people in real life (as if they weren’t already there out in the world among us) but as the internet starts to age along with the predators, the audience seems to polarize. Shady people are shadier than ever and real people are legitimizing the medium in a way that makes my nerdy heart swell.

The stigma of meeting “online” people “IRL” is fading. We make friends, we network, we meet up at Coffee Groundz as a group to learn about making friends and networking. I’d begun to question whether or not our society would slip into electronic interaction so far that it would unlearn human interaction, but sitting in a group of peers, in a computer-free chat room has given me a little hope that we’ve evolved past sitting behind a screen and giggling sheepishly about hiding who we really are.

I will always be a proponent of melding personal and professional when creating a virtual self. The two are inseparable and one can be used to enhance the other. People hire you, fire you and choose to interact with you for a variety of reasons so why not give them more good ones to do so? The key is always to look before you leap. Missteps on the internet are immortalized, so when jumping between the online and offline world, you have to make sure you’ve got a firm footing but also know where you are stepping to. There is always a bit of disconnect, a bit of open air between the two worlds, so make sure you mind the gap.


Rainn Wilson stole my super-secret baby name.

With all the babies flying around my secondary social group, I’m actually starting to get anxious. Not about having kids or wanting kids or avoiding kids, but the more people keep spitting them out, the greater the chances my names will get taken. I’ve never really been big on kids, but oh boy am I big on naming things. You would not believe the effort and planning that went in to naming my dog the seemingly effortless simple four-letter name Ruby.
If my life were an episode of Sex and the City (no doubt a prospect I ruminate on often) I would be Charlotte and Rainn Wilson would be the pregnant ex-party girl who stole my baby’s name, even though Rainn Wilson and I were never friends in real life and I found out through Twitter and not at a baby shower, but in the fake world Dwight Schrute is the kind of man who would do such a thing so I guess it counts.
Anyhow, the point I am rapidly digressing from is that I’m starting to think it might be time to expose the super-secret list of names because anything you post on the internet is immortal and I may need proof sometime around 2017 that I thought of it first.
…and I feel like Ryan Seacrest right now announcing who goes on to next week’s episode of American Idol. Should I go to commercial? Okay, no, here we go:
1. Ramona (as in the Beverly Cleary character)
2. Walter (Rainn Wilson’s son)
And there are about a million others, but those are the two super-secret Shaila-esque ones that I would be absolutely devastated if someone else I knew were to name their child that.
Consider yourself warned.

Faceless Self-Portrait

I’ve been meaning to post on this for a while because I think it’s an amazingly wonderful simple idea. Rainn Wilson from The Office (or from House of 1,000 Corpses depending on how truly twisted you are) has joined what I like to think of as a blog commune called SoulPancake, a blog that focuses on creativity and spirituality in a way that doesn’t make me want to vomit.

Palatable as pancakes, if you will.

Almost a month ago, they posted this entry encouraging everyone to emulate the work of artist Mark Menjivar, who aims to capture the essence of one’s soul by taking a photo of the inside of their fridge.

So per the request of the collective, I went on my own little adventure around the apartment in search of places not typically seen. Forgive my photography.

I’m not really sure it captures the essence of me the way Mark’s “You Are What You Eat” series captures his subjects, but I still love the idea.