The ladies out there will understand me when I say that I am “nesting” right now (But not pregnant. Does that happen to you every month too?), and so in a fit of tidying up, I opened the bathroom cabinet under the sink and pulled everything out to take stock of what I have down there. I took out every bottle, lotion, potion, serum, soap, and hair product and tallied it all up.
And Oh Holy Henry.
I have a problem.
13 body lotions
10 facial moisturizers
4 face masks/scrubs
12 facial cleansers
3 facial tonics
2 makeup removers
11 deodorants (sprays, bars, and roll-ons)
4 body scrubs
2 shower gels
15 bars of soap
7 hand/foot products (lotions/cleansers/scrubs)
2 hair masks
8 hair serums
9 hair styling products
5 bath products (bubbles/ballistics)
WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT REALLY ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY FIVE PRODUCTS?!?!?!
I realized tonight, sitting on my bathroom floor in a sea of bath and body products, that I am what’s wrong with the world today. I am consumerism at it’s finest: Buy buy buy buy!
How did it get to this? I seem to have bought something, used it once, and shoved it under the bathroom sink to live out a lonely existence with 5 other bottles of practically the same fucking product. And then, forgetting that 6 of whatever were still sitting quietly in my bathroom waiting to be used, I seem to have gone out and bought another brand of the same product again.
I am Jack’s Buyer’s Remorse.
I wish I could say that this was all Lush stuff, and pass the blame so easily onto my work, but the sad truth of the matter is that an overwhelming 80% of all this CRAP is not Lush.
So! I am determined to use it all up. Every last drop. Every last spritz of every spray. I will not let this all go to waste (oh my god just imagine how much money went into all of this….I’m cringing here….). I will use up everything in my bathroom if it kills me, if I style my hair with so many products that it is as hard as a brick, if it makes me break into hives because something is 4 years out of date, if I clean my face so many fucking times that it wipes the pigment right off of me. I am determined. I will do this.
Have you ever thought about what song would be in the video of your life? Maybe it’s just me (I often think in music videos- product of the MTV generation and all), but I have my song all picked out.
Some people would make their song moody and atmospheric, an epic look back at their life with all it’s ups and downs, hardships and trials. Others would opt for something emotional and romantic, casting a nostalgic look back at their misspent youth and wasted love.
Me? I would have something happy and boppy. I would make it this:
It would be me, it would be you, and there’d be dancing.
A man and a woman came into Lush today and in conversation the woman mentioned that she had just moved to Amsterdam that day (she was an American from Texas). I welcomed her to Amsterdam and made small talk with her because I’m always interested in expats and what brings them abroad.
Off topic: I was also kind of fascinated because she looked surprisingly fresh and chipper considering that she had just that day moved across an ocean to a new continent. I’m sure this must be a Texan girl scout thing: “Always be perfectly put together”. Were she from New Jersey she’d be wearing sweats and last night’s makeup.
Anyway, after a moment she stopped and said that I looked familiar.
I suggested maybe we knew eachother from New Jersey (long stretch I know), but then she said…wait for it people…
“Do you have a blog?”
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. That sound that you heard about 8 hours ago was the sound of my narcissistic heart popping out of sheer joy.
I’ve been recognized. By someone who read my blog.
I was so caught up in my self-centered 15 minutes (read: seconds) of fame that I forgot to ask her name, so if she ever stumbles upon my blog again: Please get in touch if you want to go out for a coffee or something! I know it’s not easy being new in a foreign city, and even if you do already have friends here it’s always nice to widen the circle a bit. So stop by the store again or send me an email!
This past weekend my friend Jolanda took me on a day trip to the area of the Netherlands where she was born and raised, The Polder- the area that the Netherlands has reclaimed from the North Sea. I saw lots of green, lots of sheep and cows, windmills, wind turbines and lots of water.
It was surreal after spending 4 years in this city to see that there is much more SPACE in the Netherlands than Amsterdam would have you believe.
Also, here is an interesting list of current bands and singers that bring to our generation what previous great artists did for previous generations of music listeners (are you still with me? Maybe it helps if I give the title of the blog post: “This Band is the new That Band”). This is not so much a comparison of sound styles as it is the feel and energy and concepts that the bands bring to the audience.
For instance here on my table. This here is a small glass for my sparkling cider. I’ve drunk (drank? drunken? whaaaa???)…I’ve imbibed this new Heineken cider a few times now, but this was the first time it came with such a tiny glass.
Teensy Glass of Cider
And here. Here is a teeny tiny shopping cart.
I ask you: WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE ABOUT A TEENY TINY SHOPPING CART?
Teeny Tiny Shopping Cart
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One Year Ago Today: I was drinking heavily and regretting it the next day, if tomorrow’s post one year prior is anything to go by.
Japan, 1997 to 1998. You made me a copy of the new Beastie Boy’s album that had just come out and I listened to it on my portable CD player (before the mp3 craze when most kids in Japan had minidisk players but I couldn’t afford one) while walking to school every morning that winter.
Whenever I hear this song now, I am taken back to the bridge over the underpass right next to my school in Takefu, walking in my school uniform (that dreaded skirt and blazer), probably freezing my ass off, but the music puts a spring in my step. This album is such a diversion from the usual Beastie Boys songs, and I am smitten with the sound.
Across from the bridge is the Glico Foods factory, where such confections as Pocky and Collon are born (presumably by small Japanese oompah lumpahs), and the smell is incredible as it wafts over the rice fields to me- a mixture of Charlie’s Chocolate Factory and the best bakery you can ever imagine. It makes the walk to school that much more wonderful. My mouth waters every time.
The music and the smell and the brisk winter air make this a sensory overload, and the Beastie Boys ‘Intergalactic’ will, from this point onwards, forever be for me: Japan, walking to school, the sweet smell of the Glico factory, and you.
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One Year Ago Today: Oh God. Don’t remind me. I’m still embarrassed about this.
This morning a tiny mouse was waiting in the humane mouse trap that had been sitting under the kitchen counter for the better part of this year.
Halp! They lured me with an olive! My love for mediterranean cuisine may very well be the death of me!
This comes at a fortuitous time for the wee mousey, as our downstairs neighbors just informed us that they were getting the landlord to exterminate soon, and plug up any holes in the 5 adjoining apartments where mice may be entering our flats.
I didn’t tell them that there would be no mouse murders in my house, and I also didn’t want to tell them about the time we cornered a mouse in the living room and brought him out to the park to let free, but it was raining and I didn’t have the heart to leave him there after seeing each massive rain drop soak him to the bone.
So we packed his little shivering body back up into the box, brought him home again, and gave him a hot water bottle and a few snacks and set the box in the bathtub for the night (I’m so serious), with the plan to set him free when the weather turned better the next day.
The next morning I quietly let him back out of the box by his hole in the wall, into which he quickly scurried like a bat out of hell…or a mouse out of a box (har har). Needless to say, the flatmates were less than impressed at this.
In the end our dogs got hold of him and chewed him like a dog toy and then left him there dead for me to find.
Ah, the circle of life. How cruel. How ironic.
Amsterdam, being a city built on water, is full of mice. It just is. Every house has them, every shop, every restaurant. Which is why so many restaurants and shops have house cats. Many visitors to Amsterdam either find this amusing (cat lovers) or strange (germ freaks). The cat from our old local pub (now closed) even had a facebook group dedicated to him. However, the mice are persistent and the cats are lazy, and thus the ‘problem’ remains.
Gorgeous George at the Tig Barra Pub, enjoying his shot glass of lager while avoiding mouse-hunting duties like a pro!
But rats are the true problem- they eat more food and spread germs and disease (Black Plague anyone?), and rats kill and eat mice (haven’t you ever seen ‘The Secret of Nimh‘*? It’s the evil rat that tries to fuck things up in the end!).
Therefore, if you see mice running rampant then you know that there are no rats in the vicinity, and thus you are safe.
Follow me? In short: Fear not the wee mousey. He’s harmless!
Anyway, this time we took said mouse into the park and walked for a ways before letting him out to run free and find a new home where there are no dogs nor looming exterminators to avoid. By trapping himself in the mouse trap he inadvertently saved his own life.
He can thank me later.
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* Speaking of ‘The Secret of Nimh’, I just watched it again recently and holy wow! I’m not sure how I missed it as a child since I watched that movie- oh, let’s see- no less than 300 times, but it’s a pretty strong anti-animal testing movie! Wicked!!! I completely missed that entire part of the plot, but I suppose it was pretty heady stuff for a 5 year old. However, could very well be what planted the seed in me….you just never know….
Today is the kind of day where I wake up and get straight to work, actually get things accomplished and am on a roll, and then someone offers to buy me falafel (because I am hungry and they know how to charm me), which I graciously accept and go out and eat that bitch right up (the falafel not the person who bought it for me) and on the way there every song on my ipod makes me go ‘YEESS!!! I fucking LOVE this song!’ and all the tourists miraculously step OFF of the bike path when I am coming and all the other bikers use the proper arm signals and the weather is just perfect- overcast and breezey but not cold- and the guys who work at the falafel place are surprisingly NOT in a pissy mood, and it all adds up to making you just want to lay down and kiss the world, because this is how every day should feel.
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This past weekend I ran Vondelpark for only the third time ever. I am an indoor treadmill runner. Put me on that hamster wheel and I can run until I fall down dead, but outside running just scares me. It’s seeing how far you have to go that puts me off. On a treadmill you don’t see it so it can’t unmotivate you. Anyway, the first third is the hardest for me, I think it’s a psychological thing, because you get to this one part where the road stops twisty-turning and you see nothing but straight, LLOOOONNNNGGGG road ahead of you and it just makes you think ‘Give Up Now’. But I didn’t, I pressed on (ok so it’s only 2 miles but still!), and I’m not too proud to admit that Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Holding out for a Hero’ (from Flashdance) and Britney Spears’ ‘Outrageous’ got me through it in the end. Thanks Bonnie and Britney.
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This weekend I went out with some friends to a cocktail bar. There were some guys there who had been to a rave-type event earlier and were clearly on some sort of drugs (ecstacy or coke or something) and had admitted as much when I said something about it earlier. So my friend was outside smoking and talking to one of them and I was just standing there, when the other guy comes up and after a very small bit of chat says, ‘What are they doing? what are we doing here?’ then he turns to me and goes ‘Why are you boring me?’
The Jersey girl in me wanted to be all, ‘WHAT THE FUCK? Like it’s my fucking job to keep your coked-out loser ass ENTERTAINED or something? Fuck off!’
But I understood that it was just the drugs giving him a starvation for engaging conversation, like a kitten that needs to be occupied with a string. The minute you take the string away it claws your ankle, or goes off into a corner and shits in your shoes.
So instead I just sighed and pointed to the ground where his friend was sitting and said, ‘Go sit down.’
And like a good little kitten he did, without a word.
+ + 4 + +
After my falafel lunch, reeking of tahini and overindulgence in the free falafel toppings bar, I hopped on my bike, put my earphones in, and started for home. Along the way I passed two people I know, and waved a hello as I zipped by them. Two people is about the average for me every time I leave the house. If I didn’t bike with my head in the clouds all of the time I would probably notice more people I know, but for a major city 2 people isn’t bad. But Amsterdam is actually a small village disguised as a major city, which is why I love it. Halfway home I realized that I had never started the music on my ipod. Sometimes the sounds of the city are just enough on their own.