Patties & Penney’s

2 things. 

1. Yesterday I bought “chicken” patties (not real chicken) from Meijer by Morning Star and I made myself a chicken patty sandwich today for lunch. IT WAS SO GOOD. I hadn’t had one since elementary school.

2. After reading articles in Women’s Wear Daily about JC Penney’s revamping, I actually went to the store today (not on purpose!) and discovered Sephora had finally opened up inside. And, more sections of the store were being transformed, along with several brand boutiques already debuted, including Levi’s and Arizona Jeans. I’m pretty excited still. It looks fresh and new and it makes me want to come shopping more.

I managed to snap a picture of Philosophy. 3-in-1’s at Sephora inside of JCP.

A Series of Stops and Starts

Sometimes I sit in front of my laptop for a few minutes trying to think of what to write about and ultimately end up writing about what I did that today. I just came out of a little trance like that in which my final thought was “life is a series of stops of and starts.

I can’t remember if I’ve written about this philosophy before, but it’s one that I’ve held for a long time. I most often think of it while I’m driving, because driving is the perfect example of it. I avoid taking the freeways, so I encounter stoplights and stop signs all the time. Driving is a series of stops and starts. In comparison, life is too.

We go from being wee little kids, starting and stopping years of school, knowing and unknowing friends, to continuing that cycle as we get older. As I’m coming up on my last year of college, I can hear the low screech of my education stopping, and the “real world” on the brink of starting. It’s going to be another chapter of discarding “friends” who were probably not really friends to begin with, to encountering and acquainting new friends. It’s like cutting strings and tying knots to new ones.

That’s just my two cents of wisdom for the day.

I went up to school to fix the atrocious saggy boob situation that was happening on our gray dress with Alyza. Now all I have to do is iron everything tomorrow. We had lunch with Alyza’s manfriend Ross at 2Booli afterwards and I had the most delicious dish I’ve tried there: Mjadara.

It’s a vegetarian dish consisting of lentils and rice topped with cooked onions (SO GOOD) and decorated with tomatoes, lemon wedges, and pickled turnip. Also served with a side of plain yogurt. It was really good. I have leftovers that I will be eating for dinner. I need to learn to cook this meal.

Scents of Summer

I don’t remember what part of today first set this off, but I have made it my mission to remember to focus on writing about smells today. Perhaps it was making some of the mulling spice tea from Sur La Table that jump-started me. I’d like to first mention that perhaps I didn’t put enough of it in my water, although I thought I did, but it was disappointingly bland. Secondly, it has anise in it and I love the smell of anise. It’s got a weird texture, like slate. And it always reminds me of the time in 9th grade when I made bought anise seeds so I could make anise seed cookies for my Spanish class. I have never made again, but I think I should sometime…

Today was a really gorgeous day in terms of weather. I made an impulse decision that I needed to get out of the house and exercise, so I did. I was hit by the scent of a breezy, cooler summer day. I felt confident and good about myself. On one of the streets I walked, I encountered a scent that will forever remind me of my friend Kris and the winter of 2010.

It’s a bit embarrassing now, but back then when I had a raging lady boner for him, I remember I told him he smelled really good a few times. One of those times, he told me it was just his soap. I can’t for the life of me remember what that soap was called but I think it may have had the words spring, arbor, or mist in it. Maybe all three? Anyway, over the last year and a half, I occasionally get a whiff of it and am transported back to those winter nights when I’d leave work at 7, the green scent of that damn soap clinging to my nostrils, with the biggest smile on my face because I felt happy. I remember he gave me a hoodie to embroider with the Assassin’s Creed logo and all I could do for weeks was just sniff it because it smelled so good.

Later, I had Indian for dinner with my mom. We had lemon rice and Jaipur vegetables. Every time I have Jaipur vegetables, I want to gag a little at the smell. It kind of smells like baby vomit, which is not enticing at all. However, it tastes SO DAMN GOOD. This usually reminds me of the period of time a little over a decade ago when we lived in the apartments – my parents would buy this really nasty smelling microwavable pasta salad. I can’t even describe the colors of it, but I remember it was a sharp smell and I would lock myself in my room and always be angry that they kept making it. It was terrible.

Lastly, tonight I watched the movie Exit Through the Gift Shop featuring Banksy and Thierry Guetta. It was a really good movie and I loved seeing behind the scenes stuff from Banksy. However, toward the end it really showcased how Thierry became Mr. Brainwash and how he operates his artwork business. He calls himself a street artist, and by no means do I mean to discredit that. If anything, I thought his perseverance and determination to make a movie about street art was amazing, not to mention the huge undertaking of his big showcase in LA. But when they showed how he runs his art business behind the scenes, I felt…I don’t know…a little annoyed? As my mom put it, it’s kind of like a fashion designer. He has all the ideas, but he has other people do the work.

Thierry did the artwork for Madonna’s Greatest Hits album cover.

He basically comes up with the ideas and has a staff of computer savvy people Photoshop the pieces into being and then puts his MBW (Mr. Brainwash) logo on them. It annoys me because I feel like, even though you’re conceptualizing the idea, it’s not exactly you’re work. But then, I kinda feel like a future-hypocrite because my life goal is to have other people do my work for me. As Roger Sterling would put it “I’m rich, why should I have to do the work?” Yet, when it comes to pure art, and I consider street art to of that nature, it just seems like…wrong, to do that. You know? Just my two cents.

The Scent of Green Papaya

There’s something about waking up (and definitely falling asleep) to the sounds of rain. I love summer rain. While it may obscure the sun and lay me off tanning and swimming for a day or two, it’s usually always pleasant, followed by the soothing sounds of birds and crickets chirping. And for some reason, I never see worms in the summer after it rains. I like that.

I went to Meijer today as my ‘get out the house‘ adventure and bought gin and tonic. I would first like to mention that I think I’ll always associate gin and tonic with Philly, dreary rainy days, and my best friend telling me it’s an old man’s drink. And also probably the imaginary speakeasies and saloons filled with old men and cigars that I imagine when I think of old men drinking gin and tonic. I made my mom a drink too and I think I got her a little tipsy, it was amusing.

Lastly, I watched a movie on Netflix today called The Scent of Green Papaya, which, by the way, has the most wonderful ring to it when you say it out loud or in your head. Go ahead, say it. It’ll roll off your tongue spectacularly. Anyway, it looked interesting because firstly, it was a foreign film and I adore me them foreign movies. Secondly, the description mentioned it was Oscar-nominated, and thirdly, it mildly reminded me of Memoirs of A Geisha (before I watched it) which I adore, so I had to watch it. It turned out pretty good. It was one of those movies, kind of like Marie Antoinette, that was more cinematic and artsy than blockbustery. And by that I mean there was very little dialogue and a heavy emphasis on the art of filmography. I honestly have no idea what the point of the movie was, because as far as I’m concerned, there was none. But it didn’t drag on and it was pretty easy to watch. If you like movies with attention to detail, watch it.

Oh, and P.S. I updated Vivography today!

P.P.S. I wore a scarf around my head today while I was out and I really like the look. I think I might start doing it more often when I don’t want to fix my hair.

Another Shopping Saturday.

I woke up this morning with two things in mind: one, that I had to urgently pee, and pee a lot, and two, that I would go to the Rust Belt in downtown Ferndale. I did both and felt great after each.

All the vendors at the Rust Belt were new (to me) since I hadn’t been there since last July. I was a bit sad that the woodwork guy wasn’t there. Last summer, there was a vendor who made really cool jewelry out of wood, and I was hoping he’d be there so I could grovel over his amazing $20 earrings. Instead, I discovered a rather shy and awkward lady who sold crystals (!!!) and did not share in my excitement for her awesome little shop. I think she thought I was crazy or something, and immediately after I professed how excited I was about her crystals, I started nervous-sweating all over my face, neck and shoulders from the look she gave me. She also gave psychic readings for $20 but her awkward shyness made me skip out on that. I was content enough with my clear crystal point and bismuth chunk.

And since I was in the neighborhood, I stopped by the Natural Patch food store to pick up some energy chunks. I absolutely love this place. I discovered it last summer at the same time as the Rust Belt and it was love at first price-sighting. They’re basically an independently owned Whole-Foods-esque type of grocery/medicinal store with massive amounts or organic everything. My favorite things they carry are the handmade energy chunks and date & coconut rolls. And their sweetened banana chips are THE BEST. They’re not greasy at all, which is something I often find with banana chips.

I dropped by Meijer afterwards to see if they had 1 gallon mason jars and terranium-appropriate plants, of which they had neither. In the process, I got hit on by the garden center guy for about 20 minutes. I was trying to gauge his age the entire time cause I think I saw some gray hair, but he looked about 28.

But the highlight of my day above all things was probably the most inconsequential thing: as I was driving down Woodward under the bridge by the Detroit Zoo, there was a class of elementary school kids on the bridge walking toward the Zoo and I had an innate feeling that they were going to wave at the cards coming. I was in the lead with no cars around for for about a quarter of a mile and I looked up as I was passing, and they waved down and I waved back up to them and after that I felt so incredibly happy and had the biggest smile on my face for a good five minutes. It’s the simple things in life…

Adventures in Downtown Royal Oak

Thoughts on weekends:

One of the the best things about this term is that I only have class Mon-Thurs, which leaves me Friday, Saturday, and Sunday open (minus one of those days, really, for my other job) and that is such a relief. I actually have time to breathe and think and do homework more thoroughly again!

Today I dedicated my free time to shopping/exploring. I met up with Krista in downtown Royal Oak and we walked to Paris‘s new location. We spent a good chunk of time in there, and I don’t know about Krista, but I spent most of my time looking at the jewelry and trying to find something to get my mom for mother’s day. Luckily, I found 2 rings I liked, and I bought them. Neither of them are real gold or silver, but they’re so pretty, I had to get them. They’re a little big, but I think I’ll get some snuggies for them tomorrow at work.

I also bought my mom a box of hazelnut bon bons from Gayle’s Chocolates. They’re pretty delicious, but I kind of wish I’d have bought her the lemon blueberry shortbread ones instead. We had Indian for lunch at Moti Mahal and Krista got the Chicken Vindaloo which was the hottest item on the menu. I tried it and thought I was going to die a little.

Lastly, we ventured over to Salvation Army (after visiting Incognito where I felt judged upon entrance) and Krista left early, where as I found a fantastic lemon yellow English teacup and saucer set to had to my mini collection for $10! Quite a bargain compared to the $20 a set German sets I bought from Paris last fall. I need to visit more Salvation Armies more often so I can pilfer their kitchen sections for teacup sets. And also their jewelry. Which is usually ridiculous and I like it.

I was planning to go visit downtown Ferndale tomorrow so I can go to The Rust Belt Market, but I think I might have to save that for another weekend. I think tomorrow will be Zumba/shower/change bedsheets/do some homework before work kinda day.

I’m A Shopping Beast

You know that feeling when you’re still technically sleeping but your mind suddenly becomes alert and conscious of the real world? That’s how I woke up this morning. I was chillin’ my bed still sleeping and suddenly my mind was awake and aware of being awake, but my body was still sleeping.

Nonetheless, I got up around 9:30 and spent an hour lulling about my house before I headed out shopping. I initially only had the intention of stopping by Joann’s to pick up stuff for class, Victoria’s Secret, and Meijer, but I ended up going to a lot more.

After Joann’s, I stopped by Payless to check out their selection cause I haven’t been in there in a long time. Nothing really tickled by pickle except for a pair of uncomfortable peep-toe pumps. I didn’t get them. Afterwards, I went to Plato’s Closet because I’ve only been there one other time many years ago and wanted to see what they had. I like the weird smell of the place. I ended up buying a BCBG tank that I returned later in the day, an Old Navy t-shirt, and an H&M big flowy top that I think I’m going to alter because I’m swimming in it and it’s a size medium.

I headed up to the mall after that cause I had to stop by VS to redeem my 2 free underwear cards. Let me tell you guys, I was SO tempted to get 5 more undies and call it day, but I also had 2 $10 off a bra cards and I used one. After that, I went over to PacSun and found out they were having 70% off extra clearance items with a red slash on the tag, so I got 3 tops. And of course, no mall stop is complete without at least a glance into Forever 21. They’re having neon orgasm all over that bitch. I found a really cute floor-length knit with lace overlay dress. The only problem was all the fat people bought the larges and only size small was left. Fortunately, accessories has no weight limit. I ended up buying some of those 90s hair snappy things, 2 different alligator clip flowers, a headband, and some blow clips. Phew.

And then I went to Aldi to get marzipan for my mom. But it doesn’t end there. I also went to Meijer to grab ingredients for this recipe. I forgot about the condensed milk so I make a substitute with dry milk, sugar, and water. Unfortunately, this didn’t help to congeal the pie very well so I had to freeze it for a while. I stuck it back in the fridge and last time I looked, it was kinda melting back. It tastes really good though! Normally this would be the part where I share a picture of my version, but it was dark when it was frozen enough to cut properly so better luck tomorrow hopefully!

And now that I’ve bored you all with the details of my shopping habits, I wish you all a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and I hope you’ve had a drink or two in celebration!

P.S. I nearly forgot to mention I was told a few times today that it looked like I was wearing no shoes because they blended into my stockings. And amusingly enough IMO, all of the people who told me this were workers in the stores and none of them seemed to give a fuck about it. They were amused, not alarmed. Huh.

P.P.S. When I went to return that BCBG tank at Plato’s, there was this guy there that I went to high school with. He is actually the kid of my elementary school lunch mom. Anyway, it was REALLY fucking awkward because I’m pretty sure he knows who I am or at least recognized that we went to the same school, but he made no sign whatsoever of acknowledging that we know each other. I was thinking about this earlier and how interesting and kind of rude it is to completely disregard someone like that when you’ve grown up around them your entire life.

P.P.P.S. There’s a new post over on Vivography. :D