(Originally posted: 11/3/17)
It’s been a minute since we last spoke. Here’s the highlight reel of what I’ve been up to.
I spent a weekend in Lake Tahoe with my friend Kat. We walked along the coast, climbed the granite boulders on the north shore, enjoyed cocktails at the Ritz, steak dinners in Carson City. I played the penny slots at the crusty Denver Nugget—the only place I’ve ever seen a Marlboro vending machine—and felt especially grateful that gambling and cigarettes were two vices that never stuck to me. Probably because I like my skin and I like my money and I don’t trust either to luck.
It felt like the perfect time to be in Tahoe: snow on the mountains but not the road, bright sunshine and boot weather, orange aspens tucked around the pines. Lake water is clearest in the fall. I always feel clearest too.
I watched and loved American Vandal, a silly true crime spoof on Netflix that manages to be both a consistently funny parody of the Serial style and a surprisingly profound meditation on the high school experience.
I listened to and hated “Dirty John,” an actual true crime podcast from the LA Times, and realized that my love of true crime does have limits. The story of a woman who stands by a man even as he seriously threatens the wellbeing of her children hit a bit too close to home for me. You could actually argue that that is the precise story of my home. The whole thing left me feeling really sick.
I visited a great new art space in Los Angeles. The Underground Museum in Arlington Heights is everything I want from a museum: expertly-curated, community-oriented, of manageable size, and a little too cool for me. Plus, there’s a serene outdoor space with lots of places to laze about and sip a juice. It's a thoughtful yet organic addition to the neighborhood.
I tied for second place in Bitch Sesh's annual Real Housewives Costume Contest. I went as Carole’s tattered scalamandre couch. Given the timing of the show and my dining res, this required me leaving the Sunset Tower in a velour, full-body tiger jumpsuit in the middle of a heatwave.
My best friend moved to London. It’s safe to say that this is a peace I have yet to make. I’ve already been very mushy about Amy elsewhere, but I will say that she loved me even when I wore exclusively lime green crushed velvet t-shirts from Limited Too and that is a love you cannot manufacture or buy. Now she’s off to the UK to build the big life she always wanted. I can’t think of a more important thing for a woman to do.
Men continue to be trash.
That’s pretty much the cliffs notes. I also noodled on some new tee designs (**coming soon**), dyed my hair a deeper, witchier red, and applied like 14,000 sheet masks.
Also, I turn 28 on Wednesday (where my twisted November Scorpios at??) so I’ve already processed several anticipatory panics and depressive funks about the ephemerality of my ingénue status. Thankfully, Lucifer assures me I will stay fresh for many, many years to come.
So there’s a lot going on (when is there not) but I want to take a second to comment on the question that’s been floating around progressive circles, which is basically: what responsibility do Democrats have to embrace Republican dissenters of Trump. The answer, IMO, is: absolutely zero.
It’s great that senators like Corker, McCain, and Flake have suddenly discovered their consciences at the tail end of their congressional careers, but no you do not get a medal for stating that the mess you helped make has become well, super, messy.
You do not get to steer America into a 5-car pile-up then walk away saying “I don’t believe in car crashes anymore.”
At the end of the day, it is not my job or the job of any liberal to create a warm water bath into which fair-haired Republican men might be reborn as mildly decent. If they want to join us out here in the lake of Trump-bashers, great! The water's cold and everyone's miserable. Don't see why it should be any different for them.
During my road trip up north, I stopped at the Donner Party Museum in Truckee. Technically it’s the Emigrant Trail Museum, but c’mon, we all know who the real stars are.
As we learned in 4th grade California history class, the Donner Party was an ill-fated group of pioneers from Springfield, Illinois who traveled to California in the 1840s in search of, idk, year-round tanning weather and more consistent avocado quality (*avoquality*)? They attempted a shortcut—the new and brutal Hastings Cutoff through Utah—which added weeks to their journey and trapped them in the Sierra Nevadas for an early, devastating snowfall. Only half of the Donner Party survived the winter. Most famously, the ones that did ate the ones that didn’t to stay alive.
Notably, women survived at a higher rate than men. According to this 1992 LA Times article, that's not a fluke: “More body fat, a lower metabolic rate and a temperament that is less prone to aggression make females the hardier sex when it comes to surviving disaster.”
Basically, men have been taking morally ambiguous shortcuts for millennia and women have managed to stay alive thanks to boobs and a general attitude of “let’s not.”
There’s hope for us yet.
I’ve recently become obsessed with expanding my repertoire of statement eye lewks. You never know when you’re going to need a navy cat-eye or a shimmery cut crease or a foil lid or a smoky ombré purple wash. Plus: practicing these looks is another easy way for me to disassociate from the world for 30-45 minutes while I listen to Stacie Orrico. Win-win.
Of course, a bang-up eyeshadow job is nothing without a good base. Let’s talk about base! Specifically: base application (scroll ahead if this is getting too sexy for you).
I’ve been a loyal beautyblender fan for a year or two now. It’s just an easy, reliable way to apply foundation. But fam, a couple weeks ago I discovered the Clarisonic Sonic Foundation Brush Head and there is no looking back.
The foundation brush is an attachment to the Clarisonic (I own a Mia 1) that employs the tool’s motor to spin and buff your foundation into perfection. The result is shockingly good. Like Photoshop good.
Seriously guys. I feel like my makeup routine has entered the industrial revolution.
It’s not worth going out there and buying a pricey Clarisonic, but if you have one, and it’s maybe collecting dust because it’s not 2013, the foundation brush head is a very worthy addition.
One note: you’re going to want to make sure your Clarisonic is charged before you dig into your look. Otherwise the brush will hum to a stop mid-cream contour and you will be forced to manually blend out your shadows.
I don’t know about you but I did not elect to be Amish.