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Jun. 3rd, 2007


A Beautiful Time to Be Alive

spray sunscreen

Aug. 13th, 2006


Nicely Pinked

This is not about sunburn.
This about sunscreen.

Unlike most of the internet audience - I remember a time when one couldn't purchase sunblock. You would walk into a drug store and there would be a HUGE display of tanning oils, tan accelerators, and tan enhancers. Things designed to make you look like a polynesian native. Somewhere in that pile of stuff was a handful of sunblock - usually not waterproof, with an SPF of 5 or lower (no kidding, you could buy SPF 1). The highest you could get at any time was 10. A good place would have SPF 15. We once found an SPF 30 and went nuts. 

I have the mixed fate of being born a Natural Red Head (NRH). This means I am incapable of being any other color than pasty pale ("five freckles short of albino") or Coke-can-red. Born at a time when the only thing to be was Blond and Tan, I can tell you horrible childhood stories of being ridiculed for being 1) pale, 2) the only person on the beach with sunscreen on, or 3) teased mightily for wearing sunscreen. And who would wear that stuff anyway? It smelled awful. Sand would get in it. We'd have to get out of the water and put it back on again. It left this awful greasy feel on you. Did I mention it smelled bad? And it never worked anyway - I'd end up just as red without it. (note to the wise, ice cold compresses applied immediately after getting out of the sun really helps stop the burn. But you have to do it as soon as you get out of the sun and until the heat is gone. It takes a good hour or more. Then moisturizer and aloe. It won't reverse any burning already done, but it will keep it from getting worse).

Suddenly, folks find out that skin cancer is caused by the sun. Almost overnight sunblock is cool. Gone are the walls of tanning oils. Replaced by sunblocks STARTING at SPF 15. You can get aloe, solarcaine, moisturizer - all in one place. You almost can't get a product without sunscreen in it. My foundation and chapstik has sunblock in it. Unfortunately, I was so traumatized as a child, I cannot bring myself to put the stuff on. It still smells bad, and feels bad. And you still have to reapply. Someone, at some point, will put the stuff in a can and I can just spray it on. And it won't smell like anything. Hey, if the powers that be can do it with self-tanners, they can do it with sunscreen.

Speaking of self tanners - I've tried them without success. They really aren't designed for the NRH. I think the Washington Post Express in a review of a sunless tanner described it the best : even the mildest self-tanner makes [the pale] look like a radioactive apricot. The product under discussion was Benefit's Jiffy Tan. Which I sampled. And yes, it does work. But there's GLITTER in it. I'm 32 years-old. I don't do glitter. Especially when it's going to end up all over. It's the kind of thing that would look good on a chest during prom, but not on all limbs and face at the office. But I digress.

So yesterday, while enjoying myself out at Eastern Market, I had the foresight to realize that since I was sans sunscreen (an oversight  on my part), I should bring a light jacket to keep the sun off. Which I wisely resorted to when I started to sweat while standing still in the middle of a sun drenched part of parking lot yakking on the phone. And not a moment too soon. I woke up this morning with tan lines where my watch was. I am, of course, not tan. I'm ever so lightly pink. Which for the NRH crowd IS a tan. My legs, however, are still the same shade of translucent (my legs haven't burned in close to 10 years).

We can put glitter in deodorant and turn armpits into underarms, but we can't put sunscreen into a can?

Aug. 12th, 2006


Eastern Market

After 4 years of living here, I finally got out to Eastern Market today.

Much fun. And you can get there late and still find really great stuff. It almost gets better the later you get there. There is a lot of stuff, but not a lot of variety. Lots of really cute ethnic/embroidered clothing, bead/jewelry, art, and there's a furniture mart across the street. The clothing is always too large and there is never a mirror. The jewelry looks the same, and I haven't bought beads since high school. And I'm not big into art (though if you like African art, it is THE place!). I got the usual snob treatment from the antique vendors - I look like a kid, ergo I can't have money. So the inquiry into Gorham ornaments was ignored. 

All was not lost, however. I had the BEST pineapple upside down cake, the glazed pecans were to DIE for, the sorbet was yummy, and my amber bead necklace finally got fixed! I asked him to fix an old pearl necklace - one of those vintage costume jewerly pieces. I picked it up from Goodwill on my fist day there. One of the 4 strings had broken and I kept thinking I'd fix it. So I hauled it out and he looked at it. Man said that "as your bead adviser" he wouldn't do it. It wasn't worth it. He gave me some advice on how to DIY (makes a nice In front-of-TV project). He is SO getting repeat business. And I did fix it. Much happiness.

I went out in the early evening and raided Cakelove. I also stopped into Marshall's (which was in register meltdown mode as usual), and Payless (they are getting better at stocking wides). I also visited Rave (cause I can actually fit that stuff) and tried on a few dresses (on sale). OMG, I had one of those "I wish I had a camera this is so hideous" moments. I did not have a camera, so you are on your own. There was one cute shirt. If it was cheaper, I'd have bought it. I don't mind spending gobs of money on office clothes and quality. But play clothes and junior's wear - it better be rock bottom.

I did not get to play with my neighbor's bunnies. Yes, my neighbor's have bunnies and have been taking them for regular constitutionals out in the hall in the evenings. They don't have a regular time and they are so quiet that I never quite know when they are out. There is nothing like seeing a happy bunny to help you forget how unjust the world is. 

I pretty much knocked myself out during the day and was in bed by 11 (a new record!).

June 2007



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