Monday, August 24, 2009


I am concerned that what I am about to ask is going to make me sound like a racist a**hole.

That is entirely NOT my intention. I am seriously concerned about something and I need some assistance. Please help Internets!!

(But I apologize in advance if what I am about to ask makes me a douchewaffle. (And in fact, if you feel I am being a racist in the asking, please tell me, cause I really, really don't mean to be.))


I need help with Lana's skin.

Her skin is so unlike my skin. I'm afraid I'm really screwing it up.

The skin on her arms and legs gets quite dry, but we are keeping it soft and smooth with Eucerin or St. Ives Intensive Healing lotion several times a week.

But her FACE! Her poor face...I know I'm doing something wrong and the situation seems to be getting worse.

She has two extremely dry spots on her cheeks, and it's getting to the point that the skin on her cheeks looks several shades lighter than the skin on the rest of her face.

For a while I was putting my moisturizing lotion on her face, but she complained that it stung and it wasn't helping. So, I've been alternating putting BioOil and Vitamin E Oil on her face every day, and while it looks slightly better with this treatment, it still looks dry and the texture of her cheeks is...I don't know how to describe it - it's not bumpy, but it doesn't feel like healthy skin, it doesn't feel like the skin on the rest of her face.

Is there something I can get that is specifically made for Asian skin?

Please help! She does swim nearly every day, often for hours at a time. We put sunscreen all over her, and I'm wondering if the sunscreen is making things worse. Or the chlorine. Or a combination. I don't know.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

In Which I Buy Some Bubble Tea and Realize That I Am Old

Friday evening, after dropping Gabriel and Lana off with my aunt, Husband and I went to Ann Arbor for dinner. (Gabe and Lana were spending the weekend with my aunt so that Husband and I could spend most of Saturday sailing with some friends on Lake Erie.*)

We had some yummy Japanese food, and as we were leaving the restaurant, I noticed a shop called, "Bubble Island" across the street.

I have been without a local supplier of bubble tea since the lone Vietnamese restaurant in our city closed down a few months ago, so I was extremely pleased to see that bubble tea was in my very near future.

I dragged Husband over to the Bubble Island shop, and hurried inside, and spent some time considering the various Bubble Tea options available to me at Bubble Island.

I was still wearing my work clothes - a long black and white sleeveless dress that was cool enough for the hot day, but still dressy enough to wear to court.**

After I placed my order, it dawned on me that I was CLEARLY not the target demographic for Bubble Island.

I was - **GASP** - old enough to be the mother of EVERY OTHER PERSON in the shop, including the guys working at the counter. (Well, old enough to be their mother if I had had a baby right out of high school, which of course, I didn't, but if I had, that child would be the age of all the other people in Bubble Island.)

I felt old. I felt...slightly silly. As if, perhaps, the joy of bubble tea was something I should have grown out of sometime circa 1994. (Of course, I didn't KNOW about bubble tea in 1994, and if I had known about bubble tea in 1994, I would have balked at paying $3.95 for a drink that didn't have any gin in it.) (Oh hell, let's be honest - circa 1994 I would have balked at paying $3.95 for a drink that HAD gin in it. I was a poor college student. $2 Well Drinks were a big thing for me.)

I took my honeydew flavored black milk tea with colored pearls "to go" and walked towards the car. It was delicious.

I'm just surprised, I think, at how far removed I felt from the other patrons. When I think about college, it doesn't seem that long ago. When I spend time with my college Girlfriends (which isn't as often as I'd like, but at least several times a year) - I almost feel like it was yesterday.

Bubble Island reminded me that it really was fifteen years ago. Fifteen years that has put more pounds on my frame and a few lines on my face, and a wardrobe that is clearly, clearly not that of a college student.

That bubble tea, though...that was still delicious. And I think I may have figured out how to make bubble tea at home, so at least I have a source that is closer away than Ann Arbor, and less likely to make me feel like I am trespassing on the domain of undergraduates.


* Which is not to say that Gabe and Lana wouldn't have enjoyed sailing on Lake Erie - it just wasn't a kid friendly event

** Some female attorneys do not feel sleeveless dresses are appropriate for court. I respect that opinion. There are some judges' courtrooms into which I wouldn't wear a sleeveless dress. However, generally speaking, I do wear a lot of sleeveless blouses or dresses during the summer, and I think this is one of the few advantages female attorneys have over male attorneys. When it's 85 degrees in the hallway at municipal court, at least I don't have to wear a tie.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sometimes I Worry About You Darlin', You Wear Too Much Mascara*

Bunny's Mom reminded me that I wanted to talk about my new Va-Va-Va-Voom mascara. And I DO. (She reminded me of this because Bunny's Mom let Bunny wear clear mascara to school yesterday and I wanted to know what kind.)

Anyway, most of my adult I have worn only clear mascara.

My eyelashes are already very dark black, and most mascara seems to just flake into my eyes, run down my cheeks, and makes me end up looking like a raccoon. So it wasn't worth it to me to use anything but clear.

THEN, I read about "tubing" mascara, which I thought was probably a bunch of bubkis, until I read two articles (not in Cosmo) that it was a good choice for people with sensitive eyes and contacts. (I don't wear contacts, but I would classify my eyes as sensitive.)

SO. I went to RiteAid and I bought some "tubing" mascara. And let me tell you, it really does seem to work. It doesn't flake, and it doesn't bother my eyes. It doesn't come off if my eyes get a little watery, but it does come off in water (like, in the pool or shower.)

I have had several complements about my eyes since I started wearing it. So many that I have been really surprised. (They range from, "you look fabulous today" to (my favorite) in the elevator, leaving work last Thursday, I got a, "You are looking...incredibly well-rested," from a guy I went to law school with. (Of course, considering that while I was going to law school, I had, well, LAW SCHOOL, and a SLEEPLESS INFANT, the fact that I wasn't falling asleep on my feet, and lacked baby puke on any part of my ensemble was probably a dramatic improvement.)

At any rate, I just wanted to share my new found appreciation for tubing mascara. (I bought L'Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes but I think there are several varieties on the market.) (For the record, no cosmetic companies asked me to write about this. This is totally unsolicited praise on my part.)

*Rod Stewart, Camouflage

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's Been One Week Since You Looked At Me...*

This week:

  • Lana was lost for about twenty minutes. Actually, Lana wasn't lost, per se. I thought she was lost. Gabe went next door to our neighbor's house to ask Lana to come home for dinner. He came back and reported that both Lana and her friend had "gone missing." I sent Gabe off to check three other friends' houses. When he came back to report that she wasn't at any of those houses, and to report that neither neither Haley nor Lily nor Lydia had seen Lana or her friend all afternoon (boy, there are a LOT of little girls with "L" names in our neighborhood) I was very close to FREAKING THE F**K OUT. It was fortunate that, at that time, our neighbor came over to say that Lana and her friend had been at our neighbor's the whole time, quietly drawing pictures in a closet. WHY WHERE THEY IN THE CLOSET? I don't know. But they were there and they were fine.

  • We got a fish tank. We bought four fish (I wanted to name two of them Rosencrantz and Guildenstern but I was outvoted.) The four fish were thriving so we bought three more. The third new fish sent all the other fish into a tizzy. The guppies had baby guppies. The swordtail fish (the instigator of all the tank trouble) ATE THE BABY GUPPIES. The fish became even more distressed. The swordtail fish (his name was Arthur) was found the next morning outside the tank. Quite, quite deceased. I'm not sure if he committed suicide or if the other fish sentenced him to death for cannibalism. I still can't figure out how he got out of the tank since there is a serious lid on the top. I'm also shocked that the Big Orange Cat did not eat him once he jumped from (or was flung from) the tank. The Small Auxiliary Cat also did not eat the swordtail fish, but that's not surprising because he (the Small Auxiliary Cat) isn't very bright. With the swordtail gone, peace now reigns in the tank of Ares, Poseidon, Lizzie (a hatchet fish), Neko-chan (a cat fish), and two fished that Lana has proposed naming Hannah and Miley. (She was outvoted as well. The fish have no names right now, and it doesn't really work to call them "not-Rosencrantz, not-Guildenstern, not-Miley, not-Hannah".)

  • I bought a Cosmopolitan Magazine because Kristen Bell was on the cover. (Oh, what? Like you never bought a magazine because an actress you have a slightly unhealthy interest in was on the cover?) The interview with Kristen Bell was adorable and funny and it just made me like her even more. Much of the rest of the magazine ranged from laughable to disturbing. It claimed (I call b*llsh*t on this, but I'm curious what your take is) that EIGHTY PERCENT of men are "manscaping". (I didn't know what manscaping was until I read the article.) If you don't know, let me share: manscaping is grooming of the hair around one's um...junk. (Junk-grooming, if you will). The interview was with a woman who waxes men' For a living. I find it impossible to believe that 80% of men in America are participated in this painful process. I just don't think 80% of men are willing to allow someone to come at their junk with hot wax. Call me crazy. LASTLY, Cosmo told me I should wear socks with high heeled sandals. NO. REALLY. I'm not kidding. I think Cosmo might be messing with my head on purpose.

  • We had a great weekend that involved live music at the art museum, followed by great food with great friends, and a day lounging by the pool. It was peaceful and lovely and it felt like a really perfect summer weekend.


*BNL, One Week

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Girls, Put Your Pants On for Lubna

I haven't seen a lot of news in the past three weeks. First, I was preoccupied with the demands of entertaining our exchange student. And then, sadly, a recent divorce client (apparently) committed suicide, which - honestly - is breaking my heart.

I explain my lack of attention to the news simply because I want to talk about Lubna Hussein, and Lubna Hussein may be old news to those of you who have been paying more attention to the news than I have in the past few weeks.

Lubna Hussein is facing a public flogging in the Sudan for the crime of wearing trousers. Yes, you read that correctly. She put on some pants, and now the Sudanese government wants to beat her. Publicly.

There is an article about it from the New York Times here. (Sometimes the NYT asks you to log in, and I can't remember if I was logged in when I read this article or not.)

I don't know if I would have the courage to stand up to something in the way that Lubna Hussein is standing up. I'd like to think that if I were faced with something so clearly backwards and wrong I would choose the brave route that Lubna has chosen. But it is a terrifying thing to face that kind of challenge. It would be easier to back down. But she is not backing down.

She could have invoked dipolmatic immunity from the law because she is employed by the UN. But she is choosing to stand trial, risking being flogged publicly, in order to stand up for what she knows to be true - that the law she was charged with breaking is unconscionable. I applaud her courage. I applaud her ingenuity in drawing attention to her case.

I can only hope that her actions will cause bring a small change to her corner of the world.


Saturday, August 08, 2009

Yet I never wonder where you went, I only wonder why, I wonder why...*

Three months have passed since Kelsey disappeared. Then has been no word, no sign, no hope.

It is as if she fell off the face of the earth.

Three people have been arrested and charged with crimes that are believed to be, in a roundabout way, related to her disappearance. They were supposed to go to trial next week in Federal Court in Oregon, but their trial date has been pushed into December.

I am glad I resisted the part of me that wanted to buy a plane ticket to Portland so I can sit in the courtroom next week. (And truly, MAM and Nicole should be grateful I resisted the urge to call you both and beg YOU to sit in the courtroom, to tell me if she was there...)

Most of my brain has given up hope. But there is a tiny sliver of hope that she was placed in protective custody, that despite the police and FBI and the prosecutor's denials, that she was taken somewhere to keep her safe so that she can testify against the people who are believed to have harmed her. But, as I've said, the police, the FBI, the prosecutor - they seem as anxious to find her as we are. I find myself hoping that they are class-A liars, and that they have her, someplace - warm and safe and dry and breathing.

But most of the time...forgive me for saying this...most of the time, I almost hope that she has left us. Because if she IS still alive, and she ISN'T with the good guys...the stark reality is that she is with people who have every reason to hurt her, that she is existing in a truth that is probably worse than not-existing at all.

In the darkest hours of nights when I cannot sleep, I am haunted by thoughts of where she might be now. These thoughts make my stomach churn.

I took this confession to my mother. "Is it wrong to hope that she's dead instead of hurting?" My mother tells me she doesn't know if it's wrong, but that she feels the same way. "If she's left us...she's with Grandpa and she's in a better place." My mother just squeezed my hand.


* Concrete Blonde, Caroline

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Problem with Facebook

The problem with Facebook (well, among the problems with Facebook) is that it can be a slap in the face when all the people who are your "Facebook Friends" but who weren't actually your real friends in high school, post pictures of themselves. Especially if the pictures they post are FROM high school, and feature them attending fabulous parties, having a great time.

Pictures which never feature you, because, of course, you weren't at those parties. Because those people weren't your friends in high school.

What's made this worse, for me, this week is this - I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THOSE PARTIES WERE HAPPENING. Admittedly, I was very busy building sets for the drama club and spending Friday nights listening to Depeche Mode and watching weird foreign films and painting my fingernails black with my small circle of friends...or alternately snogging a string of loser boyfriends. Maybe those experiences were superior to having been invited to a party...

I suppose it was better that I was blissfully unaware of the parties at the time they were happening, because certainly my feelings would have been infinitely more hurt at the time then they are now.

But I can't say the pictures don't make me more than a little curious about what else I missed in high school.

It shouldn't bother me to see those photos, should it? These slightly faded, scanned photos of fabulous parties I wasn't invited to?

I mean, I sure as hell attended more than my fair share of fabulous parties in college. I have been known to HOST a fabulous party or two, as an adult.

I know, logically, that it's better to have had nearly two adult decades of real friends and really great parties - then to have had a few years of high school happiness.

However, there is a part of Facebook that still brings that high school sullenness out in me.

Maybe I should "de-friend" all my fake high school non-friend Facebook friends?

What about you? Has Facebook ever hurt your feelings?

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Whatcha do with all them donuts that you bake?

At present there are two sixteen-year-old Japanese exchange students in my living room playing Wii Bowling with Lana. I have promised to take them shopping tomorrow. It is their deepest desire to go to Forever 21. Apparently Forever 21 is a big deal in Japan. I don't think I have ever made anyone this ecstatically happy with just the promise of a ride to the mall.

I'm thinking that they are going to have to buy a new suitcase while they are at the mall because there is no room in their bags for any new stuff.

I find it very interesting to watch the exchange students' reactions to all things American. (I can still remember the first few weeks I spent in Japan, and how fascinating I found EVERYTHING.) Currently, they are thrilled by Pop-Tarts, chewy chocolate chip cookies, Tim Horton's Donuts**, and Wii Bowling (I thought Wii was pretty common in Japan, but I don't know if Wii Bowling has taken off.)

Speaking of doughnuts, I have a funny story to share. My mother returned from an International conference of "Women in the Clergy" a few days ago. The conference was held in Atlanta, but their were women there from all over the world. Inadvertently, my mother introduced a group of Cameroonian*** nuns to the delicacy that is commonly known as the "glazed doughnut". My mother had to actually drag them out of the back of the Baptist church that was serving the doughnuts with a promise that they would find more doughnuts the next day. After that, it was a week long quest for glazed donuts on the part of those nuns. It was "Have you TASTED THIS?" and "Do you KNOW ABOUT THESE?" all week long as those nuns took it upon themselves to spread the gospel according to Krispy Kreme.

I think that's just absolutely hysterical.


*The Spin Doctors, Hungry Hamed
** Technically Canadian and not American, but who's quibbling?
*** I'm not sure if Cameroonian is the right terminology. Women from Cameroon is what I'm getting at.

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