Saturday, May 29, 2010

2973 Sunscreen, back, consignment

Saturday, May 29, 2010

"If we let people see that kind of thing, there would never again be any war."
--senior Pentagon official on reasons why United States military censored footage
showing Iraqi soldiers sliced in two by U.S. helicopter fire--


A friend left a comment on my earlier post about sunscreens, linking to a site with all kinds of sunscreen info. That site linked to another site rating sunscreens, where you could sort and locate a sunscreen meeting your criteria.

Unfortunately, all the most highly rated sunscreens have ingredients that are not particularly safe, and all have zinc. I suspect it's the zinc that I find most annoying.

So I went to the CVS and bought a few to try. The lower SPFs have less zinc, but it seems to be very difficult to find a 15, which I suspect would work just fine since I'm not swimming or sweating. So far, the one I like best is CVS house brand clear spray-on SPF 30. I spray me in the shower stall before I get dressed, and it's ok, except that it's a tiny bit oily. Not enough to stain clothes, but enough to make the coverup not stay on the nest of blood vessels above my upper lip.

Today the same friend sent an email. She'd found one at the Woodstock flea market I might like. I went to the seller's website and bought it. (Thanks, Gypsy.) It doesn't have zinc or too much oil, but it does have more oxybenzone than the CVS.


Last week with The Man, an over-exuberant, um, hug, caused a sharp pain in the right side of my chest, under the center of the breast, which immediately went away. The next day it came back. I thought I may have a cracked rib. Now it hurts only when I do a pulling-to-the-center motion with my right arm - you know, like when you have to overcome the resistance to put a standard transmission in reverse? Hm. It doesn't hurt when I press on individual ribs, so maybe it's just a muscle thing?

Anyway, today it has moved to the back, next to my spine, below the shoulder blades. Feels like someone is jabbing me with a knuckle. I'm used to that, happens often, that's where my father kicked me and ruptured a disk which didn't heal well, and all I have to do is sit and stand straight, no slumping or sagging shoulders. So I went to the annual Antiques Fair at the fairgrounds.

Bad idea. There are about 400 dealers' booths, and a bit of a hike (uphill) from the parking lot. I think the back/rib grinch has affected the way I hold my body or something, because I was only a third of the way through touring the booths when the tops of my thighs, the joint where they join the hips, began to ache. Not pain, more like unbelievably tired. Two-thirds of the way and my knees started to feel like they weren't going to support me any more. I skimmed the last third, and wasn't sure I'd make it back to the car.

I've never ever felt like that walking before. Normally I can walk almost forever.

I still feel achy and tired from the waist down. Probably should take a bubble bath.

I accidentally forgot my checkbook, which was probably lucky. I was restricted to cash. I bought some colorful throw pillows, a vintage Lucite bracelet featuring orchids buried in clear Lucite on a black background,

and a pair of tiny pearl earrings. I put the earrings on to wear for the day, and I left the price tag ($10) dangling from one of them. When someone would mention the price tag, I'd say, "Yes. They're Minnie Pearl's (mini pearls)."


Someone suggested that I consign my too-big closet contents to a resale shop, and I said that there are none in or near the village. Well, guess what? Just in the past month, three have opened nearby. I guess the economy's right for it.

I visited one the other day, and I don't think I want to consign my stuff there. She's selling brand new quite fashionable blouses for $3, and gorgeous dresses for $13 or less. (A consignment shop gets a large bite of that.) I'd do better donating and taking the tax deduction!

I can't go back there. The place is dangerous. I bought a blouse and two very flattering dresses. Not helpful.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

2972 A well-balanced meal

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I believe every human has a finite number of heartbeats.
I don't intend to waste any of mine running around doing exercises.
--Neil Armstrong--


I stopped at the diner and picked up a take-out hamburger. It comes with french fries and "salad of the day". I did not intend to eat the fries, but was looking forward to the salad. Three bean salad? Tossed salad? Cucumber salad? Cole slaw? Sauerkraut salad?

When I got home I opened the container. Potato salad!

Odd that the folks at the diner see nothing wrong with french fries and potato salad on the same plate.

2971 Ouch!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Some grow with responsibility, others just swell.


6:15 PM. 97 degrees F.

Windows open, but no breeze.

Too hot to put the top down.


I have a sunblock question. I am very fair and absolutely need sunblock. (And a hat. My hair is translucent and I don't want to burn the scalp on the top of my head.)

I can use almost anything on my arms, neck, back, chest without breaking out, but creams seem to block my pores or something - it feels very hot and I can't perspire. I can't use anything thicker than moisturizer on my face without breaking out. I don't get pimples. I get huge blocked pores where oil builds up under the skin, like a wen.

I tried an "oil-free" sunblock once. It made what felt like a hot plastic skin on my face, that, once I started sweating, formed a gritty scale that itched and peeled off. No good.

I bought Neutrogena Sensitive Skin lotion, SPF 60+. Again, it feels like I'm wearing a hotpad everywhere it's applied, it makes the hair on my arms stick down, and makes my face sweat so badly that it all sweats off within minutes. I put it on in the bathroom this morning, way before it got hot!, walked to the kitchen, and by the time I got to the kitchen, there were huge beads of sweat on my nose. Caused not by heat, but by the cream. SPF effectively dropped to zero.

Not to mention that it LOOKS like I have white paste on my skin, and it settles in white marks in pits and creases. No, I'm not using too much. It's just very thick.

So, suggestions? SPF 30 or up, that won't block my large pores? Won't make my skin feel gummy?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

2970 Smokey sketch, life phases

Monday, May 24, 2010

A witty saying proves nothing.


In 1966 my cat Smokey, black with a white spot on her chest and a white bar on her belly, was eight years old. She was sitting on a table looking out the window one day, and I happened to be holding a ballpoint pen and notepad. I quickly sketched this:
She died in 1975, aged 18 years. I've had a lot of cats over the past 50 years. At one time I had seven cats (two adults and five kittens), but Smokey remains the most unique and memorable. She was extremely intelligent and sensitive to my emotional needs. It's been 35 years, and I still miss her.


To niece, who said that the BMW rode hard, and I should get a Mercedes, I now know what you meant. They gave me a 2010 128 loaner (Hal is a 2011 135), and the older car rides hard and handles awkwardly by comparison. I felt every bump in my street and driveway yesterday.

"John" called this morning to tell me Hal was ready (they found and fixed a pinched speaker wire), and I mentioned the difference to him, and he gushed yes, such a difference. They softened the suspension in mid-2010 or somewhen, and the newer cars corner better and feel solidly heavy. The 135i, being a convertible, feels especially heavy, which smooths the ride, but steering and cornering are still dancer nimble.


The Man turns 50 today. He is embarking on some major and scary changes to his life path. When he's stressed he withdraws, and I know that, but it doesn't make it any easier to be rejected when you want to help.

I sent him a happy birthday email at midnight in which I mentioned that he's starting the second half of the 60-year adult phase, in which one gets to start over, redefine, redirect. He's absolutely doing that, but I'm not sure he understood what I meant and I didn't explain it.

I have a theory that the ideal life has four phases:
  1. First 20 years - youth - you get to be silly and childish and experimental.
  2. Next 60 years - adulthood, which has two subparts:
    • First 30 years of adulthood - you have to be sensible and responsible, building a family, a future, a support structure for later years, perhaps doing what you have to do rather than what you want to do.
    • Second thirty years of adulthood - you get to reexamine the first thirty, and restructure your life, redirect your energies to something you really want to do, using different criteria for decisions, perhaps contributing more to society than to the economy.
  3. Next twenty years - youth again - you get to be silly and childish and experimental.

Monday, May 24, 2010

2969 Another Level

Monday, May 24, 2010

The victor will always judge the defeated, and always find him guilty.
--Goering, during the Nuremberg Trials--


I mentioned I'd been driving tin cans, used cars, and a Dodge wheelchair mini-van for the past 45 years. With the exception of the van (needed for Jay) they were always the cheapest but still dependable thing I could find. Hal is my first brand new luxury car. I am just now finding out what that means.

The van has a lot of fancy do-dads on it, so some of Hal's bells and whistles didn't impress me. The service does. Wow. There's a big difference between the BMW service garage and the local independent garage, or the Ford or Chevy or Dodge service garages. Or even Mazda, for that matter (the BMW dealership is the same complex that used to be Mazda - I bought a Mazda GLC hatchback there in 1983).

There seems to be a loose wire in the driver-side speaker, so Hal had his first service visit today.

I don't have a key for Hal. I have what looks like a remote thingy that locks and unlocks, and allows me to push the button to start the motor. Actually, I have two thingies, meant for two drivers, and each of them remembers the settings for the seats, temperature, mirrors, radio, and so on for the driver who uses that particular thingy.

When I got to the BMW service area, the guy stuck my thingy in a reader box on his PC, and it gave him all kinds of info, including my name, address, phone number, service and warranty info on the car, mileage, and heaven only knows what else.

They also gave me a new BMW (about the same size as Hal) to use until Hal is released.

Every other service garage I'd ever seen had a greasy oily cement floor. This place was paved with sparkling clean foot-square beige ceramic tiles.

About 1 in 6 times I've taken a car in for service, I've got it back with grease on the seat belts from mechanic's hands. I've actually had clothing ruined by it. Today, a mechanic walked into the reception area while I was there, and he was removing his latex surgical gloves.

I'm finding that "the rich" aren't different, but "they" sure get treated differently. I could get used to this. I could even get addicted to it, which might explain the crazy things that people do when they are in danger of losing it. I'm amused that owning a BMW gets you "rich" treatment, even just on the streets, but the interesting thing is that you don't have to be rich or classy or "better" to own one - just very foolish will do.