Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spinster Break

I know, it sounds like I'm going on spring break, and I am taking a break because of spring, but not in the way you're thinking or I'm wishing. In fact, I'm taking a break because we're working on Spring/Summer at work. It's crunch time.

Over the past three weeks, things have been gradually ramping up. Now, I'm listening to almost an entire ebook every work day (today I almost finished Twelve Years a Slave), and I'm eating entire whole foods chocolate bars in one sitting. In fact, today's hastily-drawn image was drawn with a sharpie from my desk on the gold foil of a Chocolove bar I ate today after lunch. In addition, I've started rotating the coke cans in the refrigerator at work so that the coldest ones are at the front when I need them most.

Anyway, since this is the final crunch time, I am taking the next week off to reduce stress as much as possible. I'm hoping that by April 1st, all will have calmed down a little.

In the  meantime, I'm going to get my work spinster on and listen to as many audio books as I can. If I'm going to work until 9:30 PM, then I'm going to grow my brain while I'm at it.

See you soon!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Church Spinstering

One of the great things about being back in the south is that I've been able to find a small, traditional church in which to be my spinsterly self. Spinstering at church in New York was a little bit of a difficulty. It wasn't that people didn't like spinsters. It was just that I rarely met any people at all. Now, though, I can meet all the senior citizens I can handle. And believe me, it is all I could have hoped it would be.

The music minister at my church is a delightful ginger man named Harris, and apparently all the little blue hairs on the front row find him to be the most delicious being they've beheld. Unfortunately for all of them, Harris has a girlfriend. When I told them this, they were crestfallen, but this information was also met with a good-natured round of giggles. 

Yesterday, though, I had one of my best church spinsterhood observations yet. In the pew in front of me were three of the regular senior church members: an elderly couple, and a woman I assume is a widow. The husband in the couple is on oxygen, and he stayed seated for the whole service for his health. However, when we stood to sing hymns, his wife stood, too. 

I didn't think too much about this situation during the first hymn, but during the second, I just happened to look down at the man with his oxygen, and  I noticed his wife was standing close, so her right knee was right next to his left. Then, after a moment, he started poking her in the back of the knee. She batted his hand away, like he was being a pest, but he didn't stop. He only moved over to the side of her knee and kept poking and pestering her. Of course, this caused me to get the church giggles. And anyone who's ever started laughing during church knows, it is incredibly hard to stop. 

I wish this story had more of a point, but I just thought it was so funny. That man was being such a pest, which is exactly what I like to do to my sister in church. It's good to know that even an old man still likes to harass someone just like I'm sure he did when he was a little boy. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spinster Problems: Ripping your pants

Yesterday was Saturday, and I found myself in the Gap searching for pants because my favorite corduroys are on their last leg. Pun sort of intended. Some people get rid of pants because they're tired of wearing them, or they're out of stile. I, on the other hand, have retired four pair of pants this year because my thighs enjoy each other's company so very much. That is to say, all of my pants die the same way. They rip.

It would be one thing if my pants ripped at home, but invariably, they rip in public and most often at work. I have even had to leave work in the middle of the day to go buy a pair of replacement pants.

So, I bought two new pair of jeans at the Gap yesterday, which will only serve to replace half of the ones I've ripped so far this year. I expect the cords to be done soon. They have been rubbed clean of their wale already, so it's only a matter of time.

I keep searching for a solution to this embarrassing problem, but thus far I have only discovered one: any time I need to wear pants, I should just wear sweatpants. Better yet, I should just start continuously wearing my robe. If you, too, are a spinster of ample thigh, I am giving my full endorsement of sweatpants-all-the-time.

Good luck to you all, and try not to bend or squat too suddenly. You never know what could happen.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

TGIS

You know, Friday's great and all, but Saturday is really where it's at. It's been an extra long week, and Friday was actually an extra long day. It was, in fact, almost excruciating. This week was so long I couldn't even be bothered to put my dishes in the dishwasher. They just sat in the sink. Perhaps I'll gather the strength to migrate them later today. But you know what? One of the best things about living alone is that I don't have to move the dishes if I don't want to. And that, my friends, is a reason to be thankful for spinsterhood.

Additionally, I would also like to say that my friend Megan was right when she tweeted me this week, saying that one reason to be thankful for spinsterhood in March is that we don't have to pretend to care about March Madness. Amen to that. Instead, I prefer Go Fug Yourself's Fug Madness, a fashion face-off of the year's worst and most hideous ensembles. 

Now, excuse me while I go unabashedly eat something entirely inappropriate for breakfast. Thank goodness it's Spinsterhood (or also Thank goodness it's Saturday).

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spinster Love: JTT

It is possible that one of the reasons I'm a spinster is my propensity for developing (surprisingly) unrequited celebrity crushes. I have had imaginary children with the likes of Paul McCartney, Ryan Gosling, Jason Schwartzman, and many other not-so-eligible bachelors. Somehow, though, they never seem to leave comments on my spinsterhood blog. And Lance Bass didn't even notice me when I saw him in concert. Today, though, we're going back to where it all began.

Though I didn't watch much TV growing up, I somehow managed to develop what my friend Leah would call a "genuine heartache" for one Mr. Jonathan Taylor Thomas. If you're a girl who grew up in the 90s, this won't surprise you at all. Leagues of us were positively betrothed to JTT. In fact, I can remember quite clearly sitting in Elizabeth Edens's bedroom in maybe second grade looking at pictures of JTT in Bop and Tiger Beat while she said he was "such a fox." I wasn't sure what that meant, but I knew JTT and I would one day be wed.

Now, years and years after JTT made his most recent movie, and a whopping twenty years since The Lion King came out, I am still not Mrs. Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Sigh. I guess I'll just have to wait for JTT to see this. It's really my only hope. Until then, though, I'm going to pacify myself by looking at these photos of Jonathan Taylor Thomas holding things. Two of them are cats.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My Thoughts on This Week

you're-killing-me-smalls, patrick-renna, the-sandlot, patrick-renna-the-sandlot, the-sandlot-graphic
This may not scientifically be the longest week ever, but from my Spinster's point of view, it sure seems like it. I cannot wait to get in some quality sweatpants-and-bathrobe time this weekend like the spinster I am. And maybe I'll visit the Pendergrass flea market again. Maybe. And maybe the movies.

For now, however, this Sandlot inspired graphic just about sums up how I'm feeling regarding how long this weekend is taking to get here. It's killin' me, Smalls.

Also, since the weekend obviously also means pizza, I must tell you that I've finally tried the Gluten Free Pizza at Mellow Mushroom, and it was quite delicious. I highly recommend it.

And as for you, Friday evening, if you're reading this, you need to get here much quicker. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spinster Love: Britney Spears

The recovery of my old CDs has yielded yet another excellent discovery. On the way back from Augusta on Saturday, I flipped through my CD binder at a stop light. There were several unmarked discs in the binder, but one stuck out to me. It was green and silver - one of those ones they offered in the early 2000's with decorative designs. I popped the disc in, halfway thinking it would be blank, but it was so much better than that. I had unearthed a burned copy of Meredith's Britney Spears Greatest Hits: My Prerogative CD.

Now I know Britney has had some hard times, but I think we can all agree that she has also had some undeniable hits. Nowhere is this more clear than in the CD I've just discovered in my car. Britney just makes me want to dance. And, now that she's cleaned up a little bit, I don't feel quite so embarrassed to admit I love her and her music. 

So today, if you need to remember just why you loved Britney so much, I've provided a list of links for you below. You're welcome.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spinstergramming: Sconyers BBQ

sconyers-bbq, sconyers-bar-b-que, augusta-ga, georgia, barbecue, bbq, taxidermy, hog,
This past weekend I paid a visit to Augusta, GA to visit their fine flea markets and dine at Sconyers Barbecue. Of course I had to take some photos. But Let's start at the beginning.

I pulled up in the gravel parking lot of Sconyers around 12:30 PM on Saturday, passing the amazing Sconyers Bar-b-Que sign, and noting how packed the parking lot seemed for a place that is just off the highway. Or maybe that's why it was packed.

I walked over a little foot bridge from the parking lot into the restaurant's entryway, crossing a little river with giant goldfish. Overlooking the water feature was a porch and a row of rocking chairs.

Inside the restaurant was dim, and there were people paying at a cash register just to the left of the door. Standing in front of a wooden staircase was a hostess wearing what I think was supposed to be a colonial period costume,w which she had accessorized with sneakers and a Shiny Green St. Patrick's Day Necklace.

The restaurant was like a giant log cabin, with several different compartments, and early American style chairs. There was a book case with all sorts of pig figurines on one wall, and a bunch of pig memorabilia all around (see image to the left.)

I had the "small" pork bbq plate complete with potato salad and barbecue hash and rice. The Hash was a little thicker than I've ever had before, but it was still very delicious. The "small" plate was a gracious plenty of food for me, but I supposed if I were about twice my size (or wanted to be), I would have ordered the regular large size. There were three kinds of sauces, and I had the mild, sweet one. I will give it a good 8. The Potato Salad was a little fancy for my taste, but not bad. The sweet tea, on the other hand, was spot on. Just the right combination of tea strength and sweetness.

If you click on the photo strip here, you can see that there was some lovely artwork in the restaurant, and I've also taken a photo of my "small" bbq plate. Not small at all. All told, I give Sconyers high marks. Bravo!

After feeding myself like a little piglet (is that gross if I was eating pork?), There was a trip to Augusta's Barnyard flea market. While I didn't find anything of great value to purchase there, I did manage to snap a couple of pics of some of the stranger things I saw there.

Firstly, you'll note that Ken here has got some metallic pants but seems to be committing some sort of crime. Is he suffocating those barbies? And is he wearing a one piece?

Secondly, there was a store called "Bodies and Blades," or something like that, and they sold some pretty heavy duty knives. I'm not really sure where the "bodies" part cam win except that maybe they just wanted a reason to have these sweet wooden cutouts on the wall. Click on the image to enlarge. They're really quite spectacular.

The next flea market was also sort of a bust, but they did have some pretty interesting fair food, boiled peanuts, and the like. None, however, took the cake from Pendergrass Flea Market and it's magnificent food court.

My search for an excellent flea market near Atlanta, GA continues. However, I may have to have my own booth soon. It seems like it would be a lot of fun, and booths apparently start at only about $8.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Spinsters I Know and Love: Sarah Marion

I met today's spinster in college, but as it turns out we are some sort of remote cousins. I have to say, I am proud to be her relative (in whatever way I am.) Once when I lived in New York, I ran into Sarah at the airport, and now whenever I'm flying, I keep an eye out. After you read her answers to the spinster survey, you will also be looking for her. She, on the other hand, will be looking for Josh Groban. 

Without further ado, below are Sarah's uproariously funny answers.

Name: Sarah Marion

Age: 27


Profession:  Although I am an interior designer by education, I now work in commercial construction as a project manager.  One of my favorite things in the world is to see the facial expressions when people ask me what I do, and I tell them I work in construction.  It is completely priceless because I think it is the last thing anyone expects me to say. Responses range from “but you’re so feminine!” to “that is so cool!” and pretty much everything in between. And in case you were wondering, yes, I do have a pink hard hat, yes, I actually wear it and no I am not ashamed J
Dream Job: I have always loved old buildings and studied historic preservation in graduate school so my dream job would be to do design and construction for the adaptive use of historic buildings.  I would also like to teach design on the college level some day.

What you love to do when you have an afternoon/day/weekend at home alone
:  Somehow, even though I am a super spinster, this doesn’t happen extremely often.  So when it does, my goal is to do as little as possible.  You will most likely find me curled up on the sofa wearing sweatpants with a glass of wine in one hand and the remote control in the other catching up on DVR for hours on end because I somehow mange to stay perpetually behind on my TV watching.

Favorite Breakfast food: I’m really not a big breakfast eater most of the time. At least not at the normal breakfast time of day.  If I’m going to eat breakfast food, it will most likely be after 11 am, and if eggs benedict is a choice, it will win every time.  I also really like chocolate for breakfast.

Favorite Takeout
: I think I’m really breaking spinster code here, but I’m not a huge takeout eater.  I like to cook, and if I’m going to go out, I will usually eat it there.  If I do get takeout, it’s probably either a salad from Panera or fast food Japanese hibachi.

Favorite treat (food or otherwise)
: Hands down, Coke Icees from Burger King.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please get yourself to the nearest BK Lounge ASAP. You will never be the same.

Favorite Beauty product or what's in your beauty bag
: I received a Clarisonic as a Christmas gift this year and it’s pretty much the best thing since sliced bread.  I wear pretty minimal makeup, but the amount that comes off of my face when I use the Clarisonic AFTER I have already used a makeup removing cloth is astonishing and disgusting all at the same time. Your face will never feel so clean.

Favorite nail polish or nail polish color
: About a year and a half ago, I discovered gel manicures and they changed my life.  Seriously.  It is dry as soon as it sets under the LED light so you avoid the catastrophe of ruining your freshly done manicure as soon as you grab your car door handle.  Plus, it lasts forever.  On average, I go 3.5 weeks between manicures.  But before I had mine redone 2 weeks ago, I had kept the same polish for 5 weeks with no chips.  I finally relented only because my nails grow ridiculously fast so at that point I had about half of my nail painted.  I have tried just about every color in the OPI GelColor line and take great pride in the fact that since this life-changing discovery, I have only had the same polish color twice.  True story.

Favorite Art or Office supplies
: Paper-Mate Flair Felt-Tip pens, Prismacolor markers, Prismacolor Turquoise drafting pencils

The thing you love to do that you probably wouldn't do if there was a boy in the picture/around your apartment: On Saturdays when I don’t have anything planned, I revel in the ability to stay in bed until I decide I want to get up, drink my coffee leisurely and not change out of my pajamas, fix my hair or put on makeup until 2 pm, if at all.  I’m also really bad about hanging up my clothes/putting them in the laundry bin so I let them pile up until I decide it’s time to put them away.

Something enjoyable about being single
: You don’t have to factor anyone else into your decisions.  If you want to eat froyo for lunch, you do it.  If you want to spend 3 hours wandering the aisles of Target and TJ Maxx, you do that too.  If you want to buy a new car, you get to pick it out.  And no one else can tell you not to.

If you had a one-sentence spinster philosophy, what would it be?
I do what I want.

What's your loungewear style?
In the summer, Norts (Nike shorts) and one of the 1,000 t-shirts that I have managed to collect over the years because I refuse to get rid of any.  In the winter, either flannel pajama pants or sweatpants and a long sleeved t-shirt or sweatshirt with fuzzy slippers.

What's your uniform (include a sketch if you want)?
 I’m not really sure I have a uniform per say, but my style is classic, southern and preppy.  I like timeless pieces that I can wear in a lot of different ways, and I still wear things I’ve had since middle or high school (yes, you’re inferring correctly that I haven’t grown since 7th grade).  I generally prefer to be overdressed, especially when I am going out in public.  In college, my friends made fun of me for supposedly looking put together even when I wore sweatpants.  And I thought the whole campus would pass out when I wore pajamas to an end of the semester exam one year.  People I hardly knew came up to me and made comments about it. Generally, I prefer skirts and dresses to pants for work attire.  On the weekends, I’m usually wearing jeans (most of the time colored), a button down and driving mocs or loafers. And no matter the occasion, 9 times out of 10, at least one thing I’m wearing is monogrammed.  I subscribe to the Reese Witherspoon philosophy of “if it’s not moving, monogram it.”  That’s probably another good reason that I’m a spinster—if I were to ever get married and my monogram changed, a large percentage of the things I own would need to be replaced.

Complete this sentence
: People think that I am really straight-laced and “proper” (as I have been described), but really I know all of the words to most gangsta rap songs.

Coffee or tea? (and what's your favorite of the one you like)
Both.  I have always liked coffee but was generally only a coffee-with-dessert kind of girl.  I swore when I was in college that I would never be one of those people who had to have their morning coffee to function.  Well, I made is successfully through college with that philosophy still in tact, but graduate school trounced that notion forever.  A friend whose family was from Louisiana insisted once that I try Community Coffee because it would change my life.  I rolled my eyes and thought he was being overly dramatic, but tried it so that I could say that I did.  Well he was right, and it’s pretty much the only coffee I will drink now.   At that time, it was super hard to find, and I even had to import it to North Carolina from home when I was in grad school.  Thankfully now it has become much more widespread, and they even recently starting making K cups, which are excellent for spinsters who have no need for an entire pot of coffee most days!  Most nights when I settle in on the sofa in my sweatpants for some quality time with my DVR, you can find me drinking a cup of hot tea.  I’m not as choosy with my tea and will pretty much try anything, but my usuals are English breakfast, green or chai.

Your go-to desk snack:
Conversation Hearts. I am obsessed and used to stock up for the whole year at Valentine’s Day. I am still bitter about the fact that Necco changed the flavors 4 years ago.  That’s like changing the flavor of candy canes.  You just don’t.  Anyway, thankfully, I recently found a company who makes them with the original recipe, and I can order them in 3 pound bags year round.  In the 6 weeks since this discovery, I have already made it through 2 bags.

I have seen every episode of...:
Way to many shows than I care to admit.  You know it’s bad when keeping with television becomes a source of stress in your life because you watch so many shows and can’t manage to keep up with them all.  But, if we’re going to name names, Sex and the City, Brothers and Sisters, Suits, Covert Affairs, Grey’s Anatomy, Downtown Abbey, Gilmore Girls, the Following, ER and the list goes on…

Your favorite spinster jams:
 As much as I love television, if I had to choose between having a radio or a television, I would choose a radio because I can’t live without music.  So this is a hard one, but if I have to choose favorites, here are some gems of my very widespread musical collection.  Hold On by Wilson Phillips (as a child I insisted that they were saying “someday, somebody’s gonna MICKEY wanna turn around and say goodbye” and no one could convince me otherwise.  I was clearly hard-headed from an early age.), anything that Josh Groban sings (he professed his love to me at a concert when I was in high school and I have never given up hope that we will end up together one day), the soundtrack from RENT the musical, Copperline by James Taylor (and pretty much anything else of his), anything by Hootie and the Blowfish (Cracked Rear View was the first CD I ever owned in 3rd grade and I haven’t looked back since), good ol’ South Carolina beach music (Carolina Girls, Summertime’s Callin’ Me and the like), and last but certainly not least Fantasy by Ludacris.  Yes you read that correctly.

Currently in your Netflix and/or Hulu queue:
1,000 random movies and tv shows that I somehow never seem to find the time to watch, yet I still continue to add things to the queue.

The question on everyone's mind:
Kittens or Puppies, and why?  Puppies all day every day.  Cats are too aloof for me, which makes my aspiration of becoming a crazy cat lady one day quite a conundrum.

Complete this sentence:
"I probably shouldn't admit this but...." one of my favorite possessions is a police scanner.  Weird, right?

In Another Life I would be...
a math teacher.  I would work math problems all day just for fun if I didn’t have to make a living.  Nerd alert.



Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Desk Spinstering: The Night Circus on Audible.com

the-night-circus-book-cover, erin-morganstern-nanowrimo, black-and-white-and-red, contortionist-graphic
In my estimation, one of the most important office supplies a spinster could have is headphones. It helps me focus, and it cuts down on the amount of unsavory details I have to hear about my coworkers' personal lives. As such, when I was listening to This American Life this weekend, and Audible.com was suggested, I decided to try it. 

Ever Since I heard that Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus was written during National Novel Writing Month, I've really wanted to read it. However, since I moved to Atlanta, I haven't been able to fit in as much as reading as I used to. So, Audible was a great solution. But below, I have a few notes.

1. Listening on Audible:
          While I really love that I finished two books this week (I also listened to The Awakening), I'm not sure my comprehension was as high as it could have been. With going in and out of meetings, answering emails, and generally concentrating on work, I'm left wishing I had paid more attention to the story. However, the way the reader said "chocolate," was so delicious, I constantly wanted to eat chocolate. 

2. Silk:
          Ok, so this is sort of knit-picky, but I have to say it. Lots of things in this book were made of or wrapped in "black silk." I just need to call out here that that tells me nothing. Silk is merely the fiber of which a fabric is made. It can take on many different weights, textures, weaves, and even knits. Every time something was "wrapped in black silk," I imagined washed silk, but I'm fairly sure this isn't what Morgenstern meant. She could have meant silk charmeuse or silk faille or silk crepe or...any other silk fabric. The world may never know.

3. Caramel:
          There was a lot of caramel in this book, and again, the way the reader said the word made me want to eat some caramel. In a very good way.

4. Voices:
          One good thing about listening to a book read on tape is that when there are accents, they aren't just left up to your imagination. If you're american and you're listening to a book with Irish accents (as in this book), sometimes you can get caught up on trying to effectively imagine the accents in your head while you're reading (if you do the accents at all), but when you are listening on tape, the voices are most often done for you. And that is wonderful like a bedtime story.

5. Kittens:
          This book had quite a few fluffy kittens, and I really appreciated that. 

So, now I will open the floor for discussion. Are there any more books a spinster should hear on Audible? What's the best one you've heard?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Running like a Spinster

fashion-illustration, running-outfit, running-outfit-illustration, activewear-fashion-illustration
When you're a spinster on a scandalously beautiful Friday Night, you may find yourself stricken with a certain quandary. That is, if you haven't made plans, you'll want to do more than just watch Netflix. I can't tell you what you should do, but I can tell you what I did do. Hopefully next time you find yourself in this situation, you'll be inspired by my own friday night spinstering. 

So Here's a detailed plan of what to do:

Part 1: Go Running
- What to Wear: (see diagram)
          1. Hoodie (I wore a tanktop underneath): I bought this particular sweatshirt because I was stuck in California and ran out of clothes. As it turns out, it is pretty much the softest, most comfortable sweatshirt I have ever owned. (If you need to spinster in a similar one, check out Aviator Nation)

          2. Neon Yellow Reflective Vest with Zipper Pocket: While this is potentially one of the most embarrassing things I own, I feel much safer when I wear it. After all, I'd rather be embarrassed than hit by a car. 

          3. Arm Band for my Phone: You may find yourself wondering why I have both the pocketed vest and the armband. The answer is this: When I tried running with my phone in the vest, it was really bouncy. Plus, I like to look as dorky as possible when I'm spinster running.

          4. Activewear Capris from Target: I found them on the sale rack, and I quite like them. 

          5. Aerie Running Socks: You can never have enough of those cushion-bottom running socks. They're just better. Unfortunately Aerie socks appear to be in-store only.

6. Brooks Running Shoes with Gore Tex: I bought my shoes years ago after my old ones got water logged when I got caught in a downpour. So of course I bought the hideous gore tex ones. They're so ugly, but alas, my feet look like they belong to a witch, and these were the best fit. The better to spinster in.

7. Glittery Teal Glasses: These are amazing and missing almost all of the rhinestones on the temples. I go these glasses when I had mono in college and couldn't keep contacts in. 

- Listen to: Carly Rae Jepsen Kiss (Deluxe)

Part II: Run Away:
- Run away from your apartment until you're not really sure where you are, then walk for an hour and a half to get home.

Part III: Stop at Steak and Shake:
- Stop at Steak and Shake to put back all those calories you just burned. Get the Peanut Butter shake. It's relish. While you wait for it, talk to the cashier about working out. Show her some of your best moves.
- When you get your milkshake, wave extravagantly to the cashier and her friend, and turn to leave.
- Find yourself inches away from the face of a little old man and apologize profusely. 
- Laugh when the old man says he's just glad he didn't have to pay for the floor show.

Part IV: Walk home and take a shower, deciding to count that milkshake as your dinner.

Part V: Write about this, and then go to sleep.

With these five easy steps, I hope you can get a good idea of how to spend a splendid evening without a date. At the very least, you can wear that outfit. It's pretty comfy. However, if you decide to stay in, I don't think you'll be needing the reflective vest, arm band, or gore tex....unless you're just into that.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Spinster Bliss: Weeknight Targeting

Growing up, my town didn't have a Target. Once Super Wal Marts existed, we had one of those, but Sumter still doesn't have a Target. For three of the years I lived in New York, I lived about four or five stops from the Target beside Queens Center Mall, but sometimes that was too much of an effort. So, now that I live just one block from a target, I feel like I'm in spinster heaven.

As a spinster, I feel especially equipped to exploit my newfound Target proximity. Instead of having to go home and cook dinner from someone, I'm free to do anything I deem necessary - or even just delightfully unnecessary- I please, any night of the week. And there's something absolutely delicious about doing frivolous things on a weeknight. 

So, last night I planned my running route so that I would finish running just a few blocks before I reached Target. I somehow took a strange turn and found myself running up one of the steepest hills in Atlanta, but after that I arrived at retail bliss: Target. I only needed shampoo and nail polish remover, but I perused the whole store just because I could. And of course I bought a tank top just because. 

Next time you're itching to spinster outside your apartment on a week night, consider spinstering down to Target. It's not just for the weekend anymore.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Random Thursday Playlist

Well, we're having a busy week at my office, so I haven't been thinking a whole lot about spinstering. I've been thinking mostly about snacks and sleeping. As such, I made this awesomely hasty self portrait. Also, I made you this Random Thursday Playlist.  To listen blindly, click here.

Orrr...See below the playlist.

1. "Here Comes the Sun" - the Beatles
2. "Nothing Came Out" - The Moldy Peaches
3. "Do You Realize" - The Flaming Lips.
4. "Such Great Heights"  -The Postal Service
5. "My Sweet Lord" - George Harrison
6. "Lost in the Supermarket" - Clash
7. "Some Kinda Love" - The Velvet Underground
8. "Fired" - Ben Folds
9. "Loser" - Beck
10. "Sweater Song" - Weezer
11. "Here Comes Your Man" - Pixies

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Snack like a Gluten Free Spinster

gluten-free-snacks, gluten-free-rice-pudding
Since I became Gluten Free, my spinsterly snack time has had to change a little. I can no longer have banana pudding or Ginger Jones's Chocolate Chip Cake. So, to help you along your spinsterly way, I thought I'd share some of my new favorite gluten free snacks. You're welcome.

1. Rice Pudding (Pictured here):
          Apparently Kozy Shack rice pudding is Gluten Free. Also, it is delicious, and I didn't know that until I had it for the first time in my early twenties.

2. Dried Magoes:
          So you can pretend you're being healthy. And, well, I guess they are sort of healthy, especially compared to Rice Pudding.

3. Pistachios:
          I keep a giant bowl of Pistachios in my Spinster Lair, and sometimes I find myself standing by the bowl, eating pistachios absentmindedly. At least, though, they're nuts and not candy. But they do sort of taste like candy.

4. Mr. Goodbar:
          Speaking of candy...I'm not even going to lie. Yesterday was a long day at work, and I ate two Mr. Goodbars. Yes, I'm embarrassed, but what could I do? I needed the chocolate to survive.

5. Lentil Chips:
          Most regular potato chips are actually gluten fee, but Lentil Chips feel healthier, and they have an amazing crunch. Be forewarned, though, they are high in fiber. Good thing you're a spinster, right?

Happy Snacking!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Gem of Atlanta: Buford Highway

sitting-in-a-recliner, foot-massage, buford-highway
One of the coolest things about moving to a new city is exploration! Before I moved to Atlanta, I'd only visited a handful of times. Now that I live here, though, I have plenty of time to sample all the things my home has to offer. 

As you may remember, I love a good massage. I am also not very choosy about where I get my massages. In fact, I have been known to get a chair massage in the middle of a shopping mall, a street fair, or even a market in chinatown. Armed with this knowledge, it should not surprise you that when I heard about the foot massages on Buford Highway, I knew I had to try for myself.

For those of you who don't live in Atlanta, Buford Highway is home to a bunch of international restaurants, salons, shops, and spas. So, feeling as if I were on an expedition, I drove about twenty minutes north of my apartment, and I found a place called Treat Your Feet.

Treat Your Feet is located in a strip mall on the west side of Buford Highway, and I must admit I picked it at random. Because of its location, I thought it could be a little sketchy, but when I went inside, it looked really nice and clean, and there was a sign that said "1 Hour Foot Massage - $30." Of course I knew I had to have one. 

After telling the receptionist I'd like a foot massage, I was led into a dim room with five huge, cushy chairs, a door with rice paper panes, and pleasant music playing gently in the background. Showing me to my chair, a the receptionist offered me water and/or hot tea, though I only opted for water. 

The foot massage that ensued was incredible. There were mallets, warm cloths, lotions, and hot stones. I couldn't remember being more relaxed. When the masseuer was finished with my feet, he asked me to switch positions, and he then proceeded to massage my head, neck, shoulders, and upper back. It was incredible.

When I left, I gladly paid the $30 for the massage plus tip, feeling like I was getting away with something. 

This past weekend, I decided I should make another trip to Buford Highway, but this time I tried a new place. Yet again, I was impressed. This time, I chose a "half and half," which was a half hour of foot massage, and a half hour of table massage. The surroundings were less plush at this location (whose name escapes me), but the table massage may just be the best one I've ever had. 

In conclusion, the next time you're in Atlanta, make sure you visit Buford Highway near Doraville. The massages are an absolute steal.

Monday, March 10, 2014

This Creepy Drawing of Jim Parsons

creepy-jim-parsons
I'm not a huge fan of The Big Bang Theory, but I understand that a lot of people love it. Yesterday, I watched the Jim Parsons episode of Saturday Night Live while I enjoyed the ridiculously nice weather in Atlanta. I also made this hideous drawing of Parsons while apparently channelling Napoleon Dynamite's particular style of drawing. Don't be jealous. There's more where this came from. It looks like he has a really hairy neck. Every time I look at this drawing, I think I'm going to have nightmares.

But now let's talk about what's not going to make me have nightmares: Jim Parsons on SNL. I know I'm a week late on this, but I was pleasantly surprised. The cold open involved Jim Parsons as Olympic figure skater/comentator Johnny Weir in all his crazy ensembles. I laughed out loud. Then there was the Opening Monologue with Parsons and a Bill Cosby reference. Hilarious. There were lots more funny sketches, but I'll just mention one more that had me rolling: The Cowboy sketch. Parsons's character's ideas reminded me so much of the kinds of ideas I used to have when I was little. For example: My friend Elizabeth and I used to plan to make a clubhouse out of cardboard boxes that we could go to after school. Of course, we didn't know they would disintegrate if it rained, but that's another story for another time.

If you need a good giggle, I say start with the cold open and go from there. It's pretty hilarious. Also, try to look at something funny so you don't have nightmares about today's illustration.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Low Tech Spinster Tools

Today's post is for those of you just getting into the groove of spinsterhood. There are many high tech gadgets you'll be needing (like Netflix and a Laptop), but today we need to talk about some of the things you'll need that don't require any power but your own fabulous womanhood. Behold, below is the list.

1. Metal Nail File:
          Some girls like the cute patterned emory boards, but I prefer the metal. It seems more substantial, and it's got that sharper tip at the end which is nice for cleaning out from under the nails. I feel like the metal nail file also has a nice vintage feel, so you can imagine yourself as a spinster of yore while you file your nails in front of the TV.

2. Little Metal Pencil Sharpener:
          Now, some spinsters may be mechanical pencil ladies, but if you're going to be using colored pencils or just good ol' No. 2 Pencils in your spinsterhood, I suggest you invest the seventy-five cents for one of these babies. I find they're the best and the most effective. Now, If you're going to do a lot of sharpening, I suggest you keep your little metal pencil sharpener in a zip loc bag along with the shavings. People may think it's potpourri, but it saves trips to the trash can. Because let's be honest, you can't miss a second of Downton, and there aren't commercials, so you have to stay still.

3. The Comedone Extractor:
          Even Tina Fey admitted to enjoying cleaning her pores in Bossy Pants, so there's no need you don't spend at least a little time every day standing much too close to your bathroom mirror. I find the Comedone Extractor is also helpful for those pesky back blemishes. If you're a runner, you know what I'm talking about. The bonus with the Comedone Extractor is that you really feel like it's a medical tool. It feels very scientific and professional in hand.

4. Uni-ball Vision Micro Pen:
          Please note that I am also partial to the Pilot Extra Fine Pen, but they are not as easy to find these days, for whatever reason. I like these pens especially for journaling. They do tend to smudge, though, so if you're doing some very serious and spinsterly journaling that may include a few tears, use a fine tipped sharpie, or keep a kleenex on hand.

5. Tea Infuser:
          When I was in London over the summer, I bought my first bag of loose leaf tea at Borough Market. For months, I kept meaning to find a tea infuser so I could actually drink the tea, and a few weeks ago, I finally did. You can officially consider me obsessed. Not only do I think this particular model functions quite well, but drinking loose leaf tea makes me feel extra fancy and extra spinsterly at work.

Once you purchase these five tools, you'll be well on your way to a very solid spinsterhood indeed. I know I am.
         

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Spinster Dream Diary: The Grocery Store Wedding

On an episode of This American Life, I learned that no one wants to hear about anyone else's dreams. So, today's post may actually be pretty boring. However, I had such a collection of bizarre dreams this week, I felt like I needed to share.

1. Monday I agreed I had to get married in Piggly Wiggly because it was the only venue available on such short notice. I also had to wear a short, burgundy satin dress, which I hated, and all the bridesmaids wore white.

2. Tuesday I dreamed I moved to Los Angeles and had to be in a gigantic cheerleading competition.

3. Wednesday I dreamed I had to go back to high school, and I was in a play for which I hadn't even learned my lines. I was playing a frog.

4. Thursday I dreamed it was the 1920's, and I was in love with a man who had goat pupils.

5. Friday, I dreamed my parents had two more sons after my brother was born, but they left them in Camden, SC to be "raised by the community." I was very upset.

Here's hoping none of these things happen to me in real life! Happy Saturday!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Spinster Friday Jams: 03.07.2014

playlist-graphic, friday-playlist-graphic
Hooray! It's Friday! In honor of the glorious beginning of yet another fabulous weekend (ok, well, it'll start when we all leave work today), I've put together yet another Spinster Friday Jams Playlist.

I tried to do a little something different with the graphic today, and I can't decide whether or not I think it's creepy. It's something different, at least.

Now, this past weekend I went home, and I extracted my old CD collection from the walk in closet in my South Carolina Bedroom. In the thick, zippered binder, I found a treasure trove of burned cd's as well as legal, purchased copies. Today's playlist is an ode to some of the excellent music I found and listened to on the way home. Because finding a mystery mixed CD from high school or college is like discovering a pot of gold.

To listen blindly, click here.

The playlist:

1. "Pump It" - The Black Eyed Peas
2. "Last Friday Night" - Katy Perry
3. "Here (In Your Arms)" - HelloGoodbye
4. "Yo (Excuse Me Miss)" - Chris Brown
5. "I Whip My Hair" - Willow Smith
6. "Hollaback Girl" - Gwen Stefani
7. "I Got It From My Mama" - Will.I.Am
8. "My Milkshake" - Kelis
9. "California Gurls" - Katy Perry
10. "Rude Boy" - Rihanna
11. "Check On It" - Beyonce
12. "Here It Goes Again" - OK Go
13. "My Humps" - The Black Eyed Peas
14. "Single Ladies" - Beyonce
15. "Fergalicious'

I hope this gets you dancing at your desk or stars your Friday night off right!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What the What: Ferret Clothes

ferret-clothing, ferret-accessories, ferret-hoodie, ferret-depot
About two years ago, I made an excellent discovery: Ferret Clothes. I've only ever known one person who actually had a ferret, and they lived in Florida, too far away for me to form an opinion. However, when, through some bizarre Googling rabbit hole, I discovered that clothes for ferrets existed, I immediately began wishing I had a friend who had a ferret. Of course, I can barely take care of myself, so I don't really want a real pet. Hastings will do just fine.

It would seem that the most popular item of clothing for fashionable ferrets is the ferret hoodie, with retailers like Ferret Couture and Ferret Depot carrying many different varieties. I suppose this is best for the spinstering or lounging ferret.

Apparently, though, ferrets have many different sartorial needs. I've found a ferret who enjoys being a pilot, one who likes to keep everyone laughing, and even one who has a recurring role on Downton Abbey.

Now that you know about ferret clothing and accessories, I hope you enjoy the rest of your Thursday googling. You know you can't resist.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Comedone Extractor: Vikram Yadav

doctor-vikram-yadav, youtube-vikram-yadav, comedone-extraction
Several months ago, I confessed my obsession with cyst removal videos on YouTube. Well, since  then things have, shall we say, escalated. I've been watching more dermatological procedures than just lancing. Most recently, I've been watching blackhead removals, or comedone extractions. 

If there is a darling of the blackhead removal community, it is one Dr. Vikram Yadav who has his own YouTube channel just for educational dermatological videos. From the comments on his videos, it seems he even takes requests.

Now, before you say "I don't need to watch this on YouTube, I have a nose full of these and my very own mirror," let me just tell you. Dr. Yadav seems to have a special knack for finding the most horrifyingly clogged pores I have ever seen. Most often, at the beginning of a video, all I can think is, "how did it even get like that!?" But, when the pores are cleared, I just feel such a sense of satisfaction and relief on behalf of Dr. Yadav's patient. 

Now that I'm sure you've fallen down the rabbit hole of Dr. Yadav's youtube channel, you may be wishing you could pay him a visit. However, if you can't travel internationally just unclog your pores, you can purchase your very own comedone extractor on Amazon or at your local drugstore. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Spinsterly Party Dress

party-dress-illustration, party-dress
The other day I saw that Becky C of Diamonds in the Library had pinned a fabulous party dress on pinterest. I think it's pretty much my dream party dress. So, last night while I was watching Season 3 of Dance Academy, I decided to make a little watercolor illustration. Of course I'm still practicing with the watercolors, but it's fun to try something new.

On another note, speaking of fabulous dresses, let's take a moment to discuss how absolutely breathtaking Lupita Nyong'o's Oscars dress was. She looked like a magical fairy princess, and the way she held her skirt up when she went up the steps was so breathtaking. Having a dress like that is something of a little girl's dreams. Now I guess I just need to actually see 12 Years A Slave.

Just one more link to that beautiful dress before I go. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Doodles Help a Spinster Focus

Anyone who borrowed my notes in high school or college got a lot more than words. I'm a chronic doodler. No one believes me, but doodling actually helps me pay attention in meetings. Apparently, though, there was a study in 2009 that found that people who doodled actually had better recall of what was said in meetings.

I ran across an article last night published by Time Magazine, and I felt totally vindicated. I know, I know. I'm a little late to the party as far as this study and article are concerned, but I love it.

So, in honor of my discovery of this excellent scientific information, I've included some of last week's meeting doodles in today's post. Of course, I didn't color the mug at the time. I did a little photoshoppery to it at home just for fun.

I hope you're all ready for all your meetings this week. If anyone finds you doodling, just tell them it's scientifically proven to help with meeting recall. So. There.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Spinster Treat: Instax

Ever since the Christmas, I've been considering getting a FujiFilm Instax Mini, and Yesterday, as a treat to my spinsterly self, I bought one. I know, I know. I have an iPhone, and I take loads of photos with that, but there's something excellent about an instant camera, and now that classic polariod film is, like, $3 per picture, my old polaroid camera is sad and lonely. Well, that, and it was on sale at Wal Mart. I got the very last one.

The photos that come from the Instax Mini are, in fact, mini, but I think that's fun. Of course one of my very first pictures had to be of a cat. There's even a cat hair on top of the picture as you can see.

I think you can look forward to more fun mini instant photos in the weeks to come!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Delicious Babies

The other day, I was reading hilarious false news stories on The Onion, and I ran across a story about obesity being down 43% among babies. The most hilarious fake quote in this article was the woman who supposedly said "Ugh, now it’s going to feel like such a lie when I pretend I want to eat my baby.”

Later that day, a woman came into our office with her baby, and all the women on my aisle flocked to coo over its cuteness. I'm not even going to  lie, though. That baby was precious. He looked so sweet and clean and calm. I could have just taken a bite right out of his little cheeks.

On the way to lunch, I was talking to my desk neighbor about how delicious that baby looked, and she was clearly bewildered by my seemingly savage feelings toward a human child. Of course it wasn't that I was actually going to eat it.

Just as we were discussing my friend's lack of desire to gobble up children, we encountered a woman who must've been in her forties. She said she knew exactly what I meant. Then, she said that when he daughter was a baby, she once was pretending to nibble her little tiny toes and, looking at their plump cuteness, she just went ahead and stuck the whole foot in her mouth. 

I hope you are now laughing as hard as I still am about this story. I can just imagine that woman looking at her child's foot and just thinking "i just must put this whole foot in my mouth or I will positively die from all this chubby cuteness." 

However much you'd like to gobble an infant, though, I sincerely implore you to keep your cannibalistic tendencies at bay. After all, if you eat all the babies, we'll be extinct in less than a decade.