Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Am I an old lady?

Recently I've been thinking about perfumes. I shower, I use rather inoffensive lotions (unscented if possible), and I wear deodorant that doesn't invoke a flowery paste applied directly to the eyes. So generally, I try to smell like a human. I find that people - especially in the US - have a huge problem with smelling like things you ate (heaven forbid I should detect that you sustained your life with food), sweat (I'm glad that you smell like a laboratory that studies the indolent), and natural body oils. Basically, smelling like a living creature.

In fact, one thing that annoys me about my last two significant others is their propensity to shower and scrub all their scent away, often twice a day. This is not ancient Rome in the summertime, people. You didn't do anything at that office you work at to smell bad enough to warrant a hose-down. No. No, I can't smell anything. No, I'm not lying, you don't smell like anything. You are a fawn in tall grass. No predators can detect you. No, I'm not being sarcastic. Yes, I am mocking you.

Nobody wants to make peoples' eyes water with their stench, but I have only experienced truly stinky people in two situations:
- Really, really, supremely sweaty people (and not even all supremely sweaty people. just some)
- Homeless guys who smell like years of dried sweat and urine.

I promise, if you jogged to meet me in front of the metro station, and you have a light sheen of perspiration, you probably don't smell like either of those two. Nor do you smell like a pile of burning, used, adult diapers. You don't even smell remotely of rotting flesh. Really!

Oh, you ate some garlic earlier? What a coincidence! Almost every culture on earth eats dishes with garlic in them! Oh and here's another new fact: I like garlic too. Now, if you ate garlic five days ago and have consumed nothing but the dew gathered from virgin spring leaves of mint and you still smell like garlic? Maybe there's a problem with your digestion, but that has nothing to do with you scrubbing yourself with exfoliants, using shampoo to strip your hair of scent and luster, and stopping up every pore in and around your armpits.

Of course, I have nothing against good, solid hygiene and the maintenance of appearance. I just find it excessive to be showering before you go out because you "feel gross," even though all you did all day was sit at a computer, move a mouse, and maybe walk to go get lunch. I mean, if it's a stress-relieving technique, then go for it, I guess. But if you feel stinky, then I fully expect to open the bathroom door and see you in the shower stall, water hot enough to sterilize the toilet brush, scouring your armpits with a piece of soaped-up sandpaper and muttering, "Unclean, unclean, I must get the sin off..." All things in moderation people.

Wow, how about that ranting, huh? That was a pretty good one. Anyway, I associate perfume with old ladies most of the time, and/or covering up some other scent/trying not to be a human. It seems simultaneously classy and wasteful. Romantic and inconsequential. Reminds me of walking through the cosmetics department of a department store and being attacked by women in skirt suits with spray bottles and tabs of paper. But then I went into a perfume store on a whim, and found some scents that smelled really good. I think something instinctual triggered; something basic that warned me I must be appealing in all ways all the time in order to propagate the species with my genetic combination. And also a desire to collect all things aesthetically pleasing. I've been so focused on the visual, the tasty, and the eloquent, that I had forgotten there are several other senses that can be delighted. But do I need to delight them all? And for like $100 for a tiny bottle of liquid? So I guess I put it to you, readers. Should I dive into the world of perfume, and enhance my self-aesthetic, or should I not waste my money?

For your enjoyment, here are some pretty sweet sites to check out if you a.) don't want to spend money on a full bottle and just want some samples and b.) don't want to smell like everybody who has a household name fragrance (I mean how many people are wearing that exact same Calvin Klein scent, anyway) and would like some more independent, unique, and specialized perfume houses to choose from.

The Perfumed Court

Here are some perfumes I am considering purchasing samples of (I know, "maybe perhaps considering thinking about trying etc.").

Le Temps D'Une Fete - because "green floral" seems like a fun description

Helianthe - Because I like ylang ylang and sandalwood and names that sound all steampunk.

Lastly, here's the rule: Stop showering so much, it's ok, really.

I hope real writing will come out of me soon for the next blog post. We shall see! Feel free to beseech any deities or make offerings unto muses on my behalf for some creative juices.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Similies, metaphors, and analogies.

I'm sorry about the similes, etc. I start writing them when I am angry, usually. This time, I'm angry about this:


Can somebody please tell me what is going on here?

A whooshing Flash interface, loud colors, strange text blocks, blog format, and content that sounds like a sarcastic, inarticulate, bore of a tween trying to impress some college students. It looks like Food Network (its parent/family company, which is also a hot mess of web design) got too drunk with MTV at a party, and had this... this... thing.

Or maybe it's more like Food Network noticed her sagging breasts and crow's feet and decided she could squeeze into her daughter's clubbing clothes. People are averting their eyes and whispering behind her back.

Or maybe it's Food Network completely missing the mark in making its web content - which is openly recycled and credits its own kitchens instead of trying to hide it behind a blog-face - more accessible and hip to America's youth. The sans-serif type, the clashing colors, the raw layout...

Oh Food Network, did you eat Look At This Fucking Hipster with your dinner of internet marketing keywords and then throw it up onto the internet?

I'm sorry, I think you meant to do this:

See how the crazy colors are limited to just two? See how it's confined to only the most important information? The drop down menus go horizontally to preserve visibility of content. The text is easy to read. The text is enjoyable to read because they have contributing writers, not regurgitating monkeys. The spacing of the paragraphs is easy to scroll through. Images do not interrupt important flow of information (as in recipe instructions). If you're going to have images/illustrations, please integrate them at the side of the text; it's more clear that way anyway. Images for punctuation are okay, but you haven't done that.

You don't even have very much web-exclusive content.

There are about 10 sentences per blog post and the rest of it is clunky photos and solicitations for comments. Who's going to comment on your post when you haven't even said anything!? The recipes are straight recycling, and they haven't been edited for more accessibility (e.g., more detailed instruction, diagrams, definitions).

So let's recap. Food2 website: It's ugly. It's annoying to navigate/look at. There's not much original content. The content is bad. The content is not really any more fun or hip than original Food Network content. The content is not at all geared toward beginners. I'm sorry, Food2. Your attempts at being hip and accessible have failed with me. You are not hip, you are a giant eyesore. You are not accessible, because I do not desire to access whatever bad content you have hidden in those stripey, neon lines. I guess I could watch one of the videos, but... that's what your tv channel is for.

Rule: Please, people. When you re-brand to appeal to a younger or newer audience, do your research into the demographic. Then spend a lot of money on good design. The web is your new medium. Please do not poop on it.
- Make it visually-stimulating, not messy.
- It can be raw, but not unpolished.
- Keep the content original, not lingo-heavy.
- Be witty and endearing, not goofy and disconcerting.

It's hard, but it looks like you have wads of cash to spend. Feel free to toss some of that my way.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I'm Asian, for those of you who don't know. I try very hard to downplay this fact because of crazy emotional baggage (Asians, right?). Anyway, I am. So there. Make all the math/violin/angry parents jokes you want. I'm not really in tune with Asian culture except for when it comes to food. And then I'm all bear-on-a-rampage. There was some study done on... [immigrants or something?] where they found that of all the cultural things that eventually get sapped or shamed out of a person from a different culture, food-related culture is the last thing to go. That's why, even when I was an American Eagle-wearing, top 40-listening, dance team-participating Midwestern girl, I really also just liked chomping on whole boiled baby octopods and slurping sweet peanut and silken tofu soup.

I've been out of high school for a while now, and I've also moved far from my parents. I visit them rarely. So today, when I received two boxes worth of Asian snacks that my dad brought back from his trip to Taiwan (yeah that's where I'm from), I positively flipped out and started tearing through the beautiful (and excessively wasteful) packaging. Here is a sampling of my thoughts:

- i have had two pineapple cakes already and I'm feeling like a fatty. but i will forge on to puffed rice thingies.

- i am going to be a sphere tomorrow from all the fat, sugar, and salt


- i should save that package.

- should i save that package?

- i should save that package

- i'll open this one instead

- do i want to hoard this, or give it away or something?

- i should really hide these from myself

- what is this one?

- oh yeah i LOVE this one!!

- ok i should pace myself so i have some later on

- i don't think anybody but me would like this kind so i can eat one more

- what if my boyfriend gets home and sees me covered in crumbs?


from that point on i turn into a hissing, clawing thing if approached.

Are there foods you associate with your identity? Are any of them shameful? (If so, you may want to come to my guilty pleasures potluck during which all foodie presumptions are tossed aside for some cheesy hotdish and maybe like shrimp chips or something)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Yeah I skipped a week

Yeah I know it's bad. I didn't have anything and it was a rough week. I am sorry, tiny, but important readership.

Just so you're not left dangling, here are some blogs I have just discovered that are also fun.

Ancient Industries - http://ancientindustries.blogspot.com/ Um, this is just beautiful things.

How to Write Badly Well - http://writebadlywell.blogspot.com/ Exactly what it sounds like. Hilarity all the time.

Please Sir - http://pleasesirblog.blogspot.com/ So this is all sorts of eye candy. Photos, objects, etc.

Rule: Distract your readership with other peoples' content and pass it off as a post! (Blogs do this all the time. Best of, sale, featuring, etc.)

Don't do it too many times or else your blog gets boring. Also, don't put down too many links and things because it makes your readership feel lazy or overwhelmed. Lastly, only the readers that actually feel like you understand them will actually clickthrough.

Time to pass out as this week will undoubtedly also be crazy. Maybe it's Clontarf hot toddy time. Does anybody want to buy me some black tea for Christmas?

Also, I visited my bestest friend ever this weekend and we had delicious foods. I will be dreaming about thiiiiiiiiiiiiis for the rest of my life: