To Beard or not to Beard--Should Not Even be a Question

I recently encountered an old friend in the midst of facial hair experimentation. A normally beautiful face was now hideously distorted, as if a rat had clung onto his gorgeous chin and died.

This tragedy made me wonder, does facial hair EVER enhance a man's level of attractiveness? While i feel many older men, my father, Tom Selleck, and the post man would look rather silly and youthful without a bushy moustache, are they only on of the handfuls of an exception?

Perhaps the problem is grooming. Facial hair, like all hair, needs to be groomed, dead rats should be sleek and tamed like baby squirrels. If a man grows facial hair to avoid the pesky shave, then no doubt he will avoid the oh-so-necessary task of grooming said facial hair.

On the contrary, last night I encountered a guy with acceptable facial hair. He was a grunge hippy with red hair. His chin's dead rat was barely visible, giving him a rustic, mountain man look. It was one dead rat I didn't mind looking at.


Ode to the First Day of School

For some time I've considered the start of school following Labor Day to be a cruel and sinister joked played on poor innocent members of the academic community. Perhaps it is more than slightly ironic that students and teachers begin their days of labor after a day celebrating labor, when in fact, they have not labored for nearly three months.

Bittersweet joy follows the end of rest on Monday and the beginning of work on Tuesday. The absence from labor has ended, the days at the shore over, the tan will soon fade, but at least plaid and wool will soon be in season.

And on another note, in attempts to combat the end of summer and the end of the day without labor, today I wore white--not in defiance of those sacred fashion Labor Day rules, but rather in celebration of another summery day, that without the calander could be just and pleasant as the last day of school.


Coffe Shop Mayhem

In attempts to bid a close friend farewell, a buddy and I ventured to our local Peet's Coffee. Now, being a strictly Starbucks gal, I was imediatly thrown by their excruciatingly long coffee names and the odd prices--$1.45 for a children's drink, as if children are just loaded with four dimes and a nickle.

After a few minutes of hemming and hawing and a consult with the barista--it is probably illegal to refer to her as one--but again, I am utterly unfamiliar with the Peet's lingo--I made the safe choice of iced tea. It was the only


Fork Etiquette

At an unromantic three-way dinner date last night, I was stricken with momentary panic when my chicken salad arrived and two forks lay beside my left hand. The outer fork was weak, like the stumpy hand of an infant. The inner fork, however, was strong--one Poseidon would call his own.

Instantly I looked up. "Which fork do I use?"
Four deadpan eyes retorted, "The small one!" as if I were an utter dinner table imbecile.

Scanning my salad plate, I analyzed my very large chunks of breaded chicken and cucumber slices longer than my ring finger. Again, I glanced as the measly outer fork, the "salad fork," which now, after perusing my very hearty salad seemed to have grown even smaller.

Now who, I wondered would be conniving and cruel enough to create a fork the would insufficiently transfer nourishment from my plate to my tummy. I realized it was my moment to say "Fork You" to the establishment and the inventor of the salad fork. I took a deep breath, inhaling the spice of the jalapeno ranch dressing, and picked up the big fork--the dinner fork.

While Martha my cringe at my fork etiquette faux pas, I say if the fork fits, use it.


Clean Up for the Cheap and Lazy

Got the ironing board blues?

Take your slightly unsightly blouse and trousers into the bathroom during your morning shower. Hang them on the outside of the shower curtain, away from any fly away suds. The steam from the shower will help release wrinkles and make the time-tested 30 second "hand ironing" more effective.

Scuffed pumps?

Attack shoe blemishes with a tube of toothpaste and paper towel. Buff away the scuff in a matter of minutes, and reap the benefits of clean shoes and minty toes.

Foggy mirror?

If the fog from your morning shower (or ironing) slows down your makeup and hair routine, try applying some of your man's shaving cream to the mirror. Rub a small amount all over the mirror, and wipe clean with a towel. The thin layer will prevent the mirror from fogging so you can prevent your makeup from the dreaded Picasso face.

Kitsch Kitchen Kolor

Tie dye and custom color clothing are no longer for the passe poser hippies. Thanks to the mere $3 magic-in-a-bottle RIT dye, anyone and everyone can create some color magic in their kitchen.

What you need:
RIT dye- available in the detergent aisle of the grocery market--pay the extra for liquid dye for an easier, cleaner project.

Dye tub- try an under-the-bed storage bin or large stainless steel cooking pot. Both will clean up nicely.

Dud Duds-anything light in color and cotton-poly blend work best. 100% cotton will absorb more color initially, but not be as colorfast.

Gloves- if you can't get your paws on a pair of rubber gloves, go no further than the trash bin--slip a pair of plastic grocery bags over your hands and tie around wrists. This method may look funny, but there isn't a cheaper way to keep your pinky's, well, pink.

Salt- over the should for good luck, and a bit more than a pinch into the dye bath. Try a teaspoon per quart of water used. The salt will help the color deepen, creating the most luscious hues.

Time to get dying!

1: boil water and add salt.
2: transfer hot water to dye bin ( if you are dying in a kitchen pot, then you don't have to transfer anything!)
3: add dye to bath--try a tablespoon per quart--guesstimate. The more dye, the darker the results.
4: add garment.
5: wait...anywhere from 10 minutes to a few hours. experiment.
6: don gloves and wring out garment.
7: rinse in cool water in either a pot, bucket, or stainless steel sink

To Colorfast garment:
combine handful Epsom Salts and a cup White Vinegar in a bucket. Submerge garment. Whisk gently with gloved hands, wring out and remove.

Now your garment will be ready to machine wash. Wash by itself once, or with like colors, dry, and Enjoy your kitsch kitchen kolors.


Go back to grade school: try mixing your own colors with basic dyes for an even more unique look.
Tie Dye it: wrap garment in rubber bands and dip in multiple colors for the more traditional looks.
Expand: drapes looking shabby, comforter outdated, try mixing a large dye bath to remake more than your wardrobe!
A twist: Want to color and then add your own designs? Try using a bleach pen to decorate your creation. Just be sure to mix a spray bottle with water and white vinegar to spray on bleached areas immediately. The vinegar will cure the bleach and can prevent over-bleaching.

Get started. It's easy. It's cheap. It's all yours.