Callaghan models the staggering height of summer fashion for the neighbors.

I believe I owe you an explanation for the teaser I left at the end of my last post.

The evening I found Callaghan in his underwear on the back patio, I’d gone to the gym solo, as he had to work an hour late. He would get home at 6:30-ish. I would return from the gym at around 7:00.

Right on time, I walked into the house with sweat plastering my t-shirt to my body, looking forward to jumping into the shower… but my usual announcement of Mommy is home! was met with unusual silence. Callaghan can be heard before he’s seen, and I didn’t hear any sign of him.

I looked around and spotted Nenette doing her evening cat thing of lounging sleepily, recently woken from her late afternoon nap. She wasn’t behaving at all like a cat whose Daddy was home.

Callaghan had taken his motorcycle to work that day, but before I went to the garage to see if it was there, I checked my phone. No new texts. I walked through the whole house. I didn’t find him.

Then I wandered back into the kitchen area, just as I heard a rapping on the back door leading from the kitchen to the backyard. I went to the door window and looked out onto the patio.

Callaghan was kicking back in the patio chair next to the door. He had his backpack with him, and he was wearing just socks and underwear. When he saw me, he started gesticulating and grinning like a crazy person.

The first thing that struck me was that he had chosen his Gaston LaGaffe socks that day. Gaston LaGaffe is a Belgian comic strip character whose surname means “The Blunder.”

 

Les chausettes de Gaston LaGaffe.

Les chausettes de Gaston LaGaffe.

 

The second thing that struck me was that Callaghan was doing something on his tablet, like it was normal to be engrossed in one’s iPad while wearing just socks and underwear – or should I call the whole ensemble blunderwear – on the back patio.

The third thing I realized was that he was locked out, but I was already laughing, so it was too late to feel profound sympathy. (I do feel profound sympathy for blunderwear-wearing-Callaghan now that I’ve gotten the amusement of the spectacle out of my system.)

Something clattered to the ground when I unlocked the door and pushed it open. It was the screen for the door window, all crumpled up. He’d tried to break into the house.

“I forgot my house key, ” he said.

“Oh no! Poor Baby!” I said, laughing harder.

“I hosed off the top of my head to stay cool,” said my bald husband. It had gotten up to 110 degrees that days. “I drank from the hose, too.”

“At least we know that someone would have to make a real effort to break in,” I said, perversely triumphing in this discovery.

Fortunately, he’d only been locked out for a half-hour. I’m pretty sure some of the second-floor residents of the apartment building behind our house got an eyeful of him in his socks and his unmentionables.

(By the way, have you ever wondered why the term “unmentionables” is used almost exclusively for women’s underwear, while it’s fine to “mention” men’s?)

The moral of this story is “have a spare key to your house hidden somewhere outside.” Duh.

What I’m Digging Right Now – March Favorites

Update: Ronnie James has been home since Sunday night! This week we’re helping him to recover from his surgery here at home, and we’re waiting for lab results to come back. We should know everything by Friday, so I’ll post a detailed update then, for anyone who’s interested!

Somehow, March dragged. March aspired to be the Texas of this (albeit still very young) year… it feels like we drove and drove, and it seemed to never end. Some of it was amazing. Some of it was depressing. Much of it was great fun, and a lot of it was eye-opening, too.

It’s interesting how March going on forever makes the year, itself, seem long, and to be honest, I have to say that time creeping along like this bewilders me a little. Our sense of time is supposed to accelerate the older we get, a phenomenon I was experiencing normally up until this year. It’s interesting how circumstances in our lives can alter this perception.

Now that we’ve finally arrived at April, it’s time to look back at that long month and pick out a few “little things” that stood out. I never go deep in these lists and talk about the people who bless our lives and make the world a better place for being in it. These lists are for talking about mostly superficial things, the cheap thrills, so to speak!

And the winners are… starting with food…

1). Blackberries from Target.

These blackberries. THESE.

These blackberries. THESE.

This is a weird one, I know. For whatever reason, the blackberries at the Target near us (Tempe Marketplace on Rio Salado) are the best. No other blackberries compare, and I don’t even want to know why. I’ll just enjoy them while we can!

2). Justin’s classic all-natural peanut butter.

Justin's classic all-natural peanut butter

Justin’s classic all-natural peanut butter

Callaghan brought this home for me one day, and I’m loving it. I’ve been a huge fan of Justin’s dark chocolate peanut-butter cups for a couple of years, but I’d never tried other Justin’s products before now!

3). Snyder’s of Hanover peanut butter pretzel sandwiches.

Snyder's of Hanover peanut butter pretzel sandwiches.

Snyder’s of Hanover peanut butter pretzel sandwiches.

You know how it is. Sometimes, you just have to run downstairs in the middle of the afternoon and get yourself something kind of dirty to munch on from the corner store. These peanut butter pretzel sandwiches were my processed food guilty pleasure in March. There’re not entirely terrible for you, either, as it turns out! I mean, they’re not as junky as junk food can be. If you appreciate peanut butter as much as I do, you might need these in your life.

Moving on to non-edible things…

4). Acure Night Cream.

Acure Night Cream

Acure Night Cream

I got this cream when I’d used up my old one, as I’d planned. It’s the night-time counterpart to the Acure day cream I’ve been using with respect to my New Year’s resolution to stop buying personal care products and cosmetics tested on animals. This is a good, hydrating night cream, and other than its strong herbal scent, which I don’t care for, I like it a lot. It has a nourishing feel to it, and my skin feels dewy (for lack of a better word) in the morning. However, because of that strong fragrance, I don’t think my search for the perfect, affordable cruelty-free night cream is over… my next one will be from another brand. I like this one enough to return to it if future selections don’t perform as well, and obviously I like it enough to include it here as a monthly favorite, but at the same time, I’ll be happy to find one that equals it without the clinging, almost medicinal herbal scent!

5). L’Université Nice Sophia Antipolis hat and mug.

Mug and hat from my friend in Nice who works at L’Université Nice Sophia Antipolis.

Mug and hat from my friend in Nice who works at L’Université Nice Sophia Antipolis.

When we went to France, a friend surprised me with a mug and a hat from the University in Nice where she works. Merci, Matita! L’Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, represent! I love stuff like this. I thought it would be fun to send her the same from Arizona State University. Now there’s an honorary Sun Devil working à l’UNS.

6). Body Combat in France.

thatasianlookingchick.com-lesmillsbodycombatFRANCE

And thanks to our friend Chantal, there was that Body Combat class in Cannes we got to do while we were down south! I have to rave about it again, because I enjoyed it so much, and it’s at the top of my March favorites list. That was our only workout in about 10 days, and we didn’t waste it. We went full-on beast mode, as usual… or, to steal a phrase from our friend Sarah, beast à la mode!

7). Bag – K by Kookai (black satchel).

I don’t know what I like better, this bag or the story behind it. In the weeks before we went to France, Callaghan became obsessed with the idea that thieves in Paris were going to sneak up behind me with scissors and cut the strap of the bag I was using at the time. “You need to get a little backpack with a strong strap,” he insisted.

I had no idea where this notion came from. I’d been in Paris five times before, and all that ever happened to me was an ill-attempted “dropped jewelry” scam. (That one where someone comes up with a bracelet or something else shiny, quickly drops it in front of you when she thinks you’re not looking, and makes a big deal picking it up and bringing it to you to ask if it’s yours while her partner hustles up to rip you off during the “distraction.” The two who tried it on me weren’t good at it. They were laughable. I’d give their performance a 4 on a scale of 1-10. Needless to say, it didn’t work.)

But Callaghan thought that my cross-body bag strap would get cut, so I found a small backpack-style bag with a zipper that ran down the length of the straps so you could use it either single-strapped or doubled. I thought the quality was good. It was from Marshall’s. I think it was a Steve Madden, or something like that. Anyway, long story short, the whole bag fell apart three days after we got to France. I mean, the zipper broke and the straps came apart from the bag itself, so, being a backpack, it was rendered unwearable.

I trotted around the French Riviera with the bag in my arms, like a baby, then switched to the only other thing I had: a large and awkward purple and pink vinyl Kenzo perfume bag that one of Callaghan’s relatives in Paris had given us to transport the bottle of champagne she was sending down south with us to Callaghan’s Dad. It was annoying and uncomfortable. I wanted to avoid getting a new bag, but once we got back to Paris, I gave up on that idea and went looking for one.

Luckily, we were staying in Montmartre, where you can walk to any place you might need. Case in point: Callaghan and I were dreading going to the f*cking Champs-Élysées* just because I needed a bag, but lo! There was a La Halle aux chaussures et maroquinerie down the street from our hotel, and I didn’t have to look further. There were five bags I really liked, and it was hard to choose! I decided on this:

K by Kookai bag

K by Kookai bag

It’s just an unstructured satchel-type style with a long strap option, which I don’t use, but somehow, I like the bag a lot. Actually, I think it’s the red lining that I really like… and it was totally affordable. WIN.

*We like to jokingly call it “the f*cking Champs-Élysées,” but honestly? I wish they could move L’Arc de Triomphe out of there and set it somewhere less commercial and insane.

So after that long story, I’ll let the images speak for themselves in the rest of this post!

8). House of Cards, season three (T.V. series)

thatasianlookingchick.com-houseofcardss3

Oh, the lies… the plays… the dares! Now we wait a year to see what happens next.

9). The Following, season three (T.V. series)

thatasianlookingchick.com-thefollowing2015

WAIT – who’s doing the following, and who’s being followed? I love how you never know who’s who in this series. This season of The Following grabbed us by the throat in a way that last season didn’t, and we enjoyed last season! It’s always great when a good series gets even better, and it’s probably a good thing that the return of Hannibal was pushed back to June, or it’d be serial killer overload in our entertainment schedule up in here.

10). “Rico” (Episode 8 of Better Call Saul)

Scene from "Rico," episode 8 (Better Call Saul)

Scene from “Rico,” episode 8 (Better Call Saul)

Have you ever watched the credits roll after an hour and said to yourself, “Self, that right there was a really good episode of television?” That was “Rico” for me, though honestly, this first season of Better Call Saul has been getting increasingly more compelling and impressive. I find myself dazzled by the unexpected depth and complexity of the protagonist, and by the development of his character, as well. Then there’s the writing of these episodes. Superb!

Those were my picks for March. Now let’s get on with April!

My Shoe Anti-Rhapsody.

The weekend turned out to be good because I escaped having to shop for “nice” shoes, a task I’d been avoiding. I spared myself with the realization that if I need to dress up (I am capable of cleaning up kind of nicely, when I want to), I have several options that look perfectly okay with ankle boots. I can wear boots with tights and a knee-length or longer skirt or dress, and no one would look twice at a simple black ankle boot if it’s not dirty or scuffed, right?

It happens that there’s an upcoming event whose dress code is “cocktail attire.” I’m pretty sure I can get away with short boots, though.

I’m not sure where my aversion to wearing dressy shoes comes from, because I haven’t always had it. There was a time that I didn’t mind wearing them, and I often wore them to work. The heels couldn’t be more than three inches high, though, and even that was pushing it! I was never comfortable walking in heels.

As a result of wearing heels on a semi-regular basis, I now have a bunion on my left foot, and it looks like I might be developing one on my right foot. If I could go back in time and tell my younger self anything at all, it would be, “Don’t wear high heels, even if they’re not really high. They’re not worth it.”

(It seems that one way or another, women end up mutilating their bodies whether they’re aware of it or not. I mean, aside from the drastic differential in damage and degree of pain and severity, how is the practice of Chinese foot-binding any different than modern women wearing high heels regularly over an extended period of time? Both are done for the sake of fashion and in compliance with current beauty standards, and they have the same effect in the end: deformed feet.)

Anyway, I haven’t worn high-heeled footwear on a regular basis since 2009. I did thrift some kind-of-high wedge sandals in Texas, but I only wore them twice, and only for a few hours each time.

Since shopping for dressy shoes means fashion, it also pretty much means high heels, and since, to me, trying on high heels is only slightly less fun than getting invasive dental surgery, I’ve come up with every excuse to avoid the whole business.

My (admittedly) halfhearted attempts to find “nice” shoes usually end in failure. One day in the summer of 2012, I wandered into a shoe boutique in Nice, France (where we were pretty much living at the time). The shoes were mostly trendy and some combination of glamorous, provocative, strappy, studded, or colorful… and they were mostly high-heeled. Many were high-heeled with platforms. I was supposed to be looking for shoes for a special occasion, but I ended up getting some converse knock-offs I found hidden in the back corner, high above and out of reach… I had to ask the shoe guy to get down a pair in size 38.5 (my European shoe size). The shoes were casual, but they were made of metallic material and faux patent leather, so that made them special occasion converse knock-offs, right? My reasoning was lame, and I knew it. I bought them anyway.

In their defense, those flimsy, blingy black and silver converse-inspired shoes were pretty comfortable. I spent the rest of the summer power-walking through Nice in them. I still have them:

 

Brand unknown. It just says "sport" on the metal plaques at the tops of the laces.

Brand unknown. It just says “sport” on the metal plaques at the tops of the laces.

 

“Never say ‘can’t’,” but… I can’t walk in high heels, and I don’t care.

Also when we were still living in France, we visited Los Angeles for a week, and once again, I went shopping for dressy shoes. This was in September, at the end of that same summer. We had an event in Berlin coming up in November, and I was running out of time. I had to find some shoes! I finally found a pair of black velvet-like wedges at a mall shoe shop. Of all the shoes I tried on, those were the most walking-friendly ones in my price range.

Fast-forward to November: I wore the shoes from the hotel in Berlin to the convention center, and I only made it half-way down the street. Luckily, it just so happened that my comfy, reliable old cowgirl boots were stashed in my backpack. (Yes, I wore a backpack with my dressy outfit.) Cowgirl boots aren’t exactly formal footwear, but they’re better than barefoot at a convention center event. My excuse was going to be that I was an inappropriately casual American who didn’t know any better. If there’s a stereotype about Americans wearing casual western boots at semi-formal events, I’m afraid I helped to propagate it. Sorry, not sorry.

Shoes. If “perfectly okay” is good enough, they’re perfect as far as I’m concerned!

Addicted to Fear? (PTSD post.)

Q: What happens when you watch the American Horror Story: Freak Show premiere and the first two episodes of Stalker all on the same night?

A: The next time you’re alone in the house, ALL THE LITTLE NOISES will cause you to jump and imagine that the most terrifying clown you’ve ever seen is creeping around your windows.

And, if you’re kind of warped, like me, you’ll love it.

Twisty the Clown

Twisty the Clown

Fear is a mysterious emotion. It can be taught, or it can be intuitive. It can be provoked by things we perceive with our own senses, or by others’ senses. Fear as a response to external stimuli real or imagined can also be unpredictable.

Twisty the MURDER Clown, that is.

Twisty the MURDER Clown, that is.

I have phobias, meaning that I experience irrational fear in response to specific things. I also have PTSD, meaning that I have a few known “triggers” floating around in a deep lake of more inexplicable, unknown causes of panic. The resulting inner havoc is predictable even if its cause is not… it’s the familiar old Armageddon of panic and stress boiling in my core, rippling outward through my body like a fire spreading through a house. It feels like I’m being consumed. Sometimes, it even feels like I’m going to die, or like I have to die. I actually take medication for this. Throw in the by-product of clinical depression just to balance it out, and there you have the main reason I live for my body combat classes at the gym three days a week. I enjoy them because they’re amazing, yes, but I also need them for medical reasons. Intense physical training on a regular basis helps my brain chemistry better than anything.

So it’s a mystery to me why, when a former boyfriend introduced me to the creepy PlayStation game Silent Hill (the only video game I’d played since the ‘80’s), I quickly became addicted and couldn’t wait for darkness to fall every night so I could huddle in the shadowy corner of the bed with all the lights out, trembling and listening to the discreet yet horrifying sound of snow crunching beneath my feet (leave it to developers of Japanese horror to make the sound of snow horrifying) as I walked through the abandoned town in search of my daughter. You would think the eerie sense of being watched and the unpredictable sightings and attacks would have sent me into PTSD Armageddon, but instead, I found myself craving more.

It’s odd, this thing about the horror genre in pop culture. If scary movies, television shows, books or games manage to provoke fear or stir up the creep factor even a little bit, which very few of them can do, by the way – my favorites are the ones that can – I just twitch a little and then run back for more. Yet, the sight of a sewer roach encases me in fear and leaves me traumatized for days. Why is that?

I would venture to guess that the PTSD lurks behind this incongruity. Fear strikes, and in that moment of skyrocketing adrenaline, I’m instantaneously alert and on edge. Maybe, in some perverse way, I love it because it makes me feel alive… alert, alive and ready to act, and when this response comes in the wake of stimuli that I know is fictional, I can just enjoy the rush. There’s no real-world threat in fiction. (A roach is not a formidable threat, but it is real.) Maybe I’ve become a “fight or flight” response junkie, though I don’t think I’d go so far as to say I’m addicted to adrenaline, a phenomenon that some people apparently experience. For me, in the case of creepy movies and T.V. shows and books, maybe I’m more just hyper-intrigued by the fear of the unknown, and of the (horrifying) possibilities. Neither am I sure that there’s much of a difference between this kind of fear addiction and the kind of garden-variety thrill-seeking that leads people to go bungee-jumping (I am not a thrill-seeker of the bungee-jumping variety). Whatever the case, I find the psychology of fear to be fascinating. Fear is terror-provoking, thrilling, necessary and fun. What emotion other than love covers all of that?

My affection for the horror genre pre-dates my PTSD, so perhaps that’s significant, as well.

I also think that it’s my PTSD that drives me through whatever martial/fighting arts training I’m doing, especially when my energy stores are low, though I’d loved combat sports long before the PTSD, too. In high school, I was the girl who demanded that the P.E. faculty allow girls to take wrestling, because that was what I wanted to do, and I was outraged that only boys could take it. (In the end, they acquiesced, but only because I got other girls to sign my petition, indicating that they would take it with me. We were only allowed to wrestle under the stipulation that we’d wrestle each other, rather than the boys. Haha!) (I don’t think that anyone was surprised when I joined the Army after that.)

On the tail of that tangent, let’s all take a moment to acknowledge that Halloween is just two weeks away. I’m beside myself with glee. We’re in a house now, which means that we get to give candy out to trick-or-treaters. I wonder how many American Horror Story Twisty the Clowns we’ll find on our doorstep Halloween night? I can’t wait to find out!

Happy Friday, All!

Will Work for Pants (+ OOTD)

Pants.

May I just rant about pants for a second? I have two pairs of pants – one brown, one beige – that I wear to work, neither of which are particularly flattering or nice. I mean, they’re okay, I guess. In terms of the workplace, they’re only a step above jeans by virtue of the fact that they’re not jeans. I’m always relieved when Friday arrives, because I feel justified in wearing jeans to work on Fridays, though I’ll sometimes wear them to work during the week, too. In addition to the brown and beige pants, I also have two pairs of black pants that I consider to be “work” pants. They aren’t great-looking, either (one is a pair of cords, and the other is a weird pair of black jeans, which I consider to be nice enough to qualify as not-jeans). All four pairs of pants are uncomfortable in one way or another. I’m most comfortable wearing regular jeans or leggings; I’ll actually put on leggings once a week more often than I will the black jeans. During an average five-day work week, I’ll rotate through them… the brown, beige, black, leggings or weird black jeans, and regular jeans on Fridays.

My ridiculous angst over pants is due to the fact that I HATE SHOPPING FOR PANTS. I know that it wouldn’t hurt to invest a little in my work wardrobe, but it’s hard to muster the enthusiasm when I’d rather go to the dentist than go shopping for pants. If my work attire could be anything I wanted, I’d go in work-out/athletic clothing. I do, in fact, have one pair of flowy black athletic pants in some kind of stretchy spandex-blend that I can get away with wearing to work. Unfortunately, they’re old and worn-out to the point where they’ve developed a pill issue.

You can understand, then, that when my eyeballs wandered over an ad for “yoga-style pants for the office” the other day, I clicked on the link with high hopes:

 

thatasianlookingchick.com-dresspantyogapants

 

I immediately honed in on the pair I would order. I know what I like. I would get the boot-flare cut in black:

 

thatasianlookingchick.com-dresspantyogapantsbootflare

 

And look at that! They’re beautiful, and they’re only $79.20, because they’re 10% off! WHAT A STEAL.

 

thatasianlookingchick.com-dresspantyogapantstwo

 

I partially went through the process of ordering them, just to see. Ground shipping, the least expensive shipping option, is $6.95, bringing the pre-tax subtotal to $86.15. Add an additional $5.60 for (California) sales tax, and these pants cost $91.75.

In my view, it’s a cruel joke to make comfy, work-appropriate yoga pants and advertise them for $80.00. I mean, I just can’t. And this is one of my issues with shopping for work clothing: I’m willing to throw eighty bucks down for some things, but pants aren’t one of them.

I don’t like to spend money on clothing. I’m guilty of spending more than I should on things like skin care products, perfumes, concert tickets and food (on high-quality groceries, and on eating out), and I’ll splurge on a pedicure every once in a while, mainly to get the lower leg and foot massage. I’m not a clothes-shopping person. I’m not a jewelry person or a shoe person, either. I do like bags, but not expensive ones. I like Target, the Goodwill, Ross, Marshall’s, and it’s just painful shopping for pants in those places. The very idea of flipping through a hundred pairs of pants that all look the same (except that they’re not) leaves me cold.

There are other, random places, sure. One store in the mall I venture into every once in a while is Charlotte Russe, because I usually find things there that I like, and often, those things that I find are on the clearance rack. And I like to get jeans at Old Navy (when they’re having a sale)… Old Navy and Target.

I still have many of the dresses and skirts I habitually wore to work a decade ago, but I’m not into wearing them anymore, for some reason. Not only that, but there’d be a strategic issue with wearing skirts to work now: I sit on a physio/balance ball instead of on a chair, and my desk doesn’t have a “modesty panel.” My desk is out in the open, facing people walking into that area. Are you getting a visual here? You know how I’m prone to embarrassing incidents at work? Yeah. That would totally happen to me. So, pants. No crotch shots. PANTS.

While I love the idea of these “Black Dress Pant Yoga Pants (Boot-Flare) $79.20 $88 (10% Off),” there’s just no way I’m spending a total of $91.75 on ONE pair of pants when I could get several from any of the cheaper places for that same price. I guess I know what I’m doing one weekend in the near future.

Here’s what I’m wearing to work today:

 

FRIDAY!

FRIDAY!

 

Happy Friday!

 

 

La Tour Eiffel, she is everywhere.

It seems that I started noticing the Eiffel Tower printed on clothing and other things right when we moved back to Arizona last November. That’s when I became aware of the trend, anyway… the Eiffel Tower could have been a popular motif in apparel and home décor fashion for much longer.

At first, I was charmed to happen upon the occasional Eiffel Tower, because the Eiffel Tower is one of my favorite things about France. It’s actually my favorite monument of the monuments I’ve seen in the world, as you may recall me mentioning before. Hence, I own more than a few Eiffel Tower-emblazoned things, myself. A sleeveless t-shirt here. A light sweater there. A French friend gave me a small photo of the Eiffel Tower in a white frame (from the store – I chose it)! A small ring holder in the shape of the Eiffel Tower sits on the dresser. The first Eiffel Tower in my collection, the drawing that Callaghan bought for me when we were there one day (at the Eiffel Tower), hangs in our living room, and of course, there’s the token Eiffel Tower magnet on the refrigerator. And that’s just a sampling of examples. There are more.

So, I started seeing Eiffel Towers plastered all over tarnation last November, but in the almost-year since we’ve been back in AZ? Instead of trailing off into the oblivion that follows a robust trend, the Eiffel Tower not only pressed forward, but it exploded into a frenzy of mass marketing. It’s everywhere, on everything, all over the place… especially, it seems, in the kind of discount stores we favor, such as Target, Marshall’s/T.J. Maxx and Ross. There’s no shortage of Eiffel Towers in these places. If you want it in your house or on your person, you may have it, and for very good prices. The quantities and varieties of Eiffel Towers migrating to the United States from China are staggering.

When I brought this up the other day, Callaghan said, “Yeah. I’m trying to get away from there, and the Eiffel Tower is running after me.”

Here, enjoy some random Eiffel Tower store sightings:

 

The Eiffel Tower on hat boxes.

The Eiffel Tower on hat boxes.

 

 

The Eiffel Tower on canvas.

The Eiffel Tower on canvas.

 

 

The Eiffel Tower on a hook board.

The Eiffel Tower on a hook board.

 

 

The Eiffel Tower on bathroom accessories.

The Eiffel Tower on bathroom accessories.

 

 

The Eiffel Tower on a knit top.

The Eiffel Tower on a knit top.

 

 

And, while we're at it, let's not forget the fleur de lys (more ubiquitous now than ever, as well).

And, while we’re at it, let’s not forget the fleur de lys (more ubiquitous now than ever, as well).

 

I’m not sure if it’s the Eiffel Tower, specifically, or the city of Paris itself that’s all the rage right now. The Eiffel Tower has become synonymous with Paris, so it could be either. And honestly, I don’t mind that Eiffel Towers jump into my face every time I turn around. I could be ambushed by worse things, for sure.

So I’m not complaining here… I’m more nonplussed than anything, and maybe I feel just a little bit like the plethora of Eiffel Towers cheapens the experience of her somehow. It’s like seeing your lover’s face depicted, suddenly, on clothing worn by other people. Poor Eiffel Tower! If monuments were songs, she’d be the most over-played one by a mile. Being everywhere takes the edge off her splendor; it’s hard to be one-of-a-kind and de rigueur at the same time.

On his part, Callaghan is in disgust. He loves the Eiffel Tower as much as I do, and he likes all of our Eiffel Towers, but he rolls his eyes at the herds of Eiffel Towers roaming through stores.

 

The Eiffel Tower on a shopping bag.

The Eiffel Tower on a shopping bag.

What I’m Digging Right Now – August Favorites

August was interesting. It brought death, storm destruction, unpleasant dental work and a diagnosis of asthma for the Ronnie James. It also brought much in the way of good times, a new home and a new job for Callaghan.

At work, the fall semester started, and my Monday that week was epic: I started it first thing in the morning at home by spilling a full, large mug of coffee all over myself, the couch, the floor and the inside of my bag, which was sitting (open, of course) on the floor. How to start your day! Bathe in hot coffee! Such literal, caffeinated ablutions sanitize the early-morning mind. That’s how I saw it. Too bad about the almond milk, though.

Coffee scent still wafts out of my bag every time I open it. It’s not a terrible thing.

On that note, let’s start with entertainment!

 

1). The Killing (T.V. series)

 

thatasianlookingchick.cm-the-killing-season-4-poster

 

Netflix released the fourth and final season of The Killing on August first, and we greedily absorbed it all in two days. It’s over now, and we’re sad about that, but I’ll tell you what… rarely has the final episode of a series felt so satisfying.

I think I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating: we’re hard-pressed to explain how The Killing’s Linden and Holder endeared themselves to us so completely.  Our favorite aspect of watching the series was witnessing the development of these characters and their partnership over the arc of the four seasons, but in fact, we loved everything about it. We found the haunting crime drama to be intriguing and masterfully-paced. The city of Seattle was depicted as mostly rainy and gray, and it seemed to be cast as a character in and of itself to gorgeous effect, veiled more in lyricism than grunge. The actors’ performances were exceptional. The plotlines for each of the seasons kept us quietly on edge. We enjoyed seasons one, two and four the most, but each season built on the last while revolving around unique plotlines (with the exception of season two, which was part two of the opening season’s storyline). Overall, we would say that The Killing is a brilliant and underrated series.

This brings to mind an incident that occurred in the store the other day: I was approached by a guy who wanted to know whether we had cable at home (evidently he worked for a cable company), and when I said no, he asked why not. I answered, “Because Netflix.” He was annoyed (maybe because I laughed, which was probably rude, now that I think about it) and pretty much stalked away with a black cloud over his head. At least we didn’t upset him more by telling him about the other internet resources we use for watching all kinds of movies and T.V. series!

 

2). Rage in the Cage (August 9, 2014).

 

Rage in the Cage at the Celebrity Theatre was good times!

Rage in the Cage at the Celebrity Theatre was good times!

 

It’d been too long since I’d attended a combat sports event at the Celebrity Theatre, so when our friend and Body Combat instructor said that she could get us a good deal on tickets because she was going to be working the event as a ring card girl, we gladly seized the opportunity. Not only was it fun to see Izzy at the event (it was like a preview of her participation in the natural physique competition she ended up dominating at the end of the month!), but the fights provided rock-solid entertainment. It was awesome to see that two of the night’s winners hailed from Arizona Combat Sports, the gym where I’d trained in Muay Thai back in its earlier days. The next Rage in the Cage event is in October, and we’re looking forward to it!

 

3). White peaches.

 

The white peaches have been so good, we haven't been able to get enough.

The white peaches have been so good, we haven’t been able to get enough.

 

We devoured white peaches all month… the ones at our favorite Fry’s were fabulous (maybe they still are), and we couldn’t get enough of them! You know how it is when you bite deeply into a piece of fruit and it’s just so satisfying on every level? It’s like that with these peaches. They’re sweet, fragrant, juicy and dense. For me, nothing signals or defines summer as convincingly as certain stone fruits – peaches, cherries, apricots and plums.

 

4). Vegan donuts at Whole Foods.

 

Why?! And why do they have to be so good?

Why?! And why do they have to be so good?

 

Leave it to our favorite Whole Paycheck Foods store to start stocking their bakery with vegan donuts. There’s nothing healthy about these deep fried, refined carb- and sugar-loaded delectables; “vegan” isn’t necessarily synonymous with “healthy,” and treats like these donuts are a great case in point. I feel a bit sheepish admitting that I’ve eaten something like five of them since I discovered them just a few weeks ago. Now I need to develop a will power specific to these donuts. Or not.

 

5). Little Ranch House in the Desert.

We’ve been in our new house for two days, and we all love it! We feel like we’re home, and all the space is a wonderful novelty for the kitties. We adopted them from a small apartment in France, and they’ve lived in nothing but equally small spaces up until this move. It’s been funny watching them here… it’s like, they have so much space, they don’t know where to go first. The bed is still their headquarters of choice, though.

 

Day One in the new house: Ronnie James purring in contentment on our bed.

Day One in the new house: Ronnie James purring in contentment on our bed.

 

6). Framed “Not Cal” decal.

 

NOT CAL in a frame!

NOT CAL in a frame!

 

I finally got this second NOT CAL decal framed! I put it in my new home office, of course. I love it.

 

7). göt2b Guardian Angel Gloss Finish Flat Iron Balm.

 

The hair product that guards against heat even when you don't use heat.

The hair product that guards against heat even when you don’t use heat.

 

This is good stuff. I picked this up in August thinking that I would start using my straight-iron again, but I discovered that I like what it does just by itself, as a leave-in treatment on dry hair. It adds a little something (I don’t even know what, really) that I like to my hair.

 

8). Manifesto (perfume).

 

Manifesto, the way to end the summer.

Manifesto, the way to end the summer.

 

In August, I started wearing “Manifesto,” which caught my eye because of its name. It amused me because of the Unibomber. (Not that I in any way condone, support or agree with the Unibomber and his activities, mind you. Just… you know. Manifesto.) Then, of course, there was the fragrance, itself! Made by Yves St. Laurent, it’s lovely with its body of white flowers, woods and vanilla. I think it bridges the summer and fall gorgeously.

(I wear perfume strictly for myself, by the way… because I like it, and because of what it evokes for me. I wore fragrance long before I ever wore makeup. It’s a personal thing.)

 

9). Paws jewelry.

 

Favorite impulse buy of the month: paws jewelry from Michael's. (Photo from instagram.)

Favorite impulse buy of the month: paws jewelry from Michael’s. (Photo from instagram.)

 

We were on an errand at Michael’s when I saw this cheap little set of costume jewelry. Paws. They were near a Halloween-themed display, so they may have been a part of that, which would make sense… I’m more prone to impulse-buying when Halloween things are out than any other time of the year.

 

This brings us to Ronnie James’ and Nounours’ “Favorites” pick for August!

 

10). Feliway.

 

A Feliway'd Nounours on the eve of our move.

A Feliway’d Nounours on the eve of our move.

 

Feliway is a product consisting of synthetic feline pheromones – undetectable by humans – emitted by a plug-in device similar to a plug-in air freshener. Our vet prescribed it to Ronnie James as a part of his treatment plan for anxiety, which was aggravating his asthma and causing him to over-groom himself. It works, and it works really well! Feliway mellows kitties like nothing I’ve ever seen before. We had the first one in our bedroom in the apartment before we moved, and now, in the house, we have an additional one – so, one in the living room, and another in our bedroom. Kitty bliss. =)

 

That wraps up my “little things” favorites list for August. Welcome, September!

Well aren’t I just the Fashionista’s Fashionista.

Two things that always attract me when I’m browsing through retail clothing racks:

1). Anything gray.

2). Anything featuring the Eiffel Tower.

(Which is actually an appropriate combination, considering that I’ve never seen Paris when it wasn’t cold, gray and raining… even in June.)

But I mean, I love the color gray, as you likely already know if you’ve been reading here for a while. Gray is to me what sparkly things are to my inner four-year-old, and the Eiffel Tower is my all-time favorite monument… so when the Eiffel Tower lights up and gets on with her sparklicious self late at night, my inner four-year-old and I float away on an invisible carpet woven of delight-bordering-on-euphoria. Many a time I’ve waited, shivering, on a chair at an outdoor café under the black Paris night sky, warming my icy hands on a cup of hot chocolate while staring at the Eiffel Tower. When she finally starts sparkling, it feels like she’s sparkling just for me, because I’d been staring at her so hard. (Speaking of hot chocolate, if you ever visit the Louvre, I recommend that you go upstairs to the Café Richelieu and treat yourself to a cup on the lovely terrace overlooking the pyramid. The hot chocolate at the Café Richelieu is decadence redefined.)

“Yeah, and I know why,” Callaghan said when we were talking about my Eiffel Tower obsession love. This was last week.

“Why?” I wanted to know what he thought he knew about me.

“It’s obvious! The Eiffel Tower is a phallic symbol.” He looked pleased with himself as he said it.

But his words gave me pause.

“Um… the Eiffel Tower is a girl,” I said. La Tour Eiffel.” Was I really pointing this out to my French husband?

I’d never seen the Eiffel Tower as phallic, or otherwise male in any respect. She’s a she. She’s elegant and strong and magnificent, and if I come across an article of clothing depicting her, I’ll usually at least contemplate buying it if it’s in the realm of possibility.

So when Chantal was visiting from France (she left on Saturday) for a couple of weeks and we went browsing through Ross one day, it wasn’t surprising that I walked out with another Eiffel Tower shirt, thus prompting the Eiffel Tower conversation with Callaghan, who was ever so surprised when I got home and showed him my purchase. I reasoned that I didn’t yet have a sleeveless Eiffel Tower t-shirt, so it made sense to get this one. Plus, it was all of $6.99 (who doesn’t love Ross), and the graphic is in shades of gray. Triple win!

On Wednesday evening, I came home from work, threw the Eiffel Tower shirt on over a sports bra and shorts and headed out to Boot Camp class at the gym. Because the Eiffel Tower – who is a girl – kicks ass.

Here’s the Eiffel Tower waiting for class to start:

 

At Boot Camp class with the Eiffel Tower.

At Boot Camp class with the Eiffel Tower.

 

Later, I snapped some pics wearing the shirt with a couple of different attitudes, because this particular Eiffel Tower asks for it. Also, it’s been months since my last silly “picture of me in a t-shirt” post (inside joke), so why not go ahead and derp my way through a couple with the Eiffel Tower?

 

The Eiffel Tower, "And your point is?" style.

The Eiffel Tower, “And your point is?” style.

 

The Eiffel Tower, '80's Billy Idol style.

The Eiffel Tower, ’80’s Billy Idol style.

 

Happy Friday, all! =)