Lesley's List: Five Distractions from Mindless And Possibly Dangerous Rage (Which May or May Not be Period-Related)

There are a lot of f-words in this post.
Publish date:
July 27, 2012
nail polish, rage, M

Hello friends. This week I have been in a mood. Not a depressed mood. Not a silly mood. A vicious mood. A vile mood. I actually started to write a piece about my long fuse and hellish temper (working title: “I Have a Fucking Anger Problem”) but I’m having difficulty doing so without it coming across as straight-up scary. I can be scary! Seriously!

Until I figure out how to write about my FEELINGS in a way that doesn’t make me sound like a dangerous menace, I have, for you, this list of five things that have distracted me from my more negative impluses this week.

Penny included for scale. (Note: no cats were fed any Jolly Ranchers during the taking of this picture.)

Five pounds of Jolly Ranchers

I ordered this five-pound bag of Jolly Ranchers by accident. I keep saying this but I doubt anyone believes me. It was the result of a 2AM order, something I find myself doing more and more as of late. I think it’s stress-related.

It’s not sleep-shopping, exactly -- I’ve known people who sleep-shopped, only discovering the purchase when days later the velvet painting of David Hasselhoff they unconsciously bought on eBay arrives, or a bewildering UPS delivery of 20 pounds of books about fish appears. But I’m not asleep when I do it, I’m just... not thinking clearly.

Some of the things I’ve bought after midnight in the last three months include:

  • four sets of those Sally Hansen nail polish strips (I was sad that some styles are being discontinued)
  • 8 ounces of food-grade dried rose petals (I think I meant these to create a flowery tea blend?)
  • a new nutmeg grater (don’t ask me what was wrong with the old one, because I don’t know)
  • a waterproof iPhone case for the beach (actually a smart idea)
  • Special Effects hair dye in Blood Red (the last thing I need is MORE HAIR DYE)
  • 12 trade paperback comics collections (don’t really regret this)
  • a vintage copy of the first-ever Nancy Drew mystery, “The Secret of the Old Clock”

And now, a five-pound bag of Jolly Ranchers, when all I really wanted was a few cherry ones and maybe one or two green apples. I guess I neglected to note the size of the bag.

When I shared this absurdity with Twitter and noted my aversion to both grape and watermelon Jolly Ranchers (of which I now have a combined two pounds, assuming the flavors are evenly distributed), AND asserted that cherry is inarguably superior among Jolly Ranchers, I discovered that people have REALLY STRONG OPINIONS about which Jolly Rancher flavors are the best.

I am thinking of building a wall shelf for my five pounds of Jolly Ranchers as a reminder that assumptions hurt everyone. Cherry really is the best, though.

Trying to look serene, failing quite badly.


I became a believer in aromatherapy one day at my old job, when I was stressed as hell, laden with one of those headaches that seems to expand outside the skull such that even the air surrounding the vicinity of your head hurts, and you can feel it somehow. I was also a bit nauseated, although that was fairly normal at the time. (I suspect there was something in the building that was making me lightheaded and queasy all the time, because it hasn’t happened since I left, which is ... disturbing. Because what the hell was IN there?)

In my pained desperation, I took to the internet, and read on some hippie’s blog that sniffing peppermint is good for headaches and nausea. All I had in my desk that qualified was an ancient bottle of Demeter’s long-discontinued Altoids pick-me-up spray. I basically squirted myself right in the face -- I wanted to be sure it worked -- and hey, I felt better. Placebo effect? WHO THE FUCK CARES, I was no longer feeling like I had to subtly position my trash can in convenient retching distance should the nausea win the battle for my lunch.

Since then, I’ve come to believe that aromatherapy can be a help for me. Currently I’m relying on both lavender and bergamot to keep my anxiety and rage from busting through my fragile sanity defenses like the freaking Kool-Aid Man. You can use a diffuser to make your whole house rank with peaceful serenity, but I like to wear them as perfume. If you’re into chemistry, you can mix up your own tranquility elixir and call it “Please Don’t Punch Anyone For No Reason Today” using any number of easy-peasy DIY guides online. Or else you can just buy it premade from some hippie living in a yurt on Etsy.

I prefer a mystery without a solution, sometimes.

Mr Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder

Whilst visiting Los Angeles last month, I had the extreme good fortune to listen to basically everyone and attend the Museum of Jurassic Technology, a mind-inverting expedition into wonder and doubt. Even after spending a couple of hours idly wandering through its exhibits, I honestly wasn’t sure what the hell I was looking at, what I was supposed to feel about it, whether it was “real” or “true,” and how everyone else there -- employees and patrons alike -- was reading it.

The Museum of Jurassic Technology makes efforts to evoke old the cabinets of curiosities, personal museums maintained by individual collectors and hobbyists. That much was clear. But it also seemed as though a lot of it was just made up. A “horn” said to be taken from the back of a woman’s head seemed to be pretty obviously made of matted hair; a collection of trailer park ephemera could just as well have been assembled in a single trip to Goodwill; two individuals featured in separate exhibits, who never met, had lives that seemed impossibly intertwined.

The effect was overall magical, in spite of -- or possibly because of -- my confusion. For a short period I revisited what it was like to be a child for whom nothing is taken for granted and everything is true until proven false.

Since returning home, I picked up a copy of “Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder” by Lawrence Weschler, a slim book containing two fascinating essays on both the museum itself and the man who created it. I’d like to tell you that this book answered all of my questions about the museum, but it probably raised more than it ever resolved. If you can’t visit the Museum of Jurassic Technology personally, this book is a good introduction, and will probably give you at least a taste of the stupefaction brought on by the real article.

The most perfect orange ever.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Orange Impulse

I am not going to get all in competition with Marianne here, but I do want to note how much this nail polish is contributing to brief moments of happiness. Though I have spent $18 on nail polish before, few colors get used as much as Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri (WHY do they have to spell it that way?) range, because it’s cheap, comes in some excellent quirky shades, and really does dry almost instantly, which means the odds of my screwing up my manicure before I’ve had it on five minutes are drastically reduced.

This particular shade of orange is basically the orange I have been searching for my whole damn life, not too yellow, not too red, not too fluorescent, goes with everything (I am a person who is annoyed when my nails clash with my clothes, OK). It is very nearly the exact shade of a honeybell, the best citrus fruit ever (I am a person who is a bit of an orange connisseur, OK). And even with my total disregard for being careful with my hands, it lasts at least five to six days before it starts to wear around the edges.

Celebrities Reading Mean Tweets About Themselves

I leave you with this clip from the Jimmy Kimmel show, in which celebrities read actual real-life mean tweets about themselves. Katy Perry and Kristen Stewart are my favorites.