LESLEY'S LIST: Five Happy Discoveries Keeping My Life Sunny as the Weather Turns Colder

Yes, I am hugging a uterus.
Publish date:
October 12, 2012
shoppables, nail polish, YouTube, periods, socks

IT'S FALL YOU GUYS. Or at least it feels that way where I am, and this makes me very happy and excited as there is no season I love more than early fall. Here are a few of the little distractions making it all the better for me.


Back in August, BBC America began airing its first-ever original series, a historical drama about a police officer in 1860s New York, appropriately entitled “Copper” after the slang term for policeman. This series is pretty obviously the product of a pitch meeting in which someone said, “Hey, let’s remake ‘Deadwood’ except in New York and with way milder profanity and lots of sideboob instead of actual nudity because this isn’t HBO!” and everyone applauded and said “YES YES BRAVO OLD CHAP,” or something to that effect.

The cast is filled out with savvy whores, crooked cops, entitled rich folks and a plucky kid rescued from a life of child prostitution by our hero, Kevin Corcoran (played by the very grubbily handsome Tom Weston-Jones).

There are a lot of Irish folk and there’s also a lot of racial tension, between the Irish -- who at the time were on a social level not much above black folks in the privilege sense -- and everyone else, but mostly with the free black people also living in the Five Points neighborhood where most of the action transpires. Ato Essandoh plays Matthew Freeman, a doctor who has left Five Points with his wife after her brothers were the victims of lynching by Irish men, but who keeps getting pulled back into the neighborhood by Corcoran, who relies on Freeman’s skills with a corpse as a sort of early forensic science.

Franka Potente is also compelling and occasionally menacing as brothel madam and all-around smart lady Eva Heissen, and I basically want all her clothes.

I’m a couple episodes behind right now (they’re all available On Demand for those of you with cable, although unfortunately “Copper” doesn’t seem to be streaming online in any legal fashion) and looking forward to catching up this weekend.

Sock (and Legwarmer and Armwarmer) Season

The weather here in New England has properly turned to fall temperatures, and this is the time of year when I start spending truly absurd amounts of money on orders from the legendary Sock Dreams -- and I feel guilty for totally exploiting their free shipping because instead of placing one big order I always wind up doing several small orders over the course of a couple weeks.

I’ve been semi-obsessed with Sock Dreams since the long-ago days when the site was called Fetishize Me and they were the only place in the world that I could find really really long over-the-knee socks that actually fit my prodigious legs. These days Sock Dreams is a freaking empire of sock awesomeness and one of those sites I can easily spend an hour browsing until I realize I probably can’t afford the $300 of socks I’ve collected in my shopping cart.

I’m particularly keen on legwarmers, being fond of layering; these super long ribbed legwarmers are way warm and way comfy, and these crochet legwarmers have a marvelous texture. And I continue to pine for the basically perfect Harajuku Scrunchy Socks in every color, and there are a LOT of colors.

The alpaca cable handwarmers have not left my hands since I got them in the mail last week. And I’m dying for a pair of the Polonova velvet wristwarmers so I expect they’ll be finding their way into a future order as well. Because three big drawers of socks and tights IS NOT ENOUGH, it seems.

(Note: Sock Dreams has never sent me anything for free, ever. I rave about them because I think they are an outstanding company and they deserve to be trumpeted. The end.)

Giving Cloth Pads Another Go

Back in August when I was bitching about my period, the kind folks at Lunapads volunteered to send me the stuffed uterus I have so longed for. Along with it, they sent a pair of Lunapanties -- underwear with built-in cloth padding -- for me to try out. I was a little dubious as to whether they’d fit, as I seemed to top out their size chart, but I figured I’d give them a shot.

Happily, upon their arrival I discovered that the underpants fit, and so I test drove them on my last period. See, once upon a time I was a big reusable-cloth-pad booster, even sewing my own. (I hear you squeaking already, Diva Cup evangelists, but I do not need to accept our savior Diva Cup into my heart, I am not a lady who does well with pretty much anything shoved up my snatch during my monthly womany moontime flow, and I genuinely don’t mind using pads; I hope we can coexist peacefully on this.)

Then as years passed and my period has gotten heavier and heavier, cloth pads were just too time-consuming to keep up with my epic ladytorrent, and I switched back to disposable pads, eventually discovering the magic of Always Infinity, and I apologize for stuffing landfills with the tragic results of my humanity-destroying refusal to put my uterus to its intended purpose but seriously, Infinity pads are the only reason I can leave the house during the three worst days of my period.

BUT BACK TO LUNAPADS -- aside from those three days of pad-soaking misery, the rest of my period is pretty manageable, and easily no match for the Lunapanties, which I wore one evening and then found so comfy I actually slept in them with no mattress-soiling disasters. They came with multiple extra liners so the absorbency is adjustable, so to speak, and even packed full they didn’t feel too bunchy or uncomfortable.

Also while curled up fetal in bed one afternoon I hugged and petted and complimented my stuffed uterus as I’d threatened to do and I THINK IT REALLY DID MAKE MY CRAMPS LESS BAD. Sympathetic uterus magic, y’all.

The Mystic's Consternation, AKA My Perfect Navy Nail Polish

In the mid-90s, I bought a bottle of nail polish at the Garment District in Cambridge, MA. It had a little cartoon lady on the label, and the polish inside was a deep shimmery blue.

BLUE, you guys. WHAT MADNESS WAS THIS? I’d never seen blue nail polish before, at least not such a vivid and dramatic shade as this. I kept that bottle for years, longer than I would normally keep any other polish, thinning it when necessary, until finally my Holy Grail navy polish was no more. Of course, I couldn’t find it again. Blue polishes became more popular in the intervening time period but none of them quite duplicated the perfection of that cartoon-lady bottle’s exact shade.

Until now.

Last weekend I went into fabled beauty supermarket Ulta JUST FOR A BROW PENCIL (cue laughter, as I have never in my life been able to walk into Ulta and come out again with only the one thing I had planned on buying) and aside from a rollerball mini of Lady Gaga’s Fame (I really love it) and two limited edition colored mascaras (damn you, Maybelline), I impulse-bought a bottle of nail polish from L’Oreal’s Project Runway-branded Fall 2012 “Electric Fantasie” (groan) collection.

I’ve long ago ceased to hope that I might find another holy grail navy polish, but the color looked pretty enough so I gave it a try. And I am pleased to announce that IT IS PERFECT. It is pretty much exactly the shade I have been seeking all these sad navy-polish-less years, not too purple, not too dark, not too bright, not too glittery -- I’m like freaking Goldilocks running around hollering THIS POLISH IS JUST RIGHT.

I’d really love to tell you what the color is called. I would. But I can’t. Because I don’t know. See, the bottle I have is labeled “The Mystic’s Fortune” but the Internet identifies that as a completely different (bright purple) shade. The Ulta website calls this navy “The Mystic’s Vision” but then this blog calls it “The Mystic’s Future.” It’s, um, mystifying.

I also have another tip that I think everybody but me is already clued in to, but here you go anyway: Sally Hansen’s Diamond Flash Fast Dry Top Coat. I bought this because I misunderstood the packaging -- I thought it meant it was a fast-dry top coat insofar as it would make my nail polish dry faster, not that the top coat ITSELF is fast dry and must be applied over nail polish that is dry already. But it was a happy mistake because this top coat is steelier than Joe Biden’s balls in last night’s Vice Presidential debate.

The L’Oreal “Mystic’s Befuddlement” or whatever polish goes on slightly matte, and at first I groaned about that because I can barely make it an hour before I chip a manicure in the best of circumstances, let alone a matte finish which wears off if I look at it sternly. The Diamond top coat both made it shiny (yay!) AND made it VIRTUALLY INDESTRUCTIBLE. I’m serious, I did my nails on Sunday and they barely show the tiniest bit of wear at the tips, and none of them have chipped at all. Amazing.

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Have a great weekend, xoJaners!