Lesley's List: This Week's Four Little Diversions from Continuous Crying

More shoes, more weeping and popcorn that won't give you cancer. Probably.

Aug 24, 2012 at 2:30pm | Leave a comment

It's Friday, and you know what that means: I'm showing you the things I liked this week. 

Agyness Deyn X Dr. Martens 

I’ve been fighting a weird urge lately, an urge for creepers. The shoes, I mean. You remember creepers, those wide-soled d-ring lace-ups that were big in the original punk scene, and then sort of had a little revival in the 90s? I never owned a pair. Honestly, I always thought they were kind of ugly. So I’ve not been able to place why suddenly I find them so interesting.

Apparently I was psychically intuiting their resurgence, because the creeper is back, most notably in the recently released Agyness Deyn X Dr. Martens collaboration. The collection as a whole looks like a page ripped from Sassy circa 1993 -- I’m not being cute here, like there’s a waffle knit undershirt, you guys, and a plaid flannel jumpsuit, and an Elaine Benes long floral dress -- and I won’t fit in any of it, but it’s still amusing to look at.

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Red velvet. Like the cake.

Included in the collection are delicious VELVET creepers. Are they not lovely? I haven’t ordered these yet. I am not sure I will, as I’m not altogether sure I’d actually wear them. I’m just happy to have a reason for my sudden fascination with these shoes.

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WHY IS EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL SO EXPENSIVE?

There is also this heart-shaped (!!!) satchel. Which, uh, I don’t want to admit to what I would do to get my paws on this bag. The longing for it has shattered my boundaries.

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"Carrie" Docs at the Copley Square Fountain. Callaloo from the farmer's market.

Instead I bought these floral cutout Docs on supersale ($35!) and they’re making me happy enough all on their own. 

Tough Makeup

As I noted on Monday, last Friday my cat died. This has led to me being pretty freaking bleak, mood-wise. I’ve been buying a lot drugstore makeup to cheer myself up, which seems to be a weird thing I do sometimes when I’m depressed (I guess it’s better than impulsively spending $300 on a bag, huh?). 

For whatever reason -- probably because I’m crying a lot -- the makeup I’ve bought has been of the sturdy variety. The stuff you’re supposed to be able to wear to run on a treadmill in the rain while listening to “This Woman’s Work” and not have it budge an atom. 

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My brilliant picture-taking talent means this is an excellent demonstration of my wearing makeup while working out. Oh, wait.

(A quick note about exercising in makeup: I know a lot of people like to make fun of women who wear makeup to the gym. I have never understood this. I wear makeup to the gym, but only because it was already on my face. It seems weird to take it off, exercise, and then put it right back, especially if I’m working out in the middle of the day and have no plans to shower immediately after. So I just leave it. 99% of the time, even non-waterproof makeup doesn’t really budge much. I only bring this up to ask that we stop judging the makeup-at-the-gym ladies. They might just be really lazy. Like me.)

ANYWAY. As the worst beauty writer ever I won’t even try to entice you with fancy language about the makeup I’ve bought. I will say this: L’Oreal Infallible eye shadow will stand up to crying on a treadmill. I can’t speak to an added rainstorm, as luckily my workout space is indoors. 

Also, I am really sorry about this as I know I and everyone else here has been all REVLON LIP BUTTERS!!!!! but I’m moving on to another thing: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain. This isn’t the felt-tip-marker-like stain, although I like that too -- this is a big fat fake plastic crayon with a balm-y stain-y substance that moisturizes really nicely and hangs on even in dire straits, like epic sobbing and nose-blowing.

I hope one of the real beauty writers on here does an actual review so you guys can hear how great this stuff is from someone who knows how to tell you that a beauty thing is really great. Yeah. Oh, this is probably my most scattershot list yet, but we’re halfway there now!

Non-carcinogenic Popcorn

Last week also saw the demise of my Stir Crazy popcorn maker, a loss that was met with far less convulsive wailing. At some point, it had occurred to me that carefully balancing the popcorn maker on a very unstable pile of other random stuff on top of the refrigerator would be a smart idea.  

This cunning plan was working splendidly until one day I walked past the refrigerator with just the right cadence for the vibrations to liberate the popcorn maker from its precarious perch and send it crashing to the floor where it mostly broke into a bazillion little nonfunctional pieces. I was sad. But then I went in search of replacements.

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I'm saving you from cancer! Maybe!

There’s a lot of reasons why I don’t care for store-bought microwave popcorn. Mainly I think it tastes kind of gross, but I also read some time ago that it’s full of cancer or something. 

Oh, I guess I can deal with doing a little research for y’all, even though it is a Friday. 

The two potential concerns with microwave popcorn are diacetyl and perfluorooctinoic acid (PFOA). Diacetyl is a component in some brands’ chemical “topping” that makes the popcorn butter-yellow (why this is necessary, I have no idea) and also the reason it freaking stinks up your house (or office) for hours and hours, which I guess some people like. Unfortunately, diacetyl also causes a very real obstructive respiratory disease called “popcorn workers lung.” So if you eat a lot of microwave popcorn or are in the habit of huffing the bag right after it comes out of the microwave, this could be a worry. 

PFOA is another chemical, deemed by the FDA as a “likely carcinogen,” that results when the non-harmful-on-their-own chemicals used to coat the bag and prevent it catching fire reach a certain temperature. You don’t need to eat much for this to show up in your system -- one bag of microwave popcorn a week is enough for PFOA to turn up in blood tests, according to a researcher from Duke University.

Are you freaked out yet?

It’s cool though, because you have other options for your popcorn fix. There’s a well-known microwave popcorn hack in which you simply dump kernels into a brown paper bag (I suggest loosely securing the top first; you want to keep the popcorn inside but you also want some steam to escape) and air-pop them (set the timer for a few minutes and listen until the popping slows down, just like you would with lung-disease-and-cancer popcorn). 

I prefer popcorn popped in a bit of coconut oil (IS THERE NOTHING COCONUT OIL CAN’T DO?) myself, so I ordered this microwave popcorn bowl by NordicWare. I happy to report that it is AWESOME. You still have to listen for the slowing-down pops, and you REALLY don’t want to overstep the one-third-cup-of-kernels limitation (or maybe you do -- just once I’d like to open my microwave and have it be filled with popcorn that rains down all over the kitchen like I’m in a sitcom), but I have not burned a single kernel since I started using it, which is a stunning contrast to my usual scorching habit.  

You can use this bowl to air-pop as well, if you’re an anti-oil person. No judgment here.

That said, sometimes you just can’t beat old-fashioned done-on-the-stove popcorn. Rather than replace my Stir Crazy, given that I evidently have nowhere to secure it in my kitchen, I decided to kick the popcorn scene old-school style and ordered a Whirley-Pop. It has a HAND CRANK. I’m like freakin' Laura Ingalls Wilder with this thing. 

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I have sooo many garden tomatoes right now I'm obsessively watching PBS cooking shows for ideas on what to do with them when I eventually tire of just eating them like apples.

PBS Digital Studios Remixes

I love PBS unabashedly; I think we should be giving all public broadcasting heaping piles of money just to do wacky shit. On this note, over the past few months, PBS Digital Studios have been experimenting with something they’re calling “Icons Remixed,” in which classic PBS figures like Bob Ross are autotuned to “sing” about their passions. It’s silly and goofy but also sort of weirdly compelling. Kind of like PBS itself. 

This week, in honor of Julia Child’s 100th birthday (and really, can we talk about how excellent Julia Child is?), they’ve released one for her as well. However, my favorite continues to be the first one they did, the one many of you have probably seen already. If you grew up watching Mr. Rogers, this might make you cry. Fair warning.

Have a scrumptious weekend, everyone.