Tony, the world’s nicest connoisseur

One of Tony’s favorite activities is choosing one thing from a large selection. For example, evidence suggests that he likes Netflix more for browsing than for actually watching anything. Selecting music for an occasion can occupy him for hours, and bring him great pleasure. He delights in light fixtures connected to dimmer switches. Why limit yourself to “on” and “off” when you could expand the possibilities to include the many degrees of light and dark in between?

Going grocery shopping with Tony allows me to calculate this trait in minutes. If he decides he wants a fancy cheese, I plan to be at the store an extra 5 minutes, during which time Tony will carefully compare and contrast every cheese in the store. If he wants bacon, I plan for an extra 10 minutes. If he wants beer, I leave him in the liquor section and get the rest of the shopping done. Abandon all hope ye who enter here, etc.

I shouldn’t present this as if I’m airing a grievance, because the opposite is actually true. I’ve come to realize that the search for beer, or movie, or cheese isn’t without direction. In these moments, Tony is attempting to find the perfect [insert noun here] for the occasion. He is a natural connoisseur, but he operates without pretension. Unlike some connoisseurs, his end game is not impressing someone with his knowledge, but enriching his or her life by ensuring that the “nouns” of a given moment are utterly right.

It’s an admirable quality, perhaps more so for me because it is so different than the way I do things. For instance, I know this footage of a grocery store in communist Russia is supposed to be appalling, but I think it looks fine (minus some of the seemingly unsanitary packaging):

You got yer milk, yer frozen thingies, yer hunk o’ meat. This store has it all!

I am both impatient and utilitarian. Give me store brand laundry detergent, toothpaste and/or food products or give me death! To me, selecting from many options can feel like an anxiety-inducing waste of time. Given my lack of interest in choosing, it’s taken me a long time to appreciate Tony’s modus operandi. “Just pick one!” I’ve said to him, more times than I can count. “It doesn’t have to be perfect.”

Repeatedly, though, Tony has demonstrated to me how nice perfection, or at least the pursuit of it, can be. He does it by putting on the perfect song while we’re folding laundry, or switching off the bright overhead light so that we’re playing doubles solitaire by lamp and firelight. He does it by introducing me to Gorgonzola cheese on a picnic one time, then later having me try Cambozola cheese, which lead to me wanting to eat Cambozola all the time because it is the best cheese on Earth. These are the small but not at all inconsequential ways that Tony makes my life better.

I wonder sometimes why Tony, with all his discernment, picked me out of all the people in the world. Some of the reasons are obvious: we share a sense of humor, and an outlook on life, we like the same books and the feeling of working hard to accomplish a given goal. But maybe there are other reasons we are drawn to each other, reasons that have far more to do with our differences than our similarities. Maybe Tony is supposed to show me the value of careful selection. Maybe those lessons make me a better person.

Posted in Ozark Voices, Writing stuff down | 4 Comments

The Time I Ruined Fawn Log

Well I accidentally ruined this blog! It all started when I became concerned about internet privacy and decided I needed to check my settings on photobucket (the image uploader I use for Fawn Log pictures). My account was already fairly secure, but I noticed an additional privacy step I had not yet taken: scramble the photo file names. This seemed like a good idea to me, because I upload files from my computer, which is associated with my full name. I clicked the button to scramble the file names before I read the fine print: “Scrambling file names changes links. You will need to re-establish published links once the scramble is complete.”

In laymen’s terms, I had just single-handedly changed every picture on this blog into an error message: “Sorry. This person moved or deleted this image.” I would post an example of that error message, but you can look at literally any other post on this blog to see it, if you’re so inclined.

I do still have the blog images in photobucket, so I could conceivably change every broken link and fix all the pictures. However, I’ve posted a lot of pictures to Fawn Log over the years. Changing a few links isn’t hard, but changing links from years of posting sounds really hard, not to mention boring.

Part of me thinks that maybe this was supposed to happen. I can’t keep a dumb blog forever, right? And, given my concerns about internet privacy, keeping a public blog is maybe the dumbest thing I could do. Perhaps this is a sign that I should move on to better things, like reading, or drawing, or thinking about the great challenges of our time, instead of creating what is essentially the online version of Seinfeld (minus many, many good jokes).

Or Fawn Log!

The only argument against that is, without a doubt, keeping this blog is the most consistently intellectually stimulating thing I’ve ever done online. There’s a lot of stupid stuff to read on the internet (this blog very much included) but writing something on the internet on a  fairly regularly basis has, much to my surprise, taught me something about writing. It might seem hard to believe, because those of you reading obviously realize I’m not the literary genius of our time, but writing this blog has taught me when to use quotation marks and stuff. If I’m going to waste time on the internet– and I can guarantee that I am– I might as well be learning something while doing so, right?

The other part of all this is professionalism. I’m interviewing for a job on Tuesday that– if I get it– could be really great. It would also drastically change the hazy five year plan Tony and I have, in both good and bad ways. Can I be a professional lady and have this blog? I suppose I was a professional lady with this blog, back when I had a job I didn’t like very much in Missoula. So I guess the answer to that is yes. But being a professional lady from 23-26 seems somehow different than being a professional lady at 27 and beyond.

#TeamBruceJenner.

Anyway, I suppose this post doesn’t have much of a point (spoiler alert: that is Fawn Log in a nutshell) except to share my feeeeeeeeelings. Also to tell you that now you can’t see any of the pictures in the old posts (you can still see the gifs, thank God). Also I might shut Fawn Log down soon, I can’t decide.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this cartoon, which Tony and I both find hilarious. 113 days until we commit to lifetime of humiliating revelations together!

 photo unnamed_zps0b626b9b.jpg

Posted in Internet, the best things in life are bud light limes, Writing stuff down | 2 Comments

Cold cream and when was terrycloth invented?

Once upon a time, I turned 27 and started worrying that my face soap was giving me wrinkles. At roughly the same time, I remembered that my maternal grandma (who had gorgeous skin) used cold cream for her whole life. Then, I read a comment online in which someone recommended cold cream. The stars were aligning to get me to try cold cream!

But first, I had to research to see if cold cream causes acne, because 27 is a remarkable age at which you can simultaneously have acne and wrinkles.  The short answer is that cold cream is non-comedogenic and doesn’t cause acne. The longer answer is that a lot of commenters on acne.org actually recommend it. So, I bought a jar of Pond’s for $5.

Cold cream is apparently ancient. According to Wikipedia, it was invented in second century Greece. It was also extremely popular in the US throughout most of the last century, but I don’t know anyone my own age who uses it.

According to the internet, there are a lot of different ways to use cold cream. Some people use it only for make-up removal. Some people use it fairly infrequently as a face mask, letting it absorb into their skin over 20 minutes and then rinsing off. Some people apply it every night and then rinse it off in the morning, which sounds terrible and like your pillowcase would get all gunky. I know my grandma used it to clean her face, so I suspect she used it the most common way that I saw recommended online: apply it to dry skin, then wipe off with a wet towel.  Below is a selfie of me completing the first part of this process.

Cold cream is very thick, about the consistency of a rich lotion. I rub into my skin in small circles while making beautiful faces.

While I was searching for information on how to use cold cream, I found a website that said that starlets of the early 20th century used flannel to remove their cold cream. Did my grandma use flannel with her cold cream? I had an old, falling apart flannel shirt of Tony’s in my sewing stuff, so I decided to make some little towels out of it, just in case.

As I was writing this post, though, I starting wondering if maybe the reason women of the past used flannel was because they didn’t have terrycloth towels back then. Like, was terrycloth maybe invented in 1940? This led me to my most important Google search ever: “when was terrycloth invented?” Inquiring minds want to know! It turns out it was invented in 1841. I still don’t know why old starlets used flannel. Maybe it was cheaper? Or just softer? Who knows, but that’s what I use, too.

After wiping off my skin with the wet flannel towel, I just pat it dry and ta da! I do still use a bit of lotion around my eyes, but the cold cream seems to be enough to moisturize the rest of my face.

I’ve been using cold cream consistently for a week and a half and I really like it. My skin feels softer and it hasn’t made me break out at all. It also just feels sort of luxurious in a way that simply washing my face never has, which is pretty much exactly how Peggy Olsen suggested SCDP market Pond’s in season 4 of Mad Men. Maybe that luxurious feeling is the result of the flannel? This flannel better be doing something.

I know what you’re thinking: “This sounds great, but does it cause cancer?” The Environmental Working Group’s skin care safety database, “Skin Deep,” rates Pond’s a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most hazardous.  The main concern with Pond’s appears to be the fragrance, which can be irritating for some skin types. The cancer risk is low, though, so that’s good! I like how it smells, but there are also DIY cold cream recipes out there in case I decide to go au naturel after I use up this jar.

So, that’s the story of how I started using cold cream and flannel. I think you all should try cold cream because it’s inexpensive, feels good, and evokes a simpler era.  If you do decide to try it, please let me know and I can make you a flannel towel. I hear they’re super important for the process.

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