Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New Sweater, New Skill

Originally uploaded by mollieholliday
Here she is - Ms. Penelope Pickle! What a clever dumpling sitting up by herself... almost a little too clever for my liking. She does these roly-poly moves from a seated position and falls down onto her stomach, where she then manages to inch herself backwards. I remember this phase of Ruby and Eloise's babyhood... you turn the corner for a moment, only to return to find a child stuck under the sofa. When she figures out how to crawl forward I am in serious trouble.

How nice is this hand-knit cardigan she's wearing? My snazzy sister whipped it up in a matter of days. If only I could pull a cute outfit like this together... my fashion has fallen down the drain along side my dish suds. Perhaps that's my next entry: How To Feel Attractive Again.

Just writing that out makes me want to crawl under this desk and cry.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Originally uploaded by mollieholliday
Over the years I have been addicted to paper towels, zip-loc baggies, saran wrap, designer bath wash and packets of wipes. I have been the first to secretly criticize my in-laws for their impressive use of wax paper and recycled yogurt containers for every little leftover food item. I cannot stand BROWN, unbleached, recycled paper towels and their complete inability to effectively wipe up or dry anything (it's just pushing whatever you spilled all around the counter). I have been known to giggle at crusty-ass towels that have been dried on a clothesline or drying rack... thinking they don't really smell fresh or feel particularly nice wiping your face after you get out of a shower. I have scoffed at bar soaps for their dingy, dirty scum that you get to look at all built up on your shower rack or soap dish. I have whined about people who are so environmentally conscious that they would even bother to recycle a fucking piece of tin foil - and better yet I like to make fun of those losers who manage to wrap your peanut butter sandwich in the old foil that previously held your roasted garlic. Hello flavor spoiler... the equivalent of cutting your banana with the onion knife!

Remember that Pantene commercial where some annoying model tossed her hair around and said, "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful?" I've always envisioned my hippie relatives saying, "Don't hate me because I'm frugal".. giving a delicate toss to their grey hair and tossing a little handful of fucking granola with flax seed into their mouth.

So my point is that I have been hyper-critical of anything "green". Hell, I even hate the term "green". It makes my skin crawl... kinda the way that "low-carb", "vegan" or "low-fat" does. I like to be an asshole about people who are healthy and good... because they make me feel horrible about myself and my complete inability to have any self-restraint. Honestly, it doesn't make any sense, except for the fact that that is the way I have been raised to think. I don't blame my parents for anything here, but these sentiments always have a root cause. My mom is a maniac about cleanliness and cleaning solutions, and my father is still in denial about our role in the process of global warming.

But this here is a photo of my new crusty-clothes-creating drying rack. I'm pretty proud of it actually, because it was a struggle for me to really want to put it in my dining room for anyone to see. I've had to let go of the concept of other people's impression of my decor and start thinking of how proud I am to be doing something to save energy and money. (For the record, I still use the dryer, but not nearly as long or as much as before.) Much to my mother's dismay, I haven't put paper towels in my kitchen for over a month. We use numerous washcloths and dish towels for wiping up, cleaning and drying. I have also managed to finish off my favorite shower gels and have moved to bar soaps - which has been a fun transition, considering that there are still a ton of beautiful smelling solid soaps for me to purchase. Think about how much extra plastic waste is created by those silly bottles. I do need to work on finishing up my squirty hand soap dispensers... but that's a tough one for me. I hate dirty bars of soap on the side of the sink...

We also bought some of those HIDEOUS, coiled, florescent "Al Gore" lightbulbs (as my dad likes to call them). They are an interior decorators nightmare... such an unflattering effect on our complexions... but interspersed with regular bulbs here and there I can handle it I guess. Hell, I kind of dig wax paper sandwich bags now.

These are my efforts to adjust my ways for the moment, and once these baby steps become normal to me, I can tackle something else. Being better to the environment is not a resolution. Resolutions don't work... as far as I'm concerned they just end up being disappointing. Instead I choose to refocus. And now I can make fun of myself - instead of other people - when I choose tin foil over plastic wrap.