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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Renegade Hubcap

I got home tonight, got out of my car, looked down and saw I lost another damn hubcap. I kid thee not.

After doing a little internet research, I found that Nissan stopped making Altima hubcaps with plastic clips after 1999 because they kept falling off people's cars. In 2000 forward, their hubcaps came equipped with metal clips to ensure a snug fit. My car is a 1997. The Cubmobile has been fighting a losing battle for more than ten years.

I priced replacement hubcaps on ebay and I didn't find them any cheaper than ten bucks a pop. So for now, my car will remain guh-hetto.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Per-fekt Fix

The Diva posted recently about needing a Sephora fix badly, and I have to concur. I needed one too. My Sephora giftcard that I've had since Christmas has been burning a hole in my pocket. When I checked my email on Thursday night, the decision was final. Not only was there a 30% off coupon for one item at Cosmetic Market, but also a Sephora weekly email with a FREE 10-day sample of Bare Escentuals bareMinerals, plus a FREE baby kabuki brush. Sold.

So, I recruited Courtney to go with me Friday on our lunch break, and we made our way over to the Hill Center in Green Hills to the brand spakin' new Cosmetic Market. I snapped up my CARGO Bronzer in medium (which I was legitimately out of and was a fabulous deal considering I got it at 30 percent off), and then I noticed a 50% off shelf. I spotted a tiny NARS eye shadow box, and opened it up to find a beautiful plummy red-brown color called Amarcord. Yep, no questions here. It went in the basket.

Courtney bought a Clarins mascara, and after we thought her car was stolen in the parking deck, we drove over to Green Hills Mall to go to Sephora. Courtney had waxed poetic the entire way over about this powder-gel foundation stuff that's similar to Smashbox's Photo Finish. To be honest, I wasn't that enthralled---I can't wear Photo Finish because it's not oil free. My mom, on the other hand, has dry skin and loves the stuff.

When we walked in Sephora, Courtney thought this mystery item was CARGO brand, which made a similar product, but the shimmer inside the tube wasn't exactly what she remembered. Then she spotted it endcapped on a column--it's called "Skin Perfection Gel" by Per-fekt Beauty. I was skeptical until I put a dab of it on the top of my hand and it melted into my skin. I immediately put it down and said, "oh no, I can't have any of this because it's not oil free." Well, turns out, it is oil free. And talc, fragrance, and paraben free too. Instead, the product contains dimethicone, which happens to be one of my all-time favorite beauty ingredients. Dimethicone is a silicone-based elastomer and its properties mold to imperfections to create a smooth surface. I first discovered dimethicone (and its derivatives) in Curel Moisture Lotions (one of the best moisturizer lines on the market).

I couldn't believe how smooth this mousse-like gel spread onto my skin and provided just the right amount of coverage. I don't wear liquid foundation---just concealer, then Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil, but lately I've noticed that my foundational routine isn't combatting my rosacea for the whole day. My face is very oily and my makeup has been pooling on my face--especially on 90 degree days.

Well, there goes the Sephora giftcard. After I snapped up a refill of my Mineral Veil and Courtney and I perused the Benefit fixture, we checked out. Sephora was kind enough to give me a travel-sized compact of Benefit's Dr. Feel Good and of course, the free Bare Escentuals sample. I was on cloud fifteen (not nine) when I walked out of the store.

I did a little research on this gel when I got back to the office, and I found out that Per-fekt Beauty is the brainchild of Richard Anderson, pioneer of the Yves Saint Laurent and Bobbi Brown Essentials lines. No wonder I liked this stuff. I'll report back soon.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Sho' would have.

I got home last night as Em and Amy were watching the Men's 400m final competition, and made it in time to see David Neville throw himself across the finish line for Bronze, and LeShawn Merritt smoke Jeremy Wariner for Gold. After we had a good laugh at Neville's desperate slide into home plate, we got even more tickled at Merritt's confident reply to the reporter interviewing him. Click HERE to see the race and Merritt's post-race banter.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Present-Active Participle Belief

Those who presently and actively believe God are prompted to make wiser and healthier decisions. Authentic faith cannot help but act. How we behave overwhelmingly flows from what we deeply believe. -- Beth Moore

The past two weeks have been internally tumultuous. I've made some tough personal decisions and while I know I'm on the right track, I still feel the polarizing sway of this earth. It's a constant battle to remember who I am in Christ. But I'm learning (actually re-learning) that I am not a slave to my sin nature. I have choices. That's liberating.

In my Bible study, we just finished up an eleven-week journey on faith and what it means to employ "present-active participle" belief. The premise is that when you accept Christ, you initially believed, but it didn't stop there---you continued to believe, and you presently act according to your belief. The concept is simple, but gets a little more complicated in daily life.

I may have spoken before about a book that changed my life, and that is John Eldredge's Waking the Dead. Eldredge espouses that we are battling against our flesh (sin nature) and that the heart of a Christian is redeemed and made whole. The outpouring of my heart should dictate my action. And if my heart is good, it yields holiness. That doesn't mean that I am no longer tempted by sin, or that I even refrain from sin, but that my heart is transformed to desire obedience. And if I simply allow my Christ-purified heart to lead me, I am compelled to make better decisions.

It requires effort, and it requires thought. It requires me to evaluate the consequences of every decision I make, and to quit blindly walking through life, accepting myself as a fallen legacy. I have new identity in Christ, and every once in awhile, this realization smacks me in the face. Sin manifests fradulence. My heart's desire is for authenticity. Mary Anna Brown wants to be who God created her to be.

I am experiencing relief, and peace, and finally, some healing.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'm not hatin', I'm just sayin'...

Dictionary.com defines chivalry as "the sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms."

I've never wanted a knight in shining armor. Let's be real--a man can't live up to that title. But I would like a man who exudes qualities that might qualify him for knighthood. I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever find someone like this.

Case in point: I lost a hubcap on the Cubmobile this weekend. My car is notorious for losing the little buggers, so I keep an extra stash of hubcaps in my trunk for such a time as this (wow, I am a nerd). I find that when my car doesn't have a hubcap, it looks ghetto. Sue me for not wanting to drive a ghetto car.

Anyway, Monday afternoon after work, I pull into my grassy parking spot in front of our house. I pop open my trunk and grab my last hubcap (note to self: replenish stash) and walk over to my front wheel to pop it on. About that time, a big burly guy comes riding up on a scooter onto my front sidewalk. I recognize him as one of my roommates friends, and he tells me that he's waiting on her to get home. All the while, I'm struggling to get this damn hubcap snapped into place. I'm crouched over in work clothes and heels and I have brake dust and tar smeared up to my elbows. And despite all of my pushing, re-positioning and frustrating effort, the hubcap will not go on my wheel.

In the meantime, lard butt boy plopped himself down in the adirondack chair on my front porch, twittering away on his little Blackberry. I'm aware of this, and I shoot dirty glances over my shoulder often as I struggle with the hubcap. Bastard avoids eye contact with me. After about ten minutes of this, I give up, throw the hubcap back into my trunk, and walk away from my ghetto car.

Not once did he ask if he could help, or even ask what I was doing. It was very obvious that he had no intention of getting his lily white hands dirty. I was disgusted with him.

The incident brought to mind another instance of non-chivalry my roommates and I experienced recently. Back when we first moved into the house, Amy bought a wooden bookshelf from Target that required assembly. After Amy, Emily and I tore open the box, we realized that among the hundreds of bolts and screws, there lie a set of directions that might as well have been heiroglyphics.

The three of us struggled with the cumbersome shelf for over an hour when we called for back-up. I won't name names, but we dialed no less than five guys looking for help. We were denied no less than five times. One guy almost conceded after we tried to bribe him with food, but after he started making demands, we told him to forget it. Mind you, these were all single guys. No wonder....

Three hours later, after blood, sweat, tears (and cursing), we finally completed the shelf.

Now, I won't say that every guy I know is void of chivalry. My dad is one of the most gentlemanly men I know, and is always willing to help someone. I work with a few men that also exude chivalrous qualities. And I know a handful of twentysomething guys that aim for chivalry--two of them helped me move into my house at 7 a.m. on a cold Saturday morning in February.

What's disturbing to me is that I only know a few men that I would label as modern day "knights." Pickings are slim, my friends.

Hear me say this: I am a 21st century woman who still needs and wants a man willing to practice chivalry--and I will settle for nothing less.

Update 3:43 p.m.: A co-worker just walked into my office with a really heavy box. He saw my name on it at our mail kiosk and brought it to me---out of the goodness of his heart. Chivalry isn't dead afterall...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


While I should be sound asleep right now, my neurosis is keeping me up. Many hot blogs are cooking in my head, but my time has been spent on other pursuits. So now, faithful readers, I bow to you.

First things first (and so you can feel sorry for me), I'm coming down with a summer cold. You know the drill---my head hurts, throat's sore, stuffy nose, and soon to develop hacking cough. I only get sick about once a year. Last time I was sick was November of 07. It pays to be a germaphobe.

Now that we've got that out of the way, we can move on to one of the more exciting nuggets of my life...

Last week, I turned in my first freelance article for Christian Single magazine. My assignment was to write a first-person narrative to be published in the January 2009 issue of the magazine. In a few months, I will be able to add "magazine" to my journalistic repetoire.

Writing is something I've enjoyed since I was able to hold a pencil, but other than school assignments, term papers and a four-year stint with MTSU's campus newspaper, I haven't done much of it--unless you count those press releases I wrote on a regular basis for Adtec.

I began writing "The Queen MAB Manifesto" in February of 2006, and never-ever did I think it would become my passion. I didn't really feel a call to write professionally until about a year ago. And still, I haven't done anything about it until now. With much encouragement from family and friends, I finally made arrangements to expand my freelance writing career, and the rest is history. Or will be history someday. I think the floodgates are about to open. Don't let me get lazy now.

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