Monday, March 19, 2012

No Impact Man and No Makeup for Emmy

OK this is a two-parter. First I didn't wear any makeup today. It was weird. It's not like it's the first time I've gone without makeup or anything, but it is the first time I've gone without it when I knew I'd be seeing a lot of people that I see on a regular basis at one of my jobs. No one ran screaming, in fact if anyone noticed they didn't say anything. Hmm, to quote some Seinfeld, "Is it possible I'm not as attractive as I think I am?" "Anything's possible." So either you really can't tell the difference, people were just being polite, or no one cares. I'm going with the last option. I can tell you that I felt fantastic! I'm going to do it again tomorrow.

Now on to No Impact Man. You may or may not have heard about him. He has a blog, and a movie and a book.

No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process

I haven't read the book or much of the blog, but I did watch the movie on Netflix last night. Pretty interesting if you're into that sort of thing. I wish they'd gone into a little more detail about their changes, but I assume that is all in the book. There were two things that really stuck out to me though. The first was the reaction of the people around them. I was truly sad when the wife said that one of her co-workers was told by their spouse not to shake her hand or touch her. That really distressed me. I know it was because of one of the choices they made but it was just so ridiculous. I mean, being environmentally friendly does not mean you have to be unsanitary. Just because you do things a different way doesn't mean you won't be clean. If you were a clean person before, you're probably going to be a clean person after.

There just seemed to be so much anger in the beginning, but I've talked about that here before and they addressed it in the movie. I think that when you make a big change it can sometimes scare those around you. I also think it makes them take a look at their own lives and maybe make them question their own choices. People don't like doing that. I don't like doing that, and trust me, I've done it a lot. Obviously No Impact Man wanted to make people question their choices to some degree, but for the greater good, not to make people feel guilty. It's the same for me when I talk about being a vegetarian. It's not because I want to make you feel guilty for eating meat, it's because I want to give you another option and see if it is something that might benefit the people I care about. I think there's a false sense of smugness that is implied in big changes that really isn't intended.

The second thing I loved was the one green change he thought everyone should make. I won't spoil it though, you have to watch the movie!

Sunday, March 18, 2012


No, this isn't the "green" change I was talking about, although I do believe you could put it into that category if you wanted to. However, it's something I've been thinking about and would like opinions...especially from any male readers I may have.

I wear minimal makeup nearly every day. In fact over the past few months I've actually started wearing more than I had in the past. I'm not someone that refuses to be seen without it. If I wear it to the gym it's only because I'm going there to work or already had it on. I prefer the way I look with it to how I look without it.

But I really hate wearing it. Even though it only takes me a few minutes to put it on and take it off, it's just a hassle. I don't have the best skin, so I feel like it helps the way I look, but I also wonder if giving it up would improve things eventually.

So, if you've seen me without it please weigh in!! If you haven't, what do you think? Is it more professional looking to wear it? Am I crazy for considering giving it up? Will this mean I'll never get another date (not that I'm getting any while wearing it) for as long as I go without? Opinions please!!

Going Green

The term "going green" is so overused that most people seeing my title probably had their brains gloss over as soon as they saw it. I feel the same way when I see it. But the truth is that no matter how much we're sick of that overused phrase, we do need to take better care of our environment. I mentioned that I was reading a book called Sleeping Naked is Green and how much I was enjoying it. Well, it was so good that I finished it up a few days ago and I have to say that the author really inspired me.

You don't have to go full hippie to make a difference for the planet and that was evident in this book. I especially enjoyed it because she was so honest about each change and how she felt about it. The truth is that everything we do has a consequence and not all things we do to be "green" are perfect. Choosing to use cloth napkins or recycled paper towels each have their own green pitfalls and so it has to come down to personal preference in a lot of cases. She was also very honest about the changes that she didn't keep after her year of green living was over.

I loved this book because I related to her feelings about some of the changes. I am such a girly girl and the idea of not shaving my legs or using my hair straightener sends me into a panic. But, I recognize the environmental impact of those things and it makes me wonder if I'm being selfish. Clearly I wasn't the only person moved by her book as another woman started a blog to chronicle her own green changes (although she was already very green). Check out Eco Mama to see how she's making changes. So while I know I cannot commit to a change a day for an entire year, I can make changes and so I will.

I've decided on one already and will post about it in the next few days. Just a warning though, it will be for the ladies eyes only. Stay tuned!

Sleeping Naked Is Green: How an Eco-Cynic Unplugged Her Fridge, Sold Her Car, and Found Love in 366 Days

Mini Vegetarians!

I've only been a vegetarian for about two years and from the beginning of this process I told my boys that it was not something that they had to do. I never wanted them to feel bad for their choices or force them into a diet that they weren't comfortable with. I told them that I would probably make more meatless meals, but that if they wanted meat I would buy it and prepare it for them. Overall the change hasn't really impacted them. They like the meatless meals I fix, they have meat at their father's house and when we go out to eat. A few times they've asked for lunch meat or pepperoni, but overall my house has remained pretty much meat free.

My oldest son is an avid reader. He devours books. We've had a copy of this book on our shelf for a very long time and the other day he discovered it and asked if he could read it. I said yes of course.

Chew On This: Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food

After reading it, he decided he was done with meat. Of course I was thrilled, but not at all looking forward to how his meat and potatoes, deer hunting father was going to take it. To my surprise he was perfectly fine with it. I think his step-mom believes I put him up to it a little, but she's supporting him too. They even asked his doctor about how to make sure he was getting all of the nutrients he needs. As for me, I'm pretty sure I know what he needs, but given that I have only been doing this for two years myself and I'm not longer growing (at least up) I bought a book about raising vegetarian children so that I can be sure I'm not missing anything crucial for development.

Raising Vegetarian Children : A Guide to Good Health and Family Harmony

Now in reality he still plans to eat fish and deer meet on occasion. Deer meat is acceptable to him because he feels like he knows where it comes from and how it was killed. I think this is a great way of looking at it. So, technically he's not a vegetarian, but he's only eleven so we're not going to get into semantics here. He's happy with his choice, wants to call himself a veggie so we're going with it. Given his family history of prostate cancer I couldn't be happier.

As for my youngest, he claims he's going to do the same. But, he's an eat whatever strikes my fancy sort of kid so I'm not counting on having two mini vegetarians in my house any time soon. That's fine by me though. Everyone has to make their own choices.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Finally Someone I Can Relate To!

I took the boys to our local book fair this afternoon. This is one of my favorite places to go and I just cannot leave without an arm full of books. The sad thing is, if you've read this blog or been to my apartment you will see that I'm not lacking in the book area. I have them stuck anywhere and everywhere and I still buy more. I do try to buy as many of them used as I can or from places like the book fair where they are just priced so darn cheap. I have a Kindle in my purse too. It's a sickness really.

But I digress. I picked up a book called Sleeping Naked is Green by Vanessa Farquharson and just a few chapters in I am totally hooked. Our lives are quite different but this book could have been written by me if I'd decided to take on such an ambitious project. She decides to make one "green" change in her life every day for a year. But, she's a normal person! She likes modern convenience and girly things. She's like so many of us who enjoy modern society but also feel like we're doing a lot of harm.

As someone who has sat at my food co-op in my knee high boots next to a dread locked woman with the most disgusting feet I've ever seen at talk about fermentation I can tell you I've struggled with the desire to hold on to the super girly things I love and also move toward a lifestyle that I think sits deep in the core of who I am. It's a weird feeling and this woman expresses it so well in this book. She has a blog called Green as a Thistle and I really can't wait to read it.

So perhaps I'll take her cue and chronicle a little more of my own inner green turmoil.

Oh and the woman on the other side of me at that fermentation thing was super awesome!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Birthday Resolutions

Well it has been forever since I've posted here. No one reads it anyway so I don't suppose it matters. Yesterday was my 32nd birthday and for some reasons birthday's feel like New Year's day for me. I tend to reflect on the previous year and see where I'm at. The birthday itself was really great, but the reflection process wasn't a whole lot of fun.

I had all of these things that I thought I would have accomplished by the time I was 30 (much less 32) and the only one I have managed to do was have kids. Now, to be fair, I would trade anything else I may do in life for those two munchkins, but we all know that even post kids we continue to dream.

I talked to my doctor today about the extreme fatigue I've been experiencing lately and how I'd sleep all day if I could. He asked me if I could be depressed. While I don't think that's the entire reason, I'm sure it is some of it. Everything I want to do that I haven't already done is because of fear. How to overcome that...I have no idea.