Would you put a giant maxi pad in your house?

Posted at 1:00 PM Aug 19, 2009

By Andrea Grimes

This sanitary pad table looks like so much fun, I almost can't imagine not buying it for the right price. Because periodically we all need to have a laugh, right?

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Lord knows maxi pads are good for just about anything besides their intended use. Mopping up cat vom? Sure. Can't find your slippers? Strap a Kotex to your feet. Need period protection for more than thirty seconds? Just put a tampon in, because pads are pointless. But not any more! Now, they're giant conversation pieces on which you might, perhaps, store the scores of lady-products you've been marketed over the years.

Designer Andy Kurovets is responsible for the brilliance. And if you like what you see, you can opt for the tampon USB drive, too.

The single lady safety dance

Posted at 11:30 AM Apr 20, 2009

By Andrea Grimes

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I would feel so much safer if these dudes were always on patrol.
Today in Dear Abby, "Cardio Carrie" wonders if she should have opened the door to her apartment complex gym for a guy who, presumably, lived there but did not have his access card:

" .... [he] sat outside the door waiting for me to let him in. Because I was working on a cardio machine and trying to maintain my heart rate, I didn't want to interrupt my workout to open the door. He eventually tired of waiting and left. Should I have stopped and let the person in the door? Or should he have gone back to get his access card?"
I'm having trouble seeing how this is even remotely a question of etiquette. No, you should not let the person without an access card into the building if you don't know they live there. Not even a little bit. I don't care if it's Barack Effing Obama, dude stands outside until he proves he has a reason to be there.

I'm sensitive to this issue because last year, my crappy, old first floor apartment was broken into when I wasn't home--it happened seconds after I left, actually, which means somebody was watching me, which creeps me the fuck out. Door was kicked in, and a couple thousand dollars worth of computer equipment was stolen. While many of my neighbors heard it happen, nobody had the gumption to call the police. I came home to a gaping hole in my wall and two very scared kitties, which was maybe the worst part of all.

The incident was made ever more affecting because I have always been an uneasy single dweller. Unfortunately, I also hate living with people. I opt for living alone instead of the living hell that is having a roommate as I'd rather lose sleep because I'm neurotic than lose sleep and become a passive-aggressive nutbag who seethes with every minute a television is on too loud in the next room. A service to you, really.

So while before I used to have neurotic fantasies about how I'd be raped and killed in my own home, I now have a very specific incident to lead me to envision ever more vivid death fantasies. Which is why I recently moved to an overpriced, security-ridden apartment where there is at least the illusion of safety via access cards, parking gates, guards, etc.

I just about lose my shit when friends come over and, while I'm in the process of going to let them in, some other resident lets them into the elevator, parking garage, etc. I think it's incredibly dangerous, not to mention rude. What's the point of having the illusion of safety if that illusion is constantly shattered by "nice" people?

Any other single lady-dwellers have similar feelings/neuroses?





Would that Betty Draper had had an 'Ove' Glove!

Posted at 3:15 PM Apr 03, 2009

By Andrea Grimes

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I often think it's the little things that make modern daily life worth living. Nostalgia would, of course, have it otherwise, insisting that a vague, non-specific past full of honesty and feeling and memory was better than the cold, empty and meaningless slog of modernity.

To which I say: impossible, since there's no way the 'Ove' Glove could have existed back in that magical, meaningful "day" everyone seems so enamored of.

Ah, feminism has brought us far, to be sure. With every new day, hordes of career-minded women--this one included--rise to face a new day of (at least perceived) equality. Goodbye, genuine domesticity! Hello, baking ironic cupcakes! Of course, it's not that simple, as one of the great things about feminism is its (at least perceived) mantra of making it okay for women to do whatever they want, whether that's cooking a hubby-approved pie or eschewing a husband in favor of a whole different kind o' pie-eating.

Typically, I am skeptical of those who claim to be pleased by hubby-approved pie-baking. But when I put on my 'Ove' Glove, I am transformed. I am Betty Draper, pre-nervous breakdown. I crave an emotionally distant Don and pot-roast nomming children. With 'Ove' Glove on my hand, I think, "Yes! Chocolate chip cookies are just as fulfilling as a meaningful writing career!"

Alright, alright, the hyperbole is getting to be a bit much. But when it comes to feeling a little bit domestic, the silly "As Seen On TV" 'Ove' Glove is just about heaven for ladies who, like me, didn't get the "maybe I shouldn't throw all my clothes on the ground and leave orange peels, Lean Cuisine wrappers and High Life cans all over the place" gene. The wearer of an 'Ove' Glove can just about stick her hand in a blazing fire for a half-hour and come out unscathed. And according to the website, the 'Ove' Glove "increases the time you can hold extreme hot pans." It's X-TREEM, people.

And oh, be still my heart: the 'Ove' Glove is machine washable.

Domestic Dolls, both current and aspiring, I suggest you invest in this wonderful technological advancement.

NYT profiles world's best roommates

Posted at 3:42 PM Jan 22, 2009

By Andrea Grimes

dallasbalcony.jpgMy room was pitch black. Must have been about 4 a.m. With a kitty nestled at my feet, I slept fitfully in one of Dallas' neighborhoods of lesser repute, the kind of place where gunshots were part of the weekend ambiance. (To be fair, this describes much of Dallas.) But the balcony had a beautiful view of downtown, and the kitchen was spacious. With a roommate, I could just barely afford it on my reporter's salary.

Suddenly, my bedroom door flew open. A tall, shadowy figure stood in the doorway, menacing. I didn't wait to reach for my glasses before I started screaming at the top of my lungs, seriously considering throwing Whiskey at the intruder, since he hadn't been de-clawed. The figure didn't move. Fifteen, twenty seconds passed. The intruder just standing there, me screaming. And then, finally: "Shut the fuck up! If you turn the a/c up again, I'M GOING TO KILL YOU FOR REAL." It was my wonderful roommate. I would survive, at least until the next time I touched the thermostat.

Roommating really isn't anyone's forté. Sure, you hear the odd urban legend about two BFF's who've managed to get along and agree on room temperature and an appropriate level of cleanliness. And then there's, well, everyone else on the planet. Except for two ladies profiled by the New York Times today.

Roselyn Leibowitz and Catherine Redmond are 54 and 65 and share what is verily a badass loft in midtown Manhattan:

"None of this would have been possible had we not been open and frank with each other," Ms. Redmond continued. "The question for me was, what can we be for each other and what can we not be. We had to be free." A large house with two separate wings or a brownstone with different apartments was the general idea. "And we had a rule -- never to lie to each other about anything," Ms. Leibowitz said. "If either of us felt uncomfortable with the place or anything about it we would not hide anything from each other."
The process of cohabitation was probably not impeded by the fact that one of them had $3.1 million to drop on a loft that could be renovated into two separate studios. The other pays rent. And oh, terror: they've never written any of this down.

"Our financial arrangement is a casual relationship between trusting friends," Ms. Redmond said. "To be sure, I am a beneficiary of Roz's immense generosity, but our friendship, and more important, the soul that is Roz's kindness to me, has never impinged on my sense of freedom."
Man, I hope it works out. Not only do I kind of love the idea of two middle-aged women rocking their singlehoods together, but I also kind of love the idea that friendship can survive this kind of financial arrangement. And also I hope that no one gets killed over a thermostat. It's no way to go.

Tuck into stew before you tuck into sofa

Posted at 3:35 PM Dec 11, 2008

By Andrea Grimes

barefoot.jpgIs it finally winter in Texas? Seems so. After weeks of "fall" days with temperatures near 80 degrees, I was sure that we Southerners were going to be bearing the brunt of global warming by getting our Christmas celebration tips from the Aussies. Santa in Bermuda shorts? Que sera, sera.

Here in Austin, the low tonight will be near freezing, which is as good a reason as any to put on a nice pot of stew. I don't mean Campbell's, I mean real, beefy, hearty stew. Stew with soul. Stew with gusto. Stew with chutzpah. Who makes such stew? Ina Garten does, and you can all thank the Food Network for airing her Barefoot Contessa beef stew-pisode and inspiring this post.

The last time I made stew was this summer, and I'm (not that) embarrassed to tell you that the pot holding the leftovers was still in the bottom of my fridge, under some homemade salsa and a wedge of Manchego. See, I have a food storage problem. I forget about things, and then, after far too much time has gone by, I remember about them. And then I visualize them, and I get scared and forget again, and the problem feeds on itself. I don't want to go into too much graphic detail before I encourage you to whip up a bowl of something tasty, but let's just say that this Le Creuset's contents could have passed for a Chia Pet.

TMI? Just be glad I'm not telling you how long it's been since I got laid or how I prefer my personal landscaping. One garden hose, a messy parking lot and a round of thorough boiling later, this messy Doll is ready for her first stew of the season.

Ina Garten marinates her beef in red wine (not a euphemism!) and uses rosemary and bay leaves for seasoning--I tend to just throw in whatever fresh holiday herb sprigs are on sale at the grocer's. But my favorite part is her use of sun-dried tomatoes, which bring in a nice tartness to the dish. It cooks in the oven for a couple of hours and comes out smelling just like winter.

You've got plenty of time to hit the store on the way home and have a late dinner on. Won't you join me? Success and disaster stories welcome. I'll be uploading a picture of my stewy goodness when it's still steaming.

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