Other than gin, there is no alcohol I love more than champagne. It is flawless. I’m obsessed with filling flutes up and staring at the bubbles. Whenever I travel, I try to get a glass of champagne somewhere nice. I’ve had champagne at Harvey Nichols in London, at the Drake in Chicago, and in Paris outside the Jardin du Luxembourg with my new friends Anne and Sue. That was probably my most memorable evening, but I really enjoyed a glass I had in Nice at the Palais de la Méditerranée, sipping on fine champagne, and watching the sun sink into the sea. Oh, life can be wonderful, reader. Never forget it. Each glass has been wonderful and I always feel so happy with champagne. I dream of having champagne every day. I makes the world brighter and worth living in. So, I have made it my mission to find an affordable, accessible champagne that I can have a glass of each night. This has been an exhaustive search, and I’ve still not found the right one yet, but I was crying with laughter last night while watching Rhinestone and trying a new bottle from Trader Joe’s. That movie was so bad that it was good. I mean, if Sylvester Stallone can act like a country western star, I can get through anything in life. Anything. Even a likely diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. The champagne (label pictured above), Brut Reserve from Blason de Bourgogne was talking to me in the best way, which makes me think I’m close to finding a good, affordable champagne. I’ve always said that that the epitome of elegance is drinking a glass each day…and having a new pair of socks each day. I’ve not changed my opinion. I was giggling and spilling a bit of it, and I was having the time of my life. In short, it was exactly what I wanted out of my champagne. The flavor wasn’t all the way there, but it was close. I love this search. And failing is such fun. (Except drinking a bottle of Cook’s champagne from Walmart…that was not fun. That was gross.)
LUSH Shampoo Bars:
I have made mention in several posts that I’m working on moving away from store bought cleaners. I wouldn’t dream of buying dish or laundry soap anymore, and I clean everything else with vinegar. Admittedly, I still use bleach, but in exceptional moderation. I will get away from it, too, but everything in time. I still haven’t had much of a chance to work with anything beyond household cleaners, though. I do make my facial scrubs, which are fabulous, but I haven’t made my own body soap or shampoo. I’m particular about looking ravishing, so it is something I’m more cautious about. A friend and I are heavily researching soaps right now, and I have a few prototypes to try out this morning before work. I’m excited to be lusciously coated in coconut oil before heading off to my morning hospital appointment — these five days of steroid injections are awful, but that’s a story for a different post. Anyway, LUSH, is a company that does more natural body products, but I’ve never bought anything. I only thought they did those bath bomb things. Guess not. My dearest friend in the world swears by their shampoo bars, so I decided to give one a try. I grabbed a purple bar that smells of lemon and lavender and when I showered the other night, I was screaming when it lathered up instantly. Normally my hair is so thick that I need literally a quarter cup of shampoo to cut through all that ails it. This was nothing. I dried it off, and my hair was light and luscious and wavy and I was about ready to cry. It was the hair I’ve always wanted. I have grown out my hair for two years for the exclusive reason of looking this way:
Needless to say, I’m thoroughly impressed. I will be stocking up. And, I will be buying several for my month and a half away in Europe and Africa. They sell conditioning bars and solid toothpaste and more. I’m a Lush convert.
The Wine Experience:
A million years ago, my father was a furniture repair specialist and warehouse technician at Ethan Allen. He would oftentimes do rather remarkable things with powdered stains. Across the street was a shop I never went into called the Wine Experience. I knew nothing about it. (All I knew is that I was a child and I wanted the wine. I’ve always been French, reader; I was a Parisian before I knew what that meant.) They left that location a while back and I got a nice wine rack out of their trash…don’t judge me. I can’t maintain this heiress illusion on my current income without a bit of extreme shopping. Anyway that’s a long introduction to say: I took my mother there for her Mother’s Day dinner. I was trying to think of someplace new and nice that we haven’t been to a million times. For some reason, the Wine Experience popped into mind. And I wanted a glass of champagne. Champagne is always on my mind these days. It looked a bit disappointing at first, with a far too casual seating arrangement and a logo that makes me feel physically ill, but after the waitress came round and the food was brought out, I was very impressed. I had a mushroom risotto, and it was absolutely fabulous. Perfectly done, too. It was a very small restaurant, and I know how tricky it can be to hold arborio rice at the right consistency for a while, so I applaud the chef. Lady liked her meal a lot too. And there were little bottles of champagne (well, a brut from California…ugh), but it was really very nice. We had crème brûlée for dessert and I think it was one of the better ones I’ve had in Des Moines. I was thoroughly impressed, readers. Go there. They have many other things I’d like to try and I intend to soon!
Harry Cutting His Hair:
I know this day would come. Happiness and bliss can’t last forever. Harry Styles, my beloved icon of fashion and style and kindliness (and should be husband) has cut his hair. Nobody knows what it looks like yet, but that could change by the time this installment is posted. The above photo is all we have. I’m in a state of shock, readers. Harry singlehandedly made long hair cool and acceptable again. He inspired me in innumerable ways. I’m sure he will continue to do so in the future, but I worry…did I love him for his hair alone? It’s quite possible. But his generous, kind, and thoughtful deed (for he donated his trademark locks to charity) has ruined my livelihood! I credit my long hair with multiple delightful occasions where people thought I was Harry Styles. Overwhelmed youths at Levi Stadium have screamed manically for me, cars have stopped, people have literally shouted, “Harry! Is that you??” as they sobbed. I have had so much fun on my many trips to California because he and I have the same stomping grounds and the same passion for Saint Laurent, though my outfits are all knockoffs. Bless Zara and H&M and Forever 21 and careful perusals through thrift shops. (Like I’ve lectured on many times in the past, you can find remarkable things in the women’s pajama section of Goodwill if you’re handy with a needle and thread.) With very little money, he and I look remarkable similar. Up close maybe not, but from a distance, I could be his body double. We dance about the same way. So, anyway, I am cast adrift. This finally gives me permission to cut my hair. I have been considering that for some time, getting it shortened before leaving for Europe and Africa. Two weeks in the Sahara with a mane is no good, after all. I’ll surely grow it back for I love my lengthy curls, but it’s time. Look for a new version of me in June. I’m scared. I’m depressed. I’m emotionally wrecked. Send positive thoughts my way, faithful readers.
I still have undiagnosed multiple sclerosis or a severe vitamin deficiency or something not even pondered yet, and I am so bummed. I was doing pretty good with my depressive state over being a medical freak for some time, but today it hit me really hard. It’s a side effect of the medicine they’re giving me, and I am really not a fan. So, I took a pouting selfie where I felt a bit positive about the size of my lips. Maybe they aren’t as small as I once thought:
I’ve always waxed rhapsodic about how magical it would be to be hospitalized for a few days on an IV drip, getting hydrated and recovering from exhaustion like a celebrity. I think that still might be kind of fun, but what I’m undergoing is not at all fun, though it is similar. I’m hospitalized for a couple hours a day, and I do have an IV, and the (WEEKDAY!) nurses are fabulous, and they’ll give me whatever I request, but I’m just not having a good time. To try and repair some of my symptoms, I have been prescribed a five day regimen of Solu-Medrol, which is a steroid that has some rather miraculous properties. I’ve experienced a couple of the fun ones, but I’m still not myself. I don’t sleep at all and I have the energy I always craved, but as a result, I’m starving, bloated, depressed, despondent, have lost most of my sense of taste, and feel like a shell of the man I used to be. Not great. I do have a bit of sensation back in my leg…off and on…so that’s fabulous, but my eyes seem the same as ever, maybe a bit worse. Today I felt physically ill after my infusion, another common side effect that I want nothing to do with. Readers, I get ill once in a while. Everybody does, but I’m not used to being actually sick. It freaks me the f**k out. Tomorrow is my last infusion, and I can’t say that I will miss going into the hospital at seven o’clock in the morning. That’s uncivilized. I won’t miss needles in my hands and arms and blood pressure cuffs and sad looks and that hospital smell. No, I shan’t miss that at all. Hopefully my brain lesions — did I ever tell you about those, I have a number of them — will bugger off now that I’m full of steroids and I’ll be able to see properly again. I was so excited to take this medicine so that I can stare with both eyes at the temple of Seti I at Abydos this summer in its full glory. I’m still going to, but damn it all. I’m so frustrated. I want to throw things and run away and drive to the Badlands and eat sushi and I don’t even know what my brain is doing anymore. I do hope some kind of solution presents itself before I go crazy. Because I’m not me anymore. I don’t even feel like I’m in the same body I used to live in. I don’t understand how this one works or what it’s doing. So, I guess, I wrote this to complain, but also to help you appreciate your health and wealth before you end up with a mystery illness and a bill for a thousand dollars for a twenty-five minute medical test. I’m not having fun.