French Press:


I don’t think I’m obsessed with coffee, but like most people with a serious addiction, I’m not ready to admit I have a problem. It clearly is, though. I have an espresso machine on every level of my house, several other coffee brewers in a cupboard, and another espresso machine at work. I need that caffeine to keep me alive reader, which is a dumb thing for me to say. I don’t really notice any of the effects of caffeine. I think I’m immune to the stuff, but, for whatever reason, my body craves it intensely. If I go for more than a day without a couple cups or shots of caffeinated liquid, I have truly debilitating headaches. When I was in Egypt, I had to guzzle tea like a lunatic because the coffee was undrinkable. Seriously, I will drink anything, but their coffee was a travesty. Maybe I’ll open up a little coffee café in Luxor? That would suit me right down to the ground. I could grind beans, sip coffee all day, explore ruins in my free time,  befriend the vendors in the souk, read books after books, and then go back to my little villa. I’m moving there for my health, you know? I don’t know when, but it will most certainly happen. Why not, reader? I’ll die if I do or if I don’t, why not have some fun? Anyway, I’m very off topic. When I was in California, my cousin introduced me to French presses, which I had seriously never used. I don’t know how this could be, either, but they always seemed like a mystery that I had no need to investigate. But…oh my god…it makes such good coffee. I had no idea! And there is a whole ritual around the brewing, and I am a ho for ritual. I loved it so much that she sent one home with me. I have used it every afternoon since when I get home from work, and it just fills me with such pleasure to drink that dark, delicious coffee. Get a French Press, reader, you will forget all about drip coffee.

Electronic Exfoliator:


Ever since I turned twenty-six, I have felt as if my skin is aging rapidly. I honestly would not have been surprised at any point during that year of my life to wake up covered with more wrinkles than the actress who played the old Rose in Titanic.


I am not entirely sure what was going on with me, but I decided to start ordering every skincare product I could find that was reasonably reviewed on Amazon. I have finally settled on a routine of exfoliation, toning, serums, and then some more moisturizing. The toner is a blessing and I love my serums about as much as I love life itself, but it is this little machine that I bought to exfoliate with that I think is the real hero. It’s blue, covered in silicone bristles, fits in your palm, and vibrates rather intensely. If you were none the wiser, it looks like a sex toy. IT’S NOT. It’s a beauty enhancer. When I ordered it, I didn’t have a lot of confidence that it would do anything, but the reviews were intensely favorable. I knew machines like this existed because I had seen some that go for a couple hundred dollars. This one, allegedly does the exact same thing for literally one tenth of the price. If anything, I was out a Jackson, and I was intensely ready to be beautiful again, so it was soon winging its way towards me. I was suspicious as I rubbed it over my face, the bristles massaging my face. It didn’t seem to be doing much of anything, but it did feel good. So, I kept it up every other night. When I recently went to California, I didn’t take it along with me, so I didn’t exfoliate for a week. Reader, I noticed. My face was a bit duller, and the sunscreen that I’ve worn every day for the past decade was looking weird on the dry dead patches of skin. I mean, you don’t see dead skin until it flakes off, but it’s there. With my beloved exfoliator back, I sloughed my face back to its proper self. I love that little machine. It’s so relaxing and it’s so nice to have incredibly smooth skin. Everybody should own one. 

New Ames ALDI:


Okay, I have written more about this grocery store than I ever intended to when I went for the first time. As I have rapturously written in the past, I never knew what wonders were waiting for me in the hallowed aisles of ALDI. I thought it was low quality food for the poor and destitute. I thought it was expired crap that Walmart couldn’t sell. I was so naive. I didn’t realize that every shelf was stuffed to bursting with wonderful things. ALDI changed my life and helped my credit card debt. ALDI cleared my skin and gave me a religious awakening. I feel like I have just left a spa when I checkout at ALDI. Majestically, the ALDI in Ames closed to blossom like a phoenix into a new, bigger, brighter, better store. I finally had the opportunity to visit last night, and dear and darling readers, it was like going to Mecca. Like that isn’t even hyperbole, reader. I was rarely as happy as I was inside of that grocery store. I was already utterly enamored of the shop, and this new store changed me for the better. There were so many varieties of cheese, reader. I bought seven different sharp white cheddar cheeses and I have no regrets about what I did. I don’t regret the five boxes of risotto that I bought. I am proud of the champagne that went in my cart and the broccoli heads and the avocados that were perfect and stunning. I am enamored of the ravioli and ricotta and chickpeas and soups. Everything, reader, was fabulous. I had three bags loaded up with nibbles and I only had a pittance to pay. If I had gone lighter on the cheese and champagne, it probably would have been a bargain, but I need that champagne for the end of the semester. I will celebrate and dance and live life joyously. By the time you read the next installment of this series, I will be done and free and in love with the world and all those on it. But back to ALDI. I love that store. It reminded me of the LIDL on the Via Carlo Alberto in Turin, Italy. I’m serious. The wine and cheese and ravioli are all the same. It’s remarkable. It’s like Italy is a half hour drive from my house. Of course it’s not, since one of the world’s greatest Egyptological museums isn’t in Ames, but thank Allah that ALDI is there. I am blessed.


The Mummy Reboot:

Tom Cruise film set

I have been concerned since first hearing tell that there was a reboot of The Mummy franchise in the works. I love anything and everything to do with mummies, of course, and the Universal movies have been iconic. I adore the old black and white ones, which are a lot funnier than we think. Not the first one, which was an excellent film, but the ones that come after are really quite amusing. It’s that lighthearted horror that is just a fabulous way to pass the evening. This sentiment translated into the iconic Mummy movies of the late 90s and early 2000s. My sister and I were both fundamentally impacted by Rachel Weisz and Brendan Fraser. In fact, we seem to have become the two main character traits of Weisz’s character, Evelyn. Jessica is a librarian and I am working on becoming an Egyptologist. Funny that. Anyway, I love all the Mummy movies, and don’t want to see their legacy hurt in any way. So, this weekend, when the trailer for a new Tom Cruise version of the movie was released, I failed to find myself amused. Now, I must make note that this entire posting is based on fifteen seconds of flashy video, but I do take umbrage with what I saw. The sarcophagus was not reminiscent of any ancient culture that I am familiar with, and I have an insanely hard time taking Tom Cruise seriously. The Scientology thing really bothers me, even though it does seem to work for him. And I suppose I just have trouble accepting that the franchise has moved on and in a new direction. I wanted the Fraser series to carry on for the rest of time. Maybe this new movie will be fabulous. I can only hope for the best. That seems to be my motto for the future lately. Surrounded by the darkening world and the misery that comes with it, we can only hope for something good. Le sigh. (The full trailer is out now, and ugh):


The Cold:


Look, reader, this is absolutely nothing new, but I’m cold. Like I said yesterday on Facebook, “Survivors of the Titanic, swimming in the North Atlantic, were warmer than I am right now.” Since my return from California, that blessed and wonderful state, the mercury has dropped to inhospitable temperatures. I was dealing all right with it for awhile, but now it’s just freezing all the damn time and I think I have that disease that I keep reading about where if your body just gets a little cold you nerves freak out and then your blood flow stops in your hands and feet and then you feel like you’re dying and then your hands turn black before your circulation starts back up. I forget the name. Comment below if you know what I’m talking about. I can’t wear enough sweaters. All of my heaters are on maximum output. My cats are attached to me in hopes of stealing my warmth. I want mulled wine instead of chilled rosé. And that’s a shocking statement, reader. You know I love me a good rosé. And you know what else? I really don’t have anything else to say, so forgive my brevity. I’m just too cold. Do come, summer. I miss you.

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