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Sunday, November 18, 2012

No 'Poo

No, this has nothing to do with bodily functions. The term stands for "no shampoo". I learned about this method through a blogger friend of mine, and it intrigued me. Apparently, you can wash your hair with nothing but baking soda and water, and condition it with nothing but apple cider vinegar and water. We all know how many uses baking soda has besides a simple baking ingredient, but I had no idea that it could wash your hair.

I'm not at all shocked that this exists, though. After all, I make my own laundry soap, and it works rather well. (1 cup borax, 1 cup washing soda, 2 tbs oxy clean, 1 bar of soap. Grind and serve about 2 tbs per full load.) I started doing that back when I thought my hives might be caused by my laundry soap (that's another show! *wink*). Anyway, as far as I can tell, it works just as well as the store bought stuff I used to buy.

But I digress. I am completely taken back; shocked, amazed, astounded by this no 'poo thing. I've done a half-assed version of it for a week now and I am impressed almost beyond words. And what I mean by "half-assed" is that I was too afraid to try the ACV conditioner. My hair is thick and curly and gets impossible tangles without the use of conditioner so I was afraid to take that step. However, I am using a simple recipe I found online of 1 tbs baking soda to 1 cup water in a squeeze bottle as my shampoo. And just as the other blogs I've read claimed, it allows you to go longer between hair washings. How is this? Well, regular shampoo (and I was apparently using once of the worst kinds: Pantene) strips the shaft of all the oil that your hair produces. Then, you must condition some of it back in, otherwise your hair is a nasty, gnarled dry mess. But, why strip out all the oil? One must think in terms that the oil is a good thing, it's there for a reason; not that it's some nasty buildup that needs to be all washed away. When you wash your hair harshly with chemicals that strip all the oil out of your hair, it goes into overdrive to create more oil. By day 2 of no washing, it's already horrible. The baking soda method washes your hair very gently, and when everything is said and done and your hair is dry, there is still some oil left in the shaft. Not a lot, mind you, but enough. Because your hair follicles don't go crazy trying to re-coat your hair with oil at record speed, you can go longer between washings. And I've proven this for myself by my routine. I'll tell you a little secret. I take my showers at night before I go to bed, and I routinely take one every Thursday night. But, occasionally when I have a nothing-to-do weekend, which is very frequently, I won't take another shower until Sunday afternoon. Gross? Maybe. Normally, my Sunday afternoon my hair is a greasy mess. But today? It wasn't nearly as bad. After a week of washing with baking soda (every other night I might add), I can already feel the lack of excess oil being produced by my follicles.

But the million dollar question is: how much oil is left in your hair? I'll equate this to something you might know about. [Let me tell you right now, if you're a beauty queen that can't stand your hair being even the slightest bit oily (and I don't mean greasy) then this is not for you. But you have to remember that oil is not a bad thing, here.]

I like the feeling of slippery conditioner in my hair. I believe that as long as I can feel it, then I know it's in there and doing its job. Some conditioners (although this is probably more relative to the shampoo brand I use now that I think about it) you can feel, and some, when you put it in your hair, it "disappears". You feel as if your scrubbing nothing around on your head. I hate that. I realize now that my hair, after being stripped of all its oil, was soaking up that conditioner like a sponge and that's why I couldn't feel it in there. Ever since I started using baking soda as my shampoo, I still use the same Fructis conditioner I had before, but suddenly, instead of not being able to feel it in my hair, my hair is slippery. Why? Because some oil is still there, and my hair doesn't need to soak up nearly as much as I use (or had used. I usually go through a bottle of conditioner twice as fast as a shampoo bottle).

My hair looks and feels no different than before, after it's dry. It's still soft, still silky and smooth (especially when straight) and clean. I can't stress that enough. It is being washed, and it is clean. But it can also last longer between washings, and the natural oil it produces helps protect the shaft from breakage and sun damage etc. Plus, I'm not spending  money on expensive shampoos, and an as an added bonus, not flushing nearly as many nasty chemicals down the drain and into our rivers and lakes. It's good all around.

I urge my readers to try this. You can go whole hog and do the ACV as well for your conditioner if you choose, however I've read warnings that your hair takes several weeks to adjust to the fact that oil isn't being stripped away, and it may still over-produce for a while. If you can handle that as your hair adjusts, great. Otherwise, my hybrid method is a great alternative. My hair seems to have adjusted almost immediately. If I added ACV to my routine at this point, my hair probably wouldn't even have to go through that phase.

Here are a couple of articles to get you started!

No ‘Poo: Get Beautiful Hair with Just Baking Soda & Vinegar


Who’s up for “no-pooing?”

Let me know what y'all think!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dissection Stories

It just kind of came up in random conversation. Okay, no, it didn't. I brought it up because I was feeling left out that some people were seemingly way ahead thanks to school programs and I got jipped by going to shitty-ass Burley-Glenwood Elementary. But, since I brought up the subject, it brought back some fun memories of my school days. Some of the very few, I might add.

WARNING. NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH.

My first dissection was in the 3rd grade. Yes, you heard right. We had a science class in the 3rd grade, and we got to dissect a pig's eye. No see, this was before we moved and I went to shitty-ass Burley-Glenwood. Nothing this cool ever happened in that school. Anyway...
My science teacher was scary cool from what I remember. She had a hole in her throat because she smoked too much and sometimes she would talk out of the tube in her throat.

Can you believe I still grew up normal?

So anyhoo, we had to choose partners for our dissection. Because I was pretty much the 2nd least popular student in the class, I got stuck with the least popular student in the class. Not even I liked him. He was a total dumbbutt. The teacher warned us before we got started that if we were prone to throwing up, to just sit this one out. I knew I'd be fine, so I waited for my eyeball. The task was to get the lens. Which tuns out, wasn't very easy, as a black liquid substance leaked out of the eyeball as soon as you cut it open. The entire thing was covered in "ink". I tried to find the lens but at this point it was pretty much impossible. Oh, my "partner"? Went flying out of the classroom and puked in the garbage can outside. Sissy. So I just poked and prodded at it until we were done. Pretty cool.

We dissected a clam in like, the 7th grade or something. Basically just opened it up and poked around inside. I didn't have a problem with it because I knew clams couldn't "feel".
However, I did have a problem with a worm. In High School, my biology teacher, who I was brown-nosing friends with, tasked the class with dissecting a worm and writing a short report. The problem was, the worm was still alive. And I absolutely refused to dissect a living thing. She warned me that if I didn't do it, I would fail the class. She assumed I would fold, as I was getting about 107%. I didn't. Not wanting her top student to fail, she told me that I could write an external report on it instead. And then I asked her if I could let it go when I was done. Reluctantly, she agreed. And I did - right out by the football field. I was proud of myself that day.

You might be thinking: how did you handle the frog then? All high schools had to dissect a frog! Yes, that's true. We were slated to dissect a frog soon, and I had no idea how I was going to get away with not doing that assignment. Now, if the frog were dead, I wouldn't care. In fact, I'd probably be quite fascinated with the whole thing. But I'd heard that they were just asleep, so you could see their heart beat etc. I don't know if this was true or not, and we never got to find out, because some douche in another class had "played with his dissection knife" and ruined it for everybody. I got off lucky that time.
Marine Biology was my hardest dissection ever. We had to dissect a clam, but instead of 7th grade "easy mode", we had to label and classify each part of the clam. Back then, this gave me a new-found respect for surgeons, because even with just a simple clam, pointing out organs and knowing what they are is much harder that it sounds.

Yeah... that's about how I remember it lol

So, those are my dissection stories. I hope I didn't gross you out too much!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My Review of the Amazing Spider-Man


I know this is a little late in coming, but I hadn't seen it in theaters thanks to my stubbornness. Plus, I don't normally write reviews on movies. I don't even leave comments or stars on things like fandango. But, Spiderman (the idea) is one of my favorites of all time. Spiderman as a concept beats out every other super hero I've seen to date, and yes, that includes the Avengers (which I also didn't see in theaters thanks to my hatred for DC comics). Spiderman as a super hero has depth and feeling, which was portrayed well in both incantations of the movie. I didn't watch The Amazing Spider-Man in theaters because I didn't want to be betrayed with something I already loved. I liked Tobey Maguire as Spiderman, and I loved the concept of it. No, I've never read the comics. But it made more sense to me that hell, if he could climb walls, shouldn't he be able to freaking shoot some webbing? That whole idea that Peter Parker had to create a device with which what he should already have been able to do, turned me off of the movie completely. And I know that's how the comics were; but I didn't read the comics, remember?

Anyway, as much as I'd want this to be a straight up review of a singular movie, I have to compare the two, because the first version is one of my favorite movies. TASM (The Amazing Spider-Man) had some awesome points, and some downfalls. And now that I've seen this movie, so did SM, really. TASM touched on some points that SM missed completely, but I think it was because both the characters that portrayed Peter Parker were completely different. I felt as if TASM was more real. As a teenage boy, I feel that this movie would be how he would react if this happened in real life. Even though I hadn't read the comics, I appreciated the throwback to his sarcastic nature; it was one thing I missed in SM. However, as uplifting as it was to have the whole city rally around him there at the end, I felt as though a major piece of the plot was missing without Jonah Jameson and his damning newspaper articles about "the menace to society". We almost had that in Gwen's father, but even that turned out okay in the end. I think how the city thinks he's a menace is one of my favorite parts about Spiderman as a character. This is one of the things that create depth and realism of character and plot.

One thing that I think SM did better was Uncle Ben's death. All Peter was concerned about was getting money. He'd had an argument with his uncle and said fuck it - I'm going to let the guy get away. Although I have to admit, the Uncle Ben in TASM took his own advice when saying that if you can do something, you should, and tried to grab the gun. But SM was more convincing, because Uncle Ben was an innocent bystander. He'd done nothing but wait by the Library to pick up Peter, who had lied to him about where he was in the first place. It put more guilt on Peter when he was shot dead. Plus, we had that whole telling Aunt May that'd he'd killed his uncle moment (which I honestly can't remember if that was in the first movie or the second). I also have to point out a major plot fail in TASM. He got the antidote in a second before it was released, *slow clap* because he could have done it right after, too. Duh. lol

Okay, this review is already long enough, geez. lol But I have to tell you, I loved this movie a lot. I loved it a lot more than I ever expected to. Andrew Garfield is an amazing actor. He sounded so goddamn believable. And, he's freaking hawt. He might be my new crush lol. Also, I must point out that this is the first time EVER, in ANY movie, that I noticed the clothes. Wardrobe department gets an A+ on this movie. I give it 4-1/2 stars out of 5. Both Peter Parkers were extremely different people and you can't compare the two. So how Andrew Garfield played his version was spot on. I enjoyed his character much better than Tobey's. That's just my personal opinion. And also, Garfield is sexier. Just sayin'. lol

Look at all those layers. He must be hot. *chortle*

PS - the whole "I can sew my own awesome costume" bugs me every time. lol


Sunday, November 4, 2012

What I'm __________ November edition

Watch me do this again before the month is over lol
Not a lot has changed for me, but that's how I am :P

Listening to: Hatsune Miku. I actually discovered her a few months back, but the cool thing about Miku is that many different people can make her music, because she doesn't exist. Yes, you heard me right. She is what is known in Japan as a Vocoloid. A software program, whose voice is made by a real person, but can then be manipulated however an artist wants to make music. I've been discovering people's music of her, and some of it is really good.
She's extremely popular in Japan. Ever famous for their Anime, Japan has created a drawing of her and people have re-created it all over. She's in games, and comes with 3D rendering software that you can make her dance with her music and everything. She's even done live concerts. Yeah, live concerts. And they go crazy over it. Look at this: 



Eating: Um... my tuna sandwiches. I just mix chopped celery, chopped onion, relish and mayonnaise in with canned tuna and call it good. As long as I have Dave's Killer Bread to go with it. That stuff tastes amazing, and is so healthy.

Drinking: Still tea. Lots and LOTS of tea. In fact, I've replaced my morning coffee with tea. I'm hoping it's what's keeping my husband's sickness away from me. I have a bubble of antioxidants lol  "Tea leaves contain bioflavonoids (antioxidant plant pigments), amino acids, vitamins C, E, and K, caffeine and polysaccharides (complex carbohydrates such as cellulose, starch or glycogen). The benefit to tea drinkers is an improved immune system from beneficial intestinal microflora along with germicidal activity against bad bacteria. All tea leaves contain natural fluoride, and in conjunction with the flavonoids, helps to prevent tooth decay." (Site Healthynutrition.me) To use up my leftover heavy cream from a recipe, I've been putting in about a tbs into my tea. It's a bit fatty but it works well. Also, I bought some loose leaf black tea that was called "Coconut Cream" as it has flecks of dried coconut in it. Man, that stuff is the bomb.

Watching: Next Iron Chef: Redemption. The new season kicked off tonight. I'm rooting for the cute one. I guess his name is Marcel. He's one of two that is new and didn't come back from a previous season of NIC. To me, he looks like a werewolf, or what a werewolf as a human could look like. I've been reading too much. lol



Reading: Which brings me to... lol I'm in the middle of one of Kelley Armstrong's new series "The Darkness Rising" trilogy. She'd came out with her 2nd book of the trio a little bit ago; "The Calling". It's not my favorite, but it's still really good. No werewolves. At least... not yet. ;)

Writing: I'm still working on my "Werewolf" story. I'm 82 pages in now, and I figure it'll probably be over 100. I keep wanting to write, but once I get home at almost 6pm each day I've just run out of steam. I know exactly where the story is heading and I'm itching to write it... yet it's difficult to do. I'll keep chipping away at it though. Little by little I'll get it done!

Most Excited About: Holy moley, a new episode of Mythbusters is coming out on November 18th and I CAN NOT WAIT. I don't think I've ever been more excited about anything in my life, not counting each time I've met Alton Brown :P. Because, Alton Brown is a GUEST! This is the epitome of geeky awesomeness. This is drowning in hilarious science. They rarely have guests on Mythbusters, and I love that show a lot, so to bring Alton into it is just... the best thing to happen to TV since the DVR. I can not express how excited I am about this! Must... share... photo...






Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mystery Box

video

Best line/scene in all of Family Guy history. Just sayin'

(I'm posting it here because youtube and Fox are dumb. It's a SCENE. Not like I'm posting an entire episode. Get off your money-grubbing asses and go deal with stuff that actually matters, Fox.)