The Overall this Month? I think I received 5 full-sized products worth nearly $80, plus a large eye shadow. I definitely feel like the $10 was well spent this month! I’m not in love with every shade I received and I was underwhelmed to receive yet another black mascara, but I’m excited to use these products in the future.
Twix Gingerbread (New for 2013):
The package says the gingerbread flavoring lies in the caramel. I’m not sure why they couldn’t just bake gingerbread cookies instead of the usual shortbread cookies, but that’s modern packaged food for ya. At first, the flavor was a bit like graham crackers. As I chewed through, the ginger flavor hit somewhere in the back of my mouth. There’s a weird flavor at play somewhere in the mix, a bit like eating a piece of gingerbread that’s been sitting in the sun on cardboard. It’s not bad, it’s just a lingering funk. I’m a big fan of ginger snaps and gingerbread, so the flavor of these appeals to me, but I couldn’t imagine wanting to eat more than one in a sitting.
Overall, I’d say that a fan of gingerbread will probably enjoy eating one of these. It’d be a fun inclusion in a big bowl of chocolate candies at a party or a fun stocking treat. These are fun sized. (Note: I picked these up at Wal-mart, but their website doesn’t seem to know these exist yet.)
M&Ms Cherry Cordial (Debuted last year, I think):
I like these. I don’t think they taste like cherry cordials at all and I don’t think the cherry flavor is necessarily good. Everyone I know who’s tried them agrees. But these M&Ms are a funny thing; I left them out on the counter at my parents’ house and now there’s just about a handful left in the bag.
I feel like the taste borders on Robitussin–it’s just a little fake, a little harsh. But I eat ‘em, and I really like ‘em. They’re about the size of Peanut Butter M&Ms, perhaps a hair smaller. And they come in two festive shades of red.
M&Ms Gingerbread (New for 2013):
These taste like Indian food to me. These definitely have a strong kick of ginger, but the other spices backing it up reads Vindaloo across my tongue. I read several reviews of these that called the flavor “subtle” and I just need you guys to know that it’s anything but subtle. I hated these and advise strongly against purchasing them, even for big fans of ginger.
They’re about the size of Peanut Butter M&Ms, perhaps a hair smaller. And they come in red, green and brown. But they taste like Indian food, in case you’d forgotten. Bleck. (I bought these at Wal-Mart, as well.)
I normally don’t read reviews of a show before I watch it.
I’ve tried it before and I found myself looking for reasons to agree with the reviewer. If the reviewer had nothing but sneers, I wanted to sneer along. If the reviewer loved it, I kept looking for the gold.
I read Flavorwire‘s review of Masters of Sex before I ever watched it, and I actually found myself looking for reasons to disagree with their distaste for this show. I guess I felt bad for it. When I first heard the concept, I desperately wanted the show to be good, to be (as Flavorwire perfectly put it) Mad Men from Peggy’s perspective.
No such luck.
This show leaves nothing to like. The show’s namesake is a flat, dry man who seems to hate everything and everyone he comes across–his lack of charisma is possibly supposed to be humorous or humanizing, but it just feels like more jerk behavior. The heroine, Virginia Johnson (played by a continually wide-eyed and tight-lipped Lizzy Caplan) seems so determined to be a part of the sex study (for reasons unclear) that she seems to be willfully ignorant of Masters’ awfulness. As for the other characters? They’re either flat or woefully under-explored.
And the plotlines. Will the study be at the hospital or won’t it (does it matter?) Masters is (gasp) a lying asshole who treats his wife for fertility problems she doesn’t have, just to put off having a baby. Virginia is some sort of magical sex nymph that beguiles all men she comes across. We’re to believe that Masters is obsessed with her, as evidenced by the fact that he asks her to be a part of the study with him (ya know, do it.) So very dull, so very flat. Even the style of the show doesn’t feel complete the way Mad Men does.
Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan are so much better than this. They can act the part they need to be acting; he can be dry but lovable, she could handle being grounded, determined, adaptable and fierce.
I don’t get the sense that Masters or Johnson are discovering anything. The research itself feels like an aside, a necessary device to allow the writers to create unrelated contrived events. Even when people are naked onscreen and miming sex acts, nothing feels risque or particularly exciting for the viewer. I get that it’s not really supposed to titillate, but what these people are doing is revolutionary for the time period; there should be some feeling created for the viewer that what’s happening is new, exciting and thrilling. Instead, you’re just mourning what could’ve been.
I received a complimentary Colgate® SlimSoft™ toothbrush (as well as Colgate toothpaste and mouthwash) through the Influenster program for review.
When I first felt the bristles with my thumb, I was actually impressed with how soft and flexible they were. Looking at the bristles, you can see how thin they become at the very end, which allows the impressive sweeping action. The feel is a bit like some children’s toothbrushes.
The brush overall has a very slim profile. It’s fairly comfortable to hold, though I’d like these bristles offered on some slightly more grippy handles.
This really works for me. My teeth are rather crooked and have some strange spacing in spots, and this is one of the first toothbrushes I’ve used that really cleans between and around. I didn’t expect to be so impressed with it, but I really was! I actually find myself brushing my teeth for longer with this toothbrush, which is definitely a good thing.
I’ve honestly always been a “whatever’s cheapest” toothbrush buyer. I’ve tried a lot of different bristle arrangements, but I think I’ll be sticking with this guy!
We like to believe in ghosts because we can’t explain the thing that keeps us moving. There must be some magic in death because magic is what makes us live. We can’t pinpoint beginnings, so who says the endings are so clearly defined?
We like to believe in ghosts because we can’t let go of old regrets or nostalgia. If there’s a chance we could see an echo of our ancestors, we would know that the afterlife is another opportunity to mourn missed chances and days past. We want to know that we are not alone in feeling remorse.
We like to believe in ghosts because we love to connect to the history of a place. Haunted houses are houses with stories to tell, stories we want to become a part of. Ghosts invite us to step into the tale and tell it, again and again to anyone who will listen.
We like to believe in ghosts because we love being scared. We love the creeping chill of something unexplained, something sudden, something that causes us to wake in a cold sweat because our lives afford us so few chances to confront mortality. We like to survive.
We like to believe in ghosts because we think we’re alone. But we want so very desperately to not be alone. We want so much to not be alone that we’re willing to invent mystical beings so that there will be someone else in the room and someone within us, just waiting to join the infinite.
The Overall: Solid! I thought I’d be most excited about the Urban Decay lipstick, but the face mask won me over. This shipped fast (go DHL and your updated tracking page!) It came with a mascara, which I didn’t really need, but I was pleased, in general. As far as I can tell, the nail polish and eye shadow are both full-sized and everything else is a deluxe sample.
Warning: I’m an oversharer. If medical stuff makes you queasy, skip this post! I’ll try not to be gross or graphic! The takeaway is that I’m out of surgery and doing well. I’m in a little pain, but much of it is just muscles getting used to being used in different ways than normal.
My hospital does a pre-surgery appointment to fill out paperwork and do any final labwork, so I went in for that yesterday. I have to say that the St. Joseph staff is made up of absolute rockstars. From the volunteer who led me upstairs to the nurse that worked with me on my paperwork, I left feeling totally confident in everyone there. Mimi (my nurse) was incredible. She’s one of those rare people who you can just tell really cares about her job, really believes in what she’s doing and was just made for the job she has.
The day of my surgery, I was instructed to come in at 7:30am. I showed up and they took me to a Pre-Op “room” (all of the rooms are like little curtained off nooks along a hallway) to change. The gown was paper with a plastic liner, which hooks to a machine that blows air into it for temperature control. I had a vagina air conditioner! Somebody needs to make this technology available for everybody. I felt like I waited forever. A nurse stopped by to take my vitals and after several minutes, a nurse came by to do my IV and some prep stuff. I think I was there nearly an hour before my boyfriend and mom could come back to sit with me.
When they finally wheeled me back for surgery, the set-up staff (all female) was fun to chat with. They all seemed super nice and really personable (again, ROCKSTAR staff.) I scooted onto the table and they gave me an oxygen mask. I don’t even remember them mentioning giving me anesthesia, but they instructed me to take a few deep breaths and the next thing I remember, I woke up with a nurse beside me in Recovery, asking me a few questions.
The new anesthesia is SO NICE. I had a tonsillectomy when I was fourteen, and I woke up feeling like six shades of hell. I was groggy, foggy and hung-over. When they marched me out of the hospital, I felt like a petulant, overtired toddler. This time? Totally different story. I woke up feeling a bit like I’d overslept, but I was pretty lucid within minutes. I was ready to get up and pee within five minutes–but I said I wanted to wait until I was in post-op, which was probably a mistake. They didn’t have a post-op room ready and someone across from me needed to be intubated because her vocal cords snapped shut. It had to be 45 minutes or more before I got moved.
When I got to post-op, they gave me an ice pack that I couldn’t even feel and a pillow to clutch over my wounds when I move. They gave me some pain medicine that didn’t seem to do anything for me. I’m not sure if I had a gas bubble stuck or what (they inflate you with CO2), but it hurt a lot below my lowest incision. I would learn later (nobody told me this) that my gallbladder was distended and pretty nasty, so they had to make that incision larger than usual. I was crying with pain, which the nurses blamed on the anesthesia, but I was having none of it. They brought me another pain pill, which still didn’t help.
Each wound was covered with pads and gauze. When I got up to go to the bathroom, I felt drips all over my front. I assumed I had been sweating, but it turns out my incisions had been seeping under my gown. No one told me this would happen, and it was still a problem well into the night. I got to go home the same day–around three or four? I wasn’t really sure. Driving was uncomfortable. Curves HURT.
Getting up and down is pretty uncomfortable. They instructed me to clutch a pillow to my incisions, but it’s hard to cover them all and it hardly helps. PLUS, how the hell does one clutch a pillow and still manage to get up without using stomach muscles? I usually have to have my boyfriend push my pillow in while I push myself up. I slept pretty much sitting up, which made it hard to get any rest, but I know I’d never be able to get up if I were to lie flat.
The pain is mostly where my gallbladder used to be and around dat FUPA. I’m using some new muscles when I move now, so those are sore. Only my belly incision really hurts.
No diarrhea yet, no nausea, no visible bruising, no bleeding. All in all? Doing okay. I’m much more alert today and feeling pretty okay. I’ve been consuming Chex, applesauce, water and ginger ale. About to try a biscuit.