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letter from an occupant
Date: Wednesday, September 19th 2007 - 9:02pm
Security: Public
Tags:beauty fire sale, beauty products
So as I've mentioned countless times here, I am (sort of) obsessed with beauty products. I try lots and LOTS of new products and move on very quickly when they don't work for me. They are, however, all things that other people have sworn by, so I know they work... my skin is just very strange.

Anyway, after purchasing oodles of things this year, I think I've finally found a few that I will stick with for a while (a while probably only means until I read the next issue of Glamour, but...), so I've decided its time to clear out the things that I say I will go back to one day (and obviously don't). This means you, my faithful female readers (or male! I don't descriminate!), have hit the pay dirt! Below is a full list of what I need to get rid of (and if you don't take it, it will most likely end up in the trash and that's not very green of me) and my best description of it (including its condition). I don't really want any dough for any of it, but if you want something and I don't see you on a regular basis, paying for the shipping would be excellente (and, actually, I will be shipping things from my office, where we get a bulk rate, so shipping will be uuuuber cheap).

Here goes...

... Sue Devitt Microquatic Fortifying Primer with Hydrolyzed Soy Protein and Water Lily Extract. 1 fl. oz. still about 3/4 full

... Philosophy When Hope Is Not Enough: Facial Firming and Lifting Serum with Gluathione, Peptides, Vitamin C &E and Soy. 1 fl. oz. also still about 3/4 full

... Benefit "That Gal" Brightening Face Primer. 11ml. Nearly brand new! Only used it 4 or 5 times. Packaging a little rough from being knocked around in my makeup bag, though

... Smashbox O-Glow Microcirculating Cheek Color with Goji Berry-C Complex. 15ml. Also barely used!

... Benefit Creaseless Cream Eye Shadow in Tattle Tale (Shimmering Vanilla color). 0.16oz. Again with the barely used!

... Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Blush in Precious Pink. 0.1oz. Also, very little used - just the wrooooong color for me. Packaging a little rough from being knocked around in my makeup bag, though

... Clinique Turnaround 15-Minute Facial Mask. 0.33oz. Sample size. Neva, eva been used!

... Clinique Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliating Cream. 2.5 fl oz. Used twice.

... Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer in Fair. 7.5 fl oz. Used three times.

So that's the stuff. I feel like I need to mention that I am big into personal hygiene and only used any of these products when my hands and face were clean. If you comment here and tell me you want something, its yours. First ask, first receive. And if you live not here, I will ship it to you for an extremely nominal fee.

Ready? Set? Shop!
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letter from an occupant
Date: Monday, September 17th 2007 - 3:59pm
Subject: #16 was Potter
Security: Public
According to CareerCruising.com, here is a list of ten things I should be doing, other than publicity. Number 16 was Potter. At first, I thought, "Harry?" .... but then I realized pottery was around long before Harry was. Number 33 was comedian, right behind parole officer. Fascinating, that someone who could be an excellent parole office would also make a fine comedian, huh?

1. Director
2. Social Worker
3. Set Designer
4. Clergy
5. Costume Designer
6. Addictions Counselor
7. Foreign Service Officer
8. Motivational Speaker (I'm allllll over this one!)
9. Sport Psychology Consultant
10. Psychologist

If you'd like to find out if you're also destined for the clergy:
1. Go to www.careercruising.com
2. Put in Username: nycareers, Password: landmark.
3. Take their "Career Matchmaker" questions.
4. Join the clergy! (And/or alert me to what you're destined to do)

It's a satisfying way to spend a few minutes at your desk. Because work certainly isn't. Thanks, Kara.
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letter from an occupant
Date: Tuesday, July 24th 2007 - 4:25pm
Subject: blogger, version 2.0
Security: Public
Tags:new blog
Blogger, version 2.0 (n):

1. ever so slightly amusing anecdotes and thoughts, redeux.
2. to be bloggified.
3. an even bloggier version of myself, now public. michelleypants is buying stock.
4. See link.
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letter from an occupant
Date: Thursday, July 19th 2007 - 1:07pm
Subject: that loving feeling, take 2
Security: Public
Tags:handbags, happy things, mary, mesa, michelle, new blog, panasci, things i love, weeds
There are some things I just really love. Seriously in love. Some are people, some are places, some are objects, but I'm in love with them, in some way or another. I feel instantly happier in their presence.

1. Mesa Grill, off Union Square, NYC. I mostly love this place because I love Bobby Flay. Two words: squash blossoms. I think he's a brilliant chef and I would eat just about anything he could feed me, with only a few exceptions because they could kill me. But Mesa itself is not only a culinary haven, it's also just incredibly comfortable for me. The decor is warm and friendly and I especially love sitting in their balcony for a lesiurely dinner. I'm going there tonight for Restaurant Week, so that's why it goes first on my list.

2. Weeds, on Showtime. I think this is, hands down, one of the best television shows in recent history. It's dynamically written and acutely aware of itself and what the picture of family and suburban life that it presents. Plus, Mary Louise Parker has incredible skin. She's fantastic in the role, too, but that skin.

3. My friends Mary and Michelle. Each for different reasons and the same reasons. Mary because she's incredibly put together. If she tells me something is going to be okay, I can believe her. She just has everything under control - she knows what she likes, she knows who she is and exudes confidence. I love that. Michelle because she is confident in a "you just wish that you could be as lively as I am" way. She can look cool, be cool and leave others in her cool dust. I enjoy my time with these girls immensely. I'm not afraid to say anything off-color around them and that feels satisfying.

4. My new bag. I love handbags. Chic, versatile handbags. This is the first new bag I've purchased in over a year. I'm seriously elated. It makes me feel more adult and stylish than I have in a while.

5. Panasci Lounge, Schine Student Center, Syracuse University. I had a breakdown there once. I filmed portions of my sketch show, CowTV there, with Sean and Lisa; I learned to light a "set," if you can call it that. I would go to Panasci when I needed a break from the Box, as I often did. I did my French homework there. Panasci was one of the largest open indoor spaces on campus. It was well-lit by the sun most days (or by the snow, as the case may be) and was reasonably quiet under peak campus hours because it had comfortable chairs and couches on which to curl up and nap before your next class. I often curled up, but I never napped, despite sometimes wanting to. I recall feeling enveloped in the best of Syracuse there.

6. Starting a new blog. I'm on it. Linkage to come, TBD.

That's not all I love, but all I have the energy to recall today.
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letter from an occupant
Date: Monday, July 16th 2007 - 5:31pm
Subject: So far away...
Security: Public
Tags:being an adult, going green, home-buying
I already mentioned this to cliffie917, but I walked by an ad for a new building going up of green living condos yesterday. I want one. I got incredibly sad when I saw the price tag attached. For having the green benefit they weren't much more expensive than buying any other condo in the NY metro area, but I was still sad because of just how far away I am from even considering making that purchase.

Of course, when I got home I went to their website and completely fell in love with everything about the condo. They were huge and wonderful and did I mention I want one?

The other day when I was reactivating my credit card (I don't think I mentioned the whole losing my debit card and credit card in one day here, did I?), the nice customer service rep asked if I would also like to hear about their latest home lending rates. Nope.

That planted the seed, though. With the horrible financial situation I am in now, unless I win the lottery or marry someone with a nice trust fund who is just aching to wipe my slate clean, I can't foresee myself buying a home/condo/dwelling in the next ten years. Not until I am thirty-freaking-five. At least. By then, I should have paid down enough of my debt (or, by some miracle, ALL of it) that I could actually consider the purchase of a permanent dwelling. So, for the next ten years, I continue to pay someone else's mortgage for them via rent. That sucks.

I was at a wedding a few months back and the people at my table who knew one another (I was not one of them) were discussing what they've been doing since they last saw each other. The dude who was apparently majorly coked out in college was the one who owned a house and had a lovely live-in girlfriend. And it wasn't shocking that he owned a house despite being a former addict, it was that he owned a house at all. He (and the girlfriend) seemed to be the only adult there at a table of mid-to-late-twentysomethings. Nice.

Now, don't get me wrong, my debt is no one's fault but my own. Well, okay, maybe just a tiny bit my parents fault for not giving me enough money each month to pay for, um, food, in college so I had to have two nearly always maxed out credit cards... but I digress. This problem is mine and I get that. I don't expect the lucky fella who I marry to usurp my debt or anything (unless, like I said, he really, really wants to because I am so incredibly fabulous and he is so incredibly rich). It's mine and I will continue to pay it down until it's gone or it kills me. (The latter seems most likely.)

So no green living fancypants condo for me. And in ten years when I might be able to afford one New York will probably be underwater anyway, so f that.
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letter from an occupant
Date: Tuesday, July 10th 2007 - 3:35pm
Subject: New York is bloody killing me (aka open forum)
Security: Public
Music:"all for swinging you around" -- the new pornographers
Tags:beauty products, confidence, new york, open forum
With all of the money I spend on skincare, haircare and makeup you'd think I would be some kind of knockout. I'm not; my bathroom cabinet is just packed with products that I tried a few times and gave up on. I have kind of a short attention span for beauty products. If it doesn't instantly make a difference in my appearance, 97% of the time it will end up in the garbage. It's a money suck.

I've always been pretty low on the vain scale. But then I moved to New York. Now I find myself competing with these Amazon women who never, ever sweat in the subway when it's a million degrees (and from May until late September, it usually is down there). Some day I'm going to be really creepy and just stop one of these women and ask them to take me home with them and share all of their secrets. Especially the whole not drowning in sweat in the subway one. That's a keeper.

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I just kind of stare at these women. I just don't understand them. Where I grew up there were the pretty girls and the really pretty girls and all of that, but no one was like the women here and their borderline freakish good looks. And I'm NOT just talking about the ones who need to eat a cheeseburger or you swear a nice gust of wind will blow them away. I've seen girls of all shapes and sizes look incredible here. It's a remarkable thing. How can this city just be packed with homecoming queens?

It's gotten to the point that I barely pay attention to men. I'm not for scouting. If I see a man who I think is attractive (likely not Brad Pitt, but Seth Rogen), I almost automatically think that I wouldn't be dateable when that tall, shapely girl with the perfect teeth and flawless skin is on the same subway car as me. It's a little devastating, actually. Not that I so much care about my dateability rating right now, but it just knocks my general confidence level on a regular basis.

And my confidence wasn't in the toliet before I came here. A few short years ago I thought I was cute and had the ability to make myself look pretty if I cared to. And because I thought this I had confidence and was much more personable than I am now. I thought I was pretty damn great.

Anyway... my point was probably lost a while ago. Here, what I want to do right this very moment (besides vent about this city) is request any female who reads this blog to share their best beauty secrets (if you can part with them). What products you love and why. Knowing something works is half the battle and that will benefit everyone.

Share! (Especially if you know the subway sweating secret.)
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letter from an occupant
Date: Thursday, July 5th 2007 - 4:24pm
Subject: You're welcome.
Security: Public
Tags:cheese, mt rushmore

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letter from an occupant
Date: Thursday, July 5th 2007 - 2:18pm
Subject: "you just want the vacation time..."
Security: Public
Music:"the littlest birds" - the be good tanyas
Tags:france, having children
I like kids. I'd even like to have one some day. I saw a cute one in the elevator this morning and decided to stop taking my birth control have one.

Just kidding.

Yes, I'm really kidding.

Then someone (ahem) says to me that I only want to have a child for the vacation time. Vacation time? Yes, during those crucial three months off from work (if you're even lucky to get that long) the laboring of a child, caring for it when it's screaming at 4am, nursing it until your breasts ache and then having it vomit all over you and all of those other wonderous things a woman is privleged to do sound like a fan-fucking-tastic vacation, don't they? I would LOVE the "vacation time."

I still want a kid though. Even if my breasts will be sore and my vagina will tear. I just need to find a partner who will get me Coldstone ice cream when I crave it and will rub my back.

I would be excellent at molding a young mind. I'd buy him/her The Pixies Lullaby CD and one of those onesies with the SAT words on them. And I'd blog on Babble. Plus, all of these Dora the Explorer DVDs and Clifford Read-Alongs in my office wouldn't go to waste.

I also think those three-wheeled running stroller things are fantastic. I would want one of those. Maybe if I had a kid to shut up I might actually run. Motion used to always stop my brother from screaming bloody murder.

In France, the govenment sends someone to your home after you've had a child to show you how to take care of it. They'll do your laundry, too. Oh, and your biggest expense will be vegetables. If only I could speak better French...
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letter from an occupant
Date: Monday, June 25th 2007 - 12:52pm
Subject: BFF'ed up
Security: Public
Tags:emalie, moving
My best friend Emalie is moving to DC this weekend. My subject is a lame attempt at being clever... It's not f'ed up that she's moving. Of course I will miss her, but I say kudos to her for leaving this city. She has great things waiting for her in DC. I'm excited for her. Sad that I am losing 25% of the people I hang out with here, but, ya know, yay Emalie!

I wish I was kidding about the loss of 25% of my posse. (Who says posse?) But out of the three I have left here -Philip, Mary and Michelle - I adore all of them and look forward to spending even more time with them! And thankfully Emalie and I will finish Alias before she goes.

I want a facial and a nap.
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letter from an occupant
Date: Monday, June 11th 2007 - 1:03pm
Subject: sitting pretty
Security: Public
Tags:redecorating, sitting, skirts
First skirts, then chairs.

I love skirts, but I cannot sit gracefully in them. I'm not sure where I was supposed to learn to sit all pretty-like, but no one ever taught me. However, when I was at least 16, I learned from the Princess Diaries (oh, just stop laughing now!) that ladies cross their legs at the ankle when seated in a dress or skirt. I do that on the subway usually, but at work I'm sitting here with one ankle propped under the junk in my trunk as if I were wearing jeans. And while I just acknowledged that I'm sitting like a whorebag and corrected it, give me less than 10 minutes and I will go back to my natural position.

I'm going to redecorate my living room. My currently scheme (if you can call the two throw pillows and a rug a scheme) is very winter. So I purchased two more throw pillows and a new rug and I'm going to make it summery and light. I found a chair at Jennifer Convertibles that will fulfill the new summery/light requirment wonderfully, but then I would have to commit to that indefinitely. And, well, isn't that terrifying come November when I want another change. I have a personal zero tolerance policy for slipcovers, too. I hope I don't offend anyone I like by saying that.

Oh, did anyone else know that bookshelves can cost, like $500?! I tried to buy one from this adorable mom and pop shop I like in Astoria and the only one they had in the color that I need was $499! Granted, it was very nice and enormous, but do people REALLY spend $499 on a bookshelf? Like, ever? Even Bill Gates?
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letter from an occupant
Date: Thursday, May 31st 2007 - 4:49pm
Subject: Blog about Evan
Security: Public
Tags:bhi, evan, office
Email at work is down, so Evan (my new officemate) suggested that I blog about him. So, here I am, blogging about Evan.

I didn't know Evan very well before he moved in because we don't work on any of the same accounts (he has the good ones) but he is actually incredibly fun to share an office with. I didn't think I would enjoy sharing my product-closet-turned-office, but it makes me feel like less of a reject stuck in the corner (and I was, by the way). And Evan and I like to complain about all of the same people, so that's pleasant, too.

About a month into our new "living" arrangement, we found out we have the same birthday. We also both think Jessica Alba is incredibly hot (he kind of wins on that one, though). It's kismet.

Our differences, however, are numerous. For example, Evan's training to run the marathon. I, well, haven't been to the gym in nearly a year and my idea of running (which I have been doing regularly, by the way!) is really a slow jog for most people. Okay, probably all people. I won't lie here. He also suggested that I say he inspires a whole new meaning to 'bringing sexy back.' And he's single, ladies. I can be his pimp.

I don't think I have anything un-Evan-related to discuss here. Our email has been down for several hours but we are all still sitting at our desks, mostly surfing the internet and occassionally pretending to do something publicity-related. By blogging, I am promoting myself, so I think that can be technically considered doing my job. Very technically, but whatever. I'm honing my writing skills.

I hope when they announce that we can go home for the day they send an email.
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letter from an occupant
Date: Wednesday, May 23rd 2007 - 1:46pm
Subject: Thank you, Kate
Security: Public
Tags:beauty products, kate somerville
I don't typically use my blog as a place for me to review products I try (and I try a lot). I do enough of that at work. HOWEVER, my life has been so changed by Kate Somerville that I feel as though I need the blogosphere (and other girls like me) to know about it.

I am a sucker for beauty products. Ev-ery-thing. Occassionally, I find myself wasting what I already have so I feel I can legitimately buy more. I spend an obscene amount of my paycheck (and credit) on products to make my skin more even, my eyes brighter, my hair smoother and shinier, and my lips well exfoliated. I'm at peace with my obsession and, really, you should be, too.

Anyway, about a month ago I was alerted to a 25% off online coupon at katesomerville.com. I'd heard rave reviews about her products, so this seemed like an excellent opportunity for me to feed a craving -- the search for better skin care. I signed up for an online consulation (I've always been skeptical about these sorts of things), and the next day a rep from KS named Kayley emailed me her suggestions and comments about how to improve my drab, uneven skin. With the coupon, I ordered a cleanser, a treatment, an antioxidant and some flax seed oil.

The box arrived; my life changed.

I can say, without any hesitation, that the treatment I purchased, called, aptly, Kate in a Jar (which includes a little smiley face after the word jar), is the single greatest thing I've ever done to improve my skin (or, rather, my bad skin genetics). I know very little about how it actually works, but the little white pumping jar with the army green cream exfoliates and then POOF! about a minute later the redness, unevenness and generally badness is nearly gone! It's like magic. Or, it's like Kate jumps out of the jay and gives you the best damn facial of your life. To say I love it would just not do it justice.

Based on my dramatic reaction, how many times would you say I've used Kate in a Jar? Twenty? Ten? No! THREE! My skin has never looked better and I've only used it three times! THREE!!

I'm also a fan of the other products I've bought (I imagine they are all working together nicely to make Kate in a Jar even better), too, by the way.

You can call me silly, and I know I sound like an infomercial but this CHANGED MY LIFE. I feel better. I feel less self-conscious in a sea of New York's perfectly maintained women.

Thanks, Kate.
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letter from an occupant
Date: Wednesday, April 25th 2007 - 3:29pm
Subject: (no subject)
Security: Public
I'm obsessive about everything other than updating my blog. Go figure.
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letter from an occupant
Date: Monday, February 26th 2007 - 1:37pm
Subject: alluring?
Security: Public
Music:"the bitch of living" - spring awakening
Tags:astoria, bhi, comic-con, health, magazines
I sort of feel compelled to reintroduce myself to my LJ after I take long leaves of absence. So, hello. I'm Ashley. Remember me?

Would anyone like to take over my subscription to Allure magazine? I got a "special" price on it for the year (read: I was easily coaxed into it by a nice sales representative when I called to change the address on my current Conde Nast subscriptions), but after only two months, I find it leaves something to be desired. At least for me. I realized I am only really interested in their beauty awards. But someone else may like it! So I am offering to a special someone for the low, low price of FREE! Ten months for FREE! I will even call and change the information on the account for you. Any takers??

I just can't recycle a brand spankin' new girly magazine every month for the ten more months when someone I know may want to actually read it. I think it may be the layout of Allure that irritates me. So, take!

The new Bloc Party album is the greatest thing I've ever heard. Listen.

Since Pokemon is one of my clients, I had to spend my fair share of time at the NY Comic-Con this weekend. I had no idea I was so appealing to those who are apt to geek-out. I got the googly eyes more than once. And not that I didn't geek-out myself once.... Had I been able to get myself out of bed on Saturday morning, I totally would have been in line to see Nicholas Brendan unveil the Military Xander Buffy action figure. I was throughly excited just to see his picture on the Jumbo-tron like thing.

Pokemon and all, the new gig is fine. It's a LOT of work. I forgot that some jobs actually require you to DO work all day, every day. With the exception of this update (and only because I am multi-tasking and eating my wrap), I have been writing and writing and writing all day long. I was told upon starting that many others here suck and I've been appointed as the new jack-of-all-writing-trades. So Merriam-Websters online and my AP style book get me through the day lately. We used to farm out most of our writing at THC, so this is, um, different. But writing and strategizing for me are the least hateful parts of publicity, so at least I'm considered to be good at what I like. However, writing about Dora the Explorer and Clifford the Big Red Dog is slightly different than writing about Hitler and the hurricane of 1939.

In Astoria-related news, the woman who looks like a witch with the camera on her porch talked to me as I was coming home from the drycleaners on Saturday. She was incredibly friendly. For a second I wondered if she was putting a spell on me, but then I decided she's probably just a nice woman who wanted to welcome her new neighbor to the block. Cynical me. Perhaps during our next encounter I will ask her what's up with the camera. But probably not.

I have been excessively tired and achey lately. I also ran a mysterious fever over the course of a few days last week, with no other symptoms of illness. I have scurvy, don't I?
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letter from an occupant
Date: Saturday, February 17th 2007 - 1:20am
Subject: Enough to make me love New York again (well, at least for the moment...)
Security: Public
Tags:cabs, new york
I am blogging so late because I will never sleep again. The scene in Pan's Labyrinth where Mercedes cut... well, it was almost more than my stomach could handle...

Anyway, whatever it is about that movie that everyone loves so much... um, it's lost on me. I naively thought that it was going to be sort of whimsical. Wrong.

On the way home tonight, though, my cab driver was awesome. He's living the "American Dream." He came here from Cameroon about five years ago. There, he had just finished up his Masters in Biochemistry and was a political activist. He left because a group that he was opposed to sent death threats to him and his family. He left and came to New York. He passed all of his citizenship tests and requirements not long ago and recently he and his wife bought a home in Bergen county that they adore. The money that he makes driving a cab is more than the Prime Minister of his country makes in a year. He likes driving his cab because it allows him to meet interesting people (like yours truly!), he learned the city quickly and with the money he and his wife had saved, she was able to open her own salon that is now doing very well. They also recently bought some property in the Newark area that they plan on renting out to diversify their financial portfolio.

I understand dude could totally be lying to me and he could tell each of his passengers a different story. But even if he is lying, so many New Yorkers have these amazing stories to tell. It almost makes me wish I had stuck it out with my journalism major. This man, no older than 35, completely uprooted his life, moved to a foreign country for his political beliefs and is now a success doing a job that makes him happy. This guy has his priorities straight.
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the links
September 2007