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So, either this thing is going to become a temporary eczema blog, or I guess I really have nothing to talk about.

Here is what happened! So, my eczema started to do its usual winter-weather thing, where it gets kind of intense and uncomfortable. I usually always have some kind of active eczema breakout on my body, but it's usually nothing too bad, just a small area somewhere easily covered by clothing. AND SUDDENLY! I don't know what happened, but every part of my body started to freak out and I couldn't use any of my regular stuff anymore.

And then! It spread to my face! And I was like, "THAT'S MY FACE, YOU BITCH!"

So I have abandoned my makeup, sunblock and regular products temporarily and am using nothing but Ultrabland cleanser, Full of Grace serum and Enchanted Eye Cream. Body-wise, I use nothing but DreamWash, King of Skin and Dream Cream. This is my best stuff, and not even this was helping to control things anymore.

Shit got real, I went to the doctor. I was starting to look like a burn victim. Dude gave me some kind of horrible poisonous cortisone-y pills to take for 5 days, plus a prescription hydrocortisone cream. At first, I was all, "Ack! NOT THE CORTISONE! I used it every day for the first 25 years of my life and it made my skin all kinds of terrible with even worse breakouts as time went on! I CAN'T GO BACK THERE!" and the Doc was like, "Okay, then stay like that, Croc-Face."

So I am now using the stupid cream and taking the stupid pills and my face is at least not red and swollen anymore. I have BROWN SKIN. Do you know how red and swollen my face has to be before it's noticeable? People were starting to stare, and I stayed home from work for two days because I could not deal with how self-conscious I was. I've never had it on my face before. It is AWFUL. And it hurts!

Everyone I know who has eczema has gone gluten-free in an effort to treat the underlying cause. Here's my new project: use the evil cortisone to clear up my symptoms and try to keep them away for good with being gluten-free. Stephen and I are trying it out for a month to see if it helps my skin and his IBS. I HAVE A GOOD FEELING ABOUT THIS ONE, GUYS.

Doc: How much water do you drink every day?

Me: Uh... 72oz. In coffee.

Doc: Um...


So, as it turns out, spending the last year of my life not drinking anything but coffee and not eating anything throughout the day except for sometimes a bacon cheeseburger if I remember is apparently speeding me towards a heart attack at age 40. Who knew? The doc and I agreed that I would go back to trying to consume 8-10 servings of fruit and veggies each day, and drinking 2 litres of water. This, in addition to taking a B-vitamin supplement and the gluten-free thing is what I'm hoping delivers me permanently from the CRAZY ECZEMA.

My first Gluten-Free breakfast. Salad with romaine lettuce hearts, apple slices, havarti cheese chunks, strawberries, cashews, peanuts and soft-boiled eggs. Also, my multivitamin, my B-supplement and the Crazy Cortisone Pills are sitting across from my water bottle.

ANYWAY. Since then, I have branched out to Rice Checks, Greek Yogurt and strawberries. I am being very good about bringing my lunch, prepping all my fruits and veggies and I have somehow consumed three heads of kale in the past five days? I don't know. I'm trying to keep healthy and hydrated, and I'm off to a really good start. Yay me!

I will apparently try anything if it means I can wear my makeup again.

Sorry I cannot hear you I'm kinda bizzay

Oh, man. I almost had a heart attack tonight when I thought I lost my phone. I had put it into a different pocket in my bag after taking it out to show one of my girls my new whip-sound app (TOO MUCH BIG BANG THEORY), and by the time I got to Bloor to transfer trains, I noticed that THE DESIGNATED CELL PHONE POCKET was unzipped and empty. Ay-yi-yi!

At that point, the train I was transferring to showed up and I jumped on it rather than retracing my steps because I figured that if it did fall out, there was no way I was getting it back. Then of course, I was all, "Maybe I should buy an iPhone!" and was blissfully dreaming of all the instagram pictures I could take when I stumbled upon my phone in the Designated Bus Pass Pocket. So it goes.

It is March Break! Yuck. March Break is like... families. Parents who don't know what to do with their children, and wind up bringing them to the mall to run around like it's a damn summer camp. Also, everyone who works in the food court has quite obviously had just about enough of March Break and they're all taking it out on me. NO ONE HAS THEIR FRIENDLY PANTS ON.

Tomorrow is St Patrick's Day! I am wearing green socks with shamrocks on them (they have buckles at the top!), a floppy white and green shamrock hat and this makeup, except with all green eyeliner instead of green just at the bottom. Boss!

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So, like - does it take anyone else AN HOUR to get ready for bed? This is my nighttime routine.

1. Take out my contacts.

2. Clean my makeup brushes (I use the most awesome brush cleanser on the planet to spot-clean the brushes that were used for powder products and I shampoo and condition the brushes that were used for liquid or cream products. Once a week I shampoo and condition all the brushes that I used that week, powder products or not)

3. Floss and brush teeth.

4. Remove my makeup and wash my face.

5. Apply toner, Full of Grace serum, moisturizer and eye cream, in that order.

6. Apply Lemony Flutter to elbows and cuticles.

Seriously. Six steps, every night. ONE HOUR. Most of the time, I do everything but brush my teeth right as soon as I get home from work, if I'm not going anywhere, but on the occasions when I get home at 11, I don't really get to relax and unwind for a whole other hour after that. By the time I actually get into bed, it's like one in the morning! Gracious, but isn't easy being tidy.

What's going on, you guys? LJ is very quiet lately. Everyone's on Facebook or Pinterest (what the hell is that, anyway? I don't want to learn a whole new thing!) In my world, I've been reading, smoking, drinking many warm, caffeinated beverages and slinging soap. Business as usual.

In makeup news, I bought that fancy new magnetic nail polish. I'm excited to try it out, right now I've got the Sally Hansen stickers going on, which I'm also enjoying. I also temporarily lost my mind and dropped $55 on NARS Sheer Glow foundation because of all the amazing rave reviews. My philosophy is that I'm not going to be buying it every month or anything like that, one bottle of foundation lasts me like, two years. THIS IS A BARGAIN.

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Hello, LJ-Land!

Hi! Okay, so here is my life lately:

* WORK, WORK, WORK. I am still recovering from the Christmas madness, but slowly getting back to my routine. I should be back to normal by the time... Christmas comes around again.

* Traveling! I went to Vancouver last week. LUSH does this thing called "Three Wishes", where they ask anyone who's been with the company for more than 2 years what their Three Wishes are, and they can be anything from "I really want to get my own sticker made!" to "I want invitro fertilization!" and then they try to grant that wish. It's really cool, and as far as I can tell, they're doing everything - someone got their damn wedding paid for, for chrissake. I think it's an employee-retention type thing. Anyway, one of my wishes was to work with Nic at some point (check your LUSH stash. You probably have something he made), so they sent me to Vancouver for a few days to hang out at the factory and make stuff. SO FUN.

* More Traveling! I am going to Scottsdale, AZ on Sunday for a week of Manager Meeting fun times. I'm there for work, but you can bet I'm going to get my ass in a cab and find an ULTA somewhere on my off-hours.

* Yet More Traveling! When I get back from Arizona, I have about ten days to regroup and then they're flying me off to New York City for a shop visit to the Herald Square LUSH. It's not far from the MoMA, so I'l probably be spending my off-hours weeping with joy in front of GREAT PAINTINGS AND WHATNOT. Yes.

* A lot of dentist visits. Not too interesting.

* Trying to train the cats to make me tea and get me my slippers. They aren't really into it. THIS IS WHY I NEED A DOG.

* Totally obsessed with The West Wing. I have no idea why we never got into it before. The women on that show are just outstanding. AND STOCKARD CHANNING IS THE FIRST LADY.

* Getting excited for the Hunger Games! It blows my mind that Woody Harrelson is Haymitch. THAT WAS TOTALLY MY IDEA!

So. What's new with you guys?

"Don't be such a hoo-hoo."

Sigh! I had to go get some x-ray type pictures of my jawbone done in prep for my new tooth today, and it was all loud, scary machines and rotating lasers. Anytime I have to go do something medical or dental, I freak out because I don't know what's happening and they rarely tell me what to expect. And I usually don't know where I'm going.

So I get there and I sign in, and the receptionist just stressed me right out (FYI, all receptionists hate me on sight. It's a thing. Something about the disorganized, flaily bald girl creases their shit and they speak to me in these clipped, sharp tones that suggest that they think I'm 13 years old). She and and I had this conversation:

Me: Hi! I have an appointment for 3 o'clock?

Receptionist: (hands me a clipboard and then, NO JOKE gestures to my face) Fill this out and can you do something about.... that?

Me: Uh... my face? I was sort of born like this. I usually wear more concealer, but I woke up late and-

Receptionist: (clearly in no mood for my hijinks) You have to take all the metal out of your face from the neck up. Also necklaces, earrings, hair pins, etc.

Me: Oh! Um, well no one told me that. That would have been good to know in advance. Do you guys have... pliers or something that I can borrow for a minute?

Receptionist: Never mind, I'll tell them you can't take them out. Okay, that'll be $320 for today.

Me: Jesus! For 3 pictures?

Receptionist: ..................

Me: I just didn't know that it would be... I mean, I wasn't expecting... again, something that would have been good to know in advance.

Receptionist: It's a CT scan.

Me: OH! Now you've cleared everything up. I understand. I thought I was here for a library card.

Receptionist: (crickets)

SERIOUSLY. This was some of my best material and you could have cut the tension in there with a knife. THREE HUNDRED AND TWENTY DAMN DOLLARS FOR THREE PHOTOGRAPHS? I mean, I realize that CT scans probably don't come cheap, but you'd think they'd let you know these things before you get there, you know what I'm saying?

Anyway, once I got out of there, I called Stephen because I was so flaily and then I had to stop and get a coffee to calm myself down. And you know what happened? Some woman cut in front of me in the coffee line!

I KNOW! I'm standing here patiently waiting for some soothing Hazelnut Americano action and THIS IS HOW YOU DO ME??

It was one of those things where there wasn't a clear line, and at first I was standing in the wrong place, so I joined the back of the line that was starting to form on the other side, and this woman came out of nowhere and slithered in front of me LIKE A DAMN SNAKE IN THE GRASS and started giving her order to the barista. Instead of doing the mature, adult thing where you're all, "Oh! I think I was next actually,", I said, "OH NO, YOU GO RIGHT AHEAD, IT'S NOT LIKE I WAS NEXT IN LINE OR ANYTHING." and I stomped over to the Druxy's and bought a weak-ass cup of something that tasted like someone had once drank a coffee and spat it back into my mouth.

So not proud of myself. She probably didn't even see me standing there and I went and ruined her whole break just because I was feeling snarky. Sometimes Street Jaime flares up before I have a chance to contain her.

But! Then I stopped by the tiny Korean lady who sells many delicious buns and I bought a sesame red bean bun. AND LIFE WAS BETTER.

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I am here doing my laundry and got all inspired-like.

1. They have an answering machine. It is 2011! No one has an answering machine anymore. Theirs is a combo fax/answering machine type thing, where you can hear every click and whirr it makes when you're trying to leave a message. The outgoing message sounds like my mom is underwater. And why would they need a fax machine? They are both over 65! What do you possibly have to do when you're a senior citizen that requires you to have a fax machine?

2. Whenever I leave here, they load me up with a ton of stuff I don't need, including this tiny set of teapot-shaped ceramic teabag holders. TEABAG HOLDERS! Like, these fancy little things that you put your used teabag on when you're having tea with the Queen. I tried to convince my mom that I did not do any kind of entertaining, ever, which called for those, but she shoved them in my bag the last time I was here anyway.

3. This is seriously the cleanest house in the entire world. The faucets are always shiny because my mom has a thing where she has to wipe them down after turning them off. Also, there is never anything in the dishwasher - this blows my mind. At my place, the dishwasher is either half-full of dirty dishes or completely full of clean ones, and there's usually at least a sink's worth of dirty ones sitting there waiting to go in. Do they use exactly enough dishes to fill it every night and empty it first thing in the morning when they wake up?

4. My mom has a weakness for snacky things like crackers and chips, but she almost never eats them. Also, she can't stand to run out of something, so she stockpiles. This means that their pantry is always full of delicious salty goodness, but none of the packages are open, so I feel weird about opening them myself (and if she never eats this stuff, it means it's just going to go all stale and gross, right?). My dad is all about sweets and pastries, but he mows those down like nobdy's business, so there is always an almost-empty package of strawberry danishes or something in the fridge - but of course, you don't touch those unless he says you can. They're also not vegan, so I'm not really interested anyway, but between these two, it's like a forbidden Willy Wonka factory all up in here.

5. I bought a giant, fuzzy spider a few years ago. Seriously, it's about ten feet across with the legs out. I left it here when I moved in with Wil, and just never got around to bringing it to our apartment. Now they keep it in the tiny kitchenette in their finished basement, but way off in the corner with some pots and pans and Christmas decorations and whatnot. It pops out at you when you have to go in there to get something, and scares the crap out of me every time. Every. Time. I can't believe my parents still keep it around.

33! 33! 33! 33! 33!

So I'm 33 now! This year is going to be amazing, I can feel it. YOU GUYS, THIS IS GONNA BE THE ONE.

I'm spending the day at home, which is my favourite thing ever, and I have myself all set up here with my tea and my cinnamon toast. I guess when you get older, Chuck E Cheese doesn't have the same birthday pull it once did.

Can I tell you how amazing Stephen is? He threw some elbows and fought tooth and nail against an online wall of cosmetic junkies and managed to pre-order one of the coveted Muppets makeup palettes from theBalm.(Click here if you have no idea what I'm talking about: http://www.temptalia.com/sneak-peek-thebalm-cast-your-shadow-face-palette-swatches#more-31229)

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Other things I am doing today:

- Watching the cheesiest movies I can dig up. Whassap, Legend of Billie Jean!
- Taking a fabulous Birthday Bath. 2 Fizzbanger bath bombs, 1 Marathon bubble bar and 1 Ceridwen's Cauldron to tone down the spice. TRUST ME.
- Thinking about what we're going to order for my Fabulous Birthday Dinner. Right now, it's between Indian and Thai.

So, I'm explaining to Stephen that what I remember most from being a kid is Double Dutch, and that I was freakishly good at it. As in, one day I didn't know how to do it and the next day, I was ALL UP IN THAT BITCH. I remember that my sister was good at it, too, and she is just as uncoordinated as I am, which led me to the conclusion that it was just a Brown Girl Thing.

I was telling Stephen about the rules when it suddenly ocurred to me that it is so weird that there are universal Double Dutch rules. I mean, the rules and the expectations were the same anywhere, whether I was with my school friends or my cousins or my neighbours or in Girl Guides. The songs were the same, the rhythm was the same and the rules were the same. How do kids know this? How do they teach each other? We were like, in grades 1 and 2!

So then I got all obsessed and decided to see if the official rules were online or something. And I couldn't find them! I could find some of the songs, but not really any clear rules. And then I was all spooked, like - "I guess we don't put the rules online."

We had to put Spot to sleep today. We both knew it was coming, since he was in such bad shape, but it was heartbreaking nevertheless. I guess it always is.

He had been having trouble eating and drinking for some time, and while he did get a little bit better a couple of months ago, he deteriorated pretty quickly in the last few weeks. He couldn't balance properly, he kept falling face-first into his food dish, he was sad and complain-y all the time, and last night he started having convulsions. We took him in this morning and told the vet we were ready to let him go.

When I got to work, the girls had run out and bought flowers and a card! It was so sweet that I started crying again in our back room (FYI MAC Pro Longwear Concealer is THE BOMB DOT COM. It lasts through anything), but thankfully no one really saw. When I got home tonight, we were just kind of sitting around talking about it when we realized that the other cats keep looking around and meowing at us because they don't understand where the Grumpy Cat went. More crying.

Goodbye, little face.
Dudes! I went to go see New Kids on the Block with Backstreet Boys tonight and HOLY CRAP I WAS TEN YEARS OLD AGAIN. It was outstanding!

The choreography is just the same (yeah, you know what I'm talking about... pelvic thrusting, waving your hand in the air for Hangin' Tough, etc). And they are SO OLD! It is hilarious and comforting. Highlights of the evening included Joey Joe singing "Please Don't Go Girl" and really SELLING THAT SHIT with the eyes closed and the clutched fist and everything! Jordan's falsetto is still quite impressive.

Jonathan is, of course, still my favourite, but I have a new appreciation for Sexy!Donnie. Stephen warned me not to throw my underwear on the stage, and I laughed when he said it, but during the show? TOTALLY CONSIDERED IT. Whoo!

I bought a shirt and a New Kids ring that LIGHTS UP! Eeeeeeeeee!

In serious news, I also went to the Thelma and Louise 20th Anniversary Reunion thing at Roy Thomson Hall last night, and it was GREAT. Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis sitting around talking about the movie, showing clips and answering questions. It was really neat to watch them discussing women in film and women in the industry and all that. They are exactly how you think they'd be - Geena Davis was really bubbly and flaily and hilarious, and Susan Sarandon was OMG SO SMART and so well-spoken. If I ever met her on the street, I would throw up. I have NOTHING to say to someone who's that smart!

So, yes. The last two days of my life have been PACKED WITH ESTROGEN and it was GLORIOUS. Look at me, I'm all CAPSLOCKY!

PS - Backstreet Boys were fun too. They did The Call!