Sunday, June 28, 2009

16 and Pregnant

MTV reality shows are like crack. I don't want to watch, but once I do, I'm hooked. It's happened with True Life, I Want a Famous Face, The Newlyweds, Engaged and Underage, and now 16 & Pregnant. It's strange watching these girls who are a few years younger than me go through very adult things that I know I'm not ready for.

I was watching an episode today, and got curious to see what others thought of the show. Specifically when the knocker-upper bought a $20 engagement ring from Wal-Mart after returning a $500 PS3. There were a few comments about that, but most of the threads were concerned about the girls parenting ability, tax implications on the married and working, and the girls decision to have sex in the first place.

You'll always get that right-wing nut-job who doesn't say anything except wait until you're married to have sex, which is easier said than done. People give this advice to teens all the time, but what happens when that teen doesn't get married young?

When you tell a 16 year old to wait until marriage, you're asking her to wait years to have sex. In 2007 the average marriage age for women was 25.6. If you were hungry but were told to wait 9 years to eat, could you do that? Not that sexual appetite is the same as the need for nutrition, it is hard to ask someone to wait that long for something that seems so urgent.

I'm not saying be an enabler, but I think we need to cut this "wait until marriage" crap once and for all. Young girls will never grow up to be strong, independent women if they have hang-ups about the moral implications about sex.

Telling girls that they're whores because they have sex before marriage will turn them into whores. Giving them proper birth control information and reasons to wait until they are legal adults (aka at least 18) with honest answers to any questions they may have has been proven again and again to be the best option.

As painful as it can be for people to admit, sex and love do not always go hand-in-hand. This is another one of those horrible facts that make being a productive member of society so much easier after a break-up. I'm not saying Sex and the City's Samantha Jones is the best role model, but she does have some good points. Separating those amazing bodily feelings with those amazing feelings in your heart will help save a lot of pain down the line.

I guess the most important advice to give a young girl about sex and relationships is that you can live with out them. No one ever told me that, not explicitly. Most of the people in my family got married to their high school sweethearts, and the group of couples I hung out with in high school all got married, except me. No one told me that it was okay.

But I learned on my own. I've survived, in fact, I would say I've prospered.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Here's a great money and calorie saving tip:

You love Jello, right? And I bet you love those individually sized portions of Jello that make a great desert for your lunch, right? But, those pre-packaged cups aren't exactly cheep compared to a box of Jello. So here's what I do.

I buy individually portioned yogurt in cups with lids. Personally, I prefer Yoplait, but I'll suck it up for a week and eat the stuff with lids. Save the cups and wash them out with your dishes. You'll want 5 cups, so a week's worth of yogurt is all you'll have to suffer through. If you really don't like yogurt and don't live with someone who does, you can buy little reusable plastic containers about this size of 6oz yogurt cups.

One box of Jello will fill 2.5 6oz yogurt cups, so use two boxes of (sugar free) Jello. If you want them to be all one flavor, double the water quantities and follow the directions on the package. I use a 2-cup liquid measuring cup to mix Jello, I boil the first cup of water in the microwave, mix in the Jello and then run the tap until the water is cool enough for the second cup of water. Use a bigger measuring cup or a bowl with a pour lip to pour the Jello into the yogurt cups if you're doing one flavor.

To do two flavors, mix one packet of Jello as directed, fill each yogurt cup half-way, and set as directed. Once the cups are set, mix up your second flavor, pour on to the top-half of the cup. The flavors will blend gently, but not mix. The hot Jello will just melt the top layer of the original flavor.

For a fraction of the cost of the store-bought stuff, especially if you catch the Jello and yogurt on a super sale, you have great, custom made Jello for your lunch all summer. I tend to use my yogurt cups for a summer, and throw them out at the end of my Jello season, starting over again next summer.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Beat the summer heat

It's pushing 90˚F in the Windy City today. That's pretty dang hot, and I don't want to be cooped up in my (slightly) air-conditioned apartment all day.

There's nothing like a frozen treat on a hot day, but ice cream is not friendly to the calorie minded. (My personal favorites are Cold Stone [yummy but has enough calories for a few days worth of food] and Bobtail Ice Cream [local favorite, and another big calorie count])

So what's a girl to do on these sweltering summer days? Popsicles! Sugar free Popsicles have 15 calories per pop. 15!!!! You (probably) burn that walking to the freezer to get yourself a Popsicle! And if you're not into the artificial sweetener thing, regular Popsicles have 45 calories per pop, which still isn't breaking the calorie bank. I bought the red white and blue Firecracker variety, and they only have 35 calories per pop.

And it doesn't stop there. If you want a creamy, chocolately treat, no-sugar-added Fudgsicles only have 40 calories. They also have a low-fat version with 60 calories per pop, and a super-sized 100 calorie bar if the smaller version just doesn't fill your cold chocolate craving.

So fear not my sweaty and calorie-counting single girls, Popsicles are the perfect treat for any summer day. Plus, there's just something hot to a guy about a girl eating a Popsicle ;)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mountain Dew, WoW and dating

Okay, so I've never been a fan of WoW (World of Warcraft for all you lucky people who don't know what that means) or any other MMPOG (massive mulit-player online games). They waste too much time. I like video games, especially ones involving Star Wars, but MMPOGs are just too involving. Games aren't played for minutes or hours, but days. There was a report in the New York Times saying that employers don't want to hire people who play MMPOGs because their mind isn't on their work, but on their game.

The first video just goes to show that MMPOGs are addictive. If that kids wasn't seriously screwed up from this game, he wouldn't try to shove a television remote up his ass or hit himself repetitively on the head with a shoe.

And on to Mountain Dew. I used to LOVE this soda (or pop to those of us in the midwest) but the calorie count was crazy, and I'm 2.5 years Mt. Dew free.

Like I said, the calories in a bottle of Mt. Dew are crazy high, it's one thing to market it in the extreme sport way that it's been marketed for the past few years, but now it's being marketed to gamers, probably the most sedentary group of people. They're never going to loose the weight from this soda, unless they give up MMPOGs, and pick up a Wii Fit.

I refuse to date anyone who plays MMPOGs, I don't want to become some gamer's slave, bringing him food because he doesn't dare hit pause and leave his game.

I mean really, would you want to date this?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

"Mad Men" and the other woman

I've been watching "Mad Men" on On Demand.  It's one of those shows that I never got to see before but always wanted to watch.  I love the idea of the fifties and early sixties: the hair, the clothes, the culture.  Everyone (at least on the show) is so put together, it's dazzling.  I love the idea of drinking at work, with the boss, in broad daylight, before you meet with a client.  Does anyone do that anymore?  (when did alcohol become bad again?) The whole show reminds me of "The Seven Year Itch" with Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell.

The idea that every successful man has two-point-five kids in the suburbs with a beautiful housewife, and a regular mistress in the city, preferably a working girl with income that he doesn't have to support, and the possibility for tail at every corner.  Those were the days (at least for men).

The whole thing gets me thinking, who has the more fulfilling life?  The housewives go to therapy and are worried that their husbands are unfaithful, but the "other women" know the shakedown, they know how it's gonna be.  They support themselves, and have fun.

Of course, there are drawbacks to being the "other woman," but the social structure is much different these days.  Being a single girl, not in a relationship, really makes you the "other woman."  I feel like the "other woman" these days.  Every guy I smile at, he could be married, or engaged, or living with someone, or have a girlfriend that he doesn't live with, or gay but no man is single (and strait).

A single girl, supporting herself, living alone, paying her own rent, paying her own bills is just a rare as it was fifty years ago.  Women are still being supported, but in a very different way.

I'm a single girl, living in the city, where's my hunky executive, looking for an escape from his wife?  (Just kidding, I want someone all to myself ;) )

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers

I know that these have been out for a while, (like, a long while) but I need to sign their praises.

These freaky sponge-like things will clean all of those weird spots that you just don't know what they are. Case in point: I get this strange shadowing where my garbage can is. I don't know what it's from, exactly. I've tried everything to wash it off. Soap and hot water, Scrubbing Bubbles, window cleaner... nothing worked, except for the Magic Erasers!

You know that grey/black stuff you get on your walls where you touch them often, or your fridge, or your door. They get rid of that, too. Those nasty spots that make your house look gross, and make your parents and married friends call you a lazy single slob? They're gone, with ease!

Cleaning isn't reserved for families, we just need to clean less often ;).

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Purex 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets

These things are super easy to use. Put the sheet in the washer, put your laundry in the washer, turn on the washer, wait for the washer to finish. All of the stuff that is supposed to wash off washed off, and my clothes plus the laundry sheet was off to the dryer. An hour later (my building has well-working but OLD machines) I pulled my sheets and blankets out and brought them upstairs (three flights, outdoors!).

Here's the verdict:
My stuff was clean, but my fleece blankets aren't as soft as they usually are with traditional softeners. The sheet didn't look like a regular dryer sheet in the end, it resembled really thin quilt stuffing. I might have to double up this sheet with regular dryer sheets for stuff I want to keep fluffy, like my fleece blankets or hoodies or sweaters. Other than that, I plan on buying these guys again.

They were $5.99 @ Target for a pack of 20 + a case or 24 refill pack. My regular detergent is $4.99 at Target, and gets about 32 loads in, but that isn't an exact amount, because you can never measure the liquid stuff perfectly every time. And that price doesn't include liquid softeners or dryer sheets. Value wise, they're totally worth it.

Not having to carry a bottle of detergent, softener and a box of dryer sheets was totally awesome. And I didn't have to worry about forgetting anything, because it was all in sheet.

I can't believe no one has thought of this before! Single girls best laundry friend!

Hey, that sounds cool, can I try that?

I'm a sucker for a new product, be it hair care, window cleaner or cat treat, I'm all over it. So I was super excited when I saw the ad for Purex 3-in-1 laundry sheets. My first thought was, "Dude, that will totally lighten my load when I'm walking down three flights of stairs on my back porch to the outdoor access only laundry room." (or something like that) How great is that on little sheet can take up the place of two bottles, a box and one of those little softener ball dealy-bobbers. I can just throw the sheet on top of my dirty laundry, load up my baskets and head downstairs. Finally, someone designed a product with me in mind!

Or so I thought. When looking for a review of this product online, I could only find mommy-blogs. You know, the mother-wife-productive member of society who can barely find time to sit down let alone write a blog, but somehow she finds time to do it. While I respect this type of blog, and the type of people who seek them out, I'm not one of them. I don't care if your husband was too much of an idiot to figure out laundry before, but this solves everything! I want to know if it did the job it says its going to do, and if it ruined any clothes, or if they weren't really soft at the end of the cycle.

So I bought the product, and am going to try it out this evening. (I had an unfortunate beer spill on my couch which is actually a futon and therefore is covered in a sheet. The sheet needs to be washed) Look for a review of Purex 3-in-1 laundry sheets in a bit, with a single-girl perspective. 'Cause it's great if it cleans up baby puke, but that's not really my problem.