My Back Pages: George Orwell’s 1984

During freshman year of high school, my literature class was required to read 1984 (or, to be absolutely correct, Nineteen Eighty-Four) by George Orwell. Some of the novel’s finer points probably went over our heads, but we grasped the main concepts. The story of protagonist Winston Smith and his doomed personal rebellion against “Big Brother” and the Party that governs every detail of his life is a powerful one, even if you’re just fourteen years old and don’t really know all the historical context that surrounded the writing of the book. Continue reading “My Back Pages: George Orwell’s 1984”


Product Review: Clinique Almost Lipstick in Lovely Honey

There are so, so many beauty and fragrance and hair and skincare products on the market that no one can possibly keep track of them, much less write about all of them. I usually prefer to concentrate on recommending products that have pleased me, rather than complaining about products that have disappointed me, but this post will be one of my exceptions to that loose rule.

If you’ve been buying and wearing cosmetics any time between 1971 and now, you may have come across Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. One of the company’s best-selling products, it’s billed as a universally flattering sheer lip color. The Black Honey shade was always just a bit too “warm” for my skintone, but I admired its versatility for most wearers, not to mention its longevity.

Over the past year or so, cosmetics brands from Revlon to Chanel and back have released sheer lipstick lines. So when Clinique recently announced a launch of seven new “honey” shades of Almost Lipstick, inspired by the now-clasic Black Honey, I thought, good for them: they deserve a piece of the current sheer lipstick action, since they set the trend the first time around. Continue reading “Product Review: Clinique Almost Lipstick in Lovely Honey”

Product Review: Anjolie Ayurveda Lavender Hair Elixir

I don’t think I’ve mentioned hair yet on this blog. My own hair has been a challenge for most of my adult life. It’s fairly thick, but it grows in a strange mix of curly and wavy textures. I don’t color or straighten it, so it’s as natural as it can be, but it’s still prone to dryness.

I’m completely devoted to my stylist, who prevents any potential hair-chaos with long layers and careful shaping. Without him, I’d be a mess. On my own, I use gentle shampoo and conditioner and I blow-dry with a diffuser after applying a curly-hair styling cream. Sometimes, especially in cold, dry winter weather or humid summer weather, my hair still needs a little extra something. The challenge is adding moisture without weighing down my style. Continue reading “Product Review: Anjolie Ayurveda Lavender Hair Elixir”

Photo Album: By The Sea, Part 2

During our recent weekend “down the Shore,” my husband and I stayed at a bed-and-breakfast in Ocean Grove, but we also spent time in adjacent Asbury Park. Asbury Park is by far the better known of the two towns, famous for its boardwalk amusements and its longtime association with Bruce Springsteen. Like Ocean Grove, it has also made something of a comeback in the past quarter-century. Continue reading “Photo Album: By The Sea, Part 2”