Firstly, I want to draw your attention to my little e-mail subscription form to your right on the upper end of the sidebar. If you enter your e-mail there and hit the "subscribe me!" button, you will receive an e-mail every time that I update this site. It's true.

Official NaNoWriMo 2005 ParticipantSecondly, I have decided to join on with NaNoWriMo, because I like suffering. At least, I assume I must. I tried it a couple of years ago, and sometimes the writing was like pulling teeth. My great hope is that with my new habit of writing endlessly about nothing on this website, I will be able to come up with the minimum of 1,667 words a day with much less difficulty than the last time I dragged myself through this. I mean, look how much I was able to write yesterday, and that was just about my childhood blankies!

My plan for getting the the 50,000 word goal is twofold. First, I am going to come up with a solid starting idea. Second, I am going to have a bottle of cheap merlot at the ready at all times. It's a win-win situation.

I need help.

Don't we all.

But, really, I do. I have bad skin. I have had bad skin since I was eight years old in grade four. I remember when it started very clearly, because a younger cousin scrutinized my face one afternoon and then asked why I had black spots on my chin. We hurried into the bathroom together so that I could check it out, and sure enough, halfway between my lower lip and the bottom of my chin was a patch of dark pinpoint spots. I was curious about these little, black dots, because I had never even considered the existence of pores until that moment.

The magic of discovery wore off rather quickly, and I found the state of my chin embarrassing. Nothing I did seemed to get rid of those little buggers. Of course, the only option I thought of was scrubbing at them with a toothbrush, and that resulted in nothing more than a raw chin. I looked like a licker for a whole week. (You know who the lickers are. They are the kids who habitually lick around the outsides of their mouths, causing patches of raw skin that make it look like they've been huffing kool-aid). Since puberty did not start for me until eleven or twelve, and I was only eight, I was told that this might be an early indication of my life's lot. I was told by members of my family that I would probably have problem skin until it dried out with age around menopause. *

* And my family wonders why I didn't turn out to be a cheerier sort of personality. I was also frequently reminded that I would be abnormally short compared to most of my relatives, that I was at least well-proportioned if not beautiful, that I got one side of the family's crooked teeth, and that I shouldn't worry about being slim, because it didn't run in our genes. I envisioned myself becoming a short, chubby, gap-toothed lonely heart who thanked her lucky stars for having decently proportioned limbs. Puberty finally hit, I grew an extra four inches post high school, I had my teeth fixed, and I didn't get fat, but now my arms are technically each an inch too short relative to the rest of my body. In the end, all I got stuck with was a few zits and the need to roll up the sleeves on all my shirts.

Since I was eight, I have had blackheads galore. They develop wherever, whenever, undaunted by soap, scrub, or squeezing. I pretend my nose is freckled. The real breakouts, the kind that offered up painful kind of potboilers that ache beneath your skin for days before rearing their ugly heads, did not manifest themselves seriously until my mid-teens. They died down in my early twenties, but have never entirely disappeared. For the last couple of years, my skin was reasonably clear, which for me means having only one or two red bumps at a time, and I thought I was on my way to clearer skin earlier than forecasted. I have no such luck. I hit thirty-two, and suddenly my skin has reverted to its dramatic fifteen-year-old self, feigning a healthy glow for two days only to throw three weeks of a wandering rash of infected pores at me.

Here is my question: what do you use on your skin, why, and how well do you like it?

I have tried bar soaps, liquid soaps, cream cleansers, plain water, exfoliating scrubs, masks (both peeling and clay), and eggs. I am presently using a cream cleanser, but it's neither here nor there. This new round of breakouts is wearing out my patience with the problem, so I am turning this over to you, Internets.

Tell me what I can wash with, eat, drink, do, or not do to make my face ease up on the ugly, will you? Luckily, I have not scarred from the problem over the last twenty-four years, so there is hope for me yet.

Chickenness, My Attractive Parts, and Thanks