To Do:  1. Get Hobby 2. Floss

Here's what I need to do: 1. Get Hobby, 2. Floss. Blogging just gets in the way.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I love email. I especially love it when people who read my blog consult me regarding serious concerns in their lives. If you have left me a comment, I am here for you. If you are a lurker, I will give you extraordinarily bad advice.

A fact that few people know about me is that several year ago, when I was an insomniac, I decided to make stuff. The difference between a person who can't sleep from homemade speed and a true insomniac is that people on homemade speed take stuff apart while insomniacs make stuff.

I learned to knit. I took a correspondence watercolor painting class. I wrote a book of redneck haikus. I refinished furniture and reupholstered my chairs. I mosaicked a tabletop with fragments of broken dishes. I built a loom and wove a rug. I beaded my own jewelry. I made candles. I collaged. I made my own paper. I studied aromatherapy and began making my own soap.

I love making soap. There is something about playing with caustic chemicals that makes me feel smart. When I make soap, I casually throw around words like pH and saponification value and sodium hydroxide. I wear an apron with a picture of Totoro on it and plastic safety goggles. I do not feel sexy, but still, I love using my candy thermometers and essential oils. It makes me draw upon everything I learned from Mr. Glock in chemistry class and incorporates my knowledge from the day spa.

Yesterday, I got an email asking me if I knew of or could blend a soap to protect against poison oak. I have never had poison oak, I know nothing of the chemical properties of poison oak, and I would never assume that I could combine the perfect mix of essential oils to prevent a nasty rash. Still, I felt as though I could help.

The best way to prevent poison oak is to stay in a hotel and avoid the outdoors at all costs. I prefer the Omni hotel, but I also am fond of the W hotel. I like Doubletree hotels for the cookies and I have never had a bad experience in a Westin. Clearly, all of these hotels have an anti-poison oak agent in their soap. I cannot vouch for the La Quinta Inn or the Red Roof Inn or any of the motels in the Super 8 chain. While they offer free HBO and a continental breakfast, I have never seen anything on their signs about soaps that protect against the outdoors.

I wasn't asked, but I would like to add that I have never been attacked by bears or killer bees or encountered a plague of locusts in any of these hotels either.

Mist 1


At 9:12 PM, Blogger Michael C said...

Can you tell me about Uncle Bob's Seafarer Motel out on Highway 74? I used their soap some time ago and can no longer feel my right arm. It hurts really bad. Oh wait a second, never mind...

At 9:23 PM, Anonymous Dallas Dysfunction said...

Please return my underwear as soon as you see fit. thank you.

At 9:41 PM, Blogger mist1 said...


Your right arm or left arm? If it's your left arm, I think you're in real trouble.


They are kind of snug in the crotch, don't you think?

At 10:13 PM, Blogger Lyze said...

I have only one thing to say.

The only people I've seen in a Totoro apron have been sexy.

I assume the same of you, Mist.

Totoro = t3h pwnz0rz. It never gets old.

At 10:21 PM, Blogger Steph said...

I find staying in hotel cures most anything. Good call.

At 11:20 PM, Blogger The CEO said...

Do I get added protection against things like poison zumac by staying at the Four Seasons? Any feelings about the Hilton? Your typical Hilton.

At 11:39 PM, Blogger Curiosity.Killer said...

I'm an insomniac too. I think it's better to be an insomniac when you're living alone. My family complains about the noise I make at night. Makes it tough to boil a cauldron for my potions and all.

I need a dungeon.

At 11:59 PM, Blogger SQT said...

I had no idea you were so multi-talented. And since I have commented, I now know I can email you for real advice too.

At 1:21 AM, Blogger phishez_rule said...

I must say, all of the hotels in Australia have excellent soaps to prevent poison oak, bear attacks and killer bees.

Maybe you could email them and ask if they can recommend any soaps to your friend?

At 2:51 AM, Blogger Rhian / Crowwoman said...

i'm guessing there's a host of things hotels could cure or prevent. Dr. Mist you are brilliant.

At 3:25 AM, Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

I like those hotels because they have classier hookers.

At 4:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never knew you were such a crafty one to boot!
Wow the talents you have!
Don't underestimate the power of juicy words to make you apprear sexy. The goggles would have to go, but keep the words.

At 4:49 AM, Blogger Orhan Kahn said...

I'm impressed; you sure have done alot in your life :)

At 4:50 AM, Blogger Akelamalu said...

I don't use the soap in hotels I use the shower gel and shampoo - would that work the same?

At 4:50 AM, Blogger Spellbound said...

Mist, I have been in awe of your ability to post wonderful things day after day. I am often too intimidated by your brilliance to comment. Now I have found your secret, insomnia. I've spent a lot of time outdoors but never had posion oak. I have gotten into a bit of trouble in hotels however.

At 4:54 AM, Blogger Avitable said...

Don't forget the Loew's hotels. They are also safe for use.

And you wrote redneck haikus, too?

Dead armadillo
Scraped him off I-95
Eatin' good tonight

At 4:54 AM, Blogger Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

mist, i can tell you i have never gotten poison oak or ivy while on a cruise ship. i wonder why??? maybe it's the warm chocolate melting cake?? i think that must be it.

smiles, bee

At 5:12 AM, Blogger mist1 said...


Totoro is adorable.


Why can't I live in a hotel? It would make me so happy.


You won't even catch a cold in the Four Seasons. You can catch a sugar daddy there. I have avoided Hiltons since Paris.


I have a dungeon. I prefer to call it a studio.


I keep my talents well hidden.


I was thinking about checking into a hotel for a few weeks and stealing all the tiny soaps.


It takes a special person to see my brilliance. And it's Dr. 1. Thanks.


Hookers without poison oak, I might add.


I had one incident with 200 degree lye on my lip. Now, I wear safety goggles. They do nothing for my lips, but my eyes are safe.


My parents would argue that.


Have you been attacked by bears? If not, I am certain that they work just as well.


I'm over the insomnia for now. It only comes back every few years.


Damn, in that tube top
you look so fine, I forgot
you are my sister


The warm chocolate melting cake will not prevent bear attacks. Be careful. You are in my thoughts.

At 5:23 AM, Anonymous hellohahanarf said...

i'm all about embassy suites...never got poison oak or poison ivy there. they take great care of me. although i usually steal the soaps, shampoos and lotions to donate to the local women's shelter. wonder if those women are now itch free? i'll have to ask and get back at cha.

At 5:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never encountered poison oak in a 4 star or better hotel, but after watching CSI I'm pretty sure I came across residual spooge.

At 5:35 AM, Blogger Susan said...

I have never had a bad experience with poison anything in a Weston.

I stayed at a Motel 6 for 2 hours once and was informed there were poisonous spiders in our room.

Form your own opinion.

At 5:41 AM, Blogger That's one clever little Yvonne said...

I would like to know if there's a blend of soap that would ward off stupid ex-boyfriends... the stuff I have just doesn't seem to be working.

At 6:00 AM, Blogger PaintingChef said...

I think those hotels are all missing a very valuable marketing strategy. They should hire you as a consultant immediately!

At 6:03 AM, Blogger Tera said...

My my, a woman of many talents...I can truly relate!

Some of the Quality Inn Suites & Resorts I've visited have a hell of a Happy Hour!!!

At 6:05 AM, Blogger Matt said...

In high school, we beat up our AP English teacher's mailbox for the crime of making his own soap.

At 6:24 AM, Blogger Natalia said...

You knit???? WOW


At 6:28 AM, Blogger velvet girl said...

This is sage advice. I'm booking a suite at the Doubletree for the summer. You can't be too careful, you know.

If the hubby and kids are nice, they can come and visit some time, but I get the cookies.

At 6:44 AM, Blogger Kris Bartels said...

I just took a biology test .... the chem crap at the top of your post scared me half to death....

Pretty sure if i had read your blog before my test i would have had a chance to pass

At 6:46 AM, Blogger mist1 said...


I haven't been in an Embassy Suites in years. I'll have to check in.


I don't even want to think about residual spooge.


I will custom blend something for you. I will package it with a Taser.


If only more people could see the benefit of paying me to write stuff like this.


I love very little more than hotel happy hours.


Did he render the fat of his AP students?


To date, I can make a scarf.


If you ask for extra cookies when you check out, they will give them to you.

At 6:46 AM, Blogger mist1 said...


I was good at science, but I never thought I'd use it again.

At 6:52 AM, Blogger Avitable said...

A rusted Ford truck
Good playpen for the kids, or
Lawn decoration?

At 7:02 AM, Blogger mist1 said...


Up all night cookin'
crystal meth in my bathtub
gotta feed them kids

At 7:16 AM, Blogger furiousBall said...

I've never seen the past tense of collage, that was awesome...

At 7:23 AM, Blogger Big Pissy said...

Mosaicked...I'd never seen the past tense of mosaic....I'm just proud of myself for knowing what you were talking about.

p.s. the title of this post scared me. I am not a scientifical person. ;-)

At 7:23 AM, Blogger mist1 said...


Did I make that one up? It sounded good.

At 7:25 AM, Blogger mist1 said...


I'm pretty sure I made that one up.

At 7:30 AM, Blogger NWJR said...

mist: I could really use your advice on the following items:

1) Paper or plastic?
2) Human-caused global warming or natural fluctuation?
3) Thongs or boyshorts?

Thanks. I'll be anxiously awaiting your thoughtful responses.

At 7:40 AM, Blogger Dagromm said...

Thank you for using the following words in your post: caustic, Totoro, sexy, Glock, oils, rash, poison, cookies, and motels. I think these words are the recipe for success in any blog post.


At 7:52 AM, Blogger Just telling it like it is said...

I had no idea soap could do so much for you or that you were that multi talented...
I would have just told them to take a benadril and drink a bottle of wine or two

At 7:57 AM, Blogger Tug said...

Maybe if you were naked under the apron you'd feel sexier?

At 8:09 AM, Blogger Avitable said...

Ooh, I should have gone with "them kids" instead of "the kids". Nice touch.

Book larnin' never
Did nothing for nobody
Nohow and no way.

At 8:15 AM, Blogger Stacy said...

Oh Mist, this is uncanny, please don't tell Matt but I make my own soap twice a year too! I have remedies for poison oak but the remedy for ex-boyfriends you'd like to see dead- there's the lye solution. Lemonade my Nemesis?

At 8:16 AM, Blogger Ben O. said...

I love your cure for getting poison oak. I will have to remember that one.

Ben O.

At 8:19 AM, Blogger Alicia said...

The Omni is by far my favorite as well.
Except I drank too much at a Realtor's convention there and woke up with a wicked hangover. The gift shop offered Advil, but at $10 a bottle.
Paying $10 for 8 Advil hurt almost as much as my hangover.

At 8:52 AM, Blogger La Cubana Gringa said...

Next time you have a run of insomnia, I think you should mosaic a table top with fragments of broken dishes that have been painted with verses from your redneck haikus. It'd make a nice dining room table.

At 8:53 AM, Blogger Blitz Krieg said...

I was taking the family camping this weekend. Do you know if they allow campfires at the Westin?

At 9:15 AM, Blogger othurme said...

Mmmmm...Double Tree cookies. I've actually spent a night at a Doubletree Hotel for no other reason than the cookies. I wasn't traveling or anything.

At 9:17 AM, Blogger Fab said...

Wow, you have many talents! I don't know many who know how to use insomnia to their benefit.

At 9:20 AM, Blogger mist1 said...


1. Suede
2. I am naturally hot.
3. G-Strings


I drew them out of a hat and had to write a post incorporating those words. It was an exercise in blogging.


I like to vary my advice. However, Benadryl and wine has never failed me.


I am.


Thank you. I live near rednecks, you know.

Nohow and no way is brilliant.

Fifty dollars and
razor wire keeps me from my
big pick-em up truck


Lye is one hell of a chemical. It's amazing stuff really. We should go into business. We'd clean up lots of unsightly situations.


You may want to print this one out and keep in in your wallet when you are checking into a hotel or thinking about camping.

Thanks for coming by.


At the Omni, they will bring it to your room. You need to get more friendly with the staff.


That is a lovely idea. Then, I will bring them to the local swap meet.


They allow almost everything at the Westin. Once, I almost burned the place down with candles. I couldn't blow them out because of the cuffs and don't need the details.

At 9:21 AM, Blogger mist1 said...


I used to know the catering manager at the Doubletree. She got to bring home all the broken cookies.


What else would I have done with my time? I am not good when I'm bored.

At 9:26 AM, Anonymous themuttprincess said...

I agree with staying away from the outdoors!

At 9:34 AM, Blogger Avitable said...

I do, too. Orlando's full of 'em.

Nuthin's sexier
Than a girl with a mullet
And at least four teeth

At 9:35 AM, Blogger Scottsdale Girl said...

Did you know that "La Quinta" directly translates to "Next to Denny's"?

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Comedy + said...

Okay, now I have a visual of you making things all night long. Not a bad one, but a visual none the less.

I'm with you. Hotels/Motels are a great place to avoid all kinds of awful stuff. Oh, I promise not to lurk as I get enough bad advice already. Have a great day Mist. See you tomorrow!

At 9:58 AM, Blogger Lee said...

Now I am very sad because I am such a unproductive, lazy insomniac. All I do is watch Discovery Science. You are obviously an over-achiever.

At 10:10 AM, Blogger mist1 said...


I love the outdoors, from the inside.


Me and my cousin
gonna catch us some possum
that there's good eatin'


What's the name of the hotel next to Cracker Barrel?


Don't worry, lots of people imagine me doing stuff all night long.


I remember my over-achieving days fondly. I was on top of my game in fourth grade.

At 10:28 AM, Blogger Kara said...

Ooh, fun! Nothing better than mixing chemicals in the middle of the night :) I will take your advice, and avoid the poison oak by staying in a nice hotel :D The Holiday Inn Express is pretty nice too.

At 10:32 AM, Blogger mist1 said...


Good room rate, bad wine list.

At 10:47 AM, Blogger Wavemancali said...

Must play too

Spittoon's full again
Ma better get on it now,
It don't clean itself

At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Kristyn said...

You should learn to make a soap that would repel husbands, that would be a big seller.

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Avitable said...

Shooting junkyard rats
Driving around parking lots
Life sure is real good.

At 11:55 AM, Blogger mist1 said...


Thanks for playing.

Damn, I just spent my
Social Security check
on new coveralls


I have never been good at repelling other women's husbands.


Y'all come for dinner
I'm fixin' up a heap of
fried armadillo

At 12:54 PM, Blogger Avitable said...

Rent-to-own is like
Borrowing the coolest shit
For about three months

At 1:04 PM, Blogger mist1 said...


Hey, do y'all know where
I can get me one of them
new fangled cell phones?

At 1:17 PM, Anonymous 123Valerie said...

You're always there for me, Mist.

Oatmeal's good for itchiness. Doesn't work so well for killer bees, though.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger mist1 said...


At the Omni, they will bring oatmeal right to your door. I have never had them bring killer bees.

At 2:18 PM, Blogger Queen of the Mayhem said...

Excellent advice! I find there is little a stay in a nice hotel cannot cure....throw in a cocktail, or 4...and you have the recipe for success!

At 2:21 PM, Blogger Scottsdale Girl said...

Motel 8?

At 2:28 PM, Blogger Jim said...

This is a cute post. Better watch it at those hotels, they have wolves and lurkers!

At 2:34 PM, Blogger lettuce said...

hmmm, all a bit specific to USA hotels. Any UK recommedations?

Did you ever try extreme knitting?

At 2:36 PM, Anonymous Karmyn R said...

I wish I could say the same - once when I was in a Holiday Inn in Alabama - my room was overrun by ants. AND a frog got into my room. I was not a happy camper - because, HEY - I wasn't camping!!!!

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Avitable said...

Virgins are no good
Not good 'nuff for her own kin
Not good 'nuff for me

At 5:25 PM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Hotels? That was a rock group. Wasn't it?

At 5:43 PM, Blogger ~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

Wearing thick clothing if you MUST venture outside also works pretty well.

At 5:44 PM, Blogger mist1 said...

q of m,

Throw in a few more cocktails and who cares if you have a room.


Isn't that what it's called? Is it Super 8? Motel 8? Rooms by the Hour 8? I don't know.


Actually, a local hotel contacted me today and would like to send me a gift. I hope it's not a wolf?


I have only stayed at the Hilton London Kensington. I didn't get poison oak there or fleas or anything.


You're kidding me, right? Crossing that one off my list.


I want new cousins.
Gonna have a baby with
my uncle-daddy.


One hit wonders, best known for the single, "Incidental Charges."

At 5:45 PM, Blogger mist1 said...


Won't thick clothing make me look fat? I think I'll just stay in hotels.

At 6:06 PM, Blogger Todd said...

I wasn't asked, but I would like to add that I have never been attacked by bears or killer bees or encountered a plague of locusts in any of these hotels either.

I bet you were attacked by something while you were in those hotels!

At 6:07 PM, Blogger notfearingchange said...

And yet another post goes by in my reading where I ask myself where did Mist come from? How was she raised? What potential substances has she inhaled -?
and then i scratch my head, shake my head, shrug, and think - If I were a lesbian she'd be a woman i'd wanna date.

At 6:15 PM, Blogger Laurie said...

La Quinta is Spanish for "bad beds". Just thought you'd like to know.

At 6:23 PM, Blogger Jonas said...

I once sufered from poison oak over approximately 90% of my body (I built a hut from poison oak vines...long story...don't ask).

Where the hell were you when I needed you!?!


At 6:25 PM, Blogger Nance said...

Sometimes, when I stay at a hotel, I pretend I'm camping and go get my own ice. I like roughing it.

At 6:46 PM, Blogger "Single Girl in the City" said...

I stumbled across your blog last week or so, and I gotta say, I'm hooked. I love your blog and you make me laugh outloud EVERY TIME!

You're a must read for me now everyday!

At 7:00 PM, Blogger mist1 said...


Why yes, yes I was.


I was raised by wolves. I did not inhale.


What does Comfort Inns mean in Spanish?


I was at the Omni.


Sometimes, I don't valet park. Okay, that's not true.


I stumble all the time. It makes me laugh at myself too.

Thanks for coming by.

At 8:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always thought of you as a night club kind of girl. Now I think of you as a fight club kind of girl. Or something:

Soapmaker in heels
Full of big city hobbies.
And doin' sis too?

-Your poison oaky pal

At 5:13 AM, Blogger Glamourpuss said...

As a fellow insomniac, I salute you and refer you to my hand-written guide of herbal remedies for common ailments. I find a herbal remedy cures most ailments, or certainly helps to quell the discomfort, but hotels tend not to approve and one is apt to find one's self without a bed or a credit card if one partakes of the herbs in the privacy of one's hotel room.

I need to lie down, excuse me.


At 6:51 AM, Blogger mist1 said...


Thanks for playing along.

Time to make the soap
All the chilluns be dirty
Rendering ma's fat


Get to know the staff. You can do what ever you please in hotels once you know people.

At 6:12 PM, Anonymous hedgehog said...

my poetry stinks
worse than the critter i left
all day on the dash

your poems are cute
cute like fuzzy bunnys, skinned
fileted and spitted


At 6:34 PM, Blogger mist1 said...


A hedgehog is sharp
You got to be real careful
If'n you eat em

At 10:57 AM, Blogger Kiyotoe said...

The Westin Peachtree is the sh--. Took a girlfriend there a few years ago for Valentine's Day and it was worth the arm and leg I had to give up.

I used to send you e-mails......'til you stopped responding.

At 11:13 AM, Blogger melanie said...

i wish i knew how to make soap... Cuz you never know when the hotels are going to run out of mini soaps.

i can do watercolors though. Which hotel is best for that one? maybe hawaii?

At 3:23 PM, Blogger mist1 said...


You don't send me flowers anymore either.


Definitely Hawaii. Can I go with you?

At 12:07 AM, Blogger Leese said...

I feel completely unproductive after reading the list of things you do while wide awake. I need a hobby. I think whirlyball could be it. I would kick ass. Maybe we could set up a time to duel.

At 6:26 AM, Blogger mist1 said...


Don't feel too badly. I am busy, but not productive.

At 3:32 PM, Anonymous cordeliaknits said...

hey, I had Mr. Glock for Chemistry too! He would answer ANY question, as long as you raised your hand first and didn't use slang.

We would sometimes waste a whole class period asking him things that had no relation to chemistry at all.

good times, good times.

At 5:26 PM, Blogger mist1 said...


Do we know each other? I've never had a reader that I know. Oh, that's exciting and yet terrifying.

Remember his apron? I loved that apron.

Thanks for coming by.

At 1:03 AM, Anonymous cordeliaknits said...

Ahh, yes, I loved that black rubber apron. He was such a sweet, strange little man.

I didn't graduate from South, but if I had it would have been 1998. (that's not to say I didn't graduate at all, just not from there, if ya know what I'm sayin')

Funny, I think I know at least 75% of my readers, and sometimes I depair that my blog is just a convenient way for my family to keep track of me.

At 1:31 PM, Blogger mist1 said...


I loved Mr. Glock. I wrote another post about him. Once he told us about his addictions.

1. Women
2. Alcohol


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"All of this happened, more or less." - Kurt Vonnegut

Name: Mist1
Location: Dirty South, USA

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