Monday, January 31, 2011

It's been a rough couple of weeks.

To say the least.

In this episode of the further adventures of Thu Is A Parent Now, Thu deals with a legitimately sick Jolie these past two weeks (meaning, she didn't just have a runny nose, although she had that too).

It never cease to amaze me, how many things there are to worry about when you're a parent. When you're a young adult, you generally think you're immune to certain dangerous things - "Oh, I can drive a bit faster, I'll be FIIIINE," or "Meh, I don't need a jacket in this weather, I'll be FIIIINE." But when you're a parent, it's no longer just you. When you were young, it was fine to walk around in the rain in flip flops, but as a parent, I need to make damn sure that my daughter has socks and proper shoes to keep her feet dry and warm. I need to obey speed laws, especially in the rain. Etc, etc. Everything that I'm normally afraid of, PLUS a lot of the things that I'm not, are now all Threats To My Daughter's Health and Well-Being.*

So last week, Jolie started wheezing. When she breathed through her mouth, she sounded like the girl from the Exorcist, with that throaty dual pitch growl. She could breathe through her nose fine, but it was obvious that her throat had some sort of irritation and a TON of phlegm. Like, I could hear it rattling when she coughed or breathed.

She was starting to get better, but then on Wednesday she coughed so hard that she threw up :( Which she's NEVER done before. She hardly ever even throws up - the amount of times she's legitimately vomited can be counted on one hand. So of course that freaked me out. But then she was fine.

And then on Friday night, I noticed that she was developing a bump rash ALL OVER HER LEGS, and a little on her hands and abdomen. Another thing she's never done before. Her doctor said that it's just part of her body dealing with the cold virus or whatever she's got, but it was pretty freaky. (Want to see photos? I took some for her doctor.)

So... she's slowly getting better. She's pretty cranky at times, but she's recovering, but it's still pretty worrisome to me. And the internet is no help at all. Ever hear of medical student syndrome? Where you suddenly start thinking you have all the diseases you're reading about? It's not really encouraging when you google "Sore throat" and "rash" and the first two things that pop up are "strep throat" and "scarlet fever." GREAT. THANKS. Not to mention that, in addition, Jimmy's been sick too, and he's convinced he has the flu, even though Jolie didn't have the flu, but then we were both worrying that she would get it from him, and I've been worried about getting sick because I've been really stressed out dealing with this and work, and not getting enough sleep. I'm the last bastion of semi-good health in this apartment, and I need to stand my ground.

My point, though, is that a sore throat, though normally not a problem for me, suddenly becomes a huge issue when it's your child. Because you don't know whether it's just a sore throat or whether it's strep throat, or whooping cough, or the goddamn avian flu. And it's so hard to see her so cranky or unhappy or to even hear her cough. The world suddenly becomes a much scarier place when your child is in it, because there's so much more that you have to protect her from than you would protect yourself from, and it completely changes your perspective on how you live your own life. Because what's almost as bad as my child suffering? ME suffering, to the point where I wouldn't be able to care for her. So 1) I have to keep her well, and 2) I have to keep MYSELF well, for her. And trying to keep TWO people well... well, that's an exponentially bigger task than just keeping myself well, for myself.



*Including the zombie apocalypse. I'm terrified of zombies, like, REALLY. My Zombie Contingency Plan has always been to off myself before they could get to me. But ever since I had a baby... well, I can't go with that plan anymore. I can't leave her alone to fend for herself, and I certainly can't... well, you know. So I guess that means we just have to survive. But I think I would be TERRIBLE at surviving zombies, and especially with a baby in my arms... I think we're both goners. Let's hope this never happens. Yes, these things keep me up at night. It's a real fear for me.

Month of Blog, part 2 - Day 23: A song that you want to play at your wedding

Ha! You assume that I would even HAVE a wedding.That said, if I did, I wouldn't have any dancing.

Jimmy and I would probably have this song played at some point, just for the fun of it. Maybe a slideshow or something.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

This little thing is going to be gracing my wall in a week or so :)

Blank Project Canvas Print
Create personalized greeting cards and invitations by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Month of Blog, part 2 - Day 22: A song that you listen to when you’re sad

When I'm sad, I tend to wallow. I listen to other sad songs and feel MORE sad, instead of listening to happy songs to make myself feel better. (Yes, I too can be guilty of feeling sorry for myself.)

This song is pretty good for that sort of thing:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

HAUL: Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencils, part 1

I've been waiting for these to hit stores before buying them, so I can swatch them in person and decide which ones I want to buy first. Lo and behold! A random, spontaneous trip to Ulta, and THERE THEY WERE. What were they even doing there? They're not supposed to be in any stores yet! My heart stopped when I saw the Spring 2011 collection just SITTING there, waiting for me to squee.

I've been planning for this as my major splurge for this month, so do not be alarmed when I tell you that I bought SIX of them, half of the collection of pencils. I went home and eagerly threw on a couple different looks, one on each eye, to test their blendability with the 24/7 Blending Brush, which UD created especially for these pencils (and which I already bought, because I was going to test them out with my NYX Jumbo Pencils).

Haul #1, L to R: Morphine, Delinquent, Mercury, Narc, Wasteland, and Sin

They DON'T disappoint. They blend really well, and then they just DON'T budge. We already know that this formula works wonders as a liner, but they are just as awesome as shadows, as long as you blend right away. (Don't apply, walk off to put something in the microwave, pet the dog, use the restroom, and then try to blend.)

Morphine is a really pretty iridescent light purple. It's not really similar to any color I've seen before.

Delinquent is a purer purple than Lust or Ransom (eyeliner shades). It's got some glitter in it.

Mercury is also a darkish shimmery gray. It's the gray that I wish Gunmetal (liner) was, and just a tad lighter than Uzi (15th anniversary set).

Narc is a mossy green - I found it VERY similar to Mildew (eyeliner). There were other colors I didn't get that were more unique, but I just really like this color.

Wasteland is similar to Stash (eyeliner), but far more brownish than greenish. Other than that, there aren't any other eyeliner colors that are similar.

Sin is just like any other thing UD has released that is called Sin :) But nothing like any of the other eyeliner colors. The closest might be the Midnight Cowboy eyeliner (in the 15th anniversary set), but it's not the same.

Here are a couple looks I threw together REALLY quickly, just to test these out:




Morphine all over the lid; Delinquent blended into the crease, and Mercury along the lashline






Sin all over the lid; Wasteland blended into the crease; Narc along the lashline


Month of Blog, part 2 - Day 21: A song that you listen to when you’re happy

It's hard not to want to share your happiness with the Flaming Lips as your soundtrack.

:)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Month of Blog, part 2 - Day 20: A song that you listen to when you’re angry

Very apropos, considering the day I had yesterday.

I don't actually listen to music when I'm angry - I'm kind of a "stew in silence" sort of girl. But I guess if I had to pick something, I would pick this:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Days like today...

... if I didn't have my heart so set on becoming a marathoner, I would've taken up smoking by now.

Month of Blog, part 2 - Day 19: A song from your favorite album

I've already posted my entire favorite album (from Radiohead), but in particular, here is my favorite song from my favorite album, "Letdown" from OK Computer.



You'll know, you'll know where you are with
You'll know where you are with
Floor collapsing, floating
Bouncing back and one day
I am gonna grow wings
A chemical reaction
Hysterial and useless
(You'll know where you are)

Painted Ladies Weekly Challenge #1: Your Favorite Drink

So, my makeup-specific Rav group is going to attempt a weekly eye look based around a theme, and our first theme is "Your Favorite Drink," and this means ANY drink - alcoholic or non, fruity, coffee, even water, whatever you like to drink!

Mine is Orangina. I love that it's light and refreshing, and I love the slight amount of pulp, and I love those round bulbous textured glass bottles.

I am particularly inspired by this piece of Orangina artwork, which I have a postcard of, hanging in my classroom in my corner:


I totally love this style art, and so I set about to make an Orangina-inspired eye makeup look.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Month of Blog, part 2 - Day 18: A song that you wish you heard on the radio

Kind of an odd question, because if I wanted to hear something that didn't get played on the radio, I'd just put it on my mixed cd, no?

So I'll answer this question a different way: This is a song I wish I could've heard on the radio at the time that it was released. And I'm totally going to confess that I cribbed this answer from Jimmy. I thought it was such a brilliant answer that I couldn't think of a better choice.

The Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever
(Linked because embedding was disabled)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Month of Blog, part 2 - Day 17: A song that you hear often on the radio

I've been hearing this one a lot lately, and I like it a lot! It's great to drive to. It's got a kind of swagger to it. Their new single "Howlin for You" is pretty good too. I think I might want to consider checking out the rest of the album.




PS - I've never seen this video before now, and it's kind of adorable.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Full Face

I rarely ever put on a full face of makeup, but today, I decided to try it because 1) I just got matched for my MAC foundation shade (NC40), and 2) I wanted to see how long it would take (*quite a long time). I probably won't do this every day, but it is definitely nice to see my face all evened out and everything. (Although, my chin is driving me crazy.)



Face:
- MAC Studio Sculpt in NC40, with Fix+ Lavender Mist sprayed onto the brush and on my face as a primer
- Wet n Wild Color Icon blush in Mellow Wine applied with a fan brush

Lips:
- Bare Escentuals Buxom lipgloss in Brandi

Eyes:
- UDPP
- UD shadow in Toasted on the lid into the crease
- UD matte shadow in ABC gum on the brow
- NYX jumbo pencil in French Fries along upper and lower lash line
- Tarte emphasEYES inner rim pencil smudged into upper lash line
- MAC Opulash mascara


Month of Blog, part 2 - Day 16: A song that you used to love but now hate

I only hate this song now because I hear it ALL THE TIME (along with every other Nirvana song ever). If it got played a lot less, it wouldn't bother me so much.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Month of Blog, part 2 - Day 15: A song that describes you

Well, she was an American girl
Raised on promises
She couldn't help thinkin'
That there was a little more to life somewhere else






(That's not the only part of the song I felt described me, it was just the most quotable =P)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Month of Blog, part 2 - Day 14: A song that no one would expect you to love

This is a tough one, because... what DO people expect me to love? I don't know what other people think about me. I would hope that people think I have enough range in my musical tastes that they would not be surprised?

Okay. Here's one, although, if you know how much I love the movie Love Actually, it really shouldn't be all that unexpected. (And I really do like the version from the movie with the little girl singing it better!)


Do you believe in love at first sight?

Because I totally fell in love with these two eyeshadows immediately upon swatching:

Top color (lighter) is Striptease; lower color (darker) is Camisole

One of my fellow Ravelers owns her own mineral cosmetics company called Sweet Libertine, and I finally placed an order because the colors look so beautiful on the site. I ordered Beginners Sets 1 and 2, which each consist of four basic colors that look good on anyone. I knew as soon as I saw the two above  swatched on my hand that my life would never be the same :)

Camisole looks gray-ish purple in the container, but comes out all gorgeous and sparkly. And Striptease looks like a basic light gold in the container, but when swatched, all of these other colors came out (on me, I saw hints of purple, but from what I've read, depending on your skin and/or whatever other colors you're wearing, it might take on a different shade), and I think that's just insanely awesome. It's like magic to me :)

They were both gorgeous already when swatched on my bare hand, but on top of Pixie Epoxy (see photo)? They were totally breathtaking. I can't wait to wear these tomorrow.

AND I can't wait to order more shadows from Sweet Libertine. I absolutely recommend that you try out their mineral shadows - all natural, no parabens, so you can rest easy! The prices are great, and there is a rewards club called The Lusty Strumpet Society, whereby you get an exclusive shade of eyeshadow for every 10 full-sized products you buy! (Isn't that totally worth even just being able to call yourself a Lusty Strumpet? I sure think so!) There's a link above in this post, as well as on my "Props and Shout-Outs" page above in the nav bar.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Today's face

(Sorry, I haven't thought of a cool name for this look yet!)

I wanted to play with the Pixie Epoxy for this one, so here's what I've got. (And I apologize in advance for my bad skin - when I'm not getting enough sleep, it really shows.)



I was wearing MAC's MSF Natural, but I think it's all but worn off by now.

On the eyes:
- Pixie Epoxy
- On the inner half: Fyrinnae's eyeshadow in Polar Bear, a pale gold (I received it as a sample), patted on as suggested on their website.
- On the outer half: UD's Flipside
- In the crease (to blend the line): UD's matte shadow in Foxy
- Tarte emphasEYES inner rim pencil in Lapis on the upper lashline
- MAC's Zoom Fast Lash mascara

Make no mistake - I took extra time and care to apply the shadows on top of the Pixie Epoxy. But it was worth it, because the effect is beautiful.


Month of Blog, part 2 - Day 13: A song that is a guilty pleasure

I don't think this one needs any explaining :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More makeup-ing!

Grades are done. Lessons are planned. Baby is napping. What do I do with myself? Play with my makeup!

First off, I have been obsessed with this eye makeup look since the first time I saw it, in UD's Spring 2011 preview video:


Because you KNOW how much I love purple eye looks! I figured it would be using a bunch of the new products, but when UD finally posted the face chart for this look, I was surprised at how many of the items I already had:

So I decided to try and do it myself, using as many of the products that I had, and duping the rest:


Obviously, my face is nothing like the model's, especially my eyes, so the proportions are slightly different, but I managed to do most of it. See here:


Month of Blog, part 2 - Day 12: A song from a band you hate

Again, not going to dignify this with a link.

I hate Kid Rock. Any of his songs would work for this thing.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Gratuitous makeup-ing

I'm home today taking care of Jolie, who's sick, so while she was napping, I took a little break from grading to get in some playtime :)

First up, I got some... well, I don't know what to call it, it's not exactly primer. I guess I'll just call it what it is: Fyrinnae's Pixie Epoxy. It's kind of like a glue for glitter eyeshadows - it holds everything on (no fallout), it gives shimmery shadows a nice foiled effect. I bought it after seeing this post from Lipglossiping,  showing what an awesome effect it has on the Black Palette shadows. I decided to do some swatching of my own:

On the left, it's the shadows swatched over Eden PP by itself, on the right, on top of Pixie Epoxy (layered on top of Eden, as instructed by Fyrinnae's site). You can see there's definitely a difference - over PP alone, it's a bit murkier - they actually just look matte to me. On top of Pixie Epoxy, there's a crisp metallic quality, as there should be. And you can see more of a difference in the shades, especially between the gold-black and green-black. (I forget their names.)

And then I just decided to lay out all my UD pencils to see which ones I have:

I've determined that I have EVERY single shade except for Dime and Honey (which was discontinued a little while ago, but I think I will find it on Ebay), and while I have Graffiti, Oil Slick, and El Dorado, I only have them in the teeny tiny superstash size, so I didn't have them in the photo. (They have little plastic see-through caps, and they're REALLY small, so they looked weird next to all of these.)

I have also determined that, thanks to the fact that UD includes a Zero pencil in almost every set, I have enough black eyeliner to last the next ten years.

This doesn't include the aforementioned mini Oil Slick pencil and the Perversion pencil that came in the 15th Anniversary Pencil Set. It also doesn't include the two travel-sized ones that I swapped away on Makeup Alley, so if I'd kept those, I'd have even MORE black eyeliner.

Hope you enjoyed my makeup porn! :)

Month of Blog, part 2 - Day 11: A song from your favorite band

Aw, this one's easy. How about a whole entire album? It's my favorite album.


As always, I recommend putting the music on REALLY loud and listening with your eyes closed, so you can feel everything.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Month of Blog, part 2 - Day 9: A song that you can dance to

Um, I'm not a dancer. I've never been into clubbing. I've always hated school dances (attending them OR chaperoning them - ugh, teenagers are disgusting!), and I'm the one who stays firmly planted in her chair at people's weddings. Should I ever have my own wedding, I would bypass the dancing portion altogether.

That said... I have always wanted to learn how to swing dance. I've been obsessed with swing culture since I was in high school, and Ms. Intersimone, my English 2 Honors teacher had us analyze the movie Swing Kids. I love the style, I love the music, I love the clothing, I love that (in that movie, at least) it was a form of rebellion against the government. I love that there was an art to this dance, and it wasn't about trying to be sexy.*

So, here, I give you a song you can dance to, a song I COULD dance to if I knew how, "Sing Sing Sing" as played by the Benny Goodman Orchestra:




*I know between today and yesterday's music post, it sounds like I have something against being sexy, but I don't. I just think that there is a time and a place for it, and I feel like our culture is just oversaturated with sex. I mean, they sell thongs for little girls now!!! Plus, there is such a uniform view of what "sexy" and "desirable" is supposed to be, that it sends harmful messages to young girls (and even to young boys) about how men and women are supposed to look and how they're supposed to act, and it comes at the cost of self-respect.

Where's my Jolie when I need her most...

I'm really agitated and upset and angry about some news I just heard, and I can't sleep, and I wish I had my baby here to cuddle. But, alas, she's staying at her Grandma's tonight.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Month of Blog, part 2 - Day 8: A song that you know all the words to

And I will actually type them all out for you right here. I promise, I'm not cheating.



(Not that you should take into account the videos for any of the songs I post, since the focus should be the aural and not the visual, but I do believe that Paul Thomas Anderson, Fiona Apple's then-boyfriend, directed this music video.)

Fast As You Can - Fiona Apple

I let the beast in too soon. I don't know how to live without his hand on my throat. I fight him always and still. Oh darlin', it's so sweet - you think you know how crazy, how I crazy I am. You say you don't spook easy, you won't go, but I know, and I pray that you will.

Fast as you can, baby, run, free yourself of me, fast as you can.

I may be soft in your palm, but I'll soon grow hungry for a fight, and I will not let you win. [That's my favorite line right there.] My pretty mouth will frame the phrases that will disprove your faith in man. So if you catch me trying to find my way into your heart from under your skin,

Fast as you can, baby, scratch me out, free yourself, fast as you can. Fast as you can, baby, scratch me out free yourself, fast as you can.

Sometimes my mind don't shake and shift, but most of the time it does. And I get to the place where I'm beggin' for a lift, or I'll drown in the wonders and the was. And I'll be your girl if you say it's a gift, and you give me some more of your drugs. Yeah, I'll be your pet if you just tell me it's a gift, 'cause I'm tired of whys, chokin' on whys - just a need a little because, because.

I let the beast in, and then I even tried forgiving him, but it's too soon, so I'll fight again, again, again, again, again. And for a little while more I'll soar the uneven winds, complain and blame the sterile land. But if you're gettin' any bright ideas, quiet, dear! I'm blooming within.

Fast as you can baby, wait watch me, I'll be out fast as I can, maybe late but at least about, fast as you can, leave me, let this thing run its route, fast as you can... fast as you can... fast as you can... fast as you can.
---

Short rant of sorts:
I miss when mainstream music featured women who were talented songwriters and performers (without needing a shit-ton of vocal processing and sound production), who didn't have to rely on their sexuality to be popular (but they didn't suppress it either). What happened to women like Fiona Apple, Alanis Morissette, Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant, etc? They used to be all over the place, and now we have Lady Gaga and Katy Perry and Ke$ha and I'll-stoop-to-any-level-to-get-attention Christina Aguilera. (I haven't decided if Beyonce gets a pass from me or not.) Now they're all tarty pop stars whose vocals are all dressed up with fancy studio equipment to hide the fact that some of them are just really unremarkable singers, singing songs that have no intellectual value, and shoving their sexuality down our throats. Sure, they're catchy and enjoyable, but it's throwaway consumable entertainment. The "Lilith Fair" ladies of yore actually inspired me, and they made me think and feel. They made me want to sing and play the guitar and be a musician, not a pop star. The MUSIC was the thing, not the image or the hype, but at the same time, they were iconic as female musicians and artists - they weren't just nameless, faceless women fronting a band.

They were my heroes during my particularly impressionable early teen years. What musical heroes do girls have now?

It's me, Viva Glam!!!

I know, I know, I'm on a derby break at the moment. I have to take this moment to SQUEE at the fact that my name finally is registered. Albeit, to the wrong team, but hey, I am Viva Glam no matter what!!!


In a few months when they update it again, it'll say The Great Maulers of Milpitas, which will still be wrong... haha, I think I need to find a team and stick with them.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Oh joyous day!!!

As happy as I get when I do a good job of putting ON makeup, I am equally happy when I can do a good job of taking it OFF.

I have been using either makeup remover cleansing towelettes or UD's Clean and Sober makeup remover to take off my eye makeup - both work, but neither are miraculously effective. I have to scrub and scrub with both of them - the towelettes completely sting my eyes (I'm standing there over the sink tearing up!) and Clean and Sober works fine (smells great!) but it still doesn't remove everything, and leaves a sort of heavy gel feeling on my face. 

So after reading a thread on eye makeup remover suggestions, I decided to go use some Sephora store credit to purchase this baby:

Clinique's Take the Day Off
and it was every bit as wonderful as everything I'd read about it. My online makeup community friends (shut up, don't laugh) totally lauded this thing like it was holy water, and I was kind of skeptical and not particularly anxious to spend $18 on something that makes me ordinary-looking again, but I tried it tonight, and I'm a total believer.

You know how one of the things I love most about UDPP and UD 24/7 eyeliners is that, when used together, they don't smudge and don't budge? Well, that's not so great when I actually WANT them to come off. My previous removers did little to remove them - like I said, I had to scrub and scrub. With Clinique? Dab and swipe. Gone!!! I couldn't believe my eyes. I was so excited, I gushed about it to my boyfriend, who looked nonplussed, but was happy that I was happy. (He shrugged.) Clinique feels like it would be oily, but it's not. It's gentle - did not sting my eyes - but totally took off everything that I was wearing wherever I swiped it. (I missed a couple spots that I washed off later.) This was so good that I think I might declare it my HG even after just one use. I am totally sold.

Clinique's Take the Day Off, $17.50 for 4.2oz at Sephora and Clinique counters

Swatches: Tarte's Jewelry Box, part 2

Let's take a look at the matte shadows, the remaining four glosses, and the eyeliners



On the whole, I'd have to say that I was largely unimpressed with the matte eyeshadows. Mattes don't show up well on me anyway, in general, but these seemed even less pigmented than other ones I've tried.


Month of Blog, part 2 - Day 7: A song that reminds you of a certain event

No complicated story here - this song was my high school class of 2001's graduation song. I have graduation on the brain lately because not only are my officers graduating this year (*sniffles*), but my ten year reunion (which I won't be able to attend!!!! grr!) is this year as well.

We did our processional to a piano version of this song.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Swatches: Tarte's Jewelry Box, part 1



Shimmer eyeshadows (1-16) and lipglosses

There are so many things to play with in this jewelry box, I thought I'd start out by swatching. I did put together a quick look the other day, but it was more just to test out the formula than for the color. (I just went really basic.)

So without further ado, here are the shimmer eyeshadows, which are numbered 1-16 and occupy the top level of the box:

Something a little different

I decided to try something new today, makeup-wise - I tried to use as little UD as possible, instead giving some love to my other brands. Specifically, I wanted to give my mineral eyeshadows a try - ages ago, I'd purchased some small sample-sized ones from Everyday Minerals (good quality, very affordable), so I wanted to give them a try:




Month of Blog, part 2 - Day 6: A song that reminds of you of somewhere

I went to grad school at UC Irvine, which is Orange County. My seminars were Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays during the summer, which gave me long weekends, perfect for coming home. I would often take 101 the entire way home, because it took me by the coast, and I loved seeing the ocean as I drove - even though it's a longer drive, it's a heck of a lot more interesting than taking I-5. I had two SoCal-themed mix CD's that I would listen to as I drove.

Driving back down to Irvine, I would pass a town called Carpinteria, where there was a little tiny island just off the coast, with a long bridge/pier that jutted out to connect it to the mainland. And every time I hear the following song (from one of my mixes), I think of that island and the Southern California sunshine gleaming off the waves and the whizzing by of the highway.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Falling from grace

I'd have to say that one of the most personally painful experiences I've ever been through is to have lost respect for another person. I'm a deeply loving person, and I always want to think the best of people I care about, but having to stare down a mountain of d-baggery and then realize that I have no choice but to admit it is really, really painful for me. This has been on my mind a lot lately, and I can think of more than one person to whom this statement applies.

It makes me really sad when I think of people I've known, who at some point really hung the moon. I really thought they were the greatest ever, and they added so much to my life, and I just felt, like, SO lucky to have even been ALLOWED to hang out with them. I felt such a strong connection to them that I thought would last forever.

And then to find out their true natures - that I never really knew them at all... I found out that they were just AWFUL people - immature, selfish, inconsiderate people who apparently had no respect for me whatsoever. You could take a thimbleful of the affection and admiration I had for them and it would still be more than what they felt for me.

Sometimes it's something big that triggers it - a fight, a conversation that takes a bad turn. Other times, it's a series of small things that build up over time. But regardless, there is the inevitable point where I'm lying in bed one morning or driving in my car and all of a sudden it hits me: ______ is a total dick. (And I would use that word to apply to males or females.)

At first I try to explain it away. ____ is having a hard time lately. Or, Maybe _____ is totally justified in their behavior. Or eventually I'll get to the very worst one, Maybe it's ME, maybe I did something wrong. It's like I would much rather blame myself and then issue a profuse apology than to think of the other person as being a jerk. And that's the part that hurts the most, the self-blame. Because then once I reach the point of blaming myself, it's accompanied with shame and guilt and then eventually some righteous indignation. Well, what right does ____ have to treat me this way, even if I DID do something wrong? I don't deserve this!


And sometimes I will actually try to make amends. I have no clue if they are being a jerk because of me in particular or if because they ARE just that way, but I'll at first do what I can to fix it. And inevitably, I'll find that it doesn't work because... it's NOT me, it's THEM.

So then comes the most painful point of all - when I finally, completely have to admit to myself that _____ is a dick and I just have to let them go. And I hate this part, because all I can think about are those good times, the times when I pretty much worshipped the ground they walked on, when I would've done ANYTHING for them, picked up my phone on the first ring, rearranged my schedule to spend time with them. I'm fixated on what I loved about them, but at the same time, the jerky behavior they've displayed has cut me so deep that I'm afraid I will never heal. I will always carry the hurt with me, especially if they have never apologized. So as much as I love them, the hurt will never go away. There will always be an ache whenever I look at their faces or hear their names.

And so, for my own sake, I have let them go. For my own personal well-being and happiness. But I don't feel happy. I just feel sad. Because I dream of and long for the connection we once had, and I dream that one day I will hear that sincere and heartfelt apology that I feel I am owed. But I know it will never happen.

So here I sit. Longing.

Month of Blog, part 2 - Day 5: A song that reminds you of someone

For today, it's only fit to mention the person who has been the number one musical influence on my life, Jimmy. There are lots of songs that remind me of him, just because he's been absolutely integral to my musical development.

However... I'm not going to talk about Jimmy. For once, I'm going to talk about another very important person in my life - my dog Belle:


As you can see from the photo, Belle is kind of a wonky, silly little creature. She and Semos are mixed breeds: half Croatian sheepdog, a quarter pug, and a quarter boxer. Semos looks more like a Croatian sheepdog (their mother), and Belle I can only assume looks more like their father, whom I've never seen. Being half pug and half boxer, I can only imagine that he's kind of wonky looking. If you look at Belle's face, she's a teensy bit buggy-eyed like a pug, and her muzzle is a bit shorter like that of a boxer (whereas Semos's face is sleeker and less unusual). When Belle's excited, she does this weird howl thing that's really cute, and she sometimes hops like a bunny. She LOVES to kiss, and sometimes you really have to push her out of your face. Belle is also a sucker for a good scratch behind the ears, and if you scratch her and then stop, she'll nudge your hand to scratch her again. She's just... quite unique.

Anyway, as a tribute to Belle's uniqueness, Jimmy and I have designated the following as her theme song:



Because she's our little Gizmo :) No, we don't feed her after midnight.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Warpaint - The Fool

I'm streaming this album right now at work, and I LOVE it. The band is called Warpaint, and they are an anomaly in popular music today, as they are all-female. The music is just EXACTLY my speed right now. I'm totally going to buy this album because bands like these need the support!

You can listen for yourself by clicking below to stream the album, and if you like it, please pass it on by clicking "Share" and copying/pasting the code for this music player onto your own blog!

Month of Blog, part 2 - Day 4: A song that makes you sad

This song never fails to make me tear up. I've been familiar with Tom Waits' music for a while, but I first heard this particular sad, beautiful song used in the film, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which itself is a sad and beautiful story.



The face forgives the mirror
The worm forgives the plow
The questions begs the answer:
Can you forgive me somehow?
Maybe when our story's over
We'll go where it's always spring
The band is playing our song again
And all the world is green

Pretend that you owe me nothing
And all the world is green
We can bring back the old days again
And all the world is green

Lil' Smoky

A lightly-smoky brown eye look today:



Here's how it was done:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My next big project

So, right now I'm working on Tulip Top, but after I'm done with that, I plan to finally learn steeking (which, yes, is item 6 on my 30 Things list). And because I like to aim high, this is what I plan to make:

Little Birds by Ysolda Teague
I already have the yarn ordered from Knitpicks - their brand new line of yarn called Chroma. The main body will be done in Natural, which is a pure white, and the birds/leaves will be done in the colorway Regency. Chroma's colorways are self-striping, and totally gorgeous:

Chroma Fingering Weight in Regency
So yeah, I'm excited. This is totally outside of my comfort zone. I've only done colorwork once, and it was totally basic and didn't involve steeking, which is a method whereby you reinforce a section of knitting and then CUT THROUGH IT (with scissors!) so that you can attach sleeves or a button band or whatever. Cutting knitwork goes against every fiber (haha) of my being, so I'm scared.

Month of Blog, part 2 - Day 3: A song that makes you happy

I have a feeling that it's going to be impossible to choose only one song for nearly all of these topics.

There are different kinds of happy, of course. And I have a different song for each type:

Proud-of-myself happy: "Queen Bitch" - David Bowie
I always imagine myself crossing the marathon finish line to this song, and then sauntering off into the sunset. (Because it WILL take me that long to finish one.) I think I get this idea from the end of Wes Anderson's film, The Life Aquatic, because it has Bill Murray walking off triumphantly at the end to this song.

Cheerful, peppy happy: "Say Hey (I Love You)" - Michael Franti and Spearhead
This isn't my usual style of music, but I can't help feeling happy when I hear this song on the radio.It's just so bouncy and happy!


Peaceful happy: "Playground Love" - Air
Air is just great chill out music. This song in particular languishes in its rhythm and vocalizations. This isn't a song you listen to when you want to get up and go - it's what you listen to lying in the bath tub with candles lit all around you, with your eyes closed. It's also quite sexy, not in lyrical content, but in mood.

Kick-some-ass-I'm-motivated happy: "Kiss with a Fist" - Florence and the Machine
Speaking of "get up and go"... I love this song. It rocks! It's kind of comically violent - I know some people have criticized it as glorifying domestic violence, but I feel like the violence is so extreme (breaking legs, setting the bed on fire) that it can't possibly be taken seriously. I think it's cartoonish. At any rate, this song just rocks hard, and this one always goes on my workout mix.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Yeepers!

I finally got my UD 15th Anniversary Pencil Set!!! This is the box of my dreams!


15 full-size versions of my favorite pencils, 6 of which are exclusive shades to this box set.

I took a minute to swatch quickly:

L to R:
- Stray Dog - which at first glimpse reminds me of their (semi-exclusive) eye shadow color called Mushroom

- Midnight Cowboy - creamy, iridescent and beautiful

- Perversion - blacker than black, patent-shoe black

- Zero (not new - for comparison next to Perversion)

- Uzi - a dark gray, more like what I would think Gunmetal SHOULD be but isn't

- Asphyxia - like the eyeshadow color, a fuschia-purple with tinges of blue.

(not shown) Corrupt - a perfect brown. I didn't swatch it because I have a mini version of it from a previous 24/7 set. But it's never before been available in full-size.

This pencil set is limited edition, but luckily not sold out yet. If you get the chance, you really should get it, because it's an amazing value. All of the best selling colors plus 6 new ones!!! These pencils retail at $18 each normally, so you do the math.

Month of Blog, part 2 - Day 2: Your Least Favorite Song

You know, as hard as it was to narrow down my favorite songs, it's even harder to come up with my least favorites. There are LOTS of songs that I will instantly change the station for because I do NOT want to hear them, and usually it's because they get played way too much. But a song that actually is my least favorite? Maybe one that actually pisses me off?

Okay, here's one (and I'm not even going to link to it): Katy Perry's "Ur So Gay." I HATE it because obviously, it's using the word "gay" in a pejorative way, and if you know me, you know that this is something that really grinds my gears. I spend all my time trying to tell my kids not to do that and tell them why it's wrong and derogatory and homophobic, and then you get some pretty pop singer DOING THAT VERY THING. And of course, who are they going to listen to? It makes me want to punch her in the face.

Also, the songwriting is just crap anyway! The chorus goes, "Ur so gay and you don't even like boys / no you don't even like / no you don't even like / no you don't even like / boys." Okay, Katy honey: 1) If he doesn't like boys, then it means HE'S NOT GAY. 2) You couldn't think of any other words, so you just repeated the same line over and over? That's totally stupid.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Month of Blog, part 2 - Day 1: Your Favorite Song

I know it's cheating, but I have two:



"Lovesong" by the Cure
For no other reason than that I just really like it. It's haunting and romantic. It's not a "Oh I can't live without you baby" sort of love song - I like that he says "you make me feel like I am free again" because I think that's how love should be.




"The Prettiest Star" by David Bowie
This is the original version with Marc Bolan (T. Rex) playing the guitar melody. Again, haunting and romantic. I love this song so much that I named my daughter after it.

Month of Blog, part 2

Taken from my brother's blog. All music themed.

Topics:
Day 01 – Your favorite song
Day 02 – Your least favorite song
Day 03 – A song that makes you happy
Day 04 – A song that makes you sad
Day 05 – A song that reminds you of someone
Day 06 – A song that reminds of you of somewhere
Day 07 – A song that reminds you of a certain event
Day 08 – A song that you know all the words to
Day 09 – A song that you can dance to
Day 10 – A song that makes you fall asleep
Day 11 – A song from your favorite band
Day 12 – A song from a band you hate
Day 13 – A song that is a guilty pleasure
Day 14 – A song that no one would expect you to love
Day 15 – A song that describes you
Day 16 – A song that you used to love but now hate
Day 17 – A song that you hear often on the radio
Day 18 – A song that you wish you heard on the radio
Day 19 – A song from your favorite album
Day 20 – A song that you listen to when you’re angry
Day 21 – A song that you listen to when you’re happy
Day 22 – A song that you listen to when you’re sad
Day 23 – A song that you want to play at your wedding
Day 24 – A song that you want to play at your funeral
Day 25 – A song that makes you laugh
Day 26 – A song that you can play on an instrument
Day 27 – A song that you wish you could play
Day 28 – A song that makes you feel guilty
Day 29 – A song from your childhood
Day 30 – Your favorite song at this time last year

Friday, January 7, 2011

Love and Friendship

Last night I read an article that pretty much seemed to postulate that platonic friendships between men and women were not truly possible. (Note: the article referred only to heterosexual men and women - no discussion of the dynamic in a friendship involving homosexual or bisexual men and women.) It was kind of a dumb article - it seemed to support one of the men it kept quoting, who said that platonic relationships were not possible because men are primarily only interested in sex, and there's no way men are willing to invest time in a woman without getting something back. (Obviously the guy is a douche, and no self-respecting woman would want to be friends with a guy who feels that way anyway.)

It did get me wondering though, about the male friends in my life. I'm not going to presume that they were sexually attracted to me - I have no way of knowing, and if they were, they didn't make that known to me. (Plus, not to get all pity-party on you, but I just don't think I'm that attractive.) On my end, though, there's been a mix: guys that I have zero interest in, and guys that I pursued as friends because I knew I couldn't have a relationship with them, but as I got to know them, the initial attraction went away (not that I found them repulsive, but the "urge" was no longer there), and a real friendship remained.

None of those friendships were level-10, best-friend closeness though. Except for one. One guy, who I got to know better because I was really attracted to him, and then we became really, really close friends, and then (for me anyway) some lines got blurred. Nothing happened between us physically (we were/are both attached, so that would've been cheating), but emotionally it was pretty intense, and in the end, a big fight caused us both to back off. And now we're distant friends, if even that. We don't even talk to each other anymore, except in passing.

I don't know if I personally am capable of having that level of intimacy with a man who isn't my boyfriend, ever again. It's too complicated, there's too much potential for drama and jealousy all around. In a way, it felt like a relationship all on its own, with its own brand of heartbreaking denouement. What separates friendship from a relationship? I would think, the physical relationship. Because it's absolutely possible to love someone platonically, but if there already is a romantic attraction and physical desire to begin with, it's too easy for that love to turn non-platonic. And then the dynamic is changed, and there is drama.

I acknowledge that it IS possible to have a platonic friendship with a man, but for me, I don't think I could ever do the "male best friend" thing, because _I_ don't have a good handle on my emotions. It's not because men are driven by sex and have no control over themselves - the article got it wrong there, I believe. I don't think generalizing does either gender any justice, because it implies that men are predators and women are teases. I think emotions and chemistry are a complicated matter, and for that matter, the human heart (the figurative one, not the literal one) is the most complicated thing of all, and it can't be boiled down to gender stereotypes.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hautelook haul!

There's nothing I love better than a good sale... Hautelook recently had an awesome Urban Decay sale. Look what I scored!

Four Big Fatty Colored Mascaras (worth $68), an Ink for Eyes (worth $22), and an Urban Decay Rocks set (worth $18), all for just TWO BUCKS EACH!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Progress

Today begins my week 2 of doing the Couch to 10k program (which is actually week 4 in the program - I skipped the first two), and I'm really happy with the little progress I've made. One, that I've made it to week 2 AT ALL (we all know motivation and commitment are not my strong points), and two, that my body feels stronger already. Even though my run interval has increased, my body is having an easier time with it than it did with week 1, and I'm sure it's because I spent the last week eating better and exercising more than I have in the past year. My weigh-in on Monday put me at four pounds down, which I know is technically a lot for one week, but hey, I'm not going to complain.

In addition to running, I've gotten back into Bikram yoga. I'm taking some time off from roller derby, and I need to make up for the lost sweating time somehow, so I'm heading to YogaSource Los Gatos on the days that I don't run, for an hour and a half in a sweaty sauna of a room to try and bend and pull myself into positions I never thought humanly possible. My past year of skating (and even my half-hearted running attempts) have made me pretty inflexible, and I'm just worried I will injure myself because of it. I suck at doing yoga on dvd, so I'm taking classes. I love Bikram because the heat presents a challenge for me to work through. Plus, I like sweating it out - even though I'm soaked in sweat from head to toe, I feel cleaner afterwards than when I first came in, like the heat has purged a lot of the (literal and figurative) bad stuff out through my pores.

I'm also trying to hydrate more - no more headaches, please! - and just trying to be more conscious of what I eat. No more mindless nibbling. I'm doing Weight Watchers again, because it works the best for me.

I don't know how people manage to do this normally. Right now I feel like it's taking up a lot of energy and focus. I guess after a while, it's supposed to become second nature, right? I hope I can get to that point, because right now I'm trying REALLY hard.