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Showing posts from 2013

Year in Review: My Highlights of 2013

In rough chronological order, here are some of the best moments of the past year for me: - Reading The Fault in Our Stars - The Lizzie Bennet Diaries in general, but especially being in the fandom - PRing my half marathon, twice - Disney Coast to Coast challenge - Educating myself more about feminism and intersectionality - Going back to roller derby - Santa Rosa marathon - Welcome to Night Vale - My "excuses"  being on Buzzfeed - Catching Fire - My birthday weekend

Demanda Riot, Disney princesses, and the marathon I didn't run

This weekend I turned 31. And none of it happened how I planned. This was the weekend I was supposed to run the California International Marathon in Sacramento. It would've been my third full marathon, and my fastest (because I would've had to finish in 6 hours instead of 6:30 or 7:00). I was supposed to run it with my best friend Becca. What happened instead was that I sprained my knee badly at the end of September scrimmaging at the BAD warehouse, which meant that by the time I felt well enough to run, it would be too late to just jump into marathon training, so that was out. I was already missing so many things due to that injury, and missing the CIM was a major blow. Still, I tried to be optimistic and planned ahead. Even if I couldn't train for a marathon, I could heal enough by December to get back on skates, right? So I decided to sign up for Red Red Holiday, the annual derby tournament put on by the Sac City Rollers, which was also taking place my birthday

Naked 3 basic look

This is in no way meant to be even a remotely impressive tutorial - I've been sick with something awful for three weeks, and it shows. However, I'm posting it because I though people might want to see how some of the shades show up against my skin. (I'm a MAC NC40, UD Naked Skin 7.0.) - UDPP - Buzz all over the lid - Liar  in the outer third of the lid - Darkside  in the crease and along the outer half of the lower lash line - Limit  to blend out the crease - Strange  on the browbone - Eye pencil in Rockstar - Maybelline The Rocket mascara Buzz is described as "metallic rose shimmer" and Liar is described as "medium metallic mauve shimmer." On me, everything looks more brown than in the pan, but I can see the hints of pink as well. I'm curious to use these exact colors again over my NYX Milk pencil and see how different it looks on a white base.

Quick thoughts on the Naked 3 palette from Urban Decay

I got my Naked 3! I managed to get my order in before they sold out. Very beautiful! Nooner and Darkside are probably my favorites so far. Dust and Buzz are my least favorite just because of their micro-glitter texture - they're very beautiful shades, but they're a little crumbly compared to the other ones. They don't all totally pull pink on me, and I think it's because some of them are less pink than others in the palette. Like, seeing them all together next to each other, you're like, IT'S ROSY! But swatching them individually, they aren't so pink that they clash with my warm undertones. (Also, I'm medium-dark, so that probably obscures some of the pink.) Here are some pictures of palette: And I know some people will find this sacrilegious, but I immediately depotted this because I want all my Nakeds to live together: Naked 1 on top, Naked 2 center (I took out Half Baked and Blackout because they already exist in Naked 1 an

Teachers are such precious unicorns.

One of my coworkers posted this blog on Facebook called " Don't date a girl who teaches ," and it's a comical list of reasons why dating a teacher sucks. I thought it was hilarious. This isn't what I'm ranty about. I'm ranty about the original blog post that inspired that one, called " Date a girl who teaches ."** Oh, lordy. The girl who wrote this is obviously some sort of preschool/elementary teacher, because her reality is apparently all sugary-sweet and sparkly unicorns. If you are looking to date a girl who teaches, and THAT list is what you're expecting, then you'd better stay away from me. Date a girl who teaches children. Okay, I guess teenagers are technically children too, but I can guaran-damn-tee you that secondary school teachers are an entirely different breed from primary teachers. When I was a brand new teacher having to do obligatory new-teacher stuff at the district office with all the other new teachers in the di

Thoughts on Catching Fire

I was suuuuuuper excited to see the next installment of the Hunger Games series, and I was definitely not disappointed. I just wanted to share some initial thoughts. I guess SPOILER WARNING IN EFFECT ? I'm not sure what will be spoilery about the movie if you've already read the book. There weren't any huge changes or surprises a la Breaking Dawn Pt. 2. I went to the IMAX double feature with  The Hunger Games  showing first. I only ever saw it on a regular movie screen, so even though I've watched it MANY times since it came out, it was still a treat seeing it on the ginormous screen. Here's the blog post I wrote about it when I first saw it.  I still love this movie. I liked it when I first saw it, and I still like it now. So, Catching Fire ... - If I had to choose one word to describe it, I would have to say "visceral." The entire experience of seeing this movie hit me squarely in the gut, from the terror to the tragedy to the romantic feelings

What’s in my purse? A rundown of my to-go essentials

I have an overly large stash of makeup, and it goes without saying that I can’t take it all with me. But I do like to keep a basic stash of essentials in my purse for beauty emergencies, and I don’t always carry a large purse, so what are my most important things to keep around? Here’s my list of must-haves:

Race recap: Mermaid SF Sirena 10-miler

It was simultaneously not my best run and also a breakthrough run, if that makes any sense. It was not my best in that my pace (16:45) was nothing to write home about, and the first 3.5 miles were quite painful and hard on my knee. But it was a breakthrough in that after about four miles, everything just loosened up and stopped hurting, and for the first time in months, I could actually keep up a semi-regular (if super short) running interval for the rest of the run. I'm pretty sure I ran a negative split, not surprising when you consider that I was hobbling up and down hills before I got to the bridge and everything leveled out. Oh, the bridge! I've never run across the Golden Gate before, so I was SUPER excited, and that was my whole reason for signing up for this distance. It was a beautiful day - perfect weather for such breathtaking views :) I'm not sure I'll ever do it again, but I'm definitely glad I did it just this once. I ran this one with my fellow

Oh yeah, finally got THIS done

Remember on my 30 Things Before I'm 30 list, one of my unfinished items was "get a Jolie tattoo"? Well, I did! This one was inspired by the artwork for Shel Silverstein's "Moon-Catchin' Net": Because that picture is exactly how I envision my little Jolie, the adventurer who always wants to chase the moon at night in my car.

This is why.

I teach a gender studies unit with my sophomores. Maybe some people in the world might object to this, but I try to introduce them to the concept of feminism and gender equality, and there is some media literacy and literature. We start out the year by critiquing Disney fairy tales and the messages they send about femininity, and then we move on to Killing Us Softly 4  and discussion of contemporary feminist issues such as body image/fat-shaming, slut-shaming/oversexualization of women, and the glamourization of violence in the media. We are wrapping up this second part of it with a big project/presentation that is due this week. (And just in case you're curious, we're just starting Cyrano de Bergerac  now, and we've been having discussions about society's standards for male beauty.) Today, before class, one of my students approached me at my desk. "You really inspire me," she said, all of a sudden. "... Thank you?" I said, not sure where this

Challenge complete!

Today I ran (er, walked/hiked) the ZombieRunner Halloween Half Marathon in Los Gatos. We will not speak of it (let's just say, I still can't run much on this knee AND there was a really difficult climb for the middle 5 miles or so AND they did not have mile markers ANYWHERE), but it's DONE, and that means one thing: I did it! 13 13s in '13! 13 half marathons in 2013, and along the way, I picked up two extra series medals (the Disney Coast to Coast Challenge medal, and the Bay Area Running Series medal). Phew. In addition to those thirteen races above, I also did a full marathon, and I have one more race next weekend (the Mermaid San Francisco 10-miler). I have more thoughts, but am exhausted, so I will save those for another time. For now, I just want to sleep FOREVER.

"The circus arrives without warning..."

"The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called  Le Cirque des Rêves , and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang

Light at the end of the tunnel

My knee injury has been lingering awhile, so I finally got to see a physical therapist yesterday about it, to see exactly what was wrong. Basically, I still can't bend my knee into a deep squat, and I can't kneel on my knee. My PT, Nicole, surprised me by asking me right away what my derby name is! It turns out, she's a derby fan, and she was excited about me coming in because it was in my file that I'm a derby skater (because that's how I got injured). It was really great that I happened to get an appointment with someone who is familiar with my sport and who has an appreciation for the kind of impact and injuries that result. (Of COURSE I invited her to our bout.) After a few assessments, she determined that there's nothing WRONG wrong with my knee (like, my ligaments are fine and all that) - my IT band and the surrounding muscles in my knee have healed really tight and my knee is out of alignment with the rest of me. My homework is to foam-roll a whole bu


What's MY excuse? I'm busy knocking people to the floor.

What's MY excuse?

Before I start, I want to make it clear that I am NOT criticizing this woman or women who look like her. Nor am I criticizing anyone who draws inspiration from this photo to make positive changes in her own life. But I AM about to get a bit ranty. I've been seeing these "fit mom" memes everywhere for a long time, and in truth, they rub me the wrong way, and here's why. If you ask me who I think the fittest people in the world are, I would have to say Crossfitters and endurance athletes. Whether it's your first marathon or your fiftieth, whether it takes you five minutes to complete a WOD or fifteen, it takes a certain baseline of fitness. But if you show up to ANY start line or ANY CrossFit box, you will notice that not everyone looks the same. SOME people look like the woman in the photo - feminine, conventionally hot, tanned, non-cellulite-y, smooth-skinned with nary a blemish. But many other people do NOT look like that, and before you interject to tell

Race recap: Morgan Hill Half Marathon

Who shows up to a half marathon with a knee injury and zero base mileage and does it anyway? *raises hand* Me. There's a fine line between gutsy and stupid, and I think I pretty much live on that line. I own REAL ESTATE on that line. I have claimed it on behalf of my mother land. I injured my knee three weeks ago, and while it's mostly better, it's not 100%. I had hoped to be able to run SOME of this race, but as it turned out, a few 3-minute repeats brought on some sharp pains behind my kneecap, and I knew that it was going to be a looooong morning. It's hard going from averaging 3 hours for a half (with a PR of 2:44) to knowing that I would be taking longer than 4 hours. It's a definitely blow to my ego. I haven't taken that long for a few YEARS (not counting last year's Summit Rock half which took me 5 hours because it was hilly as f***. I climbed a damn mountain .) Add to that the fact that Morgan Hill was my first FULL marathon, and here I

Down for the count

It's been a while since I did a real, legit blog post, so I thought I'd do one now, since I have a lot of time. Why do I have a lot of time? Because I'm INJURED. Last weekend, I skated in a team-on-team scrimmage against the BAD skater pool, and I was super nervous because it was my first THING since returning to roller derby, and I know as well as anyone else that BAD skaters aren't ones to mess with. I had ONE goal, and that was to not get injured. (Well, yeah... you can see how well that turned out.) So it's been over a week now, and I'm ALMOST back to normal. I'm not limping so much anymore, and most of the pressure/swelling has gone. I still have a hard time walking down stairs and I definitely still can't kneel on it without pain. (Which would be a big problem if I were to skate and then fall on it.) I've been off it completely, which is really hard for me. Ironically, I haven't been running or doing anything other than skating late

A pretty good dupe for Urban Decay Revolution lipstick in Venom?

I don't have it myself, so I can't directly compare, but Wet 'n' Wild's Fergie Centerstage lipstick in Ferguson Crest Cabernet is a pretty close match to UD's lipliner pencil in Venom, at least. And the combination of the two totally left a stain on my lips that lasted overnight, even after I scrubbed it off, so... pretty good staying power :) Here are a couple shots in different lighting: And here are the lip pencil and lipstick swatched: Venom on the left, Ferguson Crest Cabernet on the right Again, I don't have the Venom lipstick for comparison, considering how close the WnW lipstick looks already, and the fact that I only paid 3 or 4 dollars for it, I don't feel the need to drop $22 on Venom :)

Post-B2SN Fatigue

I have no energy today. Therefore, I present to you... GIFs from Tumblr. What I look like when I'm teaching: "Ms. Ngo, do we HAVE to include quotes?" When a student hands me what is SUPPOSED to be a formal assignment, written in pencil When a kid interrupts me mid-sentence to ask to go to the bathroom "Ms. Ngo, I hate reading." When yet another kid forgets to put his/her name on an assignment When I have to repeat myself for the fifth time because kids were too busy talking to hear me say it the first four times

Urban Decay Shattered Face Case - new for Holiday 2013

Yasssss. I love Urban Decay Face Cases. Back in high school, they were among my first high-end makeup purchases, and from then on, I've been an Urban Decay megafan ever since. See this post ? I have owned ALL of these. And now I have the newest one, Shattered (which I half-expected to come with the actual eyeshadow color Shattered *shrug*). There is another one, Anarchy, that will be Sephora-exclusive. I'll spare you the products shots (because there've already been a LOT posted this week by the big bloggers), and I'll just post the look I'm wearing today with all five shadows. - UDPP - Remix all over the lid - Nameless in the crease and blended onto the outer corner - Shakedown to blend out the crease - Minor Sin on the inner corner of the lid - Bleached on the browbone - eye pencil in Zero along the upper lash line - eye pencil in Vice along the lower lash line (not included with the face case) - Maybelline The Rocket mascara I'm also

Urban Decay Black Market eye pencil set comparison swatches

Happy holidays! Wait, what? Oh, it's only September. Well, it FEELS like Christmas, because Urban Decay's Holiday 2013 collection is dropping this Tuesday (9/10). Except that apparently Ulta already has a couple of fancy schmancy new items available for purchase today, including the Black Market eye pencil set, which features 6 travel-sized pencils, 5 of which are new/exclusive colors, and the one that isn't new/exclusive is new-ish , in the sense that it was one of the new colors UD released when they re-released their line of eye pencils (so, it's not a color that has been around for years). I was already at Ulta anyway, returning a couple things. I saw the set... It was inevitable. shiiiiiiiiny So, the Black Market set comes with: - West, a medium brown with tiny gold sparkles - Black Market, a satiny light black (if that makes any sense) - Desperation, a matte gray (This is the one that is part of the permanent line) - Riot, a dark bluish purple wit