Month: January 2015

Randomness

I haven’t been doing much of anything.

I’ve been sleeping. A lot of sleeping. I’ve been indulging my SAD and letting myself not run into exhaustion like I normally do all winter.

The Mystery Mythic Missing Oranges

tangelos

I was gifted a box of tangelos this winter for Christmas. They came straight from the grove, with a note saying that they were coming into season and would be shipped by such and such a date. I waited, then contacted the person that sent me the oranges that they hadn’t appeared.

That’s funny, the grove said, they’re marked as delivered to you about four days -before- you contacted us.

I had already asked the Post Office to hold my packages (way to drop the ball there, guys, it’s like you actually want to keep losing all my packages) but apparently they took that as a suggestion and not a customer request. Eventually I decided the package had just poofed. Again. And went on with life.

A box of oranges appeared the other day. The box is too clean and the oranges are too fresh to have been the original box. But I have the fruit now, so that’s all that matters.

softballorange

Shamrockin’

shamrockin

I’m really terrible with photographing my nails. I don’t normally like St. Patrick’s Day and it’s not for two months anyway but I saw the Shamrockin’ polish on the Sinful Colors display this week and really needed to have that polish. I ended up with a Walgreen’s coupon that covered the sale so I splurged.

It’s a dot style glitter (I don’t know what they actually call this style glitter) in greens and white. There are supposed to be white and green shamrock shaped glitter mixed in but I didn’t manage to find any-but close to six weeks off of St. Patrick’s Day? That’s fine.

I’m wearing it over one layer of Wet and Wild’s Yo Soy. I don’t like the new Wet and Wild’s formula at all. It’s both thin and goopy. I’ll definitely go for more than 1 layer of the nude next time and will most likely reserve this color for the base coat for glitters.

shamrockin1

Baskets

basket1

Polishes are my current obsession, and my collection finally outgrew its basket. I had to go to the dollar store and get a bigger box.

And green polish. Because I don’t have a solid, spring green in my collection. Head desk.

Black Orchid

blacorchid

Mid and I have been having ‘discussions’ around the subject of the appropriate lip color. Don’t fret, you can tell that I’ve been wearing it. He just hates 99% of the colors I find unless they’re in the nude range.

I however have finally found a color that I absolutely adore. That’s an actually fairly bare skin (I’m wearing ELF mascara-which I admittedly don’t like but I haven’t had time to get to Sephora, and ELF face powder-which I do like) and one of the black tube Wet and Wild lipsticks in Black Orchid. Which one? I don’t remember. It’s off of the ‘new item’ display that Walgreen’s has out now.

It’s not purple, it’s not red, it’s not pink, it’s not even really mauve. I’m not sure what’s going on here, but I like it. It toes the line of my ‘no unnatural lip color’ rule and it’s. so. dark. But I love it.

The Aeschylus

The Aeschylus

David Barclay

402 pages

Accessed as an ebook

$0.99 on Amazon at the time of review

I start a lot of books for review that I eventually give up on. It’s not uncommon. It’s generally a lot of urban fantasies and the like; there are a lot of tropes that just turn me off of a book almost instantly.

Every so often though I get my hands on a book that I thought I would hate and then find myself really enjoying. I really liked this one. Not quite horror but not quite scifi, definitely Lovecraft twinged but self deferential if not meta, with enough darkness to keep this from being just another ‘thing from outer space’ indie scifi novel but enough scifi to keep it from being another creature feature novel.

I normally don’t like books that dump the reader into the middle of the action (yes, this novel does that) with little or no true back story to the events. I’m okay with the plot not being wrapped up into a neat package at the end of the story, but I like to know what I’m headed into. Even if it’s just a Romero style ‘and there was a zombie in the graveyard’ I want to know what has been going on to get a grasp of the world. Aeschylus doesn’t really do that. There  is something floating off the South American coast. We don’t know what it is. We know that it’s been there for awhile. We know that it’s not from here.

Beyond that, we’ve been trying to figure out what these things are, what they want, and why they are going about what they’re doing. The Valley Oil Corporation is notified that something is wrong with one of their platforms-none of the crew has been in contact for long enough that the corporation decides to send a team to investigate. Kate McCready, daughter of the late Vice President of the United States finds herself the largest stockholder of the company-and on her way to see what’s going on at the platform.

What is going at the platform is a mystery stretching back to at least Nazi Germany and potentially much, much longer. The novel avoids a lot of the normal indie horror/scifi tropes-it’s hard to be a Final Girl when you’re the only female in the modern arch, the male lead isn’t all that perfect, the monster is not a mindless killing machine even if we don’t really understand what’s going on or why. The only issue I have with the book is a stylistic issue that’s a personal pet peeve- the ending hints at a sequel and I really don’t like novels that set up series straight out of the gate. If the plot can handle a series, so be it, but don’t force a series right from the beginning.

Warnings: language, violence, mild sexual content, light to moderate discussion of racial and Fascist politics (plot relevant).

All the Fun I Have At the Dollar Store

supermarket-507295_1280

This story isn’t dollar store related.

I bought a kit to fill your own k cups. It comes with the lids and the cups and the filters, you fill the cups with whatever you want.

I use green cups when I’m at home, we like the reusable cups that are sold on commercials. They actually say ‘as seen on TV’ on the package. We’ve used them for years, and they serve our purposes well. Of course they don’t fit into the brewer at work.

But this means that I can have a steady stream of dark roast pumpkin spice cups.

And they’re a lot cheaper than prefilled cups.

—————————

I’ve fallen in love with the dollar store again.

I can’t come up with a cutesy intro about my love of cheap home supplies right now. So I’m going to just jump right into it.

1. Cleaning supplies

Windex, toilet cleaner, sponges, paper towels. All those fun things. I haven’t seen any difference in cleaning power and they’re a lot cheaper. I feel better about taking them to camp if necessary and not worry about them coming back.

The only thing I won’t get at the dollar store is dish soap-except for original blue Dawn. I use blue Dawn to wash wool and quick laundry loads in the tub. But I’m also very, very particular about my dish soap and there’s a lot of national brands I won’t use so it’s not just some dollar store dish soap hate I have going.

2. Beauty supplies

Including certain cosmetics. Our Dollar Tree gets drops of national brand cosmetics every so often-the last time I went I walked out with ELF Professional line lip stuff and Maybelline nail polish. They also carry a lot of LA Colors which is a brand I’ve blogged about before and trust. I get a lot of my cotton swabs, cotton balls, nail polish remover in a pinch, I’ve bought stuff like make up wedges and brushes for Halloween and other one time use situations.

3. Travel Toiletries

Our Dollar Tree carries a lot of national brand body care items, just in smaller packages. That actually makes it more expensive but it’s still only a buck. When I’m traveling and I want stuff that’s easier to transport, or if I’m traveling forget something, I hit the dollar store. It’s generally not the stuff that I’m used to using but it’ll get the job done until I get home.

4. Junk Food

I don’t do a lot of my food shopping at the dollar store because honestly Aldi’s is cheaper and the quality is normally higher. But Aldi’s doesn’t sell voodoo chips or coconut patties. Or whale crackers.

5. Storage Pieces

Mainly small baskets and the like. Containers to hold things like canning lids, nail polish, cotton balls, things like that. Maybe they’re not as attractive as the home stores…but they’re also a tenth of the price.

6. Gift wrap and blog props

Wrapping paper, cellophane, tissue paper, small bowls or plates. Things that will be single use or don’t really have to be awesome quality.

La Catrina

Posada2.Catrina

La Catrina.

Oh, how I love her.

I’m obviously still on my beauty kick, but I’m also still on my ‘death and beauty’ kick. Because it’s me. And I’m morbid.

La Catrina has become one of those images that has seeped into American culture without a lot of discussion of the back story behind the image. Obviously Americans are finding something in the sugar skull, Lady Death, beauty in the destruction image. I wonder what it is that’s so appealing right now.

Originally entitled La Calavera Garbancera, Catrina was first drawn by Jose Guadalupe Posada in satire of those Mexican classes that were striving for a more European style of culture. It was actually a fairly aggressive statement; the imagery in the sketch was in direct comment to classes who were seen as denying their heritage to the point of lightening their skin (the skeletal imagery in the cartoon). Published prior to the Mexican Revolution, the image would eventually become more associated with Dia de Los Muertos as a singular image of death. The image would further evolve-the original cartoon that introduced Catrina portrayed her simply as a skull flaunting a rather loud hat, but the image would eventually portray her as a full skeleton in full formal dress.

Her name would be solidified decades later with the works of Diego Rivera (who painted my favorite Catrinas). Rivera’s Catrinas have the same political subtext while expanding on and further developing the image. In both Posada’s and Rivera’s work there is a heavy political subtext regarding cultural heritage and social standing that hasn’t really translated into the use of the image in American culture.

Though, without a lot of work, it is possible to see that the subtext is there, it has simply shifted into something that is perhaps more applicable to the modern era.

All the money won’t save you, we’re all still going to be skeletons wearing our Sunday best.

La Calavera Catrina

Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central

My Winter Beauty Routine-2015

day box

I’m on a roll!

Actually it’s sort of a weird roll. If you’re the type of person who has always known that they’re attractive, or had people act like you’re attractive-there’s a certain amount of attention that you get that I think that you eventually get used to, and you don’t notice it anymore.

I’m not trying to sound bitter. I’m trying to sound bewildered because somehow in the last seven days I’ve started getting a ton of attention that I’ve never really gotten before. I’m either a very late bloomer or I’ve finally found the routine that works for me. It’s disconcerting to suddenly be told you look like a Rembrandt painting.

What I’m saying is that if you go through life sort of invisible and then walk into a room and everyone is looking at you, you have to get used to it.

Anyway.

This is my routine-

-Water. Water water water. Water. Drink lots and lots of water. Or lots and lots of something anyway, get a lot of fluid into your system.

-I start out with a layer of moisturizer. I use Ponds or a Ponds knock off now, I feel like it stands up to my skin better.

-I put on a mid-weight layer of Tarte’s Amazonian Clay foundation in Beige

-If I have time, I dust with E.L.F’s color correcting powder.

-I prime my eyelids with Monistat chafing gel. You read that right. It’s the best eyeshadow primer I’ve ever used.

-Then comes mascara-dark brown or black, both sets of lashes. I like Sephora’s basic mascara but honestly lately I’ve been using an ELF Pro and a LA Colors because I haven’t had time to get to the mall.

-My base eye color is the lightest shade from a Physician’s Formula palette called Baked Butter. Then a mid tone neutral.

-Sometimes I use a liquid eyeliner pen in black. Most of the time I can’t be bothered to deal with it.

-Lip color is Vaseline lip treatment under a pink-brown or pink balm stick. If I’m feeling really peppy I wear a Wet and Wild lipstick in Stoplight Red.

-I do use facial wipes. Ahem. I know, not frugal or green but I won’t wash off my make up otherwise. At night I use another layer of Ponds.

The biggest shift in my routine away from last year is this:

purpleI wasn’t veiling full time last winter. I started wrapping full time in public around June, and it has impacted my beauty routine.

(Also, how awesome is that scarf?)

If I’m wearing an intense wrap, especially with an Israeli tie or very long tails, I’m not going to put a lot of color next to my face.

That pashima is stunning-it’s pinky-purple that shifts to teal in the middle and it’s sparkly. That’s already a LOT of color right there in your face.

So my face is full-but-nude-my eyeshadow is slightly darker than my skin tone, full coverage foundation, and an ELF lip color called natural.

With a crown tichel or something in a less intense color I go for more color in my face.

Veiling, Cosmetics, and Modesty-My Personal Stance

jan

This one is going to be long and awkward and perhaps not make a lot of sense. It’s a subject that I’ve wanted to write about forever but falls so close to the center of my being that I know what I mean, but I don’t know if I have the language for what I mean.

I am admittedly coming from a non-Abrahamic stance, so I can’t speak for anyone who follows the Book. I also can’t talk for any other Pagan, since frankly, we’re such a bizarrely fractured group (because of the way that -so many- faiths get lumped under the Pagan umbrella) that I can only really talk about my own very eclectic and currently in flux path.

Right now, my path towards center is bringing me back into the realm of appearance. I hate when my path brings me here, it’s where I admittedly have the most problems. I am mostly okay with not being conventionally attractive-and I am in fact fully aware that I’m never going to be what the American popular culture deems ‘truly’ pretty. If nothing else I’m one of those people who are heavy when they are light, so my base body shape is always going to have me hitting outside of the beauty norm. And mostly I’m fine with that; I’m honest enough to admit to my own image angst so I’m not going to lie and talk about how I think I’m a perfect special snowflake.

There is a set of social assumptions that come with veiling, and I feel that in part they’re due to the extreme disinterest that the public has in talking about veiling with people who actually veil and the extreme interest the Americans have in judging those who veil (shun her, shuuunnnnn….). The biggest assumption that I want to touch on here is that we don’t care about our base appearance.

I will admit that the longer I veil, the less interested I am in showing a ton of skin. But I do veil in cami tanks. I will however be wearing my cami with a maxi skirt. Or I will be wearing shorter skirts with more coverage on top. I have no shame in my body; I actually take a much higher level of respect for my body now than I did when I wore a hell of a lot less clothing when I wasn’t veiling. I’m actually on -much- better terms with the shape of my self and the state of my skin than when I connected my sexuality my cleavage.

I actually don’t think there’s anything wrong with that connection-I am certainly not ashamed of who I was then, and I don’t feel shame or guilt for women who do (which is part of the assumptions that I hear, that -I- must -hate- -those- women).

The way that I look at it is that I am seeing my self as a room, and that I personally hold the key to the door to that room. You have knock on the door and be invited inside. You can’t just expect the right to see what’s in that room, just because you assume that the room is open property to society. Having started to shift towards something like modesty, that actually is a standing social assumption-your body as a woman is something that is considered free use by society. Nothing will make people think they have a right to comment on your physicality like a maxi skirt and a head scarf in the middle of summer.

Cosmetic usage falls into the same area for me. I am choosing to do something that makes me feel better. I enjoy it. But I also go months and months without touching the stuff. I am making the choice that makes me feel the best at that moment. I will however admit that for my own personal comfort levels as well as my concepts of modesty, I will not go so far as to fully alter my appearance with the use of cosmetics. It’s one thing to even out skin tone. It’s another thing entirely to resculpt the entirety of my bone structure with contouring. That, along with everything else in the modesty/veiling community, is an entirely personal decision and depends on the woman in question.

There is nothing inherently immodest, as far as I am concerned, about feeling attractive. Perhaps the locus lies in a different place-I am doing the things that make me the most comfortable and don’t challenge the obligations of my faith, not what society thinks is the most appropriate-but I don’t think that veiling takes the power away from the woman wearing the veil to feel pretty. The sacrifice of the public display of our hair does not force us to give up our bodies; if anything it seems to make us more aware of it.

Beauty Confessions

squishy

That’s a terrible photo all the way around, I’m not afraid to admit that.

But I can’t talk about my cosmetics without a selfie… I mean, that just feels awkward to me to go to Pixabay and a random photo of a flower or something.

The lighting in my bathroom is currently horrible (I need to have bulbs replaced), I’ve been ill for close to three weeks, and I’m slowly teaching myself how to apply liquid/marker eyeliner. And I’m terribly, terribly squishy right now.

But it’s a photo, and since it’s already up on Instagram it’s not like I can deny it exists.

1. I can’t be bothered to wash my face

Before you start losing and flailing around, I do take off my make up. I just have to use those wet wipe things. I have to have something pre-made or I just won’t do it. I would love to list off a bunch of excuses like ‘I forget when I get home at 1 in the morning’ but it really just does come down to ‘I’m lazy’ when I can be bothered to waste time on Reddit and not wash my face.

I am working through more sustainable options than the Almay wipes that I use now.

2. I have to paint my nails now

I finally broke myself of the habit of biting my nails all the time. I was set to start growing my nails out like an adult and then realized that they break, all the time. I will be typing at work and look down to see that another nail has broken. I don’t know if I’m deficient in a mineral or if I need better nail polish remover, but my nails will shatter now if they’re not painted.

3. I use nail polish to get money out of my account

If I don’t have time to get to the ATM for bus fare, I end up stopping at Walgreens and buying discounted nail polish. I’m partial to blacks, grays, pale pinks and other nudes, and oranges.

4. I wear black eyeshadow when I feel ugly

I collect black shadows, but I only wear them if I already feel unattractive. I don’t know if it’s a power thing or what, but I can’t wear them if I feel attractive.

5. I buy fairly expensive foundations…

I wear mid to high range foundations. It’s one of the few, and maybe the only, product that I’m willing to spend good money on. Right now I wear Tarte Amazonian Clay.

6.. …But I wear dollar store eye shadows

You can make all the promises you want that UD and the like have better quality shadows. I just don’t see enough of a difference with my skin to warrant the amount of money that they want for them. I might spend $40 for foundation, but I won’t spend more than $10 on an eyeshadow palette.

7. I get inordinately angry when a company changes a product

Yes, ELF, I’m looking at you and your eyeliner pens. If I get used a product and you come along and ‘improve’ it there’s a strong potential that I’m going to stop using it. If I wanted it improved, I probably would have been using a different product in the first place. I then get angry, throw a cosmetics tantrum, and start looking for a replacement that is like the product had been before it was ‘improved’.

8. I refuse to wear blush

I just won’t do it. I’m actually relatively fair skinned but I lean towards red/pink (it isn’t uncommon for the red to go down and people to start asking me if I’m ill/have just been ill). I wear foundation and powder in order to pull the red out of my skin. Why would I want to add red back into my skin after that? I’d rather go for the pale look and wait for my foundation to settle.

9. I really, really don’t like oddly colored lipsticks

I don’t care how awesome you think you look in blue/purple/neon orange/green/bright yellow lip colors. I don’t like them on anyone, across the board. I might make an exception for light purples like pale violets or peaches, but I honestly think that -everyone- looks bizarre in off colored lip colors. Rock it if you want to but I’m never going to compliment it.

10. I don’t really do pink

I don’t wear pink eyeshadow that often. I’m not into girly girly cosmetics. I wear primarily very dark or very neutral colors. If the look can be described as ‘flirty’, ‘girly’ ‘femme’, ‘sweet’, if the word ‘candy’ can be used in relation to it…I’m not wearing it. My cosmetic choices tend to match my personality and I feel like I’m faking a personality I don’t have if I give into the drive to be a fluff ball.