Beginner’s Guide to Makeup

The main thing I’ve learned this month is that when you tell people “I don’t wear makeup” they hear “I don’t wear MUCH makeup.” Because how inconceivable is it to go around everyday with your normal disgusting face on display?? Ridiculous, I know, but it is how I live my life. I have so far received no complaints (to said disgusting face, anyway). But I decided it might be nice to actually know what this stuff is about in case one day I feel like playing with it. So I made an appointment at Sephora and I spent an hour having little conversations like this:

Sephora Employee: What kind of primer do you usually use?
Me: I don’t wear makeup.
Sephora Employee: Okay, but–
Me: Also what is primer

Sephora Employee: Do you prefer liquid eyeliner or–
Me: I don’t wear makeup

Sephora Employee: Do you normally wear mascara?
Me: I don’t wear makeup
Sephora Employee: Never?
Me: Never
Sephora Employee: What about on your wedding?
Me: I was wearing paperbags

By the end I feel like she was wondering why I was even allowed to walk into the Sephora store and I was wondering why the hell people do this every goddamn day. Because it is a lot of work and also GET THAT POINTY THING AWAY FROM MY EYE. Here is what her tireless work (and my constant eye-watering from trying not to blink) produced:

Appreciate it, because it's never happening again

Appreciate it, because it’s never happening again

So here’s how to makeup:

1. Wash your face, you peasant
I feel like this was the only category where my Sephora employee actually had faith in my abilities as an adult. Since it was the first thing we talked about, it may have lured her into overestimating me, because I am into skin care, friends. I even subscribed to the fabled 10-step Korean skincare regimen briefly before paring it down to this:

1. Wash your gooddamn face (with an oil-based cleanser)
1a) Twice a week exfoliate
2. Toner the shit out of that
3. Moisturizzzzzze

Also sheet masks sometimes mostly because there is a Tony Moly outlet in HMart and I can’t stop myself.

I can only assume that this part is even MORE important if you slather your face with random crap daily.

2. Hide your imperfections with color theory

This is where she lost me. This step involves putting a bunch of stuff all over your face to “even out” your skin tone and hide your pores and whatever. My main problem is redness so I need to put on layers of green (??gold?? I forget now because I wasn’t taking notes. I thought about it, but I was afraid of incurring even more disapproval) in between other layers of things that match my skin tone. They had a special camera machine that they would hold against your cheek to get a SCIENTIFIC BEAUTY MATCH for your skin tone. It felt kind of like being at the doctor. Anyway, this step is like preparing the canvas for the art that is going to happen next:

3. Eyes: This is a form of torture

Stuff happened to my eyes at this point, but I was paying even less attention because of how incredibly uncomfortable it was. Keeping your eyes open while someone wields a pointy thing right up in there?? Nope nope nope.

I asked how soon I would sweat all this off and she seemed confused because apparently Real Ladies don't sweat lolololol

I asked how soon I would sweat all this off and she seemed confused because apparently Real Ladies don’t sweat lolololol

4. Lips: the only part I can kind of do??

Lol jk my ability to put lipstick on is as shitty as all my other non-existent artistic abilities, but at least this part was painless. She tried to teach me some technique about outlining your “cupid’s bow” with an x and then filling in… stuff…

5. Good fucking luck ever getting this stuff off

No wonder you need an intense skin care regimen, is what I’m saying.

So I’m never doing that again. I did buy some lip stuff that I have used a few times on ~special occasions~ without looking like a total clown, so there’s that.

Previously: Gardening
Next: Bullet Journaling

ABC DVD: Arrested Development 3.2

Making a Stand
Michael lets GOB open up a new branch of the banana stand, so he chooses a site directly across from the original, hires his son, Steve Holt, and begins competing. Later they discover it was their dad trying to pit them against each other, so they hire some painters/actors to “teach him a lesson”. It doesn’t work.

bananashack

S.O.B.s
In a very meta episode, the Bluths host a charity dinner to save themselves. Meaningless guest appearances. Andy Richter’s identical quintuplet brothers! Lindsay’s poisonous attempts at cooking.

hothamwater

Fakin It
The family participates in a pilot of the show Mock Trial with J. Reinhold to practice getting ready for court. Buster pretends to be in a coma so he won’t have to testify. Michael wonders who “N. Bluth” on some documents and accounts is. The prosecutor threatens Michael and he gets it on tape.

hungjury

Family Ties
George Sr. wrecks all the Bluth company computers, so they bring out super old ones. Michael finds the name and phone number of a “Nellie” on one whom he thinks might be his long-lost sister. Turns out, she’s actually George Sr.’s prostitute and GOB is her pimp. Michael hires her as a “business consultant” and even though they aren’t actually related she helps the company.

familyties

Exit Strategy
George Michael invites all of Maeby’s “friends” from her address book to her 16th birthday party, outing her as a teen and losing her job at the studio. GOB ends up in an Iraqi prison on a USO tour and Michael and Buster head to Iraq to save him. While there, they visit one of the Bluth model homes and discover a bunch of Saddam look-alikes watching his trial on tv. They also find a fake wmd that was planted there by the US government, making George Sr. actually a patsy like he has always claimed.

saddam

Development Arrested
Michael finds out his mother has been the real cause of all the dirty business. Lindsay finds out she was adopted. Maeby’s old studio wants to make a tv show or a movie about her experiences. George Michael discovers that his ex-girlfriend Ann has been dating GOB. Stan Sitwell buys the Bluth company, Lucille tries to steal the Queen Mary to escape from the SEC (alerted by a long-lost Annyong), and Michael and George Michael escape to Cabo in GOB’s yacht but find George Sr. already there. The end.

finale

Trish’s Review
I’m just glad Annyong came back in the end.
Rating: Four out of five fake wmds
Kill/Fuck/Marry: Marry one of the Saddam look-alikes. Fuck Nellie because everyone is doing it. Kill everyone.

Steven’s Review
So many good things. Mock Trial. Thanks for letting us know William Hung still has a career of some sort. It also brought us the joys of “My Name is Judge.” And poor Maeby, I felt so bad for her the whole time.
Rating: five out of five hot cops
Kill/Fuck/Marry: Fuck Nellie. Marry Annyoung because that’s some loyalty right there. So many choices for Kill… anybody with the name of Bluth.

Previously: Arrested Development: 3.1
Next: Back to the Future I

ABC DVD: Arrested Development 3.1

The Cabin Show
Michael discovers that George Sr’s twin brother Oscar is in jail in his place. The family sells the land the family cabin is on and are forced to haul the cabin away on the back of a truck. GOB finds out he has a son, and it’s Steve Holt.

cabinshow

For British Eyes Only
George Sr. insists that he was set up by a British syndicate, and Michael heads to Wee Britain to check it out. While there, he meets a girl named Rita whom he is instantly and awkwardly attracted to, and he is threatened by an English dude, which makes him believe his father was telling the truth.

sherrybobbins

Forget-Me-Now
Lindsay tries and fails to flirt with the family’s new attorney, Bob Loblaw. Rita is working with Trevor, the dude who threatened Michael in the last episode. The Bluths think Michael is shredding the evidence against them so he can take the fall, rather than trying to destroy evidence of his family so he won’t have to introduce them to Rita. They decide to throw a surprise party for him and pick Rita up in their cabin-on-wheels. They end up knocking her out and roofieing her because Bluths.

bobloblaw

Notapusy
GOB is still avoiding Steve Holt, so Michael agrees to do the father-son triathalon with him at the Church and State Fair. They train too hard and Michael can’t take it. George Michael contemplates signing up for the army, and George Sr. delivers a “scared straight” lecture to gay men instead of the at-risk youth. He flees in a fake pope mobile. Anne and Maeby both enter an “inner beauty” contest which GOB judges.

steveholt

Mr. F
Michael realizes that the building site is riddled with mole hills and is worried what the Japanese investors will think. GOB suggests building a tiny town and telling them its just really far away. Michael rejects this plan, but GOB does it anyway. George Sr. ships a jet pack to the model home, thinking it can further his escape attempt, but it is intercepted by George Michael, who thinks it’s a birthday gift from his father. Bob Loblaw reveals that the family may have a mole ratting them out to the feds named “Mr. F” the family suspects Rita and calls immigration, but really it’s Tobias and his gym buddy, who asks him to “play a mole”. Tobias thinks he’s auditioning for a part. This happens:

mrf

The Ocean Walker
Michael decides to marry Rita so she can get a green card. The Bluths are against it until Trevor shows up, reveals that he’s Rita’s uncle and that she’s loaded. Also, mentally around age 6. The Bluths decide to not let Michael find out until after the wedding so they can get their hands on that sweet dough. George Michael shows Michael a video of Rita eating fake fruit and the jig is up.

rita

Prison Break In
The Bluth Foundation Dinner is coming up, and Lindsay pressures the family into raising money for “GVH” or “Graft Versus Host”: basically Tobias’ hair implants are killing him but he refuses to give them up. The dinner is being held at the prison, catered by inmates, because Lucille and Warden Gentiles are tight. The dinner crowd finds out about the patheticness of the “disease” and riots.

prison

Trish’s Review
I love Rita. I can’t help it. Also, Bob Loblaw is pretty great. Season 3 really marks this show’s desperate descent into outright madness as the reality of its impending cancellation becomes clear.
Rating: Five out of five deadly Mary Poppins puppets
Kill/Fuck/Marry: Kill Michael because he somehow annoys me the most in these episodes. Fuck Trevor because he’s into some kinky shit. Marry Rita because the Bluths are right: money is awesome and I love her fashion sense.

You know, kinky shit

You know, kinky shit

Steven’s Review
The Rita story arc is the best part of arrested development.
Rating: 5 out of 5 bumpaddles
Kill/Fuck/Marry: Obviously marry Rita for that sweet, sweet dough. Ordinarily I would still go with Kill Tobias except he made a great mole, so I’m going to have to agree with you and kill Michael because he’s a freaking moron. As for Fuck, it’s a toss up between Rita’s uncle and Warden Gentiles. Because clearly that dude can make shit happen.

Previously: Arrested Development Season 2.3
Next: Arrested Development Season 3.2

Beginner’s Guide to Plants

I’m a plant novice. The only time I’ve grown any kind of plant was once in fourth grade when I needed to grow grass in a tupperware for a science fair project. It worked, I guess, but like all science fair projects everywhere, I’m pretty sure my mom did most of the work. I decided that was going to change this April. I was going to keep something alive for at least a month, and I’m pleased (and surprised) to announce that I have accomplished that goal!

Here they are on April 1st, just after planting!

Here they are on April 1st, just after planting!

I got seedlings of thyme, rosemary, and basil, which are some of our most used kitchen herbs. They get a lot of sun on our balcony and the coconut husk liner in the basket keeps them pretty well drained. I water them every day, which is fun, because Olivia is invariably standing underneath and looks really miffed when she gets splashed.

This is two weeks in!

This is two weeks in!

We’ve used them quite a few times when cooking at this point, and they’ve weathered some thunderstorms and wind well. Olivia likes the fact that we open the balcony door so often, because she loves to keep watch on the parking lot.

And lounge in the sun

And lounge in the sun

This project was a lot easier than I thought it would be, although I did have a lot of help from both Caitlin Miller, the only plantologist I know, and Steven, who knew his way around Lowes Garden Center. Even if you’re like me and don’t feel like you have a green thumb or any plant instincts, if you choose your plants well, you can do it!

One month!

One month!

Previously: Beginner’s Guide to Cross Stitch
Next: ???

The Internet Wants You to Run A Marathon: 30 Things To Do By 30 Lists

Introduction
I’ll be turning 30 in 40 days. It’s troubling for a number of reasons (will I need to stop singing the Sailor Moon theme under my breath at all times?). One of them is that I have yet to run a marathon, apparently. There are so many “[Enter some #, usually 30 unless the author is lazy and decides on just 9] Things To Do Before You’re 30” lists on the Internet, but they’re all different. How to arrive at the true things necessary to accomplish before your third decade? Science, bitches. We’re going to do this academic paper style.

Literature Review
Turning 30 is scary because it’s the first time a birthday seems laced with humanity’s fear of aging and death (Existential Dread, 2am). Sure, EVERY birthday marks the passage of time till it’ll be your turn to forget where you left your teeth and die in some sad, undignified way, probably while pooping. But when you’re in your 20s, it’s easy not to think about. You have so much time to get serious about boring adult stuff like careers and buying clothes that aren’t plaid (do they make those?). But once you turn 30, it is freak out time (Kim, 2012; Amorosi, 2015; White; 2016; Odell, 2016).

Those citations are actually just the first results in Google I got when I typed in “turning 30”, and they are ALL TRYING TO CONSOLE ME and give me lists of reasons why being 30 is great. Totally wouldn’t be necessary if we were all happy about it. And with that sense of our own impending doom comes a sense of urgency. I can’t be wasting my time reading the Wikipedia entry on high fives–I NEED TO MAKE MY MARK ON THE WORLD or start a family or have a job that pays money or whatever. Because how much time do you really have left? Are you ALREADY BEHIND? As my research will prove, yes you are.

Methodology
I read 24 lists of “____ Things To Do Before You’re 30” (see Appendix A) and recorded each item presented. The lists were the first 24 results in a Google search for the term “things to do do before 30” and are therefore the best. I then went back and combined items that were clearly similar (for instance “Learn Spanish” can clearly be included in “Learn a Foreign Language”). I assigned each item a category (Self-improvement, life skills, adventure, charity, creativity, social, and career). These categories were pretty evident from the data and I didn’t think too hard about them.

Limitations
There are so many limitations it’s going to be easier to just list what isn’t: I have a master’s degree and have written papers like this approximately 65 times before in various academic and work-related settings. They were all much more serious than this, even the one about Dora the Explorer picture books. Still, some of that professionalism is bound to rub off. Also I’ve been published in an online Korean library science journal THREE TIMES, motherlicker.

Also I’ve kind of forgotten how to do the math for if a finding is statistically significant, and I uninstalled my stat pack 2 laptops ago. So we’re going to say the p value of this whole thing is officially “whatever”.

Results

Let’s get down to it. I collected 295 separate items from the lists surveyed. Here’s a breakdown by category:

categories2

Adventure is most often cited, followed by Self-improvement. Least popular was Creativity followed by a tie between Charity and Career. I really thought Career would be higher, honestly.

The single item cited most often on these lists is to Learn a Foreign Language, listed in 58% of articles, followed by Read (50%), Saving money (42%), and then Run a Marathon (or half-marathon or 5K), Volunteer, Road Trip, and Travel Alone, all at 38%. The top 40ish list looks like this:

1. Learn a Foreign Language: 58%
2. Read: 50%*
3. Start saving: 42%
4-7. Run a marathon 38%
4-7. Volunteer: 38%
4-7. Road trip: 38%
4-7. Travel alone: 38%
8-9. Bungee jump or sky diving: 33%
8-9. Live healthier: 33%
10-15. Go to concerts/your favorite band: 25%
10-15. Find your dream job: 25%
10-15. Learn to cook: 25%
10-15. Learn to bartend/make your favorite cocktail: 25%
10-15. Unplug for a day/week/month: 25%
10-15. Develop a workout routine: 25%
16-23. Move somewhere new: 21%
16-23. Attend a music festival: 21%
16-23. Go skinny dipping: 21%
16-23. Drive or test drive your dream car: 21%
16-23. Find a charitable cause to get behind: 21%
16-23. Learn about your family history: 21%
16-23. Take a class of some kind for fun/work/continuing ed: 21%
16-23. Learn to play a musical instrument: 21%
24-44. Attend a major sporting event (eg. Super Bowl): 17%
24-44. “Do something that scares you”: 17%
24-44. Eat something adventurous: 17%
24-44. Get lost: 17%
24-44. Ride a motorcycle: 17%
24-44. Sing in public/karaoke: 17%
24-44. Stay up all night partying: 17%
24-44. Go camping: 17%
24-44. Climb a mountain: 17%
24-44. Get a tattoo: 17%
24-44. Splurge on something nice that will last: 17%
24-44. Adopt a pet: 17%
24-44. “Create something”: 17%
24-44. Fail at something: 17%
24-44. Take lots of pictures/get better at taking pictures: 17%
24-44. Stop criticizing your body: 17%
24-44. Improve your wine knowledge: 17%
24-44. Throw a dinner party: 17%
24-44. Date around: 17%
24-44. Travel somewhere “exotic”: 17%
24-44. Live abroad: 17%

*See Appendix B for details

Also, here’s a chart of the weirder things listed, all of them only once:

weirdest

Analysis
The vast majority of items on the list fell into 3 categories: 1) things that are harder or more annoying to do the older you get (eg start saving for retirement, learn a new language, start a career), 2) things that older people “can’t” do because they are so fun and whimsical and old people are tied down by serious responsibilities and work expectations (eg. dye your hair a fun color, go on a spontaneous trip, “fall in love with the wrong person” (what?)), and 3) something the list writer really wanted to do and doesn’t care if it doesn’t apply to your life (eg. scrapbook, see R Kelly in concert, wear a bathing suit (?you haven’t?)). Never mind that a lot of these goals are almost impossible to accomplish by a normal 20something. Visit all 7 continents and all 50 states? Are you insane? How much spare money/vacation days do you think I have lying around?

In general, I was pretty surprised that career or money related things weren’t more in evidence. Sure, that part of your life isn’t as exciting to write about, but it’s a major deal, more so than if I’ve eaten tres leches cake in South America. And realistically I won’t be able to do ANY of these things without also having a viable source of income (sometimes an insane amount–do you know how much those Antarctic cruises cost?). Also, I don’t understand why running a marathon is so high on this list. Are people that into marathons? Do they avoid talking with me about it because they know I hate running so, so much? That’s probably it, actually, please continue to not share this part of your life with me.

Also, if you’re curious, I’ve done 70% of the things on the “Top 40ish list” and 58% of the total. I guess I have 40 days to run a marathon.

Conclusion
I miss my science job.

Bibliography
Amorosi, A. (2015, September 12). 9 things I’d tell anyone who is terrified of turning 30. Retrieved from: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-21538/9-things-id-tell-anyone-who-is-terrified-of-turning-30.html

Kim, J. (2012, August 12). If you’re turning 30 and freaking out. Psychology Today Online. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/valley-girl-brain/201208/if-youre-turning-30-and-freaking-out-0

Odell, A. (2016, July 12). 10 things all women who have endured turning 30 want you to know. Retrieved from: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/advice/a61252/turning-30-life-advice/

White, H. (2016, February 6). 18 reasons you should look forward to turning 30. Retrieved from: https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Look-Forward-Your-30s-35196883

Appendix A: Lists consulted

LOL sucker, there’s no way I’m typing all that up.

Appendix B: But WHAT Should I Read?

I’m glad you asked! I also looked at lists of “[Some number] Books You Should Read Before You Turn 30”. But I’d gotten kind of lazy and didn’t keep track of all the lists I consulted. I do know I found 404 separate books, which is nuts. Here are the top 30:

1. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Why have I never heard of this book??? Clearly I’m going to be reading it in the next 40 days if everyone thinks I should.

2. The Little Prince by Antoine Saint-Exupery
I’m as surprised as you are. Luckily I’ve read this in both French and English so there’s no need to revisit this twee existential crap.

3. 1984 by George Orwell
4. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
5. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
6. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
This is another one I’m adding to my TBR since it’s not “a classic” but has such a consensus.

7. White Teeth by Zadie Smith
8. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
9. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
10. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
11. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
12. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
13. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
14. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
15. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
16. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
17. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
18. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
19. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
20. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
21. The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays by Albert Camus
22. The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell
23. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
24. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
25. The Beggar Maid by Alice Munro
26. First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung
27. The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb
28. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
29. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
30. The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Most of these seem to be the usual round up of classics and perennially popular titles that are maybe going to become classics if they haven’t already. Not really sure why it’s necessary to read them before turning 30, but there you have it.

2017 Goals: Quarter Quell

25% done with 2017!!! But am I 25% done with my goals? WE SHALL SEE

1. Write a Beginner’s Guide Once a Month: 25%
Nailed it! So far.

January: Weaving
February: Calligraphy
March: Cross stitch

Probably the most fun of these was Weaving since I took an actual class (at the John C Campbell Folk School omg). The one that I will probably continue to do is cross stitch.

Gotta keep working on my Disney Villains

Gotta keep working on my Disney Villains

2. Sew something once a month: 25%

In January I turned a dress into a skirt by cutting off the top and sewing in a new waistband.

Modeled here by Olivia and I

Modeled here by Olivia and I

In February I tried to make a fabric bin out of my random extra fabric. It worked out okay, I guess. Here’s a picture before the cardboard went in to stiffen the sides:

So floppy

So floppy

I needed five more of those, so in March I made more. A variety of subpar binding methods were attempted:

The galaxy duct tape is my fave binding method

The galaxy duct tape is my fave binding method

3. Write in my journal once a week: 25%
The key to this one has been to just leave my journal out in conspicuous places so I remember to write in it more. I also tape in stuff I want to save:

A memory FOR ALL TIME

A memory FOR ALL TIME

4. Make one new recipe every week: 23%
I have missed two weeks of this: January 15 when we were out of town for the whole week, and March 5 when I was way too sick to consider cooking anything. Probably the single best recipe I’ve tried in the three months is Sally’s Baking Addiction’s strawberry frosting. Holy shit is it good. Here’s the only recipe I’ve made for this project that I’ve bothered to take a picture of, I guess:

Sweet potato cups with marshmallow topping

Sweet potato cups with marshmallow topping

5. Keep my nails painted for 30 days: 100%!
That’s right, I already finished a whole goal.

6. Finish a coloring book: 60%
I have been working on this one a lot! The coloring book I chose is Alice in Wonderland themed.

Finishing a whole coloring book is taking longer than I envisioned, though

Finishing a whole coloring book is taking longer than I envisioned, though

7. Read the Dictionary of Imaginary Places: 30%
I’m currently in F, and I’m learning a lot. For instance, there are a ton of books set in the center of the Earth, particularly from the 18th and 19th centuries. People thought there was all kinds of crap down there.

8. Be active every day: 16%
I was never going to get 100% on this one, but I’m doing even worse than projected. March really brought my average down. First I was sick for a full week, and then I managed to hurt my back. I’m slowly getting into my routine again now.

Total: 38%

Looks like finishing up the nail polish goal is really saving me here!

Previously: 2017 Goals: To the Max!

Beginner’s Guide to Cross Stitch

This month’s beginner’s guide was supposed to be about rock climbing, but I may or may not have been the victim of a rock climbing related scam(??? or I’m just unusually bad at reading comprehension, I guess). Anyway, I have now vowed never to rock climb and so my back up thing was cross stitching. This is kind of cheating because I have actually cross stitched before, when I was 13, out of a kit. But this is the big leagues now, my friends. Observe:

Got myself a plastic frame and everything

Got myself a plastic frame and everything

I got this cool Disney Villains pattern on Etsy and had to assemble the supplies myself.

Everyone is cuter as cross stitch

Everyone is cuter as cross stitch

Luckily, one of my coworkers was giving away a ton of cross stitching supplies, including a lot of embroidery floss! Yay! Hardcore cross stitchers agree that the best way to store your thread for easy access is to wind the skein around a little card, write the number of the color, and arrange them in a plastic box like so:

Numerically they don't make a rainbow, sadly

Numerically they don’t make a rainbow, sadly

I like this pattern because each figure doesn’t take a very long time, so you really feel like you’re getting somewhere after only an hour. I’ve probably been doing at least 30 minutes a day for a few weeks now. Yay!!

The pink line is to measure the middle to know where to start. It gets taken out at the end

The pink line is to measure the middle to know where to start. It gets taken out at the end

I wasn’t able to finish this project in a month, but I’m excited to have my first Legit piece of cross stitch art. I’ve read some articles online about how to frame them properly so I’ll try that when the time comes.

The back is less pretty

The back is less pretty

Resources:
Buzzfeed Beginner Cross Stitch Guide
Framing Finished Cross Stitch

Previously: Beginner’s Guide to Calligraphy
Next: ???

Failing at Being a Girl: 30 Days of Nails

I distinctly remember feeling like I was a failure as a girl. Throughout middle and high school, I was woefully inept at so many things that my peers just seemed to learn effortlessly. I now know that the keyword there is “seem.” Whether I was pretending to have an opinion when we talked about which boy band members were hot or tentatively spraying myself with body mist and then getting a headache because allergies, I spent a long time feeling like my failure at gender performance was a failure at being my gender.

Luckily, I know now that it’s impossible to be “bad” at being a girl, and things like nail polish and makeup have only as much importance as you place on them. Still, maybe someday I’ll want to have that skill, and it never hurts to try. So I vowed to keep my nails painted or otherwise pretty for 30 whole days to prove I could do it. I learned a lot. Namely:

1) This is annoying and takes too much time. By the end of the month, I’d gotten things down to where I was a lot faster. But some time is still longer than no time. This is only going to be a special occasions thing for me from now on.

2) I put my nails through abuse. Between cooking, knitting, typing, and all the book wrangling at the library, most nail treatments (including nail wraps) really didn’t last very long for me. With one exception, namely:

These bad boys

These bad boys

3) Inococo Nail Polish Strips are somehow the best??? They lasted so long and didn’t chip or flake away, unlike EVERYTHING ELSE I TRIED. Plus they came off super easy despite being glittery?? And were hella cheap because I bought them at Rite Aid?? They were also the easiest thing to put on out of everything? Despite trying hard for a week to have a complaint about these, I can’t find one. And you know how much I love to complain.

4) If you got nail polish on your hand, whatever. It’ll wear off in like a day. My much more nail-savvy friend Alana imparted this wisdom to me, and she was right.

5) Nail quick dry spray exists. So that’s neat.

Here is my nail journey:

Day 1-3

I started this ~journey~ when my friend Alana was visiting me because she has–I’m not exaggerating on this at all–a small duffel bag of nail supplies. That I assume stays with her at all times. You have to be prepared for a nail emergency, guys. Clearly I was not. She gave me some good advice (see above) and let me use her Jamberry nailpolish and a Jamberry wrap to create this masterpiece:

Amateur hour, I know

Amateur hour, I know

The Jamberry polish was actually pretty nice–it went on smoother and thicker than the cheap nail polish I usually buy. And the quick dry spray actually worked. I was inspired to go to Ulta and buy some for myself. But despite Jamberry’s promises the nail wrap lasted three days. Inexpert application? Certainly. Here was my solution:

Day 4

Just paint the bare thumb with a slightly different color pink and a way different glitter. It's fine

Just paint the bare thumb with a slightly different color pink and a way different glitter. It’s fine

Alana was gone, okay? I substituted a much cheaper pink nail polish I already had, plus “pinata fiesta”(!) glitter that was on clearance(?) at Ulta when I went to get the nail drying quick spray. I know, it looks shittier than I normally do, so the next day I replaced it with:

Day 5-7

I don't know why making a weird claw is my default nail pose

I don’t know why making a weird claw is my default nail pose

Yes, even middle school me knew this was kind of tacky, but on the plus side, I was getting quicker and more confident at nail painting! Even with my left hand!

Day 8-14

Love ittttttt

Love ittttttt

You KNOW I couldn’t paint something so neat, let alone ombre. Yep, it’s a nail sticker. From Rite Aid. The life changing Inococo Nail strips. They stick on like stickers, no heat required. Instead of feeling like a sticker on your nail, it definitely has more the feel of nail polish. Same with removal. Which I only did because I figured I should. I feel like these may have actually lasted way longer.

Day 15-16

Channeling Ms. Frizzle

Channeling Ms. Frizzle

I bought these geode nail wraps on Etsy because I guess I thought I should try a non-Jamberry one to see if… I don’t know, the pyramid scheme was my problem all along? Ha ha, no, nail wraps still suck. Observe not four hours later:

What the f

What the f

Maybe it was against the rules of my agreement with the internet, but I went around like that for a whole other day before I had time to change them. By now nails were starting to annoy me, and I swore off nail wraps for good. Except you, Inococo Nail Strips. Never you.

Day 17-20

No time for anything fancy

No time for anything fancy

I almost gave up around this point, but I was SO CLOSE, I slapped some purple on there. But of course it started to chip after just one shift at the library, so…

Day 20-30

??????

I painted them blue. OVER the purple. Because I’ve got stuff to do, okay, and all the nail polish remover was not great for my skin or nails. Anyway, I know I took pictures of this, but for some reason I can’t find them. Also, they were looking pretty raggedy by Day 25, but that was around the time I got the flu, so there was no way in hell I was going to repaint them. The last five days my nails and I both looked like crap. But they were still painted, so I’m counting it. Plus the thought of starting over makes me feel sick all over again.

In conclusion, please compliment each other’s nails when they are painted or otherwise pretty, because that shit is hard.

Previously: 2017 Goals

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