Monday, May 07, 2012

It's Sunday Night...

 Ah yes, another entry, and it's about another television show. This time, however, the love is much deeper, all-encompassing.

 It's sunday night, at the height of The Madness.

 It's gotten to the point wherein I have the tv all to myself by 9pm, and if I don't (usually due to football), there's the small one downstairs to squint at. My dad is usually watching with me at this point, especially if this is a Monster of The Week episode. He's not much of a fan of the years-long Conspiracy episodes. They're not always my favorite either, but hey, I'm involved heart and soul at this point.

 The opening teaser. The opening credits. The opening theme that still manages to make my nerves twitch and goosebump.

 The Truth is Out There.

 When most of my peers were watching Sabrina The Teenage Witch and Dawson's Creek, I discovered an entirely different love. Granted, I caught those shows sometimes too, but it wasn't James Vanderbeek who was all over my walls when I was 12 years old. It was David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, and a green rubber alien in a giant pickle jar, a masking tape letter 'X' backlit on my bedroom window.

 I was a weird kid growing up, and no mistake. I grew up enjoying a lot of things my female peers didn't, like Star Wars and Star Trek and Doctor Who reruns from the 70s on PBS. I was girly too, don't get me wrong! I loved pink and dolls and horses and dresses. But I also loved stories about magic, I loved reading The Hobbit and running around in the woods, pretending I was a warrior princess. And I loved scary things, scary stories, they were dark and mysterious and forbidden and I ate 'em up. Aliens and Trolls and Dragons and Ghosts hinted at a world more colorful and interesting than my own, just as much as the Good Faeries and Unicorns and Hobbits did.

 Thus, my weird little head was fertile ground for Chris Carter's magnum opus about FBI Agent Fox Mulder and his partner Dana Scully. Having witnessed his sister abducted from their home when he was 12, Mulder leaves a promising career as a brilliant criminal profiler, to take on the FBI's dustbin of unsolved, unexplained cases nicknamed "The X-Files". Scully is assigned to keep him in line, the logical Spock in heels to his borderline obsessive Kirk. Magic follows.

 Nowadays there's plenty of spooky, supernatural fodder on the tele. Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, True Blood. However, none of them have managed to pull off, visually, what the X-Files did, which was create an atmosphere (at least in the first 6 seasons) that got inside your head. Filmed in and around Vancouver, the episodes weren't just spooky. They were gloomy, moody, a disturbing horror landscape even in episodes with very little actual violence. You didn't want to go into the places Mulder and Scully went, even when it was a perfectly normal suburban home.

  For me, the show was Mine. Sure, my elder siblings watched and enjoyed it, but I drank it into my soul. I hung on every earnest word David Duchovny spoke as Fox Mulder, I wanted hair like Scully's and I wanted them to end up together one day. Gillian Anderson's wardrobe got sleeker, and by 13 I was emulating it, if just in my going-out clothes. 13, in suit-pieces and pumps on the weekends, all gothed out like my favorite computer hacker from the show during the week. It was something all mine, to lose myself in when life wasn't quite going the way I wanted it to.

 I have much more to thank it for, though. As I said, I was a weird kid. I had friends, but none terribly close, and few I actually shared interests with. Incredibly lonely, when I was around 13 I was allowed on our computer, with its achingly slow dial-up internet. This was 1998-99, and you had AOL or you had nothing, at 12 - 13 anyway! I discovered the AOL message boards. Then I discovered the X-Files board.

 Life = altered.

 I made friends! Friends who liked the same things I did! Who dressed like me and liked the music I did. I met my very best friend when I was 13 years old, and we are still BFFS nearly 14 years later, and still very good friends with two or three others we met on the same chat boards. We all discovered fanfiction, wrote fanfiction, all the things that came with really and truly LOVING something imaginary, for the very first time. The X-Files introduced me to my best friend, and to Fandom itself.

  Other things would follow over my teenage years. Lord of The Rings and Harry Potter and Star Wars are life-time loves. I honed my writing with silly things like fanfic, I've traveled half-way across the country to see movie premieres with good friends. I have a wealth of geek knowledge and a well-exercised imagination now, which is weaving it's own contributions to the Great Geek Canon as we speak.

 And it all began with Sunday Nights.

 A skinny girl with a hot mug of tea cross-legged on the floor next to dad's armchair, eyes glued to the screen, the mantra forever pulsing in her brain. A mantra she'd unknowingly be reciting all through her life, through every dazzling experience, in the real world and on the page, the screen, in Tokyo, Japan or in Bomoseen, Vermont.

 I Want To Believe.

  ~ Amy

Me and my brothers, Halloween.
 I forget the year, but this was um. 
A look I sported for a long time!

Me and Dena!
After our very first IRL visit, in 2004.

A Classic.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Women of Thrones!

I adore Game of Thrones. Yes, I was one of those people who saw the show first, and then picked up the books. Yes, I watched the show because it had Sean Bean in the first season. But after gobbling up 3 and a half books (I'm drawing out the last book-and-a-half as long as I can, cause I know once I finish Dance With Dragons, I'll be bereft and listless), I can safely say it's the women who keep me reading intently.

Sure, Tyrion is amazing, Jamie grows on you like a weed, and Samwell makes you want to wrap him up in a big 'ol bear hug. But, more compelling than all of them, at least for me, is the iron-clad will of a cast of richly wrought female characters. Clever, foolish, ruthless, compassionate, all the women of Westeros share that will in common, at least the ones who survive a world that is decidedly not in their favor.

Apparently, author George R.R. Martin has gotten criticism for what he puts his female characters through, for putting them into a world that is so very male-dominated. Rape is commonplace in conquering a kingdom, female nobles cannot inherit even if they're the eldest, and instead are used more often than not as pawns. A woman shouldn't go to war, and even learning how to handle a weapon is considered unseemly. Women, by society's measure, are -powerless-. I think those critics forget though, that fantasy world or not, our own medieval era was exactly the same.

And it makes his women shine all the brighter.

On the one hand, we have characters like Sansa Stark,Catelyn Tully, Cersei Lannister, and Margaery Tyrell. Noble-natured, easily used as pawns in their marriages (though Sansa, at least, has a father who loves her), and, traditionally, with only childbirth as their future accomplishments. But they are far, far more! Love her or love to hate her, Cersei is ruthless, manipulative, and dearly loves her son. Margaery maneuvers and smiles and gracefully dances her way into the people's favor, having them calling for her as Queen while Cersei scowls. And Sansa, beautiful Sansa, possibly the most cliche, romantic and naive character at the start, finds her strength and musters it for all it's worth, while still remaining an essentially good-hearted girl. And Cat, such a mother, and made of steel. She loses nearly everyone she loves, but goes barreling on.

On the other hand, there are the girls who don't play by the rules, who defy what's expected of them, difficult as their lives become. Arya Stark becomes a lone assassin at the age of 12. Asha Greyjoy, at the death or imprisonment of all her brothers, becomes the lead contender for her father's throne, not to mention being a badass hottie who leads his armies! Brienne of Tarth (IS A GODDESS *cough*) is a Knight, being an unattractive, large girl she could have been content being awkwardly dressed up and forced to marry a man who mocked her. Instead, she picks up a sword at a young age and is good, noble, more a knight than any man in the books, save maybe Ned Stark...but is still ridiculed the whole way, and takes it. And then of course Daenerys, The Last Dragon. She starts the story as a terrified 13 year old bride, finding her strength, and becoming the Mother of Dragons, the best, and potentially most powerful contender for the Iron Throne.

There are GADS more characters, and more I adore about this story, and thus far, the tv show that is true to the books. Yes, they're tough to read sometimes, bad things happen to Good People. But the above characters, and those they share the stage with are completely, utterly worth it. You want to see these kickass women succeed, rise above, and take their place in a swiftly-changing kingdom. Get in on the awesomeness!

Real entry soon!

I have a Ladydate with my friends Dena & Kater,

to go see Titanic and have some shopping therapy on wednesday.

Expect pics of pretty girls in pretty clothes :D

~ Amy

Sunday, April 01, 2012

There Is A Light & It Never Goes Out...

Oh Hai!

This would be why I haven't updated of late:
We're in our new place, AND have gotten our things from Japan,
thus things are a bit chaotic around here.
As you can see, though, I've got that GREAT brick wall.
It wants me to take pictures in front of it as soon as
everything is unpacked and set to rights, I can tell.

For now though, some writing I did today!

Stop Blaming Fashion!

No less than three conversations this week have gotten this entry rolling in my brain, thinking about people (especially women) and their complicated and different relationships with clothing and fashion. I'd say half of my readers for this bit of internet have been fashion bloggers who adore everything and anything to do with getting dressed. But one look outside the window will tell you not everyone does, and those of us whose hobby is fabulous garb will often get the comments/excuses, in real life, online, etc.

"I don't have time/money to waste thinking about all that."

"Pretty clothes aren't made for my body anyway."

"I should be accepted exactly as I am."

"It's restricting to my self-expression! I want to wear whatever I want!"

"Fashion is so ridiculous."

And the old face-palm-inducing classic,

"Ha! Wait until you have kids."

Now, I don't ever expect everyone I meet to be as passionate about this subject as I am. Having the number of issues of Marie Clare and Nylon around the house as I do, and bawling like a dork when Austen Scarlet got sent home from Project Runway is borderline unhealthy! (Austen ;_;) And I bet people like me are just one more excuse those who don't pay much attention to their wardrobe use, if you only judged me by the size of my closet I'd look very vapid indeed.

Here's the thing: Fashion, tastefully attention-getting clothes, and style aren't indulgences. They can be taken to an indulgent level, certainly, but so can anything. However, Looking Good is a key factor in Being Taken Seriously, Being Noticed, and/or Getting Ahead. Why do we wear nice clothes to a job interview? Why do people wear ballgowns to the Oscars? Those are two obvious ones. Dressing well communicates to the people around you that you not only take pride in your own appearance, but have respect for them as well. Yes, in my book, this includes the checkout girl at the grocery store. She doesn't want to see your holey sweatpants any more than the Queen of England does.

Now, to address those excuses!

"I don't have time/money to waste thinking about all that."

Here's a shocker: Nice modern clothes that fit your body well don't have to be expensive. And I don't mean in the "200$ skirt instead of 800$!" kind of way either (I don't think I even own a piece of clothing that cost me 200 bucks, and that includes shoes and my wedding dress!). Once you know your body type, the kind of clothes that fit it, and what colors work with you, you can find 'em at all price levels. Some sizes are harder than others to find, yes, but they're there. Hate going to stores? Not an excuse either, in the age of online shopping. And once the clothes in your closet fit you, work together, and make you feel good about yourself, it'll take you hardly any time to throw them on with a bit of mascara and hop out the door.

"Pretty clothes aren't made for my body anyway."


Yes, certain body types can't wear certain things, and those things are often the ones put on magazine covers on photoshopped bodies. But there are -vast- amounts of styles, cuts, colors and ways to wear things nowadays. Some of my favorite fashion bloggers/adorable friends aren't 'ideal-bodied'. They're short, tall, thick, thin, tattooed, pierced, pale, tan, black, white, curvy or flat. And they all dress killer! Because we all put in the little bit of homework to find out what looks good on us, and where to get it.

Now I know this might sound rich coming from me, tall, pale and a size 4 - 6, with long legs and curves. And isn't that interesting, that I must not have anything to say on the matter that holds water? The thought crossed your mind, and hey, mine as well. In my experience, the above excuse has come from girls of -all- body types. Big or little. Usually it can be traced back to when someone soured us to looking pretty. Oh how the bullying from age ten and onward still rings in my ears!

Horseface. Fugly. Stupid. Special Ed.

I was picked apart for being tall, for having crooked teeth, for my big nose. For not having as much money as my peers, for wearing hand-me-downs and homemade leftovers from a very religious community. The things I liked at the time...Books, Star Wars, The X-Files, collecting dolls past age 12, sewing, music....were picked apart as well, until I hid them inside me for a while, along with not eating. I remember my poor mother enduring my panicky breakdowns at the mall while clothes shopping, desperate to be wearing what the girls who'd tortured me wore. And when I got them I wore them so often that it got me bullied as well, until I did a complete 180 around 14, 15. I wasn't going to be like them -at all-. I'd wear ratty jeans, gothy makeup, and scowl the rest of my way through highschool.

So no, I've never been called fat. I've never had to worry about not being able to find my size jeans at a store. But I was still very nicely scarred by 'pretty girls', and for a long time associated being fashionable and on trend with being a Bitch. Even into my 20s, there were certain looks that would give me emotional hives.

But you know what? Nobody likes everything about their body, and yet every body, every person is entitled to look fabulous, show-stopping and amazing. Don't let anyone make you feel otherwise, whether they're a fashion designer who only styles super-thin girls, or some idiot from your past. Being happy is the best revenge, I can assure you! Which leads into...

"I should be accepted exactly as I am."

You should indeed! However...don't you want to be presenting the -best- version of yourself to the world? Not you pretending to be someone else in makeup and heels...YOU in makeup and heels! I find this one on par with women AND men who say, go into the dating scene thinking they should be accepted exactly as they are. Sure, the right person will love you if you put on a few pounds, leave the toilet seat up, and like collecting anything TARDIS-shaped! But you'll still probably scare them away by showing your full capacity to be mean, judgmental, addicted to a substance, or possess a quick temper.

My husband loves me without makeup, in my pjs, squealing over Harry Potter fanfic. But my mean sense of humor can hurt his feelings, and he's made me WANT to work on that, make myself a BETTER me. As in life, so in fashion! Sure, people might accept you professionally once you show them your amazing work as a graphics designer. But walking into the office in your sweats probably won't allow you to even get that far into the conversation.

"It's restricting to my self-expression! I want to wear whatever I want!"

Wroooong! Even classics (The Little Black Dress, Trenchcoat, Suit, Dark Jeans) come in every flavor of your personality. My trench is a classic cut, I've had it for years...and it's BRIGHT HAPPY YELLOW! All those band t-shirts I collected during that goth phase? Still wear 'em, only now with dark jeans and under a leather jacket or my black tuxedo jacket (30 bucks, kids).

I understand though, and it was my hangup for a long time in my late-teens too. SO many stylish adults I knew looked...nice, but not very exciting, at all. But then I got out of my own little bubble in the middle of nowhere, and looked long and hard at how people dressed, in the city, or outside of glossy editorial pages. Fashion blogging was just starting, and it helped open my eyes. As did the occasional What Not To Wear episode, I admit it! Because while many women end up looking a little clone-y by the end of an episode, this is because they hadn't much imagination to begin with, and Stacy and Clinton set them up with classic basics. I love when they get a gal who's creative-minded though (and so do they, I think), who really wants to keep her personality and self-expression. The results were always inspiring!

"Fashion is so ridiculous."

This one came up today, and yeah, if you're not a fashionphile, couture editorial looks on runways and in Elle are pretty silly! As are many of the gag-worthy, puzzling trends, such as crocs, leggings-as-pants and Ed Hardy (I love tattoo art dearly myself, but....seriously?! You look like a shop threw up on you after being filled with fruity pebbles...but I digress). But the main thing to keep in mind is that the former is meant to inspire, and to exaggerate an idea, while the latter is simply a trend, and can be taken or left, without making you look clueless at all.

Personally, for all the interesting things in my wardrobe (especially since Japan!), I generally like to stick to classic lines and cuts, with a big dose of my personality to them, as I mentioned! I'll see an element on the runway I think is neat, and it might get tossed in if I think it'll work on my frame. And yes, sometimes trends come along that are up my alley, like all the gothy lace that's out now! And fringe, man, I don't even care if it's not of-the-moment, I'll wear my black fringed leather jacket until it falls to pieces.

I never spend a ton of money on a trend, though. Trends are why places like H&M or Forever21 exist, to get me my possibly-throw-away bit of shine for under 20 bucks. If it falls apart after a year, fine!

"Ha! Wait until you have kids."

Ahem. I addressed this very thing once on this blog before, and most of my response can be found here. But to add on, in a purely fashion-related way? This goes back to the not-having-time thing. If the things in your wardrobe are already there and look good on you, match each other, and didn't cost an arm and a leg, it's a non-issue. My sister, sisters-in-law, and mom never in my memory have left the house with their kids looking like a tornado went through the house. Sure, things might not be glamorous every day, jeans might get spit up on, etc. But when the clothes fit, are effortless, and say you're a confidant person, that's all you need. I may not want kids at this very moment, but losing my sense of style isn't even on the list of reasons why, it's not even a fear!

Honestly, this rambling is meant to encourage and inspire folks. Highlighting yourself isn't frivolous, doesn't even have to be selfish, or something to get stressed about! When you look your best, your best YOU, you're a happier person. You're a more confident person, and the people around you benefit from this. It's sappy, but it's true, a smile is contagious, inspiring, and worth having. Spend a little time on yourself, and it reflects on everything and every important person in your life.

Plus, it's really fun.

Til Next We Meet,



Thursday, March 01, 2012

Bottles And Wrists

Achoo & Fooferah

Between being ill and STILL stuck in Vermont,
I am a bit too ornery to be fashionable.
Yes, it happens.
Plus, the leaking sinuses are something
no one should be subjected to,
least of all my lovely wardrobe.

Another entry from a bit ago!
Written back in October,
with a new bit added :)

Kits & Kaboodles & Talismans

I like makeup, it’s true. I am an utter girl in that respect, and the last couple of years has seen me really embrace over-the-top, colorful stuff. In one such fit of color, I ordered a slew of loose-powder eye shadows, really bright, saturated and clingy dusts. The downside? The lids didn’t stay tight on the wee jars for long, and before I knew it, everything in my far too small kaboodle was coated in a rainbow. Finally, having gotten a bigger, and prettier kaboodle in the form of the box my Bordello shoes came in, I set about today cleaning, sorting, and tossing away old makeup, imprisoning the free dust jars in their own Ziploc bag.

As I shampooed my brushes and cleaned off compacts, I realized, for the very first time since I was thirteen, that I carry around talismans to each and every makeup bag/kaboodle I’ve had. I couldn’t tell you why. I’m still rather perplexed as I write this, but I have an inkling forming, as I look them over again.

First, there’s the measuring tape. This serves a practical reason of course, living overseas where many fitted things won’t fit a girl with any curve over a size -4-, I do a lot of online ordering. I am always up to date on my measurements! But also, it’s an -old- measuring tape. I’ve had it…why, since my parent’s house and my first job, when I first began ordering my own clothes online. It looks exactly like the one my mother always had in her sewing kit, that I would play with while watching her dust on her makeup and lipstick from Diane’s, her colorist. We didn’t have all the money in the world growing up, and a lot of mum’s dresses were homemade, or had seen more than a few seasons. But by golly, she got her colors done by a pro and wore the woman’s own brand of makeup!

Then, there’s a wee hand mirror, ancient really! I believe my older sister got it as a little girl at a Sunday school function, and when I was little, she gave it to me. I’ve held onto it, and used it to blunder through my first experience with mascara at thirteen. I’ve corrected my contacts in it, picked things out of my teeth with it, the works. The girl in the artwork looks like Sara did when she was that age too, long brown hair and long cotton prairie dress.

There’s two hair clips as well. One from oh, I had to have been three or four, a plastic yellow bow that I still sometimes clip into my hair somewhere, when I’m feeling whimsical. Especially with this hair! I loved color back then, even a persistent goth phase didn’t kill that. The other is a simple metal clip with a flower on it, most of the petals busted off by now. I think I was 12 when I got that set, and it was the first time I felt like I had something really -cool- to put in my hair, which, of course, is SO important when one is an awkward, nerdy 12 year old, desperate to be included.

After that, there’s a lion! He’s actually a small button shaped like a lion, and my Nana and I bought him together. I collected buttons between 10 and 15...I still have the collection too! It’s sorted in a box among my sewing things, and I still toss interesting finds in there, along with all the spare ones that come with dresses and shirts and uniforms. Nana helped me start that collection, we went to JoAnn’s one day and bought ourselves a mess of buttons. I’ve always liked wee interesting things. She wasn’t always at her best as the years passed, but that button reminds me of when she was at her most active, enjoying life and time with me.

Then we’ve got a ticket stub. I collect them as well! In fact I have a whole boxfull, all the way back to the second Jurassic Park film. This one, however, is from a theater in Michigan, where I saw Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire with my best friend Dena. We were both in costume, she as Tonks, I as Luna, our wands at the ready as we waited in line. Our visits were few and far between back in those lonely, nerdy teenage years, and I treasured them so. I like keeping the stub close, even is layers and layers of loose dust has nearly ruined it.

Newest addition would be the purikura photos I carry around, glossy and colorful and ridiculous, of me and my JBFF Liz. I like to think we made each others' time in Japan all that much more enjoyable and silly and memorable. I miss those times dearly, I really do, running around Harajuku and finding the most wonky purikura booths, nomming on delicious treats out in town and spending far too much money on clothes. I'm all the more glamorous for having spent many a weekend slumped on her couch ;D

And last, there’s a love letter, from my husbot. Now granted, he writes me a lot of things, practically a novel and a half email every day about what he’s up to on the ship. And indeed, plenty of lovey, naughty little notes. This, however, was a long musing to me last summer while he was underway, and no, I am not going to write it all out ;) It’s especially important to me because he expresses, in it, about how despite worrying that the initial flame might flicker out, he finds the steady, passionate thing that replaces it to be even more comforting, exciting, and interesting as we get to know each other even more every day, even now. We’ll be married four years in January, I can’t wait to have him around all the time again.

And they all reside tucked among my pretties, and I think I know why. I have been a wildly insecure person for a long time, and as a teenager, the colors were my mask to hide everything that I thought was ugly. The result was never all that pretty, of course. These are bits though, of all the people who’ve loved what was underneath, regardless, and having them there alongside my Mac, Revlon, Smashbox and Almay is a constant reminder that, this is fun. Highlight those cheekbones of your mum’s, be colorful all around the eyes he loves. Get over your nose already, nobody’s looking at it anyway with your lips so red.

Cause the paint is only a bonus. Everyone else made the insides pretty too.

In the next couple of days,
My hair shall be a different style/color,
and we'll be in our new place,
and hopefully not-sick!

Oh man, wait til you see the exposed brick we'll have.
Amazing for fashion-y shots.

Til Next We Meet,
~ Amy

Saturday, February 11, 2012

In The Land of Grownups

Oh, how I wish there was such snow.
We're in Vermont at the moment,
and still quite busy getting
a car,
a place to live,

Still, I wished to update!
Thus, I give you a bit I wrote
before leaving Japan,
and also a hair-coloring tutorial of sorts.

Leaving Yokosuka

I will miss the trains.

Fast, safe, where ever you need to go, almost always on the minute, on time, highheels running on the pavement to get on in time.

I will miss the people,

Polite, respectful, be you a customer, a friend, an entire language of kindness, of being aware of who you are and what your culture is and how someone from that culture should treat others.

I will miss the clothes.

I'll miss everyone taking pride in their appearance, even if it goes a bit extreme sometimes, women with such pressure on them to be small, to look a certain way.

I will miss the food,

Portions I can actually eat all of, healthy, not worrying about what that fish ate before it came to my plate, if the raw beef is safe.

I will miss the city,

The buildings, old and new stacked on top of each other, colorful girls giggling, a pristine shrine without a speck of litter in the grass, across from Harajuku.

I will miss feeling safe,

Walking down the street at night, only Americans to worry about. Even if a man looks at me, I don't worry about him being near me when I walk past a dark alley.

I will miss fireworks and hot tasty chicken liver on a stick on the street, a little card swiped and I'm off, walking everywhere, breaking in high heels on the hills around Yokosuka, Mona's bar covered in glitter, singing karaoke until my voice is raw. Piles and piles of photographs to scrapbook, faces I will miss so much.

I don't look forward to suburbs, to malls full of people who look like they've just rolled out of bed, boats of food at restaurants and rude customer service, men who don't listen to the word no.

But I do look forward to snow.

To the woods around the lake covered in white blankets, to the icefishing shacks on the lake itself.

I look forward to rock shows,

Watching my little bro rock out, stomping my feet, seeing shows on the fly in Albany,

I look forward to knowing the language,

Even if it means I'll be hearing utter rudeness, at least I shall understand it.

I look forward to bonfires,

camping, curling up in my parents' house while Rick and Dad and Jake go hunting, cause Rick really wants to go hunting with my dad.

I look forward to Friends,

To getting tattoos with Dena and Kaiter watching again, to seeing new babies, new shoes, to being fabulous old ladies, to old friends and new getting to meet each other someday, to getting smashed in Canada on a long weekend ;)

I look forward to my family,

I love how excited my husband is to be near them, to have a real relationship with them,I want to hug my neices and nephews and be the crazy tattooed aunty with rainbow hair and lots of pets.

I look forward to having a yard again,

Even if it is in the suburbs.

I look forward to Vegas one day,

With Liz and Kristy and Daniella and Dan and Chanelle and anyone else who can come,

I look forward to coming back to Japan someday

And thank God for the years I did have here...

Meet Po!
My kokeshi, bought on the way home at Narita.
Le sigh.
Being home is lovely, though!


I have had cherry/blood-red hair for oh,
Five months? Six? Courtesy of Vampire Red
by Manic Panic.

It requires a large amount of upkeep,
yet thus far has been worth it.
For those of you considering some long-term
unconventional coloring,
allow me to babble at you!

First, how I get there.

My brown hair is pre-lightened,
I attend my roots with drug-store bleach kits
every month or so.
Husband did it this time for me!

(Taken back at our old place)
The color will stick to your scalp,
so just be careful, practice is the only remedy!

I use a damp cloth nearby to wipe smudges,
after dabbing vaseline along my hairline,
and neck.
This makes removing wayward globs easier.
Manic Panic washes off your skin well enough...
but it takes some scrubbing!
Vaseline is a godsend as such.
Snap on some gloves,
saran-wrap a bowl,
empty dat jar, and get globbing.

As it's a mostly-vegan, creme color
with no harsh chemicals,
there's no rush to get the color on,
or off!
Instructions tell you to leave the color on
-at least-
15 - 30 minutes.
Feel free to go much longer, in fact, I encourage it!
I leave mine on at least an hour.

There's no such thing as 'rinsing until the water runs clear'.
Accept that rinsing/washing your hair?
Will result in pink/whatever color you used water!

For long-term coloring, yep, this means a colored tub.
However, as it's such a natural formula,
a bit of bleach/water mix spritzed on the tiles and left
a few minutes will take care of it.

Reserve a couple ratty/proper colored towels for hair-washing days,
and find a good mild shampoo and conditioner.
I use Burt's Bees,
mixed with a dap of Manic Panic's color-extending
It REALLY helps.
Alas, I don't believe they make it anymore.
Le sigh!

I re-dye about every two weeks.
I personally don't find the Amplified Formula
to be that much stronger,
except at staining the bathroom :P

That's all for now!
Entries will be more numerous as we settle in!
Also, behold my new ink!
Done by Mel at Lark Tattoo Albany.
She's all scabby right now, poor girl,
but shall soon be shiny again!

Til Next We Meet,
<3 ~ Amy

Friday, January 27, 2012

Va-Va & Also Perhaps Some Voom

Girly Things

Okay SO!
My first entry of substance shall be...well.
Wonderfully shallow ;)
I have some great ideas lined up for the future,
including ruminations on life in Japan,
detailed accounts of places visited,
creative ventures (I'm making a cookbook!),
and health/beauty products.

We'll start with something light and easy to digest!

A snapshot of what I've been using for makeup.
I'll have a full tutorial of my daily/going out faces.
Here's what I wore for these shots!

I hardly wear any cover-up. A smudge under my eyes,
over any pimples that might be popping up,
but that's all. I take good care of my pale skin,
and try not to clog it up. A bit of powder is
usually enough.

On my cheekbones I'm using a blend of a
Smashbox fusion and blush.
Fusion alone, with my coloring, is rarely good.

Oh, my eyes!
Light of my face!
I'm using Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer in Potion,
and good lord, it's wonderful
Your shadow WILL NOT MOVE.
I will warn against using it with most of UD's
own shadows, oddly enough, as it sets
like concrete and can be very heavy and irritating.
Used with most drug store brands though, and
especially loose powder, I swear by it.

I've been rocking a cat eye almost all the time,
and generally use L'Oreal's Telescopic liquid liner.
The shadow here is Rimmel London Glam Eyes
in Smokey Blue.
Under my eyes, over a smudge of cover-up,
I brush on a pale pink from Smashbox.

False lashes are almost a MUST in Japan,
and for a white girl who loves rockabilly/pinup style,
this is wonderful. I don't care if it'll be a little
edgy/kooky back in the states,
style isn't fun if you look like everyone else.

On my lips I'm wearing Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer,
in Champagne. Often I like bright lip color,
but with eyes this smudgey and bold,
I like them to be the focal point.

Here's a bit of chronicling for the

Wardrobe Project: LBDs

Every woman should have a little black dress!
This is an age-old rule, one we all know well.
I like twisting it around though.
I've featured my far more demure velvet number
in the past, here are the more recent and daring!
All of these were bought for our trip to
Singapore back in October.
Sadly it got cut short by the Navy,
so hustbot didn't get to see them all on me.
He will now!

LBD 1:

This little thing is actually 3 layers.
Bottom layer: Plain black
Middle: Gold sequins,
Top: Sheer striped lace.

20$ dress from Forever21,
paired with my Jessica Simpson heels.
Hur-dur I feel smexy.


LBD 2:

Also from Forever21!
I am such a cheap gal.

Crinkly and black,
Worn with my Boudoir heels.
They match my hair!

Spangly Crinkly!
I was wearing this one whilst eating on
the boardwalk in Singapore, when shore patrol
came up and informed us that the
USS. George Washington
was leaving port early to help out Thailand.

Octopus Necklace!
Onyx and Silver,
Husbot bought me this at Underwater World
on Sentosa Island.
I pretty much wear it constantly :D

LBD 3!

I love this one.
Much as the gathery zipper can make my
tum look awkward!

H&M, I forget how much.
Likely not very ;)

Getting back into the swing of this!
Next week I'll be taking pictures for a step-by-step
guide to My Crazy Hair,
when I freshen up the color again.

Also I have a good long love letter to Japan to write.
I do so hope my readers are still out there!
If not, hello void, you're looking quite handsome!

Til Next We Meet,
~Amy <3