Stream of Consciousness: My Childhood and the 1970s

Sometimes I think I missed some huge part of my life. I think I told myself I could come back, that things wouldn’t be different, but then years passed and things changed and I went back to a different experience. I think about when I was a kid, how I dressed, where I went, the music I heard. How things looked to be four feet tall and not updated since the 80’s. I think about Knott’s Berry Farm how it was when I was a kid and I feel like I missed a chance to experience something there. When I go there now, it’s fairly clean and streamlined and the same repackaged thing that so many other theme parks are around the country. When I was a kid…it held so much more experience. It was gritty and old and something that I hadn’t done yet; it was the 1970’s and politically incorrect. I think about the tunnel under Beach Boulevard from the front gate to the parking lot, what (last I saw) was painted over with a wave pattern as a giant ad for Soak City. When I was a kid, it was a dated mural of a western town. It was an icon, and I loved studying it–looking at the farm painting and how the really rather crude buildings looked under the yellow light of sunset, or the harsh yellow bulb and fluorescent lighting as I shivered under someone else’s coat on the way back to the car. The last time I remember seeing it was I don’t remember when. Probably a day camp trip, eating the powdered fruit candy I’d get in the Mexican Village candy store. Listening to the counselors, talking with my friends, and still keeping an eye on the mural in case it went anywhere. I wasn’t looking hard enough, because it did. It’s like the magic that was held in our monthly trips up to Big Bear when I was a kid. That cabin was a vacation, it was my nature sanctuary for a time, my place to play and draw and bundle up at night. My place to be scared, to long to be home and still have more vivid memories of being in the cabin than I do being home. Pancakes every Saturday morning–the smell of Crisco on the hot griddle, the taste of shakeable pancake batter from a jug. Burnt bacon, Hershey’s chocolate milk from a half gallon, white toast and eggs. Donald Duck orange juice, the Stator Bros. location that I still think hasn’t been remodeled since the 1970’s. Being small enough to sit on the lower shelf of the shopping cart. In fact, the last time I was in Big Bear for any serious length of time, I was still small enough to sit there. I had gotten my first pair of heels. I associate my childhood with western light, with looking at the brown hills over Brea from my front window and listening to No Doubt before I knew who they were. Eating at Love’s in Brea almost every Friday, sitting in the back room and watching my mom and uncle eat the Chuck Wagon. Looking at the western art, thinking about the mural at Knott’s, and feeling an odd relation to the 1970’s. Somehow, my childhood always came back to those harvest golds, those rusts and avocados. Western light and the popular interior design colors of a time known for its poor taste. I don’t know why; I don’t know why I remember any of the things I remember. But I do know what I missed, and that was a second glance.

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Hooks and Needles, or What I’m doing instead of sleeping

(Sidenote: Googling “hooks and needles” comes up with a link to a site that sells Valium and Viagra at reduced prices. I don’t understand, and I don’t think I want to.)

I’ve been really lazy this summer. There were a lot of things I promised myself I’d do before school started–before September–but most of them didn’t happen, including getting a license and getting all new furniture for my room. The first was laziness, the second…well…. It’s hard to save money sometimes. Like when I’m the type of person who would rather buy my own food, treat my boyfriend to things,  and get craft or costume supplies instead of save money. That’s oversimplifying it I think, but it’s sort of the truth too.

One thing I have purchased recently, however, are three skeins of yarn. My bestest work buddy Megs and I went to our local 24-hour Wal-Mart after closing one night because she needed school supplies, and then I wandered into the yarn and fabric section. In terms of fabric, it wasn’t even a JoAnn’s really, but boy did they have yarn. I’m not an expert at

Delicious color schemes ;)

Yarn skeins!

purchasing the stuff, all I know is what feels nice to the touch and what looks pretty. I ended up buying three skeins of a rather cheap yarn in the same pattern but different colors. The one on the right is being made into a big fluffy scarf for Megs, color per her request. The only thing I really know how to do with yarn is how to knit, and I only recently learned the purl stitch, which I am utilizing on the scarf. Alternating rows of stitches is about as advanced as I’m gonna get right now, but it certainly looks nice. I think just keep working at it and doing row after row to practice is helping to strengthen my knitting skills. I am considering getting a circular needle so I can make myself a knit beret hat. I’ve found some cool methods of knitting that will give it a cool texture in time for fall. I want to use the white rainbow speckle yarn for whatever hat I make.

I went to Michael’s Crafts today to walk around with my man, and while we were there we looked at the yarn and knitting supply section. I came across a book and kit called “I Taught Myself Crochet,” and it was my purchase of the day. It came with six hooks, a yarn needle, stitch markers, and some sort of bobbin, I have no idea what it is. Either way, it’s serving as a good reference for stitches at the very least, and it came with instructions for about a dozen different projects. I’ve tried a few times to start on a hat, but I want to finish the scarf before I actually start on something else.

In other news, I’m still trying to decide on my Halloween costume for this year. I went from something super ambitious (the Haunted Mansion’s tightrope walker) to something only mildly ambitious (a steampunk airship captain) to something really easy to put together, which is one of a few ideas right now. It’s between Marcelline the Vampire Queen from Adventure Time and Amanda Palmer in the Dresden Dolls era. I very likely will do both at different times as they’re both rather easy and comfortable. Or I’ll wear last year’s costume which didn’t see enough moonlight last year. Eh. I have time still… I hope, what with my new job and all.

Letter 1: My Best Friend

I am writing a letter a day to different people (0r concepts) in my life. This is the first one.

2003 was the year I discovered instant messaging, and also the latter half of my seventh grade year. I made some new friends, and somehow all the new friends I made also were friends with my old friends and other people, and what later came to be known as The Group was still in its infancy. My best friend at the time, in spite of us drifting apart slowly, was Michelle Barnes. We came into junior high as the remainder of a split up group from elementary school, and once the friend pool became deeper and wider, we found that there were others who shared our interests more than we did for one another. I’m talking from my memory, at least, so if I’m incorrect please stop me.
I made friends in each of my classes (except for math) and first period was my favorite. I sat in the back of the room with people who I had known for a long while and people I had just met and a girl who knew both of these people. This girl was Adrienne. I had known her on sight before we began to fool around in class, and what sticks out in my mind was seeing her at the Chinese food place my family went every Friday night. I eavesdropped on her parents and her talking about what board game they wanted to play later, and recounted past games. I wanted to say hi to her and maybe somehow get myself over to normal people who play board games together, but I didn’t say anything to her, and she left. I came to find out that she was quirky and level-headed, and extremely honest. She wore pants and the same Simpsons sweatshirt every day, and we had a lot of fun laughing and goofing off in English class every morning. No friendship blossomed in that time, but she was definitely someone I remembered.
That summer, I got a Yahoo messenger name to join in the fun I heard my friend Suzi and her older brother talking about in our long phone calls every few days, and soon I had a good number of people to talk to on that messenger. Most of my contacts came from group chats, and being told by Suzi or Patrick who was who in each session, I was able to broaden my circle of friends a little more. One day I was very upset that Suzi and Patrick had to leave and wouldn’t be online, and the only person on was the girl I sort of remembered from English class, Adrienne. I was apprehensive about messaging her, but I did so anyway. By the middle of summer we were itching to hang out in person. Her mother welcomed the idea of a new friend coming over, but my mother did not. Her logic was that Adrienne was someone she didn’t know, her parents were people she didn’t know, and therefore dangerous for me to be around. My argument against hers was simple: How better to get to know strangers than by meeting them? I recall Adrienne typing out something like “omg, I’m crying about this. This is so frustrating!” Adrienne’s first experience with the sometimes moronic, always immovable, brick wall known as my mother. Many more such experiences would follow.
Finally, my mother relented, and I went to Adrienne’s house for the afternoon. We played on her computer, and she introduced me to The Sims and some of the awesome expansion packs she had. Her mother took Adrienne and I to KFC to get food, and I recall the strangeness of her asking, “So are you Jewish?” My mother picked me up that afternoon and was extremely pregnant, and she talked with Sue and Phil for a very long time to where I was impatient about going home. That was the beginning of having the best friend I’ve ever known, being that cliche of just walking into someone’s house without knocking or just raiding the fridge or cupboard because you are allowed to.

Adrienne, what you need to know is that there is a strong chance that I would be dead or would have spent time in a mental institution without you in my life. I am incredibly thankful that you put up with my crazy emotional shit for almost a decade now, and that even when we fight I know it’s just a matter of time until we’re done being mad and can go back to talking about everything. You said it best the other day when you said that you like how we can go from not talking for weeks to talking as if we had just spoken the day before. I am so happy that I can tell you what is bothering me with 100% honesty and without worrying that you’ll think different of me. You’ve known for a long, long time that you’re going to be my maid of honor at my wedding, but I think you deserve a lot more than that for supporting me and helping me though the toughest years in my life.

I need to acknowledge a few other people here as well. Ali, you helped me get through South Hills hell and turned me on to amazing music. You’re awesomely supportive and I’m so glad that you and Adrienne became best friends as well. Your sense of style is unparalleled, and I really wish we were closer in clothing sizes so I could steal your shit. Adam Loesch, you have been someone I could turn to no matter what over the last four years. Adam LJ, you have been truly a big brother to me and a person who is beyond giving to someone so undeserving as myself. You got me on the fast track to recovery from one of the worst experiences of my life, and you’ve always been supportive of me in regard to my actions even if you disagree. Tracy, I know we haven’t talked in ages, but you got me through my senior year, and you’ve been so giving and understanding with me, it’s a wonder I haven’t died from guilt of not being able to pay you back adequately. Deanna and Megan, you guys have become the people who brighten every single bleak shift at Carino’s, and I think one of my favorite memories ever will remain last night’s talk and bathroom dance class. When you leave Carino’s, when I leave, or if the place shuts down, I want to make sure you girls are in my life. Lastly, there’s Michael, but he sort of transcends “best friend” and goes into “love of my life and someone I’d be cool with spending the rest of my days with.” But he knows that.
If I didn’t mention you here and we are close, please don’t feel insulted. I want you in my life for a reason, and if we talk more than once a month, it’s because I think you’re too important to let go of.

So You Want to Go to Disneyland

…but you’ve never been before, or you haven’t been in a long time, and you have no idea how to see all of the resort in the four-day vacation you’re taking with your family. Do you go in haphazardly, just going to see what catches your family’s eye? Do you formulate a plan so every minute of the day is scheduled? People do both of these, and while both courses of action have their merits, I think it’s really up to the individual. Everyone wants to make the most of their time at the resort and make family memories that will last forever, but if your trip is in the middle of summer when families from all over the world are doing the same thing and locals on vacation are taking advantage of a local attraction AND school and youth groups from all over are taking in the day…. Well, let’s just say that seeing everything in a short four-day trip is far from an easy feat to achieve.

Now, I’m not going to claim that I know everything about Disneyland or that my method of seeing the world of Disney is the best one for you. However, I will say that this is probably a good way to do it if you don’t want to feel rushed and if you have children between the ages of five and twelve. I do hope that this guide is helpful to you even if you don’t fit my criteria, and that perhaps any helpful hints you get from this help you to have the most magical vacation ever.

Break down your trip per day. This is probably the biggest hint I can give anyone. If you have more than one day at the resort, break down your trip as much as possible. The theory is basically the same no matter how long you plan to be at the resort, with more time spent there total logically meaning more seen at a slower pace.
In two days, see all you can of Disneyland in one day, all you can of California Adventure in the other, and with any remaining time the second day revisit Disneyland to see anything you missed out on in the first day. Check out Disneyland.com to see list of attractions and make a priority list of things to see and things to skip, especially if you plan on coming back. I would say to skip shows generally (with the exception being Captain EO) but make time for either Fantastmic! or Magical: A Fireworks Spectacular one night and World of Color the other. Celebrate! A Street Party is fun if you have little ones, but it’s not Disney’s finest street show, so making time for that is really up to you. If you want to watch shows like Billy Hill and the Hillbillies or the Jedi Training Academy, both of these shows are adjacent to or in the same facility as a restaurant, so you can  eat lunch or dinner while taking in this fantastic entertainment.
In three days, break up your time at Disneyland into two days and your third day is spent at California Adventure. You can see all three of the nighttime shows this way, which I highly recommend as they are a huge part of the Disney experience. Daytime shows can become more of a priority if you want, but I’d still say that you should focus on the experience of the great Disney attractions that fill both parks. The best way to attack Disneyland is to break it up into East and West sides and take one side each day. East being Adventureland, Frontierland, New Orleans Square, and Critter Country; west being Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Toontown, and Main Street. That seems like a lot to do in just a few days, and it is. Make a priority list, but you don’t necessarily need to stick to it.
In four or more days, you break down seeing the parks even more. Take only a few lands a day, take in shows where you can if you want, and you can see almost everything you want to see, even with crowds and long lines. This is an especially good tip if you have little ones, so they won’t be overwhelmed by everything they’re seeing and can take things one thing at a time. Breaking things down this much also gives you a chance to give everyone a chance to relax in the hotel room or by the pool without feeling like you’re missing out on something at the parks.

Other tips to make the most of your trip?
-Take lots of pictures and make memories to share with everyone you know. However, be careful of taking pictures inside rides or attractions. Many attractions prohibit photography of any kind, while others just dislike flash photography or anything that has a light attachment that could ruin the appearance of the  ride’s specially designed show lighting for everyone else in the ride with you. In other words, if the ride is dark, keep it that way. If you do want a flash photo of something inside a dark ride, ask a Cast Member if it would be possible to take a few shots with flash. They might  be able to arrange for you to ride separate from other guests so you can get the shots you want without disrupting the ride for anyone else.
-Make reservations for seating or dining in advance when you can. It will help keep your time spent holding a spot for a show or waiting in line for dinner to a minimum, so your time can be spent on more rides or at other attractions.
-Don’t shop throughout your trip, just at the very end. You can mentally take note of what you want to take home, and then when the time comes to shop, pick and choose the items you want most or what would be the most cost-effective for you. This will help you save a lot of money in the long run.

As you may have guessed, this won’t be my last post on the subject. Stay tuned, and have a magical day!

How to Behave in Public: Restaurants

As some of you may know, I started working at a restaurant as a hostess about two months ago. In those two short months, I’ve learned so much about how restaurants work, how to interact with people in a service setting, and what behavior is and is not acceptable (from an employee’s perspective) as a patron. Now, not all of the guests that come through are awful in any way. I’ve met some wonderfully nice people, people who tip well, and people who know how to behave in public generally. However, just like with any service industry, there are people who try and abuse the people serving them, or who think that the employees of an establishment owe them something.

These people are the reason I’m writing right now.

I’ve had some crazy-random things happen, and I’ve heard of others. Most recently for me, I was about to seat a party of three at a booth. As I was walking out of the lobby and into the dining room, a couple walked in. I looked at the girl in the couple and said “Hi! Welcome, I’ll be right with you, okay?” and I continued guiding the party of three toward the booth. I must have blinked, but all of a sudden the couple (who I thought I left at the door) sat down at the booth. They must have cut in front of the party of three who was walking DIRECTLY BEHIND ME. I stood there for a moment, and glanced back at the party of three, who looked to be in mild shock. I regained most of my composure and gave the couple two of the three menus I carried, then walked back to the party of three. Luckily I had another table open for them, and I apologized profusely for what happened. They were understanding of me, but were sort of miffed at the rudeness of the younger couple.
The punchline? The young couple moved tables at least two other times throughout the night.

One night a server said that a customer, who he had treated well all evening and who hadn’t complained at all, tipped him with two dollar bills that he had torn in half. This patron also tore the book the check came in in two, and left everything under an upside down glass of water. Moral of the story? If you have a problem with your server, don’t be a passive agressive douche.

A friend of mine at the restaurant told me she was tipped $2 for a $100 tab. $15 would have been acceptable, but I guess these people didn’t think so.  A large party with two servers and a $300 tab tipped $10. Total. That’s just over a 1% tip for each server, and just slightly better than writing a note saying “You rock!” in place of money.

We were calling a 20 minute wait one night and a woman walks in at about 7:25PM. (We record exact times that people walk in to keep track of the wait better.) We tell her how long, hand her a pager, and continue with our business. She walks up a few minutes later and asks how much longer. We tell her about 15, and she accuses us of lying about the initial wait since it’s been “10 minutes already.” My co host that evening says “Well, ma’am, I understand your impatience, but it’s now 7:30 and you came in at 7:25. So it’ll be another 15 minutes I think.” She glares at him and stalks back to her party in a huff.

There is so much more than this, but just thinking about it is making me not want to go back into work, ever. Because of the amount of things I’ve seen and heard about, I’ve compiled a list of basic notes on how to behave at a restaurant. I’d like to make it clear that not everyone is guilty of the following, but enough people are that it warrants pointing out as a negative behavior. I’d also like to make it clear that I am by no means an expert at the inner workings of the restaurant biz, and that these are just the things that I’ve picked up on in the last two months.

:::::::::::::::

1) Tip your server at least 15%. This should be a no-brainer, and for most people it definitely is.  However, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard stories from servers about waiting on a party of 15 who is running a $300 tab and they only end up tipping $20. That may seem generous, but do the math: a tip that size for a bill that size is only 6% of the bill. It’s the same as tipping three dollars for a $50 check. That’s what you’d tip someone who was rude to you and never checked on the table in a fairly empty restaurant. Unfortunately, it’s all too common a story from people who are extremely nice, attentive even on busy nights, and will go out of their way to help a patron have a great meal. When you undertip, it not only effects the server, but the table tender and sometimes the host, who get a cut of the tips for the night.
Easy hint on how to make the math easy for you and the server getting what they deserve: double the tax. Depending on what the sales tax is in your area, that should be a fair to generous tip.

2) Be nice to the host. Hey, that’s me! I’m not saying the host will seat you in a crappy area if you’re rude, but just being nice definitely helps, especially if there’s a wait. A few tips about the host specifically:

2A) Wait times are there for a reason. Let’s say there is a 10-15 minute wait. That means that the host doesn’t want to overseat the servers, and they are waiting for orders to go into the kitchen. If the servers are oversat, they stress out which directly effects service quality. Too many orders go into the kitchen at once, which slows it down, makes service go slower, and it makes the wait longer for other patrons coming in. Just be patient! It ends up with better service for everyone.

2B) Yes, we keep track of the wait, so don’t try and pull a fast one on us. This goes along with the above and why to be patient. It’s only happened to me a few times, but it’s such a rude thing to do: I take a name and tell someone it’s a 20 minute wait, and record their entry time. They come back five minutes later and ask how much longer–I say 15 minutes, then they accuse me of lying about the initial wait time since it’s “already been 10 minutes.” I’m gonna lay this on the line: we know how long it’s been since you came in, sometimes down to the second, and we also know you’re lying about how much time has passed based on this fact. It doesn’t make time go faster if you’re rude to us or accuse us of things we both know aren’t true. Really? It’s not cool.
2C) If you see an open table and are told there is a wait, don’t comment on it to us. Chances are, we know there’s an open table, and there’s a reason we aren’t seating you there. It’s open for any number of reasons…that section is closed, servers have gotten busy and need time to catch up, it’s being held for a reservation, etc. The worst thing I’ve ever had in this situation was someone who made the dreaded comment then pointedly asked if they could just be sat there. I have to refuse them, usually by saying something like “If you’d like that table I can seat you there when we call you” to diffuse it, but I still get treated like I was rude and trying to personally insult them. Commenting that there’s an open table is almost the same as saying “You aren’t doing your job correctly and I know how to do it better.” You wouldn’t want to hear that from a customer at your establishment, so please don’t say it to us.
2D) If you don’t like the table we’ve taken you to, it’s alright to say so…nicely. I’ve had this happen to me a lot, especially on busy nights when we’re just trying to fill tables and make the wait pass. I take someone to a table, and they either make a big show that they’re settling for a table that is inferior to what they wanted, or they look at me and ask if I’m joking. No, I’m not joking. You came to a casual dining establishment to eat, and I’m sorry if this table in the middle of our dining room is not to your liking, but it’ll be at least another 15 minutes til a booth opens up. Most of the time this happens with people who are being sat at a table when they really wanted a booth. Easiest solution for this? Just say you want a booth from the beginning. We will do our best to make this happen for you, and will be honest with you if we can’t or if it’ll be a longer than anticipated wait.

3) As silly as this sounds, clean up after yourself. I’m not saying bus your own table or anything like that, but also be aware of the fact that there is a person in the restaurant who has to clean up your mess. Sometimes, it’s the host, especially if it’s during a lunch rush or otherwise slower than a dinner service. It’s so easy to gather your dishes into one dish along with your trash and make sure that the tabletop itself is free from paper debris, and it helps the table tender. Also along these lines….It’s really disrespectful to mix your ice cream with the last of your soda and throw a ketchup-drenched chicken finger from your kid’s meal in for good measure. If you felt sick just picturing that, picture having to handle that cup that’s almost overflowing with nastiness and walk it from one end of your house to another. In front of strangers. Still feeling ill? Good. Now you won’t do it, haha.

Basically, the moral of this whole thing is treat people in a service industry the way you would want to be treated if you were doing that job. Ask how we are and be genuinely curious. Help out in little ways, and be honest if something is wrong instead of blaming the server for why your steak is too rare. It just makes everyone happier.

The Lady is a Vamp (makeup tutorial, with photos!)

Greetings, ghost fans! As most of you are probably aware, Halloween is this Saturday. If you weren’t aware, well, you must not have left the house in a few months and haven’t had access to ouside media for that same amount of time. (How you’re on the internet now is the REAL question.) If you’ve ever read this blog previously, you know that a Halloween party was planned for this year in my household….That fell through. Instead, some friends and I are going to have dinner and go cosmic bowling all in costume! It’s like how we usually hang out, except a little dorkier.
Now, I planned on posting this last night, but things got busy. I have a job now (yay!) as a hostess at a fantastic Italian chain restaurant in California (hint: it’s not Macaroni Grill, Olive Garden, or Buca Di Beppo)  which is a recent development, and I actually had my first shift tonight. It was fun, my manager forced free food on me and said it was part of my training, to familiarize myself with the menu. It was delicious.

Now, to deviate from the norm for me, I’m going to teach you how to do a cool but subtle vamp makeup tutorial. I was looking all over for a makeup tutorial based on the vampires from the tv series True Blood, and I couldn’t find one but I read an interview with one of the makeup artists which revealed some tips. The vamps on the show always look very pale and their eyes are always very red and swollen, but not unattractive. Their lips are always bloody but in a way you can’t quite put your finger on, which I think is not only creepy but really sexy. This makeup tutorial is suitable for both men and women, and can be adapted in any way you see fit.

Avon Magix

My face perfector! 😀

So the first step is to apply a primer. If you don’t have a primer or haven’t used one before, get one and prepare to fall in love. I use Avon Magix because it goes on like thick moisturizer, and often I’ll use that as a foundation in itself under powder (though it’s actually translucent.) This one has an SPF in it, which is an added bonus.
Sidenote: You’ll see that I use a lot of Avon products because my mom sells them and she can get them for me for cheap. Generally, their stuff is of a good quality and well priced, and I reccomend finding your local Avon rep to at least get the latest catalogue.

The next step I took was to cover my face fully with foundation. I am naturally

Me, incredibly pale

Me, super pale

kinda pale but I have a hard time finding the right shade, but with a now defunct Covergirl brand, I was able to find the right tones. I accidentally got one that was too light before they reformulated the line, but it was just perfect for what I was doing right now. If you’re curious, it’s Covergirl Advanced Radience in Classic Ivory.
Please note that the line still exists, but it was reformulated to be a bit thicker. It will still do the trick for something like this, especially because for someone like me it looks like clown makeup.
After this, I did the eye makeup, which was actually really easy. I took a red wine colored eyeshadow and laid it heavily over my upper lid and over the crease slightly, getting it over the inner corner

Borghese in "Wine"

The shadow, before blending. This is Borghese in "Wine"

slightly. I blended it into the crease and outward slightly, paying special attention around the inner corner and the outer side.
After that, blend a little bit of the shadow into your lower lid, enough to give it a reddish hue. Blend the lower lid into the exterior powder on the upper lid so it has a more natural transition. If you have a liner to match the eyeshadow, I’d suggest lining your waterline (I just live dangerously and press a bit of powder onto it.) This creates a really unearthly look, but you’re okay if you decide not to line it.

The Result

The end result with the shadow. No, I didn't secretly line with black, I have naturally thick lashes.

The next step is mascara. You don’t NEED to do this, but I felt like it’d add a more feminine look to what is otherwise rather unisex. I used Avon SpectraLash mascara. I like it because it’s sort of everything a gal needs in one as the length and thickness can be decided by a turn of a dial. I kept it on the lowest setting for this, just to keep it subtle.

Now comes what is (marginally) the most difficult part of the makeup. I took a bright red lipstain and put a nice dot of it in the middle of my lower lip, sitting more towards the inside of the

The lip stain

The lip stain...it's not blood, I promise.

lip. I used Revlon’s Just Bitten in Cherry Tart. Using your finger, blend it into the folds of your lip and towards the corners for your mouth. Before the stain is dry, lightly press your lips together to get a slight stain on the upper lip to match the lower lip.

As a final touch before powdering, take a large brush (I used a powder brush for this, actually, and a seperate kabuki brush for my whole face) and dust it in gray/black/brown powder or eyeshadow and lightly streak it directly under your cheekbone to create the illusion of shadow. This can be as dark or as light as you’d like. I kept mine relatively light so it would only show up under certain lighting conditions. This gives the illusion of sunken in cheeks, like you’ve been slightly starved.
An option to add to this is to shade all of the fosas on the face, which is basically anywhere that has a slight dip to it: your temples, around the sides of your nose, under your cheekbones, and right under the edge of your jawline to sharpen it. I wouldn’t do this personally, this is more of a skeletal thing than a vampire thing.
After the shading, the last step is to apply a light powder all over your face. I used baby powder (I’m totally serious)to get the effect I wanted, and boy was I WHITE. It was amazing. Some of the photos I took didn’t come out because of my paleness. The end result was rather spectacular….And now, for the finished product (with Marie Antoinette hair and my spooktacular Halloween costume!)

My costume, hair, and makeup

My costume, complete with hair and makeup

My costume again, but with a fan

The fan I got from Olvera Street in Los Angeles for about $10. They had a lot of nifty Day of the Dead stuff, too.

With the mask

This sort of sums up my costume. It started off as the ghost of Marie Antoinette, but now it's turned into a Masqerade Vampire. My boyfriend may use a Venitian mask he got in Italy and match me 😉

That’s basically it, guys! I’d love to see your versions of this, everyone! Happy Halloween, and have fun!

“You can’t believe everything you read on the internet. That’s how World War I got started.”

I haven’t been very creative lately. If I had been, I would have posted sooner. However…I have failed you, blog. This post shall be about ANYTHING THAT COMES TO MIND! MWAHAHA!

I started a journal, which was necessary since my mother and I get along like a cactus and a balloon, and I needed a place to just rant. I guess that’s sort of creative, but I obviously won’t be posting any of those entries on here as that’s my truly private personal matters.

The only creative outlet I have at the moment (where I’m actually creating something) is my sewing class. I have made a tote bag thus far, in black with a really awesome interior lining fabric…. I have this sort of strange fixation on the Dio De Los Muertos skulls, and I’m more compelled to buy something if it has that pattern or motif on it. Guess what pattern fabric I got?

Et voila!

Et voila!

skullsfab2

I love it.

The bag itself! I covered it in the Disneyland Celebration buttons that I have because I'm a geek. (I don't have all of them *twitch*)

The bag itself! I covered it in the Disneyland Celebration buttons that I have because I'm a geek. (I don't have all of them *twitch*)

The interior of the bag. There are pockets and everything!

The interior of the bag. There are pockets and everything!

I’m really happy with how the bag turned out, though if I were to make it again I’d alter the strap pattern to make them about an inch longer. Right now I’m working on a child’s shirt in a basic button-up/Hawaiian shirt sort of pattern. The fabric is blue with polka dots, except the polka dots are baseballs 😀

My bed in its new spot, and my iHome and Blackberry in their new home.

My bed in its new spot, and my iHome and Blackberry in their new home.

The creative (well, semi-creative) thing I did today was I moved some furniture in my room. My bed now sort of overtakes my room, but luckily I have a big enough room where I still have space to walk and space to open my dresser and stuff (my dresser, if you were standing in my room where the photo was taken, is on the wall to your right.) I like it, but it’s definitely going to take some getting used to. I really want to get an Ikea chair bed, which is like their futon, but on wheels and when pulled out the size of a twin bed. I do more sitting on my bed than I do sleeping, really, and all of my sitting is taking a toll on my current mattress. (Which desperately needs to be replaced at the moment.) I think the smaller bed would open up the room more, ultimately, but at the moment it looks like a BEDroom. I can see my TV a lot better though, which is good. You can see in the corner that I have a small table, and that’s there to hold my iHome and a ceramic high heel phone holder (to hold my phone.)

Part of my reasoning for moving my bed was to open up my outlet that was hidden behind my bed. I had to use an extention cord to plug in my iHome, but because of the length of the cord (less than three feet long) I couldn’t plug anything else into it. With the new arrangement, I have my overhead lamp plugged in, my iHome, my phone charger, AND I have an open outlet for what have you. I need to get used to the arrangement, but it makes more sense.

Other than the Ikea bed, ideally I’d like to get basically all new furniture. I’d like to get rid of my two CD towers, TV stand, and a small side table I use as a storage shelf and replace them with a specific entertainment center I found at Ikea. (Guess where I go often?) It has a BUNCH of shelves, enough to hold all of my CDs, my DVDs, games, and most of my books, along with my TV and sattelite box and my game consoles.  The things stored in my side table thing I’d want to put in a new, larger desk with drawers. The problem with it right now is that my desk offers no storage, and is barely big enough for my sewing machine and my computer. If I had a bigger desk space, it wouldn’t be such a hassle to have both of them on there; on top of that, it wouldn’t be such a hassle to sew in my room as there isn’t enough space to lay out fabric. The other thing I’d like to get rid of is my rather unused vintage vanity. It’s next to my bed on the side you can’t see in the photo, and it’s really nothing more than a place I put things and a secondary mirror if a friend and I are getting dolled up in the same room. (I have a large mirror on the back of my long dresser that I use because the lighting is slightly better there.) I want to replace it with a small bookshelf or a storage unit of some kind, or a standing lamp to light that side of my room without my overhead light being on.

I don’t think I have anything else to say.