They Say Stay in Your Lane, Boy

TOP 1

Breaking news: This post has nothing to do with Disney!  Um, actually, wait a sec… (*consults first three seconds of the YouTube video posted below*)…yeah, sorry, there’s a bit of Disney in there.  It would appear I literally cannot help myself, no apologies.

Also can’t help myself because we’re talking about twenty one pilots here, my favouritest of the favoured bands, and I will take every opportunity afforded to me in this world to tell absolutely everyone about last Halloween when Mr. Finger Candy and I dressed up like Tyler Joseph, the lead singer of TOP, for an after hours party at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.  Rock star cosplaying – I highly recommend it.  Tigger was a fan!

Tyler Two Pilots 11

The other night we finally got to see twenty one pilots live for the first time on their Bandito tour, and they were INCREDIBLE.  So polished!  So much tech – pyro, air jets, confetti, lasers, drum platforms and multiple, moving stages.  So much shirtless Josh Dun, the drummer with the sweet disposition and the even sweeter abbbbbbbbssssssss.  And so much heart.  It’s obvious how much Tyler and Josh love what they do – it radiates from every aspect of this carefully orchestrated production.  This is the adult in me speaking (let her speak; she doesn’t get out very often!) but there’s nothing more attractive than someone(s) showing care and competence.  Not sure I needed the boost, but I’m smitten with TOP all anew. 🙂

And newfound smittenness needs nails, don’t you think?  So here’s a TOP-friendly mani inspired by the aesthetics of their three major albums, 2013’s blue and red Vessel, 2015’s black, red and white Blurryface and 2018’s camo and yellow Trench.

TOP Collage

Being all smitten-like also required me to put together a video I shot of *some* of the show, which you will find below.  But truthfully, I’ll never make a living as a concert blogger (is there such a thing, and where can I get in on this racket?) because I don’t want to be a documentarian, I just want to be there carpe-ing in the moment, singing along to Holding On To You at the top of my lungs whilst offhandedly contemplating Josh’s arms day routine.  It’s unfortunately not a comparable experience to the full show (GO, GO, SEE THEM, YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT) but I hope you enjoy these snippets all the same.

Sparkle Surprise!

Sparkle Surprise Collage 1

Here’s some ultra shimmery, very unicorny nails for no reason other than it’s Thursday, the weather’s all bummy and I have an entire diningroom’s worth of painting to get done before 5 pm this evening.  No sweat, says I!  Although I have been sweating a great deal, which is what happens when you’re contorting yourself into positions never before attempted by the world’s most practiced yogis in order to just. reach. this. onnnnneeeeee. spot. in. the. corner. of. the. closet. that. no. one. but. you. will. ever. see. or. even. know. is. there.  But it will haunt your dreams if you I don’t deal with it immediately, so here we are!

I won’t tell you the base colours I used in this manicure – a chromatic, vaguely fuzzy-looking pink topped with diagonal sponging in chromatic teal and green to mimic the prism of light captured along the edge of this new cup I purchased – because the company is long out of business, and also went down in a spectacular blaze of not-so-glorious glory.  None of the polishes I own were affected by said blaze, so I’ve continued using them, although I try not to talk up the company.

Sparkle Surprise 3

But I did top the whole works off with another polish that I’d be happy to talk up, Orly’s unicorn-in-a-bottle glitter topper, Anything Goes.  This polish hits all the fun P requirements – pretty, pastel and purple!  Now back to a P word of my own, sigh – painting.

Sparkle Surprise 5

Arizona Shrimp Horny

Arizona Shrimp Horny 1

That’s a line from one of my favourite TV shows, The Good Place, about Kristen Bell’s character, self-described Arizona trashbag Eleanor Shellstrop, a woman who REALLY loves her shrimp.  And maybe even in the biblical sense, according to dimwitted friend Jason Mendoza, an act I would really not put beyond her – Eleanor’s a delightful pervert who’s constantly, improbably horny for everyone and everything, and I’m sure that includes her beloved shrampies.

But all this talk of shrimp, in service of this manicure I did after getting the “Arizona shrimp horny” line stuck in my head for days, made me realize that there are a lot of references to shrimp in my favourite movies and TV shows, and they all make me laugh uproariously.  Brooklyn 99’s Jake is dismayed when he discovers that cruise ship latrines empty into the ocean – “But that’s where my shrimp live!”  Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Anya loves to talk up the all-shrimp (or no-shrimp) worlds that populate other dimensions.  The Birdcage’s Agador (Agador Spartacus?) protests when another character whisks away the seafood chowder he’s prepared, calling after them in a singsongy Puerto Rican accent, “But you forgot da tshrimps!”  Raising Hope’s Jimmy horrifies his family after returning home from his grocery store job reeking of disemboweled decapods (“Oh my god, what is that smell?!”  “The poop of 50,000 shrimps.”)  And let’s not forget about The Muppets’ Pepe the Prawn, who always seems to be on the unfortunate end of one of Miss Piggy’s schemes to make Kermit jealous (I laugh for days at the bit in the movie with Jason Segal and Amy Adams where Kermit walks in on Piggy and Pepe, in costume, practicing the lift from the end of Dirty Dancing.  He’s in a tiny little leather jacket, and desperately trying to fend off Piggy’s without-warning attempts at launching herself up and over him while “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” warbles in the background.  Mr. Finger Candy and I practically giggled ourselves into fits contemplating this wee shrimp version of Johnny Castle (we’ve dubbed him Prawny Castle, because how could we not?)

Turns out there’s a lot of references to shrimp in my favourite pop culture, and now here the little buggers are adorning my nails.  Think I might have as big a problem as Eleanor? 😉

Arizona Shrimp Horny 2

Met Gala Monday

Met Gala 2

Well, one week on.  But as with all things in my life lately, it took me a while to find my nail art supplies amidst the mess of these (never-ending) renovations, and it’s not like *I* was the one attending last Sunday’s Costume Institute Gala at the Met – Anna Wintour would never have the scrubby likes of me around, let alone in my current state of perpetual dishevelment, both physical (our new bathtub is lovely; now could we just get a faucet and reconnect the water?) and mental (I keep losing important things – my keys, my wallet – and yesterday I very carefully wrapped up a rasher of bacon and laid it in the cupboard beside the crackers; I just found it this morning.)  Had I managed to score an invite, it most likely would not have been my best showing.

But do you know who looked abso-friggin-lutely fantastic?  Cara Delevingne.  “The cosmic hula-hooping dirt scientist from Suicide Squad?” no one is asking.  Well, yes, her, and okay, I’m in agreement that her turn as Dr. June Moon (seriously) is maybe not one of her better roles as an actress.  But in wearing one of her many other hats as a model, the girl slays – she’s got the strong features, lithe figure and cocky attitude necessary to pull off major runway looks like the one she sported last week at the Met Gala.

Met Gala 3

Years ago I was super into celebrity gossip; spent too much time contemplating the hows and whys and wheres of shoeless Britney in the night.  I kicked my “need” for up-to-the-minute details on the whatabouts of my not-so-favourite stars a long time ago, but I still love looking at morning-after photos of the fashions sported by celebrities on the major red carpets.  And of all the red carpets, the Met Gala’s themed event has got to be the majorest (the carpet was actually pink this year), with nearly all the attendees adhering to the year’s chosen theme.

2019’s theme was “Camp: Notes on Fashion.”  And not camp as in “Here’s a nylon tent and four pegs; good luck keeping the bears out of your food” but as in Susan Sontag’s definition (pulled from the 1964 essay that inspired this year’s theme) of a “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration.”  So look for a lot of colour, bonkers headpieces and unexpected adornments.

I literally gasped out loud when I saw Cara Delevingne’s Pride-inspired Dior confection.  She looked like one of those striped, rainbow-coloured lollipops you get at the fair.  With a bunch of bananas and eyeballs stapled to her head.  And girl was working it – she even had a pimp cane. 🙂 Oh, but that dress!  Ultra mini, super broad shouldered, horizontal stripes in a rainbow’s worth of unusual colours…had I the money, the bod and any place to wear it (simply pulling on a pair of pants these days feels like a pretty major accomplishment) it would be mine.  I’ve never been so in love with an outfit in my entire life.  I’d even wear the banana-eyeball fascinator.

I’m also not sure I’ve ever been so in love with a manicure as I am with this one, either the striped base version or the excessively, artificially adorned one (no eyeball or banana nail charms, but I found some suitably weird ones in my collection all the same.)

Met Gala 4

In following the exact colour pattern of the stripes on the dress, I used virtually every single Enchanted holo I own; I’m particularly fond of the very retro assortment of greens and blues on my middle finger.  And I’m totally blowing my own horn here, but those stripes are free-handed – striping tape is great in some applications, but it tends to pull and bleed when you’re trying to do such fine detail work.  Better to take my chances with a fairly steady hand.

Met Gala 1

Really, this might be one of my favourite manicures EVER, and I’ve been doing this a while – nearly six years by my last count.  It’s just the most fun, whimsical thing I think I’ve ever done, and I adore it!

So a very nice way to kick off the week, proud of a thing I did.  And to a week that make you proud, friends – I hope we all have wonderful ones. 🙂

Literary Inspiration: Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict

Confessions Collage

As Bon Jovi would say, this is my confession: I didn’t particularly enjoy Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, I’m not sure why I read it (other than it fulfilled the required theme of “A tale where the main character loves to read” in my friends’ reading challenge) and I wouldn’t read it again.  It was silly, dull as dishwater and completely and utterly lacking in wit.  Confessions was a tepid recreation of any one of Austen’s novels about headstrong young women of means boxed in on all sides by romance, propriety, social convention and Georgian Mommy Dearest, with a dash of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Goin’ a bit harsh here, perhaps, but this book was as boring as any one of the innumerable scenes of our heroine (*pulls out book and looks for the main character’s name, because it’s already gone*) Courtney Stone needlepointing her way through a situation that has somehow resulted in her becoming a Jane Austen-type character in Regency England.

Annnnndddd I was about to explain the hows and whys of how that came to be before I realized it just doesn’t matter.  Despite declaring herself a major Austenite, Courtney – Jane Mansfield now, seriously – has no idea how to navigate this world of intricately choreographed social convention, not even with the perpetual threat of blood-letting, institutionalization and her mother’s cruel threats hanging over her head.  So she sees no problem whatsoever in carrying on as though she’s still Courtney, confusing and worrying absolutely everyone with her talk of modern products and concepts, or mixing up the names of the many, many men who have apparently done her wrong.  There’s TWO half-baked love triangles in Confessions, one in Courtney’s past-present and then another in Jane’s present-past, and I didn’t care about either of them.  Arguably neither did the author, Laurie Viera Rigler, because the driving conflict of one is resolved in a three-page epilogue, and the other is never addressed at all.

Confessions 2

The only real emotion I was able to muster was when Courtney/Jane, worn down by her fruitless attempts to get back to her time, says to hell with it and nearly shags some random drunkard in a side parlour during a fancy party in London.  Times have indeed changed, and in Courtney’s world, having a one-night stand with some random is NBD.  But in Jane’s world, for a woman of her station – proper, wealthy, and with at least one suitor poised to propose marriage, to say nothing of the batshit mother – this indelicate act is tantamount to taping a grenade to her face.  It was a reckless move on the part of the character, and a careless move on the part of the author – Austen’s most beloved heroines are always fiercely protective of what little independence they’re able to carve out in such a regimented society, but they’re not careless with their safety or their reputations.  You’d never find Elizabeth Bennett contemplating how much fun it would be to drag some drunken lout into a coat closet for a snog while Mr. Darcy stands outside.  She’d just be looking for a way to get the hell out of the party so she could go home, sit in the parlour with her father and listen to his wistful stories about a time before Mrs. Bennett.

My own mother read this book twice, out of admitted boredom.  She was apartment-sitting while we were on holiday and our TV went on the fritz; with nothing else around she wanted to read (seriously, Mom, there is a SHELF full of Stephen King; read those, they’re great!) she willingly read this book, that she had previously loaned me, again.  I don’t even know how, and I really don’t know why.  Is Stephen King really that bad?

Anyway, the only thing more boring than Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict is needlepoint, an activity Courtney/Jane spends a lot of time attending to, so I did this folksy, stitched manicure articulating my feelings on the matter.

Confessions 1

Scent Stuff: Rosegirls Custom Mini Melters

Custom MMs Collage Main

I didn’t need this pile of scented wax – my 2018 orders are more than holding me over, particularly during the renos when I’m melting next to nothing – but when Rosegirls put out a call for custom blends in late February, I answered.  Answered to the tune of six one-pound bags of delectably-scented goodies, that is.  I showed zippo restraint – NO RAGRETS!  Let’s take a peek at the scent blends I chose, some of which were my own creation and some of which are classic – and beloved – Rosegirls’ blends.

Absolute Coffee/Monster Cookie Fluff Puffs

Custom MMs Collage 1

Needs more coffee!  Sounds like me at about 2:45 in the afternoon.  Or Stranger Things’ Chief Hopper always.  But yeah, this otherwise yummy blend, a favourite of Mr. Finger Candy’s, could use a lot more of that astringent Absolute Coffee note to tamp down the rich bakery notes of Monster Cookie Fluff Puffs (oh, these names, they’re so silly; never change.)

Mango Sorbet/Strawberry Shortcake/Rice Krispie Treats

Custom MMs Collage 4

Otherwise known in Rosegirls circles as Love Yourself, a candy sweet, juicy, lip-puckeringly tart confection named after a Justin Bieber song (oh, these names, they’re so silly; please change immediately!)  Rosegirls’ Strawberry Shortcake is pretty well the only strawberry scent I like in wax form, because it’s artificial and it knows it (clap your hands, *clap clap*.)  In tandem with sunny Mango Sorbet and gooey Rice Krispie Treats, it’s one of my favourite scent combinations.

Blackberry/Campfire Marshmallows/Vanilla Bean Noel

Custom MMs Collage 3

The first rule of Blending Club was you could only choose three scents or scent blends per custom creation.  So no eight-strong, all-cupcake customs, sorry.  The second rule of Blending Club was you do not talk about Blending Club.  Huh, probably should have made that their first rule.

Anyhow, because of the three-scent limitation, this was my attempt at Bob-Omb Blast, a Rosegirls creation featuring Blackberry, Campfire Marshmallows, Vanilla Bean Noel and Glazed Donuts.  Even if I had had space for a fourth scent choice, Glazed Donuts wasn’t available on the customs scent list, so I round out this deliciously incongruous mix of the fresh and the gourmand with good old Vanilla Crunch Donuts when I’m looking to up the bakery factor.  As is, this is an elegant, sophisticated scent, with the Campfire Marshmallows dancing about the edges of the juicy Blackberry, giving the entire blend a pleasantly soapy kind of lean.  I’ve actually melted through a pile of this one already.

Monster Cookie Fluff Puffs/Royal Sugar Cookie/Waffle Cone

Custom MMs Collage 2

Cookies, cookies and more cookies!  Or if we’re going by the scent descriptions provided by Rosegirls for the three scents, that would be two kinds of cookies shoved in a waffle cone and topped with marshmallow cream.  Sounds fantastic (smells fantastic as well) – I’ll take two.

Raspberry Sauce/Vanilla Bean Noel/Waffle Cone

Custom MMs Collage 5

My play on the classic Raspberry Sauce/VBN/(insert your favourite bakery here) blend.  I also would have accepted my utterly adored Raspberry Sauce and Vanilla Bean Noel with Nilla Wafers.  Or Pie Crust.  Or Sugar Cookies.  Or those dang Monster Cookie Fluff Puffs (a combination of vanilla cookies and marshmallow, by the way, in things I probably should have mentioned earlier.)  Oh wow, I’m really getting so hungry here, and I don’t even like sweet things!

Peppermint/Gilligan’s Brew/Marshmallow Smoothie

Custom MMs Collage 6

Finally, we’ve got Rosegirls’ venerable Peppermint Coconut Mallow.  This is a nearly-all-the-time offering, but I always manage to miss it during sales (more like I can’t justify placing an order for one single scent blend, much as I love it.)  It’s easy to put this one together using individual Mini Melters, but as a lot of people have pointed out, there’s just something about the blends poured by Rosegirls that makes them that much sweeter.  Glad to have a pile of this people-pleaser in my possession.

Glad to have all of these blends in my possession, actually, because they turned out so well.  It’s not ever that you place a customs order and don’t wind up with at least one dud in the bunch (was that a triple negative?!)  But whether it’s owing to Rosegirls’ superior blending abilities or me finally figuring out which scents I like and which scents I don’t, this order was a slam-dunk and blessedly dud-free.

Best of all, for anyone who remembers and is wary of the old days of custom ordering with Rosegirls, this was the complete opposite of that rather unpleasant experience in every way – it took maybe five fuss-less minutes to place my order, and my goodies came within about six weeks.  The entire process was seamless and efficient; no tears, no recriminations.  Like, is it even a Rosegirls custom opening if a website doesn’t go down and threats aren’t lobbed?  Yes, yes, it is!  And it went so well, I think they just might do it again, so let’s all be on our best behaviour to make that happen so we can enjoy these sweet treats, yeah? 🙂  Now off to enjoy mine. 🙂