Clueless About Dieting

Clueless About Dieting

Or would that actually be Clueless ON Dieting?  Because this manicure represents Cher Horowitz’s confession to her best friend Dionne that stress has her indulging in a very heifer-like diet (as if!) of “two bowls of Special K, three pieces of turkey bacon, a handful of popcorn, five Peanut Butter M&Ms and, like, three pieces of licorice.”  Just missing the licorice, but then again, you can’t miss that which you don’t like in the first place, and I’ve never developed a taste for licorice.  I’m down with the rest of that stuff, though, just maybe not at the same time.  Maybe.  I don’t know, bacon and PB M&M popcorn cereal bars *could* be a thing, right?

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The Good Tie

The Good Tie

Holy motherforking shirtballs, that is a nice tie!  Or that’s what I would be saying if this manicure was an actual men’s bow tie and not just the print of a fictional one worn by Ted Danson’s character, Michael, on The Good Place.  I cemented my love of The Good Place with this manicure inspired by one of fashion plate Tahani’s dresses.  Tahani possesses a vast and enviable wardrobe of colourful floral gowns; I could do a manicure a day for weeks and still not reach the end of her flouncy and floral.

And as it turns out, Michael, architect of The Good Place, is something of a clotheshorse as well – he wears more pastel than an Easter egg, and always caps off his outfits with a colourful printed bow tie.  In a recent episode I watched Michael is wearing a smart floral tie bearing this fetching print; I liked it so much, I thought I’d turn it into a manicure.  Now, how’s that about a bench? 😉

Jolly Hollies

Holly Jolly

I mentioned some posts back that I’ve really been bitten by the Christmas bug this year.  And I have to say, I far prefer this kind of bug bite to the bah humbug variety that has regrettably plagued my Christmases for many years running.  I have a very small family, and we’re close, but our holiday celebrations are always deeply WASP-y affairs – tasteful decorations, sumptuous feast, many viewings of Love, Actually and Home Alone in which we yell profanities at Alan Rickman and count the number of felonies committed by Kevin McAllister, respectively.  And I really love those Christmases, tiny and weird though they may be (particularly the brunch and dinner parts; my mom is an ah-maze-ing cook) but they’ve become a bit predictable, and I think we’re all ready for a change.

So this year my husband and I are trying something new.  As such, I’ve really had to be on the ball with my holiday preparations, and my enjoyment of the season is truly all the better for it.  The tree is up!  And I didn’t electrocute myself this year, not even once.  My cards are written and ready to be mailed out, most of my gifts are purchased and Babes in Toyland has been watched.  And then just this past weekend my parents and I enjoyed a lovely and festive night out touring beautiful old homes done up for the holidays.  It’s been nice; I like actually engaging with the season instead of whining about how much I have to do until suddenly it’s Boxing Day and I realize I’ve done absolutely nothing.

And that goes for my nails as well – there’s always a mad rush in the final 10 days of the year to complete all those festive manicures I neglected through the other 21 days of December.  But not this year!  I’m on it, and digging on this multi-chromatic holly berry design.  Very merry.

Where’s Your Head At?

Where's Your Head At Fingers

Both the loose – so loose – inspiration for these nails (the album cover art of the Basement Jaxx’s Where’s Your Head At?) and also a valid question for this blogger and nail artist: Where exactly WAS my head at, because this manicure is pretty terrible!  Bad colours, cruddy brushwork, ugly lighting.  And this was actually my second attempt at this design today; you should(n’t) have seen the first one.  Eh, sometimes these things don’t work out, but a bit of practice never hurt (and I’m sorely out of practice; too much post-vacation reminiscing and not enough nail art-ing.) 😉

Meow, That’s Hot!

Hot Sauce Main Collage

Hot sauce, made here in Ottawa, Ontario by Meow! That’s Hot, and plenty of it.  With a matching manicure, even if I think their label cats look totally demonic.

Mr. Finger Candy and I are both big fans of the web show Hot Ones (great, in-depth interviews with celebrities as they attempt to form coherent thoughts while eating progressively hotter and hotter chicken wings) and a weekend marathon some while back inspired this massive order of locally-sourced hot sauce.  I don’t know what to say, apparently my husband was feeling quite passionate about burning his face off.  You can find Meow! That’s Hot hot sauces at Chilly Chiles stores, although you can also order direct from the source (and if you’re within Ottawa, the completely nice dudes who work at Meow! That’s Hot will refund your shipping, and deliver it to your door with a hilariously withering, “Giant box of hot sauce for (Mr. Finger Candy)?”  And it WAS a giant box of hot sauce.  Enough to seriously screw up your sense of taste and smell for at least the next four months.

Hot Sauce Bottles Collage

Except burn-yer-face off is not exactly what Meow! That’s Hot does.  Oh, they bring the heat alright – Ghost Kitty, studded with nuclear hot ghost peppers, and Manx Mangler, loaded with both habaneros and scotch bonnet peppers, are particularly fiery – but there’s also a good deal of taste to these hot sauces, which are packed with all sorts of yummy things like garlic and pears and tomatillos and blackberries.  So if pain and delirium ain’t your thing when it comes to a hot sauce (or if that’s only occasionally your thing, I don’t know your life!) Meow! That’s Hot might be a good choice.  Give ’em a shot!  And also check out these nails, still with that demonic cat.

Hot Sauce Hand

Literary Inspiration: The Stand

The Stand Collage

A couple months back, I was going through a bit of a low phase, one nearly entirely of my own making.  Every day I’d get up and, in the course of going about my otherwise pretty enjoyable routine, I’d jump online and then just completely mire myself in whatever horrible news was emanating from around the globe, with a particular emphasis on the trainwreck that is American politics.  I may be Canadian, but the chaos and casual cruelty that seemingly permeate every aspect of today’s American governance have cast a noxious pall across the world; we are all feeling it.

So when it came time to tackle the tenth prompt in my friend’s reading challenge, one which called for a choice from a favourite author that you’ve not yet read, I’m not surprised I gravitated towards Stephen King; he is my favourite author, yet I’ve probably only read about a third of his novels.  I’m a bit more surprised that I chose an absolutely gigantic tome that’s more like three books in one; 823 abridged pages of very, very tiny text.  And I was going to say I was the most surprised at my choice, King’s seminal text, The Stand (my husband called it King’s bible, a very apt comparison) but it fits both tonally and in terms of subject matter. That’s just the head space I was in when I rolled up on the tenth challenge prompt – major end-of-times bleakness.

For those not familiar with The Stand, here’s how bleak we get: 99 percent of humanity dies horribly in a flu epidemic that ravages the globe in a little under a month.  The book literally kicks off with about 300 pages of mucus-filled respiratory deaths.  You come to know a handful of characters (inexplicably immune, all) and then watch through their eyes as society quickly breaks down, teeters on the brink and then completely plummets off the edge.  Spread out across the four corners of the United States, we follow these characters as they watch their loved ones suffer and die, and then we watch THEM suffer (and sometimes die) as they attempt to make their way to Nebraska and then on to Colorado, drawn there by prophetic dreams of an old woman who offers salvation or hope or death, or maybe all three.

The Stand book and nails

And that’s just the first 400 or so pages.  After that, we get into a major battle between Good and Evil, and then we meet Randall Flagg, the other Man in Black, the Walkin’ Dude, the devil.  I mean, I guess he’s the devil?  Or at the very least a close confidante.  I just know that Flagg as a symbol of ultimate evil didn’t land for me.  He’s petulant and whiny and kind of lazy; a being of such tremendous power should not be as preoccupied with appearances as he (sound like anyone else we know?)  As Buffy might say, “Ooh, The Taunter – striking fear in the heart of no one.”  But then again, with the exception of Under the Dome’s absolutely horrific Jim Rennie, very few of King’s baddies have left a mark with me.  I think I was expecting more from his marquis villain.

This jacket cover photo, however?  It’s EVERYTHING.  The hair, the suit, the smoke – oh, it’s perfection!

The Stand book jacket

It’s a small moment in an otherwise gigantic novel, but there’s a little bit early on in the book that strikes at the heart of what The Stand is ultimately all about.  In Nebraska, 108-year-old Abigail Freemantle is setting out for her neighbour’s, a two days’ walking trip.  Abby’s not paying a social visit to her neighbour, though – that would require a host or hostess to greet her, and everyone is dead.  Abigail instead travels to her neighbour’s in search of chicken; on her last visit before the flu took everyone she knew, Abby had spied a few in the backyard.  Moving infinitesimally slow (because she is 108-ancient-years-old) but drawing from a long lifetime of experience, Abigail dispatches two of the chickens.

Mother Abigail, a deeply religious woman with a strong, but ill-defined connection to God, falls into the realm of that tired old literary trope of the “magical negro.”  I’ll give King a bit of a pass because The Stand was written in 1978.  The times and sensibilities, they change.  But I’m not giving myself a pass, because I fell for that aggravatingly regressive trope hook, line and sinker.  When Abigail slaughters the chickens, I ignorantly wondered what sort of magical concoction she needed their blood and bones for.  Then when she is walking back home and she and her bag of chicken are set upon by bloodthirsty weasels sent by Randall Flagg, I wondered what sort of ritual could be so important that she’d put her life in danger in such a way.

But I was wrong.  Instead of some chicken-based hoodoo, Abigail had simply sensed that she was about to have a number of drop-in visitors (the pilgrims who had been dreaming of her just as much as she had been dreaming of them) and the chickens were so that she could have a hot, home-cooked meal waiting for them when they arrived.  There was nothing more to it than connection and kindness through food.  I thought it was such a charming little moment – simple, goodhearted humanity as set against seemingly insurmountable odds.

The Stand nails

A friend recently commented that she remembered The Stand as ending on a bittersweet, slightly melancholy note, and that’s true.  But there’s also an undercurrent of malice, a sense that the mistakes of the past are ones we’re powerless to prevent from happening once again.  I read a lot of fear in the ending.  But then again, it wouldn’t be a discussion of a Stephen King novel if you’re not debating the ending as being either sweet or completely horrifying.

This nail art aims to capture the snow-covered peaks of Colorado.  Without giving too much away, the mountains factor in heavily.  As does the twinkling night sky; in a world gone dark, it takes on a new, watchful meaning.  Ultimately, I’m glad I decided to finally pick this one up; neglecting The Stand was a major blank spot in my Kingsian education, and I enjoyed coming at it from a forensic perspective – you can almost see the partial or nearly fully fleshed out ideas of many of his stories to come.  The King bible, indeed, and an excellent read.

Happy Birthday, Mickey!

Birthday Mickey

Well now, what’s this utter madness here – actual nail art on this nail blog and not some long-winded tale about my recent Disney vacation that has taken exponentially longer to spin out than it did to actually experience it?  😉  At the very least this Mickey mani is well within my all-Disney wheelhouse these days.

The main Mouse’s birthday was actually yesterday – 89 years young.  Doesn’t look a day over a well-plasticized 50, though.  Happy belated, Mickey!