The fourth prompt in my pal Julie’s reading challenge was to tackle a book that was a gift or loaner. It just so happens I was gifted with a number of books this past Christmas, so I was all set in that department. My choice? The Guardians, a novel by Canadian novelist Andrew Pyper.
The Guardians is a mystery – also a haunted house story – so without giving away too much of the plot, it’s about a group of friends who return to the small Ontario town they grew up in following the death of a childhood friend and teammate. So Guardians as in the hockey team the boys play on, and also, as it turns out, guardians of dark, disturbing secrets – your pretty traditional Stephen King-ish fare as told through the lens of small town Ontario life (as opposed to Maine, Maine, always Maine.) It was well written and flowed nicely (I did have the dubious benefit of being ridiculously ill when I read it, so I had an entire day to devote to nothing but its reading) but the ending completely fell off the table. I felt like my cat when she tracks a fluttery thing off the side of the television – I kept flipping through the final two or three blank pages, apparently trying to will a more definitive ending.
These nails represent the lettering on the Guardians’ jerseys. The book doesn’t actually stipulate the Guardians’ colours, so I went with my high school’s combo of purple and gold (which I realize is far more football than hockey, but I really wanted to use a purple polish today, the end!)
Hieroglyphics over a dry brush papyrus mani, but without the cartouche (that’s the little oval-shaped frame that goes around proper nouns.) This manicure spells out LOVE in hieroglyphics. For the curious, I do not have HATE hieroglyph’d on my other hand – I’m total crap at nail art on my right hand. Besides, I had a hard enough time with the lion symbol that stands for the letter L; trying to do a right-hand eagle for the A sound would have just about given me a stroke. But I do like to think about the first Egyptian punk bombing around the birthplace of the pharaohs with a LOVE/HATE tattoo in hieroglyphs across his knuckles. Badass. 😉
It’s been a long time since my standing Sunday night appointment with The Simpsons, but man, back in the day, I had a real Simpsons problem. In university when I lived at home with my parents, I’d hog the remote and make them watch two episodes over the dinner hour. They always laughed, but after the fourth time hearing “Yes, Lisa, a magical animal” (my Dad’s favourite, and frequently uttered, quote) they started feeling a bit of Simpsons fatigue. I watched a bunch of season 4 episodes this afternoon for the first time in ages, and they were absolutely hilarious – must add more Simpsons to my life, starting with these nails!
My favourite movie, and a fun little exercise in lettering for day 23’s theme of a movie in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge. Tooting my own horn here – and if you don’t toot your own, who will? – but I think this manicure turned out beautifully. Come to think of it, I always take extra special care to make sure my Beetlejuice manicures are spickety span – it’s the difference watching a movie approximately 500 times will do to a person’s work. 😉
Trevor the Pudgicorn (that’s a pudgy unicorn; I think he actually prefers the term stub-esque) has gone on many adventures in my nail art. Okay, so technically, he’s been on two adventures – standing majestic in a field of glimmering periwinkle and checking out his namesake bubble bar from Lush. But that’s two more “adventures” than the average Pudgicorn, so I’m going with it!
Today Trevor is heading back to school in these mostly black and white nails (plus some pink, blue and yellow mane-and-tail action) for day seven’s theme of black and white in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge. He would have gone with all the other unicorns yesterday, but he missed the bus.
This is actually Trevor’s first year matriculating with all the other little Pudgicorns, and wouldn’t you know it, he’s somehow already found his way into after-school detention over there on my pinkie finger chalkboard. Trevor, get it together, dude! You’ll never get into unicorn med school at this rate. 😦
Yes, I am completely one of those (getting-to-be-annoying?) people who has drank the Stranger Things Koolaid. In my case, though, it’s less like Koolaid and more like the very blood that runs through my ever-nostalgic veins – this show could not possibly be more up my alley than if it were called The Sandra Lewrey Show for Sandra Lewreys. I grew up on a steady diet of the ’80s movies, TV shows, novels and music Stranger Things so lovingly recreates (Steven Spielberg, Stephen King and John Carpenter being the primary influences) and its arrival on Netflix not even two weeks ago now – right in the midst of a languid summer heatwave, exactly the kind of conditions under which I used to sprawl out in a friend’s cool basement and wile away the humid daylight hours with some combination of The Goonies, Stand By Me and either Poltergeist or Jaws playing on an endless loop on the TV – signaled the end of all other productive activity. I’ve regressed, and it feels fabulous.
Everything that just about everyone has said about Stranger Things I second, third and fourth, which is also the approximate number of times I’ve watched the eight episodes back-to-back. I even found myself engaging in a round of Sleep With/Marry/Kill today with Mr. Clarke, Hopper and Mike and Nancy’s dad, Ted (for the record, Ted gets the axe, Mr. Clarke is the one I’d marry and Hopper…it’d be hot for about two seconds. Then he’d start crying and pass out on top of you in a drunken stupor until you’re either crushed to death by his massiveness or drown in his cold flop sweat.)
On a more serious note, Stranger Things is a show to be savoured, a show to be studied. Note all of the grid imagery that makes up the bulk of the show’s aesthetics. Start looking and you’ll find those horizontal and vertical lines – like the bars of a cell – and grids – like the graph paper the boys use to plot out their D&D adventures – EVERYWHERE. Then there’s the use of water and keys and music, and the fact that I am super invested in a fictional relationship between two 11-year-olds. Stranger Things have happened.
I could talk about this show all day long (pretty much do) and I adore it more than anything I’ve seen in forever, but I’ll leave off for now with these nails, a nod to Joyce Byers’ homemade wall ouija and the show’s overarching message that we’re all RIGHT HERE. Nothing strange about that.
I’m Canadian, and it should be noted that I have NEVER spoken like that in my life! Aside from some absolutely BRUTAL dialects that come out of the Maritime provinces (Newfoundland, I’m looking at you), I’ve never really found Canadians to have a particular linguistic style. Then I think about Loonies and Toonies, 26ers (alcohol) and 2-4s (a term used to describe both a case of beer AND the Victoria Day long weekend), “Holy liftin’!” and “Give’r!”, toques and a mickey (more alcohol), and I really think otherwise. Also, we might have a national drinking problem (do we EVER if we’re drinking Molson – hey-oh!)
This manicure signifies the first time I have ever semi-successfully painted a maple leaf on my nails. I’m typically total ass at leafs of any description, an odd little glitch in my programming that occupies the same hard drive space as my inability to draw stars or ever remember the rules of football or card games. I like to think I was inspired by patriotic pride to get it right this time – I did it for my country! Happy Canada Day, friends – I hope you have a great one. 🙂