Those Summer Nights

Those Summer Nights 2

These nails are very 1980s inspired, no?  Must be all that Stranger Things I, and everyone else with a television, have been watching (40 mil viewers, Netflix, really?!)  Actually, the reason this manicure is so rad is because it was inspired by the 1980s-themed event my husband’s been playing in Rocket League, an RC car-meets-goal…sports…game?  All I know is I’m rather confused, and yet delighted, when I watch him motor a small replica Ecto 1 with striped sunset wheels down an underwater arena playing field in order to bury a hockey puck in a net that will explode in Michael Bay-worthy pyrotechnics.  Now, THAT’S a video game!

Also, yes, totally the inspiration for these nails, which I did using a quintet of Enchanted Polish holographics, including House of the Rising Sun (yellow), Desert Sunset (orange), Dope Jam (pink), and two mystery polishes from 2015, November (magenta) and January (dark purple.)  Extra super pretty as against the actual sunset this warm – SO warm – summer night.

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Rainy Day Rainbows

Rainy Day Rainbows

Only type of day we’ve been having lately, actually.  It has rained SO MUCH this summer, and it’s also been humid as crap.  There was also some major springtime flooding this year.  I’d say we are positively wrung with water about these parts.  Hmm, that sounded a lot ickier than I had intended.  Meteorlogical water, just to clarify. 😉

Anyhow, here’s some rainbow nail art, set on a slant!  And I hope the end of your weekends, friends, feature more rainbows than rain.

Literary Inspiration: Furiously Happy

Furious Collage

With apologies to the friend who gave me this book, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson, I hated it.  Just loathed every page, every anecdote, every mea culpa and every non-sequitur about horribly misshapen, taxidermized rodents.  And there were quite a few of them, often expressed as quarter page-long footnotes.  Furiously Happy was tonally bizarre and as all over the place as Lawson professes her mental health to be.  Instead of making me happy, it just made me furious (as evidenced by the front cover amendment I made at the end of one particularly enraging chapter, an egregious act I’m only mildly pissed at myself for having carried out – you DO NOT abuse books in such a fashion.  Unless the book in question is beginning to mess with YOUR mental health.)

Known around the interwebs as The Bloggess, Lawson’s writing is often compared to the works of David Sedaris, and is bolstered by such high profile literary talent as Neil Gaiman, Augusten Burroughs and Christopher Moore (should have been a tip-off; I dislike all three of those authors.)  She’s an engaging writer with an easy, meandering style.  She’s also legitimately funny, with a scattered sense of cat-centric humour that edges on the dark and inappropriate, and I like that.  But I did not like this book.

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Two years ago I read Lawson’s first book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir, a somewhat fictionalized account of her life, which depending on how and when you looked at it, could either be deemed charmingly quirky or grounds for about five child endangerment lawsuits.  I suspect that after reading multiple tales of how her father – described as a gregarious Viking of a man with a penchant for taxidermy – traumatized Lawson and her sister with dead squirrels stuffed into popcorn boxes, or her own haphazard attempts to dispose of the family pug’s carrion-nipped corpse, the concern trolls came out in force, probably questioning how her unusual upbringing – and, by extension, the one she was giving to her own young daughter – could in any way be deemed “okay,” or even entertaining literary fodder.

So when it came to Furiously Happy, I can imagine that the overriding editor’s note was to explain that while humorous, and embellished in certain instances, these anecdotes are rooted in the larger issue of the author’s poor mental health.  That Lawson didn’t just bail out on her kid’s recital because she’s a flake that got distracted by a dead animal – you would not believe the number of times this happens – but because she’s MENTALLY ILL.

Which, alarming number of taxidermy stories aside, you’d never know, until Lawson begins shouting it in your face every second page.  The world’s a weird place, and I think most of us are just bumbling through as best we can, beset on all sides by varying degrees of anxiety and depression.  That’s the unfortunate downside to the gift of life – having to live through the thing.  But the situations that Lawson describes as being so very damaging to her existence – and they are, if she’s being in any way truthful – are the things nearly all of us confront every single day.  The social anxiety that keeps us trapped in our homes, the depression that keeps us confined to our beds, the heartbreak we think we couldn’t possibly live through.

If there is an overriding thesis to Furiously Happy, it’s that everyone deals with poor or flagging mental health in different ways, and what works for some people – what apparently works for Lawson is getting so angry at her rebellious mind, she comes right back around the other side to “furiously happy” – does not work for all people.  Getting right with your own head takes time and effort, and nobody’s process is the same.

But not all people have endlessly patient and understanding families, husbands on important business conference calls who allow you to barge into the guest bedroom so you can shriek about feral swans, or publishers willing to finance a trip to Australia where the very best thing you can think to do is behave like an infuriating American tourist in a plushy kangaroo costume (seriously.)  Not all people have children who understand why you bailed on their recital because there’s too many other people there.  Not all people have access to a rotating cadre of therapists, or the necessary funds to even seek out mental health care.  Not all people are bestselling authors who CANNOT shut up about how wacky their lives are because MENTALLY ILL.  I started out the book feeling deeply sympathetic toward Lawson’s condition – as my boys in TOP say in the song Migraine, “Sometimes to stay alive, you’ve gotta kill your mind” – and by the end…well, you can see what I did to the cover.  It was just one vignette after another, all amounting to “I did something wacky/bizarre/borderline certifiable that led to me hurting myself and/or the people around me, but I cannot help myself, I AM MENTALLY ILL.  Isn’t that funny?!”

THAT person is not sympathetic.  But the other side of Lawson’s condition is self-harm and suicidal ideation, and that person IS sympathetic.  No one wants to hear of a person so worn down by life and all its attendant maladies that they just want to check out.  It’s why there’s a justifiable stigma around suicide.  It’s the place most of us just don’t want to go.

And Lawson doesn’t want to go there either.  If anything is clear from Furiously Happy, it’s that she’s a fighter, and for the sake of her family, her friends and her community of readers, she’s going to continue fighting.  I respect that; there’s no other way but forward, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.  But the real insights on mental health in this book are so buried beneath its stupid, infuriating veneer of forced wackiness, you can hardly find them.  It’s really asking too much of your readers to guffaw at the inconsequential fight over clothes you had with your husband in one chapter, and then react in sympathetic horror to your bloody self-harm in another.  The tonal and emotional shift is just too great.  I hope Lawson continues the good fight, but I don’t ever need to read another thing she’s written.

I read this book in service of my friends’ reading challenge for the theme of “Yellow/Gold is the color of novelty, so read a yellow novel.”  Consider it read, and now nail art-ed as well, a matte-and-glittery design – and quite yellow, indeed – inspired by the book jacket cover art.

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Suit Up

Suit Up 1

This striping tape-assisted manicure reminds me of pinstriped suiting fabric, set on a slant and shot through with holographic rainbows.  So a textile perhaps for the very confident gentleman?  Or no man whatsoever right now, since the summer weather is hot as balls, and I pity the guy who has to wear a suit in this.

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Speaking of balls, this favourite Colour Club holo has a fun name – Crystal Baller.  But owing to its hue, I just look at it and think it should be called Blue Baller.  Because I am a pervert and deeply juvenile. 😉  But it’s ever so pretty, is it not?  One of those polishes I always reach for when the sun is out at full blast, and boy howdy, is it ever.  Stay made in the shade, pretty peeps.

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Chrome Alone

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Here’s a nifty, multi-look mani that makes the most of the polishes I used, four colour-shifting chromatics from Polish Me Silly.  And with thanks to that colour shiftiness and the tiniest tilt of your hand, this simple dotted nail art can look like three different manicures in one, perfect if you’re looking to maximize your manis, or even if you’re just really indecisive. 😉

Chrome Alone Collage

Here I used four Polish Me Silly chromatics, two duo-chromes (Holy Shift, first, and Guilty Pleasure, third) and two multi-chromes (Dreamer, second, and Paradise, fourth.)  In the polished nomenclature, chromatic refers to the lacquer’s finish, in this case a liquid metal-type paint job to rival the flashiest of cars in the Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (actually, I think Twink’s Incredible Hulk car is the exact same shade of green as Dreamer, and shut up, I KNOW I know too much about that stupid movie, but I can’t help myself, it’s awful/terrible and Han is way hot and I can’t. stop. watching…except it actually features real stunt driving, instead of Vin Diesel smirk-driving on, like, submarines in the Arctic, and it’s pretty badass.  I think this comparison may have gotten away from me a bit.)

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Duo-chrome means the polish shifts back and forth between two colours, and multi-chrome means it shifts between three or four.  This just means that depending on the lighting conditions or the angle of your hand, your nail art can look like a few different manis in one.  Quite economical of time and polish, yes, but just a fun look to play around with all the same.

Chromatic Collage

Can’t Talk, Stranger Things

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Here’s another Stranger Things-inspired mani to add to…oh wow, six other manicures I’ve done in honour of my favourite television show.  You’re living under a rock if you don’t know that season 3 of the hit Netflix show just dropped, which is really where I should be if I want to avoid spoilers.  So not only can I NOT talk, because I am busy watching season 3 – just two episodes in; I really want to parcel them out this season instead of just gulping them back – but I literally CANNOT talk, because I can’t talk to anyone until I’ve finished watching it and/or they’ve also watched it so we can (not) talk about it together.

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This super simple, striping tape-enabled mani reminds me of Stranger Things’ opening credit graphics, which are NOT simple – that’s why I did this inspired-by manicure instead of attempting to do the title lettering.  No way was that one going to turn out on my tiny nails!

For this manicure, I used a base coat of Different Dimension’s cherry red holo, Naughty, under a bit of artfully arranged striping tape and two coats of Lilypad Lacquer’s black holo, Rainbows in Space.  This is one of those manicures that I actually prefer in the shade, but you can’t deny that bonkers holo effect out in the sun, even if technically, it’s nothing the Upside Down ever sees.

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Disney Girl Challenge: Bo Peep

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Bahahahahaha – or perhaps baaaaaa-hahahaha? – Bo Peep on my thumb here looks like a nun!  I maintain, I am utter crap at painting characters, they ALL come out looking like black market, carnival-grade nylon nightmares.  I do think her three-headed, one-body sheep are rather fetching, however.

And in case you’re curious as to this Disney Girl Challenge business, it’s an open-ended, super casual, non-challenge challenge I set for myself, oh, nearly six years ago now when I realized there were about nine billion female Disney characters out there that would make some really excellent nail art subjects.  Please click on the link above to check out a LOT of Disney girl power, lacquered styles. 🙂

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