Blood in the Water

Jaws Full Hand

Hey look, it’s my boy Jaws!  Always fun to catch up with my favourite fiberglass shark, with a cameo from the outstandingly tacky anchor print blazer the asshat Mayor of Amity wears as he’s dooming his island-bound constituents to death-by-shark.

Slightly tangential, but I miss the Jaws ride at Universal Studios Florida with the fire of 1,000 exploding oil tankers.  Ah, to smooch that germ-ridden mug just one more time, as I did on our honeymoon (and maybe five or six other times in my life, but this sweet shark kiss happened on our honeymoon.  Mr. Finger Candy was very understanding.) 😉

Smooching Jaws

Hulk Smash!

Hulk HandComing at you with another theme park-inspired manicure, this time a bit of nail art honouring the Hulk roller coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventures in Orlando, Florida. Since its opening in 1999, the park’s skyline has been dominated by the graceful green bends of the Hulk’s towering superstructure, a twisted mass of neon green steel that propels riders up and down its twists and turns at speeds of up to 108 km/hour. Like its superhero namesake, it is a beast of a ride, the likes of which I fear my now-middle age stomach and gag reflex can no longer handle. Really, just the thought of strapping myself in and hurtling around for two minutes at 4 Gs is enough to make me feel a bit queasy. Oh, the ravages of encroaching old age! It’s not enough that we get wrinkles and are perpetually tired and everything hurts all the damn time, but now we can’t even purposefully try to make ourselves sick without actually getting sick? What bullshit is this?! 😉Hulk Fingers

Why Am I Such a Misfit?

MisfitSomething a lot of people don’t know about my husband, because it’s a bit he doesn’t trot out very often in polite company, is that he is a fantastic mimic. He picks up on people’s accents and verbal ticks really well and can fire back flawless imitations that would make your head spin. Although I wouldn’t call them imitations in the strictest sense of the term, as the usual impression subjects – Sean Connery, just about any Mike Myers character, John Wayne – are somehow slightly beyond his reach (or interest.) But mimicking accents and speech patterns and sounds – my lord, the sounds – are all square in his wheelhouse, and he loves tormenting me with his far too realistic vocal impressions of things that scare the ever living crap out of me, like Gollum, the aliens from Mars Attacks and the crawling-down-the-stairs-inside-out-and-backwards-dead-girl from The Grudge.

Fun story: One rainy evening on our honeymoon we went and saw The Grudge. When we exited the theatre at Universal Orlando’s City Walk, an outdoor pedestrian mall whose signage and lighting makes Vegas’s look downright subdued, we were both scared shitless and jumping at every little sound. But I guess he got over his fright, because at some point I awoke in the evening, disoriented from sleeping in a strange bed in an even stranger hotel room, to find my new husband softly, but then with frightening intensity, hacking out that odd, almost electric-sounding gagging noise the vengeful, inside out ghost woman from The Grudge hits you with two seconds before she eats your soul. It didn’t take me long to figure out that my beloved was pulling his new wife’s leg – you know, once my heart rate returned to something approaching human after skyrocketing into race horse territory – mostly because he was cackling like a jackass, and so with a swift, “You’re an asshole” and a smooch, we both rolled over and drifted back to dreamland. But really, his impressions of the oogie boogies that keep ME awake at least are uncanny, and my personal one-way ticket to Freakville (which is why he doesn’t bust them out too often; a joker, yes, but mean, never.)

So it was kind of funny that I bought this polish, Different Dimension’s Why Am I Such a Misfit?, because the character this polish is inspired by, Hermey the Elf from 1964’s Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, is one of those ones my husband likes to mimic, and right on up there on my hit list of hate. I just bristle when that movie comes on around the holidays, and if I’m not out of the room by the time Hermey somehow declares around the eight litres of saliva in his mouth, “I want to be! an orthodontist!” my husband comes and finds me and does it for him. ‘Cause that’s love, folks!

One small note about this polish that has nothing to do with things I hate: While the white crelly (shudder) base is of a nice, medium thickness, Why Am I Such a Misfit? is positively stuffed with glitter large and small (mostly large.) It’s a difficult one to apply, and worn by itself, it tends to look lumpy, even beneath two perfectly smoothing layers of topcoat. Next time I’d layer a couple of coats over a white base polish to cut down on application time and all of the lumpy.MisfitHand

Doll Parts

The DollhouseEvery year starting in late September and running through to the 1st of November Universal Studios puts on their hugely popular Halloween Horror Nights attraction, a massive, fully immersive, adults only, park-wide, after hours scare-a-thon. Halloween Horror Nights has been running in Florida (you know my Florida bias) since 1991, although I have never been. Trust me, this is a fact most vexing, because oh, do I want to go! There’s all sorts of haunted houses branded to various Universal properties (The Walking Dead and The Purge movies being recent big draws) and Scare Zones where you can traverse open areas of the park where “scareactors” lunge out at you from dimly lit darkness. And if you’re not feeling the immersive experience, you can always circumvent the Scare Zones and stick to the regular rides, many of which remain open, with what seem like fairly decreased wait times (although why you’d pay for the Halloween Horror Nights ticket and then treat the park like it’s any old day doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. It isn’t any old day! You’re being purged and purging alike, and zombies are all up in your grill! Take advantage of that fact and have a bit of scary fun.)

Although is “fun” really the right word? Because I’m actually still kind of unsold on the idea of wetting my pants in fear as I attempt to navigate the twisted, jump scare-fueled nightmare that is one of HHN’s haunted houses, like the house that was the inspiration for these nails, this year’s Dollhouse of the Damned. Inside the Magic has some phenomenal lights-on photos of the Dollhouse that are just unsettling in the extreme, and that’s without the motley crew of oogie boogies that are sure to jump out at you from – AGAIN – every dimly lit corner. But I love the exquisitely detailed theming of this house with its creepy-cheerful facade, mounted stuffed animal heads and grimy, dangling baby dolls. Too bad I’d never actually get to appreciate that theming in real life, because I have a feeling the only way I’d be able to get through a place like the Dollhouse of the Damned is by squeezing my eyes shut, burying my face in my husband’s back and shrieking in fear while he gripes about me walking all over the back of his heels.

But I can admire pictures of it and videos on YouTube! I like to keep informed, even if I’m not there myself. Which is how I came to create this manicure, a design inspired by the Monster House-ish exterior of the attraction, a weather-worn and beat down structure with menacing, eye-like windows and creepy naked baby dolls hanging off its porch. I had been checking out some videos of Halloween Horror Nights, and the Dollhouse was just calling out for someone to turn it into some nail art…and so I did!

Grape Scott! (OMD2)

Grape Scott!In my head I’m picturing Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown storming around his lab, yanking out clumps of his hair and gobbling nonsense about how the DeLorean’s in the shop, so how’s he supposed to get back to 1955 to save Marty from making out with his mom? (Mega bonus points if you just read that in Lloyd-as-Doc’s clipped, rapid fire cadence.)

That, of course, makes me think about the old Back to the Future Ride at Universal Studios Florida, a ride simulator favourite of mine that opened in 1991 and only closed in 2007 to make way for the park’s Simpsons and Harry Potter expansions. It was the coolest ride, but my favourite part (besides making it to the shaded, indoor portion of the line) was this little instructional video that played prior to boarding advising you of all the things thou shalt not do or be while travelling via DeLorean to the past to save humanity from the idiot clutches of Biff Tanner, such as pregnant, of poor spinal health, in the midst of a heart attack or consuming a chili cheese dog. All of these scenarios were played for laughs by a family of featureless crash test dummies, and I could ALWAYS be counted on to bray like a jackass when the safety advisor prepping us to cross the space-time continuum commented that while in transit, there was to be no smoking, drinking or eating, while a dummy in the background sat on the ride clutching a giant sandwich in one hand and a smouldering butt in the other. Bless your snark, Universal. It’s truly what differentiates you from Disney.

Wait, how did I get here? What did I come here to talk about again? Oh, right, my nails! I KNEW this blog was more than just a roundabout way for me to talk about my favourite stuff – occasionally there’s nail art, too! It’s just far too easy for me to get distracted by the stupid puns I make. Like this one time…

Okay, I’ll stop! I’m reining it in! These great grape nails, which just touched off a fire storm of nostalgic reminiscing, are my entry in the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge for day 24’s theme of fruit. I have done so many fruit-themed manis (the two first manicures I ever did were watermelons and then strawberries), but I’ve never gone grape, until now. And while I’m not sure how much those purple blobs on my index finger actually resemble grapes, I love these rich colours together, particularly the way the purple jelly (OH MY GOD, GRAPE JELLY, I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M ONLY GETTING THAT NOW, I’M LOSING MY TOUCH) highlights the magenta flecks in the green glitter polish. Just grape stuff. 😉

Dunnnnnhhhh Dunh, Dunnnnnhhhh Dunh

Dunnnnnhhhh Dunh, Dunnnnhhhh Dunh

These Jaws-themed nails, a re-do on one of my first nail art designs, really deserve the then-and-now treatment. I’ve come a long way in just four months, and executing these nails without multiple do-overs, mild weeping and hair-rending is nothing short of miraculous in my formaldehyde-addled mind. It’s too embarrassing to post the old guys, mostly because my nails and cuticles are in such rough shape (or no shape, really) and the sharks are baby blue. So cute and totally not what I was going for!

Wishy washy feelings about my second Jaws-ing aside, one thing that is perfectly clear is I LOVE that movie. Superb performances, great physical effects (don’t be so harsh, it was the 1970s) and that score? Pure perfection. And I continue to mourn its loss to this day, because I’m an amusement park nerd that way, but the now-no-more Jaws Ride at Universal Studios Florida gets my vote for the second greatest ride of all time (a close second to Disney World’s Haunted Mansion, if you were curious.) No trip to Amity Island was complete without a wee stop-off to smooch the giant fibreglass shark hanging outside the ride, and I’d be in a bit of a mood if I didn’t catch at least a few minutes of the in-line entertainment, a faux news program on WJWS (“All shark programming on your all shark station!”) complete with bantering hosts, drunken sea captains and shark puppets. Like I said, (second) best ride ever. 🙂