grad school

The processing of process….

Notes on November

…thus far.

Nothing dries here. Mom bought me a box of sun, which seems to be helping the doomy gloomies a bit.

I think too much about what I could be doing, and berate myself for not living the life I think I want, or am supposed to want, but if I want to be the sort of person who goes to bars alone and practices karate, why don’t I ever actually want to do those things? Perhaps the new coolness is someone who goes from home to school and back again and eats mac and cheese. This is a thing, right?

I think too much, I think. Oh wait. Crap.


School is different the second time around. Better and deeper in many ways, but I can no longer summon that wild, vicious sense of youthful self-import that undergrad held. There is less of a sense of inevitable greatness, though it is replaced with a stronger sense of what I do and why. But I miss feeling like a ball of greatness waiting to explode. Maybe it’s a slow detonation. Also, I drink much less in this iteration, which is probably for the best. I seem to recall a lot of drinking alone and baking cookies while crying at “Friends” the last time.

So, basically, I’m awesome.

I am continuing to work with letterforms. I did the whole alphabet in large, 18″x24″ form:Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 12.05.47 PM

…and hung the whole shebang up for crit. I kind of want it up forever.

IMG_3948 IMG_3949

I’m trying to learn to use it, which is trickier than I thought. Learning to write in it is going alright, but reading it is a whole other matter. Makes you realize that we don’t see the individual characters when we read; we just grab the whole word. I can READ the code-language, but I still have to parse it letter by letter. I’m going to try to get some friends to be secret code pen-pals with me to help me learn– I need stuff to read that I did not write, that’s cheating, and really doesn’t work. It’s, in the wise words of my father, like a three-year-old memorizing Go Dog Go and then pronouncing that they can read. I suspect he may be speaking from experience on that one.

I’m not quite sure where the language/code thing is going yet, but I find it compelling. I think, at the core, I’m trying to create the world I want to live in, all magical and shit, and this is perhaps how language looks in that world. It seems very important for me to be able to use it, not just have created it and let it sit there. I have lots of little seeds of ideas of how this might fit into other work later…

I also started to get back into makeup a bit, at the urging of my mentor. Again, not sure where that leads but hey, we’re all about experimenting right now. Can you tell that “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing” is a common theme recently?


This one was mostly practice with a white base makeup I got for Halloween. There was no character theme; just play.



My mentor suggested I remove variables to make the focus really on the face and makeup, so going forward I’m going to try a few set poses, same outfit, no wig, no face expression, just really focus on the makeup.

Oh, and speaking of Halloween, here’s how THAT turned out:


We were pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. Dancing at the Lovecraft ensued and a good time was had by all.

Right. Off to make some capes and write some letters. Huzzah!


Makeup Monday: Goldfish

Today I felt inspired by the lovely goldfish. I had a goldfish when I was a kid. I named him Aragorn.

Needless to say, the Lord of the Rings ended very differently in our household, and not nearly as well.




All the pretty eyeshadows are Lunatick AlieNEON pigments. The painted purple and orange stripes near the eyebrows and cheekbones are Mehron, and the gold scale paint is Kryolan Aquacolor in bronze. Lips are Mehron and glitter.









That is all! Avast, ye scurvy fishies!


Makeup Monday: Peeps!

You would think I’d have done a St. Patrick’s Day look today, but no, despite having an Irish husband, I completely forgot the day was coming. Also, when you grow up in a college town, the things you associate with St. Patrick’s Day are not typically things you WANT to inspire makeup looks… Green puke! Screaming sorority girls! Passed out dudes in cheap plastic beads and vulgar t-shirts! How inspiring!

So none of that for me. You may pinch me if you want.

Today’s face is a bit tamer– I had towear it to work at the restaurant and be the hostess with the mostess. I will admit I have a bit of shame about this; I had a moment of “go big or go home!” but I already get a lot of odd comments at work, plus I wouldn’t want to put patrons off their food, so I went for “wearable daily look”. Sort of.

 I recently lightened my roots and removed more of the pink from my hair, which I think, what with my fried, fluffy locks (remember when I did that? Yeah, it’s still a thing) makes me look a bit like a baby chick, which made me think Easter, which made me think PEEPS.


Peeps are one of those cultural staples that are practically REQUIRED for Easter to happen. Welcoming of Spring? What? No, welcoming of marshmallow birds and chocolate eggs laid by dubious rabbits! Ok I talk shit, but I do love Easter. Anyway, Peeps.


So lots of yellow and glitter, OBVIOUSLY. Sadly, the glitter didn’t show up very well in the photos, which is too bad, as I promise you my eyes looked like sugar-coated diabetes-in-waiting.






I used a combination of Mehron and Lunatick Labs for the yellows and oranges, with touches of Urban Decay on the top. The eyeliner is Wet ‘n’ Wild and is, in point of fact, brown to mimic the Peeps’ chocolate eyes, but you can’t really tell in the photos. Ah well.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some green cupcakes to make, because not everyone forgot it was St. Patrick’s Day.


Makeup Monday: Away Message

It’s Jason’s birthday today and we are taking a few days away, so no new face today. Instead I present you with a few blasts from the past. I hope you enjoy them despite the terrible snapshot quality.

That time I was rocker Alice…


And went to a party that got photographed and ended up being the example picture for Wikipedia’s definition of “shag hairstyle”... in a cheap wig that is really not a shag cut at all. Irony lurks around every corner…

The time I was some sort of doll:


And had a dance with a dapper Egyptian god. IMGP3119

Or the time Jason and I were animals:



And the day we were, collectively, Bowie:


And the time we were Johnny Depp:


Ok I hope you enjoyed my little memory-lane ramble.  Have a splendid week.



Makeup Monday: 80’s Neon Punk, aka billybowiefrank.

Am I over my neon kick yet? Bitches, I am just getting started! I have all the markers and I won’t give them up! Nor shall I color within the lines! Rebellion!

I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired today, and my eyes are all puffy because apparently spring is here and brought me some allergies as a present. I didn’t notice this until I thought “maybe I’ll try a real cut crease look today” and then realized that the entire part of my lid I’d drawn on had been absorbed into the rest of the puffy flesh of my eye. Thus ensued a good 5 minutes of moving my chin up and down in the mirror and being hypnotically disturbed by watching my eyelids disappear within themselves. Yep, I am gross, it is true.

That was disheartening.

So to make myself feel better I pulled out my trusty Lunatick Labs AlieNEON palette, which is guaranteed to restore hope and faith in the goodness of the world by it’s sheer manic COLORFULNESS.

IMG_1881Seriously, how can you look at this and not feel better? It’s like pigment prozac.

So I started slapping green on my face, because I’ve been on a pink kick recently and I should try something new already.  This quickly turned into a bit of an 80’s party of punky proportions. Man, 80’s makeup kind of rules. You may see a lot more in this vein until I get over it and spiral into greyscale or something.  Ok, so for lack of a better term, this is my David-Bowie-Billy-Idol-and-Lisa-Frank-love-child (what a hot mess!) look:


For those of you who are curious, I used Lunatick’s white primer on my lids and brow area. The colors are pretty much all from the AlieNeon palette, with Urban Decay blue and purple swept over the inner and outer eyes for a little shimmer. Eyeliner is Wet-n-Wild liquid and Urban Decay pencil. False lashes would have been a good move but I am lazy and suck at applying them so too damn bad. Lips are Kryolan Aquacolor and Lunatick Labs Dr. Jekyll.

Here’s my Billy Idol moment. It’s a nice day for a neon wedding!



Oh, but David Bowie makes a comeback! Ground control to Major Neon!


And then Lisa is like “don’t forget me and my friends the rainbow dolphins and panda bears!”


And then Debbie Harry showed up and ruined everything. 6

80’s color-punk forever!





So that was my day. How was yours?







Makeup Thursday: Jem! (Truly Outrageous!)

As you may recall, last week I got frenetically excited about my new LunatICK Labs haul. Playing with this stuff has been like when I was a kid and Crayola released the neon markers– oh MAN I treasured those things like the gold of Atlantis or something. SO much clout at school for the proud possessor of that marker set!

And of course, it doesn’t take long, playing with neon, to have an 80’s moment, which, considering my recently bleached, poofy-pinky- easter-duckling hair, made me think of JEM.


Ironically, I have never actually SEEN Jem the cartoon, but I had several activity books about her as a kid. As I recall they included a red film “secret window” to reveal hidden mysteries. I always wondered how she felt about being in a love triangle with her boyfriend and her alter ego. Doesn’t seem like the boyfriend would win any points here, but hey, whatever suits you, lady.

Here’s the intro. Makes todays cartoons seem less stupid in comparison. I’m sorry, MLP Friendship is Magic, I take it all back.

A side note: If you google image search any variation on “Jem and the Holograms Costume,” your whole screen will become an explosion of neon worthy of Lisa Frank. Also there are some killer renditions out there in costume land, including this one particularly lovely specimen:


You sir, are doing it right. Gold star for you.

Anyway, here’s some makeup photos of mah face. For those of you that are curious about this sort of thing, I used Lunatick’s Prime Time primer as a base for the eyes. The pinks and purples are all from the AlieNEON palette (looove), and the eyebrows are part Lunatick, part Urban Decay, part glitter. The liquid eyeliner is Wet ‘n’ Wild and the white is Kryolan Aquacolor. The lips are a mix of Pure Color pigment and AlieNEON. My face is courtesy of my parents and my weird nose is entirely the fault of my father’s side.










 Truly, truly, truly outrageous!


Makeup, Uncategorized

Makeup Thursday: Lunatick Unboxing!

Sooooo no new makeup look today. Why? Because apparently watching Netflix in bed is hazardous to your health. I managed to SMASH myself in the mouth with my laptop. The upside to this was I drooled blood everywhere and got to be a pretty excellent zombie for a minute there. The downside is that my mouth is all bruised and the part where my teeth went through my lip has become a very angry canker sore  and there is no way I am putting makeup on that mess. ALSO  I am feeling a bit ugly duckling today so I have put myself in time out until I can stop dissing on the weird shape of my nose and stupid face shape and lacking chin and… see! Cut that shit out! ,

I am teetering on the brink of a rant about “pretty” culture but I will refrain. Suffice it to say I love makeup and dress-up very very much but I wish I hadn’t been so inundated with the need to be “pretty” and base so much of my worth around the idea. I wish I didn’t feel that there are so many aspects of my appearance that are checks in the “bad” box. I wish I didn’t often feel that I look pretty good for a kind of ugly girl. How does this happen to us? How do we stop it?

If I were a socially responsible blogger, I would probably now launch into a thoughtful unpacking of society and hopefully make the world a better place, but I am not. I like colors and makeup and shiny stuff and that is about all I can handle today so let us leave the deep thoughts for another day and talk about a makeup company that is doing something right. That’s right, let’s talk about Lunatick Cosmetic Labs.

I only recently discovered these lovely folks and I have to say I am kind of crushed out. Why? Well, for one, dig this excerpt from their “about us” page:

“We accept and love everybody no matter your beauty background, sexuality or race. Our cosmetics are geared for the alternative ladies & gentlemen, stage performers, makeup artists, special effects makeup artists & everybody in between. Whether you’ve been doing makeup for a week or 30 years. If your love color and are not scared to live outside the box we are for you!!!! LIVE IN COLOR. No beauty is too extreme or classic.”


This is pretty much the mission statement for my company, but probably better worded. I love that they encourage boldness, diversity, and are not makeup snobs.  Check out their Instagram; they are very sweet and supportive of their customers. To create a community around a common interest is one of the best things a brand can do. Very welcoming. Well done.

 I also appreciate their ability to occasionally swear like sailors, which makes me feel like we are friends. Fucking friends, I say!

Secondly, they really like COLOR. LOOK AT THIS SHIT!

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 11.41.22 AM

This is their swatch photo. All credit to the Lunaticks.

When I saw that photo I caved and decided I had to order me some. Had to be done. Couldn’t be helped. So here’s what I got:


Clearly, these are  people who love them some good packaging. I am a sucker for branding and packaging and little boxes to put things in, and their attention to detail is amazing. I thought I was pretty cool attaching baggies of glitter-crack to my tags and sending things in shiny packages, but these guys are making me want to up my game. I mean, a black-and-white striped BOX, ferchrissakes! I will admit that I have saved the box, shipping stickers and all, because it was too nice to throw away.

Here’s the inside of the treasure chest:

D’awww a handwritten note!


Everything was nicely bubble-wrapped, including, WHAT?! A freaking coffin. This is an added bonus for orders over $50. How cool is that?



Here are my goodies, un-bubbled.


I would like to call attention to the fact that not only is this shit double-wrapped, but there is freaking CONFETTI GLITTER in the package. Like I said, attention to detail. I loves it.


My first goodie is a vat of Kromatik Silk pigment powder in Dr. Jekyll, AKA (in my mind) Gold As Fuck.


A sifter-lid: always appreciated! Also the sticker-cover is a nice detail. No powder escaping during shipping. Also notice the stripes theme continuing. Fuck yeah package design!  Plus, there is 5g of product here. This is a serious VAT of pigment.


I swatched a little on my hand…


And then went for it and just stuck my finger in it. OOOOOHHHH.


Next we have the Prime Time $&%*#! primer. Also 5g. It feels pretty solid and waxy, but so far in my experimenting it goes on quite nicely with a brush or finger and really helps color pop and hold. So, YES to this stuff!


And finally the piece de resistance, the AlieNEON pigments!

All dressed up. These guys are really careful in their shipping. Truly appreciated. Not a pan was cracked.  Also, note that I am living on the wild side, here. The FDA has not yet tested or approved these pigments for cosmetic use– Canadian and European eyes are approved, however, so I am citing my European heritage and calling it good. Damn American eyes!




Cute little compact size. Substantial yet adorable.


And the back.


More attention to shipping care! Each pan has a clear acrylic window holding it in/down, with bubble wrap over THAT. That is some loving care put in here.


I will admit I kept the acrylic tabs, too. I don’t know why. They were cute.





And it pulls out to reveal even more wonders. AND each pan is moveable! They are magnetized in so you can rearrange them to your heart’s content. AND there’s secret pictures under the pans. I know I keep harping on it but that is some fantastic, lovingly-made packaging. I would show you pictures of the under-pans but they are secret. Also, Lunatick shadows, or at least the AlieNEON ones, are very soft. Super pigmented but VERY soft, and I was a little concerned I’d drop one and destroy it if I moved them around. I am, after all, the person who managed to give herself a fat lip while lying in bed.

I have just started playing with these: here’s a few shots.


This one is using all the reds, oranges, yellow and purple, which I believe are called Nosebleed (red), Light Saber (orange), Sorbet Strike (lighter orange), Hi Volt (yellow), Plasma (fuschia) and Lovebotomy (pink). I used the palette’s black (Reaper, I believe it is called) on the bottom lid, and liquid liner on the top. The blue accent is Urban Decay from the Alice in Wonderland palette, and the browbone is swept with a pink and an ivory from a Pure Colors stacker. The AlieNEON pigments are quite matte, which I really like, but I also like highlighting them with one of my less-pigmented, iridescent shadows. lun2

This one is trying out the purples and blues in the palette: Blue Lunacy and Area 51, along with the fuschia and yellow.  I also punched up the blue under the eyes, the brow bone, and the green center lid with Urban Decay again, for some shimmer.

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 12.56.49 PM

Here’s one using the Dr. Jekyll gold:

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 12.56.13 PM

More pinks and oranges (I have a theme here)

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 12.56.23 PM

And a pink/grey using silvers from the Urban Decay palette.Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 12.56.39 PM

I’m really enjoying my new goodies! They are taking a little practice for me to figure out how to use them best; they are super-pigmented, but they do go on differently than anything I’ve used before–just a different texture than I am used to, so I am still figuring out how to work with them to their full potential. I realize I tend to SWEEP color on, and these I think, may be best applied by… what do they call it in makeup land? Dabbing? Applying in dabbing-like motions rather than sweeping brush strokes.  I am a hack, I admit it.

Primer also seems to be important, as using the pigments alone doesn’t stick to my skin  very well, but this is to be expected. With primer, they really last beautifully, and everyone is mesmerized by your face.

Moral of the story: LUNATICK RULES! I’m quite crushed out on them. It’s more than just good makeup, it’s good people. Go get some for yer face.