Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Product Review: Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eyeliner Pen

This is not my eye. Wouldn't that be great, though?
AUGUSTA, GA - We covered previously that my makeup routine is pretty minimal. No concealer, no contouring, no primer, no setting spray, no blush, no brow-fiber-adder, no face bra, or any of the dozens of other products available to cover what the beauty industry clearly feels is a woman's natural state of disgusting-ness.

But I do love my eyeliner and mascara. Recently, Birchbox introduced me to Benefits They're Real mascara. Done. This is the stuff. Best mascara EVAH! Here's my product review for Benefits They're Real mascara: "Don't buy anything else." No need for a whole blog post about that.

But I'm still searching for the perfect eyeliner. Rather quixotically, I might add. I am a total klutz, and not actually very good at applying makeup, probably because I am usually putting it on in my car at stoplights in the morning. So I need something relatively foolproof, that requires little in the way of smudging and blending, etc.

I love the winged eyeliner in the photo above, and that's usually my goal. I had been using Physician's Formula eyeliner pen and it worked fine. I didn't get a dramatic line, but it was strong enough.

Goodbye, old friend.

Except... everywhere I went, it was out of stock. No one had it. Anywhere. Oh, they have the new Physician's Formula Lash Boosting Eyeliner, which claims to thicken and lengthen your lashes, but it has a brush tip. That's never going to work with me. I'll end up looking like Taylor Momsen.



In fact, all eyeliner pens were sold out. From every manufacturer. CoverGirl does a liquid pen. E.l.f. does a liquid pen. Maybelline does a liquid pen. Freaking everyone does a liquid pen eyeliner. So why was Revlon Colorstay the only liquid eye pen I could find?

I was about to find out.

I found it by chance at the stupid Wal-mart in Grovetown, which has the Most Annoying Aisle Layout in the World. It's like a maze. I hate it. But they had liquid pen liner, so... yay.

I didn't open the eye liner until Monday morning, when I was getting ready for work - in my bathroom at home, for once. It glided on smoothly, and gave me a very precise, dark, line. It was perfect! I finished getting ready and got in the car.

I noticed in the car's rear-view mirror that there was a black smudge at the outer corner of my eye. I swiped it off and didn't think about it again for 30 whole minutes, until someone at work mentioned that I had a black smudge under my eye. I wiped it off and went to look in the mirror. Uh-oh. Not good. I swiped at the corner of my eye with a damp tissue. Disaster. The harder I tried, the smudgier it got.

Crap. I'm going to start carrying makeup remover.
It's not a waterproof formula, so this was ridiculous. It just smudged around. I mean, it color-stayed, all right. But not in the right places, and getting it off was a nightmare. The liner just followed the tissue around my face, as opposed to wiping off onto the tissue or color-staying in place.  It was like the loaves and fishes of eyeliner fails.

Not me. But pretty close.
The next day, I tried it again, this time with a sample of Urban Decay primer that I've had for about two years. But at 9:30 a.m., an Internet funny made me laugh so hard that tears came to my eyes. And that was all she wrote, folks. The eyeliner migrated down to my cheekbones, and the NFL tried to recruit me as a kicker for the Raiders. Hey, I can't make them any worse, amIright?

This is my sexy date-night face, courtesy of Revlon. You like?
In conclusion: Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eyeliner Pen would be a great marker with which your kids can draw all over the walls. Or, if you're too young for kids, maybe you want to give your passed-out drunk friend a marker makeover (although, if you do this to a friend, as opposed to taking care of them, you are not actually their friend). Those are wonderful uses for Revlon's liquid eyeliner pen.

But for lining my eyes, I'd rather use a Sharpie. At least I know that color will stay. And not smudge.











Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Recipe: Cucumber-Crab Salad

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 By No comments



I am obsessed with ponzu sauce. It's kind of ridiculous - I'm putting it on everything... seafood, pork, chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, asparagus - I even tried a ponzu vinaigrette.

Ponzu sauce is a light, salty, citrusy sauce from Japan. It looks like soy sauce, and can be found right beside it on grocery store shelves. The sauce is made from rice vinegar, rice wine, fish flakes, seaweed and fruit juice from one or several Asian citrus fruits - most popularly, yuzu.

Yuzu looks like a really old orange.

The ingredients for Ponzu sound weird, until you realize that the ubiquitous soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans, roasted grains, a salty brine, and mold. Ponzu is freaking basic, in comparison.

I'd like to share the easiest freaking recipe I have tried in forever. And it didn't require cooking, or... well, much at all, really. 

Cucumber-Crab Salad

  • 2-3 cucumbers, sliced thick, and then halved. I never peel them, but you can, if you prefer. Incidentally, seedless mini cucumbers work better, but they're way more expensive. (About $2)
  • 2-3 minced green onions, or 3-4 tsp of minced sweet yellow onion ($1)
  • 1 Tsp of minced garlic (20 cents?)
  • 8 oz chopped fake crab ($3)
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of Ponzu sauce (50 cents)
  • Squeeze of lime juice (5 cents)
  • Fresh black pepper (Isn't this basically free?)

Okay, here's how you make it. Ready? Chop everything up, throw it in a bowl, and pour ponzu sauce on it. Marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.

Oh. Not specific enough. Fine. Here you go.

Step 1: Throw the first four ingredients in a bowl, squeeze the lime juice over it, and crack some fresh pepper over it.



Step 2: Pour over as little or as much ponzu sauce as you want.



That's it. No, really. It's a lot like making ceviche. You can chill it in the fridge and let it marinate for 30 minutes to an hour, or you can eat it immediately.

Add or subtract the whatever amount of garlic, onion, and pepper you like. I love lots of black pepper, and a dash of ground sea salt just before serving. For some, adding sea salt would make the dish too salty.

Variations:

1. Add whatever veggies you want to the marinating bowl. Asparagus and tomatoes worked well. I tried edamame; and while it didn't work in the marinating bowl, it was lovely when added in at the last minute. Broccoli and carrots were a bust. Celery was just okay.

2. Serve it over a garden salad.

3. Serve it over warm rice, with more ponzu to taste.

4. Instead of crab, use coarsely chopped shrimp, ahi, or salmon. I prefer not to cook the seafood, unless it's shrimp. I just let the marinade cook it. But it's totally up to you. I do recommend that you only cook it lightly.

5. Mix in some broken, cold Ramen, Udon, or Sobe noodles. Ahhh, carbs. How I love you.

6. Top with fresh chunks of avocado.

7. Dice the cucumber instead of slicing, and serve with pita chips or pretzel chips.

8. Add a couple of dashes of Sriracha to the ponzu sauce and whisk before adding to the bowl.

Really, feel free to make this recipe your own. Just give the versatile, delicious ponzu sauce a try.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Every day is Caturday

Monday, July 14, 2014 By


AUGUSTA, GA - This is our cat. Her name is Fluffernutter Sweetiebelle Bananapants McGowen Hudson. Or, just "Sweetie," for short. I love this cat. This cat is my jam.

This cat is also completely unconcerned about whether or not I get a full night's sleep, and - until recently - would regularly wake me at 4:30 a.m. by gently biting my toes so that I would feed her.



I tamed that instinct by buying her an automatic feeder and waterer, which freed me from her middle-of-the-night requests for cheezburgers, and such. (Side note: that lasted until yesterday, when I had to stop free-feeding, as she would eat until she threw up... which kind of defeats the purpose of eating.) Now, I regularly get to sleep as late as 5:30 a.m. without her waking me! Woohoo! Just like a rock star!

But not every night....

"meer..."

[oh no....]

"meeeer..."

[ugh. no, cat. shut it.]

"meeeeeeeer?"

[shhh... lie still. maybe she won't recognize you.]

"MEER."



"MEEEEER..."

[Wait. That's not a normal meow.]

"MEEEEER?"

[That's a "There's a guy I don't know downstairs and he's taking all your stuff" meow.]

"MEEEEEEEEER!"

It's 1:38 a.m. I drag my butt out of bed and stand up. Sweetie responds by galloping in two excited circles. Crap. This can't be good. I briefly consider grabbing some kind of weapon, but I don't have the energy to wield one. Maybe if I ask politely, the perpetrator will just... go? Have you ever been so tired that it was less worrisome to be possibly murderized than to waste all that energy with the picking up of a nearby broom?

She waits for me at the bedroom door. I trudge forward. She runs to the top of the stairs and eyes me. I follow, peering around as I descend. The front door is closed. I don't hear anything downstairs. I shuffle down the stairs, where Sweetie is waiting on the bottom step.

Suddenly, she bolts... and flops down on the floor on her side with a big kitty grin on her face.

My cat woke me at 1:38 a.m. to escort her downstairs. Just so she could lie back down, two feet from the bottom of the stairs.

I resisted the urge to punt her out the front door and trudged back to bed. But I'm going to have to find a fix for this situation.

"Maybe she needs a friend, Mama," Emerson suggested.

Great. TWO cats to wake me up in the middle of the night.






Friday, July 11, 2014

Product Review: Maybelline Fit Me Foundation

Friday, July 11, 2014 By


AUGUSTA, GA - I'm not that big on makeup. Lots of days I forget to put it on. And when I do, it's almost always just eyeliner, mascara, and a little lipstick. But I acquired a sample of Maybelline Fit Me foundation stick, and gave it a try.

One of the reasons that I don't wear a lot of makeup on my skin is that I have very oily skin plus rosacea. Ideally, I'd find a product that can minimize the redness and tiny red veins on my cheeks. I have very little expectation that there's a coverage product out there that can provide all of the benefits I'm looking for without exacerbating my skin into the lumpy mess it previously resembled.

Not actually me, but about the same as my face without any coverage - flushed, with broken capillaries.

About what my skin looked like a couple of years ago.

But I'm always happy to try another foundation, BB cream, CC cream, or tinted moisturizer. Especially if it doesn't irritate my rosacea AND can mattify my oily skin, plus somehow simultaneously moisturize it and pump it full of anti-aging benefits.

Moisturize AND mattify. Right. I'll let you know when I find this miraculous elixir of contradictions.

Maybelline is not a company whose products I usually go for. Like, ever. I think of them as appealing to young people who are just experimenting with makeup. I put them and Bonne Bell in similar categories. Probably because their models are all about 13 years old.


Foundation sticks are out of the norm for drugstores, but every once in a while a company releases one. The idea is you draw it on your T-zone - or wherever your skin needs to most coverage - and blend outwards from there.

The Maybelline Fit Me stick foundation felt as one would expect it to feel: thick. And that's how it went on. Despite my clean, exfoliated, freshly moisturized skin, I had a hard time blending the foundation outwards. So I got some uneven coverage that I had to correct. To do it, I had to add more moisturizer, negating some of the mattifying ability of the foundation. Moral of the story: This stuff dries quickly. The second day I used it, I moved much faster and it blended a little better.

The coverage was fine, but wasn't right for my skin type. The powdery finish seemed to sit on top of my skin, and whether or not it actually highlighted the fine crow's feet around my eyes, I felt like it did.

As for staying power, I got maybe four or five hours into the day before I felt like I should reapply on the T-zone. But I hate reapplying foundation during the day. I feel like I should just take off everything and start over, as opposed to reapplying over the powder and grime of the day. But, for those who don't mind it, the stick foundation is a very portable way to do it.

Ultimately, I think this is formulated for a core audience of teens and young adults who need the oil-reducing properties, but don't worry too much about drying. If you have ever looked at yourself in the mirror round about noon and thought, "When did I run my face into the Exxon Valdez?" then this product might be something for your to try.

So, if you have a very active teen with oily skin who also likes a full coverage foundation, this might be a great product for them. If your teen has dry skin, I recommend they stay far away from it. They might end up looking like Benjamin Button - and not during the hot Brad Pitt middling years.

Nope. Sorry.

Because the real issue with having oily skin as a teen is the acne.

Of course, the issue with having oily skin in your twenties is the shine. Then, again, the issue with having oily skin in your thirties is also the shine.

In your forties, it's still the shine, only with the added minefield of fine lines. I swear, I spent the previous three decades trying to figure out how to dry the surface of my skin of oils. Now, I'm trying to dry my oily skin without drying my skin of all moisture and looking like Emperor Palpatine before I must.

 These are not the wrinkles I am looking for.

I am still searching for that perfect product. If you have a suggestion, please leave it in the comments.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Is the Pope Catholic?

Wednesday, July 09, 2014 By


AUGUSTA, GA - Emerson and her friend, Kayla, had a sleepover at the house. Wow, can these girls make a mess. I think they may actually be running an underground My Little Pony breeding operation.

I was so tired of stepping on and around the toys that they scattered from her bedroom, down the stairs, through the kitchen, and all the way to the back door. And I was just about to lose it if one more Lego jammed itself into my foot.

"Mom, can we have some ice cream?"

Ahhhh, my time to shine! "If you get all this cleaned up, you can."

And there was much rejoicing!



Ha, I'm kidding. Just looking at their shoulders slump gave me sympathy scoliosis. They took about an hour to get everything back under control, as slowly as possible, heaving as many sighs and groaning as often as they could. It was one of those days when you have to choke back your giggles and go on about your Mom Business of Being Boring All the Time, Cleaning Things That Are Already Clean, and Creating Chores Ex Nihilo. And, let me tell you, business is good.

Finally, they came skipping up. "Okay, we're done! Can we have ice cream?"

I glanced over their handiwork. It was some of their best.

"This is great work!"

"Can we?" Emerson pleaded.

"Is the Pope Catholic?"

She stopped and blinked at me, then looked at Kayla, who shrugged her shoulders. Emerson made Concerned Eyebrows at me. "Uhhh, we don't actually know."

*snicker* "He is. Let's get that ice cream. You guys did a great job."

"Thanks, mom! ... Mom, what's Catholic?"

#parenting, #blogging, #catholic, #icecream, #mylittlepony, #sleepover

Monday, July 07, 2014

Making messes

Monday, July 07, 2014 By



AUGUSTA, GA - Emerson and I had lunch with my awesome parents on Saturday. I was talking about my plans to bring home two refrigerator boxes and make a stair slide for Emerson.


I'm sure I'll have another blog post afterwards, detailing my injuries.

Anyway, it sparked a conversation about the things kids do - and that we did as children - to annoy our parents. There was the time my father decided he was Superman, and climbed onto the roof and jumped off - spraining his ankles.

"You really did that?" Emerson asked.

"Oh, yes," my dad replied. "It didn't work out very well."

"Em, I remember when your aunt Kelli and uncle J.D. and I took all our blankets and pillows, piled them in the floor, and jumped off the bunk bed onto them," I said.

"Did it work?" she asked.

"As I remember, it did. But Granny put a stop to it real quick."

"It was the thudding that bothered me," Mom grinned. "But the one I remember most is the time you all spread baby powder all over J.D.'s hardwood floor in the bedroom, and 'ice skated' around in your socks."

"Oh, my gosh," I gasped, laughing along with Emerson. "That's pretty creative, you have to admit. I'm kind of proud of that."

Mom pursed her lips. "I was not impressed."

Georgia Regents University, Metro Spirit, Augusta Chronicle, parenting, blogging,

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Me and my big mouth

Thursday, July 03, 2014 By


I was running late, and R.H. and I had to leave immediately to make the show. We settle into our seats. A few minutes later, he leans in for a kiss.

Me: "Wow, I was wondering when you were going to kiss me."

Him: "When you stopped talking."

Okay, fair enough.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Play Review: Evil Dead, The Musical



AUGUSTA, GA. - You know you're at a great show when they have to use a shop vac to suck up fake blood at intermission. In the "splatter zone" at the Trustus Theater in Columbia, S.C., audience members at "Evil Dead: The Musical" wiped a crimson mixture of who-knows-what off their arms and legs, while a stage hand dried the boards. Behind them, my date and I grinned stupidly at each other. This was exactly the experience we had anticipated.

"Evil Dead: The Musical" is a stage show based on the 1981 Sam Raimi film, which the director followed with the sequels "Evil Dead II" and "Army of Darkness." The films starred B-movie demigod Bruce Campbell


Like the film, the stage production follows Ash, the character Campbell originated, as he leads a group of five spring breakers to a cabin in the woods. There, amid the collegiate debauchery, they discover a 13th century book called "The Necronomicon" ("Book of the Dead") and - oopsy! - unleash a hoard of Candarian demons. Each member of the group is possessed by a demon or turned into a zombie at some point, except Ash. He loses a hand, replaces it with a chain saw, uses it to decapitate his girlfriend and... errr, it's a little complicated. Don't think about it too much.

The set of "Evil Dead: The Musical" at the Trustus Theatre in Columbia, S.C.

Designed in the manner of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," with self-referential dialogue and over-the-top plot constructs, the only way this horror comedy musical could get cheesier is if it were staged in Wisconsin at the Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival. This is high camp, played for laughs. And it is idiotically effective in its pursuit.

The songs are - well, this isn't Rodgers & Hammerstein, or Gilbert & Sullivan, or George & Ira Gershwin. It's barely even Tom & Dick Smothers. It's more like Frost and Peg - if they wrote musicals, that is. Please, God, let them write musicals

Anyway... The song listing in the show program, with titles like, "All the Men in My Life Keep Getting Killed By Candarian Demons" and "Ode to An Accidental Stabbing," were enough to set the audience giggling. During the performances, I could hardly hear the lyrics over the laughter, at times.

The highlight of the show, for me, was the rousing tune called "What the Fuck Was That?" Here's a video of the song from some other production, somewhere else entirely. Thanks, Internets! 




I'm not going to spend time dissecting the quality of the acting and singing. It would be like writing your physics masters thesis on whether or not there was enough room on the floating door for both Rose and Jack in"Titanic." It's just useless. And worrying about it drags down the narrative. They were very entertaining, and that's all that's called for. 

The raked set was perfectly constructed and dressed. As for production values, there were a few small issues with the actors' mics cutting out mid-sentence or mid-song, and not all of the stunts, costumes, makeup and props were as effective as they could be. Eh. It's still bloody hilarious. 

The show runs through July 26. Tickets are $20. Free popcorn is included. Parking is free after 6 p.m. at the metered spaces near the theater.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Every bunny was kung fu fighting

Friday, June 27, 2014 By


Me: "I heard today that a group of bunnies is called a 'fluffle.'"

R.H.: "A fluffle?"

Me: "Yeah. I don't know if that's true, but I love it."

R.H.: "Sounds like kerfuffle. Can you have a fluffle kerfuffle? A kerfuffle fluffle?"

Me: "Most. Adorable. Fight. Ever."

Side note: Do not mention "Watership Down" to me. That movie gave me nightmares.



Thursday, June 26, 2014

I shouldn't ask questions first thing in the morning

Thursday, June 26, 2014 By



I was getting on the elevator at work when one of my co-workers caught up just before the door closed. He opened a bottle of VitaminWater.

"Oh, do they have that in the vending machine?" I asked. He nodded.

"Isn't VitaminWater owned by Coke?" I asked. "And Powerade, too?"

He nodded again.

"Do you ever worry that VitaminWater is just Powerade in different packaging?"

He looked at me, then down at his water, and back at me. "Well, now I will. Thanks."

Oops.