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sticky: fanfiction and icons

In case you were wondering (and you probably weren't), I do indeed write fanfiction. But for the sake of keeping it all in one place, it's here at ff.net. I am was also taking part in the mission_insane fic challenge. Master table is here.

Fandoms I have written in:
- Batman (10)
- Supernatural (1)
- Watchmen (2)

Icons can be found via tags.


how to fail at gift wrapping 101

nolanbale
Cut out a smaller piece of wrapping paper than you need.

Fold your edges messily so the paper has that rustic, crumpled newspaper look.

Apply sticky tape in awkward places like a hasty repair job.

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nails: Picture Polish G'Day Matte

nolanbale
And now we have the last of my Picture Polishes: the matte top coat. This is the first matte polish I've tried.


Base: Jordana Very Berry x2 coats
Top: Picture Polish G'Day Matte x1 coat

In lamp light. Sorry for the messy edges.

Here is what Very Berry looks like normally. It's got shine, obviously, and also looks redder/brighter. G'Day Matte darkens/mutes the colour and the matte texture has a kind of frosted glass feel. Applying it is a strange thing because it comes out clear and shiny like a normal top coat, until you move on to the next finger then look back a few seconds later and omg it is suddenly mattified.

I think this would look cooler when contrasted with the shiny finish, eg with a shiny French tip or other such designs, but I was lazy and I just cut my nails yesterday so I felt that a French tip would only make them look shorter. I haven't decided yet whether I like the matte look or not. This is pretty basic, anyway, and I was imagining a red velvet type of look (without using the velvet texture powder things). I might try this again with a black (or almost black, which is all I own) polish which seems to be trendier.

Moral of the story: Matte magic works.

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nails: freehand! NYX Bella

candleja
Now taking a break from the Picture Polish lot, here is a remake of the time I did diagonal tips and dotted over them in black. Only this time I was lazy and painted the diagonal freehand rather than using tape.


Base: NYX Girls Bella x2 coats
Top: Nubar Gem x2 coats
Dots: Models Own Nail Art Pen, shade not specified

In lamp light.

Bella is a pretty, sheer light pink. It's kind of a bridal nail colour. It's the pinker version of Sinful Colors Hidden Nature (although with my crappy lighting, you can't really tell from the picture). Formula applies fine, it has average/decent staying power, and being NYX, it's very cheap. A really nice staple if you want just an understated, clean-looking manicure.

I thought it would pair nicely with the mauve-ish silver glitter of Gem which has a pink shift. And it does, but my sloppy handiwork was not attractive at all. So I went over it with the dotting pen and it was instantly transformed. The dotted line gives it a crisper 'straight line' edge when the polish is actually wonky underneath, and splits the two-toned colours more visibly.

The last time I wore the dotted line manicure, my manager asked me if I got my nails done at a salon, and I was pleased to inform him that I do all my nails myself. (I've been fortunate none of my superiors ever had an issue with my unprofessional nail colours.) This is a winner.

Moral of the story: Those dots fix everything.

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nails: Picture Polish Kryptonite

nolanbale
Still keeping with the Picture Polish haul, here is the crown jewel that spurred me into buying in the first place. And it is so beautiful omg.


Base: Picture Polish Kryptonite x2 coats
Top: None

In lamp light.

This polish is everything I imagined it to be. It is that perfect shade of deep green: not so dark as to look almost black, not too blue-toned and not too yellow. It's called Kryptonite but it's the kind of shade that reminds me of Loki from Thor. It's a wonderfully smooth jelly polish -- has a little bit of streaking in the first coat but the second coat goes on just fine and opaque. And it's the second coat which really brings out that amazing depth to those sparkles. These are predominantly green-shifting holographic specks that add to the green-ness of it all, not the flat 'sparkle' texture of your run-of-the-mill glitter polishes.

It's like having a crushed emerald on each nail.

This is so decadent and unique, it may be one of my favourite polishes of all time. (Plus, green is truly my kryptonite.)

EDIT: This polish, like Monroe, will also last you through an apocalypse. The formula is amazing.

Moral of the story: Are you green with envy yet?

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nails: Picture Polish Monroe

nolanbale
Note: This is the new/reborn Monroe, which has more holographic particles than the original one. (I don't think the original is sold anymore.)


Base: Picture Polish Monroe x2 coats
Top: None

In natural light.

This is a very smooth jelly polish that reaches opacity in two coats, and is filled with holographic particles that give it a subtle rainbow-glinting shimmer. I'm hoping what will be a big advantage of holo flecks over glitter is the ease of removal... (having just finished up the last manicure which was packed with glitter.) In some swatches online, Monroe looks closer to a deep red, but on me it is veering into purple/burgundy territory. Still a gorgeous polish, and the photo doesn't really capture the holographic effect.

EDIT: A week on, and amazingly this manicure looks identical to how it started, apart from regrowth. This didn't even have a top coat. I am thoroughly impressed.

EDIT2: Two full weeks of this polish on:


Again, just regrowth and minor tip wear. I'm not particularly careful with my nails here, although I also don't do manual labour for work or anything. I don't think I've ever had a polish that stayed this intact on a whole hand for this long!

Moral of the story: Smooth, subtle sparkling glam. And it will last you through an apocalypse.

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nails: Picture Polish Frosting

nolanbale
I got a Picture Polish (piCture pOlish, technically) haul over the holidays because I fell completely in love with Kryptonite and grabbed some other goodies along the way to make shipping worthwhile. This was one of them. It says 'by Cosmetic Cupcake' because this is one of the collaboration polishes named after nail bloggers who provided the inspiration/design notes.


Base: Picture Polish Frosting x3 coats
Top: NYX Clear x1 coat

In natural light.

How cute is this? I adore the look of the speckled glitter -- it really does resemble sugar frosting -- but my one gripe is that the texture is also reminiscent of frosting because it's so thick and gluggy. Maybe I got an old bottle =( I'll put some thinner in, but for now, what you see is quite bumpy and patchy. It also dried almost instantly after painting (a minor benefit). The glitter is pretty dense so you don't have to worry about distributing them evenly, apart from the silver heart-shaped pieces (you can see one on my middle finger, the rest got covered over in subsequent coats and aren't as visible; most of them ended up collecting on my right hand). Next time I use it, I'm going to put a light pink base colour underneath to help with the patchiness.

Moral of the story: Frosting for your fingertips! Texture/consistency may have been a dud but nothing some thinner can't fix.

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nolanbale
Preview:



01-13: Tom Hardy
14-25: Ryan Gosling
26-28: Michael Fassbender
29-31: Henry Cavill
32: Chris Hemsworth

28 more under the cutCollapse )

Side note: Wow, I haven't done one of these in literally ages.


movies of 2013

nolanbale
Here we go again. In the context of all my excitement from last year about the 2013 movies, I have to say, these were somewhat disappointing. I didn't feel strongly about any of them.

BEST
1. Man of Steel
2. Star Trek Into Darkness
*EDIT: 3. Gravity
4. Now You See Me (this is really on the borderline of good and average...)
5. Kick-Ass 2
6. Riddick

Honourable mentions:
7. Only God Forgives
8. Insidious: Chapter 2
9. The Conjuring

(Provisional contenders I haven't watched yet/not out in Aus - Thor: The Dark World, 12 Years a Slave, The Counselor, Escape Plan, Ender's Game, American Hustle, Out of the Furnace)

WORST
1. The Purge (had a decent premise, but ended up nowhere)
2. Machete Kills (I didn't mind the first one, but this was too ridiculous)
3. RIPD

MOST ANTICIPATED
1. Star Trek Into Darkness
2. Kick-Ass 2
3. Only God Forgives (was expecting something really cool, but...)

MOST DISAPPOINTING
1. Kick-Ass 2 (I don't know what went wrong. I loved the comics, I loved the first one. But this was just lacking. I'm gonna blame it on change of director.)
2. Iron Man 3
3. The Wolverine
4. Red 2
(I think the comic book movies have reached a burnout point)

MOST SURPRISING
1. Man of Steel (I don't even like Superman! But Snyder and Nolan together make magic. And Henry Cavill certainly helped.)
2. Now You See Me (it totally looks like a Nolan movie, down to the actors and the Prestige/Inception story line)
3. Riddick (didn't expect much after Chronicles, but this was a nice throw back to Pitch Black)
4. Gravity (ever since Event Horizon, space has terrified me, and this reaffirms that opinion)

MOST OVERRATED
1. Iron Man 3
2. The Great Gatsby
3. Oblivion

WANT TO SEE IN 2014
1. Interstellar
2. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
4. X-Men: Days of Future Past
5. The Monuments Men
IN 2015
1. Mad Max: Fury Road
2. Batman vs Superman



nolanbale
This didn't turn out quite as awesome as I imagined, but for a second time stamping manicure, I'm not too fussed. I was going for something semi suitable for work -- a neutral base with a dark ornate pattern. Going through my stamp plates, it seems I only have one that sort of fit the bill; it's got the curly wurly parts, but rather than looking posh... it kind of just looks diseased =( Maybe I didn't pick the right dark colour. Ah well. It came out decent enough for me.


Base: NYC Bamboo x2 coats
Top: Sephora by OPI Eve-y on the Eyes stamped
Stamp plate: Shany Cosmetics 2013 plate SH211

In natural light. (I haven't taken pictures during the day in a long time...)

Again, I'm pretty impressed with how easy the process of stamping was. My right hand is still worse off -- I can't align the stamper to my nail properly.

Moral of the story: Getting there. Still room for improvement!

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nails: stamping! Make Up Academy Shade 6

nolanbale
First attempt at stamping! This has been a long time coming. I remember way back when I first started this semi nail blog business, I said I wouldn't delve into stamping because it looked too messy, difficult and a lot to invest in (having to buy the necessary tools). And now look where we are.


Base: Make Up Academy Shade 6 x2 coats
Top: Kleancolor White stamped
Stamp plate: Shany Cosmetics 2013 plate SH204

In lamp light. Seems kinda Christmasy eh?

The stamping is not perfect -- note the smudging on my ring finger nail -- and my right hand is strangely worse (I got impatient) but it came out reasonably well. And the whole process went more smoothly than I expected. I found this tutorial by Polka Polish pretty helpful in setting out the steps. This is actually more foolproof than nail art with sticky tape.

This is also a good way to use up my not-so-used colours, and it also favours the gluggy texture of old polish. Instead of white, I originally tried another more pearly polish, but it was too thin and didn't transfer well. The Kleancolor White is terribly gluggy to use normally, but here it was great.

I should probably also mention that the MUA Shade 6 has a pretty good texture, but the brush is prone to streaking. I think the brush fibres may be too hard? They just drag over the polish and leave streak lines -- but as long as the polish is thick enough, it will even out when setting.

Moral of the story: Stamping is totally worth the effort! And it's not as hard as it looks.

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nails: Revlon Really Rosy

nolanbale
I am trying to cut down on my nail polish habit so there haven't been any purchases for a while. This weekend breaks a bit of a dry spell -- here is one of the new colours (but it's certainly an old product).


Base: Revlon Really Rosy (shade 110) x2 coats
Top: NYX Girls Clear x1 coat

In lamp light. The true colour is somewhat darker than it shows up in the photo. It's a very wearable colour, being a muted raspberry pink that isn't bright/neon and isn't dark/vampy. It's actually not too far off from Rimmel Funtime Fuchsia, without the brightness and a touch warmer and darker. The application is OK but it does have a tendency to streak, so it's best to use a light hand. I also stuffed it up a little with the top coat by not letting the polish dry enough, and the top coat brush started to push around the colour (but it's not really noticeable to the casual observer).

Moral of the story: Great colour, but can be streaky.

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so I realised

nolanbale
while watching Hitchcock's Suspicion that negging has been around since the 40s...

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in more recent news

deadpool sitcom
On TV shows:

Breaking Bad is now probably one of my favourite shows of all time. I have been continually impressed by each episode each season; it has not gone downhill like the fate of so many good shows once they've run on too long, and I really like that Gilligan expressly had this in mind when he created Breaking Bad to have an end in sight and not drag on indefinitely. The show has become more serious in the later seasons, naturally, as crime and deaths escalate, so I miss some of the light-hearted incidental humour from the earlier seasons. On the other hand, the characters have all come so far since the pilot episode and it's amazing to have seen that gradual progress.

I stopped watching Game of Thrones halfway through season 2 since the Xmas holidays were over, but I've picked it back up again seeing as how season 3 is well underway and I may as well continue with the story. And it's definitely grown on me. I'm still not a fan of the medievalesque fantasy genre but I can't deny it's a good production. Although I am a little disappointed to find out the Jaqen H'ghar plot line doesn't go anywhere further, because he was totally cool.

Supernatural would be one of those declining shows I mentioned that have kept going past their expiry date. I can no longer hold out hope that it's worth watching or is moving towards an important plot point or anything... the show has just lost it. I still watch it for closure, and eye candy, and that's about it.

On film:

I watched Gangster Squad, which was a little underwhelming. The sets and costumes all looked really nice, but the story didn't strike very deep. I forgot Josh Brolin was in this, so that was a pleasant surprise (honestly, the only people I was gonna see it for were Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone), but that was offset by seeing Sean Penn as well (I can't stand Sean Penn). But he gets his face bashed in, so that was alright.

Django Unchained was a lot better. How awesome is Christoph Waltz?



Grammar mistakes aside, this is all true.

I have been on a film noir kick lately after watching Gaslight and Shadow of a Doubt, so now my computer is loaded up with movies from the 40s and Hitchcock and Joseph Cotten (I had no idea who he was until seeing he was in both these movies).



soundwave piehole
*Title is a modified American Psycho quote. Relax, it's sarcasm.

It's been nearly a week since the verdict came out on the Steubenville rape case and the subsequent media frenzy and debate over rape culture. I'm too lazy to rehash the facts so I'm just going to link some articles/commentary further below which contain the relevant info and have put in more eloquent words the same thoughts I had when I found out about it.

On top of Steubenville, we have yet another fine example of rape culture at a local level (Australia) because it's so in fashion.

And now I am going to rant.

Rape apologists often say that the victim is at fault for wearing a short skirt / showing cleavage / getting herself drunk / being attractive / flirting / leading him on / looking like a whore / acting like a whore. As if all of these things are somehow illegal or morally culpable, because it's a woman's responsibility to avoid being raped. If she gets raped, too bad, she was asking for it.

When you start shifting blame onto the victims of rape, you're saying it's OK that men 'can't control themselves'. It's OK for 'boys to be boys'. Because gosh, how can we expect men to not act on their 'primal urges'?

What this tells me is that men are just savage beasts who are not capable of using their brain or behaving like a decent human being in a civilised society. Men can't be trusted to not rape. That guy you're dating? He wants to rape you. Your male friends? They want to rape you. Your teacher? Wants to rape you. Your neighbour? He does too. Your father. Your brother. Your uncle. Your grandfather.

If given half a chance, if you dress too provocatively or act too friendly or drink a little too much in their company, they're gonna rape you. And shit, girl, don't you know that you've only got yourself to blame?

Men are pigs. All men are rapists.

That is the direct conclusion a rape apologist makes.


Are you offended?

GOOD. You should be.

(Do I believe in the above statement? Of course not.)

If you agree with the notion that victims are to blame and that men have no responsibility because they're all rapists in waiting, then you need to shut the fuck up with all your hypocritical complaining about 'feminazis' and 'man-haters' because you give them no reason to think any better of you.

And if you think you are an upstanding moral person who is appalled at being labelled one and the same with scum of the earth, then you need to pick up your fucking game and speak out against rape culture. Why is it important that I'm pointing this duty at you? Because women are already doing it, all over the world. Women's support groups, women's foundations, women's rights movements, activism, etc. You've seen all that. But it's not statistically the case where women are raping people; it's men. There's only so much we can do as women if the other half of the population just ignores the problem. You are the other half of the population among which rapists hide.

Rape culture encompasses so many other issues and problems than just victim blaming and complacency. It's not my main talking piece but there is something really, intrinsically wrong with the commonly-held view (and part of that wrongness is how extremely common and widespread that view is) that 'whores' or 'sluts' are somehow not people. They're somehow lesser beings who do not deserve rights or respect, and it's OK to degrade them and treat them like shit. People treat sluts worse than they treat actual criminals. There is a huge disconnect in some people's minds that 'sluts' are not 'regular women'. They wouldn't dream of being violent or disrespectful towards their mother, wife, sister, co-worker, etc -- they could even be a total gentleman, by day. With such promising careers. But towards someone they have designated as 'slut' -- they're OK with assaulting her while she's unconscious, and posting videos of her naked on the internet and laughing about it.

I don't have solutions to offer. This isn't an easy fix. All I can do is stress the importance of education and awareness, and building up people's moral drive and willingness to protest an insidious and damaging cultural norm.



Links:
* WTF Happened in Steubenville? lacigreen's video
* You're Allowed to Say No hayleyghoover's video
* The Steubenville Rape Case -- Lessons For Who Can REALLY Stop Rape by malasadas on talk_politics
* Steubenville: this is rape culture's Abu Ghraib moment by Laurie Penny
* The Day I Taught How Not to Rape by Abby Norman



Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go get myself hyped up over SEEING A WILHELM SCREAM TONIGHT FUCK YEAH.


nails: tape! Sinful Colors Hidden Nature

nolanbale
It's been a while since I attempted another tape manicure and, despite having said how easy it was, everything always manages to go wrong whenever I do one. 1) I put the sticky tape on too soon and it peels the base layer. 2) I bump my polish off accidentally at least three times today. 3) It just plain doesn't look as good as I imagined, so I added the dots. I haven't branched out either in terms of creative tape designs; I'm still doing the diagonal French tip because it doesn't involve cutting the tape into shapes.

I almost decided to throw in the towel and scrap it all, but it's late and I didn't want to waste time redoing my nails. So it's a rare occurrence when my right hand turns out better than my left (due to all the stuff-ups on my left hand).


Base: Sinful Colors Hidden Nature x3 coats
Top: Nubar Indigo Illusion x1 coat
Dots: Models Own Nail Art Pen, shade not specified

In lamp light. Hidden Nature is a very sheer wash of beige which is good as a neutral/nude polish. It's a little streaky but evens out at 3 coats. Indigo Illusion is a duochrome so the colour varies depending on the angle. I've considered doing this two-tone combo for some time, after seeing the beige and navy "new French" manicure in Lisa Eldridge's video. While I didn't go with the shape of the new oval French, I thought the multi-faceted Indigo Illusion would look pretty cool as a navy substitute. I'm still undecided at this stage whether it works.

This time I've tried out the dotting tool on the Nail Art Pen. It works well enough and is easy to control.

Moral of the story: More experimentation with coloured French tips.

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nails: freehand! Models Own Nail Art Pen

nolanbale
I know I've been really lazy with my nail art, despite getting all enthusiastic about it half a year ago. But my friend got me this Nail Art Pen for Xmas, so now I have motivation to try it out. It actually came in a set with a gold polish for a leopard print manicure, but I'm a little apprehensive to dive right into that as I'll most likely stuff it up somehow. I decided to go with a low effort option of just painting on an accent nail, and since I have orange nail polish already...


Base: Nail It! Whoa Nelly x2 coats
Gold stripes: Kleancolor Gold Bright, not that it's very visible here
Black stripes: Models Own Nail Art Pen, shade not specified

In lamp light. I've had to photoshop the colour back into this orange because my camera saps the neon right out of it. Here's the last time I tried to accurately portray this nail polish. Incidentally, as I mentioned in the earlier post how thickened and gluggy this orange polish was, I've since gotten nail polish thinner and it's been awesome. I can't believe I've gone so long without using polish thinner. So many bottles I could have salvaged... but none of them were that great actually, so no real loss.

I'm pretty happy with how my left hand turned out, since I drew it with my right hand. The stripes on my right hand are kinda wonky and don't have the tapering kind of lines that look more realistically like tiger stripes. I also think I could have used more gold.

As for the Nail Art Pen, it's got a very thin, tall brush that's quite easy to use. It's got some rigidity, ie the brush isn't flimsy, which helps with control. The other side of the brush (ie within the cap) is a dotting tool, where you're meant to squeeze the tube and the black polish will come out through the hollow pinpoint. Haven't tried that, but it's a nice feature.

Moral of the story: A very versatile and easy to use Nail Art Pen!

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candleja
This didn't quite turn out as I envisioned. Both these polishes were given to me by friends (the Shu was second-hand and I've had it for years), the recent one being the Orly mini. It looked like a jelly polish, so I wanted to make a jelly sandwich with it! But as you can tell, the pink is very, very sheer, not really jelly at all, and is hardly visible.


Pink: Quo by Orly, shade unknown, x3 coats sandwiched
Glitter: Shu Uemura PA885 x2 coats sandwiched

In lamp light. The Shu polish has a mix of large hexagonal glitter chunks and finer specks that give off rainbow refraction. It's very glittery in person. The clear base actually has a bluish purple tint to it. It also lasts a long time (ie a pain to remove). The bottle/brush design isn't great because the brush only reaches halfway down, so you have to tip the bottle to get any product.



In the bottle, the Orly is a really nice pink. But it never comes to full coverage -- given I used 3 coats here and it's nowhere near opaque -- so I'm not entirely sure how it's intended to be used. The base is just tinted; there aren't small particles of 'paint' that create the sheer milky quality of jelly polishes which are buildable.

Anyway, I didn't pay for these polishes so I can't complain; I'm happy to have just glitter nails.

Moral of the story: Did not succeed, but I'll be making another (proper) sandwich in future.

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a wild update appears! and stuff about TV

nolanbale
So things have been rather quiet around here, I know. My motivation to post has been on a steady decline, probably due to work -- not that work is bad, but it doesn't leave me with the hours of free time I used to have as a student (hours that were technically meant for study). I'm not in the habit of posting short, trivial things like what I ate for breakfast (you will still find the occasional mini-post) and at the same time I don't feel like I have anything worthwhile to say. Fandom participation is pretty much gone as well.

But, out of the blue, I feel like posting shit again.

I started watching Game of Thrones this week out of boredom. It's not really my kind of show but it's OK after a little adjustment period to get used to the fantasy setting and all the characters. And it's a show where I don't particularly care about/am not invested in the characters, although I was surprised when
they killed Eddard Stark so early on, because he seemed like a major protagonist. I suppose in retrospect I should have seen it coming, considering how Sean Bean dies in everything he's ever played
. I'm mainly watching to see how the various plot lines pan out.

EDIT: I'm watching Blitz right now, and Littlefinger shot Gendry! (Not a spoiler because it happens in the first 20 minutes)

I've also been watching Breaking Bad, which is awesome and I'm surprised I didn't get into it earlier. It's really funny in many ways. I don't feel strongly for the plight of any of the characters, because I like them all as an ensemble; they're not really 'good guys' or 'bad guys' as they're well developed and understandable. However, I may have to say my favourite would be Saul because he's hilarious. A terribly seedy and not-upstanding character at all, but hilarious.

And that is all for now.


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nolanbale
carnageincminor
carnageincminor

this is not an exit

There is an idea of a carnageincminor; some kind of an abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory.

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