Unicorns and Leopard Print

So I just received some new makeup.

Lime Crime RetroFuturis Red Lipstick and Nail Rock Leopard Print nail wraps.

I love my Lime Crime lipstick!!!It’s my new favorite!

Lime Crime comes in an adorable lilac tube with a silver holographic unicorn on the front- that’s right…. a HOLOGRAPHIC UNICORN!

Lime Crime RetroFuturis (Red)

Honestly, that was what inspired me to choose that brand. Haha. Just the sight of the tube made me happy. It took me back to playing dress up as a kid and using the pink and purple plastic tubes of ‘kiddie’ lipstick. I thought ‘how could I not be happy with this in my purse?’ So I decided to order it.

It only took a few days for the package to arrive, but nonetheless, I spent everyday obsessing over its arrival and imagining myself playing in my new makeup and dressing up in new outfits.

I couldn’t wait to try my Lime Crime (I like saying Lime Crime :)) so even though I opened my package shortly before bedtime, I still wore it around the house for a few hours. It felt so soft and smooth on my lips. My lips felt really moisturized and luscious. The Retrofuturis red color was rich & bright but not overwhelming; for me it was just right.  I read the ingredients and it has castor oil- to which I think the luscious moisturizing feeling could be attributed. I can’t wait to see how it feels on my lips over time. I will be wearing this all day everyday from now on, secretly hoping that someone will ask about it so I can whip out that bomb-ass tube, excitedly point out the unicorn, and say the words ‘Lime Crime’.

Retrofuturis Red

Also in my package were Nail Rock Leopard Print nail wraps.

They were not exactly what I expected. I thought they’d look like the picture on the package- huge leopard spots on a gold background, giving the illusion of real nail polish. But I must not have looked at all of the pics on the website, because the nail wraps inside the package featured spots that were actually much smaller, and sort of clustered together. Instead of looking like leopard spots painted on my nails, I feel it looks more like my nails are sporting leopard print wallpaper.

Nail Rock Leopard Print

I’d never worn nail wraps before , so the process was also a bit of a surprise. The wraps must be heated in order to adhere properly. It suggests using a travel size blow dryer- which I don’t have. I used my regular sized blow dryer on low, but could only stand the direct heat on my skin for a few seconds before it felt like my skin would burn.

Once the nail wraps were adhered to my nail, I hadto use a wooden file to file the excess wrap off the tip of the nail. I thought I did a pretty good job filing them down, but later found that my nails were snagging on clothing and in my hair. After filing them a little more, it seems to be a bit better, but I still have a feeling that they will become jagged again within a day or two, since I work with my hands a lot (sculpting, sewing, painting etc).

All and all, the process was not extremely complicated but was just enough of a pain in the ass that I probably would not purchase them again. I think actual nail polish might hold up better. I was as excited about these nail wraps as I was about my Lime Crime lipstick. Lime Crime definitely met my expectations, but Nail Rock nail wraps were kind of a let down. Honestly, I’m more disappointed with the pattern on the actual wraps than with the application process or the snagginess. I think I’d put up with the heat, and the snags, and would even purchase them again if the pattern matched the one on the box.

Today I also payed a visit to the $2 Thrift Store, which doesn’t have an actual name or even a phone number- just a giant pile of clothes from film/tv studios in which you can find ‘treasure’, as the shopkeeper lady calls it…. But I’ll write more about the store another time.

I just wanted to mention this sweater that I found there.

Sweater to become Skirt

I’m going to cut the arms off and turn the shirt into a skirt.

Then I’ll use the arms on a sweatshirt button-up cardigan that I plan to make once I find the perfect thrifted sweatshirt.

I plan to do several clothing recons in the future, so just keep this “before” in mind and shortly I will post pics of the” after”!

That’s all for now. Happy Saturday 🙂

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The Creative Life: Interview with the Actor

For the very first article in my “Creative Life” series, I interviewed my friend and fellow thespian,  Adam Wier- founder of the Haberdasher Theatre in New York City.

EXPLODING NOISE:  I know you pretty well, but tell the readers a little about
yourself, your occupation, and your theatre’s philosophy.

ADAM (HABERDASHER THEATRE): Well, let’s see….. I [just turned] 25!

I’m originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, and seven years ago today I moved to New York
City. By day, I’m a student at Hunter College double majoring in
Spanish-English translation and interpretation and the Thomas Hunter
Honors Program, which is an interdisciplinary liberal arts program
there. I also teach SAT prep courses for Kaplan. By night, I run
Haberdasher Theatre as its managing director and vice president of its
board of directors.

EXPLODING NOISE: When did you realize you wanted to be an actor?

ADAM (HABERDASHER THEATRE): Sort of late in the game compared to a lot of people. I know of people
saying they’d wanted to do it since they were five. I had been acting
since I was very young. My grandmother actually had helped found a
theatre company in Indianapolis called the Buck Creek Players, which
is still around today. But I don’t think I really knew it’s what I
wanted to do as a career until junior year of high school when I
started to really feel pressured to think of what to do with my
life–I actually still am trying to figure that out. But what I
realized is that out of all the things I did in high school, what I’d
miss the most is theatre, so I decided to keep doing it.

EXPLODING NOISE: What would you be doing if you could not be an actor?

ADAM (HABERDASHER THEATRE): Well, I’m not sure exactly. I like to think I do a lot of things, not
just acting. Among them being translation and interpretation, of
course, and writing plays and tech work… I like to think I’d still
be doing those if it weren’t for acting, but acting really is the
genesis of all that. If you ask me today, I guess I’d be upstate in
the Catskills practicing Zen [Buddhism], but then if you ask me tomorrow, who
knows what I’ll answer then.

EXPLODING NOISE: What is one thing you wish someone had told you when you FIRST
started on your journey as an actor?

 ADAM (HABERDASHER THEATRE):Don’t feel pressured to conduct your career the same as everyone’s
elses. For some actors, hitting the beat and auditioning every day is
great. For others, like myself, it’s not very rewarding, and I got
into acting, and the theatre, because I got something back from it
that I liked. For me, it was a happier road to take a more holistic
approach, create my own work, and just do what I sort of come by
through contacts. In short, find the path that’s right for you rather
than what your teachers or fellow actors tell you that you SHOULD do.

EXPLODING NOISE: Are there times when you’ve considered giving up the life of a
professional actor do to its difficulty? What keeps you going?

ADAM (HABERDASHER THEATRE): You know, not so much. I think it’s because I don’t put pressure on
myself on booking things because I know I can always just write or
produce a show and be in it. I said to myself early on that making
money acting, while nice, isn’t necessary for me. It’s more about
making sure that’s always in my life as a form of expression, and
luckily, I have a theatre company with an awesome group of people that
ensures that I always have something theatrical going on in my life.

EXPLODING NOISE: What motivated you to start your own theatre company?

ADAM (HABERDASHER THEATRE):Making your own work is really important. As actors and creative
people, we pride ourselves on being free of the daily grind we accuse
accountants of. (Sorry accountants! I still love you! You make the world
go ’round Monday-Friday, nine to five.) I think, though, we can fall
into that monotony and “(not so) quiet desperation” just as much when
we get bent out of shape about not getting this role or booking that
job. Having your own outlet is really important for not becoming one
of those embittered actors, complaining about how they didn’t “cast me
because I was too short.” Instead of getting upset about it, I just
decide to try to get my own production of it going.

EXPLODING NOISE: How did you come up with the name of your company?

ADAM (HABERDASHER THEATRE): Hollie Elizabeth Klem, the artistic director and my business partner
(and platonic soulmate?) came up with it. As she explained to one of
the actors in our current productions, “Haberdashers put the fine
trimmings on hats. We put the fine trimmings on theatre.”

EXPLODING NOISE: What’s the hardest thing about running your own theatre company?

ADAM (HABERDASHER THEATRE):Having a social life. Actually. Scratch that. Staying awake. It’s an
exhausting job. In between shows, I find myself catching up on a lot of
sleep.

EXPLODING NOISE: It seems that most of the members of your company have a specific
administrative role assigned to them. How has that helped shape the
Haberdasher into what it has become?

ADAM (HABERDASHER THEATRE):The members have shaped the company into its current form just as much
as Hollie and I have. While each person does a piece of the
administrative pie assigned to them, we all help each other. It’s
really a group effort all around. Everyone does such a fabulous job,
and it’s really invigorating to be in a company with a communal,
let’s-all-help-each-other feel, because you always feel supported. We
all trust each other immensely with our work, and there’s a perfect
ebb and flow to when we help each other and give advice and when we
back off and just let that person do their thing. We’ve all been
working together for years and have all become good friends in the
process. One of the most fun things to do is to work with your
friends.

EXPLODING NOISE: If you had unlimited funds and could produce any play that you
wanted, which would you choose?

ADAM (HABERDASHER THEATRE):Well, I actually like small theatre, so I don’t know if the extra
budget would be totally necessary. I think small theatre has the most
heart, and I will always be the champion of Off-Off Broadway theatre.
I actually boycott the Tony’s. (I’m sure I’ll get eggs thrown at me
for that one.) But if I could do any play, it’d be a tie between
Vampire Lesbians From Sodom, Rocky Horror Show, and Book of Liz.

EXPLODING NOISE: What ambitions do you have for your theatre in the future?

ADAM (HABERDASHER THEATRE):Well, we’re expanding our runs with our next show, Dorothy in Oz,
which is a version of the Wizard of Oz that takes place in a mental
ward. Beyond that, I would also be interested in doing more plays a
year, but I think we’re not close to that yet. We also have a special
topics class program that’s still in its early stages, as well as
looking at ways to revamp our month of literacy promoting children’s
theatre since the bookstore in FAO Schwartz, where we used to perform,
has come under new management. We’ve also started an arts blog at our
website http://haberdashertheatre.wordpress.com/ that’s brand new, so we’re
developing that as well.

EXPLODING NOISE: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start his own
theatre company?

ADAM (HABERDASHER THEATRE):It’s hard in the beginning, but eventually, if you manage your money
well, it all pays off and money becomes less of an issue. However, it
will always be something of an issue. Art requires money, and those are
just the sad facts. If you don’t believe me, check out The Hunger
Artist by Franz Kafka. It’s a nice little parable on the issue. It’s
also Kafka. Who would turn down some Kafka?

EXPLODING NOISE: Tell me the most important life lesson you’ve learned to date and
how you’ve applied it to the Haberdasher and being an actor.

ADAM (HABERDASHER THEATRE):Wow. This is a toughy. My first instinct is to say that every moment
is a lesson if you’re listening carefully, but that sounds like a cop
out. So I’ll combine it with another cop-out, and it’ll be a
two-for-one: Everything will be fine. Really. It will. If you don’t
believe me, just wait and see. I’ve gone through periods of being
comfortable to periods of having the cash for only one meal a day.
I’ve had my heart-broken, and I’ve been in happy relationships. Some
shows have wonderful, amazing turn outs. Some shows are so-so. But in
the end of it all, it’s really fine. It’s easy to forget that in the
moment. Theatre people, myself included, love to get wrapped up in
what they’re feeling, but sometimes it’s good to say, “Okay. This is
really bumming me out. But now I’m just holding onto it. It’s time to
let it go, and move onto the next step.” Even with Haberdasher, when I
read a review I don’t quite like, I say, “Okay. That
sucked………….. Now what amazing thing am I going to put on
next?”

EXPLODING NOISE: Tell me a little about your world travels and what you have learned
(if anything).

ADAM (HABERDASHER THEATRE):Well, I came back from living in Spain at the beginning of February
this year. I was there for six months, and it was really, with the
exception of a day trip to Toronto, the first time I left the country.
It was crazy. When I’d gotten there, I was fluent in Spanish already
but not used to using it 24/7 and in a dialect that I wasn’t used to.
I found my mind racing to understand everything everyone was telling
me and little cultural things…. For example, kissing on the cheek.
Some girls were weirded out when I tried to shake their hand instead
and there was a period of adaptation where I told myself, “No,
remember to kiss them on the cheek. Not thrust your hand at them.”
What was the biggest shock by far is when I went to Germany and was
there for a few days. It was the first time I’d been in a country
where I couldn’t speak the language. I had been to France before, and
while I’m not fluent, I can understand it, and do basic things like go
to the store, say “pardon me,” etc. In Germany, it was extremely
humbling that when I was lucky enough to make a friend there who spoke
English and he asked where my hostel was, I couldn’t tell him. The
words were so foreign to me that I couldn’t tell him. I just guessed
at what it meant in English.

EXPLODING NOISE: You have been a New Yorker for about 7 years now. What is your
favorite part of New York life?

ADAM (HABERDASHER THEATRE):The pace. Some people hate it. And it definitely is tiring. But to me,
it’s motivating and exhilarating. I also really enjoy a good crazy
person or two. Nothing says New York City like someone cursing a
pigeons in Central Park.

EXPLODING NOISE: What other off-Broadway plays and companies would you suggest
people in the NYC area check out, besides the Haberdasher?

ADAM (HABERDASHER THEATRE):For those who like classical work, definitely check out our friends at
Hudson Warehouse. http://www.hudsonwarehouse.net I would also
recommend Repertorio Español for the Spanish speakers. But most of
all, I recommend going to theatremania.com and looking at the Off-Off
Broadway section for something that catches your eye and then going to
check it out. People always jump to Broadway when they’re looking for
a random play to go to, and while Broadway is definitely New York
theatre, the real theatre, the real art, the real creative juices flow
in the tiny theatres. We don’t need a lot of special effects, because
we’re creating magic there.

EXPLODING NOISE: What is your favorite thing about living a creative life?

ADAM (HABERDASHER THEATRE): Freedom. I can create, be, live, learn, exist and die in whatever
fashion that pleases me and those who happen to be watching.

The Hangover Part 2

Well…. I was hopeful, but I was let down. Hangover 2 is the sequel that can’t even call itself a sequel, because it’s an EXACT CLONE of the first movie.

*SPOILER ALERT*

(but really I’m not spoiling anything; if you’ve seen the first movie, then this one’s already spoiled for you)

I have to admit that I’m a little offended that the writers ( Craig Mazin and Scot Armstrong) didn’t even try to differentiate the sequel from the first movie. It was beat- for- beat, The Hangover– complete with Ed Helms singing another ‘bard’s tale’ about their adventure and the wolfpack’s revelation of the whereabouts to their lost friend, unfolding in the same way, to the exact same score.

What makes it worse is that these guys weren’t even the original writers! It’s as if they just copy and pasted their material into someone else’s screenplay outline.  Really? They couldn’t be bothered to get off their asses to at least change the beats? All they did was change the jokes and insert them in the same spots as the first movie! Give the audience SOME credit; we’re not that stupid.

But that’s not to say that the film itself wasn’t entertaining; of course it had its moments. But it was just so predictable and recycled, that the few entertaining moments, weren’t worth the time spent watching them.

The thing that made the original Hangover so great were the unexpected risks it took; every moment was a surprise. But when you just recycle a screenplay whose major selling point was shock and awe, you lose the magic that made it great. Even  a ‘surprise’ photo slideshow of their shenanigans played during the credits!

During The Hangover, the theater howled with laughter as the slideshow played, and people took a moment to collect themselves before exiting the theater. During The Hangover 2, people silently watched, then flooded the exit once it ended.

I can’t say that I didn’t expect this movie to fall short of its predecessor. But what really disappoints me, is that now the original is cheapened. To put it in perspective, I feel this sequel did to the original what many felt Kingdom of the Crystal Skull did to Raiders or what Phantom Menace did to A New Hope… When will Hollywood realize how shameful it is to ruin a great thing by trying to capitalize on it with uncreative sequels and remakes? When will they learn?!!! If Hangover had been allowed to just be, one great film, it would have been untouchable as comedies go. In the years since its release, many have tried to replicate its ‘Je ne sais quoi’, but all have fallen short. I’ve heard many a convo exiting comedy screenings, in which audience members have lamented, “…well, it was no Hangover…” That’s such an achievement! The Hangover was something to be aspired to!

But Hollywood is a devilish succubus of a woman; greedy…always craving more.  Once she gets a taste, she can’t control herself. She pimps a new film every week as if parading a new lover. And inevitably, there’ll be that ONE film who she’ll love so fiercely that she’ll have no choice but to drain the life from it. WHAT A BITCH. Well Hollywood, I hope you’re satisfied. You’ve done it again. You’ve killed another celebrated lover. But don’t worry. We’ll forgive you and come back for the next unnecessary sequel that you pimp to us. Why? Because just when we start to lose faith, we discover there’s…. A NEW HOPE.

The Simpsons- WORST EPISODE EVER.

Ok. That’s it. I think I’m officially DONE with The Simpsons.

The season 22 finale- The Ned-liest Catch was THE WORST EPISODE EVER.           

I’ve stuck with the Simpsons for 22 years. I’ve stuck with them through Patty becoming a lesbian and Selma dating grandpa Simpson; through movie parody after movie parody; through stories that make no sense and make it difficult for me to continue to care about the characters that I love. I defended them when everyone else said that the show had long passed its expiration date. I was defensive, I was faithful, I was true.  But THIS is the final straw. You wanna hook up Ned & Edna, fine. But don’t cop-out on the decision only to say that you’ll leave it up to the fans to decide by having us cast an INTERNET VOTE on whether or not they stay together??? FU-UCK that.

The thing that made The Simpsons great, when it was great, was that it took risks. REAL risks. The writers came up with ideas that pushed the envelope while still being able to create stories that were rich enough to shape an entire fictional world. They gave life to these imaginary characters in a way that was so extraordinary, that it took a cartoon from a “short” on a sketch comedy show, to an international phenomenon.

This isn’t the first time that the Simpsons have asked for fan interaction in order to generate publicity for the show (we all remember Who Shot Mr. Burns). But this is the first time that they have done so in a way that makes it blatantly obvious that they are out of ideas and that the show has been on 22 years too many.

For many years I have been in denial. I have been standing behind this show in much the way that Marge stands behind Homer through all of his idiocy. But just as we learned in The Simpsons movie, everyone has her breaking point. For me this stale, uncreative, desperate attempt at a buzz-generating (for lack of a better term- thanks for nothing thesaurus.com) finale is my breaking point.

I’m sorry. I can’t do it anymore. Please don’t hate me; I’ll always love you. But I am breaking up with you The Simpsons. Believe me, this is harder for me than it is for you. But, I’m tired of the disappointment. I hope we can still be friends….

….Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s an episode of Family Guy waiting for me in my Hulu cue.

CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS

I just saw Werner Herzog’s new film Cave of Forgotten Dreams. If you haven’t seen it- SEE IT!

It was beautiful; moving. I actually fogged up my 3D glasses with tears…

Besides Werner’s ability to move you via his storytelling, I was moved by the humanity- by humankind itself. It’s not often that I find myself marveling at the beauty of humanity, but that film didn’t just tell the story of cave paintings, it stripped human kind down to its purest form.

While watching the film I felt like humanity’s true purpose was revealed: CREATION.

We’ve been doing it since the beginning of time. Creating- telling stories, listening to music, and shaping the world around us. Communicating with those we’ll never see. Leaving a bridge to the past for future generations. These cave people weren’t working themselves to death, trying to make money, or coveting trivial things. They were exploring, learning and creating. That’s what separates us from “lower” lifeforms. The ability to create IS humanity.

So go out into the world and CREATE something.  Imagine the world that you want to see around you; shape it to your liking. It is our responsibility and our privilege as humans to do so.

So happy movie watching and happy creating everyone!

http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/463722/Cave-of-Forgotten-Dreams/overview

It’s easy being Green and Crafty!

So I am still sort of shaping this blog into what it will become, but after a day of unproductive loafing around and “interneting”, I decided that I need to be more committed to living a creative life.

I read through many posts on Instructables,  Makezine, and Etsy.  The posts made me realize that there are many things that I need and want in my life- but I also realized that I can make most of those things.

So that said, I am committing myself to full hippy-dom, and first trying to make my own ‘whatevers’ out of recycled materials (including clothing and jewelry -yipes!), before purchasing anything new. This commitment should help me be more creative in my everyday life, as well as help me save money, and be more environmentally responsible because I will waste less.

So check out those sites, and get inspired yourself! Read the rest of this entry