Batting my Lashes

leglampawardIn August I will be the recipient of an award from the local business newspaper – The Business Examiner.  Each year, The Business Examiner, holds a Top 40 Under 40 event celebrating business persons under the age of forty in Tacoma.  This year, my business partner and I are among the recipients!  The event includes a photoshoot for all the recipients and the resulting images get shown on the website and at the event. So of course we did what any sensible business owners would do when on the receiving end of a MAJOR AWARD (careful, it’s fra-jeel-ay)– we put eyelash extensions on the business account.

Now, for those of you who don’t know, eyelash extensions are individual fake lashes that are applied with careful hands, tweezers and glue to your real eyelashes.  The effect is that you have somehow magically grown giant cow length eyelashes.  Unlike a standard set of fake eyelashes that glue on to the eyelid above the lashline, these look integrated into your own lashes.  Basically, your eyes now look like every mascara commercial on TV.

The Stats:  In my neck of the woods they cost about $100 (plus tip) and last about two weeks.  At two weeks you can get a “fill” appointment that can cost $50, but wait until three weeks and that will cost more.  They take about an hour and fifteen minutes to put in and you must be ok with having your eyelids taped in place and have someone poking around on your lash line.

The Pros: As I said, your eyes now look like a mascara commercial ALL the time.  This is great when you just woke up and have no make-up on.  Somehow, I look delightfully rumpled instead of my normal slightly dead.  Since one of the rules is that you can’t wear mascara on them (impossible to clean without taking them out) there is less make-up time involved in getting ready.  And for the most part, people really can’t figure out what you’ve done to look so smashing.

The Cons: My eyes were a bit red and others report a stinging sensation on the first day.  For me, I just felt like I had grit in my eyes for the first two days.  Also, every once in awhile one of the falsies twisted around and stabbed me in the eyeball. Youch! They do have to be treated GENTLY.  If you’re a side sleeper, be prepared to lose a few early after they get ground into your pillow overnight.

Conclusion: If you’re looking at a week with multiple events, particularly ones where you’ll be featured in photos, eyelash extensions might be the way to go.  My business partner had the awards photoshoot, a family picture photoshoot and a high-school reunion in the same week – that’s the kind of week that makes the cost and effort worthwhile.  I probably didn’t need them for one photoshoot, but I’ve enjoyed batting my giant lashes for a few weeks.

ApprovedStamp

Cranking (Toddler) Tunes

Many things change after having a baby.  And I have to say that one of the things that I’m the most sad to see change is the amount of music I listen to.  Baby nap times seem to encompass the whole dang day! I used to have iTunes running almost constantly.  Not that it wasn’t a battle with my husband over what to listen to.  No, I don’t want more Phish.  And there’s only so much hip-hop and Grateful Dead I can listen to before going insane. (Yes, my husband is a hippy with a secret love of 90’s R&B.  He compensates for this deficiency by being ruggedly handsome and having the miraculous ability to open jars and kill countless spiders.)

The interesting thing is that, aside from the specific bands, where my husband I deviate in our musical tastes is an actual love of music.  He loves music.  Phish, Dave Matthews, the Allman Brothers, and the Grateful Dead all have one thing common.  OK, take a toke and make that two things – they’re jam bands.  I hate jam bands.  It’s just giant swaths of useless music that take away from the important thing – the lyrics.  I love the words. (Surprised?  Probably not.)  For me, music is like poetry with half the pretentiousness and way more shake-your-bootiliciousness.  And I like to play it ALL the time particularly when I’m working.  I find that music helps put me in the zone for writing and for design.

But with an in-home office and a baby, it’s become a lot more difficult to crank the tunes through the work day.  I was excited when the baby hit two and it became easier to send her to daycare/babysitting and there’s only one nap to contend with, but it has also meant that she’s tons more verbal.  With a toddler in the house, I don’t feel quite so comfortable cranking up a few of the songs I love, like Don’t Shoot Me Santa by The Killers.  I am perfectly prepared to explain that boys have a penis and some people are in wheelchairs and sometimes boys marry boys and girls marry girls.  But… I am not at all prepared to explain why Santa is shooting that guy in the song.  I’m pretty sure I see headphones in my future.

 

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Originally posted on 7.27.16 at The Stiletto Gang

The Red String of My Mind

In the cop shows, whenever the intrepid detective (Watching the Detectives, Elvis Costello) is working on the massive conspiracy that killed her mother/lover/those six girls we never met, but who really give our character a reason to act, the case is always shown as pictures (Pictures of You, The Cure) tacked up and connected by red string. I don’t know what set designer came up with the red string, but they ought to get royalties. It’s so common that if I worked at a craft store and someone bought red string I’d think they were a serial killer, a cop thrown off the force for refusing to quit the case, or a grandmother of toddlers stocking up for Christmas. I bring this up for the reason that it is a fitting visual for the song lyric littered wasteland (Teenage Wasteland, The Who) that is my brain.

Whenever I have a story noodling around in my head, but haven’t moved it to the level of having an outline, my natural writing style is to pick out scenes that I want to write, type them up, and save each scene to it’s own word document. As you can imagine, this creates a number of random word documents that might be hard to keep track of. But I have a system, most often I’ll name the document the song lyric associated with it. As a book grows, frequently these scenes become chapters, and those document names become chapter titles. Which is why the original table of contents for Bulletproof Mascara, the first of my Carrie Mae Mystery novels, read more like a playlist than serious literary subtitles. Sadly, editor made me change most of them – now they simply hint at the songs they reference. Apparently, the only people more uptight that literary rights lawyers or music rights lawyers. But you can still rock out to the Bulletproof Mascara playlist simply by visiting my youtube page (youtube.com/CarrieMaeMysteries) – please enjoy the musical stylings of David Bowie, James Brown, Simon & Garfunkel, Tech9, Morcheeba, and (of course) more.

Originally posted on 7/13/16 at The Stiletto Gang