Wednesday, October 31, 2012

China Glaze Zombie Zest / NYC Halloween Postponed

Hey everyone.  Thanks for all the support and well wishes!  I wanted to let you all know that I am absolutely fine after superstorm Sandy.  All of the photographs of the devastation you've seen in New York City were taken on the south end of the island, down by The Battery, Brooklyn and Queens.  I'm way, way uptown in Harlem, between the Hudson and the East Rivers, so everything was okay up here.  On Monday we had some rain and very, very strong wind, but nothing like the flooding that downtown experienced.  My neighborhood looks pretty much the same as it always has, except some extra debris, leaves, and a blown down awning at the fish market.  More on my experience below, after the polish pictures.  I thought I would do a tiny Halloween celebration of my own wherein I ate really, really unhealthy amounts of candy corn and used China Glaze Zombie Zest.


in the light of the 6 subway; come back to me, New York transit!

This is one coat of Zombie Zest over two coats of NYC Black Lace Creme.  So I've worn this polish three ways:  this one, as a gradient with OPI Stranger Tides, and on its own.  It's pretty versatile.  I liked how this looked and wore it until it chipped.  It was a great manicure to have on while I watched the new Walking Dead I had missed on Monday.  By myself.  In an almost blacked-out city.  Weeeeee.

So, about the storm.  I never lost power or anything like that.  We did have one interesting experience, though.  I guess something happened with the elevator in our building causing the fire alarm to go off around 6pm Monday evening.  We all thought we were being evacuated for potential flooding or something, so we all ran down the stairs and gathered in front of the building in the rain and wind.  The FDNY came.  The firefighters looked pretty irate because nothing was actually wrong, just a malfunction.  The whole incident shook me up (literally; I couldn't stop shaking for about 20 minutes because the sound of the ear-piercing alarm scared the shit out of me.  I hardly had time to put on my bra before I ran down the stairs--yes, I was still bra-less at 6pm) because I thought we'd have to evacuate the building and leave.  But, all was well.  I was back inside watching SVU and reading about Benozzo Gozzoli by 6:30.

Here are some firefighters looking irritated while they try to straighten out the problem with the elevator at the front office.
And here is one of two trucks that showed up, taken after I had snuck safely back inside.  I was not about to get windblown if I didn't have to.

So, I'm fine.  And although I'm sure Halloween festivities have been postponed for the little ones here in New York City, rest assured I had my own celebration that nearly put me into a sugar coma.  I'm not sure when the subways will be back up and running.  I've been off school for three days straight now, so I guess it's just a wait-and-see kind of thing.  The time off has allowed me to watch a million episodes of Frasier and also finally start a paper for one of my classes.  Sadly [for me] I actually had a bridal appointment at J. Crew tomorrow in Union Square.  But I'm pretty sure that that area was hit really hard by flooding.  The phone was disconnected when I tried to call.  And even if it was up and running [it's not], I wouldn't be able to get myself there.  Oh well.  I will try on wedding dresses another day.  

I hope that any east coasters and New Yorkers reading this are okay, too.  And Clevelanders, for that matter.  My parents on the west side lost power, and I heard that a lot of places on the east side didn't fare too well either, including where Ben lives.  And Lake Erie spilled over onto I-90?? Crazy.

Stay dry, everyone!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Essie Play Date, Boxer Shorts, and My Very First Hurricane

Aaaaand my adventure in New York continues.  I have no idea if I'll have internet in the coming days because of Hurricane SANDY (insert John Travolta voice here [Sam]), so I thought I would post now.  The other day I got back my first actual written assignment (a technical analysis on a textile--not exactly my area of expertise) and I was relieved to see that I got an A-.  So, of course, I rewarded myself with a polish, Essie Play Date.  But I also wanted to wear Essie Boxer Shorts.  So I did.

Please excuse the dry and stained cuticles.  H&M Deep Deep Sea was a little stain-y.  Anyway, I love Play Date (middle and pinky).  It reminds me of another favorite, Essie Splash of Grenadine, but it is way more purple while SoG is decidedly pink-leaning.  Play Date is just a happy, bright purple with fuchsia tones to it.  I've posted on Boxer Shorts before (pointer and middle), and rest assured that it has become one of my very favorite polishes.  I find it to be a very soothing color.

Being a Midwesterner I've really only had to deal with outrageous snow (I used to live in the "snow belt") and funnel cloud touch-downs.  Now I live on the east coast, and I have to deal with hurricanes.  At first I thought it wasn't going to be that big a deal.  Now I know that this is likely untrue.  The subways shut down at 7 last night, so I'm all alone-y on my own-y in Harlem, waiting out the storm.  My school cancelled classes today since no one could feasibly do the commute.  I was supposed to have a midterm today in one of my classes, so I'm pretty irritated that we're not going to take the test.  Yeah, I'm that kid.  C'mon, I memorized like 80 slides of 19th century photographs that basically all look the same.  I'm ready to take this test.  But I guess it'll wait another week.

On Saturday morning I made a beeline to Target to get some supplies.  Unfortunately so did the rest of the island.  But I did manage to get a huge case of water, many batteries, and this.

A little battery powered lantern.  Now I can read JSTOR articles (like the one you see in the background) like a little camper.  I probably won't need this, though.  My building has a generator, so even if we do lose power it'll be okay.  As long as my phone is charged and I have water I'm not too worried.  Plus I got some food essentials yesterday.

Like candy corn.  Okay, don't worry.  I got some canned food too.  And cereal.  So I'm set just in case something bad does happen.  I won't lie, though.  I'm pretty freaked out that the subways are shut down and that I can't move around the island.  I'm pretty sure they closed the bridges too, so no one can get on or off.  Just like in The Dark Knight Rises, as I told Ben.  I really hope Joseph Gordon Levitt doesn't try to save a busload of children.

Alright, I'm outta here.  To my fellow east-coasters, stay dry, stay warm, stay inside.  And buy some candy corn.

By the way, if anyone is having trouble viewing my blog, please e-mail me and let me know.  My traffic is down and a couple people informed me that they're getting malware warnings.  I deleted and rebuilt my blogroll in case that was the problem, but I'm not sure.  Thanks ladies.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

H&M Deep Deep Sea

I'm back from my weekend in Maryland (a couple photos to follow below).  Despite my misgivings about going, I'm incredibly happy that I did.  For most of the time I was by myself, but I woke up with Ben and fell asleep next to him, so it was worth it.  Even though to catch a bus back to New York yesterday I had to get up at 4am in order to leave at 6:30.  As I'm writing this I think the cup of coffee in my hand is the only thing keeping me alive.  Anyway, when I got back my nails looked all gross and chipped, so I knew I needed to fix them.  And I didn't have much time before my class.  Enter H&M Deep Deep Sea.

artificial light (I filed my ring nail too short and all wonky; ugh)
blur for sparkle

I call this one Untitled (Still Life with Iced Coffee)

This polish was a total impulse buy.  Last time I was in Cleveland I had forgotten to pack a black tank top, and for some reason I deemed this article of clothing essential enough that I stopped at H&M and bought one.  And I picked this up by the register for $3.95.  Worth it.  It's an interesting color; it sort of looks cornflower in some lights, indigo in others.  It's a frosty metallic shimmer that leaves no brushstrokes (which is basically the holy grail of metallics).  But the best part about this?  One.  Coat.  For real.  One coat and it was perfect.  So pigmented, so easy to apply.  It was wonderful because I was in a time crunch.

So, my time in Annapolis was nice.  For a lot of the time I stayed in the hotel and did work (which was fine by me; I haven't been somewhere with a tv for ages).  I also went shopping.  I hit up the local Anthropologie, and the sales section was out of control amazing.  I came home with something, but perhaps that's another post for another day.  Then on Sunday I decided to see where the main road would take me if I turned left instead of right, where all the shopping complexes were.  I found that if I drove ten minutes down the road I reached ocean.  Ten minutes further and the roads were idyllic and hilly and country-ish, and it was perfect, sunny fall weather.  The leaves were all turning, and god, it made me miss Ohio.  Also, I hadn't driven a car in a few months, and Ben had driven a 2003 Honda Civic, which is the same make and year as my car.  So driving around in that one felt so homey, and I was exceedingly happy to just drive and drive, looking at the foliage and basking in the not-city-ness of it all.  I did stop at a park and take some pictures.

I was literally IN the woods here.  I climbed beyond a bunch of sticks and brush just to sit.  On the ground.  And listen.  And smell.  It turned out to be an excellent idea.  I was relaxed.

But, all good things must end, and now I'm back in New York.  As soon as I got off the bus I walked literally 20 feet to the subway.  As soon as I was back at Grand Central I felt like I'd never left.  The next time I will see Ben is November for Thanksgiving and my birthday (!), so the countdown begins.  I actually have a test that I need to study for next Monday, so that will keep me busy this weekend.  Yay!  I have never been more excited about a midterm.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cult Nails Scandalous and Wet n Wild Tangled In My Web

A couple weeks ago Ange, formerly of the blog Scandalously Polished, sent me a lovely care package.  It had many polishes in it.  Cult Nails Scandalous--which I believe was named after her?  not in the loop on that one--was included.  And I was excited.  Because you know how I love me some coral.  To keep in the spirit of October, I added a couple coats of Wet n Wild Tangled In My Web.

So, this is two coats Scandalous, one coat Tangled In My Web, another coat Scandalous, and another coat Tangled In My Web.  I guess I was going for Halloween-y.  I like it.  And when this picture was taken I'd been wearing this for...five days.  And today is its sixth day.  Still going strong.  The formula on Scandalous was good for a jelly.  I really like it.  Tangled In My Web is kind of a pain in the ass.  It's hard to get the glitter off the brush; but I persevered, and I like how it turned out.

Update:  I decided to go to Maryland this weekend and stay with Ben after all.  I'll be getting in on Thursday night and leaving on Monday morning.  This traveling stuff is wearing on me :(  I'll be in Annapolis while he's at work, by myself pretty much all day (but as I said to him, if I wasn't by myself in Annapolis, I'd be by myself in New York; so it's okay).  I'm going to bring schoolwork, but I think I'll have a car (I haven't driven in months, so it's sort of an exciting prospect), so I might try and do stuff aside from sit in a hotel room all day.  Anyway, I'm glad I'll get to see him and it has given me something to look forward to.

And also, I was given a pair of Christian Louboutin Pigalles on Friday.  Which is of course super exciting.  I never thought I'd have a Louboutin on my little foot.  So Jenny, if you ever happen to read this:  THANK YOU.  They're gorgeous.  They will be greatly loved and cared for, and taken for walks regularly.

It's...pretty hard to be too sad with these living in my closet.

Happy Tuesday, ladies.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Something A Little Different

Usually this blog is all about what's on my nails, but as a lot of you know, I also have a penchant for whimsically printed clothing items.  A few weeks ago I was on the phone with my fiance while I was browsing Etsy.  I came across Jennifer Lilly Designs accidentally, and I loved what I saw.  Particularly one dress that was classified as "kitsch bear animal wilderness cabin print dress."  So, I mean, duh.  It had me written all over it.  Add to that the fact that there was one left and it was my size, and I was sold.  And by that I mean that Ben was sold because he bought it for me when he heard me telling him how adorable it was.  I thought I'd show it to you, and encourage you to check out Jennifer Lilly's shop on Etsy because I'm so delighted with my little dress.  Again, I'm not using a "real" camera here, just Photo Booth and iPhone, but you will get the idea.

Here is the dress on me.  It fits really nicely.  This is a medium, and I am normally a US size 8-10.  It's a little short, but I'm taller than the average girl at 5'7.5".  I will wear leggings with it.
Here is me being me.  But, you can see more of the pattern (details to follow).
I would style it as such, with my favorite H&M blazer.

Anyway, as indicated above, I found the fit to be nice.  It's sleeveless, so I will have to layer it with a blazer or sweater or cardigan for the winter months, but that's fine by me.  Looks nice with the blazer.

And a few details of the lovely tag and tantalizingly cute pattern.  Isn't it great?  It's got fish AND bears AND deer AND lures AND pinecones AND canoes AND...the list goes on.  Some may say this pattern is too busy, but I say bring it on.  

Now that I know that these dresses are so lovely and well-made there are a few more that I'm eyeing.  All of her prints are adorable.  I think this one cost between $30 and $35.  So anyway, check out the shop if you're interested.  Receiving this dress in the mail was a little bright spot in my day, so I thought I would share it with you.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

OPI A-Taupe the Space Needle and Warm and Fozzie

Thanks a bunch, everyone, for all of the comments and reaching out you did to me after my last post.  Even though I wasn't sure whether or not I should publish that one, I'm glad I did.  I got many e-mails from many kind people, a few of whom live in New York and wanted to have coffee with me and cheer me up.  Which will help, I'm sure.  These photos are still from my iPhone.  The charger for my new camera was defective, so I'm waiting for a new one to be delivered to me.  I've been told that this will occur on Friday, so maybe next week I will have decent pictures to share.

Here I did a base of two coats of OPI A-Taupe the Space Needle from the 2011 Touring America collection that I was so, so fond of.  I can't even describe to you how much I love this color.  It's gorgeous.  It looks sort of like a flat brown in the bottle, but on the nail it transforms into this gorgeous taupe with [on me, at least] strong green undertones.  Stunning.  Then I sponged OPI Warm and Fozzie over the tips.  I've been doing this a lot lately.  For me it makes the polish last longer, and it adds a little visual interest.  This is a very autumnal-looking manicure. 
Yesterday I wore this tunic that I thrifted last winter; it's from H&M (I believe when I found it I yelled to my friend, "Look!  Vintage H&M!"), and it's entirely made of metallic thread with tones of silver, pewter, bronze, and gold.  I know that it has metallic thread because once I wore it through airport security and after I walked through the metal detector the cop said, "Oh honey.  You lit up like a Christmas tree."  Needless to say I was patted down.  And I learned my lesson about this tunic.  But I love it anyway.  Because it's all shiny and metallic and short-skirted it sort of reminds me of armor, and I feel like a little Joan of Arc warrior woman when I wear it.  I thought the polish went nicely with it.

Yesterday I also got my very first grade on something.  It was just a paper abstract, but I spent a lot of time researching for it.
A small triumph, but I guess that's what I'm living for these days.  At least I know I can still put together a decent sentence and that I have good ideas.

I actually was feeling pretty good yesterday.  Ben is starting a new job soon and has to train in Annapolis, MD.  He called on Monday night and proposed that I come to Annapolis and stay with him over that weekend.  Since he'd be working all day, I'd have all of that time while he's gone to do homework and research, etc. and we could spend the nights together.  I could also go into D.C. to see the National Gallery, where I've never been before.  But those plans seem to have sort of fallen through, or to have at least been made more difficult.  We're trying to work it out so that we can still see each other, but I just felt so defeated when I realized things wouldn't go as well as we thought they would.  I was doing my dishes after we talked on the phone last night and just burst into tears.  And then I had DISH SOAP HANDS and couldn't even wipe them away.  Worst.  

Anyway, that's what's going on.  I'm trying my best to keep my little chin up, wearing my warrior woman tunic and all.  Maybe the bunny sweater or unicorn shirt is in order for today.  Time to pull out the big fuzzy wardrobe guns.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Since I've Been Gone

I'm not really in a good way right now.  I thought that after a couple months I'd be used to New York, be used to the new school, my life's new pace, the place where I'm living, etc.  This is just not the case. I booked a flight home for this past weekend to see my family and Ben.  Last time I went home I returned feeling sort of refreshed and ready to tackle things.  After my return from this trip I find myself unable to unpack my bag.  I called Ben as soon as I got home and I already missed how his voice sounds when he's next to me, holding my hand.  I hate that here, I'm alone almost all the time.  My most social day is the one where I go into work for a 9-5 deal, and it is only social because I happen to be in an office with a few other people.  Otherwise I'm by myself.  And it's wearing on me.  This weekend at home wasn't enough, and I find myself seriously, seriously reconsidering my decision to move here.  I feel like an idiot.

A few people have asked me why I haven't posted recently, Ben and my mother included.  When Ben asked I told him it was mostly because I don't have a camera (mine broke ages ago and I've been taking photos with my phone recently).  But really it was because I just couldn't bring myself to.  I don't know that that's ever happened before.  I love writing this blog.  I've still been doing my nails, I just haven't wanted to take crappy pictures or write about how sad I am.  Or avoid writing about how sad I am.  So of course, Ben being literally the nicest and most caring man in the world, surprised me last weekend by giving me a new camera.  I am, as they say, back in business.  Mechanically, anyway.  Morale-wise I just don't know if I'm up to it.  But I thought I would share some photos from this weekend.  The pictures are all from the same day, with the exception of the last one.  I'm wearing a peacoat from Old Navy (that I had to buy when I got to Cleveland; it was 77 degrees when I left New York, and it was 50 all weekend in Ohio), a dress from Urban Outfitters circa autumn 2010, Target tights, Target boots circa autumn 2011, H&M sunglasses.

Saturday was a really perfect fall day.  We stopped at a park to look at the leaves.
I picked this "flower," which I'm pretty sure is actually a weed.
We went apple picking.
This is like in Lady and the Tramp, except way less gross and way less convenient.  We're ridiculous.
I climbed a tree to pick an apple, but I was too short in the end.
So Ben picked it.
Then he found this apple picking machine and stood atop it triumphantly.
One of the paths through the orchard.  This is my desktop now.
Carving pumpkins is one of my greatest joys in life.  But it was too early to get one.
 Mostly just posting this so you can sort of see my nails.  I'm wearing OPI Stranger Tides sponged in a gradient with China Glaze Zombie Zest (The Walking Dead returns next Sunday, so I'm doing all I can to psyche myself up for it--something to look forward to, right?)
A Cleveland staple is Melt Bar and Grilled.  I insisted we go there for lunch on Saturday and I was not disappointed.  And again, you can kind of see my nails here.  I had aaaaaall that food and I was still eating Ben's.  And that soup was worth it.
And this is what I get to look at across the table from me.  He's cute, isn't he?
This is what I saw from the plane window yesterday.  That's somewhere on the west side of Cleveland.

And there are no pictures of this event, but one of my favorite moments of my trip was sitting on the couch with my mom and grandmother going through my mom's wedding album.  We're starting to think about wedding plans, and it was nice to see what my mom did and hear my grandma's memories about the day.  When I told my grandma I wanted calla lilies and black or navy bridesmaids gowns she said, "But that's for a classy wedding."  I was like, "GRANDMA.  I am a classy lady and this will be a classy affair."  With an open bar.

Yesterday morning was an absolute nightmare.  My flight left at 11, and Ben lives about 45 minutes away from the airport, so we left the house at around 8:20.  We were both exhausted from staying up late the night before.  We were both emotionally wrecked from the knowledge that I'd be gone in a matter of hours.  Then we got to the airport, I checked a bag, and as I was writing down my ID information I realized I had left my cell phone at his place.  And, as Kate Gosselin would say, I melted down.  I was inconsolable for a few minutes.  I knew if I didn't have that phone that I'd get back to New York and be completely alone.  All of my emotions about leaving bubbled up to the surface, and I sat on Ben's lap by the security line, crying on him, while he tried to comfort me and tell me he'd ship the phone.  But instead, I paid to move my flight back five hours so we could go get the phone.  Then when I had calmed down and we were back at the car, Ben realized his wallet was gone.  We had to run back to the ticketing counters where we had been sitting (read:  where I had been losing my mind) to check for it.  And it was there, so that was good.  And then the afternoon was wonderful, because we had these blissful extra hours together.  And that made saying goodbye even harder.

I've never been with anyone before that I've felt this way about.  Is being away from him worth it?  I don't think so anymore.  I've been working hard for this doctorate my whole life, and now I find myself not wanting it.  And I try to think these things through rationally.  I have A LOT OF TIME to think on my own.  I'm going to make it through this semester, if only halfheartedly, but what then?

But anyway, I'm back in New York for yet another dramatically shortened week (I only have class on Wednesday and Thursday), so I'm sure I'll do nothing but think about this.  And thanks for reading this, if you did.  I know it's a lot to dump on here all at once.

I cannot wait for the zombies.  

I've received a few comments and e-mails telling me to consider how I felt about this PhD before I got engaged.  I feel like the implication here is that before I had this ring on my finger I was probably much more driven and that now that I'm engaged, I feel like I can give up on personal goals.  This is simply untrue.  I felt this way about leaving Cleveland before Ben proposed to me.  And I think I would feel similarly about the doctorate even if he wasn't in the picture.  There comes a time, you see, when a girl gets tired of putting literally EVERYTHING ELSE IN HER LIFE on the back burner for school.  I have done it for years.  And now I'm thinking that it might not be worth it.  That's all.  It has little to do with my marital status.

And I do appreciate the support and comments.  Trust me, it warms my heart to read them.  But I thought I would clear up what could possibly be a misconception.