Thursday, February 28, 2013

Maybelline Chic Chocolate

This polish is from...a while ago.  I don't remember when I bought it.  Probably 2010.  One day while I was home for winter break, right after my grandmother died, Ben picked a polish out for me to wear.  He chose this one because he tends to like darker colors and I've noticed he also likes shimmery things. Anyway, I wore this one back in January and I just remembered the pictures were on my camera.

These pictures aren't that great even though they were taken with a "real" camera and not my iPhone (which I think has been doing pretty well; but Ben reminded me that he got me this camera for a reason, so I'm pulling it out of its box...finally).  The sun was that too-bright afternoon-y time sun that tends to wash everything out.  But you can still tell that this brown is really pretty and lights up with red and gold shimmer in bright light.  My nails were super short then and I was having the worst of dry skin problems.  But anyway, I pretty much hate Maybelline polishes.  Mostly it's their brushes.  It's like the bristles are too stiff and always result in drag for me, as you can see.  The formula on this one was fine, it was just its mode of delivery that was flawed.  But this was two coats.  It chipped really quickly on me, too, which is probably why I forgot that I had even worn it.

I also found this picture of me on the camera, in which I appear to be engaging in my favorite wintertime pastime of scarf snugglin'.  But you can see how the polish looks on my hands; namely, nice 'n vampy.

You know what can be kind of great about New York, in a way?  You make a million tiny connections with people every day.  Glances on the subway, being smooshed together walking down 5th Ave., those sorts of mundane things.  Yesterday I was waiting for the 6 train at 33rd Street and I knew there would be trouble when one train completely passed the station by.  More and more people started piling up, and a woman squished in front of me on the platform.  I knew that her end-game was to get on the next train no matter what, so I just sort of let it happen.  When the next train stopped and the doors opened people rushed it, but I hung back because I knew there'd be another train.  But this woman who had stepped in front of me got on and gently moved everyone aside until there was a spot for me.  She made eye contact with me and said, "Come on, love.  You'll fit right here."  I didn't have to be told twice, so I got on.

During the course of the ride from 33rd to 86th she told me all about her daughter.  The woman herself was 51, but she adopted a 5-year-old girl who came out of a bad situation.  She told me that she had to get on the train no matter what because she couldn't be late to pick up her daughter from daycare.  The little girl gets nervous if she's late, apparently.  And then she asked me what I was doing in New York and I told her.  She noticed my ring and asked about a partner, so I told her about Ben.  I told her about the PhD thing and how I feel sort of torn between academia and...well, normality.  She took my hand and said, "love, get married and have babies.  You always have time for the PhD.  Don't worry so much."  I'm not sure whether or not I agree with that advice (hence my dilemma) but it was funny because of course we were sort of squished together like little sardines on the train, and older women all around us had heard what she said to me.  They all nodded their heads.  When we got to her stop she patted me on the shoulder and said good luck.  And then she was gone, out of my life forever.

Things like that are funny.  But it did make me think all the way back to Harlem.  No one my age would ever give me that advice.  In fact I had a conversation the other night with a classmate from UChicago where I said to her something like, "I just want to get married and have babies and have a house and a job and a car.  Like a normal person."  She said to me, "It's hard to do that when you're so special."  Which is, of course, debatable.  But these two conflicting viewpoints were offered to me within 24 hours of each other, and it's so interesting to me how differently my own situation is viewed by different people.

ANYWAY.  It's almost Friday.  And for the first time since moving to New York, I'm glad the weekend is coming.  I've been swamped.  I can't wait to sleep in!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sinful Colors Beau Khaki (ha) and Subtle Dots

Lots on the agenda for today.  First, sadly I had to add word verification to my comments form.  I was getting SO MANY spam comments and I don't know why.  So I know word veri is a pain in the ass, but I hope you guys still comment.  So anyway, here's some nail polish.
 overcast natural light
 lamp light
 partial sun
 more partial sun
even more partial sun
I was going to do clean-up and then I didn't.  So, I suck/am lazy.

Here, friends, is Sinful Colors Beau Khaki.  Do I even need to address the name?  I don't think so.  So let's all expel a hearty guffaw and move on.  It's a muted olive creme.  I bought it out of habit.  My mind goes LOOK OLIVE GREEN NEED IT WANT IT OKAY GOT IT NOW PHEW.  But then after I buy them it takes me forever to wear them because I forget how much I really love them.  That is what happened with this little guy.  I got it in January and didn't put it out until the other day.  I found the formula difficult to work with and very thick.  But this is two coats.  The idea of a creme olive seemed boring to me, so I made plans to jazz it up a little.  As it turned out, I liked the color so much all alone-y on its own-y on my nails that I considered not jazzing it up.  But that would have meant foregoing dots, so, as you can see, I caved.  The Bobby Pin Dots© are OPI Tickle My France-y, my OG favorite nude.  I think these two polishes look nice together, and I appreciate the subtlety of the cute dots in such a murky palette.  

So, I had a really nice weekend.  As you all know I have been feeling irretrievably lost lately, and my mom offered (after I told her I wanted to be invited) to fly me to Chicago for an already-planned girls' weekend for my cousin Mattie's 10th birthday.  At first I thought it would be silly to go to Chicago for only about 36 hours, but after talking to my dad he convinced me that it would be good for me.  I got into the city around 8 on Friday night and flew back to NYC around 11 on Sunday morning.  But I'm so glad I went.
The theme of the weekend was AMERICAN GIRL.  The hotel we stayed at catered to Mattie's doll, giving her her own little bed and turn-down service.  It was very cute.  Here we are on Saturday morning about to head to the store at Water Tower Place.
Mattie's doll got her hair done.  That's my mom there on the left and my Aunt Michele on the right.  It was just the four of us for the weekend.  Plus Mattie's doll, whose name changes seasonally.  As it is February, she is currently called Winter (so cute).
 I was holding onto Winter for Mattie while my mom and I took a much-needed coffee break before lunch.
And here we are at lunch.  Apparently I was looking at my mom's camera and Mattie was looking at her mom's camera.  C'est la vie.  Anyway, Mattie's dolls (she got a new one, who you see here; Saige) got to sit at the table with us.  It's a little girl's dream.  And it was fun for us adults too (ohmygodi'manadult)

So yes, it was a very nice weekend.  After the American Girl Doll store we went back to the suburb of Chicago where my aunt and uncle live and spent the night with the rest of the family (my uncle and Mattie's brother).  That was so nice.  Just to talk to people, sit with people.  Also I hadn't been back to Chicago since I graduated from The University of Chicago in 2009.  Now that I live in New York...Chicago looks so little!  It was such a strange feeling.  

After I got back to New York I decided to buy myself a little pick-me-up to get me through the coming weeks until I can go home for spring break.  I don't buy myself anything anymore, but I knew that as soon as I saw the Urban Decay Oz palette in Glinda (available here) that I needed to have it.  I took the subway to Sephora as soon as I got home and snagged the last one in the store.  Very exciting.  I am in love with it.  I played with it for the first time yesterday.

I plan to do a ton of things with it, so I'm very happy that I was able to find one in stock.  Also, I have to pause to tell you that the day I was wearing this makeup I sent a picture of myself to Ben.  Just like, a normal picture where I am looking at the camera.  My bangs are kind of unruly so they were in my face and my eyelids weren't even visible because, well, my eyes were open.  Later he texted me back and said, "I like your eyeshadow."  I didn't even TELL HIM that I got a NEW THING that I am EXCITED ABOUT.  And he noticed anyway.  And that, ladies, is one of the many reasons why I have the best man (but I'm pretty sure I'm biased).

That's all for today.  Here's hoping you all get through your weeks intact.  This one's gonna be a doozy for me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sinful Colors Morning Star (and Toy Story Clouds)

Yesterday I decided to try the last polish that Rach (thankyouyou'reawesome) sent me in December, Sinful Colors Morning Star.  I believe that this polish came out with a couple other ones billed as "sheers" in the summer of 2012.  I don't think that any of them were actually sheer.  Morning Star certainly isn't, but it was a little difficult to work with.

Morning Star is a sort of periwinkle-leaning baby blue.  In some lights it pulls more purple, in the others it appears to be more of a blue-gray.  It's somewhere right in between Essie Bikini So Teeny and Essie Boxer Shorts, both polishes I love.  It has silver and blue shimmer in it also.  It's very nice.  I needed three coats to even it out because the formula was a little...goopy?  I'm not sure of the word to use to describe it.  It was kind of like those early B3F polishes that were runny but thick at the same time.  I actually had some of the polish drip off of the stem of the brush and onto my finger while I was polishing, and that is a first for me.

The PARTY NAIL is two coats of nails inc. Baker Street, which I also wore here.

I can't help but think of these when I think of the name of this polish:
I eat one of these every day, though usually just the regular ones, not the black bean.
ANYWAY.  I digress.

Yesterday was a very rainy day in New York, so I also decided to add little clouds to my thumbs using my unique and lowbrow method of bobby pin dotting.  I don't mind the way they came out.  I think it looks sort of cute.  Here I used OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls (last seen on my fingers here).

I showed a picture of this to Sam and she texted back, "Toy Story clouds!"  I guess they kind of are, aren't they? 
I did always like Toy Story.  I liked the dinosaur.  What a silly.  

That's all for today.  I'm pretty into these blue nails with my little cartoon clouds.  Maybe they'll brighten up the rest of my week even if the sun won't come out (but I'm pretty sure it's going to).

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sally Hansen Salon Shoot the Moon

I'm currently right in the middle of a four-day weekend.  Today is Presidents' Day (but we also got Lincoln's birthday off--what even?), and tomorrow I also have no class.  These are the hardest types of days for me, when I'm by myself and I'm not crazy busy.  Sam was here with me this past weekend and she left yesterday.  For Valentine's Day she gave me Sally Hansen Salon Shoot the Moon, which I told her I had been wanting.  It was a nice surprise.  She also gave me a box of Sour Patch Kids, my favorite-ever candy.  She is very nice.

I'm glad she got me this.  It lived up to what I thought it would be.  It's a sparkly, foil-y pewter (in the same vein as Zoya FeiFei or Sinful Colors Winter Wonder) with gold and green particles mixed in.  The formula was good and I only needed two coats.  And damn if I haven't come to love the huge stupid paddle brushes on these polishes.  I remember a time when I hated them, but now I like how they cover my relatively small nails in only two quick strokes.  It took me three years, but I guess I've finally warmed up to this brand.

Here are some things we did this weekend.

We went to go see Inventing Abstraction at MoMA.  No photos allowed inside the exhibition, but this one is of me in front of Newman's Vir Heroicus Sublimis, one of my favorite paintings in the permanent collection.
We finally got to Katz's Deli, which you may remember from this scene in When Harry Met Sally... which is my favorite movie of all time.  We meant to do this last summer but it just never happened.  We actually spent a whole day in Lower Manhattan, so it was good to see some different things since I live so far uptown.
The placemat.  We got pretty excited about basically everything in this place.
I got half a Ruben.  I'm off of bread now, so this picture is just for show.  I'm eating off the sauerkraut like any normal person would.
 And the verdict is:  this Katz's is not overrated.  The wait may look long, but it was totally reasonable.  The food came fast and it was REALLY GOOD.
 We had matzo ball soup with our half sandwiches.  It was also very good.

We went to this place in Nolita that only serves rice pudding (Rice to Riches on Spring Street between Mott and Mulberry if you're interested).  That's it.  You can't get anything else.  This is the honey graham flavor with graham crumbles on top.  I would definitely go back...except I felt pretty bad about myself after eating it (and we shared that one).
We walked the Brooklyn Bridge, which made us feel a little better about the rice pudding.  We had wanted to do this last summer, but we sort of...couldn't find it from the Brooklyn side.  Plus it was hot.  So we skipped it.  It was like 25 degrees this day.  A good trade-off?  I'm not sure.  But I'm glad we did it.
Here I am with the sign under one of the arches on the bridge.
We had tea at Alice's Tea Cup, an Alice in Wonderland-themed restaurant.  I'd actually been there one time before (and Sam picked the place via Googling and was trying to surprise me...the odds were very small that I'd actually been somewhere random like this to eat before).
Sam's brunch.  Our Earl Grey.

We also hit up The New Museum and The National Academy Museum (not pictured).  I enjoyed both to the extent that I'm mentally able to enjoy contemporary art (which isn't much; even though I'm an art historian I just don't understand pretty much anything after 1975).  We also went to Ground Zero since we were in Lower Manhattan, and this old church right by the site.  Which was very sad.  But aside from that we had a really nice time.

When she left I got sad.  And I am honestly relieved that I did.  I was telling Sam that lately I can't seem to shift out of neutral with my emotions.  It's like there is a baseline.  And when you're happy your mood goes above that baseline; when you're sad, it dips below it.  But for the past three weeks I've been right in the middle.  I am not excited or happy about anything, but I'm also not upset or actively sad.  It's a feeling like everything is a little hazy and I'm watching myself act from a distance and not even inhabiting my own self.  I can't describe it well.  I'm wondering if maybe I am depressed.  I can't tell.  When Sam left was the only time I have felt any acute emotion since I got back to New York, and mostly it was just a pang of longing for company.  It was nice to have someone there when I woke up and someone there to talk to before I went to sleep at night.  Sometimes I don't talk to anyone all day, and it's such a difficult thing.

So that brings me back to why long weekends are hard.  Most people look forward to them, but really all I can do is tell myself that I will get through these days and that time will keep passing and that I will get to see my family again soon.  It's staying light longer and the sun is shining brighter and I know that spring is just over the horizon, so that's also something to look forward to.  Also I got a new Pantone-appropriate blazer that I'm eager to wear soon.  I'm not sure how to end this on a high note.  Maybe I'll just say that I'm really glad I got to see Sam.  There probably isn't anything I would have rather done this weekend.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

China Glaze Igniting Love and Mrs. Claus

Happy Valentine's Day, girls.  I've always felt pretty indifferent about this holiday, partially because I don't...think I've ever gotten anything for it.  I remember one year (2010) my dad got me this really nice card that I saved.  But other than that nothing else leaps to mind.  I do recall always getting valentines for everyone in the class when I was in grade school (accidentally typed "grad school" there; wouldn't that be funny).  I always got the Winnie the Pooh ones.  Anyway.

Every year on this day I wear China Glaze Lasso My Heart from Rodeo Diva.  But I didn't bring that to New York with me.  So instead I wore China Glaze Igniting Love with a Mrs. Claus party nail (my thumb is also a party nail).

Igniting Love is my new number one favorite don't-ever-wanna-live-without-it red.  It's loud, it's saturated, it leans orange, and it has sort of a jelly feel to it.  I think it could be a one-coater.  I used two here, though.  Mrs. Claus is, clearly, a Christmas polish.  But I thought it would look nice as a party nail here.  And I was right.  I really love this.

This is not the first time I wore Igniting Love.  Here's a picture of me that Ben took a couple weeks ago on the day we went to look at a possible wedding venue.

Even from a relative distance the color of the polish is still like HI I'M HERE LOOK AT ME I'M RED.  Seriously, it's a stunner.  Also, that last time I wore it (with Seche) it stayed on for six solid days without chipping.  Really, this is love between us, this polish and I.  So I suppose it is appropriate for a Valentine's Day post.

Today I won't be doing anything romantic--because, you know, Ben is in Ohio.  But also I will be in German class until at least 8:30pm.  Sam is here staying with me, so I will not be alone.  And that's always nice, no matter what day of the year it is.

Have a good day full of snugglies and fuzzies and hearts and...naked babies with bows and arrows?  I dunno.  Have a good Thursday.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sinful Colors Mauve; Target Release Shopping Tips

Hey everyone.  Thanks for all the positive feedback on my last post--it was really sweet.  Even though I didn't respond to the comments individually, trust me...I read them all.  This is going to be a long post, but it won't be staggeringly sad like my last few.  On the agenda:  nail polish, Apple Store story, and Prabal Gurung for Target.  

Nail polish-wise, I have something new for 2013 to show you today, Sinful Colors Mauve.  Which I then topped with OPI Pirouette My Whistle.

I am ashamed.  My dry hands.  I'm so sorry.  There's nothing I can do about them in the winter.  I've tried everything from Lemony Flutter to Vaseline, and I just have to ride out the winter dryness.  Anyway, Mauve.  It's a lavender creme.  The formula was thick, but I only needed two coats.  The application seemed to me to be a little tricky because of the thicker-than-usual formula, but nothing that wasn't manageable.  I liked the color just fine on its own, but I couldn't resist giving it a more ethereal feel by adding this glitter.  Another $1.99 win from Sinful.

Last Thursday I had a crisis of epic proportions.  At least that's what it seemed like to me.  Around 10:00pm I was on the phone with Ben sort of just absentmindedly surfing the internet.  Then all of a sudden my computer froze, which had never happened to me before.  So I forced it to shut down and turned it back on.  Then I saw this.

That's not my computer, but that's exactly what it looked like, screen-wise.  Perplexed and quickly falling into a state of ever-increasing panic, I called up my dad.  Who was asleep and couldn't help me.  To be fair, he couldn't have helped me even if he had just had a pot of coffee and a solid eight hour nap, but my default when I have a problem with anything that's electronic or mechanical is to call my dad.  So I did what any New Yorker would do.  I went to the 24-hour Apple Store on 5th Avenue.  Yes, there is an Apple Store here open 24 hours a day.  Basically, even though my hard drive could have died and I could have lost everything, it didn't.  It was the hard drive cable, which was replaceable within a day and cost me $56.  Although I had to leave my MacBook with the Apple Store for a day and I felt totally lost without it (pathetic, I know), I'm glad to have it back.

And now I will present to you:  

-The Thrifty Girl's Guide to Target Collaborations-
(this is of course meant to be rather satirical [but also kind of serious] and is written from the perspective of someone who buys for herself and not ebay; for shame, ebay people, for shame)

Listen.  As a seasoned veteran of the ridiculousness that is a designer for Target release, I thought I could give a few pointers and also relay my experience from yesterday.  I own items from Zac Posen, the coveted Missoni collection, Jason Wu, and now Prabal Gurung.  For the most part, I know what I'm doing.  So, here we go.  10 rules you really should follow.
1.  DO YOUR HOMEWORK.  As a perpetual student, I hate the idea of having more homework.  But it's totally necessary in this case.  You need to study the lookbook and know EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT.  
2.  RANK YOUR CHOICES.  It's very important that you rank your choices.  Is there a must-have piece for you?  Then that's your number one.  Every other item should be behind that must-have piece in terms of grabby-hands order.  Be prepared to sacrifice your #2 for the sake of your #1.  Sometimes that happens.
3.  CAFFEINATE.  I can't stress this one enough.  You need a cup of coffee.  Yesterday I knocked back a huge energy drink before I started the six-block walk to my Target.  And by the time I got there it had kicked in.  I was ready.  Gameface ON.
4.  DO NOT ASSUME.  I actually made this mistake this time around.  What I mean by this is that you shouldn't assume that there won't be a lot of people there even if you live in a small town or a weird area.  I live in Harlem, where my Target is, and I made the mistake of thinking there wouldn't be a lot of girls there.  I was very wrong.  In fact, here's an article about how wrong I was.  But even though I was one of the last girls in line it was okay.  Why?  Because I followed rules 1 and 2.
5.  THE TIME FOR POLITENESS IS NOT TODAY.  Listen.  For most of us, we'll never have the chance to wear the same designer as, for example, Michelle Obama on inauguration day.  So be polite in other places.  Today, this day of the collab. release, is a day for elbowing, jumping over the carts of others, and general shoving shenanigans.
6.  GET A VISUAL.  Sometimes this is possible, sometimes it's not.  If you can see your must-have item through the window while you're waiting outside, you can chart your course.  If not, you have to wing it.  This worked well for me with Jason Wu.  I spotted my dress and made a bee-line.  At Prabal Gurung I was less lucky and I just had to wander in and hope I spotted it.  I did.
7.  WORK QUICKLY.  This is a rule I always follow.  Because you have ranked your choices, grab them as quickly as possible.  Don't think, just take.  That way you will be at the dressing room before everyone else, which is a good thing.  Another piece of advice for Target collabs is to hypothesize as accurately as possible on sizing.  For example, I'm normally a size 8-10 in dresses (my drug of choice).  So in items I know I want, I grab sizes 8, 10, 12.  Just in case.
8.  DO NOT USE A CART.  For the love of god, ladies, carts take up too much room in the aisles.  LEAVE THE CART BEHIND.  You have arms and shoulders for a reason.
9.  BE CUT-THROAT AND EFFICIENT.  Assuming that you, like me, are on a budget, you need to choose the pieces you love and let another girl have the pieces you sort of like.  For example:
(this one was too big on top and I ended up snapping a photo of this size instead of the one that fit)
I liked this dress, but didn't love it.  Back to the rack for a girl that ranked it as her must-have.
10.  ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS GO BACK TO THE RACKS AFTER YOUR FIRST ROUND.  Sometimes people put stuff back.  Sometimes, but not always.  It's always worth it to check. If you had to sacrifice your #2 choice to grab your must-have never know!  It could be there again when you return to the designer section.

I followed these rules and, therefore, while most of the other girls were still scrambling like psychos trying to grab everything they could get their hands on, I had tried on my must-have (plus a few other things), and I was already in the grocery section trying to decide on a brand of Earl Grey.
As you can see, I also did not put on makeup.  The spoils of war, ladies.
(not zipped all the way, so it looks a little baggy here; but, this is a product of prizing efficiency)

I chose this dress for a couple reasons.  As my friend Sam pointed out (PS, she's coming to visit and stay with me on Wendesday; happy dance), it is one of the few with sleeves, making it one of the most practical.  Also, I love black.  But lastly, the print is pretty quintessential Prabal Gurung.  I had a second choice, but I had to sacrifice it for my must-have; that happens.  It was this dress on the left.

Anyway, there are some tips from a seasoned Targetista.  Hopefully it made you smile or helped you out.  And I hope that you got your must-haves!  I'm pretty happy with how my shopping experience turned out.

K, that's it for today.  Happy Monday.  Have an extra cup of coffee, warrior women.  You deserve it.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

The Tess Collection: Revlon Crème Brûlée

Here starts a new series that I'll add to about once a month or so, The Tess Collection.  My grandmother's name was Therese, and for as long as I can remember that's what everyone called her.  Then a few Christmases ago I asked her what she was called as a little girl.  She told me Tess.  I said, "I. Love. That."  I thought it was so cute.  Then a little while later, my aunt came over to have us sign the cast she was wearing--maybe she broke her arm?  I can't remember.  But anyway, my grandmother signed it "Tess."  She was delighted with herself, and said she hadn't been called that in a long time.  Then, soon after, my parents started taking her down to their lake house.  And there she was Tess, always.  She introduced herself as Tess and that's how people knew her.  When she went into assisted living she was also Tess.  By the end of her long life she had reinvented herself by reintroducing her girlhood nickname, and it was the cutest thing ever.  

I started blogging in 2009.  Around that time I was spending a lot of time with my grandma, and she of course noticed my constantly changing nails.  It inspired her to start up her own little collection.  When she died, I went over to her little apartment and scooped up her nail polish.  Her polishes were sitting on a crystal tray in her living room, and you might be surprised as to what an 89-year-old woman was wearing on her nails.  But for this first post, we'll start with a neutral, Revlon Crème Brûlée.

I'll admit that in the bottle this one didn't look like much.  I chose to wear it first because I remember my grandma wearing it (although I think she was sort of a habitual one-coater, so for the most part her polishes didn't look opaque most of the time).  Crème Brûlée is a sandy neutral with gold microshimmer.  The base also has warm, pink-ish undertones.  I love this one in sunlight, when the gold shimmer leaps out.  I also like it indoors because it's one of those elegant colors that isn't obtrusive, but makes my fingers look long and slender.  The formula was sort of sheer (but easy to work with) so I did three coats.  The other thing is that this polish is a little frosty, so if you look up-close in bright sunlight you can see brushstrokes.  I didn't mind that, though.  

This one reminds me a lot of OPI Sand In My Suit from the South Beach Collection of 2009.  The base colors are similar, with the Revlon being a little darker, but the shimmers are different; the OPI has silver shimmer, the Revlon has gold.  And I much prefer the Revlon.  Sand In My Suit is actually one of my least favorite polishes that I own (I really should give it away), so I was delighted to find that I actually really loved how Crème Brûlée looked on me.  

What I'm saying is that my grandma had good taste in polish.  And clothes and shoes.  I mean, look at her in 1945.

GIRL.  What a looker.  To me she was beautiful inside and out.

That's all for today.  Look for another installment of The Tess Collection on the 7th of March.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Back to Reality

Oh, where to start.  Things have been hard.  After my grandma died there was the funeral to deal with, and the inevitable family semi-drama that happens when someone dies.  After the funeral things started to calm down a little.  I caught a cold from my dad (my poor dad has had so much to deal with on top of being sick) and was lying low with Ben.  Then one morning, eight days after my grandma died, Ben found out that his grandmother died.  Basically the entire month of January was one big tragedy.  My semester started last Monday and I was supposed to be back in New York the day before that.  But Ben and I decided that it would be best if I delayed my leaving and stayed with his family during his grandmother's funeral and burial.  So that's what I did.  I told him more than once during the two-day viewing/funeral/burial that I just couldn't bear to be in a room with grieving people anymore.  Because I myself am still grieving; it was so hard for me to see his family so sad and to know exactly what they were feeling.  It was like it amplified my own sadness.  

So, I got back to New York several days late, missed my first [Monday] class, but was back in time for my first [Friday] class.  This week will be, I'm assuming, very busy.  I start learning German and I'll start back up again at work.  Then there's the pile of reading that keeps getting bigger and bigger even though it's only the second week of school.  It was so weird coming back to the city.  I was gone for so long, and now it almost feels like I never left.  My apartment was just the way I left it when I rushed out of here on December 21st.  And now this small space feels so oppressive and unbearably lonely.  I'm trying not to think about that, but the same old what-am-I-even-doing-here thoughts all came rushing back as soon as my plane landed at LaGuardia and I was by myself again.

Aside from all of that, I have two polishes to show you.  The first is OPI Steady As She Rose, which I wore for a second time during the second funeral I attended.  I think that it's going to become a favorite polish in my stash.  The first time I wore it I really loved it, but this time I really loved it.  I kept it on for six days and only took it off because it was starting to chip.
*I'm sorry that all of the following photos are absolutely awful*
I had two pictures of this--one was blurry and one not blurry.  I accidentally deleted the not blurry one.  Whoops.  I took this in the car on the way to the cemetery.  Hence the carnation and rose.

I like Steady As She Rose because it's a chameleon.  Sometimes it looks very pink and sometimes it leans decidedly more neutral.  It's a two-coats-to-opacity polish with a lovely formula.  I brought my bottle back to New York with me, so I think it will probably go into heavy rotation this winter/spring.

The second polish is OPI The Spy Who Loved Me.  When I was in Columbus and Ben was working, and I decided to go get a little manicure.  I chose this OPI, but I think the topcoat the girl doing my nails used just did not agree with my body chemistry; the polish was chipping by the next morning.  Oh well.

blur for sparklies

It's just your basic red with gold shimmer, but it's nice.  I don't think I'd ever buy this one for myself.  I liked wearing it, though.  For the twelve hours that I got to wear it.

That's all for now.  I would like to post one more time this week, but I'll have to see how that goes and how much time I have.  Thanks, everyone, for all of your well wishes and condolences, and for being patient.  I really appreciate all of that.