your reminder that some man-hating feminazis (TM) love make-up

One of the weirdest yet most creative and awesome things to emerge from the Hannibal fandom is the series of Aromaleigh mineral eyeshadows, “This Is My Design”. They released 2 or 3 a week while the 2nd season was airing, and finished the collection out with 30.

I recently purchased all 3 Urban Decay Naked palettes, and I figured that would be the stuff I wore from now until the heat death of the universe. I mean, it hits me right in my sweet spot–colorful enough to be interesting but still neutral, a wide range of shades from barely-there highlights to almost-blacks, and sparkly-shimmery. (The palettes contain matte shades, and I used to wear matte eyeshadow, but at some point in my mid-30s matte eyeshadows started to look really awful on my skin, like I had slapped mud onto my eyelids. So I stick to the sparkles now.)

But being a brown-eyed brunette with fair skin, I love warm gold-toned eyeshadows. And the Naked palettes only contain one, Half Baked, although it is in 2 of the 3 palettes. So I decided I couldn’t live without the TIMD shade Apiary one minute longer:


Inspired by Amanda Plummer’s sun room and jars of honey (the honey is people), it’s got enough brown/olive in it to keep it from being obnoxious.

So Aromaleigh hooked me with one shade, and then of course it just snowballed from there:

woofveneersurviveperceptionchrysalisbone arenaantler velvet

Basically I bought anything that was described as “greige”, had copper highlights, or looked like an interesting enough brown (which was all of the browns, so I had a hard time narrowing it down). Survive, Veneer, and Woof! are going to look amazing worn together, I think. Bone Arena and Chrysalis will both make great highlight colors. (The name Bone Arena comes from the pilot when Hannibal says to Will “No forts in the bone arena of your skull for the things you love”, which I love for its sheer baroqueness–it makes perfect sense in context, but it’s such a weird way to express the sentiment.) And Perception and Antler Velvet will make good lid and crease colors that will pair with a lot of things.

They’re on sale right now so I could justify buying 8. I think I will eventually also need these colors:

lure cygnus persuasion

Honorable mention:


My green eyeshadow-wearing days are behind me but HOLY SHIT I LOVE THIS COLOR. I wish there was some way to turn it into nail polish. (My green nail polish-wearing days are NOT behind me, although I rarely wear polish of any color nowadays.)

What I obsess about when I’m not obsessed with photography

I hate August. I was never crazy about it in the Bay Area, but my loathing has reached new depths since moving to Louisiana. Part of that is because it’s the start of hurricane season, something my family has not had good luck with in recent years: my grandparents lost their house in Rita, a couple weeks after Katrina; my parents were able to fix theirs, only to have it wrecked in Ike a few years later.

But mostly it’s just the weather. Summer (which lasts roughly half the year in south Louisiana) is never pleasant, and no two ways around it, but there’s something particularly nasty about August. It goes over 90 for most of the month, and it’s so humid that my sunglasses steam up whenever I leave an air-conditioned interior. Or maybe it’s been like that for weeks, and August is just when my tolerance starts to wear thin.

I was able to keep photographing outside until the middle of July–the last shoot I did was the Holy Rosary Institute in Lafayette the weekend before I went to California. But the lovely weather in Laguna Beach must have eroded whatever resistance I had built up, because I pretty much went into hibernation when I got home. Although next weekend is the Lomographers of Acadiana meetup; we’re doing the capitol building in Baton Rouge.  (I really wanted to do the Pharmacy Museum in New Orleans, but the last Saturday of August overlaps with Labor Day weekend, which is when Southern Decadence happens. It’s like Gay Mardi Gras. I’m not opposed to that or anything, I just don’t want to deal with the crowds. I avoid the French Quarter during actual Mardi Gras, too.)

So since I haven’t been able to obsess over photography, I’ve briefly transferred my attentions. For a few weekends I was scouring all the antique stores in Lafayette and Breaux Bridge, looking for vintage fountain pens. Most of what I came across were Wearevers, a cheap but respectable brand that churned out millions of pens in the decades surrounding WWII. It was the Kodak Brownie of fountain pens.

But I came across a real treasure at Lagniappe, my favorite store in Breaux Bridge, an Eversharp Doric in pristine cosmetic condition–it’s pre-WWII and made of celluloid, which eventually crystallizes and starts cracking, but none of that is evident in my pen.

This isn't my photo but my pen looks just like this one. For some reason green seems to have survived more than any other color Doric--or maybe Eversharp just made more of them in that color.

This isn’t my photo but my pen looks just like this one. For some reason green seems to have survived more than any other color Doric–or maybe Eversharp just made more of them in that color.

I don’t think the seller knew what they had, because they were charging about 1/3 of what they could have asked. That happens a surprising amount of time with antiques dealers, which just seems lazy to me. I mean I know they can’t know everything about everything (to use the American Pickers’ phrase), but wouldn’t you spend 5 minutes Googling the thing? Sometimes this leads them to charge way too much–I once saw a Tom’s Peanuts jar in the same store that had an $800 price tag, WTF–but more often it works to my advantage.

Anyway, I bought it and cleaned all the dried ink out of it. The vacuum fill won’t draw ink, but I was expecting that; rubber seals eventually dry up but it’s not a big deal to replace them. I have no experience working with vacuum fill pens and I’m sure not going to practice on this one, so I cruised some shops on Etsy that refurbish fountain pens, contacted a couple of the owners with good feedback, and asked if they took commissions. One guy in South Dakota who specializes in Eversharps quoted me $40, which is about what I expected to pay. Added to what I paid for the pen, it still comes to well under half of what I’ve seen pens in worse condition than mine go for online. I’ve seen pens in my condition sell for $300.

And of course I wound up buying a pen from him as well, an Eversharp Skyline (which I believe is the model that immediately followed the Doric).

I love the fantastic “dieselpunk” look this pen has. I am Team Dieselpunk, even if it is the redheaded stepchild of cyberpunk and steampunk.

Last weekend I decided to check out the secondhand bookstores in Lafayette, which I have shockingly neglected to do before this. Most of them were crappy and like 80% of their inventory was trashy romance novels, but there’s one on West Congress that was really cool. They have a history and a science section, and they sell art books and cookbooks, and had a bunch of funky old books on needlepoint and embroidery from the 1970s.

I got one of those “Images of America” books about New Orleans cemeteries, and an old edition of Clarence John Laughlin’s Ghosts Along the Mississippi. That’s kind of essential reading for any photographer working in south Louisiana, and new copies go for about $70, so I was happy to find it used. All the revised editions have the same 100 B&W plates; what do I care who wrote the introduction? I need a copy of Richard Sexton’s Vestiges of Grandeur, but that’s probably too new (and too pretty) to wind up in a secondhand bookstore. Amazon has it for $30, and I wouldn’t have to pay shipping with my Prime membership. That’s not a bad price for a large coffee table book that contains dozens of color photographs.

Basically I’m doing research with these books, for when it finally cools down enough to go back out with a camera. I’ve already found a couple of places in the Laughlin book and I’m not even finished looking at it. Although I always Google first, because a lot of those houses have been restored since he photographed them (boring!), and a few of them have been demolished or burned down or taken by the river.

mini Mississippi road trip: Kodak Ektar in the LC-A+

690526-R1-35-00A, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

Baptist Church in Rodney.

690526-R1-29-5A, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

Inside the church.

690526-R1-20-15A, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

Methodist church in Rodney. If you look to the left of the wrought iron tip, you can make out the cannon ball embedded in the wall.

690526-R1-16-19A, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

Inside the Methodist church.

690526-R1-09-26A, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

The Windsor Ruins.

690526-R1-11-24A, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

Bases of pillars at the Ruins.

I’d like to go back to the Windsor Ruins in high spring, like maybe a couple of months from now, when all those trees are blooming.

I didn’t finish the roll in Mississippi, so a few days ago I went to the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Lafayette. Of all the churches I’ve seen in Louisiana, that’s still my favorite, even more than St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. I haven’t been there since before I moved to Louisiana, and I’ve only ever taken digital shots with it, not film.

690526-R1-00-36A, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

This is a photo I took to compare and contrast with one of my favorite digital shots I’ve ever taken. The most obvious difference is depth of field, with film I couldn’t get both the angel and the church in focus, and I chose the angel.

The digital photo is visually cleaner, I cropped it extensively–something I’m reluctant to do with film, unless it just really needs it, like if someone’s arm is sticking into the photo or something–and I also crouched down so the granite surface of the tomb was level with the horizon of the photo. You don’t see any of the cemetery behind the angel, just the church.

And yet I’m hard-pressed to say which photo I like better. The digital shot is probably “better”; but the film shot has a certain texture that’s more pleasing to me, a contrast and a sense of what that particular moment in time was actually like. It’s not as “pretty” but it seems more “real”.

I guess which photograph you like more depends on what you, the viewer, are looking to get out of it.

In other photography news, I’ve discovered a couple of Etsy shops that specialize in vintage Soviet goods, and soon I will be the proud owner of a (film-tested) Smena 8M, manufactured by the LOMO factory in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg again) around the time that I was begging my parents to be allowed to stay up late enough to watch this edgy new cop show called Miami Vice. The Smena is a weird mix of cheap plastic housing, confusing manual controls, and a surprisingly good quality leaf shutter (like my beloved Arguses) and triple-element coated lens. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

The lens cap has a hammer & sickle bas-relief! It’s weird to feel nostalgic over something that you spent your childhood fearing, but I guess the key word is “childhood”. Besides, I was never one of those Gen X kids who worried about nuclear war. I always figured I’d die instantly, living so close to San Francisco and Silicon Valley, so what’s the point? I had more important things on my mind, like mastering Ms. Pac-Man and finding just the right shade of florescent blue jelly shoes.

They also have Leicas that were released in honor of Lenin’s 90th birthday that look BAD ASS, but those are currently a wee bit out of my range. I’m keeping them bookmarked, though.

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the lost art of paper & pen

Wow, I haven’t been posting much of anything other than photos lately. I’ve been writing more in my paper journals, but it’s never anything I think anyone would be interested in. Except for in the various LJ journaling groups I belong to, which is where I found something called Lost Crates. Basically you sign up, take a short personality quiz, and for $38 per month they send you a bunch of notebooks, pens and other stationery supplies.

I Googled it and read some reviews of people who’ve gotten at least one shipment, and most people seemed to feel that what they got was worth the money, so I joined. I like the idea of letting people pick out things that I might not normally think to try for myself. $38 every single month is a lot (although that includes the shipping), but I figure I’ll do it for a couple-three months until I have a stockpile (well, more of a stockpile; I love pens and notebooks), then quit until I’ve used most of it up. You can quit and re-join as often as you want without extra fees.

I also joined the Fountain Pen Network, which is a forum for people who like fountain/dip pens, stationery, and weird bottled inks; not to mention the lost art of correspondence. There’s  a place to swap addresses for people who want to write letters to each other; I got my first postcard today. Nothing real deep, it’s just fun to receive mail and people so rarely bother to send it nowadays. (I also joined the Letters Writers Alliance!)

Stuff I have recently purchased:

  • Field Notes “County Fair”, Louisiana edition. Field Notes are the new Moleskine, only better because they’re made in the USA and use Futura font. If I like them I will get California, too.
  • Behance Dot Grid Journal.  I like graph paper cahiers better than lined journals, I’m interested to see what it’s like to write on dot grid paper.
  • A lap desk. I had daydreams of some wooden Victorian contraption, but in the end went for simple and plastic. Also easy to shove under the bed for the 23 hours a day I don’t need it.
  • International Girl Aerogrammes. I have letters to send as well as receive.
  • Noodler’s Ink in Baystate Blue. People who use this ink are fanatical about it, so I thought I’d see what all the fuss is about.
  • Heeding the advice that the ink stains everything it touches (it’s waterproof) and people recommend you not use it in your best fountain pen, I also bought one of Noodler’s Ink fun little retro-styled resin fountain pens, in turquoise.

And currently I’m debating between getting the Pelikan P58 and the Lamy Al-Star. (Currently the Lamy has a slight edge, because it’s thicker and therefore probably more comfortable to grip.) I want a more “work day” fountain pen than my Waterman. Something that I don’t freak out over when I drop it or forget it at work.

So, what are you obsessed with lately?

season 3 of ‘true blood’ tonight!

Eric Northman gently encourages you to tune to HBO at 9:00 pm (8:00 pm Central)

(Contains spoilers for season two, so don’t come crying to me about how I ruin everything if you haven’t seen it yet.)

This will be the first season of True Blood I will be able to watch as it airs, not having previously had HBO (at least not since I was a kid). I just finished watching the second season a few days ago, and was pleased that it was just as awesome as the freshman season.

I briefly considered reading the third book this weekend, but decided against it. I read the first two, and it was enough to make me see that while Charlaine Harris has some original ideas (not easy to do in a genre that’s been pretty well — PUN ALERT — bled dry), she expresses them kind of… childishly. She does that fanfic-y thing that drives me batty, where she’s constantly describing via the first person narrative what’s going on, instead of letting the dialogue and action illustrate it. Plus, I find the character of Bill Compton to be rather dull in the books. Book Bill never says things as hilarious as “I will not allow you to dress like a slattern!”

Also, I do not need the details of every outfit Sookie Stackhouse wears over the course of every book described to me in minute detail. Jesus.

Actually, now that I think about it, most of what I enjoy about the show — vampires as the new “others” attempting to integrate into society with varying degrees of success — is mostly Alan Ball’s spin on the show. I mean, it’s there in the books, but it’s just kind of there. It doesn’t drive the story as much.

Anyway, season 2 certainly gave us plenty to chew on.

  • Who snatched Bill being chief among them, of course. I’m guessing Lorena (and not Eric) is involved, but maybe it will be some crazy left-field thing.
  • Why does Sophie-Ann want to keep mental tabs on every redneck V addict in Louisiana? And why is Sookie’s cousin shacking up with her, and why did Bill seem to know all about it?
  • What the hell is the deal with Sookie and her Magical Electric Blood? I know what the deal is in the books, but it’s a totally retardo explanation, so I’m sort of hoping the show has a different one in mind.
  • Will there be any fallout from Jason shooting Eggs and Andy covering it up? How will Tara take it (I’m guessing: badly)? Will Lafayette continue to be plagued with PTSD, yet still manage to be fabulous?
  • And finally: Will Sam Merlotte finally find someone who isn’t in love with vampires or stringing him along to set him up for ritual sacrifice? Because he has such sad eyes. Oh and also will he find his birth parents, yadda yadda whatever.

terrible news, everyone!

If Futurama was an anime

If Futurama was an anime

Remember how giddy we all felt upon hearing that Fox finally greenlit the relaunch of Futurama? Well, you should have known they would find some way of pissing all over our joy: They’re recasting essentially the entire cast:

Twentieth Century Fox, which is still producing the series even though new episodes will air on Comedy Central, is recasting the major voice roles for the show. That means no more Billy West (Fry, Professor, and Ziodberg), Katey Sagal (Leela), John DiMaggio (Bender), Maurice LaMarche (Kif Kroker, among others), or Tress MacNeil (Mom, and several others).Fox released a statement saying “We love the Futurama voice performers and absolutely wanted to use them, but unfortunately, we could not meet their salary demands. While replacing these talented actors will be difficult, the show must go on.”

Well, you can go on without me, assholes. I have less than no interest in a Futurama that doesn’t feature Billy West, Katy Sagal, or John DiMaggio.

Also, way to blame it on the actors. You stay classy, Fox. (I don’t give a rat’s ass if Katy Sagal demanded diamond-encrusted toilet seats in her trailer. Cough it up, you cheap, soulless bastards.)

“ponyo” trailer

Here’s the trailer for Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film, due for North American release in August:

Like pretty much all his films, it looks simultaneously adorable and slightly disturbing. (Except for Princess Mononoke, which was AWESOME and very disturbing.) I have no idea what it’s about, something about a fish who wants to become a human girl… and has to save the world, I guess? Who cares, it’s Miyazaki. I’ll see it.

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