Tuesday, November 29, 2011

an allegory of mascara

Here's the thing about the Mary Kay people: When it comes to their makeup, they have boundary issues. It's a truth supported in no small part by the fact that they drive non-ironic pink cars. When my mom was a PR executive at the corporate office in Dallas, she'd tell outrageous-sounding tales of the mass hysteria that would follow the announcement of a product's discontinuation.

According to my mom, droves of menopausal women would call and write to her, promising to boycott the company, stage protests, and set things on fire. She swears to have received more than one thinly-veiled suicide threat. I always pictured Kathy Bates' character in Fried Green Tomatoes as the scorned customer in these scenarios. Then it happened to me.

Is there an aesthetic situation more tragic than clumpy eyelashes? Clump happens because most mascaras applicators have as much sturdiness as a ball of peach fuzz. Maybelline's Lash Stylist comb, though, was like a jagged razor blade laced with barbed wire. That's why it was so wonderful.

Lash Stylist was my six-dollar holy grail mascara for five years. Its power was firmly rooted in one four-letter word: Comb. The comb gave birth to eyelash offspring. No Eyelash Left Behind.

When I learned it was being discontinued, I began to buy two and three tubes at a time. Spring turned into summer and one day she was gone, her usual spot occupied by something called "Lash Stiletto".

One more time in slow motion please: Lash Stiletto.

In my mind, this abomination was the brainchild of a Maybelline ad exec who, while facing a midlife crisis, decided they'd inject new life into the brand by attempting to target an overlooked demographic: Prostitutes.

They need mascara too.

Although they vetoed Oh Brothel Where Art Thou? and Lashes With Low Self Esteem, the Maybelline people decided that loose morals were in again. This decision took away my favorite mascara, but taught me a profound lesson about myself: I am the Mary Kay people.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

new little project

I've received a battalion of e-mails over the years from people who thought they were talking to someone else. I saved them all. The result is e-mails from strangers. This is your invitation to join in on the voyeurism.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

self-critiques of my new orleans photographs assuming i'm 40

What is going on here? It appears to be a wedding of some sort, but your ratios are all wrong. Also, someone should tell the bride and groom that it isn't raining even a little bit. It's 90 in the shade and you are marinating in your own sweat.

So Maury took your phone and then addressed your dad by your married last name. Hardy har har! This falls under the "funny at the time and even then only to you for two minutes" category. Yet you took exactly 12 photos of the non-event, 11 of them with flash. In a nice restaurant with tuxedo-clad waiters and white table cloths. Take an etiquette class and then get a less-sad looking phone.

Clearly you didn't actually take this photo since you're all...  in it and stuff. But Self. Your fleshy arms are all smashed up in such a fashion that they look behemoth even next to the prominent mid-section of Darius the Pat O'Brien's bouncer. This too is the kind of stuff you'll learn in etiquette class.

Here's the problem: While lovely, it's the only (discernible) photo of the bachelorette you took all weekend. Bad, bad bridesmaid.


A strange male in denim cutoffs about to ride a mechanical bull + Hewitt and a Taco Bell cup in the background? Really captures the spirit of New Orleans. Hashtag sarcasm.

So you went into creepy mode, all hiding and squatting and otherwise contorting your body to get the perfect candid shot. You will not be able to get away with this much longer without getting arrested for indecent exposure. Also, consider taking a photography class. <3

I'll be honest, I enjoyed this one. Love acts!? Literal LOL.

Look, Claire and Maury walking on a random street, totes captivating!

Claire is uncomfortable because it is not normal to have one's close-up photo taken, even by a friend, while one is eating a popsicle. Once again, you learn this in etiquette school.

Here, you both knocked over a display book thus causing a domino effect landslide of early 20th century literature AND tripped over a cat's litter box. You, 28-year-old self,  failed.

It's your artistic effort that counts. I guess.

Remember your "I Aspire to Become a Tory Burch Shoe Photographer" phase? Awkward.

Idée lumineuse!

No, no, no self! We do not take photos of strangers unless they are very famous. I hope you feel sufficiently ashamed.

Redemption Jambalaya.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

fredericksburg {a memoir}

This one time*, my three best soul sistas from high school and I took a highly anticipated trip to the Texas Hill Country.
*: last week

drawn, of course, completely to scale.

As the front seat passenger, I assumed the weighty responsibility of dee-jaying the six hour drive. A 3-1 vote determined that only music from our high school years would be allowed. Highlight: Wide Open Spaces by the Dixie Chicks. I belted out the album in its entirety, remembering the the days of no responsibility when the Dixie Chicks were apolitical and still made music. Lowlight: Little Black Backpack.

We found this homemade gem buried deep within Lindsey's CD case:

made by not just Amy -- made by "Amy!"
Back in the day, Amy had a both a CD burner and access to Napster before anyone else. Luckily, she's always delighted in doing nice things for her friends. Drop a not-very-subtle hint that you liked the new Britney song and the next morning, voila! She'd hand you a personalized CD before 1st period... with a seascape on the cover!

But I digress. We got to Fredericksburg and to our cottage. It looked like this:

We ate dinner at Hondo's on Main Street. It looked like this:

So far as I can tell, queso is more or less non-existent in California. A of all, this state is ass-backwards; B of all, to compensate we wolfed down a bowl per meal. Except once when we plowed through two.

We went to Luckenbach, Texas.

Not too much going on on a Thursday night, but then again:

The population is 3. Or is it?
A bartender named Moon Dawg informed us that this is incorrect and that the population is now 1. We also met a female security guard named Carmen and an over-served 60-something man, presumably a regular, named Joohhhhtttthhhhrrrt.

I highly recommend Fredericksburg Trade Days for a low-key antiquing experience and because of this:

and this:

and this:
and this:

We also went wine tasting at Becker Vineyards. Henri from France was our sommelier.

When he's not pouring wine, Henri is a cowboy. He really, really liked Amy. "Amy, I am so glad I have met you," he said. His son goes to the University of Oklahoma, which is where Amy went to school. A photo op was born.

 We took photos of random things.

We went to Buc's. Karaoke happened.

Then it was time to go home. :(

*Special thanks to Lindsey for letting me share some of her photos (she took the ones that are good) and for the photography lessons while we were in Fredericksburg! She's the bomb dot gov.