Monday, September 21, 2009

A little kindness – and a little slow


Hello, all!

I wanted first to apologize for my frequent silences, both on this blog and in comments on other blogs.  I am trying to get all of my mom’s stuff taken care of, which is a huge emotional drain, as well as a little like digging those tunnels in a sand box or on the beach.  Every time I take a scoop out, more sand falls in.  It’s miserable.  But it also takes up a lot of my time, and what time I spend doing it is also extended by my emotional healing time afterwards.  Currently, that’s running along the lines of reading fiction – any life but my life, if you know what I mean.

Also, last Saturday, I was down with my father going through his mother’s old things that my uncle had taken, as my uncle died just a few weeks before my mother did.  (Has anyone else noticed what a crummy year 2009 is?  I can’t tell you the number of people that I know that have lost loved ones, and my father is scarcely the only one I know who has suffered multiple blows in a very short time span.) 

Anyway, we found a huge number of photographs from early in the twentieth century, and it was awesome (meaning it caused awe) and a little sad to see all of these people that lived and worked and trudged on through life, and now we have absolutely no idea who any of them are.

It was also fascinating to see what people took pictures of in that age before the instant gratification of digital feedback, and even before Polaroid.  Remember then?  When you took photos and wouldn’t find out for, at best, days what the end result was?  I’m sure personal cameras and film were also probably pretty pricey back then.  The really early photos were, I think, professionally done, as they were all on thick cardstock, rather like cardboard.  Fascinating.

The funniest point of the day, though, was when we got to the bottom of the box, underneath all of the photos and letters (remember when written correspondence was a regular occurrence?), there were three large porcelain pieces wrapped in paper.  The first one I pulled out was a bottle of Jim Beam “100 Day Old” Bourbon memorializing 50 years of the naval reserve – 1924 to 1974.  The next one, as I started to unwrap it, I knew contained more bourbon.  I could smell is even before I got halfway there.  It was a trout or bass, honoring the fisherman’s association, or something along those lines.  It was cracked, and as such, my dad dumped the liquor down the sink.  (I *know* there’s got to be at least one person out there reading this now with a sob catching in their throat!)  The final bottle was a large model of Italy, whose cork had broken off, with half of the cork still inside the neck.  Dad, being Dad, promptly had to test the cork out and, pop!, into the drink it sank.  So then that 100-day-old (“Well, more than that now,” as my dad said) went down the drain.

Now someone’s really sobbing!

And if you’ve ever smelled bourbon, you know it does not “go gentle into that good night.”  Having had several drops spilled on my fingers, and after having to sop a good deal of it up from his desk, I knew that I’d better be good driving home.  If I’m pulled over for a busted taillight and my window gets rolled down. . . .

My dad, being the helpful, paternal sort he is, suggested I “demand a breathalyzer!”  So that was my Saturday.  How was yours? 

Sorry for the long tale.  I thought you’d find it partially enlightening, and partially humorous.  I hope so, anyway!

So now that you know why I’ve been (and, unfortunately, am likely to continue to be) a little slow, let me share my little kindness.

You may recall that I mentioned how Wixbetty was one of the two people that sent random, caring happiness my way when I really, really needed it.  (I now have a new person to add, too, Pushpa, but she will also get her own full story, so I’ll just mention her here for now.)

Back in late May, she wrote a post offering a “Good Neighbor Giveaway” (I love that name).    She basically offered to give away several of Orly’s long-discontinued Satin Hues (one each) to people who were having a hard time.  Boy, was I living in the middle of Downtown Having A Hard Time.  So she let me pick which color I liked, and after drooling for a long time, I chose Satin Finesse.





The first thing that I want to relate is how insanely long the brush stem is!  If you look at the top picture, you have an idea how tall the bottle is.  If you look at the bottom picture, you get an idea why polish bottles aren’t usually designed that way anymore.  To be fair, it didn’t make it especially hard to apply the color, it was just very different. and application didn’t feel as “second nature” as it usually does.

The formula itself went on very smoothly, but I did need to apply three coats.  As I try to make my coats thin, I could see a little bit of streakiness in a few spots after two.






While the Satin Hues have very matte-like qualities, they are also distinctly different.  For one thing, these did dry pretty quickly, but unlike the only mattes I’ve tried to date – Zoya’s – this doesn’t actually dry during application, which makes application much easier.  I don’t know if the recommendation was not to use a base coat when these first came out, but I used one.  However, it’s almost as hard to hide nail flaws with these as with the mattes.  If you look closely, you can find a couple of bumps on my nails in the bottom photo.  (IRL, it doesn’t look quite so black as that photo makes out.)

But there is one major, major difference between the Satin Hues and mattes.  I wasn’t able to take outdoor shots until late the second day (in fact, they’re are near-sunset shots).  Look how well this top coat-less polish held up:






And the best part?  Because I hadn’t been warned of the millions of things that could ruin the polish, like using lotion, I wasn’t afraid to just use my hands without obsessing about what might happen.

By the beginning of the third day of wear, I was starting to notice a little bit of tipwear, so I decided it was time to slap on a coat of Sally Hansen’s Chrome top coat (that I got free attached to other polishes).

As Janice would say, “Oh.  My.  Gahd.”








Did you see the depth?  Did you see the shimmer?  Did you feel like you were looking out, dining at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe?



If not, then look again:




I can’t believe how gorgeous this color is!  In both finishes, truly, but the one with the top coat, just – wow.

So I have to say thank you, thank you, thank you again to her, and to anyone that passes along kindness in this world.  You never know how badly people need it, sometimes.


  1. *hugs* 2009 does seem to be a hard year. I am wishing you all the best though and sending lots of love from here in Aus :)
    On the plus side I loooove the purple! I'm not usually a fan of mattes but this has so much shimmer it looks divine! <3

  2. Thanks so much, Violet! I've been meaning to reply to your comment on your site for ages - I hope to make it down that way sometime - I have a friend both in Brisbane and Aukland, New Zealand. Maybe you can introduce me to the wonders of Tim Tams :)

    The purple is *gorgeous* - and I'm with you, not being so into the mattes. These satins seem to be the perfect happy medium!

    Love your new photo, BTW

  3. I love your long posts. I still have a hard time going thru pictures of my family. My Mom had tons of photos. It's really sad that there are people who's identity is a complete mystery. It's also wonderful looking at all of them. They drag up loads of memories. I know it's really hard right now since things happened not long ago. I think that has been a pretty crap year. I'll be glad when it's over. It's amazing that you don't have to wait for pictures anymore. You always wondered if the pictures were going to turn out. I went to a wedding a long time ago and my Dad's side of the family were there. Well I hadn't seen my cousins since I was little. I took lots of pictures. The only ones that came out were the pictures of my Mom's side of the family. I said jokingly that my Mother put her hand over the lens of the camera so there wouldn't be any pictures of Dad's side of the family. My Dad's sisters were really rough on my Mom. I really wish I had those pictures. My one cousin looked exactly like my Dad when he was young. I would have loved all of those pictures. Damn that technology. It's really funny what you find that's saved. So take your time and I know it's very upsetting. When my Mom died I of course was very upset but also very calm. I was able to deal with everything very calmly and everyone said how wonderful I was. Three years later it hit me hard. I was in a supermarket and the policeman who came to our house when I called 911 was behind me in line. I saw him and I just left everything on the converyor belt and burst out crying and left. After that I was a wreck. I saw Doctors and nurses that were in the hospital with my Mom. Her favorite songs came on the radio, Christmas carols all were so upsetting. So I understand what your going thru. Sorry for going on so long.

  4. You don't have to apologize for your long silence, I rather myself figured it was something along those lines, having read some of your previous posts - it's a LOT to go through, literally as well as mentally. However, it is nice to see how you're doing, so I am glad you put up a post :)
    Although I'm not close to either my mother or my father - too long and complicated and you probably don't want to hear that, haha - I was very, very close to my maternal grandmother. When she passed, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I think I was in denial that she was as sick as she was. Even today, though it's been 9 years (!!!), the strangest things will make me burst into tears thinking of her. It's a long recovery, and quite a bittersweet one.
    Isn't it amazing the things you find while going through stuff, especially an older person ?
    At any rate, that's a lovely, lovely polish, and what a sweet offer to do something like that. It looks fantastic on you. That seems to me more appealing than a lot of the mattes that have been coming out - and glossy, it's even more stunning.

  5. Lucy -- Never apologize for writing too much - I absolutely love to read your perspecitves! I smile about the photos of your dad's side not coming out, even though I am sure you were really frustrated on that point. I can also understand why seeing that policeman tore you down like that - since my mother was in hospice, within a week or so I wanted all of that medical equipment out of her house. And what wasn't picked up was donated or thrown away. And I also know that everyone grieves in their own way, and their own time. There is no "right way" to go - and your story impresses that point on me all the more.

    Nicole -- The one thing I have heard from everyone who has lost a parent (and, I'm sure, any loved one, but the people who I've talked to talk about a parent) has said that years can go by, but something, anything, out of the blue can reduce them to tears. Apparently it's something that never goes away. And I have to admit, as terrifying as it is for me to think of, possibly, fifty-plus more years of that, I am also glad to know that she will always matter as much to me as she does now.
    I laugh at the stuff of an older person, especially one you don't know well, as I didn't know my grandmother (I'm ashamed to say). Trying to piece together who they were from this kind of evidence is really almost fascinating!
    If I ever see any more of these satin hues, I will pick up any and all I can, and if I have some dupes, I'll send them along to others to enjoy!