Monday, January 30, 2012

Links, Pictures and Other Assorted Items That May or May Not Interest You

Today I saw a lady wearing these shoes. I snuck a picture, because of reasons.

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History Lessons: The Point of the All Star Game by Ellen Etchingham. This is a great article about how the ASG got started and how far it has strayed from its roots since then. I love Ellen Etchingham. She is the greatest. I want to read a million more things written by her. You should go read this even if you don’t care about hockey because it’s insightful and educational and enjoyable to read and all right maybe I just really want to be her best friend, okay? That’s all I want! I won’t hide my feelings any longer!!!!!

Anyway… this is her third article for Backhand Shelf. If you read it and liked it and want to read more from her and/or learn more about hockey in general, make sure to check out her other articles, because they’re just as wonderful:
The Franchise of Theseus: A Rant on Relocations
History Lessons: On General Managers, Rats, and Art Ross’s Teeth

Also here is her personal blog. Yeah, I stalk it. (In a non-creepy way.) (Note: still all about hockey.)

Here’s a picture of my favorite thing to happen all All Star Weekend:

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He still stopped the puck, by the way.

Downton Pawnee. My favorite tumblr.

And now here is a video of a Lego man going into space. (Thanks to Elizabeth for showing this to me.

I don’t know when I’ll next be updating. It really depends on the Avs. The All Star break ended today. Last year, this marked the beginning of the end, where after the break they won only five games the rest of the season. If that happens again… but it’s not going to happen again. It’s not. It just won’t. It can’t. Okay? It WILL NOT happen this year. Things are going to be DIFFERENT this year! Matt Duchene said they would!!! And we have Landeskog now, and competent goalies (relatively)! EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE FINE…

The point is, if I’m too busy being curled up in the fetal position sobbing over my hockey team, I might not post. Or if I do, it’ll be sad rants about hockey that nobody reads anyway. I DO know that I have a great Valentine’s Day post planned. Well, “great” meaning… um, you’ll see.

I will leave you with this performance by my current favorite, Drake, in Ottawa this weekend. (The best parts are of the players who left the locker room during the intermission to watch.)

That owl is awesome.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Girl Post About Girl Things That Girls Like According to Other Girls

So I’m a lady and I have many interests. Hockey, football, cats, grilled cheese sandwiches, blogging infrequently, Jane Austen movies, staying inside, sleeping during the day, shoe shopping, science fiction TV shows, video games, Ryan Gosling, the internet, makeup… pretty standard stuff.

Oh… wait, not all of those things are stereotypical girl things. Some are (makeup, Jane Austen, shoes), some are stereotypically guy things (sports, sci-fi, video games), and some are just regular old things that everybody loves (sleeping, the internet, Ryan Gosling). Wow! Look at that! I’m a person! I’m an actual person and I don’t fit into a neat little box! How amazing and surprising and totally unusual, except for the part where that also describes every other person who has ever existed, anywhere, ever.

The point is, I’m a person and I like things, just like how you’re a person and you like things, and there’s no one thing about you that defines you unless you let it do that.

That’s all a preface for the post that is about to happen, which is totally about makeup. Yes, that is a stereotypically girly thing, but I really love it, okay? It’s fun to play with. It’s like art, but on your face! Remember when you were a kid, and you had markers, and you would draw all over yourself, or your friends, and then you’d get yelled at? Well, makeup is like that, but you’re allowed to do it! I feel sorry for guys because they don’t get to mess with it without getting teased! Oh, society, you’re such a killjoy.

All right, let’s get on with it. This is a post about what I do when I put on my eye makeup, because I thought, well, someone might care. Ha ha! Maybe!

Let’s start with a picture of me without eye makeup. Don’t I look horrible and gross and like a complete ZOMBIE? Or maybe like an ALIEN from outer SPACE who doesn’t know about the RULES of how to look GOOD and ACCEPTABLE when you’re a lady living on Earth? I mean, I can barely even LOOK at myself in the MIRROR when I know I’m going to see this…

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Oh. Uhhhhhhhh… I just look like a person. A regular person. How is that possible?! Cosmo told me something different!?

You know, I go out like this sometimes. Often. Because you know what? I don’t always feel like putting on makeup! It’s time consuming and sometimes I just don’t feel like it! And that’s okay! No one has to wear makeup, ever! This is a free country, you know! There aren’t any makeup requirements! I just, you know, thought I would point that out, because some people seem to be under the impression that there are actual rules about these things.

But seriously. You don’t have to wear makeup if you don’t want to, and you shouldn’t feel bad if that’s the case. It doesn’t matter. NOBODY CARES, you don’t look like a zombie or an alien or “like death” or anything like that. You look like a beautiful person who deserves to be treated like a person regardless of whether you smeared some colored powder on your eyelids that day or not. Because that’s what you are. And I am going to KEEP SAYING THAT until I change the world.

(This is the longest post about makeup ever and literally no one is going to read it.)

This all is the stuff I use for eye makeup.

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From right to left:
1. Revlon Fabulash mascara.
2. Urban Decay black liquid eyeliner, which is by far the most expensive thing in that picture and I splurged in a big way when I bought it. Usually I use the Physcian's Formula liquid eyeliner and I'm probably going back to that when I use this one up.
3. Cheap blending brush (maybe cost $3 at Target).
4. Cheap eye shadow brush (cost $1 at Target).
5&6. Rimmel soft kohl eye liner pencils – these two are white and purple.
7. Revlon cream eye shadow palette.
8. Rimmel eye shadow quad.

I would put in links to these specific products but they aren’t paying me and I’m too lazy to do that. All you need to know is... I got all of it at Target except the Urban Decay thing which I got at Sephora.

All right, first thing… use the cream eye shadow as a primer. It helps the rest of the makeup stay in place and last longer. You can also use a primer, which is a product specifically designed for this purpose, but I find those redundant and expensive and therefore not worth it when this will work just as well. (Maybe it doesn’t work just as well. I have no idea. But this is fine.)

I used the second color in this picture – usually I use the fourth one, but as you can see, that one is pretty much all used up.

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Looks like this:

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Next, take your $1 eye shadow brush and load up on some of the prettiest purple color on the Rimmel quad.

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I usually cover the entire lid with it, liiiike this:

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Then take the darkest purple color and smudge some of that on the corners and into the crease a little bit.

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Don’t worry if it looks terrible and messy, it doesn’t really matter right now because you’re going to blend it all together with your crappy cheap blending brush that you really need to replace.

So now that you’ve blended that together to your satisfaction, take some of the lightest purple that isn’t white and use that on the inner corner. Then blend it in some more. This isn’t what it tells you to do on the eye shadow directions, but screw the directions, I do what I want!

You don’t need a picture of what it looks like after that. You get it. (I forgot to take one.)

Next, white kohl eyeliner on the “lower water line.” Do you know how I know that term? Because I watch makeup tutorials on YouTube. Yeah. I’m educated. It's as good as going to beauty school, probably.

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The white eyeliner on the lash line is supposed to make your eyes look bigger, and I think it works pretty well. While my eyes aren’t exactly tiny, I still like how it looks.

Now the black eyeliner on the upper lash line (another term I got from my YouTube learnings). If you ever go for this Urban Decay stuff, be warned that it can be really messy (another reason I'll be going back to Physician's Formula - the applicator is so much easier to wield).

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I’m not sure why I did it in this order, but anyway, next I took the purple kohl eyeliner and used that on the lower lash line, under the white eyeliner. I don’t always do this, it looks okay with just the white eyeliner, but I felt like it today.

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(Sooooo… that picture’s a little blurry but you know what, taking photos of your own eye is not exactly easy, so give me a break.)

Now all that’s left is mascara on the top and bottom and we're done, woooo. Cool story, I remember this one girl who lived in my dorm freshman year of college who said it took her half an hour to put on her mascara. That is 100% NOT necessary. If you’re spending that much time trying to make your eyelashes look longer and thicker or whatever, just get some fake lashes and save yourself the trouble.

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So there you go.

I’m not going to pretend to be an expert or anything. And this isn’t even what I do every single day, makeup-wise. Sometimes I just do the cream shadow and the mascara and that’s it. Sometimes I don’t do any eyeliner. Sometimes I’ll only wear the mascara. And sometimes… au naturel.

If anyone has read down this far I would be surprised, but I want to again reiterate that makeup is superfluous. It’s really, really irrelevant. If you want to wear it, go for it. If you don’t, don’t feel like you have to make excuses for yourself, because there’s no need. I don’t see “women must wear makeup to be beautiful” written on any stone tablets anywhere.

Cosmo lies to us. Society’s pressures can suck it. Do what you want.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Why can’t there be AM eateries open in the evening, so I don’t have to get up as early?

Today I went out for brunch with my mom at Snooze over at SouthGlenn Mall. Sorry, it’s actually “the Streets at SouthGlenn” now, but that has always sounded a little snooty to me. Maybe that’s what they’re going for, but I’m not about to give in. Back in the day, it was just a regular, ratty old mall, but then they remodeled it and turned it inside out and it’s a strip mall now. Now it has awesome things like Snooze and a giant Whole Foods with a great cafĂ© and perfect chocolate chip cookies. It’s also got one of those movie theaters where they serve you dinner while you watch a movie (not anything close to Alamo Drafthouse, I’m sure, but what is?).

Let’s be real, it’s a lot better than it used to be, but I’m still not calling it “the Streets at SouthGlenn.”

Anyway, Snooze is pretty adorable.

snooze

They played hipster music (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vampire Weekend, Feist, etc.) while we ate pancakes. What more could a person like me ask for? Not a whole lot.

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This is a red velvet pancake. To quote the menu, “Red velvet buttermilk batter topped with espresso infused maple syrup, a touch of cream cheese frosting and chopped pecans.” That’s right. The syrup has caffeine in it. I’ll be honest, overall it was kind of a weird experience for my taste buds, probably because my brain registered “pancake” more than “red velvet” and was confused when I tried to reconcile that flavor with that food in my mouth. The syrup was pretty tangy for what I expected, too. Still. I wasn’t about to pass up the chance to try this, and if you go, you shouldn’t either.

I also had some hash browns, which were delicious. It’s hard to get hash browns wrong, but it is possible to get them right.

hashbrowns

And for those who may be interested… there is also a bar. I repeat, this is a brunch restaurant with a bar.

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Also, a hi-def TV with ESPN. Yes, I did take this picture when they were showing a clip from a hockey game. Of course I did.

Here are a few other assorted pictures…

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seat

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My beautiful mama:

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And me.

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(I got contacts recently, in case anybody was wondering about that.)

(I know no one was.)

Stay tuned for more legitimate blog posts about actual things I have done, maybe!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Peter Mueller, You’re My Hero

One of the (few) bonuses of being unemployed at the moment is having the free time to go hang out at hockey rinks. Specifically, the hockey rink at which the Colorado Avalanche hold their practices. I wish I had realized a long time ago that their practices were free and open to the public, but I only started going last year when Peter Forsberg came back. Which turned out to be a great decision, considering he didn’t play any home games at all last year – though I was at the game that would have been his first one back if he hadn’t retired, but… you know what, let’s not talk about it.

Anyway, the Avs only have three home games this month, which means they don’t have as many practices at home (obviously). I was at the game on Wednesday with my parents (and if you didn’t see it, or hear about it, or anything, you missed out, because it was probably the best game I’ve ever been to) (I say that a lot though. But this time it’s for real). Because they won, I decided to go to their practice this morning. It’s always a lot more fun after they win. I’ve been to practices after they lose, and I can attest to that (see: the game I mentioned attending in the first paragraph).

Today to end practice, they did a shootout, for funsies, and it was pretty hilarious. The best part was when Erik Johnson tried to do this move to Giguere. (He failed.)

Here are a couple pictures:

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But the game. Let’s talk about that. This particular game was against the Florida Panthers, the team they beat in 1996 for their first Stanley Cup. (First professional sports championship by any team in Denver, by the way, and it only took them a year to do it.) Nobody currently on either team was there for that playoff series, but, y’know, just thought I’d mention it.

The reason this game was my favorite that I’ve been to was mainly due to this guy:

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This is Peter Mueller. Peter Mueller came over in a trade with the Phoenix Coyotes like two years ago, and he played 15 awesome games for the Avs before getting concussed. He was ready to go by the next training camp, but in a preseason game, he suffered another concussion that had him out for the entire 2010-2011 season. This year, he came back for the preseason and then three regular season games before being out again with more concussion symptoms. It was a nightmare, and really sad, because guys retire over things like this, and he’s only 23.

He came back a few games ago, and he was playing well. Like, really well. Much better than he was in those first three games this season. He had tons of scoring chances and was definitely helping the team. But he hadn’t scored any goals or gotten any assists until this game against the Panthers.

Here’s his first goal. It happened right in front of us.

Here’s his second goal. It also happened right in front of us.

And then he got an assist on the game tying goal, which sent it into overtime, where Ryan O’Reilly would score his first ever regular season overtime goal. It was awesome. (I also happened to be at the game where Matt Duchene scored his first ever regular season overtime goal… fun fact.) Here are the full highlights, if you happen to be interested.

Here are a few more pictures I took before the game started…

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Hahaha okay… this picture makes me laugh. Laughing to avoid crying over how horrible and old our jumbotron is. Or I guess we could call it “vintage.” Just like that song reference.

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Here’s Peter Mueller getting interviewed after being named the #1 star of the game… and here’s the video of that interview. I’ve never seen an athlete so grateful to the fans before. I’m kind of really glad he decided to save his official comeback for that home game. Getting to cheer for him in person after everything he went through was wonderful. (He also seemed to have a little extra jump in practice this morning… wonder why.)

“The question isn't, ‘What are we going to do?’ The question is, ‘What AREN’T we going to do?’" –Ferris Beuller

(If anyone wants to see any more of my not very good and very amateur hockey photography, you can! Click here to go to my Flickr account.)

And now, to wrap up this incredibly hockey-heavy post, here is a video that nicely sums up the sentiments of my previous post in a much prettier and less verbose way.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I Like Sports.

People can be snobs about a lot of things. If you like that band or that singer or that genre of music, your taste is invalid. If you willingly saw that movie and admit to liking it, you’re a peon. And don’t even get me started on what kind of person you are if you like sports! Or even if you like that sport more than this other one…

Etc.

Personally, I’ve always been of the “live and let live” mindset when it comes to things like this. You like your thing, I like mine, it’s all cool. If you don’t like my thing, I don’t really care. But I’ve learned that this outlook on things is apparently unusual. And more than once I’ve been judged for things I love, even though my love of these things in no way affects anybody but me. And I just don’t get why people care.

Most recently, and mostly because my interests have been almost 100% zeroed in and restricted to this area for about a year now, this applies to sports, and the fact that I love sports and enjoy watching sports and going to see sports in person and want to talk about sports with people. SPORTS!

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But every once in a while I’ll get blindsided by somebody telling me how stupid they think sports are and how annoying it is that I like it so much and why can’t you just shut up about sports?! Because sports are stupid, played by stupid people for stupid people. It’s just a bunch of dumb jocks running around pushing each other and it’s ridiculous that people get so excited over a guy throwing a ball to another guy who catches it and runs down a field to a certain area of grass where he earns points for his team blah blah what does this say about the state of our society blah blah blah the dumbing down of the masses blah.

And now I’m just making myself yawn.

I love sports. I LOVE sports. I love them because they’re fun to watch. And if that were the only reason I loved them, that would be okay! What’s wrong with watching some dudes who have dedicated their lives to becoming the best of the best at their favorite game show off for some people who like to cheer for them? Nothing, that’s what.

Here’s my disclaimer: I realize that there are things about sports that are problematic. No, athletes or coaches should not be excused from justice when they commit a crime just because they’re good at their game. And I don’t (and don’t want to) know any sports fans who think that. And then there are the things like rioting after an important game, or assaulting fans of a rival team just because they cheer for someone else. That is a love of sports taken to a dangerous, obsessive extreme, and I don’t condone any that at all. In fact, I actively condemn it, and so does every single one of the sports fans I have ever met.

But that’s not what this is about. And if you’re under the impression that that is what sports is about, you are sadly mistaken, and really missing out.

Here’s why I love sports:

These athletes play their hearts out. They go out on the field, or the ice, or the court, and they play their hearts out for the people in the stands. Most of the time, these people completely uproot their lives to move to that city, where the team that picked them plays, all in pursuit of their dream of being a professional athlete in the top leagues in the world. That’s admirable, to me. That’s a dedication that deserves to be rewarded with dedication – the dedication of a fan, someone who cheers for them and tells them before, during, and after games that what they’ve spent their lives working towards was worth it.

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I love the camaraderie that comes with being a fan. Regardless of your gender, race, religion, politics – when you’re in the stands, all you see are fellow fans, and you all want the same thing. Sports can unite people like nothing else can. Anyone here in Denver over the last week is well aware of that – the Broncos made the playoffs and beat a team nobody thought they could beat, and the giddiness was infectious. Everywhere you went, it was easier to count the number of people not wearing Broncos gear than the ones who were, because everyone was wearing Broncos gear. That team brought this city together in a way that hasn’t happened in a long time, and it was kind of magical. (And don't even get me started on what happened to Baylor when Robert Griffin III won the Heisman Trophy.)

I love that because of sports, videos like this exist.

I love the feeling that comes with watching your team win. I love the edge-of-your-seat, heart-pumping antsy-ness that happens right before the buzzer sounds at the end of a close game. I love the hard hits, I love the quick wristers and the 100 mph slapshots, I love the ugly goals, I love the goal celebrations, I love the jaw-dropping saves. I love the touchdown passes, the home runs, the slam dunks, I love it all. I love the enthusiasm of the people in the game and in the stands and I love how it connects everyone. I even love, in a different way, the losing – because every time you get sad about a loss, it reminds you to appreciate how beautiful it is when you win. And I love that there’s always the hope of the next game.

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If you don’t like sports, I don’t mind. I don’t, I promise. But if you’re writing it off because you think it’s just a bunch of guys running around in front of a mindless crowd for no reason, I hope you reconsider that stance, because it is, has always been and always will be so much more.

And that is all I have to say about that.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

I realize that every post lately (ha ha “lately” implies some sort of frequency to it, whoops) has involved me talking about Elizabeth in some way, but since she’s the one who gave me the idea for this post… yeah.

She did a sort of bucket list post on her blog, and it’s called “31 Before ‘13.” My list is called “13 before ‘13” because I am brain dead and couldn’t think of anything else to add.

1. Learn to ice skate. (As a person who has loved hockey for more than a decade, I feel obligated.)

2. Go to Film On The Rocks at least once.

3. Become a volunteer.

4. Read 50 books.

5. Go to an Avalanche playoff game. (HAHAHAHAHA) (hey we're in 9th place right now and tied with Dallas who's in 8th, so...)

6. Go to the top of Pikes Peak.

7. Take Leo for a walk.

8. See a moose in person.

9. Go to a DU hockey game.

10. Go to a Broncos game.

11. Apply for grad school.

12. Write a book.

13. Think of more things for this list.

In other news, I got back Friday from California for the last time. Moved everything back home with the help of my sister and dad. On the way there, we made a little side trip to the Grand Canyon. It was pretty cool.

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(Because I’m sure you’ve never seen a picture of it before.) (Also, my sister took this.)

It was pretty awesome.

We just drove around the rim of it and stopped to look and take pictures and at the end of Hermit’s Road we stopped and had the best hot chocolate in the history of time, probably. We thought about going down the trail a ways but it was packed with ice the whole way down and we decided we would rather not slip and fall to our deaths.

On the way back from California, we stopped in Vegas for an hour or so and I was reminded again of how pointless that place is. The only thing that I would ever go back there for is Frozen Fury, but since that isn’t particularly convenient anymore now that I live in Denver again, I doubt I’ll be going there any time soon.

Finally, since it is January 1st and all, here are a couple “2011 in review” videos that I like.