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Beauty by Design

We have been in quite a few meetings, and now my coworkers and I are back in full…well sort of. I already took Friday off for a thing I could not cancel and apparently missed a bit of drama. I am calling it luck as I never do that so early. Still all is well over there that is good. As to said drama from what I gather handled well too, so good for the new boss.

Anyway, before that nonsense my coworkers and I caught up with one another–talked about travels, explained tans, in my case sported a rather indulgent pedicure experience prior to the start of the year…

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Huzzah for cute pedicures and flowers on one's feet with rhinestones. ..decadent and adorable :)

My friend Shelly and I discussed all the girly things women do for beauty…some of us going to more extremes than others. Then for whatever the reason we turned our attention on men and what is considered their area of beautification. Then it just became one of those academic gender, society, and beauty sort of discussions.

With the advent of the metro sexuals, and now gender flexibility (some do not identify as any gender at all, that is a thing) what truly is “man only” or “woman only” beauty regimes? Do they even exist?

First, the manis and the pedis. And our conclusion–not gender specific. Pedicures are not only for ladies. For example, I saw a manly guy getting one alongside his girlfriend when I was out getting my tootsies of cuteness done. I see nothing wrong with this, as a guy with well tended feet is attractive. Same goes with manicures. Well cared for hands are nice on guys. So hand and footcare are for both genders, no biggie.

Makeup? Well, I would say that is not necessarily gender specific either per se (there may always be exceptions I guess). Also, one must consider the whole wearing or not wearing it. Which is the trend? Here it gets squiffy.

For wearing it, well, actors wear makeup all the time and I find many ruggedly handsome still despite the little bit of eyeliner (granted I am intently looking at them on screen and yes, I see that bit of eyeliner, whatever, still attractive and I do not think less of them at all). Foundation? Not a big deal. Now we could quantify the amount of makeup, or boldness could be gender specific, but for argument’s sake, theatre leads me to be lenient in labeling makeup as gender specific beauty routines.

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I think we have all been there at some point, even the poor Winter Soldier.

Here also came up the whole some ladies do not wear makeup or cannot (allergies for us all vary, lord knows it took me forever to find eyeshadow my allergies were okay with). Does that make one a tomboy? Or as I see it, just natural beauty sans makeup. Nothing wrong with that either. Makeup, with or without, no gender bias (though we found men are more likely to go without makeup, not a biggie but may be a gender line…ish?).

So, we then we went on to beards. That may be society’s last hold out for gender bias and beauty regime. At this time, it is not considered feminine beauty to sport facial hair. Here we may have found the only bastion of division based on biology. Females generally cannot grow mustaches or beards…

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Sometimes it is, and sometimes you are just tracking it on the floor...glitter is kind of evil if you think about it actually.

Yet, there are those who as we age, or just the way Nature dealt cards, do have a bit of facial hair more than the average girl. Hair dying, threading, waxing, plucking, ladies go to extreme and painful lengths at times to rid themselves of facial hair.

Which then led me to wonder. Much as mani and pedis are no longer girls only, and makeup is slowly becoming less girl only…will this ever be a thing? Could ladies one day be judged as more attractive if they too sported a goatee?

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Harley Quinn...she could be ahead of her time...we're sure she is not a smidgen crazy.

I find it highly unlikely, but you never know what the next thing may be. After all in the middle ages women shaved their hair back, way back, just to have a high forehead. It was “in”. I do not see facial hair on women as a desired thing, but in a 100 years you never know.

After all for a brief time their was the Merman beard link (dying your beard green, I put in the link so you would not think I am high or something, this was a trend) and an even briefer flowers in the beard…didn’t something like that happen in the 1700’s but it was like large wigs with all out birdcages in some of them?

What we do for fashion’s sake, both men and women…sometimes I think we all deserve an award or some recognition for surviving an era of fashion. Like, congratulations you made it through the 90’s plaid phase without becoming a lumberjack, or being too down, or questioning your heritage. Well done, you.

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It is scary how accurate this is in so many ways. Trends come and go way too quickly. Well spoken, Mr. Mugato.

A Moment

Today is a day of reflection for many, and grief, and processing. I imagine he would want us to look on the bright side. I think I managed a bit at first, and then fairly well after that.

After shopping for supplies with a work friend, my sister called. We talked about a great deal and then we reminisced fondly of her earlier FB post conveying her love of The Last Starfighter. It is a love shared by my whole family and for me the film also has memories of which even now I was reminded of fondly.

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I then recalled my love of smarts and smart asses, which led my mind to a new fandom I have fallen into recently. Now, I hope not to lose Sci-fi or Fantasy cred, but I am also a fan of the BBC’s Sherlock series with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. I categorize it under my love of things intelligent, sassy, and classy (and in this case British).

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Sherlock and Watson/Cumberbatch and Freeman

It also fits with my love of Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dr. Who, The IT Crowd, Last Week Tonight, just about any Simon Pegg and Nick Frost film…okay, I may very well be a bit of an Anglophile but I am also clearly a Celtphile (difficult to have the two at once but seems to work for me–yes I love both).

As to Sherlock, the series is so well done. I love all of the characters and especially the fact that the series admits it should not be taken too seriously. The creators, cast, and crew are just fabulous. The intricacies of the plots are likewise fascinating as you never know when one small bit of information in one show will reveal itself three episodes later. You have to keep on your toes and you can always get more aha moments if you rewatch an episode, if you wanted.

Now as a self-proclaimed sapiosexual you can guess part of my draw. Smart men, well, yeah. I swoon. Now for my favorite memes from the show, enjoy. :)

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Sherlock is always so happy at a crime scene and Watson is like...wha??? You know a normal reaction to a crime scene.

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I think we all know someone who makes us think this at some time or another.

And then this detective genius has one minor issue… his obsession with being clever…or solving crimes…

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In fairness his exercises do come in handy at times.

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And I am not even concerned, love Sherlock. :)

After all we can all relate I think at times to Mr. Holmes …

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C'mon John...also the Hobbit reference is classic. ;)

Sometimes it is more like this, almost a brooding solitude, but again we can still relate on some days…

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Yet, you have to give the show credit. It is well written. Part of the reason Sherlock never gets Greg Lestrade’s name correct is because in the series he is only known as G. Lestrade. The character’s name is never given by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Hence Sherlock always gets it wrong…and here is a shout out to the infamous line, “Not our division.” It became a hit in many departments as I understand it. A true classic.

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Poor Lestrade sometimes...and then next minute, brilliant.

I guess in the end for me it is just that they are all smart asses. I love it. Moriarty is likewise perfect (evil, crazy, and sassy)…and the reason I want “Staying Alive” as my ringtone.

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I love that this lead female in the series flat out says smart is the new sexy, and she is too...such a great show. ;)

I know, I know, what a show right? Just a pity that as these are working (and awesome) actors, they have other commitments, so it will be a while yet before Season 4 is out. Sigh. So looking forward to the Christmas Special at least that should be out this year.

Despite the wait, do not worry…I am okay with being a part of this fandom too. It will be so worth it, and it will be brilliant, I have no doubt. :)

I know, I lapsed again, but with good cause. I was in the mountains with friends…twice…because I felt like living up vacation and going out of WiFi range since today began the dipping of my foot back into work-life–which is in full swing this Thursday. Ah…woot?

Some changes at work, the boss is new, well, two bosses are new and a general shift in staff, so now the building even feels…well…lighter in a good way. Whether or not this changes things for the better in the long run, only the year will tell, but already a better start so that is nice.

Now, one funny thing to share…maybe not funny but my reaction garnered a few giggles–freaking squirrels.

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Squirrels

Should I say our squirrel overlords?

See we had two cases of plague in Colorado, both in more of the plain areas, but rodents of all kinds and cuteness (including squirrels) can carry that. The Black Death, even at our altitude, can happen–mountains, plains, wherever. The infected flea rides on said rodent and at times can jump off and nib on a human injecting a wee bit of the plague in exchange for a wee bit of blood.

The trick is getting antibiotics as soon as possible should you become symptomatic (ie. when you even have an inkling you have been bitten and infected by a pesky little flea), and thanks to Science you now have a 50/50 shot of living–much better than the odds back in the day, so good on Science.

Well, I generally do not like getting ill, or mosquito bites at all so I sprayed up with bug spray and also a bit of sunblock, of course, before the hike.

Now by the time we hit the falls we are all sweaty and decided to take a lunch break. After all, beautiful falls in this beautiful national forest. Why not?

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Rocky Mountain National Park.

That is when the cutest little ground squirrel approached us clearly unafraid of humans and began to act cute and beg for food. My reaction to the plump little sandwich begging hussy was to try to shoo her away–cuteness or not there is plague out there, and in general this is not a good habit for the squirrels to rely on humans for food.

I thought it worked…but with ninja skill the little vagrant came from behind me and brushed against my leg before I even noticed she was that close to me. Once in front of me, she stood up on her legs but an inch from my foot demanding payment in food crumbs. It was almost like a forest mafia shakedown.

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From icanhazcheezburger.com. It felt a lot like this...tough little rodent.

My friend was more successful and shooing away this squirrel from the Thunder Dome better than I. Naturally, my neurotic self began to worry if the squirrel was infected with said flea, did my bug spray hold out…and more importantly: if there ever was a zombie disease apocalypse squirrels would be the best carriers. In fact, who is to say that maybe somewhere in the mountains and forests of the world squirrels are not just training in secret for that very thing?

Imagine it, what if these adorable little rodents were more intelligent than we give them credit for? Like they are geniuses from another world much like the dolphins from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and they are biding their time? Eventually when they feel ready to exude their power and take over the world it will be by unleashing a zombie epidemic with their ninja squirrels (after all almost every continent has squirrels). They will then infect us all and then rule the world after the zombies die out after eventual starvation.

Maybe they will spare a few to gather their food and build shelters for out new squirrel overlords?

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They may even be Vikings, like descendants of Loki rather than from outer space. Deadly either way.

I know way too much thought behind that theory. Still, I am alive and plague free so far, so I am happy about that.

But a public service announcement: please do not feed the wildlife, even cute harmless looking squirrels. It makes them unafraid of humans and too dependent on humans…bad for both humans and animals in the long run.

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Sometimes it is best to just appreciate beauty and not interact with Nature so much.

Do you want the plague? Because that is how you get the plague.

While I am waiting for the updates to load on my tablet, one last but on my outing to California.

My stepmother, Ella, was gracious to whisk me away for about a day to San Diego. I had never been and always wanted to see it. I heard the beaches were fantastic, and there was a haunted house I wanted to see (primary knowledge of this place came from The History Channel, please do not judge).

The beach, yes they do get sharks down there was the warning I did get, but my were they outstanding! Great sand, surf, cold, but simply lovely. We went to Pacific Beach and I was in love with it.

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View pulling in, did not want to get my phone covered in sand.

It reminded me of Surfer’s Paradise in Australia a bit, though not quite as large. Blue water, fine taupe sand…beautiful.

Then we toured around to the old cemetery. It was a mission cemetery and the local historical society did what it could to preserve the old graves. I had never seen such a place before. People would leave coins on some of the graves, or candy. There was a superstition there but we did not know what it was exactly, but I found it fascinating.

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This was a snippet of the cemetery. They tried to mark the graves as best they could, and often there were informational stands nearby as to who they were.

Ella explained to me that in California the history behind the missions and the mission trails were an integral part of California history taught in many elementary classes.

Then we came to one my favorite pit stops–a well preserved Victorian home, known as the Whaley House. The pieces inside each room were well kept. There was also a haunted history tour, but only for the evenings. Alas, we would settle for history more so than ghosts. It was still cool.

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One of the children's rooms...and yes, the dolls were a tad creepy, but period.

For me though the theatre upstairs is what caught my attention. It had an old true to form theatre complete with a sloped stage. Yes!! This, this right here is where theatre people get the upstage, downstage…all of that because it literally is up or down. I cannot tell you how often I have had to explain that to an incredulous crew. Here it was!! I felt so vindicated.

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It really did have a sloping stage. Ah...proof and history well preserved.

When theatre began again in the medieval era, the stages often were set up and torn down hurriedly. They were likewise sloped so the people on the ground could see all of the action going on all over the stage. In time the theatre seats would allow for a non-sloped stage, but not in such a space as this. Hence the slope.

The Victorians of California clearly valued theatre to have such here at all, but sadly the troupe founder passed shortly after they opened the theatre.

It was a pity the founder of the acting troupe did not get to enjoy it’s use more. That was a risk of the era, and the wildness of the West. I do tip my hat off to the ladies who were determined to bring and keep culture in early California even in the heady days of gold rushes and revolutions.

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The breeze came in just so to catch my dress, and my stepmother noted that there was just something about me and this theatre. I suppose the theatre agreed.

I promised an explanation for lack of writing, and simply it was that I was out of town. I try to refrain from posting about my whereabouts for obvious reasons, house sitter or no, not a risk I like taking. So now, yes I am back and have no travel plans for some time. Whew. Like a whirlwind that can be. It really does take more time than you allow. The day to get there, the settling in, the return, pretty much the same, and before you know it summer is almost over.

I was in LA visiting my sister, brother-in-law, and the new addition, a nephew. As my sister is even more protective, and rightly so, I will say only that he was 3 months old when I saw him, a big baby, happy, healthy, and cute one. Sorry, no public photos at this time.

While out there I got to assist with diapers, feeding, playing–well helping him learn grabbing and sitting and trying to roll over, etc. I also got some adult fun, learning to cook kale, and above all historical reenactment!

My brother-in-law, Ryan, and my sister, are a part of a loose group of Ancient Celt reenactors called, I think, Gaesatae? Pronounced GI-SO-TI to that effect, for the javelin – like weapons GI-SOS that they used in battle. Ancient Celt, 1st Century BC. They even had a smith there. I wish I had better pictures, the Roman Legion they faced were outstanding too! To the letter the food, the impromptu smithy, the weaving, they had it all.

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Gaesatae Banner, with their gaesa / spear / javelin they were known for

And as to myself, yes I was there at MacArthur Days…more on the in a bit…

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I was there truly, in period garb, and yes, eventually the Celts dealt with Romans.

Better look at the Celts / Gaesatae.

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From the Gaesatae Facebook...they had differing levels of armor.

As to the Romans…well, they take their reenactment seriously too. I regret I did not get photos as I was involved in the battle reenactment. Still, it was fun, even though I did not last as long as I would have liked, but the cat calls they do made me Celtic proud. The wit and sarcasm, love it. :)

Though I confess, I was a tad sad as we did not use woad, I gather this time period/region etc. In battle it is white clay they used not woad so much (blue paint from the Picts and Celts meant that there was no return from the battle, very Spartan like “with it or on it” victorious or dead). The idea is that by this point in history the Gaesatae were more battle tried and used, and appropriated, armor designs that the Romans in turn appropriated as well. Bummer but true to history which is more important.

I did fairly well until a crafty Roman sliced my ankle from behind his shield. He had better reach and my shield…well, I was new and to be honest, yeah, the Romans know their stuff. An ankle, get that tendon, then blam, you are out. Ancient warfare…I love it…maybe a bit morbid of me but there it is.

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They were very regimented. True Romans.

And they even had priestesses, scribes, senators, the works.

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Romans from MacArthur days.

This was all at MacArthur Days out in LA. Same time almost every year, like every period of historical war reenactment. They started with the Ancient Celts and Romans, and went all the way to WWII. So imagine, the Irish Rebellion, IRA, WWI, Revolutionary War, Civil War, WWII fighter planes mock battle…every Era done to meticulous detail of the encampment, costumes, food. It was wonderful for any history nerd! So, yes, I was in heaven of sorts. :)

Toward the end of my visit I did get to see the beach by San Diego, and yes, it is lovely down there. I met up with my stepmother and saw the Whaley House Museum and Mission Cemetery before she was off on a Viking cruise to celebrate my father’s 60th. Whirlwind.

More on that later…it is rather long and I am trying to keep it short. Perhaps a fail, but for history’s sake, fair.

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I will explain everything later… in the meantime, I was catching up on science news and the Internet is buzzing with the New Horizon photos of Pluto.

As amazing as it all is, I cannot help but find the humor in two things: the memes and the fact that Pluto is no longer an “official” planet when all of this comes out.

As to memes, here are a few I thought might amuse:

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Found on FB. If we are lucky there is not a Sith Lord on that thing.

And of course there is this:

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I mean it is Pluto after all...

Then you have the whole technically now it is a dwarf planet and not a planet of our solar system. Sometimes, much like Pluto/Hades in mythology, the planet is never really given a break either.

In mythology the Lord of the Underworld may not have been the nicest of gods, maybe even a bit of a trickster (and pulled a wickedly jerk move kidnapping Persephone and tricking her into eating the pomegranate seeds, all of this which began when Eros shot him with one of his arrows…in a way it is on Eros, and some myths claim Persephone did fall in love with him ala to Beauty and the Beast–Stockholm Syndrome maybe, or she was trying to break away from her mom and grow up so she could be her own person–so complicated when you really think on it…not to mention the symbolism of what they all represent). Anyway, there is one common thread I have found in the lore of old and that is Pluto/Hades may have been many things, and strict is definitely one of them–Death brooks no refusal–he was also just. The punishments fit the crime, as did the rewards, in the Underworld. Granted it was without mercy or compassion, but it still was justice.

Which is why perhaps I find the last two memes apropos, given that Pluto does have feelings and scientists are almost doing too little too late to make it up to this planet. It would be nice if scientists can give this planet another chance.

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Aw, Pluto...:hugs: in time your heart will mend--they have found that in fact the heart is changing, literally.

Then there is this tongue in cheek, Pluto having a bit more backbone/ attitude actually much more like the God the planet is named after. Wondering why we are bothering it now:

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I loved this, a plutonic relationship :)

You may not be able to read the caption, but Tinder quipped, “Nah, just looking for a plutonic relationship.” Well played, Tinder, well played.

Whatever happens next though, I hope that scientists and Pluto can still be friends. :)

My fourth was decent, just as an aside. I just wish that my neighborhood would not celebrate with loud, fairly illegal fireworks until the wee hours. But whatever, it is freedom.

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I do not know why but I love this meme. America rocks! Sorry, Engand, I do feel ya, but this is for the best. :)

Was out with my family and we had a great lunch. A bit odd in that we were discussing the candidates for president: Bush, Clinton, and Sanders…naturally, politics is a touchy topic, but my family and I are Independents so that kind of makes it a bit more open of a conversation…well, sort of. To be honest, we think we most politicians are bought and paid for and generally just want the status quo and their own job security. Really wish for some kind of election reform or third party, anything that would be less corrupt. Meh. I feel like John Lennon sometimes, “You say that I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one…” Unfortunately, I am also getting jaded and cynical as I get older. Electorial lottery, it should be a thing. Seriously.

Meantime, there was a great dress and viola. I am good for the rest of summer and will to try not think about politics for at least a little while longer. Twill only upset me for now.

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It is a great dress for summer, builtin bra, and in the summer you ladies know that can be awesome. :)

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