Saturday, 22 December 2012

Christmas presents 101

In this post I'm not going to tell you what you should give as a present, but what absolutely NOT to give. At least not to me.

The following items have only one meaning to me: I didn't have time to look for a present for you/I had the time but I didn't care to actually make it for you/I'm not really interested in thinking about you.

- Candles. A candle set, really? If you are going to give me something just for the sake of giving whatever might as well give me a pair of socks. Those will keep me warm, at least.

- A body lotion gift set. Because nothing says "I just grabbed the first thing I saw in the shelf for you under $12" better than this. Ok, maybe I can give a little credit to hand soap or lotion. They can be useful, alright. But don't give it to me years in a row. That's just rude.

- Ties. For men. I don't like to give ties because it only says "I really had nothing in mind for you, and I figured you might need one of these ones eventually". Yeah, TO YOUR FUNERAL!

I hope you people start thinking a bit more for your next coworker gift or to whoever it is. Even a coffee mug is more useful! God knows those break all the time.

Merry Christmas to you, too! And you're welcome

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Brightening up Vancouver

A couple of weeks ago I decided that I have had enough with subtle, colour-draining lipsticks; and bought a bright Revlon lipstick. A very in-your-face shade called "Love That Pink". Maybe I was just bored of what I had, or maybe I just couldn't accept the fact that no lipstick would match my skin tone. So when I asked the cosmetician at work which shade would be better, she chose the pink one. "It goes better with your skin tone" she said. "Really?", I thought skeptically. So I tried it on. I received so many compliments that day that I wore it again the next day. Even my manager said "Nice lipstick!". It made me giggle a bit.

The next week I was craving for more colours, so I went back to the Cosmetics department and bought the shade that I had originally thought of. It was as bright as the other shade, but in coral. It was also Revlon and it was called "Kiss Me Coral". I also loved it. I got a couple of compliments, and felt really good about wearing bold colours on me. Of course I didn't wear lipstick everyday, because then it doesn't feel special anymore. Plus I really like my face with not that much makeup on. The real me is as pretty as any other look :)

However, I felt like I needed another colour. Something more red. And I promised myself that this one was the last lipstick I was going to buy in a while. It was my Christmas party very soon anyway, and I really wanted a bright red shade. So I went back to the Revlon stand, and bought the "Fire and Ice" shade. I loved it just as much, but I ended up wearing my Marcelle "Amour" lipstick to the party. It was just a stronger red than the Revlon. Anyway, I wore the new shade during the week. I felt a bit shy with bright lipstick on me, but at the same time I embraced the difference. It made me feel empowered. There's some sort of magical with bright lipsticks. Not that many women dare to wear reds, and I really didn't want to be one of them.

From left to right: "Love That Pink", "Fire & Ice", "Kiss Me Coral"

All lipsticks I use have to be applied with previous lip balm. Otherwise my lips would crack! I must have some sort of allergy to lipsticks. It happened with almost every brand! So the lip balm I use is SoftLips. I like the shape of the stick, it's inexpensive, it has a nice scent (I have the honeydew one) AND it works. With other lip balms, I can't feel it working. But this one does, as soon as I apply it. I wouldn't trade my lip balm for anything. I've even tried the new and fancy EOS, but it didn't do anything. It even felt like a heavier coat on my lips, and I didn't like that.

Even Jeff likes my lipsticks. I usually don't wear them because I'm too self-conscious. But he assured me they looked nice. Although I know deep inside he prefers me with no lipstick at all. He'd rather kiss me all over with no lipstick rather than just staring and kissing in the cheek to a pretty girl ;-)

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Elysium Echoes - Echo #1

Last Tuesday was my band's first public show. Elysium Echoes performed at the Simon Fraser University's Highland Pub for a very small, yet very meaningful, audience. Our friends, coworkers and family members were there, to take a look and have an idea of what is what we do on Tuesday and Sunday evenings when we say we have "band practice". Also to give them a taste of symphonic metal, a very unusual genre for Vancouverites to hear.

We played 6 songs. All of them covers of awesome bands such as Nightwish, Epica, Kamelot and Sonata Arctica. And even though we still have no original songs to play, we are trying to get there. We are very excited to start playing our own songs, and record a small album maybe by the end of next year. We just know it's going to be fun :) Many of my bandmates (me included) have been dreaming about recording songs, playing in shows and feel that stage adrenaline. Something words can't describe.

So our small setlist went well. We decided to play a bit later than scheduled because the pub was pretty hidden in the campus, and we figured people were lost. We also decided to play later because we were shitting our pants. Once all the gear was plugged and what not, we looked at each other and thought "Well, this is it. Maybe later?". We wanted to relax. And have enough time to "sober up" after a few bravery drinks. Once everybody was there, and realized some people had to leave soon, we decided to start. We didn't think the sound check was going to be so long. 20 minutes after playing with the sound board, turning up and down mics and amps in front of everybody, we were ready. We made so many mistakes. Mistakes that nobody else noticed. Well, yeah, because only the 5 of us played those songs two hundred times! In the pub were also a group of students that must have came back from a party because they were all dressed up and fancy looking. By the end of the second song they couldn't stand it anymore, stood up and left. I felt pretty good with myself. That meant we were being loud and metal enough. Or just that they were douchebags. Either or, I was having a good time. I even got to joke about it with the audience. They laughed. Good enough.

By the end of the setlist, I was singing louder, my lips weren't shaking anymore, and started to headbang harder. All my nervousness was gone. The setlist was almost over anyway. Might as well enjoy it :)

We received good feedback. Maybe our friends didn't want to say we sucked; but at least they will be giving us a second shot at another show. Great advices like how your nervousness is normal and will probably/hopefully never go away; about our gear; about our sound system and stuff like that were welcome.

Perhaps for our next gig we wont screw up as much, but if we do I'll make sure I enjoyed every second of it. Which is exactly the point ;-)