Monthly Archives: May 2009

To Boldy Go Where Only The 7pm Audience Has Gone Before

I am not a Trekkie.

There are many characteristics that certain immediate family members and I share, but a nearly-encyclopedic knowledge of Star Trek characters and stories and timelines is not among them. However, living in a household with two aficionados (and my nearby uncle, a third) means that I did watch many episodes as I was growing up. I know more about Star Trek than someone who didn’t watch it with any regularity. In fact, I recall more about the original series than I do about ST: Voyager, which I watched, with friends, with a weekly eagerness. I probably saw one or two or three of the first batch of Trek movies. I just didn’t care that much.

I heard the trailer for the new Star Trek movie was amazing, but I didn’t watch it. I didn’t see any television ads. I didn’t recognize any of the actors’ names, and I didn’t look them up. I somehow overheard that this movie was going back to the original characters, the only ones I had any affection for. And my circle of friends is a bit heavy in the sci-fi department, so I had a general interest in going to see it.

Oh, on opening day? In IMAX? Well, okay. That will be fun. We’ll meet first at Megan & Joe’s house, drink some “Romulan ale,” and then carpool over to the theater. It’s a party!

We bought our tickets well in advance. Joe researched and decided on an “appropriate” recipe for Romulan ale. Megan and I both wore Lurex. She in a retro, bare-shouldered gold top, me in a vintage red minidress. Alison chose to not wear her TOS-accurate dress, citing fit issues. Joe brought his communicator. Along with Jay and Rich and Sui and Genevieve, we chatted and laughed and snacked and drank and ’pooled over to the theater and waited in line for our showing. People were walking out of the 7pm showing exclaiming that it was “awesome.” And they looked like normal people. Megan and I were the snazziest folks within view in the 10pm line, although there was a gal not far behind us wearing a red, “EXPENDIBLE” T-shirt. As we piled into the theater, we eventually saw one couple in their TOS outfits. Overall, an understated crowd.

The movie began with a flurry of absolutely no fanfare whatsoever. No theme song, no “Space: The final frontier” speech. No definitive moment that Trekkies could hoot and holler about. But… that ping. That sonar-like ping. That’s lifted from the show! My grin began.

And was glued to my face for the next two hours.

As the movie came to its conclusion, I wanted more! More of these characters, the younger versions of the characters I knew and didn’t realize how much I loved. Played so well that, outside of the visually-obvious Sulu and Uhura, it was clear who was who from the get-go. These actors truly became their characters, without making them into caricatures. The cadences, the attitudes, they had it down. I believed them. And yet, they each added their own personality to the roles. The story line was entertaining. The ship sets and props were fresh and modern, but still nodded at the originals. The visual effects were loads of fun, and I would hazard that nothing like them has been seen in the ST canon until now. That being said, I could have done with a lot less “lens flare.” I wondered for a long time if there was an issue with our print of the film before I realized it was an effect. The closing credits appeared rushed and cheap compared to the rest of the movie. But, it’s the closing credits. It didn’t exactly detract from the plot. And I would like for someone, someday, to explain to me why the Romulan ship was shaped that way (and how would it dock?)… but not today. Today, I’m going to bask in the glory of the film, and continue to wear a smile on my face.

Because it was awesome.

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Lowbrow Cosmetics Review: e.l.f.

Every once in a while I get hit with another round of those email scams exclaiming that Macy’s or Nordstrom’s is buying out the e.l.f cosmetics line and that I should buy now while prices are low. For the record, neither retailer has ever been in dealings to buy out e.l.f.  At last check (not today, I’m lazy), both stores had Web pages dedicated to debunking the persistent myth. The truth of the matter is, e.l.f. is a low-priced line of cosmetics that has a respectable policy of not testing on animals.* So, the last time the email came around, along with a handy coupon code for 50% off my order (up to $15), I decided to go for it. Here’s what I got for $21.45, after shipping:

Eyelashes: Can’t beat the price, and they’re more flexible than cheapo-but-still-more-expensive N.Y.C. lashes. I didn’t use the glue they come with, so I can’t vouch for its efficacy. I’m not terribly picky. They just need to stay where I put them, but come off when I want them to. For this price, I bought 4 pairs.

Eye Widener: This “soft” white eye pencil is not soft enough to use along the tear line as intended, thus rendering it useless. Skip it. Maybe use it under your nails for a subtle French manicure look.

Eyebrow Lifter & Filler: I like this one. A double-tipped pencil with a light neutral end for highlighting under the brow, and a colored end for filling in. Easy-peasy. In fact, its ease of use is why I’ve neglected to more frequently use the:

Eyebrow Kit (e.l.f.’s version of Benefit’s ‘Brow Zing’): I only used it once, and forgot to pay any attention to it throughout the day. Sorry! At least it wasn’t noticeably BAD, right?

Lip Definer & Shaper: Another double-tipped pencil, with one “natural” end and one “nude” end. When used according to directions, I thought my mouth looked sloppy. As a last resort, it makes for a couple of neutral, frosted lip pencils.

Lip Brush: I don’t remember the web site mentioning that this brush had two tips (one for lining, one for filling) AND that they both tuck inside for tidy travel. Which is, yes, neat. You can load them up with color at home, retract and tuck the brushes inside the handle, and go out on the town without having to carry your lipstick with you. That being said, though, I personally have trouble with lipstick brushes. I guess I need some instructional help or something, but I can never seem to load up the brush enough to fully color my lips.

Lip Liner: It’s a pencil lip liner. I don’t have a lot to say about it. Functional, nice color (I chose “bitter,” heh heh), and inexpensive.

Concealer Pencil & Brush: Love love love! The blending brush that is included on the other end of this pencil does a great job of feathering the edges of your concealed blemish, and the concealer end is just waxy enough to stay where you put it with good coverage that doesn’t feel like you’re wearing concealer. I wonder if I should order more before they do something dumb like discontinue it?

Tinted Moisturizer: SPF 15, in a range of colors. It’s not greasy or heavy, which is nice. I know that it’s hard to pick shades via a web site, but it’s just tinted moisturizer, not full-coverage foundation. I did fine with Tone 1.

Cuticle Pen: This is like a fat magic marker filled with cuticle oil. Very handy for dabbing at my ragged Winter cuticles before I go to bed. Immediate results without the oily mess of using cuticle oil and a cotton swab. I’m sure it would work even better if I remembered to use it more often.

I also bought a shadow brush and a blending brush, but haven’t used either one yet (my Sephora brushes are doing me fine).

NOTE: ALL of the e.l.f. pencils come with sharpeners. All but the lipliner’s are built into the cap, which is nice for carrying in your purse, if you do that sort of thing. However, all of the double-tipped pencils have the writing that explains each tip printed near the sharpened end of the pencil. Sharpen that thing twice, and you no longer know which end is which. When it’s a dark/light pencil like the Eyebrow Lifter & Filler it’s not a problem, but the Lip Definer & Shaper colors are so similar that it would be tricky to determine. And you wouldn’t want to define your lips with the shaper end, or vice-versa (rolls eyes).

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* Does e.l.f. test on animals?
We do NOT test on animals or endorse such practices. Our products do not contain animal derived ingredients. Beeswax has been replaced by synthetic beeswax and lanolin has been replaced by Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladinpale-2. We currently support HSUS and are partners with PETA in the Caring Consumer Project.

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