Random Shit Tuesday Vol. 5

I love this song so much.

We're Playing Anywhere But Here

The Any Alternative giveaway ended a while ago, and I've finally gotten around to drawing a winner!
Congratulations to... Denise!
Please e-mail me for your prize :]

It was completely random - entrants' names were put into a spreadsheet (multiple times if they had multiple entries), randomised, assigned numbers and then the number was drawn from random.org.

We had some absolutely amazing entries and all of them are hilarious and well worth reading. Here's a few favourites:

Glittersniffer Cosmetics: We'll rob you blind! Literally!"

Glittersniffer Cosmetics: Because looking good is more important than just looking.

Maybe she's born with it - Maybe she caught it from Glittersniffer!

Glittersniffer: Fulfilling all your fears about what's in your make-up!

Glittersniffer Cosmetics: As addictive as crack. Though not as safe.

Glittersniffer: Red lips and pinkeye.

Glittersniffer...truly blinding colours

Your optometrist will think you look fabulous!
(Sam - my sister!)

Glittersniffer: Because Crime Does Pay

Huge thanks to everyone who participated!

Watch Your Televizzles

I suppose I watch a lot of TV. I don't watch it on an actual television, so it doesn't always occur to me that I do, but the list of shows I watch(ed) is very long. I decided to do a mini-review on the two new shows I've just started watching, would anyone be interested in seeing more of these types of reviews?

Breaking Bad - This is excellent. It might not be a subject you'd normally consider, but it's such a well-written, well-acted, well-produced show that it's absolutely worth watching. The depth of emotion that the main two characters manage to convey is incredible, especially Jesse. I hope that actor goes far because some of his scenes are absolutely heart-breaking. You'll get sucked in before you realise it and be desperately attached to the main pair, and the action is gripping and has a sense of urgency and reality to it that always makes me feel in suspense. Breaking Bad is a show you should be watching, even if Skyler is the most annoying character on the frakking planet.

This is Gary. He is awesome. You might recognise him from Bones.

Alphas - Alphas just started, and it's not about werewolves which was my thought when I saw the title. It's a weird combination for a show - kind of like Charles Xavier and The X-Men Help The DoD Solve Crimes. Parts of it remind me of X-Men, early Smallville and part Fringe - each episode has a new Alpha, a new person with some extraordinary ability (early Smallville's meteor-freaks) and the team have to investigate/stop/recruit/help that person, despite being completely unqualified and untrained. There are overtones of a sinister movement orchestrating events (i.e. Fringe) but it has the rebel "Mutants first" quality that Magneto's manifesto had. The group of Alphas is made up of some interesting, diverse characters with distinct personalities and interesting powers that make watching them work together creative and fun, even if occasionally their powers seem a little too convenient.
The weakest character, in my opinion is their leader, a psychiatrist Dr Rosen. He just seems a little overacted to me - too doddery, and although the series tries to show that these people are (mostly) untrained civilians who have personal problems and use Dr Rosen for therapy as well as leadership, sometimes Rosen's character makes intuitive leaps in the investigation which are unrealistically specific and feel like cheating at plot. In conflict moments when he's forced to act out of character, he doesn't seem to particularly react or have much of an emotional impact.

I like the idea that this mismatched group have a therapist who helps keep them together and helps them not only hone their powers (old hat) but also with their personal and character problems. Dr Rosen has no powers of his own, but he still fulfils the Xavier type role pretty well because of his occupation.

Overall, I think Alphas is very watchable. The action varies between brilliant and engaging (particularly when Hicks is involved) and weirdly stunted and awkward, but there are some excellent moments and it's entertaining and has a great premise. Most of the characters are interesting, many are a nice change from standard character types (it's nice to see a useful female character who isn't an overcompensating bitchy warrior-woman type for once), and Gary is an awesome character. There's a lot of good acting and some not-so-great acting, but that's pretty typical of a new show and my hope is that it improves as the actors get used to their roles and the show continues. It's already been picked up for a second season, so I'm looking forward to see where it goes.

A Sandwich? With Words?

After finishing The Magician King (brilliant) I was looking for a new audiobook. Audiobooks are great for me, since I suffer with agoraphobia and an anxiety disorder, and I find them invaluable for helping me stay calm and control anxiety attacks in public. Finding a good audiobook is very difficult, however, because the book has to be good, the narrator has to be good and has to be the right voice for the character.

I tried listening to an Ilona Andrews audiobook, but the narrator (Renée Raudman) reads everything in a faux-deep Batman-esque melodramatic voice, which drove me crazy. I mean, everything, every little bit of narrative. After a few minutes I couldn't listen anymore, so I'll have to read those on my kindle instead.
I was really pleased when I discovered that the Dresden Files (which were on my reading list) are narrated by James Marsters. Yes, that James Marsters. He doesn't have the faux-British accent for Harry but he still sounds pretty Spike-y and his voice is perfect for the books. He reads them really well, so I'm working my way through that series now. I'm on the second book and so far, I'd really recommend them.

Get The Fruit! Get The Fruit!

I've been on a bit of a retro(ish) game kick recently. After beating the main game on Pokémon White, I started re-playing Pokémon Emerald, mostly just so I could take this screenshot:

On a whim, I bought a slim PS2, wanting to re-play Final Fantasy IX on it. Then I discovered it wouldn't play on it. I don't know if it's because the unit itself is broken or if it's because it doesn't support FF IX - the slim PS2 is supposed to be backwards compatible but I've read that some titles are unsupported. Either way, the eBay store I got it from has been incredibly helpful and is exchanging it for me with an original PS2, so I can neglect the blog more and run around on a chocobo. They're even sending me a prepaid shipping label to return the slim PS2 with, and have been incredibly friendly and helpful and so on. If anyone in England is after slightly older pre-owned consoles or games for them, I recommend Gadgets4Everyone.

Lassie Always Gets A Treat

Some very good friends of mine have been busy organising the Team Pink Eye Project, a fundraising effort for the makeup community for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. Bloggers are invited to host giveaways or do pink EOTD/FOTD/NOTDs and many indie sellers have graciously donated prizes or funds from sales, all to help raise awareness about Breast Cancer, self-checking, and raise money for research.
I'm participating too, but since I look dreadful in pink I'm doing something a little different.

Anyone who wants to donate $10 or more to the Team Pink Eye Project can have their very own rant written by me and posted on the blog. The subject can be anything you like, with a few restrictions (nothing nasty/individually targeted/prejudiced - this is supposed to be fun!) and the length will vary, largely dependant on what I have to say on the subject. You can specify whether you want it with or without expletives and they'll all include the donator's name and a link of their choice, whether to their blog, website, Etsy shop, whatever.

I'll post more details when it starts in October, but there's still a few hours left for you to join in with TPE with your blog/shop or just help spread the word, so please check out their blog and get in touch if you want to take part.

Read Moar

  • My wonderful friend Lo, who's one of those brilliant people who's going to grow up to be president of something, has started her own blog and you should follow it.

  • Heartsy? More like failsy.

  • Siryn is amazing and annoyingly talented. She posts makeup looks based on comic characters. She knows way more about comics than I do.

There's a million things I should link, too many to sort through. My blogroll badly needs updating, but I'm putting it off until I switch to Wordpress.

All Other Times

I know I've been a terrible blogger lately. I tend to disappear whenever I've got stuff going on, because I can't write very well if I'm upset.
I have a metric fuckton of things to swatch. Over two hundred. Including a MASSIVE Evil Shades follow-up, long overdue Black Rose Minerals, Morgana lip balms, a new UK drugstore brand, four Sleek palettes, Detrivore, Persephone Minerals, a huge Shiro haul, Fyrinnae, Brazen, more drugstore stuff, and more on the way including Lost in Makeupland, RABB, and others.

I'm looking for advice on lip swatches - mine are always terrible, rarely in focus and they never properly show the colour. Does anyone have tips for decent lip swatches?

I'm not very good at this 'asking the audience questions' thing, because I usually just assume people will tell me whatever they want me to know, but here goes:

  • Are you interested in mini TV show reviews? What are your favourite shows, past or present? Anything new I should watch?

  • Your favourite games console? Computers count.

  • I'm trying to try more indies and new companies - is there anything you'd like to see me try/review?

  • I'm considering not posting EOTDs anymore. Would anyone mind?

  • Life okay?


Amanda said...

Ana! Will Rant For Donations is brilliant. <3 Also, play FF VIII! My favorite console game is reaching pretty far back, but it's Metroid Prime. I *still* love it and think it's the greatest game ever.

20 September 2011 at 22:48

FrancesDanger said...

Thank for the shout out for Team Pink Eye! We are finalizing the list of blogs right now but we'd love to have more participants.

I adore Breaking Bad. I want to devote an entire weekend just to rewatching it so I can feel all suspensy again. And Skylar is the worst.

1. Please to be posting more TV reviews.
2. Atari. I'm old school.
3. Glory Box, when they reopen.
4. Ok, all right, if you don't wanna I'm not gonna make you.
5. Life is what it is. I just would like to get over The Plague that I've been dealing with for about a week. Fevers are no fun.

20 September 2011 at 22:50

Kiwi said...

B-but...I always liked your EOTDs. ):

It's okay if you disappear for a while. I like to think everyone understands what it's like to have life run you down from time to time.

20 September 2011 at 22:53

Mai said...

My advice for lip swatches is to move to California where there's sunlight and no rainy weather :P

No but seriously, I use my Point and Shoot on macro to deal with the focusing problem. I have one of those large handheld mirrors and I hold that in my left hand while shooting with my right to better see where my camera is focusing, whether it's on my lips or somewhere else. It also lets me see how the color is on the viewfinder and I can then adjust using the camera's light setting.

My room is west facing so I prefer to shoot in the mid afternoon when the sun is directly over my house as opposed to when it's directly flowing in through an east window.

I usually try to do it in daylight in front of my window so I don't deal with funny shadows. If you can, I've read that having a light source in front or a semicircular pattern can help to prevent those shadows.

I prefer my window because it has big blinds so I can adjust how much light I want to have in the room. I also like seeing direct sunlight pictures but I usually have problems with it washing out the color.

I personally don't like using flash because it only works well with some colors (never reds in my experience) and personally it makes for inconsistencies that I don't like on my blog.

Anyway, that was a lot of information and I hope you find it useful! I know that the English weather isn't always conducive to good swatches (but you've managed very well with your shadow swatches!) If you have any questions I'll try to follow up on it.

20 September 2011 at 22:54

Integgy said...

I'm sorry the Ilona Andrews audiobook didn't work for you! I only ever read my books, so I have no idea if the audiobooks are ever awesome or not. Her (or I should say their, as Ilona Andrews is a husband-wife writing team) books are for serious awesome though. I reread each book in the Kate Daniels series within a month of purchase (and I'm probably due for another reread soon). Love them. But then again, I am a sucker for likeable, kick ass heriones. ;)

1. You pretty much watch everything I watch, so yeah, nothing new to recommend.

2. PS2 and computer? I play Katamari on the PS2, and puzzle games through Steam on my computer.

3. I have nothing productive to add here.

4. Fine with me! I will always keep coming back for the writing

5. It's been better. I'll leave it at that.

20 September 2011 at 23:42

Stephanie said...

I am pro-TV show reviews. I watch Mad Men, Top Gear, and Doctor Who, but that's really about it. I've been trying to find other shows to watch, but I just fail at it.

Aside from my computer, right now I'm pretty exclusive with my PS3. Actually, we have two of them: one upstairs and one down. I have a Wii and a Nintendo DS that I haven't touched in months. The Xbox hasn't been on in over a year.

21 September 2011 at 00:02

Ana said...

I came across Siryn's site some time ago, through Pigments and Palettes, I think - and LOVED it.
Crazy talented, that girl.

But, but, but... I loved yout EOTDs D: !
If it doesn't feel right, don't do them, of course.

21 September 2011 at 00:16

Naomi said...

Oh my lawdeh. If you're getting a PS2 try out Primal. BEST. GAME. ON. THE PLANET. :D
Plus I think you'll love it. :P
The music is awesome, the plot is awesome, the characters are awesome the humour is sarcy as hell.

21 September 2011 at 00:23

Risela03 said...

I have meaning to watch Breaking Bad. I feel that there are too many shows to keep track of and then I forget. I need to get on that..I've heard nothing but great things about Breaking Bad. My favorites shows are Dexter, Eureka (I need to catch up on the current season), Lost and so many other I can't remember right now.

I can't wait to hear your thoughts on BRM, if you have any questions please feel free to email me. Some things have changed since I sent out your samples.

1. I kinda answered this one already, but if you haven't watched Dexter you should.
2. I'm a Mario type of gal so the original Nintendo.
3.I think you the stuff you have in the works covers it. oh maybe Dream works when the re-open.
4.I like em!
5.It's going.

21 September 2011 at 00:38

Jadelyn said...

Meh, if I want tv reviews, there are blogs for that. But then, if they're ranty reviews, I do like your rants no matter the topic, so. Make of that what you will. ;-)

Also can I just say, as someone who frequently drops off the face of the planet and quits blogging for months at a time, I...really sympathize, empathize, whatever. I know how it is when you just...*can't*...right now. And not for awhile. And I actually find that knowing I'm not the only person who does that, that you do it and yet you still have a successful blog and many readers, gives me hope that maybe it's not the end of the world when I have to do it, too. So thank you for being honest about that.

21 September 2011 at 00:38

Evil Angel said...

Ana....I love you! That is all! :o)

21 September 2011 at 02:09

eRiN said...

I was about to tell you how I take my lip swatches and then saw the comment beginning with "Move to California..." ahem. So yes. If you lived in CA like me I would advise you to go stand in the sunlight between 1 and 3PM (sunlight starts to change color after that and will eff up your pics), smile, tilting your face up toward the sun (to minimize shadows), and with the camera on macro, hold it higher than your face, angled downwards (again, shadows) and take picture. Check to see if it's horrible, repeat if necessary. Some colors just really don't translate well even in this day and age, my camera is not up to the task of capturing some of my neon lip colors -_-

Also I would miss seeing EOTDs but not as much as I would miss posts from you in general. Also, I think you should try Virus Insanity Eyeshadows (they only sell on Facebook and it IS annoying, but so worth it).

21 September 2011 at 02:13

Anastasia said...

@Amanda - Boo hiss, FFVIII! I'll play IX then VII and I'll consider playing VIII but it's my least favourite.

@Frances - Sorry it took me so long! Breaking Bad is so excellent, omg. Are you caught up yet? Jesse! JEESSSEEEEEE!
REMIND ME about Glory Box when they re-open, k?

@Kiwi - I might post just eye pictures or something, idk. I hate doing them x.x; and thank you <3

@Mai - That was a lot of info x] my flat isn't sun-facing and yeah, we don't get much bright weather at all, annnnd there's trees outside my windows mostly blocking the light. I've had no success with the methods I use for powder swatches though (daylight bulb). I do the same thing with the hand mirror to make sure I've got stuff in the right place, but when the pictures are on the PC, the colour always looks off. I'll try it with proper sunlight.

@Integgy - I was actually enjoying the plot and the heroine's attitude a lot, but the narrator is really bad. I have the books on my kindle so I will read them in print format. At the time I was asking because I was looking for a new audiobook series. I have plenty of material now :]

@Stephanie - Haha, I heard the exact same thing about the PS3 from someone else recently. Has the new season of Mad Men started?

@Ana - Bleerrrgh EOTDs! I do kinda hate doing them just because it's so depressing, taking photos of my face and then they all suck and my eyes itch and GGRAWWR. Maybe I'll just do them if I feel like doing makeup? Idk! :S

@Naomi - I used to have one years back but it broke. I'll check that out. I'm psyched to play my old PS1 games and play Dynasty Warriors 4 again, haha.

@Risela - I'm so sorry it's taking me so long, I'm such a jerk! I loved everything you sent. I'll have to check the shop out again and see what's new, and actually get off my ass and write about them!

@Jadelyn - Haha, I ask because when I don't feel happy I don't really care much about makeup, I'm more about distractions and entertainment. So I can write about what I'm doing, TV, games, books etc, but not much else.

I'm as surprised as anyone that people are still here when I get back. It's really nice to think that the people who read my blog support me and are understanding. I've made some absolutely incredible friends and met some incredible people through it, and have met people who have the same kinds of issues I do and found a new kind of understanding I simply couldn't find IRL. It's incredibly encouraging.

21 September 2011 at 02:29

Anastasia said...

@Erin - Thanks for the tips! At least if I know I'm doing everything else right, I can try different light sources and see how it works out.

I have to say, I am absolutely not a fan of VIE. They've ripped off Shiro and Persephone Minerals in doing pokémon and Sailor Moon collections after them, and that's not cool with me. Many of the nerdy indies play along nicely and don't rip one another off - it's just respectful. I don't want to give money to anyone who I think steals ideas from the companies I love. =/

21 September 2011 at 02:33

Anastasia said...

@EvilAngel - *Snuggles Andrea* ilu most <3

21 September 2011 at 02:34

Tariray said...

What can I say - you're so friggin awesome...
And you do so much stuff - how the hell do you manage to keep up with a blog in between books, tv, games (cause seriously, I hardly read and my gaming has been stagnant and I can't bleeding update anything)?

Also - Little big planet is suprisingly more challenging than it looks... or maybe i'm just really crap.

Have a great week Ana!

21 September 2011 at 07:56

lexy-thief said...

Yay! Mine is in! Yes, Gary is awesomee..... I cried so hard when he died in Bones... Now I want to cry again...

On an unrelated note, your blog really makes me want to empty my wallet, but since my country's post have a history of stealing totally awesome things (sometimes getting caught) in post, I'm so afraid of ordering something online from abroad.

A friend of mine ordering a pair of shoes from eBay even requested specially so only one shoe will be sent first, until it's arrived, then after an ok, the seller will send another half. TT.TT

21 September 2011 at 15:21

Jilliterate said...

Those glittersniffer entries are hilarious! And it's sweet of you to ask questions.

1. I like the mini TV show reviews -- everyone's been telling me to watch Breaking Bad for eons now. I, in turn, suggest you watch The Wire. It may possibly be the best TV show ever made, and the only downside is that it makes the rest of television look like garbage in comparison.

2. My favourite console is the computer I built. I could go on-and-on about the specs, but really, the best thing about it is the Antec 1200 case, which GLOWS BLUE. I also recently dragged out the old PS2, to play FFX with the boyfriend, who's kind of a Final Fantasy noob.

3. I like the indie reviews, but I'm ignorant about indie companies, so I get all my info from here. :P

4. I love your EOTDs, but I think everyone would prefer a happy blogger.

5. Overeducated and unemployed, so of course I'm on the hunt for a good MMO. Any suggestions? And how are you? :)

21 September 2011 at 18:38

Jessica said...

m'kay...I will now be stalking this post for tips on lip swatches. What a pain. Sometimes I debate even doing on-the-lip shots, because the shade really can be altered a lot by natural underlying lip-tone, but lip reviews feel strange with only hand-swatches.

I like the TV reviews, and as soon as my cable remote is replaced tonight, I'll be checking for Alphas On Demand or setting it to record. Breaking Bad needs to happen soon too, I know. We kind of meant to watch it from the start, then forgot and now have to play catch-up. Which we actually just did with Game of Thrones, yay! After pretty pitiful seasons of past favorites (True Blood, grumble...) I'm in the mood for newness!

Skipping the game question, not a gamer :)

And yes, I'd miss your eyes, but as Erin said, not as much as I'd miss you posting in general, so if the thought of doing EOTDs just makes you dead the blog, I suppose you can skip 'em!

21 September 2011 at 18:56

beautifulwithbrains said...

I like your EOTDs but if you hate doing them then you don't have to post them. :)

And I'd like to see some Tv reviews every and then. I checked out most of the shows you recommended and loved them!

21 September 2011 at 19:12

Iren said...

1. Yes, please! I watch quite a lot of shows, but my greatest love at the moment is for Game of Thrones. Plus old school Star Trek, Monty Python's Flying Circus and How I Met Your Mother. I've been wanting to watch Doctor Who for quite some time, but I'm really intimidated. They're already at the eleventh Doctor and I haven't even started watching!

2. Ah, video games! I've never been a die-hard fan of gaming in general, so no consoles for me. I do play Starcraft from time to time, or the old Portal. (my crappy laptop can't handle the new one)

3. This isn't an indie company by a longshot, but I'd like to hear about Lush products. I don't really buy into their whole "we only use natural stuff because nature makes you AWESOME" act, and I've yet to come across any reviews that seemed 100% truthful.

4. I find them interesting, but if writing such posts doesn't appeal to you any more, I wouldn't mind if they were gone.

5. Life is awesome thanks to Finnish saunas and Romanian cosmetics. My skin has never been better, and the sauna regulates my blood pressure and thus helps me get out of bed in the morning :D

Long comment -.-

21 September 2011 at 19:43

Caitie said...

I'm the same way about audiobooks. I borrow them from the library and probably half go back after only listening to the first 5 minutes. It's not that I don't want to listen, but the right narrator is SO important.

Also, I like the mini TV reviews...curious about Alphas now :)

22 September 2011 at 00:31

JH said...

Interesting article on Heartsy there -- I'm pretty sure that #5 (The Bad) is the seller I had the misfortune to deal with as a would-be customer. No order, no contact, nothing, for THREE MONTHS. And I wasn't even among those waiting the longest. I've had excuse-laden bad service from her before so I can only think that's how she runs her business; I do believe that maybe if I had a blog I'd have received better treatment.

Heartsy was kind enough to give me a refund, which I appreciated, but I feel so sorry for people who ordered a lot and paid via Paypal, since their refund window is only 45 days and people were waiting for MONTHS. You don't take people's money and disappear and call yourself a business owner -- there's another word for that.

Funniest thing is that yesterday, I got a shipping notice! Odd, since I let her know I received a refund. Don't think much of it, really, since others received notices weeks ago and still no package. As the owner of a small business myself, I'm disgusted.

22 September 2011 at 19:55

Karla said...

I'm liking Alphas. Gary's a fave of mine as well as Hicks. I need the pushing power. : )

23 September 2011 at 02:29

Stephanie said...

Okay, so for the record, I happened to see a few seasons of Breaking Bad were on Netflix streaming, so I started watching on your recommendation. HOLY CRAP YOU WERE RIGHT. I'm only four or five episodes in, but it really is a great show. I really like that it kind of borders on being a drama and a dark comedy. I found myself laughing at certain scenes and then immediately thinking, "Wait a tick. That's not funny, is it?"

I agree that Skyler is really an annoying character. I kept trying to place the actress as I knew I'd seen her elsewhere. I finally gave up and looked it up and realized that she also played Martha Bullock in HBO's series Deadwood. I found that character to be annoying as well.

23 September 2011 at 11:18

galenx said...

> I'm considering not posting EOTDs anymore. Would anyone mind?

I *love* your EOTDs, and I know a lot of work goes into them. But honestly I love everything you write (whether or not I agree with every word) and would read whatever you choose to post.

So please go ahead and write whatever you like; I'll be here waiting to read it! :)

23 September 2011 at 12:57

Peachs said...

Do tv series! We seem to have pretty similar taste and I would love to her your reviews on new shows. Now is especially a good time for it with the new fall shows!

23 September 2011 at 18:24

Faye said...

Congrats to the winner, and I'm glad you had a laugh at my slogan!

26 September 2011 at 14:24

madameB said...

Hi Ana!

I was wondering(/hoping) you could review Willow Tree Minerals on Etsy

I found them today and was a bit surprised by their products (i.e. I don't know many indie make up businesses that produce their own mascara but perhaps I haven't searched enough). One of their powders contained only corn starch and preservatives. They do create their own nail polish which I thought was fascinating!

If you have the time, please review their company.

Also, I think you know this already though, your blog is absolutely amazing! Continue with your fantastic geek-themed posts!

Thank you and have a great day, everyday~!


27 September 2011 at 07:44

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