Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Query: Celebrity Encounters

Husband and I recently had an interesting conversation about celebrity encounters. Ultimately we were left in complete disagreement so I'm curious to open the question up to a wider audience.

A while back we had the opportunity to attend a comedy performance by Tom Wilson. I'd be willing to bet that every single one of you knows who Tom Wilson is, but I'd also be willing to bet that most of you know him not as Tom Wilson, but rather as "Biff" from the Back to the Future trilogy.
Tom Wilson in Back to the Future, Part II and Tom Wilson now.
Now I've made no secret of my love of the Back to the Future trilogy: three entire movies about time travel? Sign me up! But I've also always been a person who enjoys the villains more than the protagonist hero (i.e. my love of Alan Rickman and Tim Curry, who somehow manage to make even the most despicable villain likeable) so Biff really is my favorite character in the Back to the Future movies. I always think of what fun it must have been for Tom Wilson to dress up in all the costumes for various time periods and makeup for various ages and then just go around picking on everyone.

Lest anyone think that we only appreciate Tom Wilson for his role in Back to the Future, let me assure you that's not the case. We loved his role as the gym teacher in Freaks and Geeks, he had a guest role on Psych last season, and he's currently in the middle of a several episode stint on Big Love. The guy's really a pretty good actor and every time he shows up on screen somewhere, we're pleasantly surprised.

But anyway, back to the point. Husband and I attended Tom Wilson's comedy show. Husband was particularly excited as he'd just received the Back to the Future trilogy in blu ray and thought perhaps he'd ask Mr. Wilson to sign it.

Once we arrived at the show, however, our friends informed us that they'd done a little research on Mr. Wilson (okay that makes me think of Dennis the Menace) and discovered that he was trying to separate himself from his Back to the Future persona and that he had made a conscious and public decision to not sign any Back to the Future memorabilia.

The show began and less than five minutes into it, Tom addressed this issue. He said that he was going to just put all the Back to the Future stuff out there and then he was moving on. So he said the lines: "Hey, McFly!"; "Hello? (knocking on an audience member's head); "Butthead!" and then he picked up a guitar to sing a song that he had written about his decision. Here's a similar version that he's performed before:

Video courtesy of TomWilsonUSA.

At the end of the song, he did just what he promised: he moved on to the rest of his routine. And guys? He was totally freakin' funny! We were in stitches the entire performance! He sang, he told hysterical stories, and he ad libbed with audience members. Husband and I (and two friends) all agreed that he was genuinely entertaining and we were glad that we'd come to the show.

Now here is where Husband and I have differing opinions (and for the sake of not getting biased feedback, I'm not going to say which one of us had which opinion. Tricky, eh?)

Opinion A: Tom Wilson is totally entitled to not want to sign Back to the Future stuff. That was from 20+ years ago and he's done other work since then, which we've enjoyed (television, movies, and, now, stand-up). He realizes that many people are coming to see him because of his Back to the Future connection so he addresses it upfront in a humorous way and then does his real routine. Would it be great if he went around quoting lines from the movie nonstop and "calling people Butthead on their answering machines" (per his song)? Sure, but he's also a person and that probably gets really old.

Opinion B: Tom Wilson is famous because he played "Biff" in Back to the Future. If he had decided to leave show business entirely, he would be completely justified in being annoyed if people continue to bring it up. However, he stayed in show business and is counting on people recognizing his name and his image to come see his shows. He should not only accept that recognition but embrace the fact that people are coming to see him now because he was Biff in Back to the Future and sign whatever people present to him. Otherwise people wouldn't care.

In the end, Husband decided not to wait in line to meet Tom. No doubt that was partly due to the fact that he didn't trust me to not squeal, "I love you, Biff!" I tried to convince him to go have his own "Brian May moment", but he lamented that no celebrity would ever be as gracious and wonderful as Brian May had been so he would surely be disappointed.

I agreed that the "Brian May standard" is all but insurmountable and off we went to dinner.

Now, in all fairness to Tom Wilson, he's surely not the only celebrity who struggles to get past such a recognizable role and character. He just happens to be the celebrity that prompted the discussion between Husband and I.

For example, here's a video compilation of a guest appearance that Brent Spiner did on the short-lived television show "Joey".

Video courtesy of digikotw.

I particularly like this example because not only is the actual clip about Mr. Spiner trying to distance himself from his role as the beloved Data, but subsequently Matt LeBlanc is in a similar predicament with his character Joey.

By appearing as himself in this episode, Mr. Spiner seems to be taking an approach similar to Tom Wilson: poking fun at himself and the character, but hoping that fans understand that there is some truth behind every joke. Interestingly enough, most of Mr. Spiner's recent movie roles have also been science fiction themed (most notably in Independence Day and Superhero Movie). I'll say this: he's definitely got the role of the slightly crazy scientist down cold.

However, the Star Trek genre is a beast of its own and for Mr. Spiner the role of Data, while more than twenty years old, continues to be lucrative for him so long as he makes appearances at Star Trek conventions across the world. Or by guest staring on the best episode ever of Family Guy with the entire cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Matt LeBlanc, on the other hand, completely embraced the role of Joey, following the ten year run of Friends, by agreeing to star in a spin-off. Of course, this show ended years ago and I'm unsure how Mr. LeBlanc has handled the role of Joey since, but it's safe to say that the role of Joey remains his most recognizable character.

And then there's my botched encounter with Andrew McCarthy from way back in 1999. Perhaps there's no one role or movie that Mr. McCarthy is best known for, but he is remembered as part of the 80s ensemble "the Brat Pack" and the numerous teenage angst-ridden movies in which they starred. I so gushed and fawned over Mr. McCarthy and his roles in movies such as Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo's Fire, and Mannequin (yes, Mannequin), that he thought I was kidding and gave me a really nasty look and moved on to the next fan.

I really wasn't kidding, Mr. McCarthy. Seriously.

So is Tom Wilson justified in not signing Back to the Future memorabilia? Should he just be glad that people still care who he is and leave it at that? Or is he entitled to decide that he wants to move on both personally and professionally and fans should have to go along with that? (And again, this question applies not just to Tom Wilson, but to all celebrities who are best known for a single role or series of roles from a long time ago.)

I'm interested to hear thoughts...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Queen Song of the Week: Fat Bottomed Girls

So this week I'm in a bit of a quandary: every song featured from here on out in Queen's set list of their 1982 Milton Keynes show is a well-known single. And many have already been featured as Queen Songs of the Week.

What's a girl to do?

I had anticipated this when I first decided to feature the set list of this concert, but that was like three months ago and I wasn't prepared to actually acknowledge that at some point the future would get here.

But it's here. Drat.

The songs I haven't featured are actually scattered rather nicely throughout the rest of the set list so I think what I'm going to do is just skip through to the next new song and provide links to the songs already featured. Make sense?

So after the guitar solo, the band played Under Pressure: one of my favorite live songs by the band for reasons I've already discussed in detail here.

Now, I've referred to Fat Bottomed Girls a few times on this blog (specifically here and here), but I've never featured the song so let's get to it.

Fat Bottomed Girls was written by Dr. May and appeared on the band's 1978 album Jazz. The song was released as the Double-A side of a single (along with Bicycle Race) in 1978, peaking at #11 and #24 on the U.K. and U.S., respectively.

Though RT sings background vocals onstage, he doesn't sing on the studio version: Dr. May and Freddie Mercury perform all the background vocals. The rest of the song itself is pretty simple although there is a bit of a tricky drum beat that took me weeks to figure out on Rock Band! Oooh that RT!

Performed live, this song was always a crowd favorite and was one of only two songs off the Jazz album that the band played into the 80s.

This song always makes me smile because without fail while on a run and facing a particular massive hill, my iPhone would shuffle to this song. It always made me giggle and made the hill seem less daunting.

Happy Listening!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Cream Shadow Pot with Brush Review

My obsession with cream eye shadows continues. I originally started experimenting with cream eye shadow when I purchased Smashbox Cream Shadow Liner in Starstruck for $5 at Sephora! The product is mislabled on the website as Jet Set Eyeliner, but it is definitely the cream shadow liner. I immediately loved it and began wearing it at least once a week to work in combination with a variety of different eye liners.

Back in November, I spotted tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Cream Shadow Pot with Brush on QVC. I was intrigued and added it to my Christmas list. My sister-in-law purchased it for me in Slate and I finally received it when we celebrated our late Christmas a few weeks back.

Since then, I've worn this shadow several times, including to my first session with my new psychologist. Let me just say this: they aren't kidding when they say "waterproof". Once this stuff is on, it's on until I remove it at the end of the day with my philosophy Purity Made Simple cleanser.

Here I am wearing only the tarte eye shadow.
As you can see, the Slate color is actually more of a bronze-gold, which I love. My favorite powder eye shadow is Clinique's Colour Surge Eye Shadow Super Shimmer in Rum Spice and this tarte shadow is the perfect cream counterpart to that lovely shade.

According to the tarte website, their "high-performance natural™ Amazonian clay is nature's most perfect ingredient, lending deep color pigments while nourishing skin, reducing surface oil and improving overall texture for smooth application."

I have to admit, that they're description of what the Amazonian clay accomplishes is pretty accurate. This product reminds me of a talc in that it goes on creamy and then dries enough that it doesn't smear. However, it also manages to not dry out so much that my eyelids get cracked or dry.

The brush is great and part of the reason why I wanted this specific product. Up until receiving this brush, I'd been having difficulty applying the cream shadow to only my eyelid. No matter what I did with the prior brush, I'd end up with cream shadow in my crease and creeping up towards my eyebrow. Not flattering. I do wash my brush after every use so the cream shadow doesn't get the brush all crusty and clumpy.

Because I'm never one to be happy with wearing just eye shadow, here I am with my finished eye look.
Products and tools used:
Bare Escentuals Dark Brown shadow from Meet the Browns

The lady at the Bare Escentuals store that I visited a few weeks ago showed me how to use a dark color in my crease and I'm so glad she did! I'm such a fan of this semi-smokey look! The already ridiculously cheap Meet the Browns kit was an additional 25% off during a Sephora promotion right around New Years and I just couldn't stop myself from picking up these three full sized brown shades!

And the Jet Set Liner is fast becoming one of my favorite eye liners ever: I clean my brush every day and make sure the cap is tightly closed and mine has lasted for months! I wish I could wear it on my inner rim like the models do, but unfortunately my gas permeable contacts make that rather uncomfortable.

Is it weird that I'm seriously considering Lasik surgery so that I can use a specific eye liner technique? 

My biggest complaint about the tarte cream shadow is that I can't find it available anywhere without the brush. I didn't mind the $22 price tag when a brush was included, but I don't want to have to rebuy the brush just to get the other shades! I couldn't even find the cream shadow available on the tarte website!

I'm hoping that means that the product was a QVC exclusive and it will start appearing elsewhere soon because I really would like to pick up a few additional colors of this cream shadow. I'm definitely a fan!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Neil Diamond!

Today Neil Diamond is 70 years old! Happy Birthday, Neil!

Neil Diamond is my favorite solo musician. He's been writing songs since the 1960s and is still going strong, releasing his most recent album of original songs Home Before Dark in 2008. This past year he released Dreams, a collection of reinterpretations of his favorite songs by other artists.

Like Queen, part of Neil Diamond's appeal is his magnificent stage shows, complete with his famous sparkled shirts. I've been fortunate enough to see Neil Diamond in concert twice (once in 2001 at Madison Square Garden and once in 2008 at Fenway Park). I also squeezed my way to the front row of Neil's performance at NYU back in 2001 where I competed for his attention amongst a sea of approximately 400 women aged 50 and older. It was pretty amazing and I managed to get some awesome photographs (though I was too shy to take any while he was actually looking in my direction!).

If anyone is unfamiliar with Neil's songs, here are a few of my favorites for your consideration.

1) Hello, Again: Husband and I used this song as our first dance at our wedding reception. It's very simple and very sweet.

2) If You Know What I Mean: I'd never heard this song when I saw Neil in 2001, but when he played it at that show, I immediately loved it. I returned home and deduced which song it was by remembering a few of the lyrics. The studio version is just as powerful as the live version was (and I have to say I was rather disappointed when he didn't play this song in 2008).

3) Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show: This song always reminds me of my dad. His favorite line is "Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies and everyone goes." The song has a mock-gospel feel to it, complete with Neil's own spoken sermon halfway through. Awesome!

4) The Story of My Life: One of my first favorite Neil Diamond songs. Figure skater Brian Orser skated to this song and I was instantly a fan.

5) I'm a Believer: Sure, this song has been covered a hundred times, most famously by the Monkees and Smash Mouth, but did you realize that Neil Diamond wrote it? He also wrote two other famous songs by the Monkees "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" and "Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)". I was a Monkees fan as a little girl so Neil had a spot in my heart even back then!

In March, Neil Diamond will be inducted (finally) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! Congratulations in advance, Neil! And Happy Birthday!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Queen Song of the Week: Gutiar Solo

I toyed with the idea of combining the Guitar Solo from Queen's 1982 concert at the Milton Keynes Bowl with the next song on the set list, but ultimately I think it's fitting that the guitar solo gets a post of its own.

After all, it's not just any guitar solo: it's a guitar solo by Brian freakin' May!

Dr. May's guitar solos were an interesting creature: they originated as the lengthy guiar solo from Queen's 1974 song Brighton Rock and from there transformed into a nearly unrecognizable series of riffs and chords.

Early on in Queen's career, RT would play a drum solo that sequed into Dr. May's guitar solo. Later on, on account of RT claiming to hate drum solos, he eliminated them from the set list, but continued to occassionally appear on state for a portion of Dr. May's solo.

(As an aside, RT once again began playing drum solos during the band's 2005 and 2008 tours with Paul Rodgers on vocals and by most accounts, they were excellent!)

It's very interesting to listen to Dr. May's guitar solos and try to pick out familiar portion's from the band's songs. It's equally interesting to listen to his solos through the years and see how they've changed. For reference, here's Dr. May's solo from the band's Rock Montreal blu ray, the concert was filmed just a year before the Milton Keynes show, but listen to how the guitar solo has changed!

Happy listening!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sweet Child O' Mine

Since I went ahead and let the cat out of the bag regarding our struggle with infertility a few weeks back, I figure I might as well continue to write about our journey.

It was really great to read everyone's comments. And equally helpful to put into writing a lot of what I've been thinking and feeling. I was also able to make a pretty significant decision which I'll go into more detail about at the end of this post.

Thus far, we've attempted IUI (inter uterine insemination) three times. The most recent time I pressed my doctor to be more aggressive, telling him that we'd be fine with multiples if it meant that we got pregnant. He reluctantly allowed me to increase my dosage of medication and I ended up with three mature follicles, which ended up not even being enough.

This most recent attempt was really frustrating: I was convinced that it had worked. After the procedure, the toughest part is waiting the two weeks before you can take a pregnancy test, but this time the two weeks just flew by because I was so sure that I'd be getting good news.

The next step is probably IVF (in vitro fertilization). My doctor has scheduled me for a hysterosalpingogram next week. I've tried to envision circumstances where we wouldn't proceed to IVF and honestly I can't think of any: if the test shows a problem, that means IUI will probably never work and if the test shows no problem, we've already tried IUI three times and the odds are that it should have worked by now, especially with us stepping up my medication dosage this past go round.

In any event, we're losing a month, which is frustrating. Back in August, I thought we'd have a baby by April and now a best case scenario is by April, I won't even be into my second trimester. Two years ago, I envisioned telling my family at Christmas that we were pregnant. Then I reluctantly acknowledged that perhaps it would be this past Christmas that we'd have good news for our family. Now we're less than three weeks into 2011 and I'm starting to worry that if we don't have some success soon, I might be looking at not having a baby until 2012.

Which is irrational...I know that. Like I said, we're three weeks into 2011. There's no need to discount the entire year already, but in my mind, I'm already starting to think that way.

When I spoke to the nurse on Friday, and she confirmed that the last attempt had not worked, I asked to speak to the clinic's on site psychologist. She's not currently taking patients, but she recommended another local psychologist who was. They both specialize in working with women and couples dealing with infertility.

Husband had suggested that I look into seeing someone several weeks back. All my life I've been someone who succeeds when I've set out to accomplish something and now there's this relatively simple yet monumental thing that I just can't seem to get right. I think about how Husband would have kids already if he was married to someone else. And I glare at my clients who seem to get pregnant at the drop of a hat only to have the baby promptly taken away.

I don't think my line of work helps matters much. Every day from 9am-5pm, I'm surrounded by children and parents having children, losing children, and children being returned home after years in foster care. I wake up in the morning and think of what's in store for me at my office.

And I don't want to go.

Recently my sister-in-law had ankle surgery. She's been on a variation of bed rest for the last few weeks. I told Husband that sounded pretty good to me.

Husband tells me that I don't have to work through a pregnancy and if I want, I can quit whenever.

To do what? I asked him. Be a stay-at-home-Kathleen?

So in an effort to actually make going to work, to a job that I formerly loved, bearable, I'm meeting with this psychologist for the first time on Tuesday morning.

We'll see how it goes.

In any event, we're losing this month. Between doing the histerosalpingogram and attending an IVF training session, it's going to be mid-February before we can attempt anything, IVF or otherwise.

Hopefully I can take that time to take care of myself. I'm not doing anybody any favors by being an emotional mess throughout this process.

I really do appreciate everyone's support and comments. It helps to know that I'm not the only person out there going through this and honestly, it's beginning to amaze me that anyone manages to get pregnant since it seems like everyone has some story to share. I don't intend to post every aspect of our journey here, but I can certainly share the big decisions and milestones.

And in an attempt to not make this post a total bummer, I'll leave you with one thing I found today that did make me smile: a performance of Brent Spiner, best known as Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Chita Rivera, of too many Broadway shows to name, singing An English Teacher and Rosie from one of my all time favorite musicals Bye Bye Birdie.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Queen Song of the Week: Get Down, Make Love

The next song from Queen's 1982 concert at the Milton Keynes Bowl is Get Down, Make Love. This is a rather polarizing song by the band, with some fans finding it absolutely atrocious and others quite liking it.

I'm in the latter category myself.

Get Down, Make Love appeared on the band's 1977 album News of the World. It was written by Freddie Mercury and was not released as a single.

Yes, the lyrics are ridiculous, beyond laughable, but perhaps I'm just used to that. After all, I'm an RT fan, and while he didn't write the lyrics to this song, he's definitely written some doosies in his day. If you can find a way to get past what Freddie is actually singing, the tune and theme of the song is kind of fun.

And the stage experience is pretty cool. Queen tended to experiment with lighting during their concerts, trying to tie the whole visual and audio experience together. This song in particular, with its psychedelic undertones, lends really well to the spectacle of a full stage production.

This song has also been covered by quite a few artists. Most recently, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails released his own studio version, after performing the song live for quite some time. True to his style, he plays up the "creepy" aspect of this song a bit more than I like, but he does seem to be getting some positive feedback. Click here to hear his version.

Happy Listening!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bare Escentuals Makeup Review

After my review of Bare Escentuals High Shine Eyecolor last week (click here), I received some questions about Bare Escentuals foundation.

I've been using Bare Escentuals foundation since June 2010. A co-worker (and QVC-obsessed partner-in-crime) brought a small sample of Warmth and full sized versions of Original SPF 15 Foundation in Medium Beige and Mineral Veil for me to try. I was immediately impressed and ordered the bareMinerals Makeup Revolution 6-Piece Starter Kit in Medium Beige.

This starter kit is great. It comes with a foundation, concealer bisque, and mineral veil along with two brushes and a lip gloss. It lasted a rather long time (through the fall of 2010) and my only complaint is that the lids were too small for the swirl, tap, and buff method that you're supposed to use to apply the makeup. Luckily once I got full sized versions, that problem was resolved.

As to the color, I never in a million years thought that I'd wear a shade as dark as Medium Beige. The description is "for medium skin with neutral undertones" so even though the shade appears to be in the middle of the foundation spectrum, it really is the color that is designed for most people. The lighter shades in the Bare Escentuals line are really light and in my opinion foundation that is a shade too light looks more ridiculous than foundation that's a shade too dark. With Bare Escentuals, you can also control how much of the foundation you use so I've managed to continue using Medium Beige into the winter by just using a light touch during application.

So here I am without any makeup on. I washed my face using philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash and applied philosophy Hope in a Jar and Hope in a Tube. Then I waited at least fifteen minutes before applying any makeup (this is a tip I've heard from a few different sources. Your moisturizer needs time to absorb and if you apply your foundation too quickly, it ends up absorbing into your skin along with your moisturizer. Yuck!)

First, I use the Maximum Coverage Face Brush to apply Bisque concealer. This part is the most important step as far as I'm concerned. I have Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and one of the side effects is acne so I tend to get small blemishes and scarring that I need to cover. My problem areas are on my chin and along my cheek bones. The brush does an amazing job of covering up every discoloration. Because of the high concentration of makeup that goes on this brush, I wash it every few days. The good news is that Bare Escentuals brushes dry overnight!

Here I am after using the Bisque concealer.

Second, I use the Full Flawless Application Face Brush to apply Original SPF 15 Foundation in Medium Beige. The proper method to apply the foundation is to put a bit of it in the lid of the container, swirl the brush in the lid, and then tap the excess off the brush. The new invention is a locking sifter lid which I highly recommend. It's never nice to be able to tap out what I need and then close the sifter so it doesn't spill out all over the place. When it comes to Bare Escentuals foundation, it's really trial and error to figure out the right amount to use. If I tap out too much, I just tip it back into the container and use it the next time.

After I'm happy with the coverage of the foundation, I finish off the look with Mineral Veil. In a perfect world, I'd have a second face brush, but I don't so I use the same Full Flawless Application Face Brush which seems to work just fine for now. Mineral Veil doesn't have any color to it: the idea is that it minimizes lines, absorbs oil, and softens your complexion. I'm not posting that picture because since Mineral Veil is translucent, it looks basically the same as the previous picture.

Finally, I applied Warmth with the same Full Flawless Application Face Brush. I still use the same small container of Warmth that my coworker gave me last June. I use it very sparingly and not every day. It ends up looking like a mild bronzer, not too dark but a bit of color across my face.

Here's the finished look.

Once I'm done applying my Bare Escentuals foundation, I apply the rest of my makeup. The whole process takes some getting used to and in the beginning, it took me nearly twenty minutes to apply everything to my liking. Now I'm down to about five minutes total, which isn't that bad as far as I'm concerned.

Here's the first photo and the last photo side-by-side for comparison purposes.

It's hard to really tell the difference from one picture to the next and honestly the entire look ends up being really subtle, but frankly that's why I like it. I've never been someone who liked heavy foundation so this works perfectly for me. And it's so lightweight! I don't feel like I'm wearing any foundation at all which is great, especially in the summer when the idea of a lot of makeup just feels miserable.

I definitely recommend going to a Bare Escentuals store if you are near one. They'll do a consultation with you, show you how to apply everything, and help you pick out the perfect shade. If you don't have that as an option, get a small starter kit, like I did, so if you end up with the wrong shade or it just doesn't work for you, you aren't breaking the bank.

Good luck and happy shopping!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

These Boots Were Made for Walking: Wooly White Superfeet inserts

Yesterday while out shopping, I spotted a small crowd gathered around an UGG boot display at Nordstrom. This is not unusual as the shoe section of Nordstrom is basically taken over by UGGs during winter months, but this crowd seemed to centered at a certain table. I made my way over and discovered what was causing all the commotion:

Wooly White Superfeet had arrived!

These babies are so new that they aren't even listed on the Nordstrom or the Superfeet website yet!

I'd heard about them initially back in November when my local Fleet Feet sent out an email saying that they had a limited edition order of about 25 pairs. Of course, those were gone by the time I finished reading the email. So when I realized that the inserts had finally been released, I pounced.

Why the excitement?

Well, for a few reasons. First, my UGG boots are about four years old. They are still in great condition and I don't need a new pair anytime soon, but the original insoles were a complete mess. There seems to be a split of opinion on wearing UGGs with or without socks: I wear mine without socks so I need the insole to be soft and comfortable against my feet. Many a time I'd consider purchasing these new insole inserts but for one reason or another, I'd change my mind.

Second, UGGs are constantly being criticized for having zero arch support. Now I don't wear mine day in and day out, but when I do wear them, I have noticed that my feet can get a little cramped after too much walking. I've used Green Superfeet before for running and adore the support that they offer so I had high hopes for using the Wooly White Superfeet with my UGGs.

The scariest thing about using Superfeet is that you are responsible for cutting them to size. The sales associate at Nordstrom offered to cut them for me, but I didn't have my UGGs with me yesterday so I wasn't sure about how much she should cut. Ultimately I figured since I had successfully cut my Green Superfeet, I could cut the Wooly White ones.

The instructions for cutting Superfeet are pretty straightforward: remove your old insoles, place them on top of the Superfeet with the heel and the interior arch lined up, and then trace the outline of the old insole onto the Superfeet. Once you have a line, use some scissors to cut along the outside of the line. It might take some trial and error to get the Superfeet to fit perfectly, but make sure not to cut them too short!

*Note* Above, the left picture is of the line traced on the left insert. The right picture is me cutting the right insert.

I got the sizing right on the first try and the new inserts feel great. In fact, I've been trotting around the house in my boots all morning, enjoying the simultaneous warmth and support! True, these inserts are expensive, but Superfeet offers a 60 day fit guarantee and a one year warranty. Personally I've found that my previous Superfeet lasted longer than the one year and as far as I'm concerned, I'm saving at least $100 because now I don't need to buy a new pair of UGG boots!

Happy Sunday!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Queen Songs of the Week: Love of My Life, Save Me, and Back Chat

So this week we're finishing up the first disc of the 1982 Milton Keynes concert released as Queen on Fire at the Bowl. I'm featuring three songs this week because I've already written about two of the songs and I like to have fresh material to write about.

Love of My Life is a fan favorite at concerts. Typically the fans sing along and Freddie Mercury would allow them to carry the melody without him. More recently, Dr. May has taken over vocals of this song as he continued to play it during their tours with Paul Rodgers in 2005 and 2008. Click here to hear that version (note the empty seat next to Dr. May where Freddie used to sit).

Save Me is one of several Queen songs that in my opinion sound better live. In fact, I never really cared for the song until I heard the band perform it at the Montreal 1981 show. Here's a link to the version from the Milton Keynes show.

Back Chat was written by John Deacon and appeared on the band's 1981 album Hot Space. It is viewed as a follow-up to Another One Bites the Dust in both style and formula. However, the song was nowhere near as successful as Another One Bites the Dust. Back Chat was released as a single in 1982 but peaked at #40 in the U.K. charts.

Video courtesy of Oberon1966.

According to Dr. May, "John, who wrote the song, has gone perhaps more violently black than the rest of us. We had lots of arguments about it, and what he was heading for in his tracks was a totally non-compromise situation, doing back stuff as R&B artists would do it with no concessions to our methods at all, and I was trying to edge him back toward the central path and get a bit of heaviness into it, and a bit of the anger of rock music. So one night I said I wanted to see what I could add to it – I felt that the song, as it stood, wasn't aggressive enough: it's [called] 'Back Chat', and it's supposed to be about people arguing and it should have some kind of guts to it. He agreed, and I went in and tried a few things." (Source: Queenpedia).

This song has never been one of my favorites which isn't surprising since I've never really been a John fan. In the early 1980s, he was very into R&B and funk to the point that he basically wanted to take all of the band's music in that direction. Luckily, the others (particularly Dr. May and RT) pushed back and were able to save some aspect of Queen's recognizable sound.

So that's it for the first half of Queen's 1982 Milton Keynes concert. We'll keep making our way through the second half every Friday morning!

Happy Listening!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bare Escentuals Review: High Shine Eyecolor in Glisten

Last week a girlfriend and I stopped in at the Bare Escentuals store at our local mall. I've used the foundation for about six months and was raving about it. My friend was curious and made an appointment with a consultant to try it out. Never one to turn down a makeover, I met with a consultant as well for some tips on using Bare Escentuals eye shadows, which I've been dying to try.

While we waited for our appointments, I spotted the High Shine Eyecolor and thought it looked pretty great. Ultimately, I ended up buying another product, but when later that evening I needed to spend an extra $15 at Sephora to get free shipping, it seemed like a great idea to add this particular shadow to my cart. I picked the color Glisten, a bronze shade, because it's unlike anything I currently own and I'm always excited to try new makeup looks.

My Sephora order arrived on Tuesday and I was eager to try out my new products right away.

Here's the final results. To make sure that the focus is on the eye shadow, I'm not wearing any other makeup.
Products used:
Bare Escentuals Dark Brown Eyecolow from Meet the Browns Shadow Kit
Mally Milk Chocolate Eye Liner from Prime Time Evercolor Starlight Liners

My biggest complaint about the High Shine Eyecolor is that it's a freakin' mess. Seriously. Can you see the little gold speckles across my cheeks? The only way I could ever wear this in public is if I did my eyes first, used makeup remover to tidy up, and then put on my foundation afterwards.

I think part of the problem with this product is that when it's brand new, the product just collects on the applicator. You can see that the color extends far beyond the sponge applicator tip. In the store, when I was trying out this product, it was less messy which I can only assume was because the product had been opened for a while and was less full. If you can get past the initial messy stage, it seems to get slightly better.
The product goes on smoothly and the color is bright without being too glittery or young looking. In retrospect, I wish I had chosen a darker color because the gold isn't really doing much for me. To try to give my eyes more emphasis, I blended some of the Dark Brown eyeshadow into the crease and used my Mally eyeliner.

The final look is nice enough, but it really didn't wow me. If I'm going to alter my makeup routine completely to account for all the mess that this product will make, I want the results to be fabulous. Perhaps a different color would win me over, but Glisten is going back.

I did receive some other goodies in my Sephora order that I'll review soon!

Happy Wednesday!