Monday, December 12, 2011

Drinks for the Drinking Nonthusiast: Cigar City Brewing

 The Contestants:
Cigar City Brewing's Jai Alai IPA, Maduro Brown Ale, Hillsborough River Dry Irish Stout, Florida Cracker Belgian Wit, Tocobaga Red Ale, and Hotter Than Helles Lager
The Review:
So this review is going to be a bit different for a few reasons.  I actually visited this brewery when I went home for Thanksgiving (thanks parents for telling me about it!), so the majority of that list is what I tried while at the brewery itself.  The only one I had any large amount of recently is the Maduro because I bought a growler of it to take home.  And, unfortunately, I didn't take notes while I was at the brewery because I am lame like that.  So most of this review will be from memory.

What are you're initial thoughts?
Jai Alai IPA (7.5%):  I honestly don't remember too much about this one...  I know I didn't have more than a small taste of it, but from what I remember it is just a pretty standard IPA...  I'll have to see if I can find any around here, seeing as this is really the only one of their brews that gets shipped out farther than the immediate city.  This is their most well known brew and the only one I had heard of before realizing the brewery even existed, and in my hometown for that matter!

Maduro Brown (5.5%):  Now this is my favorite out of those that I sampled.  Obviously I liked it enough to buy a growler (a full quart filled from their taps at the bar that you take home with you).  It has a rather chocolate-y flavor, that is still bitter with a slight roasted espresso flavor.  I'm not usually one for "flavored" beer, but this is absolutely delicious, especially as a sort of winter/dessert beer (seeing as a opened my growler on one of the first chilly nights this past week), although it is brewed year-round from what I understand.

Hillsborough River Stout (5.5%):  I got a sample of this beer for one reason only: the river for which this is named for is one of my favorite places in my hometown.  I have rather fond memories of hiking around the river and canoeing on the river itself.  So I had to try the beer (which ironically shares the same color as the river)!  If the Maduro had a chocolatey coffee flavor, it was nothing compared to the Hillsborough River.  This brew was overwhelming in its flavors of roasted coffee and cocoa.

Florida Cracker Wit (5%): This was the first beer I sampled at the brewery.  I don't remember too much about it, but I don't think it was my favorite by any means.  I remember the flavor being much stronger than I had anticipated, although I don't really remember much else than that.  According to their website, this beer has citrus-y notes with a hint of coriander and vanilla.

Tocobaga Red (7.2%):  This was my boyfriend's favorite of everything we sampled.  Therefore, I made him (although rather unwillingly haha) write up the mini review of this one.  He says, "It was a strong beer, with a very rich piney taste that may put off people that aren't too big a fan of reds. Personally, I really enjoyed it and wouldn't mind having it again sometime. "  I will have to agree with him on the piney nature of the beer being off-putting.  While I do enjoy reds upon occasion, the piney-ness of this beer was a bit overwhelming in my opinion.

Hotter Than Helles Lager (5%):  This was the favorite of my light-beer-drinking parents.  They initially got this thinking it would be spicy (I think someone told them it had a bite), but is wasn't like that at all.  From what I remember, it was just a nice beer, especially for those who aren't used to the stronger flavors of craft beers,

How's the price?
Well, my parents took my boyfriend and I on the tour of the brewery which was $5 a person and included a beer and a pint glass.  What a deal!   I don't remember the price, but the growlers were rather reasonable as well.

Would you ever buy this again?
Well, next time I am at home I plan on buying another growler of the Maduro Brown and possible a six-pack of the Jai Alai, so I would say yes.  I'm rather sad that I don't have any more of the Maduro!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Question for the Makeup Knowledgeable!

I purchased some red lipstick over the summer and wore it a bit then, but I want to start wearing it more now (like to class and such), but I don't want to have to worry about reapplying it every hour.  Any tips to help with this?  I know red is a high maintenance color, but I want it a low maintenance as possible!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Drinks for the Drinking Nonthusiast: Terrapin Beer Company's Gamma Ray

 The Contestant:
Gamma Ray

Source: Terrapin's Website

The Review:
I went on a beer hunt today for a specific beer (which I did find, and will review later), but while I was on that quest, I ran into this monster and had to pick it up.  Needless to say, the superhero-themed labeling forced me to buy it.

What are you're initial thoughts?
*ROUNDHOUSE KICK TO THE FACE*  Holy ball, Batman, this beer is strong.  Lesson learned, read the ABV before purchasing any beer claiming to be a "monster" of a brew.  Actually, I should probably look at the ABVs all the time....  This lovely little beer has twice the amount of alcohol in it that any other beer I usually drink.  According to the website, "This Gamma Ray will stop any super hero’s arch enemies in their tracks!" In all honesty, I don't think I can actually even finish the glass I have sitting next to me, it is that strong. I guess that makes me a supervillian!  The flavor is sweet, but with a hoppy bitterness that is stronger than I expected in a wheat beer.  I guess that is what makes it a "wheatwine."  My roommate had a sip and told me it reminded her more of wine than beer, but she isn't a beer or wine drinker, so we have to take her evaluation with that in mind.  As for the color, Gamma Ray is an innocent amber color.  It hides its strength well!

How's the price?
I paid around $10 for a 4 pack.  That is definitely a lot more than I would like to spend on beer, but it was worth the experience.

Would you ever buy this again?
Nope.  It is too strong for me to even enjoy the flavor.  I am interested in trying Terrapin's other brews, especially the Sunray Wheat and  Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout (never the Monster brews though!)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Movie Reviews for the Bad Movie Lover: Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter

The Contestant:
Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter (2001)
"The Power of Christ IMPALES You!"

The Review:
I went to my friend's Halloween party last night, and somehow this movie got brought up.  We decided that it was life-threateningly important that we find the movie and watch it.  Surprisingly, it is on Netflix.

How is the overall quality?
Jesus and his hot bitches?  Look at the amazing image
quality!  Also this was part of a musical number!
When you hear the title of the movie, you expect a low-budget film of questionable intent.  And this film doesn't disappoint.  The movie looks like it was filmed by a college student using his parents' old video camera.  The video quality it absolutely terrible and the sound doesn't make up for it.  It looks like a poorly dubbed movie, with the actors' lips not syncing up to the sound, except it is originally in English, so I'm not sure what is going on there.  To top off the awful video and sound, the acting seems like the actors have never tried to act before, and the director just told them to "be tough."  Everyone is monotone, because apparently monotone = tough. Oh, and there are trippy crosses randomly.

How are the plot and the characters?
Awful and awful, to sum it up nicely.  In all honesty, I got distracted around the time the luchador showed up, so I can't give a very good review of the full plot, but from what I saw, the plot was pretty bad.  The vampires want to kill Jesus for some reason and they are also hunting lesbians.  Why lesbians?  I don't know.  In any case, Jesus is a kung-fu master, and he kicks major vampire butt.  He doesn't really have a personality, but I think expecting that would be holding this movie to too high of standards.  Also appearing in the movie is Mary Magnum, who's only defining feature is a shiny red jumpsuit.

Is it so bad it’s good?
Yes.  Very much yes.  I haven not seen a movie so terrible in a long time, if ever!  I don't know if I could actually sit down and watch the entire thing without a big group (and beer!) to make fun of it with.  The dubbing would probably drive me crazy.

So would you watch it again?
Probably not.  It’s worth the watch if you are in the mood for god-awful movies, but I certainly don't want to watch it again.  I don't even know if I want to finish it!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Drinks for the Drinking Nonthusiast: Magic Hat #9

 The Contestant:
Magic Hat #9
Isn't the label awesome looking?

The Review:
This is the second installment of the night I went out with friends and just picked a random beer off of the menu!  I decided on Magic Hat #9 because I already love their Circus Boy.  (If I am incorrect in my labeling of this beer please correct me because the menu only said "Magic Hat" and I never saw a bottle or the tap, so I had to read other reviews to see what flavor they said for Magic Hat's main brews so I could label it on here)

What are you're initial thoughts?
I should have stuck to the Dead Guy Ale.  The moment I received the Magic Hat, I knew I made the wrong decision.  The smell was overwhelming.  I decided (with the help of my friends at the table) that this beer smells exactly like a Jolly Rancher candy.  Specifically the strawberry one.  If you have ever had one of these candies, you know it smells and tastes nothing like a real strawberry, but it is sugary sweet artificial strawberry none the less.  Now imagine that with beer undertones.  That is what the Magic Hat I ordered tasted like.  (according to other reviewers, #9 has an intense fruity apricot flavor, but I couldn't get past the candy-like flavor in general)

How's the price?
I believe I paid about $5 for a pint, which of course is more than I would like to pay for beer, but since I was eating out, I was willing to pay for it.  I assume a 6-pack is a bit more reasonably priced.

Would you ever buy this again?
Never again.  The candy flavor is not something I enjoy at all.  The beer itself is not necessarily a bad beer, but the flavor is just not my thing.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Drinks for the Drinking Nonthusiast: Rogue's Dead Guy Ale

The Contestant:
Rogue's Dead Guy Ale
Their website

The Review:
So I went out to eat with some friends, and decided to pick a random beer from the drinks menu!

What are you're initial thoughts?
Well, considering I had no idea what I had ordered, I was pleasantly surprised!  This beer is pretty delicious, if I do say so myself.  It has a distinct hoppy flavor (think bitter if you don't know what hops taste like), although it is not incredibly strong in that respect, like an IPA would be.  It was perfect with my fajita quesadillas.

How's the price?
I believe I paid about $5 for a pint, which of course is more than I would like to pay for beer, but since I was eating out, I was willing to pay for it.  I assume a 6-pack is a bit more reasonably priced.

Would you ever buy this again?
Most definitely!  I am thinking about picking up a 6-pack when I am out of the beer I have already, or maybe trying another style from Rogue.  (I've had their Chocolate Stout before and if you like a rich chocolate flavor, I suggest it!)  I will have to see what the local liquor store has in stock!  In any case, the name alone makes Dead Guy Ale appropriate for a Halloween gathering.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

On the Subject of my Crazy Life: Drawing 2 Class

Just some work from my Drawing 2 class!  Sorry for the blurry and dark photos, the pieces are much to big to scan, and I took these photos inside where it was rather dimly lit already.  As always, click the photos to see a bigger image!

I like to call this "The Deconstruction of a Petticoat."  The assignment was to draw an article of clothing without any background.  I obviously chose my petticoat because I really like drawing the fabric folds.  A lot.
Petticoat!  First take-home assignment.  Done in pencil (mostly mechanical pencil!)

After a couple of assignments in pencil, we moved on to stick and ink.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with this medium, it is literally a stick that has been sharpened to a drawing point at one end and the other end is left brush-like.  Then you dip either end into ink and draw with it.  The whole process is rather labor intensive because you have to press down really hard to get the ink out of the porous stick after the initial ink on the outside is gone.
Still life done mostly in class.  Stick and ink

This is the most recent assignment we did in class.  Technically this assignment is due Monday, so I still have time to do some more editing, but I am happy with it so far, so I might just be done.  I think pen and ink is my favorite medium, even though it is ridiculously time consuming!
Still life done mostly in class.  Pen and ink

This has nothing to do with class assignments, but I do like it enough to share!
Bonus!  Hippo Skull in pen and ink!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Randomness: Beer Flowchart

I've been wandering around blogspot and ran into a few different and interesting beer blogs (with writers that are much more knowledgeable than myself).  On one of those blogs, this silly flowchart was linked.  Now I've tried a lot of these, but haven't even heard of others!  Especially that $500 dollar one!  Just thought I would share this with you guys, because I don't know about you, but I find pointless flowcharts to be crazy awesome for some reason
Go to the Source to see it bigger!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Drinks for the Drinking Nonthusiast: Magic Hat's Circus Boy

The Contestant:
Magic Hat Brewing Company's Circus Boy

Once again, I had to get the label from their website

The Review:
Here is a little known fact about myself:  my favorite color is yellow.  And the sunshiny label, combined with the fun name, of this hefeweizen, sold me.  I had no choice but to purchase it.  Oh well, on with the review!

What are you're initial thoughts?
I had no idea what to expect from this beer because the label didn't give me any hints as to what the flavor would be beyond the usual wheat beer taste.  It was surprised when it had a rather nutty flavor!  I had never had a nutty tasting wheat before, but this was delicious!  The flavor is rather light in general, but not too incredibly light that it has no flavor.  To compare, Blue Moon is around the same flavor intensity, although Circus Boy is more smooth in my opinion.

How's the price?
I paid about $8.99 US for a six-pack, so it's on the upper end of average price for a wheat.

Would you ever buy this again?
Most definitely!  I enjoyed it, especially for the change from a citrus-y wheat or the powerful UFO.  Plus, looking at the bright label makes me happy when I drink this beer!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

On the Subject of my Crazy Life: Learning Digital

So those of you who know me, know I draw a lot.  And pretty much solely in traditional mediums.  (Copic markers and micron pens are my weapons of choice!)  But recently I have been delving into digital art.  It has been a difficult battle, and I'm not too sure about it so far, but have a work in progress picture of a self-portrait I'm working on!
Look Ma!  I'm a cartoon!
Yep, that is what I have so far!  I don't normally draw humans, so the both the face structure and the flesh color were rather obnoxious to work on (still need to finish the skin coloring too!)  If any of you are artists, critiques are always welcome!

Adventures in Homebrewing: Episode I

First off, sorry for the long silence.  School started back up and I haven't had time to keep up with this on top of my classwork!  Hopefully, I will do better now *crosses fingers*

So I am planning on doing some homebrewing in the next few months.  I bought a book, How to Brew by John Palmer, that will hopefully fill in the holes where a brewing kit instruction might lack.  I actually found the entire book online for free, but I am a traditionalist when it comes to reading so I chose to buy it.  Also I figured it would be handy to have in the kitchen with me when I actually start brewing!

Now then, I have only read the quickstart chapters, but I don't feel prepared to lay down the money on a kit yet (probably around $60-$80 US), so I'm going to read the rest of the book (or just most of it) before I spend any more money!  (Also I hope my parents buy me a kit for my birthday in a month!)

If any of you are homebrewers, any tips would be appreciated!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Battle of the Black Eyeliner: Milani Infinite Liquid Eye Liner

The Epic Battle:
It's probably no surprise that I love black eyeliner.  What "alternative" girl doesn't?  So I have started on a quest to find the best black eyeliner for the price.  I want something long lasting, inexpensive, and easy to find in the local store (as much as I support independent makeup companies, I like to be able to easily pick up the basics when I run out).

The Contestant:
Milani Infinite Liquid Eye Liner in Everlast (black)
Yep, my hand.  

The Review:
A few months back I bought and reviewed this same eyeliner in blue and was incredibly impressed with the length of wear.  I finally managed to track down the same eyeliner in black, hoping for similar results.

Is it long lasting?
Please ignore how gross I look! 
YES.  I cannot express how impressed I am with this eyeliner.  I don't know if anyone who reads my blog lives in a hot and humid climate, but I certainly do.  Usually I have to either reapply my makeup multiple times a day (which I feel like my makeup should never make me do), or just wipe off the smudges and end up with no makeup.  Well I had been wearing my Maybelline Gel Eyeliner, because that was the best eyeliner I had.  But after a long day having to walk some distance between my classes on campus the eyeliner was incredibly smudged, to the point it appeared I had a black eye.  I've never had my makeup do something like that before.  So anyway, I saw some of the Milani eyeliner in black, so I picked it up and tried it out the very next day.  It didn't budge one bit.  That picture of myself was taken after 7 hours on campus and sweating while I walked between my various classes.  I never touched up my eyeliner.

How does it feel?
It is thicker than other liquid eyeliners I have used, but it is still very much a liquid.  It is sort of sticky before it dries, and but once it does I forget it is even there.  The only downfall is that it has a tendency to get into my eyelashes (the brush is really unwieldy) and make them all clumpy, but putting on mascara fixes that easily.

How about the price and where to buy?
I've only seen Milani makeup products at the local grocery store, but I'm sure you can find them elsewhere.  I know the nail polish is also sold at various chain drug stores, but I haven't seen the makeup there yet.  As far as price goes, I paid around $4 US for the tube.  Much less expensive than other eyeliners!

Would you buy again?
YES.  I have never had makeup that I could actually forget about before, but this eyeliner changes that!

So does this mean the battle is won?
You know, it just might.  I don't really know what other eyeliner could top this one.  The durability and length of wear are phenomenal, and the price is very reasonable for a college student like myself.  So unless there is an eyeliner out there for a lower price, I think the battle is won!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Drinks for the Drinking Nonthusiast: Boulder Beer's Sweaty Betty

The Contestant:
Boulder Beer Company's Sweaty Betty Blonde
Picture from their website because my camera is being derp.

The Review:
Once again, I fell victim to good marketing, and bought this beer because of the bright label and catchy name!  I was also curious as to how banana would taste in a beer.

What are you're initial thoughts?
When I first took a sip, I thought this was pretty disgusting.  I think, much like with any wheat beer that isn't a citrus flavor, I wasn't expecting the lack of citrus flavor.  The clove flavor (the beer advertises as having a banana and clove flavor), was much stronger than I had anticipated, and I honestly couldn't taste any banana. After a few days though, I tried this beer again and it tasted better than I had originally thought.  I still didn't notice the banana flavor until the very end of a glass though.  I'm a bit disappointed that the banana flavor isn't stronger because I'm rather fond of bananas.

How's the price?
I paid about $8.50 US for a six-pack, so it's pretty average when it comes to cost of wheat beer.

Would you ever buy this again?
Probably not.  While I wouldn't out and out say that this is a bad beer, I didn't enjoy every bottle of it.  I wish the banana was stronger, but even then I don't know how I would feel about it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

On the Subject of my Crazy Life: Furries, Furries Everywhere!

My friend and I at the convention!  Isn't he cute?
So where were you all weekend?
As I let you all know in my last post, I had been gone all last weekend at a convention.  Specifically, I was at Megaplex, a furry convention in Orlando, FL.  It's a rather small convention, but it was still awesome!  I went there mainly to sell my soul art, but I wasn't expecting to sell very much so I guess the convention was mainly an excuse to go on vacation for the weekend.  I was pleasantly surprised though when people seemed incredibly interested in commissioning me for on-the-spot badges or take-home art.  I was pretty excited to have gotten enough commissions to pay for my entire trip and then some, so I actually came out ahead for this vacation!  The convention was "retro arcade" theme, so they had pinball machines and other "retro" arcade games throughout the halls for people to play for free!  I didn't get a chance to play one unfortunately, but watching a bunch of people in furry costumes play pinball is a sight!  I spent most of my time in  the Artist Alley, which at this con was basically a hallway with tables set up along one side.  Unfortunately the con staff thought it was a good idea to use round tables for the artist alley, so it was a bit unorganized for us artists, but luckily I only had my art portfolio and sketchbook, so I managed to snag a decent spot every day.

Badges? Fursonas? What is this madness?
For those of you who are a bit confused with my terminology, basically people will commission someone to draw their character (sometimes known as a "fursona," or a person's furry persona, although I don't personally like the term) as a small laminated piece of art that they can wear around.  In the furry online community, people are mostly known as their character, so a badge helps people recognize each other in real life when they only know each other from an online community.  I personally like to buy badges of my character because it is art that is specifically of my character, and is usually a reasonable price and size.  Most badges are between three to six inches and laminated so they are easy to wear and protected from the hazards of a convention.

So tell me about the fandom?
Well, in case you hadn't noticed, I really like the furry fandom.  People in it are super nice and open minded, which is refreshing concept after attending anime conventions.  Unlike previous conventions I've been to, people at furry conventions don't really close off into little cliques.  I met probably a dozen or so people that I could hang out with without feeling like I am forcing myself into their friend group.  I feel like I actually made real friends at the convention, despite only meeting these people for the first time at the convention.  It's one of those things where everyone knows they share the same interest in anthropomorphic characters and fantasy-type settings, so everyone has at least one thing to talk about.  Most people there are huge nerds, so video games, books, and general geekery are all topics most furries enjoy talking about.  I honestly could have gone up to anyone, started up a conversation with them, and come out of it with a pretty good friend.  Unlike was a lot of social media says, furries are a pretty normal group, even if some of them do wear animal costumes. But hey, I've always loved costuming, so who says animal costumes are any weirder than any other costume I've worn!

But isn't furry about-?
Guess who else showed up? That's right! 
No, no, just no.  I don't even want to go into it here because it is such a stupid idea to begin with.  The furry fandom is a collection of people who appreciate art and costuming within a fantasy setting.  Just like Star Trek or anime, only with anthropomorphic characters.

Also, My Little Pony is there.

All in all the convention was awesome, and did a lot to re-spark my desire to become a professional artist!
Oh so professional!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

On the Subject of my Crazy Life: Convention Time!

I'll be going out of town this weekend to try to sell my soul art to a bunch of furries.  Yes, furries.  What?  They're nice people.  Anyway, I'm super excited because it's my first time going to this convention.  Apparently it is rather small, but that should be good for a budding artist like myself.  I'll have a full write up and pictures of my adventures when I get back!  For now, have some of my art.
pencil and ink!  Art and Character are mine
Markers and Ink.  Still a work in progress.
Art and Character are mine.
Digital art on plastic.  Some mistakes in this one,
 but  I've since ironed out my necklace-making process.
Art is mine.  Character is my roommate's.
Marker, ink, and scrapbook paper.
This is a badge trade I did with a girl on an art site a few months ago..
Art is mine.  Character is her's.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Battle of the Black Eyeliner: E.L.F. Eyeliner

The Epic Battle:
It's probably no surprise that I love black eyeliner.  What "alternative" girl doesn't?  So I have started on a quest to find the best black eyeliner for the price.  I want something long lasting, inexpensive, and easy to find in the local store (as much as I support independent makeup companies, I like to be able to easily pick up the basics when I run out).

The Contestant:
E.L.F. Liquid Eyeliner

The Review:
So you all know how much I like this brand’s eyeshadow, especially for the price.  So I decided I had to try the eyeliner to see how it stands up against the other black eyeliners I have reviewed in the epic battle.

Is it long lasting?
Not really.  I was rather disappointed in its wearablity.  However, I did realize, after looking on their website, that they make a regular liquid eyeliner and a waterproof liquid eyeliner.  I bought the regular one, but the waterproof one might be better.  The ironic part is that when I used my makeup remover to take it off, it smudged around my eyes and wouldn't come off.  It got all in my pores and wouldn’t come out even after I washed my face.  Finally after a shower I got it all off (I hope!)  I’ve never had eyeliner do something like this before.

How does it feel?
This is where the eyeliner really falls short.  I put it on, and while it goes on nicely, it feels sticky for a long time.  Today it rained and the humidity alone made the eyeliner sticky again.  Have you ever felt your eyelids stick to themselves when you blink?  That is how the eyeliner felt in the humidity.

How about the price and where to buy?
Well, I picked this eyeliner up at the local Target, but I’ve also seen the brand at the local outlet store, and of course online.  It was only a dollar, but I would rather spend more money on an eyeliner that doesn’t make my eyelids feel like I poured sticky candy on them.

Would you buy again?
Definitely not.  I don’t even think I want to try the waterproof eyeliner that the company makes.  I’ll just stick to their eyeshadow.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Movie Reviews for the Bad Movie Lover: Rubber

The Contestant:
Rubber (2010)

The Review:
Well, I was hanging out with a friend this past week and he wanted to watch this movie he just discovered.  All he knew about it was what he told me before we watched it: “It’s about a sentient tire that goes on a killing spree!”

OMG!  That’s a real movie?  I thought it was only a joke movie trailer someone made!
Ever since I have mentioned I saw Rubber to a few people, I have been hearing this exclamation.  I didn’t even realize there was a big to do about it until my boyfriend said he had seen the trailer on some joke website.  I can assure you it is a real movie, or at least real enough to be an hour and a half long and have an IMDb entry.  And here is the official movie site.  There is the trailer for the film on that website.

How is the overall quality?
Honestly, I was surprised.  When my friend told me the basic description, I thought for sure that the movie was going to be terrible B-movie quality.  It wasn’t at all.  The movie is extremely good quality for not being a mainstream movie.  It has the feel of an independent art film rather than a B-horror movie.  It actually might be an art film, but I’m not sure.  The concept behind the movie is interesting, once you figure out what is going on.  There is a lot more to this movie than the description my friend gave me, although I found it to be a bit confusing when I tried to pin down exactly what the deeper concepts were.  I think that might have been the point though.  If you’ve seen this movie, tell me what you think!

How are the plot and the characters?
Meet Robert.  Yes, the tire has a name!
It's in the credits and everything!
Well the basic plot, the sentient tire on a killing spree, is silly and pointless, but rather good for laughs.  There is a lot more to this movie though, as I said above.  I’m not sure what to make of the juxtaposition of the killer tire and the deeper plot though.  The whole movie caught me off guard, especially because I was expecting a bad “horror” movie.  Most of the characters are flat and rather unlikable, but a few of them are interesting for really no reason at all.  They are funny in an intentionally non-intentional way, or at least I think so.  I know this review seems a bit uncertain, and that probably comes from my uncertainty about the movie.  I’m really not sure what to make of it.  I want to pull in a deeper plot, which would make the characters more interesting, but I don’t know if there is one.

Is it so bad it’s good?
I don’t know if I would classify Rubber as a bad movie to begin with actually.  It feels like an art film, maybe one of those movies you would see on the independent movie chanel.  So because of that, I don’t really think it really fits into the category.  It’s certainly not a piece of high quality cinema though.  It isn’t too bad either, so if you have an hour and a half to spare to watch a tire roll around and kill people, I think it is worth the time.  I honestly enjoyed it, some for the ridiculousness of it, and some for the concept behind it.

So would you watch it again?
Probably not.  It’s worth the watch once, with a group of friends to make fun of some aspects of it, but certainly not multiple times!  Although I think my friends really liked it and want to watch it again to better understand the “deep meaning,”  but I don’t think it needs another watch.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Drinks for the Drinking Nonthusiast: Hornsby's Hard Cider and "Beertickers" Mini Review

The Contestant:
Hornsby's Hard Cider: Amber Draft

The Review:
This is the "beer" that I wrongly bought for my roommate a few weeks ago.  All I knew was Hornsby's, and I didn't know they made two kinds of hard cider.  Apparently she only likes the other kind!  Oh well, I like this kind better, so more for me!

What are you're initial thoughts?
Compared to the other kind of cider made by Hornsby's (Crisp Apple), the Amber Draft is a whole lot less sweet.  Both have a strong apple juice flavor, but the Amber Draft is less intense.  It is still rather sweet though, and not something I would pick out if I didn't want something refreshingly sweet.  The apple flavor is more crisp than sugary though, which is nice.

How's the price?
Good question!  I don't really remember.  It's been a few weeks since I bought it and started writing up this review, but I know it wasn't too terribly expensive.  Although it wasn't cheap either.  I'm fairly certain it was between $8 and $10 for a six-pack at the local liquor store.

Would you ever buy this again?
Most definitely.  I really enjoyed the refreshing sweet taste for the summertime.  It makes a nice change from the more bitter beer I usually drink.  I also really appreciate the low-ish ABV (alcohol by volume) as compared to most hard liquors that could be made into other sweet summertime drinks.  I don't aim to get drunk when I buy alcohol anymore (as I might have a few years ago, in a less civilized time), so that is an added bonus to me!  As always, there are plenty of other good, bad, and mediocre beers out there for me to sample!

Things I learned:
Picking up the wrong kind of drink for my roommate is beneficial to me!  Well, only if she has decent tastes to begin with and doesn't like what I "accidentally" buy.

Bonus Documentary Mini Review!
I'm an unabashed documentary-holic.  I love putting on documentaries when I am doing crafts or chatting with my friends online because unlike a regular movie, I don't have to pay close attention to a plot or characters.  And I get the occasional fun and useless trivia!  I found this interesting documentary about these British guys who are "beertickers."  Essentially they drink a half-pint of some kind of ale that they haven't had before and they "tick" it in a book.  Some of the people interviewed had sampled over 20,000 (or even 30,000!) different kinds of local ale over the years!  They certainly are dedicated to their hobby; I don't think I could ever do something like that!  The film was interesting, especially to open my eyes to the insane number of different kinds of beer throughout the world.  I really need to do some research into local breweries!  Anyways, I thought the film was a good watch, so here are some links if you are interested in it!
Here's the documentary's website: Beertickers Documentary
Here's where I watched it: The documentary on Hulu

Also, are you guys interested in seeing full documentary reviews?  They would mostly be various documentaries on subcultures (next on my list is a film on pinball enthusiasts!), nerds hobbies, and the nature of human existence.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Things that I Love: Happy Things

I keep a collection of images and other things that just make me smile, no matter what.  On those days that I feel down, I need the smile that these bring to my face.  I don’t have many images right now, but I am always keeping my eyes out for more!  Here are a couple of my favorites:

Source: tumblr somewhere
I just love pictures of young punks being friendly and sweet to kids or elderly ladies.  The juxtaposition from what people think and the genuinely sweet personality of a lot of punks comes out in pictures like this one, and I just love it.

Click image to read larger
I think this is pretty self explanatory.  I should really look into reading this webcomic to support the artist that makes me smile.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Taking the Plunge: "Extreme" Hairstyles and Razor Shaving My Head

Look Ma!  No hair! (In all honesty,
it's actually really stubbly because I'm
awful at shaving my head!)

Ever since I decided I was going to have a mohawk someday (very early Freshman year of high school), I knew I had to razor shave the sides at least once.  I mean, if my hair was already going to be so short on the sides, what time would be better?  So both getting a mohawk and razor shaving the sides went on my list of things to do in my life.  Now fast forward to today.  Or last Sunday night rather.  I finally decided it was time to take the plunge.  Getting my mohawk, and then razor shaving the sides weren't simple decisions for me, so I want to talk about the thoughts and emotions that surround "taking the plunge" on extreme hairstyles.

Bold Hair and the Long-Term Commitment:
The first time I tried to put my hair up.
I still didn't want to take the plunge.
This is January 2009
Deciding to chop off all of your long hair (coming from where I was when I first got my mohawk), is no easy decision.  Although hair does grow back, making an extreme haircut an easier and more reversible way of expressing your “alternative” style than tattoos or piercings, it is still a commitment.  If you decide to shave your head into a mohawk, and you don’t like it, you have to live with the short hair until you hair grows back.  I’m very fortunate in that aspect.  My hair grows extremely fast (I bleached it out at the beginning of June and I have over an inch of my roots now).  Some people however, don’t have hair that grows so fast.  Even if your hair grows fast, you will still have years of shorter hair before you will have your old hair back.  My hair was shoulder length when I cut it off, and after six months of not cutting my mohawk, my hair was only a cute pixie cut length.  If I wanted my long hair back, I would have to be patient for years and years.  I did discover though, that I look adorable in a pixie cut, so if I had to cut off my mohawk again, a pixie cut would still be a cute short alternative.

Bold Hair and Reactions from "Normal" People:
I've heard horror stories about how people react to extreme hairstyles, but honestly, I have never really gotten any horribly negative reactions (at least to my face!).  My friends are a very joking kind of group, so they made fun of me, but I know them well and know that they were only joking around with me.  They are altogether very accepting, so suddenly having a mohawk didn't faze them at all.  (I think they may have expected it from me in the first place!)  My classmates and teachers all thought it was totally awesome, so I got lucky there as well.  I've never been obnoxious about my hair in class though, and I always try be respectful by sitting either on the sides of the room or in the back so I don't block other students' views.  What about people on the street, you might ask?  Most of the time they don't say anything.  Occasionally someone says they love it but would never be able to do it themselves, it's interesting, or that I am very brave for having it.  Sometimes people ask to touch my hair, which I generally allow, even if it is a bit weird to me.  I mean, it's just hair with a bunch of hairspray in it, but if I make their day more interesting, that's cool to me too.  I get asked a lot how long it took to put up; to which I surprise them and say 15 to 20 minutes depending on how long my mohawk is at the time.  I think I spend less time on my hair than a normal girl with long hair!  Most of the people that ask me questions or comment on my hair are elderly ladies, college-age "alternative"-looking guys, or African American women.  Little kids are the cutest because they stop and stare or point me out to their parents (who try to hush them up quickly)!  Once I had a little girl point me out to her father, who then told me he loved my hair and asked his daughter if she wanted to have hair like mine someday.  She nodded and he said something along the lines of "good girl!"  However there are some annoying people out there.  The most annoying/rude people are the ones who try to take stealth pictures of my hair.  I mean, if they would just ask, I would allow them with no problem, but they don't even say anything to me.  It's obvious they are taking a picture on their phones, so I don't understand why they don't just ask!  I haven't confronted any of these stealth photographers about it yet, but I might if it starts offending me enough. Do any of you have any experience with these kinds of people?

Bold Hair and Inner Emotions:
My mohawk right after I first got it.  My mom thought it was
so cool, haha!   This is February 2009, about a month after
I first tried to put my hair up!
Emotionally, deciding on a big change like this is a draining experience.  You have all of the long term commitment things to thing about, you’re worried about how you will look, and how people will react, among other things.  But when you actually make the final decision and either go somewhere to have you hair cut, or do it yourself, the adrenaline kicks in and it becoming the most exhilarating experience ever.  When I first cut off my hair, it felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off of me, and I was a new person.  I was still scared about how people would react, but I knew I could handle it.  I’ve always been a shy person, but chopping off my long locks that I used to hide behind forced me to come out of my shell in a way I never could have expected.  Not only could I not hide behind my hair anymore, both literally and figuratively, I just didn’t want to.  I strove to be more outgoing in all aspects; I knew I had to be a lot more outgoing if I wanted people to look past the extreme hair and see me.  I cut my mohawk off once and let my hair grow out a bit, but even the short hair (especially when I dyed it brown for a church trip that I had to look normal for) made me close back up and feel more shy than ever before.  I'm not going to say that I don't ever miss my long hair, because I do all the time, especially after going through all my old photos to find these pictures, but I wouldn't give up my mohawk for anything.  Cutting off my long hair was possibly the best decision I have ever made for me personally.  At the time I got my mohawk, I needed the big change to distance myself from the emotional situation I was in and who I once was, but now I love it for reminding me everyday to be a strong and outgoing person.  As I am always careful to say though, making a decision like this isn't for everyone, and I strongly encourage people to think about it carefully before taking the plunge!  But if you do decide to, I love to hear the stories and see the pictures!

Bonus Picture!
Some people have been asking me what my "natural" hair looks like.  Honestly, before I started coloring it with bright colors, I was putting blonde highlights in it all throughout high school, but this picture is about as close as it gets!  This is in my second year of college, when I didn't get highlights put in, so the light streaks are mostly from the sun.  Hooray for embarrassing awkward photos!
Yay Renn Faires!  This is sometime in mid 2008.
(Good gawd, don't look at my eyebrows!)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Makeup for the Lazy Girl or Guy: E.L.F. 100 Piece Eyeshadow Palate (mini review) and Playing with Makeup

The Contestant and Mini Review:
E.L.F 100 Piece Eyeshadow Palette
So I recently purchased the E.L.F. 100 color eyeshadow palette after falling in love with their $1 eyeshadow I reviewed over here.  The feel of the eyeshadow in this palette is exactly like the $1 eyeshadow I bought from them, so if you are interested in that, check out the full review!  I've been watching a lot of eyeshadow tutorials in the past week and so tonight, after spending a lazy day making crafts, I decided to play with my new palette.  I'm pretty happy with it, although I wish it had more bright colors (most are toned down colors or browns and tans), but all in all it was worth the $10.  I have a lot to chose from for future playing around in any case.  The palette includes a small mirror (in the lid), and two cheap makeup sponge-thingies.  I really hate my makeup brushes though, so I ended up using the sponges.

Play Time!
I used my awesome new palette to play around a bit this evening.  I'm not very creative, especially when it comes to makeup (read: same black wingtip eyeliner every day), so I chose a basic watery color scheme and just messed around.  I used what I thought was a bright greenish tone all over the lid (I'm a bit colorblind, so it might not have been!), and then used a bright teal along the crease and up along the wingtip portion of the eyeliner.  I blended this towards my brows.  Then I took the boldest blue and smudged it into the very outer edges of the crease.  A small bit of a light pinkish white was smudged on my inner eye to help make everything pop!

It's a bit bolder and larger than my usual everyday makeup, but I could see myself doing something like it again!  I also had some light pink lipstick that I picked up at the same time as the palette that I tried on earlier today for an endurance test.  I don't think it fits the eye makeup, but whatever!
I'm so snazzy, taking bathroom mirror shots!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Makeup for the Lazy Girl or Guy: China Glaze Crackle Nail Polish

The Contestant:
China Glaze Crackle Glaze nail polish in Black Mesh
The Review:
I've been seeing this nail polish floating around on various blogs and on people's nails in real life, so I've been extremely interested to try it out myself.  The crackle effect looks so crazy awesome, and comes in black, which makes me very happy!  I went to the beauty supply store today to pick up some new top coat, and they had this nail polish on sale, so I couldn't help myself.  I just had to see if it is as awesome at it appears!

Is it long lasting?
I always use a top coat over my nail polish, so I have no idea.  But my top coat certainly is!  If you use this nail polish without a top coat, I am interested to see how well it stands up to the elements!

How does it look and feel?
Totally lava!  
The first downside I've noticed with this nail polish is before I even apply it.  I have to wait for the colored base nail polish to dry completely before I can apply the crackle nail polish!  And if there is one thing I hate about nail polish, it's the waiting!  I'm just so impatient, but since I am typing this up as I am waiting for my base color to dry, I will just have to wait to see if the crackle effect is worth the wait. *wait wait wait*  The crackle nail polish dries extremely fast, and the crackle effect occurs as it dries, so the effect is almost immediate. I put on a thick coat, and the crackle effect turned out pretty large, although apparently a thinner coat will create a more delicate crackle.  The crackle nail polish dries thick also, so it bumps up from the colored base, but I don't mind that so much.  I had to buy a thinner top coat, so the bumps are visible, but with a thicker top coat you might not be able to see these.

How are the price and where to buy?
Well, I spent about $6 on it, but Sally Beauty Supply was having a sale so it might be a bit more usually.  I don't know if you can get China Glaze brand at any store, but a beauty supply store should have it because I think the brand is popular with nail salons.  

Would you buy again?
Yes!  I definitely want the teal-y color to pair with bright pink!  Other than that, I'm not to sure about the colors that they have out right now, but the effect is certainly awesome!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Movie Reviews for the Bad Movie Lover: Flash Gordon

The Contestant:
Flash Gordon (1980)

The Review:
My roommate first showed me this movie, and it's certainly something else.  Apparently quite a few of my friends have seen it, but I didn't know it even existed for the longest time.

How is the overall quality?
All that shiny?  That's all individual beads!
Well it was made in the early 80's, so I cut it some slack as far as video quality and special effects.  Although even for the time, I think they are pretty decent.  One thing that stands out to me in this movie are the costumes.  I wish I could own just one of those costumes.  While they are rather outlandish, as to be expected from a science fiction movie, they are incredibly detailed.  Take a look at the picture to the right.  Not a spoiler since he is on the cover, but just look at his details around his collar.  All of the costumes are like this.  I think the entire budget of this movie was spent on the costumes (and sets!).  The music also heavily plays into how awesome this movie is.  If you haven't already seen this movie, or aren't a huge Queen fan, you might not know this, but Queen does all of the music for the movie.  That's right.  Queen.  It's pretty fantastic.

How are the plot and characters?
The plot starts off a bit slow, but it really picks up towards the middle and end, so if you can get past the boring parts, its pretty entertaining.  We (my roommates and I) usually spend the first half making jokes about the movie, or coming up with our own lines for the characters to say, but we have also seen the movie a bunch of times.  The characters themselves are amazing, even if just for the hilarity.  They're over-the-top and stereotypical, but I think this is what makes them so fun to watch.  There are a couple of scenes that I think make the whole movie, but I don't want to spoil anything, so I won't say which ones.  They just stand out as far as how ridiculous they are.  There is action and romance and intrigue, but all are so poorly done that everything comes across as comical.  I definitely watch this movie for a laugh.

Is it so bad its good?
Indeed it is!  The plot and characters are awful, awfully hilarious that is.  The music is fantastic, and the costumes make me want to try to make one of their costumes for myself.  It's best when watched with a bunch of snarky friends so you can make fun of the ridiculous love triangle and pretty much any time Flash is on screen.

So would you watch it again?
Very much so.  My roommate owns it on dvd, so I don't think I could escape seeing it again if I wanted to.  If you haven't seen it, it is definitely worth the watch.

Friday, July 8, 2011

On the Subject of the Blog: Update Days and Hello

I've decided that I really only can update this thing once or twice a week.  I simply can't drink that much, buy that much make up, or watch that many movies in a week to be able to update everyday!  Sorry for the disappearance all week, but I'll be back tomorrow!  I'll try to keep my updates to weekends, but additional updates might happen.

Also a great big hello to everyone who reads my blog from the link I put on my Facebook! (I had forgotten I did that until someone said they read it from the link, oops!)  It would make me smile to know my friends in real life actually read this stuff, so let me know!

Until tomorrow,
The Unsophisticated Dragon

Monday, July 4, 2011

Makeup for the Lazy Girl or Guy: Pinnacle Glacier Nail Polish Top Coat

The Contestant:
Pinnacle Glacier Quick Dry Polish Top Coat
Picture from their website
The Review:
The only reason I have this top coat is because my step-mom gave it to me when I moved out a few years ago.  I've never been one to keep my nails painted all nicely or do a proper job of it when I did paint them.  Recently however, I have been keeping my nails painted fun colors and patterns, so this top coat has gotten a lot of use.  I had never heard of it, or seen it anywhere, so I did some research and I think it is a time for a review of it!

Is it long lasting?
Very much so!  It goes on extremely thick, and dries that way, but it doesn't chip at all.  I usually repaint my nails once a week, depending on how feisty I feel, and this top coat holds through that week and longer.  Without a top coat of some sort, my nail polish usually has chips in it by the next day.  I will admit, I don't really have anything to compare this top coat to other than nails without a top coat, so it might not be the longest lasting top coat around, but I like it.  

How does it look and feel?
It goes on incredibly thick, like I said above, but this thickness sometimes makes it difficult to apply.  It has a tendency to create little strings from the bottle to the brush (kind of like the strings that sometimes happen when hot gluing), but these are easily brushed away.  Usually the strings don't affect with the appearance of the top coat once it dries.  It dries quickly and will dry the colored nail polish underneath too if you have a problem with nail polish never seeming to dry completely!   However, if you have a pattern on your nails in different colored nail polishes (like polka dots or strips for example), I've noticed that this top coat sometimes makes the nail polish streak when you brush over it with the top coat brush.  That might be because the nail polish was still wet when I applied the top coat though.  Once dry, the top coat still looks thick, but I like that because it makes my long nails feel stronger with the extra thickness.  It dries nice and shiny, giving even my matte nail polishes a high glossy finish. 

How about the price and where to buy?
This is where the top coat gets a bit iffy.  When I first found it online in my research, the website wanted $14 for a .5 oz bottle.  However, I've found the same size bottle of it on Amazon for $5, so it can be bought for a more reasonable price.  I have yet to find it in any easily accessible store, but you might be able to find it at a beauty supply store, or in an actual nail salon that sells home manicure supplies.  I might order more online though, but that goes against my makeup/ nail polish impulse buying!

Would you buy again?
I would really like to buy this top coat again, but because I have only been able to find it online, I probably won't.  I'll probably go into the local beauty supply store and ask if they have anything like it though.  But if you find it, or don't have any qualms about buying nail polish online, I think it is worth the try!