Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hair Off

Recently on Facebook I had a contest on who had better hair in GI Joe: The Baroness or Scarlett. Baroness won by a landslide, but I got to thinking about who would win the "Absolute Hair Title." Of course, this is a very interesting question, as the more I think about it, the more people would win hair category titles.

So let's begin.

Best Beautiful Movie Wig - Scarlett Johansson in Iron Man 2, Kate Beckinsale in Van Helsing or Natalie Portman in Closer.
Scarlett takes the lead with having both curly hair and red hair. No one has this kind of hair in real life, especially if you have to get into a car while fighting the elements, much less fighting bad guys. The color goes perfectly with her fair skin though, and props if this really is her hair.
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Kate's expression below is, "Don't you vampires find my hair pretty?" I'm sure the dialog is different, as I haven't seen this movie in years. However, I always think this is what my hair should look like when it's rainy and chilly, because that's Transylvania's weather forecast for you. 

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Natalie is so beautiful that she can wear whatever she wants, including this very pink wig in the movie Closer. I have never watched this movie, so can't vouch for the content, but I think pink hair is only appropriate in a limited setting, such as a grocery store or a night club. The point is that you are either expressing or hiding your true self with such a wig.

Music Video Hair - Lady Gaga in Poker Face
This has to be the most iconic hair piece of the decade: the hair bow:
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Runner ups:
Diana Ross - beautiful and her hair was her power. I'm so glad she kept it natural throughout the years. Go curls!
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Cyndi Lauper - wee! Those 80s were fun!!! I can only describe this as crazy McDonald's colored hair.
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Best video game hair: Bayonetta
This lady's hair can look cool and also stomp out evil! You know what else? She's got guns on her heels. Damn.
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Crazy hair days. Photo credit:

Runners up: Lara Croft from Tomb Raider and Flemeth from Dragon Age 2.
Lara's hair stereotypically reminds me of Anna Kournikova's tennis braid, which is as feminine as it is functional.
Crazy adventure braid. Photo credit:
Flemeth is a witch and a shape-shifter, who decided in Dragon Age 2 to keep it in a very satyr-esque style while in her human form. I think I saw one of those headband things in Forever 21 on sale...
Hairspray fan. Photo credit:
Comic book hair: Medusa
This competition wasn't one really - Medusa can kick butt with her hair, and she can also shape shift her hair into whatever it needs to be. Finally, I think her hair can probably clean itself. I don't know much about Medusa, other than she's married to Black Bolt. I would expect her to have some stocks in Pantene to afford pink knee high boots.

Would you like to date my hair? Photocredit:

Honorable mention: Wolverine. So he's got a regeneration super ability. This also includes hair, which is unfortunate should he want to go clean shaven.

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Non-hair category: Bald and beautiful
Winner: Patrick Stewart
Runner ups: Demi Moore, Sinead O'Conner, and George Foreman

My personal hairspiration: Kelly Brook
She is always smiling, and looks like is having a great hair day everyday.
Kelly Brook - Naturally Beautiful Photo credit:

I didn't include cartoons, or the bigger category of "TV" because there are too many hair icons to mention. The hairstyles seemed to follow trends more than making some kind of classic statement that was timeless. Personally I'm thankful that people have the choice to wear whatever they'd like - everything is in style, including fake and none.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Allure of Games

After a somewhat in-depth conversation about games, what games I've really enjoyed or keep coming back to - all have an element of interestingness. In other words, there is the possibility that something entirely ridiculous could happen. Here are a few examples:
Fable 2 - You have a variety of expressions you could use for any given situation. I've received the title "Chicken Kicker" from the Town Crier after showing enough birds who is boss.

Oblivion - I managed to go through two dungeons without pants on in the game. I don't know how this happened, but it turns out that there were some pants on the floor in the beginning I failed to claim.
I also ticked off a horse so badly that my only choice was a fight to the death. Thankfully I had located some pants, so my death was a tad less embarrassing.

Any game where you can name your character. One of the more recent names was for DragonQuest 9 - I didn't have enough room to write "Mulletude," who was going to be a badass healer with eyes too close together. Instead I had to settle for "Muletude," which actually changed his role a bit. He ended up carrying a lot of the party's equipment, deeming him more "murse" (man purse) than healer. Great!

Multiplayer games also have this element of surprise, and I frequently learn from watching other "real" people (versus AI characters) hack the system.

If you were to extrapolate this concept in real life, you could say that the activity of people watching in big cities and universities is similar. The possibility of novelty is very addictive.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Growing up, I had a severe aversion to being taken advantage of - I'm not sure where this came from except that I was extremely nice and there were people who were not nice. These days I'm wiser, and am glad to spot a scam so I don't get in a shituation. The most blatant scams would be emails from South Africa asking to wire money, publishing clearing houses, and vans with Free Candy on the side.

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There is a subtler level of scams though, and these are most interesting, because they are disguised as legit transactions. Of course, I define a scam as someone paying significantly more for something thats not worth the money. Here we go:
Latex balloons. I was going to send balloons instead of Get Well flowers because I wasn't sure about the recipient's allergies. Also, conceivably balloons would be cheaper than flowers - since that's how it is in the store. Both convey the same message, and I wouldn't have to commit to something like $60 worth of mums. Online, I found a pack of six balloons (3 mylar and 3 latex) for $60. What's more is that the site listed how long the balloons would last. I consider latex balloons filled with helium that lasts less than 10 hours (that costs $10/each) to be a real scam. Needless to say, flowers were sent, as it takes work to plant and grow flowers.

Designer sandals. Designer anything has a markup, but sandals take the cake because of lack of materials and coverage. There's also no guarantee that they'll feel good, and shoes especially need to be comfortable.

Pizza. Just how much does it take to pair dough with cheap tomato sauce? Don't get me wrong, it tastes delicious, no matter how fake the ingredients are. For some reason, college pizza places can sell their pizza for $5 a pie, so besides the extra helping of grease that requires two rounds with the toothbrush, what is the difference?

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Anything "wedding". Even things like white prom dresses are more expensive than other colors. Jerks.

The local wine tasting event. If you like wine tasting, then the annual event at Bull Run in Chantilly has something like 100 vendors. They sell things like wine-glass lanyards, in case you can't be bothered to hold your own glass. The local wine event however, has less than 10 vendors, which means you have to walk the length of a parking lot (in the sun) to get to the next vendor. There are no frivolities like free cracker samples, much less necklaces that house your alcoholic beverage. In summary, I think the event was cheap, but there was not enough samples to justify the price.

Finally, plain popped popcorn. There was a time frame when we received a giant tub of popcorn for the holidays. Out of the three types, the caramel and the cheese were gone in a matter of days. The regular popcorn? Well it just doesn't make sense to eat cold popcorn when you can whip up a fresh batch in less than five minutes. And the fresh popcorn smell permeates so much better! The verdict? Don't waste your calories.
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So what's the worst scam? I know if the recession really takes hold then I'll go into balloons myself...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Things I Regret Buying

I've been surprisingly mentally engaged with YouTube videos that talk about products people regret buying. It seems like you could draw the line over several areas:
1. The product is actually crap.
2. The product doesn't work for you. A lot of cosmetics, perfumes, and lotions fall into this category because of allergies and whatnot.
3. You fell for a scam. Or... the advertising did not actually match the product.
4. Your expectations were totally off.

So after some thought, I came up with some things I regret buying:
Loreal's Infallible Lipstick in Beyonce Red -

L'Oreal Paris Infallible Never Fail Stars Collection Lipcolour, Beyonce's Red
Photo credit: Amazon

Wow! Red lipsticks are tough, but the color of this one is really obnoxious. I'm sure people can wear it, but I'm not in that subset. The product itself is amazing - it's long lasting without drying and all that jazz. I think if I had chosen another color, it would be great.

New York and Company's tan sandals (tandals?) -

Flip flops are supposed to be as nice to your feet as slippers. These can only be described as hateful with their non-flexible sole and sharp foot bands. Trashworthy.

Stuck on You -

An actor's gotta eat: Matt Damon is a Siamese twin.

Yes, this movie has Matt Damon, and is quite funny. I bought this movie at a sale where you must pick one crappy movie to cancel out the three cool movies you actually want. As you can see, I have not even removed the plastic, even though I bought this two years ago. With the advent of Netflix's instant queue, the vestiges of my horrible taste in movies are no longer public display. That is, to say, until I can get this movie into a donation bag.

Spore - I paid full price for this game (mistake #1) under the impression that it would be cooler than it was (mistake #2).  This game is all about creating a new alien race, starting from the amoeba stage and working up to an enlightened society. The game play wasn't really fun, and all of my characters looked like a demented chicken derivative.

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EA, the game's developer, figured that if you were willing to pay $50 for a game, then you'd be willing to pay extra for the "non chicken bits." According to Google, this game is 2.5 stars, but I'd consider that generous.

Of course there are other things, like the expensive restaurant meal that was mildly warm, or the insane Costco quantity of oatmeal I had to throw out (how does oatmeal expire?), but really I haven't had too many of those purchases. If anyone wants Stuck on You, it will be promptly dropped in the mail with your address.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I love coming to campus because there are several things unique to a university that you don't get anywhere else. For example, the density of people with fake tans in comparison with the general population on the east coast. Other things like off key singing, great hair, and focus on stairs and colors are probably only matched by rich sections in big cities and malls.

My experience in college was totally unlike this - even though we're talking about a five year separation. I totally had no money for the quasi fashion show here. My outfits were totally void of makeup (Gah!), hair products, high heels, and purses. I don't even think I carried a wallet, but I lived on campus all five years (yeah, I was working every other semester).

I can't tell if the newness feel is based on anything in particular like cell phone use (it's the new smoking), the amount of stores available to students or my own perspective. Maybe it's also the difference in school history and location. I would have to go back to my original school to make a proper comparison.

In other news, I just saw about four sets of twins. If you're a twin and no longer a teenager, would you still dress in the same outfit on the same day?


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Self Destruction in Teeny Bits

I'm definitely having one of those days where it feels like I have no coordination and bad luck.  I'm sure everyone has these days, but for me, the frequency is somewhere like twice a year. And the day can sometimes linger into a week.  For example, in the last day, I've:

Dropped my phone
Dropped my laptop (not far thankfully)
Sent a letter referring to a check that was never written enclosed
Implied to a man that he should try makeup
Died 30 times in a 2 minute Call of Duty match
Bought razor cartridges when I meant to buy disposable razors (online)
Ripped my tights
Got crushed egg shell in the bowl of omelette mixture
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Picked the slowest line at the grocery store
Parked extremely crookedly (i.e. abnormally close to the next car)
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These things aren't the end of the world by any means, but it feels like they add up - especially when eye-hand coordination is out of reach. It can definitely hit your ego hard, especially if you can normally get through the day without any of these things.

The funniest one of these days (if it wasn't me of course) was when I was at my sink in a college dorm. I opened my cup of piping hot tea, which squirted in my eye. I grabbed my head and howled in pain, and tripped over my phone cord, which wrapped itself around my ankle. Meanwhile I hit my head on the loft and fell to the ground in a comedy of error. How in the heck did I do that to myself?

The things I hate most are the incidents that have really negative consequences because of my own actions. Like putting the incredibly long phone cord within walking reach in the scenario above, or filling the cup beyond its capacity, so that it would squirt out rather than benevolently stay in the cup.

Other things that are hateful, but aren't that bad in the big scheme of things:
Falling (I did this a couple of weeks ago on a run)
Food in teeth
Being pulled over
Telling an awkward joke at work
Ruining your favorite Xbox game disc - why did I turn my Xbox on its side??!
Running a tissue or lipstick through the dryer
Buying bad fruit or vegetables (especially organic)
General extreme clumsiness

Maybe I should figure out why these things happen. Even if I could make these things not happen, I still think that my life is better that they do happen. In my world, crap happens, and it will either be in small or large increments. Things could be worse. Much much worse.
Tomorrow will be another day. :)