Archive for November, 2009

Proofreading and Editing

Posted: November 30, 2009 in Ramblings
 
Lately I’ve become rather dismayed at the amount of grammatical and spelling errors being printed.  I see a lot of websites with bad spelling.  I can kind of understand this – there’s no guarantee that the owner of (say) a knitting store will be a good speller – but on the other hand I really believe in grammatical integrity when your income is on the line.  I’ve also purchased a bunch of books – NOT Vine advance copies – that have spelling mistakes in them, frequently misspelled words that are actually real words ("there" for "they’re," for example) but also simply bad spelling mistakes ("sovareign," "illiterative" among them).  What’s up with people?  Why are these professional publications – and I do include websites in this – allowed to come to the eyes of the public with mistakes in them?
 
I once worked as a website proofreader and had constant battles about this.  The programmer who did the web work was an engineer in charge of maintaining all the technical explanations of the products.  He was very bad at spelling and grammar.  My job was to check out the site and make sure it looked appropriate in both IE and Netscape, on all resolutions, and didn’t have any weird overlaps or whatever.  Naturally I pointed out all the spelling and grammar errors, too, but the programmer refused to fix them, saying "Engineers don’t care about that kind of stuff, they just want the information."  I battled it out with our boss, who eventually caved and supported him instead of me (a blow for feminism, indeed!).  Chris had to listen to constant rants during this time.  I was almost glad when they laid me off, because it went against my nature to allow these kinds of errors on a site for which I was ultimately responsible.
 
Yet on the other hand, in all my (nine? ten?) years of reading Entertainment Weekly I have never yet noticed an error.   I don’t read newspapers but my bet is that organizations like the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post are holding firm, too.  So there is some hope. 
 
I continue to offer my services as proofreader and editor to anyone who may wish to take advantage of them; contact me for my hourly rate. 
 

A Card for You

Posted: November 20, 2009 in Ramblings
 
Haven’t done much worth talking about, but it’s raining and I feel like blogging.  Here is a card for you.
 

Also, I’ve mentioned to some of you the happy budgeproof eye makeup routine I discovered.  Here it is again, with a caveat.

  • Start with Urban Decay eyeshadow primer all over the lid.
  • Let it dry thoroughly and then apply your eyeshadow. 
  • Apply a thin layer of Trish McEvoy "Finish Line" sealant.

I did an A/B with the primer on both eyes and the sealant only on one, and the non-sealant eye was bare within 2 hours.  Then I tried an A/B with primer on one eye, sealant on both, and both Kristi and Rebekah agreed that the eye that had both, looked new, and the other eye looked worn.

The caveat is to let that primer dry.  Do your face powder or something while you wait.  Today I put on a pretty violent combo of NARS shadows:  electric blue on the lid and chartreuse on the highlight – and the primer was still a little tacky when I put the blue on, with the result that I couldn’t brush the shadow on.  Where it touched the sticky primer, it stayed.  I had to finish doing the blue part by stippling it on with the brush.

Miata

Posted: November 18, 2009 in Ramblings
 
With regard to Alex & me looking alike, I think it’s the teeth.  His teeth look exactly like mine did at that age.
 
Anyway, here are pictures of Umbreon.  He’s all fixed and I’m just waiting on permanent plates.
 

It’s much more "Darth Vader" inside than my previous Miatas.  In fact it feels much more like a baby Beemer than a Miata.  But it is still nice and small, which is what I love about them.  Chris’ suggestion was "Darth Mazda." 

Me

Posted: November 16, 2009 in Ramblings
 
Everyone who says "Alex looks just like Chris" should take a look at this photo.  In it, I’m the age Alex is now.  I haven’t seen this in years; Mom sent it to me, and the first thing I thought of was, "Looks just like Alex!"
 

In unrelated news, I got a new Miata last week (power-retractable Grand Touring hard top, 6-speed manual, black).  I got it because this is the first year where I wouldn’t have the Expedition as a backup "getting around in the winter" vehicle, and Chris and I were not sanguine about my chances with the old Miata.  The new one has dynamic stability control and traction control.  And heated seats!!

Unfortunately it has a couple problems, too, which is why I can’t show you any pics (because it’s in the shop).  The wipers judder across the windshield even when it’s pouring…the dash has a rattle…and the transmission pops out of fourth gear into neutral randomly.  I’ll put up pics when I get it back.  I named it Umbreon after the dark Pokemon.  Umbreon is one of my three favorites…the other two being Wobbuffet and Salamence.

Trusting Independent Reviews

Posted: November 12, 2009 in Ramblings
 
Back in the early 1990s I discovered Paula Begoun’s book ‘Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me.’  This book contained a wealth of detailed information about a load of beauty products, and as a junkie myself, I bought the book and lived by its rules for a long time.  In fact, I didn’t give up until 2003, when I spent a few hours on the FDA website trying to find the sunscreen guidelines that Paula used in her reviews.  I didn’t find the sunscreen information, and what I did find contradicted some of her information.  So I abandoned her and became my own Beauty Muse.
 
Lately I have been looking for a new foundation.  Paula now publishes her reviews on a website called Beautypedia, and there is an annual subscription fee.  Given the amount of time & money I spend researching and buying beauty stuff, I thought the subscription fee was worth it, if only for the foundation search.  So I paid it and have spent about a month looking up things and trying them on myself.
 
And once again I’m stunned!  There is a type of foundation called a cream compact foundation.  It comes in a compact, yes, and you swipe it on with a sponge and it’s creamy.  Several of these make it into the Beautypedia as "Best Foundations" (a short list of "can’t-go-wrong" items).  I’ve tested about 10 of these, and they all have one major problem, and I cannot see how Beautypedia can rate them "Best."
 
What’s the problem with them, you ask?  They stay creamy on the face all day long.  Wipe your mouth with a napkin after a meal, and the foundation around your mouth is gone.  Rub your temples to ease stress, and the foundation rubs off.  Lie on a pillow.  Talk on a phone.  The stuff smears all over everything!  How can this be "Best"?  And it happened with every one of them!
 
Other than Paula, I’ve never seen any Ralph Naders for makeup, so I have no way to cross-reference some of this stuff.  I now wonder how much of a single independent review I can trust on any product.  I believe my best bet is to start looking at reviews on sites like Amazon and Sephora, where the products receive multiple reviews form a variety of real-world users.
 
For the record, here are all the foundations I’ve tried this month, based on Paula’s recommendations, and there’s not one I’d actually buy.
 
  • Bobbi Brown Moisturizing Compact Founation
  • Smashbox Camera-Ready Foundation
  • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind
  • Cover Girl Aquasmoothers
  • Chanel Teint Innocence
  • Prescriptives Photochrome
  • Shiseido Advanced Hydro-Liquid
  • Urban Decay Surreal Skin
  • Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Intensive (?)  Not sure that’s the name of it.
  • Illamasqua Cream Foundation

There are probably a few more but I can’t remember them.

If you have a good recommendation for something in a compact that doesn’t smear off, please do advive!