Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Butter London "Knackered"

So I went to Ulta to look for a bottle of Butter London's "British Racing Green". Not there :(... But, they had one bottle of "Knackered", so I grabbed it. This is a funky, strange color.. in the bottle it looked to me like a green, with a duochrome purple effect, and a bunch of tiny holographic sparks. It's actually very sheer - with three coats on my pinky, I can still see the nail line. The duochrome green/purple is there, like mother of pearl... and the holo sparkles are amazing over OPI Ink. The funny thing - over OI, the base purple shifts to almost black, but from some angles it's replaced by a lighter purple from the effect, from other angles it shifts to green.

Honestly, the OPI Ink is probably wasted here - any basic black would work as well in my opinion... The pinky is 3 coats of Knackered.. ring is one coat Knackered over two of OPI Ink, index and middle are two coats OPI Ink, no Knackered.

One thing that makes holo effects pop - and hard to photograph - is that we see them with two eyes. Each eye sees a different set of sparkles, which gives a kind of depth effect. (This is also why fresh snow is so dazzling in sunlight - some flakes reflect to one eye, others reflect to the other eye). Also, our pupils are wider than the pinhole that most digital cameras use, so we catch more of the flashes than the camera can.

Anyway, I also tried one coat of Knackered over the OPI "Fly" on my big toes. Here, the Knackered green dichro is close to the base color. Knackered darkened Fly just a little. Lit from one incandescent "Reveal" bulb, there's a primary reflection with a purple dichro halo around it, and an explosion of rainbow sparkles over the rest of the nail. This is the best photo I could get of it...

I think that next I'll try this over matte black...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I Love You Guys!

I just wanted to take a moment to thank my 8 followers - you guys ROCK!

so, Thank You, Kim, Kimberly, Kimberleigh, Amanda, Amanda, Jeanne, Aisha and Jim !!!

**UPDATE 1/27**
SWEET - 16 people are following me! Thank Yous to Haul of Fame, Red Rogue, Polished Components, Mandy, Elfleidy, Zeke'sMom, and Jake!

It really means a lot to me that everybody in this hobby has been so kind and accepting, and I'm very glad to know you! Thanks again!

Workin' for a livin'

Nothing new on the nails today, so here's a little background on me:

As I've said, I work in heavy construction. We do structural earthwork - we build systems that protect hillsides from lake erosion, protecting property values and improving lakefront access for our customers. Among my jobs, I am a machine operator - "my" machine is the Bobcat shown here on its way to work...

The crane in the foreground is my dad's, nobody operates it but him. For this job, we had to use the crane to place the Bobcat at the bottom of the cliff we were stabilizing. On the other hand, the machine below is my baby - isn't she beautiful?
Seriously, this is the third crane in our fleet, our newest acquisition. We've had an eye on her for 25 YEARS, and we haven't seen her move for the whole time. But, one day, while working a job just a mile away, I stopped in on a whim and asked - and the owner said "Hey, it's got some problems, but if you want it, you can take it... the guys here have been talking about cutting it up for scrap, but I'd spend more on torch fuel than the scrap would be worth." DEAL! I've started her up, she drives on her own power, and in the next week we'll load her on a trailer and bring her home! The funny thing is, we were interested partly because we thought this crane was one size smaller than what we already have, but it turns out to be exactly the same model as our other two cranes. If it was smaller, then we could transport it without needing the permits for oversize loads that we need with our other two. But, it's better that all 3 are the same, because I've needed to learn to operate our cranes, but the two working cranes are always on jobsites where we're too busy working to take time for practice. This will be our yard crane (her drivetrain is a little weak, needs some love... ) and at the yard I can work on fixing her up and I can learn to drive her, so she doesn't end up like this one:
This poor crane is next door to the job we're currently working, a mile from my baby... and we watched it all Fall, wondering when it was going to go, and why its owner hadn't moved it. Turns out, it wouldn't start for him, so he had been jacking it up and propping wood under it as the bank eroded out from underneath. If he had told us this before it fell, we could have used our crane to tow his crane away from the edge... but our crane doesn't have enough power to drag it back up the hill on its side. Now, he says he's leaving it there until Spring - but if the lake (Lake Erie) freezes over, the ice will have the power to drag it a mile offshore - nothing is strong enough to resist the momentum of a 100 sq mile sheet of 6" thick ice, even moving at 1/4 mile per hour.

Reading this blog again, reminds me of an episode of "Frasier". I know, your thinking "WTF? How in the world do you get from three cranes... to Frasier?" Easy! There was an episode where Daphne had gained weight. She fell down, and couldn't get back up. Niles tried to help, but couldn't. His dad, Martin, came over, still not enough. Finally, Frasier, Niles and Martin all got in on it, and got Daphne on her feet. Then Martin says "I just thought of something funny... it took three Cranes to lift you!"

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Camera Sucks!

I have to start by begging your forgiveness - I'm going to put up all the photos I've taken prior to starting this blog, but I don't yet have a camera that will take a nice crisp closeup. So these are all a little blurry, kinda pixellated, not presentation quality.... but they do give an idea of the fun I've been having.

I've started looking for a new camera - I definitely want something with a lot of pixels and a macro setting. Until then, this is the best I can do...   ( "/\" is "above".... and "\/" is "below".. colors are OPI unless otherwise specified)

/\ & \/   Jordana "Ruby Slippers" #161
(OPI "Bogota Blackberry" is a better polish in about the same color)

\/    NOPI "Prized Possession Purple"  

\/   BB Couture for Men "Grenade"

\/   OPI "Blue My Mind"

\/   "Blue My Mind", "Planks A Lot", "Roadhouse Blues" and "Clear TC", 
marbled over Finger Paints "Meet Me At The Met"

\/   Manglaze "Santorum" matte, with a little topcoat here & there

\/  OPI "Midnight in Moscow"

\/   Here are three as-yet unnamed mattes coming soon from BB Couture

\/  ManGlaze "LesBiHonest", matte, with dots of clear TC
(idea from Amanda at BerryPolished)

And that's it more or less... I didn't get photos of the copper metallic I wore, because it just kinda flopped with my skin tone, I also missed grabbing shots of "Planks a Lot", "Roadhouse Blues", FingerPaints "Hue Are You", China Glaze "Watermellon Rind" and ManGlaze "Matte is Murder" (which really does match the color of a Glock 9 - awesome!)

I promise - more, better photos coming soon!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

My Guestbook and Visitor Map

Thanks for stopping by! If you want, go ahead and say hi, and let me know where you're from...

This is an oversized version of the visitor map. Probably, nobody but me cares how many visitors come here, or where you are... but I love my visitors, so I'll check this map now & then...

Men Should NOT Wear Nail Color Because...

... ok, I don't have a good reason! Every reason I come up with ends up sounding ridiculous or worse. Like:
  • Because girls wear polish. (OK... girls do a lot of things. Girls eat/drink/sleep/breathe.... girls also own property, go to college, work outside the home, vote, run for (and win) public office, drive cars, wear pants, get tattoos, shoot guns, drive trucks, fight in wars... (and that second list is all stuff that - one time or another - was considered "for men only"... and in every case, "for men only" was oppressive))
  • Because people will think you're gay. (A... So what? They'll be wrong. Their thinking so doesn't make it so, and why would I care what a mistaken, prejudiced stranger thinks?  B... If I WAS gay, what would be wrong with that?)
  • Because it's not manly, it's feminine. (A... It's just paint. There's nothing in the bottle that makes it feminine - no pixie dust, fairy dust, butterfly wing powder, ground unicorn horn, estrogen or cooties. Tattoo ink is also paint - and that form of body art was once "for men only"... B... If it WAS feminine - ladies - does "feminine" equal "bad"?
  • Because men don't wear nail color. (Why not? "They don't, because they don't" is a circular argument, it proves nothing. "They don't because their friends don't" is closer to a reason - but that reason is FEAR, as in "They don't, because their friends don't... AND THEY FEAR stepping away from the safety of the herd and defying its assumptions." But, "masculinity" has never been about timidly cowering in the safety of the herd - a MAN is a bold, courageous, independent, even defiant creature - he blazes his own trail in the wilderness, he does not submit to arbitrary, unjustified societal expectations.
  • Because men don't WANT to wear nail color. (Why not? Because they've been immersed in a society which imposes the expectation that they shouldn't want to... and they've never bothered to question the rules they live under, so they've never even considered whether they would want to..) - On an INDIVIDUAL basis, this is a perfectly valid reason for any man (or woman) to abstain, but even here, the disinterest is largely influenced by societal conditioning.
  • Because the Bible says that men shouldn't wear women's things. (Again, what - besides a societal assumption - makes nail color "for women" and tattoos/pants etc.. (until recently) "for men"?)
  • Because their faith prohibits decoration. (... if they're Amish... OK.)
  • Because men are too smart to waste money on something frivolous like paint. (Really? A man can spend enough money "pimping his ride" - chrome rims, spoilers, ground effects, "kickin' bass" sound system, underbody neon, CUSTOM PAINT JOB - to buy a lifetime collection of nail color! If you tell your man you want to spend $4K on a boob job, he's thinking "How much MORE boob can she get for $5K"...  ;) )
  • Because natural, crusty yellow toenails are attractive on men. (Ummm... NO!)
  • Because women won't like men with nail color. (More of the "societal assumption", "follow the herd" thinking...)
  • Because color on males is unnatural. (Really? Look at the peacock & peahen... Look at the lion... nature is full of examples of colorful males.)
Those are the "reasons" I can think of - and all of them fail. But, maybe I've missed something.

If you have a reason I haven't considered... or if you just want to write about how you feel about the idea of men wearing nail color - good or bad - go ahead and sound off! Every opinion is valid here, you have a right to your feelings and nobody has a right to say you're wrong for feeling however you feel. My feelings are tough (numb?) enough to withstand wearing hot pink polish to the beach, they won't be hurt by anything you might say here. So, if you're inspired to say ANYTHING.... let's hear it!

NOTD - ManGlaze "LesBiHonest"

Ok... when my ManGlaze order arrived, it had my Matte is Murder, my Santorum... and a bonus bottle of "LesBiHonest". I've seen a bunch of blogs with links to the "Pink Wednesdays" group, and I thought it would be fun to participate. So, here are my toes, rocking the LBH! This covers with one coat, it dries matte (shown left), and really pops with a topcoat (OPI's basic TC, right).

I've worn many colors on my toes - they've been in color for 6 months straight - and I have not found a color I didn't like... but pink is always hysterical to me. My toes just look so... HAPPY! I'm liking the gloss better though, so I'm going to TC the left toes soon. What do you think - ladies, would you play footsie with your man if his toes were pink?

Here's a better image of the color, matte, from tracy at tracefacephiles.com:

... and here's Tracy's swatch with a topcoat:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I just love this video...

Just a quick note... you have to see this girl's video!

Also, my ManGlaze order came in, including Matte is Murder, Santorum, and a bonus LesBiHonest. I'll take a photo of everything soon, but for now, here's a peek at "Santorum".

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Let's Get This Party Started!

OK... Welcome to my first post in my new blog! Of course, this blog is about me and my story. I doubt that you're here to read about "more of the same" - play-by-play of the regular life of a regular guy. No, a blog is supposed to be about passions, interests, the new and unusual - and I'll do my best to keep this interesting.

As you probably figured out from the title and description, one of the unusual things about me is that I am a man who wears nail color. Actually, I love to wear nail color - mostly on my toes, occasionally on my fingers too. Since this is an inaugural post, I might as well tell the story about how I started doing this.

Basically, in July of 2011, I lost a bet.

Some friends and I were together, and we were making bets on movie trivia. But, instead of money, we were wagering dares. I thought I had an unbeatable question about Apocalypse Now - and I had a bottle of pink nail polish I had confiscated from my son after he - at my niece's suggestion - had painted my nephew's toes pink while the nephew slept. So, I bet my friend that he could not answer my question, with the loser required to paint his toes pink for a whole week. My friend was as confident as I was, and together we negotiated the stakes - finally agreeing that the loser would:
  • Paint his toenails - all 10 - hot pink for 7 days.
  • Wear the nails exposed in public whenever away from home except for work.
  • Take photos of the pink toenails in a public location.
  • Post the photos on Facebook and any online dating profiles.
  • Appear with toes exposed when summoned.
  • If caught in non-compliance, pay $100.
The thing I didn't anticipate was that my friends would repost my photos to their friends (who I don't know) and offer a $20 reward for proof of noncompliance - and then summon me to places that they weren't, but their friends were, in order to achieve maximum embarrassment and a shot at the $100.

This was my first photo:

Another thing I did not anticipate was that this was not embarrassing at all. First, I was extremely lucky, in that a Susan G. Komen breast cancer awareness event was coming to town at the end of my "pink week", the local media was reporting the preparations heavily, women everywhere were wearing pink, and many people thanked me for my "show of support" for the cause. Second, and more importantly, the color - even pink - looked much better than my natural feet. I work in heavy construction, I spend 10h/day, 5d/week in poorly ventilated steel-toe boots. They trap moisture and breed nastiness - and for as long as I can remember, I've been embarrassed to let anyone see my feet. The paint hid the fugliness, and (I later discovered) protects my toenails from moisture and decay just like it does on my car. Then, the increased air & sunlight from wearing sandals, made my feet healthier than they've been in a very long time.

The other thing I did not anticipate was that my dating site responses INCREASED after I posted the photos. Like 6 times! Honestly, it took 3 months on PoF for 22 women to click that they'd like to "meet me", and that number doubled in 5 days! Women were writing to me! Suddenly, I wasn't just another run of the mill guy, I was actually getting noticed. And, the women who were appreciative of my toes were the bold, confident, independent, open-minded women I admire. Of course, I'm sure some women saw my photo and thought "no way in hell" - and I'm happier to NOT hear from timid, prejudicial conformists anyway.

By the end of that first week, I had figured out that my masculinity is mine to define - it's not defined by ignorant strangers - and any definition of masculinity that depends on a specification of my toenail color is irrelevant and absurd. My masculinity is mine, my toes are mine, nail polish is really just paint - there is no REAL reason for society to discourage men from painting their nails, and I've found several good reasons FOR men to use nail color. So, I paint my nails. If society must judge me or my masculinity.... judge me by the content of my character, not by the color on my toes.