Friday, June 19, 2009

Eyeliner 1,000, Kate 0

I've been calling myself girl-impaired for ages. I can barely dress myself. I have approximately 3 different things I can do with my hair--if all the conditions are right. And I don't understand makeup. I seem to have missed that period in high school where girls experiment with makeup, make themselves look like hookers, and then finally get it right.

When I was invited to the Reading Is Fundamental Gala earlier this month, I paid someone to fix my hair, but I was determined to do the makeup part myself. I went to the M.A.C. store at Columbia mall and threw myself on the mercy of one of their salespeople, who was patient and wonderful and I wish I could remember her name, because you should all go and buy many, many things from her. She did what no one else has been able to do--she showed me how to use makeup, and made it simple enough that I could do it myself. She also sold me over $100 worth of makeup, so clearly she's good.

Well, mostly. I tried using the eyebrow pencil exactly once, made myself look like a clown, and decided that was a battle I wasn't going to fight. The eyeliner, though--that has been a problem. And I don't understand why. I mean, you're basically tracing your eye, right? I can trace. It's about the only art-related thing that I'm good at. I am not good at this.

Usually, I can get my right eye done without any problem. Then my left eye looks like a two-year-old scribbled on it. I don't understand why. I'm using the same hand to do both of them. I would just say screw it and give up, but I actually really like the way it looks, once I manage to get it right. (Usually this takes about 3 attempts.)

Sigh. I'm trying--but I'm still girl-impaired.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Embracing the cheese.

I hadn't even thought about the New Kids on the Block in at least a decade, but as soon as I heard last year that they were touring, I wanted to go.

Everyone laughed at me.

Even my sister, who was a New Kids freak bigger and longer than I was responded with "Yeah, have fun with that."

From the very beginning, I wanted to go as a nostalgia thing. When I hear one of their songs, which happens about once a year or so, I always smile and sing along, but it's not like I've been digging my old tapes out of boxes or anything. So when they came to DC last fall, I tried in vain to find someone--anyone--who would go with me.

I mentioned this to B. a few months ago, when I heard that they were touring again this spring/summer, and her eyes lit up. I had my concertgoing companion.

The show was last night, and it was AWESOME. Beyond awesome--it might have been the most entertaining concert I've ever been to. (Disclaimer: I don't generally like concerts. I find them extremely boring. This concert? Not boring.) First of all, let's get this out of the way:

This picture is courtesy of the lovely B., who took it while standing directly behind me. On an iPhone, no less--with no zoom. We were THAT CLOSE for a couple of songs, and yes, I turned into a 12-year-old girl for that fifteen minutes.

Actually, that's not true. I was a 12-year-old girl for the entire show, and I think that's part of why it was so awesome. Don't get me wrong--these guys do actually have talent--but the songs that were cheesy in 1989 do not get any less cheesy when the guy singing it is entering his fourth decade. That's kind of the point. This show could have been really, really lame, but they got up there and performed the hell out of two hours. Particularly when we were up close, it was easy to tell that they were having the time of their lives. And so was I.

I should pause here to share that I am not, in any way, a music snob. Miley Cyrus* and Metallica share space on my iPod. I actually own a song by Aly and AJ, which is something no adult should ever admit. I embrace the cheese, is what I'm trying to say. Those who do not may not have enjoyed themselves last night. But I did.

They played a pretty decent mix of old and new, which was great. (Though, a note to Joey M. Popsicle was a weird song back in the 80s. The years have not been kind to it, and while they have been kind to YOU, that little interlude was a little creepy.) I actually downloaded their new CD today, and there's at least one song I cannot get out of my head. They sang Tonight, which struck me as a song that is extremely appropriate for a reunion tour--moreso, perhaps than when it first came out. I also remember getting offended when it was first released, because of the line "We met a lot of people...and girls." "Aren't girls people?" I demanded to my mother. Aww. Bless my little proto-feminist heart. My favorite, though, was Hangin' Tough. That, of all their songs, could have been the most absurd as performed by guys pushing 40, but they knocked it out of the park.

If they come back into town, I'd go see them again. It was a good show. (B. and I did decide that driving to New Jersey this weekend to see them again would be overkill, but it was a serious debate for a good couple of minutes there.) Also, for the record, the soundtrack to this post was the New Kids Greatest Hits. Laugh away. I had the time of my life last night.

* One of these days, I will post my thoughts on why Miley Cyrus and her ilk, while often incomprehensible to adults, are very important in the grand scheme of things. NKOTB fits into this category too. Also, the Jonas Brothers.