Besame Cosmetics, which makes a line of retro/1940s-style makeup, has a sampling service. You can try any product for $1.50 and the shipping is nominal. You receive enough product for about three applications in a tiny jar, which will certainly let you know whether or not you like the color. Check out the rest of Besame's site to see the neat packaging - definitely rivals some of Benefit's cooler stuff, for example. (via MightyGoods.)

(I used to love to buy powder from another retro line called Body and Soul, because every compact has a metal insert with an illustration of a girl who looks like a mermaid... however, it's become hard to find in stores and a little ouside of my current budget.)

Over at Shelterrific, they're discussing the "perfect" recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Looks good to me. I have been wanting to make chocolate-chip cookies lately, but I never have any butter in the house... normally we use Smart Balance spread, which doesn't come in sticks.
I don't want to write a super-long entry right now, though I could... I had a really busy weekend, starting at about 1PM Friday; I've been all over the city and back a couple of times. We furnished the patio this weekend, at least a little. It isn't luxurious but there are spaces out there now, a place to sit and relax or eat or work on something.

I grilled a bunch of food out there tonight, and we spent most of the evening there, playing cards (we stopped about halfway through the game, and I have a significant lead). I learned something about grilling vegetables: don't mix them on skewers. Onions go on the grill first and are on for 10 minutes before things like green pepper and mushroom, which can also stand to be on for quite a while. Tomatos go on last and need only be grilled for a couple of minutes, until the skins start to peel away. I was not following any instructions, merely going by trial and error. I know you aren't supposed to cook onion and meat on the same skewer, but now I know what vegetables can go together on a skewer as well.

Also finally managed to see Sin City at the cheap theater... it is flawed, but I generally liked it more than not. It's really more of a horror movie than I recall anyone mentioning, though... I mean, if I had to classify it by genre, that's actually where I'd put it. Horror is very slippery as a genre, and not all horror stories are particularly supernatural. There are too many gushing amputations in Sin City for it to quite be otherwise - and cannibalism, and more than one decapitation, and talking corpses, and otherwise violent homicides in detail, and.... (Have to mention, at this point, that I've never read very much of the comic. Something about it always turned me off.)

I have spent more time than I care to admit in the last couple of weeks trying to convince people that The Historian is not, in fact, a horror novel... it's not the fact that it has "vampires," it's the quality of their presence in the book that matters in terms of classifying its genre. But I'll talk about that sometime in the next few days on [livejournal.com profile] minxbot - it comes down to the second half of the book not being quite as good or suspenseful or exciting as the first, and to some of the systemic logic seeming scattershot. Still worth reading, I think. But apropos to what I was saying, horror fans who read it expecting horror writing, on the basis of it ostensibly being about Dracula, will encounter something different, because it's primarily about people researching Vlad Tepes. Their "vampire" encounters are infrequent, and more annoying than terrifying.

At any rate, I would classify Sin City as horror that looks like a crime drama: because of the particular texture of the ultraviolence, and because of some intrinsic plot elements that go way past the usual hard-boiled conventions. By the same argument as the vampire thing, the presence of serial killers - I mean actual pathlogy-driven, pleasure-deriving serial killers like Kevin and Junior, not just people who accrue a high incidental body count like Marv and Dwight - does not automatically make something a horror movie. It's all about how the subject is handled. And when you see what Kevin has done, and what becomes of him as a result... well, any lingering doubts should be settled.

(Edited to add: On reflection, I think the movie's flaws probably outweigh its virtues. However, worrying that it's going to encourage people to be vigilantes, kill sex workers, or slap women around is probably not necessary.)

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