"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Good Cheap Fun

Last week I had a couple of necessities on my shopping list: a lip-liner to replace the old one that's now relegated to my travel cosmetics kit, and pink nail varnish for my toes.

The lip-liner I normally purchase comes from the department store and costs $21.50. That's a lot for a glorified pencil, I know...but as I explain to my spouse, it lasts a long, long time. Especially when you leave the house as rarely as do I.

As for the perfect pink nail varnish, I was willing to pay almost anything, if I could find that elusive shade of my imaginings.

Costly make-up is part of my life. Always has been, since I stopped borrowing my mum's stuff and let my grandmother enlighten me at the upscale cosmetics counter.

I'm (almost) ashamed to confess that I used to only buy Countess Isserlyn foundation, at $50 a bottle. Until Lancome invented one even more perfect for my complexion and skin type, which happens to be around $15.00 “cheaper”--the shade my husband refers to as “Geisha #2”. So I’m extravagant and pale. He's used to it by now.

He and I were shopping round the supermarket together last week. That in itself is bizarre enough, as he's responsible for nearly all our marketing--and a damn fine job he does of it, too. Once a week, I hand him a list. If I forget to write something down, he usually remembers it anyway.

While shopping, we separate for a few minutes (I had to price the almond butter, a very costly alternative to peanut butter, which I like as a flavour but not as a spread). Going to meet him at the checkstand, I take shortcut through the cosmetics aisle, where I notice some lip-liner pencils with a Frenchified name.

They were 99 cents. And one was my ideal colour--identical to the pencil that costs $21.50. So I grabbed it.

Then I spotted all the nail varnish by the same company. There was a pink one--not absolutely perfect, but not far off. It was $1.99.

Admittedly, I have a long, long way to go before I can call myself thrifty. In that instance, I felt I was being sensible and open-minded.

The lip-liner and the nail varnish are beyond satisfactory, I'm pleased to report. I wore both to church this morning.

We had an outstanding visiting priest, who gave us a splendid sermon. Afterwards, my man headed north to the lake, and dangerously, I headed east for the retail hell surrounding the shopping mall. I needed a birthday card and a gift for someone.

As usually happens, I ended up buying a little something for myself. A very little something. A pink keychain digicam. I've got more cameras than sense--a couple of digitals with good lenses and great zoom capacity, SLR's, a rangefinder, you name it. But having a teeny digicam dangling from my keychain was irresistable, especially at the knockdown price of $7.97, and an extra 10% off with promotional coupon.

I know, you get what you pay for. Still, it's cute and pink (matches my toenails!), light (runs on one battery), and it works (at least for now).

Here's what it can do:

The wall in front of my computer. There's a window a bit to the left, as I face the wall, but it isn't letting in much light at this time of day.

wall in front of my desk

If I glance to the left, I see bookcases along the wall.

And here's an attempt at self-photography. It seems to focus marginally better at close range. And with light.

I didn't tweak the images above at all, except to reduce the dpi for web viewing.

When I tried taking pictures of Ruth and Lola, I discovered that they move around too much for this particular camera. But my fig tree on the porch is still and steady as can be, so it turned out almost okay. I did tweak the pic below, sharpened it a bit.

my fig tree

"You're nuts," is what the Chap will say tonight, when he returns from the Cottage on the Big Lake. Just like he used to say about the $21.50 lip-liner pencil.

But I had a really good reason--besides it being fun and cheap--for getting the teeny, tiny digicam. One that I mustn't reveal.

No comments: