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I bought some eyeliner recently on a whim & have worn it a couple times. It's weird, applying eyeliner for the first time in about 20 years.

I've avoided makeup entirely for a very long time, because it made me feel bad about myself. It seemed like a culturally-prescribed mask, like an embodiment of the assumption that women are not beautiful already & need to be improved in order to be socially acceptable. Like I was being told that there was something about me that wasn't enough, that needed to be covered up, that needed to be changed. And I'd decided that I didn't like feeling that way, so I became pretty darn judgmental toward anything I blamed for "making me" feel that way.

In the past few years, I've been becoming less bigoted about beauty, less extreme in my opinions. I decided that the problem wasn't with "our culture" so much as the problem was my own attitude, my own way of looking at myself. Yes, the Orange County culture I was raised in contributed tremendously to that attitude, but I'm not in Orange County anymore, and I don't need to be trapped in those attitudes, either. I can think for myself, rather than totally accepting or totally rejecting anyone else's opinions. My life doesn't have to be a reaction to anyone else. I can just figure it out independently.

So I've been feeling a little more experimental, a little more playful, figuring out what I like and what I don't. I've been enjoying jewelry and colorful clothes and toenail polish on my own terms, thinking only about what I like & what makes me happy, not about what anyone else thinks.

A couple weeks ago I looked in the mirror & thought, "Hey! I can see my eyes!" I haven't really worn contact lenses since high school, and so glasses were a big part of my impression of What I Look Like. I'm getting used to not having them now, getting used to having just unadorned eyes on my face instead of decorative glasses, and I finally decided to see if I might like the look of a tiny bit of eyeliner. I always found most makeup really annoying (especially lipstick, which has to be reapplied every 5 minutes), but eyeliner always seemed pretty innocuous, so I thought I'd give it a try.

I've only done it a couple times thus far & I'm not wearing enough for anyone else to notice it, but I'm having fun. It's like playing with a very tiny brown crayon with myself as the canvas.

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Shannon and I watched Iron Man 3 a few days ago & I'm very excited to be able to watch movies again. Also, Shannon is currently reading some J.R.R. Martin aloud to me, and I'm enjoying it.

Then this week we saw the Shotgun Players production of Harry Thaw Hates Everybody, which is fantastic. The play is based on real-life events in turn-of-the-century Manhattan, specifically Harry Thaw's murder of Stanford White over Evelyn Nesbit. It's another Shotgun production about telling stories (like this season's The New Electric Ballroom and Daylighting, as well as last season's Edward Gant's Amazing Feats of Loneliness, Sea of Reeds, By and By, and Strangers, Babies). I love stories about stories, so they've been really winning me over with this trend (though I didn't like TNEB or Daylighting, despite their storytelling themes). I'd urge everyone to go see Harry Thaw, but it's only running for another few days. If you want to see a great play this weekend, run, don't walk.

The Most Expensive Afghan Ever continues apace. It's large enough now to actually look recognizably like an afghan. I'm going to try to take some photos today, because it's gotten so big that I find it difficult to take it all in at once, visually. I'd like to see what the shape looks like, as well as the patterns of colored stripes.

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I've been having some communication concerns lately, mostly feeling self-conscious about (1) the fact that I talk incessantly about my health (and fears that I may be driving people away from me by doing this) and (2) when my headaches are bad I sometimes miss social cues or speak carelessly. I think both trigger old Orange County issues for me, stuff about caring more about what other people think than about my own well-being. This is fodder for a much longer post of its own, though, so I'm going to just post this, since I've been working on it for days.

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