Flash Nonfic: Other Playlists

It was in Washington, DC at American University for a summer camp. I was there learning about film. She was there for journalism. We first talked on a bus ride to some day trip to a team-building exercise or radio studio or something enriching. The event doesn’t matter now, but that bus ride did.

I carried my iPod with me wherever I went. Having little to define myself, I used my favorite music to fill in the blanks. “Probably stuff you’d never heard of.” Arcade Fire. The Strokes. Interpol. It was 2007. Lots of people knew who the Strokes are.

“What are you listening to?” said a voice from behind my seat on the bus.

“Probably stuff you’ve never heard of.”

She sat up and pushed her head between the shoulders of the seat cushions. She had an iPod of her own in her hand. “Try me.” She smiled.

We switched iPods on the bus ride home. That night, I laid in my cot, listening to bands I’d never heard of, wondering about the men who created the playlists saved to her mp3 player and if I had a shot.

Rob Does Make Up: Intro

Make-up: the stuff that women (and some men, if they’re feeling risqué) smear on their faces to make themselves look different.

The types of make-up I am aware of off the top of my head: lip stick, blush, eye shadow, eye liner, other lip goos, various powders, lotion, glimmer, dimmer, other various powders, and more lip things.

I’ve always considered make-up to be the female version of action figures and trading cards. Companies release limited release nail polish (that’s another!) colors with crazy names and a ‘collect them all!’ type of slogan or mentality. So I guess I’m comparing lip stick to Pokemon. The only difference is that I know way more about Pokemon.

The most hands-on experience I’ve had with make-up is as a bartender, attempting to remove lip stick from the edges of wine glasses. The water-resistant technologies that these companies have engineered into their beauty products must be the result of highly advanced NASA research.

Make-up is a foreign world to my simple male mind. And as much as I hate to break things down into stereotypes, that’s all that I can really offer up here as to why I know so little about the stuff. As far as I’m concerned, in fourth grade, the teachers organized a private meeting with all the girls in the auditorium to screen a top-secret movie (they got to watch a movie!), and it was all cake faces and mysterious feminine hygiene products from there on out.

I know very little about make-up.

This is Inge. She’s the one on the right.


Inge likes make-up. She has agreed to let me photograph her make-up. This is (most of) her make-up.


This is (most of) her make-up dumped out onto a desk and very close up.


Inge smears these products on her face sometimes. Here is another picture of some more of said products.


I don’t know what most of these products are, so I arranged them all by the container’s shape.


Upon first inspection, I have noticed a few things. Many of the products seem to serve the same identical purpose. What that  purpose is, I am unaware, but many of the containers are the of the same color, with minor differences in shade. Also, it should be noted that some if these products appear entirely useless.


What is this??? A miniature bottle of shining water?

Some bottles seem to be contradictory: some make your face shiny, others remove the shine from your face. Application of the products must be similar to painting, as evidenced by the numerous brushes, which come in multitudinous sizes and shapes. Here is a picture of the instruments.


And here they are, laid out on a desk.


Eyebrow and lip products are the most abundant. I think these are for eyebrows.


I think these are for lips.


Inge displayed excitement and exuberance for her products, and she was willing to talk at length about the proper use and application of all of them, as well as offer up pros and cons of varying brand names. This passion has lead me to want to discover more about the wild world of beauty products. Luckily, Inge has allowed me to experiment with her array of facial art supplies. On the next installment of Rob Likes Make-Up, I will be applying them directly to Inge’s skin in hopes of learning more about this thing we call Make-Up.

Stay tuned.