Hi, Kristi here with another video! This is a review of the gray wig I'm wearing in the picture above from Trendywigs.
The Pursuit of Perfection
by London Koffler
In the short stories “The Oval Portrait” by Edgar Allan Poe and “The Birth-Mark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, both authors claim that the Transcendentalist belief in the attainability of human perfection is fundamentally impossible. These two dramatized stories specifically demonstrate how the obsessive pursuit of perfection can seize and destroy a person and, in turn, his or her loved ones.
Poe and Hawthorne, known for their gloomy but poignantly honest portrayal of humanity, may be categorized as Dark Romantics. This movement derived from opposition to the Transcendentalism of the nineteenth century (“Dark Romanticism”). Both authors were primarily skeptical of the idea of human goodness and perfection, which Transcendentalists believed “[was] an innate quality of mankind” (“Dark Romanticism”). Dark Romantics, however, “focused on the dark side of the soul” by depicting humans as corrupt and prone to immorality (“Dark Romanticism”). Poe and Hawthorne fundamentally opposed Transcendentalist theories, believing that sin is intrinsic and inescapable (“Dark Romanticism”).
While men’s obsessions in both tales are ultimately the cause of their own misery, the submission and docility of their wives play a role as well. In “The Oval Portrait” when the painter expresses his desire for his wife to model for a portrait, she submits, happy to finally spend time with her neglectful husband and be included in his work. While she sits there for weeks withering away, she does not draw her husband’s attention because she does not want to distract him from something that gives him such joy. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birth-Mark,” Aylmer is untroubled by the small, hand-shaped mark on his lover’s face until they are married, at which point he becomes obsessed with the “visible mark of earthly imperfection” (Hawthorne 5). His repulsion causes Georgiana to also hate the mark she previously accepted and she begs that “the attempt be made at whatever risk” (Hawthorne 8). While both women are content with imperfection, their own deaths result from their submission to their husbands’ desires.
As the husbands try to attain their perfect images, perfection seems to drain their wives’ lives. In “The Oval Portrait,” the painter appears to transfer the life from his wife to his portrait of her. As the portrait appears to develop the flawless representation of humanity, the life drains from the artist’s wife. Similarly, in “The Birth-Mark,” Georgiana’s life fades as her birthmark does. Before they realize their mistakes, both men cry out in celebration: “You are perfect!” (Hawthorne 19) and “This is indeed Life itself!” (Poe).
By sacrificing love for their obsessive drive for perfection, the men inadvertently kill the women who love them. One theory of the authors’ intentions is that physical and psychological imperfection is inherently from nature and should not be challenged. In “The Birth-Mark,” Aylmer believes the imperfection of his wife’s face is “the fatal flaw of humanity which Nature…stamps ineffaceably on all her productions” (Hawthorne 6). Once she attains what Aylmer considers perfection, Georgiana is no longer a cultivation of nature but a product of man. Hawthorne appears to be commenting on the idea that man cannot change the beauty of nature into the beauty of man because human ideas of beauty are flawed—what is natural is beautiful, and imperfection coexists with nature. On the other hand, the painter’s obsession is not focused on perfecting his wife’s corporeal beauty but on creating the perfect representation of her in a portrait. Because he is first and foremost married to his art, the painter becomes absorbed in his task, not even acknowledging the passage of time. Poe’s story appears to be claiming that neglecting reality and focusing on creating perfection will only cause heartache.
In their portrayal of the men themselves, Poe and Hawthorne demonstrate the anti-Transcendentalist concept of the darkness of human souls (“Dark Romanticism”). Both husbands are presented with near-perfection, but they insist on changing something that most people already see as perfect. They ruin themselves and destroy their wives in an obsessive attempt to improve upon what they have been given.
“Dark Romanticism.” New World Encyclopedia, New World Encyclopedia, 10 Sept. 2015, www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Dark_romanticism.
Fusco Richard. “Poe and the Perfectibility of Man.” Poe Studies / Dark Romanticism, vol. 19, no. 1, June 1986, pp. 1-6. www.eapoe.org/pstudies/ps1986/p1986101.htm.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Birth-Mark. Paris, Feedbooks, www.lem.seed.pr.gov.br/arquivos/File/livrosliteraturaingles/birthmark.pdf.
Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Oval Portrait.” American Studies at the University of Virginia, University of Virginia, xroads.virginia.edu/-HYPER/POE/oval.html.
Edited by Klancy Hoover
Hi guys! So, i made a video (below) in which I followed another Youtuber's Moroccan Sunset totorial using BH Cosmetic's Moroccan Sunset palette. Her video is linked in the description box in mine if you want to check it out.
'Death' by Emily Chance
By Emily Chance
It’s a curse: wandering the world reaping souls. The old ones are the easiest. They let go easier. Sometimes they don’t put up a fight, because they were ready to go years before when I took their friends away. It saddens me, but it is the way of life. You reap those that need to go. It is their time. The natural order of the world. The worst ones are the fighters and the young.
One would think that death would get used to her job, but it isn’t so. Having to take a child from their mother is the worse. The mother is screaming, hysterical to hold her baby, unable to hold them in her arms again. I gather the child in my arms and it smiles up at me, unaware of the dangers it doesn’t have to face, unaware of the bliss they would have had. Unknowing that their life could have been great, or that it could have been poor.
The strong ones are the hardest. You try to reach out to them, but they smack you away. Sometimes this battle goes on for days. Their stubborn soul refusing to part. They may be the hardest to reap, but they’re the ones who put a smile on my face. They know what they want. Eventually though, they let go. Whether they mean to or not, they let go.
Each time I get ahold of a soul old enough to speak, they always ask me the same question. “Why?” I’m sorry. I have no choice in who dies. I am just doing my job. What is worse is when I am asked, “where am I going? What happens next?” Because I want to be able to answer them. I want to be able to reassure them and say everything will be fine. But honestly, I have no idea what happens next. I lead their soul to a path. It is up to them which direction to choose. I am not allowed anywhere past the path. Will you meet God? Will you be born again? I have no knowledge of the afterlife. I am merely a guide.
There is one soul that sticks with me. A five-year-old who died from a freak accident. She asked “why?” I answered that I was just doing my job. Before I reached my hand out to her, she grabbed it and said, “that’s okay, don’t be sad. Sometimes bad things happen. Like when you had to take my mama away.” I led her to the road and told her to follow the path, “okay!” she smiled up at me, “I’m going to go see my mama now.” Her name was Nina. She was the only soul I met that reassured me instead of demanding questions or fighting me off, and her soul was the most beautiful and the hardest to let go.
Edited by: Corinne DiOrio
Product Review of 2 Different Clearance/Cheap Pastel Colors Eyeshadow Palettes by Kristi
Hi all! It's Kristi here. I have two cheap eyeshadow palettes that I'm reviewing.
1. The first one is this pastel NYC palette shown in the picture above.
I didn't make a video with this one, I took a picture of the finished look which you can see below.
I didn't like it and won't be using it again, but it's not because there's anything wrong with the makeup. It's just not for me. It was only 1 or 2 dollars, which you can't beat. I know that most makeup reviews you find online are of high end products that the average person can't afford, so I like showing affordable products. This has a creamy base coat, and also a black gel liner included, which I thought was nice and also helpful, and makes this a great travel palette because it will reduce the amount of product you need to pack and free up space in your bag. The colors all have a slight sheen to them, and of course you can see they're pastel, so that's 2 strikes against it for me just because I don't like pastels and I like mattes better than anything shimmery or shiny.
Here's the finished look, which is brighter than shown but that's because I don't have good lighting. I used only the products in the palette shown above and nothing else on my eyes except mascara of course.
2. Look #2 has a video, and you can find it on my Youtube channel. I'm DREAMWEAVER on Youtube. I'll link the video below.
This is another clearance eyeshadow palette that also has pastel colors. I normally like dark, grungy eyeshadow so this is outside the norm for me, but surprisingly I didn't hate it as much as I thought I would. It was fun for a one time thing, but it isn't something I'm going to use as my every day look.
'Toys' a poem by JD DeHart
by JD DeHart
I have collected them,
arranged them all. When
I was a child they were
colorful actors in an ongoing
narrative. I would construct
reality in small plastic
Of course, now I have put
the toys away in place of other
larger, louder, often less amusing
bits of plastic and metal.
I swipe my toys in credit
card machines, mindlessly
travel from A to B in larger
metal structures than the ones
that zipped across my kitchen
The narrative is larger, but
now enacted with tools that
are remarkably similar.
The Painter of Cypress Trees
By: Catherine Lynch
It was so unbearably hot in the city of stone and crenelated walls that I was convinced we had traveled through a time loop and actually arrived in medieval time. The only indications that we were still in 2018, were the Gucci bags and Jimmy Choo shoes that every Italian seemed to be able to afford.
We’d spent most of the day in a coffee and gelato shop, exhausted from our earlier trip to Siena. If the blistering sun wasn’t enough to make us want to go back to the Palazzo in Florence, then the giant hills that lead to San Gimignano that we had to walk up did.
I wanted air-conditioning, water, and not to pay to use the bathroom.
My friend, Kelly, sighed pulling on one of her light brown curls. “We should really try to enjoy our time in San Gimignano, even if we are exhausted.”
I looked down at my half-eaten gelato. Even that hadn’t helped. I huffed. “I agree, but the only things to do here is climb to the top of the highest tower or go into the Duomo.” I wiped sweat from my forehead, “and all we’ve done today is tour churches.”
I could practically hear God “tsk” from Heaven. No strict Catholic girl should be talking anyone down from visiting a cathedral. I could almost see him shake his head as if he thought I had more faith than that.
Trying to waste time in Italy was surprisingly hard. We had walked into countless stores, but nothing was catching our attention.
Kelly and I had just arrived in a giftshop and were laughing at frog-shaped mugs when a picture caught my eye out of the store window.
An elderly local street artist was selling his paintings across the street. A dark purple cypress tree caught my eye, causing me to do a double-take. Although I tried to tear my eyes away from it, I had learned a long time ago that I only really wanted something when my gaze kept falling back on it. After quickly mentioning that I’d be right outside while Kelly bought an item, I slipped out of the store and walked across the tiny cobblestone street to where the old, silver-haired vender was.
I searched through his paintings that were in an accordion folder as he regarded me silently with calm brown eyes. “These paintings, molto bene,” I said in broken Italian.
He smiled his thanks. Then asked, “Which one do you want?”
I pointed to the painting of a cypress tree. It was nothing more than a single cypress tree painted in dark purple and black. The tree stood alone in the painting with the only other color on the canvas being its black shadow.
“That’s one of my favorites, too. I was driving home when I saw the cypress tree standing alone beneath the stars. So, I pulled over and painted it.” He reverently touched the bottom of the paper. “Normally, I’d sell this painting for eighty euros, but if you tell me the reason you want the painting, then maybe I will give it to you for less.”
I looked at the painting, and then back at the seated man and said, “It reminded me of a Christina Rossetti poem called Song which mentions a cypress tree. The poem is one of my favorites,” I hastily explained.
I thought that would be the end of our conversation when he asked, “Why?”
I debated whether to tell the man, but I reasoned that our paths would most likely never cross in the future. So, I answered, “When one of my English teachers explained the poem to me, she said that Rossetti was struggling with religion when she wrote it. Rossetti was debating whether her religious upbringing was true or not.” I paused for a moment. “But I never read the poem the same way my teacher did no matter how many times I re-read it. I heard no struggling in the words… just peace and acceptance. Ever since then, I’ve loved it.”
I unclicked the back of my phone case, deciding I would regret it more if I left the piece in the Medieval city than spending the money to buy it.
I gave him the money, surprised to find that he didn’t look at it. He just slid it into his pocket, pulled out brown packaging, and wrapped my painting up before handing it to me.
Kelly and I walked around San Gimignano for a little longer, waited at our meeting spot beside an immortalized soldier, then began our descent with the rest of our class to the buses at the bottom of the hill. Halfway down the hill, I spotted the artist stand where I had bought the painting that I was too scared to even place under my arm.
I decided to thank him again for the piece that would travel with me all the way back to America. Taking longer strides, I hurried towards the stand.
But as I got closer to the stand, I saw that the display piece hadn’t been replaced by another, and the seat the man had been sitting in was empty.
The painter had disappeared.
Edited by: Emily Chance
Short 4 Part Video Series, GRWM Zodiac Eyeshadow, Lashes, and Blonde Wig, by Kristi
This short 4 part video series me doing makeup, lashes, and a wig. BH Cosmetics Zodiac eyeshadow, and cheap wig from Amazon.