Tech

Everything I learnt about makeup I learnt from the Sims

So I have spent my life being femininely challenged. Only one significant female figure in my childhood (hi Aunty Pam), I was to shy to ask how to do the things every other girl seemed to know – what clothes to choose, how to do makeup. A marvellous single father did his utter amazing best, but there were some things this man, born to a devout Irish Catholic mother and hard working, loving, self sufficient father. Those legacies he imbued in us without knowing, good and bad (the Catholic bit he moved away from in disgust at the wealth of the church when still young, and I could never manage the belief needed for any religion, disturbing to him but accepted grudgingly now). So makeup was pretty well avoided. I played a bit with it with my girl friends in high school, but beyond the odd bit of eye liner, and the occasional dip into mascara, makeup always felt like playing dress up – and icky on my face!

As a young adult who had a strange spate of trying to fit in with the young mums around me (it lasted a few years, a fish so far out of water it may as well have been desert for the way I starved to death emotionally and mentally), I tried makeup again. I dutifully bought some at one of those ‘parties’ designed to blackmail you socially. But I could never figure out HOW to apply the stuff. Five years later, the nearly intact set was gleefully given away. I had found myself, and the bloke, and settled into my earth mother phase, up until recently the happiest time of my life (now is oddly beating it, despite the whole ‘constant crippling pain and disability thing’).

Then older and trying to find my way, starting my first employment in IT, I found how much more seriously I was taken as an older woman engineer (early 30s felt so old even then around the younglings I knew at Uni). So I tried again, with the patient help of friends, but it was a strange duality, as if layering on a mask.

And now – I am finding something similar. I ‘mask up’ to gather some gravitas and professional veneer, finding myself a woman of 46.5 years, disabled and strange in a large electric wheelchair that reminds people inexorably of Stephen Hawking’s chair. Many women engineers don’t, but they are ones who are hugely successful (my dearly loved supervisor and model to emulate being one of those).

But what, oh blog, does this all have to do with the Sims? Well, I found that playing the Sims 3, I spent a lot of time in the creation of the Sims(houses and people being built are what I tend to enjoy, the actual play – not as much. Suspect it’s the engineer in me playing god ;) ) I found I build females mostly, as that is what I know. And I’d play with their makeup, learning about colour and style from modeling. A very scientific approach actually! I found myself designing Sims with similar features and coloring to me to play with hair and makeup. And before I knew it (and discovering the body Shop ethical and light makeup options) I was able to use the stuff without flinching.

Of course, I carry makeup wipes frequently, and have it off before I even hit the bus;)))

As to fashion – life’s cosmic sense of irony is having four daughters interested in fashion. So I have my own personal shopping assistants, dressers, outfit designers, and critics, choosing my clothes and jewelry combos for the next day each evening. Bliss!!!

On the weekend, naturally I revert to hippy clothes, second hand shop cast offs, and geek tshirts. And no makeup!!!

It’s been a while…

Dear blog,

Welcome to Friday. It’s 6.41am and I am at a bus stop, waiting for the bus to the Uni. It’s 13.6F, but with the breeze, feels like 8.7F, according to WeatherAU app on my beloved iPhone 5. Running the new iOS 7, more on that later. I’ve taken my gloves off – and yep, the app is correct. Nice to verify the app;)

Why so early? Well, it’s a great chance to get work done when it is quiet at the Uni. Two solid hours of quiet. I practice Ukelele, work on my thesis, (teaser), mark assignments, work on lectures. Plus my body is most tolerant now, and I sleep so poorly that I am awake at 3 it seems nowadays.

I have not been blogging since semester 2. I only have so much time, after all. But this morning I realised I often spend twenty minutes playing in my iPhone at the bus stop – why not resume blogging (and my poor neglected journal – Day One is the must have multi platform app for that!)

Teaching two subjects is so much of a time vacuum. Rewriting one as I go makes it hugely so. So, being me (pause for bus) (now on bus) I enrolled in my Honors degree stream. I always felt bad about not finishing my B.IT (Bachelor of Information Technology), degree. With RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning), I qualify to do the four year B.IT Hons degree. And of course, being me, that’s not enough. I want a PhD. I’ve always dreamt of that. Why?

A PhD seems like a weird life goal. When I was originally at Uni 20 odd (some very odd) years ago, I longed to stay there. I looked with awe at the lecturers – even the Post Grads seemed involved in something so special, so – aspirational. A huge fan of Dorothy L Sayers, her ‘Gaudy Night‘ was a book that captured that sense that a University was a place if something higher – higher standards, loftier intentions. learning in its purest form. Now, amongst it all, I am perhaps more realistic, and my awe is also lessened, (we lecturers turn out to be just people after all!), but the passion for knowledge, scientific rigor, and the joy of collaboration and research is strengthened. While lecturers are more human than many students give us credit for, we genuinely believe in what we are doing – and everyone I work with genuinely CARES about what not only their research, but also the students, and their importance.

Anyway, here I am on an early bus heading in to work on my thesis presentation (lecturing to a hundred students is not nearly as scary as presenting to ten or fifteen people about what my thesis is covering). I will talk more about that another time:)

Oh, and iOS 7? As someone passionate about the user, about UI, and interfaces – a solid round of applause Apple. A big leap – with much of the improvement a subtle thing that many won’t notice, the big ticket items garner the attention,but from my point of view, there is much behaviour that is a huge step into a new and exciting direction.

I will be back, dear blog. I have found the corner of time needed, and after all – It’s About Time.

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