Friday, March 22, 2013

Nail of the Novel: American Apparel Passport Blue

**Please take a few seconds and vote in the poll I added in the upper righthand column of the post! Thanks! I might not be able to get started with that until May-ish, but that's assuming y'all are interested. I want to get an idea of what you'd like to see.**

Ain't no secret that I've been draggin' ass with this post. Here's why:
  1. When I finished reading Danielle's book club pick for February, the first words out of my mouth were, "WHAAAAAAAT THE FUUUUUUUUUUUCK!??!?!!?" I felt like Bradley Cooper in "Silver Linings Playbook" when his character finishes A Farewell to Arms, only considerably less rage-y but definitely just as confused.
  2. What would I do for my nail of the novel???? (This is a term coined by Danielle and it's absolutely brilliant, IMO.)
I settled on this polish that I've had for years. I put it on after removing Pretty Serious VT100 on Monday. (Dude, if I'd actually gone out on Saturday night with lady friends instead of Sunday night with B, I'm willing to bet VT100 would've gotten me a crap ton of compliments. And also, shout out to one of my favorite bartenders, Joanne! Joanne is the best. She listens to our cat stories, tells us some of her own, and does not judge me for my terrible taste in beer.)

Whether it's to my eventual benefit or detriment, I'm a very literal-minded person. First I thought, "Maybe I should do China Glaze Exotic Encounters" but to me, the term "exotic" is exciting and even sultry, not "hooooooooooooooooly fucking SHIT, U IN DANGER GURL," which is more where the novel was. Then it was, "Oh, maybe I should do China Glaze Man Hunt" because there was an actual manhunt in the book. I later entertained the idea of a sheer, since one character had her manicuring essentials out in the desert with her, but I can't imagine how polish in post-WWII would have held up in the desert. So we get AA Passport Blue, since there was quite the plot point involving one character's missing passport.

Three coats with NYC Grand Central Station. And sorry if these photos look weird. My camera freaks out with dark colors.

Passport Blue is a strongly pigmented deep navy ink creme. It never looks black, yay! One thing I loved about these first American Apparel cremes was that you could tell *exactly* where or what they drew their color inspiration from. Well, according to this blog (one of my faves!), Passport Blue is a bit darker than an actual U.S. passport.

This polish was pretty pigmented, but really easy to apply. --Easy, despite the worst part of application being those long-stemmed AA brushes, and believe me when I say this required CONSTANT. VIGILANCE. (I also may have been quite sleepy whilst polishing.) You can get away with two coats, but as a habitual three-coater, two didn't feel right to me. It dried really quickly with Grand Central Station, and I got minor tip wear after one day -- far less than what I would have gotten with SV after one day, if you want to know. I wore this for three days with a bit more tip wear, but no chips.

Passport Blue is one of the core American Apparel cremes, and one of the first ones that was available when the store started marketing nail polish in early 2010. It's $6 online and in stores, and you can buy three polishes for $15, which is nice. American Apparel is ridiculous to me for so many reasons, but I do like their polishes a lot, even if they don't wear too well on me. I don't know why I love mine. Is it the range of colors in the creme finish? Is it the square bottle? I sure as hell know it's not the AA ~aesthetic~!

As for the novel, I'm still not completely sure what it was about, or what its themes were. Yeah, I haven't been able to think critically about literature since 2003, but this book was one of the densest things I'd read in years. To the author's merit, it was written beautifully, no matter how much I wanted to choke some of the characters out of frustration because I DID NOT UNDERSTAND HALF OF THEIR DECISIONS.

Oh, and the book was The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles. If you know anything about the novel, then you'll know my feelings are completely warranted. There's also a 1990 Bertolucci film adaptation that Bowles seems to have panned, starring John Malkovich and Certain Parts of Debra Winger. I have no idea how faithful it is to the novel, but it's available on Netflix if you are in the mood for some serious moral ambiguity and Debra Winger's lady parts.

I also would like to note that this was the first time I'd read an e-book, via my Asus Google Nexus 7. I haven't played too much with my little Nexus, but I've never been interested in e-books. You go to an airport, coffee shop, wherever with an e-book and if you're not careful, some asshole will jack that shit. But lug your two-inch(...ish) copy of, say, Infinite Jest and you look like a fucking intellectual genius (or a poser -- it could go either way). In any case, the only thing I didn't like about this particular e-book was that there was no translation widget? app? because there was a fair amount of conversational French in the text. I only took one semester of French and all the French I remember comes from "Beauty and the Beast" and the Flight of the Conchords "Foux Da Fa Fa" song.

 Voilà mon passeport!

So yeah, I was kind of boned. Luckily, I don't think any of the French in the text was significant, but there was enough for me to go, "Aughhhhhh, what does that MEAN?" All things considered, however, I'd read another book off my tablet again.

OMG, Elizabeth. I just realized that blonde chick from the video and that "FOTC" episode is Eliza Coupe, a.k.a. JANE FROM "HAPPY ENDINGS."

Time to go! I'd love to hear your thoughts about American Apparel polishes, Passport Blue, difficult reads, e-books versus hard copies (Team Hard Copy!), or your favorite "Flight of the Conchords" episode. I'm not sure what mine is, but I know I preferred Season One to Season Two.

I can already tell my next Nail of the Novel post will be far less ... problematic than this one was. Of course, the real problem is that I need to read more than twenty pages into our March book, but you know. I have, what, nine days? Totally doable.


  1. I don't own any AA polishes. I love cremes but I hate AA and AA hates me.

    OMG, difficult reads. I just finished An American Tragedy, which took me THREE MONTHS to read. Soooooooooooo many pages, such tiny print. AGH. I'm so glad I've finally finished it. I'm moving on to something easy.

    My favorite FOTC episodes is the David Bowie one because I have yet to find an occasion where "David Bowie told me to do it in a dream" isn't a valid reason for something.

    1. If you want some, the AA in town is really close to where I get mah brows did and even closer to my chocolate dealer. Just let me knowwwwww.

      I haven't read any Dreiser ... I bet that book is on our list, but I am not touching that. I can't imagine reading it in tiny print! It would take me forever, too. I still have "Smoke Signals" on my list after your recommended it, btw. :)

      Um, WHAT. That's a valid reason for EVERYTHING!

  2. I own this passport blue and agree the long stems make for a messy polishing. I am one who reads a TON but have to hold an actual book. It's just not the same to me reading on a tablet.

    1. One thing I like about the tablet is that you can control the font size. Hells, yes! But for the most part, I'm with you, I like having a hard copy.


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