Thursday, April 29, 2010

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

Last night I yelled at my friend. I'm not really proud of it but in all fairness I would probably do it again. There is one sure fire way to provoke me into raving madness: "You wouldn't understand."

This phrase has been said to me countless times and has yet to lose it's ability to make me crazy. Not only does it attack my cognitive reasoning but my ability to empathize (the last feeling I truly think I possess). It's discriminatory and insulting to the person you say it to, and makes you look smug. Worse, it is almost always wrong.

I've heard this all my life. It's usually in context to my age but has also been used in conjunction with my skin colour, educational background, religion, sexual orientation, and economic status. Interesting, all things recognized as protected classes by the government.

I was raised to think before I speak and I'll be the first to admit, I'm not very good at it. My verbal filter is eternally clogged and I say whatever comes to mind much of the time. However, I don't pretend to be the expert when I'm not and I don't give an opinion where I don't have one. When I say something, I mean it and I probably have good reason for it as well.

The worst offenders of said unfortunate phrase? Women. We believe our problems are our own and that no one has ever been in the same position as us. We believe our feelings are unique. We believe no one understands us. We are wrong.

Much has been said about being a guys girl. Chelsea Handler, at her show Saturday, said there's a reason for girls without girlfriends; they're cunts (her words, not mine. You know how I feel about the "C" word). Even as a "guys-girl", I've always tried to maintain a few female relationships. There are certain things you don't want to talk to your male friends about, and besides; they usually don't want to go find the perfect sandals or visit Sephora with you. All this being said, I have never heard the above from one of my guy friends- ever. If we get into an argument it usually resolves itself when one of us gets hungry or tired or admits defeat. It is understood that anyone can understand your position if you explain it properly. It is also understood that doing so does not mean they will agree with you.

My anger last night did not originally stem from my friend but the situation she was explaining to me. It upset me greatly and deeply (I was practically shaking). On reflection, I can see how this might have been misinterpreted. However, when the phrase "You just wouldn't understand" was mentioned... What would be the point in talking to someone who would be unable to understand? You might as well talk to a brick wall or a child.

What I regret is not walking away fully when I tried to (another thing- let people walk away. this goes for everyone. We teach our children to walk away from confrontation, yet we keep trying to pull them back in; even as adults). I regret the number of times I said "bullshit". I regret joining the conversation when it was clear it was serious and I just wanted to have a good time. I regret any discomfort caused. But, I don't regret anything I said, maybe just how I said it.

So please, for the love of Pete (whoever he may be), stop saying this phrase.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Chelsea! What Are You Doing?!

What should have been a 20 minute trip at most, turned into 45 while we tried to get to Chelsea Handler. Whoever decided there should be one exit, a one-lane exit mind you, that lead to both the Nokia Theatre (sorry, the Verizon Center) and Lone Star Park must have been on drugs. He should ask for a refund, because whatever he was taking must have gone bad. Amusing us as we moved .8 miles in 25 minutes were at least 7 single shoes on the side of the road (and an intestine). Where were the shoe pairs? Wouldn't you notice you were missing your right shoe? What the heck happened on the side of the road?

When we finally arrived, the scene inside was no better. If you are not already a fan of Chelsea Handler or her show "Chelsea Lately", first off- What's wrong with you? Secondly, she is a big fan of drinking and vodka (especially Belvedere). So, why is there only 1 bartender per line who is making drinks and ringing people up? We stood there for a hour waiting to get beer. We missed her opener, Brad Wolack; which doesn't bum me out so much but still. How is that acceptable? We wasted some time bitching with the people around us and taking our picture next to the Cardboard Chelsea set up next to the merch table.

Armed with our 2- 24oz Miller Lites, we head off in search of our seats. It is pitch black inside. The first usher I walked up to told me I went in the wrong way (which was the way the ticket taker told me to go), and to talk to the next usher. So, I walked over to her. No big deal. She pointed to where our seats were and up I went. Again, I couldn't see a thing- not the row number, not the seat number, nothing. My seat seemed not to be next to my buddies, so I asked the two people separating us if they would mind scooting down. They made a big deal out of getting up and when I leaned in to say thanks, the woman told me I was rude. Uh, okay lady- suck it. The 4th member or our unhappy gang arrived and there was no seat for her. What was going on? Rude childish lady told us we were in the wrong section so we shuffled off to the other end of the row where there were empty seats. Of course, nothing can end well just yet. The pseudo-Christians I was sitting next to kept commenting on how inappropriate our laughter was. Why are you here?!!!!!

"Every girl has hidden a shadoobie"
Thankfully, my 1st 24oz can was there to comfort me, and the show began. I have one beef with Chelsea- Why you breaking the code, girl? Chelsea has cracked our game wide open. According to her (and confirmed by every female in the room, which was substantial), at some point you (lady) or someone you know (another lady) has hidden a shadoobie- whether you immediately left the party to go home, threw it out the window, or held it in- we don't go #2. Failing to comply with this rule can result in an unintended breakup with your boyfriend when the toilet breaks and there is no plunger in sight. The "token" guy sitting with us (my friend Lauren's boyfriend) could not stop laughing- He had no idea anything like this was going on. Of course, we all laughed and nodded knowingly to each other.

"Do you think it's okay to drink while pregnant... If you're planning to give it up for adoption?"
Much of her show recounted stories she wrote about in her latest book but in more (or better) detail. The break-up with her boyfriend, and CEO of her network, was chronicled there; though she was not as nice last night. From reading her book, I assumed he had broken up with her and all of her crazy shenanigans. Now it seems, she broke up with him because he didn't get her crazy shenanigans. Either way, she almost wet herself twice while talking about it. There is nothing better than a comedian who cracks themselves up, especially when talking about something they already wrote about and have probably mentioned at every show. Girl needs to get some Carefree.

"You can't expect to be date raped over a frappuccino"
The above is the reason why meeting for coffee is not an acceptable first date option. As I said, it's drink or be drunk in the Chelsea lexicon and coffee is not on the menu. I have to seriously agree. The only people I'm meeting for coffee are my girlfriends, and even then I'd suggest a bar instead. No one over the age of 21 should have coffee dates unless they're a hippie. In the wise words of Chelsea (and many other's), "I'm not drinking to be funny, I'm drinking to make you funnier"

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hello Saturday My Old Friend

Hello Saturday, How you doing? I missed you.

* Last weekend I was MIA from the blogosphere due to my internment in College Station, TX. I was visiting my delightful sister and auditing classes. Unfortunately, my twitchy eye has been replaced by a random cough. Do not listen to nurse practitioners/doctors who tell you Sudafed PE is less drowsy- it is not! I missed the second half of classes to sleep off the meds. After that, I just gave up. It's a lot better now (so glad I went to the minute clinic only to be prescribed drugs I already owned- We'll get to that next). So, she had a wonderful birthday, we ate delicious food (you can read all about it and see pictures here). Doesn't she look lovely?:

(I on the other hand am covered in beer. Damned drunken college kids!)

One of the highlights of the trip was our impromptu stop at Blockbuster. All of their stores are closing in College Station, so they set up an outlet store where all DVDs go to die. It was glorious! Everything was $.99! We could not stop laughing and running into each other while pawing through boxes and boxes of movies. I think I was very modest and controlled in my purchases:

* So, back to the drugs thing. It is imperative, I've come to realize, to write the function of your prescription drugs on the label. Otherwise, you have no idea what you're sitting on and will get another bottle of something you already own- I'm looking at you cough medicine! How annoying. Worse yet, is when you have no idea what something does so you look it up and then can't remember why you would have ever been prescribed it. Case in point: Meloxicam. I have half a bottle in my medicine basket. What the heck is it? I looked it up on wikipedia but they were uncommonly unhelpful. I finally came across another website that told me what it's prescribed for- osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. What? Why do I have this? I have neither of these conditions to the best of my knowledge. Would it help the charlie horse I developed yesterday morning, because I need something for that now? There are at least two other bottles of unknown origin and substance in there and I'll be damned if I look those up as well!

* Jennie's word of the day: Turtle

* Over heard: "I've got nuts to chew!"

* When I get an idea, or offer to do something for someone else; I usually repeat said idea/offer at least twice more. Example: I am making a couple CDs for my friend Lauren (who has graced this screen several times). It usually takes me a while to get around to this type of thing as I rarely use my own computer. You see, I don't have Internet at home so I have to pirate if off who ever lives in my building with an unsecured WiFi. About a week after I promised her two CDs, I promised another friend I'd make him a mix tape (my favorite kind). I respect his stance on pirated music much like he respects mine on pirated movies, so a mix tape was a natural compromise. Then on Thursday, I promised another two CDs to my date. Now I have to make 5 Cd's in as few days. Crap.

* This week, I have become obsessed with these sites:
Hyperbole and a Half
The Daily

* According to Business Week, The Donner Party did not resort to cannibalism. I don't know why that bums me out, but it does. It also reminds me of a trivia night a couple weeks ago when they were the answer to a bonus question (word of the day Jennie got it right!).

* Dear makers of falafel's: I appreciate that you want to show me the beauty and greatness of your ingredients, however; some things can be too crunchy. You are supposed to be creamy and smooth in the center while crunchy on the outside, like a nutritious hush puppy. I am not interested in being able to pick out grains you may have added to yourself to feel more important. Please refrain from this in the future. Thank you.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The New (Old) Rules of Dating

So, last nights first date went off well even though I may have had one too many gin & tonics, but we'll get to that in a second. There are a few things about dating that stick out in my mind, most of them learned from my father. His dating life began in the mid-60s and the lessons and manners he acquired there were passed on to me. Not a lot, I mean, who wants to talk to their Dad about boys, but enough. In many ways, it's the essence of a "Mad Men" kind of existence. Maybe that's why I've always been fascinated with that period.

1) Guy's usually ask girls- This is not to say the reverse (or some version thereof) isn't true, but it's the exciting exception not the rule. My father's take is that women want a strong man who can make decisions and isn't afraid of rejection. I kinda agree.

2) Dates should be made several days in advance & confirmed- If a guy does this, I'm impressed. It sounds so simple and obvious, but we (ladies) have all been asked out for the following day or worse, the day of. My date was made on Monday for Thursday. He called on Tuesday to confirm I wasn't "just being nice" (I explained that I am never nice for the niceness sake. See #4), then again Thursday afternoon to finalize. Preparation is key, so is the implied respect for your "busy" schedule.

3) Whoever asks, pays- It is important thought to always have $20 or a good credit card in case he turns into a loser or decides to go dutch. Again, be prepared.

4) Self-deprecation is a turn off for everyone- Seriously. This includes but is not limited to: "I can't believe you agreed to go out with me." "I never thought you would say yes." "I know I'm not your type..." Stay away from the Debbie Downer shit too- no one wants to hear about how your cat died, or you hate your job, or just got out of the hospital after your "little accident". Save it for later.

5) Don't drink too much/get drunk- This one didn't come from my Dad in those words, I take it from his traditional good bye of "keep your wits about you and watch your six", but I think the sentiment works perfectly here. Patti Stanger has it right with this one! Drinking too much can lead to anything from kissing someone you shouldn't (or worse!) to puking in the restaurant bathroom- Not that I've done either of those things... It can also inhibit your ability to self-edit or remember what a great or horrible time you had. I'm pretty bad at this one as I tend to have a few cocktails when I'm nervous, but at least I don't have a "calming dose" before the date anymore- that always led to trouble!

That's pretty much it. Obviously, don't be a douche (that goes for everyone) and make sure you listen and don't just talk. All of these rules should guarantee a second date if it's wanted.

What rules/advice do you have??

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Let's Get a Bit Serious...

... Just for a second, I promise! I've got my first date in I can't even tell you how long coming up tonight and as you may or may not have figured out, I'm a bit of a mess. Strangers confuse and dismay me. This person doesn't really fall into that category, but as we've never had a real conversation, he might as well be. What the heck fire do people talk about on dates?

Things I think are probably bad conversation starters:
- Anything having to do with my last date/boyfriend
- Why men sometimes suck
- This weird pimple I got right under my ear two days ago
- Religion
- The icelandic volcano
- Babies
- My filthy apartment or why I can't have nice things
- Anything baby sized
- His last girlfriend
- Politics
- The film "300"- I hated it, most guys did not
- Families, past a general acknowledgement that I have one
- Age
- My natural hair colour
- My cat, and why he's trying to kill me (on 2nd thought, that might be amusing and should probably go below)

Things I think are probably Okay to talk about:
- My cat, and why he's trying to kill me
- Any movie other than the one mentioned above
- ????????

Seriously, a little help?!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

WWQTW?- All About Eve

Monday was the 2nd annual WWQTW? meeting, and it was a total success! We ate delicious food and watched "All About Eve".

Released in 1950, it garnered 14 Oscar nominations and snagged the Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor- George Sanders. It is the only film in which 4 woman were nominated for acting awards for the same film. It won Best Film at that years BAFTA's, as well as the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay. When it premiered at Cannes Film Festival, it received a Special Jury Prize and Bette Davis won Best Actress. It is currently #28 on AFI's Top 100 Movies list and a must see! The director, Joseph Mankiewicz, is the only person to have won Best Screenplay and Best Director two years in a row (He won the previous year for "A Letter to Three Wives"). When Claudette Colbert injured herself shortly before shooting was set to begin, she was replaced by Bette Davis and the rest, as they say, is history!

Based on a short story by Mary Orr, "All About Eve" tells the story of veteran stage diva Margo Channing (Davis) and her relationship with a precocious fan, Eve (Anne Baxter). Eve has seen every performance of Margo's and waits for her patiently outside the stage door hoping for a glance at her idol. She befriends Margo's best friend Karen who introduces them. Eve is the best possible friend to have- she does whatever Margo asks of her ("This is how they dealt with stalkers in that day? Just embrace them?"- Lauren). Of course, nothing is as it seems. "All About Eve" is the seminal film about ruthless upstarts and show business. It is also a great example of female relationships both towards each other as well as the men that inhabit their lives. I think Megan said it best, "[The] complexity of female relationships and the guys didn't get it!" It certainly says a lot for Mankiewicz's talent as a writer! Eve effects, both positively and negatively, everyone she comes into contact with. If one person turns her out, she moves on to the next closest person and tries to integrate herself into their lives. It presents woman in a very modern way while still holding strong to the beliefs and conventions of the time. Margo is unhappy and single; she does everything in her power to push her beau away (tres modern). Karen is blissfully naive and married (repressed). They all drink and smoke and cavort in ways that are more than simply "implied, it's obvious" (thanks Lauren)!

My favorite quote from the group came from Stacy, out illustrious host: "hell, I'd marry his dead corpse, it's still better..." I really wish I had written down the context of this remark, so if you were there please let me know!

Our groups was enamoured of the writing style immediately and kept taking notes of clever dialog throughout the viewing. The acerbic wit spouted by Davis and the other characters (George Sanders' DeWitt, a newspaper critic, is a close 2nd for the best lines) would be best described as Parker-esque (see: Dorothy Parker). A few of my favorites:

"With Eddie gone, my life went back to beer"- Eve

"Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy ride" -Margo (one of the most famous movie quotes ever)

"Why do they always look like unhappy rabbits?"
"Because that's what they are"- Miss Caswell (Marilyn Monroe in her 1st film) to DeWitt

"Everybody has a heart, except some people" -Margo

"Groom, may I have a wedding present"?
"What would you like? Texas?" - Margo to Bill

The Player, All About My Mother, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Stage Door, A Star is Born (1937), Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

Next month, I promised to pick a modern (i.e. in colour) film. I'm still not sure how mean I feel like getting, but I think something a bit obscure is called for. The whole point, as I see it, of WWQTW? is not only to expose it's participants to the films they should have seen; but also to those that many haven't seen. It is only in encompassing smaller genres or big names in little pictures, that one can call themselves a cinephile. It is my goal to get at least half of the group to feel confident enough to label themselves that within a year!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

And It Only Takes Me 10 Minutes

I'm not sure if it's the approach of summer or what, but there has been a lot of buzz on the interwebs regarding skin care and recommended products. The always radiant Natalie listed her favorites and has been blogging a lot about beauty in general lately (she's definitely worth checking out)! I wrote my own take on a "Dear Abby" in February answering the most common questions/complaints I received as a make-up artist.

So, who am I if not an amateur bandwagon jumper?

***NOTE: This is what I use and may not be appropriate for your skin type or concerns. I have normal to oily super fair skin. My main concerns are even skin tone and texture, sporadic outbreaks, and age prevention. If you have different skin or concerns, you may need different products (which I will be happy to recommend), just let me know!
[side note: The first step to developing your own skin care routine is knowing what type of skin you have (or combination there of): Dry, Normal, Oily, Damaged. To determine your skin type, wash your face as you would normally and do not apply anything afterwards. Start checking to see how it feels at 2, 5, and 10 minutes later.

DRY skin is often described as dusty in appearance (not flaky) and may feel tight even with moisturizer. It will begin to feel tight and uncomfortable immediately following cleansing and will not feel better without moisturizer/serums.

NORMAL skin may have areas of oily or dry skin (there are those pesky combos), but will overall feel comfortable. It may feel a bit tight after cleansing but will start to feel better after 10 minutes.

OILY skin is often described as shiny or flaky in appearance. On the positive, it is the least likely to wrinkle! It will begin to feel comfortable after cleansing in 2-5 minutes.

DAMAGED skin is any one of the above with additional concerns like deep lines/wrinkles, sun spots, acne, etc.
Face Scrub: Clinique 7 Day Scrub (a couple times a week)
Cleanser: Neutrogena Oil-Free Redness Soothing Cleanser
Serum: Clinique Total Turnaround
Eye Cream: Kiehl's Abbyssine Eye Cream
Moisturizer: Clinique Superdefense SPF 25 Normal-Dry ( I also like Neturogena Healthy Defense SPF 30)
Sunscreen: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch SPF 70 (for everyday), Coppertone Sport SPF 50 (for poolside)

Same as above except Cleanser: Laura Mercier Cleansing Oil Light
Make-up Remover: Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Make-up Remover or Almay Oil-Free Eye Makeup remover pads
Acne Spot Treatment: Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Treatment
Foundation: Estee Lauder Camouflage Makeup (doubles as concealer) or Bobbie Brown Smooth Skin (if I know I'll be photographed)

Eye Concealer: Laura Mercier secret concealer

Eyeshadow Base: Laura Mercier Metallic Creme Eye Shadow (also comes in a sateen version)

Shadow: All of them! Mostly Laura Mercier (Whiskey, Sherazade), Urban Decay (X, Heat, Mary Jane), Stila (Kitten, Golightly)

Eyeliner: pencil- YSL Kohl crayon, cake/liquid- Laura Mercier cake liner, creme- Stila smudge pot

Mascara: CoverGirl LashBlast (love!) and LashBlast Length

Lash Curler: Shu Uemura

Powder: Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder (only under eyes and to set liner)

Brows: Laura Mercier Eye Brow Pencil (go a shade lighter than your natural color)

Blush: NARS Orgasim, Bobbie Brown Pale Pale Pink or Tangerine

Lip Liner: Clinique Sheer Lip Liner

Lipstick: I love MAC, Estee Lauder, Laura Mercier, and Chanel

Lip Gloss: Laura Mercier Lip Glace and Kiehl's #1 Lip Balm

My Secret: Estee Lauder Spotlight (super expensive but adds a glow to any skin tone! For a less expensive version, try MAC Strobe Cream)
* Everything is applied with my hands or a brush- never a sponge!

Blog Swap!

Today is the 7th Blog Swap sponsored by 20-something Bloggers and I am happy to participate. I always miss the deadline to enter and participate for these things and am glad to have finally caught it in time. Below is the post from today's guest blogger Miranda. Check out her blog to see my take on the topic: What's the best thing about being a blogger? You can also head over to my foodie blog to hear more about my 1st time ... at a vegan restaurant, you dirty birds!


Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Hello everyone! I’m Miranda, and I usually blog over at my new place, Imperfectly Candid. But! For today I am taking over this blog, and Graygrrrl is taking over mine, for the 20SB Blog Swap (And a huge THANK YOU to her for letting me do so!). I have only “known” Graygrrrl for a couple of days, but I can already tell I like her! I sincerely hope you all will visit my place to check out her post on what blogging means to her.

I have traveled all over the country. All over the world, even. I have traveled from my home here in Kansas to Hawaii, Iowa, Colorado, Washington, D.C., Chicago and New York. I have also surfed the waves of California, lied on the sunny beaches of Florida, danced the rain in Seattle, clubbing with a few friends in Jersey. And if you can’t find me in the U.S.? Check my passport. I might be taking photographs in Paris, shopping in London, learning to cook in Italy, eating waffles in Belgium, firing up the “Barbie” in Australia. Yes, I am a very well traveled renaissance woman of sorts. Okay, I might be misleading you all a bit. Or a lot.

But that is what blogging does—it gives you a chance to see the world.

For full disclosure, I have been to less than half of those places (Hawaii, Iowa, Colorado, D.C., Chicago, and New York), and I have never been outside of the United States. However, I have met bloggers from all of those places, and many more.

To me, one of the truly rewarding things about blogging is having the chance to meet new people from all over the world. Just as important as the story of their lives are the stories of the places in which they live. In learning about these places we learn a lot about our world, who we are, and open our minds to new ideas—all by the simple click of a URL! Who ever said blogging could not take you anywhere?

So, tell me, where are you from? And where have you been?


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Check this out:

Head over to my foodie blog Veggie Sometimes to learn more about how you can pledge to better health!

[side note: Sorry this post is so short, I'm getting ready to go out of town- yea!- and am running a mile a minute. Top it off with this amazing chest cold I've contracted and you can tell I'm having an amazing time. Tomorrow, I'm participating in 20sb 7th blog swap. So check back then to meet a new face!]

Sunday, April 11, 2010

What's up Netflix!

Sorority Row- 4 stars- This movie would make the perfect drinking game. In fact, I would love to rent it again, get a bunch of friends together, and get totally smashed. The game is simple: Every time a character says "Theta Pi" you have to drink. My guess is you'd be tipsy after 15 minutes and drunk by 50. Fun! It's important when watching these kinds of movies to not take anything too seriously and Sorority certainly doesn't. What sets it apart slightly, is that it knows it's a dumb teen slasher remake and winks knowingly at itself. It's pure fun and gore. Based on the 1983
classic "House on Sorority Row", this updated version deals with the deadly aftermath of a prank gone wrong. Rumor Willis is great as the sniveling weak link of the group and TV regular Leah Pipes is perfectly bitchy as the leader of the pack. What's not to love?!

Brothers- 4 stars- I wanted to see this movie when it came out, but it's not surprising it was out of the theatre almost as quickly as it arrived. War movies, at least those based on the current conflict, don't sell. Not even the Academy Award winning "The Hurt Locker" made an impact at the theatre (It's estimated domestic gross is just $16.4 million). Still, when these films are done well, they should be seen by everyone and I hope "Brothers" finds it's audience on DVD. Told in a cross hatch storytelling style, we meet decorated Marine Sam (Tobey Maguire) as he picks up his "loser" brother Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal) from prison. Sam is married to Grace (a superb Natalie Portman) and is about to ship off for another tour of duty. His life is the Marine Corp and everyone, his father especially, is so proud. So proud, that his brother has fallen to the wayside and in desperate need for love and redemption. He receives just that, once Sam is overseas and thought to be dead, from Grace and her daughters. The best parts of this movie is the way in which writer David Benioff ("25th Hour", "The Kite Runner") and director Jim Sheridan (LOVE!- "My Left Foot", "In America") focus on family, on relationships, and the way the war effects those at home. There are some interesting scenes of Sam in Afghanistan where he is taken prisoner, in particular one in which he tries to rally his fellow Marine to the cause ("Say nothing!"), but they are kept purposefully short. The movie is sad, certainly, but not hopeless. Another scene that sticks in my head is where Sam, having returned home, asks his Sergeant to send him back. I remember having a conversation with my Father about that same thing- the desire to leave your" family" and "friends" to join your real family back on the front lines. It's heartbreaking and real.

Couples Retreat- 2 stars- Ugh. I'm getting a bit tired of Vince Vaughn. He needs to evolve and grow or his career is over. Once again the only thing saving this film from 1 star status was that I watched it to the end. It's simply ridiculous. The premise, 4 couples go on a therapeutic retreat to Bora Bora, is under developed and absurd. I can't even think of anything to say about this train wreck except to avoid, avoid, avoid!
Coco Before Chanel- 4 stars- I knew nothing about Madame Chanel except I love her mascara. This biopic focuses on the lesser known side of her life before she became the Coco Chanel. Born in poverty and given up to an orphanage when her mother dies, she sticks close to her sister throughout life; first as singers in a brothel and later as women of leisure to wealthy nobleman. She was a woman ahead of her time both in fashion and personality. She did as she pleased and as she felt she needed to in order to survive. The acting is tremendous! Audrey Tautou balances the prickly demeanour of Chanel perfectly. Her long time lover and introduction to society Etienne, played by Benoit Poelvoorde (also brilliant in "Man Bite Dog"), is equal parts chauvinist and loving companion. She meets the love of her life in British money man, Boy, played by American hottie (sorry, editor's note) Alessandro Nivola, who's French is impecable. Who would guess he only took a few years in high school? Director Anne Fontaine's arguably best feature, 2003's "Nathalie", is getting the make-over treatment by one of my hero's, Atom Egoyan, later this year. Check out the MSFW trailer for "Chloe" and rent Fontaine's original now. You need not be a fan of fashion, or a woman for that matter, to enjoy this film. It has something for everyone and is really everyone's desire to have and be more than you are.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Saturday Blah

* Ugh, I woke up yesterday morning and my throat felt like I'd been screaming all night. It only made matters worse that I didn't have a fever. You see, fever signifies that I'm sick and my bodies working diligently to correct the problem. No fever, no illness (that or my body's trying to kill me). One of thoughts is that I some how inhaled a piece of popcorn, literally. I've been coughing ever since a piece went down the wrong way Thursday night. Is that even possible? My other thought is that I'm in detox and my body is purging it's toxins thereby causing me to feel sick while not actually being sick. (No, not alcohol detox, food detox). Either way, I'm so high on Robitussin and Sudafed I don't really care.

* Thursday, word of the day Jennie and I went to an advanced screening of "Kick Ass". I was so excited. Unfortunately, I had to work and we didn't get there in time to secure a good place in line- I hate that! We waited and waited, enjoying our Jamba Juice (not the meal replacement I was hoping for). When we finally got to the front of the line, the theatre was full. Ugh. I always try to get to screenings at least 1.5 hours in advance, especially if it's a big movie or theatre. If I can't make it, I try to send someone ahead to grab our place in line. Jen got to learn first hand why I am a crazy person when it comes to getting to the theatre early- Everyone laughs, but if I don't do it we never get in or have horrible seats. So, instead of splitting up and sitting next to possible crazy/stinky people; we went to dinner and then watched a bunch of Netflix.

* This is what sounds like a good idea when you've been out drinking with friends:

* Overheard at the bar: "I want to stick my finger in it. Nice. Ridgey" (I think she was talking about a beer bottle, but it's still hilarious!)

* Jennie's word of the day is: mushroom head (Once again, I have no idea what is going on in her mind! Urban Dictionary defines this word as: 1. Another name for the male anatomy 2. One who is addicted to the hallucinogenic property of 'shrooms 3. Anyone who works in a car park, often with a bowl cut past age 7. #3's gotta be my fave)

* I can't even think straight right now... I love you 'tussin!

* Dear Rihanna: You look like a crazy person. Please fire your stylist.

* I spent a good hour going through the posts on Now there's no reason to follow pointless celebs on Twitter- you can read they lamest posts right here!

Now, the countdown to napping: T-2.5 hours

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hero Worship

She doesn't know I'm doing this and I hope she'll forgive me the liberty, but I want to talk to you about one of my hero's- my sister.

In the movie of her life, she would be played by Liv Tyler- she's beautiful both inside and out, and she's wicked smart. Because of, or in spit of, our being "Irish twins" we are best friends. I can talk to her about anything and vice versa. I know that she'll give it to me straight and I'm never one to sugar coat my opinions on what she might have done wrong (or right for that matter).

I've spoken about her before on these pages, but I feel further exploration is needed. As long time readers know, she is vegetarian and has been for many years. This has not always been easy in our household, but I think recent family events have helped turn our parents on to her train of thought. She is currently studying to be a veterinarian and is a leader in her class. I couldn't be more proud!

On a daily basis, she overcomes diversity. As a democrat in the land of republicans and an atheist in god's country; she is constantly trying to defend her point of view while offending as few people as possible. Her personal and political views make her easy cannon fodder for those around her, for those who call her "friend". Amidst all of this, she maintains a brave face. It is more important to her that she represents the subcultural groups she defines in a positive light than to stir the pot. Whether she thinks of it this way or not, her dream is to open the eyes of those around her to be more understanding and tolerant.

"I want for them, if they meet another vegetarian, [etc.] to say, 'I knew a vegetarian in college and she was cool, maybe this person will be cool too'".

It's hard for my city mind to understand that for many who know her, she is the first vegetarian they've ever meet, the first democrat, the first not to go to church even on a holiday basis. She puts her own feelings and discomfort on the back burner everyday in hopes of building and bridging ties within her community.

Growing up in a diverse metropolitan community and to a family of liberals, we were exposed to all sorts of things others can only imagine. We've traveled the country (heck- I know people who have never left the state), left the country to travel, been to museums and musicals, plays and operas. We've talked with people of all socio- and economic persuasions. We are renaissance ladies and proud of it!

My sister is my hero because I take all of these things for granted. I live in a city that puts republican, democrat, liberal, and green party candidates on the ballot. I can eat delicacies from Ethiopia to Italy. I can go to church, synagogue, mosque, or stay home. I am surrounded by amazing friends who may judge me or poke fun at my choices, what they see as my idiosyncrasies, yet they love and respect me just the same. To be reminded that this is not happening all over the country hurts my heart. When will the prejudices and naive hatred for those that are different from ourselves end? When will we all learn to respect those who give us respect, to think about others feelings? When will we, as a country, grow up and out of the past? Who cares if someone is vegetarian or vegan or 100% carnivore (seriously, I worry about those of you who refuse to eat any vegetable. PS- Potatoes are not a vegetable)? If someone is Catholic, or Baptist, or Jewish, or Muslim, or atheist, or if they worship at the shrine of the almighty "boob tube"? How does that effect you? How does that harm you?

In an effort to help my sister, I did some digging into her college town, trying to find vegetarian restaurants or groups she could join. There weren't any. I understand that she goes to an agricultural school, but how can there not be at least ONE vegetarian club? When I asked Urban Spoon for a recommendation, it listed one vegetarian restaurant- a sandwich place. Uh, I think we can do better. On another search, I came up with a better option, The Village Cafe/Art979, which has mostly vegetarian options and is completely local. Yea! Now if only we can get a few more cool places down there...

I also came across a blog from Fair & Feminist entitled: "Is Vegetarian a dirty word in Texas?" I would say it is. In the same spirit as yesterday's Women's Writes assignment, I further call you all to action. Be respectful of those around you. If you can't do that for a friend, who can you? Try to learn something new everyday. If you know someone with a varying point of view, ask them about it! Be respectful and listen. Try to see it from their side. Share your own feelings. Remember, and this may be most important of all, that they have feelings too. If what you want to say would hurt your feelings, why would you say it to someone else? We can never get along and end discrimination and hate until we learn to listen to one another and accept our differences.

[side note: Have you heard the story about Constance McMillan, the teenager from Mississippi who was barred from attending her high school prom with her girlfriend? It went to court and the judge ruled that the school was incorrect, but stopped short of saying they still had to throw a dance. Instead, parents and community members offered to throw one, which was then cancelled. Constance was invited to another prom that was being thrown instead. When she got there, there were only 5 other people there and some chaperone's from the school. It turns out, the original prom was not cancelled and she was sent to a "reject prom". Adding insult to injury, a Facebook page teasing and ridiculing her was created by her classmates. This sickens me. Please join me in signing The Human Rights Campaign's petition to the local school board stating our outrage that this was allowed to go on and seemingly sanctioned by them. You can read more about what happened by visiting The Bloggess' website (where I learned of this latest development) here. Thanks in advance!]

Monday, April 5, 2010

Women's Writes- When the Past meets the Present

I was 13 or 14. It was summer and my best friend and I were walking down the street towards her house. One of our favorite things to do was walk to Chinatown, a 3 block radius in the suburbs with amazing food stores and restaurants. We would order egg drop soup and egg rolls; then paint ceramic bunnies at the pottery store around the corner. It was warm, and the laughter from children playing at the elementary pool as we passed it was infectious.

A car raced up the street towards us, slowing down just long enough for one of its passengers to throw a Slurpee out the window, hitting both of us. While they laughed and attempted a U-turn to get away, one of the men yelled out the car window:


We stood there in stunned silence watching the cold drink drip off our hair and hit the pavement, listening to children playing and laughing nearby. I looked at my friend and saw something I had never seen before in her eyes: apathy.

The two men turned the boulevard and ran their car into a fire hydrant on the corner. We just stood there. That was her street, we were on our way to her house to digest and play video games (remember the Sony channel?). I grabbed her arm and said, "Let's go". We walked the two blocks to my house and as I opened the front door, my father came out from the kitchen eager to hear about my day. Instead, what he saw were two sad, wet, children. I think I was crying when he grabbed a beach towel to dry me off and I told him what had happened. As soon as we were not sticky anymore, he loaded us into the car and drove to the scene of the incident.

The car was still there crashed into the hydrant except now it was joined by a police cruiser and several on-lookers. We pulled past the accident and parked, my father getting out of the car and telling us to "stay put". I watched him walk back towards the police officer. To this day, I have no idea what he said or what the outcome was. When he got back into the car, he said nothing; he just drove us two houses down to my friend's house.

I was old enough to understand what had happened that day, but young and naïve enough to be shocked by it. Sure, this is the south, but I live in a major metropolitan city! This doesn't happen here. My father said something that will haunt me forever. That no matter where I go or what I do, I will be seen a certain way- white, privileged, smart, attractive. My friend however, will struggle her whole life because she is black. It won't matter how smart she is, how pretty, how much money she makes; in some circles she will never be those things and there is nothing she can do about it. She will fight this fight all her life.

I was so angry when he told me this. He's a fool! The world is different! But, the truth is he was right and it made me angry.

My Utopia, my "1984", my "Brave New World", is a world without "-ism's": where little girls can walk down the street without being assaulted; where someone hates you not for the color of your skin, or gender, or sexual orientation; but because they don't like your personality. I've worked my whole life to break down stereotypes. I don't allow that kind of talk from friends nor do I condone the racist jokes I've heard. Around me, that is unacceptable behavior- Make it a habit and you're out.

The purpose of Women Write's was to talk about something that affects women and while I'm sure I've lived up to the spirit of the assignment, I may have taken some pretty big liberties. While speaking with shine yesterday this story is what kept popping into my mind. The end of "-ism's" means an end to all of them- from racism to feminism to capitalism to communism. It means an end to hate, an end to separatism (there's another –ism!). It means equality. Whether you are a woman, man, child, cow, monkey, whatever; you can benefit from the notions of equality. Perhaps you already feel and act that way, perhaps it's something you struggle with everyday, perhaps you have no idea what I'm saying. But, I hope now you will stop to think next time you make a joke, or put someone down, or judge a book by its cover and stop- how would I like it?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Random Recap

* Once again, I am easily coerced into going out and am paying for it now. One of my favorite bars in Dallas is Barcadia. It's a bar and game arcade in one- Donkey Kong, Skee Ball, giant Jenga, and now giant connect four! It is the place for people watching on a sunny day and they make a mean Bloody Mary. I tried to be good and left there around 10 PM, but was lured out by one of my best friends. I haven't seen him in a while and totally missed his face, so I had to go. Right? Anyway, they offered me a glass of beer that never seemed to empty. It was magick (or my friend A). Now, I feel like death warmed over. At least it's a beautiful day outside, I'm layered with SPF 85, and if I drink enough water I might make it.

* At Barcadia I learned about this:

It still sounds disgusting, sorry D.

* Overheard at a bar: "You can make my pork" (Okay, maybe not actually "over heard" as it was my firefighter friend speaking to word of the day Jennie about cooking, but if that's not a Mark It line, I don't know what is)

* About a stranger at a bar that looked like the fatter version of one of our friends: "Maybe he's fat ironically". In all fairness, he was wearing a tee shirt that would be too small even on me. Dear world: If you are fat or have a "biscuit", please wear clothing that fits. Nothing draws more attention to your middle that a tiny tee shirt. Seriously, do everyone a favor and wear your actual size not your dream size. That is all.

* Today, a guy walked into our office wearing these:

They totally freak me out! I couldn't even wear flip flops until I was 18 because of an odd phobia about things between my toes, and now this! How can that be comfortable or good for you? These shoes claim to exercise your whole foot and lower leg just by walking. They also claim that regular shoes weaken your leg muscles and cause injury (according to scientists not labeled in the claim). The guy said they were super comfortable after the first few days getting used to them and runs up to 5 miles in them.
[side note: goes Kangaroo leather mean what I think it does? Ew. They do have vegan options though.]

* My Word of the Day (courtesy of Haphephobia- the morbid fear of being touched. (I think I suffer from that sometimes, especially where strangers are concerned). Bonus: Haptics- the science concerned with the sense of touch. Cool!

* Do you read Stuff White People Like ? It's seriously hilarious and on the mark. Check it out. While you're there, check out the cool new posters they're making of some of the best blog posts. I want one so bad, that should be the next "stuff white people like" post.

* As you have become aware, I am super excited about food right now. So, I created a new blog devoted to food- recipes, product recommendations, thoughts, etc. You can follow me (and you know you want to ) at Veggie Sometimes.