Recommended Readings: Pedro Páramo

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I’m going to do something a little different this month in replacement of the normal creative writing posts (although I still might do one later on).  I’d like to recommend some readings to get everyone in the Halloween mood!  I won’t recommend long novels, like Dracula, though you should take your time at some point and delve into some of the horror classics if you are so bold.

My first recommendation is a book called Pedro Páramoby Juan Rulfo.  It’s a short novel, so you could probably get through it in a couple of sittings.  But seriously, it’s one of my favorite books OF ALL TIME.  It’s so eerie and beautiful and… oh you just need to read it.

I’d hate to dumb it down by calling it a Mexican ghost story, because it’s so much more than that.  When you read it, the entire story feels like you’re walking through a dream.  For such a short novel, the characters are incredibly well developed.  The town it takes place in, Comala, is also well developed, and I consider to be a character in its own right.

I don’t want to give away anything in the book, so here’s the quick recap.  A man, named Juan Preciado, promises his dying mother that he will visit his father, Pedro Páramo in his hometown of Comala.  When he gets there, he finds out that it is LITERALLY a ghost town.  All the people there are ghosts.  The story alternates narratives of when the town was alive, and when it “died.”

Upon doing a quick Google search, I’ve found that there is also a movie adaptation from Mexico, from 1967.  Read the book.  Seriously, a movie could not do this story justice (and no, I’m not one of those “the book is better” people).

And a final note:
This is my personal, and often controversial opinion about literature.  When it comes to highly allegorical/metaphorical pieces of work, like this novel, people tend to agree on one meaning of it, and it sticks through time.  However, even when the author comes out and states his/her meaning, it does not always need to be true.  This is the problem with the film.  It’ll spell it all out for you.  Somewhere in literary criticism, we decided that certain symbolic things equaled particular meanings (i.e., dove = peace/eagle = freedom, etc), and one could not deviate from that.  And we also tend to always read literature from a Christian lens (mainly because most of the authors have that background, so we assign it to all their works).  Is this wrong?  Of course not.  But do you need all of that to enjoy a story and get depth out of it?  Definitely not.

So go to the local bookstore, get this book.  Or go to the library.  It’s a “ghost lite” story, meaning, it’s a little spooky, but by no means scary.

Until next time.

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Dark Clouds and Facebook

So for the the past couple of weeks, I’ve been lower on energy than I normally am.  Last week was just… terrible.  It was just a bunch of little things that added up that resulted in being totally stressed by Friday.  We went away to the family cabin in the mountains, but it ended up being ruined by my husband’s work calling him and keeping him on the phone for several hours while he talked them down from a disaster, and I ate dinner alone and read a book.  Needless to say, he was totally stressed too.

This morning, I just felt like I had a dark, stormy cloud over my head.  I could literally count on one hand the times I’ve woke in such a bad mood.  I was almost fuming.  I’m slightly calmer right now, but I have a headache and I feel drained.  It’s a bad Monday, I guess you could say.

I also decided today was a good day to deactivate my Facebook account too.  Yes, my bad mood may have had a hand in doing so, but I have been thinking about doing it for a while.

One of the biggest reasons I felt the need to get rid of it: it made me feel bad.  All the time.  Whether it was people posting hateful things, internet fighting, or just general condescending tone, nothing seemed to make me happy about it.  Sure, there were the cute pictures and videos, some even enlightening and inspirational, but it was nothing that I haven’t come across on my own on other parts of the internet.  There was almost little to no interaction from “friends” aside from “liking” things.  It felt weird.  It didn’t feel real.  And when I thought about it, I couldn’t come up with ONE reason I should stay on Facebook.  At first, I thought it was to keep in contact with people.  But honestly, if any of my over 200 friends didn’t send a message, ask for email or a phone number in the YEARS I’ve had an account, then they’re not really a friend, right?  Then, it’s just about numbers.  It’s about spying, keeping tabs on others, and constantly judging.  There is little room to be genuine on Facebook.

I’m not knocking social media.  I love Twitter, for the most part.  And I enjoy Instagram for sharing pictures.  I wish I could get the hang of Tumblr, but that might come with more time.  And I don’t mind having different platforms for different things.  It’s actually less stressful.  I don’t feel a pressure to uphold any image on any of these platforms.  Mainly, because I don’t use them to connect with friends.  I use text messaging for that.  I text, “Hey!  Wanna grab some coffee?”  That’s how I connect with friends.

I don’t know if I’ll go back to Facebook.  Maybe I’ll change my mind.  Maybe I’ll see a light within it that I couldn’t see before.  I doubt it though.  I will not go back just because I’m “addicted” or used to using it.  Then I might as well just tell people I’m a zombie and have no use of my brain.  If I decide not to go back in a year, I’ll most likely have it removed completely.

OK.  Now, I don’t want to end this post on such a whiny/dark note, so I’ll post the recipe for the banana bread breakfast bars I found on Pinterest.  THEY WERE AMAZING.  Seriously.  When they came out of the oven and I saw them, I was in complete doubt.  I was wrong.

Here is the link:
Healthy Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Oat Breakfast Bars

I did not blend everything in the blender, just the oats, because I have a Vitamix and didn’t want to deal with that cleanup.  I found that mashing the bananas and then using a mixer did just fine.  It wasn’t too chunky, but I like a little chunkiness in the banana.  I also may have used more of that drizzle than called for…  I don’t know if this recipe qualifies as “healthy” because it still has quite a bit of sugar in it, BUT it’s still much better than most of the alternatives.  And it’s not processed and easy to do.

Until next time.

Friday Film Review: The Craft

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So here we are, the first of the Halloween series!  Let’s start with a cult classic, The Craft.

Quick breakdown:
It’s about a girl moving to a new town (surprise!) and she encounters 3 witches at her new school, who, surprisingly, are actually outcasts.  She encounters some bullying, and quickly connects with them.  The witches discover she actually is a natural witch herself.  Match made in heaven!  They become besties and live happily ever after calling the corners and chanting to nature.

Eh, not so much the last part.

I love supernatural movies, especially ones about witches.  I’m not exactly sure why, it could just be the magic aspect.  It’s definitely not because Hollywood represents witches accurately.  However, this film is actually pretty even-keeled.  It shows them doing “witchy” things, like calling up the corners (N, S, E, W), it talks about animal powers, there’s even some accurate information on the technical aspects of witch magic (negative energy is returned 3-fold), and we even see the leader of the pack, Nancy (Balk) use an athame, but maybe not in a completely authentic way.

But I’ll tell you right now, not one piece of historical information in the film is correct in the slightest.

That’s OK though.  It’s Hollywood.  It’d be a pretty crap spooky film if it showed witches how they really were: which were pagans that used magic for good.  The bad stuff was invented by the Catholic Church (which, btw, is heavily referenced in this film – WIN).

Now that you’ve had your incredibly quick and dirty history lesson, let’s move on.

This isn’t a film that even demonizes witches anyway.  It demonizes teenagers.  Especially angsty ones that get bullied and have a rough background, or, I guess, are black?

I’d like to point out IMDB’s synopsis for a second: “A newcomer to a Catholic prep high school falls in with a trio of outcast teenage girls who practice witchcraft and they all soon conjure up various spells and curses against those who even slightly anger them.”

SLIGHTLY anger them?  One girl says she bullies one of the girls, Rochelle, because she’s a “negroid.”  Um, yeah.  I’d be super pissed at that too.  The magic she used wasn’t exactly an over reaction (OMG, maybe I’m an angsty teen!).  The love spell that’s used isn’t really revenge, it’s a knee-jerk reaction to being rejected by an asshole jock.  Plus, it turns him into a rapist, so sorry if I don’t exactly feel “bad” for him.  And the other two witches: one uses a spell to make herself pretty, and the other to have unlimited power.  You know, angsty teen stuff.

Not surprisingly, Nancy goes crazy by having unlimited power.  Trust me, you see it coming.  Since she’s the leader of the group, the others (except the new girl) go along with her.

So really, this movie is about how dangerous teens can be in a click.  And if they came upon getting magic, the balance of powers would tilt, and all would be lost.

I highly recommend this classic.  It’s a twist on the high school drama, and is incredibly dark, with enough humor to balance it out.  The writing isn’t GREAT and it is dated in some aspects, but all in all, I think it’s a pretty good Halloween movie.  Another thing with this film that I really just LOVED that wasn’t really addressed completely, but was throughout the entire movie.  The “glamour” part of their magic.  Was it all tricks to create illusion?  If so, the movie is completely psychological, and almost more terrifying if everything that happened was mostly in their minds.

Favorite Line: “Since I was a little girl all I’ve wanted in life was a jukebox that played nothing but Connie Francis records.” – Grace, Nancy’s mom.  Because she wins for my favorite character because of her pants.

Favorite Scene: The scene in the beginning where the creepy guy with the snake comes into the house.  It’s hilarious, even though it’s supposed to be creepy.  Especially when the dad chases him out like a stray cat.

IMBD Stats:
Release: 1996
Director: Andrew Fleming
Runtime: 101 Minutes
Rating: R (language, violence)

Currently streaming on Netflix.

 

Since I can’t exactly review all the movies I watch on Netflix for Halloween, I’ve put a list together of other Halloween movies under the “supernatral” category on Netflix that’d I’d recommend you check out, because I probably won’t watch these this year:

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Vampires)
Rosemary’s Baby (Supernatural/Satan)
Carrie (Supernatural/Telekinesis) 
Nosferatu (Vintage Vampire)
Leprechaun (Supernatural/Campy)
House (Supernatural/Campy)
Ravenous (Horribly inaccurate representation of Windigo, a Native American folklore/Cannibalism)
Night Watch (Vampires/Foreign)
Dead End (Supernatural/Campy/Ray Wise)

More for Movie Night.

‘Tis the Season for Excitement and Cleaning

So, I think maybe I mentioned I bought the pumpkin spiced coffee from Trader Joe’s to drink for fall.  Well, to be honest, it’s like, way too spicy.  I tried it a couple of times, once in the French press and once in the regular auto-drip, and both times were disappointing.  But I pushed through, and today, I tried one last ditch effort to make it taste good.  I added hot chocolate to it.  Bingo.  Sorry I said Bingo.  But yes, it worked well, and now I have an acceptable fall coffee drink.  Not the best, but it’ll do.

I’ve found myself lately in a “fall cleaning” mode.  I’m trying to get everything taken care of before the cold weather hits.  It’s not enough to just do spring cleaning.  It’s weird, but I’ve never been in this mode before, because there was always school, and I think it took a few years to get the hang of natural cycles.  We are borrowing a power washer and leaf blower from Zach’s parents in order to shine up the outside of the house a bit before it’s cold.  Zach sprayed some weird Halloween stuff on the window LAST year, and it hasn’t gone away, so hopefully this will help.  As for the leaf blower… we’ll eventually need our own, because we have a locust tree with tiny leaves that a rake just can’t pick up.

Today, I’ll actually be doing some raking, some weeding (the last of the season, everything is starting to go into hibernation) and I’ll start to cut back some of our plants.  And finally!  I’m going to look for some photo evidence of myself and my family that I can hang on the wall/put up in places.  It’s about time!

But all in all, the air is a mixture of excited and frantic energies.  Everyone is getting settled, but there’s so much excitement about the season, school, holidays – everything!  It’s an interesting time of the year.

I was going to post a recipe that I’m doing today, but I haven’t had the chance to make it yet.  It’s supposed to warm up to the 80’s today, so I want to get outside to do work before it gets too warm.  Which means the recipe will have to wait until next week.  I was also going to post a few pictures, but, again, I just haven’t made it outside yet.  Next week!  Tomorrow, I’ll have a Halloween-type movie to review.  I’m getting a head start on the season so you’ll have plenty of recommendations!  I’ll also put a list together at the beginning of the month of my favorite films to watch for Halloween.

Until next time.

WARNING: This is a Super Girly Post!

So yesterday, I decided to bake cookies for my dogs.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally one of those people who are obsessed with their animals and treat them like human children.  However, I never ever dreamed I’d be baking cookies for them.  But they ran out of bedtime treats.  We didn’t have any money to get any for a while.  So… naturally… I baked some for them.

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Yup.  I managed to find cookie cutters in my house in the shapes of puppies and kitties.  For anyone that’s curious about the recipe, I got it here.  I used this particular one because I had all the ingredients and it looked easy (it was).  I modified it to be gluten free (because I’m gluten free, and do not own wheat flour) by using Pamela’s Artisan multi-purpose flour, and coconut flour.  I also had to add more water to get that sticky texture and to make it less crumbly.  That was all.  I burned the last batch, and was worried I’d have to throw them out, but then I realized they were dogs and would still love them.

So now on to girly things.  Now, I consider myself to be very progressive and whatnot, and I hate gendering things, however, for this post, it’s all about the girl stuff.  Feminine.  Anyone who identifies as woman.  That sort of thing.  So don’t get offended if you think I’m excluding people, I just have an intense feeling to celebrate the woman stuff right now.  OK.

I’m quickly approaching “that time of the month,” and therefore have been dealing with all the aches and pains that go along with it.  However, this month, I had a light bulb go off in my head that totally changed my perception of things.  For whatever reason, I just had this flood of emotion go through me that just really loved being a woman.  I’ve never wanted to be a woman.  Even as a young girl, I wanted to grow up to be a boy.  Because girl stuff sucked.  And I thought the same as a teen.  And even as an adult, I was conditioned to hate everything about being a girl.  Periods.  Childbirth.  Menopause.  Harassment.  Unequal pay.  The list goes on.  Older women in my life did this really weird thing where they wear it all like a badge of honor.  They don’t like it necessarily, but they got through it, and everything sucked but oh well.  And maybe I’m just paranoid, but I swear I saw a glint of revenge in their eyes as soon as I went through puberty.

But you know what?  The things that matter, the things that make me a woman (not societal things), I truly do LOVE.  I LOVE the fact that my body changes with every single little change in the air.  I’m so sensitive to it all.  I feel like I won the lottery, because I am more in tune with nature because of how my body is made and reacts.  Even though I was taught the only reason to have breasts and a period was to prepare oneself for motherhood, I see it totally differently now.  Sure, yes, having children is strongly tied to those things.  But they are not the only reason for them, in my opinion.

Because I cannot have children, I have had the honor to get to know my body in a different way.  I’ve had the chance to see all the other things it can do.  I listen to it more now.  I understand it more.

I don’t feel resentment towards my body.  If it’s tired because of cramps, it’s OK to slow down and listen to it.  It’s not trying to kill me.  It’s talking to me about its cycle.  Is it different this month?  Did gorging on pizza help or did cupcakes help better?  Some yoga moves make me cry.  Why?

I’m not saying that “non-women” can’t be sensitive.  Again, I’m just having a personal celebration party.  I also really wanted to write an honest post about girly things, because I never generally feel “safe” to be feminine.  In work, it’s seen as a fault.  In school, no one would work on my films if I spouted girly, feminine things.  In fact, a teacher even told us to not make “sensitive” films (you know, ones about feelings and emotions outside of anger and aggression – even sadness was acceptable, unless it got messy).  I think it’s a sad thing, when people can’t be sensitive.  Softness does not equate weakness, just as being feminine does not mean you’re soft.  Things are way more complex than that, and I love it.

Until next time.

We’re Back! What’s Next?

I’m back!  It was a nice 2-week hiatus from this blog, but I definitely missed writing in it.  I did manage to finish my short novel, so I’m not only happy, I’m relieved and not stressed about it anymore.  It is perfect timing, because now I can focus on music, as well as some much needed house stuff.  We are refinishing the dining table (hopefully starting next week, maybe even this week) and we’re going to attempt to make the house look like a home in the main living area.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I think our house is super comfortable, but, seriously, there are no real personal touches.  In fact, if a stranger walked in, they’d probably think my sister and her family lived there because that’s the only photo evidence we have…

Also while I was gone – I managed to reach 1,000 views!  I know in internet standards, that’s not a lot for 9 months, but seeing as how I never expected anyone to read it, it makes me happy.

Today feels like fall, which is convenient, because fall starts tonight.  It won’t last long though, because we’ll be back in the 80’s for the rest of the week.  But for now, it’s raining, leaves are starting to fall, and it’s cool.  If I could drink that pumpkin spiced latte from Starbucks, I would.  But instead, I just may have to make a large mug of pumpkin spiced coffee that I got at Trader Joe’s.

And I need to reveal a secret.  We started watching Halloween stuff last night!  Which reminds me, I’ll do my best to try and review Halloween-type movies for the month of October for Friday film review!  (insert squeal)

I decided I needed to start Halloween stuff before October because a month isn’t enough for me.  Before you start to judge me, you should realize stores are already putting up Christmas stuff.  THAT’S ridiculous.

This morning on our ride to the bus stop (seriously, I have no idea how Zach and I have such in-depth conversations in the 10 minutes it takes to get to the bus stop) we talked about fall and Halloween and all that good stuff.  We talked about how there’s this magic in the air during the fall season, and I aligned it to our ancient roots, when our ancestors did their harvesting.  That’s a magical time.  And I think it still carries over today.  We really wished we lived in CT or NH, where fall and Halloween are the most serious of business (and in summer, CT has the best Farmer’s Markets!).  No one in our neighborhood gets into it.  We stick out like sore thumbs.  But we still love it.

Here’s what will be coming up in October for the blog:  I’ll be learning to sew, making curtains in the process.  A new table will be brought to life from an old one.  I will share my spooky decorating projects (building scenes).  I will share recipes I find/create.  I’m getting rid of “Products I Love,” because honestly, I don’t love it – I’ll share things I love whenever I want.  I’ll share some photography, art, and a chapter from the book.  And finally, I’ll be sharing how we do Samhain.  It’s probably one of the few spiritual rituals/traditions I do, but it’s incredibly important to me.

I did miss this blog so much, I’m giving it a warm, virtual hug.  If you’re reading it, you’ll get caught in this hug.

I’ll stop being weird now.

Until next time.

Goodbye is Not Forever & My Thoughts On Celebrity Culture

OK, I know it’s Tuesday and I usually have a creative writing piece to share – but, this is going to be my last post for a couple weeks while I hole myself up to finish my book.  I seriously will be doing that and doing a quick workout every day so my muscles don’t die.

So, sorry for the long title, I couldn’t come up with anything more creative or shorter, unfortunately.  But, yay!  I’m going to finish my book!  Just a little later than planned, but pretty close to my original goal.  Before I step out for a couple weeks, I’d like to leave you with some final thoughts.  Because I know you wanted to know them.

Now, for my thoughts on celebrity culture.

Celebrity culture is an interesting thing to me.  You have people that are (usually) rich and powerful, perhaps even influential.  They have access to everything.  This in itself is enough to change the atmosphere of human interaction.  Despite what anyone says, wealth changes you.  Even if you came from the most humble of beginnings.  You feel entitled to things.  You worked for what you have.  You deserve this.

It changes who you are.

The difference between regular rich people and celebrities is little, but important.  Everyone wants to watch them.  They appear to become property of the public.  Why?

*shrug*

I was thinking about celebrity culture last night when we were watching The Grand Budapest Hotel.  It features an all-star cast.  Power house cast, really.  Then I realized I had all these thoughts and ideas of the actors flowing over me before the title credits even finished.  I was excited to see Adrien Brody.  Because I love him.  Then I thought about all of his bad film choices and wondered if it was because he wants to be a rapper.  Harvey Keitel – glad he isn’t only doing Scorcese anymore and shooting things.  Willem Dafoe – god, why is he always so scary?  Ralph Fiennes – what else was he in?  Jason Schwartzman – porn stache.

The thoughts were endless.

But then, I had this moment of revelation.  The reason why these actors are famous, is because they got their big break doing what they love.

You hear me?  This means that what they loved doing was acting, not being a celebrity.

Let me repeat.  This also means that VIEWERS create celebrity culture, not the actors.  They are punished for doing what they love by being turned into celebrities.

So when a celebrity wants privacy and your argument is, “well, then they shouldn’t be famous!  What did they expect?!” then you are, in fact, an incredible asshole.  They actually have no control over whether or not they are famous.  Conservative estimate: 95% are famous because they are discovered being/looking/sounding/writing something awesome (my source: me).  Sure, there are the few that are famous to be famous.  But for the love of Christ, we can name them all, because they are so few.  They are not the rule.

I’m not trying to say all celebs are saints and deserve our undying love.  Quite the opposite.  They are just regular people, and we’re creating a monster culture.  That being said, they are human beings, and need to be treated as such.  This means they deserve rights and privacy because, you know, they actually are NOT your public property.  You don’t own anyone, and you definitely don’t have any say what they do in the privacy of their own homes.  Something tells me all of the people most likely to judge would be the MOST upset about having their lives laid bare to the public.

Despite all of my opinions though, I love Schwartzman’s porn stache.

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Please leave the stache alone.

Until next time.

 

 

Friday Film Review: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

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I’ve decided that once a month, I was going to to a “nerdy” review of movie or TV from the geek culture.  Mainly to break up the regular reviews.  Especially since, the last couple I’ve done have been, what you would call, “meh.”  Who am I kidding?  I just want to geek out more.

Today’s movie night recommendation is Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.  It’s not for everyone.  It has singing, dancing, romance, and is all around the classic formula of a Hollywood musical.  It follows two showgirls, Lorelei Lee (Marilyn Monroe) and Dorothy Shaw (Jane Russell) as they embark on a trip to Paris and navigate men, love and well… diamonds?  Oh yes, and in case you didn’t know, this film features the iconic “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” number with Monroe in the pink dress.  It’s actually a funny number.  There’s also a very beautiful homoerotic number with the Olympic team and Russell that I was in love with.

Lorelei is the stereotypical dumb blonde and a gold digger with a heart of gold (see what I did there?).  She is engaged to a very rich man, who is also paranoid of her fidelity.  His father has her followed by a detective to keep tabs on her, but he is really interested in Dorothy, the sassy brunette who just wants to have a good great time with some Olympic athletes.

First, I want to say a few things about Monroe and the character she plays, because I feel like general audiences have a very superficial view of her.  I personally think she’s one of the most underrated actresses of all time.  She has impeccable comedic timing.  Sure, she’s known as a sex symbol, but she’s so much more than that (she’s a human!).  She was intelligent, tortured, and she studied with some of the best drama teachers in the world.  Unfortunately, this film is a great example of how she was pigeonholed into the “dumb blonde” character for so long.

But she’s so damn good at it.  Better than anyone I’ve ever seen.  Her face is expressive, and her tone is sharp behind the breathy whispers of her lines.  Her delivery is almost satirical.  She makes this film better, despite all of its shortcomings, and its own lack of depth.  This, teamed with Russell’s brassy delivery of wit, makes the film still worth watching.

There, had to get that out.

Anyway, I was going to do a feminist reading of this film, but I’ll make it quick.  This movie is super sexist, that’s quite obvious.  The title gives THAT away.  Although, to be honest, I don’t understand the title, because the men in the movie drooled over both girls quite equally.  But Lorelei had to have the bad rap.  She played dumb all the time (played, but wasn’t really dumb, despite even her friend being surprised at her wit) she only loved men with money and she was flirty all the time.  Dorothy flirted with ONLY poor men, and she wanted them all.  Now, I think this is interesting, because even though both women have a preference, one is clearly the bad one.  I’ll give you a guess.  Just one.  (whispers: it’s the blonde one)

Personally, the thing I absolutely LOVED about this film, was Dorothy and Lorelei’s friendship.  It was rock solid.  They loved and accepted each other for who they were.  There was no competition, no slut shaming.  It was a damn girlfriend utopia between them, which is so RARE to see in movies and TV, even now.  Even when Lorelei stole the tiara, Dorothy backed her up (in a very hilarious number, I might add).

But the best part was the mirror that Lorelei holds up to the double standards society has for men and women.  When confronted on her awful preference for rich men, she replies:

“Don’t you know that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty? You wouldn’t marry a girl just because she’s pretty, but my goodness, doesn’t it help?”

She’s basically calling bullshit.  She’s like, “hey, you all are falling over yourselves because of how I look, why can’t I have a superficial preference?  It’s not like I’ll be with just any old rich guy!”  This line is quickly followed by some more misogyny, but it still wasn’t lost on me.  She also explains, after the man rudely tells her “she’s not as dumb as I thought” that men don’t want smart women.  Correction: superficial RICH men don’t want smart women.  They want props.  It’s a survival technique.  Just like Dorothy only dating poor men and being smart.  They found a way to thrive in the male-dominated society.

Because they’re just two girls from Little Rock.  From the wrong side of the tracks.

Favorite Line: “My line? My most effective one is to tell a girl she has hair like a tortured midnight, lips like a red couch in an ivory palace that I’m lonely and starved for affection. Then, I generally burst into tears. It seldom works.” – Malone

Favorite Scene: Oh, so many. Let’s go with the first time Lorelei sees a tiara.  That girl just loves her diamonds.

Movie Stats:
Director: Howard Hawks
Release: 1953
Runtime: 91 mins
Rating: NR (safe for kids)

Currently streaming on Netflix.

More MOVIE NIGHT recommendations.

Products I Love: Emu Oil

Last night, we decided to watch the film, Warm Bodies, and it was creepily endearing.  A Zom Rom Com, if you will.  I highly recommend it.  I would have put it down for Friday film review, but it is only available on DVD right now – but you should still get it and watch it.

We also decided to have ice cream for dinner last night.  Ah, yes.  Adult life.  I never would have dreamed that I’d get to eat ice cream for dinner as an adult.  During “dinner” Zach asked me what my schedule looked like for the week.  As I explained to him my day to day schedule and the slight variations, he gave me a look of intense anxiety.

“This is why I go to work,” he said.

“This is why I never have time to play video games.  What did you think I did all day?”  I replied.

This is the downfall of working from home.  I just have so much to do, and most of the “housework” also falls on my shoulders.  I don’t mind at all, but it’s definitely not for everyone.  It’s hard to explain to people who have never worked from home.  I think a lot of people think I just play, go shopping (ha!), and leisurely do bullshit all day.  It’s difficult to explain, especially when you don’t see the results of your efforts on a (sometimes really long) delay.  I wish I HAD more leisure time.  I haven’t had the chance to read in weeks.  I barely fit in movies or TV.  And today, I having a very hot debate with myself on whether or not to work out, because I haven’t done it all week, but I just really want to write.  Despite all my best efforts to clear my schedule, I still have a lot of non-writing chores to do.

But I am not complaining.

Today, the product I’d like to discuss is emu oil.  WARNING: This is not a product for people that don’t want to use things with animal products in it!

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Emu oil is oil from, well, emus.  You can buy it in a variety of different ways and use it in a variety of different ways.  But the way I use it is on my face.

If you’re anything like me, you’re super vain and worry about looking old all the time.  A part of me dies inside when someone calls me “ma’am.”  I’m kidding, kind of.  But I DO use emu oil to help keep my skin young and smooth.  It helps with wrinkles, yes, but also with blemishes.  I’m going through this amazing time in my life where I’m starting to see wrinkles, but still have pubescent acne.  Yay.

The way I use it:
I just use a few drops and mix it in with my regular face cream/lotion (sometimes I’ll use pure Shea butter).  I rub it on my face and neck.  That’s it.  I do it once in the morning, once in the evening.  I will warn you though, no amount of great skincare product will save you if you’re not well hydrated.  So drink a lot of water, always.

To be perfectly honest, this is the only “animal product” I use.  I don’t make a habit of it, because most skincare products that use animal parts in it are bogus.  There is generally no health/beauty benefit and animals are tortured along the way.  Emu oil is the only one I’ve found to actually be good.  So – if you MUST use a product with animal byproducts in it (like emu oil), make sure it’s from an ethical source.  Saving a few bucks to get crappy quality anything isn’t worth it.

However – Shea butter is perfectly fine, if you want that extra boost in face moisture but don’t want emu oil.  Just remember to hydrate.

Until next time.

 

For more PRODUCTS I LOVE

Don’t Sit on It

Someone posted on Facebook that Flight of the Conchords is returning to HBO.  Now, I don’t get cable, let alone HBO, but I’ve never been more excited about a show coming back.  I’ve put it on a mental note to Netflix it.

So far, that’s the highlight of my morning.  I’m currently getting the windshield on my truck replaced, so I’m stuck for a little while.  Oh yes, my book will be done soon.  And by done, I mean it’ll be heading into the editing stage.  My goal is to have it out by the end of the year, which I think is totally possible.  I plan on e-publishing, and then I’ll consider print to order and other modes later (including a publishing deal, if I can get one).  I just want it out.  A lot of writer advice blogs will actually tell you to “sit on it” if you can’t get a publishing deal because “the world just might not be ready.”  I think that’s silly.  In fact, I think the entire writing world can get a little snobby about things.  If you’re proud of what you did – of this thing you created – why sit on it?  We live in a time where you can release it any way you want!  There’s no need for publishers, unless, of course, you want people to read it and to make money…

I’m being cheeky.  But in all seriousness, it would be really nice to make money off my book, but that’s not my goal with it.  I just needed to write it, and send it out into the world.  I think my mindset is a lot more like a poet (which is the kind of writing I mostly do) than of a story writer.  But I digress…

At the beginning of every month, I re-evaluate my goals to make sure I’m going where I want to go, and that it’s still the right thing for me.  This month, I’ve only done a few slight tweaks, which I consider to be a sign that I’m getting better at planning out my future.  Perhaps.  We shall see.  I still have a lot of Doctor Who to watch, so that may put me behind in my goals…

So there you have it.  My update.  Sorry for the short post, but I’m honestly so sleepy today and my mind is wandering.

Until next time.