Happy May!

I know I’m a little late, and I will not do the Star Wars thing you want me to do.  No.  You can’t forth me!

So, I have some news to share.  This will be the last week that I’ll be writing in this blog!  Before anyone gets sad/upset/happy, let me explain.

While I really enjoy writing in this blog, I feel like I’m losing grounding with it.  It no longer feels like the blog I started with, and not in the good ways – like, I know things change and evolve, but this is devolving in my opinion.  The blog is called “travelin’ home”and I’ve strayed very far from my definition of home.  It’s okay, sometimes that happens.

I’m also disappointed on the lack of travel in this blog.  Traveling for weddings and funerals is not what I had in mind.  I want to travel for pleasure.  I told Zach that we have NEVER taken a trip for just us OUR ENTIRE RELATIONSHIP, except our camping trip, in state, for our honeymoon.  That has to change.  And it will.  And we’ve made some plans to make all that change.   We’re young and don’t have kids, so WTF?

On a technical aspect, I’m shifting focus into other ways of internet social expression, that’s less formal.  I’m using instagram and Tumblr more, because they are picture focused, short and concise.  I’m finding I like blogging less and less, because I feel too exposed and there’s a ton of pressure, in more ways than delivering content.  And, I also want to focus writing energy toward the creative, rather than journaling.  Besides, I’ve felt I’ve veered too far into the DIY “mommy” blogosphere, and I’m just not into that.  First off, they take beautiful photos clear and lots of bright white light, and that’s not my style.  I also am way too frantic and spend way too much time creating a mess before I can get things right to even pretend that I’m Martha Stewart (which, btw, anyone who knows me knows I basically worship that woman).

On an emotional aspect, 2015 has been one of my worst years.  It’s hard to blog and share things when bad things happen and I struggle with anxiety and depression (I don’t want a hopeless sounding, angsty blog).  And there is more to come.  I’m lucky as hell that I have an amazing husband that is also my best friend, and I have the best friends ever that come over and make me happy, even when I have some of my worst days.  Honestly, if it wasn’t for them, I’d struggle a lot more to get going on a lot of days, but I do because I look forward to seeing them.  2015 isn’t all bad, it’s just… a lot of change.  And not willing change, just life change.  I could say, “well, I’m taking a break for the rest of the year,” but I think I’ll take this opportunity to change my focus.

As for changing focus, my mind is already off in other places.  I’m so incredibly busy most days (despite the fact a lot of people still think I don’t do anything except play house).  Even though I’ve felt like we’ve had to be in limbo for a lot of the year, I’ve taken this chance to work really hard.  Sure, every daylight second Zach is home we’re doing home projects, and I do as much as I can without him, so we can do even more together (and so we don’t have to spend precious time doing normal maintenance).  But I’m also taking classes online, working on other projects, and writing more creatively.  In my mind, I know exactly where I want to be and when, and it all can be done, but I need to put in the hard work (and honestly, I’m not very comfortable blogging about it).  Believe me, I’m not complaining about any of this, because it’s a welcome distraction, and I honestly love doing all of it (which is a good sign I’m on the right track to my dream career, right?).

But it wouldn’t be right, in my opinion, if I just quit without wrapping up my blog.  I like things to be wrapped up.

So, I will end on Friday with a film review.  In between, I’ll also do a recipe and fitness review, plus a little update on the garden bed.  Unfortunately, I am unable to plant seeds this week, because it’s going to basically rain non-stop.  We’ve planted a pepper plant, two strawberry plants, and a blackberry plant so far – and herbs in the containers.  The panels are mostly up, we just have to build the gate in the front.

I just want to thank everyone for taking this journey with me, for reading and for engaging.  It’s been a fun ride, and I’m looking forward to whatever comes next.

Until next time.

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“Leave me alone, I’m reading”

I’m so irritated today, so irritated, that I’m pretty sure I have a psychotic smile on my face.  That’s how bad it is.  Laughably bad.  Irritated by things that don’t matter, and some that do.

But one of the things that kind of just pushed me over the edge happened at the dentist today.

At first, I was happy because I had a new hygienist, and it was nice because she didn’t lecture me on the importance of having children (which, by the way, Zach doesn’t get this lecture) and how being a mom is the bestest thing ever, unless you have a daughter, and it becomes awful because she will turn into a mouthy little slut.  I kind of wish I was exaggerating, but I’m not.  The last hygienist I had complained about her daughter being sinful with her boyfriend, and maybe being around too many gay people THE ENTIRE TIME.  She took like 45 minutes cleaning my teeth because she spent so much time freaking out about this.  And while sometimes I might dress like an elderly woman, and while my music tastes reflect that of someone in their 90s, I don’t give any shits about teenagers doing teenager-y things.  If it’s not on my lawn, I don’t care.  And as a personal philosophy, I am judging a parent SO HARD if they put moral judgments and conditional love on their kids.  SO HARD ARE MY JUDGMENTS.

So the new lady was awesome and talked about her dogs the whole time and how much fun it is to sleep.  My kind of person.

But after my appointment I had to wait for Zach to finish his.  So I brought The Sound and the Fury to read while I waited.  It was fine until this guy, middle-aged, came in and said,

“Wow, The Sound and the Fury.  Classic.”

I nodded politely and went back to reading.

Like the asshole he ended up being, he went on,

“Are you reading that for school, or for pleasure?”

“Pleasure.”  I continued reading.

I know I’m spoiling things, but like the biggest asshole ever, he continued,

“Wow, I don’t ever see girls like you and your age reading books like that.  All girls your age just have their faces in their phones.  I see all the girls at high school wandering around staring at their phones all day.  That’s all they do.”

Looking at him appalled, and also wondering how old he thinks I am.  He continues:

“I don’t want you to get offended by this, but this is true:  This is better than an IUD (pulls out phone).  Honestly!  Girls would rather be on their phones than have sex.  Pretty soon, the Pope will be recommending them.  Don’t you agree?”

At this point, I’m beyond anywhere near my comfort zone, in fact I’ve lost all semblance of any grounding.  I continued to read and tried my best to ignore him.

I’m honestly not blowing this out of proportion.  In fact, I left out all the creepy body language, and most of what he said, because it mostly was just offensive and implied I was a teenage girl.  I’m pushing 30!

When Zach was finally done, I told him the exchange, and he was appalled, but also surprised I didn’t blow up at the guy.  I asked, “What was I supposed to do?  Tell him he’s being a sexist asshole and to stop talking to me?  Because then I’d be ‘making a scene’ in the office and people would think it was me being rude.”

It wasn’t like the guy was blatantly trying to be awful.  And I guarantee every girl has a story like this one.  I have a million more.  Some guy will seemingly be friendly, and totally be a creep in an underhanded way, and there’s nothing you can do.  This happened ALL THE TIME when I was a teenager, but I never understood why I was uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, when people treat me like this, I still don’t know what to do.  “Family” members do this.  The last family wedding I went to, this happened.  But what am I supposed to do?  Everyone writes off my complaints as, “that’s just the way he is/he doesn’t mean anything by it.”

Well you know what?  It’s unacceptable.  I should haven’t to worry about a creepy uncle coming at me with disgusting and inappropriate comments about my mind or body, just because he’s been a creepy asshole forever.  You know why he’s a creepy asshole?  No one told him to stop.  And everyone told anyone who complained that it was fine that he was like that.

If this was an isolated event, I’d be pissed, but I would ultimately brush it off.  But this isn’t isolated.  I’ve had to put up with this shit my whole life.  And today was so blatant and obvious that it kind of hurt my feelings a little bit.  That’s it.  It hurt my feelings.  It hurt for someone to imply that because I was young (apparently I have a calling in undercover work at high schools) and pretty, that it was a miracle I was reading a “real” book.  It hurt my feelings that he was talking about women’s bodies like something that needed to be controlled, like sex is something bad, it’s the teenage girl’s “fault” for getting pregnant, and luckily girls are so dumb and shallow they won’t have sex.  It hurts.  And for some reason, there’s definitely a weird psychological thing that happens when an older person talks down to me, like I don’t have the right to stand up for myself.

So when someone is so hurtful, even though he’s smiling and laughing like it’s all lighthearted, like it’s no big deal, it’s hard to find that voice inside myself to say, “Stop.  You’re an awful human being.  Leave my sight immediately.”

Because this is normal.  This is so so normal.  But it’s not right!

I mean, eventually, I WILL become an elderly woman, and I won’t have a problem saying what’s on my mind, because elderly people are awesome like that.  Until then, I guess I need to work up the courage to politely tell people off.  I’m sure there’s a WikiHow tutorial, if not, I will dedicate years of research and figure out how to do it.

So FYI, after a quick search, my favorite thing was on reddit and my favorite response was: “I ask you to slowly and carefully go fuck yourself.”

That may be not helpful, but it gave me a chuckle.  And that will definitely be my response when I’m old, and knitting.

Until next time.

Muddy Pups: Coming Soon

Spring is almost here!  In Colorado, spring is a bit confusing.  We usually get some of our biggest snow storms, but, by mid to late spring, it’s amazing.  Actually, the moments in between the snow are pretty amazing as well.  It’s in the 60’s right now, yet we still have a ton of snow in the front of our house.

With the exception of some rain in the forecast, the weather is going to stay nice for a while.  Enough to where we can actually start doing some preparation work in the yard.  Which reminds me, either tomorrow or Monday, most likely Monday, I’ll do my first post on the yard renovation.  I’m trying my best to keep a good prep schedule in conjunction with planning our trip to Arizona, though it’s proving to be difficult and stressful.  However, I think when you throw the stress of funeral planning into the mix, it’s naturally stressful.

Shortly after we get back from AZ, we will till up the yard and rake it clean (if it’s not snowing a ton).  It needs to sit for a few weeks before adding sod, so it’ll work out perfectly for putting it in mid-May.  And by perfectly, I mean the dogs will get to mud wrestle for a month and my house will never be clean ever again.  So the goal is to get all the rock dealt with in the back, which will mostly be a job I’ll do during the week.  It’s not hard work, just tedious.  Our yard is huge, and for some reason the people decided to just throw crappy rock absolutely everywhere in their half-assed landscaping.  We will be repurposing the rock though, so it won’t go to waste.  We just have to get it to the right places.

This weekend we’re purchasing supplies to make the garden beds, which I think MIGHT get built before we leave.  At least part way.  It’s kind of funny, because while I’m excited about the actual gardening, I am not that thrilled about building the beds, but Zach is.  So he’s taking over the planning and reigns of that project.  He’s actually done an amazing job at finding suppliers that are top quality, and most of the time, considerably more affordable than going to Lowes or Home Depot.  I have limited vision when it comes to that sort of stuff, and that’s why I’d be a terrible buyer at pretty much any company.

A lot of work ahead.  I’ll do my best to document the good and the bad.  The genius ideas, and the terrible mistakes.  And obviously, the most affordable way to do it.

Until next time.

 

 

I’m Basically Katniss at Costco

Okay, maybe I’m not as awesome as Katniss.  Especially at Costco, even though it feels like the Hunger Games.  I hate going there.  I mean, I love the deals, I get certain organic foods there in abundance with prices you can’t beat anywhere else!  But I still hate it.  I dread it.

And I had to go yesterday.

Maybe it’s just the Costcos near me, I’m not sure, but they are more stressful than any other grocery shopping experience I’ve ever had.  I took a deep breath, and decided to have a good outlook before I went it.  The day was sunny and was going well, so nothing could stop me.  However, despite the sunny disposition of the weather and the Costco employees, I was glared at by a woman getting a cart right away.  This wouldn’t have bothered me as much, except I had smiled at her before she started glaring.  So yeah, that hurt a little.

And it happened a few more times, one glare preceded almost being plowed into by a cart.  ON PURPOSE.  Anyway, I’m just puttering away, trying to find some stupid quinoa, and smiling like an idiot.

The only conclusion I have, is that I have a hideous and offensive smile.  Or people become possessed with those enormous carts.  I’ll go with the latter, just to comfort myself.

Anyway, I think I’ll have some new recipes up soon.  I’m going to attempt to adapt a King’s cake for Mardi Gras for the gluten intolerant, and I have a few other recipes I’m clinging to that I’d like to post on the blog.  I’m hoping I can get in some more posts in the next couple of weeks as I do more projects/things I can actually share.

Until next time.

Meg’s Inferno

This has been a bumpy year so far.  I’ve mostly come to terms with the fact that, more than likely, the entire year might be bumpy.

This past week, I’ve been wrought with physical pain and generally haven’t been feeling well, and I’m pretty sure it’s diet related.  To add insult to injury in the food department, an ad from PETA popped up on my phone while playing a game, and it was so disturbing that I decided to cut meat out [again] right now.  I don’t want to go into the arguments for and against meat eating, because I think most of the arguments are ill-advised on both sides.  It’s seriously a personal preference.  I will say, however, that people should always eat consciously, whatever the food might be.  We are so disconnected from food and its source, that I think people should make a better effort at eating wholly.  We can agree with that, right?  Get to know the farms around you, check out local markets, etc.  You’ll find that everything tastes better, you meet new people, and it’s really affordable.  It’s fun.

Long story short, I’m back to green smoothies and a vegetarian, mostly plant-based diet until further notice (i.e., my pain goes away, and my energy comes back).  No juicing though.  I’ve been so severely burned by that repeatedly, that I can’t afford to become allergic to any more vegetables.

Aside from food stuff, we are still waiting on news about my sister’s dad.  He is fading at a really fast rate now – he no longer responds, and he cannot sit up anymore.  Zach and I plan on going to AZ to support my sister when he passes, but it’s a hard wait.  We’ve tried to get most of our things in order the past week, just in case we need to leave suddenly, but it’s still stressful.

So yeah, not a ton of happy rainbows around our house lately.  I feel like we’re powering through pretty well though, even if by the end of the day, we’re both so drained we watch crappy TV.  We do it together at least!

Sorry for the depressing update.  I’ll try to post something a little more up-tempo soon.  I just wanted to do a quick update to let everyone I’m still here!

Until next time.

New Year’s Resolutions: 2015 Edition

Happy New Year, everyone!

I wish I could say I did something really awesome to say goodbye to the old year, but I didn’t really.  We listened to music, I wanted to go to bed at 8pm, but Zach convinced me to stay up until midnight.  We talked about 2014, our regrets, the things we thought we did right, and we talked about our plans for the New Year.  But seriously, I was so tired, I wished like, at least 5 people a “Happy new ear” via text on accident.

Really, our only real regret was letting 2014 lose steam so early in the game.  I did so much in the first 3 months, and then it petered out, until I became murky and stagnant.  However, as with most things, it wasn’t all bad.  During the “murky months,” we became a lot closer to some of our friends, which was something we not only really wanted (and had been sad about for a long time), but it was something we really needed.  So, in that regards, it wasn’t quite the loss we initially thought.

This morning, we rolled out of bed at a fairly reasonable time, and made it to our favorite breakfast spot.  There we were, looking as tired as all those hungover adults and cranky kids trying to wake their brains with chocolate and caffeine, yet we got a proper amount of sleep, and drank zero alcoholic beverages.  We’re losing it.

I thought I’d share my New Year’s resolutions with everyone.  When making my list, I tried to think of ways to help creativity flow and I thought of Ben Franklin’s policy of always doing something that will better oneself.  So, here it is:

1. Read 7 books – 4 fiction, 3 non-fiction.  
Yes, I broke it down into categories.  Because sometimes I’ll just go through periods where I only read biographies or non-fiction, and that’s not exactly helping with the creativity flow.  Balance, is key.  Why 7?  I don’t know.  I thought the number was nice, it’s not overwhelming, and gives me room for a break, or time to linger on a story I may really like.  I’m not one to blast through stories.

2. Go somewhere I’ve never been.
It’s vague, but it’s something that’s always on the list.  We tried to plan a road trip at breakfast, but there’s just too much up in the air right now.  Either way, I will be going to a geographical place that I’ve never been to.

3. Go to a concert of someone I’ve never heard before.
Opening acts don’t count.

4. Meet someone new.  
Hopefully it won’t be at someone’s wedding, but hey, an introvert can’t be picky.

5. Rebuild the Auto Harp.
I tried to do this last year, but we couldn’t swing it financially.  It’s going to cost almost as much as buying a new one (that’s if I fix it myself), but I made a promise that I intend to keep, and it’s a family thing.  Besides, I can’t let an instrument just go to waste like that.  It needs to be played!

6. Visit the record store at least once a month.
A really fun resolution.  We hardly got any new music last year, and that’s a shame.  Gillian Welch was my only discovery in 2014 (but, oh, WHAT a discovery!) because of my songwriting class.  Maybe I’ll discover new things there, maybe I’ll just pad my collection – who knows?

7. Learn to crochet.
A sort of Ben Franklin one.  I tried last year, but I didn’t follow through.  In my defence, the only reason I wanted to learn then, was for reasons that don’t exist now.  Now, I just want to for fun.  Now that it’s on the list, I think there might be a scarf in someone’s future.

8. Take an art class.
It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but was always too shy to.  I haven’t decided what kind of art class, but we shall see!

9. Use my Bolex.
I think it’s getting dusty at this point.  I still have to develop the last roll I shot (which is still in the camera).  My last use of it was for a project that went horribly, horribly wrong, ruined a friendship (not my doing!) and made me bitter.  Temporarily, at least.  I also gained new, wonderful friends, which washed away the bitterness.  Either way, let’s see if I still know how to load that thing.

10. Take at least 1 non-dog picture a day.
Yep, I had to stipulate what kind of pictures.  Looking back, I realized I hardly had any pictures of myself, selfie or otherwise.  This is a selfie culture, and apparently I’m an anarchist against it.  Actually, I like the idea of selfies, and people deciding how they want to be seen by others.  I know a lot of people are weird about it and think it’s all narcissism (maybe it is sometimes) but people are weird and haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate.

Welp, that’s it.  Nothing is career-related in this list, because I have a whole separate one for that.  It was too long, and if I only think about career stuff all year, I’ll become boring and cranky.

Until next time.

Friday Minus the Review

Hello, readers!  I just want to write a quick update to explain my absence on this blog.  My feeling “under the weather” kind of spiraled into a full blown sickness, so basically, I’ve just been really sick lately.  Too sick to watch movies, do home projects, baking, or anything else.  On top of that, one of my dogs got a nasty infection on her tail so we’ve been dealing with that (she’s on the mend currently, thanks to the vet).  I’m still recovering, but for the most part, I’m feeling a lot better, I’m just dealing with getting my energy back and some residual symptoms.

Right before I got really sick, I did manage to watch the 2011 version of Fright Night.  It’s not streaming on Netflix, we got the DVD.  I haven’t seen the original, so I can’t compare (the original IS streaming).  It was pretty fun though.  To be honest, it was worth it just to see David Tennant’s character.  It was like watching The Doctor be a weird, fowl-mouthed magician.

Hopefully next week will be better.

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.

photo 1

photo 2

 

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.

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.