Category Archives: Reviews

‘Hunger Gaming’

A few months ago, I heard some buzz about this crazy little trilogy by Suzanne Collins called The Hunger Games.” Friends, who I know don’t read anything other than their Facebook feeds, were reading the books {and raving about them!}. Continue reading

The good and the bad–products

So, yesterday I noticed a bunch of coupons at the bottom of my CVS receipt. I took this as an opportunity to try out a couple beauty products. I’ve been wanting to try that New CoverGirl Outlast Lip Stain. I wanted something pale and very subtle so I went with “flirty nude”.

No Bueno

Let me start off by telling you, it looks like I drank about 3 gallons of red Kool-aid. Flirty nude? NO, more like I-just-ate-a-cherry-popsicle-and-slobbered-all-over-my-face.  I look {straight-up super seriously} foolish. Before applying and seeing as it is a stain, I used a honey and sugar lip exfoliant to make sure my lips were nice and soft {dry skin on the lips makes for an uneven application}. Then I went for it. It needs to be called a lip marker. It works exactly like a Sharpie. I color with the some champion 4-year-old colorers {Sensei Peyton} and thankfully my training has come in handy. You have to color in your lips using a stiff dried-up Sharpie {be sure to color in the lines!!}. The smooth gliding formula that the product claims is non-existant.

Color: Extremely misleading.

Price: $8.99 {Wasted}

Wear: Uneven, fades streaky {Kool-aid stash} lasts max 3 hours.

{NOT Recommended}

I also had a coupon for Sally Hansen Crackle Overcoat nail polish. Crackle seems to be all the rage. Everyone seems to want that disheveled look.

Vintage Violet

I figured, since it would be next to nothing to buy two with my coupons {coo-pins!!}, I’d give them a try. My initial thought was that they must be worth it because there were very very few choices left in the store. I went with the vintage violet and fractured foil. I painted a solid base coat in basic white first, then applied the fractured foil crackle polish overcoat. It did just as it said. It crackled. My only issue was my own poor judgement with the white base coat. It came out looking like I painted my nails then made it my mission to let everything mess it up before it dried {Note to self: more contrast needed to see crackle}. I experiemented with the vintage violet on my tootsies, and I’ll be honest it looked pretty sick {BA for certain}. I even tried layering the vintage violet and fractured foil, which turned out sort of awesome as well. You’ll have to experiment a bit with how thick or thin you want it to get your desired crackle effect. All in all it was a straight forward, easy to use and did as it says.

Color: right on {duh, you can see it}

Price: Approx. $6.99

Wear: Easy application, fast drying, good value

{Recommended}

Have you used these products before? Do you agree? Leave a comment.

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& so it begins…

I’ve decided to go ahead with the write-my-way-through-a-creative-writing-book idea.

The book:

Gotham Writers’ Workshop

Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide From New York’s Acclaimed Creative Writing School

Last night, I got re-acquainted with the book {I’ve had it since high school}. I read the “From Gotham Writers’ Workshop Founders” first. I learned that the workshop has turned into a large operation with hundreds of instructors and thousands of students each year.

When I discussed my idea I met some heavy criticism, which I wasn’t expecting. I was told “you can’t teach talent. You can either write or you can’t,” and another said “The only way to write well is to read.”  I was thoroughly  shocked at both of these responses. Yes, you indeed can’t teach raw talent, but you can certainly foster, refine and improve your skills. Then, of course, reading absolutely makes you a stronger writer, however, I’ll have to argue that reading is the only way to be a good writer {calling BS on this one}. Though these responses to my {what I considered brilliant} idea were unexpected, they did make me realize these people were completely unfounded in their criticisms and just wanted to discourage me for some reason or another. Mission incomplete. Discourage me and I will do anything to prove you wrong {I’d like to thank those who didn’t believe in me or my idea. You were a marvelous inspiration and I couldn’t have done it without you}.

To my surprise the book agreed with me:

“Simply put, we believe anyone can write. We believe writing is a craft that can be taught. True, talent cannot be taught, only nurtured, but the craft of writing can be taught. We’re devoted to teaching the craft in a way that is so clear, direct, and applicable that our students begin growing as writers during their very first class.”
 

From “How to Use this Book”:

“You shouldn’t just read your way through this book, but write your way through it as well. After all, you’re reading this book because you want to write….You shouldn’t worry about turning these exercises into brilliant works of fiction. Rather you should simply focus on experimenting and having fun with the task at hand.”

{That I will!}

Now that I am confident my idea/experiment is on key and in harmony with the purpose of the book, I was ready to get started. Not so fast. Before diving into chapter one, I first had to read the short story Cathedral by Raymond Carver. The book references this short story quite often.

Cathedral is a great short story. As it turned out, I liked it a great deal. I won’t go into great detail in case you’re interested in checking it out yourself {recommended}. But, it is about a man who is visited by his wife’s blind friend. He is horribly uncomfortable with the idea and doesn’t know how to go about interacting with someone with a disability. You almost hate the guy from the beginning because he is so ignorant. As the story progresses, his point of view becomes more and more enlightened as he learns about the blind man’s abilities. The shift in the way you feel about the almost ignorant man is incredible. That is what I would like to achieve with my writing.

I’ll jump into chapter one as soon as possible.

Excited to move forward!

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Day Twenty-ish…TV Show

The prompt asked me to write about a TV show I’m currently obsessing over. There is only one show I have anxiously been awaiting for what has been much too long. True Blood.

True Blood is based on of Charlaine Harris‘ Sookie Stackhouse series of books (fun easy reads, I recommend you add them to your summer reading list!). With the creation of synthetic blood, vampires decide it is time to reveal themselves to the world. Unfortunately, their great reveal has not been the smoothest of transitions for some beings, humans, vampires and beyond, particularly in the small town of Bon Temps. Barmaid and telepath, Sookie Stackhouse, however finds the vampires to be a welcomed breath of fresh air. For once she doesn’t have to struggle to ignore the mental chatter she has to work so hard to block out when with her human companions. Able to find peace in the silence, Sookie falls in love with vampire Bill and is lured into the deep world of the supernatural.

The show’s star Anna Paquin plays Sookie to the tee as she is described in the books, at least in my opinion. She’s among great talent all around though. Stephen Moyer plays the conflicted Bill Compton. Sam Trammell as Sam Merlotte is right on as well when looking back to the shows novel origins. My personal favorite is Alexander Skarsgard as Eric Norhman though. He has the bad-boy vampire thing down. Pair that with his abs, his primal vampire lust and danger, you’ll find yourself  in the grasp of quite a bit of tension.

So yes, I am obsessed with a TV show and it is True Blood. I almost hate to admit it. Vampires have never interested me and with the recent explosion over Twilight, I grew to dislike them even more. Thankfully, True Blood isn’t for teeny-boppers. It is very much a show for mature audiences. So if you like just a bit of fantasy, mystery, plenty of suspense and some steamy sex scenes, I definitely recommend True Blood.

Season 4 begins this Sunday, June 26 at 9pm on HBO.

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The Green Hornet

Okay, so I just got home from a screening of “The Green Hornet.” Going into the theater my expectations were low. My boyfriend said it was going to suck, my father said “that looks stupid,” and my friend said she wasn’t really excited about this one. But as the movie wrapped up I walked out of the theater and listened to everyone buzzing like bees about the film. And I agree with their buzz. It was a neat flick. I know some don’t agree though.

Apparently, there were some  fans of the 1930s radio serial, 1960’s television show and those in the Comic-Con scene that weren’t open to the mix of super-hero action and low- brow humor. This really confuses me because I thought comics were comedic? Anyway Seth Rogen, the films co-writer and actor, acknowledged the less than warm welcome of the films entry into the action-comedy genre alongside hits such as “Super-man.”

“It’s a difficult movie to conceive of, and I think that’s one of the reasons people were so weirded out when this first came along,” said Rogen. “You don’t instantly picture a good version of this.”

I say let the welcome be warm! Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) inherits his father’s estate including his newspaper The Daily Sentinel. Reid’s father was a giant dick so Reid teams up with his father’s mechanic and barista, Kato (Jay Chou), to deface the statue built to commemorate his father. In the process, Reid finds himself unsuccessfully trying to save a couple in trouble. Kato leaps to his defense and saves the clueless Reid. Then it begins.

With the taste of excitement, Reid and Kato decide to take on LA’s crime. They use Reid’s newly inherited newspaper to conceal their identities and promote their superhero adventures. The neighborhood crime boss, Chudnofsky (Christopher Waltz), isn’t feeling up to the competition. He places a $1M bounty on the Green Hornet’s head. All hell breaks out.

I’m not usually a fan of violence, but this film had some pretty awesome action scenes that were impressive even to one not impressed by action at all. I found myself really into the conflicts rooting for the homegrown heroes. The humor throughout the movie is what you expect out of Rogen. Stupid and simple but cleaver.

Eventually, Reid learns his father had integrity when it came to his newspaper, but still he sees his dad as a prick. The only gripe I can think of was that I waited for some sort of great moral ending or lesson to be learned, which I never got.

I’m not a movie reviewer. I can’t go into anything specific about the technical aspects of the film. The 3-D seemed a bit unnecessary but nice to have, I suppose. If I had to give it a rating, I’d say a solid 3.7 stars. It was funny. I caught myself laughing quite a bit. My father thought some material was just dumb. It’s definitely geared towards a younger crowd.

Overall, audiences going to this movie aren’t going to know anything about “The Green Hornet” origins. They’ll be expecting Seth Rogen being his “par-taying” usual self. They’ll get that and more. The action was better and more impressive than I could have imagined. I liked the characters’ development, though there could have been a bit more chemistry between the Hornet & his “side-kick.” I didn’t expect too much creativity when it came to this movie but there really was a good amount. The attention to detail in a few scenes really made the intricacies of the plot pop. Oh, and the black beauty was beyond awesome. 

Watch the trailer. Go see this move. It’s pretty cool.

Recommended. Bam!

Dogs Decoded

I just finished watching this amazing Nova documentary called Dogs Decoded. I realize documentaries are extremely lame and unexciting to some people but not to me, not at all. The thrill of learning something I never would have guessed excites me. Ask me what my favorite animals is. Go ahead. Yes, it’s dogs. I love them and I love all of them. Are you beginning to see why I enjoyed this short lil film so much??

The documentary was great because it focused on the scientific reasoning and evidence that proves dogs really are man’s best friend. It digs into the bond owners have with dogs. Did you know dogs have the ability to read facial expressions? I didn’t either. Dogs have the ability to follow non-verbal cues, cues that not even chimps, our closest relatives, are able to pick up on. It was quite interesting.

My dog knows when I’m sad or not feeling well. I swear she does. I physically feel her motions become more fluid, her actions become more tender and she instantly calms down. To my surprise, she sees it in my eyes!  Also, dogs have actually developed a form of communication (barking) that they only use to communicate with humans. Apparently, dogs don’t actually communicate by looking at the faces of other dogs or even barking in certain tones and frequencies as they do with humans.

The film also went into the origin of dogs. So INCREDIBLY interesting. Dogs are, of course, descendents from gray wolves, but what was so interesting was how or why so many different looking dog breeds came about. As it turns out, different breeds came about because as you domesticate animals, or breed them based on desirable personality traits, the physical appearance also changes. Researchers conducted tests with domesticating wolves to rule out simple nurturing. As people grew into basically wanting dogs less for farm tasks, we began focusing on what we want our dogs to look like. Mostly people wanted their dogs to look infantile. You know why? Because humans naturally have a desire to nurture. So we want dogs that resemble and act like cute little puppies. Humans actually develop such close bonds with dogs because we secrete oxytocin, a nine amino acid peptide that is synthesized in hypothalamus, also known as the love hormone and the dog does too. This hormone is what is released when a woman has a baby and instantly feels connected to the little stranger, and why we adore our dogs.

The film went into the experimental processes that were carried out to find all this information. In Siberia, for example, scientists bred silver foxes until the foxes were domesticated and docile. This is basically the same process wolves underwent to become dogs only at an intensely accelerated rate. Around generation 8 is when scientists notice the physical changes in the docile foxes’ babies. The main researcher thinks silver foxes may be an eventual house pet because they are independent like a cat but affectionate like a dog.

There is so much more to learn in this short little 53 minute documentary. I really suggest you check it out. Now, you know what a huge nerd I truly am but all the same it’s incredibly fascinating.

I’ve found a free version here if you’d like to check it out.

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Giving up…

Is anyone else a fan of random google searches? I sure am. I type something that’s been running through my mind and I see what pops up {older blog similar idea}. A while ago it was giving up. To my surprise, the first result was a simple little video to Ingrid Michaelson’s “giving up.”  I’ve loved loved loved Ms. Michaelson since before it was the cool thing to do. Just ask my poor boyfriend who sat through multiple listenings and analyses of every song I could find of hers. I was thrilled {to say the least} when she was the first result.

Upon your first listen, because the song is so slow and repetitive, it sounds desolate like she’s giving up on everything {the original video I found was great but unfortunately embedding is disabled. Here’s the same song different video}:

Did you get that she isn’t giving up?! She’s not giving up at all. She’s found she will be  happy in all that is imperfect. I think what she’s saying is she’s giving up her insecurities. I think she’s giving up the what-ifs and life’s imperfections and she’s loving what she has, which of course is “you.”

What if we stop having a ball?
What if the paint chips from the wall?
What if there’s always cups in the sink?
What if I’m not what you think I am?

{What if everything isn’t perfect. What if we don’t work out}

What if I fall further than you?
What if you dream of somebody new?
What if I never let you win, chase you with a rolling pin?
Well what if I do?

{What if I love you more that you love me. What if I go bat shit crazy?}

I am giving up on making passes and
I am giving up on half empty glasses and
I am giving up on greener grasses
I am giving up

{Well I’m giving up on losing out. I’m giving up on other guys. I’m giving up negativity. I’m giving up on what-ifs and insecurities}

What if our baby comes home after nine?
What it your eyes close before mine?
What if you lose yourself sometimes? Then I’ll be the one to find you
Safe in my heart

{What if we ruin our children. What if I’m left all alone. What if we aren’t perfect. That’s okay because I’ll love you all the same}

I am giving up on making passes and
I am giving up on half empty glasses and
I am giving up on greener grasses
I am giving up

I am giving up
I am giving up
I am giving up on greener grasses

I am giving up for you
I am giving up for you
I am giving up

{I’m giving up the negativity, the what-ifs and the insecurities because I believe in you. I’m giving up the search for greener grasses because there’s no one greener than you}

Well, there you have it. Ingrid isn’t giving up at all. She’s committing herself to the person the song is written about. My interpretation to another Ingrid song. Maybe you don’t agree you. You don’t need to. I get this chick though and I’m sticking by my interpretation because it made me feel all better. Bam!

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Don’t Let The Pretzel Go Down Like The Crispy

Please, tell me you have tried the new Pretzel M&M’s. They are super delic and oh so perfect in every way.

Mmmmm...

Of course, there was one other time in my young life m&ms were at the top of the game…Remember Crispy M&M’s? Those ‘lil buggers were the BEST. When they stopped making Crispy M&M’s a little part of my soul died. Thankfully, my soul has been revived with the introduction of these sweet and salty treats (unfortunately now it’s just my diet to be concerned about now).

Hmmmm...ALSO, while looking for pretty pictures to add here, I learned they also have limited edition Coconut M&M’s! How odd. I’ve never been partial to coconut myself, but I loved the pretzel creation so much I am going to have to give these a try as well!

Thank you Forrest Mars and Bruce Murrie (hence the M&M name) for creating these crazy simple, crazy good candies.

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True Blood is Back!!

Sundays at 9 p.m.

Well, unless you live under a rock somewhere, I am sure you have heard HBO is coming alive once again with two of the greatest shows on TV today, Entourage and of course, True Blood.

Entourage begins in just 10 days with the season 7 premiere on Sunday, June 27.

And DID YOU SEE THE TRUE BLOOD PREMIERE LAST SUNDAY???

Personally, though not exactly the best episode yet, it was still pretty damn awesome. I am not one to be big into the vampire scene generally, BUT I can’t get enough of Sookie’s virginal good girl gone bad role. Suddenly, this ‘lil blonde girl is commanding her small town’s attention and respect for her neighborhood vamps, saving 2,000 year old vampire sheriffs and, of course, diffusing the Maryanne situation (hypnotic Dionysian temptress/mind-possessing rapist corrupts the townsfolk), all while maintaining an intensely “healthy” relationship with her vampire beau, Bill Compton.

True Blood really has it all…violence, action, betrayal, love, lust…it’s like the greatest soft-core porno with a surprisingly intricate plot. I’m not going to lie though, there was one over the top oddly placed scene in this past Sunday’s episode that really just made me scratch my head…

I really did not see that coming at all nor do I fully understand exactly how it fit into the storyline. It did grab my attention, however it seemed a bit choppy and distracting from the other developing components.  I guess, just one instance where the lusty porno appeal took control.

{Update: I’ve since read the books…& I totally get it now. The blood bond they share makes them lust for one another! Don’t know why I didn’t understand that from the show.}

Date night

Nonetheless, I really love this show. For the first time my boyfriend and I don’t have to compromise on what we are going to watch. It is the ultimate addition to any date night. I definitely suggest you grab someone you’re not particularly shy around and make a memorable time staying in and devoting the night to all that is True Blood. 😉

Little side note–Interestingly enough, True Blood is actually based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris, which I was not aware of until I looked more into the show and its creation. If the books are as steamy as the show, I’m going to have to check them out.

Silly fangbangers. V is for Vampires.

 

 

Quotes:

Jason: What am I thinking about right now – like in my brain.

Arleen: Shit I’m pregnant again.

Lafayette: Hey, you forgot your rings.

Arleen: Fuck the rings.

Jason: I’m starting to believe that the truth is poison.

Bill: I’ll take a shower now, unless you care to join me.

Sam: You can have the shirt off my back if you want it.

Bill: I’ll take what I can get.

Sookie: Doing this? For the last six hours?!

Eric: You seemed surprised. Is Bill’s stamina not enough?

Sookie: I’m in no mood for lesbian weirdness tonight Pam.

Andy: Say it with me! Conscious off – dick on and everything’s gonna be alright.

Kidnapper 1: That’s gay.

Kidnapper 2: And playing with your titties in a car full of guys isn’t?

Sookie: I didn’t say yes.

Jessica: You rejected him?

Tara: I don’t know what I expect – trash is as trash does.

Kidnapper: (to Bill) How bout you just call us the fuck you crew.

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Happy Accidents

I’m the type of person who gets extremely frustrated when I burn something. Believing the effort was a waste of time, I throw my hands up in the air, give up and chalk the night up to being a failure.

I had a minor epiphany tonight though as I finished my last undergraduate project ever and prepared for my graduation this weekend. A celebration was in order and what would a celebration be without cupcakes!?! I decided to just live and stop trying to be so perfect (but of course it just comes so naturally to me jk :).

So, tonight when I spilled the cup cake batter all over… I kept baking. When I melted the frosting container on the stove…I kept baking. When I put the frosting in the freezer and it froze up a little too much..I kept baking. I didn’t give up and you know what?

Accidents are fun with good friends and silly music!

It was a happy accident 🙂

Just for the fun of it I typed “Happy Accident” into Google and I found in 2001 there was a movie called, you guessed it, Happy Accident. It stars that super intelligent quirky guy from Law and Order, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Marisa Tomei, probably most recognizable from My Cousin Vinny and The Wrestler. Surprisingly, Happy Accident has 7.4 Stars on IMDb. I’ll let you watch the trailer and decide for yourself.

Quotes:

Sam: I’m different.
Ruby: You’re gay! You’re a Jew for Jesus? It’s that tattoo. It’s a cult. You’re in a cult. You’re a Branch Davidian? You’re a Survivalist?
Sam: No!
Ruby: You’re a pimp and Chrystie Delancey’s one of your sluts!
Sam: I am not a pimp!

Sam: You know, I’ve never told a woman the things I’ve told you. You are the first and… the only. You’re… the one and only. You know… I… I… I feel like… ah… I feel like my whole life has just been a journey into your arms.

In case melty cupcake goodness and a romantic flick weren’t enough there’s also a song…

Happy Accident–Jason Reeves

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Bakery is Closed.

So, the cloud has begun to dissipate, your stomach is screaming at you for eating that bag of sour cream and onion chips, the peanut butter-bacon-banana and Jelly sandwich, the bag of sour gummy worms, that old chocolate chip muffin and oh yeah, that entire Buffalo chicken Hawaiian pizza and now it’s back to the real world (at least for some of you).

As a graduating college senior, I am no stranger to the festivities that take place on 4/20. For the past three years, I have experienced more cheezed out, red-eyed, oblivious reefer fanatics than I could ever begin to count. Not all of them being students, mind you. So, to you who celebrated the so-called Supreme Stoner New year, I hope you had a very merry lit and loaded holiday.

Whether you are a subscriber to High Times with Cheech and Chong as your lifetime idols or “smizzling the whizzle” just isn’t your thing, I think everyone should check out this silly cartoon short, Adventure Time.

Adventure Time is this random cartoon about a boy, Finn, and his best friend, Jake, an all-knowing 28-year-old dog with magical powers, my friends and I found on YouTube. I believe the full-series is either airing soon or already airing on Cartoon Network. Enjoy!

Quotes are great, quotes are nice

Finn:”This guys like 50 pa-toots!”
Finn: “Mathematical!”
Jake: “That was totally math!”
Finn: “Rhombus!”
Finn: “Ice to meet you”
Finn: “Snow problem”
Finn: “What’s going on….Abraham Lincoln?”
Lincoln: “Finn, your mind has been transported back in time..and to Mars.”
Jake: “Hey! Sloppy milkshake, why don’t you pick on someone your own size.”
Jake:” I don’t see any adventures going on anywhere. I think we’re good to just sit here for a while and just talk about our feelings.”

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What’s With the Title?

This is of course, my very first blog post so I figured I had to explain the title. Have you ever seen It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia? No? Okay, well you must!

Sunny in Philly is going into its 6th season of completely crude, crazy and controversial adventures of “the gang” – Frank, Dennis, Mac, Sweet Dee and of course my favorite Charlie-a bunch of drunken idiots who run Paddy’s Pub in South Philly. They continually think of ridiculous schemes that  usually consist of them breaking up and conspiring against each other while employing some form of manipulation and blackmail.  I believe they are airing re-runs on comedy central with the new 6th season airing on FX sometime next fall.

If you can handle the politically incorrect humor and nonsense, I would most definitely suggest you check it out. It is completely ludicrous in every single way imaginable, but that is of course why I adore it.

So, as for the title of my blog, that comes from the third season episode titled “The Gang Solves the North Korea Situation”.

Charlie: Ohhhhhhhh shit! Look at that door, dude. See that door there? The one marked “Pirate”? You think a pirate lives in there?

Dennis: I see a door marked “Private.” Is that the door you’re talking about?

Charlie: Nah, I was talking abou…I didn’t say…did you…what did you hear?

Dennis: I heard you say “There was a door marked pirate living in there.”

Charlie: Well are we gonna talk about pirates all day or are we gonna see what’s living in there?

Dennis: You’re the one that….Jesus Christ man, shit.


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