Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sauced Silverscreen: Show Boat (1951) & Guinness Draught

Okay, this is becoming a thing, so I'm just going to make it an official feature. Welcome to Sauced Silverscreen. This is where I watch a movie, usually made prior to 1990 (not always), while drinking and provide you a synopsis, usually snarky. Tonight's feature is the 1951 musical, Show Boat.

Funny story. I recorded the 1936 version of this movie (which is based on a stage production) and then erased it when it was not the 1951 version I was expecting. As it turns out, these two versions are incredibly different. The 1936 film is closer to the stage, darker, but certain roles are expanded in the 1951 production. So, now that I've erased it, I have to go back and find it to compare the two. So, this will be the first installment of Showboat.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Lolita (1962)

I have a series of books and films saved on Goodreads and Netflix, respectively, that, while not exactly my cup of tea, are listed because you're supposed to see them. For whatever reason, these pieces of work have been added to the echelons of "must experience." I just recently watched A Streetcar Named Desire and, one day in the near future, I'm going to read some Hemingway. Lolita is one of these "musts". I watched the 1962 Stanley Kubrick production, considered, I believe, the best adaptation of the 1955 novel of the same name. And, while I can't say I was eager to watch a movie about a middle-aged professor's obsession for a teenage girl, it was on the list and it wasn't as terrible as I was fearing.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Book Haul!

So, our local used book store had a tent sale this week. Buddy Holly and I didn't have time to go until yesterday, so pickings were kind of slim. There was a lot of Danielle Steel, Tom Clancy, Star Trek, and *shudder* the Left Behind series. But I did find some great books! We had car problems at the beginning of the month, so I had to leave a few behind *weeps* but am delighted with my bounty.

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
This was on my to-read list. I've never read Patchett but it was recommended by Christina of Reader of Fictions, so I bought it.
Bel Canto

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
I love The Poisonwood Bible, so I was on the lookout for any of Kingsolver's works. So glad I found one!
The Bean Trees

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
On my to-read list. I've wanted to watch the movie for a long time but have been waiting to read the book first. I'm uber-excited to have gotten a 1945 Little, Brown and Company edition! U.S. First Edition for a dollar SCORE!
Brideshead Revisited

Wobegon Boy by Garrison Keillor
Garrison Keillor and The Prairie Home Companion make me happy but I had no idea he wrote books. I'm hoping this turns out funny ha-ha.
Wobegon Boy

September by Rosamunde Pilcher
I totally chose this book because of it's name. September is my favorite month. I was born in September. September ushers in Autumn, the best of all seasons. As it turns out, this novel is set in Scotland, which is also in its favor. Let's hope it lives up to its name!

I had been hoping to find a copy of L.M. Montgomery's The Blue Castle; I've been searching for that book for quite some time. I think eventually I will give up and just order it online but not yet. I have it in my head that there will be this wonderful, meet-cute moment in a little antique shop or quiet, out of the way book store where I'll happen upon the perfect edition for the perfect price. I'm strange.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A few of my favorite things II

Welcome to the second installment of my favorite things!

Okay, so it's no secret that I am in love with pretty much anything vintage, uhm, except vintage treatment of women. Ahem, anyway, make-up, hair, clothes, I love, love, love historical, vintage, and retro style. There are some especially great retro hairstyles. My hair is too fine and too short to ever pull off a Gibson-girl pompadour but a few styles I can pull off are:

  • Italian Hair Taping: This lady has a fantastic youtube channel. All her hair treatments are natural and no heat, so good for your hair. She does a lot of historical and literature-based styles.

  • Anne Boelyn: I love how elegant this looks, while still being super simple. P.S. isn't her accent the darlingest?!

  • Headband Wrap: This is my go-to when I want my hair to curl. I have very fine, straight, unrelenting hair. I don't use heat on my hair and curlers just never seem to work, my hair falls flat. Somehow, this method seems to stick. I love wrapping my hair up like this in the morning when it's wet - it has a 1920's kind of vibe  (especially with a colored or beaded headband) - and I have great curls by lunch.

I love all things macabre. With Autumn coming on, my heart turns to Daphne Du Maurier, Alfred Hitchcock, and episodes of Suspense and The Whistler. I love a good chill, not out and out horror and certainly not gore-porn but the kind of suspense that makes you glad you're inside when night begins to fall. But I adore silly scary too. The Haunted Mansion has always been my favorite attraction at Disney (followed closely by The Tower of Terror). I can recite the entire monologue of the Ghost Host and it's a dream of mine to one day own this costume via NeverBugCreations on Etsy:
Adult Woman Tight Rope Walker Costume

I adore the Addams Family and was known as Wednesday to a number of my childhood friends' parents because I looked so much like Christina Ricci's incarnation of her. And, in potentially the darkest expression of my morbid humor, Edward Gorey. I love Edward Gorey. He's so damn dark and it is hilarious. Any man that can create an entire alphabet of children's gruesome deaths is okay in my book.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries! I only recently came upon this remarkable and totally brilliant modern adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. Told through a series of vlogs and twitter/tumblr/pinterest accounts, we're following the classic Austen tale told with new voices and some new twists. So wonderful!

I saw this today and loved it so:
Pinned Image

Web comics! Egads, I love web comics. My daily feed includes:
Book of Biff
Girls With Slingshots
Hark! A Vagrant
Ozy & Millie (even though it's completed)
Survivng the World

Remember that whole vintage thing we were talking about at the beginning of this post (wow, that was forever ago, huh?)? Well, I love old architecture too, especially art deco. I'm in the midst of a novel and, in my research, learned about the World Theatre in Kearney, Nebraska. This old theatre sat empty for a number of years, run down and apparently haunted. It has been completely renovated and returned to its former retro glory. Since opening at the beginning of the Summer, their showings have included Grease, The Goonies, and The Princess Bride. I've never wanted to be in Nebraska more.

I love the Infinity wrap or the Octopus dress. Lots of people make/sell these but I found mine at CoralieBeatrix on Etsy. I love having one piece of clothing that can do the work of a hundred plus. So many pretty things can be done with this dress.
Savannah Cranberry Octopus Convertible Wrap Dress

I love celebrities that aren't too famous for you. This seems to happen a lot in the nerd/fringe genres...or maybe that's just where my attention lies. I keep tabs on the likes of Nathan Fillion (who's big thing is making sure kids read) and Wil Wheaton (who, with his wife, is very active in animal rescue). And, my most recent fangirl moment, Mike Nelson, of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame, wished me a happy birthday!

I love unique perfumes. I'm not a fan of brand-anything really. I had the pleasure of creating my own perfume at the Molinard perfumery in Grasse, France and they keep the recipes on file, so you can have more made at any time. I am hoping to add these two to my collection in the future:

Classic/Folk female vocalists. I like classical music well enough. I don't listen to it regularly but I enjoy some Philip Glass and Eric Copeland when they come around. But there is something about Celtic, folky, classical female vocalists that fill me up with happy. Maybe part of it is that some little dream inside me wants to be doing what they are. Enya's great, Celtic Woman is powerful, and Sarah Brightman has got some pipes but my heart belongs to Sissel Kyrkjebo and Hayley Westenra. For serious, these ladies can sing. Sissel is Norwegian and so my love for her is two-fold (I'm a fourth generation Norge) and Hayley is a BAMF kiwi, she gets props.

I feel like my list of favorite things is pretty girly. I'm going to attempt to make my next installment more manly. It will probably include brownies.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I Hate My Job

I work for a church and, for the most part, it's pretty great. I work with and for wonderful people. I can listen to Pandora or old time radio all day. I can check my facebook, email, twitter, and news feeds anytime I want. But I hate my job when:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hysterical Women

Have you read The Yellow Wallpaper? By Charlotte Perkins Gilman? If not you can read the short story here or listen to the Suspense radio play, starring Agnes Moorehead. This short story is the chilling journal of a woman suffering from "hysterics", forced by her doctor husband to undergo a "rest cure" in a country home for the Summer and her subsequent descent into madness. Kept shut up in the house with little to no mental stimulation, our narrator writes, in secret, of her boredom, malaise, and the strange wallpaper of her prison, I mean, bedroom. Imagination, paranoia, and eventually a complete disconnect from reality follow. It is an early example of feminist literature and a prime example of an unreliable narrator. It is this unreliability that makes The Yellow Wallpaper so terrifying, in my opinion.  The audience can never quite be sure if the wife, our narrator, is driven mad by the neglectful and perhaps nefarious dealings of her husband or if her madness is inevitable and her paranoia merely a symptom of the disease.

This uncertainty is one of my favorite elements in a good suspense, the eerie of not knowing. Daphne du Maurier's My Cousin Rachel is another great example of this. In this novel, young Phillip, the ward of his older cousin, Ambrose, leads the comfortable life of confirmed bachelorhood. But Ambrose, while wintering in Italy for his health, makes the acquaintance of a long lost cousin, Rachel. Much to Phillip's dismay they marry and in the year or so following, Ambrose writes of his joy, then his failing health, and, at last, his suspicion of Rachel. Ambrose passes away and Rachel comes to England with his possessions, to return them to the estate, which Phillip has now inherited. Phillip, mistrustful of this woman, welcomes her to the estate and is surprised to find her beautiful and charming. Any misgivings he had of her are easily explained away by the brain tumor which caused his cousin's passing. Phillip's love for Cousin Rachel blossoms but is made uneasy by little occurrences - a missing note from Ambrose about Rachel's extravagances, an unsigned will leaving the estate to Rachel and her progeny, and a certain "healthful" tea Rachel gave to Ambrose to ease his pain when he was ill, made from a poisonous plant. To this day, after many read-throughs and movie-sittings, I cannot tell you if Rachel killed Ambrose or not. And that uncertainty is what keeps me coming back for more.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love a straight-forward, moustache-twirling, scheming bad guy too. As in the film Gaslight, where our heroine is driven to mental instability by the underhanded plotting of her husband. By making noises in the attic and dimming the gaslights when she is the only one at home, evil-husband convinces his wife that she is going out of her mind and, of course, insanity has always run in the family. When she finally breaks, he'll have her committed and inherit her vast fortune all for himself. Muahahahahaha. He even goes so far as to rent the house next door to complete his evil plan. Which really, is all unnecessary because this story is set in the late 1800s/early 1900s and he would pretty much have control of her fortune anyway. Just saying.

Monday, September 17, 2012

It's About Us

It's been a few months, about time for me to harp on women's issues again.

Have you seen The Color Purple? Don't worry, neither had I but you should, you totally should. Don't get me wrong, this movie is a challenge to watch and is emotionally taxing but you'll be a better person for having seen it.