“I started to enjoy my beard. Which I just shaved off yesterday. When you grow it quite long, it becomes kind of soft and silky. I liken it to having a pet on your face. Like having a dog or cat. But it’s your face.”—Jemaine Clement
The World Is A Mess, And I Just... Need To Rule It
I need to talk to you about Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (or DH’sS-AB as I like to call it). It’s not actually a sing-along blog. It’s a movie, well, a musical, about a blog. But it was made for the internet. You can download it on itunes. You don’t actually sing along. Not until you’ve watched it at least twice, anyway. Still with me?
Let me start over.
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is a tragicomic musical in three acts, produced by Joss Whedon (creator of shows like Firefly and Buffy and followed by a cult of Whedonites) and released exclusively on the internet. Whedon and his brothers (and I think his brother’s fiance) wrote it during writer’s strike because the WGA didn’t prohibit writing content for the internet.
Anyway, for a 43 minute musical, it is damn good. It stars my gay boyfriend Neil Patrick Harris, as well as Felicia Day, and Nathan Fillion who all sing quite well. Dr. Horrible (NPH) wants to be a super-villain, and he blogs about his attempts, but he’s not really all that evil, so that kind of gets in the way of his plans. He’s also in love.
I don’t really want to rehash the plot for you because that’s boring and the movie’s so short that it would give things away. So please, just do yourself a favor and watch this. It’s $2 per act on iTunes, but I’m sure some of you scoff-laws can find other ways of getting your hands on it, if you know what I mean wink wink nudge nudge. Illegal downloading. Cough.
It’s eventually coming out on DVD with extras! I may need to buy it.
So, apparently, sales for women’s magazines are way down for the first half of the year. Over on Jezebel, they speculate about some of the causes which mostly amount to the fact that women’s magazines blow and only idiots with too much time and money on their hands read them. While I agree that this is true for some magazines (I’m looking at you, Cosmo), there are definitely some exceptions to the rule. In fact, I don’t really think it is much of a rule, because there seem to be so many exceptions.
Anyway, far be it from me to judge anyone for reading “50 Hot New Sex Tips You HAVEN’T Heard” or “It’s A Steal: Great Looks For Under $500!” Because you know what? Sometimes it’s fun to read idiotic tripe or gaze longingly at winter coats you will never own. I am certainly not above purchasing Cosmo or Glamour on occasion. My Grandmother renews my subscription to InStyle every year and while it’s no longer my favorite magazine, it’s still fun to flip through, and the photography never disappoints.
But I wanted to mention three magazines that shirk the stereotype of femininity and inanity going hand in hand. First off, the reigning queen of awesome magazines — Bust. Bust is a feminist magazine (their tagline reads “for women with something to get off their chests) and I’ve been subscribing to it for almost a year, and buying it for longer. They consistently feature interesting, low-profile celebrities like Miranda July and Amy Sedaris. Their April/May “Men We Love” issue had Bret and Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords on the cover. Inside, yes, you will find some articles devoted to fashion and beauty, but certainly not ALL of them. They also have articles on interesting crafty things like DIY wallpaper, and brewing your own beer, in addition to insightful articles on indie artists. I gave an article from this magazine to my grandmother because it was about flight attendants in the 50s and 60s (she was one) and how they were told to seem available to the men on their flights. Bust also has lots of music and book reviews, plus every issue comes with a “one-handed read” — a short piece of erotic fiction that’s sometimes gay, sometimes straight, as the magazine’s very LGBT friendly. (I included one about two guys in the letter I sent to Eva in the Arctic.) I think Bust is best women’s magazine out there, and definitely doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves, probably because people are turned off by the feminist thing.
Next up is Nylon. I’ve also been subscribing to this one for nearly a year now and it hasn’t disappointed. Imagine it as the cooler, indier older sister of pop princesses Seventeen and CosmoGirl. Aimed at 20-somethings with actual taste, Nylon is fashion-centric, with a more street-style vibe than the runway looks in Vogue or the run-of-the-mill stuff in something like Glamour. It’s generally clothes, hair, makeup, and celebrities, but actually done in an interesting way.
Finally, I decided to include Missbehave on this list even though I’ve only read two issues. Missbehave should come with a caveat though — it is a magazine that does not give a shit. Most of the articles sound like notes your friends passed to you in high school. It’s not politically correct, and really doesn’t care about the environment. If this bothers you (and sometimes it annoys me) you might not want to read. But if you’re interesting in reading articles like Missbehave’s Guide to Promiscuity (which includes the sub-sections “5 Tactics Not To Spend the Night” and “Return of the Wank”) then this might be the magazine for you. My heart was won when they included an article on Tracie “Slutmachine” Egan who writes for Jezebel. (I read her blog, but have a love-hate relationship with her persona.) Also, how could you not love a magazine with these cover stories: “Lose 10 Pounds! Or Don’t! Nobody Cares!” and “Hot New Workout: Punching People” ?
Although I talk to myself in my head all the time, I have yet to reach the heights of crazy that involves speaking in full sentences to myself out loud. (My mother crossed that bridge long ago.) However, there is one word that I just realized I whisper to myself when I’m alone sometimes.
I just did it a minute ago and suddenly realized that I kind of do it a lot. Usually, it comes on the tail end of a sigh and it’s when I’m pepping myself up for doing something really difficult and important like cleaning my room or making myself some dinner. And to be honest, it totally helps.
Hey you guys, Natalie Imbruglia is kind of cool. Yeah, I know she had that song “Torn” that was totally overplayed and made you kind of uncomfortable when she sang about how she was naked on the floor, but it wasn’t a bad song, right? And she had a couple others like “Wishing I Was There” and “Wrong Impression” that were sort of bland and inoffensively poppy. And I know you kind of want to hate her because she’s like this pouty-lipped little shaggy-haired pixie and every time you see one of those pictures where she’s staring down the camera you just want to flick her like a fruitfly, but actually, she’s got some good stuff.
I downloaded a couple of her songs off her first album and two of them are super catchy sing-along in your car kind of songs. These songs are: Big Mistake and Leave Me Alone. Big Mistake is one of those songs where you’re just waiting for the part where she shouts out the chorus all raspy-voiced and pissed off and it’s a good one for blaring. And Leave Me Alone feels like it should be the theme song for some edgy new drama on TV. You can just picture a quick character montage with some quirky fonted title at the end.
Anyway, I swear that her music is not half as annoying as her face. (Which, in all fairness, is actually really pretty and I’m just jealous blah blah blah.)
So my latest obsession is the blog Things I’ve Bought That I Love. It’s written by The Office writer/actor Mindy Kaling (she plays Kelly Kapoor) and it’s so good I can’t stop reading. And I’ve only seen like 3 episodes of the office so it’s not like you need to be a fan to enjoy it.
What you do need to be is a bit of a shopaholic. As you can probably surmise from the title, the blog simply details things that she’s bought that she loves — usually clothing, food, and beauty products. It’s actually a little like this blog, except funnier and less personal. On occasion, friends of hers will write a post, but you can tell who wrote by the name at the bottom of each entry. Hers always say Mindy Ephron. The biggest problem with the blog is that she posts too rarely. Her last post was in April, so I don’t know if she’s over it or what. I just discovered it a couple of days ago and I’m already almost done reading the archives. This fact is stressing me out. I need to know about more insanely expensive products I have to own! Also, it opened my eyes to the fact that this band I’ve been listening to for a while now, Coconut Records, is actually a solo project by Jason Schwartzman! Sweet! Now I can like it even more.
Anyway, it’s a totally charming blog and it makes me want to be best friends with her. We would have slumber parties where we wear supercute pajamas and eat interesting expensive candy she brought and talk about the incredible deals at Forever21. And then I would pretend like I only shop there when I’m bored of Marc Jacobs, too. “Hahaha it’s so nice to be rich could you pass the Kookaburra Licorice please?”
Re: My Previously Stated Desire to Own My Own Vintage Shop
If I had a vintage clothing store, the clothes would look something like these. They’re from Violetville Vintage on Ebay and I was tempted to post a picture of every single outfit because they are all so super cool. The clothes remind me of 1950s proms and 1960s flight attendants. Love!
“Once I read a story about a butterfly in the subway, and today, I saw one! It got on at 42nd, and off at 59th, where I assume it was going to Bloomingdales to buy a hat that will turn out to be a mistake — as almost all hats are.”—You’ve Got Mail
So, at a department store at the mall yesterday this dark green cloche felt hat caught my eye and I tried it on and it actually looked pretty cute. I thought to myself “This hat kind of looks like something they’d sell at Urban Outfitters. Kind of cool and old fashioned. Actually, maybe it’s too weird for me to pull off. You never wear hats anyway, Caroline.” And then I nodded and went on my way.
But then I remembered the hat again today and on a whim checked out the urban outfitter’s hat section and lo and behold, there was my hat on the first page! Same color and everything! It’s in the picture below. Although, I think the one I tried on was a little more flared at the bottom. I wonder if I should go back and buy it sometime. Sometimes I think I need to hire someone to come with me while I shop who can say things like:
"You never wear hats anyway, Caroline."
"Your butt is actually a lot bigger than you think it is. That underwear isn’t going to fit when you get home and try it on."
"Do you really need more lip gloss?"
And then I would repeatedly slap that person across the face.
There’s this vintage clothing store called Era less than a block from my apartment that I go in fairly often. Unlike a store like the Salvation Army or Value Village, Era is discriminating about what it sells and doesn’t have a huge collection of merchandise. Although the store’s atmosphere is quite classy, the clothes aren’t expensive — maybe twice what you’d pay at the salvation army. The problem is that while it fashions itself as a sort of cool, vintage clothing store selling retro pieces, the clothes are nearly all terrible! Every time I go in there, I’m overcome with the desire to beg the owners to hire me as their buyer. Cruising the racks of Value Village for nice, unique things has become kind of a hobby of mine and I’m convinced that I could do a much better job than whoever is buying for them now. Most of their stuff is the kind of thing I would pass right over at a thrift store — ugly blouses with giant shoulder pads, mom shorts with elastic waistbands, etc. A couple of times I’ve found some cute things — I really liked this long sleeved gold sweater-dress, but it was completely transparent so I didn’t buy it. Anyway, I’m just really confused about how they’re choosing the items they want to sell. Lately, I’ve had this dream of opening my own vintage clothing store and selling things I’ve bought at thrift stores for a couple of dollars for a tidy profit. I actually think it’s something I could be really good at.
Anyway, I was going to just pass by the store today, but there was a sign that said everything was half price, so I stopped in. Of course, most everything was boring and unstylish as usual, but just as I was about to leave, I passed a table of purses where I spotted this cool leather messenger bag. I bought for $5. Since I don’t have my camera back yet, I can’t take a picture, but it looks vaguely like the one below, but with a more uniform color, and some gold metal details. The metal clasp on the front is broken (which is a shame since I realized when I brought it home that it actually used to be a combination lock!), and it smells kind of like cigarettes, but it has no fewer than nine (nine!) pockets and I think it’s super cute.
“The fact is that when I see a woman who is attractive (or dressed attractively, which is not necessarily the same thing), I know that she isn’t being attractive for my enjoyment. She is not a thing for me to use. She’s a human being, doing her own thing.”—Blogger Jeff Fecke
Today at work I met a nice Australian man with a sparkly gold front tooth, and a kindly old French piano tuner who sympathized about my standing all day. Don’t these kind of encounters make it sound like I’m living in a quaint little story?
I also spoke to a platinum blonde woman who looked about 40, wearing a backless top and more bling than J.Lo. In the story, she would have been some sort of haughty Queen who drowned because her diamonds weighed her down. Sad.
So I just found out that it’s going to cost over $1000 to fix my computer. Also, my cell phone charger stopped working last night and I’m not sure if I can get a replacement here in Canada. The other day, a lightbulb burnt out in my room and then shattered in my hand when I tried to take it out. I’m starting to worry that next time I open the refrigerator it will just spontaneously combust.
On the plus side, my skin looks really nice today. All dewy and rosy and slightly tan. Thanks, God. Only a god-sent miracle could make my pasty face look tan.
So I was innocently perusing Steve Madden’s website, looking at shoes I probably won’t buy, when my eyes were accosted with this brazenly vomitous shoe from hell.
The combination of the hideous style with the revolting colors make it look like a box of crayolas puked all over a rollerblade and then a dog attacked it, tearing away the wheels. This shoe makes me physically sick, and I appreciate quirky, weird fashion choices. But seriously. What. the. fuck.
I might talk a lot about home decorating in the next month or so because ever since my mom told me she was having a house built I’ve been doing a lot of fantasizing about my new room. Last night I dreamed I had a giant walk-in closet with it’s own little dressing rooms.
I wouldn’t normally consider Paris Hilton and Mariah Carey idols of mine in any way, but when it comes to their closets I’m so jealous. The pictures are posted below. I’ve been organizing my closets by color since high school, so I’m pretty obsessed with the Paris Hilton closet. But I love those old suitcases and the built-in doorless wardrobe in Mariah’s. Le sigh.
The house won’t be finished until October, and THEN they’re going to do the basement, so my room won’t be done for quite a while. They’re going to split the basement into two rooms — one for me, and one with a TV, couch, and my grandma’s treadmill. (Yeah, my grandma is more physically fit than I am. She’s pretty cool.) Actually, there might be a third unfinished area for storage, I’m not sure. Anyone think I should bother trying to convince my mom to build a walk-in closet?
For now I’ll have to stick with my oh so lovely faux wood paneled closet doors, and gorgeous Target brand clear plastic drawers for storing my fabulous wardrobe.
So Pottery Barn Teen has some really cool stuff that I definitely would not mind owning. Although it seems that in the past year they’ve discontinued some of my favorite products (what, no chaise lounge now PBTeen? Did that push the boundaries of decadence just a little too much for you?) they still have some really pretty, although wildly expensive furniture. A lot of it is really over the top and I can’t imagine who actually buys it, but that doesn’t mean I can’t browse wistfully.
And while we’re talking over the top, Pottery Barn Kids has some pretty insane stuff. On the home page of their website, you can choose the “parties” option to be provided with a few somewhat weird party ideas for your kids (county fair party? what?) and the supplies to carry them out. Also, if you choose to look at their suggestions for furnishing your child’s Study (because every child has one) you will bombarded by thousands of dollars of overwhelmingly large wooden desk systems that look like they belong in a pre-war boarding school. Don’t even get me started on the toys. I totally covet a “pink retro kitchen set” in grownup size, please.
The pictures below are from PB Teen and would definitely go with my pink, green, and blue coordinated bedroom that my friend once likened to a nursery. Unfortunately, it will never be nearly as cool as a Pottery Barn nursery.
PS: I kind of want a County Fair Party now. Damn you, pottery barn marketing!
So I saw Journey to the Center of the Earth in 3D last night. If it hadn’t been in 3D I never would have considered going since it looked cheesy as hell and not in a good way, but I couldn’t resist the 3D appeal. I expected the movie to bore me to death and the 3D to make up for it, but my expectations were almost reversed when the movie turned out to be slightly (slightly!) more entertaining than I expected it to be, while the 3D itself was actually kind of boring.
The thrill of seeing things pop off-screen was kind of played out after the first ten minutes, and even then something looked kind of off to me. Halfway through, I began wondering if my contacts were causing the 3D images to not look as cool as they should. But upon reflection, I don’t think the problem was my contacts. The problem was me, and my exaggerated memories. I hadn’t seen a 3D movie (with the exception of one at the IMAX that I saw twice by mistake, and the IMAX is a totally different experience anyway) since about 8th grade. As a child, seeing a 3D movie is probably a very fun and shocking experience. I’m not sure why I assumed it would be just as thrilling now.
I’m not saying it was a bad time, just that I was disappointed at how little the 3D effects phased me. And by that I mean disappointed in myself. I wish I could go back to the time when small pleasures like that were new and exciting.
Fortunately, my jaded sensibilities did not appear to be widespread, as the audience seemed populated by adults who had never seen a movie before. The man next to us kept saying “WOW” in a totally un-sarcastic way, and there were plenty of astounded gasps throughout the movie, even when the same trick had been pulled on us about 43 times already. A lot of people even seemed really invested in the ridiculous plot, like the woman next to me who kept worrying aloud about the safety of the characters. “What about the girl?? She’s still in the water!”
Anyway, if you decide to see the movie, go with someone who will mock it with you while you watch. It makes it a lot more fun. Bonus points if you spot the scenes where Brendan Frasier’s sweat marks appear and disappear.
Oh, and just for some clarification: is there a law that all 3D movies must include a scene where you cruise down an abandoned mineshaft in a rusty car?
Tried a new flavo(u)r today: Life Brand Blueberry Lemonade. Life is just the brand of the ever-popular Shoppers Drug Mart here in Canada, but I’ve found that they make some surprisingly delicious products. The blueberry lemonade is super tasty, and comes in a redbull-esque can.
I Just Don't See How a World That Makes Such Wonderful Things... Could Be Bad
If you haven’t been to etsy.com before, you should probably go immediately. Etsy is a web of artists, jewelry makers, and designers who sell a wide variety of products, each on their own personal pages. To find what you’re looking for, simply type it in the search engine and then sort your results by recent listings or price. You can also search by colors or featured items. The products are all handmade and you buy straight from the seller. I’ve only bought one thing on etsy so far (a secret santa gift for Eva) but I’ve received two things from etsy as gifts, and I’m trying to decide what I should by for myself next.
Anyway, I’ll probably point out pretty things from this site often, but I’ll start with seller adorapop and her page The Mymble’s Daughter. Subtle and unique necklaces, rings, and hairclips, with Alice in Wonderland and bird themes are her specialty. I think her jewelry is pretty brilliant.
Apparently, today’s the day I reference celebrity crushes. And yes, the above photo of Seth Rogan is currently the only man on my bulletin board (besides the Beatles). It’s a North By Northwest parody.
Anyway, check out the link. It’s from my favorite website “Jezebel.” Looks like I’ve got some competition with those commenters.
Quick, Send in the Clowns. Don't Bother, They're Here.
So apparently I’m even more afraid of clowns than I thought I was.
I went to the midnight screening of The Dark Knight last night, and waited in line for an hour and a half even though we already had tickets. The theater was massive and completely packed, which made for a more fun experience, I think.
But I have to say — I have never been more afraid of a comic book villain that I am of Heath Ledger’s Joker. Actually, I haven’t been this afraid of any movie I’ve seen for a very long time. And I have seen quite a few horror movies lately (Diary of the Dead, The Strangers, The Evil Dead, The Orphanage). All of those made me scared while watching them, but I was fine by the time I got home. Not last night. Last night, I jumped at every noise my apartment made. I’m a naturally very jumpy person, but I was verging on positively shaky last night. And then I had nightmares all night. I would wake up terrified, only to fall asleep again and have another one. This only solidifies my belief that clowns are the creepiest things ever. The makeup, plus the smiling/laughing while being evil is the worst combination. The poster above is the closest I can get to putting a picture of that face on my blog. I can’t bear to look at the pictures of it. Don’t get me wrong, the performance was good. Maybe a little too good. The fact that I could not even catch a glimpse of Heath Ledger through the character of the Joker speaks to his incredible skill. It will certainly be difficult to find another actor that can replicate his nuanced style.
Upon reflection, I think maybe the major problem for me was the fact that the Joker nearly always enters a scene by surprise, which most villains only rarely do. The constant shock of seeing that creepy makeup job staring at me was enough to cause me to still be scared this morning, in daylight. I won’t lie — I checked in every room in my apartment today, half-expecting to find him popping out from behind a shower curtain.
I’m sure that Heath Ledger’s death made the performance all the more unsettling, perhaps in ways I’m not even consciously aware of. Heath Ledger was the only movie actor whose picture I ever put up on my bulletin board (circa 10 Things I Hate About You, The Patriot, and A Knight’s Tale). It’s strange to be so scared of my one major celebrity crush during my teenage years. It’s strange that he’s not alive anymore. And both of these things probably contributed to my uncomfortable reaction to the movie and his character.
Still, the movie was pretty good. I say that with the understanding that this type of movie just isn’t really my cup of tea. I’ve tried to like them more, since everyone else does. But I’ve found that all I can really do to gauge their merit is compare them to each other. And compared to a lot of other comic book films, this one was pretty good. It was too long, and Batman’s voice was distractingly low (and computerized?), but I liked the opening sequence and not all of the dialogue was worthless, like it is in so many action movies. I don’t mean for this to be a movie review though. I don’t know that I would even have neough to say about the movie anyway. I really just wanted to share how ridiculous I am for being this scared of a PG-13 Batman movie.
Superhero movies, for me, are never memorable. I couldn’t remember what happened in the last Batman, and I probably won’t remember any of the finer plot points in this one. But I’m willing to bet that The Joker’s face will stick with me. Whether I like it or not.
Currently loving the urban outfitter’s dress page. The styles are kind of neo-grunge, little orphan annie-esque. I want them all in my closet. They make me wish I was more of a waif so that I could actually pull them off.