A Whimsical Introduction:

Athena: the Greek goddess of art, crafts, wisdom, and strategy. She was infinitely beautiful and had a charming habit to intimidate and/or violently destroy anyone she met.
.................I'll get there one day.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Someone in the Kitchen, with the Candlestick

If you really think about it, the odds of you being murdered is actually higher than would be comfortable. 

Statistically, someone is murdered every 60 seconds. Of course, that's a rough estimation; there isn't a reporter out there making sure someone is killed every minute, I'm sure, but you get the gist. (Although wouldn't that make a fantastic serial killer? It would be like Zodiac all over again!)

I remember once, I was watching a movie, and something horrible happened to the main character. He asked, "why me?" and his girlfriend replied, "why not you?" It seemed callous and harsh at first glance, because it was, but to be honest, I think about it a lot. Whenever something bad happens to me and I feel like saying Why Me, I think of that horrible Lifetime movie. It applies to the whole murder thing, because, and I don't say this to disturb you, victims probably thought they were as special as you do. Don't get me wrong, I think I'm hella special, but there is something kind of peaceful in accepting the fact that you are just as eligible for being killed as everyone else (although becoming a killer yourself is one sure fire way to bump yourself up, because as far as I know, no one was keen on trying to murder Ted Bundy).

Honestly, there isn't anything stopping you from being murdered. Or choking on asparagus, or a number of other strange ways to die before your time. 

People usually take this two ways: they either freak out, or they get really morbid, trying to find the answer to life, and frankly, becoming a bit of a bore at parties. No one likes the person that responds to "yolo" with "go read Nietzsche, we are all going to die". 

Personally, for someone who is writing an unfortunate blog post about the statistical probability of being cut up into little bits and being thrown into the Seine, I have an incredibly naïve outlook on life. My advice is that until you're actually being locked into a basement by a man who looks a lot like the killer off of The Lovely Bones, I really wouldn't sweat it. Acknowledge the philosophy of Why Not Me (trust me, it's very handy in bad situations), then just tell yourself that it can't possibly happen to you. I mean, don't walk through a red-light district in Bangladesh at 2AM, but if you hear a noise coming from downstairs, just tell yourself it's just the dog getting a late night snack. Because, like, it probably is, right? 

...Right?

So I guess the whole moral of the story is to reach for the moon (the moon in question being not killed, but can be applied to other situations), not worry about reaching for the moon, despite a lot of uneasy odds that you won't get to the moon, nor land among the stars. I don't know what the stars would be in this situation, because I'm puzzled as to what the runner up would be to not being murdered. Murdered gently, perhaps? Or choking on the asparagus, like I mentioned before? 

My brain hurts, it's too late for this.

(If you don't want to get killed but you find yourself in a sticky situation, like the basement one, take some clues from old horror movies or thrillers; in Silence of the Lambs, Katherine was seriously the genius of that whole movie, not Hannibal.)

And remember, if you actually do get murdered, just remember this blog post, smile fondly, and maybe mention it to your murderer beforehand as some food for thought. I'm sure he would like some light reading material to wind down after a long day.

Make yourself at home, little killer person. Sip some tea.

And think about what you've done.

...But at least you made that reporter guy's job easier.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Legacy of Marilyn: Wearing perfume FOR BED?

As I went through my nightly routine for you all a few weeks ago, I realized just tonight, dancing around to Stevie Nicks in my infamously hideous pink satin nightcap, that I had left out a very crucial, if bizarre, step: applying perfume.

WHAT???

Yeah! Totally! Absolutely positively, I wear perfume to sleep. Does this or does this not make me a total perfume-ista? Ah, but that's beside the point (but yes, on an unrelated note, I am totally a perfume-ista). 

The point of perfumes, you may be aware, is to put you in a moment. Yeah, also to compliment an outfit or create a cloud of aromatic air that will have guys and girls dogging at your heels, but mainly to do that other thing. Take for instance, a perfume with notes of cinnamon or vanilla: that perfume probably makes you think of comforting memories. You may go back to the winter of '89 when your oft-forgetful partner remembered your anniversary with cinnamon toast in bed, or when your mom spritzed all the Christmas cards with vanilla before shipping them off. Whatever the memory, that perfume = something more. 

Hold on, I'm getting to something good and profound. 

Call me a city princess, but I like perfume. They've played a big part in my life, because so many women I've admired have worn a signature smell. Fabergé's Tigress, Chanel's no. 5, Guerlain's Shalimar, Mugler's Angel, Estée Lauder's (delicious) Youth Dew, and my personal sweet spot, Tabu by Dana. Old fashioned? A little. Old lady-esque? Some might say. But perfect for bringing back memories and lulling one into a gilded dreamland sparkling with diamonds and painted amber? 

Totally, man.

Though my personal jam is Tabu (worn by every 60's babe in the inner city where my mom hails, it would seem), look for a perfume that brings you warmth, comfort, and let's face it, a lot of musk and spice. Sultry overload is something that can work against the tides of insomnia, promise. All you need is a little dab on your neck and wrists, bada boom bada bang, your eyelids are 1,000 pounds. Tabu is extremely cheap at around $15 (it left its hayday when LBJ did) so I have no qualms with patting it on, snuggled in my piles of pillows and just a little dizzy on nail polish fumes. 

For an even bigger hit, indulge in Estée's Youth Dew bath oil. Sprinkle some in the tub before bedtime, and sink down listlessly into steamy, swirling, perfumed waters.

"What do I wear in bed? Why, Chanel no. 5 of course." — Marilyn Monroe


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Top Best (and some obscure) Horror Movies!

I know, I know; I hate myself for my absence too. I have no excuse except for the fact that I could not for the life of me think of any good posts. However, just now in the bath (where everyone gets their best ideas) I was getting in the mood to watch one of my favorite movies Silver Bullet (I'll be reviewing in like two seconds!) and then started thinking about how awful most horror movies are. Like seriously, 98% of that entire genre sucks. So all the more reason for me to list the best ones!

Most people don't peg me for a horror aficionado, and really, I'm not. But I've grown up with a very eccentric dad who loved to watch horror movies with his daughter and read Stephen King to her before bed, and so really, I cannot help but be an expert. While my dad is into any horror movie with guts and gore galore, I really hate those kinds; I'm all for necessary gore, and I absolutely love ones with killer plot and deep, emotional substance. I don't really think any of these are made after 1999, but don't get me wrong, I think there are probably some great recent slashers. I'm just a creature of habit. Meaning, I know my favorites; the ones that I used to watch with my dads on the dark couch, the ones that I watch to cheer me up, the tried-and-true favorites where every scary scene is burned into my memory.

In no particular order, we are off!

1. Silver Bullet (1985)

Okay, can you just say 'childhood'? Probably one of the most underrated Stephen King masterpieces (based on his novella Cycle of the Werewolf), this movie is not only one of the best of horror, but the best period. I'd rank it high as one of my favorite films, because it features a disabled hero, and an aura of unexplainable sadness that grips you long after the movie is over. Jane, the narrator of the film, is the eldest daughter of a broken family, and she tells the tale of her younger, paraplegic brother Marty during a series of savage murders that break out in their home town. Their relationship is realistically bitter, as Jane feels neglected because of the special care Marty needs, and them growing closer as they face a The Monsters are Due on Maple Street - esque dilemma, as everyone turns against each other while the bodies get higher, not paying attention to Marty and his werewolf theory because he's just the little disabled boy. But Jane listens. And if the last minute of the movie doesn't make you tear up like a baby, I don't know what will. Also, the scene with Brady gets me every time.

2. Rear Window (1954)

Actually more of a thriller, but no less suspenseful, Rear Window is one of Hitchcock's best. Featuring two of my favorite actors, Grace Kelly and Jimmy Stewart, it tells the tale of a man confined in a wheelchair who spies on the people of his apartment building in their homes through his window, to curb his boredom. Harmless? It is, until he swears he witnesses one of them murder a woman. After that, it's up to him, his girlfriend, and his wisecracking nurse to figure out the crime, at the risk of their lives. It inspired the movie Disturbia (another amazing movie that, if you liked this one, is more than worth checking out) and was fanastically done in regards to cinematography, score, casting, and delicious plot. Because, just like the main character, you doubt yourself as to whether the murder was real, or if you've just been cooped up way too long in your room with no excitement.






3. Lost Boys (1987)


If you want literally the most grunge, punk horror movie, then Lost Boys will be your Holy Grail. With an amazing soundtrack including Echo & the Bunnymen, and Gerard McMann with the theme song  Cry Little Sister  (one of my favorite songs in the history of ever; please listen), it's a must-see. The gore is minimal, and the movie has a mix of comedy, darkness, and romance, which makes this a good pick no matter your preference. It's hella 80's, and the fashion is like one big The Cure rave. It focuses on two brothers, one 18 (Michael) and one pre-teen (Sam), who move to California with their mother, and Michael quickly gets mixed up with the Lost Boys. The Lost Boys are, unfortunately, a twisted version the ones from Neverland, never growing old, staying out late, and luring other teenagers to join their never ending partying and killing. When Michael falls in love with the Wendy of the group, Star, he is forced to choose between finishing his transformation into an undead gangbanger, or protect Sam, who has befriended two wackjob 'vampire experts' in his grade. Throw in a sprinkling of Hellhounds, an eccentric grandpa who knows more than he lets on, and 80's slang, and you've got one of the best vampire movies around.

4. The Fly (1986)


Unlike the one above, which features laughs and and harmless ketchup blood, this movie is not for the lighthearted. Heartbreaking, melancholy, and totally gross at parts, The Fly is one of the best science fiction horrors ever made. In probably one of the most doomed romances ever, the movie begins with a brilliant scientist named Seth taking a cute reporter,Veronica, to his lab. He shows her his telepods, which allow teleportation of objects between one telepod to the other. As their relationship progresses, she documents his work. However, he becomes more manic to perfect the devices, as they cannot transport living things (as seen when a monkey is transported, and things go horribly wrong...). In a fit of drunkenness, he decides to transport himself without telling Veronica. When he comes out, the transport is successful, and the couple rejoice. But, there was a kink: a housefly had slipped into the telepod with him. As his and Veronica's relationship gets more serious, he becomes near mad with happiness, saying that he has become "pure", but Veronica is starting to notice that he is changing. Changing into a madman, yes, but also an insect. (I'll give you $10 if you can spot his mason-jar'd penis near the end, when his transformation is almost complete; makes me laugh every time). Trust me, Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis are stellar at portraying a startlingly sorrowful love story in a seemingly cheesy plot, and it's one of the best movies to watch if you don't necessarily want a slasher, but something to chill your blood and make you slightly nauseous, while also sob harder than you did watching Titanic.

5. Tremors (1990)


This is probably a little bit more known to the world via Kevin Bacon (who is great in this, by the way), and this is one of the few movies on this list that feature an actual monster. It's about a small town in Navada called Perfection, an isolated ex-mining settlement with 14 people. Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward play Val and Earl, handymen in the town. A graduate student Rhonda (Bacon's love interest) pops in, doing a study on earthquakes and tremors (ayyyy) in the region. Soon after the people are introduced and stuff, Val and Earl decide to head to the other town; on their way, they find their friend dead up in an electrical pole. Weird? It gets weirder when they find out he died of thirst; he was afraid to come down. Long story short, they head back to the town, the phonelines get cut, and them and the meager townspeople have to beat giant worm-creatures that burrow underneath the ground and pop out of the ground to grab people. That poor pole guy had the right idea with the climbing, but he really should have brought water. I can't explain exactly why this is such a good movie, but whenever it's on, I find myself watching it and enjoying every minute of it.

6. The Omen (1976)


Alright, we are getting down to the nitty-gritty actual horror here with this movie. Though made in 1976, people everywhere still get the chills from Damien and his sick smile. If creepy kids make your skin crawl, then there is no one more perfect than the original Antichrist, right? When a couple adopts a baby from a really sketchy source, they think everything is alright and the boy is just the cutest thing; until he starts killing people, that is. And as if the film wasn't scary enough, the fact that this set had some of the worst luck in the world hits a little too close to home; tragedy struck many of the people who worked on the set, such as the screenwriter's plane getting struck by lightening and the lead actor's son shooting himself in the head. Personally, I would watch this one with a friend, because honestly, there isn't anything more scary than a child's nanny killing herself, screaming, "Look at me, Damien! It's all for you!"




7. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

It's hard to write this right now, because to be completely honest, it's hard to do anything with this movie without fangirling. Unless you've been living under a rock, you know all about Hannibal Lecter and his particular palette, and many of you will have seen this (it was the first horror movie to win an Oscar, after all!). But for the people who haven't, here's the main plot: when a serial killer named Buffalo Bill begins abducting girls and skinning them, a young student Clarice Starling is assigned to interview a prisoner, Hannibal Lecter, who had Bill as a patient when he was a renowned psychiatrist. Starling and Lector begin an intricate game of quid-pro-quo as he helps her catch the killer before he takes even more lives. While a lot of people have become fans of the serial killer all over again with the new show Hannibal, this movie actually has very little in common with it. The TV show mainly deals with the events in the original book Red Dragon by Thomas Harris, when Hannibal was still a doctor and came head-to-head with Will Graham, while this movie takes place after our friend is locked up behind bars (or shall I say glass?). With very minimal gore and no jumps, this is more a crime thriller similar to Citizen Kane, and Clarice Starling shines as an agent who will do almost anything to save these girls, solve the puzzle, and silence the screaming of the innocent. The plot of this story is also based on a book by Thomas Harris, who drew inspiration from real serial killers, namely Ted Bundy, Gary Ridgway, and Jerry Brudos. Want a real scare? Look those bad boys up.

8. Signs (2002)

Again, while not actually a horror movie in the traditional sense, Signs is right up there with Sixth Sense as M. Night Shyamalan's shining moments. I was going to include Sixth Sense in here, but I felt like two of them would be a bit much; when choosing between them, Signs wins by a close call. The premise sounds wonky: a former preacher and widower lives on a lone farm with his two kids, Morgan and Bo, and his brother-in-law Merrill, when aliens begin to invade. But against all odds, this movie is probably the best in its genre. It handles the idea of ETs with a realistic finesse, only showing the aliens briefly through shadows and quick glances, which I personally love. They understood the strengths of not showing the aliens, which gives it a sense of imagination; minds can go forever, while special effects? Not so much. Mel Gibson, while being a stellar douchebag in real life, is amazing in his role as the father who lost his faith since the death of his wife. And can we just talk about how everything ties together? "Swing away, Merrill, swing away."




9. Village of the Damned (1960)

A true classic, if I may say so myself. Right up there with The Haunting of Hill House, and a precursor to many horror movies that focused on children as the villains, including, but not limited to, The Omen, Children of the Corn, and Bad Seed. Considering its time, it's basically one long Twilight Zone episode, and believe me, it's a creepfest. When there's a freak storm thing in a small town, suddenly all the women capable become pregnant, and like four months later, they give birth at the same time to kids with pale eyes and hair. The children act as one, and they develop at a rapid rate, both mentally and physically. When they become too powerful, the adults face a problem no one should face: is it possible to actually kill your own child for the safety of the others? Oh, and unlike a lot of movies, the sequel, Children of the Damned, is just as stellar, and I would highly recommend both!






10. The Exorcist (1973)


Oh dear lord, let me say one thing: watch this in the daylight. With friends and family. On a day when you're secure in your safety and won't get scared easily. I only say this because holy s*** is Regan scary. This is such a popular movie because it created an explosion of possession-centered books and movies, starred a young girl in a role that was so obscene and controversial that she herself couldn't view it till she was 18, and honestly, the soundtrack is perfect. Yes, this is the movie that made you shake in your boots whenever Tubular Bells began playing, like a fear-based Pavlovian dog. Children being the villian was a newly created archetype in the 70's, as was demonic possession, and The Exorcist does a great job of blending the two together. If I'm ever in need of a real, honest-to-goodness freak out, Regan and her demon are there for me. A quick warning though? If you're Christian and get offended easily, this movie is about as sacrilegious as it gets (need I refer to the scene when Regan masturbates with a crucifix?).



BONUS: Tales From the Crypt (1989 - 1996)

A bonus because it's a TV series rather than an actual movie, there's nothing more silly, absolutely memory-filled for me, or ridiculous as Tales From the Crypt. The show always begins in front of a decaying old haunted mansion, and the camera goes through the front door, down the stairs into a dungeon, and lands on a coffin that bursts open, revealing a wily, cacking skeleton named Crypt Keeper, or Crippy as I called him. I'm literally chucking to myself remembering it. My dad and I would watch it every Saturday, before Star Trek and after Friday the Thirteenth (the spooky 90's show, not the horror movie), and it's like the shining jewel of horror series. Spooky. And wonderful. Basically Goosebumps but better and more original. But don't get me wrong: this show was actually pretty scary when it wanted to be. There was campy gore and death, so this was mainly a show for those twisted kids who collected Garbage Pail Kids or, like, ate their scabs, idk. I never ate my scabs, but I certainly was obsessed with Crippy. He's just too adorable, isn't he? I need this show on Netflix ASAP~ 

And there you have it! My competed list of the best horror movies out there, coming from someone who knows a thing or two about horror. I've seen all types, and trust me, I'm not one for shallow slashers like Hellraiser, or movies that are ~this close~ to being snuff films like Hostel or Spit On Your Grave. Dark thrillers that might have a little too much blood to not be considered horror = life. 

Oh, and before I go, let me just add on a little reminder: respect yourself and others when dealing with horror movies. I know it sounds stupid, but really, remember: Don't force yourself to watch a scary movie you know you won't enjoy because of triggers, too much gore, or anything like that. And as an extension, if you're someone who doesn't scare easily, don't force a friend to watch a horror movie with you when they protest. With such a controversial, scary genre (obviously), it's good to listen to people when they say they don't want to watch something, or it will probably ruin everyone's night (or month) :D

Bye bye, boils, ghouls, and non-binary merpeople!!




















My Night Routine!

What's up, buttercups? My friend Snorkelinginabathtub recently did a morning routine post, with the girlie at Ethereal Bubbles soon to follow, but I figured my night routine was approximately 10x more interesting than what I do in the morning. That, and I basically run around like a chicken with its head cut off in the morning; there's little 'routine' in that madness. While I'll attempt to do one in the future, a night version is a lot better, because that is when I use most of my products. So here we go!

First, I have to go outside with my dogs to make sure they do their business. Boring, and let's be frank, scary as hell in the dark woods, but I thought I would include it. If you have dogs that tend to experience incontinence or waking people up at 3 AM to pee, you will understand this policing.

Then, I head upstairs and begin taking care of my face. This, the most intricate and complex of my processes, like a shameful and tiresome dance, takes about fifteen minutes. I know, it's awful of me, but I really just can't stop being high maintenance and horrid. I wash my hands FIRST THING (no skipping!) with the lemon hand soap, then I waste three minutes getting the temperature of the water a nice lukewarm. Our water heater is older than I am, so the struggle is endless. After that I wash my face with the Pacifica, and pat my face dry so it's not totally wet, but damp (this makes the moisturizer more effective; and also, I use a separate towel just for my face, because let's be real here, body lotion and hair products are absolute gunk). Then, I massage in a dime-size amount of the Garnier gel — this is my base moisturizer, because it really hydrates, but isn't enough to conditiont. Then, I apply the Clean & Clear treatment on any spots I've been battling with, and apply a thin layer of the CeraVe lotion as the next lotion to my face; it's fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, so it's good for my whole body, and by applying this on top of the Garnier, it's almost like a night mask. If I'm feeling frisky, I'll gently massage a mix of EV olive oil, Evening Primrose oil, and flaxseed oil on my eye area to give a boost. Finally, I cover my spots again with the YesTo Tomatoes stick if they're being really bothersome, because it's all natural and full of good things like ginger root. 

CO Bigelow Hand Wash, Pacifica Face Wash, Garnier Gel Cream, Spot Treatment, CeraVe Lotion, YesTo Stick, Natural Oil Blend
Whew, that was exhausting. Stay with me.

Next, I pop my pills. I take a medication for my chronic migraines (not shown) and Evening Primrose oil, which is good for the skin and general health for uterus-peeps. I BRUSH MY TEETH AFTER THAT. IM WRITING IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE YOU'RE PROBABLY BORED.  

3D White Luxe toothpaste and Evening Primrose Oil Herbal Gels


Ah, but we are getting to the end, friends. I apply two layers of my rose lip balm for a sexy mouth, and apply a soothing body lotion to my arms and legs; it really varies on my mood, so I have a lineup! For my hands, I use a specially-formulated lotion — right now, I'm loving the Vaseline because it smells like Crème de la Mer without the $295 price tag. 

Vaseline Healthy Hand & Nail, Rose Salve, Aveeno Calming, Dream Silk Comfort Cream, B&BW Sleep, B&BW Sensual 

WE HAVE NOW LEFT THE BATHROOM. I REPEAT. WE HAVE NOW LEFT THE BATHROOM.

After gently but forcefully shepherding Chloe into the bedroom, I shut us in and we snuggle down to watch our current favorite TV show on netflix (well, MY favorite, because let's face it, our relationship is one where I'm clearly the brains of the operation). Currently, I've been obsessed with House M.D (late on the bandwagon, don't remind me) to fill the void left by Orange Is the New Black. 

Either that, or I scroll endlessly through Tumblr listening to my sleepytime playlist! They really calm me down and put me in a nice mood for at least 12 hours of dreamless void :D


 Asleep: 1:48 AM approx. 


Saturday, April 5, 2014

First Impression of Mad Men

I thought this would be a novel way to give a review, because sometimes, you just don't want to wait. And with a show that's been going as long as Mad Men or (god forbid) Doctor Who, it just isn't fun at all to wait to finish all 200,000+ episodes just so you can express your opinion with authority. 

I started Mad Men last night, and I'm currently on episode 8. I know, I know, I have a long way to go. But I have to say? If the series finale doesn't end up with all of them dying of lung cancer, I don't know what I'll do, because MY GOD DO THEY SMOKE. But I guess that makes sense, because at that time everyone was in denial to the fact that cigarettes were harmful. 

It's about the executives, secretaries, and their families/friends of an advertising firm in 1960's Manhattan. Sounds riveting right? You would be surprised.

The creators have done a great job of devising a balance between the false idyllic lifestyle that old white people remember with nostalgia, as well as permeating it with oppressive sexism, racism, and xenophobia in such a casual, honest way that it makes you feel like you're there. It's like watching a 60's movie that's actually self aware. The women have such a tragic view of their lives as nothing more than breeders; you watch them try and trick themselves into thinking they achieved the great Female Dream: Married, Kids, Baubles, Suburbia, Naps. Though I wish they would give a broader spread of characters from different backgrounds (so far it's just cishet white people, 90% men in suits) but I'm thankful they didn't portray the characters as perfect. In fact, they're decidedly less than that. One's a serial cheater, half of them are potential date rapists, and all of them are chauvinistic. 

Is this what watching The Borgias is like? 

I feel like I should be rooting for someone, but they're all, quite frankly, unlovable. It's like, I don't like them, but at the same time, I find myself being sympathetic to them and then I feel distasteful. But I think the dialogue done in this movie is excellent, because it captures the essence of general sadness in corporate business and the hollow meaninglessness of upper middle class 60's life. Like, one of my favorite parts is when the 'main' character Don Draper is talking with his boss about the doom-and-gloom of the new generation:

Boss: I don't know-- Maybe every generation thinks the next one is the end of it all. I bet people in the Bible were walking around complaining about "kids today".

Don: Kids today. They have no one to look up to. Because they're looking up to us. 

I really like that. Like, really really like it. 

Overall? I think Mad Men is really great drama that gets you to care deeply for the characters and champion for some to succeed (like the secretary Peggy) or have hella conflicted feelings for others (like snobby and sexist but more-than-likely clinically depressed Pete). It has great dialogue and plot that, despite its premise, is just as exciting as Orange is the New Black in its own way. And it's just really fun to watch! Mad Men has just the right amount of heavy for me right now, because while I'm still about darker shows for a spell, I need a break from Attack on Titan. And gore in general. And anime, actually. There's just something about real actors that you just need every once and awhile, or at least, that's how it is for me.

Mad Men is like The Office, but with more backstabbing, and no one smiles except when they want something.

I AM IN LOVE 

Friday, April 4, 2014

March Favorites 2014!

God okay, so I skipped February. I feel like every one else did too though, so I don't feel quite as bad! What was it about February? I just felt like doing anything but writing about my favorites.

Anyway, I'll just get to it, hmm? Oh, and I'll try to keep my review hella short so you don't have to read my long rambling, but if you don't want to read my review, it's totally fine! Obviously, since it's in my favorites post, you're safe to assume that it's a good review ;D

BEAUTY PRODUCTS


I am literally obsessed with this product. I love it because it is vegan (because even you aren't one food-wise, it's always a good thing to look for in beauty products ^^), sulfate free, and dye free. It's made with coconut water and various other marine ingredients like seaweed, and in addition to removing your makeup and other funky stuff, it acts as a toner! FINALLY. And the bottle? Absolute perfection. I'm one of those people that buys products based 90% on how it looks! and this is such a simplistic design with this perfect turquoise, tropical bottle. And it smells divine, like fresh coconut, and the dye free product looks really cool, like a jellyfish or something in your hand? That's a weird description. And if you didn't already know, I have VERY sensitive skin that is prone to irritation breakouts, and this soap is really gentle on the skin while still deep-cleaning! and the marine active ingredients like seaweed mattify your face naturally :D

2. Soma Sensualities Hydrating Lotion (bought at Soma Intimates)

Also obsessed. I have almost the whole line (White Fig & Apricot, Sugar Rose & White Tea, and Soymilk & Orange Flower) and they're perfect! The fragrances are TO DIE FOR, the scent lasts a long time (lightly lingering on your skin like it's your natural smell, not overpowering or artificial)l and the formula leaves my skin feeling SO SOFT. Even if they were unscented, I would be in love, because the ingredients like coconut oil and Vitamins E and C make these the best lotions in my collection (and it's a big collection, trust me). And right now they're having a sale for $5 beauty products, and considering you get a good amount and the store is a pretty high-end lingerie boutique, it's a steal.

3. C. O. Bigelow Rose Salve No. 012 (bought at Bath & Body Works)

I am never getting another lip balm for night, ever. I love this stuff so much. There isn't much to say, except it's everything you can hope for in a lip balm. It smells so elegant, has a beautiful sheer pink pigment, goes on super smooth, stays on your lips for hours, and moisturizes out of this world. And what's more? You can use it for rough patches on your skin, your cuticles, even as a heavy-duty face salve like in the winter or something, which makes it totally worth the $5. My only issue is that it comes in a pot instead of a stick or a tube (which makes sense because of its multi uses) but I'm just not a big fan of pots because they're hard to get open and you have to get your finger all sullied :/ however, I usually just rub what's left into my cuticles so it's perf. 

MUSIC

1. Lights

I just found this artist a few days ago, but I think I'm in love. Her songs remind me a bit like some Florence + The Machine songs only on some acid. It has techno undertones, so I guess you can call it sync pop? Is that a thing people call sounds? iS THAT A THING?? Anyway, I would highly suggest you check out her album Siberia, and my favorite song so far is Flux and Flow

2. Blackmill

Most of their songs are so hecka chill, and I would compare them closely to Late Night Alumni. I love the mood their music gives, and it seems like something you would listen to in California light life or something, I don't know. I would also compare some of their songs to Lindsey Stirlings original songs like 'Crystallize' or 'Elements', so if you're fan of those two, I would check Blackmill out. My favorite songs is Let it Be ^^

3. Bow Wow Wow

I've loved Bow Wow Wow for a  long time, but I've never mentioned them in a favorites for who knows why, so I thought it was about time! They were an English 80's new wave band that has inspired a lot of the music of bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers, and inspired one of the more famous RHCP lines, "Swimming in the sound of Bow Wow Wow". Their songs have content about the time period of the UK in the 1980's as well as the kind of grunge pop that was hella popular, mixed with Asian musical influences (the lead singer Annabella was born in Burma) as well as various African influences from some of the other members. I love listening to them to get happy and just feel generally cool, and my favorite songs are Aphrodisiac, Fools Rush In, and I Want Candy.

4. Siouxie and the Banshees

I feel like everyone needs to hear at least one Siouxie and the Banshees song, because they're just a really important band. Also, they're really good ^u^. They were (also) an English band created in 1976 reminiscent of Velvet Underground, and they are considered "a form of post-punk era discord full of daring rhythmic and sonic experimentation" that combined aspects of pop and avant-garde. They also were the foundation for the gothic genre (the old school kind, not to be confused with the modern subculture that came about with the character 'Crow' and the screamo genre ^^)  and inspired contemporaries like The Cure and The Psychedelic Furs (AND WHO DOESN'T LIKE THEM). Souixie Sioux's songs are just really cute okay? My favorites are Hong Kong Garden, Spellbound, and Night Shift

T.V SHOWS 


CAN I JUST. I highly recommend this anime, but let me just say that I am officially giving this the trigger warning it should have had at the beginning of the first episode. So: this anime contains very graphic death scenes, frightening images, blood, gore, and heartbreaking content. So if any of this stuff makes you uncomfortable or triggers you in any way, I would steer clear of this anime ^^. I had heard a lot about it, and after no consideration at all (because lets be real), I binge watched half the show. Which I do not recommend. Because it upset my stomach. Again, this show is very heavy in both its emotional themes and graphic content, so watching more than ten episodes is something I wouldn't condone. I would also recommend a happier entertainment at hand to take breaks every few episodes, because even though I wanted to continue and watch a lot in a row, I needed to LITERALLY TAKE A STEP BACK. But really, I love this show, and I'm very dedicated to the  characters (that have survived. Currently still getting over deaths. Check back soon) and the plot is very enthralling, creative, and just genuinely a great idea that is executed beautifully with an art style that some people don't like, but I personally think gives that much more to the mood of the show. 


OMG. THIS SHOW. I am so in love. It's a netflix original about a bunch of lesbians in jail getting into shenanigans, and things get hella real hella fast, aND IT IS SO GOOD. I spiritually identify with the main character Piper, but what makes this show great is that you can find a part of yourself in every one of those amazing women. I also like how they don't make them flawless as part of gender stereotypes (like the girls in Lost having hairless legs and looking perfectly tousled). Like, these girls look rough. Some have sunken eyes, some have shaved hair, or bloodshot eyes, or neck tattoos, stained teeth. PLUS THEY AREN'T FETISHIZED AND/OR MADE FUN OF FOR THEIR SEXUALITY. WHOA. WOW. You just need to watch it, k? 

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So that's the end of my March Favorites! I'm really excited to share these with you, because they're all really great, and you will love them! I recommend ALL OF THEM IMMEDIATELY (except SNK; please consider your own situation before diving in, okay? I suggest a viewing buddy if you want to watch it but are cautious ^^). Kisses from me! <3


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Top Ten Underrated "Children's" Movies

Don't get me wrong, I loved Disney. I have seen literally every animated Disney movie, and many of the live-action ones. However, my family had a penchant for introducing me to highly obscure children's movies, mostly produced in the 1980's (because that seemed like a great time for animators to just blaze their own trails and do their thing, which obviously didn't work out so well, because I think I'm one of the only people who actually remember them). A lot of you will probably recognize one or two of these as cult classics or really weird movies you once saw on a single digit channel at three in the morning. 

Yes, those.

I think after you know that these movies shaped who I am today, A lot about my personality will start to make more sense. Or raise more questions. (These are in no particular order, by the way. I couldn't possibly rate them! However, I included #7 just to talk about it and its relation to children's movies/my childhood, and this movie can actually be triggering for some)

1. Time Bandits(1981)


I've seen this movie about twenty times, and I still don't fully understand. A young boy, Kevin (I loved Kevin, man), accidentally gets tangled up in a time-travelling adventure with treasure-hunting dwarves who have "borrowed" a map of the Universe's various time holes from The Supreme Being (no, not God). They meet amazing people from history, such as Agamemnon (PLAYED BY SEAN CONNERY FOR SOME REASON), Napoleon, and Robin Hood, and end up on the Titanic for a bit as well. In addition, they go into phantasmagorical worlds with tyrannical kings, and a terrifying giant which rattled me a bit tbh. Throughout the movie, The Evil Genius is trying to get his hands on the map as well and use it for sinister (well, more sinister) means. This movie doesn't get nearly enough recognition as some of its peers, like the Labyrinth (which, I'm sorry to argue, isn't that good of a movie to me), and I would highly recommend watching it, even though I actually highly recommend watching all the ones I'm going to list. It takes you away, much like the next two I'm going to mention,  and it's a bit like the familiar Peter Pan, only the pirates are the main characters. 

2. Dark Crystal (1982)


You cannot argue: Dark Crystal is Jim Henson's darkest story line EVER. I never really liked the muppets, because I wasn't exposed to it, but this was my uncle's favorite movie of all time, and it's the only Jim Henson I really know. This is another one that I can't really explain. It's set in another planet, in ancient times. A thousand years ago, the mysterious Dark Crystal was damaged by one of the Urskeks, an ancient race, and it began an age of chaos. The Skeksis, an evil race of grotesque lizard-birds now rule the fantastic world with an iron claw and shroud the world in darkness. Meanwhile, the orphan Jen, a humanoid Gelfling, is raised away from the world in the forests by a group of old peace-loving wizards called the Mystics, who raised him to know that there used to be a world before the Skeksis. Once the leader dies and tells Jen about the Dark Crystal, he embarks on a journey to find the missing shard of the Dark Crystal, which gives the Skeksis their powers, to restore light in the universe. He meets amazing people along the way, such as the Keeper of Secrets Aughra, and Kira, another Gelfling. I know, it sounds like a trip, but I would absulutely love it if you would try out this movie; it's fantasical, dark, and rife with loss and redemption. Definitely not exactly a children's movie, but that's never stopped my parents before.

3. The NeverEnding Story (1984)


Many of you already know this movie, and recognize it as a 'cult classic' film, much like Labyrinth. Bastian, a young boy who is tired of being bullied, goes into a bookstore and finds an ancient storybook. The shopkeeper tells him that the book can be dangerous, but Bastian steals the book anyway (as you do) and begins to read it in his attic where he is drawn into the magical, war-torn land of Fantasia, which desperately needs a hero to save it from destruction. One of the most famous friends he meets along the way is Falcor, the gentle Dog Dragon who is basically the most chill character in the entire movie. I mean, look at that face:


(PS If you don't let yourself get terrified by the Uncanny Valley-esque special effects, you will only be slightly uncomfortable as a result). 

4. The Secret of N.I.M.H (1982)


This movie messed me up. SO much. It was a great movie watching it as a child, but as an older person, I can see why my parents loved it, and why it is just so disturbing. The plot is that Mrs. Frisby is a mouse that lives in a garden, and raises her children by herself after her husband's death. Her son Timothy falls deathly ill right before the family has to move for crop season, and it's a race against the clock to find a cure before either her son dies or the whole family does at the hands of the farmer. The Great Owl advises her to visit a group of mysterious rats who live beneath a rose bush on the farm, and upon visiting, she meets Nicodemus, the wise leader of the rats, and Justin, a friendly rat who immediately becomes attached to her. Here is the twisted part: she soon discovers that the rats, along with her late husband, were part of a series of volatile experiments at a facility called N.I.M.H (the National Institute of Mental Health). The rats possess off-the-charts intelligence, allowing them to read and understand complex mechanics. A battle of dominance between the rats ensues as to whether they should leave the rosebush with Mrs. Frisby and live away from the humans or stay. Literally, THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A CHILDREN'S MOVIE. And yet, it features governmental experiments which render these rats super-intelligent and jaded with humanity, establish their own heirarchy, and then later feature a faction war between the rebels who want to take over and probably destroy the humans of N.I.M.H. Whether you think this is an okay kids' movie or not, it's a must-see for people who like psychology or the effects of experimentation and sociology.

 5. Ferngully: The Last Rainforest (1992)


Now this, is actually something you could actually feel decent about giving to your children without them being traumatized. Wow, what a change from the other movies!! In this movie, the fairy people of the rain forest Ferngully have never seen a human before, but when the fairy princess Chrysta sees one, Zak, she accidentally shrinks him down to her size. The the trouble is, Zak was one of the loggers who came to cut down Ferngully. And as he's having his own adventure, the rest of his logging team decides to cut down the oldest tree in the forest, which just HAPPENED to be large, twisted, and slightly oozing black oil. When they cut it down, it frees Hexxus, an evil creature who once tried to destroy Ferngully and was imprisoned in the tree for his chaotic ways. This movie is so beautiful in the setting and the animation, and beyond that, it has a really nice, relatable message to kids about the importance of the environment and the rain forests. One of the things movie makers struggle with when they want to send a big message to kids is that it usually completely goes over their heads (ie, Wall-E or Happy Feet) and mainly hits the older audiences. Ferngully does such an amazing job, because it gets you to really see the crisis with the rain forests without getting really dark and momentarily scaring kids (Happy Feet) or creating an apocalyptic future that only adults will get the gravity of (Wall-E).

6. Black Cauldron (1985)


Yes, it is a Disney movie. Sadly, though, that doesn't mean it's a well-known staple in everyone's childhood. On the contrary, this is by far the least popular animated Disney movies, and barely anyone remembers it. I can sort of understand why it wasn't as successful, because it was pretty scary. It wasn't overly scary, but you see the other movies I've seen, so it isn't a stretch to say I was mostly desensitized at a young age. Even so, The Horned King is still pretty terrifying to me, and his castle isn't too far behind. I mean, look at that.



Okay, so you can't really tell and you have no reason to trust me on this, but my heart is siezing up, and I am getting short of breath, just from looking up Horned King on Google Images. I can't handle him. I can't deal with him, and I don't want to. Anyway, the plot is this: In the medieval land of Prydain, a young man named Taran is tasked with caring for Hen Wen, a magical oracular pig (I know), who knows the location of the powerful Black cauldron, which has the power to reanimate the dead. This task Taran has isn't an easy one, because the Horned King will stop at nothing to find the Black Cauldron and reanimate his decaying army. His dragons kidnap Hen Wen and takes her to the castle. Taran follows, and meets up with a captured Princes Eilonwy, the bard Fflewddur (basically the best human character in this movie), and my role model in life, Gurgi. No one knows what Gurgi is, but it doesn't matter. Gurgi is everything. He is my religion, my life, my love. Oh, and Creature, the abused goblin servant of the Horned King, is probably the cutest thing ever, in a disgusting and pitiful way. Really, a classic.

7. Watership Down (1978)


NEVER LET YOUR KIDS WATCH THIS MOVIE I AM SERIOUS. LITERALLY, I AM TELLING YOU, IT WILL F*CK THEM UP. I DON'T USUALLY GET THIS CRASS, BUT IT REALLY F*CKED ME UP. I HAVE WAR FLASHBACKS FROM THIS MOVIE. I HAD A MILD FORM OF PTSD FOR A WHILE AFTER WATCHING THIS MOVIE WHEN I WAS 7. NEVER LET A CHILD WATCH THIS MOVIE. EVER.

Okay, have you got that in your head? Good. Now, onto the metacognitive. This movie was so mentally scarring for me, that I watched it once at my grandma's house a decade ago, and still remember it. But, I actually consider it one of the best war movies ever made. Even though it's about rabbits. I'm going to go directly for the official summary here: "Based upon Richard Adam's novel of the same title, this animated feature delves into the surprisingly violent world of a warren of rabbits as they seek to establish a new colony free of tyranny and human intervention. Frightening and bloody in some scenes. Not recommended for young children." Isn't that lovely. It's considered one of the most violent PG-rated movies ever created, and if it had been made now, it would be at least PG-13 (more likely R). It shows the grim 'reality' (in all truth, rabbits aren't like this with each other. However, it is more of a reality than some movies portray) that the rabbits face. Rabbits certainly don't battle to the death with each other, but many heartbreaking deaths in this movie are very real, such as being killed by dogs and traps, falcons and humans. To go more in depth, the storyline revolves around Fiver, a young rabbit who is a seer, and his loving brother Hazel. Fiver senses his warren will be destroyed soon, but when they fail to convince their leader to evacuate, they and a small band of others embark on a dangerous journey rife with danger from predators, humans, and even their own kind. What is left of their group eventually finds a peaceful home in Watership Down, but problems arise with a neighboring warren called Efrafa, which is a police state lead by the dangerous and insane General Woundwart. Other themes include religion and death personified as the Black Rabbit of Inle. Yeah, there is so much death that it needs the character Death. I don't want to talk about this movie anymore, because I count it as one of the scariest movies I have ever seen.



8. The Witches (1990)


Thank god, lets get back to something a little nicer. This movie still deals in things with villians and things that go bump in the night, and like most of these movies, it could be a little frightening for a young child (though someone 10 and up, speaking generally, would be totally fine with this movie). Its about a young boy who is taken to England with his grandmother. At the hotel they stay at, a group of witches have gathered to their queen to plot to rid the world of all children. When the witches find out the boy has been aware of their plans, they turn him and his friend at the hotel into mice, and they must defeat the witches from their furry states. It's just the right level of scary for a little kid who likes to be a little frightened, but giggle at the same time; I loved it, even though the witches' pension for poison and murder sort of made me uncomfortable. 

9. The Rescuers (1977)

I absolutely love this movie. Again, another Disney movie no one really remembers, but everyone should. It starts out at the UN building, and then we travel down below to a UN meeting with mice from all around the world, in their little meeting room!!!!!! IT IS SO ADORABLE, and they call themselves the Rescue Aid Society. When they address a message in a bottle, which is a call for help from a kidnapped girl named Penny, the brave Hungarian representative Bianca (one of my favorite characters ever) and her chosen partner, the shy janitor Bernard, set out to the Devil's Bayou where poor Penny is being forced by her kidnapper Madame Medusa to go down into a dangerous pirate cave to find the Devil's Eye, a huge diamond that will make her rich. I love this movie. *sigh*

10. An American Tail (1986)

 

I didn't know that this wasn't a popular movie until about three months ago, to be completely honest. I lived in a bubble. A BUBBLE. 
Anyway, this adorable movie (which features some subtle things about the hardships of immigration during the 19th-20th century) focuses on the Mousekowitz family, a russian mouse family who are going to a new life in America. However, getting off the ship, they get separated from their son Fievel, who is the main character. They thought that the land was without cats, and that was why people called it the Promise Land, but in reality, CATS ARE FREAKING EVERYWHERE. The movie is Fievel's adventures trying to find his family, meeting new friends (one of whom is the most adorable chubby cat ever), and facing discrimination from the American mice. Extended metaphor? Oh yes. I love it. 




FIN

Alright, there it is. The movies that have made me the imaginative, childish, eco-friendly, slightly morbid, and sometimes altogether terrifying girl I have come to be.

WATCH THEM ALL. JOIN ME.
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EXCEPT FOR WATERSHIP DOWN. DON'T WATCH THAT ONE.