Monday, September 26, 2016

Carnival Meats and (Un) Savory Treats: Food Fight or Flight on the Midway






Dress: Modcloth
Blouse: Kohl's
Shoes: Charles Albert, Alloy
Bag: Xhilaration, Target
Sunglasses: Michaels







Tee: Marshalls
Shorts: ELLE, Kohl's
Shoes: Betseyville, Macy's
Belt: Apt. 9, Kohl's






Dress: Modcloth
Top: XOXO, Macy's
Belt: Marshalls
Shoes: Not Rated, DSW
Bag: Etsy, Eleven Peacocks
Sunglasses: Kohl's







Tee: Merona, Target
Shorts: ELLE, Kohl's
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Belt: Apt. 9, Kohl's
Sunglasses: Candie's, Kohl's





Ah, the carnival.  That bastion of horror and glamour catered by corn dogs and deep-fried everything.  I was inspired by its strange, seedy splendor when I made this week's stuff, buoyed up by some leftover summer snack wagon (for this was no hallowed hipster food truck) photos.  My favorites are the two bags, castoffs from my closet that I prettied up with paint and rhinestones.  The Carnival Candy one reminds me of the Gravitron because its rows of rhinestones look like the Grav's lights against the stark white of that flying saucer-like vessel.  (Not that I'd ever ride such a beast, the Tilt-a-Whirl being far more my speed.)  To really seal in those carnival juices, this bag and its pastel twin also each sport an explosion of -- Flash Charms!  Yes, it's Flash Charms, Flash Charms, and more Flash Charms, now enough to open a shop up on Ebay.  But enough about that; time to get to the meat of the matter.

Last week, I referenced the classic and dignified novels of Agatha Christie.  This week . . . I'm going to talk about Sausage Party.  An animated raunch-fest from the minds of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, it's about what happens when anthropomorphic supermarket items discover their fate when someone buys them -- which is to say, that instead of going to paradise as they've been told, they get eaten.  As premises go, it's kind of a jarring one, so much so that I was thankful not to be chomping on popcorn or Junior Mints at the time.  Luckily, the voice-over cast is entertaining and helps to take the edge off.  It includes Jonah Hill, James Franco, Micheal Cera, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, Craig Robertson, Paul Rudd, and . . . Ed Norton?  What's he doing slumming it here?  Apparently, playing the Hulk back in 2008 was his gateway drug to more lowbrow fare.  Also puzzling, Selma Hayek.

No, this ain't no Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, a title, incidentally, I find much more offensive than Sausage Party, what with its balls of sauce-covered meat falling out of the sky and ruining everyone's outfits.  This one's not for the kiddies, a message my local theater sought to drive home with hand-written signs just in case the movie poster of a hot dog grinning under the words "a hero will rise" didn't send the message.  That having been said, there's a good, old-fashioned boy-meets-girl story sandwiched somewhere deep in here.  Seth Rogen and Kristen Wiig reprise their roles as star-crossed lovers in yet another bizarre what's-the-meaning-of-life-anyway movie (I refer, of course, to Paul, which was headlined by an extraterrestrial instead of foul-mouthed food).  Rogen is Frank, the aforementioned hot dog, and Wiig is Brenda -- what else? -- a hot dog bun.  Now, this movie is weird.  Like, weirder than Vanilla Sky weird, and that starred Tom Cruise.  For one thing, it employs a strange juxtaposition of cute and grotesque imagery.  Like Garbage Pail kids or Inside Out Boy from "PeeWee's Playhouse" -- only X-rated.  Also, you know how we all sometimes wonder if aliens will take over the world and eat us?  Well, this is like that, only with cartoons and cursing.  

As ever, a high point for me was Michael Cera.  (Sorry Paul Rudd, but your mean geek grocery store cashier just didn't do it for me.)  Ever the self-deprecating beta in a crowd of crude alphas, he plays Barry, the runty and misshapen hot dog who -- spoiler alert -- not only defies death, but gets the girl -- or, in this case, the smushed hot dog bun.  

Gross-outs and nihilistic worldview aside, it cannot be denied that Sausage Party asks some of life's most probing questions: What happens when we die?  Is anarchy ever the answer?  Will my Twinkies ever talk to me?  And, of course, is Sausage Party a trenchant social satire or just the by-product of a hallucinogenic spree?  

The movie plays at answering this by sending Frank and friends through a magic portal at the end, making us think, wait, maybe there is something out there after all.  Then, before we can start reading too much into it, Frank cheerfully reminds us, hey, it's just a cartoon!

I've heard they say the same about SpongeBob.      

Monday, September 19, 2016

Charm Farm Harvest: Falling for Flash Charms (Again) and Playing the Scotland Yard Card






Top: Lily White, Target
Pants:Xhilaration,  Target
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: Xhilaration, Target
Belt: B Fabulous
Sunglasses: J. C. Penney's






Top: So, Kohl's
Skirt: Candie's, Kohl's
Shoes: Chinese Laundry, DSW
Bag: Xhilaration, Target
Belt: Wet Seal
Sunglasses: J. C. Penney's






Top: Decree, J. C. Penney's
Skirt: Xhilaration, Target
Shoes: Charles Albert, Alloy
Bag: Nine West, Ross
Belt: Wet Seal
Sunglasses: Rampage, Boscov's






Top: Merona, Kohl's
Skirt: Xhilaration, Kohl's
Shoes: Guess, DSW
Bag: Gifted
Sunglasses: Cloud Nine, Ocean City boardwalk

I'd like to begin this post by saying that the original was very different.  I had one lone necklace, and I called it Far East Eats instead of Far East Feast.  The post itself was called Dress to Impress on the Orient Express, Only This Time Without the Murder.  It went like this:

Hercule Poirot used his little gray cells to see cases in black and white to catch the killers -- but even he never saw spots like these (see exhibit A, outfit #1).  Unless they were spots of tea, of course, which works for both England and China, and, don't you know it, is served in china, too. (Cue over-zealous laugh track).

Then, somewhat inelegantly:

Oh, Agatha (Christie).  It's hard to believe that your name was once the height of sophistication and glamour, along with those of your besties Gertrude and Mildred.  I mean, Mildred has the word "dread" right in it.  (Laugh track gets a little weaker).

And, finally:

Whether it's mu shu, pu pu, or even just those tasty if enigmatic fortune cookies (because "Good luck!" isn't an optimistic prediction, but rather something you say to your cat sitter when you leave her with your near-rabid Fluffy), chances are, there's at least one morsel of Chinese takeout that tickles your taste buds.  (Laugh track burps and squeaks out "excuse me" before petering out altogether).

Needless to say, these aren't the sharpest of hooks.  And not just because, as the husband pointed out, naming that necklace Far East Eats made it sound like Mr. Panda was part of the entree (a sad commentary, especially as his flip side sweetly entreats us all to "Be Kind").  Thankfully, I opted to make three other thematic charmers, requiring me to expand my storytelling scope.  Now we've got nature (bumblebees, birds, bugs, and butterflies!), travel to exotic lands (which may or may not include Asia but probably does given that I used the same aesthetically eastern chain charm in the center), and make-out-worthy makeup (love to love you, love potion #9).  Talk about a crop of cute chaos!  Because these necklaces aren't just made up of Flash Charms.  Oh no, siree bob.  This time I got real fancy, adding metal, enamel, and rhinestone-encrusted charms to the mix before embellishing the Flash Charms with rhinestones and a few cabs and crystals.  The result is a (sometimes) tangled mass of magical madness, an eclectic elegy (no, that's a poem about death; murder mysteries get off my mind!), er, ode to the 1980s and all that's good and pure about excess.

That said, our pal Poirot was a natty, not to mention ostentatious, dresser.  Who may (hey, one never knows) be interested in and covetous of what the Trove has on tap.  

Take heart, dear Hercule; I'll make you a hatband.  

Monday, September 5, 2016

Stars and Stripes and Boldface Types: Labor Day Denim and Day Glo





Top: Bisou Bisou, J. C. Penney's
Bralette: Boscov's
Jeans: Arizona Jeans, J. C. Penney's
Shoes: Guess, DSW
Bag: Marshalls
Belt: Wet Seal
Sunglasses: Michaels






Dress: Bisou Bisou, J. C. Penney's
Shoes: Ami Clubwear 
Bag: Nine West, Marshalls
Jacket: Gap Outlet
Belt: B Fabulous
Sunglasses: Michaels






Top: Kohl's
Jeans: Arizona Jeans
Shoes: Payless
Bag: Marshalls
Belt: Wet Seal
Sunglasses: Michaels

Labor Day is always a sad affair, and this year was no exception (even if South Jersey did escape tropical storm warnings with nary a drop of precipitation).  Still, it was nice to have the day to reflect and reminisce and enjoy one last Rita's gelati.  To that end, this week's necklaces are pretty simple.

I restrung oldie but goodie I Heart the 1980s Necklace using beautiful yellow gumballs, then embellished twin banana-hued bibs that I found at Kohl's.  As for the outfits, I incorporated a little denim in honor of the great men and women who toiled away on our farms and railroads.  ('Cause nothing says blue collar hero like club kid clutches and colorblock heels).  In that vein, here's a shout-out to modern-day Trader Joe's workers, who wordsmith all manner of promotional whimsy:

 I sure am!  But not as glad as I am that you made this sign :)

 
Full disclosure: this pic has nothing to do with Trader Joe's, just my kitchen counter.  Although it is (and I apologize for this) the fruit of my photography labor.     

Is it just me, or does this banana look angry?  Hope this isn't his profile pic . . .  

Jeans aside, my favorite piece of clothing in this post is the bold black and white striped blouse in ensemble number three.  A little bit gangster, a little bit Beetlejuice, it's that rare double agent of staid wardrobe basic and intrepid scene-stealer.  I can't wait to throw it on over a graphic tee and mini, layer it under a dress, and tie it at the waist with a pair of capris.  Talk about versatile!  If there's a harder working, washing machine-safe, reasonably-priced shirt out there, then I've yet to see it. 

So props to you, polyester.  Because working the runway (er, Kohl's juniors department display) sure beats working on the railroad all the livelong day.