Sunday, December 30, 2012

At the Movies: This is 40

This isn't forty, but a random Brigantine sunset that I've decided to use in lieu of a movie poster because, as a reformed blogger, I no longer post purloined pictures.  (That having been said, I'm still not a reformed moviegoer, having smuggled Christmas-gifted chocolate-covered potato chips into the theater last night.)  Besides being beautiful, this sunset has that contemplative aura that accompanies all such photographs of natural phenomena.  Which makes it the perfect entree to a post about movie musing.

Judd Apatow's self-proclaimed "sort of sequel" to Knocked Up, This is 40 is the story of Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann), the always-caustic but once upwardly mobile couple with whom we first became acquainted in the background of Ben and Alison's baby drama.  A far cry from the affluent family that once sheltered Alison in its guest house, the troubled twosome and their two daughters weather financial problems complicated by relationship problems complicated by parent problems complicated by parenting problems complicated by the problems that come with the big 40.  The results are often more cutting than comic, straddling the murky middle ground between Apatow's raucous Knocked Up and his bleak Funny People. Even so, This is 40 emerges as the more satisfying and multi-faceted movie.

Debbie runs a clothing boutique from which she suspects her employees are stealing, and Pete has left the safe world of Sony to start his own (struggling) retro rock label.  But unlike the authors of idealistic destinies that run rampant in other kinds of movies, Pete and Debbie pay the price for their entrepreneurial existence and are so maxed out that they're in danger of losing their house.  It is this conflict, as well as finding time to be a couple in addition to parents, that is at the heart of this dark comedy, not the lure of infidelity, as in similarly genred but far less trenchant flicks such as The Change-up and Hall Pass.          

As a thirty-year-old, not-quite-yet-married woman without kids, I won't pretend to be on intimate terms with Debbie's issues.  But I can say that they seemed real and disturbing and that despite my discomfort in witnessing them, I appreciated being exposed to a love story that was not sugar-coated.  Unlike your garden variety romantic comedy, This is 40 is about all the stuff that happens - and keeps happening - after the dust clears from the fairy tale wedding.    

Now that I've gotten all the serious stuff out of the way, I'd like to give a shout-out to Paul Rudd's hair.  It looks better than ever, even if his dad (a reprehensible mooch played by Albert Brooks) tells him to cut it.        

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Desserty and Flirty

Sweater: J. C. Penney's
Jeans: Marshalls
Shoes: Guess, DSW
Bag: Betseyville, J. C. Penney's

Dress: Macy's
Sweater: The Limited, Marshalls
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Scarf: J. C. Penney's

Top: Candie's, Kohl's
Camisole: Kohl's
Shoes: Barefeet Shoes
Bag: Gifted

Long live the splotch collage!  That's what I call this latest of necklace types I've been churning out.  I sold my first one yesterday, the terrifically tropical Time for Lime incarnation.  Just last night I discovered a whole boxful of candy wrappers and empty snack receptacles (all clean, of course!) and set aside the best of the bunch for today's splotch endeavors.    

Friday, December 28, 2012

It's a Merry Shoe Montage! And Some Sweaters

From left to right: Ami Clubwear; Rocket Dog, J. C. Penney's; Betseyville, J. C. Penney's; Worthington, J. C. Penney's

From left to right: Betseyville, J. C. Penney's; Rampage, Marshalls; Fergalicious, DSW

For me, tree trimming time is usually toe trimming time.  Which is to say that Christmas is a prime time for a) receiving shoes as gifts and b) buying shoes at post-Christmas sales.  Then again, in this montage, just three of the pairs were gifts, and none of them were acquired on that shopping day of days, December 26.  However, I did manage to snag one bargain, namely the gray, white, and turquoise striped sweater below.  It was just $7.00 at J. C. Penney's and was an especially sweet steal as it allowed me to achieve this (as the fiance would say) trifecta of tinsel-shot sweaters:      

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Color Me Happy

Turtleneck: Target
Tank: Mossimo, Target
Skirt: Abbey Dawn, Kohl's
Shoes: Rocket Dog, DSW
Bag: Bisou Bisou, J. C. Penney's

Dress: Olsenboye, J. C. Penney's
Shoes: Alloy
Bag: Delia's
Leggings: UK Style by French Connection for Sears

Sweater: Marshalls
Skirt: Abbey Dawn, Kohl's
Shoes: Dollhouse, Marshalls
Bag: Nahui Ollin
Jacket: Candie's, Kohl's

Not too long ago I was watching Yes, Man for the umpteenth time and was struck by this line from Zooey Deschanel's free-spirited Allison:

"The world's a playground! You know that when you are a kid, but somewhere along the way everyone forgets it."

I thought to myself, hey, there's a lot of truth to that.  We buy kids art sets and games designed to fuel their creativity only to squash those same impulses years later (cue "I won't grow up/I don't wanna wear a tie/Or a serious expression/In the middle of July").  And that's kind of sad.  So, in the spirit of fighting the sadness, I decided to crack open the (Lisa Frank!) coloring books I got as a gift last Christmas:  

Here's some of my handiwork:

I'm not ashamed to report that coloring proved to be a lot harder than I remembered, especially when trying to shoehorn the thick crayon points into the decidedly dainty spaces of the more detailed pictures (that Ms. Frank is a deceptively wily one).  But I have plenty of pages left, so there's hope that I can one day achieve the skill set of a five-year-old. Perhaps then the creativity will really be flowing.

In keeping with the whole coloring book theme, I've posted some rephotographed neckwear led by none other than the Crayon Box Corsage.     

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas to Poo

Top: Alloy
Skirt: Boscov's
Shoes: Betseyville, Macy's
Bag: Nine West, Boscov's

Top: Candie's, Kohl's
Skirt: Candie's, Kohl's
Shoes: Alloy
Bag: B Fabulous

Tee: Gifted
Skirt: Macy's
Shoes: Betseyville, J. C. Penney's
Bag: Nahui Ollin
Scarf: A. C. Moore

This isn't a post about Mr. Hankey.  It's about a Christmas gift I ordered from Fred Flare and the mix-up that ensued.  My correspondence with the famously kooky company says it best:

From: Me
To: Fred Flare
Subject: Order Mix-up


Today I received my Fred Flare shipment (order #_______), which was to include a copy of the book How to Poo at Work, item number BO8142.  However, although this item was listed on the invoice, a copy of What's Your Poo Telling You? was in the box instead. The book was meant to be a Christmas gift for _______, who would truly appreciate it as we always joke about the difficulty of doing one's business while on the job.  So, I was wondering what I need to do to get the correct book.  Do I need to send you a scan of the invoice and mail What's Your Poo Telling You? back first? Please let me know.  I'm hoping to receive How to Poo at Work before 12/25.

Thanks in advance for your help,

From: Fred Flare
To: Me
RE: Order Mix-up

Hi Me,

Thank you for your email.  I am so sorry for the mix-up in your order!  That should not have happened.  I will go ahead and have the correct book shipped out for you tomorrow.  There is no need to send the wrong book back to us… enjoy more “poo” on us ;)

Please let me know if there is anything else I could help you with. Have a great day and STAY CUTE!

Fred Flare Customer Service

I'm happy to report that How to Poo at Work arrived just two days later.  What's more, I get to gift poo times two.  Now, that's what I call customer service!     

Oh, and these are some (poo free!) poinsettia barrettes that I made.  I'll be proudly sporting the Fabulous Felt Pink Poinsettia's double tonight and the Fabulous Felt White Poinsettia's twin tomorrow.  

On that note, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!     

Sunday, December 23, 2012

They're Not All Pearls

Top: J. C. Penney's
Skirt: Kohl's
Cardigan: Mossimo, Target
Shoes: Candie's, Kohl's

Top: Candie's, Kohl's
Camisole: Casual Corner
Skirt: J. C. Penney's
Shoes: Miss Bisou, J. C. Penney's
Bag: Target 

Top: Marshalls
Skirt: Forever 21
Shoes: J. C. Penney's
Bag: B Fabulous

So said Thomas Haden Church's Mr. Griffith (otherwise known as the mechanic from "Wings"), to Emma Stone's Olive in Easy A.  Well, almost.  This is what he actually said, in reference to kids' obsession with social networking: 

"I don't know what your generation's fascination is with documenting your every thought . . . but I can assure you, they're not all diamonds. "Roman is having an OK day, and bought a Coke Zero at the gas station. Raise the roof." Who gives a rat's ass?" '
Predictably, this was Olive's reply: 

"He got a Coke Zero AGAIN? Ah, that Roman. Incorrigible."

I know all this because I was re-watching Easy A on TBS or FX or some such channel recently while crafting.  Unlike the musings of teenagers, these necklaces are all pearls.  Well, all fake pearls.  But they're authentically fun in their fakeness, and when it comes to gemstones, aren't those the best kind?  I was inspired to make the Purple Passion and Bashful Blossoms necklaces by this decorative box that once housed note cards:

That said, I'm getting a real kick out of turning trash into the proverbial treasure.  Today I had a Tastykake lemon pie (top that, Roman!), so you can expect to see a lemon-licious pendant in the near future.