Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Movie Moment: What's Your Number?

Although my expectations for What's Your Number? were pretty low, I still managed to be disappointed when the bf and I rented it last weekend.  The bf, on the other hand, had even lower expectations but said that it was better than he'd thought it'd be, generously adding that it "had its moments."

Maybe I'm just getting jaded.

Early in the movie Ally Darling (Anna Faris) gets fired from her marketing job, a gig about which, as we later discover, she was lukewarm, only to be confronted by a Marie Claire article on the bus ride home that proclaims she's slept with too many men (19) to land Mr. Right.  (I could digress into a diatribe about my love-hate relationship with women's magazines but will respectfully refrain, as this post already teeters on the precipice of sour).  Things go from the proverbial bad to worse as Ally is catapulted into her sister's bachelorette party, where she learns that she has indeed slept with more men than any of the other bridesmaids.  Thus disheartened, she jumps on the bar and vows that the next guy she sleeps with will be her future husband.  Fast forward to the next morning, which finds her in bed with her former boss, who's played by that ever-so-snarky antithesis of Mr. Right, Joel McHale.   

With nothing but time on her hands, unemployed Ally launches what can only be referred to as a full-fledged stalking mission in which she tries to track down each and every one of her ex-boyfriends to determine if there's one she may possibly have overlooked.  This in and of itself seemed bizarre to me, as I'm sure it did to the legions of women out there who want nothing more than to forever disappear from the purview of past loves.  Nevertheless, I willed myself to suspend disbelief so that I may better enjoy Ally and company's antics.  And by company I mean Colin (Chris Evans), Ally's hunky and often shirtless across-the-hall neighbor.  Even more promiscuous than Ally, Colin strikes the all-important balance between recklessness and safety.  He is, after all, the only person in Ally's life who thinks that she can turn her passion for sculpting quirky characters into a career.  (Yes, folks, this is yet another movie in which the heroine is a frustrated, unappreciated artist whose spirit is cruelly crushed beneath the thumb of corporate America.  Or whatever the much less serious version of that is in the flawed, albeit highly addictive rom com genre.)  Yet even Colin's understanding ways do little to mask the lack of chemistry between him and Ally.  Sure, I wasn't expecting Notebook-caliber fireworks.  But I needed something to convince me that these two crazy kids would make it past the one-month mark.    

All criticism aside, What's Your Number? is nuanced by some highlights (as so wisely credenced by the bf).  Andy Samberg is hilarious as Ally's first lover, professional puppeteer Gerry Perry, and Faris's real-life husband Chris Pratt enjoys what may be the movie's funniest moment as the fat-suit-wearing Disgusting Donald.  Finally, David Annable of "Brothers and Sisters" fame makes an appearance as the one that got away (cue Katy Perry).  His character is one-dimensional and wooden, but I like David Annable, so I was willing to let that slide.  Just as my love for romantic comedies allowed the rest of this stuff to slide so I could enjoy a side of bubblegum with my chicken Caesar salad.   

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Etsy Favorites: It's a Jungle Out There . . .

 Jungle Safari Print, Alice in Paris

 Lion Knitted Fingerless Gloves, Whitney's Whimsies

Colorful Scarlet Macaw Parrot Pin, Stitches and Kisses 

King of the Jungle Pink Lion Tote, Dozy Doats Totes

 Jungle Parrots Throw Pillow, Chantal Marie Living

Quilted Animal Print Tote Bag, Nicole Boylan

. . . so why not feather your nest (and yourself!) with a bunch of bright new somethings?  Whether it be a pair of gloves bedecked with a friendly face or a bag bathed in a ferocious print, jungle-inspired pieces make every day an adventure.  Ready, set, embark on your style safari! 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Something New and Sparkly: Coral Commotion

Fabulous Felt Purple Shapes Necklace

Top: Poof, Boscov's
Skirt: Xhilaration, Target
Shoes: Alloy
Bag: Chinese Laundry, JCPenney
Leggings: Marshalls
Hat: JCPenney
Bangles: JCPenney
Ring: JCPenney

Not quite orange and not quite pink, coral can be demure or daring depending on what you do with it.  I went in the direction of daring with this sweater, mixing it with a commotion of leopard, tribal, and geometric elements.  I'm especially excited about my new Fabulous Felt Purple Shapes Necklace.  Although I've loved using felt to fashion food-, foliage-, and feminine-themed necklaces, I find myself delving ever deeper into the world of shapes.  I'm drawn to their graphic aesthetic, 1980s edge, and capacity for color.  And also to their resemblance to gummy candy. 

Book Report: Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy

It's always exciting when one of your favorite authors comes out with a new book.  So, I was delighted when I saw this Maeve Binchy paperback peering out at me at the grocery store.  The title, Minding Frankie, wasn't new to me, as I'd bookmarked the hardback version on Amazon and had had a chance to form some ideas about the story.  I'd envisioned a nostalgic saga set in the 1950s and 1960s about a single mother raising a little boy in an Irish village.  They'd have their struggles, but the laughter would outweigh the tears, and all would be well in the end. 

The real story turned out to be much the same in tone if not detail.  Minding Frankie is set in present-day Dublin and stars a recovering alcoholic, Noel Lynch, whose casual ex-girlfriend tells him that she's dying and pregnant with his daughter.  Noel is a serious but directionless sort, a one-time artist with a dead-end job who, at thirty, still lives with his parents.  (I pictured him as Joseph Gordon-Levitt.)  The story had the potential to be a downer, but because this is a Binchy book, I knew that bright beginnings were on the horizon.  Which is to say that Noel, albeit reluctantly, takes on the baby girl.  And moves into his own apartment.  And enrolls in college.  And acquires a roommate in the form of the warm but flighty Lisa Kelly.  (I pictured her as Katherine Heigl.)  As with all of Binchy's novels, an amusing cast of characters is threaded throughout the plot.  Some are granted happy endings; others require lots of tissues.  But all are interesting and enrich Noel and Frankie's story.

Although I had the ending pegged as predictable, it proved to be more realistic than the tidy stock finale I had in mind.  I appreciated this on an intellectual level but was a little disappointed emotionally.  This fly in the ointment notwithstanding, I enjoyed Minding Frankie.  It was cozy and comforting and kind, all the things I've come to expect from Binchy.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Jack Handey Quote of the Week

"Instead of a trap door, what about a trap window?  The guy looks out, and if he leans too far, he falls out.  Wait.  I guess that's like a regular window."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Etsy Buy: My Billowing Pillow Collection

How cute is this Happy Apple Pillow from Bubbledog?  I'd bought the orange (also from Bubbledog) at a craft show a few years back and just knew I had to have its equally cheery mate.  It arrived with a free gift of three fruit-themed buttons and now keeps watch on my living room bench.  Decor doesn't get much sweeter than that :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Something New and Sparkly: Yikes Stripes

Fabulous Felt Blue Diamonds Necklace

Top: Olsenboye, JCPenney
Skirt: Xhilaration, Target
Shoes: Anne Michelle, Barefeet Shoes
Bag: Candie's, Kohl's
Hat: Kohl's

What is it about a one-sleeved top?  Is it its devil-may-care silent scream, "So what if I'm asymmetrical?"  Or maybe its flagrant disregard for balanced protection from the elements?  Or perhaps its nostalgic (near) nod to "The Flintstones?"  Whatever it is, I like it, especially in fiery stripes! 

This top served as the perfect backdrop for a geometric felt bib.  I got so excited that I made two versions: the asymmetrical and slightly unpolished one you see displayed with the outfit (for me to keep), and the slightly more restrained Fabulous Felt Blue Diamonds number for my shop.  Which do you prefer?          

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Etsy Favorites: Outer Space Case

 Wooden Solar System Puzzle, Kid Puzzles

 Crochet Amigurumi Alien, Wigglysee Crocheted Toys

Astral Witch Space Fantasy Art, Art by Sarada 

Magellanic Cloud Hubble Space Print Skirt, Shadow Play NYC

 Vintage Rocket Toy Print, Luvin Every Minute

 Spaced Out Charm Necklace, Beijo Brasil

 Children's Outer Space Wall Decal, evgieNev

 Galaxy Star Rainbow Necklace, The Tamerlane

 Outer Space Nails, Filthy Cute Boutique

Berry Blast UFO Soap Set, LoveLee Soaps

I've always found the concept of outer space to be terrifying.  Still, there's something uplifting about it, too.  Today's creations capture a galaxy's worth of the good stuff in dazzling color.  From wall art to soap to nail art to toys, each piece delivers heart and humor to give us the moon.   

Something New and Sparkly: C is for Cookie

Fabulous Felt Cookie Monster Necklace

Tee: So, Kohl's
Skirt: Xhilaration, Target
Shoes: Material Girl, Macy's
Bag: Bisou Bisou, JCPenney
Hat: Apt. 9., Kohl's

. . . and that's good enough for me!  Whether it comes from kid-friendly Keebler or the more polished Pepperidge Farm, a cookie always hits the spot.  So why not top off a deliciously diva-worthy ensemble with a dose of the dough?       

Friday, January 20, 2012

Eighties Extravaganza

Without even trying, I've managed to amass a bunch of 1980s-inspired clothes.  It's all such a treat for the eyes, such a blast of bubblegum bliss (yep, I just typed that), that I couldn't help but post it here for your viewing pleasure. 

Above three skirts: Material Girl, Macy's

Above three skirts: Xhilaration, Target

Above three sweaters: Poof, Boscov's

Olsenboye, JCPenney

Material Girl, Macy's

A rare guest appearance by me in what the bf has dubbed as the "Tony the Tiger skirt"

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Jack Handey Quote of the Week

"Whenever you read a good book, it's like the author is right there, in the room, talking to you, which is why I don't like to read good books."

Monday, January 16, 2012

Book Report: Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me

Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me is an odd book.  But I knew that going in. That's because it wasn't written by Handler herself, but is rather a collection of anecdotes penned by her nearest and dearest.  Each sap expresses outrage at being the victim of one of Chelsea's pranks, then backpedals by insisting that such treatment only proves the mettle of her love.  Each storyteller is also quick to add that the vacations and cash that Chelsea lavishes as consolation prizes aren't bad either.  So, reading Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me was like reading the outpourings of in-crowd kids simultaneously denouncing and revering their queen bee.  Which was entertaining in a fly-on-the-wall Mean Girls sort of way.  But mostly it made me glad I wasn't one of them.

Back when I posted about Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), I listed some of Kaling's alternate book titles, one of which was, "So, You've Just Finished Chelsea Handler's Book, Now What?"  Now that I've read both of them, back to back, I can in good conscience say that Kaling penned the far funnier memoir.  Now, I realize this isn't completely fair because Handler didn't write this book pe se (and I did so enjoy Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea).  Even so, I prefer Kaling's style.  Her benign but trenchant humor makes Handler come off as a menace.  A generous menace mind you, but a menace nonetheless.

Apples and oranges, people.  Apples and oranges.   

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Book Report (sort of): Geeky Dreamboats: A Celebration by Sarah O'Brien and Lacey Soslow

When I saw this Geeky Dreamboats: A Celebration book on Fred Flare, I knew I had to have it.  So when I opened it on my birthday last weekend, I was pleased as punch.  Once I started leafing through it I found it was - gasp - even funnier than I could have imagined.  Chock-full of favorites such as Michael Cera, Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, Topher Grace, Adam Brody, Conan O'Brien, John Krasinski, and Paul Rudd (my personal favorite), this nearly pocket-sized who's who of nerdy knights in shining armor delivers a refreshingly quirky perspective on what makes a dude drool-worthy. 

Of course, some of the selections may raise an eyebrow.  But as O'Brien and Soslow explain, "Some of these cuties may appear a little dreamier than geeky or a little geekier than dreamy, but remember, the prevailing theme here is the beautiful and poetic combination that makes up the sexy nerd.  Not everyone strikes that perfect balance, but we've found a slew of cuties who come pretty close, and we've ranked their appeal with our trusty Geekboat Meter." (Introduction)  Well put, ladies. 

Whether you're thirteen or thirty, Geeky Dreamboats: A Celebration is sure to earn a top spot on your list of guilty pleasures.             

Friday, January 13, 2012

Etsy Favorites: Butterfly in the Sky . . .

 Digital Butterfly JPEG, Pixel Twister

 Butterfly Stockings, Banana and Cherries

 Paper Butterfly Fantasy Necklace, Nurit Spiegel

 Monarch Butterflies With Velma, Schin

Rainbow Butterfly Quilted Paper Pendant, Filigree Delights

". . . I can go twice as high.  Take a look, it's in a book, a reading rainbow."

How great was that show?  Not to mention that song.  You know, it wasn't until "Reading Rainbow" host LeVar Burton guest starred on "Community" that I realized he was also that guy with the glasses (who I now know to be Geordi La Forge) on "Star Trek: Next Generation."  

Now that that recollection is out of the way, we can move on to our winged ones.  Let's face it, the butterfly tattoo is a cliché for a reason.  People love butterflies.  And why not?  They flit through the sky on gossamer wings, inspiring us with their beauty and freedom.  This week's Etsy pieces capture this spirit with equal parts charm and edge, challenging us to spread our wings and take flight.  (Metaphorically, that is.  I'm in no way advocating taking to the skies without the aid of an airplane.)