Archive for February 2008

29 February 2008

Movies once so profound…now seem so…unprofound

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Movies

Okay so now that I’m feeling better, my blog posts should get better soon as well, but until then, I’m drawing on not-so-exciting things to share with you all. Please hold judgement as I would be more entertaining if I could.

Now, since I’ve been watching much more television than normal lately, I’ve started a notice a trend: Daytime television sucks (unless you watch soap operas)

So to bide my time, I’ve started reading more and taking comfort while ill in old movies that I enjoyed so much as a teenager. An example of this is Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, starring Kevin Costner and Christian Slater. The movie, released in 1991, was at the height of Christian Slater mania, which me and my friends were all caught up in.

Anyhow, when the movie was released, it was like a teenage girl’s dream. Heroes, villains, true love, it was enough to make any teenage girl go crazy (maybe not as much for Kevin Costner but still.) And who remembers that “power ballad” by Bryan Adams from the movie? Who didn’t dance to that at their prom or homecoming that year? Now, as I watch this movie nearly 17 years later…I’ve come to realize that the movie is…bad. You can tell now that dialogue was not the first thing on the producers minds and when the dialogue is not campy or badly written, it’s lacking some seriously plot holes. And imagine 1991 “special effects,” not exactly what it is today.

Even some of my old favorite movies, like Sixteen Candles and Goonies seem a bit…campy. How could I have been so enamored by these flicks? I’m sure some will take serious offense to me talking “smack” about these films, but admit there is some element to truth in it.

No matter what, I will still watch these movies when it’s on cable, but part of me will be groaning and rolling my eyes.

Now it’s time to go back to Dancing with Wolves. Apparently RCN cable is in a Costner phase this month.

27 February 2008

Acting my age and lessons from Tyra

By: Jessica B.

Since I’ve been sick, my daily adventures have been non-existent so blog topics have been a bit dry or donated from friends for me to showcase here once I have rested enough to sit up for a bit.

Before we get to tonight’s “lesson from Tyra,” I have noticed as I get older that I become more of a baby when I get sick. I like to think it’s because my parents doted me on me a lot while I was younger to make sure that I was comfortable, etc. This is not a bad thing, in fact given how sickly I was as a kid and teenager, it made it a lot easier to handle, but now that I live on my own, I find myself acting like a bigger child, especially in the throws of congestion and madness.

For example, I’m ashamed to say that I’ve done a few of the following things as an adult while being sick:

– Cried like a baby out of extreme frustration by myself and on the phone to others. Normally I can keep it together pretty well, but the emotions manifest themselves in tears…beyond my control

– Whimpered on the phone to my dad saying, “I don’t feel good! What are you going to do to make this better?”

– Given the pharmacist “Bambi” eyes to help speed up the process of filling my prescription

– Shared stories with the elderly women at Jewel-Osco, who are also filling prescriptions, about “aches and pains” in my back, knees, etc. They understand me

– Dramatically tossed tissues on the floor, hoping they’ll magically pick themselves up, only to find that I have to still do that later

– Mentally willed soup to make itself, only to find out that it doesn’t

I’m not proud of these things but I resolve to try and scratch a few of them off the list this year…or next. It’ll be part of my 5-year plan.

TV Commentary:
So tonight while resting, America’s Next Top Model was on and I cannot resist learning from Tyra how I should stand so that I look more “model” and not so “hoey.” Those are lessons that you cannot learn anywhere else.

It’s sad that this is the show’s 10th cycle and I have watched it slowly slide down the taste and stereotype scale.

ANTM now focuses solely on going for the “shock” value and not for actual quality, if that was ever a goal for the show. Whether it is product placement or a larger budget that has caused this demise, now it’s all about having “those” girls on the show for ratings. On ANTM there is always one girl who has a kid and misses him/her too much, the girl who was abused by her family or an ex-boyfriend or the bumpkin who is just amazed by the bright lights and big city. These women are on there to keep it “real” for us and generate sympathy but when I know what to expect, how am I supposed to feel for these girls? If anything, I just turn it into a game, guessing when each one will cry first and how often. It’s sad, but I still watch it almost every week, so I guess I’m just perpetuating the stereotype.

Plus next week on ANTM is the makeover show, and I l-o-v-e when the girls cry about getting their hair cut off or cut short. It’s enjoyable and fun to laugh along with.

26 February 2008

Romper Room? Not on my watch

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Fashion, shopping

So this is the first time today that I’ve moved from the couch or my room, where I’ve laid out like a beached whale waiting for the tide to come in. The ongoing weather in Chicago, sucks, being sick for weeks on end, sucks more. Fortunately I’m on stronger antibiotics, which will kill whatever I have so long as it’s bacterial (fingers crossed) but that means my plans for Friday and Saturday night will be much less fun (darn.)

Anyhow, what brightened my day today, outside of brownies to settle my stomach, is a link from Cassie, who directed me to a blog called Dress A Day. I stand in awe of this woman and Cassie because both are very creative and have a knack for patternmaking and sewing. I won’t tell you how my last sewing “adventure” turned out. In fact, I think the last time I used a sewing needle for anything productive was when I had to dig out a splinter from my finger. It hurt and the needle was dead to me after then.

Moving along, there was a particular post on the blog about short-shorts rompers from Old Navy, which are part of its recent “Safari craze” trend. Looking at her critique of this cotton nightmare, it made me think only one thing – who would wear this in Chicago? Maybe it’s appropriate if you’re going to hunt wild game in Millennium or Oz Park, but somehow, I think the only game you’ll catch is going to require a tetnis shot.

Chicago is trendy, but somehow I don’t see women, outside of maybe some tourists, strapping on an adult “onesie” to rock the Viagra Triangle for brunch. Hot pants, buttons and a tie belt, oh my! Plus, only the skinny, long-legged women could fully pull this off whereas if I wore it, it would look like a smoldering marsh mellow. So unless there is a flap or two that I don’t know about, this is not practical for public restrooms and trust me, you’ll get tired of taking most of your clothes off just for that reason. Plus, Cassie told me that she saw these in the stores yesterday and they come in multiple colors! Just remember to stay away from bright colors as it might attract animals.

I feel the tide coming in, it’s time to retire again for a nap and the couch.

25 February 2008

Secret Shames of Single Women

By: Jessica B.

I find no shame in being single so please don’t be misled by tonight’s post. What I mean by “secret shame” is, activities or quirks that women have and do in private, that is often only socially acceptable if you are single and live on your own. Get your head out of the gutter too! It can be as small as eating cereal for dinner – on a nightly basis – or enjoying a bit of “naked” time while reading.

These items are not things to be embarrassed by. They are the signs of a bring a liberated, single, city woman who is comfortable in her own skin and with who she is. These “shames” only help you to be a stronger woman, person and friend. Embrace your “shames” as I do!

So what are some of my secret shames as a single city woman?

Shoe fashion shows. Sometimes I love to try on my high heels and just prance around my apartment in pajamas, enjoying the shoes in a multitude of lights and mirror angles. You feel like you’re going out to a party or club in these attractive, yet painful contraptions, but you’re not, you’re in the comfort of your own home!

Eating food directly from the container. It really tastes better this way – and it’s good for the environment as I have fewer dishes to wash. High recommendations go to sorbet and hummus out of the container.

Wearing nice jewelry while doing mundane tasks, such as dishes or vacuuming. Just because I don’t have anywhere to wear them out to, why should my graduation gift- diamond earrings sit in the box all the time?

Watching “manly” shows for no apparently attractive reason. I watch American Chopper on TLC. I don’t know why I do or why I like it so much, but my outward excuse is that it’s art, but in the form of a chopper. Yes I’ve never been on a motorcycle too but that is besides the point.

New Friday-night rituals. Mine involve the latest People magazine Puzzler and a Pepsi. After a long week at work, I frequently forgo the Friday night party, opting to treat for dinner and some quiet. I always rush home and open my apartment mailbox, looking for my new People issue, which has an unsolved Puzzler for me to work on. Trust me, it’s not the New York Times crossword puzzle but it makes me feel smart, and keep the brain sharp. And because I love non-diet soda, I limit myself to only having one on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It’s cheesy I know, but it keeps the sugar content in line.

So do you all have any secret shames? Feel free to post them and use a fake name if necessary. Even if you’re married, feel free to put them out there. Hey, your husband isn’t around all the time ;)

Oscars appendix:
So I re-watched portions of the Oscars from last night and I have two more “favorite moments” to add:

– Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill fight over who is more like Halle Berry, especially Jonah’s comments about his “Halle Berry hands.” Hil-ar-ious. Bring them on more!

– Diablo Cody’s acceptance speech. While I was not a fan of her massive tattoo or the leopard dress, watching her emotion on stage, especially thanking her family for loving her just as she is, that was really nice to watch. Good for her and her tattoo :)

Oscar letdown? That would have to be two of the three Best Songs from Enchanted. Kristin Chenoworth sang “That’s How You Know” horribly and buzzkilled that entire song. I like that song and would have preferred if Amy Adams would have done it instead. Also, the song “So Close” tried to have a McDreamy look-alike to dance with the Adam look-alike, but his face was so long that I thought Jay Leno was actually on stage, and 30 years younger too. Disappointing!

24 February 2008

Oscar mania!

By: Jessica B.

Last night was the pop culture Super Bowl and I overindulged in wine, food and biting criticism. Fortunately I had comfortable clothes on so I could “let loose.” This post is a little late, mostly because I was tipsy and tired when I got home at 11:30 p.m. last night. Yes, this is not another late night for me, but I had to work today!

You all know who won so let’s cut to my “list:”

Best dressed:
Female: Tie between Heidi Klum and Laura Linney. Both had a great color dress and jewelry. Understated but still they both stood out. And Laura Linney looked so excited when the duo from “Once” won for Best Song. That made her stock rise too. There are several “honorable mentions” as well so comment if you would like that list too.
Male: George Clooney. What can I say, the man is a classic…and hot.

Worst dressed:
Female: Marion Cotillard. Loved the hair and makeup and her emotional speech, but her dress with the fins was more “Little Mermaid” than Oscar winner. Plus the detail around her chest was beyond unflattering. Actually I do need to add Rebecca Lewis in there too. The necklace and the bow shoulders are also horrible.
Male: Tie between Ryan Seacrest and Daniel Day-Lewis, but Seacrest is the worst of the two. The brown/black combo is a good one, unless you kill it like they did. Ryan’s jacket and shirt during the pre-show was just awful. There are no other words than awful.

Biggest surprises:
– Tilda Swinton’s and Marion Cotillard’s wins. Yep I didn’t pick them.

Not-so-big surprises:
– Javier Bardem, Daniel Day Lewis and Cohen brothers for director. No surprise at all.

Best trend:
–Red! Great shades of red worn by stars of all ages and done in an age-appropriate manner, minus Anne Hathaway, who needed to tear the flowers off her chest.

Favorite moments:
– Jon Stewart bringing back out one half of the Best Song duo to actually say an acceptance speech. Really, that was very sweet.

– Montages – yes there were too many, but it was nice to see a “list” of all the Best Picture, Actor, Actress and Supporting winners up to this point. Nice nostalgic walk down the aisle.

– “Once” Best Song performance. Powerful and sweet. Makes me want to rent the movie again.

That’s my list for this year. Big surprises (as always) but overall, I’m just glad there was some kind of ceremony. The Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday were also enjoyable, especially the Philip Seymour Hoffman/Rainn Wilson fight and Rainn’s audition tapes for Juno. Hilarious!