East Of Eden

"A curious mix of the relevant and reverential"


Some Saturday Stuff: January 24th.

 

Happy Weekend.

 

We woke up to snow this morning here in Jersey, and we may get some more early next week. Or not, since some meteorologists said we would this past Wednesday and there wasn't even a dusting. So we'll see.

 

Snow is plain depressing to me. Actually, most of winter is. Not enough daylight or sunshine makes for one sad Alisha. 

 

To counteract the winter blues, I've been doing some little things to make me happy- watching movies, listening to music and drawing. I figured after the last pretty somber "Some Stuff", I'd switch up the mood and share right here.

 

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First, I'm in love with Bath & Bodyworks "Winter" candle. It smells so delicious. Maybe a bit too delicious because even though I just ordered and received it this week, it's nowhere to be found on the website. Maybe it's lovely mix of "pine, winter citrus and woods" sold out. There is still Wallflowers available (kind of like the Febreeze or Glade plug-ins), but my one time trying them out left me disappointed when the oil ran out within a few days. A quick Google search pulled up the candle available for sale at Ebay and Amazon, so if you really want to take my word for it, check here.

 

Last week, after over a week of being cooped up in the apartment, on a day the temp cracked the freezing mark, I bundled up Z and headed out for a walk and then over to the closest Barnes & Noble. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a Barnes geek, complete with the membership card and all. I could easily spend all day hovering over books in the Spirituality/Religion section or sipping a  venti soy white mocha in the cafe.

 

Yes, I know, I'm a wild one.

 

five NY line products

 

While there, I picked up a bag of Seth Greenberg's Authentic New York Brownie Crunch in Mint. I wound up fighting over it with Zoe. Sigh. Can I just say, sometimes, mommies really don't want to share. That was one of those times. You can purchase them at a bunch of stores, brick and mortar and online.

 

While binging on that Brownie Crunch, I binged on the British series "Black Mirror" on Netflix. Since both seasons only contain three episodes a piece, my viewing time didn't last much longer than my snack. From the Wikipedia page:

 

Black Mirror is a British television anthology series created by Charlie Brooker that shows the dark side of life and technology. The series is produced by Zeppotron for Endemol. Regarding the programme's content and structure, Brooker noted, "each episode has a different cast, a different setting, even a different reality. But they're all about the way we live now – and the way we might be living in 10 minutes' time if we're clumsy." The series has received mainly positive reviews, and has seen an increase in interest internationally (particularly in the United States) after being added to Netflix. Stephen King, in particular has noted his interest in the series.

 

Oh, Netflix, bringing those of us in the States the joy of "Sherlock", "Luther", and now "Black Mirror". It reminds me a lot of a modern day "Twilight Zone" (also available to stream on Netflix) . Check out On The Media's recent interview with Brooker:

 

I've been on an old movie kick, and can definitely recommend Elizabeth Taylor in "BUtterfield 8" and Cary Grant in the excellent Alfred Hitchcock classic, "North by Northwest".

 

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 (Wikipedia) 

 

Over at Rotten Tomatoes, the reviews aren't kind for La Liz in her role as call girl Gloria. It's just too dated to be anything close to good nowadays, even though Taylor won an Oscar for it. 

 

I disagree. Yes, it's quite obvious the film reveals the mores (well, at least depicts something akin to those mores) of over fifty years ago. But that actually pulls me in more- Taylor, who was no stranger to tabloids by that point with her multiple marriages, played a whore. The movie opens with her waking up in bed... a married man's bed. She steals, and seduces and carries on affairs. Yet, her Gloria is likeable. She's been around, but she isn't so jaded that she's closed off to love. Actually, the only scene that I hated was the car crash at the end.  (SPOILER ALERT) Not just because the film seemed to force that dramatic, over the top death, but honestly how fake it looked. I mean, Lizzie Dear, you can make a hoe seem sweet, but can't die without all that cheap middle school drama club overacting?

 

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 (Wikipedia)

 

What can I say about "North by Northwest" that hasn't been said? It's got a sauve Cary Grant as a Manhattan ad agency exec (eat your heart out, Don Draper) who is kidnapped, drugged and nearly killed, all before the movie even gets going. And that banter between Grant and co-star Eva Marie Saint- sexy, quick and dripping in innuendo. I love their wardrobe- the suit he wears throughout the film is boss all by itself, and her dresses are all tailored to perfection. The sets- especially the house at the end- are a case study in mid-century modern. The score is dramatic without being hokey. I totally get why the film is considered one of the best. Here's the trailer:

 

Recently, I haven't been in much of a mood to write. Any long time readers of this blog know I can get pretty sporadic in posting. Sometimes, though, I just have to push through and write like I did yesterday (I worked on a pretty big interview which I'm hoping to publish soon). I just discovered the site Rainy Cafe which is like free "white noise". There's only three options: the sound of a rainy thunderstorm and murmured background convo, noise from a cafe, or a combo of the two. But dag nab it, that's really all I needed to make it over my writer's fart brain yesterday and general lazy malaise today.

 

Now, with those "yay" things, I have to list a few nays. First, please do steer clear of Family Buffet in Linden, NJ. It's awful for me to say, but this was the worst buffet I've ever been to. What shocks me most is, I am not hard to please. I'm really not a picky eater. This place is just that bad.

 

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Grandma, Zoe and me. We were smiling, in spite of the food.

 

I went with my family on Martin Luther King Day. My grandma wanted to spend time with her greatgrands, so K and I took Zoe and decided to stick around. Despite the place being more than half empty, a lot of trays were empty, and the food options limited. Almost everything tasted like frozen stuff purchased at a big warehouse store and then heated up. The veggies tasted overcooked, and the one piece of sushi I tried was oddly tasteless. Worse, one of my nephews was given a soda in a dirty cup while another found a rather long hair in his bowl of ice cream. 

 

I did my nails last night with Sally Hansen's Salon Effects in "Crowd Surfer". Salon Effects are stickers that fit over the whole nail. They come in very cool designs, and when applied correctly, give the appearance of a professional manicure. I purchased one of the kits a few years ago and figured it would be fun to give it a try again.

 

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 My nails right after application.

 

I love the look. The chipping after less than a day? Not so much. I'm not quite sure why when I used Salon Effects the first time it worked out so well (it took a couple days before chipping began and it lasted a week), but I'm disappointed this go round. I  have another kit which I'll probably use for my birthday coming up, so fingers crossed that will be a "yay".

 

 

I have to give a big fat "NAY" to the Scarlett Johansen/ Morgan Freeman sci-fi film "Lucy". I went into it with no expectations. I didn't even know who was in it or the plot. So during the first twenty minutes, I was excited. The premise was good- what could humans do if we could use more of our brains? Plus, MORGAN FREEMAN. 

 

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This is one Lucy I will never love.

 

 

Augh. I wound up thinking, "What could I have done with that 90 minutes if I hadn't wasted it listening to Scarlett Johansen speak in a monotone and look possessed?" It really seems like the producers took a short story and then stretched it into a screenplay, and that contortion left the movie full of holes. 

 

Do yourself a favor and use your ten percent brain power to go to Netflix and watch "Black Mirror".

 

Finally, I am really feeling the song "Latino N' Proud" by DJ Raff which I heard when I gave Comedy Central "Broad City" a try for the first time this week (I'm still not quite sure how I feel about this). Anyway, enjoy this song and have a great rest of the weekend!

 

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