Friday, October 17, 2014

Netflix Documentary Hits and Misses Vol 3 (October 2014 Edition)

So it's only midway through October, and I know you guys are foaming at the mouth or chomping at the bit (or doing whatever colloquialism seems fitting) as you await my pick and shuns for your Netflix viewing pleasure. [Tangent: To be quite honest, my mind is saturated with film this month. In addition to trying to meet my self-imposed doc watching quota, I have been helping Jamie meet his goal of 31 horror movies in the month of October. It's been a little overwhelming, but good overwhelming since we know there are absolutely no repercussions for these pointless goals we have set for ourselves.] I know you probably are getting sick of my obsession, but maybe you will find something interesting. [Tangent: Also this monthly feature has had some cool perks. I got to interview Jason DaSilva and now the makers of Magic Camp are my BFF on Twitter!]


Katy Perry: Part of Me- B+/A-
Let me preface this by saying : I promise  I am not a dumb girl. However, I love popular culture and because I don't listen to pop radio very often, these movies are my window into that world. [Tangent: I have also seen the One Direction doc. It was directed my Morgan Spurlock, ya'll and it is really good. I am bracing for judgement on that one...but sometimes you just need mindless fun and KP dancing around with a spinning starlight mint bra top and a gaggle of hunky backup dancers.] I am also not ashamed to say that my friend Amber and I saw this movie in theaters when it was out [Tangent: You can read the review here.] but I have watched it since on Netlfix. If you don't wanna like KP, I wouldn't recommend this movie...because it makes here considerably more down to earth and likeable.

I am Divine- A+
Here is what I knew about Divine prior to seeing this film- he was a drag performer and muse of John Waters who ate dog poo in Pink Flamingos and was in the OG Hairspray. That was about it. After watching this doc,  I am in complete awe of his career and am now on high alert for all of the albums he produced. [Tangent: I mean I am sure these disco drag records are terrible, but probably amazing terrible, right?] I had no idea what an icon he was, and how much of an impact he had on underground film and drag culture. Sometimes biographical docs can get really boring, but the cast of characters that were interviewed had such amazing stories that I stayed entertained.  Like really entertained...I would watch this again.

Monica and David- A
Everything about this movie made me happy and cry all at once. I loved it. In fact I have watched it a couple times since it has been up on Netflix. The titular Monica and David are two young adults with Down syndrome who met at a day program and fell in love. This is the story about their marrying and planning their lives together. I urged my best friend to watch it, because her 1 year old has DS, and she said she cried and cried. So good. It's very well done and doesn't pander or talk down to you (or them).

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work- A
I think I saw this after it first came out, but decided to watch it again since she passed away, because I am a sucker for honoring dead celebrities and I had heard since several well known comedians praising it in the media [Tangent: Basically Bill Hader said it was good on Watch What Happens Live, so since I trust his judgement- I decided to give it another go!]. The main takeway is that I am a lazy sack of goo, because Joan Rivers at 75 was jet setting to every part of America, and meanwhile at nearly 32, I can't convince myself to go pick up takeout because it means putting on pants. I watched it while babysitting my nephew, so on his 3rd day on the planet- I made sure he was familiarized with lots of 4 letter expletives. BEST. AUNT. EVER. 

Following Sean- D
I really really wanted to love this. The premise was right up my alley. A filmmaker catches up with a 4 year-old child he filmed in Haight-Ashbury during the 60s as an adult. He was the child of hippie drug addicts and it set it up to be full of intrigue and mystery...and it wasn't. Even the cover looked kind of vague like he had become something completely out of left field [Tangent: I guess I am cursed by the movie Catfish and now expect every "documentary" to have a Shamylan twist.]  It was anti-climactic as hell. Sorry Sean. 

I Know That Voice- B+
My boyfriend's roommate is a voice actor, so I have some sort of vested interest in this career path and know a little more about it than I ever thought I would (still far from an expert). I've always thought it seemed like a pretty easy job [Tangent: Not for me of course...I have an intolerable speaking voice. That's why this is a blog and not a vlog. ] but the amount of work and character development that goes into it makes it seem much more artistic than most expect. It was also kind of fun to see the faces behind cartoon voices you're really familiar with, too.

The Gallopagos Affiar: Satan Comes to Eden - D+
Sometimes I watch a documentary because it is on a subject I am completely ignorant on...like the Galapagos islands. All I know of that area is all the Darwin studies and giant turtles. That's it.  It had never occurred to me that people might actually reside there or that it might have a rich history. This doc is mostly about the free spirits (read: European weirdos)  that went there to build a life and their own private Utopia. The name makes it seem much more scandalous and crazy, but I was an hour and 30 minutes in before I got to anything befitting of the tag line "Satan comes to Eden." [Tangent: To be 100% truthful, I fell asleep during this movie every time I tried to start watching it at bed time. Cat Blanchett's narrator voice is much too soothing.]

How to Die in Oregon- A
This movie about Oregon's  Right to Die laws is one that I have been wanting to watch and dreading for a really long time. Watching my dad suffer from Cancer and die on hospice was really hard and when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, it was a death sentence. I have always been not sure how I felt about the whole physician assisted suicide thing. On one hand it seemed like a giving up move, while on the other it felt empowering. I'm usually a big fan of HBO documentaries and thought this one did a good job of putting humans behind the issue. It's heavy for sure (much heavier than say a Katy Perry doc) but worth watching once you are in the head space to soak it in.

Room 237- C+
Being a horror based documentary, this one perfectly dovetailed both Jamie and my film goals for the month. This movie is basically a culling of different crackpot theories proposed by fans of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. Since we just watched that film earlier in the week, I thought it would be a good time to watch while it was fresh on my mind. Overall, I thought it was weird and it lost me more than once. [Tangent I am all for crazy film theory, but it reminded me of when I took a folk and fairy tale class in college and every single seemingly innocuous children's story we read was somehow about sex, periods or incest.] True, some theories were intriguing and there is no denying that Kubrick is a mad scientist and is capable of anything, like I now want to watch the movie forward and backward simultaneously for secret messages, but a lot of the other things were completely nonsensical. Spoiler Alert: That skiing poster is NOT a minotaur. End of story.

Call Me Kuchu- B
I'm not completely ignorant to world events, so I knew that Uganda has A LOT of issues and are not exactly "with the times" on most things...however it never really occurred to me how hard it might be on a gay person in that part of the world. There it's a crime to be gay and has huge consequences. The movie tells the story of people in Uganda who are out of the closet and striving towards equality. It baffled my mind how the media there handled the outting of people and how it was pretty much like witch hunt mentality. Overall I really liked it [Tangent: The movie...not the inequality.]. You have to be in the mood to read subtitles, though, which let's face it is not always the case...especially for a multi-tasker like myself. [Tangent: This is pretty much the reason I have never made it 100% through Jiro Dreams of Sushi despite hearing how wonderful it is.]


 HH Holmes: America's First Serial Killer- C
Jamie had recommended I watch this one, because he knows my proclivity toward Criminal Minds type entertainment. Basically Holmes was a bit of a playboy doctor in Chicago who built himself a house of horrors and killed A LOT of people right under everyone's noses. [Tangent: His house reminded me of the doctor's home in season 2 of American Horror Story]. Overall, I think his story is interesting and one I didn't know much about but the movie was kinda meh. It was very akin to a History Channel movie, and I thought it could have been a little flashier and engrossing given the subject matter. I think I will probably just read Devil in A White City since it has been sitting on my bookshelf for 2 years after my friend Beth gave it to me. Sorry Beth, I'll read it!!!   

Please Subscribe- A
I'm kind of obsessed with the idea that people are YouTube celebrities, even  though I don't follow any of them and don't really see myself doing so in the near future. [Tangent: I am not belittling this at all, because I follow podcasters and bloggers religiously. Frankly, I just don't have the time for anymore internet time sucks.] I didn't realize it was such "a thing" and that so many people made their living this way. Since seeing this movie, I have seen one of the featured YouTubers, Grace Helbig, on @Midnight and The Soup so I guess she is kind of a big deal. Overall I was pretty impressed with their marketing and craftiness...including the guy that gets paid big bucks to play video games and talk about it online. [Tangent: If the movie Big has taught me anything, it is that playing with "a toy" (and giving your 2 cents on it) for a living is pretty much the dream gig.  


Have any of you guys watched these? What did you think? What should I watch next month? 

If you want more suggestions, check out my September roundup and August collection.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Back to Basics...and Perusing Oriental Trading

Have you ever been run down and creatively completely drained. That is me. Human wasteland- Population: 1. I have been working consistently on pulling out of my butt design and writing projects and I was getting kinda in a place where all I wanted to do lately was sit around and watch The Voice and not interact with humans or really do anything productive whatsoever. Promised blogs were piling up and mustering that energy was hard. I was spent.

Then on Sunday, I spent the afternoon with some of my favorite lady bloggers [Tangent: Among them are the brilliant minds behind Lladybird, Old Red Boots, The Fiercest Lilliputian, My Pretty Baby Cried She was a Bird, Kittycat Stevens and Junebugs and Georgia Peaches.] and I felt the need to kick my ass in hyperdrive and was reminded how much joy I find in blogging. 

In order to make it easy on me, I thought I would get back to basics and blog about something that brings me great joy: awkward modeling in Oriental Trading Catalogs. [Tangent: OK. Pause. Rewind. About 15 years ago, I ordered a gross of some random doohickey for an event and so every since I get Oriental Trading monthly barraging me with catalogs and bi-weekly via email. A sane individual would hastily unsubscribe, but even though I never order anything, I look forward to the junk mail. (I mean who needs a dozen inflatable microphones or a gross of Christian pumpkin temporary tattoos?) They are so inadvertently funny. When I worked at the insurance company, I would bring these in from time to time and my work friends and I would add appropriate (or inappropriate) subtitles on our break. Yeah, I know...but when your job is SUPER boring, the stupidest things are wildly entertaining.]


I often wonder about child models and wonder if they will one day have a sense of humor about the ridiculous things they showcased in print. [Tangent: I mean...like for example as an adult, I now find it weird that I modeled with a bottle of lotion and a box of tissues as a preteen.] Oriental trading is rich fodder for this kind of strange prop modeling. Will the little boy above wonder as an adult what on earth he is dressed as... Hawaiian pimp? Steve Harvey at a luau? Help me out. What is he?

Given that Halloween is approaching quick, I thought I would offer you a few options for half-assed flimsy costumes that can carry you through the winter holidays...care of the child modeling team at Oriental Trading. I know most of them are Christmassy, but they terrify me to the core [Tangent: Yay for versatility.] You're welcome in advance.

 


I missed the charming holiday tale that this was a part of. dear sweet god.
these in no way even look like mustaches.
The term "disguise" is used super loosely, right?  Perhaps it should be in quotes...and not "beak."

Sorry if only like 2% of you found this amusing...but that 2%- you are my people. What do you think these chidren will think of their modelling debuts as adults?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Rock the Vote

Hey guys...I have 3 half-written blogs on the docket, but can't seem to get my shizz together enough to hit that publish button. While, I am scrambling and chasing my tail, some people I know are carpe diem'ing and putting themselves in the running for really cool competitions...further drawing attention to the fact that I clearly am not.

You may remember the review and giveaway I did for The River Garden earlier this year. In case you missed and are too lazy to click on that link, it is an organic farm and product line helmed by my friend Garrett and his wife out of Sparta, TN.

A couple weeks ago, Garrett entered a competition from the National Disability institute for people living their American Dream. His entry is below.


I believe in his vision and I have known him since we were wee babes so of course, I want him to win. If you haven't already guessed, this is me pestering you all to vote for him. It takes two seconds. Just click the bottom right hand corner of the page on the link below- JOSEPH SUMNERS (fourth name down). See, I made it super easy for you.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Profiles on Wheels: Jason DaSilva


 Last month in my Netflix roundup, I mentioned the  2013 Jason DaSilva documentary When I Walk. As you may remember by its Kimmie-imposed A grade, I really enjoyed it and found it to be a very compelling story of how the course of a life was altered with a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. If you haven't had a chance to watch the movie yet, I highly recommend it.  



When I Walk is now streaming on Netflix and if you haven't yet succumbed to the allure of that subscription service, fear not- it is free on PBS POV by clicking here.

Of course, not unlike most things I really enjoy, I wanted to know more about Jason and his projects almost immediately after credits rolled.  I had a lot of questions, and since we are very loose acquaintances bound by the governing body of social media, I thought I should reach out for an interview...and gladly, he obliged.

As ya'll know, I watch a lot of documentaries just for fun and knowledge and have always wondered how it feels to make a movie all about yourself? Is that weird? Does it feel self-indulgent? When would I get the chance to find out, so of course I asked.  Jason, who seems like a fairly humble gent agreed with me that it was an odd feeling to be both the film maker and the subject. "I think I felt a little self-involved, but on the flip side, the thing that made me feel better about it was that I was making something people could identify with. There was the added layer of MS, so it wasn't just about me."

He also got to use the camera to capture things that most people would love to have on film...like for example Jason can forever watch over and over his first date with his now wife, Alice.  He told me that moment is probably the thing he is happiest to have in the movie. There are other moments that were harder to make, like before he met his wife, when he was first coming to terms with life with a disability. Jason also concluded that having the cameras around made him face some of those honest and hard to have conversations with Alice early in their courtship. "Oh, especially those early conversations on film."

Another portion of the film that stuck with me was his pilgrimage to Lourdes after diagnosis. Being semi-Catholic, I have heard about this holy place since first communion, so I wanted to know the impact it had. "I guess the takeaway was that a lot of people are given their own challenges. There may not be a cure, but there can be hope." I asked him if he had any fun faith healing stories, but he said in NYC, that it is clearly not as big an epidemic as it is in the Bible belt.

Another thing you should know about Jason, that you'd know if you'd watched the film (GET ON IT!), is that he is behind an amazing service online called AXS Maps where you can type in your own city (or one you are visiting) to find out if the place you want to go serves your accessibility needs. It's all user based content, so the more people that use it- the better it is.


In our brief conversation I learned that in all about the new changes to AXS Maps, which include the incredibly clever Mapathon feature, which allows a group of people to divide and conquer to check in accessible and inaccessible places in their neighborhood. The feature makes it a competition and it can even be a way to fund raise for charity of your choosing. What a brilliant way to do good while...umm...doing good.

Of course while I had him on the phone, I asked him for any good movie recommendations. [Tangent: Isn't "seen any good films lately?" what you ask filmmakers? I never claimed to be an ace interviewer.]  He volunteered, "a great documentary not a lot of people have seen is called Tarnation and centers around a man and his relationship with his mother who has mental illness." I definitely have now added this to my to-see list along with Jason's latest project which will similarly focus on the father/son relationship, when the son has a disability.

Thanks Jason for allowing me to pick your brain!

Monday, October 6, 2014

olllie g in da house!

Hey everyone...sorry it has been a smidge of radio silence over here, but I have been busy birthing babies. Wait, no...nothing came out of my nether regions...and no I didn't deliver a baby in an elevator shaft...but rather I was visiting my sister and her hubby who were having my new nephew Oliver James. I love him and the general consensus is that he is really cute. [Tangent: Everyone seems to think so...judging from this.]
 

Since all new babies kinda look the same...like little puffy old people [Tangent: I mean adorable ones at that...but frankly, I think it will be a few months before I decide who he looks like.] ,  I thought I would show you the many faces of Ollie thusfar....and really showcase his extensive hat collection. I hope he is more of a hat person than his aunt Kimmie



I am surrounded by cute children, and hopefully I will not corrupt him too terribly! Now back to my regularly scheduled blogging.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tom Petty Redo

A little over 4 years ago, I got tickets to Tom Petty and was super stoked to go with my best friend. I had high hopes: checking another personal legend off my "to see live" list and potentially losing my voice screaming along with thousands of others, "Oh My My...oh hell yes! You got to put on that party dress." [Tangent: Tom Petty has always been present in my life...and I have never heard a song of his that I didn't like. My brother has a friend with the last name Petty, and for years I was convinced he was Tom's nephew...probably because my brother lied to me and told me he was. ]  What I didn't bargain on was missing the show. However, my excuse was valid...it was the great lung pop/body shortcircuited/Kimmie tried to die incident of 2010.



For the first few days of that debacle, I was on copious Michael Jackson drugs and out of it, but when I started to come to and realize what day it was, one of my first communications to my family after establishing what was going on healthwise, was to tell them to call Kristen and have her pick up my tickets at will call and go to the Tom Petty concert. [Tangent: In retrospect, the priorities seem a little fuckity...I mean I was on a ventilator and had a tube coming out of every hole in my body (and some places where holes weren't previously!), but I had spent good money on those tickets, and just because I couldn't go, didn't mean she had to miss it!] She went as instructedand told me all the time she felt super guilty about it. She wouldn't even tell me how it was...really until last night before we saw him again.

pardon the shadows and my greasy forehead
 Last night we got a re-do (4 years later) and Jamie got to come too. [Tangent: As many concerts as he has been to, he had never been to see a classic arena rock show and I felt glad to share that with him. He prefers smaller venues that cost under $15, but there is something to be said about the melting pot that is a show like this. The energy. The $45 concert tees. Women well past the "corsets in public" age doing so without apology. It has everything.]  
 
all my photos looked like garbage, so I borrowed from The Nashville Scene

It was fantastic and he played almost everything I wanted to hear! The encore closed with American Girl and the lights went red, white and blue and my endorphin levels shot through the roof of the Bridgestone Arena. So much happy. Tom Petty still has it and I still want to borrow his clothes and possibly marry him...but I will settle for being him when I grow up. [Tangent: Oh yea, Steve Winwood was there too...but we missed his entire set, so to make up for it...I watched this video when I got home.] It was definitely worth the wait.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Dancin' in The Dark with Strangers and the Avett Brothers at Americana Fest

My sinuses have been on strike lately, so it takes a lot to coax me out of my air purified bubble where Afrin flows like water and Sudafed is around every corner...the one thing that can get me out of my Hobbit hole is The Avett Brothers. [Tangent: Yep, this is gonna be another Avett post. Get over it!] Around this time every year Americana Fest is going down in Nashville celebrating everything about Americana and roots music (which I LOVE!), unfortunately it also happens the same week as Rhythm and Roots every year, when me and my honey go to his East Tennessee Home to see live music with his family.  This year because of baby watch 2014 [Tangent: My sister could drop that baby any moment...although I hope he will show his first sign of allegiance to his Aunt Kimmie and wait till Wednesday so I can get a day of work in and see Tom Petty!] I decided I needed to stay in middle Tennessee...and the announcement of the Avett Brothers headlining Americana Fest's on Nashville's riverfront show made this a no-brainer.




I know I am far from a fashion blogger, so feel free to judge me that I decided Americana Fest called for me dressing like a T-Swift Nashville cliche [Tangent: All that is missing is a boozy walk down Broadway and one of those deplorable pink cowboy hats with the attached tiara.]. At least I am owning this timeless look...besides, I don't get to wear my boots enough.

I hadn't been to a show on the Riverfront in FOREVER...I always plan on attending Live on The Green, but then remember I loathe parking downtown and crowds of people in their early 20s. Truthfully, I probably haven't been since seeing Better Than Ezra, clearly over 10 years ago, at the now defunct Dancin in the District or one of the many River Stages I attended in High School.[Tangent: Fun fact. Jamie and I both separately attended most of those and have since realized we were really close to each other at the Foo Fighters performance. Like ships in the night.] I did however remember that at most of these shows, there is is a handicapped section fenced off, because by nature, the riverfront hill is not the most wheelchair friendly. [Tangent: Or people friendly for that matter...we watched about 10 people fall down a hill. It was funny because no one got hurt...and I have an America's Funniest Home Videos concept of humor.] Here is a picture of me me in my own cute personal little petting zoo!
 This would have been great, but the fence was a little high, so the couple manual chair folks that came in couldn't see over at all...and that banner really wasn't helping [Tangent: We eventually pulled it down..because it was making it hard to see for some.]. I feel like if I didn't have an elevator on my wheelchair which raises me up to a height of about 5 feet, most shows would be a nightmare. After every tall person stood in my way, I eventually found my groove and found my window to the Avett Brothers and it was magnificent, as expected!



 They are hands down my favorite band to see live....which could explain why I have seen them 5x. So high energy and the always sound better in person. ALWAYS! After two hours, my voice hurt and my entire body was sore from dancing and stomping and clapping.  Of course, it wouldn't be a concert until I get awkwardly dance assaulted up on by a drunken (female) stranger....who wanted lots of interaction, high fives and hugs. It was a very You Go Girl situation  and kinda killed my buzz on Talk of Indolence, which is my jam! [Tangent: She blindsided/scared the shit out of me. One minute there was just me, Jamie and one other girl in my little concert quarantine, and next minute this new person is inches away from my face... dancing and kissing my hand. At one point, I heard her friend or loved one yelling, "what are you doing!?" and she yelled back "Dancing with my new friends!"....nope, missed the part where we were formally introduced. It was clear the other gal in the wheelchair next to me and I were trying our best to be polite, yet completely ignore her because THE AVETTS WERE ON STAGE! She wasn't getting it. She finally left by demanding a high five and telling me she loved me. Cool. I still didn't catch her name. Oh well, so much for friendship. There's one of these at every show. It's become annoying, but mostly really funny.]

Aside from that minor hiccup, the show didn't disappoint...I ran through the emotional rollercoaster. Tearing up and smiling as big as  the lady in the Black Hole Sun video. If all you know of the Avett Brothers is the more understated somber hits that have been on the radio lately...listen to this cover...unfortunately you won't have the pleasure of being danced on by a stranger. Too bad for you! [Tangent: I tried to embed the video, but Youtube is being difficult so this is gonna be a music post without music...anyway it's your favorite song from BeatleJuice...enjoy!]

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Netflix Documentary Hits and Misses Vol 2.

Last month, I spewed out my thoughts and feelings on what I had been watching on Netflix documentary-wise, so I decided to make it a monthly feature! [Tangent:  You can read the last one here.] Many people said it turned them on to some new titles, or that my blog was the tipping point that made them watch something that was collecting dust in their queue. [Tangent: Don't ever tell me you love something, because it will give me false confidence and I will keep cranking out more of an originally good concept till it is no longer good. This quickly could devolve into the Saw of blog features, but I am hoping it won't.]  I know I thrive on the power of suggestion, so here are some good ones (and some truly awful ones) that I have watched in September. [Tangent: With the constant shifting of titles that happens on the service, I was worried that some of these had gotten removed in the September 15th title purge, but rest assured, all are still available for your weekend binging.]


When I Walk - A
This documentary I had been wanting to watch for a while since a mutual friend connected me to the filmmaker (He's also behind the app and website AXS Maps). He's my facebook friend! Even so, I would tell you if the movie was horrid, thankfully it was anything but.  It follows a young man named Jason through his diagnosis and struggle with Multiple Sclerosis. [Tangent: Sometimes memoir style docs can be a little self-involved and boring, but since Jason was a practicing filmmaker prior to this life changing news, it was VERY well done.] Every pivotal moment of his journey was captured...his first fall that triggered him to know something was wrong, his first date with his future wife, and so many more tragic and wonderful insights. It was honest and lovely and this coming from someone usually very critical of how disabled people present themselves to the media. (Go figure). Go watch it.

Ping Pong- A
I love a movie about spry sassy old people and I love an inspirational sports film, and this movie had both. It follows the people competing in the world senior ping pong championships! I watched this with Jamie several weeks ago and we were giggling with delight for the entirety of the viewing! The ages of the competitors went into the 90s and they were all such characters. Spoiler alert: The American delegate is kind of a hard ass (albeit a hard ass with a splendid bouffant), so unlike World War II, you will probably be rooting for the Germans (because those ladies were the cutest!).
 
Pageant- A-
Before viewing this, I could already tell I would enjoy it. If Rupaul's Drag Race is on your DVR, you probably will too [Tangent: Considering the first contestant every kicked off, Victoria "Porkchop" Parker, is in this movie!]. I guess you can already presume, the doc is about the drag pageant, Miss Gay America 2008. Even though this kind of thing is my kind of thing, I think it would be enjoyable to most anyone. The backstory of these men is really compelling, and I live to see a gent topless in full contour makeup and a wig cap!  

Make Believe- A-
If you read my last roundup, you are fully aware of my obsession with Magic Camp. If you haven't yet watched that- make it a double feature with this little gem [Tangent: Unfortunately this one doesn't contain any weird thimble-based magic, but there is tons of talent, and a hotsy-totsy little female magician who everyone keeps uncomfortably telling to exploit her teen hotness.]. Not unlike Pageant or Ping Pong, it is a movie about a bunch of people from different backgrounds coming together to compete in a competition that is HUGE in their world, but you have never heard of.  This time it is the Teen World Championships of Magic. Not sold yet? What if I told you Ed Alonso (Max from Saved By the Bell) makes some cameos and it has an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes?

Girl Model- C+
As a gal who watched way too many seasons of America's Next Top Model and who loves a riveting expose, I thought I would LOVE this, and I did like it, but not as much as I had hoped.  The movie follows an American who works in Eastern Europe recruiting models to go to Japan. Are you following that? Basically the gist is that in Japan, they consider the ideal portrait of beauty to be white and VERY young...like they seek models who are 14. It was equal parts about the recruiter and about the young girl, who at a very young age was removed from her poor tiny village and thrust into the overwhelming Tokyo. I wish it had been more about the latter and that all the recruiting footage had been cut down because the model's story was really interesting and eye-opening. The recruiter lady I didn't care as much about. Sorry...but not really.

In a Town This Size: A Documentary About Child Sexual Abuse - D-
Sometimes I can't sleep at night, so I put on things to watch on my Netflix App, prop up my phone and hope to bridge the insomnia. This was one of these movies [Tangent: No clue why I chose to watch a movie about child molestation while I was drifting off to dreamland time. I'm not the most sound decision maker. ] Anyway, the doc had a very gripping premise- a doctor in a small town had been victimizing children for decades and it didn't come out till years later. In the right hands, I think this movie could have been great, but it was really clumsy. It was all interviews and it was so strange because the camera kept panning over to the filmmaker, who was conducting the interviews, to show him just reacting and nodding. [Tangent: It reminded me of on SNL, when Bill Hader used to play the guy from Dateline Mystery. This is all I could picture. ] To be honest, I turned it off with 20 minutes to spare because I found it so distracting.

Ed Hardy: Tattoo the World- B+
To be 100% truthful, I set out to hate watch this movie. In the Ed Hardy world, I was a little naive. I knew he was a tattoo artist, but little else. I'm so glad I took the time to watch this, because I have now so much respect for Ed Hardy [Tangent: Yes, you read that correctly!] more for bringing tattooing into the mainstream, and less for the bastardization of said art on trucker hats and bedazzled tanks. His background explained his time in art school [Tangent: He has a huge portfolio of art that in now way includes a Tiger and/or flames.] and and in other countries honing his craft. I really enjoyed it, but probably due to the fact that I didn't expect to at all.

So Much, So Fast- A
Not unlike When I Walk , this film takes a very honest and direct look at a man and his loss of abilities after a life-altering diagnosis. Only instead of MS, this one deals with ALS. It seems timely, with all the attention to the disease after the viral ice bucket-ization of our social networks. In the last month, I have recommended this movie to several people who knew nothing about ALS, other than video challenges and diseased Yankees. [Tangent: I have seriously had the "what do you think of the ice bucket challenge?" conversation more times than I can count on two hands in the last month. Much of my opinions were based on things I learned from this movie.] When I was younger, our neighbor down the street and family friend, who was in his 30s at the time, had the disease and I watched him rapidly decline. It was very sad to see, but it made me never forget how terrible and indiscriminate illness can be, something I would see over and over in my life . When I watched this movie, also following a man in his prime, I was reminded of all that, and I learned a lot about why ALS has been ignored in the past for research. It is not a happy movie, but an important one.

20 Feet From Stardom- A
[Tangent: I actually watched this one a while ago, but forgot to include it in the last post.] This movie won for the best documentary Oscar last year, so my expectations were high, and met. It mostly profiled Darlene Love, who I only knew as the lady who sings Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) as tradition every holiday season on David Letterman. [Tangent: See it here.]. Whenever she would pop up every year, I remember in my naivete saying, "Darlene who?" not knowing what a legend she was in her own right, not only performing backup vocals on TONS of classic songs, but she also ghost recorded with Phil Spector for a lot of other performers in the 60s. This movie will likely make you truly appreciate what a thankless job being a backup singer is.

Bright Leaves- C-
This movie, truthfully, would probably be completely non interesting to most individuals, and to be honest, it was my visual Ambien for about a week. [Tangent: Like In A Town This Size, I only really put it on to watch late at night and each time, it put me to sleep.] The subject matter was one I was interested in because it was about the tobacco industry in North Carolina, its history and its past. Since, my dad's side of the family were farmers in that state, and I grew up visiting, it was one I wanted to see. The narrator found out through family lore, that a movie called Bright Leaf, released in 1950 and starring Carey Grant, was based on his Great Grandfather, a tobacco farmer who had his fortunes lost when Duke came in and took over the industry. It also reinforced what I already know about the smoking rates in that region, due in part to history and their dependence on it economically. Despite the man's calmly lilting and sleep-inducing Carolina accent, I did find it valid and interesting as a premise and had some takeaways. I think it could have been shorter, and I wish it hadn't tried to veer in so many directions. It was almost two movies Frankensteined together.

The Truth About Web Cam Girls- B
We decided to watch this one because it was short and looked moderately interesting. Beware it has lots of boobies and moaning, but that is pretty much what you bargain for when you cue up something with the phrase "Web cam Girls" in the title. You can basically guess the premise, it was a profile of 3 woman who make their living, an astoundingly good living at that, being live cam models in England.[Tangent: If models is what you call them...I am really not sure.] I love a "dodgy" British accent and seeing dimensions of people who are easily pigeon-holed as one dimensional. It was also really funny to me, mostly inadvertently, because this is a world I knew very little about.

Gotta Dance- A+
Truly, I saved the best for last! This is gonna be my Magic Camp for September [Tangent: How many times can I mention that movie in this post?], the documentary that I truly can not recommend enough. I feel the premise is enough to make you put it on immediately; the movie is about a rag tag senior hip hop team. If you are still logged on after reading that, and haven't immediately put it on your device, let me entice you further. This movie truly has everything: a true underdog component, unlikely friendship, a former beauty queen, a clothes try-on montage,  an adorable 80 year-old Asian woman named Fanny and DID I MENTION SENIOR HIP HOP DANCERS!??! Seriously, I recommend watching this and Ping Pong back- to- back to give you warm fuzzies to last you till December. Also, if Betsy and her alter ego Betty don't win you over, you have no soul and I don't want you following my blog anymore.


Happy viewing, ya'll! Is there anything I am leaving off that I should absolutely add to my queue now?  I am currently accepting suggestions for October.

Monday, September 15, 2014

THEY'RE BAAAACK: The Most Ridiculous Sexy Costumes 2014

In the years that I have been the master of this domain, there is nothing I have gotten asked about more than my annual attention paid to sexy Halloween costumes. [Tangent: If I took myself seriously or fancied myself a serious journalist (psshhhht.) than maybe this subject matter would be below me, but I know my wheelhouse. Sure, I could rant and rave about sociopolitical issues till the tides part, but I choose to use my blog as a platform to bring attention to another part of our cultural landscape that really stumps me- the sluttin' up of Halloween.] Even though, I am knockin' on the door of 32, I still  put a lot of thought and attention to a homemade fun costume. I don't take a lot of things seriously, but October 31st is sacred, mothertruckers! Because of the sanctity of the day, my initial distaste for the sexy costume stemmed not only from me thinking they are kinda trashy and more than a lot misogynistic, but because I thought they just weren't creative. However, this assessment was a little unfair, the liberties taken with beloved characters, animals, professions and hell even inanimate objects show inordinate creative license. My bad, sesxy salsa bottle, my bad. You are a true revelation, and I am sorry that I judged you.
Thankfully, my beloved one-stop shop for hooch accoutrement, YANDY.COM, is still crankin' out the nonsensical low-cut hits to show off your tas and in the case of some horrific costumes, your daddy issues. Once you fall down the costume rabbit hole on this site, there is a point of no return. There are hundreds upon hundreds of costumes and more have been added since  my 2013 roundup. To make it easier to digest, I have cut it into fun-sized categories!

Culture Shock and Awe

I know every season there is some huge hullaballoo against people appropriating cultures as costumes, but what if they are slit up to the vag? Maybe, like in algebra, two negatives make a positive.

I think this Indian Princess is hysterical, and really is pretty demure by Yandy standards. I do however think the name makes it sound like a candle scent, so I would like to campaign to rename it simply "the trail of tears." 

The vast array of Egyptian costumes, new this season, were very puzzling. I have never considered the Sphinx to be something bangable before. How was I so blind to that possibility? [Tangent: Although, to be quite honest, I think the dress part, if it were a couple inches longer, would  be almost cute for day to day.]

Objects are Sexy People Too! 

 This one isn't so bad in theory. Cute mini hat. Classic Robert Palmer "Addicted to Love" style dress. Nerdy nostalgia.  Until you consider that it is interactive and thus people are gonna be peeling pieces off your taint all evening trying to make a row.

 When I first saw this one, I sincerely wasn't sure what I was looking at. Mondrian enthusiast? Partridge family bus? Oh nope, there are Rubik's cube earrings, she's a Rubik's cube.


Even in 1995 when I had emblazoned every square inch of my 5-Star notebook with yin yangs, even then, at 13, I thought the idea of dressing like a yin yang was kinda stupid. I can only assume these two costumes are for very zen ladies that are into the duality of human nature and these looks are probably a hoot at the costume parties thrown by various philosophy departments and karate dojos.

All I can say is thank god for choices. What kind of sexy bubblegum machine do you wanna be? Are you the latex legwarmer, gumball fascinator type?  Or do you wanna shell out the extra $13 to achieve a classier look? I think if you are gonna go for sexy vending machine appeal, I think it's obvious that class is your goal..the upgrade seems worth it!

Good Enough to Eat 

 OK, sexy hamburger costumes are old hat [Tangent: I showed a different hamburger tube dress in my 2012 post.], but have you ever seen a woman in a tiny hamburger bun hat give a better "come get it" face?  Her straight outta Skinamax pout is really selling that lettuce leaf peplum so I hope this is now on the front page of her modeling portfolio.

 Oh, man...sexy Mr. Peanut! "Incredible" is all  I can say.

Working Girls (Not like that...but maybe like that)

She may be a sexy dictator, but she is not the sexiest lord of fascism. Young Castro and Young Stalin would be more my bread and butter.

 Anyone can be running late to a Halloween party, stop by a Party City and pick up a slutty nurse costume..but a true genius mind to want to be a Marijuana clinic nurse. It is a very niche costume. 


Oh dear God. Do you think DeadMau5 had to sign some kind of waiver for Yandy to produce these? [Tangent: It is clear Miss Sexy Hamburger is getting all the winning looks!] I can't lie, though, that handy chest pocket for my iPhone would be a welcome addition to any outfit.



 The sentiments on that hat are nothing if not subtle. Otherwise, this is basically a uniform from Twin Peaks [Not the David Lynch version...the one with boobs and wings and beer, lest you think that this is what the log lady was wearing in her downtime.].


This one I had to look at about 700x. I scoured it for something that denoted an actual circus clown. Never in my 31 years on this spinning blue orb, have I ever seen a clown that bore it's midriff, wore no face paint or wig and had it's titties out. Is this the clown of the future? Do you think Pennywise has the cleavage to pull this off?


Beloved Characters (that may be DTF)

Ok,I almost like this one, because frankly, a cookie purse would come in handy! However, how is this actually the cookie monster? (unless you are color blind.)

To be fair, out of all the gremlins, gizmo is probably the most sultry, right?

 Jamie and I were Sonic and Tails last year and there was a point when we were scrambling to find orange pants for Jamie to wear, so he opted to wear jeans instead. Perhaps we could have circumvented that hiccup by just not wearing pants at all. Lesson learned. Also, our versions were cheaper...and warmer.

Your eyes do not deceive you. They are charging almost $100 for what you could easily make with odds and ends around your home.

 
There are seriously no words. 

At every Halloween party since 1995, there has ben that one guy that half-assed his costume by shelling out $9 on the way to the party on a Scream mask at Walgreens. Its the epitome of a lazy costume...well, meet it's sassy female counterpart. WHY IS THIS $58 by the way???!?!


This costume is actually kind of awesome. It's clear that it is not just a run of the mill captain, but rather a "cap'n" (crunch to be exact.) Raise your hand if you havent been attracted to a cereal mascot. I, for one, am more a Sugar Smacks Frog kinda gal, but different strokes for different folks.
 
Animal Magnetism


Oh man, I can't even look at these without laughing hysterically.  I don't know what it is about their poses, but it is clear they are truly channeling their inner spirit animals.


 This may be my favorite ridiculous sexy costume of the year, so I assume because of it's sheer awesome absurdity- it is sure to be a top costume this year.  I feel the need to save you guys $130, so just glue some googly eyes on your nips and pin some saran wrap strips to your micro mini, and you are the sexiest of invertebrates.

This costume is one of the more covered on the site and although, I know it looks sexy, head to toe latex cat bull suits do not breathe, my friend. Also, from "horny" puns to "lasting longer than 8 seconds",  the potential for pick-up line disasters is huge. 

And to prove that Yandy is equal opportunity when it comes to...um....whatever it is they do...they have looks for men now! You are just some fun fur and a mesh tank away from being Mr. Funky Skunk Party Pants.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

When In-App Ad Clip Art Goes Bad

thanks bubble witch for the borrowed image and letting me put words in the cat's mouth!
 You may all know that I love a mindless app [Tangent: Like more than any sane and educated woman should.] and will play Words with Friends till my fingers atrophy and fall off from tile sliding. You could also assume that because I am thrifty, I refuse to shell out the extra $1.99 to make them ad-free. You'd be totally correct; paid apps are for suckers. [Tangent: I gotta save those precious pennies for extra moves on Bubble Witch, folks. Life is about priorities!] Because of this allegiance to free apps, I have to X out of some random pop-up everytime I make a move! 

Even though it's a real pain in the ass, I have discovered the true gold that is the in-app advertising. It is awful....like midday Jerry Springer local commercial awful. [Tangent: This should not be news, lest we forget the "Throw Stuff in her Butt" debacle of 2012.] Because I screenshot just about everything ridiculous which has flashed across my iPhone, I have amassed a little collection of terrible. [Tangent: I have already decided when I die, I need to assign someone to go through my phone and erase the screen shots.  The amount and content is incredibly embarrassing.]

I now submit for your approval, terrible uses of word and image in in-app pop ups. [Tangent: If I had used my advertising major to become a professor, I would do an entire lecture series on this.] The distortion between the what the ad is trying to say and the clip art chosen is so baffling.

Exhibit A: The Life Insurance Ads


This is one that I saw today and made me realize that blog time was nigh. I recognize this clip art, because it is VERY similar to the logo for my gynecologist's office. Abstractly, I guess I understand; preparing for the future today...I guess? But seriously, it's almost as if they just drew an image out of a hat and didn't wanna take the time to draw another one after realizing the one chosen missed the mark by a 1,000 miles. No one wants to think of an orphaned baby or worse yet a dead baby when they are playing a cell phone game...NO ONE!   


Exhibit B & C: The Financial Aid Grant Ads

OK, let's call a spade a spade- I make way less than 80,000 a year. And yes, from time to time, I toy with the idea of returning to school. Have I ever considered myself to be a unibrowed bucktoothed sock monster or a deeply offensive illustration of a yokel with Hobbit feet? NEVER! 

The latter is especially concerning. WHAT DID THEY EVEN GOOGLE TO GET THAT CLIP ART IMAGE? [Tangent: I am guessing "chinless + toothless + rosacea" or simply "garbage person."] Or worse yet, was there a whole meeting and an illustrator hired for this campaign? Madness!

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