Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Jib Jabbin' from The Afterlife

When you lose someone, there leave all kinds of reminders scattered about for you to find years later. They pop up in really weird and unexpected places sometimes, and instead of making me scared or sad- they usually make me laugh or smile. When we found out my dad was not going to get better, my brother Mikey asked him to haunt me...specifically. So, I guess I feel like this is just my dad following directions. [Tangent: Which is super bizarre because following directions was something my father never did when he was in the land of the living...so it felt strange that he would get obedient in the grand beyond.]  

I can only assume when my oldest brother, Chris, passed away that he followed suit. Since their deaths, one of my favorite places those two pop up is in my junk mail folder...specifically in solicitations from JibJab.com. Yes, let that soak up, the perveyors of political satire cartoons and dancing elf videos are bringing the dead to life (at least for me)...and the results are ridiculous. My family always had a strange sense of humor, so seeing a deceased family member in a cross colors jacket and door knocker earrings seems like a fitting tribute. 

Kelly and Dad (Not sure what this unamused picture of my dad was about)
Years ago, I used the site to make things like this funny Halloween Monster rap video using my family's photos to amuse/annoy aforementioned loved ones. Apparently Jib Jab now uses those uploaded personal photos, from years ago, to personalize their spam. [Tangent: Even though I am doing my damndest to clean out and streamline my inbox, I can't bring myself to unsubscribe to this.]

my brother Chris, my sister, me, Jamie and my dad...
I'm almost 150% certain unwillingly participating in a disjointed Justin Bieber cover is not my brother or father's ideal legacy...but they make me happy and I think that is something they could get behind. For that, I'm not sorry. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Netflix (and 1 Amazon) Documentary Hits & Misses: Vol 16 (February 2016)

February is a short month and an over-scheduled one for me! In addition to family visits and trips, I also had things to get me off track of doc watching like rediscovering the X-Files and keeping up with The Bachelor and The People Vs. OJ Simpson. [Tangent: I just realized I start all of these documentary preambles apologizing for not watching enough...or in some way shape or form, explaining why the post may be a let down (and we all know TV is the third wheel in my relationship)...Ugh...being raised a Catholic really sucks sometimes.] Fear not, in a Shamylan twist to my standard apologetic opening paragraph, I want to share that the ones I watched this month were kind of amazing...some of my favorites to date! So suck it...no apologies for only watching 6. Quality over Quantity, bitches! Here is your must watch list for documentary viewing! 

Cyber Seniors (Netflix)- A

As I've stated time and time again, I love a movie about spry and sassy old folks, so when this popped up in the queue, I was watching it within seconds. The movie profiles a group of teens who go into assisted/senior living facilities and teach the residents the basics of the Internet and social media. It's adorable and heartwarming to see the way these lessons open them up to a whole new world where they can stay in touch with friends and family (and maybe look for love!) The end of the sessions results in a competition where each "adopted grandparent" has to make their own YouTube video. Spoiler alert: One octogenerarian writes and performs an original rap about having her own teeth! HOW CAN YOU NOT WATCH THIS!??!?!

All-American High Revisited (Netflix)- A+

I finally got around to pulling this from my "to watch" list and I'm severely pissed at myself for hesitating so long. IT IS MAGICAL! The premise is this- a group of filmmakers followed around a California High School senior class for a whole school year in the early 80s, mainly focusing on an exchange student from Denmark, who was having a bit of a cultural awakening. Everything about it was so perfect like holding prom inside a mall and having a long haired surfer dude sing "Against All Odds" at graduation. I loved every minute and loved reuniting with where the different students were with their lives in present day. The movie was under 90 minutes, and to be truthful...I could have watched it for at least another 90. 

Amy (Amazon Free Streaming)- A

In a quest to watch as many Oscar contenders as possible, I was ecstatic that this documentary about Amy Winehouse was free streaming on Amazon. [Tangent: Lately Amazon has been dropping some real turd nuggets as far as streaming programming. I mean Mordechai?!?! Hot Tub Time Machine 2?!?!? Blergh.] I had heard from many that it was understandably depressing. and that was definitely THE TRUTH, but it really was a great homage to her talent and life cut much too short. Ive always loved her music, but more in a "had her song as my myspace song for a month" kind of way, so a lot of the movie was new information. The archival footage collected was super impressive. It was definitely eye opening and heartbreaking and everything you might expect from a doc about the decline of a star on the rise. 

Bible Quiz (Netflix) - A/A-

When I saw this added, my heart got 12 kinds of twitterpated because it reminded me of Jesus Camp. In my wildest dreams if it was 1/10 as good as Jesus Camp then it would be magic! It wasn't as great, but luckily I live for teen angst especially from real goody goody children, so I still enjoyed it thoroughly. [Tangent: Because as stated at the beginning of this post, I am a fallen Catholic, so this whole world of memorizing bible verses competitively is a bizarre universe for me. I must have said 20x aloud "This is really a thing?!"] I loved the students they chose to profile. You guys...this movie included not only a makeover sequence and sheltered teen flirting, but also prophetizing to people on the streets (who were NOT having it)! It had EVERYTHING!

Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, True Story of Canon Films (Netflix)- A

I love bad movies. A Lot. In fact I first heard about this doc when it was mentioned on my favorite podcast, "How Did This Get Made?" which is about the worst of the worst movies. [Tangent: This week, HDTGM is doing Teen Witch and I'm beyond excited. Top that! ]  The subject of the movie, Canon Films, made a line of very hastily produced low-medium budget films from the late 60s to early 90s. Among them: Over The Top, Death Wish and a bevvy of Chuck Norris films. The "Masterminds" behind the production company were a pair of Israeli cousins who took a very unorthodox approach to film making, mostly due to not understanding the language 100% and knowing very little about the movie industry. This mixed with complete fearlessness is a fun combo. [Tangent: I dare you not to keep a list of "movies to watch" during viewing. \We watched The Apple not long after because it looked so incredibly opulent and insane.] Basically, all you need  to know before you watch this documentary is- PREPARE FOR  BAT SHIT! Also, be prepared for LOTS of boobies! [Tangent: If you are a tit-a-phobe or don't love seeing weird violence and sex scenes with little explanation, then maybe this won't be your scene!] It's a must for anyone with an appreciation for cinema...good or bad.

The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne (Netflix)- A

Many of my friends have been pushing me to watch this film since it first popped up. Apparently my love of twisty true crime is obvious. Also, in case you suffered a concussion since paragraph two, you know I LOVE spry and kooky old people. This doc is about a 86 year old jewel thief, who may or may not still be active. To her, crime was more or less a fun hobby and watching her talk about it was incredibly engaging. [Tangent: It reminded me very much of my obsession with the book (and later the movie) Catch Me if You Can, which I read 4x in between high school and college. You start rooting for her because you like her so dang much!] Her life was so glamorous and interesting, and I am so glad it is being made into a movie. I can't wait to see Halle Berry as Miss Doris. 

What should I watch in March?!? 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Tasteless Tastemaker

Lately I have been SUPER busy with self-imposed writing deadlines. It turns out being a shut-in with that bout of winter weather got me all inspired. [Tangent: Did you know last week, there was a movement called "National Visit a Shut-In Day"? I know I'm not the foremost expert on appropriateness...but do you think Shut-ins like that title? I'm indoorsy by nature, and think it's weird.] Sometimes these creative bursts make one feel a little introspective.

Sometimes I think my personality is hard. I find the humor in most situations even ones that aren't conventionally funny [Tangent: Example- I giggled aloud when I heard the phrase "National Visit a Shut-in Day."]  It's for sure a coping mechanism and most people don't get it. I've definitely come to terms with that over the years. Those that know me know that I'm not a complete A-hole [Tangent: ...at least I hope so. Even though I will fully cop to being an ass from time to time.] Even still, it's very easy (even for someone like me with zero filtration system or shits to give) to feel disappointed when you disappoint people...or worse yet, when people think you're a monster. 

 OK. Wait, what am I talking about? Well, as mentioned at the get go, I have been freelancing like a lunatic lately [Tangent: ...even though some pieces which were much fraught after were never published...and others are in limbo till the time is right...which is a bitch for someone who thrives on instant gratification.] Just before V-day, I had this piece published in Hello Giggles about the baffling way the Internet, and etsy sellers especially, have latched onto the two defense attorneys in Making A Murderer, the dad jean dream team of Jerry Butin and wild thang Dean Strang. You can read the article here where I talk about how all the Valentine themed goods that were there for the buying! To me it seemed a slam dunk because I was blending something pop culturally zeitgeisty with a timely Halmark holiday.

 Anyway, when the article was shared on the Hello Giggles Facebook page, more than one HG fan was disgusted by my post. They said it was "tasteless"...which I knew I can be from time-to-time, but didn't feel I was being in this case. When one person mentioned that I was inconsiderate to the victims and their families, suddenly I felt both sad and super defensive. [Tangent: Instead of defending a potential criminal...I was somehow defending my write to commentate on artists and illustrators obsession with the most unlikely of subjects- potentially the most generically midwestern idols of all time. The criminal in question was barely actually mentioned, but yes...I could see why people would feel strongly given the subject.] I wondered if they had read it even. Would various editors sign off on it if it was so bad? [Tangent: Meanwhile I am more upset by the typos that are blaring at me!! Yikes! Don't even point them out to me. I know they are there.]  It was all supposed to be light and fun, which made it a juxtoposition becasue the documentary series was decidedly not. Oh well, I felt bad for about 5 minutes because I felt misunderstood.  I have learned that to be true to myself means having people not get it so I tried to remind myself of that. I tried to brush it off quickly, realizing this was just the opinion of a small portion of the readers. 

The next day, I awoke to a smattering of thank-you tweets from various sellers whose shops and designs were profiled in the piece. 

They were surprised flattered and excited because they had awoke that morning to a heap of new orders. It was the ultimate Snoopy band-aid on top of the prior days paper cut. These people had gotten some free press and felt validated in their creative pursuits. When I was discussing the whole ordeal with Jamie, he put me perfectly at ease with the whole situation- "I guess you're just a tasteless tastemaker."  Yep, there's my future book title. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Korean Sheet Masks made my Tiger Dreams Come True

I have always secretly wanted to be Asian. [Tangent: Being that my folks met in Honolulu, it is not a huge leap of logic that they both dated Asian people before finding love with each other. Not that I would want any other parents (not by a mile) but I loved the idea that I was so incredibly close to being exotically ethnic. I mean being half Polish and maybe 1/16 Native American is cool, but no one has ever looked at me and thought "what an otherworldly beauty." Instead, people are generally just offering me stuff really white people need...like mayonnaise or sunscreen with 35+ SPF.]  I can only assume that is why I was so thrilled when my friend Aubrey, who actually happens to be half Asian and writes the blog Adventures in Aubreyland,  told me she was dropping off some Korean facial sheet masks that I had been coveting from her instagram. [Tangent: Yes. I realize that by using them, I won't actually be Korean...but a white girl can dream, right?]

Within minutes of pulling them out of my mailbox, I knew which one instantly needed to adhere to my face. Behold: Tiger MASK! 



[Tangent: Yeah, Maybe it wouldn't make me Asian, but it would make me a tiger...which was somehow even more exotic. That's some Island of Dr. Moreau shit! Dreams come true, guys.]

Of course I kept it on way longer than the 10-20 minute mark because I didn't want the fun to end. It's a wonder my face didn't dissolve off my skull [Tangent:...or since it was anti-aging that I peel it off and look like a toddler.]. Instead it just made me all smooth and moisturized; now my skin is more satin glove and less catcher's mitt. 

After the initial bout of laughter, Jamie was a bit leery of my face hidden beneath the layer of gooey paper because he said I looked like the Ripley's Believe it or Not story about the dude enduring 100s of body modifications to become a tiger. I'm sure that if tiger man is a follower of my blog (which I hope to god is a reality) that he is having a "bitch stole my look" moment and is a little irritated that I achieved that same jungle cat euphoria in a simpler and less expensive manner. 



 After I posted the picture of my stripey feline face on IG, of course some of my friends (who are like-minded weirdos) wanted on board. If you wanna get them at a cheap rate, buy in bulk on Amazon here on this link and you too can be a manimal or womanimal every night of the week for under $20! Trust I already ordered more (PRIME THAT PLEASE!). They came in today, and I am so excited to be a otter or a panda or A DRAGON!!!! 

Oh...what the hell...here's one more insanely creepy and not at all flattering picture of me in full tiger glory! 
Sweet dreams, ya'll!!



Monday, February 1, 2016

Firmoo sunglasses for me means a Giveaway for you!

I'm the kind of gal that won't think twice about a real dumb purchase [Tangent: For this reason I am the proud owner of several Lego men dressed as monsters, a cupboard of goodwill coffee mugs and stacks of Lisa Frank Stickers.] yet I hem and haw about making an adult purchase for something I actually need in my life. For years, since I started becoming a full-time glasses wearer, I have been in need of a good pair of prescription sunglasses. [Tangent:...so I wouldn't have to double up my glasses looking like a whiter, less cool Dwayne Wayne whenever I'm outdoors or in the car.] I know the dead of winter seems like a curious time to finally give into these needs, but I am starting to become a hazard when I have to drive home from work in the low winter sun. You can only maneuver on the interstate with your eyes half-closed (or with them open so your corneas are scorching) so many times before you decide that something has to give. Luckily I knew where to get the ideal pair for a decent price...Firmoo! [Tangent: If you want to read why I am such a Firmoo fan, go read here and here.]

I have been buying and pimping out their wares for years, and I knew they wouldn't steer me wrong in my quest for the perfect RX sunglasses. As in most things with me, bigger is better. I want to go full Linda Richman with my sunnies, so I fell head over butt in love with these bad boys!




See! Look how I am using my selfie-stick! Aren't they the cutest? Even though I bought this pair with my own hard-earned money, I thought you all should get something as a reward for listening to me gush about my ridiculous new sunglasses! [Tangent: This post is only halfway self-indulgent...it is also philanthropic, you see!] You can get something out of this deal, too! Here are the awesome prizes:

Winner: 
One pair of RX Eyeglasses or Non-RX Sunglasses from Firmoo's Blogger Collection of Frames
[Tangent: 1.50 index single vision lens and shipping fee. I'm obsessed with these and these


Another opportunity to get something: 
$10 off codes awarded to 4 runners up

You can enter often and up your chances of winning! Get on it! The Giveaway will end on February 9 at midnight! 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday Lately (on a Monday because I suck!)

So a few weeks ago, my friend in blog-life and real-life Aubrey invited me to join a online blogging network on FB, The Blogger Tribe, which is a heady concept for a gal like me, who vacillates between being really good and really awkward at networking. [Tangent: My blog is weird and I have a real hard time pitching it to people.  "Do you like someone who talks a lot about junk food, 90's sitcoms, TLC reality and potentially bathroom etiquette and wheelchair stuff?" You either like it or you don't. That's cool. I have no niche or schedule. I am not a pro even though I pretend to be.]  I am just dipping my feet and exploring the group, but it seems like a good source of prompts when I had ZERO idea of what to write about and maybe an opportunity to get exposed to new sites from a diverse pool of women. Win/Win.

Every Sunday, the tribe-members participate in a Sunday Lately Post where they share what they have been up to that week.  Because you all know me, I can't promise that I will be incredibly consistent, but this week I decided to give Sunday Lately a spin. [Tangent: But of course I am doing it on a Monday because I am A. Bad at following directions and B. Too busy watching Grease Live last night to do anything not related to that past time.]

Doing
Reading. A LOT! I definitely have on and off years reading-wise. I have predetermined that this is going to be an on-year. So far in 2016, I'm proud to say moved 3 books from the "to read" to the "read" pile on Goodreads! I'm also pretty involved in about 4 different books. My current fave is Kelly Oxford's "Everything is Perfect when you're a Liar".  It was recommended to me by my friend Laura and I love it so much. Oxford reminds me a lot of myself, which given the title- makes me question my values.
Appreciating
Movies! It's that time of year where I decide I need to see as many Oscar nominated pictures as possible. This year I am grossly behind [Tangent: Having only seen Mad Max, The Martian, Room and The Revenent from the main category....you might as well tell me I am only halfway done digging the Panama Canal. Yes, I'm overwhelmed by a random self-imposed goal/stressor! I'm that girl!] However, I'm having some definite opinions and appreciating all the movies, even the ones that aren't my favorites. I also know Tom Hardy won't win for The Revenent, but his performance was one of the most amazing things I have seen in a long time. Never have I been so terrified by someone in a jaunty badger hat.

Designing
I wish I could say I had more to add here. I definitely need to put my art minor to work more, and have some ideas on the horizon. One thing at a time, folks.

Humming
Over the weekend I had the epiphany that I remembered nada about the X-Files. I was 11 when it premiered and not cool or interesting enough to give two shits. I recall a couple eps, but never watched it consistently. We decided to change that before watching the new episodes. Because 200+ 40 minute chunks would mean I would have to become a total shut in, we are starting with this list and adding on as recommended by weirdos I trust. [Tangent: If you are one of those aformentioned weirdos, tell me your faves!] Anyway, all the while, I have not only been humming the famous theme, but also this gem from the recesses of my brain: Bree Sharp's 90s classic: "David Duchovny, Why Don't You Love Me?"
 

I have discussed this long forgotten song with several people over the last couple days. We determined that if Bree Sharp had bee around in the YouTube generation, this would likely be a huge sensation and not someone I had to google furiously. Also, how perfectly late 90s is that video!??! The cast of Baywatch and Fight Club era Brad Pitt!?!

Expecting
A baby. Psyche. Not in the least. But I am expecting a busy February. My family is coming in from California and then I'm taking a fun trip to Gaitlinburg over leap weekend. Somehow, even being a native Tennesseean, I have never seen the gloriousness of Gaitlinburg, so I am way more excited than I should be. I'm going with my friend Rae and a bunch of other couples, and my biggest requirement is that we all buy footie pjs (Kigurumi) for the trip. This has become way too big a decision making process than it should be. THERE ARE SO MANY AVAILABLE !!! WHAT IS MY SPIRIT ANIMAL!?!? I settled on this low-rent panda, because why not? I'm expecting to have a ridiculous adventure in the smokies...in my weird panda suit.
So how was your sunday...or Monday?

Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe
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