If you also know a thing or two about me, you know the Cohen brothers can do no wrong in my eyes: Fargo, the aforementioned No Country for Old Men, Miller's Crossing, Raising Arizona, and O Brother Where Art Thou are also found on my favorite movies list.
True Grit, remade by the Cohen brothers, had the perfect equation for me to LOVE this movie. Throw in some amazing performances by Jeff Bridges and Barry Pepper, I was supposed to have gotten the vapors 15 minutes in. But I kept getting hung up on the character of Mattie, the 14-year-old girl who had hired Bridges character, Rooster Cogburn, to avenge her father's death. While Rooster, Matt Damon's Texas Ranger, and the "villains" were portrayed as complex and human, Mattie remained an unwavering Pollyanna-esque spirit and a smart-mouth, with nary a hair out of place from her tightly wound braids.
Mattie's character probably wouldn't have bothered me so much had her supporting cast not been so multifaceted and complex. I could almost SMELL Rooster and he was not a hero, like John Wayne was in the original True Grit, but a human. He has a horrible drinking problem, two failed marriages, and a son that hates his guts. Pile that on top of a bank-robbing history, a painful-looking beer gut and only one good eye, it's a wonder Rooster (who's real name is Rueben, how wimpy does that sound?) gets any work at all as a U.S. Marshall.
The "bad guys" were also complex and almost difficult to dislike. Barry Pepper, who looks like he's a million years old in his role as Lucky Ned Pepper, is a smart and, if I can say this, honest crook. He worries about Mattie's well-being and sticks to his word when agreements are made. Tom Chaney, played by Josh Brolin, the poor schmuck with the bounty on his head, is just a bumbling idiot who makes rash decisions, not the criminal mastermind many bank-robbers and Wild West bad guys have usually been portrayed in Westerns past.
The overwhelming sense of how stinkin' tough every single living being had to be in this time period just to survive resonates in almost every scene. Rooster's wisdom and experience, Mattie's horse that rides full bore through the night, the Texas Ranger who continues to chatter even though he's bit halfway through his tongue, and, darnit, even Mattie who has to be a man, woman, and child all at the same time: all of them are made of true grit. Sounds cheesy, but that was one of the things that made me like this movie.
So, of course, being a Western and a Cohen brothers' creation, I ended up liking the movie, weak spots aside. I'm getting predictable in my old age, but if I'm as wily and tough as Rooster when I reach his age, getting old doesn't seem so bad.
How was your weekend? Was it as crazy as mine was? Even though mine was crazy, I felt like I got a lot accomplished! I was able to:
Host book club
Clean the house
Perfect my hummus recipe
Package all of our out-of-town gifts
Complete our Holiday cards
Bake a bazillion loaves of jalapeno corn bread
Label our Green Tomato Jam
Deliver all that cornbread and jam to our favorite peeps
I feel a little badly about dropping off all our our local holiday gifts at 6:30 on a Sunday evening, but if it wasn't getting done yesterday, it wasn't getting done at all! I hate the "drop-by," too! And we were the biggest offenders last night! Shug made me stay in the car while he dropped off the gifts, because he knew I would just talktalktalk...and that's probably true;)! How was your weekend? Did it feel like you had one at all?
When I grow up and finally get my elusive Master's degree, I'm going to treat myself to a "grown-up" bag. I'm thinking a classic piece that will look good on my arm now and in 50 years. I'm certain these "grown up" bags' longevity is reflected in the price, because cost per wear divided by 5 decades takes the pain out of that sticker shock!
The day after the wedding, a few of us had a day or two to explore the area around Kinsale. One main attraction is the old Charles Fort. Every local in town we asked where we should go pointed us in the fort's direction, but not without warning...Apparently a ghost lives in the fort!
Shug, Hall, Ciel, and I all bundled up against the coastal wind and met Hail and another beautiful bridesmaid at the fort to explore. The outer walls of the fort were still intact, but the inner barracks had all started to crumble. The ruins used to be a favorite place for campers to set up when traveling, but the Irish government put the kibosh on that in the early 80s.
The ghost that lives in Charles Fort is the "White Lady." She was a daughter of the local governor or mayor or something and fell hard for the commander of the fort. He was pretty sweet on her, too, so the day of their wedding, he asked the watch-out sentry to go pick flowers for her bouquet. The sentry was super-paranoid, so he asked the commander to put on his sentry cap and hold his watch while he went on flower-arranging duty. The commander was a cool guy, so he said "sure," and set up watch.
Well, this sentry wasn't so great at flower-picking and took a suuuuuper long time and the commander fell asleep at the watch-out post with watch-out guy's hat still on! The local governor, arriving for the nuptials, saw this sleeping sentry and shot him like an asshole governor would! The poor commander died and the White Lady, who saw the whole fiasco, ran to the top of the fort and threw herself off down to the rocky cliffs below. Bummer, right? Now she just mopes around the Fort in her wedding gown.
Luckily, we didn't see her.
It was really interesting to see how much plant life had taken over the rocky fort! Back to the green theme, everything was coated with bright grasses and weeds.
It was a great end to an amazing week...and the company couldn't have been better!
I am reeeeealy digging on these diaphanous blouses...and it is snowing as I type! I think they look so chic and sexy, but without being vulgar. Do you know what I mean?
I would probably wear a contrasting bra color to my skin tone, I wouldn't want to give anyone any ideas...This American Apparel styling would be the OPPOSITE of how I'd wear this shirt! But, I do love this olive color.
I'm making all sorts of fashion-concessions lately! First jeggings and now these? What's a girl to do other than wear them together?
After an extremely long week, I had to post something that still makes me laugh from our trip to Paris!
We had the luck to visit Versailles on a cold and rainy day, while this may sound dismal, it was brilliant because the gardens were almost vacant and the surrounding buildings of the palace were left for just Shug and I to explore! (I'll post more on the actual gardens and palace later, promise.)
It was a long and awesome day, but Shug and I had spent most of our food budget on RER tickets to get out to the palace and wanted to grab an inexpensive bite before heading back to the hotel. We just happened to be staying right by an establishment called Flunch. The only way I can describe this is to liken it to the cafeteria in IKEA, because you pass home goods and hardware before entering the restaurant.
While IKEA's food is about as exciting as their furniture assembly instructions, Flunch had a pretty wide array of foods to choose from, even for a gluten-free girl like me. I had an assorted cheese plate and an avocado salad with some delicious Côtes du Rhône to wash it all down. But Shug, well let's just say he pretty much died and went to heaven because he found the Double Tennessee!
Have you heard of the Double Down? Yeah, it's pretty gross. Well, the French have totally one-upped us on our cuisine yet again! It's some double-hamburger-and-cheese-and-hashbrown-and-mayonnaise-and-some-more-artery-clogging-stuff that any fast-food loving expat would swoon over. Shug, being a fast food fan, was in love.
We laughed about the Double Tennessee for the rest of the trip! The name is enough to make me crack up! I can't believe we missed the sign when we walked in!
I hope you have a lovely and restful weekend! I'll be working, but that's ok! I need to start squirreling some extra moolah away for present-buying! xo.
The other evening I was enjoying a wonderful glass of wine with some of my favorite people in the world, one of those people being Supermodel. She remarked on her new Urban Outfitters treasures, the highlighted item being her brand new jeggings. Now Supermodel, named as such, could wear a burlap potato sack and make it look chic and current. I must also add she is a master of the high heel, as I've seen her navigate icy sidewalks to slippery stairs in all but the highest of tacón. Needless to say, homegirl looked amazing.
I quickly defended my position as a non-jeggings aficionado, as I crave the support and slimming assets of a well-made pair of skinny jeans, but Supermodel kept selling me on this damn jegging idea! Mine are on their way in the mail, but they will be given the 360-degree-sit-squat-walk-test (in flats, cause that's just about all I'm capable of wearing these days) before they are EVER unleashed on the general public.
So my question is, dear readers, is: do you LIKE jeggings? And if so, how do you wear them? Your fashion answers are appreciated! And I'll keep you posted if I have joined the Cult of Jeggings!
I have been conducting a real-life science experiment since July. In my efforts to stop putting crap, in, on, and around my body, I thought a great place to attack would be my antiperspirant.
Since the presence of aluminum in anti-stinky stuff for the underarms has been possibly linked to breast cancer and other heath issues for quite some time, I knew I'd have to give up the ghost of NOT sweating all together. Antiperspirants actually clog the pores in your underarms, hindering your apocrine and eccrine glands from "sweating" at all, and no sweat means less places for bacteria to grow and start to funk up the place. Deodorants, allow your glands to sweat, but wage war on the bacteria that try to set up camp in your sweaty armpits. The only natural options are all deodorants, since one of the functions of aluminum it to stop up those glands from leaking!
SO, the rating system I chose for these natural pit juices is from 1 - 5 Sweaty Bettys. "1" meaning a Sweaty Betty like myself would need to reapply alllllll day long at every bathroom break possible and I'd still be a stinky mess. "5" Sweaty Bettys means, while you are sweating, there is little to no stinkage detected and if re-application is needed, it's after working out or a stressful presentation (this happened!) Points were also deducted for ingredients that could be health no-nos, but have yet to be proven as completely dicey to use. I used each pit juice for three weeks to allow them to get their mojo started. Let's get to the Pit Juice Thunderdome!!!
Tom's of Maine - 1.5 Sweaty Bettys
Tom's of Maine Long-Lasting Caregets a whole Sweaty Betty ADDED for it's awesome ingredient list! Every ingredient is listed and explained on their website, no extra gunk here, like synthetic fragrances. If you don't perspire, just "glow" as my junior high P.E. teacher told me that's what girls should do, then by all means, get some Tom's of Maine on your pits.
Unfortunately, I was smelly by my second cup of coffee the mornings I swiped this on.
Mbeze Deodorette and Dabber Dust - 5 Sweaty Bettys
I stumbled upon Mbeze after watching a segment of Kathie Lee and Hoda (don't ask) talking about battling the summer makeup meltdowns. The cute little deodorettes are a little larger than a lipstick and one little deodorette lasted me about a month. It's small size is perfect for traveling or just stashing in your purse for touch-ups. I used the Dabber Dust on top to help with my perspiration-problem, and this magical combo worked like a charm! My favorite scents were the Once Bitten and Coco Haze.
I used this in San Diego by the beach on a sunny day where I probably walked 5 miles on the boardwalk with no reapplication and my pits were fresh as daisies! The only drawback to these beauties is the price...While the Dabber Dust lasted about three months, the little deodorette only held on for about a month, and at $10 a deodorette, that adds up.
Crystal Stick Body Deodorant - 0 Sweaty Bettys
Should have just gone commando pits with this one. Smelly and stinky minutes out of the shower. Ok, that is a bit of an exaggeration, but seriously, save your moolah and skip this one!
GudonyaTOO Stinky No More Deodorant - 2.5 Sweaty Bettys
This was a nice surprise, it was big, you could pick your scent (I loved the Chai), and it worked moderately well. One Sweaty Betty was deducted for the use of propylene glycol as the first ingredient, which has not been fully investigated for it's carcinogenic potential.
Soap and Glory One Pit Wonder - 3 Sweaty Bettys
This punny line was recently available at Target, but has since been removed from their shelves. You can still order Soap and Glory items online and I'd say it's worth it to wait for this "Wonder" in the mail! It was one of the few antiperspirants that went on and dried clear, so it didn't leave a powdery residue on my clothes. It also has a delicate rose scent, unlike the popular hippie-ish Chai or lavender scents that are used to help "cover up" the stinkified pit in many natural deodorants.
This worked pretty well for me, with just one mandatory re-application at lunchtime. This also got a Sweaty Betty point deduction for propylene glycol as the first ingredient.
Bubble and Bee Pit Putty - 2.5 Sweaty Bettys
Oh, how I wanted this Putty to work SO BADLY!Not only is this made locally here in Utah, it's ingredients are 100% USDA Organic. You seriously could EAT this stuff and it would be a-ok...except it wouldn't taste so great. I tried the Geranium & Lime scent and it smelled lovely and citrus-y!
You have to swipe the Putty on and rub it into your armpit, so if you rock hairy armpits, I imagine this could take awhile. While I appreciated how natural and local this stuff was, I had to re-apply at LEAST twice a day to keep the stinkiness away. If you aren't a Sweaty Betty like myself or have lots of time and privacy to reapply often, I'd highly recommend this local concoction.
The Body Shop DeoDry Dry-Effect Deodorant - 4.5 Sweaty Bettys
This was the underdog that I bought on a whim during my layover in Cincinatti on my way back from Paris. You know how the Body Shop gets you, the whole "Buy 3, Get 2 Free!" deal that has your basket filled in no time! This was one of my "2 Free!" items and I'd thought I'd give it a whirl.
It is GREAT! I have yet to need to re-apply when using this stuff! The roll-on is the kind I've been using and it get's and extra half-a-point for being refillable, so less waste! The fancy specialty to this deodorant is that it uses perlite to keep your pits dryer than the average deodorant. While breathing in perlite is a big health no-no, this is suspended in liquid form so inhaling the perlite in DeoDry is low-risk.
A half of a Sweaty Betty was deducted for the synthetic fragrance used, but I'm not gonna lie, I loved the Fresh & Floral scent..!
So there you have it! Pit Juice Thunderdome completed! It really was a tie between the Mbeze and Body Shop DeoDry, and the super-loser being the Crystal Stick Body Deodorant. I hope this helps and remember everyone's body chemistry and sweat glands are different, so don't be cross with me if these don't work the same way for you;)!