On The 24th Day of Blogmas: Merry Christmas Eve ๐ŸŽ…

Blogmas

Merry Christmas Eve, I hope this blog finds you well & safe at home. The recent weather event always reminds me how lucky I am to have a warm home & roof over my head. The temperatures have plummeted & there’s nowhere I’d rather be than on my couch, watching holiday specials. This time of year tends to make me a little melancholy, when the lights come down, the tinsel is packed away & the tree at the curbside – the world looks a little sad. I leave my decor up through my birthday but the holiday feeling markedly dissipates after Christmas.

Anyway, I have two hours until mass & am watching my favorite holiday specials which of course begins with A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) an all around classic. A jaded Charlie Brown is on a mission to discover the true meaning of Christmas which he feels has been hijacked by consumerism.

Next, A Garfield Christmas Special (1987) with Garfield & Odie headed to the Arbuckle family farm for a good ol’ fashioned Christmas. I love Garfield, the old cartoons especially for the dry humor. This one is very sweet & endearing, another true meaning of Christmas trope but I still enjoy it.

It wouldn’t be Christmas Eve without watching a bitter Grinch breaking & entering then committing grand larceny ๐Ÿ˜‚ Honestly though, when one stops to really consider the plot of How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) it is a bit nutty. How were the Whos just so chill when the Grinch admitted to robbing them?!

Occasionally, I will watch the old clay animation specials that we watched as kids but those make me a little sad too. It’s such an odd time of year, while it’s wonderful to reminisce, it always makes me blue. Also, I cannot do another Zoom anything. I was telling my sister that I’m not sad about being alone on Christmas because I’m a homebody but it’s hard for me to see the strain & sadness in other people’s faces. We’re unwrapping a few gifts tomorrow via Zoom but I’m Zoomed out.

I hope that you’re happy, healthy & just doing the best you can. Merry Christmas Eve โ„

On the 12th Day of Blogmas: Baking & Bond, James Bond

Blogmas

Happy Saturday, I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend! I mentioned a few posts back that I take one weekend each year to watch James Bond films & bake Christmas goodies. Today was supposed to be the day, the Bond marathon was a success but the baking part an abject failure. In my defense, I was waiting for the butter to soften ๐Ÿ˜‰ So instead of sharing the goodies I should have made, I’m sharing my Top 5 Bond films. I’m a James Bond fanatic, it started with the books in middle school & films when I was in college. I have no idea why it took me so long to watch them, probably because they weren’t cool by liberal, college female standards. I still listen to the books, there’s something wholesome & nostalgic about the old stories even though the material is a bit racy. Now, I could rank all 26 films but that seems crazy ๐Ÿ˜‚

Number 5: Skyfall (2012) This is my favorite Daniel Craig adaptation by far. I thought his debut in Casino Royale fell flat considering how good the book is. Craig is not my favorite Bond, he plays the role a lot grittier & tortured than the international men of mystery from yester year but he’s an interesting Bond. This one finds M at the center of an assassination plot spearheaded by a former agent. The villain being someone on the inside rather than some over the top, super villain made this one tense & his story is so tragic. It’s all fun & games until the cyanide capsule fails.

Number 4: Moonraker (1979) But I do love a bizarre, over the top villain too ๐Ÿ˜‚ When a space shuttle is stolen, Bond is sent to investigate the ultra-wealthy, eccentric Hugo Drax. From Rio to Venice, Bond is pursued by Jaws, a hulking brute of a man with jaws of steel. There’s a super cheesy intergalactic battle but 007 saves the human race in the knick of time, again. Roger Moore is a decent Bond if a little nerdy. This film has been lauded as the worst Bond film, it’s a little nutty but still a fun watch.

Number 3: Goldfinger (1964) Bond is investigating Auric Goldfinger, yet another businessman bent on world domination. He invites Bond to his horse farm for drinks…& murder. Iconic scenes include the poor girl suffocated in gold & Odd Job with his deadly hat.

Number 2: Goldeneye (1995) Hands down the only Pierce Brosnan film I can stand – the other ones are just bananas, even for Bond ๐Ÿ˜‚ 007 goes up against the only person who can whip his ass, 006. Bond has to take down his former ally before he uses a stolen satellite to destroy the earth. I don’t love the Brosnan era films because I believe this was the start of the prolonged sex scenes. The older films just gave cheeky hints as to what was happening, they kept it classy & fun by comparison.

Number 1: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) My favorite Bond, George Lazenby appeared in exactly one film & it’s my favorite by far. He had some big shoes to fill following Connery & did a bang up job in my opinion. Bond infiltrates the international crime syndicate SPECTRE by securing an invitation to a compound in the Alps by one Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Blofeld is executing a bio-warfare plot that would wipe out global economies. I love the isolated setting, Bond’s midnight escape on skis & nail biting car chases. I think this is the one Bond storyline where he could have been killed but he came through without any fancy gadgets ๐Ÿ˜‰ This film also put an end to the ever revolving cast of Bond girls…almost…

Bond to me, is just good fun. Some of the older films haven’t perhaps aged well but I’m also applying my modern day morals & values to very different times. I think that is something to consider when watching these films – just enjoy them for what they are. Are you a Bond fan? What’s your favorite film? I’ll post my baked goods just as soon as I get around to making them โ„

On The 7th Day of Blogmas: Holiday Movie Watch List

Blogmas

Have these movies all been watched at least a hundred times by most everyone on the face of the earth? Yes. Are we still going to watch them on repeat until New Years? Given the current lockdown situation, probably. Listen, I just don’t think that the cheesy, made for television holiday romps will ever compare to the classics. They’re cute but they don’t have that re-watch ability factor for me. I can watch Kevin McCallister slap aftershave on his face 50 times over & still laugh…I can only watch a hunky knight kiss Vanessa Hudgens under the mistletoe like…once. Not to mention, those feel good films make myself & most single females bitter – when am I going to be proposed to on Christmas by some time traveling hunk?! Never, the answer is never.

My inner monologue watching Hallmark movies…

I much prefer holiday comedy films over the feel good rom-coms, but everyone’s taste is different. These are just a few that I must watch each year.

Frosty Regular

Just the original for me, please – Lost in New York is pretty good but can the same preposterous thing happen two times over? Seems unlikely. I am sure that we all know the premise of this classic, Kevin makes a Christmas wish for his whole family to disappear & Father Christmas grants this wish when the family hits a flight to Paris & leaves him home alone. Kevin enjoys his newfound freedom until a couple of local burglars case his family home. It’s a classic that I think has aged very well and should not be remade.

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Probably my favorite holiday movie, I love this quirky, crazy, relatable chronicle of Christmas with the Griswolds. Again, it’s a hilarious depiction of how the holidays can go so wrong but still be so much fun when the family gets together. The turkey scene especially kills me, my mom would start cooking the turkey at about 2 AM & cook that thing for hours. I still don’t know why, when I started cooking my own turkey & realized that it takes a mere few hours, I figured out why my mother’s turkey was always so dry ๐Ÿ˜› No, sometimes it was perfect but I still don’t understand the 12-hour cook time.

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This is a newer addition to my holiday rotation but it became a fast favorite – probably because it is set in 1940 which just adds to its charm. The movie chronicles Ralphie’s attempts to acquire a Red Ryder air rifle for Christmas. The costumes & sets are simply perfect, it’s just a delight. I’m that crazy person who will actually sit & watch this one on marathon, it’s so much fun & who can’t relate to desperately wanting something for Christmas as a kid?

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Scott Calvin has stopped believing in the magic of Christmas until he inadvertently pushes Santa off his roof & finds himself having to the fill the role. My favorite parts of this one are when single dad Scott burns the holiday meal & they have to eat at a Denny’s that is fresh out of pie & when Neal receives a Weenie Whistle. It’s a fun move that touched on some very real topics, like navigating a new family dynamic during the holidays & hanging onto the true meaning of Christmas.

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This one tends to end up on some worst movie lists but I think it’s delightful. Howard is a high-powered mattress salesman who forgets to secure a hot toy item for his son. This leads to a hysterical series of events as he tries to find a Turbo Man for Christmas morning. There are a lot of Minnesota landmarks in this film; Mall of America, Wabasha St. & downtown St. Paul, the Cedar bridge – it’s fun to watch.

My favorite thing to do is have these on repeat while I wrap gifts through the night. Do I have any reason so stay up all night & wrap gifts? No, it’s not like there is anyone in the house that I need to have asleep so I can wrap gifts ๐Ÿ˜› Also, I never wrap gifts on Christmas Eve anyway because most of them need to be in the mail well before Christmas. So usually, it’s like a random Tuesday night that I am staying up way too late wrapping gifts & watching holiday movies. What are your favorite holiday movies, let me know if any of there top your list!

Blogtober Day 27: Dressed to Kill (1980)

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De Palma does Hitchcock in this thriller from 1980 starring a very foxy Michael Caine, stunning Angie Dickinson and a fresh-faced Nancy Allen. A housewife’s (Dickinson) lunch time tryst turns deadly when she is slashed to death leaving her mysterious lover’s apartment. Liz Blake (Allen) witnesses the aftermath of the gory murder and catches a glimpse of the statuesque, blonde murderess fleeing the scene with a straight razor. Michael Caine plays Dr. Robert Elliott, who was Dickinson’s therapist whom she tried to seduce prior to her untimely death and who has a former patient named Bobbi who becomes the main suspect for the murder. Peter, son of the victim, teams up with Liz who is apparently a sex-worker (I didn’t realize this until the 20th or so time that I had watched this film) team up to track down Bobbi and solve the murder. We find out that Bobbi is angry with Dr. Elliott for not approving her gender reassignment surgery and could be using this as a reason to kill off his patients. Liz and Peter concoct a plan where Liz tries to seduce the good doctor but this man is not easily seduced. While Liz is stripped down to her lingerie and digging through his Rolodex trying to get information on Bobbi, Dr. Elliott is in the back throwing on a wig and sharpening his straight razor. Yup, he turns out to be Bobbi, another shocking reveal! He attempts to murder Liz but is thwarted by Peter who bursts in and maces him.

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This film is visually stunning, from the atmosphere to the costumes – it is a delight for the eyes. The cast is brilliant and the plot, while it doesn’t totally make sense, keeps you guessing until the end ๐Ÿงก

Blogtober Day 23: Mary Reilly

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This movie was bizarre, not just with a capital B – all caps, underlined, exclamation point. We are all familiar with the Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde story – I’ve been banging on about it for the last two days. I decided that I wanted to watch a couple of newer film adaptations & stumbled upon Mary Reilly (1996) starring Julia Roberts as Mary & John Malkovich as Jekyll & Hyde. This was a freak show from start to finish.

Mary is Jekyll’s maid who might be Welsh or possibly Irish… I’ll just say that Roberts’ talents don’t include accents. It’s obvious that she has experienced something particularly traumatic in her life & the doctor is curious about Mary. He presses her on how she received various bite marks on her arms & neck. Eventually, Mary tells the doctor that her father let a rat chew her up as punishment for breaking a tea cup. After that, her mother put her into service & she never saw her parents again. It’s close to this point that Jekyll informs his staff that he is taking an assistant who will have the run of the house. Mary has noticed odd things about the doctor’s coming & goings but nothing terribly alarming.

One evening though Jekyll sends Mary on an errand to see a Mrs. Farraday who obviously runs a brothel. He requests that Farraday accommodate Hyde in her boarding rooms which she agrees to. Shortly thereafter, Mary is awoken by the crying of a girl & when she sneaks into the doctor’s study sees a note for Blood Money. She starts to suspect something is wrong with the doctor but she has yet to encounter the elusive Hyde.

Jekyll dispatches Mary once again to Farraday’s with a note but this time she’s much less benevolent. It is clear that Hyde murdered one of the girls at the brothel & Farraday is asked to keep it hushed up. From here on, Mary encounters Hyde a number of times even accompanying him to a meat market for the doctor. Malkovich does a tremendous job of altering his mannerisms just enough to appear as two completely different personalities. Even so, the house staff start to suspect there’s something not quite right going on. He tends to go in & out of character around Mary in particular & she starts covering for his odd behavior at times.

Eventually, Farraday comes to collect more hush money from the good doctor & Hyde murders her. As if things weren’t weird enough, Mary’s mother dies & she encounters her father at her funeral. On her way home, Mary encounters Hyde running from the police after committing yet another murder. He kisses Mary & says she will never see him again.

Cue downward spiral, running out of the secret chemicals & death by poisoning. This time though, Jekyll manages to revert back to himself only to find that Hyde laced the antidote with poison thus killing them both. Mary witnesses the final transformation affirming what she had already mostly concluded.

This film was…off-putting. From the dank atmosphere to the the tragedy of Mary, it really was horrific. I didn’t enjoy the addition of a love story to the original plot. I think what made this so bizarre was that it was really a love triangle. Mary was infatuated with Jekyll & he obviously had some feelings for her but could only express this when he was Hyde who was abhorrent. Glenn Close as Farraday was brilliant even if her character had very little screen time. I just didn’t care for Roberts’ performance, she was overly snivelly & that accent…

Have you seen this one? It was certainly unique ๐Ÿงก

Blogtober Day 22: Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Novella Review

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Yesterday, I touched on my favorite classic monsters & watched about four vampire movies. I got time on my hands. When deciding on whether or not to add Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde as part of my werewolf section, I realized that I don’t know nearly enough about these fellow(s) & immediately had to remedy this. First off, I had never read the novella, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson – yea, the Treasure Island guy. Since it’s only about 50 pages, I knocked that out yesterday afternoon.

It was exactly what I expected & I guess not quite as I recall. Granted, I have only watched the very old film adaptations but I though that Hyde was visibly monstrous which isn’t the case. The story is told from the point of view of Gabriel John Utterson, a well to do lawyer & friend of the brilliant, well respected Dr. Henry Jekyll. On a walk with a good friend of his, Utterson is regaled with a tale about an evil, sinister, ugly little man who stomped on a child & then paid the family as retribution with a cheque from Dr. Jekyll’s account. This is worrisome to Utterson as he knows who the evil little man is & that Jekyll had recently changed his will to include this sinister character, Edward Hyde. He also discovers that Hyde has free access to Jekyll’s laboratory & Utterson is worried that his good friend is being black mailed, or worse by Mr. Hyde. One night, Hyde attacks & murders a close friend of Dr. Jekyll and Utterson’s. Hyde, given his distinct, evil appearance is immediately identified as the murderer. Utterson is fetched to identify the dead man’s body & again is worried about his friend Jekyll & thinking that he must be next on Hyde’s list of murders. Through a fairly convoluted back & forth, we of course discover that Jekyll & Hyde are one & the same. His ability to change character & appearance is the result of one of his experiments & ingestion of a potion that transforms him. As time progresses Jekyll finds himself transforming into Hyde without using the potion & finds it increasingly difficult to revert back to his good, better personality. Eventually, Hyde runs out of the chemicals to concoct his special mixture & drinks poison.

So, the obvious theme is the internal struggle of good versus evil. As human beings, we generally want to do good but there’s so much temptation. In Jekyll’s case he couldn’t reconcile with the duality of his personality so was determined to create two completely separate beings that could revel in extreme good & extreme evil. I got to reading various essays about the underlying themes & social context of the novella. Many of them alluded to the duality of Victorian era society – all lady in the streets, freak in the sheets – those weren’t the exact words but you get the idea. Utterson is extremely worried about the preservation of his friend’s reputation & this certainly does make sense. However, in the novella, as Jekyll is spiraling he continuously complains about the pureness of the chemicals that he needs. This got me thinking about some of the prescription drug abuse of the era & was there social commentary on addiction to opioids? I believe that Stevenson was quite ill for most of his life, did he have some experience with treatment that left an impression on him? Even more modern interpretations allude to personality disorders or mental illness being the reason for Dr. Jekyll’s transformation into Mr. Hyde, interesting reading all around. Maybe it is just a short story about a guy who wanted to be bad sometimes & took it too far, whatever the case, I am glad that I read this one. Even though I know the general storyline, reading the finer details of the story has certainly piqued my interest. Also, Mr. Hyde wasn’t a monster in appearance, apparently he just looked particularly evil. I’m picturing a shorter, Rudy Giuliani (and now you are too). Not saying that he is evil but he has a nefarious look about him. I have a few movies to watch now since I’ve probably only watched 1-2 of the older ones.

Does anyone else find themselves down these rabbit holes sometimes? Probably with more interesting topics but I can’t help who I am. I have a list of Jekyll & Hyde movies to work through, I will report back with tomorrow’s 31 Nights of Horror. I have been slacking on watching movies (aside from my vampire marathon) but mostly because I’ve been needing to go into work very early as of late. Thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿงก

Blogtober Day 21: My Favorite Classic Monsters

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Ask me how excited I was about all of that snow this morning? Not at all. Listen, how do people forget every single year that it snows & the roads get bad so instead of driving cautiously, they just slam into one another then my 15-minute commute turns into a 45-minute commute because of stupidity. How?! I’ve had it, to anyone who cannot drive in the snow – please move, immediately. I hope that it all melts because I cannot deal with that crap on my way home. Aside from all of the morons on the road this morning, lets talk monsters – specifically my favorite, old school monsters. Not homicidal maniacs, Michael Myers wins that spot, no contest ๐Ÿ˜› We are talking classic monsters here, the tragically misunderstood abominations that haunted but certainly enriched my childhood.

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Raise your hand if you read every horror/gothic novel listed on the permissible classics reading list in AP English. Bram Stoker’s Dracula was not my first introduction to the character but certainly the most disappointing. I blame this on the litany of modern Dracula interpretations that I had been exposed to prior to reading this classic. It is a classic, I think it’s fantastic reading but it wasn’t sexy or alluring & the story of Dracula is a lot more tragic than beautiful creatures that live forever. I’m not a fan of Nosferatu which is probably the most accurate adaptation of the original Dracula if you consider how slow it is. I don’t care for the original or the remake featuring Eddie Izzard which still cracks me up. I much prefer Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula which took some liberties but captured the tortured, oddly alluring creature that I am drawn to. Aside from his more modern appearances, the story of Vlad the Impaler while horrific is very interesting. I love that this classic monster, cloaked in black magic has some crossover to the mortal world as it makes him seem so much more tangible. The scope of interpretations of Dracula is also what keeps me interested, he can be placed in any time period, at any age, from very sinister to more congenial & it just works. Always classic. Overall, I’m just a big fan of the vampire genre, child vampires, teen punk vampires (not Twilight), wealthy southern vampires…

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OK, by now we all know that the monster is not Frankenstein, that’s the name of the doctor – if not, now you do. The story of this unnamed monster is a tragedy but Mary Shelley’s life is also pretty tragic. Read more about that elsewhere but it isn’t shocking that this abomination was the creation of an 1800’s scholarly lady once you know more about her. Frankenstein is about a grad student, Victor Frankenstein who pieces together a monster from parts of dead bodies & reanimates it using alchemy & chemistry. Finding his creation so abhorrent, he pretty much loses his mind & flees. The monster, now having no creator sets out on his own, he is hated by everyone he encounters & commits two murders to wreak vengeance on his creator. What I found most sad about the story is that the monster is more repentant for his misdeeds than Frankenstein is. Everyone says that I am wrong on this but I think the book was about Frankenstein being the actual monster & less about the monster, hence the reason he wasn’t given a name. Apparently it is more widely accepted that Shelley did not name the monster because it was more titillating for audiences, it just seems like a really trite reason considering the events that transpire. I appreciate this monster because he turned out to be more human than the other humans he encountered, I wish that there were more adaptations & think that while everyone knows who he is, he is a bit overlooked.

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From Little Red Riding Hood to Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, the werewolf is another creature that has survived countless reinterpretations & just tends to work. The historical references of a werewolf like creature can be found in various legends from numerous different cultures & regions. It’s another tale rooted in the mystical that human beings seemingly believe exists. Werewolf lore is so far reaching that we attribute odd behavior in humans to a full moon. Again, I just appreciate a creature that has some significant historical context that transcends generations & remains relevant even in modern, less superstitious time periods.

I’ve always been confused about the Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde creature, he doesn’t turn into a werewolf but I do think that he is close enough to be in the same species. I think that Mr. Hyde is a sociopath, not really a monster though – let me know your thoughts on that. I guess he’s an honorable mention along with the Phantom of the Opera…dun, dun, dun.

Let me know who your favorite monsters are, are you a fan of the classic monster movies? I’m in an ooky-spooky mood now & ready to binge some classics ๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ–ค

Blogtober Day 14: Fall Anti-Haul

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How about a bit of a throwback style post today with a good ol’ anti-haul?! Today is a dreary, dark fall day & I’m loving it but my bed was feeling particularly cozy this morning & I rolled into work a little less than totally put together. Not like anyone would notice since we are still only at half capacity & I see about five people on my in-office days. I could have rolled in wearing sweats & my boss would have never been the wiser. Anyway, I should not be doing any shopping aside from food for the foreseeable future because I have been on a shopping bender. Home goods, makeup, some clothing, shoes – you name it, I’ve been splurging but I am set to start saving my shekels again for the rest of the year. The pandemic has cut down on some of my spending, I don’t get my nails done, I don’t go to the movies as often or find myself heading out for casual shopping trips. But just in case I’m tempted, especially by all of the holiday releases, here is my anti-haul list!

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I don’t even know what she is releasing yet but I don’t want it. Jennifer Lopez famously uses La Mer products, in an interview a few years ago she stated that she uses the cream all over her body in fact. So – if she isn’t selling La Mer then she isn’t honestly selling consumers the products that she uses to attain her flawless complexion. This is my issue with all celebrity skincare lines, it’s not just what they are slathering on their faces – it’s their lifestyles, diets, expensive beauty treatments, supplements, etc. It’s false advertisement at its worst & I’ve fallen for it a few times but not this time. I will say that her collaboration with Inglot was awesome & are still some of my favorite products but she can keep her skincare line.

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This one will be difficult because I just love the tiny little products & the winter themed components but aside from the Lashtopia duo pack that BareMinerals always releases, I am trying to steer clear of holiday sets. I find with holiday sets that there are 1-2 products that I really want & then the rest is just filler that I usually end up throwing out. The Best of Sephora sets are a good example, I will use several of the products but then toss out just as many. I think skincare & fragrance sets can be pretty good but I’m not looking for any new skincare or fragrance at this time so shouldn’t purchase any! I might add advent calendars to this category as well but again, I just love the tiny little products. Good thing that most of the calendars that I had any interest in are already sold out ๐Ÿ˜›

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The only experience I have with this brand is their Gypsy Water which in my opinion, does not smell great & is way overpriced. As is their makeup plus it’s boring. If the most interesting thing about a makeup line is the Dr. Seuss packaging then I don’t need it. We’ve seen it, it’s been done & I’m not paying $42 for a lipstick.

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If you read my rant about their botched release of the Hocus Pocus collection then you already know my qualms with this brand. I think that their products are boring & recycled until they slap some nostalgic theme on them to get consumers to buy it. Obviously, given the Hocus Pocus insanity – this formula works. I own quite a few Colourpop palettes & rarely use them, I think you get what you pay for in this case – cheap makeup. For me, I would rather own a couple of investment palettes that I enjoy using over a dozen palettes that perform so-so & are boring. In addition, I find that the products I do have an interest in will sell out immediately & I’m left with half a dozen brown palettes to choose from.

I think that’s it for…now…I keep eyeing that Too Faced pumpkin themed palette but can’t support their brand, really. Why didn’t any other brands do a PSL palette?! That’s the real question, take the money that I am already trying to give you. This is mostly just for fun & not just to shit on brands ๐Ÿ˜› Tell me your thoughts on celebrity skincare & makeup lines – do you support them? I’m definitely more inclined to purchase from their makeup lines, myself. Even not being a Selena Gomez fan (I’m too old), I have tried a bit from Rare Beauty because it looked interesting. Anyway, thanks for stopping be ๐Ÿงก

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If you have ever driven by a power line & felt a little nervous about the number of birds on it or speed walked by a lawn full of geese, you might have watched this classic Alfred Hitchcock film a little too young like yours truly. The gorgeous Tippi Hedren plays troubled socialite, Melanie Daniels who meets dashing Mitch at a pet store. An attempt at making amends leads to Melanie hand delivering a pair of love birds to Mitch’s little sister’s birthday party at their family seaside home. All the birds in the area have gone mad & are killing everything in their path. The Birds (1963).

Blogtober Day 13: Thirteen Halloween Facts

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Halloween being my favorite holiday was my favorite classroom holiday too, my kids were in for an action packed day of spooky activities. My last Halloween teaching public school, our district had banned Halloween parties & instituted ‘Harvest Festivals’ instead which sounds infinitely more ominous than a Halloween party. During my tenure as a teacher, I did loads of research into the origins of Halloween & this is a hodge podge of things I learned over the years!

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The Catholics knew how to celebrate Halloween or Hallowmas as the three-day festival used to be called. It was an event honoring the recently deceased and lasted from October 31 to November 2. I think this should be reinstated, especially given this election year – we deserve a three day party!

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Per usual, the Catholics didn’t institute a three day festival for the sake of a good time, it was more in the spirit of trying to convert the pagans. Samhain (Summer’s End) was the end of harvest festival celebrated by the Celts on November 1. The Pope’s institution of a religious festival was an attempt to bring the two religions together. It should also be noted that Dios De Los Meurtos are celebrated on November 1 & November 2, I just find it interesting how these holidays have so many different yet similar iterations.

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Trick-or-treating originated in Scotland & Ireland which again, was popularized by the Catholic church. Poor children would go from door to door ‘begging’ for treats in exchange for prayers. The costume bit still originates from Samhain, the revelers would wear costumes to confuse the spirits that could walk the mortal world during the festival. The Irish can also be credited for popularizing the celebration of Halloween in the United States, immigrants fleeing the potato famine brought their traditions with them.

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The American economy can thank those poor, starving Irish immigrants (who escaped the famine & genocide inflicted by the British) for the cash cow that Halloween has become. Second only to Christmas, Americans spend about 9-billion dollars celebrating the holiday.

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Wicce, the Old English word for witch means wise woman. Witches were not always the target of superstitious Puritans & religious maniacs, they were once respected individuals who often possessed healing talents & advanced knowledge of everything nature.

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Even the traditional black & orange colors associated with Halloween have significant meaning. Orange is symbolic of strength & also the colors associated with the fall harvest. Black has a more ominous symbolism in that it relates to death & the Samhain celebration.

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Harry Houdini died on Halloween night, 1926. Not really anything to do with Halloween but how fascinating to pass away on the night where the boundaries between the living world & underworld are a bit undefined. Same goes for being born on Halloween. children born on this day supposedly possessed the ability to talk with spirits.

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There are two ‘Halloween Capitals of the World’ in the United States – Anoka, MN & Salem, MA. Anoka claims to be the first city to hold a Halloween celebration to deter vandals & pranksters. Pretty lame when stacked up against the history of Salem, if you ask me. I’ve been to the Anoka celebration a few times, of course I am disappointed that it will be cancelled this year.

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Again, not completely to do with actual Halloween but this just cracks me up – the mask used in Halloween was a painted William Shatner mask. The movie had such a tight production budget that the crew got creative & repurposed a Captain Kirk mask. I don’t know why I find this so funny but it’s a fun bit of movie trivia.

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Halloween is still celebrated as the Wiccan New Year. Also, much of the popular symbols of Halloween including owls, black cats, bats & spiders have ties to Wiccan rituals and Samhain celebrations. While I love the modernized celebration of Halloween, I have deep respect for its origins & actually somewhat understand why it was pulled from most public schools ๐Ÿ˜› It doesn’t take much Googling to find all of this out…

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Full moons on Halloween are actually quite rare, so get your rituals in folks ๐Ÿ˜€ This year will be a Blue Moon, which is the second full moon to occur in the same month. So for real, get your cauldrons ready…you think I’m kidding…

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35-million pounds of candy corn are made each year. Who is eating candy corn? I can’t even, it’s literally the most disgusting thing. My mom used to make this cake with candy corn in it, I don’t remember it being terrible but I also don’t remember loving it.

Shock Shimmy Regular

The far reaching impacts of World War II put an end to trick-or-treating due to sugar rationing. Too bad it didn’t put an end to candy corn altogether ๐Ÿ˜€ The popular comic strip Peanuts was the brain child of WWII veteran, Charles Schulz & can be partially credited for the revival of traditional trick-or-treating in America.

Do you go in for the darker Samhain celebration or more of the cutesy, modern Halloween? Honestly, I love aspects of both. Let me know if you have some spooky facts to share! Thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿงก

Pieces NFI Regular

Psycho (1960) is probably one of the most well-known Hitchcock films & for good reason. Who could forget that bombshell moment when Norman Bates reveals himself as his own mother! Marion Crane fleeces her boss of $40,000 to elope with her boyfriend but falls prey to Bates when she stops off to stay the night at his motel.

Blogtober Day 11: Lazy Sunday

Blogtober

Actually, I got quite a bit done today but since I was out & about early, the afternoon was very leisurely. I picked up a couple of things that I had been waiting on for my bathroom, I wanted to get everything from IKEA but you couldn’t pay me to go in there right now. I am pretty pleased with everything that I purchased from Target, I feel like their homewares have become more reasonably priced. I ended up changing the entire color motif of my bathroom for just under $100. Here is a little look at the new set up.

Everything used to be pink because my bedroom was different tones of pink, I don’t know why I like my bathroom & bedroom to coordinate. I think it’s because to access my bathroom, you have to go through a big walk in closet so it’s like everything is connected. Bathrooms in rentals never impress me, they feel very used even though this is a newer building & the bathrooms aren’t too bad, I just don’t like them. I chose the shower curtain first, it’s a heavy linen with the embroidery & since it has three different grey tones I didn’t have to get too matchy matchy with the other accessories. I like it, nice & neutral & complements my room decor well. Everything is from Target aside from the small table that I purchased from IKEA pre-corona & the rope baskets I found on Amazon.

I also found this fantastic mug, it’s a tiny cauldron! I’m so excited to have coffee in it tomorrow morning although it’s quite small.

Pluto was absolutely exhausted after ‘helping’ me redecorate the bathroom & was sacked out for several hours this afternoon. It’s a bit of a spooky, windy fall night & I think I’m going to have a cider on the patio – let me know what you were up to this weekend ๐Ÿงก

Pieces NFI Regular

I don’t think that I had ever seen this before, didn’t love it. When a mom & her son become trapped in a car at the mercy of a rabid St. Bernard, most everyone dies. I don’t know, it just seemed wildly unrealistic, animals are smart but I feel that the dog would have tired in a few hours & wandered off to find more easily accessible prey. Anyway, Cujo (1983) was a bit of a let down.