"Oh, darling, I've been so miserable."

I was initially going to start this off with how my holidays were, but they were nothing short of mediocre so I'm not going to anymore.  To sum my vacation up, my parents and I (because my younger pre-teen sister doesn't like to leave her room) watched Bridesmaids. And that's it... Okay, moving on...

I really blog too much about Kate Winslet. And I apologize for it, but I'm not really sorry. Anywho, I pre-ordered HBO's Mildred Pierce DVD set probably about three or four months ago and it arrived at the beginning of the month. It stars Kate as Mildred Pierce, Guy Pearce as Monty Berragon and Evan Rachel Wood as Veda Pierce. I'm contemplating how I'm going to write about this without giving everything away... Okay, let me just say that the 344 minutes that I spent watching all five parts was probably the most intense 344 minutes I have ever spent watching anything in my entire life. And by the end of it all, I was a puddle of conflicting emotions and completely drained of whatever I had left in me. It's just such a tragic story of this mother-daughter relationship. I went to bed that night wondering how in the hell can someone betray someone who has loved them so unconditionally their entire life and has done everything for them? Are people really that insanely selfish? Do people like this actually exist?

I'm in love with my Honors American Literature class. Well, not my actual class in terms of the people in my class - because all of them (besides probably three people - including myself) seem entirely disinterested and it makes me wonder why the hell they take the class in the first place if they don't give a shit about it. I love the actual curriculum and the literature we've been reading for the past few months. We're in the 20's era of American literature - the lost generation and I am in love with it. We read The Great Gatsby last month which I've become so attached to. Also, also, also, also - I am ridiculously excited for the movie version of The Great Gatsby that comes out Christmas 2012. Leonardo DiCaprio is Gatsby, Toby Maguire is Nick, and Carey Mulligan as Daisy - what a dream team. Back to the literature aspect of this, we're in the middle of The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway and ugh, it's so great. I also love the drastic difference (but equal quality) of Hemingway and Fitzgerald's style of writing. I found The Great Gatsby to be so beautifully descriptive. However, it wasn't superfluous in the least. Where as The Sun Also Rises is very straight forwardly written, not to say that it isn't descriptive or doesn't provoke any imagery - but I find it to be very honest. I love Hemingway's vagueness and ambiguity about some matters - such as Jake's wound and whether or not it's an emotional or physical wound. It's one of those details that are critical to the story but is still left up for the interpretation of the reader.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan as Gatsby and Daisy in the 2012 release of The Great Gatsby.

Ernest Hemingway and friends in Spain, 1925. 

I feel like what has also fueled this budding passion of mine for the 1920's might have been the fact that I went to see The Artist with a friend over the holidays. It's a silent film that takes place in 1927 and further on. I went into the theatre not knowing what to expect. To be honest, I felt that there would be the possibility of me falling asleep at some point. But I was so pleasantly surprised! I actually got really into it and by the end I was wishing that this was how movies were still made.

Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo.

Oh hey back to Kate Winslet hey. I'm in the middle of reading The Reader and holy shit. I'm not even the type to go out of my way in my free time to read, but literally the first day I started reading this book, I got through 80 pages by noon. Go and read the book and watch the movie forever. I've actually been highlighting and making post-its in the story while I read and I'm just coming across so many incredible quotes so here you go:

In describing Hanna:

"It was more as if she had withdrawn into her own body, and left it to itself and its own quiet rhythms, unbothered by any input from her mind, oblivious to the outside world...she was slow-flowing, graceful, seductive -- a seductiveness that had nothing to do with breasts and hips and legs, but was an invitation to forget the world in the recesses of the body." 

"But when we had held each other for a while, when I had smelled her smell and felt her warmth and her strength, everything fell into place."

"...and she taught me not to do it bashfully, but with assurance and possessive thoroughness." 

"Hanna had been behaving oddly for days, moody and peremptory, and at the same time palpably under some kind of pressure that was absolutely tormenting her and left her acutely sensitive and vulnerable...I felt rejected, but I also felt her helplessness." 

Hanna says to Michael, "...You think it looks like you upset me? You don't have the power to upset me." (in the movie Kate Winslet also says "You don't matter enough to upset me." = dead Maya)

Michael -

"Why does what was beautiful suddenly shatter in hindsight because it concealed dark truths? ... Sometimes the memory of happiness cannot stay true because it ended unhappily."

"I felt at ease in my own body."

"But I felt rejected, exiled from the real world in which people lived and worked and loved."

I went into Sephora the other day with the objective to buy a Lancôme foundation. I was getting tired of how mask-y my MAC ProLongwear had been feeling as of late and my usual NC25 has become too light for my skin. I've also recently read that French makeup brands have a more accurate variety of skin tones. So I figured I would try and swap my MAC for Lancôme. I get to Sephora and start testing a bunch of shades on my hand and my face. Then an employee approaches me and asks if I need any help, I just tell her that I don't really need help, and that I'm just looking for the right shade. "What are your problem areas?" she asks me. I tell her that I'm not really sure, acne probably (I mean, what the hell else do people buy foundation for besides to conceal acne and dark spots/discoloration??). She tells me that I should really be looking at Clinique's Acne Solutions foundation because it's supposed to help with acne. "Oh! So, it has salicylic acid?" I asked her and she just stared at me for a bit until I said "...to help clear up the acne." She then nods her had and goes "Oh yes, yes, yes." I reluctantly went to the Clinque counter incredibly disappointed because I didn't want Clinique, I wanted Lancôme (#whitegirlproblems). She then gets another employee who, poor thing, didn't know very much English, to help me find my right skin tone. We find the right skin tone and she goes to the back to find if they had any extras as they had run out in front. Turns out they didn't have any left but she gave me a sample to take home and told me to come the next morning when they should have more in stock. Ugh, I didn't want to leave at all because I had this awful feeling of coming into the store with a purpose and knowing exactly what I wanted and then having to leave without it. I ended up saying "fuck it" and I bought the Lancôme foundation anyway because it's my money and I can buy whatever the hell I want with it. It's an incredible foundation, by the way. So super smooth and light and non-greasy, and it matches my skin tone perfectly, my awkward milky-yellow skin tone... I guess my point of writing this was because I was kind of pissed at the woman who was trying to help me. She just kept interrupting me and wouldn't actually let me explain to her what I was looking for. She just had this awful attitude that she knew more about makeup (which is bullshit because she didn't even know what salicylic acid does!) and that I should buy whatever she told me to. She was more pushy than helpful. But it's okay now because I have my makeup :).

I'm going to write about my love of Lana Del Rey again because qurlfran is blowin' up my Tumblr dash. I love it though! I think she's incredibly talented, her voice is so unique - it kind of reminds me of T-boz of TLC. Anywho, her new song "Born to Die" is incredible - I can listen to it forever. And someone has mashed up Lana's "Video Games" with Lady Gaga's "Yoü & I" which didn't really appeal to me initially but holy shit this song gives me chills for some reason. So. Good.

Friday night I went to go see The Iron Lady with a friend. I saw the preview for it when I went to see The Artist. I don't even know where to begin, you guys. Meryl Streep is just the most magnificent woman, I swear. It was incredible, of course her accent was perfect but her entire embodiment of Margaret Thatcher was beyond anything I had ever seen. Down to her walk and the way she looked around the room, she was Margaret Thatcher. Everything about this movie was fantastic, one of the best, if not, the best film I had watched all year. The way it was directed and filmed was perfect, the cast was perfect, Meryl Streep was perfect. Everything about this film was absolutely perfect. The goddamn font for the credits was perfect, you guys. The way her story is told is very unique, I really enjoyed it. It was the kind of movie where I would get these waves of emotion throughout the film but it was never enough to make me cry...until the end, that is, and I couldn't hold back anymore and let loose one of the ugliest cries I ever had. I can't recommend it enough. If Meryl Streep doesn't get nominated at the very least for an Oscar for Best Actress, or win for that matter, then I've lost faith in the film industry forever.

I'm basically just really happy that Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet exist.

UPDATE: baby qurls won at the Golden Globes <#3333333435345645676575  hoooorayyyyy!!!

"We eat, we fuck, we shit, we kill, we die."

I have been in the biggest movie-mood. For the past two weeks I swear I must have watched around 10 movies. Breaking Dawn was amongst them and I am ashamed of myself. I think I read Twilight in eighth grade once and I liked it but that was also around the time where the hype was becoming absolutely ridiculous about the movie, so I got over it quickly. Although I'm not a fan at all of the series or of the movies, I've somehow managed to get dragged along to the midnight premiering of the first two films and I saw this past one the day after in came out (older sister wanted to "bond" with me...). I'm not going to write about it because I couldn't' care less about the movie and I'm not into that kind of fantasy fiction genre.

Two movies that I will write about, however, are Welcome to the Dollhouse and Quills - pretty much polar opposites in all senses.

Before dinner on Thanksgiving last weekend, I sat in my room with a glass of wine and watched Welcome to the Dollhouse on my laptop. I don't even know what to say about this movie, I just thought it was great. Heather Matarazzo (who I recognized as Mia's best friend in The Princess Diaries) plays Dawn, this geeky, 7th grade girl who everyone hates for whatever reason, and is neglected by her parents who dote on her younger sister. She falls in love with this beefy high school senior and kind of dates this kid in her grade who threatened to rape her after calling him "retarted." The thing is that this movie is filmed in such a way that makes everything I have written above absolutely hilarious. It's such an awkward 90's film, I love it.

The second film that I want to write about is Quills. Made in 2000, the movie takes place in the French "Reign of Terror" era in the late 1700's. It is about the Marquis de Sade's erotic fantasy writings during his stay in an insane asylum at Charenton. His stories were depicted as blasphemous against the Catholic church. Geoffrey Rush plays the Marquis (magnificently, might I add), Joaquin Phoenix is the conservative and prude Abbé, and Kate Winslet is Madelyn (Maddie) the laundress of the asylum who was one to enjoy the Marquis' writings and to enable him to continue with his stories in such dyer conditions. Of course, I find the Marquis liberal view during such a constrictive time to be incredibly intriguing and inspiring. But what I find so outstanding about this movie was the Marquis's commitment he had to his stories. What is about to be written could be considered a spoiler: When Abbé took his quills, paper and ink away, he wrote with a chicken wishbone and red wine on his bed sheets to give to Maddie (which earned her a brutal whipping), when they took his bed, sheets and almost every bit of furniture away from his room - he smashed a mirror, pricked all of his fingers and with the glass filled all of his garments with stories, when his clothes were taken away - he whispered his stories through the holes of the walls of his inmates (similar to a game of Telephone) to have it written by Maddie at the end, and when he was chained and isolated in an underground cell - he wrote with his own filth on the walls. Disgusting, yes. But somehow still magnificent. And by magnificent, I mean the absolute necessity he felt to have his stories (no matter how sexually explicit and violent) written and read.

On Wednesday I went into the city to see the Broadway revival of Godspell. Let me just profess my abundant love of this play right now. We did a production of it as my school's Spring musical last year, I played Gilmer. When we first found out that we would be doing Godspell as the Spring musical, a solid majority of everyone involved in the theatre program at my school's reaction was "What the fuck?". No one really knew about the play, or didn't like the religious aspect of it. But when we got into the middle/end of rehearsals and finally the performances, everyone fell in love with it. The messages that we were trying to get across through the stories we told, as well as the musical itself, are still extremely relevant and meaningful. Not to mention that all of the music is incredible. To add onto this fantastic show we were putting on, the cast bonded so profoundly. I miss it all. Anywho, onto the real Godspell on Wednesday. Everyone in the entire cast was so tremendously talented that it made me hate myself...not really, but still. Now, Uzo Aduba was hilarious (everyone was, but she just stood out to me) and Lindsay Mendez is my favorite. I don't mean to, but I feel like if there is ever a show/movie/musical...etc that I'm watching, I normally subconsciously pick a favorite character for whatever reason. Lindsey Mendez just so happens to be that person in this case (qurlfran kicked azz in "Bless the Lord!!~). At the end of the show I was a bawling mess, so much so that I could't stop crying even as the cast was doing their bows. I also got teary in the way beginning for "Save the People" - which is actually a very upbeat song. I couldn't help it though, I was so moved. Their rendition of "Beautiful City" absolutely blew me away (that song is optional in this show, and the directors decided to not include in my school's production). I also found there to be this huge difference between the emotion this show evoked from me while I was watching it as opposed to when I was performing it six months ago. You all should go and see it. Right now. Go. No, finish reading my blog and then go.

 Photos: Godspell.com

Just watch the first three minutes of this video of Lindsey Mendez and the cast rehearsing "Bless the Lord" Ugh. So good.

I've also stumbled upon (not actually stumbled... I found on Tumblr to be technical) "This Is Hanging Rock Comics" and this girl is insane. Absolutely insane with her illustrations that are such accurate depictions of teenage lyf ~.

I've also made the decision to say "Yes" to more things. Saying "No" only holds you back, I've decided. Totally having a Jim Carrey Yes Man moment right now.

Since I've been on this Kate Winslet-movie-watching-spree lately, I've been feeling a lot better about my body. She is just such a real woman. American society has this completely distorted standard of what is considered beautiful. What has also inspired this epiphany was the fact that when I went to the Met about two weeks ago I realized my love for the ancient Greek and European statues. They're gorgeous, and the female bodies were gorgeous as well. I'd like to try my best to ignore what society tries to shove down our throats and to follow my own definition of what I find beautiful.

2011 Emmys

Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney
St. John ad
Marilyn on vacation (1956)

Still from The Prince and the Showgirl (1957)

I want to say around 1954(?)

I want to say '56...I should really know this one, this set is so famous...

John Willie's Diary of a French Maid (1948-1950)

A portion of Luis Ricardo Faléro's Departure of the Witches (1878)
Statue of Aphrodite (1st/2nd Century A.D.)

Statue of Aphrodite (2nd Century B.C.)