25 February 2014

Playlist: "House By The Sea"

House By The Sea by Imogen Woodring on Grooveshark
This playlist is closer to what I listen to on a normal basis, and probably what I would have humming from the speakers of my radio if I was lounging on the deck of my beach house--if I had one. But trust me, this is not like any "beach music" you've ever heard.

There is definitely a lot of indie; Radiohead, the band that really needs no comment; some classics like Genesis and Pink Floyd; and then a group covering a particular song that I know has been in everyone's head lately.

23 February 2014

{Widened Horizons}

etsy face bowl
Words that spring to mind surrounding this ceramic bowl: cartoon-like, angelic, imaginative. 
I own a pretty hilarious face plate that allows you to move food around for her hair and cheek color, things like that. It's pretty great. (Yes, I'm a child. And it was a gift.) While this bowl reminded me of that just for a moment, I admit I would never want to dirty this bowl up--it's too pretty!

hammered magazine caddy
This hammered metal magazine holder is exactly what I've been looking for to go on the other side of my bed, beside of my corner chair. I need something to hold my cluster of magazines, and while I've thought about buying a rustic looking magazine holder from a flea market or a consignment shop, I just haven't found the one.  This caddy is chic, refined, and would look perfect against my bold purple accent wall. That's another thing though--which I think the picture above does a great job of showing--this little guy would work wonders with either bolder colors like my purple, or more calm, neutral colors. I just wish it was less expensive; maybe someone has a DIY idea for me?

I bought a juicer years ago and used the heck out of it for months. Then...college happened and, well...you know. I am, however, ready to dust off the huge machine again, and for those of you who are just beginning to juice, or for those of you who have been juicing for ages now, I wanted to share an awesome juice recipe from Juice Generation called "Get Ur Green On."
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup pineapple
  • 2 medium green apples
  • 1 mint sprig  

green apple necklace
Speaking of apples, if you're not getting enough to eat, just sling this adorable green apple necklace around you and you'll be good to go (and keeping all the doctors away)! Seriously, I cannot get over how cute this is! I want to take a bite nomnom.

 photo rekindlecandle0.gif
The coolest thing I've seen this week has to be this reusable, regenerating candle. The "Rekindle Candle" is not only a candle, but also a candlestick holder that creates another candle! The first thing that came to mind? Paul Rudd's character saying, "I used to be another candle" from the movie Our Idiot Brother. So, so funny. You can read more about the extraordinary candle at My Modern Metropolis.

Finally, it's time--the OWL FIND.
garden statue owl trio
I'm really taken by these beautiful little interlocking garden owl statues. I love their ethereal white faces mixed with their elegantly painted and carved bodies. I would truly love to have these little guys resting near the bench under the huge maple tree in my backyard!

Quick Links:

19 February 2014

Wordful Wednesday//The Marriage of Pain and Depression

I just finished reading a post by my friend Maisie over on HealClick titled "Surviving the Pain (and Pain-Induced Depression)." In her informative post, Maisie goes on to talk about how

"Pain is the ultimate depressant"

and that with so much pain to bear, and being in such a state of depression, it's hard to stay positive. She later gives great advice about ways to cope with the physical pain of chronic illness, such as using essential oils and a huge heating pad. I need me a king size heating pad

But that sentence of hers--pain being the ultimate depressant--just kept coming back to me. 

When I graduated early from high school, most of my friends would tell our peers where I was...in bed. I'll be the first to tell you--there are really no "pros" to being basically bedbound. 

My friends would come back to me with other students' comments, such as, "Oh man--what a lucky dog," or something like, "What I wouldn't give to be in her shoes!" What they didn't know was that at that particular time, I could barely walk. (So I definitely wasn't wearing shoes.) I was sleeping most of the day because my energy level was about the same as a koala's, but instead of getting my nutrition from eucalyptus leaves, my diet consisted of the easiest thing to make: cheese crackers. 

I would cry at nothing, or at everything. I couldn't be all melodramatic and lock myself in my room for hours, pouting away, because I could barely make it to my door. (At this point, I really needed my mother to lean on when I had to merely walk to the bathroom.)

The point is, I felt pain from all different aspects. And I still do. 

I have felt depression for a long time because of the pain, and college did help with my depression for a while. However, in my junior year, all the stress and anxiety just threw up all over me. While I would try to clean it up, I would just have a bigger mess on my hands until I was surrounded in this sticky mess that I could barely make my way through. 

It was like being in the muddy trenches at war. But I was in no man's land. I was fair game for either side--would depression take me down or would all the anxiety? Or maybe an IED would just hit me out from out of nowhere, an allusion to the pain? 

When it all became too much, my body barely hanging on in-between enervating seizures nearly every day and throbbing migraines that left me a hermit most of the time, I decided to medically withdrawal from college merely a semester before graduating. 

It was the hardest decision I've ever had to make. 

Sitting in bed, now, typing this, I'm in horrible pain that's radiating through my body. Recently I've been depressed for a while now, having to up my medication because of it. 
And even though it's hard to think of the positive through all the fog, and while it's hard to believe the saying, "everything happens for a reason," I do recognize a small glimmer of hope: I have been writing more lately. And if I ever get a book out about Lyme disease, I pray that it helps just one person from experiencing everything I've been through. 

Because I want a divorce. 

18 February 2014

Upcoming Remake Mistakes

1. Thelma & Louise

As of right now, all sources point to this 1991 cult classic becoming a remake with Michelle Rodriguez in for one of the roles as just a rumor, but you never know how that goes. Some rumors do have a little truth behind them, especially in Hollywood it would seem. The Daily Mail and even ELLE UK have stepped up to the plate to put in the word that Rodriguez wants Cara Delevingne to co-star with her in the remake (if it happens). Hmph. I'd rather see that neither show up in the remake. I'd rather there be no remake. A cult classic is just that for a reason and rarely--very rarely--is it ever even worth it to put effort into a remake because it's just. not. the same.

The characters Thelma & Louise (and obviously the movie as a whole) will always stick with me as an extremely powerful movie. No one can recreate for me the scene where everything changes for the women, and no one can replace Brad Pitt in that movie, that's for sure!

2. Scarface

This one is actually categorized as "in development" on IMDb, so that usually means there's a fair chance it's going to be made, people. And I am shaking my head so severely right now that I'm expecting it to fall off at the...hinges? Eugh. Believe it or not, Scarface is one of the first movies I remember watching at my grandparents' house. I can honestly look back at that and shake my head some more, but we've already established that I've got more than a small crick in my neck by now. I have some fond memories of the movie, and let's be honest, who isn't a little scared that those memories will be ruined by a remake?

I understand that David Yates (the director of four Harry Potter movies) will be the doomed director of this one, and plenty of people can tell you that even with a great past behind you, that doesn't necessarily ensure you'll come out ahead with such a beloved classic. 

3. Rosemary's Baby

This one I'm actually on the fence about. Sort of. Barely. For one thing, the "remake" is going to be a TV mini-series, which makes me want to kind of gag. From my friend's point of view, that might mean a better explanation for events. But one reason I like the movie is because it's so mysterious. I just don't know if they'll be able to capture the dramatic, strained atmosphere and the anxiety felt by both Rosemary and the audience. We'll see! Zoe Saldana is supposed to be the star of the show, playing Rosemary Woodhouse. I wouldn't be happy with anyone, because Mia Farrow will always be my Rosemary, so I'm pretty biased there. I just wish Hollywood would stay away from the good movies, especially the horror movies!

What do you think? Do these remakes sound offending or pleasing to you?

17 February 2014

Macabre Monday: Creepy Children in Film

For some reason, a creepy child in a movie is much scarier to me than any creepy adult. Which is exactly why I've made a list of movies (in no particular order) containing creepy children for this week's Macabre Monday. These children may only show up for an instant, or they may be the main theme of the movie. Either way, they are SURE to give you goosebumps.

When my friend and I went to see the movie 30 Days of Night when it was first released, she gripped my hand as soon as the scene appeared where there was a vampire child. We were both a little spooked (OK, you can go ahead and say she was frightened out of her wits). Especially since the entire vibe of that scene just changes when the little girl speaks. Ugh.
That's why first on my list is the feisty little vampire girl (with ribbons in her hair, of course) who shows up in 30 Days of Night.

Now, I can't very well make a post about creepy children in film and leave out one of the most well-known, can I? 
I'm talking about The Exorcist, a film which if you've never seen (God bless you), is about a young girl who becomes possessed and--you guessed it--needs to be exorcised. 
From the head-spinning to the projectile puke, to my favorite part--the "spider walk," it's all very spooky and worth a watch. The movie's been parodied many times, but even so, it remains second on this list for a reason: it's creepy

Third on the list is one of my favorite movies when it comes to creepy children, and I really couldn't leave it out considering the title is: The Children
I love when a sickness is the cause of creepiness, and that's basically what's going on in this film as the children begin to turn on their parents and other adults standing in their way. Conniving, mischievous little creatures!

The Orphanage is a film--fourth on the list--that really took me aback when I first saw it several years ago.
When her son disappears at an orphanage she has come back to, seeing it through new eyes after being raised there, she notices a young boy about her son's age beginning to pop up mysteriously, masked by some kind of (burlap?) bag. Truly creepy.

The final and fifth film on the list goes to the title of Silent Hill
I used to play the video games by the same name, and they were always a spooky treat. 
So I wasn't surprised that the movie followed well in the footsteps of the games. And by that, I mainly mean the little girl, Sharon aka Alessa, was spooky as hell. 

Although, let's be real, those nurses, and that SIREN were enough to leave you with nightmares. Especially when you watch the movie in a house next to a fire station that uses the almost exact siren!

So tell me, what movies do you think deserve to be on the list? 

15 February 2014

{Widened Horizons}

etsy ampersand scarf
I've noticed a sprinkling of ampersands making their way into home decor lately, and I've been appreciative.
But to see the friendly symbol on this scarf made my heart skip a beat. Would I wear a dress with a print of just ampersands? You bet!

etsy amethyst macrame necklace
It's February! And besides Valentine's Day, other holidays, and well...my birthday!...we have to give some props to the gem of the month, amethyst. Amethyst is thought to instill courage and peace as well as other traits into the wearer, and this gorgeous macrame necklace has small amethyst beads which I have no doubt will give the buyer courage to show off just a hint of cleavage with this beauty!

file cabinet nightstand
Anything out-of-the-ordinary turned into a nightstand makes me want to get crafting.
I automatically fell in love with this file cabinet found over at Mod Vintage Life repurposed as just that! I would probably even label the drawers. Adorable!

etsy spoon ring
I love repurposed furniture and I love upcycled clothing/accessories. So it's no shock that this ring just stole my soul.
I've seen the bracelets made from forks and spoons (a work crew at my college used to sell them), but this little ring was just stunning in a different way.

express sweater dress
Being someone who mainly only wears dresses can be a challenge, but I love it.
Especially when you come across something as cute as this sweater skater dress from Express. I really like an exposed back zip for some reason. They always seem to catch my eye, and to see one on a sweater dress is just so cute!

fireplace art
When I first saw this fireplace from Ancient Art of Stone, I had to stop and rub my eyes for a good minute--I thought I was hallucinating! But isn't it extravagant?

1960s fur coat
Finally, the cutest coat ever (brought to you from the swinging '60s!) is on sale over at Etsy and I have been daydreaming about it ever since I laid eyes on it. From the huge buttons to the fur cuffs, this beautiful coat is something I would more than welcome into my closet!

Quick links:

13 February 2014

Wintry Mix: "Cold Toes"

Cold Toes by Imogen Woodring on Grooveshark

Here is a playlist of some songs to get you through this winter weather.
Don't expect them to be raging, up-beat, party songs though! Most are songs to just relax and chill to, but I did still manage to add in my favorite Fiona Apple song. It's been stuck in my head all week--give it a listen if you love female singer-songwriters.
In fact, this playlist seems to have many female singer-songwriters on it, but I've also added the hazy voice of James Vincent McMorrow as well as a band that I haven't heard in quite some time, Fleetwood Mac.

Let me know if any of the songs strike your fancy!

12 February 2014

Wordful Wednesday//Old Habits Die Hard

Who What Wear calls it "Cameron's Dad-itis" (slide 10) from the Ferris Bueller's Day Off character, Cameron Frye. Who What Wear describes this "fashion anxiety disorder" as "the unwillingness to wear an expensive or precious item due to an irrational fear of ruining it."

With Cameron Frye--just in case you've never watched that fun-filled '80s film (really?!)--his anxiety resides with whether or not he and his friend, Ferris, should take his father's 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California out for a spin. Evidently his father is extremely particular with this car that he's taken years to restore and even has the mileage memorized.

Now, I don't have quite the same pleasure as owning that gem of a car (and I don't rub mine with a diaper).

But I do have this habit...

Whenever I buy something that's nice in my eyes, for whatever reason (it doesn't even have to be expensive), I have trouble using it. It could be something as small as a fancy journal to something as nice as an expensive, well-made pair of boots.

I will make random, off the top of my head excuses for why I haven't used the item--
"Oh, well, I've been using my other journal, trying to fill it up first." (OK, sort of true.)
"Oh, I'm scared the rain will mess up the suede on the boots!" (Ehh...reasonable for now.)

But then two months have gone by and the excuses are scant and the boots and the journal are still waiting to be used.

The other problem is that I'm not just scared I'll mess up what I've bought; I'm scared I'll use up the items. Especially makeup. It's not that I'm a cheapskate and in a frenzy about money, it's just this weird obsession with keeping what I have. I know you're supposed to use up makeup after a certain amount of time but wow...I'm not that person.

Also, you know how many girls will complain they're going through bobby pins like a Tasmanian devil?
I reuse a single bobby pin to the point where I'm almost sick of it. But it's because I'm scared I'll use the whole pack up. It's disturbing!

Do you have any bad beauty habits?

10 February 2014

Macabre Monday: Cabin Fever Patient Zero

Cabin Fever: Patient Zero, part three of the Cabin Fever series, lured me in with high hopes of another gruesome take on a flesh-eating virus gone wild.

I will say this over and over again: sequels, remakes, etc. are almost never up to par with the original. And this is a classic example.

For those of you who have never seen Eli Roth's Cabin Fever, you're truly missing out--unless you have a pretty weak stomach. (And would like to shave your legs without thinking of them being shredded in the process...)

Like I've said before on my blog, as much as I love horror, any movie that takes horror and manages to sneak in comedy just takes the cake for me (think Evil Dead). Eli Roth manages to accomplish just that with Cabin Fever, and Cabin Fever 2 is a whole lotta funny as well. So when I began watching Patient Zero, the third installment, I was surprised at how serious it was. There were a few moments when I started nodding off. That's never a good sign.

The special effects are pretty amazing though--when used. From a bloody skin-pulling cat-fight you won't forget to a few downright terrifying close-ups, you'll definitely be grimacing.

...And itching. The film does a good job of showing the symptoms of the flesh-eating virus advance, and your skin starts to crawl as the actors begin to develop hives, pustules, and start scratching at their skin non-stop.

Also, "patient zero" just so happens to be Samwise Gamgee. That was really the only fun part of the movie...

The big reveal at the end fell rather flat, but I liked the way it ended.

So, is it worth seeking out the third movie if you've seen the first two? I'd say no. There was actually no jump scares, no real psychological scares, and to be honest, I didn't come away from the movie scared of a flesh-eating virus hidden away somewhere, just waiting to chomp down on my bare leg and start a global pandemic. It actually wasn't even as gory as it could have been.

I would say, however, to definitely pick up the very first Cabin Fever (with Rider Strong from Boy Meets World).

Overall, what I did come away with?
1. Seriously, when something is "off the map," I don't know, maybe it's just not a good place for a vacation. (e.g. The Descent).
2. Stop having sex/making out with infected people! If your significant other looks like a toad with all those bumps, really, why would the first thing on your mind be to do the dirty?
3. If there is a weird, abandoned-looking military/government building out in the middle of nowhere, DO NOT GO IN IT.

06 February 2014

Book Review: The Foot Soldier by Mark Rubinstein

Goodreads description (x):
A searing novella about the conflict that changed America. The Foot Soldier brings you to the hell of jungle combat. Close your eyes and this novella takes you there. It conveys the terror and brutality of jungle warfare and their effect on the American riflemen--those who bore the greatest burden. It's every bit as compelling as The Things They Carried.

My rating: 4 out of 5 hoots 

 I admit, I initially picked this book to read thinking it would serve as an "easy" read in-between all the non-fiction on my reading list.

I'm a bit of a war fanatic in the sense that I appreciate reading war materials, come from a military family that has served in several wars, and have worked with veterans. Still, I've never been in a war. So when I come across something like Mark Rubinstein's "The Foot Soldier," where he is able to take the reader inside of a war, inside of a humid jungle full of mosquitoes and predators and booby traps and probably most of all fear, I'm beyond captivated.

Though it was a short read--less than an hour--I felt the pain of young Costa every step of the way, especially to the heart-breaking decision at the end. There are choices we have to make in our lives that are so mind-blowing, we can't even comprehend them at that second. I think no one knows the meaning of that sentence better than the men serving in our forces, the ones who make hard choices every single day.

So--was this the best book about war I've ever read? No. Was the ending the best it could have been? Not really. But did it grip me emotionally? Absolutely. I nearly choked trying to hold back tears while reading certain passages. My body tensed up subconsciously as I read with a fast pace about Costa's journey serving "point." I'm done with the book and my nerves are frayed, my thoughts are scattered, and I'm anything but calm. That's what makes a good story.

Thursday Threads: Exasperated Company

Exasperated Company

This is my first time posting an outfit from Polyvore, so--TA DA!
I'm in absolute adoration of this Preen dress, and when I saw this wrap coat, I knew I had to create an outfit!

(Ignore the numbers, they don't match up.)

05 February 2014

Wordful Wednesday//"My Century"

For this Wordful Wednesday, I've picked Alan Feldman's poem, "My Century." 

The poem throughout talks about the atomic bomb and how it relates to the narrator (as well as everyone else), with a powerful intro:
The year I was born the atomic bomb went off.
Here I'd just begun, and someone
found the switch to turn off the world.
The ultimate reason I chose this poem, and especially this excerpt, was because of how beautifully it is worded. The needlework image given is something that jolted me; it was unexpected, but I could understand the author's vision perfectly. It was like an epiphany. (Don't you love those moments in literature?) Another thing that really made me love this excerpt was that the line says "perfect blue skin"--not sky. I had to reread that a few times to make sure I wasn't going crazy, but I loved it!
The heavens
remained pure, except for little white slits
on the perfect blue skin that planes cut
in the icy upper air, like needles sewing.

You can read the full poem for free over at Poetry Foundation.

If you end up reading the full poem, let me know your thoughts on it. 

From just the two excerpts in this post, what is your reaction to the poem?

03 February 2014

Macabre Monday: "Deep Dark Fears" Comics

Fran Krause creates these amazing--sometimes horrifying, sometimes weirdly funny--comics on his Tumblr site. It's a collection of both his "deep dark fears" as well as the fears of others around the Internet.

Feel free to wander through his website, but first--take a look at the comics of his I've collected for today's Macabre Monday. I just couldn't pass these few up.

I mainly chose this one because a girl I went to college with had almost this exact fear. She was also scared birds would lay eggs on her and they would hatch into her skin. She literally spoke about it in every single class I had with her. I had too many classes with her.

It's like The Grudge meets "The Yellow Wallpaper!"

Yeah, I'm going to tiptoe around everything in my bathroom now.

I'm so glad I don't have any cats. 

And the one I happen to think about from time to time...

A lot of Fran Krause's fears seem to apply to eyeballs. Do you have a deep dark fear relating to a certain body part? Teeth, perhaps? 

Or, what's a deep dark fear you would submit to Fran to be made into a comic if you could? 

It's not a fear of mine, but a good friend has an irrational fear that one day, a huge boa snake is going to be in her toilet. So she has to thoroughly check her toilet (as well as every toilet she uses) to make sure there's no appearance of any snake. 

I think that would make a nice little comic. 

The only thing I'm scared of coming out of toilets are It, the clown and maybe some unwanted poo. 

Have a nice Macabre Monday!

02 February 2014

Lung Leavin' Day & Forgettin' Your Fears

Have you seen those commercials? I'm sure you have. The ones that quickly talk about how, if there's a chance you've been exposed to asbestos, you could have mesothelioma, AND--the real reason for the commercial--you're entitled to some legal or financial consultation.

But do they really even say what mesothelioma is, or how fatal it can be, or how it affects the ones around you?

Today is the Super Bowl, yes, but it's also what Heather Von St. James likes to annually declare "Lung Leavin' Day."

Heather was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma on November 21, 2005--just three months after giving birth--and later had her left lung removed eight years ago today.

At age 36, you would think Heather would be too young to contract such a diagnosis, but it just goes to show we are never quite prepared for what life throws at us. Many chronic illness sufferers that I've met, for instance, are eighteen and younger. Yet another reason not to judge a book by its cover.

Heather wasn't out building homes, though, in order to acquire this rare form of cancer. In fact, it was the asbestos covering her dad's construction work jacket that gave her the disease. She wore it all the time as a young girl. With her diagnosis came the hard hitter--she was only given 15 months to live. But Heather is a survivor, a fighter, a mother. That is why I'm writing this post. Heather should be celebrated.

More about Heather, her family, and mesothelioma

There are so many fears that come along with any disease, but particularly ones that can be fatal.
Financial stress, disease recurrence, and of course, death, are just a few.

"Lung Leavin' Day" is all about overcoming such fears, whether you have a diagnosis of an illness or whether you are perfectly healthy. We all have fears. The idea is to gather with friends and family, have everyone write a fear down on a plate, and then smash those plates into a fire! How exhilarating!

If you'd rather not go out and create an actual bonfire, Heather's created an interactive site where you can smash an animated plate. I did it and boy was it fun! (Just keep scrolling down. You'll learn about Heather as you go on.)

"Lung Leavin' Day" is now also a way for Heather and her family to raise money towards awareness about mesothelioma. If you would like to donate, and are able to, please do.

What fear(s) would you write down on your plate?