I don’t own a lot of makeup, but I am a big fan of fun pop-culture related things. So sometimes I get hooked into the makeup stratosphere due to my related obsessions. That’s why I am a big fan of Bésame Cosmetics. Their collaborations are beautiful.
Their most recent line is inspired by Mary Poppins. And while titular character’s set was gorgeous but not quite my speed, I jumped right on the Mrs. Banks nail polish and lipstick duo. Not only because lipstick is the one makeup item that I do semi-regularly wear, but also because this set includes these lovely postcards inspired by Bert’s chalk drawings from the film.
If you’re into purchasing makeup for the sake of the makeup itself and not the stationary that just so happens to come with it, here is a shot of the lipstick and nailpolish:
The lipstick looks great in the tube and it has Bésame’s signature marshmallowy vanilla scent, but I haven’t tried it out yet. I did immediately paint my nails, and I found the formulation to be a bit too thin. I’m not brave enough to leave the cap off for a few minutes, so I’ll have to trust that it will thicken up on its own over time. That said, I’m not sure it’s my color anyway.
As soon as it dried I had a flashback to the time in seventh grade where I had finally vowed to talk to my crush, only to look down at my nails and realize that my new nail polish very closely matched the color of my skin. I promptly told my best friend I wouldn’t be able to go through with it because I looked like I had no fingernails at all. The I spent the rest of the day peeling off my nail polish like a good compulsive.
But oh well I’ll try a second coat and see what it looks like in the daylight. In the meantime, check out the cute packaging:
UPDATE: Turns out all the polish needed was a second coat and a little daylight! It dried into a very subtle shimmery coral. If I had to describe this color, I would call it: 2 parts ballet slippers and 1 part beach sand.
Here are some other makeup reviews I did back in the day. Disclaimer: They, like this one, are not very professional.
Food Network’s Holiday Gingerbread Showdown has taken over my brain. If you need something to short circuit the anxious thought loops and pandemic stress — I highly suggest you drop everything and watch some gingerbreads STAT.
But here’s the thing! The free season on Hulu just was not enough. So I’ve turned to YouTube. And I’ve found some truly inspiring, VERY SPECIAL one might say, pieces that I am sharing with you below:
Last month I was the grateful recipient of The Golden Girls Cookbook. First of all, this book is gorgeous. Every page is trimmed with a cheesecake illustration or the classic GG wallpaper. Packed with full-color photos and peppered with snippets of dialogue from the show, the book is a true keepsake that any fan would treasure. Even more importantly, this cookbook contains truly delicious recipes.
The sections are organized by character with a lovely full profile of each at the top of her section. That said, this can make browsing a little difficult. So you would want to navigate the table of contents if you’re trying to pick out a quick appetizer or dessert to complete your menu.
Most of the dishes featured in this post came from Blanche’s section: -Cheesy Grits Casserole -Panfried Okra -Honey-Bourbon Glazed Carrots
The one exception is the Pot Pie recipe, which came from Rose’s section. (Sorry, Dorothy & Sophia. I’ll have to try your recipes out later!)
A quick note for those making the pot pie (pictured second from left below): I would go easy on the milk/broth requirements. It was delicious but more of a bisque than a pie filling, and even adding more flour wouldn’t have thickened it into the filling I really wanted. If I were to make it again, I would cut back on some of the liquid. On a more positive note, the recipes are well written, which makes it easy to sub out ingredients. For example, my pot pie used shrimp instead of chicken. Stay tuned for cheesecake next time!
Let’s not mince words. We’re swiftly moving into winter, the days are short, and the quarantine is long. I’m comforting myself with the emotional weighted-blanket that it several seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. (I started watching for the first time in August! Wow, what a ride! It’s a soap opera! I didn’t realize! Now I’m addicted! But that isn’t the point of this post!)
Anyway, the point is that 2020 is weird. And sometimes when you’re binge watching, you also need a task to help with the crippling anxiety. We are utilitarian people and we need to feel handy!
As a small child, people tried to encourage me to do puzzles to help with my motor skills or cognitive reasoning or whatever and yet, for DECADES, I have felt that puzzles are unequivocally boring. However, many fellow humans have told me that they’ve found puzzles satisfying during COVID times. So idk, maybe I’ll give them another shot. (But probably not.)
In the event that I decide to give puzzles another go, I did some research on potentially cool ones. I’ve decided to share that research with you in case you do not have the same lifelong hatred of puzzles that I seem to have buried deep, deep within my soul.
Also I wrote a post several years ago about novelty television board games. So if you’re anti-puzzle like me but you love board games (also like me), then might I recommend checking that out for inspiration?
You know what though, the more I think about it…the more I’m like…that Golden Girls “Stay Golden” puzzle is super cute, so maybe I will order that one. I finally came around to cooking in quarantine, so truly anything is possible.
I bought my mom a Mother’s Day card yesterday and I cannot share it with you because she reads this blog. (Hi Mom!) However, I did find this other card that I did not purchase, but rather hoped that my future spawn would one day purchase for me. If this card seems like something your mom would like, you can purchase it here.
And while I cannot tell you what PRESENTS (get excited, Mom!) I have purchased for my mother, I thought I’d go ahead and compile a list of suggested gift items for the Pop Culture inclined Moms of the world. Each image header is hyperlinked to the item page for your shopping convenience.
Mother’s Day is May 14th. (Look Ma, I shopped early!) So you should have plenty of time to get one of these lovely items shipped to you.
At the beginning of the year, I went through a breakup that changed my life in apocalyptic proportions. So that was a great start to the year. And then every musician I’ve ever loved died. So yeah, thanks for being a total ass, 2016. Anyway, the positive side of this year is that I’ve really been embracing my platonic friendships. And I’m truly lucky to have a lot of great friendships in my life! While, I thought this was finally the year that I would get to dress up as Marion Ravenwood (in the red pants with the monkey on my shoulder), I just don’t really have an Indiana right now. And I’m cool with that because I finally realized how many sweet costume options there are for best friends.
I’m starting to think that Mallomars may be my soulmate in this life, so I’m really appreciating Eleven’s dedication to delicious toaster waffles this Halloween season. Plus, this is a great opportunity to wear a really sweet waffle headband, which I may just want to do anyway on a regular basis.
This is great for anyone who just wants to rent a costume and be done with it. As someone who was so tired of high school by the time prom rolled around, I rented my prom dress and I can tell you that the dudes definitely have the right idea by renting their outfits. But why be so gender/hetero-normative about it? Purple tuxes are great for anyone. And when else will you get the opportunity to wear one of these? Unless you’re in a wedding that’s like very dedicated to theme colors.
Let’s be honest, best friends don’t always come in pairs. If you’re a Mean Girls fan, why not dress up as the original Mean Girls this Halloween? Plus, it’s a great opportunity to play Croquet in your yard while you’re passing out candy to trick-or-treaters.
Ah yes, the yin and yang of Olympic ice skating, forever immortalized inseparably in pop culture history. But ultimately, I’m really into this costume idea for the opportunity to wear roller skates, a.k.a. the figure skates of the asphalt world.
This is a great costume opportunity for anyone who just wants to be cozy. This will involve you and your bestie deciding which one of you is more cold-natured, as one of you will be wearing a sheepskin bomber jacket while the other rocks a Hawaiian shirt. Neither Chip nor Dale wear pants, but I suggest that both you and your bestie cover your lower halves in one way or another.
First of all, this is a LENGTHY post and it’s a little more serious than my usual fare. So please skip the hottest Buzzfeed “long form” post and read this instead (while you’re pretending to work at your desk. Happy Friday!)
Before we go any further, please watch this music video. It also has some introductory information to today’s very special movie.
So, I have to admit that I was very conflicted about reviewing this movie namely because: it is SO dumb and because I love it SO much. And I don’t even love it because it’s so bad (not like I love Carnousaur 2) but I legitimately LOVE this movie. Also, this movie features Pat Benatar’s most underrated song ever “Invincible,” which is also my #2 driving song. The #1 being “Power of Love.”
Several things happened within the past week that convinced me to write this post:
I watched the debate and saw Donald Trump speak for far longer than I ever care to ever again in my entire existence. And I watched him rudely interrupt a far more qualified woman for much of that debate.
Secondly, Stephanie from Listful Thinking did a very funny but sobering video about how few movies past the Bechdel Test.
A man somehow thought that a successful approach to flirting with me would involve some combination of following an insult with a compliment.
I went to church with a friend and sat in a class full of women who talked about how WOMEN are tempting rape by wearing revealing clothing. They somehow felt that saying “it’s no excuse but it’s a temptation” absolved them of blaming the victim or perpetuating the rape culture that directly affects them as women. And I sat their disgusted with myself for saying nothing because I didn’t know how to turn to the woman next to me who has been like a second mother to me for my entire life and ask her how she could agree with this crazy talk.And that’s when I realized, this movie is important. Campy, yes. Well-written, no. But it’s important.
Billie Jean (Helen Slater) and her brother, Binx (Christian Slater), are on their way to a lake near their home when a group of guys see them and decide to follow Binx’s Honda Elite Scooter because they think Billie Jean is hot. As they follow them, they become increasingly aggressive. One dude is literally crawling over the hood of the car as they ride down the highway, another snaps pictures of her.
When Billie Jean and Binx stop at a drive-in, so do her harassers. At first they mostly pick on Binx. But when Billie Jean doesn’t respond to their sexual advances, they get aggressive with her too. When one of them grabs her, Binx shouts at him “get your hands off that” and it’s unclear to everyone, perhaps Binx included, as to whether he’s referring to the bike or his sister.
I first saw this movie when I was ten. It was fifteen years after it came out and that was over fifteen years ago. I wish I could say “how far we’ve come, but Billie Jean’s impassively polite reaction to this banal harassment strikes me as utterly timeless.
Binx throws his shake on the guy, who we later learn is Hubie Pyatt, and they flee on his scooter. Billie Jean looks shocked that Binx tossed his drink on this dude–most likely because Hubie Pyatt has a reputation for being untouchable. His father is a wealthy store owner, whereas Billie Jean and Binx live in a trailer with their mother.
Hubie and his friends track Billie Jean and Binx down shortly thereafter. Hubie steals Binx’s scooter while he and Billie Jean are swimming. Remember, Hubie’s pal with the camera? He doesn’t miss the opportunity to take some more shots of Billie Jean as she and Binx race out of the water.
Billie Jean tries to file a police report but the Officer Ringwald (played by Peter Coyote) tells her that Hubie was probably just trying to get her attention and will most likely return the scooter. She returns home to find both Binx beaten and his scooter destroyed.
Billie Jean decides to give Hubie the bill for the repairs. When he won’t listen to her, she talks to his father–who tries to rape her “in exchange” for giving her $50. Binx walks in on this happening. He doesn’t realize what’s going on at first because Billie Jean and Mr. Pyatt are in the office above the store. Believing Billie Jean won’t be successful in getting Mr. Pyatt to hand over the money, Binx decides to help himself to the cash register, where he also finds a gun.
Meanwhile, Billie Jean breaks away from Mr. Pyatt. Binx sees them and threatens Mr. Pyatt with the gun. Mr. Pyatt tells him that the gun is unloaded. Binx looks at the gun curiously and squeezes the trigger, shooting Mr. Pyatt in the arm. Binx, Billie Jean,and a couple of friends decide to run away and be outlaws. From this point on, the movie slides quickly down a slippery slope of melodrama and camp, which is actually pretty fun. But it does diminish the sobering first ten minutes of the film.
Billie Jean and her crew run around doing “outlaw things.” They go to the mall and leave IOUs for walkie-talkies. Shortly after seeing this movie, I requested to leave an IOU for a notebook and was informed that this is definitely not an acceptable practice. They also squat in a mansion, which is pretty cool. There’s even a cool teenager, Lloyd, who lives in the mansion. He even offers to be their hostage, so they can gain a little leverage. While at the mansion, they watch the news and learn that Billie Jean is famous. Meanwhile, Mr. Pyatt capitalizes on her fame by selling Billie Jean memorabilia.
Remember how I said things get campy? The entire motivation for the scene below is that Billie Jean saw several minutes of Saint Joan on television and decided to cut her hair and film a video–which basically means she’s a teenage girl like any other. She’s struggling to find her own voice, so she takes on one that gives her more resources than the one she started out with.
She also gives herself a catchphrase. And unfortunately, to see her video manifesto you’ll have to watch it on VHS like it’s 1985…
And it’s at some point after this that Billie Jean becomes some sort of Christ figure. She’s recognized everywhere she goes as a symbol of truth, fairness, and justice. She even helps rescue a child from his abusive father.
As Billie Jean and her friends flee one neighborhood in a hail of bullets (**eye-roll**) one of the girls in Billie Jean’s group thinks she’s been shot, but really she’s just gotten her first period. Man, I’m all for the triumph of the female spirit but are you kidding me? She gets her first period in the middle of a gunfight and we have to stop and talk about how great it is? Like pass me a tampon and let’s move on, I’m a freaking outlaw motherfu**r. Also, shout out to The Simpsons‘s Yeardley Smith for playing the girl who gets her period.
Eventually, Billie Jean turns in two of her friends for their own safety. So this leaves only Billie Jean, Lloyd, and Binx. But in the midst of an argument while trying to steal a car (Billie Jean doesn’t want to but Binx and Lloyd insist it’s necessary) Billie Jean become separated from her friends.
Left only to rely upon the kindness of strangers, Billie Jean realizes exactly how big of a celebrity she’s become. Girls are cutting their hair like her and turning themselves in at police stations like this is Spartacus. Dozens of teenagers give her safe passage like she’s traveling on the underground railroad. But when we remember that this was all about a rich kid bashing a motor scooter, it’s hard to believe this became a phenomenon.
Those are of course not the real stakes, but no one knows what really happened. Billie Jean video manifesto didn’t talk about the sexual harassment and near sexual assault she experienced at the beginning of the movie. As far as anyone knows, she’s just a very passionate anti-property damage advocate with a cool haircut.
It largely seems that this celebrity safe passage is meant to serve as an opportunity to play an extended montage over the full length of Pat Benatar’s theme for the movie. Ultimately, she finds Binx and Lloyd at the abandoned miniature golf course where they spent their first night as fugitives way back at the beginning of the movie. When she rejoins her friends, Billie Jean admits that she’s lost her sense of self in all of this. The Joan of Arc persona that was once so liberating has taken over everything and she can no longer be a normal person.
The next day, she agrees to meet with the police publicly and to make a statement. In anticipation of Billie Jean’s arrival, a crowd of gawkers and fans alike gather at the beach around Mr. Pyatt’s store–her supporters cavalierly purchase memorabilia from the man who couldn’t buy her and is selling her instead.
But having been betrayed earlier when attempting to meet with the police and Mr. Pyatt, Billie Jean concocts a rouse. Binx will dress as Billie Jean and walk their “hostage” toward the police, while Billie Jean stands in the crowd incognito. Unfortunately, Hubie Pyatt is standing near the front of the crowd and realizes their trick. Binx pulls at a toy gun to try to scare Hubie away and is shot by the police. In potentially the most melodramatic scene in the movie (though it is tough to say with any certainty since there are so many) Billie Jean chases after the ambulance in a ridiculous brown, curly, mop of a wig.
Eventually the ambulance is out of her reach and she realizes she’s in front of Mr. Pyatt’s store, where people are browsing merchandise covered with her likeness.
It’s at this point that I have to ask, what exactly is this commenting on? Is it celebrity? Mob mentality? A really extreme example of subjugation? Or maybe this movie got so caught up in making an “important point” that it became a soap opera with nothing to say. And then Billie Jean sees Mr. Pyatt. She pulls off the wig and approaches him alone, just as she did earlier in the movie. But this time there are plenty of witnesses. And this time she’s a celebrity who get a lot of press. She confronts Mr. Pyatt and learns that it was Lloyd’s father who paid for the scooter’s repairs. Trying to save face, Mr Pyatt gives her a ton of cash “for [her] troubles.”
Okay, so now is probably a good time for me to share some essential plot information that I’ve left out thus far. Remember that cop from earlier, Ringwald? The one who didn’t take Billie Jean’s police report seriously? He realized as soon as he heard about Binx shooting Mr. Pyatt that he had ruined the investigation. The more time that Ringwald has spent with the Pyatts the more he realizes that Billie Jean and Binx are just scared kids who were bullied by a very sleazy adult. In fact, the entire reason she agrees to show up at the beach is that Ringwald tracks her down at the miniature golf course and promises that he wants them all safe and will get Binx’s scooter fixed “better than new.”
Bille Jean has always said she wants Mr. Pyatt to pay them back because it’s only fair that the person responsible for the scooter damage be the one to pay for the repairs. Only, he’s not responsible for the scooter damage. His son is, but Billie Jean’s not on a rampage to get this obviously wealthy kid to fork over some of his allowance. And that’s because it was so obviously not about the scooter in the first place. Even when the scooter is fixed and Binx is definitely not going to jail, it’s still of the upmost importance to her that the money came from Mr. Pyatt.
So why didn’t she just go ahead and expose him when she made that “fair is fair” video? Well go ahead and say I’m giving this movie more credit than it’s due, haters, but I think it’s fair to say at this point that I’ve made a cottage industry out of over-analyzing low-brow culture. (And by cottage industry I mean I use free WordPress hosting and do not make any money off of this. If I did, the first thing I would do would be to remove the Donald Trump ad that I saw on here yesterday. Ugh. I’m so sorry, America. I don’t want that smarmy face on this website anymore than you do.)
Simply put, Billie Jean didn’t confront Mr. Pyatt in her video because she wasn’t ready to yet. This whole campy-mess of a movie is her path to finding those words. What we’re basically seeing here is a really heavy-handed coming of age and recovery from trauma all rolled into one. Billie Jean starts off as a girl who doesn’t really say anything when she’s uncomfortable. Then she becomes some neo-Joan of Arc vigilante who is all about “fairness” (like in general and somewhat materialistically at that). And then finally, she pulls off that damn muppet wig and straight up calls that jackass out for trying to violate her. And when she does that, she’s transcending “Bille Jean the Legend,” to become a much more complex Billie Jean, the person.
And I’ll just let you watch what happens next
Then the movie just kind of ends. Binx and Billie Jean are at a ski lodge in Vermont and still sporting matching haircuts. Roll Credits.
So here’s why this movie is important: This is a movie about rape. It’s a movie about Mr.Pyatt using power (wealth, gender, age) to take advantage of Billie Jean sexually. It’s a movie about how she stands up to him with integrity and becomes a stronger person because of it. Perhaps the most remarkable thing The Legend of Billie Jeandoes is trick everyone into thinking it is a movie about a scooter. And maybe it needed to do that in order to be greenlit into a 1980’s teen movie. Maybe it would even need to trick us to be made today.
Or maybe it’s so effective because Helen Slater took the character of Billie Jean and gave her an incredible arc under harrowing circumstances even if everything else around her was glam makeup and Pat Benatar music. But I have to say that there’s something very powerful in this movie. It’s a movie that made me feel like I could kick some serious ass when I was a 10-year-old kid. And it kind of makes me feel like I could kick some ass today too.
There will be marshmallows for toasting and very special episodes filmed in places without any snow. It’s the hap-happiest television season of all!
I’m so, so excited for this year’s very special holiday season! I’ve been rediscovering shows I kind of forgot about but hold a special place in my heart, so I’ll be breaking some of those out this year.
And also, I’m feeling a lot of passion for holiday fashion. And not in an ironic way. Like I’m really considering buying some “ugly” sweaters but not because I think they’re ugly. I’m just in a place in my life where I don’t really give a crap if people think I look lame and I seriously just want to be festive and cozy. So like I may have suddenly aged into a 1980’s grandma, but I’m down with that.
Stay tuned for some holiday episodes from your favorite cheesy TV shows!
Today is the biggest shopping day in America, and as far as I’m concerned, the dawn of the apocalypse. Black Friday scares me first and foremost because of, oh I don’t know, the threat of physical violence. But I also hate the whole frantic consumerist nature of it, in spite of the fact that I do enjoy saving a few bucks. Anyhow, I’ve decided to be topical and give you a shopping list of all things very special. But you can stay home and buy these things online. Or don’t buy them at all. I’m trying to make all of my gifts this year. I’ve started already because I’m worried that I’ll mess them up and I need time to start all over again.
Okay, so let’s get this list going!
For the movie lover: You can purchase a Back to the Future Part II 2015 hat in 2014. That’s just before these will be on the market, people! Give your loved one this timely gift, so they can say they had it first! $24.99 at Think Geek.
For the saccharine couple in your life:
This is perfect for that couple that you have to spend time with as a couple because they aren’t individuals at all. You can give these as a joint gift and then they can pretend they gave them to each other. $16 at TulaTinkers.
For the person who likes Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity and needs another group matching card game: This is a game that’s entirely made up of matching “Hello my name is _______” with “You __________ prepare to die.” $24.99 on Amazon.
For the Baker:
‘Tis the season for gingerbread and eating your favorite characters! $11.99 at Think Geek.
For the Fashionista:
Clarissa totally had the best fashion of the 90’s and now you can give the gift of fashion to a young girl in your life. This historical paper doll will teach America’s youth about the important historical character, Clarissa Darling, in a fun-filled and creative manner. $15 at sweetandlovely.
We all know how our favorite diabetic babysitter struggles with the temptations of sweet treats. This amazing print is available for that friend who can’t let go of her favorite children’s books and also likes fine art prints. Unless I snatch it up myself first. $25 at daisychurch.
For the friend who likes to be cozy:
Kowabunga, dude! This is sure to make anyone the best dressed at the holiday sweater party. Give your loved one the gift that keeps on giving, warmth. $14.99 at Kohl’s.
For the Book Lover: I’m listing two suggestions in this category because both options are so great that I just can’t decide which to pick.
I think you can guess what the first book is about, but let’s talk about Operation: Clean Sweep. I thought that this would have something to do with saving the beach since resident activist Jesse is featured on the cover. But you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. This is a book about risky behavior. It’s about teenagers dating con artists in Las Vegas. What? I’d like to invite you to read the full description below:
You can get both Best Friend’s Gal and Operation: Clean Sweep for only $7.95 at Treasure Trove Books.
If you know someone who likes to read children’s books adapted from mediocre television series, but Saved by the Bell isn’t really here thing, then might I suggest another option. Full House Stephanie: Phone Call from a Flamingo, featuring the thrilling tagline “Are the flamingoes a cool club or bad news?” Once again, I am going to refer you to the back of the book for the ultimate authority on whether this gift is the right option for you. $1.50 at Retro Vintage Mart. Very special lessons undoubtedly abound.