Fashion Review: The 2017 Golden Globes

I have been wanting to add some new material to this blog, and since TBT Vinyl is on hiatus (my record player went belly up! But a new one is in the works.), I felt it was a good time to introduce something. I have always wanted to write about fashion, but wasn’t sure how to start. So with the Golden Globes kicking off awards season last night, I thought I would start there!

The Golden Globes is an interesting awards show, because the dress code falls somewhere between putting on the Ritz (aka the Oscars) and arrival night at The Bachelor mansion. Stars don’t want to break out their best and brightest, but they still need to try and be on point…key word there is try.

I think I shall start from the bottom and work my way to the top, beginning with those that should probably reassess how much they are paying their stylists.

1)  Michelle Williams

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Ok, girl, you are in one of the hottest movies right now. And, all I can say is while the movie may be Manchester by the Sea, this get-up looks more reminiscent of something one would find in another Massachusetts town… Plymouth.. actually Plymouth Plantation. Please, save this sexy (?) pilgrim look for Thanksgiving, or lay it out and use it as the Thanksgiving table cloth, but don’t try and tell me this is attractive.

 

2) Carrie Underwood

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Carrie, beautiful Carrie. What happened? You are usually flawless, always rocking something sleek and shimmery. This, while right off the bat does noting for your figure, then culminates in collar that has me almost lost for words. Wilting radishes? Melting strawberry ice cream cone? Molting flamingo? I’m not sure, but It was not right. Your hair, your make up BEAYOOOUTIFUL! This dress, no.

3) Sienna Miller

Ruth Negga

Oh, pardon us Sienna Miller, we were not aware that your Soul Cycle class was scheduled for the same time as the red carpet! I mean, that has to be the only excuse for this. You can’t see it from here, but her hair was literally held up with a thick black string, and actually most of it was falling out. The dress, looks like she could have taken some scissors to a terry cloth spa robe and made this in the car ride over. It is overall too casual. But wait! Some pearls will dress it up! Nope, sorry. Thanks for trying (or not!).

4) Sarah Jessica Parker

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It pains me that I must insult this woman. She is one of my style icons, and typically her grace and poise are exquisite. But this, this is unforgivable. OK, I could almost forgive the dress, almost. But that hair! It looks like a combination of a wreath and antlers. Add it to the dress and she looks like a Christmas tree topper. Or perhaps her next role is in a Shakespearean play? All I know is that SJP needs either a new stylist, some new friends, or a new mirror, because one of the 3 failed her in telling her this was acceptable.

5) Winona Ryder

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Poor Winona Ryder looks like she is lost on her way to the saddest prom ever. The shape and style of this gown just reminds me of every 12th grade girl’s attempt to feel like a pretty princess (not excluding myself!). The fit is completely wrong, as there are more wrinkles in that corset than on Donald Trump’s frowny face after hearing Meryl Streep’s speech. This could have some redemption if she made any attempt to accessorize. And, if you tell me that purse is an accessory, then I will show you the receipt from the last 10 for $5 sale I went to at Claire’s back in 1997 where I purchased the same thing. Winona, you haven’t had a moment in awhile. Coming out to awards season for Stranger Things could have been it…but then you wore this.

 

Whew! Now for the good ones!

1) Emma Stone

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Ah, Emma Stone! Never failing to bring true Hollywood glamour in a modern and effervescent way.  Light and airy just like it appears her spirit must be. I wish her hair was a tad more put together, but over all, a glimmering breath of fresh air.

2) Kerry Washington

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Kerry Washington, thank you! You took a risk without looking bizarre! This dress is warrior chic without looking like a suite of armor. This is warrior chic lace people! Only Olivia Pope could make this dream a reality. Her figure looks beautiful her hair is on point, her shoes are stunning. She is rocking this H2T!

3) Drew Barrymore

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What I have always loved about Drew Barrymore is she always  stays true to herself when it comes to personal style. She always pulls of a bohemian, free-spirit vibe with ease and class. This dress is no exception. On the carpet she simply floated when she walked and just looked like she was enjoying every moment. Which in a dress like that, how can you not! You go Drew!

4) Evan Rachel Wood

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On each new red carpet, everyone is looking for “the moment,” the look that when you think Golden Globes 2017 you automatically remember. I think Evan Rachel Wood’s tux will be that. And it’s not just because its a tux, because there were plenty of stunning dresses, but this was a whole look. The fit was superb, her hair was sleek, and her make up was flawless. This look provided more glamour than most of the gowns that graced the carpet, without a single stitch of sequin or tulle. Like Drew, she also appeared to be very relaxed and enjoying every moment, which helps make the whole package even more memorable.

5) Kristen Bell

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By far, the greatest moment of the night was Kristen Bell. This was a gown like I have never seen. It was the perfect about of glitter and svelte-ness. It was smooth and sleek, yet sharp at the same time. Every inch looked like it had been melted onto her body. And while most could not pull off that neckline, all I can say is WORK IT KRISTEN! Beyond the dress her hair and makeup shine as bright as the smile on her face. It was all just so stunning that I feel like someone should commission a portrait of it.

Well, that’s all I have for the Golden Globes. I have no commentary on who won or lost, because I really don’t pay too much attention to the awards themselves. I just come for the carpet.

2017… I Resolve to Stay Exactly as I Am

Good Morning! And welcome to 2017! 

Here’s hoping you are waking up with a skip in your step and a smile on your face, because the tragedy that was 2016 is gone!

OK, honestly, I was not so adverse towards 2016. Did it have its challenges? Certainly. We lost some great minds and gained some ones that were DOA to begin with (here’s looking at you incoming cabinet! God help us all!). Terror and violence seemed to be on the rise, going hand in hand with the decline of race and religious relations. And Shonda Rhimes continued to kill off our most beloved TV show characters (RIP Wes!). 

But for me, overall, 2016 really didn’t phase me. Nothing much has changed. Which brings me to the topic that we are all so focused on this time of year, resolutions. 

Every year people are goaded into setting such high standards for themselves. While most of this is well intended, it can leave some of us feeling rather deflated when the next New Year’s Eve comes around. For example, I did not lose 10 pounds, move out of my parent’s house, find my prince charming, or write an award winning novel (OK, so I knew that last one was a stretch from the get go). Not a single  resolution accomplished; What an epic fail! I put this in italics as it is the voice my ice cream carton whispers to me every night when I walk by the freezer.

So was there anything that can define my 2016? Was there any meaning to it at all? Lucky for me, I do not define my year, my success, and my meaning in life by the exceptions of my imagination or the expectations of others, and neither should you! Here’s my reasons why.

In 2016 I got to be a part of my best friend marrying the love of her life. Similarly, I got to see my brother get engaged to the love of his. I got to see my first Broadway show and bravely take my first Uber. I crossed seeing Paul McCartney in concert off my Bucket List. And I got to celebrate one year of coming home to the sweetest fur baby, who’s wiggly butt can warm my heart just as fast as a hug from his fluffy fur.

I measured the success of this past year in moments. This measurement of success may not be easily acknowledged by others, and they may all still be wondering what the heck I am doing with my life, but to me, 2016 was a good year. Do I still want to lose 10 pounds, move out of my parent’s house, meet prince charming, and write an awarding winning novel? Of course, but maybe it won’t happen in 2017 either, and that’s OK with me. The most important resolution for me in this new year, is to continue defining my success on my own terms, and not letting the chaos of the world take my own inner triumphs away from me.

So happy New Year everyone! May you create moments and memories that define you…especially adopting a fluffy dog. Everyone should adopt a fluffy dog. 

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Book Review: The Nest

With is stylish robin’s egg blue argyle  jacket and its worldwide hype on every list, website, and daytime talk show from here to Timbuktu, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s The Nest was worth a shot when I found it discounted at my local BJ’s Wholesale Club.

Now don’t get the wrong impression by that last statement. Plenty a worthy novel has graced the book department of  BJ’s. And, while I was not impressed enough to deem it worthy of any more accolades, The Nest, was a  fairly light and entertaining read.

The Nest chronicles the dysfunctional lives of the Plumb siblings. Their dysfunction stems mainly from their dependency on an inheritance that they have yet to be bequeathed. All of them have lived beyond their means for too long, banking on the fact that when their youngest sibling turns 40 they will have access to a momentous sum of money left behind by their late father. However, when one of them gets into a sticky situation, he puts them all in jeopardy of  losing their long awaited endowment.

So, reasons why I liked the book:

A) It was written well

B)…

Yeah that’s all I got. The book was a light read and written well enough that it kept me entertained, but the characters are un-relatable, pretentious rich “kids” who are crying into their Cheerios over money they never had.  And besides that, the characters don’t even lead interesting lives. They are just hanging by a thread worrying their days away, trying to dig themselves out of holes they created, when they realize there is a good chance they will not be coming into a windfall.

Maybe I judged this one a bit harder than necessary because of all the hype and the fact that I was left wondering where it all came from. But overall, I would have to give The Nest a 3 out of 5.

 

Book Review: World War Z

I’m am not typically drawn to sci-fi and I haven’t jumped on the Walking Dead craze, but something about the way World War Z was presented made me want to read it. This a-typical foray into zombie land, did not disappoint.

World War Z by Max Brooks is instantly intriguing as it reads more of a historical fiction novel than sci-fi. Brooks wrote the book from the point of view of zombie apocalypse survivors, each telling accounts of what they saw and how they were affected. I think this helped to keep the gore to a bare minimum and the literary quality high, which one would not expect from this genre.

While I hope we all realize that the threat of a virus that “reanimates” the dead is far-fetched, the idea of a super virus is not, and it was interesting to consider that a similar situation could occur. Some of the scenarios really had me thinking about “what-if”, which again proves how well done it is, as this plot could have gone completely juvenile.

World War Z  while written well, was still a fairly easy and enjoyable read. I would recommend it to anyone, as I think you will be surprised how much you actually like something that you typically may not think to try.

I’m giving Max Brooks’ World War Z a solid 4 out of 5.

 

 

Throwback Thursday Vinyl

Well its been awhile since I’ve done a TBT Vinyl. I’m having some issues with video/audio uploading without anyone getting in a tizzy over copyright infringement and all that legal gobbledy gook. So hoping this works out.

And since it has been awhile I thought it would be good to return to my old stand by and everyone’s favorite, The Beatles.

Tonight’s selection is from Abbey Road. Recorded in September of 1969, it was the band’s last album, although not the last to be released.  Let It Be had its mishaps, including friction among the Fab Four, and was not released until 1970, a year after it was recorded. While the band continued to feud, they somehow came together to go out with a  bang, as Abbey Road is one of their most memorable and revered albums, with their long time producer George Martin touting it as their best, despite the chaos in both their personal and professional lives.¹

Hunter Davies, author of The Beatles Lyrics, believes that You Never Give Me Your Money is a song of scraps. While catchy, he thinks that there are various interpretations based on what part of the song you look at.  He theorizes that the opening could be referring to their money battles with Apple Records, or perhaps a metaphor for the feelings Paul had towards John at the time; that John was giving more of himself to Yoko Ono than the band.  The end also has several theories, with Paul himself explaining it away as memories of his trips with Linda in the countryside, while author Walter Everett reads it as nostalgia for the bands touring days, which were done at the time of the album.²

Whatever its meaning, this tune keeps us humming along and tapping our toes with its variations in style throughout the piece.

Enjoy!

 

 

¹Davies, Hunter. “Abbey Road.” The Beatles Lyrics: The Stories behind the Music, including the Handwritten Drafts of More than 100 Classic Beatles Songs. New York: Little,Brown, 2014. 333. Print.

2Everett, Walter (1999). The Beatles as Musicians: Revolver Through the Anthology. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-512941-0.

Book Review: Russian Winter

Maybe I’m the only one, but due to my inability (read lack of talent!) to pursue dancing myself, I am mesmerized by those who can do so, especially ballerinas. I recently watched Misty Copeland’s A Ballerina’s Tale and follow all the major ballet companies on Instagram to gush over each dancer’s grace and artistry. So it comes as no surprise that I found myself reading a book about  a Russian ballerina.

Daphne Kalotay’s debut novel Russian Winter focuses on both the past and present of Nina Revskaya. When we first meet Nina she is hunched and aging, being tended to by a visiting nurse as she passes her days in a wheelchair in her apartment overlooking the Boston Public Gardens. Nina has decided that it is time to start letting go of her belongings as her condition worsens and begins working with a young auctioneer named Drew to sell off her much heralded jewelry collection. As a former world renowned ballerina, she has come to acquire some truly magnificent pieces, especially a unique amber set that survived her defection from Stalin-era Russia.

Through her own flashbacks and that of an oddly intertwined character by the name of Grigori Solodin, we come to find out these amber pieces have quite the story to tell. The book switches between the past and present to lead you to the true meaning behind the jewelry . This is done somewhat jerkily, with not much of a proper transition between  the two worlds. While a bit irritating, I found myself getting use to this somewhere in the middle of the book. The book did do a nice job though of intertwining history, romance, and other themes quite well.

While overall I did enjoy this book, be prepared. The ending is not what you will be looking for. At least for me it wasn’t. Not that there is a twist, but rather a lack of an actual ending at all. This book could have gotten  a better rating from me if it didn’t just… stop. No cliffhanger, just , the end. If this book would have given me five more pages, It would have gotten a full 4 out of 5. But, 3 1/2 stars it is because a great story was killed by the author’s inability to round out her book with a strong ending.

My Jam Monday

Monday again! Oof! Its almost over everyone, don’t worry!

To help you get over your Monday blues, some music! Tonight I have 2 songs. Both artists are not new or undiscovered, actually quite the opposite, but I feel that they  both should be recognized for another reason.

Music legends are born  by the way they are able to adapt and recreate their sound in order to grow with their audience and the generational shifts. Both started out at Disney, which can be a hard place to transition from. Both also were part of boy bands, another very challenging genre to grow from. But these two artists are making waves in the music industry, and no one is shirking at their abilities because of their background.

The first artist is at this point very seasoned even though he still young at 35. His music has not only topped the charts, but he has been recognized with many accolades including the MTV Video Vanguard Award and the iHeartRadio Innovator Award. His newest song is so catchy and continues the growth that he shows every time he releases new music. So in case you wanted this song further stuck in your head, here is Justin Timberlake’s  Can’t Stop The Feeling.

The next artist is just beginning to break the mold, but is no slouch at following in JT’s footsteps. Nick Jonas has grown leaps and bounds from his Jonas Brothers days. From his look to his lyrical content, he is clearly on the move and only going up! So I hope you also enjoy Close feat. Tove Lo.