About Me

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Pop culture junkie, native of Las Vegas, not really a writer.
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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Art I Love

The Day Dream
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1880

I want to sit in this green, leafy copse with a book and while away an afternoon.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chanel Spring 2010 Haute Couture

I wish I was a size one and had an unlimited amount of money to spend on clothes so I could buy and wear this entire line. Karl Lagerfeld has outdone himself. To quote that crazy bitch Rachel Zoe, "I DIE!"

See the entire collection here: projectrungay.blogspot.com

Friday, January 29, 2010

Amazingly pretty bird photography

A birder I follow on Twitter (that sounds HILARIOUS, doesn't it?) linked to a flickr account that has some of the prettiest, most amazing bird photography I've ever seen!


According to the flickr profile they are a brother and sister photography duo working out of Taipei, Taiwan.

There are HUNDREDS of photos! I highly encourage you to explore this gorgeous photostream. Even if you couldn't give a damn about birds!

Here is just a small sampling of their incredible shots:

Taiwan Yuhina, taken at Basianshan National Forest, Taiwan

Japanese White Eye, taken at Chinshan, Taiwan

Firecrest, taken at Alishan, Taiwan

Plumbeous Water Redstart, taken at Wuling Farm, Taiwan

Vivid Niltava, taken at Xin_Zhongheng, Taiwan

Fulvous-faced Flycatcher Warbler, taken at Wuling Farm, Taiwan

Rufous-bellied Blue Flycatcher, taken at Shi-Tou, Taiwan

Thursday, January 28, 2010

RIP J.D. Salinger

J.D Salinger on the cover of Time Magazine, September 15, 1961

I feel like I've been punched in the stomach. He was an old man, but his passing still hurts. His reclusiveness, depriving the world of any words or images, has made it seem as if he has never aged. And haven't we all been hoping that he'd eventually break his silence? Publish something again? Anything! It's over now.

This bit from The Catcher in the Rye jumps out at me now that he has passed:

"Boy, when you're dead, they really fix you up. I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you're dead? Nobody."

Obituary on NPR.org

Film Scene I Love - Rushmore

Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray in the revenge scene from Rushmore set to The Who's A Quick One While He's Away. I love when Max Fischer, in the waiter's uniform, takes his gum out of his mouth and sticks it to the wall.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Happy 62nd Birthday Mikhail Baryshnikov!

Born January 27, 1948

"I really reject that kind of comparison that says, Oh, he is the best. This is the second best. There is no such thing."

On my "bucket list" is to see this incredible man dance on a stage right in front of me. And guess what? I've seen him dance - TWICE!

You can read an old blog entry of mine about the last time I saw him dance by clicking here.

The Lovely Bones - My Review

For my mom’s birthday my sisters and I wanted to take her out to the movies. I was thinking we’d see something light and fluffy like Leap Year when my 14 year old niece said, "Can I come too? I want to see The Lovely Bones." So it was decided. I was a little surprised that my niece wanted to see this movie. What was the attraction? When I asked her, she gave that very teenage answer: a shrug of the shoulders. I guessed it was because of Saoirse Ronan. There aren’t a lot of films out there with a female protagonist who is the same age as my niece. Plus, Kylie’s been getting really into supernatural and horror films lately and the recent TV ads played up that angle of this film. Then I saw this article in Variety. This new marketing angle was intentional and perfectly suited to snag my niece’s attention!

My sisters, mom and I were cool with the choice because we had all read the book by Alice Sebold all those years ago when it was riding high on the bestsellers lists. In fact, I was thrilled when I first heard that Peter Jackson and his partners were adapting it. Then I felt a little deflated when early reviews were dogging the film. But it’s rare that reviews will stop me from seeing something, especially when I’ve been looking forward to it. I’m more of a word of mouth girl, and some friends of mine, whose opinions I trust, gave it a very good recommendation.

I liked the film. It’s not a perfect, but it’s not terrible either. It has been so many years since I read the book that I can’t remember it well enough to know how much the film deviates, which seems to be a sticking point with many reviewers. I found the film to be haunting, beautiful, emotionally truthful, and at times very, very scary. The performances by the ensemble cast were all well done. Saoirse Ronan gives another performance that is beyond her years and Stanley Tucci proves yet again what a dynamic actor he is. Having this eerie serial killer role in the same year as his lovable husband in Julie & Julia is incredible. Even Mark Whalberg was believable and touching as the dad unable to move on after his daughter’s death.

Peter Jackson portrayed the heartbreak surrounding the murder of a teenage girl, the repercussions felt by her family and friends, the urgency in finding her killer (who incidentally is right under their noses), and the girl’s existence in the “in between” without letting the story becoming maudlin or sensationalized. I know he is getting flak for not implicitly stating or showing that Susie Salmon is raped as well as murdered (as in the book), but I have no problem with this "watered" down version. The story is horrifying enough, without forcing us to watch that onscreen.

After the film was over I asked my niece what she thought. Her reply? "It was weird."


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy 85th Birthday Paul Newman!

Born January 26, 1925
Died September 26, 2008

"The embarrassing thing is that the salad dressing is outgrossing my films."

I miss you Paul. You are still the greatest!


I was going through my twitpics and realize I take a lot of photos of the sky with my iPhone. I love the sky. Especially the desert sky of my home - especially at sunset or when there are interesting clouds. Here is a collection of sky photos I have taken. Only one of these was not taken in my hometown of Las Vegas. Can you guess which one?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Happy 128th Birthday Virginia Woolf!

Born January 25, 1882
Died March 28, 1941

"I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don't have complete emotions about the present, only about the past."

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Photo I Love

Gypsy Rose Lee and Her Girls
Photo by Ralph Steiner, 1950

I love how commanding Gypsy is in this picture with her gigantic fur wrap. So glamorous. Curves ahead indeed.

Happy 148th Birthday Edith Wharton!

Born January 24, 1862
Died August 11, 1937

"Beware of monotony; it's the mother of all the deadly sins."

Saturday, January 23, 2010

RIP Jean Simmons

Born January 31, 1929
Died January 22, 2010

Obituary in the New York Times

I've always enjoyed Jean Simmons. I first remember her from TV. She starred in those great mini-series The Thorn Birds and North and South. But as I discovered older films, I discovered her too in things like Young Bess and Guys and Dolls and Olivier's Hamlet. In these later years, I really loved her in How to Make an American Quilt.

Here she is in a scene from Until They Sail, a little known WWII film from 1957. This is the scene where she first meets my darling Paul Newman, an American soldier stationed for a short time in her New Zealand port town.

The Misfits - 1961

Every time I see this film, I love it more. I think it is tragically overlooked considering the powerhouses of cinema who starred in it: Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift, Eli Wallach, Thelma Ritter and directed by John Huston from a script by Arthur Miller - what more could a movie lover ask for? Besides that, it is the last finished film for both Clark and Marilyn. That tinges it with a sadness that goes beyond the sadness that is portrayed in the film. It's about the death of the Old West, the lonliness that one can feel even while surrounded by people, and how you can't tame a wild thing. If you haven't seen The Misfits I encourage you to do so immediately. After looking at the behind the scenes photos I'm posting here, I can't imagine you could stop yourself from HAVING to see it!

You can watch my favorite scene here.

A few years ago PBS did a documentary about this film. Their site is where I found these photos: PBS.org - Making The Misfits

Photos by Elliot Erwitt:
Photos by Inge Morath:
Photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson:
Photos by Eve Arnold:
Photos by Ernst Haas:
Photos by Erich Hartmann:
Photo by Dennis Stock:
Photos by Bruce Davidson: