Friday, July 15, 2011

The Seven Year Itch

The Seven Year ItchWell, here it is the middle of summer and I have some weird sinus thing going on that is practically preventing me from sleeping, breathing or tasting successfully. Hopefully, I will be feeling better soon as Sunday is mine and my husband's 7th wedding anniversary.  (Yikes!! I can't believe it's been that long...!) And no, although I am a fan of the The Seven Year Itch, I am not suffering from it.

Of course, since I've not been feeling the best these past couple of days, I have been turning to Netflix and hot tea for comfort. However, I am having trouble finding new (old) movies that are worth watching and that I haven't seen yet. Since many of my followers are also into "old" stuff, I thought it might be nice to share some of our favorite titles in case some of us have been overlooking some wonderful, unbeknownst treasure all this time.

So, I would LOVE any suggestions of old films (and when I say old, I'm talking 30's-60's--not 1985). To start things off, maybe I should give you an idea of what I like to watch. While these are some of my favorites, it would be impossible for me to rank my top 5 favorites in order, as I love them all so much for different reasons and feel as though it would be completely horrible of me to pick one over another, kind of like it would be terrible for a parent to have a "favorite" child...if you get my point.

So, in no particular order, my favorite films are...

Mildred Pierce (Keepcase)
  Mildred Pierce is a great noir classic starring Joan Crawford, Zachary Scott, Ann Blythe and Jack Carson. Mildred Pierce is the story of a recently-divorced, hard-working, self-made business woman who unknowingly gets in the middle of a twisted love triangle, and who will do anything for her ungrateful, spoiled-brat of a daughter...even take a murder wrap. Joan Crawford touchingly plays the memorable title character in this film (her very best performance ever, in my opinion) and won an Oscar for her superb portrayal of this role. (And can I just add that shoulder pads and fur never looked so good! Wow!)

Ann Blythe and Joan Crawford in
Mildred Pierce (1945)

The Postman Always Rings TwiceAnother favorite film is The Postman Always Rings Twice, starring Lana Turner and John Garfield. This is also a noir classic and is a story which epitomizes the femme fatale; in this case, a woman who plots to kill her much older, boring husband in order to be with a newer, younger lover in order to be with him and keep the business which she has been working so hard to build.  After being almost found-out, their plot is successful, and then something dreadfully unexpected happens... Lana Turner never looked better than she did as sexy, scheming, femme fatale Cora in this film.

John Garfield and Lana Turner in
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)

Now, Voyager (Keepcase)Then there is one of the great film classics, Now Voyager, starring Bette Davis and Paul Henreid.  Now Voyager follows the transformation of a lonely spinster into a beautiful socialite, and her finding and falling in true love.  This film calls to question what it means to really love someone...and how one should act if not being with that person is the only way to truly love them.  This film showcases Bette Davis' increadible talent, and contains one of the most memorable lines in film history, which is spoken by Bette's character, Charlotte: "Oh, Jerry. Don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars."


Two of the most famous smoking scenes in the history of film. Who knew so much could be said by the lighting of a cigarette?
Paul Henreid and Bette Davis in Now Voyager (1942).

Suddenly, Last Summer  Suddenly Last Summer is a great film (which I think is very under-appreciated) and is based on a Tennessee Williams play.  The film, which is actually much more elaborate than the original one-act play, has a phenomenal cast including Montgomery Clift, Katherine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor. The story is about Catherine, who witnessed--but cannot recall--her cousin Sebastian's gruesome murder while on vacation in Europe. To cover up the shocking cause and questionable circumstances surrounding Sebastian's death and to prevent Catherine from regaining her blocked memory, his domineering mother has Catherine committed to a sanitorium where she is to be labotomized, and thus forever quieted.  It is only after undergoing therapy with a psychiatrist and using a truth serum that Catherine can completely recollect the twisted cause and disturbing nature of Sebastian's death. 

Elizabeth Taylor in the iconic white bathing suit.
Suddenly Last Summer (1959)

Imitation of Life (1959) Imitation of Life is also a must-see movie which stars Lana Turner, John Gavin and Sandra Dee. It is about a young, single, white actress with a young daughter who lives with a black maid and her very light-skinned daughter who tries to pass as white. This movie is about a lot of things, but namely racism, social class, self-identity and love. This film is actually a remake of an earlier version starring Claudette Colbert, and has recieved mixed reviews. You just have to watch it and judge for yourself. This is a very heavy film that is packed with plenty of emotional punch and hits you right where it hurts. Make sure that when you do watch it you have some tissues handy--trust me, you'll need them!

Juanita Moore, Susan Kohner, Lana Turner and Sandra Dee in
Imitation of Life (1959)

As I said, these are only a few of my favorite films. I could also include A Streetcar Named Desire, Double Indemnity, Gone With the Wind, Yours, Mine & Ours, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner...and on and on.

Anyone have a favorite, must-see old movie they could recommend?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A little makeup goes a long way!

I love vintage ads, and when I came across this one, I had to share it with you all. It's just a feel-good kind of picture and is nostalgic in all the right I-love-the-50s kind of way. It also reminded me of my new "career" as a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant, which is another reason that I haven't been blogging as regularly these last couple of months.

As an ex-teacher, the sudden change from spending my entire day interacting with 180+ people  to spending my entire days at home, usually alone, has become a source of welcome boredom. Not that I can't find anything to do around the house, because there is always more than enough work to be done in one way or another, but I have really missed the socialization that comes along with teaching. This desire to find an outlet  that would allow me to interact with others, coupled with my intense love for all cosmetics, made me realize that being a beauty consultant could really be a nice fit for me.  While I have only been doing this for about a month now, I have already discovered that I LOVE it, and wish I had thought about starting my own Mary Kay business much earlier.

I love the fact that I can socialize with people, help them pamper themselves a little, and teach other women ways that they can use cosmetics to help them feel better about themselves. I have had several ladies thank me for the individual attention they receive and for taking the time to show them how things should be correctly applied.  It also continues to amaze me that so many women are going through life incorrectly applying their cosmetics! I have definitely learned to not assume anything. (A fact that you would think would have stuck with me from my teaching experiences.)  Just because I know how to apply eyeliner, or how to do facial highlighting doesn't mean that everyone else does...a fact that I had never had reason to consider until recently. I can't believe how many women are out there, every morning, religiously and regularly--yet ineffectively--applying their makeup!

It's kind of funny, because even though I'm no longer teaching Spanish, I am still teaching...complete with charts, booklets, diagrams and more! I cracked myself up just last week while drawing an eyeshadow tutorial on a dry-erase board, and by using different colors of markers to depict the varying intensity of eye shading. Then it occurred to me--maybe I should put-together handouts and do a class on the "smokey eye" look...??  Hmm...

I know it's such a silly thing to feel like I am actually helping people by teaching them how to properly use cosmetics, but I can't help but feel like maybe in a very small way, I am still making the world a better place, (though I am no longer teaching) even if it is one lipstick at a time...

By the way, if any of you are interested in checking out any of our neat interactive tools, like the Virtual Makeover or our interactive eCatalog, you can visit me at Shipping is always free!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A little bit of this...a little bit of that...

Hi, everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful summer. Mine is sure flying by! I know one thing for certain: I am much busier during the warm months than I am the wintry ones. Even without officially working anymore, there is always so much more to do during warm weather. I keep thinking to myself, "ooh--I'll blog about that!" and--before I know it--the day is already over and done. 

We have finally broken down and hired some people to work on our house. We bought an older home that has required  A LOT of attention (some of it necessary, some of it optional), and my husband and I have finally decided that we just don't have time to keep trying to do it all ourselves. Of course, for my husband, it is hard to finally face the fact that he simply can't do it all--there just isn't enough time in the day! (A fact that he has been furiously fighting to disprove for the past five years or so.) So, instead of plugging along at it for another five years before being finished, we decided to bite the bullet and hire some people to finish it up. This has been going on for a week now, and I'm still trying to get used to strange men being in my house with me...fortunately, I feel pretty comfortable around them.  Still, it's awkward as it is just me and Pippy (our Chihuahua) in the house all day.

Now, the trick is going to be finding furniture that is small enough to actually turn the corner and go up the stairs...we're already finding that our options are looking somewhat limited due to the tight turn. Does anyone know of any company who specializes in furniture that is made for such spaces?

I hope you all have had a great holiday weekend!


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