Thursday, May 31, 2012

Born and Raised

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So I sort of alluded to my die-hard love for John Mayer in last week's Friday We're In Love, but I just couldn't let the opportunity to review the entirety of Born and Raised pass me by. I'm sure there are lots of you who are thinking, "But, Mariah, he's a great big jerk face and WE DON'T LIKE HIM!" And to that I say, I KNOW he doesn't always make the best decisions in his personal life, but c'mon people, he's John FREAKING Mayer, lyrical genius and guitar god. My love for him runs deep, we're talking since the middle school days, when Room for Squares was the best thing to ever happen to my musical love life. So why doesn't everyone set aside their personal judgement and trust me when I say this album will complete your summer and give you LOTS OF FEELINGS.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Victorian Seaside

(x)
As summer fast approaches I have found myself spending more and more time at the seaside.  And while I love the modern concept of a day at the beach, to me, few things are more iconic of the Victorian era than those amazing black and white photographs of sunbathers and seaside goers, decked out in their swimming "costumes" and ready to enjoy that newfangled thing called a vacation.  It evokes images of red and white striped changing cabanas, vintage postcards, and all manner of seaside nostalgia.  So today, in honor of summer, I bring you a short but nonetheless fascinating look at the Victorian Seaside and how the concept of a day at the beach came into being.
(Marine Palace Pier in Brighton, England circa 1905)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May We Talk About Your Je Ne Sais Quoi?

(Smoking might be bad for some people, not for Tom Hiddleston)
Maybe it's his dreamy baby blues; or perhaps that suave, perfectly affected accent.  Maybe it's his melt-in-your-mouth grin or his giggle-inducing chuckle.  Or could it be those strategically positioned frown lines right between his eyebrows?  Maybe it's his perfectly sculpted hands.  Whatever it is (and my bet's on a combination of all of the above), Tom Hiddleston has got it and boy do we appreciate it.  I finally saw Midnight in Paris the other night and, while he plays an American (what an adorable accent he puts on for the part!), it's easy to see that he possesses that "je ne sais quoi", that is frankly, as the French have so aptly put, difficult to put into words.  It's not just the fact that he plays one of my favorite authors of all times (who doesn't love F. Scott Fitzgerald?), or even the fact that this role earns him a spot on my very short and very exclusive "men who actually look good with a cigarette"list.  No, no. It has more to do with the fact that he is Tom Hiddleston.  And while I can't put my finger on what makes him irresistible, I can appreciate the fact that he is just that: irresistible.  

CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR FACE: James Roday

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Let's see if you can spot a trend in the guys that I congratulate.  Hint: scruff (optional but generally encouraged) and the ability to make me giggle like a little girl going to Disney World.  Both of these requirements are met in James Roday.  I have a slight obsession with the show Psych (especially now that I have Netflix), and Roday's witty delivery of his lines and the mix of originality, intelligence, and ridiculousness of the show are what keep me hooked.  Not to mention that the James Roday - Dule Hill team is unbeatable and adorable.
Now if only I can find a hyper-observant man-child in real life. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Proposals Gone Right: The One That's A-freaking-dorable

Tilney, you are the cuuuuuuuuutest!!! *pinching his cheeks* (x)
These are a few of my favorite things: Mr. Tilney, JJ Feild's face, PROXIMITY, misunderstandings, character development, pretty dresses, and resolutions. You know which proposal contains all these things? The one from Northanger Abbey. As you know, I have a terrible habit of watching a classic before reading it. With Northanger Abbey, however, I actually did it in the right order. I was immediately charmed by Jane Austen's charming Mr. Tilney and shouted my love for him and his good humor from the rooftops. Why don't people talk about Mr. Tilney more?!?!?! This is a mystery that puzzles and troubles me exceedingly, especially considering he's played by JJ Feild in the adaptation. Anyway, Henry Tilney has been taken with Catherine Morland from their very first meeting (conveniently a dance), but their romance has been anything but easy. The relationships of their friends, family, and aggressive suitors have all posed obstacles as well as Catherine's overactive imagination and lack of fortune. After learning that Catherine was cast out of their house by his father because he discovered she was not rich, Henry unexpectedly shows up at her house two days later to pop the question.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

It's Sassurday!

(I'd get in a car with that stranger)
Happy Sassurday, dear readers! We may have already mentioned this, but in case we haven't, Fassy has made it onto the June cover of GQ.  I know, I know; this is not really a surprise.  After all, every major fashion and entertainment publication seems to be taking note of this nugget of talented goodness lately.  And while I generally say "It's about time!" I really do enjoy all of the photo shoots that this crop of interviews has spurred.  You can read the GQ interview HERE.  Enjoy the rest of your Sassurday!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday We're In Love!

(1, 2, 3, 4)
Mariah's Pick: Lets all just take a moment and aurally immerse ourselves in the COMPLETE AND UTTER AWESOMENESS that is John Mayer's new album, Born and Raised. I happen to whole heartedly agree with Rolling Stone'sfor once, completely accurate assessment: finally, a proper follow-up to Continuum (which is, arguably, one of the best albums of our generation). So, there's no reason to attempt to guess what I'll be listening to all weekend; let's just say, I'm one happy John Mayer fangirl. 


Sally's Pick: I'm in Paris!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Right now I am probably retracing Hemingway's footsteps (having recently fallen in love with A Moveable Feast) or, more likely, falling in love on the Metro and stuffing my face with crêpes. I imagine I'm having a blast, seriously questioning my French, and making plans to fall in love with a vintner so I don't have to come back.


Sarah's Pick: I saw Dark Shadows this week!  Tah!  All manner of Tim Burton-Johnny Depp goodness mixed with awesome music, great costumes, and the subtle humor you come to expect from this dynamic duo.  Was it the best movie I've ever seen?  No, but it was still well worth the time and money. 


Ali's Pick: Sooooo . . . the Great Gatsby trailer was released on Tuesday night.  Ever since I hit the play button I have been wishing I was a prohibition era girl with a sleek bob, fringe on my dress, a martini in one hand and Jay Gatsby on my other arm.  I have watched it far too many times already and am really not sure how I am going to be able to wait until Christmas.  



Thursday, May 24, 2012

Proposals Gone Right: The One That's Short & Sweet

By now you know that if I could, I would sit through hour-long proposal scenes for some of my favorite characters. Why yes, keep going on about how you two characters are perfect for each other and I'll just sigh/smile into my pillow. Naturally, one could conclude that I'm not the biggest fan of one line proposals. That is... unless they are delivered by Tom Hiddleston. In which case: WOOHOO!!!!! I don't need much beyond Tom Hiddleston's melodious voice saying, "Will you marry me?" except maybe a molten chocolate I.V. to help me fully recover.
Ahhhhhdlkjfslkdjflskdjlsj!!!!!!!!!! Lurching trains FTW!
In Return to Cranford, he plays William Buxton, a young man of good fortune who has recently returned home to Cranford. While his father is occupied trying to match him up with his lively cousin, he is falling for her gentle friend, the less well-off Peggy Bell. She is often bullied into doing things she doesn't wish to by her brother and mother, but as her friendship with William and his cousin, Erminia, grows, so does her independence. William feels the pressure from his father to cast his dreams of the railroad aside and become a politician, but he too gains strength from his blossoming friendship and attraction to Peggy. Drawing out their true characters, the two really begin to shine and are powerless to stop what comes next when they find themselves alone in a car on the train's first test run...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Victorian Love at First Sight

(My first glimpse of the Victorian Era)
As this blog is named "Victorian Swag," I feel as if I cannot escape a post describing my first encounter with the Victorian Era.  Incidentally, this first encounter explains why I fell so deeply in love with every aspect of this time period.  Her name is Samantha Parkington and, as her books describe, she is a "bright victorian beauty who makes a difference."  Some of you will know her as the best American Girl Doll to be had in the 90's; those of you who owned a different doll or no doll at all, well, you know her as the American Girl Doll you wish you had.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May we talk about your omnipresence?

No. No! NO!!! Enough is enough! Just when I think Hiddles can't possibly burrow into my brain any further he goes and pulls a stunt like this:
ARE YOU JOKING?!?!
SHUT YOUR FACE ARE YOU FOR REAL?!?! Like magic, he strikes precisely when you're least expecting it every. single. time. "Ahhh... I'm so happy with my life, I love being single, I- *refreshes twitter* NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TOM HIDDLESTON'S FACE *throws things*!!!!!!!!" We don't call him a life ruiner for nothin'. As if the gorgeous picture he used for his avatar wasn't enough. But tonight? He took an internet joke and Loki'd us all in real life! Loki, god of mischief... I don't know, y'all... this might be evidence that Hiddles and Loki are indeed one in the same. THANKS A LOT, HIDDLESTON.

CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR FACE: JJ Feild

Aaaaaaadkflsdjfksdjlkjwoi!!!!!!!!! (x)
I was watching To the Ends of the Earth over the weekend when who should burst onto the screen but JJ Feild (with curly blond hair! OMG!!!). This Brit is one of those actors who, whenever I see him, I can't help screaming, "OHMYGOSHIT'SJJFEILD!!!" at a decibel known only to wild dogs. He so wooed me with his charming cheekiness, endearing smile, and the above scene where he wipes the mud off his heroine's cheek in the rain in Northanger Abbey *swoon* that I've been terribly smitten to the point of repeated outbursts ever since. Perhaps it was the first-seeing-him-as-a-witty-Jane-Austen-hero bias that did it, but... man! This man! There is something about his voice, something in his air, something about him playing one of Captain America's 1940s sidekicks, that makes you want to either hand out flowers on your doorstep or curl up in the fetal position while wiping your tears with a trashy romance novel. I can't pinpoint it exactly, but... can I just have a major squee over his next project Austenland, which will no doubt bring me back to what made me love in the first place? My heart! 'Tis full of arrows!

Monday, May 21, 2012

"The Reichenbach Fall"

You know when the episode starts out with a rainy day, a choked-up best friend, a therapist, and the words: "Do you want to hear me say it?" it's going to be a doozy. And I mean that in the most tear-filled, heart-felt, crying-into-your-sheets sort of way. The fact that I actually put off watching The Reichenbach Fall until as late as possible and then couldn't even bring myself to write about it this morning-- well, what else needs be said? My heart is too tied up in knots to do the usual live-blogging technique, so today I'm going to subject you to a long Sherlock-filled feelings rant.  

Disclaimer: Here there be spoilers.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

It's Sassurday!

x

Without further ado, I give you some scrumptious behind-the-scenes footage from our dearest Fassy's latest GQ cover shoot. Feel free to swoon over his lovely blue eyes, shark smile, delicious accent, and wicked sense of humor, really, go ahead, we don't mind. I'll leave you now to have some early-morning fantasies, or should I say, I'll leave you to those mini fan-fics you're writing in your head of fresh croissants, the perfect cup of tea, and a certain Irish gentleman. Happy Sassurday!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday We're In Love!

1, 2, 34

Sarah's Pick:  So I FINALLY saw The Avengers this week.  I don't know how I was actually able to walk out of that theater under my own power after 2.5 hours of watching gorgeous men.  Of course, that's the girly side of me.  The tomboy in me was just reveling in the kick-assnes of the action.  I felt the need to do crunches and push ups as I left the theater, but luckily for us all, that moment of insanity passed before I even reached the car.

Mariah's Pick: This week has just been one of those crazy whatcouldpossiblygowrongnext weeks. Which is why yesterday, I told myself I'd start the weekend early, and of course that meant a little attempted fishing on Jekyll Island, an afternoon monsoon (I'm not kidding), and a nice lazy night involving a bath and good book. Cheers to the weekend (for which I will accept nothing less than fabulous); I plan on filling mine with bike rides, some beach time, a few candles, and a few vinyl jam sessions. 

Sally's Pick: This week I randomly thought of Christy, a show I was ob-freaking-sessed with in my childhood, and immediately needed to get my fix. And as soon as I started it for what must have been the first time in at least 12 years, the ALL CAPS FEELINGS rushed in right where I had left them. Perhaps I'm just getting overly emotional because this was probably my first exposure to a period piece love triangle (new school teacher + pastor + agnostic doctor = AHHHH!!!!!), but... ZOMG! Must review for the blog!

Ali's Pick: A certain band has been popping up in my mixes lately and I just can't get enough of them!  This week I have had Of Monsters and Men's new album My Head Is an Animal playing non-stop at home and in my car.  Their sound is explosive yet subtle and exceptionally pure; I am really loving the track "Your Bones."  And BONUS, they're from ICELAND!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Proposals Gone Right: The One That Almost Wasn't

Alright, alright, so some of you might say that calling this a proposal gone right is a bit of a stretch, but I can't not include this one. I mean, she sort of agrees to marry him, after all! The New World is, I think, one of the most hauntingly beautiful films I've ever seen; it's so organic and rocks you like a lullaby the whole way through. If you're unfamiliar with this interpretation of the story of Pocahontas, please do yourself a favor and track down a copy. But once you do, grab yourself a box of tissues too. Seriously. You will be weeping over camera angles alone much less the love stories.
You don't have to ask me twice! (x)
Having been cast out by her people for helping the settlers, Pocahontas has been quietly living in Jamestown where she mourns both her exile and, later, the supposed death of John Smith. He is, in fact, alive, but told his fellow men to tell her he had drowned (whyyyyyy?!?!). Seldom do I come across a love triangle where I'm rooting for both suitors (though... is it really a love triangle if one of the guys is presumed dead and they're not pursuing her at the same time??), but along comes John Rolfe in the next wave of settlers to the Virginia colony and he is everything that is comforting and good. He takes an immediate interest in Pocahontas, who is baptized with the Christian name Rebecca, slowly easing himself into her life of solitude. Witnessing her wonder with the world as he helps her with her education and walks through the wilderness with her in silence, he finds himself sincerely attached to her.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mid-week Mix: One Day in May

I have been enjoying the fruits of my latest iTunes shopping spree in the form of a new springtime mix this week.  I have to admit that I am slightly obsessed with a few of these groups at the moment and I love having the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club, Two Door Cinema Club, Of Monsters and Men, and Band of Horses all in one mix.  I have been taking it to the beach with me and smiling the whole time.  

One Day in May 

1.  The Book of Morris Johnson - Zee Avi
2.  Happier - A Fine Frenzy 
3.  King and Lionheart - Of Monsters and Men
4.  Wide Eyes - Local Natives
5.  Shuffle - Bombay Bicycle Club
6.  Us Against the World - Coldplay
7.  Sun it Rises - Fleet Foxes
8.  Kind - Eisley
9.  How'd You Like That - The Kooks
10.  Something Good Can Work - Two Door Cinema Club
11.  Promises - The Morning Benders
12.  Riga Girls - The Weepies
13.  1963 - Rachael Yamagata
14.  Be Human - Brighten
15.  Loving You is Easy - Sarah McLachlan
16.  Country Mile - Camera Obscura
17.  Islands on the Coast - Band of Horses

Buy this mix here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR FACE: Martin Freeman

X
I think we can all agree that funny men are sexy men.  Which is perhaps why we love Martin Freeman as much as we do.  Of course, Mr. Freeman is also a tremendously talented actor who can play serious as well as comedic roles.  Or a combination of the two like John Watson.  Don't even get me started on the Sherlock series.  We have loved him since seeing him as the lovably awkward naked body double in Love Actually, and we are sitting on pins and needles waiting for The Hobbit to be released.  Seriously, how much longer can we wait for that?

May we talk about your seduction techniques?

You sly fox... (x)
What is it about Hiddles? What? Because suddenly things that were never appealing before- things that have never tempted you in the slightest- seem to be the most attractive idea in the world when he's involved. For instance, hypothetically *cough* speaking...

1. You're one of the last to walk into a sold-out showing of The Avengers and the front row should not seem like a good idea. But the room starts closing in around you as you notice that no two free seats available in the main section were together and maybe start to hyperventilate in the form of, "OhmygoshIcan'tohmygoshwhathowdidthishappenwhatdowedo?!?!" Your roommate turns to you and says, "It's okay! We'll sit in the front row." You shake your head vehemently. All this waiting just to sit in the front row? "No really, it's okay," she continues, "this way you'll be closer to Loki."

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Hounds of Baskerville


Hello, again. Welcome back to edition two of my Sherlock FEELINGS extravaganza. I don't know about y'all, but since I cheated and watched this episode a few months ago, it's been on my mind. Lots of twisty turns, perhaps more than just bromance, and what has to be the best episode of Sherlock to date. So, lets get cracking. (See what I did there? Adler? Whips? Nevermind...)

Disclaimer: Here there be spoilers.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

It's Sassurday!

(x)
Right now we're stifling yawns with cups of coffee and the new Prometheus pictures that came out this week. Mmm... good morning, Fassy! After seeing the trailer (one of the best we've ever seen) on the big screen before The Avengers last weekend, we are positively tingling with excitement for June 8th. Ah June. It's going to be such a great month! Because do you know what else we have to look forward to? Our king will be stateside to begin filming 12 Years a Slave in Louisiana! Road trip, anyone?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday We're In Love!

12, 3, 4
Mariah's pick:  One of the best things about summer, besides all the time I'll be putting in at the beach and the plethora of Hollywood blockbusters, is the rather large list of amazing books that will soon be sitting on my bookshelf. Last week, the last book in Rick Riordan's Kane Chronicles was released, and it has taken all of my willpower to savor the final installment of Sadie and Carter's adventures rather than rushing headlong through the book in one fell swoop. So far, The Serpent's Shadow is living up to the awesomeness of the rest of the series and my only question is: WHY IS THIS THE LAST BOOK (one can never have too much Riordan amazingness in their collection, truly). 

Sally's pick:  This week I, the last person on earth to read this book, consistently stole time away to devour Water for Elephants. I zipped right on through it and am now officially terrified of ever attending a circus and thus getting caught in a stampede. However, I'm glad I can finally move this engaging novel off my "to read" list and think back on the mesmerizing imagery of big tops, heartwarming elephants, and trains full of men in suspenders. 

Ali's pick: Sometimes life is about celebrating the little things.  This week I celebrated whipping up a ginormous batch of zucchini bread courtesy of my great grandmother's recipe and the copious amounts of zucchini my friend Margaret dropped off from her overly abundant garden.  I love nothing more in the spring than sweet, cinnamon-y zucchini bread for breakfast in the morning; yum!   

Sarah's pick:  It's concert season once again!  Well, let's be honest, it's always concert season chez Victorian Swag.  Spring and summer just seem to be the best times for concerts, and I am so ready!  This week's featured concert: the Zac Brown Band.  Oh yeah, I feel you're jealousy.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

How Close We Came to Not Having Victorian Swag

As the name of our blog indicates, we love the Victorian Era.  
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I watched The Young Victoria the other day, and that movie is just so beautiful.  The filming is breathtaking, the costumes make me want to learn to sew, the acting is brilliant, and it's just all around a fantastic movie.  
X

Proposals Gone Right: The One That's Baked to Perfection

Last fall I shared with you some of my favorite scenes of all time in the form of proposals gone wrong. But now, dear readers, it is finally time to look towards proposals gone right, which put hearts in my eyes and make we weep rainbow tears. Some, you will see, are the heartwarming conclusions of failed attempts we analyzed last year, but others will be brand new. I know, right? Some couples actually got it right on the first try! I mean, wow! As I researched the proposals I would cry over highlight, I became increasingly frustrated. You will not believe how many of my favorite period piece couples don't let you in on this private moment. I'm talkin' to you, Amazing Grace! So unfair. Still! There are plenty of actual proposals to fawn over... Like in The Young Victoria, which I l-o-v-e.
(x)
If you all start craving something sweet in a second, I do apologize... I love The Young Victoria like a chocolate cake fresh out of the oven. This cake has been made specifically for you by someone else. You have had no input, it is simply presented to you on a silver platter in all of its perfection with a raspberry garnish and a glass of milk. And you know what? There is never a time when you don't like a rich and gooey chocolate cake that you didn't have to slave over. You might not necessarily crave it all the time, but you certainly salivate over the idea more often than you probably should. It's a go-to, which is never a bad idea because it never fails to deliver. It's always the best idea you ever had. Always. Take, for instance, the proposal. It's so sweet and delightful that you actually heart-clutch, sigh, and clap your hand over your mouth as you watch. If you haven't seen it before shame on you then all you need to know is that because she is the royal, she has to be the one to propose. Albert has been in love with her for ages, but alas has not been able to pop the question himself...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Period Piece Challenge: The Age of Innocence Movie Review

(Meh and Not So Much)
Judging solely by the movie poster (either version), I can't say that I was really expecting to enjoy this film.  Michelle Pfeiffer and Winona Ryder in a period piece produced in 1993?  I cringed a little.  Don't get me wrong.  There were a couple of elements that gave me hope; their names were Daniel Day Lewis and Martin Scorsese.  And I should have given each of these gentlemen far more credit for their movie-making talents.  Scorsese brought a fresh and highly literal perspective to the film and, well, Daniel Day Lewis brought himself and there is really nothing more that I need.  So in the end I was very pleasantly surprised by the film as a whole.  It was beautifully costumed and shot, incredibly true to the book, and a great way to experience excellent characters that those who may not be fans of Edith Wharton's might have otherwise missed.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR FACE: Jeremy Renner


What this post should really be titled is CONGRATS ON YOUR ARMS. Because, holy arms, Batman! The first time he whipped out that bow and arrow, our petticoats went up in flames. Really, though, we're not totally shallow around here, it was Renner's soulful eyes that truly won us over. From the moment he first appeared on screen in The Avengers as Hawkeye, we were smitten. It must've been that intense look in his eyes. When he's not busy playing super hero, he takes the time to, you know, drum up a few Oscar nominated roles. No big deal. Now we anxiously await his return to the big screen when he takes over for Matt Damon in the Jason Bourne movies. Because when it comes to soulful eyes and yummy arms, we just can't get enough.

May We Talk About Your Dark Side?

(Villainous Monologue!)
"I am Loki of Asgard and I am burdened with glorious purpose."  

So you are Mr. Hiddleston.  Glorious purpose indeed!  Oh Hiddles.  You had us swooning at your very first line this past weekend.  For those of you who missed his epic embodiment of evil in The Avengers, shame shame!   I know it has been mentioned before that he plays Loki (the god of mischief, hehe), but I am not sure you understand what that means.  It means Tom Hiddleston, Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome himself, portraying a seriously bad demigod on a seriously crazy power trip that nearly destroys the world.  And let me tell you that he is DELIGHTFUL to watch, ridiculously insightful evil villain monologues and all.  Oh the intensity!  You may fix me with your icy glare anytime you'd like.  Did we mention that we love you, Tom?  Because we do.  We really do.  And we really don't mind when you play the bad guy.  In fact, we kind of prefer it.   So thanks for a great Saturday night.  I am looking forward to more of these.

Monday, May 7, 2012

"A Scandal in Belgravia"


Oh man oh man, it's that time again, dearest, loveliest readers. That time where I unburden my love of all things Sherlock Holmes on you. I know you're terribly excited, who wouldn't be? Because we're not just talking about any Sherlock Holmes adaptation here, we're talking about CUMBERBATCH. Did you just get a little tingly there? Because I did. 

And since I wouldn't want to deprive y'all of my hardcore shipper feelings, I'm going to really impress scare you with my liveblogging skillz. Here we go!

Disclaimer: here there be spoilers

Saturday, May 5, 2012

It's Sassurday!

X
I am seriously craving a cuppa right now.  And maybe seeing this first thing in the morning as I drink that cup of tea.  In his June interview with Esquire UK, we learned that Fassbender is looking to start writing scripts!  What?!  I may also be smitten with his admission that he likes to go dancing...  Just tell me when and where, and I'll be there with my dancing shoes on.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday We're In Love!



1234

Sarah's Pick: May means Moonlight Movies!  This Wednesday was the first movie of the season, and there's nothing like laying down a blanket on some grass, ordering a pizza, and watching a movie outside after sundown.  Especially if it's the 1970s version of The Muppet Movie!  What?! 

Sally's Pick: I flew home to Atlanta this past weekend to see Les Mis at the fabulous Fox Theatre where I had a huge shock and fell more in love with Marius' friend Enjolras than with Marius himself. Ten years were so worth the wait to see it on stage as I finally got to see how the story was woven together in song with nifty set changes and incredible visual effects (Javert's suicide, anyone?). I loved hearing some of its most recognizable songs live (I may have turned to my mom and told her it was my new dream to play a prostitute in "Lovely Ladies" at one point??), but my surprise favorites included "Work Song," "Master of the House," "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables," and the "Finale" during which I was hit by a TIDAL WAVE OF EMOTION and proceeded to sob in plain view in a sold-out theater. 

Ali's Pick: What got me through the week this time, you may ask?  Easy: the prospect of attending my very first Derby party tomorrow!  I've got the ruffled dress and a big floppy hat; now bring on the mint juleps and the horses!  I feel very Kate Middleton-esque with my hat on.     

Mariah's Pick: Confession: I love braids, like, seriously. I'm constantly trying to figure out knew ways to incorporate them into my hair, and the other I day I just so happen to have perfected the fishtail braid. Which means I'm sort of ecstatic, because it was no easy feat, but really, one can never have too many braid types in her coiffure arsenal, and they are the perfect summer updo! 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

In which I "live blog" Birdsong and take a grenade to the heart...

Well I don't know about you, dear readers, but in the week leading up to part 2 of Birdsong, I was steeling myself. You might not know this, but you should never ever fall for a character that I myself am in love with. If you're about to start watching a series I recommend, first ask me for a list of my favorite characters. And never under any circumstances are you to get attached to anyone on this list. Because they. always. die. I remembered this bit of misfortune after watching part one of Birdsong and for days afterward I paced the room, blasted morose music, yes, I even cried in public (over Les Mis, but still, crying over fictional characters in public is crying over fictional characters in public). In a word, I was distressed. I had found myself in an emotional tangle yet again and all signs pointed toward a mangled heart. But fear for their fates was not enough to quench my hope that we would live happily ever after they would live.

Since Mariah's the only one that commented last week- tsk, tsk, are you just not watching? or do you just not care that I'm in dire need of moral support?! haha... *sobbing*- just kidding not really - I conceded to her request to "live blog" my reactions to part two. I KNOW RIGHT?! What was she thinking?! Does she not understand that I have a lot of FEELINGS and that this could not under any circumstances be pretty? And as my six pages of notes seem to indicate, I was really feeling ALL THE FEELINGS that no human should be capable of feeling all at once. So here, with nothing left out, I bring you my unintelligible and inner word vomit from Birdsong part two (flashbacks have been put in italics, but it's still probably confusing)...

  • Eddie! You look so ghostly.
  • Matthew Goode. Your smirk. Ah! 
  • Amiens? His reaction. OH GAWD.
  • I LOVE YOUR FACE.
  • So they ran away to the South of France. Kissing Prince Eddie in doorways? Yes please.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Period Piece Challenge: The Age of Innocence

(1920 First Edition Cover)

Love, honor, betrayal and high society in Old New York?  I'm in!  That's how I felt after reading the back (I know, I know, notoriously unreliable) of Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence and I am so glad I picked up this little gem.  It won a Pulitzer, after all.  I read Ethan Frome (HIGHLY underrated and truly a worthwhile read) in high school and so I was intrigued by this completely different approach from Ms. Wharton.  From the stark landscape of a wintery and rural Massachusetts to the bustling and somewhat dreary hub of 1870's New York, although her focus seemed to remain on the whole honor and duty theme, I thoroughly enjoyed her characters and her in-depth descriptions of life in the upper crust of the Big Apple.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR FACE: Chris Evans

(Well HELLLOOOO Captain America!)
If you can't tell by today's posts, we have a little, tiny, itsy bitsy thing for super heroes and the actors who play them.  So today we would like to congratulate Chris Evans on his super hero face.  This. Man. Is. Beautiful.  And it doesn't hurt that he is Captain America.  I also really enjoyed his darker super hero portrayal of Nick Gant in Push and let's not forget the fact that he was also Johnny Storm, the Human Torch of the Fantastic Four.  Whether he is bursting into flames, moving objects with his mind (we have a few uses for this particular super power) or tossing around an indestructible shield whilst sporting a blue suit highlighting every chiseled plane of his body (sorry for the ramble, I got distracted) this boy is just extra pretty.  Needless to say . . . I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE AVENGERS RELEASE THIS WEEKEND!  

May we talk about your super powers?

Part of some hypnotic ritual, I'm sure. (x)
He may be Loki, the god of mischief, in the highly anticipated frantically-stocking-up-on-smelling-salts-just-because-he's-in-it flick, The Avengers, but we're here to inform you that Tom Hiddleston has super powers. IN REAL LIFE. As if his face isn't enough. As if his "ahehehe" laugh isn't enough. As if his coffee-flavored velvet voice isn't enough. On top of everything else, he just has to go and have superhuman abilities. Have you noticed how however he "came into your life" (for me, it was descending from a carriage in all his my-curly-locks-are-slightly-tousled-from-this-top-hat-and-arduous-journey glory), his non-presence has begun to take hold of everyday activities? So have we. Thus, we are dedicating the month of May to confessions about Hiddles. The legend. The hero. The life ruiner. The jerk.