Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cornucopia of Greed: Black Friday

Thanksgiving used to be my favorite holiday (maybe second to Halloween). Thanksgiving, unlike Christmas, was all about family, friends, and being grateful; now Thanksgiving is about friends, family, and being GREEDY.

A decade ago, Black Friday meant opening an hour earlier the day after Thanksgiving. Year after year, we have seen Black Friday’s start time creep up earlier and earlier with stores trying to beat others’ openings. Last year almost every major retailer opened at midnight the second Thanksgiving ended. This year there is only one way for retailers to beat that: by opening on Thanksgiving. This leaves me to question, where will retailers and customers draw the line? A decade from now, will retailers close at all for Thanksgiving? Will Black Friday become “Black Thursday”?

I have spent some time pondering: who has the power to make this stop? Is it the customers who trade time with their family in favor of buying things that they do not even need? The retailers who would rather put more money in their pockets than allow their employees to spend the holiday with their family? Or is it the retail employees who are forced to sleep through most of Thanksgiving because they have to head into work before the holiday is even over? Must retail employees take a united stand before retailers stop this ridiculous one-upping of one another?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Binkaminka's spectacular epaulettes

In my endless web surfing this morning I came across a blog entry of the most spectacular epaulettes by Binkaminka. For those that are not familiar with the term "epaulette," epaulettes are ornamental shoulder pieces which as usually just fabric and fringe (in present day, they are usually only seen on military uniforms). My absolute favorite was this diamond and spiked pair that are shown below. I can picture them worn with a form-fitting black evening gown or cocktail dress.

If you would like to purchase them for yourself, you can find them on Binkaminka's Etsy page.

While I think they are worth the $400 asking price, I cannot afford them, therefore, I think I may try making my own from cheaper (IE less nice) materials. If I do, and they don't end up completely terrible, I will share them on my blog.

For more wonder and awe, check out Binkaminka's post on her March-May pieces.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Jewlery by Mary's Little Creations

Today I want to share with you some of the beautiful jewelry created by my friend Mary. I have known Mary for over a decade but have yet to be able to meet her in person.

Mary sells most of her jewelry through her Facebook page (she offers PayPal), however, if you are interested in any of her jewelry and would prefer to buy through her Etsy account, just let her know, and she will upload it there so you can complete your purchase through Etsy. You can also find Mary on Twitter.

Below is some of my favorite pieces that Mary has created. Some of these have sold out, however, if you are interested in something that shows as "Sold out" on her Facebook page, shoot her an e-mail at, or send her a message through her Facebook page, and I'm sure she will try making you something similar. She also makes custom pieces, so, if you are looking for something really special, just let her know.

My favorite pieces that Mary makes are these wire wrapped bead pendants.

I also love this free form wire pendant.

This bracelet is just so cool. I have never seen anything like it.

I hope you enjoyed Mary's jewelry, and don't forget to "Like" her on her Facebook page.

"Pig Hunt"

"Pig Hunt" was the second movie that Timmy and I watched off my Horror B-Movie Watch List.

Here is the description of "Pig Hunt" from Netflix:
"A guys-only hunting weekend dissolves into insanity when the boys run up against fields of marijuana, crazed hicks, a hippie commune, a 3,000-pound killer boar and other high jinks in this unpredictable horror comedy."

I was disappointed that the movie had more to do with the "crazed hicks" than the 3,000 pound boar; the boar wasn't even really shown until the last 10 minutes of the movie. It was an okay movie, but not really what I was expecting. The acting was pretty solid, which is honestly not what I'm looking for when I am in the mood for a B-movie (to me the cheesy/bad acting is part of the charm of a B-movie).

Below is my screenshot recap of some of my favorite moments from "Pig Hunt" (obviously contains spoilers):

Shopkeeper using a centerfold to draw a map.

There are many WTF moments in this movie.

Reverend collar + overalls

It is a mannnnnn'ssss worldddddd.

FINALLY, the 3,000 pound boar shows up.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

"Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus"

"Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus" was the first movie that Timmy and I watched off my Horror B-Movie Watch List. I love a B-movie even more when there is a C-list actor in it, so, I was excited to discover that Jaleel White (who played Steve Urkel on "Family Matters") is in Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus.

Here is the description of "Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus" from Netflix:
"When the prehistoric warm-water beast the Crocosaurus crosses paths with that cold-water monster the Mega Shark, all hell breaks loose in the oceans as the world's top scientists explore every option to halt the aquatic frenzy. Swallowing everything in their paths -- including a submarine or two -- Croc and Mega lead an explorer and an oceanographer on a wild chase. Eventually, the desperate men turn to a volcano for aid."

Below is my screenshot recap of some of my favorite moments from Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus (contains spoilers, obviously).

I love how the shark is suddenly much smaller and a different type.

Jaleel ugly crying

Croc vs helicopter

Jaleel ugly crying again

After a flip, naturally

Horror B-Movie Watch List

(Screenshot from Gingerdead Man 3)

I love B horror movies, more so those of the creature variety. I love the terrible acting, the weak special effects, lack of good plot, and most of all, the horrible sense of scale (scale of the creatures never remains consistent).

I love that Netflix has a "B-Horror Movies" category, as well as a "Creature Features" category. Last night I went through the movies available for streaming in those categories and started compiling a list-of-awesome in honor of Halloween (although I'm sure I'll be watching these into November). As I watch the movies, I plan to share some screenshots from the movies that I deem worthy of the title "Awesomely horrible" (in separate blog entries but I will update this entry to link to the posts). The screenshots will contain spoilers, so, don't click their links if that bothers you.

Here is what is on my watch list so far (only half are creature movies), complete with their descriptions from Netflix:

Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus (Click here for screenshot recap)
"When the prehistoric warm-water beast the Crocosaurus crosses paths with that cold-water monster the Mega Shark, all hell breaks loose in the oceans as the world's top scientists explore every option to halt the aquatic frenzy. Swallowing everything in their paths -- including a submarine or two -- Croc and Mega lead an explorer and an oceanographer on a wild chase. Eventually, the desperate men turn to a volcano for aid."

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead
"What happens when a fast-food chicken franchise is built on a sacred Native American burial site rife with restless spirits? Zombie chickens! Now it's up to high school grad Arbie to find a way to destroy the featherless fiends."

"A group of friends partying in the wilds of Louisiana get into a fight for their lives when a beastly half-man, half-alligator that locals call Lockjaw comes searching for food -- and for a new bride!"

Pig Hunt (Click here for screenshot recap)
"A guys-only hunting weekend dissolves into insanity when the boys run up against fields of marijuana, crazed hicks, a hippie commune, a 3,000-pound killer boar and other high jinks in this unpredictable horror comedy."

Birdemic: Shock and Terror
"When sexy model Nathalie (Whitney Moore) and software guru Rod (Alan Bagh) head to a motel for an afternoon tryst, they are attacked by a flock of savage exploding eagles and other birds of prey in the first wave of an all-out avian war against humanity. As the lovers scramble to find food, water and safety, they team up with gun-toting campers to rescue a pair of orphaned kids. James Nguyen directs this low-budget indie thriller."

"When their minivan breaks down in the middle of the woods, Nick (Brendan Michael Coughlin), Sam (Patrick Scott Lewis) and their lovely girlfriends soon find themselves trying to escape from an enraged grizzly bear, which will stop at nothing until each one of them is dead. Full of convincing action scenes, this gripping survival thriller features real-life bears instead of computer-generated effects."

"When an earthquake tears open the bottom of Lake Havasu, schools of carnivorous piranhas are released from their underwater lair, and the lake turns into a bloody, frenzied death trap for unwitting water-goers."

Alligator X
"When her father goes missing, Laura LeCrois is forced to return home after a 20-year hiatus. But when Laura decides to work the dying family business giving boat tours of the Louisiana swamp, she witnesses the most terrifying creature she has ever seen - a cloned Pliosaur dinosaur, affectionately known as Alligator X! Now, lost in the Louisiana wetlands, Laura must save her tour from a prehistoric predator that is supposed to be extinct!"

"While browsing in an antique shop, a young mother (Kim Johnston Ulrich) comes across an unusually carved "wishing stone" that's too intriguing to resist. Little does she realize, however, that her one wish will free the demonic Rumpelstiltskin (Max Grodenchik), who's been trapped inside the rock for more than 500 years and who survives by eating babies. Now, the young mom has just three chances to guess the impish man's name or lose her child."

Assault of the Sasquatch
"In the woods of a state park, authorities arrest a ruthless bear poacher and impound his truck, not knowing the vehicle contains the legendary Sasquatch. All are shuttled back to the city precinct, where the vicious creature escapes. Determined to exact revenge on the man who snatched him from his habitat, the Sasquatch won't rest until he puts his "big foot" on the poacher's body. Jason Criscoulo plays the title creature."

Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver
"After cleverly escaping the maximum security research institute of Homicidal Baked Goods, the Gingerdead Man stumbles upon a time machine and finds himself sent back in time as he slaughters the contestants of a 1970's Roller Boogie contest."

Grizzly Park
"After tangling with the law, eight wayward strangers find themselves assigned to community service under the watchful eye of an avuncular park ranger. But among Grizzly Park's many dangers is a killer who's lurking in the shadows."

"Proving that flesh-eating monsters don't practice age discrimination, this black comedy tells the tale of elderly Emily Dwyer (Jeanne Bates), who takes a suspicious lodger into her Los Angeles home. After being bitten by him, she develops a taste for her son, Clay (Mark Thomas Miller). Desperate to keep his mother from committing homicide, Clay has her incarcerated, but after she escapes he must take matters into his own hands."

Pinocchio's Revenge
"After another long day in court, attorney Jennifer Garrick (Rosalind Allen) heads home with a strange piece of evidence: a wooden puppet stashed in the trunk of her car. But when her daughter Zoe (Brittany Alyse Smith) assumes the evidence is her birthday present and adopts the marionette as her newest toy, bodies begin piling up all around her. If Pinocchio is responsible for the carnage, who's pulling the strings?"

Mutant Vampire Zombies from the 'Hood!
"When a strange cosmic event turns the citizens of Los Angeles into blood-drinking, flesh-eating, sex-starved zombies, a handful of cops and gang members form an unlikely alliance to fend off the insatiable undead. Soon the motley crew must make their way to a compound up the coast, where a scientist and his sexy daughter may hold the key to survival. C. Thomas Howell stars in this indie horror-comedy."

Bikini Girls on Ice
"When their bus breaks down in the middle of nowhere, a bunch of bikini-clad college coeds make their way to a boarded-up gas station, where an axe-wielding madman corners them and starts hacking his way from one beauty to the next."

Zombie Women of Satan
"After her sister is kidnapped by a bizarre cult, rock singer Skye Brannigan (Victoria Hopkins) sets out to find her. The members of freaky burlesque troupe Flesharama become involved in the hunt, and soon they're all attacked by a flock of gorgeous zombie women. Led by Satan and their insane creators, the Zander family, the zombies won't stop the carnage until their lust for blood and guts is fully satisfied in this gory horror flick."

Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives
"After psychotic bigots brutally beat them, Bubbles Cliquot (Krystal Summers), Tipper Sommore (Jenna Skyy), Rachel Slurr (Willam Belli) and Emma Grashun (Erica Andrews) vow to seek vengeance in this campy thriller. Now the empowered transgender divas won't let anything stop them from settling the score. Israel Luna directs this controversial film that was an official selection at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival."

"Fleeing the wrath of man-eating vixens who've taken over the world, a ragtag caravan of refugees (Ben Sheppard, Maren McGuire, Jamison Challeen and Ileane Herrin) makes its way across the country to the relative safety of the West Coast. But en route, they're attacked by unrelenting waves of starving strippers. If looks could kill ... well, let's just hope they can't. Gilbert Gottfried and Daniel Baldwin co-star."

And if I had not already watch it, this would have been on my watch list:

2-Headed Shark Attack
"Terror takes a ghastly form when a gigantic two-headed shark sinks a ship full of students, and the survivors wash up on a tiny atoll. But just when the kids think they're safe, a tsunami sweeps them back into the deep to face the twin jaws anew."

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What I Wore - Audiences and Elephants

Three months ago I ordered these ASOS elephant print jeans. I hadn't wore them out until last Friday because the odd fit makes them uncomfortable. While the jeans fit okay above the knees (except for being a little too loose around the waist), they are insanely tight at the knees and below. It puzzles me because someone who has thighs/hips/butt my size is not likely to have calves significantly smaller than mine. Relying on public transit makes the jeans more troublesome because stairs are difficult when you can barely bend your knees, haha. I didn't return the jeans because the style is just too awesome.

Another reason I put off wearing them is because, as you can imagine, they aren't the easiest to style. I think the t-shirt that I got at Audiences' album release concert works well with them.

As a side note, if I ever hope to take a decent photo, I really need to find a better way to take photos inside than this setup.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Audiences album release concert (recap)

Timmy and I went to Audiences' album release concert on Friday at The Metro. We've never been to The Metro before, so, I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that there was no bad view in the house (including the balcony where we were for most of the show). I also loved that they had chairs in the balcony since I have trouble standing for long periods of time, and I was on my feet all day at work.

Audiences was awesome, but no surprise there. They had a great lineup of two local Chicago bands, as well as a band from Des Moines. Timmy and I both managed to snag one of the 40 hand-carved wood USB drive albums they had (they come with leather cords so you can wear it around your neck). Mine is on the left, Timmy's is on the right.

Timmy and I had some discussion as whether to get one or two USB albums...
Me: I want to get my own USB drive, but I feel kind of greedy since there will only be 40.
Timmy: In case we ever break up?
Me: That thought had crossed my mind.......
Timmy: And if we ever get (married and then) divorced, the item of contention will be who gets the USB drive? You can have the house and car, but *I* am keeping the USB drive.
As you can see, we decided to get two, that way I can keep the USB drive AND the house.

I got the package deal which came with their t-shirt and the USB drive (they didn't have Timmy's size).

The CD version of Audiences' album had the same awesome wax seal as the sample CD they gave away at The House of Blues two weeks ago.

Good Luck is excited about his Audiences' "bolo tie".

Timmy bought Coheed and Cambria's $65 limited edition box set on-line a while ago. It ships out this week, and Timmy said he isn't sure which album he was more excited for, Coheed and Cambria's or Audiences'.

Lindy Bop "Grace" dress

I have been eyeing the Lindy Bop dress below on Amazon for a week or so. I debated buying it because:
1) I rarely wear dresses because I rarely have an occasion to.
2) The dress ships from the U.K. which could make a return more difficult if Lindy Bop's generic size chart doesn't compute for this dress.

Today I "bit the bullet" and went for it. I'm also going to be ordering a red petticoat to wear under it to bring out the red detailing on the dress. I'm hoping that it arrives in time for Timmy's and my anniversary.

The shoes above from Payless (which are currently on sale) would look adorable with the dress. I'm not sure if I could justify spending $50 on a pair of shoes that I would likely only wear with one dress though.