My Space on the Sidewalk

Last Thursday morning dawned like any other day with its myriad of small irritations and moments worth smiling over. What made Thursday particularly significant to me was that I had a job interview at a chic lifestyle boutique.

I wanted to look competent and classy and avoid looking overdone. I chose a blue-and white maxi dress from my closet and tossed a loose cardigan over my shoulders; something I hoped would say, “I belong in your store. I could fit in here.”

Then I took special care with my makeup, going for soft, neutral colors. I wanted to look like the best version of me as if I did indeed wake-up like this.

I got to my interview a little too early, so I walked down the street towards a CVS to kill time. The sky was a crisp blue and the morning sunshine was warm on my back. My nervous energy was starting to dissipate, instead I was picturing what it would be like to work in this neighborhood.

Then, on an empty sidewalk in LA (that in and of itself being a small miracle) a tall man in black crowded into my personal space and muttered, ” ‘Sup beautiful?”

Society at large tells me that this is a compliment, that I should be flattered. Didn’t I just tell you I was trying to look good for my interview? However, in moments such as these I feel dirty, devalued, and most importantly inhuman.

There is a way and a tone to compliment another person on the street and then there is street harassment. I have had women and men alike tell me they like my outfit or that I look nice. They have made eye contact, smiled pleasantly, and, pivotally, have given me personal space.

In my experience, a large part of what makes street harassment street harassment is either the violation of personal space or the tone of the words that manage to invalidate the recipient’s personhood. We hear it often enough, but it is objectification.

Put another way, on that sunny Los Angeles sidewalk, I no longer felt like a human being. I felt about as valued and appreciated as the latest video game on a sale rack: you want the video game, stare at it openly in the store, and might go so far as to pick it up and touch it. The game has no say in whether or not it is purchased, played, and possibly broken. And that is what street harassment feels like. Granted, that is an imperfect metaphor, but it is incredibly difficult to articulate this feeling of having temporarily being denied your humanity.

I am not a thing to covet. That random man on the street treated me as though my physical appearance gave him the right to crowd my space. He made a conscious effort to get close to me, loom over me, and make me vulnerable. These efforts are in no way complimentary to me as an individual.

Was I wearing makeup? Yes

Was I wearing a dress? Yes

Do either of these answers validate a stranger’s behavior? Absolutely not.

I spent the rest of the day feeling as though that man had left his fingerprints on me somehow.

This specific man did not touch me, but in the past I have been groped, whistled at, catcalled, and followed in cars. These instances started happening when I was thirteen and walking home from school. Ask your mother, your sister, your girlfriend, your gay best friend, even, and I guarantee they will have examples of similar negative behavior at the ready.

At my interview, I smiled and answered questions and hopefully put my best foot forward. But I came home that night feeling awful, shaken, and teary-eyed. Not simply because of this one interaction but precisely because this is one anecdote in a long series of anecdotes. Why does this keep happening to me? To us?

I am not writing this post in the hopes of seeking answers. I am writing this post with the hope that if we keep speaking out about these instances of sexual and street harassment then we keep the dialogue open and active to better prove that what is happening out there is wrong.

I write from the perspective of a heterosexual woman, because that is the life I am living. But my perspective is not the only one that can speak to street harassment. Whether it’s a woman, a gay man, a lesbian, a transgendered individual, or, yes, even a man, street harassment and sexual harassment is never acceptable. That is the attitude we need to take together.

If you feel comfortable, please share your stories or participate in a discussion here with me. All I ask is that you be respectful.

Thank you for listening.

Advertisements

Unbecoming

Right off the bat, I need to tell you all that I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaways, but that does not affect my review of this novel. The review that follows represents my honest opinion.

Unbecoming

Image respectfully borrowed from Goodreads.

Grace is hiding out in an antique repair shop in Paris as Julie from California. In truth, Grace comes from small town Garland, Tennessee and she is running from that past as fast as she can. But Grace is haunted by the two loves of her life, Riley and Alls, who went to prison for her, and whom are about to be released from prison. The push and pull between Riley and Alls, her past and her present, cause Grace to panic about her future.

Not all characters are meant to be likable. And I’m still not sure if Grace was likable or just plain fascinating.

What pulls you through Unbecoming is not a lovable character, but the discovery of a compelling one. I brought this book home to St. Louis with me for the holidays and had a hard time putting it down.

First time writer, Rebecca Scherm, reveals the depth of her heroine in layers: the calculating vulnerability of flashbacks and the frantic smarts of a present living a lie.

Scherm slowly and steadily crafts this psychological portrait of a femme fatale for a modern era. Not in the sense of gun-toting, thigh high slit femme, but more the doe eyed beauty that make the men in her life melt and help her at their own risk. Watching Grace twist around in her own denial and develop into this manipulative person is riveting.

The novel itself starts slowly and reveals little details so that you feel you’re piecing things together for yourself. That is not to say that as it progresses Unbecoming is an action packed novel–even the sparse action is methodical. The strength of Scherm’s story is in its drama and the aspects of a psychological thriller.

A must read for any fans of Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief, Scherm is a thriller writer to watch.

Unbecoming comes out January 22nd in hardback. I give Unbecoming 4 Book Bubbles: A Popping Good Time.

Thanks for popping in!

My Favorite Reads of 2014

Hello all!

In lieu of an official Top Ten Tuesday post for you, I’d like to take a moment to recognize the books that have made an impact on me in the past year.

One of the reasons I will always be a prolific reader is that I believe in the power of books and words. Storytelling cuts right to the heart of an individual, yet manages to reach so many people; that’s one of the most magical gifts human beings have given to one another in our sweeping history.

But I digress. The New Year approaches and I often feel expansive when looking back at the recent past. So without further ado and in no particular order, here are the books that had the most impact on me for 2014.

*Pictures and links sourced from Goodreads*

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, #1)

1. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

This book was originally published in 2001, and it took me until this spring to finally read the famed Freakonomics. There is so much information jam packed into this crafty piece of non-fiction, but somehow Levitt and Dubner manage to make it all fascinating and relevant. If you’re the kind of person who loves knowing how things work or interconnect, then I would highly recommend Freakonomics.

The One and Only

2. The One & Only by Emily Giffin

In my very first PopSugar Must Have Box (which I don’t have a posted review for) I received a hardback copy of Giffin’s latest novel. Not only is this one of my favorite things I’ve ever received in a subscription box but it turned out to be a perfect summer read. The One & Only was my first Emily Giffin book and I’m anxious to read more from this contemporary writer.

The Year of Magical Thinking

3. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

If you’ve been following my blog you probably already know about this post. Not only did this book have a profound effect on me as a person and a reader, but writing a review of this piece of nonfiction changed the readership of my blog. I was deeply honored to be Freshly Pressed and in the process have discovered so many new readers and writers.

Grief is one of the most personal experiences we have and reading Didion’s memoir let me in to her grief while allowing me to come to terms with my own. I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking solace from loss, but I also recommend waiting for at least a year so that you can better understand your own journey.

Archetype (Archetype, #1)

4. Archetype by M.D. Waters

I have a weird obsession with this book. It wasn’t even that it was such a phenomenal read that I gave it five bubbles; it was a fairly pleasant run-of-the-mill reading experience. Yet I have mentioned this dratted book on nearly every Top Ten Tuesday list that reflects upon my reading habits. So it must be better than I thought initially.

The Book Thief

5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Again, this shouldn’t surprise anyone because I’ve been talking about how much I enjoy this book quite a bit. You can read my full review here if you’re interested.

Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality

6. Heads in Beds by Jacob Tomsky

This was a pleasant non-fiction read that changed the way I think about staying at hotels (not necessarily in a bad way) and how I approach service industries at large. So while it didn’t get the highest rating I can give for a book, Heads in Beds really stuck with me in a positive way, which is why it makes it on to this list. Check out my full thoughts here.

The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books,  #1)

7. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

This is a book for book lovers. The reverence and adoration for books and writing is at the heart of this tale. Zafon is also an expert at magical realism, which shines through in this inventive, thoughtful novel.

Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1)

8. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

My very first Michael Crichton novel and I adored it. I can see why so many of his books have been adapted for film because Crichton has a cinematic style to his fiction. I’m incredibly excited for Jurassic World to come out next year, and I would like to catch up with the books as well.

Gods Like Us: On Movie Stardom and Modern Fame

9. Gods Like Us: On Movie Stardom and Modern Fame by Ty Burr

This list wouldn’t be complete without a book about film, since that is such an important part of my life. I know I don’t talk about film on here as much as I do books and beauty, but that’s because movies are a major part of my day-to-day life and I don’t have enough of an outlet to talk about the other stuff, so I blog. Anyway, I am a big fan of Ty Burr’s writing style, which is both informative and accessible. Burr is also the film critic for The Boston Globe so he knows his stuff about film. This book tracks the evolution of the star from the first celluloid celebrities in the teens and twenties to modern reality stardom. If you’re a bit of a film buff, this is the read for you.

Unbecoming

10. Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm

I won’t say much about this book, except that it comes out this January and you should look for it on the shelves. I got an ARC through Goodreads and will be posting a full review in the coming weeks. So keep an eye out for that as well.

This past year I made more of an effort to read non-fiction, and I would say that paid off immensely as four of my favorite books from the year are non-fiction. I’ve also been more open to others’ recommendations and just grabbing things from the library instead of only reading my favorite authors, so that has been a ton of fun!

Hope you’ve had some noteworthy novels in your life this year! I can’t wait to start reading for 2015.

Thanks for popping in!

Special Edition Holiday PopSugar Must Have Box

Holy cow! If you thought my December PopSugar Must Have Box was great, just wait until you get a peek at this Special Edition Box.

Four times a year, PopSugar puts out their Special Edition seasonal boxes. A regular PopSugar box costs $39.95 and a seasonal box costs $100. I realize it’s a steep price increase, believe me, but the value of what’s inside these boxes is usually mind-blowing.

So indulge with me as I tear through the contents of this special edition box!

IMG_3194

I love how everything in this box seems to color coordinate.

Loeffler Randall Envelop Clutch ($70)

IMG_3198

This is a real leather clutch. Normally, I purchase faux leather but when a company sends you a real leather bag, you take it! This clutch also appears to be a collaboration between PopSugar and Loeffler Randall, which means you cannot get this bag anywhere else. I feel classier just holding the dang thing.

Turkish-t Diamond Throw ($65)

IMG_3196

Another exclusive as this blanket was designed with PopSugar in mind. I’m kind of ambivalent about receiving this throw. PopSugar has included Turkish towels in their boxes before and I’m not overly impressed. On the other hand it’s nice to have a blanket to snuggle up on the couch with. So it’s alright.

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer and Brightening Brush ($50)

IMG_3202

I have not yet used this little pot of what has to be gold based on the price tag. I like that it comes with a little brush and I think it’s going to give a pretty highlight. That being said I would never spend this much on a highlighter, which is why it’s perfect to receive in a subscription box!

Illume Gilded Amberleaf Metallic Knob Tin ($23.50)

IMG_3208

The top notes of the this candle are cedar and amber with hints of mandarin, vetiver, vanilla, and tobacco. Smells warm and comforting. Once the candle has burned down, this holder will continue to be a beautiful piece of home decor. I call it a win-win.

Droga Chocolates: Money on Honey ($7.95)

IMG_3200

Dark chocolate covered caramels with a splash of sea salt. So very good. I know it’s kind of a food trend at the moment to put sea salt on chocolate, but I am all for it! Trendy or no, this is delicious chocolate.

Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment ($22)

IMG_3204

I have heard about this product on YouTube but have never had the chance to give it a shot myself. I’m really excited to try this little exfoliater. The formula includes papaya, pineapple, and pumpkin enzymes as well as rosewood and cinnamon extracts. The enzymes act as a natural exfoliant and should help revitalize your skin tone.

Habit Cosmetics nail polish in 21 Nefertiti ($18)

IMG_3206

This is a beautiful warm brown with golden shimmer. What makes this product so special (and likely expensive) is that it is infused with myrrh extract. Myrrh extract has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties so it should help strengthen your nails and treat your cuticles. This polish is also cruelty-free and vegan friendly as well as being 5-free. I painted my nails with this polish for the holidays and while it is a lovely, unique color, it chipped quickly. You also cannot smell the myrrh, which I can’t decide if that is a good thing or not. I’d say this is a special occasion polish for specific night rather than a long-wearing formula.

I’m really blown away by the value of my special edition box and am enjoying its contents immensely. The only product I’m not in love with is the throw, but I’ll still use it often.

For $100, this Special Edition Holiday Must Have Box is worth $256.45. I definitely got my money’s worth with this box!

Happy Holidays everyone and thanks for popping in!

December PopSugar Must Have Box

PopSugar is arguably my favorite subscription box and this month they did not disappoint at all! If anything, this month’s box proves why I think the Must Have Box is the best. So let’s get into it!

December PopSugar Must Have Box.

December PopSugar Must Have Box.

Just look at this beautiful spread! I’m in love. While there isn’t a special extra in this month’s box (well there is but I’ll explain that below) the contents of this month’s box are so lovely I couldn’t imagine what else they would put in here.

SPUN by Subtle Luxury ($62)

This beautiful gold speckled scarf is soft and light: it will keep me warm this winter without throttling me like some of my heavier scarfs do. The gold flecks also add an element of shine so you can add this scarf to your ensemble instead of a necklace. PopSugar has sent a few scarfs in the past but I really cannot complain because they’re such staple in my wardrobe.

IMG_3212

Williams-Sonoma Vanilla Bean Cupcake Mix ($14.95)

I love it when PopSugar sends me mixes for baked goods. They’re perfect for the odd night when you feel compelled to make something but don’t actually want to work that hard for it. I’m really looking forward to giving these vanilla cupcakes a try!

IMG_3214

Canvas Dauville’s Platinum Bowl ($29)

I am senselessly happy about receiving a bowl in a subscription box. This adorable little bowl has a ceramic exterior and platinum/chrome interior. I’m going to put this on top of my makeup table so it can be admired at all times.

IMG_3218

Smashbox Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquer in Bordeaux ($24)

I love it when I get full size high-end makeup products in subscription boxes! And this bordeaux shade is perfect for the holidays. I haven’t tried it on my lips yet, but I’ll be remedying that over the next few weeks.

Look at that gorgeous wine red lippie! Ignore the other two swatches. They're from another post.

Look at that gorgeous wine red lippie! Ignore the other two swatches. They’re from another post.

I think this wine/brick red shade will look really amazing. Personally, I’m fond of deep reds. Even though I am very fair-skinned, I’ve found these blue-toned reds really work for me.

IMG_3216

Knot & Bow Parcel Tags ($4)

Perfect timing, PopSugar! But I expect they’re very aware of how perfect their timing is. By the time this post goes live, these little tags will likely be used up on my family’s Christmas packages. I also appreciate that these tags are blue so that they’re more inclusive. I celebrate Christmas but I am fully aware that not everyone does and am happy to see something that could easily work for everyone’s seasonal gifts.

IMG_3224

Sydney Necklace by Sparklepop ($42)

Pardon me while I have a moment of maniacal laughter…PopSugar accidentally sent me two of these stunning baubles. So I am one happy camper! If you love jewelry then I highly recommend checking out the Sparklepop website. They have a lovely variety of trendy pieces at an affordable price. This particular crystal pendant was modeled after Amy Adams’ red carpet look, which is amazing because Amy Adams is such a style icon. I’m thrilled to have this necklace in my box and someone in my life will be thrilled to have the other one in my box too!

Image respectfully borrowed from popsugar.com

So that’s that! One of the best Must Have boxes I’ve ever received for sure. I am extremely excited for all six of these items; there isn’t a dud in the bunch!

PopSugar Must Have boxes cost $39.95 per box, and the total value of December’s box is $175.95. That is a crazy value for a monthly subscription box!

If you’d like to get a PopSugar Must Have Box of your very own, click my referral link here or go to my referral link’s page.

Thanks for popping in!

A Pile of Applications

Hello all!

I just wanted to write a little note here explaining my sparse posts of late. I am in the midst of applying to PhD programs. Twelve of them to be exact.

Last year I applied to ten programs and failed to get in anywhere. It was devastating. I had an overwhelming crisis of faith–faith in myself and my abilities.

I was the cocky kid that only applied to one college in high school because I knew that Ohio Northern was the place I needed to be. I applied to six graduate schools for my MA and got into Chapman University, Columbia University, and wait-listed at Emory. Chapman was my first choice then and I couldn’t have been happier with my decision.

All of these factors built up an overwhelming sense of confidence, and when I didn’t get into a program last year I found myself questioning my life choices. Am I doing the right thing? What if I wasn’t good enough for these programs?

We all end up facing rejection sooner or later, but I think it’s what we do with that rejection that has the power to make us better individuals. As long as I can remember I have wanted to write and to teach. I taught my first class after a few weeks after that final rejection letter came in the mail. I was guest lecturing for one of my professors on the film Halloween (1978); talking about female roles in horror films, comparing the empowered female victim with the female slasher.

Standing in front of those students, taking control of that room, and having an earnest discussion about film was a life changing experience. A shy young man came up to me after class, shook my hand, and told me it was one of the best classes he’s ever taken. I could have cried with happiness. Instead, I said thank you and gave him some movie recommendations. I may not know everything about teaching yet, but I can guess that you’re not supposed to cry on your students, even if it’s with joy.

That singular experience made me realize I was doing the right thing by pursuing teaching, and by extension my doctorate.

If you’re lucky in life, you find your way into a profession that makes you feel that alive everyday. So, this fall I have renewed my efforts for applying to PhD programs in order to better chase that dream.

I’m applying to twelve schools across the United States and so far it has been a hectic process. Yesterday I submitted my first four applications and today I’m allowing myself a brief break to recharge my intellectual batteries. But I have eight more applications to plow through before I will finally be done.

As a result of all this mind-numbing, glorious hard work, I haven’t been posting on the blog as much lately. But I’m still trying to get out a few posts a week. Things will likely pick up again after the holidays.

That being said, I am going to try to get a November Favorites post up this week.  Maybe more if I can manage.

Hope everyone has a pleasant holiday season and thanks for popping in!

Bubbles and Pops: The New Blog Rating System

Over the past few weeks I’ve been trying to hammer down a better rating system for this blog. Particularly since I discuss a little bit of everything from movies to books to beauty. So with the help of my friends Russ and Marissa, I have crafted a more witty, articulate rating system that should help you guys understand where I’m coming from.

This blog got its name from the poppable nature of reviews and the inherent joy in popping bubble wrap, so for the rating system the idea went that the more bubbles popped the better!

Image respectfully borrowed from favim.com

I’m sticking with the basic rating of 1-5 bubbles, but from now on you should be able to link to my ratings page for further explanation.

5 Bubbles: Perfectly Poppable in Every Way

I’m channeling my inner Mary Poppins (haha) for this one. If a product is given five bubbles it means I’ve found it worthy not only repeat use/viewing and high praise but possibly a song and dance for how happy I am with it.

4 Bubbles: A Popping Good Time

Anything that receives four bubbles is pretty spiffy. It’s a solid product that’s made me a tad giddy but has stopped just shy of popping perfection.

3 Bubbles: Suitably Poppable

Products that receive three bubbles are pretty darn good. I like them but I don’t love them. They satisfied a need but didn’t blow my mind. I might recommend these products casually or to someone who had a specific interest but I won’t rave about them. Three bubbles are the little things that get you by, really.

2 Bubbles: Nearly Burst Bubble

If I’ve given something two bubbles, it means that movie/book/product was OK. I may have gotten my hopes up or been rather disappointing, but there are still some decent things to say.

1 Bubble: Might as Well be Styrofoam Peanuts

I hate Styrofoam peanuts with a passion. The terrible Styrofoam noise (it’s my personal nails on a chalkboard), their tendency to escape the confines of their box…I’ve given myself goosebumps just explaining that much. Basically, Styrofoam peanuts are the opposite of the joy found in bubble wrap. If I’ve given something one bubble, it is bad news.

Hope you enjoy the more detailed rating system! Thanks for popping in! 

Book Before Movie? Or Movie Before Book?

Most lovers of literature have a firm stance on adaptations: read the book before seeing the movie.

There are many justifiable (and accurate) reasons for this philosophy:

A) 99.9% of the time the book is better than the movie in detail, plot, and character development. Hardcore fact of life.

B) Most readers want to imagine the world and visualize the characters their own way without Hollywood interfering and (often) whitewashing.

C) The joy and elation that being able to discuss and prove point A provides.

The reaction every bibliophile has when they’ve been betrayed.

I’m sure there are other reasons for readers out there (and I’d love to hear them in the comments below) but these three seem to form the trifecta of reader angst.

And I fully understand the pain. My go-to example is The Goblet of Fire (2005). Goblet of Fire is one of my favorite Harry Potter books. The rich details of the tournament itself, the expansion upon the wizarding world to include other schools, the Quidditch Cup, and of course the dramatic final chapters where Voldermort does indeed return. Such a pivotal book in the series and I’ve always felt the movie grossly mishandled the original material.

Every reader out there has one of these movies that completely botched their favorite books. We as readers tell our tales of woe as if they were harrowing events that we have not fully recovered from.

Just a tiny example: In the book, the first event of the Tri-Wizard Cup has the students facing off against dragons in order to gain tournament points and collect the valuable clue for the next round, which is a golden egg. Harry pulls off this amazing dive on his broom from a great height, swooping down and pulling out of the dive at the last possible moment, garnering serious points and proving himself equal to if not better than Viktor Krum, a fellow competitor and professional Seeker. It’s a riveting scene in the book.

In the movie, the dragon breaks free of its chains and chases Harry all around Hogwarts, destroying many a turret and collapsing a few roofs, before Harry manages to outfly the dragon and gain the egg. There is so much wrong with this scene in the movie: the whole point of Harry diving and swooping was to gain the egg quickly for points and for the parallel between Krum. You get none of that in the movie. You get some CGI porn that shows how cool the animators thought their dragon looked. Never mind that it should have created story problems like why is no one trying to save this kid from a dragon on the loose? or how does Hogwarts handle their severely busted castle while they have guests no less? Nope, movie doesn’t even hint at these problems that to my mind are quite serious.

That, my friends, is a small, contained rant about one scene translation from book to movie. I have more where that came from.

But you get my point. The intense feeling of violation and betrayal from a bad adaptation lingers and spoils any enjoyment of what might otherwise be a fun movie.

After many years of horrifying disappointment I have often subscribed to a theory that might be somewhat controversial: go see the movie before reading the book. Hear me out.

A) I’m fully aware that the book will be better, so the movie gives me an inkling whether or not I’d like to further explore more fertile territory.

B) I’d like to think that my imagination is a more powerful beast than the movie mill that is Hollywood. Ergo, though I sometimes visualize a character as they are cast, if I think the person doesn’t fit with the book description, I can still imagine the character how I see fit.

C) I manage to lose the righteous indignation of having read the book and can enjoy the movie as a separate entity. When I read the book later, I can heartily debate the differences but I am no longer angry. My appreciation for both mediums is left in tact.

D) Though there are certainly spoilers in the movie, many more twists and turns await me in the book. The higher level of detail helps retain the level of suspense. Plus the way books are being adapted these days, so many drastic changes are made there is no guarantee that the movie you’ve seen accurately reflects the book’s ending (which, again, angst). Case in point: The Giver (2014) and Fight Club (1999).

This is how I manage not to have an aneurysm at the theater. I swear I’ve been a happier creature since adopting this method. Not convinced? OK let’s try some anecdotal evidence.

Prepare yourselves: I saw Pride and Prejudice before I read the book. And it was the Keira Knightly, Matthew Macfayden 2005 version, not the Colin Firth 1995 mini-series. And I loved it. I was in high school when the movie came out and I saw it with a group of girlfriends. I went through the whole range of emotions. Loathing Mr. Darcy for his pretensions and superiority while rooting for Lizzy’s wit and determination. Then gradually and somewhat unwillingly falling in love with Mr. Darcy and wanting to scream at Lizzy to just go for it already.

Whatever your feelings on that particular rendition of Pride and Prejudice, that movie primed me for reading the book in a way that teenage-me had not been ready for. If I haven’t mentioned it before, I have a strong reluctance to read anything that is over-hyped or books I “should” read. That movie said, “yes, it’s required reading but you’re going to love it.” And I fell so deeply in love with Austen’s book. The movie didn’t ruin it. It gave me the nudge I needed.

I promise all of these examples won’t be Keira Knightly based, but this film bears mentioning for the sake of my argument and just because I love it. Atonement (2007). I saw the movie with a group of friends who were all sighing over Ian McEwan as a writer and I thought, how good can this guy be? The movie itself blew me away. Beautiful, emotionally trying, and well acted. Atonement the movie made me need to read Atonement the book.

And yes, the book is better. That’s not shocking. But knowing the big secret from the film only made the rest of the book more poignant for me, so seeing the movie first made the read a more provocative one. I cried just as hard at the conclusion of the book as I did at the film. It also bears mentioning that Atonement is one of the most stunningly realized adaptations I have ever seen. Now I’m the one sighing over Ian McEwan.

For my final proof, I submit George R. R. Martin. I’m a big “Game of Thrones” fan. Both book and tv show, and I’ll tell you now that I’m deliberately behind on reading the books because I cannot stand being ahead of the TV series. Part of the logic behind this is that Martin’s giant books cannot be written fast enough to keep abreast of the show for long. The other half of the logic here is that when the show inevitably makes some stylistic changes, I have a tantrum to rival Prince Joffrey.

“Game of Thrones” is an undeniable behemoth in the world of television right now. The production values are great, the acting is stellar, and the twists are about as good/bad as a well-timed knife to the back, of which there are many in the series. I love the show. But I have never hated it so much as when they made certain deviations in season three. I got mad because I had read A Storm of Swords (book three) just before watching season three and could not enjoy the bulk of that season because I was too busy picking it apart to enjoy it.

That’s the crux of the problem of reading the book first: I’m looking for the movie or show to fail. I may say I’m excited about it and make a few jokes about how I hope they don’t screw it up, but I will always nitpick the movie to death if I’ve read the book first.

I love both mediums. Movies and books have been my safe havens and welcome escapes since childhood. They’re both good for different reasons, I know that on an intellectual level. But when it comes to the emotional level of knee-jerk reactions I had better have seen the movie first or the litany of comparisons to the book will tear the film to shreds.

Maybe a few of you will be convinced to try watching the movie first. I know, it feels weird, don’t panic! But if not, I understand. Some wounds are too deep to traverse and movies can cut just as painfully as paper pages, though in different ways.

Do you dare to watch the movie first? Or is that a hell no scenario?

Thanks for popping in!

I’m All Out of Puns

For this post, I’d really like your help, dear reader.

You see I’m all out of puns, quips, and wit.  Where else would I turn but to the internet for aid?

In all seriousness, I’d like to create a stronger rating system for when I review books, movies, and beauty products. I’ve been using a standard 1-5 bubbles, one being the lowest and five being the highest. The bubbles, of course, hearkening back to the bubble in bubblewrappedblog.

image respectfully borrowed from favim.com

I named this blog after the fun, “poppable” nature of reviews, so I’d like each of the numbers to have a pop-friendly pun or name attached that reflects how much I enjoyed a product.  For instance, 5 bubbles could be popping perfection. I’m not married to that though.

So let the bubble/pop puns fly! Let me know what your ideas are down below in the comments.

I’m leaving you with this majestic picture for inspiration. Enjoy!

My standards are high.

My Benefit Cosmetic Giveaway!

The lovely Clare of Clare’s Beauty is going a Benefit Giveaway to celebrate 200 followers. If you’re not already a fan, I urge you to check her out! She’s knowledgeable, fun, and is always ready to interact with her readers.

Clare's Beauty

image

Firstly I just want to thank each and every one of my followers. Especially the people that I now consider friends within this amazing little community we have here! It’s nice to feel apart of something and feel appreciated for what you do. I didn’t realise when I started this blog in May that I would have the reaction I’ve had. It started out as something to do while I was going through a rough time, now it’s something I look forward to doing.

Some of you may know that a couple of weeks ago, I said that when I reached 200 followers that i would do a giveaway. I’ve been racking my brain to try and think of a product that everyone would like… But then I thought, why not let them choose? As benefits is a big brand that everyone loves with amazing quality items, I thought i…

View original post 187 more words