THINGS I LOVED/HATED THIS WEEK #119

LOVE:

Yves Saint Laurent:

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I have loved the story and art of Yves Saint Laurent long before Harry Styles started draping himself exclusively in thousand dollar shirts designed by the revitalized house of Saint Laurent. That certainly didn’t hurt my passion for the brand, though. I mean LOOK:

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That’s not Harry on the right side of my website, but I can understand your confusion.

No, that began years ago, back when I still thought that my future was in the culinary world. I still straddle that world, but it’s not nearly the focus I thought it would be. Anyway, I used to do these catering jobs, and I was never fond of it, but I had some weird times. I was doing a dinner party when a drunken man, a campaign manager for some big shot, stared at me and said that I reminded him of a young Yves Saint Laurent, whom he claims he met in his youth. This meant nothing to me at the time, but I’ve never forgotten it, mainly because his date wanted to build me a bakery and have poles in the window for male strippers to dance on and entice the clients.  He later had his own reality show… Sometimes I have to stop and think about what a strange existence I’ve had. So, when it was announced a few years ago that Gaspard Ulliel (*swoon*) was cast in the role that I was born to play, I took umbrage, but since he stars in my very favorite movie, A Very Long Engagement, and looks the way he does, I forgave him. It was finally released in America and I was thrilled to watch the film until I discovered that it was two and a half hours long. Who has the time? I had to split it into two days, but I loved it. Now, I have to admit that it lacks the depth, the soul, and the emotional connection of the much better La Mome, another French biopic, but it is a beautiful film. I was also thrilled to see that Jacques de Berscher had such a pivotal part in the film, since people often forget he ever existed. A real shame. Where the film succeeds the most is recreating Paris in the 60s and the 70s. Never before in my life have I ever wanted to be around in the 60s. Hippies? No thanks. But the 60s in Paris were lush and decadent with stunning parties and rockstars and clothes that rival what we wear today. In fact, it appears that the 60s are back, and I don’t mind. I’m also kind of glad that I wasn’t around in 60s Paris because I probably would have died; probably better to experience it through film. If you have an interest in fashion, I recommend picking this up. You could do worse than staring at Gaspard all evening.

Diet Pink Grapefruit Soda for SodaStream:

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If you had told me when I was younger that I would thoroughly enjoy caffeinated beverages, I would have heartily laughed in your face. I had no interest in anything but orange juice and water. I don’t recall when that changed…probably when I was introduced to champagne in Paris at Le Cordon Bleu. One time they had a few extra crates of good champagne from a function, so they passed out plastic cups and bottles during the lesson. The chefs sipped, and we all sipped heartily in the audience. We were all drunk. It was very French. I have loved champagne ever since. Diet Coke is my champagne of the working day. Sadly, you can’t drink champagne and work at the same time and have any kind of respect! Land of the FREE? Don’t make me laugh. So, I love me some Diet Coke. Stop judging, I’ll die one way or the other. I have become curious about SodaStreams, those machines that make carbonated beverages at home, so I borrowed one and tried it out the other night. The first attempt at a Diet Cola was vile, but I have a new variety chilling in the refrigerator now. Perhaps it’ll be more palatable? The other bottle I made was Diet Pink Grapefruit, and that was a delight. A treat! I will buy a bottle of that, and I heartily recommend you do the same.

DuoLingo Update:

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I have been using this marvelous app for over a year, and I adore it. Languages are one of my major passions in life, so any time that I can learn a new word or conjugation, you can sign me right up. That is my shit. It’s a fabulous program, but it’s only gotten better with the latest update. It finally teaches more than a few phrases and words. Now we learn about translations and conjugations and all sorts of new things that I don’t understand because German is one of the most ridiculous languages ever conceived by our species. Why do they smash so many words together? Can’t they just put a space in there? At least they have that delightful s, the ß. I’m obsessed with it. If you don’t have this now, it’s free, and I wholeheartedly recommend it. I only wish that I had started Italian a year ago instead of German. Then, when I had been lost in the Italian countryside with angry passengers in a train accident, I might have been a bit less confused. Oh well, what is past is past and I can understand more German than I ever thought. It’s a blessing.

HATE:

Facebook:

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I signed up for Facebook in 2009. I think I was the last person in the world to do so. I had no interest in it during high school; I thought it was a bad idea. Seeing what some people post on there in their youth, I feel my opinion was justified. Once I got started, it was rather fun, though, and I regretted that it didn’t play a more active role in my teenage years. Facebook allows you to build up an online persona that is like you…only better. I have had marvelous times posting iconic selfies and jokes in the intervening years, but at the current moment, I can hardly bear to get on. When I do, I mainly roll my eyes and sigh. There is hardly any original content left. All there is to see is people posting poorly made Minion memes, hyper patriotic eagles about the blessings of semi-automatic weapons, weddings that heavily feature mason jars and chalkboards, anti-Obama nonsense, and complaints. It’s exhausting. Oh, and those dumb things where it goes “Like if you think 43 is the answer. Only really smart people will get this!” Oh, and casserole recipes. I have no time for casseroles or basic math equations. I want to know about you, not the Minion version of yourself. How are those Minion things not being taken down for copyright infringement? Is there a way to report them? The scourge must end. So, Facebook is fairly awful. I am going to start hiding things on there. I’m not ready to say goodbye to it, since I honestly do like sharing, and I think it will be an excellent resource for my future biographers, but I hate it.

American Horror Story – Hotel:

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Look, this isn’t a total hate, it’s more of an irritant. This season of American Horror Story is not living up to the expectations that the promo season made me hyped for. We were supposed to see a crazy hotel and Gaga losing her mind and the whole cast back for a bloodbath. Instead, only two episodes in, we have a boring cop, an immortality virus, and Evan Peters with a fairly delightful faux-Hollywood accent. And it’s boringI’m so bored. Last night’s episode finally picked up a bit when we learned more about the hotel, but before that I was struggling to stay interested. Yes, Matt Bomer interests me. Intensely.

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But he can only be captivating for so many moody squints before even that glory begins to fade. Gaga is wonderful, she’s a delight in everything she does, but so far her Countess doesn’t live up to the delights that I had prepared. (The Countess in my next novel is a thousand times more dynamic! I love you, Gaga!) The hotel itself is gorgeous, but it’s not creepy the way that it was alleged to be. The people themselves are the only horrors, and they’re not even that bad. They don’t even make sense. There are vampire children in the basement playing video games from the early 80s and wearing crappy wigs. Sarah Paulson is there, glaring at us because we know that she knows that we know that she is Sarah Paulson…but even that long running inside joke fails to delight me as it once did. I hope, and this is a change, that Ryan Murphy hacks into my computer again, because I’ve got a lot of ideas that he can steal. I don’t want to be this bored. (I saw the trailer for the next episode and I guess he’s been scanning my notes. Damn it, Ryan.)

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