THINGS I LOVED/HATED THIS WEEK #221

LOVE:

Oceans 8:

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For some foolish reason, Jessica doesn’t appreciate or trust my impeccable taste in films. I don’t often want to go to the movies — I don’t love being trapped in the theatre for two hours, especially in the daytime, but I can never resist movie theater popcorn. Do they sprinkle that stuff with crack cocaine? In all honestly, I wouldn’t be too shocked if that were that true. Anyway, Jessica is being a fool again and refusing to get excited for the film I’m most excited about seeing right now, White Boy Rick, about a Detroit teenager who becomes a kingpin drug lord. I don’t know why she is so insistent on not being intrigued, but this is the same behavior that she displayed when I wouldn’t shut up about Oceans 8. I knew from the first whisper of a rumor of this film that it was going to be literally everything. How could something go wrong when it costarred Helena Bonham Carter, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, and the divine Sarah Paulson amongst many others?? It was too close to divinity. And it was all about the Met Gala, an event that I am determined to attend as a guest someday. I don’t know when or how I will manage it, but that is one of the great ambitions of my life. I want to wear the most decadent suit and stroll into the gorgeous museum and sip champagne and dine next to the Temple of Dendur. Finally I convinced her to watch the trailer, and she was repentant almost instantly. How could she not be, so we scuttled out of our Mexico City apartment and down into the Metro. We were becoming regulars at the movie theater and the crowd waiting to get into the film was extraordinarily tilted in the favor of the gays. The gays were absolutely everywhere; Jessica could not have been happier. The movie was, reader, absolutely flawless. I am a ho for a good heist and is there anything better than infiltrating the Met Gala and stealing priceless antique diamonds from Dior using a 3D printer? Fabulous. Utterly perfect. Rihanna was divine. Everything was fabulous. I wanted to be one of their troupe of thieves so badly. This is one of the rare movies that I will actually buy a copy of. 

Olive Oil Bath:

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I have only ever had one bath bomb that I like. I love taking baths, truly they are one of my favorite luxuries in all the world, but bath bombs have been the lamest trend. The ones at Lush are dumb, and I mean that will all the love in the world. Their shampoo bars are truly revolutionary, thusly I assumed their bombs would be equally divine. They aren’t. I didn’t expect any of them to ever please me, and none of them ever have. I splurged on one at Bath & Body Works because it was in my signature scent, Happiness, and because I wanted to reek of the fragrance. I didn’t honestly expect much, but this was what a bath bomb was all about. It fizzed and bubbled, smelled divine, and released an exceedingly pleasant oil that left me feeling like a decadent aristocrat. They’re too expensive to use regularly, so I looked into alternatives. Somehow or the other, I got to reading an interview with Sophia Loren who occasionally takes what she calls an olive oil bath. To do this she places three capfuls of olive oil in the bath while it fills and then she luxuriates in this oily water, claiming that it is one of the reasons her skin stays looking so young. I’d much rather bathe in olive oil than the blood of young people like Countess Elizabeth Bátory, the infamous Hungarian serial killer who thought their youthful blood would rejuvenate her. I decided to give it a go, and reader, I have been loving the results. I don’t know if I look any younger, but my skin feels so soft and smooth. Truly feels rather rejuvenating. Is there anything better than skincare? I drizzled some California olive oil into a bath filling up with only hot water — I don’t use cold water ever — and swished it around the steaming tub. Of course it doesn’t mix with the water, but I broke up the oil bubbles until they formed a fine film over the surface of the water. I soaked and soaked and soaked and sipped champagne and when I finally emerged, well, I’ve rarely felt so decadent outside of a five star hotel. Give it a try, reader!

Anne Rice:

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A MOMENTOUS DAY

Anne Rice is an icon to me. If you have never read her writing, I cannot begin to recommend it enough. Aside from Elizabeth Peters (real name Barbara Mertz, a highly regarded Egyptologist), no author has inspired me quite so much as Anne Rice. She has absolutely no restraint when she writes, so her prose is weighty and rich, sensuous and almost overwhelming. It’s seductive, but it’s touched with such an honest lust for life that I can’t help highlighting whole paragraphs whenever I dig into another of her books. I’m reading one right now that I can hardly put down even though it’s massive. Thankfully I’m reading an ebook version, because the print one could probably injure my rotator cuff injury even further! It’s called Lasher and it is the story of a family of witches in New Orleans. She writes about houses with such loving detail that I could weep because I have the same unreasonable passion for big, rambling houses falling into disrepair. Her characters go on and on about their love of life and of learning, and I can’t help but furiously underline the words because they ring so immensely true for me. Her vampire books do this for me, so do her werewolf books, but so do her books about absolutely ordinary people. I just can never get enough of her writing and I weep for the day when there are no more to enjoy. Side story, but important, she is one of the people who have truly left me starstruck. I had the great good fortune of going to a book signing in Minneapolis several years ago, and I was in awe of her. She was tiny, grey, soft-spoken, utterly unlike her characters, but her eyes were quick and intense and she radiated a powerful energy. I felt quite akin to her. And I babbled on and on about how thankful I was that she had written a book called Blackwood Farm. In an interview, she stated somewhere that this was one of her least favorite accomplishments, but it is my favorite thing she ever created. The book takes place on a plantation in Louisiana and the descriptions of the house are so decadent that I have read the book at least a dozen times. She seemed quite shocked that I found it so wonderful, but I feel that I firmly convinced her about my honesty. She thanked me graciously anyway. When I write now, I don’t feel so self-conscious about using excessive adjectives and adverbs, for going on at length about the scenery surrounding my characters or myself in my blogs, for allowing a lush tableau to form around my words. She truly changed the way I look at writing, and for that, I will forever be thankful. 

Queen of the South:

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Y’all, I don’t think I will ever escape Teresa Mendoza, and that is something that I am completely fine with. I never meant for this story of a young moneychanger from the streets of Culiacán to take over my life, but that’s what happened. I could not stop watching Reina del Sur, the first adaptation of the book. It was everything I never knew that I was needing. Kate del Castillo became my favorite person and I wanted nothing more than to bump into the crew who was allegedly filming exteriors whilst I was in Mexico City. When I finished all the episodes of that marvelous telenovela, I was lost in a way that is indescribable. I needed something to fill the Teresita sized hole in my heart so I started Queen of the South, a cable adaptation of the same source material. I was, for whatever reason, immensely disdainful over the existence of this program, but it was a rainy day in Mexico City and suddenly the first season was over. It was nothing at all like Reina del Sur, aside from a few characters, some similar political scandals, and the illegal drug trade. This version takes place in Dallas instead of North Africa and the southern coast of Spain, which weirdly works. And instead of just one bad ass drug lord, this version has two, and I have absolutely lost my mind for the woman who plays Camilla Vargas, Veronica Falcón. She is legit everything. Alice Braga plays Teresa, the woman who will become the Queen of the South, but her interpretation is completely different from Kate’s, yet it is still fabulous. It’s one of the shows that I can’t stop watching. Last night I finished season two and I started screeching in agitation that the new episodes of season three weren’t yet available on Netflix. I am praying that there will be a marathon before the final episode airs. Is that too much to hope for? Give this show a chance and I guarantee you will be as hooked as the people Camilla and Teresa are supplying with high quality, ether washed, Colombian cocaine. 

HATE:

Rotator Cuff Issue: 

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I try not to complain all that much. When I first started this blog series, I was emulating Joan Rivers, who first inspired these blogs. She was comedically nasty about everything and I tried to do that, but it turns out that I don’t really hate all that much. So I stick to the things I love. Sadly something so completely and totally terrible has happened that I can barely stop complaining. I have a pretty high level of pain tolerance but I’ve been having an issue with my shoulder that is making me want to lose my mind and inject painkillers directly into my veins. It started when I was in Mexico, my right shoulder was really sore. It didn’t happen all the time, but when it did, it was noticeable. I assumed that this was from carrying a duffel bag that weighed far too much or from sleeping strangely in bed. Unfortunately, the pain never went away like I thought it would. Since I’ve been back home, it’s actually become significantly worse. I wake up feeling like I’ve been stabbed sometimes in the middle of the night if I roll onto my shoulder. This is beyond irritating. I don’t stay in one spot when I sleep. I’m never sure where I’ll wake up in the morning on my enormous king bed. I can barely dry myself off after taking a shower. Getting dressed is an unpleasant experiment in masochism. I literally wanted to cry when I pushed an elevator button yesterday. And this morning, the angle that I held my steering wheel at was so intolerable that I had to drive one handed with my non-dominant hand. This is dangerous, so I need to get it fixed. I have never yet been wrong with my self-diagnosis of the many maladies that afflict me, even though I was far too late to correct my hearing, and I have determined that I have a rotator cuff issue. I’ve mentioned this to friends and have been repeatedly told to go to an acupuncturist. I’m very interested in all sorts of medicine, so I have an appointment for next week to get little needles slid into my muscles. Maybe it will help? It surely can’t make it worse. And I’m super excited to try it out, acupuncture is something I have long been fascinated by. Wish me luck. 

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