Wednesday, July 1, 2015


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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Movie Thoughts: Woman In Gold

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Movie Thoughts: Woman In Gold

Movie Thoughts: Woman In Gold

Monday, June 22, 2015

Book Thoughts: Finding Audrey

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Book Thoughts: The Ex-Mrs. Hedgefund, Jill Kragman)

Thoughts here:

Friday, June 19, 2015

Perfume Thoguhts: Caudalie Zeste de Vigne

Thoughts on Caudalie Zeste de Vigne:

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Movie Thoughts: And While We Were Here

Transitioning this blog.

Review found here:

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Television Thoughts: Odd Mom Out, Bravo

I am slowly transitioning this blog ,
here is my latest thought re: Odd Mom Out on Bravo

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I See London Three Times (Book Thoughts: London Triptych, Jonathan Kemp)

"London Triptych," by Jonathan Kemp is my kind of book. It tells three subtly interwoven stories of male prostitutes from three generations: the 1890s, the 1950s, and the 1990s. These men are not shy about their sexual desires, and that could make for some fidgety reading from some circles. But it tells a certain kind of truth that may not exist anymore. These are from generations of men where there is still shame in what they desire, and nowadays in the age of marriage equality it may be good to look at where we came from, before we enjoy the freedom that we have today. These are quite compelling stories, based on historical facts - I couldn't stop reading once I started the book. I was happy to read about London (my favorite European city) as seen through the eyes of these men from three different moments in history. Lastly,  these are all stories of unrequited love - I am sure all of us will be able to relate to the ache, the euphoria, and the craziness which that entails. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Lulled By Lola (music Thoughts: Lola Haag, Love Notes

Lola Haag has a new album, titled
Love Notes." It seems to be her fifth album, and believe it or not, I think I have most if not all of them. And don't ask me how I got them, probably from perusing jazz vocal bins. Looking at her website ,  she seems to be based in Ojai, California.  Haag has a breathy but full voice, a little on the bland side, but she uses it well. Once she starts singing, you can't help but keep on listening. And she definitely has great taste - her previous albums included tributes to Sarah Vaughan and Billie Hollday. Her sound veers more jazz - on this album, most of the arrangements have a light swing to it, and chestnuts like "Just In Time," and "the Very Thought Of You" sound well enough. There's an interesting lilt in "Moonlight Becomes You." but all in all, it suffers from being too familiar, and lounge-y. While it's okay if you were at a Holiday Inn on a business trip, as an aural experience it just lacks that certain oomph to catch your attention.  And there are some tracks with pitch problems. So while I have to give her an A+ for effort, all in all it just passes.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Father and Mother (Movie Thoughts: Eastern Boys/Mommy)

Robin Campillo's "Eastern Boys" is an odd film.  It starts out so interestingly - the camera follows a group of male hustlers at Gare du Nord Train station in Paris and we see them running, frolicking, hustling. We see them operate wordlessly as if spying. Then a businessman, Daniel, played by Olivier Rabourdin, zeroes in on one, named Maerek,  follows him, and they under the stairs.  he gives him his address, planning to meet the next day.  Someone else arrives the next day, and forces himself into the apartment. Then other young men do, and take over the house - and strips it of its contents. Daniel doesn't resist, probably because of shame of being found out as gay. Marek then comes back later, and he lets him in, and they develop a sort-of relationship, getting to a point that Daniel gives him a monthly stipend. The last third of the film centers around Daniel helping Marek separate from the gang (the tone of the last third - that of a suspense/action movie - is jarringly different) Emotion wise, we go through a roller coaster, and the ending seems a bit off - you wonder how they arrive to where they eventually end, wherein Daniel becomes a literal father figure to Marek - but darn it if these characters don't get to you. I found myself caring for these characters and I still think about them.

I had the opposite reaction to the characters in "Mommy."  Set in Montreal, it tells a story of a sassy mother who is taking care of her ADHD-addled son. There is non-stop fighting, screaming by mother and son here. Anne Dorval is the kind of actress who hammers her point by shrieking at the top of her lungs, and after a while you are so exasperated that you stop caring. Yes, I know what director Xavier Dolan is trying to do: he is trying to show you what she is going through, and having you "experience" it.  But one hundred twenty nine minutes of it? I can only take so much.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Sam's Hams (Book Thoughts: Ham- Slices Of Life, Sam Harris)

I liked Sam Harris voice enough to have all his CDs - even the rare ones fromhis Motown years. I have also seen him on Broadway in "Grease," and liked him especially in "The Life." So I was looking forward to reading his book "Ham - Slices Of A Life," which is not technically a memoir but more "essays and stories." They are numbered writings on some of his life experiences. Harris' first rise to fame was from being a Grand Champion on "Star Search" from the 80s, and I do remember him from that show, which was a precursor to this generation's "American Idol." These stories are unstructured but it doesn't matter - they are hilarious, touching, and you get a peek at his heart. I was hooked from the first page and spent a good part of my Saturday morning finishing the book. It's also juicy but not mean - you get a glimpse of his close friendship with Liza Minnelli, and his unfortunate brush with Aretha Franklin. I had hoped he would write about Liza, and he paints her in such a glowing light that's not fawning. He talks about some of his experience as a child in Oklahoma, and I could say I can relate to a lot of them: growing up gay and finding his place in the world. This is quite an enjoyable book, and has a lot of poignant moments. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Summer Amber (Perfume Thoughts: Prada leau Ambree)

I am in the process of cataloging my scents and I am finding a lot of "neglected"  ones. As I use them, I of course wonder why i don't use them more.  Prada L'eau Ambree is one I think I have used once, twice tops since I got it. I was hesitant to spray today because it is a hot dry day, and when I saw the amber in here, I thought, gee will the harsh ambergis annoy me? But I know Prada scents are on the light side, so I sprayed anyway. This is perfect for a summer day, akin to the house's Infusion d'Iris. Actually, should have called this Infusion d'Ambre, because probably this gets lost in their regular collection (I myself cannot get them straight) Daniela Andrier has crafted a light take on the amber - it's there, but the light florals take center stage. It is very close to Prada Amber Homme (which I wore a lot when it first came out) without the men's soapy/lavander vibe. The florals here give the scent softness, with the amber edging it out. This is an elegant scent, perfect for office, as it  stays very close to the skin, and has almost no sillage. I found myself tugging at my shirt so I could smell it. Even non-amber lovers will appreciate this.