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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November's Fabulous Finds

It's a total cliche to talk about how quickly the months go by.

But for a four-month pregnant woman who sleeps through the majority of time following the workday, it's so true. And alas, the legal time for listening to all the Christmas music is here! The weary world rejoices!

Apart from the napping and excessive weight-gaining, this month has been full of lots of accomplishments - like getting through one of the most tumultuous election seasons without an ounce of alcohol. That's right. I'm basically Wonder Woman. Which means I can forego proving what a baller I am by delivering naturally and have the nice doctors load me up with all the epidurals.

Thank you very much!

What I Read

I'm getting through Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker. It's sad, and rich and sweet. And as someone who has been hesitant about motherhood for several reasons (career, travel, and the chance that this little creature we create becomes a jerk), it's been refreshing. She's like the older sister who confesses honesty.

She doesn't get wrapped up in expectation or the "shoulds" of motherhood. And I value the freedom she walks into her journey with.

I'm also working my way through Today Will be Different by Maria Semple. I'm not far enough into it to make a glowing recommendation yet, but I will say I've laughed hard through the first one-third of the book. Her writing style is unique and utterly hilarious. It's like reading an email from a scatterbrained friend.

What We Watched

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

(ALL THE SPOILER WARNINGS). I'm going to try to get through this while keeping my friendships intact.

Short story: y'all. Watch it. It was a gift. A gift that Amy Sherman-Palladino in all of her top hat glory was absolutely under no obligation to give us. A gift that was brought on by the demands of diehard fans who weren't satisfied with the end of season seven - did we forget how awful season seven was? The criticism I've seen as a result is upsetting to me as a creative.

And if I were dear Amy, I'd take my nice paycheck from Netflix and never write another script for that show again. Because that's the fan karma we've collected.

Listen, I've kept (relatively) quiet online and sat on my hands when I wanted to throw down. But loves, you're in my house now. Have a seat and let's chat. I'll make some tea and supply PopTart peace offerings.

For the record: those of you in the Team Logan camp, get in here. Let's group hug. You're excused from my Paris-level rant. That relationship was difficult to watch on so many levels. To the point where I was almost rooting for him. (Almost). If I'd been gaga for him since the beginning, admittedly, I'd have a very different outlook on the series.

And though he plays a central role in all my favorite episodes (You Jump, I Jump Jack and Friday Night's Alright for Fighting) lucky for me, I always knew he was a Cheater McCheat-face and saw through his privileged playboy rallies. And don't you tell me they were "on a break" in season six. A five-minute argument in a pub does not a breakup make.

Once again, Jess sets Rory on the healthy path. You make me proud, bud.


 On the last four words:

I've gone through this series twice now. And several allusions in the very last episode are celebrating the "circle of life" (cue: Lion King). It's clear that Rory is following in her mother's footsteps. The obvious father of her child is the new Chris. Jess is the new Luke. It's not so much of a cliffhanger as it is a promise. A "here we go again."

We got one year with these characters. And I saw them more of how all three of the women coped with Richard's untimely death. Emily found independence. Lorelai found health and stability in marriage. Rory found her grandfather's desk and inspiration to write her story.

Rory will find success with her manuscript (I don't think it's a coincidence that she has an old friend with strings in Hollywood), just as Lorelai has found success with her inn.

On the crucifixion of Rory's character:


If you've never been in a season of utter confusion, struggling with your purpose, feeling the ups-and-downs of worthlessness, wandering and being built up like you're a person who's going to Do Big Things only to be hit with the reality of the job market and the hindrance of your own talents/abilities, maybe it's disappointing to see her unravel.

But man did I identify with this character. Acting out in her hunt for something more, something deeper.

There are a lot of balms for this level of disdain. And you know what one of them is? Getting pregnant. The reality check to end all reality checks. Take it from someone who knows.

The head-scratchers/things I'll allow complaints about:
  • The 45-minute musical interlude. And this is coming from a Broadway lover. It was cute for five minutes, especially since Sutton Foster and Christian Borle (you'll know him from the OBC of Legally Blonde and SMASH), but let's pick one song-and-dance number. Although, I'd keep Waterloo.
  • The therapy scenes. I like the fact that they were there. But in no way this would go down like that in a real therapy session. She was not doing her job and was in no way leading that room to reconciliation. I would've enjoyed watching Lorelai and Emily make real progress in their relationship - and hearing an "I love you, mom." (For the record, that was my prediction of the last four words.)
  • The wookiee. Imagine Luke finding out about that.
  • And if you thought Rory having a one-night stand was out of character, let's talk about Lorelai's rendition of Wild.
  • Sometimes it seemed like we were watching a reunion of characters for the sake of having a character reunion without their appearances moving the plot forward. Take Lane's dad, for instance. 


Things to remember during the dark times:
  •  Kirk and Petal.
  • Final confirmation that Michel is gay. We all knew it, but we didn't know know it. I feel a lot better.
  •   Carole King.
  • Emily's meltdown at her final DAR meeting.
  • The secret bar scene.
  • Emily in jeans.
  • Lorelai winning points for the best her hair has ever been.
  • Paris. Just any scene that she was in. She slays.
  • The wedding scene and the throwback to Luke and Lorelai's first dance.





What I Tried

Do I have friends left? For those of you who stuck with me, I can offer you a special 20-percent discount on makeup! Because lipstick is important.

A few months ago, my friend Louise began selling Arbonne products. And though I've been known to shop for cosmetics in the drug store aisle, I've always liked their products when I've had the funds to order them.

She asked if I'd review a few products on the blog in exchange for a few products. I happily agreed. And now, if you send her an email with your wish-list items and tell her my blog sent you her way, she'll give you 20 percent off your order!

Lipstick

She knows me well. Louise gave me a bright red, and I love the way that it makes my lips feel. It's the perfect blend of a fun color and moisturizer. I tend to go for the matte colors that dry out my lips something awful. This was different. It's almost buttery.

And the smell. It smells like watermelon. Seriously.

Primer

I've never used the stuff before, but again it's a smooth product that really moisturizes my face. Since I don't typically wear foundation (I do a quick dab of under eye concealer and cover my trouble spots), I haven't really been able to gauge its staying power. But, again, I really like the feel of it. Especially since my nose is prone to blackhead city.

Mascara


Y'all. I've seriously been spoiled by this mascara. I'm a Cover Girl convert. And I don't think I can go back to the way things were before. It boasts water-resistant (a little will come off if you tear up), and long wear, and it's completely accurate. Take it from someone who cries at commercials these days, this stuff lasts.




What I Learned

That this is not a time to be hard on myself.




That grace is for every season.



And that with the right friends, we can find resilience to be the women we were meant to be.







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