Thursday, December 31, 2009

Kiss the Noughties Goodbye!

In the blink of an eye, another year has flown by... and so has the past decade, I'm afraid. It's funny to think of where I was at this moment ten years ago - at some crazy "Y2K" New's Eve bash, head-banging to some bad local band and laughing my head off. I was a teenager in the early 2000s, and let me tell you, it was a great time to be a teen (but, then, let's face it-- anytime is great to be a teen). Now I'm a twentysomething, trying to "make it" as a writer and artiste. At this point in life, I'm full of hope for the future and faith that anything is possible.

As we bid the Noughties adieu, let's vow to make 2010 an awesome year! Hat's off to the new decade. :)

Happy New Year from Ip & Audrey!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Remembering Brittany Murphy

Back in 1994, a precocious teenager auditioned for her first movie role. She had prepared two scenes, had the required accent down pat, but was told "Thank you" after completing the first scene and dismissed.

"Wait," she cried. "I'd like a chance to do the other scene for you."

The casting agent laughed. "Relax!" he said. "We're going to call you back."

Sure enough, she got a callback. Then, after her screen tests, she officially landed the role.

Brittany Murphy delivered a standout performance in 1995's teen classic Clueless. Her adorable, spunky character Tai underwent a transformation, and in real life the actress followed suit. Brittany went from being a curvy, curly-haired brunette to a lithe blonde, like her co-star Alicia Silverstone. Not only did Brittany waltz off with Alicia's hair color and trim figure-- she also got her career.The roles that followed for Brittany included edgy performances in Girl, Interrupted and Don't Say a Word, as well as sugary-sweet roles in Uptown Girls and Just Married. Perhaps she was best at playing the on-screen version of herself: bright, bubbly, goofy, a little neurotic, but all-around lovable. I loved her best in films like Love and Other Disasters and The Ramen Girl, where that troubled-but-sweet spunk and personality shone through.Brittany was a bright talent and delightful to watch. I was always rooting for her. Like Heath Ledger and other stars whose lights burn out too soon, she had a promising future ahead and an already-great career behind her. The best was yet to come.

We'll be seeing you, Brittany. Hope it's not sporadically.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Marshmallow world

Tomorrow is the first official day of Winter. What a way to kiss Autumn goodbye...

Ok. So who wants to go for sushi? ;)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Magazine cover queens

As the Noughties draw to a close (already!), it's entertaining to look back on this decade's fashion (I foresee many a January blog post on this subject). I've always loved saving my old magazines (I try to keep one from each year, but lately I've saved so many that I practically have my own archives!), and can't help but notice that certain starlets tend to land certain covers. Glamour loves to use Jessica Simpson, Marie Claire goes for Drew Barrymore, Vogue adores Keira Knightley, and the list goes on. has gone so far as to rank the top 15 most popular "ladymag" cover "models" (hint: none of them are actually models). The winner may surprise you; it's not who I expected. Check the article out for a bit of Noughties fashion mag nostalgia. I'm going to get back to my January 2010 Marie Claire (She may not be on the list, but Natalie Portman is my favorite covergirl!).

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Back at the core

Marit Larsen, pixie-like songbird from Norway (I'm a devoted fan), has re-released her 2006 single "Under the Surface" with a stunning new music video. The presentation is dark and ethereal, much moodier than the video's first treatment in 2006, which brimmed with quirkiness and surrealism. Marit's new take is less avant-garde, more fairytale-esque.

Plus, her hair is much cooler now. Just saying.

The scenery is lush and Marit - in her demure, shimmering blue dress and retro sixties bangs - is simply sparkling. Lush and sparkling... two words that exactly describe her music. Watch Marit take a little fall down the rabbit hole...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Boston's Daily Candy goes bust

I loved you like a sister
I loved you like a friend
But Comcast's pulled the plug
And soon I won't see you again

You've always kept me up
On all the trends and freshest finds
Introduced little-known shops
For fashion-savvy minds

But seven sites were dealt the axe
And Boston's one to go
Just why the Hub is being snubbed
I guess we'll never know

It seems we're not special enough
For our own Daily Candy
Neither is Atlanta, Dallas, Miami
Seattle, Philly or D.C.

But Beantown gals, don't you fear--
We'll get generic newsletters next year
Called "Daily Candy Everywhere"
About everywhere but, well, here

We'll read about boutiques and restaurant openings
We may never physically see
Or we could just live vicariously
Through Daily Candy NYC...

Friday, November 27, 2009

The best things happen while you're dancing...

I know it's a little early to start watching Christmas movies, but my family has a Thanksgiving tradition; after all the food has been devoured and the leftovers put away (and the paper plates made from sugarcane have been recycled!), we gather around the television and pop in a perennial favorite: Irving Berlin's White Christmas. We watch it year after year, and it never gets old. We love the songs, the dancing, and especially the campy acting and bad jokes (by now we've even created our own special commentary). And every time we watch, we pick up on nuances we hadn't noticed before-- don't you love that when you re-watch your favorites? Maybe you have to be a little obsessive and neurotic to love it as much as I do, but this is how old movies never get, well, old.
During last night's annual viewing, I was particularly attuned to the gorgeous, techni-colored winter fashions displayed throughout the film. From the female leads played by Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen to some of the minor characters and extras, early fifties fashion -- high-glamor fur coats, muffs, opera gloves and all -- was in full force. Edith Head was the costume designer, and she was especially meticulous with all of Vera-Ellen's clothes. Her high-necked sweater dresses, rehearsal leotards and gowns were stunning, but a little research reveals that the high necklines and long sleeves were carefully designed to hide Vera's bulimia. This explains why she rocked so many turtlenecks, while Rosemary Clooney wore all the plunging v-necks-- contrast! Despite the sadness of Vera's eating disorder, she easily had the most stylish look of any character.

A Google search could locate only a few of Vera's ensembles. I'll leave you with a few movie clips so you can get a better look... (Trust me, you have got to see that pink dress in action!)

I know it's dance outfit, but I'd live in this bright yellow dress! Surely it would cure any winter "blahs."
Who wouldn't love a black-and-white checkered skirt-- and a circle skirt at that? The red belt cinches it so nicely!
The perfect pink dress... like a cream-puffed sugarplum fairy! Or "White Christmas Barbie."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Freebirds and fancy feasts

I thought I'd take a departure from my usual posts and write a poem, inspired by the great Shel Silverstein, depicting my thoughts and feelings toward Thanksgiving. Sorry it's not super-cheery, but there are certain issues that are too dire to sidestep just because it's a holiday. I don't want to be a Debbie Downer, because I do love the holidays and spending time with family and eating yummy food... but I carry a burden of what I call "eco-guilt" that's hard to shake, especially during this festive time of year when we're blessed with an abundance while so many go without.

So this Thanksgiving, I encourage everyone to take a moment to reflect and to be truly thankful for what we have, and remember the rest of the world. One easy way you can help ease the pain of world hunger and ensure that there's more to go around is to include more whole grains and plant-based foods in your diet, of which there are plenty; and limit your consumption of meat, whose raising and slaughtering and production is the number one cause of global warming (whether people believe in it or not).

Please think of others, think of the animals, and reconsider the "centerpiece" of your holiday meals. There are plenty of great resources out there for delicious and filling vegetarian dishes; even Martha Stewart dedicated an episode of her show to how to have a vegetarian thanksgiving. We don't have to deprive ourselves or get all bummed out; we just need to do little things that add up into big changes that will positively impact our planet and its people. This is a heavy burden to carry and not talk about. [I suppose this is the angst that comes with being the lone vegetarian in my family.] So I hope you all understand, and will consider all these things as you celebrate.

And now, a poem:

"I Used to Like Thanksgiving"

I used to like Thanksgiving
When I fit in with my folks
We'd listen to Rush Limbaugh
As we cooked and made bad jokes
We'd always name the turkey
After Hillary or Bill
Then dig into our dinner
And eat our greedy fill

Then I thought hard about the animals
And finally did research
I learned so many horrors
That would make your stomach lurchI couldn't feel good about
Taking another bite
But, well, this is America
And feasting is our right

Right?So I dig into the turnips
I load up on the yams
I pile my plate with salad
Cranberries, walnuts, jamAnd if there's room, I save a place
For homemade pumpkin pie
I'm thankful for a Thanksgiving
Where no one had to die.

Freebirds!Yup, all that food is vegetarian (even the "meat" balls).
If this post resonates with you and you'd like to see more cute pictures of farm animals I've taken, check out my foodie blog, Technical Vegan.

Happy [FREE THE] Turkey Day! ;)

Poem, photos © 2009 Erin C. Dale