Monday, August 15, 2011

Side Street (1950)

*Slight spoilers ahead*

Some time ago, I took advantage of TCM On Demand to watch an underrated noir called Side Street. Between Farley Granger and a classic noir plot, I was definitely pleased that I tuned in. The premise is that swoony Mr. Granger is a part time mailman struggling to pay the bills with a baby on the way. In desperation, he steals what he believes to be $200, but soon discovers that it's a $30,000 payoff. This sets into motion a noir nightmare that ends in an edge-of-your seat car chase on the deserted streets of New York City. While some might argue that this is all standard noir, I can never get enough of those doomed by fate plots. The acting here is top notch with Farley as well as his They Live by Night co-star Cathy O'Donnell playing his young wife. I'm usually not a fan of those innocent good girl wives and girlfriends, but Cathy O'Donnell is the rare exception to this rule. No-one plays these roles with as much depth and feeling. On the bad girl side of things, Adele Jergens is perfect as the scheming Lucky. In fact, my biggest complaint with the film would be that her character was killed off too quickly. Jean Hagen finishes off the noir lady archetypes with her moving portrayal off a moll done wrong. If you love noir, I'd highly recommend Side Street, and if you're new to the genre, I'd still advise giving it a look. This movie should really be more well known than it is!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Jaynie Forever

April 19, 1933 - June 29, 1967

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Rumors are flying

It's been a long time since I've done a product review, so I thought I'd talk about a product that I've literally been using every single day since I bought it!

Lip balm has been a part of my life for just about as long as I can remember. I tried various brands throughout my childhood until one fateful middle school day when I discovered Carmex. From the moment I tried it, I was hooked. Sure, it smelled horrible and tasted nauseating (not that I ever purposely tried to taste it -- it's just one of the inevitable side affects of constantly wearing the stuff). I was willing to put up with it, because it was the only lip balm I found that didn't dry my lips out overnight. A few years ago, I tried to kick the Carmex habit for something petroleum free. It didn't go too well -- I found some balms that lasted fine for a few hours in the evening, but nothing that made it through the night. Then I became vegan, and decided to see if I could find a vegan replacement. Enter Crazy Rumors.

(I'm currently working my way through the "A La Mode" set; yum!)

I liked the balm I'd ordered from the get-go, but had little in the way of illusions that it would last me through the night. I was pleasantly surprised to discover my lips weren't chapped after a night with the Crazy Rumors balm, but figured it was just a matter of time before I went crawling back to Carmex. Well, it's been over six months and I am thrilled to report that I haven't reached for the Carmex once! Crazy Rumors lip balm has become its permanent replacement, and while I may not be able to find it at every (okay, any) grocery store, it has become an absolute must-have for me. I've tried several different varieties and my favorites have been the French Vanilla and the Banana Split. If you love lip balm, I'd definitely recommend checking out Crazy Rumors. You might want to sign up for their mailing list too, as they do have special promotions from time to time.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Middy update

In honor of Marilyn Monroe's 85th birthday a few days ago, I figured it was high time for me to come out of hiding and start posting here again. School has been absolutely crazy, especially the online class I'm currently enrolled in. Just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about, I had an assignment due Friday, on Saturday I had to redo an assignment from last week (the directions for these things border on incomprehensible, so I basically had no idea what I was doing when I did it the first time), another assignment due Sunday, one due yesterday and there's another one due tonight. Oh yes, and I have to complete a complicated two-part project (which I also don't understand) with a partner by next Monday. And I still have an on-campus class to keep up with, in addition to my full-time day job. I continue to go on only because the class will be over in three weeks. (Oh, how I long for that day.) Anyway, enough with the tedium...let's get on to the hair!

As I mentioned in the comments to my last post, I went ahead and brought the middy diagram -- with added notes about horizontal layers and no feathering -- to my hairdresser. I also brought along this photo to illustrate how I wanted it to look when styled. I asked my hairdresser if the photo corresponded to the diagram, and she replied that it did, which I guess goes to show that the middy (or a variation of it) was still popular in the '50s. For reference, my stylist has been cutting hair for over 20 years, so she's not fresh out of beauty school, but she's also not accustomed to '40s haircuts. In all honesty, the middy diagram made no sense to me, but I figured that was because I don't know much about cutting hair. When the hairdresser took her first glance at the diagram though, she appeared almost as confused as I was! After studying it for a few minutes, she began to figure it out and found an actual ruler to see how the lengths indicated would translate to my head/hair. After some measurements, she told me that she would strongly caution against cutting my hair exactly by the diagram. She felt that many of the layers would be too short to work with, and also wouldn't go well with the shape of my face. I told her to do what would look best, since I trusted her judgement more than Ivan Anderson's! (Sorry, Ivan.) The main differences between my haircut and the one shown in the diagram is that mine has longer layers, and less of them. As luck would have it, the indicated length of the middy actually did match up with the length I like my hair, which is right around chin-length. So if you were wondering how long the standard middy is, there's your answer!

It's been about three weeks since I had my hair cut, and I can honestly say that this is the best haircut I have ever had. The front bang section -- which I always spent the most time on trying to get right -- comes out so much better now, and I have basically eliminated the issue of ends that would fall after the second day of a set. I've only set my hair in perm rods since I've had it done, though I actually have a pincurl set in now. I'll post here if the results are particularly interesting! I found that the cut I got from bringing in the diagram definitely surpassed what I'd get from bringing in photos of a particular style I liked, which used to be my go-to method when I'd go to the hairdresser. By the end of the appointment, even my hairdresser, who didn't seem to be too keen on the diagram at first, told me that I should definitely keep it and bring it in next time! All in all, I would definitely recommend printing out a middy diagram and at least discussing it with your hairdresser if you're interested in the cut. I don't think you need to go a stylist who specializes in retro styles, just someone who is open-minded and willing to take the time to study the diagram. Sorry for the epic post, and I hope all of this will help someone out!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

To Middy or Not

My hair has been the bane of my existence for as long as I can remember. As a child, it was super-thick and seemed to turn to frizz the moment a brush so much as touched it. As soon as flat irons became the rage, I bought one and used it faithfully until I started trying to recreate vintage styles. Over the years, I have experimented with numerous hair curling implements, and while I can truthfully say my skills have improved somewhat over that time, I still couldn't honestly say that I'm happy with my hair. The texture has also changed dramatically over time; now I feel like my hair is flat and lifeless, though that could be the weather this time of year. (Let's hope!) All of which leads up to the actual point of this post: I have heard some ladies say that curling and styling their hair is much easier after getting a middy haircut. If there is anyone reading this who has or has had a middy, what do you think? Does it make that big of a difference? Would you recommend it to someone else? Just for reference, my hair is about chin-length, I never do rolls or updos, I prefer to set with perm rods or pin curls, and I basically always attempt to have my hair in a vintage style. Any advice or thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

You didn't think I'd forget, did you?

So hard to believe she would have been 78 today!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I'm still here!

Between school and work, I don't think I've logged onto Blogger in a week! Rest assured, I'm still here and have some posts planned. In the meantime, here's some '40s showgirl photos!