Thursday, July 23, 2009

Updated: Wherein Our Heroine Learns To Her Amazement that She Has A "Look"

Last night, at Nordstrom's, one of the salesladies contributed to my never-ending struggle with ego by telling me I had a "great sense of style." She literally walked over to me and stopped me to tell me that. Then she added, "your look is both cute and comfortable." Ho! She made my life with that comment! Of course my Mum walked over and grabbed my arm and pulled me into the fitting room with her in order to save the nice saleslady from a 30 minute discourse in how I achieved "my look." (hee! I have a look!)

But now that my look has become legendary at Nordstrom's (it has not become legendary at Nordstrom's) I thought I would share with you all what I was wearing.

First - on my top half - a plain white tank from Old Navy, and over it, a delicate black ruffled cardigan from New York & Co. I can't find the cheap versions (the ones I was wearing), but here are the expensive versions from Banana Republic:

I had on a necklace too, silver, shorter, and with a little green jade shamrock charm on it. The model's necklace above is more striking than mine.

On my bottom half, I wore black flip-flips and a pair of embroidered cargo pants that are a little too big for me, so I had the waist cinched in a (mild) paper-bag effect. The embroidery and colors of the pants below are about right, but mine have a tie at the waist (uh, and my tummy wasn't showing):

Then, because the air was so humid and my hair was sticking out all over the place, I had on my head a khaki bucket hat, with all my hair hidden underneath it, like this one from the Gap:

So that was my "look." The funny thing is, I think the thing the saleslady liked was the girlie cardigan with the rugged cargoes -- but I only wore the cardigan because my orange sweatshirt was in the wash, and so I grabbed the cardigan off the back of my desk chair in case the Mall was air-conditioned. But I will never confess that to anyone, except to the three of you who read this blog.

Updated: My baby brother comes to town today in advance of my cousin J's wedding! I can't wait to see him, though I hope he isn't intimidated by my "look."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Our Heroine Does Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means

One last thing before sleep. GetReligion scratches one of my itches, the, how shall I put this? "non-careful" use of the word, "devout," to describe believers of any and all stripes, but most frequently (of course) Catholics.
Here we go again, with another post in our ongoing series about why mainstream journalists need to retire the word “devout” or, at the very least, be extremely careful when using this vague and almost meaningless adjective. This time around, we are dealing with a story about the often blurred line — in some cultures, like Haiti — between voodo and culturalized Catholicism.
Read the whole thing and note please that a (foot!) tattoo of Our Lady of Guadalupe does not a "devout" Catholic make. I'm not sure how to define a devout Catholic, but I know a foot tattoo is not it.

Our Heroine, She Laughs (But Never About the Monster of Florence)

Project notwithstanding, I just finished The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi. My internal good-o-meter gave it a "v. good," ( I stayed up til 2:30 a.m. to finish it) and it was particularly interesting for me 'cuz it's from a genre I don't dabble in very often, True Crime.

The True Crime(s) in question are a series of murders in the Tuscan countryside between 1974 and 1985. In each murder, necking couples were first shot at close range, and then extra - ritualistic - knifing was done to the ladies.

The serial killings, Italy's first known (I think), obsessed the country and most of Europe, though they never got much attention in the U.S. The killer, who became known as The Monster of Florence, was never found.

In 2000, Douglas Preston, an American writer, moved to a villa outside Florence, only to discover that one of the murders had occurred in his olive grove. He and former Monster-reporter for La Nazione, Mario Spezi, decided to pursue the case as amateurs, following some leads Spezi thought had long been overlooked by the polizia. Little did they realize that they would ultimately end up indicted for conspiracy in the killings.

I feel about this book very much how I felt about the movie Zodiac. I truly enjoyed the story, especially following the investigations. I love "watching" detectives at work. BUT, I hate that neither crime gets solved. It leaves me, in my simplistic way, feeling at loose ends and disappointed. I know this is how things sometimes go in real life - more's the pity - but I believe that the unspoken promise of any mystery is that you get a solution at the end. If I want to read about crimes without justice, I have the newspapers. I know, I know, I am a textbook American who wants her endings neatly resolved. So what?! When did happy endings become anathema??!! (I need to go watch a musical now.)

So anyway, that was one big thing that really stood out for me with this book. The other? The Italian Polizia. Yikes. These were some of the biggest bunglers since the Keystone Cops. No, that's unfair to the Cops, who are like CSI: Ye Olde Tyme Hollywood in comparison to the Florentine police. I grant you that this was an unprecedented crime for them, and thus mistakes were bound to be made - but whoa. just whoa, people. They put a journalist in jail - for murder - because he dared to disagree with the direction of their investigation, and indicted another. That is gangsta, folks.

FBI? We don't need no stinkin' FBI!

I know this is not the most lively of my blog posts, but it feels weird to be lively over such a grim subject. BUT, I will share one more piece of advice with y'all. Lest you think I am some Brooklyn hillbilly who can't bear foreign films, I also watched Les rivières pourpres (The Crimson Rivers) earlier this week via Netflix. It is a French serial killer film. It is the Worst. I won't even describe it to you, it's so stupid. And it has Jean Reno in it, and Vincent Cassel, and I love them both, but oh, honey...NO. Ack. The dialogue was dreadful. The plot was ridiculous. Nothing made sense. I was laughing during serious scenes. I laughed during an autopsy. An autopsy! Je rigoles toujours! It was so bad. Don't watch it. Have I proved to you all that I like dark foreign films as much as the next American? Yes? Well-done, Me.