Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sex and the City 2: REVIEWED.

On Thursday night, on opening night, I ventured out to see Sex and the City 2.  Words cannot describe how excited I was for this film, but I guess I should try, as I am a blogger!  I have seen every episode of Sex and the City, own every season and the first movie.  Within the first moments of the film, you hear Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind" and instantly I just thought, "What a perfect song?"  Now, you're in New York...

The problems...
Carrie Bradshaw, the former single girl, has now been married for two years to Big.  She's the self-described girl who never thought that she would end up married.  She's faced with the dilemnas that newlywed couples have to deal with.  Charlotte York Goldenblatt is a mother of two children now, one of whom is in her "Terrible Two's."  I particulary thought this was a brilliant story-line because mothers don't normally vocalize how hard it is to be a mother.  It is more common to hear of how wonderful it is.  Samantha Jones is, well, the same old Samantha.  Miranda Hobbs, who had a rather low key part in the film, I thought, struggled with balancing work and family. 

The fashion...
In the first Sex and the City movie, Carrie had an extravagant closet in the penthouse that her and Big were to live in.  However, they never moved into that penthouse.  In Sex and the City 2, Carrie has a closet even better than the first.  The fashion was, as usual, outlandishly extravagant.  Nothing really blew me away, though.  When picking out a dress for Smith Jarrod's movie premiere, Samantha is drawn to a dress that the clerk thinks is "too young" for her.  Moments later, Miley Cyrus is seen in the same dress.  This movie had many cameos, which became a bit tacky, in my opinion. 

SJP wearing Dior in the heat of Abu Dhabi

Was Miley Cyrus' appearance a bit much? 

The travels...
I thought Abu Dhabi was the perfect spot to place four rebelliant women (for a purely comedic standpoint).  In one scene, Samantha is circled by middle Eastern men and ridiculed.  It was hilarious in a sense, but at the same time, was not flattering to American women. 
I have always held a special place in my heart for the image of Carrie Bradshaw writing at her desk, looking out of her New York apartment window in designer clothing.  Carrie does write in her old apartment in the sequel, just to be able to write in a quiet environment (as no one lives there now). 

Overall, I loved the movie because it was Sex and the City.  Any story line would have worked.  However, the startling truth is that the women are aging.  Samantha's character was a total wreck in this film and it was a little disturbing.  It's sad that she isn't aging gracefully like the rest of the girls; she's still partying like she's 21.  It's a bit trashy.
Also, the fact that Carrie meets up with Aiden in the middle East was heavily advertised in the previews as a major dilemna.  I felt as though we barely saw Aiden.  He was in the movie for a total of about 6 minutes (and the movie was 2 & 1/2 hours long!).

Overall, I would definitely go see it again.  Everything about this movie was beautiful, but the storyline lacked in a few areas. 

*Also, I had a chance to see the preview for "Eat, Pray, Love", starring Julia Roberts when I went to the movies.  While I wasn't a huge fan of the book, which I will probably end up blogging about later, I was impressed with the preview. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sex and the City 2 Fever: Premiere in New York City
Image Courtesy of Warner Bros. 

Last night, in New York City, all of the stars came out for the premiere of Sex and the City 2. Let's face it: Sex and the City changed the lives of countless women.  Whether you were in it for the honesty factor, the fashion, THE SHOES, or simply, the humor, we were all sad to see it go.  Then, Sex and the City, the movie, came out.  It was just as spectacular as every episode of, well, every season.  The Vintage Rush will feature Sex and the City 2: REVIEWED but until May 27, let's talk about our favorite Sex and the City moments.  Have you ever caught yourself trying to decide if a boyfriend, a new fling, or an ex boyfriend is your "Mr. Big"?  GUILTY!  We all are.  Have you ever looked at a gorgeous pair of heels on display in a store and caught yourself saying "Hello, Lover".  We all heard a quote that inspired us, saw something in Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda or Samantha that inspired us, or were inspired that other women go through the same embarassing or heart breaking moments we do.  With that said, the release of Sex and the City 2 can't come soon enough!

In Sex and the City 2, the girls are on a Moroccan getaway.  The premiere took place in New York City last night.  All four ladies (SJP, Kristen Davis, Cynthia Nixon and Kim Cattrall) look even better than they did when the TV show first premiered! They looked fabulous.  Critics are predicting the movie is a bust, but who cares?! This prediction will not stop a single female from going to see the movie & buying it on DVD when it comes out.  A girl loves her Sex and the City!

Photo Courtesy of Jason Szenes
Sarah Jessica Parker wearing striking yellow Valentino dress at the May 24 New York City Premiere of Sex and the City 2

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The power of gratitude

Have you ever tried making a list of things that you are grateful for?  Get out a sheet of paper and try it!  Our world is cluttered, full of stress and full of people who are just plain mean.  It's easy to let negative emotions get the better of us, but always remember that any given moment, you are stronger than you could ever imagine.  It helps to read what you have on a piece of paper and the list making process forces you to think hard about what you can list. 

At the end of the day, it is very important to be humble.  There is a difference between wanting something and needing something.  Do you have everything you need?  Even if you are struggling financially or with your job, are you able to get by?  Now think about if you didn't have those things.  The things we want, the ideas we store in our minds of what we want, can easily become clutter in our mental processes.  Then we just feel negative & no one should be subjected to that! 

Always remember to be thankful!  Besides, sending good energy out ALWAYS leads to something good. 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Woes of a 24 year old Writer

A lot of things are going on in my mind at any given moment.  Rest assure, it is more than "What is for dinner?" or "Is my T-Zone looking too oily?"  I'm sure the common person also has a jumbling of complex thoughts, as I am also sure some of them do not.  Naturally, writing is a good way to clean out my mind and put all of these thoughts in storage. 

First, it is way more intense of a process writing a book than I initially thought when I naively jumped into it at the age of 22.  I am now 24 and with a "hell of a story", now realizing that it lacks a lot of research.  When you write a lengthy narrative, you have the task of creating a world that other people believe is real.  If you're a perfectionist like I am, you dread the people who will actually check up on your facts (like streetnames, city landmarks...).

Second, I recently got my second tattoo.  I was at Whole Foods, stocking up on organic milk, cage-free eggs & yoga magazines around noon on a Sunday when it hit me that life is short.  I'd been wanting a tattoo for months and this seemed like the prime time.  I drove to South Side tattoo, went in and did the thing.  Usually, I'm an over-analyzer, but on this particular Sunday, I just wanted to do something a little risky and not think about it.  Everyone that has seen this tattoo has been asking me if it hurt, due to the location (inner arm), but to their surprise, I really did not flinch.  Of course, it only took seven minutes and I have a rising pain tolerance due to my frequent visits to having my eye-brows threaded.  In case you haven't heard, threading is amazing because it doesn't strip your skin of its collagen and is entirely more precise.  The tattoo is straight out the Psalms, "life is but a breath".  I've seen a lot for my age, and sometimes act ditzy to try to forget about it, but I know enough to know that each moment from here on out is too be cherished, nurtured and taken very seriously.  What mark can you leave on the world- well-raised children, artwork, novels...?
When I drove home after getting my tattoo, my arm was bleeding a little bit and Fuel's "Hemorrhage" came on the radio:  I have never felt more badass. 

Third, and this is a mega topic, is that I don't understand Christians who are hell-bent on condeming people to Hell and pointing out their flaws.  I believe in God, I believe in the living word of the Bible, but I mostly believe in loving people.  I have a serious objection to humans who think it acceptable and even their earthly duty to be condemning people to Hell.  For instance, I have grown to relate with Rob Bell's books & NOOMA's and a lot of people insist that he is not a Christian.  The Bible talks about false idols and how much of a sin they are, but in my life, I've seen people fuel from hatred, become so obsessed with it that it becomes something they devote their life to, worship.  Even if they are "hating" something that the Bible says is bad.  The only way to live is to have a clean mind.  People ask me what my novels are about, they're about taking a congested mind and cleaning it out to find happiness (in a nutshell). 

Fourth, I'm obsessed with nutrition.  Lately, I've been exploring the world of Quinoa.  I don't know why people insist on eating McDonalds when there are yummy (and highly nutritious) quick foods like Quinoa. 

Finally, and this is the reason why I sat down to write a blog: I was reading a book last night titled, "House of Tomorrow".  I stumbled upon a sentence that was ordinary but so intense that it inspired me to have an epiphany.  (This was the sentence:  The next day passed in a storm of reciprocals and inverse functions.") Very simple, yet it could easily confuse someone.  In the moment that I read this, I realized that writing is so, so similar to cooking.  To build the perfect sentence, you need the best ingredients.  You need words that are awe-worthy, similar to how you need the freshest produce or the best cheeses for a recipe.  However, once you have all of these amazing components, you aren't done.  Think about how you can easily have all of the best ingredients to make, say fresh Ravioli, as in you went to the finest market and blew some heavy cash on things like Cabernet infused sea salt, and then botch the recipe because you don't know how to cook!  It happens every day.  Sentence building is not about having words that no one has heard of, has heard of in a while, or needs to look up in a dictionary just to read your sentence.  Sentence building, like cooking, is about the finesse you have to meld ingredients.  It is what sets a writer apart from a dictionary surfer.  In cooking, it's what sets a chef apart from a foodie. 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chinese Cupping
"Every human being is the author of his own health or disease."- Buddha

What is cupping?  Cupping is an Ancient Chinese therapy where small glass cups are heated and then placed on the skin.  The heat inside of the cup pulls the skin up as it cools down (the heat opens the pores).  Blood flow is stimulated and toxins have an easy way out through your opened pores now.  The cups are generally left on for 5 to 10 minutes. 

This is usually done on fleshy sites of the body, usually the back or stomach.  Cupping is used in China to treat respitorary conditions such as asthma, bronchitis and congestion.  It is also used in treating stomach problems and depression.  It does leave bruising on the skin because the blood vessels were forced to expand where the cups were applied.  Most people say, however, that the bruises are painless and go away a few days after the treatment.  This process is known as dry cupping.  Wet cupping occurs when the skin is punctured first and a small amount of blood flows out (the blood would contain the harmful toxins in the body).  The first method is more preferred, as it is less pain. 

Eastern medicine is an avenue worth exploring because in a lot of cases, it focuses on ridding the body of toxins, not adding in more toxins to heal.  Cupping was documented in ancient Chinese medicine and is still considered effective in present time.  Acupuncture is very similar to cupping. 

A small heated glass cup is placed on the skin to pull out toxins.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Get Naked With Your Health:
Lucky Number 7
(7 spices & herbs to keep around at all times).

We've all heard of herbal healing, but a lot of people associate that with a sick body that needs healed.  Let's talk about the 7 most potent disease fighting spices & herbs (in the world) so we can keep our bodies healthy (and try to prevent sickness).

1.  Parsley: It's more than a garnish. 
If you were like me, you probably thought that parsley was just a garnish.  However, it is EXTREMELY healthy for you!  The benefits are plentiful, including aiding in digestion, fatigue, kidney problems, anemia, bad breath, baldness and reducing cholesterol levels.  It helps dissolve gallstones, balances hormone levels in women, control menstrual irregularity and is an antioxidant.  It is high in protein, Vitamin B-12, Iron, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Calcium, Beta Carotene, Chlorophyll and Flouride.  Parsley can go into your soups, salads, toss it into meatballs and many, many other things.  With the wide array of health benefits, why not try to add fresh parsley to as many of your meals as possible?

2.  Sage:  That stuff in your soups & pastas.
Sage boosts brain function and is an anti-inflammatory. 

3.  Cinnamon: It's not just around for making pies.
I recently had the opportunity to spend some time with Judy Dodd, the head nutritionist of Giant Eagle/Market District in Pittsburgh and she highlighted on cinnamon.  I remember her pointing out the fact that you should be mixing this in with your food, not eating it straight out of a teaspoon!  Cinnamon boosts brain function.  It has anti blood clotting capabilities as well as anti-imflammatory.  People with Diabetes use it to regulate blood sugar.  A small amount every day (this is the capacity in which Judy Dodd brought up how to take the cinnamon) has been known to keep blood sugars low for people with Type 2 Diabetes.  Cinnamon kills bacteria, fungi & yeast, so it is considered anti-microbial.  Stir a spoonful in with your coffee every morning!

4.  Turmeric: That bright yellow stuff in your curry.
Turmeric is an Anti-inflammatory and is just as strong as Motrin.  Cardiovascular & Liver health.  Turmeric is excellent for fighting inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis, cancer and Alzheimer's disease. It is actually part of the ginger family (ginger is listed below!)

5. Oregano: It's in Italian Salad Dressing. 
Oregano has stronger antioxidants than a blueberry (a superfood).  So, drenching your salad in Italian Dressing might have some benefit, after all. 

6.  Red Chili Peppers: You know you thought of the band when you read that.
Red Chili Peppers prevent stomach ulsors because they are so powerful that they kill bacteria inside of your stomach.  These peppers also boost immunity, aid in pain relief and   weight loss. They prevent stomach cancer and can reduces cholesterol.
When you're making a pot of chili, toss a bunch of these in!

7.  Ginger:  Why do pregnant women love ginger ale?
I don't know about you, but if I'm ever nautious, I grab a chunk of fresh ginger and knaw a tiny chunk off.  I've been doing it since I was in high school.  We all think of giving someone who has morning sickness or something similar ginger ale, but ginger has a couple other great benefits.  It is capable of relaxing blood vessels and relieving pain. 
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