The haircut

While Becca is a touch disappointed that there is simply nothing to be done about her huge nose, she does love her new haircut.


2009 Oscars Fashion

Ah, the Oscars... I have such a love/hate relationship with you.

Frequently I sputter in outrage over the movies selected to receive the prestigious awards. Frequently I cry out in frustration at the long acceptance speeches. Frequently, and this is my favorite part, I shriek in horror at OSCAR FASHION.
Yes, the only reason I watch the Oscars at all is honestly just to check out who is wearing the ugliest dress, and though Oscar Fashion was kind of boring this year, I had plenty to scream and avert my eyes from.

Behold my discoveries.

Amanda Seyfried may well have escaped my notice completely were it not for the giant bow in the middle of her dress. Without the bow, the dress would have been boring, but sometimes boring is the lesser of two evils.

Beyonce, your dress was as terrible as your performance. In fact, I don't even want to talk about it.

I really like Heidi Klum's shoes. I do not love her dress. The neckline sort of makes me feel like her dress wasn't quite finished yet, but she wore it to the Oscars anyway even though there were still a few seams that needed to be sewn. "I'm Heidi Klum!" she probably announced airily. "Everyone will think this is what it's supposed to look like, and I'll be stunning!" You are pretty neat, Heidi, but no, bad dress.

Jessica Biel gleefully snatched a curtain from her picture window and wrapped it around herself with a flourish while brandishing her empty wine bottle. "I'm going in THIS! I'll just tuck a table runner into it, and I'm ready to go!"

I think Marisa Tomei is a stunning creature. However, and you may not be able to tell from the angle of this photo, from the waist down her dress looks as though it was created by stapling a bunch of those fold-out paper fans together. TOO MANY PLEATS!

The next time Melissa George appears at the Oscars will be for her ground-breaking role as a mermaid. Seriously though... super skinny, tight, constricting dress suddenly exploding into a mass of tulle? No.

Miley Cyrus.... if I never hear her name again I'll die a happy woman. I'll also die a happy woman if I never have to see this dress again. I just... I don't even know what to say about it, except.... EWWW.

I actually think Penelope Cruz looks lovely. Lovely if she were at her own vintage wedding. Which, if I may point out, she is not.

Sarah Jessica Parker. How I loathed you in Sex and the City. How I have often scoffed at your clothing, and true to form, last night was no exception. I am somewhat grateful to you, however, for your attempt to look like a fairy princess with smashed boobs bulging out of your dress certainly gave me something to laugh about. (Seriously, you can't tell so much in this picture, but the boob bulge was BAD.)

Now I don't actually know who Vanessa Hudgens is (or even how to spell her name) but I do know that the random sprouting of feathers and whatsits from her chest, paired with the boufy (shut up, that's a word!) bottom, really make this dress a piece of work. A piece of burn it in a bonfire work.

Now that I've insulted several famous women on their choice of outfit, I'd like to turn to the actresses that I thought looked amazing:

Although I was not fond of (and by "not fond of" I mean "hated with a firey passion") Amy Adam's necklace, I thought her dress was stunning. Dramatic, flattering, and interesting without looking weird from any angle. Lovely.

I heard Freida Pinto caught a lot of flack for wearing this dress because it was "too old for her". To be honest I can kind of see where the nay-sayers are coming from, but the color is so gorgeous on her, the lace is so pretty, and it has such an awesome sari-like feel to it, that I say good job.

This is Harvey Weinstein and Georgina Chapman. I don't know who Georgina Chapman is, but her dress is awesome. It reminds me of some crazy tapestry or maybe an awesome rug. I know it sounds weird, but I really like that dress!

Natalie Portman is a wee, petite sprite of lovely. I'm not 100% crazy about the color, but I just love the overall look.

Most everyone at the Oscars feel into three catagories: LOVE IT, GROSS, and BORING. There were a few, however, that I simply couldn't figure out how I felt about.

I think Jennifer Aniston is quite pretty, even if she's never been one of my favorite actresses (and MY GOD I hated 'Friends'!) but I think her dress is okay. It's the hair that's making me nuts! Elegant, fairly simple dress, with that hair! I just... I don't know.

Kate Winslet could show up at the Oscars wrapped in a shiny black trashbag with thigh high hooker boots and I would still comment on how gorgeous she was. But still... I'm not crazy about the dress. And again with the hair! You can't really see it in this picture, but it totally ruined everything. With great hair I'm pretty sure I would have liked the dress.

Taraji Henson has an awesome name and an awesome necklace. However, I can't decide if I adore her dress, or if it looks like someone ran in circles around her really fast with a roll of paper towels.

Lastly, there is always a person or two who you love because they're so crazy, and you secretly hope they'll show up wearing something bizarre.

Mickey Rourke, the only man who stands out enough in a crowd to warrant making it into my blog post. How I adore you and your craziness!

As far as award show getup goes this is tame as far as Tilda Swinton is concerned. But... it's TILDA SWINTON! I both worship her, and am sort of scared of her.
And so ends Oscar Fashion 2009 with Becca. I missed the Oscars last year, but I did cover Oscar fashion in 2007. The formatting broke when I transferred it from Wordpress, there are typos, and the writing is poor, but you get the idea.
Until next year!


Haircut guilt

I know it's time for a haircut when my mom has been haranguing me about it for about a month, and throwing it, still damp, into a ponytail before I go to work starts to seem acceptable. Happily, my delightful 19 year old sister has contracted a friend of hers to cut my hair today.

Fortunately this friend isn't some random 20 year old with grand aspirations and a pair of dull scissors just waiting to butcher a haircut. This friend went to haircutting school*, has been working for a while at an upscale salon, and gave my sister one of the best haircuts she's ever had, so I have faith in her abilities.


I have guilt. Serious guilt.

I've been going to the same hairdresser for years. And by years I mean that I've been visiting her whenever my hair starts to look like an encounter with a weed whacker would do it some good since I was a child. This will be the first time ever I've had someone other than Belinda cut my hair. I feel like I'm betraying her, especially in this tricky economic time when it's more important than ever to keep loyal clients.

But this girl, Caroline's friend... she's coming to my house to cut my hair, which means I don't have to try to get off of work early. And, umm, haircutting house calls. How could I resist?

I may have trouble sleeping tonight, but I'll just keep repeating haircut house call, I'm saving gas money, haircut house call, I'm saving gas money...

Nope, not helping. Guilt. I have it.

*I actually have no idea where people go to school to learn how to cut hair. I guess it's not called "haircutting school", but you get my point. ^_^


Bits and Pieces - Friday!

It's Friday and I'm suffering from sleep deprivation at the tail end of a long week. I had a couple of ideas for a real post but couldn't seem to concentrate on writing any of them. Apparently I have the attention span of a gnat this morning. So instead of a post with actual content, we have Bits and Pieces!

  • Not all Unexpected Encounters are unpleasant. My neighbor Liz and her husband came over last night for snacks and conversation. They are absolutely lovely people, fun and friendly, and I am so grateful that Liz come over to introduce herself earlier this week. Plus, she kicks ass at Halo 3. I mean... my God. I didn't even know what hit me.

  • The new gym I joined is pretty slick. Small, sparsely populated, and full of everything I need. Perfect. I'll be setting up an appointment with a personal trainer next week sometime. I'm on my way to a sexy, sultry, muscular physique. Seriously though, I'm focused on training myself in discipline more than anything else right now. I need to stop saying "I'm just too tired, I'll work out tomorrow." If I can conquer my gym procrastination, I'll be well on my way to Rhona Mitra Badassness*.

  • I meet with my grandmother every payday to work out a budget and go over my finances (I'm profoundly grateful that she's willing to act as my financial advisor, 'cause God knows I need the help!). This payday I came within $0.50 of my planned budget. It feels absolutely incredible to be so on top of things. Go me!

    It's a skimpy Bits and Pieces posts, but I've got nothing else.


    Happy Valentine's Day!

    funny pictures of cats with captions

  • *Silly spellcheck, of COURSE 'badassness' is a word!

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    Unexpected Encounters Part III

    I've had a string of odd encounters while living in my duplex.  Take a look at Part 1 and Part II.  Actually... does three count as a string?  How many encounters would it take before it became a string?

    It was my usual quiet Monday night.  I had played some World of Warcraft, eaten a peanut butter sandwich for dinner (being to lazy to actually prepare something), and was curled up in bed reading when the doorbell rang.

    Startled, I turned from my Patricia Briggs werewolf novel to glance at the clock.  11:15.  PM.  I was seized by a sudden fear that it was my parents at the door.  Maybe they had tried to call to tell me my younger sisters had been eaten by zombies, but I hadn't answered!  I snatched up my cell phone.  No missed calls.  No texts.  Probably no zombies.

    Cautiously I slipped out of bed and hurriedly pulled a sweatshirt on.  Maybe the cops were out looking for Ricky again.  It was unlikely to be my parents since they hadn't called, and Pat had a key.  I hesitated when I got to the door.  If I scream, my neighbors will hear me, I reminded myself, but still I hesitated (I haven't started my diary yet, after all).  Or, maybe it was Jensen Ackles!  I was brightened considerably by the thought. Stella hopped up on the windowsill and shot me an impatient look.

    "Who's out there, kitty?" I whispered.  "Is it Jensen, Mom and Dad, or a serial killer?"

    Stella ignored me.  Ungrateful cat.

    When I finally opened the door I wasn't presented with the killer from Friday the 13th, my parents, or (tragically) Jensen Ackles.  The young woman standing outside with a shy smile on her face was small and blond, huddled in a gray sweatshirt with her hood pulled up, and looked decidedly harmless.

    "Hi," she said uncertainly.  "I'm your neighbor from across the street.  I hope I didn't wake you up, I saw your lights on."

    "Um... hi," I replied.  "Don't worry, you didn't wake me up.  I'm Becca..."

    "I'm Liz," she said, smiling.  "I'm so sorry to bother you, but I've been meaning to come over and introduce myself for a while now.  Plus our refrigerator just stopped working, and I'd love someone to talk to."

    We chatted for about twenty minutes.

    And then she went home.

    Ah, life and all the little random surprises.  Anti-climactic, I know, but hey - that's what happened!  ^_^

    In: ,

    Photographic Reflections

    I was thinking back to my vacation to Boston in 2007 today and felt like sharing some memories.

    The Houses

    I swear to God every single house in Boston has a PERFECT YARD. I love houses, so I took a ton of house pictures while I was there. It was only later, after I was going through my photos, that I realized every single yard was impeccably manicured. I'm sure there must be unkempt lawns, but I certainly didn't see any.

    The Public Gardens

    The Boston Public Gardens are absolutely beautiful. My sister and I spent quite a bit of time wandering around the park.

    The Bridges
    Do I even need to say anything about this? Seattle sure as hell doesn't have anything this cool. The Space Needle? PFFFFT.

    Harvard Yard

    Or, as I was instructed later by my aunt, "Hah-vahd Yahd".

    Harvard Museum of Natural History

    Little sis Caroline and I went to the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in addition to the Harvard Museum of Natural History, but I have to confess that dinosaur bones can occasionally beat art as far as I'm concerned.


    Such character! Normally I despise crowds, but even though Provincetown was filled absolutely to the max with people, I was totally relaxed. The diversity of the people and the stores that populated the downtown area was so rich and exciting.


    Yeah... I wouldn't mind spending the rest of my life hanging out there.


    Caroline and I stayed with our aunt and uncle, and spent a lot of time with our cousins. Since we live across the country from each other we only get to see each other face to face every few years or so if we're lucky.

    So the best part of the trip? Family.


    But I did see get to see Dropkick Murphys. In BOSTON. That might trump family.


    Taken Movie Review

    Taken (2009)

    *1/2 out of ****

    Liam Neeson is a badass for whom I hold an unabashed adoration. Action flick, comedy, or drama, I'll watch it just because Liam Neeson is in it. Plus... I mean, the man did voice acting for Fallout 3. How can you not love that?

    Now that we've established my near worshipful feelings for Mr. Neeson, you can understand how excited I was when I first saw the previews for Taken. Action movie starring Liam Neeson - and it gets better - written by Luc Besson! My favorite movie genre with one of my favorite actors. Umm... yes please? This caused me to overlook a few things that should have been glaringly obvious.

    Premise: CIA spook Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) has retired from government service to attempt to rebuild a relationship with his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace). Kim runs off to Paris for summer vacation with a friend, and while on the phone with her father, is kidnapped by an organization of slavers specializing in forcing girls into prostitution. Bryan flies to Paris and comes down on the organization like the wrath of God in single minded pursuit of his daughter's kidnappers.

    Okay. Liam Neeson was fantastic, as always. And this movie had a lot of really great elements. Fight scenes that were well choreographed and filmed, great one-liners, satisfying explosions... it was an action movie. But honestly, if I didn't like Liam Neeson so much, I'd be slamming this movie a hell of a lot harder.

    This all goes back to my very strong feelings about torture in entertainment (yeah, I know I couple of you are saying I told you so). Once again, the "good guy" - loving father just desperate to get his daughter back - resorts to torture to gain information that he needs. Without even batting an eye.

    Now, my feelings about this one are complicated. What wouldn't you do to get your child back from a ring of slavers? Especially if you had already found a trailer full of drugged girls prepared to be raped, and were imagining your daughter going through the same thing? Would you electrocute a man into telling you what you need to know to find her? Unfortunately the scene is treated cavalierly and no consequences are presented, as usual, and the end of the scene is shockingly brutal.

    Actually, there are scenes throughout the entire film that are shockingly brutal. From his apparent complete lack of compassion when in the trailer with the bound and drugged women, to the torture scene, to his shooting an innocent woman in the arm ("It's a flesh wound. But if you don't get me what I need, the last thing you'll see before I make your children orphans is the bullet I put between her eyes"), it all adds up to his character being a single minded, unfeeling monster. Not a good way to portray your main character.

    The last thing that left me with a sour taste in my mouth was the complete lack of any sort of attempt to put a stop to the women trafficking. Maybe there was something that got left on the editing room floor, but the film left you with the impression that Liam Neeson saved his daughter and just decided to pretend he didn't know about the fact that young girls were being kidnapped, drugged, raped, and forced into prostitution. "Lalalala, I have my daughter back, all is well in the world, wheeeee!"

    It was disappointing. This movie had great potential, but smothered all the good things it had going for it with a cold, mostly unlikeable main character (he was adorable and sweet for the first fifteen minutes) and a profoundly unsatisfying ending.

    "If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you."

    In: ,

    Monday Perspectives: Anxiety Dreams

    In my dream, I was playing World of Warcraft and suddenly decided I needed to buy a strategy guide for instances and raids. I was unimpressed with the wealth of information online, and wanted to be able to page through a book. I hopped in the car and headed to my local game store where I found the shelves completely bare except for the book I wanted.

    "What's going on here?" I asked the clerk, surprised. I gestured to the empty store. "Are you guys moving?"

    "All the game stores in Washington are closing down," he told me forlornly. "The economy is so bad, no one's buying video games."

    I was struck speechless, horrified, imagining not being able to wander into the store and browse the used section, looking for a good deal. It was too heart wrenching to comtemplate, so I turned to the one item left on the shelf, the World of Warcraft Instance and Raid strategy guide.

    "Two hundred fifty dollars?!" I cried.

    "Sorry," the clerk said, and started playing with his PSP.

    I stared at the book, trying desperately to figure out how to work that two hundred into my budget when I - woke up.

    It's funny how sometimes when you have a dream you know exactly why you had it. I live down a couple of side roads off a main thoroughfare that was once lined with businesses. The RV dealer is long gone, and one by one parking lots that were once packed full of shiny new cars have been emptying as the dealerships declare bankruptcy. The movie theater parking lot is sparsely populated, even on a Friday night. The coffee stand looks sad and alone without the usual stream of cars going through.

    Small restaurants, coffee shops, car dealerships, tiny local stores.... all disappearing. It's one thing to read about the suffering economy in the news. It seems alarming in the abstract, yet clearly someone else's problem. After all, no matter what the news says, things are fine. Yes, I will stick my head in the sand, thank you. Then people you know start losing their jobs.

    I've been thinking about it a lot as I work my way out of a hole I dug for myself with my finances. I'm extremely fortunate in the fact that my grandmother, who had a career in the banking industry, has been willing to act as my financial advisor and help me climb back up. I'm becoming acutely aware of how important money management is, and how imperative it is that we live within our means.

    I'm not really sure where I originally intended to go with this post. All I can think about right now is how grateful I am that I don't have much debt and that I still have a job. And the fact that I'm profoundly grateful it's not up to me to fix everything. So that secret movement to take over the government and install me as Supreme Dictator... yeah, let's hold off for a little while on that, okay?