Friday, November 26, 2010

Book Review: The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

Balzar + Bray, 2010; 400 pages; ISBN 0061728918
My Goodreads Rating: 4.5 stars

Being a fan of Sex and the City and a teen librarian I obviously had to read this one and I'm so glad that I did. Personally it really gave more substance and background to Carrie Bradshaw's character. I loved her confidence, her humor, and her willingness to try something just because she felt she should. You get to meet her dad, her sisters and her high school friends (these characters never really come up in the TV show). She also starts dating and finds out who her true friends are. Her characterization really does align with the Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City (the show), even with some of the language and the way she carries herself and dresses herself. The only thing that didn't line up (and this is very minor) is her ability to cook. At one point in the book she makes coq au vin. I'm sorry, but I seem to remember that Carrie Bradshaw in NYC was not at all adept to cooking. We also see Carrie the athlete, which we don't really see much of in Sex and the City the TV show. So all in all I really loved getting the scoop on Carrie in high school. By the end of the book I was all smiles, especially when you see her arrive in New York and make a phone call to one of the characters in SATC (I won't give it away). A note to parents: there is a bit of cussing, sex, and drinking in this, so it's probably more appropriate for older or more mature teens, and of course adults. Sex and the City 2 the movie was released on DVD October 26th, and I also thought that it was à propos to blog my Carrie Diaries review today since it is Black Friday.

Photo: From website

P.S. The sequel to The Carrie Diaries is slated for publication in May 2011 - Summer and the City, which takes place during Carrie's first summer in NYC!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I Give Thanks for Cartoons

With Thanksgiving around the corner my mood is getting more and more frisky and jovial.  What's more perfect to convey this state of mind than some very cute, and of course classic, Thanksgiving cartoon shorts.  Check them out and I dare you not to feel even the tiniest bit of that holiday mien.

Holiday for Drumsticks (Warner Bros., 1949)

The Little Orphan (Metro Goldwyn Mayer, 1948)

Pilgrim Popeye (Paramount Pictures, 1951)

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Look Back: 1954

Sadly, my favorite artist (see last post) passed away this precise year, but there were of course much brighter things happening this, the year of my own Chinese Zodiac animal, the horse.  For one the Audrey Hepburn classic Sabrina (Paramount Pictures, 1954) was released, and for second that leads me to the exciting news of being featured on a storyboard for the newest ArcLight Cinemas location in El Segundo, which had its grand opening on November 5th.  For the photo shoot I mentioned that my all time favorite movie was Breakfast at Tiffany's (Paramount Pictures, 1961), so they prompted me to strike a pose à la Holly Golightly (please don't judge).  It was actually very strange getting photographed by professionals - I have to definitely give credit to all those who do this for a living.  It was not easy.  Fun, yes, but not easy.  I'd do it again though.  Here are a few other things that caught my eye as I looked back to 1954. 

  •  The movie Rear Window (Paramount Pictures, 1954), starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly, was released.
  • Marilyn Monroe married Joe DiMaggio.
  •  Lord of the Flies by William Golding was published.
  • The first Burger King opened in Miami, Florida selling burgers and shakes for 18¢ each.
  • The Miss America Pageant made its debut on television for the first time.
  • Oprah Winfrey, John Travolta, Christie Brinkley, Jerry Seinfeld, and Denzel Washington were born.
  • Ernest Hemingway won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • The film Godzilla (Toho Film (Eiga) Co. Ltd., 1954) made its debut in Tokyo, Japan.
  • Peanut M&M's were introduced.
  • The song "Fly Me to the Moon" was released.  The song's original name was "In Other Words" and it was written by Bart Howard.
  • Trix cereal was first introduced by General Mills.
  • General Electric introduced appliances in various colors besides the standard white.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I Love Frida Kahlo

Self-Portrait from

Hands down my favorite artist in the world is the late Frida Kahlo.  I loved the movie based on her life, all of her paintings (especially the one above), her brief, crazy, beautiful life, and did I mention that my dog's name is Frida?  It seems November is the month for Frida.  Frida and Diego Rivera divorced in November 1939 (but were remarried in December 1940), he passed away on November 24th, 1957, the movie Frida (Handprint Entertainment, 2002) was released on November 20th, 2002 in Mexico, and one of the most recent works about the artist was just released November 1st entitled Frida Kahlo: Face to Face by Judy Chicago and Frances Borzello.  Her work can be permanently found in Mexico City, but from time to time museums all over the world will feature her art.  I would love to one day visit Casa Azul, but for now I'll have to make due with the handmade cards I make in her honor and of course Frida the dog (and her brother Ché).