What there was to see can now be seen. (February Favorites!)

For being the shortest month of the year, February 2019 seemed long and drawn-out. Some awesomeness came out of February, for sure! On the 10th, I added a Sunday cardio class to my workout week, so I’m finally back to five workouts per week: three days of weights, two days of cardio. The last time I was in this place was when I started Body Pump and I was still going to Monday night kickboxing. That was over two years ago! I’m determined to let nothing get in the way of this modality split. If I have to miss a class, I have to find a way to make it up. Yesterday, I found out that I’ll be out of town for a week in June, but I’ll be staying in a place with gym equipment. No excuses.

What else? Looking at my planner’s February month view, I see that I went to many appointments, most of them at the V.A. hospital, and also I went to the dentist and to the optometrist. I had no social agenda items in February at all! I met with 0 of my friends. It was a long and busy month, but it was productive and not at all unpleasant.

Oh! If you read my last post, then you know that Geronimo (our Sonoran desert tortoise) emerged from hibernation on February 28th. That automatically makes February awesome.

Onto the wonderful Little Things, then…

Three Netflix offerings we watched that I enjoyed (in the order that we watched them):

1). Velvet Buzzsaw

 

 

2). Russian Doll

 

 

3). Doctor Foster

 

 

A cosmetic item that I’m finding to be lovely:

4). Pacifica Super Powder Supernatural Eyeshadow Trio (Stone Cold Fox).

 

Pacifica Super Powder Supernatural Eyeshadow Trio in Stone Cold Fox

 

And one random little thing:

5). New glasses. New prescription, new specs. I don’t have a new-glasses selfie (yet), but I can post a pic from the company’s website and link you to the frames. They’re Prodesign Denmark Model 4729 from the Danish Heritage Collection. I got them in Tortoise… of course! They’re light and comfortable, and they weren’t on the pricier side. That’s always a plus.

 

 

 

That about does it, I would say! I hope you all enjoyed an overall good February.

 

 

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Just a little something. (January Favorites!)

I sat down to work on my January Favorites post, then realized that I don’t have enough to form an actual list. Sudden events opened a black hole that swallowed the entire month. All good things, though! January vanished in a good way, but by the end of it, I’d noted nothing for this list. January was Big Things, not Little Things.

I can tell you that we loved the Netflix series You and Hemlock Grove. The former was unique (to us) in that we hadn’t seen a thriller series of the stalker-as-protagonist variety before. The latter is a horror series we couldn’t believe we hadn’t seen yet.

 

 

 

I can also tell you that we enjoyed 15 days of Grand Sumo Highlights… the first tournament of 2019.

 

(Grand Sumo opening ceremony)

 

I developed deep feelings for The Body Shop’s Vanilla Marshmallow Shower Gel (vegan and cruelty-free) and Amy’s Tofu Scramble Breakfast Wrap (vegan and gluten-free).

 

The Body Shop Vanilla Marshmallow Shower Gel

 

Amy’s Tofu Scramble Breakfast Wrap

 

(I have these wraps for lunch, though. Not for breakfast.)

What else? That would be it for this first Monthly Favorites post of 2019. It’s like January 2019, itself: short and sweet!

Happy Friday Eve, all.

 

 

Much ado about the usual, but different… (December Favorites!)

We’re here today because, as usual, I’m compelled to share with you some of the past month’s riches. It’s all quite predictable. A movie. Some streaming series. Foods I’ve been eating with great enjoyment all month. A couple of products I’ll definitely re-purchase.

This month, though, I’m going to start with a person. Maybe I’ll make a habit of this!

1). Favorite Body Pump Bitcher and Moaner: RON.

 

 

This is Ron. Ron does not wish to be photographed in the wild. Ron’s favorite thing to do in Body Pump is bitch and moan. Ron has an answer for everything. When the instructor says “shoulder rolls,” Ron says “CINNAMON ROLLS.” When the instructor says “you can increase your weights,” Ron says “okay, I’ll decrease my weights.” When the instructor says “moving on to the lunge track!” Ron says “You mean the shoulder track. We already did lunges.” Ron loves lunges the MOST! Body Pump instructors everywhere: if Ron turns up in your class (you’ll know it’s him because he’ll be the one bitching and moaning about lunges before class even starts), make sure to do seven tracks of lunges.

(Thank you, Ron. LOL.)

 

2). The Possession of Hannah Grace

 

 

This film in a few words: spooky, dark, claustrophobic, fantastic. Horror fans, you’ll want to see this one. It’s not the demon-possession flick you’re used to seeing. That’s all I’m going to say.

 

3). The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch (Netflix)

 

 

We sprang for this series on a whim, and we’re so glad that we did! As Aunt Zelda would say, “HAIL SATAN.”

 

4). The Kominsky Method (Netflix)

 

 

I also recommend this smart series about a pair of longtime friends and Hollywood legends of yore. We found The Kominsky Method to be surprisingly fresh and delightful considering it features a couple of crotchety oldsters. Highly recommend!

 

5). Dumplin’ (Netflix Original Movie)

 

 

Again in a few words: powerful, moving, funny, sharp. We loved this Netflix film, and it’s not of a genre we usually prefer. The film is sorely underrated, in my humble opinion. I found Dumplin’ to be pretty much perfect, and I would see it again. I recommend that you see it, too!

 

6). Tinkyáda Pasta Joy Brown Rice Pasta (spaghetti style). (Vegan and gluten-free)

 

Tinkyada Pasta Joy Brown Rice Pasta (spaghetti)

 

I swear you’d never suspect that this pasta is gluten-free! You must try it to believe it. It’s amazing.

 

7). Victoria Vegan Alfredo Red Pepper Sauce. (Vegan and gluten-free)

 

Victoria Vegan Alfredo Red Pepper Sauce

 

We tried every pasta sauce in Victoria Vegan’s line, and this alfredo red pepper version was our favorite. To be honest, all of the sauces started out well and then disappointed with their slightly bitter aftertastes, but any bitterness at the end of this one melded perfectly with the sauce, itself. Victoria Vegan’s alfredo red pepper sauce is delicious.

 

8). Miyoko’s Organic European Style Cultured Vegan Butter. (Vegan and gluten-free)

 

Miyoko’s Organic European Style Cultured Vegan Butter

 

Earth Balance will always be a staple, but now we have another buttery spread favorite in Miyoko’s Organic European Style Cultured Vegan Butter. It’s so good!

 

9). Vega Protein Snack Bar (Coconut Almond). (Vegan and gluten-free)

 

Vega Protein Snack Bar (coconut almond)

 

Another month, another protein bar, I know. I can’t walk by a vegan protein bar without picking it up. I’ve found a lot of “favorites” in recent months, and I’m still noshing on them all… but this one. This one, guys, is my MOST favorite favorite. I’m borderline obsessed with this bar. I tried a few other flavors in this line, and I found them to be as disgusting as this one is superb. Vega is like that, in general, I’ve noticed. I either hate their products or really, really love them.

 

10). Alba Botanica Hawaiian Body Oil Deep Moisturizing Kukui Nut. (Vegan and cruelty-free)

 

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Body Oil – Deep Moisturizing Kukui Nut

 

Yet another product from Alba Botanica’s Hawaiian line that I adore! My ride-or-die cleansers are still Alba Botanica’s Hawaiian facial cleanser, facial scrub, and plumeria shampoo, and now I’m hooked on their body oil, too. I smooth this on at night, in the shower before I dry off. It’s moisturizing, light, and not the slightest bit greasy.

 

11). The Body Shop Blueberry Body Butter. (Cruelty-free)

 

The Body Shop Blueberry Body Butter

 

This body butter arrived as a free gift with my Black Friday purchases. I’m glad that this was the “surprise” scent they threw in, because I wouldn’t have tried it otherwise! This body butter smells divine. I’ve tried several other body butters from The Body Shop before, and they all smelled delicious, but this one. I’m already almost halfway through the large pot, and it’s only been a month. If The Body Shop expands their blueberry scent into a full product line, I’ll be all in.

 

La fin! Happy Friday Eve, everyone!

 

 

November Favorites!

I love sunshine the most, but I’m fond of occasional days like today, too. It’s a moody day, damp, chilly, and gray.

We’ve reached the penumbra of Christmas, and I, for one, am actually feeling calm and ready for it. The high point of Black Friday/Cyber Week for me was scoring a space heater for my parents on a ridiculous sale at Home Depot. You know you’re a grandma at heart when your proudest consumer extravaganza moment is a space heater. It was such a good deal, and we really needed it!

Hopefully this will be the last time we’ll have to think about heating my parents’ room when they visit in the winter, since the A/C guy is coming next month to address the ventilation issue.

Anyway, let’s get right into some of my favorite Little Things from November!

 

1). Book: Past Tense (the new Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child)

 

Past Tense (2018 Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child).

 

Okay, Lee Child’s 2018 Reacher might be one of my favorite Reachers ever. I just really enjoyed this novel. I found it to be deliciously taut, intriguing, and twisted, and I loved the Sumo comparison Child wrote into one of the bad guys!

Incidentally, I’m as thrilled as any Reacher fan that Lee Child is planning a Jack Reacher streaming series… and that Tom Cruise will not be cast as Reacher! It also came to my attention that Child is open to suggestions for Reacher actors! I’m going to dedicate next week Tuesday’s post to my ideas for this.

 

2). Homecoming (Amazon Prime Video)

 

 

In case you didn’t know: Amazon Prime Video released this original series called Homecoming, and it would be well worth your while to check it out if you’re into intrigue, military themes, and Julia Roberts.

 

3). Bodyguard (Netflix)

 

 

Speaking of Reacher, this guy! Richard Madden! A few of his scenes in Bodyguard made me shout “HE IS REACHER.” Not fight scenes, mind you. It was more these little, transitional moments in which the character would reply to someone, move between places, or stand and allow a certain mood to arrange his features in a Reacher-like fashion. It was about attitude and the air about him, I guess… subtle and important qualities. There’s more to Reacher than 6′,5″ and and 220 lbs. Spoiler alert for Tuesday’s TALC post: Madden didn’t make my short list of potential Reacher actors (no pun intended). Dommage.

But I wildly digress. I was going to say that the Netflix series Bodyguard is brilliant, in my opinion, and quite a ride. I’m posting this here with my highest recommendations!

 

4). Get Shorty (Netflix)

 

 

We discovered the series Get Shorty by accident, and what a pleasant, hilarious accident it was. Callaghan and I both prefer this series to the film (1995). The infuriating thing is that we know there’s a season 2 out there, but we can’t figure out how/where to watch it!! Netflix doesn’t have it yet. How’s that for a so-called first world problem? At any rate, you may love this series, too.

 

5). Sprouts Organic Creamy Peanut Butter.

 

Spouts Organic Creamy Peanut Butter

 

I don’t know how any natural (i.e. stir-it-yourself) peanut butter could differ from Laura Scudder’s Old-Fashioned creamy peanut butter, but somehow, Sprouts came up with one that does. Laura Scudder’s brand is good, but Sprouts’ is sublime. It has one ingredient: organic peanuts. Laura Scudder’s brand has peanuts and “less than 1% salt.” Close enough, right? But Sprouts’ creamy pb is easier to mix, its consistency is more indulgent, and its flavor is just perfection. Sorry, Laura Scudder’s. As long as Sprouts is making theirs, I’m never going back.

 

6). Pacific Organic Roasted Garlic Mushroom Lentil Soup.

 

Pacific Organic Roasted Garlic Mushroom Lentil Soup

 

I’ve been sick since November 6 (yes, still sick, as it turns out), so I ate a lot of soup in November. I just wanted it, you know? Most of the time, when I want soup, I’m also not in the mood to make my own. My go-to, ready-made soup is Amy’s lentil or lentil vegetable. My new favorite soup, though, is this one by Pacific. This organic roasted garlic mushroom lentil soup is divine. I don’t think I would’ve discovered it had I not gotten sick, so thank you, forces of the universe.

 

7). Pumpkin Pie Larabar.

 

Pumpkin Pie Larabar

 

Dates, cashews, apples, almonds, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger. These are the ingredients mashed together to make Larabar’s pumpkin pie bars. The recipe works. These bars were perfect for November… for anytime, but especially for November. Love these!

 

8). Van’s Gluten-Free Original Waffles.

 

Van’s Gluten-Free Original Waffles

 

I discovered that Van’s gluten-free original waffles eaten hot with only butter (Earth Balance, in my case) taste like biscuits! These are wonderful. They’re crispy on the outside, and the inside melts in your mouth. Consider this post to be a Public Service Announcement.

 

9). Bigelow Green Tea Classic.

 

Bigelow Green Tea Classic

 

Another thing that happened in November as a direct result of my illness? I quit drinking coffee. That was a cold day in hell. It must have been. What happened was coffee started to upset my stomach to the point of I can’t do this anymore. Coffee’s never affected me like that! It only took two days of intense nausea and related trips to the bathroom. The first day it happened, I suspected that it was the coffee. The next day, it was obvious that it was the coffee. I started drinking green tea in the morning, instead, and now I’m hooked on early morning green tea.

 

Now for a lone product:

10). Pacifica Hot Vegan Probiotic & Spice Rehab Mask.

 

Pacifica Hot Vegan Probiotic & Spice Rehab Mask

 

I had no expectations when I picked up this daytime mask. Pacifica Hot Vegan Probiotic & Spice Rehab Mask kind of surprised me. I thought it might have a spicy sort of fragrance, but it does not. I thought that it would go on like a gel and feel like a gel, but it doesn’t… it glides over the skin, and it tightens up just a little bit. Just enough to remind you that you’re wearing it. It doesn’t dry into the aggressive, pulling second skin that many masks become the longer you wear them. I leave it on for five minutes longer than suggested, and the tightness of it doesn’t change. My skin glows after I rinse it off. I will be repurchasing this product!

So there we have it for November’s favorite Little Things. Until next time! Happy Friday Eve.

 

 

No faster month. (October Favorites!)

This post is going to go as quickly as October. Shenanigans of all flavors abound! So I’m here once again to drop my favorites (of late) in mindless entertainment, vegan junk food, and  a couple of cruelty-free products, because it’s the little things that brighten our little worlds.

To sum up, October was an awesomely creeptastic month, made even better with a bonus good house guest. There’s a lot to be said about good house guests!

Let’s get right into it.

 

1). Bad Times at the El Royale (film)

 

 

We actually found ourselves in the movie theater not zero, not once, but twice in October!

We went to see Bad Times at the El Royale, in which it’s confirmed that Jeff Bridges is more than just The Dude, Jon Hamm is more than just Don Draper, and Chris Hemsworth is more than just a pretty face. Also, Quentin Tarantino isn’t the only one who can pull off a film like this. Good times, not bad times.

 

2). Halloween (2018) (film)

 

 

We also (surprise!) went to see Halloween (2018). If I’m not mistaken, this was the first Halloween film I’ve had the pleasure of catching in a theater. Halloween is my favorite classic horror flick of the slasher variety, so this was a treat. It was like that time I saw AC/DC live after enjoying their music for three decades. At long last, it happened… and it was worth it. Little things, right?

 

3). The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix)

 

 

The Haunting of Hill House: not only the scariest T.V. series we’ve ever seen, but maybe the scariest anything we’ve ever seen on a screen… especially as far as the ghosts. The ghosts of Hill House aren’t cheesy. They often appear casually and without warning, so there’s little in the way of cheap jump-scares. The series is psychologically dense and gorgeous in its visual elements. With an emphasis heavy on the family drama, you sometimes forget that you’re watching a work of horror, which heightens its chilling effect. Basically, if This is Us had a horror genre sister, it would be The Haunting of Hill House.

 

4). Lore (Amazon Prime original series)

 

 

Lore is Amazon Prime’s original horror documentary series. With each episode devoted to a horrific episode in history, Lore amounts to a collection of informative creative nonfiction short stories, each compelling in its production. We’ve enjoyed season 2’s story-telling even more than season one’s. We have two episodes left to go!

 

5). MHz Choice (streaming channel).

 

 

We finished all the Engrenages available on Hulu. Knowing that there was another season (the latest), we went online and did a mad search. How and where could we watch the most recent season of one of our favorite French series? We stumbled upon MHz Choice and added it to our Roku immediately. This is a channel that offers (I believe) international series and films exclusively.

 

6). Olly Protein Bar (Peanut Butter Chocolate).

 

Olly Protein Bar (Peanut Butter Chocolate)

 

Another month, another favorite protein/energy bar. It seems that way, doesn’t it? As with the last few months’, the Olly bar is vegan and gluten-free. At one time not long ago it would have been too sweet for me, but thanks to last month’s Blueberry Bliss Luna Bar discovery, my taste has now gotten accustomed to the fake sweetness of such bars. I’m okay with it. I really like this bar. The Olly bar is actually a cookie, rounded and dense, with a nutritional profile that surpasses that of the KIND breakfast bars I’d listed a couple of months ago (which I still enjoy). I should also add that so far, I only like the peanut butter flavor; I tried out the chocolate coconut Olly bar and loathed it. That’s just me… to each their own.

 

7). Follow Your Heart Dairy-free Parmesan Shredded Cheese Alternative.

 

Follow Your Heart Dairy-free Parmesan Shredded Cheese Alternative

 

I’ve probably talked about this stuff before, but I rediscovered it in October, and I’m still heavy on the kick. Follow Your Heart found a way to replicate shredded fresh Parmesan cheese using plant-based ingredients, and it’s delicious. Lactose intolerant and vegan friends, rejoice!

 

8). Fortune Yakisoba Stir Fry Noodle (Hot and Spicy).

 

Fortune Yakisoba Stir Fry Noodle (Hot and Spicy)

 

This is for sure a “favorites” list repeat; I listed it the first time two years ago. The processed-all-to-hell delicacy managed to vanish shortly thereafter. I was thrilled to find it again in October, cleverly disguised in new packaging. It’s the same as it was… it’s just as delicious, just as spicy, just as vegan, and just as inedible by Callaghan (too spicy-hot for his tolerance level). More for me! Heheh.

 

9). Yes to Superblueberries Skin Recharging cleaning facial wipes.

 

Yes to Superblueberries Skin Recharging cleaning facial wipes

 

The thing about posting a skincare regime post is that I change up my routine frequently, so whatever I’m doing when I post about it usually isn’t exactly what I’m doing several months later. In October, I started using these cleansing wipes in the morning in lieu of washing/exfoliating my face. I wanted to see what would happen if I stopped using water on my face twice a day. I haven’t noticed any adverse effects so far, and I’ve been liking the way the change has simplified my morning routine. These wipes work well for this purpose! They’re full of good stuff. My skin likes them.

 

10). e.l.f. Runway Ready Lip Palette (Berry Bliss).

 

e.l.f. Runway Ready Lip Palette Berry Bliss

 

The bloody kisses lip look I wore in October came from this cruelty-free and vegan palette… I layered the darkest shade over the red shade (third from the right). I love the creamy smoothness of this product. It applies easily, wears well, and feels comfortable. e.l.f. has done it again.

 

There we have it for now… we’re less than a week into November, and I already have a few favorites on deck! Spoiler alert: it’s garage gym season and it’s a sumo month and a few of my favorite MMA fighters are on next week’s UFC card. (Crossing fingers that everyone makes weight and stays on the card.) A solid combat sports month is underway. Let the good times roll, as they say.

 

The End.

I had one foot in October before the month ended, though. (September Favorites!)

I’m excited about this monthly (September) favorites list, because I’ve got some new stuff for you… “new” as in different than the usual TALC monthly favorites fare.

(Incidentally, I’m also excited to post this list because that means it’s OCTOBER, the most creeptastic month of the year.)

The list is still mostly comprised of T.V. series and movies and food, but I’m also including some short YouTube videos for your viewing pleasure.

These videos make great procrastination material. For me, it’s more than gratuitous time-suckage. It’s brain-cleansing, and it’s actually serious business: when my head’s been submerged in the worlds of my creative endeavors, it’s good to clear it out and forget that on which I’d been focused. This allows me to return to those worlds with fresh eyes. I can then see clearly what oversaturation had concealed.

My recent – and current – tool of choice for brain-cleansing is YouTube. I need simple escapism into the creative worlds of others. My favorite YouTube videos of late are short horror films and videos of this one guy fabricating sharp kitchen knives out of materials such as tin foil, underwear, and jello.

You’ll see. I’ve provided a few of the videos. You can click to watch them right here! Down the rabbit hole with you, too.

Let’s get on with it!

 

1). Searching (film)

 

 

We went to the theater to see this one. Searching is a different sort of thriller, and a different sort of film in the “found footage” genre. What the audience sees on the screen is a movie entirely shown on other screens – computer screens, phones, televisions, surveillance videos, etc. It makes for some solid and unique entertainment regardless of the film’s other merits (or lack thereof). As well, I love a good mystery/thriller.

 

2). Ozark (S2) (Netflix)

 

 

An intense, atmospheric, dark drama/thriller, this Netflix original series is a work of art about which I cannot say enough. Jason Bateman and Laura Linney are superb in their roles – Bateman more than I’d ever seen him in any role, and Linney as per usual. Julia Garner’s performance confirms what we suspected when we saw her in The Americans: she’s an artist with a formidable future. Ozark wants you to binge-watch it, and it’s hard to resist if you have the luxury of time. Breaking Bad fans, here’s your fix.

 

3). American Horror Story: Apocalypse (S8) (TV – FX)

 

 

What can I say? AHS is back, and it’s more twisted than ever… and that’s already saying a lot. Thanks to its mid-September release date, October’s coming in on a delightfully disturbing note. I love it.

 

4). Horror short films (YouTube)

YouTube rabbit hole number one: short horror movies. You’ll run into all the horror movie tropes you expect: jump scares, white dresses, cheesy demons and monsters, tripping and falling while running away, doors that close and then won’t open, gratuitous gore, characters who make maddeningly stupid decisions, etc. I find, though, that these transgressions are often more forgivable in a film that’s less than 15 minutes long. Besides, thanks to their short duration, I know pretty quickly whether I should move on. If I make it through the whole thing and end up not liking it, I only wasted a few minutes of my life compared to two hours wasted during a full-length horror flick that never got better. When these short movies are good, they deliver what you want in horror. They’re tense and tightly-wound because they get straight to the point. Many of them are silent films in that there’s little to no dialogue, which can add to their creepiness. The whole spectrum of the horror genre can be found across the hundreds of these films on YouTube… and they’re free.

Two examples:

 

 

 

 

5). Luna Bar (Blueberry Bliss).

 

Luna Bar Blueberry Bliss

 

I wasn’t sure whether I’d include this bar on my list. It’s too sweet for my taste, but I really like its thin layer of blueberry jam. Moreover, after two test runs, I determined that this bar gets me through a Body Pump workout if for any reason I can’t have a normal breakfast. I guess it’s on the list because of the blueberry jam part and the instant fuel part. If you like blueberries and instant fuel, you might like these.

 

6). Nori – specifically, Kirkland Signature Organic Roasted Seaweed Snack.

 

Kirkland Organic Roasted Seaweed Snack (aka nori)

 

First off, I should say that I have a cousin to thank for my return to eating nori straight out of the bag. Like all Japanese-Americans (with family rooted in Hawaii) I know, I grew up eating this stuff. Mom used to send me this Korean version from Costco, but it’d been a while as I’d turned my salty snack attention elsewhere. I’m back!

These have no nutritional value, but they don’t contain anything detrimental, either. They’re organic and devoid of chemicals. Eating this nori is like eating air. Crispy, salty, seaweedy air.

 

7). Silk Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternative (plain).

 

Silk Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternative (soy, plain)

 

I cycle through yogurt phases, and I’ve been in one since September. This time, it’s this soy yogurt by Silk. I prefer the plain version because it’s the least sweet, but I often top it with granola (see below), which is sweeter. It’s a great combination, though. I love the thick creaminess of this yogurt.

 

8). Bear Naked Granola (V’nilla Almond).

 

Bear Naked Granola V’nilla Almond

 

This lightly sweetened granola is fabulous on the plain Silk soy yogurt. That’s why it’s on this list.

 

9). NYX Slide On Lip Liner (Alluring).

 

NYX Slide On Lip Liner (Alluring)

 

Remember the NYX butter gloss lip (in Ginger Snap) on my July list? This lip liner goes perfectly with it. Just thought I’d share!

 

10). kiwami japan (YouTube channel)

Rabbit hole number two: THIS GUY. This enormously talented guy. This guy can make a knife out of anything. (If you know me, you know that I love knives.) His YouTube channel is called “kiwami japan,” and his videos are awesome, fascinating, and entertaining. I feel obliged to show you a couple of them.

 

Making a knife out of underwear:

 

Making a knife out of tin foil:

 

The End, and have fun.

 

 

So we waited. (August Favorites!)

Hello, my friends. I don’t know about you, but this week has wrung me out in pretty much every way. I’m glad to be here talking to you for the second time this week – that means it’s Thursday, aka Friday Eve, aka within sight of the decompression zone. As a writer, I work at home on and off 24/7, but the weekend is still the weekend in that I usually have nothing obligatory going on.

Are we ready for some monthly favorites now that we’ve arrived at the second week of September? This time around, I present a movie, three T.V. series (one American, two French), a breakfast bar, a pasta, and three Pacifica products (all vegan and cruelty-free).

Also, I’m including my favorite person-discovery of the month, as I did last month with Karl the Fog on Twitter. I’m thinking I want to make this a mainstay of my “favorites” lists. If I stumble upon a personality that captures my interest, why not share, right?

Okay, then… let’s get into these delightful “little things” that came to my attention in August. Some of them I may have known in the past, but if they’re just now on the list, that means I’ve really gotten into them.

Ahem…

 

1). BlackKklansman (film)

 

 

Our date nights are few and far between these days – to the point where a “movie in a movie theater at night” is a big event. (We go to the movies infrequently as it is, and we almost always prefer to go in the mornings or afternoons to catch a matinee.) Thus, it’s a huge plus if we really, actually like the movie we choose on these rare evening occasions!

We had such a date night in August, I’m happy to say. We went down to Alamo Drafthouse to watch the dramedy BlackKklansman, and we were not disappointed.

(Also, when Denzel’s son opens his mouth, he sounds almost exactly like Denzel, in my opinion. He inherited his father’s talent, too.)

You might also enjoy this film telling the true story of a black cop who, with the help of a Jewish cop, manages to join the KKK. Dramedy, as I said.

 

2). Better Call Saul (TV-14 AMC)

 

 

Better Call Saul is back for season 4, and we’re all in!

 

3). Les Témoins (Netflix)

 

 

We continue to find and plow through French T.V. series on our streaming services. Netflix International is a beautiful thing.

 

4). Engrenages (Netflix)

 

 

We’d just started watching this French series when Netflix dropped Ozark season 2. We’ll see you on the flip side, Engrenages! (You can just assume that you’ll see Ozark on my September Favorites list.) In all seriousness, though, Engrenages looks to be unfolding in promising ways.

 

5). KIND Peanut Butter Breakfast Bar.

 

KIND Peanut Butter Breakfast Bar

 

My fellow Americans: this breakfast bar tastes like Nutter Butter Peanut Butter cookies, and I felt that it was my duty to bring it to your attention. The bars contain more sugar than I like to eat, but I don’t eat them every day, and their macronutrient panel looks good. It’s only vegan-friendly if you’re a honey-eating vegan, though. (I’m a mostly non-honey-eating vegan. There are exceptions. Like these bars.)

 

6). Delverde Wholewheat Organic pasta.

 

 

Pasta is my favorite food. Since I discovered Delverde’s whole wheat pastas, I’ve been eating it nearly every day… that’s no exaggeration. Also, I eat more than the serving size (kind of a lot more). I will never willingly go back to any other brand of pasta if I can get my hands on this one. I’m not sure how Delverde manages to make their pastas so exceptional, especially since they contain only the same two ingredients as many pastas: 100% organic whole durum (wheat) semolina and water. However they do it, this is the pasta.

 

7). Pacifica Coconut Milk & Essential Oils Underarm Deodorant Wipes.

 

Pacifica Coconut Milk & Essential Oils Underarm Deodorant Wipes

 

You know those mornings you go to the gym and you didn’t break that much of a sweat and life happens and you don’t make it into the shower but you can wash your face and freshen up a little? Pacifica has changed the “freshen up a little” game with these underarm deodorant wipes. They’re inexplicably effective. They cleanse and refresh, and they can actually take the place of deodorant. I can’t explain it. Just try it.

 

8). Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Mask.

 

Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Mask

 

Acure DISCONTINUED my holy grail overnight mask, so in August – after I used up the last of my Wonderfluff stockpile – I went on the hunt for another one. I ended up a fan of Pacifica’s Wake Up Beautiful Mask. I say “end up” because I didn’t like it at first. I tried it, didn’t like its scent, decided it was awful, and exiled it to my box of Women’s Shelter donations. After failing to find a cruelty-free overnight mask that worked for me, I gave Pacifica’s another try. For some reason, it didn’t bother me at all the second time. I love it.

 

9). Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream.

 

Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream

 

For make-up, I’ve been wearing this wonderful preparation on my face instead of foundation. I used to only use BB creams; I don’t know what happened to that. I got away from it somehow. Now I’m back, because this one from Pacifica is amazing.

 

10). Ask a Mortician (YouTube channel).

 

Meet my favorite internet-person find of the month: mortician Caitlin Doughty, whose YouTube channel “Ask a Mortician” has become somewhat of an obsession of mine.

Be careful when you click on her videos, though… remember that what has been heard cannot be unheard. I watched her “Ask a Mortician – Worst Way to Die?” video, and I’m not sure I’ll ever recover.

Caitlin has authored several books, and she also runs The Order of the Good Death, whose website also has serious rabbit-hole potential. If you’re as fascinated with death, the macabre, and the funeral industry as I am, you’re going to love this woman. If you’re not, you may still love Caitlin and her videos. She’s awesome. You’ll learn a lot. You’ll realize that there is, in fact, a need for death-acceptance (and the re-thinking of death, in general) in western society. Did you know that there are Death Doulas? I didn’t. I’m glad that I know it now!

 

All I can say to wrap up this post is “The End.” I’m out of time over here! Have a great weekend, All.