The Well-Read Wife

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Kiki Overthinks Every Thing
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Kiki Overthinks Every Thing
January 21, 2009
Icon of the Month
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: Rihanna
Topic: Celebrity News/Thoughts

I have decided to start a new monthly feature called Icon of the Month. Originally, it was going to be titled Fashion or Style Icon of the Month but I didn’t want to limit myself to just beauty and fashion stories although a majority of the stories will probably fall into one or two of those categories. My first icon of the year is a pop singer, who I just can’t seem to escape and her name is Rihanna. And, you know what? I’m not sick of her yet. She’s ubiquitous yet just in the background enough where I have not overdosed on her, kind of like air. Air is just there all the time doing its thing.

Some Rihanna Facts:

Birth name: Robyn Rihanna Fenty

Born: February 20, 1988 (1988-02-20) (same date of birth as my youngest baby)

Origin: Saint Michael, Barbados

Music Genre(s): Pop, R&B, dance, reggae

Occupation(s): Singer, songwriter, model, fashion designer

Years active: 2005–present

Label(s): Def Jam Recordings

Website:  www.rihannanow.com

Besides being featured inside the pages of People, InStyle, Life & Style, and other fashion and beauty magazines for her cutting edge styles, Rihanna has appeared on at least 10 U.S. magazine covers in 2008. They have included such big-name glossies as InStyle, Elle, and Allure.

Rihanna has been setting trends with her neon-colored nails; razor cut bob, and her sexy neo-punk outfits. She’s also a spokesperson for Cover Girl cosmetics and Gucci. In short, the girl is building her brand! Oh yeah, she also makes some catchy tunes too. (Don’t front, you were singing “Umbrella… ella… ella, ella…” too.)


Posted by Kiki Shoes at 11:10 AM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: January 22, 2009 2:04 PM EST
January 18, 2009
My Make-Up Wish List
Mood:  on fire
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews

The cold temperatures and gray skies has frozen my brain and dulled my recent book reading binge. So, I've dove head first into aspirational reading. No, not inspirational, but aspirationa! I'm up to my neck in the shiny, glossy, and (somewhat) cheap escapism of magazines. InStyle, People Stylewatch, Figure, Life & Style, Allure, Parents, Glamour (both U.S. and U.K. versions) and Sophisticate's Black Hair Styles magazines have been weighing down my purse for the past two weeks.  I've flipped through those glossies, tearing out pages, clipping pictures, and earmarking stories. I've developed a wish list of new (or old but never used before) make-up and skincare products I'd like to buy. (Hopefully, I will buy some once I or if I receive a tax refund.)

 

So, shall we begin?

 1. L'oreal H.I.P Color Presso lip gloss which is a dual chamber tube that allows the user to mix the perfect shade. I've become a real fan of lipgloss over the past five years and I've found that I now have more tubes of lipgloss than I do tubes of lipstick. Who would have ever thunk it?

2. Sula nailpolish doesn't need nail polish remover. It peels off! Imagine changing colors so quickly and easily. 2a. And since we're on the topic of easily removed nail polish, I'm also interested in tryinf out Sally Hansen Nail Art Pens. It reportedly works over any nail polish color and can be removed with water before you add the sealant. How cool is that?

4. My favorite make-up color is green. I don't know why, but I love sporting green finger nails or eyelids.  Styli-Style Line & Seal 24 Twist in Emerald seems like it would be right up my alley.  (I'm waiting for a set of these semi-permanent eyeliner that applies like marker that I won from BeautyBlitz.com.)

5. Nars blush in Orgasm. I really want to see what all the fuss is about in person. The same with Creme de la Mar.

6. Sonia Kashuk for Target make-up brushes because it is always recommended as the best set of brushes to own on the cheap.


Posted by Kiki Shoes at 11:53 AM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: January 18, 2009 3:58 PM EST
December 31, 2008
Reading To Your Inner Child
Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: Children's Book Reviews from Good Reads
Topic: Book Reviews
Feast for 10 Feast for 10 by Cathryn Falwell

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a really wonderful concept book featuring an African-American family that prepares a meal starting with a trip to the grocery store. The book will introduce children to food, numbers, and a traditional family of brown faces. Perfect for read alouds, flannel board stories, and a story & craft. Some health conscious parents might object to the mother frying the chicken, but aside from that, there is nothing objectionable abou this book.

View all my reviews.

The Cow That Laid an Egg The Cow That Laid an Egg by Andy Cutbill

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a clever yet subtle book about friendship and adoption. Marjorie the cow has no special skill or talent that makes her stand out, so her friends the chickens lay a cow-spotted egg for her and slip underneath her while she sleeps. Marjorie and the farm becomes world famous as the first cow to lay an egg. (This part is almost reminiscent of Wilbur in Charolette's Web.) Her envious cow-mates don't like having the spotlight taken away, so they go out to prove that Marjorie didn't lay the egg. After weeks of waiting, the egg hatches and out pops a chicken. The chicken, being held by Marjorie, looks at its new mother and says "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" The chicken may not have come from inside the cow, but the cow is its Mommy.

The cut & paste and collage style of the illustrations are bright, funny, and make the farm animals surprisingly expressive.

View all my reviews.

Shhhh Shhhh by Kevin Henkes

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
The prolific Kevin Henkes wonderful Shhhh humorously captures life with a preschooler. First, the story starts out very quietly as a young child describes everthing and everyone who is asleep in her house. The assumption by the reader is that this youngster will also join everyone in their slumber. The assumption is wrong! The child can't stand the silence and awakens everyone by blowing a toy horn. It's a great anti-bedtime story.

View all my reviews.

I Get So Hungry I Get So Hungry by Bebe Moore Campbell

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a sweet and insightful yet hopeful book about an obese little girl who sets out to lose weight with her plus-size teacher. The cherubic cheeks and expressive eyes of little Nikki immediately draws you in, makes you want to love her like a cuddly teddy bear. But it is those same characteristics that make my throat tighten with tears as she describes eating away her pain when a classmate makes fun of her. As a plus-size woman, I feel a little Nikki's pain and understand her struggle. I want to hug her and tell her that she'll be okay, but the truth is that she does need to lose weight and eat healthier. This book says it gently and directly without preachiness.

View all my reviews.

Darkness Slipped In Darkness Slipped In by Ella Burfoot

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
A delightfully cute book about a little girl who gets over her fear of the dark by dancing with it. The art work is great especially the interpretation of "darkness." A wonderful book to read to toddlers and preschoolers.

View all my reviews.

My Day, Your Day My Day, Your Day by Robin Ballard

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
My Day, Your Day by Robin Ballard is one of those wonderful books to read aloud with your toddler or preschooler who has a bit of separation anxiety. The sweet genius of the book is how the author compares daycare/preschool activities to parents' job activities. (For example, a preschool nap time is compared to a maternity ward nurse who carries a sleeping infant to waiting parents.)

This picture book is good for:
1. reading aloud
2. demonstrating non-traditional gender roles
3. easing separation anxiety in children
4. introducing daycare or preschool
5. showing multi-ethnic characters and
6. showing community workers.

View all my reviews.


Posted by Kiki Shoes at 11:52 AM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: December 31, 2008 11:56 AM EST
December 28, 2008
Try As I May, I Can't Love the Mad Men
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: Thoughts on AMC's Mad Men
Topic: TV: The Soft Blue Glow

AMC's Mad Men is a drama set in the late 1950s or early 1960s, and it is about advertising in post-World War 2 America. There's the Cold War, Jim Crow Laws, sexism, racism, and the demonization of sex. It is a very buttoned-up United States. It is a show that causes very hard feelings in me, and it is preventing me from enjoying the show as much as I can.

Within the first three episodes, the audience is clearly shown the role of women in the men's lives. They are vessels for their penises. They are objectified. They are their nursemaids, their underlings, their whores, but not their equals. Women are the butt of open sexual harassment, and are expected to take the heavy flirting as a compliment. The women are judged as neurotic or hysterical for wanting more out of life then being tucked away in the suburbs with the children and gossip-mongers. Single women who work or are divorced or are sexually active (with contraceptive) are judged harshly. When head ad-exec Don Draper realizes the best way to market a men's deodorant is to market to women who buy these products for their men, he brainstorms with his boss about how to market to women. He doesn't know how women think, and his boss says quite pointedly "Who cares what women think?"

 

 

Racism is abound in Mad Men. African-Americans are seen as just bathroom attendants, elevator operators or the sandwich guy. There aren't racial slurs or demeaning comments made about the Blacks servants on the show, but there a few slung around about a family of Chinese people who have been hired for a practical joke. There's even some anti-Semitism.

Mad Men is not a bad show. It is a good show, and Don Draper is one of the smoothest and most complicated characters on television today. Taking the behind the scenes look at the golden age of advertising is fascinating but Mad Men is a bitter pill to swallow for me. I can't stand the era it represents, which are straight WASP men ruling the world without much thought of the others who live in it.


Posted by Kiki Shoes at 11:02 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
December 22, 2008
Play that Funky Music
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Cadillac Records
Topic: Movie Reviews

Let me clear the air in case you have the same fears that I had about Cadillac Records. Cadillac Records is not the Beyonce Knowles movie. As a matter of fact, she doesn’t show up until halfway through the film. Her performance was surprisingly good and raw. When you hear her curse up a blue-streak as the damaged blues singer Etta James, you get the feeling that the Beyonce Knowles we see in the media is a fake and this is how she really gets down behind the scenes.

 

CR had two things going for it that did make me want to see it. First was the incomparable and oft-under mentioned Jeffrey Wright. The second was director Darnell Martin who I liked since she had made since her first flick, I Like It Like That. Neither disappointed in this too-short biopic about Chess Records, the record company that pushed blues into the forefront of American culture and laid down the foundation for what we now call Rock-n-Roll.


Darnell neither demonizes nor canonizes the troubled musicians that make up the roster of Chess Records. She shows artists, like Muddy Waters, Little Walter, and Etta James, as musical geniuses with a whole lot of personal problems. Even better is her portrayal of Leonard Chess, one of the brothers who founded Chess records. Although he is a white man giving black artists a chance to make records, earn money and get on the radio waves, he is also shown as more than a savior. He’s a crook with a heart. The stories of the artists and their Svengali that Darnell weaves leave you wanting to know more. Each person could be the story of their very on biopic.

 

Each actor stands out in this movie. Mos Def proves to be a talented, charismatic, and engaging actor. Jeffrey Wright, as usual, is excellent. Beyonce shows her acting chops. Adrien Brody is solid and intense, as normal. The stand out in this film, however, is the relatively unknown Columbus Short playing the self-destructive Little Walter. When Little Walter’s seduction of his mentor Muddy Waters’ wife is rejected, you can feel it. Once he realized that he has crossed the line, the guilt, pain and frustration is written all over his face. I’d like to see him nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar.

 


This movie made me want to smoke a cigarette, drink a brown liquor, and f*** like only a good blues song can.


Posted by Kiki Shoes at 8:15 AM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
December 20, 2008
Now for the Good News
Mood:  lazy
Now Playing: 2008, The Year In Review Part 2

Now for the Good Stuff

My Favorite Sports Moment: The ultimate underdogs, The New York Giants, beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. That victory effectively made the Patriots historic undefeated season moot. I’m a lifelong New Yorker, and I hate, HATE, HATE, New England and Boston sports teams. This pretty much set up 2008 as one of the best years of this decade.

My 2nd Favorite Political Moment: John McCain’s humble and graceful concession speech on November 4th proved to me that Senator McCain is a decent man with only America’s best interests at heart. I don’t think he is a bad guy. I always got a bit offended anytime someone said that McCain was too old to become president. McCain is about six years younger than my grandmother, and she is healthy enough and of enough sound mind to do anything. Let’s stop hating on old people.

My Favorite Beauty Websites: I stumbled across three of the best beauty blogs/websites on the web. The second runner-up is Beauty Blitz for its professional insight to beauty products and the beauty biz, and for their stellar giveaways (for which I’ve won 5). The 1st runner-up is Sparkle Shelf for its hip insight into fashion, beauty, and celebrity gossip. Best yet, Sparkle Shelf allows input from its regular followers as well as articles from their dedicated writers.

Finally, the grand prize winner of my favorite beauty website of 2008 is Blaq Vixen Beauty. In these tough economic times, BVB offers fantastic reviews and honest dialogue about drugstore brand cosmetics and skincare products. The best part is that the reviews are geared towards women of color who have the hardest time matching make-up to their varying skin tones.

My Favorite Beauty Products: Avon’s Magix and Max Factor’s 2000 Calorie Mascara. I love Avon’s Magix. This wonderful primer has kept my otherwise greasy t-zone looking semi-matte all day at work, and I don’t have to wear a moisturizer underneath it on warm days. I was able to try Max Factor’s 2000 Calorie Mascara for free when I received it from BzzAgent.com. This is, by far, the best mascara I’ve ever used. It darkens, lengthens, and separates without smearing. It covers without making your lashes feel heavy, and it is easy to remove. For $6 a pop, it is also very recession-friendly.

My Favorite Movie: Iron Man was not as good or as thought-provoking as The Dark Knight nor was it as morally ambiguous or as serious as Quantum of Solace, but it was a hell of a good time. The action was easy to follow; Robert Downey Jr. was charismatic as industrialist Tony Stark; Gwyneth Paltrow’s wardrobe was hot; and it was relevant to today’s events. Oh, let’s not forget Jeff Bridge’s great turn as the bald-headed villain. (Gotta admit, Jeff Bridges was looking very old-man sexy with that smooth dome.)

 

 

My Favorite “Don’t Call It A Comeback” Kid: R&B newbie Robin Thicke proved he was still a white boy with a lot of soul when he dropped "Magic," a Philadelphia Sound-esque mid-tempo gem. To make it better, he dropped a hot remix of Magic with the incomparable Queen of Hip-Hop Soul Mary J. Blige. (He was also a headlining act on her Love Soul tour.) Something Else, his third solo album, hit number 3 on both the Billboard’s Top 200 and Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums carts. The secret to his success? The sistas! "Eighty or 90 percent of my fans are African-Americans, mostly grown black women. That's who’s at my shows, who’s” buying my music, [and] who’s listening to me on the radio," Thicke admitted during a recent Washington Post interview. (And yes, this sister likes his music.)

My 1st Favorite Political Moment: Sen. Barack Obama’s smooth and cool gait as he walked out to thank the American people for electing him as the 44th president of the United States. How fucking cool was that moment?


Posted by Kiki Shoes at 4:58 PM EST | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Updated: December 20, 2008 8:35 PM EST
First the Bad News
Mood:  lazy
Now Playing: 2008 Year in Review
Topic: Celebrity News/Thoughts

This past year has really been an extraordinary for entertainment, history, and beauty. The new leader of free world will be an African-American, and he was voted into office by people of all colors including white people. The recession is currently nearing Great Depression like numbers. The beauty industry unleashed oscillating mascara wands and black lip gloss. A movie based on a “funny book” broke records and has Oscar buzz surrounding it. Below, I’m going to give you a little bit of what impressed, disgusted, and thrilled me in 2008.

 

First the Bad News:

 

I was felled by the deaths of Heath Ledger (accidental overdose), Bernie Mac (illness), Paul Newman (cancer), and Isaac Hayes (stroke). Bernie and Isaac’s deaths hit me the hardest because they both happened in the same weekend, they were fairly young, and appeared healthy.

 

 

Three New York City cops are acquitted for the shooting death of Sean Bell. His death was so clearly caused by excessive force that I was shocked that the cops didn’t get any charges filed against them. My stomach burned for hours when I heard the news. I wanted to riot. I tremble with anger to even remember the verdict.

 

What’s up with cheating politicians? John Edwards hooks up with a woman who is not even as pretty as him, and while his wife is dying of cancer. Imagine if he had gotten the Democratic presidential nod and that infidelity was revealed?

New York governor Eliot Spitzer is a whoremonger. Jeez. He resigned from office opening the door for NYS’ first African-American governor. The funny thing, they didn’t even bring charges against him.

California, which I imagined to be the most liberal state in the Union before New York, passed Proposition 8 which bans same-sex marriages. For shame, California, for shame.


 

 


Posted by Kiki Shoes at 2:33 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
November 30, 2008
Nor Rain, Nor Wind, Nor Crying Baby, Nor Mixed Rewiews Stopped Me
Mood:  lazy
Now Playing: Review: Australia
Topic: Movie Reviews

I saw five movies in the movie theaters this year, which is something I haven't done since becoming a mother nearly four years ago. I saw Australia, Quantum of Solace, The Dark Knight (twice), and Iron Man. All four movies I saw during their opening weekends, and I enjoyed them all immensely for various reasons. But none satisfied my mushy, slushy, overripe, dramatic, romantic core like Australia. It satisfied all my expectations of sexy stares, double entendres, mean scoundrels, naked kissing, pretty clothes, and a sweaty, dirty, muscular Hugh Jackman. *swoon, swoon* I give Australia two quivering lips up!Kiss

 

In order to be fair, I must lay out my criticisms plainly. As of all movies of late, Australia was at least 15 minutes too long although I didn't get the feeling of it dragging in any part. The orchestral scores were too loud and dictatorial. It forced the audience's emotional reactions instead of letting the acting/writing/scene lead the audience to the desired reaction. The admiration of the Aboriginals was raised to almost a near-condescending level. (Perhaps it was Baz Lurhmann's trying to alleviate his version of white guilt. If this was an American-made movie about the love affair between two white people living in the Jim Crow south and who were enraged by their peers' racism and admired the Negroes quiet yet proud way of life, as a Black woman I probably would have found Australia offensive.) The critics were right with their middle-of-the-road reviews. Cinematically, it wasn't bad but it wasn't that good either.

 

With all that said, I wasn't disappointed by Australia. It wasn't as frenetic or eye-straining as Moulin Rouge or William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet. Nicole Kidman's acting was pleasant as the Lady Sarah Ashley playing her both straight and with tongue firmly in cheek. (I've never found Nicole Kidman as pretty as she was by the end of this movie when she was lightly tanned and freckled with pink chapped lips and tousled hair.) Hugh Jackman yet again proved that he can be both a guy's guy and a girl's guy playing the rough-hewn Drover-a man who can control females of both the horse and human variety while drinking cheap rum from the bottle and with a hand-rolled cigarette dangling from his lip. The entire cast was a delight especially the young Brandon Walters who played the mystical bi-racial Aborigine boy at the center of most of the movie's non-romantic action.

 

The big scenes of the movie, a cattle stampede and the bombing of the Australian city Darwin, was worth the price of admission. It made my heart race and gasp with anticipation even when I knew the outcomes. (I will not reveal them here because I'm no spoiler.) There was one scene I really did enjoy, but only because of the audience's reaction. The Drover, who is an outcast because he was married to an Aboriginal woman and still lives among them, sets high society's tongues a wagging when he arrives at a ball to claim his lady. As the camera pans up to reveal the lean, well-dressed, clean shaven handsomeness of Hugh Jackman, there are audible contented sighs (from the ladies in the theater) and groans (from the men in the theater). But the sighs were louder, and that pretty much sums up Australia.

 

 


Posted by Kiki Shoes at 9:12 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: November 30, 2008 10:32 PM EST
November 26, 2008
Slightly Dampened Spirits
Mood:  hungry
Now Playing: My Pre-Viewing Feelings of Australia
Topic: Movie Reviews

Today, the movie Australia was released in the United States to fair-to-middling reviews. I've been looking forward to seeing this movie for three months, and the reveiws are not going to dampen my desire but I do have some mixed feelings that have been exacerbated by the reviews.

I have not seen the movie Strictly Ballroom. I did see William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (WS R+J), and it is one my favorite movies. The unique cinematography and locations put a fresh spin on the star-crossed lovers' story. Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Dane's chemistry was absolutely palpable.

 

Unfortunately it did take me several years and several attempts to view Moulin Rouge in its entirety. The movie was packed so tightly with strange little characters, colors, music, set design, and quick cuts that I simultaneously got a migraine and had a seizure every time I tried to watch it. Broken over several months, I did watch bits and pieces of the film until I was able to piece together the whole flick. I suppose it was good, but I'm not sure it was worth all the hoopla. I found Ewan McGregor dreamy and Nicole Kidman very pretty. (She has a type of a detachedness that makes her pretty but not necessarily sexy. Sexy is something you can touch, and Nicole comes across as a china doll you just want to admire from afar. Because of this, I couldn't really buy her as a courtesan.)

 

All the above mentioned movies were directed by Baz Lurhman, and he directed Australia. Because of my mixed-reactions to his previous projects, I'm not sure what to expect with Australia. Will I melt from sensory overload or will I leave the theater with my heart racing and feeling satisfied?

 The Pluses:

1. I've been looking for a sweeping romance book or movie like The English Patient for months .

2. I did like WS R+J a whole lot. 

3. I normally don't see (or not see) a movie based on the critics.

4. KissI LOVE HUGH JACKMAN (People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive, thank you very much, about time People), and I love him when he's sexy, scruffy and wet which Australia promises to deliver several times over the course of 2+ hours.

5. I've been looking forward to seeing Hugh on the big screen for over two years now, since a complicated pregnancy forced me to miss The Prestige, The Fountain, and Scoop in the theatres.

The Minuses:

1. Moulin Rouge was too frenetic and long for me to enjoy.

2. I normally don't like movies longer than 2 hours especially when they're not stellar. (Munich, The Godfather, and The Color Purple were all over two hours long and super stellar.)

3. There have been no shining reviews, just a handful of "okays."

4. Nicole Kidman is one of the most overrated beauties and talents in Hollywood. Her botox'd features, pin straight blonde hair, and ultra slim body make it hard for me to relate to her female characters. I miss the curvy, firey curled, and expressive Kidman from her To Die For days.

5. I generally don't like movies billed as epics. Undecided

I hope to have a review of Australia for you by the end of Thanksgiving weekend. Wish me luck and good time. I hope I'm not disappointed.


Posted by Kiki Shoes at 11:23 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: November 30, 2008 10:33 PM EST
November 17, 2008
A Rugged, Thuggish Spy
Mood:  spacey
Now Playing: Quantum of Solace: A Review
Topic: Movie Reviews

Until I saw the DVD for “Casino Royale” and the trailer for its sequel “Quantum of Solace,” I never had a desire to see a James Bond movie on film. As a child of the 70s and 80s, I grew up as a fan of Sean Connery’s version of James Bond—suave, smooth with a little rough-n-tumble. All of Roger Moore’s James Bond flicks were made during my childhood, and we faithfully watched them on television out of loyalty to the franchise. Although my brother and I were too young to get most of the tongue-in-cheek camp, we did realize it was more about the gizmos, gimmicks, and explosions than it was about plot and character. Eventually, as teens, we got Timothy Dalton as a rather boring and un-sexy Bond, but it was as much the writers’ faults as Dalton’s.

 

Finally, in my 20s, we got Pierce Bronson whom I thought would be an excellent Bond replacement after Roger Moore but got cheated out of the opportunity when NBC forced him to return to the show Remington Steele (a favorite of mine). Although a bit older, Pierce was still sexy, charismatic, and smooth: A perfect spy. Due to no fault of his own, his James Bond films got weighed down by convoluted plots, a mess of flashy toys, and hyped-up Bond girls. (Did we really need Denise Richards, Halle Berry, and Teri Hatcher to all make appearances when they were already stars in their own rights?) In other words, they got boring.

 

I’m an über-fan of many television shows, movie franchises, and comic books, but I’ve always been a bit liberal-minded so I had no qualms about Daniel Craig playing James Bond (although I fancied Clive Owen or Hugh Jackman as a replacement). When I saw a more uncouth, thuggish, and emotional 007 in “Casino Royale,” I got excited not disappointed. I liked the focus on character development, foot & car races, and gun play. We weren’t thrown a hundred cheesecake shots of women in itsy bikinis or the mission briefing with requisite display of the mind-defying gadgets. We were given a spy with a newly minted license to kill, and unafraid to use it. I loved it!

 

“Quantum of Solace” picks up where the last film ended—an angry spy out for revenge while trying to put down the world’s next terror. This movie was tightly scripted and edited—slim, brisk, and built to please (as was its star Craig, *snicker, sneer*). Although the surprise of a much more hands-on Bond had worn off a bit, it was still a thrill to watch Craig chase, beat, and sometimes kill his prey.

 

Everyone in this movie was spot on from the slimy eco-industrialist out to control the world’s water supply to the jaded CIA agent to the revenge-seeking hot babe. There were explosions, chases, shootings, and a sexy middle-aged woman in a bikini, but nothing took away from the flick’s true star—Daniel Craig’s brooding spy, with a hint of cruelty in the eyes, walking  the thin line between doing right and doing what feels right.

 

Out of five stars, I give “Quantum of Solace” 3.5 stars. It is a solid piece of entertainment.


Posted by Kiki Shoes at 12:08 AM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
November 11, 2008
A Historical Step for the United States of America
Mood:  accident prone
Now Playing: President-elect Barack Obama

It has been a long while since I've written, but yours truly has been very busy being a busy mom, dedicated wife, and a librarian supervisor. However, you have been in my minds, because I haven't left you with any thoughts for like a month! Well, here I am to talk about the most important news story of the year. Senator Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States, and I couldn't be happier!

 

Let's talk about firsts. President-elect Obama will be the first president who was not born in the continental United States (he was born in Hawaii). President-elect Obama will be the first senator elected president since John F. Kennedy. Finally, President-elect Obama is the first African-American elected to the office of president. The most powerful man in the world is now a Black man and there is no meteor heading towards earth (check out Morgan Freeman in Deep Impact) and no bio-terrorist threat has been attached to his hand (a la President David Palmer in 24). Look out America, a change has arrived.

 

The change is bigger than the ousting of an incompetent president (*koff* George W. Bush*koff*). America set aside its racism and its sexism (or reverse sexism in this case) to vote for a candidate based strictly on his character and beliefs. It wasn't only Black people who put Barack Obama in office, but white people, hispanic people, Asian people, etc. For the first time in a really, really, really, really long time, I am proud of my country. My country rose above what has been embedded in our culture since the creation of the United States. The embraced the true promise of the United States (the other thing that has been embedded in our country's values since our creation) that all men are created equal. Bravo, America.

I'm also excited to see how Barack Obama inspires the young people of the oppressed groups in this country--Blacks, Latinos, Asians, women, the poor. Here is a man who grew up without his father, grew up in a single parent home and grew up poor, but overcame all of that to become the President of the United States. His mere success should inspire all us to reach our dreams, because he has proven that you can overcome all major obstacles. 

And, as a Black woman, I'm just glad that my daughters and my young library patrons, will be able to see people that look like them in charge. This is no offense to Dick Parsons (Brooklynite and chairman of Time Warner), BET founder Robert Johnson, or other powerful Black businessmen/women, because, unlike the President of the United States, they are not as visible to our young people.

My daughters will see little girls that look like them playing on the White House lawn. My Black brothers (and sisters) will see the epitome of the Black family everyday. A father figure who leads the fate of a nation in the palm of his hand. A mother figure who is strong, smart, and nothing less than an absolute equal partner to her husband. No more negative stereotypes to bring African-Americans down, because we will have our truth leading this nation.



Let all the folks in this country of all colors come together, because we did something remarkable and we can only get (and be) better for it.

 


 

 


Posted by Kiki Shoes at 10:57 AM EST | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
October 14, 2008
Are You Eyeballing Me?
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: L.A.Colors Eyeshadow Palette
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews

Recently, I've been simply bored by my eyeshadow palettes. Undecided Since April 2008, I've been using a truly awesome make-up palette from Markwin's cosmetics/The Color Institute. It included:

 

  • 12 lip glosses in pink- and brown-colored based neutral colors
  • 4 blushes ranging from bubble gum pink to barely-there mauve
  • 16 cream eyeshadows in pale metallics and etheral neutrals
  • 12 poweder eyeshadows that read darker than they wear
  • 2 super-blendable eyepencils in brown and black
  • 2 super-blendable lippencils in plum and coral and 
  • 1 passable mascara.

 

It has been an awesome experience for me. The darker and metallic cream eyeshadows had great lasting power as eyeliners, but faded quickly when applied as shadow. The powders lasted well, but where a little too pale and neutral behind my eye glasses. I barely used the super sheer lip glosses on the left side of the palette, because it gave my mouth a pretty gleam but no color which is what I want from lip gloss. On scale of 1 to ten, I give this palette a firm 7 for being reliable. However, I'm bored with it. It's autumn now and I want my eyes to pop in outrageous colors. Yet, I didn't want to spend a ton on designer eyeshadow brands that I might get sick off in a few months.

As autumn transitions into winter and the season's color palette transitions from rich colors to washed out grays and blacks, I knew that I needed something to keep feeling bright during the long dark days. So, I wandered into one of my local beauty supply shops and found the best and cheapest eyeshadow palettes. For less than $5, I walked out with ten shadows featuring colors like neon pink, deep aqua, neon yellow, and purple. The brand is called L.A. Colors

At $1.99 per palette, I was a little nervous that I was going to get crappy quality and a rash. But I was wrong. L.A. Colors metallic eye shadows go on smooth, rich, and bright. They colors are bright on the lids but not as severe a neon as it reads in the package. 

My first and most favorite palette was Tease (see below)

 
and Wildflowers (see below).


With a primer and a black mascara, you will have a sexy, bright-eyed look for at least four hours before the shadow starts to crease. And at $1.99 a pop, you can buy a palette for each month of the year! I'm definitely not bored any more. Laughing

 


Posted by Kiki Shoes at 10:56 PM EDT | Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink
Updated: October 14, 2008 10:59 PM EDT
Another Hot One
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Crazy For You By Jennifer Crusie
Topic: Book Reviews
Crazy for You Crazy for You by Jennifer Crusie

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've been waiting months for this and my literary mouth is drooling....

October 14,2008 Within the last two days, I've been zipping through this novel. I've cleared something like 132 pages in two days which is such a feat considering my schedule.

Crazy For You (C4Y) has driven me crazy in a good way. You've heard about the butterfly effect? When reliable art teacher Quinn McKenzie dumps her boring boyfriend in search of positive change, she inspires nearly everyone she encounters in the small town of Tibbet to change as well. Some residents change for the best, and some change for the worst. The only person who is not willing to change is Quinn's inflexible ex-boyfriend Bill who will not take "no" for answer.

C4Y is so chock full of characters that it can be difficult to remember who is who. Some of the characters aren't really there to move the story along but to fill out personality of the town. C4Y is also one of the darkest Jennifer Crusie novels I've read. The stalker storyline kept me on edge as much as the sexual tension between main character Quinn and her hot ex brother-in-law, Nick.

All in all, I couldn't put this book down. I'm definitely a Crusie-o-phile now.



View all my reviews.


Posted by Kiki Shoes at 10:21 PM EDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Updated: October 14, 2008 10:22 PM EDT
October 5, 2008
Run, Vote, Win
Mood:  d'oh
Now Playing: Why I'm Voting for Barack Obama

Let’s not make a mistake, I am supporting the Barack Obama/Joe Biden presidential ticket.

Admittedly, I was originally campaigning for John Edwards. I did not like Hilary Clinton, because I felt she lied when she originally ran for the junior New York State senate seat. She said she had no presidential aspirations. What? I saw a mile away that she did, and had no problem with it if she only had said it outright. I had nothing for or against Barack Obama, because I simply didn’t know him. I knew John Edwards from his previous presidential run, and liked him. Also, I liked that he had an average-sized, older  woman as a wife. (What? Like you don’t make some choices based on shallow reasons.) But after John Edwards dropped out of the race, I became a Barack supporter. 

I believe that Senator Obama can lead us out of the darkness of the past seven years that is George W. Bush. I believe he will get our soldiers out of a war that we should have never been in and are not winning. (Make no mistake, we duped into supporting this war. There were no weapons of mass destruction. There was no connection between 9/11/01 and Iraq. Osama bin Laden was not in Iraq.) 

I believe that Senator Obama will restructure the government’s policies and funds to help the citizens of the United States more. I believe that education, healthcare, social security, the housing crisis, and the economy crisis will be significantly improved so lower-class and middle-class Americans will not have to suffer financially as much. I believe with the help of Senator Biden that Barack will help the United States gain back its international respect, and we will no longer be seen as bullies.

Here’s What Barack Obama Believes

 

  • He is pro-Union. I’m a union member and come from a pro-Union family.

  • He believes in a free market economy but also defends social welfare policies like Social Security.

  • He supports equal pay.

  • He is opposed to education vouchers for private schools, and is for making public schools better.

  • He supports teaching theology but not creationism/intelligent design as scientific fact.

  • He wants to lower the United States’ consumption of oil and have cleaner energy alternatives.

  • He wants fair taxation meaning those who make the most money pay more taxes.

  • He wants to end the war in Iraq.

  • He is pro-Choice.

  • He supports GLBT civil unions, and doesn’t believe homosexuality is immoral.

  • He supports age and developmentally appropriate sex education in schools.

 

Register to Vote: The NAACP, powered by CREDO Mobile



So come on, ya’ll, let’s vote and get this man

into office. He’s not just going to be Black America’s president but all of America’s president. He wants to make life better for all of us. John McCain resembles George W. Bush and we don’t want another four years of Bush, do we?



Posted by Kiki Shoes at 12:45 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: October 14, 2008 11:01 PM EDT
September 29, 2008
Save the Grease for Your Fries
Mood:  on fire
Now Playing: Avon: MagiX Face Perfector SPF 20
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews

I’ve been having so many thoughts swirling around in my head lately that I haven’t had the discipline to slow them down and commit at least one of them to a blog post.Undecided Well, a tiny lull at work has given me the opportunity to share. For the past three weeks, I’ve been using Avon’s new primer called MagiX Face Perfector SPF 20. I am simply in love with it.

 

I ordered it from Avon’s website, and got it an introductory price of $7.99. (I ordered two tubes!) This wonderful primer has kept my otherwise greasy t-zone looking semi-matte all day at work. It has even worked during some of the most humid days New York City’s Indian summer has thrown at me. Although I sometimes feel like my face is very shiny, the mirror tells me different.

 

Many of the reviewers online said that it can be worn without a moisturizer underneath. I only recommend this if your skin does not feel dry after you wash it. I use Neutrogena’s Oil Free daily moisturizer with SPF 15 around my smile lines, jaw line, neck and just underneath my eyes since those are the areas on my face that wrinkle easily; need a lot of sun protection; and rarely get shiny. After waiting 2-3 minutes for my skin to absorb the lotion, I rub a dime sized amount of MagiX into my cheeks, on my nose, chin and across my forehead. If I have enough time before work, I also dust a bit of loose powder all over my face to really set the matte look. (I suggest MaxFactor's ColorGenuis Blush or M.A.C. Mineralize Skinfinish applied with a kabuki brush really keep your face shine free.)

 

MagiX claims to reduce the appearance of pores with “patent-pending Optix [sic] Light-Diffusing Technology”; block shine for up to 10 hours (at least 6 hours for me); reduces the look of fine lines; and makes skin feel softer. I can testify that this is pretty much true for me. The topping on the cake is it has SPF 20, which is added aging protection. It is also one of the most affordable primers out there. (Smashbox’s famous primer costs almost $40.) I am totally in love with Avon right now. Brava! Let me know what your favorite primer is or if you've tried any of the products mentioned.


Posted by Kiki Shoes at 4:37 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink

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