Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Castle Noel

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The second of my Christmas themed adventures was a trip to Castle Noel which is located in Medina, Ohio, about an hour south from where I live, with my mom. I'd never heard of Castle Noel until my mom mentioned that her coworker had gone last year. Castle Noel is a large tour of all things Christmas, from pictures of Old Hollywood stars at Christmas time, to toys, movies, and the most gorgeous window displays. I took a ton of pictures, especially of the Nutcracker store window displays from Saks Fifth Avenue. It saddened me to find out that those gorgeous Christmas displays are usually destroyed by the store after they are taken down, and only saved if places like Castle Noel take them! The best part of the tour was probably the final room, because at the very end, you get to climb stairs to meet Santa, and then slide down a huge red slide just like in A Christmas Story! It was so much fun! Now on to the pictures:

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Christmas Story House

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It has become an annual tradition for me to visit the Christmas Story House and Museum here in Cleveland.This year's adventures happened last week during my vacation break. If you have never seen A Christmas Story you should at least see it once! Here in Cleveland it's kind of a cult classic since it was filmed here and in Canada, and the house used it right here and has been renovated to look exactly as the sets did in the movie. They've also expanded it to include a museum across the street with some costumes and props from the movie which is really fun. My friends and I had a good time posing with all of the props in the house as it is entirely interactive.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Pinterest Baking Adventures

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Over the past few weeks and soon for the upcoming holidays, I have been scouring Pinterest for new sweets recipes, and I've made two this month, one for a Christmas party, and one to take to work and share! The two recipes I tried were the Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread and  Cake Batter Cookies. The cookies were extremely simple and they turned out great! I used red velvet cake mix since I wanted them to be festive and I added the chocolate peppermint bells on top which I thought were so cute when I saw them at the store! Now the bread was a bit more difficult. I decided to double the recipe because I wanted to make some for my family as well as work, and boy oh boy was that a mistake! I accidentally put in a bit too much salt, luckily it just made it slightly more tart than sweet, and one of my loaves came out entirely mushy in the middle, despite me keeping it in the oven for an extra 25 minutes! Overall it turned out okay, I think next time I try it I should just do the recipe as is to see what it's really supposed to taste like.

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Public Enemy (1931)

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All Photos found on Pinterest

My first venture into my Pre-Code Hollywood movie list was The Public Enemy, starring James Cagney as gangster Tom Powers and Jean Harlow as his lover, Gwen Allen. Now, I went into this movie with Public Enemies starring Johnny Depp in mind, and figured it would be some great 1930s gangster action, and I was not disappointed. The film followed Tom Powers and his childhood best friend as they became progressively more involved in the mob, with Tom really leading the way and feeling the power that came with being in a gang (it's ironic when you think of his last name). Tom gets himself deeper and deeper into trouble, losing the respect of his brother, losing his best friend, and seeking revenge. I did have some issues with some scenes and particular people, and while I did keep in mind that this is from the 30s, it still bothered me from a 21st century perspective. The scene that bothered me the most was when Tom was with the first lady he met before Jean Harlow strolled on the screen, and there was a scene where he got upset with her and smashed half a grapefruit in her face. Being physically violent towards women does not sit with me well, though I do see how it adds to his character development of falling deeper into the ruthless hole he was in. That was the point of the whole movie. It really wasn't about Tom, it was a warning to those who may think that gangsters are glamorous, and that they generally all end up the same way, swimming with the fishes.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Two Years!

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Today is a special day because it is my two year blogiversary! Even though I've been sort of radio silent the past few months because of school, I can't believe that it's been two years since I starting sharing my sometimes very random thoughts here in this space. I tried a lot of new things in the past year; I got a much nicer camera which meant nicer fashion blogging posts, I really got into scheduled posts which worked for a while until it didn't, I made lots of new blogging friends, knit a lot, watched a lot of movies, and generally have this amazing space that I can just look back on my life over the year through these little snapshots. I have no idea where my blog will go next year, and that's okay with me. I love seeing how my blog changes over the years and I hope when I look back at the end of next year my blog will have changed significantly once again. I want to thank my readers, if anyone is still out there reading. I know this is a little blog in my little corner of the internet, but I love sharing and hearing from everyone who reads my simple words.

Cheers to two years!

Monday, December 15, 2014

The End of an Era

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Well, I had a super stressful last month of graduate school, but Saturday I officially graduated with my Master's in Library and Information Science!! I am so excited to finally be done with school, tentatively forever, but who knows? I can say for sure that I am done with school for at least a good while. I do not mean to sound like I hated school, because I really enjoyed school overall. It's just that after going straight from college to graduate school, 6 and a half years, I think I have earned a well deserved school break.

My friend Shannon and I, she did her practicum at the library I work in!

I am looking forward to all the fun and exciting new things that are coming over the next few months, including a weekend in Pittsburgh for the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival! I am going with my friend Beth, we went to a local knitting convention day last year and we realized that we need classes that are a bit more advanced, so we looked into the Pittsburgh one and it seems like just the right fit. There are also going to be lots of fun things to do, including a huge knitting vendors mall and a Pajama Sleepover party on one of the nights!

I also am trying to figure out just exactly how I'm going to fill up all my new found free time (between looking for librarian jobs, that is), and I have come up with a list of movies and books and tv series that I have been wanting to read and watch but never had time, and maybe now I will be able to fit them in!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Pre-Code Hollywood

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Scarface: The Shame of a Nation (1932)

As some of you know, I'm a big fan of classic movies, and I realize from talking to many folks at the library that there are so many movies I just haven't seen, and eras I haven't explored. Of course I knew this before, but it is eye opening when you receive lots of great movie suggestions from others.

One customer in particular was talking to me about Pre-Code Hollywood. According to our trusty friend Wikipedia, this era is the time between when sound was introduced to films and the introduction of the Motion Picture Production Code in 1934. The Production Code enforced many restrictions on filmmaking because of the "lack of morality" in the films prior for the time period. Not only did the pre-code era contain scandalous scenes, it also had very strong female lead characters.

Red Dust (1932)

I am very curious as to what these films were actually like because if they were scandalous in the 1920s I can only imagine that by today's standards they are practically tame. I am also interested to see films from this era which have strong female leads, because while I love classic movies, it is not often that a female lead is strong without some kind of male assistance.

The Public Enemy (1931)

This being said, I am going to try and watch some of the movies that are conveniently listed here and maybe I'll share my thoughts on them. I already know that not all of these movies are horridly scandalous, because I've seen a few of them, most recently Dracula and Frankenstein for Halloween. I am starting my pre-code adventure by watching The Public Enemy tonight so we'll see how it goes!