Flickmas: The Christmas Spirit

I will never forgive any of you for letting me call it Flick Thoughts when Flickmas was RIGHT THERE. COME ON, LYFERS.

That being said, we have to walk about 2015’s The Christmas Spirit.

This is going to be short, because I don’t want to spoil it for you.

But it’s on Netflix, and you should watch it. Like. I’m not making this short because I’m lazy and have things to clean. I am, and I do, but that’s not the point.

Yeah But. Why, Buttnana.
It blends Christmas and a ghost story. It raises questions about what it means to believe. And y’all know how much I love existential believe-y questions. The mystery angle could have been stronger but it was a love story more than a mystery so I understand why it wasn’t more married (or should I say merried) to the mystery angle. Anyway! The characters aren’t totally cliche. It’s a unique story that I’ve not heard before. There’s a really interesting parallel between A Christmas Carol and this film.

Lyfers. I wanted them to end up together. I really did. I teared up toward the end at the apparent defeat of the film. I really, really wanted them to be happy.

SO DID THEY END UP TOGETHER?
I’m not even going to tell you. Just. Trust me. Settle in with a blanket…and watch it.

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Flick Thoughts: The Late Bloomer

Hey Lyfers! Time for another flick thought! After 12 Dates of Christmas I’m surprised I was able to bring myself to ever watch another movie again to be totally honest. But I was impressed today with The Late Bloomer!

The What, Buttnana?
The Late Bloomer is kind of a genius concept: a fully grown man goes through puberty all at once. Better yet, the hero in question is a sex therapist and he’s made his entire life’s work about not having sex. How much more productive we could all be if we just channeled our sexual energy into other things.

It’s genius because he has to come to terms with the fact that his entire life is a LIE because he had a tumor. It tickles the darkest, most aubergine depths of my existential schadenfreude. This joker was lowkey a huge terrified prude for his whole life and it’s not a strength of character. It’s a benign god damn tumor. Oh it just makes the skin on my back prickle because he was WRONG.

And now. Now he has to go through puberty…all at once. As a 30-year-old doctor.

*vibrates into space*

So What Actually Happens?
Well, that journey happens. And of course there’s a girl he likes but her boyfriend is a dick. She treats Pete (our hero) like kind of an old-timey eunuch. Which is kind of shitty, but he clearly wasn’t interested in ever sleeping with her so…it worked out for everyone for awhile? I guess? I mean, obviously shit hit the fan when he started getting all teenager-y. It worked out in the end though. Another happy ending was had by all. Overall I totally recommend this film. The best friend characters were believable and they made me genuinely laugh with their exchanges. I have friends like those characters.

Interesting themes in the film include:

  • the way our perspective is shaped by our circumstances
  • the fear a lot of people (especially men) face when they think something may not be right with their bodies
  • there’s a coming of age story wrapped inside of a self-discovery story and that’s not something we see a lot in film
  • Bobby Flay. Yeah that Bobby Flay.
  • there is a critique of masculinity in this film

HOWEVER
I think the critique could have been a lot stronger. Like, instead of taking an essentialist approach to how hormones make us behave (men have testosterone and therefore they’re oversexed aggressive assholes), literally any other choice could have been made.

I have no idea how many men read my blog. Probably one. What up, you glittery devil you. But even if you’re not a dude you’ve totally seen one…and there’s no excusing shitty, possessive, aggressive behavior just because someone has a lot of testosterone in their system.  I’m genderqueer and I have way more testosterone in my system than an average cis woman…and I cultivated this skill called emotional regulation because I’m not actually a bald swamp monster who learned how to put on pants from Wikihow. I’m a god damn adult.

The thing is, almost everyone gets emotional when they’re getting hit with a ton of new hormones. That’s normal. Men and women BOTH experience aggression, and there’s a link between testosterone and aggression. But when Pete acts all shitty because testosterone (and this a point clearly made in the film, for anyone who wants to stop reading here because my feminist illuminati political agenda came out), it completely sidesteps the bigger moral problem Pete has: he’s kind of a hypocrite because his real problem is that he actually has no emotional regulation skills. And that’s a way more interesting problem to have. Pete smash because woman pretty has been done.

Pete the gently removed sex addiction counselor, the doctor, the mental health professional…the guy who doesn’t actually know what the fuck he’s talking about because he’s never experienced the emotions he’s preaching to us about…that’s interesting. That opens a conversation about experience and what we can know about others. And I wish there’d been more of that in the film.

I have to keep my criticism small, though, because Pete does learn this in the film and he does modify his position accordingly.

Kay So Should I Watch This, Buttnana?
Oh yeah. Absolutely.

Just don’t blame your asshole behavior on testosterone.

Bonus: Some Stuff About Me

Hey guys! I’m feeling verbose and generous today so I thought I’d share (because it’s the holidays) some stuff about myself so y’all know who’s blabbing at you all the time. Here we gooo!

  • I’m obsessed with Erin Condren planners and the whole planning community. I bought myself and The Merman one as a wedding gift so I can keep our lives organized and he can read all about it when he comes home in July.
  • I recently married my ultimate life partner, best friend, and all around incredible man. We call him The Merman because he’s in the Navy.
  • I have two BA’s and an MA. All in liberal arts.
  • My ultimate dream in life is to be a philosophical counselor. As cheesy as it sounds, I am happiest and most fulfilled when I’m helping someone cope.
  • I have two rescue dogs and they are the light of my life most of the time.
  • After the Trump election, I fell into a pretty deep depression and started going to church. But don’t like, panic or anything. I attend a Buddhist temple. They’re pretty common where I live.
  • I have Persistent Depressive Disorder (otherwise known as dysthymia or high functioning depression) and I choose to manage it without medication. I also struggle with anxiety and a very mild case of PTSD. So if you ever think I have my shit together you are a) wrong and b) very flattering.
  • I’m the first person in my family to attend college.
  • I love makeup and planners and crafty things because I love to make things and have a hard time sitting down to do something artsy that doesn’t also serve some sort of purpose or function.
  • I identify as genderqueer and pansexual.
  • I’ve been keeping a journal on and off for fifteen years.
  • My favorite color is gray.
  • I’m not a picky eater, but I love eating annoying Earth-friendly natural food.

What’s some stuff about you that I should know? How did you find me? Tell me in the comments below!

Love y’all,
Buttnana

Flick Thought: 12 Dates of Christmas

Hey Lyfers! I’ve been away doing some life things, but don’t worry! I’m still plugging away and anyone who sticks around for my inconsistent ass is my favorite.

So far, I’ve learned it’s really hard to watch a new movie every day, not only because they all start to run together after awhile, but because I’m kind of pretentious (and I say that with as much disdain as it deserves) when it comes to movies. I have an annoying background in film as well as critical theory so it’s hard for me to unplug and just watch a movie. I’ve been channeling Roger Ebert’s advice to judge films against themselves, though.

In fact, it was that advice exactly that made me capable of sitting through 2011’s gem 12 Dates of Christmas. I’M TRYING TO BE CHRISTMAS-Y LEAVE ME ALONE.

Actually, don’t. Hang out with me because I’m fun and occasionally kind of helpful.

KAY. SO.
Let me just start by saying that when I began watching this film, I was unaware that “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was not only going to serve as the inspiration behind the title…but also most of the score of the film. I counted four different versions of that song playing throughout the film. I’ve not seen many things more painfully on the nose than that. You know, I personally don’t even enjoy that song all that much. But there it was. Roughly once every twenty minutes.

GET ON WITH IT, LATE ASS BUTTNANA.
Okay God fine.

I want you to imagine 1993 film Groundhog Day. Got it? You know how that film had some interesting existential themes regarding meaning, authenticity, our need for change and our deep, deep need to feel like what we do matters? Someone did the math once (I don’t remember where I saw it) and estimated that Bill Murray lived the same day over and over again for ten years in that film. That’s some dark shit.

Now I want you to scratch out all that meaning and replace February 2 with December 24. And instead of Bill Murray being doomed to live the same day over and over again because he’s kind of a dick and clearly needs to learn something, it’s Amy Smart The Busy Selfish Business Woman trying to get her shit together over the course of like, two weeks.

Does she do it? Yes. Does the film end happily? Yes. Is it a cute ABC Family holiday time film? Absolutely.

Should you watch it from a distance and not really think about it because if you do it’s going to be like trying to pick up half-set Jell-O? Yes.

I don’t want to be an asshole because it’s the holidays. I really don’t. But I have serious objections to The Token Black Guy in this film. The choice to have him look like a criminal only to show in the next scene that he busted out of a group home to take care of a puppy is there lazy and formulaic meets offensive. That was a shit choice and it’s seemingly innocent shit like that that makes it okay for people to say things like “It’s not that I have a problem with black people, but you have to admit there’s a lot of black on black crime in this country.” No. No no no. Benign racism, everywhere.

In Summary
This is the worst Christmas film I’ve ever seen. BUT, if you want to see Amy Smart in a way more interesting (albeit much darker) film regarding the perils of time travel, check out The Butterfly Effect. That’ll probably make you feel a little sick, but it’ll stick with you for years if you’re anything like me.

Until tomorrow! 😀 😀 😀 Stay classy!

Love,
Buttnana

Buttnana’s First Flick Thought: Under the Tuscan Sun

Happy December, Lyfers! It’s Buttnana again (lol @ me for feeling the need to mention that every single time) and I’m trying something different this month. I had this whole “Draw My Life” worthy spiel about WHY I feel the need to do this, but suffice it to say that I just fuckin’ want to. Welcome to Flick Thoughts.

The Project: Watch and reflect on one new movie every day for the month of December.
The Rules: It has to be a new movie, I have to have given myself a day to reflect, and I can’t have looked up a bunch of other reviews about it beforehand. If any Flick Thoughts resemble anyone else’s it’ll be because we’re all decaying on the same trash heap and not because I let someone else’s review spoil how I experience the film. Consider ALL Flick Thoughts to have a built-in spoiler alert warning. Although, I don’t anticipate I’ll be reviewing anything super new because I’m mostly limited to Netflix and Amazon Prime. Either way, don’t give me shit because I ruined Under the Tuscan Sun for you. That shit came out in 2003.

I’m on Board, Buttnana. Let’s DO THIS.
I knew you would be. *finger guns* I chose “Under the Tuscan Sun” because it looked like a nourishing pro-woman film I could take in by myself as an act of self-care.The premise, in case you’re not familiar, is that a woman (Francesca) buys a house in Tuscany and remodels it after she leaves her cheating husband. It’s based on a book by the same name.

I wanted something I could fully enjoy without the irrational fear of one of my film professors popping out the closet like “THIS FILM DIES IN THE THIRD ACT HA HA HA.” I wanted something I could openly weep to. Life skill note: If things aren’t going super well for you, or even if you’re just having a bad day, find a movie you can cry at. If you’re anything like me, movie-tears are guilt-free.

I am pleased to report that the film did just what I wanted it to (dat confirmation bias doe). It was, in fact, a pro-woman film that I could openly weep with. Not because it was sad, but because it was about new beginnings and persevering and taking risks.

The Actual Flick Thoughts
Here’s the part of this series that (I hope) is actually interesting. I’m just going to fuckin’ list some cool shit I noticed in the film. Maybe that’ll make you want to watch it. If nothing else it won’t be more of the same self-aggrandizing nonsense that is a lot of amateur movie reviews.

  • “Under the Tuscan Sun” passes The Bechdel Test. We can always use more of those.
  • We don’t ever actually see the cheating husband on film. He briefly appears in a photograph and there is (I believe) one mention of his name. I love that they didn’t put him in the film because A) he’s a cheater who got the house in the settlement because his mistress got pregnant and B) it really centers the film around Francesca. She gets to be the hero in her own story even though a dude was the catalyst for change. Refreshing that women can actually be in their own god damn movie, right?
  • The Italians in the film were actually Italian! Like, there was an Italian casting director (Béatrice Kruger)!
  • A truly touching moment occurs near the end of the film when the building crew (three displaced Polish men) bids Francesca adieu after the house is complete. The scene is peppered with black and white stills that capture more emotion than I was expecting. They were sharing a real human moment. It was beautiful.
  • Francesca almost, but doesn’t quite, meet The Guy (you know, the guy every divorced woman meets post divorce that teaches her how to love again) several times. I thought that was cool as hell because time and time again Francesca was back in the middle of her own story. And I think we could all do well to remember that. Especially women.

I only had one negative-leaning thought about the film. I thought it was bullshit that she DID meet The Guy at the end of the film and he was American. Given all the talk about the stereotypes of Italian men (they don’t care if you’re married, or if they’re married, and they always sleep around), it was a little on the nose. That choice almost smacked of some ignorant ass racism to me. I don’t care if it’s actually true that every Italian dude is an olive-skinned Lothario…it’s still a lazy narrative choice.

So Should I Watch This, Buttnana?
Absolutely. “Under the Tuscan Sun” made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It’ll be one of those movies when I’m down and I would like to be less down.

Faceday: Ravenclaw Makeup Tutorial featuring a Navy Lip

Oh well hello there Lyfers. It’s me. Buttnana. I was feeling especially inspired by last week’s Faceday and decided to hard for it again this week. But remember how last week we ended up with Gryffindor-y lips? What if we chased that concept and did a whole look based on a Harry Potter house? What if this look was actually wearable out of the house?

Welcome to the Ravenclaw tutorial.

Lay it on Me, Buttnana.
Done and done. While I really committed to the navy theme of this outfit, you are more than welcome to pair this look with a really soft blouse or a pastel dress to make it extra edgy.

  1. Apply your foundation and brows as you would normally. I was feeling a stronger brow for this look so I drew them in a little fuller along the bottom. I also did not contour my cheeks or forehead today.
  2. I did, however, contour the shit out of my nose because Ravenclaw’s mascot is a bird. And what to birds have? Beaks. To do this, I used a technique I outlined in this post with an angled circular brush and a matte eyeshadow because my complexion is way cooler (lol @ my own pun) than most contour shades allow for. The only difference is that I went HARD with it. If you do this at home, a good litmus test is to contour enough, and then apply that same amount again until you’re borderline horrified with what you’ve just done to your face. Peep this monstrosity:
  3. Don’t panic. I know I look weird and friendless. Luckily for me, because this eyeshadow likes my skin I didn’t have to work super hard to blend it out with the pointy end of a beauty blender. My result ended up looking like this:
    See how cool my beak looks? I love a strong nose.
  4. This is an optional step, but I applied blush to the outsides of my cheeks using a brush I normally use to highlight without cleaning it (#gross). Voila, highlighting blush (#genius). I also applied finishing powder, being careful to not dull my beak contours by dragging the powder everywhere. I always highlight last so you can see me from space when I go outside.
  5. Okay, now we’re going to focus on the eyes. I used this impressive palette called Aubergine Dream from H&M for this look. Here’s what it looks like if you want to dupe it:palette
    Source
  6. – After you’ve primed your eyes, I tapped the bottom-left shadow all over the lid and up into the crease.
    – Then, I dipped into the top-right shade with a round blending brush and blended it into my crease.
    – After that was done, I used a different soft blending brush and the top-center shade to soften the crease toward my brows.
    – Right under the outer halves of my brows, I tapped in the top-left shade and blended that in with my transition color brush. And it looked cute.

    – So I found a really frosty silver shadow (I used one I got in a Birchbox but any silver shadow will do), loaded up the tip of my ring finger with it, and tapped it right in the center of my lids, blending the sides out a wee bit on both sides.

    img_5957
    GIRL YES WITH MY WINTER WONDERLAND LIIIIIIIIDSSSSSS *bass drop*

  7. I didn’t want my eyes to distract from what I’m about to do to my lips so I used a very light coat of volumizing mascara.
  8. Lastly, I highlighted the tops of my cheekbones to high heaven with a white shimmery highlighter.

What Are You Doing to Your Lips!?
I’m wearing navy lipstick, that’s what. And we are in an excellent era for that because MaybellineMAC and ColourPop at the very least are all doing a navy lip right now. Kat Von D is doing it twice. I went with Kat Von D’s Echo.

BUTTNANA I CAN’T D:<
Yes you can.

BUT-
No no. You can. Just commit to it. What’s someone going to do? Tell you that you look bad? You’re going to look like you end other people’s marriages for fun. I’d be surprised if anyone even makes prolonged eye contact with you in this. Trust me. No one is going to fuck with you.

Okay so Now that You’re Up to Speed
Hey. Nice lips. 🙂

Because this look reaches new levels of Ravenclaw excellence when you use your frosty silver shadow in the center of your lips. I did this just how we did it last week, with the tap-drag technique. Word from the wise: if your lipstick is a liquid matte (like mine) wait for it to dry before doing this. Then the silver sits on top of the navy and gives it an extra layer of dimension.

 


Ten points to Ravenclaw. *cries*

I paired this look with this in credible sweater from H&M and a custom piece of jewelry from this magical unicorn of a woman because I was just in her wedding. She has a blog here, too, and you should totally check her out. She’s the flower to my grommet.

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I Am Ready to Slay, Buttnana
I know you are. I’m so proud. Go forth, my pretty. Bring honor to your other Ravenclaws.

Do you want me to do all four Harry Potter looks? Because I totally can. Just saying. Let me know in the comments!

I’m off to blow the bell curve on an exam and steal literally everyone else’s significant other.

Cheers,
Buttnana

 

Wokesday: It’s Going to be Okay.

Lyfers.

It’s really, really important that you remain calm.

Now is the time that we need to advocate on behalf of others.

If you are white, you need to advocate for people of color.
If you are a man, you need to advocate for women.
If you are straight, you need to advocate for those who aren’t.
If you are cis, you need to advocate for trans.
If you are able-bodied and neurotypical, then you need to advocate for people who are not.
Advocate for veterans.
Advocate for the elderly.
Advocate for children in the foster system.
Advocate for yourself.

This is deeply, deeply disappointing. But this has not occurred in a vacuum.

We have to make this matter. We have to.

Please, please remember that we still exist, and there are still people who love you.

Fuck, if you have no one else, I’ll do it. I love you.

In the words of a dear friend of mine: We are going to make this okay.

I love you all,
Buttnana