Posts tagged staff post
Posts tagged staff post
Jessica Deming here, Facets contributor and admitted hater of shopping in stores. Whether it’s at the grocery store or the mall, I can’t stand the crowds, the smells and the glacially slow pace. Yet, I love buying things. So I reconcile this love/hate relationship by shopping online. Check out these three tips and reminders so you, too, can shop online without stress or slow cashiers.
If you, too, are a shopping enigma, hopefully you’ll find this helpful. If you think I’m crazy and love going to stores, you can always find something you love in person and buy it online for less. Enough blogging for now—I’ve got an online sample sale to check out!
Keep the sweetness going this week with our staff recipe for Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Squares. Tested on many significant others, we confirmed these are edibly equivalent to a love potion.
Brittany and Tom here, Facets editors and proud TV-holics. Both of us will be the first to admit it, we may have a problem. We’re addicted to great TV, sometimes binging on an entire season of a show in a week (or most recently all 12 episodes of Homeland in less than two days). As the winter months drag on, bringing cold weather, snow and early darkness, this is the perfect time to bundle up and catch up on some great TV shows. Here are four of our returning favorites you may not have seen.
Justified (FX, Tuesdays 9 p.m.) - Timothy Olyphant stars as Raylan Givens, a U.S. Marshall and wise-cracking, gun-slinging, 21st century cowboy. Going after drug dealers and gangsters in his home town in Kentucky, Givens shoots first and asks questions later. This season has already started off with a number of shoot outs and seedy criminals willing to go to any length to get the law out of their way. Fans of modern day westerns like Deadwood or those who like watching action films and TV shows should surely give this a shot.
Shameless (SHO, Sundays 8 p.m.) - The Gallaghers are back to stir up trouble for another season of Shameless. The show, based on the award-winning British series of the same name, features a big, dysfunctional family living on the south side of Chicago. Each character is messed up in their own wonderful way, but all have one thing in common—they are family. Viewers got to know each character on a very personal level in the first season, and it should be interesting to see what other secrets will be revealed during the second. If watching a show about a family that’s weirder than your own sounds appealing, Shameless is for you.
The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret (IFC, Fridays 8:30 p.m.) - David Cross’ over-the-top American-British sitcom has already kicked off its second season with an expected amount of absurdity. Cross plays the title character, a naive American and compulsive liar who travels to England in an attempt to sell a new, foul and dangerous energy drink called Thunder Muscle. Another former Arrested Development costar, Will Arnett, is a regular cast member playing Margaret’s gambling addict boss. Season two also brings Mad Men star, Jon Hamm to the cast. If you’re a fan of Gob or Tobias from Arrested Development, Todd Margaret is a hilarious show you cannot miss.
Portlandia (IFC, Fridays 8 p.m.) - Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein continue their hilarious take on one of America’s most unique cities. With a sense of love and humor, Portlandia parodies some of the (strange) personalities who call Portland, Ore. their home. While each show is filled with a number of amusing sketches, a few personal favorites are the Dream of the 90s, Did You Read? and the Artisan Knots Store.
Hey, Facets friends! Holly Dawsey here, a University of South Carolina grad turned New York City freelance fashion and beauty writer. After starting my first internship in the fashion department of FITNESS Magazine a year ago, I was full of shrink-wrapped ambition and determined to make it in this industry. I love sharing my thoughts on the latest tips, tricks and trends with others, so check out my review of J-Crew’s sister brand Madewell’s spring 2012 preview.
Just as expected, it was effortlessly cool. For years the high-style retailer has been filling women’s closets with quality, trendy staples and it didn’t stray far from the pack with this upcoming collection.
Expanding on some of this year’s most popular trends, the collection featured an array of playful stripes and polka-dots from head to toe, also keeping hemlines long with midi- to maxi-length skirts and dresses. Jeans were tailored, pants were cropped and shorts were pleated, while subtle pops of pink, orange, yellow and teal added pizazz to the modern take on classic looks which, of course, were paired with denim and chambray. Oversized knits, straw hats, colorful scarves, skinny belts and cross-bodied bags polished off each look. And on the feet: pointed-toe flats (in every color!), strappy sandals, peep-toe wedges and some seriously amazing two-toned wood wedges and heels.
So yes, if the Madewell spring 2012 collection were a person, it would most likely be a somewhat snobby hipster boarding the L train back to Williamsburg to talk politics with friends at the local cafe after clocking out at their downtown job. They would care about how they looked, but ‘wouldn’t care about how they looked.’ But hey, I’d still be their friend, even if only to borrow their clothes.
Check out some of the collection’s looks above, and look for them in stores in February and March!
Laura McCormack, here! Facets next staff blogger and self-proclaimed craft queen. You may have caught some of my DIY gift ideas from the Gift Guide in Facets’ Dec/Jan issue. Another great way to channel your creativity while also giving back is through Knitters for Critters, a non-profit organization that provides volunteer-made blankets to sheltered and homeless animals.
Volunteers can make blankets, provide yarn for other blanket makers, or sponsor a shipment of handmade blankets. And if you’re not a seasoned knitter, don’t be discouraged. Knitters for Critters accepts all kinds of blankets, whether they’re knitted, crocheted, sewn or simply a few fleece squares tied together.
Located in Glen Ellyn, a western suburb of Chicago, the organization has provided more than 9,400 blankets to date. I first heard about this organization when Disney did Give A Day, Get A Day, a promotion that provided you with a free day pass to one of their parks if you did one day of service for an organization they partnered with. At the time, we sewed blankets because of the time constraints, but now it will be a great way to practice learning to crotchet (one of my goals for this year) and help out a pet in need.
As a cat mom to an adopted cat, I am really excited by what this organization is doing. I think their mission to provide warmth and comfort to sheltered animals is beautiful. I also believe having one blanket dedicated to each animal can help make the move from shelter to adopted family less stressful on the animal. Thanks for reading, and happy blanket making!
Howdy, this is Ryan Cary, Facets blogger on all things giving and gambling. And this holiday season, I want to remind you that giving is a wonderful thing—even when its motives may be tied to amoral and compulsive behaviors!
I’m talking about gambling. Now, while casinos are finally being built in my home state of Ohio, a prior gambling law allowed nonprofits to raise money via controlled gambling operations. From church bingo to VFW casino night, these nontraditional fundraising venues are filled with a different kind of people and atmosphere. But few non-profit gambling operations match the energy and tax-free revenue take of Cleveland’s charity card room.
Cleveland’s not-for-profit poker room sits below downtown among the bars and strip clubs of The Flats. To call the area Skid Row is a misnomer because that implies some sort of movement in a neighborhood that’s been stagnant for more than a decade (perhaps its last hurrah was being used as the final setting for the song-and-dance opening of the Drew Carey show—my, how far we’ve fallen). Six nights a week, though, a diverse mix of more than 200 retirees, unemployed young adults, suited business professionals and self-proclaimed professional gamblers descend into The Flats to challenge each other at a variety of Hold ‘Em and Omaha card games.
The action is often fast, clumsy and high-stakes, which is what makes this the best fundraising deal in town. Big pots add up to big proceeds for nonprofits—their take is $1 for every $10 wagered in a hand, up to max per-hand rake of $7. A two-night stand in the middle of the week often generates tens-of-thousands of dollars, which can be a huge lifeline to charities who have seen public funding and donations dry up in recent years.
My experience in The Flats
I first dealt cards for a local cancer support nonprofit a few years ago, and it was a miserable experience. For six hours, I endured countless bad beat stories, complaints about my lack of professionalism as a dealer and mindless conversations about how the Cleveland card room experiences compare to those in Vegas (no surprises, they don’t). I resolved not to volunteer there again—until I heard that what we took in that night was enough to pay for up to 150 one-night stays for families accompanying loved ones through cancer surgeries. Then I was hooked.
Although I only volunteer a handful of nights a year, scores of the same individuals have been there each time. Cliques and rivalries exist among these grinders, as well as many genuine friendships. In the minority are new players, who generally represent a few archetypes, or at least front that they do (read: any of the major characters from Rounders). Seemingly no one wins big in the long-term…except for the nonprofits that deal the games.
Rather than resent that last fact, players accept it with an almost beautiful apathy. I was volunteering a few weeks ago when a retiree plopped down next to me with $200 in cash and a military medal for a card protector. As I shuffled the first hand, he asked me which nonprofit was operating that night. I told him, and he shrugged.
“I think it was something having to do with animals the other day,” he said. “It’s all the same to me. Let’s get the cards in the air.”
Indeed. Twenty hands or so later, he was nearly busted, but I already had raked enough to buy three tanks of gas for needy families. And two players were waiting to take his place.
Hi Facets fans! I’m Melanie Krakauer, and as your guest contributor this week, I’m bringing you some last-minute, no-lines-required gift ideas.
Because the mall and post office are serious crazyville this season—and this week, especially—my best bets for guaranteed holiday delivery with little fuss are box subscriptions, goodies or e-gifts. Keep these six sites in mind this week:
Hi, I’m Jessica Deming, another contributor for Facets! Although I’ve been a Texan for the past two years, I recently moved back to Illinois. And while it’s nice to be back in my hometown, it sure is colder! With that in mind, I decided to heat up the kitchen with this delicious recipe for Beef Bourguignon.
I opted for a crock pot version of the French classic so I wouldn’t have to pay much attention to it throughout the day. I started at about 10 a.m., but you can also prep the meal the night before and throw it in the crock pot the next morning before work. It sure does smell fantastic in here, so from my kitchen to yours, bon appétit and stay warm!
Ryan Cary here, Facets writer and lover of live music of any stripe. Blues, jazz, folk, marimba-Sousaphone duets…you name it, I will plunk down a little lettuce for any musicians willing to put it down live. But having come of age in the early ‘90s, my guilty pleasure remains indie rock. From the punk abandon of No Age to the electronica-damaged rock of Braids, I still love exploring fringe bands that always feel like they’re on the edge of changing the way we listen to pop music.
At nearly age 35, however, when I go to indie rock shows I realize I stand out in uncomfortable ways. You know, because I’m the guy who looks old enough to be a dad…maybe even of someone at the show. And though I’m wearing Puma clothing, I’m clearly not a bike messenger. But I have a scary thought for all the hoodied, bearded, skull-capped scenesters out there: I used to be you.
Oh, the stories I can tell. Pogoing with Kim Deal at Guided By Voices shows in Dayton, Ohio bars. Befriending Weezer on their first U.S. tour, telling them they would be the next big thing (much to their skepticism), then witnessing their debut album go supernova on the charts a month later. That transcendent 1993 Smashing Pumpkins Cincinnati club show referenced within the cover article of the April 21, 1994 issue of Rolling Stone? To ape LCD Soundsystem’s “Losing My Edge,” I was there! And believe me when I tell you that opening shoegaze act Swervedriver actually may have played the better set that night.
I realize, though, from a contemporary pop culture standpoint that these proud moments in my life now reside somewhere on the spectrum between a) irrelevant, and b) sad. While I’m begrudgingly forced to admit my prolific live music years are behind me, I know I’m not alone in dealing with the modern realities of being a post-hipster audience member. As such, I offer these basic rules to avoid being the creepy, old, indie rock guy in an obvious way:
Have any other tips for how thirtysomethings and (gasp!) even older fans can fit in at indie rock shows? Feel free to share. Disagree with anything? Let me know that, too. I’m tough, I can take it. After all, I got dropped on my head one time while crowdsurfing at a Meat Puppets show.
Hey guys, Tom Salek, Facets in-house film buff, here writing about…well, movies of course! And not just any movie, Martin Scorsese’s new 3D picture,Hugo. For those who haven’t heard of the film (or the book it’s based off of), it’s about a boy named Hugo Cabret, who lives in a train station in 1930s Paris. After his father dies, the orphaned Hugo goes on a quest to search for the missing parts to a robot. As he snatches for gears in a toyshop at the train station, Hugo befriends Isabelle, the shop owner’s goddaughter. However, it’s once these two discover the robot they’ve been trying to get working was once built by George Méliès—Isabelle’s godfather—the film really takes off.
The last hour of Hugo continues this plot, but weaves it into a love letter to film history and preservation. Martin Scorsese provides a brief history of the movies, using his masterful 3D storytelling to outline one of the earliest auteurs and cinematic magicians, George Méliès. Scorsese (and just about every character in Hugo) lionize Méliès and his brilliant silent filmmaking. We see clips from several of Méliès technically impressive and hand-tinted films including A Trip to the Moon (1902), Fairyland: A Kingdom of Fairies (1903) and The Eclipse: Courtship of the Moon (1907). Scorsese enhances these silent masterworks by presenting them in 3D—something that Méliès undoubtedly would have tried if the technology were readily available in the early 20th century.
I cannot go on to describe the amount of joy I got seeing Hugo. It was a treat to see one of the finest modern filmmakers tell a story about how movies are, and always have been, an integral part of culture. In addition to Méliès work, Hugo is filled with allusions to many different kinds of silent film. We have the hustle of modern day life shown through the mechanical parts of trains and clocks, reminiscent of Abel Gance’s La Roue (1923), trains arriving into the station like the Lumière brothers’ Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (1895) and massive crowds of people walking toward the camera like Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory (1895).
If you have any spare time this weekend and want to catch a great movie, I’d highly recommend Hugo. It’s a really wonderful film that will surely make you smile and appreciate the power of cinema. But before you venture into the theater, 3D glasses in hand, make sure to check out a few of the silent film’s I’ve mentioned here to appreciate Hugo even more.