Sunday, January 27, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
A quick summary: "An 11-year-old street boy, OBDULIO, who sells newspapers for a living but cannot read or write, finds a magical "Maestro" in the night watchman of the newspaper's office. OBDULIO's charismatic mentor not only introduces him to the world of literacy but also teaches him the real meaning of life through the lyrics of the "Murgas"(Carnival Pierrots) during the mythical nights of the irreverant and provocative Urugauyan Carnival" (see imbd.com).
To be honest, the plot made the movie sound very interesting, but while watching the film I felt like I was missing a lot because it just didn't seem very clear. Probably, to truly understand this film, one needs to know a lot more in-depth about the whole carnival culture of Uruguay. There is some sort of mysticism imbedded in this celebration, a ritual, something spiritual, that I as a non-Uruguayan could not understand. The same goes for the 'Murgas' sung during the film, I just couldn't quite grasp them.
If you are from Uruguay or have traveled/lived there, I do believe this is a film you should see, it is interesting even for an 'outsider' who doesn't understand every part of the film like myself. And the film is able to give a sort of glimpse into aspects of the Uruguayan culture and into the life of young working children.
The end of this film was also very unclear to me, as it seems that Obdulio leaves his grandmother? And then at the end of the film it appear that it is "dedicated to the the missing children and the children who are coming to save the world," which completely confused me. Indeed, the film may have benifited from a bit more focus/clarity, although I guess the mysticism was supposed to add to the surrealistic feeling of the film. My recommendation, do watch this film as it is interesting (especially the teaching methods of the night watchman, very clever), but only after understanding a bit more about Uruguayan (carnival) culture .
Monday, January 21, 2008
One night he meets a Russian guy (Eugene, played by Shea Whigham) who lives with his whole family in this world (the mom was the first to "off herself" because she was missing Russia so much). They become good friends and after Zia finds out that his girlfriend in the real world has also committed suicide, the two go on a roadtrip to find Zia's girlfriend. On the way they pick up a hitchhiker, Mikal (Shannyn Sossamon), who is looking for the 'people in charge', insisting she got in the strange world by mistake.
An incredibly creative film everyone into artsy/indie movies should see. The acting is great, the setting fits perfectly and there are a lot of random fun tidbits. The ending is sweet, however a bit kitchy. It does seem like the director wanted to put more into this film then the length of the film allowed, leaving some empty spaces in the film that would have been nice to be filled. Nevertheless this film is worth checking out. For more info see imbd.com.
Friday, January 18, 2008
The hairdresser lectured me about going in regularly for a haircut and then did her work (very nice lady actually). When it came to the time of washing out the color, my hairdresser told me how my hair was still a bit dry and brittle even though she used a professional shampoo and conditioner (which smelled amazing). So, we got into a shampoo/conditioner discussion and I found out that many regular shampoos are diluted with water! The difference between the Schwarzkopf Professional Shampoo and the one which can be bought in a normal grocery store, is that the later is about half water combined with half shampoo.
I decided it woud be best to buy the professional kind and get my hair to be the best it can be (along with scheduling more regular hair trims). I asked about the best shampoo for colored-treated hair and she told me the one she had used on me that day was a really good one. So, I decided to buy it: the Schwarzkopf Professional Seah Hairspa for colored hair.
So, time has passed, and I love this shampoo and especially the conditioner! Besides making my hair feel soft and maintaining my color really well, it smells amazing. The scent is called Japanese Cherry, and even now, 1 and a half days after last washing my hair I can still faintly smell it. This is great because my hair doesn't usually retain the yummy shampoo smells much after the liquid has been rinsed out and the hair is once again dry. My boyfriend is equally pleased with the way my hair smells nowadays, a nice added bonus.
Again the main downside is the price: I paid 16 EUR for the Shampoo and 20 EUR for the Conditioner, both bottles containt 200ml of the precious liquids. It's not over-the-top expensive, but definitely also not a cheap buy. However, one doesn't have to use too much when washing one's hair and considering the quality of the product, it's definitely worth paying a bit more for this shampoo and conditioner than buying the cheap stuff. Overall this is the best shampoo and conditioner I have ever used, although I still am on the lookout for the 'perfect' shampoo.
Shampoo - 8/10
Conditioner - 9/10
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Ah, our capitalist market, how it wants us to buy, buy, buy. Numerous products, but which ones really are all they claim to be? There are many nice bath products, but nice is not enough: I want amazing! While living and working in New York City this summer with my boyfriend I was introduced to Sabon's incredible body scrub.
Walking around Manhattan with my mother who was visiting us for a few days, we ended up wandering into Sabon and were offered to try their body scrub by one of the salespeople. The store conveniently has a large sink-type thing with 4 faucets in the middle of the store, precisely so that customers can try (and be sold on) their bathproducts.
I didn't think much about trying the product. It smelled good, just like an infinite number of bath products; we were offerred to choose from either 'Lavender', 'Tropic', 'Vanilla Coconut' or 'Lemon Mint' scents. I love both vanilla and coconut smells and decided to try that scrub (mmm, my nose was delighted!). The scrub felt good on my skin, not to oily, not to rough, just - perfect. Up to that point I thought, alright, this is good stuff, but what made it amazing is how it felt and smelled after I washed it off.
My mom and I both agreed, it's such a strange feeling, which neither of us have ever felt before. Rinsing off the body scrub it feels like one's skin is coated in somekind of invisible silk - the skin feels incredibly soft, even after drying our hands again. Many of my friends have complemented me on my hands for being so soft, and it was incredible that some kind of bath product could make them feel even softer! My mom's older skin, which is usually quite dry, for the first time in a long time felt genuinely soft and moist. I later brought my boyfriend to Sabon and his skin was also wonderful after using this body scrub.
And a bonus: the scent lasts for hours and hours. The day I first tried Sabon I later had to go and work. I showed off my newly-found product to one of my gay male coworkers and he was amazed and decided he too would have to buy this body scrub. The softness and yummy vanilla coconut scent remained all day. Now just imagine how wonderful this scrub is when used all over the body - especially when showering together with your other half... let's just say it leads to very good things.
The only downside of this product, which I nevertheless rate 10 out of 10, is its cost. 500 ml costs $30. Also, be careful if you are going to transport this product long-distance. They'll tape it up for you quite well, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Ah, I do wish Sabon didn't only exist in New York - if I'm ever back in the city buying more of this body scrub is definitely on my to-do list. Until then, I ration out this product for myself and enjoy it immensely every time I use it.
Imagine a thick, creamy, warm, brown, beautiful hot chocolate topped with whipped cream - that's what you get at Café du Théâtre in Chambéry, France. Up until now it's the best chocolate I have ever had, and I'm tempted to go back to the town just to have another mug of this liquid chocolate drink. Rating: 9/10
A close second is the large, thick, yummy mug of hot chocolate served at İkinci Kat Cafe in İstanbul, Turkey. However, it's not served with my beloved whipped cream and it has occured that I was served their delicious hot chocolate with slightly old milk (not so delicious anymore). Still, definitely do go to this Café if you're in the city, it's tucked away from Taksim's main street and has a nice atmosphere. Rating: 8.5/10