I just finished watching Casino with Robert DeNiro & Joe Pesci. (I was in the mood after having visited The Mob Museum in Las Vegas recently.)  When the movie ended, I started Googling to see what I could find about the real-life story the movie was based on.  I found myself on a Wikipedia page, that said this:

The film ranks fourth in the list of films that most frequently use the word "f#!$".

Sure enough, there's a list on Wikipedia of I don't know how many movies that most frequently used the f-word.  (Casino is actually now fifth in line...someone needs to fix the Wiki page.  Don't look at me...I don't want to be involved.)

I did notice the F-word a lot in Casino, but as I watched, I wasn't thinking, "Wow...they sure use that word a lot."  I think it's so overused in everyday language anymore that I don't really notice it.  Not to mention it's my word of choice when something has really pissed me off or I've been injured.

But then, I'm still not used to hearing the S-word on TV.  TNT & USA shows use it a LOT and it's still jarring every time I hear it.  Why would the S-word jar me, but not the F-word?  That's weird, right? 


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone GirlGone Girl by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's hard to review this book without giving anything away, so I'll just say it's about a married couple about to celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary when the wife suddenly disappears under a lot of suspicion. The husband, of course, is the main suspect. What follows is completely unpredictable and fun to read. I read part one over several days, but once I got to part two, I read the rest in one sitting. I love a good page-turner and this one fits the bill.

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A surprising turn of events on Project Runway

I'm in the middle of watching this week's Project Runway and find myself quite surprised, disappointed, pissed off, and charmed all at the same time. 

Up until this point, I've been pulling for Ven to win the whole thing.  He's calm, cool & collected, and his clothing is gorgeous.  My least favorite has been Gunnar...not necessarily because of his work, but because of his ENORMOUS ego, attitude, and general diva-ness.


I'm enjoying the Olympics, but man, I'm tired.

These late hours watching the Olympics is getting to me.  For almost two weeks, I've been up until at least 1:00am EDT, but usually it's closer to 1:30am.  On the night of the Curiosity landing on Mars, it was until after 2:00am.  On a school night?!  I'm supposed to be at work at 7am.  It's too much!  I'm enjoying the games, but am kind of looking forward to them ending so I can sleep.

Meanwhile, I just wanted to mention a couple of things....one is that I really enjoyed the pilot of Matthew Perry's new show, "Go On" that NBC aired last night.  I think it has a lot of promise. It was funny, but also touching.  I hope it does well.

The other is something I've been meaning to mention for a while.  It's about guilty pleasure music.  The nail salon I go to plays a sort of "Lite FM" Sirius/XM station.  Every time I'm in there, I want to burst out in song. I know I'm not the only one because I'll often hear other people humming along. The music always brings back memories and reminds me of my childhood.  The last time I was there, I wrote down the songs I heard:


A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz

A Fraction of the WholeA Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It took me a while to get through this book (my version is 561 pages), but it was worth every minute. The story is told by Jasper Dean who is trying to set the record straight about his father, Martin, who is hated by all of Australia, and his criminal uncle, Terry, whom all of Australia loves.

I said goodnight, closed the door, and left him...thinking of normal families who have normal problems like alcoholism and gambling and wife-beating and drug addiction. I envied them.

That pretty much sums up Jasper's views.

This book is very well written and a great read. One of the blurbs on the cover called it "Riotously funny!" I wouldn't take it that far, but I did laugh quite a few times. The story is witty and written with a lot of sarcasm and dry humor, which I love:

Let's not mince words: the interior of the Sydney casino looks as if Vegas had an illegitimate child with Liberace's underpants, and that child fell down a staircase and hit its head on the edge of a spade.

It's also thought-provoking...when Martin goes off on his manic philosophical tangents, I often found myself thinking, yeah, that's kind of true.

And finally, it's completely unpredictable. The story was all over the place and I had no idea where it was going, but it was a fun read, and I couldn't wait to find out.

Four stars instead of five, because from time to time, Martin's philosophical ramblings went on and on and on, so it dragged in parts, but that's it.

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The Song Is You by Arthur Phillips

The Song Is You: A NovelThe Song Is You: A Novel by Arthur Phillips

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I liked the idea of this book--that each song on the main character's iPod is a touchstone in his life.  I often think about which songs are touchstones in my own life.  But I really didn't care for how the author carried out the plot.  Julian was just creepy to me, and there's no way I could imagine someone like Cait being interested in him and going along with his stalker-ish ways.  I enjoyed the beginning of the book, about Julian's father and his link to Billie Holiday, and liked the brother character, but mostly I found the book tedious and annoying.  I saw someone mention in a review on Goodreads that the author seemed to spend a lot of time impressing himself.  I think that's exactly the problem.

I really should've known better--I attempted Prague a while back and couldn't get through it for the same reason.  The subject matter in The Song Is You seemed more interesting, but I was still ultimately disappointed.  I gave it two stars instead of one because I did find myself intrigued as to what happened, but that's about it.

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Round 2 at the Style Lounge

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, last Sunday I had an appointment with a stylist at the Style Lounge at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, MD.  As a blogger who can help spread the word, I was treated to a session with the stylist and a $100 gift card to purchase something based on the stylists' recommendations.*

*Please note that although I did receive a gift card, my blog posts on this subject consist of my own thoughts and opinions.

When I got to the mall, I saw that the new Style Lounge is a scaled-down version of the huge "closet" they had during Stacy London's Style Tour.  (Which I understand she'll be doing again this fall.)  There was still a closet full of clothing and shoes, as well as some glass shelves with various accessories.  My stylist, Winnie, first told me a bit about the Style Lounge.  I think I mentioned in my previous blog that this was a permanent feature, but it actually is running through September 30 (although depending on how it's received, it could be there longer).  She explained how people can set appointments to meet with a stylist to figure out what styles work best for their age, shape, size, preferences.  If the schedule allows, the stylist will even go shopping with you.  And, Winnie stressed, this is all for FREE.  She said people think there's a catch, but there really isn't.  

After the introduction, Winnie led me to a 3-way mirror, and we discussed my body shape.  She told me I have an hourglass figure (I do?!), and she proceeded to make recommendations based on that.    She recommended clothing that accentuated my waist while camoflauging the areas I'd like to hide.  She mentioned wrap dresses, ruching, pencil skirts, and bottoms that came to my narrow points--either my knees or my ankles.  (As opposed to mid-calf like what I had on.)

Winnie pulled a few styles from the closet to demonstrate what I should be looking for.  For example:

Me and my stylist, Winnie.

After discussing a few more recommendations, she said, "Let's go shopping!"  (That was a surprise!  I was just expecting a consultation--I didn't know she'd actually be shopping with me.  This was because her schedule allowed her the time.  Have a stylist shop with you would depend on how many other appointments are scheduled when you're there.)

Honestly, I felt like I was on a mini-episode of What Not to Wear...it was kind of exciting.  We headed to Nordstrom where Winnie selected several things for me to try on.  I could see in the mirror why certain cuts worked, and while others didn't.  For example, I need pencil skirts and not A-line because I don't need the extra bulk at the bottom.  The biggest thrill for me is that Winnie brought in clothes that were a size smaller than I've been wearing, and they fit!  She even brought in some pants that were two sizes down and though they were the wrong material for me, I got into them!  That was pretty exciting. 

In the end, I purchased two tops and two pencil skirts.  I had to spend some of my own money (we were at Nordstrom, after all), but it was worth it.  I haven't worn a skirt in YEARS. (I work in a really casual office--I think that if I wear a skirt to work, my coworkers might pass out.)  Here's one of the outfits I bought:

It was a great day, and I really would like to have Winnie with me all the time.  I learned a lot during our little session.  I talked to my mom and sister and they're ready to make their own appointments.  I can't wait to hear about their results too.

After my appointment, I received an email with additional ideas for the types of clothes I should look for:

 Pretty cool.