Gallery Mondays: “Sea Dreams” by Peggy Mach

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I’ve been to the Babylon Library a handful of times while back home in Long Island, but I’ve never stopped to take a proper photo of this sculpture in front of the building.

Called “Sea Dream” the sculpture was created by Peggy Mach and donated to the Village of Babylon in 1983. In it, a boy sits barefoot on a ledge with a book in his lap, staring out into the void.

I love how blissful the look on his face is. He must be having a wonderful day dream about whatever book he’s reading.

Speaking of, what book is he reading? The scrawls on the book cover aren’t really legible.

I guess I’ll never know.

Gallery Mondays: Freeport Spirits

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I’ve been dabbling in a bit of historical fiction writing over the last couple of months. I recently wrote a short story about pirates, so when I came across this photo in my camera roll I decided it was fitting for this week’s Gallery Mondays.

This seafaring scene was found on the wall outside of Freeport Spirits in Long Island. I see it every Sunday on the way to church, so I recently snapped a photo of it.

One of the three ships in this art piece looks like a pirate ship. I wonder if this scene is based on real events, and if so, did the pirates make it onto land in Freeport?

I wonder which ship is carrying the barrels of wine…

Gallery Mondays: Celeb Cats

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My parents have just moved out to Long Island, so this weekend when I went to visit them I tagged along for some furniture shopping.

At Bob’s Furniture in Farmingdale, I saw these hilarious celebrity inspired cat paintings on a children’s bed. One cat is Lady Gaga with the blond bow hair, another is Pharrell with the infamous brown hat and I believe the last one on the left is Miley Cyrus. I didn’t want to touch the paintings (since I wasn’t buying them) to see the Miley one better but I’m 99.9% sure it is supposed to be the cat version of her.

I’m actually tempted to get the Lady Gaga one but it doesn’t match my purple and gray room that I’m decorating here.

Pity.

‘The X Factor’ Taping at Nassau Coliseum

Yesterday I went out to Long Island’s Nassau Coliseum with my friend Kristell to watch The X Factor taping.

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I’ve never been part of a live audience before, so this was pretty exciting for me.

However, my excitement disappeared when the clock struck 1pm and they weren’t letting us in. The ticket told us to arrive by then, so we got there around 12:25pm. We didn’t actually go inside until about 2:25.

The sun was unbearably hot. The soles of my feet were killing me and there’s a tan line from my flats on both of my feet.

When we got inside I was starving, so I bought cotton candy. It cost me $6.75. Since when does cotton candy cost six freaking dollars and seventy-five cents?!

Once Kristell and I sat down and I put the cotton candy in my mouth, I got excited again.

Jay Flats pumped the crowd up while we waited for the judges to arrive. We “got rowdy” to Martin Solveig and Dragonette’s “Hello” and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.”

Then they did a sound check. Amy, a member of the crew, sang “Rollin’ on the River.” She was really good.

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Amy performing “Rollin’ on the River” for the sound check
Photo Credit: Kristell Taylor

After the sound check came the camera check. Audience members either got really shy, excited, or did nothing when they saw their faces on the big screen. The elderly were most likely to do nothing when the camera focused in on them.

At around three, judges Demi Lovato, Paulina Rubio, and Kelly Rowland showed up. They began auditions without Simon Cowell.

Simon didn’t arrive until three auditions later. When he walked in, the Franco Sisters were on stage and they thought the screams and cheers were for them. Unfortunately, as soon as he opened his mouth I wished he had gone back to wherever he came from.

He blamed Demi for his lateness, saying that she texted him to be there at 3:30 instead of 3. How dare he!

Then he told the older Franco sister off. I won’t spoil that part for you, but I think that what he said to her was unnecessary.

The youngsters were definitely blowing us all away. The three to look out for are 13 year olds Hannah Johnson and Ashley, and 15 year old Isaiah Austin.

Another interesting performer was Steven, a 40 year old blueberry farmer from South Korea who moved to the US when he was 18. I wasn’t expecting him to be any good, but gosh did he shock us all with his audition! He sang “Wind Beneath My Wings” starting at the final chorus. Wow is all I can say to that.

Then of course there were the trolls, Vincent and Tara. The sad part about the trolls is that they let them sing for longer than the people that can actually carry a tune.

During the breaks in between auditions, there was a girl in my section with a Demi poster that had lights on it who kept screaming Demi’s name at the top of her lungs. By 4:30 she hardly had a voice. But she just kept on screaming. And Demi just kept on ignoring her.

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Judges getting powdered up during the break
Photo Credit: Kristell Taylor

Overall my first experience as an audience member was okay. The waiting and the food prices were annoying, but otherwise I had a good time.

 

Movie Review: ‘The Great Gatsby’

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Yesterday, for my 19th birthday, I went to see The Great Gatsby (2013) with my guy and my best friend. ticket stub

Not having read the book in high school (due to my transferring between schools with two different English literature curricula, resulting in my having missed the reading of Gatsby by the time I had transferred), I read through the book at the beginning of May, finishing it about a week before yesterday.

Since this movie is based on the book, this review will have a bit of comparison between Fitzgerald’s novel and Luhrmann’s film.

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The movie begins with Nick Carraway (Tobey McGuire) in a sanatorium looking at a long list of mental illnesses (supposedly the ones he is diagnosed with) including insomnia, anxiety, and depression to name a few. His doctor
tells him to write down his thoughts because it will put him at ease and help him better articulate his thoughts. Through Nick’s writing we learn the story of Jay Gatsby.

Nick takes a trip to visit Daisy Buchanan, his cousin, her husband, Tom Buchanan and Jordan Baker, a friend of theirs. Just as in the book, the two ladies are on the chairs, laying down, and the whole scene is embellished wonderfully by the white linen curtains flowing through the air in midst of the breeze coming from the screen doors.

I love the fact that they kept one of my favorite quotes from the novel, where Daisy says to Jordan and Nick, “I’ll sort of—oh—fling you together. You know—lock you up accidentally in linen closets and push you out to sea in a boat…”

And might I add that Jordan Baker (Elizabeth Debicki) is simply stunning in this film! She should be permanently brunette. How is this girl not more famous?!

When Tom and Nick go out together on the Long Island Railroad, and jump off the train to see Myrtle, Tom’s mistress that calls on the phone during supper the evening prior, things begin to get wild.

My favorite scene is where Myrtle, Tom, Nick and the rest of the people in that small room get completely wasted. Nick almost escaped the craziness, telling Tom that he didn’t feel comfortable being there while he was cheating on his cousin, but he gets coaxed into staying.

Oh my gosh. Feathers from pillows flew through the air, everyone begins to jump and hump around (I kid you not), Tom gives Nick liquor to drink in a vase, and Nick begins to see himself  “within and without.”

Well then. I’ve never been drunk before, or been around people who were that drunk before, but according to my friend this is an accurate depiction of the college party scene.

After Nick gets an invitation to Gatsby’s, I got really excited, because this was the moment I was waiting for:

The little party that never killed anybody.

I wish I knew a Gatsby. Those parties look so much fun!

At the party, to which Nick is the only one invited because, as stated in the book and by Jordan Baker, “people were not invited—they went there”, Gatsby requests to see Jordan Baker privately. There he tells her about his plan to have Daisy go over to Nick’s for tea so that they can meet up again.

Nick is not told of any of this until he and Gatsby go out to lunch the next day.

At lunch, which is a private place entered through a hole in the wall of a barber shop, we meet Wolfsheim, played by Amitabh Bachchan, who indeed looks like a wolf with all that facial hair! Tom appears at this lunch date as well, causing Gatsby to make awkward facial expressions when he realizes this is Daisy’s husband—the only thing standing in the way between him and Daisy’s romance.

Nick agrees to arrange the tea date with Daisy and Gatsby. Myself and the other people in the theater found it hilarious when we saw what Gatsby ordered to have done to Nick’s lawn. He even brought a entire greenhouse worth of flowers into the room where they were to have tea! Jeez! In the book I was under the impression that it was just a little grass trimming and a couple of flowers in a few vases!

Nervous as ever, when Daisy arrives Gatsby runs outside, getting completely drenched in the rain, only to come inside looking like a wet dog. To top it off, he knocks over Nick’s clock and can’t seem to put it back together.

Poor guy.

I thought it was the cutest thing though!

If you’ve read the book, you know how it all ends up. I will say though, that the deaths in the movie were dramatized very well. As Myrtle’s body flew through the air, I couldn’t help but think how much this was all Daisy’s fault. Daisy killed Gatsby. Figuratively, of course. She was the last word on his lips. I was deeply moved as I watched Gatsby’s body float lifelessly in that lavish pool, realizing that not a single soul would attend that man’s funeral, except Nick.

The film overall was great. I love the way they did the scenery. I really wish West and East Egg were real. The towns looked so fantastical.

I was confused though, as to why they dyed Carey Mulligan’s hair blonde. In the book, Daisy is a brunette!

“he sat with Daisy in his arms for a long, silent time […] once he kissed her dark shining hair…”

I don’t know how the casting crew overlooked this little detail, or what would possess them to change it. Carey Mulligan is a natural brunette after all…

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The costumes were so vibrant and shiny. Kudos to whoever designed them!

The music in the film was also really good. My only complaint about the music, however, is the number of times they used Lana del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful.” Two times is fine. But no. They used several instrumental versions, a jazzed up version for the party scene, and then the original. I’m sorry, but now the song has been played out in my head.

If you have not seen the film yet I suggest you do so!