Happy New Year (2022)!

Hey to ALL my wonderful readers,

Can you believe that it has been almost 22 mos. since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic (March 13, 2020)!? A few wks. ago, someone on my Twitter feed wrote: “Your reward for surviving the pandemic is more pandemic” (TOO real- also a BIT funny). My 2nd nephew was born- V cool! I became permanent at my job at GWU (after a long wait). I got a holiday bonus (rare in past jobs). Most importantly, I was able to get vaccinated in a timely manner (and later got the booster); I stayed healthy all year (luckily)! I cut way back on the news after the past Summer; I was a MSNBC watcher for several yrs. I don’t know how I’d have made it through this (crazy) time w/o my neighbors/friends, podcasts, and this blog (which helped me feel less anxious- NO joke).

Thanks for reading, subscribing, and sharing my blog posts!

You can also follow me on IG and/or Twitter: knightleyemma.

-Emma

UPCOMING REVIEWS:

Movies w/ Adam Driver:

Silence (2016)

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018)

The Dead Don’t Die (2019)

The Report (2019)

The Last Duel (2021)

Star Trek Universe:

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) – This is the final TOS movie.

Star Trek: Voyager (S7) – This is the final season.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (S4-7)

CURRENTLY WATCHING:

And Just Like That… – This is the SATC reboot; 5 eps are available on HBO Max. I’m most interested to see what happens w/ Seema (Sarita Choudhury), who is Carrie’s realtor and new friend.

Girls (S4) – I’m re-watching the series on HBO Max (b/c Driver is part of the ensemble).

Sephora Spring 2021 VIB Sale (4/9-4/19) Recommendations

Skincare

Fresh Kombucha Antioxidant Facial Treatment Essence: A great toner for ALL skin types (I’m combo to oily- FYI). Get mini size to try, or see if part of a skin set (good value). This brand is ONLY at Sephora, not at ULTA (where I mostly shop).

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum: I already like it, though have ONLY been using it for the past 3 mos. I (luckily) found it over at my local TJ Maxx. I’m NOT so knowledgeable re: serums, BUT this works on me!

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40PA+++: Having grown up under the desert sun of AZ, I take sunscreen very seriously! This is a great choice, esp. for those of you who have tan to deep skin tones (leaves no white cast) and/or need a natural-looking sunscreen under makeup.

Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector Broad Spectrum Face Sunscreen SPF 42: Another great SPF choice, if you’re seeking something non-greasy and natural.

Fresh Sugar Lip Polish Exfoliator: I’ve used this 2-3x in the past- need to get one soon. My lips are just in bad shape!

Makeup

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation: I almost couldn’t believe that I used up the bottle in early 2020; I rarely finish my foundations! (FYI: My shade is 300). This MAY be a bit too thick/full-coverage for some, if you’re in hot/humid weather this Summer.

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick: These were recently on sale (Sephora and on the brand’s site). I’m all stocked up for myself and gifting! Here are the best colors for those w/ tan skin tones: Spanked (my everyday color), Thicc, Ma’Damn (red), S1ngle (nude), and Freckled Fiesta (terracotta- great for Fall).

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer: If I didn’t have a stack of new lip glosses, I’d get this product again- LOL! I used the original color (Fenty Glow) in 2019; the brownish color (Hot Chocolit) looks fab for tan skin tones.

Sephora (Fall 2019) VIB Sale Recommendations

Top 5 Products I’ve Tried (& LOVED):

  1. Tatcha The Rice Polish Foaming Enzyme Powder (for gentle/daily exfoliation, or try a kit w/ a selection of products in smaller sizes)
  2. Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter (great for Winter or those of you w/ dry skin all year round)
  3. Supergoop SPF 40 Unseen Sunscreen (current sunblock; won’t leave white cast on tan or deep skin tones; great under makeup)
  4. Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask (a must for nights, incl. in Winter)
  5. Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Fenty Glow (a current fave)

Products I’m MOST Interested in Buying:

  1. Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel (tried before; great reviews from those of all skin types)
  2. Fresh Evergreen Routine Gift Set (b/c love this brand)
  3. Farmacy Honey Butter Beeswax Lip Balm (b/c just always into lip balms, starting from my “low maintenance” years)
  4. Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Hydrating Primer (great reviews; tested the product before)
  5. Makeup Forever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation (Y355 is my shade; recently tested product)

RBG (2018)

People ask me “Don’t you feel uncomfortable being compared to a rapper?” Why would I? We have a lot in common like being born and raised in Brooklyn. -Ruth Bader Ginsburg

If you’re not watching #RBGMovie you are missing one of the great multi layered love stories. Love of the law, love of knowledge, love of equality and above all, love of marriage as a true partnership, bursting with mutual respect. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an American original. -Tom Harrington (CBC Radio)

The love story between Ruth and Martin Ginsburg is nothing less than awe-inspiring. I love how she tells about her undergraduate years at Cornell where there was a four to one ratio of boys to girls. “Every mother wanted to send their daughter there because, if you couldn’t find a husband there, you were hopeless.” She reveals that during her freshman year, she never dated the same boy twice. That is, until she met Marty, who was the first guy that recognized she had a brain. -Excerpt from IMDB review

He was okay playing second fiddle. In fact, he joked about it… -Nina Totenberg (NPR legal correspondent) on Marty, a very successful tax attorney in NYC, who moved to DC when his wife’s career took off. 

The film traces RBG’s life from her childhood in Brooklyn through her years struggling to be taken seriously as a young female law student  and practicing attorney, and through her tenure on the SCOTUS and emergence as a pop culture icon. The storyline is mostly linear, but includes frequent jumps backward, forward, and even sideways as it examines different aspects of her life, personality, and public image. There’s a mix of historical photos, videos, but the main draw are the interviews. We hear from Ginsburg’s children, childhood friends, colleagues, admirers and a few detractors, as well as fellow feminist icon Gloria Steinem, former Pres. Bill Clinton, and Ginsburg herself.

Some of the cases RBG argued before the SCOTUS:

  • Frontiero vs. Richardson (1973): A young newly-married woman from Alabama, Sharron Frontiero, working in the U.S. Air Force, sues for gender discrimination when the housing stipend is denied her (unlike male co-workers).
  • Weinberger vs. Wiesenfeld (1975): A widower and father to baby boy, Simon Wiesenfeld, sues the Social Security Administration for sole-survivor benefits (then called “a mother’s benefit” and only avaiable to women). When the case reached SCOTUS, RBG had Simon come sit w/ the lawyers (putting a masculine face in front of the all-male justices).
  • Califano vs. Goldfarb: Leon Goldfarb, a widower, who applied for survivor’s benefits under the Social Security Act had his application denied (even though his wife Hannah had paid Social Security taxes for 25 years).
  • Edwards vs. Healy: Challenging the Louisiana law that allowed women to opt-out of jury service.

You may remember these (high-profile) cases that RBG presided over:

  • U.S. vs. Virginia Military Institute (1996): VMI boasted a long and proud tradition as Virginia’s only exclusively male public undergraduate higher learning institution. The U.S. brought suit against Virginia and VMI alleging that the school’s male-only admissions policy was unconstitutional insofar as it violated the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.
  • Ledbetter vs. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (2007): Over her 19 yr. career at Goodyear, Lilly Ledbetter was consistently given low rankings in annual performance-and-salary reviews and low raises relative to other employees. Ledbetter sued for gender discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, alleging that the company had given her a low salary because of her gender.

A granddaughter, Clara Spera, who recently graduated from Harvard Law School, explains that this was the first year that the graduating class was 50% male and 50% female (WOW). Jane and James (her adult children) recall how their mother rarely laughed, stressed education and personal responsibility, and was a horrible cook (LOL). Her husband, Marty, worked hard by contacting people from the business and legal communities to get RBG (then aged 61) to the top of the list for Supreme Court justice in 1993. Pres. Clinton was very impressed by her interview. RBG, who even won the admiration of Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), was confirmed 96-3 in a quite partisan time. This is a MUST-SEE documentary (for people of ALL ages)!

The Problem with Apu (2017) starring Hari Kondabolu

Last WED night, Hari Kondabolu was in DC (Baird Auditorium at The Smithsonian Natural History Museum) to discuss his first documentary film w/ NPR reporter Elizabeth Blair and a diverse audience (which included MANY South Asian immigrants and 1st gen adults in their 20s-40s). This was a free event; I signed up 2 weeks ahead of time (and got a kick out of seeing /chatting w/ MANY familiar faces attending). This film is NOT only funny, it’s smart and thought-provoking (delving into issue of South Asian representation in the media). You can watch this film on truTV  tonight (SUN, 11/19). 

So, what’s the big deal re: Apu here? Well, he’s a stereotype of an immigrant Indian man who runs a convenience store, and voiced by a white actor (Hank Azaria, who refused to appear in the film). The Simpsons is a nearly 30 y.o show on the FOX network which is watched/loved by millions. As Maryland-raised actor/musician Utkarsh Ambudkar (Pitch Perfect; The Mindy Project) summed it up: “The problem is- we didn’t have any other type of representation.” Hari interviewed MANY people incl: his parents, Aziz Ansari (Master of None), Kal Penn (Designated Survivor), Hasan Minhaj (Homecoming King), Aasif Mandvi (best known from The Daily Show), Maulik Pancholy (Star Trek: Discovery),  Aparna Nancherla (stand-up comic/actor/writer from Virginia), Sakina Jaffrey (House of Cards), Noureen DeWulf (Anger Management), Dr. Vivek Murthy (former Surgeon General under Pres. Obama), W. Kamau Bell (Hari’s friend/collaborator on various projects), Dana Gould (a producer of The Simpsons) and Hollywood trail-brazer Whoopi Goldberg (who speaks on America’s minstrel era, featuring “blackface”).

The audience was laughing all through the film. They were pleasantly surprised to see Whoopi and Dr. Murthy (a trailblazer in his own right). I esp. enjoyed the Q&A afterwards; Hari mentioned his idea for a future doc- focusing on Bengali filmmaker Satyjit Ray. 

Watch the trailer for The Problem with Apu below: