Posts Tagged ‘Amazon’

Black is the New Black

October 14, 2015

I’m a huge consumer of entertainment in all forms and fashions.  Sometimes the best entertainment is right in your own home – on television!  Like many Americans, my husband and I have become “binge watchers”.  It all started with 24, the first all consuming,addictive television show that turned not only us, but all of our friends into television watching zombies.  It was not unusual for us – or someone in our circle – to spend an entire weekend in our sweats binging on Jack Bauer.  My husband did a fabulous homage parody of 24 that you can watch on YouTube.

There have been others over the years such as Downton Abbey, The Last Ship and Strike Back where we had to watch “just one more episode.”  In the olden days (better known as a few years ago) we waited for a season of a favorite show to be available on DVD.  Even though that meant we were always a season behind we could take a DVD with us and watch wherever we might happen to be.  We weren’t even aware of the actual day of the week our favorite programs aired on because we didn’t watch that way.  Then Amazon Prime and now our Amazon Fire Stick gave us that same portability without the season delay.

orphan-blackSo what are we “binging” on right now?  Orphan Black.  How did I not know about this show sooner?  It’s a Canadian show produced by BBC America and it’s AMAZING!  It’s billed as a “science fiction” show but don’t let that put you off.  It’s not aliens and other planets type of sci-fi – rather it’s science based fiction.  Without giving anything away that isn’t in the promo material, the main character, Sarah, sees a woman commit suicide and the woman looks just like her!  An attempt to steal the now dead woman’s identity leads Sarah to learn she is a clone.  (See, human clones are currently science based fiction – or so we’re told…).

The show has millions of loyal fans known as #CloneClub.  They even had devotees show up at the San Diego Comic Con in costume as their favorite of the clones and the cast did a panel taking questions!  Okay, we’re not ready to dress up as our favorite clone but hey, Halloween is coming…OrphanBlackFans

So what do we love about the show?  Sure, the story is unique, compelling and continually surprising.  The cast “works” and that’s a big part of the magic.  But perhaps our favorite part of the “magic” is the flawless performance by Tatiana Maslany who plays Sarah, Alison, Cosima, Helena and Rachel.  (She portrayed Beth but since she’s the one who committed suicide in the first episode, most of what we learn about Beth is from other characters, same with “the German”.)  Both my husband and I are fascinated by the technical masterpiece that is Orphan Black.

Sure, we’ve all seen bits in movie or television where one performer plays two roles and body doubles are used to allow both characters to appear in the same scene…but what about FIVE?!?  It’s more than just that, each of the clones has a very unique personality to comes through in everything from speech to gestures big and small.  Everything from the way they stand, walk, move – even roll their eyes – is unique to that character and utterly believeable!  They are all so distinct that you never get confused as to which clone you are watching.

Part of that comes down to the unique talents of Tatiana Maslany but also to the behind the scenes coaches.  John Nelles is the genius who helps her nail all those different accents.  Other tidbits that have added to our fascination with the “magic” of Orphan Black:

  • Tatiana created a playlist for each of the characters to help her get into the unique personalities
  • A continuity team keeps her from mixing up the characters. For instance, if she’s doing a scene that has both Alison and Sarah in it and she’s playing Alison, if the script tells her to roll her eyes, they make sure it’s an ‘Alison’ eye roll and not a ‘Sarah’ eye roll.

Need more reasons to watch?  The first TWO seasons are FREE on Amazon Prime.  I understand it’s also on Netflix if that’s your vehicle of choice.  We’re currently through the first two seasons and part of the third.  Yes, we’re thrilled season 4 is in production but there’s no way it will be available fast enough to supply our next fix….


Bling, Bling, Ding Ding!

July 27, 2012

I’ve done some dumb things in my lifetime.  Usually out of ignorance.  I’ve also been very lucky that none of them turned out bad, though they clearly could have.  But I’ve learned and am here to share some of my “errors in judgement” so you won’t take the same unnecessary risks.

The first time I went to Africa I was in Zaire.  Yes, it was Zaire when I arrived – it was the Congo when I left.  There was a revolution while I was in country and I was only there a couple of weeks!

In an effort to “travel light” I just wore 1 pair of earrings the entire trip.  That would have made sense if they were the plain gold studs my ears were originally pierced with.  NOT!    I wore my 1 carat per ear diamond studs.  I also wore my actual wedding ring which is obvious in this picture even if it wasn’t the focus of the shot.

It didn’t occur to me that this might not have been a good idea until I was in the jungle with a Pygmy tribe.  In an entirely pantomimed conversations (we shared no other common language) one of the women admired my earrings then showed me the earrings they wove from vines.  I’m pretty sure she had no idea of the value of what she admired and am grateful I left the jungle with both the earrings and my earlobes!

I learned my lesson and invested in a plain gold band for future travel to third world destinations as you can see in this photo from the Amazon.

On my most recent international trip, we were on a luxury cruise line so of course, I didn’t want to go to dinner every night in a plain gold band but I also wasn’t comfortable going ashore in my “real” wedding ring set which certainly qualifies as “bling”.

Fortunately, impressive costume jewelry is widely available at low cost and is a fashion statement.  At the Nordstrom Rack I purchased several costume pieces including the Princess cut ring in the upper left of the photo which I wore as my “wedding ring”.  The other cocktail rings were for my right hand and coordinated with my evening outfits.

Total cost for ALL 5 PIECES…$75.00!!!!

When leaving the ship, I only wore my fake wedding ring.   At a couple of the stops, I didn’t even wear that – why look like a “target” even if what they would get was glass?

If you are traveling, particularly to poor or crime-ridden areas, consider investing in inexpensive jewelry to wear in place of your actual wedding ring or  the family piece you typically wear.  Even if your usual “bling” isn’t part of the Crown Jewels, it probably has sentimental value and it would put a damper on your vacation if it were lost or stolen.  Plus there is a safety issue to consider as well.

Sure, you could just leave all your good jewelry at home but if you are accustomed to wearing something as I am, you feel “naked” and cause yourself a few starts when you periodically notice it’s missing before you remember you intentionally left it behind.   Even my husband trades his ruby and diamond wedding band for a plain gold one when situations warrant.

We all love our bling, but no need to be a “ding ding”!

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