Shop Free September....by pemora

If you have been following us on twitter, you might know that I have decided to embark on a 30 day shopping diet. Why? Why would I do this to myself when NYFW is next week?

The simple answer is that I would like to challenge myself. Of course, there is a more complex answer to this question....

I think of this as the Evolution of My Shopping Habits...

I did not grow up poor. I grew up in a very working/middle class home, where I didn't always hear the word 'yes', but I also hardly heard the word 'no'. By the time I was a senior in high school, my weekly allowance allowed me a biweekly shopping trip to Contempo Casuals and, if I budgeted well, a monthly trip to the Gap. In fact, I remember my parents telling me that the Gap was way out of my budget and that I needed to keep it moving whenever I saw a Gap store.

The thing was, I attended a private school in NYC, where students were ridiculed for buying cashmere from Bloomingdales. Where the one girl, in retrospect, who was actually stylish was called a witch/hippie/lesbian on her way to class. Where flip flops were considered dirty and hood.

But I grew up in the Bronx, where style was defined by Cross Colours and Africa medallion necklaces. I tried, not always successfully, to navigate the preppy school life with my hood tendencies. And, all on my postal worker dad's allowance.

College is a blur (I mean, seriously, who cares what you wear in college?)....but I remember that with my 1st post-college paycheck, I was excited that I could go to the Gap and purchase something for full-price.

I haven't really thought about the extent of my shopping habits since then. My shopping habits lean towards Payless, Target, and Etsy, but I shop early and often. I need to figure out why retail therapy is the answer to every stress in my life.

I hope that this will be a good thing. That I will find alternate ways to deal with life's issues. That my Am Ex will miss me as much as I will miss it.

Please feel free to join me on this voyage....


Takers [movie review].....by IMTHATDUDE


For the younger readers with the short attention span, let me sum up Takers:

OMG! I LMAO’d. Fail.

For those who are not big on words, Takers had too much of this…

And not enough…

For those without ADHD…

John Luessenhop (Lockdown) directs and cowrites Takers. The other coconspirators are Peter Allen, Gabriel Casseus, and Avery Duff. The interestingly diverse cast includes some of my favorite actors in the field right now Zoe Saldana (Avatar), Idris Elba (The Losers), and Michael Ealy (Miracle at St. Anna), and it also has Matt Dillon (Armored), and Paul Walker (The Fast and the Furious). Then there’s the next tier of thespian lead by Tip “T.I” Harris (American Gangster), Hayden Christensen (Jumper), and Fisticuffs Brown. The only thing this movie showcases about Chris Brown’s diverse talent is that along with his apparent hand-speed he has good footwork, not very helpful in a sports car but it can’t hurt… well, not him. (Is that wrong?)

Sometimes it’s difficult to tell where a movie or a script goes wrong just by looking at the final product (is it the acting, the casting, the writing, the directing?); but sometimes, it is really easy. With Takers it’s really frickin easy. It was the acting, the casting, the writing, and the directing. It wasn’t all bad, but it all went bad and lightning fast like a Nicki Minaj feature when her verse starts.

Some writer said that Takers is “this generation’s Heat…” Word? As in –

Such a comparison now beseeches the question DID YOU SMURFIN SEE HEAT? I’m sure you didn’t. That or you’ve lost your damned mind. Surely you didn’t mean the Michael Mann/De Niro/Pacino movie or even the Burt Reynolds mid-1980s flick of the same name…

Ahh, I think I know which “Heat” you meant...

I haven’t seen Morrissey’s flick, but after watching Takers, it is clearly the closest comparable “Heat” on the list.


A very intelligent and effective crew of well-armed, but not morally bankrupt, self-proclaimed “Takers” rob a bank. They’ve successfully robbed before (we don’t know how often, but they do aight) are enjoying some significant success. That is, until their fellow Taker (not a snitch) is released from the bing early and seeks them out. He (TI) was injured four years ago on another job where they left him to fend for himself and agreed that there would be no contact and one day out of jail already has plans for a new job that could be a score worth $25M. This figure is important, so if you see this movie, pay attention to that. It is vital to my tears of laughter at the climax of the movie.

Needless to say, the score goes horribly wrong feelings are hurt, the cops are hot on their trail, and some of this tight knit crew (mercifully) will not make it to see the comedic climax of the story. I certainly, do not wish to be accused of spoiling the movie for you, so let me just say, the movie was going along just fine (cruising at a 3.5/5 pace) until the last 10-15 minutes where the breaks brought the film to a screeching halt... and me without my damned seatbelt.

I only had just a few issues with this end of the movie… just a few…

1 ) Chris Brown’s acting… he couldn’t act like he didn’t hear what Rihanna said to him in that car, but I’m supposed to believe he’s a skilled thief that can run and jump over cars with a backpack full of doe… Don’t insult and assault my intelligence.
2 ) Similarly, the foot chase scene… assuming - and this calls for a tremendous suspension of disbelief - that fool C Breezy really could run like Adrian Peterson and Usain Bolt combined, come on, son. A cop really kept pace with him? I watched a cop that was presumably in shape run after a fat dude with a gun (which I also saw) on Gates Avenue in Brooklyn, and he got lapped.
3 ) No cops in the country shoot remotely as straight as Matt Dillon did at a stationary target much less one that’s moving, nor are they remotely as observant or diligent. Sorry, it’s just the stats.
4 ) What crew this successful stays put the way this one does when they’ve made as much bread as they presumably have made? Especially after one of their cohorts has been arrested. I mean, seriously…
5 ) When somebody is shot and they have just enough time to send one last message to a loved one before that last dramatic gasp of air leaves them… pisses me off.
6 ) The brothers McMoron’s (Ealy and Brown) stand at the Alamo (you’ll see what I mean).
7 ) That stupid ass hat Hayden Christensen was wearing.
8 ) TI is not quite ready to carry a movie or be a good villain yet, although he is progressing (which is better than some other people in the movie (see Issue #7).

Look, whenever you cast TI and expect him to play a great bad guy (no matter how hip you want to make the movie), you are asking a lot – unless, you’re making a Master P movie. I know that rappers are actors by definition, but a fresh gun charge, a couple of platinum albums, and a hot mixtape do not a good actor make ( “Get Yo Girl” is the business though). The good news is TI’s grown to be almost as good as Keanu Reeves, bad news is… well, I’ll let you figure that out. The point is, if your movie has a bad guy, the film is only as good as the bad guy – Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men, James Earl Jones in Star Wars (not Conan the Barbarian), Travolta and Jackson in Pulp Fiction, Anthony Perkins in Psycho, Kevin Spacey in Seven, and the list goes on. The common theme - stronger stories and actors.

If Takers is this generation’s Heat, then I am exuberantly appreciative to the one true God that I was born in 1976 and consequently too old to be included in “this generation” - for I have precious little respect for them.

BTW: Next time, if you want TI to pick up $25 million dollars of cash money in 2 suitcases you might want to put some wheels on the luggage. I outweighed that cat when I was 12 years old. Pemora’s son out weighs him now. TI may have moved weight, but he obviously never lifted any.

Zoe Saldana, Idris Elba, and Michael Ealy are too good for this movie. Like I said, Takers seemed to be going along just fine, but then all of a sudden they decided to try too hard to make the final scenes poignant. It could have been an execution thing, which would mean Luessenhop is to blame, or it could be a casting issue with TI and Chris Brown (that’s a problem with the Hollywood suits), or it could be the writers trying too hard instead of trusting the characters they created (in which case, it’s still Luessenhop’s fault).

Anyway, I hope you do go and see Takers if for no other reason than you get to see the big screen version of the trailer for Robert Rodriguez’s Machete.

Trust me, I spared you all of the bad jokes I could make about the name of this movie. It would just be too easy, even for me.

That Dude gives Takers: 2.5


1. They make crap this pure?
2. Couldn’t be more under-whelmed.
3. Not too shabby, I won’t ask for my money back.
4. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good./Worth the 12 bucks.
5. Why are you reading this and not seeing this movie? Jackass.


Throwback Thursday....by pemora

I realize this is a day late. But let me explain. I actually thought that TODAY (Friday) was Thursday. And this is what happens when you wake up on Friday, thinking that it is Thursday, and then realizing that it is Friday:

1. you do cartwheels in your brain
2. you feel like you just found $5 in your pocket
3. and then you panic because you haven't made weekend plans yet, because you thought you had another day to plan

So, this morning while in Dunkin' Donuts, the cashier told me "Happy Friday!" and I was like, "Damn, its Friday!" and immediately thought that this would be a good day. And THEN...2 old Filipinas came up to me and complimented my sandals. I tend to think that I dress like an old Filipina, so it was a true compliment to me.

Despite it being 7am, this is turning out to be a good day. Hence, the (belated) Throwback Thursday....


Throwback Thursday....by pemora

I am not sure if this will actually become a weekly installment, but I had this song in my head this morning and just had to share.  I remember eagerly anticipating to see it on The Box.  I almost got up the nerve to call and request it myself but was too terrified of the wrath of my parents.  So I would just hope and pray someone in my neighborhood loved Michel'le as much as I did to request it.

Side note: if you grew up in the hood, wasn't it the worst when The Box had a string of rock videos?  I remember just scratching my head like, "who the hey is requesting all of these damn songs?"

I also remember not completely believing Michel'le's baby voice, especially when you compared it to her singing voice.  Her baby voice would really and truly irritate me....and I also remember chicks in the hood trying to imitate it.  Oh, hood memories.

Happy Thursday, everyone!


Most Wanted: Carpenter Bee Bag [gray]....by pemora

I have a confession to make.  If you are one of the 2 nonfamily/friends who read this blog, you might have never guessed what I am about to say.  Actually, you probably know or really don't care, but I am hyping this up as much as possible......

I am a mom.

There, I have said it.  Its not that I am trying to hide my mommyhood status, but in my mind, I am this hip/cool/funky woman who people say to themselves after leaving happy hour, "wow, I never ever knew she was a mom!".  Except, I say things like hip, cool and funky.

I adore my son.  I prefer his presence to 99% of the people I know.  But the word MOM conjures up images of muffin tops, crocs and mom jeans.  At least, it does in my mind.

But I like to think I am so much cooler (more hip to it?) than most moms and dress so non-mommy-like.  Not a hoochie.  That's a whole other level.

Anyway, all this to say that I purchased the Carpenter Bee Bag in black from Spotted Moth because it looked a little like thatotherbagthatIsocannotafford and loved it.  I loved it so much so that it became my everyday bag.  And by everyday bag, I mean my diaper bag.


But really?  I love it.  It is lightweight, bottles/oj/other fluids can spill all over it, and....it freaking looks cool.  Or hip.  I feel like a Fauxdashian sister when I use it, even though it just hangs off of the back of my son's Maclaren.

Sittin' in my Maclaren
and everyone is starin'

I am insanely jealous that this bag is now available in gray.  I hope that one of you awesome ladies (or fabulous dudes) grab it asap.  Trust, it is worth more than its sale price AND I guarantee you that this gray lady will be sold out before the end of the week.  Trust.

Get yours TODAY at Spotted Moth.


Don't Shop With Me...by pemora

If you follow us on twitter, you know that I am trying to get volunteers for a shop-free September (if you follow Kanye, you know that he is quite proud of his leather pants collection).

Well, much like The Situation's quest for a Grenade-free America, my sis and I would like to help all of those chicks (and dudes.  Not trying to discriminate) who need to just say NO to shopping.  I am going to ignore our mom's advice that we just do ALL of our shopping before August 31st (although, secretly, I am totally doing that) and realize that my closet has all of the essentials to get me through the 30 days of September.  Just an aside: I had to sing to myself "30 days has September, April, June and November" to remember how many days are actually in September.

If you would like to participate, drop me a line.  Ideally, I would also like to set-up a google group, so that the participants can swap items, provide support and just basically make me laugh.  I think they call that group therapy, but whatever.

Just say no, ladies.  And gents.  To shopping, that is.


Most Wanted: Book City Jackets

Besides a brand new wardrobe and a spiffy Trapper Keeper (which would last for exactly 2 weeks and then I needed an industrial strength notebook), my favorite thing about the start of the school year was getting a set of book covers.  Why?

1. I am nerdy and book covers showed that I had respect for the books. Duh.
2. I went to a public school in the South Bronx and was particularly scared of my teachers.

While my peers tended to like the New Kids on the Block covers, I gravitated towards the regular ol' brown paper ones.  Mostly so I could draw the Ghostbusters' logo over and over again.

While browsing through beauty products on Target's site, I came across these awesome book covers by Book City Jackets.

I mean, seriously, how effing cool is this?  And in looking at their site, this Brooklyn-based duo are making all sorts of covers that are beautiful and creative (the Kindle one cracks me up).  I particularly like how they used the covers to accent their bookshelves.

Now, if only I could convince my sister to submit for their artists' series.  That would just rock my world.

Check out Book City Jackets on their site or on Target.com.


Ink'ed Up: Mooks

Mooks and I met in college (at a very whack basketball game....very whack because I was playing!) and have remained close ever since.  She is a loyal, trustworthy, hilarious and beautiful friend.    I actually forgot that she had any tats until I started this series....

More after the jump....

Most Wanted: Fashion is Art Wedge

Just taking a quick break from the Ink'ed Up series (and if you haven't checked them out, then you are just lame) to let my loved ones know that I am starting up my wish list again.  You know, because my loved ones are the only folks who tell me they read this blog and every girl needs a wish list.

So, I need these shoes.  I picture myself wearing them with cropped black pants, black blazer, quilted Chanel bag on my way to dinner with insert-pro-athlete-hottie here.  Wait, that's Kim Kardashian's life.  Okay, I need to stop watching anything involving those Kardashian girls while writing.

Anyway, these shoes are just amazing.  Jeffrey Campbell is a shoe genius.  Jeffrey Campbell, will you be my best friend and give me a pair of shoes for Christmas every year? Yespleasethankyou.