BI-WEEKLY FAVES: Vampires

This Week’s Theme: Vampires

What comes to mind when you hear the word “vampire”? Are you of the Twilight generation who picture a sexy, sparkling specimen of a man, or do you envision a spooky old plantation house in Louisiana inhabited by Brad Pitt? Either way, vampires are a huge part of popular culture and something that have always intrigued me. I’m even going to admit to you that when I was 14 I traveled to Forks, Washington to experience the Twilight hype first-hand.

Here are some of my vampire favourites!

The Lost Boys: No vampire list would be complete without this 80’s classic. I have two favourite movies, and this is one of them. The film is full of iconic quotes and memorable characters. It’s also the first of many films to star “The Two Coreys”, Corey Haim and Corey Feldman. IMDb’s simple plot description goes as follows: After moving to a new town, two brothers discover that the area is a haven for vampires. “Lost Boys” also stars Kiefer Sutherland, Edward Herrmann, Dianne Wiest, and Jason Patric to name a few. I think I was 12 or 13 when I watched the movie for the first time, and my preteen self wished I had lived through the 80s even more than before. I was head-over-heels in love with Corey Haim. Watching it now, he’s a little young for me, but Jason Patric could get it. When Haim passed away in 2010, I admittedly spent the entire day of school in the counselor’s office. Even though he was old enough to be my dad, I was heartbroken. I’ve since been in touch with both “Frog Brothers” via Twitter — Jamison Newlander even follows me! It killed me and now I’m undead. I don’t know if he remembers but he agreed to be in one of my films and I’m holding him to it. I have the Tweets to prove it!

American Vampire In high school, my friend Jesse lent me the first collection in the “American Vampire” series. Here’s the synopsis (credz to Wikipedia): The series imagines vampires as a population made up of many different secret species, and charts moments of vampire evolution and inter-species conflict throughout history. The focus of the series is a new American bloodline of vampires, born in the American West in the late 19th century. The first of this new species is a notorious outlaw named Skinner Sweet, who wakes from death, after being infected, to find he has become a new kind of vampire, something stronger and faster than what came before, impervious to sunlight, with a new set of strengths and weaknesses. The series goes on to track his movements through various decades of American history—along with the movements of his first and only known progeny: Pearl Jones, a young woman working as a struggling actress in the 1920s silent film industry when she is attacked by a coven of European vampires hiding in Hollywood. Sweet saves her (uncharacteristically) by giving her his blood, thereby turning her into an American vampire like him, at which point she seeks revenge on the classic vampires who attacked her in life. The complicated and charged relationship Jones has with Sweet is another focus of the series.

Vampire Lamp from Amazon: This beauty sits on my night table, right by my coffin bookshelf. It adds a bit of gothic air to my pink, orange, and yellow room. You can pick it up here if your unstaked heart desires.

Romania: Romania is another place I’m dying to visit. I’ve been wanting to go on one of the “Hallowe’en Tours” and spend the holiday in one of the spookiest countries in the world. They have hundreds of incredible castles, medieval villages, and a spellbinding culture. Not only that, but last year I discovered a Romanian boyband which clearly made all of my dreams come true. I’ll bless you by including a music video below. I know it’s not really “vampirey” but trust me, there is always time for boybands. I’m in love with Plaid Boy. I don’t know what they’re saying but I bet it’s romantic!


Kat Von D’s Studded Kiss Lipstick in Vampira: I think I’ve mentioned it before, but there is also a shade called “Nosferatu” in her liquid lip which fits with this week’s theme too. Both are lovely — if you’re into gothic colours, her lipsticks are definitely the way to go. The Studded series have 3 different finishes to choose from (all different colours, mind you): matte, shimmer, and metallic.

Well, I’m still off adventuring in Madagascar, but I’ll be back in a few days. So, so excited to update you all!

xoxo

By Emily, on May 29th, 2017, under Bi-Weekly Faves, Personal // Comments Off on BI-WEEKLY FAVES: Vampires


BI-WEEKLY FAVES: Bugs

This Week’s Theme: Bugs

As you read this, I’m quite literally on a flight and off to adventure the wilds of Madagascar! I’m sure while I’m there I’ll be encountering a large number of weird and wacky insects. Which is why I’ve chosen aforementioned subject as this week’s theme. I had four items in mind, and had to stretch a bit for the fifth, but regardless, here are five of my favourite “bug” related things!

ColourPop’s Ultra Matte Lip in Love Bug I adore the mahogany colour of this lipstick. It looks great with so many outfits and it’s super easy on the wallet at $6.

Jake Bugg – Jake Bugg Jake is my favourite singer, so I’m a little bias, but I think his debut and self-titled album is also his best. I don’t think there’s a single bad song on this record. His unique voice and old school folk jams make for the perfect album. Will Hermes of Rolling Stone spills the truth tea in that Bugg “does what countrywomen Adele and Amy Winehouse did with soul: He yokes the spirit and styles of dated genres to the now… vivid storytelling helps keep Bugg out of the nostalgia swamp.” Some of my favourite tracks from the album are “Simple as This” (which one of these days I plan to have some lyrics of tattooed on my body, written of course in his own handwriting), “Lightning Bolt”, “Two Fingers” “Broken”, and “Seen It All”.


My future tattoo courteous of Jake

A Bug’s Life: An unpopular opinion, yes, but A Bug’s Life is my favourite Pixar Film! This is kinda messed up, but I totally had a crush on Flik when I was a kid. I was also obsessed with Dot and wanted to be Princess Atta. To this day, it holds a special place in my heart. That said, I’ve always thought it was kind of weird that Disneyland dedicated an entire “land” to it. Not that I’m complaining, but it just doesn’t seem that it ever reached the popularity or commercial success that, say, Toy Story, did. But will that stop the Bug’s Land bathroom from being my favourite place to pee at Disneyland? Absolutely not.

Y: The Last Man: This one is where I’m reaching a little bit. Technically the story has zip to do with bugs, but when I first read it, my initial guess was that some sort of bug wiped out the entire male population. I’m not going to spoil anything, but you can probably safely assume if I was right or not. This is another Brian K. Vaughan specialty (I talk about him briefly in another post with the mention of Paper Girls). This series is one of a kind in the comic world. They’ve made several unsuccessful attempts to turn it into a show and I’m kinda mad about it. I NEED TO SEE THIS ON SCREEN. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting the artist, Pia Guerra (who resides in the Vancouver area), a few times and have had some custom art commissioned. She’s amazing. Here’s the plot (credz to the Vertigo Comics website) to get you stoked: This is the saga of Yorick Brown—the only human survivor of a planet-wide plague that instantly kills every mammal possessing a Y chromosome. Accompanied by a mysterious government agent, a brilliant young geneticist and his pet monkey, Ampersand, Yorick travels the world in search of his lost love and the answer to why he’s the last man on earth.

Little Rascals: Everyone knows this movie so I don’t even have to explain it. In fact, I think I quote it on a daily basis. It’s based on the classic 1920’s show Our Gang, which ran all the way through to the 1940s. “So Emily, what does this have to do with bugs?” you ask. Bug Hall! Bug Hall is the actor who starred as “Alfalfa” in the 1994 film — he’s my favourite character, besides Porky who was played by my pal Zac Mabry, of course. (Hi Zac if you’re reading this.) In 2014, the cast (give or a take a couple) reunited for the 20th Anniversary. A photoshoot, videos, and stories from the set ensued.

There we go! Bugs galore! I can’t wait to update you guys about my time in Madagascar (and Paris too!). I would love to post as it happens, but I’ve left all my electronics at home in Canada for both safety and so I won’t be distracted by the computer and can experience every aspect to the fullest.

xoxo

By Emily, on May 15th, 2017, under Bi-Weekly Faves, Personal // Comments Off on BI-WEEKLY FAVES: Bugs


BI-WEEKLY FAVES: The 1980s

This Week’s Theme: The 1980s

I firmly believe David Lee Roth said it best: “When I die, sprinkle my ashes over the 80s”. So many people look back on the era and cringe at the bright and bold makeup choices, big hair, shoulder pads, and Olivia Newton-John inspired legwarmers. But me? I embrace it. I embrace it all. Here are some of my favourite 80’s items and 80’s inspired items.

The Goldbergs: I’m ashamed to admit that ABC was already a season and a half into the series when I discovered it, but it’s all good now, fate has brought us together. Here’s the synopsis courteous of the show’s official Facebook page: The Goldbergs are a loving 80s family like any other, just with a lot more yelling. Mom Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey, Bridesmaids) is a classic “smother” while Dad Murray (Jeff Garlin, Curb Your Enthusiasm) is a gruff, hot-tempered father. As the youngest of three kids, Adam is a camera-wielding future director who’s crushing on an older woman and getting schooled in the ways of love by a shameless Don Juan of a grandfather, ‘Pops’ (George Segal, Just Shoot Me). It’s such a fun concept and is based on the creator, Adam Goldberg’s, life while growing up in the 80s. At the end of each episode, an episode-related clip from the real home movies he made as a kid are shown.

Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Backstage Bambi: I probably own more Kat Von D lipsticks than any other brand. She’s paved the way for unique colours and, as a vegan, she is diligent that her products are not tested on animals. I bought the shade “Backstage Bambi” specifically for the most recent Duran Duran concert I attended. I did a full on 80’s look for the show — and received many compliments for my efforts. Anywho, Everlasting is paraben-free and long-wear, which has a great matte finish. So often my skin is already shiny, ergo, I tend to avoid glossy lipsticks. There are so many other beautiful shades in this series, a few favourites are: Nosferatu, Lolita, Brick Red, and L.U.V. Backstage Bambi (or any other) will put you out $24 CAD — but it’s worth it.


I think I’ve got the look down, all I need now is a time machine.

Paper Girls: From Image Comics’ website: SAGA writer BRIAN K. VAUGHAN launches a brand-new ONGOING SERIES with superstar Wonder Woman artist CLIFF CHIANG! In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Stand By Me meets War of the Worlds in this mysterious young adult adventure. Stand By Me? War of the Worlds? The 1980s? Sign me the fuck up. The first time I read the pitch for this I was 110% sold. Not only that, but I adore Brian K. Vaughan’s work (with the exception of Saga, which for some reason I just can’t get into). This series is a wild ride, so hold onto your Debbie Gibson-inspired bowler hat.

Duran Duran – Seven and the Ragged Tiger: By now, if you haven’t figured it out, I’m a massive Duran Duran fan. I’m not one to associate myself with “fandom names”, but damn, call me a Duranie. I was torn between this album and the Rio album, but since pretty much everyone is familiar with Rio, and the hits that were born from it, I decided to spotlight this underrated (though the band’s first and only #1 UK album) gem. This is one of my favourite records to listen to on vinyl. It adds so much atmosphere to the somewhat theatrical vibe Seven has going on. Three singles were released from the album: the first was “Union of the Snake” in 1983, followed by “New Moon on Monday” and “The Reflex” in 1984. Personally, I think New Moon is one of the band’s best songs, both lyrically and melodically.

Running on Empty: You can argue all you want, but River Phoenix was one of the best things to be born from the 80’s entertainment womb. Again, I was torn when choosing a film to feature in this section because there are just so many great 80’s movies. I finally selected Running on Empty because after deciding on Duran Duran’s Seven and the Ragged Tiger, I figured why not keep the underrated theme going? There is so much to say about this film. First of all, it was written by none other than Naomi Foner. Name doesn’t ring a bell? She’s also known as Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s mama. Both Foner and Phoenix were robbed of Oscars that year. Though she did take home a Golden Globe. Here’s the plot thanks to Wikipedia: The story revolves around parents Annie and Arthur Pope (Lahti and Hirsch) who in the 1970s were responsible for the anti-war protest bombing of a napalm laboratory. The incident accidentally blinded and paralyzed a janitor who wasn’t supposed to be there. They’ve been on the run ever since, relying on an underground network of supporters who help them financially. At the time of the incident, their son Danny (Phoenix) was two years old. As the film begins, he is in his late teens, and the family (along with younger son Harry) are again relocating and assuming new identities. As always, River captivates and, dare I say, carries the film. RIP, sweet angel.

Happy May! Hope it’s filled with good 80’s tunes and John Hughes marathons!

xoxo

By Emily, on May 1st, 2017, under Bi-Weekly Faves, Personal // Comments Off on BI-WEEKLY FAVES: The 1980s


BI-WEEKLY FAVES: PINK!

This Week’s Theme: Pink

Who doesn’t love the colour pink?! It looks good in all shades, neon, bright, pastel… I don’t think it’s possible to go wrong with it! I had a hard time compiling this list and narrowing it down to just five things… but I managed! Here are some of my all-time favourite things that have to do with pink!

Better Than Sex Mascara: Okay, okay… so the actual product isn’t pink, but the exterior is! I was torn between a pink lipstick and this, but you’ll see in my next “Faves” post why I went with this one. This mascara has a lot of mixed reviews, some people say it clumps, others say it’s flaky or messy, but no one can deny that it adds length and volume! I have naturally long lashes, but I need a dark mascara to make them stand out. Sometimes I use this, sometimes I’ll use Gifted by Tarte, and sometimes I’ll use both at once! It’s a bit on the pricey side if you’re not used to buying “high end” makeup, at $30 CAD.


Here’s a close up of my lashes with Better Than Sex Mascara

Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub: I have a confession: one day when I was lounging around in bed, reading my book, I ate some of this. That’s how good it is. It tastes incredible (kind of like these raspberry candies my mom used to get) and it removes all the unwanted dead skin from your lips! Like I mentioned in a previous post, Lush is one of my favourite brands and I get a lot of stuff from them, but I only started using this product back in February. I haven’t looked back! One of the best things about it is that the main ingredient (other than sugar) is Jojoba oil, which, “moisturizes the lips without leaving any shine or oily feeling behind”. Oh, and the fact you can lick it off once you’re done scrubbin’! Price-wise, it’s $10.95 CAD for 10kg.

Ceres Guava Juice: I first discovered guava juice at a restaurant called The Banana Leaf in downtown Vancouver. According to HealthAmbition.com, the drink is loaded with Vitamin C, has cancer-fighting properties, helps control blood sugar, maintains eye health, and is full of Phytonutrients (which I had to Google, and apparently they’re chemicals that help protect plants from germs, fungi, bugs, and other threats). I’m not sure if this is any different from other juices, but hey, I’m sold! I should probably mention that it does have somewhat of an odd texture and probably isn’t what you’re expecting. My favourite brand is Ceres (none of these are sponsored posts, by the way), because it tastes exactly like what I get at The Banana Leaf — it might even be the same!

Pretty in Pink: This is probably my all-time favourite John Hughes flick. Duckie is one of my favourite (tragically) fictional characters and I would give my left leg (I feel like it’s my less dominant one) for him to be my best friend. In case you’re an uncultured swine and haven’t been introduced to the magic that is Molly Ringwald, John Cryer, and Andrew McCarthy’s love triangle, let Google explain: Andie Walsh is a teenager who lives in the dingy part of town with her terminally underemployed dad. She works at a record store with eccentric Ionia and is considered a misfit at her uppity high school, but somehow she rises above them all. Her oddball best friend, Duckie, is hopelessly in love with her, so he causes trouble for her romantic pursuits. When local rich kid Blaine develops a fascination with her, they go out on a date together. Visiting the home bases of each social clique, they are basically ridiculed for their audacity to date one another. When Blaine eventually asks the delighted Andie to the prom, he is threatened by his rich friend Steff. The romance versus high school social politics finally culminates at the big night of the prom. Sound cliche? It is. But it’s undoubtedly the best take on the underdog-gets-the-hot-popular-dude cliche there is.

Atom Eve (from Invincible): As many of you know, one of my favourite comic book series is Robert Kirkman’s Invincible (gotta give credz to Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley too). It’s a pretty generic sounding story about a teenager, who after waiting for years and finally losing hope, gets the powers he’s always dreamed of. Then he’s off to fight crime in between classes and trying to get the attention of one of the hottest girls in school: Samantha Eve Wilkins (aka Atom Eve). Eve’s a badass babe who can manipulate atoms in any way she wants. Want a cake? Give this girl 10 seconds and you’ll have your cake. Honestly? The dream. I don’t want to give too much away, as I HIGHLY recommend you check it out. The plot may not be incredibly original, but I promise you it’s unlike most superhero comics out there. They’ve just announced the film adaptation and I am both nervous and excited. I think either Holland Roden or a redheaded Lili Reinhart would make for awesome portrayals. Also, Nick Robinson is the only acceptable candidate for Mark. The only one.

Wow! Another week done. Hope you’re all having a lovely spring!

Until next time.

xoxo

By Emily, on April 24th, 2017, under Bi-Weekly Faves, Personal // Comments Off on BI-WEEKLY FAVES: PINK!


BI-WEEKLY FAVES: The Middle East

This Week’s Theme: The Middle East

Over the past few years, I’ve become increasingly fascinated by the Middle East. In fact, a lot of the characters I write are from Middle Eastern countries or of Middle Eastern descent. The script I’m focusing on at the moment is set in a variety of those different places. Unfortunately, the region gets a bad rap. Yes, there are plenty of miserable things going on there, but countries say, for example, Jordan (one of my personal favourites) is actually a beautiful and safe place for travel.

It’s your lucky day because I’m including a mini geography lesson in today’s post! Bet you weren’t expecting a pop quiz were you? What do Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates all have in common? If you guessed that they’re Middle Eastern countries, you would be correct!

Anyway, here are five of my favourite things to do with the Middle East!

Rami Malek: Have you been watching Mr. Robot? He’s been watching you. I truly believe Rami Malek is one of the best actors of our generation. We’ve seen him play a Pharaoh, an emotionally vacant hacker, and soon we’ll see him as a rock and roll icon… but Rami is so much more. Not only was he the first Arab-American to win an Emmy (on his first nomination, might I add), but his delightful personality has charmed many-a person over the past couple of years. I absolutely adore this man and everything he stands for. If you haven’t seen any of his work, I highly recommend you take a peek at his extensive filmography. There’s literally something for everyone.

Aladdin: A little known fact about Aladdin is that the earliest version of the character (from before 1700) was actually Chinese! The tale originates from “a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age” entitled One Thousand and One Nights. I’m not familiar with the original, but I’m definitely interested in reading it. I am, however, extremely familiar with the Disney version, and Aladdin happens to be my favourite prince. I love everything about the film, from the voice actors they cast to the songs (“A Whole New World” is one of my all-time favourites) — it all makes for the perfect Disney cartoon.

Pakawra: Up until a few years ago, I wasn’t well acquainted with Middle Eastern dishes, but then my auntie Karen took me to a restaurant in Vancouver called The Afghan Horsemen. It quickly became one of my most frequented places in town. One of my favourite dishes there is called Pakawra, which are basically breaded and fried potato slices. When dipped in hummus… INCREDIBLE. I even went there for my birthday this year (pic will be included below!) We ordered two of their Horsemen Platters and were waddling out afterwards.


L-R: My friend Colette, auntie Karen, yours truly, my friends Gig, Mike, and Ryan.

The Arabic Language I’ll admit, I’ve tried (and failed miserably) to learn how to speak Arabic. I love the language and I love listening to native speakers speak the language. I’m planning a trip to Jordan either late this year or early 2018, and would love to be at least a little familiar with it — a friend of mine who lives in Amman has offered to teach me some while I’m there, but do I really want to embarrass myself in front of the locals? I know most places appreciate it when you try, but I even sound like a basic white bitch when I speak French — and that’s generally a predominantly white person language!!

Jordan (and the Lonely Planet Travel Guide): I haven’t decided if I’m going to travel independently or with a tour, but I know that thanks to this book (and my local friend), I’ll be ready for whatever. Out of every country on the planet, I’m most interested in going here. I’m not sure if it’s for the archaeological sites (Petra), for the deserts (Wadi Rum), or simply that I’m intrigued by the Jordanian people, but my urge to go there cannot be denied. Maybe I lived there in a past life? Who knows! But I’m sure as heck excited to visit.

There we go! That wraps up this week’s “Bi-Weekly Faves”. I hope you’re enjoying this as much as I am. I don’t even know if anybody reads my blog! Do you have any favourite Middle Eastern items/traditions/foods/places? Let me know on Twitter @EmilyKoopman!

xoxo

By Emily, on April 10th, 2017, under Bi-Weekly Faves, Personal // Comments Off on BI-WEEKLY FAVES: The Middle East