What to Wear: Do These Colors Go?

February 13, 2015 § 1 Comment

February 13, 2015

My model and actor friend Dia is always saying “do more color!” So I’m trying to do more color. But since I’m not nearly as fashion-savvy as she is, I need your opinion.

I’m going to a cabaret performance this weekend, and am thinking of this ensemble: a gold, tiered strappy top (Macy’s clearance) and a purple, slim-fitting–OK, tight-fitting– skirt (Nicki Minaj, Kmart, clearance). (I think there’s a theme here.)

Gold and purple. Violet? Blue-violet?

Is this combo a go or a no? Hit up the comments and let me know what you think. I always have the little black dress for the B plan.

It’s Not Easy Being a Writer Gal About Town

February 9, 2015 § 3 Comments

February 9, 2015

My plan for Saturday was simple. Work on my writing project from 3:00 pm – 6:00pm. Leave the house for my night out at the Cotton Club Gala at 7:30 pm. That gave me an hour and a half, from 6:00 – 7:30, to get dolled up and ready to go. I had my step-by-step tutorial for the smokey eyes, and the You Tube video for the curly-hair updo queued up on my iPhone. Piece of cake.

So at 6:00 exactly, I closed up my notepads, shelved my books, cranked up my party tunes playlist, and started getting ready.

At 6:36, I had only gotten as far as finishing the concealer and pressed powder on my face. I hadn’t even started on my eyes. And I freaked. The. Fuck. Out.

Started running around the house, checking all the clocks, yelling to an increasingly alarmed cat, “Is it already 6:30? What happened? I lost an hour of time. How did I lose an entire hour of time?”

Because I was suddenly, inexplicably convinced that I had originally planned to start getting ready at 5:00. It was a full two minutes before I remembered that, no, the plan had been 6:00. I had started at 6:00, as planned. It was just that it had taken me thirty freaking minutes to put on the foundation alone. And I had apparently just lost my mind.

This is what happens when I do the writing creative thing while also trying to maintain a schedule for my regular life.

But it all turned out okay in the end.


 The eyes.


 The updo.


The in shadow shot.

Movie Night: “Beyond the Lights”

January 19, 2015 § Leave a comment

January 19, 2015

My walking shoes. I participated in the Martin Luther King, Jr. march on Saturday morning. After seeing Selma, I pretty much had to. And, no, I won’t bitch that Ava DuVernay didn’t get a Best Director nomination. Oh, wait. I guess I just did.

I walked in the MLK march on Saturday morning. After seeing Selma, I pretty much had to. And, no, I won’t bitch that Ava DuVernay didn’t get a Best Director nomination. Oh, wait. I guess I just did.

I met my trusty movie buddy Martha in the lobby of the theater.

Beyond the Lights, right?” she said.


“Whew.” She had already bought her ticket. “I got up to the window and realized I had no idea what movie we’re seeing.”

I guess I should be flattered that my friend trusts my judgment enough to show up at the theater without bothering to pay attention to which movie I’d proposed. Me, I don’t trust anybody enough to show up to the movie theater blind.

“It’s a lovey-dovey movie, isn’t it?” she asked.

“Of course.”

“I knew it. I was scanning the titles, thinking, ‘Which movie would Shannon pick?’ I went with the one that sounded romantic because that’s your genre—the one that you write in.”

My movie pal knows me well.

Beyond the Lights flew under the radar the first time around. Like too many “black” movies that open in Albuquerque, it ran for, like, a week. I had planned to see it over Thanksgiving weekend, but it was already gone.

It just reopened in the cheap theater, and everybody must have heard about the rave reviews and the original song Oscar nomination because the theater was packed. Black people, white people. Young people, old people. People who leaned over to their partners and said happily, “That’s the song she sang in the beginning, when she was a little girl.”

Martha kept leaning over to commentate on the male lead character, played by Nate Parker. “Oh, my God, he is so freaking hot.”

He was also one of those Captain America/Superman/Boy Scout types. Swoon.

I don’t even know where to begin with Gugu Mbatha-Raw. She can’t star in too many movies, in my opinion. She is the whole package.

The themes in this movie run deeper than you might originally assume from the trailer. It tackles the hypersexualization of female artists, the mother-daughter survival bond, the schism between what an artist really wants to say and what is commercially viable. And it has a kick-ass love story to boot.

As the credits rolled, Martha said, “Oh, I’m so glad no one died.”

Lovey-dovey movies are the best movies ever.

Movie Night: “Top Five”

December 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

December 15, 2014

Me: “Top Five opens this weekend. Want to go?”

Dia: “Do you think it’ll be funny?”

Hello. It’s Chris Rock.

Me: “Okay, you saw the trailer, right?”

Dia: “Yes, but is it going to be like Dear White People, where the trailer makes it look like it’s going to be really funny, but it’s actually not.”

Me: “Rolling Stone and Richard Roeper said it’s funny, so we’re good.”

We were those people, taking multiple selfies in the theater before the previews started, trying to get one that looked sufficiently selfie worthy and approved by both of us.

We were those people, taking multiple selfies in the theater before the previews started, trying to get one that looked sufficiently selfie worthy and approved by both of us.

Verdict: we pretty much laughed our asses off throughout the whole thing.

Dia: “That was the funniest movie I’ve seen in a long time.”

Maybe now she’ll trust my movie recommendations.

Ha. That’s good for a laugh.

Swinging Around the [May] Pole

November 10, 2014 § Leave a comment

November 10, 2014

I’m writing NaNoWriMo with arms that are a little sore today. That’s because I took a pole dancing class on Sunday and boy, does that work your upper body.

My friend and Hot Tub Reader Dia arranged a private pole dancing class for six of us. I hadn’t taken a dance class in way too long so I said sure. Gave me a chance to wear those cute dotted tights I bought on clearance at Target last year and then never opened.

I psyched myself up by watching the finals competition scene at the end of Pitch Perfect a few times. Seriously, I never get tired of that scene. And apparently it did the trick.

I had way more fun in the class than I expected to. Strutting and twirling around the pole–it was kind of like being a grown and sexy woman and a little kid at the same time.

As you can see from my scuffed dance shoes, I really liked the “drag your leg through a spin and into a flamingo” move.


Afterward, we all walked over to Two Fools Tavern and ordered drinks, fish and chips, and then shared the most decadently delicious brownie ever. It seemed the appropriate thing to do.

Movie Night: “Dear White People”

October 26, 2014 § 1 Comment

October 25, 2014

We went into Dear White People expecting some gut-busting, tear-rolling, cheek-cracking laughs. No. Not so much. This is not a comedy.

Depending on your own experience and sensibilities, you will laugh at some point during the movie. But it will probably be the uncomfortable laugh. And someone in the theater might look at you sideways.

A few character reveals hit me in the stomach. Like the “not feeling black enough for the black or white crowd” thing. And the “knowing the other kids are looking at you weird because one of your parents is white” thing. So the laughter was more the “yeah, I know what that’s like and it’s really messed up” kind of laughter.

Note: Pay attention to the credits. I almost missed them. They pack a wallop.

Sun Belt Express at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival

October 20, 2014 § 2 Comments

October 20, 2014

It has been a while since I’ve been out until one o’ clock in the morning. Good thing I bought that sleep mask at Big Lots.


On Saturday I went to the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival to attend the screening of Sun Belt Express. I went with the Cheza Jouer Films duo and one of the film’s producers, Kenneth Segura Knoll. The movie played at the Jean Cocteau theater, owned by none other than George R.R. Martin. Sun Belt Express is a gem of an indie film about a divorced, broke teacher who supplements his income with a side job smuggling people across the border from Mexico. On what is supposed to be his final run, he discovers his idealistic teenage daughter stowed away in the trunk of his car. A hilarious disaster of an adventure ensues.

At the center of this movie were the men hiding in the trunk of the car, hoping to start a new life in the U.S. It made me think of one of my favorite scenes from the “Homecoming” episode of Smallville where Oliver Queen is being interviewed by a combative TV anchor and he says that he’s not “putting up razor wire fences to keep out immigrants, who only want what our grandparents wanted.”

I really love a people-bonding-through-adversity-story. This movie had father-daughter bonding, down-and-out-comrade bonding, man-woman bonding, woman-girl bonding. And lots and lots of laughs—like, till my eyes watered. The shots of the gorgeous New Mexico sky were just icing on the cake.


Me and Miguel Sandoval, one of the stars of Sun Belt Express. When I first saw him, I was like “Why does he look so familiar? Who did he play that had a cool, calming, authoritative presence? Who was it??” It was District Attorney Manuel Devalos in Medium, that’s who.

Check out more on Sun Belt Express here: http://sunbeltexpressmovie.com


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