Saturday, June 11, 2016

A Day Off

Despite the fact that I haven't done much this past week, I decided to officially take the day off today. This week has been a mess of stress and social anxiety, so it was quite nice to reset from the grouchiness. Kelly took a Zipcar to the Bay Street Ikea, so I tagged along for the ride in order to watch X-Men: Apocalypse at the AMC Theater. Berkeley's theaters are nice, but I feel that action movies should always be watched on the biggest screen possible to get the best effect. Plot-wise, the movie was a bit disappointing, but I wanted to watch it because I absolutely love the X-Men as characters, so I don't regret it. I'll write more about the movie further down in the post, so if you haven't watched it you can avoid mild spoilers.
While I was at Bay Street, I also went shopping. I arrived at 10:30AM, but the movie wasn't until 1:30PM so I had three hours to kill. Originally, I only needed to buy a one-piece bathing suit. I'm working at a summer program in Sacramento so I can't wear a two-piece, but all the stores I went to — H&M, Old Navy, and Forever 21 — didn't have any suitable one-pieces in store. I also checked at Ross, but they didn't have anything under a size 8. Also, I figure if Sacramento summers are going to be hot but I'm not allowed to wear shorts, then the next best option is to have a lot of dresses and skirts on hand. I'm glad I decided to go shopping because H&M has a ton of affordable summer dresses and skirts right now. I bought a versatile black skater dress and a maxi skirt with the color/pattern of the background of the movie ticket photo. Ideally I'd have more belts to accessorize with, but that takes effort, so this will do.

Every time I'm at Bay Street, I can't resist visiting Lush. Somehow I always end up buying far more stuff than I need, but I can't help it! Everything smells so good (and now I smell good too). Their current theme was Father's Day products. In the first photo of this post, on the left is the 'Thanks Dad' soap. It's a bit of a smaller soap, but it's not as expensive either. It really is that neon color in real life and it smells amazing, like sunshiney oranges. I honestly don't want to use it because I'd rather keep it on my desk for scent. In the middle is 'The Modfather' bubble bar. It doesn't smell as strong as the soap as it is a bubble bar, but the in-store demo created a beautiful blue color. It also is less expensive than a typical bubble bar due to its size, but I figure I could get three or four uses out of it in the tiny apartment bathtub. On the right is the 'Buffy' body butter. I was hesitant about buying this one for a number of reasons. One, it was the most pricey of all the things I picked out. Two, I've tried the Rub Rub Rub Body Scrub, and while I really wanted to like it, it completely melted in the shower (it was tragic). Three, it's listed as a body butter, while I was looking for more of an exfoliating product. However, after the sales associate gave me a demo of how it worked, I was hooked. It's a very gentle soothing exfoliation. I usually don't feel comfortable chatting with sales associates in stores, but Lush has that atmosphere and the associates are always super friendly and expert at finding what you need. You'd think that Lush is more intimidating because the associates are always trying to rub soaps and whatnot on your arms, but while some people really hate it, I love it — it's quite relaxing.

Finally, to make a visit to Lush truly worth it, there are the samples. My main concerns were summer weather and splotchy skin, but it's difficult for me to invest in expensive Lush products without knowing how they'd react to my skin. Two associates helped me with this actually, and one said that Vanishing Cream was the product that fully fixed her skin. It's almost $50 a unit, so this sample was a must-try. The bottom sample is the Ayesha fresh face mask, which is the only fresh face mask to date that I have not tried. I don't know why I've overlooked this one because from its description it sounds perfect: "refresh tired-looking skin," "soothing red areas." I suppose it's because I lean towards exfoliating face masks, but I'm excited to try this one out.
I spent way more time in Lush than I had anticipated so by the time I left the store, there were only 20 minutes left until the movie was scheduled to begin. I had a chicken and bacon slice at what I believe was my first time eating at Pizza My Heart. For some reason every time some kid in elementary school brought leftover Pizza My Heart to school for lunch the next day, it always looked really unappetizing, so I assumed that I wouldn't like it. There weren't any other fast food places available so I didn't have much of a choice, but to my surprise, I really liked it!

Now, for the movie. Potential spoilers under the image, so read at your own risk.

Regarding the movie, despite negative reviews, I decided to watch it because I love the X-Men, even more so than the Maximoffs in the Avengers (though arguably the Maximoffs are X-Men as well due to their connection as Magneto's children in certain plots). Magneto is always a fascinating villain because he is so good at heart and he was truly the star of the show in this movie as well (Apocalypse-who?).

Unfortunately, time travel confuses the f*ck out of me, so I would have liked to have gone in with a better understanding of the consequences of the previous movie, Days of Future Past. The main villain seemed to have come about fairly spontaneously rather than as a consequence of a previous action, which is usually more compelling. For those who watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Apocalypse is reminiscent of Hive. Hive:Inhumans::Apocalypse:Mutants, in a nutshell.

As a result, the movie spent a lot of time setting up the plot, but somehow the Four Horsemen weren't very well introduced (Psylocke is who??). They also spent a lot of time building up Apocalypse as a Big Bad, but it didn't make much sense. I remember looking at the time and wondering how they were going to solve the problem, but of course, Jean Grey does a Jean Grey thing and everyone lives happily ever after. Still, it was great to see some of my favorite characters again —  Mystique, Nightcrawler, the Beast, and many more — as well as a really cool cameo of by far one of my favorite characters ever in the entire Marvel universe, Wolverine (though he was more of a deranged beast-man than the snarky Logan from earlier movies, see gifs). Constantly proving himself as another of my favorite characters in whichever studio universe he exists, Quicksilver's scenes were pure beauty.

The movie felt more like a clean-up for Days of Future Past to set the line straight in order to have a solid foundation for future movies than a good standalone movie. The plot is fairly predictable. I would even go as far as to say that the trailer is an adequate summary of the movie. If you like the X-Men go watch it, but if you want a really satisfying movie, it's not worth the ticket. ◊

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