In Philadelphia, my sister and I found a really great store. Lush. They sell handmade soaps. I know handmade soaps are a huge thing these days. Everyone's doing it. In fact I've often considered starting my own handmade soap company and calling it something clever like Howling Moon Soaps. I'm not sure why that's clever. The moon doesn't howl, after all. That's why it's clever. Because the moon is howling back.
Anyway, Lush is the cleverest of all handmade soap companies. They have clever handwriting on their signs. They have a clever logo and they cleverly mold it into some of their products, like their bath bombs. They shape some of the foaming bath soaps into clever things, like stuff you'd find in a Candy Land game -- candy bars and kisses -- so you want to eat them. And the products are colorful too. It's a veritable landscape of candy, color, and cleverness. They have tubs of ocean salt for exfoliation, a lemony lotion that moisturizes, and the crème de la crème, their Jell-o shower gels. I mean, who would have thought? A Jell-O shower gel. Some of them even have flowers in the Jell-O, like a real Jell-O with pineapple or carrots (yes, some people put carrots in Jell-O. Crazies).
Obviously my mom's present was from Lush. How could we resist? And she loved it and went back to the store with us and spent $60 more.
On my return flight from Philly, I read Anthony Lane's review of Spider-Man 3. I've been getting the New Yorker for two years now (I used to get it in college, when I was more liberal-minded), but I never have time to read it and I'm not renewing the subscription when it runs out (I'm more moderate/conservative now and the New Yorker opinions suck). But I save all the issues as though I'm going to make time at some point in the future to read all the back issues. I see myself doing this and can't stop. Like, someday I might search through them to find David Denby's review of something I can finally get on video, read it, and then decide I don't want to see it after all. Like I did with the new Spiderman, except this time it's a recent issue and the movie is in the theater.
I won't be seeing the new Spiderman. Unless I'm going just to laugh at it. Lane and Denby kill me with their reviews, especially when they think the film is tripe (like the Britney Spears movie), and though I sometimes wonder which independent film executive producer paid them to make love to their new "indie" movie, the review of Spider-man 3 is probably one of my favorite reviews ever. The thing with Lane is that he often puts into words what the average movie-goer (me) can't express, but most certainly feels. Sometimes you see a movie and all you can say is "it sucked." Then you read a review by one of the grouches from the New Yorker (Lane and Denby) and you feel as though you've found your new spokesperson. Those two are the only reason I have kept a subscription to the stupid magazine. It used to be for the poetry, but then I caught on that the poetry editor was incredibly biased.