Tuesday, June 30, 2015


I know, I know, my cynicism on this is going to be somewhat overwhelming for some of you, but just hear me out...

I don't understand hate for the sake of hate....hating someone for their race, sexual orientation, etc, it's all just bullshit to me, but I know that it's there, I just can't wrap my head around it.  So when the question of "Why didn't you change your FB profile pic to "Celebrate Pride", it really made me start to think about why it wasn't an automatic reaction for me...I support gay marriage, a large number of the people within my immediate group of loved ones are gay, of course I support their right to marry, duh....but it's deeper than that.

Sometimes I wish I was that person that can revel in small wins, that could be happy for even just a moment when we get something that has been fought for, but shouldn't have to be.....I'm just not that person... I find it hard to celebrate when although it's legal for same sex couples to marry across the US, it is also still legal in a large number of states (the majority, actually) to discriminate against these same people for their sexual orientation or gender identity.  Huh?  "What was that again?", you say.  Click the link, check out the map, it's appalling and disgusting and quite frankly, brings me to tears. We made it legal for same sex couples to marry before they get basic rights as individual human beings in most states.  I can't be the only one outraged by this.  I'm not criticizing the decision, I do support it, but why stop there?  It can't stop there.

I personally find it hard to celebrate this victory as if it's the be all, end all....it's just the beginning, folks....So, when asked why I didn't "Pride" my Facebook profile page, the conclusion I came to is that the fight is not over.  Now I understand, it's a small gesture to show support, but those around me already know they have my support.  I'll show my support by loving people for who they are (unless they're assholes, I don't care what gender, sexual orientation, or race you are, if you're an asshole, you're an asshole, and I won't waste my time), by fighting for and helping as many people as I can.  I find it hard to join in on the corporate mandated "support" by not really doing anything but changing a filter...Now I do understand how big this victory is, I don't want to diminish that, but at the same time, we need to remember that like when Segregation ended, racism did not.  It's showing a change in the tides, which is good, but I'm always cautious not to take my eye off the prize and celebrate prematurely.  That's when you get knocked down.

I'm thrilled for all of you that can celebrate this, but after all the hate that's been in the headlines the past few months, I hardly think this one gesture evens the score, but it certainly is a good start...I look forward to seeing where we can go with this.

Just my two cents.....

~Lily White 

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Bookstore Speakeasy a bit of the 20s in Bethlehem!

This a photo of the bar taken from their Facebook page. I'm not showing you anything else, because it would take away from the experience!

336 Adams Street
Bethlehem, PA  18015
 610-867-1100 (you need to call to make a reservation)
Hours: Tue - Sat  5:00 pm - 2:00 am

The Speakeasy is located underneath an old school building. Years ago, it was a spaghetti restaurant, or so I've been told. When you walk in, you see a hostess stand and some bookshelves. The magic happens behind a curtain. When you walk into the back of the restaurant, you're transported into something out of the 1920's. The interior is dark wood and filled with lamps and vintage decor. The menu placed at each table is an upcycled book, something I thought was very cute given the name.

They serve expensive vintage cocktails ($14) and a variety of beers and wines ($7-20). Everything is tasty, and I recommend trying something fancy! The food is excellent, and there is a good enough variety to satisfy everyone in your party. I haven't tried their desserts, but I'm sure they're wonderful, too.

They have live music some nights (usually weekends) and the bands play vintage songs and dress in vintage clothing.  Depending on the night, you'll either find people dressed in fancy clothing or people in jeans. The crowd is unpredictable. I prefer dressing up when I go there because it just feels right!

I totally recommend going to The Bookstore for a fancy date night. They usually run Groupons, which makes the experience even more affordable!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Yummiest little place in Wilkes-Barre!

I was driving in Wilkes Barre, PA about a week ago and had the opportunity to stop at one of my favorite little restaurants, the Anthracite Café. After being to many, and I mean many, different restaurants in the NEPA area, I forgot how much I really enjoyed their food and casual atmosphere. I think it’s about time that everyone knew about this little gem!

Their selection of salads, sandwiches, soups, wings and specialty dishes never let me down and they make some of the BEST wing sauces I have ever tasted! The Hot Maple Garlic is probably one of my favorites - Yum! They even make different sauces like Peanut Butter & Jelly, Rosemary Ranch, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Mango Jalapeno, Old Bay Garlic Butter and some normal sauces like Mild, Hot and Cajun. Regardless of what flavor you choose, your taste buds will thank you! My favorite meals there are probably the B&B’s Chicken Strips, which are strips of chicken doused in whatever sauce you’d like, the Pretzel Chicken, and the Buffalo Chicken Cheesesteak (can you tell I enjoy chicken?) They serve a variety of different meats but those are just a few of my personal favorites!

On top of fantastic food, they have an amazing bar! For all you drinkers out there, they house a crazy variety of different beverages. I’m a fan of IPA’s and Specialty/Seasonal brews – they do not disappoint! Some of the few I have enjoyed there are the Arrogant Bastard Ale, Victory Hop Devil, Pete’s Strawberry Blonde and Wells Banana Bread.
For the full menu of their drinks, check this out --> Drinks!

The Anthracite Café is just as rich in history as they are with their food.  When you walk into their dining area the walls are covered in old photographs of the beautiful Wyoming Valley from the early 1900’s. The Anthracite Café started off as the Anthracite Hotel and has been family owned for four generations. Now, the Anthracite Café is owned by a local restaurateur who is from the area and keeps their homemade, friendly atmosphere alive!  Like them on Facebook!

Anthracite Cafe, 1907
So if you're in the area, check out this little gem and enjoy!

Jolie Kasar

Friday, June 26, 2015

I Blame Rose McGowan

Since she's already in the line of fire due to recent events, I think I'll blame Rose McGowan, too....after all, don't we all need a scapegoat? <insert sarcastic eye roll here>
McGowan as Courtney in Jawbreaker

I say this because I've been absolutely in love with Rose McGowan for, dare I say, about 20 years now.  Yes, I was a big fan of Doom Generation....of course I loved her in Charmed....even once allowing myself to be bribed by a friend with Charmed DVDs.....back before Netflix binging was a thing, I was OD'ing on Charmed DVDs, true story.  But these are far from the only reasons I love her...I love her sass, I love her determination, I love what a strong woman she is, and I really love all the charity work she does, including work with Boston Terriers, see full listing of her charity work here.
McGowan & one of her Boston Terriers
I like to fancy myself a pretty open minded feminist, my version of feminism being that it's not my job as a feminist to tell you how to be a woman, but to support other women on their journey to figuring it out for themselves.  I don't believe in slut shaming (damn, I even hate the word used to describe it, it's so gross), I don't believe that if a woman is more masculine that it makes her any less of a woman any more than I believe getting all dolled up for a photo shoot makes someone else any more of a woman.  If I choose to wear make up today, but jeans and a t shirt tomorrow, none of that changes that I identify as a woman....neither makes me better or worse for it.

So, when I started noticing more and more things that began to bother me (in the form of casual sexism), I decided to blame Rose McGowan.  Since it's been just days after McGowan tweeted:
McGowan as Cherry Darling in Planet Terror
"casting note that came w/script I got today. For real. name of male star rhymes with Madam Panhandler hahahaha I die,"
The note: "-Please make sure to read the attached script before coming in so you understand the context of the scenes. -Wardrobe Note: Black (or dark) form fitting tank that shows off cleavage (push up bras encouraged). And form-fitting leggings or jeans. Nothing white."

I am now seeing it everywhere.  So when I saw the following meme on my Facebook newsfeed, it was the last straw...harmless, yes, however......

Let's just break this down for a second....
 "Here's to the girls" (not women, girls) "who grew up" (so clearly they should now be called women) "playing in dirt who ran outside barefoot" (ok, I'm with you on this, now) "and weren't afraid to be one of the boys!"  (1. I'm not afraid to be one of the boys, I'm simply not a "boy".  2. Why does "playing in dirt" and "running outside barefoot" make you any less of a "girl" and turn you into "one of the boys", 3. Why is it implied that it's better to "be one of the boys" or that you'll get praise for being "one of the boys"?

I am a woman, not a girl or a boy, thank you....whether I play in the dirt or am all dolled up, I am still a WOMAN because I identify as a woman....fuck your gender roles.

If we don't change our views and language amongst each other and to ourselves, how can we expect it to change for society as a whole?  With all of the shaming we do to each other, are we surprised when it happens in society?  We get mad when they do things to pat us on the head, "you're just a silly little girl", but aren't we doing it to ourselves when we treat each other with such judgement?             
McGowan as Amy Blue in Doom Generation
 So, I blame Rose McGowan, I blame her for shedding more light on something that we start to forget as we go on about our day to day lives, I blame her for making me feel like it's my duty to stand up and say something when I see sexism and misogyny, even if it's considered "harmless"....I blame Rose McGowan for making me feel like I really need to use my voice, not just for myself but for everyone that won't speak up for themselves...I blame Rose McGowan for kicking me in the ass and making me want to be a better person...Thank you, Rose McGowan.....

~ Lily White XoXoXo                                                              

Corked Wine Bar and Steakhouse

Review of Corked Wine Bar and Steakhouse
515 Main Street
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18018

(610) 625-9463

Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 11:30am-10pm Friday & Saturday: 11:30am-2am

EXECUTIVE CHEF / Owner Giuseppe Grisafi

Sous Chef Justin Chen Jeff Barlow

Pastry Chef Marie Holtz

Bar Manager Karen Moyzan

Wonderful steaks, craft beers & lots of wines by the glass in modern, lounge-style environment aglow with neon lighting.  The bar area is sleek and trendy offering a modern yet sophisticated atmosphere. Corked Wine Bar and Steakhouse offers an enormous selection of wine from all over the world. The wines range in price substantially from $6 per glass to $35 per glass. There are also a long list of wines that are only available if purchasing the entire bottle. My fiancé and I had a wonderful dining experience both times we visited this restaurant. The foie gras was some of the best I have ever had. The foie gras was served atop a piece of French toast and topped with a blackberry compote. Both times we dined at Corked my fiancé’s steaks were cooked perfectly. I had two different seafood entrees and they were also very good.  Corked specializes in a variety of cuisine and even offers a variety of fish specials each Friday during lent so you can be sure there will be something on the menu for everyone. Corked will also be hosting a beer and wine brunch on May 3rd 2015 with Hijinx brewing company from Allentown PA. This beer and wine brunch will feature pairings with a selection of beers and wines specifically picked to accompany each course. To inquire about coming to this brunch you can call and make a reservation.  Corked also does wedding showers, parties, special events, fundraisers, and ceremonies. You can check out their website which features their full menu along with contact information if you are planning a special event. Their email address is: www.corkedwinebar.com.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


4th of July Weekend!!! 

Sinister Rouge will be hosting a Bake Sale Friday, July 3rd, Saturday, July 4th, & Sunday, July 5th from 12pm - 5pm each day in front of the Mauch Chunk Opera House!  We are accepting pre-orders to guarantee you get the goodies you prefer. :)  Just order through the link below and pick up any of the three days from 12-5pm. 
Click here for pre-order info.
The items listed on the flyer are the items available for pre-order, not all of these items will be available for purchase the days of the bake sale as they will be made to order.  Items like the cupcake parfaits (cupcake cut into 1/3rds, layered with icing in a cup with a lid and spoon) will be available for purchase the days of the bake sale.

Proceeds will go towards helping The Something Beautiful Project, which allows us to deliver items handmade with love to Cancer patients while they are undergoing treatment.  From skincare specifically for their skin after going through chemo and radiation and nourishing lip balms to handmade hats, scarves, to books and handmade thank you cards to give out to those that help along the way, the goal is to send a little something beautiful to brighten their day.

We will also be collecting donations for the local animal shelters, accepting Purina Cat Chow Complete, Purina Dog Chow, towels, and blankets all three days in front of the Mauch Chunk Opera House.

If you have any questions or would like to know how else you can help out, contact us here.  If you know someone that should receive a gift package from The Something Beautiful Project, contact us here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Shane Dawson and Krystal Lake

Two years ago I met the man of my dreams. He made me laugh and when the laughter didn’t stop, even after the one hundredth joke, I knew it was love. Everything about this man made my feelings for him grow. His creative side ignited mine. His honesty, even in a jokingly self-loathing manner, made him relatable. His love of marshmallow peeps made me sick to my stomach, but we all have our flaws. All of these things make up this man I love, but what sold me was his knack for turning the most innocent things into something filthy and laughable. No, I’m not talking about my husband. I have never even met this person I speak so highly of. His name is Shane Dawson, he is a YouTuber and to say I am obsessed is the understatement of the year. 

Two winters ago, I was bored and freezing in six degree weather. I didn’t want to leave the house, I just wanted to mope around my home in warm clothes and curl up with my pets. I started scrolling through YouTube recommended videos and saw a channel called The Fine Bros. This channel belongs to two brothers who have a ton of videos where they have people react to viral videos (and other pop culture crazes). The first video I checked out was called “Teens React to Harlem Shake!” If you don’t know what Harlem Shake videos are, check that mess out ASAP! This video is what it sounds like, teenagers reacting to Harlem Shake videos. It was genius! I quickly became obsessed and started watching more videos on this channel. The Fine Bros have different segments of React Videos including: Elders React, Kids React, and even one for YouTubers. I watched one called “YouTubers React to Try to Watch This Without Laughing or Grinning.” This video is filled with YouTubers trying their hardest not to laugh at viral videos that are notoriously funny. This is how I was introduced to Shane Dawson. He was one of the reactors and at the end of the video I was more than happy to click the link to his channel and begin my obsession. 

Still from a YouTubers React episode

I dove into Shane’s world fast and hard. I binge watched every vlog, collab, and skit I could get my hands on! By the time I came up for air I had watched over four hours of Shane Dawson videos on YouTube. I wish I was lying. The next day after work I did the same thing and the next day and the next. I had a problem. Every video gave me a peek into his mind, his life, and his past. His early days of vlogging are what helped ignite his career and led him down a path he never though possible. His start is quite interesting and I think it helps paint a picture of who he is and his personality.

Shane used to weigh a lot. Like 300 pounds a lot. He started losing weight and also happened to work at Jenny Craig. One day he decided to vlog while at work and let’s just say Jenny ain’t like that at all! As a result, Shane and every employee in the video had their employment terminated at the weight loss center. This is the event that sort of lit the fire under his ass and started Shane on his journey to becoming a world famous YouTuber. To give you a taste of how big he is on YouTube, his parody video, “Fred Is Dead” has close to 24 million views. Since his Vlog incident, Shane has started three YouTube channels, has his own podcast, has been featured in television commercials, and has acted in films. More recently, he won a reality show called The Chair where he was able to direct his first full length film. to top it off, Shane has also become a New York Times Best-selling Author. Now I have that “All I do is win win win” song stuck in my head. Awesome. 

Shane Dawson and fellow YouTuber, Jenna Marbles on the cover of Variety Magazine, August 5, 2014 issue

Now that I have overloaded you with my obsession, let me tell you more!!!! Since I have seen his film a zillion times and have read his book cover to cover, I would love to give you a quick rundown of each… Let’s call it Krystal Lake’s biased reviews. Now, because it came first, I am going to talk about his film, Not Cool. Not Cool is Shane Dawson’s directorial debut. It was a part of a reality show called The Chair where two first time directors were given a script, a budget, and a city to make their movies. They had rules to follow which included not changing the names of the main characters, keeping it a holiday storyline, and sticking to the budget. Everything else was up to them. Re-writes, cast, crew, music… everything. What Shane brought to the table killed the competition and led him to winning this first season of The Chair. 

Still from The Chair. Shane Dawson with his competition, Anna Martemucci

Not Cool is a Thanksgiving film about a guy, Scott, who comes home from his first semester at college and is trying to deal with his own insecurities and the relationships he has. Or, as IMDb puts it, “A group of modern day Pittsburgh teenagers spend their Thanksgiving break experiencing a mixture of love, friendship, partying, and sex.” That description is why I love IMDb! Anyways, his first day home his girl friend breaks up with him, he finds out his Dad is selling the brick and mortar portion of his business, will be moving to another state, and gets hit my a car. I know, awesome! The person who hits Scott with their car is a girl he used to pick on in high school, Tori. They talk, argue a little, and eventually have sex in Tori’s car. #classicthanksgivingbreak They spend the next few days hanging out and Tori makes Scott a Fuck It List. Tori wants Scott to come out of his shell and loosen up so he knows that the end of high school wasn’t the end of his life. In the mean time, you have a nerd trying to hook up with his dream girl, crazy parties, insane parents, and lots of crude jokes. This script was originally written to be a drama/comedy and Shane kept some of the downer parts, but really turned this into something hilarious. This very quickly became my favorite holiday film and not just because I am a super fan. I have recommended it to numerous people and everyone of them has said they loved it. My mom loved it and has seen it several times. My goth friend thought it was well done. My friends older brother who is the Downton Abbey sort said it was hilarious and the best out of the two films made for The Chair. I think, if a film can make this many different people like it, Shane must have done something right. I won’t lie. This film is raunchy. It has a lot of dirty jokes, nudity, vomit, men playing female roles, and even a glory hole. It you don’t like this sort of humor, it probably isn’t for you. However, if you like those sorts of jokes, then I say give it a whirl! Just make sure the kids are asleep first.

Not Cool Movie Poster

After the movie came out, Shane released a book called “I Hate Myselfie”. This is an autobiography filled with several short stories of events in his life. Some are embarrassing, some are serious, some are even a little sad, but they will all make you laugh. He has a way of turning everything into a joke, typically self-loathing, but a joke none the less. It’s a defense mechanism, lots of people do it. He talks about his weight loss, his lesbian best friend from high school, first girl friends, meeting celebrities, and even bump ins he had working at Jenny Craig. One week after the book was released it made it onto the New York Times Best Seller list and has been on there for about 2 months now. If you don’t believe me when I say this book is a great read, just look at the numbers! 

Cover of I Hate Myselfie

I keep saying this book couldn’t have come out at a better time. The day it went on sale I bought it and was beyond thrilled to finally crack it open and get a better idea of who Shane is. This same day, my grandfather passed away. I was beyond wrecked. This is the first family member I grew up with that I had lost. I was crying everyday and I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. That night, after all of the phone calls were made to tell everyone PopPop had passed away, I was drained. I needed a distraction. I thought about picking up Shane’s book, but I was worried I would read it and forever look at  this book and be reminded of pain and heartache. I didn’t want that, but I decided to start reading it. Despite everything that day had brought with it, I was literally laughing out loud and smiling. It gave me hope that this dark time in my life would pass. The things that were making me cry because they reminded me of my grandfather would soon make me smile. My friends and family were there for me, in a strange way, Shane was there for me too. Who would have thought that a book called “I Hate Myselfie” would be able to give someone so much hope during some of their darkest days. I don’t know that Shane Dawson will ever know how he has impacted my life, but if we ever cross paths he has a huge hug and a big thank you coming his way.

~ Krystal Lake

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Conspiracy 101 Introduction

Conspiracy 101
            Have you ever wondered what the world might be like if we did not have to work for a living, or maybe just work if we WANT to? What about ponder over how our monetary system works, as far as who makes the money and who gets to decide how much is produced in order to dispense it among the people of the US? Religion, as always, it can be a touchy subject for everyone, but haven’t you ever thought about why there are so many religions and how is it possible that with all the different types of religion, every individual believes wholeheartedly that their religious beliefs are right and others are wrong…how is this possible & what makes them think this? Finally, what about our privacy? When it comes to privacy how far is any government willing to go?
            These are all questions that I started to wonder about since the 9/11 event occurred in 2001. After the towers collapsed I began to hear teachers and friends throw the idea around of how it could be possible that this was no act of terrorism or accident. It was around that time that I thought I’d start to poke around and do my own digging to disprove them. Not too long after that I began to cross lines with other theories related to government, religion, science, etc. As I was researching and clicking away, I found myself asking questions left and right about what I had just watched and read. There seemed to be an abundance of facts that followed as well, which made my search much more intense. It’s taken quite a long time, 14 years actually, for me personally to fully feel as passionate about looking into all the possible alternatives to life as we know it. It is simply amazing what you can find out with a little detective work. The best part of looking into conspiracy theories is when all the questions you once had about the “what if’s” take a turn and actually start to connect and bring to light that central idea that you once asked yourself when researching you’re topic of internet. See, when you’re looking into theories concerning money, and then let’s say you jump to theories on vaccines, but then switch to looking into population conspiracy, it becomes easy to get lost. I know I would get lost and its only recently within the past few years that I remember to consolidate, so to speak, all of what I’ve researched and put it into one single perspective. However, it is important to sort out what is actually fact and fiction when doing your conspiracy hunts. The good news is that if you simply think logically about what ideas are being presented to you then you’ll be in good shape.
            So you must be asking yourself, what is the point of conspiracy 101? Simple, how to start a journey to alternative perspectives on conspiracy such as government, privacy, religion, global warming, and many others. However, these topics are only topics of interest to me; you can use these ideas to help generate thoughts for your own theories and ideas. Remember, knowledge is always a great power to have, a little curiosity never hurts. So let’s dive in!


Annica Bankster