14 Dec 2012 2 Comments
17 Nov 2012 5 Comments
GUEST POST alert. RD strikes again!
Some people who know me might be shocked to discover that I am a rabid fan of the sappy holiday movie. Beneath my jaded, hard-bitten, work-a-day veneer lies the mushy heart of a true romantic. Most of the year, I am able to hide this chink in my otherwise sturdy armor, but at the holidays, the jig is up and the tissues are out.
I am not a snob either, of course the classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street, are always in heavy rotation, but I am also a sucker for the cheesy, un-original fluff that one is likely to find on Lifetime/Hallmark Channel/ABC Family and the like. Have you seen Holiday in Handcuffs, starring the too-buff Mario Lopez (of Saved by the Bell fame) and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, aka, Melissa Joan Hart? I predict that it will become a new classic. It’s a fun, opposites-attract, Christmas kidnapping caper, that is so unlikely, you almost believe that it must have happened, because who could make that crap up? I LOVE IT!
Some of the other must-sees on my list include:
The Christmas Card — not surprisingly, a Hallmark standby. Starring the great Ed Asner, and some other people I don’t know, it’s a sweet, slightly predictable tale about finding true love where and when you least expect it. Plus it’s set in the Pacific Northwest, so the scenery is breathtaking.
A Holiday Affair — Starring Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh. Call me Psycho (get it?) but I love this old black and white that you can sometimes catch on Turner Classic Movies. Allegedly, Mitchum was “forced” to make it by his management team because he had been caught smoking pot for like the 100th time, and they thought it would be good for his image. Whatever the reason, he’s dreamy and charming in it, and Janet Leigh is beautiful and gutsy–she had “moxie” or whatever they called it back then. I could do without the weird, pointy bra, but that’s another story.
Christmas In Connecticut — Another black and white sigh-fest starring Barbara Stanwyck. It has some funny, Three’s Company-style hi-jinks, but in the end, the right couple ends up together, and there’s lots of snow, and sleigh rides in a rural New England setting that looks like it’s straight out of a Currier and Ives print. I try to watch it twice if I can.
The Holiday — This is a semi-new fave, that I’m sure is much more familiar to most people. What can I say? Jack Black, Kate Winslet, Jude Law. Lots of house-porn with a luxe California beach home and a quaint English cottage. “Meet cutes” and witty, snappy dialog make it even better. Oh, and Cameron Diaz is in it too, but I don’t let that stop me from watching it with a bottle of wine…I mean, glass of wine.
There are many more I could list, but this entry is probably already much longer than WMEP anticipated. Besides, I heard Love Actually is coming on soon, so I have to go anyway….
14 Jul 2012 Leave a comment
Guest post by my seester. I love any blog that uses Willow Smith and Susan Cain. I’ve seen Susan live and she’s fantastic – and more corporations would have happier employees if they would listen to her – just sayin’.
Strangeness has been on my mind lately. I know that sounds…(I won’t say it)…weird, but it’s made me pretty emotional this morning, so I want to share. I followed a link from Design*Sponge (a really cool design blog that has just gotten better over the years) to Willow Smith’s new single, “I Am Me.” Since I don’t have cable and I don’t really listen to contemporary pop music or the radio, I’d never heard it before. It might not even be new now, I guess. It’s all about Willow embracing who she is, regardless of those who criticize her music or fashion decisions.
While I was watching it, I couldn’t help but think that Willow is strange. She doesn’t dress like the typical tween, her hair is shaved very close to her head, and she is a t.w.i.g. In the video, Willow actually looks like a young Will. The fact that I noticed (and I’m the last to register these sorts of things) got me thinking of our very narrow perception of beauty. You have to be white, or a minority with very European features: small boobs, small butt, angular features, straight hair (full disclosure: I only have the small butt, which just makes jeans shopping a chore). If you’re a girl, you need to look feminine.
Now you may be thinking, “DUH,” but I think what’s so powerful about this is how deeply rooted this thinking is in our global culture. Indians value light skin and European features just as much as Americans do, and I’m sure other minority cultures are the same. So what Willow is doing—flaunting her Strangeness—is really impressive because it’s having a “global” impact.
Yesterday I watched Susan Cain give a TED Talk called “The Power of Introverts,” all about how our society seems to hold extroverts and extrovert qualities on a pedestal (group work, group think, etc), when really anywhere from a third to a half of our population is made up of introverts who just don’t function as successfully in groups. Again, it had made me think about how such people are called strange for what is essentially a biological quality. How messed up is that?!
I don’t know how we go about changing such a deeply rooted problem, but isn’t step one recognition? Isn’t step two conversation? I think I made that one up, but it sounds appropriate. So parents: please share these two videos with your children, and tell them to embrace what’s strange about themselves. But remember that you have to do it too.
Here’s the Willow Smith video. If, like me, you cry if a butterfly flaps its wings in Japan, grab a Kleenex before you watch. Also, this made me think of the “Everybody Hurts” video for some reason.
And here’s the TED talk: