Monday, January 28, 2008

Golden Compass

So there was all this hub-bub over the movie The Golden Compass, starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. An e-mail circulated my office saying that it was "an anti-religion movie masked as a child's fairy tale." Last time I checked, all fairy tales threaten the fabric of Christianity because they often display a world without a Christian God. This argument has been made before and so long as Hollywood keeps making them, these movies will continue to be scrutinized.

Enough with the politics.....this movie (like the Chronicles of Naria, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings) was an amazingly creative and exciting adventure that left me breathless!!! I loved it! I got to see it with two of my nieces and my nephew, and watching a movie like this with kids transports you back to your own innocence.

I was thrilled to discover the main character was a young girl - fearless, smart, bright, beautiful, and curious. The actor who played her was skilled beyond her years. This was the first in a trilogy and I look forward to seeing her performance in the next two episodes.

The most exciting part of the movie was the polar bear warriors. Yes, polar bear warriors. They have British accents like the rest of the cast (love it!), beautiful armor, and in one scene there is a great battle that blew my mind. The graphics are so amazing that you forget for more than a few minutes that these are not REAL polar bears. So.....it was pretty violent. This should bother me, especially since my youngest niece was watching and she's only 4. On the other hand, it was two animals fighting which seemed wild-america-esque. Also, it was good-versus-evil kind of violent - so exciting - like when Wolverine kicks someones butt in x-men...its horribly violent (with the giant blades and all) but you know he's the good guy. I don't know now to reconcile all of this, but I do know that you should see this movie.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

do you remember?





I heard the jingle and instantly starting singing the words....I can't believe the stuff I remember sometimes.

Ah....Barbie.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sew..... anyway.

I sew.
I love to sew.
It's a creative outlet and it makes me unique.

Many people see sewing as a 'lost art'. I think it is, but I also think that many young women WANT to learn how to sew, but don't ever take the plunge. Back in the 'ole days (great-grandma's generation), women sewed because they had to, not because they wanted to. Many women in my mom's generation had choices: 1) sew if you need to, 2) sew if you want to, 3)or don't sew at all. Now, with sweatshop labor in the Marianas Islands, you can't even make your own clothing for as cheap as they sell it at Wal-Mart!! (hint, hint)

My mom was a little of 1 & 2. Sewing allowed her, as an adolescent and an adult to construct beautiful well-made clothing that she might not have been able to afford at retail prices, all the while, loving it. She graciously bestowed the gift of sewing upon me and with it came so much more! Knowledge of fabrics, construction of clothing, appreciation for tailoring, and a love of the fashion design industry.

As a feminist, its sometimes hard to reconcile how the fashion industry/advertising objectifies women, with my love of beautifully crafted high-end clothing. So, I sew and remind myself that I too, can create beautifully crafted, tailored clothing of my own design and navigate around those designers who use advertisements to degrade women to sell, sell, sell, their line.

Today, I am working on my bathroom curtains.... and a new purse! yea!

Choices

Today is Blog-for-choice day. It is the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The supreme court decision making abortion legal in the United States.

So why am I blogging-for-choice today? Because I want to honor the women, who, prior to 1973 died from illegal abortions. Now, there are many pro-lifers who are honoring the unborn that have 'died' since Roe v. Wade, and I respect their position as well.

Abortion is such a touchy subject. Everyone has an opinion. But not everyone knows the facts. Is abortion legal? In some circumstances. Is it moral? Depends on who you ask. Does it save women's lives? Yes.

Millions of women have died and continue to die around the world for the lack of safe and legal abortions. Women who have made. Women without access to birth control and condoms. Women without access to power in their relationships. Women who have been raped. All of these women represent the faces of the ONE SEX THAT MUST BEAR THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PREGNANCY. These are the facts. Let us not wax poetic about responsibility, morality and religiosity. Let us remember that until 1973 women in the U.S. were dying from illegal abortions. We must never return to a time when women cannot be trusted to make a decision so important to their lives.

Let us honor these women by fighting for the right to access reproductive health: birth control, condoms, gynecological exams, neo-natal care.

Let us honor these women by fighting against extremist groups who seek to return to a time and place where women are only valued for their ability to rear children.

Let us honor these women by showing the world that feminists fight for a right for women to choose to have children as much as they fight for the right for women to remain childless.

Friday, January 18, 2008

one of these things is not like the other

We're getting settled in New jersey and have discovered some interesting things.

1) They don't have "Michigan Lefts", they have "Jug Handles". Hard to explain, but I like Michigan Lefts a lot more

2) New Jersey is the birthplace of malls. Indoor malls, strip malls, any type of shopping mall you can think of. Actually we have Mercer Mall, Quakerbridge Mall, Market Fair Mall, and 3 more strip malls all within 3 miles .....yes, that's what I said....THREE MILES.

3) A low-bidding street sign maker got the job in central New Jersey, because everything from local roads to major thoroughfares have signs so faded that you can't read at least 50% of them. Frustrating for out-of-towners

4) You cannot pump your own gas.....ALL GAS STATIONS ARE FULL SERVICE. Yea, I like it.

5) They don't sell liquor at the grocery store. I was spoiled in Detroit...now I have to make an extra stop at Joe Canal's Discount Liquor...the mega-center of wine, beer and alcohol.

I'm sure as the days go by, I'll have more observations to share.

Friday, January 4, 2008

books, check 'em out

For Christmas this year my favorite sister-in-law, Julee, gave me a wonderfully personal gift. It was a first edition printing of my favorite childhood book: The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. It was assigned reading in my 5th grade class, and I fell in love with it instantly. During a random discussion with Julee, we discovered it was a favorite to both of us.

I began to read it on the flight home from Kansas this week. It was the first time since childhood and it was just as amazing as I remember. Fortunately, I forgot the ending, so when I finished it this morning it seemed exciting and new.

What I see now, that I didn't see then, was the power of the main character: a little girl. Written in the early 1960s, a girl-child heroine could not have been common, even in children's books. She is sassy, mouthy, fearless and smart...all of the things I aspired to be as a child.... and as an adult. I identified with Bonnie and believed that I could do anything after reading about what she overcame. There is not doubt in my mind that female role models - even fictional ones - can impact a young girl's self-esteem and dreams.

I went online to look for more books by Joan Aiken...something I should have done years ago....and found 13 total books in the Wolves Chronicles! I wish my 5th grade teacher had told me that! I am inspired to own and read all of them...before school starts again in the fall, cause God knows I won't have time for such tom-foolery then.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

what I leave behind

The sojourn to New Jersey is underway. I am scared, excited, sad, and nervous. All the emotions you'd expect from a girl whose never lived more than 20 minutes from her mom and dad.

I can't help but constantly think about life away from my family. In spite of the fact that Jason and I are our own family now, I hold dear the relationships I have with my mom, dad, sister and brother. The ability to drop by sister's place or have lunch with my mom is quickly vanishing. Calling my dad to come fix my toilet will no longer be an option...at least not a reasonable one. The long-term effects of my move is destined to change the way our family members feel about each other. Perhaps we'll all grow in ways we never expected.

2008 will inevitably bring lots of adventures.....which reminds me....I need to find a new hair stylist. shit.