Monthly Archives: August 2014

Downton Abbey Series 5 Full Trailer

The full trailer for series 5 for Downton Abbey is out.

The only thing that would make the trailer better is hearing that ITV and PBS will air Downton at the same time on both sides of the pond.

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Flashback Friday-Disney Edition-Little Mermaid and Beauty and The Beast

Disney is known for their princesses. In the early 90’s the good people at Disney rebooted and reintroduced the world to new Disney Princesses- Ariel and Belle.

Little Mermaid

16 year old mermaid Princess Ariel (voiced by Jodi Benson) is curious and slightly rebellious, as many teenage girls are. Her overprotective father King Triton (voiced by Kenneth Mars) wants to keep his family and his kingdom as far away from the humans as they can get. When Ariel saves human Prince Eric (voiced by Christopher Daniel Barnes) from drowning, she falls in love with him. To return to her human Prince, she goes to the sea witch Ursula (voiced by Pat Carroll) to trade her fins for legs. But “magic comes with a price” as they say in Once Upon A time. Ariel will soon learn that the magic that Ursula uses to change her physique comes with a price that will have to be paid.

I have very fond memories of this movie. Disney princesses up to this point were for the most part blonde. It was nice to see a ginger in the mix. Ariel to me at least, has this kind of Marianne Dashwood, Catherine Morland sensibility, which seems normal for a teenage girl. Open hearted, slightly naive, but also curious about the world around them.  I haven’t watched this movie in years, but for little girls around the world, it’s not a bad movie.

Beauty And The Beast

On a wet, windy night, an old woman bangs on a castle door, begging for shelter from the storm. The young prince (voiced by Robbie Benson) refuses her shelter. She is not an old woman, but an enchantress who punishes the prince by turning him into a Beast and his servants into household objects. She gives him a rose, which will wilt until his 21st birthday. If he cannot show love and give love, when the last petal falls, he is dead. Miles away, Belle (voiced by Paige O’Hara) lives in a small town and hates it. She is the bookworm outcast with the unpopular father Maurice ( voiced by Rex Everhart). Gaston (voiced by Richard White), is courting Belle, but she wants nothing to do with him. When Belle’s father does not return from a fair, she goes to where he is being held. The master of the castle is a Beast. To save her father, Belle takes his place.

This movie made a huge impact on me as a child. It is one of the few Disney movies that I still own today. I understood both lead characters. I understood Belle’s love of books and her feeling like she didn’t quite fit in. I understood the Beast’s psychological damage and why he chose to lock himself away.  What keeps me coming back to Beauty and The Beast after all of these years is when you don’t feel like you fit in and then somehow fate guides you to where you fit in and it all makes sense. The square peg in the round hole finally finds the square hole it was meant to fit into. Little girls around this world will love and have loved this movie for two decades.

 

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Throwback Thursday- TV Edition- Married With Children

In the 1980’s, family sitcoms were basically a retooling of the family sitcoms from the 1950’s.  Even with modern updates, it was the same concept.  It was still the happy nuclear family who would somehow (with the exception of the very special episodes) find a way to resolve any issues within a 30 minute episode.

Then Married With Children premiered.  It was everything the other shows were not. It was raunchy, it was sexist, it was so far from politically correct that one needed a telescope to find the political correctness in a show. But it was funny and it is still funny today.

Al Bundy (Ed O’Neill) works in a women’s shoe store and tries to relive the 15 seconds of glory he had on the high school football field. His wife, Peggy (Katey Sagal) is suppose to be a housewife, but doesn’t do much housework. Their daughter Kelly (Christina Applegate) is a blonde ditz and their son Bud (David Faustino) has only girls on the brain.  Living next door are the yuppy Marcy and Steve Rhoades (Amanda Bearse and David Garrison).  Later on in the series Steve leaves and Marcy marries Jefferson D’Arcy (Ted McGinley).

As far as I am concerned, there is nothing like waking up a Saturday morning and beginning my weekend with a Married With Children rerun. What makes it’s so funny is that is more real that other family sitcoms of the same era. Not every issue is wrapped up neatly within 30 minutes and not everyone is as lovey dovey to their spouse and children as television would make it seem.  Sometimes you need to laugh out loud and Married With Children never fails to make me laugh out loud.

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Throwback Thursday-Schindler’s List

Oskar Schindler  was many things. A womanizer, a sometimes less than honest business man and a Nazi. But he was still responsible for saving the lives of Jews who were headed to the crematorium of Auschwitz.

The 1993 Oscar winning movie, Schindler’s List, starring Liam Neeson in the title role is stark, black and white and unflinching. It dares the movie going audience to not look away, to see what unchecked prejudice, hatred and murder looks like.

If there was ever a Holocaust movie, this is it. I have seen many Holocaust movies, but this one consistently ranks at the top of the list. With an incredible supporting cast that includes Ben Kingsley (Itzhak Stern), Ralph Fiennes (Amon Goeth) and Embethz Davidtz (Helen Hirsch), this movie leaves a mark on the audience. Steven Spielberg, as the director, leaves no stone un-turned.

This movie should be required viewing, not just for school children, but for adults all over the world.

After the Holocaust, the phrase “Never Again” became a battle cry to remember the victims. “Never Again” has happened again. This movie is a reminder of what becomes of us when we let hatred and prejudice take over.

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Job Hunt

Looking for a job is like aiming an arrow at a target.

The bulls-eye is the perfect job, whatever each of us defines as the perfect job. The reality of the job search is that 70-80% of the arrows will never reach the target, with only 5-10% actually getting somewhere close to the bulls-eye.

A good job is not just a paycheck or the reason many of us get up at the crack of dawn five days a week. It is a reason to feel like we have accomplished something.  When I am unemployed, I feel useless. It’s a feeling that I hate.

One of the things I have been wrestling with this job search is learning to trust my gut. I sometimes don’t know if the feelings I am having is just anxiety or the my gut telling me that the job I am looking at is completely wrong for me.

I’ve made that mistake in the past, ignoring my gut about a job that was the wrong fit. It just sometimes feels like I should take any job, even with this nagging feeling, just to have a job.

All I want is a job. A job that pays me well and that I will be happy at for a very long time.

Is that too much to ask?

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Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection Book Review

My mother’s generation was the first to have it all. They were the first generation to go to college with the intent of earning real college degrees and not just the MRS degrees that their mothers earned. They were the first generation to have real longevity in their careers and not just work until they married. They had it all, the job, the husband, the kids and everything that goes with that life.

That’s the life I knew growing up. I had two working parents. It’s life I hope to lead one day if I should ever marry and have children.

According to author and Barnard College President Debora Spar, in her book Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection, we cannot have it all. Something has to give along the way.  Referencing classic second wave feminists texts such as Fear Of Flying, Sex and The Single Girl and The Feminine Mystique while interviewing a variety of women, Ms. Spar comes to an interesting conclusion.

This is one of the best new feminist books that I have read in a very long time. While giving deference and respect where both are naturally due, Ms. Spar examines the life of the modern woman and how it has changed from the life that her grandmother might have lived fifty or sixty years ago. We have come incredibly far in only two generations, but we still have a long ways to go.

I highly recommend this book.

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What Color Is Your Parachute Book Review

A career is a funny thing. You can have a job for years and suddenly you realize that you hate your job and you really want to do something else. The other scenario is that you finish college, walk across the stage to receive that degree that you spend years working toward and then realize that now you have to find a job.

Either way, your hit with what feels like a ton of bricks. It is scary and confusing and you feel totally lost.

There are an incredible amount of career advice books on the market. Everyone, whether employed or unemployed, if asked, will be throw career advice your way.

What Color Is Your Parachute  by Richard N Bolles was recommended to me by very wise relations who have more experience in the working world and it’s pitfalls than I do.

It is at first a very overwhelming book. Mr. Bolles provides advice on everything related to the job search. Granted, not every recommendation he makes is for everybody.  But it is a very thorough book. I highly recommend it, especially if you are a new college graduate and have absolutely no idea on what job you need or want.

 

 

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My Masada

Masada Sunrise

 

We all have challenges in life, it’s how we face them that determines who we become.

I’ve been fortunate to to visit Masada twice. The first time, was my bat-mitzvah. The second time was with Birthright Israel. Going to Masada is par for the course in any Birthright trip.

There are two ways to get up to Masada. There is the cable car  that will take you up and down. Or if you are more adventurous, there is an opportunity to hike up to the top.

My group hiked up. We left our hotel before sunrise with nothing but coffee and a small danish in our stomachs. It is not an easy climb. But it is totally worth it. To see the sunrise against the desert is one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen.

Up to that point, climbing Masada had been the biggest challenge of my life.  Masada has come to represent any challenge that needs to be overcome. There is no going down to the bottom and waiting for the cable car. There is only one option: continue to climb.

I will continue to climb, because I know that is the only thing I can do. I just don’t know when I will see the sunrise.

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Unemployed

You might or might not have figured it out by now, but I am currently unemployed.

I won’t go into detail about the reason for my unemployment, but I will say that it has been quite a few years since I have been in this situation.

It’s been a short time and I have had some interviews, but not a lot. The extremely scary thing about unemployment is that it is unpredictable. I could have two or three interviews in one day and then have none for the rest of the week.

My expertise is in customer service. I have addressed issues from the most mundane (status of orders, billing questions, etc) to the very difficult and detail oriented questions that require research and sometimes going to other departments.  The issue is that I am not entry level, but I also know myself enough to know that I would not be a good fit for a manager position.

I want to work, I need to work. Not just for the paycheck, but for my mental and physical health. I get a physical rush when I am able to go to work and I feel like I am wanted. I have an exhausted high (if there is such a thing) when I come home from work, knowing that I have accomplished something during the day.

While I love to write, it is just something that I do on the side.  I hope it may be my full time profession one day, but for now, it is a hobby.

I know there are a lot of us out there, looking for work. Employers seem to be pickier than ever. Salaries and benefits are not what they were. It’s not like it was back in the day, when someone got a job straight of out college and had it until they retired 30 or 40 years later.

I know that my next job is out there. I just don’t know when I will get it.

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Beauty

Do you ever notice that women are usually judged by their looks?

An attractive woman is called something along the lines of a beauty or stunner.

An unattractive woman is called something along the lines of a dog.

Is it gratifying when someone, when a woman is told that she is attractive? Of course.

But to borrow a statement from Martin Luther King Jr., I would like to known for the “content of my character”.

I believe it was Judge Judy who said “Beauty fades, dumb is forever”.

There is much more to a person than just the external appearance.

While we as women have come incredibly far, we are still judged and valued for our external appearance.

Yes, it is hard to change 1000 years of thinking one way in only a few generations, but it’s time. If men can be judged for their intelligence and ability before their looks, then women should be judged the same way.

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