It was important for me to launch my blog on the first day of autumn (if you continue to follow my blog in the future you will find out why.)
I have been thinking about starting a blog for sometime. People are often telling me I should write a book, but I’m not sure I actually have enough of a “story” to do that (or frankly, the discipline.) I have several social media accounts and I use them to discuss a variety of topics, but all of them seem too limiting. Because, the truth is, I’m a talker. If I had a nickel for the number of people who have told me to “try to be succinct” or “keep it brief” or “don’t be so wordy”, well, I’d be a super rich person.
To be honest, it was James Corden’s response to Bill Maher’s fat shaming segment that finally motivated me to get my rear in gear. I was incredibly frustrated that I didn’t have a real platform to discuss that specific issue. I also recently stumbled across a massive amount of information related to menopause and/or weight and I feel the need to share all of it as much as possible.
It was for these reasons that I knew it was time to finally create something where maybe, just maybe I could not only help other women who are going through menopause or starting menopause or wondering about menopause or are scared shitless about the prospect of menopause, but that perhaps I could also help people in general understand about women’s health, weight loss/gain, body issues, fat shaming and the mental health concerns that go along with all of these things.
I am not a medical professional, I am going to say that straight out, but I do hope to get opinions in the future from individuals in that industry. I also will be citing articles, studies, and books that contain legitimate scientific research.
So, there’s my first post. It’s not much, just an introduction really, but I think it might be one of the more difficult posts I will have to make. Because it was tough figuring out exactly why I wanted to do this and what I wanted to accomplish. Let’s see what happens. Are you with me?
You know, as a Gen-Xer, I know I was/am fairly absorbed in the decades of my salad days. Most people do this. But I think our generation grew up experiencing the pop culture of previous generations more than current gens. I mean, any of you watch the Cisco Kid or Three Stooges or Laurel & Hardy movies on Sunday mornings because the only other alternative was wrestling or religious programming (apparently Saturday & Sunday morning programming was the least expensive.) Where I grew up in Iowa, that is what aired. The major network programming was preempted by devotional television shows.
Of course there was some new shows like the ABC Afterschool Special (usually the topics were rather heavy and sometimes even traumatic or miserable.) This show did not age well and there’s probably a reason why we preferred shows from previous decades…
And there were the shows of Sid and Marty Krofft, Zoom(the amazing thing about watching these intros is you will remember all these kids as if they were friends from grade school), and Clutch Cargo, but overall, kind of slim pickings compared to the today. In fact, when try to find a list of popular kids television shows of the 1970s it will almost always include shows from the 50s and 60s.
(Side note: here’s a wonderful video about a guy who had an original talking candle prop from the Side & Marty Krofft show ‘H.R. Pufnstuf’ that he was trying to sell at auction.)
Not that every skit that SNL does is worth seeing but there is certainly a huge number of things over the past two decades that have had significant impact on pop culture and it’s kinda sad that millennials will never know the references.
So why did verklempt become such a popular descriptor? Is it because we’re living in the age of rampant millennial hyperbole? Or does verklempt just ring true in many situations? Is its meaning versatile enough to cover everything from Star Wars references to ailing dogs getting free hamburgers?
The origins of verklempttrace back to the Yiddish farklempt, which refers not to any old overwhelming emotion but to a particular one: depression and grief. Farklempt is the past tense of farklemen, which means “to grip, press” and has roots in the German word verklemmen, “to press, squeeze,” which is related to the German verklemmt (“uptight”). And, following verklempt even further back in time, it leads to the Old English word clam or clom, meaning to “bond” or “fetter.”
But it wasn’t until the ‘90s when we started seeing verklempt being used in pop culture. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it started, but Mike Myers professed his verklempt-ness as Linda Richman in the 1992 Saturday Night Live sketch, Coffee Talk, about — you guessed it — Barbara Streisand.
I mean, how sad is it that generations of people will never see this??? Oy Vey, what a tragedy! What else has this generation missed?
2. This Animated History of the Lego Company – truly fascinating and the animation is fabulous.
I love the creativity of the fans of LEGO. For example, this creation done by LEGO artist Ochre Jelly…
3. This Music Video from Naughty Boys and Beyonce – before I even saw the video I loved this song but then I watched it and I was blown away. It stars two free divers named Alice Modoloand Guillaume Néryunderwater for the entire video. It’s amazing, you have to see it to believe it.
4. This Animal: Leaf Sheep – the only animal that can photosynthesize. I mean, how freaking cute is this???
5. This Illustrator’s List About Why She Misses Going to the Public Library – First, thanks Meta! Second, you will want to be sure to click on post so it takes you to Instagram because there are NINE items on her list and to see them all you have to be able to scroll.
6. This Reboot of Animaniacs (on Hulu) – I’m not a child of the 90s but I still loved this show (probably because I’ve always been a child at heart.) And this reboot is NOT a disappointment.
7. This Photo of Flowers as Bees & Butterflies would see them...
Because I’m always a little skeptical nowadays (as one should be, especially about things found on the internet) I wanted to make sure that the above photo had some scientific verification or at least find a reliable source that verified that insects see UV light. And I found something on PBS, which I deem a reliable source.
[Bonus] This Season Finale by John Oliver – I mean, the ending is amazing and Adam Driver is AWESOME!!! Fuck you 2020!
[And one more BONUS for Fans of The Crown] This Series of Impressions of All the Characters from Season 4….
These are in no particular order of preference. How many have you seen?
A Child’s Christmas in Wales (YouTube) – Starring Denholm Elliott and Mathonwy Reeves. This link is to the full film.
Godmothered (Disney+, begins streaming on December 4th) – Starring Jillian Bell, Isla Fisher, and Jane Curtain.
The Holiday Movies That Made Us (Netflix – begins streaming on December 1st)
Last Holiday (Peacock TV Premium) – Starring Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, Timothy Hutton, Alicia Witt, Giancarlo Esposito, Gerard Depardieu, and Susan Kellermann.
Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas (HBO Max) – Starring (the voices of) Jim Parsons, Mark Hamill, Gilbert Gottfried, Jay Leno, Fred Armisen, and Ed Asner reprising his role as Santa.
Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (Disney+ and Netflix) – Starring Mackenzie Foy as Clara with Matthew Macfadyen, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Omid Djalili, Richard E. Grant, Keira Knightley, and Misty Copeland.
LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special (Disney+) – Billy Dee does Lando’s voice!
It’s a Wonderful Life (Prime Video) – Starring Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, and Lionel Barrymore.
The Happiest Season (Hulu, begins streaming on November 24th) – Starring Dan Levy, Alison Brie, Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Aubrey Plaza, Mary Steenburgen, Victor Garber, and Ana Gasteyer.
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (Netflix) – Starring Phylicia Rashad, Forest Whitaker, Madalen Mills, Anika Noni Rose, Keegan-Michael Key, Hugh Bonneville, and Ricky Martin. (Lisa Davina Phillip, who plays Ms. Johnson, is hilarious!)
Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square (Netflix) – Starring Dolly Parton, Christine Baranski, and Treat Williams.
Noelle (Disney+) – Starring Anna Kendrick, Shirley MacLaine, Bill Hader, and Kingsley Ben-Adir.
Holidate (Netflix) – Starring Emma Roberts, Luke Bracey, Kristin Chenoweth, and Frances Fisher.
Miracle on 34th Street (Disney+) – Starring Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn and Natalie Wood.
The Princess Switch (Netflix) – Starring a double dose of Vanessa Hudgens, Sam Palladio, and Nick Sagar. There is a sequel (also on Netflix) that began streaming on November 19th called The Princess Switch 2: Switched Again.
Last Christmas (HBO Max) – Starring Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Emma Thompson, and Michelle Yeoh.
The Man Who Invented Christmas (Hulu) – starring Dan Stevens.
The Holiday Calendar (Netflix) – Starring Kat Graham, Quincy Brown, Ethan Peck, and Ron Cephas Jones.
The Santa Clause (Disney+) – Starring Tim Allen, David Krumholtz, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, and Eric Lloyd. (There are two sequels, also on Disney+, with the same original cast: Santa Clause 2 adds Elizabeth Mitchell as the future Mrs. Claus and Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause adds Martin Short as Jack Frost and Alan Arkin and Ann-Margaret as the new Mrs. Claus’s parents who don’t have a clue who their son-in-law is.)
The Bishop’s Wife (Prime Video) – Starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young, David Niven, and Monty Woolley. (There was a remake with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston called ‘The Preacher’s Wife’ and it was just okay. I mean, I’m a HUGE Cary Grant fan so it’d be difficult for anyone to top him in my book.)
A Bad Mom’s Christmas (Netflix) – Starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christine Baranski, Susan Sarandon, and Cheryl Hines. (You can watch this without having seen the original ‘Bad Moms’ but it’s better if you have. Unfortunately the original isn’t streaming for free.)
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (Disney+) – Starring Chris Sarandon (Jack Skellington’s speaking voice) and Catherine O’Hara (Sally and Shock’s voice)
White Christmas (Netflix) – Starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen.
A Christmas Movie Christmas (Prime Video and Hulu) – Starring Lana McKissack, Kimberly Daugherty, and Brant Daugherty (Kimberly’s real-life husband.) (FYI, little Cleary Herzlinger, who plays London, steals every scene she’s in.)
Disney’s A Christmas Carol (Disney+) – Starring (the voices of) Jim Carrey (who not only does Scrooge at all ages but all three Ghosts as well), Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Bob Hoskins, Lesley Manville, and Molly Quinn.
Santa Claus: The Movie (Peacock) – Starring David Huddleston, Burgess Meredith, Judy Cornwell, Dudley Moore (if someone else had been cast in Moore’s role this movie would have been so much better) and John Lithgow.
Holiday in the Wild (Netflix) – Starring Kristin Davis and Rob Lowe (I didn’t think I’d like this as much as I did but between the African scenery and the elephants, well, the baby elephants totally put it over the top)
Klaus (Netflix) – Starring (the voices of) Jason Schwartzman, J.K. Simmons, Rashida Jones, Will Sasso, Norm MacDonald, and Joan Cusack.
The Knight Before Christmas (Netflix) – Starring Vanessa Hudgens and Josh Whitehouse.
Home Alone (Disney+) – Starring Macaulay Culkin, Catherine O’Hara, John Heard, Daniel Stern, Joe Pesci, and of course our beloved John Candy. (There is also two sequels (both available on Disney+) but only Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is worth it. Tim Curry, Dana Ivey and Rob Schneider are fantastic in HA2 as staff at the Plaza Hotel. Sadly, the Orange Monster owned the real Plaza Hotel at the time the film was made and makes a brief cameo, so be forewarned.)
Dash & Lily (Netflix) – Starring Austin Abrams and Midori Francis note: this is an eight-episode series based on the novel by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan but it definitely is Christmas-centric. And if you love bookstores, particularly the Strand in NYC, you’re gonna wanna watch this.
And of course….
Die Hard (HBO Max) – Starring Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, and Alan Rickman.
Course a lot of the best Christmas movies aren’t available on a streaming service for free:
Elf– Ed Asner is definitely one of the best Santas ever and Bob Newhart as an elf is pure genius. (Also, how many of you knew that Ralphie from ‘A Christmas Story’ was in this movie???? That’s him standing next to Buddy in the photo below. He played Ming Ming.)
Happy Christmas – not free anywhere but it only costs $4.99 to buy from AppleTV or Prime, which is a dollar more than it costs to rent. I still don’t understand why anyone would rent a movie that only costs a buck more to buy. I love a realistic, dysfunctional, midwestern Christmas, don’t you? (Plus, Melanie Lynskey, damn I love her.)
The Holiday – Oh to live in Rosehill Cottage. Sigh. (For photos of the interior, click here.)
Love, Actually – I mean really though, this movie is worth an investment. Surely you watch it every year?
Polar Express– I really liked this movie but similar to the Disney Christmas Carol it takes some adjusting to get used to seeing the animations where the voices are completely familiar (Tom Hanks) but the face looks a little off. You’ll see what I mean.
Christmas in Connecticut – I adore Barbara Stanwyck. And if you like the combination of Frank Capra and Barbara Stanwyck you should try Meet John Doe. Technically it’s not a Christmas movie but it has a climatic ending on Christmas Eve so I always think of it as a holiday film. It’s one of my favorites.
Miracle on 34th Street – this is the 1994 version. I don’t think it’s fair to try to compare a black & white film to a color remake. The tone and mood and atmosphere of a b&w film is going to always be different, simply because of the lack of color – and that’s not a bad thing. It’s just, it’s like trying to compare oranges and limes, they are both citrus but they are not completely interchangeable. I hope that this makes sense (I’m doing my rambling thing now). The bottom line is, I love both versions.
Joyeux Noel– you may not have heard of this French film but most likely you have heard the story of the truce that took place for one night on Christmas eve during World War I. This is the story of that event. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2006.
The Ref – if you can handle watching a movie with Kevin Spacey (sadly so many things are ruined for me now, but he does get terrorized for a while so that helps,) Dennis Leary is freaking brilliant. So are Judy Davis and Christine Baranski. (And if you happen to click on the photo below it’ll link you to a great review but ignore where it says it’s currently streaming on Netflix. The review is from 2016 and the movie has been pulled since then.)
1. This Video of Angela Lansbury & Carol Channing – it is a performance recorded back in 2001, when Lansbury was 76 years old and Channing was 80, at a benefit for the Actors Fund of America. The event was called ‘Tap Your Troubles Away with Jerry Herman.’ Jerry Herman was the wizard behind the musicals Mame, La Cage aux Folles and Hello, Dolly. I ADORE these two old girls!!!
2. This Interview with Ruby Bridges by Trevor Noah – Trevor Noah, in my opinion, is the best interviewer on television (sorry Stephen Colbert, you’re a close second though! Plus you’re the most talented. And Seth Meyers, you’re the funniest so don’t worry, you’re still number one in my heart. And, of course, we mustn’t forget John Oliver, who is in a class by himself.)
3. This Sea Shanty sung by the Fisherman’s Friends – who doesn’t love a good sea shanty?
More importantly, who doesn’t love a good movie about a group of fisherman who become famous singing sea shanties? Cuz the guys above, the Fisherman’s Friends, there is a movie about them and it’s on Netflix now. Here’s the trailer. You HAVE to see it. It’s marvelous. It makes me long to go back to Cornwall (one of my favorites places in the world.) My great-grandparents were Cornish (as were all their relatives before them) so I think my attachment to Cornwall is due to that – I feel at home when I’m there.
4. This Tutorial on How to Position Pillows for Better Sleep – it’s meant for elderly people, to help reduce joint pain, but frankly as a menopausal broad, I have plenty of that already. And I’m sure that people of all ages should learn how to sleep properly, with better alignment. I bought a buckwheat pillow after watching this and it’s AWESOME.
I also purchased a wedge pillow and for the past two days I slept EIGHT HOURS straight. I have breathing issues but I’ve had two sleep studies done and I don’t have sleep apnea. Instead it turns out I have a deviated septum and other nose problems that make me end up waking up completely congested. But sleeping slightly elevated it is really helping with my breathing. It turns out that elevated sleeping is better for people with all sorts of sleep issues.
5. This Friendship between Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald – I came across this story via Drunk History (see video below) and it is wonderful. Those of us who know about Marilyn’s life (which is pretty much everyone over forty I suspect) know that it wasn’t easy. During a time when women like Marilyn were sexualized and victimized and there was little to no recourse, Monroe tried to find ways to protect herself. Trying to change her image into an actress with the trifecta of being able to act, dance, and sing (as well as being taken more seriously as an actress) was one method of protection.
Supposedly her singing instructor introduced her to the music of Ella Fitzgerald. Marilyn was so taken with Ella’s voice that she called up the manager at the famous Mocambo Nightclub in Hollywood and told him that if he had Ella perform that she would sit in the front row every night. Supposedly Fitzgerald had been trying to get a gig there for some time but was turned down. There have been memes circulating about the incident saying the Mocambo wouldn’t let Fitzgerald sing because she was black and Monroe helped her get a gig and the two women became great admirers of one another, or they were so alike, or they celebrated Monroe’s and Fitzgerald’s friendship. Sadly the fact checkers, who sometimes are way too literal (which drives me nuts) have been saying – okay, here’s the TRUE STORY or the “truth” behind this meme.
They say – it isn’t accurate to say that Ella Fitzgerald wasn’t allowed to sing at the Mocambo because she was black. They’ll point out that black performers like Eartha Kitt, Dorothy Dandridge, Herb Jeffries and Joyce Bryant. Big whoop. Ella sang at the Mocambo in 1955, it had been open since 1941.
But if that really isn’t the reason, or if it is only partly the reason, the real reason is actually worse and I’m not sure, are these fact-checkers and truth seekers implying it’s less problematic? Because the real reason is that Ella was “heavyset” that she wasn’t “sexy enough” that she was fat. It still had to do with the way she looked, whichever reason is true.
For those of you who enjoy Drunk History (one of the best ways to learn history) ….
6. This Exercise Bicycle from the Hendrick’s Gin people – a Hendrick’s High Wheel! It’s a REAL exercise bike, or as Bicycling magazine calls it, a “high-class, low-tech stationary bike.” Designed to look like a Victorian Penny-farthing, the bicycle is a Steampunk lover’s dream. Plus it has a holder that fits a bottle of Hendrick’s, so you can pedal for your cocktails! Would I be willing to fork over the $2500 for this? Maybe. But with there only being three available for sale, because I don’t have the space in my house, AND because I honestly question whether I would be able to climb up onto the seat, this lovely thing won’t be in my possession at any point in the future.
7. This View from the Cupola of the Space Station – can you even imagine??? And there are more photos here and here.
And here is a video:
Word of the Day
Kalsarikännit (pronounced cal-sar-y-cuhn-eet) – of course pre-pandemic kalsarikannit wasn’t such a regular thing.
1. This Colorized Video from 1893 of a Snowball Fight – done by Dmitriy Badin – I’d mute the video, the music is a bit annoying. It’s delightful to watch thought.
(I prefer the way Denis Shiryaev creates his videos. He goes the extra step of adding sounds that match whatever is taking place, for example, he adds trolley bells, or horses hooves clopping on the street, or people talking. His videos are amazing.)
2. This New Couple – I’ve loved Linda Purl for decades and I just found out she is dating Patrick Duffy! For those of you who don’t know, Patrick was married for 43 years (and they were a couple for 5 years before that) until his wife passed away in 2017. He had thought he would live the remainder of his life as a widower but his lifetime friendship with Purl turned into more and now they are dating! Very sweet.
3. This Genius, who has created a site called McBroken.com, where you can check to see which nearby McDonald’s have broken ice cream machines.
4. This Weather Map that Shows the Snowfall Forecast in Books
5. This History of the Word Hangover – How many of you have experienced a hangover in the past week? How many of you have experienced a hangover or hundred in the past four years? Did you ever wonder where the word hangover came from? Like so many of our intoxicant related words, it originated during the Victorian era. Which of course is completely ironic considering they were supposedly such prudes.
6. This Video Clip showing How Charlie Chaplin achieved a special effect in his film ‘Modern Times’ over 80 years ago.
7. This Little Free Library, located in McFarland, WI (Represent!) that is a Replica of the famous Shakespeare & Company bookshop in Paris…
Unfortunately, Shakespeare & Co., like so many businesses, is struggling….
Congratulations to President-Elect Joe Biden and to Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, the first female Vice President as well as the first person of color to serve as Vice President. The world is going to be a better place come 2021!
1. These Celebrations Around the World for Joe Biden & Kamala Harris’ Victory
Church Bells Ringing in Paris…
New York City…
Photos… (there are more at the AP News website, click on the photo for the link.)
There are a few more world reactions here. They will bring tears to your eyes. I’ve seen people write – “Welcome back America.” The first time I saw it I completely lost it.
[Updated, since the celebrations have continued on for a second day I added a few more!]
This made me weep, gave me goosebumps, my heart swelled, a whole series of emotions…
This tweet by the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hildago. She is one of the first people to say, “Welcome back America!”
And in Ireland they continue to celebrate their favorite great-great-grandson.
The Secretary General of NATO
2. This Clever Video with a few tweaks to Avengers: Endgame. I didn’t expect it to make me weepy.
3. This Political Journalist, Steve Kornacki – America’s election night crush. Yep, nerds are dreamy.
[Updated] And if you want to see him in action one more time (or like me, more than one more time; I will just keep watching this whenever I need a Kornacki fix)…
4. This Video of our new PRESIDENT-ELECT, Joe Biden – anyone who can watch this and not see Joe as being a most empathetic and compassionate man is seriously brainwashed and/or messed up. If you don’t know the story behind the video click here.
5. This CNN New Commentator, Van Jones – who broke down in tears when it was finally announced that Joe Biden was the winner of the Presidential Election.
“It’s easier to be a dad this morning. It’s easier to tell your kids, ‘Character matters, being a good person matters,'” Jones said. “And it’s easier for a whole lot of people. If you’re Muslim in this country, you don’t have to worry that the president doesn’t what you here. If you’re an immigrant, you don’t have to worry if the president is happy your baby has been snatched away.”
Through heavy tears, Jones said, “This is vindication for a lot of people who really have suffered. ‘I can’t breathe.” That was not just George Floyd. There were a lot of people who felt like they couldn’t breathe.”
He added, “This is a big deal; for us to get some peace and have a reset. Being a good man matters. I want my son to look at this. It is a good day for this county. I am sorry for the people who lost, but for most, this is a good day.”
6. This Electoral Map by the French newspaper, Le Monde – so much smarter in terms of giving a real visual for the vote distribution.
7. This Samantha Bee video, the one we have been waiting for…
Yeah, can’t stop at seven today….
8. This Joyful Video Compilation….
9. This Lincoln Project Video
10. This Video Filmed by Kamala’s Husband, Doug of Kamala talking with Joe right after she found out that the election had been called for Joe.
And here are Doug and Kamala right after Kamala received the news that she is now the FIRST FEMALE VICE PRESIDENT in US History. (It’ll be nice to have regular, normal people back in the White House.)
11. This Clip from Tonight’s Joe Biden Speech, Introduced by Kamala Harris – man, those fireworks.
[Update] 13. This SNL monologue by Dave Chappelle
Also, the SNL Cold Open which I’ve watched three times so far…
[Update] 14. This Historic Der Spiegel Magazine Cover...
[Update] 15. This Twitter Post (I adore Eddie Marsan.)
[Update] 16. This Group Hug
[Update] 17. This Bride and Groom, who had the most EPIC wedding day ever!
[Update] 18. This Infographic
[Update] 19. This Episode of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
Well, tomorrow is it. It’s V-Day. If you haven’t already voted I hope you are planning on doing so. And if you aren’t planning on voting blue across the board, I strongly recommend you watch the John Oliver videos below first before going to the polls.
And because this week is such an historic and unusual and momentous and important week I’m going to have more than seven things – some things will fire people up but hopefully some will help relieve some stress and maybe even elicit a laugh or two.
1. This Photo of AUTUMN in all its Splendiferousness – my friend Kathy took this shot and it takes my breath away every time I look at it. Full disclosure, fall is my favorite time of year, so pretty much everything makes me happy about this seasonal change. This was taken in Sussex, Wisconsin. It’s actually at the cemetery. I wouldn’t mind spending eternity there. BUT my dad already bought my plot in Dubuque, IA. and there is nothing but a few pine trees around. I should really look into that.
2. This new John Mulaney Musical on SNL – this is the fourth musical by Mulaney. It follows Diner Lobster, Bodega Bathroom, and Airport Sushi. All four sketches (or is the last one a skit?) star Chris Redd and Pete Davidson as buddies who go to common everyday places like diners, the airport, or a souvenir shop but in each one Pete Davidson always makes a completely unwise choice such as wanting to order the lobster off a diner menu, wanting to the use the bathroom at a bodega, or wanting to buy the sushi at the airport. This leads the cashier (always played by John Mulaney) to break into song and it goes into full-Broadway after that. Completely brilliant and if they did one of these every week it would never get old. But I suppose having to wait several months just makes them all the more special – you know, like waiting for Christmas.
3. This Political Appointment in New Zealand – Jacinda Ardern has done it again, not only making history but doing what is right and fair for the people of her country! Congratulations to Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta!
4. This Bookshop in China, Dujiangyan Zhongshuge– click on the photo or the links to see more photos. I didn’t want to post them all here. You need to see them all. It’s like a cathedral mixed with Space Odyssey.
5. This Film Short called Selfish by Po Chien Chen – from October 15th to the 29th Milwaukee Film held its Festival and this year it was virtual! That meant I was able to see way more movies than usual because it’s a heck of a lot easier to watch movies from home than it is to go to the theater. It also meant it was completely worth it to buy a pass this time, which I did. I managed to watch 13 films but technically it was probably closer to 50 because four of the “films” I watched were collections of short films. This is one of them and it was one of my favorites. It was in the Kids Shorts: Size Large collection (meaning for older kids) and it’s about how plastic is destroying the planet.
6. This Tweet from Lynda Carter, our original Wonder Woman – a friend of mine told me that standing like Wonder Woman can boost your confidence (try it, it works for me though there are naysayers.) Today and tomorrow I think we should all channel our inner Diana Prince and do a little spinning and a lot of power posing.
7. This Female Comedian’s video on Triangulation – I discovered Anna Akana by watching Julie Nolke (one of my all-time favorite female comedians – she’s hilarious.) Anna is a bit difficult to label. I wouldn’t call her a comedian per se. It’s almost like she’s a self-help comedian? A therapist comedian? Not every video, mind you, she does music videos like Swim (she’s seriously good!) But the majority of her videos have some sort of lesson on how to live a better life, told in a completely hilarious and zany way. I LOVE HER!
8. This Video of Obama – no words necessary.
9. This Example of American Ingenuity – My friend Molly took her twins trick-or-treating this weekend in Chicago and posted a bunch of photos of their day of fun. They were all so much fun to look at, it was like I went trick-or-treating with them! This photo caught my eye in particular – one of the silver linings of this pandemic (and I actually have started a blog post about pandemic silver linings, after this election there may be a flurry of posts depending upon how things shake out) is how creative and ingenious people have become to accommodate and THIS is SUPER genius level (in my head I keep hearing this in Wile E. Coyote’s voice but I do sincerely mean this is clever!)
10. These John Oliver Videos – yesterday Oliver did two main stories because this week is SO important. And he got to vote for the first time as a U.S. citizen – how cool is that?? By the way, if you didn’t watch Last Week Tonight last night, you are going to want to watch these two videos because they will show you how VITALLY important this election is. When people have been saying to you, this is the most important election of my lifetime, and they are in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s – they are NOT exaggerating.
1. This Short Film, The Magic of Chess – The Milwaukee Film Festival is running from October 15-29 and this year, for obvious reasons, it’s gone completely virtual. Frankly, I’m thrilled because it’s giving me the opportunity to see a lot more movies than I normally would be able to see. Because of that I bought a pass (and I’m a Milwaukee Film member so I got a really good deal 😊.)
I usually see all the film short collections and this year is no different. I also usually start with the kids film shorts. I have about a half dozen favorite short films so far, this is one of them. There is something about all these kids going on and on about chess, with such passion and enthusiasm – it’s amazing!
3. This Fashion Line that used Puppets for a Socially Distanced Fashion Show – Moschino’s Creative Director, Jeremy Scott, is responsible for using marionettes dressed in doll-sized versions of the garments. I’m sure it was a tremendous amount of work but wonder, now that they’ve done it, will it get easier from this point forward to do it with puppets and less expensive than a show with live models? People do love things in minature too!
4. This Letter written by the Attorneys for the Lincoln Project (one of my two favorite Republicans against Trump groups right now) to Jared Kushner & Ivanka Trump’s lawyer. It brings me such joy! The Trump family (as has many other of their ilk) has gotten away with “having their cake and eating it too” for far too long. I hope that their stint in the White House was the straw that broke the camel’s back and that after the election everything crumbles. (November 3rd is ONE WEEK from tomorrow – EEK!)
5. These Photos of Birds in Motion by photographer Mark Harvey – you should click on the photo below or this link to see all the rest. Simply breathtaking!
6. This Recipe for Bread of the Dead – super clever, easy and realistic way to make skulls from mushrooms! I’ll have to remember this for next year when I can actually entertain again.
7. This Bronze Sculpture inspired by the legend of King Arthur for Tintagell Castle, Cornwall by Rubin Eynon
1. This Music – I’ve been working on this playlist for a while and although I don’t think it’ll ever be finished, at least I feel it’s good enough to put on my blog. Over twelve hours of my favorite tunes from the past fifty years (with a few outliers from before I was born.) I hope you enjoy it and feel free to share!
Now, on to the Menopausal Broad Christmas Playlist!
2. This new Mural in Milwaukee by Shepard Fairey titled “Voting Rights are Human Rights” –
3. This Song by Demi Lovato, Commander in Chief – I’ve always been a fan of Demi Lovato but I think she’s underrated as an artist, disregarded as a “pop star.” I know that I thought that until I heard the song Stone Cold. It blew me away, what a voice. I wish she would do more songs like that. She was wasting her talent. But now she’s done this song. Fantastic. And the video, it makes my heart hurt. I hope she’s decided to start making songs with meaning.
Gloria Allred. Conservatives hate her, even conservative women. They can’t even recognize they are benefiting from her accomplishments. Conservatives don’t attack liberal powerhouses like Allred for what they are doing. Oh no. They attack them for things like being too loud or too aggressive or too unladylike. Because that’s what sexists do when they disagree with a strong woman. It’s a tactic people need to stop condoning.
7. This Fisher Price Museum on Instagram – welcome back to your childhood! How many of them did your family have? The problem for me is that I recognize most of them and I can’t remember if we actually had them, if my cousin’s family had them, or if I saw them in the Toy Story movies. I hate my memory. Either way, it’s warm & fuzzy time and that’s all that matters.
1. This Children’s Librarian – who set up the best display ever the day after the Vice Presidential debate.
2. These Celebrities teaching us American Slang – I grew up in Iowa where we have no accent and no slang! Mwah ha ha ha ha ha. So not true. In fact, my Mom, whom I adored, used to say things like “be sure when you worsh the dishes in the zinc that you don’t break anything.” And my dad still says the words “Worshington” and “garuntee.” And then there was the pop/soda incident of 1984. I’d rather not talk about it.
A few years ago I few out to a conference in California and the majority of the attendees were native Californians. I’d never met any of them. The first evening I was sitting across a table from a woman who was sort of staring at me. Understand we hadn’t introduced ourselves at this point and weren’t wearing name tags. We’d only arrived and checked in and were having cocktails while we waited for our rooms. After people started getting called to go check-in she came over and sat next to me and said, “It’s so great to talk with a fellow Iowan again!” I asked how she knew I was from Iowa. I hadn’t even said all that much (at least for me) and after all, I hadn’t lived in Iowa for about thirty-five years. She said, “Your accent!” I have an accent? Go on, I don’t have an accent. She insisted I did.
Turns out she had lived in California for quite some time but was born and raised in Iowa as well. As you can imagine we became fast friends. I still can’t tell the difference between her “accent” (or my “accent”) and the accents of the other Californians attending the conference. Apparently I am no Henry Higgins.
ANYHOO, this video is fun to watch. Here are all the people that show up in it and exactly where they were born and/or raised.
Jennifer Garner was born in Houston, Texas but raised in Charleston, West Virginia
Olivia Munn was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Keegan-Michael Key was born in Southfield, Michigan and raised in Detroit
Matthew McConaughey was born in Uvalde, Texas
Adam Devine is actually a fellow Iowan, born in Waterloo, Iowa but grew up in Omaha, Nebraska
E-40 is from Vallejo, California
Michael Sheen is, of course, not from America but is from the beautiful Newport, Wales
Jon Hamm is from St. Louis, Missouri!!! (A branch of my family tree hails from there.)
Chloe Grace Moretz was born in Atlanta, Georgia.
Ike Barinholtz is from Chicago, Illinois
Tiffany Haddish is from Los Angeles, California
Jason Bateman is NOT from the Ozarks but was born in Rye, New York.
Laura Linney was born in New York City (did you know her father was a prominent playwright named Romulus Linney?)
Julia Garner was also born in New York City, in the Bronx.
Jennifer Lawrence was born in Indian Hills, Kentucky near Louisville
Joel Edgerton was born in Blacktown, New South Wales, Australia (and his reaction to Kentucky slang is wonderful.)
Mark Wahlberg was born in Dorchester, Boston, Massachusetts
Adam Sandler (interesting detail about bodegas) is a Brooklyn, New York boy (not a surprise)
Idina Menzel was born in Manhattan, grew up in New Jersey until she was three, then moved to Syosset, New York on Long Island.
3. This Book, Emeralds of Oz by Peter Guzzardi – honestly, there is a lot we can learn from the Wizard of Oz books (plural). Also, have you ever read Wicked (and the sequels) by Gregory Macguire. They really are genius. The first one is best, they get less so as you go along but the vocabulary is almost Tolkien-level of brillance.
4. This Cartoonist for The Guardian, Tom Gauld – I’ve been a fan for ages. His cartoons generally have a very literary slant. I have a couple of his books and am asking Santa for another one for Christmas!
5. This Reenactment of the iconic four-way phone scene from Mean Girls by four young women with disabilities. The intent is to show that people don’t have to be defined by their disability. It’s wonderful!
6. This Famous (infamous) Merrie Melodies scene, Leopold… The Leopold that they keep whispering about is a real-life conductor, Leopold Stokowski.
I also loved it when Merrie Melodies went completely into the adult arena, making cartoons for grown-ups. This cartoon has all sorts of famous people from the era: Peter Lorre, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Greta Garbo (Garbo wore size 8AA shoes but between her own self criticism and Hollywood standards the rumor few around that her feet were too big), Ann Sheridan, Humphrey Bogart, Bing Crosby, Clark Gable and many more. How many can you name? Oh, and LEOPOLD again!
7. This Young Girl – about five years ago (damn, time flies) my library system staff went to one of the local county fairs to promote libraries. They did this a lot, library advocacy is part of their thing. In addition to handing out materials about what our system libraries provided and they wanted to do something interactive so they put together this simple little activity using pool noodles and artistic letters laminated onto cards so that they would stand up. People could create any message they wanted and have their photos taken and my system put the photos up on social media. There were TONS of them but this one really caught my attention for two reasons – first, because of the word that she choose and second, because of the way she’s holding up the word, there’s just something so powerful about the way she’s standing. I just love everything about it.
Okay guys, so I was collecting thing for my upcoming blog post and not only did I have WAY too many but a lot of them seemed to be food related so this week I’m posting two blogs simultaneously. Don’t worry, I don’t think this will be a regular thing.
1. This video showing How they make croissants at the Le Marais Bakery in San Francisco. Mesmerizing. And man, they look so good. Dammit, how much longer until we can freaking travel. Or at least leave our homes? My state unfortunately is becoming a new hotspot. Some hospitals not too far north of where I live have had to start wait-listing or transferring patients. I’m going to go watch this video again….
2. This Black Forest Piecaken – my friend Kathy made this! You’ve probably heard of a turducken, which is a deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck, further stuffed into a deboned turkey. Well a piecaken is a pie baked inside a cake. You can make it with pretty much any kind of pie and any kind of cake but this is a cherry pie baked into a fudgy chocolate cake. Only in America!
I’m not sure if this is the same recipe my friend used but the photo is mighty close to the end result so it could be. OR if you don’t want to put as much work into it, you can use this boxed cake recipe but that’s not going to be as good.
3. This pizzeria – Vinnie’s Pizzeria, that has added “Comforting Words” to its menu at the low cost of $1! 2020 has a silver linings here and there.
4. This Australian tradition – “Democracy Sausage” or another reason why the rest of the world is superior to America. Oh em gee, why aren’t we doing this???? Because most countries don’t try to discourage voting/making it difficult to vote and actually try to lure people to the polls, in Australia at many elections they grill these sausages, called “snags” and offer them either for free or to raise money for local causes. I realize during a global pandemic this may not be a good time to start this (and I’m sure they won’t be doing it in Australia for the next year or so either) but we really need to try harder.
5. This Snow Globe Gin from Harvey Nichols – two of my favorite things in one package. Pinch me. They’ve used edible gold flakes for the snow. It’s times like this that I ask myself yet again, why the hell am I not living in the UK? (You can’t see it on their website until November, not that they can ship it to the U.S. Trust me, I’ve tried to have gin shipped here.)
6. These Tips for tidying up your kitchen — I’m obsessed with Food52 and this article had some amazing tips on how to clean up your kitchen quickly and easily. I particularly liked the part for keeping an “orderly fridge.” Genius.
7. This article about how theIrish Supreme Courtruled that Subway Bread is too sweet to be bread. Yes, it’s official, Subway bread is not bread. FINALLY!
After all, we all know that we should all be eating bread like this on a daily basis. Mmmmmm, Irish Brown Bread. There’s nothing better. This photo is from the website Hungry Enough to Eat Six and they have a dandy recipe for Irish Brown Bread here.