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.
I started to put together my post for the week and there ended up being way too many things, and curiously a huge number of them were food-related. So I’ve decided to post two blogs this week. Don’t worry, I don’t expect this to become a regular thing. (And I also forgot to actually POST them. ARGH! It’s an insane time right now.)
2. This Instagram account, Accidentally Wes Anderson – which was brought to my attention by my friend Ann and was recently written about in the NY Times. There’s a gorgeous new book being released this month. It includes some of the account’s best photos (I’m definitely going to ask for it for Christmas). Publication date is October 20th. For someone who has mild OCD, is a travel junkie, loves nostalgia and beautiful things there is nothing better than Wes Anderson.
3. This Kayaker, Lori Nickel – I love the way she writes, it makes me feel like I was there with her. And, since right now I’m doing a lot of armchair traveling and sports and theatre and, well, everything, this sort of article is most appreciated. I also love her attitude and the final little snippet of wisdom at the end, “And be grateful, because any race and any fun outside with friends and family – any sense of community in 2020, while we all deal with this Covid19 pandemic – is a gift. Especially when you can walk away from it.”
4. This Woman doing a voiceover of a cooking show – she is the female Morgan Freeman for christ’s sakes. (Thanks Stasie.)
5. This movie on Netflix, Enola Holmes, which became the number one ranked movie on the streaming network in its first week. It is perfection – it’s funny, intelligent, diverting, cinemagraphic, action-packed, and has a soupcon of romance (which is all I need nowadays.) Plus the costumes are fabulous! And as a HUGE added bonus, Henry Cavill as Sherlock (rawrrr.)
6. This stylebook – the AP Stylebook has always been my favorite and now this cinches it. They took the time to identify the usage of the terms “riot” vs “unrest” and the potential motivations beneath unrest caused by protests vs riots caused by mobs. Incredible really. More history. When apolitical institutions that are decades old start making political stands, there is something wrong.
7. This color – Pantone has declared a new color called Period to help remove the stigma with menstruation. (seen on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert)
I’ve decided to include a new feature in my weekly post. One of the things that I LOVE is language so each week I’m going to include a fun new word, not necessarily English, that I’ve stumbled across.
Word of the Week
It’s a little on the nose but schadenfreude has always been one of my top ten favorite words. I also wanted to include the interesting fact that Merriam-Webster saw an increase of 30,500% in searches for the word on October 2nd. Language is extraordinary.
Have a FABULOUS week! Be safe, wear a mask, stay home if you can.
Sorry guys, lots of videos this week but I had no choice, they are all just TOO good.
1. This Kindergarten Teacher, Mackenzie Adams (and a NY Times article that includes Adams and some other extraordinary educators is here.) The video shows that to teach virtually a teacher has to put in about 300% more energy to get students engaged. No doubt it must be exhausting but these dedicated individuals are up to the task and they’re doing it with smiles on their faces because you know what? Teachers aren’t in it for the money.
2. This (the) Cottage Fairy – I just discovered artist Paola Merrill and now I’m obsessed. She lives a “simple living” lifestyle in rural Washington state and as an artist loves to make things more visually beautiful. She releases new videos on Wednesdays so now I’ll have to wait because I binge-watched everything she had posted. It looks like her Facebook page has been around for a while and you can see some of her delightful art there. She also has an Etsy shop but since she got on YouTube her popularity is really taking off, so it’s empty at the moment. Who doesn’t need a little mindfulness and beauty right now?
3. This Dad, Craig Conrad – he created a series of videos for young women/girls who, when they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation. They can pull one of the videos up on their smartphone and it will appear as though they have called their dad. Then they can have a conversation with the video and whoever is around will believe that they have someone who knows where they are and that they are expected home shortly. Very cool.
4. This Japanese photographer… definitely worth following on Instagram.
5. This (fake) trailer for the (fake) film ‘Harding’ from ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’ – it was aired a while ago but I was reminded of it because there is a little bit of a kerfuffle with the Harding ancestors over and, well, you can read about that here but it just fits so well with trailer. Perhaps someone does need to make a movie called ‘Harding.’
6. RANDY RAINBOW – He’s a national treasure.
7. This Comedian Magician, Lucy Darling – my brother introduced me to Ms. Darling and I’m so glad he did. She’s, well, darling. Her shows are very cocktail-centric, which is something I appreciate. I was able to catch a virtual show last Friday and it was fabulous. I’m sure it has to be difficult to put together a show that will work online.
Bonus – This Mask PSA by “Certified Young Person” Paul Rudd – OMG, who doesn’t LOVE Paul Rudd?????
This ad for Hugh Jackman’s coffee company, Laughing Man, narrated by his “archenemy” and best bud, Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds could read the phone book and make it funny.
This ad for UberEats starring Sir Patrick and Mark Hamill. PINCH ME!!!
1. This Excerpt from an Op-ed by Ruth Bader, Grade 8B1 which she wrote for her school paper in 1946 at age thirteen (found on brainpickings):
Now we have a fifth great document, the Charter of the United Nations. Its purpose and principles are to maintain international peace and security, to practice tolerance, and to suppress any acts of aggression or other breaches of peace.
It is vital that peace be assured, for now we have a weapon that can destroy the world. We children of public school age can do much to aid in the promotion of peace. We must try to train ourselves and those about us to live together with one another as good neighbors for this idea is embodied in the great new Charter of the United Nations. It is the only way to secure the world against future wars and maintain an everlasting peace.
Full op-ed included in My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a collection of writings selected by Justice Ginsburg herself, published by Simon & Schuster
2. VOTING – there is no better way to pay your respects to Justice Ginsburg than to make sure you vote in this election, and to vote wisely.
The ideal way to vote is to vote EARLY, in-person, if you are able to do that. Check your local municipal website (they are most likely getting bombarded by calls) or call if you can’t look it up online.
If you’re at-risk, sign up for an absentee ballot. This would be the second best option. Be sure to do this NOW, as early as possible. You need to give the application to arrive at your municipality, get processed, have it go back in the mail, get returned to you. That can take a few weeks. Don’t dawdle!!! Also, if you can, drop your absentee ballot off directly at your municipality rather than putting it back in the mail. Many municipalities have drop boxes now.
Worst case scenario, you can’t vote early and you didn’t get an absentee ballot, DO show up to the polls on November 3rd. People keep saying it but it is true, this is the most important election of our lifetimes.
If you would like to find some information about voting in your state Stephen Colbert has put together a very useful site called Better Know A Ballot. He’ll eventually have a video (like below) for every state but until he does you can still find the basic voting info like how to register in your state, when early voting begins, how to get an absentee ballot, and how to vote in-person.
3. This NYT article, “For Women, the Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Brings a Particular Grief“ by Sheryl Gay Stolberg – I think men can’t quite understand what RBG’s death truly means to many of the women and girls in this country. She wasn’t simply someone who made decisions that we were happy about. RBG was our role model. She was our mentor. She was our teacher. She was our mother. She was our hero. This article puts it into words much better than I ever could.
4. These RBG movie, RBG & On The Basis of Sex – if you haven’t seen them yet, now is the time. If you’ve already seen them, now is the time to re-watch!
5. This time when Stephen Colbert worked out with RBG – Colbert was trying so hard to make her laugh but she was f-o-c-u-s-e-d.
6. This Artist, Adrian Wilson, who turned the 50th Street subway sign in NYC into a tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg (found on hyperallergic) …
7. This Tweet by the Washington National Opera showing a photo of when Justice Ginsburg appeared in a performance of The Daughter of the Regiment in 2016 alongside the opera house’s Lawrence Bronwlee. RBG was a great lover of opera and what a delightful tribute (found on Deadline, more details available.)
Bonus: I had to include this – the RBG Rap from SNL
Bonus: This Vigil held at the Supreme Court – “Honor her wish.”
1. This new female-hosted science show, Emily’s Wonder Lab (thanks Stasie!) – move over Mr. Wizard (okay, he passed away 13 years ago but you get where I’m going with this), step aside Bill Nye the Science Guy (we still adore you), get out of the way Beakman (you’re still the geek we all had a little bit of a crush on), Emily Calandrelli (aka The Space Gal) is here and she’s gonna make some waves and some goo and some rainbow bubbles and some barfing pumpkins and some… all while pregnant!
3. This Geico Commercial “Aunt Infestation” – I told you I have a thing for commercials. This is by far the best Geico commercial EVER!!! And I’m not saying this just because I’m an Auntie. These women are hilarious.
4. This hometown candy shop: Betty Jane’s Candies – people from Dubuque, Iowa are very familiar with Betty Jane’s. And now that it’s cooling down outside, you can enjoy Betty Jane’s too because they ship everywhere! They are most well-known for their Gremlins, which are similar to turtles but 1000x better. Trust me. And now you can get them in either milk chocolate or dark chocolate or both! Back when I was younger it was only milk chocolate (but then I was a kid so like I cared.) They also have Snacker packages in 6 and 12 oz that are less expensive than getting them in the box (but also, more difficult to keep yourself from eating too many.)
It’s also Caramel Apple season right now – but I’m sure you need to order quickly if you want to get some of those.
I recently though, have found myself addicted to their dark chocolate covered almonds. Over the summer I couldn’t order from them because of the heat and so I attempted to find a comparable dark chocolate covered almond – tried at least two dozen brands (even had to toss out a few of them), not a single one came even close.
5. This new app by Kevin Costner (swoon) called HearHere – HearHere is great for people who take lots of road trips. You get to hear stories about the places you drive through, some of them are actually narrated by Kevin Costner himself. It’s pretty cool.
6. This Last Video of ABBA – rather than trying to figure out all of this and rewriting it myself I’m cutting and pasting the information from an ABBA site I found:
“The four ABBA members reunited (kind of) in the humorous film Our Last Video, where they each filmed a (silent) appearance lasting just a few moments each. The film was shown during the interval of the Eurovision Song Contest’s Semi-Final on Wednesday 12 May 2004 to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of ABBA’s Eurovision win. Most of the script of the film was made up of ABBA song lyrics.
Agnetha and Frida filmed their parts separately although they were edited to look like they appeared together. Björn, Benny and Agnetha filmed their parts in Stockholm while Frida filmed hers in London.
The Last Video is the film about four hopeful musicians (a set of ABBA puppets made by Henson Creature Shop Limited who made The Muppets) in search of a record contract. They pay a visit to the Big Record Company Boss and his oily assistant, performing one hit after the other, cheered on by their manager. But things don’t really work out as planned and as they leave, “the real ABBA” arrive (in footage taken from ABBA – The Movie) in the lift as the puppets leave.
The film was produced by Radical Media UK and filmed at Independent Studios AB at Saltsjö-boo, outside of Stockholm; and directed by Calle Åstrand. Apart from the puppet versions of Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Frida (which in reality are about 50cm tall), the film starred:
7. This Podcast, Sistory Untold – this is SUPER cool. These two London-based sisters started a podcast during quarantine and it’s absolutely brilliant. They were trying to come up with a topic that was unique and relevant at the same time so because they are part of a big family of sisters they decided to cover famous sisters in history. And by sisters, they don’t mean they have to be blood relations, simply women that had relationships that affected history.
“Importantly, they focus on the women’s relationships rather than the men they were associated with, from Hamilton‘s Schuyler sisters to Jane and Cassandra Austen to 18th-century rivals Maria Coventry and Kitty Fisher (as seen in Harlots on BBC Two).”
(Sorry guys, had to go over seven things this week. There were just too many things to include. Pour yourself a cup of tea, this is a long one!)
1. Supermajority – “A community for women who want to work together to build economic and political power, organize for gender equity, and transform this country.”
I signed up for Supermajority a while ago and it’s fabulous – provides a lot of interesting and useful information. But as the election draws nearer they are kicking it into high gear. Last week a friend of mine (who is also a member) posted on Facebook that she had signed up as Supermajority Supermajor, a leadership program to help get out the vote. I immediately signed up too. This upcoming election is the most important election of my lifetime, and as you all know, I’m not being melodramatic.
I’m scheduled for a few online training sessions this coming week and after that I’ll be texting, calling, writing letters, and helping to recruit poll workers. All things I can safely do from my home!
There are a lot of organizations helping to get out the vote but I like this one because of its focus is on women, particularly women of color. If you aren’t already signed up for something consider joining right now!
Also, the leadership at Supermajority is a wonderfully diverse group of women (and two men) that includes one of my heroes, Cecile Richards.
2. Protect the Results – they are “building a coalition of voters ready to mobilize if Donald Trump refuses to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election.”
I don’t know if my fear of things going badly after the election is an irrational fear being promoted by the “liberal media” but based on everything I have been reading and seeing, I don’t think….
Oh hell, it’s primarily due to this: when Kayleigh McEnany, the White House Press Secretary (who clearly has had a few too many cult initiation sessions for the Church of Trump) was asked, “Is the president saying if he doesn’t win this election, that he will not accept the results unless he wins?” She responded, “The president has always said he’ll see what happens and make a determination in the aftermath. It’s the same thing he said last November.”
W……T……F. That’s not the way you answer that question.
By the way, this was preceded by:
“The president said this week the only way we lose this election is if the election is rigged,” a reporter asked McEnany at a briefing Wednesday. “It begs the question: Does the president believe there’s any circumstance under which he can lose the election fairly?”
“The president believes he’s done a great job for the American people, and he believes that will show in November,” McEnany responded. “He believes that voter fraud is real, in line with what we see all across the country, particularly with mail-in ballots which are prone to fraud.”
Bernie Sanders is the latest in a string of respected and long-standing government officials, both former and current, who have voiced concerns about Trump possibly not conceding if he loses the election.
Last week on the Samantha Bee’s show they had a segment on this exact topic. The video clip is below and it’s where I heard about Protect the Results. I suggest you watch this, it includes discussions with a few experts including Rosa Brooks who led the ‘Transition Integrity Project,’ a group of current and former senior government and campaign leaders, academics, journalists, polling experts and former federal and state government officials formed out of concern about potential disruptions to 2020 United States presidential election and transition by the RNC. They ran multiple war-game scenarios to see what would happen depending on various outcomes of the election and, well, it wasn’t pretty.
3. The Cast of the Princess Bride (and Patton Oswald) – the cast and director of one of the most beloved films ever made – Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Carol Kane, Chris Sarandon, Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, and Rob Reiner – are going to have a reunion where they will do a table reading of the script of ‘The Princess Bride’ and answer questions sent in by attendees, moderated by the wonderful Patton Oswald. This is being done to raise money for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, which we all know is one of the major battleground states for the upcoming election. Kudos to them for using their fame for good! I’ve made my donation, registered and even sent in a question. You can go to this link to make a donation. You;ll receive an email acknowledging your donation (you can donate any amount!) and it will include a link that says “Get access to the event URL here.” Click on that to actually register for the event itself and you’ll get the URL so you can watch everything on Sunday, September 13th at 6 pm. SO EXCITED!!!
4. Penzeys Spices – If you are a Penzeys’ fan you are already aware of the advocacy that they have been doing over the past three and half-plus years. They decided to take a stand fairly early on and have not been shy at all about declaring their opposition to the person occupying the White House.
Just one example of the sort of thing they’ve been doing – recently they offered “Get Out the Vote” supply kits – totally awesome.
Another cool thing though unrelated to voting, Penzeys has a store in Kenosha but it is some distance from where the protesting and turmoil is/was going on. Bill Penzey, not at all unexpected, wrote to his customers in support of the BLM protesters. As usual received a flood of kudos mixed with a little bit of criticism from a few of his customers. (If you look at their Facebook page, especially at the posts from 2017, you’ll see hundreds of supportive comments on every one of his posts interspersed with a negative comment here and there such as “I will never shop at Penzeys again.” He clearly is having no problems business-wise with his decision to oppose the “president.”)
Penzey said that someone wrote to him “that you would be singing a different tune if it was your store being looted.” In order to show that he wouldn’t be “singing a different tune” (and to put his money where his mouth is) he decided to loot his own store! He took a photo of the inventory that day and then gave away that exact amount of inventory to community organizations that could benefit from the donation. He asked people to make recommendations to community groups/organizations that could benefit from the donation and in just a few days had received over 5,000 messages! Be sure to support Penzey’s! Not only is it a local business but they are clearly socially aware and awesome!
5. The Milwaukee Bucks (and the sports teams which followed suit, not just in the NBA but in other leagues as well) – the Bucks was the first team to take a stand and protest the Jacob Black shooting by sitting out for a playoffs game. This led to other teams joining them, not only other NBA teams but teams in the WNBA, the MLS, NFL, MLB, NHL, and CFB. Ultimately the Bucks actions led to a negotiation between the NBA and the players union on several things including using the arenas for polling places for the November 3rd election. Bravo Milwaukee Bucks!
6. The Lincoln Project – is a political action committee (PAC) that was formed in late 2019 but several current and former Republicans, one of the most well-known being George Conway, Kellyanne Conway’s husband. Recently both George & Kellyanne quit their positions to focus on their family after their daughter, Claudia, made a very public announcement that she was seeking emancipation. This family has the most complicated home life – you have the (now) former senior counselor to the “president” married to one of the leading “Never-Trumpers” and their kid appears to be as far left as one can be. And yet, although she says that her mother’s job has ruined her life and while criticizing her father (though I would have thought she’d be happy he’s against Trump) she still says, “They are the most generous, most well-educated people I have ever met. I look up to them and want nothing but success and good fortune for them. They are my parents and that trumps all — no pun intended.” C-O-M-P-L-I-C-A-T-E-D.
Here’s an example of the kind of work that the Lincoln Project is doing. They are prolific, sometimes having more than one video released in a day. And the quality is exceptional. I think they may have some Hollywood people helping them out.
And this one, which just brings tears to my eyes. Compare this man to the person currently occupying the White House. If we don’t have Joe Biden as president, well, I don’t know what I will do.
7. Old Navy – Old Navy is paying its employees to staff polling places on election day. As I’m sure you’re aware, there has been a massive shortage of poll workers due to the pandemic. Most poll workers are retirees and therefore are at-risk from COVID-19 so the people that normally work the polls are bowing out leaving municipalities across the country short-handed.
To give you an idea of what kind of problems this could cause, the State of Wisconsin chose to hold its in-person primary elections IN APRIL (right in the middle of when most states had issued shelter-in-place orders) and the republican controlled legislature refused to allow them to be postponed. The municipality that was most greatly affected was Milwaukee. Normally Milwaukee would have had 180 polling sites but they ended up with only FIVE. That led to very long waits and long lines and increased the risk of people who went to the polls. Here’s an article that explains why Milwaukee ended up with so many fewer polling sites than Madison.
Maybe other companies will follow Old Navy’s lead and do the same thing. Having employees go work the polls and/or giving them the day off to go vote would be an incredibly good thing to do for the nation and it wouldn’t be bad for their public image either (aka free marketing.)
8. Mrs. Fred Rogers– Joanne Rogers doesn’t mince words when talking about the “leader of our country.” She is most definitely not a fan, mostly because of his lying and his character. I think that this is something that I find most astonishing, how so many people who claim to be Christians can support him. Talk about selling your soul to the devil.
9. Fact Checking – if I hadn’t been a librarian this would have been my other dream job.
FactCheck.org – this site is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center which is a center of study for public policy at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. It describes itself as a “consumer advocate for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics”. It is primarily funded by the Annenberg Foundation, which is a family foundation that funds non-profits in the US and around the world. Their primary focus is in educational television on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) as well as programs in science and the arts.
Snopes – one of the “oldest fact checking sites,” Snopes was originally called “Urban Legends Reference Page” and was founded in 1994 by David & Barbara Mikkelson. The amazing thing is that because it’s been around so long and because so many people reference it as the to go place to check whether something is legitimate AND most likely because it is a couple at the helm, there are all sorts of conspiracy theories flying around about the Mikkelsons themselves. It’s gotten so bad that even other fact checking sites had to fact check them.
Ad Fontes Interactive Media Bias Chart – the Ad Fontes Media Bias Chart has a rather complicated methodology for how it ranks the various media outlets. If you want to see how it is done you can read about it here. I have used this one for years because one of my family members constantly sends me things from sources I’ve never heard of. I am able to send him back information saying this is where this media outlet is located on the Media Bias Chart. At one point I told him I would only believe things from the Associated Press and Reuters which were the two news sources most highly rated as being least biased/most accurate. That worked for a bit but eventually even those because “too left-leaning” and “fake news” for him. Right out of the fascist handbook.
Media Bias/Fact Check – I’ve been using this site a bit more because, well frankly, the Media Bias Chart started to charge money to download the static chart and the interactive chart of it isn’t as easy to use. This site is funded mostly through ads and memberships and donations. It was founded by Dave Van Zandt, an academic administrator and law professor. Plus it gives a bit more detail than the Ad Fontes Media Bias Chart.
10. Republican Voters Against Trump – While waiting for the next Chef Kobe video, I spend a lot of time on this YouTube channel. It helps me know that the entire country hasn’t gone insane. It’s one video after another like this….
They also had these two very important videos…
11. Walter Shaub – the former Director of United States of Government Ethics resigned fairly early after Trump’s regime, I mean term began, in July of 2017. His resignation was primarily due to Trump’s refusal to divest his businesses and the administration’s delaying in disclosing ethics waivers for appointees. That seems so long ago and so mild compared to what he does now. Walter’s personal Twitter account has been a sanctuary for those of us who felt that our country was going mad. I know for myself, it was always assuring to see someone I know to be of such high moral standards freaking out over the same things I was.
12. Voter Accessories – Getout the Vote bling!
This VOTE ID Bracelet – from Kris Nations, this beautiful bracelet is inspired by the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment which guarantees and protects women’s constitutional right to vote. And 50% of the purchase price goes to When We All Vote, a non-profit “working to ensure that every single eligible voter is registered and ready to vote in the 2020 elections.” (I am totally ordering one for myself. I will wear it all year round because we should already be reminded of the importance of voting and celebrate the accomplishments of the Suffragettes. Course if things don’t go well in November I may feel differently.) $48 for the sterling silver (the 18K gold vermeil are sold out.)
This Vote Rhinestone Bobby Pin – I LOVE this! According to MyDomaine, “This sparkly rhinestone hair clip represents an important partnership between stylist Justine Marjan, the brand Kitsch, and the When We All Vote organization, which encourages people who haven’t yet registered to get out and vote. For just $29, this sparkly statement accessory can be yours. Wear it proudly between now and election day, and feel good about the cause you’re supporting along the way.”—Melanie Berliet, General Manager
This V-O-T-E Necklace from ByChari – I’m sure you all heard Michelle Obama give her inspiring speech at the Democratic National Convention. Well, if you are like me, in between listening to everyone, you can’t help but notice all the wonderful details like this necklace Michelle was wearing (or that the letters on the shelves behind Elizabeth Warren spelled out B L M.) Well, not surprisingly this is from a black-owned business called ByChari and you can get it in gold, silver or rose gold. If you really want to make an investment, you can even have the letters be in diamonds! I would LOVE one of these. $295-$1260
This Vote Tote from ClareV – Again, via MyDomaine, “This blue cotton tote by Clare V. reads ‘I Vote, You Vote, She Votes, We Vote, They Vote’ in a lovely French script. While it’s an easy way to advocate for voter participation, part of the bag’s proceeds are also donated to When We All Vote—a nonprofit organization co-chaired by Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Janelle Monae, among others—so you can feel good about the fact that your money is being funneled into worthy grassroots campaigns around the U.S.”—Chelsea Stuart, Senior Lifestyle Editor $25
This VOTE Mask – Via MyDomaine, “I’m a big believer in the power of positive peer pressure when it comes to voting, and I can’t think of a better way to remind everyone of their civic duty than by wearing this mask when I leave the house. It’s from a collaboration between Resistance By Design and Stacey Abrams’s Fair Fight Organization, and a portion of the proceeds from each sale will be donated to the Southern Center for Human Rights.”—Karli Bendlin, Email Editor
I think we all need to do whatever we can to make sure that everyone we know gets out and votes in this election. Make sure your friends and family members have requested their ballots. And besides voting for Joe Biden, we need to also be voting for Democrats across the board, not just in the presidential election. Because change isn’t going to happen if we still have a republican controlled Senate or republican controlled legislatures across the country.
We’ve have six years of republican control – in our Senate and ten years in our State Legislatures and Governorships and look where we are. And if you’re argument is, well it’s because of the pandemic and it isn’t fair to judge, the fact is, we should have been much better prepared and we would have been, if the current president hadn’t reversed a lot of things that had been put in place to deal with emergencies because he didn’t think they were necessary and he was looking for things to pay for his tax cuts.
(Side rant – And were those tax cuts so important? We can look at it now and now that they weren’t, especially when we see who benefitted the most:
IRS data on the 2018 tax season released in May 2019 shows that savings for taxpayers were uneven. For example, the average refund was $90 higher, nationally, in 2018 than 2017. But the taxpayers who saw the largest refund increases had an adjusted gross income (AGI) of at least $200,000. Tax returns showing an AGI of less than $100,000 paid less income tax overall, but returns with an AGI just above $100,000 (many middle-class families) owed more tax, on average. Note that this AGI is per tax return, not per taxpayer: A married couple where each spouse has a salary of $65,000 could very well have an AGI of just above $100,000 if they file jointly.
We also know that businesses didn’t actually use the tax cuts they way they were intended, to invest in employees and the business. Instead they used it for buybacks, which helps shareholders and the company.)
Oh, I’m adding this John Oliver at the end, because he’s awesome and this is a great episode and you need to watch this if you haven’t seen it yet.
I meant to post this last night but I wanted to proof-read it and it got too late. You see, yesterday I had to straighten up my house because I have my cleaning person coming back after being away for almost eight months. I’m so excited!
It’s kind of a long story but when I moved four years ago into my “Golden Girls Dream House” I knew that this was going to be the last house I lived in until I died (or went into a home). I figured I needed to make it exactly what I wanted it to be and that meant it had to be big enough for my family and friends to visit and to have parties. That also meant that I had a fairly large house for one person and cleaning it by myself wasn’t an option.
Enter my amazing cleaning people. Course when the pandemic hit they could no longer come so I’ve been doing everything myself. I asked them, back in June, to restart cleaning but unfortunately they are short a person. I’ve been waiting until they could get me in. Last week we worked it out that they could come less frequently and only clean the kitchen and the bathroom. Originally I was told Friday but then yesterday I got a text and was asked if it was okay if they could come this morning instead. Heck yes! Knowing their situation I have to be flexible.
I remember when I was a kid my Mom would always spend nearly a day straightening up before our cleaning person came over. I used to think she was nuts. But now that I have a cleaning person myself I totally get it. You don’t want them wasting their time straightening up, you want them to be able to focus on the cleaning part. Sadly, after months of isolation there was a bit more straightening to do than usual.
And so my friends, that is why my “Seven Things I Love” post is a day late.
This Meme Comparing Generations – Eerily accurate. I fall on the cusp of GenX and Boomer. Though I most definitely identify as GenX, lately my Boomer side has been starting to show. Maybe I need more gin. Nah, fewer attacks on democracy would be better.
2. The Dole Fr*it B*wls Commercials – I’m not sure if these ads will become as popular as the Geiko ones but some of them are pretty clever. I really love this one in particular – with the two Moms showing what real-life families are like and then asking, was it your idea to have kids or mine? The expressions on their faces is what really makes it so wonderful, it captures so much – love for one another, resignation, and exasperation. (Side note, this commercial aired over and over again a week ago Sunday on the Hallmark Channel during a Jane Doe Mysteries marathon. Hallmark seems to be on board with the LBGTQ thing. They aren’t stupid.)
3. This biopic about Harriet, Tubman of course – this biographical film is amazing. What I liked most – though it spends a good amount of time showing the atrocities inflicted upon the people kept as slaves, it spends an equal amount of time showing Harriet’s success with emancipating others after she herself has escaped slavery. It’s tremendous. So many films like this would spend the entire thing on just her journey to freedom and then would go to a black screen with a message that would say something like,
Harriet Tubman made 13 total trips to Maryland, saving 70 people on her missions. She continued to be known as the “Moses of her people.” She served as a scout, spy, guerrilla soldier, and nurse for the Union Army during the Civil War. She died at the age of 93 surrounded by her family and friends and was buried with military honors at Fort Hill Cemetery.
But we wouldn’t get to experience the joy of seeing the rescues – that is the gift of this movie. I know that a lot of our heroes suffered and even shed blood for causes that meant so much to the world today but we need to see more films that show both the good and the bad.
(I will say this though, with what has been going on this past week, these past several months, when you do watch this movie, you will find yourself horrified that things haven’t come so much further in 170 years.)
4. This Cartoonist, Jackie Ormes – who was the first female African American cartoonist popular in the 30s, 40s, and 50s
She is being honored in the September 1st Google Doodle and it’s really wonderful. Take a look.
5. This article (which is excerpted from a book) on How to Identify Pebbles on Britain’s Beaches – what drew me to this initially was the drawings (by one of my favorite artists, Eleanor Crow) but the idea that someone would actually try to identify the various types of pebbles was fascinating to me. I would have thought that pebbles were as unique as snowflakes, but apparently not. The original book, The Pebbles on the Beach, was written by Clarence Ellis in 1954. Studying rocks and beaches is something that people, particularly Brits, have done for a very long time. There is a new film coming out called Ammonite, starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, about British Palaeontologist Mary Anning and her romantic relationship with Charlotte Murchison. It looks like a must-see film. Mary Anning definitely knew that there were different types of pebbles on the English beaches.
6. This Last tweet from Chadwick Boseman’s twitter account, posted by his family, announcing his passing. It has become the most-liked tweet in Twitter history. So a propos for a regal man and the King of Wakanda.
7. This Evian Commercial: Baby Reflection – just so damned cute. (I’ve always had a thing for commercials, so you know. I think some of them are like mini-films/works of art and some are so damned funny so don’t be surprised if I include them.)
1. Olive Oil Dispensers – I’ve been cooking more lately, especially since I signed up for Hello Fresh (will talk about that some time.) And a lot of what I am doing requires using a splash of olive oil. I buy my olive oil in a larger container (usually from CostCo) but those huge containers are a pain in the buttootie when you want to use it sparingly in salads or to saute. I found this great article in the Chicago Tribune (from last October) that reviewed olive oil dispensers. It was very informative and had some good options. I ordered choice number three – Aozita’s Glass Olive Oil Bottle Set. My primary reason for choosing this one was the mini-funnel to help fill the bottle up. As a menopausal broad, I found that most appealing.
2. These Cockatoos – which of these two cockatoos are you? I think it’s fairly easy to figure out which one I am as I sit here nodding my head listening to the video while I type.
3. John Mulaney’s SNL Musicals – I don’t know what made me think of these skits recently but man, am I glad I did because I actually missed the last one! It aired right after I came back from India and I must have been too jet lagged or something. Anyway, here they are, chronologically…
5. ThisTribute to Eugene Levy – On the occasion of his winning the Newport Beach Film Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award his friends, family and fellow Schitt’s Creek cast members all let Eugene know how much they love him, shared wonderful memories, told him how much influence he had on their lives, and of course it’s all done with a lot of humor…
6. ThisMommy & Me photo – it’s just so wonderful, the little girl is adorable and her mom is stunning. It went viral. Maybe she’ll become famous.
7. AVirtual Tour of Museo Frida Kahlo– La Casa Azul (or the “Blue House”) is where Frida was born in 1907. She spent most of her life living at La Casa Azul only moving out for the eight years she was married to Diego Rivera. She died here as well in 1954. The house is now used as a museum and now you can view it virtually. Virtual tours aren’t that great, IMHO, but it’s still wonderful to look around and see the gardens. That is what I am most excited about.
I’m adding a bonus this week. (Oh god, she’s started going over again! Don’t worry, it’s just this one time.) A friend of mine who lives in the UK posted this video. Amazing – very powerful. An organization that supports refugees projected a message onto the White Cliffs of Dover. You need to watch it!
1. The Technicolor Fashion Show Scene from the original version of the movie ‘The Women’ (1939) – I suspect more people are familiar with the 2008 film version of ‘The Women’ starring Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, and Jada Pinkett-Smith. The casts of both films are entirely women, you never once see a man, though there are constant references to them or a man will call on the phone.
The video below isn’t the entire scene unfortunately, it’s just the beginning – the full fashion show lasts about six minutes and includes the styles of designer Adrian. The film is in black & white but briefly switches to technicolor for this one scene. Apparently they filmed the fashion show in both black and white and technicolor. It was only shown on television and on DVDs in black & white but Turner Classic Movies restored the technicolor fashion show and how marvelous that they did!
2. Curbside Larry (Thanks KK!) Most places have someone like this. A person who does such obnoxious commercials that they become endearing. In Milwaukee we had a pitchman named “Crazy TV Lenny” who now owns an e-bike business called “Crazy Lenny’s.” I think it’s BRILLIANT how they used it to promote library services!
3. This Hallmark Movie – ‘Wedding Every Weekend,’ the latest Hallmark movie, has finally included an LGBTQ couple. YIPPEE!!! And it was NOT done subtlety either. This is now my favorite Hallmark movie (well, non-holiday Hallmark movie, I still really LOVE Christmas Getaway.)
4. Thomas Fitzpatrick: The greatest “Hold my beer and watch this” ever – Picture it, Sicily, 1956… wait, that’s wrong, not Sicily, it was New York City. Mr. Thomas Fitzpatrick makes a bet that he could land a plane outside the bar that he was drinking in, a couple hours later he does exactly that, in a stolen plane no less. Years later when someone refuses to believe him he even does it again! (Found on MessyNessyChic)
5. Rebecca – it won’t premiere on Netflix until October 21st but I am so excited about this upcoming movie I can barely see straight. The novel Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier has been one of my favorite books since high school. I also love the old black & white movie with Joan Fontaine and Lawrence Olivier (1940.) It was my first introduction to the actor George Sanders. Most people only know his voice – he was Shere Khan the Tiger in the 1967 Jungle Book. His voice is beyond sexy, he really does sort of growl. His role in Jungle Book was just too perfect.
Getting on to the new Rebecca – good lord, Armie Hammer is playing Maxim de Winter. SWOON! And Lily James plays the unnamed woman who narrates and becomes the second Mrs. de Winter. Kristin Scott Thomas is Mrs. Danvers, Keeley Hawes (The Bodyguard and Durrells in Corfu) is Beatrice Lacy and Sam Riley (Maleficent and Radioactive) is Jack Favell. It’s all my favorite people in one film!!! Pinch me!
6. Suffragettes – tomorrow (August 18th) will mark the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote. That’s right, it was only 100 years ago that women were given the right to vote in our country. New Zealand was actually the first country in the world to give women the right to vote. They did that in 1893, although there were actually some women on the Isle of Man (geographically part of the British Isles but not part of the UK) who were able to vote from 1881. New Zealand women were allowed to vote though they could not run for office.
There are two important dates to celebrate in 2020 – June 4th was the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment and August 18th is the 100th anniversary of its ratification and being added to the Constitution.
Want a fun activity for you and/or any kids you may know? Here’s Flat Susan B. (a twist on Flat Stanley), color her in and share her with friends, or use her as a bookmark, or take her along wherever you go and have her show up in photos that you post on Instagram! Flat Susan B is AWESOME! (And remember, coloring is therapeutic.) If you click on the image below you’ll go to the printable version.)
And remember, even though women won the right to vote in 1920, there is still a lot of problems with inequality in this country, which became very obvious with this summer’s BLM protests.
Sadly, the American’s Suffragette’s appear to won their battle at the expense of their black sisters. And the Equal Rights Amendment, though approved by both the House and the Senate in the early seventies never was able to get ratified by enough state legislatures before the deadline SEVEN years later. The deadline was extended for four years but still, the required of number of states was not met so Congress considers it dead. Several groups have tried to get Congress to remove the deadline but nothing has happened. Can you believe though that we, as a country, couldn’t get enough states to ratify the ERA in the first place???? Let’s see what happens in November, shall we?
P.S. if you haven’t seen the film Suffragettes yet, now’s the time!
7. The National Park Service’s ‘Recreate Responsibly’ Campaign Posters – the NPS began the campaign in April and it is genius. Humor really is the best way to get people’s attention, get things to go viral, and to get people to actually read things! The most recent poster, ‘Wildlife Petting Chart,’ is obviously in response to the recent bison incident (hint, don’t approach a baby bison when its mama is looking on.)