Posts Tagged ‘Movies’

Dear Fellow Strong Women:

I went to see “Little Women” with a group of ladies from a professional organization to which I belong.

Despite my love of reading and being an English major for one of my undergraduate degrees, I have never read the book.

(I’ll pause for a collective gasp.)

It’s probably because I was expected to read it as I was named after Beth March. Yeah, the quiet one. Haha!

I know of it, of course. And I’m sure I’d like it as much as Joey did when he read it.

Usually, I read the book then see the movie. I’m that kind of person. (The only movie that is better than the book, IMHO, is “Misery.”)

Anyway, I thought Greta Gerwig’s creation was spectacular. I laughed. I cried. It was better than “Cats.”

At one point, Amy says she is going to be an “ornament to society,” and I was reminded of something that happened at the weekly meeting of this professional group earlier in the day.

The group is mostly older white men. (Typical.)

The leaders of the membership committee solicited ideas for increasing membership via distributing selected topics at each table. My table had the topic of how to increase membership among women.

The oldest dude (about 90 and deaf) at a table of four men and four women actually said this:

Their husbands are working 8-10 hours a day bringing home the bacon. It shouldn’t be too hard to recruit more women as their schedules are more flexible.


And there was silence.

Now, I’m a brand-new member of this group. I didn’t feel comfortable barking at this man that I work 8-10 hours a day bringing home the bacon. Instead, I got up to get coffee from the coffee table.

A woman who is a past president of the group was sitting next to him. She looked properly mortified. I don’t know if she said something to him privately later. I’m going to ask her at the next meeting.

When I shared this anecdote with my boss, who is a former member of this group (and an older white male, it should be noted), he also was mortified.

But he asked a crucial question:

He wouldn’t have said something like that about an ethnic minority group or the LBGTQ community. Why did he feel it was OK to share outdated views of women?

Why indeed.

It’s time to stop being “ornaments to society.” How do we do that? What should I have done? What about the other women at the table? What should I do now?

Please share your thoughts.

And go see “Little Women” whether you have read the book or not.

“The world is hard on ambitious girls.” That’s right, Amy.

Yours in solidarity,


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Dear Dominic and Gideon,

I’ve enjoyed spending time with you this winter break.

Gideon and I have developed a call and response that makes me giggle every single time.

Person 1: Good news!
Person 2: I saw a dog today.

(Side note to readers: If you are confused, watch this.)

At one point, I walked into the room where Gideon was playing “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” in time to hear him yell:

My bullets are made in Arabia, so they never work!

I started laughing and couldn’t stop.

The next day, Gideon called Ryder for PS4 tech support. These kids either FaceTime or talk to each other on speaker.

Gideon started to leave the room with Ryder still on speaker.

Me: Hey! Don’t leave Ryder on the bed with me!
Ryder: Ew!
Me: (starts laughing)
Gideon: Mama!

Later that day, Dominic and I had an interesting conversation:

Him: Of Gideon and me, which of us is the funniest?
Me: A few months ago, I would have said you. But now, Gideon is giving you a run for your money.

But Dominic and I do have one thing in common: We are not party people.

Yes, we are both extroverts. But parties filled with people we don’t know can be overwhelming.

We were at my five-year-old great niece’s birthday party. It became too much. Dominic and I hid in the living room and laughed together.

The birthday girl’s older sister kept trying to lure Dominic out of hiding.

Very cute, but it was no use.

Anyway, our winter break bonding came to an end today. Back to the mutual grind.

But I am looking forward to spring break!


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Dear Readers:

You know how excited I get when I have a guest post. Today, I’m pleased to present one from Disgruntled Danny, a lovely-despite-the-moniker person I met while pursuing my passion for a particular U.K. band.

He’s pissed about the lack of road repairs in Chell Heath, the borough he’s called home for 12 years.

Here he is, in rare form. Enjoy!


“Harry Pothole and the Tarmac of Terror” and other tales
Guest post by Daniel Harrowven

Misery, frustration and disappointment. For most British people these are our default settings, but on a Friday morning in early May these emotions were amplified.

The reason? I had just read the results of the local government elections and, as feared, my local councillor had been re-elected.

For the last nine years, since my councillor was first voted into office, Chell has gone from being “a little bit rough” to a town that can now offer visitors an experience akin to Kabul circa 2003.

How did this happen?

Chell Heath is a Safe Seat. Many of the families in the area have lived here for generations and they always vote for the same political party. They are afraid of change. As long as nothing improves, they can continue to blame all their problems on former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. (She was forced out of office in 1990 and has done nothing at all since 2013 on account of her being dead.)

I was inspired to act whilst driving home one evening. Listening to the latest CD by Jesse’s Divide, I suddenly felt my spine shatter, thumbs dislocate and the CD skip, causing me to wonder whether I had suffered a brief blackout.


I had driven over one of Chell Heath’s impressive (and growing) number of potholes.

Danny recreates his death-defying drive.

In mainland Europe and the U.S.A., drivers drive on the right of the road.

In the U.K., drivers drive on the left of the road.

In Chell Heath, we drive on what is left of the road.

The following day, I went back to the pothole and had my long-suffering wife photograph me pretending to punch the pothole.

Disgruntled Danny, Superhero

I posted the photo to my Facebook wall and the Facebook page of my local council.

And became an Internet troll.

Lately, my trolling has taken the form of movie treatments and posters fitting the pothole agenda.


Here’s a medley:


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

How much of a stir has this trolling caused within the council? Have I been asked to remove the posts? Been offered a meeting to discuss my grievances?


I have had no response whatsoever.

Not even a “Sod off and bother someone else.”

But one person did take notice. Rathi Pragasam, the woman who ran against my councillor — the woman for whom I voted — found my pothole series amusing. So it came to pass (that sounds a bit biblical!) that Rathi visited me recently to discuss my rantings.

To be clear, she is not elected, has no power or authority in the ward, but within 24 hours she had contacted parliament (WTF!), arranged funding, and now the potholes are due to be repaired in the coming weeks.

All more than anyone on the council did.

I understand that there will always be bigger problems than some holes in the road, but little victories make life slightly more bearable.

And writing this has been a joy, because for 40 minutes I, a British person, have not had to talk about Brexit.




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Dear Film Buffs:

It is summer blockbuster season, y’all.

I want to talk about movies.
I want to talk about movies I love and movies I hate.
I want to talk about movies that are my personal litmus test.

If you don’t like these movies, I’m not sure we can be friends:

1. Pulp Fiction
This is Tarantino’s best. Don’t @ me with that “Reservoir Dogs” crap. Quotable moments, a John Travolta comeback and inventive storyline? Shit … That’s all you had to say. If you don’t like it, I don’t know what to say.

2. The Princess Bride
I like it so much that I have a line from it permanently etched on my person. (If you like the movie, and I like you, I might show you.) You were on the fence about it until this post, and now you wish to surrender to me? Very well, I accept.

Tommy Boy Poster

3. Tommy Boy
Chris Farley and David Spade at peak performance. If you don’t laugh at the airplane bathroom scene, there is something wrong with you. You’re just a big, dumb animal.

Horrible Bosses Poster

4. Horrible Bosses
I’ll watch Jason Bateman in anything, but he’s at his finest as straight man here. And Colin Farrell has the perfect role. Don’t get me started on Jamie Foxx, murder consultant.

Bridesmaids Poster

5. Bridesmaids
Melissa McCarthy slays. Every. Single. Scene. My love for her comes out of me like lava. (She’s also great in “Spy.”)

Napoleon Dynamite Poster

I was going to stop at five, but here’s an extra (possibly controversial) movie for good measure:

6. Napoleon Dynamite
With this one, I understand you have to be in the right mood. Otherwise you don’t get it. I was worried about showing this to my kids because, if they didn’t like it, I would have to kick them out of the house. ‘Cause I do whatever I feel like I wanna do. Gosh!

Honorable mentions: Guardians of the Galaxy, The Incredibles, The Avengers.

Yes, there’s a theme. Want to guess what’s on my most-hated list? Lots of dramas.

The English Patient Poster

1. The English Patient
Like Elaine said, just die already. I don’t give a rat’s ass about all the Oscars.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Poster

2. Batman vs. Superman
Don’t try to argue that this isn’t a drama. It totes is. Typical no-humor DC mierda. It was so boring that I fell asleep and DIDN’T MISS ANYTHING.

Steel Magnolias Poster

3. Steel Magnolias
It’s the only movie that ever made me nearly walk out of the theater. The accents were not even the worst part. The Southern clichés, predictability, scenery-chewing … I could go on. I won’t.

Black Swan Poster

4. Black Swan
Another Oscar darling. Just no. A better Darren Aronofsky film is “The Wrestler.”

The Hateful Eight Poster

5. The Hateful Eight
If I have Tarantino’s best, then the worst needs to be on a list too. I wanted to like it. I didn’t. The pauses/silence worked in my No. 1; they did not work here. So boring …

And, another possibly controversial choice for No. 6:

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Poster

6. The Lord of the Rings anything
Before you hire a hitman, let me say that I like fantasy (Harry Potter, Star Wars, Pan’s Labyrinth), etc. I just don’t like this fantasy. Why? Because of stupid stuff like the tree that is supposed to be all-knowing doesn’t know shit is going down in his forest. I know, I know: “Read the books.”

There you have it. Disagree? Come at me, bro. Maybe you’ll get lucky and get me in a transitional period. It’s not inconceivable.

Bottoms up,

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