She’s A Wonder

I can honestly say I’ve never seen a movie like Wonder Woman before. Ever. And It’s not just because it was a movie that was, for once, centered on a female superhero. Not only that, it’s the highest grossing film directed by a woman. Ever. In the history of ever.

Let’s talk for a second about the movie, we’ll get back to the director thing later.

First off, the story works. For a number of reasons. The movie takes time to introduce Diana as a child, and shows us her growth. It works so well, partially because the young actress playing Diana is fantastic. Her screen presence was spot on.

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My name’s Diana, I can beat you up.

Side note, the diversity in this movie rocked. Not perfect, but definitely better than other movies. Are you listening, Hollywood?

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We will literally kill you.

The costuming in the movie was great. It encompassed the warrior aspect, while also acknowledging that the people wearing the costumes were women. Sexy, but not excessive. Showing a woman’s body, a warrior’s body, without exploiting it. It sounds like an easy thing to do, but clearly, as other superhero movies have shown, it isn’t. What I loved about this movie was it demonstrated a woman’s power, without taking off her clothes. The costumer and director were clearly focused on designing costumes that a woman would actually wear to fight. (Except maybe the scene where WW is fighting Nazis without a coat on. but in a separate scene, Chris Pine’s character gives her his coat. Do Amazons get cold?). There’s a moment where the camera pans up Wonder Woman as she’s looking across the battlefield. Instead of demeaning WW by showing off her hot bod (though she does have one, and filmed part of it while she was pregnant, dang girl), it instead depicts a warrior looking at her victory.

Diana semi-quickly falls for Chris Pine’s Steve. I mean, it’s Chris Pine. He’s an above-average specimen ;). There is a scene where it feels like their chemistry is a bit forced, but it turned out just fine. Every time Steve tells Diana no, she does it anyways. The director and writer(s) took the time to show how women were treated in that time period, and took the time to show Steve’s acceptance of Diana as a warrior. Even if he still had trouble getting past wanting to protect her all the time. Also, “No man can cross it”, I see what you did there.  I was a little disappointed that it took *spoiler* for Diana’s powers to come full force. There’s the issue of getting the character to come to a realization, and come into their powers. And using *spoiler* to get them there, well, it’s a bit predictable. The more interesting story line, for me, would have been for WW to be all “Oh, I’m the *spoiler*? Well this changes everything”, and then boom.

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Steve: Don’t do that. Diana: I’m going to do it.

Chris Pine’s portrayal of Steve Trevor is great. I have been just exhausted by all of these strong women all of a sudden being at the mercy of their so-called partners. Steve Trevor recognizes that Diana is more powerful than he will ever be. And though he tries to limit her, which I interpret as an accurate depiction of how women were treated in WW2, he doesn’t seem to do it to control her. More so, he worries that he’ll lose her. Wonder Woman’s portrayal of men, is equally as important as it’s portrayal of women. It says very clearly; You can be with a woman more powerful than you without losing your masculinity. If you’re man enough to not be concerned with your masculinity.

This movie told audiences, and showed them, that Wonder Woman is as powerful as Thor. Dare I say, even more powerful? She did what Thor has not. It’s time we stopped creating superhero movies just for boys. Sure Avengers did a good job with Scarlet Witch, and Black Widow, but, that’s it. Two female superheros? Just two? Wonder Woman has set the tone for the future of female superheros. She is poignantly powerful.

This movie was refreshing. And it made a butt-load of money at the box office. I hope that this signals a turning point in the way Hollywood continues to depict women in all genres. And to hire more female directors. Because clearly, they can make movies.

I will leave you with a quote from one of the best super hero movies of all time:

“Leave the saving of the world to the men? I don’t think so” -The Incredibles.

Peace, Love, Elastigirl

-C

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Angelica, remind me what we’re looking for.

Greetings fellow surfers,

Let’s chat for a minute about the women’s march, k? Don’t throw anything at me.

January 21, 2017, something pretty cool happened. Millions, yes millions, of people around the world had peaceful (say it again for the people in the back) protests. The goal was to tell the new administration in the White House (hi Mr. President, like our hats?) that they were concerned. Concerned about comments made by the newly sworn in staff, and to remind them that women are indeed human, and a multitude of other reasons that I don’t have time to write. Which isn’t exactly something new, but it seems that some people still need to be reminded of it.

I’m not a protesting person. It’s really not my scene. I prefer to write sarcastic blog posts. I did speak to some people who did go, and I know a lot of people who went to marches in Lansing MI, Chicago IL, and Washington DC.

I’ve seen many conservative women speak out against the protesters. Saying they’ve never experienced any kind of discrimination because of their sex. To the women saying that, I call bull. It’s more likely that you didn’t notice. Because sometimes, it’s not wages, or promotions, it’s quieter things. It’s the person who asks your male coworker a question instead of you, even if you know more about the subject. It’s when someone demands you explain your answer, but not the guy who said the same thing two seconds before. I could not even start to tell you how many times that has happened to me.

I’ll be the first to tell you I’m a feminist. And I still wear a bra (at work at least). To me, being a feminist is believing that women have equal rights as men. And even though women received the right to vote on August 18, 1920, we still aren’t equal. Example: Insurances will cover men’s viagra, vasectomy. But not a woman’s IUD, but they’d totally pay for pregnancy related appointments (My source for this is a woman I work with who had this happen to her, and I’m sure I could find more). There was a job I worked, doing the same thing as a male coworker, let me repeat that, the same thing, and he was paid more than me. It’s 2017 y’all. I don’t necessarily agree with everything the signs were saying at the protests, but I do agree that there are still some things we need to work out.

An artist friend’s sign. One of my favorites.

I don’t like being called whiny because I notice that there are differences between the way men and women are treated where there shouldn’t be.

I’m not interested in arguing with the naysayers. Prove to me that there aren’t differences where there shouldn’t be, and I’ll shut up. But prove it. With real facts.

One more thing. The women in the movie/book Hidden figures, aren’t in our history books. Explain why. Why are important women in history neglected by our history books? When I was learning about the space race, I remember zero women being talked about.

I’m not a nasty woman. I’m an educated, intellectual badass who hangs out with dragons on the weekends.

Peace, Love, Pink,

-C

 

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Anxiety, Dishes,& Run-on sentences

Hi.

Let’s talk about something I don’t want to talk about. That sounds fun, right?

Anxiety.

I come from a long line of anxiety-ers. Anxieters? People deal with Anxiety in different ways. Some people take pills, other people meditate, it all depends on the person. For example, I have less anxiety when I’m exercising on a regular basis. Right now I’m having, well, I guess one could call it a flare-up. I even had an anxiety attack this week.

Let me explain to you what an anxiety attack feels like to me. I mean, I don’t know what else to call it. All last week, I could feel it building and building. I figured it would just go away. I figured wrong. Because sometimes I just start thinking about billsdogsdeathdinnercookinggroceryshoppingstudentloansjobsemploymentinsurancechildrenhousescats. And I couldn’t stop. Anxiety, is a giant, black, misty-looking balrog-type creature that stands up behind me, and slowly brings his hands down onto my shoulders, and starts to pull me apart. The depression I’ve been dealing with stems from my anxiety, but I definitely don’t want to talk about that, that’s a totally different monster.  Anyways, I was doing the dishes. My husband made an innocent (no really, it was)comment and all of a sudden my chest tightened so fast that it hurt to breathe. I just stood there, water running, dirty dish in my hand, taking deep breaths. I put the dish down, made myself some tea, and put some lavender essential oil on and kept breathing. (That’s the key, breathe)

Sometimes, you feel trapped in your own head, with your thoughts spinning around you in incoherent run-on sentences. I’m a writer, I have enough thoughts in my head, thank you very much.  I keep a lot of the incoherent babbling in check by coaching myself. Well, my own kind of coaching. If I start worrying about bills, I remind myself where I was last year, and how much better off I am this year. Also, I say things like “just move forward”, “Stop being a whiny baby and get it done”, “Let this go and move on. Just move. MOVE”, and most importantly “If you’re still breathing, you aren’t done. Get your shit together.” I should really be a life coach.

This week was hard. I’m not going to sugar coat it. I wanted to quit my job, for no reason, other than I felt overwhelmed with my life. Life can be overwhelming. But we do it. There’s a saying in the Christian faith, that I seriously hate: If He brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it. Well, sometimes you get there because you’re an idiot. Sometimes you get there because you thought you didn’t need to listen in the first place. If someone in your life, or your congregation, tells you that they have anxiety, maybe you should pray for them, and also do their laundry. People with anxiety, sometimes just need to know they aren’t alone. Clearly, they are dealing with some things that they probably don’t want to talk about, so don’t make them. Just listen when they need to and shut your trap. (that goes for me also, I can’t ever shut my mouth)

As previously stated, and because I believe I’m one of the cool kids I’m a writer. I take things that bother me and I turn them into stories. I take anxiety and turn it into a defeatable monster. I take my depression and tell it to go straight to the hell it came from.( I also make up my own words. Take that Shakespeare.)

If you are currently dealing with anxiety or depression. Please don’t be a me. Get someone you can talk to.

Some days, a pen is just a pen. Other days, you click it, and a sword comes out.

Whatever tries to kill me, had better run.

Peace, Love, Chocolate,

-C

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Dear Carrie

Dear Carrie,

You’re dead now. And you won’t read this. But that’s ok. I guess. I had most desperately hoped that I would meet you one day. That we would even laugh about something together. And that maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t make a complete fool of myself in front of you.  Maybe you’d tell me you liked something I wrote. And then I would be unable to speak for three days. I’ll keep this short.

Thank you.

I don’t remember the first Disney movie I watched. I don’t remember which princess I saw first. What I do remember, is Princess Leia. I remember watching A New Hope for the first time when I was, oh, seven maybe? Leia enters the scene, hood up, blaster drawn. She shoots first, she’s still captured, but she shoots first. Leia didn’t have time for any Imperial garbage. She was going to save the galaxy. Not her town, not her boyfriend, the galaxy.  A princess who doesn’t need saving? A princess who is perfectly capable of kicking ass on her own? That was huge tome.

Growing up, I didn’t exactly fit in with the “in” crowd, because, let’s be real, I totally did not. I read science fiction, I didn’t understand make-up (still don’t), and could quote Star Wars with minimal (or no) prompting. To top it all off, I was in band, choir, FFA and watched Doctor Who (before the reboot). It was like I wanted the popular kids to hate me.  But, it didn’t really bother me that much. I had friends who were/are just as weird as me, and if Leia could save the galaxy, I could get through high school.

Princess Leia was more than just a character to me. She was my idol. My heroine. She was my invisible friend. I carried the great P.L.’s bad-assery wherever I went. I related to your Princess Leia so hard. She was fierce. She was a force. She wasn’t like any other princess I had ever seen. Leia/you influenced me in more ways than I thought possible:

  1. Be the hero(ine).
  2. Sarcasm is key.
  3. Prince Charming is overrated. Scruffy-looking nerf herders on the other hand…
  4. To hell with your stereotypes. To hell with them.
  5. Don’t apologize for who you are or what you love.
  6. Write honestly.
  7. Some days feel like you’re chained at the feet of a giant worm. Maybe you are. You’ll get through it. You’ll kill the worm. Just don’t do cocaine.
  8. You’re gonna make mistakes. Sometimes, you’ll walk into a trap, but don’t stop fighting.
  9. “I don’t want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.”
  10. “Stay afraid, but do it anyways. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow”

And one more thing:

Be the General. Lead the Rebellion.

Carrie Fisher:

“Drowned in the Moonlight, strangled by her own bra”

 

I’ll look for you at the dog park in Heaven.

 

-C

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Market Musings

Now is the winter of our discontent. Except, it’s 35 degrees out, and doesn’t feel like winter at all. It’s almost spring-like. Winpring? Spinter? Whatever.

It’s sometime around 11:15, and I’m sitting in the Downtown Grand Rapids Market contemplating life. As one does after reading a bit of “Mere Christianity”.

I mostly feel like I’m floating in some weird amoeba of space. Almost as if I’m still waiting for the punch-line of one long, really terrible joke.  As I sit, watching the cars come and go, women with expensive designer handbags, and look at over-priced vegetables; I consider who I am, and what I could become.

Chris Pratt recently posted on Instagram what he had to do to get where he is now. It had a lot to do with hard work, and eating some sardines. He said, never to give up. Easy for him to say, right? He’s already there. But, when people tell you, you can’t have it all, well, why not? I mean really. Why couldn’t I become a best-selling author/farmer/coffee house owner?

If someone tells you that your dreams are too big, maybe theirs are just too small.

I remember when I broke the news to my parents, that I was dropping my secondary Education degree, and going straight English, no chaser. They were supportive, of course, because that’s what parents do. I remember the rest of my family being a bit more skeptical. giving me those funny “Uh, ok” looks afterwards. The only person who wasn’t, was Grandpa Jack.

My Grandpa Jack had been a journalist for the Detroit Free Press, reviewing movies and other pieces, and went on to edit multiple trucking magazines. He was one of the first people in Michigan to see Casablanca (he watched it in a special room in the basement of Detroit’s Fox Theater). And although he lived in Ohio, he was a Detroit Tigers baseball fan. His writing style was unique, his characters colorful, and his prose wonderful.

I’m telling you this because no matter how many people say your dreams are too big, there will always be one person who tells you to be bigger.

 

You don’t have to change the whole world. But you can certainly effect the corner you live in.

You don’t have to be content with the American Dream.

Peace, Love, Tacos,

-C

P.S. Brown dog only dreams of big juicy beef bones.

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A Star Wars Soliloquy

  On my 10th birthday, my Dad gave me a lightsaber.

   On the eve of the (re)awakening of the Force, I find myself with a bout of nostalgia. There are some who say that Star Wars is just a movie. Well, for me, and the millions of nerds like me, it’s about a bit more.

I first saw Star Wars IV when I was 7 or 8 years old. Up until then, my cinematic education had been a lot of glass slippers, big libraries, and a Great Lion. Then one fateful day, Dad sat me down to watch a new movie.

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Good thing he waited until I knew how to read

Suddenly, there were droids, lightspeed, a Millenium Falcon, scruffy-looking nerf herders, and something called the Force. But more importantly, for a young impressionable person like myself, there was an underdog ready to take on the galaxy, an unwilling hero, and a princess ready to save herself.

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Step 1: Make hair into cinnamon rolls.  Step 2: Sneak Death Star Plans off ship. 

Princess Leia introduced to me to feminine bad-ass-ery. She’s an interesting blend of sass and diplomacy. She doesn’t give in to torture, or attempted mind-probe by the Empire, she lies to Governor Tarkin to his face. During a battle, she’s in the control room, or out in the thick of it. She’s not afraid to get her hands dirty, and she’s not afraid to make anyone angry.

Leia is more than a sarcastic second; she’s the leading sarcastic second. She is the accidental force that gets Luke to become a Jedi. If she hadn’t have put those plans in R2D2, Luke never would’ve talked to Ben (ok, that’s debatable). She is the one with the access to the resources they needed to keep going. She risks getting killed multiple times, and goes undercover to save her scoundrel.

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And you said what about my hair?

So why do we like Star Wars that much? It compels us to imagine. Because in the midst of all the bad things, we still need the reminder that the underdog can win. That the farm boy can become the Jedi Knight. And also y’know, that one day I can have my own R2D2.

I could talk about Star Wars for hours, and sometimes I do.  I could go into all of the other things I love about Star Wars, like Chewie, R2, the Force, my love for Han Solo, or why I terrified of Yoda as a child (He was so scary). Because Star Wars, 1-3 excluded, are great movies. Even though the stories took place in a galaxy far far away, they were believable.

 Maybe they are because we want them to be.

The Force will be with you, always.

-C

 

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So when are you going to have children? Why aren’t you pregnant yet?

These are things you are NOT allowed to ask. Period.

The decision on whether to have children, and when to have children is the decision of the couple involved. Not yours.

You may think you’re just trying to make conversation, but really its a very personal question. And its not something that I personally want to discuss with anyone other than my permanent roommate.

For all you know, we’ve been trying to have children for a year, and cant.

For all you know, I’ve had a miscarriage.

For all you know we’re have fertility issues.

Either way. This is a huge discussion that you are not privy to. The decision to bring a child into the world is life changing. It is a decision that only involves me, and my husband. (Even my mother knows not to ask)

Here’s the thing, and it may come as a surprise, but there are a lot of things I want to do with my life before I bring a child into this world. The last thing I would ever want to do is be bitter about having children too early. I want to write things, I want to travel, I want to do many things that currently do not involve having a small human following me around.

To put it bluntly: If you are not involved with the making of the baby, you are not allowed to ask about when the baby is going to be made.

Peace, Love, and Sunshine,

-C

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