As Women Cross New Thresholds in Blogging, Threats Abound

April 30, 2007

Today, I read an article in the Washington Post about women being threatened and stalked for blogging.  While I’m outraged that some people still resort to this type of intimidation, I think this response means that women are successfully progressing into new territory.

If you look back through history, every time women moved into a new arena, every time they pushed the envelope and for every new freedom won, these actions were meet with resistance.  Not just women, any group.

The fact that someone feels threatened enough to try intimidation means that we’re making an impact.  Is it right that in order to blaze a new trail someone must overcome hurdles of prejudice at every turn?  No.  But things worth having and doing are worth fighting for.

As terrible as I feel for Kathy Sierra and the other women mentioned in the article, I really feel that the type of people doing these horrible things are a minority.  If not, more women would be terrorized.  

Call me an optimist, but I believe that a majority of people on the Internet are good, decent human beings.  The creeps just seem to get more air time — maybe that’s why they do it.  

However, I hope that these incidents don’t keep women — or anyone, for than matter — from blogging or chatting on the net.  I’ve truly enjoyed my blogging experience.  True, not everyone agrees with my opinion — but hey, that would be a boring world. 


James Doohan remains launched into space

April 29, 2007

On Saturday morning at 8:56 local time, James Doohan’s cremated remains were successfully launched from a New Mexico desert into suborbital space.  Best known for his role as Scotty on Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek, Doohan wanted to follow Roddenberry’s lead and take this final journey into space.

Doohan TV Guide CoverDoohan’s wife, Wende, and Susan Cooper, widow of Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper, were on hand to help fire the 20-foot rocket.  In addition to carrying the remains of more than 200, the rocket also included a CD with notes and well wishes from more than 11,000 of Doohan’s fans.


End of Era for Disney’s Buena Vista Label

April 29, 2007

In an effort to minimize marketing costs associated with its numerous brands, Disney will streamline many of its brand names to Disney, ABC or ESPN.  Up next on the chopping block is the Buena Vista label which will be renamed simply to Disney, according to BloombergBuena Vista logThis change marks the end of an era, a 54-year old era. 

Not sure you’ve seen the Buena Vista label?  Check out any of your Disney animation movies from the recently released Cars to memorable hits like Cinderella and Snow White.

Similarly, the Buena Vista label was also used on many of Disney’s family-oriented live-action movies as well.  Classics like Parent Trap, Escape to Witch Mountain, and The Absent-Minded Professor are all released under the Buena Vista label.

Founded in 1953 by Walt and Roy Disney, Buena Vista is named after the street Disney calls home to its studios and corporate headquarters.

As a huge Disney fan and a stockholder (minimally), I feel like a should be saddened by this news.  However, I am oddly ambivalent.

While I’ve noticed the Buena Vista logo on all my Disney movies, I’ve never really done more than glance at the logo, except that one time as a kid I asked why the Disney movie said Buena Vista.

I’ve never gone to see a movie because it was a Buena Vista movie.  I always went to see it because it was Disney, which will remain the same.

Still, I might be a little hesitant to give up or replace my Buena Vista videos and DVDs since newer versions will no longer bear that logo.  But I bet that I hardly notice if my next DVD doesn’t have the Buena Vista logo as long as the quality stays the same.

On second thought, I am saddened that another little piece of the “Walt” era of Disney is gone.


The Message I’m Sending My Children

April 27, 2007

In response to my post on The Feminine Mistake, a recent commenter questioned what kind of message stay-at-home moms are sending their daughters by giving up their careers. 

Again, I am not a traditional stay-at-home mom, because I actually telecommute three days a week and work in the office the other two.  Therefore, I invite stay-at-home moms to use the comment section to respond to this question.  However, here’s what I think I’m teaching my daughter — and my son.

First of all, I think I’m sending the message to my daughter that she has choices.  She doesn’t have to be a traditional stay-at-home mom.  Nor does she have to, as James Whittington put it, buy into the “anti-traditional family values feminist agenda.”

Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for the freedoms that I have as a result of the feminist movement.  But one of those freedoms is choice.  I want both of my children to understand they have choices.  They have the right to choose the balance between family and careers that best suit them.  What works for their father and me might not be the same thing that works for them.  But they have that choice to decide.

I also want to teach my children independence and the ability to define their own identity.  I want them to know that their identify is what they make it.  I don’t want them to tie their identity to their career — either of them.  They should have full well-rounded lives full of interests, hobbies, friends, family and a career if they want it. 

At the same time, I want my children to know that they should establish some financial independence and learn to support themselves.  But a career is not the only reason to become educated or to work hard.  I want my children to appreciate the value of an education because knowledge, whether it be intellectual or skill-based, is powerful.  I want my children to know the feeling of a job well done and that that feeling isn’t limited to the office — it can be felt in all aspects of their lives.

I want my children to understand the value of sacrifice , compromise and risk.  My children should know that failure is not a sign of unworthiness, but a reason to persevere and a way to improve themselves.  And that anything — family, friendship, career — worthwhile is worth working hard for.

Likewise, I want my children to know independence from stereotypes.  Yes, I stay home three days a week with my children.  But my husband also sacrificed some of his career to stay home with the children the other days.  We do not have traditional roles in our house.  I’m domestically challenged, but even if I wasn’t my husband would still help out with his share of cooking, cleaning and other household chores.  We want to send the message to our children that marriage is a partnership.

Lastly, I want my children to value their family.  I’ve never heard someone regret not working more, but I have heard plenty regret not spending enough time with their family.  I hope that I’m teaching my children to not only value where they come from, but also to provide a bright future for our descendants.  I want to send the message to my children that they are the most important thing that I’ll ever do.  And that my husband and I are both willing to make sacrifices for their future.

Life is short.  I want my children to enjoy and value it.


‘Dirty Dancing’ turns 20, hits the big screen again

April 27, 2007

In honor of its 20th anniversary, Dirty Dancing will return to theaters for two nights only.  You’ll be able to watch Johnny (Patrick Swayze) and Baby (Jennifer Grey) have the time of their life on May 1st and May 2nd at 7:30 p.m. only in selected theaters.  To find a theater in your area showing this ’80s gem, visit www.dirtydancing.com.

Dirty Dancing turns 20I recently wrote a post about my Top 10 ’80s movies and of course Dirty Dancing was on it.  This movie has been one of my favorites, but I didn’t realize the extent of its impact until 2000.  That year, a 19-year-old intern from Italy spent five months working for me in the tourism industry.  Until she had time to make friends here, I showed her around on the weekends.  When I asked her what she wanted to do most, I was a little shocked to hear that she wanted to watch Dirty Dancing in English.  She’d seen it many times in Italian — apparently it’s just as popular there as it is here — but wanted to watch it as it was originally recorded.  In addition to the viewing, I made sure she went home with an American version of the movie.

Similarly, I had always thought of Dirty Dancing as a chick flick.  My husband has never shown an interest in it (maybe he just doesn’t want to watch it for the 250th time).  But according to a post in CinemaBlend, it’s very popular with the men as well.  However, I’m sure for different reasons.  😉

Nobody puts Baby in the cornerIf the movie wasn’t enough, Dirty Dancing has moved to the stage, according to USA Today.  In 1994, the musical opened in Australia to much acclaim.  Since then the musical has toured in Germany and London.  It’ll be in Toronto this spring and the USA in 2008.  The writer and co-producer of the movie version of Dirty Dancing, Eleanor Bergstein also wrote and created the musical as her answer to requests for a sequel.  To sweeten the pot, the stage version has added scenes.

A coming-of-age movie about a timeless romance with great music and hot dance moves, Dirty Dancing, which was originally released on August 21, 1987, has definitely influenced several generations.  I think its just as popular today as when I first saw it.  You’d be hard press to find someone that doesn’t know what “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” means.  The movie has been referenced in numerous other movies and TV shows. 

Johnny and BabyMy favorite reference, however, has to be in this year’s How I Met Your Mother when Barney flashes back to the first time he had sex and describes it as a scene from Dirty Dancing.

Well, we will all be able to get our Dirty Dancing fix this summer.  In addition to the re-release of the film on the big screen, you’ll be able to pick up a 20th anniversary of the movie on DVD on May 8.  DVD extras included a new interview with Patrick Swayze and a tribute to the late Jerry Orbach (Law & Order) who played Baby’s father, Jake Houseman.  Orbach died in 2004.

Also being released May 8 is a newly remastered version of the Dirty Dancing soundtrack on CD.  This CD will include a bonus DVD featuring photos and music videos.

Baby carries a watermelonIn addition, Target will be featuring a whole new line of Dirty Dancing merchandise featuring everything from clothing to video games to figurines.  Personally I’m trying to decide between two t-shirts.  One says “Johnny Castle taught me all my moves” and the other says “I carried a watermelon.”  Maybe I’ll splurge and get both.

Johnny Castle, dance instructorIf you still haven’t gotten your fill of Dirty Dancing, visit Mountain Lake in Pembroke, VA where the movie was filmed for a Dirty Dancing weekend complete with dance lessons.  Do you think they could guarantee that Johnny Castle would be my instructor?  Now that could be the time of my life!

For some reason my husband turned down the opportunity to watch Dirty Dancing again, even on the big screen.  I swore not to get up and demonstrate any dance moves.  I even promised him that I wouldn’t drool too much over Patrick Swayze, but also he wouldn’t do it.  Still I had no shortage of girlfriends willing to hit the theater will me.  So I’ll be seeing you at the theaters on May 1st.  And maybe again on May 2nd.

(photos courtesy of dirtydancing.com)


Fox’s ‘Drive’ already out of gas

April 26, 2007

While watching Wednesday’s American Idol, I noticed a promo for next Monday’s 24 said it would be preceded by a special showing of House.  What?  That 8 p.m. Monday slot is reserved for Fox’s newest show, Drive.  This announcement can’t be right.  But a visit to tvguide.com confirms my fear  — Drive has been canceled.

Apparently the show has been canceled after just three episodes due to ratings.  How can the network decide on a show after three episodes.  Give us a chance to get to know the characters, to decide we like the show and to tell our friends. 

Why bother airing a show if you aren’t really going to give it a chance?  No wonder no one is tuning in to new shows.  It’s not worth our time if the networks won’t even given them a real chance.

The only small satisfaction is that it is rumored that you can see the two unaired episodes in May on Friday nights.

I was really looking forward to Nathan Fillion finally finding a series to showcase his talents after a brief stint on Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s final season and the lead on the short-lived cult favorite Firefly.

C’est la vie.


Jordin brings down the house on ‘American Idol,’ but no one says goodbye

April 26, 2007

In lieu of my normal Tuesday night blog on American Idol, I spent the evening out with the girls.  So tonight’s blog is a double edition to cover both nights.

Jordan SparksFirst of all, what can I say about Jordin Spark’s performance Tuesday night, but wow!  She really did bring down the house with her rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

 And of course my favorite, Melinda Doolittle put in another spectacular showing with Faith Hill’s “There Will Come a Day” and proved why, as Randy Jackson said, she’s the “resident pro.”

While the other four didn’t really stand out for me, they did put in solid performances.  What did impress me though is that all six contests chose songs that had special meaning and it showed in their performance!

Now on to the “Idol Gives Back” portion of the two shows.

Firstly, I commend American Idol and everyone that participated for their efforts to make a difference.  It’s people with initiative to contribute that change the world for the better.

However, I think that this would have been better as a reunion show that in the middle of the competition.  I felt the competition itself and the six finalist got lost among all the telethon-like performances and cameos.   What’s more, we saw little of this week’s coach Bono.

And after such an inspiration show full of hope, I kept thinking it’s going to feel bad to have to say goodbye to one of these contestants.  But then I felt let down with the show coped out in the end and didn’t eliminate anyone.  I felt a little taken.  The show was promoted as a results show, but we really got no results.  Did the producers of the show not trust its fans to tune in out of the generosity of their heart?

I’ll admit that after watching Tuesday’s night show I was put off by what seemed to be a show dedicated to the sponsors in a telethon fashion.  However, the Wednesday night show came across (for the most part) as smart, funny and entertaining.

Best line of the night:  “If everyone that voted for Sanjaya gave just one dollar . . .”

My one disappointment is that I really thought the “American Idol Gives Back” should have focused more on giving back to AmericaAll the promotions over the last few weeks for this event have promoted the aid to Africa.  The show started out Tuesday night with a feature on Ryan and Simon’s trip to Africa.  For every story on America shown, the program featured two on Africa.

I have nothing against Africa.  And I agree that it obviously has a need.  But if you watched the features the show did on America that you have to agree that we have quite a large need here in America.  And after all the show is called American Idol.

Okay, now I’ll get off my soapbox.  And we have to wait until next week when two finalists will be eliminated.