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The Fabulousness of Forty-something

I just turned two score and six years a few weeks back and lemme tell you, I’m not as upset as most Hollywood-types would have had me believe. In fact, I’m not bothered by it at all. Maybe it’s because I was already braced for it, but I think that bein’ closer to the Big Five-Oh is actually pretty freeing. Maybe it’s because turning thirty was surprisingly satisfying and making it to forty was so fabulous, that any new decade is something to look forward to.

But since I am the protagonist of my own Romantic Comedy called Life, I mostly think it’s because of the wonderful “In Praise of the Older Woman” trend brought to the forefront by the dynamic duo of Ryan Murphy and Jessica Lange. What? You got that right. Ryan Murphy adores Jessica Lange as much as I do. I know, hard to believe. And, fortunately he’s in a prime position, as the current King of the Screen, to do something about it. And, Hollywood is taking notice. Women like Ms. Lange (67), Kathy Bates (68), Angela Bassett (58), and Susan Sarandon (70) — all of whom are being celebrated and showcased in all of their incredible acumen and beauty by Mr. Murphy (who’s on the cusp of 51) — have cured any doubts about becoming a woman … of a certain age. These women are beautiful, powerful, and full of fabulous!

Hollywood’s Most Glamorous Power Couple

 

 

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Feud is due out in 2017

Further Reading on Feud

 

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Mr. Murphy, Ms. Bates, and Ms. Bassett at Paleyfest 2013

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Ms. Bates, Mr. Murphy, and Ms. Lange

Further Reading on AHS (may contain spoilers)

Whatever Happened to the Sweet & Happy Heroine?

I just spent the afternoon watching episodes of the 1970s television series Wonder Woman, starring the radiant Lynda Carter. What an adorable heroine she was. She was a sweet, but sober, visitor to America, whose naiveté made her all the more charming. I noticed that she smiled and laughed. A lot. She was cheerful and happy. It was a joy to watch.

There’s no doubt that 70s camp played its part in the filming of Wonder Woman, but the fact that the actresses didn’t take themselves too seriously made it magical. They were in on the joke. They were having fun, and it was fun to watch.

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Cloris Leachman (Queen Hippolyta) and Fannie Flagg (Amazon Doctor)

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Lyle Waggoner looking serious and rugged from a hospital bed.

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“They steal money and I have to fill out forms? What a country this is!”

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Where did she park her plane?

In today’s stories our female heroes are so much darker and more serious. They may be edgier, if not stronger, but certainly not more likable. Are they? I get the feeling that watching today’s crime fighters saps the watcher’s emotional energy more than it once did. And, no we haven’t come a long way, Baby. Our heroines are still practically naked. What’s up with that?

***Fierce Female Link: Fatness, Femininity and the Media We Deserve

 

“As I saw more beauty in others’ uniqueness, I began to appreciate my own.”

   ~Sarah Winifred Searle

 

I’m so pleased to have been recommended to this wonderful woman by my talented friend Kat. Check out Sarah Winifred Searle’s pithy comic titled Fatness, Femininity, and the Media We Deserve.

 

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“It did weird things to my subconscious to grow up fat…”

 

 

 

Autumn is Coming

Yay! It’s the Oneth of September and I’m happier than the average bear. September is the month that brings us the beautiful Autumnal Equinox which falls officially on September 22nd, my birthday.  Is it any wonder that I love Autumn? I was born for it.

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Autumn signifies order and routine as the kidlens head off to school. Autumn leaves blow in the cool breeze, bringing sighs of relief from the summer’s icky heat. Rain tap-tap-tapping on the window panes always encourages me to slow down and take the time to cuddle up with a favorite book. Autumn brings thunderstorms that wash away the Old. And best of all, Halloween is almost here.

What are your favorite things about Autumn?

***

Today kicks off the Taboo Word Challenge created by Eric, author of the All In A Dad’s Work blog. Click the link for details and to participate!

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You’re a Daisy if You Do

 

For as long as I can remember, daisies have always been my favorite flowers. Symbols of love, purity, and innocence, they’re such sweet, homey, and cheerful flowers. Daisies always bring me sweet memories of my childhood. They remind me of the whimsical little effeuiller la marguerite [pluck the daisy] game that I used to play — only my translation was “He loves me, he loves me lots” so I would always have a happy outcome. Daisies also remind me of the song, “Daisy Bell” that my grandmother sang to me when I was a little girl.

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When we were dating, my future spice was impressed and pleased to learn that Shasta daisies were my favorite because, as he said, “They’re cheap.” He’s such a romantic. Actually, he is … he surprised me with an arrangement of daisies on our wedding day to serve as my wedding bouquet.

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July 6, 1993

Of course, as a self-proclaimed cinephile, I’m always pleasantly surprised by daisy references in cinema, especially obscure ones. I only have a few references that I know of which I’ll share here.  If you know of any others, please share them with me in the comments below.

Movies with Daisy(ies) in the title:

Daisy Kenyon (1947)

Pull My Daisy (1959 short film)

Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (1960)

Daisies (Sedmikrásky original title, 1966)

Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

Daisy (Deiji, original title 2006)

 

Joan Crawford in Daisy Kenyon

Joan Crawford in Daisy Kenyon

 

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Still from the Czech cult classic Sedmikrasky

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Publicity still from Please Don’t Eat the Daisies

Bonus Daisy Trivia:

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My favorite photo of early-Hollywood icon Buster Keaton.

 

Val Kilmer’s character Doc Holliday uses the line “You’re a daisy if you do” in the 1993 film Tombstone. Kilmer’s incredible performance, coupled with shrewd dialogue consisting mostly of witty one-liners, gave the archaic phrase a solid come-back for modern audiences.

 

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Arthur C. Clarke, then visiting friend and colleague John Pierce at the Bell Labs Murray Hill facility, witnessed John L. Kelly’s vocoder synthesizer recreate the song “Daisy Bell: Bicycle Built for Two,” using an IBM 704 computer in 1962. Inspired by this spectacular event, Clarke later created a similar event in the climactic scene of his novel and screenplay for “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Clarke’s fictitious HAL9000 computer sings a haunting rendition of “Daisy Bell” as he is disassembled by astronaut Dave Bowman.

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Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore is my favorite modern flower child. She has been quoted as confirming that she loves all kinds of flowers but that daisies are indeed her favorite.

 

 

 

Quoth the Quirky

Following Jackie’s lead, I finally decided to take a go at La Duchesse’s TGBOL prompt for the week* because, hey, quirkiness is something this chick can totally get behind. I like quirk. And, if you like quirk, I’m happy to share mine. I hope you will too.

1/Music: Is it possible to get any quirkier than Disco? My spice and kidlens would shout a resounding No!  As a funky fairy child of the far out 70s, I would steal my beautifully hip disco-queen mom’s strappy high heels and boogie my heart out all over the dance floor that was our living room’s shag rug. To this day, my inner Debbie Harry delights in dancing to disco tunes. And yes, I can do the Hustle. Can you dig it?

Debbie Harry photographed by Maureen Donaldson, 1979.

Debbie Harry photo’d by Maureen Donaldson, 1979.

2/Food: Is sniffing heretofore new foods a quirk? If not, it should be. Look, I’m not ashamed to admit that I have the picky and peculiar eating habits of a fussy four-year-old. So you best believe that I’m not gonna put something in my mouth if it doesn’t pass the sniff test with a thumbs up from my nose. My spice, himself an amateur foodie, oft admonishes, You don’t sniff it, Micki, you eat it. Yeah well, the nose knows.

3/Fashion: I really like fashion. I really love fun. So, fun fashion is like a great big hug from the Universe. However. I’m forty-something. I’m at that age where fun fashion is fine as long as it’s tamed. I’m all for feelin’ fabulous and kickin’ it like you just don’t care, but I have a fairly conservative inner-voice that insists I dress closer to my age. At my age, dressing too fun (funly?) just ends up looking desperate. So for now, it’s simply quirky. Of course, I’m counting down the years until I’m just old enough to be considered beautifully eccentric a la’ Iris. Then I’ll really let my freak flag fly!

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image lifted from elliesfavouritethings.com

4/Speaking with my Hands: Say what? No, I don’t mean using sign language — although I did take an ASL course at our local community college in order to communicate with my wees when they were pre-verbal, but that’s another post. I mean that my hands flap like bathing birds and fly around to illustrate when I speak. I’ve always been this way. My Nonny used to tell me that I wouldn’t be able to speak without my hands. True story: she’d make me sit on my hands to keep me quiet in church. And, thank Heaven for phones that give the time. I cannot bear to admit how many watch faces I unwittingly smashed while conversing over the years.

5/Thinking with my Hands: I’m what you used to call a visual learner and thinker. Not only do I smell in color and love to read words as well as pretty pictures, but just about any time that I’m trying to listen intently to a person, I like to scribble and take notes**. I have pens and notepads everywhere; all around my desk, in my purses, in my car… Without my notes and scribbles, I tend to have to ask you to repeat yourself so that I can clarify what you’ve said. It’s not because I wasn’t listening to what you said [although, your fabulous necklace may have momentarily taken me off track] it’s that I’m not someone who is a quick auditory study. I’m the person who’ll tell you to “take a right on the second street after the QuickieMart” instead of “head west on Elm.”

*TGBOL CHAPTER 6.0 EMBRACE YOUR QUIRKINESS

**Some educators have added read/write to the mix of learning styles. Since I haven’t taught in a brick-and-mortar school for a thousand years, I’m still old school. (pun intended)

Ever Have One of Those Days?

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I’ll tell you what. Some days just aren’t worth getting outta bed for, ya’ know? As positive and optimistic as this peppy chick strives to be, some days just do their d*mndest to prove my Silver Lining theory W-R-O-N-G.

These are the days when I hafta put on my Scarlet O’Hara bonnet and remind myself that the Yankees’ll eventually get the hell outta Dixie. The storms won’t last forever. The light at the end of the tunnel isn’t really another train. And that, whatever SNAFU I’m currently facing, this too shall pass. Because, as God is my witness…

Tomorrow is Another Day

I once read somewhere that “you have survived 100% of your very worst days.” Well, hello! I sure have. And, guess what. So have you. So, let’s let that tasty lil’ morsel simmer for awhile before we decide to throw in the towel.

Ever have one of those days? If you’re breathin’, I know you have. Please feel free to share how you manage to put one foot in front of the other and carry on.

Fierce Texan Women

As International Women’s Month draws to a close, I thought I’d share a glimpse at a few of my favorite fine, fierce and fabulous women from Texas — where we grow ’em beautiful, bright, and brave.

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Joan Crawford, San Antonio, Texas.

 

Sissy Spacek (b. 1949)

Sissy Spacek, Quitman, Texas.

 

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Farrah Fawcett, Corpus Christi, Texas.

 

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Robin Wright, Dallas, Texas

 

Selena (1971 - 1995)

Selena, Lake Jackson, Texas.

 

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Janis Joplin, Port Arthur, Texas.

 

Bonnie Parker (1910-1934)

Bonnie Parker, Rowena Texas.

 

Ann Richards (1933 - 2006)

Ann Richards, Lakeview, Texas.

 

Barbara Jordan (1936 - 1996)

Barbara Jordan, Houston, Texas.

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Mary Kay Ash, Hot Wells, Texas.

 

Bessie Coleman (1892 - 1926)

Bessie Coleman, Atlanta, Texas.

 

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Beyoncé, Houston, Texas.

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Sheryl Swoopes, Brownfield, Texas.

 

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Katherine Anne Porter, Indian Creek, Texas.