Even the Cartoons are Obsessed with Barbie Figures

I took the kids to Monsters vs. Aliens this weekend in 3D. It was good, but I have two major gripes for SKG over at Dreamworks.

First off, the 3D was VERY cool. The kids loved it and so did I. It was worth the extra money, but I am wondering if we can just bring in our glasses for the slew of new 3D movies coming out this summer and fall. I certainly hope so. I listened to a very interesting discussion on the 3D technology on NPR’s Science Friday podcast a few weeks ago, and it sounds like this technology is coming on full force. I’ve got my glasses, so bring it on.

Gripe #1 with Monsters vs Aliens – When his communication techniques fail with the alien, the “President” eventually pulls out a handgun and tries to kill the alien. I was immediately disgusted with this display of handgun violence…it closely resembled the “thug” move in the movies in which the thug typically pulls his gun out of his jeans. It was not only completely inappropriate for a children’s movie, but it was also completely gratuitous and unnecessary.  I was nothing short of shocked to see this President figure in a child’s movie pulling out a handgun and shooting to kill. SHAME ON YOU DREAMWORKS! SHAME ON YOU! I find it so hard to believe that this made it past so many PARENTS involved in the decision making processes that went into this movie. It did not move the storyline; it was simply violence.

Gripe #2 with Monsters vs Aliens – Reese Witherspoon’s female character Ginormica has the shape of a giant Barbie doll – her waist is about 12 inches wide compared to her 40 inch hips. Her freakishly skinny waist brought to mind that picture of Michael Jackson from the 80s with the super thin waist – you know the one. Unfortunately, I cannot find it anywhere on the net.

The only nice thing I can say is that Ginormica actually has curvy hips which is a model women need more of.

Is there NO MOTHER OF A DAUGHTER at Dreamworks that can advocate for realistic images for our children? Not only do young girls, teenage girls and women need these images, but so do our SONS!  I think Ginormica is even more offensive to me because she is SOOOOO giant – the thinness of her waist is accentuated by her height.

How many more daughters have to suffer from anorexia and bulimia because they are constantly barraged with images that are completely unrealistic and unhealthy? How many? I don’t even have a daughter, and I am pissed off and fed up with this. When I complain about my hips/thighs/stomach, my husband reminds me of my (mis)perception of what is attractive in our society. Even I fall prey to these ridiculous ideals.

I cannot lie that I felt a HUGE amount of relief when I squeezed back into my pre-pregnancy size 5 jeans at the six week post-pregnancy mark. I couldn’t breathe in them, but I got them on which meant that my body would get back into them with me breathing. I would have been upset had it taken me 8 weeks or 10 or 16. Now, with some time away from my pregnancy and post-pardum body, I can truly appreciate what a woman’s body is capable of. Not only can we nourish our babies during and after pregnancy, skin and muscles stretch in remarkable ways. Hell, my abdominal muscles split apart (and completely freaked me out when I noticed) to accomodate the growing baby, but they grew back together just as my fabulous midwife told me they would. Nothing short of amazing.

I know very few women who find their own pregnancy body as amazing and beautiful as I did, which I think is a down right shame. I seriously question if one of the reasons I found it amazing and beautiful was because I was single and had no one to hide it from. This makes me sad if this is, in fact, true.

Even when a friend warned me about seeing my naked body for the first time post-pardum, I cried like a baby when I saw my own naked, flabby body full length in my bathroom mirror. No more tight stomach….just skin having to go somewhere. Even though my breasts were INCREDIBLE, I had to look at the flabby midsection. BUT, just as my friend warned me, the human body is nothing short of amazing and I did see my stomach muscles again.

What is my point? My point is that from the point young girls and boys age 2 and above are watching silly movies designed to entertain them, the imprinting has begun – good, pretty women are unrealistically and unachievably skinny. Oh, and they are mostly white, but that is a post for another day.

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Who Rocks?

Saturday was my birthday, and I get a little selfish on my birthday.

I request a homemade cake baked and decorated by loved ones. I got this. Aaron baked my favorite cake from my younger girl days. It is called crazy chocolate cake, and I requested it every year for my birthday ages 9-16 along with the super sweet canned German chocolate frosting. This year I made the frosting because at least two people who were joining us do not like coconut. Unfortunately, I went a little overboard on the powdered sugar in the frosting because it was way too sweet for me in taste.

But it was just sweet enough in looks – this is how Jack decorated it for me!

birthday-cake

Yeah, me, I ROCK!

He made me a lovely birthday card shaped like a valentine. (His is the only card I don’t mind getting that harkens to my valentine birthday.) The inside of the card includes this:

You tuck me in at night, and make me assume (awesome) quilts.  PMS (PS) You make ricecrisby bars and chocolate chip cookie dough bars too. I love you! Yes I do.

Then, we went out to lunch with Aaron’s family and came back to the house for cake. I was treated to a special birthday dance from our neice Quinn. It was awesome and full of exciting choreography! It was the highlight of the birthday party!

Later that night we all went bowling. Troy really made some strides in his form thanks to Aaron, and it showed in an awesome score for his second game. He is thinking about joining a league which would be great for him. It is a sport that he could do his whole life and enjoy.

Speaking of bowling, a couple years ago Aaron and I watched a documentary called A League of Ordinary Gentleman about the pro-bowling circuit. It was very interesting.

Other worthwhile documentaries available on Netflix include: Word Wars about people who play Scrabble for a living, Grizzly Man is a surreal movie about a guy who moved to Alaska to live with grizzly bears and eventually gets eaten by one, Air Guitar Nation is about the world air guitar championships (yeah, who knew!), Mad Hot Ballroom is about an inner city NYC school whose students win big in the citywide ballroom dancing competition, Jesus Camp could make you furious or incredulous depending on your point of view, Spellbound is about the national spelling Bee spell-off, and Born into Brothels about kids living growing up with their parents in brothels in Calcutta, India.

Whenever I go to my camera to download pictures, I always find exciting “finds” such as these ala Jack.

butt-pictures dominos1

I was busy last week working on a sewing project I’ve wanted to do for at least a year and a half. It is from Lotta Jansdotter‘s Simple Sewing book. It is called a bed pocket and you set it between the mattress and the box spring and the pocket hangs over the edge for books and whatnot. It was my goddaughter’s birthday, so it was a good opportunity to make it. It turned out really well even if the M is a bit crooked. The bird’s wing is a funky button.

maggies-bed-pocket

The first time I sewing the M on, it was SOOO crooked. I worked hard to remember that the seam ripper is my friend.

I couldn’t understand why the whole thing needed to be lined, so I sort of made some changes to the original pattern. It is now VERY clear to me why the lining is necessary. I won’t be making that mistake again!


Better things to do with my time

My 20 minute drive to work today took 60 minutes! My fingernails are gone as a result. I HATE traffic, I HATE people thinking that 1 inch of snow is an emergency, and I HATE traffic. Oh, I guess I already said that. Normally, I take the bus, but on Wednesdays I drive for an early meeting I need to get to. I would have arrived sooner on the bus because it takes the side streets, not the major thoroughfares and bypasses which were crawling today.

Had a very good chili today…it was made regular but a jar of salsa was added. I haven’t liked chili for years, but this was very good!

Aaron and I finished watching the movie Black Book last night. It was very good. It is about a Jewish woman who works for the resistance in the Netherlands during WWII. This movie starred Sebastian Koch who was in another good movie we watched recently called The Lives of Others. The Lives of Others is about 1980s Berlin and the German Stazi police. It was very good as well.

Not much to report today.


Bees, Bones and Stanley Tucci

I just saw that The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd has been made into a movie! I just read the book this spring and absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to see the movie…I hope it is true to the book which is hard to say with movie adaptations of books. IMDB.com says its release is in October 2008 and that Queen Latifah is in it. I love her. She is an incredible role model for women of all ages.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is due out in October of 2009! It seems like I’ve been waiting for this movie for a long time. I was so excited when I heard Peter Jackson was making a movie version. I just added this book to the Good Reads page…I cannot believe I didn’t have it there already. I listened to the audiobook which made it even more powerful in my opinion because it was as if Susie was speaking to you from heaven. UGH!! Stanley Tucci is playing the George Harvey; Stanley Tucci is such a great actor. How can you not love his work? One of my favorite movies of his is Big Night. It is about family, frustration and food. I just love the ending.

This week the kids are with grandparents, so A and I get a date!!! We NEVER hire a sitter which is terrible seeing as how I once gave A a gift of dates (lining up the sitter once a month for one year). I thought it was a good gift because my intentions were good, but as it turns out, I suck at lining up a sitter. Evidentially, I also suck at being in charge of the Netflix queue if you ask A.

So, we are going to a farmer’s market, then to The Happening movie. I’m a baby when it comes to scary movies, so I’m hoping that I can watch some of it.


Don’t let the popcorn distract you

I was stumbling and found this great post on what to do when your child throws a tantrum. I seriously wish I would have thought of this because I really think think this would have worked! My J was/is as stubborn as I am which during a tantrum was a complete curse. I continue to believe that this persistence will serve him well one day.

The other night J and I were eating our bedtime snacks…he had a popsicle and I had popcorn. He says to me, “I need a drink. Will you get me one?” “Sure” as I continue to eat my popcorn and watch tv. About two minutes goes by, and J says to me, “Don’t let the popcorn distract you” and he takes the bag of popcorn away from me!

Monday nights are J and mom nights because A has meetings every Monday night for work. We get to eat things like cereal or oatmeal for dinner because those things just don’t fly when A is around. We hang out and go over the Monday folder and the homework for the week as well. Then it is Cub Scouts and home to read a bit before bed.

Tonight, we fit in a game of Skip-Bo which is a game that we’ve been playing for a while, but J is really enjoying it lately. He is getting really good which is why he is enjoying it. He won me fair and square tonight…I had two cards left and he snuck up and got me!

Last week J asked A to pull out his eighth loose tooth…J’s favorite tooth trick is to point the tooth at you. It is soooo gross! A took a kleenex and grabbed the tooth (the kleenex adds extra grip). A held the tooth while J went backward, but we were all convinced it didn’t work (or so we thought). After about 20 seconds, J realized that his tongue was NOT touching his tooth. Sure enough, the tooth was sitting in A’s kleenex. A, being the tooth fairy reminder, properly reminded me before I fell asleep about duty so we had no repeat tooth fairy mishaps the next morning.

I’ve been watching Here Come the Newlyweds diligently since its beginning. (Thank god something interesting was on during all those damn reruns.) I was hoping the Moutras would win and sure enough, they did! Not only did two great couples end up in the finale for the money (the Frieses SUCK!), but the Moutras won with total class! The voted off couples voted for who they wanted to eliminate – they voted as individuals. The Moutras won these gold envelopes that they could use to eliminate a person’s vote. It would have been a guess on their part if they were to eliminate someone who they thought voted against them or for them. After discussing the options, they decided to leave the votes as they were. It was classy! I LOVE the Moutras!

I am getting VERY excited that The Office is returning Thursday. I cannot wait!!! Unfortunately, I won’t be near a tv, but at least the thought that The Office continues is enough. Last week, they had about 3 hours of episodes all in a row. It was GREAT!! Just seeing those commercials with Dwight KILLS me! That show is so funny…the only bad thing is that when J watches it, he talks the WHOLE time – asking questions about what he doesn’t understand or repeating what was funny. UGH! It is frustrating and cool at the same time – you want to clunk him on the head or adore his sense of humor.

One last thing…we watched Atonement last week. Neither of us knew anything about it besides that it was set during WWII. We watched this over the course of two nights. The first night we watched about an hour and fifteen minutes which was BORING!!!! OMG. The longer I watched, the more I despised that little sister.

We finished the last 45 minutes on night two and SHOCK!!! It made the whole first night worth it…I even felt slightly bad about badmouthing the movie at work.