Thursday, February 18, 2010

YES! 30 Rock Meets The Office!

I totally fit my demographic, at least according to the movie trailers I like.

Case in point- last night I sneaked off with a friend to see "Crazy Heart." (Liked it, Jeff Bridges is reliably fantastic, but you don't HAVE to see it in the theater unless you're really wanting a night out like I was). I surprised myself by really liking the trailers, including the Sex and the City 2 one and the Date Night one (no, I LOVED that one).

Ten years ago, you wouldn't have caught me ever watching SATC. I just wasn't that into it, you could say. It didn't really speak to me.

Even a couple years ago when the first movie came out, I was ehhh.

Suddenly, this trailer comes up and it's like Fashion? Friends? Fun? And I'm like Yes Yes and Yes! Let's all meet up in Morocco!


And THEN. THIS trailer came up, and I was like, that is me and my life, except for the exciting part, and I love that they made it funny:

Then I remembered the trailers before seeing "New Moon" (it was another sneaking-off-to-the-movies-after-the-girls'-bedtime deals).  They were all sappy teen romance films, like for "Dear John" and "When in Rome."

Stuff I would have LOVED and DIED over when I was 16. But now, totally doesn't fit me.  I am in fact skeeved out by the prospect of watching teenagers kissing, their hormones practically visibly rising off them (in the movie AND the theater).  It just ain't my thing.

But suddenly Steve Carell and Tina Fey totally are.  God I LOVE getting older.  32 rocks.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Do you want your $700,000 back?

I work here and this info still makes my jaw drop. From!

Could you use an extra $700,000? (I sure could!). MomsRising's work to strengthen equal pay laws today could make a huge difference for you and your family over a lifetime -- because women's lifetime earnings take such a big hit due to unfair pay practices.

But MomsRising can't turn this trend around alone. We need additional resources -- and help from you -- to end unfair pay practices.

Will you donate $7.77 today so we can work on getting women their $700,000 back?

Not everyone realizes the impact of unfair pay. Yesterday, a young woman asked me if equal pay for women is a "for real" problem. I was not shocked a bit by her confusion. She is being bombarded by an aggressive blog, cable TV, and talk radio campaign criticizing the President's recent commitment to support equal pay for equal work. When I told her the truth - that the average woman still loses $700,000 in her lifetime due to wage discrimination, her jaw dropped.

MomsRising is working to get more jaws dropping -- and, more importantly, to get more elected officials acting to stop wage discrimination. One giant step forward in stopping unfair pay practices would be for the U.S. Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. But it's not going to be easy. 

The corporate lobbyists' propaganda machine is gearing up to defeat the Paycheck Fairness Act, a new equal pay law that would make it tougher for businesses to get away with discriminating against women. Equal pay opponents want to stop Congress and the President from closing huge loopholes in existing equal pay laws. 

But the facts are on our side, and strengthening equal pay laws is not only the right thing to do for women, but also for the economic security of America's families. Women are still making only 77 cents for every dollar earned by equally qualified men. And the wage gap is even greater for women of color, mothers, and women with more years of work experience.2 So even though my young friend may not recognize the problem now, after a few years in the workforce she surely will.

Will you donate $7.77 in honor of the 77 cents to the male dollar women earn right now?

Time is of the essence. The clock is ticking on moving the Paycheck Fairness Act forward. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid -- after receiving thousands of requests from MomsRising members-- now says he will schedule a hearing on the Paycheck Fairness Act within weeks. (And this is a huge step since the bill has already passed the House so just needs to be passed by the Senate to move to President Obama's desk).

This new opportunity in the U.S. Senate means we must move quickly to organize moms and allies to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act -- and we need your support right now to do it. With your donation of $7.77 or more, we will raise the voices and tell the stories of real women from around the country so our leaders in Washington won't be able to forget that we are still making significantly less than equally qualified men- no matter what the corporate lobbyists and naysayers on talk radio say. 

Donate a lucky $7.77 now to help MomsRising counter this fair pay misinformation campaign!

Please act now to help us translate this promise of equal pay for women into a reality.

 Working together we can build a better nation for our children and families.

-- Kristin, Joan, Mary, Ariana, Donna and the whole team

P.S. Thanks to those of you who have already donated to this campaign. So far we have raised $2,500 towards our goal. That's great progress, but we still have a long way to go, please chip in today!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day weekend hikes, ice cream

Does it get better than ice cream, hikes and sculpture on Valentine's Day weekend? It does not! At least for me, this is one of the most fun Valentine's Day celebrations I can remember.

Saturday was sunny and lovely, so we went hiking with friends on Mt Diablo, on the Mitchell Canyon Trail. I hadn't been up this way before, and I'm so glad we went. A steep ascent means amazing views come fast.  With the kids in packs, we were actually able to tackle a good amount before hearing the inevitable "I want to walk! Let's stop to look at this rock!  I'm hungry!"

Sunday had us soaking up the vitamin D and fresh air again. We were in Berkeley, at TUMC in the morning, and then to the Berkeley Art Museum which featured this very cool installation that Derek and Paloma enjoyed playing on.  They weren't the only ones-- I saw a bunch of adults trying it out too.  And that's how it's intended.  There are even outlets for laptops and a little coffee bar nearby.  I'd love to see more cafes and public spaces try out different ways of arranging social space.

Then we headed to campus to play a bit, and I had a bianca mocha from Cafe Strada for old times' sake (like, over a decade ago when I used to go there more often!). It's really fun to feel like a student again sometimes.

From there, we coaxed the girls into the car and went to Ici because I felt like artisanal ice cream would be a perfect way to celebrate Valentine's Day.  Clearly, I wasn't the only one who had that brilliant idea.  The line was 10 minutes long and halfway up the block.  And it was worth it.  I had huckleberry ice cream and also a scoop of orange rosemary toffee. Paloma had chocolate. Derek had the toffee too.  Sabrina had whatever she could get from all of us.  And all our handmade cones had a delectable chocolate nugget at the bottom.  Sigh, I Love Berkeley.  Some of the best eating in the world happens here.

We went to the Emeryville marina to look at the gorgeous Bay.  See the Golden Gate Bridge back there? I never stop feeling grateful to live here.

Finally, we stopped at Trove home outlet in Berkeley and purchased the sculpture I've been dreaming about for awhile, to decorate our new place.  I cannot wait to move in.  It's a little place here in the Bay Area.  I think this art will work really well in it.  And believe me, I will be back to Trove to decorate. If you've never been and you're local, it's really worth a browse.  Trove is amazing and the employees all rock-- SO helpful and knowledgeable.

So even though we didn't exchange fabulous personal gifts, we were really happy with our Valentine's Day weekend, and deeply grateful to be a family.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

flavorpill rocks me yet again

I don't know what I'd do without flavorpill, I really don't.  No, I do.  I'd be a culture-less, bland bowl of boring, that's what.

They brought me this list of essential female rock artists of the 90s, and suddenly I'm like "what is WRONG with me that I don't already have this on my playlist?" Hole, the Breeders, and Veruca Salt are bands that I liked in passing but never investigated past their radio hits, which I think was a big mistake.  I coulda been a punk rock star in high school!  Ehhh... I never could have been a punk rock star in high school.  I wanted to be a much better daughter than that!  More on that below.

My spouse is cool so he brought the Tori Amos and Hole into the relationship, and I brought some Patti Smith ("Horses," "Twelve").  So we're not totally without.  Which is good, because I can't be going crazy on iTunes.

Summer TCA Tour - Day 6
Patti rocks completely and forever.

It's so funny. I think I spent a pretty happy, content teenage youth without much impetus to rebel or get angry. I didn't feel oppressed by the man, didn't feel like raging against the machine.

Imma go out on a limb here and say that I think for most people, the righteous anger that bands like Green Day and rappers like Mos Def write about actually starts to make sense as we get older, like in our 30s and beyond.  Suddenly I'm like "YEAH! Those punks speak for me!" as much as I'm all "Barbara Lee Speaks For Me" (I love Barbara Lee, for the record).  It never appealed to me when I was in high school, even though I was all human rights consciousness raised and everything, and pretty aware of politics.  As much as one can be in high school.  But  I think now, at this point, post law school in DC, post so much crap, it's so much more visceral, the injustices and corruption, and that feeling needs a place to go.

So bring on the punk. My playlist needs a refresher. A LOUD one.

Greenday Plays Paris!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

book! The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines

Hell yeah I want to read this!  First- I am not a graphic novel (cough *comicbook* cough) fan.  At least, not enough to have read one all the way through except for Persepolis.

Diane Von Furstenberg Launches Wonder Woman Collection

But I did enjoy "X-Men 2" (that was the first one I saw, with some friends during law school-- then I went back and watched the first one. It didn't lose much by watching the second one first.).  And I did enjoy "The Watchmen," even more so when my dear spouse Mr.W told me what a huge fan he was and what the deal was with Alan Moore and his vision.  Once I got a sense of how sweeping Moore's vision was, I started to really respect not just the story he was telling but also the medium. I saw how fundamental the visual was to the way he was telling his story-- that it wasn't a way of getting around the words, but really a beautiful way of storytelling in and of itself.

So anyhoo, when I saw this SF Chronicle article about The Supergirls-- written by a guy who used to be creative director for The GAP!-- I took notice.  Here was an interesting guy writing on an interesting topics-- kick ass superheroes, women for girls to look up to and dream about being. I thought he had a great point with this:

Little girls are told they can be princesses who wait for someone to rescue them, rather than being someone who's going to go out and take control of things and help other people.

Paloma is in Major Princess Mode right now, but happily does recognize they're "heads of state" and will sometimes say that instead, which I think is super fabulous. I totally get the appeal of escaping into a princess fantasy, but I think superheroes are just way more fun when you think about it. She can FLY, or deflect bullets with her bracelets (not that I want Paloma thinking about that), or you know, just walk around at night in kickass boots and a cape and not feel scared, because SHE's the scary one who'll win a fight and drag your ass to jail herself.

Man. This superhero stuff could really come in handy when more bad dreams come our way. Going to start infusing this into potty time stories. Being a mom is fun!!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Female football fan? It's true!

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders

Ok, it doesn't have to be a dirty secret, but I don't jabber on about it either.  It's just a fact-- I don't hate football.

In fact, I like it!  I grew up watching it with my dad, and now I'm married to a big football fan.  It's good for us both-- we can watch together.  He knows the names and stats of all the players, and I can focus on the big picture, cheering for whoever has the ball.  I try to not choose sides because I can get so stupidly hyperventilatingly competitive.  So instead of primal screaming, I just Zen out and say "Whoever will win, will win" and let it go at that.

Sports are just fun.  The thing that I've lately really appreciated, that I think has always been a draw for my spouse and countless other sports fans, is that football is such a palate cleanser after politics.  Whoever gets the ball to the end zone gets the points.  Even doing it by a hair's breadth counts-- it's not like running it in full bore means you have "a mandate" (insert huge eyeroll).  And there are cameras and referees everywhere, watching for fairness.  It's not perfect, but it's good.

That's what politics needs!  Referees!  The Supreme Court totally doesn't count, by the way.  Our checks and balances need checks and balances.

According to this article in Forbes, there are 58 million female NFL fans, out of "138 million Americans who consider themselves NFL fans."  That's an impressive number, and one you'd expect to advertisers to notice.  And they have-- apparently, there's going to be a football maternity line at Pea in the Pod maternity clothing shops.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

How to make gorgeous Valentine's- thanks Black Apple!

I have to share this lovely Valentine's template with you.  The Black Apple has some really charming art, and by charming I mean traditionally feminine yet a little aloof.  I think it's perfect for Valentine's Day for your child's class and teachers, if you and your kid are hoping to do something a little different from pre-packaged cards or cards with licensed characters.  Printing and decorating these could make a fun and fast project.  God do I sound like Martha Stewart?  But really, these could be good!

Also, Trader Joe's has some amazingly good organic fruity lollipops that are a great size for little ones (and work perfectly as cough drops on a stick if you've got a little one with a never-ending cough- thanks preschool).  Those are great little treats-- relatively small, caffeine free, one and they're done (we hope).  Follow up with a wet toothbrush and you're good.