Archive for November, 2008

Movie Madness Mondays- Cleopatra

November 30, 2008

Hey Ladies,

So this Mondays Movie to watch is “Cleopatra” and will be reviewed by our friend sparklesoup 🙂

xo
K

Men’s Magazines?

November 27, 2008

My Darlings!

It has been so long since I wrote last… Been working my tush off in TV-Land. And since it is American Thanksgiving, I have got a few days.

I am being approached to do some press for my new film Street Fighter, which comes out late February. There is a specific Men’s Magazine that I am being asked to do the cover of, and I have always turned down these offers in recent years. This magazine reaches a very large male demographic, which is important for the success of the film. I have my own personal hypotheses about what the effects these magazines are on both the male perspective of female, and on the general objectification of women. And I understand that I can only see what I can see… duh. So, I am wondering about your experiences with men’s magazines and what you think is positive or negative about them. What do you think is valuable about them, and what do you think is destructive? And what are your opinions on how to reach that important young male demographic without utilizing these resources?

Excited to discuss with you all!!!

Love,

Kristin

One last Mission for Parker

November 26, 2008

Some of you may know that a while back my wee little friend Parker passed away of Cancer at a very young age.  This little dude lived life with “Character” and I say “Character” because truly was a snuggle monster, a funny monster and at times and (very rarely) hahaha!…he was…well, lets just say…he was hell on wheels out to cause some trouble….just the way I liked him best! A true little MONSTER! HA!

Parker was Smallville’s #1 FAN.  So his funeral was very fitting when it was a SUPER HERO themed service where we all had to dress up like our favorite Super Hero’s. Parker sat at the front on the room, not in urn, but instead tucked away in a Play Station Box…TOTALLY his style!…like I said the kid had character.

Alex, Parkers mom did an amazing job at fulfilling every dream a kid could have in one very short lifetime.  Parker’s life was filled with the most amazing journeys and experiences thanks to the compassion of people and his mom’s hard work.

A few short months after Parker passed away I hung out with Alex and her son Broody at the Aquarium in Vancouver…during a quiet moment Alex dug into her purse and pulled out a tiny travel Advil container, and announced, “here is bit of Parker!” “WHAT!?” was my answer, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN? PARKER?  HE IS IN THE ADVIL CONTAINER!?”  “Yup” Alex said with a big smile on her face…”I have a mission for you, Parker Style.”

Ok soooo, I could handle this one or two ways…first I could get all WERID that I was holding parking in an Advil container or I could try and see thru the eyes of child and imagine what he must have been thinking, when he requested this.  So I pushed aside being uptight, took a swig of my Aquafina water, dove into my imagination and was quickly seeing the world thru the eyes of a child. FUN! I gotta hang out in this demension more often!

“OK” I said “I  will accept the mission.” “Great!” Alex said, “here’s the deal, I have been spreading Parkers ashes in ALL the places that he loved, and one of the places he loved most was SMALLVILLE. Do you think you could find a place at Smallville to sprinkle a few of Parkers ashes?”

Could I?…Would I?…Should I?” would Smallville be cool with this?  Dare I even ask? Could others step back and see thru the eyes of a child?  I wasn’t so sure…I didn’t know what to do.  I knew exactly where I wanted to do it…but wasn’t sure if I COULD do it…I mean this is a BIG deal…A BIG DEAL! I had Parker in my hand…Parker!…in an Advil container!…I couldn’t let him down…so, I put Parker in my purse and told Alex I would find a way!

The next few weeks I carried Parker around in my purse with me…I kinda liked him in there…but was a wee bit worried that someone might dig thru my purse looking for an Advil only to find Parker AHHHHHHHHH!  NOT FUNNY!  I mean, listen, I don’t think everyone would be that cool about this, some might be down right offended! But, I was ok with this…this was between me and Parker now.

Soooo late one night on the set of Smallville, Parker (in the Advil container in my back pocket) and I were cruising the sets.  I knew exactly where he would want to be, a place where all the action, drama, tears, and memories happened on Smallville. I wanted to full fill his wish, as crazy as some might think it is, Smallville has touched they lives of so many people, and here I was a messenger for a little dude who wanted to make a permanent tribute to the Smallville cast and crew…I realized in that moment it wasn’t up to me to judge this wish or decision, nor was it up to others to claim if this was a good or bad thing to do.  So I quietly did what I had come to do and sprinkled Parkers ashes in a very special place where he will be high up like an angle looking down on the cast and crew.

News Day Tuesday: Thanks

November 26, 2008
  

First, allow me to apologize for the extreme tardiness of today’s News Day Tuesday.  The month of November was wondering if I still knew what “insanity” meant, and saw it fit to flood me with about a bajillion different things to do.  But I’m still standing November!  Ha!
Second, for those in the States…is anyone as excited as I am that Thanksgiving is this Thursday??  I!  LOVE!  THANKS!  GIVIIIIING!!  Love it love it love it love it!!  It is hands down my favorite holiday.  😀
Third, so what does this have to do with the news?  Well, you all know how it is with Thanksgiving…it’s traditional to take time out and list all the things that you’re thankful for.  In fact, Brooke posted an awesome list of things that help you find happiness, and one of the things on that list is related to gratitude.  (Yeah Brooke!)  There are certain things that top almost everyone’s list:  family, friends, food, home.  I can honestly say that hardly a day goes by when I don’t pause to think about how lucky I am because my friends and family provide me with more love and laughter than should be legally allowed.  And anyone who knows me will tell you that food is joy to me.  Man, I love food, I really do.  This is a big reason why I love Thanksgiving so much.  And home…ok, well given the outrageous rents in New York, maybe I’m not as thankful for having a roof over my head as I should be.  😉
Anyway, all of this got me wondering…what about some of the things that I don’t take time out to appreciate on a daily basis?  What are some of the things that I benefit from everyday yet take for granted?  And this is where the news comes in.
Recently, several countries (including the U.S.), rights groups, and the United Nations have condemned trials held in Myanmar (Burma) that have resulted in sentences of more than 60 years.  Who were the people convicted and what were their crimes?
A blogger who posted cartoons making fun of Myanmar’s ruler, Than Shwe.  He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Zarganar, a comic who criticized the government’s slow response to Cyclone Nargis and organized private deliveries of aid to the cyclone’s victims.  He was convicted of violating the Electronics Act and was sentenced to 45 years.
Ashin Gambira, a Buddhist monk who led the “saffron revolution” – the wave of peaceful protests by thousands of monks across the country in September 2007.  He was convicted on several charges and sentenced to a total of 68 years.
And the Burmese aren’t the only ones being jailed for voicing their views against the government or other establishment.  In 2006, Abdel Karim Suleiman was sentenced to 4 years in prison.  His crime?  Insulting religion and defaming Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on his blog.  What did he say?  Here is a sample:
“I say to Al-Azhar and its university and its professors and preachers who stand against anyone who thinks differently to them: ‘You are destined for the rubbish bin of history, where you will find no one to cry for you, and your regime will end like others have.'”
Meanwhile, on my side of the ocean, I’m cracking up (or at least I used to, back when I had more time) as Jon Stewart and his merry band of comics on “The Daily Show” consistently make my President and other powerful officials look like a bunch of buffoons.
One of the many things I love about the U.S. is freedom of speech.  And it is one of the things that I definitely take for granted.  I realize that it’s still not a perfect system here, whatever that may be, and that there will always be tension between the right to say what you want and the risk of offending those who don’t want to hear what you say.  But certainly, we are given a wide berth here, and whenever I hop on the internet to ask Google for magic answers, I rarely stop to think that there are more than a billion people out there who don’t experience the internet the same way I do because their government censors the content.  One of my friends sent me a link to China Channel, which offers a free plug-in that lets users experience what it’s like to surf the internet in China.  I tried it, and let me tell you…it’s spooky.  Try Googling “Tiananmen Square protests” and see how far you get.
What do you all think about freedom of speech and censorship?  Do you think people should have the right to say whatever they want to, even if it hurts others?  What about criticizing the government and people in power?  Are there times when censorship by the government can be beneficial to society?

Finally, I’d also like to mention that I’m thankful for all of your participation and feedback on this blog.  Thank you Taylor Kagy for writing the “Twilight” review.  I thought Taylor Nikole was supposed to write it, but apparently she punked out.  So thank you for stepping in and covering her butt.  😉  I think you did a great job, for which I am grateful.  And thank you to everyone who read and/or commented on the other posts.  Believe it or not, I do read all of your comments.  It warms my heart to see that my ignorance on certain matters has entertained some of you.  😉

ADDENDUM:  Just to make it clear to everyone…Taylor Nikole did NOT, in fact, punk out.  I was just kidding because I enjoy giving well-meaning people a hard time.  😉  Taylor Kagy and Taylor Nikole are one and the same, but will the real Taylor please stand up?  😉

Movie Madness Monday: Twilight

November 24, 2008
While watching this movie, I had a huge moment of satisfaction when I finally recognized who the vampire guy was.  He was the popular dude in one of the “Harry Potter” movies…the one who was going out with the Asian chick, then ended up dying.  I mean…he died, but not because he was dating an Asian chick.  Cuz, dude, that would’ve been awkward.
Anyway, I think it took me a while to recognize who he was because he was very pale in this movie.  Very pale.  And it looked like he was wearing lipstick the whole time.  Not that there’s anything wrong with guys wearing lipstick.  I live in New York for cryin’ out loud.  But I was wondering whether that was the “look” they were going for in the movie, or if he actually wears lipstick in the story.  You know…to maybe compensate for his paleness.  Or the fact that his skin, um, sparkles.  In the sunlight.  I think I must’ve missed that news bulletin on vampire skin.  Anyway, I can see how both of these dermatologic conditions could make someone feel self-conscious about his appearance.  But I have a single solution to both of these problems:  Spray. On. Tan.  Am I right, or am I right?  Maybe he’ll realize this in the sequel?  Poor guy.  I mean, the solution is so simple.
I also had another realization.  Young people nowadays have very different courting rituals from the ones I’m familiar with.  Apparently, nowadays, if you like a girl, you’re supposed to almost vomit in her presence, storm out of the room for fear of blowing chunks, cut class repeatedly to avoid her, then follow up that impressive display with sneaking into her bedroom at night to watch her sleep…not once, not twice, but for a couple months.  And if you’re the object of these affections, then these romantic overtures aren’t quite enough to make you swoon.  But hey…find out that the dude is actually a vampire and that it requires enormous willpower and every fiber of his being to resist eating you for dinner like a gigantic, rabid mosquito?  Whoooowhee!  THAT, my friends, is loooooooove with a capital L.
I gotta give the girl credit though…she meant it when she said that she was “irrevocably in love” with the vampire dude.  How else can you explain her giving up a perfectly good, NON-REFUNDABLE round-trip plane ticket to visit her mom just so she could go to prom with the guy?  Despite being coordinatorily-challenged when it comes to really complicated maneuvers, like walking?  And the fact that she had a cast on her leg?  To an event in which the primary activity is dancing?  Which normally requires two good legs?  Unless she can pop and lock like nobody’s business, but I didn’t see her do any popping or locking.  NON-REFUNDABLE ticket people!  Do you have any idea how much serious coin you need to drop to fly round-trip from Washington to Florida??
But you know what?  Who am I to judge?  Because in the end…what’s non-refundable airfare to a girl when she’s got non-refundable love?  😉

10 Things Science Says Will Make You Happy!

November 24, 2008

I came across this great article and thought that it may be something other ladies would be interested in as well.  I mean, don’t we all want to know the secret to sustainable happiness?

In this article, scientists help point out the 10 most “happy-making” things you can do.  Research proven!

Savor Everyday Moments

Pause now and then to smell a rose or watch children at play. Study participants who took time to “savor” ordinary events that they normally hurried through, or to think back on pleasant moments from their day, “showed significant increases in happiness and reductions in depression,” says psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky.

Avoid Comparisons

While keeping up with the Joneses is part of American culture, comparing ourselves with others can be damaging to happiness and self-esteem. Instead of comparing ourselves to others, focusing on our own personal achievement leads to greater satisfaction, according to Lyubomirsky.

Put Money Low on the List

People who put money high on their priority list are more at risk for depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem, according to researchers Tim Kasser and Richard Ryan. Their findings hold true across nations and cultures. “The more we seek satisfactions in material goods, the less we find them there,” Ryan says. “The satisfaction has a short half-life—it’s very fleeting.” Money-seekers also score lower on tests of vitality and self-actualization.

Have Meaningful Goals

“People who strive for something significant, whether it’s learning a new craft or raising moral children, are far happier than those who don’t have strong dreams or aspirations,” say Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener. “As humans, we actually require a sense of meaning to thrive.” Harvard’s resident happiness professor, Tal Ben-Shahar, agrees, “Happiness lies at the intersection between pleasure and meaning. Whether at work or at home, the goal is to engage in activities that are both personally significant and enjoyable.”

Take Initiative In School and At Work

How happy you are in school and at work depends in part on how much initiative you take. Researcher Amy Wrzesniewski says that when we express creativity, help others, suggest improvements, or do additional tasks on the job, we make our work more rewarding and feel more in control.

Make Friends, Treasure Family

Happier people tend to have good families, friends, and supportive relationships, say Diener and Biswas-Diener. But it’s not enough to be the life of the party if you’re surrounded by shallow acquaintances. “We don’t just need relationships, we need close ones” that involve understanding and caring.

Smile Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

It sounds simple, but it works. “Happy people…see possibilities, opportunities, and success. When they think of the future, they are optimistic, and when they review the past, they tend to savor the high points,” say Diener and Biswas-Diener. Even if you weren’t born looking at the glass as half-full, with practice, a positive outlook can become a habit.

Say Thank You Like You Mean It

People who keep gratitude journals on a weekly basis are healthier, more optimistic, and more likely to make progress toward achieving personal goals, according to author Robert Emmons. Research by Martin Seligman, founder of positive psychology, revealed that people who write “gratitude letters” to someone who made a difference in their lives score higher on happiness, and lower on depression—and the effect lasts for weeks.

Get Out and Exercise

A Duke University study shows that exercise may be just as effective as drugs in treating depression, without all the side effects and expense. Other research shows that in addition to health benefits, regular exercise offers a sense of accomplishment and opportunity for social interaction, releases feel-good endorphins, and boosts self-esteem.

Give It Away, Give It Away Now!

Make altruism and giving part of your life, and be purposeful about it. Researcher Stephen Post says helping a neighbor, volunteering, or donating goods and services results in a “helper’s high,” and you get more health benefits than you would from exercise or quitting smoking. Listening to a friend, passing on your skills, celebrating others’ successes, and forgiveness also contribute to happiness, he says. Researcher Elizabeth Dunn found that those who spend money on others reported much greater happiness than those who spend it on themselves.

FOR A DOWNLOADABLE POSTER, CHECK OUT THIS LINK!

SOURCES:

The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want,
Sonja Lyubomirsky, Penguin Press, 2008

Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth,
Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2008

Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment,
Tal Ben-Shahar, McGraw-Hill, 2007

Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier,
Robert Emmons, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007

Movie Monday Madness ‘Twilight”

November 24, 2008

by: Taylor Kagy

Let me just start off by telling all you gals that when I was waiting in the HUGE line outside the movie theatre Friday night (which required us present two hours before the actual show, in hopes of getting okay seats) I had the biggest adrenaline rush and my tummy felt like a butterfly garden. This might have been due to the fact that I absolutely adore the Twilight series, and also people at school who went to the midnight showing saying it absolutely… uhh sucked. Yep, I am a Twilight fan, but not quite Twihard or ‘obsessive twilight fan’ (which Mari and Chris recently educated me on).

For all of those newbies out there who are unaware of the Twilight… let me just fill you in a little. The lovely main character (of the epic saga, written by Stephanie Meyer) is Bella Swan who moves from Phoenix, Arizona, where she lived with her mom and her moms new husband to live with her father Charlie in Forks, Washington, the rainiest, gloomiest town with a population of about 3,000 people. The reason for her move was solely based on her feeling that she was ‘cramping’ her mother’s new life with her new husband and, in a way, feeling that she was being a nuisance. Lucky for Bella, despite Forks tiny population, she meets the beautiful, gorgeous and chiseled seventeen year old Edward Cullen (If you couldn’t tell… I’m team Edward) and finds herself instantly fascinated and drawn to him. The problem is, the first few days of school it seems Edward is repulsed by her and even tries to change his schedule around to avoid her. Edward is gone for a few days following and when he returns he pulls a sudden Jekyll and Hyde by introducing himself to Bella which leads to the wonderful Bella and Edward friendship/relationship. In the movie an almost tragic incident occurs, (which I won’t spoil) making Bella question Edwards being, his real truth and his motives. When Bella finally finds out what Edward is hiding, their relationship benefits from the truth by bringing them closer and making them inseparable, but at the same time suffers… sending their relationship on a wild rollercoaster ride. So, if you want to know what happens, let’s just say you will have to go see the movie, because I refuse to spoil it and all of its twisted plot goodness.

Personally, I thought the movie was okay, but I also found myself comparing the movie to the book the whole entire time (and comparing how I envisioned the characters myself, and who they had chosen). Soooo lets just say the movie would have been ten times better (or fantabulous) if I hadn’t read the books and based my opinion solely on the movies content compared to the books. That doesn’t necessarily mean that everything else was ‘disappointing’, since director, Catherine Hardwicke ultimately did an amazing job bringing Twilight to life and to the big screen. The acting was also, in my opinion phenomenal, with a few exceptions (but who am I to judge). I must also give props to Kristin Stewart (Bella) and Robert Pattinson (Edward) for not failing to bring forth the corny hormonal teenage romance that Stephanie Meyer intended.

So if you haven’t seen it… go see it! I’m guessing most of the Twihard’s on the site have seen it, so even if you haven’t read the books go see it anyways!

xoxo
Taylor Nikole

Hey Taylor Nikole!

November 21, 2008

Tag!  You’re it!  On behalf of the entire GBD community, I’d like to thank you for volunteering to write the review for “Twilight.”  I suppose I could’ve announced this in a more subtle fashion.  Maybe next time.

Also, apparently, I’m supposed to write a “Twilight” review as well.  Yup.  Tabby volunteered me.  So for those of you who were thinking that I was just kidding about the whole Tabby-world-domination thing…no, that’s really happening.  I don’t mind though.  As long as I get first dibs on North America.

So tune in this Monday, when you will get TWO movie reviews for the price of one!  Whoohoo!

Have a great weekend everybody!  🙂

For All You Dog Lovers Out There

November 21, 2008

This is Harry. (photo: Michael S. Williamson)

I must warn you…I personally know of at least 2 people who cried when reading this article. One of them kind of doesn’t count though because she will cry during a McDonald’s commercial if it’s sappy enough. 😉
The article:  Something About Harry
A photo gallery:  Old Dogs Are the Best Dogs

MMM = MIA = Meh

November 19, 2008

You may have noticed that Movie Madness Monday has been Missing In Action for the past few weeks. The word “meh” has only recently entered my vocabulary, but I think that is the appropriate word to describe this unfortunate state of affairs. I’m sure Mari will correct me if I’m mistaken in my usage. 😉

Anyway, apparently Kendra thinks it’s more important to take care of her newborn son than to write a movie review, to which I say “Pfft!” As if Marcus were going anywhere. He just popped into this world! Where’s he gonna go? He’s a guy. He won’t even ask for directions.

Kristin is, I dunno, shooting a TV series or something. Apparently, this requires 14-16 hour days. You know what that means? That means there are still 8-10 hours left in the day to write a movie review! But I guess SOMEONE thinks it’s more important to use the remaining third of the day to do things like sleep. Or eat. Or, I dunno, breathe.

Tabby is off working on her master plan for world domination.  I approve of this.  I hope she remembers me when the time comes for her to pick a lieutenant.

And Mari…folks, can we please give poor Mari a break here?  She already wrote the review for “Gray Matters” not that long ago.  Plus, she’s a world-renowned expert in the use of the word “meh.”  She’s done enough.

So what to do?  Well, it has recently come to my attention that there’s a movie called “Twilight” coming out this week.  Maybe you’ve heard of it?  Apparently, it’s a very big deal.  Because apparently, it’s based on a book that’s, like, a worldwide phenomenon.  Dude…all I know is that there’s a guy who can run up trees or something, and he likes this girl, who likes him back, and there’s fighting.  And there’s supposed to be a werewolf?  But I didn’t see any werewolves in the preview, so I don’t know what that’s all about.

Am I clueless?  Absolutely.  But we’re not gonna review “Clueless”!  We’re gonna review “Twilight”!  Or rather…we were hoping that YOU hip and happenin’ gals would review “Twilight” because clearly, I haven’t the slightest idea what’s going on.  So help us show Movie Madness Monday some love ladies.  Who wants to review “Twilight”?  Come one, come all!  Whoohoo!