Sunday, March 09, 2014
i've always loved wonder woman. especially in the form of lynda carter's portrayal of her during my formative years. she was so brave and true and tough and beautiful, all at once. and man, those wonder woman jumps. i practiced those by getting the swing at the park going as high as i could and then leaping off. i'm sure i was very graceful and strong, just like wonder woman, tho' i'm glad that video mobile phones were not ubiquitous then, so that i don't have to sacrifice that memory. i too wanted bracelets that could deflect bullets, a lasso that could make people tell the truth and an invisible jet of my very own. wonder woman inspired me to greatness. i've probably let her down, but she was inspiring to me just the same.
charlie's angels were around in that same era and with their beauty and bravery, they inspired me as well. i know charlie ultimately took care of them, but they seemed so strong and capable by themselves. they were tough and beautiful and they had great hair and clothes and they always caught the bad guy in the end - what more could you ask?
speaking of great hair and wardrobe, i'll admit that i loved barbie as well. she also had great hair and clothes and those shoes, they were awesome. my cousin had a fabulous barbie collection that burned up in a fire and i missed those lost barbies for years afterwards. they'd never been promised to me and i'd only been allowed to look at them, not touch them (being much younger and probably much stickier), but i adored them anyway and lamented their passing. of course, i had barbies of my own, but her collection was something special.
i read this morning about a very thin study suggesting that playing with barbie limits girls' career opportunities. at least in their own minds. and i have to say i think that's crap. barbie always had way more going on than ken and we all knew it. she was the brains and she had her own car and house and he was a mere accessory, who she didn't even really need (my barbie personally liked johnny west way more and in fact, she taught him a swear word or two (goddamn son of a bitch, jesus christ almighty was her go-to swear phrase of choice). yes, her feet were forever stuck in high heeled position and her waist is abnormally tiny, but she was fabulous. like wonder woman and charlie's angels, she was strong and capable and the leader of her pack. i don't feel at all that my love for her has held me back or made me not pursue a career in science or math. what kept me from that was the fact that i spent most of my time reading dostoevsky during physics class in high school.
Saturday, March 08, 2014
i got this gorgeously rustic, bumply, fabulous, unique heart bead from kim at numinosity (she's on a little vacation in mexico, so you'll have to wait to see her shop). kim feels like an old friend, since i met her towards the beginning of my blogging journey. we've never met in person, but at some point we will and i know we will laugh and drink cocktails.
an idea is forming in the back of my mind as to what to do with this bead, but in the meantime, having it and just photographing it on my usual windowsill scale is enough. i enjoy that almost as much as i would wearing it as a necklace. sometimes beautiful, unique things are enough, just in and of themselves. tho' maybe if i incorporated it into something crocheted, it might be even better...
Thursday, March 06, 2014
husband was already a master builder way back then. this is one of my favorite photos of him. ever. i do love these thursday strolls down memory lane. this is in the back garden of his childhood home in sweden. and doesn't it foreshadow the future?
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
zaptor (i think i like him best)
see, two pix of zaptor - i definitely like him best.
my mixels crew.
they came out on saturday. and i had to have them all (there are two i haven't built yet, it seemed obscene to build them all in one day, so they're not in the photo). they come in a small, collectible bag, kinda like minifigs and in the same price range. only frankly a way, way better build. i feel like they're teaching me how to be a lego builder with their turnable heads and their ball joint legs and arms and adorable teeth. plus, who can resist those googly eyes? not i. series 2 will come in a couple of months and already i'm chomping at the bit. they'll be blue, brown and orange then. and series 3, before the end of the year in green, gold and purple. i'm thoroughly infatuated and becoming a real lego builder thanks to these guys. i think i can even bring myself to take them apart and try to build something of my very own. and that's a very, very big step in the right direction. plus, they're designed to be able to make a big mixel of the three little ones, so they even want you to mix and match. that's why they're called mixels, after all. there's a tie-in with cartoon network, but i have to say the cartoon doesn't speak to me (i am a little outside their demographic, after all), but i'm in love with the analog mixels. and with my device/internet addiction, that's undoubtedly good for me. i could stand to live a slightly more analog life.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
captain jack sparrow?
i'll admit, i haven't seen the lone ranger.
it left the theatres too quickly.
but i do like tonto as a minifig.
and i've heard it's available on viaplay.
but i still think captain jack is my fave.
how about you? which johnny depp is your favorite?
* * *
one of these days, i'll write about something other than lego.
i'm just a little bit in love right now,
so you'll have to forgive me.
Monday, March 03, 2014
we all know how much i love lego, so it's not surprising that i wasn't all that keen on this cynical piece in the nytimes (while otherwise generally being a fan of both the nytimes and of cynicism). i also read this one, which chose to be charmed by the branding of the movie, and is thus a little more positive. it's actually interesting that it's taken nearly a month for some negativity about this film to surface.
but both of these pieces and many of the others, in my view, give a bit too much credit to lego for a movie made by warner brothers and cleverly written and directed by phil lord and christopher miller. yes, there was an executive producer from the lego company and lego did, of course, protect their strong brand name and interests, but (you knew there was a but), giving them all of the credit is a little bit like attributing the cleverness of wallace & gromit only to play-doh.
like polymer clay in the aardman animations, lego bricks were a medium in the film - a vehicle on which to attach both visually and to tell a story. a human, funny, positive, charming, but also slightly politically subversive and even ironic (in its anti-capitalist message) story. it is postmodernism at its best, engaging all of the references of pop culture and childhood memories (from benny the spaceman to batman), rolling them into a rolicking good time of a movie that's self-referential, visually enchanting and has a positive message of believing in your own talents. it's a feel good movie. lego is lucky is worked so well, and some credit for that goes to the strength and positivity of their brand, but they don't deserve all of the credit. warner brothers played a significant part.
Sunday, March 02, 2014
i'm following with interest the events unfolding in the crimea. i really liked this piece in this morning's guardian/observer, which i think, in an even-manner, outlines what's going on, tho' there's more in this piece and it clouds the picture for me a bit. there are many facets to this story i'm trying to decide exactly what i think about the situation. i think it's hard for us to really get at the truth of what's happening, despite our instant access to information about it. so to try to understand, i dug in my memory to tolstoy's sebastopol sketches, the small tome of vignettes that some say makes tolstoy the first war reporter (i also think it's his best work, but that's the stuff of a different post).
the original crimean war (1853-56) was the first extensively-reported and photographed war. you might remember some musings on the roger fenton photos right here on mpc. it also changed the nature of war in many ways, including medically, as it was there that florence nightengale did her groundbreaking work. in the original crimean war, the russians fought the declining ottoman empire and were even winning, but thanks to napoleon and the brits getting involved on the ottoman side, they lost and ended up losing their black sea fleet. (that's admittedly the very short version of the story.) russia ostensibly got involved to protect the interests of orthodox christians in the ottoman empire, seeing themselves as champions of eastern orthodoxy everywhere. it was actually some trouble with various factions in the ukraine which made russia get involved in the first place. sounds familiar, eh?
well, in the accords after the war, the crimea ended back in russian hands, tho' they were prevented from establishing naval bases along the black sea, which crippled them there for years afterwards and probably served to prop up the dying ottoman empire for a few more decades.
as late as 1954, russia transferred administration of the crimea to ukraine, much to the dismay of the many russians living there, but they were all part of the soviet union so that was that. but those russians have remained russian and there are arguments for russia protecting their interests against a ukraine in chaos (no matter who has caused that chaos).
so i suppose by now you can tell that i'm actually inclined to be not that opposed to the russian "invasion." and i find it absurd and ludicrous that the US is making noise about getting involved, even going so far as to stick some hypocritical words in the mouth of the US secretary of state john kerry, "you just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th-century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext.' um, mr. secretary, i know it wasn't your administration, but wasn't there a rather recent invasion by your good selves in another little country called iraq on some trumped up charges of wmd?" how will we ever learn from history if we can't even remember it a mere decade later?
regardless of who is wrong and who is right (and there are undoubtedly many aspects of wrong and right on both sides), this isn't going to end well. but maybe a return to the cold war will do us good. we've been a little lost without it. and i don't just mean in the russian history departments of american universities.