Saturday, August 30, 2008

August 30 --

Today is the 1st year anniversary of Ken's and my engagement to marry. People ask us all the time if we've set a date which is a completely legitimate question given we had such a bang-up wedding shower. Just as background: Ken and I had our wedding shower in the Doo Dah Parade. We literally had a "shower" set up in the back of Leigh Adam's pick up truck. It was a complete publicity gag to raise money for the making of my documentary, "Beauty Bites Beast." It was great fun and even Ken, after dreading it, had a great time. We have pictures. If you got my web page, click on the "Paparazzi" headline.

In any event, no, we're not married yet and thoroughly enjoying living in sin. We joke that we're waiting for some very generous and deep-pocketed soul to say, "Gee, I'd really like to throw you a big party!" and then we'll just use that as a place to get married too. hmmm. So far, no one's jumped on that float.

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin as a VP pick. The GOP is what we've always known them to be: calculated, cynical, crafty. ARggggh.I've often said in the past that the only way this country is going to accept a woman as a leader is if she's conservative. Sarah Palin is a nightmare. She's like Phyllis Schlafly. I can just hear everyone on the pundit circuit rubbing their nasty little pundit mitts, waiting for the fights to begin. I pledge here and now that I will do everything in my power to defeat the McCain/Palin ticket.

We've got this long weekend stretching ahead of us. I'm going to use the puttering time to finish unpacking from NY, doing some food prep and then go to my dear friend Pauline's Croning Ceremony. I love that women are beginning to seize upon ways to celebrate our passages. That's all for now.

Have a Snorty day!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

55 years and 1 day

My birthday celebration drooled into today, the 28th. Women's Equality Day, August 26, precedes my actual birthday on the 27th. I usually celebrate that day with something great in tribute to the women who -- against all odds -- persisted and finally won the vote for women in the U.S. without shedding a drop of blood. Gandhi got many of his ideas of non-violent social change and civil disobedience from the women he observed in the U.S. and the U.K. And yet, and yet, so few people know about the suffrage movement and women are rarely given any kind of respect or credit for the monumental accomplishment of achieving the vote for half the population. How perfect that Ken gave me several DVDs about women's history for my birthday. We had a great meal at my favorite restaurant, La Casita Mexicana, in Bell, CA, joined by many of our dear friends from the current LA Landmark Education Wisdom Course. He also took me on a date today/tonight.

We saw the rehabilitated BluRay version on 70mm 50th Anniversary release of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" tonight at the El Capitan theater in Hollywood. What a pleasure! I remember seeing it when I was 5 but didn't remember much other than the images themselves. I attended with a lot of enthusiasm because it's a very fun date to have with my own prince, Ken, but I was eager to see what I would think of the gender messages within it.

I had forgotten how fun and empowering the good fairies, Flora, Fauna and Meriweather were. How sad it is that most little girls aspire to be Aurora/Briar Rose when clearly, it is far more fun to be one of the 3 good fairy god-mothers. They are a hoot. They are action oriented. They don't get bogged down in details and their lives are all about serving goodness and love. I guess the most sexist character in the cast is the Queen. She doesn't have one line, nor does she have a name. She's truly a breeding machine, set up to reproduce but certainly not have any agency of her own.

On the other hand, historically speaking, the birth of a daughter in "Sleeping Beauty" was a cause for joy and celebration, even as an only child and first born! That's pretty amazing and I had forgotten how happy they were to have a little girl. My own parents were not so happy that I was born a girl. They'd both wanted a boy. Sadly, in many parts of the world, being born a girl is a death sentence at worst, and at best, a road for challenges that boys still don't have to face. That's not to say that they don't have their own challenges.

Indeed, the prince in "Sleeping Beauty" sets up a pretty grim role model for boys: they have to be gorgeous, wide-shouldered and go through hell to get the "girl." What a set up for disappointment for both boys and girls.

In any event, I have never been one to want to censor anything in literature. I just want to have children's stories that have other themes and we have had that happen. Nonetheless, impossibly good, impossibly skinny princesses still abound. In many fairy tales the mother is dead or as in "Sleeping Beauty," a cipher. Thank goodness that the fairy godmothers are around to have actual character, integrity and commitment to values beyond marrying for money.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My 55th birthday

Imagine my surprise when a woman thanked me recently for being truthful about my age. I was speaking on a panel and I mentioned my birth year. I'd forgotten that some women feel compelled to lie about their age. Not that I blame them. This culture is not kind to women at any age, but they are especially callous toward women over 30. What a waste to make anyone "less than" because of age.

It's not easy being a person of any age, or of any gender. How I long for a day when we relate to people as beings rather than things.

I am simply grateful that I'm alive and I intend to celebrate my age every year, as a triumph and as a way to honor my parents.

It was not that long ago that the life expectancy was so low that we never expected to have to confront those things that we confront now.

In some ways, we're all longevity pioneers. I intend to squeeze every ounce of living out of every year I possibly can!

That's my birthday blog and I'm sticking to it. 55 years baby! and that's the speed limit but I've never observed the speed limit anyway...