Monday, March 3, 2014
just some posts to sing the praises of disney's now academy-award-winning frozen.
we loved this movie.
even my cynical 14yo daughter –
who, along with me, was extremely disappointed with the much-hyped brave
[our favorite thing about that movie was merida's hair] –
even she loved this movie.
like, fist-pumping, that-was-awesome kind of movie-love.
& it wasn't just the amazing songwriting,
or the broadway powerhouses behind the voices,
or the romantical plot twist we actually didn't see coming,
or kristen bell [whom we love for her obsession with sloths & correct name spelling],
or elsa's hair, which gave merida's auburn curls some serious competition.
it was all of that – & something more.
josh gad, who voices olaf the hilariously endearing snowman,
encapsulated frozen's appeal beautifully:
"in frozen, the idea of true love is explored
through the arc of a relationship between siblings,
& siblinghood is something that resonates in a deeply profound way."
"frozen is not about the prince & princess for once,"
echoed fellow mom-with-daughters emma chaney to buzzfeed.
"it's not a traditional story between a man & a woman;
it's the sisters who represent true love at the end,
& that's an excellent message for my girls."
amen, sister. amen.
frozen is coming out on dvd march 18th.
we. can't. wait.
Monday, February 24, 2014
20yo czech republic snowboarder eva samkova grabbed the women's sbx gold sunday, wearing a red-white-&-blue mustache drawn above her top lip. the faux facial hair is samkova's trademark & tradition, begun at the 2011 snowboarding world championships because she "wanted to have fun." mission accomplished.
lauryn williams, 30yo of pennsylvania – with the help of her bobsled partner elana meyers, 29yo of georgia – earned the silver wednesday in women's bobsledding, becoming the fifth olympian ever to medal in both the summer & winter games. williams, originally a star sprinter, also earned silver in the 2004 athens summer games in the 100-meter race, & won gold in the 2012 london summer games as a member of the 100-meter team.
when 17yo adelina sotnikova was not included to compete as a member of russia's figure-skating team, it was a slap in the face for the first-time olympian. she had wowed in 2009 when she won a national championship at the age of 12, but now, finally in sochi at the winter games, she was being overshadowed by a younger teammate, 15yo julia lipnitskaia. lipnitskaia did help russia win gold in team competition, but faltered in individuals. not so much sotnikova – she defeated defending champion yuna kim of south korea to win the gold, becoming russia's first gold medalist ever in women's singles figure skating. #spoice!!
meanwhile, 27yo carolina kostner of italy earned the bronze in women's singles figure skating, becoming the first italian ever to win an olympic figure skating singles medal. kostner had placed a promising 9th in her first olympics in 2006 in turin, but left the vancouver ice four years ago doubled over with her head buried in her hands following a devastating performance that put her in 16th place. she almost quit skating, but opted to try, try again – & this third time was the charm. learning to skate for "the passion & the pleasure" apparently made all the difference. "for me," quoth kostner, "this medal is absolutely worth gold. i will cherish it."
maddie bowman, 20yo of california, friday won the first women's halfpipe skiing gold medal in olympic history ... & her grandmother, 78yo lorna perpall, won the attention of many with her proud & patriotic custom-made tees, touting her as bowman's "badass grandma." like grandmother, like granddaughter. & perpall's already got her next t-quip prepared: gold-medal grandma.
fellow skier 18yo mikaela shiffrin of colorado has her own motto, an acronym emblazened on her skis & on her helmet: ABFTTB, which means always be faster than the boys. done & won. shiffrin, ranked as the world's top slalom skier, became the youngest skier ever to win the slalom when she got the gold friday night, besting austria's 32yo marlies schild by almost a full minute.
24yo ukrainian alpine skier bogdana matstoska & her coach/father oleg matsotskiy thursday withdrew from the olympic games in response to the violence happening by authorities against protesters in their native nation. but the ukrainian women's biathlon team chose to stay & pay tribute to their home country by winning the gold in the women's 4x6m relay, over russia & norway. it was the ukraine's first gold medal at the winter olympic games since figure skater oksana baiul won at lillehammer in 1994.
31yo julie chu of connecticut – a four-time olympian & the first asian-american woman to play for the u.s. women's ice hockey team – was chosen to carry the stars & stripes during the closing ceremony of the 2014 sochi winter games. the women's team suffered a heartbreaking defeat thursday, earning silver while canada once again cinched the gold. while it may be a kind of consolation prize, being chosen as flagbearer is considered a high honor; the position is determined via a vote of every sport's team captains.
Friday, February 21, 2014
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
her middle name was jane.
but she was just about the furthest thing
from "plain" you can imagine.
her career really began in 1934, at age 6,
with her starring role in "stand up & cheer."
within an hour of completing her first song-&-dance
number in the movie, 20th century fox upped
her two-week contract to a full year, @ $150 a week,
with an extra $25 a week for her mother care for her.
she made eight movies that year, &
won an honorary academy award.
her mother, gertrude, styled her hair for every movie,
curling it into exactly 56 bouncy, blonde ringlets every time.
she was the darling of the depression years,
a movie star more popular than clark gable,
receiving more mail than greta garbo, &
being photographed more than president franklin d. roosevelt.
her most successful on-screen partnership was with
the legendary entertainer bill [bojangles] robinson.
she was the first white actress to hold hands
affectionately with a black man on screen.
they made four films together.
she first married at 17yo, to army airman john agar, jr.
they had a daughter, susan, but were divorced within four years.
fewer than 60 days following her divorce, at 21yo,
she met 30yo charles alden black, who claimed he had
never seen a shirley temple movie. they were engaged
twelve days later, wed in 1950 & were married
almost 55 years, until his 2005 death.
she retired from film for good at 22yo.
she & charles had a son, charles, jr., &
a daughter, lori, who became a grunge-band bassist.
she became a high-profile republican fundraiser.
in 1969, president nixon appointed her as a delegate to the united nations.
in 1974, president ford appointed her as the u.s. ambassador to ghana.
in 1976, she served as ford's chief of protocol.
& in 1989, president george h.w. bush appointed her as the u.s ambassador to czechoslovakia.
in 1972, she had her cancerous left breast removed.
she spoke openly about the episode,
one of the first prominent women to do so, &
is credited with helping make it ok to talk about breast cancer.
in 1998, she was a kennedy center honors recipient, &
in 1999, the american film institute included
her as #18 of the 50 greatest screen legends.
we lost her february 10th at the age of 85.
she left behind her two daughters & son,
as well as a granddaughter & two great-granddaughters,
& a grateful america.
the shirley temple "mocktail" was created by
hollywood's brown derby restaurant. it's made up of
ginger ale + grenadine, garnished with a maraschino cherry.
it's bright, fizzy, innocent sweetness is a fitting tribute
to the gifted little girl with the curls
whose sparkling personality & sunny optimism lifted
the spirit of a nation during some of its darkest days.
cheers, mrs. shirley jane temple black. godspeed, & thanks.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
sarah hendrickson, 19yo of salt lake city, knew she wasn’t going to win the gold, thanks to a torn acl & mcl injury late last year. nevertheless, she still went down in history tuesday by wearing bib 1 at the first women’s ski-jumping event ever at the winter games. hendrickson came in 21st; 22yo carina vogt of germany won the gold.
erin hamlin, 27yo of new york, achieved something no other u.s. athlete has in the half-century since luge was introduced as an olympic sport: she captured a medal in singles luge. the bronze win also makes hamlin the first-ever american woman luger to medal. a three-time olympian, hamlin had finished 12th at the 2006 winter games in turin and 16th at the 2010 winter games in vancouver. of the 81 medals awarded in singles luge since 1964, 54 had been won by germany – who still took the gold & silver at sochi.
21yo california luger kate hansen has a pre-race ritual she’s been sharing all over the media: she dances. to beyonce. big-time. quoth hansen, “she just gets me fierce, & i get stoked, & i just have to (dance). i have good mojo going on, so it’s just how i roll. i’m completely in my own world, and it doesn’t matter who’s staring. i’m still gonna dance.” hansen came in 10th in women’s single luge, but her olympic spirit sure is winning!
30yo tina maze of slovenia & 28yo dominique gisin of switzerland raced to a gold medal tie in the women’s downhill skiing event wednesday, the first time olympic gold was awarded to two skiers in an alpine skiing event. gisin began in 8th position, maze in 25th, and both crossed the finish line in 1:41.57 to share the spot atop the podium. this was only the eighth time ever that two gold medals were awarded for one winter games event.
31yo polish skier justyna kowalczyk is just plain hard-core. kowalczyk won the women’s cross-country 10km classic thursday with a foot fracture she sustained last month. kowalczyk completed the course in 28:17.8, gaining her second olympic gold; she won the 30k classic women’s cross-country at the 2010 vancouver games.
meredith vieira became the first woman ever to anchor nbc’s primetime olympic coverage solo. filling in for bob costas, who has been suffering through the sochi games with a nasty, lingering, double eye infection, 60yo vieira hosted friday night’s coverage, giving three-day substitute matt lauer a necessary rest. costas was sent to the anchor bench tuesday, ending a 157-appearance streak as nbc’s olympics primetime host – his first missed olympics broadcast since 1988.
noelle pikus-pace, 31yo of salt lake city, clinched the silver in the women’s skeleton event friday night, following huge disappointment in vancouver, retirement, two kids, one devastating miscarriage, de-retirement, & a blackout wreck/concussion during training last week. her teammate, katie uhlaender – 29yo of vail – meanwhile missed the bronze by four-hundredths of a second. silver for supermom, heartbreak for katie read the headline. but before pikus-pace moved on to a medalist’s celebration, she turned, found her friend & they embraced – one sad for the other in her happiness, one happy for the other in her sadness. a perfect olympic yin+yang.