Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Woman of the Week - Peggielene Bartels (King Peggy)

I was watching the "Colbert Report" the other day, and the special guest was Peggielene Bartels. She is King of a village in Ghana. KING! I love it! In the interview, Colbert asked her why she wasn't the Queen. Bartels explained that there is also a Queen in the village, but she wanted to be in charge so she wouldn't have to argue with anyone about making changes. She said, "It is better I have the big part." Her Kingdom consists of a village of 7,000 people. She splits her time between Washington D.C. and Ghana. She spends 24 days a year in Ghana. She was born in Ghana, but she is now an American citizen.

In an interview with NPR, she shared what she said to tribal elders to get them to take her seriously: "Treat me like a man, because — I'm a man. I'm a man. Don't look at me as a woman ... If you really understand me as a man, then we can go onward. But if you think I'm a woman, we're not going to work." Hopefully there will come a time when a man doesn't have to treat a woman "like a man" in order to take her seriously.

In the same interview with NPR, Bartels talked about the example she was setting for women in her village: "The women are trying to understand me [and that] as a woman you can do a lot. You don't have to sit down and think that you have to wait for a man to succeed in life. If I am a woman and I am doing this, they can also do it." I think it's fantastic that a woman is King of an African village. It seems that women are making progress all over the world.

If you want to find out more about King Peggy, you can check out her book "King Peggy: An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed an African Village."

February Donation - Planned Parenthood

I wanted to support Planned Parenthood because of the Susan G. Komen Foundation controversy at the beginning of the month. Unfortunately, I couldn't give as much as I wanted to this month because my husband and I just bought a house (it turns out buying a house is a tad expensive). I was still able to scrape together an extra $100 to donate to Planned Parenthood. I know it's a small amount, but every little bit counts. Take that Susan G. Komen (people don't forget)!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Woman of the Week - Maya Rudolph

I was thrilled when I heard that Maya Rudolph was hosting Saturday Night Live last weekend. She is one of the funniest people in Hollywood, and her time on SNL was fantastic. Her father is Ashkenazi Jewish and her mother was African American, so she is able to impersonate people of several different races. During her time on SNL, she was white (Paris Hilton, Barbara Streisand, Lisa Kudrow), Asian (Lucy Liu, Lisa Ling), and black (Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Michelle Obama, Tina Turner). Rudolph also played several male characters. She really can do it all!

One of the funniest (and most underrated) movies I've seen is "Idiocracy." Rudolph's character is a prostitute who is frozen in time and reawakened 500 years in the future when the world is swarming with idiots. It's a silly movie, but it covers an interesting subject (intelligent people waiting longer to have children), and it has achieved a cult following. One of Rudolph’s most popular movies is "Bridesmaids." The women in that movie were a perfect team. I have enjoyed all of Rudolph's performances, and I hope she is in many more movies in the future.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


I was flipping through the new Nordstrom catalogue yesterday (just for fun - I've taken a hiatus from shopping), and I noticed that 99% of the models had their mouths open. It reminded me of some advice that Harrison Ford gave to Jane Lynch on the set of "The Fugitive." He said, "If you leave your mouth open, no matter how smart you are, you still look stupid." After receiving Ford's advice, Lynch said she closed her mouth immediately. Ford made a good point. People with their mouths hanging open really do look stupid.

So the marketing folks/photographers/whoever is in charge make these models look dim-witted on purpose. I can understand why the women in Victoria's Secret commercials have their mouths hanging open (the men they're marketing to probably think dumb = sexy). But it made me wonder why the women in the Nordstrom catalogue are made to look a little dense if they're marketing their products to women. Hmmmm…..if I buy that dress/coat/handbag then I can look dumb too...duuhhhhrrrrr. I know models aren't supposed to smile, but maybe one day they’ll be allowed to close their mouths - heaven forbid they look semi-intelligent!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Woman of the Week - Whitney Houston

At times, Whitney Houston had a rocky personal life, but she had an amazing career, which is why I chose her as Woman of the Week. I was shocked when I heard that she passed away on Saturday. She was only 48 years old. In 2009, Houston was cited as the most-awarded female act of all time by the Guinness Book of World Records. She has six Grammy awards, two Emmy awards, 22 American Music Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, and a grand total of 415 career awards. Go girl!

One of my favorite movies is "The Bodyguard." I need to watch it again soon. She was stunning in that movie (and I love me some Kevin Costner). Whitney was just beginning to revive her music career. It's a shame that she died at such a young age. Rest in peace, Whitney. You will be missed.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Woman of the Week - Chelsea Handler

Chelsea Handler, in my opinion, is the funniest late-night talk show host on television today. My husband and I watch her show every night (well, we DVR it and watch it the next day - we're too old/tired to stay up and watch it live). Chelsea also has a reality show about her talk show called "After Lately," which is hilarious. We have also been watching the sitcom based on her life called "Are You There, Chelsea?" The sitcom is pretty funny, but I think it hasn't hit its stride yet.

I love Chelsea because she's not afraid to say what she's thinking. She has a tough exterior, but you can tell she is a good friend and a good boss. It's obvious that she loves her job. She has worked hard to get where she is today. At the age of 19, she moved from New Jersey to L.A. to become an actress. Two years later, she started doing stand-up comedy. Her talent took her all the way to the top, and now she is one of the most successful people on television. She has written four books about her life, and she has done several stand-up comedy tours. I actually went to one of her stand-up shows a couple years ago, but I went to the 10PM show, and she was totally wasted. She wasn't funny at all, and I think I might have actually fallen asleep for part of the show (sorry, Chelsea!). Moral of the story: if you're going to see Chelsea Handler live, go to the 8PM show so you can see her before she gets too drunk!!!

One of my favorite things about Chelsea is that she openly talks about how she doesn't want to have children. She and Sarah Colonna (one of the writers/comedians on "Chelsea Lately") joke about going to get their tubes tied at the same time. I'm glad there are women out there who are open about not wanting to have children. The world would be a much better place if people only had kids if they really, really, really wanted them. So I'm grateful to Chelsea for voicing her opinions about not wanting children. I hope her shows are around for a long time because she brings a smile to my face every day.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Planned Parenthood

Well, well, well, well, well. It looks like the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation decided to reverse their decision to deny further grants to Planned Parenthood. It was a smart move after a very, very, very stupid decision. I was thrilled with all the support that Planned Parenthood received after Komen's decision to cut off their funding. Over $650,000 was donated to Planned Parenthood in 24 hours after Komen announced that they were discontinuing their funding. The $650,000 is nearly enough to replace what Komen gave Planned Parenthood last year. That's awesome! I was so glad to hear about all the support Planned Parenthood received and to know that people are willing to stand up for women's rights even if it's not politically popular at the moment. I think I'll be making my February donation to Planned Parenthood. In your face Susan G. Komen Foundation!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Woman of the Week - Jane Lynch

I recently finished reading Jane Lynch's autobiography, "Happy Accidents." I highly recommend it because it reads like a novel. Her life story is inspiring, and the message in her book is clear: follow your dreams because eventually everything will work out. She struggled for many years before she became successful. I love hearing success stories about people who overcame the odds to achieve their dreams.

Jane Lynch described her upbringing in the first chapters of her book. She seemed to have a charming childhood with loving parents. I just heard that Jane's mother passed away, and my heart goes out to Lynch and her family. I can't imagine what it's like to lose a parent. I'm glad to know that she has her wife and siblings to be with her during this difficult time.

Jane Lynch is one of the funniest people on television, which is why I chose her as Woman of the Week. Her character on Glee, Sue Sylvester, is hilarious. Lynch is naturally funny, but she has worked hard to get where she is today. She was rejected quite often as a young actor, but she got her big break when she happened to run into Christopher Guest who cast her in "Best in Show".  She has been in several hilarious movies like "Role Models", "The 40 Year Old Virgin", and "Talladega Nights." I look forward to her next project!