OPINIONATRIX…because my opinions dominate

{June 23, 2008}   This Camp sorta rocked!


Maybe it’s because I actually went to performing arts camp, or maybe it’s because my inner 12 year old secretly loves schmaltzy Disney movies, but whatever the reason I really enjoyed Disney’s newest movie musical Camp Rock.

Ok, the script was horrible, the characters under-developed and the ending was clear before the movie even began.  However, under all this mediocrity was a cheesy musical that brought me back to childhood days when dreaming of being a super star was still a feasible life plan. 

Having actually been to a real life version of “Camp Rock,” called Stagedoor Manor, and experiencing this type of camp first hand, I have to hand it to them they weren’t that far off.  Sure they ramped things up a bit, but at the heart of it, kids at these camps tend to be super talented, devoted and uber competitive. Unfortunately, I did not have the privilege of a first class super star as one of my camp counsellors although I imagine that would have been completely awesome.

Camp Rock took the basic disney formula and churned it through the machine to get a ‘new’ story.  I thought the performances by the actors were good and I really enjoyed some of the music.  Sure it is cheesy “believe in yourself” kind of stuff… but this is Disney- what did you expect?? 

I know this was supposed to be a vehicle for the Jonas Brothers, but the only one who really got any serious airtime was middle bro Joe.  The other two throw in a couple of lines here and there and intermittently show up on screen — is there a reason they are in this movie other than the fact that they wanted to be? Probably not, but when you rule the tween scene I guess this is reason enough. I do have to hand it to them though, their music is pretty good (not to mention they write it all themselves), and it also doesn’t hurt that Joe Jonas is adorable and completely fun to watch prance across the screen… it is no wonder he is the newest teen heart-throb.

All in all I enjoyed this.  I realize it wasn’t very good, but that is even more reason to give it a look.  It’s perfect for a lazy summer evening when you just want to kick back, veg out and spend a little time with your inner pre-teen.  The only real bummer is the realization that you are probably too old to go back to camp this summer.



Hooray for summer! Bring on the warm weather, flip flops, fun and sun. It’s now officially summer time and I am so excited. I always think of summer as a time to relax, regroup and tackle all the things I’ve been putting off. Unfortunately I live in New York City, and lack access to a nearby beach, pool or even a really convenient place to just lay out in the sun (although on my non lazy days I can just head to the park). Don’t get me wrong, I love the city! I seriously would not give up living here for anything… except maybe some outdoor space and a Barbecue.

I went to visit my family last weekend and while I enjoyed seeing them, I really enjoyed all the grilling we did! It is truly unbelievable the magic a grill can do with just a simple hot dog or piece of chicken. Today as I was outside, relishing the beautiful weather and warm sunshine, I couldn’t help but wish that I had a small outdoor space of my own, complete with a simple barbecue.

A George Foreman Grill just doesn’t cut it… that thing is nothing more than a portable heating surface masquerading as a grill! Nice try George, but next time stick to boxing.

{June 21, 2008}   In Defense of Michelle Obama

I’m just gonna come out and say it: I LOVE Michelle Obama! I don’t know exactly why or what it is that makes her so appealing, but I am getting sick and tired of the media constantly hating on her. It is so refreshing to have a potential first lady who is strong, independent and smart. I think in a way I look up to Michelle Obama, because against all the odds she has prevailed. Even once she was at the top – married to a successful politician and living “the good life” – she still continued to work and forge her own path. She is her own person, not just ‘Barack Obama’s wife.’

While I do not agree with the criticism Michelle has garnered, I do understand where it is coming from. This is a woman who doesn’t parse words. She says what she feels and she does it directly and firmly. I think this is a reason to love her; who wants another first lady who is content to read stories and plan garden parties? I like that Michelle has opinions and is not afraid to express them. I also like the way she humanizes her husband – together they seem to really have a great thing going.

I think what I really like about Michelle Obama is that in many ways she reminds me a little of my own mother. A strong (occasionally harsh) and opinionated woman, unafraid to tell you exactly what she thinks (even when you don’t want to hear it) with a great sense of style. I can only say that America would be lucky to have Michelle as the first lady… a woman with a multifaceted personality who all girls young and old can look to for wisdom, advice and of course a little fashion sense.

{June 18, 2008}   Cookiegate 2008

I think its pretty safe to assume that Cindy McCain cannot bake. A short time ago she was caught plagiarizing recipes from the Food Networks Giada de Laurentiis and Rachel Ray. The McCain campaign apologized, we all had a good snicker and then we moved on. I had assumed she learned her lesson – personally I think that was a safe assumption. Apparently Cindy is a slow learner.

Instead of submitting her own recipe to Family Circle’s first wives cookie contest, she plagiarized again – this time from Hershey’s. I don’t get it, is it so hard to come up with a simple cookie recipe? And if you are a rich heiress with a personal chef and no culinary skills to speak of just be honest and say you don’t bake, get your chef to give you a recipe or offer your best store bought suggestion.

Personally I think the entire contest is a little outdated, why not ask the potential first ladies about their opinions or views on pertinent issues? I don’t know, the whole thing seems the slight bit sexist to me. If Hillary were the nominee would Bill have submitted a recipe? Probably… in fact I bet Bill’s favorite cookies are ladyfingers – although he probably likes those Pepperidge Farm Pirouettes – you know the ones I’m talking about… they look like cigars.

Today marks the first day that gay couples can legally marry in the state of California. All I can say is ITS ABOUT TIME! This is a momentous decision on the part of CA state courts, and I can only hope that it will not be overturned. Furthermore, any gay couple can marry in California as opposed to Massachusetts in which only state residents can be legally married – so it will probably actually benefit the states tourism as well.

I am not gay, however I have always thought it disgusting that we are one of the only “first world” countries that do not recognize gay marriage. This is an equality issue and we are a country based on freedom, respect and equality. Surely, 20 years from now we will look at this the same way we now look at the Jim Crow era. I am sure as we parent the next generation of children we’ll struggle to find the words to explain why homosexual individuals were denied basic rights and respect.

Of course, this is only the first step. It is one state among many, and the statute has yet to face many arguments from religious communities with anti-gay sentiments. Many will argue that marriage is between a man and a woman and we should not desecrate its’ “good name.” I have two answers to this:

1. The rate of divorce is sky high and couples are more and more likely to end the marriage before the 10 year mark…. I’d pretty much say that if you are worried about the “good name” of marriage you should start by going after the rapidly divorcing heterosexual couples.

2. The bible dictates many “thou shalt nots” including “thou shall not wear a mixture of linen and wool together.” However, I don’t see religious leaders going after anyone in a Brooks Brothers suit. If you want to claim that you are following g-d’s word, that’s fine, but then you should be obliged to follow all his words…

I for one am thrilled for all the gay couples who are celebrating this evening and look forward to a time in which this is not even an issue anymore…and if you ask me – that time cannot come soon enough.

{June 9, 2008}   This is just cruel

It is inevitable that during your childhood your parents will embarrass you. I am still trying to get over all the times my father insisted he drive me to school in his 1950’s era “classic car,” or all the horrendous get-ups my mother insisted I wear (complete with hats). But this is just ridiculous.

I tend to think babies in overly adorned outfits or cute costumes are OK. Best let the parents get it out of their systems before the kid is old enough to be scarred by the memory (although take it from me – pictures are everlasting) However, this is more torture than anything Anne Geddes has ever dared to dream.

Children should never be dressed as dinner… EVER.

{June 7, 2008}   Celeb Smackdown!

Celebrity feuds are nothing new and bad celebrity behavior is becoming a staple of daily news, but Clint Eastwood and Spike Lee?! OH NO! What is the world coming to? This latest in a constant stream of celebrity fight fests is saddening because the players are not Paris Hilton/ Lindsay Lohan types, but actual respectable Hollywood players. I want to know what is in the water out there to make these two go off on each other.

Apparently the entire thing started when Spike Lee criticized Clint Eastwood for not including any African American soldiers in either of his recent movies about Iwo Jima. Eastwood, who I think has the upper hand in this fight replied with

“The story is Flags of Our Fathers, the famous flag-raising picture, and they didn’t do that. If I go ahead and put an African-American actor in there, people’d go: ‘This guy’s lost his mind.’ I mean, it’s not accurate. A guy like him should shut his face.”

Uh oh, you know Spike Lee was not going to shut his face and thus the feud continues with Lee coming back at Clint with (among other sentiments)

“He is not my father and we are not on a plantation.”

I deeply respect both filmmakers, but I am on Clint Eastwood’s side on this one. First of all, why would Spike Lee feel the need to comment on these films a year after their releases? It seems so small to come out and criticize long after the fact. Furthermore, Clint Eastwood made 2 very poignant films about an historical event – the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima. While many African Americans nobly served our country during WWII, there were no African Americans directly involved in the small insular story Eastwood chose to tell. In my opinion if Spike Lee feels so strongly that the story of African American WWII soldiers be told he should go make that movie on his own… not criticize the hard work of others…

{June 7, 2008}   VEEPSTAKES

Both Democrats and Republicans now have a nominee, so naturally the next question is who will McCain and Obama choose as their running mates?

John McCain recently had a friendly Memorial Day BBQ, which was rumored to have actually been phase one of the vice presidential selection. The contestants? Charlie Christ, Bobby Jindal and Mitt Romney (Huckabee was also supposedly on the guest list but couldn’t attend) I think each of these guys could be big assets to McCain so the question remains; who will it be? Personally, I think probably Bobby Jindal. He’s young, charismatic, a minority and he was the one McCain chose to introduce him on June 4th after the last primary. Without knowing too much about any of these guys, I like Jindal the best, but I think Charlie Christ is McCain’s best bet. Florida is a big deal state and Christ could be a major asset in delivering a key swing state to the Republican’s. Plus, the right wingers of the party would probably love to have a Christ on the ticket!

In Democratic circles, the big question is whether or not Obama will ask Hillary to be on the ticket. I certainly hope not. I really admire Clinton and think she is a great politician, but I think putting her (and Bill) on the ticket begs for a giant power struggle. People will question the choice and of course rumor would circulate that Obama’s hand was forced. This would make Obama look weak and not in control. The Obama ticket would be best served by a more typical VP candidate. Personally I think Joe Biden or Ed Rendell would be a good pick. An older, white male with a long history in politics could possibly help assuage fears of older white voters who are reluctant to vote for a young black guy. However, I do think there is a big role for Clinton to play should Obama be elected president. I think she would make a great supreme court justice (which to me sounds both more powerful and respectable than VP) or even a major cabinet position. I don’t think Obama/Clinton is a dream presidential ticket but I do agree with the many out there who claim that if they work together they could bring about great changes.

Later on today, Hillary Clinton will concede and Barack Obama will officially become the Democratic nominee. All I can say is: IT’S ABOUT TIME!

It was pretty clear after Tuesday’s primary that Obama would become the nominee, however the Clinton campaign seemed oblivious. I respect Senator Clinton, and think she has worked hard for this country, but I thought her speech on Tuesday night struck a bad note. Terry McAuliffe actually introduced her as “the next president!” I am just happy that this weekend will signify the beginning of a general election campaign in which Clinton helps Obama in his quest to become our next president.

I am so proud and happy for Barack Obama. This is not only an historical event in American history, but it is a true testament to Obama’s ability as a leader. He not only had to overcome racial barriers, but he went up against what can be described as the most powerful couple in the Democratic party and came out victorious. I cannot wait to journey with him on his path to the presidency.

Lets get the ball rolling: OBAMA ’08!

Uh oh… a study recently came out of Denmark citing the fact that children of older fathers were both more likely to die young and to develop mental/cognitive illnesses such as schizophrenia, autism and epilepsy.

This has me kind of worried because my dad is old. He’s not geezer old, but he’s no spring chicken either. Luckily, I looked into it a bit more and they are classifying “old” as over 45. Whew, my dad was only 37 when I was born, so I am in the clear. Looks like something else must be to blame for my offbeat and slightly crazy tendancies. (Maybe its mom’s fault?)

Anyways, this alerts us to the fact that men may have biological clocks too, and that fathering children after one’s prime may be easier for a man but may prove just as risky as it is for a woman. This is somewhat concerning considering so many people are prolonging marriage and pregnancy these days. I wonder what effect this might have on our future generations.

et cetera