combivent gel koupit allopurinol na chlamydie alternativou k b 52 zenegra poste na gmailu beconase aq levné bezpečné koupit calcium carbonate on-line kde se dá koupit roxithromycin léky na hubnutí geriforte ampicillin na podporu kojení probalan pro zvířata provera pobyt na slunci doxycycline pro ženy bez lékařského předpisu dostinex na dobírku kde sa da koupit glucovance nákup temovate na internetových fórech triamterene na afty je povoleno na objednávku buspar on-line ve kterých zemích se prodávají dutas bez lékařského předpisu levné aygestin gel kde koupit advair diskus-line ranitidine na předpis clozaril koupit praha nitrofurantoin na tasemnice nákup clomid na internetových fórech da se koupit tulsi sleep v lekarne baclofen levné stromectol objednávka koupit ceftin lékárnu koupit trental bezpečí online alergie na slunce elimite benicar poste na gmailu nákup viagra plus na internetových fórech léky na hubnutí plavix ve kterých zemích se prodávají duetact bez lékařského předpisu jak pusobi sinequan na zeny forzest děti koupit cefadroxil oral jelly je to legální koupit omnicef on-line albendazole na předpis cena ditropan otc předpis koupit aygestin muže jak si objednat ventolin levné generic tenormin kde sa da koupit viagra extra dosage legální koupit hyzaar on-line koupit skutečný levitra extra dosage nákup strattera internetová lékárna nákup propecia lékárna nákup metformin cephalexin koupit levně koupit prandin bezpečí online metformin je na předpis levné generic prandin jak koupit celebrex-line premarin na dobírku koupit extra super cialis muže cialis professional poste na gmailu koupit coumadin bez lékařského předpisu kde si můžu objednat tricor kde si můžu objednat super avana micronase otc předpis vantin na otěhotnění koupit advair diskus lékárnu viagra professional pro zvířata evista cena na předpis alergicka reakce na epivir-hbv tricor vliv na účinnost antikoncepce zkušenosti s nákupem alli-line diltiazem pro ženy bez lékařského předpisu speman objednávka dulcolax pro ženy bez lékařského předpisu kde lze koupit torsemide kde si můžu objednat benadryl kde lze koupit bez lékařského předpisu v-gel kde se da koupit vantin co bývalo dramamine kde koupit moduretic-line flexisyn koupit praha triamterene je na předpis koupit indocin v usa je to bezpečné nakupovat on-line proscar kde se dá koupit cardura legální koupit finax on-line koupit prevacid otc koupit vantin koupit vasotec muže sinequan na chlamydie trandate na nehty digoxin a přibírání na váze terramycin pro kočky jeden může dát tulsi sleep děti koupit cialis jelly na internetových fórech koupit brand levitra oral jelly jak pusobi lipothin na zeny geriforte pro ženy bez lékařského předpisu glucotrol xl pobyt na slunci unisom na dobírku kde si mohu koupit tadalis sx alergie na slunce provera kde se dá koupit kamagra bezpečné koupit pariet on-line ve kterých zemích se prodávají bentyl bez lékařského předpisu kde koupit super avana bez předpisu koupit plavix na internetových fórech paxil na předpis cena bezpečné koupit voltaren on-line nákup on-line glycomet koupit benicar oral jelly suprax bez lékařského předpisu alternativy k midamor midamor na dobírku nákup strattera na internetových fórech precose otc předpis kde lze koupit celexa jak pusobi medrol na zeny extra super viagra na hubnutí nákup effexor xr na internetových fórech cabgolin pobyt na slunci kupovat levné clindamycin levné generic cleocin emsam koupit bez receptu lamisil pro ženy bez lékařského předpisu caverta na prodej keftab levné nákup detrol on-line urispas na nehty prilosec cena na předpis gyne-lotrimin pro muže alergická reakce na requip nákup cialis professional baclofen pobyt na slunci je povoleno na objednávku reminyl on-line lithium pro zvířata cytoxan koupit levně fluoxetine gel koupit bezpečné koupit danazol on-line bentyl na nehty je dulcolax na předpis ve kterých zemích se prodávají eurax bez lékařského předpisu je vytorin na předpis nákup on-line aciclovir kde je možné koupit imuran nákup remeron bezpečně vasodilan na zastavení laktace ženská phexin koupit kde lze koupit rosuvastatin jak koupit lipitor fosamax pro muže nákup lithium alternativy k finax zestoretic na předpis cena lipitor vliv na účinnost antikoncepce lekarna koupit claritin je to bezpečné nakupovat on-line suprax kupovat levné serevent kde sa da koupit zocor bezpečné koupit tamoxifen provera levné phenergan na dobírku aciphex na otěhotnění kde si mohu koupit cardura kde se da koupit zoloft působí zenegra na ženy roxithromycin oral jelly na prodej koupit himcolin v usa combivent a přibírání na váze levné levlen gel cialis professional a přibírání na váze toprol xl koupit sk kde kniha levitra extra dosage nákup fucidin v lékárnách propranolol pro těhotné ženy kde koupit dostinex bez předpisu nákup nizagara bezpečné on-line koupit roxithromycin on-line motrin na hubnutí meclizine na zastavení laktace lipitor je na předpis ženská carafate koupit floxin otc předpis chloroquine pro muže koupit trental koupit v lékárnách naltrexone rumalaya liniment koupit levně jeden může dát toradol děti koupit meclizine bez lékařského předpisu yasmin koupit fosamax na zánět dutin dilantin na zastavení laktace je to bezpečné nakupovat on-line cefixime aciphex na podporu kojení reglan kde koupit mircette bez predpisu cz koupit aciclovir vliv na účinnost antikoncepce koupit serophene on-line alergická reakce na flexisyn keflex děti triamterene poste na gmailu fluoxetine použit glucovance pro ženy bez lékařského předpisu ditropan použit levné generic sumycin jak působí lanoxin na ženy brand levitra koupit sk je to legální koupit aciphex on-line koupit effexor xr otc jeden může dát nexium děti jak si objednat extra super viagra eldepryl je na předpis bezpečné koupit phexin nákup tinidazole bezpečné on-line koupit mycelex-g otc toradol koupit sk ve kterých zemích se prodávají nicotinell bez lékařského předpisu allegra bez predpisu cz koupit minocin na předpis koupit suhagra v usa levné generic noroxin je povoleno na objednávku midamor on-line toradol na kojení koupit suprax on-line koupit keppra na internetových fórech koupit combivent bezpečí online jak si objednat benicar koupit decadron muže je midamor na předpis viagra jelly objednávka nákup kamagra na internetových fórech viramune bez predpisu cz koupit nákup glucotrol xl bezpečně keppra koupit bez receptu ženská extra super cialis koupit levné diclofenac-line koupit zyprexa v praze unisom pobyt na slunci kde se da koupit midamor prášky na hubnutí advair diskus koupit skutečný isoptin on-line allegra na afty koupit skutečný plendil on-line dát differin pro psy koupit zanaflex on-line metformin otc zkušenosti s nákupem chloramphenicol on-line ventolin na prodej cipro 20mg koupit trileptal otc lekarna koupit geriforte lopid koupit bez receptu je povoleno na objednávku mycelex-g on-line kde kniha zyrtec female viagra na chlamydie kde se dá koupit abilify nákup probalan v lékárnách co bývalo ralista confido bez lékařského předpisu diabecon na hubnutí aristocort pro zvířata da se koupit imitrex v lekarne lekarna koupit cardura ventolin na hubnutí nákup ponstel na internetových fórech zkušenosti s nákupem benadryl on-line koupit eldepryl oral jelly prášky na hubnutí valtrex dát paxil pro psy koupit sominex v obchodě co bývalo acticin pusobi pariet na zeny nákup atrovent lékárna malegra fxt na hubnutí levné generic prednisolone levné albendazole gel bezpečné koupit cialis jak koupit erexin-v-line koupit florinef legálně on-line kde koupit claritin-line kde lze koupit bez lékařského předpisu cytoxan je povoleno nakupovat on-line vasodilan calcium carbonate na prodej to je nezákonné nakupovat on-line fosamax diclofenac na zánět dutin calan bez predpisu cz koupit forzest na prodej nákup albendazole internetová lékárna kde koupit erexin-v-line nákup propranolol internetová lékárna alergická reakce na abilify suprax na podporu kojení koupit prednisone na internetových fórech lekarna koupit suprax nákup celadrin právní wellbutrin pobyt na slunci nákup acticin právní prograf pro kočky amaryl otc předpis je povoleno na objednávku aceon on-line koupit tofranil na internetových fórech fosamax pro těhotné ženy celexa na tasemnice zyrtec na zánět dutin nákup xenical na internetových fórech noroxin pro muže forzest na tasemnice prášky na hubnutí nootropil tadalis sx koupit sk paxil oral jelly na prodej pusobi actoplus met na zeny koupit innopran xl bezpečí online reakce na super avana koupit entocort v obchodě nákup inderal na internetových fórech léky na hubnutí imuran nákup seroquel lékárna aciclovir tablety koupit zkušenosti s nákupem cialis soft on-line léky na hubnutí himplasia prášky na hubnutí amitriptyline citalopram na zánět dutin koupit depakote muže jak pusobi voveran na zeny urispas na předpis cena koupit cyklokapron v praze tulsi sleep bez predpisu cz koupit lithium koupit levné erexin-v gel jak koupit kemadrin-line kupovat levné methotrexate top avana použit silvitra a přibírání na váze levné duetact gel levné floxin-line elimite na afty da se koupit cialis v lekarne isoptin tablety bez lékařského předpisu koupit trazodone legálně on-line levné generic plaquenil koupit renagel v usa působí nicotinell na ženy nákup valtrex internetová lékárna serophene pfizer koupit ponstel kde koupit je povoleno nakupovat on-line lexapro je to legální koupit lopid on-line kde lze koupit bez lékařského předpisu tinidazole koupit skutečný paroxetine lamictal cena na předpis duphalac na tasemnice alternativy k furosemide vasotec pro muže koupit lexapro bez lékařského předpisu levné robaxin gel minocin otc předpis nákup lozol on-line pusobi skelaxin na zeny působí fincar na ženy koupit lady era muže noroxin tablety bez lékařského předpisu jak koupit coreg alergicka reakce na cipro koupit amoxil v obchodě risperdal bez lékařského předpisu hyzaar cena na předpis kde lze koupit bez lékařského předpisu hytrin olanzapine na dobírku rumalaya gel poste na gmailu arava použit actoplus met koupit levně je povoleno na objednávku slimex on-line bezpečné koupit lady era on-line alergicka reakce na aceon koupit hyaluronic acid otc kde lze koupit bez lékařského předpisu cialis professional kde kniha bactrim serevent na dobírku koupit prednisolone bezpečí online januvia koupit sk nákup brand cialis bezpečné on-line je povoleno na objednávku yasmin on-line zkušenosti s nákupem flagyl er-line koupit phexin otc minomycin tablety bez lékařského předpisu eldepryl pro těhotné ženy ampicillin na zánět dutin terramycin na podporu kojení prášky na hubnutí prevacid kde si mohu koupit propecia kde si mohu koupit slimex to je nezákonné nakupovat on-line femara kde koupit fincar-line koupit mycelex-g legálně on-line kamagra chewable ženy levné sumycin gel effexor xr je na předpis reminyl oral jelly na prodej nákup cardura na internetových fórech benicar bez lékařského předpisu si můžete koupit bez lékařského předpisu trental shuddha guggulu vliv na účinnost antikoncepce lukol oral jelly na prodej koupit singulair na internetových fórech levné apcalis sx-line kde lze koupit bez lékařského předpisu roxithromycin acticin použit zebeta bez lékařského předpisu kde sa da koupit lexapro minomycin děti extra super cialis koupit sk koupit pilex lékárnu je povoleno nakupovat on-line skelaxin celadrin koupit levně koupit v lékárnách zestoretic působí zyloprim na ženy feldene na prodej glucophage na afty da se koupit femcare v lekarne je povoleno na objednávku claritin on-line silvitra použit ženská depakote koupit panmycin na nohy silagra koupit levně hydrochlorothiazide levné nákup benicar bezpečně nákup mestinon on-line jak si objednat meclizine koupit geriforte syrup v praze feldene na kojení levné propranolol-line anacin cena na předpis tofranil pro těhotné ženy kupovat levné elimite mestinon koupit sk digoxin koupit nákup rogaine lékárna nákup on-line vytorin zkušenosti s nákupem super avana-line koupit v lékárnách rumalaya forte koupit tamoxifen legálně on-line shuddha guggulu na předpis zkušenosti s nákupem antabuse on-line nákup clonidine internetová lékárna jak působí lukol na ženy to je nezákonné nakupovat on-line kemadrin jeden může dát trental děti exelon koupit fincar na nehty isoniazid na chlamydie to je nezákonné nakupovat on-line benzac flomax na afty tetracycline na nohy arava na předpis finast koupit voltaren pro těhotné ženy jak koupit benadryl-line kamagra chewable tablety bez lékařského předpisu kde se dá koupit sumycin elavil na předpis cena dát peni large pro psy působí innopran xl na ženy jak koupit levitra jelly bez lékařského předpisu koupit xenical lékárnu trental otc předpis kde se dá koupit glycomet alergická reakce na mestinon kde koupit cholestoplex-line nákup calcium carbonate v lékárnách nákup kemadrin on-line alergie na slunce prilosec nákup dipyridamole bezpečné on-line kde sa da koupit kamagra oral jelly kupovat levné vytorin lekarna koupit torsemide imitrex na otěhotnění je povoleno nakupovat on-line cleocin si můžete koupit bez lékařského předpisu allopurinol koupit entocort muže léky na hubnutí cabgolin jak koupit female viagra koupit v lékárnách tadalis sx feldene na tasemnice koupit olanzapine ženy nákup pristiq v lékárnách isoptin na kojení confido koupit bez receptu kde kniha nolvadex to je nezákonné nakupovat on-line alli kde si mohu koupit alli kde si můžu objednat chloromycetin koupit levlen lékárnu lariam koupit sk kde lze koupit bez lékařského předpisu aceon je zestoretic na předpis koupit mobic bez lékařského předpisu zantac pobyt na slunci koupit viagra plus v usa toradol pro těhotné ženy alergicka reakce na haldol je to legální koupit levitra extra dosage on-line kde si mohu koupit topamax nákup prednisolone bezpečně
Home Articles
The Half-Time Report, Part II: A look back at the most discussed and commented-upon blogs of July to December
The young women of HBO’s “Girls” are a realistic bunch of twenty-something heroines set adrift in modern-day Brooklyn. Alternately raunchy and vulnerable, they made for engaging TV (and inspired a set of “alternative” paper dolls).
Created by Kyle Hilton, the paper dolls of the girls from “Girls” are spot-on and oh-so-specific. All of the characters’ quirks and neuroses are captured in these paper renderings.
Disney glammed up their villains and released their inner–fashion beasts. Their wild couture choices and fabulous hairstyles were shown off in gorgeous doll icons! Cruella de Vil is every inch a blending of Tallulah Bankhead and Anna Wintour! This de Vil definitely wears Prada!
In 2013 (or maybe 2014), Maleficent will be storming back to the big screen, voiced by the sultry Angelina Jolie. The 2012 fashion-doll likeness has a touch of evil and elegance.
Charisma Brands is keeping the flames of love and romance alive with their re-imaginings of the classic Kewpie dolls.
Despite its unclad origins, the Kewpie dolls have attained a lot of attention over the past few years with their fashion-plate wardrobe selections. Pictured here, this doll certainly is “Panda Perfect.”
Madame Alexander’s iconic Wendy gets a Goth makeover as “FrankenWendy.” She’s stitched together and appears to be every inch a ghoulish gamine.
Barbie has gotten herself into many predicaments over the years. Perhaps her role as Tippi Hedren in Hitchcock’s “The Birds” is the most harrowing!
Enormously popular with readers this year was Merida, the redheaded spitfire at the heart and soul of Pixar/Disney’s “Brave.” This was the third-most forwarded, liked, and talked-about blog on social media sites.
Proving that triplets mean three times the humor—and three times the trouble—the mischievous brothers in “Brave” were filled with comedy and charm.
The brand-new “American Idol” judge Nicki Minaj is no stranger to controversy. The self-described “black Barbie” is a Barbie collector in her off-screen life. One of her happiest moments occurred when her Mattel likeness was auctioned off at a charity fund-raiser.
Has there ever been a more uplifting testament to the power of Santa Claus? Whether you believe or want to believe, “Miracle on 34th Street” is a warm slice of optimism in a sometimes cynical, jaded world. Edmund Gwenn and Natalie Wood debate the Santa question: myth or man? By the film’s end, we all know Kris Kringle is real . . . or do we?
The young women of HBO’s “Girls” are a realistic bunch of twenty-something heroines set adrift in modern-day Brooklyn. Alternately raunchy and vulnerable, they made for engaging TV (and inspired a set of “alternative” paper dolls).
01/12 
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Many of us have gone over the river and through the woods this holiday season to visit grandma, grandpa, assorted uncles, aunts and cousins. In other words, we’ve logged a frequent fliers’ tachometer of miles to celebrate with the whole assemblage of Christmas-sweater-wearing moms and dads, silly, smart and successful siblings, and eggnog-swilling neighbors. It’s the whole effervescent enchilada, bursting at the seams with good cheer and much merriment.

During these last days of 2012 when we’re being threatened with a plunge off the “fiscal cliff,” it’s nice to sit back and take stock of where we’ve been personally and where we plan to head in the looming New Year.

As I’ve culled the most forwarded, commented-upon, and liked offerings for the second half of 2012 (July to December), I saw how potent the Disney label is. Readers really respond to the characters and themes that the studio produces. Nowadays we all see Disney as a gigantic global brand. It has its detractors and its fanatics. There are lots of folks who bemoan Disney’s sentimentality and cultural sensitivity. They also decry the apparent synergy amongst its movie studio, TV shows, toys, collectibles, and theme parks. They think it’s a 24/7 moneymaking machine.

For those of us who are Disney devotees (and I am proudly among that group, even carry a card that proves it), I love the fact that it’s one of the safe havens for families to sit down and watch films together. I’m grateful for that entertainment and the conversations they launch. (A lot of you must agree with me, since the August blog selected here was the MOST forwarded one of the entire year. Its words and images spread around social media sites like wildfire!)

PLUS, most important of all, keep in mind that the Disney empire all began as the dream of a single, aspiring entrepreneur. If it hadn’t been for the determined nature of Walt Disney—and a certain marvelous mouse—none of these future projects would ever have come to life. From one person, who had his fair share of losses before triumphs, the Disney legacy was sown. Take that as your inspiration for 2013. We all are individuals—each of us is different and has his or her own strengths and talents. Find your best ability this year and nurture it and let it grow. Who knows what will sprout from it? It might not be a Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck dynasty, but it could be something that makes you proud and pleased for years to come.

JULY 2012

Who Rules the World? Beyoncé is right. It’s “Girls.”

Well, HBO has done it again—giving a new group of women who reside in the prime Sunday-night time slot where Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha used to prowl. This time around, the women are younger, live in Brooklyn, and are on the verge of career success. In fact, these characters are so freshly scrubbed and young that they are called “Girls.”

The sitcom, created by lead actress Lena Dunham, has a candor and a confidence that could only be generated by Gen Z. (That has to be the right letter for folks 26 and under, right?) It is raunchy, witty, literate, personal, and universal: pretty unbelievable work for a girl who was born in 1986. But that is what is so exceptional about Dunham: she doesn’t look like the kind of girl you’d expect to have a cable series based upon. Rather, she looks like the type of gal who might be watching an HBO show on her iPad or Samsung Galaxy. She’s not beautiful; she’s not really pretty. There are times during the show that her looks have bordered on plain or even homely. In other words, she looks ordinary. She seems real. And her storylines and dialogue sound as if they’ve been lifted from young college grads congregating in any big city’s downtown bar or music scene.

Now, what’s interesting is that I don’t have to pine for a “Girls” set of dolls. No, the quartet of characters have already been made, but in paper doll form by talented illustrator Kyle Hilton.

As a fan of paper dolls, I have a set of Gilda Radner cutouts that I guard with my life, I appreciate the chance to download the girls from “Girls” and let the occasional pity party begin. And that’s what I like most about the show and its scripts. Though these girls are far freer and more independent than I ever was at age 23 or 24, they are still riddled with a first apartment’s worth of angst, anxiety, fear, depression, camaraderie, hopes, dreams, goals, disappointments, and victories. When the ability to feel vulnerable one moment and invulnerable the next is a daily seesaw, the life cycle of HBO’s “Girls” is anything but rosy and riotous. It’s sweetly comedic, bitterly realistic, and amazingly authentic.

Thanks, Lena Dunham, for proving that the average “New Girl” in a roommate situation don’t look or behave like Zooey Deschanel. Thanks for keeping it real. And, Kyle Hilton, thanks for keeping it cutting-edge and cuttable!

 

AUGUST 2012

A Touch of Evil: Disney debuts a lineup of designer villains that are gorgeous and ghastly!

I think Mae West was onto something when she drawled, “When I’m good, I’m very, very good. But when I’m bad, I’m better.” There’s something very compelling about watching a bad person having a real good time—when it’s safely being projected on a movie screen or a Broadway stage, of course. Witnessing a “Goody Two-shoes” always putting her best foot forward can grow dull and repetitive for a grown-up sensibility. Sure, many little girls want to dress like and act like Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, and Ariel. However, for the adult viewer, give us Maleficent or the Evil Queen any day of the week! The villains who squirm and shimmer and shine and shout their way through many Hollywood vehicles are the characters with the wittiest lines and the most complex motivations. In the world of Disney cartoons, it’s the bad guys and gals who have the spoken lines and the animated lines that make “evil” both alluring and disturbing.

Knowing that there is a certain charisma to this rogue’s gallery of wicked women, Disney has launched their “Villains Designer Collection.” What’s so appealing about these new dolls is that they are so dramatic and so fashionable. They’re all streamlined—particularly in the case of underwater nemesis Ursula—and appear slick and thin and naughty. Imagine Janice Dickinson at her bitchiest on “America’s Top Model” and you’ve got this range of creations. They’re all decked out in haute couture, but beneath the frippery and the finery, you sense that there is nothing fine or feminine. These are divas who are not for the faint of heart—after all, didn’t the Evil Queen request the beating heart of pure, little Snow White as a token of the huntsman’s allegiance?

Here’s an opportunity for anyone who ever championed Alexis Carrington (Joan Collins) over Krystle (Linda Evans), Archie’s Veronica over Betty, Angelina Jolie over Jennifer Aniston!

Certainly, it’s nice to be nice, and politeness is a welcome virtue in a houseguest. But if you want to applaud people behaving badly and broadly—and then getting their final comeuppance in a barrage of inventive ways—take home a Disney Villain today. Even a cruel queen deserves a good home!

 

SEPTEMBER 2012

Cuckoo for Kewpies: The adorable love messengers are turning 100 years old.

Created by illustrator Rose O’Neill as a bit of comical artwork that appeared in Ladies’ Home Journal magazine, the Kewpies were a hit when they arrived in 1909. Three years later, and they were available to be purchased in bisque versions. In 1913, they were able to be scooped up in celluloid treatments.

After World War II, Kewpies were made by Effanbee in hard-plastic, and their popularity continued to thrive.

Nowadays, Kewpies are sometimes considered a bit of nostalgic fluff. Because of their amusement park pedigree, some people look down on them. Honestly, they treat this doll as if it is a bit of carny hokum. Because it was a doll that could be won—though not easily won, if you have a pitching arm like me—it seemed not to have any value. It was taken for granted or denigrated when written about. The Kewpie, which was a tribute to Cupid, the god of love, has (sadly) been dissed more often than kissed by contemporary jaded collectors.

That’s why it is so heartwarming that the Kewpie is (hopefully) gaining new admirers with its manufacturing by Charisma. Billed as “An American Treasure,” that tagline certainly rings true about this doll with the devilish demeanor and angelic, cherubic cheeks.

It’s true that the America of the Kewpie’s origin bears only a passing resemblance to today’s world—for many of us, it would be an America that is totally unrecognizable. (We’re talking before feminism, civil rights, relaxed social mores, and other lifestyles that we all participate in and take for granted.) However, during a month that is steeped in so much personal sadness for me, as well as national mourning on 9/11, the Kewpies are a great way to see how America has stood the tests of time for more than 100 years.

Perhaps in another hundred years, the Kewpies will still be around. Of course, by then, they will be holograms and able to float and flit through the air. But, hopefully, even in this brave new world rendering, they will continue to display a healthy amount of mischief, good humor, and ripening romance.

 

OCTOBER 2012

Monster Mash-up: Dolls and an impending storm create a “FrankenFest” of thrills and chills!

This year, my October 31, 2012, is measuring up to be pure evil, with an avalanche of destruction and terror in its wake. Nope, I’m not opining about a 24-hour Roman Polanski marathon, but rather I’m bracing to square off against the “Storm of the Century,” otherwise known as “FrankenStorm.”

Yes, I live in the Northeast and the TV newscasters and radio announcers are trumpeting a torrential rainstorm, snowstorm, and hurricane all melding together to dump feet of snow and water upon our burbs and burgs this week. Set to touch down on land—please don’t let it be in my backyard—on Monday night, traditional Halloween trick-or-treating might be canceled for Wednesday. It’ll be difficult for the kiddies to climb over mountains of snow and ice. Plus, there is the possibility of electrical blackouts coupled with the whiteout driving conditions. For meteorologist pundits, this is the PERFECT storm. For the rest of us laypeople, this is a perfect horror show.

The only saving grace is the fact that this massive dumping is going to coincide with the season of terror and chills, so the chilly weather will let me and my family stay indoors and share ghost stories, Edgar Allan Poe tales, and the chance to make up our own. Luckily, we have an array of Monster High dolls to help us act out our fierce fantasies. And we also have a couple of Twilight characters and the cast of Harry Potter’s franchise.

So, while much of America is ringing doorbells, knocking on neighbors’ front porches, and wending their way through pumpkin-decorated wonderlands, I’ll be holding down the fort against the new deluge. You’ll all be on my mind, and I wish my kids and I could be taking part in the frolicking shenanigans. For now, though, I have to go and batten down the hatches, and perhaps find a bat in my belfry, too!

 

NOVEMBER 2012

Highlands Heroines: Disney’s “Brave” celebrates the strength and spirit of mothers and daughters.

“Brave” tells a story that is familiar terrain for fairy-tale enthusiasts—especially folks who enjoy the Disney retooling and retelling of what constitutes a princess. Just as Mulan rode into battle garbed as a boy, and Rapunzel from “Tangled” saved the guy who fancied himself her rescuer, Merida is a princess who has a feminist bent and an immeasurable independent streak. She is destined to have her hand won by a suitor—a young laird from a clan that she doesn’t even know or fancy—and she rankles at that setup. Determined not to let herself be married off, she sneaks into an archery competition and shoots for her own fate. She is aiming her bow and arrow, smack in the center, at her own marital destiny.

That’s pretty heady stuff for an animated film—and the kids were impressed by Merida’s feisty spirit. Living in America in 2012, the children couldn’t imagine a time when a girl HAD to be married, and especially wed to a man she’d never met. This was inconceivable to them.

The movie follows Merida’s path to change her fate, and the unexpected fallout that occurs when she invites a witch to help her conjure up a spell to alter her mom. Young teen Merida sees her mother as the bane of her existence: always criticizing, scolding, tutoring, observing, commenting, and instructing. In other words, she’s always being too maternal and too hands-on. Merida sees her mother, Queen Elinor, as unbearable. And that critique has unplanned figural and literal results.

Unlike so many other Disney films where the mother is nonexistent—think “Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Bambi”—here the relationship between mother and daughter is front and center, top and bottom, palpitating all throughout the heart of the film. The head-butting and the misunderstandings—the love that often seems so deep that both parties will drown in it—all of this is captured by the screenplay, the voice actors, and the animators. “Brave” showcases how powerful a mother’s love is for her children: a fierceness that can transform even the mildest of maidens into a ferocious mama grizzly bear.

 

DECEMBER 2012

Second Helpings of Wisdom: A banquet of brainy doll talk and witty observations.

I have scouted around for some truly inspirational, sensational, and comical quotes about dolls. There are lots of well-known celebrities here, prize-winning poets, and some less-than-household names. Interestingly, some of the folks who aren’t at the top of your recognition list have the most beautiful, insightful observations. I’m sure they’d be happily invited into a dollhouse any day of the week.

It’s teatime and all the dolls are at the table. Listen. It’s that simple.  Anne Lamott, novelist and nonfiction writer

My love is like one of those wooden Russian nesting dolls. I know, because your heart fits perfectly inside mine.  Jarod Kintz, author and humorist

They didn’t have to pay me in dollars. I would have acted just as well if I had gotten armloads of dolls.  Natalie Wood, reminiscing on her career as a child star

When I was a little girl, rocking my little dolls, I remember thinking I would be the world’s best mom, and so far I’ve done it.  Jenny McCarthy, comedienne, Playboy model, and autism/vaccination activist

This morning, I went to wipe my hands on a tea towel, and while I was using it, it seemed like it felt a bit light. I unfolded it and realized my daughter had cut little bits out of it to make frocks for her dolls!  Emma Thompson, Academy Award–winning actress and screenwriter

Barbie, you and I, we used to play together. It was totally under wraps. It was one of those clandestine relationships I didn’t want anyone to know about.  Billy Bush, TV host and entertainment reporter

My childhood wasn’t an easy one. There were rough times. I escaped into fantasy. Barbie saved my life.  Nicki Minaj, singer/rapper and “American Idol” judge

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