On Top of the World

Well behaved women rarely make history.

Archive for Project

Isn’t seven the most powerfully magical number?

1. I hate election season. I cannot stand all the political ads — all of them, not just the negative ones. The media hoopla drives me crazy. And the heightened emotions of EVERYONE EVERYWHERE make me want to flee the country.

2. But then everything is political lately. Dealing with my co-workers, my peers, the parents of Kiki’s and Aeris’ classmates, my friends, everyone online — it feels like talking to the check-out lady at the grocery store requires some kind of internal negotiation. And I am not equipped. It’s just not in my personality to be a politician.

3. Just as a reminder to anyone who may have forgotten: life is hard on everyone. Not just you. Everyone.

4. I am participating in NaNoWriMo this year.

5. I have written a trio of posts on Women in Star Wars for The Adorkable. I am very happy with the series, particularly the second post (on Padme).

6. I’ll just post this link: http://superheroeswithoutshirts.tumblr.com/

7. I am really glad I took this new job.


Mightiest Ducks EVER

Today on Twitter, Jen (throughthebrush) suggested that post Pacey-Con Joshua Jackson should have a Charlie Con(way) and we started discussing The Mighty Ducks and what Charlie and company would be up to today. And I thought: ZOMG GROWN UP CHARLIE SEQUEL PLEASE!

People jumped in and here we are. Thank you to throughthebrush, fyreball13, danfaust, jennIRL, ladysarai, xenokattz, and samfeasor for playing with me.

I bring you: MIGHTY DUCKS 4Ever

It is 10 years later, Charlie Conway is a sports announcer in the Big City. The opening is Charlie on the ice, playing hockey — we think he’s a pro, but it turns out to be a shoot for a TV promo for his sweet announcer job — he’s asked if he misses playing but he says, no, no time to miss the ice or his small town rink past in his High Powered Fast Lane Big City Life. BUT WE KNOW THE TRUTH.

Meanwhile in the Small City, the Ducks are grown up. We see Goldberg and Fulton, down on their luck and Fulton has a drinking problem. They spend their nights in a bar watching Charlie announce games featuring Adam in the NHL. Then the news comes — Evil Corporation is going to bulldoze the rink to put up a Big Box Store, and pave over the pond they used to practice on. The Ducks will never fly again!!!!!


Goldberg and Fulton and others in town mount an operation to push back against Evil Corporation. They contact Charlie and Adam and all the Ducks but don’t hear back. They are alone and they are outmatched, their rally goes wrong and the rink burns down. Evil Corporation sues with representation from Duckworth’s in the form of Hot Lawyer. The trial is going very badly, it looks like not only will the Big Box Store win the day, they will take over all of Small City and pee wee hocky will be no more. It appears that all is lost —

When Charlie and Gordon (still a lawyer!) show up and with insane courtroom antics convince the judge to order this dispute be decided by A HOCKEY GAME.

The Ducks reform and start training. The Evil Corporation hire pros on the off season but the Ducks have HEART. A training montage ensues. Portman saves Fulton from his drinking and Charlie romances the Hot Lawyer. Since they have no rink to play the game on Adam gets them into his team’s home ice and Charlie gets them on national TV. Everyone in America is rooting for the Ducks.

The game is amazing, the ducks play their mightiest — But they lose! Everyone cries. Everyone except the guys from Evil Corporation who give a speech about being the Future and that No One Can Stop Them. EXCEPT Hot Lawyer explains to the judge that Evil Corporation has An Evil Plot and therefore everything should be void. Judge agrees! MIGHTY DUCKS WIN!

Hot Lawyer quits Evil Law Firm and Charlie moves back to Small City. Adam’s team rebuild the rink and fund a brand new peewee hockey program. The movie ends with Charlie coaching a new team while Goldberg, Fulton, Adam, Hot Lawyer, Gordon, and Charlie’s mom cheer him on.

All is right in the world.

Also, I totally want a Charlie Con(way) and suggest New York Comic Con be the venue. Someone let Josh know, okay?

Ping-back Alert

It’s a catch-all update post, yay!

1. This year’s con-costume will be: Black Widow, as seen in Iron Man 2. It will be debuting this Saturday for the Free Comic Book Day events at Sarge’s Comics in New London, CT.

2. Most excitingly: My Dance the Revolution project will soon be up on Kickstarter to raise funding. We’ll be shooting a video introduction to the project on site at Minuteman National Park in Concord, MA the weekend of May 7-9 (if you are in the area and would like to help, let me know).

3. Bill Condon will be directing Breaking Dawn. I still don’t know his work and therefore have no comment (beyond being slightly sad it is not Sofia Coppola).

4. Miranda Greene has a playlist:

+ The Call, Regina Spektor
+ We Are Broken, Paramore
+ Blinding, Florence and the Machine
+ Creeping Innocence, Christine Lorentzen
+ Building a Mystery, Sarah McLachlan
+ Mad World, Gary Jules
+ Pills, The Perishers
+ Cut, Plumb
+ End of the World News (Dose Me Up), Tom McRae
+ In This Life, Delta Goodrem
+ Alice, Avril Lavigne
+ Aurora, Veruca Salt

It could be an Olivia playlist easy (or others, I share songs cross my types) but I’m calling it after Miranda. Because.

5. I was going to talk about Chanel Ballet Flats but I think they deserve their own post! But in fashion news: Don’t forget to vote for Team Pepper or Team Natasha at Red Carpet Superhero. LOOK! I came full circle.

Dance Dance the Revolution

It’s Patriots Day! The holiday is celebrated in Concord and Lexington, and their surrounding towns, with reenactments of the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” that set off the American Revolution. Throughout Massachusetts there are closed businesses and little parades. In Boston, there is the marathon. But across the rest of the country and the world, it is just another day.

Last summer my family went to Washington D.C. for Independence Day. As part of our festivities we went to the National Archive to see the Declaration of Independence as it appears in National Treasure. We have an undying love for that movie, silly as it may be. But then, maybe it isn’t so silly. We, as a family, have an undying love of both American history and art, especially performance art. When they collide it is doubly wonderful. Besides National Treasure, some of my favourites include:

+ the musical 1776
+ the cartoon Liberty’s Kids
+ the comic book The Dreamer
+ the miniseries John Adams and the book it is based on

These are not wholly historically accurate, but they capture something of the magic that is the American Revolution and tell a good story.

While I was at the National Archives last July I happened upon a display about the Civil War. It included a large map of the battlefield for the Battle of Gettysburg on the floor, under glass, with the path of the battle outlined. I spent a long while looking at the map, standing over it, walking the lines of battle. I have always been fascinated by the Civil War and lately, with the ongoing and loud discussion of the divisions in current American politics, my fascination has become newly relevant. But while I walked over the map a curious thought sprung up:

This is like a ballet.

And the idea has haunted me since. I want to make a ballet that follows the footsteps of the Civil War soldiers — on both sides — who fought and bled and died at the Battle of Gettysburg. I don’t want to make it out to be any less bloody and deadly and messy and ugly and heartbreaking and horrible than it was but I do want to set all that down to music and dance and present it with the honour it deserves. Because it does deserve that honour. It should be remembered, especially now, with the country so divided and divisive.

When I was 14 years old, I started my own theatre group alongside my best friends. We called it Extremely Off Broadway Productions and over the next five years we put on almost a dozen shows. With original books and music adapted from Broadway and popular music, I and some 20 other kids aged 5-18 put up shows in church basements across town. Now, 20 years later, I’m amazed we were able to do that, writing a blog post like this one can sometimes seems nearly impossible to me — organizing something on that level when I was a Freshman in high school seems crazy. But my brother John says it was simple as this: no one told 14-year-old me it was crazy, or difficult; no one said I shouldn’t. No one said I couldn’t, so I did.

It occurs to me often that the only person holding back 34-year-old me is me. So instead of thinking “I want to make a ballet about the Civil War” I’m going to do it. Except I am starting with The Shot Heard Round the World and building up. We hear a lot about the Tea Party Movement these days and it generally makes me near-violently angry. I oppose pretty much everything they say and I can’t stand that they make allusions to the founding fathers in their self-promotion. I want there to be an equally vocal and visible opposition to the Tea-baggers outside of the administration and whether it makes sense or not, I personally want to call it the Tea Party Avengers. But that aside, I want to make my own noise. With my dance. That can be my weapon. So here is my goal — April 19, 2011, I will debut an original ballet inspired by the first shot fired in the American Revolution. And maybe it will be the first in a string of historically inspired dance performances. I’ve submitted the idea to a few organizations for patronage, maybe nothing will come of it, maybe something will come of it. I don’t know what the end result will actually be, but for today, Patriots Day, the point is to begin.

Let’s talk cons and costumes!

Guests are being announced for Wizard World Philadelphia, I get weekly emails about CTCon, and yesterday we were reminded that Free Comic Book Day is coming up faster than you realize (it’s a day long event with costumes and contests at that store). It is, my friends, time to discuss my con and event costume for the year. Now, I don’t know how many cons I will actually get to, but my costumer (aka my husband) wants to get started sewing so we’ll leave such nitty gritty details for later and just chat. Here’s what has been suggested so far, pros and cons for all:

Katsuragi Misato, Neon Genesis Evangelion

Pros: The one con I know I am attending is CTCon, which is an anime con more than other genre. Unlike most anime heroines, she is my age bracket. She is recognizable and popular.
Cons: I’m not Japanese. No one is that thin. Eva is 10 years old. She’s a very popular cosplay.

Ms. Marvel, Avengers

Pros: She’s my favourite character. She has a great costume. She’s recognizable and popular.
Cons: Um, yeah, I don’t look like that (she leaves little to the imagination). The boots alone would be over $100.

Black Canary, JLA

Pros: She is recognizable and has a good and relatively easy costume. Plus I might possibly be a part of a group, which would be extra awesome.
Cons: I don’t look like that, either (and she leaves even littler). She is a popular cosplay.

Mystique, House of M (Red Guard)

Pros: Amazing costume. Mystique is recognizable and popular. She’s a redhead.
Cons: Difficult costume. It involves armor and facepaint and contact lenses. Pretty ambitious if I might not get to many actual events.

Olivia Dunham, Fringe

Pros: Simple and subtle costume. People who recognised it would be charmed, and I could be the only one. I could pretend I was Olivia investigating con crazyness for actual crazyness (this is very appealing).
Cons: So simple and subtle not everyone would get it, or even realize it was a costume.

Thoughts? Plus: I am still collecting suggestions for both costumes and conventions!

I’m the real Catherine Donovan.

Hey, Blake Lively has been cast as Carol Ferris opposite Ryan Reynolds in the Green Lantern film. In my circles this prompted a lot of “she’s too young” discussion, which I can get behind as there is a 10 year age difference between Lively and her leading man. And then a lot of “she’s too pretty/blonde/skinny/perky/busty/ etc. etc. etc.” comments — which I cannot get behind and I pretty much had to exit the internet for a while.

Now, I wasn’t surprised Blake was cast because I’ve known she was one of five actresses being considered. Not because I am a huge Blake Lively fan (I have not seen any Gossip Girl and my opinion of her is based on image searches; therefore it can be summed up “she’s cute and has an even cuter dog”), or because I am a huge Carol Ferris fan (I know next to nothing about Green Lantern), but because I am a huge Diane Kruger fan and she was one of the other four. (For the record, all of the non-Blake possibilities are contemporaries of Ryan Reynolds. Take that as you will!) And, honestly, even more so because I am a huge Carol Danvers fan and I think Diane should play her. In the movie. That I am going to write.

That’s what I got out of today’s discussion. I should write the Ms. Marvel screenplay.

To be entirely truthful, it is hardly the first time I’ve had the thought. In my head it’s amazing, the best thing I’ve ever written. In my head it’s my ticket to the career I want. In my head I get to collaborate with Brian Reed and then Diane Kruger (who is sometimes Naomi Watts). And they thank me, and love my work, and we all win Academy Awards. In my head.

I don’t live in my head. But, that doesn’t actually mean I can’t write the screenplay.

So I will.

Women Who Rock: Call for Nominations

Unsatisfied with a Best of the Decade list, a friend of mine started a project to catalog the Best Rock Songs Ever. Twenty people each nominated five songs, and they are going through the process of ranking them. Of the 100 songs nominated, two feature a female vocalist. Two. And I love Stevie Nicks, but I wouldn’t rank Rhiannon very high on a Best Rock Song Ever list.

The project parameters define a best rock song as one that ROCKS OUT. In their list, I’m pulling for Jimi Hendrix’ All Along the Watchtower and I can’t necessarily think of a song featuring a female vocalist that would out-rock it. I don’t even really blame the twenty people in the project for the lack of girl rocker song nominations. It’s a problem with the industry. It’s an issue with society.

Ninety percent of the songs nominated are more than fifteen years old, which makes some sense, how sure can we be the newer ones have the staying power to be the Best Ever? But the further back you go, the fewer women are involved at all. And Rock music is loud, angry and revolutionary — three things women traditionally are not, or more truthfully, traditionally are not supposed to be. But women CAN and DO rock, so, I say let’s make our own list.

Project Women Who Rock

For the next week, I will collect nominations. Anyone can nominate as many songs as they wish. The criteria are simple:

1. The song must feature a female vocalist. Women absolutely rock the instrumentals but that’s not what we’re going for here.
2. The song must rock. This is free to interpretation, but again, think Hendrix.

That’s it. Comment or Email. Next week I’ll put up a list of the semi-finalists. Any questions, just ask, but this is a very laidback project so don’t worry about doing it wrong. My brother’s already sent in 30 songs that range from the B52s to Avril Lavigne to Teenage Jesus and the Jerks (I have no idea who they are but I’m certainly curious now!). So. Nominate! Thanks in advance!