This whole return to real life thing is not very wonderful. Thanksgiving week is such a tease, letting you just get comfortable doing whatever your heart desires and then launching you out on the other side with three weeks of high-intensity to-do’s staring you in the face. I vote for the entire December month to be holiday: in my slippers, every-day, all month.
If I did happen to get out of my slippers and get dressed this month, it would be like Barbara Stanwyck in Christmas in Connecticut. She had the best mix of cute and strong, leather and lace, temper and sweetness: Stanwyck plays a journalist who writes articles posing as a housewife on a Connecticut farm. In reality though, she’s a single woman living in a New York apartment who can’t even cook and relies on her Uncle Felix’s restaurant to give her the menus for her articles. When her boss decides to invite himself to her “farm” for Christmas, Stanwyck’s carefully crafted life begins to be reinvented by everyone else and she soon grows very tired of rewriting the truth of her life instead of accepting what she truly wants. It’s such a fun movie and gets you rather excited to reinvent yourself. It’s a perfect Christmas Eve movie: some nostalgia mixed with lots of excitement for a new year and a potential new self.
In 2013 America, it’s hard to imagine that there are and were spys. That people endangered their lives, lived in fear, and started everyday not completely certain they would end it still in this world.
Nancy Wake was one of the most decorated members of the French Resistance during WWII, earning the French government’s highest military medal, and England and America’s second highest. Leaving home at 16, she worked as a nurse and then a freelance journalist until she fell in love with the city of Paris and her future Parisian husband. Her subsequent social standing and wealth acquired from her marriage, made her a less than suspicious French citizen and when the war broke out, she became an escort and courier to the Allies, helping hundreds of injured airmen escape to safety into Spain. Her years as a journalist in Vienna showed her first-hand how brutal the Nazi regime was, and her hatred for them overcame any fear she might have felt as a member of the French Resistance. Besides, she wanted to do her part for the war effort, for she never understood “why we women should just wave our men a proud goodbye and then knit them balaclavas.” In 1943 when the Nazis finally discovered her activities, her husband was executed and she barely escaped to England where she joined the S.O.E. intelligence group. Wake parachuted back into France along with other S.O.E. members to set up communication lines, and gather and hide ammunition before D-Day for the incoming American and British forces.
Wake used her femininity as an advantage, knowing, as a woman in the 1940’s, she wouldn’t have been suspected as the elusive “white mouse” that the Germans eventually knew her as. Her success and courage during the war years has made her a subject of documentaries, films, and dramas about her life. In a 2011 article published after her death in The New York Times, she said she enjoyed the re-made versions of her life except for the ones that portrayed her as having affairs during the war years. Though by her own admission she loved nothing more than “a good drink” and handsome men, she never had an affair because, she said, “if I had accommodated one man, the word would have spread around, and I would have had to accommodate the whole damn lot!” If Nancy Wake pinned, I think her boards would have a poignancy, a drama, and a sense of courage from a woman who knew exactly how far her femininity could get her and when to draw the line against an evil world.
Happy Veterans Day to all the veterans and currently serving men and women who will be someday!
**Check out this article too about another WWII female spy and the upcoming movie about her tragic and powerful life.**
If only I were a Marc Jacobs model and I could get his Fall 2013 collection for less than my post-grad tuition costs, I’d choose these three. I’m not exactly sure what he was going for with the I-dropped-my-hair-dryer-in-the-bathtub hair-fro / a-la-Edward Scissorhands perhaps? But beside that, these three silhouettes are adorable. If you look at the complete collection here, the men’s hair is far far worse than what the fem-models had to walk with…like, it’s reallyyyy bad…but some of his silhouettes are perfectly updated vintage. I’m not a fan of his oversized coats, but the patterns, skirts, bags (want, want, want) and easy one-piece dresses are gorgeous. His collections looks very academic which is perhaps why I like it so much…perhaps directing a 4th grade classroom in Marc Jacobs might be a little inappropriate but it seems like you’d feel oh-so in control and on top of things even if after 3 bells, 7 subjects, and 29 ten-year-olds, you won’t be. Looks count for something though…right?
Ever since schools started heading back to session in August instead of September, it’s kind of killed Augusts’ claim to being a summer month but it’s still freakin’ hot and there’s still plentyyy of time for a Beach Blanket Bingo day…or at least a Beach Blanket Bingo evening. This weekend I’m off to have my own beach party with my two redheads for a last hurrah before I head back to teaching next week. It’s been way, way, way too long since we went on a trip together. Those two can get me laughing like no one else can and we have the best of times doing anything or nothing at all. They’re the friends who, though you may not see all the time, when you do get some sacred time together, it’s as if you begin in the middle of a conversation that has continued since the last time you met/talked. Those type of friend-sisters are a rare bunch and I hold on to my two with a death grip, I love them so.
It’s astonishing how feminine ideals can change in just a few generations. Annette Funicello, mouseketeer turned 1960’s “beach party” film heartthrob, died this year in my hometown. If you’ve ever seen the completely ridiculous but adorable “beach party films” she was famous for, it’s rather a huge culture shock if you’re comparing it to current “beach party” films (Spring Breakers anyone?). Annette’s beach style is so chic: high-waisted shorts, button-downs, over-sized sweaters paired with matching colors of cigarette pants, a glitter and mint dress, and bathing suit after bathing suit cinched at the waist and screaming 1960’s glamour. The girls are, by modern standards, uh, well-endowed? They’ve got hips, and boobs, and…they look good! But if you took those girls out of 1965 and popped them into 2013, audiences probably would be disappointed. They’re no Megan Fox. There’s no six-packs or sleek thighs, but there are fabulous outfits, the cutest songs, and some serious eye-rolling jokes that still make me rather have Annette as my muse any modern day.
It’s officially the 6th month-aversary of VMMV. I don’t quite know how that happened. I remember before launching the blog spending an embarrassingly long time just trying to figure out a title I wanted to give this little piece of internet-space and now 6 months later here we are. I have to say it’s been a more frustrating 6 months than I anticipated. There are many things I wish I could do with this space that I simply cannot do because of my lack of knowledge about necessary, blog-techy things that are too boring to write about. But, let’s just say, if I had the cash to drop on a brilliant, 19 year-old CSS-coder I wouldn’t think about it for more than 2 seconds, I would so drop that cash in an instant.
As it is, I don’t have that luxury and at the moment I’m going to patiently let this place evolve instead of pushing the limits of my anti-savy-ness before I’m ready because I’ve read enough articles to foresee a huge blog-crash-and-burn if I were to take that leap of faith. In cases such as these, I think it might be safer to lack a little faith.
In the meantime, it’s always kind of surprising the posts you all enjoy. I have to say I’m rather crestfallen sometimes when a particular, personal fave isn’t very popular. *sigh* its the ever-present writer-ego that is constantly battered and bruised. So to console myself, I’m posting the top six posts with the highest readership, and my own top picks…just because. As always, THANK-YOU for reading, commenting, and re-posting!