Tag Archives: Disney

Goodbye, September.

I guess it really is fall now.


Also, who else loves Fantasia?


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New York Times On This Day, 1920: Votes for Women!

My first introduction to the history of suffrage may or may not (definitely was) Mrs. Banks’ “Sister Suffragette!” in Disney’s Mary Poppins—which isn’t even the right country for this anniversary, but such is life.

Today marks the  91st anniversary of the 19th amendment securing female suffrage in the United States, so kindly brought to my attention by The New York Times daily morning email. For our educational enrichment, the newspaper has posted the original article entitled “Colby Proclaims Woman Suffrage,” along with an image of the front page on which it appeared.

Secretary of State Colby signed the proclamation at his residence without fanfare or suffragette witnesses, much to the dismay of the National Woman’s Party:


“It was quite tragic,” declared Mrs. Abby Scott Baker of the National Woman’s Party. “This was the final culmination of the women’s fight, and, women, irrespective of factions, should have been allowed to be present when the proclamation was signed. However the women of America have fought a big fight and nothing can take from them their triumph.”

Remarks from Colby included:

“I confidently believe,” said the Secretary, “that every salutary, forward and upward force in our public life will receive fresh vigor and reinforcement from the enfranchisement of the women of America. To the leaders of this great movement I tender my sincere congratulations. To every one, from the president, who uttered the call to duty, whenever the cause seemed to falter, to the humblest worker in this great reform, the praise not only of this generation but of posterity will be freely given.”

So, if you are an American lady and you do not take advantage of your right to vote,  you should really reconsider why on earth you would do such a disservice to yourself and to the United States. Go vote the next time you have a chance—every election is important!


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Savoy Cocktail of the Week: Fluffy Ruffles


What a name, right? The Fluffy Ruffles cocktail. Kind of hard to keep a straight face ordering that one. It sounds like the name of a pastel-colored pet belonging to a girlie 1980s cartoon character.

Clearly, it is much more remote. As far as I can tell the genesis for Fluffy Ruffles is either an incredibly obscure Broadway musical by the same name or a less obscure xylophone rag piece composed by George Hamilton Green in 1919.


Since the play only ran 48 performances over about 5 weeks in 1908, I am guessing that the much more popular George Hamilton Green tune gave this cocktail its name.

Green was a great ragtime composer and xylophone genius. Apparently by the time he was eleven years old, Green was hailed as the “world’s greatest xylophonist.” He and his three brothers were the original musical team for the first Disney cartoons.

Ponder that.

Discovering random stuff like this is why I love The Savoy Cocktail Book.

But wait, what about the actual cocktail? The Fluffy Ruffles cocktail was—in a word–delicious. In several words, it was hailed by all who tasted it. I had family in from out-of-town last week and various familial events (hence my online absence), so I had unexpected tasters to test.

The combination of lemon, sweet vermouth and rum (and I admit I served this cocktail with an ice-cube or two for a hot day) was perfect for a summery cocktail hour on the veranda. Smooth, sweeter than many Savoy creations, but tempered with lemony zing… I plan to make this one again and again. I even preemptively restocked my store of sweet vermouth (I generally use Gallo) after imbibing the Fluffy Ruffles.

As you may recall, Erik of Underhill Lounge and cocktail expertise warned me last week that modern Bacardi is very different from that which the 1930s Savoy clientele sipped. We’re talking higher proof, more character—a richer rum. Unfortunately I ended up serving the Fluffy Ruffles earlier than expected, before I had a chance to do research and go on a rum mission. All the same, I quite enjoyed the Fluffy Ruffles, and now when I run out of the rum that I have, I can invest in something more appropriate and have an excuse to mix up a batch of Fluffy Ruffles again!

We will finish off the Fs next week on page 73…

Froupe Cocktail

1 Teaspoonful Bénédictine
1/2 Italian Vermouth
1/2 Brandy

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

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Sleeping Beauty Dress Debate: An Easter Celebration

To close off the slew of Easter-related posts spawned by the holiday weekend, I bring you my Easter Weekend Movement for Blue, sequel to last week’s Sleeping Beauty dress color debate.

I enjoy crafts and very bright colors. I was a big fan of Rainbow Brite (by “was,” I clearly mean “am”). It is no surprise that I enjoy coloring eggs for Easter. I event hosted egg coloring in college. Once I did so in an apartment with no furniture. We sat on the floor, and a Jewish friend painted his first Easter egg… as a globe. He was very artistic. I have never attempted such detail.

What have I attempted? This year I chose to use egg coloring as a tribute to my favorite Disney film of all time: Sleeping Beauty. Regardez my egg interpretation of the frenzied dress color battle between fairies Flora and Merriweather.

That is probably my favorite scene in the entire movie.

Sidebar: How is Fauna not compelled to join in the mayhem and shout “green,” for good measure? I know I would have.

Sidebar No. 2: what on earth does Fauna think she is doing with that cake? And again, why is the cake blue and pink? Has she no loyalty to the color green? Come on.

Luckily, I have come across and Tumblr dedicated to the wonderfulness of Sleeping Beauty, which happens to feature a post portraying Disney ladies wearing green, so now we have some idea what the dress may have looked like if Fauna hadn’t been so confused by what “Tsp.” means. Plus, F Yeah Princess Aurora/ Once Upon a Dream, is just chock full of entertaining Sleeping Beauty things, I’m telling you.

Anyways, I leave you with my delightful blue egg, and the speckled, thus inferior, pink representative.


Filed under General Hilarity

On Sleeping Beauty, Prince Philip & the Dress

First of all: Blue!

Second of all, last night good friend and fellow blogger Tim Facebooked this video from Disney’s greatest masterpiece of all time: Sleeping Beauty.

The post was captioned thusly:
The ending to my all-time favorite Disney movie. I think Philip is the most attractive Disney Prince.
Also: clearly that dress looks much better in pink.

The second statement resulted in a flash-fire of fourteen back and forth comments attached to the post. Just between the two of us, arguing pink! vs. blue! If you count the people who came to the party after our 40 minute real-time duel, the count continues.

The first statement pretty much everyone can agree on. I mean, look at that dreamy animated prince. Just look at him!

First of all, he has an actual name, unlike his Disney era contemporaries Prince Charming and the prince from Cinderella. Sure in the official canon of Disney they have been granted names at some point, but that’s rubbish and we all know it.

Secondly, just look at him again in this hilarious/amazing rendition by David Kawena, found via Farahdiyanah. There are slews, by the way, of various Disney men. I know you are tempted.

Thirdly, his horse is jolly and so is his portly father.

Fourthly, he has a jaunty hat.

I could go on, but back to the topic of our contention.

That dress does not look better in pink. It looks better in blue.

And just because Aurora has to wear pink in group shots so as not to clash with Cinderella’s blue-silver get-up, is no proof of the superiority of pink (although I will give you that it is a nice strong shade a pink, not sissy baby pink or anything).

To settle the point, I suggested that Tim start a Facebook poll. So far blue is winning (I mean, obviously), but come on people, come on down and put your vote in!


All this talk of Disney Princesses clearly engendered the need to watch Disney Princess Mean Girls.

And what do you know? I never noticed before but Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella look uncannily like Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried and Lacey Chabert in Mean Girls.

Seriously. Do a critical viewing, you’ll see.

For more laughs, check out part of our simultaneous Gchat on the topic:

Tim: true story: my friend Tina voted “blue” because she confused cinderella with sleeping beauty hahahahaha
Tim: I’m like, WTF Tina!!!
me: I mean, there are blue and pink dresses in that one too
and AGAIN in that movie the blue WINS
just saying
Tim: yes, but usually she’s pictured in pink because cinderella is blue
also: NO. pink wins
that’s what they close the book on
me: blue gets more screen time
Tim: because it sucks
me: /I went through my childhood looking for things involving sleeping beauty shown in blue
Tim: and feels bad for how awesome pink is
me: jeeeeeeeez
Tim: haha. i was content to see her in pink
me: /this makes me want to watch the Disney princess mean girls
Tim: haha
also: Prince Phillip is the HOTTEST Disney prince
me: he is the best
first of all, he has a name and it is not retarded. but mostly, for early Disney… he HAS A NAME
secondly his horse is jolly
thirdly he is so dreamy
Tim: yes
and he will do anything
me: I might have to put this entire conversation in my blog
Tim: also I like his light brown hair
Tim: I’m OK with that
me: and his jaunty hat
and his fat dad
Tim: also: I like that her dress is more hot pink than pastel pink
his dad is SO fat
me: yes, it is a nice strong pink
  it’s not wussy
Tim: I also secretly/out loud loves how he stalks her in the woods
me: haha
Tim: it’s borderline Law and Order SVU
me: hahaha
Tim: but I’d be into it
me: if sleeping beauty was an SVU, that black raven would be a major peeping tom perp
Tim: oh absolutely
he is ridiculous
me: can we take a moment to reflect on the fact (obvs I am watching the Mean Girls parody) on how cinderella and sleeping beauty actually look kind of like each actress… in a creepily true way?
Tim: yessss
(also i just finished watching that)
aurora is SO regina george
I love her long hair that kind of curls at the end
me: yes
Tim: one of my favorite things of ALL-TIME is the owl dressed as a prince with the birds holding up his coat and the rodents in the boots
me: another thing i spent my whole childhood trying to achieve
Tim: I WISH I could train animals to do that
 / I hate the woods
me: ahaha
in real life
squirrels are NOT that helfpul
Tim: truth
they WILL eat through your window screens to get at your open bag of sunflower seeds, though
learned that the hard way…
me: ahaha
oh I remember that
Tim: It’s the worst
but I would kind of be ok with them walking around in my medieval boots
me: well they are good at hopping around
me: total sidebar: my dog has a rawhide and she’s on my bed, and she keeps knocking it off on purpose and then whining for me to get it. not a fun game.
Tim: i love how pick up my shit is your dog’s favorite game


Filed under General Hilarity, Ponderings

Hand Held: Attending the Chicago Premiere of a New Documentary by Don Hahn and Michael Carroll

On April 2, I attended the Chicago premiere of Hand Held, a documentary film directed and produced by Don Hahn (of animated and Disney Nature fame), which tells the story of photographer Michael Carroll and his crusade to help the children of Romania in the aftermath of the fall of communism through Carroll’s award-winning photography.

The film was screened by The Center for Religion and Public Discourse at Saint Xavier University as the inaugural Sweeney Family Lecture series. Hahn and Carroll were on hand for a Q&A session after the film, signing copies of the companion book Picturing the Possible and chatting at a small reception where university VIPs and special guests mingled with the filmmakers.

Hand Held does a brilliant job of using Carroll’s amazingly emotive photography to tell the story of his initial journey to Romania and the subsequent founding of his charity foundations: Romanian Children’s Relief and the Fondatia Incocenti (based in Romania).

The story begins on December 25, 1989–the day brutal dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena were ousted and executed. Carroll made his first trip shortly after in February of 1990 with AmeriCares. As part of their mission the group visited the horrific government orphanages, each housing hundreds of children, many of whom were victims of pediatric AIDS, all of whom were malnourished and neglected.

It is a grim topic, but the agonizing fate of Romanian children told through Carroll’s stunning photography documenting the aid efforts of the RCR provides a balance in the documentary narrative. Carroll’s everyman heroics reveal a story of hope in the face of cruel adversary.

The melding of art and activism sets Hand Held apart from the array of inspiring documentaries out there. The focus on Carroll as an ordinary man on a mission proves that anyone can work for change, even with a lack of resources, know-how or a firm plan setting out.

The most striking part of the story—for me—was the grassroots beginning of RCR. The gathering of friends in Carroll’s home, trying to figure out a realistic way to help, collecting donations in-kind from doctor and neighbors, and the relatively low-budget of an organization based in the United States as well as Romania, helping thousands of children over the course of twenty years. It made me realize just how possible it is to help people, if you are really committed to working for change.

During the Q&A, Hahn and Carroll were quite forthcoming about the Hand Held experience. The audience was very engaged and brought a range of questions to the table, from inquiring further into the history of the orphanages to the current day-to-day of the RCR and Fondatia Inocenti, which are now primarily involved in fostering programs and programs for handicapped children in Romania.

The event not only brought out faculty, staff, students and others associated with Saint Xavier University, but a number of neighborhood community members including a young Romanian woman raised in an orphanage, who struggled for years to realize her dream of emigrating to the United States. Attending the screening was a difficult decision for her; in the end it seems that part of the reason she chose to come was in order to speak with Hahn and Carroll about putting the RCR in touch with some of her family members back in Romania who would be interested in getting involved with the Fondatia Inocenti.

Most of the RCR’s operations run out of the Romanian branch of the charity, recent years have focused on getting the local community in cities such as Bucharest involved in raising money and running programming for orphans and handicapped children.

Seeing Hand Held was a great experience, both for the inspiring story and the striking photography. The documentary is currently touring film festivals and university campuses. Hahn and Carroll seem very open to arranging screenings such as the one I attended, their contact information is on the Hand Held website. Additional clips of them movie are posted on YouTube.

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This Week’s Theme? Slutty Tunics: Dancing with the Stars, Week 4

[tweetmeme source=”JohannaAP25″]

Last week we were treated to cut-out torsos and low cut backs for the ladies, bare chests for the men. As ballroom dance and figure skating costumes go (Words to Bumble areas of expertise), this was not out of the blue. We were not shocked. We were mildly appalled by some choices, but we were not shocked.

This week, the trend shifted to female contestants swathing themselves in sheets, much as  Ariel did in Disney’s The Little Mermaid upon her discovery that being naked is a significantly more scandalous as a human than a merperson. It’s tunics, tunics and drapery galore– minus the modesty generally associated with the term tunic, but what else to call these swaths of fabric?

The most authentic Ariel enthusiast– OK, perhaps more appropriately we can call it a circa 1960s interpretation of a vestal virgin in a really authentic Hollywood masterpiece depicting antiquity– was the Pussycat Doll. She probably prefers to be called by her actual name– Nicole Scherzinger– but calling her the Pussycat is much more entertaining. Nicole sported a quasi-laurel leaf circlet for some reason and once again showcased her most buoyant and engaging assets.




Seriously… it was weird. It was particularly bizarre when taking a look at the other competitors. Clearly the costume department at Dancing with the Stars run on a weekly theme. Pamela Anderson presented yet another take on the Oh-I-just-threw-on-a-sheet look with a voluminous yet skimpy shoulder draping number. Carrie Ann expressed her love of the number by saying, “Something very profound was happening.”


Oh sorry– should not have used up my vocabulary so quickly, hmm… How to proceed with this next one?

Edyta Sliwinski the professional half of team Aiden Turner turned in a scanty but truly magical display merging the cut-out ensembles of last week and the draped tunic theme of this week, all in a retina scarring silver lamé. It reminded me of the blue lamé ice dancers, only it was even more embarrassing. At least she had the decency to look a little ashamed of her retro-yet-futuristic atrocity in the group picture.


There is no explanation for what is happening there.

Favorite quotatable moments of an evening scared by these visions of madness?

Bruno– who hovers out of his seat every time he gets even mildly excited about talking to the dancers– exclaimed to Kate Gosselin: “We having [sic] a mini break-through here! … You’re finally starting to move out there! Keep it going!”

Then Carrie Ann balanced things out by saying, “You may not have any artistry in your movement, but you have determination.”

Gosselin, meanwhile, wore another lamé ensemble that was downright dreamy in comparison. It does merit being mentioned that she looked fantastically improved over last week’s disaster both costume and performance-wise.

Why her partner is wearing chains and a leather vest, the world will never know.


Oh right, and Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya scored the highest again because he is an Olympian and knows how to bring it, even if he has no idea how to point his toes. He also understands how to work sequins. Note the sequined collar and Trebunskaya’s over-boob cut-outs with sequin details. Subtle I call it…

Lastly, remember that time Erin Andrews almost gave Len a lap dance? Bruno does and he was not amused.


Filed under Commenting, Television