Friday Film Review: Nine to Five


Here we are!  This is my last post on this blog, and I’m very excited that I’m reviewing Nine to Five for it.

First off, if you’re one of those people that, for some inexplicable reason, do not like Dolly Parton, I don’t even know what to say to you.  Shit like that breaks my heart.  She is literally everything that is amazing about Nashville.

This movie revolves around three women working in an office.  Judy (Jane Fonda), a newly divorced lady, has snagged a new job at the office and is working/being trained by Violet (Lily Tomlin), a widow and mother of four kids.  There is also Doralee (Dolly Parton), the sassy personal assistant to the boss, Frank Hart (Dabney Coleman).  The movie is about sexism (and, if you’re paying close attention, racism, ableism, and ageism) and Frank is pretty much just one of the worst bosses around.  He only hires [young/pretty] women, and rules them like slaves from 9-5.

On a technical aspect, there’s nothing that really stands out to me with the film.  It’s a pretty straightforward 80s film.  I liked the opening sequence, because they focused on everyone’s shoes, and all the women had to wear heels as part of workplace attire.  And anyone who’s ever worn heels, you know, it’s kind of the worst thing ever when you have to do it for more than a couple of hours.  And just from looking at the sequence, about half the people looked like women going to work – so a lot.  The women looked stressed, they are getting their kids to school, and they are rushing off to barely make it to work on time, all the while, Parton’s “Nine to Five” song plays in the background, and clearly lays out everything we are about to see.  There’s also a weird murder fantasy sequence, that’s hilarious, as a result of the girls smoking pot (and, most importantly, bonding).

In some ways, this film is mind-blowingly revolutionary.  I’ve seen plenty of films that take a really close look at sexism in everyday life, but not a lot of mainstream ones.  They are few, and very far, between.  Even now, I see movies that aren’t a whole lot different than movies during times where people claim “things were different.”  Hell, it’s rare to have a film starring women, even now.  Ask any Hollywood producer, or a female director – female-lead films are something they hate touching.  So, if you’re afraid of watching this movie because you think it might be boring or a “chick flick,” go away, I don’t want to talk to you.  This film was awesome.

And in other ways, this film shows how far we’ve actually come (it’s not very far).  I worked for YEARS in offices, and dealt with a lot of the same stuff these girls dealt with.  I’ve been sexually harassed.  I’ve been verbally abused.  I’ve trained people to move up over me.  I’ve created projects that my boss took credit for, including materials that went national.  And I’ve been denied promotions, even when they were promised to me, and even though I might have trained everyone in that department, and wrote their training manual.  It hurts.  My feelings actually hurt FOR the characters in the movie.  Because it’s still there.  Maybe it’s less likely for some of the things in the film (at least without repercussions) but it’s all still there, looming over anyone who isn’t a straight white guy.

Then there’s Doralee.  Her character comments on the all too familiar thing girls tend to deal with – sex-based gossip.  She tells her husband, “I’m as nice as I know how to be to every single person down at that office.  Everybody treats me like a bastard at a family reunion.”  Doralee, girl, I can relate.  And she IS one of the sweetest sounding people ever.  So people assume she’s a whore and dumb.  But we, as an audience get to see all the gossip before we really meet her, and with her tight sweater and fluffy blond hair, I know some probably made knee-jerk judgements.  Actually, when Judy first meets Doralee, she subtly touches her own breasts in a weird, judgmental, yet self-conscious gesture.  I’ve actually seen people do that with me (hey, I’ve knocked things over in stores with my knockers, so I’m hyper aware of people’s reactions to my chest).  It was like, a genius thing.  I don’t know if that was a writing thing, or a Fonda thing, but it was beautiful.

All the actors were amazing.  Tomlin is one of my all-time favorites, and she just shined in this role.  She’s intelligent, independent, strong, and yes, just a little crazy.  She shows that even the most level-headed people will snap after a while.  And she’s pretty level-headed.  She can take just about anything in stride, shown by the scene where she’s taking calls, and without skipping a beat, is able to navigate her children’s arguments via a phone call in the midst of madness.

My only criticism of this film is Judy’s character.  I feel like she was the main character, but was the least developed.  It was like, “oh, her hubby left her for a secretary so now she hates secretaries.  Oh, now they are friends, she was wrong about all of them, okay bye.”  They could have done better.  Fonda is a great actor.

Now, as for the boss, I’m not going to really go into that.  Watch the movie, it’s pretty obvious.  He’s a very 2-dimensional character that serves a purpose beyond the actual character.  We don’t need him to be a person.  Women are so flat in movies most of the time, that making him flat was a statement in itself.  The only big difference, is that society doesn’t notice that female characters are flat, that they are only defined by their romantic relationships (or lack thereof), by having/not having children, and most importantly, by their bodies.  They are not making a statement by doing this.  They do this to spotlight the male characters.  I wonder why rape culture is so prevalent?

I did mention very briefly that this film also alludes to other unresolved human rights’ issues.  While they don’t state anything outright, because they are only dealing with WHITE feminism, they still note it.  We see African Americans unable to advance, and when things “change” in the movie, you should notice that there was a lack of diversity in many ways.  You don’t notice, until it’s there/not there anymore.

So, if you are one of those people that don’t believe everyone should be paid equally for the same work, and be afforded dignity with their occupations, AND you see this movie – you are just an asshole.  Because your arguments are idiotic, and they were the same arguments they used to argue against anti-sexual harassment, healthcare, overtime, childcare, etc.  It’s frustrating.  People like that frustrate me.  And hurt my feelings.  I get lots of hurt feelings.

But seriously, watch this movie.  It’s fun, it’s funny, and it’s an easy movie to watch.

Favorite Line:
“And if I wanna have an affair, or play sex games, or do M&M’s, you can’t stop me!” – Judy

Favorite Scene:
I really like the scene where Frank is pursuing Doralee in the office.  It’s the first time I’ve seen a scene like that in a movie, and didn’t get intense anxiety.  Because Doralee is the most calming character with a gun I’ve ever seen.

IMDB Stats:
Director: Colin Higgins
Year: 1980
Rating: PG (although, it’s like, old-school PG – there is a lot of naughty language, and like, drug-use, so if your kids aren’t used to that, proceed with caution)

Currently streaming on Netflix.

That’s all folks!  I’ve enjoyed writing for you all, and I’m even more excited for all the things that I’ve got going for the future.  Happy blogging!

xo – Meg



Loose Ends and a Recipe Review

I kind of spent 3 hours torturing myself yesterday.  I planned the menu for the 4th of July BBQ, drafted invitations, and then spent the rest of the time eating cereal and quietly sobbing as I scrolled through cute outfit after cute outfit on ModCloth.  There are a lot of events coming up, and not enough outfits, and definitely not enough money for new outfits.  Then, by some miracle, a box arrived in the mail with clothes from my sister’s neighbor.  And she happens to be my size.  And she is a shopaholic.  And the clothes are barely used.  And there are two shiny bathing suits and summer skirts.  So, again, while I may lust towards new clothes, I can’t complain.  I just wish this lady had my shoe size.  Sigh, I’ll never have enough shoes and dresses.

Colorado is still rainy and dreary.  The sun came out for a little bit yesterday, but it wasn’t enough, in my opinion.  Not to mention, everyone is freaking out for fear of another flood.

Which means, unfortunately, we still cannot make more progress (read: finish) the garden bed.  It’s so close to being done, but the weather will not cooperate for us to finish and plant the rest of our seeds.  I’m glad that I was able to plant the flower seeds before all the weather, because they are all starting to sprout up now.  Yay!

Since our garden bed is so large, I didn’t just want to put chicken wire up around it to keep animals out.  It would have been a really tough feat to even do simple gardening.  So we decided to create removeable panels all around the bed, that way I can easily remove sections to get to the garden.  We used this guy’s tutorial on it HERE.  Ours are a little taller, but we did everything else the same way.  Since our garden is shaped like a “U,” we are building a short gate for the front, so we don’t have to create panels for the inside of the “U” (less panels to create).

And since the weather is kind of dreary, I’m going to share my favorite stew recipe.  It is from the Frugal Foodie Mama blog, and it’s the Slow Cooker Balsamic Beef Stew.  I adapted it at home to be gluten free (gluten free flour/sauces), I added considerably more carrots (the stew is a little meat heavy) and I omitted the celery because my husband hates celery – and it went over really well.  It’s simple, but has a “higher end” taste than normal stews.  That’s definitely the balsamic vinegar reduction.  Holy crap.

I will say, since I’m linking to another blog that’s highly promoting Sam’s Club, I do not endorse that place.  I have many reasons, but the biggest is how they treat their employees.  There are plenty of other places you can get ethical, high quality meat that doesn’t cost a fortune (and they don’t have really fucked up, backwards attitudes on how people who work their asses off for their company should be treated and paid).  If you have a local butcher, they also have a lot of bulk deals, and frozen stuff is usually discounted quite a bit.  So, get a freezer and stock up!  Also, for families looking to save some money, don’t make meat every night.  I know it’s usually an easy food to work with when you’re busy, but meat is expensive, and really isn’t all that great for you all the time.  Sorry about the awkward rant, but even though I might be almost done with this blog, I will never endorse places I don’t like, and I am NEVER paid for my endorsements.  So yeah… love this recipe, but not the love affair with Sam’s Club.

Well, folks, it’s almost the end.  Tomorrow, I have a great movie that I’m reviewing, and I’ll be parting ways with this blog.

Until next time.

Fitness Review: Yoga Studio App

Well, I think the sun was out for a total of 10 minutes today!  It’s been so rainy, and while I appreciate the free watering for my lawn, I’m ready for the sun again (also, my pepper plant doesn’t appreciate the rain, it’s struggling).  Also, we FINALLY got a hummingbird to visit!  Yay!  I was so excited, I immediately started making fresh nectar for the feeders because, that’s when you do when you have company, right?  But we waited until after dark to change out the feeders, and, well, since the yard is in disarray, it looked a little like a creepy-crawly horror film.  There were nightcrawlers all over the ground, and it looked like the ground was crawling (there’s mud everywhere).  Zach tried to shine his flashlight to show me, and I just shrieked and told him I’d have nightmares if he didn’t stop.  I’m normally not freaked out by worms, but I think any bug in a massive quantity is a little freaky.

So for this fitness review, I decided to do something different and review an app.  It’s called Yoga Studio, and I think it cost around $5-$6 (I can’t remember, I bought it years ago).

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I really actually love this app, and it took me a really long time (and research) to find a yoga app I liked.  It’s really worth the money, because free ones, in my opinion, really just don’t cut it.  Plus, it’s hard to relax when ads pop up everywhere.  It’s very “clean” looking – there’s not a lot of distraction, it’s easy to click on and find whatever routine you want to do.

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It’s also really convenient.  Not only is it nice to have a genuinely good workout on the go (I use it a lot for vacations, but I also like using it at home for quick workouts) but you can pre-download all the videos, which means you do not need a signal or wi-fi to use it.

Also, for those that need a really a rigid schedule to stay on point, you can sync a calendar with your phone to remind you, even down to planning the exact workouts.

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There’s not a whole lot else to say.  The girl’s voice is pleasant (which is actually a big deal), it’s comprehensive, the music is ambient and relaxing, and the instruction is clear.  If you like yoga, this is a very nice (cheap) investment for beginners and more advanced alike, especially when you need the extra instruction (i.e., you don’t want to create a routine on your own).  I’m not sure if it’s available on ALL smartphones, but it’s definitely available for the iPhone.

Namaste, and until next time.

Happy May!

I know I’m a little late, and I will not do the Star Wars thing you want me to do.  No.  You can’t forth me!

So, I have some news to share.  This will be the last week that I’ll be writing in this blog!  Before anyone gets sad/upset/happy, let me explain.

While I really enjoy writing in this blog, I feel like I’m losing grounding with it.  It no longer feels like the blog I started with, and not in the good ways – like, I know things change and evolve, but this is devolving in my opinion.  The blog is called “travelin’ home”and I’ve strayed very far from my definition of home.  It’s okay, sometimes that happens.

I’m also disappointed on the lack of travel in this blog.  Traveling for weddings and funerals is not what I had in mind.  I want to travel for pleasure.  I told Zach that we have NEVER taken a trip for just us OUR ENTIRE RELATIONSHIP, except our camping trip, in state, for our honeymoon.  That has to change.  And it will.  And we’ve made some plans to make all that change.   We’re young and don’t have kids, so WTF?

On a technical aspect, I’m shifting focus into other ways of internet social expression, that’s less formal.  I’m using instagram and Tumblr more, because they are picture focused, short and concise.  I’m finding I like blogging less and less, because I feel too exposed and there’s a ton of pressure, in more ways than delivering content.  And, I also want to focus writing energy toward the creative, rather than journaling.  Besides, I’ve felt I’ve veered too far into the DIY “mommy” blogosphere, and I’m just not into that.  First off, they take beautiful photos clear and lots of bright white light, and that’s not my style.  I also am way too frantic and spend way too much time creating a mess before I can get things right to even pretend that I’m Martha Stewart (which, btw, anyone who knows me knows I basically worship that woman).

On an emotional aspect, 2015 has been one of my worst years.  It’s hard to blog and share things when bad things happen and I struggle with anxiety and depression (I don’t want a hopeless sounding, angsty blog).  And there is more to come.  I’m lucky as hell that I have an amazing husband that is also my best friend, and I have the best friends ever that come over and make me happy, even when I have some of my worst days.  Honestly, if it wasn’t for them, I’d struggle a lot more to get going on a lot of days, but I do because I look forward to seeing them.  2015 isn’t all bad, it’s just… a lot of change.  And not willing change, just life change.  I could say, “well, I’m taking a break for the rest of the year,” but I think I’ll take this opportunity to change my focus.

As for changing focus, my mind is already off in other places.  I’m so incredibly busy most days (despite the fact a lot of people still think I don’t do anything except play house).  Even though I’ve felt like we’ve had to be in limbo for a lot of the year, I’ve taken this chance to work really hard.  Sure, every daylight second Zach is home we’re doing home projects, and I do as much as I can without him, so we can do even more together (and so we don’t have to spend precious time doing normal maintenance).  But I’m also taking classes online, working on other projects, and writing more creatively.  In my mind, I know exactly where I want to be and when, and it all can be done, but I need to put in the hard work (and honestly, I’m not very comfortable blogging about it).  Believe me, I’m not complaining about any of this, because it’s a welcome distraction, and I honestly love doing all of it (which is a good sign I’m on the right track to my dream career, right?).

But it wouldn’t be right, in my opinion, if I just quit without wrapping up my blog.  I like things to be wrapped up.

So, I will end on Friday with a film review.  In between, I’ll also do a recipe and fitness review, plus a little update on the garden bed.  Unfortunately, I am unable to plant seeds this week, because it’s going to basically rain non-stop.  We’ve planted a pepper plant, two strawberry plants, and a blackberry plant so far – and herbs in the containers.  The panels are mostly up, we just have to build the gate in the front.

I just want to thank everyone for taking this journey with me, for reading and for engaging.  It’s been a fun ride, and I’m looking forward to whatever comes next.

Until next time.