Marilyn Monroe (A Rare Look)

If you know me at all, then you know my extreme love for Marilyn Monroe. From my Marilyn wall in college to my tattoo of her signature, I can’t get enough of her.

I’ve seen or own a version of most pictures that exist from her, since there is a finite amount. However, I still love to find new ones that I haven’t seen before, or different versions and adaptations. I was sent an article by a coworker of A Rare Look At Marilyn Monroe, and there were a couple of photos in there that really caught my eye.

Marilyn could not take a bad picture. Every time that camera flashed, she looked flawless in the lenses. At every size, in any style, at any time. Some of my favorite pictures of Marilyn, however, are not the glamorous shots that she is known for. Her beauty and uniqueness shows even in her “normal” or more “every day” type photos. These are the ones that remind me that she truly was someone special.

It’s true that Marilyn stands for a Hollywood glamour and sex movement that could never be forgotten, but I love to see her classic beauty reside in simple places as well. Whether Marilyn is posing for the camera or the picture is candid, no one can deny her charisma through photographs. She has the ability to evoke emotion in every move, expression, and look in her eyes. And our eyes gravitate towards her no matter what.

I also just love so much that she can look absolutely stunning, perfect, and intriguing in a simple picture where she is standing next to some bears eating garbage. She’s amazing.

More to come. Thanks for reading.

A Rare Look at Marilyn Monroe, today.com

Alaska

It’s on my bucket list to visit every state in the U.S., and last week I was lucky enough to visit the beautiful state of Alaska. I traveled the 4,000 miles with my boyfriend and his family to a discrete cabin a couple of hours outside of Anchorage.

The common questions I’ve received revolved around the weather of course, because of its cold climate by nature and our travel plans for late June. The whole week was beautiful weather, staying in the 60’s during the day and dropping to 50’s at night. There was really only a couple of days that were chilly, and just one day of some rain. It was light for most of the day, however, and only actually got “dark” when there was a heavy overcast. In the winter Alaska experiences the opposite, and we were told that the heavy dark days are the hardest part about winters in Alaska. But the extended daylight was great, and gave us the opportunity to pack a lot of things into each day.

The glaciers were by far the most enjoyable part of the trip for me. We were able to hike the Matanuska Glacier, which is over 27 miles long and 4 miles wide. Our path did not cross even a fraction of this mass, and yet it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. We also did a 5 hour day cruise in Whittier, in which we came face to face with several amazing glaciers.

The mountains and the wildlife was also incredible. We saw bald eagles, sea otters, bears, moose, elk, musk oxen, wolves and more. Between the Musk Ox Farm and the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, we observed so many amazing creatures living their lives.

Downtown Anchorage holds a Saturday Market throughout the summer that includes local vendors and artists, and we were lucky enough to attend during the Summer Solstice Festival as well. In additional to the tents of beautiful crafts and delicious food, there was also outdoor music, street and rooftop bars, and blow up activities for children. I spent a ton of time going in and out of tents and filling up my stomach and bags with everything I could find, and I could have spent even more.

This trip was also an amazing opportunity for my boyfriend and I to grow. After being together a year, this trip provided many new experiences and memories that helped us strengthen what we have. Exploring a new place and adventuring through nature together is an amazing way to spend time with someone you love, and by the end, we had fallen even more in love with each other.

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Our world is beautiful and amazing and there is so much to see! Traveling is a way to feel alive and experience all the incredible things that the world has to offer. If you ever have the chance to visit Alaska, GO!

Thanks for reading.

Podcast Favorites #2

As I become more of an active podcast listener, I have stumbled upon many more favorites to recognize. Additionally, some shows mentioned in my first podcast post needed some updating. Here it goes:

 

UPDATES:

anna faris no esta

Anna Faris No Está Calificada – Good news: one of my favorite podcasts is now available in Spanish! The same episode available in English is copied in a second language, which is awesome for a Spanish learner. Bad news: only one episode was released, several weeks ago, so I am unsure if I should expect this to continue.

This Is Love

This Is Love – Bad news: A new episode has not been released since March. I am not sure if the show is expected to continue at this time. Good news: There are still six really great episodes to listen to, and I do highly recommend them all!

Tiny Leaps, Big ChangesTiny Leaps, Big Changes – Bad news: I had this show categorized under “Short, Daily Listens” and I stopped listening because they were no longer that – short or daily. He went through a period of long interviews released inconsistently and I grew uninterested and therefore, I unsubscribed. Good news: I checked back today out of curiosity, and it looks as though this guy has gotten back into his normal rhythm. I am considering putting this one back on my list, even though I am not as interested as I once was.

spotify-new-music-friday-artworkNew Music Friday – Bad news: these guys released three episodes and then never returned. See ya. Good news: you can still listen to new music every Friday delivered to you in a playlist on Spotify.

the news

The News, From BuzzFeed News – I am still a big fan of Reporting To You From BuzzFeedNews, and their new show is very good as well. Same idea – relevant news stories, but now delivered as a weekly summary each Saturday. Episodes are roughly 20 minutes long so it’s still an easy and quick listen.

 

 

Women Representation:

female criminalsFemale Criminals – The whole premise of this show is behind the fact that when someone mentions a serious criminal, you might not immediately picture a women. This show dives into the minds of famous criminals such as Bonnie of Bonnie and Clyde, the Columbian drug lord Grisela Blanco, and many famous serial killers. My only critique is that I wished that some of the stories did not carry over into two episodes, but all the stories are still worth the listen.

 

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The Bechdel Cast – I recently wrote a post about The Bechdel Test which challenges female representation in film. This podcast’s group of women dives into different movies and analyzes how women are portrayed in both new films and the classics. The tone is light and funny while also highlighting a lot of important feminist ideas and issues. I recommend going through their list of available episodes and listening to where your favorite movies fall on the “nipple scale.”

 

 

LGBTQ:

ITSAGGGGP

It’s A Gay, Gay, Gay, Gay Podcast with Mr. Malone – Fagsy Malone (who is currently attempting to drop the nickname “Fagsy”) walks through what a typical day in Malibu is like. Famous neighbors, an art class of children, and fun interviews with a motley crew. I really enjoy the deep ideas explored here as well as the light-heartedness that comes with a glorious Malibu morning. Fagsy also has a podcast called “Under the Bus with Fagsy” where I don’t believe he will be posting any future episodes, but they are still worth the listen if you enjoy his sense of humor. JUUUUDY! Ugh, too much.

 

josh and ross

Josh & Ross (he said, he said) – This show is actually super old… like, 5 or 6 years old… but it’s entertaining as hell. Of course I found this show as a result of Ross Mathew’s current podcast, Straight Talk with Ross (this is the show Ross had with comedian Josh Wolfe in 2012 and 2013 prior to starting Straight Talk), and this show feels a lot like an old school radio show. The content is absolutely hilarious and is great to put in my ears while I work.

 

what's the teeRuPaul’s What’s The Tee? – I started listening to this naturally because I watch RuPaul’s Drag Race, BUT the podcast doesn’t actually talk too much about Drag Race overall. There are some guest judges and favorite contestants that make appearances on episodes of the show, but most of the conversation does not surround the competition. Instead Ru and Michelle Visage talk about contemporary issues, tell their stories and families, go through challenges they have faced, and more. Oh and don’t forget about different wig, nail and make up tricks that are Ruvealed! All Tee all shade.

 

 

As I said before, if anyone has any recommendations or hosts their own podcast, please feel free to leave a comment!

Thanks for reading.

The Bechdel Test

One of my best friends, Kelly is a graphic designer in the entertainment industry and keeps me up to date on upcoming movies, television theories, and of course celebrity news and gossip. She has lived in LA for the past two years and is currently transitioning to NYC. Her experiences working in this industry and living in LA has been awesome to follow and I’m sure she will have a lot of success in New York as well. You can find her portfolio and blog at www.kellyohara.com.

While reading through her blog posts about upcoming movies and lovable TV characters, I found a post where she explained The Bechdel Test. This feminist test consists of 3 rules in which a film must meet in order to pass:

  • The film must have at least two female characters with names.
  • The two female characters must have dialogue.
  • The dialogue must be about something other than a man.

It sounds simple enough, but within Kelly’s blog post was over a dozen movies that didn’t really pass. She often writes about how women are represented and recognized on screen, and promotes strong female characters with meaningful storylines. To view her original post, click HERE!

My boyfriend and I are frequent movie goers, so I decided to apply this test to the 5 movies released in 2018 that we have seen so far. (Don’t worry – no spoilers!)

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Rampage: Kinda sorta passes.
While the movie technically passes, there isn’t a lot of female interaction in general here. There’s a couple of key scenes where the females on opposing sides come face to face, but that’s pretty much it. However, the women are intelligent and highly educated, so that’s something.

A_Quiet_Place_film_posterA Quiet Place: Definitely passes.
The four main characters consist of a mother, father, daughter and son and there is plenty of dialogue that includes the women- despite the fact that that dialogue is in sign language. The family is living in a silent world and the daughter is deaf, but she plays a detrimental part in the plot’s conclusion. Both the mother and daughter are innovative leaders, and I wouldn’t say that typical gender roles apply here. Everyone is equal, and everyone does what they have to in order to protect each other. The movies itself is amazing and I highly recommend.

portrait_incredibleAvengers Infinity War: Just barely passes. – This was disappointing. There are a ton of strong female characters in this movie – why didn’t any of them talk to each other?! The only reason that this movie passes at all is because of one all-female fight scene that – while pretty badass – was also pretty short. It was also annoying that every single female character had an on-screen love interest, which largely drove their side storylines. I won’t even talk about the role of Iron Man’s nagging wife… like I said, disappointing.

5a5c753ac8049Red Sparrow: Passes. – Truthfully, this movie didn’t portray men very well. They are weak creatures in the eyes of the Russian women, and can easily be taken down once that weakness is found. The women are powerful, manipulative, and stealthy. However, the movie had more rape scenes than I was prepared for and definitely showed a side of Russian culture that feminists may not agree with. So.. the movie passes, but there’s a lot more to be explored here.

MV5BZjA5MjZkNmQtNmI1ZS00M2RiLWFlMmUtNGU1ZjA4YTA0NjliXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTM3MDMyMDQ@._V1_UY268_CR9,0,182,268_AL_I Feel Pretty: Passes. – Amy Shumer has done a lot for the feminist movement with her stand up comedy, but this movie is more family-friendly than her normal content. Aside from one quick sex scene in which Amy’s character is looking at herself in the mirror, this is a movie you could watch with young girls. It sends a great message – you’re as attractive as you feel! Women are always comparing ourselves to each other and highlighting our flaws, when confidence is all we really need. It shouldn’t be a surprise that this movie passes.

Women face challenges in every industry – whether it’s the pay gap, unequal recognition, or lack of opportunities. And by bringing attention to these issues, we can start to fully address them.

So challenge yourself to apply this test to the next movie you watch! Especially films that have recently been released. Lx7JYlnK_400x400(And if this idea has really caught your interest, I recommend listening to the women on The Bechdal Cast Podcast analyze all your favorite movies and why they do or don’t pass.)

Thanks for reading!

www.kellyohara.com

VOTE! (The Primary)

Politics can honestly be extremely overwhelming these days. But, there has been a lot of talk around issues that I care a lot about, so I’ve been doing what I can to follow the next election. I can’t say that I am happy about the social climate that we are living in, so I want to do what I can to make a change. I ‘Marched for our Lives’ in D.C. on March 24th for gun control, I’ve signed petitions to support DACA and related issues, and today, I VOTED.

I think that our country’s bipartisan system is outdated, and whole electoral vs. popular vote thing is super wack. When I was first 18, it made me feel like my vote didn’t actually count at all. I felt small and I didn’t think I could be heard. After I got a little older, there were too many issues that made me passionate and I wanted to be involved. And, I learned that my voice can be heard as long as it’s loud enough.

It truly doesn’t take much to do some quick research into candidates. I subscribe to emails from rockthevote.org and ballotpedia.org to get updates on things like candidates in my party, voting events, and more. Both sites are unbiased, and just reading a couple emails here and there helped me find candidates that support the same issues that I care about. If you are lucky, your city or county might help you out also – so open your mail! I received a handout via snail mail from my district that had a list of running candidates, and a check mark or an X next to different voting issues to indicate which they supported or opposed.

Information is everywhere, so go find it! Then – go vote!

The same sites that I get my information from provide a resource to help me find my polling place. Most voting locations are open 7AM – 8PM, so there is still time to go in the evening even if you can’t make it during the day. Knowing when and where to vote in the Primaries will make things even easier for you to vote in the Midterms in November – and every election day thereafter.

VOTE

Part of my motivation to vote in the primaries comes from being a millennial. Millennials are the largest population of voters, but we have one of the lowest turnouts – especially in the primaries. Current social issues and recent events have made our generation more passionate about the social climate, but nothing will change unless we act on it.

So, did you vote today?

Thanks for reading.

Pay Equity Laws

Pay Equity has been a trending business topic as we move to close pay gaps and promote equality. As a feminist who works in Human Resources, I am a huge fan of this movement. Massachusetts has already passed amendments to make changes, and the amended law will go into affect this July 2018! My hope is that other states quickly follow suit.

These changes can be broken down into three key areas: Salary History Bans, Pay Equity Standards, and Compensation Transparency.

Salary History Bans: The new Pay Equity Laws prohibit employers from asking about an applicant’s salary history before making a job offer. Some employers will calculate their offers based on what a candidate previously got paid, rather than what the position is worth. This can become problematic and is often unfair to employees. With this ban, the position will be worth a static range, and employers will have to move forward with an offer without knowing their previous salary. Employees are free to disclose any information at their own discretion, but employers may not ask until after an initial compensation offer has been made.

Pay Equity Standards: The gender pay gap is something that I have always heard of and been aware of, but this is the first time that I’ve really seen anything being done about it. There are new reporting laws surrounding pay equity that ensure that businesses are doing their social responsibility to address this issue. Companies must engage tools and resources to understand what pay gaps exist in their organization, and they are obligated to take action. Some pay gaps are valid and explainable, and things like tenure, experience, or education will be taken into consideration. Outside of those explainable circumstances, business will legally have to prove that there is an effort being done to close these gaps.

Compensation Transparency: This protects employees to have the freedom to disclose and discuss compensation information with coworkers. It’s crazy to me that employers can discipline employees for discussing their pay with each other – how is this legal?? In my previous position, my company was bringing in new hires at a higher rate than their tenured associates in HR. When I pressed my boss about this, her response was, “technically, you aren’t even supposed to know about that.” Well, that will now be illegal. Employees will now be protected, and if any unfairness is exposed, the company will have to address it. By creating transparency, this ensures consistency across the organization.

In my opinion, if a company sees these changes and has anxiety, that should question the integrity of that organization. These laws are being put into affect to protect employees, and organizations who are already conscious of their employee experience should feel at ease.

Employees should feel protected.

Thanks for reading!

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Info verified from Mass.gov

Ross Mathews called me FASCINATING

A little while ago, I put out an idea into the universe that I wanted to make it onto Ross Mathews’ podcast, Straight Talk With Ross. I was binge listening to all of the episodes and I would call in randomly to leave voicemails. My realistic hope was that one of my voicemails or something would be featured on the show.

Last week, I was watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, on which Ross Mathews is a judge. I am loving this season so I decided to call into Straight Talk and leave a voicemail of my current thoughts. I dialed the number and was waiting to hear the voicemail recording.

Instead I heard, “Hello?”

I freaked out. Someone had answered. “Oh my god, hi!” I could hear the cast talking in the background, recording the show. “Am I on the air?”

“No, but hang on a second..” It was a male voice, and I was trying to figure out who he was. I could hear him go talk to Ross and Mark regarding a caller, but after waiting a while, he got back on the line and let me know that they were not going to have time for callers today.

“That’s no problem – are you JRod?” I asked.

“Uhh, no.” He answered. Whoops. I also asked if his name was Willie (the two cast members who would normally be answering the phone) and he also said no, so I stopped guessing. He told me to try calling in again next week at the same time.

Oh, you got it.

A week went by and I decided I had to try again. I had called in at 7PM my time the week before, which means they probably started recording at 6PM, which would be 3PM in LA where they record.

I made my first call at 6:10, and it went to voicemail. I called again at 6:30 and it went to voicemail again. At this point I figured it was a long shot that someone would answer, so I tried once more at 6:45. Someone picked up and quickly hung up. THEY’RE THERE. I called again.

“Hello?”

This time, JRod answered the phone! I told him I was a huge fan of the show and we had a laugh about my previous call the week before. He said he wasn’t even sure how my call had gotten through, because he didn’t think they had the phones turned on! He then told me to hang on while he went to see if there was time for me on the show.

Oh. My. God.

I listened to Mark talk about getting his vasectomy surgery for a few minutes, and then they went to break. My heart was pounding the entire time in anticipation that I might even just TALK to Ross Mathews, let alone be on the show. After a couple more minutes, JRod came back on the line and let me know that he would push me through to Ross for the next segment.

I DID IT. I MADE IT ON THE SHOW.

Ross Mathews is amazing! He is so nice and welcoming, even to a crazy fan like me! Ross and the other cast members were asking me about my life, we talked about Drag Race and my love for Halsey, and I even got to sing! Truly amazing.

I felt so accomplished that I had put this thought out into the universe and actually made it happen. I’ve said before that I am a big believer in that you get the energy back that you put out into the world. It’s true what they say – if you put your mind to something, you can make it happen!

Ross gave me a couple cute little nicknames and told me that I could call back into the show whenever I wanted to! He said he was interested in my life and wanted to check in with me. (Get your (va)Gina checked!) HE SAID HE FOUND ME FASCINATING! It was honestly a funny and cute little segment, lasted about five minutes, and made me ridiculously happy.

straight talk      ross podSTWR

Find Straight Talk With Ross wherever you listen to podcasts, and go to the episode released on April 26th. It’s Episode 226 – Pooh Bear Fomo. I come in around 52:45. Or for the direct link, you can CLICK HERE .

Thanks for reading!