Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Homeless Where the Heart is - Miss Famine

There's a wee bit of controversy surrounding the American Girl company these days.

Meet their newest doll.  

Her name is Gwen.  And she's homeless. 

So American Girl wants to be inclusive and "teach kids."  They want to open young girls' eyes to all walks of life.  (Never mind that Gwen is really just a bleeding heart accessory for the REAL protagonist of the story: CHRISSA. Chrissa??? Really? Did we run out of REAL names, American Girl?)  

That's all well and good but the rest of the world seems to think that the American Girl company is missing the big picture here.  They've built an empire on creating various dolls that every little girl can look at and say, "Hey! She's JUST like me!"  (Forget that my girlhood doll was Kirsten, the Swedish immigrant doll, who was NOTHING like me.  Because you know, she's from Sweden.  And I'm from the bowels of Hell.)

But with Gwen, they seem to be missing the mark.  It's not that there aren't a tragically high number of homeless little girls in this country who might see something of themselves in Gwen.  Or that they don't deserve a doll of their own.  It's that this little homeless doll costs $95.


The real victim of this scandal is none other than Little Miss Gwen herself, a helpless pawn in a horrible battle between the capitalistic company and shocked critics.  Poor Gwen doesn't ask much of us.  Where Chrissa needs a party table, warm up suit, swim gear, pajamas, snow gear, and a pet llama, all Gwen needs is your friendship.  And maybe a home cooked meal.

So that's why I'd like to take a moment to name Gwen an Honorary Horsewoman of the Apocalypse. Not only is she a survivor, but like all good Horsewomen, she survives with impeccable style.  Look at her cute and easy-breezy sundress. And her adorable flip flops. She's the epitome of California-Cool.  AND she's resourceful -- that pink belt doubles as a headband! (And a weapon if necessary.)  Just cause girlfriend doesn't have a hovel doesn't mean she doesn't have class.  In fact, she seems WAY classier than that greedy Chrissa.  Chrissa wouldn't stand a chance in a nuclear winter if you took away her "snow gear."  But ten bucks (or maybe 95) says Gwen would.  Would Chrissa be willing to slaughter that cute little llama when she ran out of food?  Gwen would.  Bet she would even know how to slice it open and huddle inside for warmth.  In the words of Beyonce, Gwen's a survivor!  And that's why we think she's cool.

All this American Girl Power talk brings me to my latest and greatest idea.  I, Miss Famine, would like to petition the American Girl Doll company imploring them to create a doll that yours truly can identify with: Apocalypse Girl.  She'd have some kick-ass survival accessories: A machete, automatic rifle, flares, stakes, a sub-zero parka. And she'd have a pet zombie.  That she trained to play fetch.  I would love my Apocalypse Girl and play with her every day, dressing her up for different occasions (and extreme weather conditions).  

And she would come with a book that tells HER story.  Like Kirsten, who lost many loved ones to cholera, we'd learn that Apocalypse Girl lost almost everyone in the barrage of asteroid showers, zombie attacks, disease, nuclear war, and/or other horrors that brought about the End of Times.  We'd learn how she prevailed and survived Doomsday to become one the most revered heroines of her time.  It would be a tale of tragedy and triumph.  I would laugh.  I would cry.  And then I would go back to playing with her accessories (because they're the best part).

Readers, I kindly ask you to sign my petition by commenting below, and maybe soon Apocalypse Girl will be make her debut in an American Girl store near you!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Night at the Apocalypse: Movie Preview - Miss War

Once again the Apocalyptic Force is strong in the new movies coming out this week.  I'm not sure if it's something in the water or the air or the rivers of fiery sulfur,  but every release seems show all signs pointing towards the End.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm kinda excited.  In fact, things are getting so ominous and doomsday-y (and we KNOW Sony and Roland Emmerich are planning something MONUMENTAL for their super-fab 2012), that I think it's time to start rating these things threat-level style.  YAY, color coding!

CODE GREEN (Low threat of actually causing the Apocalypse): THE BOYS ARE BACK

The Gist: Clive Owen takes on the task of raising two sons on his own, one young and one teenager (from an earlier marriage), when his beloved wife suddenly dies. 
The Prophecy:  Touching? Maybe.  Cheesy and predictable? Possibly.  Adorable? Boy, I hope so.  Safe? As a lead mountain bunker designed to protect world leaders and celebrities during an asteroid shower.

CODE BLUE (Guarded risk of bringing about the end of the world as we know it): PARANORMAL ACTIVITY
The Gist: An independent ghost thriller about a couple convinced their new house is haunted.  They decide to document the nocturnal occurrences and are shocked at the horror that they discover.  Limited release (but pointedly NOT New York and LA). 
The Prophecy: While this EXORCIST meets BLAIR WITCH PROJECT totally messes with this couple's life, the Horsewomen find this supposedly "terrifying" paranormal activity just part of the normal day-to-day.  Human audiences, however, should be scared witless and potentially pee their pants.  Either way, this is *Miss War's Best Bet of the Weekend!*

CODE YELLOW (Elevated threat of Doomsday results after seeing this movie): PANDORUM
The Gist: Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster play a pair of astronauts who awake on their spaceship to find that they are the only crew members on board.  Not only that, but they have amnesia!   In true sci-fi thriller fashion, they quickly discover that "they are not alone."  (Oooooooo.  Twist!)
The Prophecy: Hey! How did movie bosses know what I did last weekend?!  Don't you worry Ben and Dennis, it's probably just your friends playing an uber-mean practical joke on you after you passed out from too many tequila shots. (Thanks a lot, Conquest.  Bitch.)

CODE ORANGE (High probability of Fire and Brimstone chasing you out of the theater): SURROGATES
The Gist:  "In a world" where everyone has a "surrogate" robot of themselves to go out and live life for them, someone messes with the "system" and people start dying while logged into the "system."  Only the real Bruce Willis (not "Bruce Willis," the surrogate robot with weird hair), can save them.  Obviously. 
The Prophecy: We think this movie's premise warrants too many "ironic quotes" for it NOT to be apocalyptic.  And while synthetic biology/human-nanobot hybrids are a serious issue (and the front runner for my vote for the apocalypse), we can't help but wonder if SURROGATES is just Bruce Willis seeing "fake people."

CODE RED (WARNING! WARNING! This WILL cause the destruction of the fabric of the Universe!) : FAME
The Gist: 29 years after the original film and exceptional television adaptation, Hollywood felt compelled to remake FAME for the "High School Musical" generation.
The Prophecy: WHYYYYYYYYYY?!!?? Why remake this? Why set it in a NYC that isn't nearly as dirty, crazy, and just plain weird as NYC circa 1980?  What good can come of this?  Nothing short of catastrophic, that's what. This might as well star Zac Efron (and I LIKE Zac Efron!).  And it's not just us.  According to critics, he awesome deeply bizarreness of the musical theater scene of 1980's New York can't possibly be replicated in this You Tube driven, Hannah Montana world setting.  Even the posters look like iPod ads!


BRIEF  INTERVIEWS WITH HIDEOUS MEN - The only sign of the apocalypse in this movie is director John Krasinski's recent engagement to PRADA actress Emily Blunt.  Sorry Ladies.  

CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY - I think we all know Michael Moore's deal by now.  

COCO BEFORE CHANEL - Strong reviews and the ever-adorable Audrey Tautou?  Why not!?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Til Death Do We Part - Miss Famine

oooOOO! Hello little survivors! I have been out and about and have been neglecting my posting duties. (Shame! Shame on me! slaps hand*) But I have a good, no, great excuse. I have been helping a fellow fashionista plan the Wedding of the Century (and I can vouch for this. I've been around for a few centuries, as it were.)

We've got it down to the last minute details and are busy as nuclear bees getting ready for this posh event.

The theme? Dark Alice in Wonderland. Why dark? What with the sun being blotted out by volcanic ash, we didn't have much choice. But it will be whimsical. Besides, dark weddings rule.

The bride will wear pink Carolina Herrera (no sense in that one wearing white. The jig is up..) and the groom will wear black to represent his dying youth and a decay into the wasteland of married life. Huzzah! If we are lucky, several guests will be beheaded by the time this is over, in true Alice fashion.

I've got some wonderful surprises whipped up for them. Hint: A grooms cake in the shape of the Bride and Groom's severed heads, complete with red velvet and blood filling.

God is in the details as they say. We will party like it's 1899. I will be posting photos after the party. All of the girls will be there too! Miss Death, Miss Conquest (she cleans up at weddings) and of course, Miss War.

More wedding updates to follow as the time draws near.

Best Calendar EVER - Miss Famine

I've found my 2010 calendar readers, and I'm so excited about it I'm practically dancing around the hovel.  Not ONLY does this calendar celebrate truly Harbinger worthy cahones, it's for a good cause AND...

It's full of naked old people.

That's right, my next calendar is going to be "Pin-Up Boys of Atlantic Shores" a pin up calendar featuring 69-60 year old NAKED DUDES which supports the Virginia Beach rescue squad.  

Cheers to you gentlemen, for truly outstanding attitudes in the face of the current apocalyptic lack of funding for, well, anything important. 

Review: BEER WARS - Miss Conquest

Anat Baron's BEER WARS claims to be "An irreverent and comical journey through the underbelly of the American beer industry."  This got me all excited.  Nothing pleases a Mistress of the Apocalypse like a good seamy underbelly.  Sadly, Beer Wars is more like Beer Business Negotiations and the underbelly stays pretty much hidden in this tame attempt at a corporate scandal documentary.  

Beer Wars is more like watching a soothing Sesame Street documentary... except, you know, it's about beer.  You'd think that would make it more scintillating than a documentary about crayons, but that would not be the case.  

Miss Baron's stylish forth grade teacher vibe is more than partially responsible for her documentary's mild, educational tone.  And, she doesn't help herself any by starting her anti-corporate scumbaggary documentary with a tiny animated version of herself informing us that when she was little she wanted to be a corporate CEO.  

But, we Horsewomen DO have to give her bonus apocalypse points for being both a former beer industry exec and then for proceeding to make her first foray into the documentary directing world all about alochol when she is, in fact, allergic to the stuff.

If only she'd taken her serious, "fun learning time" persona and applied it in a way that was as quirky, smart and unexpected as the art on her website.  Instead, she takes the tone of preachy americana that the very brew-giants she's attacking (Coors, Bud and Miller for those who have never been to a grocery store) use in their ubiquitous commercials.  

The real culprit, though, for the boring factor in this doc, is the fact that the so called "beer wars" aren't presented in a particularly innovative or intriguing way here.  Anat skims over the old school local brands that were killed off after prohibition by the major brands, giving them thirty second or less of attention, and spends almost no time talking about the fun stuff like gorilla ad campaigns, stories of professional sabotage (we all like a good spy game) or the legal battles for home brewers and moonshine makers. 

Her cause isn't helped by a lackluster soundtrack and subjects who are generally upper middle class beer enthusiasts who may be fighting the man, but don't seem to be hurting too badly for it.  These aren't local steel mill workers being put out of work by their factory moving overseas. They aren't even the factory employees who would lose their jobs if Budweiser manages to buy their local brewery. They're hard working small business people who are facing the very same challenges that small business owners everywhere are staring down everyday. 

Is it tough taking on Golath?  Sure.  But thems the breaks kids, and, as far as Beer Wars can tell me, there are a lot of people in this business doing pretty well. Anat doesn't seem to recognize that she's taking on a well worn problem, and she doesn't connect it to the fates of small businesses everywhere nor does she expose what makes this struggle unique other than... booze. 

This leaves us feeling like this is really about beer, instead of about the end of local businesses (and the end of the world) as we know it. Anat doesn't manage to tap into the Michael Moore style anti-big business fervor that could have really made this film have weight.  One brewer even says "we're making beer, it's not nuclear armament's."  Well why not buddy?  Nuclear beer would be MUCH more interesting.  

But Anat doesn't expose any of the details of this particular struggle, so she can't give her subject the kind of tension and energy that Moore does with his films, which is a shame.  It's not like the potential isn't here.  The "big three" beer companies are just as nasty and anti-worker, anti-local community, anti-well, just about everybody, as any other major business.  And they SELL BOOZE.  They should be fascinating, cut throat and hilarious and, in Anat's hands, they just aren't.

Lesson here - buy local, think global and drink beer. If you want to learn more about beer, check out http://beerwarsmovie.com which is far more interesting, innovative and engaging than the movie it's promoting.  

Apocalypse in the News - They Grow Trees on Mars? - Miss Conquest

I do so love vacationing on Mars, but I have never ever seen a tree there.  Which is why this picture shocked me:

I have to admit.  I panicked a little bit.  My favorite beach resort turning into a forrest.  Talk about environmental catastrophe.  Then I read the caption a little more closely.

That's not Mars at all... that's Sydney, Australia.


Just a little apocalyptic dust storm, noooo problem.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Avast, ye!! Here, There Be Rum! - Miss Famine

Ahoy! And welcome aboard, maties!  Grab ye bottle o' rum, batten down the hatches and prepare to swash swash buckle buckle, else you'll be a son of a biscuit eater and forced to walk the bloody plank! 

No, I haven't had a stroke.


ITLAP Day is this Horsewoman's favorite holiday, second only to Halloween (and sometimes Arbor Day), and I cannot wait to celebrate tonight at my anual "Barrel o' Rum & Then Some!" Pirate Party.

Pirates have always been a friend of the Horsewomen.  It's not surprising, really.  For hunreds of years we've all been a bunch of really bad eggs together.  Like Horsewomen, Pirates are awesome harbingers of evil and chaos AND they enjoy a good party and a really strong drink!  In fact, in the great Cosmic Evil e-Dating Site of Evil, some of our best matches are Pirates -- Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, Captain Morgan, Jack Sparrow... And Anne Bonny is one of our favorite shopping partners! (Girl has an eye for boots that's been unmatched for more than 300 years.)   

Because we can't plunder and pillage ALL the time, tonight we're taking a little breather and living it up, Davy Jones Locker style.  Every year the girls and I chose a theme for the party that extends beyond just any old pirates.  One year we did a "Barbary Coast" theme and served Moroccan food.  Last year we did a Peter Pan theme and everyone came dressed as different characters and we decorated with clocks and crocodiles.

This year the theme is Island Rum Running!

The Deal: Other than dressing like a Caribbean Pirate, everyone brings their favorite rum drink mixer.  I will hide three bottles of rum around the hovel.  If you find it, it's YOURS!

The Decorations: Full blown tropical island.  Palm trees.  Tiki torches and bar.  Sand pit.

The Food: Macadamia Nut-Crusted Chicken with Honey-Mustard Dip.  Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  Rum infused Fruit.

The Drink:  RUUUUMMMMM!!!!! (And something else...IF you're a lightweight.)

The Music:  A mix of Pirate movie soundtracks (Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl, The Black Swan, Treasure Island... Muppet Treasure Island...), Sea Shanties.

The Games: Poker, Black Jack, and a Treasure Hunt! (Scavanger hunt for gold coins of the chocolate variety.)

So come on all you landlubbers! Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen and set sail for Captain Famine's Humble Hovel, where the rum flows free and the wenches are friendly, and not a single scallywag goes home until we're all three sheets to the wind!


Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Movie Pre-Review - Miss War

It's fall and the cinema's are flush with movies again after the August drought.  We've got a regular mosh pit of movies to discuss this weekend.  Let's do a little prejudging without provocation, shall we?

The Good:

 THE INFORMANT, directed by Steven Soderbergh and staring a fantastically vacant eyed Matt Damon, looks like a slam dunk.  The trailer is hilarious, and we  have the feeling that Soderbergh and Damon have more than a little corporate farse up their sleaves here.  Damon dropped in his interview with Jon Stewart on Wednesday night that he was playing a man with "a huge number of secrets."  Well, this Horsewomen can't wait to see what these two are up to!

The Bad:

 JENNIFER'S BODY written by the ubiquitous Diablo Cody and staring Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried, the only thing this promises is disappointed Horsewomen.  We love the apocatastic concept of an evil high school bitch who is actually a beast from hell "Not High School evil... evil, evil." But, according to critical consensus, it is neither funny enough, nor scary enough to really be satisfying. Will the Harbingers of the Apocalypse agree?  We'll see.

The Questionable:

LOVE HAPPENS is, judging solely by hearsay and trailers, a typical big studio weeper.  Will it be fresh? Probably not.  Will it be clever? Doesn't seem like.  Will you laugh and cry and watch it on Sunday mornings while doing laundry when it's playing on Lifetime? Totally. Would you be better off hitting up BRIGHT STAR, the other kissy face movie coming out this weekend, directed by the fabulous Jane Campion?  Almost certainly.

Everything Else:

CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS - Is all about food falling from the sky.

BURNING PLAIN - Doesn't have a strong enough marketing team, the Horsewomen didn't even know this one was on the horizon.

DEVIL GIRL - Is a sign of the apocalypse....

There's more, but frankly, it's time to actually hit the multiplex! No more prejudging, time for actually judging.  Let the celuiod roll!

Killing Zombies? There's An App For That. - Miss Conquest

I finally did it. And yes, I’m a little bit proud.  And yes, you can call me a sell out or a marketing junky -- falling for catchy jingles, sleek exteriors, and bright and shiny images.  But in these dangerous times you’ve gotta stay connected and my old, non-trusty Blackberry just wasn’t cutting it anymore.  I NEEDED something new.  Something reliable and survival-ready.

And that's when I wondered... Say I'm living in a horrible post-apocalyptic, alien-invaded, zombie-infested, new-ice-age world and I want to...you know...NOT die.

Yeah. There’s an app for that.

This week I hopped on over to the good old Apple Store and picked me up a new fangled iPhone!  And I was incredibly pleased to find that this latest iPhone is all about safety safety SAFETY.

Sure, it’s got the basics:  Internet, emails, and text messages.  No more missing important warnings like, “Do NOT take 3rd Street.  PETA Zombies are protesting non-organic, corn-fed brains!” (Now there are 2 hours I'll never get back.  Totally missed my double date with Miss Death and one of Grimmy’s friends – and he was cute too! Had all of his appendages and everything.)

And as expected, the iPhone has GoogleMaps and a compass so you can still find your way back to your hovel even when all of the landmarks have been blown up.

And there are a number of calendar options to keep track of your life (shopping with Miss Death on Tuesday, apocalyptic movie screening with War on Thursday, and Miss Conquest’s The Beatles: Rock Band Party on Saturday).  

Sure it’s got those.  Blackberries have those too.

But what Blackberries DON’T have are THESE lifesaving applications: 

BUMP – Share data with other iPhone users on the run just by holding two phones together, Vulcan Mind-Meld style.  Just be careful whom you’re melding with.  Leprosy is no picnic, folks.

URBAN SPOON – Because when your favorite deli has been raided by ROUS’s, you need to find a non-infested one right away!

HEY WHERE ARE YOU? – Never again wonder where your loved ones are after “The Big One” or the latest "Sharks-With-Legs" attack.  “Hey Where Are You?” links all of your hiding locations and safe houses together.  Beacon-tastic.

LIGHTSABER –  Obama’s got one.  Why don’t you?

TWEET DECK – Because when you overhear that someone’s going to drop a bomb (literally) you’ve gotta get the word out, STAT.

And it gets even better…

ZOMBIE ATTACK! – I’ve never seen such a realistic and useful zombie-killing simulator. Save trapped civilians from advancing zombies.  How many times have we all found ourselves in THAT situation??  It’s the perfect training app.

ZOMBIE WEATHERMAN –He doesn’t just tell you the hot and cold of it all, he tells you when it’s going to rain blood, what days will be nuclear-fallout days, and when the sun is going to explode. Better dress accordingly.

ZOMBIE NOMBIE – A teeny little zombie man for you to mess with.  Ah, pent up apocalyptic aggression.  Gone and GONE.

ZOMBIE vs. SHEEP – I haven’t even used this app yet, but it has the best title EVER.   My money’s on the sheep!

iDRACULA – Another training simulation game.  Practice makes perfect, people!  You think Buffy was just BORN an ace Slayer?? Well…ok.

APOCALYPSE ZOMBIE FISH – Other than tying Zombie vs. Sheep for the best title ever, this app features “Zombie fish” and pipe bombs.  Eventually you get to “Zombie Sharks.”  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

So help a newbie out.  What are some of your favorite survival apps, readers?   Tell me what should I download NEXT?