Moxie’s Resolutions for Everyone Else: The 2017 Edition

What a crazy clusterf**k of a year it’s been. I’m ready for 2017, but there are a few things I’d like y’all to do better, okay? Hence my annual resolutions for everyone else. On with the show.

Stop using “Ch-Ch-Changes” as an editorial or article title (editors and journalists). If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen this popular David Bowie song used as a title for an op-ed, editor’s note or even an article, I would not need a day job. Now that Bowie is no longer with us, how about honoring his memory by NOT using this song as an article title anymore?

Participate in the 2018 California State Fair by having an exhibit in the exhibition hall (California counties). 

Create a buddy movie or sitcom starring Gwendoline Christie and Miranda Hart (British film/TV industry). If you’ve watched “Game of Thrones”, you’ve likely seen actress Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth, the tall, powerful female knight who has sworn to serve the House of Stark. She’s fabulous.

Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth on

Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth on “Game of Thrones.” Strong, powerful, flawed character and one of the reasons I keep watching.

 

Gwendoline Christie, actress, British actress, Brienne of Tarth, Game of Thrones

Gwendoline Christie all dolled up for awards show.

Just as fabulous is the statuesque actress and comedian Miranda Hart, who had her own sitcom on BBC and has been in several films, as well as on PBS’s series “Call the Midwife” as Chummy.

Miranda Hart, British actress, British comedian

Miranda Hart, British actress and comedian.

Why not put these two tall, lovely British ladies in a buddy movie or sitcom? Rumor is that “Miranda” is returning – how about a guest spot for Gwendoline, hmm, Miranda? Maybe Miranda dresses up as Brienne for a fancy dress party and ends up in some wacky situation where she is mistaken for Gwendoline?

Make US Postal Service-compliant stationery and cards (stationers and greeting card makers). 

Declare a moratorium on remakes of movies that are less than 50 years old (Hollywood). I feel like I’ve made this resolution before but once again in my life, I am freakin’ Cassandra yelling at the Trojans to not let that damn horse through the gates. Reading this round-up at Den of Geek got me extra annoyed. I get that there’s an assumption on the part of film producers and major studios that a remake has much better luck at doing well at the box office, but come up with some new material, okay? Or just make another sequel or prequel to an existing property, since you’re doing that already.

Accept that email is not a secure form of communication (federal government, Democratic National Committee, and, really, everyone). If we learned anything in 2016, it’s that email servers can be easily hacked. Honestly, I think there’s a lot of ignorance on the part of politicians and others about email security. Unless you work for the NSA, CIA or FBI, or you’re intentionally using email encryption software or services, assume that none of your emails are safe from prying eyes, and act accordingly.

Create/produce a TV drama about Baltimore that’s positive & uplifting (Josh Charles).

Kill Flash Player already (Adobe). I feel like this has been a resolution in years past and yet this stupid thing continues to exist and slow down everything on my computer. Please, for the love of Steve, just kill Flash already.

Get a smartphone already (Pops). He’s had an iPad for a few years now, and the iPhone is not that much different, yet Pops refuses to get a smartphone. He says “my phone is smart enough to work,” and I appreciate that, but the moments when you are dealing with crappy traffic because your Garmin doesn’t tell you about road closures are moments you can avoid with a smartphone that’s equipped with Google Maps and Waze.

Restore Jerry’s Subs & Pizza to its former glory (DC, MD and VA sub-loving citizens).

What are YOUR resolutions for everyone else?

Friday’s Hot Tip: Casey Robin Prints and Stationery

It’s Black Friday. For many folks, that means long lines at big box stores or frantic Internet searches for the best price(s) on The Most Perfect Gift Ever. For me, it means doing as little as possible because I am still recovering from Thanksgiving.

Should you opt to shop online this holiday season, I present you with a delightful option for those you know who love whimsical prints or stationery. Casey Robin is a visual development artist who’s worked at Disney; take a look at her portfolio and you’ll see the Disney influence. (You should also watch “Chalk,” the animated short she put together with several fellow summer associates at Walt Disney Animation Studios.)

I’ve interviewed Casey a couple of times – once for an article and another time for a Disney-themed writing project. She is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever worked with, and while we have yet to meet in person, the photos I have seen of her make me think she’s actually a Disney character come to life: blonde pixie haircut, big beautiful eyes, mischievous smile. I adore this young woman.

A few months ago, after I completed work on the Disney character project Casey helped me with, she sent me a sampler of notecards featuring her original designs. It’s hard to choose which ones are my favorites, as the images just pop with color and whimsy, but I’m a big fan of the Lady Bugs series.

Click on each image to be taken to purchase the cards in her Etsy shop, or visit her Etsy shop directly to browse through available prints, as well as the stationery.

Casey Robin, Etsy, stationery, cards, gift cards, thank you cards

Sweet thank you card by Casey Robin (excuse the bad lighting)

Casey Robin, Midsummer Nights Dream, faeries, fairies, fairy, whimsical art, artwork

Midsummer faeries note card series by Casey Robin. Clockwise from top right: Lantern, Bluebell, Poppy, Snowdrop.

Casey Robin, Lady Bugs, notecards, artwork, prints, starlets, Hollywood

Lady Bugs notecards by Casey Robin – Bluey Holiday, Marilyn Monarch, Betty Bumble and Amelady(bug)

Casey Robin, cats, cat lovers, cat lady, note cards, stationery

Cat Parade notecards by Casey Robin. Perfect for corresponding with cat lovers!

February is the Month of Letters (Sez Mary)

stationery, postcards, pens, mail, letters, letter writingThose of you who have been reading my blog for a while know how I feel about letter writing. Opening your mailbox to see a handwritten postcard or letter is one of my favorite things. Along with brown paper packages tied up in string, of course.

So when I heard about the Month of Letters Challenge through some friends on a social network, I was intrigued. When I read the post about it on novelist Mary Robinette Kowal’s website, I was excited. And I decided to participate.

The two-part concept is simple: for every day in February that the postal service runs in your area, mail something. It could be a letter, a note, a clipping from a magazine or newspaper, a photo, a postcard. You can mail something to your next-door neighbor or to someone on the other side of the world. Part two of the challenge is to write back to everyone who writes to you. The bonus is that mailed replies count toward your final tally for the month.

I confess, this will probably be fairly easy for me, since I’ve been in the habit of sending postcards and notes and cards to people for the past year. But there are a few letters I have wanted to write and haven’t, for whatever silly reason, so the Month of Letters Challenge is my incentive to finally write that letter to my childhood friend who lives in Europe with her husband and three daughters.

For those who want to participate but are slightly daunted, fear not. I have provided you with some pro tips:

  • On a budget? Check your local thrift shop for like-new, unused postcards and stationery. I’ve scored a large number of postcards from all over the world by going to my SPCA Thrift Store and perusing the stationery/postcard section. Sometimes used cards sneak into the available selection, so check first before buying.
  • Hate your handwriting? You’re allowed to type your letters. Just no emailing. I’m watching you. But consider this: the more you write things by hand, the better your handwriting gets. Unless you’re a doctor.
  • Get some nice writing tools. I am addicted to office supplies, so I don’t need another incentive to go to Office Depot, Staples, or Office Max. Trust me when I say a fabulous pen can make all the difference when it comes to handwriting letters. If you can afford a Waterman or Mont Blanc fountain pen, go for it. (Hint: Lamy fountain pens are fairly inexpensive and write nicely.) Otherwise look for a pen that has nice heft to it and doesn’t make your fingers cramp. I am a fan of Dr. Grip pens, which come in ballpoint and gel ink. I also like Sharpie pens – they are acid free and don’t bleed through paper.
  • Don’t know what to write? Get creative. Relay a funny story about your pet or your child. Share one of your favorite recipes. Transcribe a poem. List five things in a random category, such as favorite movies starting with the letter C, books that changed your life, or your least favorite foods. Hint: using postcards or small notecards means you have much less space to fill up with text.

Join me, won’t you? It should be a lot of fun. You have a day to go buy stamps and find some decent stationery. And if you need some pen pals for the month, check out the forums on the official Month of Letters Challenge website.