To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

By Robert Herrick, 15911674

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.

Ladies I Love: Z is for Zombie Apocalypse Survivors!

Oh my goodness – this is the LAST DAY OF THE A TO Z CHALLENGE!!!  I can’t believe it…no, wait, I CAN believe it!  This challenge was about to kick my butt, however, looks like I’m writing the Z post for Ladies I Love, so who’s kicking butt now, huh?  Speaking of kicking butt, that brings me to the subject of today’s post, my favorite female zombie apocalypse survivors (or as I like to think of them, zombie slayers).  But first, a little business:

WARNING: This post contains violence in the context of zombies being killed by badass ladies.  You might not want to watch the video clip at the end of this post if you have a problem with blood, gore, or violence against zombies.  Although I also feel obligated to tell you that it’s not real zombie blood or gore, and not real violence towards zombies.  No actual zombies were harmed in the making of any of these movies or shows.

zombie killer

Whew!  Now that that’s off my chest, let’s get started.  I don’t know if any of you know this, but I really like zombies.  Like, I like them a lot.  I read zombie novels, and I get a kick out of zombie humor.  To me, there’s something utterly fascinating about the whole “world falls apart and you have to learn how to survive in the face of horror and also other human beings who can also be horrible” scenario.  I’ve seen a bunch of zombie movies, of course, so I thought I’d write about my top five favorite female zombie heroines…but, damn, this was a difficult post!  Sure, I had my top 2 or 3, but I really had to dig to find a few others.  Most of the zombie movies out there star guys who go in to save the girls, or the girls end up taking off their tops and showing their boobs, or the whole thing is just a bad, lame joke.  Ugh.  Anyway, let’s get this list started!

28-days-later-selenaFifth on my list is Selena from 28 Days Later.  You could argue that 28 Days Later isn’t really a zombie film, but dang, all those people with the “rage virus” sure do act like they’ve lost their minds in a zombie kind of way.  Selena, played by Naomie Harris, comes to the rescue of several people in her survivor’s group of four, although she does not hesitate to kill anyone who has been infected (a drop of blood can contaminate and incite rage within 30 seconds of exposure…yikes!).  The rage virus continues to spread despite quarantines and Selena and her group continue to evade the infected, although they meet up with a not-so-nice military contingent and things get really messy from there.  Great movie and fantastic acting!

Shaun_of_the_Dead - LizI think my favorite zombie movie of all time has to be Shaun of the Dead.  Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are so hilarious that I couldn’t NOT include this in my list.  But who is the leading lady?  Easy – Shaun’s on-off-on again girlfriend, Liz, played by Kate Ashfield.  First, she can hold her own using a field hockey stick.  Second, she does a mean zombie impression which helps the gang get into the Winchester pub for the final standoff with all the zombies.  The humor in this movie almost makes me pee my pants every time I see it, and the cast is Ah Maze Zing (Bill Nighy even plays Shaun’s detested stepfather).  I always find something new to laugh at, no matter how many times I watch it!

AliceThird on my list is Alice from the Resident Evil movies.  This is a long series of movies and the overall plot is a bit complicated, but basically, the world is run by the Umbrella Corporation and has unleashed the T-Virus upon the earth’s populace, creating zombies all over the place. There are pockets of survivors here and there, and Alice, who is kind of a clone of herself in the movies, is there to rebel against the Umbrella Corporation and ultimately take them down.  Alice is played by ass-kicking Milla Jovovich, who is captured by Umbrella and experimented upon, and develops superhuman fighting skills and strength due to exposure to the T-Virus.  She uses her skills to escape from Umbrella, fight zombies, and destroy the head bad guy (or the Red Queen, shall I say).  I love these movies because of the complex story line, the twists and turns it takes, and of course, Milla Jovovich’s portrayal of Alice!

MaggieChopMy first and second favorite zombie survivors / slayers both come from The Walking Dead TV series.  My second favorite is Maggie Greene, played by Lauren Cohan.  The main group of survivors meets up with Hershal and his family (including Maggie) on his farm, and Glenn and Maggie hit it off and have a romance that survives longer than all of the zombies that Maggie and Glenn come into contact with.  Whether it’s clearing zombies from the prison compound’s perimeter or killing attacking zombies in riot gear, Maggie gets the hard (and dangerous, and gross) jobs done.  Maggie plays it tough but I think she’s a romantic on the inside, and will stop at nothing to get back to Glenn in season 4 when she doesn’t even know if Glenn is still alive.  Ahhh…a true apocalyptic love story!

michonneFinally, my favorite zombie slayer of all time has got to be Michonne from The Walking Dead.  I’ve kept up with the graphic novels as well as the show, and she’s my favorite in both.  Like Maggie, she plays it tough, but as we’ve gotten to know Michonne, we see more of her background and why she has had to toughen up so much.  She’s a very complex character, and is portrayed most excellently by Danai Gurira (really, I can’t imagine anyone else doing better – Danai IS Michonne!).  Also, Michonne carries a katana sword with her at all times, her signature weapon that allows her to kill zombies from a safe-ish distance quickly and quietly.  Check out this video that compiled all of her zombie kills, through season 3 (I think – the video was published July 26, 2013).  Pretty amazing, huh?

So what do you think?  Are you a fan of zombies or zombie films, comics, books, shows, etc.?  If so, who are your favorite survivalists?  Any recommendations for me, or additions to this list?

It has been a pleasure blogging the A to Z Challenge with all of you this past April – I hope to see you participating again next year!  I definitely will be, but feel free to stop by Fuzzy Undertones in the mean time to say hello! ❤

Ladies I Love: W is for the Side-Splitting Women of Saturday Night Live!

I can’t believe that April is coming to an end, and we’re rounding the final corner of the A to Z Challenge.  We’ve still got a few letters to go though, so I thought that for W, I would write about some of my most favorite Ladies I Love, the hilarious Women of Saturday Night Live (SNL)!  As I went through the entire cast history of SNL, I began to get a little overwhelmed at the thought of writing this post.  There have been a lot of female SNL cast members, and I love almost all of them.  So I decided that I would pick my top five (all pictures are from NBC) and go from there…and that was incredibly difficult in itself!

Gilda Radner - Roseanne RoseannadannaAs a member of the original cast, Gilda Radner is first on my list.  She was with SNL from 1975 – 1980, and won an Emmy for her performances in 1977.  Her most iconic characters were Roseanne Roseannadanna (a loudmouthed and crude consumer-affairs reporter) and Baba Wawa (a parody of Barbara Walters), but she also had other amazing characters up her sleeve.  Gilda Radner suffered from bulimia during her stint on the show, and eventually succumbed to ovarian cancer in 1989, with her husband (Gene Wilder) at her side.

Molly Shannon - Mary Katherine GallagherMolly Shannon appeared on SNL from 1995 to 2001.  I LOVE Molly Shannon because she was absolutely fearless when it came to throwing herself into her humor (quite literally).  She had several characters that performed physical comedy, such as Catholic school girl Mary Katherine Gallagher, who would trip over folding chairs during her talent show auditions, and 50-year-0ld Sally O’Malley who wore extremely tight and high-riding red pants and liked to kick, stretch, and kick!

Kristen Wiig - Fake Tanning MomOne of my more recent favorite SNL actors is Kristen Wiig.  She was with the show from 2005 – 2012, and also used physical humor in her sketches, doing a lot of dancing and singing in awkward ways.  My favorite characters of hers were the Target Lady, Dooneese Maharelle (the deformed singer with tiny hands on the Lawrence Welk Show), and Triangle Sally (who, uh, played the triangle).  Kristen Wiig is a very versatile actor and had many other recurring characters on SNL and there were so many to love!  I was sad to see her leave the show, but she’s had a rather successful career in movies since then.

Amy Poehler Rap with Sarah PalinI’ll bet you can guess who my next two favorite SNL actors are…and you’re right!  First is Amy Poehler, who worked on SNL from 2001 through 2008.  She was promoted from “featured player” to full cast member mid-way through her first season, an accomplishment shared by only her and Eddie Murphy!  She had a recurring role as Hillary Clinton, but also did several hysterical impressions of people like Michael Jackson and Kim Jong Il.  She, along with Tina Fey (more in a sec!) made up the first women-only pair to host Weekend Update.  Amy Poehler went on to star in several movies as well as her own show, Parks and Recreation (which I love dearly).  Also close to my heart is her project “Smart Girls at the Party“, which is a social-media based program that aims to encourage girls to be themselves, think for themselves and be confident.  Amy Poehler is not only funny as hell, but she’s a great role model for our girls!

Tina Fey as Sarah PalinFinally, it’s my very favorite SNL actor (just by a hair!), Tina Fey.  Tina Fey was on SNL from 1997 – 2006.  Aside from her doppelganger depiction of Sarah Palin, Tina Fey hosted Weekend Update (first with Jimmy Fallon, and then with Amy Poehler).  And, oh yeah, did I mention that she was the FIRST FEMALE HEAD WRITER AT SNL???  Well, I just did.  Bam.  Tina Fey also went on to make movies and write and star in her own show, 30 Rock (which I also loved very much).  AND, in 2013 and 2014, she and Amy Poehler also co-hosted the 70th and 71st Golden Globe Awards and totally rocked it.  She even wrote her memoirs in a best-selling book called Bossy Pants, and jeez – is there anything this woman can’t do???

We Killed by Yael KohenCan you believe that people have said that women aren’t funny?  Yes, and these people are even other comedians who have even worked with funny women (btw, I’m giving John Belushi, Jerry Lewis and Chevy Chase the stink-eye right now).  I know a lot of people who would disagree with these opinions…and in fact, there’s a GREAT podcast about the subject on Stuff Mom Never Told You that you can listen to here.  And, you can read the book “We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy” by Yael Kohen.  I’m sad that there are too many fantastically funny women who have performed on SNL to write about, but this post has already gone too long.  If you’ve made it to the end, congratulations and thank you!  To make it worth your while, share with me your favorite funny women – who makes you laugh your head off, from SNL or elsewhere?

Ladies I Love: V-Day is for Villainesses (who Almost got Away With It)!

I’ve been looking forward to this A to Z Challenge post for a while now, because let’s face it – being good can be soooooo boring!  Therefore, I declare that V-Day (today) is to be dedicated to a prestigious group of Ladies I Love, my favorite Disney Villainesses – muah ha ha haaaaaaa!!!

These are not ALL of the Disney villains, you might notice…I run with the classics.  These are my favorites – the most cunning, devious, manipulative and deceitful of the ones we love to hate.   Well, I don’t really love to hate them…I just love them!!!  Disney princesses can be so boring and predictable…always doing the right thing, beautiful, innocent, in need of rescue, blah blah blah.  Well, these ladies don’t need any of it, and they don’t care what other people think of them (well, ok, the Wicked Queen from Snow White wants to be the most beautiful one of them all, but whatever).  They are all unique in their abilities to seek out and craft an evil plan, and dang, they usually almost get away with it!  Here are my favorite villainesses (in order from just favorite to most favorite), and the reasons why I love them so:

  • The Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland):  She’s got style and is a wee bit off her rocker.  I admire her propensity for dishing out death sentences with every other breath, but she’s honestly not THAT smart and can’t really formulate a long-term plan for eliminating potential threats to her queendom (a.k.a., Alice).
  • The Evil Stepmother and Stepsisters (Cinderella):  Oooohhhh…to treat a poor wretched orphan in such a horrific manner…these ladies must have lumps of coal where their hearts used to be!  The stepmother is cunning and cruel, and the stepsisters are mean, but in the end their obvious greed brings their quest for personal gain to a halt.  If they could’ve just been a little more subtle about things…ah, well.  Better luck next time!
  • The Wicked Queen (Snow White):  Beautiful AND clever, the Wicked Queen almost succeeded in killing off Snow White.  Shape-shifting is an amazing power to have, but her plan just needed a little more follow-through.  She let those dwarfs get in the way…and then that meddling prince shows up!  Argh!  You’d think an evil plan would hatch (and grow to maturity) much more easily!
  • Madame Medusa (The Rescuers):  This dame has it all – a decrepit river boat in a swamp, two pet alligators (although they look more like crocodiles), and the confidence to never wear a bra.  She even has a sniveling little sidekick of a man who submits to her every whim, including sending a little girl into a tidal cave to look for a jewel hidden by pirates long ago!  And if it wasn’t for two mice named Bernard and Bianca, her plan might have succeeded.  Curses!
  • Malifecent (Sleeping Beauty):  Ok, AWESOME HEADWEAR AND THE ABILITY TO TURN INTO A BLACK RAGING DRAGON???  Do I need to go into any further detail about why this is one of the best villains EVER???  No?  Good.
  • Cruella Deville (101 Dalmations):  Ah, my favorite villainess at last.  Her obvious disdain for live dogs indicates that clearly this woman is a cat-person, which I can completely relate to.  And her fashion sense?  TOP-NOTCH.  I totally want to start smoking just so that I can wear elbow-length gloves and use one of those long cigarette holders!  Her only mistake was relying on a pair of bumbling henchmen to do a job that she should’ve done herself, but I guess stylish ladies like Cruella can’t be bothered to get their own be-gloved hands dirty.  Oh, the humanity!!!
All images from Disney.

HowToBeAVillainIt goes without saying that these villainesses, while amazing in their unique approaches to evil plans, could use a little help.  In my own research in becoming an evil genius I stumbled upon a book they might be able to use:  How to Be a Villain: Evil Laughs, Secret Lairs, Master Plans, and More!!! by Neil Zawacki and James Dignan.  It’s a bit basic, but they could probably use a little brushing up on the fundamentals.

What about you?  Who is your favorite villain, and why?

Ladies I Love: U is for Lieutenant Uhura, a True Star!

a_burning_trekkie__silver_by_schematization-d4rydciCan you guess what the most challenging letter for me in the A to Z Challenge has been?  Not X, not Q, not V, not even Z…but U.  However, when I thought about all the Ladies I Love and Lieutenant Uhura crossed my mind, I knew she was just the right woman for this tough letter!  That is because Lieutenant Uhura of Star Trek, played by Nichelle Nichols, was one tough lady!

Lieutenant Uhura served as a communications officer under Captain Kirk on the USS Enterprise during the original Star Trek series, which ran from 1966 – 1969.  Uhura moved up the Starfleet ranks throughout the movie franchise, making the rank of commander in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.  Nichelle Nichols portrayed Uhura throughout the series, as well as in all the Star Trek movies except for the last two, in which Zoë Saldana played a younger Uhura.  Uhura never took a back seat in the adventures of the Enterprise, and was often a key character in story lines, very much an equal among her Star Trek peers.

Uhura_and_Kirk_kissOne of the most remarkable things about Uhura’s character was that she was one of the FIRST African American women on TV to play a role that didn’t have anything to do with being a servant.  This was a ground-breaking character, and having an African American woman in a position of equality definitely stirred the pot on occasion.  For example, in the episode “Plato’s Stepchildren”, Uhura famously kissed Captain Kirk (ok, it was a forced kiss because she was under the influence of alien telekinesis…but still…) in a scene that is largely cited as one of the first inter-racial kisses aired on US television.

Apparently, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a fan of the show, and even let his children watch it, in part because of Nichelle Nichols’ portrayal of Uhura’s character.  Nichelle actually wanted to quit the show after the first year to pursue a career on broadway, but was told by Dr. King that she “could not give up because she was playing a vital role model for black children and young women across the country, as well as for other children who would see blacks appearing as equals.”  It’s a good thing she didn’t quit, because she DID inspire many to achieve success, including former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison, who said she was encouraged by Nichelle’s Uhura character.

MLK convo

Yes, Uhura was one smokin’ hot lady.  But she was also a star.  In Swahili, her character’s first name, Nyota, means “star”, and Uhuru means “freedom”.  With a name like that, how could Uhura achieve anything but success?  Set your phasers to “stunning”!

Ladies I Love: P is for the Power Puff Girls (Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice, plus Whoopass!)

Powerpuff Girls Header

Are you ready to meet today’s Ladies I Love in the A to Z Challenge?  If so, P is for the POWERPUFF GIRLS, who consist of Blossom (“the leader”, in pink), Bubbles (“the joy and the laughter”, in blue), and my favorite, Buttercup (“the toughest fighter”, in green).   The girls were created by their scientist “father”, Professor Utonium, who combined sugar, spice and everything nice…plus an accidental little something extra to give them their super powers.  The original cartoon, created by Craig McCracken in 1992, was called “Whoopass Stew!” but was renamed by the time it made its official debut on the Cartoon Network in 1998.  By then, the “little something extra” had been changed from a can of whoopass to “Chemical X”, which gave the Powerpuff Girls superhero powers such as flight, super strength, x-ray and heat vision, and super speed.  But the thing I love about the cartoon is that, even though these girls can do all these incredible things, they still have to face issues that siblings and youngsters go through: rivalries, hygiene issues, the use of security blankets, wetting the bed, and going to school.  Not to mention, fighting all the criminals and villains who want to take over Townsville, where the Powerpuff Girls and Professor Utonium live (and unfortunately, destroying much of Townsville in the process)!

Buttercup-powerpuff-girls-24270377-391-429My favorite character is definitely Buttercup, because she just wants to throw-down and fight the bad guys.  She doesn’t do a whole lot of planning ahead, she’s more of an action type of girl!  She’s strong-willed, adventurous, and isn’t afraid to get dirty and play rough.  She takes no prisoners!  I like her so much that I dressed up for her in a parade that our roller derby league participated in – the theme of the parade was “Super Heroes”, and I chose to be Buttercup.  She’s a superhero, right???  And the villains are kind of THE BEST EVER for an animated series.  Take this quiz to find out which villain you are (I came out as Mojo Jojo)!

Powerpuff Girls 2013The last episode of the Powerpuff Girls aired in 2005, but the Powerpuff Girls also starred in a feature-length animated film, a 10-year anniversary special in 2008, and a 2014 special (made without McCracken’s involvement).  For the 2014 special, the Powerpuff Girls received a CGI makeover (which I personally don’t like nearly as much as the more colorful, rounded version of the girls).  But the Powerpuff Girls had a very successful run, being nominated for and winning several awards in the process.

If you’re not familiar with the Powerpuff Girls, I know you are curious to get a little taste.  Here are two clips for you:  first, the theme that shows at the beginning of each episode:

And second, a clip from one of my favorite episodes, “Take a Bath, Buttercup!” where Buttercup refuses to wash her stinky self!

Who is your favorite Powerpuff Girl or villain?  Or, if you have another favorite cartoon altogether, what is it?  I’d love to know who you cheer for in the fight of good vs. evil (and which side you’re on)!

Ladies I Love: O is for the Entire Freakin’ Cast of Orange is the New Black!

If you are looking for a binge-worthy show to watch, you’ll want to definitely bookmark today’s A to Z Challenge post.  This is because O is for the entire cast of “Orange is the New Black“, who are all Ladies I Love!   If you don’t know anything about this show, it’s produced by Jenji Kohan, the same woman who created the show “Weeds”, and is based on a true story that was detailed in a memoir called “Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison” by Piper Kerman.  Piper was sentenced to 15 months in a federal prison because of a crime she committed ten years prior – transporting a suitcase full of money for her international drug-smuggling girlfriend, Alex.  In the ten years since, she settles down and lives a “normal” life as an upper-middle class white woman with a fiance in New York.  But someone snitches on her and look out – she is convicted and finds herself in prison.

OITNB - Cast photo

While Piper is the main character in the series, each episode tells the story of the inmates that Piper lives with in the prison.  The women are complex, varied and multi-dimensional, and at first, Piper thinks she has nothing in common with them.  AND, surprise surprise, she meets up with an old friend in her cell block: Alex.  The relationships that exist, form and change in the prison are born of necessity and are darkly comedic, like the series.  Yes, it’s a women’s prison show, which means that there are “adult themes” including strong language and nudity.  However, it adds to the realism and the color of the show…orange.  The cast is amazing.  Watch the trailer and you might be hooked…I binge-watched the entire series in one weekend!  Fortunately, Season 2 is coming out this summer, and I can’t wait!

UPDATE!!!  The Season Two trailer was just released TODAY!!!  And here it is, just for you!

And here are a few of my favorite characters (played by an incredible collection of actors):

OITNB - Season 2