There IS film in Lansing! And some of it is directed by women!

I had the rare opportunity to view the line up of films from the Directing Workshop for
Women (DWW) Showcase for this year’s Capital City Film Festival over the last few weeks and saying that I was impressed is an understatement.

According to the Celluloid Ceiling 2007 Report, women accounted for only 6% of directors of the top 250 domestic grossing films released in 2007, a decline of 1% since 2006. This figure is approximately half the percentage of women directors working in 2000 when women accounted for 11% of all directors. While these statistics are dated by a few years, it is apparent that the role of women as directors is on the decline. Women in roles of leadership in general are scarce; just look to the role of women in U.S. Congress for example, where they hold approximately 17% of the elected seats, according to the Center for Women in Politics, yet make up about 51% of the United States population as of the 2010 U.S. Census. It is obvious that women are underrepresented, but what can be done about it? In my opinion the first step is to support the women who do take on leadership roles. Continue reading


Educate. TEDxLansing And CCFF April 13, 2012

Educators. We regulate the stealing of ignorance. We damn good, too. But you can’t be any geek off the street*. Gotta be handy with the learnin’. You know what I mean? Earn your keep…

You know you’ve felt it. That moment when something in your brain just clicks. You get goosebumps, you’re flooded with adrenalin, and you just can’t keep the smile off your face. If you haven’t felt that? Go learn something. Right now. YouTube will do. Anything. What are you interested in? What don’t you know? Because you know there’s something you don’t know. Go learn it, then come back here and tell me how it felt. If you said, “Dude, it was lame and I didn’t feel anything,” I’ll know you’re lying. Or that you searched for something you’re not passionate about. Because, really, that’s what learning is about. Passion. And, as you’ll read in the article that follows, Kleenex.

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How do you communicate?

Old Town Sign Post taken from Sharon Drummond's Flickr photostream

My wife and I have a problem whenever we go out to eat, and it is something that I don’t think we will ever be able to rectify.  She is someone who, upon the conclusion of her meal, likes to sit there and chat and digest.  I, on the other hand, need to immediately move.  I despise sitting still in a restaurant after eating.  I start readjusting my seat. My leg starts bouncing up and down.  I fail to pay attention to the conversation at hand.  I just need to move.  I need to get out of there.  There’s no real reason to it, I just hate staying still right after eating.  This is why Golden Harvest is perfectly suited to my dining needs.  Once you’re done, they are going to kick you out.

Not all restaurants are like Golden Harvest though.  Some places will be content with filling your coffee cup over and over and over again.  I hate this.  Mostly because my wife will drink her coffee and engage in, what I can only assume is, the most meaningful and wonderful conversation of her life.  I don’t know.  I stopped paying attention, and I cannot fathom why anyone would want to stay put after eating unless it was so utterly engrossing.  This inability to control my ADHD after eating has indirectly led me to discovering the art scene in Old Town though.

Not following me?  Don’t worry, I’ll explain.

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Not So Vacant for a Night

“What’s the password?”

How can you not love the "C" in this?

The question was posed to me as I approached a vacant building on south Washington Street in REO Town. The asker was a sharply dressed 20-something man who looked like he had stepped straight out of the roaring 20s. A trilby hat, suit coat, dark vest. Sharp.

He rubbed his hands together as wisps of white breath floated away into the night. It was a strange question to hear on a Wednesday evening in Lansing. And the fact that I was standing in front of an apparently abandoned building made it even stranger. Luckily, I had an answer at the ready.

“Bum’s rush.”

He smiled and swung the door open as I stepped into what might have been the most anticipated event of 2012 thus far. But perhaps I ought to back up and explain a little bit first.

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Frost Fest Steams the Streets of Lansing

One of the options of frozen games to play throughout the night.

It was almost like a scene straight out of a C.S. Lewis novel. Tables for chess and checkers were made out of ice, as were the etched slabs and pucks used for shuffleboard. Giant blocks served as stools for shivering card players. But unlike the White Witch’s castle in the classic children’s novel, the inhabitants of Frost Fest’s tent couldn’t have been less similar to stone statues. Continue reading