Beyond Words

Words, Wit and Wisdom for Today's Style and Decision Makers

The New Dream Girls January 31, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 5:08 pm


“You know you’re living right when you wake up, brush your hair, and confetti falls out.”

Katy Perry



Katy Perry.  She who kissed a girl and liked it, woke up in Vegas, and is every boy’s teenage dream.  Okay maybe not, but according to her song lyrics, all of those are true.  Perry is also one of the most popular and successful pop artists in the world right.  Google her and you’ll see she’s “trending.”  Not because she loves glitter and all things cupcakey, but because she will be the half-time entertainment at tomorrow’s Super Bowl, an uber-highly coveted spot by any and all entertainers.  Sing maybe less than 10 of my biggest hits on sports’ biggest stage and be seen by more than 100 million viewers?  I’m in!  In other words, Katy Perry has scored big on this one and is the winner of the “where would I like to sing this year” contest.  If she were playing in the big game, she’d probably wear this Nicole Miller Helemt:





Katy Perry is also something else.  She is a “Manic Pixie Dream Girl.”  Say what?  Yep, a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, or a MPDG.  I heard about all this from my amazing niece Tessa months ago and was so intrigued by the concept.  What better time to explain it all to my followers and friends than today….thanks to Katy Perry tomorrow.


Coined by Nathan Rabin of The Onion AV Club after seeing the film “Elizabethtown” (one of my all-time favorites BTW), which features actress Kirsten Dunst in a role now dubbed a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.  According to Rabin, a Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a character type in films and TV shows who is forever positive and unabashedly girlish.  She is almost always the love interest of a grumpy, unpleasant male who learns he simply can’t resist her charm and allure.  These girls love life, love their man, and aren’t afraid to show either.


doris day


And before you get your feminist panties in a wad, know that these dream girls do things their way.  It’s just a way that others simply can’t or won’t pursue.  More power to them.   Much like many a Doris Day character, they may seem a little goofy or odd, they are fun and they don’t hurt anyone, and in the end they are tough cookies…albeit probably ones with icing and sprinkles. I think they live by one of my favorite quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson:




Think about it, don’t we all want to be a Manic Pixie Dream Girl is some way?


Many have “played one on TV” and others like Katy Perry seem to live the Pixie Dream in real life.


“I rock a lot of polka dots.  I have touched glitter in the past 24 hours.  I find it fundamentally strange that you’re not a dessert person.  I hate your pantsuit.  I wish it had ribbons.”

Jess on “New Girl”


One of the most often identified MPDG is actress Zooey Deschanel.  (the perfect name for a MPDG I must say!)  Her characters in films like “Elf” and “Failure to Launch” were spot on and have you seen her in the hit TV series “New Girl?”  It’s textbook MPDG.  In a way, Deschanel also seems to meld her MPDG characters with her real life.  Not only is she a sought out actress but she is a very talented singer.  (Remember the scene in “Elf” when she so delicately nailed “Baby, It’s Cold Outside?”)  One half of the indie duo “She & Him,” Deschanel sings and plays ukulele (a MPDG instrument if there ever was one!) while M. Ward sings and plays guitar.  Yep, she’s got my vote as a solid MPDG.  (And has anyone else noticed that Perry and Deschanel look remarkably alike?  Coincidence?  Creepy?  Both?)




 Holly Golightly



“When I first moved to New York I was totally broke.  Sometimes I would buy Vogue instead of dinner.  I felt it fed me more.”

Carrie Bradshaw, “Sex and the City”


I immediately think of two of my favorites:  Doris Day and the Carrie Bradshaw character on “Sex and the City.”  Many would say Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” was probably the original Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and the quirky character was indeed a MPDG but ironically it’s another famous actress with the surname Hepburn that is credited for originating the MPDG model.  And it may surprise you.


Katharine Hepburn, known as Katharine the Great for her immense acting talents, probably does not come to mind when thinking of girly glitter loving roles, but  her scatter-brained character opposite the brooding Cary Grant in the 1938 film “Bringing Up Baby” is recognized as being one of the earliest examples of a lovable MPDG.  The Hepburn and Hepburn coincidence is one thing, but there’s even a second generation MPDG line with Kate Hudson and Goldie Hawn!  Who is more MPDG than Goldie?!


Other examples that you might make you say “oh yeah, right” include:

Marilyn Monroe in “Some Like It Hot”

Winona Ryder in “Autumn in New York”

Many a Jennifer Aniston role and of course Phoebe on “Friends”

Kate Hudson in “Almost Famous”

Hudson’s mom Goldie Hawn in “Butterflies are Free”

Amy Adams in a number of films

Mila Kunis in “Moving McAllister”

Geena Davis in “The Accidental Tourist” and Grace’s sister on “Will & Grace.”

Jaime Murray on Dexter

Charlize Theron in “Sweet November”

Dharma in the hit TV series “Dharma and Greg”

Natalie Portman in “Garden State”

Even Belle in “Beauty and the Beast!”


Maybe Dr. Seuss was onto something all along when he wrote…

Dr. Seuss     Stand out


So just when you thought Katy Perry was just a cuh-razy singer with blue hair and a weird wardrobe, now you know she’s more than that.  She’s a dream girl!



Friday Funny January 30, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 2:57 pm


Happy Friday!


Think About It Thursday January 29, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 11:00 pm



So very true, right?  Above water, people may only see the finished product and your image, but underneath that water what they don’t see is all the effort you have put into your success.  I’d like to add to that underwater list integrity, unselfishness, team player, honesty, respect, knowledge, loyalty, fairness, and even a little humility and humor.


At the same time, we are all sure to run across many who project an image that is anything but genuine and yet achieve success without exhibiting few if any of those underwater truths.  The real truth is, swim on, swim past them, dive in, and enjoy getting a little sand in your toes!


Success is never an easy road, but it can be an exciting one.





Thought for the Day January 28, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 8:34 pm



Awards, Crowns, and Ball Gowns January 26, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 8:59 pm

Let’s just say last night was one royal evening on TV.  What, with Miss Universe, the Screen Actors Guild awards, and Downton Abbey competing for viewers, it was the perfect evening to play favorites with who wore what.


At the SAG awards, Emma Stone killed it once again, this time in Dior.  The girl knows how to pick them and she knows how to work it.  Love this about her!

Emma Stone in Dior


For the most part I thought the SAG gowns failed and that Jennifer Aniston’s breasts were again saggy (maybe it’s all those years of not wearing a bra on “Friends,” but something has taken its toll on her otherwise perfect bod.)  In addition to Stone, I died for only three other gowns:


Camila Alves looked dropped dead gorge again in a stunning eggplant Donna Karan Atelier mermaid with train.  Hash-tag she gets it every time.



I also think Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting looked beyond sweet in her tomato red Romona Keveza.



I loved, loved, loved the pale pink and oh so simple yet stunning Balenciaga column on Felicity Jones.  Perfect hair.  Perfect jewelry.  Perfect bag.  Perfection.

Felicity Jones




Meanwhile in Miami, the Miss Universe contestants were throwing down their best starlet imitations in gowns that put many a SAG star to shame.  My faves?


Miss Jamaica not only reminded me of a brunette Jennifer Lawrence but was also so poised and I am crazy about her super short hair.   The back of this red stunner was to…die…for.



Miss USA also looked radiant in red, as did Miss Russia…

USA  Russia



Miss Korea and Miss Hungary blew me away in blue…

Korea Hungary


Miss St. Lucia and Miss Czech Republic went for the gold…and scored big in my book…

St Lucia Czech Rep


I’m all about glitter so I loved Miss Peru’s sparkler but I also found Miss South Africa’s classy white number a real winner…

Peru SAfrica


I have a love-hate feeling about Miss Ukraine’s busy and bright pink friller but Miss Guyana’s emerald green gown was a gem.

ukraine Guyana


I love watching these shows and I love picking my favorites.  I wonder if you do too?  Please share!


Sunday Scripture: That Special Child January 25, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 4:57 pm


If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

It seems like more and more people I know have kids who are either special needs or just needing some special medical or educational care.  I work with children, all of who have different needs, and I have a talented and beautiful daughter who has special needs uniquely her own.  It’s tough seeing your child struggle but God is there every step of the way.  God also thinks YOU are very special as He gave that child to you and only you.   I don’t know about you, but I consider that a huge honor.  He trusts you and supports you, as this poem someone gave me years ago attests.  It made me feel better way back then, and it still does to this day.  Here’s hoping it helps whoever else needs it.


Heaven’s Very Special Child

A meeting was held quite far from earth

It’s time again for another birth

Said the angels to the Lord above

This child will need much, much love

His progress may seem very slow

Accomplishments he may not show

And she’ll require extra care

From the folks she meets way down there

He may not run or laugh or play

His thoughts may seem quite far away

In many ways she won’t adapt

She might be known as handicapped

So let’s be careful where he’s sent

We want his life to be content

Lord find the parents who will do

A very special job for You

They may not realize right away

The special role they’re asked to play

But with this child sent from above

Comes stronger faith and richer love

And soon they’ll know the privilege given

In caring for this gift from heaven

Their precious charge, so meek and mild

Is heaven’s very special child.





Up In The Air January 24, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 10:13 pm

Fox News FB


I just read in the paper today that Expedia bought Travelocity from the Sabre Corp., which is the big system that companies work with to sell airline tickets, hotel rooms, and rental cars.   My family is a big fan of Expedia so I found this interesting and read on.  Did you know Expedia also owns and Hotwire?  News to me.  I was under the naïve assumption that all the sites competing for not only ad space but travel dollars are separate and competing entities.  Silly me.


And it’s not just Expedia.  Priceline, another big booking site, also owns, Kayak, and Open Table.  I couldn’t find anything on Orbitz or new player Trivago, but I’m sure they’re next.  In fact, Orbitz is rumored to have a “for sale” sign on it.


I don’t know about you, but I use these sites to find competitive airfares and to book travel packages that include flight, hotel, and rental car.  I’m not sure how to feel that many of them are one big happy family.  Doesn’t seem like much competition to me, and competition makes prices drop, right?


Flying is not fun anymore and no one will tell you this more than my husband, who has travelled for years on business and wants nothing to do with it even for fun.  I get it.  Flying is a pain in the tail and I don’t care what exotic locations you “get” to travel to for your job, my lack of envy will be sitting with me right at home.


Don’t get me wrong, I do still enjoy a trip or two, but my list of “gotta see” places continues to decrease mainly due to the hassles of flying.  If it’s a driving road trip you’re talking about, I’m in.  Boarding a plane that’s not non-stop?  Eh, lemme think about it.




A Flight Attendant Comes Clean

This all made me remember a book I read some years back titled “Cruising Altitude.”  It was written by Heather Poole, who was/is a long-time flight attendant for several major airlines.  I loved reading the dish on what flight attendants and only flight attendants know and thought I’d share some of it with you.  Fasten your seat belts, put your tray tables in the upright and lock positions, and enjoy the ride!


First and foremost Ms. Poole wants everyone to know that we are not receiving “bad service” these days but “limited service.”  (Tell that to the passenger who gets Ms. Grump-a-Lump serving her on her expensive and crowded flight!)  She vows flight attendants are doing the best they can with the limited and decreasing tools they are given.  She says that you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat a flight attendant, who, by the way, lives and works amid one of the most serious ranking seniority around.


In fact, you might say seniority is everything in the flight attendant world.  Those on domestic flights tend to get the least amount of respect and work the least wanted routes.  If the plane you board has two aisles, is an overseas flight, and/or is a long flight, you more than likely will be served by the most senior of flight attendants.


Those long flights are often the calmest of flights, as passengers are least likely to carry-on big bags.  Being away for a long period of time means more checked bags and a much calmer boarding time.  According to Poole early morning or “red eye” flights also tend to be quieter, as passengers sleep during the flight, and as she says “a quiet cabin is a happy cabin.”


I prefer booking morning flights for perhaps another reason:  in case of the dreaded (and more and more common) cancellation or delay of connecting flights, the odds of catching a later open flight are much greater than if your original flight was a 2:30 p.m. flight.


I have a very dear friend who is a flight attendant.  She flies only international and is as sweet and professional as can be so I hate to even include this fact, but if you ask me, flight attendants just aren’t very friendly anymore.  She, Poole, and probably any other FA will say that their job is not to make us happy but to keep us safe, but it seems like asking one for anything is like asking for a million dollars.  I get it, it’s a stressful job full of probably very rude passengers, but without us there would be no flight attendant jobs.


Want to make one of those snotty flight attendants unhappy?  According to Poole, order a Diet Coke from the bev cart.  What?  Yep, Poole says that for some mysterious reason the fizz in only Diet Coke doesn’t go down as quickly as other carbonated drinks so they are considered the most annoying beverage.   Note to self!


Both Poole and “Conde Nast Traveler” report that nothing is more annoying than the NYC-Miami flight.  Both say it’s “one of the most difficult routes in the system” and Poole added NY-Vail as well, claiming “every single person sitting in coach truly believes they should be in first class.”  Then buy a first class ticket princess!


As a whole, business class passengers are Poole’s least favorite, and probably those of most flight attendants.  Called “the most demanding passengers on an airplane,” they are usually given the most junior attendants.  It makes sense, as coach passengers don’t expect much of anything anymore and first class passengers get all they want.  It’s those middle business boogers who consider themselves better than coach but won’t or can’t ante up for first class.


The most challenging flyers are also those who feel entitled.  Everyone is all about being a “gold status gazillion mile frequent flying champion,” but who isn’t today?  The days of flashing your mileage reward card and impressing anyone are long gone.   You fly a lot on business?  Well unless it’s for your dream job, I feel sorry for you!



Everyone, me included, has always thought flight attendants live a charmed life and should smile from take-off to landing.  That is not necessarily the case though.  Their jobs are hard and they are a grind.  Yes, they have the perk of flying “non-rev,” but have to do so stand-by, usually in the middle of the week and rarely for holidays, and getting a seat with family members flying with them is almost unheard of.  Okay so the flight is free, but how would you like to fly everywhere stand-by?  Think about it.  You really can never check a bag and you will more than likely spend hour upon hour waiting at a gate.  This is the case for even the most senior of attendants.


Until you have reached that coveted senior status, your personal life is literally and figuratively “up in the air.”  As Poole wrote, single flight attendants find it difficult to have relationships as their schedules and availability are erratic and they are generally fairly independent people.  Saying “good-bye” is an everyday thing for a flight attendant!  Maybe that’s why today’s flight attendants last either only a few months or a lifetime.  Veteran flyers consider flying not their job, but a lifestyle.


I always figured New York City would be considered the “end all” of flight attendant base cities, which are where their flights begin and end, but it’s actually considered a junior base and is home to many a newbie.  In fact, many NYC flight attendants permanently live elsewhere, which somewhat explains the line of motor homes and campers along the back fence at JFK.


If they do permanently live the New York City area, it’s probably in what’s called a “crash pad.”  These multi-level and multi-room houses are where flight attendants merely “crash” between flights and do so with several fellow attendants.  Queens is a popular location for them as it’s centrally located between LaGuardia and JFK.


All this seems much different than the old days, when flight attendants were called stewardesses and were considered glamorous, like on the recently cancelled TV show “Pan-Am,” which I loved.   They were also required to be childless and single and of certain height and weight.  Today there are some clothing regulations regarding how flight attendants wear their airline uniforms,  but other than that the only height and weight restrictions are that they must be able to sit in the jump seat without an extended seat belt and fit through and emergency window exit.  Oh yeah, they’re also officially only on the clock when the door closes and the plane backs away from the gate so delays are just as aggravating to them as they are to you!  Add to that having to deal with demanding passengers, standing on your feet all day, being one of very few people who say “thank you” when someone hands you trash, and you quickly realize that flying the friendly skies isn’t all that friendly for anyone anymore!


Pilots have it a little different but are under probably even more stress.  I cannot even imagine.  A few fun facts about pilots that Poole shares are the fact that they often keep a family photo under the brim of their hat to distinguish it from those of other pilots, captains have four stripes on their sleeves while first officers have three, the heavier and bigger a plane pilots fly the more money they are making, and pilots on one flight are never fed the same thing on board as a precaution against food poisoning.  Good to know, right?!


All of this may bore you (and if so, you probably have read this far anyway!), but it fascinates me.  Here are a few other random tips Poole gives:


  • Because of lower oxygen levels on a plane, the same amount of alcohol goes a lot further so please drink wisely!


  • Afraid of flying? Tell the flight attendants right away. They are there to help you. Also, the back of the plane is always bumpier so avoid sitting there if possible.


  • Count the number of rows from your seat to the closest emergency exit. Keep in mind that if an emergency does occur, it will probably be dark so you will need to feel your way to the exit.


  • Those seat blocking device that you can use to prevent the seat in front of you from reclining look like great carry-on ideas, but they will be confiscated by a flight attendant so don’t bother buying one.


Yes, airlines have taken the fun out of travel with smaller seats and carry-on bag charges, but in most cases don’t blame the flight attendant unless he or she is extremely rude or unfriendly.   Maybe they could all take a page from Southwest Airlines flight attendants who almost always are nice and happy.  Amazing too, being that the majority of their flights are short ones.  We’re all paying a lot of money to fly and withstanding a lot of irritations do so too so is it asking too much to ask for a simple smile and common courtesy?  Or maybe even a snack or a blanket?  I think not.



One last thing:  SkyMall magazine, that fun little “seat pocket in front of you” magazine that contains all those things you really don’t need but seem to want at 20,000 feet, has filed bankruptcy.  Seems on-board TVs, laptops, and notebooks have taken the place of the in-flight shopping catalog that has been a cabin mainstay since 1989.  Although I always have a book, my own magazines, and my tablet on board, I will miss browsing through SkyMall.  Will you?