Monthly Archives: May 2010

Women Making A Difference: Kick Ass Women In History: Queen Elizabeth

Today I am back doing another blog radio interview, this time about Queen Elizabeth.  I will be steaming live at 3:30pm PST.  As always, this 30 minute show will be available for free download from iTunes.  DeAnna Radaj is a great host and this proves to be a really fun show.

From the website:

In our continuing quest to feature women pioneers, kick a** women who’ve made a difference in for not only their generation of women but for following generations and she-heroes that we don’t know much about…in this episode we learn about Queen Elizabeth I-the Virgin Queen. Elizabeth’s reign is known as the Elizabethan era, famous above all for the flourishing of English drama, led by playwrights such as William Shakespeareand Christopher Marlowe, and for the seafaring prowess of English adventurers such as Francis Drake. Some historians are more reserved in their assessment. They depict Elizabeth as a short-tempered,[4] sometimes indecisive ruler,[5] who enjoyed more than her share of luck. Towards the end of her reign, a series of economic and military problems weakened her popularity to the point where many of her subjects were relieved at her death. Elizabeth is acknowledged as a charismatic performer and a dogged survivor, in an age when government was ramshackle and limited and when monarchs in neighbouring countries faced internal problems that jeopardised their thrones. Such was the case with Elizabeth’s rival, Mary, Queen of Scots, whom she imprisoned in 1568 and eventually had executed in 1587. After the short reigns of Elizabeth’s brother and sister, her 44 years on the throne provided welcome stability for the kingdom and helped forge a sense of national identity.[2] Our guest is Deirdre Sargent.

The Biggest Douche On Planet Earth (Sorry, he’s not from SF)

(Today I present a Classic Column because I have been deep in book writing hell, have school gigs to do and have to dig for buried treasure on Facebook.  Will return with another radio blog on Monday.)

The Biggest Douche, in my opinion, is …. Scott Alexander from Manchester in England.

I stumbled on this steroid, botox, bad plastic surgery train wreck on BBC America. It was a show called Britain’s Biggest Spenders.

Why do I think he is a huge douche? Here are my observations….

He spent 6 million pounds in one month (that is about 10.5 – 12 million US dollars). Why?

He bought a TOWN in Bulgaria (really? really?), and renamed it…. yup you guessed it – Alexander.

He has an oyster Rolex – had the entire thing encrusted in diamonds (the entire band) and had No 1 put on the face in saphires.

He bought a new villa when his pad in Manchester wasn’t enough. He wants to tear up the Italian tile in the foyer and … yeah, you guessed it… spell out “No 1” as the “main feature” of the house. He thinks it will define the house. Yeah, define it as the house of the Biggest Douche on Planet Earth.

He has the most fucked up face I have ever seen. He injects himself with some mystery Hollywood shit that costs $2,000 a shot for “eternal youth”. Well dude, with the bad tanning bed tan and the roid muscles, I guess the bad Botox shit in your face was just a foregone conclusion but really?

He is determined to show Bulgarians style in dress so he shows up to a casino with a wide ass collar and a shirt unbuttoned down to his balls to show off his waxed chest. This isn’t style. This is just douchy and you are their King.

Personally, I don’t care how much money he has. I wouldn’t touch him with a 10 ft pole. I wouldn’t marry him for any amount of money. Now if you had my family held hostage – OK. Then I would make sure he vanished as soon as possible and take all his dough for my traumatized trouble. Honestly, if any woman would do him for the dough – shame on you because there are just some things that go beyond the beyond and doing The King of All Douches is one of them.

Hell, I was beading, saw this – it was a train wreck – couldn’t turn away and thought I would share. Now we can all feel better about ourselves knowing that while we may be subsisting on Government Cheese at least we have our self-respect and aren’t a King Douche like this guy.

Follow Up On Yesterday’s Blog Radio

First, here is some feedback from host DeAnna:

Hi Everyone-
How FUN was today’s interview?  Deirdre is hysterical!  I wish I was in the Bay Area to see/hear one of her presentations…good grief.

Best quotes of the interview:
“the squirrel stole my thong…” (title of Deirdre’s upcoming book…can’t WAIT to hear that story!)
“you can be creative…or you can sell crack”

This & many more wonderful gems were given in this really fun half hour.

Deirdre is a historical costume designer who’s work has been featured on Showtime, Renaissance Faire magazine & other publications, a Shakesperean actor & lover of English drawing room comedies.  She is an author, writer & actress.  She loves teaching kids actual history & inspiring them!  Her thoughts are that “history doesn’t NEED any embellishment!”  And I have to agree with her.

Catch up with Deirdre on Facebook: ncrf_queen or Deirdre Sargent
and her blog at

Deirdre will also be our guest next week on Kick A** Women in History when we look at the life of Queen Elizabeth I….YEA!

It was a really fun interview and I had a great time.  You can download the show for free on itunes.  Here is the link.  I will post another reminder when I do my Queen Elizabeth interview next Monday.

I think it is so great to have an outlet to showcase women and their accomplishments both historical and contemporary.

Radio Blog Show Today – Subject: Me!

Women Making a Difference w/Deirdre Sargent.

This afternoon I am going to be on blog radio talking about my work with school kids, teaching history with Presenters of Living History, my writing and general empowerment through entertainment.  I will be on next week at the same time talking about Queen Elizabeth.  If you can’t listen live, you can download the show after the fact for free and listen.

This show/radio blog – Women Making A Difference – is based on the TV talk show special “Women Making a Difference” shown in Milwaukee by Eden Place Productions and hosted by DeAnna Radaj of Bante Design LLC. Meet inspiring women as they share their stories! DeAnna Radaj, host of the show & owner of Bante Design LLC. Awesome and fabulous women are interviewed who make a difference in their community, state and/or beyond through service work or their business. Meet business CEOs, non-profit heads or women who volunteer their time/money to mentor, volunteer or donate. You’ll be inspired!

Come Fly With Me! – Review of Peter Pan

Straight from London, this fabulous new production of Peter Pan 360, theatre in the round, is playing now in Ferry Park across from the Ferry Building. This is a great show but you need to go in with the right frame of mind so allow me to outline a few things:

This is the play based on J.M. Barrie’s book Peter Pan.  This is NOT the Disney version of Peter Pan and just because people fly on wires does NOT mean this is Cirque.  This is also a play (running 2 hours, 20 min with intermission) and not a musical.  While there is some music in the show, there are no big show numbers.  The web site is serious when it says you must give serious consideration to bringing small kids to this show.  It could scare or bore them. It is a lot to sit through.

The theatre is impressive.  Intimate yet open.  It is theatre in the round with projected scenes on the scrim around the top of the arena.  There are few “bad seats” and while there are bleachers, they do have individual seats though they do not have arms.  It is an engineering marvel.

Once the show starts, you must accept a few things.  The main issue is that all the kids are 23-25 years old.  Wendy, Michael, John, Peter, Tink, the Lost Boys – they are all grown people – they kinda have to be in order to do this show so you just have to let it go and accept that reality.

The Original cast members from London are Hook, Wendy, John, Michael, the Lost Boys, the puppeteer and Jane.  This has both positive and negative results.

Tinkerbell seems to be imagined by the director as a homeless Russian Gypsy punk rocker.  It’s a little jarring at first to people who are use to Disney’s Tink but it works and I feel is closer to Barrie’s concept of the character.  A fairy who can only experience one emotion at a time which makes for a very scattered, fractured personality.

Wendy is a wonderful mixture of spunk, maturity and innocence.  I think she does a great job and is the perfect foil for Peter.

Hook (as well as Mr. Darling) is played by Jonathan Hyde.  He did a letter perfect J. Bruce Ismay in Titanic, was superb as the hunter Van Pelt in Jumanji but in this role, I just wasn’t feeling Hook.  I’m sorry.  I thought he was a little flat.  To me Hook should be larger than life.  Perhaps I was so impressed with what Dustin Hoffman did in the movie Hook but I wasn’t sure if he was suppose to be evil, a coward or a fop.  He didn’t really commit to any while dabbling with all of these in a cursory way.

The puppetry was first rate especially the Croc!  It was AMAZING!  This will scare the crap out of tiny kids especially if they are real close.  This puppet is driven by 2 people and is impressive.  Nana the dog is so expressive as well.  With the advent of more puppeteer shows such as Avenue Q and The Lion King, I don’t think audiences really mind having a person on stage with the puppet.  Your mind blocks it out after a bit.

The “underwater scene” with the mermaids has 2 gals doing ribbon ballet and it works sooo well for the beautiful but dangerous mermaids.  The ribbons form their tails however in their leotards they almost have an eel quality to them.  They are a wonderful addition.

The horrid disappointment in this show was Tiger Lily.  I heard they cast a local gal and I really wish they hadn’t.  OK, I’m going to address the elephant in the room.  I am really tired of white girls playing parts for non-white actors.  Are you seriously telling me you could not find an actress of Native American or ethnic coloring to play Tiger Lily?  If just her physical appearance wasn’t enough, then she opened her mouth.  Damn.  She sounds like a whiny High School girl wanting to hang at the mall.  Sure she’s hot and can stand flat on one foot while raising her other leg over her head without using her hands but she’s not right for the part.  This reminds me of the movies from the 30’s – 50’s that cast white women as the “Indian Princess” or the “Harem Girl” or “Nefertiti”.  I thought we moved beyond that and we have a great many gals (like the actress from LONDON) who can do this role!  It just annoyed me.  A lot.

Peter was great.  I am a HUGE supporter of having Peter Pan played by a MALE.  This whole idiot concept, started in the beginning of having a female play Peter runs against the underlying attraction and awakening sexuality between Peter and Wendy.  THANK YOU for putting a boy in the part and one who is talented and hot as well.  Thank you so much for that!  While not the original actor from London, he inhabits the role well, showing us the perfect man-child who is willful, fun, petulant, angry, creative, gentle and fierce with a sense of wonder and a deep sadness that touches you.

The supporting cast of Lost Boys, Pirates, Jane (Wendy’s daughter) and Mrs. Darling are all great and add to the overall impact of the show.

Large tents are set up next to the show tent for food and drinks.  While I ate at the Ferry Building before the show, I did get a glass of Gloria Ferrer Va de Vi.  It was a disaster.  Not the bubbles, the service.  There were 2 people in front of me.  It took “brainless chick” 8 minutes to get one lady 2 glasses of wine.  Here was my experience:

Me:  One glass of Va de Vi please

She stares

Me: Va de Vi

She stares

Me. A glass of Va de Vi

She rings up $3.50 and starts for the soda case.

Me: NO!  VA DE VI – GLORIA FERRER VA DE VI, it’s champagne, not soda and it’s $11, not  $3.50.  That is wrong.  Ummm, you swiped my card for $3.50

Her: (Gets wine) I’ll charge it right.

Me:  NO, you are doing it wrong (as she rings up $8,50).  8.50 plus 3.50 is $12, not $11.  You have charged my card too much now!  She gives me a dollar from the till.  I take my drink and my dollar and do not tip because she is a FRACKIN MORON!!!!!!  Now I only have 10 minutes left of my 20 minute intermission.  The tent is also filled with lollipops and candy displays.  The air smells like popcorn, beer and unrequited love.  I am confused by the sign at the entrance to the tent that clearly states drinks are allowed inside but food is not.  However they are peddling food inside and people are taking food inside.  I am sooo confused.  As long as I can take my drink back to my seat, I’m good.

Parents, another tip: Don’t let your little darling wear fairy wings.  Sure, they are cute but they get in the way.  We are in close quarters and if your kids wings are poking me, they are going to get bent.  Just sayin’.  Also, to reiterate, this is a play.  Lots of talking, not a ton of action.  This is old school Peter Pan, not a Disney show.  It’s still cool but just need to say again, it may bore your very small child.  If your kid cries or fusses you must take them out.  If you don’t , you will be removed.  You can watch on closed circuit TV until your kid is able to sit still and watch without talking, crying, screaming, etc.

Bottom line, this is a very fun show.  Tiger Lily isn’t there very much and she does her big pole dance number (without the pole) in the 2nd act and then is never seen again – Thank The Gods!  I recommend you give this one a gander.  I went for the 2pm matinée and even the “cheap seats” are decent and affordable.  I would definitely give this one a turn while it is in town.

Cheese Rolling – A Way Out of Economic Depression?

I had a dream.  Not the kind unfortunately where everyone comes together, behaves like decent human beings, holds hands and sings Kumbaya.  No, I had a dream about cheese rolling.  Yes, last night I dreamed I should write about cheese rolling in San Francisco.  Unfortunately when the clear light of day dawned I realized there was no cheese rolling in San Francisco.

Cheese rolling exists, don’t get me wrong, but it is a British thing as evidenced by

(I love the fact you really get a good look at Borat around 1:45 as well as a cow… sort of) for the Official Cheese Rolling Facts.

Gloucestershire has been rolling the cheese for hundreds of years.  Someone back in the annals of time thought it would be a good idea to chuck a wheel of hard Double Gloucester cheese down a hill, giving the wheel a second head start, and then sending strapping young lads careening after it.  Whoever crosses the finish line first gets the cheese because with a round of cheese traveling at speeds of up to 70 MPH, it is unlikely that any long-legged monkey is going to catch it.

In the tradition of other British sports such as football (rugby) sheep tossing and tiddlewinks, injuries and fights abound.  Yay!  I figure it is a little like Hockey but on grass and without the sticks and with dairy products.  So why the talk of the cheese?

I think San Francisco should get on the band wagon and have our own cheese roll.  No, think about it – we already do many weird things in the name of fundraising such as the Bay to Breakers race.  Why not cheese?  We could raise money for the City coffers by charging an entrance fee, sell official souvenirs such as “The Cheese Cut Me” or some such AND to make it even better than the British we can do it on Lombard Street.

I know, I know, those poor people have it bad enough already with the ton of tourist buses and looky loos that inhabit that area 24/7 BUT they knew what they were getting into when they bought their house!  How could they not?  You are living on the world-famous “Crookedest Street in the World”.  It’s the San Francisco equivalent to the largest ball of string. In case you’ve been living in a hole:

We could set up giant inflatable barriers so people wouldn’t be flying into houses or cars and the course would be more challenging because of the cement.  No whimpy grass for us!  We are ‘Mericans!  We can chase cheese on bone breaking asphalt!  We can have different races, courses, age categories.  It is a cash cow I tell ya!

I say if you want to support your City, you need to get behind the Big Cheese!

Exotic Pets? Really?

As you may or may not know, Kirstie Alley has a cage… ummm, encampment…, make that a COMPOUND of Lemurs.  Yup, ring tailed lemurs as well as dogs, cats, rabbits and birds.  The dozen lemurs have 2 full time zoo-keepers and cost 50k a year.  I am sure that many celebrities and J-random people have more pets or stranger pets (like icky spiders or sugar bats) but the question I am asking is “How Many Is Too Many and Should Exotics Be Allowed As Pets?”

I guess you could say that since rich people have the money to take care of them, buy them food and clothes and stylists and spa days and shrinks, they should be able to have as many critters as they want as long as they can continue to keep them in regal splendor.  I mean having 25 animals in your 20 room Mc Mansion is just not the same as having 100 cats in a 1,200 sq ft home that is covered in feces.  But is it really?

Sure, the conditions are better but the animals, as well as most kids of the rich and famous, are left for the staff to take care of and raise since most of the glitterati have better things to do than clean the lemur/ferret/civit cat poo or spend time with their kids.  They are making movies, going to parties, avoiding paparazzi and how much time do they have to give some attention to their animals?  I’m thinking not much.

Pervy Michael Jackson had monkeys, the most famous of which was Bubbles.  What ever happened to Bubbles?  Well in the 90s he was give to the Center for Great Apes in Florida where he still lives and is doing well.   An interesting note: Jackson who planned to visit, never did and has never ponied up any cash for his former BFFs support.  Just like a man.  You want a kid when he is all young and cute and you can dress alike.  Then he grows up, hormones switch on, he starts humping your leg and off to the Ranchero For Exotic Animals Who Have Outlived Their Usefulness he goes.

Would I be allowed to have a lemur or a monkey?  Ummm, no.  Aside from the fact that I can’t afford to feed and house either of these, is it really fair to the animal to have the run of my condo, destroying things at will out of boredom and ennui.  I know there are laws.  San Francisco states you can not have more than 4 of any combo of small animal in a dwelling including dogs, cats, rodents and birds including CHICKENS.  Why people would have lunch as a pet is beyond me but hey, as long as it’s not waking me up, I don’t care.  Fresh eggs would be nice but the smell… That would not be pleasant.

So since us peasants are not allowed more than 4 pets, how do these stars get to have Noahs Ark in their backyard?  And just because they flaunt the law, does that make it right?