Women Over 40 Rock! is on the move

We’ve changed our web address, but not our message. Still dedicated to celebrating the power and the beauty of women over 40, we are now located at:

http://www.inthetrenchesproductions.com/blog

Here you will be able to read all our new articles, as well as access all previous postings.

Be sure to Bookmark the new address for future reference, and sign up for our RSS Feed!

You can also find us by visiting InTheTrenchesProductions.com and clicking “Blog.” While at the website, take some time to watch our films and trailers, and participate in our forum.

As stated in a previous post, “Our Time Is Now”... don’t miss out on all the excitement!

Women Over 40 Rock!
In The Trenches Productions

Note: This is the final post on our old address. All new articles will appear at the new site. Hope to see you there!

Posted by Mandy Crest, Blogger for In The Trenches Productions, The First Entertainment Website for Women over 40!

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Published in: on March 30, 2008 at 3:13 pm  Comments (1)  
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Sandra Oh Supports SWAN Day Saturday March 29th

What on earth is SWAN day you might ask? Is it the day we pay tribute to really long necks or is it the day we pay homage to our beautiful feathered bird friends? Nope that is not it, even though long necks and swans definitely deserve our respect and praise.

No SWAN day is SUPPORT WOMEN ARTISTS NOW day! And this coming Saturday March 29th is the first Annual International SWAN Day!

We all need to support this new international holiday that celebrates women artists. As a symbol of international solidarity, over 100 SWAN Day events have been scheduled around the world. Even Sandra Oh is getting into the act with her inspiring SWAN Day Story

By focusing attention on the work of women artists, SWAN Day will help people imagine what the world might be like if women’s art and perspectives were fully integrated into all of our lives. The public is invited to attend SWAN Day events and to make donations to their favorite women artists. The long term goal of SWAN Day is to inspire communities around the world to find new ways to recognize and support women artists as a basic element of civic planning.

SWAN Day is a grassroots effort that is being coordinated by The Fund for Women Artists . Hats off to this wonderful organization and it’s founder Martha Richards. Everyone on the planet is invited to help create this new holiday!

And guess what! You don’t have to travel outside your city or even leave the comfort of your home to support SWAN Day. Just open up your laptop or start your computer and go to IN THE TRENCHES PRODUCTIONS (how’s that for good directions) and you will see the first entertainment website for women over 40. Check out films written, created, developed, produced, co-directed and edited by the 4 (over 40) women of In the Trenches Productions. They use their talent and creativity as filmmakers to create high quality short films that will resonate with women over 40 as well as entertain and inspire. They also use their acting artistry and sometimes star in the films. So support them and all the artists involved with their films and visit The In the Trenches Productions Entertainment Web Site to watch such fims as “Believe It Baby”, “The Forgotten Grave”, “Transitions”, A Host of Trouble”, and “Living Large with Less” as just one of your Swan Day Events.

For more information on Supporting Women Artists Now check out THE FUND FOR WOMEN ARTISTS and SWAN Day.

Lets make Saturday March 29th 2008 a turning point for Women Artists!

Debbie Zipp, blogger and shameless promoter for In the Trenches Productions
The First Entertainment Site for Women Over 40

“Staging Your Comeback: A Complete Beauty Revival for Women Over 45” by Christopher Hopkins, “The Makeover Guy®”

When it comes to clothing and make-up, we tend to fall into particular patterns by our mid-twenties. We’ve decided which clothes look best on us and we’ve perfected our hair and make-up. We know what works and we stick to it. And that is precisely the problem. We go through our thirties and well into our forties, failing to notice that our appearance has changed in subtle — and not so subtle ways. What once worked simply doesn’t anymore. Fear not, for help is on the way!

Having consulted with the likes of Lauren Holly, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Robert Wagner, and Stephanie Powers, among others, Christopher Hopkins now brings his dramatic makeover techniques to you in his new book, “Staging Your Comeback: A Complete Beauty Revival for Women Over 45,” now available on Amazon.com.

Christopher, known to millions of his fans as, “The Makeover Guy®,” works his magic, from hair and make-up to a customized wardrobe, helping you to find your own unique style… without spending thousands of dollars. You’ll learn the mistakes common to women over 45 and how to avoid them.

Excerpt:
“We have been programmed to believe that something outside our control is responsible for how we look: genetics, aging, time. But now more than ever, we have the power to change and improve what Mother Nature handed us and continues to hand us. Anyone can look, feel, and live better than ever before. Opportunities for a new love, a new career, and a new life are literally at our fingertips. Who would have imagined that Raquel Welch would become the face of MAC cosmetics at age sixty-six, or that a first-time mother would birth twins at age sixty-seven? What was once unheard of is now common, and what was once accepted now seems archaic. For women today, anything is possible. By preparing yourself for the part, you can create the scene, however you want it played. You’re the star in your own show. It’s your turn.”

For a chance to enter Christopher’s drawing for FORTY BOOKS IN FORTY DAYS, register for the mailing list here.

In The Trenches Productions is proud to recommend “Staging Your Comeback: A Complete Beauty Revival for Women Over 45,” by Christopher Hopkins.

Posted by Mandy Crest, Blogger for In The Trenches Productions, The First Entertainment Website for Women over 40!

PJ PARTIES FOR WOMEN OVER 40

Here’s a nifty way to plan a fun get together with your women friends and re-live the pajama parties from your youth. I heard about this kind of party from a young woman I recently met. Every other month, she and her friends gather for an all day /overnight event. They cook up scrumptious dishes, drink great wine, gossip and watch films. A spin on this is to create your own DVD women’s film festival. The film line-up could be Best Actress Oscar winning performances, or an all female comedy night or a collection of films either written or directed by women. Plan the meals around the films. So, while serving up fantastic Italian dishes you could check out the wonderful divas of Italian cinema. I am planning my first PJ party/DVD women’s festival around my favorite Indian women film makers. For food, I’ll be whipping up a curried chicken salad. Ina Garten has a tasty recipe: Google – Ina Garten’s curried chicken salad. The films on my menu are: Mira Nair’s MONSOON WEDDING; Gurinder Chadha’s BRIDE AND PREJUDICE; and, Deepa Mehta’s WATER. These films will not disappoint and even a second viewing is a treat. I tell you a little about them since you may want to check them out.

MONSOON WEDDING is exquisitely shot and tells the story of an arranged marriage taking place in a well to do Delhi family. On the Mira Nair’s website, Mira Bai Films , the film is described as “….a love song to both old and new Delhi. It is also an exploration and celebration of Punjabi culture. Five interweaving stories are told in the four days and nights leading up to an elaborate upper-class wedding. Each story navigates different aspects of love, crossing boundaries of class, continent and morality.”

BRIDE AND PREJUDICE is a Bollywood take on the Jane Austin classic. There is much singing and dancing and the spirit of the film is positively exuberant. The color palate of the film is dazzling. Fans of the TV show “Lost” may be surprised to see Naveen Andrews cast as Mr. Darcy’s good friend, Mr. Bingley. In an interview in About.com, Naveen said he had to train 9 hours a day for about 40 weeks (surely an exaggeration) to learn the dance numbers which he described as, “…traditional Indian dance coupled with M.C. Hammer from the early ‘90s.” The singer Ashanti makes a cameo appearance and sings a song that has no connection to the plot. According to Gurinder Chadha, it is a traditional in Bollywood films for a celebrity to make such a cameo appearance and sing a song unrelated to the storyline.

WATER takes place in 1938 and it tells the story of 2 women who are living in a widows’ house. At that time, if a woman’s husband died she had 3 choices: to marry her husband’s younger brother, if his family permits; to kill herself on his funeral pyre; or, to live a life of celibacy, discipline, and solitude in a house with other widows. The movie follows the lives of two women. Chuyia, had been married to a much older man. When he dies, her family places her in a widows’ house where, despite being a pre-teen, she is expected to live out her days. As the film progresses, it is heartbreaking to watch Chuyia slowly realize that her mother is not coming to take her home. Kalyani, another widow, meets a handsome young man, who is a progressive thinker. He believes in a new law which, while unpopular, does allow widows to re-marry. But crossing the river to meet his family, Kalyani realizes that events in her past, tying her to her beloved’s father, may prevent her from marrying. This film, like the other two, is beautifully shot and the performances are outstanding.

By the way, here are some additional films directed by these very talented women. Other notable films by Mira Nair: VANITY FAIR, THE NAMESAKE, and SALAAM BOMBAY. Other notable films by Deepa Mehta: FIRE and 1947: EARTH – the other 2 films that make up a trilogy. Another notable film by Gurinder Chadha: BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM.

So, those are my party plans. I’ll happily take suggestions for future women’s DVD film festivals.

Jan Bina, blogger for In the Trenches Productions
First Entertainment Website for Women Over 40

Hillary Clinton: Hold the “B” Word, Please

“By choosing a woman to run for our nation’s second highest office, you sent a powerful signal to all Americans. There are no doors we cannot unlock. We will place no limits on achievement.” — Geraldine Ferraro (1984)

Ferraro? “A four-million dollar…… I can’t say it, but it rhymes with ‘rich.’” — Barbara Bush

Twenty-Four Years. That’s how long it’s been since a woman (almost) made it to the top of America’s political ladder. Despite great strides by other women… some becoming members of Congress, Senators, even Governors, Nancy Pelosi’s 2002 election by her colleagues to lead Congress as Speaker of the House was the next major breakthrough into politics topmost ranks. Just two heartbeats from the presidency.

‘America. Love Her or Leave Her.’ That’s a catch-all phrase used by hard-liners to defend America against criticism. Right now… today… a political twist on that phrase might very well be ‘Hillary Clinton. Love Her or Hate Her.’ Has there ever been a single woman whose very name elicits both elation and revulsion within the ranks of everyday America? You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who rides the middle rail on the topic of Hillary Clinton. Polarization is an apt description of her effect on American politics.

‘Hillary Cries!’ the headlines shout when during a particularly emotional moment her voice faltered, cracked, and her eyes glistened. ‘Hillary Attacks!’ scream the pundits when she dares to disagree with a political rival. She’s cold… calculating. She’s a Bitch!

We live in a country consumed with propping up the idea of family. A country where songs that proclaim, ‘Stand By Your Man,’ reach the top of the charts. But Hillary Clinton, after standing by HER man following a series of, shall we say, indiscretions, has been called an enabler… a lesbian… a dealmaker who, if she had a scrap of pride, would have left him flat. I guess we listen more to the music than the words.

“I’ve been called some names I’d be embarrassed to repeat in public. I’ve learned that my hairstyles and fashion choices provide endless fodder for public discussion and dissection. You know sometimes I’ll walk by and see somebody on TV talking about what I’m wearing and they will have imbued it with great meaning, ‘She chose that color to send a certain message.’ I did? I’ve been told to smile more, I’ve been told to smile less. I’ve been told to speak more loudly, I’ve been told to speak more softly. I’ve been told to not speak very much at all.” — Senator Hillary Clinton

We can do better than this, can’t we? In subtle and not-so-subtle ways, the political process is rife with sexism. But say what you will about Hillary, this country… our daughters… owe this woman an incredible debt of gratitude. Regardless of whether she wins or loses the presidency, she has blown the top right off whatever glass ceiling remained in American politics. Watching her one-on-one debate with Senator Obama not long ago brought tears to my eyes. That this event could happen in my lifetime was not something I would have thought possible.

Give pause before unleashing the ‘B’ word or, worse, the ‘C’ word. Think about today’s young women, many intelligent, hopeful, and ambitious. They’re watching Hillary… and wondering if ambition and success are worth the price she’s paying. If not Hillary, then perhaps one of those young women WILL be a future president. Perhaps one will reach even higher.

Republicans, Democrats, and Independents – whether or not in agreement with her politics – must acknowledge the accomplishments and sacrifice that Hillary Clinton has made for America… and for our daughters.

As for me, I can only hope that someone gives her a copy of this post. If so, I’d like to say, from the heart, ‘Thank you, Hillary.’

Posted by Mandy Crest, Blogger for In The Trenches Productions, The First Entertainment Website for Women over 40!

Published in: on March 11, 2008 at 11:50 am  Comments (5)  
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THINK LIFE OVER 40 IS DOWN HILL? THINK AGAIN!

Just saw Mandy Crest’s great Our Time Is Now blog, and it only reinforces the other reinforcement I came across…and one can never have too many reinforcements, as we all know.
Yesterday I read an article by Thea Singer in the Feb. edition of MORE magazine, and Singer has left me singing!
This article, “Power Surge”, reports on several studies that have followed women over many years (one for 5 decades) assessing various traits, including confidence, and guess what? Women in their 20s and 30s felt weak, incompetent and very unsure of themselves (no surprise to me, having been there). But in their 40’s these same women experienced an increase in confidence, felt that they had come into their own (as Mandy says), and that they could follow their own convictions no matter what others thought. Their sense of competency in their work and personal lives actually soared.
But how does the media portray most of us over 40? Dried-up and drifting from senior moment to senior moment. And I have to admit the media’s views of mid-life and older have always been tugging at my coattails, even though I knew that when I hit my 40s I was beginning to feel pretty good about myself. And then when I hit my 50s I even felt sort of complete…like I had come to know exactly who I was. BUT – as the 60s approached that nagging feeling that the media was right and it was all a mirage and I was really about to sink into the pool of senility grew ever stronger. Until – I read this article and all the info these studies had come up with. It, and then the follow up when I read Mandy’s blog, helped me realize what I had actually known all along – I have gotton better and better and better with age, and plan on continuing on this course.
So thank you, Ms. Singer, and Ms. Crest as well. And it couldn’t have happened at a better time, as I turn 66 this week. A better birthday prezzie I could not have hoped for!
Judith 66-and-lovin’-it Drake, Blogger for Women Over 40 Rock / In the Trenches Productions

Published in: on February 19, 2008 at 3:25 pm  Comments (4)  
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OUR TIME IS NOW

Our time is now.

As a young girl growing up in the ‘60s, I was raised in a sheltered New England community. Back then, I had yet to see a female newscaster, a female doctor, a female astronaut, or a female soldier. My young mind would have thought such a thing impossible.

Not long ago, the mature woman, as presented to us by mass media, was obsessed with keeping her husband’s dirty shirt collars clean and his coffee cup filled. To be a woman relegated you to a narrowly defined path; you were not encouraged, or expected, to wish for more. Television and movies portrayed the over-40 woman as asexual, content to tend to the needs of others at the expense of her own. What dreams they may once have harbored, now buried beyond reach. The worn cliché of a woman never admitting to being over 29 years of age is grounded in fact; to admit to anything else was to put oneself in danger of being deemed obsolete.

Flash to the 21st century — today. What a difference! From Hollywood to Washington DC, female role models abound. Together we have witnessed, and continue to witness, history in the making. History made when Nancy Pelosi took to the podium as the first-ever female US Speaker of the House. History now unfolding as Hillary Clinton becomes the first woman in history to find herself in serious contention for the position of United States President. Whether or not Hillary is elected, the landscape of US politics is forever changed. For the better.

Our time is now.

One need look no further than Candice Bergan’s character, Shirley Schmidt of ABC’s Boston Legal, to see a woman of action. Age is no barrier to Shirley, nor to Candice. They’re both smart, successful, vibrant, and confident in their sexuality. No wonder Candice was chosen to play the part.

Sally Field, Diane Keaton, Teri Hatcher, are just a few of the many women over 40 who have, throughout their careers, helped to shape the collective consciousness of more than one generation. Our daughters look, as did we, to these older women, and to the characters they play. In them, they see walking, talking evidence of that which is possible; that they too are free to pursue their dreams.

The beautiful and intelligent Vanessa Williams, age 44, gracing of cover of February’s More Magazine, it’s 10th Anniversary Edition, said, “I’m enjoying every moment. In your twenties, you think, I’ve got to prove something. In your forties, you don’t.” Bravo, Vanessa.

Our time is now.

We’re wiser at 40 than we were at 30. But to those of us nearing 60, 70, or older, the 40-year old is but a child. Most of us, sadly not all, have, by the time we’ve reached 40, learned some lessons along the way. For sure, we’ve learned a thing or two about life, and about our ability to cope and adapt when change rears its head. We embrace our dreams; no longer afraid of failure, for failure is just another lesson to be learned. We refuse to live a life of regret forged by an unwillingness to act upon our dreams.

Face it, 40 isn’t the new 30 any more than 60 is the new 40. But so what? We no longer feel compelled to lie about our age. We’ve earned those numbers and do not shrink from admitting them. We no longer feel it necessary to add “for my age” to the end of each sentence when we see ourselves in a mirror and admit that we look pretty good. Far from hanging up the “out of order” sign, aging prepares us to experience that which is to come. Our confidence, not to be confused with youth’s false bravado, is real, and comes from deep within. We’ve learned to trust our instincts in our quest to realize our potential.

Our time is now!

Speaking for myself, this is one over-40 woman who will not sit on the sidelines, content to watch the young girls have all the fun.

My Time is now. How about you?

Posted by Mandy Crest, Blogger for Women Over 40 Rock! and In The Trenches Productions

Empty Nest and The Teddy Bear Store

The empty nest is suddenly approaching. How will I feel? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? The answer is in the Teddy Bear Store. My daughter just turned 21. My son is 16 1/2. I am 54. Hmmmm. Are they old or am I? I guess it depends on your point of view. But no matter what my age the empty nest syndrome is quickly approaching. I have had to start thinking about the empty house in my future. How will I feel when their bedrooms are empty and devoid of the sounds of life of the ones so precious to me, no matter how annoying a few of those sounds are?. . . Their faces won’t be readily available to kiss, or their bodies always there to hug everyday. Or when I no longer HAVE to get up or stay awake for them, or work my day around pickups???..the list is endless. How will my heart feel when I am no longer needed in that way?? And of course there is also how I will feel about the empty nest when I no longer have to pick up the endless crap around the house and scream that I am not a servant! When I no longer have to argue about grades and responsibility and impress upon them that I am not a servant and or doormat. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? It could go both ways, I guess. However since the prices of apartments in Los Angeles are so astronomical how can a young person afford to strike out on their own? Perhaps we will end up like the Walton’s and the house will be filled with our kids and the grandkids and me and my husband and all the doggies and fishies. My husband and I will just take a lot of trips. And this too could be a good thing or a bad thing. It could go both ways. Anyway I digress. My daughter is turning 21 and my son wants to get her something for her birthday and he is having a terrible time at the mall deciding. Boy I hate that. Malls, teenage boys and tough shopping decisions. How will I feel about not having to do THIS anymore? Well, we passed one of those teddy bear stores and his shopping block ended. You know… the stores where you pick a bear, they stuff it, put a heart in it and it is born? You get a birth certificate, you name it and pick a stunning wardrobe for it, and lots of other stuff, so by the time you are out of there you have created a bear that only Donald Trump could afford for his daughter. Well I watched my 6.1 ft 16 year old son pick out the bear with great care, and even the panties (about $5 for those and I don’t even spend that on my own panties!). And suddenly I saw him, with complete ease and a little gleam in is eye, turn around and jump up and down and do an entire routine, usually done only by 4 year olds, to bring the newly stuffed bear’s heart to life! That memory was instantly stamped into my brain and heart, and will live there forever and ever. THIS is what I will miss. These unforgettable moments. Not just the daily give and take, kissing and yelling, but this…these unexpected, unrepeatable delightful moments. So even though my children are slipping away because they are maturing so fast (and that is a good thing) and will not need me in the same way (if I’ve done my job properly) they are, and will forever be, in my heart. All that they were as children and all that they are becoming are there in plain sight for me. The big memories like this or the little ones. I may have forgotten a lot at this age and I may forget more (I like to blame it on menopause not age) but there are some memories that stick like Elmer’s. My son’s happiness when doing something special for his sister will stick. Enough will stick. My heart is the real home where my children will always be no matter where they happen to live. I think those kind of memories rest in your heart, not your brain, because that is where they will be safe. I may have an empty nest, but I will never, ever, have an empty heart. Of course I am kind of leaning towards the Walton’s idea, and perhaps a grandchild or two (eegads! not now but later) to take, hand in hand, to the Teddy Bear store, where I will watch them dance with glee as I hold back tears of joy.
Debbie Zipp, In The Trenches Productions

Published in: on May 4, 2006 at 2:07 am  Leave a Comment