Movies


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Yesterday I read an article from MSNBC that talked about how gender influences salary discussions. “Salary, gender and the social cost of haggling” exposed different reasons as to why women earn less money. In the article several points were discussed but two caught my attention.

One of the points why women do not earn more money is because they do not ask. In the article, they have cited examples and group test whereby women asked for less or simply didn’t ask at all for a raise or more opportunities or more responsibility, etc. This made me think of the times I have been faced with salary negotiation issues. In a way, I feel I am improving. For my last job, I was a bit more comfortable and I felt I have more grounds to negotiate, yet with my previous jobs I just took whatever they offered. And even with that I felt bad taking it, even though I was a hard and diligent worker. Why do women feel so guilty when asking for money??? Is it something embedded in our brains from the ideals of the 1950s when women were solely dependent on their husbands??? What is it that makes us so scared???

The other point that caught my eye was that when entering negotiations and if the woman was direct and negotiated accordingly, she was in danger of being viewed as a “bitch”. Which in turn the woman will sense that and scale down the negotiations, resulting in less money. This made me think of that wonderful movie that I have quoted many times before “The Devil Wears Prada”. In it Miranda, the head editor of Runway magazine, is shrewd and conniving and gets what she wants. But if you have seen the movie, she is regarded as the biggest bitch of all. Yet, Andy, her assistant, explains (while having dinner in Paris) that if she were a man it would not be the same. And I would agree. How many men do all of us know who are powerful and wealthy? Now out of those men, who are fun loving and just extremely compassionate souls (especially in the work force)??? I would be so bold as to say very few…The truth is that in business if you want to get ahead you need to make cut throat choices. Those choices when made by men are accepted by society, but when made by women they are viewed in a negative manner.

So what is a damsel in distress supposed to do…well, you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t…so make your choice…

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(Bear with me a bit…I’ll ramble for a while…but I do have a point at the end)

I mentioned once before that I am a big fan of Madonna. In her last CD, Confessions of a Dance Floor, track number 8, Jump, starts out and I quote “the more time that you wait, the more time that you waste”…

Coincidentally, this past weekend I was bored out of my mind and I watched “The Devil Wears Prada” where they play the same song…

As I was growing up one of the points my dad kept on ingraining into my head was the following: “You need to have long term goals and you need to have short term goals”. That statement sort of baffled me. How can I define the time frames? How was I supposed to know what was short term? Was it a week? A month? A year? Where was there a break between long and short? I never was able to get it.

I moved to Providence, RI, about four months ago from Los Angeles. Needless to say, it has been a BIGGGG CHANGE. Going from one of the largest cities in the US to a very small one requires some significant lifestyle adjustments. And in the past four months, I have been questioning my choices. Was this the right move? Should I have stayed in LA longer? Was a year enough to experience the West Coast (previously I lived in Miami)? I just wasn’t sure. And I hate having to second guess myself. And then suddenly, one day, bored, driving aimlessly around RI, I listened to Madonna again.

It dawned on me that there are no set guidelines to define short or long. There are too many variables that go into that equation, such as the situation, the person who it is affecting and many other factors. What one needs to figure out is the variables according to you! How does a situation affect you and what you need to gain or lose from that circumstance? I was in LA for 11 months. To me it still feels like a short time, but in reality if I would have stayed, I would have wasted my time. I was comfortable though and it wasn’t easy to move. I had friends, I had a life and I liked it. It took me a while to get there and to just have to give it up again to start from scratch AGAIN, was not easy. But like I said before, if I was still in California, I would have just wasted my time. The same goes into so many other situations, we do not welcome the change or the challenge because we are so comfortable or we forget to push ourselves. In a way this post is related to one previous post I wrote about Passion Avenue.

If you want to look at example from “The Devil Wears Prada”, Andy stayed working at Runway for less than a year. She knew that she needed a year to get whatever other internship or job she wanted, but life threw her a curved ball and the “time” came up before she planned. She left the magazine, and ran a risk. Not to mention, she was questioned about her choices, but at the end, she was able to achieve what she wanted, and any more time serving Miranda as a glorified and well dressed secretary would have been a waste. This also applies to personal relationships. Sometimes we stay in a relationship because we think we could salvage it or because we think the other person could change. When we know deep inside those things will not change. So we stay and waste our time.

Another thing, my father said to me was “the time you waste, you will never regain”. And that my friends is very true. So, think about it…is it time to break???

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This past weekend I went to see the new Disney flick “Ratatouille”. Surprisingly enough this movie is great. I know it is for kids, but I think every adult should watch it as well.

The premise of the movie is about a Rat named Remy who dreams of becoming a chef despite his family’s wishes and other handicaps such as the oxymoron of being a rat-chef. When fate places Remy in the city of Paris, the opportunity presents itself and he dares to follow his culinary dream. In a nutshell, the movie is about how one little rat learns about friendship, the importance of family and learning about his true identity.

In the film, our little friendly Remy says one line that just kind of hit me. Nature is change. Hmmm…pretty insightful for a rodent…wouldn’t you agree???

So many times in our lives we are so resistant to change. Because we are scared, or we are comfortable, or the job pays well, or family doesn’t allow us, or whatever the reason. So many times we get stuck in our existence. But even mother earth changes…landscapes have changed, the temperatures have changed, our weather patterns have changed…I mean all changes in due time. So why do we seem to resist change so much??? I mean isn’t that what creates prejudices??? Prejudice against other races, sexual orientations, and etcetera. Prejudices in our families or social circles. Numerous times when we are young, we speak of freedom or of liberties and social justice or injustice, but when we get older, don’t we find these prejudices to be our comfort circles???

Well, sometimes if we go with our gut, and we change just a little bit, we might find what we are looking for or we might not…that depends on many different factors. But just having the guts to endorse that change might take us to a better place…just maybe…

For now…the little Remy…can teach all of us a thing or two about life…