Working Girl, 9 to 5, & Other Office Movies

working-girl-9-to-5-moviesLadies — what are your favorite office movies, particularly for women? Which ambitious movie characters inspired you while growing up, and/or who has inspired you recently? Which movies would you want to discuss with other readers?  I’ve mentioned my favorite fashion movies before, and we’ve had a few discussion threads about specific books, but as fall weather sets in, I thought it might be fun to start a discussion series of “working girl movies.” The idea for this partly came when I watched The Intern months after it came out and then spent two hours looking for an earlier Facebook post where I knew some entrepreneurs I know had discussed the movie — but it’s been bolstered by sadness/shock when I talk to younger women who haven’t seen Working Girl. GASP.

Now, I must insist we discuss Working Girl and 9 to 5 — not only are they fun, funny, and uplifting, but they’ve stood the test of time. Don’t take my word for it, though — here’s a post from 2015 on Yahoo about how Working Girl “really is the perfect movie,” and a New Republic article from 2015 on the “enduring relevance” of 9 to 5), just for two examples. So our first movie discussion will be of 9 to 5, scheduled for October 18. That said, I’m curious to hear your thoughts on which other movies you’d like to discuss with Corporette readers. I think there are a few ways we could do this:

  • Try to find a movie from every decade to watch that represents women in the workplace, for example:
    • 1940 – His Girl Friday (another one of my favorites, but I feel like there may be a better option — I’m open to suggestions)
    • 1950s – ? (I feel like we can do better than Monkey Business but sadly that’s what’s coming to mind…)
    • 1960 – The Apartment (haven’t seen but I found it on a list of “top office comedies” — I’m open to suggestions)
    • 1970s – ?
    • 1980 – 9 to 5 (we’ll discuss on October 18)
    • 1989 – Working Girl
    • Late 90s/Early Aughts – ? (Devil Wears Prada was 2006 but could work… How do we feel about Legally Blonde (2001) as part of this discussion? Too much school, not enough office?)
    • 2009 – Up in the Air (haven’t seen yet, but found on the same list)
    • 2015 – The Intern (this may be too entrepreneurial-focused — thoughts?).
  • Chuck the “decades” idea out the window and just watch and discuss a few good office-oriented movies — for example, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead has some amazing “dressing for work” scenes and some amusing “lady in the workplace” things to discuss (We’re right on top of it, Rose!) — but it’s from 1991, so it’s very close in time to Working Girl. I’d also love to add Office Space to this list, but the only women in the movie are Aniston’s waitress character and Nina (“Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking!”).
  • Take a heavier load and add documentaries or dramas to the list. This is totally not my bailiwick, but I’m totally open to suggestions. Norma Rae? Historical dramas like Elizabeth?
  • Add TV series to the list and watch a few key episodes. Murphy Brown? Mad Men? Mary Tyler Moore? The problem here is that a movie is much more contained with character development and everything else.
  • Just focus on the “inspiring hard-working women characters” theme instead and add movies like Clueless to the list (or, hey, Hunger Games).
  • Add books to the list. (But hey, who likes reading, amiright?) (kidding)

All right, ladies, what say you? What movies would you like to discuss? For the moment, let’s start the discussion on October 18 with 9 to 5 — you can borrow it from your local library or rent/buy it from iTunes or Amazon. (Oooh, and Working Girl is available on Netflix, for those of you who want to get ahead in your assignments.) Here’s the blurb from Rotten Tomatoes, where it has an 83% fresh rating: “Three female office workers become friends and get revenge against their boss, a sexist egotistical lying hypocritical bigot, and in so doing create a more efficient and pleasant work environment.”

Hobby Wednesday: Coloring Books for Adults

Coloring Books for Adults

What kinds of hobbies do you like to take part in after work and on weekends? (We’re talking about offline activities here — no computers required/allowed!) This is the first in a series of occasional posts where we’ll take a look at how to pick up various hobbies. Today we’re talking about coloring books for adults, an activity that has exploded in the last year or so. You can find coloring books of all kinds at sites like Amazon or stores like Michaels or Jo-Ann Stores — I even saw a small selection at the grocery store the other day. I’ve dabbled in this trend myself; I received a Doctor Who coloring book as a gift a while ago and just took it up a notch by buying Color Quest: Extreme Coloring Challenges from Amazon, a color-by-numbers book in which each mystery picture has teeny-tiny squares or other shapes to fill in. (The picture isn’t revealed until you’re done.)

If neither of those appeals to you, don’t worry — there are many, many options out there for coloring stress relief (or just for fun) — in fact, it’s almost overwhelming. You can find coloring books of mandalas, animals, flowers and landscapes, fashion, abstract designs, tattoos, TV and movies (from Bob’s Burgers to Buffy to Lord of the Rings), lawyersarchitecture, sports, quotes, Internet-famous cats, and anatomy. There are religious coloring books, coloring books of Disney villains and Disney princesses, and several books with titles like Calm the F*ck Down: An Irreverent Adult Coloring Book (which has 800+ reviews). Your favorite website may have even put out its own coloring book, for example, The Oatmeal or Young House Love.

A few books that are highly rated at Amazon are pictured above. From L to R:

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How Do You Keep Up with Current Events?

How Do You Keep Up with Current Events? What’s your favorite way to keep up with current events? Has it changed recently (such as when Facebook changed their “trending stories” to “trending topics”)? Have you adopted a new curated source that seems like a helpful one for you, like theSkimm or The Broadsheet, or have you rediscovered an older source (like the NYT or WSJ)?

Readers had a lively debate the other day while discussing reading news online and paying for media/content in general. Some felt that it’s important to, for example, pay for New York Times online access (which is $4–6/week), while others didn’t see a problem with finding the loopholes that let you keep reading for free (or, say, with using your parents’ HBO GO password). Looking at the bigger picture, The Media Insight Project did a survey in 2014 that led to some interesting conclusions on news consumption among the generations and genders. For example:

  • “Adults age 18–29 … are less inclined than those 60 and over to follow news about national government (57 percent vs. 79 percent) or foreign affairs (59 percent vs. 79 percent overall).”
  • “[F]or the youngest adults, age 18-29, social media and the web in general have hardly replaced more traditional ways of getting the news. Nearly half … also read news in print during the last week, 3 in 4 watched news on television, and just over half listened to it on the radio.”
  • “Women … are more likely to share news and get it through social media, and to follow news about schools and health and lifestyle. Men are more likely to watch cable news and follow different subjects, including sports and foreign affairs.”

Do those numbers seem to ring true for you and your family, friends, and coworkers? And all of this makes us wonder: How do you like to keep up with current events? Do you:

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Open Thread: TV, Streaming, and Movies

fall TV open threadSince we’re all getting back into the swing of things after the long weekend, I thought we’d have a fun open thread today: what new TV shows are you looking forward to this fall? What second, third, and beyond seasons are you eagerly awaiting? What shows are you so glad you’ve caught up with via streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Prime — and have you seen any great documentaries or movies lately? (Here’s another great question: for those of you who love to binge watch things or tie TV-watching to workout time — what are your favorite shows?) Do you put limits on your TV watching (e.g., no more than 7 hours per week, only on the treadmill)? (Cord cutters / those without a TV, I’d love to hear from you too — how’s it going?) 

For my $.02: With two small kids and limited grown-up/unscheduled time outside the house, we almost never go to movies in theaters — the last time I can remember going was when I saw Gone Girl by myself the week it opened… oh and of course we saw The Force Awakens the week it opened. So almost all of my picks will be TV-based! For new TV, I just set my TiVo to record (links go to the official trailers on YouTube):

  • MacGyver – I’m kind of really psyched about this reboot; we watched the old series all the time while growing up. (Pictured.) It premieres Sept. 23.
  • Bull – I read the description (it’s loosely based on the backstory of Dr. Phil and his jury consultant years) and thought, OK, fine, it sounds interesting — but the trailer makes it look like a really fun mix of a procedural/character study, so I’m now properly excited. It premieres Sept. 20.
  • The Good Place – Kristen Bell plays a woman who dies and wrongly goes to Heaven instead of Hell; the comedy is about her trying to change her less-than-stellar ways.  It looks OK to me, but I like Kristen Bell, so I’m hopeful. It premieres Sept. 22.
  • One Mississippi – I mostly set the TiVo based on the recommendation of Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker’s TV critic (but a quick Google shows it’s getting a TON of good traction from the critics, along with Fleabag and Atlanta — here’s the NPR article on all three).  One Mississsipi is a dark comedy inspired by comedian Tig Notaro’s life: “Tig returns to her hometown in Mississippi, where she contends with the death of her mother and her own mortality as she embarks on a painful yet hilarious journey that unearths uncomfortable truths about her family and her self.” It premieres Sept. 9.
  • Designated Survivor – Fiiiiine, I thought, I’ll record it since this show is getting so much buzz, and hey, I had a crush on Kiefer Sutherland many many moons ago, although I do not remember why. After watching the trailer I’m intrigued, though — Sutherland plays “a lower-level cabinet member who unexpectedly becomes president after a devastating attack on Washington.” It premieres Sept. 21.
  • Braindead – I’m not quite sure where to put this one — it’s eleven episodes into its mid-summer premiere. I started watching it primarily because I’d read about how the costume designer from The Good Wife was doing this as his next show, and while the clothes are fine (I’d say unremarkable, honestly), the show itself is a delight — quirky, funny, smart.  The premise: “A government employee discovers that the cause of the tensions between the two political parties is a race of extraterrestrial insects eating the brains of the politicians.” Big thumbs up.

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4 Types of Vacation Packages for Busy Women

Specialty Vacation PackagesTravel planning can be a lot of fun, but it’s also time-consuming — and stressing out about a vacation kind of defeats the purpose. Vacation packages can take almost all the planning out of the equation — and they don’t have to be the run-of-the-mill, giant-tour-bus trips that might spring to mind, either.

We’ve rounded up five types of vacation packages that seem just right for busy professional women who don’t have a lot of time to spend researching hotels, restaurants, activities, sightseeing spots, and so on. These companies are booking through 2017, but if you’re looking for something last-minute, you’re in luck: Now is a good time to find deals, as late summer is a less popular vacation time than early/mid-summer. (Check Last Minute Travel, CheapCaribbeanTravelzoo, or Groupon. You can also read our guest poster’s tips for traveling solo, as well as check out our last discussion about using all your vacation time.)   [Read more…]

Weekend Prep for Monday: Do You Do It?

weekend prep for mondayOne of the things that came up in the comments on our diets for busy women post was the idea of prepping meals and snacks on Sunday for the week ahead — and I’ve read a ton of advice saying that you should steal an hour during the weekend to review the major tasks you need to accomplish in the week ahead. So I thought it might be an interesting open thread today:  Do YOU do weekend prep for Monday or the week ahead? When do you do it, and what do you do?

Pictured: veggie meal prep from @squirrel_kitchen, featured in this DailyBurn article about 21 inspiring instagram accounts for meal prep. 

For my $.02, when I was working in BigLaw I liked resting/playing on Saturday and coming into the office on Sunday for a few hours if I needed to do some work. Because I was well rested and there was no one else in the office (or, at least, vastly fewer people, and everyone was there to work), my focus was so much better — I used to call them “Super Mondays” because I was so productive. These days, I often try to get at least half of the short morning and afternoon posts written for the week on Sunday afternoons, putting in a few hours of work while my youngest son naps. If at all possible I also try to write a to-do list of my tasks for the week ahead, and put papers to review on my desk so I can get some focused work done before turning on the computer — easier said than done when your business is online! This probably isn’t even that noteworthy, but another thing I try to do is look at the NYT and WSJ and other news outlets on Sunday, because I’ve found that I waste far too much time looking at articles on Monday, particularly the longer magazine articles.

So ladies, let’s hear it — what routines and practices have you put in place for your weekends that lay the groundwork for a great week ahead? For those of you who do meal prep or have other healthy habits on the weekend, I’d love to hear what you do!  

Psst: here’s our last discussion on morning routines for successful people.