Words & Banter

Barbie’s Not The Only One Taking A Road Trip

BARBIE 2023 Warner Bros. Pictures film with Margot Robbie


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I have a serious dilemma. And since summer movies are not exactly your “thing”, I doubt you’ll be any help.


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Funny you say that, as there are three summer releases that I plan to see.


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Three?! You?! Really?! I’m guessing one of them is “Oppenheimer.” But have no clue what the other two can be, especially as I can’t imagine you want to see "Barbie.”


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Yes, to “Oppenheimer,” and to “Barbie.” I am fascinated by all the Barbie marketing and co-branding … and how Mattel is not only trying to change how we look at Barbie, but also rebranding itself.

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With all due respect, I want to enjoy movies, not understand the business behind them!

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All I was going to say is that most people think of Mattel as a toy company, and what is happening with “Barbie” is they are becoming more Disney-like in that they are an intellectual property (IP) company managing franchises. That also happens to sell stuff. Lots of stuff.

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I guess that explains why it’s a full-blown Hollywood movie with big-name movie stars. And directed by Greta Gerwig, a “serious” and well-respected director. But that doesn’t explain why you would see it. Growing up, I don’t ever remember seeing you play with Barbie dolls. I know I didn’t.

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I guess hanging out with the boys next door and tying firecrackers to Barbie dolls does not count. But, I do have one Barbie doll pristine in her original box.

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Now you’re just messing with me.Or are going to say it was an investment purchase.

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Neither. When I was racing the Ferrari Challenge, my crew gave it to me as a gift. And, she stands proudly amongst my various racing awards and paraphernalia.

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Did they mean it as a compliment or was it a gag gift?

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Hard to say, as I was the only woman racing the series. But, I did not ask. What was important was how I saw it, not how they did. And, that is why I want to see the movie. I have been reading how Gerwig was determined it would not be some “fluff” piece, but a work of art and a commentary on society and women. It is an impressive objective, and before I can comment further, I need to see it for myself.

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Well, Sawyer caught a sneak preview showing the night before it officially opened, and she wants me to see it so we can discuss it.

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I can’t imagine that is your dilemma as you usually do not need an excuse to escape to the movies and eat popcorn. Although you have discovered that movie popcorn you make at home.


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No, I was already planning to see it in the movie theater, but there’s no rush, as I expect it to be out for a while. But I’m concerned the latest Mission Impossible movie, “Dead Reckoning Part One,” which needs to be experienced on the big screen, may be gone from theaters if I wait too long.


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Using that logic, I may need to see “Gran Turismo” when it opens.


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The one based on the video game? I know it’s about cars, but you don’t play video games. Is this another “research” project? Can’t you just go to the movie to escape vs. think?


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That is my plan. I know it will have great race scenes, but it is “inspired” by the true story of a teenage Gran Turismo player who wants to be a race car driver. Think of it as a modern-day “My Fair Lady” – except instead of trying to turn someone into a lady, they are trying to turn them into a world-class racer.


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That analogy got my attention, although I doubt it’s how they’re marketing it. But it does sound like something that needs to be seen on a big screen.


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The movie that was made to be seen on the big screen is “Oppenheimer.” And, I mean literally, as it was specifically filmed for viewing not only in a movie theater, but on a 70mm IMAX screen, of which there are only 30 worldwide. And, if you are wondering, two are in Texas – Dallas and San Antonio.


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Oh, I know! I already checked because the movie was done by the acclaimed writer-director Christopher Nolan, who also did “Inception,” one of Natasha’s and my favorite movies.


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So, is your dilemma which to see first?


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No, it’s that I want to go to San Antonio to see “Oppenheimer” on the 70mm screen, but they’re saying it’s only going to be showing for three weeks, and all the weekend tickets are already sold out. And the weekday ones are going fast, so I have to figure out how to get your permission to take a day off.


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Well, that does not sound like a dilemma – it sounds like a road trip. Have fun.
Photo by OnTheRunPhoto for iStock

Are you taking the Dry January challenge and not having any alcohol for the month? Or, maybe you plan to drink less (but not nothing), which makes it Damp January. Or, maybe this is the first you’ve heard of it. (If so, there’s still time to start!)

Well, nothing much has changed from our approach to Dry January last year, except the one who had started drinking more last year is continuing the trend …



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I keep getting emails about where to go for mocktails. I know alcohol-free cocktails, like Virgin Margaritas, have been around for a while, but I’d never heard that term before. Do you think it has to do with New Year’s resolutions?


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It can if any of your resolutions are to lose weight, save money, sleep better. Or, drink less. Psychologically, January is the month when we “reset”, so a UK-based organization, Alcohol Change UK , started Dry January , where you abstain from drinking alcohol.


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Perfect timing since many people shop, eat, and drink more than usual over the holidays.


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I know you used to drink a glass of Cold Duck on New Year’s Eve, a tradition going back to our childhood, but that hardly counts as drinking. But, I have always wondered why you rarely drink, but never asked.
Keep Reading ...Show less

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It’s January, and everyone’s probably tired of reading about New Year’s resolutions.

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Not me. Since I never make them, I never feel the need to read about them.

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Of course, you don’t. So, what should we write about?

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How about that we celebrate some of our favorite things in January?

So many “National Days” in January are fun (we’ve written about them over the years) and remind us of some of our favorite things. (Can you pick which are Red’s favorite holidays and which are Black’s?) And whether or not you make resolutions, it’s always important to have a sense of humor and enjoy the simpler things in life …

Answer: Red’s favorites are Bagels, Popcorn, and Hugging. Black’s are Clean Desk, Bagels, and Backward.

Wishing you Happy 2024 – with new beginnings and much more!