Thursday, September 29, 2011

Squid Are Cool

I was talking to +Ryan Penagos on Twitter yesterday about how cool squid are (I know, right?) , and I pointed out that Marvel had a dearth of squid superheroes and maybe they needed a Senor Cephalopod.

And then he blew my mind. Did you know Viper aka Madame Hydra came with the Barbie squid hair accessory?! (Okay, it's the hive version. But still!)

Adding to the Jean Pool

Yay! I'm so excited!

Thanks to your generosity, team We Got All the Cool Jeans has just topped $100 in donations for National Denim Day!

And you know what that means . . .

. . .We're adding another pair of your favorite jeans to our giveaway!

So get those entries in. And you might want to step up on all the Tweetin' and Google +1ing and Facebook lovin' , because the stakes are now officially raised.

Bring. It. On.
school fundraising ideas
Giveaway FAQs:

You can still join the team here.

Lee asks that you consider giving what you'd spend of a new pair of jeans. I know that's a hardship for some of you. Just give what you can.

You'll get an additional 5 giveaway entries every time you donate through We Got All the Cool Jeans.

What if I've donated before? What if I can only give a couple dollars? Doesn't matter. BAM. Five more entries.

Remember, our team goal is $150 and we have until October 7th to get there.

We can totally do this!

Go, Team We Got All the Cool Jeans!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Monster Calls...yes, I'll accept the charges.

Brilliant book trailer for A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness.

The book, recommended for ages 12 and up, delves into challenging terriroty, taking on the terminal illness of a parent from the child's perspective.

A Monster Calls hit the bookstore shelves yesterday and already there's a lot of buzz surrounding its release.

I'd be interested in reviewing A Monster Calls for my readers. If you can help set that up, email me at

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Important Update on Our Lee Jeans Giveaway!

Remember how, when we reach $100 in donations for National Denim Day, we add a second pair of your favorite Lee Jeans to the giveaway

Well, I just got an update from Lee, and team We Got All the Cool Jeans has reached $85 in donations! Just $15 more 'til we add another pair.

Plus, if you donate any amount to our team (seriously, even $1) you'll get 5 extra entries to the giveaway as my personal thank you. How's that for cool: you can give to a good cause, and win a pair (or two!) of your favorite jeans at the very same time.

Thanks, ya'll!


Terra Nova: More TV Like This, Please

When I first heard about Steven Spielberg's Terra Nova, I thought the concept was ambitious for a TV series to try to pull off.

Of course, a good concept isn't enough on its own. Terra Nova might have the potential to be a fantastic adventure odyssey, but without well-written dialog, strong characters and an effective blend of CGI and real action, we might be looking at a modern-day Land of the Lost flop instead.

Still, I love me some Sci-Fi. And a futuristic colony, set in a prehistoric land?  Sign me up. 

So the Rhino and I saw the pilot episode together, and I took notes as we watched. Here's our take on the show.

Warning: There be spoilers here!


The Shannons are...interesting. 

They're flawed, and have a MAJOR secret to hide: An extra kid. 

Someone's at the door. Quick, put the kid in that conveniently oversized air duct!

Uh oh. Didn't take long for that secret to get out. 

Okay, it's 2149 AD now...

Wait, Dad is in jail?! Where's third kid?

Okay, here's Mom. She's telling him about Terra Nova

So, the Earth is dying and over-populated (why everyone can only have two kids), and a temporal vortex-type deal (think wormhole + time travelling) offers a chance to start over in an alternate prehistoric version of our world, Terra Nova. And only Mom Shannon and the two legal kids can go there.

Yeah, right. Time for a jail break! 

Okay, baby in the backsack? Awesome action scene.

And now, at last, we arrive at Terra Nova.

The first thing you notice about the Terra Nova colony is those fences, and how flimsy they look. Why even build them if they obviously weren't large enough to hold out dinosaurs? We see the brachiosaurs towering way over them, and they obviously aren't going to keep any serious threat away.

Yes, I know brachiosaurs are not carnivores. But a predator startling brachiosaurs into a stampede that takes down those fences is not beyond the realm of possibility. You'd think physical barriers would be replaced by some kind of electrical or power-generated option by 2149, anyway, especially if over-population made building resources scarce.

Which brings me to the reason for the colony. How is Terra Nova going to be different from whatever messed up the existing world? Obviously, the colonists should be guarding against this eventuality. But the only (simplistic and obvious) changes I've seen so far are more living space for families and natural food sources. Those armored cars are decidedly out of place. They seem like old technology that should have been disposed of based on their drain on natural resources.

The protagonists who come to Terra Nova to start anew, the Shannon family, are honestly not my favorite people. Why? Because Doctor Mom and Cop Dad chose (it appears to be a choice rather than an accident, anyway) to break the law and have a third child in an over-populated world that by necessity allows for only two children per family.

So, guy who should uphold the law, and woman who should see the logic behind the need for it, nevertheless make the choice, for some reason we do not understand, to act in what seems a very selfish way. Everyone else has to obey the law, but their whole family is paying the consequences for their decision not to. They are forced to hide the third kid, obviously the kids can't have a lot of friends over who might give the secret away, they all have to share rations meant for a smaller family. 

There's a stereotypical Super Military Father character, whose daughter the Shannon teen boy naturally falls for. I'd like to see more depth from this character. At one point, SMF is really obviously trying to hide a Big Secret--basically asking his daughter, "So, did you go by the forbidden waterfalls? That's just stupid, and as a father and a Super Military guy, he should know better. You might as well draw the daughter a map with a big X on it by the forbidden waterfalls.

SMF should also not trust Mr. Shannon, the former cop who had the third child. Now, we have a standard plot device that leads into this, where a bad guy goes after SMF and former cop brings him down. But it.shouldn't matter if Shannon helped take down one bad guy; he never should have had the chance in the first place.  He broke the law, broke out of jail and then broke into Terra Nova, a colony with restricted access to specially chosen candidates only. SMF should have shot Shannon's ass on day 1. It fits better with his stereotypical, gun-happy character, anyway.

But logically, the Shannons' third child, the real reason they want to start over in Terra Nova, should be long dead anyway. This future Earth society bans extra kids because of over-population. Why would imprisonment exist at all? That's extra mouths to keep feeding. I doubt future us would be compassionate enough to feed prisoners when our own families don't have enough to eat, no matter how nice it would be to believe this. 

Plus, not making an example of the Shannon family sets a bad precedent. If a cop can break a law and all that happens is that he and that child end up behind bars, others might feel that breaking that law is worth the risk for them. Logically, 3rd kid should have been executed along with Dad back when the family was discovered.

I know, as a parent I hate the idea of killing off children. But Spielberg set up the two-child law here, and he needs to keep the narrative consistent. So if Spielberg can't deal with Dad and third kid being killed off, maybe he should have written this pilot so that criminals are banished to Terra Nova as part of some initial, very dangerous colonization strategy, where they are not expected to survive. 

Resourceful Dad cop protects his child as Doctor Mom fights to get the rest of the family assigned to Terra Nova, too. 

Finally, colonization is considered safe enough, and the other Shannons join Dad and third child, who now does not recognize Mom. That makes for a tearful moment. You could even have the new colonists co-exist uneasily with the surviving ex-cons from the original settlement, who have their own colony set up. Maybe Doctor Mom tries to integrate Dad and 3rd kid into the "good" colony and meets resistance.Wow, can we do a rewrite on the pilot? That scenario really works for me.

Anyway, even if I am not sure I like the characters, I do like that the Shannons have issues. Most TV families are just outrageous in their perfection.  Young, incredibly good-looking and fashionably dressed parents are wise beyond their years. Sibling rivalry, when it even exists, is funny rather than cruel and we are always made to understand that behind the playful banter, genuine love and respect between the kids abounds.

It's absurd. Real families have flaws.

So, yes, the Terra Nova Shannon family is pretty to look at, but they aren't perfect, and that's a step in the right direction. The selfish choice to have another child (her name is Zoe, by the way. I'm getting tired of typing "third child") is never really explained, and we wonder what secrets they may be hiding [Since Mom is a doctor, it occurred to me that one of the older kids might have an undisclosed medical issue and so Zoe presents some kind of hope for a cure or at least an organ transplant, but that's probably too edgy for Spielberg et al].

I  really hope that there is more behind the choice to willfully break the law than an emotional draw for the audience to sympathize with the Shannon family.

I liked that the teens in the compound were independent earlier than their city counterparts, because they were productive members of the group. That makes logical sense. You have to be tougher to survive in that kind of environment, so you grow up fast. And privileges would naturally be doled out based not on age, but on how valuable a commodity you are relative to the collective survival of the colony. So young, strong, contributors, old enough to reproduce and make more colony members? Top of the heap. 

I didn't like that Super Military Father and Mr. former-cop Shannon had to come and rescue the kids when they got into trouble, though. I mean, the Shannon teen, who has some issues with Dad having been locked up in jail for years and thus entirely missing from his life (understandably), rebelliously skipped orientation, so it made sense that he was way out of his depth when the threat showed up. But the other teens should have been resourceful enough to save themselves, as they lived in the colony and these were known threats. 

But I recognize the need for characters the audience can relate to, and this is a major departure for a network TV series.

I'm hoping that the kind of people who say they "Don't like science fiction" will be drawn in by the names and big budget behind the series. Terra Nova's a top-budget, high-quality science fiction show. And it's on Fox! There's even a suggestion that climate change and plundering natural resources is actually a bad thing. Wow. That's a step in the right direction for such an ultra-conservative network.

Plus, the action and effects in Terra Nova rocked. And we have lots of potential conflicts set up with a rival group, the Sixers.

Finally, CGI dinosaurs! Family secrets and strange alien markings!  What does it all mean? I'll be tuning in to find out.

And I hope you give Terra Nova a chance, too I'd like to see more quality science fiction on network TV.

So, did you watch the pilot Monday? What was your verdict?

Your True Advil Story? $25,000. Dinner with Regis and Joy, priceless

Want a chance to win $25,000 and dine with Regis & Joy Philbin in NYC, courtesy of Advil?

 Every day Advil helps thousands of people fight pain-- did you know Regis and Joy Philbin are avid tennis players? And that they rely on Advil to relieve aches and pains after a long day on the course?

 They recently shared their true Advil story for a commercial that will begin airing in early October and are encouraging others to do so as well for a chance to win $25,000 and the opportunity to meet Regis and Joy during a fabulous New York City weekend!

 Entering is easy; simply visit to share your Advil story for a chance to win. For full contest rules, complete prize descriptions and limitations, and entry details, please click click here.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

We Got All the Cool Jeans: Enter to Win Your Favorite Lee Jeans and Support National Denim Day on October 7th.

UPDATED: Now TWO pairs of your favorite jeans will be given to the winner! Thanks for helping us reach over $100 in donations so far. 

One in eight. That's how many women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

So, instead of just putting up some Facebook status message, wouldn't it be great to actually make a difference in the fight against breast cancer?

Since 1996, Lee National Denim Day® has raised nearly $83 million to do just that.  So I'm proud to announce that I've started a team for National Denim Day®, October 7th, called We Got all the Cool Jeans.

And guess what? You're all invited to join the team!

I'm pledging to donate what I'd normally spend on a new pair of jeans to the Women’s Cancer Programs of the Entertainment Industry Foundation for Lee National Denim Day®. I hope you will join the team by contributing what you can to the cause. Every little bit helps.

Then, on October 7th, put on your comfiest jeans to show your support!

And, as a thank you, we're giving away a free pair of your favorite Lee Jeans here on CoolMomsRule! Now, you don't have to donate to enter, but I hope you will anyway. Those who do donate will get FIVE extra entries in the contest, no matter what their contribution.

To enter to WIN your favorite pair of Lee jeans, just leave a comment below this post (required for initial entry).

For FIVE extra entries, make a donation, of any amount, by clicking on the DONATE NOW image to the left of this post. It will take you to the We Got All the Cool Jeans team page (optional).

For more additional entries (optional):
LIKE National Denim Day on Facebook.
Tweet about this giveaway and use this hashtag: #cooljeans. Link to your tweet in a comment.
Share this post on Google+ (5 extra entries!).
Add this giveaway to any site that lists giveaways and link to the listing in a comment. You'll get an entry for each one.

Increase your chances of winning: You can Tweet as often as once a day from now through October 7th! And, of course, if you want to donate more than once, you're welcome to do that, too.

To sweeten the pot, when donations through We Got All the Cool Jeans reach $100, we'll add another pair of Lee jeans to the giveaway!

For coordinating a team and participating in Lee National Denim Day,  Lee Jeans is providing me with four pairs of Lee Jeans and a Denim Day apparel item. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Is Miss Piggy Really A Boar?

Of course not! Miss Piggy is anything but boring (see what I did there?).
With The Muppets set to open in theaters on Thanksgiving Day, Miss Piggy graciously sat down for an interview during Fashion Week to answer questions for the blogging community about her upcoming film (which also stars Amy Adams, Jason Segel and, of course, Kermit). Here are some excerpts from the interview that tickled me pink:


What is Disney’s “The Muppets” about? 
It’s moi’s story, of course. It’s about how I am working in Paris and Kermit and the other Muppets come over and beg me to come home. I run the complete gamut of acting—from smiling to frowning. It’s got Oscar® written all over it—and I’m not just talking de La Renta. I have heard rumors that there’s another storyline in the movie that doesn’t involve moi, but who really cares about that?

What is your role in Disney’s “The Muppets?”
Moi plays moi.  It’s a casting no-brainer. Naturally, all of Hollywood’s top actresses tested for the part—Roberts, Streep, Winslet, Jolie, Bullock—but in the end they decided that there is only one moi and I’m it!

In the movie, I portray the plus-size fashion editor of Vogue Paris—I’m in charge of a whole office full of editors who all want to look just like moi. But of course, Kermit wants me back with the Muppets to save the day and put on some big show.  Can I resist? Well, see the movie and find out.

How does your life differ from the characters you portray on the big screen?
In real life, my wardrobe is much, much bigger and more expensive, but I’m a lot like what you see on the big screen. The camera does add a few pounds—when people meet me in person they’re always amazed at how svelte I am. Take my word for it.

What was it like working opposite Jason Segel?
Jason is a sweet, sweet man… and a very funny comedic actor. Of course, when I heard he wrote the movie and could write my part even bigger, we became best friends forever.

…Amy Adams?
Amy and moi are so much alike, except for the fact that she’s been nominated for an Academy Award® THREE TIMES and I’ve gotten bupkis!   (Entres nous, I think they just don’t want to nominate anyone outside their species.)

There was a little tension at first, but once Amy learned about not touching the frog, we became fast friends.  We hang together whenever we’re in the same city, which up to now has been… let’s see… never.

You are a fashion icon. What is your secret?
I have a few fashion secrets:
  • Never wear anything that requires a hoist to get into.
  • There is no such thing as too much accessorizing.
  • If it’s expensive, it fits.
  • Style comes in all shapes and sizes. Therefore, the bigger you are, the more style you have.
Are you and Kermit together? 
Of course we’re together.  In the movie, we seem to be apart, but that’s just for dramatic tension. In real life, we’re fabulously happy and the longest-running interspecies couple in all of Hollywood.

THE MUPPETS opens in theaters everywhere on November 23rd! 

To get closer to the diva pig, 
check out:

‘Like’ THE MUPPETS on Facebook at:
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