Miss Musings

A modern miss provides commentary on sociological and psychological issues concerning politics, the media, literature, and everyday observances.

13 ways to know you are from Orlando

Want to know if you are really from Orlando? Here are thirteen signs that The City Beautiful is more than a vacation destination to you.

1. You get annoyed when people call UCF “Central Florida.”


2. No one asks “where are you from?” at the Florida Mall. They know. 


3. Winter Park is as close as you are going to get to an artsy cultural town.


4. Downtown Orlando has a baby skyline that you can’t help loving, even if literally all of the buildings are banks. 


5. You never go to Disney – like ever. You went to Disney before it was cool. 

“Can we go to Disney — “


6. The beach is a distant memory… the B-line is an all too real daily nightmare. 


7. International drive drives you bonkers. 


8. You get McDonald’s at the largest McDonald’s in the world. Oh yeah. 


9. NOLE OR GATOR FAN? You side with your hometown Knights. Right on.


10. Driving past a Starbucks?


11. You can go home and dry off if you decide to ride Popeye at Islands of Adventure. (Score!)


12. Buying presents for Disney fans is as easy as stepping into a local Target or Walmart. Or stepping anywhere, in fact.


13. Riding on I-4 today?


But in the end, no matter how much you love or hate Orlando…


Orlando Artegon Marketplace Grand Opening is Promising, Perplexing

Image Credit: Artegon Facebook Page

Orlando’s art lovers flocked to the Artegon Marketplace grand opening Thursday, November 20. The optimally-located Festival Bay Mall was closed recently, but reopened as an indoor daily arts festival for grassroots artists to sell their quirkier pieces.

In lieu of stores and kiosks, the marketplace hosts booths of alternative art. Some items sold include underwater photo prints, balloon sculptures, football fan posters, hammocks and designer handbags. The booths are structured by metal “curtains” that resemble cages, adding to the underground feel of the hipster-esque shopping center.

Artegon will surely provide jobs and stir up business for local artists, and while the turnout was not enormous, the locals seemed to enjoy the artsy ambiance of the reclaimed mall. Oddly, the marketplace still shows shades of Festival Bay, as the Ron Jon’s Surf Shop, Shepler’s, Cinemark theater and Bass Pro Shop are still intact. These franchises, while popular, may detract from the new cultural vibe of the marketplace, and limit its ability to shake off the fruitless image of the unsuccessful mall.

The grand opening consisted of several events throughout the day, from the ribbon cutting by Mayor Dyer to stilt walker performances to live music (unabashedly country, which again, seemed dichotomous to the artsy theme).

Tickets were handed out to incoming arts mavens with little explanation, and until I got in a large line near one of Festival Bay’s closed stores, I realized presenting the ticket granted you an Artegon “swag bag” containing a shirt, free mini-golf game and various other items.

The message of Artegon is loud and clear: to provide a space for undiscovered and locally-known artists to sell their pieces year round. However, there are drawbacks to placing a marketplace within a bankrupt, gutted out mall – the most popular and highly unrelated franchises (selling warehouse books and cowboy boots galore) are inappropriate beacons among the underground artistry. Further, the mall boasts an overly open floor plan and is still under crowded in critical areas such as the Cinemark theater and food court entrance.

Despite Artegon’s efforts, the marketplace still has to shake off the Festival Bay aura. While Artegon may be the best thing that has ever happened to the Orlando arts sector next to the opening of the new Dr. Phillips Center, it still has plenty of marketing and development to undergo to be a convincing arts hub.

Did you check out Artegon? Let me know what you think. Keep up with Miss Musings on Facebook.

Barbie can’t be a computer engineer… can she?

No longer is Barbie just a disproportionate plastic doll – she’s a computer engineer! Well, sort of….

The widely-discussed book “Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer” has made quite a wave in the feminist and tech-o-spheres, as its portrayal of the doll as the “creative soul yet incompetent programmer” has enough sociopolitical ammo in it to arouse viral upheaval.

Barbie is portrayed as a girl who accidentally downloads a virus onto her computer, but admits that she needs the help of her male friends to fix it. Bring in the feminist organizations – we need a clean up on the toy aisle, particularly Barbie’s plastic laptop kit. Later, she explains that she is designing a video game (rad!), but when her gal pals ask to play it, she admits that she will need her guy friend’s help to turn it into a real game (bad!). But Barb, we thought you were the computer engineer?

If I were a young reader, I would probably not understand what everyone is upset about. Barbie would not have seemed incompetent to me, because she frequently seeks out magic and other-worldly help in all of her plot lines – the girl doesn’t do much for herself, because if she could, what would be the point of having other characters and wild mystical possibilities involved? But as someone who is in tune to the qualms of the modern STEM woman, I understand the issue of Barbie not being able to code the video game herself – I mean, she is claiming to be an engineer, yet she puts the workload on someone else and does little tech work herself. While having imagination is critical to any project, it is not sufficient to supply ideas and call yourself the chief creator or “engineer” of a game. I worry more about the fraud and ethical implications Barbie is pushing in the story than the gender stereotypes that one could assume are propelled at our youth.

According to Time.com, Mattel apologized for how Barbie is portrayed in this story, which came out in 2010, yet only just now was brought to the attention of the internet. Time notes that Barbie has been “to space and business school,” and is a competent woman.

Surely if Barbie can do all that, she can be a computer engineer – I hope.

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Photo: theverge.com