Saturday, June 29, 2013

This Month's Lessons Learned

Ke$ha-Crazy Kids

(1) I have a soft-spot for Detroit.
(2) Sometimes the timing must right in order to achieve what you want to achieve. Sometimes you must wait for the best time. And then sometimes you just have to go for it.
(3) More often than not, people are insensitive or inconsiderate unintentionally not because they are purposely unkind, but more so because they want to do whatever makes them feel good at the time. Actually, this is much better said by The Daily Love: 
"Don't Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering."
(4) The US Census Bureau may not actually be the US Census bureau. Beware!
(5) I really need to be more assertive.
(6) Back on my feet 12 hours a day is exhausting!
(7) 12,000 steps per day is definitely doable. (More on this later.)
(8) If someone wants to do something nice for you: let them.
(9) Some reassuring insights on truly confident people.
-Leave the spotlight to others and go out and just do it.
-Only seek approval from those who really matter.
-Own your mistakes and don't be afraid to look silly
-Never put others down and don't brag
-Know that asking for help does not demean or undermine your intelligence or capabilities
-Listen. Being quiet and unassuming is a very powerful position.
(10) Neighbors can sometimes be helpful. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

21st Century feminist: A poem by Marge Piercy

Back in the 7th grade I did a history project on women's suffrage. I was histrionic and theatrical back then too so for the introduction I did a one woman interpretive performance of a poem. Enjoy!

Marge Piercy-What are Big Girls made of?

The construction of a woman:
a woman is not made of flesh
of bone and sinew
belly and breasts, elbows and liver and toe.
She is manufactured like a sports sedan.
She is retooled, refitted and redesigned
every decade.

Cecile had been seduction itself in college.
She wriggled through bars like a satin eel,
her hips and ass promising, her mouth pursed
in the dark red lipstick of desire.

She visited in '68 still wearing skirts
tight to the knees, dark red lipstick,
while I danced through Manhattan in mini skirt,
lipstick pale as apricot milk,
hair loose as a horse's mane. Oh dear,
I thought in my superiority of the moment,
whatever has happened to poor Cecile?
She was out of fashion, out of the game,
disqualified, disdained, dis-
membered from the club of desire.

Look at pictures in French fashion
magazines of the 18th century:
century of the ultimate lady
fantasy wrought of silk and corseting.
Paniers bring her hips out three feet
each way, while the waist is pinched
and the belly flattened under wood.
The breasts are stuffed up and out
offered like apples in a bowl.
The tiny foot is encased in a slipper
never meant for walking.
On top is a grandiose headache:
hair like a museum piece, daily
ornamented with ribbons, vases,
grottoes, mountains, frigates in full
sail, balloons, baboons, the fancy
of a hairdresser turned loose.
The hats were rococo wedding cakes
that would dim the Las Vegas strip.
Here is a woman forced into shape
rigid exoskeleton torturing flesh:
a woman made of pain.

How superior we are now: see the modern woman
thin as a blade of scissors.
She runs on a treadmill every morning,
fits herself into machines of weights
and pulleys to heave and grunt,
an image in her mind she can never
approximate, a body of rosy
glass that never wrinkles,
never grows, never fades. She
sits at the table closing her eyes to food
hungry, always hungry:
a woman made of pain.

A cat or dog approaches another,
they sniff noses. They sniff asses.
They bristle or lick. They fall
in love as often as we do,
as passionately. But they fall
in love or lust with furry flesh,
not hoop skirts or push up bras
rib removal or liposuction.
It is not for male or female dogs
that poodles are clipped
to topiary hedges.

If only we could like each other raw.
If only we could love ourselves
like healthy babies burbling in our arms.
If only we were not programmed and reprogrammed
to need what is sold us.
Why should we want to live inside ads?
Why should we want to scourge our softness
to straight lines like a Mondrian painting?
Why should we punish each other with scorn
as if to have a large ass
were worse than being greedy or mean?

When will women not be compelled
to view their bodies as science projects,
gardens to be weeded,
dogs to be trained?
When will a woman cease
to be made of pain?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Etiquette Wednesday: The Art of a Proper Thank You

I've alluded many time to my penchant for the written word and the craft of letter writing. Here I'll discuss the meaning of a handwritten thank you. Not much can be said beyond this wonderful article that discusses the whys of a proper hand-written letter, however, my personal sentiments are twofold. I believe that the main difference between email and putting an actual pen to paper is the idea of one spending their own time and physical energy in crafting a piece of gratuity.  Unlike the computer, we must really think about what to say since we cannot easily back track and delete. That alone is reason enough to continue this craft.  My second point rests in what the letter becomes once it is written. I often find handwriting very interesting and very telling of a person. We give a part of ourselves and our personalities when we offer a letter which we have written with our own hands. It becomes something for the receiver to have forever-something that makes us permanent and allows them to have a piece of us that extends beyond our mortality. Marcel Proust used to write his mum hand written letters and then slide them underneath her bedroom door. Recently, a letter from Francis Crick to his son explaining his scientific discovery of the DNA double helix and its context just sold through Sotheby's for $5.3m. I know that presents and things come and go in my life, but things I tend to keep are the letters and cards that I have received from friends. Just something to think about and not to mention, a handwritten letter almost always adds a touch of class.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Five things

(1)  I'm extremely meticulous. Extremely.
(2) On the elliptical machine I almost always input that I am a year younger than I actually am. (Fear of aging? Yes.)
(3) I don't drink coffee. I also very rarely drink any soda. My beverages of choice are water, tea, Arnold Palmer, hot cocoa, and occasionally kombucha
(4) I have absolutely no clue what people in a Boston accent are actually saying. "Pahk tha cah at hahvahd yahd" huh?? come again????
(5) I am simply not built to tolerate this insane weather (seriously 93 degrees!?!?) I think this baby elephant is on to something. (This video reminds me of how much I like the zoo--although in this heat the aquarium is so much better.)