Just one more: Beyonce’ reflects on life, fame and privacy, individualism, feminism, love, and just about everything. It’s very well done. I hope you enjoy it. And now I will leave you alone until next Friday.
You probably have your own dream celebrity, someone you’d like to have lunch with and chat. One of mine is Gloria Steinem. [Read more…]
In honor of Fathers’ Day, I, a lifelong feminist, would like to salute fathers everywhere and, in particular, my husband, son, stepson, and son-in-law. They are all awesome dads.
Partly I’m motivated because of a weird backlash going on right now against feminism. Some people say it’s about hating men. Nothing could be further from the truth. The feminism I fell in love with, back in the 1970s, was about letting people fulfill their dreams and potential without regard to gender-related cultural conventions.
Like letting men cuddle and nuzzle their children, and cry if they felt like it. Stay at home with the kids instead of working. We were slow to realize it, but I think we’re finally coming to understand how critically important fathers are to their children’s development.
My own dad was a complicated guy. Because of my tough homelife, and seeing Mom trapped by her circumstances, I grew up vowing never to be dependent on anybody. I started working at a very young age, and had strong ideas about women being able to support themselves. A feminist had been born, and my dad, overbearing and dictatorial, was responsible.
In more benevolent ways, he helped me develop into the kick-ass professional woman I became. He was famous for saying, “Any excuse is a good excuse.” Which meant, of course, that no excuse mattered. Thus, as I matured, I became embarrassed to make excuses. I simply delivered, a useful trait in life and work.
As I came into my own, Dad enjoyed hearing my stories of the corporate jungle, and my increasingly clever vine-swinging. I was his business kid. He was my first mentor. Much of my success is due to him. I still have his monogrammed briefcase on display in my office.
Dad passed on in 2008, just before the Great Recession hit. Which was a blessing, because he lived through such a traumatic childhood during the Great Depression that, like many of his contemporaries, he still indulged in scarcity rituals right up until his death. Like buying food in bulk, and keeping a gigantic freezer packed with meat and staples, even though he was only feeding himself and Mom.
It’s been almost six years since he died, and I’m embarrassed to say there are days and days I don’t think about him, and many days I think about him without any pain at all. But sometimes, like when I hear Spanish Eyes, a great favorite of his and the last song to which he danced with Mom, grief comes roiling through my heart like a blinding, dark, smashing tidal wave. It seems insurmountable. Incomprehensible.
How is it possible I’ll never see him again?
Confidence, especially with women, is a critical life skill. Yes, skill, as in something you can develop. But why would you need to? Apart from feeling good, why is confidence important? [Read more…]
For almost half a century now, I’ve had the hardest time trying to write with a pen, and now I know why. Brace yourself. All pens are actually made for men! Yeah, I know! Wow, right?
But fortunately, that situation is changing. Thank God for progress. I’ll let’s let Ellen tell it:
But maybe you’re not really sure what to do. In that case, reviews are unbeatable in helping you make a decision. There are a slew of them on Amazon. Here’s an example:
Someone has answered my gentle prayers and FINALLY designed a pen that I can use all month long! I use it when I’m swimming, riding a horse, walking on the beach and doing yoga. It’s comfortable, leak-proof, non-slip and it makes me feel so feminine and pretty! Since I’ve begun using these pens, men have found me more attractive and approchable. It has given me soft skin and manageable hair and it has really given me the self-esteem I needed to start a book club and flirt with the bag-boy at my local market. My drawings of kittens and ponies have improved, and now that I’m writing my last name hyphenated with the Robert Pattinson’s last name, I really believe he may some day marry me! I’m positively giddy. Those smart men in marketing have come up with a pen that my lady parts can really identify with.
You can read more reviews here.
I always feel energized by the arrival of a new year. It’s like a clean slate, twelve sprawling months ahead for reaching my dreams. Do you feel that way, too?
If so, maybe I can help by sharing my own plans and a great book recommendation. My goals are to lose weight and become a best-selling author in 2014, which is the year I turn sixty.
Hey, a girl can dream.
Re: the weight loss, I’m a recidivist Lifetime member of Weight Watchers. I like the program because they taught me how to eat during the craziness of menopause. But I’m not plugging them – any program you stick to will work. So, how do you do that?
To prepare myself, I picked up a great book, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. In it, I learned:
- Habit is more powerful than addiction
- Your brain resorts to habit because it conserves energy, which is then freed up for survival
- Scientists now agree on proven strategies for developing new habits or changing old ones.
To change an old habit, Duhigg reports, you learn to recognize the cue that triggers the routine that leads to the reward. Then you leave the cue and reward alone, and change the routine. In other words, you don’t try to rewire your brain not to want what it wants – you just go about getting to the reward a different way.
This intrigues me. To test the theory (so you don’t have to), I’m going to work on one of my worst habits: I crave a glass of wine around 3 p.m., which usually leads to a cascade of consequences like eating too much for dinner, etc. That’s an old habit I need to change.
On the other hand, creating a new habit, Duhigg says, requires a slightly different approach. You create a cue and reward (which must be cultivated into a craving). Then the routine connecting the cue and reward is the desired practice, like exercise or meditation. In other words, in order to create a new habit of meditating, I’ll have to invent a cue and reward that make me want to repeat the routine.
I know this is vague but why load you up with details before I test drive the theories? But if they work, how cool if you could develop a foolproof strategy for making yourself into the person you’ve always wanted to be? The future would be unlimited!
So here’s my plan: I’m going to get started, and right around the first of January, I’ll report back to you about my degree of initial success, so you can decide whether Duhigg’s methods hold promise for you.
As for the best-selling author plan, I’ll be working on some strategies (like better time management, and daily meditation to enhance my creativity). One thing I’m not very good at is asking for help, so here goes:
If you read Dakota Blues, and liked it, would you mind telling a friend? And if you haven’t yet tried it, I’m getting really good reviews on Amazon, so you might want to check it out. People say it’s empowering, inspiring, and joyful. Also, it contains tips, strategies and wisdom, delivered in story form, for living your best life after fifty. Here’s the link, and I hope you love it.
What are you planning for 2014? Why don’t you share your aspirations in the comments below?
Miley Cyrus, former Disney child star, turned in a shockingly slutty performance a few days ago at the Video Music Awards on MTV. Talk shows and cable news responded immediately. Some people are calling for censorship. Parents are outraged. Feminists are baffled. Celebrities are laughing.
Anaïs Nin once said, “We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.” That video is like a Rorschach test for America. If you didn’t see it, here’s a glimpse of the talent.
Here’s Miley advancing her career at the recent VMA Awards.
Here’s another shot for the family album:
On the Today show, Matt Lauer and Star Jones were trying to tell Mika Brzezinski that this is what girls think they have to do to make money and have a high celebrity profile, and that’s the saddest part of the whole thing. Mika, whom I like, was too busy ranting to hear that message, wanting only to have the performance banned or censored – I am not really sure of her point, she was so upset and everybody was yelling. I mean, it’s MTV. What did she expect?
Anderson Cooper posted a smirky essay about how boring Miley’s performance was, in that there was nothing new and she’s banal. Which is true but also kind of scary. What’s a girl singer going to have to do to get attention in the future? Film at the zoo?
Some were angry that nobody’s angry at Robin Thicke, that we’re all a little too quick to criticize Miley and not him. Okay, I’ll start.
What’s with the outfit, Robin? Channeling Beetlejuice?
Some people have expressed compassion for Miley, because she apparently was raised by wolves and doesn’t know any better. I was surprised to find many erotic photos of her on the web, going back a few years. Well, very few; she’s only twenty. But anyway, you’d think she was a porn star, not a little girl who sings.
Some have mentioned there’s a feminist aspect to this. That Miley is a grown woman, and she should be able to do what she wants with her body, even if what she does sets us back a million years. But then if we’re going for equality, I say Robin Thicke should be wearing a g-string instead of assuming the power position while Miley approximates Downward Dog.
In my opinion, which matters only to me, they’re both kind of trashy, but it’s what the public pays to see. I’m trying to think of what to tell my granddaughters. “Yes it’s true that in 2013, Miley Cyrus had a net worth of $150 million. She has yachts, houses, cars, and the very best in health care, but nobody respects her, and she is really a very sad person.”
I don’t want my granddaughters to grow up thinking society only values them for their girly parts, but if they manage to overcome that in this sick culture, it’ll be a miracle of good parenting.
As an Adult American, how do you see this? What do you think?
I wrote this three years ago. I was tired. I’d been babysitting a lot. Enjoy. [Read more…]