Monthly Archives: February 2011

Monday’s Inner Peace

If I haven’t made it totally clear yet, Sunday and Monday are my least favorite days of the week. Today is no exception, starting with the discovery that someone stole the front light off my bike this morning…my fault for being trusting in my apartment building…but still. So in my internet travels today I came across the poem below, and its definitely put me a little more at peace.

My Symphony by William Ellery Channing

To live content with small means.
To seek elegance rather than luxury,
    and refinement rather than fashion.
To be worthy not respectable,
    and wealthy not rich.
To study hard, think quietly, talk gently,
    act frankly, to listen to stars, birds, babes,
    and sages with open heart, to bear all cheerfully,
    do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never.
In a word, to let the spiritual,
    unbidden and unconscious,
    grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony.

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Beat the Sunday Blues

I haven’t been able to post the last few days as I’ve had a bad internet connection, so this Sunday post is a little late.  I had something else in mind for today, but when I couldn’t post I thought I might just skip it for the night.  However, after being in the car for the past three hours and just getting home, I was looking forward to relaxing in bed. And that leads us to this Sunday’s Beat the Blues.

Luxe Bedtime

Sometimes the best thing to do is just face Sunday night head on and get into bed. But getting into a sloppy bed is just not as relaxing nor comforting as a luxurious, well-made one. Take a cue from Hôtel Le Germain:


Even if you don’t have designer bedding or 1500 count egyptian cotton sheets, making bedtime special will make you feel better. Although this takes a little bit of forethought, it’s well worth it. My suggestions, in no particular order:

  • Freshly wash sheets – preferably straight out of the dryer so they’re still warm
  • Make the bed a little bit before going to bed so it doesn’t feel like a chore
  • Comfy pajamas
  • Soft lighting
  • Good book or movie
  • Chocolate
  • Linen spray like this one:

Any other suggestions?

Indoor Fort

I’m sort of having an off week…for really no particular reason.  It’s just how it’s been this week.  So this Apartment Therapy post soothed my soul a little bit. An indoor fort is exactly the place where I want to re-coup.

One thing you can do to help in Libya

From an email I just received from Amnesty International:

Yesterday, in a menacing 70-minute address delivered by Libya’s leader Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi, the ruler instructed his followers to “fight until the last drop of my blood”.

Colonel Gaddafi’s remaining supporters have joined forces with foreign mercenaries to terrorize the streets of Libya. It appears they are ready to kill as many people as it takes to stay in power.
Foreign journalists and independent observers are still barred from entering the country. Inside, we know the death toll is rising, but by how much, we don’t know for sure.

To stop the spiraling violence in Libya, words alone are not going to be enough. The only way the UN can protect Libya is to get people on the ground in Libya.

Urge US officials to support the UN in sending a mission to Libya immediately to investigate the deaths of protestors.

Go here to send a message. Thank you.

Word of the Day

I love film noir movies and discuss the genre frequently with my very movie savy co-worker.  Leave it to him to throw me this film-lingo curveball: 

MacGuffin!

Alfred Hitchcock defined a MacGuffin as the object around which the plot revolves, but, as to what that object specifically is, he declared, “the audience don’t care”. Via Wikipedia

Examples of a MacGuffin:

  • The Death Star in Star Wars
  • The search for the Maltese Falcon in The Maltese Falcon
  • The briefcases used in Pulp Fiction
  • The Holy Grail in The DaVinci Code & also Indian Jones
  • The word “Rosebud” used in Citizen Kane
  • The ring in Lord of the Rings

Beat the Sunday Blues

I know it’s not Sunday, but it might as well be in terms of the long weekend. The Sunday Blues is something I know a lot of people, including myself, experience sometimes. You know, the dread on Sunday evening of the weekend being over, and having to go back to work, school, or any sort of obligation you have during the week. Anyone is susceptible to it, and some Sundays can be worse that others. So, in an effort to combat the blues here’s my first Beat the Sunday Blues post.

Warm Brownies and Ice Cream

There’s nothing like the smell of brownies baking and the anticipation of eating gooey chocolate goodness, with ice cream melting on top to make you feel better about Monday (or in this case Tuesday) morning.  My favorite brownie in a box mix is this one:

And the final result!

Yuuuuummmmmmm.  🙂

Better Late than Never

I’ve been wanting to comment on what happened to Lara Logan in Tahrir Square, even though it happened before I even started my blog.

First, the Egyptian revolution was both inspiring and gut-wrenching to me, to put it simply.  In only eighteen days former President Murbarak was ousted. As someone who is planning to go into human rights/social justice law, I could not stop reading and watching clips on it; something that as the violence picked up was even more difficult to take. Then Lara Logan came forward with what happened to her and so followed the comments about why she was even put there in the first place, and what did she expect would happen to her?

One of my initial thoughts was more along the lines of, why do the majority Americans get worked up only if it happens to one of us, and not about the millions of other women in the world that suffer similar and worse injustices every day. I understand, of course, this story hits closer to home for many people, but still.  Anyway, I don’t want to take away from the larger point I am trying to make, which is that many of the comments that I heard people make, and read online were pretty infuriating, and that the mass perception of violence against women needs to change.   The blog Wronging Rights said it perfectly:

The internet, it appeared, was largely in agreement: what happened to Logan was terrible, but hardly surprising – what else could possibly be the result when a girl with “model good looks” is “sent” to a public place full of unrestrained Muslims?

First of all, to say that Lara Logan was in Tahrir Square largely because of her “model good looks” is pretty much just textbook misogyny. Her looks do not cancel out any, much less all, of the myriad other relevant facts. Such as her four years of reporting from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq; her job title, which, last time I checked, was “Chief Foreign Correspondent for CBS News;” or that she had bravely returned to report on the story despite being arrested earlier in the month, and expelled from the country. To discard all of her hard work, and deny her accomplishments, merely because she is an attractive woman, is damn sexist.

And second of all, guess what? If women never went anywhere where we risked being sexually assaulted, we’d never go anywhere, period. We certainly couldn’t go to work on foreign aid projects. Or to U.S. military academies. Not to college. Not on dates. Not to parties. Not to bars. Or on cruises. Not to work as models. Or security contractors. Except that even if we never went any of those places, we’d still be screwed (pun intended) because of course a high percentage of rapes happen in the home, committed by perpetrators whom the victims know. Putting the responsibility on women to prevent sexual assault by restricting their own behavior – or on their employers to limit it for them – won’t actually solve the problem, it will just reinforce gendered norms about what “good” women “should” do.

And, finally, the idea that Lara Logan was “more at risk” of sexual assault because she was attractive is laughable. I’d be interested to know what fuckability threshold women should stay below in order to be safe from rape. Could Logan have just added some thick glasses? What if she had spinach in her teeth? How about if she gained 20 pounds – then would she be safe from the mob of 200 people who apparently decided to subject her to a prolonged beating and repeated sexual assaults because her delicate beauty stirred their romantic longings? Give me a break. Rape is about power, not how cute the victim is.

Lara Logan is a professional who suffered a horrific attack in the course of doing a dangerous job. Women all over the world take similar risks every day. We do so because we don’t see “vulnerability to rape” as our most salient characteristic. It’s about time everyone else picked up on that too.