Saturday, November 9, 2013
it's been six months since my last post.
which i just noticed was about maternity leave.
which has nothing to do with my absence from bloglandia.
well, i did birth a baby of sorts at the beginning of september –
my at-long-last professional website, kristencard.com –
only almost-eleven years in the making.
& i'm mighty proud of it; it is a beautiful baby.
but, to tell the truth, i'm not sure why i took a break from the blog.
i guess i needed to. maybe i needed to see whether i missed it.
maybe i needed to see whether it missed me.
& you know what? it didn't.
i'm not sure whether anyone at all even noticed my six-month hiatus.
except me. i missed the blogosphere, even if the feeling wasn't mutual.
wed almost 19 years, & i'm still in an unrequited relationship.
oh, well. i'm happy to be back,
even if i'm the only one who knows it.
coming soon: more, more, more stories told for my own fun + fulfillment. :)
image source: sacred source nutrition.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
two months ago, yahoo! ceo marissa mayer
banned telecommuting at her company,
a move broadly perceived as anti-family,
as it eliminated much of the scheduling flexibility
that helps working parents — especially moms, of course –
succeed at both working & parenting.
today, ms. mayer has extended her company's maternity policy
to offer new moms 16 weeks of paid leave & new dads 8 weeks,
a move being touted as pro-family [fair enough] & which just about doubles
the amount of leave yahoo! employees have been getting.
the new yahoo! policy still isn't up to snuff with other silicon-valley competitors,
like facebook, which offers new moms four months of paid maternity leave
plus a $4k baby bonus [yahoo! provides $500 of baby money for 5+-year workers],
& google, which offers new moms 22 weeks of paid maternity leave.
& both offer the same benefits to same-sex couples.
on the other hand, microsoft gives new moms only 10 weeks of paid maternity leave,
& all of these firms waaay outpace most american companies,
which are mandated by the federal family & medical leave act to give only
17 weeks of UNpaid leave – & naturally, many new parents can't afford to take that.
america's lack of universal paid leave for new mothers
makes us one of only three countries not to offer it –
while 178 nations worldwide offer new moms paid maternity leave,
only swaziland, papua-new guinea & the u.s. don't.
according to working mother, only about half of all american first-time moms
get any paid leave at all. only about 20% of working moms get any leave with full pay.
& from 1998 to 2008, the percent of u.s. companies offering fully paid
maternity leave fell from 27% to 16%. so, it's getting worse, not better.
working mother is partnering with the national partnership for women & families
to make paid parental–maternity & paternity–leave universally available to u.s. workers
by 2015. click here to sign their online petition.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
someone has created a great blog called boys clubs,
which is working to shine a light into the
"corners of the world where women have yet to tread."
just begun april 14th, the blog has already
noted some rather fascinating 100%-men groups & categories.
:: the fbi's ten most wanted, everyone wanted for terrorism,
crimes against children & cyber crimes.
:: everybody in charge of guantanamo bay.
:: current leaders of the national rifle association.
[sort of surprising]
:: all executive leadership at apple, inc.
:: all contributors to the freakonomics blog.
:: all committee chairs for this year's clio awards for advertising.
:: everyone to lead the international olympic committee ever.
:: everyone to play new york comedy festival.
:: the 2012-13 officers, board of governors & dog show committee
of the westminster kennel club.
:: every u.s. senate majority leader, minority leader,
majority whip & minority whip ever.
:: every person on a u.s. banknote ever.
:: groupon's senior management team.
:: the papal conclave [not to be confused with the paypal mafia,
:: the leadership of the mormon church.
:: the world’s 40 richest jews, according to forbes israel.
:: all incarnations of the Dalai Lama ever.
image source: mormondialogue.org.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
was the author of one of my all-time favorite childhood books,
from the mixed-up files of mrs. basil e. frankweiler.
i tried reading it aloud to my daughter
when she was younger, but she wasn't into it
[much to my disappointment].
luckily, her younger brother was;
i just finished reading it to him a week ago.
& now e.l. konigsburg is gone.
the children's author & illustrator,
the only author to have won the american library association's
john newbery medal for distinguished children's literature
& been the runner-up the same year ,
died friday, april 19th, due to complications from a stroke.
she was 83yo.
elaine lobl [which is what e.l. stood for]
was born in 1930 in manhattan, the second of three children
in a modest, hard-working, blue-collar family.
elaine graduated as valedictorian of her pennsylvania high-school class,
& began working to save toward her eventual college studies.
while working as a bookkeeper in a local meatpacking plant,
elaine met david konigsburg, the owner's brother.
they married in 1952. elaine earned her chemistry degree
at carnegie institute of technology [the first person
in her family to do so], david completed his doctorate
in psychology at the university of pittsburgh, &
the couple moved to jacksonville, florida to start their family.
once her children, paul, laurie & ross, went to school,
elaine lobl konigsburg began writing.
her first book, jennifer, hecate, macbeth, william mckinley
and me, elizabeth, earned the 1968 newbery honors as the runner-up to
her second book, from the mixed-up files.
from the mixed-up files was inspired by her children's gripes
about a picnic with abundant amenities of home; e.l. inferred
if the children ever ran away, they would never consider
going anywhere less elegant than the metropolitan museum of art.
e.l. won the newbery medal again 29 years later, in 1997,
for the view from saturday, making her one of only five authors
to win two newberys, & the author with the longest period between awards.
e.l. also wrote two finalists for the national book award
in children's categories: in 1974, the historical novel
a proud taste for scarlet and miniver; & in 1980,
the short-story collection throwing shadows.
in the 1990s, she authored & illustrated three picture books
featuring her own grandchildren.
e.l. konigsburg's writing was known for its wit,
outsider perspective, & plotlines venturing fearlessly into
unfamiliar epochs, fantastic scenarios & nightmarish situations.
children's books, she once said, are "the key to
the accumulated wisdom, wit , gossip, truth,
myth, history, philosophy, & recipes for salting potatoes
during the past 6,000 years of civilization."
e.l. lost her husband in 2001, so she leaves behind
her three children & five grandchildren,
& many generations of grateful young readers.
claire mysko wrote a lovely posthumous piece celebrating
e.l. konigsburg & my favorite book of hers:
"10 life lessons from the book
from the mixed-up files of mrs. basil e. frankweiler;"
my favorite life lesson:
yes, you are brilliant. take the compliment.
it always struck me that claudia
totally got what made her amazing.
she owned it.
the girl really, truly liked herself.
& that made me really, truly like her.
at a time when so many of us agonize over insecurities
& shy away from taking credit for our abilities,
claudia's self-assurance is a reminder that
we should all step up & claim our bragging rights.
thank you, e.l. konigsburg, for stepping up
& owning your potential, & creating wonderful ways
to urge us to do the same.
image source: metmuseum.org.
Friday, April 19, 2013
spoiler alert: i love oprah.
ok, i know you knew that.
but the fact is, she inspires me.
she makes me think. she makes me feel.
she truly gives me those epiphanic aha! moments
all. the. time.
she shifts my perspective.
she moves my spirit.
she taps into my heart-center.
she lifts me to higher ground.
so, i keep on watching own,
keep on listening to oprah radio,
keep on reading o magazine,
keep on clicking around oprah.com.
& i keep on learning. about me.
all of which i mention because
this post is about my latest aha!
provided courtesy of ms. o.
i'm not religious, i disagree with him a lot,
& i can barely tolerate his southern charismatic
preacher persona, accent & barbie wife.
but watching joel osteen & oprah talk about his
"i am" sermon & book, i declare, struck a genuine chord with me.
if you read this blog regularly [as regularly as i write it, anyhow],
then you understand that during the past year or two,
i've been struggling more & succeeding less than i'm used to.
i've been struggling with money & work, weight & hormones,
with my devolving relationship with my aging parents.
& while i'm a natural optimist, & i believe the struggles
aren't forever, they're just for now, & they will get better,
i also find myself, from time to time, blaming, shaming &
doomsday dialoguing with
why do i make the same sort of mistakes again & again?
how will i ever climb out of the giant hole i've gotten myself into?
why don't i show greater self-control? why don't i learn? why don't i change?
what am i, stupid? a strident inner voice shrieks.
& often, the answer comes back, quiet & dispirited: yes.
i beat myself up. i beat myself down.
& yet, i expect whatever the situation is to improve.
here are some of the notes i wrote down from
oprah's i am: life is how you see it lifeclass with joel osteen:
:: whatever follows 'i am' is going to come looking for you.
:: you become what you believe.
:: whatever you feed will grow.
:: your words become your destiny.
:: don't say the negative words out loud; don't give them life.
:: change the recording in your mind.
:: you have the power to become the hero of your own life.
:: you have a purpose; as long as you have breath, you have what someone else needs.
:: be confident in who god made you to be.
:: nobody can be better at being you than you.
:: bring honor to god by being passionate about who you are.
:: be who god made you to be. you don't need other people's approval.
be you — be gratefully, joyfully, fully full-on you. & god will smile.
as another inspiration & oprah-phile, dr. brene brown, notes,
authenticity is a practice. it's a thousand everyday choices, every. day.
& it begins with your thoughts, the story you're telling yourself.
if you don't like the story you're telling yourself [or others]
about you & your life, if your story isn't working for you,
then CHANGE IT.
choose a new & improved story.
& whenever the old recording begins looping in your mind,
press 'stop.' & put on your new story.
it begins with "i am ... ."
i am blessed.
i am living in abundance.
i am healthy.
i am fit.
i am strong.
i am solid.
i am secure.
i am a thoughtful spender.
i am a mindful saver.
i am taking care of myself.
i am beautiful.
i am calm.
i am confident.
i am creative.
i am productive.
i am energized.
i am flowing.
i am shining.
i am worthy.
i am lovable.
i am a child of god.
i am grateful.
i am joyful.
i am in peace.
i am in power.
i am not just enough . . .
i am plenty.
& i am passionately ME.
so, what's your story?
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
it's the classic story:
boy meets girl. girl dumps boy. boy's grandfather dies.
boy adopts a coonhound from petfinder.
boy + dog hit the road to visit all 50 states within 365 days.
boy discovers dog has charming, odd talent.
boy begins photographing dog balancing atop unusual things.
boy posts photos. boy gets book deal.
boy + dog hit the road on book tour.
ok, maybe not the classic story. but still a good one
about photographer theron humphrey & his dog maddie.
theron, having lost his girl & his grandfather,
quit his day job & decided to go cross-country,
documenting the stories of people he met along the way.
but just before he left, he adopted a canine companion. maddie the coonhound.
& as they began their journey together,
theron realized maddie was a good poser & a great balancer.
so he began putting her atop things. many, many things.
& he posted the photos up on instagram. & they went viral.
so, at the end of their 65k+ -mile road trip, they got a book deal.
the book, maddie on things:
a super serious project about dogs & physics, was published april 1st.
but theron + maddie's book tour began march 8th, at austin's south by southwest festival.
& yes, they are road-tripping it all around america again.
& yes, they are working on a new project, called "why we rescue."
here's why theron says he rescued maddie:
"maddie taught me that i should wake up every morning & be grateful.
she taught me that committing to something & sticking to it is how we grow.
most of all, she taught me that standing on things, everyday objects, can be incredible.
she's my best friend."
this time around, theron is snapping shots of maddie doing things
rather than "just" standing atop stuff.
here's a sampling of both types of maddie photos ... full of awesome.
Monday, April 15, 2013
another monday, another post-lift,
from simple mom's tsh oxenreider.
full of remarkable reminders:
:: new + shiny doesn't = happy.
:: all things are gifts.
:: be present with kids.
:: it's okay to cry.
:: gratitude = joy.
i've got great gratitude for inspirational bloggers like simple mom:
as you start this week, remember
as you watch the other parents in your co-op
or the carpool line who seem to have their act together
that they, too, have their own little human insecurities.
when your old oven misbehaves,
or the butt in your jeans is just a little too tight,
remember that new & shiny doesn’t equal happy.
when you’re tempted to wish your house was on a quieter street,
or a few bedrooms larger,
or basked in more afternoon sunlight,
remember that your home —
no matter if it’s a farmhouse in the country
or a efficiency in a crowded complex —
is a gift.
all things in our lives are gifts.
& remember that when your kids are using their outside voices in
& then smearing their fingerprints on the doors,
that these things are reminders that the ones you’re rearing
are living, breathing, changing, soul-filled beings
who will not remember the streak-free windows
as much as the late-night storytimes
& the shared conversations while you chop the salad for dinner.
& if life’s just not going how you want at all —
the car has broken down again,
your in-laws hurt your feelings,
you got another negative pregnancy test —
that it’s okay to cry.
& be frustrated.
& not understand.
but remember, too, that there is always, ALWAYS something to be grateful for.
take a scratch of paper & a pen,
& scribble down one thing for which you’re grateful.
& then two. & then maybe three.
& display it somewhere obvious today.
image source: iris @ the natural gardener, 4.13.13, by me.