Wednesday, October 31, 2012

she-cars & her-pens.

ok, just going to say this once:
um, product development people? just fyi, it's two-thousand-twelve.
& women don't need or want special "lady" versions of stuff.

aka i love my gillette mach 3 razor —
turns out it gives just as close a shave
on my "lady" pits as it does on a guy's face.

but maybe japanese women feel differently.
that's what honda japan is hoping,
as it has launched the honda fit she's
[she's what? she's got a heart used for her apostrophe, yo. for realz.],
a "lady" version of the fit subcompact.

the japanese designers say their intention was to make
the regular fit model "adult cute," i.e., pink pink pink.
pink color, natch, plus pink stitching in the
floormats, seats & steering wheel, pink metallic bezels
around the displays & shifter. but she's also available in
shades of grey brown & white, which a honda exec
told a japanese newspaper match the color of eyeshadow.

but the fit she's rosy-hued feminine beauty isn't just tone-deep.
the she's also comes with special windshield glass that
reduces 99% of wrinkle-inducing ultraviolet rays, &
a "plasmacluster" air-conditioning system that
honda claims can improve a driver's skin quality.

which is all good & well . . . but what about potential wrinkling effects of
being forced to deal with the day-to-day stresses of
maneuvering through all that aggressive man-traffic?
i'm beginning to think maybe women shouldn't be driving at all . . .
not if it's going to take such an ugly toll on our porcelain complexions.


the fit she's leaves this she fit to be gagged with a little pink driving glove.

but if a "lady" car revs your engine,
then you may want to be taking notes
with a pink or purple bic for her pen.

i'll leave it to the extraordinary ellen degeneres
to tell you more . . . beginning with,
it's about damn time! where have our pens been?
can you believe this? we've been using man pens all these years.


image source:

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

gore for president.

with the election only — & finally — a week from today,
i just thought i'd share this video gem
from "it's my party" girl lesley gore.

gore, now 66yo, endorsed the use of her hit "you don't own me"
for the political psa, created by sarah sophie flicker, leader of
new york's the citizens band,
a cabaret collective that makes political statements.

i don't know about you, but this just makes me
want to pick up a hairbrush "microphone" & belt along:

image source: music stack music marketplace.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

third-time charm.

newsweek magazine, almost 80yo, recently announced its intention to
stop publishing a print edition & go all-digital beginning in 2013.

& thankfully, it looks like it may be going out a little better than it's been lately.

following a year in which it twice featured atrociously sexist covers
[one in april, another in august], it's good to see newsweek

take a turn for the less-desperate with its current cover, which features
15yo malala yousafzai & the headline "malala: the bravest girl in the world."

women & girls are the focus of fewer than 1 in 4 news stories worldwide,
so a cover about a female's achievements rather than her appearance
is kind of a big deal.

here's hoping newsweek keeps up the right fight,
representing women accurately & well, as it takes its final 3D breaths.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

feminism primer. by dudes.

ok, i just discovered the factuary: comical education on cultural topics.

the factuary is a series of youtube webisodes,
hosted & written by comedian guy branum,
each addressing an issue of interest —
from scientology explained to why the rapper mia is always pissed off —
& presenting the facts of the matter, funnily.

check out the channel — but first, check out this episode:
"what do feminists have left?" {hint: plenty.}

this guy totally gets it, man.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

i am malala.

two weeks ago, a masked gunman boarded a pakistani schoolbus full of children
& shot a 15yo girl twice
because she wants girls to be educated.

malala yousufzai was aptly named for a pashtun poetess & warrior woman.
she lives in mingora, a village in the swat valley of northwest pakistan,
with her parents, her two little brothers & two pet chickens.

in 2009, taliban militants forced the girls' schools
in swat valley to close, & blew up 100+ of the buildings.
malala, with the permission of her father, ziauddin —
a poet, educational activist & school owner himself —
began anonymously blogging her experience as a girl
under taliban rule for bbc urdu. she was 11yo.

eventually, malala's school reopened, but she continued to tell her story.
a new york times documentary was filmed about her life,
she became chairperson of the district child assembly swat,
& last year, she was nominated by desmond tutu for
the international children's peace prize &
won pakistan's first national youth peace prize.

but as she became more recognized, malala became more & more endangered.
death threats against her & her family have been
published in newspapers & slipped under their front door.

in a meeting this summer, taliban leaders unanimously agreed to kill malala.

a group of grown men, considered leaders by their peers, agreed to assassinate a child
because she promoted girls' education & criticized them for trying to eliminate it.


& so, on a tuesday afternoon, as malala was riding home from school,
a masked gunmen boarded her bus & shouted, "which one of you is malala?
speak up, or i will shoot you all."

once identified, malala was shot twice — in the head & in the neck — & left for dead.
the bullet causing the most damage entered above the back of her left eye,
traveled down through her jaw & into her left shoulder.

two of her schoolmates were wounded, too, but were stable enough
at the scene to provide details to the police & reporters.

the taliban readily claimed responsibility for the attack,
calling malala "the symbol of the infidels & obscenity,"
& reiterated its intent to kill malala & her dad.

malala was airlifted to a military hospital where neurosurgeons saved her life.
a week ago, she was flown to birmingham, england, to continue her treatment.
the pakistani government has offered to pay all of her medical expenses.

as of yesterday, malala is conscious, communicating freely
through written notes [she can't speak yet due to a tracheal tube],
has the motor control to stand, & seems to understand where she is & why.

she's still at high risk of infection, & likely has several more surgeries
to go through, in addition to extensive rehabilitation.
but 15yo malala yousufzai today is a survivor & an international hero.

former british prime minister gordon brown has launch a united nations petition
using the slogan "i am malala" & calling for:

:: pakistan to agree to a plan to deliver education for every child;

:: international organizations to ensure the world's 61-million
out-of-school children are in education by the end of 2015; and

:: all countries to outlaw discrimination against girls.

heal on, malala. this world needs your vision, your courage & your example.

image source: getty images.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

a reminder for moms.

i am a strong, confident woman.

& i have opinions that are equally as strong & confident.

but. i'm also a mom, navigating the rather stormy seas of
raising a teenage daughter for the first time.

& so, as waves of teen-girl issues rise around me,
i'm sometimes unsure of the best way to ride them out.

so i solicit advice from my fellow sailors —
girlfriend-moms of other teen girls.

& so it was that i recently found myself at a drinks-&-dinner gathering
of like-minded moms, & seized a conversational lull to bring up
an issue currently brewing with my 13yo daughter.

over the past couple of months, she has been "altering" her clothing
to show more skin — nothing inappropriate, just things like
rolling up her shorts-legs to make them shorter [but not daisy-dukes short],
rolling up her shirt-sleeves to make them look sleeveless, etc.

i've observed this behavior without comment,
wanting to "choose my battles," & understanding
what she's currently doing is completely harmless . . .
though clearly, this trend has captured my attention.

during the late summer months, i noticed her doing the same thing
with her tankini top — rolling & tucking up the bottom of it,
so that with every trip to the pool, it was looking more & more like a bikini top.

so at a friend's labor day family pool party,
i finally called her on it — noting this wasn't a proper venue for that
& requesting she untuck her top to its original length.

"ok, but next time, will you buy me a swimsuit appropriate for my age?"
she hissed.
"you're wearing a swimsuit appropriate for your age," i flatly responded.

so meanwhile, back at moms' night out, i tell this story & wonder aloud:
should i be concerned about this trend? & isn't a tankini a good choice for a 13yo?

well, i got dog-piled.

the other two moms with daughters the same age
had already bought their daughters bikinis,
essentially because that's what all their peers were wearing.

they lectured me about the difference between a "bikini" & a "two-piece."
they implied i may be damaging my daughter emotionally
by not letting her do what it takes to fit in socially.

another mom, with whom i had discussed this issue earlier,
brought up one of the ideas i had mentioned to her for dealing with it
as a point of ridicule, laughing to the table about how wrong-minded it was.

when i continued to express my worries about potentially perpetuating
the sexualization of my 13yo daughter, the mom sitting next to me
took my hand in hers & patted it, saying in a gently patronizing tone —
as if i were an 108yo granny, expecting my girl to wear a
turn-of-the-last-century "bathing costume," complete with bloomers —

"she's not a little girl anymore, kristen."

which i'm well aware of, thank you very much.
but while she may not be a little girl, she is still very much a girl —
not a woman, not a sexual being just yet, & still very much my child.

& her childhood, while naturally waning, isn't over just yet.
nor should it be. & i do see it as part of my job not to give it the bum's rush,
& to try to ensure nothing else does, either.

for the record, i listened to & considered their points,
& next spring, as swimsuit season approaches once again,
i will likely agree to shop for a two-piece my teen girl & i can agree upon.

but here's the reminder for moms part:

when another mom asks for your advice,
remember she is showing her most vulnerable self to you.

remember what she is saying beneath the question
is, "i'm feeling unsure about myself as a mom.
i'm afraid i may be screwing up & i don't want to fail my child."

remember she is asking not only for your opinion.
she is asking for your listening, your understanding,
your support & your encouragement.

she wants to know what your experience is,
& she needs to know whatever she chooses to do will be ok,
because she is the best mom for her child.

just like you are the best mother for your children.
just like we all are the best moms for our kids,
every one of us doing our very best, every minute of every day.

[though naturally, our best looks better at some points than at others.]

tell her she is a good mom.
tell her this mothering stuff is tough.
tell her you struggle with it, too.
tell her she is doing a fabulous job raising terrific kids.
tell her to make sure she listens to herself.
tell her she will make the best choice.

because it's all true. & she needs to hear it.

& because if she leaves the conversation feeling like
she is indeed screwing up & failing her child,
then we are failing each other as women.

breaking each other down rather than building each other up.

reply with your opinion, explain your experience, state your case.
then remember, my mamas-in-solidarity, to
encourage. encourage. encourage.

as a favorite fellow blogger recently wrote:
it's the grace element of motherhood.
we all need it. we all need to extend it.

Friday, October 5, 2012

cootchie cootchie coo.

all sorts of happy baby-licious news happening lately ...

team usa three-time gold-medalist kerri walsh jennings
was apparently going for another three-peat during the london games:

she was five weeks pregnant with her third child during this summer's olympics.
[yes, when the above photo was shot. damn, girl.]

the 33yo beach volleyball champion & her pro-v-ball-playing husband, casey jennings,
apparently began trying to get pregnant a month prior to the competition,
thinking it might take some time to get there from here.

but, no.

& though kerri noted feeling "moody" while in london,
she chalked it up to jet lag & the stress of the games.

her professional partner, misty may-treanor half-jokingly suggested
kerri may be pregnant, but she laughed it off.
now kerri says her nausea with baby #3 is no laughing matter.

the jennings' new baby will be welcomed by
big brothers joey, 3, & sundance, 2,
sometime around kerri's april 9, 2013 due date.

yahoo! ceo marissa mayer gave birth to a baby boy september 30th.

mayer's husband, investor/philanthropist zachary bogue,
tweeted the good news monday morning, &
this week, 37yo mayer has reportedly been
crowd-sourcing baby names for her firstborn.

mayer intends to return to work within a couple of weeks,
potentially bringing her newborn son along with her.
more power to her — as long as she doesn't force the same
sort of abbreviated family leave upon her underlings.

& finally, 37yo actress drew barrymore welcomed her first child,
a daughter born september 26th to her
& her husband since june, art consultant will kopelman.

the couple named their girl olive barrymore kopelman —
the olive branch is a symbol of peace or victory,
was historically worn by brides, & happens to be the namesake
of the animated puppy barrymore voiced in the christmas classic [at our house, anyway],
olive, the other reindeer.

mazeltov, y'all!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

for other list-lovers.

oh, how i love a list.

so linear, so logical, so digestible, so doable.
& sometimes, such a delightful literary snapshot.

shaun usher's latest website, lists of note, is a celebration of such enumerations.

lists of note features, well, notable lists.
from johnny cash's to-do list
to ghandi's 1947 list of "the seven blunders
that human society commits, & that cause all the violence"
to a new zealand newspaper's 1891 guide to the art of eye flirtation,
this is fairly fascinating stuff.

a few further examples:

how to write,
from advertising legend david ogilvy to his agency staff,
a 1982 list of ten writing tips, such as:

4. never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. they are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.

7. never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. read it aloud the next morning — & then edit it.

10. if you want action, don't write. go & tell the guy what you want.

new year's rulin's,
by folk singer/hero woody guthrie,
an illustrated list of 33 resolutions for 1942, including:

3. wash teeth if any

8. write a song a day

27. help win war — beat fascism

31. love everybody

the 47 dwarfs,
by the disney writing team for the 1932 animated classic "snow white,"
a list of potential names for the seven dwarfs,
who are unnamed in the original fairytale.

the names eventually selected were
bashful, doc, dopey, grumpy, happy, sleepy & sneezy.

in the 1912 broadway stage adaptation of the story,
playwright winthrop ames chose blick, flick, glick, plick, snick, whick & quee.

my personal picks from the list of 47 are
awful, deafy, hickey, jaunty, neurtsy, snappy & soulful.

so, what's your latest list look like? do share.
i'm off to check off "blog — list site" on my list of daily to-do's.

image source: interesting top ten lists.

Monday, October 1, 2012

hello, october.

hello, monday the first.

hello, full corn moon & cardigan mornings.

hello, warm comfort food + drink.

hello, candles that smell like warm comfort food + drink.

hello, squirrel + acorn + pumpkin decor.

hello, teen girl turning 14yo. [whoa.]

hello, dad turning 80yo. [wow.]

hello, hallowe'en — we've got to get cracking with some creative costume ideas!

hello, modpodging playroom art.

hello, painting bedrooms & bookcases.

hello, ikea.

hello, new work projects — bring 'em! i'm ready!

hello, everyday. you do not look like a pinterest board & it is okay.

hello, joy in mistakes, in trying, in accepting, in encouraging,
in gratitude, in surprise, in perspective,
in self-nurturing & remembering i matter.

hello, full month. full steam ahead!

image source: