Monday, October 8, 2012

This, That, and the Other

Your mind is totally blown right now, because the title of this post is the same as my blog. I mean, you noticed, right? Right!?!

When I started this blog almost three years ago (wow!), I originally intended it to be a blog of lists. I don't have anything in particular to write about right now, but there are several things going on. It's a listy sort of Monday evening, so I give you a bit of this, that, and the other:

  1. Ian was out of town for the weekend and my lovely friend A. came to stay with Felicity and me, mostly to distract me and keep me sane, and also to have fun, and do girly things, like watch Jane Austen movies while work on an impossibly hard jigsaw puzzle (that nearly brought us to tears), make yummy food, and bake. 
  2. New glasses! Ian and I went to Warby Parker the weekend before last and found glasses that we liked, and we ordered them. They came on Saturday. I am growing to love mine (they need to get adjusted, they're a bit loose on my head), although my family is not a fan - apparently they look huge on me. But I like them. They're kind of masculine. Ian looks plain FOXY in his new glasses. Seriously, how did I land myself such an attractive partner?
  3. I do here solemnly swear to put pictures of us in our new glasses up as soon as I can find our camera.
  4. Cupcake Adventures: The Quest for the Perfect Chocolate Cupcake! Current installations Part I and Part II.
  5. I have to brag a little, I've dropped two pants sizes in the past two months. I've lost 12 pounds since we've been home (six weeks), and 7 pounds in the past three weeks. I'm sure my weight loss will halt briefly during the Cupcake Adventures, but I'm really proud of myself

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Why I Need to Take Pictures with the Baby Too

This is a stunning article by Allison Tate on Huffington Post, give it a read.
...we really need to make an effort to get in the picture. Our sons need to see how young and beautiful and human their mamas were. Our daughters need to see us vulnerable and open and just being ourselves -- women, mamas, people living lives. Avoiding the camera because we don't like to see our own pictures? How can that be okay?

Someday, I want them to see me, documented, sitting right there beside them: me, the woman who gave birth to them, whom they can thank for their ample thighs and their pretty hair; me, the woman who nursed them all for the first years of their lives, enduring porn star-sized boobs and leaking through her shirts for months on end; me, who ran around gathering snacks to be the week's parent reader or planning the class Valentine's Day party; me, who cried when I dropped them off at preschool, breathed in the smell of their post-bath hair when I read them bedtime stories, and defied speeding laws when I had to rush them to the pediatric ER in the middle of the night for fill-in-the-blank (ear infections, croup, rotavirus).

Monday, October 1, 2012

Review: All About Love: New Visions

All About Love: New Visions
All About Love: New Visions by Bell Hooks

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Our book club chose to read bell hook's All About Love: New Visions. Ever the procrastinator, I finished the last two chapters this afternoon, hours before our first meeting.

I have mixed emotions about All About Love. I've been meaning to read this book forever, have even started reading it once or twice in the past before getting distracted with something else. I admire hook's overall project, which is to look at what love is apart from out societal expectations, and to investigate how we can truly live with love. Of course, love does not merely refer to romantic, partnered relationships. Rather, hook's applies love to all areas and spaces of life: love is crucial to how we see and relate to ourselves, to our families, friends, communities, partners, and even those we do not know. Her concept of love is much broader, calling for larger, grander societal changes.

bell hooks uses M. Scott Peck's definition of love, as found in The Road Less Traveled: Love is the "will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth... Love is as love does. Love is an act of will - namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love."

I really appreciate hook's cultural analysis, how love is often not present in relationships where people use power and dishonesty to control and subjugate others (whites to non-whites, men to women, adults to children, etc.), how our ideas of what love is and what love does is not truly loving but self-serving and destructive. hooks does have some great ideas and some powerful words.

That said, this book was unexpectedly difficult to get through. Although hooks is probably the easiest feminist theorist to read (I LOVE LOVE LOVE so much of her work), this book felt muddled and somewhat disorganized. hook's analysis and good ideas seemed to drown in quotes from self-help books and lack of clarity and cohesiveness.

View all my reviews