Busy week, tension headache, insomnia, and major, younger-son room cleaning (we're taking a break). Here are some recent interesting finds:
- It's difficult to go wrong with a Liza Minnelli performance. Or a Muppet performance:
[Hat tip to Adventures in the Endless pursuit of Entertainment]
- Lazy Eyes: How we read online (from Slate): This article is written in the "ideal way" to write online.
Lots of space.
I find this annoying.
But, it's an interesting article. I liked the part best near the end:
Pleasure reading is also known as "ludic reading." Victor Nell has studied pleasure reading (PDF). Two fascinating notions:
- When we like a text, we read more slowly.
- When we're really engaged in a text, it's like being in an effortless trance.
Ludic reading can be achieved on the Web, but the environment works against you. Read a nice sentence, get dinged by IM, never return to the story again.
I suppose ludic readers would be the little sloths hiding in the jungle while everyone else is out rampaging around for fresh meat.
So, I'm a little sloth, enjoying my online ludic reading. My favorite things to read are thoughtful posts that present ideas in a new way (serious, dreamy, spicy, whatever) - the opposite of what they recommend.
- Speaking of thoughtful posts, I don't know if I've mentioned from these hills: Beauty & Wisdom from Appalachia before. It's one of my daily reads, and younger son and I spent a while yesterday evening looking through the current month's posts. She has beautiful photos, and she includes poetry, quotes, and sometimes her own reflections. I was going to add links to some of my favorites, but I don't really have any - I enjoy them all. I've added it to my list of links (to the right).
- These made me want to wander through the photos and explore - Abandoned Castles of Russian Countryside at Dark Roasted Blend.
Now, this may seem strange from someone who writes about pretty dresses (mostly) every day, but: You Don't Have to Be Pretty. You don't owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don't owe it to your mother, you don't owe it to your children, you don't owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked "female".
I'm not saying that you SHOULDN'T be pretty if you want to. (You don't owe UN-prettiness to feminism, in other words.) Pretty is pleasant, and fun, and satisfying, and makes people smile, often even at you. But in the hierarchy of importance, pretty stands several rungs down from happy, is way below health, and if done as a penance, or an obligation, can be so far away from independent that you may have to squint really hard to see it in the haze.
But what does you-don't-have-to-be-pretty mean in practical, everyday terms? It means that you don't have to apologize for wearing things that are held to be "unflattering" or "unfashionable" -- especially if, in fact, they make you happy on some level deeper than just being pretty does. So what if your favorite color isn't a "good" color on you? So what if you are "too fat" (by some arbitrary measure) for a sleeveless top? If you are clean, are covered enough to avoid a citation for public indecency, and have bandaged any open wounds, you can wear any color or style you please, if it makes you happy...
Back to cleaning...