Archive for October, 2008

On being recognized

I never heard the phrase “my people” until I was teaching in the late 1990s.  It was a phrase one of my students– who I taught for two years– would use, much to my amusement, when she was bemoaning her peers.  I loved the phrase and started using it.  A lot.  My people easily morphed into my person, and it continues to be a steady part of my slang. 

So it should come as no surprise that a few years ago, this scene in Grey’s Anatomy just spoke to me.  Not just because it used a phrase that I love, but also because it presented such a vulnerable truth.  I, too, have my person.  And I called her right away to tell her about this scene (perhaps her only character flaw is that she doesn’t watch Grey’s Anatomy).  I have a few people, really,– who really recognize me, get me, understand me, and I imagine we all have our person or people.  They can move away or get busy with work or family or school but, deep down, you know he/she/they are your person and you can call him/her/them anytime and that when you will do, it will be just like you never spent a moment apart.      

The another night, I was reading American  Wife, and there was a passage there that reminded me so much of what takes someone from being a friend to being your person:

People recognized you or they didn’t, and it was unrelated to knowing you.  Knowing you could just be your name or the street you lived on, your father’s job.  Recognizing you was understand you had thoughts in your head, finding the same thigns funny or excruciating, remembering what you’d said months or even years after you’d said it (page 66)

Back to me: 

So, today, I am sending a Cheers! out to the people in our lives who recognize us, who see us for who we are or aren’t and do not try to put us in a box that is not of our own understanding and to each of you, who come here willing to see me however I am. 

Happy Halloween!

October 30, 2008 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment

Whatcha reading?

I am reading American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld right now.  A friend had emailed me to tell me she thought it was delicious, and my book club is reading it for November (we thought it would be good to read something sort of related to politics for election season).  It is pretty delicious so far (and sometimes I feel like I need to cover my eyes while I am reading!). 

Next on the list of things I want to read are:

 Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch which is getting fabulous reviews, and I am just, in general, a fan of Allison’s work.  I also LOVE the book cover.  It’s just beautiful– and sets a great tone. 

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe

Moose by Stephanie Klein

What other books should I add to my winter list?

October 28, 2008 at 8:30 pm Leave a comment

10 Ways to Reduce Stress

From Girlfriendology: 

Women are extremely stressed. In fact, women’s stress levels are exceeding men’s in the recent financial situation. 33% of women feel EXTREMELY stressed. And, since women ‘tend’ to men, children and other women*, that is negatively impacting all of us. Female friendship combats stress, so we’re doing our part by sharing 10 Ways to Reduce Stress for Women.

* From ‘The Tending Instinct,’ by Shelley E. Taylor. Excellent book on the biology of friendships and the differences between men and women. Female friendships make women healthier, happier, live longer, less stressed and feel more beautiful – all amazing, powerful benefits to offer your ‘girlfriends’/female audience!

October 27, 2008 at 9:14 pm 1 comment

Inspiration and Celebration

Last Wednesday night, we recognized the eight Hijas selected for the Circle de Luz Class of 2014 at a ceremony held in the auditorium of the high school they will attend.  Families and friends attended as well as local M’ijas and school officials.  It was an absolutely lovely night.  After remarks from members of the Circle de Luz board of directors and a representative of the North Mecklenburg Rotary Club, the group who so generously funded the eighth scholarship and also sponsored the recognition ceremoney, we called each girl individually forward with a family member to sign their Letter of Commitment to Circle de Luz and they received their certificate of recognition, a Circle de Luz Class of 2014 necklace (it is the Isabella styled necklace with a tag on it that says 2014), and a flower.  The girls came forward with moms, dads, and even a big brother, and the family member put the necklace on each girl.  Jennifer Fowler, one of the Circle de Luz board members, provided a closing that summed it up best. 

 

With the holidays approaching, you are likely thinking about how to celebrate the girls and women in your lives in a meaningful and beautiful way.  We encourage you to consider the beautiful handcrafted necklaces created for Circle de Luz by artist Mary Alice Mitchell.  There are three beautiful options and all of the proceeds go to support Circle de Luz programming with the Hijas.  Each necklace is handcrafted to your order specifications and come to you packaged in a gift box with an explanatory note about Circle de Luz.  Because orders take 3-4 weeks to process, and we’re hopeful for a flurry of holiday orders, we wanted to remind you about this beautiful gift option now so that you might go ahead and place your order to receive it in plenty of time for the holidays.   

The Circle de Luz Necklaces were uniquely designed by artist Mary Alice Mitchell to benefit Circle de Luz.  Each sterling silver design on a sterling silver chain with handcrafted clasp evokes the moon and star symbolism of Circle de Luz.  Handmade at the time of your order at the length of your choice, each necklace is a unique piece of art, and all proceeds go to Circle de Luz, allowing us to provide dynamic programming for our hijas.      

 

The Isabella Necklace A simple sterling silver star floating inside a circle. $45

The Eva Necklace An organic sterling silver textured moon charm with pierced moonstones and overlay star. $65

The Sofia Necklace  A sterling silver three dimensional moon globe with a pierced star. $105

 

Want to place an order?  Complete the order form, email it to circledeluz@gmail.com at your earliest convenience so that we can place your order with our artist, and then proceed with the payment option of your choice.  Please allow 3-4 weeks from the time we receive your order for processing and delivery.

October 26, 2008 at 4:41 pm Leave a comment

When your friend has breast cancer

From Girlfriendology: 

There are over 2 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. Multiply that by all the friends and family, and this disease (and other forms of cancer) puts a definite strain on friendships. In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, we offer 10 Ways to be a Good Girlfriend to a Friend with Breast Cancer. Interviews with women with breast cancer gave great insight into how to be a friend through this difficult situation.

October 23, 2008 at 7:51 pm 4 comments

What’s Your Point, Honey

Screening of the documentary “What’s Your Point, Honey?”

Wednesday, October 29 at 7:00 p.m.

Storrs Auditorium, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

What’s Your Point, Honey? puts a new face on political leadership by introducing seven possible contenders coming down the pipeline, while revealing inequalities that still exist today.  Six years ago, with the support of the The White House Project, CosmoGirl! launched Project 2024, an initiative to get more young women involved in politics so that we could see a day when just as many women as men run for the highest office in the country – getting beyond gender to agenda.  Two other age groups, teens and tweens, weave in and out to present the next generations’ take on the topic, giving a little jolt and some comic relief along the way.  The event will be held Wednesday, October 29 at 7:00 p.m. in Storrs Auditorium.  This event is free and open to the public.  This is event is hosted by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, skirt! magazine, and the Feminist Union.

 

October 22, 2008 at 3:12 pm Leave a comment

This year, I will…

My birthday is approaching and I am coming up with my newest list of things to do in my 35th year.  And I’m stuck.  So I am turning to you for some inspiration.  What would you do in this life if you could do anything you wanted?  And what do you want to do in 2009?  Your ideas can be huge (go on a safari) or small (take a quiet walk alone every week)– my lists span the gamut!  Thanks for sharing and inspiring!

October 20, 2008 at 6:48 pm 3 comments

You: Being Beautiful

So Oprah’s favorite doctor, Mehmet Oz, has a new book out– You: Being Beautiful (written with co-author Michael Roizen, MD) and the November issue of O The Oprah Magazine features a beauty quiz.  The quiz is also on-line so here’s the opening descriptor and the link if you are interested…

“We’ve broken beauty down into three essential pieces: looking, feeling, and being beautiful. And we have developed what we call the You-Q test to help you identify areas to focus on in order to become happier with yourself. One major cause for dissatisfaction, we know, is when the “current you” (who you are now) and the “potential you” (the person you’d ideally like to be) are nothing alike. The gap between them is what your YOU-Q score will measure. (Fortunately, unlike an IQ, you can improve your YOU-Q score, and we’ll give you a few tools to get started.) As you close the gap, you’ll feel more authentically beautiful and content.”

October 19, 2008 at 8:06 pm Leave a comment

Some unimportant things

There is a large fly that has been buzzing around our house for a couple days now.  I left the door open for a while in hopes that it would find its way out.  Now, I’m thinking I’ll just discover more of his type buzzing around here tomorrow. 

A little bit of Kosher salt goes a long way. A lot of Kosher salt can ruin dinner.  When that happens, have a bowl of chocolate ice cream to cleanse your palate and satiate your appetite. 

My computer screen died this week.  It was just so nice to walk away from it until the new LCD screen arrived yesterday.  I even took apart the innerworkings of my computer while Theodore from Dell coached me through it.  I said to him, “You must think I am a different sort of customer, Theodore, like the kind who doesn’t destroy the stuff she touches, and I just want you to know that I am NOT that customer.”  But then I took it apart and put it back together without destroying it (or destroying it any more than it already was with the busted computer screen and all).  Theodore said, “Wow.” 

I got some vaccines on Monday and my arm has the nastiest red knot on it that’s all hot and gross.  True confession:  I kinda want to cut it open and see what’s inside.  This from the girl who didn’t even want to dissect a frog in high school.  I still remember what I named the frog.  Alf.  Remember that tv show?  I promise not to cut it open (the knot.  The frog is already long gone.  My bio teacher already wasn’t a big fan of me as it was; she would have really had a field day with me if I had refused to cut open the frog).   

My day was completely derailed on Wednesday by the Gusiness Book of World Records stunt shown live on the Today Show.  I got sucked in by watching this man walk and bike a tight rope without a harness or a net and then was a bundle of nerves for the rest of the day.  And, as a bundle of nerves, I got nothing done.  Well, that’s not true, the Dell guy did come switch out my LCD screen.  But that’s not something I did.  Heck, I wasn’t even here when he did it.   

I’ve been nursing a herniated disc and a disc tear since August, and I want my back back (actually the pain is primarily in my hip which is so weird but what do I know about biology, as I referenced above.  Actually, nope, I can’t say that now.  I am an official card carrying member of the Association for Healthcare Journalists.  I do know something about biology.)!  I never thought I’d say that I miss running, but I do.  The funny thing is I’ve quit moving in hopes that it stops the pain, but it hasn’t so it seems like I could start moving again, but getting back into the habit is just so hard.  But I need it, my work needs it, and so I’ve got to add it back to my days (although I won’t start with running).   

Just spotted a little tiny fly.  Darn it.

October 16, 2008 at 11:05 pm 4 comments

Quick help!

For my body image class on Friday, I am trying to come up with a long list of programs/ projects that address body image issues in America (ie the Girls Scouts’ Uniquely Me program, Girls on the Run, Dove’s Self Esteem Fund program, etc).  Know of some programs/ projects around the country (local to an area is totally fine if I can find a web-site for it) that focus on championing body image?  Hit the comments button and share them with me.  Thanks so much!

October 15, 2008 at 11:51 pm 3 comments

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In a Bookstore Near You

What does it mean to be beautiful in America? For years, pop culture has insisted that beautiful women are tall, thin, and blonde. So what do you do if your mirror reflects olive skin, raven hair, and a short build? Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image, and Growing Up Latina offers a provocative account of the struggles and triumphs of Latina forced to reconcile these conflicting realities. Rosie Molinary combines her own experience with the voices of hundreds of Latinas who grew up in the US navigating issues of gender, image, and sexuality. This empathetic ethnography exemplifies the ways in which our experiences are both profoundly individualistic and comfortingly universal.
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