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Amy Shearn (558 posts)
Okay, so it's a publicity stunt/art piece orchestrated by a Dutch artist (or someone) called Ego Leonard (or maybe that's the Lego man himself, no one seems quite sure). That doesn't diminish the wonderful, weird mystery of it. Imagine walking along the shore and discovering this huge Lego fellow. What a moment that would be! Someone went to a lot of trouble all so that Jeff Hindman (or whoever) could happen open this object and experience an instant of an upside-down world, a moment of magic. By turns playful and enigmatic, the Lego man, if nothing else, injects a moment of whimsy into the world.
Read the original article in the Herald-Tribune for "Ego Leonard"'s hilarious response to requests for information.
In the era of instant nostalgia—looking at a photo the moment it’s taken and then losing it just as quickly in crowded digital archives—there’s something particularly wonderful about a film like Jeff Altman’s dazzling "Las Vegas 1962". The saturated colors are Mad Men-gorgeous; the film a reminder of how Vegas used to be—all excitement and fun and Rat-Pack-esque glamor. What was it with the 60s? Was everyone constantly hamming it up, smooching for the camera?
But what really gets me about this
film is the human element: these
people, beautiful and young, destined to be someone’s grandparents. In
footage they are smiling and waving and having a fabulous time, the stars of the movie of their lives. It reminds me of visiting my grandmother’s humid Skokie, IL,
apartment and staring at snapshots of a chic, raven-haired lady who I
simply did not believe could be my little Nani. Waving from
convertibles? Posing with girlfriends on the beach? Seeing her this way
made everything feel different. Surprise—she hadn't always been old.
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The Life-Lifter: Out of the rubble, some happy news. More survivors of the Turkish earthquake.
I was suffering from a bit of the mid-morning-Internet-stupor blahs when I came across this astounding aerial photo from NASA. Here is India, celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights. According to Wikipedia, Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. (So, it's Hanukkah with a different lighting technique and curry instead of latkes? Sign me up.)
But to me this photograph is also a lesson in how a small gesture can make a big impact when seen from afar. A person lights a lamp, shares a sweet. Helping a neighbor with her groceries, paying a stranger's parking meter, sharing kind words on the street or across the Internet. These little things we do, small kindness we can choose to create (or, alternately, tiny seeds of bad feeling we can spew when we snap at a waiter, scowl at a coworker)-- they seem to be such insignificant moments. It's when we take step back that we see the cumulative effects. Look around you--everyone is a little light. Imagine how beautiful we are from the sky.
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Adventures in Kindness: Be Excellent to Each Other
What Oprah knows about small gestures with big impacts
The NBA meets Billy Elliot: This tough guy's new pound-dropping, muscle-limbering workout regime is...ballet.
"Like every romance, and every reading list, it felt like our own." When books double as love letters.
Shop for the life you have, not the one you imagine. 3 smart ways to streamline your wardrobe (and cut down closet clutter).
Tutus, hip-hop, and pure joy: Two the most confident little girls we've ever seen upstage Ellen DeGeneres.
The Life-Lifter: After going missing at JFK airport over 2 months ago, Jack the Cat has been found!
My husband recently met a couple at an event
and complained, “They had this cool last name”—we’ll say "Darling," although it’s
actually even cuter than that –“but it turned out they’d made it up.” This,
we agreed, was cheating. As people with awkward and difficult-to-spell last
names, we have a certain chip on our shoulders. Why should a couple
get to breeze through life saying, “Darling!”, just because they feel like it?
“After all,” I said, “a family name is about your family, not about sounding cool.” My husband proceeded to clear his throat for the next half hour or so. As he didn’t need to point out, I hadn’t taken his name. I had very good, semiotically sound reasons for this that had to do with identity and feminism...and not wanting to fill out name-change forms.
In Anne Peterson's great essay on the Huffington Post, she muses over how much she's always loved “the distinguished tradition of a name like Peterson: a moniker for mustachioed Vikings and meatball connoisseurs with blonde braids.” She never thought she would change her name when she married—the very idea seemed retrograde. And significantly, she was not exactly in love with the sound of her fiance’s last name. “Saying it is like eating a handful of sand. It gets caught in your throat like a partially chewed piece of flank steak.”
Is it wrong to pick and choose a married name based on whether you like it or not? So maybe your husband’s name seems a little awkward, or doesn’t really go with your first name. How do you think Lauren Bush Lauren feels? Should the unity of your family be held above paltry matters like aesthetics? I admit that the idea of creating a new name altogether appeals in a way, eschewing issues of identity and awkwardness and starting fresh, the way our ancestors did at Ellis Island, only on purpose.
Anne Peterson decided to change name after all, though she notes, “A piece of my identity is gone.” For the record, this is why I haven’t changed my name, even though it doesn’t match the family’s and causes the doctor’s office to think I’m the babysitter and makes addressing mail to us baffling. It’s an identity thing. Even if my darling were a Darling, I swear my choice would have been the same. I think. Probably.
As it turns out, siblings may have a larger effect on our personalities and lives than any of us suspected. Jeffrey Kluger, author of the new book The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us, recently told NPR, "siblings are the longest relationships we'll ever have in our lives. Our parents leave us too soon, our spouses and our kids come along too late." Assuming everyone lives long enough, our siblings are the only people who know us our entire lives.
So what if you never knew your siblings, only meeting them as adults? Do they have the same effect on you as if you'd grown up together bonding over great games such as "Why are you hitting yourself?"
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The Life Lifter: This blind high school student runs races and challenges assumptions, with the help of a (very adorable) canine companion.
That's why I love Robin Farr's post "Kiss Your Life" on the Just Be Enough blog. She writes, "Everyone bemoans Pinterest as the latest, greatest time suck...I do have a few boards that are my go-to happy places though, and they’re always good for a smile or some much-needed perspective." She explains how pictures of boats have always made her happy, how images infused with whimsy can brighten a bad day, and the quotation about living life deliberately that gets her through the hard times.
As Farr writes, "We all have a life we want to live – the life we think we should be living – and yet how many of us can say we’re actually living that life?... Figure out what’s missing in your life. Chase it. Catch it. Even if, for now, it’s just a picture to represent something you need more of."
We know the problems with our fast-paced, social-media-obsessed, txt-msg-wrld; there's always that suspicion that stepping away from all the flashing screens is the way to recharge. But sometimes the happy-place we need turns out to be what was right in front of us the whole time.
More moments of happiness:
Take a minute to be still
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Smiles in unexpected places
While this is undoubtedly distressing for Pascoe and Barry (her other cat, who made the trip safely), it's heartening that there's been such a grassroots response to this story. Jack's Facebook page has over 15,500 followers and is constantly being updated with possible sightings and other news. There are video tributes to the cat on YouTube. An imposter Jack was returned to the airport by some kids hoping for a reward; Jack-look-alikes have been spotted in the neighborhood near JFK.
Dozens of people showed up at JFK on Jack the Cat Awareness Day to search for the kitty and to raise publicity for their cause. While Jack hasn't been found, he is certainly becoming quite famous—his story's been covered all across the world, including UK's Daily Mail. American Airlines say they have hired a pet detective, flown Pascoe back from California to help search, and placed food, water and humane traps in the cargo area, but no one has seen head nor—sorry—tail of the feline, and Jack's supporters are threatening to boycott the airline until the cat is found. Let's hope he's found soon—and awarded lots and lots of frequent flyer miles.
We love our pets:
How to survive a lost cat
Funny animal stories
The $60,000 dog