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October 2011 (174 posts)
Every Monday, we're rounding up the things, small and big, that make us stop and think. Today, we're inspired by...
"I can only say that these computers coaxed out of me an expansiveness the typewriter never did."
-Novelist Gish Jen, on the impact Apple computers had on her writing life
"Because at the end of the day, your kids don’t care about the square footage of your home, the size of your stock portfolio, or the brand of your car. They just want unconditional love--and happy parents."
-New York City parenting coach Natalie Nevares
"I realized that I had carved up the entire day into five-minute units of efficiency, and I was appalled...and I'm wondering, How do you use time in your life?"-author Alan Lightman (thanks to Brainpicker's 7 Anthologies of Interviews)
And, in related news: "There are so many trails we leave through the world," says [Jonathan] Wegener. "I wanted to make them interesting to you again."-- in Clive Thompson's article on "memory engineering," on efforts to help us all recall more of the moments in our past
Join the fight against breast cancer while treating yourself (or your mother, aunt, or a friend) to something special.
Bid on one of these four Fritz Hansen Swan Chairs (or 15 others) customized by interior designers, architects, and fashion icons—all part of The Pink Swan Project. There's something to suit every taste: from the flashy (one chair is covered in Swarovski crystals) to the minimal (like Oprah-favorite Nate Berkus' version covered in a classic white wool boucle and accessorized with sleek leather). The online auction runs through the end of October—keep an eye out to secure a one-of-a-kind creation and conversation piece for your living room or home office.
80 percent of each sale will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation
Remember when you knew who the baddies were and just how to deal with them? Life lessons from a 5-year-old and his legos.
So that's how you say "Givenchy." A guide to the 28 most frequently mispronounced fashion and beauty words.
From lazy Sundays to get-up-and-go days: Energizing (and delicious) breakfast recipes for every kind of morning.
Just think, secret scribblers: The newest winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature never quit his day job.
The Life Lifter: This woman saved her husband from a life-threatening bear attack. Guess who's getting flowers every day from now on?
Dear Friends of Fall,
On my way back from Africa, where I've spent the past week teaching my soon to be graduating 12th graders, everything I wish someone had told me before I graduated. I bow to teachers everywhere who care about their students, prepare the curriculum and do their own homework to make sure they are prepared. It's a lot of work.
I received this email from one of my students today which makes it all worth it:
Mom Oprah I would like to thank you so much for the wonderful, exciting and mind blowing workshop on life and it's ways. I thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to come to South Africa, far away from your home. I have learned so many life lessons that I surely will be taking along with me through the many years to come. The one lesson that I definitely learned was that "It is okay to make mistakes". The reason it struck me so much is because I have had a shadow belief where I believed and told myself that I need to satisfy others and show them that I am good. What I did not realise along the way, is that I then stepped away from certain opportunities because I was too scared to take risks and to make mistakes and disappoint others. But after Life 101 I now know that IT IS OKAY TO MAKE MISTAKES. Another lesson that I learned is that other people will have their opinions about me and I will need to learn to give meaning to it or not.
Wow, that warmed my heart.
That one email made the whole exhausting week to the bottom of Africa so worth the trip and rewarding. I'm not a good sleeper under normal circumstances. So my body does not adjust to time change well. So it's been a sleepless week. I had meeting after meeting...then taught class in the late afternoon, so girls wouldn't miss their regular classes.
Mistakes mean move in another direction. And other people's opinions don't define you. Finding the courage to create the life you say you believe in, building from strength to strength, not giving away your power, especially not doing stupid things in the name of pleasing other people. That was my focus for 12 graders.
I'm returning to U.S. excited to be starting Oprah's Lifeclass 8/7 central this week on OWN. Followed LIVE on the Web. I hope to see you on Facebook, Oprah.com...and if you have it the iPad app.
For Oprah's Lifeclass we're moving on to even bigger lessons that speak to the power of the heart.
How not to be controlled by your ego. Letting Go of the past. Allowing the Truth of your life to set you free. Using your strength as a weapon against defeat. And Joy Rising moments that will remind you to feel and create your own.
All things I've learned and continue to grow and expand my understanding of how life works.
I want your world to open up, and you be enhanced, and stimulated by new ways of thinking about yourself.
Doing this on TV and the Web is a bold move. I know it. But what would life be without taking a risk!
See you Monday nite
I have a dream house. Some of the details are slightly fanciful, for example, the stained glass windows and the full-on turret. There are covered porches, a bay window, and a rambling yard. Plus: a distinctive color scheme. My house (one dream day) is very pale yellow, with shutters and a dark green, glossy door with a pineapple knocker.
The door, however, is suddenly up for revision—due to a recent development in the larger, realer world. The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin has put the door to the Greenwich Village bookshop online. The tiny store was only open for four years, during the 1920s, but served a famous meeting spot for bohemians of New York. While visiting there, literary heroes such as Sherwood Anderson, Theodore Dreiser, and Upton Sinclair dug their names with blue pencil into the wooden panels, which you can now scroll across in order to read brief bios or anecdotes.
Even more interesting to me were names of lesser known literary folk, like Mary Aldis who "constructed a playhouse from an old cottage on the grounds of her summer estate in Lake Forest, Illinois." It got me thinking. What I'd really like is a door signed by anybody who comes over to my very real house with the leaky bathroom—friends, family, the UPS man. They all have a story, and I can't think of anything more satisfying than to come home at the end of the day and run my finger over all their names. I know their bios and they know mine. They have laughed with me and eaten my lousy stews and played with my kids. We have created something—perhaps not a theater troupe or a painting—but something worth signing nonetheless.
Five friends every woman should have
Trading in a mansion for a mobile home
It's Friday again! That means it's time to take a moment and say thanks for...
Ada Lovelace Day! Honor all the women who have inspired you with their math and science prowess.
The joy of useless inventions:A researcher created a teeny-tiny flying carpet
Having recently been graced with a delightful (and gorgeous) Japanese daughter-in-law, I proudly admit to a bias toward all things Nippon. I share this bias, evidently, with Nicky Kinnaird—founder of the beauty apothecary Space NK. Inspired by her frequent trips to an onsen (hot spring) in the Japanese Alps, she worked with Japanese skincare chemists to create the Sai-Sei collection, including a bath and shower gel, body cream, and purifying soap, all aiming to capture the therapeutic benefits found in the hot springs. The company has donated $10,000 to the Japanese Red Cross Society and, in an effort to support the country's struggling economy, will continue to produce and distribute the Sai-Sei collection from Japan.
Every impressionable young woman who's ever hefted on a backpack and secured a Eurail pass in her sweaty travel belt (am I showing my age here? Do they still issue actual paper tickets that they actually stamp?) has encountered dozens of classic Grand Tour narratives. And while reading about the adventures of Lord Byron and Ernest Hemingway is great fun in its way, it's nice to know there will soon be a new female addition to the traveler's canon, when Harper Collins releases a collection of unpublished letters and photos documenting the year-long, round-the-world adventure of Agatha Christie. Yes, that Agatha Christie.
According to the Guardian, Christie traveled to Hawaii, Canada, America, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa in 1922. She particularly enjoyed learning to surf in Honolulu, of which she wrote: "Oh, it was heaven! Nothing like it. Nothing like that rushing through the water at what seemed to you a speed of about two hundred miles an hour; all the way in from the far distant raft, until you arrived, gently slowing down, on the beach, and foundered among the soft flowing waves." (You must see the photo of Christie surfing!) Miss Marple this is not.
The article also casually mentions that Christie left behind her 2-year-old daughter in order to embark on this adventure, which I admit is the detail that sticks with me after reading. She did...what? Huh? Here is the mystery I will be reading this book to solve.
Publisher David Brawn told the Guardian that the travelogue would show a "new side" to the famous, best-selling crime author, as well as providing some insight into her writing inspirations.So intrepid travelers everywhere will have another exciting Grand Tour tome to stuff in their ergonomic backpacks. I'm kidding! To download onto their lightweight e-Readers, of course.
Read more about finding your way in the world:
Can't-miss travel advice from the experts.
How to be a travel genius.
I still keep a journal, and I don't think I want anyone to read it. And yet I gasped when I read the first line of Dominique Browning's thought-provoking piece in the New York Times: "I just burned 40 years’ worth of diaries."
An admitted snoop, Browning writes, "I didn’t want anyone else reading my diaries, ever," and, "Diaries are irresistible." She makes it sound so simple. She doesn't want her grown sons to read her private papers. So she destroys the papers. Easy. Done.
Why do we keep writing these things, if we really, really, really don't want anyone to read them? Browning astutely describes the act of keeping a diary as a form of "self-soothing." And I think there's another, sneaky motive hiding there. When most of us think of someone reading our diaries in the future, we don't really think of our children; we think of some blurry person of posterity, some spectral version of ourselves, our legions of imaginary unborn fans. In a way, maybe I was writing my childhood diary for the same reason I was keeping it locked—the invented idea that someone, somewhere wanted to read it.
More on journaling:
Another writer considers burning her diaries
A peek into Oprah's journals
Susan Sontag's hidden diaries