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October 2011 (174 posts)
Brianna Amat is one of those girls that makes the phrase "girl power" more than just a corny saying on ill-advised t-shirts. The Michigan 18-year-old is the first girl to play on Pinckney Community High School's varsity football team. According to the New York Times, Brianna was asked to try out to be a kicker because of her impressive showing on the girl's soccer team. She told the Times that her male teammates always treated her like one of the guys.
Then, on Friday, Amat was asked to return to the field during halftime. Her fellow students had voted her homecoming queen. She accepted the tiara wearing, not a fancy dress like the rest of the homecoming court, but her team uniform.
Amat seems humbled by all the media attention her story has attracted. She told the Times, “For the longest time, I was the shyest kid ever, and now everybody knows my name."
Could we love her a little more? And can we please all make our daughters look at the photo that accompanies the story? The sparkly tiara ! The rough-and-tumble uniform, complete with padding! This is one girl who's all queen, no princess.
More on encouraging girls to be themselves:
Talking to teenagers about their choices.
Whatever happened to "Girl Power"?
Nails Inc. Magnetic Attraction Polish, $16
Get a perfect at-home manicure
Fall's most fabulous nail polishes
3 denim-inspired shades
If your grandmother were an underground street artist, this is what she would do.
Get a complete hair makeover by the weekend, without a single snip.
Shrapnel, Bunsen, and Leotard: When people become nouns.
Making women with breast cancer feel beautiful.
The Life Lifter: How a four-year-old boy called 911 and saved his mother's life.
If you like olive oil and vinegar, try...skipping the vinegar completely. Theo Stephan, founder of the California olive oil producer Global Gardens, and author of the new cookbook Olive Oil and Vinegar for Life, says real (meaning it has no more than 0.8% acidity), fresh, extra-virgin olive oil can stand as a dressing on its own, though you can add fresh herbs or minced garlic, too.
If you like ranch dressing, try... making it with yogurt. Whisk a tablespoon of white wine vinegar and a few spoons of plain yogurt with salt and pepper. Then whisk in a tablespoon of olive oil. The yogurt will give the dressing a tangy zip.
I used to work in Times Square, and I could always gauge how my day would go by my reaction to the swarms of tourists. Many mornings I stalked through the crowds like an ambulatory frown. Other mornings I'd emerge from the subway grinning, happy to help a lost tour group from Sheboygan, feeling as if just walking near a spunky pair of elderly travelers holding an upside map could make me see the city, the day, the world, with fresh eyes. Can you guess which days turned out better?
I was reminded of this when I first saw the below video, which has been all over the Internet for the past few days. In it a little boy and his sister are watching "The Empire Strikes Back" for the first time. When they get to that famous, so-familiar-it's-hard-to-imagine-it-ever-seeming-new "Luke, I am your father" scene, the boy flips out. The look on his face is absolutely amazing. It's a throwback to the world before leaked spoiler alerts; a reminder that this was once a surprising Star Wars revelation, yes, but also a reminder of the sheer wonder that exists in the world. I can't remember the last time I was this surprised by anything!
In everyday life it's easy to start feeling jaded and bored. Which is precisely why we need tourists, children, and other ambassadors of awe, to help us remember how the familiar—whether it's the city we live in, a classic movie, or just a gorgeous sunny day—has magic in it.
Reconnect with that sense of wonder:
5 ways to experience awe every day.
Embracing your inner child.
In her fascinating, revealing piece on IKEA, New Yorker writer Lauren Collins studies the origins of the ubiquitous Swedish furniture store, parses the culture at IKEA headquarters, and reveals why you can't ever seem to get out of an IKEA store without filling your cart (yeah, they do that on purpose). She also points out how IKEA has changed the culture of home decor: "Choosing a piece of furniture was once a serious decision, because of the expectation that it was permanent.," Collins writes. "IKEA has made interiors ephemeral." As Collins suggests, a person's IKEA purchases reveal her stage of life. First you're buying disposable furniture for a dorm room or apartment share...then it's the slightly sturdier, upmarket couches and beds for your first romantic cohabitation...eventually you're stocking up on cribs and changing tables. Sunrise, Sunset, SNRTIG.
So what does your IKEA furniture say about you? And am I the only one who feels a certain dread upon making yet another trip? I swore I wouldn't buy another LACK table...but...it's just so cheap...and... But when is it time to move on? As Collins writes, "IKEA can also be Swedish for feeling like you're never going to grow up." I know lately I've been feeling that mature nesting urge. I want a new couch, and I have a confession to make: I want it put together by a stranger, and I don't want to have to argue with that stranger about stick-figure-and-hieroglyphic instructions. For heaven's sakes, I'm married with two children. Isn't it time for a piece of grownup furniture?
Make your home work better for you:
10 steps to a more streamlined home office
Organizing tips from an expert
Clearing your mental clutter
Men! What are they thinking? We can't always answer that, but we'll be posting our favorite glimpses into their world in this space every Thursday.
* Over at The Man's Guide to Love, Glass the Tramp has some hilarious and true dating advice. (The Man's Guide to Love)
* Need a gift for the brainy sports fan in your life? This collaboration between McSweeney's and Grantland not only contains essays about Hoosiers, the World Series of Poker, and fathers, but the cover looks and feels like a basketball. (McSweeney's)
* Surprising scientific discovery of the day: Women make men eat more. (NPR)
* "I spent the majority of my life in daycare, after school programs, summer school programs. Having gone through what I had gone through as a child...there were no real male role models in any of these places. There were never any dudes."—Jon Hamm, on why he used to work at a daycare center (because you needed another reason to like him). (E Online)
Don't get me wrong, I love zombies as much as the next person. I even like them when they're inserted into Jane Austen and eating brains hither and yon across the English heath. But sometimes, it's enjoyable to read a novel about living, breathing, car-washing, human-being-type people, such as the characters who populate The Marriage Plot by Jeffery Eugenides, reviewed in O magazine.
Last Sunday, to my pleasure, Eugenides, who was profiled in the New York Times, engaged in a conversation, not with a reporter but with the fiction writer Colm Toibin, during which he discussed his recent fascination with plain, old-fashioned characters (my translation: people made of words) "We know that we might be 'mocked' for persisting in writing realist fiction," he says. "But we keep on doing it! Because we think there is something about reality, and especially about human consciousness, that can be accurately described and that the novel is the best way to do it."
I couldn't agree more. There is something about human consciousness that comes so naturally (versus supernaturally) alive in a novel—and about human feeling, too, be it sadness, pain or delight.
What to read this fall
Our book pick of the week
Read the full article in the Times.
* Not sure the look is for you? Start small—you'll keep more money in your color-blocked wallet. $85; mywalit.com
* This color-blocked shoe gives classic camel a whole new vibe. $30; amiclubwear.com
* Add a black cashmere sweater to this tricolor skirt, and you're good to go. $275; dkny.com for stores
4 more fall trends we love
The bargain-hunter's guide to fall fashion
8 eye-catching magenta looks under $100
From the runway to the O way