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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...“He had faith in us, and that is why he belongs on this Mall: Because he saw what we might become."
–President Obama, at the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr memorial.
“My grandmother gave me a bird book, and I got to like their colors. I said, ‘Jesus, a little blackbird with red wings’...In a way, that little bird seems to be responsible for all of my paintings.”
–Painter Ellsworth Kelly, in conversation with Gwyneth Paltrow.
“Then, just a few years ago, I realized that everyone feels secretly fraudulent. It’s the feeling of being an adult.”
–Miranda July, in the New Yorker.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
am not ashamed to admit that I recently rewatched (for the 90th time) the 1998 time-capsule that is “You’ve
Got Mail." It may have originally been a sweet
love story, but nowadays this film is basically an hour-and-a-half-long deja
vu. Remember your computer telling you “You’ve Got Mail”? Remember dial-up? Remember
when phones were for making phone calls? Remember when big-box bookstores
seemed like the corporate enemy and not themselves a dying breed, a last bastion of print media? And on this
most recent viewing, I noticed Meg Ryan continually making a funny motion not much seen
these days: checking her wristwatch.
A wristwatch! I had to have one, and now thanks to a recent birthday and a nice husband, I do. I specifically wanted one with numbers, since years of digital faces have rendered my time-telling skills shaky. Apparently a good ladies’ watch with numbers is a hard thing to find. But find one he did, and over the past few days, I don’t think I’m exaggerating that much when I say my life has changed.
Now when I want to know what time it is, I look at my watch. Its face stares back at me, guilelessly reporting the hour, minute, nothing more. I find that I look at my iPhone much less frequently, and when I do, it’s with a particular purpose. I hadn’t even realized how often I pulled out my phone to check the time and then got distracted by a text, or if there wasn’t a text, then wondering why and perhaps sending a text, and then while I was there checking email, and having a look at Facebook (He's getting married! Crazy!), and then fending off my kid's grab at the phone to play "gamies"... by the end of this 15-minute time check, of course, I was no closer to knowing what time it was.
watch is a revelation, a reminder to do one thing at a time, an easy way to be more mindful every day, every hour. It is such a
foreign pleasure to have moments of not multitasking. If a watch evokes this much low-fi joy, I can only imagine how zen I'd be if I went back to waiting for a dial-up internet connection. (I kid, Time Warner! Don't do that to me!)
ways to slow down and stop multitasking:
Batali, who's written eight cookbooks (most recently Molto Batali: Simple Family Meals from My Home to Yours), has 19 restaurants, and has starred in countless TV shows, says he loves the transition from summer simplicity to autumn complexity that takes place in October. For him, this time of year means braised meats, heartier greens, and beer (instead of wine) pairings. If summer's all about the instant gratification of perfectly ripe, raw fruits and vegetables, or quickly-grilled meats and fish, fall's the time for making a hearty, Tuscan soup like Ribollita one day, letting the flavors develop overnight, and eating it the next day; or assembling a salad that combines savory chicory, pancetta and Brussels sprouts with sweet and juicy Comice pears.
And come to think of it, if there's a month when you're most likely to pull off the orange clog look, this is probably it.
More foods we're eating this month
The autumn Champagne
Mario Batali answers your cooking questions
Scientists who study sleep tell us that the best way to wake up on a dark morning is to immediately turn on all the lights. Here's another way to bring alertness-boosting sunshine into your home this weekend: tune in to Super Soul Sundays, Oprah's thought-provoking, inspiring new show about spirituality and mindful living. This Sunday, she'll be talking to Jonas Elrod, a filmmaker who swears he developed an ability to see spiritual visions and energies. Even if you're feeling a little skeptical, it's worth tuning in to hear his conversation with Oprah and then watch the premiere of his eye-opening film, Wake Up, about a regular guy (and his girlfriend) who stumbled into spirituality almost by accident. Get a sneak peek of this week's episode by going to the show's web site.
Super Soul Sunday premieres Sunday, October 16th at 8am/7c on OWN
Once a year, Oprah's experts—including Dr. Oz, Suze, Martha Beck, and Nate Berkus— come together to give O readers valuable lessons on how to live their best lives.
What have O You! attendees learned so far here at Atlanta's Georgia World Congress Center?
"We're constantly demanding change from our government, from businesses, from schools. But maybe we need to be those architects of change we've been demanding."—Lisa Ling
"You should want to give to yourself as much as you want to give of yourself."—Suze Orman
"Look at your life. Look at what you have to do tomorrow and check inside your body. What do you feel? If you feel 'yeechh!,' it means you've lost track of your direction. In the wild, it means your track has gone cold, and you need to go back to your last hot track; go back to the last time you felt passion or joy."—Martha Beck
"Shop for the size you are today. Not for the size you once were, or the size you think you're going to be."—Adam Glassman
"The number one thing you need to know about organizing: Don't ask yourself 'What do I need for this room?' but 'What do I need from this room?' What is your vision for this space? If an object does not reflect the vision you have for a room, get rid of it."—Peter Walsh
He tapped his finger to his temple and then prescribed, with the confidence of a doctor diagnosing a common ailment, "Ninotchka!" and hopped off his perch to find the DVD.
Sure, I could always stream something instantly on my iThing of choice. But while advancing technology can save time in this way, it still can't cure a condition that was generated in the hey dey of the video rental store experience and has followed us into the Internet age: Movie Rental Paralysis.
You know the feeling. You step into the stacks and immediately your list of whatever movies you wanted to see evaporates and you can't remember a single movie you ever wanted to watch in your life. 20 minutes later, you're sweaty and going cross-eyed and whoever you're renting a movie with wants to kill you. Eventually you escape with a copy of some dopey new release you never wanted to see but that they have a million copies of, and you return home feeling slightly defeated, and like the evening's sense of possibilities has been squelched. Having limitless movies on demand only exacerbates Movie Rental Paralysis, transporting the psychotic episode to the privacy of your own home. This is one condition only a professional can help with.
This same know-it-all (I'm kidding, Joe) video store owner informed me that October 15th is
International Independent Video Store Day. So this October 15th, join the fight against Movie Rental Paralysis. Go to your local video rental shop, and ask the oracle (I mean clerk) what movie will cure what ails you. You'll support a small business owner, and you might just find the movie that changes your life. Or ....perks up your evening.
Further reading for film buffs:
Memorable movie quotes
Plan the perfect movie night
Marilyn Monroe, Jerry Lewis, and Richard Nixon at the height of their happiness—literally.
Celestial surprise: a meteor shower and the northern lights in one dark night sky.
Siri, a app that's supposed to answer your every question, attempting to explain the meaning of life and other (hilarious) inquiries like knock, knock who's there?
Rescuers save this baby gorilla, a member of a species that's quickly disappearing.
Green, Turning, Moderate, Peak, Fading or Gone: Looking for the most colorful fall leaves? There's an app for that!
This may be an unoriginal thought, but it's true: being a parent is hard. You worry. You worry that something will happen to your kid. You worry that the world will make your kid sad. Then today I read a story that made me think: True, but also, maybe your kid will someday make the world happy.
Doug Wells is a 15-year-old Little League pitcher who recently achieved an athletic accomplishments many professional baseball players can only dream of: he pitched a no-hitter. Pretty cool.
Oh, and also: Doug is legally blind.
As an infant, the New Jersey boy was diagnosed with glaucoma, and he has undergone surgeries his whole life to restore his sight, none of which was worked. According to Today, "When he pitches, Doug says his vision is blurry but he can vaguely see the catcher's mitt. When he bats, he only sees the ball a moment before it reaches him." Disability? Doug doesn't seem hampered in the least. (Did I mention he also plays football?)
Reading about Doug, I thought of his parents, of how they must have felt upon learning their baby had a vision problem, of all the worry they have undergone. How lucky (or is it luck?) that their child has seemingly adapted to what the world has given him. And what a good reminder for the rest of us to make the best of the bodies we live in, the circumstances that have chosen us. Now, no more excuses: play ball!
(Read the whole story for Doug's little brother's endearing reaction to the news.)
8 people who made their dreams realities
14 inspiring stories of overcoming the odds
Mindy Kaling’s laugh-out-loud (in an actual laughing way, not in a typing LOL way) piece in this week’s New Yorker parses the archetypes of romantic comedy chick flicks. For example, The Klutz, a "hundred-per-cent-perfect-looking female is perfect in every way except that she constantly bonks her head on things." Or "The Woman Who Is Obsessed with Her Career and Is No Fun at All," or "The Forty-two-Year-Old Mother of the Thirty-Year-Old Male Lead."(The entire piece is pretty hilarious—read it for Kaling’s spot-on dissection of “The Ethereal Weirdo” and the truth about architects.)
While it’s true that these movies can be pretty silly, Kaling’s piece got me thinking about the (admittedly, equally unrealistic) aspects of romantic comedies that we can all learn from. And I don’t just mean emulating "the gorgeous and skinny heroine is also a ravenous pig when it comes to food."