|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
January 2012 (141 posts)
Every Monday, we'll be letting you know about new releases the editors at O and Oprah.com couldn't stop reading. This week, we're in complete awe of the blunt, surprisingly memoir:
By Storm Large
Actress and singer Storm Large (yes, that’s her given name) spent much of her childhood in and out of hospital psychiatric wards and mental institutions visiting her mother, who was troubled with a litany of diagnoses, ranging from schizophrenia to multiple personality disorder. At age nine, when she asked a doctor if she might suffer from the same issues, he said, without skipping a beat, “Yes, it’s hereditary. You will absolutely end up like your mother.” Left without hope, Large embarked on a heart-wrenching journey paved with sex, drugs and plenty of raw self-destruction (note to readers: this book is heavy on the exceptionally salty language). The memoir, however, told in honest, poignant prose, really takes off when Large begins to use her excruciating past as an inspiration for her life on stage as a risky, fearless artist, showing all of us how to let go—not without fear and doubt, but with it.
Every Monday, we're rounding up the things, small and big, that make us stop and think. Today, we're inspired by...
“What we have to do, folks, is create great schools for kids, no matter where they are.”
-Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard at the Chicago New School Expo.
"Taboos? There aren't any taboos anymore."
-Mary Tyler Moore, recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, on the new slew of female-centric sitcoms.
"I always tell people go work in a lot of different places and get different experiences. Find out where you want to be later."
-Landmarc chef and Chopped judge Marc Murphy, on what he would tell himself when he was just starting out.
"I just quit. I stopped grass then, I mean pretty much, and decided to get off the couch."
-Brad Pitt, on how seeing poor children in Morocco in the late '90s changed his life.
It's Friday! We had a wonderful week with lots to be thankful for, so let's get to it...
The New York Public Library is opening one of its collections to the public and asking people to get creative.
25 lessons a bookstore can teach you.
From legwork to artwork: What happened when one man started tracking his bike rides (you won't believe this one).
My husband and I frequently bicker about taking pictures. He—a man eight years older than me, mind you—believes that regular photographs are obsolete. In his view, all we should ever take is video—long, cinéma-vérité videos that relive it all, from the kids opening Christmas presents to the falling of a pine needle to a shaky pan of our trashed kitchen and living room.In my view, nobody wants to sit through great stretches of our non-essential family life, and, further I love the capturing of a single moment with single photograph—one that doesn't re-live it all but let's me do that job, in full color detail, in the my head.
A few weeks ago,a n ordinary guy named Mike Matas put up some of his vacation shots on Vimeo. He went to Japan with his girlfriend and took 4,000 (!) sill pictures. Then he spliced them all together into what appears to be a running video—except that it's not, the film jerks a bit in between pictures, reminding us that it's made of stills—as you can see:
Living in the moment, the how to guide.
Quiz: Who Am I Meant to Be?
"They never answer phone calls to their desks. Have you noticed that? They email in response instead. Is that a young person thing? Is it rude? It certainly seems rude, but maybe I'm being old-fashioned." I had no answer for her. It seemed rude to me too, but what did I know? I'd gotten my first email account in college. To these girls I was old-fashioned too.
It should surprise no one that good manners have largely fallen casualty to a world full of texts and screens and phone-averse interns. Lucky for us persnickety people who wonder just what good manners are anymore (is "no problem" the same as "you're welcome?" Is it uncouth to ask someone with an accent where they are from?), humorist Henry Alford has tackled the issue in his new book Would It Kill You to Stop Doing That? A Modern Guide to Manners. As he told NPR's Talk of the Nation recently, "Life is a public bathroom, and we are all perpetually inheriting the toilet seat." We share our lives with so many others, much of our lives happens in public. In Alford's estimation, bad manners are often result of ignorance and insensitivity, so when trying to navigate the etiquette of texting or emailing we just to keep in mind the common-sense considerateness that's behind good old-fashioned manners -- and the possibility that we do rude things without realizing it every day. This is a happier world view, I think, than assuming all Americans are jerks for the sake of being jerks. More likely, we're jerks accidentally.
Be sure to listen to the whole NPR piece for interesting tidbits on the origin of etiquette, what public transportation has to do with manners, and what Japan can teach us about ourselves.
If you'd rather be on the beach with a margarita: Tortilla Soup
Ancho chili, cumin, tomatoes, cilantro and fried corn tortilla strips are key ingredients in this soup, but the best part is the toppings, which can include anything from sliced avocado and shredded Monterey Jack cheese to salsa and lime wedges.
If you love spice: Thai Chicken Coconut Curry Soup
With fresh ginger, 5 cloves of garlic, Thai green curry paste, coriander, cumin and jalapeño, this bracing soup will clear any stuffed-up nasal passages. Garnish it with some freshly shaved coconut or unsweetened coconut flakes.
If you're watching your salt intake: Luther's Italian Chicken Soup
Singer Luther Vandross, who suffered from diabetes, made this soup with no-salt-added stewed tomatoes; reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth; no-salt-added tomato paste; and plenty of herbs.
We're not saying you should wear your sneakers inside. In fact, we're definitely not saying that--outdoor shoes bring dirt and germs into your home, and are better left at the door. But people who usually wear supportive shoes outside will often walk for hours around their home in shoes they wouldn't consider sturdy enough to take them across the street. (I was one of them. I didn't realize my cheapie slip-ons were making my foot injuries worse until they caved in, causing me to walk on the insides of my feet.)
Take a look at your own indoor shoes: Are there scuff marks under your toes? Can you see a deep indentation created by the pressure of your feet? Do the soles slope inward or outward? These are signs that your slippers might be letting you down, says Vasyli. Extreme sloping can be a significant problem, because it means that worn-down shoes are overworking your foot and lower leg muscles, putting you at risk for injuries. In general, Vasyli says that if you feel foot pain while walking around your home, or sore feet when you get out of bed in the morning, or if your lower legs ache all day in your current slippers, you should consider a pair of indoor shoes with firm soles and arch support. You don't have to give your favorite slippers the boot: just save them for lazy days. When you need to get stuff done, here are some slippers that step up:
A friend sent me this video recently with the message, "beautiful." I watched it without sound and, yes, the footage is lovely: lush images of voluptuous waves, surreal water formations, a breathtaking flock of birds, and a tiny wet-suited figure surfing some enormous, curling waves. Watching this video is like taking a 6-minute meditation break. Relaxing, unless you're the surfer's mother. It was only when I rewatched the short film with the sound on that I realized what it's really about.
"I never set out to become anything in particular, only to live creatively," mutters the narrator. He describes his love for "wave riding," despite the terrible injuries, biting cold, and various dangers. And then he begins to talk about his place in the world, as a person who loves to ride waves and to document them in photographs. It's what he's drawn to, he explains. He's okay with "scraping a living," as long as it's a "living worth scraping," and movingly, he describes his gratitude to be doing what he's doing, in particular to be able to have "a tale or two for the nephews." It seems to me a meaningful legacy if ever there was one. There are so many measures of success, so many ways we judge our lives: money, fame, the highest wave we've surfed (er, metaphorically, for most of us). In the end, isn't it good enough to have some stories to tell the nephews?
How to Live Your Best Life