bloggers, books, funny women, instagram, read it love it, someday, the future is female

This isn’t a veiled announcement…

… I just love Midwife Clemmie Hooper’s blog, Gas & Air, and new book “How to Grow a Baby and Push It Out.”

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I can’t remember how I found Clemmie, aka Mothers of Daughters on Instagram, but I do remember loving her feed instantly. She has four daughters, two of which are twins, and she keeps it real. (A much-needed breath of fresh air in the world of social media.)

  And how fantastic is her style? And her girls are so flippin’ gorgeous!

As the aunt of 8 little (and not-so little, anymore!) babes, and former au pair and nanny, I have been lucky to have a front row seat to motherhood, a safe distance from the ring, but close enough to have had my fair share of sweat & tears splattered on me. (Is this boxing metaphor ridiculous or what? No regrets.)

 

What I really love is how honest and raw she keeps it, all the while expressing how important motherhood is and how rewarding it can be. And, while I’m not at that stage yet, I do know that when that day comes I’ll definitely use Clemmie’s book as a guide.

I highly suggest you listen to this hilarious, insightful podcast interview with Clemmie on Scummy Mummies, as well as these other pieces, if you’re interested:

Motherland’s, “Expecting the Unexpected”

The Telegraph’s, “Meet Clemmie Hooper, the ‘Insta-midwife’ every millennial mother-to-be wants at their birth”

Alex & Alexa’s, “Family In Focus with Clemmie and Simon Hooper of Gas & Air

And, of course, her husband, Simon aka Father of Daughters, is worth a follow as well — his posts never fail to make me laugh.

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Literary History, love stories, read it love it

Literary Lovers.

94A9C96E-D66B-4528-8BC3-7DE7478740CD-1174-000001286EE93F2D_tmp.pngErnest Hemingway & Martha Gellhorn on their wedding day, 1921

I love this piece from Literary Hub: “Famous Literary Relationships From Best to Worst”

Here are 3 of the most fascinating (at least to me).
2.jpgVirginia Woolf & Leonard Woolf & Vita Sackville-West

Leonard had to propose three times to Virginia; at first she wasn’t sure if she was sexually attracted to him. Actually, at first she was sure she wasn’t; but that ultimately changed. When she finally accepted his offer, she wrote to a friend: “My Violet, I’ve got a confession to make. I’m going to marry Leonard Woolf. He’s a penniless Jew. I’m more happy than anyone ever said was possible—but I insist upon your liking him too. May we both come on Tuesday?” The two began a loving, mutually supportive relationship, both personal and professional—they founded the Hogarth Press together. In 1937, Virginia wrote in her diary, “Love-making—after 25 years can’t bear to be separate… you see it is enormous pleasure being wanted: a wife. And our marriage so complete.”

As far as the famous Vita is concerned, she and Virginia met in 1922 and began an affair (Leonard knew all about this, and so did Vita’s husband, and everyone was fine with it; they were modernists, after all), writing gorgeous love letters to one another, the most accomplished of which, of course, is Woolf’s Orlando, about which Sackville-West’s son later wrote, “The effect of Vita on Virginia is all contained in Orlando, the longest and most charming love letter in literature, in which she explores Vita, weaves her in and out of the centuries, tosses her from one sex to the other, plays with her, dresses her in furs, lace and emeralds, teases her, flirts with her, drops a veil of mist around her.” The affair lasted until 1929, and the two remained close until Woolf’s death. But in the end, it was Leonard to whom Virginia addressed her last letter, one that attests to the happiness they shared:

Dearest,

I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier ’til this terrible disease came. I can’t fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that—everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer.

I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been. V.

1.jpgErnest Hemingway & Martha Gellhorn

Like many relationships, things in this famous literary marriage started off great. They fell in love. They gave each other nicknames. Hemingway encouraged Gellhorn’s journalistic writing. They were happy. But then, as Caroline Moorehead, Gellhorn’s biographer, put it:

In so much as ends have beginnings, theirs came in the summer of 1943. Hemingway was drinking heavily and she found his lack of cleanliness, his boundless egotism and his crassness increasingly offensive; he accused her of being a prude and a prima donna. There was little laughter and few jokes.

One night, when he was drunk, she took over the wheel of his much loved Lincoln Continental. He slapped her; she drove it slowly and deliberately into a tree. They fought over money, over work, over his drunken cronies. He bullied, mocked and snarled at her. Then the day came when he told her that he had accepted a commission to cover the Allied invasion for Collier’s—effectively demoting her, since no paper could have more than one reporter at the front. There was little more to be said. Hemingway left for London on a priority flight; Gellhorn crossed the Atlantic on a Norwegian freighter carrying dynamite.

Later, Gellhorn would refuse to talk about Hemingway in any interviews, and reportedly didn’t even like to discuss him with friends. She didn’t want, she said, to become “a footnote in someone else’s life.” She wanted only to do her work.

3.jpgSimone de Beauvoir & Jean-Paul Sartre

It shouldn’t be surprising that the leading intellectual couple of the 20th century had an unusual relationship—though, actually, it isn’t even that unusual. Just an open relationship, if one that was a little more lurid than Ginsberg and Orlovsky’s. As Louis Menand reports, de Beauvoir and Sartre had a pact: they could sleep with whomever else they wished, so long as they told one another everything. “The comradeship that welded our lives together made a superfluous mockery of any other bond we might have forged for ourselves,” de Beauvoir wrote. “At times this meant that we had to follow diverse paths—though without concealing even the least of our discoveries from one another. When we were together we bent our wills so firmly to the requirements of this common task that even at the moment of parting we still thought as one. That which bound us freed us; and in this freedom we found ourselves bound as closely as possible.” From Menand’s account, the two had a distinctly Cruel Intentions vibe—they indeed told each other everything, which amounted to a lot of voyeuristic shit-talking behind their other lovers’ unsuspecting backs. Apparently, de Beauvoir would even sometimes romance her young female students and then “pass them on” to Sartre, in a move they called the “trio.” She was eventually fired for this, and even lost her license to teach in France.

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february 2017, love stories, quotes, three things

Three things.

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“Create all the happiness you are able to create; remove all the misery you are able to remove. Every day will allow you – will invite you – to add something to the pleasure of others, or to diminish something of their pains.”

– Jeremy Bentham

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I fall in love on the U-Bahn (subway) at least 3 times a month, so these stories really made my heart smile & continue feeling hopeful. 😉

F train, 1970:

“It was the smile that made all the difference. We were both riding the F train from Manhattan to Brooklyn to teach at different schools. I saw her a few times before I got the nerve to say anything. She smiled. What a smile. She gave me her number. Our first date was a Yankees game against the Minnesota Twins. Then, you know, yada, yada, yada. One thing turned into another. Then we got married. Then we had kids. Then we had grandkids. We met in May 1970. We were married on Dec. 18, 1971, so we just had our 45th anniversary last month. She is still the love of my life.”
— Charlie McMillan, 71, Newton, Mass.

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I love the world’s collective crush on Justin Trudeau. I especially love this recap of Angela Merkel meeting with Trudeau.

xx

 

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february 2017, heard it loved it, hope

In my ears & on my mind…

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While visiting Kansas for Christmas back home, my mom introduced me to Joey + Rory. I was hesitant at first, as I’m typically not the biggest country fan, but decided I would watch their new movie with her. (See the trailer here.)

It’s such a beautiful story, though definitely heart wrenching; but inspiring as ever. By the end I was ready to give up the city life and raise my own farm…

Their hope and faith and general outlook on life really touched me; especially in the face of all they have gone through. And, when Patrick passed last month, I laid in bed for hours with the hymns record on repeat. It really brought me comfort in a time in which I was desperately in need of some faith and reassurance.

I absolutely love the two songs below, and recently, when things have been overwhelming or scary or just too much — aka anytime I read the news — I listen to these two songs to calm my soul.

 

Thanks for the intro, mom! I love you!

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hope, january 2017, saw it loved it, three things, words from wise women

Three things.

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I finally saw La La Land this weekend. It was so lovely and ever since I’ve had the soundtrack on repeat. Emma Stone is absolute perfection; she’s so incredibly talented, it’s ridiculous. (The song she does in the “audition” scene w r e c k e d me.) This is a really fascinating look at how the song came to be.

This is not a studio vocal. Emma was not lip-syncing. She was singing it live on set. I was accompanying her on piano, letting her lead the song and take the space she needed to act it. Because I was letting Emma lead the song, I was reacting to her. So a lot of times the piano is a little bit behind the vocal. It sounded like a recital or something where you know the singer is leading it and the piano is there to accompany. That’s what happens when two people make music together; things are not perfectly in sync. That’s why it feels musical and why it feels real and honest. (Vulture.)

This instagram post just stole my heart.

 

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Love love loved this post from Woolgathering & Wildcrafting on Nice Girls vs. Kind Women. Having been raised in the American Midwest, this spoke to me deeply. I make it a point now to approach life as a Kind Woman; I’ve bid my past days as a “Nice Girl” adieu.

Kindness is benevolence. It is the grace of our care, a gift that we can decide to bestow. Nice is mild and forgettable. Kind is a power unto itself. Kindness is a bigness. In many cross-cultural myths, we hear of references to the ancient Goddesses as being kind (though, just as often, Goddesses chose to be deeply wild, sharp and severe). But we never hear of a Goddess being nice. Goddesses simply aren’t nice. Nice isn’t big enough for the vastness that is feminine energy, compassion, and care.

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funny women, tv, wise words, words from wise women

Thanks for everything, Mary!

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I grew up watching the Mary Tyler Moore Show. I remember admiring everything about her — her tenacity, vivaciousness, independence, and of course, her amazing fashion. She showed that independent women could be just as strong as women in relationships. That notion has really stuck with me throughout the years. I’d be lying if I said she didn’t influence my decision to study Journalism.

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“In 1970, after having appeared earlier in a pivotal one-hour musical special called “Dick Van Dyke and the Other Woman”, Mary Tyler Moore and husband Grant Tinker successfully pitched a sitcom centered on Moore to CBS. The Mary Tyler Moore Show is a half-hour newsroom sitcom about a thirty-something single woman who worked as a local news producer in Minneapolis; Moore’s show proved so popular that two other regular characters, were also spun off into their own series. The premise of the single working woman’s life, alternating during the program between work and home, became a television staple. All in all, during its seven seasons, the program held the record for winning the most Emmys – 29. That record remained unbroken until 2002 when the NBC sitcom Frasier won its 30th Emmy. The Mary Tyler Moore Show became a touchpoint of the Women’s Movement because it was one of the first to show, in a serious way, an independent working woman.” – Words of Women

Mary-Tyler-Moores-Legacy-is-More-Important-Than-Ever-Man-Repeller_Feature.jpg“Can we talk about how Moore created a new definition for what it looked like to be a woman in America? Or how she pitched a television show about a divorced woman when the subject of divorce was still forbidden on network television? Or how she depicted something other than a wife or mom or witch or genie in an era when that image of womanhood was considered the limit?!” – Man Repeller

“You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.” – Mary Tyler Moore

 

Thanks, Mary.

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