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Giselle Minoli has been at 2 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Yifat Cohen71,902If you follow me and hear me talk, you know I'm all about engagement and I'm convinced that Hangouts will change the world and make it more personalized. (In a good great way).But it's almost impossible to do with over 35K followers (can't even imagine what people with over 100k or a million do..)SO LET'S GET PERSONAL. I DARE YOU.Let's just Hangout and get to know each other, shall we?THE HANGOUT WILL BE INITIATED FROM THE +G+GoTo Gal PAGEYou'll have to follow that page in order to be able to join us. So do it now, it takes 2 sec.RSVP and when this goes live you'll see a link to join the Hangout. First come first serve. If the hangout is full, stick around and a spot might open for you. I'll Hangout for an hour with as many people who show up - just for funTHIS IS NOT AN ON-AIR HANGOUTSo no one will see you but the people in the Hangout. Meaning, if this is your first time, feel free to jump in and give it a try.You can ask me anything you want if I can ask you anything I want ;)We can talk G+tips, Hangouts questions, or just about us and stuff we like (Have you watched the last James Bond movie? I got a few things I have to say about that one...lol)So RSVP now, and let's get to know each other - up close and personal------ #gplusgotogal   #hangouts   #engagement   #howto   #googleplustips  Want to Hangout and not sure how? Give this a try.2012-11-29 18:00:0041 
Billy Wilson1,545,194It's now the 29th episode of my weekly on air G+ variety show +That Show with Billy Wilson (TSBW) thank you guys for being so supportive! The show brings together some of the most interesting people you can find on G+ for a hangout! This week we'll have joining Caricature Artist +Rodney Pike; +Sean Cowen who's quite known around G+ and is the host of +FRIDAY NIGHT SESSIONS; Geek, Writer, and Host +DeAno Jackson; Tea Enthusiast and the person behind the Google+ Book Club +***** who's going to be talking to us about her new show called "Family By the Fireside"; Country Music Chat Host +Jessica Northey; and Special Musical Guest +Terry Lynn ! You can talk with us and other people watching the show by commenting on this event once the show is live! Thank you so much for a lively thread last episode!The episode will be live on this event and the recording will be available immediately afterwards. You can watch previous episodes here: http://goo.gl/ceHtHTSBW #29: Caricatures, M Monica's New Show, Live Music and More! (On Air Hangout)2012-10-20 04:00:00145 

Giselle Minoli has been shared in 555 public circles

You can see here the 50 latest shared circles.
If this is your profile, you can check your dashboard to see all shared circles you have been included.

AuthorFollowersDateUsers in CircleCommentsReshares+1Links
Simon Weiner2,462Quality People Circle 18. Enjoy.#circle   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circles  #sharingcircles #sharedpubliccircles #sharedcircleoftheday #circlesunday #share #shared #followers #addcircles #publicsharedcircles #share #addpeople #addcircle #addfriends #circle #socialmedia2015-01-23 07:57:18498001
Mariana Lopez de Waard23,530Via +John Wood Thank you :) This circle will add amazing, and wonderful content to you stream.Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!To be added to or stay in this Circle - Share the circleIf you received the notice you are in this circle, then well done.If you would like to be included in the next Circle Share, you only have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles2 - Share the circle (Publicly)3 - Add +1 to the post.4 - Leave a comment if you like.I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!2015-01-22 08:29:01462104
John Wood26,953This circle will add amazing, and wonderful content to you stream.Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!To be added to or stay in this Circle - Share the circleIf you received the notice you are in this circle, then well done.If you would like to be included in the next Circle Share, you only have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles2 - Share the circle (Publicly)3 - Add +1 to the post.4 - Leave a comment if you like.I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circleshare #Sociology #Funny #Software #Solar #Startup #SystemsThinking #Teaching #bigdata #Technology #tsunami #Transformation #Transplendence #Trust #Water #WaterResources #pharmacognosy #love #WavePower #Web #tsu #WebAnalytics #clinical #Wind #Addcircle #addcircles #tsunation #addfriends #Addpeople #cvd #awesomecircle #awesomepeople #circle #circleoftheday #food 2015-01-22 06:44:15462010
Flonne Floreance0follow and share2015-01-13 21:42:40501000
Ercan Çakir4,538 VIP-Circles-01#circle #circles #public #publiccircle   #circleshare #circlesharing   #sharedcircles   #sharedcircle   #morefollowers #sharingcircles   #circleshare   #sharedpubliccircles #sharedpublicircles   #sharedcircle   #photography #photographer #bestphotographer   #topphotographer   #AddCircle #FindCircles #awesome   #AwesomePeople   #AwesomeCircle #addmetoyourcircles #addcircle #addpeople   #circlemeup #circlesdiscovery #circleshare #circlesharing   #publiccircle   #publicsharedcircles #SharedCircles   #weeklyreview #sharedcircle   #topsharedcircle #circleoftheday   2015-01-05 06:06:41500000
Ercan Çakir4,538VIP-Circles-01 ------------------------------------- #circle #circles #public #publiccircle   #circleshare #circlesharing   #sharedcircles   #sharedcircle   #morefollowers #sharingcircles   #circleshare   #sharedpubliccircles #sharedpublicircles   #sharedcircle   #photography #photographer #bestphotographer   #topphotographer   #AddCircle #FindCircles #awesome   #AwesomePeople   #AwesomeCircle #addmetoyourcircles #addcircle #addpeople   #circlemeup #circlesdiscovery #circleshare #circlesharing   #publiccircle   #publicsharedcircles #SharedCircles   #weeklyreview #sharedcircle   #topsharedcircle 2015-01-05 06:05:00500000
Ercan Çakir4,538 VIP-Circles-01#circle #circles #public #publiccircle   #circleshare #circlesharing   #sharedcircles   #sharedcircle   #morefollowers #sharingcircles   #circleshare   #sharedpubliccircles #sharedpublicircles   #sharedcircle   #photography #photographer #bestphotographer   #topphotographer   #AddCircle #FindCircles #awesome   #AwesomePeople   #AwesomeCircle #addmetoyourcircles #addcircle #addpeople   #circlemeup #circlesdiscovery #circleshare #circlesharing   #publiccircle   #publicsharedcircles #SharedCircles   #weeklyreview #sharedcircle   #topsharedcircle #circleoftheday   2015-01-05 06:03:49500002
Ercan Çakir4,538VIP-Circles-1 -------------------------------------- #circle #circles #public #publiccircle   #circleshare #circlesharing   #sharedcircles   #sharedcircle   #morefollowers #sharingcircles   #circleshare   #sharedpubliccircles #sharedpublicircles   #sharedcircle   #photography #photographer #bestphotographer   #topphotographer   #AddCircle #FindCircles #awesome   #AwesomePeople   #AwesomeCircle #addmetoyourcircles #addcircle #addpeople   #circlemeup #circlesdiscovery #circleshare #circlesharing   #publiccircle   #publicsharedcircles #SharedCircles   #weeklyreview #sharedcircle   #topsharedcircle #circleoftheday   2015-01-05 06:02:39500002
Christian kaysen2,781↦ follow me (so I can include you)↦ ↦ share the circle (public or to a public community)↦ ↦ if you want, delete the last circle share↦ ↦ no plussing, no comments, no obligation,↦ just share it and circle the profile above#Circle#Sharers#Engagers#Followers#AddCircle#CoolPeople#Influencers#CircleShare#PublicCircle#ShareCircles#CircleSharing#Awesomepeople#CircleOfTheDay#ShareAndBeShared#ConnectingTheWorld#CircleShareExperiment#CoolPeople#Influencers#CircleShare#PublicCircle#ShareCircles#CircleSharing#Awesomepeople#CircleOfTheDay#ShareAndBeShared#ConnectingTheWorld#CircleShareExperiment#круглим #кругляши #обмен   #круги   #crazycircles   #hyperball  2015-01-01 13:23:26233011
Михаил Пушкарев420#ActiveUsers #Add #AddCircle #AddFriends #AddMeToYour #AddPeople #artcircles #artistcircle #AuthorCircle #AutoFollow #AutoFollowBack #Awesome #AwesomeArt #AwesomeCircle #awesomecircle #awesomecircles #AwesomeDay #AwesomeFace #AwesomePeople #AwesomePublick #AwesomePublickCircle #AwesomeSauce #beautiful #BeautifulPhotographs #BeautifulPictures #belarus #Best #bestcircle #bestengagers #bestgoogleplususers #bestofgoogleplus #bestofgoogleplus #BestShared #BestSharedCircle #BestSnowball #BlackSndwhitePhotography #blogger #bloggers 2015-01-01 08:18:30500005
Neil Bailey5,146If you received the notice you are in this circle, then well done.If you would like to be included in the next Circle Share, you only have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles (If you haven't already)2 - Share the circle (Publicly) - (cc) me in the comments on the share and I can add you to the next circle immediately.  Otherwise I may not notice your activity!3 - Add +1 to the post.4 - Leave a comment if you like.5 - Add the circle or just check it out.Follow your dreams, Share and Be Shared.More you share more you get! :)Thanks!#circles   #circleshare   #sharedcircle #circlesharing #followers #social #sharedcircles  #sharedpubliccircles #circleshared   #sharedcircleoftheday   #addmetoyourcircles #awesomepeople   #circlecount   #newfollowers #googleplus #meetingpeoplecircle2014-12-22 07:02:43494342768
Talent Ph0Today's Circle :)No rules. :)2014-12-22 06:29:29500000
Sport News95This circle contains people who are very active on Google+. These are people who will share and re-post your circles and other content. This is a good circle to connect with each other and gain followers.#circle   #circleshare   #sharecircles   #sharedcircles   #active   #activepeople   #repost   #share   #interestingpeople   #followback   #followers  2014-12-20 12:22:38500000
Talent Ph0Talent Circle :)To be added in the circle:1. Add me to your circle.2. +1 the circle.3. Share the circle.4. Comment for me to know u already did steps 1-3.Thanks :)2014-12-19 07:37:32500212
Sport News95Elite Team AG Friends Circle 0002Hey my friends. Good morning/evening to all! Circle brings together nice and interesting peopleIf you want to be a part of my best shared circles, this is the circle, you may want to add and share circle.Share The Circle And Boost Your Visibility On G+1. Add us to your circles, if you haven't done so already2. +1 this circle3. Publicly share this circle to public, your circles and extended circles.4. If possible, leave a comment on this circle so we know you have done the three steps above.Please make sure you do it on the original post or I won't notice it More you share more you get!Hi everybody, here is the circle of Circle AG. They have made it to the Loyal FollowersCircle without getting tired of spreading.AG Circle contains highly active membersof GooglePlus. If you want to engage with most activemembers you should ADD this circle.I would love to thank to each and every person who have joined the ride with us.Thank you very much! Iappreciate your dedication and hard work.I don't wish to offend anyone on the internet, so if you would like to be removed from my shared circles, please send me a private message and I won't share your profile in the future. The only way being shared will affect you is that you will get notifications that people have added you. You are under no obligation to add them back to your circles. If you don't add them back, they will most likely remove you from their circles after some time.#circle  #circleshare  #circlesharing  #circles  #sharedcircles  #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  #shared  2014-12-18 15:39:44501346
Daniel Mihai Popescu67,133Music, Twitter and SFMy most recent circle! I hope you don't mind if I mention you in comments, since my notification system doesn't seem to work.It is the first round, I'm not sure this will be the definitive version.Best wishes :)Lately I developed a fixation for Tsu, and if you don't have a profile there, this is my invitation:http://www.tsu.co/DanielMihaiPopescuIf you already have one, let's be friends and help each other grow!It'll be awesome to meet you there too! #danielmihaipopescusharedcircle   #maximumperformance  A "+1" will be greatly appreciated :) 2014-12-16 20:37:1549811559142
Михаил Пушкарев0#ActiveUsers #Add #AddCircle #AddFriends #AddMeToYour #AddPeople #artcircles #artistcircle #AuthorCircle #AutoFollow #AutoFollowBack #Awesome #AwesomeArt #AwesomeCircle #awesomecircle #awesomecircles #AwesomeDay #AwesomeFace #AwesomePeople #AwesomePublick #AwesomePublickCircle #AwesomeSauce #beautiful #BeautifulPhotographs #BeautifulPictures #belarus #Best #bestcircle #bestengagers #bestgoogleplususers #bestofgoogleplus #bestofgoogleplus #BestShared #BestSharedCircle #BestSnowball #BlackSndwhitePhotography #blogger #bloggers 2014-12-13 08:06:48496213
Jason Ryckman0 Hey this is jason I'm a follower of your page, I think you might really enjoy my #health    #fitness   and  #weightloss    #review     page, Please head over and check it out, I just added you to one of my circles could you please add me to your circles in returnThese followers are currently active and many will add you back when you add this circle to your circles.#circleshare #circlesharing   #circleshares  SIMPLE STEPS1. Please add me to one of your circles2. Please comment and reshare this post to public3. please comment on the original post or i may miss it4. If you would rather not receive these posts or be in my circle shares please shoot me a message and i will remove you from the List2014-12-12 01:49:47466000
Daniel Mihai Popescu66,628This circle is called Amalgam :)It is a mixture of new and very old friends. Of course, the Invincible is always present :)I've been a little bit disappointed for losing some guys I've even grown so fond of lately, so fond that they were in my notification circle, something very rare. They left me without a word, but that's not a problem, because everything goes on :)You are not required to do a single thing, I'll mention you in comments, I hope you don't mind :) I do this because the notifications don't work with my account, it's still an enigma, so I can't say that if you receive a notification from me, you're a member in this circle. It's sure you're a member if I mention you. That's one thing.Another thing is that you, the members, don't have to share the circle. I can't pretend from you, what I don't do with your circles. It's somehow a kind of reciprocally membership, which is a signal for others :) You, my circle members, are some of the most precious people on G+, and you have to be sure of that.So, for my followers, especially the new ones, it'll be good for you to add this circle because you'll gain a lot on your stream! #danielmihaipopescusharedcircle   #maximumperformance  2014-12-11 22:33:4849412866154
Jason Ryckman0 Hey this is jason I'm a follower of your page, I think you might really enjoy my #health    #fitness   and  #weightloss    #review     page, Please head over and check it out, I just added you to one of my circles could you please add me to your circles in returnThese followers are currently active and many will add you back when you add this circle to your circles.#circleshare  #circlesharing   #circleshares  SIMPLE STEPS1. Please add me to one of your circles2. Please comment and reshare this post to public3. please comment on the original post or i may miss it4. If you would rather not receive these posts or be in my circle shares please shoot me a message and i will remove you from the List2014-12-09 20:12:54467000
Becky Collins19,428Soccer Circle Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-12-02 07:20:4347814420
Sport News95Dear Google Friends! - You're in this CircleAdd Users & Pluss +1 & ShareThis is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top Google+ users that share unique and original contents.Follow this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow your dreams and smile to life.More you share more you get! :)Thanks!#circleshare #circlesharing #circle #sharedcircles #sharedpubliccircles #circlecount #circlecircle #naturephotographers #naturephotography #birdphotography #birdphotographers #circlesharing #circlesharingforthepeopleplc #sharedcircleoftheday #sharedcircleday   #publiccirclesproject #publiccircles #publicsharedcircles #sharedpublicircles #circle #circles #circlemeup #awesomepeople #awesomecircle #circleme #sharedpoint #sharewithyou #ShareYourCircle #epicengagers 2014-11-30 05:41:14500000
Daniel Mihai Popescu65,671This circle is called Plusers which with a few exceptions is quite vintage :)Don't do anything with it if you don't like, it comes without strings for members, which are the cream of the cream of G+, as you see starting with the cover :)A "plus one" will be very appreciated, and to consider my invitation to Tsu, if you don't have already an account there:http://www.tsu.co/DanielMihaiPopescuThank you for being my friends! #danielmihaipopescusharedcircle   #maximumperformance   #tsu   #tsunation   #tsuinvitation   2014-11-28 19:26:42495000
tunc serkan ozdinc2182014-11-27 23:04:53234013
Daniel Mihai Popescu65,332This is a special circle! As you see, it hasn't even 400 members, but the number can increase, I suppose :)I'm very happy at the moment, that's all.You may do as you wish, I'm not sure that my notification system works, so I'm gonna thank you personally in comments. Again, I hope you don't mind if I mention you.Wishing you a nice week ahead and if you aren't already on Tsu, the new trendy network, break the ice and fill the form after you click on the link :)http://www.tsu.co/DanielMihaiPopescuI know that a lot of you are there already and that's just fine. #danielmihaipopescusharedcircle   #maximumperformance  2014-11-24 23:11:163068358104
Brian Mcquillan13,888Active users on Google+. Circle Share If you received a notification, please reshare to your circlesIf you’d like to be added to the next circle share: • +1 this circle • Share this circle to PUBLIC • Include me in your circles • Comment on this post#topofthepeople #influencermarketing #sharedcircle #Jordan #Kuwait #circleshare #circlethis #socialmediamarketing #socialmediastrategy #socialnetworking #circleoftheday #circleoftheweek #circleoftheday #topofthecircle2014-11-19 13:23:30478122
Colin Wilson8,566Active users on Google+. Circle Share If you received a notification, please reshare to your circlesIf you’d like to be added to the next circle share: • +1 this circle • Share this circle to PUBLIC • Include me in your circles • Comment on this post#topofthepeople #influencermarketing #sharedcircle #circleshare #circlethis #socialmediamarketing #socialmediastrategy #socialnetworking #circleoftheday #circleoftheweek #circleoftheday #topofthecircle #howtoenlargecircle #enlargecircle #thursdaycircle   #share #weekendcircle #weekend #weekendfun #circles #circleyoushare #publiccircle #sharedcircles #addcircle #sharedpubliccircles #circleshare #publicsharedcircles #circleoftheweek #circlesharing #sharedcircle #circleshare #circle #googleplus #google #thankyou 2014-11-13 12:36:27397686382
Brian Mcquillan13,393New Public CircleThis is a public circle of people that would like to be circulated in order to discover new people with similar interest and to gain more followers, if you would like to be included please follow these steps.1. Follow/Add our page(this is needed in order for us to add you to the circle).2. Share the circle publicly.3. (Optional) if you would like to be include in a more specialized circle click on this link #sharedcircleoftheday #fullcircleshare  #addmetoyourcircles #awesomeness  #awesomepeople #awesomecircle  #awesome   #awesomesauce #awesomeness #awesomepeople2014-11-11 08:27:25464131433
Webtasarim Gardentr104Web design #seo #circle #bosmol #BosmolCircle   #GrowthCIrcle     #GooglePlus   #CircleShare   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircles   #circlesharing   #circleshared   #publiccirclesproject   #publicsharedcircles   #circleoftheday   #google  #circle #circles #publiccircle #sharedcircles   #sharedcircle #morefollowers #sharingcircles #circleshare #sharedpubliccircles #sharedpublicircles  #sharedcircle #AddCircle #FindCircles #addcircle  #circlemeup #circlesdiscovery #circleshare #circlesharing  #publiccircle   #publicsharedcircles #SharedCircles   #circlesharing   #circl2014-11-07 10:04:23485237
Daniel Mihai Popescu62,006I am happy to have you as friends! This is another Great Engagers circle, and if you'll be mentioned in the comments (since my notification sending system still doesn't work), means that you are members in it.A "+1" will be more than sufficient, only if you have the time :) #danielmihaipopescusharedcircle   #maximumperformance  For others, you do what you want, but this is a great circle to add to yours, as all my other public circles.Thank you for being here, and I wish you a great weekend!2014-10-25 14:28:5549715182197
Kenneth Nicholson6,980Circle share with new friendsHi friends follow this circle1 - Include me in your circles2 - Share the circle (Publicly)3 - Add +1 to the post.4 - Leave a comment if you like.I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#sharedcircleday #publiccircles #publicsharedcircles #sharedpublicircles #circle #circles #circlemeup #awesomepeople #awesomecircle #circleme #sharedpoint #sharewithyou #ShareYourCircle #epicengagers #davidromaphotography #addcircle #addpeople #affiliate #awesome #awesomecircles #awesomepeople #besocial #bestengagers #bestsharedcircle #circle #circlefriday #circlemonday #circlesunday #circleoftheweek #circlemeup #circles #circleshare #communities #community #coolpeople #findcircles 2014-10-24 12:15:41498445685
Daniel Mihai Popescu61,717One of my Engagers circles :)Dedicated to you, it comes without string attached. I just hope you don't mind mentioning you all in the comments, since my notifications don't work. #danielmihaipopescusharedcircles   #maximumperformance  A "+1" will be more than enough for members :)I am sad when I see someone removing accounts he follows after a couple of weeks of "inactivity", no matter the communication and the good collaboration they have with the removed accounts. People letting the software to work for them, people with less defined scopes here, or quite very good defined.I have just used +Circloscope to have a look on the activity :)I remember faces, I remember names, I know guys from other networks, I can't bring myself to remove them when they haven't posted here for more than one week, one month, or even three.Where are we going? Isn't there enough room for everybody, or are some of you just bored of my rants?I hope you enjoy this circle, and tell me if I forgot someone. Thank you!2014-10-21 21:34:3248116177193
Daniel Mihai Popescu61,295This circle is called Survivors!  It is dedicated to all of you :)I waited to fill it a little more with some new faces :)I hope you are notified, if not, nothing changes.Just a "+1" is more than enough (and I speak here for the members) #danielmihaipopescusharedcircles   #maximumperformance  It is an homage to you, so there's no need to share it, there are no conditions. If I forgot any of you, please forgive me and tell me, instead of uncircle me without notice :)I never was in "follow me and I'll follow you back" game, not here, nor on Twitter, where people are more liberal :)I'm out of the sharing circles game, as most of you already have noticed, and it's up to anyone to do whatever he/she/it likes with that :) I thank to any of you who kept in their public shared circles the time I have been absent (there was a very motivated reason for it), and I'm absolutely passive about the people who took me out of their public circles, considering they have not an immediate benefit from that. Oh, and I'm very glad because some circle spammers have unfollowed me. I do not really deserve their company :)Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends!2014-10-18 18:08:10469383955
steph wanamaker107,669#followfriday  this is my awesome women who comment circle!2014-10-03 15:59:3215644746
George Clark7,103Circle share with new friendsHi friends follow this circle1 - Include me in your circles2 - Share the circle (Publicly)3 - Add +1 to the post.4 - Leave a comment if you like.I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!I don't wish to offend anyone on the internet, so if you would like to be removed from my shared circles, please send me a private message and I won't share your profile in the future. The only way being shared will affect you is that you will get notifications that people have added you. You are under no obligation to add them back to your circles. If you don't add them back, they will most likely remove you from their circles after some time.#topcircle #circleshareoftheday #sharedcircles  #sharedpubliccircles   #fridaycircle   #themecircle   #mediterranean   #addbackspree   #ripplescircle   #addback   #aahanapriyadarsinee   #peoplescircle   #circleoftheday   #followme   #follow4follow  2014-09-27 10:52:53486372240
John Nuntiatio46,118#circles   #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #bestcircle #news #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport #small #smallcircle #photography #health2014-09-26 06:23:05167132
George Clark7,088Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow your dreams and smile to life.More you share more you get! :)Thanks!#sharedcircleoftheday #sharewithyou #circlethursday #followme #followers #followback #circle #googleplus #coolpeople #circleshare #sharedcircles #sharedcircle #sharedcircles #sharedpubliccircles #circleshare #circlesharing #fullcircleshare #elfopower #social #socialmedia #socialmediamarketing #socialnetworks #socialnetworking #xeeme #marketing #mlm #affiliate #internet #internetmarketing #mlm #google #googleplus #community #communities #ripples 2014-09-23 10:46:01468707880
Ғ ΜіснæL Sŧuŧz4,508I rarely do this...In fact, I haven't done a circle share in over a year, and I've never shared this one. But... It's #AmbienTime , and the thing about the folks in this circle: they've all paid their dues with respect to my #AmbienTime  moments.These are the people who, with one or two exceptions, have known me the longest here on G+. They also happen to be the list of people who are either overly medicated, or underly medicated, because they still haven't uncircled me yet, even after all this time. I keep checking, but so far none of these people has gotten tired of my crap enough to go through the effort yet. I don't have the heart to tell them that this suffering won't erase all their past misdeeds and sins, and won't get them into heaven.I spend 99% of my G+ time in this one circle. And one of the people here was insane enough to actually marry me.It's a very diverse group, about as diverse as you can get. Each, though, is wonderfully broken, like magnificent shattered stained-glass murals, each reflects the same sun that alights upon us all, but in uniquely amazing ways that, with the passage of the hours and the seasons, brings a new dazzling display every time I see them online.If these are the only people you ever circle on G+, you will be hooked on G+ for life. And it's proof-positive that quality kicks the crap out of quantity every day of the week.This is my little way of saying, "Thank you" to all of you guys for putting up with me for the last few years. And I take serious pride in knowing that I have the rockin'est circle on G+.+Sque Morgan , up there at the 1:00 spot was my very first friend here. We don't talk much these days, I miss that, but we've both been going through some crap these last few months. I think she's responsible for my meeting about half this circle, people like +Eric Johnson, for example. And I know that after Sque (like a few days) came +Karen Schumacher  and +Debra Dayton , and then +Alvin Stearns and then +Shawn Holster, who I was sure was going to defrock me last month when he announced his annual spring circle cleaning...+Darryl Mouzone I met through an experiment. I decided to add every "suggestion" that G+ made for one week, and he was the only one that made in to this circle, which made the whole exercise a totally worth-while thing to do.2014-09-23 03:17:43431706
Becky Collins16,703Great dancer circle :Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-09-18 05:02:18469118
Becky Collins16,373Young Adult Authors circle :Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-09-13 05:03:59465138
Robert Connor17,408Another great circle shared with me by an amazing G+'er!!All those  *#sharing  publicly THIS circle* will also be included in my other major circle sharingIf you received the notice you are in this circleIf you would like to be included in the next Circle Share, you only have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles2 - Share the circle (Publicly)3 - Add +1 to the post.4 - Leave a comment if you like.Thank you to all those who participated#fabwomenonG+ #womenongplus #womenonline #womenongoogleplus #women #activeusers #activedirectory #activeengagers #fabfems #googleplusengagers #femalesongoogleplus #female #fabulouswomenongoogleplus #slhc #sharedcircles #addcircle #sharedpubliccircles #growfollowers #circleshare #publicsharedcircles2014-09-11 11:06:23494432767
Becky Collins15,992Herbal, Health and Gardening Circle :Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-09-05 05:06:044302211
steph wanamaker106,513#followfriday  my  awesome women who comment circle2014-08-29 15:02:0315337849
Amaresh Singh11Circle of Daymy Friends! - You're in this CircleWelcome this circle dated August 29th, 2014.To be considered:1- Add circles2- Ask to be included in the Original post3- Re-share Circle4- Plushttps://plus.google.com/u/0/+OnlineResultPortalPlus/posts/exebUVFcFeW (Indian Universities Circle http://goo.gl/77wQkX)#circleshare #circlesharing #sharedcircles #sharingcircles#sharedpubliccircles #sharedcircleoftheday #circlesunday #share#shared #followers #addcircles #publicsharedcircles #share#addpeople #addcircle #addfriends #circle #socialmedia2014-08-29 10:25:10484433065
Becky Collins15,071Dance Circle : Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-08-16 05:13:064828316
steph wanamaker106,076#followfriday  my awesome women who comment circle !2014-08-15 19:10:2516249462
Mike Elgan3,464,700Follow the Blogs of August!1. Click "Add people" then circle this shared circle (even if you did it before)2. Share with your circlesThe Blogs of August are bloggers who are either trying or have already decided to blog on Google+ exclusively for the month of August (or permanently). 2014-08-06 12:34:462215525
AyJay Schibig68,461AMAZING WOMEN CIRCLE  8.1.14      by +AyJay Schibig RESHARE if you wish to be included.Some  Amazing Women from all walks of life  in this Circle!  Add them to enliven your G+ network! #circleoftheday #circleshare  #circlesharing     #circlesharingforthepeopleplc #sharedcircles     #sharedpubliccircles #sharedcircleoftheday #sharedcircleday   #publiccirclesproject #publiccircles #publicsharedcircles       #sharedpublicircles  #circle #circles  #circlemeup       #awesomepeople  #awesomecircle   #circleme  #sharedpoint     #sharewithyou     #ShareYourCircle   #womenscircles  2014-08-01 21:05:30417182631
Mike Elgan3,437,756Behold! The new League of Extraordinary Circle Friends!My League of Extraordinary Circle Friends is my hand-picked group of super charming super-sharers! I want you to do three things: 1. Click the "Add people" button below and circle this group (especially if you've circle this group previously -- doing this will update the group without duplicates). 2. Share this post with all your circles. 3. Share this post with people who are looking for awesome people to circle on G+. I've added four new people to the League.+Amira Elgan! Yes: She's my wife. And I've been trying to avoid adding her for a year. But her stream is perfect for the League so I've added her. +Noble Ackerson is a super nice and interesting guy, a super nerd and consummate glasshole -- he uses Google Glass to great effect to bring you into his world. In fact, the only bigger glasshole I know is... +Cecilia Abadie and Noble work at the same company, and Ceclia is another Glass user with a wonderful Google+ stream. +Andreas Katifes gives you a window into Greek scenes and Greek food that's so compelling you might accidentally quit your job and move to Greece. Welcome to the League, everyone! 2014-07-27 23:39:2625111240
Becky Collins13,434Mobile Operator Circle:Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-07-24 05:16:124763112

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Most comments: 218

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2014-09-26 20:52:21 (218 comments, 16 reshares, 143 +1s)Open 

Yes there is a serious downside to the Internet and this is one of them.

What? Beheading is now the new "vogue" terrorism device, replacing the ever-boring AK-47, the old-fashioned suicide bomber, and the Oh So Ho Hum car bomber?

What is going on with the men in this world? The violence and rage are nauseating.



Most reshares: 33

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2014-04-08 16:20:55 (119 comments, 33 reshares, 135 +1s)Open 

Dear Men of Google+:

I've been on G+ since the second week of its existence, and from the very beginning I've felt welcomed by men on this platform. This was eye-opening, because, as a writer of literary nonfiction, some of which explores social, cultural and political issues that affect the lives of women (in which I'm naturally interested given that my father died when I was young, and my mother became a working mom within 24 hours), I'd always been warned to stay away from anything on social media that could ignite the dreaded fear of feminism - you know, all that ooga booga booga about politics and religion at the dinner table.

Stay away, for instance, from raising the issue that it's 2014, but women still make, on average, only 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns.

But G+ is a long table at which interesting people talk about things that are... more »

Most plusones: 143

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2014-09-26 20:52:21 (218 comments, 16 reshares, 143 +1s)Open 

Yes there is a serious downside to the Internet and this is one of them.

What? Beheading is now the new "vogue" terrorism device, replacing the ever-boring AK-47, the old-fashioned suicide bomber, and the Oh So Ho Hum car bomber?

What is going on with the men in this world? The violence and rage are nauseating.



Latest 50 posts

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2015-01-27 17:39:47 (54 comments, 7 reshares, 42 +1s)Open 

THIS is the definition of cynicism. Two brothers forming a coalition to fund (translation: to buy) the next election. 

THIS is the reason I will never agree with cynics who claim that their vote doesn't matter, encourage other people to believe that their votes don't matter, and don't show up at the polls to register their voices, as if a silent vote for cynicism is somehow an action of authenticity, an act of Patriotism, an act of bravery.

As a member of the gender that had to fight for the right to vote, for the right to have a voice, for the right to speak up, I will never concede to cynics that voting doesn't matter. Voting does matter.

If it didn't matter, the Koch Brothers wouldn't be making every effort to buy the election. If it didn't matter, countries around the world wouldn't be trying so hard to prevent fair... more »

THIS is the definition of cynicism. Two brothers forming a coalition to fund (translation: to buy) the next election. 

THIS is the reason I will never agree with cynics who claim that their vote doesn't matter, encourage other people to believe that their votes don't matter, and don't show up at the polls to register their voices, as if a silent vote for cynicism is somehow an action of authenticity, an act of Patriotism, an act of bravery.

As a member of the gender that had to fight for the right to vote, for the right to have a voice, for the right to speak up, I will never concede to cynics that voting doesn't matter. Voting does matter.

If it didn't matter, the Koch Brothers wouldn't be making every effort to buy the election. If it didn't matter, countries around the world wouldn't be trying so hard to prevent fair elections. If it didn't matter, in our own country there wouldn't be pocketed and not at all thinly veiled efforts to make it impossible for disenfranchised people to have a say in their Democracy.

Some Americans are so distanced - philosophically, intellectually, psychologically and emotionally - from the privileges they have as a result of being Americans that they would actually prefer to create chaos and harm, rather than to participate in the system that gives them those privileges.

The anti-voting stance of many American citizens is on a par with the position of parents who don't believe in vaccinating their children, despite the harm that may come not only to their children, but to other children. 

Never mind the long list of diseases brought under control by vaccines (Diptheria, Hepatitis A & B, Measles, Mumps, Polio, Rubella, Smallpox, Tetanus...). Never mind the efforts the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is making around the world to vaccinate children who do not have access to them - whose parents are lining up for this gift from America. 

No, here, where we are privileged...let's not vaccinate. After all, we haven't seen these diseases in such a long time we've forgotten the toll they take, right? So...we don't need to vaccinate our children. Argggghhhhhhh. (Oops...am I being cynical? Sorry...)

So, too, with voting. In Saudi Arabia women can't vote. Or drive. In Vatican City, women can't vote. In Yemen, women can't leave the house without their husbands' permission. 

But, hey, here in America, where we don't have to fight for our freedoms, let's just give them up. Let's not vote. Let's give away our elections, our voices...and then let's be cynical and convince ourselves that voting doesn't matter anyway. Arggghhhhhh! (Oops...sarcasm...sorry...again...)

I'm sorry to tell the Koch Brothers that they will not be able to win the next election by buying it. Because women, who have had to fight for the right to vote, are going to turn out in record numbers to cast their votes. To speak up. To register their choices. To exercise their freedom.

And I will be among them...proudly...in spite of what the cynics say...or want to believe.

Those people who believe that voting doesn't matter might want to take a close look at what underlies that belief system...which is that they believe they don't matter. That is sad.

Because what we believe always starts with how we feel about ourselves.___

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2015-01-26 21:31:25 (20 comments, 6 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

Studies have shown that writing about oneself and personal experiences can improve mood disorders, help reduce symptoms among cancer patients, improve a person’s health after a heart attack, reduce doctor visits and even boost memory. Tara Parker-Pope, NY Times, Writing Your Way to Happiness

I'm happy that Tara Parker-Pope wrote Writing Your Way to Happiness. And while I'm also glad/relieved/intrigued that psychologists and scientists are finally studying the positive impact journaling and writing can have on emotional health, I'm also surprised that this is news.

We need studies to validate a communication form that has been around, in various forms, for thousands of years? Seriously?

Communicating with one another - storytelling - is an ancient form of expression that is manifested in a variety of ways. Petroglyphs are a form of storytelling and hardlya... more »

Studies have shown that writing about oneself and personal experiences can improve mood disorders, help reduce symptoms among cancer patients, improve a person’s health after a heart attack, reduce doctor visits and even boost memory. Tara Parker-Pope, NY Times, Writing Your Way to Happiness

I'm happy that Tara Parker-Pope wrote Writing Your Way to Happiness. And while I'm also glad/relieved/intrigued that psychologists and scientists are finally studying the positive impact journaling and writing can have on emotional health, I'm also surprised that this is news.

We need studies to validate a communication form that has been around, in various forms, for thousands of years? Seriously?

Communicating with one another - storytelling - is an ancient form of expression that is manifested in a variety of ways. Petroglyphs are a form of storytelling and hardly a modern one. So, too, hieroglyphs. Art, sculpture, painting, music, dance, theatre...these are all forms of storytelling and are part of how we share our individual experiences of life with other people. And they've each been around for a very, very long time.

Consider the flute. One of which, made out of vulture bone, was found a few years ago in a cave in Southern Germany. It is quite possibly 40,000 years old.

The ancient flutes are evidence for an early musical tradition that likely helped modern humans communicate and form tighter social bonds, the researchers argue. James Owen - National Geographic News (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/090624-bone-flute-oldest-instrument.html)

Consider dance. There are rock paintings that suggest the earliest forms of "dance" expression go back 9,000 years. And virtually every culture has some form of dance that defines it, whether it be belly dancing, ballet or voguing.

And consider art in all it's forms. We are used to young children making "art," like their cave living ancestors did so long ago, that their parents can proudly display on the refrigerator, or turn into holiday cards, or frame permanently for the walls of their homes. Although there might be children who do not create art, I personally don't know any. But I digress...

We are used to parents wanting their children to learn a musical instrument or to sing, or dance, or take art classes - because they want them to be well-rounded, educated, cultured, interesting.

But there is an unfortunate tendency to dismiss the value of any kind of artistic expression if it isn't turned into a career or one's profession beyond a certain age. We seem to have forgotten that it is natural - and human - to want to express oneself artistically, to want to share stories, and that teaching children to write...to make art, to play music, to dance, to perform...has a value beyond making a living off of any artistic talent that child may have.

Every artist that I know says writing, painting, playing music, dancing...makes them, well, happy, makes them, well, feel better, makes them, well, better able to get through life.

Now researchers are studying whether the power of writing — and then rewriting — your personal story can lead to behavioral changes and improve happiness. Tara Parker-Pope, the NY Times

Last year there was a wonderful series narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson called Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. One episode featured a story about Enheduanna, a Sumerian Princess and high priestess of Nanna, who was the daughter of King Sargon the Great.

Enheduanna lived and wrote around 2300 B.C.E. She is important because historians know her to be the first writer/poet/wordsmith that history knows by name. She is actually known by her name because Enheduanna actually thought to  _sign_ her name to her hymns and poems. It mattered to her that others would know who the author was.

If that isn't a desire to communicate, in words, like paintings etched on rocks, beyond the span of one's lifetime, then I don't know what is. I would love to talk to Enheduanna and ask her if writing made her happy. I would think, being a high priestess, that her answer would be "Yes! Of course!"

But it doesn't really matter. Because I'm happy just knowing she was alive. And that the first "author" was a woman? Well, that makes me particularly happy.

(http://www.space.com/24504-cosmos-a-spacetime-odyssey-with-neil-degrasse-tyson-new-trailer-revealed.html)

(http://womenshistory.about.com/od/womenwritersancientworld/p/enheduanna.htm)___

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2015-01-17 20:47:57 (36 comments, 0 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

Last night we saw American Sniper. There was a long snake line to get into the theatre. As I write, we are sitting at the same theatre waiting for Selma to start. So far there are only 57 people here, 26 of them Caucasian.

Hmmm. Is it that folks aren't interested in movies about black history, events and culture, and important American black leaders?

Or that folks don't care for movies about peace-makers?

Discuss.

The movie is starting...and there's a trailor featured for an upcoming Kevin Costner film called black or white.

#Selma #AmericanSniper  

Last night we saw American Sniper. There was a long snake line to get into the theatre. As I write, we are sitting at the same theatre waiting for Selma to start. So far there are only 57 people here, 26 of them Caucasian.

Hmmm. Is it that folks aren't interested in movies about black history, events and culture, and important American black leaders?

Or that folks don't care for movies about peace-makers?

Discuss.

The movie is starting...and there's a trailor featured for an upcoming Kevin Costner film called black or white.

#Selma #AmericanSniper  ___

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2015-01-14 20:02:39 (23 comments, 0 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

Is anyone else tuned into this? Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson free-scaling El Capitan. Years in the planning. Weeks in the actual doing. It's about planning. Precision. And power. It's not about fast. It's about exact.

It's not about hurry up. It's about waiting until the moment is right. The grip, the footstep...each perfect.

Everything aligned - one's energy, one's mindset, one's body, the wind, the weather, the timing...

It's a kind of Zen practice of goal, planning, pursuit, implementation and readiness that few, I think, get to experience on this level.

The mental strength, physical agility, determination, skill and expertise required to master this famous mountain is mind boggling.

But then, human being are capable of extraordinary things.

Try as I might here, I don't have words to describe... more »

Is anyone else tuned into this? Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson free-scaling El Capitan. Years in the planning. Weeks in the actual doing. It's about planning. Precision. And power. It's not about fast. It's about exact.

It's not about hurry up. It's about waiting until the moment is right. The grip, the footstep...each perfect.

Everything aligned - one's energy, one's mindset, one's body, the wind, the weather, the timing...

It's a kind of Zen practice of goal, planning, pursuit, implementation and readiness that few, I think, get to experience on this level.

The mental strength, physical agility, determination, skill and expertise required to master this famous mountain is mind boggling.

But then, human being are capable of extraordinary things.

Try as I might here, I don't have words to describe it...because I'm not up there!

But I can watch them summit. And applaud their success.___

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2015-01-01 17:44:38 (60 comments, 16 reshares, 79 +1s)Open 

My husband +Brian Altman has many rituals I love, one of which is sitting at the counter and, impromptu, listening to music he loves on his iPhone, turning the sound up as high as it will go so I can hear. This morning he started with Bob Dylan's With God on Our Side, which I had not heard in such a long time I had forgotten the lyrics. I asked him to play it for me again, and it struck me how appropriate it is for New Year's Day...because it really is a wish for world peace.

The version my husband played this morning was a recorded one, but we also listened to this live version (some of the lyrics are switched up, as is Dylan's wont, in this case because the original pre-dated the Viet Nam war), in which the tempo is a little bit faster than the longer recorded take.

I share the lyrics with you below, and wish you all, wherever you are in the world, the possibility... more »

My husband +Brian Altman has many rituals I love, one of which is sitting at the counter and, impromptu, listening to music he loves on his iPhone, turning the sound up as high as it will go so I can hear. This morning he started with Bob Dylan's With God on Our Side, which I had not heard in such a long time I had forgotten the lyrics. I asked him to play it for me again, and it struck me how appropriate it is for New Year's Day...because it really is a wish for world peace.

The version my husband played this morning was a recorded one, but we also listened to this live version (some of the lyrics are switched up, as is Dylan's wont, in this case because the original pre-dated the Viet Nam war), in which the tempo is a little bit faster than the longer recorded take.

I share the lyrics with you below, and wish you all, wherever you are in the world, the possibility of Peace in the New Year.

Happy New Year, everyone. May good Health, Happiness and Peace be with you.

Giselle

With God on Our Side, Bob Dylan

Oh my name it is nothin’
My age it means less
The country I come from
Is called the Midwest
I’s taught and brought up there
The laws to abide
And that the land that I live in
Has God on its side

Oh the history books tell it
They tell it so well
The cavalries charged
The Indians fell
The cavalries charged
The Indians died
Oh the country was young
With God on its side

Oh the Spanish-American
War had its day
And the Civil War too
Was soon laid away
And the names of the heroes
l’s made to memorize
With guns in their hands
And God on their side

Oh the First World War, boys
It closed out its fate
The reason for fighting
I never got straight
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don’t count the dead
When God’s on your side

When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side

I’ve learned to hate Russians
All through my whole life
If another war starts
It’s them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side

But now we got weapons
Of the chemical dust
If fire them we’re forced to
Then fire them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When God’s on your side

Through many dark hour
I’ve been thinkin’ about this
That Jesus Christ
Was betrayed by a kiss
But I can’t think for you
You’ll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side

So now as I’m leavin’
I’m weary as Hell
The confusion I’m feelin’
Ain’t no tongue can tell
The words fill my head
And fall to the floor
If God’s on our side
He’ll stop the next war

Copyright © 1963 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1991 by Special Rider Music

Read more: http://www.bobdylan.com/us/songs/god-our-side#ixzz3NanBubdr

#BobDylan   #WithGodonOurSide___

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2014-12-30 19:30:30 (5 comments, 0 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

The Holy Apostle Soup Kitchen in Chelsea, New York City. Where music and entertainment are served up alongside delicious food, companionship, conversation and a warm and safe place to be. If you want to play or sing or perform, you have to audition, which is the way it should be. After all, the diners are called guests.

"You have to have a society or you have nothing. You'd be real surprised, man. Things can flip on you real quick in life."

Boy is that ever true.

Please watch.

And listen.

Thank you.

#HolyApostleSoupKitchen   #Giving   #Volunteering   #SoupandSoul  

The Holy Apostle Soup Kitchen in Chelsea, New York City. Where music and entertainment are served up alongside delicious food, companionship, conversation and a warm and safe place to be. If you want to play or sing or perform, you have to audition, which is the way it should be. After all, the diners are called guests.

"You have to have a society or you have nothing. You'd be real surprised, man. Things can flip on you real quick in life."

Boy is that ever true.

Please watch.

And listen.

Thank you.

#HolyApostleSoupKitchen   #Giving   #Volunteering   #SoupandSoul  ___

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2014-12-25 18:04:15 (42 comments, 1 reshares, 76 +1s)Open 

To everyone who celebrates this holiday around the World.
Thank you for another year of conversation,
Of pictures...
Of shared stories, memories and experiences...

Thank you for our agreements and disagreements.
For myriad hilarious moments...
For thought-provoking posts...
For updates, controversies, shared interests and concerns.

For putting yourselves out there,
For your vast and endless array of interests,
For participating in whatever way is most authentic to you,
For chiming in, plus one-ing, or simply observing.

Thank you for expanding my experience of life,
For introducing me to so many things that are new to me,
Thank you for your videos, your photographs,
Your poems, your prose, your rants, raves, and reveries.

And thank you most particularly for your support and kindness these past six... more »

To everyone who celebrates this holiday around the World.
Thank you for another year of conversation,
Of pictures...
Of shared stories, memories and experiences...

Thank you for our agreements and disagreements.
For myriad hilarious moments...
For thought-provoking posts...
For updates, controversies, shared interests and concerns.

For putting yourselves out there,
For your vast and endless array of interests,
For participating in whatever way is most authentic to you,
For chiming in, plus one-ing, or simply observing.

Thank you for expanding my experience of life,
For introducing me to so many things that are new to me,
Thank you for your videos, your photographs,
Your poems, your prose, your rants, raves, and reveries.

And thank you most particularly for your support and kindness these past six months.

For those of you who do not know what this particular Christmas wreath is...it is a Christmas wreath made of semi-dried red chiles, which is traditional in New Mexico where I was raised. More than anything, aside from luminarias, it signifies Christmas in the United States to me.

Merry, Merry, and a pre Happy Happy New Year.

Cheers,
Giselle___

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2014-12-21 22:39:50 (34 comments, 6 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

I love this video so much. 

"It looks like a snake."
"An eel."
"A SNAKE....!"
"I can't wait until we have desert."
"This is a strange...and delicious looking one..."
"It looks like a little forest."
"Lyayyyyyyycccchhhhh."
"It takes like soap. Why am I eating soap right now?"

CHECK OUT MINUTE 3:45.

"What I liked about this fish was the scales."
"I like the steak. It's really yummy."

Hmmmppffff.

Kids. They like steak. Who knew?

THEN CHECK OUT MINUTE 6:40.

Seems like kids and adults have something in common.

Who knew?????

#DanielBoulud    #KidsAndFood  

I love this video so much. 

"It looks like a snake."
"An eel."
"A SNAKE....!"
"I can't wait until we have desert."
"This is a strange...and delicious looking one..."
"It looks like a little forest."
"Lyayyyyyyycccchhhhh."
"It takes like soap. Why am I eating soap right now?"

CHECK OUT MINUTE 3:45.

"What I liked about this fish was the scales."
"I like the steak. It's really yummy."

Hmmmppffff.

Kids. They like steak. Who knew?

THEN CHECK OUT MINUTE 6:40.

Seems like kids and adults have something in common.

Who knew?????

#DanielBoulud    #KidsAndFood  ___

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2014-12-16 20:10:59 (132 comments, 3 reshares, 57 +1s)Open 

What a bunch of hooey in, Oh, let me count the infinite variety of ways. On the one hand Republicans accuse The Hill of being a dynasty (a self-made one, isn't that the American way? But I digress too soon...) and therefore out of touch with what it means to be a "regular" American.

While on the other hand those same Republicans are in the planning stages of dragging out of the closet yet another member of the Bush Dynasty (dear old Jeb, doncha know...) to run against The Hill, because she's just that threatening, and the job requires a manly man...and good Jeb is just the person to do it, being, well, you know...a good 'ole Bushwacker. Seems it's okay to come from the Elephantidae Dynasty, but not, apparently from the Equus Dynasty.

Then we have the Republicans' conflicted message about wealth and whether it's okay to run for President if one happens... more »

What a bunch of hooey in, Oh, let me count the infinite variety of ways. On the one hand Republicans accuse The Hill of being a dynasty (a self-made one, isn't that the American way? But I digress too soon...) and therefore out of touch with what it means to be a "regular" American.

While on the other hand those same Republicans are in the planning stages of dragging out of the closet yet another member of the Bush Dynasty (dear old Jeb, doncha know...) to run against The Hill, because she's just that threatening, and the job requires a manly man...and good Jeb is just the person to do it, being, well, you know...a good 'ole Bushwacker. Seems it's okay to come from the Elephantidae Dynasty, but not, apparently from the Equus Dynasty.

Then we have the Republicans' conflicted message about wealth and whether it's okay to run for President if one happens to have money. Big money. On the one hand Republicans (amusingly, or not, depending on your mood) claim that The Hill's wealth makes it impossible for her to understand the problems average Americans face, while on the other hand those same Republicans are thinking about dusting off the Mittens it wore to the last Presidential race...you remember, don't you, Mitt Romney himself, who accused 47% of Americans of being, you know, slothful, entitled, takers, unlike Mitt himself who is, you know, enterprising, self-made, and, well, a giver, as opposed to an ungrateful taker?

Mittens happens to be worth a quarter of a billion dollars and is on the list of Forbes richest people in America, yet his wealth seems to be OK wealth, while The Hill's wealth is, apparently, some other kind of wealth. I'm awaiting a definition, but won't hold my breath, or the presses.

Then there are the Republicans who hate The Hill merely because she became Barack Obama's Secretary of State. And one of the reasons they hate him is because he hasn't been able to fix every single problem our economy inherited from the GWB Presidency that has had us embroiled in War for the past 14 years, which (among other things) led to the economic depression that President Obama inherited.

The latest job report stating unequivocally that unemployment rates are the lowest they have been since 1990...when GW Senior was President...are lost on those Republicans, who would rather spend their time insisting that The Hill's mere connection to Obama makes her unsuitable for President (No former Secretary of State seems to agree with that assessment that I am aware of), which for a second or two allows them to forget about the fact that the economy has improved considerably since, well, the second Bush Dynasty.

Then there are the Republicans who are angry because the $80 million investigation (Yes, count 'em...$80 million) they spent on Whitewater came up with nothing. Nothing. I repeat... nothing. Then, descendants or BFFs, or whatever you want to call them, of those Republicans, spent yet another $14 million (Yes, count 'em...$14 million) trying to prove that Benghazi was all The Hill's fault, and, once again, they came up with nothing. Nothing.

$14 million in tax payer's money and they got nada, which won't stop them, because they are like dogs with a bone to gnaw on. Or, actually, they are like dogs with nary a bone to gnaw on, who wish they had one bone, any bone, some kind of bone...please someone give me an ort, any kind of ort, I'll take just one tiny little itty bitty ort to chew on...

It galls those Republicans that there is no candidate with The Hill's credentials. Nor has there ever been. 8 years as First Lady. 8 years as New York State Senator. 4 years as Secretary of State. Lawyer, author, mother, wife, woman, person...

Ah, I think I've just found The Republicans' bone. What do they do when they can't pick apart The Hill's credentials - and let's face it...the credentials of any man running for office outweigh any other candidacy characteristic he may have - they call her "rusty," in reference to her age.

She's 68. I'm going there too one of these days and will be as proud of that age as of any other I have been blessed to have. In fact, I'm better at this age than I was at 30 and so is every other baby boomer woman I know.

They call The Hill "likable enough," reminding every woman in America that being likable is the single most important thing that should dominate our lives.

They call The Hill a champion of the military, laughable when anyone who isn't a champion of the military is called unPatriotic, anti-American and a socialist by Republicans.

They call The Hill and Bill elitists, which is particularly amusing. The Clintons went to Yale. So did Bush Pere and Bush Fils. Mittens and Obama (and Michelle), on the other hand, went to Harvard. Maybe when elitists run against one another the only trick up their collective sleeves is to toss out the old yarn 'Sticks and Stones will Break my Bones, but Words will Never Hurt Me'...and use nastier and nastier and nastier words against one another instead of real arguments.

Whatever their psychological reasoning, the GOP had better come up with a better game plan than "Honing Attacks Against Hillary Clinton."

Anyone who thinks I am writing this out of some loyalty to The Hill is amiss in their thinking.

Our culture has a very bizarre reverence for - in fact we bow down at the feet of, we veritably worship and idolize - powerful and wealthy female movie and music stars and celebrities (Oprah, Angelina, Cher, Madonna, Lady Diana, the Duchess of York, Rihanna..), but when a woman dares to poke her nose in the political arena, well, the sticks and stones are left in the back of the pick-up truck and Harsh Words are trotted out.

Rusty.
Unloved.
Likable enough.
Damaged.
Vulnerable.
Difficult.
Too old.
Temperamental.
A moderate.

Excuse me, but could we get back to credentials, please? Because every single woman in this country is getting older and they are not likely to take fondly to being called "rusty" by men. Nor are they going to take kindly to being accused of being difficult or temperamental or damaged or unloved or vulnerable. It's all so much name-calling, and aren't we all supposed to be beyond that?

I wonder if any of these men have mothers, or grandmothers, not to mention sisters, wives, daughters and granddaughters? What a bore.

Or did I mean boor?

#HillaryClinton     #Hillary2016   #HillaryforPresident   #PresidentialElection2016  ___

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2014-12-05 14:26:30 (41 comments, 0 reshares, 46 +1s)Open 

I was in the reception room of my physical therapist's office the day before Thanksgiving watching the news on the wall monitor, when another patient, who happened to be from St. Louis, accused social media for the outrage surrounding her hometown city's Grand Jury decision not to indict the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown.

She said, "It's social media's fault. All those people on FaceBook and Twitter and the like. If it weren't for them it wouldn't have turned into this national thing."

I said, "Traditional old-fashion print media and television are covering it, too. It's being covered everywhere by everyone."

She said, "But it isn't real journalists who are stoking this fire. It's regular people."

I said, "Regular people don't have a right to have an opinion about whether... more »

I was in the reception room of my physical therapist's office the day before Thanksgiving watching the news on the wall monitor, when another patient, who happened to be from St. Louis, accused social media for the outrage surrounding her hometown city's Grand Jury decision not to indict the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown.

She said, "It's social media's fault. All those people on FaceBook and Twitter and the like. If it weren't for them it wouldn't have turned into this national thing."

I said, "Traditional old-fashion print media and television are covering it, too. It's being covered everywhere by everyone."

She said, "But it isn't real journalists who are stoking this fire. It's regular people."

I said, "Regular people don't have a right to have an opinion about whether this is right or wrong?"

She said, "I think the only people who have a right to really comment are people who live in St. Louis and understand the racial tensions there."

I said, "Regular people have been vocal about right and wrong long before social media. Regular people marched in the civil rights movement before social media. Mothers pushing their babies in carriages protested the Viet Nam war before the internet even existed. And what about WWII? And Kent State? Should we all just pretend nothing is going on?"

She was silent.

Thank the Universe for Social Media. It makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to cover things up anymore, so that regular people don't know what's going on.

And, perhaps thankfully in the most unfortunate possible way, the latest Grand Jury decision not to indict the police officer who choked Eric Garner to death happened in New York City, a city so much bigger than St. Louis that even more regular people are out on the streets protesting.

Silence is the greatest sedition...

#EricGarner   #MichaelBrown   #RaceRelations   #grandjuryindictment   #fergusondecision   #fergusonshooting  ___

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2014-12-04 12:48:06 (25 comments, 2 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

"I can't breathe," a rallying cry of anguish across the land for an unarmed African American man, choked to death by a police officer.

“You can see the video,” said Diane Moss, 63, of Staten Island, her voice strained with disbelief. “It’s one thing if it’s ‘he said, she said,’ but when you see the video — the guy wasn’t resisting.” - The NY Times

"I can't breathe," a rallying cry of anguish across the land for an unarmed African American man, choked to death by a police officer.

“You can see the video,” said Diane Moss, 63, of Staten Island, her voice strained with disbelief. “It’s one thing if it’s ‘he said, she said,’ but when you see the video — the guy wasn’t resisting.” - The NY Times___

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2014-11-27 14:54:07 (9 comments, 1 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

Okay...I'm a sucker for the Thanksgiving Day Parade. I'm a New Yorker. What can I say? Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This link works (I think, I hope, I pray). But it's on NBC and CBS if you actually still have a telly. Sting just sang from The Last Ship, there were ladies joined at the hip from the musical Side Show...dancers with long legs (those Rockettes), the largest marching band in the country, Western Carolina University, is there, rumor has it that someone with the initials TS will sing and so will Billy Joel...and much much more... ;)

Everyone claims that the parade is for kids...the streets are lined with them. But don't be fooled. The parade is actually for grown-ups. Shhhhhhh!

P.S. Oops...I forgot to mention there are balloons (translation: Snoopy!) and floats. Sigh.

#macysthanksgivingdayparade  

Okay...I'm a sucker for the Thanksgiving Day Parade. I'm a New Yorker. What can I say? Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This link works (I think, I hope, I pray). But it's on NBC and CBS if you actually still have a telly. Sting just sang from The Last Ship, there were ladies joined at the hip from the musical Side Show...dancers with long legs (those Rockettes), the largest marching band in the country, Western Carolina University, is there, rumor has it that someone with the initials TS will sing and so will Billy Joel...and much much more... ;)

Everyone claims that the parade is for kids...the streets are lined with them. But don't be fooled. The parade is actually for grown-ups. Shhhhhhh!

P.S. Oops...I forgot to mention there are balloons (translation: Snoopy!) and floats. Sigh.

#macysthanksgivingdayparade  ___

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2014-11-26 17:22:57 (54 comments, 1 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

Witnesses with conflicting accounts weigh in. Testimony is committed to paper, to court records, to interviews. Disquiet in the streets across America. Vast disagreement and rage about the Grand Jury's decision.

But is the question really about whether Darren Wilson did his job as he should have done it, or if he shot an unarmed man he thought was threatening his life too many times to justify the number of bullets he fired, or if his actions were right-minded and appropriate to the situation? Is the question really about an unarmed but menacing young man who threatened and attacked a police officer?

Or is the question - the issue - that on that particular day the dynamic between these two particular men exploded into the tragedy of Ferguson?

On that day Darren Wilson brought with him training, a gun, and the way he thought he was supposed to do his job with him to work.... more »

Witnesses with conflicting accounts weigh in. Testimony is committed to paper, to court records, to interviews. Disquiet in the streets across America. Vast disagreement and rage about the Grand Jury's decision.

But is the question really about whether Darren Wilson did his job as he should have done it, or if he shot an unarmed man he thought was threatening his life too many times to justify the number of bullets he fired, or if his actions were right-minded and appropriate to the situation? Is the question really about an unarmed but menacing young man who threatened and attacked a police officer?

Or is the question - the issue - that on that particular day the dynamic between these two particular men exploded into the tragedy of Ferguson?

On that day Darren Wilson brought with him training, a gun, and the way he thought he was supposed to do his job with him to work. He also brought with him a personality, a point of view, a way of seeing things, a manner of reacting...his way of being.

So, too, did Michael Brown bring to the street his own 'stuff,' which, when mixed with Darren Wilson's 'stuff,' ended in yet another disastrous killing. 

Johannes Mehserle meets Oscar Grant III in a San Francisco subway on New Year's Day in 2009.

George Zimmerman meets Trayvon Martin in Florida one night in 2012.

And then Darren Wilson meets Michael Brown in 2014 in Missouri.

We will never know if Trayvon Martin would have lived had he encountered someone other than George Zimmerman.

Nor will we ever know if Oscar Grant would have lived had the Universe put someone other than Johannes Mehserle on the other side of a police gun that night in San Francisco.

When are we going to shift our focus to the complexity that underlies why these events happen in the first place?

If we don't, they are going to happen again and again and again...with the same results...like a broken record spinning the same song on the turntable until the needle finally wears out...

#DarrenWilson   #MichaelBrown   #fergusondecision   #fergusonpolice   #fergusonshooting  ___

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2014-11-23 21:04:36 (18 comments, 2 reshares, 22 +1s)Open 

LOVE the Brotherhood of Fathers who Cook for their Families. Not your professional chef types, but your average Dad (there really is no such man, but I digress...), who works at something entirely unrelated to food during the day, then comes home at night to take the matter of nourishing his family seriously.

No, not your weekend Barbeque King, nor the much teased and misunderstood fellow who picks prepared foods off the shelves at the grocery store and pops them in the microwave better than any modern working mother can (Hey, we don't blame them...it takes a lot of time and energy to work and make home-cooked meals every night).

We are talking about the man - the husband, lover, father, friend - who understands that cooking good food for his wife and kids is important. Because not only is he contributing to the health of the family, but he's creating a ritual that... more »

LOVE the Brotherhood of Fathers who Cook for their Families. Not your professional chef types, but your average Dad (there really is no such man, but I digress...), who works at something entirely unrelated to food during the day, then comes home at night to take the matter of nourishing his family seriously.

No, not your weekend Barbeque King, nor the much teased and misunderstood fellow who picks prepared foods off the shelves at the grocery store and pops them in the microwave better than any modern working mother can (Hey, we don't blame them...it takes a lot of time and energy to work and make home-cooked meals every night).

We are talking about the man - the husband, lover, father, friend - who understands that cooking good food for his wife and kids is important. Because not only is he contributing to the health of the family, but he's creating a ritual that impacts in a profound way his relationship with his wife and his kids and the way they experience the world and go out into it.

Back in the old days - you remember those days, don't you? When women didn't work and stayed home and took care of hearth and home? - it was considered women's work to cook because it was seen as a dividing up of the tasks and chores associated with marriage and family: the man goes off and slays the woolly mammoth and brings it home to his mate to cook.

But, somehow, it seems that what has been left out of the discussion about what it means to cook for one's family is that, quite aside from the reality that it is, Yes...work!.., it is also an act of love, of deep caring, of a kind of nurturance that somehow almost defies description.

I don't think that women have ever been truly appreciated for this, either, by the way. It seems that in order to be lauded for cooking one needs to be Julia Child or Daniel Boulud. The homecook, sadly, has always been completely under appreciated, IMHO.

The truth is that thinking about what to prepare is an act of love. Shopping for the ingredients? An act of love. Figuring out how to fit the preparation of dinner into one's schedule? An act of love. Spending one's waning energy at the end of the day in the kitchen? An act of love. Taking time to make it delicious, even if the ingredients are as simple as can be? An act of love. Setting the table? An act of love. Calling everyone to the dinner and wanting them to enjoy what they are eating? An act of love.

Smiling when everyone says "Yum!" An act of love. Cleaning up afterward? Definitely an act of love!

My father cooked for my mother, and when she talked about it, it was clear that it mattered more to her than any piece of jewelry or any material thing he could ever have given her.

Last week it was the Brotherhood of Stay-at-Home-Dads. This week it's When the Workday End, More Fathers Are Heading to the Kitchen. Hmmm....methinks (MeSmells...) there's a revolution a comin'!

Here's to every Father and Mother who cooks for their families. It's an act of love. Cin cin!

#Dads   #BrotherhoodofDads   #homecooking  ___

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2014-11-16 20:23:36 (5 comments, 0 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

LOVE the Brotherhood of Stay-at-Home Dads. Who says Dads can't be awesome primary caregivers at home..when Mom is working? In 2011 a Northwestern University Study showed that a man's testosterone level drops steeply after a baby arrives...wiring him to provide primal offspring care (link below). Except that culturally so many people see this as weird, instead of completely normal and evolutionarily contextual, which it is.

But now that there are more and more Stay-at-Home-Dads, the stigma of being one is finally falling away and, hurray, just as women are gaining equal footing in the workplace and at graduate school, it looks like men will one day be able to be Stay-at-Home-Dads without anyone looking askance.

“One of our first dads meet-ups was at the Whitney Museum. There were five of us with our babies, having lunch. It was like we were one of the exhibits. We hadp... more »

LOVE the Brotherhood of Stay-at-Home Dads. Who says Dads can't be awesome primary caregivers at home..when Mom is working? In 2011 a Northwestern University Study showed that a man's testosterone level drops steeply after a baby arrives...wiring him to provide primal offspring care (link below). Except that culturally so many people see this as weird, instead of completely normal and evolutionarily contextual, which it is.

But now that there are more and more Stay-at-Home-Dads, the stigma of being one is finally falling away and, hurray, just as women are gaining equal footing in the workplace and at graduate school, it looks like men will one day be able to be Stay-at-Home-Dads without anyone looking askance.

“One of our first dads meet-ups was at the Whitney Museum. There were five of us with our babies, having lunch. It was like we were one of the exhibits. We had people coming up to us saying, ‘What is this?" Mr. Schneider, a father of two, NY Times

Indeed, what is that exactly? Ummm Dads with the children they fathered having lunch at the Whitney? Like there's a better place for a meet-up? Well, actually, I can think of scores of places - coffee shops, parks, gyms, bailiwicks long ago commandeered by Stay-at-Home-Moms.

I love walking down the streets of New York City and seeing a man walking with his child in a snuggly. When did that ever get back-burnered?

But times are a changin'...in this wonderful way. Bravi gentlemen!

Fathers Wired to Provide Offspring Care:
http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2011/09/fathers-testosterone-kuzawa.html

#StayatHomeDads    #BrotherhoodofDads     #Fatherhood   #Parenting   #Childcare  ___

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2014-11-13 02:15:14 (20 comments, 2 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

It really is too delicious (or, perhaps, should I write aromatic?) that on the same day the United States and China make an attempt to come to an agreement about preserving Mother Earth by controlling carbon emissions in advance of next year's Paris climate talks, our own Mitch McConnell (that little devil) announces that the State of Kentucky has absolutely no intention of unhooking itself from its coal dependency, and therefore doing its part to clean up the air on this side of the planet.

We manage to get the uncooperative Chinese to cooperate, but we can't manage a consensus within our own country about whether or not there even is such a thing as climate change.

Some positions defy credulity and this is one of them. The problem is that it is not frustrating...it is infuriating...because it represents how big money can supplant facts, scientific facts, about the seriousness... more »

It really is too delicious (or, perhaps, should I write aromatic?) that on the same day the United States and China make an attempt to come to an agreement about preserving Mother Earth by controlling carbon emissions in advance of next year's Paris climate talks, our own Mitch McConnell (that little devil) announces that the State of Kentucky has absolutely no intention of unhooking itself from its coal dependency, and therefore doing its part to clean up the air on this side of the planet.

We manage to get the uncooperative Chinese to cooperate, but we can't manage a consensus within our own country about whether or not there even is such a thing as climate change.

Some positions defy credulity and this is one of them. The problem is that it is not frustrating...it is infuriating...because it represents how big money can supplant facts, scientific facts, about the seriousness and far reaching affects of global warming.

I understand how someone very young, without any continual time perspective, might not believe in global warming and climate change. But it is beyond belief that someone of Mitch McConnell's age (he has been on the planet for seven decades) can be so thoroughly disconnected from nature that he can claim, with a straight face, not only that he is not a scientist and doesn't know anything, really, about climate change, but that somehow even if there were such a thing, it isn't important to do anything about it.

Well, I'm not a scientist either, Mitch, but, beyond reading about it (for decades now)...I can see it and I experience it. I grew up on a farm of sorts, with laying hens, guinea hens, goats, cows and horses. We grew alfalfa. We bailed hay. We had a vegetable garden, and fig trees and grape arbors. The weather mattered: how much rain and snow there was, whether Winter and Spring came early or late. The size of the cherries, the apricots, the apples...had very much to do with the climate. 

There was plenty of water in New Mexico. It snowed. It rained. Now the state is facing an unprecedented water shortage. Anyone who has been through several decades of experiencing the climate in New Mexico knows how it has changed.

Science, Yes. The facts, Yes. But there is also opening one's eyes and experiencing reality.

Come on, Mitch. Your position is untenable in the long run. It's only a matter of time before you will have to get on board with the Chinese. 

Why not lead, rather than being dragged to the party against your will? That would be the more elegant choice, don't you think?

#ClimateChange   #ChinaCarbonEmissions   #MitchMcConnell   #ParisClimateTalks  ___

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2014-10-31 00:51:09 (6 comments, 6 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

When I was in high school I knew nothing of poetry, except a schoolgirl's frustration at not being able to answer that maddening question so often thrown at students: What is poetry? 

And then I went to St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico and one night was invited to the home of tutor Charles G. Bell, whose friend Galway Kinnell was giving a reading of his poems. By the fireside. With students sitting on sofas. And Indian rugs on the floor.

I was mesmerized. By Kinnell, of course, because he was gorgeous. But by something else that was completely new to me - a live poetic voice. Until that time, I had always read silently to myself. Words lay on pages and were, mostly, quiet. Unless they were words spoken in a play. Or in a speech. Or in a movie.

But until that night I had never heard a poet read their own words. And it changed everything for me. To this day,... more »

When I was in high school I knew nothing of poetry, except a schoolgirl's frustration at not being able to answer that maddening question so often thrown at students: What is poetry? 

And then I went to St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico and one night was invited to the home of tutor Charles G. Bell, whose friend Galway Kinnell was giving a reading of his poems. By the fireside. With students sitting on sofas. And Indian rugs on the floor.

I was mesmerized. By Kinnell, of course, because he was gorgeous. But by something else that was completely new to me - a live poetic voice. Until that time, I had always read silently to myself. Words lay on pages and were, mostly, quiet. Unless they were words spoken in a play. Or in a speech. Or in a movie.

But until that night I had never heard a poet read their own words. And it changed everything for me. To this day, I read poetry out loud (and many other kinds of writing too, especially letters).

Years later I heard him read again at the 92 Street Y in New York City, in front of hundreds of people in a big room, standing at a podium, dressed in corduroy pants and a shirt and an elegant blazer. That deep, confident, present and energetic, yet serene voice rolling over the audience like a crackling fire. 

It is impossible to choose which of his poems is my favorite. But there is one that lingers within me always, words and phrases from which pop into my head quite unexpectedly, usually when I am driving, or walking down the street, or surrounded by nature.

It is called When One Has Lived a Long Time Alone, and I copy the entire poem here in honor of Mr. Kinnell.  It resonated with me the instant I read it...because I had lived a long time alone.

Read it out loud, if you dare...

When One Has Lived A Long Time Alone - Galway Kinnell

1

When one has lived a long time alone
one refrains from swatting the fly
and lets him go, and one hesitates to strike
the mosquito, though more than willing to slap
the flesh under her, and one lifts the toad
from the pit too deep for him to hop out of
and carries him to the grass, without minding
the toxic urine he slicks his body with,
and one envelops, in a towel, the swift
who fell down the chimney and knocks herself
against the window glass and releases her outside
and watches her fly free, a life line flung at reality,
when one has lived a long time alone.

2

When one has lived a long time alone,
one grabs the snake behind the head
and holds him until he stops trying to stick
the orange tongue, which splits at the end
into two black filaments and jumps out
like a fire-eater's belches and has little
in common with the pimpled pink lump that shapes
sounds and sleeps inside the human mouth,
into one's flesh, and clamps it between his jaws,
letting the gaudy tips show, as children do
when concentrating, and as very likely
one down oneself, without knowing it,
when one has lived a long time alone.

3

When one has lived a long time alone,
among regrets so immense the past occupies
nearly all the room there is in consciousness,
one notices in the snake's eyes, which look back
without paying less attention to the future,
the first coating of the opaque milky-blue
leucoma snakes to get when about to throw
their skins and become new––meanwhile continuing,
of course, to grow old––the exact bleu passé
that discolors the corneas of the blue-eyed
when they lie back at last and look for heaven,
a blurring one can see means they will never find it,
when one has lived a long time alone.

4

When one has lived a long time alone,
one holds the snake near a loudspeaker disgorging
gorgeous sound and watches him crook
his forepart into four right angles
as though trying to slow down the music
flowing through him, in order to absorb it
the milk of paradise into the flesh,
and now a glimmering appears at his mouth,
such a drop of intense fluid as, among humans,
could form after long exiting at the tip
of the the penis, and as he straightens himself out
he has the pathos one finds in the penis,
when one has loved a long time alone.

5

When one has lived a long time alone,
one can fall to poring upon a creature,
contrasting its eternity's-face to one's own
full of hours, taking note of each difference,
exaggerating it, making it everything,
until the other is utterly other, and then,
with hard effort, possibly with tongue sticking out,
going back over each one once again
and cancelling it, seeing nothing now
but likeness, until . . . half an hour later
one starts awake, taken aback at how eagerly
one swoons into the happiness of kinship,
when one has lived a long time alone.

6

When one has lived a long time alone
and listens at morning to mourning doves
sound their kyrie eleison, or the small thing
spiritualizing onto one's shoulder cry "pewit-phoebe!"
or peabody-sparrows at midday send schoolboys'
whistlings across the field, or at dusk, undamped,
unforgiving clinks, as from stonemasons' chisels,
or on trees' backs tree frogs scratch the thighs'
needfire awake, or from the frog pond pond frogs
raise their ave verum corpus—listens to those
who hop or fly call down upon us the mercy
of other tongues—one hears them as inner voices,
when one has lived a long time alone.

7

When one has lived a long time alone,
one knows only consciousness consummates,
and as the conscious one among these others
uttering compulsory cries of being here—
the least flycatcher witching up "che-bec,"
or redheaded woodpecker clanging out his
music from a metal drainpipe, or ruffed grouse
drumming "thump thrump thrump thrump-thrump-
thrump-thrump-rup-rup-rup-rup-rup-r-r-r-r-r-r"
through the treees, all of them in time's
unfolding trying to cry themselves into self-knowing—
one knows one is here to hear them into shining,
when one has lived a long time alone.

8

When one has loved a long time alone,
one likes alike the pig, who brooks no deferment
of gratification, and the porcupine, or thorned pig,
who enters the cellar but not the house itself
because of eating down the cellar stairs on the way up,
and one likes the worm, who by bunching herself together
and expanding rubs her way through the ground,
no less than the butterfly, who totters full of worry
among the day-lilies, as they darken,
and more and more one finds one likes
any other species better than one's own,
which has gone amok, making one self-estranged,
when one has lived a long time alone.

9

When one has lived a long time alone,
sour, misanthropic, one fits to one's defiance
the satanic boast—It is better to reign
in hell than to submit on earth—
and forgets one's kind, as does the snake,
who has stopped trying to escape and moves
at ease across one's body, slumping into its contours,
adopting its temperature, and abandons hope
of the sweetness of friendship or love
—before long can barely remember what they are—
and covets the stillness in organic matter,
in a self-dissolution one may not know how to halt,
when one has lived a long time alone.

10

When one has loved a long time alone,
and the hermit thrush calls and there is an answer,
and the bullfrog, head half out of water, remembers
the exact sexual cantillations of his first spring,
and the snake slides over the threshold and disappears
among the stones, one sees they all live
to mate with their kind, and one knows,
after a long time of solitude, after the many steps taken
away from one's kind, toward the kingdom of strangers,
the hard prayer inside one's own singing
is to come back, if one can, to one's own,
a world almost lost, in the exile that deepens,
when one has lived a long time alone.

11

When one has lived a long time alone,
one wants to live again among men and women,
to return to that place where one's ties with the human
broke, where the disquiet of death and now
also of history glimmers its firelight on faces,
where the gaze of the new baby looks past the gaze
of the great-granny, and where lovers speak,
on lips blowsy from kissing, that language
the same in each mouth, and like birds at daybreak
blether the song that is both earth's and heaven's,
until the sun has risen, and they stand
in a light of being united: kingdom come,
when one has lived a long time alone.

#GalwayKinnell   #poetry   #WhenOneHasLivedALongTimeAlone  ___

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2014-10-28 16:18:49 (12 comments, 1 reshares, 21 +1s)Open 

I share this with every woman and man, wife and husband, daughter and son, grandmother and grandfather, niece and nephew, aunt and uncle, sister and brother...and friend...on G+ who has ever known anyone in the midst of overcoming any disease, even though this article is about women with breast cancer.

I share it because within the stories of these women there are words, emotions, personal truths and revelations that are powerful, that defy easy categorization...that ask us to look, listen, read, think, process and absorb.

Within a movement as powerful and important as the Pink Ribbon campaign, it can be easy to forget that there would be no battle were it not for the scores of individual women seeking care, healing, empathy and understanding under its umbrella.

Take a few minutes to look into the eyes of these women if you don't have the time to read a few of their... more »

I share this with every woman and man, wife and husband, daughter and son, grandmother and grandfather, niece and nephew, aunt and uncle, sister and brother...and friend...on G+ who has ever known anyone in the midst of overcoming any disease, even though this article is about women with breast cancer.

I share it because within the stories of these women there are words, emotions, personal truths and revelations that are powerful, that defy easy categorization...that ask us to look, listen, read, think, process and absorb.

Within a movement as powerful and important as the Pink Ribbon campaign, it can be easy to forget that there would be no battle were it not for the scores of individual women seeking care, healing, empathy and understanding under its umbrella.

Take a few minutes to look into the eyes of these women if you don't have the time to read a few of their stories. Who knows...you might even recognize someone from your life.

I am ever astonished at what people are willing to reveal about themselves in order to help others face their own struggles.

#breastcancerawareness   #pinkribbon   #FacesofBreastCancer  ___

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2014-10-26 15:30:23 (12 comments, 0 reshares, 33 +1s)Open 

Indeed.

#FURY  

Indeed.

#FURY  ___

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2014-10-24 14:11:59 (7 comments, 0 reshares, 15 +1s)Open 

On the Upper West Side of New York, across town from my apartment, rage foments outside of the Metropolitan Opera's production of John Adams's "The Death of Klinghoffer, a theatrical work that some accuse of being vehemently anti-Semitic and sympathetically pro-terrorist.

Lincoln Center's large piazza, centered by a glorious fountain that rises and falls - much like a stage curtain - and glimmers and glows in the night sky - much like the famous Swarovski crystal chandeliers that grace the inside of the Opera House - has been crowded with people raising placards of protests and talking to one another and the press about why the production should be shut down and not allowed to be performed at all.

Yes. Shut down. Not allowed to be performed. Seen. Heard. Discussed. Pondered. Or, heaven forbid, argued about.

One would think this kind of thing... more »

On the Upper West Side of New York, across town from my apartment, rage foments outside of the Metropolitan Opera's production of John Adams's "The Death of Klinghoffer, a theatrical work that some accuse of being vehemently anti-Semitic and sympathetically pro-terrorist.

Lincoln Center's large piazza, centered by a glorious fountain that rises and falls - much like a stage curtain - and glimmers and glows in the night sky - much like the famous Swarovski crystal chandeliers that grace the inside of the Opera House - has been crowded with people raising placards of protests and talking to one another and the press about why the production should be shut down and not allowed to be performed at all.

Yes. Shut down. Not allowed to be performed. Seen. Heard. Discussed. Pondered. Or, heaven forbid, argued about.

One would think this kind of thing doesn't happen in New York City, a community committed to the expression of the arts in every form, and necessarily therefore committed to the never ending dialogue about the complex and frequently political issues raised by the artistic members of that community, none of which would matter were it not for the people who choose to be audience members of that cultural community.

But it does happen in New York City, and in fact it is even championed by our former Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, who, throughout his term was variously offended by artist Renee Cox placing her naked self (instead of Christ) at the center of her work of art entitled Yo Mama's Last Supper at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, as well as Chris Ofili's Holy Virgin Mary, which included imagery Giuliani thought was offensive to Catholics (Giuliani is a Catholic). Our Mayor went so far as to try to shut down the Sensation show at the Brooklyn Museum that exhibited Ofili's work, an endeavor at which he failed because of the First Amendment (see link below).

The controversy about The Death of Klinghoffer took me all the way back to 1987, when I was a member of the cast in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's über controversial play, Trash, the City, and Death at ABC No Rio on the lower East Side of New York. That play had also been a political hot potato (its lead character was called The Rich Jew), having been shut down at a staging in Frankfurt in 1985. Before he died, Fassbinder had declared that the play could only be performed in Frankfurt or in New York.

Nick Fracaro, the director of our production, decided that his Thieves Theatre group would take on the controversy, not for controversy's sake, but to explore the dialogue itself, to explore the context of the society in which Fassbinder's characters lived, and how the culture born of their interaction could lead to the circumstances and events he laid out by in Trash, the City, and Death, (ABC No Rio link below).

I well remember being asked by friends whether I, as a cast member, thought the play was anti-Semitic and I remember saying that I didn't know how artists were supposed to resolve the seemingly inherent conflict between writing about (and performing in) something fraught with political, racial and religious tension, and bringing to light for the purpose of discussion those exact political, racial and religious tensions.

None of my fellow cast members took Fassbinder's play, and the controversy surrounding it, lightly. We spent hours discussing its plot, what it meant, the nature of anti-Semitism, the holocaust and the unimaginable sorrows, pain and horror of that nightmare.

As an actor and theatre director, as a lifelong art, music, poetry and literature lover, and as someone who frequents all kinds of movies, theatre productions and museum shows, I am continually thankful for the opportunity to see productions and exhibitions that spark conversation, even if that conversation isn't always easy, pretty, pleasant or agreeable.

Sometimes my aim is to be entertained. Sometimes my aim is to become familiar with an art form I am ignorant about. Sometimes my aim is to push the boundaries of my own understanding. Sometimes my aim is to immerse myself in a question that doesn't have an easy answer. Sometimes my aim is just to watch, to listen, to read, to absorb...to experience.

I have lived in New York City since 1978 and I do try, whenever a particularly controversial artistic endeavor has inspired the kind of response that surrounds The Death of Klinghoffer to get a ticket and attend. The controversy doesn't interest me, per se, but making up my own mind does interest me.

Being able to decide for myself what a play is about and what it means, being able to listen to lyrics for myself and determine what they mean, being able to look at a work of art in a museum or an art gallery and come to my own conclusion about it...this does matter to me.

Were I an executive at the Met, I might use this as an opportunity to present extra performances of the piece and to invite a wildly diverse audience - people from different backgrounds, religions, cultures and professions - to see the show and to have, afterward, an open discussion with the cast about it, which is often done when playwrights present work in out of town tryouts, so to speak.

My husband and I were discussing the Klinghoffer controversy last night and his response (he is Jewish) was, "Looks like we need to go and see for ourselves what this is all about."

Now my only question is whether it will either be shut down before we have that opportunity, or if it will be sold out. In which case we'll just have to dig up the libretto and listen to the music ourselves at home.

Not the same thing as a live performance, but at least we won't be robbed of the opportunity to have our own opinion. What is particularly fascinating is that so many of the people protesting this opera have not seen it.

But if I am to join the number of placard-raisers in the Lincoln Center piazza, I want at the very least to have seen the thing about which I am protesting. Ah, Yes...the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

One has the right to protest, and one also has the right to perform.

Or is it the other way around?

Trash, the City, and Death at ABC No Rio:
http://www.abcnorio.org/about/history/der_spiegel_87.htm

Rudolph Giuliani and the First Amendment:
http://ncac.org/resource/decency-arts-and-the-first-amendment-the-case-of-rudy-giuliani/___

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2014-09-26 20:52:21 (218 comments, 16 reshares, 143 +1s)Open 

Yes there is a serious downside to the Internet and this is one of them.

What? Beheading is now the new "vogue" terrorism device, replacing the ever-boring AK-47, the old-fashioned suicide bomber, and the Oh So Ho Hum car bomber?

What is going on with the men in this world? The violence and rage are nauseating.



Yes there is a serious downside to the Internet and this is one of them.

What? Beheading is now the new "vogue" terrorism device, replacing the ever-boring AK-47, the old-fashioned suicide bomber, and the Oh So Ho Hum car bomber?

What is going on with the men in this world? The violence and rage are nauseating.

___

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2014-09-22 14:42:51 (5 comments, 2 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

"Certain things fall silent in us when we think that certain things are no longer possible." - Frank Bidart, Poet, and Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities & English, Wellesley College, at the Poets & Writers Live Conference, New York, June 2014

I attended the June Poets & Writers Live Conference at Scandinavia House in New York, at the end of which, before wine and appetizers in the garden terrace, Frank Bidart read a few of his poems and then participated in a short Q&A. Throughout the day I had been writing down "certain things" that individual writers said that resonated with me in an  immediate, if not entirely processable and understandable way.

Bidart's "Certain things fall silent in us when we think that certain things are no longer possible" was one of those "certain things."

Bidart has lived a... more »

"Certain things fall silent in us when we think that certain things are no longer possible." - Frank Bidart, Poet, and Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities & English, Wellesley College, at the Poets & Writers Live Conference, New York, June 2014

I attended the June Poets & Writers Live Conference at Scandinavia House in New York, at the end of which, before wine and appetizers in the garden terrace, Frank Bidart read a few of his poems and then participated in a short Q&A. Throughout the day I had been writing down "certain things" that individual writers said that resonated with me in an  immediate, if not entirely processable and understandable way.

Bidart's "Certain things fall silent in us when we think that certain things are no longer possible" was one of those "certain things."

Bidart has lived a long life, and he spoke personally in the Q&A - about growing up in Bakersfield, CA, about his relationship with his mother, about the continuing importance of a feminist movement, about recognizing his sexual orientation at an early age, about becoming a poet - and I thought, listening to him, how vastly different the experience is between reading the poems, stories, essays or novels of our favorite writers, and having an opportunity to hear them read or speak in person, something I have always been drawn to, more than likely because I grew up surrounded by artists, whom I got to know as individual human beings, not merely as fine artists.

Each writer listening to Bidart's words will naturally interpret them through their own prism. To me, Bidart was talking about how easily we can be affected by the outside world, how easy it is to be hurt, how easily our dreams and hopes and aspirations can slip through the cracks into a space in which we cannot see how it is possible to breathe life into them. His words struck me as being powerful, wise, sad, and cautionary all at once.

Although I would try to listen to the messages contained within the tangible works of art of the artists around whom I grew up, I also had the benefit of hearing the sounds of their voices, voices I can still hear when I look at the paintings they gave to my mother, some of which, thankfully, became mine when she died.

Paintings are not just oils, gouache, or watercolors on canvas or paper. Poems are not just words on blank space. A symphony is not just musical notes played on different instruments by different musicians.

Poetry, fiction, non-fiction, art, sculpture, photography...music...these are all different kinds of voices, which, perhaps, have the capacity to keep things from falling silent within us when we think they are no longer possible, or which, perhaps, can even keep the possibility of those certain things alive.

In the months that have passed since listening to Bidart read, during which time I have been recuperating from a serious injury, the phrase "Certain things fall silent in us when we think that certain things are no longer possible," has taken on an entirely new meaning for me, as has how I have always defined music, art and writing...and what it means to have 'a voice."

The public words I put on paper have to some degree taken second (or third or fourth) chair to the loud voices within my body, many of them I would call almost musical - certain chings that are like strings, certain blares that I imagine to be like horns or a trombone, certain throbs that feel like drums and are almost tympanic in nature, certain quieter and more gentle feelings, like a single plucked note on a harp or a single whisper-like touching of two cymbals.

Although I have my own interpretation of what it means that "certain things fall silent in us when we think that certain things are no longer possible," I am not sure that anything ever really does fall silent within us. Perhaps something is unexpressed in written or spoken form. Perhaps no notes can readily be put to it. Perhaps no words come to mind to describe something on its way to the Now Silent bin.

But even in that bin there are noises and voices calling to us...if we allow ourselves to hear them. This morning I woke up thinking about a telephone conversation I had with one of my mother's artist friends when she was quite elderly. When I asked her how she was, she suddenly said that she still longed for the company of a man. Her husband had died long before I had met her, and she had spent the rest of her life single...painting profusely during all that time...yet single still.

Although I was not surprised at all by her confession, she seemed to think I would have been because she asked, "Surprised?" and then explained that old age only crystallizes one's desires, it doesn't obliterate them.

And the sounds within my own body? Shall I take up the piano? Learn to paint? Are they an assurance that I will walk again? Or perhaps a reminder to be still for a while longer?

I don't know. But one thing is clear. They are not silent within me.

About Frank Bidart, Poets.org:
http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/frank-bidart

#FrankBidart   #Poetry   #PoetsandWriters  ___

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2014-09-09 15:28:02 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Frederick, how great to listen to this interview with Cheryl Machat, with whom I worked years ago at CBS Records in New York. I believe those are framed album awards on the wall behind her in her office/artist space...and I'd love to know for which ones!

The photographs taken of musical artists, some of them very famous, played a big part in the work she did back then. So she has truly been deeply involved with, and has had a passion for, photography for decades. I particularly appreciated hearing about her own evolution as an artist and everything she has experimented with in the intervening years.

And I love the fact that the very personal and intimate work in this book on photographing children naturally that she has just published can be seen by people all over the world...and that Cheryl can TEACH, via the internet, all over the world. We never even imagined that anything like... more »

Frederick, how great to listen to this interview with Cheryl Machat, with whom I worked years ago at CBS Records in New York. I believe those are framed album awards on the wall behind her in her office/artist space...and I'd love to know for which ones!

The photographs taken of musical artists, some of them very famous, played a big part in the work she did back then. So she has truly been deeply involved with, and has had a passion for, photography for decades. I particularly appreciated hearing about her own evolution as an artist and everything she has experimented with in the intervening years.

And I love the fact that the very personal and intimate work in this book on photographing children naturally that she has just published can be seen by people all over the world...and that Cheryl can TEACH, via the internet, all over the world. We never even imagined that anything like that could be possible way back when. That she teaches anyone who is interested to add artistry to their own photos, well, I want to go on one of her safaris! What a gold mine of information she is, and it's so accessible...___

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2014-09-02 21:13:53 (67 comments, 4 reshares, 54 +1s)Open 

Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a "thing" for Praying Mantises. They seem to show up whenever I'm under great stress, or whenever there is some momentous and important change in my life - creative, philosophical, intellectual, emotional, physical or otherwise. They show up when I'm changing jobs, when I'm moving, when I'm in the middle of a big creative project.

They show up right beside me, surrounded by nature and greenery, otherwise camouflaged to the rest of the world, but to me they are as big as The David in The Accademia in Florence.

Although I am not one to believe in signs, there is something curious about my relationship with these creatures and their sudden appearance at my doorstep - like spirit guides - whenever there is something, how shall I say it?... interesting going on in my life.

This particular mantis showed up at... more »

Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a "thing" for Praying Mantises. They seem to show up whenever I'm under great stress, or whenever there is some momentous and important change in my life - creative, philosophical, intellectual, emotional, physical or otherwise. They show up when I'm changing jobs, when I'm moving, when I'm in the middle of a big creative project.

They show up right beside me, surrounded by nature and greenery, otherwise camouflaged to the rest of the world, but to me they are as big as The David in The Accademia in Florence.

Although I am not one to believe in signs, there is something curious about my relationship with these creatures and their sudden appearance at my doorstep - like spirit guides - whenever there is something, how shall I say it?... interesting going on in my life.

This particular mantis showed up at 7:00am this  morning beside my hospital bed (at my home) when I was re-arranging a bookshelf and contemplating repotting an orchid. I sat the orchid's pot down on the floor next to my wheelchair, saw something move, looked down, and there it was...clinging to the white molding along the floor, and looking straight up at me.

The hospital bed and wheelchair exist because at the very end of June, when I was crossing Broadway at Spring Street in Soho, very calmly, making sure there were no out of control lunatic cars or people I needed to dodge, no racing firetrucks or police cars, no errant bicycle messengers, nothing crossing my path that posed any sort of a city threat...I stepped up onto the curb, which completely crumbled under my foot, and I fractured my right ankle in three places.

The good news was that the fractures were not displaced so I didn't need surgery. The less than good news was that the surgeons at the hospital put an enormous and very heavy cast on my right leg and sent me home with crutches, which I had never had the pleasure of dancing with in my entire life.

Until that day I had somehow managed to get by - not just in New York, but everywhere else I had ever lived - without breaking anything other than my nose (when I was 10), my little finger a decade ago, and my little toe running to catch a subway.

How many crumbling curbs I have stepped up onto on the Island of Manhattan in the last 35 years, without any incident whatsoever, I could never begin to count. (How many tourists I have pulled out of the path of an oncoming car, taxi, bus or subway car I can't count either, but that is beside the point). This curb was special.

But what happened next is the real gem of the story and the part that leads, I now tend to think, to a Visitation by My Mantis Friend.

Crutches, to me, are not feet. I am a dancer and I prefer Tango shoes, thank you very much. Within two days the weight of the cast had torqued out my back, thrown me out of balance and whacked out my left hip. Pain was running up and down my spine and in order to be safe, I decided to sit down and scootch up and down whatever stairs I had to traverse on my bum, because there was no other way to handle the weight of the cast and the insanity of the crutches.

Ah, Yes, but that last stair, whether one is heading up or down, must be taken standing up, like a true connoisseur of crutches, which I surely was not. As I mentioned, crutches are not feet. Feet have toes. Toes grip the ground. Crutches do not. But I digress...

The long and short of it is that on July 1st, while hoisting myself up that last step, carefully placing my crutches in the middle of the stair, telling myself to take a deep breath and move very consciously, even so I fell backwards down an entire flight of stairs and badly fractured my left leg.

Thus my absence from social media for the past 10 weeks...because I have been in and out of surgeries, hospitals and physical rehabilitation centers unable to walk or do much of anything else.

I am healing now, and am, in time, closer to walking again than I am to the two dreaded events that necessitated 3 surgeries. I had not intended to write about this at all, partly because there's nothing anyone can do, but also because I had to focus all my attention on healing. And a good break (pardon the pun) from everything is often necessary and important. So I'm grateful for that, too.

But the presence of this Mantis this morning, and the opportunity to watch its ritual (it is now 5:02pm) all day long of bending and stretching and cleaning and preening its left leg has me thinking about self care. While I can't exactly lick my left leg, as this creature can do, I do tend to it every day, telling it that's it's a good leg, and asking it if there's anything special I can do for it to help it heal better and stronger.

I wonder if Mantises do that? Or if they are just sharpening everything up to catch dinner? Perhaps animals (I think of cats particularly) are so keen to wash and tend to themselves because they know they are animals and have to keep everything in tip top shape just to survive. At any moment, there might be a mouse, or a bird to catch after all. (At any moment, their might be a curb off of which to fall.)

I leave the window open to get some fresh air and my Mantis friend must have flown in when I was working. I was worried that it would get trapped inside and possibly die, so I fetched a rose my husband had bought me and, balancing it on my hurt leg, took this video of it. It seemed oblivious to me holding it barely 8 inches away.

Is it a sign? I think so. That all things, no matter how painful, can heal. Did the Mantis show up to teach me a ritual, one, perhaps, that I had forgotten...that healing of some sort never ends? That even though my staples have been removed and my scar begun to heal that we must still, at every moment, tend to the inside? There is much to contemplate.

I wish you could see the light outside my window. I can't go outside. But still, it's very beautiful.

And my Mantis sits on its rose bloom...contemplating, what?

Who knows? And does it matter? Not to me. It has made me smile the big smile today.___

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2014-08-30 17:24:29 (25 comments, 3 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

I don't know that I have ever read words more well-expressed about events we easily, nonchalantly, casually, refer to as "accidents" - those things that happen in the flash of a moment, the snap of one's fingers, the blink of an eye - which can change a person's life forever, instantly erasing innocence and joy and filling the soul and spirit and mind with sorrow, guilt, shame, and life-long pain.

This particular Op-Ed was written by Gregory Orr, a Professor of English at the University of Virginia, who turned to poetry to help him understand the complicated psychological aftermath and fallout from the "accident" that caused the death of his brother when they were out hunting one morning.

Mr. Orr wrote this piece in support of the young girl who accidentally shot and killed her instructor at a firing range earlier this week (while learning to shot a... more »

I don't know that I have ever read words more well-expressed about events we easily, nonchalantly, casually, refer to as "accidents" - those things that happen in the flash of a moment, the snap of one's fingers, the blink of an eye - which can change a person's life forever, instantly erasing innocence and joy and filling the soul and spirit and mind with sorrow, guilt, shame, and life-long pain.

This particular Op-Ed was written by Gregory Orr, a Professor of English at the University of Virginia, who turned to poetry to help him understand the complicated psychological aftermath and fallout from the "accident" that caused the death of his brother when they were out hunting one morning.

Mr. Orr wrote this piece in support of the young girl who accidentally shot and killed her instructor at a firing range earlier this week (while learning to shot a machine gun way too powerful for her young body).

These words particularly resonated with me, and I thought they might with some of you, as well:

In my experience, when something like this takes place, people in a family are often willing to take on responsibility and guilt rather than admit something even scarier: that accidents happen; that even the most ordinary among us live in a world of risk and randomness that we don’t control. Sometimes, blaming ourselves feels safer than this realization that the world is an unpredictable and even dangerous place. But self-blaming and shame isolate and shrivel the human spirit. - Gregory Orr, the NY Times

Words are powerful. They can move mountains. They can hurt. They can help to heal. I share Mr. Orr's love of poetry...for all, and more, of these reasons.

Giselle___

2014-08-24 16:07:50 (14 comments, 2 reshares, 22 +1s)Open 

The Fogs of August

Each morning the Sikh passes beneath my window,
turbaned and swathed in clothes the color of morning mist.
A wooden cane sets the pace like a metronome.

Each morning as the Sikh passes beneath my window,
our eyes meet,
and I wonder if he knows.

A group of women attended to me,
wearing uniforms the color of the sea.
Their morning smiles set the pace like an ocean's tide.

Each morning as their hands reached out for mine,
our eyes met,
and I wondered what they felt.

As my bones begin to knit back together,
on the other side of the world 
men are beheading other men.

Why bother with such intimacy,
on this side, on our side,
when a gun will do just fine?

Each day I feel the symphony in my legs retuning itself
to the music my heart... more »

The Fogs of August

Each morning the Sikh passes beneath my window,
turbaned and swathed in clothes the color of morning mist.
A wooden cane sets the pace like a metronome.

Each morning as the Sikh passes beneath my window,
our eyes meet,
and I wonder if he knows.

A group of women attended to me,
wearing uniforms the color of the sea.
Their morning smiles set the pace like an ocean's tide.

Each morning as their hands reached out for mine,
our eyes met,
and I wondered what they felt.

As my bones begin to knit back together,
on the other side of the world 
men are beheading other men.

Why bother with such intimacy,
on this side, on our side,
when a gun will do just fine?

Each day I feel the symphony in my legs retuning itself
to the music my heart remembers.

This morning as the Sikh disappeared around the corner,
a butterfly alit on the railing hung heavy with raindrops.

Beating its wings slowly,
the pace marking the time it takes for a successful beheading,
a gunshot,
a walk in the fog.

But the time it takes for one woman's hand to reach another's
is like the sea tide kissing the shore.

I wonder what it tastes like.

#blogsofaugust  ___

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2014-07-27 18:08:45 (26 comments, 1 reshares, 50 +1s)Open 

Lying here
my body feels like the Bell Tower 
in Siena's Palazzo Pubblico.
Stretching to fly through the white
Longing to reach the blue.

My body is a seed planted a foot beneath the soil,
I look up and can see a crack in the cobbled piazza stones.
If I could reach my arm up just a bit higher,
perhaps I might push a finger through to the air.

With a little sunlight
With a little water
With a little wonder
A branch my might sprout from my fingernail
and call forth the other three and bring along my thumb.

And give them each courage to push through the Earth
into the light, to see the white, to ponder the blue.

Perhaps a shoulder might follow
Upward Upward Upward
dragging my neck and head with it,
until at last my torso would be above the earth
like the Bell Tower.

My... more »

Lying here
my body feels like the Bell Tower 
in Siena's Palazzo Pubblico.
Stretching to fly through the white
Longing to reach the blue.

My body is a seed planted a foot beneath the soil,
I look up and can see a crack in the cobbled piazza stones.
If I could reach my arm up just a bit higher,
perhaps I might push a finger through to the air.

With a little sunlight
With a little water
With a little wonder
A branch my might sprout from my fingernail
and call forth the other three and bring along my thumb.

And give them each courage to push through the Earth
into the light, to see the white, to ponder the blue.

Perhaps a shoulder might follow
Upward Upward Upward
dragging my neck and head with it,
until at last my torso would be above the earth
like the Bell Tower.

My feet planted on the the ancient stones
My veins and tendons and sinews and ligaments
reaching down into the Earth like the tree I will become.

The Bell Tower knows its foundation is strong.
It allows itself to lean a little, as it has gradually done since 1297.

Should I stand on two feet again, will I allow myself to tilt to one side with as much grace, trusting I won't fall over?

Only we humans mourn our imperfect state.
Towers are humbled to stand at all.
Their stairs climbed by young and old.
Their bells rung by the curious and jubilant.

Does the Bell Tower feel hobbled to its place?
Or has it found grace in immobility?
Is it happy merely to be in the presence of the Sun,
the Moon, 
the Stars?

Whipped by the Winds,
the Eons
the Wars.
Does it care about its battle scars?

Last night as the thunders roared and the lightning sang
I lay awake dreaming of Siena.

I wonder if the Bell Tower remembers me, as I do it.
An old Italian man followed me up the narrow stairway,
grabbing my ass as I climbed.

I turned to scold him and he said,
"What do you want me to do?
It's there.
Like the Tower itself.
You should be proud."

Only a fool would argue with that.___

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2014-07-24 15:55:45 (27 comments, 2 reshares, 26 +1s)Open 

Hello everyone. It is such a pleasure and an honor for me to share with you the publication of my dear friend (and our own) +Cheryl Machat Dorskind's new flatbook, PHOTOGRAPHING Children Naturally. Her photographs are gorgeous and I hope you will take the time to clink the link below and become familiar with her stunning work.

I have know Cheryl for decades, beginning during our early dual careers as young executives at CBS Records (before it was Sony). Cheryl was a Product Manager for Epic Records, working directly with that label's recording talent, while I was the Director of Customer Merchandising. While we were both completely immersed in the music business - because we both loved music of course  - we became friends discovering in one another other dreams and goals and interests and ambitions beyond that of music. We both had so many artistic interests to talk... more »

Thrilled to announce my affiliation with  +Flatbooks and the launch of my new eBook, Photographing Children Naturally. A heartfelt shout-out to +Luke Lakatosh and +J. Griffin Stewart 

Check it out: http://www.flatbooks.com/photographing-children-naturally___Hello everyone. It is such a pleasure and an honor for me to share with you the publication of my dear friend (and our own) +Cheryl Machat Dorskind's new flatbook, PHOTOGRAPHING Children Naturally. Her photographs are gorgeous and I hope you will take the time to clink the link below and become familiar with her stunning work.

I have know Cheryl for decades, beginning during our early dual careers as young executives at CBS Records (before it was Sony). Cheryl was a Product Manager for Epic Records, working directly with that label's recording talent, while I was the Director of Customer Merchandising. While we were both completely immersed in the music business - because we both loved music of course  - we became friends discovering in one another other dreams and goals and interests and ambitions beyond that of music. We both had so many artistic interests to talk about.

Those were heady times. Somehow we both landed jobs at the hottest record label in the world, in New York City, a bit toward the end of what was known as the music industry's heyday. But while most people with whom Cheryl and I worked dreamed of lifelong careers in that business, Cheryl and I had other plans...I to work in theatre and to design and to write, and she to become a photographer and artist.

I have met many, many people in my life who are multi-talented like Cheryl, but I think it is particularly difficult to hang onto the dream of becoming any kind of artist, given the often uncertain nature of that life, given all sorts of unknowns...such as the lack of financial security.

No matter the unknowns, after Cheryl left the music business she did indeed go off on the artistic journey that led her to become a photographer - not only of children, but of adults and landscapes and a host of other things - as well as a respected teacher of photography (at the college level), and an equally respected onlineinstructor of photography (and PhotoShop among other things).

I think the purpose of life is to grow...it matters not whether one chooses one lifelong profession, or several along the way...and to learn and to expand and to experience this magical, wondrous, mysterious, knowable and unknowable thing called life.

+Cheryl Machat Dorskind has done that, exploring the faces and moods and emotions of people and places and the landscape in which she lives on the shore of Long Island, incorporating into her work her experiences as a wife, a mother, a teacher, a woman...a friend.

I love her work and I think the people and children she photographs are fortunate to have themselves "captured" for a moment in time by the internal lens within her creative mind's eye, as well as the technological and mechanical one within her camera...the one that listens to Cheryl's creative interpretation of what she sees, of what is in front of her.

Thank you +Flatbooks for publishing Cheryl's photographs of children so that so many people can enjoy them, and thank you Google+ for giving me a platform on which to write about and share the work of this talented woman.

Here is the link:
http://www.flatbooks.com/photographing-children-naturally

Enjoy...and thank you for reading...AS ALWAYS.

Cheers,
Giselle

P.S. And so very many apologies for my absence during June. It was an exceedingly busy month of travel and business and conferences and workshops and moving and living and breathing and being...

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2014-06-30 21:10:17 (136 comments, 4 reshares, 32 +1s)Open 

I'm riveted by the result of today's Supreme Court decision stating that family-owned corporations with religious beliefs against certain types of contraception do not have to provide insurance coverage for them.

Five Justices - Kennedy, Thomas, Scalia, Roberts and Alito - all men, upheld family-owned Hobby Lobby's right to deny employees certain contraceptives based on that company's religious objections to them, in an opinion written for the Court by Justice Alito.

Four Justices - Sotomayor, Kagan, Ginsburg and Breyer - three of whom are women, expressed their dissent, which was written for the Court by Justice Ginsburg.

Although we would like to believe that the law is clear, irrefutable, incontrovertible and impossible to misconstrue, we know that the reality is that the law must be interpreted by our Justices. Just how those interpretations are made... more »

I'm riveted by the result of today's Supreme Court decision stating that family-owned corporations with religious beliefs against certain types of contraception do not have to provide insurance coverage for them.

Five Justices - Kennedy, Thomas, Scalia, Roberts and Alito - all men, upheld family-owned Hobby Lobby's right to deny employees certain contraceptives based on that company's religious objections to them, in an opinion written for the Court by Justice Alito.

Four Justices - Sotomayor, Kagan, Ginsburg and Breyer - three of whom are women, expressed their dissent, which was written for the Court by Justice Ginsburg.

Although we would like to believe that the law is clear, irrefutable, incontrovertible and impossible to misconstrue, we know that the reality is that the law must be interpreted by our Justices. Just how those interpretations are made provides endless amount of discussion and debate for those of use who follow SCOTUS issues.

This is the reason that Presidential decisions about who will sit on the Supreme Court stand as possibly the most important decisions they will make in their terms...because those appointees affect policy and law long after the President leaves office and can set the moral, ethical, legal and cultural "tone" of our nation.

This is the reason that balance on the Supreme Court is so important. But there can never be complete balance (is there such a thing, anyway?) because there are only nine Justices.

However...assuming that some semblance of checks and balances can be achieved in these important decisions, what kind of balance are we talking about, exactly? Between Liberal and Conservative Justices? Between Justices with different racial/ethnic backgrounds and experiences? As in, perhaps, African-American, Hispanic or Caucasian Justices?

Or how about a balance between male and female Justices? Justices are human beings, not robots. Is it even possible for them to make decisions entirely unaffected by their own religious beliefs, or racial backgrounds, or, perhaps, their genders?

In the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, only three women sit on the Supreme Court that rendered the decision made today. Each of those three women - Sotomayor, Kagan and Ginsburg - dissented.

Would the decision today have been different had there been four female Justices sitting on the Supreme Court? Five?

I personally think so.

You?

#SCOTUS   #HobbyLobby  ___

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2014-06-23 15:27:31 (6 comments, 1 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

Morning everyone. On Friday I posted about It's Official: The Boomerang Kids Won't Leave, an article in the NY Times that got 1,600 comments on the Times site. I got 82 and I am thrilled so many people took the time to talk with me and one another about this issue, which is getting a lot of press lately, not only in the Times.

BUT...I now feel I entirely missed the opportunity to mention in my introduction to that post that our own +Catherine Wells wrote Peril and Power in a Fairy Tale: One Woman's Reckoning, for the +SynaptIQ+ *Journal for Social Era Knowledge,* the tale of her own journey - from teenager to young woman to young professional to young mother - and the lessons she learned along the way about dreaming big, then confronting the possibility and disappointment within those dreams, and her ultimate choice to get really 'real' about her life. ... more »

Morning everyone. On Friday I posted about It's Official: The Boomerang Kids Won't Leave, an article in the NY Times that got 1,600 comments on the Times site. I got 82 and I am thrilled so many people took the time to talk with me and one another about this issue, which is getting a lot of press lately, not only in the Times.

BUT...I now feel I entirely missed the opportunity to mention in my introduction to that post that our own +Catherine Wells wrote Peril and Power in a Fairy Tale: One Woman's Reckoning, for the +SynaptIQ+ *Journal for Social Era Knowledge,* the tale of her own journey - from teenager to young woman to young professional to young mother - and the lessons she learned along the way about dreaming big, then confronting the possibility and disappointment within those dreams, and her ultimate choice to get really 'real' about her life. 

Catherine's essay is a brave an honest portrait of herself, and touches on many of the issues highlighted in the Times story about boomerang kids. If you have the time to read Power and Peril I somehow feel you'll recognize and maybe even identify with the journey of maturation she describes.

I might add that Catherine turns the camera on herself as a daughter, a worker, and a wife, but also reflects quite interestingly on parenting...turning the camera as she does on her own mother and father, and then on herself.

Thank you all for giving a shout out to +Catherine Wells if you have the time. She really stuck her neck out to discuss openly and honestly her journey through life.

My post on Boomerang kids can be read here: https://plus.google.com/+GiselleMinoli/posts/C9jW7VSyJW6

If you don't mind, I'd like to ping the commentary posse from that post (I'd not realized how many more men than women commented...). Thank you all!

+Eric Hansen 
+Wolfgang Fritsch 
+Michael O'Reilly
+Matthew Graybosch 
+U-Ming Lee 
+Matt Lorence 
+Paula Jones 
+Lisa Miller 
+Gregg Sakauye 
+Eve A 
+Nila Jones 
+Bob Jamieson 
+Lance Hagood 
+Brian Titus 
+Lena Levin 
+M Sinclair Stevens 

Have a great week.

Giselle___

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2014-06-20 13:02:18 (84 comments, 2 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

Hmmm...... Childhood is a fairly recent economic innovation. For most of recorded history, a vast majority of people began working by age 4, typically on a farm, and were full time by 10. As the country grew wealthier over the ensuing decades, childhood expanded along with it. Eventually, teenagers were no longer considered younger, less-competent adults but rather older children who should be nurtured and encouraged to explore. - Adam Davidson, the NY Times

As a matter of practical reality, I began working for money outside my mother's home at 14, and I haven't stopped working since.

I'd be curious to know others' reaction to this article...

Hmmm...... Childhood is a fairly recent economic innovation. For most of recorded history, a vast majority of people began working by age 4, typically on a farm, and were full time by 10. As the country grew wealthier over the ensuing decades, childhood expanded along with it. Eventually, teenagers were no longer considered younger, less-competent adults but rather older children who should be nurtured and encouraged to explore. - Adam Davidson, the NY Times

As a matter of practical reality, I began working for money outside my mother's home at 14, and I haven't stopped working since.

I'd be curious to know others' reaction to this article...___

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2014-06-17 11:17:51 (33 comments, 2 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

“By having at least one daughter, judges learn about what it’s like to be a woman, perhaps a young woman, who might have to deal with issues like equity in terms of pay, university admissions or taking care of children.” - Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

In a newly published study by Maya Sen and Adam Glynn, in the Department of Political Science at the University of Rochester, titled Identifying Judicial Empathy: Does Having Daughters Cause Judges to Rule for Women's Issues?, the finding is that "conditional on the number of children a judge has, judges with daughters consistently vote in a more feminist fashion on gender issues than judges who have only sons." (link to study below)

What is interesting to me about the attached article and the afore-mentioned study, is that it highlights the growth in awareness of Supreme Court JusticeWilli... more »

“By having at least one daughter, judges learn about what it’s like to be a woman, perhaps a young woman, who might have to deal with issues like equity in terms of pay, university admissions or taking care of children.” - Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

In a newly published study by Maya Sen and Adam Glynn, in the Department of Political Science at the University of Rochester, titled Identifying Judicial Empathy: Does Having Daughters Cause Judges to Rule for Women's Issues?, the finding is that "conditional on the number of children a judge has, judges with daughters consistently vote in a more feminist fashion on gender issues than judges who have only sons." (link to study below)

What is interesting to me about the attached article and the afore-mentioned study, is that it highlights the growth in awareness of Supreme Court Justice William H. Rehnqhist, who, at 78 years old, wrote the majority opinion sustaining a law that allows employees to sue their state employers if they violated the Federal Law that allows those employees to take time off for family emergencies.

Rehnquist had not been expected to sustain the law, but he surprised everyone by writing that the law was meant to address the belief that “the pervasive sex-role stereotype that caring for family members is women’s work.”

The study, which would seem to be unnecessary to those who have experienced any sex-role stereotype in their lives, is important because it shows/proves/indicates (pick your own word) that there is a direct link between personal experience of, awareness about, and consciousness of, these difficult issues and the decisions rendered about them - at least if one is a Judge blessed/saddled/honored (pick your own word) with the responsibility/burden (again, pick your own word) of making legal decisions that will affect the lives of thousands/millions of women.

One would think, ideally, that if a parent did not have a child of the opposite sex (a mother did not have a son, a father did not have a daughter) that somehow they would still be aware about issues the other sex faces - in education, employment and social and cultural circumstances. 

But this study seems to clearly indicate that awareness, at least when it comes to judicial decision-making, is heightened when the justice has a daughter. Those justices are more likely to see the world from the point of view of the issues that women face.

“Having daughters, is just one kind of personal experience, but there could be other things — for example, serving in the military, adopting a child or seeing a law clerk come out as gay. All of these things could affect a justice’s worldview.” - Professor Maya Sen

It's one thing to approach the law academically, through years and years and years of learned study and application, and to have the ability to approach cases objectively.

But, in the end, is it even possible to separate out one's personal experience when rendering decisions about the law? Should a justice separate out their personal experiences when rendering decisions about the law?

And what might this study say, retrospectively, about cases decided by Justices who did not fully examine life from the opposite gender's point of view? Might their decisions have been different had they a more balanced personal experience, which then filtered in somehow when reaching a decision about a case?

Learning, even for Supreme Court Justices, is a life-long process.

Thankfully.

http://scholar.harvard.edu/msen/publications/identifying-judicial-empathy-does-having-daughters-cause-judges-rule-womens-issues

#SupremeCourt   #JudicialDecisionMaking   #Feminism   #Women 'sRights___

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2014-06-08 21:48:48 (17 comments, 0 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

Why is it that so many think their "truest self" needs to be recognized by others in order to be a 'true self?'

"Cleaning up this place, I’ve felt as if I’ve finally gotten to know a parent,” Paul said. “I’ve spent the last few months getting to know what he considered his truest self." - Paul Spillinger, son of Raymond Spillinger

Why do we need validation by anyone in order to be who we really are?

Why don't we teach children from the very beginning to do what they love to do, no matter the circumstances, which we can rarely control anyway?

"Spillenger is certainly as good as a lot of the people in that movement. His work isn’t going to change the way history is written, but there’s still a value to it." - Theodore Stebbens, The Fogg Museum, Harvard

Yes, music is meant to beheard.
P... more »

Why is it that so many think their "truest self" needs to be recognized by others in order to be a 'true self?'

"Cleaning up this place, I’ve felt as if I’ve finally gotten to know a parent,” Paul said. “I’ve spent the last few months getting to know what he considered his truest self." - Paul Spillinger, son of Raymond Spillinger

Why do we need validation by anyone in order to be who we really are?

Why don't we teach children from the very beginning to do what they love to do, no matter the circumstances, which we can rarely control anyway?

"Spillenger is certainly as good as a lot of the people in that movement. His work isn’t going to change the way history is written, but there’s still a value to it." - Theodore Stebbens, The Fogg Museum, Harvard

Yes, music is meant to be heard.
Paintings are meant to be seen.
Poetry is meant to be read.
Art is meant to be shared.

In the ideal world. But the world is rarely ideal.

And if music cannot be heard (because the score is hidden in a book), or paintings cannot be seen (because they are under the bed), or poetry is left unread (because the writer stashed it in the attic), or art was never discovered (because the planets didn't line up properly)...what then?

Should Raymond Spillenger have stopped painting because he never became an "it boy?"

I don't think so. Besides, he didn't stop. There's a magnetic pull whether it's acknowledge or not.

I think that's the way it should be.

#RaymondSpillinger  ___

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2014-06-04 21:22:55 (50 comments, 4 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

I cannot remember a time in my life when women haven't been held hostage by the advice of various gurus, charlatans, proselytizers, hucksters, snake oil peddlers and sundry and assorted famous and infamous experts who preach and prattle on about how we should behave, how we should dress, how we should act, what we should do, what we should look like, how we should express ourselves...how we should be... in order to manifest our destinies and succeed in life.

When I was a teenager it was: make sure everyone likes you.

When I was in college, it was: study hard...and make sure everyone likes you.

When I entered the business world, it was: work really hard, work long hours, but be sure not to show anyone up...and make sure everyone likes you.

When I was an actor, it was: be sexy, be beautiful, be thin, be slightly crazy, be controversial, be yourself, don't be... more »

I cannot remember a time in my life when women haven't been held hostage by the advice of various gurus, charlatans, proselytizers, hucksters, snake oil peddlers and sundry and assorted famous and infamous experts who preach and prattle on about how we should behave, how we should dress, how we should act, what we should do, what we should look like, how we should express ourselves...how we should be... in order to manifest our destinies and succeed in life.

When I was a teenager it was: make sure everyone likes you.

When I was in college, it was: study hard...and make sure everyone likes you.

When I entered the business world, it was: work really hard, work long hours, but be sure not to show anyone up...and make sure everyone likes you.

When I was an actor, it was: be sexy, be beautiful, be thin, be slightly crazy, be controversial, be yourself, don't be yourself, lie about your age...and make sure men like you and women hate you.

When I was a director, it was: be authoritative, be the boss, don't alienate the men...and make sure everyone likes you.

When I was a jewelry designer, it was: be ruthless and cutthroat, kiss the bum of anyone who can get you displayed in a store, and don't give a damn whether anyone likes you.

By the time I settled into life as a writer, it was: write Chick Lit, don't write Chick Lit, don't write anything serious because only men can write serious literary nonfiction, make everyone laugh all the time, don't be controversial, don't say what's on your mind, stay away from politics and religion, don't alienate anyone,... be brief!, and make sure absolutely every human being of any race, creed, color, gender, age, persuasion, profession or religion anywhere on Planet Earth likes you.

As a private pilot, it's: learn to fly, talk, act, breathe, think and behave like a man.

Finally, when I became a stepmother I was unwittingly and immediately let off the hook in the Being Liked Department, because I was told by everybody that I would be disliked just because I existed. What a relief!

As a creative person I have never listened to anyone's "advice," because it's impossible to discover who you are if you spend your time listening to all of the conflicting external static and noise and then try to figure out which fork in the road to travel down.

But it isn't easy to stick to that internal instinct, because the world we live in is filled with, well, gurus and charlatans and proselytizers and snake-oil peddlers who will pull you off your course if you let them and then ask you to write them a check when you follow their advice.

What's a woman to do? Well, for one thing, trust yourself, be true to yourself, explore your brain and the world you live in as best as you possibly can, and sit down frequently for a very long chat with a good friend.

Which is what I did in February with +Meg Tufano, when we began a (very) long conversation about love, marriage, men, scary monsters, children, mothers-in-law, birth, death, dying and, of course, sex.

If you can, please join +Meg Tufano and me as we revisit the myth of Eros & Psyche, and pay homage to Michael and Kay Corleone, Stephen Sondheim, Judy Chicago, Georgia O'Keeffe, Carl Jung, Freud, Neil Young, Carol Gilligan, and a host of other interesting people as we try to figure out just how the emotional, psychological, physical and sexual power play in male/female relationships really works.

Oh, and what it is exactly that women really want nad need. And we're pretty sure it doesn't have anything to do with being liked.

I offer up, for your reading pleasure, The Mythical Presence of Eros & Psyche: A Dialogue About the Bedroom, the Boardroom...and a Piece of Bread, co-written, spoken and edited by +Giselle Minoli and +Meg Tufano, which was published last week in the Spring issue of the  +SynaptIQ+ *Journal for Social Era Knowledge.*

Thank you for reading, everyone.

Giselle

#ErosandPsycheMyth   #JournalforSocialEraKnowledge   #BedroomBoardroomPieceofBread   #SynaptIQ  ___

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2014-06-04 01:38:54 (7 comments, 6 reshares, 39 +1s)Open 

A Googleverse round of applause, please, in fact how about a standing ovation, for the brilliant and compassionate Nipple Tattoo Artist Vinnie Myers, who helps women who have had breast cancer feel normal again by giving them beautiful areolas! Watch...and share with the women you love. Vinnie's website is:

http://vinniemyers.com/section/386299_Vinnie_Myers.html


#NippleTattooing   #VinnieMyers   #BreastCancer  

A Googleverse round of applause, please, in fact how about a standing ovation, for the brilliant and compassionate Nipple Tattoo Artist Vinnie Myers, who helps women who have had breast cancer feel normal again by giving them beautiful areolas! Watch...and share with the women you love. Vinnie's website is:

http://vinniemyers.com/section/386299_Vinnie_Myers.html


#NippleTattooing   #VinnieMyers   #BreastCancer  ___

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2014-06-03 01:50:38 (31 comments, 4 reshares, 43 +1s)Open 

Hi, everyone. Apologies for the less than perfect sound quality on this video. I was outside at a beautiful grass airstrip called Sunbury Island, and it was fairly gusty and even though I had the sound up I couldn’t do better than this. But in the hopes that you’d forgive me, I thought I’d give it a shot and post it anyway.

I spent the weekend deep in the heart of beautiful Pennsylvania learning to fly this plane (officially a Light Sport Aircraft), which is called a taildragger. I learned to fly on tricycle gear planes (like a Cessna 172 and a Diamond 40...actually, I first learned to fly in a glider, which is a plane without an engine, but that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish), which are planes that have a nose wheel under, Yes, the nose, and the main wheels under the wings aft of the center of gravity. A taildragger has the two main wheels under the wings slightly forward of thecente... more »

Hi, everyone. Apologies for the less than perfect sound quality on this video. I was outside at a beautiful grass airstrip called Sunbury Island, and it was fairly gusty and even though I had the sound up I couldn’t do better than this. But in the hopes that you’d forgive me, I thought I’d give it a shot and post it anyway.

I spent the weekend deep in the heart of beautiful Pennsylvania learning to fly this plane (officially a Light Sport Aircraft), which is called a taildragger. I learned to fly on tricycle gear planes (like a Cessna 172 and a Diamond 40...actually, I first learned to fly in a glider, which is a plane without an engine, but that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish), which are planes that have a nose wheel under, Yes, the nose, and the main wheels under the wings aft of the center of gravity. A taildragger has the two main wheels under the wings slightly forward of the center of gravity, and a (much) smaller wheel at the very rear of the plane under, Yes, the tail.

The difference in configuration is huge, the most obvious thing being that in a tricycle gear plane you lift the nose off the runway first on take-off and in a taildragger you lift the tail off the runway first. Sort of sounds like you might be flying by your rear-end, doesn’t it? In a weird way, that’s sort of the truth, because if you can’t control what’s behind you - the tail, your rear end, you’re in deep trouble (sort of like life, I suppose). But I digress.

I’ve always wanted to learn to fly a taildragger, but there aren’t many opportunities unless you know someone who owns one, or are willing to go through special and not inexpensive training at an airfield that offers it. Once airborne it’s heaven, but it’s the danged take-off and landing that causes no end of grief…what with the different torque effects that are in play the instant you put the power in, which translates to yet another sort of torque effect the instant you lift the tailwheel off the ground and go careening down the strip on the mains, which then translates to still another sort of torque effect the instant you finally decide to pull back on the stick and lift-off, all of which sorts of torque effects can torment you if you don’t anticipate them, plan for them, react to them quickly and correct for them properly. Again...rather like life, but I digress again...sorry!

Like the dreaded fishtail, which sets you instantly flopping about uncontrolled on take-off, the tail wagging like a dog’s behind you. Then there’s the fearsome ground loop, spinning you around and possibly flopping you over on your nose and or your head. I am not making light of what can happen. These things can and do happen, thus the need for special training from someone who really knows their stuff.

But a kind friend who is a CFI and an experienced taildragger pilot offered to teach me in his new Aerotrek and off I went to PA to fly over that beautiful State’s rolling Appalachian ridges and mellow farmlands in and out of a host of little grass airstrips, dotted among the cow pastures and horse farms and corn and alfalfa fields.

We landed at little airfields with names like Rookie Ridge, Centre (where there were folks flying $10,000 remote-controlled turbine helicopters (I was flabbergasted), Mifflin County (where we waited for a group of four skydivers to land), Pennfield, Penn’s Cave, and finally the glorious Sunbury, a little island with a grass airstrip in the middle surrounded by families camping out (literally) on the weekends.

My first day? Windy. Gusty. Frustrating. Challenging. Exhilarating. My second day? Let’s just say that while perfect I wasn't, I ended the day with a smile on my face. Early Monday morning we got up and followed the course of the winding river through the hills, taking pictures of old long abandoned iron bridges and just appreciating the experience and being alive.

My Dad had a taildragger. It was painted fabric, like this Aerotrek. Cost around $3,750. 

Can you imagine? I can't. I wish I had been born when he was so I could have afforded one.

It is incredible to fly so close to the ground and to see the complicated, intricate and downright poetic infrastructure of our country, which is indeed beautiful.

What a different reality now than when my Dad learned to fly. Two. Different. Worlds.

But I love flying. It's magic.

#aviation   #TailDraggers   #LightSportAircraft  ___

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2014-05-30 13:51:41 (18 comments, 4 reshares, 21 +1s)Open 

Lovers loving. Dancers dancing. Fountains rising and falling. At the ballet.

But everything was beautiful at the ballet
Graceful men lift lovely girls in white
Yes, everything was beautiful at ballet
Hey! 
I was happy... at the ballet. 

At the Ballet, from A Chorus Line

Because 'tis true. If I could have attached a full-length video of the Justin Peck's Everywhere We Go, a ballet he choreographed for the New York City Ballet, with music composed by Sufjan Stevens, then I would have done so.

If I had a magic wand, and could touch the screen of my computer with it, somehow sending out into the Googleverse the feeling, the electricity, the wonder, the joy, the energy of the collaboration that is Everywhere We Go, then I would do it. I would do it. I would do it.

Were It... more »

Lovers loving. Dancers dancing. Fountains rising and falling. At the ballet.

But everything was beautiful at the ballet
Graceful men lift lovely girls in white
Yes, everything was beautiful at ballet
Hey! 
I was happy... at the ballet. 

At the Ballet, from A Chorus Line

Because 'tis true. If I could have attached a full-length video of the Justin Peck's Everywhere We Go, a ballet he choreographed for the New York City Ballet, with music composed by Sufjan Stevens, then I would have done so.

If I had a magic wand, and could touch the screen of my computer with it, somehow sending out into the Googleverse the feeling, the electricity, the wonder, the joy, the energy of the collaboration that is Everywhere We Go, then I would do it. I would do it. I would do it.

Were I the sort to flagrantly disregard the rules of not videoing live performances at the ballet, I would have happily transgressed and captured for you the beauty and magic I saw last night.

Several weeks ago I read an article in the Times (link below) about Peck's interest in the music of singer/song writer/composer Sufjan Stevens, who hadn't liked ballet, had known anything about ballet, had assumed that his life would never intersect with the lives of men and women who spend their days moving their bodies to the sounds, beats, vibes and rhythm of different kinds of music.

Until, that is, young and inventive Justin Peck says Hey can I use your music for one of my dances? and Stevens wakes up to the glory of dance, and ballet in particular, and says Yes, and then the two of them are off and running headlong into a collaboration.

The latest round of which is the sublime (a little hyperbole is allowed when describing a sublime dance experience) Everywhere We Go. I really hate that videos are not readily available to the public. I used to be a dancer and while there is nothing like seeing a performance in person, for so many people across the country and the world that will never be a possibility and so a good video is a sublime (there's that word again) second best choice.

But I feel bad, because I know something you all don't know, which is what the fully fleshed out version of the tidbit you see in this video is like on stage, in front of an audience, with an orchestra, the lights dimming finally to that thing we call a live performance, outside the moon shining, and the fountain rising and falling at Lincoln Square, but inside on stage, dancers dancing, hands clapping, curtains calling.

The stage is one of the few places where true respect, true manners and true appreciation exists in a protected space. And so I did not sneak my iPhone out to take a surreptitious video. It exists in my memory. I went to sleep with a smile and woke up with one, too.

But here's a little breakfast, of dancers dancing...at. the. ballet.

Everywhere We Go, with Justin Peck and Sufjan Stevens:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/04/arts/dance/a-former-ballet-hater-teams-up-again-with-a-choreographer.html?_r=0

Justin Peck website:
http://www.justin-peck.com/

Sufjan Stevens:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sufjan_Stevens

#JustinPeck   #SufjanStevens   #EverywhereWeGo   #NYCBallet  ___

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2014-05-23 20:16:30 (44 comments, 0 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

The data indicate that overall high school GPA is significantly higher among women, but men have significantly higher annual earnings. 

Ladies, I don't care what studies say (and they may very well reflect this same information for years to come), but our goal should be to tell our daughters and those young women we mentor that they should do their very best - in school and on the job - that they possibly can no matter what the circumstances.

Ultimately, doing one's best is a self-esteem and a self-respect issue and it is the only way to change the world and to enhance consciousness about issues such as this.

Equal pay for equal work is of course the goal for all of us...but in the meanwhile, we should all do the best we can possibly do... for ourselves first and foremost.

This new study by the University of Miami, College of Arts & Sciences... more »

The data indicate that overall high school GPA is significantly higher among women, but men have significantly higher annual earnings. 

Ladies, I don't care what studies say (and they may very well reflect this same information for years to come), but our goal should be to tell our daughters and those young women we mentor that they should do their very best - in school and on the job - that they possibly can no matter what the circumstances.

Ultimately, doing one's best is a self-esteem and a self-respect issue and it is the only way to change the world and to enhance consciousness about issues such as this.

Equal pay for equal work is of course the goal for all of us...but in the meanwhile, we should all do the best we can possibly do... for ourselves first and foremost.

This new study by the University of Miami, College of Arts & Sciences (link below) and published recently in the Eastern Economic Journal, (link below) shows that the wage gap between men and women begins in high school, when women who outperform men in Grade Point Averages cannot look forward to equal earnings with men in the workforce as a result of their higher GPA scores.

The study is titled, “What you do in high school matters: High school GPA, educational attainment, and labor market earnings as a young adult.”

Disturbingly, but not at all surprisingly, the study reveals that A woman with a 4.0 high-school GPA still makes less, on average, than a man with a 2.5 GPA, or, put another way, Female 'A+' Students End Up Making As Much As Male 'C' Students. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/23/gpa-income_n_5373078.html)

The only way that we will overcome this current statistic is through education - educating ourselves and educating others.

Slowly.

Determinedly.

One girl at a time.

One Grade Point Average at a time.

One brilliantly done job at a time. 

It matters.

It makes a difference.

Know that.

What You Do In High School Matters: High School GPA, Educational Attainment, And Labor Market Earnings As A Young Adult: 
http://www.palgrave-journals.com/eej/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/eej201422a.html

Your High School GPA Could Affect Your Income: 
http://www.as.miami.edu/news/news-archive/your-high-school-gpa-could-affect-your-income.html

Female 'A+' Students End Up Making As Much As Male 'C' Students: 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/05/20/heres-how-much-your-high-school-grades-predict-how-much-you-make-today/

#GPAPayGap #EasternEconomicJournal   #UniversityofMiami  ___

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2014-05-18 14:14:08 (20 comments, 2 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

With Mrs. Clinton on one side and Ms. Sandberg on the other — and Beyoncé somewhere in between — feminism has become, well, cool. - Jessica Bennett, Feminism: One Conference at a Time

In A Woman's De-Liberation: There Never Was a Sexual Revolution, which I wrote for the +SynaptIQ+ Journal for Social Era Knowledge (link below), I confessed that I, who was essentially a daughter of the movement, had never considered myself a Feminist, even when I had managed to work my way up the ladder of CBS Records to become the youngest Director of Customer Merchandising, at 24, that the company had ever had.

I didn't consider myself a Feminist because I thought the movement -  inspired as it had been by the absurd assumption that all women are the same and should be able to find fulfillment and happiness safely ensconced within the walls of their homes, families andmarria... more »

With Mrs. Clinton on one side and Ms. Sandberg on the other — and Beyoncé somewhere in between — feminism has become, well, cool. - Jessica Bennett, Feminism: One Conference at a Time

In A Woman's De-Liberation: There Never Was a Sexual Revolution, which I wrote for the +SynaptIQ+ Journal for Social Era Knowledge (link below), I confessed that I, who was essentially a daughter of the movement, had never considered myself a Feminist, even when I had managed to work my way up the ladder of CBS Records to become the youngest Director of Customer Merchandising, at 24, that the company had ever had.

I didn't consider myself a Feminist because I thought the movement -  inspired as it had been by the absurd assumption that all women are the same and should be able to find fulfillment and happiness safely ensconced within the walls of their homes, families and marriages - had become a hotbed of Ivory Towered intellectual conversation among women who could, well, escape such a life because they had the means to become educated and hang out in Ivory Towers chatting about Feminist ideals all day long.

I did not have an easy time of it. "Crawling rung-by-rung up the ladder" would be a major understatement of how hard I had to work to get to the top of a mostly male company. There hadn't been a single Feminist who had been witness to my journey, who had championed me, who had stood by my side, who had mentored me, who had showed me the ropes.

But there had been a few men. And one particular man, who had been my boss at CBS Records in San Francisco, took a chance on me and promoted me based on my telling him, "I can do this, and if I fail, then fire me and feel no guilt about it!"

Now, all these years later, I happily call myself a Feminist (with a capital "F" out of respect). I do because all these years later when a woman (Marissa Mayer) becomes CEO of a major company (Yahoo) it is still such a rarity as to be major news for months on end.

I do because when another woman (Sheryl Sandberg) writes a book called Lean In, suggesting that all women really have to do to get to the top is lean in to the table, state what they want, be assertive, and go after their dreams, women are left to think, "What? That's it? I didn't Lean In often or far enough? Who knew? Can I have a do-over?"

While I respect Sandberg's considerable talents and business acumen, I have disagreed publicly with her Lean In premise and assertion since pre-book launch publicity first came out. There is the Harvard Business School study showing that women attend that venerable institution under a veil of considerable and predictable sexist 'tude (link below). Then there is the Yale University study about women in the Maths & Sciences, showing that, once again, the air that women breathe in those disciplines appears to be different than the air that men breathe (link below).

I do because of the considerable hoopla this week about the dismissal at the New York Times of Jill Abramson, the paper's Executive Editor, by its publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., amid speculation that she asked for more money and was pushy and bossy. In a public statement on Saturday, May 17th, Sulzberger said that he fired Abramson because of her “arbitrary decision-making, a failure to consult and bring colleagues with her, inadequate communication and the public mistreatment of colleagues (link below)."

Really. I could not begin to count the number of men in business I have known who fit that exact description who, instead of being fired, remain firmly tucked into well-paying and respected positions at the top (my comment is not a sanctioning of bad behavior by executives, but rather a questioning of the reason itself).

I don't know whether Feminism is "Cool" or not, but I sure do know, after more than 35 years in professional creative and business life that it is an essential movement.

I know scores of talented, creative, brilliant women. And I look forward to a day when stories about women in the press are not presented primarily adjectivally - she's "bossy," "pushy," "loud," "shrill," "fat," "thin," "Va Va Voom," "gorgeous," "ugly, poor thing," "sexless," "young," "too old," "over-the-hill," "cute," "dumb," "a vixen," "hot," "a ball-buster... You get my drift.

But first...Feminism, one feminist at a time.

Count me in.

Gorgeous day here in Manhattan. Sun is shining. Not a cloud in the sky. 

Oops. Can I use the word "gorgeous" to describe the day?

;)

Have a lovely Sunday everyone.

A Woman's De-Liberation: There Never Was a Sexual Revolution:
http://www.synaptiqplus.com/journal/journal_-articles/issue-2/a-woman-s-de-liberation-there-never-was-a-sexual-revolution

Why are there still so few women in science?:
https://plus.google.com/+GiselleMinoli/posts/4GNubeQLkUW

Harvard Business School Case Study on Gender Equity:
https://plus.google.com/+GiselleMinoli/posts/1sYGKQg55es

After criticism, Times Publisher Details Decision to Oust Top Editor:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/18/business/times-publisher-denies-gender-figured-in-top-editors-dismissal.html

#Feminism   #LeanIn   #SherylSandberg   #GloriaSteinem   #JaneFonda   #MarloThomas   #ArianaHuffington   #SynaptiQ   +Meg Tufano ___

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2014-05-16 12:18:37 (30 comments, 3 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

Could someone please, finally, explain to me what the definition of "pushy" is when referring to a woman's behavior at the top of her professional organization? Is being "pushy" in the newsroom a different kind of pushy that is required in the delivery room when a woman is giving birth?

Is being "pushy" in a corporation different than the kind of pushy a mother has to be when pushing a stroller around the streets of New York, dodging traffic, shopping, multi-tasking in her life?

Is being "pushy" at work different than the kind of push-happy a woman needs to be when doing push-ups at the gym?

Is being pushy at work a different kind of pushy that is needed to start most cars these days - you know, that cute little button on the console? No? It's a different kind of pushy? I'm all ears... 

There’s also thecl... more »

Could someone please, finally, explain to me what the definition of "pushy" is when referring to a woman's behavior at the top of her professional organization? Is being "pushy" in the newsroom a different kind of pushy that is required in the delivery room when a woman is giving birth?

Is being "pushy" in a corporation different than the kind of pushy a mother has to be when pushing a stroller around the streets of New York, dodging traffic, shopping, multi-tasking in her life?

Is being "pushy" at work different than the kind of push-happy a woman needs to be when doing push-ups at the gym?

Is being pushy at work a different kind of pushy that is needed to start most cars these days - you know, that cute little button on the console? No? It's a different kind of pushy? I'm all ears... 

There’s also the claim that (Jill) Abramson was seen as aggressively “brusque” and “pushy” by her colleagues, two adjectives rarely associated with powerful men. And there’s the possibility that Abramson was simply bad at her job. Emma Gray

Ah, here we go again. And again, and again...and again. In the Spring 2013 issue of the  +SynaptIQ+ *Journal for Social Era Knowledge,* I wrote an essay entitled A Woman's De-Liberation, There Never Was a Sexual Revolution, (link is below) in which I recounted my own experiences long ago, when I climbed up the corporate ladder of the mostly male hierarchy at CBS Records (then Sony), where I had started as a Regional Field Merchandiser and ended up as the Director of Customer Merchandising in New York at the biggest record company in the world.

I wrote A Woman's De-Liberation in the wake of publicity surrounding Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In, which made the seemingly simple and easy enough suggestion that if a woman wants to rise to the top of her organization or profession, she need only take command of her executive chair, dig her heels into the carpet on the boardroom floor, grip the edge of the solid wood (mahogany, most likely) table, and haul her regal, talented, intelligent, well-prepared, well-spoken, well-coiffed, and well-dressed self up to the table with the men for a little Leaning In, you know...that thing successful people (mostly men) do when they say what they mean and mean what they say? 

You were taught how to Lean In, weren't you? Sit up straight, shoulders back, chin up, eyes alert, hands relaxed, throat open, unfurrow your brow, and, just, well, you know, don't you? Just. Lean. In. And that's all it takes to get to the top.

Leaning in...(sort of a corporate version of Voguing)...that slight body sway over the table, all the better to prop oneself up on one's elbows when turning to fully engage in conversation with one's executive peers, a physical move that grants one square eye-to-eye contact, the kind of eye contact equals share, the kind of eye contact business titans share, the kind of eye contact Lions of industry share.

Unless, that is, you are Jill Abramson and are merely a Lioness. Lions of industry are allowed to be pushy and assertive. Leo the Lion, he of the famous roaring Metro Goldwyn Meyer movie logo...is of the male wild cat varietal, not the she wild cat varietal...but I digress. Or do I?

But Jill Abramson, the Executive Editor of the lionized New York Times, was recently fired, let go, kicked out, given the proverbial boot, pushed out by publishers Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. because she was rumored to have 1) Complained that she was not making the salary she should have been making, 2) Was considered too "pushy" in the newsroom, or 3) Wasn't any good at her job.

Regarding #1, she probably wasn't. Regarding #2, she probably was. Regarding #3, are they kidding? They didn't do their due diligence and hired someone incompetent? She had no prior reputation and no one knew she couldn't cut it? They gave a newbie a shot, to be, what...nice guys? I don't think so. Nice guys in business don't give women who are unqualified a shot at anything.

Abramson’s departure is igniting such an intense conversation, precisely because she is one of few women in such positions of power. And the thought of her being forced out of her job even in part because she was too “pushy” is ominous -- a depressing sign that the future is not as bright as Sandberg and other thought leaders like Hanna Rosin have made it out to be for those of us still working our way up the corporate ladder. Emma Gray

Emma Gray's article in the Huff Post was published on the same day (May 15th) that Timothy Egan's article, The Commencement Bigots, was published in the Times. Egan zeroed in on the fact that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice chose to cancel giving the Commencement Address at Rutgers University this coming Sunday because of a small group of protestors who didn't approve of her political agenda in the GWB administration.

In this same week, Christine Lagarde, Chief of the International Monetary Fund, decided not to speak at Smith College because of people who don't approve of her presumably patriarchal value system.

Wow. In a world where there are only 2 dozen women in positions of power at major corporations, where there are only relatively the same number of women in government making policy, rather than wanting to hear what these accomplished women have to say - whether they are "likable" or not, whether their value systems are savory or not - better to scratch their names off the speaking rosters altogether than Lean In to the table and listen to their stories of climbing the ladder to the top and hearing what their might be to learn from their examples.

Then, lest I forget, there is the delicious article that appeared in the Times yesterday by Allison Kopicki called Women and the "I Don't Know" Problem, which reflects the findings of a study that says we women don't seem to know our minds well enough to express them in the first place. Well, which is it? Do we not know what we think, or are we too pushy about what we think when we finally get around to figuring out what we think?

Besides, I don't recall having been polled about that issue. Actually it's probably far more likely that had my name come across their list, it would have been scratched off because I would have told them what rubbish it is.

At the end of the day the harsh reality remains: Jill Abramson leaned way in -- and got pushed right out. -Emma Gray

Ah, yes. Well, perhaps an extra little slick of lipstick, an extra spritz of perfume, a new hairdo and a pair of heels would have saved Jill Abramson her job.

Or nice lessons. She could have just taken nice lessons, right? That would have worked, eh? Oh...and never complain about your salary. Don't ever do that!

Grahhhhhrrrrrrrrrrr!

*A Woman's De-Liberation: There Never Was a Sexual Revolution:
http://www.synaptiqplus.com/journal/journal_-articles/issue-2/a-woman-s-de-liberation-there-never-was-a-sexual-revolution

The Commencement Bigots, by Timothy Egan:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/16/opinion/egan-the-commencement-bigots.html?hp&rref=opinion

#JillAbramson   #NewYorkTimes   #PushyWomen  ___

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2014-05-15 14:00:06 (14 comments, 1 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

What is an experience worth? What is the cost? Financially? Emotionally? Physically? Intellectually? Philosophically? Spiritually? Why is it so easy to use the power of money to justify endangering not only our own lives, but the lives of those effectively "rented" with our money?

Now who will look after us? We can’t farm. He used to go to the mountains, and feed us with that money. Though he was my son, he was like our parents. Now who will pay our rent? And who will look after our grandchildren? I feel like we’re sick, like we’re suffocating. - Nimali Sherpa, mother of deceased Ang Kali Sherpa

I'm fascinated by expeditions to Mt. Everest. I read Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer's account of the May 1996 Everest climbing disaster, in which 8 people were killed, in one sitting, as well as Anatoli Boukreev's, The Climb, from the POV of the manwho r... more »

What is an experience worth? What is the cost? Financially? Emotionally? Physically? Intellectually? Philosophically? Spiritually? Why is it so easy to use the power of money to justify endangering not only our own lives, but the lives of those effectively "rented" with our money?

Now who will look after us? We can’t farm. He used to go to the mountains, and feed us with that money. Though he was my son, he was like our parents. Now who will pay our rent? And who will look after our grandchildren? I feel like we’re sick, like we’re suffocating. - Nimali Sherpa, mother of deceased Ang Kali Sherpa

I'm fascinated by expeditions to Mt. Everest. I read Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer's account of the May 1996 Everest climbing disaster, in which 8 people were killed, in one sitting, as well as Anatoli Boukreev's, The Climb, from the POV of the man who rescued many of the people who survived that day, with equal interest.

Between that disastrous event, and the recent one on April 18th, in which 18 people were killed, interactive internet technology has made it possible to capture moments immediately prior to ice avalanches in all the horror that cinéma vérité can offer.

When I went first time, I was really happy, because it was my dream, like, I want to climb. But now I think no more climb, because I think it’s quite dangerous for me, because I don’t have no father, only my Mom and wife, and one sister, so I need to take care of them, so maybe I do some easy trick, climb easy peak. I don’t want the other mountain. - Pasang Dawa Sherpa Everest Guide

But this time, instead of focusing on the climbers who pay up to $100,000 to summit Everest, the focus is now on the poor Sherpas who lead the way, hauling survival gear up the mountain on their backs, risking their own lives...and for what? Pennies out of the climbing fees extracted by the Nepalese government? Maybe less than pennies...

I get wanting to climb Mt. Everest. I get Felix Baumgartner wanting to jump out of a balloon 23 miles above the Earth. I get wanting to go where no man/woman has ever gone before. Because wanting to do those things is part of what it means to imagine, to dream, to strive for something, to push oneself beyond one's limits, to discover oneself, to learn, to grow, to stretch.

I felt this way before watching Cosmos (which, if you are not watching on Sunday nights, you still have a chance to catch the last four episodes...because it's so well done), and, to be honest, wanting to push myself beyond my own limits was part of why I wanted to get my pilot's license...quite aside from a love of flying (they are two different things).

But what I don't get is the frequent and disturbing disconnect between having the (physical) ability to accomplish such feats of daring do and the necessary wherewithal to do so (the, ahem...money)...the disconnect between that and understanding the domino effect such a desire and excursion might have on everyone else connected to it..in this case poor Sherpas who are are, essentially, factory workers.

Since this last tragic event the Sherpas are rebelling against their poor pay and the paltry compensation of $400 per family offered by the government and refusing to climb. Wealthy climbers are on their side (mostly)...but why did it take this disaster for anyone to speak up on their behalf?

To me this thinking is the same as the denial of the pitfalls of globalization - American manufacturers could easily take advantage of poor Chinese, Indian, Taiwanese and Indonesian workers when having their products made abroad, because they could say, "Hey, I'm only paying them $3 an hour, but it's $2.50 more a hour than they used to make," or "I know they live in shanty towns at the end of the day, but at least they are not sleeping on the street."

This is the wretched They Are Lucky They Have a Job reasoning that leads to all manner of mischief, wrong-doing, pocket-fattening, back-slapping...and denial. Mostly denial. The sort of denial that leads one to say, "Hey...this has nothing to do with me. I'm paying what I'm asked to pay. I worked hard for this. I don't have anything to do with Nepal's policies toward their Sherpas. Ain't my problem!"

Maybe I'm fooling myself. Maybe if I had so much money that I could afford to mount an expedition to Everest and go through the training to make myself worthy of such an effort, I wouldn't think about the domino effect either. I'll never know the answer to that, will I?

But I do know that not so long ago an FAA examiner criticized me harshly when I described myself as a conservative pilot, which I sensed he interpreted as cowardice or lack of knowledge. He told me didn't believe in being conservative, that in his mind there was no such thing as risk-taking or non-risk taking...that there is only interpreting information and if the information says fly...then I should fly.

I don't agree with him. I have only my own brain to work with. And while I'm trained to know that I have to trust my instruments in a plane, rather than my own sense of things, I also believe that in life when we cut ourselves off from a larger, greater, deeper "sense" of things and we rely solely on "information," it allows us to fall prey to our plan, the thing we are in pursuit of, that thing that we will not let go of for anything or anyone or any circumstance.

What's a little snow, a little crevasse, an ice fall? What's a little hardship, a little fear? Goddammit I came all this way and I'm going to have my day!!!!

Is the difference between his POV and mine experience? Is it male vs. female thinking? I don't know. I wager I'll always be fascinated with Everest. But I know myself...I would turn back if I got a "feeling" something wasn't right.

Just like yesterday, when I was to have begun a 2 1/2 week road trip, but the weather Gods are not cooperating. I stayed put yesterday, and I'm staying put today.

I want to arrive at the other end and listen to the birds say good bye to their day...

I want to hear tree leaves whistle in the wind one more day...

I want to hear the honking of horns on the streets, the sounds of forks and knives clacking against china at Eataly....

I want to make another homemade vegetarian pizza for friends...

I want to enjoy the sound of music...

And watch the magic of clouds rushing by in the Spring sky...

All of that...is pennies compared with climbing Everest...

Perhaps in my next life.

#MtEverest   #Sherpas   #LastMinutesonEverest  ___

2014-05-04 16:16:47 (10 comments, 2 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

KIANA "I went in there thinking none of the students at Fieldston would understand what any of the kids from my school go through on a daily basis, because they’re most likely all from rich households. But my partner and I had a lot more in common than I thought we would, and these kids were not stuck up like I thought they’d be. Some of them went through similar things that kids from my school have gone through — in some cases, maybe worse.”

I read The Tale of Two Schools with intense interest because it took me right back to the years of my education when I was a teenager - a girl who was, for all intents and purposes, considered a Have Little among girls who Have A Lot.

I frequently write about education and learning because there isn't a day that goes by when I don't reflect back on those years in my life...because there isn't a daythat go... more »

KIANA "I went in there thinking none of the students at Fieldston would understand what any of the kids from my school go through on a daily basis, because they’re most likely all from rich households. But my partner and I had a lot more in common than I thought we would, and these kids were not stuck up like I thought they’d be. Some of them went through similar things that kids from my school have gone through — in some cases, maybe worse.”

I read The Tale of Two Schools with intense interest because it took me right back to the years of my education when I was a teenager - a girl who was, for all intents and purposes, considered a Have Little among girls who Have A Lot.

I frequently write about education and learning because there isn't a day that goes by when I don't reflect back on those years in my life...because there isn't a day that goes by when I don't feel fortunate for my educational opportunities.

When I was a teenager we didn't have formally offered "partnerships in friendship," in which two students whose financial circumstances were radically different had an opportunity to get to know one another, to understand something about each other's circumstances, to begin to break down the barriers that are often created by Having and Not Having.

As many of the students in this article state, it can be extremely difficult for young people (or adults for that matter) to raise the issue of the socio-economic status into which someone was born and the immediate and lasting impact it can have on that person's life. It can make people extremely uncomfortable, dividing them into opposing camps with seemingly little in common.

Kids who were born into less than fortunate circumstances often feel ashamed and angry and confused...they can never understand (because it isn't fundamentally understandable) why they were born into families without a lot of money (Was it their fault? Did they do something wrong? Are they not worthy? Or good? Or bright? Did they not deserve a better life?) How are they supposed to make sense of it and not feel judged?

So too do kids who come from wealth often feel embarrassed or guilty or defensive about being able to afford things their less fortunate friends can't afford...and they can never understand (because it isn't fundamentally understandable) why they were born into families with a more secure financial foundation (Are they better in some way? Is it fair? Are they more worthy? Is it just the luck of the draw? Do they deserve it?) How are they supposed to make sense of it and not feel judged?

For the Fieldston and University Heights schools to actually provide a structure in which students from vastly different worlds can reach out to one another and connect - as human beings, as intellects, and grapple with these issues openly - is something I wish I had had when I was young, and something I wish all kids could have.

A decade ago when my mother died and I returned to my hometown, I had an impromptu dinner with a woman who has remained very influential at the school I was fortunate to attend when I was 14. When I told her how it felt to be a student who was a Have Not in a school of Haves (most of the students were, but certainly not all of them) she responded by reminding me of the quality of my education...that it was the best money could buy.

I agreed with her, but told her that despite the educational opportunity I had been given, it was still a huge emotional and psychological challenge to deal with how different my life was from the lives of my friends. On the one hand, we read the same books, attended the same classes and took the same tests. Our days were filled with the same structure and there was the appearance, because of the egalitarian way in which our teachers and the administrators treated us, that we were the same, that we were equal. But we were not equals to one another in a crucial way - socio-economic status.

Because at the end of the day I would go home and have to deal with the reality of my different circumstances and it was not easy, given my limited emotional and psychological understanding of life at that age. I struggled for many years to figure out who I was within it, how to fit into the world, how to transform myself from a person who often felt like she was on the outside looking in. I struggled to learn how to relate to people who were not like me...at least I thought they were not like me.

To the credit of this influential and deeply caring woman with whom I was having dinner, she admitted that she didn't know what that must have felt like...because no one ever talked about it publicly. It just wasn't discussed...because it made people too uncomfortable.

Looking back on it all, I can say without question that it was the attention of certain wise, skilled and visionary teachers, as well as the friendship of certain students I met (many of them boys at the associated boys school) who pulled me out of it. I have remained good friends with several people from those years, who, I believe do know who I am as an individual, not associated with any particular socio-economic status.

I think for a student from either side of the socio-economic dividing line it takes courage, curiosity, strength, vulnerability and an intense desire to fly into the unknown of the other side.

I loved this story. I think it's powerful. I wish it would become the beginning of a worldwide dialogue. If students were to learn to have this dialogue with one another when they are young...can we imagine what wisdom they would bring with them into the world as they become adults...and begin to work, to lead, to employ others...and then as they become parents themselves and play forward the legacy of a dialogue that breaks down barriers.

I have always believed that dialogue is a hugely underrated path to peace. But the partners have to be willing....

This is a good read if you have the time. I also copy below the link to an essay I wrote on my favorite teacher when I was a teenager. His name was James O'Leary and he passed away last year. I will never forget the impact he had on my life.

Remembering a Friend:
http://giselleminoli.com/writing/2013/remembering-a-friend/

Thanks for reading, everyone.

Have a great Sunday.

Giselle

#TheTaleofTwoSchools   #Education  ___

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2014-05-02 12:18:52 (12 comments, 2 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 


A horse is a horse, of course of course,
And this one will paint 'til his mouth says Ouch,
You've never heard of a painting horse? 
Well, listen to this... 
For I am Metro Meteor 

'Tis true. Really...'tis. There is horse therapy for people - souls who are shy, or who have been traumatized in some way, or who have illnesses and need to connect with creatures more sensitive than humans.

And there is art therapy for humans - souls who have dementia, or who are cooped up in nursing homes, or who are immobilized, or for any of a number of reasons young souls, old souls, any soul that might need to be put in touch with the healing powers of art.

So why not a former super star race horse, riddled with arthritis, bone chips in his knees, aches, pains, crankiness of the sort that every human being canun... more »


A horse is a horse, of course of course,
And this one will paint 'til his mouth says Ouch,
You've never heard of a painting horse? 
Well, listen to this... 
For I am Metro Meteor 

'Tis true. Really...'tis. There is horse therapy for people - souls who are shy, or who have been traumatized in some way, or who have illnesses and need to connect with creatures more sensitive than humans.

And there is art therapy for humans - souls who have dementia, or who are cooped up in nursing homes, or who are immobilized, or for any of a number of reasons young souls, old souls, any soul that might need to be put in touch with the healing powers of art.

So why not a former super star race horse, riddled with arthritis, bone chips in his knees, aches, pains, crankiness of the sort that every human being can understand, but with which few but unseen Saints and Angels sympathize?

One of the owners of Metro Meteor, who was painter himself and therefore could attest to the pleasures of painting, figured, "Hey, why not...I'll teach Metro Meteor to paint and his life might improve."

And it did.

And Metro Meteor is now famous as a painter.

And the money he makes painting canvases, and tote bags (in a licensing agreement with Dream Green USA) and making, well, you know.... horse art ...goes to help for the the veterinary and living expenses of other creatures in need.

I don't know...it's the Eve of the Kentucky Derby, and there are all of those horrid stories about how some of the most famous horse trainers in American are abusing these beasts with drugs and electric buzzers to make them run faster and I just thought this story was a nice antidote pre-horse racing weekend.

The videos (there is Part II below) are charming. Inspired I was by a story in the Times yesterday, called If Pollock (as in Jackson) could Whinny, (methinks he would approve and worry just a tad about the competition!:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/01/garden/if-pollock-could-whinny.html?src=dayp

Calling Goggle+'s very own art essayist: +Susanne Ramharter and +Mara Rose whose own horse has had it's own physical troubles in recent years...because I thought you both might particularly enjoy this.

Cheers, everyone. And have a lovely weekend.

Giselle

Metro Meteor, The Painting Race Horse, Part II:
Metro The Painting Horse Part II

#MetroMeteor   #PaintingRaceHorse   #DreamGreenUSA  ___

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2014-04-29 16:20:47 (93 comments, 9 reshares, 33 +1s)Open 

I hardly know where to begin deconstructing some of the lunacy in the attached article about why girls are doing better in school and the work place at the moment than boys, but here is one of the more inane quotes that has gotten under my skin: ...today’s education system fails to acknowledge the profound differences between boys and girls. It asks boys to sit still for hours every day and provides them with few role models in front of the classroom. Just as the dearth of female science professors hampers would-be female science majors in college, the dearth of male fourth-grade teachers creates problems for 10-year-old boys.

I hadn't known, until now, but I'm awfully glad I've finally been enlightened, that asking women to sit still for hours every day - in their cubicles as secretaries, receptionists, typists, production assistants, manicurists...whatever - is somehowa... more »

I hardly know where to begin deconstructing some of the lunacy in the attached article about why girls are doing better in school and the work place at the moment than boys, but here is one of the more inane quotes that has gotten under my skin: ...today’s education system fails to acknowledge the profound differences between boys and girls. It asks boys to sit still for hours every day and provides them with few role models in front of the classroom. Just as the dearth of female science professors hampers would-be female science majors in college, the dearth of male fourth-grade teachers creates problems for 10-year-old boys.

I hadn't known, until now, but I'm awfully glad I've finally been enlightened, that asking women to sit still for hours every day - in their cubicles as secretaries, receptionists, typists, production assistants, manicurists...whatever - is somehow acceptable and okay because they were, what? Naturally predisposed to sitting still in school like good little girls? While men are somehow naturally in need of more "physical activity" in their lives and can't be expected, when they are boys, to sit in their chairs long enough to learn how to concentrate, to focus, to be good students and, what else? Figure out how to make a living in this insane new economy when they grow up?

Nor had I known that there seems to be a lack of role models for little boys and that the world seems to be overproducing role models for little girls. I don't recall having any female role models growing up. All of my educational and professional role models have been men!

Aside from the plethora of evidence that girls are indeed more mature, focused and attentive at a younger age than boys, aside from the plethora of evidence that indeed girls (now) outnumber boys in college and higher education, aside from the plethora of evidence that women are taking over as breadwinners - not because they are being paid more money, but because there are more women working than men - aside from these facts, I entirely disagree with the why this is so that David Leonhardt offers up as his assessment of the problem in A Link Between Fidgety Boys and a Sputtering Economy.

Just a few subjective nuggets of observation from my own personal life and work experience, and a few objective observations from years of personal and work life: little boys are born, bred, raised and taught to believe that multi-tasking is for other people (namely girls)...that if they focus on just one thing they will excel at it, get ahead, prosper, and win the corner office sooner or later.

Girls, on the other hand, are still born, bred, raised and taught to believe that it is they who must be good at multi-tasking...because they cannot depend upon or rely upon any certainty whatsoever - there is no guarantee at all that if they work hard and do well that they will win a job, get promoted or paid well for their work. Instead, they are taught to always have a back-up plan, or, in fact, one or two or three back-up plans because they have to be prepared to make a living however it plays out for them in reality.

This characteristic, which has been born and bred into girls for centuries - do your math/learn to cook, learn to read and speak/learn to answer the phone, learn to write/ learn to type, learn to organize/learn how to sweep the floor and make the bed, learn how to put yourself together for a meeting/learn how to sew and do the laundry - it is these repetitive trained and taught lessons in multi-tasking over centuries that is now giving girls and women the upper hand in school and in the work place.

Girls simply work harder at more things because they have to. It is expected of them - at home and at work. Another point from the article:

Two of the leading theories involve single-parent families and schools. The number of single-parent families has surged over the last generation, and the effect seems to be larger on boys in those families than girls. Girls who grow up with only one parent — typically a mother — fare almost as well on average as girls with two parents. Boys don’t.

Right. Because single mothers teach their girls to be self-reliant. They need their daughters to help them at home and they teach their daughters how to survive. This is an evolutionary issue if ever there were one.

Weirdly, if ever there were a case where centuries of discrimination against girls might ultimately have a positive effect on their gender in the long run, it is in the fact that by having to be their own internal role models, by having to fight so hard and so long to get to the top, by having to constantly make arguments in defense of oneself...indeed, by having to win virtually everything that comes naturally to men - the right to vote, the right to work, the right to control one's own body - girls are coming out of the corner boxing and ready to go the entire round.

While, on the other hand, the message that boys have always gotten, which is that they don't have to fight for those things because they are naturally entitled to them, has now given rise to a sort of disbelief about the cold reality of life - a sort of disbelief that the world is no longer their personal and collective oyster.

Another completely crazy-making statement is this one: Some, like Ms. Buchmann and Mr. DiPrete, point out that boys still do quite well in the best-performing schools. When good grades bring high status, boys respond. To the researchers in this camp, the answer involves improving schools, which will have a disproportionate effect on boys, rather than changing schools to be more attuned to boys’ needs.

That is exactly part of the problem. Our educational, social and cultural system has taught boys that status is conferred on them automatically as a result of getting, what? Good grades? Having a title? Making a lot of money? Being in a position of authority?

I could never even begin to count the number of superb female students, the number of superb female thinkers who work hard, score well on tests, are brilliant at work...I can't count the number of these women I have met and worked with in my life who have never had any status of any kind whatsoever conferred upon them. In fact, more often than not they don't ever expect it to. They don't feel that working hard and going to the right schools...and doing everything right entitles them to anything. This is the difference between boys and girls.

The solution is to teach parents and schools to respect their girls and their boys equally (a few months ago I posted about how parents focused their attention on the intelligence of their boys, while focusing their attention on the weight of their girls...), which does not mean that boys and girls learn, grow and mature in the same way. 

But what it certainly does not mean is believing some cockamamie gobbledygook about how boys can't sit still and girls can. 

Sorry, boys, I can't sit still either, but I had to learn to do a lot of things at a very early age in order to survive and not all of it was fun. And so have a lot of other women I know.

When are we going to stop coddling boys? In school and in the workplace?

I think David Leonhardt is way off the mark on this one.

#DavidLeonhardt   #GenderDifferencesInEducation   #BoysRoleModels   #GirlsRoleModels  ___

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2014-04-27 18:29:01 (55 comments, 17 reshares, 73 +1s)Open 

I did not grow up with money, but I was a smart kid and got scholarships to attend top notch schools with other kids who did grow up with a lot of money. During my high school and college years it was always more than a little strange, and admittedly often painful, to have a Close Encounter of the Money Kind with someone who grew up with a vastly different financial security blanket than I did.

My school chums were good people - smart and funny, talented and ambitious in diverse ways. But there was always a kind of eye-glaze thing that happened when the conversation would suddenly turn to money, perhaps because my classmates were going on a family holiday over Christmas and I was staying at school to fulfill the work study part of my financial package.

I don't recall ever being jealous of a friend whose journey through life was more padded than mine. But I do recall being affected... more »

I did not grow up with money, but I was a smart kid and got scholarships to attend top notch schools with other kids who did grow up with a lot of money. During my high school and college years it was always more than a little strange, and admittedly often painful, to have a Close Encounter of the Money Kind with someone who grew up with a vastly different financial security blanket than I did.

My school chums were good people - smart and funny, talented and ambitious in diverse ways. But there was always a kind of eye-glaze thing that happened when the conversation would suddenly turn to money, perhaps because my classmates were going on a family holiday over Christmas and I was staying at school to fulfill the work study part of my financial package.

I don't recall ever being jealous of a friend whose journey through life was more padded than mine. But I do recall being affected by comments that were not, I don't think, designed to hurt me intentionally, but were rather the result of a kind of money-blindness that would lead to a youthful callousness about something that I assumed (and I still do) could only come from an utter lack of awareness about all the things that money buys.

I remember being tired by junior year because I'd had to work right through every summer and holiday break. A friend suggested I just quit my job and take off the rest of the summer, completely ignorant of the fact that I would have to drop out of school if I did. She didn't know what to say when I told her it wasn't possible.

Years later at a reunion with one of my high school chums, whom I hadn't seen in many decades and who had become very wealthy in the interim, I told him how much I had admired and liked his successful father, who had always been very kind to me when we were growing up.

I was incredulous when he told me that in his opinion his father hadn't really been all that successful...not when compared to the amount of money that he, was now making. I said, "But you took over your father's business. You couldn't have done that without him. How can you say that?" The stare, oh the stare...

Years after that, when I began designing and making fine jewelry and selling it nationally, I needed a lawyer to do some things for me and when she told me her fee, I practically gagged and said, "I don't have that kind of money." She responded by saying, "That's impossible. Don't you have a rich relative who can give you the money?" When I told her that I didn't, she said, simply "Huh. How strange."

Strange? Or just uncomfortable for her?

She herself was what we have all come to call A Trust Fund Baby. She worked hard. There was no question about that. She was smart. And talented. But within all that education, talent and smarts, there was a disturbing blindness to the reality of people unlike her, a kind of cold shoulder thrown in the direction of someone whose life circumstances were different than hers, circumstances that might require a different kind of thinking and understanding...not the sort of thinking, analysis, empathy and understanding of others she would be likely to find in a law book.

Each of these people I suppose would now be called a member of the 1%. I dislike labels and groups. They feel so exclusive, and not in a good way (Is there such a thing as a good label or group?).

While I used to defensively scream and yell about being called a Bleeding Heart Liberal, now I readily admit that I am. While I used to cringe when in the company of a colleague who might (teasingly) accuse me of being a Marxist when I defend the need for social, cultural and educational programs, now I readily say, "Okay...what's so bad about being a Marxist? And can you really call me a Marxist if I have worked since I was 14, supported myself my entire life, started my own business with my own money, have always paid my own bills and believe in the value of working hard...all the while believing that it's impossible to have a civilized society without social programs?"

I don't think inheriting wealth is inherently bad. I don't think that anyone can say that being born into a wealthy family is a bad thing. Circumstances are circumstances. In Buddhism it is said we choose our families, from which we will then learn many things (that is an over-simplification, but...nonetheless).

No, the issue with having extreme wealth or its opposite is a lack of consciousness about how it affects the conversation, relationships, communication and inter-relationships with those around us. My childhood chum was insulting to his father when he dismissed his success and, without being aware of it, was insulting to my mother who had so much less money than his father it was laughable...insulting because his money had created a barrier between him and his understanding about, his knowledge of, other people.

The attached talk between Paul Krugman and Bill Moyers centers on THE BOOK that has everyone talking this past week. It is called Capital in the Twenty-First Century, by French Economist Thomas Piketty. Here is but one quote from this interesting and short talk about Piketty's book, which is being hailed as the most important economic tome in decades:

We are headed into a future dominated by inherited wealth, as capital concentrates on fewer and fewer hands giving the very rich ever greater power over politics, governments and society. For those who work for a living, the level of inequality in the US is probably higher than any other society at any time in the past anywhere in the world, Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century

And here is Moyer's introduction to the discussion of the essence of the book  - Inherited Wealth and how it affects everything in our lives:

Patrimonial Capitalism is the name for it, and it has potentially terrifying consequences for Democracy. Over 3 decades between 1977 and 2007 60% of our national income went to the richest 1% of Americans. No wonder the 1% doesn’t want the 99% to read it. - Bill Moyers

Okay, so I admit it...I'm a Marxist and you can now all head for the kills screaming, "Oh, No! A Marxist is on Google+. Run!" But so too, apparently, are Thomas Piketty...and Bill Moyers...and Paul Krugman Marxists. Or something. And I feel like I'm in very good company suddenly.

Oops...I did say I don't like labels, didn't I? Apologies... ;)

Capital in the Twenty-First Century is being written about everywhere, this week, but since I'm featuring a Paul Krugman talk with Moyers, you can read more here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/25/opinion/krugman-the-piketty-panic.html?ref=opinion

Take a watch, won't you? It's important.

And thank you for taking the time to read - if you have it to spare - as always.

Cheers, everyone. 

Giselle

Columnist Biography: Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman joined The New York Times in 1999 as a columnist on the Op-Ed Page and continues as professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Mr. Krugman received his B.A. from Yale University in 1974 and his Ph.D. from MIT in 1977. He has taught at Yale, MIT and Stanford. At MIT he became the Ford International Professor of Economics.

Mr. Krugman is the author or editor of 20 books and more than 200 papers in professional journals and edited volumes. His professional reputation rests largely on work in international trade and finance; he is one of the founders of the "new trade theory," a major rethinking of the theory of international trade. In recognition of that work, in 1991 the American Economic Association awarded him its John Bates Clark medal, a prize given every two years to "that economist under forty who is adjudged to have made a significant contribution to economic knowledge." Mr. Krugman's current academic research is focused on economic and currency crises.

At the same time, Mr. Krugman has written extensively for a broader public audience. Some of his recent articles on economic issues, originally published in Foreign Affairs, Harvard Business Review, Scientific American and other journals, are reprinted in Pop Internationalism and The Accidental Theorist.

#thomaspiketty   #PaulKrugman   #CapitalInTheTwentyFirstCentury
 ___

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2014-04-17 23:11:47 (25 comments, 13 reshares, 61 +1s)Open 

My favorite writer has died. I remember reading One Hundred Years of Solitude in a state of wonderment. It was pure joy to read one of his sentences, some of which marched on defiantly for pages. Marquez's exuberance of expression, his refusal to bow to any of the many rules so many would impose on writers - be brief, pare down, trim, don't decorate or embellish, be clear, make it easy, keep your characters to a minimum - felt like being let out of prison. Like flying. I could taste his words. Smell them. Feel them. Hear them. See the pictures they painted, the characters he described.

I thought, 'This is writing. It is cooking, painting, composing, gardening, architecting, weaving and sculpting all at once. It is the Big Bang. Except that you don't have to wait millions of years for the light to reach you. It is immediate. Visceral. Delicious. Unforgettable.

But... more »

My favorite writer has died. I remember reading One Hundred Years of Solitude in a state of wonderment. It was pure joy to read one of his sentences, some of which marched on defiantly for pages. Marquez's exuberance of expression, his refusal to bow to any of the many rules so many would impose on writers - be brief, pare down, trim, don't decorate or embellish, be clear, make it easy, keep your characters to a minimum - felt like being let out of prison. Like flying. I could taste his words. Smell them. Feel them. Hear them. See the pictures they painted, the characters he described.

I thought, 'This is writing. It is cooking, painting, composing, gardening, architecting, weaving and sculpting all at once. It is the Big Bang. Except that you don't have to wait millions of years for the light to reach you. It is immediate. Visceral. Delicious. Unforgettable.

But it was Marquez's books about love that had the biggest impact on me. Love in the Time of Cholera, a story about an aging man's lifelong love for a woman who had rejected him when he was young, told of a kind of love rarely read (or written) about anymore. Romantic. Sentimental, oozing with joy, sorrow, pain...with, well, love!

And Memories of My Melancholy Whores, about another old man's late life yearnings, peeled away the sorrows, joys, pleasures and sadnesses of aging - the skin and body crumbling, but desire and imagination living until one's last breadth.

Marquez was called a Magic Realist. Yes. Like life. Real. And magical. It is not possible to write like he did without having had the capacity to live it fully.

How cruel that he had developed dementia. My mother had Alzheimer's and there were many times when I thought that she was simply living in her own world, one that I had been excluded from entirely.

Not so dissimilar from what it feels like to me to read Marquez. Lost within my own little world, a whirlwind of expression, free-flowing, emotional, imaginative, free-spirited and free-associative. A world of real magic.

Hard to believe there won't be another gem of a book from this brilliant man. I can only hope that wherever his soul has been spirited off to, that world is as magical as the one he has given us.

RIP Gabriel Garcia Marquez. 

#GabrielGarciaMarquez   #LoveIntheTimeofCholera   #OneHundredYearsofSolitude   #MemoriesofMyMelancholyWhores  ___

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2014-04-12 17:56:55 (30 comments, 7 reshares, 73 +1s)Open 

It's Spring. Finally. I don't remember a time in my life when I have not been viscerally affected by nature. Everything changes within me. A particular kind of joy is woken up. Details are more detailed. Colors are more colorful. I can feel on my skin the difference between 'wind,' 'breeze,' 'gust' and 'gale,' oh so much more personally than trying to describe them with words. 

I am instantly lonely when the sun starts to go down, as though I am saying goodbye to a friend I will never again see. I become giddy about a pending sunrise, as though I have never before seen one and I have just regained my eyesight after a long period of mysterious blindness.

I can watch a caterpillar make its way across the patio for an hour and think I have spent my time quite wisely.

I will try to predict in which direction the gloriously orange Cardinal... more »

It's Spring. Finally. I don't remember a time in my life when I have not been viscerally affected by nature. Everything changes within me. A particular kind of joy is woken up. Details are more detailed. Colors are more colorful. I can feel on my skin the difference between 'wind,' 'breeze,' 'gust' and 'gale,' oh so much more personally than trying to describe them with words. 

I am instantly lonely when the sun starts to go down, as though I am saying goodbye to a friend I will never again see. I become giddy about a pending sunrise, as though I have never before seen one and I have just regained my eyesight after a long period of mysterious blindness.

I can watch a caterpillar make its way across the patio for an hour and think I have spent my time quite wisely.

I will try to predict in which direction the gloriously orange Cardinal that sings in the apple tree will next take flight.

I will wonder if the bumblebee that hovers near my open door - so that pungently sweet aroma of cow manure can fill my nostrils with another kind of Spring reality - will come inside to its eventual death, or if it will opt to prolong the freedom it already has.

I think about Gift From The Sea, Anne Morrow Lindbergh's paean to women and nature and love and life.

The shell in my hand is deserted. It once housed a whelk, a snail-like creature, and then temporarily, after the death of the first occupant, a little hermit crab, who has run away, leaving his tracks behind him like a delicate vine on the sand. He ran away, and left me his shell. It was once a protection to him. I turn the shell in my hand, gazing into the wide open door from which he made his exit.

I think about the opening words of Spring and Fall, a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins that I fell in love with in college.

MÁRGARÉT, áre you gríeving 
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, líke the things of man, you 
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Áh! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why 
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for

I think about a verse from When One Has Lived a Long Time Alone, a poem by Galway Kinnell.

When one has lived a long time alone,
one can fall to poring upon a creature,
contrasting its eternity's-face to one's own
full of hours, taking note of each difference,
exaggerating it, making it everything,
until the other is utterly other, and then,
with hard effort, possibly with tongue sticking out,
going back over each one once again
and cancelling it, seeing nothing now
but likeness, until . . . half an hour later
one starts awake, taken aback at how eagerly
one swoons into the happiness of kinship,
when one has lived a long time alone.

I think about Walt Whitman, and To the Sunset Breeze in his Leaves of Grass.

Ah, whispering, something again, unseen
Where late this heated day thou enterest at my window, door,
Thou, laving, tempering all, cool-freshing, gently vitalizing
Me, old, alone, sick, weak-down, melted-worn with sweat;
Thou, nestling, folding close and firm yet soft,
companion better than talk, book, art,
(Thou hast, O Nature! elements! utterance to my heart beyond the rest - and this is of them,)
So sweet thy primitive taste to breathe within - thy soothing fingers on my face and hands...

If I am lucky, I will get to stay for a day. If I cannot, perhaps my memory will do me the kindness of recording the splendor of how I feel, so that when I awake at night, or walk down the streets of New York City in the howling traffic, that, too, will feel and sound and look like nature to me.

Because, in fact, everything is a kind of nature in the end. Isn't it?

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Giselle

Spring and Fall: to a young girl, by Gerard Manley Hopkins:
http://www.bartleby.com/122/31.html

When One Has Lived a Long Time Alone, by Galway Kinnell:
http://inwardboundpoetry.blogspot.com/2006/03/81-when-one-has-lived-galway-kinnell.html

Gift From the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindbergh:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5232208

Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1322/1322-h/1322-h.htm

#Poetry   #WaltWhitman   #GerardManleyHopkins   #AnneMorrowLindbergh   #GalwayKinnell   #Spring  ___

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2014-04-08 16:20:55 (119 comments, 33 reshares, 135 +1s)Open 

Dear Men of Google+:

I've been on G+ since the second week of its existence, and from the very beginning I've felt welcomed by men on this platform. This was eye-opening, because, as a writer of literary nonfiction, some of which explores social, cultural and political issues that affect the lives of women (in which I'm naturally interested given that my father died when I was young, and my mother became a working mom within 24 hours), I'd always been warned to stay away from anything on social media that could ignite the dreaded fear of feminism - you know, all that ooga booga booga about politics and religion at the dinner table.

Stay away, for instance, from raising the issue that it's 2014, but women still make, on average, only 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns.

But G+ is a long table at which interesting people talk about things that are... more »

Dear Men of Google+:

I've been on G+ since the second week of its existence, and from the very beginning I've felt welcomed by men on this platform. This was eye-opening, because, as a writer of literary nonfiction, some of which explores social, cultural and political issues that affect the lives of women (in which I'm naturally interested given that my father died when I was young, and my mother became a working mom within 24 hours), I'd always been warned to stay away from anything on social media that could ignite the dreaded fear of feminism - you know, all that ooga booga booga about politics and religion at the dinner table.

Stay away, for instance, from raising the issue that it's 2014, but women still make, on average, only 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns.

But G+ is a long table at which interesting people talk about things that are important to them, and I have had the continual pleasure of meeting scores of men here who are just as concerned about and interested in issues that effect women as they are in issues that affect men...primarily, I assume, because they know that life cannot be harmonious, happy and healthy when major issues throw life out of serious balance for one of the two human genders walking Mother Earth.

These men have mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters and daughters about whom they care and their concern for their well being is evident when I post about how education, employment opportunities, healthcare, and religious and cultural beliefs that affect the women they love. Often the most interesting conversation comes from men who are concerned that women are still fighting for equality.

So...consider this my open letter to you men, some of whom are married to women in the work force, some of whom are fathers to daughters going through school and dreaming about what they want to be when they grow up, some of whom are brothers to women who have decided to take a risk and start their own businesses after years of working for someone else, some of whom may have been, like me, the child of a working mother and who watched her struggle to get a raise, who watched her have to pay higher interest rates for her mortgage, her car loan and her credit cards - because she was a credit risk - some of whom may witness on a day-to-day basis something that makes life less than equal for the women in your workplace.

You might be aware of a woman who is absolutely qualified for a promotion and she needs a champion. You could be that champion. You might be aware that a woman is not getting paid what she should be paid, and you could speak up on her behalf. You might work with a woman whose title does not befit her actual role, and you could help her shape her argument for one that does reflect her contribution. You may know a woman who could use a mentor in your organization. You could be that mentor.

When I was growing up I watched as my older brother was essentially surrounded by older male mentors, who brought him into their businesses, who mentored him, who coached him, who were there for him after our father died. This is often not the case for young women, because even though the work force is now growing with the talents of women, those women are still working in less skilled positions, rather than in high level management positions where they can act as mentors to emerging women.

I was captivated before the Winter Olympics by the story of Jessica Jerome, who told her father when she was in second grade that she wanted to be a ski jumper, and his initial reaction was that he didn't want his daughter getting hurt. But her ambition, her talent and her perseverance eventually won him over and her father, Peter, ultimately became her champion, spending ten years fighting for the right for women to compete as ski jumpers in the Olympics.

I was particularly interested in this story because Peter Jerome is a pilot for Delta, and aviation is yet another field where there are few women (only 6%). As a general aviation private pilot, every week I find myself asking, "Where are the women pilots?"

I don't blame Peter Jerome for not getting actively involved championing something that affects women until he was confronted with having to help his own daughter. I don't blame him because I think that Father/Son bond and mentorship is something that women have not had access to because not every mother works outside of the home, or wants to work outside of the home, and that is a choice I respect.

But...for the young woman who does need that mentorship, step out, won't you? And help us change the sad fact that in 2014 women still only make .77cents on each dollar that a man earns.

Think about what it would mean for the emotional and psychological health of boys and girls raised together if they knew their work "worth" were equally valued. If your daughters could dream as big as your sons. If the challenges that face your wives and daughters only relate to their willingness to roll up their sleeves and work hard, but not to some invisible ceiling above which they will never be allowed to climb, the stratosphere in which the pay is stellar.

Think about what our economy would be like if men and women worked toward the same goal of parity and mutual respect.

Think about the things that are hard to imagine: how such parity would affect peace, economic growth, our individual and collective physical health. Think about the businesses that would be created.

Think about what it would be like to live and work in a country where women and men make equal pay for equal work.

Think about the smiles on the faces of your wives. Think about how it will shift the conversations you will have with your daughters about their futures. Think about how it will shift virtually...everything!

For good order's sake, below is the link to the most recent article about this issue, which inspired this post:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/08/us/politics/as-obama-spotlights-gender-gap-in-wages-his-own-payroll-draws-scrutiny.html?hp

Thanks so much for reading.

Giselle

#EqualPayforEqualWork  ___

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2014-04-06 14:59:58 (34 comments, 2 reshares, 26 +1s)Open 

Titstare is an app where you take photos of yourself staring at tits, Mr. (David) Boulton began, as photographs of women’s chests on a cellphone flashed on the screen behind him. After some banter, Mr. (Jethro) Batts concluded, This is the breast hack ever.

I always feel a little strange when I read about some new toy, or game, or app featuring women's body parts that has been thunk up by fellas to entertain themselves. It's not that I don't get it. After all I did grow up with an older brother and, yep, Playboy was there right alongside National Geographic, which seems oddly animalistic and appropriate if you want to justify it in some sort of twisted way. You know...an appreciation of all that nature and stuff.

Most boys go through the I think I'll hide the Playboys under my bed where no one will ever find them stage of life. This,a... more »

Titstare is an app where you take photos of yourself staring at tits, Mr. (David) Boulton began, as photographs of women’s chests on a cellphone flashed on the screen behind him. After some banter, Mr. (Jethro) Batts concluded, This is the breast hack ever.

I always feel a little strange when I read about some new toy, or game, or app featuring women's body parts that has been thunk up by fellas to entertain themselves. It's not that I don't get it. After all I did grow up with an older brother and, yep, Playboy was there right alongside National Geographic, which seems oddly animalistic and appropriate if you want to justify it in some sort of twisted way. You know...an appreciation of all that nature and stuff.

Most boys go through the I think I'll hide the Playboys under my bed where no one will ever find them stage of life. This, as we all know, gets very tiring and sooner or later they just haul them out and leave them, well, everywhere, frankly, most particularly and peculiarly and predictably in the bathroom for their sisters and mothers to wonder about and ponder when they're blow drying their hair.

There is a brand new TV show (a comedy, of course) called Surviving Jack, which is actually quite funny. How appropriate was it, though, that the pilot episode considered the fact that Jack's (Yes, teenaged) son, had stolen a bunch of Playboys and buried them (Yes, buried them) in the backyard and was digging them out at night in his tight whites (Yes, you read that right) and was caught by his father, (the afore-mentioned Jack) who sat his son down and told him words to the effect of, "You will never go to bed with a woman who looks like that in your life," to which his son said, "Yes, I will," to which Jack replied, "No, you won't," adding, "And real women don't screw like that in real life," to which his son said, "Yes, they do," to which Jack replied, "No. They. Don't."

Most women tolerate the inanity of it all (we have our own fantasies fellas, one of which is that our boyfriends or significant others actually think about us from time-to-time and not pictures of some other babe's anatomy) and figure that it's just something we have to put up with, like plastic water bottles on top of Mount Everest or something.

Besides, if we ever do open our mouths about how, What? Disgusting? Stupid? Childish? Boring? Meat-headed? it all is, we are likely to be called an 8 letter word starting with an 'F' and ending with a 'T.' Better to let boys be boys, yawn, and walk away.

Then along came computers, and our beloved internet and our even more beloved favorite apps and the possibility that every girl's brother and every mother's son and every woman's husband or business parter or cubicle mate gets to remain a Peter Pan becomes a distinct, and less than humorous, reality.

Enter, to take full advantage of modern technology, one young David Boulton and one young Jethro Batts and their adorable app called Titstare, which allows you fellas to take selfies of yourselves (?) staring at, What? Boobs? Yes. Boobs.

As I said, it's not that I don't get it. How could I not? I mean, we're talking about an essential freedom, aren't we? And freedom, as you know, is my favorite thing to write about. Actually, we're talking about several freedoms...the freedom to read, enjoy and look at whatever you want to read, enjoy and look at. The freedom to fashion a business and create your fortune in whatever way you please (let's not include gun-running, drug dealing, war-mongering, enslaving women, stealing and other assorted dangerous businesses, okay?).

No, we're talking about innocent pictures of yourself staring innocently at nature. No harm done, right? Make a buck...or billions. Have a few yucks. Have Thanksgiving with the family when Dad, Grand Dad, and assorted uncles, brothers, nephews and boys cousins are all slappin' ya on the back and all, sayin' Way to Go with the most excellent bizness Concept Bro! When's the IPO? I'm in! Awesome Dude!

The thing is, I can't help but wonder, within all the freedom to do as we please, make a buck as we please and, well, just to let it all hang out all the time, what the reaction would be if women techies were spending their time inventing apps so that they could take pictures of themselves staring at a man's package.

'Oh, come on! They would never do that. Don't be absurd!'

'They, wouldn't? Why do you say that?'

''Cause women don't do stuff like that. They have better stuff to do.'

'They don't? Why not?'

'Duh! 'Cause they're women! Jeez...'

'Ah, come on. We women can give as good as we get. Fantasize with me for a moment, will you?'

Imagine that same Thanksgiving dinner, except this time the family's star daughter, an engineer and technology wizard from Stanford, unveils her new app that allows women to go junk-shopping in the privacy of their own homes (or at their desks, in the subway, stopped at the stoplight, walking down the street, on the elliptical, or secretly under the table when having dinner with their fellas, or, basically, just whenever they feel like it, no matter the company they are in, including their bosses office when they say, "Excuse me...gotta answer this text..."), her Mom and Dad beaming with pride, the subsequent mass email to the relatives announcing there'd been a VC bidding war to fund Sis's app (let's call it JunkStare, shall we?), Dad going to the office next day and telling everyone about it, and then the whole family on 60 Minutes talking about how egalitarian the world has become, and that, you know, what's good for the gander is good for the goose, and we're sooooooooo proud of our daughter, and isn't it all just grand?

Sunny day here. Going flying.

You?

#Titstare   #WomenInTechnology  ___

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2014-03-30 16:33:38 (58 comments, 0 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

Why can't a woman be more like a man?
Why can't a woman take after a man?
Why can't a woman behave like a man?... 

...bellows Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, my favorite musical from my childhood. I memorized every word...because it was, of course, absurd! And we knew Eliza would end up wrapping Henry 'round her 'lil finger in the end (But don't tell Henry...).

But My Fair Lady was a musical, in which Rex Harrison as Henry was a genius. Audrey Hepburn as Eliza was incomparable, and Wilfred Hyde-White as Colonel Pickering was Higgins' perfect foil...and his conscience, I might add.

My Fair Lady was based on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion (Shaw was a feminist, but I digress...), so it could hardly have been anything other than brilliant, particularly with with Alan Jay Lerner and... more »

Why can't a woman be more like a man?
Why can't a woman take after a man?
Why can't a woman behave like a man?... 

...bellows Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, my favorite musical from my childhood. I memorized every word...because it was, of course, absurd! And we knew Eliza would end up wrapping Henry 'round her 'lil finger in the end (But don't tell Henry...).

But My Fair Lady was a musical, in which Rex Harrison as Henry was a genius. Audrey Hepburn as Eliza was incomparable, and Wilfred Hyde-White as Colonel Pickering was Higgins' perfect foil...and his conscience, I might add.

My Fair Lady was based on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion (Shaw was a feminist, but I digress...), so it could hardly have been anything other than brilliant, particularly with with Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Lowe writing the lyrics and composing the music.

In this classic tale about rich and poor, the educated and the uneducated, manners and boorishness...and supposed differences between men and women, Henry Higgins and Colonel Pickering wax on forever, interminably really. They never stop talking or tire of the sound of their own voices, and we love them for it.

So why does it seem that men are always suggesting that everything be brief...when they themselves are anything but brief? Is it because they have short attention spans? Or speak only one language, a language they therefore require everyone else to speak? Or is it because they don't have time, or don't want to spend the time? Clever isn't it, devising a maxim to accommodate one's personal habits?

Neither Higgins nor Pickering would have paid any attention to Danny Heitman's advice to Keep it Short and keep it brief:

...writing is a kind of talk, a discourse that must eventually answer to the clock. In writing, brevity works not only as a function of space on a page, but the time that an audience is willing to spend with you. Even if the Internet has made infinite texts possible, the reader’s attention is not without end. - Danny Heitman, the NY Times

Well, now. Heitman takes his cue from the clever, articulate and witty E.B. White, who wrote one of my favorite books, Here is New York, an essay on the magic, charms, horrors, highlights and outright improbability of New York City, circa 1949. (Note: any book about New York is likely to be on my hit list, but I digress again...)

However, Heitman got it way wrong when he used White as "proof" that a writer should always strive for brevity, for White, by his own admission, was not fond of reading! Therefore he would hardly have been prone to encourage writers to explore the...how shall I say it...elongated sentence style of a writer like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, for instance.

I was never a voracious reader and, in fact, have done little reading in my life. There are too many other things I would rather do than read….It is a matter of some embarrassment to me that I have never read Joyce and a dozen other writers who have changed the face of literature. But there you are. I picked up Ulysses the other evening, when my eye lit on it, and gave it a go. I stayed with it only for about twenty minutes, then was off and away. It takes more than a genius to keep me reading a book. - E.B. White

So there you have it. You can safely ignore Danny Heitman. And instead of worrying about the length of a sentence or paragraph or poem or song or essay that you are writing, you might concentrate instead on being true to your own voice, spoken or written. Or whether it might be time to expand your color palette, or musical range, or whether you might like to branch out from ballet to break-dancing. Or whether you might like one sentence to be short, the next long, the next filled with every adjective and adverb in your repertoire, and the next missing, perhaps, any apparent verb! Horrors!

I wonder if Heitman reads poetry. Or Shakespeare. Or goes to the theatre. Or museums. Or sings. Or dances. Or takes long walks. Or plays a musical instrument. Or paints. Or daydreams. Or does anything creative. Or sits down to dinner with friends and chats for hours.

Or makes love for more than two minutes...

...without a timer next to his bed...

....but I digress, yet again...

Cheers,
Giselle

Why Can't a Woman Be More Like a Man?
(music by Frederick Loewe; lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner)

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
Why can't a woman be more like a man?
Men are so honest, so thoroughly square;
Eternally noble, historically fair.
Who, when you win, will always give your back a pat.
Why can't a woman be like that?
Why does every one do what the others do?
Can't a woman learn to use her head?
Why do they do everything their mothers do?
Why don't they grow up, well, like their father instead?

Why can't a woman take after a man?
Men are so pleasant, so easy to please.
Whenever you're with them, you're always at ease.

Would you be slighted if I didn't speak for hours?

COLONEL PICKERING:
Of course not.

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
Would you be livid if I had a drink or two?

COLONEL PICKERING:
Nonsense.

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
Would you be wounded if I never sent you flowers?

COLONEL PICKERING:
Never.

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
Well, why can't a woman be like you?

One man in a million may shout a bit.
Now and then, there's one with slight defects.
One perhaps whose truthfulness you doubt a bit,
But by and large we are a marvelous sex!

Why can't a woman take after a man?
'Cause men are so friendly, good-natured and kind.
A better companion you never will find.

If I were hours late for dinner would you bellow?

COLONEL PICKERING:
Of course not.

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
If I forgot your silly birthday, would you fuss?

COLONEL PICKERING:
Nonsense.

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
Would you complain if I took out another fellow?

Pickering
Never.

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
Why can't a woman be like us?

[dialog]

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
Why can't a woman be more like a man?
Men are so decent, such regular chaps;
Ready to help you through any mishaps;
Ready to buck you up whenever you're glum.
Why can't a woman be a chum?

Why is thinking something women never do?
And why is logic never even tried?
Straightening up their hair is all they ever do.
Why don't they straighten up the mess that's inside?

Why can't a woman behave like a man?
If I was a woman who'd been to a ball,
Been hailed as a princess by one and by all;
Would I start weeping like a bathtub overflowing,
Or carry on as if my home were in a tree?
Would I run off and never tell me where I'm going?
Why can't a woman be like me?

#MyFairLady  ___

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