Tag Archives: having it all

Friday Pix: Recommended Reading For The Weekend

Every Friday I point you towards some recommended reading around the blogosphere:

1. I loved this novel take in the Chicago Reader on “having it all” by a single, child-free woman.

2. From Roger Ebert: a tribute to his wife, Chaz. So touching you can barely believe he really feels this way. But I bet he does.

3. Over on Gabion, Hugh Pearman provides the best take I’ve seen yet on London’s new architectural monstrosity: The Shard. Funny and insightful in equal measure. (Hat tip: Brainiac)

4. Have I told you lately how much I love Sandra Tsing Loh? Here she is on her weekly podcast The Loh Life talking about being on Facebook with her 12 year-old daughter. Be sure to listen to this first installment and then tune in to segments two and three.

5. Finally, for no reason whatsoever, here are 20 bizarre pictures drawn by kids over on Buzzfeed. Enjoy!

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Tips For Adulthood: Five Reasons To Watch The World Cup

Every Wednesday I offer tips for adulthood.

This week’s list is inspired by my newfound (and bewildering) fascination with the World Cup. Bewildering because like most Americans, I have a hard time getting terribly excited about this game. Although my son’s interest in football has forced me to learn way more about this sport than I ever imagined, I myself am not an avid football fan. My best sports continue to be pool and bowling.

But this World Cup has been amazing not just for the quality of football played, but the things it has revealed “off the pitch,” so to speak.

Here are five reasons to watch:

1. It allows for a global redistribution of power. Granted, it doesn’t take much to animate my inner Marxist. But you’d have to be pretty hard-hearted not to feel inspired when countries like Ghana and Paraguay make it into the quarter-finals. Because soccer is a truly global sport, there’s always a bit of an upstairs/downstairs quality to the matches every four years. But this year, the balance seems particularly tipped towards poorer countries. To wit: while five out of 8 quarter-finalists this year hail from the Global South (Argentina, Brazil, Ghana, Paraguay and Uruguay), only two did in 2006 (Argentina and Brazil; I’m not sure how to “count” Ukraine). In a world marked by growing income inequality, this is a welcome turn of affairs. Viva la Revolucion!

2. You get to see a nation’s true colors. Again, this has always been true, but national personality has been super-sized this time around. Take the gutsy, aggressive, free-wheeling Argentine team and their pop-star-like coach, Diego Maradona. Argentinians have long been famous in Latin America for their over-sized egos and brazen self-confidence. (And yes, some of my best friends are Argentine. Really.) Or the spectacularly haughty French team, which went on strike – how French! – to protest the explusion of one of their players after he swore at the team’s Manager. (Mon Dieu!) Slate even ran a piece by Anne Applebaum analyzing the ways different countries have responded to the Vuvuzela and what that says about national character.

3. New words get invented. While we’re on the topic of the vuvuzela, let’s talk about the way in which – over the course of, what, three weeks? – this word has managed to insinuate itself into all of our consciences. Inspired by the word and concept of “vuvuzelas,” Schott’s Vocab blog at The New York Times went so far as to launch a contest where readers were asked to list their favorite sounds, descriptions of sounds and onomatopoeia. (The prize? A set of vuvuzela-canceling headphones. Brilliant!)

4. It produces great ads. Much like the Superbowl in the U.S., the World Cup leads to some top-notch advertising. If you haven’t seen the Nike World Cup Ad – Write The Future – promoting the event itself, it’s a must. Another must see (which I linked to a few weeks back on my Friday Pix list) are the string of World Cup moment re-enactments in Lego that have been running at The Guardian. (Here’s the now-classic botched England save in USA v. England, rendered in Lego.)

5. You learn about ethics. You know when a world-famous philosopher – Peter Singer – uses a World Cup goal as a “teachable moment” about ethics and cheating that the sport has transcended low-brow entertainment and is now a form of art.

Yesterday, I was over at www.PoliticsDaily.com talking about how scientific advances are changing our understanding of what “having it all” means for women. Have a look.

Image: 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa by phallin via Flickr in a Creative Commons license.

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Friday Pix: Recommended Reading For The Weekend

This Friday I point you to some worthwhile reading around the blogosphere:

1. In light of my own musings about whether or not stages of adulthood correspond with age, I found this article in the New York Times on redefining the financial age of adulthood to be quite edifying.

2. This fun post about creative and playful business cards from the blog Kim and Jason Escape Adulthood made me think, again, about titles and how we present ourselves.

3. Under annals of parenting, here’s one woman’s frank account in The Guardian about why she couldn’t have it all. And on the lighter side, a laugh-out-loud essay on the NYT’s Motherlode blog by a mother trying to quiet her shrieking child on an airplane.

4. Writers will want to read this fascinating interview with Mary Karr (of The Liar’s Club fame) on DoubleX. (Note to self: Must finally read The Liar’s Club.)

5. Writers will also want to check out my new favorite lit blog, Christina Baker Kline: A Writing Life. You will find inspiration in her post My Ten Year Overnight Success as well as why back-to-school night proved such a great source 0f material.

6. Finally, and on a more serious note, I really liked this final essay on the NYT Happy Days blog about why we need to embrace death.

Enjoy your weekend!

Oh, yes, and do follow me on Twitter!

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