Louise Brown, 91, is being named by some as Britain’s most avid reader. She’s borrowed 25,000 books from the library – with no fines.
I’m not going to try to compete on numbers of books. But that last little point – no fines. Now that, I kind of envy.
You see, I used to be in the running for the library’s Best Patron award. But not for some time. In fact, I have accumulated a number of library fines in the last decade or so. Somewhere in 1999 or so, I took out three books that became late. Very late.
And when I, inconsiderate borrower of materials that I was, returned them and paid my fines, I had a very freeing moment. The librarian did sniff. She did explain to me that I could have used the renewal system and avoided the fines. I felt the kind of mortification you feel in grade four when you don’t have your homework done.
And then – I let it go.
I don’t have to impress the librarian any more. I don’t always have to be a “good girl.” Although I don’t recommend it as a lifestyle, it is okay sometimes to mess up. It’s okay to forget to renew books and get The Look from the long-suffering librarian.
I realize this is not earth-shattering news to most people, but I guess for me it’s like having the guts to go grey. I forget things occasionally – and more often than I used to, in fact. I’m not going to be the library’s star patron. And it’s okay.
So hats off to Louise Brown, from someone who will never share the title.
What could you have been best known for that you’ve given up?
While the economy continues to have a bad hair
day month year, I’ve decided to find different ways of bringing more “affordable” luxuries in my life. I’m starting with time.
Anything that gives me more leisure time with my pillow, or quality time with my friends and family is what I’m all about this summer.
When CARGO Cosmetics 7 Products in 7 Minutes kit arrived at the office, I was interested, but skeptical. (Hello, 8 Minute Abs creators? I’m still waiting for that six-pack.)
Quite simply, it’s a kit that promises to contain everything you need to get your face ready, fast. Inside you’ll find some of CARGO’s most popular items: Onebase, (a concealer and foundation in one), an Essential Palette (which comes with each eye shadow labeled for easy application), an eye pencil, blush, “reverse” lip liner (for stopping lipstick from bleeding and defining the mouth), lip gloss and a strengthening mascara.
Did I do a time trial? You betcha. I clocked in at just under 8 minutes – but it took some practice.
It’s great for a gift and even better as an all-in-one for traveling. And it’s a heck of a lot more fun than doing sit-ups, that’s for sure.
Available at Sephora, $59.
A beluga whale has rescued a diver in north-east China, according to The Sun (UK).
I’m just a little skeptical, but that’s me. And the unexpected – whether a rescue or an image – is often inspiring. On that note here’s a link to Smashing Apps’s 23 breathtaking moments.
I hope you get an unexpected pleasure today!
Excellent piece in the New York Times‘s Modern Love column from Joyce Maynard. “For years I had known the password to her e-mail account but never used it. Now — hands trembling on the keyboard — I typed it in.”
My son is still small, but he has recently discovered the power of keeping things secret. I’m finding it bothers me more than I thought possible; knowing that it’s a normal developmental task doesn’t help. So I’m wondering what your experiences and thoughts are about snooping.
(If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – we have had some trouble with spammers lately and are having to approve comments manually right now, but we will see it and it will be published on the site.)
Here’s a discussion that’s hitting the blogs this week: Former General Electric Co. Chief Executive Jack Welch had what some people are taking as pretty harsh words for women looking to take time off to care for kids or family, in his remarks for the Society for Human Resource Management at its annual conference. Via the Wall Street Journal, here’s the quote that’s got people talking:
“There’s no such thing as work-life balance,” Mr. Welch told the Society for Human Resource Management’s annual conference in New Orleans on June 28. “There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences.”
Mr. Welch said those who take time off for family could be passed over for promotions if “you’re not there in the clutch.”
Some of the response:
- “Perhaps if we stopped viewing these jobs as what we’re aspiring to reach, and begin seeing them as fool’s gold largely sought by folks with too narrow a conception of ambition, men and women who never reach the C suite would better count their blessings.” – Conor Friedersdorf at the Daily Dish
- “For many people though, they are willing to take that middle ground between workaholic and homemaker. There just has [sic] to be more opportunities to take that route.” – Laura at 11d. I particularly wanted to also note commenter stranger’s remark on that post: “
- “I regularly interview women for my show Give and Take who do have it all — they are mothers with high powered careers. These women are resolute, dedicated and supreme multi-taskers.” – Julie Menin at the Huffington Post
What’s my take? That it’s very individual and dependent on the industry and corporation involved – which is exactly why we need to share our stories, as women, of our ongoing reinventions through various stages of our life as we struggle to “have it all.” So don’t forget to comment or share your story in our View from her section.
There’s something about taking the forlorn and turning it into interesting pictures that buoys my spirit. I love people who find beauty in unexpected places. So today’s site is Abandoned Planet – a gallery of pictures of abandoned places. And it’s even got Canadian places!
It’s the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing today. I think one of the things I’m waxing nostalgic about today is the sense of adventure and possibility that space travel used to represent for me – the best of science plus the best adventurers. My family used to gather for a party with every launch (ending after the Challenger tragedy). And I was always sad that I was too old for Space Camp.
(I’m also not sure what it says about me that the astronaut I most feel connected to is a fictional one: Commander Tom of David Bowie’s Space Oddity. Please tell me I’m not the only one who gave way too much of my youth to listening to that particular track!)
Now, I admit, when I think about space travel it’s the WALL-E version: Humans as polluters of space and burners of fossil fuel. I clearly have a media theme going here.
Do you think we’ve all gotten too cynical? Or just more aware? Or some combination?
Here are some of the links we love to celebrate that landing, in any case:
This week I’m feeling optimistic about the health news.
First up: scientists have extended the lifespan of rhesus monkeys by restricting caloric intake. This Economist article looks at the study and a drug that might be used to achieve the same results.
And what about the quality of life? Apparently a glass of wine a day might help stave off dementia. Sadly I’m assuming the calories would count. However, there are reasons to keep your teens away from the wine.
Migraine sufferers may be at lower risk for breast cancer.
Happy summer Friday! Some items to ponder over the weekend:
If you’ve got oily skin, you’ve no doubt heard about the one major benefit: you’ll look younger than those with dry skin.
That benefit isn’t without a price, though. By noon, your forehead is so reflective you might as well be a mirror. Your makeup is slip-sliding its way south, never to return. You’re just plain shiny, man.
Of course, as the weather gets hotter, the shine factor becomes a tougher battle to fight. Vichy recently conducted a study on the elements that cause shine to go into overdrive; it turns out UV rays are a major sebum trigger. (Skin reacts with sebum to try to protect itself from UV damage.)
Here’s how to manage it:
- Always use a shine-reducing product before putting on your makeup. In August, Vichy launches Normaderm Pro Mat, ($30), a moisturizer with SPF 15 that gives a velvety, matte finish to the skin without leaving it lifeless or dull. This is a product that does exactly what it says it will – skin stays soft and smooth with oil production on a slower course of action.
- Keep some blotting sheets in your purse. Clean & Clear Oil-Absorbing Sheets (out now) are an economical and savvy way of keeping oil at bay. They don’t affect your makeup and act only to blot away excess oil. You get a good amount of stock, too – 50 sheets for $8 – and they’re easy to dispense because of a cleverly placed sticky bit on the lid that separates each sheet for you.
Oily skin can often be reactive skin, so it’s good to be open to managing your skin care regime without using anything harsh or overly drying. It’s the secret to a shine-free summer: matte, blot, repeat.