It is a truth universally acknowledged that the less appropriate a word is for polite conversation, the more synonyms it has.
- Rear/Rear end
- Gluteus Maximus/Glutes
Do you like how I capitalized everything to make it feel more dignified?
I recently finished reading two nonfiction books (that were, in my opinion, very good); The Little Book of Lykke and How to Break Up with Your Phone.
I wanted to give some details about them and some of my thoughts, in case my random recommendation doesn’t carry enough weight.
The Little Book of Lykke: In The Little Book of Lykke, Meik identifies the six factors that explain the majority of differences in happiness across the world—togetherness, money, health, freedom, trust, and kindness—and explores what actions we can take to become happier. As he reveals, we can deepen our blissfulness and contentment with little adjustments in our behavior, whether it’s eating like the French (sitting around a table and savoring our time) or dancing the tango like Argentinians in Buenos Aires.
- I really enjoyed the case studies sprinkled throughout the book, detailing how specific people or communities had made a change for the better/happier in their lives. Like Michelle’s No Spend Year- to learn how to live well for less, put yourself out there, and remember that buying belongings won’t bring you the perfect life. because it’s about experiences!
- Apps like Kamino and Field Trip will give you the scenic route, rather than the fastest.
- The Mappiness Project in the UK seems super cool- by mapping happiness around the world, researchers aim to understand how happiness is affected by the local environment. You can sign up to participate. And, no surprise: participants tend to be significantly and substantially happier outdoors.
- The Parental Happiness Gap has a whole damn lot to do with the policies in place to support working families. The US and Papua New Guinea are the only two countries in the world that do not have a policy in place to give mothers paid time off after having a baby.
- Cooperation versus competition. I’ve always been a humongous fan of musical chairs, but why are so many kids games competitive rather than cooperative? What if a game were played where no kids were out but a chair was taken away every round- leading to all of the kids piling into one chair at the very end. Sounds just as giddy and prone to accident.
- Become a RAKTIVIST, a kind of Random Act of Kindness ninja/hitman. You can sign up on the website http://www.randomactsofkindness.org.
This next is a little harder because I’ve already returned the book though I finished it more recently- so this will be a bit shorter.
How to Break Up With Your Phone: Award-winning journalist Catherine Price presents a practical, hands-on plan to break up—and then make up—with your phone. The goal? A long-term relationship that actually feels good. You’ll discover how phones and apps are designed to be addictive, and learn how the time we spend on them damages our abilities to focus, think deeply, and form new memories. You’ll then make customized changes to your settings, apps, environment, and mindset that will ultimately enable you to take back control of your life.
- Disclosure: I don’t have much of a phone addiction, and I mostly read this book applying what I was learning to laptop time- particularly after I was hit with a particularly strong Spider Solitaire addiction a few months ago as a result of university stress (I can’t explain).
- Apps, smartphones, websites, etc. are designed to keep interested, often in pretty sinister ways. Not only do they tap into your dopamine circuits, but likes are pretty much designed to take advantage of peoples’ competitive natures and need to belong and have social approval. And frequently you as a user are not alerted of likes in real time- platforms alert you of them when research/empirical evidence shows that it will have the biggest impact on users and encourage users to continue the most.
- In 2007, when the first smartphones were released, many demographic trends changed sharply.
- Among other data, the incidence of depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders, especially among younger people, increased significantly.
- So now I’m trying to ask myself before I pop open my laptop or phone- 1) What could I be doing instead right now?, 2) What am I using this device for? (so that I can make sure I have a purpose rather than just ‘because’), 3) How am I feeling? (Am I using my phone or computer to relieve stress?).
- I’m going to schedule a no screen weekend. I might cheat and do it when I go away for Independence Day. To an area that has no internet and no reception.
- Streamline your phone. Make it harder to open the apps you tend to get lost in. If things are less convenient to access, you’re less likely to access them ‘unconsciously’.
- Engage in tech fasts. Sounds like fun.
- All in all, I really liked how the data was set out initially and followed by a proposed 30 day detox plan- which wasn’t super applicable to me because mI’m more irritated by my somewhat extensive laptop time, but there were lots of great ideas I took away (and I’ve been using my laptop less!)
I used my movie pass for the first time this past weekend! I was so stressed beforehand (true to character) but it all worked out perfectly. And Deadpool 2 was cute. I’m so excited to do a bit more theater-going this summer and I’m already a bit stressed about picking which films to go to (because there is a LOT that I am excited for). Can you tell that I’ve been a bit stressed today?
And now the 2018 film lineup, starting with things that have already been released and moving into anticipated releases.
- The Insult: After an emotional exchange between a Lebanese Christian and a Palestinian refugee escalates, the men end up in a court case that gets national attention. I should have watched this when it came out in France, but I only got to the theater to see Coco.
- Hostiles: In 1892, a legendary Army captain reluctantly agrees to escort a Cheyenne chief and his family through dangerous territory. I’ve seen the first few minutes and it wasn’t super promising, reviews were mixed, but I want to give it a chance.
- Black Panther: No, I haven’t seen it yet. No, you don’t need a description. Luckily, it’s still in theaters!
- Loveless: A couple going through a divorce must team up to find their son who has disappeared during one of their bitter arguments.
- Game Night: A group of friends who meet regularly for game nights find themselves entangled in a real-life mystery. I’m always hoping to find an actually funny comedy.
- The Death of Stalin: Follows the Soviet dictator’s last days and depicts the chaos of the regime after his death.
- Thoroughbreds: Two upper-class teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. Together, they hatch a plan to solve both of their problems-no matter what the cost. Okay, I’m tired of copying these. Look them up!
- Love, Simon: Normalizing gay romance!
- Unsane: Crazy suspense thriller shot on an iPhone!
- Isle of Dogs: Wes Anderson! Problematic cultural appropriation!
- A Quiet Place: AMAZING
- Lean on Pete: Horses!
- You Were Never Really Here: Joaquin Phoenix!
- The Seagull: Chekhov!
- Deadpool 2: Funny!
- On Chesil Beach: Ian McEwan via Saoirse Ronan!
Not Yet Released:
- Solo: A Star Wars Story: Reviews say mediocre!
- Mary Shelley: This looks bad but I’m still excited!
- American Animals: Heists! Barry Keoghan!
- Hereditary: SCARY!
- Ocean’s 8: Awesome ladies!
- Won’t You Be My Neighbor?: Mr. Rogers!
- The Incredibles 2: EDNA MODE!
- Tag: Looks funny!
- Sicario: Day of the Soldado: I liked the first one and this looks much worse!
- Sorry to Bother You: This looks so odd but possibly excellent!
- Hot Summer Nights: The return of T Chalamet!
- Searching: Thriller all on a computer screen! With John Cho!
- The Meg: SHARKS!
- Blackkklansman: Adam Driver? Potentially funny?
- The Happytime Murders: R-rated Muppets!
- The Nun: More from The Conjuring universe!
- Lizzie: Lizzie Borden via K. Stew.
- The House with a Clock in its Walls: I liked the trailer!
- Colette: I love Keira Knightley and I love Colette!
- Halloween: It’s back!
- Bohemian Rhapsody: Yas, queen!
- Creed 2: More Creed!
- Robin Hood: Taron Egerton!
- Mary Poppins Returns
Happy Friday! It seems like a pretty good day 9a bit nippy) and I’m looking forward to some exciting doings this weekend.
How about you?
I meant to write this post up yesterday, but I was in a bad, not very companionable mood. I’m feeling better today, having, among other things, cooked some beautiful dal and finished watching Mother!, which was much better than last autumn’s reviews had led me to believe it would be.
Other news? I’m looking forward to seeing Deadpool 2, probably this weekend, hoping to go out for meal or ice cream (or both), my chocolate quinoa pancakes continue to be excellent, and Solo is getting some pretty mediocre reviews. Oh, and I’m falling behind on reading Travels with Charley.
Here’s what else I have checked out:
- Travels with Charley
- How to Break Up with Your Phone
- The Little Book of Lykke: The followup to the widely acclaimed Little Book of Hygge. I’ve actually already finished it, just not ready to return it yet.
- Lolly Willowes
- Ripley’s Game: Wondering if this third installment will be the one that puts me off the Ripley series
- The Wings of the Dove: I really fear the day when I have no more big Henry James. This and The Golden Bowl. That’s all I’ve got left, I think.
- The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning
- Gran Torino: Clint Eastwood is bae.
- Lady Snowblood: Miss Havisham goes violent samurai.
- Enter the Dragon: Triggered by a youtube video pointing out a very extra extra.
- The Furies: Barbara Stanwyck is also bae.
- My Name is Nobody
- The Old Gun: Yay westerns!
- Frenzy: One of the chronologically last Hitchcock films and one of the last ones I haven’t seen yet.
- Amarcord: The first movie of Fellini’s that I’ve liked.
Disclosure: It is complete coincidence that this is being posted the day after Mother’s Day. No slight is intended against my Mom, who is one of the most wonderful human beings that the world has to offer with one hand tied behind her back.
With that out of the way, lets talk about Dad.
- Rock climbing and ice climbing
- Piloting small aircraft
- Building sundials
- Canning and preserving
- Home improvement projects and construction
- Cultivating bees
- Learning languages
- Emulating the style of bald men with beards and scarves
- Indoor rowing
- Glass blowing
- Conducting experiments on himself
- Veganism and making the perfect seitan/vegan cheese/whatever from scratch
- Sourdough culture
- Growing mushrooms
- Foraging for mushrooms
- Being a connoisseur of wine
- The Middle East
- Telling the best stories
- Being a liberal/ human rights
- Being a lapsed Quaker
- City planning
- Being one of the nicest and most supportive people around
- Crying at absolute nonsense
Happy Friday and Happy Mother’s Day weekend!
Do you have any plans?
In a few hours we (my parents and I) will be going up to Belfast, Maine to spend the weekend with my Aunt Susan and Bill, whose mother owns an alpaca farm. There will be alpaca shearing, vegan food, and tactful discussions about Infinity War without mentioning to movie fan Bill (it’s so nice to be around other movie fans) that I never plan to see it.
I’ve been reading a lot, falling behind on the films I have checked out from the library, gardening for hours a day, and enjoying the springly weather. I also cooked some interesting pancakes yesterday so that have foods when I return next week. I will report back.
What’s happening on the worldwide web?
- Speaking of movie people, this film looks like it could be amazing. Also really excited for The Seagull, an adaptation of one of the few Chekhov pieces I’e actually read.
- A beautiful essay that I’m at a loss as to how to describe.
- The Duchess of Northumberland sounds like a fun lady- she created the garden at Alnwick Castle, possible the deadliest garden in the world.
- How does Deadpool always win the promotion game? This is genius.
- One of the greatest things about being back in America is the access to SNL’s youtube uploads. I know the main story (DESERVEDLY) is the release of This is America by Donald Glover- but let’s not forget about the Barbie skit.
- #MeToo and Junot Diaz: Cycles of victimization and victimizing, sexual harassment, celebrity and race.
- When two celebrity ladies (internet fashion personae?) give birth in close succession and get together to share their experiences with the early days of motherhood.
- I love this Public Place Meditation Guide– it’s very closely related to some wisdom my mother shared with me years ago: practice seeing the divinity in everyone around you.
- A mathematical model may explain how two brains agree on the experiential profile of smells.
- Possibly the most charming interview I’ve ever seen. I think I may have just fallen in love with all three of these men.
- Have you liked any pages created by Russian bots?Ask Facebook.
- A complex algorithm predicts the likelihood of final season Game of Thrones deaths. Bye, Daenerys.
- An amazing photograph. I love whales.