A friend of mine shared this on Facebook recently and I found it mesmerizing. I’ve never seen The Great Dictator, but based on this scene, I feel I should.
If you want to read the text of this speech, it can be found here.
This past summer, my husband and I went, for the first time, to Copenhagen. The Danes were, to a person, lovely, full of smiles, and blessed with a witty sense of style and humor. (Is there something in the water in Denmark?) On our last afternoon, we went to the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. This is an amazing museum built around the personal collection of Carl Jacobsen (1842–1914), the son of the founder of the Carlsberg Breweries. (more…)
This week, while driving three 15 year olds to school, I overheard my daughter say, after she had defined the word quintessence for her friend, “That’s a fun word, isn’t it?” My son said, “You know what I think is a fun word? Schadenfreude.” I smiled. Like my kids, I too think many words are flat out fun: fun to say, fun to know, fun to use. The car chat got me thinking about my favorite words… here are ten I love. (more…)
I am obsessed with quotes. I am. I waste hours searching for the perfect quote to put in a photo book, on a birthday card or in a review. Quotes speak to me.
So today, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites. (I am, of course, hoping that you will then post your favorites and that I will discover still more cool quotes.)
I am exceedingly fond of the words of Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965). That man had better quips than almost anyone in 20th century politics. Here are some of his better bon mots:
“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”
“A modest man, who has much to be modest about.” (On Clement Atlee)
“Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened.”
I love to travel and, when back at home, almost always make a photo book documenting my wanderings. I like to put a quote about travel on the back of each book. Here are a few I’ve used recently:
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” St. Augustine. (more…)
I graduated from high school in 1979. “Animal House” was easily my favorite movie of my senior year. I even dragged my mother to see a midnight showing of it. Sadly, it didn’t hit her in the happy giddy way it did me. And while many agreed with my mother–Animal House received generally mixed reviews from critics–the film is one of the most lucrative and loved movies ever made. Shot for a mere $2.7 million, it is one of the most profitable movies of all time; since its initial release, Animal House has made more than $141 million in videos and DVDs, not including merchandising. (more…)
It’s the first night of school and my tenth graders already have homework… lots of it. My daughter, once she got home–at 7:30–from a school volleyball game, estimated she had three hours of homework to do. Her twin brother, home at 5:00–he does debate-was just finishing up his homework at eight. Their teachers told them to expect 30 minutes to an hour a night of homework per class. Neither of them is taking any AP classes–this is the workload for the average tenth grader at their school.
I’m not going to write about the many conflicting studies about the efficacy of homework. Nor am I going to discuss the troubling tradeoffs that kids make to do well in our competitive high schools. (I will confess to having seen and being moved by Race to Nowhere, a compelling movie about the rat race that is high school for many American students.) No, today I am asking a question: Why can’t high school teachers assign homework a week at a time? (more…)
I am, after years of indecision, a fan of the “murse” or the male purse. It’s an idea whose time has clearly come.
I just spent a week in Northern Europe where men with bags slung over their shoulders are a common sight. I saw men with messenger bags, one strap backpacks, long strap briefcases, and some fairly purse-like satchels. I saw guys pull out their cell-phones from inner pockets, call their wives to say they were on their way home, and then tuck the phones safely away. I saw dads pulling out juice bottles, wild young men in Amsterdam pulling out lighters, well-dressed males pulling out travel guides and, once, a guy pulling out a bouquet of flowers for his girlfriend. Murses are all over Europe and I predict we will begin to see more of them here in the good old USA.
Murses make sense especially in a world where so many men carry at least one electronic device. So many of today’s devices have fragile parts: touch screens that easily shatter, keyboards that can’t stand even the slightest contact with water. It seems quite sane to carry such objects in something less dangerous than a pants pocket. And many men are carting more than one device. I personally carry an iPhone, an iPad, a Kindle and a camera most everywhere I go. Putting all those things in my purse not only protects them, it makes it easier to tote them. I assume that ease would be equally enjoyed by the other sex.
So, whether a man is a gadget freak packing several devices, a dad armed with diapers and a juice box, or a reader loaded up with tomes (electronic or actual), the murse is the best solution out there. It needs to become, well, manly and thus acceptable to many of this country’s males.
What do you think? Can you imagine America full of murse carrying males? If not, why not? (OK, maybe they all won’t look like Hugh Jackman, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the point!)
I love to travel and have been lucky enough to do so. In the past three years, my husband and I have been to Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Rome, Venice, Saint Petersburg, Copenhagen and Amsterdam. Our family has traveled to Africa, Europe, Central America, Canada and throughout the United States. One of our favorite things to do is to take pictures of all that we see. And we take a lot of pictures! On our most recent trip we took over 1500 shots. (more…)
I live in the American South–in the heart of Carolina–where it is really hot and sticky in the summertime. In past summers, I’ve dressed “coolly” in cotton tank tops and jean skirts. Cotton’s a fairly breathable fabric and, until now, I thought my cotton clothes were as “cool” as it gets. I was wrong. This summer, thanks to three new sundresses made with hi-tech wicking fabrics, I’m the coolest I’ve ever dressed! (more…)
When my children were younger, whenever I dropped them off somewhere, I would always say three things: “Make good choices.” (This line is stolen from the marvelous mom played by Jamie Lee Curtis in Freaky Friday.) “Don’t take any wooden nickels.” (The reasons behind this obscure saying may be found here.) And “Always respect your body.” I have said these lines so often to my four children the words have become part of our relationship and now imply my love, my loopy sense of humor, and my hope they might actually temper their behavior when away from me. I don’t say them all the time anymore but those lines are woven into the fabric of my relationship with my family. (more…)