Tag: books

Memoirs Over Men-moirs

Memoirs Over Men-moirs

My favorite stories are the ones people tell about themselves– their struggles, their joy, that one brief time they were in a sorority or met the president or found out their show was cancelled (Hi, Mindy Kaling), what makes them unique, their past, present, future: Memoirs. The past few years I’ve gotten really into listening to memoirs on Audible. Hearing someone tell me their story as I walk or drive around town feels like having them there with me. It’s a great way to remember people who have died, learn more about the people behind things you enjoy, or to explore lives unlike your own.

I definitely have opinions about what makes a good memoir. The key ingredient is vulnerability. Memoirs lacking reflection or emotional risk are, frankly, a little boring. But authors that don’t apologize for their choices, admit failures, poke fun at themselves, explore feelings– their stories can leave you changed.

Check out some of the memoirs I have really enjoyed:

Most recently, I finished Gene Wilder’s memoir, Kiss Me Like a Stranger. I was drawn to it because I always found his performances interesting, but didn’t know much about him. (And honestly, I really like his voice.) Listening to it, I was reminded of Bryan Cranston’s A Life in Parts & Jeffrey Tambor’s Are You Anybody? The way all of these men talk about women is very similar. (Spoiler alert: It’s not great.)

Jess from New Girls says,

They all comment on women’s bodies throughout, often introducing women in terms of their physical looks. Women are described as either extraordinary people to be revered (like their wives), or deeply flawed, broken individuals they tried to save or help in some way. And they all mention the pain of women in their lives (emotional or physical) in such a casual way, it really stood out to me.

The women in these men-moirs (if you will) are objectified in the literal sense. They are just parts of a man’s story and have no agency of their own. Their truth is secondary to how they fit into the lives of men. It’s striking, and sadly indicative of the deep roots of misogyny in our culture.

But! As Oprah said this year, a new day is on the horizon 🙂 ☀. There are so many other wonderful stories to explore, and many more to look forward to.

A Friday List #3

A Friday List #3

  • I’ve been doing yoga every morning, every day, since the new year started. (Full disclosure: I started my streak on December 31st, and have missed 4 days off, but that’s not bad!) Yoga with Adriene does a 30-day series at the start of each new year for anyone at any level, so that really helped me get going. By sticking with at least 20 minutes of daily yoga, I’ve noticed BIG improvements in my range-of-motion and all around fitness. It’s been harder to stick to this week, since I was busier than usual.
  • “Busy” is a word that can mean a lot of things. Sometimes it means that you aren’t prioritizing properly, or that you are feeling anxious even though there’s not much going on, or that there are suddenly a lot of things on your plate that you didn’t plan for. Somehow I managed to be all three this week.
  • I’m very much a “Yay, it’s Friday!” person today, as evident by a graphic from my Instagram stories today:

Graphic from Instagram reads

  • I’ve been re-reading Mindy Kaling’s first book, as I tend to do at least once a year. She’s honest, funny, unapologetic about what she likes, and just generally very great. (Plus, she predicted Ghostbusters 2017 AND that there would be an all-ladies Ocean’s movie, which she is NOW STARRING IN. I’m very impressed.)

Have a great weekend!

Me vs. Yesterday

Yesterday I woke up in a funk and then a few things happened to turn that funk into a bad mood. By 11 AM I felt sad, mad, and sort of hopeless. It’s a slippery slope into despair once you open your brain up to the possibility of all the things going wrong. But once I got home from work I was determined to pull myself out of it. (Truthfully, I spent a few minutes lying down first, deciding if it was worth the effort to try or just go to bed at 6 PM, but I shook that off.)

First, there were burgers:

Always put an egg on it.

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Then, there was the comic & games shop, where I picked up some Saga I’ve been meaning to buy, and something new that looked interesting:

Something read & something new.

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Then I came home and relaxed, laughed over chat with my best friend, and ended the day feeling positive. Strike one in the column for getting back up to try again.